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Handy Andy, Volume One - A Tale of Irish Life, in Two Volumes
by Samuel Lover
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"No mistake!" cried Doyle; "and divil pity O'Grady, for he's a blustering, swaggering, overbearing, ill-tempered——"

"Hillo, hillo, Bill!" interrupted Murphy, "you are too hard on the adjectives; besides, you'll spoil your appetite if you ruffle your temper, and that would fret me, for I intend you to dine with me to-day."

"Faith an' I'll do that same, Murtough, my boy, and glad to be asked, as the old maid said."

"I'll tell you what it is," said Murphy; "boys, you must all dine with me to-day, and drink long life to me, since I'm not killed."

"There are seventeen of us," said Durfy; "the little parlour won't hold us all."

"But isn't there a big room at the inn, Tom?" returned Murphy, "and not better drink in Ireland than Mrs. Fay's. What do you say, lads—one and all—will you dine with me?"

"Will a duck swim?" chuckled out Jack Horan, an oily veteran, who seldom opened his mouth but to put something into it, and spared his words as if they were of value; and to make them appear so, he spoke in apophthegms.

"What say you, James Reddy?" said Murtough.

"Ready, sure enough, and willing too!" answered James, who was a small wit, and made the aforesaid play upon his name at least three hundred and sixty-five times every year.

"Oh, we'll all come," was uttered right and left.

"Good men and true!" shouted Murphy; "won't we make the rafters shake, and turn the cellar inside out! Whoo! I'm in great heart to-day. But who is this powdhering up the road? By the powers! 't is the doctor, I think; 't is—I know his bandy hat over the cloud of dust."

The individual thus designated as the doctor now emerged from the obscurity in which he had been enveloped, and was received with a loud shout by the whole cavalcade as he approached them. Both parties drew rein, and the doctor, lifting from his head the aforesaid bandy hat, which was slouched over one eye, with a sinister droop, made a low obeisance to Murphy, and said, with a mock solemnity, "Your servant, sir—and so you're not killed?"

"No," said Murphy; "and you've lost a job, which I see you came to look for—but you're not to have the carving of me yet."

"Considering it's so near Michaelmas, I think you've had a great escape, signor," returned the doctor.

"Sure enough," said Murphy, laughing; "but you're late this time: so you must turn back, and content yourself with carving something more innocent than an attorney to-day—though at an attorney's cost. You must dine with me."

"Willingly, signor," said the doctor; "but pray don't make use of the word 'cost.' I hate to hear it out of an attorney's mouth—or bill, I should say."

A laugh followed the doctor's pleasantry, but no smile appeared upon his countenance; for though uttering quaint and often very good, but oftener very bitter, things, he never moved a muscle of his face, while others were shaking their sides at his sallies. He was, in more ways than one, a remarkable man. A massive head, large and rather protruding eyes, lank hair, slouching ears, a short neck, and broad shoulders, rather inclined to stooping, a long body, and short legs, slightly bowed, constituted his outward man; and a lemon-coloured complexion, which a residence of some years in the East Indies had produced, did not tend to increase his beauty. His mind displayed a superior intelligence, original views, contempt of received opinions, with a power of satire and ridicule, which rendered him a pleasing friend or a dangerous enemy, as the case might be; though, to say the truth, friend and foe were treated with nearly equal severity, if a joke or sarcasm tempted the assault. His own profession hated him, for he unsparingly ridiculed all stale practice, which his conviction led him to believe was inefficient, and he daringly introduced fresh, to the no small indignation of the more cut and dry portion of the faculty, for whose hate he returned contempt, of which he made no secret. From an extreme coarseness of manner, even those who believed in his skill were afraid to trust to his humour: and the dislike of his brother-practitioners to meet him superadded to this, damaged his interest considerably, and prevented his being called in until extreme danger frightened patients, or their friends, into sending for Dr. Growling. His carelessness in dress, too, inspired disgust in the fair portion of the creation: and "snuffy" and "dirty," "savage" and "brute," were among the sweet words they applied to him.

Nevertheless, those who loved a joke more than they feared a hit, would run the risk of an occasional thrust of the doctor's stiletto, for the sake of enjoying the mangling he gave other people; and such rollicking fellows as Murphy, and Durfy, and Dawson, and Squire Egan petted this social hedgehog.

The doctor now turned his horse's head, and joined the cavalcade to the town. "I have blown my Rosinante," said he; "I was in such a hurry to see the fun."

"Yes," said Murphy, "he smokes."

"And his master takes snuff," said the doctor, suiting the action to the word. "I suppose, signor, you were thinking a little while ago that the squire might serve an ejectment on your vitality?"

"Or that in the trial between us I might get damages," said Murphy.

"There is a difference, in such case," said the doctor, "between a court of law and the court of honour; for in the former, the man is plaintiff before he gets his damages, while in the latter, it is after he gets his damages that he complains."

"I'm glad my term is not ended, however," said Murphy.

"If it had been," said the doctor, "I think you'd have had a long vacation in limbo."

"And suppose I had been hit," said Murphy, "you would have been late on the ground. You're a pretty friend!"

"It's my luck, sir," said the doctor; "I'm always late for a job. By-the-bye, I'll tell you an amusing fact of that musty piece of humanity, Miss Jinkins. Her niece was dangerously ill, and she had that licensed slaughterer from Killanmaul trying to tinker her up, till the poor girl was past all hope, and then she sends for me. She swore, some time ago, I shall never darken her doors; but when she began to apprehend that death was rather a darker gentleman than I, she tolerated my person. The old crocodile met me in the hall—by-the-bye, did you ever remark she's like a crocodile, only not with so pleasing an expression?—and wringing her hands she cried, 'Oh, doctor, I'll be bound to you forever!'—I hope not, thought I to myself. 'Save my Jemima, doctor, and there's nothing I won't do to prove my gratitude.' 'Is she long ill, ma'am?' said I. 'A fortnight, doctor.' 'I wish I had been called in sooner, ma'am,' says I—for, 'pon my conscience, Murphy, it is too ridiculous the way the people go on about me. I verily believe they think I can raise people out of their graves; and they call me in to repair the damages disease and the doctors have been making; and while the gentlemen in black silk stockings, with gold-headed canes, have been fobbing fees for three weeks, perhaps, they call in poor Jack Growling, who scorns Jack-a-dandyism, and he gets a solitary guinea for mending the bungling that cost something to the tune of twenty or thirty perhaps. And when I have plucked them from the jaws of death—regularly cheated the sexton out of them—the best word they have for me is to call me a pig, or abuse my boots, or wonder that the doctor is not more particular about his linen—the fools! But to return to my gentle crocodile. I was shown upstairs to the sick room, and there, sir, I saw the unfortunate girl, speechless, at the last gasp absolutely. The Killanmaul dandy had left her to die—absolutely given her up; and then, indeed, I'm sent for! Well, I was in a rage, and was rushing out of the house, when the crocodile way-laid me in the hall. 'Oh, doctor, won't you do something for my Jemima?' 'I can't, ma'am,' says I; 'but Mr. Fogarty can.' 'Mr. Fogarty!' says she. 'Yes, ma'am,' says I. 'You have mistaken my profession, Miss Jinkins—I'm a doctor, ma'am; but I suppose you took me for an undertaker!'"

"Well, you hit her hard, doctor," said Murphy.

"Sir, you might as well hit a rhinoceros," returned the doctor.

"When shall we dine?" asked Jack Horan.

"As soon as Mrs. Fay can let us have the eatables," answered Murphy; "and, by-the-bye, Jack, I leave the ordering of the dinner to you, for no man understands better how to do that same; besides, I want to leave my horse in my own stable, and I'll be up at the inn, after you, in a brace of shakes."

The troop now approached the town. Those who lived there rode to their own stables, and returned to the party at Mrs. Fay's: while they who resided at a distance dismounted at the door of the inn, which soon became a scene of bustle in all its departments from this large influx of guests; and the preparation for the dinner, exceeding in scale what Mrs. Fay was generally called upon to provide, except when the assizes, or races, or other such cause of commotion, demanded all the resources of her establishment, and more, if she had them. So the Dinnys, and the Tims, and the Mickeys, were rubbing down horses, cleaning knives, or drawing forth extra tables from their dusty repose; and the Biddys, and Judys, and Nellys, were washing up plates, scouring pans, and brightening up extra candlesticks, or doing deeds of doom in the poultry-yard, where an audible commotion gave token of the premature deaths of sundry supernumerary chickens.

Murphy soon joined his guests, grinning from ear to ear, and rubbing his hands as he entered.

"Great news, boys," said he; "who do you think was at my house, when I got home, but M'Garry, with his head bandaged up, and his whole body, as he declares, bearing black and blue testimony to the merciless attack of the bold O'Grady, against whom he swears he'll bring an action for assault and battery. Now, boys, I thought it would be great fun to have him here to dinner—it's as good as a play to hear him describe the thrashing—so I asked him to come. He said he was not in a fit state to dine out; but I egged him on by saying that a sight of him in his present plight would excite sympathy for him, and stir up public feeling against O'Grady, and that all would tell in the action, as most likely some of the present company might be on the jury, and would be the better able to judge how far he was entitled to damages, from witnessing the severity of the injury he had received. So he's coming; and mind, you must all be deeply affected at his sufferings, and impressed with the powerful description he gives of the same."

"Very scientific, of course," said old Growling.

"Extensively so," returned Murphy; "he laid on the Latin heavy."

"Yes—the fool!" growled the doctor: "he can't help sporting it even on me. I went into his shop one day, and asked for some opium wine, and he could not resist calling it vinum opii as he handed it to me."

"We'll make him a martyr!" cried Durfy.

