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A Tale of Galway - Part 2

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    ...continued.... Star and Republican Banner Gettysburg, Pennsylvania June 19, 1832 On the same night in which suspicion had driven Edward from his couch a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 2005

      Star and Republican Banner
      Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
      June 19, 1832

      On the same night in which suspicion had driven Edward from his couch a
      restless wanderer, it appears that the guilty lovers for the first time met in
      secret. According to the subsequent confession of Edward, he had concealed
      himself behind a pillar and had seen Gomez, wrapped in his mantle, glide with
      hurried steps out of a well known side-door in the house of Anna's father, which
      led immediately to her apartments. At the horrible certainty which now glared
      upon him, the fury of hell took possession of his soul; his eyes started form
      their sockets, the blood rushed and throbbed as if it would burst his veins; and
      as a man of dying of thirst pants for a draught of cooling water, so did his
      whole being pant for the blood of his rival. Like an infuriate tiger, he darted
      upon the unhappy youth, who recognized him, and vainly fled. Edward instantly
      overtook him, seized him, and burying his dagger a hundred times, with strokes
      like lightning flashes in the quivering body, gashed with Satanic rage the
      beautiful features which had robbed him of his beloved, and of peace. It was not
      till the moon broke forth from behind a cloud, and suddenly lighted the ghastly
      spectacle before him- the disfigured mass, which retained scarcely a feature of
      his beloved friend - the streams of blood which bathed the body and all the
      earth around it,- that he waked with horror, as from some internal dream. But
      the deed was done, and judgment was at hand. Led by the instinct of
      self-preservation he fled, like Cain, into the nearest wood. How long he
      wandered there, he could not recollect. Fear, love, repentance, despair, and at
      last madness, pursued him like frightful companions, and at length robbed him of
      consciousness- for a time annihilating the terrors of the past in forgetfulness;
      for kind nature puts an end to intolerable suffering of mind, as body, by
      insensibility or death.- Meanwhile the murder was soon known in the city; and
      the fearful end of the gentle youth, who had confided himself, a foreigner, to
      their hospitality, was learned by all with sorrow and indignation.
      A dagger, steeped in blood, had been found lying by the velvet cap of the
      Spaniard, and not far from it a hat, ornamented with plumes and a clasp of gems,
      showed the recent traces of a man who seemed to have sought safety in the
      direction of the wood. The hat was immediately recognized as Edward's and as he
      was no where to be found, fears were entertained that he had been murdered with
      his friend. The terrified father mounted his horse, and accompanied by a crowd
      of people, calling for vengeance, swore solemnly that nothing should save the
      murderer, were he even compelled to execute him with his own hands. We may
      imagine the shouts of joy, and the feelings of the father, when, at break of
      day, Edward Lynch was found sunk under a tree, living, and although covered with
      blood, yet apparently without any dangerous wound. We may imagine the shudder
      which ran through the crowd - the feelings the father we cannot imagine - when,
      restored to sense, he embraced his father's knees declared himself the murderer
      of Gonsalvo and earnestly implored instant punishment. He was brought home
      bound, tried before a full assembly of magistrates, and condemned to death by
      his own father. But the people would not lose their darling. Like the waves of
      the tempest-troubled sea, they filled the market-place and the streets, and
      forgetting the crime of the son in the relentless justice of the father,
      demanded with threatening cries the opening of the prison and the pardon of the
      criminal. During the night, though the guards were doubled, it was with great
      difficulty that the mob were withheld from breaking in. Towards morning, it was
      announced to the mayor that all resistance would soon be in vain, for that part
      of the soldiers had gone over to the people; - only the foreign guard held out -
      and all demanded with furious cries the instant ? of the criminal. At this the
      inflexible magistrate took a resolution, which many will call inhuman, but whose
      awful self-conquest certainly belongs to the rarest example of stoical firmness.
      Accompanied by a priest, he proceeded through a secret passage to the dungeon of
      his son; and when, with newly awakened desire of life, excited by the sympathy
      of his fellow citizens, Edward sunk at his feet, and asked him eagerly if he
      brought him mercy and pardon!- The old man replied with faltering voice, "No my
      son, in this world there is no mercy for you; your life forfeited to the law and
      at sun-rise you must die. One-and-twenty years I have prayed for your earthly
      happiness -but that is past - turn your thoughts now to eternity; and if there
      be yet hope there, let us kneel down together and implore the Almighty to grant
      you mercy hereafter; but then I hope my son, though he could not live worthy of
      his father, will at least know how to die worthy of him."
      With these words he rekindled the noble pride of the once dauntless youth,
      and after a short prayer, he surrendered himself with heroic resignation to his
      father's pitiless will. As the people, and the greater part of the armed men
      mingled in the ranks, now prepared amidst more wild and furious menaces, to
      storm the prison, James Lynch appeared at a lofty window; his son stood at his
      side, with the halter round his neck.- "I have swore, " exclaimed the inflexible
      magistrate, that Gonsalvo's murderer should die, even though I must perform the
      office of the executioner myself. Providence has taken me at my word; and you,
      madmen, learn from the most wretched of fathers, that nothing must stop the
      course of justice, and that even the ties of nature must break before it." While
      he spoke these words he made fast the rope to an iron beam projecting from the
      wall, and now suddenly pushed his son out of the window, he completed his
      dreadful work. Nor did he leave the spot till the last convulsive struggles gave
      certainty of the death of his unhappy victim. As if struck by a thunder-clap,
      the tumultuous mob had beheld the horrible spectacle in death like silence, and
      every man glided, as if stunned, to his own house.- From that moment the mayor
      of Galway resigned all his occupations and dignities, and was never beheld by
      any eye but his own family. He never left his house till he was carried from it
      to his grave.- Ann Blake died in a convent. Both families, in course of time
      disappeared from the earth, but the skull and the cross bones still mark the
      scene of this fearful tragedy.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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