Séadna's Cottage - Chapter 6.
In this chapter Séadna's story comes to a climax and a conclusion. An Fear Dubh
comes on the scene to take Séadna with him. Read on and see how our tale comes to
a surprise ending.|
The author of Séadna is Canon O'Leary, known nationally as An t'Athair Peadar O'Laoghaire, was parish priest of Castlelyons from 1891-1920. He was a prominent worker for the revival of the Irish Language and wrote many books in Irish. Before the Gaelic League was formed he was almost unknown but with encouragement from the League, especially from Seosamh Laoide whom he met in 1894 he began to write. The League gave great prominence to his work and backed him financially.
hothaíodar na comharsain go léir go raibh Séadna ag athrú go
mór ina mheon agus a aigne. Is annamh do labhradh sé ach nuair a
labharthí leis, agus ní gháireadh sé choíche nach
mór. Do chuir sé uaidh ar fad an crónán. Nuair a bhíodh
sé ag obair i dteannta na bhfear, ní raibh le clos uaidh ó mhaidin go
hoíche ach an anál fhada agus tarrang agus mionbhuilli an chasuir bhig agus
fáscadh an tsnatha chéaraigh. Cheapaidís na fir gur saint chun an
airgead do bhí air, tráth is go mbíodh sé ag obair chomh dian.
Agus ansan do bhíodh iúnadh orthu a rá go scaradh sé
chómh bog leis, á thabhairt ar iasacht do dhaoinibh ná raibh breith
acu ar é a aiseac go brách, agus á thabhairt doibh gan urra
gan banna. Nuair ná labhradh seisean, ní labhraidis féin, agus
ní raibh le clos uatha ach an anál fhada, throm agus mionbhuillí na
gcasúr mbeag agus tarrang agus fascadh an tsnátha chéiraigh.
Ba dhóil leat da bhfeictheá iad, gur ag obair ar gheall a
bhídís. Nuair a bhíodh daoine ag gabháil thar an dtigh do
stadaidís ag éisteacht leis an saothar. Agus ansan nuair a
ghluaisidís orthu, deiridís lena chéile,Is beag an iúnadh
airgead ag Séadna! Ní fheacamar riamh ceardaithe ag obair chomh dian.
Cothaionn sé go maith iad agus díolann sé go maith iad, ach
más ea, baineann sé an obair astu, má baineadh astu riamh í.
41. The neighbours noticed that Séadna was changing in his temperament and in his
disposition. It was seldom that he spoke except when he was spoken to and he almost never
laughed. He gave up singing entirely. When he was working with the men all you could hear
from morning till night was the deep sigh, the light tapping of the hammer and the
tightening of the waxed thread. The men thought that it was greed for money that was the
cause of his working so hard, but then they were amazed that he parted with it so easily,
giving it on loan to people who had no hope of paying it back, and giving it to them
without surety or bond. When he didn't speak, they didn't speak and nothing could be heard
from them either but the deep sighs, the tapping of the little hammers and the tightening
of the wax threads.. If you saw them you'd swear they were working for a wager. When
people passed by the house, they would stop and listen to the work. And then, as they
passed on, they would tell each other, It's small wonder that Séadna has money! We
never saw craftsmen working so hard. He looks after them well and he pays them well, but
he does get the work out of them, if it was never got out of them before. |
42. Do lean an scéal ar an gcuma san ar feadh roinnt bliana, agus ansan pé
slí inar chuaigh an rafla amach, bhí se leata ar fuaid na dúithe go
raibh Séadna réidh chun a phósta. Bhí sé socair go
raibh an cleamhnas déanta agus go raibh an lá ceapaithe. Bhíodar
bacaigh agus lucht siúil na dúithe a n-ollmhú féin ina
chomhair. Bhí aon ní amháin sa scéal a bhí ait go
leór ní raibh aon bheirt socair ar cerbh í an bhean.Bhí fhios
ag gach aoinne go raibh Séadna saibhir gan beann ar bith ar airgead, agus mar sin
ná bheadh aon trácht ar spré. Bhí lá ceapaithe ag an
bpoiblíocht chun pósta. Bhí an lá san i ngoireacht seactaine
dhó, ach níor chuaidh Séadna chun cainnte le athair chailín ar
bith. Bhí mná dhathúil agus cailíní ciúin,
ciallmhar ar gach thaobh, ach níor dhúirt Séadna ní ar
bith. Sa deireadh, dhúirt Sadhbh, iníon Dhiarmaid lena a athair Imigh suas
agus labhair leis an bhfear sin, ó tá sé de neamhthuiscint air
ná tiocfadh sé féin chun labhairtha leatsa - nó liomsa.
42. The story stayed like that for some years, and then, however it started out, the rumour
spread throughout the place that Séadna was ready to marry. It was agreed that the
match was made and the day settled upon. All the beggars and cripples were preparing
themselves for it. There was only one thing which was strange no two could agree on who
the woman was. Everyone knew that Séadna was rich so a dowry was no obstacle.