"We'll make him dhrunk!" said Jack Horan, "and that will be better. He brags that he never was what he calls 'inebriated' in his life; and it will be great fun to send him home on a door, with a note to his wife, who is proud of his propriety."

As they spoke, M'Garry entered, his head freshly bound up, to look as genteel as possible amongst the gentlemen with whom he was to have the honour of dining. His wife had suggested a pink ribbon, but M'Garry, while he acknowledged his wife's superior taste, said black would look more professional. The odd fellows to whom he had now committed himself, crowded round him, and, in the most exaggerated phrases, implied the high sense they entertained of his wrongs and O'Grady's aggression.

"Unprovoked attack!" cried one.

"Savage ruffian!" ejaculated another.

"What atrocity!" said a third.

"What dignified composure!" added a fourth, in an audible whisper, meant for M'Garry's ear.

"Gentlemen!" said the apothecary, flurried at the extreme attention of which he became the object; "I beg to assure you I am deeply—that is—this proof of—of—of—of symptoms—gentlemen—I mean sympathy, gentlemen—in short, I really——"

"The fact is," said Growling, "I see Mr. M'Garry is rather shaken in nerve—whether from loss of blood or——"

"I have lost a quantity of blood, doctor," said M'Garry; "much vascular, to say nothing of extra-vasated."

"Which, I'll state in my case," said Murphy.

"Murphy, don't interrupt," said Growling, who, with a very grave face, recommenced: "Gentlemen, from the cause already stated, I see Mr. M'Garry is not prepared to answer the out-pouring of feeling with which you have greeted him, and if I might be permitted——"

Every one shouted, "Certainly—certainly!"

"Then as I am permitted, I will venture to respond for Mr. M'Garry, and address you, as he would address you. In the words of Mr. M'Garry, I would say—Gentlemen—unaccustomed as I am"—Some smothered laughter followed this beginning; upon which the doctor, with a mock gravity, proceeded—

"Gentlemen, this interruption I consider to be an infringement on the liberty of the subject. I recommence, therefore, in the words of my honourable and wounded friend, and our honourable and wounded feelings, and say, as my friend would say, or, to speak classically, M'Garry loquitur"—

The apothecary bowed his head to the bit of Latin, and the doctor continued—

"Gentlemen—unaccustomed to public thrashing, you can conceive what my feelings are at the present moment, in mind and body. [Bravo!] You behold an outrage [much confusion]! Shall an exaggerated savagery like this escape punishment, and 'the calm, sequestered vale' (as the poet calls it) of private life be ravaged with impunity? [Bravo, bravo!] Are the learned professions to be trampled under foot by barbarian ignorance and brutality? No; I read in the indignant looks of my auditory their high-souled answers. Gentlemen, your sympathy is better than diachylon to my wounds, and this is the proudest day of my life."

Thunders of applause followed the doctor's address, and every one shook M'Garry's hand, till his bruised bones ached again. Questions poured upon him from all sides as to the nature and quantity of his drubbing, to all of which M'Garry innocently answered in terms of exaggeration, spiced with scientific phrases. Muscles, tendons, bones, and sinews, were particularised with the precision of an anatomical demonstration; he swore he was pulverised, and paralysed, and all the other lies he could think of.

"A large stick you say?" said Murphy.

"Sir! I never saw such a stick—'t was like a weaver's beam!"

"I'll make a note of that," said Murphy. "A weaver's beam—'t will tell well with a jury."

"And beat you all over?" said Durfy.

"From shoulder to flank, sir, I am one mass of welts and weals; the abrasures are extensive, the bruises terrific, particularly in the lumbar region."

"What's that," asked Jack Horan.

"The lumbar region is what is commonly called the loins, sir."

"Not always," said the doctor. "It varies in different subjects: I have known some people whose lumber region lay in the head."

"You laugh, gentlemen," said M'Garry, with a mournful smile; "but you know the doctor—he will be jocular." He then continued to describe the various other regions of his injuries, amidst the well-acted pity and indignation of the queer fellows who drew him out, until they were saturated, so far, with the fun of the subject. After which, Murphy, whose restless temperament could never let him be quiet for a moment, suggested that they should divert themselves before dinner with a badger-fight.

"Isn't one fight a day enough for you, signor?" said the doctor.

"It is not every day we get a badger, you know," said Murphy; "and I heard just now from Tim the waiter that there is a horse-dealer lately arrived at the stables here, who has a famous one with him, and I know Reilly the butcher has two or three capital dogs, and there's a wicked mastiff below stairs, and I'll send for my 'buffer,' and we'll have some spanking sport."

He led his guests then to the inn yard, and the horse-dealer, for a consideration, allowed his badger to wage battle: the noise of the affair spread through the town, while they were making their arrangements, and sending right and left for dogs for the contest; and a pretty considerable crowd soon assembled at the place of action, where the hour before dinner was spent in the intellectual amusement of a badger-fight.



CHAPTER V

The fierce yells of the badger-fight ringing far and wide, soon attracted a crowd, which continued to increase every minute by instalments of men and boys, who might be seen running across a small field by the road-side, close to the scene of action, which lay at the back of the inn; and heavy-caped and skirted frieze coats streamed behind the full-grown, while the rags of the gossoons[1] fluttered in the race. Attracted by this evidence of "something going on," a horseman, who was approaching the town, urged his horse to speed, and turning his head towards a yawning double ditch that divided the road from the field, he gracefully rode the noble animal over the spanking leap.

[1] Boys.

The rider was Edward O'Connor; and he was worthy of his name—the pure blood of that royal race was in his heart, which never harboured a sentiment that could do it dishonour, and overflowed with feelings which ennoble human nature, and make us proud of our kind. He was young and handsome; and as he sat his mettled horse, no lady could deny that Edward O'Connor was the very type of the gallant cavalier. Though attached to every manly sport and exercise, his mind was of a refined order; and a youth passed amidst books and some of the loveliest scenery in Ireland had nurtured the poetic feeling with which his mind was gifted, and which found its vent in many a love-taught lyric, or touching ballad, or spirit-stirring song, whose theme was national glory. To him the bygone days of his country's history were dear, made more familiar by many an antique relic which hung around his own room in his father's house. Celt and sword, and spear-head of Phoenician bronze, and golden gorget, and silver bodkin, and ancient harp, and studded crosier, were there; and these time-worn evidences of arts, and arms, and letters flattered the affection with which he looked back on the ancient history of Ireland, and kept alive the ardent love of his country with which he glowed—a love too deep, too pure, to be likely to expire, even without the aid of such poetic sources of excitement. To him the names of Fitzgerald, and Desmond, and Tyrone, were dear; and there was no romantic legend of the humbler outlaws with which he was not familiar: and "Charley of the Horses," and "Ned of the Hill," but headed the list of names he loved to recall; and the daring deeds of bold spirits who held the hill-side for liberty, were often given in words of poetic fire from the lips of Edward O'Connor.

And yet Edward O'Connor went to see the badger-fight.

There is something inherent in man's nature, urging him to familiarise himself with cruelty: and, perhaps, without such a power of witnessing savage deeds, he would be unequal to the dominion for which he was designed. Men of the highest order of intellect the world has known have loved the chase. How admirably Scott displays this tendency of noble minds, in the meeting of Ellen with her father, when Douglas says—

"The chase I followed far; 'T is mimicry of noble war."

And the effect of this touch of character is heightened by Douglas in a subsequent scene—Douglas, who could enjoy the sport which ends in death, bending over his gentle child, and dropping tears of the tenderest affection—tears which

"Would not stain an angel's cheek."

Superadded to this natural tendency, Edward O'Connor had an additional motive. He lived amongst a society of sporting men, less cultivated than he was, whose self-esteem would have easily ignited the spark of jealousy if he had seemed to scorn the things which made their principal enjoyment, and formed the chief occupation of their lives; and his good sense and good heart (and there is an intimate connection between them) pointed out to him that, wherever your lot is cast, duty to yourself and others suggests the propriety of adapting your conduct to the circumstances in which you are placed (so long as morality and decency are not violated), and that the manifestation of one's own superiority may render the purchase too dear, by being bought at the terrible price of our neighbour's dislike. He, therefore, did not tell everybody he wrote verses: he kept the gift as secret as he could. If an error, however gross, on any subject, were made in his presence, he never took willing notice of it; or if circumstances obliged him to touch upon it, it was always done with a politeness and tact that afforded the blunderer the means of retreat. If some gross historical error, for instance, happened to be committed in a conversation with himself (and then only), he would set the mistake right, as a matter of conscience, but he would do so by saying there was a great similarity between the event spoken of and some other event. "I know what you are thinking of," he would say, "but you make a slight mistake in the dates; the two stories are very similar, and likely to mislead one."

But with all this modest reserve, did the least among his companions think him the less clever? No. It was shrewdly suspected he was a poet; it was well known he was highly educated and accomplished; and yet Edward O'Connor was a universal favourite, bore the character of being a "real fine fellow," and was loved and respected by the most illiterate of the young men of the country; who, in allusion to his extensive lore on the subject of the legendary heroes of the romantic history of Ireland, his own Christian name, and his immediate place of residence, which was near a wild mountain pass, christened him "Ned of the Hill."

His appearance amidst the crowd assembled to witness the rude sport was hailed with pleasure—varying from the humble but affectionate respect of the peasant, who cried "Long life to you, Misther O'Connor," to the hearty burst of equality, which welcomed him as "Ned of the Hill."

