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Title: An Irish Crazy-Quilt: Smiles and tears, woven into song and story
Author: Forrester, Arthur M.
Language: English
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                         AN IRISH CRAZY-QUILT.

                     SMILES AND TEARS, WOVEN INTO
                            SONG AND STORY.

                                  BY
                         ARTHUR M. FORRESTER.

                                BOSTON:
           ALFRED MUDGE & SON PRINTERS, 24 FRANKLIN STREET.
                                 1891.


                              COPYRIGHT,
                                 1890,
                        BY ARTHUR M. FORRESTER.


                                TO THE

                         “FELONS” OF IRELAND,

                      THE BRAVE AND FAITHFUL FEW,

            WHO HAVE BEEN EXILED OR IMPRISONED OR EXECUTED

            BECAUSE THEY LOVED THEIR NATIVE LAND MORE THAN
                       HOME OR LIBERTY OR LIFE,

                              This Volume

                      IS DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR.



CONTENTS.


SONGS AND BALLADS.

                                                                    PAGE.

The Church of Ballymore                                                7

The Old Boreen                                                         9

The Irish Schoolhouse                                                 11

Pat Murphy’s Cows                                                     13

Father Tom Malone                                                     16

You Can Guess                                                         18

Only!                                                                 19

Songs of Innisfail                                                    20

The Lord of Kenmare                                                   32

An Old Irish Tune                                                     39

Harvey Duff                                                           45

Ivan Petrokoffsky                                                     52

The Emperor’s Ring                                                    54

Black Loris                                                           56

The Red Heart Daisy                                                   67

The Tide is Turning                                                   68

Our Own Again                                                         70

The Tale of a Tail                                                    71

The Seasick Sub-Commissioners                                         75

Clare Constabulary Caione                                             77

Clause Twenty-six                                                     78

Jenkins, M. P.                                                        80

Thady Malone                                                          81

Rory’s Reverie                                                        83

Our Land Shall be Free                                               102

The Felons of Our Land                                               111

An Official Valuation                                                112

A Bewildered Boycotter                                               113

A Complaint of Coercion                                              115

O’Neil’s Address (Benburb)                                           118

The Fenian’s Dream                                                   119

The Speaker’s Complaint                                              126

Erin Machree                                                         128

Balfour’s Wish                                                       135

Our Cause                                                            136

Served Him Right                                                     138

Rapparee Song                                                        140

To the Landlords of Ireland                                          141

Balfour Rejoices                                                     142

The Irish Brigade                                                    149

Faithful to the Last                                                 156

Fenian Battle Song                                                   158

The Grave of the Martyrs                                             159

Death’s Victory                                                      160

The Green Flag at Fredericksburg                                     161

The Flag of Our Land                                                 162

Hurrah for Liberty                                                   163

The Messenger                                                        165

John Bull’s Appeal                                                   175

The Story of a Bomb                                                  177

Avenging, Though Dim                                                 180

Christmas Dirge of London
Police                                                               180

Ireland’s Prayer                                                     182

John Bull’s New Year                                                 183

Ready and Steady                                                     185

The Charge of the Guards                                             193

An Address to Slaves                                                 195

The Lion’s Lamentation                                               200

Memorial Ode to Irish Dead                                           202

Song of King Alcohol                                                 209

Contrary Cognomens                                                   210

An Æsthetic Wooing                                                   211

The Drunkard’s Dream                                                 212

Constable X                                                          222

Lucifer’s Laboratory                                                 223

The Monopolist’s Moan                                                224

With the Grand Army Veterans                                         225

The Irish Soldier at Grant’s
Grave                                                                228

Maine and Mayo                                                       229

The Priest with the Brogue                                           238

Arab War Song                                                        240

The Linguist of the Liffey                                           247

Peggy O’Shea                                                         250

The Boston Carrier’s Plaint                                          253

New England’s Marksmen                                               260

Calcraft and Price                                                   270

Entitled to a Raise                                                  272

The Postman’s Wooing                                                 273

Sonnets to a Shoemaker                                               275

At the College Sports                                                278

Mulrooney: A Trooper’s Tale                                          286


STORIES AND SKETCHES.

Taming a Tiger                                                        22

Ryan’s Revenge                                                        34

Harvey Duff                                                           40

A Seditious Slide                                                     47

Who Shot Phlynn’s Hat?                                                58

A Double Surprise                                                     86

Philipson’s Party                                                    103

That Traitor Timmins                                                 129

A Picturesque Penny-a-Liner                                          144

Snooks                                                               151

Caledonian Candlesticks                                              152

A Typical Trial                                                      168

Why Smithers Resigned                                                186

Exploits of an Irish Reporter                                        197

A Political Lesson Spoiled                                           199

An Orange Oration                                                    205

Frederick’s Folly                                                    215

A Sandy Row Skirmish                                                 232

Hobbies in Our Block                                                 241

Not a John L. Sullivan                                               244

A Windy Day at Cabra                                                 248

Apropos of the Census                                                256

A Mixed Antiquarian                                                  261

Jones’s Umbrella                                                     263

Lessons in the French Drama                                          265

A Commercial Crisis                                                  276

A Musical Revenge                                                    280

A Liar Laid Out                                                      282



AN IRISH CRAZY-QUILT.



THE CHURCH OF BALLYMORE.


    I have knelt in great cathedrals with their wondrous naves and aisles,
      Whose fairy arches blend and interlace,
    Where the sunlight on the paintings like a ray of glory smiles,
      And the shadows seem to sanctify the place;
    Where the organ’s tones, like echoes of an angel’s trumpet roll,
      Wafted down by seraph wings from heaven’s shore--
    They are mighty and majestic, but they cannot touch my soul
      Like the little whitewashed church of Ballymore.

    Ah! modest little chapel, half-embowered in the trees,
      Though the roof above its worshippers was low,
    And the earth bore traces sometimes of the congregation’s knees,
      While they themselves were bent with toil and woe!
    Milan, Cologne, St. Peter’s--by the feet of monarchs trod--
      With their monumental genius and their lore,
    Never knew in their magnificence more trustful prayers to God
      Than ascended to His throne from Ballymore!

    Its priest was plain and simple, and he scorned to hide his brogue
      In accents that we might not understand,
    But there was not in the parish such a renegade or rogue
      As to think his words not heaven’s own command!
    He seemed our cares and troubles and our sorrows to divide,
      And he never passed the poorest peasant’s door--
    In sickness he was with us, and in death still by our side--
      God be with you, Father Tom, of Ballymore.

    There’s a green graveyard behind it, and in dreams at night I see
      Each little modest slab and grassy mound;
    For my gentle mother’s sleeping ’neath the withered rowan tree,
      And a host of kindly neighbors lie around!
    The famine and the fever through our stricken country spread,
      Desolation was about me, sad and sore,
    So I had to cross the waters, in strange lands to seek my bread,
      But I left my heart behind in Ballymore!

    I am proud of our cathedrals--they are emblems of our love
      To an ever-mighty Benefactor shown;
    And when wealth and art and beauty have been given from above,
      The devil should not have them as his own!
    Their splendor has inspired me--but amidst it all I prayed
      God to grant me, when life’s weary work is o’er,
    Sweet rest beside my mother in the dear embracing shade
      Of the little whitewashed church of Ballymore!



THE OLD BOREEN.


    Embroidered with shamrocks and spangled with daisies,
      Tall foxgloves like sentinels guarding the way,
    The squirrel and hare played bo-peep in its mazes,
      The green hedgerows wooed it with odorous spray;
    The thrush and the linnet piped overtures in it,
      The sun’s golden rays bathed its bosom of green.
    Bright scenes, fairest skies, pall to-day on my eyes,
      For I opened them first on an Irish boreen!

    It flung o’er my boyhood its beauty and gladness,
      Rich homage of perfume and color it paid;
    It laughed with my joy--in my moments of sadness
      What solace I found in its pitying shade.
    When Love, to my rapture, rejoiced in my capture,
      My fetters the curls of a brown-haired colleen,
    What draught from his chalice, in mansion or palace,
      So sweet as I quaffed in the dear old boreen?

    But green fields were blighted and fair skies beclouded,
      Stern frost and harsh rain mocked the poor peasant’s toil,
    Ere they burst into blossom the buds were enshrouded,
      The seed ere its birth crushed in merciless soil;
    Wild tempests struck blindly, the landlord, less kindly,
      Aimed straight at our hearts with a “death sentence” keen;
    The blast spared our sheeling, which he, more unfeeling,
      Left roofless and bare to affright the boreen.

    A dirge of farewell through the hawthorn was pealing,
      The wind seemed to stir branch and leaf with a sigh,
    As, down on a tear-bedewed shamrock sod kneeling,
      I kissed the old boreen a weeping good-by;
    And vowed that should ever my patient endeavor
      The grains of success from life’s harvest-field glean,
    Where’er fortune found me, whatever ties bound me,
      My eyes should be closed in the dear old boreen.

    Ah! Fate has been cruel, in toil’s endless duel
      With sickness and want I have earned only scars;
    Life’s twilight is nearing--its day disappearing--
      My weary soul sighs to escape through its bars;
    But ere fields elysian shall dazzle its vision,
      Grant, Heaven, that its flight may be winged through the scene
    Of streamlet and wild-wood, the home of my childhood,
      The grave of my kin, and the dear old boreen!



AN IRISH SCHOOLHOUSE.


    Upon the rugged ladder rungs--whose pinnacle is Fame--
    How often have ambitious pens deep graven Harvard’s name;
    The gates of glory Cambridge men o’er all the world assail,
    And rulers in the realm of thought look back with pride to Yale.
    To no such Alma Mater can my Muse in triumph raise
    Its Irish voice in canticles of gratitude and praise;
    Yet still I hold in shrine of gold, and until death I will,
    The little schoolhouse, thatched with straw, that lay behind the hill.

    When in the balmy morning, racing down the green boreen
    Toward its portal, ivy-framed, our curly heads were seen,
    We felt no shame for ragged coats, nor blushed for shoeless feet,
    But bubbled o’er with laughter dear old master’s smile to meet;
    Yet saw beneath his homespun garb an awe-inspiring store
    Of learning’s fearful mysteries and academic lore.
    No monarch wielded sceptre half so potent as his quill
    In that old schoolhouse, thatched with straw, that lay behind the hill.

    Perhaps--and yet ’tis hard to think--our boastful modern school
    Might feel contempt for master, for his methods and his rule;
    Would scorn his simple ways--and in the rapid march of mind
    His patient face and thin gray locks would lag far, far behind.
    No matter; he was all to us, our guide and mentor then;
    He taught us how to face life’s fight with all the grit of men;
    To honor truth, and love the right, and in the future fill
    Our places in the world as he had done behind the hill.

    He taught us, too, of Ireland’s past; her glories and her wrongs--
    Our lessons being varied with the most seditious songs:
    We were quite a nest of rebels, and with boyish fervor flung
    Our hearts into the chorus of rebellion when we sung.
    In truth, this was the lesson, above all, we conned so well
    That some pursued the study in the English prison cell,
    And others had to cross the seas in curious haste, but still
    All living love to-day, as then, the school behind the hill.

    The wind blows through the thatchless roof in stormy gusts to-day;
    Around its walls young foxes now, in place of children, play;
    The hush of desolation broods o’er all the country-side;
    The pupils and their kith and kin are scattered far and wide.
    But wheresoe’er one scholar on the face of earth may roam,
    When in a gush of tears comes back the memory of home,
    He finds the brightest picture limned by Fancy’s magic skill,
    The little schoolhouse, thatched with straw, that lay behind the hill.



PAT MURPHY’S COWS.

     [In one of the debates on the Irish land question, Chief Secretary
     Forster endeavored to attribute much of the poverty in Ireland to
     the early and imprudent marriages of the peasantry, and elicited
     roars of laughter by a comic but cruel description of one Pat
     Murphy, who had only two cows, but was the happy father of no less
     than eleven children.]


    In a vale in Tipperary, where the silvery Anner flows,
    There’s a farm of but two acres where Pat Murphy ploughs and sows;
    From rosy morn till ruddy eve he toils with sinews strong,
    With hope alone for dinner, and for lunch an Irish song.
    He’s a rood laid out for cabbage, and another rood for corn,
    And another sweet half-acre pratie blossoms will adorn;
    While down there in the meadow, fat and sleek and healthy, browse
    Pat’s mine of wealth, his fortune sole--a pair of Kerry cows.

    Ah, black were the disaster if poor Pat should ever lose
    The cows whose milk and butter buy eleven young Murphys shoes,
    Which keep their shirts upon their backs, the quilt upon the bed,
    And help to thatch the dear old roof that shelters overhead.
    And even then the blessings that they bring are scarcely spent,
    For they help brave Murphy often in his troubles with the rent;
    In bitterest hours their friendly low his spirits can arouse;
    He don’t mind eleven young Murphys while he’s got that pair of cows.

    And when the day is over, and the cows are in the byre,
    Pat Murphy sits contented with his dhudeen by the fire;
    His children swarm around him, and they hang about his chair--
    The twins perched on his shoulders with their fingers in his hair,
    Till Bridget, cosey woman, takes the youngest one to rest,
    Lays four to sleep beneath the stairs, a couple in the chest;
    And happy Phaudrig Murphy in his big heart utters vows
    Ere that eleven should be ten he’d sell the pair of cows.

    Then in the morning early, ere Pat, whistling, ventures out,
    How they cluster all around him there with joyous laugh and shout!
    A kiss for one, a kiss for all, ’tis quite a morning’s task,
    And the twins demand an extra share, and must have what they ask.
    What if a gloomy thought his spirit’s brightness should obscure,
    As he feels age creeping on him with soft footsteps, slow but sure,
    He’s hardly o’er the threshold when the shadow leaves his brow,
    For his eldest girl and Bridget each is milking a fine cow.

    Let us greet the name of cruel Buckshot Forster with a groan--
    He hadn’t got the decency to leave those cows alone;
    He thought maternal virtue only fitting for a sneer,
    And made Pat Murphy’s little ones the subject of a jeer.
    Well, the people have more feeling than the knaves who make their laws,
    And when the people laugh ’tis for a somewhat better cause:
    They hate the whining coward who beneath life’s burden bows,
    But they honor men like Murphy, with his pair of Kerry cows.



FATHER TOM MALONE.

A LAND LEAGUE REMINISCENCE.


    Hair white as innocence, that crowned
    A gentle face which never frowned;
    Brow smooth, spite years of care and stress;
    Lips framed to counsel and to bless;
    Deep, thoughtful, tender, pitying eyes,
    A reflex of our native skies,
    Through which now tears, now sunshine shone--
    There you have Father Tom Malone.

    He bade the infant at its birth
    _Cead mille failthe_ to the earth;
    With friendly hand he guided youth
    Along the thorny track of truth;
    The dying felt, yet knew not why,
    Nearer to Heaven when he was by--
    For, sure, the angels at God’s throne
    Were friends of Father Tom Malone.

    For us, poor simple sons of toil
    Who wrestled with a stubborn soil,
    Our one ambition, sole content,
    Not to be backward with the rent;
    Our one absorbing, constant fear,
    The agent’s visits twice a year;
    We had, our hardships to atone,
    The love of Father Tom Malone.

    One season failed. The dull earth slept.
    Despite of ceaseless vigil kept
    For sign of crop, day after day,
    To coax it from the sullen clay,
    Nor oats, nor rye, nor barley came;
    The tubers rotted--then, oh, shame!
    We--’twas the last time ever known--
    Lost faith in Father Tom Malone.

    We had, from fruitful years before,
    Garnered with care a frugal store;
    ’Twould pay one gale, but when ’twas gone
    What were our babes to live upon?
    We had no seed for coming spring,
    Nor faintest hope to which to cling;
    We would have starved without a moan,
    When out spoke Father Tom Malone.

    His voice, so flute-like in the past,
    Now thrilled us like a bugle blast,
    His eyes, so dove-like in their gaze,
    Took a new hue, and seemed to blaze!
    “God’s wondrous love doth not intend
    Hundreds to starve that one may spend;
    Pay ye no rent, but hold your own.”
    _That_ from mild Father Tom Malone.

    And when the landlord with a force
    Of English soldiers, foot and horse,
    Came down and direst vengeance swore,
    Who met him at the cabin door?
    Who reasoned first and then defied
    The thief in all his power and pride?
    Who won the poor man’s fight alone?
    Why, fearless Father Tom Malone.

    So, when you point to heroes’ scars,
    And boast their prowess in the wars,
    Give one small meed of praise, at least,
    To this poor modest Irish priest.
    No laurel wreath was twined for him,
    But pulses throb and eyelids dim
    When toil-worn peasants pray, “Mavrone,
    God bless you, Father Tom Malone!”



YOU CAN GUESS.


    There are grottos in Wicklow, and groves in Kildare,
    And the loveliest glens robed with shamrock in Clare,
    And in fairy Killarney ’tis easy to find
    Sweet retreats where a swain can unburden his mind;
    But of all the dear spots in our emerald isle,
    Where verdure and sunshine crown life with a smile,
    There’s one boreen I love, for ’twas there I confess
    I first met my fate,--what it was you can guess.

    It was under the shade of its bordering trees,
    One day I grew suddenly weak at the knees
    At the thought of what seemed quite a terrible task,
    And yet it was but a short question to ask.
    ’Twas over, and since, night and morning, I bless
    The boreen that heard the soft whisper of “yes.”
    And the breezes that toyed with each clustering tress;
    And the question was this--but I’m sure you can guess.



ONLY!


    Only a cabin, thatched and gray,
      Only a rose-twined door,
    Only a barefooted child at play
      On only an earthern floor.
    Only a little brain--not wise
      For even a head so small,
    And that is the reason he bitterly cries
      For leaving his home--that’s all.

    Only the thought of her girlhood there,
      And her happier days as wife,
    In the shelter poor of its walls so bare,
      Have endeared them to her for life;
    What is the weeping woman’s cause?
      Why are her accents gall?
    What does she know of our intricate laws?
      It was only a hut--that’s all.

    He’s only a peasant in blood and birth,
      That man with the eyelids dim,
    And there’s room enough on the wide, wide earth
      For sinewy serfs like him.
    Why had this pitiful, narrow farm,
      For his heart such a wondrous thrall?
    Why each tree and flower such a mystic charm?
      He was born in the place--that’s all.

           *       *       *       *       *

    The years have gone, and the worn-out pair
      Sleep under the stranger’s clay,
    And the weeping child with the curly hair
      Is a brave, strong man to-day;
    Yet still he thinks of the olden land,
      And prays for her tyrant’s fall,
    And longs to be one of some chosen band,
      With only a chance--that’s all.



SONGS OF INNISFAIL.


    Where the Austral river rushes
    Through feathery heath and bushes,
    Through its gurgles and its gushes
        You may hear,
    To your wonder and surprise,
    Sweet melodies arise
    You have heard ’neath other skies
        Low and clear.
    Yes! within the gold land,
    Strange to you and cold land,
    Voices from the old land
        Swell upon the gale--
    Lyrics of the story,
    Lit with flames of glory,
    Dimmed with pages gory,
        Songs of Innisfail!

    Where Mississippi leaping
    O’er cliffs and crags, or creeping
    Through valleys fair, is sweeping
        To the sea,
    From the fields of nodding grain
    On some mountain path or plain
    Rings a stirring old refrain
        Fresh and free.
    Yes! where’er we wander
    Irish hearts will ponder
    O’er our land, and fonder
        Throb with ev’ry tale
    Of the home that bore us,
    Till the new skies o’er us
    Echo with our chorus
        Songs of Innisfail.

    Exiles o’er the spray-foam,
    Whereso’er we may roam,
    Thoughts of far-away home
        Linger still,
    And in dreams we see again
    Babbling stream and silent glen,
    Forest green and lonely fen,
        Vale and hill.
    Yes! our hearts’ devotion
    Flies across the ocean,
    While with deep emotion
        Sternest features pale,
    As around us stealing,
    Softened by sad feeling,
    Through the air are pealing
        Songs of Innisfail!



TAMING A TIGER.


We were standing together on the platform of the King’s Bridge terminus,
Dublin,--five of us--a gallant quintette in the noble army of drummers.

There was Austin Burke, slim, prim, and demure, as befitted the
representative of a vast dry-goods establishment whose business lay
amongst modistes and milliners; Paul Ryan, tall, dark, and dignified,
who travelled for the great ironmongery firm of Locke & Brassey; Tim
Malone, smart, chatty, and well-informed, the agent of a flourishing
stationery house; dashing Jack Hickey, who was solicitor for a
distillery, and rattling, rakish, as packed with funny ideas and comical
jokes as a Western newspaper, and as full of mischief as a frolicsome
kitten; and lastly, myself. We were waiting for the 11.30 A.M. train
south, and indulging in somewhat personal witticisms upon the appearance
of various personages in the surrounding crowd, when our attention was
attracted by the bustling advent upon the platform of a fussy, florid
individual, with a face like an inflamed tomato, and the generally
irascible and angry air of an infuriated rooster.

“Know that fellow?” queried Burke. “That’s Major Boomerang, the
newly-appointed Resident Magistrate for some part of Cork; all the way
from Bengal, to teach the wild Irish Hindoo civilization. He thinks
we’re all Thugs and Dacoits, and by the ‘jumping Harry,’ as he would
ejaculate, he’s going to sit on us. What do you say, boys, if we have a
little lark with him? Let us all get into the same carriage and draw him
out. I’ll introduce you, F. (to me), as my friend Captain Neville, of
the Galway militia. I won’t know you other fellows, but you can take
whatever characters you like, just as the conversation turns. Let me
see. You, Ryan, get out at Portarlington, and you, Malone, at Limerick
Junction. Jack Hickey goes on with us to Mallow. Now, I know this
Boomerang will be launching out into fiery denunciation of Parnell and
Biggar and all the rest before we’re aboard ten minutes, and I want each
of you fellows to take the role of whoever he pitches into the worst,
and challenge him in that character. D’ye see? F., as Capt. Neville,
will offer to do the amiable for the major, and persuade him that he
must fight. He’s an awful fire-eater in conversation, but I’ll stake my
sample case we’ll put him into the bluest of funks before we part. What
do you say, boys?”

Of course, we agreed. Whoever heard of a drummer refusing to take a hand
in any deviltry afoot that promised a laugh at the end? We watched the
major into a first-class carriage, and quietly followed him. He seemed
rather inclined to resent our intrusion, for we just crowded the
compartment, but he graciously recognized Burke, who had stayed in
Dublin at the same hotel, and he was “delighted, sir, by the jumping
Harry,--delighted to meet a brother officer” (that was your humble
servant).

At first he was somewhat reticent about Irish matters. He told us all
manner of thrilling stories of his Indian adventures. He had polished
off a few hundred tigers with all sorts of weapons, transfixed them to
the trunks of trees with the native spear, riddled them with buckshot,
swan-shot and bullets, and on one occasion, when his stock of lead had
pegged out, and a Royal Bengal tiger, twelve feet, sir, from his snout
to the tip of his tail, was crouched ready to spring on poor Joe
Boomerang, why, Joe whipped out a loose double tooth, rammed it home,
and sent it crashing through the brute’s frontal ossicles.

He wanted to keep that tooth as a memento, but, by the jumping Harry!
the Maharajah of Jubbulpore would take no denial, and that tooth is now
the brightest jewel in the dusky prince’s coronet.

He had killed a panther with his naked hands--with one naked hand, in
fact. It had leaped upon him with its mouth wide open, and in
desperation he had thrust his arm down its throat, intending to tear its
tongue out by the roots. But such was the momentum of the panther’s
spring and his own thrust, that his arm went in up to the shoulder, and
he found his strong right hand groping around the beast’s interior
recesses. He tore its heart out, sir,--its heart,--and an assortment of
lungs and ribs and other things.

He used to think no more of waking up with a deadly cobra-di-capello
crawling up his leg, or a boa constrictor playfully entwining around his
waist, than he did of taking his rice pillau or his customary curry. He
never lost his presence of mind, by the jumping Harry, not he.

At last, as we were passing through the pleasant pasturage of Kildare,
and rapidly nearing Portarlington, where we should part with Ryan, we
managed to turn the conversation upon the unsettled state of affairs in
Ireland.

“Ah!” said the blusterous Boomerang, “I’m going to change all that--down
in Cork, anyhow. I’ll have the murderous scoundrels like mice in a
fortnight. By the jumping Harry, I’ll settle ’em! I’ve quelled
twenty-seven mutinies and blown four hundred tawny rascals to pulverized
atoms in Bengal, and if I don’t make these marauding peasants here sing
dumb, my name’s not Boomerang--Joe Boomerang, the terror of Janpore.”

“I don’t,” observed Burke, with a wink at Ryan, “I don’t blame the
peasantry so much as those who are leading them astray. There’s Davitt,
for instance.”

“I wish,” growled the major, “that I had that rapscallion within reach
of my horsewhip, sir, for five minutes. I’d flay him,--flay him alive,
sir. If he ever is fool enough to come in my direction, he’ll remember
Joe Boomerang--fighting Joe--as long as he lives. Green snakes and wild
elephants! I would annihilate the released convict, the pardoned thief,
the--the--by the jumping Harry, sir, I would exterminate the wretch!”

Ryan slowly rose, stretched his long form to its uttermost dimensions,
and leaning over to the astounded major, in a deep base thundered, “I am
the man, Major Boomerang, at your service. I have listened to your
abominable bombast in silent contempt as long as I was not personally
concerned. Now that you have attacked me, I demand satisfaction. I
suppose your friend, Capt. Neville, will act for you. Captain, you will
oblige me with your card. My second shall wait upon you to-morrow. As an
officer, even though no gentleman, you cannot disgrace the uniform you
have worn, Major Boomerang, by refusing to meet me. Good day.”

We had reached Portarlington, and Ryan leaped lightly on to the platform
and disappeared, leaving the major puffing and blowing and gasping like
an exhausted porpoise. “By the jumping Harry!” he at last exclaimed, but
his voice had changed from its bouncing barytone to a timorous tenor, “I
cannot fight a convicted thief. I won’t! D---- me, if I will!”

“I beg your pardon, major,” I observed. “You are mistaken; Davitt is not
a thief. He was merely a political prisoner. You can meet him with
perfect propriety. I shall be happy to arrange the preliminaries for
you. I expect he’ll choose pistols. Let me see, Burke, wasn’t it with
pistols he met poor Col. Smith? Ah, yes, to be sure it was. He shot him
in the left groin. Don’t you remember what a job they had extracting the
bullet? People said, you know, that it was the doctors and not Davitt
that killed him.” Burke assented with a nod.

The major gazed at us with a sort of dazed, bewildered look, like a man
in a dream. “Good God!” he murmured at last; “has he killed a man
already? Why didn’t they arrest him? Why didn’t they hang him? I’m not
going to be killed--I mean to kill a man that should be hanged. I’m not
going to be popped at by a fellow that goes about shooting colonels as
if they were snipe.”

“But, my dear major,” I remonstrated, “you must uphold the traditions of
the cloth. In fact, the government will expect you to act just as Smith
did.” (The major groaned.) “Smith didn’t like the idea of meeting
Davitt, he’s such a dead shot.” (The major’s visage became positively
blue.) “But the Duke of Cambridge wrote to him that he must go out for
the honor of the service.”

“The service be d----d!” exploded the major, over whose countenance a
kaleidoscope of colors--red, purple, blue, yellow, and white--were
flashing and fluctuating; “I shall not fight a common low fellow like
this. Now, if I had been challenged by a gentleman, it would be a
different matter. By the jumping Harry, sir!” he cried, as he felt his
courage returning at the prospect of evading the encounter, “if, instead
of that low-bred cur, one of those Irish popinjays in Parliament had
ventured to beard the lion heart of Boomerang, I should have sprung,
sir, sprung hilariously at the chance. But there isn’t a man among them
that wouldn’t quail at a glance from me, sir; yes, a lightning glance
from fighting Joe, who has looked the Bengal tiger in the eyes and
winked at the treacherous crocodile. Parnell is a coward, sir! Biggar
and O’Donnell would hide if they heard that blazing Boomerang was round;
and as for that whipper-snapper Healy, why, sir, I could tear him limb
from limb, without exerting my mighty muscles.”

Little Tim Malone sprang to his feet like an electrified bantam-cock,
and shaking his fist right under the major’s nose, he hissed: “You are a
cur; an unmitigated, red-eyed, yellow-skinned, mongrel cur. I am Healy.
I’ll have your life’s gore for this, if you escape my friend Davitt. I
shall request him as a favor only to chip off one of your ears, so that
I may have the pleasure of scarifying your hide. Captain Neville, as you
must act for your brother officer, I shall send a friend to you
to-morrow.” He sat down, and a solemn silence fell upon the company. The
prismatic changes of hue which had illuminated the major’s features had
disappeared altogether, and his face was now a sickening whitey-yellow.
Not a word was spoken until we reached Limerick Junction, where Malone
got off. The gallant Boomerang recovered a little at this, and managed
to whisper to me, “Can Healy fight?”

“He is a master of fence,” I replied. “I suppose, as the insulted party,
he will demand choice of weapons. His weapon is the sword; at least, he
has always chosen that so far.”

“Has he been out before?” asked the terrible tiger-slayer, in such
horror-stricken accents that I could barely refrain from laughing
outright.

“Oh, yes,” I replied carelessly, “five or six times.”

“Has he--has he--I’m not afraid, you know--ha! ha! Joe Boomerang
afraid--capital joke--but--but--has he killed anybody?”

“Only poor Lieutenant Jones,” I answered. “You see Jones insulted him
personally; his other duels originated in political, not personal,
matters. I think,” I added maliciously, “he’ll try to kill you.” The
major gurgled as if he had a spasm of some sort in his windpipe. I
continued: “I would advise you to furbish up your knowledge of both
pistol and sword practice. You’ll have to fight both Davitt and Healy.
You’ll be dismissed and disgraced if you decline either challenge. It
will be somewhat inconvenient for me to see you through both affairs,
but, my dear fellow, I never allow personal inconvenience to interfere
with my duty.”

“You’re very good,” he murmured; “but don’t you think that--that--”

“That I may only be wanted for one. Very likely, but let us hope for the
best. I know an undertaker in Cork--a decent sort of a chap. We can
arrange for the funeral with him, so that, if it don’t come off the
first time, he won’t charge anything extra for waiting till Healy kills
you.”

“Stop, stop,” screamed the agonized panther pulverizer. “You make me
sick.” By this time he had become green, and, as I did not know what
alarming combination of colors he might next assume if I continued, I
remained silent for some time. As we were nearing Mallow the major
managed to get hold of enough of his voice to inquire how it came to
pass that the government permitted such a barbarous practice as
duelling.

“Well,” I responded, “it’s a re-importation from America. Western
institutions are getting quite a hold here. Duelling is winked at in
deference to Yankee ideas.”

“Curse America and the Yankees too,” roared Boomerang. “Only for them we
would have peace and quiet. They are a pestiferous, rowdy, hellish gang
of--”

“Yahoop!” There was a yell from Jack Hickey that shook the roof of the
car, as that individual bounded to his feet with a large clasp-knife
clutched in his sinewy hand, and a desperate look of fiendish
determination on his features that made the mighty Indian hunter
collapse and curl up in his corner like a lame hen in a heavy shower.
“Where’s the double-distilled essence of the son of a cross-eyed galoot
that opens his measly mouth to drop filth and slime about our great and
glorious take-it-all-round scrumptious and everlasting republic of
America? I’m Yankee, clean grit, from the toe-nails and finger-tips to
the backbone, and he’s riz my dander. And when my dander’s riz, I’m
bound to have scalps. I’m a roaring, ring-tailed roysterer from the
Rocky Mountains, I am; half earthquake and half wildcat, and when I
squeal, somebody’s got to creep into a hole! Yahoop! Let me at the
blue-moulded skunk till I rip him open. I don’t wait for any ceremonies,
sending seconds and all that bosh. I go red-hot, boiling over, like a
Kansas cyclone or a Texas steer, straight for the snub-nosed,
curly-toothed, red-headed, all-fired Britisher that wakes my lurid fury.
Look out, Boomerang. Draw yer knife, for here’s a double-clawed hyena
from Colorado going to skiver you.” And Jack made a terrific plunge
forward, while he flashed his knife in a hundred wild gyrations that
seemed to light up the compartment with gleaming steel. Burke and I made
a pretence of throwing ourselves between the mad Yankee and his victim,
but it was unnecessary. The hero of Bengal had fainted.

When we got out at Mallow I tipped one of the porters a shilling, told
him that a passenger was ill in a compartment which I pointed out, and,
having given him the name of the hotel at which the major purposed
staying, I requested the porter to inform Boomerang when he recovered
that Captain Neville would wait upon him in the morning to arrange for
his interview with three, not two, gentlemen. Later on, when I called at
the depot to see after my luggage, I questioned the porter as to
Boomerang, and asked had he gone on to his hotel.

“Lor bless you, no, sir,” said the railway official. “As soon as that
gintleman kem to, he jist axed what time the first thrain wint on to
Cork in the mornin’, an’ thin, whin I towld about you wantin’ to see him
this evenin’, he wuddent wait, sorra a bit, for the mornin’, but he
booked straight back to Dublin on the thrain that was goin’ there an’
thin. I will say I niver saw such a frightened lookin’ gintleman since
the day Squire Mulroony saw Biddy Mullen’s ghost, that hanged herself at
the ould cross roads.” A few days after I read this announcement in the
Dublin _Gazette_: “In consequence of ill-health, super-induced by the
humid atmosphere of Ireland, Major Boomerang has resigned the resident
magistracy in Cork to which he was recently appointed, and will shortly
return to Bengal.”



THE LORD OF KENMARE.


    There are skeleton homes like gaunt ghosts in the valley;
      The hillside swarms thick with anonymous graves,
    When the Last Trumpet sounds spectral legions ’twill rally,
      Whose corpses are shrouded in ocean’s sad waves.
    What hosts of accusers will cluster around him,
      What cohorts of famine, of wrong, and despair,
    On the white Day of Judgment to blanch and confound him,
      That stone-hearted, merciless Lord of Kenmare!

    Fond, simple, and trusting, we toiled night and morning
      The bountiful prizes of Nature to win,
    While he, wild and lustful, God’s providence scorning,
      Used virtue’s reward as the guerdon of sin,
    Till Heaven, in just anger, rained down on the meadow
      Distemper and rot; plagued the soil and the air;
    Filled the earth with distress, dimmed the sunlight in shadow,
      But touched not that cancerous heart in Kenmare!

    When God had been good he reaped all of his bounty;
      When Heaven was wrathful the burden was ours,
    For the terms of this Lord of Kenmare with the county
      Were--the thorns for his serfs, for his harlots the flowers.
    And when the poor toiler, beneath his load reeling,
      Sank, breathless and faint, on his cabin floor bare,
    The noose for his cattle, the torch for his sheeling,
      Were the pity he found from the Lord of Kenmare.

    Our fortune enriched him: he coined our disaster--
      This lord of our sinews, our houses, our grounds,
    Who felt himself monarch, and knew himself master--
      A monarch of slaves, and a master of hounds!
    He held not his hand, and he spared not his scourges;
      He laughed at the shriek, and he scoffed at the prayer
    That Kerry’s green swards and Atlantic’s white surges
      Sobbed and wailed, sighed and moaned, ’gainst the Lord of Kenmare!

