Page 108

Paddy Hearn's Third Christmas

Editor's note:

Growing up in Ireland, "Paddy" was the nickname of Patricio Lefcadio Tessima Carlos Hearn born in the Summer of 1850 on the Ionian Island of Lefcada, thus the name, "Lefcadio." In the Spring, fourteen years later, the 7 Ionian Islands in the emerald­green waters of the Ionian Sea were united with Greece.

Paddy's great­aunt Sarah "Sally" Holmes Brenane writes in her diary in her opulent suburban home on Arthur Terrace, Rathmines, two miles North of Dublin, Ireland.

Dear Diary,

At Home, 3 Arthur Terrace

Monday, December 25, 1853

I had an intimate, family Christmas dinner prepared by my chef, Aileen, and served by her assistant, Celeste.

My family guests were my sister, Paddy's paternal Grandmother, Elizabeth, her daughter, Paddy's Aunt Jane, Jane's attorney husband Henry Stephens and my favorite nephew, Charles, Paddy's Father.

Paddy's paternal grandmother Elizabeth Holmes Hearn, elder sister of Sarah "Sally" Holmes Brenane, writes in her diary.

Dear Diary,

Christmas, 1853

48 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin

It's been nine years since my sister Sally, newly widowed after 21 years of marriage, came to live four years with me and my bearded bachelor artist son Richard in my home on Fairview Avenue, Dublin.

Son Richard is now living near Barbizon, France, in the Fontainbleau Forest doing landscape paintings with his intimate artist friend Jean Francois Millay, a dominant figure in the Barbizon School of Painters. Richard is still a bachelor.

Richard sent Paddy a Christmas present. Paddy was playing with it a when I arrived at Sally's. It was a boxwood top, a hardwood spinning toy.

Paddy's Father, the 35­year­old handsome lady killer, Imperial Army Surgeon Charles Bush Hearn, a product of generations of social position and education, is home on military leave from the Grenada, West Indies, Queen Victoria's First Royal Regiment of Foot Staff Surgeon assignment and now fully recovered from Yellow Fever, writes in his diary.

Dear Diary,

Christmas Day weather: Pea Soup (dense fog)

Portobello Calvary Barracks

Today, from Portabello, I crossed the Grand Canal to Rathmines.

The Grand Canal separates Portabello and the main artery of Rathmines, a mile­and­a­half­long line of elegant buildings intersected by numerous terraces.

I walked along tree­lined streets to Aunt Sally's 3 Arthur Terrace home.

I was glad to see my widowed Mother at Aunt Sally's today.

My Father was 47 when he married my Mother. They had 7 children. In addition, my sister Anne is a love­child of my Father.

In later years, miffed at my Father's wayward ways, Mother bought a house on Fairview Avenue, Dublin, and lived apart from him. She has a personal annual income of 300 pounds left to her by her Father, Richard Holmes.

All of us 8 children dabbled with enthusiasm in art, writing or singing with varying degrees of skill.

My Father, fluent in French and an earned law degree, chose a military career. Colonel Daniel James Hearn, a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars and the Siege of Copenhagen, was appointed High Sheriff of County Wesmeath during his retirement. He died sixteen years ago at the age of 69.

Paddy's Aunt Jane Hearn Stephens writes in her diary.

Dear Diary,

Dec. 25, 1853

48 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin

Today was a fun day with all the trimmings of Christmas. Under the candle­lit­floor­to­ceiling Christmas tree were gifts for everyone. I like that Queen Victoria's Prince Albert introduced the German custom of the Christmas tree.

Aunt Sally's Christmas present to each of us was a Queen Victoria gold coin.

There were three picture books from Santa Claus for Paddy, my three­year­six­month&173old­ near­sighted, shy nephew, with an olive complexion, long eyelashes, and black hair.

I read one of his picture books. It was about a bad boy who disobeyed his parents. The boy suffered a terrible fate of having his nose cut off.

Every time I see Paddy, his English has improved, thanks to his Irish governess, Kate Mythen from Cannaught, Northwest Ireland. He's speaking more and more in simple sentences instead of isolated words. His Italian and Romaic accents are fading.