There was a day picked out by the public and that day was in the next few weeks, but
Séadna never approached the father of any girl at all. There were beautiful women
and quiet, sensible girls on all sides but Séadna said nothing. At last Sive,
Diamaid's daughter, said to her father, Go up and speak with the man since he lacks the
understanding to come himself to speak with you or me. |
43. Do bhuail Diarmaid suas. Nuair a bhí sé ag teacht i ngár do
Shéadna, d'airigh sé an obair ar siúil chomh dian is dá mbeadh
an saol in easpa brógaí agus gan aoinne ach Séadna agus a lucht oibre
chun iad do dhéanamh. Bhuail sé isteach. Bail ó Dhia oraibh anso ! ar
seisean. Dia is Muire dhuit! arsa Séadna. Tá teinneas im shúilibh
ó bheith im sheasamh sa doras agus ní féadfadh préacán
teacht ard an bhóthair anuas i ngan fhios dom ach níor tháinig tusa
i ngár dom. Mise! arsa Séadna. Tusa gan amhras! arsa Diarmaid. Nach shin
é i mbéalaibh na dtrí bpobal é go bhfuilir agus Sadhbh so
agamsa le pósadh Dé Mairt seo cugainn! Agus nach dóigh leat gur
cheart go mbeadh roinnt éigin cainte eadrainn sara dtiochfadh an Mháirt ?
Tá dearmad ort a Dhiarmaid, arsa duine des na fearaibh. Ní le Sadhbh so
agatsa atá sé le pósadh, ach le Mháire , iníon
Sheáin Cheataigh thiar! Ní lei, in aon chor, arsa fear eile, ach le Bab anso
thíos. Táid táiliúirí agus mná fuála ag
obair le trí lá!
43. Diarmaid went up. When he drew near Séadna's place, he heard the work going on
as if the whole world needed shoes and there was only Séadna and his workers to
make them. He went in. God bless all here! he said. God and Mary be with you ! said
Séadna. I have a pain in my eyes and my shoulder from standing in my doorway and a
crow wouldn't fly down the road
but I would know about it, but you never came near me.
Me ? said Séadna. You of course! said Diarmaid. Isn't it in the mouths of the three
parishes that you and my Sive are to marry on next Tuesday! And don't you think that we
should have some sort of chat before then ? You are mistaken, Diarmaid.
It isn't your Sive that he's going to marry but Máire, Sean Carty's daughter over
there! No it's not at all, said another man, but with Bab down here. There have been
tailors and sewing women working away for the past three days.|
44. D'fhéach Séadna ó dhuine go duine aca. Bhí fearg air ach
do bhrúigh sé fé í. Imigh ort abhaile, a Dhiarmaid, ar
seisean, agus bíodh ciall agat. Níl aon fhonn pósta orm, agus
ní deirim go mbeidh go fóill. Chrom sé a cheann agus dhírigh
sé ar obair. Níor labhra aon focal eile. Do shleamhnaigh Diarmaid amach agus
nuair a tháinig sé abhaile ní raibh fhéidir le Sadhbh a
thuilleadh cainte a bhaint as.
44. Séadna looked from one man to the other. He was angry but he controlled it. Go home
Diarmaid, he said, and have some sense. I have no wish to marry, and I can't say that I
will for a while yet. He bent his head and concentrated on the work. Not another word was
spoken. Diarmaid slunk out and when he got home, Sive couldn't get a word out of
45. Bhí Séadna in a shuí sa chathaoir nuair a d'imthigh na fir
abhaile agus thosnaigh sé ag smaoineamh agus ag cainnt leis féin...An
fhírinne a rá, bhí súil ag Séadna ar Shadhbh le fada an
lae Cailín dháthuil a bhí ann gan aon agó, agus bhí
sé i ngrá lei i ngan fhios dó féin - Ach... nach mbeadh
sí i bhfad níos fearr gan chéile mar mise ? Agus da mbéidis
clainn aici agus mise imithe leis an bhFear nDubh....gan agam ach aimsir ghairid !...
Conas a 'neosfadh se dhi cad e an saghas ceangail a bhi air gan posadh?...Da n-inseadh se
dhi i dtaobh an sparain agus i dtaobh an Fhir Dhuibh agus i dtaobh an mhargadh...
b'fheidir gurb amhlaigh a thiocfadh fuath aici dho fein agus na tiocfadh si a fheachaint
Sin mar do chaith sé an oiche agus ar éirí an lae,
chualla sé grag phréacháin ar thaobh amuigh den thigh agus nuair do
chuaidh sé amach, cad a bhí ann ach seana phréachán
chíor dhubh, salach agus é 'na shuí ar ghéag an chrainn
úll. Mhuise, an thú féin atá ann a dhiabhail ó
táimse cinnte im' aigne féin gur díreach ó ifreann ataoi tar
éis teacht! a dúirt Séadna go han chairdiúil. Cadnathaobh a
bhfuil tú thuas ansan ? Nach fearr leat teacht isteach chun do scíth a
ligint agus b'fhéidir, gráinín míne a ithe ar do shuamhnis in
aice na tine ?