    He has gone from the orgies where once he held revel,
      Age and youth hunts no more as legitimate game,
    But Ireland to-day finds the work of the devil
      Still essayed by an imp of his lineage and name.
    Tried only, thank God, for the serf has gained reason,
      The fool learned to think, and the coward to dare,
    And no longer the wolf-cry of “danger” and “treason”
      Wraps in mist the misdeeds of the lords of Kenmare.

    Hope’s phosphorent rays light that desolate valley;
      Truth’s sunbeams illumine those derelict graves;
    The stern blast of Justice’s bugle will rally
      Avengers for every corpse ’neath the waves.
    Two hemispheres judge as a pitiless jury,
      Nor culprit nor crime will their firm verdict spare,
    Oh, vain your derision and wasted your fury,
      The world writes your sentence, false Lord of Kenmare!



RYAN’S REVENGE.


During the height of the land agitation in Ireland, some of the most
exciting debates in the House of Commons, and some of the most vehement
articles in the National press, had reference to the action of the
post-office authorities in opening letters addressed to gentlemen (and,
for that matter, to ladies, too) whom the sagacious police intellect
“reasonably suspected” of connection with the obnoxious league. This
peculiarly English method of circumventing the plans of a constitutional
association by a resort to an unconstitutional and illegal act was
popularly known as “Grahamizing,” from the fact that it had first been
introduced by Postmaster-General Graham to discover what designs certain
refugees in London entertained against the Emperor of the French,
Napoleon III. Inquisitive Graham had to resign his office, and the
government which sanctioned his conduct was also kicked out by the
indignant English electors, who are the soul of honor in all questions
that do not relate to Ireland. But, despite the fate of Graham,
subsequent cabinets did not hesitate to adopt his invention when they
had reason to believe that anything calculated to interfere with the
_status quo_ was afoot amongst the terrible Irish. Sir William Harcourt,
English Home Secretary in 1882, especially distinguished himself by his
reckless indulgence in this espionage of the letter-box. His post-office
pilferings at last involved him in an avalanche of correspondence that
nearly swamped the staff employed in letter steaming.

The sapient Home Secretary had taken it into his bucolic brain that
Ireland and Great Britain were undergoing one of those periodical
visitations of secret conspiracy which enliven the monotony of existence
in those superlatively happy and contented realms. From the amount of
his postal communications, and from the brilliant reports of a gifted
county inspector, Sir William strongly suspected that one Ryan, a
Tipperary farmer, was engaged in less commendable pursuits than
turnip-sowing or cabbage-planting. Still, there was no positive proof
that Ryan’s whole soul was not centred in his Early Yorks and Mangolds.
So resort was had to the Grahamizing process.

For some time Ryan suspected nothing, until his correspondence began to
get muddled,--his tailor’s bill coming in an envelope addressed in the
spidery calligraphy of his beloved Mary, a scented _billet-doux_ from
that devoted one arriving in a formidable-looking official revenue
envelope which should have contained an income-tax schedule, a subpœna
to appear as a witness in a law-suit at Clonmel reaching him in an
envelope with the New York post-mark, and a half a dozen other envelopes
being found to contain nothing at all.

Then Ryan smelt a multitude of rats, and he determined to cry quits with
the disturbers of his gum and sealing-wax. He adopted the name of Murphy
for the purposes of correspondence, and he arranged that the intelligent
sub-inspector should know that he was going to receive letters in that
euphonious cognomen.

Now, Murphys were as plentiful round there as counts in a state
indictment or nominations at a Democratic convention. You couldn’t throw
a stone in the location without knocking the eye out of a Murphy. You
couldn’t flourish a kippeen there without peeling the skin off a Murphy.
If you heard any one appealing to the masses, collectively or
individually, to tread on the tail of his coat, you might depend it was
a champion Murphy. The tallest man in the parish was a Murphy, the
shortest was a Murphy; the stout man who took a square rood of corduroy
for a waistcoat was a Murphy, and the mite who could have built a dress
suit for himself out of a gooseberry skin was a Murphy. When a good
harvest smiled on that part of the country people said the Murphys were
thriving, and when small-pox decimated the population it was spoken of
as a blight among the Murphys.

So, when the order came down from the Castle that all letters directed
to Murphy should be stopped and forwarded to headquarters for perusal,
it might naturally be expected that, even under ordinary circumstances,
the local postmasters would have decent packages to return to Dublin.

But Ryan didn’t mean to be niggardly in his donations to the central
bureau of the postal pimpdom. He took the clan Murphy into his
confidence, and every Murphy in that parish wrote to every other Murphy
in every other parish, and those Murphys wrote to other Murphys, and the
fiery cross went round among the Murphys generally, and the fiat went
forth that every Murphy worthy the name of Murphy should write as many
letters to the particular Murphy the postmen were after as they could
put pen to. It didn’t matter what they were about,--the crops, the
weather, the price of provisions,--anything, in fact, or nothing at all.
The language was of minor importance,--Irish, however, preferred,--and
the Murphy who paid his postage would be considered a traitor to the
cause.

Nobly did the Murphys sustain their reputation.

The first day of the interception of _the_ Murphy’s letters, three bags
full were deposited in the Under Secretary’s office for perusal.

The morning after sixteen sacks were piled in the room.

The third morning that room was filled up, and they stuffed Mr. Burke’s
private sanctum with spare bags.

The fourth morning they occupied a couple of bedrooms.

The fifth morning half a dozen flunkeys were arranging bales of Murphy
letters on the stairs.

Then there was a lull in the Castle, for that day was Sunday.

But it was a deceptive lull, because it enabled every right-thinking
Murphy to let himself loose, and on Monday three van loads of letters
for Mr. Murphy were sent out to the viceregal lodge.

Day after day the stream flowed regularly for about a week, when the
grand climax came. It was St. Valentine’s morning, and, in addition to
the orthodox correspondence, every man, woman, and child who loved or
hated, adored or despised a Murphy, contributed his or her quota to the
general chaos.

The post-office authorities had to invoke the aid of the Army Service
Corps, and from 8 A.M. till midnight the quays and Phœnix Park were
blocked with a caravan of conveyances bearing boxes and chests and tubs
and barrels and sacks and hampers of notes and letters and illustrated
protestations of affection or highly-colored expressions of contempt for
Murphy from every quarter of the inhabitable globe.

Then the bewildered denizens of the Castle had to telegraph to the War
Office for permission to take the magazine and the Ordnance Survey
quarters, and the Pigeonhouse Fort and a barracks or two, to store the
intercepted epistles in.

Forster wouldn’t undertake to go through the work,--the order to
overhaul Murphy’s letters had come from Harcourt, and Harcourt would
have to do it himself. Well, Harcourt went across, but when he saw the
task that had accumulated for him, he threatened to resign unless he was
relieved.

Finally, the admiralty ordered the channel fleet to convey the Murphy
correspondence out to the middle of the Atlantic, where it was committed
to the treacherous waves.

To this day, letters addressed to Mr. Murphy are occasionally picked up
a thousand leagues from land, on the stormy ocean, and whenever Sir
William Vernon Harcourt reads of such a discovery he disappears for a
week, and paragraphs appear in the papers that he is laid up with the
gout.



AN OLD IRISH TUNE.


    We had fought, we had marched, we had thirsted all day,
    And, footsore and heartsore, at nightfall we lay
    By the banks of a streamlet whose thin little flood
    A thousand of hoof-beats had churned into mud.
    Our tongues were as parched as our spirits were damp,
    And misery reigned all supreme in the camp,
    When, sweet as the sigh of a zephyr in June,
    There stole on our senses an old Irish tune.

    It crept low and clear through the whispering pines,
    It crossed the dull stream from the enemy’s lines,
    And over the dreams of the slumberers cast
    The magical spell of a voice from the past;
    It lulled and caressed till the accents of pain
    Sank to murmurs that seemed to entwine with its strain;
    And soothed, as of old by a mother’s soft croon,
    Was our worn-out brigade by that old Irish tune.

    Now pensive, now lilting, half sob and half smile,
    Like the life of our race or the skies of our isle,
    Our eyelids it dimmed while it tempted our feet,
    For our hearts seemed to chorus its cadences sweet.
    Once again in old homes we were children at play,
    Or we knelt in the little white chapel to pray.
    Or burned with the passion of manhood’s hot noon,
    And loved o’er again in that old Irish tune.

    A Johnny who crouched by the river’s dark marge,
    To pick off our stragglers, neglected his charge,
    And out in the moonlight stood, tearful and still,
    Most tempting of marks for a rifleman’s skill;
    A dozen bright barrels could cover his head,
    But never a ball on its death-mission sped;
    Our fingers were nerveless to harm the gossoon
    Who wept like ourselves at an old Irish tune!

    It linked with its strains ere they melted away
    True hearts severed only by blue coats and gray,
    But faithful on both sides, in triumph and woe,
    To the home and the hopes of the long, long ago.
    The air seemed to throb with invisible tears
    Ere burst from both camps a tornado of cheers,
    And a treaty of peace, to be broken too soon,
    Was wrought for one night by that old Irish tune.



“HARVEY DUFF.”


There is no country in Christendom whose inhabitants are so susceptible
to music as the Irish. An itinerant musician, wandering round the
different fairs in Ireland, can exercise an influence with his bagpipes
or fiddle almost as superhuman as that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
“God Save Ireland” will hush the listeners into reverential silence;
“Savourneen Deelish” will cause tears to glisten on cheeks that a moment
before were flushed with merriment; “The Wind that Shakes the Barley”
will agitate the toes and rustle the petticoats of two thirds of the
living humanity in earshot, and if that instrumentalist fancies himself
a John L. Sullivan, and wishes for an opportunity of testing the muscles
of the manhood about him, let him try the “Boyne Water” for five
minutes. If he don’t get pretty well scattered about, it will be because
he has been killed in the lump.

But of all the effects of all the tunes to which all the composers
existing for all the centuries have devoted all their genius, there is
none so startling, so instantaneous, so blood-curdling as that produced
upon a constable by the strains of “Harvey Duff.” A red rag flourished
in the eyes of a mad bull, a free-trade pamphlet in a Republican
convention, a Chinese policeman ordering Denis Kearney to move on, or a
trapped mouse wagging its tail defiantly at a cat helplessly growling
outside the wirework, may provoke diabolical ebullitions of wrath; but
if you want to see a forty-horse power, Kansas cyclone, Rocky Mountain
tornado, Java earthquake, Vesuvius volcano, blue-fire and brimstone,
dynamite and gun-cotton, and all the elements combined, crash of rage,
hate, venom, spleen, disgust, and agony, just learn “Harvey Duff,” take
a trip across to Ireland, insure your life, encase yourself in a suit of
mail, and whistle it for the first policeman you meet. The result will
amply repay the journey. You needn’t take a return ticket. If he be
anything like an average peeler, you won’t want it. It might be as well
to ascertain beforehand the number of ribs you possess. It will interest
you in hospital to know how many are missing; that is, if you are lucky
enough to go to hospital.

Somebody wrote, “The path of glory leads but to the grave.” The
performance of “Harvey Duff” leads generally to the nearest cemetery.

How, when, where, and why “Harvey Duff” was composed, or who was its
composer, or in what manner the air has become indissolubly associated
with the Irish police, is one of those mysteries which, like the
authorship of the Letters of Junius, may lead to interminable theories
and speculations, but will never be definitely settled.

I suspect that “Harvey Duff,” like Topsy, “growed.”

There is a character of the name, a miserable wretch of a process-server
and informer, in Boucicault’s drama, “The Shaughraun,” but the popular
“Harvey Duff” is of country origin, and his requiem was first whistled
in Connemara, where a theatrical company would be as much out of place
as a bottle of rum in a convention of prohibitionists. It is equally
difficult to ascertain the cause of the aversion entertained to the
melody by the constabulary, but that they hate it with Niagara force has
been established a thousand times. Bodies of police have been known to
submit to volleys of stones on rare occasions, but, in a long and varied
experience, I never met a constable yet who could stand “Harvey Duff”
for thirty seconds.

I think it is of Head Constable Gardiner, of Drogheda, the story is told
that, when Dr. Collier, a relative who had been away for some years,
returned to his native place and he failed to recognize him, the doctor
jocosely asked Mr. Gardiner to hum him “Harvey Duff,” as he was anxious
to master that national anthem. Before that disciple of Galen had time
to finish his request, he found himself battering the pavement with the
back of his head, one leg desperately striving to tie itself into a
knot, and the other hysterically pointing in the direction of the
harvest-moon, whilst the furious Gardiner was looking for a soft spot in
the surgeon’s body to bury his drawn sword-bayonet in.

In Kilmallock, County Limerick, on one occasion, a bright, curly-headed
little boy of the age of five years was marched into court under an
escort of one sub-inspector, two constables, and eight sub-constables,
and there and then solemnly charged with having intimidated the
aforesaid force of her Majesty’s defenders. It appeared that the small
and chubby criminal, on passing the barracks, had tried to whistle
something which the garrison imagined to be “Harvey Duff,” and before
the barefooted urchin could make his retreat, the sub-inspector’s
Napoleonic strategy, aided as it was by the marvellous discipline and
bulldog valor of his command, resulted in the capture of the infant,
without any serious loss to the loyal battalions. The five-year-old
rebel was bound over to keep the peace, so that the Kilmallock policemen
might not in future pace their dismal rounds with their hearts in their
mouths and their souls in their boots,--that is, if an Irish policeman
has either a heart or a soul. The popular belief is that they discard
both along with their civilian clothes.[A]

A few days afterwards, in the city of Limerick, an ardent wearer of the
dark-green uniform got a lift in the world, and gave an unique gymnastic
entertainment for the benefit of the citizens that has immortalized him
in the “City of the Violated Treaty,” through the same “Harvey Duff.” He
was passing by a lofty grain warehouse. In the topmost story a laborer
was industriously winding up by a crane sacks of corn which were
attached to the rope below by a fellow-workman. The sub-constable,
pausing to survey the operations, was horror-stricken to hear the man
aloft enlivening his toil by the unmistakable accompaniment of the
atrocious “Harvey Duff.” Fired with heroic zeal, he determined to
capture the sacrilegious miscreant and silence his seditious solo.
Seizing the corn-porter below, he threatened him with the direst
penalties of the law if by signal or shout he warned his musical comrade
of his impending fate. Then, when the rope next descended, that
strategic sub fastened it round his waist, gave the signal “all right,”
and the operatic minstrel began to wind up, not a cargo of grain, but an
avenging angel with belt and tunic. How Mephistopheles below told
Orpheus above of his approaching danger I know not; but when the
passionate peeler was elevated some thirty feet from Mother Earth the
ascent suddenly ceased, and there he was left suspended in mid-air,
twirling and twisting, and swinging and gyrating, and flinging out upon
the passing breeze a cloud of official profanity that made the
atmosphere lurid. His promotion lasted for fully half an hour, and, when
the arrival of re-enforcements released him from his aerial bondage, the
crowd beneath, who had been enjoying his acrobatic feats, and wondering
at his ornamental objurgations, thought it better to dissolve before he
could recover his breath.

I am not aware whether “Harvey Duff” had ever any words attached to its
obnoxious measure, but I think it would be a pity not to convey the
ideas of the Royal Irish concerning the tune in imperishable verse, and
it is with feelings of profound sympathy I dedicate the following lines
to that immaculate body:--


“HARVEY DUFF.”

    My load of woes is hard to bear,
    I’m losing flesh with dark despair,
    And the top of my head is so awfully bare
    It isn’t worth while to dye my hair.
    Would you the cause be after knowing
    That makes me the baldest peeler going,
    That has changed my sweet tones into accents gruff?
    ’Tis a horrible tune they call “Harvey Duff.”

        Oh, “Harvey Duff!” oh, “Harvey Duff!”
        If I’ve not heard you often enough,
        May a Land League convention dance jigs on my buff,
        And keep time to the music of “Harvey Duff!”

    I was once with a bailiff serving writs,
    My skull was cracked to spoil my wits,
    For the bailiff escaped in the darkness dim,
    And the mob malafoostered me for him.
    But the case that circles my brain is thick,
    It cannot be damaged by stone or stick,
    And I’d rather submit to such treatment rough
    Than be safe to the chorus of “Harvey Duff!”

        Oh, “Harvey Duff!” oh, “Harvey Duff!”
        Should I meet your composer some day in Bruff,
        My bayonet into him with pleasure I’ll stuff
        Till he’ll wish he had never learnt “Harvey Duff.”

    When duty has called me miles away,
    Though hungry and cold, I must needs obey,
    And there wasn’t a Christian of either sex
    Would give me a sandwich or pint of X.
    I couldn’t coax dry bread and water
    From father or son, from mother or daughter,
    But I always could reckon on more than enough
    Of that kind of refreshment called “Harvey Duff!”

        Oh, “Harvey Duff!” oh, “Harvey Duff!”
        Of you I get more than _quantum suff_,
        And would to the Lord I could collar the muff
        Who invented that blasphemous “Harvey Duff!”

    I’m so destroyed I wouldn’t care
    To go alone to rebel Clare,
    And with a reckless spirit dare
    To take a farm that’s vacant there.
    I know the peasants bold would scatter
    My four bones to the wind--no matter;
    They’d wake me decent--no heart so tough
    As to mock a dead peeler with “Harvey Duff!”

        Oh, “Harvey Duff!” oh, “Harvey Duff!”
        I wipe my eyes upon my cuff,
        As I think that my soul will depart in a huff
        To the requiem anthem of “Harvey Duff!”



A SEDITIOUS SLIDE.


We learn from a special despatch which has been cabled via Shanghai and
Yokohama to Britain’s representatives abroad that the demon of anarchy
has again broke loose in Ireland, that the flood-gates of sedition have
been once more thrown open, and the pestilential torrents of a whole lot
of things are deluging society. We feel that a Webster’s Unabridged
Dictionary and a very fair acquaintanceship with the slang of nearly
thirty States are utterly inadequate to express our tumultuous thoughts
on reading the following touching epistle from Cornet Gadfly, who is at
present attached to the suite of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland:--

There is some dark plot afoot here to destroy the peace of mind and
happiness of her Majesty’s defenders.

I was wending my cheerful way last evening toward my temporary lodgings
in the bosom of that highly interesting family, the Higginses, who never
did anything so low or ignoble as to _work_ for their country, and are,
consequently, enjoying the reward of their virtue, in the shape of a big
pension from a grateful government. I was whistling contentedly the
refrain of England’s “Marseillaise,” “We don’t want to fight, but by
jingo when we do!”

On turning the corner of Rutland Square, my legs evinced a sudden and
unexpected interest in the atmospheric and astronomic condition of the
heavens, for I found myself progressing homeward at the rate of twenty
miles an hour on the back of my head, with one foot pointing
triumphantly to Saturn, and the other indicating the whereabouts of the
Milky Way.

Having satisfied myself that my bodily inversion was not the result of
an earthquake, I wound myself up at the Rotunda railings, ejected a few
front teeth and some powerful ejaculations, and surveyed the position.

I had come to grief on a slide some eighteen inches wide and about forty
feet in length. The mutinous, seditious, rebellious, and barbarous
juvenile population of that ward must have been nearly a week improving
that slide, until it was so slippery that a bucket of pitch couldn’t
have stuck on it, and a coating of Dublin mud as adhesive as a dish of
Boston baked beans, attached to my boot soles, afforded no protection to
either person or property. The whole fiendish arrangement must have been
organized with devilish ingenuity by either a Fenian engineer or a
National League architect. Rage, anguish, revenge, agony, surged through
my bosom as I contemplated the icy snare.

But it is strange how the misfortunes of others reconcile us to our
own. In this instance, balm was poured upon the troubled waters of my
soul and my head was metaphorically bandaged and plastered as I saw
approaching the fatal spot, Ensign Wilson of the Lancers, and the fair
Araminta Higgins.

They were mashing.

He, in all the pristine glory of a new tunic and a re-dyed sash,
preserved the best traditions of the British uniform by the ardor of his
suit. He was passionate, eloquent, effusive; she was bashful, simpering,
and lackadaisical, as became a pensioned Higgins.

“Araminta,” he murmured softly, “believe no base calumnies. I am as true
to thee as--as--as thy father to his pension or the needle to the pole.
I am thine--thine only. No power on earth can sever us.”

At this moment he shot off suddenly, leaving his hat at the lady’s feet
and slinging his umbrella out into the roadway. A few minutes afterward
a dejected and dilapidated British officer was indulging in profane
observations of a remarkably ornamental and original description as he
supported himself against a friendly lamp-post, while the dormant Irish
blood in the fickle Araminta asserted itself through the medium of a
coarse laugh.

They vanished in the darkness, but I do not think the enamored ensign
spooned any more that night. Barely had they disappeared, when two
prominent members of the Constitutional Club crossed the street from the
direction of the house of a certain eminent judge. They were
energetically discussing the National League campaign in Ulster. They
neared the precipice--I mean the slide.

“This Parnellite invasion will fail--utterly fail--if we remain firm,”
said the taller of the two, Col. K--H--. “Unity and perseverance must be
our watchwords. United we stand--”

He did not finish the sentence, for they became divided, and his head
rang out a hollow note of defiance to the breeze. However, despite his
desire for unity, the Tory victim did not remain long rooted to the
soil, but made tracks for the nearest saloon to recuperate his exhausted
energies.

The next visitor to the insurrectionary skating-rink was a well-known
attorney, who is at the present moment engaged in an abortive effort to
discover an Irish constituency that will have him at any price. Mr. N.
looked an attorney in every inch. You could read six-and-eight pence in
every wrinkle of his rugged countenance; his protruding coat-tails were
veritable embodiments of _fieri-facias_; his stiff, angular collar had
the disagreeable similitude of a bill of costs, and the leather bag he
carried in his hand was a positive arsenal of writs and decrees and
processes. I felt horror-stricken as I saw this legal luminary stepping
briskly to destruction.

Just as he reached one end of the glassy line a little milliner with a
bandbox and a brown-paper parcel stepped upon the other.

They had never met before, but the instant their feet touched that
atrocious slide they darted together with the enthusiasm of old lovers.

Then there was a collision, and a confused combination of legal
documents and straw bonnet, proceedings in bankruptcy and colored
ribbons, opinions of counsel and hairpins; and when the law adviser got
home he found in his bag an artificial bang where he had been looking
for the draft of a will, and that poor little milliner’s duck of a
bonnet had vanished out of her ruined bandbox, while its place was
filled with a horrible notice to claimants and incumbrancers.

When the law and the lady had gone from my gaze the pantomime was
continued by new artists. A poor-law guardian, who had voted against the
North Dublin Union adopting the laborers’ act, was explaining his
reasons therefor, and appealed to his auditor thus: “You would have done
the same yourself in my position. Put yourself in my place.”

And away he went, express speed, on his hands and knees, till he was
brought to a stop by his head thundering on a policeman’s belt. Then the
policeman sat on top of him, and a postman threw a double somersault
over the pair, and the band of the Coldstream Guards marching smartly
round the corner got mixed up with them, and it wasn’t till the
policeman had half swallowed the trombone, and the poor-law guardian had
got the double bass round his neck for a collar, and the postman had
been engulfed in the big drum that order was restored, and
constitutional peace triumphed once more over revolutionary chaos.

But I ask the civilized and great British Empire, how much longer are we
going to tolerate a state of society which permits slides and pitfalls
and chasms to be laid for loyal feet, and bruised heads, smashed ribs,
and pulverized hip bones to bring woe and desolation to loyal homes?
It’s awful!



IVAN PETROKOFFSKY.


    Ivan Petrokoffsky, of the 21st Division
      Of the Army of the Danube, is a private--nothing more;
    And nobody expects of him to form a wise decision
      On the diplomatic reasons that have mobilized his corps.
    He is rather dull and stupid, and not given much to reading,
      And even when he has a thought his words are few and rude;
    So when summoned to his sotnia, about that same proceeding
      Rough Ivan’s stray ideas were most miserably crude.
    But he heard his colonel reading out the regimental order,
      Which explains in glowing language why the Russians go to war;
    And he holds some dim idea that he’s on the Turkish border,
      “For the glory of the Empire and the honor of the Czar!”

    Ivan Petrokoffsky is a little tender-hearted--
      His feelings, for a private, are completely out of place--
    And when from wife and infant, with slow, lingering steps he parted,
      No heroic agitation was depicted on his face.
    It was well for foolish Ivan that his colonel had not found him,
      When the marching order reached him at his home that bitter day,
    When the younger Ivan’s chubby little arms were folded round him,
      And tearful Mistress Ivan gave her tongue unbounded sway.
    There were murmurs of rebellion in that quiet Volga village
      (So devoid of patriotic aspirations women are),
    When Ivan and his comrades left for scenes of blood and pillage,
      “For the glory of the Empire and the honor of the Czar!”

    Ivan Petrokoffsky, of the 21st Division
      Of the Army of the Danube, is not easy in his mind,
    For within the deep recesses of his heart is a suspicion
      He has wept farewell forever to the loved ones left behind.
    In cruel dreams he sees himself, a shapeless mass and gory,
      By the rolling Danube lying, with his purple life-stream spent,
    And he has not such a keen appreciation of the glory
      Of dying for his country to be happy or content.
    He has seen his comrades falling round, all mangled, torn, and bleeding,
      And their cries were not of triumph, but of homes and kindred far,
    While little recked the vultures, on the gray-robed bodies feeding,
      Of “the glory of the Empire or the honor of the Czar!”



THE EMPEROR’S RING.


    The stillness of death broods o’er valley and mountain,
      The snow lies below like a funeral shroud;
    The clutch of the ice chokes the song of the fountain;
      Starry eyes from the skies dimly gleam through each cloud;
    When, hark! on the hard, frozen earth strikes the thunder
      Of fast-falling hoof-beats with sonorous sound,
    Scared villagers waken in somnolent wonder,
      The sentinel checks his monotonous round.
    Ho! Governor, let not thy dreamings encumber
      With pause the swift flight of yon messenger’s wing,
    For fatal the stay thou wouldst cause by thy slumber,
      The horseman who rides with the Emperor’s ring.

    Fresh horse and new pistols--some phrases of warning,
      Few and brief, to the chief, and the fort is behind,
    And away in the gray of the slow-dawning morning
      Flies his steed with the speed of the fierce northern wind.
    Out, out through the forests--on, on o’er the meadows,
      While castle and cabin and hamlet and town
    Rise and fall, come and go, past his vision like shadows.
      With white snowy robes over bosoms of brown,
    The woodcutter leaps from his path with a shiver;
      To their babes, in mute terror, the pale mothers cling;
    And the gray-coated hero salutes with a quiver
      The ominous flash of the Emperor’s ring.

    Some guess, but none question, the message he carries,
      All divine by the sign ’tis of life or of death;
    And woe to the wretch through whose folly he tarries;
      Better Fate, with grim hate, strangled out his first breath,
    For earth has no cavern to shield and defend him,
      Nor ocean a sheltering island so far
    As to hide from the scourge that will torture and rend him,
      Whose blunder or crime has enraged the White Czar.
    So serf and proud baron, so moujik and banker
      Keep aside, unless aid to his mission you bring.
    Speed him on, and rejoice when you earn not the rancor
      Of one who bears with him the Emperor’s ring.

    We Russians are brave, but we only are human;
      We cower at a power it is death to offend,
    Even Ivan, the bear-killer, shrinks like a woman
      From frown of a clown with Alexis as friend.
    The wolves on our steppes are a thousand times bolder;
      Peer and peasant alike for their banquets they claim;
    The blood in yon courtier’s veins may be colder
      Than the serfs, but ’twill serve for their feast all the same.
    Out there in the solitude, silent and lonely,
      These prowlers of night know but Hunger as king.
    And the Cossacks may find of that messenger only
      A few whitened bones and the Emperor’s ring.



BLACK LORIS.


    Spurs jingle and lances shine;
    A hundred brave horsemen in line;
      Gay voices ring as they merrily sing,
    For why should true hearts repine?
    The pathway is level and balmy the air,
    Their bosoms unruffled by shadow of care;
    The sun has but reached its meridian height,
    “Twenty versts farther on we shall slumber to-night.”
    When, crash! from the thickets that border the way,
    Bursts a hail-storm of bullets in death-dealing spray;
    In front a wall rises of turban-crowned foes,
    And half of the sotnia fall ’neath their blows.
    But still with teeth set, and a joyous hurrah,
    With lances at rest and a cheer for the Czar,
        Charge fifty brave horsemen in line!

    Oh, fatal the rifle’s crack!
    Ten heroes fight back to back,
      And each lance-thrust brings down in the dust
    A wolf from the howling pack.
    How the yelping curs in myriads swarm!
    Ten new foes rise from each prostrate form,
    They drop from the trees, they spring from the ground,
    Till a blaze of scimetars flashes around.
    The ten are scattered; they seem to be
    Like derelict spars in an angry sea.
    But never a Cossack was known to yield
    While his arm a lance or sabre could wield.
    Oh, weep their valor by distant Don,
    The waves are engulphing them one by one!
        But two remain back to back!

    His comrade sinks down with a groan--
    Black Loris is fighting alone,
      His eyeballs glazed and his senses dazed,
    And his arms as heavy as stone.
    “Surrender!” a hundred harsh voices demand,
    For answer he sabres the chief of the band.
    But his arm is shivered in twain--he feels
    The earth swim round him--he gasps, he reels,
    And gleam on his vision old scenes afar,
    As he gasps in a dream a last cheer for the Czar--
    Was it echo, that sonorous answering peal?
    No, no! there’s a rattle of hoof and of steel!
        Black Loris is not alone!

    No tears for the ninety-nine,
    The nation’s heart is their shrine;
      But glory’s bays and the Emperor’s praise
    For the one man left of the line!
    The Don’s deep waters will long be dried,
    And stemmed the flow of the Ural’s tide,
    The strength and glory of Russia depart,
    And the Cossack know cowardice reign in his heart,
    Ere the Muscovite legions shall cease to tell
    Of dashing Loris who fought so well,
    Whose comrades tore him from out the grave,
    Whose medal the Emperor’s own hands gave.
    And for years to come, when trotting along
    Ural and Don, men will sing this song--
        “The One and the Ninety-Nine!”



WHO SHOT PHLYNN’S HAT?


I.

Mr. Phineas Phlynn, J. P., was a few years ago the agent upon the Irish
estates of that erratic and eccentric, but excitable and energetic
nobleman, Lord Oglemore. If Mr. Phlynn no longer performs the onerous
functions of that office, it is because he has taken to a far-off and
less humid sphere his various and variegated vices, and has probably by
his importation into a remarkably torrid zone added another to the
abundant torments of Pandemonium. In 1879, however, Mr. Phlynn, much to
his own satisfaction, but a great deal more to the misery of his
neighbors, was still in the flesh. Mr. Phlynn was by no means a happy
man. His commission for collecting the rents of his absentee master was
only a paltry shilling in the pound, and as Lord Oglemore’s landed
property amounted to but a few thousand acres, and Mr. Phlynn’s habits
included an addiction to French wines and Irish whiskey, a decided
inclination to woo Dame Fortune by speculations on the turf and ventures
at the roulette table, and an amorous disposition which plunged him into
frequent financial scrapes, he felt that he must wring a bigger
percentage out of his employer and increase his emoluments.

But how was it to be done?

He couldn’t raise the rents. They were so high already that the tenantry
had some difficulty in reaching them, and were beginning to indulge in
mutinous murmurs about abatements and reductions and re-adjustments, and
the other pestilential, communistic, and diabolical ideas of the Land
League. Phineas had been complaining for months to his noble master
about the danger and difficulties of his post, surrounded, as he
described himself, by hosts of murderous assassins who thirsted for his
gore and wanted to perforate his magisterial hide with surreptitious
bullets; and Phineas had strongly hinted that his accumulated risks
deserved a commensurate reward in the shape of an additional income. But
the only consolation Lord Oglemore vouchsafed was an assurance to Mr.
Phlynn that if those “demmed Irish rascals” should make his carcass a
repository for any appreciable quantity of lead, the beggars should have
their rents raised fifty per cent. all around. This didn’t console
Phineas worth a cent, for he felt that if he were laid to rest with his
fathers with a few pounds of scrap iron in his manly bosom, he couldn’t
enjoy the extra commission on the fifty per cent. rise in any exuberant
degree. Besides, the levity of his lordship’s remarks induced the agent
to guess that that rather wide-awake peer doubted his dismal
forebodings. So Phineas resolved that he would bring matters to a
crisis. There should be an outrage--a sanguinary, blood-curdling
outrage, that would prove to the unbelieving Oglemore that his agent
carried his life in his hand, and was certainly entitled to at least
eighteen pence in each pound of the revenue he gathered in perpetual
peril.


II.

There was an outrage. As none of the tenantry had the most remote notion
of shooting Mr. Phlynn, Mr. Phlynn shot himself--at least, he shot his
own hat. There were many obvious advantages in Phineas taking this
horrible task upon himself. Of course, the chief of these was the fact
that if any desperate tenant had sought to make a target of Mr. Phlynn’s
hat, he wouldn’t have paused to ascertain whether Mr. Phlynn’s head was
in it or not--really, he might have preferred that the hat should be so
tenanted. A circumstance of that sort would have been decidedly
inconvenient. With Mr. Phlynn as the assailant of his own hat, no such
objectionable mistake was possible. Mr. Phlynn carefully placed the hat
on the roadside between his own residence and the nearest police
barrack, and fired at it twice. One ball ripped the front rim off and
the other tore a hole in the crown. Then carefully replacing his
dilapidated head-gear upon his undisturbed cranium, he flung his
revolver into the adjacent ditch and rushed breathless into the presence
of the sub-inspector in the police barrack aforementioned, and poured
into the astonished ears of that horrified luminary a ghastly story of
his terrible encounter with a band of four masked miscreants, who had
fired at least a dozen times at him, two balls actually grazing his
head, in proof of which, behold the battered hat!


III.

The excitement in connection with the matter was intense. The country
was scoured for miles around, and thirty or forty arrests made. The
revolver, of course, was found, and strengthened Phlynn’s terrible tale.
The London papers teemed with denunciations of the weakness of the
government which permitted such a state of affairs in a civilized
community. Illustrations of the historic hat graced the pictorial pages
of English journals. A reward of £500 was offered for any information
that would lead to the conviction of anybody. Lord Oglemore made such an
exciting speech on the matter in the House of Peers that he positively
kept those hereditary legislators awake for twenty minutes--a feat
unparalleled in the history of that chamber. There was not so much stir
and fuss in that assembly since the day it was rumored that John Brown
had been offered a peerage under the title of Earl of Glenlivet. For
nearly half of the twenty minutes that the noble senators kept awake it
was soul-stirring. Then they fell asleep again, overpowered by their
emotions.

All except Lord Oglemore. He was so elated by the temporary prominence
given to him as the employer of an Irish agent who had been fired at,
that he resolved to perpetuate his celebrity. Why, if he could manage to
get some of his tenants hanged or transported for the affair, he would
become quite a lion in London society. With this laudable ambition
permeating his soul, he drove, immediately after he had concluded his
outburst of enthralling eloquence, to the headquarters of the London
detective force in Scotland Yard, and, by munificent promises in the
event of success, secured the services of that eminent thief-catcher,
Inspector Spriggins, to unravel the mystery. The following day,
Spriggins, got up as an English horse dealer seeking for Irish equine
bargains, left London for Leitrim.

In the mean time the Irish government, who did not feel satisfied with
the conduct of the local constabulary, had deputed Sergeant Crawley of
the G division, Dublin metropolitan force, to proceed to the same
neighborhood, to search for the destroyers of Phineas Phlynn’s hat.


IV.

In the last week in October, Spriggins got on the scent. From all he
could hear, see, and judge, he concluded that the outrage was the work
of strangers. He had already spotted a suspicious stranger.

