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it, and even as my friend observed, to “ile their hair wid it.” We had no use for any brine, and accordingly after breakfast we set out for the Giant's Causeway in a jaunting car.
I do not know who invented the jaunting car, but he was an original genius, and succeeded in constructing a vehicle which looks unlike anything else that runs on wheels. At the first glance a jaunting car seems to be all springs; but really accommodates four persons besides the driver; and between the seats whereon the passengers sit, or rather cling, or perch, is a sort of box, or chest, which may be made to hold jugs and other baggage. It was in a jaunting car, then, that we went to the Causeway, along the coast road; and a fine road it is. And all along on one side was the sea, whereof an Irish poet sings —
“The breakers lap and curl below;
And soar, and dip, and skim.
Blends with the blue sky's rim.”
The cliffs are frequently of snowy white limestone, and the .constant hammer and chisel of those steady workers - the waves - has wrought in them arches of wondrous grace and beauty, through which the waves run to and fro continually, as if looking after their work. The beach forms a succession of amphitheaters all the way to the Causeway, as if the shore-line was like that of an army driven back in places and holding its original position at others.
The country along the coast, though much better cultivated than the country elsewhere, is not thickly settled. We passed
through but one village— Bush Mills — famous for its whisky in a country which certainly knows good whisky when it is visible. Here we took up a guide, and thereby saved ourselves from being torn to pieces by the gang of guides .who lie in wait for travelers at the Causeway.
At last we came to another Coleman's Hotel, and after waiting an hour or so for the rain to let up, started to look at an object I had speculated about ever since I first saw its picture in the geography — the Giant's Causeway.
We clambered down a steep bluff to the water's edge, and got into a boat rowed by four stout men, who were none too many, for it is a restless sea that has been trying for ages to beat down these cliffs. We rose, and fell, and swung, with the great swirling waves, which charged in a mass of white and green up to the top of the low, black rocks, and then came rushing and roaring back, quite in a foam with the exertion, only to try it again and again — the old play of rock and wave, old as time. The men rested on their oars in the midst of one of the amphitheaters I have mentioned, and the guide called our attention to the surrounding scenery. There was nothing there except a gray cliff, and the water at its feet. One might as well look at Calhoun's bluff. But we went farther, into another little foaming bay, and looked again, and there was, not the bare, common cliff, but two rows of columns, thousands of columns side by side, yet each distinct. In one place, it seemed as if the weight placed on the columns had been too heavy for them, and they were bent, not broken - all still side by side, twisted over in the same direction. This was better, but not yet the Giant's Causeway. Then we came to the black entrances of great caves running far under the cliffs, and
the boat shot into them. Wondrous caves were these, whereof the floor is the green and shifting sea. As regularly as beats the pulse in one's wrist, the wave came rushing in, and seemed as if it would shut the boat in with a wall of water, but then seemed to change its purpose, sank, and glided under us, rose after it had passed, and went on to the end of the cave to hurl itself against the wall in foam and thunder. The ceiling of the cave was a mass of black — they say it was lava once, and rushed and hissed and burned — but this I do not know; it is cold enough now. Next to the water-line was a vein of some mineral of a delicate pink, which blended with the water all around. The guide kept up a jargon about “haymetite,” and “conghlomerate," and "oxhide,” that he did not understand, to say nothing of his auditors. I would rather he had dropped geology and told us some lies about the giant who built the Causeway. And after all this, we rowed to the Causeway itself. It did not realize my expectations in the matter of height above the water, but it is a growing wonder. I
readers are familiar with the machine called a pile-driver, and if so, they will please keep it in mind while I try to explain the Giant's Causeway. Suppose a party started to build a bridge, or rather, road, of piles across an arm of the sea. He drives several hundred feet from the shore out before he gives up the undertaking. Those nearest the shore are the highest, and thence the piles grow shorter as the work advances into the water, till the last are almost even with the surface. Now suppose he has driven forty thousand of these piles; suppose, farther, that all the piles before being driven were dressed, so that their sides matched; suppose that some had five, some six, some seven,
some eight sides; but out of the forty thousand, only one had three sides, and only three had nine sides. Suppose that, after all these hewed, jointed and matched piles had been driven, they were instantaneously, separately and collectively turned into stone-and you have the Giant's Causeway. The piles are, moreover, all of the same kind of stone. If you would like to make one of the piles or columns, I can give you the recipe: Take twenty-five parts of clay, twenty-five parts of lime, twentyfive parts of iron, and twenty-five parts of flinty earth, and
you have the ingredients — they “can be procured at any drug store.” You will understand that the iron is used for coloring matter. The columns are about the hue of dark iron ore.
Of course we landed at the Causeway, and walked all about over the tops of the pillars, and saw the four eccentric ones that stood out from the others on the question of shape. We were beset by two old women, who followed us about, telling, in a most lamentable voice, a story of poverty, to which their countrymen responded only with a sarcastic, “Oh, murther!” However, I invested a coin of the realm in photographs and benedictions, the latter of which I regarded as having been bought at a very handsome figure. Laden with blessings, photographs and general information, we climbed the bluff again and wended our way back to Portrush, stopping on the way to look at the ruins of Dunluce' Castle - a mass of broken walls standing on a crag
down sheer to the water- and when you look over the brink you can see the breakers springing up at you like a drove of white wolves. I
suppose there has been as much crime, suffering, sin and blood in the past of Dunluce as in that of the other old castles, which, thank Heaven, have had their day. There are no tenants now
except the peaceful sheep that graze in the old court-yard. The watchman of these walls now is the wind, that wanders about day and night, and with its invisible fingers keeps the floor of one little tower always clean. But the people thereabouts say the sweeper is the Banshee.
Going back toward Belfast, I parted with my old friend of some thirty-six hours at Coleraine, as he was going on to Dublin. But I had business elsewhere, as I will explain.
One of the early contractors on that singularly ill-constructed job, my education, was an Irish priest. I remember very little of the labors of Father Flaherty (that was not his name), save that he was accustomed to stand me up in a corner and try to teach me to speak in the florid Irish manner, "There was a sownd of rivelry bee noight;" but I remember finding in his library a thin book with a flaming orange cover- of which I did not then understand the significance. It was a poem-or rather a rhymeabout the “Siege of Derry." How such a work ever found its way into the collection of his reverence, I have no idea, for it was the most ferociously Protestant publication I have ever read. How did go on about King James and the rest But I remember, bitter as it was, it had a good word for one of the "opposition,” the subject of the melancholy couplet:
“Brave Patrick Sarsfield, one of King James's best commanders,
Now lies, the food for crows, in Flanders." This little but savage poem, perhaps, led me to go to Londonderry. At any rate I went there.
The road from Coleraine runs most of the way along a plain by the sea, though sometimes under the shadow of high mountains. Of the points of the road, I remember for one, Ballyrena;