Kate tells Paddy Fairy Tales and when Aunt Sally is not at home, Kate tells him ghost stories even though Aunt Sarah forbids the staff to tell ghost stories to Paddy.

When Paddy is older, Aunt Sally will have home teachers for Paddy instead of his going to school. Home teachers are common in the education of the young among the wealthy in Rathmines.

Jane's husband, Attorney Henry Colclough Stephens writes in his diary.

Dear Diary,

11 P.M. Monday, December 25, 1853

Lower Gardiner Street, "Lawyers' Row"

It was an enjoyable Christmas Day with my in­laws. Jane's Aunt Sally has a retinue of servants managing her large elegant home.

Jane's Protestant Mother, Elizabeth Holmes Hearn, and her younger sixty­one­year­sister, Sarah Holmes Brenane, have a fine relationship in spite of Sarah's adopted Catholicism.

The Holmes are a distinguished literary and legal Protestant family. Sarah's great­uncle, John Arbuthnot, was among the retinue of doctors to Queen Anne who suffered excruciating pain from questionable medical practices, among which was bleeding her and applying hot irons. Yet, satirical poet Alexander Pope paid tribute to fellow wit and doctor in Pope's highly polished verse, "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot."

I find it remarkable that the young Sarah Holmes had the guts to brave the Protestant Holmes family taboo thirty years ago by marrying the dashingly­wealthy landed Justin Brenane, a Roman Catholic.

My wife Jane and I live in this large, old­fashioned terrace house at 48 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin. I rent this house on Gardiner Street because the street is famous for its variety of professional offices.

We invited Jane's aging widowed Mother to come live with us, not to mention her bringing Murphy, the parrot Jane trained to say, "Have you seen your Priest? Have you seen your Priest?"

Fortunately, Catholic Sarah Brenane has a good sense of humor. She always laughs when she's greeted at the door by Murphy.

Mrs. Brenane has a relaxed attitude towards her adopted religion. Jane and I have much fun when we are together with her Aunt Sally.

Aileen, Mrs. Brenane's chef, writes in her diary.

Dear Diary,

Christmas, 2008


WIth a goose imported from France, I prepared a traditional roast goose Christmas dinner. My assistant, Celeste, served the dinner on Mrs. Brenan's elegant silver plates with the Brenane family Crest.

The darkly handsome child, Paddy, the pampered heir to wealth and luxury, is also a favorite of the entire servant staff. Paddy follows Mrs. Brenane around the house. We all spoil him.

Paddy likes ice cream. Today, for dessert, I gave him a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a big piece of his favorite Bewely's Christmas Plum Pudding.

Page 109

Editor's background transportation notes:

A place that has a name with many historical resonances today is the Hearn Hotel in Clonmel, County Tipperary, where Ireland's first ever public transport system began in 1815: The Charles Bianconi Coach Service

In 1815, Charles Bianconi, 30, and Dan Hearn, 23, were friends. Dan was Charles Bianconi's first Bianconi Coach agent and Charles made the Clonmel Hearn Hotel headquarters for launching the Bianconi horse­drawn carriage service for private passengers. This became a wildly popular service and soon made Bianconi King of the Irish roads.

The Hearn hotel in Clonmel continues to exist today.

The remarkable Carlo (Charles) Bionconi emigrated to Ireland at the age of 17 from Tregelo, Italy, ten miles from Como.

He learned English from Edmund Rice in Waterford, Ireland.

Charles was the founder of Ireland's public transportation, "Bianconi Coaches." That was before railroads in Ireland.

Carlo amassed a fleet of 900 horses, 67 coaches and a number of Bianconi station Inns, some of which exist today.

Bianconi became an Irish Citizen at the age of 46 and at 50 he was a two­term mayor of Clonmel, County Tipperary.

Charles Bianconi died in his nintieth year. He is buried in a Tipperary County Chapel.

Paddy's great­aunt Sally writes in her diary.

Dear diary,

Wednesday, December 28, 1853

At home, 3 Arthur Terrace, Rathmines

I have confirmed reservations for Paddy and myself on a Bianconi Coach, a popular horse­drawn carriage service, leaving Dublin early in the morning and arriving late in West Ireland.