About the same time Sergeant Crawley struck the trail. It was evident
that the deed had been committed by some one from a distance, because
every man, woman, and child within a radius of twenty miles had been
arrested, and established their innocence. The foreigner who had failed
would be likely to renew the attempt. Were there any non-residents
loafing around? Yes! Crawley had fixed his man.

It was certainly peculiar that, while Spriggins was firmly convinced
that Crawley had made ribbons of Phlynn’s hat, Crawley was taking
measures to arrest Spriggins for attempted murder, and Sub-Inspector
Blake of the local police had written to Dublin for a warrant to arrest
both Spriggins and Crawley, who were passing under the respective names
of Jones and Brennan.


V.

Spriggins, on the first day of November, called upon Phlynn.

“Mr. Phlynn,” said he, “I have got the leader of the gang who fired at
you.”

“The devil you have,” said Phlynn. You see Phlynn had very strong
reasons for doubting the accuracy of the information.

“Yes,” replied Spriggins; “I have him, no mistake.”

“Where is he?” queried Phineas.

“Here.”

“What!” shouted the agent, as agonizing visions of penal servitude for
revolver practice on his own hat made his heart jump. “Who, what, where,
when, why, how--”

“Oh,” responded Scotland Yard, “I forgot. Let me introduce myself. I am
Inspector Spriggins, of the London detective police. I have been
commissioned by Lord Oglemore to fish up this business. I’ve fished. I
may say I have landed my salmon. I just want you to fill me up a warrant
for the arrest of James Brennan, 5 feet 10 inches, brown hair and
whiskers, hazel eyes, a wart on his nose, no particular occupation, and
at present sojourning at the Railway Hotel, Mohill. I’ll get the police
there to give a hand. No excuses, please. I’ve hooked my trout, I’ve
trapped my rabbit, I’ve bagged my fox, I’ve snared my hare--I have him,
I tell you. Fill up the warrant.”

Mr. Phineas Phlynn filled up the warrant, and the sagacious Spriggins
departed on his mission of legal retribution on the body of the
unconscious Crawley.


VI.

“Send down three men from the G division in plain clothes with a warrant
for the arrest of John Jones, for the attempted murder of Phineas
Phlynn, Lord Oglemore’s agent, on the 3d of October, 1879. Lose no
time.” This was the purport of a telegraphic dispatch from Sergeant
Crawley to Thomas Henry Burke, Under Secretary for Ireland, in
accordance with which three big “G’s” made their first appearance in
Mohill on the memorable 1st of November.


VII.

Sub-Inspector Blake told off ten men for special duty on Nov. 1, and
about noon arrived with them on three outside cars in the little town of
Mohill. “Now, boys,” was his parting advice, “this fellow Jones is a
tough-looking customer, and will probably show fight. Brennan’s a rowdy,
too. When I whistle, rush in and baton both of ’em if they show fight.
If any of the hangers-on in the hotel seem ugly, give them the bayonet.”

“Two men with myself will be enough,” finally remarked Spriggins to Head
Constable Walsh, of Mohill. “Our bird’s in the commercial room of the
Railway Hotel just now. Perhaps ’twould be better, to avoid suspicion,
if your men didn’t come in uniform, and they might wait outside till I
whistled for them.”

It was so arranged.

Sergeant Crawley sat in the commercial room of the little hotel,
describing the personal peculiarities of the fore-doomed Jones to three
official Goliaths who had joined him from Dublin, when the door opened
and the redoubtable Jones entered himself. Seeing his prey in deep
consultation with three sturdy farmers, Jones muttered softly to
himself, “By Jingo, I’ve got the whole crowd!” and instantly sounding
the signal, sprang upon Crawley with a drawn pistol in his right hand
and the warrant fluttering in his left.

“Holy Moses!” gasped Crawley; “they mean to murder us too,” and he
ducked under the table, where Spriggins let go three or four shots at
him, while two G men rushed at Spriggins and two local constables
grappled with the two G men, and the remaining Dublin detective began a
racket on his own account by firing round promiscuously, taking a chip
off Spriggins’ ear, slicing a cutlet off Crawley’s cheek, and
depositing one of the Mohill men on the half-shell, as it were, by a
shot in the abdomen. At this moment Sub-Inspector Blake, his soul afire
with war’s dread echoes, leaped into the apartment just in time to
receive on his sconce the full weight of a brass spittoon fired by
Sergeant Crawley, who, from his intrenchment under the table, was
carrying on a destructive artillery bombardment of similar bombshells
and grenades. Of course Blake sounded the alarm, and his followers
charged with fixed bayonets into the room. They skivered Spriggins, they
splintered Crawley, they committed multifarious ravages upon the sacred
skins of the Dublin detectives, and in the joyous exhilaration of the
hour they skewered each other up against the wainscoating, and pinned
each other against the table, and prodded each other through the arms
and legs of chairs and couches, and shed each other’s blood for their
Queen and Constitution in the most liberal and disinterested manner.
Finally, when there wasn’t a square three-inch patch of whole skin among
the combined forces, the chambermaids and waiters came in and took the
entire lot prisoners. Then followed mutual explanations, a reciprocal
production of warrants, general expressions of regret, and a mournfully
unanimous feeling that amongst the dark, unsolved problems of agrarian
crimes would ever remain the awful mystery of who shot Phineas Phlynn’s
hat.



THE RED-HEART DAISY.

A RUSSIAN ALLEGORY.


    The clouds of battle-tempest had blown over;
        The storm of wrath
    Had swept through fields of ripening corn and clover,
        And in its path
    Had left the human cyclone’s awful traces
    In quivering bodies and distorted faces.

    Among the bloody drift of dead and dying
        That strewed the ground,
    A Prince and Serf, in Death’s communion lying,
        The searchers found.
    Earth drank both life-streams; as their current ended,
    Blue blood and peasant’s in one tide had blended.

    Some essence from the forms interred together
        Enriched the clay,
    And toned with deeper tints the patch of heather
        ’Neath which they lay--
    Rough hide and dainty skin--deep brain and hollow--
    Silver and iron--Vulcan and Apollo.

    And when the Spring returned, and daisies spangled
        The mountain’s crest,
    Clusters with hearts of crimson were entangled
        Among the rest,
    Upon the spot where baron’s dream of glory
    Had mingled with the toiler’s duller story.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Those who would make our land a frame of metal,
        With jewelled heart,
    Would have us view the daisy’s centre petal
        As thing apart
    From its white fringe; and, bringing death to both,
    Would mar the flow’ret’s, like the nation’s, growth.



THE TIDE IS TURNING.


    So, masters who have ruled so long
      With cruel rods of iron,
    Who sought with gyves and fetters strong
      Our freedom to environ,
    In plenitude of sullen power
      Our tearful pleadings spurning:
    Prepare ye for your fated hour,
      Beware--the tide is turning!
          Yes! yes! at last we fling the past
            With all its woes behind us,
          And stand to-day in firm array
            Against the bonds that bind us.

    With brutal grip of tyrant hand
      Ye choked our aspirations,
    And made our fertile motherland
      The Niobe of nations;
    To feed the vices of your lords,
      Ye stole the people’s earning,
    And held the theft with hireling swords--
      But now the tide is turning!
          Yes! yes! to-day your hated sway
            Is tottering to ruin,
          The Irish race a future face
            That will not harbor you in!

    Ye kept us chained to ignorance,
      In fear that education
    Might teach our brains the wisest chance
      To liberate the nation.
    But, spite of all your guile and thrall,
      Our people still are learning
    What most will tend your yoke to rend,
      And so the tide is turning.
          Yes! yes! the cause, despite your laws,
            Each rusty chain is breaking;
          The portents smile upon our isle,
            For Ireland is awaking.

    From meadows rich of smooth Kildare
      To frowning crags of Kerry,
    From ocean-girdled shores of Clare
      To busy marts of Derry,
    In our opprest, north, south, east, west,
      A newer spirit’s burning--
    The conquering fire of brave desire,
      That tells the tide is turning.
          Yes! yes! we mark through centuries dark
            The light at last is blazing,
          Till on our brow no serf-brand now
            Can chill a friendly gazing.



OUR OWN AGAIN.


    The voice of freedom’s sounding
      From farthest shore to shore;
    And Erin’s pulse is bounding
      With manhood’s blood once more;
    Our sluggard trance is broken,
      We stand erect as men,
    Our stern demand is spoken,
      We’ll have our own again!

    No futile bribes can stay us,
      No traitor chiefs control,
    No wheedling tones delay us,
      No terrors blanch our soul.
    The gloomy hour has vanished
      And gone forever when
    We could be crushed or banished--
      We’ll have our own again!

    The bluster of the Tories,
      And Whigdom’s tempting lies,
    Are vain and foolish stories
      We spurn and we despise.
    We’ve torn the landlord foeman
      From out his reeking den,
    And now we’ll halt for no man--
      We’ll have our own again!

    Our eyes are lifted sunward,
      No power can bar our course,
    Our march must still be onward,
      Spite either guile or force;
    And be it by the sabre,
      The voice, the vote, or pen,
    Or steadfast, patient labor--
      We’ll have our own again!



THE TALE OF A TAIL.


    There’s a place in fiery Ulster we may christen Macaroon,
    Where they won’t believe in Parnell or the Land League very soon;
    Where to call a priest “his rev’rence” treads upon their pious corns,
    For they think a priest hoof-shodden, and believe the Pope wears horns;
    ’Tis there that yells and shouting on the twelfth day of July
    Make the populace so thirsty they could drink the Shannon dry;
    And ’tis there, where papal bulls could never make a sinner quail,
    That a Papist cow has trampled on their feelings with her tail.

    Pat Duggan, finding Clifford Lloyd too much for him in Clare,
    Thought he’d try his fate in Ulster, so he took a holding there,
    And of all the spots of Orange North, that most unlucky coon
    Had the evil chance to squat in “no surrender” Macaroon.
    And in his blissful ignorance, unmitigated ass,
    He trudged a half-a-dozen miles each Sunday morn to mass,
    Till his very Christian neighbors, his convictions to assail,
    Began to whisper fell designs upon his heifer’s tail.

    ’Twas in the summer season, and the flies that skirmished round
    Discovered that that cow’s soft ears were A 1 feeding ground,
    And they gathered in their masses and formed animated plugs,
    In perpetual convention, in her sorely troubled lugs;
    And when, in her congested ears, agrarian troubles rose,
    The poorer flies migrated and they colonized her nose,
    But that cow knew neither tenant right, fair rent, nor yet free sale,
    For she exercised coercion very strongly with her tail.

    When round her nose the leading flies had taken plots on tick,
    She would liquidate arrears and clear the district with a flick;
    And the enterprising settlers that her ears would fain divide,
    With the same obstructive weapon she would scatter far and wide.
    Her practice made her perfect, and she grew so strong behind
    That when her tail would whisk, ’twas like a gust of stormy wind.
    Why, even when Pat Duggan split the handle of his flail,
    That cow came in and threshed the oats completely with her tail.

    Well, still to mass Pat Duggan every Sunday morning went,
    And the Orange farmers round him grew insanely discontent,
    Till they held a parish meeting, and decided there and then
    That the time for speech was past--the knife was mightier than the pen.
    They deputed Bill Mulvany, who was handy with the shears,
    And Ned Malone, who’d often sang of clipping Croppy ears,
    To see that Duggan’s butter would not pay another gale,
    But they little knew his cow had such an energetic tail.

    When darkness kicked the daylight out, Mulvany and Malone
    Had somehow found their way about Pat Duggan’s byre alone.
    The wind that whistled through the trees no warning signal gave,
    As Ned Mulvany seized a hoof intended for the grave.
    Malone was smart and ready with his fingers on the hasp,
    But before the pride of victory their eager hands could grasp,
    That dirty cow deposited Mulvany in a pail,
    And created much confusion with a flourish of her tail.

    And she wasn’t quite content with that: she rushed from out the byre,
    Her horns curled up in anger, and her mighty tail on fire;
    She seized (with cool indifference to very touching groans)
    Malone around the waist and smashed his most important bones;
    And when the jury gathered round his mangled fragments there,
    And his friends had somehow recognized the mush of skin and hair,
    That jury placed Pat Duggan’s cow on very heavy bail,
    Because in their opinion she had rather too much tail.

    And this is how, in Macaroon, it strangely came to pass,
    That Pat Duggan, unmolested still, pursued his way to mass;
    And that cow was so respected that no bigot would offend her
    Bovine susceptibilities with shouts of “no surrender.”
    Why, even on the glorious, immortal twelfth July,
    The enthusiastic drummers in dread silence pass her by;
    They would rather that the glory they commemorate should pale,
    Than again tempt Duggan’s awful cow to exercise her tail.



THE SEA-SICK SUB-COMMISSIONERS.

     [In the Common Pleas Division of the High Court of Justice, during
     the League agitation, the court heard an application on behalf of
     the Earl of Bantry to substitute service on twenty-one tenants on
     the Island of Dersey, about a quarter of a mile from the main land,
     in the barony of Bore, county of Cork. Counsel said that the island
     was so inaccessible that rents had not been collected there for
     over two years. Mr. Justice Harrison asked how were the Land
     Commissioners to get over when they went down to fix fair rents?
     Counsel said that they would find it difficult enough to get off.
     The place was so wild that it was only on fine days it was possible
     to cross Dersey Sound. They went over, however, and these verses
     record the exploit:]


    There were three Sub-Commissioners went sailing sou-sou-west,
    With due responsibility on each official breast,
    To the lonely isle of Dersey they travelled with intent
    To investigate and regulate each pining tenant’s rent.
    Oh, Moses! how the tempest blew adown the channel wild,
    It made the oldest lawyer feel as helpless as a child,
    Whilst the chairman had to exercise the greatest legal tact,
    For fear his conscience might disgorge a portion of the Act.

    They felt, did those commissioners, such physical defaults
    As the toper who indulges by mistake in Epsom salts,
    And not upon the future were their aspirations cast,
    They wanted first to scatter round some relics of the past.
    The fish that followed in their wake, cod, mackerel, and fluke,
    Had never witnessed so much bait before without a hook,
    They were ignorant entirely of the all-important fact
    That their unexpected _dejeuner_ was owing to the Act.

    They were very sick commissioners upon those troubled seas,
    There was something quite seditious in the waves and in the breeze,
    And when their tottering footsteps pressed on solid earth once more,
    They used up all their handkerchiefs on Dersey’s barren shore,
    And they couldn’t relish joyfully the wild delirious sport
    That awaited but their presence in the Land Commission Court;
    They wanted all to go to bed, and miserably lacked
    The enthusiastic courage to administer the Act.

    They seemed, those Sub-Commissioners, more circumspect than gay
    While hearing Irish evidence interpreted all day,
    Although alternate intervals were taken to allow
    Opportunities to each of them to wipe his clammy brow.
    That evening, at supper, they sought vainly to conceal
    A variety of feelings unbecoming to that meal;
    And when they sought their couches, with their constitutions racked,
    They had tortures worse than striving to elucidate the Act.



CAOINE OF THE CLARE CONSTABULARY.


    So, you’re goin’ out to Aigypt, wirrasthrue!
      An’ we’ll niver see your faytures any more,
    Millia murther! what in thunder shall we do
      Whin you turn your crookid back upon our shore?
    All innocint divarsion with yourself will be departin’
      An’ existence will become a dreary void;
    Ochone an’ ullagone! we must vainly sigh an’ groan;
      Philalu! a long adieu to Clifford Lloyd!

    No more at midnight’s melancholy stroke
      Shall we revel in our customary fun
    Of scaring all the humble women folk
      In sarchin’ for the shadow of a gun.
    There’s an ind to legal riot, they may sleep in peace an’ quiet,
      An’ their slumbers niver more will be annoyed;
    We’re dejected an’ neglected, an’ we cannot be expected
      To be happy after banished Clifford Lloyd!

    No more cartridges of buckshot we desire,
      ’Tis a burden whin we’re not allowed to use it,
    An’ our batons may be thrown into the fire--
      We may see a peasant’s head an’ dar not bruise it,
    The girls may take to coortin’ an’ the boys resume their spoortin’,
      An’ life by common people be enjoyed,
    In contint, without lamint, since to Africa they’ve sint
      That inimy of laughter, Clifford Lloyd!

    Misther Healy, you have always been unkind.
      But we didn’t think you positively cruel
    Till we noticed how you changed ould Gladstone’s mind,
      And made him sind away our darlin’ jewel.
    Our feelins are diminted an’ our souls are discontinted,
      Troth! we’re altogether ruined an’ destroyed,
    We’re wailin’ an’ we’re quailin’ and we’re failin’ since the sailin’
      Of that father of coercion, Clifford Lloyd!



CLAUSE TWENTY-SIX.

(A COTTER’S REVERY ON THE EMIGRATION CLAUSE OF THE LAND ACT.)


    I’ve been towld there’s a chance in the distance,
      For struggling poor sowls like myself,
    To brighten our dreary existence,
      An’ even to gather some pelf,
    In a land where the soil is but waitin’
      The wooin’ of shovels an’ picks
    That we’ll take whin we’re all emigratin’
      To fortune by Clause Twenty-six.

    It’s hard and it’s sad to be hurried
      Away from the strings of my life--
    From the spot where my mother lies buried,
      The place where I coorted my wife.
    Sweet home of my birth, to forsake you,
      My conscience remorsefully pricks--
    I can’t tell if to lave or to take you,
      Bewilderin’ Clause Twenty-six.

    For it’s rather too bitther my fate is,
      When my luck like a stranger goes by,
    When blight settles down on the praties,
      An’ the cow that I trusted turns dry;
    Whin the turf is too damp to be fuel,
      An’, crouched o’er a handful of sticks,
    I curse you, misfortune so cruel,
      An’ pray for you, Clause Twenty-six.

    Whin the rain through the thatch finds a way in,
      Till we sleep in a cheerless cowld bath;
    Whin the hens are teetotal at layin’,
      An’ the pig is as thin as a lath,
    Whin the childer are pinin’ an’ ailin’,
      An’ losin’ their mirth an’ their tricks--
    Oh, I long for the ship to be sailin’
      That’s chartered by Clause Twenty-six.

    And often at night I’ve a notion,
      Whilst hungry they’re lyin’ in bed,
    In that plintiful land o’er the ocean
      They wouldn’t be cryin’ for bread;
    They might even an odd pat of butther
      Along with their stirabout mix;
    Oh, my heart is too full for to utter
      Its thoughts of you, Clause Twenty-six.

    To see the health-roses assimble
      On the cheeks of my boys, an’ the curls
    Once again in the bright mornin’ trimble
      With the innocent laugh of my girls;
    An’ to feel that herself would be aisy,
      Nor frettin’ at trouble or fix.
    Mavrone! but I’m mighty nigh crazy
      Considerin’ Clause Twenty-six.



JENKINS, M. P.


    Mr. Jenkins, M. P., from St. Stephen’s came o’er
    To address the electors he’d soothered before,
    But he found in their feelings toward him a change,
    Manifested in ways both alarming and strange;
    He had scarcely extolled their warm hearts in the south
    When a wet sod of turf hit him square in the mouth,
    And the force of its logic ’twas plain he could see,
    For “your argument’s striking,” said Jenkins, M. P.

    Then a cat long deceased was propelled at his pate;
    Says Jenkins, “Your animal spirits are great.”
    A two-year-old egg on his cheek went to batter;
    “I’d rather,” he murmured, “not speak of that matter.”
    They set fire to the platform, he gasped in affright,
    “The subject’s appearing in quite a new light.”
    He appealed to his friends to protect him, nor flee,
    “For unity’s strength,” argued Jenkins, M. P.

    But in vain was their aid from that circle so fond;
    He was torn and well soused in a neighboring pond,
    And as it was freezing it needn’t be told
    That his ardor was damped by a greeting so cold.
    And the peelers came up in a charge like the wind--
    Not knowing the member, they stormed him behind,
    And when he felt bayonets where they shouldn’t be,
    “I won’t dwell on these points,” muttered Jenkins, M. P.

    He fled to his inn, but avoided the bar,
    Where some patriots waited with feathers and tar.
    “Sweet creatures,” quoth he, with a satisfied grin,
    “Their charity sha’n’t cover much of my sin.”
    All bruises and scratches he sought the first train;
    “I leave you, electors,” he whispered, “with pain.
    ’Tis plain that our sentiments do not agree;
    I’ll express them elsewhere,” shouted Jenkins, M. P.



THADY MALONE.


    Hurrah for our tight little, bright little nation,
      The earth’s brightest jewel, the gem of the say;
    The garden of Europe, the flower of creation,
      Where no sarpints with legs or without them can stay.
              Were once we united
              Our wrongs should be righted
    And ours be the brightest of emerald isles,
              But still some intraygur,
              Or bastely renayger,
    Sells the pass on the cause just as victory smiles.
              Yet, no matter, we’ve planned
              A divarsion so grand
    That we’ll soon have the land altogether our own;
              And the rogue who’ll consent
              To contribute rack rint
    Will meet with the fate of old Thady Malone!

    The tailor refused to patch up his torn breeches,
      The cobbler declined to take charge of his soles,
    An’ though he was rowlin’ in ill-gotten riches,
      The heels of his stockin’s were nothin’ but holes,
              For his wife wint away
              On the very next day
    With his mother-in-law (though he didn’t mind that),
              An’ sisters and cousins
              Departed in dozens,
    Till there wasn’t a sowl in the place but the cat.
              Why, sorra a doubt,
              Sure, the fire it wint out
    An’ left him in cowld and in darkness to moan,
              Till he felt that the rint
              Had been badly ill-spint
    That wint to the landlord of Thady Malone!

    The praties grew mowldy and bad in the ridges,
      The mangolds an’ turnips got frosted an’ sour,
    In summer the cows were desthroyed with the midges,
      An’ the ass wint an’ drowned himself out in a shower.
              The sparrows, diminted,
              Grew quite discontinted,
    An’ wouldn’t remain in the cabin’s ould thatch;
              The pigs tuk to fittin’,
              An’ hins that were sittin’
    Wint off upon thramp an’ deserted the hatch.
              A polis inspector,
              A taxes collector,
    Came out to protect him from kippeen or stone,
              An’ there now he’s stuck,
              Without hope, grace, or luck,
    Misfortunate, boycotted Thady Malone!



[B] RORY’S REVERIE.


    Death o’ my soul! the lot is cast, and mine will be the hand
    To free from curse than plague spot worse this corner of the land,
    To quench the light of eyes that never glared except in hate,
    To stifle evermore the tongue that mocked the poor man’s fate.
    ’Tis I am proud that from the crowd ’twas I, and I alone,
    Was chosen out to pay the debts that half the parish own;
    My faith! the country side will ring before the mornin’ light,
    Though little knows rack-rentin’ Phil that Rory walks to-night!

    How Thade M’Gurk and Redmond Burke across the spreadin’ say,
    Driven from home for years to roam ’mid strangers far away,
    Will shout with glee the day they see their black and cruel lot,
    Their woes, their tears, paid off in years by my avenging shot!
    An’ they must know--the tale will go ’twas I, their boyhood’s friend,
    That brought at last the tyrant to his well-earned bitter end.
    Why, when I meet them next they’ll shake my arms off with delight--
    I’m longin’ for the hour of gloom when Rory walks to-night!

    Mary’s asleep. Now heaven keep her slumbers safe and sound,--
    (“Heaven,” said I? Well, that’s wrong; ’tis Hell is surging
          hotly round),--
    And, nestled closely by her side, my little Kathleen’s face
    Seems smiling like an angel’s through the darkness of the place.
    She kissed me ere she sank to rest--I’d think it sin just now
    To press my burnin’ lips again upon her childish brow;
    Perhaps she’d dream about my scheme, and after shun my sight--
    I mustn’t think of this--No! no! for Rory walks to-night!

    Where’s that ould gun? But softly, so; I’d better make no noise,
    I wouldn’t like the wife to know I’d dealings in such toys.
    The barrel’s rather rusty: it’s been in the thatch too long--
    Musha! the pull is heavy. Well, my trigger-finger’s strong.
    And just to think! with this ould thing you lie behind a ditch,
    When there’s silence all around you, an’ the night is dark as pitch,
    An’ your landlord comes up whistlin’, an’ you spot his shirt-front white,
    An’ his tune is changed immediately to “Rory walks to-night!”

    And that black Phil has never done kind deed to me or mine;
    If he were dead a thousand times none of my blood would pine;
    My wife might even bless the hand by which his end was wrought;
    My child--but, no, Great God forbid her wronged by such a thought!
    She prayed for me at bedtime; sure I stood beside her when
    She asked God’s blessing on me, and I dar’ not say Amen:
    Amen to such a prayer as that! ’Twould be a curse, a blight,
    To pray at all to God or saint, when Rory walks to-night!

    What ails me? Am I coward turned? I, who had ever sneer
    For every one that showed at all of priest or preacher fear;
    I, who have sworn, were once I asked to play a man’s stern part,
    No quiver of a nerve should swerve the bullet from his heart!
    I’m shakin’ like an aspen--Faugh! I can’t afford to spend
    My time in trembling, when I’m due down at the boreen’s end--
    What? but a dream? Now God be praised for this sweet mornin’s light,
    I’m better plased that, after all, no Rory walked last night.



A DOUBLE SURPRISE.


I.

GALLAGHER’S GOOSE.

Constable Tom Gallagher, in December, 1880, was in charge of the
Ballyblank Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks. A topographist might fail
to discover Ballyblank on any Ordnance map of Ireland, but Constable
Gallagher’s prototypes abound in every county of the island. He was
tall, straight, stiff, red-complexioned, sandy-bearded, self-important,
and imbued with that solemn sense of duty to Queen and Constitution
which has deprived the Irish constabulary of all the ordinary feelings
of weak humanity. He would bayonet with equally grim satisfaction a
riotous peasant, a green-ribbon-bedecked maid or matron, or a
recalcitrant pig which proved contrary at a rent seizure. Where he was
born, who were his parents, what had been his history before he was
evolved from the depot in Phœnix Park, Dublin, a full-blown sub in
dark-green tunic, with prominent chest and prying eyes, that rested
suspiciously and lingered long on every unaccustomed object not familiar
to his code of instructions and mode of training--these were mysteries
known only to himself, and possibly to the Director-General. The
physiognomists of the quiet village of Ballyblank, a few of his own
limited command, and a graceless scamp of a medical student, one Harry
McCarthy, home for the holidays from the dissecting rooms of the
metropolis, professed to trace a striking resemblance between the
somewhat rugged contour of his countenance and that of the one man in
the parish who disputed unpopularity with him--George Macgrabb, J. P.,
the agent of Lord Clonboy, the scourge of the district, the terror of
its toilers, and the bugaboo of all the little children for miles
around.

Certain it was, that, whether any physical affinities marked the two
despots of the country side or not, their mental and moral--or
immoral--characteristics had drawn them closely together. It was on the
recommendation of Macgrabb, J. P., that Gallagher had been appointed to
the command of that station. It was on the report of Macgrabb, J. P.,
that the chief secretary replied in the English Commons to a question
about an excessive outburst of loyalty on the part of the constable,
which had led that ardent enthusiast in the cause of law and order to
direct a fusillade upon a crowd of little boy musicians, who were
supposed to be opposing both by singing the chorus of “God Save
Ireland.” The sapient secretary declared that the lives of the police
were threatened, and the English members cheered the heroism of the
constabulary whose lacerating buckshot had scattered the toddling crowd.
Above and beyond all, this December, Macgrabb had shown, not only his
magisterial approval of the constable as an official, but his interest
in him as a man, by a kindly present. In the beginning of the month he
had sent to Gallagher a goose.

“You are among strangers, Constable,” he said; “and the unfortunate
feeling of disloyalty which pervades this county might reduce you to
rougher fare than would be agreeable at the festive Christmas time.
Accept this goose as a token of my good-will. Fatten it, and invite your
comrades to partake of the hospitable cheer it may afford.”

Now, whether the early associations of that goose with the stingy and
miserly household of the agent had accustomed it to a peculiar dietary,
or that its depraved appetite was inherent, I cannot say, but the
gastronomical horrors recorded of it during Gallagher’s custodianship
are preserved among the most glowing traditions of the force. He tried
to fatten it, as per invoice, so to speak. He expended all the fervor of
a constable’s first love on it. He wrote to the editors of half-a-dozen
agricultural papers for information as to the best kind of food to make
his goose a sufficiently adipose victim for the sacrificial altar. But
the perversity of that web-footed cackler was almost miraculous. The
compiler of farm-yard items in the Dublin _Farmer’s Gazette_ recommended
boiled Indian meal. The intelligent constable boiled the grain with his
own loyal hands, and laid down a saucerful before his white-winged
Christmas donation. It spurned the Indian meal, and devoured the saucer.
The constable had to retire and read the Riot Act to himself before he
could recover from this outrage to his judgment.

The assistant editor who lets himself loose on poultry in the _Barndoor
Chronicle_ gave an elaborate recipe, which he warranted to convert
Gallagher’s shadowy anatomy of legs and feathers into a pudgy monster of
edible delicacy inside a week or so. The belted constabulary knight
spent half a day mixing the recipe and stirring it in a canteen kettle.
He laid it tenderly before the agent’s goose. The bird sailed into the
kettle, and actually gorged the spout before peace was restored in
Warsaw. But why continue? Every man in the barracks tried medicinal and
culinary experiments upon Gallagher’s goose, but it refused to be
fattened. It spent its leisure time in masticating broken bottles,
half-bricks, nails, old shoes, copies of the official _Gazette_, tunic
buttons, bayonet sheaths--anything, everything, except flesh-forming
food. It exhibited a remarkable appetite for official documents. Private
circulars from Col. Hillier, secret instructions from George Bolton,
search-warrants, copies of information, it swallowed with an avidity
that rendered its general abstinence all the more conspicuous.

I have devoted so much introduction to Gallagher’s goose because a
knowledge of the physical and psychological eccentricities of that
wonderful fowl, and a due appreciation of its literary tastes, will be
necessary to the proper understanding of the memorable events that
transpired during the Christmas week of 1880 at Ballyblank.


II.

A PLOT, AND ITS EXECUTION.

The hates, the fears, and the respects of Agent Macgrabb and Constable
Gallagher extended to precisely the same two individuals in Ballyblank.
They both hated the medical student, Harry McCarthy, before alluded to,
and they both feared and consequently respected Pat McCarthy, tenant
farmer, and father of that unutterable scapegrace. Both, too, hated
Harry for the same reason. He was irreclaimably, obtusely, blindly,
madly irreverent of the mighty forces that prevail in Ireland. He never
doffed his hat to the agent, majestic representative of property and
propriety; he smiled at the constable, personification of British
justice and empire, and had actually laughed at the constabulary
joint-stock enterprise in goose fattening. Then, he was popular, and
your little village tyrant hates no one more bitterly than the man who
is loved by the oppressed. Finally, his popularity was due in a great
measure to his powers of mimicry, and the fact that Macgrabb and
Gallagher were ever the twin objects of his talent in that direction. At
weddings and patterns, wakes and fairs, he had made people roar again
and again with his reproductions of the peeler’s parade stride and the
magistrate’s judicial frown. It would be hard to say which had the
greatest abhorrence to free-and-easy Harry. The agent would have gloried
in burying him under a pyramid of ejectment writs; the constable would
have sacrificed a stripe for the privilege of emptying a company’s
charge of buckshot into his obnoxious figure. The disappointment at
finding no opportunity to either annoy or hurt him turned Macgrabb blue
and Gallagher yellow whenever they encountered Harry’s joyous
countenance.

As mentioned, the worthy couple both respected and feared Harry’s
father. The policeman respected him because he was the one man in the
parish (outside his reckless son) who did not give a traneen for either
the agent Macgrabb or the agent’s master, Lord Clonboy. He feared the
sturdy farmer, too, from some indefinable sensation that he could not
account for. The reasons of the agent’s fear and respect were of a
two-fold character. In the first place, Pat McCarthy held a lease; and
in the second, he had a daughter. When at the close of a gale Macgrabb
could put a ten per cent. screw on the tenants for Lord Clonboy’s
Parisian dissipation, and a five per cent. twist for his own less
expensive frolics in Dublin, McCarthy could not only pay him a rent,
guarded by his lease, one-half what all the surrounding tenants had to
contribute, but he could and did express his opinion of the
rack-renting proclivities of the rural Nero in language whose emphasis
was more marked than its elegance. It had been the life-long dream of
the agent to break that lease, and twice had he approached within
measurable distance of doing so. Once, when the expenses of Harry’s
collegiate education had left the old man short of money, and he had
begged for a few weeks’ grace. Again, just a year before, when the
universal failure of the crops should in all human probability have left
McCarthy nearly bankrupt. But, somehow, the farmer weathered his
difficulties, and escaped the penal clause of the lease, which rendered
the whole document void if one gale fell in arrears.

I have mentioned a second reason why Macgrabb respected McCarthy. This
reason, Miss Ellen McCarthy, was a fair and remarkably excusable one.
Why a shrivelled atomy like the agent should feel drawn to a buxom,
frolicsome, blue-eyed Irish girl, whose generous sympathies were the
opposite of his sordid nature, whose merry laugh was the antithesis of
his diabolical grin, who cordially loathed and despised every bone in
his body and every constituent element of his soul, I know not; but the
fact remained that Macgrabb doated upon McCarthy’s daughter with a
devotion so utterly antagonistic to his ordinary selfishness that he
couldn’t quite understand it himself.

It led him to a proposal of marriage, whose consequences were singularly
disagreeable both to his magisterial dignity and his physical
susceptibilities. Miss McCarthy laughed at and ran away from him, and
Harry McCarthy, to whom she related the joke, came into the parlor, and
with a vehemence that reflected credit upon his sincerity, and a
knowledge of sore spots that spoke well for his diligence at surgical
studies, kicked the J. P. out of the door, down the steps, across a
grass plot, and out into the high road.

It was the day after this occurrence that Macgrabb presented the goose
of destiny to Gallagher. A week subsequently the magistrate and the
peeler were closeted in the former’s private office.

“Here is the search-warrant, Tom,” observed Macgrabb, laying his hand
familiarly on the constable’s arm. “I trust to you to see that no paper
escapes you. If I get that last rent receipt into my hands I’ll squelch
McCarthy as if a mountain had fallen on him.”

“It’s a risk,” said the policeman, hesitatingly.

“What risk? Information has been sworn that McCarthy’s son has been
engaged in treasonable conspiracy, and that arms and illegal documents
are in the father’s house. On that information I issue a warrant, and
you execute it. It’s your duty to seize all documents--you’re not
supposed to have time to read every letter you come across. If you don’t
nab that rent receipt--you’ll know it--it’s on blue, thick paper--what
harm’s done? Thank God! there’s law in the country, and police
authorities can search these blackguards’ dens for fun, if for nothing
else, as often as they like. If you do nip the receipt, there’s £50 down
for you, and the chance, Tom--think of that, my boy--the chance of
having the pleasure of assisting in turning the whole McCarthy brood
out, and paying them off for many an old score. Why, at the school party
last night Harry gave what he called a character sketch. What do you
think it was? A representation of an Irish constable, and voice, legs,
gesture, were all in imitation of you. The parish priest laughed till
the tears rolled down his cheeks, and all the boys and girls yelled with
delight. Have you any spirit, man alive, to put up with such insults?”

“Give me the warrant,” growled Gallagher. “I suppose the National papers
and the priest, too, for that matter, would call it stealing to take a
rent receipt when we’re only looking for Fenian proclamations or copies
of the _Irish World_, but I’ll chance to get even with that jackeen,
even if I lose my stripes.”