The fortune of the fight favoured the badger, who proved himself a trump; and Murphy appreciated his worth so highly that, when the battle was over, he would not quit the ground until he became his owner, at a high price to the horse-dealer. His next move was to insist on Edward O'Connor dining with him; and Edward, after many excuses to avoid the party he foresaw would be a drinking bout—of which he had a special horror, notwithstanding all his toleration—yielded to the entreaties of Murphy, and consented to be his guest, just as Tim the waiter ran up, steaming from every pore, to announce that the dinner was "ready to be sarved."

"Then sarve it, sir," said Murphy, "and sarve it right."

Off cantered Tim, steaming and snorting like a locomotive engine, and the party followed to the inn, where a long procession of dish-bearers was ascending the stairs to the big room, as Murphy and his friends entered.

The dinner it is needless to describe. One dinner is the same as another in the most essential points, namely, to satisfy hunger and slake consequent thirst; and whether beef and cabbage, and heavy wet, are to conquer the dragon of appetite, or your stomach is to sustain the more elaborate attack fired from the batterie de cuisine of a finished artiste, and moistened with champagne, the difference is only of degree in the fashion of the thing and the tickling of the palate: hunger is as thoroughly satisfied with the one as the other; and headaches as well manufactured out of the beautiful, bright, and taper glasses which bear the foam of France to the lip, as from the coarse, flat-bottomed tumblers of an inn that reek with punch. At the dinner there was the same tender solicitude on the part of the carvers as to "Where would you like it?" and the same carelessness on the part of those whom they questioned, who declared they had no choice, "but if there was a little bit near the shank," &c., or "if there was a liver wing to spare." By the way, some carvers there are who push an aspirant's patience too far. I have seen some who, after giving away both wings, and all the breast, two sidebones, and the short legs, meet the eager look of the fifth man on their left with a smile, and ask him, with an effrontery worthy of the Old Bailey, "Has he any choice?" and, at the same time, toss a drum-stick on the destined plate, or boldly attempt to divert his melancholy with a merry-thought. All this, and more, was there at Murtough Murphy's dinner, long memorable in the country from a frolic that wound up the evening, which soon began to warm, after the cloth was removed, into the sort of a thing commonly known by the name of a jollification. But before the dinner was over, poor M'Garry was nearly pickled: Jack Horan, having determined to make him drunk, arranged a system of attack on M'Garry's sobriety which bade defiance to his prudence to withstand. It was agreed that every one should ask the apothecary to take wine; and he, poor innocent man! when gentlemen whom he had never had the honour to meet at dinner before addressed him with a winning smile, and said, "Mr. M'Garry, will you do me the honour?" could not do less than fill his glass every time; so that, to use Jack Horan's own phrase, the apothecary was "sewed up" before he had any suspicion of the fact; and, unused to the indications of approaching vinous excitement, he supposed it was the delightful society made him so hilarious, and he began to launch forth after dinner in a manner quite at variance with the reserve he usually maintained in the presence of his superiors, and talked largely. Now, M'Garry's principal failing was to make himself appear very learned in his profession; and every new discovery in chemistry, operation in surgery, or scientific experiment he heard of, he was prone to shove in, head and shoulders, in his soberest moments; but now that he was half-drunk, he launched forth on the subject of galvanism, having read of some recent wonderful effects produced on the body of a recent murderer who was hanged and given over to the College of Surgeons in Dublin. To impress the company still more with a sense of his learning, he addressed Growling on the subject, and the doctor played him off to advantage.

"Don't you think it very wonderful, doctor?" inquired M'Garry, speaking somewhat thickly.

"Very," answered the doctor, drily.

"They say, sir, the man—that is, the subject—when under the influence of the battery, absolutely twiddled his left foot, and raised his right arm."

"And raised it to some purpose, too," said the doctor; "for he raised a contusion on the Surgeon-General's eye, having hit him over the same."

"Dear me!—I did not hear that."

"It is true, however," said the doctor; "and that gives you an idea of the power of the galvanic influence, for you know the Surgeon-General is a powerful man, and yet he could not hold him down."

"Wonderful!" hiccupped M'Garry.

"But that's nothing to what happened in London," continued the doctor. "They experimented there the other day with a battery of such power, that the man who was hanged absolutely jumped up, seized a scalpel from the table, and making a rush on the assembled Faculty of London, cleared the theatre in less than no time; dashed into the hall; stabbed the porter who attempted to stop him; made a chevy down the south side of Leicester Square; and as he reached the corner, a woman, who was carrying tracts published by the Society for the Suppression of Vice, shrieked at beholding a man in so startling a condition, and fainted; he, with a presence of mind perfectly admirable, whipped the cloak from her back, and threw it round him, and scudding through the tortuous alleys which abound in that neighbourhood, made his way to the house where the learned Society of Noviomagians hold their convivial meetings, and, telling the landlord that he was invited there to dinner as a curiosity, he gained admittance, and, it is supposed, took his opportunity for escaping, for he has not since been heard of."

"Good Heaven!" gasped M'Garry; "and do you believe that, doctor?"

"Most firmly, sir! My belief is, that galvanism is, in fact, the original principle of vitality."

"Should we not rejoice, doctor," cried M'Garry, "at this triumph of science?"

"I don't think you should, Mister M'Garry," said the doctor, gravely; "for it would utterly destroy your branch of the profession: pharmacopolists, instead of compounding medicine, must compound with their creditors; they are utterly ruined. Mercury is no longer in the ascendent; all doctors have to do now is to carry a small battery about them, a sort of galvanic pocket-pistol, I may say, and restore the vital principle by its application."

"You are not serious, doctor?" said M'Garry, becoming very serious, with that wise look so peculiar to drunken men.

"Never more serious in my life, sir."

"That would be dreadful!" said M'Garry.

"Shocking, you mean," said the doctor.

"Leave off your confounded scientifics, there," shouted Murphy from the head of the table, "and let us have a song."

"I can't sing, indeed, Mister Murphy," said M'Garry, who became more intoxicated every moment; for he continued to drink, having overstepped the boundary which custom had prescribed to him.

"I didn't ask you, man," said Murphy; "but my darling fellow, Ned here, will gladden our hearts and ears with a stave."

"Bravo!" was shouted round the table, trembling under the "thunders of applause" with which heavy hands made it ring again; and "Ned of the Hill!" "Ned of the Hill!" was vociferated with many a hearty cheer about the board that might indeed be called "festive."

"Well," said O'Connor, "since you call upon me in the name of Ned of the Hill, I'll give you a song under that very title. Here's Ned of the Hill's own shout;" and in a rich, manly voice he sang, with the fire of a bard, these lines:—

THE SHOUT OF NED OF THE HILL.[2]

I

The hill! the hill! with its sparkling rill, And its dawning air so light and pure, Where the morning's eye scorns the mist, that lie On the drowsy valley and the moor. Here, with the eagle, I rise betimes; Here, with the eagle, my state I keep; The first we see of the morning sun, And his last as he sets o'er the deep, And there, while strife is rife below, Here from the tyrant I am free: Let shepherd slaves the valley praise, But the hill! the hill for me!

[2] The songs in this work are published by Duff and Hodgson, 65, Oxford Street.

II

The baron below in his castle dwells, And his garden boasts the costly rose; But mine is the keep of the mountain steep, Where the matchless wild flower freely blows. Let him fold his sheep, and his harvest reap— I look down from my mountain throne; And I choose and pick of the flock and the rick, And what is his I can make my own. Let the valley grow in its wealth below, And the lord keep his high degree; But higher am I in my liberty— The hill! the hill for me!

O'Connor's song was greeted with what the music-publishers are pleased to designate, on their title-pages, "distinguished applause;" and his "health and song" were filled to and drank with enthusiasm.

"Whose lines are those?" asked the doctor.

"I don't know," said O'Connor.

"That's as much as to say they are your own," said Growling. "Ned, don't be too modest—it is the worst fault a man can have who wants to get on in this world."

"The call is with you, Ned," shouted Murphy from the head of the table; "knock some one down for a song."

"Mr. Reddy, I hope, will favour us," said Edward, with a courteous inclination of his head towards the gentleman he named, who returned a very low bow, with many protestations that he would "do his best," &c.: "but after Mr. O'Connor, really,"—and this was said with a certain self-complacent smile, indicative of his being on very good terms with himself. Now, James Reddy wrote rhymes—bless the mark!—and was tolerably well convinced that, except Tom Moore (if he did except even him), there was not a man in the British dominions his equal at a lyric. He sang, too, with a kill-me-quite air, as if no lady could resist his strains; and to "give effect," as he called it, he began every stanza as loud as he could, and finished it in a gentle murmur—tailed it off very taper, indeed; in short, it seemed as if a shout had been suddenly smitten with consumption, and died in a whisper. And this, his style, he never varied, whatever the nature or expression of the song might be, or the sense to be expressed; but as he very often sang his own, there were seldom any to consider. This rubbish he had set to music by the country music-master, who believed himself to be a better composer than Sir John Stevenson, to whom the prejudices of the world gave the palm; and he eagerly caught at the opportunity which the verses and vanity of Reddy afforded him, of stringing his crotchets and quavers on the same hank with the abortive fruits of Reddy's muse, and the wretched productions hung worthily together.

Reddy, with the proper quantity of "hems and haws," and rubbing down his upper lip and chin with his forefinger and thumb, cleared his throat, tossed his nose into the air, and said he was going to give them "a little classic thing."

"Just look at the puppy!" snarled out old Growling to his neighbour: "he's going to measure us out some yards of his own fustian, I'm sure—he looks so pleased."

Reddy gave his last "a-hem!" and sang what he called

THE LAMENT OF ARIADNE

The graceful Greek, with gem-bright hair, Her garments rent, and rent the air;

"What a tearing rage she was in!" said old Growling in an under-tone.

