Fragrance in Literature-The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of Ballytrain by William Carleton

William Carleton was born in Prillisk, Co Tyrone, in 1794 to small farmers, and was one of fourteen children. His father was fluent in Irish and English and was an accomplished story-teller, with, according to his son, an astonishing memory. His mother, Mary Kelly, was an accomplished singer in Irish, and was famous at wakes, where she acted as a keener. William was also a fluent Irish speaker. The family, already poor, were to experience even more greatly reduced circumstances, and were evicted in 1813.
He married Jane Anderson in 1822.
After a stop-start education, he came across the classic novel Gil Blas, which inspired him to write, and in his thirties, he walked to Dublin, much like his admirer Patrick Kavanagh, and after failing to get employment on many occasions, received a lucky break when he was asked to write a sketch about Lough Derg, which he knew.
The sketch was published by its editor, the Reverend Caesar Otway, in The Christian Examiner and Church of Ireland Gazette in 1828. Within two years he had published thirty sketches in the same periodical, and they were collected as Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry (Dublin, William Curry, 5 volumes in two series, 1830-1833), which went through more than fifty editions before Carleton’s death.
This was followed by Tales of Ireland (Dublin, Duffy Parlour Library of Ireland, 1833).

His other books include Fardorougha the Miser, or the Convicts of Lisnamona (Dublin University Magazine, 1837-1838); Valentine McClutchy, the Irish Agent, or Chronicles of the Castle Cumber Property (3 volumes, 1845); The Black Prophet, a Tale of the Famine (Dublin University Magazine, 1846); The Emigrants of Ahadarra (1847); Willy Reilly and his dear Colleen Bawn (London, The Independent, 1850); and The Tithe Proctor (1849).
His later stories include The Squanders of Castle Squander (1852).
In 1848 a pension of £200 a year was granted by Lord John Russell in response to a petition by distinguished supporters.
Shortly before he died he completed the first half of his autobiography, which forms volume one of The Life of William Carleton, by David James O’Donoghue (London, Downey and Co., 2 volumes, 1896). Among the works on Carleton is Poor Scholar: A Study of William Carleton, by Benedict Kiely (Dublin, The Talbot Press, 1942 [Re-issued Dublin, Wolfhound Press, 1997] ).
William Carleton died on the 30th of January 1869, and is buried in Mount Jerome, Dublin.

Those who wish to know more about his life and works can explore the following web sites:
Works by or about William Carleton

The Black Baronet; or, The Chronicles Of
Ballytrain, by William Carleton

"Well, at all events," replied Mrs. Mainwaring, "we shall go and have a walk through the fields. The sun is bright and warm; the little burn below, and the thousand larks above, will give us their melody; and Cracton's park—our own little three-cornered paddock—will present us with one of the sweetest objects in the humble landscape—a green field almost white with daisies—pardon the little blunder, Lucy—thus constituting it a poem for the heart, written by the hand of nature herself."
Lucy, who enjoyed natural scenery with the high enthusiasm that was peculiar to her character, was delighted at the proposal, and in a few minutes both the ladies sauntered out through the orchard, which was now white and fragrant with blossoms.

Ellen Duncan; And The Proctor's Daughter
by William Carleton

The Duke was sitting on a chair of crimson velvet; a cushion of the same costly material supported his feet; and he was looking with an appearance of apathy and ennui on the splendid group around him. The glitter of the lights, the lustre of the jewels, and the graceful waving of the many-colored plumes, gave every thing a courtly, sumptuous appearance, and the air was heavy with odors, the fragrant offering of many a costly exotic. Suddenly every eye was turned on the door with, wonder and astonishment, and every voice was hushed as Lady ——— entered, her cheeks blushing from excitement, and her eye bright with anticipated triumph. She led the poor and humbly clad Ellen by the hand, who dared not look up, but with her gaze riveted on the splendid carpet, was brought like an automaton to the feet of the Duke, where she mechanically knelt down.

