The Keeper's Wife Examined It And Passed It Over To The Keeper,
Who Examined It Also, Asked Some Prudent, Cautious Questions, And We
Were Admitted To A Part Of The Grounds.
This gate keeper, a remarkably gentlemanly old man, in his respectable
blue broadcloth, his comely sagacious, weather-beaten face, his guarded
manner of speaking, and his name, Grant, made me quite sure that he was
a Highlandman, which he was not, but a Western Irishman.
He informed us
as we went along that only part of the grounds could be seen on account
of the troubled state of the country. Whether there was any part of the
demesne that an elderly woman and a pretty girl were likely to run away
with became a subject of thought to me. Conscientiously this delightful
old man kept us off tabooed walks and shunted us into permissible
places. Where all was beautiful and new, and time having a limit, we
were quite willing when brought to order, to follow on the allowed path.
I was admiring a tree of the regally magnificent kind, leaf-draped
branches like green robes sweeping down to the emerald sward, that
always remind me of the glorious trees which sunlight loves to gild in
the grounds at Castle Coole; I remarked on its exceeding beauty to our
guide, who said it would bear a nearer view, and we followed him on a
path through the grass till we stood beside it. Parting the foliage we
found ourselves at a natural grotto of light-colored stone, where a
stream of "the purest of crystal" came from under the rock at one end,
and glancing in the stray beams of sunlight that found their way in
through the arch of leaves, flashed down a tiny cascade in a shower of
diamonds, and with a little gurgling laugh hid under the rock again,
racing on to join the subterranean waters that laugh together over the
failure of the great canal.
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