With sobs and sighs And tearful eyes, Like fountain fair of Helicon!

"Oh, thunder and lightning!" growled the doctor, who pulled a letter out of his pocket, and began to scribble on the blank portions of it, with the stump of a blunt pencil, which he very audibly sucked, to enable it to make a mark.

For ah, her lover false was gone! The fickle brave, And fickle wave,

"And pickled cabbage," said the doctor.

Combined to cheat the fickle fair. O fickle! fickle! fickle! But the brave should be true, And the fair ones too— True, true, As the ocean's blue! And Ariadne had not been, Deserted there, like beauty's queen. Oh, Adriadne!—adne!—adne!

"Beautiful!" said the doctor, with an approving nod at Reddy, who continued his song, while the doctor continued to write.

The sea-nymphs round the sea-girt shore Mocked the maiden's sighs; And the ocean's savage roar Replies— Replies—replies—replies, replies, replies.

(After the manner of "Tell me where is fancy bred.")

"Very original!" said the doctor.

With willow wand Upon the strand. She wrote, with trembling heart and hand, "The brave should ne'er Desert the fair." But the wave the moral washed away, Ah, well-a-day! well-a-day! A-day!—a-day!—a-day!

Reddy smiled and bowed, and thunders of applause followed; the doctor shouted "Splendid!" several times, and continued to write and take snuff voraciously, by which those who knew him could comprehend he was bent on mischief.

"What a beautiful thing that is!" said one.

"Whose is it?" said another.

"A little thing of my own," answered Reddy, with a smile.

"I thought so," said Murphy. "By Jove, James, you are a genius!"

"Nonsense!" smiled the poet; "just a little classic trifle—I think them little classic allusions is pleasing in general—Tommy Moore is very happy in his classic allusions, you may remark—not that I, of course, mean to institute a comparison between so humble an individual as myself and Tommy Moore, who has so well been called 'the poet of all circles, and the idol of his own;' and if you will permit me, in a kindred spirit—I hope I may say the kindred spirit of a song—in that kindred spirit I propose his health—the health of Tommy Moore!"

"Don't say Tommy!" said the doctor, in an irascible tone; "call the man Tom, sir;—with all my heart, Tom Moore!"

The table took the word from Jack Growling, and "Tom Moore," with all the honours of "hip and hurra!" rang round the walls of the village inn—and where is the village in Ireland that health has not been hailed with the fiery enthusiasm of the land whose lays he hath "wedded to immortal verse,"—the land which is proud of his birth, and holds his name in honour?

There is a magic in a great name; and in this instance that of Tom Moore turned the current from where it was setting, and instead of quizzing the nonsense of the fool who had excited their mirth, every one launched forth in praise of their native bard, and couplets from his favourite songs rang from lip to lip.

"Come, Ned of the Hill," said Murphy, "sing us one of his songs,—I know you have them all as pat as your prayers."

"And says them oftener," said the doctor, who still continued scribbling over the letter.

Edward, at the urgent request of many, sang that most exquisite of the melodies, "And doth not a meeting like this make amends?" and long rang the plaudits, and rapidly circulated the bottle, at its conclusion.

"We'll be the 'Alps in the sunset,' my boys," said Murphy; "and here's the wine to enlighten us! But what are you about there, doctor?—is it a prescription you are writing?"

"No. Prescriptions are written in Latin, and this is a bit of Greek I'm doing. Mr. Reddy has inspired me with a classic spirit, and if you will permit me, I'll volunteer a song [bravo! bravo!], and give you another version of the subject he has so beautifully treated—only mine is not so heart-breaking."

The doctor's proposition was received with cheers, and after he had gone through the mockery of clearing his throat, and pitching his voice after the usual manner of your would-be fine singers, he gave out, to the tune of a well-known rollicking Irish lilt, the following burlesque version of the subject of Reddy's song:—

LOVE AND LIQUOR

A Greek Allegory

I

Oh sure 't would amaze yiz How one Misther Theseus Desarted a lovely young lady of owld. On a dissolute island, All lonely and silent, She sobbed herself sick as she sat in the cowld. Oh, you'd think she was kilt, As she roar'd with the quilt Wrapp'd round her in haste as she jumped out of bed, And ran down to the coast, Where she looked like a ghost, Though 't was he was departed—the vagabone fled And she cried, "Well-a-day! Sure my heart it is grey: They're deceivers, them sojers, that goes on half-pay."

II

Whilst abusing the villain, Came riding postilion A nate little boy on the back of a baste, Big enough, faith, to ate him, But he lather'd and bate him, And the baste to unsate him ne'er struggled the laste, And an iligant car He was dhrawing—by gar! It was finer by far than a Lord Mayor's state coach, And the chap that was in it He sang like a linnet, With a nate kag of whisky beside him to broach. And he tipped now and then Just a matter o' ten Or twelve tumblers o' punch to his bold sarving-men.

III

They were dress'd in green livery, But seem'd rather shivery, For 't was only a trifle o' leaves that they wore; But they caper'd away Like the sweeps on May-day, And shouted and tippled the tumblers galore. A print of their masther Is often in plasther O' Paris, put over the door of a tap; A fine chubby fellow, Ripe, rosy, and mellow, Like a peach that is ready to drop in your lap. Hurrah! for brave Bacchus, A bottle to crack us, He's a friend of the people, like bowld Caius Gracchus.

IV

Now Bacchus perceiving The lady was grieving, He spoke to her civil, and tipp'd her a wink; And the more that she fretted, He soother'd and petted, And gave her a glass her own health just to dhrink; Her pulse it beat quicker, The thrifle o' liquor Enliven'd her sinking heart's cockles, I think; So the MORAL is plain, That if love gives you pain, There's nothing can cure it like taking to dhrink!

Uproarious were the "bravos" which followed the doctor's impromptu; the glasses overflowed, and were emptied to his health and song, as laughing faces nodded to him round the table. The doctor sat seriously rocking himself in his chair backwards and forwards, to meet the various duckings of the beaming faces about him; for every face beamed, but one—and that was the unfortunate M'Garry's. He was most deplorably drunk, and began to hold on by the table. At last he contrived to shove back his chair and get on his legs; and making a sloping stagger towards the wall, contrived by its support to scramble his way to the door. There he balanced himself as well as he could by the handle of the lock, which chance, rather than design, enabled him to turn, and the door suddenly opening, poor M'Garry made a rush across the landing-place, and, stumbling against an opposite door, would have fallen, had he not supported himself by the lock of that also, which, again yielding to his heavy tugs, opened, and the miserable wretch making another plunge forward, his shins came in contact with the rail of a very low bed, and into it he fell head foremost, totally unable to rise, and, after some heavy grunts, he sank into a profound sleep.

In this state he was discovered soon after by Murphy, whose inventive faculty for frolic instantly suggested how the apothecary's mishap might be made the foundation of a good practical joke. Murtough went down-stairs, and procuring some blacking and red pickled cabbage by stealth, returned to the chamber where M'Garry now lay in a state of stupor, and dragging off his clothes, he made long dabs across his back with the purple juice of the pickle and Warren's paste, till poor M'Garry was as regularly striped as a tiger, from his shoulder to his flank. He then returned to the dinner-room, where the drinking bout had assumed a formidable character, and others, as well as the apothecary, began to feel the influence of their potations. Murphy confided to the doctor what he had done, and said that, when the men were drunk enough, he would contrive that M'Garry should be discovered, and then they would take their measures accordingly. It was not very long before his company were ripe enough for his designs, and then ringing the bell, he demanded of the waiter, when he entered, what had become of Mr. M'Garry. The waiter, not having any knowledge on the subject, was desired to inquire, and, a search being instituted, M'Garry was discovered by Mrs. Fay in the state Murphy had left him in. On seeing him, she was so terrified that she screamed, and ran into the dinner-room, wringing her hands, and shouting "Murder." A great commotion ensued, and a general rush to the bedroom took place, and exclamations of wonder and horror flew round the room, not only from the gentlemen of the dinner-party, but from the servants of the house, who crowded to the chamber on the first alarm, and helped not a little to increase the confusion.

"Oh! who ever see the like of it!" shouted Mrs. Fay. "He's kilt with the batin' he got! Oh, look at him—black and blue all over! Oh, the murther it is! Oh, I wouldn't be Squire O'Grady for all his fort'n."

"Gad, I believe he's killed sure enough," said Murphy.

"What a splendid action the widow will have!" said Jack Horan.

"You forget, man," said Murphy, "this is not a case for action of damages, but a felony—hanging matter."

"Sure enough," said Jack.

"Doctor, will you feel his pulse?" said Murphy.

The doctor did as he was required, and assumed a very serious countenance. "'T is a bad business, sir—his wounds are mortifying already."

Upon this announcement, there was a general retreat from the bed, round which they had been crowding too close for the carrying on of the joke; and Mrs. Fay ran for a shovel of hot cinders, and poured vinegar over them, to fumigate the room.

"A very proper precaution, Mrs. Fay," said the doctor, with imperturbable gravity.

"That villainous smoke is choking me," said Jack Horan.

"Better that, sir, than have a pestilence in the house," said Growling.

"I'll leave the place," said Jack Horan.

"And I, too," said Doyle.

"And I," said Reddy; "'t is disgusting to a sensitive mind."

"Gentlemen!" said Murphy, shutting the door, "you must not quit the house. I must have an inquest on the body."

"An inquest!" they all exclaimed.

"Yes—an inquest."

"But there's no coroner here," said Reddy.

"No matter for that," said Murphy. "I, as the under-sheriff of the county, can preside at this inquiry. Gentlemen, take your places; bring in more lights, Mrs. Fay. Stand round the bed, gentlemen."

