29 DECEMBER 1855, Page 3


The tide of emigration seems to be setting backward from the United States to Ireland, and slowly but steadily the Irish population appears to be returning to the old country. It is a pacific invasion. The immi- grants come, not with Colt's revolvers, but Yankee dollars, and show great solicitude about plots of land and the growth of potatoes. "Some," says the Evening Mail, "are even so provident as to have written over from the States to bespeak sea-weed and guano to be deposited against the time of their arrival in the locality where they propose to commence operations."

The great fire at Carton, the seat of the Duke of Leinster, briefly mention- ed in our Postscript last week, lasted from four o'clock on Friday morning till mid-day. "The family in the house at the time consisted of the Duke, who had only returned from Dublin that evening ; the Duchess, who has been for a considerable time suffering from serious illness, and has been con- fined to her bed ; the Duke's sister, Lady Kinnaird, and her daughter, Mrs. Hope ; -the Duke's son-in-law, Mr. Repton, M.P. for Warwick, and Lady Jane Repton ; the Hon. Captain Fitzgerald, Lord Gerald Fitzgerald, and Dr. Ferguson, of Maynooth, who has been sleeping iirthe house in attendance on the Duchess. The house consists of a main or centre building, and two wings or towers ; and the one which was destroyed was on the left side of the mansion. It consisted of the organ-room and ante-room on the ground- floor ; over these, the Marchioness of Kildare's sitting-room and two bed- rooms, one of which was occupied at the time of the accident by Captain Fitzgerald ; and over them, two attics and two nurseries. All these rooms, with the exception of the sitting-room, were completely de- stroyed." The fire was discovered by the cook, the watchman, and a carman. The Duke and the family arose ; the suffering Duchess was removed to the residence of the steward ; the two engines belonging to the house were brought into play ; the President of Maynooth sent a third, and men to work it ; and with his Professors repaired to the scene ; the Protestant Rector of Maynooth was also present; and hundreds of coun- try people. "When it was clearly ascertained that the fire had only posses- sion of the tower, the great object was to prevent its spreading to the other portions of the house ; and, in order effectually to do this, the Duke, accom- panied by his cousin Captain Fitzgerald, and his son Lord Gerald Fitzgerald, got out on the roof about six o'clock, ripped off the slates, and with hatchets cut away the joists and timbers connecting the roof of the centre of the house with that of the wing. The fire was at this time raging with its great- est virulence, the flames flying from room to room with fearful rapidity ; and had it not been for the immense thickness of the walls separating the wing from the main building, there can be little doubt that the whole mansion would have been consumed. Most fortunately, the supply of water was very good. Soon after eight o'clock the wind fell off, and shortly afterwards the roof of the wing fell in. Fears were no longer entertained for the main por- tion of the house, and from nine o'clock the fire was gradually got under, and about twelve it was completely subdued. Of this wing scarcely anything now stands but the four walls, the rooms being nearly all gutted. Notwith- standing the falling of planks, burnt timbers, stones, slates, 8re.., only one accident, and that not of a serious nature, occurred, by the falling of a plank oa the head of one of the labourers. His Grace of Leinster, when ex- erting himself in the organ-room, very narrowly escaped being smothered by the falling of some great planks of burnt timber. Although the fire did not reach beyond the left wing, still considerable injury has been done to very valuable furniture in some of the rooms, which was much injured by the water. The house and furniture were largely insured in six offices; the to- tal amount of the insurance was stated to be 63,0001. The very valuable paintings belonging to his Grace were all, with the exception of a few on the stairs, fortunately preserved. Although greatly shocked' the Duchess bore the sad event with great equanimity, and is much better than could be ex- pected under the circumstances."

There were violent gales in the Irish Channel last week ; many ships were in peril, and several were wrecked : in some eases the crews escaped, but in others it is feared that they went down with the foundering vessels.