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A Romantic Tale.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
REGINA MARIA ROCHE,
AUTHOR OF THE
CHILDREN OF THE ABBEY; BRIDAL OF DUNAMORE; CLERMONT: DISCARDED
OF THE HAMLET; VICAR OF LANSDOWNE, &c.
CHAPTER I. 1 maandamanares
“ With awe-struck thought and pitying tears,
I view that noble, stately dome,
Fam'd heroes! had their royal home:
Their royal name low jo the dust-
Though rigid law cries out-'twas just !".
In the province of Ulster, on a commanding eminence, stands the ancient castle of St. Doulagh's: at some distance it appears only a shapeless mass, but on à nearer approach, assumes a more distinct
VOL, I. 3 B.
form, and presents an assemblage highly grand and picturesque. We shall not attempt a particular description of its numerous outworks, or fortifications, but content ourselves with simply stating, that these majestic ruins cover a considerable space of ground, the walls enclosing two spacious courts, to which a Gothic portal forms the entrance, flanked by two massive towers, and secured by a portcullis.
The great extent of the building, the grandeur and size of the apartments, give strong proof of kingly magnificence and hospitality, such as, according to tradition, in former days it was famed for, when the residence of its just and regal possessors. The state hall alone would have been sufficient to bear evidence to this, from the grandeur of its dimensions, and the vestiges of ancient hospitality it still retained.
From the summit of the hill on which the castle of St. Doulagh's stands, falls a noble torrent, because mighty in force, which, dashing in its course over project
ing rocks, stumps of old oaks, and ashtrees, which grow out of clefts in the side of the hill, causes a thick spray to spread around, to a great height and distance, as the water dashes from precipice to precipice, down a descent of several hundred feet, when, forming a basin of great extent at the foot of the eminence, after reposing therein for some time, it takes its course to the left, through a rich, luxuri. ant vale, winding and serpentining through flowery meadows, corn-fields, and clumps of trees, in a deep, smooth channel, or foaming and tossing amongst a bed of broken rocks, as the vale rises or sinks in gentle elevation, until it is lost amongst hills, dotted with rural dwellings, monastic ruins, and lofty woods, behind which rise, in grand succession, yet more lofty bills and gigantic mountains, which, combining the varieties of light and shade, vie in contrast and singularity of romantic beauty, in colour and form: whilst to the right the vale is closed in by hills, man