45. When the men went home, Séadna was sitting in the chair and he began thinking
and talking to himself... To tell the truth. Séadna had had his eye on Sadhbh for a
long time a beautiful girl without any doubt, and he was in love with her unknown to
himself. -But...wouldn't she be far better off without a husband like me ? And if she had
children and I was gone with the Dark Man... and I not having but a short while left... !
How could he tell her about the sort of fix the Dark Man had him in...? And if he told her
about the Dark Man and about the bargain... perhaps she would come to hate him and
wouldn't even want to see him any more... That's how he spent the night and at dawn,
he heard the cawing of a crow outside the house, and when he went out, what should be
there but a coal black, dirty old crow sitting on a branch in the apple tree. Well, is it
yourself there you divil because I'm sure in my own mind that it is straight from hell
that you are come. said Séadna. Why on earth are you up there ? Wouldn't you rather
come in and rest and maybe eat a grain of meal at your ease by the fire ? said
Séadna in friendly fashion.|
46. Ní thiocfhaidh go deimhin ! a dhuirt an préachan, An dóigh leat
go bhfuillim im' amadán agus nach cuimhin liom an uair deireanach? Anois ta'n
aimsir caithte gan aon ago!... Tár liom anois... Níl aon dul as agat an
badhta seo! agus le sin, d'íarr an preachán salach léim a thabhairt
den gcrann anuas... ach theip air ! D'íarr sí arís agus arís
eile...sa deire bhí sé crochta bunoscionn ón ngéag agus gach
scread agus grag as. Bhí Séadna sna tríthi ag an ngáire. Sa
deire, chuaidh sé agus d'dfhuair sé dréimire agus sabh agus ghearr
sé tríd an ghéag.
46. I will not indeed ! said the crow. Do you think that I'm a fool and that I don't
remember the last time ? Now the time is up ! Come with me now... You have no way out this
time! and with that, the dirty crow tried to give a leap down from the tree... but he
failed! He tried again and again... in the end he was left hanging upside down from the
branch, with every screech and caw coming out of him. Séadna was doubled up
laughing. At last, he went and he got a ladder and a saw and he cut through the
47. Thit géag agus préachán anuas isteach i mbucéid uisce
coisricthe a bhí curtha ag Séadna fé bhun an chrainn roimh ré.
Bhuel, ní fheaca aoinne ar aghaidh an domhan a leithéid de ghail agus
deatach agus bholadh bréan bhromastúin is a d'éirigh as a'
mbucéid sin. Léim an préachán go hárd, suas san aer.
Ceapfádh go raibh sé tré thine leis na lasracha a bhí ag
teacht as a thóin. D'imthig mar urchar gunna treasna na spéire agus i
bpreabadh na súl, ní raibh faic le feiscint.
47. Both branch and crow fell down into a bucket of holy water which Séadna had placed
Well, no-one in the world ever saw such steam and smoke and stink of
brimstone as rose out of that bucket. The crow sprang up high into the air. You would
think that he was on fire with the flames that were coming out of his tail. He flew like
a shell out of a gun across the sky and in the twinkling of an eye, there was nothing to
48. Bhí Séadna ag dul isteach go mall arís, nuair d'áirigh
sé rud éigin agus d'fhéach sé thár a
ghuallain. Cad do chonnaic sé ach an bhean cosnochtaithe agus an leanbh
álainn agus an seanfhear liath agus iad ag féachaint air le h-aoibh
gháire. A Shéadna, arsa an bhean uasal álainn, Tháinig sinn
ad' iarraidh! Nach mór an t-aoibhneas orm! Bhíos ag súil agus ag
fánacht oraibh a dhúirt Séadna. Lá ar na mhárach 'seadh
d'fhuair na comharsan é ina shuí sa chathaoir shúgáin.
Cheapfadh duine go raibh sé ina chodladh agus é le h-aoibh gháire ar
48. Séadna was going slowly into the house again, when he heard something and he
looked over his shoulder. What should he see but the barefooted woman and the beautiful
child and the old, grey- haired man. They were smiling as they looked at him.
"Séadna," said the beautiful lady, "We have come for you !" "Isn't it great is my
happiness !" said Séadna. "I was hoping and waiting for you." Next day, the neighbours
found him. Anyone would think he was asleep and he with a smile on his face.|
We would like to acknowledge that, because of unavoidable condensing, necessary for
fitting this tale into the space available, some alteration in plot has had to be made. We
have, however, tried to use An tAth Peadar's own beautiful West Cork Gaelic as far as possible.|
Courtesy of Jack & Vivian, IrishPage.com Jan. 27, 2010.
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