On the night of Dec. 6, just as the McCarthys were retiring to rest, a
loud knocking outside disarranged their programme of repose. Before the
summons could be responded to, the door was rudely burst open, and
Constable Gallagher, followed by half a dozen armed men, rushed in.

“Blow the brains out of any one that budges a foot or stirs a hand!” he
yelled. “Mr. McCarthy, in the name of the Queen and by varchue of my
oath--I mane this sarch-warrant--I demand any arms, ammunition,
traysonable papers, or documents of any kind delivered up to me.”

McCarthy was surprised, his wife somewhat frightened, but Harry, true to
his character, tossed a bundle of medical works on the table and cried,
“Arrah! Sergeant dear, just give us your candid opinion of some of
these anatomical sketches. What a beautiful skeleton you would make,
yourself! Really, I would feel a pleasure in dissecting you. You have
such a lot of bones about you that seem out of place.”

The constable paid no heed to this badinage, but with a sign to his
followers proceeded to ransack the house. Every paper, envelope, or
scrap of writing was seized, despite the indignant protests of McCarthy,
and the merciless jeering of the young student.

On leaving, Gallagher grunted, “We will examine these in the barracks.
If there’s nothing traysonable in them, you’ll get them back. If there
is, why, law’s law, and you had better look out.”

That night, in the privacy of his own particular room, the constable sat
down to a perusal of the McCarthy documents. But the excitement of the
search, and sundry non-official stimulants to duty that he had indulged
in, had made him heavy and sleepy. Leaving the papers spread on the
table, he stretched his angular limbs on a bench, and was soon snoring
in cadenzas which sounded like intermittent file-firing. He was awakened
by a noise at the window. It was daylight. The window was open, and
perched upon the sill with a long slip of blue paper in its beak, was
the constable’s attenuated goose. A glance at the table showed that the
omnivorous cackler had been tasting the flavor of the various papers
strewn thereon. Gallagher rushed forward to seize the predatory monster,
but with a peculiar chuckle of derision it flew from the window and
disappeared from view.


III.

A BATCH OF CORRESPONDENCE.

About noon the constable received the following note:--

     _Sir_,--Among the papers you so unwarrantably seized in your
     grossly illegal search at my house last night was a receipt for
     £24, being the amount of a half-year’s rent paid Sept. 15 to George
     Macgrabb. If it be not immediately returned, I shall at once take
     legal proceedings for its recovery, and if possible for your
     punishment. Yours, etc., PATRICK MCCARTHY.

The constable sat down and wrote two notes. The first ran:--

     MR. MCCARTHY:

     _Sir_,--I know nothing about any rent receipt. If you’ll come to
     the barracks you will get all your papers back, except a few
     suspicious documents I have felt it my duty to forward to Dublin
     Castle.

                                               Yours, THOMAS GALLAGHER,
                                                  _Constable, R. I. C._



The second note was less short, but more mysterious:--

     MR. MACGRABB:

     _Respected Sir_,--That infernal goose has got it. I saw it flying
     out of my window with one end of it in its mouth this morning.
     Anything that goose takes a fancy to swallow is done for. It has
     one of my old boots and a copy of the Constabulary Manual in its
     stomach already, so you needn’t be afraid that it won’t digest a
     piece of blue paper. I enclose you Pat McCarthy’s note. I’ll kill
     the goose, if you like to make sure. Your obedient and respectful

                                                      THOMAS GALLAGHER.



The letter-box at Ballyblank that night contained these two missives
from Macgrabb:--

                                               THE LODGE, Dec. 7, 1880.

     _My dear Mr. McCarthy_,--I find on looking over the office books
     that you are behind with your last half-year’s rent, due Sept. 15.
     His lordship, as you are aware, is not at all pleased with his
     father’s action in granting you the lease under which you now hold,
     and will certainly submit to no infringement of its clauses. I
     would request, therefore, immediate payment of the amount due. Of
     course you know the consequences of delay.

     Faithfully yours,

                                                       GEORGE MACGRABB.

     _Dear Constable_,--Let the goose live. By Jingo, I’ve a mind to
     drop over on Christmas day and test its stuffing.

                                                                GEORGE.



IV.

THE CONSTABLE’S CHRISTMAS COLLATION.

To the surprise of the agent, Pat McCarthy returned no answer to his
note, and to the surprise of the policeman the last addition to its
literary feasts appeared to have temporarily disgusted the aquatic bird,
for it vanished from the precincts of the barracks, and was seen no more
for a fortnight. For a time this mysterious disappearance somewhat
annoyed, even if it did not alarm, the dual conspirators, for there was
a bare possibility that some hungry laborer on the estate might have
killed the bird and tried to eat it, possibly discovering the lost
receipt among the other curiosities absorbed into its digestive
interior. But when a week passed, and nothing was heard of either the
missing dinner which the Ballyblank constabulary had anticipated
blunting their teeth on at Christmas, or of the cerulean document
obtained by stratagem and lost by accident, the worthy pair began to
breathe more freely. Some tramp or wayfarer, no doubt, had deprived the
barracks of its treasure.

On Dec. 16, notice was served on Patrick McCarthy that at the
fortnightly sessions to be held at Ballyblank on the first Tuesday after
Christmas, it was the intention of George Macgrabb, Esq., J. P., agent
to Lord Clonboy, D. L., J. P., etc., to apply for a decree of ejectment
against the said Patrick McCarthy for arrears of rent and costs, and the
said Patrick McCarthy was required to attend and show cause, if any, why
such decree should not be granted. Still no response from the obnoxious
tenant.

On Christmas morning the agent drove over to the barracks.

“Constable,” said he, “I expect I shall require your assistance in a day
or two. I’ll get the ejectment to-morrow. I haven’t heard a word from
McCarthy. I suppose he means to claim the rent, and say the receipt was
stolen during your search. It will be useless. Those copies of the
_Irish World_ found in his desk have turned every magistrate on the
bench against him. They won’t believe him on a million oaths. We
landlords stick to each other. I’ll get the decree, and by G--d, I’ll
put it in execution in twenty-four hours unless Miss Nelly says she’ll
be Mrs. MacG. and Master Harry clears out to America or Hong-Kong. Have
every available man ready. McCarthy’s a popular man with the other
rapscallions of tenants, and they might show fight. We’ll shoot them
down, if they do, the dogs. I’ll telegraph to the county town for more
men.”

“It won’t be necessary,” growled Gallagher, showing his teeth like a
vicious cat. “They haven’t forgotten Malone’s eviction. By Jupiter,
didn’t we scatter the women that day! Killed one. She had twenty grains
of buckshot in her. Never fired a cleaner shot in my life. They made a
fuss about it, of course. What good did it do the fools? Did it save
young Dermody when he kicked so about us turning his old mother out?
He’ll remember the taste of my bayonet, if he lives long enough. Then
look how the crowds gathered when we executed the writ against O’Brien.
Lord! how we peppered them. Do you mind--”

The brutal reminiscences over which both the crowbar heroes sat gloating
and smacking their lips were interrupted by the entrance of a sub with a
hamper and a note. The constable gazed at both with surprise. To the
hamper was attached a card:--

“A Christmas Box--From Harry McCarthy.”

“Don’t touch it! Take it away! It’s dynamite!” screamed the magistrate,
with blue lips and pallid features. But at that moment there came from
the box a “Quack! Quack!” so loud, so unmistakable, that both Gallagher
and Macgrabb exclaimed in one whisper, “The goose! Great Heavens, the
goose!”

They opened the basket with trembling fingers, and there, sure enough,
as scraggy, as bony, as void of everything but skin and feathers as
ever, was Macgrabb’s Christmas peace-offering to the other limb of the
law.

The constable turned to the note with dilating eyes. It was some time
before he could read its contents:--

     _My poor Gallagher_,--I do not wish to deprive you of your
     Christmas repast. The thought of your misery, if doomed to a cold
     collation of bread and cheese, has overcome my resentment at your
     last visit. But I would appeal to you not to sacrifice the bird. It
     has been a most interesting visitor to me. It is not so much its
     exploring turn of mind that I admire--though certainly it is the
     most inquisitive goose I ever saw. During its stay with me I
     confined its tours of investigation indoors. It would have been
     well for you to have done the same. If you had kept its intellect
     employed in the kitchen or the guard-room, and limited its
     digestive experiments to crockery ware, old hats, paper collars,
     and ink-bottles, as I have done, you would possibly be happier
     to-day. Its thirst for knowledge is positively alarming. I
     discovered that when I found it making a meal off one of my most
     valued surgical books. After that I kept it in my bedroom, and it
     has at this moment stowed away in its ravenous recesses a pair of
     blankets, three sheets, a choice assortment of carpet and
     hearth-rug, and a wash-hand basin. I think it would have been
     better for you to have sacrificed a linen-draper’s shop, and kept
     your goose at home. When it came round our farm on a voyage of
     discovery with a blue rent receipt in its bill, I recognized the
     mistake you committed in not treating it as a suspect or a
     treason-felony prisoner. I succeeded in rescuing the document,
     which it proposed studying, I have no doubt, when it could spare
     time from its topographical surveys. I shall have the pleasure of
     exhibiting the autograph in which the animal took such an absorbing
     interest at the Petty Sessions Court to-morrow to its original
     author. My respects to Macgrabb. If you feel no further curiosity
     in the goose, perhaps he might be inclined to preserve it in his
     ancestral halls. If he wrote a history of its connection with a
     strategic stroke of policy he recently indulged in, the perusal
     would be both edifying and instructive to his descendants and
     dependants, as representative of one of which classes, perhaps
     both, I tender you my profound sympathy, and remain,

                                                        Yours, as ever,
                                                        HARRY MCCARTHY.

     P. S.--I am writing a little farce called “The Peeler’s Goose,”
     which will be produced at our society rooms shortly. Shall I send
     you tickets?

They were two very sickly men who bade each other good day soon after
they had mastered the contents of this epistle. Macgrabb did not apply
for the decree of ejectment, but Harry McCarthy was there, and told the
whole story in his rollicking fashion. He always calls the incident the
greatest double surprise in his experience, but admits that he cannot
say which was the greater surprise--that which he felt when he
encountered Gallagher’s goose, or that which thrilled the peeler when he
got it back again.



OUR LAND SHALL BE FREE.


    Brightly our swords in the sunlight are gleaming,
      Mountain and valley re-echo our tread;
    Proudly above us the sunburst is streaming;
      Firm is each footstep, erect every head.
    Ages of trampled right lend our arms threefold might,
      Slaves to the stranger no longer we’ll be;
    Soon shall the foeman fly when our fierce battle-cry
      Wakens the nation--Our land shall be free!

    We think of our kinsmen and brothers still pining
      In cold, gloomy dungeons of England afar,
    And swiftly strike home with our steel brightly shining,
      For know that each blow, comrades, loosens a bar!
    What though our force be few, each man is tried and true;
      Tried on the mountain or trained to the sea;
    On to the contest, then, up with the green again!
      Death to the tyrant--Our land shall be free!

    The spirit of Brian is hovering o’er us,
      The shades of our fathers arise from their graves;
    Swiftly we’ll drive the false foemen before us;
      While we’ve blood in our veins we will never be slaves!
    Erin has bent too long under a load of wrong,
      But now she rises erect from her knee,
    And, by the God who gave strength to the true and brave,
      Death will be ours, or our land shall be free!

    England no longer can mock or deride us;
      Fain would she bribe, but her temptings are vain;
    Factions or chieftains no more can divide us;
      True to the cause we shall ever remain.
    Yes! to our native land faithful till death we stand;
      Freedom for Erin our watchword will be;
    Ye who would fain divide, traitors all stand aside,
      Soldiers, press onward--Our land shall be free!



PHILIPSON’S PARTY.


Peter Philipson, Jr., chief clerk in the wholesale firm of Philipson
Brothers, tallow chandlers and soap-boilers, Limehouse, London, arrived
in Ballymurphy, County Cork, on the first day of March, 1880, for the
express purpose of collecting the rents on his father’s estate there,
which would fall due on the 31st of said month, and also of screwing out
of the tenants various arrears which Mr. Gleeson, a former agent, had
allowed to accumulate since the purchase of the property some three
years previously by the senior Philipson. That enterprising candle
manufacturer had invested in land just as he would in grease--with a
view to a dividend; and his first action had been to raise the rents all
round, a business arrangement which the obstinate farmers refused to
view in anything like the cool, matter-of-fact manner in which it was
regarded by Old Soapsuds,--which was the very irreverend title those
benighted beings bestowed upon one of the most solvent merchants of the
city of London. The agent, Mr. Gleeson, had been agent during the regime
of the “old stock,” who had got along very comfortably with the
tenantry until reverses on the turf and bad luck at the roulette table
had forced the last of them to dispose of the estate to the highest
bidder, the aforementioned manipulator of tallow and alkali. Mr. Gleeson
had protested against the increased rents; he averred positively that it
would be impossible to gather them, and, to do him justice, he made no
effort in that direction, cheerfully accepting whatever he got, and
calmly ignoring the reiterated mandates of the irate Philipson to evict
Donovan and sell up Sullivan, and play the deuce generally with the rest
of the tenants.

At last the man of soap bars and long dips had dismissed his easy-going
agent and sent his son across, armed with plenary powers of eviction,
ejectment, and all the multifarious legal weapons in the armory of
landlordism. Young Peter felt fully equal to the task of reducing the
entire Irish population to meek submission, and wasn’t going to be put
down by a score or two beggarly Cork men, don’t you know. Peter was
smart; Peter was more than smart, he was the most determined fellah of
any fellah he knew. Why, he had been accustomed to deal with rascally
workmen who were always wanting more wages, and he had once sacked
fifty--fifty in a batch. The beggars were glad to send their wives to
beg ’em back. He’d make these Irishmen sit up. He’d show ’em what was
what. They had no old slow-coach of a Gleeson to deal with now. They had
Peter Philipson--“no-nonsense Peter,” as they called him in the city.

The Manor House was fitted up for his temporary residence. He retained
the old housekeeper and the cook and the coachman and a stable boy,
only bringing from London with him his body-servant, one John Thomas
Jones, a stolid cockney, who bade his relatives a sad adieu under the
evident impression that he was about to face perils and catastrophes of
the most alarming description among the cannibal Irish. Peter’s first
proceeding was to present various letters of introduction to the
neighboring landlords and the officers of the adjoining garrison; his
next to extend to them an invitation to a soiree or party to be given as
a kind of house-warming by him on the 20th of March, by which time he
expected to be in a position to tell them that he had brought the
recalcitrant occupiers of “his father’s ground” to their proper senses.
These social duties performed, Mr. Philipson, Jr., despatched separate
missives to each tenant, setting forth the amount of his arrears,
including the incoming gale, and demanded a prompt settlement under
penalty of immediate law proceedings. That task over, Peter rested upon
his oars, purred contentedly to himself for a few days, wrote to his
father that he had shaken the beggars up, and indicted a lengthy epistle
to the _Limehouse Chronicle_ on the proper method of settling the Irish
difficulty.

On the morning of the 19th, Peter was astonished by a visit from his
tenantry in a body. His first impression was that they had come to pay
up arrears, and he chuckled at a success which he had scarcely expected
so soon. On entering the room into which his housekeeper had invited the
farmers, he changed his opinion. They hadn’t altogether the look of men
who had come in either a penitent or a suppliant mood. Most of them
retained their head-gear, and one or two were actually smoking. To say
that Peter was amazed at this lack of respect for his presence would be
a weak description of his feelings. He was shocked, startled, indignant,
and, indeed, a little frightened, into the bargain. Recovering himself,
he asked in a voice that sounded as if some of his own soap had got
round his tongue, “Well, you’ve come to settle, I suppose?”

“Yes,” replied a sturdy, frieze-coated peasant, advancing from the rest
without removing his caubeen. “You’re right; we want a settlement.”

“Ah, I thought I would bring you to your senses,” said Peter with an
ill-disguised sneer.

Frieze-coat flushed and retorted, “It seems to me that you’ve got the
wrong bull by the tail this time,” at which a broad smile lit up the
twenty-odd faces, and there were one or two audible guffaws.

“Wrong bull? Who’s talking about bulls? What do you mean?”

“Well, we’re here to bring _you_ to _your_ senses; not to show that
we’ve parted with our own.”

“I--I--” stammered Peter. “Upon my soul, my deah fellah, I don’t
understand you.”

“Well, thin, I’ll try to insinse you. You’ve sint us notes askin’ for
arrears that we don’t mane to pay. Yer ould father’s been thryin’ to
raise rints on us that’s too high as it is. We ped the ould rint as long
as we cud, but bad saysons an’ poor crops have med even the ould rint
too heavy; so we’ve detarmined, every man, to offer you a fair rint for
this gale, Griffith’s valuation, divil a ha’penny more, an’ if you don’t
like to take that, troth you may whistle for your rints, for bad luck to
the shilling you’ll get, at all, at all.”

Peter turned blue, red, yellow, white, and mottled by turns, and was
nearly ten minutes searching for his voice before he found it. When he
did get hold of it, he hardly recognized the tones as his own. “This is
mo--mo--monstrous,” he ejaculated. “Begone! I shall have bailiffs in
every cabin in the parish before the month’s out. I’ll
evict--I’ll-I’ll--by Jove! I’ll--I’ll--Look here, go to Hong-Kong out of
this!”

“Oh, we’re goin’,” responded the spokesman; “but, before we go, I’d like
to give you a little bit of advice. We med you a fair offer, an’ ye’ve
only returned abuse. Did you ever hear of Captain Boycott? Well,
begorra, before this day-week you’ll think Captain Boycott a happy man
to what you’ll be. We’re going to do the most complete, out-an’-out,
thunderin’ boycottin’ on you that ever shook a man out of his breeches.
Good day, an’ good luck to you. I hope your education in the fine arts
of washin’ and cookin’, diggin’ yer own praties an’ lightin’ yer own
fires, blackin’ yer own boots, an’ starchin’ yer own shirts, wasn’t
neglected in yer youth, for ye’ll need it all, I assure you, on the word
of a Sullivan. Come along, boys. Three cheers for the Land League!” A
thundering hurrah shook the oaken rafters again and again, as the
deputation filed slowly out of the room, and Peter sank into the nearest
chair with a dim conviction surging through his brain that there was
something wrong somewhere in the terrestrial system, and that Bow Lane,
Limehouse, was a far more desirable location for his active genius than
Ballymurphy, County Cork.

After half an hour’s diversified meditation, Peter decided that things
were not so gloomy, after all. He would see his lawyer, and get out the
decrees at once. As for the threat of boycotting, what did he care about
that? He had no desire to cultivate the acquaintance of the tenantry, so
how the deuce could he suffer by their refusal to speak or deal with
him? Ha! ha! by Jove, it was absurd, ridiculously absurd. In his revived
spirits Peter actually commenced an original fandango, but was
interrupted in his terpsichorean evolutions by the entrance of his man
Jones, over whose flabby countenance a facial eclipse had fallen, which
at once arrested his master’s attention and his quickstep.

“Eh? Well? What’s up now?” queried Philipson.

“Hup! Heverythinks hup. Missus Moore, she’s hup and ’ooked it. The cook,
she’s bin and gone and flued, also, likewise. The coachman and the
’ossler they’ve sloped, an’ the ’osses is a ’avin’ a jubilee on the
front lawn. The kitchen fire, it’s gone out, and I do verily believe
there ain’t a mossel of coal in the ’ouse. The butcher, ’e’s a bloomer,
’e is. Blow me if that ’ere butcher didn’t turn back with the legs o’
mutton, an’ the rounds o’ beef, an’ the shoulders o’ lamb as was a
hordered for the lay-out to-morrow; and the fowl man, ’e did ditto with
the turkeys an’ chickens, an’ the grocer, ’e’s another ditto, an’ I’ve
come to give my notice. When I engaged to love, ’onor, an’ obey--I mean
to brush your clothes an’ do all the other cetrys of a wally de sham--I
didn’t bargain, not by no manner of means, for starvation. You may be as
much Robinson Keruso as you like, but you don’t lug John Thomas in for
Man Friday. Adoo. Fare you well. I’m going back to the roast beef of
hold Hengland and Mary Ann Timmons, which, if she could see her faithful
Jones a wearin’ to a skeleton she would break her ’art. Good-by, sir.”

Before Peter could gather in the full drift of his servitor’s disjointed
sentences, that injured retainer was away, speeding to the nearest
railway station with a firm conviction that his life depended on the
distance he could place before nightfall between himself and
Ballymurphy.

A hasty exploration of the premises convinced his master that he had
spoken only too truly. There was not a servant in the house. The fires
were all out; the larder was very nearly empty; the nearest provision
store was four miles off; if he knew how to harness a horse to the gig
he couldn’t do it, for, rejoicing in their unexpected freedom, his
equine possessions were gaily gambolling in distant pastures; and Peter
groaned as he pictured to himself the visit on the morrow of his invited
guests, Captain Devereux and Lieutenant Talbot of the Lancers, the Rev.
Jabez Wilkins, with his portly wife and buxom daughters, the neighboring
squires from half a dozen estates--a goodly company of fifteen or
sixteen in all, with not so much as a scullery maid to attend to their
wants, and only three bottles of porter, a box of cigars, and a couple
of loaves to feast their appetites!

It was awful. Marius amidst the ruins of Carthage, Casabianca on the
burning deck, a Chinese mandarin in a Kearney convention, a fat alderman
in a narrow lane with a Texan steer charging on his rear, Jonah in the
whale’s belly, or a shipwrecked Mormon missionary contemplating burial
in the digestive recesses of a tribe of cannibals may afford striking
examples of perturbation of spirits, but Peter felt that day as if he
would gladly change lots with any or all of them. What should he do?
Would he tie black crape to the front knocker, with a card announcing
his premature decease? Would he fly to other and fairer climes, where
boycotting was unknown, and butchers, poulterers, grocers, cooks, and
housekeepers had feeling hearts within their tender bosoms? Would he
poison, hang, shoot, drown, or smother himself?

He didn’t do any of these things. He sought out Frieze-coat Sullivan.
With tears in his eyes he besought that red-haired Cork-man to remove
the edict which had brought desolation to his hearth and affliction to
his soul. Sullivan was as merciful as he was mighty. He relented. He
restored to Peter his satellite of the saucepan, his janitor of the
stable, his legs of mutton, his groceries, and his peace of mind. The
party came off, after all. Peter preserved his credit as a host, but it
was at the sacrifice of his laurels as a land-agent.

If any reader desires now to ascertain the stormy depths of a
soap-boiler’s soul, he has only do drop into the counting-house of
Philipson Brothers, in the East end of London, and ask the manager his
candid opinion of the Irish land question. He will probably be consigned
to the nearest vat of boiling grease; but he will, at any rate, be
firmly convinced that Philipson, Jr., entertains very strong ideas on
the subject.



THE FELONS OF OUR LAND.


    Fill up once more, we’ll drink a toast
      To comrades far away;
    No nation on the earth can boast
      Of braver hearts than they.
    And though they sleep in dungeons deep,
      Or flee, outlawed and banned,
    We love them yet, we ne’er forget
      The felons of our land!

    In boyhood’s bloom and manhood’s pride,
      Foredoomed by alien laws,
    Some on the scaffold proudly died
      For holy Ireland’s cause.
    And brothers, say, shall we to-day
      Unmoved like cowards stand,
    While traitors shame and foes defame
      The felons of our land?

    Some in the convict’s dreary cell
      Have found a living tomb,
    And some unseen, unfriended, fell
      Within its silent gloom.
    Yet what care we, although it be
      Trod by a ruffian band,
    God bless the clay where rest to-day
      The felons of our land!

    Let cowards sneer and tyrants frown,
      Oh, little do we care,
    A felon’s cap’s the noblest crown
      An Irish head can wear!
    And every Gael in Innisfail
      Who scorns the serf’s vile brand,
    From Lee to Boyne would gladly join
      The felons of our land!



AN OFFICIAL VALUATION.


    The wearied Sub-Commissioner was waiting for his car,
    In the hospitable shelter of a Connemara bar;
      And as he contemplated the interminable rain,
      On the farm he had to visit he reflected with much pain,
    For the roads were very dirty, and the distance very far.

    The atmosphere was chilly, and the footway was a swamp,
    And the spirits of the barrister (just like the morning) damp,
      As he thought of bronchial attacks,
      Pneumatic pains, rheumatic racks,
    And the other consequences of his valuating tramp.

    The lawyers had departed from the village with their spoil,
    The landlord, and the agent, and the tenant shirked the toil
      Of plodding ’mid the mist and fog,
      O’er slimy clay and treacherous bog,
    And had left him single-handed to investigate the soil.

    His tumbler he replenished and he took another sip,
    And as the grateful Jameson was moistening his lip,
      His gloomy face relaxed,--indeed, he actually laughed;
      He had drawn an inspiration in addition to the draught
    That pointed an escape from his anticipated trip.

    He whispered to the jarvey--“You remember Murphy’s land;
    Do you think that you could manage in my shoes for once to stand?
      That is, could you perambulate
      Around that gentleman’s estate
    In a pair of boots I’ll lend you to accomplish my demand?

    “You needn’t spend a week or so, you needn’t spend a day,
    But just long enough to gather up some samples of the clay,
      Return the muddy boots to me
      Unbrushed, because I wish to be
    Acquainted with the profits that that soil is fit to pay.”

    That carman took instructions, but they say he took no more,
    He didn’t take a dozen steps outside the tavern door,
      He simply mopped the boots around
      The dirtiest adjacent ground,
    And returned them to the owner when an hour or so was o’er.

    And that smart agriculturist a brief five minutes spent
    Examining the Bluchers, and, officially content,
    Proceeded the next morning to adjudicate the rent,
      Remarking he was satisfied, convinced, and more than sure
      That the soil of Mr. Murphy was so miserably poor,
    That he must give reductions of some thirty-three per cent.



A BEWILDERED BOYCOTTER.


    I’m diminted,--this is awful; so it is
      My spirit’s in low water, an’ no wonder;
    ’Tis worse than whin the price of butter riz
      The time I lost my churning through the thunder.
    Mickey Flanagan has been an’ paid his rint,
      An’ the Laygue that rules this part of Tipperary--
    Curse of Cromwell on their bitther hearts of flint!--
      Have resolved to boycott him an’ little Mary.

    I wouldn’t mind the ould man,--not a jot;
      I always looked upon him as a blaggard,
    Since his language was so disperately hot,
     Once he caught me kissin’ Mary in the haggard.
    They might pass their resolutions by the score
      About him, and I would niver prove contrary,
    But my feelin’s are distracted, sad, an’ sore
      Whin I’m called upon to boycott little Mary.

    Sure, it’s mostly for her sake I go to mass,
      Half a dozen miles across the fields, on Sunday;
    An’ if I have to schorn her whin I pass,
      Troth I’ll be a ravin’ lunatic on Monday.
    Her beseechin’ eyes will follow me all day;
      They’ll haunt me in the byre and in the dairy,
    An’ I’ll waken in the mornin’, bald or gray,--
      Black misfortune! if I boycott little Mary.

    If they wanted me to bate a peeler blue,
      Ram writs down half a dozen bailiffs’ throttles,
    Or immigrate to far-off Timbuctoo,
      An’ live on impty oyster shells an’ bottles,
    I would do my best endayvors to obey;
      But to tear from out my heart that winnin’ fairy
    Is beyant me; so I’ll meet my friends an’ say,--
      Divil sweep me if I’ll boycott little Mary!



A COMPLAINT OF COERCION.


    O Peggy, darlin’, listen to my sorrowful lamint,
    And help me to recover from my state of discontint;
    There’s an end to fun an’ sportin’ in these black and bitther days,
    And we’ll have to drop our coortin’ by the moon’s enchanting rays.
            For there isn’t a dacent gossoon,
            By the light of that same silver moon,
                  Found out of his bed,
                  But will straightway be led
                  To a cushion of plank,
                  That of feathers is blank,
            An’ he won’t fall in love with too soon.

    Now it’s inconvanient, Peggy, to be spoonin’ in the day,
    With all your male relations or your neighbors in the way;
    Your boy’s poor heart, in lonesomeness, must palpitate and pant
    Beneath the cowld inspection of your mother or your aunt;
            An’ he’ll have to repress his ould taste
            For resting his arm round your waist,
                An’ except for a sigh,
                Or a glance of your eye,
                Or an odd little squeeze
                That there’s nobody sees,
            His comfort will be of the laste.

    Do you mind last winter, Peggy, when the snow was on the ground,
    Every night all stiff an’ frozen in the boreen I’d be found?
    I didn’t care for painful demonstrations in my toes,
    I didn’t feel the icicles that beautified my nose;
            I despised my five miles of a thramp
            In the dark, widout moon, star, or lamp,
                For I knew at its ind
                I could always dipind
                That some one I’d find
                Who had sootherings kind,
            To rescue my sperits from damp.

    But now, bad fortune, Peggy, if I venture out at all,
    The peelers will be afther me with buckshot an’ with ball;
    And if I keep purshuing my perambulatin’ course,
    I shall find myself a target for the County Kerry force.
            An’ some night I’ll be brought in my gore,
            Stritched out on an ould cabin door,
                With six ounces of lead
                Settled inside my head,
                An’ my bosom, that’s true
                As the saints unto you,
            Disarranged by an ounce or two more.

    Or I might be taken, Peggy, an’ before a magisthrate,
    Be called upon the rayson of my wanderin’s to state;
    And it wouldn’t suit your character for me to tell the truth,
    That my heart was thirsty, and I sought my girl to quinch its drooth;
            So I’d have to tell thunderin’ lies,
            And the law has such far-seeing eyes,
                ’Twould find thim all out,
                And there isn’t a doubt
                Introduced I would be,
                By some dirty J. P.,
            To a suit of the Government frieze.



O’NEILL’S ADDRESS.

BENBURB: JUNE 6, 1646.


    Gallant sons of Innisfail,
    Ye whose stout hearts never quail,
    Though no glittering coats of mail
        Their proud throbbings hide:
    Hark! yon distant sullen hum!
    ’Tis the rolling of the drum.
    See! our Saxon foemen come
        In their wrath and pride.

    Meet them, comrades, face to face,
    Meet them as becomes our race,
    Let no shadow of disgrace
        Dim our spotless name.
    Front to front, unshrinking, stand,
    Fire each heart and nerve each hand,
    Strike for God and fatherland,
        Liberty and fame!

    Kinsmen, they are still the same
    As when, centuries past, they came
    To our shores, and blood and flame
        Followed in their track;
    By the still uncancelled debt
    We were cowards to forget,
    By the wrongs we suffer yet,
        Drive them headlong back!

    As when angry billows leap,
    Like proud chargers from the deep,
    Heaven’s more mighty tempests sweep
        All their wrath to spray,
    So their glinting waves of steel
    Erin’s whirlwind charge shall feel
    Till their serried columns reel,
        Scattered in dismay.

    Strike, that Ireland’s sons may be
    Still unconquered, proud, and free;
    Strike, and fear not,--victory
        Waits on every blow;
    Strike, that we may never roam
    Exiles o’er the ocean’s foam;
    Strike together, and strike home,
        Vengeance on the foe!



THE FENIAN’S DREAM.

CHRISTMAS, 1867.


    Through London’s dull and murky air
      The merry Christmas bells
    Flung out, in cadence rich and rare,
      Their sonorous throbs and swells.
    To the half-slumbering town they spoke
      Of peace and God’s good-will,
    And seemed to chase with pealing stroke
      The fiends of hate and ill;
    But, ah, how cruelly they broke
      Around dark Pentonville!

    There, ’twixt the bars, the pale moonbeams,
      Half timid, forced their way,
    And fell in slender, silvery streams,
      Down where the convict lay.
    They glanced a moment round the place,
      Cold, comfortless, and bare,
    Then, in a pitying embrace,
      Like angel spirits there,
    Caressed the careworn, pallid face,
      So wan, and yet so fair.

    They seemed to whisper softly while
      Around his head they strayed,
    For o’er the pale, thin lips a smile,
      Half joy, half anguish, played;
    As if the tender moonbeams sought
      Bright tales of hope to tell,
    And the day memories, bitter, wrought
      Such fancies to dispel;
    And so his two dream guardians fought
      Within his lonely cell.

    His dream was of the loved old land
      He never could forget--
    The dungeon’s gloom, the convict’s brand,
      Had not subdued it yet;
    The land of legend and of lay,
      Of mountain, stream, and lake,
    Of blossomed heath and sheltering bay,
      Of forest, glen, and brake,
    Where highland sprite and lowland fay
      A home forever make.

    The land whose children toil and bleed,
      And drudge and starve in vain,
    For where the peasant sows the seed,
      A stranger reaps the grain.
    The Isle of Saints--where knaves and spies
      Flourish and thrive apace;
    Where fortune must be wooed by lies,
      Dishonor, and disgrace;
    The true man from such saintdom flies,
      And cattle take his place.

    Land of the green, and of the gray!
      For workhouse, tomb, and jail
    Are landmarks on thy soil to-day,
      And answer, Innisfail,
    Tell us which tint thou seest most,
      The old one or the new?
    The green of which our poets boast,
      Or the more sombre hue?
    Few wear the green: a countless host
      Have donned the gray for you.

    Island of verdure, glorious land!
      So rich in fertile plains,
    Where Nature gives with bounteous hand,
      Yet famine ever reigns;
    Where through the mellow ripening corn
      The balmiest zephyrs sigh,
    Where brighter seems each glowing morn,
      More radiant each sky;
    Where ’tis misfortune to be born,
      And happiness to die.

    Poor dreaming boy! he softly smiled
      To think he played once more,
    A happy, bright, and thoughtless child,
      Beside the cabin door--
    The dear old straw-thatched cabin, where,
      Upon his mother’s knee,
    He first had learned to lisp a prayer
      For Ireland’s liberty,
    And ever pregnant seemed the air
      With joyous melody.

    His fancy changed: the youthful face
      In sternness now was set,
    His woes had left no coward trace
      Upon his spirit yet;
    His cold, thin lips were tightly press’d,
      His cheeks were all aglow;
    Expanded seemed the hollow chest,
      His brows contract, as though
    Disturbed and broken was his rest
      By some nocturnal foe.

    He dreamt that in his native land,
      Away from this bleak jail,
    He stood within a meadow grand,
      A shamrock-spangled vale.
    Above the scene the sun-rays bright
      In glittering grandeur beamed,
    Around him in their golden light
      Ten thousand bayonets beamed,
    And o’er his head, oh, glorious sight!
      Green Erin’s banner streamed.

    From town and village, hill and glen,
      With clamorous fife and drum,
    From mountain brake and lowland fen
      The mustering legions come;
    The war-worn soldier, bronzed and brown,
      Has brought his dinted blade;
    While quickly from the neighboring town
      Flock in the sons of trade;
    The farmer flings his good spade down,
      And joins the dense brigade.

    The fiery Northmen, in whose veins
      Still flows the blood of those
    Who on a hundred battle-plains
      Have conquered Erin’s foes--
    The brave descendants of O’Neill,
      A stern and fearless band,
    A living wall of sparkling steel
      Beneath the old flag stand,
    And many a Saxon foe shall feel
      Tyrconnell’s vengeful hand.

    With Ulster’s columns, side by side,
      Are Munster’s squadrons massed,
    Like tigers into line they glide,
      So noiselessly and fast;
    Ah! crimsoned soon will be the green
      They bear into the fray,
    Through England’s host their sabres keen
      Shall carve a corse-strewn way,
    And Limerick and Skibbereen
      Be well avenged to-day.

