« PreviousContinue »
dinner, such appetites and such expedition. As for Jones, he might eat his way up to the civic chair, with any man in the city who has not yet arrived at that honor: for a young liveryman, his performance was wonderful, and his promise more. In ten minutes the eatables were hors du combat; and one bottle of porter, and three of sherry, were all that was left of the drinkables. Filling a bumper of sherry, I then gqvc from the chair (the stump of a tree)—' The ladies, our fair compagnons dc voyage !'—(Drank with three times three, and one cheer more—a missfire of Wilson's.)—Jones was then called upon for a song: he complied, and struck up-i—
'Oh, nothing in life can sadden us,
V(hilst we have wine and good-humor in store—'
'Holloa, there,-you sirs! who gave you leave to land here, I should very much like to know 1' roared out a fellow six feet high, and brawny as Hercules, as he jumped over the hedge, and alighted with one foot in the pie-dish, and the other in Jones' new white beaver. 'Nobody,' said Jones, hurt at having his hat injured. 'Well, then, I warn you off these grounds,' continued the out-of-town barbarian, and laid hold of Jones by the collar. 'Stop, stop, my good friend,' said 1,' no violence,
if you please: wo are gentlemen, and if ''I don't care whether
you're gentle or simple—you've none of you no business here—so bundle, bag and baggage.' Atthiswewere all indignant; and as for Jones, I never saw him so up-ish: he was for throwing the ruffian igto the creek on the other side the hedge. 'Do, Jones—it will serve him right, if he'll let you,' said Smith, laughing contemptuously at his presumption. Jones, for a slight person of five feet, is a very wellmeaning young man; but this fellow, as it happened, would be a little too much for two Joneses. In man>respects Mr. Jones is very conceited of his powers; but, on the other hand, his attentions to his grandmother, who will leave him all when she dies, is excellent and exemplary. I pacified the blue-aproned Cerberus, by handing him a bumper of sherry, with half a sovereign at the bottom: he swallowed the one, caught the other between his teeth, and immediately became as gentle as ' Una's milk-white lamb.' 'Well, gentlemen, all I meant to say was this here—don't pick the flowers, nor damage the shrubs, and you may stay as long as you please, because master is out; and so, good morning.' This he said very civilly, and touched his hat as he turned off.
No sooner was he gone, than Jones began to vapor about, and upbraid me, because I had made peace :—' He would have taught the cabbage-cutting rascal what it was to insult gentlemen and young liverymen ;—we should have seen what he would have done to him, &.C. &c.' 'Yes,' said Smith, sarcastically,' with the aid of a good microscope.' Jones looked unutterable things, but said not a word. To divert attention from these unpleasantnesses, I proposed a ramble round the grounds: agreed to nem. con.; and off we set. Jones soon recovered his temper; and, to exhihit his prowess to the ladies, wagered Smith a bottle that he would hang by his heels from the lower limb of a tree for five minutes. The bet was takeu—up jumped Jones at the branch, caught it, threw up his heels, locked his feet across, let go his hands, and there he dangled, head downwards, as pretty a calf as you'd see in Leadenhall on a market-day, as Smith sarcastically said. One, two, three, four, five minutes elapsed, and he was declared winner. 'Help me down,' cried Jones. Nobody stirred, but all laughed. 'Now, do help me down!' he beseeched rather pathetically.' Not a foot moved. He then tried to help himself, but could not recover the branch with his hands. Then he began to swear, and the ladies very properly ran away. We enjoyed his quandary amazingly; but no one felt inclined to end it yet. At last, seeing him turn black in the face, with rage and his inverted position, I and Smith took pity on him, and placed him right end upwards, when he turned so giddy, that down he dropped. I thought Smith would have died with laughing; but Jones triumphed still, for he had won. It was ridiculous to see his exultation, and hear his crowing.