We are looking forward to a long holiday weekend at the home of my favorite niece, the delightful and clever Catherine Frances Hearn Elwood, beloved by all who know her, and her County Mayo Magistrate husband, Thomas Elwood Esq.

Sarah Brenane writes in her diary.

Dear Diary,

Thursday, December 29, 1853

Elwood Strandhill Estate on Lough Corrib

This morning at 5 a.m. we departed Dublin's Biaconi Coach station in a new Bianconi Long Car horse driven carriage with 13 other passengers.

It was a 104 mile journey from Dublin to Silgo. Along the way, there were 14 village stops at Bianconi stations some of which are hotels.

Niece Catherine and her coachman were waiting for us in Silgo at 8 PM with her barrouche. Soon we arrived at the Elwood Strandhill Estate on Lake Corrib, Ireland's largest lake.

Sarah "Sally" Brenane writes in her diary.

Dear diary,

Friday, December 30, 1853

Elwood Strandhill Estate

The Elwood Strandhill Estate here on Lough Corrib (Lake Corrib) is gorgeous.

Catherine lives in a rarefied environment of privilege, a life of genteel liesure.

The snow covered lawn slopes down to Lough Corrib. There's a pungent resinous scent of fir­trees.

The lovely Cannemora Peaks are faintly dimmed against a forget­me­not Irish Sky.

Sally writes in her diary.

Dear diary

Saturday, December 31, 1853

Elwood Strandhill Estate

Catherine is Paddy's Father's elder sister. She is renowned for her performances of Sir Thomas Moore melodies.

After high tea today, Catherine sang for us in her lyriic sweetness, "Believe me if all those endearing young charms which I gaze on so fondly today..."

She has affectionate patience with her shy nephew, Paddy. He adores her.

Paddy's Aunt Catherine writes in her diary.

Dear diary,

Friday, December 30, 1853

At home on our Strandhill Estate

Tonight, at Paddy's bedtime, I told him a nursery story in pantomime. He was delighted.

Then, while I sang a little lullaby, he drifted off to dreamland.

Paddy's Aunt Catherine Frances Hearn Elwood writes in her diary.

Dear diary,

Sunday, January 1, 1854

At home on our estate

At the stroke of midnight, I gave my traditional New Year toast for another year, 1854:

"Here's to love and laughter and happiness ever after! May God Bless us all!

Then, I led my New Year's Eve guests and servants in the twelve verses of Scotland's Robert Burn's 1692 rendition of Auld Lang Syne (old long ago, the good old times).

The first verse is:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days of auld lang syne!

Editor's notes:

After more than seven Centuries in existence Eachighearna was, in time, changed to Hearn.

There remains today no Hearn clan chief nor a Hearn family seat in Ireland.

Among several well­known holders of the name, Hearn, was journalist Patrick Lafcadio Hearn who emigrated to Japan in 1890 at the age of 40 spending the rest of his life there. Alas, he died of a heart attack at the age of 54.

Lafcadio Hearn's International fame was being the first person to explain Japan to the western world. He did so in 13 books he authored and published in English. Some were translated and published in French and German.

Accordingly, Lafcaio Hearn is greatly honored in Japan today.

Page 110

Paddy Hearn's Mother, Rosa Antonia Kassimatis Hearn, 30, writes in her diary.

At our Kassimatis family home on Cerigo, the Ionian Island of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.

Friday, January 6, 1854

Dear Diary,

Another sunny day here in Port Kapsali.

Paddy's little brother, Charlie (Charles Kassimatis Hearn) is 5 months old today.

My brother, Demetrius, says that Charlie looks like me.

Our family friend, thirty¯year¯old amateur archeologist, Giovanni Kavallinis, dropped in.

Giovanni very excitedly showed me his latest find, an ancient Venetian vase he dug up on Cerigotto Island, 22 nautical miles South of Cerigo Island.

Later, Giovanni went down to the white sand beach with Demetrius. They took a long walk along the shores of the emerald green waters of the Ionian Sea. Not so warm today: 11 degrees Celsius, 51 degrees Fahrenheit.

Paddy's wealthy 61¯year¯old Aunt Sarah "Sally" Brenane writes in her diary.

At home, 3 Arthur Terrace, Rathmines, Ireland

Friday, January 6񫷾

Today, I had a second fitting for a black silk dress at dressmaker Shauna's on Henry Street, Dublin.