    Proud Leinster, all your chivalry
      To arms electric spring;
    High ’mid the battle’s revelry
      Your stirring shout shall ring;
    And many a foe this day shall rue
      Your fierce, impetuous might;
    The scenes that gallant Wexford knew
      Shall be reversed ere night;
    The epitaph to Emmet due
      Your gleaming swords shall write.

    O’Connor’s soul, grim Connaught, lives
      Within your ranks this hour;
    Before the strength your hatred gives
      Well may the despot cower.
    Think of your long, black night of tears,
      And say, can you forget
    The tyrant’s scorn, his jibes and jeers--
      That huge, uncancelled debt,
    The wrongs of thrice two hundred years
      That scourge your province yet?

    Hark to that distant rumbling sound!
      See, yonder come the foe;
    Now be our arms with victory crowned,
      The foreign scum laid low.
    The stillness and the calm are o’er,
      And many a sulphurous cloud,
    Betinged with flame and dripping gore,
      Shall form a battle-shroud
    For those whose tongues may swell no more
      The nation’s slogan loud.

    Like hostile torrents armies clash,
      And steel now crosses steel,
    The lurid flames incessant flash,
      And volleyed thunders peal;
    But backward reel the alien ranks,
      With one exultant cry,
    Sweep, Irish heroes, on their flanks,
      Not vainly will ye die;
    Oh, mighty God of battles, thanks,
      The craven red-coats fly!

    ’Tis o’er; the victory is ours;
      And though yon darling flag
    May float above our castle towers
      A torn and tattered rag,
    ’Tis still our own; and every fold
      Preserved us from the strife,
    Each shred around that flag-staff rolled
      Unpierced by ball or knife,
    Is worth a mine of virgin gold--
      Aye, worth a hero’s life.

    From slimy cell and dungeon damp
      Bring forth our prisoned men;
    Gather, ye braves, from every camp,
      To cheer them home again.
    What though to-day they did not bleed
      To share our victory,
    We reap the harvest of their seed,
      So victors still they be;
    From faction they our people freed,
      And now our land is free.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Oh, Christmas bells of London, wake
      The city with your strain;
    Your loudest music cannot break
      The felon’s rest again.
    His dream is o’er; the moonbeams gone,
      Nor left a single ray,
    For all that but this moment shone
      Retreat before the day;
    But that last, loving, pitying one
      Has borne his soul away.

    “Died in his cell”--and nothing more;
      ’Twas all his comrades heard;
    But of the dream he had before
      He died,--oh, not a word!
    They found him on the coarse straw bed,
      A smile upon his face,
    And, “Number 28 found dead,”
      Was whispered round the place;
    And the jail doctor shook his head
      And wondered at the case!



THE SPEAKER’S COMPLAINT.[C]


    An earthquake is scarcely a joyous event,
      ’Tis not pleasant to fall from a steeple,
    There is not much fun in recovering rent
      Where the Land League has hold of the people;
                But upheaval of earth
                Is good reason for mirth,
        ’Tis jolly o’er Connaught’s bleak border,
                Compared to a seat
                Where the Commoners meet
        When Mulligan rises to order.

    A touch of the measles, neuralgia’s pain,
      Catarrhic attacks are not charming,
    There are even some Benedicts stoutly maintain
      That a bad-tempered woman’s alarming.
                Should close diagnosis
                Reveal your probocis
        To be of your weakness recorder,
                You might foolishly curse;
                But it’s very much worse
        When Mulligan rises to order.

    The whoop of a Zulu, the shriek of a shell,
      A cats’ chorus in conference meeting,
    Are music compared to the agonized yell
      Of rage and derision, his greeting;
                You go home to your bed
                With a pain in your head,
        By your pillow stands nightmare a warder;
                Your sleep is a blight,
                Your comfort takes flight,
                Your breathing is tight,
                You scratch and you bite,
                Or you wake with affright
                As you dream through the night
        That Mulligan rises to order!



ERIN MACHREE (1798).


    The sun had gone down in a halo of glory,
      And cast, as it vanished, one lingering ray
    On the dark field of battle where, silent and gory,
      The brave who had fallen for fatherland lay.
    Then close round the fires where the weary were sleeping,
    And the angel of death his stern vigil was keeping,
    We gathered together in sorrow and weeping
      For the brave who had fallen for Erin Machree!

    From the first early dawn of the morn we had battled,
      Till the mantle of night hid the sun from our gaze;
    We shrank not, though balls in one leaden shower rattled,
      And the fire of the foe was an endless red blaze.
    Like waves ’gainst a rock on the hirelings before us
    We charged side by side, with the green banner o’er us,
    While the boom of our guns pealed a thundering chorus
      That spoke of the wrongs of our Erin Machree!

    But vainly our hot blood poured freely as water,
      Ah! vainly it crimsoned the emerald plains;
    When the bright sun sank down on that black scene of slaughter,
      ’Twas to rise the next morn on a nation in chains!
    Oh! better be laid with the dead or the dying,
    The wild winds a requiem over us sighing,
    Than linger to see in the bloody dust lying
      The shot-shattered banner of Erin Machree!

    Yet weep not, though dark be the clouds of our sorrow
      With slavery’s midnight surrounding us fast;
    Each cloud hath a bright side, each night hath a morrow--
      That morning must dawn on our island at last.
    Our hopes are undimmed, e’en in dying we breathe them;
    Our swords are untarnished, and so we bequeath them
    To our sons, who some bright morn will proudly unsheathe them
      To strike down the tyrants of Erin Machree!



THAT TRAITOR TIMMINS.


When Earl Spencer accepted the lord-lieutenancy of Ireland, eight years
ago, he did so with the avowed resolution to unearth every secret
conspiracy, existing or contemplated. To accomplish this object, he
decided on employing the services of trusty Bow Street runners and
Scotland Yard spotters in addition to the staff of spies regularly
attached to the castle. To Col. Brackenbury at first, and subsequently
to Mr. Jenkinson, was entrusted the organization and control of the
combined detective forces.

Among the experienced officers from Scotland Yard attached to the staff
of the head inquisitor was that famous plain-clothes inspector, Joshua
Timmins. Timmins by himself might have been an acquisition to
Jenkinson’s battalion, but, alas! Timmins brought with him to Dublin his
impressionable soul, and he was likewise accompanied by his wife, who is
fully acquainted with his possession of the impressionable soul
aforesaid. She is, in short, of a jealous disposition,--intensely
jealous--the concentrated essence of sublimated jealousy--a Mount
Vesuvius, patent torpedo, wild-cat, eighty-one-ton gun,
cyclone-earthquake combination of suspicion and doubt.

She would lie awake all night to catch the ejaculations an occasional
nightmare might wring from the dreaming Timmins; she would loosen all
the buttons on his cuffs and collar, to ascertain if they would get a
renewed tenure from any rival fingers; she would strengthen his
constitution every morning by making him eat two or three strong onions,
in the hope that their powerful odor would keep predatory bees in
petticoats from sipping the honey off his lips; and she would affix
surreptitious pins in the back of his waistcoat and round his
coat-collar as a sort of _chevaux-de-frise_ to repel illegal embraces.
Of course she Grahamized his letters, and when, now and then, the
postman’s rat-tat aroused the happy pair from late slumbers, it was
quite an exciting and picturesque, though rather chilling, spectacle, to
witness the pair--he with one trousers’ leg on the wrong limb and the
other thrown over his shoulder; she with her hair in curl-papers, and a
miscellaneous collection of petticoats, blankets, and bed-quilts hanging
promiscuously about her--careering down the stairs in a mad steeplechase
to that winning post, the door.

Sometimes they would run a dead heat, and a confused mixture of
night-dresses, and slippers, and bare arms, and loud voices would burst
out upon the bewildered postman, and his whole delivery would be
snatched from his hand, and, before he could recover his breath, the
amazing kaleidoscope would disappear with a bang, and nothing would
remain to remind him of it save perhaps the tail of a masculine robe of
slumber which had been caught in the door, or some strange article of
feminine toilet which had been shed upon the front steps.

Then the government messenger would awake the echoes with extra
professional solos on the knocker and improvised overtures on the bell,
but he had invariably to wait for his confiscated missives till one or
other of the staircase competitors had donned the habiliments of
civilization. The mail Mercury, half an hour behind time, would proceed
on his route with official expressions of opinion not to be found in any
postal manual.

Of course, the lady had some excuse for these symptoms of a weakness not
phenomenal in her sex. In his bachelor days Timmins had been a sad
fellow. Long before the term “masher” had been incorporated into our
rich language, Constable Timmins had been a masher of the mashiest type.
London constables are proverbially easy victims to Cupid’s darts and
cold victuals, but Timmins was by far the most susceptible martyr to
Love’s young dream in the entire A division.

He didn’t confine his amorous proclivities to cooks or housemaids
either. A landlady was not beyond the range of his passionate ardor, and
there is a romantic tradition in the force that he once proposed to a
maiden lady of property, and was kicked down-stairs by her stony-hearted
brother. He was madly smitten by a new object of adoration about every
five minutes. He was a rejected and blighted being on an average twice a
week. An introduction to any member of the fairer sex, from a
school-girl to an octogenarian, was followed in a quarter of an hour or
so by an offer of his hand and heart. He wasn’t in the least particular
as to face, figure, fortune, rank, age, or color. If rejected, he loafed
around for a couple of days, heaving out fog signals in the way of
sighs, and looking as melancholy as an owl in a shower-bath. If
accepted, he left the fair one with vows of eternal constancy, and
forgot all about her before he had turned the first corner.

In this manner he had vowed undying love to two hundred and seventeen
cooks, forty-three chambermaids, nineteen housekeepers, and four
washerwomen, before he met his fate in Julia, the present Mrs. Timmins.

His rash matrimonial pledges forced him to change his beat at frequent
intervals. Eleven spinsters were on the lookout for him in Berkeley
Square, so that was forbidden territory to him. Sixteen breach of
promise actions were threatened from Tottenham Court road, and he dare
not pass that classic ground even on top of an omnibus, except on a wet
day, when he could hide himself under an umbrella. A squadron of big
brothers and a linked battalion of stern fathers around Sydenham wanted
to know his intentions, and he could only venture through that popular
London suburb in an effort to beat the record on a bicycle.

No wonder that he hailed with delight the chance of escape from all
these horrors which a trip to Ireland afforded him. But, alas! he
brought across the channel with him that inflammable bosom that had been
kindled so often with the warmth of love’s flickering torch. He had not
been in Dublin a week before he had pledged his no longer youthful
affections to one of the lay figures on which the monster house of Todd,
Burns & Co. display their unparalleled sacrifices--“Original price, 2
guineas; selling off for 17s. 6d.!!”

The evening was wet. It was also dusky. Timmins was arrayed to conquer
in a swallow-tailed coat and a lavender cravat. This was one of the
elaborate costumes by which the London detective fondly hoped to win the
confidence of the Irish conspirators and worm himself into their
secrets. To preserve this gorgeous get-up, he sheltered it from the
pelting rain in the hospitable doorway of Todd, Burns & Co.

By and by he became aware of the presence of a female form divine. (It
was the wirework arrangement on which the two-guinea sacrifice was hung,
but it was too dark for Timmins to notice the label.) He could not see
her face, but her figure was perfection. He felt an exquisite thrill
under his left-hand waistcoat pocket.

He slid a little nearer to the charming stranger. He ventured a modest
observation about the rain. No reply. “Sweet, shy, blushing creature!”
he murmured, and approached a foot or so closer. Then he began to hold
forth about weather in general, Italian sunsets, Swiss snow-storms,
mists on the Scottish mountains, fogs in the London slums, moonlight
effects on the helmets of the police, tempests, cyclones, tornadoes,
water-spouts, frozen gas-meters, and other beauties of nature. Still no
response.

“Ah, poor soul! She trembles at a voice which, no doubt, wakens
reciprocal echoes in her bosom. Let me reassure her.” And he edged up
alongside the silent object of his thoughts, and launched out into a
disquisition about love at first sight, and sudden sympathies, and
electric affinities, and he quoted Byron and Moore, and finally, in a
stage whisper, asked, “Couldst thou, fair unknown, share with a kindred
spirit the joys, the hopes, the aspirations, and all that sort of thing,
of this brief life? Wouldst thou venture with a responsive soul to dare
the scorn and sneers, the proud man’s hate, the rich man’s contumely,
and the other goings on of the ’igh and ’aughty? Willest thou fly with
me to sunnier climes?--we’ll take the tramcar to Harold’s Cross or
Inchicore. Why art thou silent, beauteous being? Behold me, dearest
Belinda, or Evangeline, or Kate, or Mary, or Jemima, or Sarah Jane, or
whatever thy sweet name may be--behold me at thy feet!”

And he flopped down upon his knees, but in doing so knocked over the
bemantled framework, and his head got entangled in the wire and tapes of
which it was constructed, and he put one foot through a sheet of
plate-glass and tied the other up in a “choice assortment of all-wool
shirts at half a crown, reduced from four shillings.” When a policeman
was called in, and he was given into custody for an audacious attempt at
robbery, his cup of bitterness was so full that he spilled some of it in
the shape of tears.

The incident became known. Jenkinson sent for the tender-hearted
Timmins, and gave him to understand that dry goods stores were not the
most likely places to find Invincibles, and that the dude who couldn’t
tell the difference between a milliner’s dummy and a sprightly Irish
colleen would be as likely as not to arrest a tobacconist’s negro on a
charge of dynamite conspiracy. Under all the circumstances, he thought
it better for the amorous Timmins to return to London, where drapers’
figures are less attractive than in the Irish metropolis.

This is the true and circumstantial history of the catastrophe which
shortened the stay of the lynx-eyed Timmins in the Emerald Isle, albeit
those wonderfully informed London journals, the _Standard_ and _Daily
Telegraph_, published paragraphs to the effect that Timmins’ unsleeping
vigilance had made him such a marked man that it was deemed advisable to
remove him from the sphere of danger. Mrs. T. knows better, and Timmins
himself has registered an awful vow never to let loose the torrents of
his policeman’s soul again except in the glare of broad noonday, or at
least beneath the effulgence of a three-thousand-candle-power electric
light.



BALFOUR’S WISH.


    When members have taken their usual places,
      And, insult to Bradlaugh, the prayers have been read,
    The exiles of Erin, with pitiless faces,
      Fling queries by scores at the Sassenach’s head;
    And as, one by one, question follows on question,
      Lost Balfour, still farther and farther at sea,
    In agony mental that spoils his digestion,
      But murmurs, “I wish I were out in Fiji!”

    “Can you tell me,” asks one, in a deep tone of thunder,
      “How much buckshot is fatal, administered where?”
    “Don’t you know,” cries another, in accents of wonder,
      “The average size of potatoes in Clare?”
    A third seeks a legal opinion, without
      Even gratitude proffered by way of a fee,
    And a youth wants to know has the premier the gout,
      While Balfour would fain be exiled to Fiji.

    Affairs of the person, affairs of the State,
      Affairs of the church, and affairs of the bar,
    What should be a sub-constable’s average weight?
      Does he ever indulge in the national car?
    Is he properly versed in diseases of cattle?
      Is it whiskey he swigs when he’s out on a spree?
    And he moans as the queries about his ears rattle,
      “Great God, how I wish I were out in Fiji!”



OUR CAUSE.


    Seven hundred years of blood and tears, of famine and of chains,
    Of outlaws on the mountain path and victims on the plains,
    Of blazing homes and bleeding hearts to glut a tyrant’s rage,
    Of every crime that ever time recorded in his page,
    Have failed to quench the burning sparks of freedom that illume,
    With radiance bright, the centuried night of fettered Ireland’s gloom:
    Nor guile nor force could stay its course beyond a moment’s pause,
    For ever still, through good or ill, marched on the glorious cause!

    Its heroes flung their naked breasts on Strongbow’s hireling spears,
    And Essex saw them shatter his proud line of cavaliers,
    And what though Cromwell’s fraud and craft had blunted Irish swords,
    They still could deal rude blows of steel on William’s German hordes.
    The after years beheld, ’tis true, the old green flag laid by,
    No gleaming of its sunburst flashed across the ambient sky,
    But yet in many a faithful breast, spite cruel penal laws,
    The love remained, undimmed, unstained, that glorified the cause.

    It sprang to life, in brief, stern strife, in storied Ninety-eight;
    It only slept when Erin wept o’er gallant Emmet’s fate;
    O’Connell’s accent broke the trance, and found the cause once more
    Still burning in the nation’s soul as brightly as of yore.
    Hunger and fever stifled for an hour its thrilling tones,
    And paved the deep encircling seas with bleaching Irish bones;
    But, ah, the brave old race too well its inspiration draws,
    And how it flamed when Three brave lives were given for the cause.

    What is that cause that time nor change has ever known retreat,
    That smiles at persecution and that triumphs in defeat,
    That mingles with the ozone in the Irish infant’s breath,
    Whose memories soothe the pillow in the lonely exile’s death?
    ’Tis mother Ireland’s liberty, expansive and complete,
    No aliens in her senate, in her armies or her fleet;
    Faithful to this the tribune gains the multitude’s applause,
    And the scaffold is a kingly throne ascended for the cause!



SERVED HIM RIGHT.

     [An Irish girl, hearing that her brother Pat had been killed in the
     Royal Irish, fighting against the Mahdi, said: “It served Pat
     right. He had no business going out there to fight those poor
     creatures (the Arabs). May God strengthen the Mahdi.”--_London
     Graphic._]


    I have no tears for brother Pat,
      Though stark he lies, and stiff and gory,
    On the Egyptian desert, that
      He might assist in England’s glory.
    The foes he fought were not his own,
      Nor his the tyrant’s cause he aided;
    Then why should I his fate bemoan?
      O brother, faithless and degraded!

    He saw how Saxon laws at home
      Had crushed his sires and banned his brothers,
    Why should he cross the ocean’s foam
      To place that hated yoke on others?
    The Arabs slew him in a fight
      For all by brave and free men cherished--
    Ay, for the cause of truth and right,
      For which his kith and kin had perished.

    No Arab chief in Ninety-eight
      Placed foot on Erin’s shore as foeman;
    They lent no spears to swell the hate
      Of Hessian hound and Orange yeoman.
    But those who wrapt our homes in flame
      And trod us down like dumb-brute cattle--
    It was for them--oh, burning shame!
      My brother gave his life in battle.

    Sure, every memory of late
      Must from his wretched heart have vanished;
    Our hills and valleys desolate,
      Our ruined homes, our people banished.
    And yet, God knows, he learned in youth
      The gloomy story of his sireland--
    Drank in at mother’s knees the truth
      That England is the scourge of Ireland.

    I cannot weep for brother Pat--
      I hate the hellish cause he died for;
    False traitor to the freedom that
      His brothers strove, his sisters sighed for;
    E’en when in tearful dreams I see
      The parching sands drift blood-stained o’er him,
    My grief is changed to anger. He
      Was treacherous to the land that bore him!



RAPPAREE SONG.


    Come up, comrades, up, see the night draweth on,
    And black shadows loom over fair Slieve-namon;
    The darkness is creeping o’er mountain and vale,
    And our footsteps are drowned in the roar of the gale.
    Our proud foemen rest in yon valley below,
    And their slumbering guards never dream of a foe:
    Then up, comrades, up, ere the bright sun appears
    We’ll have vengeance galore for the sufferings of years.

    They have plundered our homes and foredoomed us to die
    Of famine and want ’neath the cold winter sky;
    Our roof-trees are blazing, our altars o’erthrown,
    And ’tis treason to ask or to hope for our own;
    Our kinsmen lie food for the ravens and crows--
    They craved but for bread, and were answered with blows;
    And because we won’t perish while feasting they be,
    Oh, robbers, and traitors, and cut-throats are we!

    We’re robbers to snatch back our own from their hand,
    We’re traitors because we are true to our land,
    And cut-throats, ha! ha! so the cowards can feel
    That we, like themselves, carry points to our steel!
    They have hunted us down now for many a day;
    To-night they shall find us the hunters, not they;
    For we’ll bend to their foul yoke no longer, we’ll swear,
    Whilst we’ve arms that can strike, boys, or hearts that can dare.



TO THE LANDLORDS OF IRELAND.


    You tendered us when famine came
      The pity of a thought,
    Bestowed to slaves whose sense of shame
      And hearts and souls you’d bought.
    Time’s wheel turns round--you’ve lost your place,
    And right into your tyrant face,
                Your jibes and sneers
                Of many years
                At victims’ tears
                  Are thrown,
                And in God’s name,
                Our hearts aflame,
                To-day we claim
                  Our own!

    Once for ye, skulking, lazy elves,
      Muscle and brain we wrought.
    Toiled, starved, and died--scarce for ourselves
      The crumbs of Lazarus sought;
    And when ye flung us out a crust,
    Our faces grovelling in the dust,
          We gave ye thanks--
          No prize, all blanks
          In our poor ranks
            Was known;
          But now, thank God,
          We’ve spurned your rod,
          And claim this sod
            Our own!

    We lift our faces to the sky
      Where once our heads were bowed,
    We breathe no more a timid sigh,
      But speak our thoughts aloud.
    From dizzy hill and peaceful plain
    Our voices join in this refrain:
          The seeds we sow,
          The crops we grow,
          The fields we mow,
            Alone,
          Without your aid
          In cash or spade
          At last are made
            Our own!



BALFOUR REJOICES.


    So the toil of the session is over,
      My woes for a period cease,
    And hey for a journey by Dover
      To latitudes promising peace;
    Away to recuperate vigor--
      Away from obstruction’s mad spell--
    Away from the questions of Biggar--
      Away from the taunts of Parnell.

    No more my poor head shall be aching
      With night after night of debate--
    No more shall my soul feel a quaking
      At bald, irrepressible prate.
    And, though ocean attack me with rigor,
      While sea-sick, with joy I will dwell
    On the fact that I’m leaving Joe Biggar,
      And getting away from Parnell.

    No more to be quizzed on each capture
      Of priest or of peasant by night--
    I could dance the can-can in my rapture,
      Or stand on my head with delight.
    Play the banjo and sing like a nigger,
      Or like a wild Irishman yell
    Hurroo! I am free from Joe Biggar,
      And don’t give--ahem--for Parnell!

    Yet I feel an occasional spasm
      At thoughts of returning at all,
    ’Twere better to leap down a chasm
      Or under an avalanche fall;
    Or, fingers embracing the trigger,
      Let the pistol’s report loudly tell
    How I hated the queries of Biggar
      And the dolorous talk of Parnell.



A PICTURESQUE PENNY-A-LINER.


There may be some miserable beings to whom the existence of that
powerful organ of public opinion, the Stretchville _Sparrow_, is a
sealed volume, or, more correctly, an unopened newspaper. Should such be
the melancholy fact, I hasten to inform them that the Stretchville
_Sparrow_ (_vide_ its own circular) is a power, a forty-horse power, in
the universe. Circulating, as it does, among the three hundred adults of
Stretchville and vicinity, it wields an influence that inspires awe and
creates astonishment. As befits a journal with responsibilities so
tremendous, and a status so imposing, it aims to keep abreast of the
times. So when the Land League agitation had brought Ireland and the
Irish prominently forward, and such lesser luminaries as the New York
_Herald_ and _Tribune_ and _Times_ and the Boston _Herald_ and a score
of other dailies had their specials over in the sorrowful country, the
_Sparrow_ felt imperatively called upon to bestow its approval by
following the example. Stubbs, the head reporter, bookkeeper,
advertisement canvasser, and proof-reader, was therefore ordered to hold
himself in readiness to embark on a perilous journey (via the editorial
back room) through the wilds of Connemara and the mountains of Kerry. He
was equipped for the expedition with a school map of Ireland and an old
copy of Thom’s Dublin Directory, which contained a list of all the
landed gentry of the country.

His instructions were brief, but they covered a lot of ground. “You
know as much about the country now,” observed his chief, “as if you were
there. We’ve got to lick the New York _Herald_ and the rest of ’em.
Whenever you see an Irish murder in another paper, let us have two.
There’s nearly two thousand names in that directory. With judicious
management they ought to last till this Irish boom pegs out. You’d
better tick each landlord off when you telegraph his demise. It won’t do
to shoot one fellow three or four times. People want variety. You might
skin a bailiff or scalp a policeman now and then. Go ahead at once, and
give us some lively telegrams.”

Well, it _was_ lively for a few weeks after that in the _Sparrow_. One
day we had: “Fearful Murders in Ireland--Seven Landlords Shot!” The next
there was a six-inch heading, “Cannibalism in Connemara--Six Agents
Stewed and a Sub-Inspector Fricasseed!” Then when the _Tribune_ came out
with a summary of three months’ Irish outrages, and showed that there
had been fourteen murders of agents and landlords, and one hundred and
seven assaults upon bailiffs and process servers, that conscientious
reporter, who had been told to double every crime reported elsewhere,
and who didn’t grasp the fact that the _Tribune’s_ was a three-months’
record, paralyzed the readers of the _Sparrow_ with a blood-curdling
telegram to the effect that there had been a horrible night’s battue in
the Emerald Isle, twenty-eight landlords and agents having handed in
their checks, and two hundred and fourteen officers of the law having
suffered every conceivable indignity, from swallowing writs and
processes on the half-shell, to being stripped naked and turned loose
for light recreation in nettle beds or around wasps’ nests. By this time
the special had got half through his directory, and the list of names
eligible for assassination was rapidly dwindling down, so he had to
improvise a few. His boss, too, complained that there was a lack of
variety in his telegrams. He had wiped out four or five hundred
land-owners in pretty nearly the same sentences every time. He should
diversify the details. He diversified. Here’s his style:--

     “GALWAY, Tuesday.--A man named M’Swilkin took a farm last week from
     which the previous tenant had been evicted. He was waited upon
     yesterday evening by a few neighbors. It is estimated that he
     weighed forty pounds heavier after the interview. The surgeons have
     been three days excavating for lead, and haven’t done striking new
     veins yet.”

     “At a land-meeting near Castlebar last week, Michael Moolannigan
     boasted that he had paid his rent. His widow complains that she
     can’t hold a decent wake on a pair of braces and two buttons. She
     wants more of him, to give the funeral a respectable appearance.”

This special correspondence continued to be telegraphed from the
editorial sanctum, and dated Sligo or Cahirciveen or Letterkenny,
according to the scene of the last big thing in murders, until readers
began to get kind of hardened to it, and didn’t mind half-a-dozen
murders in Ireland quarter as much as they would the same number of
errors in a base-ball match. Under the circumstances, it was thought as
well to drop the Irish agency. “You had better return,” observed the
chief, as they sat smoking together at the hospitable bar next door.
“We’ll wind up your Irish tour with an interview. I’ll interview you.
Just throw us in a few spicy maimings or strangulations for this issue,
and you can be home next Saturday, and your interviewing will be handy
for Sunday’s edition.” I give the interview as it appeared in the
_Sparrow_, to show how scrupulously truthful was that Irish
correspondent:--

“Yesterday, the gentleman who has represented us in Ireland, and whose
energy enabled us to publish information which no other journal was in a
position to obtain at that period or at any other, visited Stretchville.
As we had not seen Mr. Blank before his departure for Hibernian shores,
and were anxious to notice for ourselves what manner of man this was who
for the past four months has been carrying his life in one hand, his
repeater in the other, and his note-book and pencil in ----. But to
abbreviate.

“We found him a pale, calm, intellectual-looking gentleman, upon whose
brow the impress of truth and candor were stamped in Nature’s indelible
marking-ink. He was accompanied by a miserable anatomy of a greyhound,
whose spectral leanness was a miracle. It had no tail. The thin
elongation of its body was so superlative that it seemed as if Nature
had given up in despair the task of adding a caudal appendage in shadowy
proportion to the other outlines. Our curiosity was excited, and we
asked him how he came into possession of the canine ghost.

“‘I do not like telling the story,’ he answered; ‘I have a horror of
being suspected of giving utterance to an untruth. But this mute witness
will corroborate my tale by the want of his own. You remember I was
down in the West of Ireland during the recent famine. My mission brought
me into Ballykill--something or somebody. I never witnessed anything
like the destitution among the landlords there in my life before. They
were worn to threads.

“‘I was informed that on a moonlight night it took three of them to make
a shadow. I would not have believed myself that less than a dozen could
produce anything like a respectable shade.

“‘Well, one landlord, who had been master of the hounds, had only two of
the pack left. He and his family had lived during the winter upon the
others.

“‘The first of these two dogs, poor creature, fell to pieces trying to
bark at me--just collapsed like a house of cards.

“‘The second animal you see with me. His sagacity was remarkable. He
felt it his duty to bark at the stranger, but the fate of his companion
warned him of the danger. So he leaned carefully against a wall, and
succeeded in emitting a howl. I was struck by his extraordinary
instinct. I bought him from his skeleton owner, a poor lath of a fellow
you could blow out with a puff like a rush-light.

“‘I gave the man a shilling for him--in two sixpences, so that he could
balance himself. If he had got the shilling to carry in either side
pocket, it would have brought him down.

“‘I shall always take credit to myself for preserving that poor man’s
centre of gravity.

“‘I brought the dog to my hotel. I left him in the dining-room, but,
fearing he might slip under the door, I tied a double knot on his tail.
In my brief temporary absence he smelt some scraps of meat in the bottom
of a cupboard. He got through the keyhole as far as his tail. He
couldn’t get the double knot through but he was able to reach the meat.
He fed. You see the result. He could get no farther in, and after his
feed he couldn’t get back past his stomach. I found him in that position
when I returned. To save him from a lingering death, I had to vivisect
his tail.’

“We ventured to hint that there might be a mistake about the double
knot. The dog was of a breed whose tails are naturally short; so much
so, that it would require hydraulic pressure to squeeze a double knot
out of one. Our special was too virtuously indignant to reply for a
moment, but, coming to, he explained that, going to rest supperless, the
Irish landlords’ dogs had acquired a habit of sleeping with their tails
in their mouths, which filled their minds with dreams of food. This had
a tendency to lengthen out the canine latter end. ‘And, at any rate,’
concluded our contributor, ‘I would scorn to tell a lie for the sake of
a knot on a dog’s tail!’”



THE IRISH BRIGADE.


    When in sorrow and darkness they left their lov’d home,
    They won, far away, o’er the ocean’s salt foam,
      A bright wreath of laurels that never shall fade.
    A welcome they found from fair France and proud Spain,
    Whose honor and glory they fought to maintain;
    And wherever the Sassenach showed his false face,
    ’Twas to meet the avengers of Erin’s disgrace,
      And front the bright steel of the Irish Brigade!

    Oh wild was their rush and exultant their shout,
    When the signal to charge from the bugle rang out,--
      The fire of their hearts seemed to temper each blade.
    They thought of the land they had left o’er the sea,
    And the brave who had perished, dear Erin, for thee,
    Then one cheer for Old Ireland, a curse on her foes,
    Like the peal of the thunder to heaven arose
      From the lips and the souls of the Irish Brigade!

    When France, torn and bleeding, her chivalry slain,
    Lay gasping and faint upon Fontenoy’s plain,
      Not vain the appeal that her proud monarch made;
    The war-cry of Erin, a wild slogan, rang
    O’er the clamor of battle, as swiftly they sprang
    From their feet to the charge, and with avalanche might
    Swept down on the victors, who scattered in flight,
      Borne back by the steel of the Irish Brigade!

    Then, hurrah! for the fame of our faithful and brave,
    Unforgotten they rest, though across the deep wave,
      In far distant lands, are their weary bones laid.
    Long, long be remembered the lesson they taught,
    They loved the green island, and died where they fought;
    With face to the foeman unconquered they fell.
    May we fight the battle of freedom as well
      For the flag and the cause of the Irish Brigade!



SNOOKS.


Justice in Ireland, as administered by those awful instruments of the
law, the omniscient J. P.’s, is a profoundly solemn thing. The high
priest of the Jewish sanctuary, the sacred Brahmin of the Buddhist
temple, the Sheikh-ul-Islam of the Mohammedan faith, has only about
one-tenth the idea of his own stupendous importance that a West British
honorary magistrate possesses. They believe themselves to be not only
pillars and ornaments of the glorious English Constitution, but its very
corner-stones. Therefore, when one of these Olympic deities condescends
to unbend to our more humble level, and actually makes a joke, we should
be grateful to his Mightiness for letting us know that, great as he is,
he is but human after all. Such an incident is worthy of imperishable
record, and we eagerly copy the following from an Irish exchange:--

     “In giving his decision at the Abbeyfeale quarter sessions relative
     to an alleged insult to a sub-constable, which insult consisted of
     the defendant’s whistling ‘Harvey Duff,’ the chairman said: ‘There
     is a difference between a policeman and an ordinary individual.
     When a policeman is hooted or whistled at, it is the office he
     holds is held up to contempt. It is not Sub-Constable Snooks
     [_laughter_] that is insulted, but it is the office that is held by
     Snooks.’ [_Laughter._]”

Who but an Irish J. P. could have emitted from his brilliant intellect
that bright sparkle about Snooks? The delicacy and yet the pungency of
the wit, added to the simplicity and yet profundity of the reasoning,
deserve immortalizing in glowing verse, and with feelings of deepest
admiration I dedicate this rhythmic paraphrase of his wonderful ideas to
that gorgeous Abbeyfeale chairman:--

    If you notice a policeman at the corner of a street
    In an energetic struggle with a pair of erring feet,
    A decided inclination to lie down upon his beat,
      And confusion quite apparent in his looks,
    An odor floating round him you’d no reason to expect,
    You have not got the slightest cause to cavil or object;
    The law is oft mysterious, and, stranger, recollect,
      ’Tis the law’s inebriated, and not Snooks.

    A policeman is no ordinary mortal; so suppose
    It unfortunately happens, as it might do, that there grows
    A pimple at the end of 27’s Roman nose,
      Which his dignity but very little brooks.
    You must not, at your peril, venture carelessly to laugh,
    And avoid like trichinosis any tendency to chaff,
    Unless you wish to seek the rude acquaintance of his staff--
      ’Tis the law that has that pimple, and not Snooks!



CALEDONIAN CANDLESTICKS.


Towards the close of the year 1867, that mighty empire, the drum-beat of
whose soldiers welcomes the sun all round the world, was plunged into
one of those periodical visitations of panic which have afflicted her
like an intermittent nightmare since the naughty pranks of Fenianism
first disturbed the digestions of her statesmen. Three brave men had
just been hanged in the city of Manchester for the rescue of two rebel
leaders, and Ireland mourned them as martyrs, while the guilty
conscience of England quaked in hourly fear of a retribution which was
felt to be deserved, and of which more than one indication had been
foreshadowed. For, to say nothing of the terrible explosion at
Clerkenwell, London, by which some twenty people were killed and
hundreds more or less seriously wounded, every metropolitan and
provincial paper shrieked forth dire warnings of mysterious plots, awful
conspiracies, and blood-curdling revelations. A red-headed Irishman had
been discovered prowling round the Warrington Gas Works. That smoky
Lancashire town was instantly declared in a state of siege. The
volunteers were called out, every male between the ages of twelve and
eighty was sworn in as a special constable, and in the terrible
confusion of the time many of the sturdy Anglo-Saxons so far lost their
presence of mind as to beat other fellows’ wives instead of their own,
while some of them became such hopeless imbeciles as to behave like
Christians for a whole week. Soon after the bodies of two dead cats were
seen in the canal at Crewe, within a hundred yards of the mayor’s
residence. So convinced was that functionary that they were stuffed with
nitro-glycerine or fulminate of mercury that he took the first express
for London, and thence telegraphed to the chief constable to seize the
suspicious feline carcasses. With the assistance of a detachment of
engineers and the entire police force of Crewe, the remains of the
defunct tabbies were brought to land, but there wasn’t a chemist in
England’s borders would undertake a post-mortem examination, so they
were carefully conveyed far out into St. George’s channel, and committed
to the depths of the silent waters.