A rookery was overhead. Jones, bent on mischief, must now have a fling at its black tenantry. Up went stone the first—down it came with a rebound over a low wall, and a crash followed, as if a hundred bot-house panes were shivered: at the same moment a head and red night-cap popped up from the other side, surveyed us in silence, and disappeared. 'Now, for heaven's sake,' said I ' don't destroy people's property in mere wantonness !'—' Pooh !' said Jones ' I shan't hit 'em again if I try!' and up went stone the second, and fell as before, with the same awful clatter and crash. 'That makes five shillings!' said the head and night-cap, popping up again. 'Nonsense,' said Jones, 'it was an accident!'—' Well, gentlemen said the head and night-cap, 'you sha'n't go till you do pay, for I've grabbed your oars. 'Oh, pay the man,'we all advised. '' Here, then you night-capped numskull,' said Jones flinging a sovereign up the wall with a munificent air, 'give me my change ?'—' Break four more and that's a pound's-worth;' —and down went the head and night-cap. How that Smith did chuckle !' Well, then, I'll have some fun for my money,' said Jones: 'here goes;' and up flew stone after stone, but not one of them told, for the wary gardner, we supposed, had covered over the remainder of his glass with matting. And now we had the laugh fairly against Jones—he was matched. He pretended, however, to admire the fellow's cunning, and tried to laugh too, but 'twas 'with a difference.' 'I never saw you look so foolish, Jones,' said Smith. This was quite enough; Jones turned quite pale with rage, and instantly walked down to the boat, Miss Simpson following him. Then up spoke
Tomlins; 'Let him go, and be '—' Wiser,' I interposed,
'when his pride is subdued to reason by reflection.'
This incident cast a damp on the delights of the day; and the ladies looked, and were very uncomfortable; but we gallantly redoubled our attentions, and smoothed the raven down of their displeasure till they smiled, as some one, I think, has somewhere said. To show our philosophy, we sat down again to the sherry; and Smith, perfectly to restore harmony, gave us a song which he assured us was written by the footman of a person of quality, and addressed to a hard-hearted housekeeper who had jilted him. Smith introduced it as a genuine specimen of the cupboard-love school of poetry.
When first my Sally Jones I knew,
I thought her face was pretty.
Her locks so raven jetty.
Her nose that did not look awry,—
But 1 adored her cookery;—
And laid my person at her feet—
(She'd put to bed the children);
Oh, love! t'was quite bewildering !—
I thought so naturally;
(The Colonel was at Calais):—
I did:—it was my favorite dish,
And drest in great perfection;
And told her my dejection :—.
I left her at 11;
Pall-Mali the path to heaven!
"Mark the passionate change in the measure,' said Smith, 'so descriptive of the tumult of his feelings :—'
But, ah! one Corporal O'Hara,
Of 1 know not what dragoons,
Who sent me back my spoons!—
And in the trap art taken,
Calves' liver fried with bacon!
This unexpected climax took us all by surprise, and even the most sentimental of our party laughed, as may well be supposed. I suspect that the song is Smith's, and no footman's—it is beyond the powers of the plush-breeches gentry.
'But what in the name of wonder, has become of Jones and Miss Simpson all this while?' exclaimed Wilson, with an expression of anxiety which I shall never forget, it was so amiable:—Wilson is, indeed, a very amiable man in many respects. We had forgotten them—there is no use in mincing the matter; but as we were not quite indifferent to their welfare, we walked leisurely down the lawn to the boat, where we expected to find them. What was our surprise!—they were not on board, nor could we perceive them anywhere around. Our anxiety now grew serious. 'He has not jumped into the river in his tantarums,' said Tomlins—' Trowsers,' said Smith, interrupting him.—' And Miss Simpson plunged in after him?' continued Tomlins. 'Cork cannot sink,' said Smith, sarcastically.— 1 never knew him so severe. I put an end to this unseasonable levity by remarking, that it was our duty to discover what had become of them. 'That is no hard task,' said Smith, laughing, ' for there they go in a wherry to Richmond !'—We looked, and there they were, sure enough. Jones had hailed a waterman sculling by, and had deserted us in high dudgeon.
'Man the boat, and give chase!' I commanded. The ladies were put on board—the rudder shipped—I grasped an oar, and we were once more on the bosom of the deep; but what with Wilson's wilfulness and Tomlins' awkwardness, we made little or no way for some time; and the wherry distanced us so rapidly, that we at last lost sight of it altogether. At length we got into better working trim, and pushing along, came, after an hour's hard chase, in sight of Richmond bridge. As we neared that beautiful structure, the Diana steamer pushed off from the shore, and almost ran us under water. What was our astonishment, at that trying moment, lo! behold Jones standing coolly on the paddle-box, with his hands in his pockets, laughing at us in the most insulting manner. 'This is too bad!' I exclaimed, with all that energy of which I am master. 'It is—it is!' cried one and all. 'Well, what will you do to mark your sense of Mr. Jones's unhandsome behavior?' 'I know,' said Smith—'Diana, a-hoy!' he bawled; the steamer stopped her paddle-wheels. 'You have room for eight?' inquired he of the captain. 'For eighty,' replied the fresh-water wag. 'Well, then, ladies, get on board;'—they did;— 'jump on board, gentlemen;'—we did ;,—Smith, then, in a most masterly manner made fast a tow-rope to the Diana's stern-rails—and then jumped on board, over the cahin-windows, with the gallantry of a Nelson. Scowls of defiance were, as I expected, exchanged between Jones and him, they even went so far as to exchange cards, which I thought very unnecessary, as they live next door to one another. I took care to prevent any further collision, by tearing Smith away from him. After we had taken tea, that mild beverage, sacred to friendship and the social feelings—the smiles of the fair—the dulcet strains of the harp and violin, and the dance on deck, softened down the asperities of the belligerents, and before we had arrived at Westminster, wn were all as good friends as when we started. And so ended our firm trip to Richmond by water.