The Evil Eye; Or, The Black Spector, by William Carleton

He accordingly went out, and bent his I steps by a long, rude green lane, which extended upwards of half a mile across a rich! country, undulating with fields and meadows. This was terminated by a clump of, hawthorn trees, then white and fragrant with their lovely blossoms, which lay in rich profusion on the ground. Contiguous to this was a small but delightful green glen, from the side of which issued one of those beautiful spring wells for which the country is so celebrated. Over a verdant little hill, which concealed this glen and the well we mention, from a few humble houses, or rather a decenter kind of cabins, was visible a beaten pathway by which the inhabitants of this small hamlet came for their water. Upon this, shaded as he was by the trees, he steadily kept his eye for a considerable time, as if in the expectation of some person who had made an appointment to meet him. Half an hour had nearly elapsed—the shades of evening were now beginning to fall, and he had just come to the resolution of retracing his steps, with a curse of disappointment on his lips, when, on taking another, and what he intended to be a last glance at the pathway in question, he espied the individual for whom he waited. This was no other than the young beauty of the neighborhood—Grace Davoren. She was tripping along with a light and merry step, lilting an Irish air of a very lively character, to which she could scarcely prevent herself from dancing, so elastic and buoyant were her spirits. On coming to the brow of the glen she paused a moment and cast her eye searchingly around her, but seemed after the scrutiny to hesitate about proceeding farther.

He accordingly lighted a candle, and in the course of a few minutes admitted Woodward to his herbarium. When the latter entered, he looked about him with a curiosity not unnatural under the circumstances. His first sensation, however, was one that affected his olfactory nerves very strongly. A combination of smells, struggling with each other, as it were, for predominance, almost overpowered him. The good and the bad, the pleasant and the oppressive, were here mingled up in one sickening exhalation—for the disagreeable prevailed. The whole cabin was hung about with bunches of herbs, some dry and withered, others fresh and green, giving evidence that they had been only newly gathered. A number of bottles of all descriptions stood on wooden shelves, but without labels, for the old sinner's long practice and great practical memory enabled him to know the contents of every bottle with as much accuracy as if they had been labelled in capitals.
"How the devil can you live and sleep in such a suffocating compound of vile smells as this?" asked Woodward.
The old man glanced at him keenly, and replied,—
"Practice makes masther, sir—I'm used to them; I feel no smell but a good smell; and I sleep sound enough, barrin' when I wake o' one purpose, to think of and repent o' my sins, and of the ungrateful world that is about me; people that don't thank me for doin' them good—God forgive them! amin acheernah!"
Fardorougha, The Miser, by William Carleton

To the left waved a beautiful hazel glen, which gradually softened away into the meadows above mentioned. Up behind the house stood an ancient plantation of whitethorn, which, during the month of May, diffused its fragrance, its beauty, and its melody, over the whole farm. The plain garden was hedged round by the graceful poplar, whilst here and there were studded over the fields either single trees or small groups of mountain ash, a tree still more beautiful than the former. The small dells about the farm were closely covered with blackthorn and holly, with an occasional oak shooting up from some little cliff, and towering sturdily over its lowly companions. Here grew a thick interwoven mass of dog-tree, and upon a wild hedgerow, leaning like a beautiful wife upon a rugged husband, might be seen, supported by clumps of blackthorn, that most fragrant and exquisite of creepers, the delicious honeysuckle. Add to this the neat appearance of the farm itself, with its meadows and cornfields waving to the soft sunny breeze of summer, and the reader may admit, that without possessing any striking features of pictorial effect, it would, nevertheless, be difficult to find an uplying farm upon which the eye could rest with greater satisfaction.

