Píobaire, An, Volume 1, Issue 7, Page 6
Píobaire, An, Volume 1, Issue 7, Page 6
Na Píobairí Uilleann
(60)PADDY CONEELY, THE GAL WAY PIPER (con finued)On another occasion,being about to visit the island castle on Lough Corrib,called Caisleanna-Circe, Paddy expressed to us his desire to accompany us,as he said he never had anopportunily of seeing it. We took him with us accordingly; and there was not a spot on therocky island that with the aid of his stick he did not examine, or a crumbling wall that he didnot scale, even to places that we should have supposed only accessible to jackdaws. Dear me,Sir, he exclaimed on our relurn, But thats a mighty curious castle, and must be very ancient.I never saw ::walls in a castle so thick before, and how beautiful and smooth the arches were . Ithink they were a kind of gritstone? This was added inquiringly; and so they were red sand-stone chiselled.But we are dwelling too long on these characteristics, forgetting that we have others tonotice of greater interest; and of these perhaps the most eminent is his habitual, and as wemight say, constitutional benevolence. Of this trait in his character we heard many interestinginstances, but our space will only allow us to notice one or two which we artfully extractedfrom himself. Having heard of his kindnesses to some of his neighbours who are poorer thanhimself, we had determined to make himself speak on the matter; and, accordingly, when pass-ing through the village in which he resides, about two miles and a half from Gaiway, we remarkedto him that some of those neighbours seemed very poor. Indeed they are, Sir, very, hereplied; they have been very badly off this year in consequence of the wet, the want of firingand the dearness of potatoes. And how, I rejoined, have they contrived to keep body andsoui together? Why, Sir, lust by the assistance of those a little better off than themselves.Paddy would not name himself as their benefactor, so we had to ask him if he had been able togive them any aid, and then his nigenuousness obliged him to confess that he had: he had lentthirty shillings to one family to buy seed for their bit of ground, ten shillings to another to buymeal, and soon. And will they ever pay you, Paddy we inquired. Och . the creatures,they will, to be sure, Sir, Paddy replied in a tone expressive of surprise at the imputation ontheir honesty; but added in a lower voice, if they can; and if they cant, Sir, why please God,Ill get over if; sure one couldnt see the creatures starve. This was last year. In thepresent summer we had heard that Paddys turf was all stolen from him shortly after perhapsby some of the very persons whom he had assisted - and we were curious to ascertain how hetook his loss. So we inquired, How were you off, Paddy, for firing last winter?. Verybadly, Sir. I had no turf of my own, and was obliged to buy turf in Galway at four shillingsthe kish. It would have been cheaper to buy coal,only I dont like a grate, for the childrenburn themselves at it. And how did it happen that you had no turf of your own?Because, Sir, it was all stolen from me, after I had paid two pourds for cutting anddriving it. Did you ever, I inquired, discover who were the robbers? Oh yes, Sir,he replied. And could you prove the theft against them? I could, to be sure. Didyou prosecute them? Tut, lut, Sir, what good would that do me? and Paddy added, in atone of pity, the creatures . Sure they were poor rogues or they would not have taken everybit away. Well, then Paddy, I inquired, did you ever speak to them about it? I did,Sir. And what answer or apology did they make? They said, Sir, that they wouldnthavetouched it if they knew it was mine. Did they ever return any of it? Paddy replied with alaugh, Oh, no .Reader, are you richer in a wordly sense than Paddy Coneely? And if, as it is probable,you are so, let us ask you, do you lust now feel an unusual warmth in your cheeks? Youneed not be greatly ashcmed of it, for believe us, there are many nobles in our land whomight well feel a similar sensation on reading these anecdotes of the benevolence of PaddyConeely.Paddy, like all or most genuine Irishmen, has a dash of quiet Irish humour and muchexcitability in his character, of which we must venture to give an instance or two.On a certain day,while Paddy was stopping at Mr. OFlahertys of Knockban, thecoachman, who was blind of one eye, was airing two horses, one of which was similarlywanting a visual organ, and the other stone blind. A gentleman present remarking that herewere four animals, two men and two horses, that had but two eyes among them, proposed arace, to which Paddy and the coachman assented. Paddy was placed upon the horse whichcould see a little, and the coachman got up on the blind one. Off they started with whipand spur, and to his great delight, Paddy won. This is one of the feats of which Paddy ismost proud.
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