Shauna always tells me the latest gossip.

Thirty¯four¯year¯old Queen Victoria's eighth child, Leopold, will be 10 months old tomorrow, Saturday, January 7, 1854. The surprising news is that Leopold is a heophiliac. Such a pity.

Itook Shauna in my barouche over to Sackville Street (now, O'Connel Street. (It's so designated in honor of the Irish Liberator, Daniel O'Connel.)

We had Bewley tea and scones at the Imperial Hotel. It opened last Fall in time for the Great Dublin Industrial Exhibitiion. The Imperial Hotel is atop the Delaney¯McSweeney Palatial Mart. (Today, the Mart is classic Clerys: .)

Thomas Chenery, the correspondent in Constantinople for the London Times, reports.

Thomas Chenery sends a January battle report to the Times. All reports are two weeks late arriving at the Times. That' because ship sailing¯time from Constantinople to England is two weeks.

Friday, January 6, 1854


Today, January 6, the Battle for control of Citate, Romania, was won by the Ottoman Islamic forces led by the popular Omar Pasha.

Psha's fierce Islamic soldiers come from all parts of the Ottoman Empire: Egypt, Romania, Palestine, and Bulgaria.

The Ottoman Islamic forces swept the oncoming Christian Russian columns with waves of grapeshot (clusters of small iron balls) until the Russians lost their nerve and fled before Ottoman bayonets.

Psha's forces siezed Russian trenches killing and wounding six thousand Russians to Pasha's loss of one¯thousand men.

Omar Pasha's military successes are making him a hero in Constantinople not to mention that he is already a household name in England.

Page 111

Paddy Hearn's Mother, Rosa Antonia Kassimatis Hearn, 31, writes in her diary.

Dear Diary,

Sunday, January 8, 1854

At our Kassimatis family home in Kapsali on Cerigo, the Ionian Island of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.

While five-month-old Charlie was taking his afternoon nap, I made special tea for my brother, Demetrius, who has a terrible cold.

I brewed white tea with ginger and added cinnamon.

Our family friend, Giovanni Kavalinnis, 30, dropped in this afternoon.

For Giovanni, I prepared a cup of robust India tea with extra thick cream and coarse sugar.

Editor''s note: Cerigo Island is also known as Kythira Island. Kythira Island population in 2009 is approximately 3500. However, sixty-thousand Kythirian descendents live In Australia in 2009.

Paddy's governess, Kate Mythen, writes in her diary.

Dear Diary,

Monday, January 9, 1854

3 Arthur Terrace, Rathmines, Dublin

Houseboy Sean and I, with our rural background of ghost stories, entertained Paddy while his grand aunt, Sarah Holmes Brenane, 61, was away for the day.

Mrs. Brenane does not allow us to tell Paddy Ghost Stores. But, we do anyway when Mrs. Brenane is not at home.

Paddy loves listening to our stories.

Sean and I believe that there are invisible beings like angels and demons. We believe that there are fairies in the woods and goblins in the mountains. We believe that the spirits of the dead return to rebuke a fault.

Mrs. Sarah "Sally" Holmes Brenane writes in her diary

Dear Diary,

Monday, January 9, 1854

Bedtime at 3 Arthur Terrace

Today, I proceeded to see solicitor (attorney) Henry Stephens for an explanation of a 1953 income tax law imposed upon Ireland by England. Income tax is something new for us Irish.

Solicitor Henry is in the family. His wife, Jane Hearn, is my niece. Her Mother, Elizabeth Holmes Hearn, is my favorite sister.

Dublin is Great Britain's second major city after London. Taxing the Irish was the "brain child" of England' Chancellor of the Exchequer (Secretary of the Treasury), William Gladstone

Henry said that I must pay 7d (seven pennies) for each pound earned from my leased farm land. With 240 pennies to the pound, the tax is not as bad as I had feared.

Next week I shall bring Henry my financial data covering income from my extensive leased land holdings in Enniscarthy County, Wexford. Then, Henry can prepare my 1853 Irish income taxes.