It was in Manchester, however, that the most abject state of alarm
existed. The military guards were trebled, the police force was
augmented by all the men that could be spared from the county
constabulary, the Irish population was placed under the closest
surveillance; watchmen patrolled the neighborhood of all public
buildings and important warehouses, which were amply supplied with bags
of sand and buckets of water in view of any possible conflagration, the
sand being for the especial contingency of Greek-fire, which is like
Irish eloquence in one respect, that it can’t be quenched by cold water,
and must therefore be smothered. So overwhelmed was the superintendent
of the Manchester police, Capt. Palin, by his responsibilities, that he
ran away from them along with the wife of the resident magistrate, Mr.
Fowler. In his absence, the duty of guarding the city from the Fenian
bombs, dynamite, powder, bullets, daggers, and shillelaghs devolved upon
the commandant of the Ninety-second Highlanders, who were then in
garrison at Manchester. It is easy to imagine the horror of this officer
when, a few days after his appointment, he received a letter containing
the details of a diabolical plot to destroy the city and annihilate the
troops. On a given night the gas mains were to be severed, and in the
ensuing darkness the town was to be fired in a hundred places, the
barracks attacked by a few thousand wild Irishmen, armed with pikes,
bowie-knives, hand grenades, bottles of vitriol, Remington rifles,
sledge-hammers, and revolvers, and the devoted Cameron men chopped into
as many fragments as the squares of their tartans.

Their chief at first was overwhelmed. He swallowed three mutchkins of
Glenlivat and consumed a quarter-pound of snuff in two minutes without
knowing it. Recovering somewhat, he summoned a hasty council of the
Macintoshes and the Mackenzies and the Macgregors of those various ilks,
and after many applications of the barley bree and sundry inhalations of
Lundyfoot, a plan of defence was agreed upon. The sentries were doubled,
and the remainder of the garrison ordered to sleep upon their arms.
Sand-bags were piled in every convenient corner, barrels and buckets and
tubs of water ranged on every staircase, and, greatest effort of the
entire strategy, each kilted warrior was provided with two tallow
candles and a box of matches. Unfortunately, they received no orders as
to how the illuminating agents were to be utilized in the event of an
Egyptian darkness suddenly enshrouding them in gloom. Consequently they
were much divided in opinion as to whether one Highlander was to hold
the candles while the other did the shooting; or should each Highlander
carry his own candle in his bonnet or his kilt; or were they to pile the
candles in a pyramid on the ground, and form a square around them; or
was it possible the candles were intended for rations, should the siege
last any time. Luckily no occasion arose for testing the brilliancy of
the candle idea or of the candles themselves, but for days afterwards a
doughty mountaineer from Inverness or Aberfeldy would be surprised, when
at the friendly fireside of some hospitable countryman in Manchester, to
find Niagaras of grease rolling impetuously down his nether limbs, and
would learn too late that he had forgotten to take his strange munitions
of war out of his pocket, and was consequently indulging in a warm
tallow bath. In time the story oozed out, and until this day that
battalion of the Ninety-second is known to the gamins of Manchester as
the Caledonian Candlesticks.



FAITHFUL TO THE LAST.


    So they’ve found another victim and another rebel dies,
    A sacrifice to prejudice, to perjury and lies;
    Another name is added to our country’s martyr-roll,
    And our English rulers send to heaven another Irish soul;
    All the tricks and all the meanness that their lawyers and their spies,
    With months of preparation, could imagine and devise,
    Like a network planned by Satan, round his gallant life was passed,
    But God be with you, bouchal, you were faithful to the last!

    When the abject, wretched Judas shrank and cowered like a hound,
    Though thrice a score protecting British sabres gird him round,
    Though you saw no friendly feature in that strange and dismal place,
    Not a quiver stirred your muscles, not a pallor blanched your face;
    With a smile upon your lips that spoke the gallant heart within,
    With a courage that has never yet been known to fraud or sin,
    You saw the hangman’s rope for you spun furiously and fast,
    But God be with you, bouchal, you were faithful to the last!

    No guilt was on your soul, but what had that to do with slaves?
    You were far too grand and noble to recruit their band of knaves;
    You were Irish, and a Fenian, blood and nerve and brain and bone,
    And those were crimes which nothing but your young life could atone;
    But not all the jailer’s terrors, and not all death’s awful gloom,
    The horror of the dungeon, nor the silence of the tomb,
    A shadow o’er your spirit for a single hour could cast,
    So, God be with you, bouchal, you were faithful to the last!



FENIAN BATTLE-SONG.


    Hurrah! we stand on Irish land,
      Our hated foe before us,
    And once for all, to rise or fall,
      The green flag flying o’er us,
    We’ve raised it proudly overhead.
      God prosper our endeavor,
    Unite our bands, and nerve our hands,
      To keep it there forever!

    We marched away at break of day,
      And sweethearts left behind us,
    To strike one blow at yon false foe,
      Whose rusty fetters bind us.
    For while we bear the name of men,
      We’ll crouch no more as slaves, boys,
    Oh, Ireland shall be free again,
      Or we’ll be in our graves, boys!

    We’ve listened long to traitors mean,
      False England’s scarlet praising;
    We’ve heard them mock our Irish green
      Until our blood seemed blazing!
    And chieftains, too, who should be true,
      Have kept our ranks asunder,
    But Faction’s sound to-day is drowned
      In Freedom’s battle-thunder!

    Then here’s hurrah for all the brave,
      No matter who may lead ’em,
    And here’s a curse on every slave
      Who mars the cause of freedom!
    Let leaders vain aside remain
      Until their feuds are ended,
    ’Tis by the man who knows no clan
      Our flag must be defended.

    We’ve men from Galway to Kildare,
      From Limerick’s walls to Derry,
    Bold ramblers from the County Clare
      And mountaineers from Kerry.
    We’ll chase our alien foes away,
      We’ll tear our bonds asunder;
    We care not who’s to lead to-day,
      _We’ll_ fight and conquer under!



THE GRAVE OF THE MARTYRS.[D]


    Far away from the home and the friends they love best,
    ’Mid murd’rers and felons all silent they rest;
    Not a cross, not a stone, marks the desolate spot
    Where the bones of our martyred ones crumble and rot!

    In the cold prison ground, sad and lone, side by side,
    With their faces to Ireland, they sleep as they died;
    And the Angel of Liberty, hovering near,
    On the consecrate grave drops a pitying tear!

    Surrounded by foemen, ’mid jeering and hate,
    True as steel to the last, they went forth to their fate,
    With a prayer for thy cause on the high gallows-tree--
    Dear home of our fathers! they perished for thee!

    When they took them away from that desolate place,
    They found death had left a bright smile on each face,
    So they buried them quickly, lest true men should see
    How the hosts of the tyrant were baffled by Three!

    For still are they free, as no tyrant can bind
    The proud, chainless soul or the fetterless mind;
    And though the cold limbs may be laid in the grave,
    Soul and mind are enshrined in the hearts of the brave!

    Long, long may our land guard and treasure each name,
    Till a nation made free hymns their glorious fame;
    And our grandsons shall tell that from yonder cold grave
    Sprang the spirit yet destined our nation to save!



DEATH’S VICTORY.

IN MEMORIAM JOHN BOYLE O’REILLY.


    The Poet may grieve for his Art’s vacant throne;
    The Patriot mourn for a brave spirit flown;
    For the loss of a hero the Soldier may sigh,
    And the Church miss a star from her glorious sky.

    But with these ’tis not death--for through every age,
    In the lore of the Student, in History’s page,
    In the stories they tell, the examples they give,
    Of Genius and Truth--he will live! he will live!

    With the cypress the laurel of glory shall twine
    To deck the white shaft that will rise o’er his shrine;
    In sunshine a banner, in darkness a flame,
    To his land and his kindred shall long be his name.

    But to those who have loved him, oh! what can replace
    The grasp of his hand or the light of his face,
    The true, tender friendship an angel might prize,
    That played round his lips and that shone in his eyes?

    Ah! for us, faithful heart, he is lost in the grave
    Till he welcomes us, too, over death’s dismal wave;
    No solace can sweeten one tear that we shed--
    He lives to the world, but to us he is dead.



THE GREEN FLAG AT FREDERICKSBURG.


    Bear it up, bear it up, through the clouds of the battle,
      On, on, through the smoke and the glare;
    Though in hail-storms the balls from yon black ramparts rattle,
      We will plant it triumphantly there.
    Though now, by the eddying war-dust beclouded,
      ’Twas lost at the base of the hill,
    See again, on its summit, in flame-wreaths enshrouded,
      Our flag waves triumphantly still!

    We have marched ’neath its folds over meadow and mountain,
      In sunshine and shower, side by side;
    To guard it we opened our hearts’ living fountain,
      Till it flowed in a hot crimson tide;
    And guard it we will for the dear ones who love us,
      Till death bids our warm hearts be chill,
    And our foes even then shall behold that above us
      Our flag waves triumphantly still!

    ’Tis the flag that our sires and our grandsires died under;
      The flag that our children shall bear
    When at home in the old land the cannon’s dread thunder
      Knells Tyranny’s doom on the air.
    ’Twill be born o’er the foam-crested waves of the ocean,
      And true hearts in Ireland shall thrill
    To see in the land of their love and devotion
      Our flag wave triumphantly still.



THE FLAG OF OUR LAND.


    Come kinsmen, come clansmen, from South and
    from North,
    Hark! hark! the wild slogan of war pealing forth!
    It rings through each vale, and from peak unto peak
    The heather-clad mountains in thunder-tones speak;
    It calls on our loyal, our true, and our brave,
    From the whispering heath and the hollow-toned wave,
    With sabre and musket, and red battle-brand,
    To gather once more ’neath the Flag of our Land.

    Shall the stranger still rule in the halls of our sires?
    Shall our waters still mirror the plunderers’ fires?
    Shall our manhood be lost, and our darling old sod
    By tyrants and traitors forever be trod?
    ’Mid the nations around us, oh, say, shall our name,
    Our cause, and our people be bywords for shame?
    No! We swear by the graves of our fathers to stand
    For freedom or death ’neath the Flag of our Land!

    By the fame of our martyrs, the memory of those
    Who fell, side by side, ever fronting their foes;
    By the plunderers’ fires and the murderers’ steel;
    By the wrongs we have felt and the hatred we feel;
    By the scaffold’s red path and the dungeon’s dread gloom,
    And their myriad victims who call from the tomb,
    Meet the foe and strike home with a vengeance-nerved hand,
    Till his false blood shall crimson the Flag of our Land!



HURRAH FOR LIBERTY.


    Arouse ye from your slumbering,
      Awake to life once more,
    The time for idle pleadings
      And for vain regrets is o’er;
    We’ll bend and crouch no more like hounds,
      But in a fight like men,
    With men’s brave hearts and men’s stout arms
      We’ll win our own again.

        Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah for liberty!
          Till death we stand,
          To make our land
            A nation proud and free.

    We bent unto the tyrant,
      And we prayed in vain for years,
    But now we’re going to try, boys,
      Rifle-balls instead of tears.
    Our sighs shall be the trumpet’s call,
      The rolling of the drum,
    And in future our petitions
      From the cannon’s mouth shall come.--Hurrah!

    From Galway right to Wicklow,
      And from Cork to Donegal,
    We’ll march once more for liberty
      To win it or to fall.
    We’ll flaunt our flag from cliff and crag,
      And guard it with our steel;
    We’ll show our foes what deadly blows
      Each Irish arm can deal.--Hurrah!

    In ages past the redcoats quailed
      Before our fathers’ might;
    Have we not still the courage left
      To battle for the right?
    Though cowards dread the troops in red,
      We’ll cross their steel with joy,
    And show that Irish valor was
      Not spent at Fontenoy.

    The wily knave, the coward slave,
      To home and life may cling,
    But there’s no place for falsehood’s face
      Where gleaming sabres ring!
    We’ve thrown our gage, our lives we wage
      For Freedom and for Right;
    Appeals we’ve tried; now, God decide,
      Our last appeal is fight!



THE MESSENGER.

NOVEMBER 23, 1867.[E]


    With bated breath and trembling lips, we gathered round him there--
    Tall, sinewy men with faces bronzed, and maidens young and fair;
    We questioned him with eager eyes--we had not power to speak,
    For a nameless dread was in each heart, and whitened every cheek!

    Twice, thrice his lips moved silently, his tongue refused its task,
    We spoke not, but he knew right well the question we would ask;
    And thrice he strove to answer it, but thrice he strove in vain,
    While down his cheeks the tear-drops fell in blinding showers like rain!

    And by his grief at last we knew the news he could not tell,
    And over every hope a black and blighting shadow fell;
    A sickening weight seemed pressing, oh! so heavy on each heart,
    That it stayed our bitter wailings, and forbade our tears to start!

    And stalwart men, whose fiery wrath and fierce, resistless might
    Had turned the ebbing tide of war in many a bloody fight;
    Whose whirlwind charge and wild hurrah made Southern foemen reel,
    Whose breasts had pressed unshrinkingly ’gainst triple lines of steel--

    Aye, men like these, true scions of our fearless Celtic race,
    Who fear not death, but meet it with a smile upon the face--
    Now stood so still, so motionless, so silent in their woe,
    It seemed as if they’d fallen, too, beneath the crushing blow!

    Oh! who shall say what mournful tears that bitter night were shed,
    And who shall count the curses heaped upon the murderer’s head;
    What heartfelt prayers ascended to the throne of the Divine,
    For the heroes who had fallen on their suff’ring country’s shrine!

    He,[F] boy in years but man in heart, who, pale and fearless, trod
    The scaffold’s path as proudly as if ’twere his native sod;
    Who stood upon the grave’s dark brink with heart that never failed,
    With lips that never quivered, and with eyes that never quailed!

    And he,[G] the dark-eyed soldier, who, unhurt, untouched, had pass’d
    Through many a hard-fought battle-field, now fronted death at last;
    And such a death--the felon’s death--the death that villains die--
    He met it with a smiling face, and with a flashing eye!

    And, last of all, the father,[H] who that day would leave behind
    Poor helpless children to a world, harsh, pitiless, unkind:
    No wonder if he faltered--’twas, oh God! a fearful test;
    Yet he met his fate as bravely and as proudly as the rest.

    And these are murderers, they say--are cowards, base and vile:
    These gallant ones who perished for their distant native isle--
    Cowards and murderers, they say; oh, grant us patience, God!
    Oh, grant us patience yet to bear the tyrant’s heavy rod.



A TYPICAL TRIAL.


Joseph O’Graball, ex-Indian police inspector, and previously major in
the Boomerang Blazers, has for the past two years looked after the peace
and well-being of a southern district in Ireland, which, to avoid
offending the sensitive susceptibilities of its loyal squireocracy, I
shall designate as Kilslippery, which is about as unlike its real
cognomen as any word I am capable of coining. Joseph is unquestionably
one of the most energetic of the many remarkably energetic divisional
magistrates whose lively imaginations and diseased livers have found
temporary fields for exercise in Ireland since the coercion act passed
into law.

Major O’Graball is a terror not merely to all evil-doers in the locality
decorated by his rubicund nose and enlivened by his oriental profanity,
but he has managed to establish himself as an unmitigated nuisance to
nine-tenths of the entire population. He possesses the disturbing
faculty of becoming “reasonably suspicious” of anybody on the slightest
provocation and at the shortest notice. He firmly believes that he can
tell an Invincible or a Moonlighter half a mile away by the manner of
his stride or the cut of his pants. He perambulates the country-side
with a mounted escort daily, and scrutinizes the features of every
individual he meets, irrespective of age, sex, garb, or occupation. He
is prepared to detect treason in the shape of a nose, read murder and
arson in the twinkle of an eye, and discover dynamite in the curl of a
mustache.

Christy Connell was a small farmer whose evil fate made his path of life
lie in the scope of the major’s inquisitorial vision. Christy was a
simple, hard-working man, with such a numerous progeny that there is
little fear of the name of Connell ever dying out in those parts unless
there’s an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. His task of supporting
this battalion of Connells was such a difficult one that he had no
leisure to attend to politics or concern himself with the agitation. But
the very fact of his constant attention to his farm only served to
arouse O’Graball’s suspicion. Why, he argued, should a man keep sober,
unless he was afraid to get drunk? and why should he stick so closely to
his business, unless he wanted to conceal his treasonable sympathies?
Then he wore an American goatee. Suspicious, decidedly suspicious. A
goatee is military. Except the goatee, there was nothing military about
Christy, for he was bow-legged and squinted. But then his bow-legs might
have been induced by cavalry exercise, and his squint would be useful in
enabling him to spot an objectionable landlord round the corner.

With O’Graball, to suspect was to act. So one dark April night a
sergeant and half-a-dozen of the R. I. C. broke suddenly into Connell’s,
and, after one of those clever searches for which that corps is famed,
they succeeded in discovering a hatchet, a sledge-hammer, several rusty
nails, a rude drawing which appeared utterly incomprehensible to the
indefatigable sergeant, and a letter bearing the New York post-mark,
which, to the official mind, seemed an invaluable piece of documentary
evidence.

“Make haste, Connell,” said the sergeant. “You must come along with us.”

“Musha, phwat for?” queried the bewildered Connell.

“To answer a charge of having unlawfully and illegally planned, devised,
and conspired, with seditious, felonious, and treasonable intent, to
destroy, deprive, rob, upset, and otherwise confuse Her Most Gracious
Majesty Queen Victoria of her title and right as sovereign lady of
England, Scotland, Ireland, and also Kilslippery, so help me God!” and
the sergeant wound up as if he were on oath in the witness-box.

“Arrah, thin,” said the overwhelmed Christy, “how could I rob or upset
or confuse the Queen at all, at all. Sure, I niver cast my eyes on the
ould heifer, good, bad, or indifferent.”

“Silence! Every word you say will be taken in evidence. That’s the law.”

“Wirra, thin, bad luck to that same law.”

“Silence, I say again. I cannot tolerate treasonable expressions before
my men. Come along.”

Amid the sobbing of his wife and little ones, and utterly amazed and
confounded, Christy was handcuffed and dragged to the police barracks,
where he passed a miserable night. In the morning he was brought into
the awful presence of O’Graball, who at once commenced in grave tones
what he intended for a solemn interrogatory, but which proved in reality
a rich burlesque:--

“Prisoner, what is your name?”

“Christy Connell, plaze your worship.”

“It does not please me. It is a notoriously disloyal name. There have
been several Connells hanged at various times. Your very possession of
such a name is in itself a suspicious circumstance. Sergeant, make a
note of it. He confesses his name is Connell. So far our information is
correct. Now, prisoner, tell me, had you a mother?”

“Arrah, to be sure I had. What do you think I am, at all, at all?”

“No prevarication, sir. You had also, I suppose, a father of the male
gender?”

“He wore breeches, anyhow.”

“Prisoner, I must caution you against this unseeming levity. Sergeant,
make another note. We have established the fact of his birth. He had the
customary pair of parents, and he admits his name is Connell. The case
is proved already. But we have further and overpowering testimony. Now,
prisoner, does this axe belong to you?”

“Yes, your honor.”

“And this hammer?”

“Yes, your lordship.”

“And these nails?”

“Yes, your worship’s reverence.”

“Now, Christopher Connell, farmer, aged forty-two, were not that axe and
this hammer and those nails designed to be used for nefarious and
revolutionary purposes? You see we are thoroughly posted on your
diabolical plots. Make an open breast of the matter, and I’ll try how
far my influence will go with the Crown in procuring a mitigation of
your penalty. Conceal anything, and you will find me adamant. What do
you say?”

“Well, thin, your grace, I had the axe for nothin’ but cuttin’ firewood
with; the hammer was my father’s; sure, he was a blacksmith, the heavens
be his bed; and the nails--the nails--the troth, I don’t know what I
wanted the nails for at all. You can make a present of them to the
sarjent.”

“Miserable man! Your ill-timed wit will injure instead of serving you.
The axe and hammer were to be used in breaking open the doors of police
barracks, and the nails, no doubt, were to be employed in hand
grenades.”

“Well, by the blessid St. Patrick!” ejaculated the amazed Connell, but
he was speedily checked with a peremptory “Silence!” while the sapient
magistrate proceeded:--

“We have even stronger proofs. Sergeant, did you find these documents?”

“Yes, your washup.”

“The first is a drawing, sketch, or plan. Where did you find that?”

“Under one of the children’s heads, your washup.”

“Evidently placed there for concealment. The second is a letter--a very
important letter--from New York. Where did you discover that?”

“On the chimney-piece, your washup.”

“Ha! It was left there, no doubt, in the hope that you would not dream
of looking for dangerous documents in such an exposed position. Now,
prisoner, what is this drawing?”

“Well, plaze your majesty, its a pictur’ that Terry, the child, was
thryin’ to mek av the goat, the craytur, and the poor gossoon was so
proud av it he tuk it to bed with him.”

“A goat! Gracious heavens! Christopher Connell, you are trifling with
the court. That sketch, sir, I take to be a military map of Ireland,
with the rivers and boundaries left out to mislead us. But learn that
the eye of the law can discern everything, and it can penetrate through
that goat’s mask and see the grim secret behind!”

“Troth, your iminence, if that’s a map of Ireland, it’s proud the goat
should be av his resemblance to the ould country. But sure it’s joking
you are.”

“You’ll find it a serious joke, my man. But let us proceed. This letter
is dated New York--the most treasonable locality on the face of the
earth. It begins: ‘Dear brother--(of course you’re all brothers.
Sergeant, make a note of that)--I write these few lines hoping they will
find you in good health, as they lave me at present, thanks be to God.
(There’s some deep, hidden, occult meaning in that sentence, but I
cannot discern it just now.) I met the ould man--(Rossa, I suppose.
Make a note, sergeant)--on landing. He would advise you not to kill the
ould pig just yet. (Old pig? old--oh! horrible! I see it all. They have
actually contemplated the assassination of her Majesty. Terrible!) You
might, however, get rid of the litter of young sucklings (the miscreant,
to apply such language to the royal family.) I hope the praties and the
rye are going on well. (Pikes and rifles he means--they begin with the
same letter.) How’s ould coffin-head these times?’ Sergeant, who can he
mean by that?”

“Um--um--yourself, I think, your washup.”

“Sergeant, you forget yourself. I am not coffin-headed. Not even a rebel
would dare apply such a term to me. Prisoner, in the face of the
overwhelming evidence adduced, I do not think it necessary to proceed
further; besides, there are other allusions which a thoughtless world
might associate with me. Society must be preserved against such
desperadoes. If I could trust the honesty of a jury of your countrymen,
I would commit you for trial; but, alas! they would not see the evidence
with the clear gaze which I bend upon it. Therefore I give you the
highest sentence in my power--three months’ imprisonment--and, sergeant,
just look over the act and see under what clause we shall record it.”

Christy Connell served the three months, but to this day neither
himself, the magistrate, the jailer, nor the county member who brought
his case before Parliament have been able to find out for what he was
convicted. And that’s one specimen out of a hundred of the working of
the coercion act.



JOHN BULL’S APPEAL TO JONATHAN.


    Oh pray, good Cousin Jonathan, assist me in my plight;
    And ease my aching brain of this perpetual affright
    That keeps me quaking all the day and shivering all night--
    An incubus I can’t shake off, a shade I cannot fight.
    I am very, very sorry for the _Alabama’s_ pranks,
    I regret that I contributed to arm Secession’s ranks,
    But if you’ll only aid me now to crush these Irish cranks,
    Upon my knees I’ll pledge eternal gratitude and thanks.

    As empress of the ocean, and as mistress of the waves,
    Britannia has a perfect right to string up Afghan braves;
    To blow to bits, with dynamite, the Zulus in their caves,
    And to burn the huts of savages who will not be her slaves.
    But when the men she drove from home with steel and buckshot dare
    Return with nasty bombs to beard the lion in his lair,
    And send his best establishments cavorting through the air--
    Good Heavens! you must admit it’s quite a different affair.

    Poor Gladstone dare not crack an egg for fear it might explode,
    A hundred picked detectives guard her Majesty’s abode.
    Sir William Harcourt feels unsafe by river, rail, or road,
    And letter-carriers tremble ’neath the lightest postal load.
    There is terror in the country and anxiety in town,
    Insurance rates are rising, while stocks are going down,
    And since his kilts and plaids were doffed, forever, by John Brown,
    Uneasy lies the royal head that wears the British crown.

    Then, pray, good Cousin Jonathan, vouchsafe to us some ease,
    I beg, implore, and crave of you, upon my bended knees.
    And in return I’ll take of you whatever you may please,
    Pay homage to your bacon, and monopolize your cheese.
    But, oh, my brave blood relative, in Heaven’s name don’t delay,
    Do not hesitate a moment, do not hold your hand a day,
    Our statesmen in another month will all be bald or gray,
    Unless vile nitro-glycerine has blown the lot away.



THE STORY OF A BOMB.


    Where Shannon’s waves with smiling face
    Woo smiling banks with soft embrace,
    A modest cabin stood beside
    Its gentle perfume-laden tide.
    The sunshine of an honest life,
    A prattling child, a loving wife,
    The joys of home, their blessings shed
    Around the peasant tenant’s head.
        The twinkling stars of summer skies
        Reflected back his colleen’s eyes,
        His baby’s locks the noonday rays
        Encircled with a golden haze.

    But drear December, dark and chill,
    Whirled blighting blasts adown the hill,
    Sickness and famine scourged the land;
    And in their train the landlord band,
    And aiding in their mission dire
    The liveried hounds in England’s hire.
    In one brief hour their work was o’er,
    A happy home was home no more.
        The wintry skies looked sadly down,
        Half veiled in tears, half wrapt in frown,
        Upon the babe that sobbed to rest
        Upon its dying mother’s breast.

    A week--a month--he had no power
    To mark or count each anguished hour,
    He knew not if ’twere night or day
    When wife and infant passed away.
    Without a hope to dull the pain
    That numbed his heart and seared his brain,
    Despair behind and gloom before,
    He left his native Shannon’s shore,
        Whose rippling wavelets seemed to press
        The ship’s dark side with fond caress,
        While chimes from many a distant bell
        Breathed Mother Erin’s last farewell.

    Uncouth in dress, but huge of limb,
    With earnest faces fierce and grim,
    Are gathered near a silent swamp,
    Rough toilers from a mining camp;
    The rasping tones of Ulster greet
    The voice of Munster soft and sweet,
    And Connaught’s mellow accent blends,
    But one and all are Ireland’s friends.
        Yet whispering pines that bend above
        Hear words of hatred, not of love;
        Tears that from eyes of strong men fall
        Are not of mercy, but of gall.

    Each has a sickening tale to tell
    Of England’s robber rule of hell,
    Each has a deeply cherished cause
    To hate her power and curse her laws.
    “Then who will venture life, and go
    To wreak our vengeance on this foe,
    Though ’mid the ruins he may lie?”
    And he from Shannon answers “I!”
        The western breezes catch the vow
        That surges from his bosom now,
        The exile’s vengeful brand to bear
        And smite the tiger in his lair.

    In Babylonian halls to-night
    Are strains of mirth and flashing light,
    The sheen of satin, gleaming gems
    In scores of priceless diadems;
    These are the butterflies, the drones,
    Vampires who feed on blood and bones.
    Ah, cruel parasites, beware,
    One victim of your wrong is there.
        The London skies are black with cloud
        The earth enwrapt in night’s dark shroud,
        As by the despot’s citadel
        A hand from Shannon fires the shell.

    England, to thee and thine belongs
    The memory of uncounted wrongs
    That, multiplied through all the years,
    Have dried the fount of Ireland’s tears.
    Thy fate is sealed, thy knell has tolled,
    Not thrice the sum of thrice thy gold
    Can turn the wrath thou hast defied
    Of hearts like those from Shannon’s side.
        Thy future sky is overcast,
        Thy halcyon days forever past,
        Earthquake and storm shall overwhelm
        Thy towers and fanes, thy laws and realm.



AVENGING, THOUGH DIM (1798).


    Avenging, though dim, with the dust of inaction,
      And dinted and blunted through fraud and delay,
    With the hilt spoilt and scarred by the rude hands of faction,
      And the blade rusting slowly to useless decay,
    The swift sword of Erin, its temper unbroken,
      Leaped forth after years from its vain, idle shield,
    To smite to the earth the vile slander oft spoken,
      That true men e’er falter or brave spirits yield.

    The hearts that had dared to disturb its long slumber,
      With resolute nerve, may be laid in the clay,
    But they woke from the harp-strings of Erin a number
      That throbs through the soul of the nation to-day.
    And be it in future for joy or for sorrow,
      To clothe her in glory or shroud her in pall,
    The tyrants of Ireland shall find from to-morrow
      The sweets of their empire embittered with gall.



CHRISTMAS DIRGE OF THE LONDON POLICE (1885).


    Christmas is here with its fun and frivolity,
      Mistletoe, holly-bush, kindness, and cheer,
    Warmth and good-feeling, gay laughter and jollity,
      We should be happy--for Christmas is here.
    Yet to it all we are sadly insensible,
      We have no heart for festivities gay--
    Ah! the dark future is incomprehensible,
      Irish conspiracies hatch night and day.
        Oh, dear! what will become of us?
        Will they blow up every man or but some of us?
        Pity, oh pity, the visages glum of us!
        Give us a rest--we are pining away.

    Beef and plum-pudding are sadly inferior
      To the dread terrors that nightly control
    All the dark depths of a peeler’s interior,
      Spoiling his liver and crushing his soul!
    Though brimming glasses are in the ascendency,
      Moistening cannot bring hope to our clay,
    For we may not place a moment’s dependency
      How long intact shall our rendezvous stay!
        O Lord! but the immensity
        Of Irish vengeance in all its intensity
        Splits through the dullest official head’s density,
        Turning our locks into premature gray.

    Holiday thoughts are no longer convivial,
      Peelers have long since forgotten to smile,
    Fears permeate them, not groundless or trivial,
      Of the omniscient Skirmisher’s guile.
    How could a uniformed breast be hilarious,
      When it may shortly be scattered around,
    With scarce a prospect--oh future precarious!
      That a brass button would ever be found?
        Oh, dear! is there a river in
        England that hasn’t a dynamite shiver in
        Ready to agitate, spasm, and quiver in
        Each beating heart that is left above ground?



IRELAND’S PRAYER (MAY, 1885).


    Oh, children of that scattered race whose agony and tears
    Have called to Heaven for vengeance through seven hundred circling years,
    Hark! hear ye not the rising storm that beats on England’s coasts?
    The clank of swinging sabres and the tramp of marching hosts?
    In every sign and portent read the swift-impending doom
    Of that Empire built by fraud and guile on murdered Freedom’s tomb;
    See tottering on Britannia’s brow her loose imperial crown--
    God nerve the hands, no matter whose, upraised to drag it down!

    Beside the storied Pyramids the desert’s swarthy sons
    Have strewn the sands with English bleaching bones and rusting guns,
    And on another continent the gray coats of the Bear
    Advance with grim resolve to choke the Lion in his lair;
    Arab or Tartar, what care we whose hand may deal the blow
    That lays a Saxon hireling or an Irish traitor low?
    Where’er on English ramparts rolls the bloody tide of war,
    God bless El Mahdi’s spearmen and the legions of the Czar!

    Heaven guide the Zulu assegai until it sinks to rest
    From point to butt ensheathëd in a quivering English breast;
    May every stinging bullet from a half-breed rifle sped
    Complete and end its mission in an English lung or head;
    For whosoever smashes blows on Britain’s brazen form,
    Whatever hand upon her head brings battle-wrack and storm,
    Gives aid to prostrate Ireland that a patriot heart must feel;
    So Heaven be with brave Osman, and God prosper Louis Riel!



JOHN BULL’S NEW YEAR.


    John Bull looked haggard and drear
                            With fear,
    As the bells rang out the old year,
                            “Oh, dear!”
    He moaned, “but my lot has been sorry and sore,
    I ne’er had twelve months of such trouble before,
    My neighbors all round seem to thirst for my gore,--
                            It’s queer.

    “With Hans I would like to agree,
                            For he
    Is an inch or two taller than me,
                            You see;
    But he’s gone to the Cape with a rush and a shout,
    And I had to vanish or he’d kick me out,
    And he says ever since he will ‘pull mine snout
                                    Mit glee.’

    “Then Mossoo, who lives o’er the way
                                    Is gay
    At my numerous signs of decay
                                    Each day;
    He snaps his fingers right under my nose,
    Laughs at my protests and treads on my toes,
    And has not a pitying word for my woes
                                    To say.

    “I once could warn Ivan the bear--
                                    Take care
    How the lion you stir in his lair,
                                    Beware!
    But now he has laid his big claws on Herat,
    And all I can do is to squeal like a cat,
    And I fear that some day I’ll be squelched like a rat
                                    Out there.

    “But my worst and my ugliest fright,
                                    A sight
    That keeps me in shivering plight
                                    All night,
    Is the vengeance I earned from poor Pat long ago,
    He’s my nearest neighbor but bitterest foe,
    And ’tis only just now I’m beginning to know
                                    His might!

    “So for me there’s no Happy New Year,
                                  Oh, dear!
    But doubt, and misgiving, and fear
                                  Are here.
    My neighbors discover I’m toothless and blind,
    They cuff me before and they kick me behind,
    And in all the world not a friend can I find
                                  To cheer!”



READY AND STEADY.

A FENIAN NEW-YEAR SONG (1867).


    Ready, boys, ready, the morning is breaking,
      Brace up your sinews and stand to your guns;
    Ireland, the shackles of centuries shaking,
      Calls o’er the ocean for aid to her sons.
    Now, boys, forever Erin’s endeavor
      Reaches its triumph or falls on its bier;
    Strengthen each soul, be it death-bed or goal,
      You must decide in the dawning new year.

    Steady, boys, steady, no pausing or flinching,
      Comrade or foeman?--your choice must be made;
    Saxon and Celt in a death-grapple clinching,
      Neither has room for a neutral brigade.
    Voices that palter, hearts that may falter,
      There is no welcome or place for you here;
    Arms but of you men--fearless and true men--
      Strike the last blow in the coming new year.

    Ready, boys, ready, with quick self-reliance,
      Victory marches, but never despair;
    Steady, boys, steady, a loud-mouthed defiance
      Never scared tiger or wolf from its lair.
    Silent, but ready, anxious but steady,
      Lean on your arms till the signal you hear,
    Then, be your story sadness or glory,
      Still, ’twill illumine your country’s new year.



WHY SMITHERS RESIGNED.


So you wish to know why Smithers resigned his position as head constable
of Kilmacswiggin? Well, as the night’s young, and I’m not particularly
busy, I don’t mind spending half an hour or so in telling you the story.

You see, during the time of the Land League troubles, some of the
landlords round here, knowing that they had little reason to expect any
overwhelming affection from their tenants, and finding their sources of
income, if not castles in the air, at least rents in the clouds, for bad
luck to the penny they could collect, began to get uneasy and scared,
and thought it would be a wise thing to have a dozen or so more police
in the parish, though it’s too many of the same streelers were quartered
on us to begin with. The district, barring that the farmers kept their
money in their own pockets and used strong language when the rent
collector called on them, was quiet, and peaceable, and could have been
easily managed without a peeler at all, but the landlords wanted bad to
force their rents out of the poor peasantry or take their land from
them, as they used to do in the cruel times before the League stepped in
and put an extinguisher on their proceedings.