Going To Maynooth, by William Carleton

It was now the hour of twilight; the evening was warm and balmy; the whitethorn tinder which he sat, and the profusion of wild flowers that spangled the bosom of the green glen, breathed their fragrance around him, and steeped, the emotions and remembrances which crowded thickly on him in deep and exquisite tenderness. Up in the air he heard the quavering hum of the snipe, as it rose and fell in undulating motion, and the creak of the rail in many directions around him. From an adjoining meadow in the distance, the merry voices of the village children came upon his ear, as they gathered the wild honey which dropped like dew from the soft clouds upon the long grassy stalks, and meadow-sweet, on whose leaves it lay like amber. He remembered when he and Susan, on meeting there for a similar purpose, felt the first mysterious pleasure in being together, and the unaccountable melancholy produced by separation and absence.

The Hedge School; The Midnight Mass; The
Donagh, by William Carleton

It was about midnight when they left home, and as they did not wish to arrive at the village to which they were bound, until the morning should be rather advanced, the journey was as slowly performed as possible. Every remarkable object on the way was noticed, and its history, if any particular association was connected with it, minutely detailed, whenever it happened to be known. When the sun rose, many beautiful green spots and hawthorn valleys excited, even from these unpolished and illiterate peasants, warm bursts of admiration at their fragrance and beauty. In some places, the dark flowery heath clothed the mountains to the tops, from which the gray mists, lit by a flood of light, and breaking into masses before the morning breeze, began to descend into the valleys beneath them; whilst the voice of the grouse, the bleating of sheep and lambs, the pee-weet of the wheeling lap-wing, and the song of the lark threw life and animation the previous stillness of the country, sometimes a shallow river would cross the road winding off into a valley that was overhung, on one side, by rugged precipices clothed with luxurious heath and wild ash; whilst on the other it was skirted by a long sweep of greensward, skimmed by the twittering swallow, over which lay scattered numbers of sheep, cows, brood mares, and colts—many of them rising and stretching themselves ere they resumed their pasture, leaving the spots on which they lay of a deeper green.

In the gardens, which are usually fringed with nettles, you will see a solitary laborer, working with that carelessness and apathy that characterizes an Irishman when he labors for himself—leaning upon his spade to look after you, glad of any excuse to be idle. The houses, however, are not all such as I have described—far from it. You see here and there, between the more humble cabins, a stout, comfortable-looking farm-house, with ornamental thatching and well-glazed windows; adjoining to which is a hay-yard, with five or six large stacks of corn, well-trimmed and roped, and a fine, yellow, weather-beaten old hay-rick, half cut—not taking into account twelve or thirteen circular strata of stones, that mark out the foundations on which others had been raised. Neither is the rich smell of oaten or wheaten bread, which the good wife is baking on the griddle, unpleasant to your nostrils; nor would the bubbling of a large pot, in which you might see, should you chance to enter, a prodigious square of fat, yellow, and almost transparent bacon tumbling about, to be an unpleasant object; truly, as it hangs over a large fire, with well-swept hearthstone, it is in good keeping with the white settle and chairs, and the dresser with noggins, wooden trenchers, and pewter dishes, perfectly clean, and as well polished as a French courtier.

Jane Sinclair; Or, The Fawn Of Springvale
by William Carleton

The evening, as we said, was fine; not a cloud could be seen, except a pile of feathery flakes that hung far up at the western gate of heaven; the stillness was profound; no breathing even of the gentlest zephyr, could be felt; the river beside them, which was here pretty deep, seemed motionless; not a leaf of the trees stirred; the very aspens were still as if they had been marble; and the whole air was warm and fragrant. Although the sun wanted an hour of setting, yet from the bottom of the vale they could perceive the broad shafts of light which shot from his mild disk through the snowy clouds we have mentioned, like bars of lambent radiance, almost palpable to the touch. Yet, although this delightful silence was so profound, the heart could perceive, beneath its stillest depths, that voiceless harmony of progressing life, which, like the music of a dream, can reach the soul independently of the senses, and pour upon it a sublime sense of natural inspiration.