"Not too close," said the doctor. "Mrs. Fay, bring more vinegar."

Mrs. Fay had additional candles and more vinegar introduced, and the drunken fellows were standing as straight as they could, each with a candle in his hand, round the still prostrate M'Garry.

Murphy then opened on them with a speech, and called in every one in the house to ask did they know anything about the matter; and it was not long before it was spread all over the town, that Squire O'Grady had killed M'Garry, and that the coroner's inquest brought in a verdict of murder, and that the squire was going to be sent to jail.

This almost incredible humbug of Murphy's had gone on for nearly half an hour, when the cold arising from his want of clothes, and the riot about him, and the fumes of the vinegar, roused M'Garry, who turned on the bed and opened his eyes. There he saw a parcel of people standing round him, with candles in their hands, and countenances of drunken wonder and horror.

He uttered a hollow groan, and cried—

"Save us and keep us! where am I?"

"Retire, gentlemen," said the doctor, waving his hand authoritatively; "retire—all but the under-sheriff."

Murphy cleared the room, and shut the door, while M'Garry still kept exclaiming, "Save us and keep us! where am I? What's this? O Lord!"

"You're dead!" said Murphy; "and the coroner's inquest has just sat on you!"



"Dead!" cried M'Garry, with a horrified stare.

"Dead!" repeated the doctor, solemnly.

"Are you not Doctor Growling?"

"You see the effect, Mr. Murphy," said the doctor, not noticing M'Garry's question—"you see the effect of the process."

"Wonderful!" said Murphy.

"Preserve us!" cried the bewildered apothecary. "How could I know you if I was dead, doctor? Oh, doctor dear, sure I'm not dead?"

"As a herring," said the doctor.

"Lord have mercy on me! Oh, Mr. Murphy, sure I'm not dead?"

"You're dead, sir," said Murphy; "the doctor has only galvanised you for a few moments."

"O Lord!" groaned M'Garry. "Doctor—indeed, doctor?"

"You are in a state of temporary animation," said the doctor.

"I do feel very odd, indeed," said the terrified man, putting his hands to his throbbing temples. "How long am I dead?"

"A week next Tuesday," said the doctor. "Galvanism has preserved you from decomposition."

M'Garry uttered a heavy groan, and looked up piteously at his two tormentors. Murphy, fearful the shock might drive him out of his mind, said, "Perhaps, doctor, you can preserve his life altogether: you have kept him alive so long?"

"I'll try," said Growling; "hand me that tumbler."

Murphy handed him a tumbler full of water, and the doctor gave it to M'Garry, and desired him to try and drink it; he put it to his lips and swallowed a little drop.

"Can you taste it?" asked the doctor.

"Isn't it water?" said M'Garry.

"You see how dull the nerves are yet," said Growling to Murphy; "that's aquafortis and assafoetida, and he can't taste it; we must give him another touch of the battery. Hold him up, while I go into the next room, and immerse the plates."

The doctor left the bed-room, and came back with a hot poker and some lemon-juice and water.

"Turn him gently round," said he to Murphy, "while I conduct the wires."

His order was obeyed; and giving M'Garry a touch of the hot poker, the apothecary roared like a bull.

"That did him good!" said Growling. "Now try, can you taste anything?" and he gave him the lemon-juice and water.

"I taste a slight acid, doctor dear," said M'Garry, hopefully.

"You see what that last touch did," said Growling gravely; "but the palate is still feeble; that's nearly pure nitric."

"Oh, dear!" said M'Garry, "is it nitric?"

"You see his hearing is coming back too," said the doctor to Murphy. "Try, can he put his legs under him?"

They raised the apothecary from the bed; and when he staggered and fell forward, he looked horrified. "Oh, dear! I can't walk. I'm afraid I am—I am no more!"

"Don't despair," said the doctor; "I pledge my professional reputation to save you now, since you can stand at all, and your senses are partly restored. Let him lie down again; try, could he sleep——"

"Sleep!" said M'Garry, with horror; "perhaps never to awaken!"

"I'll keep up the galvanic influence—don't be afraid; depend upon me—there, lie down. Can you shut your eyes? Yes, I see you can: don't open them so fast. Try, can you keep them shut? Don't open them till I tell you—wait till I count two hundred and fifty. That's right—turn a little more round—keep your eyes fast; that's it. One—two—three—four—five—six—seven;" and so he went on, making a longer interval between every number, till the monotonous sound, and the closed eye of the helplessly drunken man, produced the effect desired by the doctor; and the heavy snoring of the apothecary soon bore witness that he slept.

We hope it is not necessary to assure our fair readers that Edward O'Connor had nothing to do with this scene of drunken absurdity. No: long before the evening's proceedings had assumed the character of a regular drinking bout, he had contrived to make his escape, his head only sufficiently excited to increase his sentimentality; so, instead of riding home direct, he took a round of some eight miles, to have a look at Merryvale, for there dwelt Fanny Dawson—the Darling Fanny Dawson, sister to Dick, whose devilry was more than redeemed in the family by the angelic sweetness of his lovely and sportive sister. For the present, however, poor Edward O'Connor was not allowed to address Fanny; but his love for her knew no abatement notwithstanding; and to see the place where she dwelt had for him a charm. There he sat in his saddle, at the gate, looking up the long line of old trees through which the cool moonlight was streaming; and he fancied that Fanny's foot had trodden that avenue perhaps a few hours before, and even that gave him pleasure: for to those who love with the fond enthusiasm of Edward O'Connor, the very vacancy where the loved one has been is sacred.

The horse pawed impatiently to be gone, and Edward reined him up with a chiding voice; but the animal continuing restless, Edward's apostrophes to his mistress, and warnings to his horse, made an odd mixture; and we would recommend gentlemen, after their second bottle, not to let themselves be overheard in their love-fits; for even as fine a fellow as Edward O'Connor is likely to be ridiculous under such circumstances.

"Oh, Fanny!" cried Edward, "my adored Fanny!"—then to his horse, "Be quiet, you brute!—My love, my angel;—you devil, I'll thrash you, if you don't be quiet!—though separated from me, you are always present to mind; your bright eyes, your raven locks—your mouth's as hard as a paving-stone, you brute!—Oh, Fanny! if fate be ever propitious—should I be blessed with the divine possession of your charms, you should then know—what a devil you are!—you should then know the tenderest care. I'll guard you, caress you, fondle you—I'll bury my spurs in you, you devil!—Oh, Fanny! beloved one!—farewell—good night—a thousand blessings on you!—and now go and be hanged to you!" said he, bitterly, putting his spurs to his horse and galloping home.

* * * * *

When the doctor was satisfied that M'Garry was fast asleep, he and Murphy left the room, and locked the door. They were encountered on the lobby by several curious people, who wanted to know, "was the man dead?" The doctor shook his head very gravely, and said "Not quite;" while Murphy, with a serious nod, said "All over, I'm afraid, Mrs. Fay;" for he perceived among the persons on the lobby a servant of O'Grady's, who chanced to be in the town, and was all wonder and fright at the news of his master having committed murder. Murphy and the doctor proceeded to the dinner-room, where they found the drunken men wrangling about what verdict they should bring in, and a discursive dispute touching on "murder," and "manslaughter," and "accidental death," and "the visitation of God," mingled with noisy toasts and flowing cups, until any sagacity the company ever possessed was sacrificed to the rosy god.

The lateness of the hour, and the state of the company, rendered riding home impossible to most of them; so Mrs. Fay was called upon to prepare beds. The inn did not afford a sufficiency of beds to accommodate every gentleman with a single one, so a toss-up was resorted to, to decide who should sleep double. The fortune of war cast the unfortunate James Reddy upon the doctor, who, though one of the few who were capable of self-protection, preferred remaining at the inn to riding home some miles. Now James Reddy, though very drunk indeed, had sense enough left to dislike the lot that fate had cast him. To sleep with such a slovenly man as the doctor shocked James, who was a bit of a dandy. The doctor seemed perfectly contented with the arrangement; and as he bade Murphy "good night," a lurking devilment hung about his huge mouth. All the men staggered off, or were supported, to their various beds, but one—and he could not stir from the floor, where he lay hugging the leg of the table. To every effort to disturb him he replied with an imploring grunt, to "let him alone," and he hugged the leg of the table closer, exclaiming, "I won't leave you, Mrs. Fay!—my darling Mrs. Fay! rowl your arms round me, Mrs. Fay!"

"Ah, get up and go to bed, Misther Doyle," said Tim. "Sure the misthress is not here at all."

"I know she's not," said Doyle. "Who says a word against her?"

"Sure you're talkin' to her yourself, sir."

"Pooh, pooh, man!—you're dhrunk."

"Ah, come to bed, Misther Doyle!" said Tim, in an imploring tone. "Och sure, my heart's broken with you."

"Don't say your heart's broke, my sweet landlady—my darling Mrs. Fay! the apple of my eye you are."

"Nonsense, Misther Doyle."

"True as the sun, moon, and stars. Apple of my eye, did I say?—I'd give the apples of my eyes to make sauce for the cockles of your heart. Mrs. Fay, darling, don't be coy. Ha! I have you fast!" and he gripped the table closer.

"Well, you are dhrunk, Misther Doyle," said Tim.

"I hope my breath is not offensive from drink, Mrs. Fay," said Doyle, in an amatory whisper to the leg of the table.

"Ah, get out o' that, Misther Doyle," said Tim; accompanying the exclamation with a good shake, which somewhat roused the prostrate form.

"Who's there?"

"I want you to come to bed, sir;—eh, don't be so foolish, Misther Doyle. Sure you don't think the misthress would be rowlin' on the flure there wid you, as dhrunk as a pig——"

"Dare not wound her fame! Who says a word of Mrs. Fay?"