So, as the people couldn’t be tempted to make fools of themselves by
playing into the land-grabbers’ hands by such frolics as popping at
their agents with old blunderbusses from the back of a hedge, or setting
fire to process servers’ hayricks, the landlords began to manufacture
outrages on their own account. They wrote threatening letters to each
other by the bushel, with skulls, and crossbones, and coffins for date
lines, and blood, and blasphemy, and murder reeking in every sentence,
and pikes, and guns, and pistols below the signature of “Captain
Moonlight” or “Rory of the Hills,” to show how terribly in earnest they
were. Oh, they constructed those epistles in the orthodox manner
recognized by Mr. Trench in his “Recollections of an Irish Landlord,”
and made familiar to the world by the regiments of English special
correspondents that were then roaming and perambulating Ireland like
journalistic ghouls or body-snatchers looking for corpses to be
dissected in the columns of their respective organs. They wrote, too,
blood-curdling, gruesome, harrowing narratives of the horrors of life in
Kilmacswiggin for the London papers, till one of the Orange members from
the North drew attention in the House to what he called the terrible
state of affairs in that parish, and, though Healy and Biggar
contradicted his assertions, and laughed at his lugubrious forebodings
of massacre, rapine, blood, and flame if a whole _corps d’armee_ and a
part of the channel squadron wasn’t immediately sent to occupy the bogs
and ditches there, the then chief secretary, Buckshot Forster, promised
to see into the matter, and he wrote to the head inspector in Dublin,
Col. Hillier, and Hillier sent a letter down to Smithers that made that
head constable’s ears tingle. He as much as told Smithers that if he
didn’t arrest somebody for something or other he might take out his
walking papers. Of course Smithers was in a quandary. He’d willingly
have arrested the whole parish, man, woman, and child, if he could have
found the shadow of an excuse, but he couldn’t, poor fellow.

Just at this time it happened that Pat Moran, at the far end of the
parish, was engaged in a little business speculation on his own account,
in the shape of a brisk trade in the finest poteen that was ever
distilled in these parts--and that’s a big word. The still was away
somewhere in the mountains,--it may be there yet, so I shan’t go into
geographical details,--and Pat was employed as a kind of messenger
between the boys there and some of the hotel keepers and grocers in the
towns and villages round who don’t believe in contributing any more to
the British revenue than they can help. Maybe he visited me sometimes,
and maybe he didn’t. That’s neither here nor there. I may just observe
that I never pay taxes willingly. You can take what you like out of
that.

Some of Pat’s neighbors grew envious of the good luck he was having, and
one day some sleeveen--it was never found out who the stag was--came
into the barracks and told Head Constable Smithers that Pat Moran had
guns and powder and shot hid away in his old cabin. The sly rogue knew
that if he complained to Smithers that it was merely illicit whiskey Pat
had, the head constable wouldn’t give a thraneen about the matter, and
as like as not would let Pat alone. But the mention of contraband
material of war worked up Smithers like a touch of electricity. Why, if
he could manage to seize a few rifles and a cartridge or two of
dynamite, his fortune was made, his position assured. There was no
position he might not attain. He would succeed Clifford Lloyd. He might
be made a K. C. B. Dim visions of a peerage even floated through his
brain.

In five minutes he was _en route_ for Pat’s, with a dozen constabulary
men at his back. How Pat found out he was coming I can’t say; but he did
find out while Smithers was still half a mile away. Pat had a hurried
consultation with his mother. He had no time to shift a keg of poteen
which was in the house, but they hit upon a ruse which might succeed,
and at any rate couldn’t make things worse. They wheeled the keg of
whiskey under the bed in the back room, and in another minute Pat was
lying on the bed with his head enveloped in a Tara hill of bandages,
awaiting the crisis.

The crisis came. So did the police. In fact, they came together. The
search began. The peelers explored the teapot and kettle for rifles, and
seemed disappointed when they found no artillery in the skillet. They
sounded the hearthstone, analyzed the cradle, held a sort of post-mortem
examination on the furniture, and poked the roof so effectually with
their bayonets that it resembled the lid of a pepper-box. The commander
went so far as to make the youngest of the force ascend the chimney. He
found nothing there but soot. However, he brought enough of that back
with him to satisfy his most ardent desires.

Then Smithers prepared to enter the back room, but the old woman clung
to his arm and tearfully beseeched him not to do so.

“Ha! ha!” cried the enterprising officer, bursting the door in with his
foot, “I smell a rat,” and he rushed into the room, where the first
object to meet his gaze was a head raised languidly from the pillow, and
poulticed and bandaged to the size of a champion squash or watermelon.

“Oh, wirra! wirra!” sobbed the old woman; “you’ve kilt my boy. He’s very
bad with small-pox, ochone! ochone! and the doctor said only this
blissid mornin’ that he wasn’t to be wuck at all, at all. It only bruck
on him last night, an’ it’s a beautiful pock you have, avick machree;
and now--”

But that head constable had leaped ten feet backward clean out of the
house, and was licking all previous racing records up the boreen, with
his handkerchief to his nose, and his followers tearing after him like a
pack of hungry fox-hounds. Talk of Myers, the great Yankee runner! He
would have been left in the cold that day.

You may be sure it wasn’t long before the whole story of how Moran
fooled the head constable went the rounds of the country. It came to
Smithers’ own ears at last, and from that hour he was an altered man.
He would retire into the woods to vent his feelings, and people who
heard him sometimes say that his oaths would lift the hair on the scalp
of an Egyptian mummy. The more he brooded, the more he cursed. There
never was a curse, English, Irish, or American, that he didn’t get hold
of, and he invented such a lot of brand-new, original, comic, pathetic,
eccentric, square, round, oblong, elliptical, severely plain, and highly
ornamented or convoluted profane pyrotechnics that a perfume of sulphur
and brimstone seemed to hang around his conversation. The habit so crept
upon him that when he wished at last to shake it off, he couldn’t. His
tongue had grown so accustomed to decorative blasphemy that it could
utter nothing else. It became a matter of anxious consideration to him
how he was to eliminate from his conversation the picturesque adjectives
it would under ordinary circumstances have taken him thirty years to
accumulate. He consulted a friendly sub. “Smith,” said he, “I have a
[powerful expletive not to be found in any polite guide to conversation]
bad habit.”

“Only one,” said his brother official; “that’s nothing. A man who has
been on the force ten years and has only acquired one bad habit, has
wasted his opportunities.”

“Well, but this is one that is likely to get me into a blank blank
[double-barrelled adjective] muss in society some fine day. You see I
can’t speak ten words without cursing. If I can, ---- my eyes!”
[ophthalmic operation not recognized in modern surgery].

“Ah,” said Harvey Duff 2; “you must repress that custom. It’s low.”

“How the ---- [distant region occasionally alluded to in sermons and
theological disquisitions] can I?”

His colleague cogitated. When a policeman cogitates, there are enough
scintillations of intellect flashing round to illuminate the interior of
an Egyptian pyramid. The result of his meditation was his advice to
Smithers to take a pocket-book, and every time he transgressed to take a
note of the offence. In twelve hours he had filled up two
three-hundred-page memorandum books, and used up a dozen and a half of
pencils. It became irksome pottering round with a note-book in one hand
and a stick of lead in the other entering everlasting ejaculations; he
wore the skin off his fingers, and, besides, he couldn’t keep up with
himself, and he missed cataloguing a few score emphatic expressions
every five minutes. He adopted another plan. He arranged with his wife
that every time he articulated forbidden sounds he should hand her over
a penny. He provided himself with £5 in coppers the first day of the
arrangement, but he hadn’t a red cent by noon, and in three days he had
parted with all his ready cash, made over his next year’s income, and
didn’t even own the boots he stood in. Then he agreed with his better
half that she should pluck a hair out of his head every time he
offended, and now if there’s a more bald-headed man to be found on this
side the day of judgment, I’m willing to turn cannibal, and eat him.

His habit attracted the attention of his superiors at last, when his
report began to resemble his verbal utterances, and they reprimanded him
sharply. He replied in a letter that is preserved in the official
archives as a sample of what the English language is capable of. The
reading of it drove two Castle authorities mad, and sent the third into
a galloping consumption. Well, that’s how Smithers left the force.
Strange story, ain’t it?



THE CHARGE OF THE GUARDS AT LONDON TOWER.[I]

BY ALFRED TENNYSON’S GHOST.


    Ghastly white with affright,
      Down stairs they thundered,
    Peelers and grenadiers--
      Nearly a hundred.

    Out of doors shrieking loud
      Rushed the scared hundred,
    They had no wish to be
      Blown up or sundered.
    Crash! went a bomb o’erhead,
    “Oh, Lord!” each bearskin said,
    Wildly in flight they sped--
            Disgruntled hundred.

    Bang! went that bombshell near,
    Were they o’ercome with fear?
    You bet your boots they were--
            All of the hundred;
    Theirs not to question why
    Roof soared aloft to sky--
    Theirs but to cut and fly
            Sensible hundred.

    Women to right of them,
    Women to left of them,
    Children in front of them
            Fainted or wondered;
    But they were trained too well--
    They knew what meant that shell,
    So with a gruesome yell,
    Head over heels, pell-mell,
            Scattered the hundred.

    Did they flash sabres bare
    Out on the trembling air?
    No, they just left them there,
            There to be plundered;
    And through the struggling mass,
    Matron and babe and lass,
    Plunged and strove hard to pass,
    Choking and gasping--
            Ah, horrified hundred.

    Glass smashed to right of them,
    Beams flew to left of them,
    Walls gaped in front of them,
            Shattered and sundered;
    All round the citadel,
    Stormed by that awful shell,
    Plaster and brickbats fell
    Down on their heads in storms.
    Oh, it was worse than hell;
    Out over prostrate forms
            Charged all the hundred.

    When shall the record fade
    Of the quick time they made?
            All the world wondered.
    Greyhound or Arab steed
    Could not excel the speed
            Of that swift hundred.



AN ADDRESS TO SLAVES.[J]


    Helots of Ireland! Bow down to the stranger;
      Bondsmen and serfs! bend the sycophant knee;
    Forget the brave hearts who have faced every danger,
      Death, dungeon, and exile that ye might be free!
    Be Emmet forgotten, Tone’s story unspoken;
      Let the green shamrocks wither above their lone graves,
    Or should the last sleep of such heroes be broken
      Let it be by the shouts that proclaim ye are slaves.

    Aye, shout! Though oppression stalks over the old land;
      Though thousands are leaving your desolate isle.
    Aye, shout! Till your cheers tell the world ye have sold land,
      Faith, honor, and truth, for a Prince’s false smile.
    The iron has entered your souls, and forever
      May it brand you as craven and false to your race;
    May the years that roll by bring oblivion never
      To cloak your dishonor or shroud your disgrace.

    Shout, shout, puny slaves, though each banner that dances
      Round the path of the Prince is the alien red,
    Crack your throats, though the gleam of yon glittering lances
      Is dimmed by the blood of your innocent dead.
    Kiss the ground at his feet, though the soldiers that guard him,
      Your fathers and kinsmen have ruthlessly slain,
    Be dogs to the last, and like mongrels reward him,
      By coating in slime every link of your chain.

    But cowardly serfs, in your crouching remember
      The people and ye are no longer the same,
    And every heart where one flickering ember
      Of manhood’s ablaze has contempt for your shame.
    Then go, join the ranks of the knaves who have bartered
      God’s birthright of freedom for titles and gold.
    The heart of the nation beats still for the martyred,
      Though their glory and cause be unsung and untold.

    When ye, abject hounds, and your cheers shall have perished,
      When the Prince and his courtiers shall sleep in the grave,
    Their name and their fame and their work shall be cherished
      While one Irish bosom is faithful and brave.
    In honorless tombs all their foes will be rotten,
      When the cause that they died for, triumphant and grand,
    Shines out, o’er the tombstones of princes forgotten,
      In the sunrise of Liberty bathing our land.



EXPLOITS OF AN IRISH REPORTER.


For enterprise, facility of invention and expedient, and the ability to
“get there” in spite of every difficulty and obstacle, the American
newspaper man is a century ahead of his European brother; but I know of
one Irish knight of the stylograph who could give even a Yankee points,
if we are to believe his friends.

Brian has been known to take notes in a rain-storm with a sharp-pointed
scissors on the ribs of his umbrella.

When his leg was broken in a boiler explosion, he chronicled the event
on the bandages.

When he had to disguise himself as a bandsman at an Orange
demonstration, he took down the chairman’s speech in the mouth of his
trombone.

He sent a graphic account of an Arctic expedition engraven on blocks of
ice from Smith’s Sound, and he once pencilled the story of a railway
collision on the wooden leg of a survivor. He forgot to mention how the
mangled victim was accommodated with an artificial limb so soon after
the disaster, but he never bothers his head about such minor details.

But his greatest phonographic achievement was in Central Africa a few
years ago. King Mtesa, the dusky potentate discovered by Stanley, picked
up from his European guests, among other accomplishments, the art of
making speeches. It was a new, a delicious recreation to the savage
soul. Twice a month he assembled his warriors, and held forth, and the
ebon Secretary of State who failed to ejaculate the Central African
substitute for “hear, hear,” at the proper moment, was served up for
luncheon on the conclusion of the speech.

Brian heard of this. It became the one burning ambition of his soul to
take a shorthand note of the Boston-baked-beans-color orator. He set out
for Tanganyika to carry out his project. Accompanied by a dozen sons of
night he penetrated the African jungle, swam its turgid rivers, evaded
its hungry tribes, escaped its fierce animals, and after weeks of
adventure and suffering, with his faithful followers, reached the king’s
kraal the evening before one of that monarch’s speeches.

He had been scalped, had all his teeth drawn, lost a few toes, been once
half boiled, and on another occasion baked nearly to a sweet and
toothsome brown; still he had survived.

But, alas! he had lost his pencil and note-book, and these indispensable
adjuncts of caligraphic civilization were unknown in Mtesa’s territory
since Stanley had left.

Our reporter, however, had an inventive intellect not to be thwarted by
such trifling obstacles. He hunted up a chalk ridge, and when the Cicero
in jet addressed his subjects, Brian planted his Zanzibari attendants on
their hands and knees, and took the speech in chalk upon their naked
backs.

Mtesa, in return for the promise of a copy of the paper containing the
speech, furnished the stenographer and his animated note-books with an
escort to the coast, and triumph would have crowned Brian’s effort but
for the most striking passages of the oration being lost through one of
the blacks sitting down on a wet bank before he had been transcribed!



A POLITICAL LESSON SPOILED.


He was a Boston teacher, and of course had an intellect superior to the
cut-and-dry theories of instruction that were followed by the common
herd of schoolmasters. He believed in object-lessons; in illustrations
that should catch the young idea on the fly, as it were. Thus, when he
wanted to fix in the memories of the youthful scholars the titles of the
principal reigning monarchs and rulers of Europe, he didn’t keep them
for half an hour each day iterating monotonously, “the Queen of
England,” “the President of France,” “the King of Italy,” “the Emperor
of Germany,” “the Sultan of Turkey,” and “the Czar of Russia.” Not he.
He elevated his pupils to a higher sense, a more individual
appreciation, of the majesties of the Continent. He told Mike, the
saloon keeper’s son, to know himself in future as the French President;
Franz Schweibiere became Emperor of Germany; he bestowed royal honors on
all his most promising pupils, and he felt proudly conscious that he had
planted firmly in their minds, as part of their own identity, the
knowledge of the sovereigns who are the arbiters of the Old World’s
destiny. We draw a veil over his emotions when on a recent unhappy
morning the King of Italy held up a greasy hand and piped out, “Please,
sir, de Sultan of Turkey won’t be here to-day. De Emperor of Russia hit
him a smash in de eye last night, and blinded him!”



THE LION’S LAMENTATION.


    They are marching on Herat, half a million men, or more,
        Over the frontier they’re swarming;
    And they do not seem to mind at all my remonstrative roar,
        But grin as if its melody were charming;
    Turk and Italian, Teuton and Gaul,
    Friends of the past, where, where are ye all?
    Great Patience! are ye laughing at the poor old lion’s fall?
        Really, the prospect is alarming.

    ’Tis useless boasting now we can whip them one to ten,
        Woe is me! the fact is quite contrary;
    We might when “English” soldiers came from Irish hill and glen,
        But there’s no recruiting now in Tipperary.
    No, nor from Antrim downward to Clare,
    From seaboard of Galway across to Kildare,
    Can I find a single Irishman to help me anywhere,
        Except he be a Corydon or Carey.

    Oh dear, oh kind, oh glorious, oh darling Uncle Sam,
        Am I not your father and your mother?
    Pray listen to the bleatings of the martyred British lamb,
        Help, brave soul, oh help, before I smother.
    Irving and Arnold your culture will bless,
    All the dudes of London your image will caress,
    Oscar go across again to teach you how to dress,
        And we’ll be the world to one another.

    Bennett, Smalley, don’t you hear the marching going on?
        The tramp my Indian provinces is shaking,
    Greycoats from the Ural and Cossacks from the Don,
        Is it any wonder that I’m quaking?
    O Lord! the tortures, the terrors I feel!
    Even my roar has been changed to a squeal,
    And--my heart to palsy, my very blood congeal--
        That d--d old Irish wolf-dog is awaking!



MEMORIAL ODE

TO THE IRISH DEAD WHO WERE SLAUGHTERED DURING THE FIFTY YEARS’ REIGN OF
VICTORIA, QUEEN OF ENGLAND.


    We meet to-night to greet a name
      Symbolical for fifty years
    Of England’s guilt and England’s shame,
      Of Ireland’s blood and Ireland’s tears.
    To mingle with the empty glee
      Of laugh and cheer from English throat,
    A new tone in this Jubilee,--
      A strong, discordant, Irish note.

    What has she done for us or ours;
      What wrong redressed; relieved what pain;
    That in her garlanding of flowers
      We should conceal our Irish chain?
    When on the dreary roadside lying
    Were babe and mother faint and dying,
    When heaped were nameless Irish graves,
    When Irish dead paved ocean’s waves,
    When every blast
    That swept the mast
    Of fever ship was moaning, sighing
    The story of an awful crime
    That ringing down the aisles of Time
    Has filled the universe with song--
    A deathless dirge of Ireland’s wrong--
    What act of mercy, gentle, human,
        What deed of grace to prove her woman,
        What sign gave she that Irish true man
          Could treasure in his heart to be
          A token of her Jubilee?

        She came when but one spring had spread
          Its buds above our dark decay,
        Around, among, between the dead,
          Her idle, pompous journey lay,
        She saw a million graves, but shed
          No tear to wash the sin away.
        Before or since what ear hath heard
          In all our years of dark eclipse
        One feeble protest, or a word
          Of pity from her queenly lips.
        Nay, when our fearsome famine wail
          Pierced e’en an Orient monarch’s soul,
        And he stretched hand to save the Gael,
          Her jealous pride returned his dole.
    For she could watch the infant die upon its mother’s shriveled breast,
    But could not bear a stranger’s gem to dim the jewels on her crest.

        A faithful mother--so the bear
          That rends the bleating lamb apart,
        And brings it with her cubs to share,
          Betrays a fond, maternal heart.
    And oh, how many Irish lambs torn from their weeping mother’s side
    By hunger’s pangs in roofless homes can mock Victoria’s mother-pride.
    A faithful wife--from prison tomb appeals the strangled Irish voice
    Of father fond and husband true, as even Albert--poor Myles Joyce.[K]
    And many an Irish orphan sobs, and many a widow shrieks in pain,
    At memory of the loved ones lost--butchered in this half-century’s reign.

    Could a million of unknown Irish graves yield up the victims
          of landlord wrath;
    Could the Angel of Life breathe into the bones that bleach the
          Atlantic’s lonely path;
    Could the dead be recalled from the prison clay and ordered back
          from the scaffold’s gloom;
    Could we clothe with living flesh and blood the inmates of
          madhouse and union tomb;
    A parade that would stretch from Pole to Pole, from East to
          West over every sea,
    Would shadow to littleness scarcely seen the fools who march
          in her Jubilee.

    Then by the memory of all who fell in holy Ireland’s fight,
    Through Famine’s pangs, by steel or rope, we lift our hands
          and swear to-night
    To keep our banner still aloft, through calm and storm,
          through good and ill,
    Until the blaze of freedom’s sun illumines every Irish hill.
    Let those who will pay tribute still to alien laws and foreign throne,
    Ireland shall see a Jubilee and sing Te Deums of her own.



AN ORANGE ORATION.


In no country in either the civilized or the barbaric world can we find
the counter-type of the Irish Orangeman. In France, Frenchmen are
Frenchmen, whatever may be their religious faith. The Catholic from
Bavaria fought side by side with the Prussian Lutheran, when German
independence was assailed. When the White Czar summons his legions to
the defence of the Russian Empire, the peasant who follows the tenets of
the Greek Church takes his place under the eagle standard alongside the
persecuted believer in the faith of Rome. The English Catholics are as
steadfast in their support of the “meteor flag of Old England” as any of
the believers in the motley creeds of that much-religious
nation--Methodists, Calvinists, Wesleyans, Presbyterians, Unitarians,
Baptists, Episcopalians, or Jumpers. In Ireland alone in this tolerant
nineteenth century do we find religious bigotry so ineradical, so
irrepressible, so stupid as to be beyond the reach of persuasion and the
voice of reason. A condemnation of Orangeism is unnecessary, but a
description of one of its votaries may be interesting. Nobody falls in
love with a two-headed chimpanzee or a double-tailed baboon, but they
are valuable accessories to a dime museum. By and by the Orangeman will
find his natural place in a side-show, but in the mean time, for the
benefit of future Barnums and Forepaughs, we will sketch the prominent
features, personal and historical, of one of the tribe.

Billy Macshiver was born in one of those out-of-the-way villages in
Antrim, into which neither intelligence nor common sense has so far
penetrated. His father was the hero of many a fierce sectarian strife,
as the countless bruises he bore upon his venerable scalp could well
testify. From his earliest infancy Billy was taught hatred of everything
connected with Catholicity. He was told that the cross was a symbol of
superstition, a Catholic church the temple of Lucifer, a Catholic priest
a stray fiend who had escaped from Limbo, and the “Papists” generally a
lot of poor, benighted idiots, especially created by a benign Providence
to afford skulls for himself and his confreres to crack. He learned that
England was the most Protestant nation in the world, and consequently
the greatest; that the “Boyne Water” was the grandest musical
composition of this or any other age; and that the Rev. R. R. Kane, a
notorious Orange firebrand, was a second St. Paul. He had been taught to
shun everything green as he would the small-pox--there was only one
color for a devout Christian to patronize--orange. God had not decorated
the trees and fields with orange, because he had reserved that beautiful
tint for a chosen few, and didn’t wish it to be too common. Of course,
when Billy reached the years of maturity he joined the clan in whose
ranks his father’s head had so often been bandaged. He became an
Orangeman of the deepest purple dye. He mounted Orange lilies, natural
and artificial, resplendent and faded, in the button-hole nearest his
heart, on every available opportunity. He learned to play “Croppers, lie
down” on the concertina, and to master the mysteries of the jew’s-harp
to the stirring anthem of “Protestant Boys.” He led insane processions
on every 12th of July, and won endless glory by “knocking out” an old
woman who declined to shout “To h--with the Pope” at his modest request.

He is now grand master of an Orange lodge. He is a skilful rhetorician,
of course. I quote his last 12th of July speech, to show the stuff that
awakens the enthusiasm of his class:--

“Brethren--We have met once more to commemorate to-night the memory of
the great, the glorious, the pious, and the--the--the Orange-headed
William, and in rising to propose the toast of his immortal memory,
I--I--as a matter of fact I--I--get upon my feet. (Cheers.) At no time
in the history of Orangeism did there exist a greater necessity
to--to--to, in short--drink his memory--that is to say, to drink--to
drink--to--oh, you know what I mean. (Tumultuous applause.) The papishes
are abroad like roaring lions seeking whom they may devour. Shall they
swallow us? (Loud cries of ‘No.’) Our Church has been disestablished,
and Mr. Gladstone has kissed the Pope’s toe. (Shame.) Yes, shame; but
are there not thousands of Orangemen prepared to wipe out with their
toes--their big toes--upon the most fleshy part of Gladstone’s carcass
this--this--this insult to Christianity? (Loud applause.) They have put
down, to a certain extent, our gay and festive and hilarious
gatherings, which used to strike terror to the souls--of--of--well, they
struck terror all round to somebody or other. (Hear, hear.) The tyrants
won’t allow us to remove the idols from Israel by wrecking any more
nunneries. The despots forbid us to let the light of the gospel into
Papists’ heads with bludgeons any longer. (Groans.) The love of God has
departed from the English Cabinet, and their brutal mercenaries forbid
believers in the Word to damn the Pope for less than forty shillings.
(Hisses.) But still, my brethren, we can drink the pious memory of the
sainted William for threepence-halfpenny a glass (loud cheers), and
whilst we bear the name of men shall a threepenny bit stand between us
and our noble duty? (Shouts of Never and No surrender.) Gentlemen, fill
your glasses with whiskey and Boyne water. Here’s to the glorious memory
of the glorious William; here’s to the glorious constitution he gave us;
here’s to the glorious Boyne water, and, I may add, the glorious whiskey
with which to-night it is allied; here’s to the glorious Queen of
England, the glorious mother of a glorious baker’s dozen; here’s to
glorious John Brown, the pillar of the state and the true prototype of
Martin Luther; to thunder with the Pope, and hell’s bells, artillery,
bombshells, prison cells, death knells, and a variegated assortment of
diversified yells ring, swing, cling, and ding forever and ever amen in
the ears of Davitt and Parnell.” (Frantic applause and several free
fights.)



SONG OF KING ALCOHOL.


    What Kaiser, Czar, or King since the birthday of the world
      Had a rule so universal as I claim?
    What conquering banner yet was so far and wide unfurled
      As my ensign of destruction and of shame?
    My burning fetters bind every race of human kind;
      My dominion rules their bodies not alone,
    But heart and soul and brain are encircled by my chain,
      And their future, as their present, is my own.
    Then clink-a-clink the bottle and chink-a-chink the glass!
    Send the tankard round, imps, and let the goblet pass!
    Ply the fools with whiskey and fill them up with rum,
    Till fiends are hoarse with laughter, and angels stricken dumb.

    Talk not to me of Nero, that ancient Roman ass;
      His tortured slaves in death at last were free.
    But the serf who bears the sway of bottle or of glass
      Belongs for all eternity to me.
    The bravest man who broke a human tyrant’s yoke,
      If he once began to worship at my shrine
    Would submit strength, courage, all of his manhood to my thrall,
      Lose truth and pluck and honor, and be mine.
    Then pass the poison freely, circle round the drink,
    Do not give the drunkard time to even think.
    In a stupid slumber let his conscience dwell,
    Till, too late, ha! ha! it awakens up in hell!

    Despots oft are hated: it is not so with me--
      Homage pay my bondsmen for their pains;
    Common helots struggle madly to be free,
      Mine lie down and hug their bitter chains.
    My triumph through the years is told in blood and tears,
      On the scaffold, in the dungeon’s dreary gloom.
    I whet the murderer’s knife--rob mother, children, wife--
      And built my horrid throne upon the tomb.
    Then let the red wine gurgle, let the whiskey flow,
    Satan turns the hose on, for the demons know
    God and heaven are lost to the fools who sink
    Underneath the sway of that cruel monarch, Drink!



CONTRARY COGNOMENS.


    If you wanted Fry to cook a chop, you’d find yourself mistaken,
    And pills, not rashers, form the stock of enterprising Bacon;
    Taylor goes in for selling boots, whilst Butler’s a musician,
    And Cooper couldn’t hoop a tub with any expedition;
    Long’s only four foot six, but Short’s miraculously long;
    Strong’s dying of consumption, but the Weekes continue strong.
    It’s strange to find that Butcher is a vegetarian,
    That Brewer is teetotal, and Goodchild a bad old man.

    Parsons is a publican, and Church an unbeliever,
    Lawless a solicitor, Truelove a gay deceiver;
    Steel deals in soft goods, Draper’s ware is advertised as hard,
    And Gamble would be shocked at sight of domino or card;
    Wright’s wrong as oft as any one, Dullman is smart and witty,
    Miss Fortune is the luckiest young lady in the city;
    Gray’s black, Black’s red, Green’s brown, and Gay is always on the mope,
    Leggett is doomed to crutches, and old Curley bald as soap.



AN ÆSTHETIC WOOING.


    Angelina Seraphina
      Wilhelmina Murphy,
    See on knees here Ebenezer
      Julius Cæsar Durphy.
    I’ve forsaken vows I’ve taken
      To a dozen ladies,
    Rose and Ella, Annabella,
      And Mirella Bradys.
    What to me now e’er can be now
      Hippolita Flanagan?
    Or sweet Dora Leonora
      Otherwise O’Branagan?
    Or that Hebe Flora Phœbe
      Anastatia Hoolahan?
    Or Miranda Alexandra
      May Amanda Woolahan?

    Roderigo Paul Diego
      Burke may try his part again;
    Or Bernardo Leonardo
      Furey seek your heart again.
    But be mine, love, as I’m thine, love;
      Just espouse my cause, my dear,
    And I swear I’ll give our heir
      A name to break your jaws, my dear!



THE DRUNKARD’S DREAM.


    He slumbered in a quiet sleep beneath Heaven’s sparkling dome,
    A man without a single friend, a wretch without a home;
    And there he lay, a spectacle to every passer-by--
    The only roof that sheltered him, the star-bespangled sky!

    Hungry and ill, he’d left the town to roam he knew not where;
    Hungry and tired, he slept at last, forgetful of his care;
    Forgetful of the agony he’d suffered all the day,
    He slumbered now, and care and woe at last had flown away.

    He dreamt that he was standing where so long ago he stood;
    Again he heard the cheering of a mighty multitude;
    He was receiving once again the prize his skill had won--
    He heard his father blessing God for having such a son!

    His fancy changed: he dreamt he stood beneath the rustling trees,
    Which seemed to shake with laughter at the antics of the breeze.
    A thousand flowers were ’neath his feet, rich, beautiful and rare,
    As he was whispering love-tales to a maiden twice as fair.

    He saw her startled attitude, he marked the rising blush,
    He saw the tears of pleasure from her lovely eyelids gush,
    He saw the joy and happiness she sought not to repress;
    And with a thrill he heard again the softly whispered “Yes.”

    His dream was changed: again he stood--and she was by his side,
    Within the little village church to claim her as his bride;
    Joy thrills his heart with happiness, his eyes with pleasure gleam,
    When, hark! that noise! he wakes again to find it but a dream!

    The wild wind moans in sorrow, and the rain begins to fall;
    Where are the pictures of his dream? They’ve vanished one and all.
    The lightnings flash, the thunders roll and rattle overhead,
    And the very sky seems weeping o’er the joy forever fled!

    He tries to rise, but, weak and faint, he cannot stir a limb;
    Before his dazzled, weakened eyes the trees begin to swim.
    He hears another rattle, and another rattle still,
    And now through every nerve there runs a strange and fearful thrill!

    A sudden pang has twitched his heart, has robbed him of his breath;
    He gasps a moment, then he falls asleep,--but now in death!
    The lightning struck him lying there, and severed life’s last link,
    And the stars alone are weeping for the victim of the drink.



FREDERICK’S FOLLY.


In a popular Dublin suburb, not quite a day’s forced march from
Rathmines,--which, as every tourist in Ireland knows, is the Back Bay of
the Hibernian metropolis,--there boarded, lodged, and sent out his
washing last Christmas an æsthetic and highly “cul-chawed” young
gentleman who had come all the way from London to take up a position in
that branch of the civil service which hangs its banners from the outer
walls of the Custom House, and receives for idling four hours a day
whatever filthy Irish lucre may be presented in the shape of income. To
spare the harrowed feelings of his afflicted relatives, I shall expose
to a heartless world only his baptismal appellation, Frederick. In the
clammy tomb of the miserable past I shall bury the remainder of his
official signature.

Fred came, he saw, but he didn’t conquer, for alas! while he saw he was
also seen, and his personal charms were not of a nature to strike his
landlady’s daughter, a neat little, sweet little, captivating, sparkling
Irish maiden, with the amorous feelings that his ardent soul desired.
But on this Christmas eve of 1882, fortune had smiled upon Fred with a
quarter’s salary, and he determined to add such embellishments to his
face and form as should entrance and fill with rapture even a less
susceptible heart than beat within the tender bosom of Norah Flaherty.
He would pave the way by a Christmas present. He had a work-box. He
would fill it with all the little knick-knacks dear to feminine
weakness. But it was rather shabby. He would varnish it. Hamilton &
Long, of Grafton Street, sold a celebrated composition warranted to
change the plainest deal kitchen table into a highly ornamental walnut
article-de-luxe, fit to adorn the library of a duke or the boudoir of a
countess.

He left home to secure that miraculous compound. He secured it. Having
time on hand, he resolved to devote it to the adornment of his person.
He dropped into a barber’s temple in Wicklow Street. Now, in the British
Isles, you cannot visit a barber for a five-cent shave without being
subjected by him to eloquent seductions to purchase three or four
dollars’ worth of hair-dyes, washes, cosmetics, and face powders.
Frederick’s barber was like the rest of his insular tribe. He had barely
got his devastating scissors ready for action on our hero’s cranium
before he ventured to suggest that Fred’s hair was not--well, not quite
a fashionable color. As the locks in question were of the decidedly
martial color usually associated with the uniform of the English line or
the--hem--nether garments of the French infantry, Frederick assented.

“You should try our hair-dye, Balsam of Peru,” said the tonsorial
artist. “It will make your hair as black as the hob of--I mean as the
raven’s wing.”

Fred was about, like an editor, to decline with thanks, when he thought
of Norah, pretty little Norah, and in a fatal moment he invested in the
dye.

“Your mustache ain’t quite a miracle,” suggested the knight of the
scissors.

It wasn’t quite a miracle. It was a somewhat dilapidated, disjointed
sort of a mustache--what there was of it. It grew in stray patches and
odd hairs, with five minutes’ desert intervals for reflection between
the stray oases of tufts and vegetation. Fred mournfully indorsed the
coiffeur’s opinion.

“Ah, try our Formula. It would grow whiskers on a billiard ball or a
beard on a foundation stone with a single application. Only a shilling.”

A bottle of Formula found its way into Frederick’s pocket.

“Those hairs on your nose don’t remarkably add to the striking beauty of
your classic features,” once more insinuated the demon of the
lather-pot.

They didn’t. It was strange, but Norah had made a precisely similar
remark. In fact, that capillary addition to his proboscis was one of the
principal barriers between Frederick and his fondest hopes. He agreed
with his evil genius.

“You should use our Depilatory. Bound to make a clothes brush as bare as
a smoothing iron. Costs a mere trifle. Only two shillings.”

Alas! He took the Depilatory.

“You’re not a painter?” queried the inquisitive fiend of the
curling-tongs.

No, he wasn’t.

“Ah, my mistake. Seemed to me you’d been eating yellow ochre to-day.
Natural color of your teeth, I suppose?”

Fred looked disgusted. These personal reflections were becoming
monotonous. However, he admitted that the speculator who bought his
teeth to retail as imitation pearl studs would scarcely realize a
fortune by the investment.