Dowgate. ■ T. T.
A BARRISTER BESIEGED.
'Curran and Barrington were on a visit to a clergyman near Carlow, who had invited a party of jovial spirits to meet them. Dinner was appointed for five precisely, as Cuiran always stipulated for punctuality. The clock struck—the guests were assembled—everything bespoke a joyous banquet—but the Counsellor was not to be found—six, (even came—day departed, and twilight approached, people were sent in every direction, but no tidings of him could bo heard, except that he had been seen in the garden at four o'clock.
'Yet every now and then a messenger came in to announce, that ' an old man had seen a counsellor, as he verily believed, walking very quick on the road to Carlow.' Another reported that 'a woman was driving home her cow met one of the counsellors going leisurely toward Athy, and that he seemed very melancholy; that she had seen him at the 'sizes that blessed morning, and the people towld her it was the great low preacher that was in it.' Another woman who was bringing home some turf from the bog, declared before the Virgin and all the Saints that she saw 'a little man in black with a stick in his hand going towards the Barrow ;' and a collough, sitting at her own cahin door feeding the ckilder, positively saw a ' black gentleman going down to the river, and soon afterward beard a great splash of water at the said river; whereupon, she went hot-foot to her son, Ned Coyle, to send him thither to sec if the gentleman was in the water; but that Ned said sure enutf nothing natural would be after going at that time of the deep dust to the place where poor Armstrong's corpse lay the night he was murthered; and he'd see all the gentlemen in the county to the devil (God bless them !) before he'd go to the said place till morning early.'
'The matter became too serious to admit of any doubt as to poor Curran having met his catastrophe. I was greatly shocked; our only conjectures now being, not whether, but how, he had lost his life. As Curran was known every day to strip naked and wash himself all over with a sponge and cold water, I conjectured, as most rational, that he had, in lieu of his usual ablution, gone to the Barrow to bathe before dinner, and thus unfortunately perished. All agreed in my hypothesis, and hooks and a draw-net were sent for immediately to Carlow, to scour the river for his body. * » »
'It was at length suggested by our reverend host that his great Newfoundland dog, who was equally sagacious, if not more so, with many of the parishioners, and rivalled, in canine proportion, the magnitude of his master, was not unlikely, by diving in the Barrow, to discover where the body lay deposited—and thus direct the efforts of the nets and hookers from Carlow. This idea met with universal approbation ; and every body took up his hat, to go down to the river. Mary, a young damsel, the only domestic who remained in the house, was ordered to call Diver, the dog;—but Diver was absent, and did not obey the summons. Every where resounded, 'Diver ! Diver! but in vain. * *
'Mary, the maid, was now desired to search all the rooms and offices for Diver, while we sat pensive and starving in the parlor. We were speedily alarmed by a loud shriek, immediately after which Mary rushed tottering into the room, just able to articulate :—
'" O, holy Virgin! holy Virgin! yes, gentlemen! the counsellor is dead, sure enough. And I'll die too, gentlemen! IM1 never recover it!" and she crossed herself twenty times over in the way the priest had taught her.
'We all now flocked round, and asked her simultaneously how she knew the counsellor was dead?
'Crossing herself again, " I saw his ghost, please your reverence!"
'" Where ? where ?" cried everybody, as if with one breath.
'" In the double-bedded room next your reverence's," stammered the terrified girl.
'We waited for no more to satisfy us either that she was mad, or that robbers were in the house: each person seized something by way of a weapon: one took a poker, another a candlestick, a third a knife or fire-shovel, and up stairs we rushed. Unly one could go in, conveniently abreast; and 1 was among the first who entered. The candles had been forgotten; but the moon was rising, and we certainly saw what, in the opinion of some present, corroborated the statement of Mary. Two or three instantly drew back in horror, and attempted to retreat, but others pressed behind; and lights being at length produced, an exhihition far more ludicrous than terrific presented itself. In a far corner of the room stood, erect and formal, and stark naked (as a ghost should be,) John Fhilpot Curran, one