"Arrah, sure you're talkin' there about her this half-hour."

"False villain!—Whisht, my darling," said he to the leg of the table; "I'll never betray you. Hug me tight, Mrs. Fay!"

"Bad luck to the care I'll take any more about you," say Tim. "Sleep on the flure, if you like." And Doyle was left to pass the night in the soft imaginary delights of Mrs. Fay's mahogany embraces.

How fared it with James Reddy? Alas! poor James was doomed to a night of torment, the effects of which he remembered for many days after. In fact, had James been left to his choice, he would rather have slept with the house-dog than with the doctor; but he dreaded the consequences of letting old Jack perceive his antipathy; and visions of future chastisement from the doctor's satirical tongue awed him into submission to the present punishment. He sneaked into bed, therefore, and his deep potations ensured him immediate sleep, from which he awoke, however, in the middle of the night in torture, from the deep scratches inflicted upon him by every kick of old Growling. At last poor Reddy could stand it no longer, and the earliest hour of dawn revealed him to the doctor putting on his clothes, swearing like a trooper at one moment, and at the next apostrophising the genius of gentility. "What it is to have to do with a person that is not a gentleman!" he exclaimed, as he pulled on one leg of his trousers.

"What is the matter with you?" asked old Jack from the bed.

"The matter, sir, is, that I'm going."

"Is it at this hour! Tut, man, don't be a fool. Get into bed again."

"Never, sir, with you at least. I have seldom slept two in a bed, Dr. Growling, for my gentlemanly habits forbid it; but when circumstances have obliged me, it has been with gentlemen—gentlemen, doctor," and he laid a stress on the word—"gentlemen, sir, who cut their toe-nails. Sir, I am a serious sufferer by your coarse habits; you have scratched me, sir, nearly to death. I am one gore of blood——"

"Tut, man! 't was not my nails scratched you; it was only my spurs I put on going to bed, to keep you at a distance from me; you were so disgustingly drunk, my gentleman!—look there!" and he poked his leg out of bed, and there, sure enough, Reddy saw a spur buckled: and, dumb-foundered at this evidence of the doctor's atrocity, he snatched up his clothes, and rushed from the room, as from the den of a bear.

Murphy twisted a beneficial result to M'Garry out of the night's riotous frolic at his expense; for, in the morning, taking advantage of the report of the inquest which he knew must have reached Neck-or-Nothing Hall, he made a communication to O'Grady, so equivocally worded that the Squire fell into the trap. The note ran as follows:—

"Sir,—You must be aware that your act of yesterday has raised a strong feeling in the country against you, and that so flagrant a violation of the laws cannot fail to be visited with terrible severity upon you: for, though your position in rank places you far above the condition of the unfortunate man on whom you wreaked your vengeance, you know, sir, that in the eye of the law you are equal, and the shield of justice protects the peasant as well as the prince. Under these circumstances, sir, considering the awful consequences of your ungoverned rage (which, I doubt not, now, you deplore), I would suggest to you by a timely offer of compromise, in the shape of a handsome sum of money—say two hundred pounds—to lull the storms which must otherwise burst on your devoted head, and save your name from dishonour. I anxiously await your answer, as proceedings must instantly commence, and the law take its course, unless Mrs. M'Garry can be pacified.

"I have the honour to be, Sir,

"Your most obedient Servant,

"Murtough Murphy.

"To Gustavus Granby O'Grady, Esq., Neck-or-Nothing Hall."

O'Grady was thoroughly frightened; and strange as it may appear, did believe he could compromise for killing only a plebeian; and actually sent Murphy his note of hand for the sum demanded. Murtough posted off to M'Garry: he and his wife received him with shouts of indignation, and heaped reproaches on his head, for the trick he had played on the apothecary.

"Oh! Misther Murphy—never look me in the face again!" said Mrs. M'Garry, who was ugly enough to make the request quite unnecessary; "to send my husband home to me a beast!"

"Striped like a tiger!" said M'Garry.

"Blacking and pickled cabbage, Misther Murphy!" said the wife. "Oh fie, sir!—I did not think you could be so low."

"Galvanism!" said M'Garry, furiously. "My professional honour wounded!"

"Whisht, whisht, man!" said Murphy; "there's a finer plaister than any in your shop for the cure of wounded honour. Look at that!"—and he handed him the note for two hundred: "there's galvanism for you!"

"What is this?" said M'Garry, in amazement.

"The result of last night's inquest," said Murphy. "You have got your damages without a trial; so pocket your money, and be thankful."

The two hundred pounds at once changed the aspect of affairs. M'Garry vowed eternal gratitude, with protestations that Murphy was the cleverest attorney alive, and ought to be chief justice. The wife was equally vociferous in her acknowledgments, until Murtough, who, when he entered the house, was near falling a sacrifice to the claws of the apothecary's wife, was obliged to rush from the premises to shun the more terrible consequences of her embraces.



CHAPTER VI

We have sat so long at our dinner, that we have almost lost sight of poor Andy, to whom we must now return. When he ran to his mother's cabin, to escape from the fangs of Dick Dawson, there was no one within: his mother being digging a few potatoes for supper from the little ridge behind her house, and Oonah Riley, her niece—an orphan girl who lived with her—being up to Squire Egan's to sell some eggs; for round the poorest cabins in Ireland you scarcely ever fail to see some ragged hens, whose eggs are never consumed by their proprietors, except, perhaps, on Easter Sunday, but sold to the neighbouring gentry at a trifling price.

Andy cared not who was out, or who was in, provided he could only escape from Dick; so without asking any questions, he crawled under the wretched bed in the dark corner, where his mother and Oonah slept, and where the latter, through the blessed influence of health, youth, and an innocent heart, had brighter dreams than attended many a couch whose downy pillows and silken hangings would more than purchase the fee-simple of any cabin in Ireland. There Andy, in a state of utter exhaustion from his fears, his race, and his thrashing, soon fell asleep, and the terrors of Dick the Devil gave place to the blessing of the profoundest slumber.

Quite unconscious of the presence of her darling Andy was the widow Rooney, as she returned from the potato ridge into her cabin; depositing a skeough of the newly dug esculent at the door, and replacing the spade in its own corner of the cabin. At the same moment Oonah returned, after disposing of her eggs, and handed the three pence she had received for them to her aunt, who dropped them into the deep pocket of blue striped tick which hung at her side.

"Take the pail, Oonah, ma chree, and run to the well for some wather to wash the pratees, while I get the pot ready for bilin' them; it wants scourin', for the pig was atin' his dinner out iv it, the craythur!"

Off went Oonah with her pail, which she soon filled from the clear spring; and placing the vessel on her head, walked back to the cabin with that beautiful erect form, free step, and graceful swaying of the figure, so peculiar to the women of Ireland and the East, from their habit of carrying weights upon the head. The potatoes were soon washed; and as they got their last dash of water in the skeough, whose open wicker-work let the moisture drain from them, up came Larry Hogan, who, being what is called a "civil-spoken man," addressed Mrs. Rooney in the following agreeable manner:—

"Them's purty pratees, Mrs. Rooney; God save you, ma'am!"

"'Deed an' they are—thank you kindly, Mr. Hogan; God save you and yours too! And how would the woman that owns you be?"

"Hearty, thank you."

"Will you step in?"

"No, I'm obleeged to you—I must be aff home wid me; but I'll just get a coal for my pipe, for it wint out on me awhile agone with the fright."

"Well, I've heer'd quare things, Larry Hogan," said Oonah, laughing and showing her white teeth; "but I never heer'd so quare a thing as a pipe goin' out with the fright."

"Oh, how sharp you are!—takin' one up afore they're down."

"Not afore they're down, Larry; for you said it."

"Well, if I was down, you were down on me; so you are down too, you see. Ha, ha! And afther all now, Oonah, a pipe is like a Christian in many ways: sure it's made o' clay like a Christian, and has the spark o' life in it, and while the breath is in it the spark is alive; but when the breath is out of it the spark dies, and then it grows cowld like a Christian; and isn't it a pleasant companion like a Christian?"

"Faix, some Christians isn't pleasant companions at all!" chimed in Mrs. Rooney, sententiously.

"Well, but they ought to be," said Larry; "and isn't a pipe sometimes cracked like a Christian, and isn't it sometimes choked liked a Christian?"

"Oh, choke you and your pipe together, Larry! will you never have done?" said the widow.

"The most improvinist thing in the world is smokin'," said Larry, who had now relit his pipe, and squatted himself on a three-legged stool beside the widow's fire. "The most improvinist in the world"—(paugh!)—and a parenthetical whiff of tobacco-smoke curled out of the corner of Larry's mouth—"is smokin': for the smoke shows you, as it were, the life o' man passin' away like a puff—(paugh!)—just like that; and the tibakky turns to ashes like his poor perishable body; for, as the song says—

"'Tibakky is an Indian weed, Alive at morn and dead at eve; It lives but an hour, Is cut down like a flower, Think o' this when you're smoking tiba-akky!'"

And Larry sung the ditty as he crammed some of the weed into the bowl of his pipe with his little finger.

"Why, you're as good as a sarmint this evenin', Larry," said the widow, as she lifted the iron pot on the fire.

"There's worse sarmints nor that, I can tell you," rejoined Larry, who took up the old song again—

"'A pipe it larns us all this thing— 'T is fair without and foul within, Just like a sowl begrim'd with sin. Think o' this when you're smoking tiba-akky!'"

Larry puffed away silently for a few minutes, and when Oonah had placed a few sods of turf round the pot in an upright position, that the flame might curl upward round them, and so hasten the boiling, she drew a stool near the fire, and asked Larry to explain about the fright.