On January 28, 1854, London Times correspondent William Howard Russel's shocking story arrives from Constantinople by ship:


Russia Invades Dobruja (Romania)

Sunday, January 8, 1854, Czar Nicolas 1, 59, ordered his Imperial Christian Russian Forces to invade Dobruja.

When a young man, Czar Nicolas I was very attractive to women. On a visit to England women found his fine Grecian nose, handsome face and imperial bearing an irresistible combination. One aristocratic English lady predicted that he would become "the handsomest man in all Europe."

Page 112

Paddy's nursemaid, Kate Ronane, writes in her diary.

Sunday, February 26, 1854

3 Prince Arthur Terrace, Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland.

Dear Diary,

Today, Paddy's Father, 36 year­old Dr. Charles Hearn, came over from Portabello Cavalry Barracks where he has been staying during his military home­leave. In March, the doctor will return to active duty.

Dr. Hearn brought Paddy a pre­June birthday gift of ten lead soldiers. The toy soldiers are welcome additions to Paddy' already large toy soldier collection. Now, Paddy has almost a battaliion of lead soldiers.

Dr. Hearn commented that Paddy has beautiful dark, liquid brown eyes and long eye lashes like his 31 year­old Mother, Rosa.

Paddy is a little black haired boy with gold earrings, the latter to the consternation of his Father.

The doctor also disapproves of Paddy's very long hair.

Dr. Hearn held his son for a few minutes before saying a tearful goodbye.

Paddy's Father, British Army Irish surgeon Charles Hearn, writes in his diary.

Saturday, March 11, 1854

Spithead, between Portsmouth, England, and the Isle of Wight.

Dear diary,

Three of us Irish army doctors are aboard ship as this British Fleet sails today for the British military base in Malta.

From Malta, we three have orders to proceed to the Ottoman Empire Army Barracks at Scutari near Constantinople. The barracks have been set aside by the Sultan for use by British military personnel.

Last month on Thursday, February 23, 1854, the first troopship sailed from England to the Ottoman Empire to support the Sultan's army against Russian aggression.

The London Times reporter for the past decade, 34 year-old Irish, blue eyed William Howard Russell: reports world news:

"March 28, 1854, Great Britain and France declare war on Russia.

The two nations are supporting Sultan Abdulmedid I as he desperately attempts to defend his weakening Ottoman Empire from Russian aggression."

In other world news reports:

"Japan, after more than two centuries of self­imposed isolation, signed a friendship treaty with the United States.

Sixty­one­year­old Commodore Mathew Calbraith Perry negotiiated the Japan­United States Kanagawa Treaty, signed on March 31, 1854."

Commodore Perry presented 35 year-old Queen Victoria with a breeding pair of Japanese Chin dogs, previously owned only by Japanese nobility.

Page 113

October, 2009


November, 2009

Paddy's Father, 36 year­old Surgeon Charles Hearn writes in his diary.

With the British First Infantry aboard a troop ship bound for the British Military Base in Malta.

Friday, March 24, 1854

Dear diary,

Rosa and our baby son "Charlie" are living on Cerigo Island in the Ionian Sea at her Kassimatis family home with her elder brother, Dimitrius, her Mother and her Father, Antonio Kassimatis.

Before leaving Dublin, I sent 637 English pounds by Austria­Lloyds to my wife, Rosa Antonia Kassimatis Hearn, on Cerigo Island.

I borrowed that money from Aunt Sarah Brenane. Ever the smart business woman, Aunt Sarah required collateral.

So, I signed over to Aunt Sally my share of the Correagh Hearn land at Kilberg that I inherited from my Father, Colonel Daniel James Hearn, Napoleonic war hero.

Sara Brenane's Chef, Aileen, writes in her diary.

3 Arthur Terrace, Rathmines, Ireland

Easter Sunday, April 16, 1854

Dear diary,

Today, after coloring eggs for Paddy's Easter egg hunt, I prepared an Easter dinner for Paddy, his great aunt Sarah, and her guests.

Easter dinner was served by my assistant, Celestine, on silver plates each with the Brenane crest.

After egg nog, Celestine served pea and mint soup. The main course was Welsh Spring roasted leg of lamb with fresh mint sauce. Side dishes were cauliflower cheese, lemon glazed asparagus, and carrots with pecans. For dessert, coconut cake with Earl Grey tea from Brewley's.

