THE SYDNEY MONITOR 8TH MAY, 1830
Photo: Eric Jones
The Lost Dragoon (abridged)
It is not generally known, that underneath the walls of Trinity College, Dublin, there is a range of gloomy vaults, in which are entombed many of the illustrious dead of the Irish capital. This cemetery has been shut for many years.
About the time when it began to be disused, a melancholy and affecting circumstance occurred. An officer of the 4th Dragoons, who had enjoyed the affec- tions of a fair Hibernian maid, chanced to be on guard at the Castle. A funeral procession passed him; and seeing that the remains of some person of consequence were about to be consigned to the earth in a private and un ostentatious manner, curiosity prompted him to follow in the melancholy train.
The procession took the direction of the College, and, passing under the archway, arrived at the entrance to the vaults. Here was seen the last of the gallant soldier.
He was, missed from his guard : his place at the mess table (which he used to enliven with his hilarity and good rnmour) remained empty that evening. The follow ing morning his mistress, in the figurative language of the East “dropped the an- chor of hope in a harbour of anxiety” and conjecture was at a stand-still to account for his protracted absence.
Months, a year rolled past, still no tidings of the absentee. At last another funeral winded its way towards the Trinity vaults. The mourners descended into their dark recesses. In passing along one of the sepulchral galleries, their feet crushed the bones of a skeleton. Imagine their astonishment, when they observed beside it a steel casque and rusted sabre. Bones, sword-belt and pouch lay near.
There followed a great deal of speculation as to the identity of the unfortunate individual, who evidently had strayed into the vaults and had lost himself in their gloom, to starve to death. It was eventualy found out to be the young and ill- fated dragoon.