"Why I was coming up by the cross-road there, when what should I see but a ghost——"

"A ghost!!!" exclaimed the widow and Oonah, with suppressed voices and distended mouth and eyes.

"To all appearance," said Larry; "but it was only a thing was stuck in the hedge to freken whoever was passin' by; and as I kem up to it there was a groan, so I started, and looked at it for a minit, or thereaway; but I seen what it was, and threwn a stone at it, for fear I'd be mistaken: and I heer'd tittherin' inside the hedge, and then I knew 't was only devilment of some one."

"And what was it?" asked Oonah.

"'T was a horse's head, in throth, with an owld hat on the top of it, and two buck-briars stuck out at each side, and some rags hanging on them, and an owld breeches shakin' undher the head; 't was just altogether like a long pale-faced man, with high shouldhers and no body, and very long arms and short legs:—faith, it frightened me at first."

"And no wondher," said Oonah. "Dear, but I think I'd lose my life if I seen the like?"

"But sure," said the widow, "wouldn't you know that ghosts never appears by day?"

"Ay, but I hadn't time to think o' that, bein' taken short wid the fright—more betoken, 't was the place the murdher happened in long ago."

"Sure enough," said the widow. "God betune us and harm!" and she marked herself with the sign of the cross as she spoke; "and a terrible murdher it was," added she.

"How was it?" inquired Oonah, drawing her seat closer to her aunt and Larry.

"'T was a schoolmaster, dear, that was found dead on the road one mornin', with his head full of fractions," said the widow.

"All in jommethry,"[3] said Larry.

[3] Anything very badly broken is said by the Irish peasantry to be in "jommethry."

"And some said he fell off the horse," said the widow.

"And more say the horse fell on him," said Larry.

"And again, there was some said the horse kicked him in the head," said the widow.

"And there was talk of shoe-aside," said Larry.

"The horse's shoe was it?" asked Oonah.

"No, alanna," said Larry; "shoe-aside is Latin for cutting your throat."

"But he didn't cut his throat," said the widow.

"But sure it's all one whether he done it wid a razhir on his throat, or a hammer on his head; it's shoe-aside all the same."

"But there was no hammer found, was there?" said the widow.

"No," said Larry, "but some people thought he might have hid the hammer afther he done it, to take off the disgrace of the shoe-aside."

"But wasn't there any life in him when he was found?"

"Not a taste. The crowner's jury sot on him, and he never said a word agin it, and if he was alive he would."

"And didn't they find anything at all?" said Oonah.

"Nothing but the vardict," said Larry.

"And was that what killed him?" said Oonah.

"No, my dear; 't was the crack in the head that killed him, however he kem by it; but the vardict o' the crowner was, that it was done, and that some one did it, and that they wor blackguards, whoever they wor, and persons onknown; and sure if they wor onknown then, they'd always stay so, for who'd know them afther doing the like?"

"Thrue for you, Larry," said the widow; "but what was that to the murdher over at the green hills beyant?"

"Oh! that was the terriblest murdher ever was in the place, or nigh it: that was the murdher in earnest!"

With that eagerness which always attends the relation of horrible stories, Larry and the old woman raked up every murder and robbery that had occurred within their recollection, while Oonah listened with mixed curiosity and fear. The boiling over of the pot at length recalled them to a sense of the business that ought to be attended to at the moment, and Larry was invited to take share of the potatoes. This he declined; declaring, as he had done some time previously, that he must "be off home," and to the door he went accordingly; but as the evening had closed into the darkness of the night, he paused on opening it with a sensation he would not have liked to own. The fact was that, after the discussion of numerous nightly murders, he would rather have had daylight on the outside of the cabin; for the horrid stories that had been revived round the blazing hearth were not the best preparation for going a lonely road on a dark night. But go he should, and go he did; and it is not improbable that the widow, from sympathy, had a notion why Larry paused upon the threshold; for the moment he had crossed it, and that they had exchanged their "Good night, and God speed you," the door was rapidly closed and bolted. The widow returned to the fireside and was silent, while Oonah looked by the light of a candle into the boiling pot, to ascertain if the potatoes were yet done, and cast a fearful glance up the wide chimney as she withdrew from the inspection.

"I wish Larry did not tell us such horrid stories," said she, as she laid the rushlight on the table; "I'll be dhramin' all night o' them."

"'Deed an' that's thrue," said the widow; "I wish he hadn't."

"Sure you was as bad yourself," said Oonah.

"Troth, an' I b'lieve I was, child, and I'm sorry for it now: but let us ate our supper, and go to bed, in God's name."

"I'm afeared o' my life to go to bed!" said Oonah. "Wisha! but I'd give the world it was mornin'."

"Ate your supper, child, ate your supper," said her aunt, giving the example, which was followed by Oonah; and after the light meal, their prayers were said, and perchance with a little extra devotion, from their peculiar state of mind; then to bed they went. The rushlight being extinguished, the only light remaining was that shed from the red embers of the decaying fire, which cast so uncertain a glimmer within the cabin, that its effect was almost worse than utter darkness to a timid person; for any object within its range assumed a form unlike its own, and presented some fantastic image to the eye; and as Oonah, contrary to her usual habit, could not fall asleep the moment she went to bed, she could not resist peering forth from under the bed-clothes through the uncertain gloom, in a painful state of watchfulness, which became gradually relaxed into an uneasy sleep.

The night was about half spent when Andy began to awake; and as he stretched his arms, and rolled his whole body round, he struck the bottom of the bed above him in the action and woke his mother. "Dear me," thought the widow, "I can't sleep at all to-night." Andy gave another turn soon after, which roused Oonah. She started, and shaking her aunt, asked her, in a low voice, if it was she who kicked her, though she scarcely hoped an answer in the affirmative, and yet dared not believe what her fears whispered.

"No, a cushla," whispered the aunt.

"Did you feel anything?" asked Oonah, trembling violently.

"What do you mane, alanna?" said the aunt.

Andy gave another roll. "There it is again!" gasped Oonah; and in a whisper, scarcely above her breath, she added, "Aunt—there's some one under the bed!"

The aunt did not answer; but the two women drew closer together and held each other in their arms, as if their proximity afforded protection. Thus they lay in breathless fear for some minutes, while Andy began to be influenced by a vision, in which the duel, and the chase, and the thrashing were all enacted over again, and soon an odd word began to escape from the dream. "Gi' me the pist'l, Dick—the pist'l!"

"There are two of them!" whispered Oonah. "God be merciful to us! Do you hear him asking for the pistol?"

"Screech!" said her aunt.

"I can't," said Oonah.

Andy was quiet for some time, while the women scarcely breathed.

"Suppose we get up, and make for the door?" said the aunt.

"I wouldn't put my foot out of the bed for the world," said Oonah. "I'm afeard one o' them will catch me by the leg."

"Howld him! howld him!" grumbled Andy.

"I'll die with the fright, aunt! I feel I'm dyin'! Let us say our prayers, aunt, for we're goin' to be murdhered!" The two women began to repeat with fervour their aves and paternosters, while at this immediate juncture, Andy's dream having borne him to the dirty ditch where Dick Dawson had pommelled him, he began to vociferate, "Murder, murder!" so fiercely, that the women screamed together in an agony of terror, and "Murder! murder!" was shouted by the whole party; for, once the widow and Oonah found their voices, they made good use of them. The noise awoke Andy, who had, be it remembered, a tolerably long sleep by this time: and he having quite forgotten where he had lain down, and finding himself confined by the bed above him, and smothering for want of air, with the fierce shouts of murder ringing in his ear, woke in as great a fright as the women in the bed, and became a party in the terror he himself had produced; every plunge he gave under the bed inflicted a poke or a kick on his mother and cousin, which was answered by the cry of "Murder!"

"Let me out—let me out, Misther Dick!" roared Andy. "Where am I at all? Let me out!"

"Help! help! murdher!" roared the women.

"I'll never shoot any one again, Misther Dick—let me up!"

Andy scrambled from under the bed, half awake, and whole frightened by the darkness and the noise, which was now increased by the barking of the cur-dog.

"Hie at him, Coaly!" roared Mrs. Rooney; "howld him! howld him!"

Now as this address was often made to the cur respecting the pig, when Mrs. Rooney sometimes wanted a quiet moment in the day, and the pig didn't like quitting the premises, the dog ran to the corner of the cabin where the pig habitually lodged, and laid hold of his ear with the strongest testimonials of affection, which polite attention the pig acknowledged by a prolonged squealing, that drowned the voices of the women and Andy together; and now the cocks and hens that were roosting on the rafters of the cabin were startled by the din, and the crowing and cackling and the flapping of the frightened fowls, as they flew about in the dark, added to the general uproar and confusion.

"A—h!" screamed Oonah, "take your hands off me!" as Andy, getting from under the bed, laid his hand upon it to assist him, and caught a grip of his cousin.

"Who are you at all?" cried Andy, making another claw, and catching hold of his mother's nose.

"Oonah, they're murdhering me!" shouted the widow.

The name of Oonah, and the voice of his mother, recalled his senses to Andy, who shouted, "Mother, mother! what's the matter?" A frightened hen flew in his face, and nearly knocked Andy down. "Bad cess to you," cried Andy, "what do you hit me for?"

"Who are you at all?" cried the widow.

"Don't you know me?" said Andy.

"No, I don't know you; by the vartue o' my oath, I don't; and I'll never swear again you, jintlemen, if you lave the place and spare our lives!"

Here the hens flew against the dresser, and smash went the plates and dishes.

"Oh, jintlemen dear, don't rack and ruin me that way: don't destroy a lone woman."