Sixty­one­year­old Sara Brenane writes in her diary.

3 Arthur Terrace, Rathmines

Easter Sunday, April 16, 1854

Dear diary,

Paddy and I went to Easter services in Rathmines at "Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church."

Our four­year­old Rathmines Catholic Church, designed by Patrick Byrne, has lovely classic granite columns. In the vestibule is a stunning, life­size painting of our Pope Pius IX.

My elder sister, Paddy's grandmother, Elizabeth Holmes Hearn, came to my Rathmines home for Easter dinner with her daughter, Jane, and husband, Henry Stephens. He is, by the way, my income tax lawyer.

Elizabeth now lives on Lawyers' Row, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin, with Henry and Jane.

Jane trained her parrot to say to me, "Have you seen your priest?" "Have you seen your priest?" So cute.

Jane knows that I am not a very devout Catholic. But, I shall carry on with my Catholicim to my grave in respect for my late husband, Captain Justin Brenane.

Justin Brenane and I had many happy years together in Wexford County at his home, Kiltrea­house, in Monart Parish.

When my Justin died, I went to live with Elizabeth on Fairview Avenue.

My elder sister, Elizabeth, did not fault me for adopting Catholicism, even though it was a blow to our Protestant Holmes family. Elizabeth and I have a wonderful relationship.

I always envy Elizabeth for having had 7 children while I, the youngest in the Holmes family, have none.

Elizabeth had married Napoleonic war hero, Colonel Daniel James Hearn. He also served under Wellington during the Siege of Denmark.

In military retirement, Daniel lived on Protestant Hearn lands near the tiny village of Correagh. He became High Sheriff of Westmeath County

After 40 days of fasting during Lent, I thoroughly enjoyed Chef Aileen's traditional Easter lamb dinner today. It was a delight to be able to eat meat again, especially Welsh lamb.


Page 114: Paddy Hearn's Fourth Birthday on June 27, 1854

December, 2009


January, 2010

Paddy's Great Aunt Sally Brenane writes in her diary.

Dear diary,

At the Traecy Family's deluxe Grand Hotel, Tramore, Ireland.

Wednesday, June 26, 1854


It's my tenth year of widowhood.

The lovely Summers here on Ireland's Riviera are forever reminiscent of my Summers here with my late husband Justin.

With me this Summer at the Grand are my personal maid, Catherine Ronane, Paddy Hearn, and his governess, Kate Mythen.

Very early this morning we left Rathmines by Bianconi Horse Coach. We arrived in Wexford City late this afternoon. We then boarded the first class blue car on the Waterford & Tramore Railway Line for the scenic seven miles to Manor Street Station, Tramore.

Paddy's Governess, Kate Mythen, writes in her diary.

Dear diary,

Grand Hotel, Tramore

Thursday, June 27, 1854


Today is Patrick Lafcadio's fourth birthday. Mrs. Brenane had a birthday party for him in the hotel dining room. Besides the four of us, she invited Paddy's swimming instructor, Kyle, who brought his pet Wheaton Terrior.

Paddy made a secret wish. Then, in one breath, Paddy blew out all four lighted candles on his birthday cake. His secret wish will surely come true.

Mrs. Brenane's birthday gift for Paddy was a wooden toy elephant. All day he carried that elephant. He's now sleeping with it in his arms!

Editor's note:

Years later in Japan, Hearn reminisced about his toy elephant:

"Of those mysterious toys which so strangely charmed the imagination of the child the fate has ever remained a mystery to the memory of man.

You cannot tell whether the broken trunk of the wooden elephant, which you tried so vainly to repair with disappointed tears, was ever mended. Who knows whatever became of it?

What foolish little trifles they were and yet what pleasure they gave, and what power ever their recollection has upon you today? The ghost of the wooden elephant with the broken trunk may after all affect the regularity of the pulse for an instant.

That broken trunk, ridiculous as it may seem, can still stir up memories that you dare not laugh at.

What a beautiful time of life that was, and how golden the hours before we first learned that life is a struggle and that passions are playthings for children of a larger growth; in short, before we had 'become as gods knowing both good and evil' as Mephistopheles mockingly observes."

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