"Mother, mother, what's this at all? Don't you know your own Andy?"

"Is it you that's there?" cried the widow, catching hold of him.

"To be sure it's me," said Andy.

"You won't let us be murdhered, will you?"

"Who'd murdher you?"

"Them people that's with you." Smash went another plate. "Do you hear that?—they're rackin' my place, the villains!"

"Divil a one's wid me at all!" said Andy.

"I'll take my oath there was three or four under the bed," said Oonah.

"Not one but myself," said Andy.

"Are you sure?" said his mother.

"Cock sure!" said Andy, and a loud crowing gave evidence in favour of his assertion.

"The fowls is going mad," said the widow.

"And the pig's distracted," said Oonah.

"No wonder! the dog's murdherin' him," said Andy.

"Get up, and light the rushlight, Oonah," said the widow: "you'll get a spark out o' the turf cendhers."

"Some o' them will catch me, maybe," said Oonah.

"Get up, I tell you!" said the widow.

Oonah now arose, and groped her way to the fireplace, where, by dint of blowing upon the embers and poking the rushlight among the turf ashes, a light was at length obtained. She then returned to the bed, and threw her petticoat over her shoulders.

"What's this at all?" said the widow, rising, and wrapping a blanket round her.

"Bad cess to the know I know!" said Andy.

"Look under the bed, Oonah," said the aunt.

Oonah obeyed, and screamed, and ran behind Andy. "There's another here yet!" said she.

Andy seized the poker, and, standing on the defensive, desired the villain to come out: the demand was not complied with.

"There's nobody there," said Andy.

"I'll take my oath there is," said Oonah; "a dirty blackguard, without any clothes on him."

"Come out, you robber!" said Andy, making a lunge under the truckle.

A grunt ensued, and out rushed the pig, who had escaped from the dog—the dog having discovered a greater attraction in some fat that was knocked from the dresser, which the widow intended for the dipping of rushes in; but the dog being enlightened to his own interest without rushlights, and preferring mutton fat to pig's ear, had suffered the grunter to go at large, while he was captivated by the fat. The clink of a three-legged stool the widow seized to the rescue was a stronger argument against the dog than he was prepared to answer, and a remnant of fat was preserved from the rapacious Coaly.

"Where's the rest o' the robbers?" said Oonah; "there's three o' them, I know."

"You're dhramin'," said Andy. "Divil a robber is here but myself."

"And what brought you here?" said his mother.



"I was afeard they'd murdher me!" said Andy.

"Murdher!" exclaimed the widow and Oonah together, still startled by the very sound of the word. "Who do you mane?"

"Misther Dick," said Andy.

"Aunt, I tell you," said Oonah, "this is some more of Andy's blundhers. Sure Misther Dawson wouldn't be goin' to murdher any one; let us look round the cabin, and find out who's in it, for I won't be aisy ontil I look into every corner, to see there's no robbers in the place: for I tell you again, there was three o' them undher the bed."

The search was made, and the widow and Oonah at length satisfied that there were no midnight assassins there with long knives to cut their throats; and then they began to thank God that their lives were safe.

"But, oh! look at my chaynee!" said the widow, clasping her hands, and casting a look of despair at the shattered delf that lay around her; "look at my chaynee!"

"And what was it brought you here?" said Oonah, facing round on Andy, with a dangerous look, rather, in her bright eye. "Will you tell us that—what was it?"

"I came to save my life, I tell you," said Andy.

"To put us in dhread of ours, you mane," said Oonah. "Just look at the omadhaun there," said she to her aunt, "standin' with his mouth open, just as if nothin' happened, and he after frightening the lives out of us."

"Thrue for you, alanna," said her aunt.

"And would no place sarve you, indeed, but undher our bed, you vagabone?" said his mother, roused to a sense of his delinquency; "to come in like a merodin' villain as you are, and hide under the bed, and frighten the lives out of us, and rack and ruin my place!"

"'T was Misther Dick, I tell you," said Andy.

"Bad scran to you, you unlucky hangin' bone thief!" cried the widow, seizing him by the hair, and giving him a hearty cuff on the ear, which would have knocked him down, only that Oonah kept him up by an equally well-applied box on the other.

"Would you murdher me?" shouted Andy, as he saw his mother lay hold of the broom.

"Aren't you afther frightenin' the lives out of us, you dirty, good-for-nothing, mischief-making——"

On poured the torrent of abuse, rendered more impressive by a whack at every word. Andy roared, and the more he roared, the more did Oonah and his mother thrash him.



CHAPTER VII

"Love rules the camp, the court, the grove, And men below and saints above: For Love is Heaven, and Heaven is Love—"

So sang Scott. Quite agreeing with the antithesis of the last line, perhaps in the second, where he talks of men and saints, another view of the subject, or turn of the phrase, might have introduced sinners quite as successfully. This is said without the smallest intention of using the word sinners in a questionable manner. Love, in its purest shape, may lead to sinning on the part of persons least interested in the question; for is it not a sin when the folly, or caprice, or selfishness of a third party or fourth makes a trio or quartette of that which nature undoubtedly intended for a duet, and so spoils it?

Fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts—ay, and even cousins—sometimes put in their oar to disturb that stream which is troubled enough without their interference, and, as the Bard of Avon says,

"Never did run smooth."

And so it was in the case of Fanny Dawson and Edward O'Connor. A piece of innocent fun on the part of her brother, and blind pertinacity—indeed, downright absurdity—on her father's side, interrupted the intercourse of affection, which had subsisted silently for many a long day between the lovers, but was acknowledged, at last, with delight to the two whom it most concerned, and satisfaction to all who knew or held them dear. Yet the harmony of this sweet concordance of spirits was marred by youthful frolic and doting absurdity. This welding together of hearts in the purest fire of nature's own contriving was broken at a blow by a weak old man. Is it too much to call this a sin? Less mischievous things are branded with the name in the common-place parlance of the world. The cold and phlegmatic may not understand this; but they who can love know how bitterly every after-hour of life may be poisoned with the taint which hapless love has infused into the current of future years, and can believe how many a heart equal to the highest enterprise has been palsied by the touch of despair. Sweet and holy is the duty of child to parent; but sacred also is the obligation of those who govern in so hallowed a position. Their rule should be guided by justice; they should pray for judgment in their mastery.

Fanny Dawson's father was an odd sort of person. His ancestors were settlers in Ireland of the time of William the Third, and having won their lands by the sword, it is quite natural the love of arms should have been hereditary in the family. Mr. Dawson, therefore, had served many years as a soldier, and was a bit of a martinet, not only in military but all other affairs. His mind was of so tenacious a character, that an impression once received there became indelible; and if the Major once made up his mind, or indulged the belief, that such and such things were so and so, the waters of truth could never wash out the mistake—stubbornness had written them there with her own indelible marking-ink.

Now, one of the old gentleman's weak points was a museum of the most heterogeneous nature, consisting of odds and ends from all parts of the world, and appertaining to all subjects. Nothing was too high or too low: a bronze helmet from the plains of Marathon, which, to the classic eye of an artist, conveyed the idea of a Minerva's head beneath it, would not have been more prized by the Major than a cavalry cap with some bullet-mark of which he could tell an anecdote. A certain skin of a tiger he prized much, because the animal had dined on his dearest friend in one of the jungles of Bengal; also a pistol which he vouched for as being the one with which Hatfield fired at George the Third; the hammer with which Crawley (of Hessian-boot memory) murdered his landlady; the string which was on Viotti's violin when he played before Queen Charlotte; the horn which was supposed to be in the lantern of Guy Fawkes; a small piece of the coat worn by the Prince of Orange on his landing in England; and other such relics. But far above these, the Major prized the skeleton of a horse's head, which occupied the principal place in his museum. This he declared to be part of the identical horse which bore Duke Schomberg when he crossed the Boyne, in the celebrated battle so called; and with whimsical ingenuity, he had contrived to string some wires upon the bony fabric, which yielded a sort of hurdy-gurdy vibration to the strings when touched: and the Major's most favourite feat was to play the tune of the Boyne Water on the head of Duke Schomberg's horse. In short, his collection was composed of trifles from north, south, east, and west: some leaf from the prodigal verdure of India, or gorgeous shell from the Pacific, or paw of bear, or tooth of walrus; but beyond all teeth, one pre-eminently was valued—it was one of his own, which he had lost the use of by a wound in the jaw, received in action; and no one ever entered his house and escaped without hearing all about it, from the first shot fired in the affair by the skirmishers, to the last charge of the victorious cavalry. The tooth was always produced along with the story, together with the declaration, that every dentist who ever saw it protested it was the largest human tooth ever seen. Now some little sparring was not unfrequent between old Mr. Dawson and Edward, on the subject of their respective museums: the old gentleman "pooh-poohing" Edward's "rotten rusty rubbish," as he called it, and Edward defending, as gently as he could, his patriotic partiality for natural antiquities. This little war never led to any evil results; for Edward not only loved Fanny too well, but respected age too much to lean hard on the old gentleman's weakness, or seek to reduce his fancied superiority as a collector; but the tooth, the ill-omened tooth, at last gnawed asunder the bond of friendship and affection which had subsisted between the two families for so many years.

The Major had paraded his tooth so often, that Dick Dawson began to tire of it, and for the purpose of making it a source of amusement to himself, he stole his father's keys, one day, and opening the cabinet in which his tooth was enshrined, he abstracted the grinder which nature had bestowed on the Major, and substituted in its stead a horse's tooth of no contemptible dimensions. A party some days after dined with the old gentleman, and after dinner the story of the skirmish turned up, as a matter of course, and the enormous size of the tooth wound up the tedious tale.

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