“You really ought to take a bottle of our Fluid Dentifrice. Brush your
teeth every night with a few drops, and in a short time ivory would look
gloomy beside them. Never knew it to fail. Dirt cheap.
Sevenpence-halfpenny, bottle included.”

Frederick purchased, and then, happy in the possession of the magic
talismans which were to transform him into an Adonis, he left the hair
dresser’s and made his way to a convenient liquor saloon, where he had
arranged to meet some of his civil-service associates, ejaculating every
now and then _en route_, “Won’t little Norah be surprised?” much to the
bewilderment of the passers-by who overheard him. He met his friends. He
was so elated with visions of conquest that he “set ’em up” twice. Then
another fellow set ’em up. In fact, they set ’em up more or less for
about two hours. It must have been more, for, on the occasion of the
last reviver, in response to a query about the population of Shanghai,
he replied, inanely, “Won’t little Norah be surprised?” When shaking
hands for the seventh time with his friends on leaving them, he
volunteered the mystifying information that little Norah wouldn’t know
him in the morning. He even propounded the problem about Norah’s
astonishment to the cabman who drove him home, and that unromantic
personage, thinking that it referred to the feelings of the lady of the
house when his Bacchanalian passenger should be deposited on the
domestic doorstep, replied emphatically, “I should rather think so!”
upon which Fred shook hands with the Jehu most effusively.

When he reached the abode of his virtuous but far-seeing landlady, that
Roman matron, knowing Fred’s weakness for reading in bed, but doubting
his capacity for remaining awake much longer, took the precaution of
supplying him with a brevity of a candle some ninety per cent. below
Griffith’s valuation. When, in the solitude of his two-pair back, Fred
gazed upon the diminutive specimen of the chandler’s art, he felt that
there was not a second to lose. He ranged his beautifying treasures on
the table, read the directions, secured the tooth-brush, divested
himself of his outer clothing, and prepared for action.

At that momentous instant, with a splutter and a gasp, like the warning
sob of fate, the candle went out!

For a moment Fred deliberated. Should he kick up a row for more
composite? No. The Gorgon of the house might suspect something. Besides,
he knew where each wonderful phial lay. To work! to work! Won’t little
Norah be surprised? Won’t he whelm those conceited Irish rivals of his
with envy and chagrin?

He grabbed the Depilatory, and gave his nose five minutes’ determined
friction. He seized the tooth-brush, and, saturating that toilet
requisite with Fluid Dentifrice, he applied it to his teeth till his
jaws ached. He groped around till his fingers closed upon the Balsam of
Peru, and he drenched his fiery locks with it until his head felt like a
sponge. And then with loving hand he sought the Formula. He found it. He
tenderly moistened his upper lip. Should he have an imperial? Why not?
He traced the imperial artistically out. And now, his task of decoration
complete, he stumbled into bed, and murmuring softly, “Won’t little
Norah be surprised?” sank peacefully to slumber--to dream he had
Hyperion curls and pearly teeth, the mustachios of D’Artagnan the
Musketeer, and the nose of an Adonis.

       *       *       *       *       *

Bold chanticleer had been proclaiming the dawn for an hour or two when
Frederick awoke. The top of his head felt queer--that last toddy, no
doubt. He was rather stiff about the mouth. Oh, joy! joy! the mustache.
Not even waiting to encase his lower limbs in the nameless appendages of
civilization he rushed to the looking-glass. And then there rang out
upon the morning air a dismal, prolonged, forty-horse-power howl that
made the matutinal milkman drop his cans in the gutter and settled the
last lingering doubts of a stray cur in the street, which was meditating
madness, for the electrified canine wanderer went for that indefatigable
officer Q3½, and helped himself to a Christmas breakfast, composed of a
square foot of blue cloth and a few ounces of metropolitan police
manhood. The astounded constable started for the nearest druggist’s,
and, charging impetuously into the store, knocked over an old lady with
a parcel of chamomile and poppy-heads, and so alarmed the salesman that
he could only express his feelings by vociferating “Fire!” at the top of
his lungs, which appalling cry had such an effect upon the other
assistant, who was swilling the snow-slushy footway in front, that he
promptly turned the nozzle of the hose in through the door, and belched
forth such a flood that he swept lady, policeman, poppy-heads,
chamomile, half a dozen bottles, three or four gross of pills, and a
varied assortment of drugs into the back premises, where he bombarded
them for ten minutes with aqueous artillery, and left them deluged in
wild and dripping confusion.

That unearthly cry also brought scrambling up into Frederick’s room an
excited crowd of boarders and servants, headed by the landlady, and
there, in the middle of the floor, arrayed only in a picturesque
night-shirt, was a strange figure with bald head, black teeth, walnut
lips and chin, with a beard a foot long drooping from his
nose--cavorting round in a Sioux war-dance, to the strains of a weird
melody, the refrain of which was “Won’t little Norah be surprised?”

It was Frederick. He had mixed things in the dark. He had brushed his
teeth with the hair-dye, Balsam of Peru, and they had gone into mourning
over the outrage. He had tried to tone down the fiery aspect of his
curls with the Depilatory, and he had toned them off his head
altogether. He had sought to remove the superfluous hirsute attraction
of his nose with the Formula, and he had added twelve inches to its
growth. To improve the undecided tendencies of his mustache he had
invoked the aid of the renowned Furniture Renovator, and he had so
renovated the surroundings of his mouth that it resembled the drawer of
a walnut escritoire.

Sad, sad fate. Little Norah was surprised even more than Fred had
anticipated, but so little did she appreciate his sacrifice that she is
now another’s.



CONSTABLE X.


    Whose walk is so stately and grand round the beat?
    What tread sounds so martial upon the flagged street?
    What countenance, calm as the face of the Sphinx,
    Repels so the notion of frivolous winks?
    Adored by the housemaid, beloved by the cook,
    Whose souls he can harrow or thrill with a look;
    The terror of urchins, whose ardor he checks,
    Oh, who should it be but bold Constable X?

    How the heart of the guilty against his ribs knocks,
    As, rubbing his collar, he enters the box,
    And kisses the book with a resonant smack,
    Like the click of a latch or a rifle’s sharp crack.
    Swear a hole through a pot? why he’d think it no feat
    To swear holes through the whole of an ironclad fleet,
    And no counsel the Four Courts can boast could perplex
    Or puzzle that paragon, Constable X.

    Yet he is not immortal; the greatest have hours
    When the mind can descend from the stars to the flowers,
    And he, even he, that great creature, has known
    Some moments when grandeur deserted its throne.
    And the pride of the Force at such times would have felt
    Belittled, indeed, were it not for his belt.
    For Cupid, the rogue, who ne’er comes but to vex,
    Has got inside the tunic of Constable X.

    Let the thoughtless world smile or condemn, if it please,
    But, alas! ’tis the truth, he’s been seen on his knees,
    He has even unbended to laughter and sport,
    And his kiss has resounded outside of the court,
    Oh, weep for his downfall, oh, mourn for his fate!
    Redemption is hopeless and rescue too late;
    Love’s handcuffs are on him, and one of the sex
    Who ne’er release prisoners, has Constable X.



LUCIFER’S LABORATORY.


    Surrounded by bottles and flagons and bowls,
    To the music of shrieks from perishing souls,
    Holding a lurid and snake-wreathed flask,
    The Devil pursued his terrible task.
    Hatred and lust, and all the horde
    Of hell’s worst vices into it he poured,
    And when it was brimming with fever and sin,
    He took the bottle and labelled it GIN.

    Another flask in his hand he raised
    And the flame of his breath round the crystal blazed,
    As he filled it with murder, suicide, theft,
    Orphans fatherless, wives bereft,
    Doses of poverty, doses of crime,
    For every region, for every clime,
    And the noisiest imps round his throne were dumb
    As he took the bottle and labelled it RUM.

    And then a barrel he seized to fill
    With grief and affliction, pain and ill;
    Stupor, the brain of mankind to dim;
    Coma, to palsy the heart and limb;
    Draughts, the senses to cloud and clog
    Till God’s image became but a senseless log,
    And the devil’s lips were twined in a leer
    As he took that barrel and labelled it BEER.

    The fiends laughed loud in rapturous mirth
    As he scattered his mixtures around the earth.
    And whiteskin, and blackskin, and redskin quaffed,
    North, South, East, West, the poisonous draught.
    And the demon yell as each toper fell,
    Voiced the chorus, “Another recruit for hell!
    Hurrah for the triumph of Satan and sin,
    Brought about by the conquest of whiskey and gin!”



THE MONOPOLIST’S MOAN.


    Am I waking or sleeping, in Congress or bed?
    Do I stand on my feet? am I poised on my head?
    Has the world gone to smash? is it chaos that reigns?
    Or have I somehow lost a grip of my brains?
    There’s something gone wrong which I cannot make out,
    The people don’t know what on earth they’re about;
    There is woe in our camp and dismay in our tents,
    For no longer we rule with our dollars and cents.

    Has the crispy bank-note lost its wonderful powers?
    Are the lives and the souls of the people not ours?
    Fame’s ladder saw us on the top, and you know
    That muscle and brain were contented below;
    Leastways, if they murmured, a handful of gold
    Could buy up the weak or could crush out the bold,
    For a very small gift from our riches contents
    The outcast who hasn’t got dollars and cents.

    But now there’s a muttering startling and strange
    From the lowermost depths, a demand for a change,
    A really absurd and ridiculous plan
    To ostracize gold and to dignify man;
    The base common herd won’t submit any more
    To a rule that their fathers found proper before,
    And the veriest scum of the gutters invents
    Ideas obnoxious to dollars and cents.



WITH THE GRAND ARMY VETERANS.

AT GRANT’S FUNERAL, AUGUST 8, 1885.


    Once again, in silence solemn, forms the remnant of the column
      That had borne with Grant the fever and the load of darksome days;
    Some are worn and old and stooping, like the colors furled or drooping
      ’Neath the crape that hides the tatters and the rents of battle’s blaze.

    Through the voiceless, mourning city, draped in sombre garb of pity,
      Keeping step in rhythmic cadence marches past the old brigade;
    And the watching crowds that border mark the old-time soldier order--
      The symmetrical alignment of the veteran parade.

    At the measured tread resounding warrior fancies pierce surrounding
      Mists and clouds of two long decades--picture visions far away,
    Where Potomac rolls its billow over many a hero’s pillow,
      Or the Rappahannock murmurs dirges still to Blue and Gray.

    Hark! the muffled drums are beating calls for charging or retreating,
      And their old Commander leads again the legions of the free;
    In the funeral anthems tolling they can hear war’s thunder rolling;
      They are marching on to Richmond, or Atlanta to the sea.

    See, their dimming eyes grow brighter and their painful footsteps lighter;
      The dead-marches seem to echo like familiar camping strains,
    And the “boys” again together tramp through swamp or over heather,
      Joyous only in their triumphs and forgetful of their pains.

    Their Commander is not sleeping. Why, his eagle glance is sweeping
      With mingled pride and pleasure o’er the tried and faithful line;
    Cheers again the skies are rending, and their serried ranks ascending
      The slippery slopes of Vicksburg, o’er abandoned scarp and mine.

    Still more vivid grows the seeming: still more real is the dreaming,
      While a milder radiance mingles with the conflict’s passioned glow,
    For in Victory’s fevered hour, Mercy holds the hands of power,
      Like their leader, they know only former brothers in the foe.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Halt! The soldier’s dream is over, and gray scattered locks uncover;
      Not the laurel but the cypress with their banners must entwine;
    For the last salute is pealing, as his faithful comrades, kneeling,
      Weep farewell, farewell forever, to the Leader of the line.

    Yet, no; Fate cannot sever ties so firmly linked forever,
      And, when Time shall close the record of all nations’ peace and war,
    The Angel’s trump shall waken ranks unbroken and unshaken,
      And their old Commander lead them through the Golden Gates Ajar.



THE IRISH SOLDIER AT GRANT’S GRAVE.


    Great chieftain, o’er thy silent clay
    Unite in tears the Blue and Gray,
    Grief knows no frontier line to-day.

    Among the gifts the nation showers
    Upon thy tomb blooms verdant ours--
    A shamrock wreath among the flowers.

    A type its emerald leaflets three
    Of thy best attributes will be--
    Faith, Courage, and Humanity.

    Faith in the right, whate’er oppose,
    Courage that with disaster rose,
    Mercy to brave but beaten foes.

    When danger threatened Freedom’s shrine
    In her defence with thee and thine
    Our exiled race were found in line.

    With thee we bore the storm and stress,
    Hard-fought retreat and onward press
    Of Vicksburg and the Wilderness.

    Thy eagle glances oft might scan
    Our Celtic features in the van
    When battle surged round Sheridan.

    And never poured the crimson flood,
    To mark where desperate valor stood,
    But with the tide ebbed Irish blood.

    So as your life-stream then we fed,
    Where’er your own brave nation bled,
    Our tears to-day with hers are shed.

    Our steel shone ’mid your bayonets,
    Our grief now sobs with your regrets,
    Our shamrocks fringe your violets.



MAINE AND MAYO.


    Six months in front of Richmond’s walls we fretted and we fumed,
    As vainly as our peevish growls our surly cannon boomed;
    We traced no path of glory through the slimy, oozy swamp,
    But misery and discontent were monarchs of our camp.
    There was snarling and complaining all along the Union line,
    And our brigade was loudest in the universal whine,
    While the surliest, the churliest, the sourest in our train
    Was a cross and crusty, rude and rusty, lanky crank from Maine.

    Death lurked in half a dozen shapes among the vapors foul,
    The grumbling choir each morning lacked some long-familiar howl;
    And to fill the vacant places new arrivals were impressed,
    Whose tempers in a week or so grew viler than the rest.
    One day with such a batch there came a boy with sunny hair,
    And a laugh that took the breath away of every veteran there,
    Who said to us, in accents like a streamlet’s rippling flow,
    “I’m very glad to meet ye--I’m a stranger from Mayo.”

    Lord! how that youngster danced and sang and laughed his cheerful way
    To hearts sealed up by selfishness for many a gloomy day;
    He gave Time golden pinions with a thousand merry wiles,
    And routed regiments of blues with fusilades of smiles.
    Our crank of cranks fought sullenly, with dismal brow, at first,
    Frowned like a Northern thunder-cloud, the while he inly cursed;
    But his wintry soul grew warmer in the genial Irish glow,
    Till the frost from Maine was melted by the sunshine from Mayo.

    And when on quiet evenings from out our camp arose
    Strange sounds of mirth and merriment that puzzled lurking foes,
    When “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” shook the leafless Southern pines,
    Or “The Rocky Road to Dublin” seemed a-winding through our lines,
    A pair of feet went treading through the dance’s tangled maze
    With a firm, determined step acquired in lumber-hauling days--
    “Who Fears to Speak of Ninety-eight?” was sometimes the refrain,
    And one sonorous voice objected to such cowardice in Maine.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Our corps is but a corporal’s guard; beneath Virginian clay,
    Its heroes wait the bugle-blast of God’s reviewing day,
    But the “twins,” as once we called them, Celt and Yankee, still remain,
    Though one’s at home in Connaught, and the other back in Maine.
    Outside the Mayo cabin green and starry flags proclaim
    That Ireland’s in the Union now in everything but name;
    While in Aroostook County a grim veteran wants to know
    How soon will freedom need recruits to battle for Mayo.



A SANDY ROW SKIRMISH.


Sandy Row, as everybody knows, is the Mecca and Medina of Orangeism in
Belfast, the sacred shrine of its votaries, the land of promise of its
true-blue tramps, the camp of its generals, the temple of its apostles,
the sanctuary and haven of its political refugees, when fleeing from
prospective fines of forty shillings and costs for holy war-cries of “To
h--with the Pope.” If a Papist foot should dare pollute its
consecrated--whiskey consecrated--shore, that Papist foot would be
carrying a head that was in danger of having what little brains it
contained undergo a process of amalgamation with the oleaginous slush of
the desecrated pavement.

In that home of Hobah has resided for many years and seasons one
Green--Billy Green, so called after the hero of glorious, pious, and
immortal memory, in whose saintly footsteps he has endeavored to tread
as far as his post of grand master of L. O. L. 1111, “Spartan
Schomberg,” would permit. But, alas! brave Billy has been wounded in
more numerous and more tender portions of his constantly constitutional
anatomy than was ever his regal namesake in the course of all his
campaigns; and, worst of all, his fate excites no charitable
commiseration or solacing sympathy in his lodge or among his neighbors,
but only provokes tantalizing titters and lacerating laughter. He has
suffered, he still suffers, he is likely to continue suffering for half
a century or so, but not, oh, not for the cause.

In his ardent devotion to his principles and his lodge, and also in
consideration of a certain weekly honorarium, Billy fitted up in his
back yard an outhouse in which he allowed to be stored their sashes,
banners, and regalia for processions, and their bludgeons,
blunderbusses, and pokers intended for political arguments with National
League invaders.

For three months in this shanty L. O. L. 1111 guarded its sacred banners
and kept its powder dry. However, during the past few weeks, an
assemblage of peace disturbers, who paid no rent, subscribed to no loyal
principles, marched in no patriotic processions, and joined in no
salubrious Tory scrimmages, have had illegal possession of that cabin.

During that time its roof has borne the erring feet of all the cats of
Sandy Row. There has been a convocation, a conference, a mass meeting, a
howling congregation of cats there from midnight to dawn, who have given
musical entertainments of excruciating variety and such persistent
continuity that they have never indulged in even ten minutes’ interval
for refreshments. About ten minutes to twelve a tortoise-shell tenor
gives the signal for devotions by a prolonged squeal in G sharp. Then a
short-tailed Persian soprano joins in, and there is a five minutes’
duet, to which a Highland bagpipes, a Savoyard hurdy-gurdy, or Red
Shirt’s war-whoop is the music of the spheres. When they have reached
the most horrifying part of this performance a black demon with the
influenza throws in a basso-profundo remonstrance, and a gray tabby with
the catarrh serenades the moon in an agonizing solo, with scales and
variations. Then the midnight feline wanderers lift up their voices in
scores (numerically and vocally), and a competitive chorus begins, into
which each cat seems to throw its very vitals, and the air trembles with
heart-rending screeches, and yells, and spits, and growls, and hisses,
and whistles, and cries for help, and moans, and groans, and raspings;
and the twins in Jones’s, next door, waken up and join in the medley,
and Mr. and Mrs. Jones try to soothe them to slumber with soul-sickening
lullabies; and the lodgers put their heads out of the window, and swear
at the cats in baritone and a North of Ireland accent; and all the dogs
in the street join in with diversified barks and carefully assorted
yelps, from the shrill treble of the parson’s Skye terrier to the
thundering tones of the grocer’s mastiff, while the milkman’s jackass
kicks the panel out of his stable door, and, putting his head through,
ejaculates a hoarse demand for thistles in such a diabolical bray that
you think chaos has come again, and Pandemonium reigns supreme.

From beginning to end, from the initial bar to the final cadenza, there
isn’t a pianissimo movement in the whole operatic celebration, or
symphony, or overture, or musical festival, or whatever you like to call
it. It’s all fortissimo, awfully fortissimo, say about
four-hundred-and-forty-four tissimo.

The good men and true of Sandy Row determined that they would submit to
this invasion of their rights, this outrage upon their dignity, this
systematic suppression of their slumbers, no longer. The amount of old
boots, stray bottles, broken candlesticks, and used-up culinary
utensils with which those cats had been bombarded would have established
a flourishing marine store business, but these munitions of war had been
exhausted without disabling a single cat. It was evident that desperate
measures were necessary to restore law and order in Green’s back yard.
They were adopted.

Unfortunately for Green, his neighbors acted in skirmishing order--each
man on his own account; no general plan of organization; no commander--a
kind of guerilla warfare, in fact, was to be waged on the melodiously
maddening marauders!

Jones got a blunderbuss and loaded it to the muzzle with broken glass,
rusty nails, buckshot, and darning needles.

Tomlinson, the tailor, carted in a load of half-bricks and paving
stones, and piled them up in his bedroom for action.

The grocer laid a three-inch hose on to the pipe in his scullery, and
completed scientific arrangements for a powerful pressure.

Poor Green himself, whose repeated failures from the back window as a
marksman had disgusted him with that method of attack, got a long
cavalry sword, and determined to tackle the enemy with cold steel.

Alas! there was no preliminary consultation. Why, oh, why, was not Lord
Rossmore there to direct the strategy of these noble defenders of homes
and altars, civil and religious liberty, and uninterrupted snores?

About 11.30 on New-Year’s night, the quadrupedal Pattis and Nicolinis
commenced their usual grand concert. Green waited patiently until they
had got through the preliminary solos, but when they commenced some
Wagnerian horror in chorus, he slipped out silently, in wrath and his
night-shirt, and crept, sword in hand, towards the fatal shed.

Almost at the same moment three neighboring windows were noiselessly
raised, and preparations for three terrific onslaughts were rapidly
perfected.

It was dark,--so dark that the gleaming orbits of the phosphorescent
choristers could scarcely be discerned, and the artillerists and rifle
rangers had little but the mortifying music to direct their deadly aim.

Suddenly that ceased. The videttes of the caterwauling corps had caught
a glimpse of Green’s nightgown as it was floating and fluttering
gracefully in the winter breeze. In an instant, however, mounting a
step-ladder, he was amongst them; and as the sabre of his sire whirled
round him in vengeful sweeps, stabs, slashes, and scintillations, a
hundred expressions of feline astonishment, fear, pain, expostulation,
and rage burst like a tornado from the lungs of a hundred different
cats, and the concentrated essence of their three months’ lyrical
training surged through their teeth in one stupendous, ear-splitting,
paralyzing, five-hundred-dollar prize screech.

Victory irradiated the manly brow of Green with a mystic halo; but alas,
like Wolfe at Quebec, or Nelson at Trafalgar, he was fated to fall in
the hour of his triumph, for just then a jagged brick, hurled by
Tomlinson with the velocity of a bombshell, caught him in the small of
the back, a washing-mug, donated to the general good by the Roman matron
spirit of Mrs. T., was splintered into fragments on his head, a shower
of sharp-pointed paving-stones rattled about his ribs, and when he
turned round to scream “Cease Firing,” a three-inch Niagara from the
grocery caught him square in the mouth, and tumbled him head over heels
off the shed. As he was wheeling in an insane somersault through the
air, bang! went Jones’s blunderbuss, and it seemed to Green as if all
the cats had suddenly combined in a ferocious and fiendish charge upon
his person, and were clawing him in about ten million directions.

The doctors have been exploring his carcass ever since, and striking new
veins of scrap-iron and lead at every excavation. The nurses at the
Northern Hospital say that no such thrilling sight has ever been
witnessed in that institution in their experience as is afforded by the
spectacle of one surgeon taking nails out of his legs with a pair of
pincers, while another operates on his shoulder with a screw-driver, and
the third man threads the eyes of protruding needles and draws them out
by the gross. It is the general opinion among these professional men
that to clear him out thoroughly they want a laborer or two with
pickaxes and shovels.

Green himself vows that, if he ever recovers, he will quit L. O. L. 1111
forever. When the rank and file can’t tell the difference between a
tom-cat and a grand master, it’s time to vacate the latter post. He
thinks the government is very remiss in allowing the Orangemen to retain
their weapons. If Jones don’t get three years under the Crimes Act for
carrying arms in a proclaimed district and perforating a loyal hide with
the contents of a tinker’s budget--why, he’ll join the Fenians, that’s
all. They have one motto he appreciates:--

    Whether on the scaffold high,
      Or in the battle’s van,
    The fittest place for man to die
      Is where he dies for man.

That’s decent. It sounds a great deal better than dying on the top of an
old shed in a dirty back yard for a lot of confounded cats. But he’s not
going to die if he knows it. He don’t want the poet laureate of L. O. L.
1111 to let himself loose on his tombstone in this fashion:--

    Here lies the body of Billy Green,
    As true a grand master as ever was seen,
    But although he was green and decidedly fat,
    He was shot with tenpenny nails, pellets, broken glass,
        false teeth, pipe-shanks, darning needles, and a
        lot of undiscovered ironmongery, in mistake for a
        measly, mangy, stumpy-tailed skeleton of a tortoise-shell
        cat.



THE PRIEST WITH THE BROGUE.

A MINER’S REMINISCENCE.


    Down by the gulch, where the pickaxe’s ringing
    Never struck chords with the stream’s smothered singing--
    For we had dammed its bright ardor to sloth:
    Dammed it with claybanks and damned it with oath--
    Curses in Mexican, curses in Dutch,
    Curses in purest American; such
    Polyglot blasphemy didn’t leave much
    Room for the rest of the languages--there,
    Down by that gulch, where all speech seemed one swear,
    Naught but profanity ever in vogue,
    Wandered one morning a priest with a brogue.

    Also a smile. Now no mortal knows whether
    God has ordained they should travel together,
    But if in tongue Erin’s music you trace,
    Bet Erin’s sunshine peeps out in the face.
    Anyhow, Father McCabe had ’em both,
    Sunshine and harmony--natural growth.
    While the air trembled with half-suppressed oath,
    Right down among us he stepped: all the while
    Feeling his way, as it were, with his smile,
    And when that staggered the obstinate rogue,
    Knocking him head over heels with his brogue.

    Inside a fortnight the brown-throated robins
    Perched undismayed just in front of our cabins;
    Sang at our windows for all they were worth--
    Lucifer didn’t own all of the earth!
    Pistols grew rusty, and whiskey seemed sour;
    Nobody hunted the right or left bower;
    Deserts put verdure on--one little flower
    Bloomed in a niche of the rock. At its root,
    Erstwhile undreamt of, lay rich golden fruit!
    Yes; we struck gold. Arrah, Luck’s _thurrum pogue_[L]
    Couldn’t go back on a priest with the brogue!



ARAB WAR SONG.


    Allah, il Allah! the infidel’s doom
    Knells through the desert from rescued Khartoum.
    The blood of the Giaour is encrusting our swords,
    And the vultures encircle his perishing hordes.
    The gleam of our banners, the blaze of our spears,
    Have blanched the black heart of the pale-face with fears.
    How he reels, how he staggers in agony back!
    Spur, sons of the desert, swift, swift on his track!

    The dwellers in cities may quake at his frown,
    When his fireships fling ruin and death on their town,
    But the hearts of the tribesmen are fearless and free
    As the winds of the desert or waves of the sea;
    And their valor will scatter his merciless bands
    As the fiery sirocco whirls broadcast our sands,
    Their fury will break on his terrified host
    With the strength of the tempest that lashes our coast.

    Poor, pitiful fool! in his arrogant pride
    He would chain the tornadó and fetter the tide;
    He has tempted our wrath, and he trembles aghast
    As bursts on his legions the death-dealing blast;
    And, shattered in fragments, his gaudy array
    Is melting before our wild charges in spray;
    Around him destruction in lurid cloud rolls,
    And Eblis is yawning for infidel souls!

    Allah, il Allah! for God and the right,
    Press on, lance and spear, to the glorious fight;
    Though our life-blood in torrents should crimson our plains,
    Better freedom in death than existence in chains.
    On, lions of Islam, the wolves are afraid,
    See, see, how they shrink from your conquering blade!
    Strike swiftly, and spare not--yon turbanless crowd
    Sought our desert for conquest to find it their shroud.



HOBBIES IN OUR BLOCK.


If every madman, and monomaniac, every idiot and imbecile in our block
were to be transplanted to-morrow, what a lot of room would be left, and
what a howling wilderness the place would become! I don’t know a
completely, take him all round sort of a sensible man in the community.
Every one of my acquaintances has some ridiculous hobby. There’s Smith.
His failing is dogs. He has a miniature Kennel Club show up at his
place. He has such a multitude of canine live-stock that he has to have
them entered in a ledger, and he calls over the muster-roll every night
to see that none of his barks have steered their course to other ports.
He has lost all his friends through his hobby. When a fellow sheds his
gore at the knocker, owing to the attentions of a bulldog with powerful
jaws; and when he loses a square foot of his trousers in the lobby
through the inquiring nature of a mastiff; and when he is brought to bay
at the parlor door by a ferocious bloodhound that seems inclined to
take an evening meal off him; and when he is transformed into a statue
of adamant in his seat by the consciousness that there are half a dozen
variegated specimens of fighting-dogs merely waiting a movement from him
as a signal to chaw him up--under such circumstances one don’t feel
inclined to take advantage of Smith’s hospitality too often.

Brown’s weakness is flowers. Brown is always handicapped in the race of
life by a desire to linger on the wayside and breathe the fragrance of
the lily and the rose, the daffadowndilly, and the potato blossom. You
never meet Brown but he wants you to inhale the perfume of some
horticultural wonder or other. The last time I met him he wanted me to
envelop my senses with the heavenly odor of some infernal tulip he had
with him. There was one of the most energetic bees I ever encountered
hidden away in its petals. To gratify Brown I took a ten-horse-power
sniff. I never smelt anything like it before. I carried my nose about in
a sling for a fortnight afterwards.

Johnson’s hobby is old porcelain. His delirious desire to indulge in all
kinds of ancient crockery, broken earthen-ware, blue-moulded
slop-basins, and cracked washing-mugs has so affected his brain that he
believes himself a Dresden china jug, and is frightened out of his life
that he may be smashed. He’s afraid to shake hands with anybody, lest
his handle might be broken; he speaks in a whisper, for fear of injuring
his spout; and he is in such dread of being cracked that it takes him
half an hour to sit down.

But Robinson, next door, is the worst case I know. His mental contortion
is due to an insane desire to collect foreign postage stamps. He has
carried his mania to a miraculous extent. I have known him to go down in
a coal-mine to secure a rare specimen from a collier; he has been up in
a balloon to coax a scarce sort of stamp out of the aeronaut, and he
would have pitched him overboard if he hadn’t promised to turn it up; he
has changed his religion half a dozen times to get round persons that he
thought could contribute to his album; and on one occasion, when another
crazy collector called on him in the middle of the night with a hundred
or so of rare, unused stamps, as he couldn’t find the matches, and
didn’t know where he had hung his pants, he just gummed the stamps round
about his noble figure, and went to bed rejoicing. Unluckily, the
mucilage of that distant shore, whose fatal postage stamps added a
picturesque variety to his unadorned appearance which it had lacked
before--that mucilage was of a diabolical stickiness, and after a week’s
sponging and fingering, and disposing himself in a series of striking
attitudes over the spout of a kettle, he found that he couldn’t improve
his new costume without destroying its component parts, so he has
travelled the dull journey of every-day life since with a kaleidoscopic
arrangement of postage stamps attached to his hide, and a knowledge that
he will be well worth skinning when he pegs out. It is inconvenient not
to be in a position to exhibit his entire assortment to his friends.
With some intimate acquaintances he can be confidential, and after going
over his half-dozen ordinary albums it is really magnificent to be able
to peel off the garb of civilization and invite inspection of his
remaining treasures. But to most enthusiasts in the philatelic line he
can only drop mysterious hints of what he could show them if the customs
of the country permitted its costumes to be more scanty.



NOT A JOHN L. SULLIVAN.


I have never taken any interest in pugilism since my schoolboy days.

I studied it once then, with highly unsatisfactory results.

There was a boy called Bill at the school where I imbibed my knowledge,
who was the bane of my existence. He used to take liberties with my
marbles, and make free with my pegtops, and fly his kites with my
string, and knock me down and sit on me when I remonstrated.

I thirsted for his blood.

I brought my father’s bulldog to take my part in a quarrel. It took my
part--in fact, it took several parts of me.

I summoned re-enforcements in the shape of my little brother. Bill piled
my little brother on top of me, and wanted more of the family to
complete the structure.

Then I vowed that I would be avenged, and bought a sixpenny hand-book of
boxing, and went in for a study of that literary masterpiece. It was
illustrated with striking diagrams. Figure 1,--the position. Figure
2,--one for his nob. Figure 3,--the body blow. Figure 4,--the return.
Figure 5,--the upper cut. Figure 6,--the cross-counter.

I devoured the instructions, and I practised the attitudes for weeks,
till I mastered both so completely that I was a walking encyclopedia of
P. R. theory, and I had only to be asked for Figure 1, or 3, or 4, or
whatever I was desired, and I posed so statuesquely correct that I could
have been photographed to illustrate “Fistiana.”

But I held my secret, and bided my time, and submitted to Bill’s insults
with the glowing consciousness of approaching triumph, while I developed
my newly acquired science in my bedroom on the pillows, and administered
“one-two’s” in the ribs to the hair mattress, and “propped” the
bolsters, and sparred at my shadow on the wall, and showered rib-benders
and hot ’uns in the bread-basket on imaginary Bills till I felt like a
conquering hero.

At last I decided that the hour of Fate had struck; the supreme moment
had arrived for squelching Bill; and one day, when he had helped himself
to my lunch, and grumbled at its scantity, I invited him to accompany me
when school was over to a sequestered vale, where I might punch his
head.

He came.

I gave my hand-book to my brother Joe, and told him to sing out the
proper figures for the various stages of the battle.

I made all my preparations in the orthodox way. I threw my cap into the
improvised ring, tied a handkerchief for a belt round my waist, and
wanted to shake hands _a la_ Sullivan and Kilrain, but Bill declined.

Then I struck Figure 1, the position, and Bill struck another
figure--which happened to be me.

“Figure 2,” shouted Joe, “one for his nob.” I made some mistake in this,
because it resulted in two or three for _my_ nob, and while I was trying
to get my head under my arms, out of the road, “Figure 3,” yelled Joe,
“the body blow!” but that infernal Bill didn’t fight according to the
regulations at all; for before I got Figure 3 into operation, something
came bang against my teeth, and I tried to dig my grave in the ground
with the back of my head.

I wanted to consider the situation a little longer when they called
“Time,” but Joe whispered that Figure 4 was sure to fetch him. All I had
to do was to wait till he let out, and then, parrying the blow with my
left, send the right into his potato trap, and settle him. Well, Bill
soon let out, and Joe screeched “Figure 4!” and I don’t know where I
sent my right, but my nose encountered both his fists one after the
other in a way that wasn’t in the book at all, and when Joe roared
“Figure 5, try 5!” I could only gasp--“He won’t let me,” before there
was an earthquake somewhere, and I was thrown three or four yards away,
and found myself trying to swallow all my front teeth.

I was so disgusted that when they called “Time” again, I wouldn’t listen
to the voice of the tempters, and wanted to go to sleep on the green
sward, and when Joe came and wished me to illustrate a few more
diagrams, I could have poisoned him. I don’t believe in the manly art.



THE LINGUIST OF THE LIFFEY.

     [Among the many “learned” opponents of Home Rule in Ireland a few
     years ago, was one somewhat famous professor of Trinity College,
     who boasted among his other attainments an unlimited knowledge of
     all Oriental languages, living and dead. An irreverent wag of a
     student carefully copied the inscription on a tea-chest, and
     bringing it to the loyal professor assured him it was a letter from
     a Chinese mandarin on the Irish question, and that a translation of
     it for the Tory papers would be of absorbing interest in that
     crucial hour. The task proved too much for Polyglot. The tea-chest
     knocked him out in one short round.]


    There once was a doctor of famed T. C. D.--
    Dr. Blank we shall call him--a Crichton was he;
    Not a science or language earth ever has known
    But he’d mastered so well he could call them his own--
    Astronomy, Chemistry, Botany--these
    Were trifles he’d learned in his moments of ease;
    Mathematics, Mechanics, Geology, Law,
    Theology, Medicine, Strategy--pshaw!
    They all were mere flea-bites to that massive mind
    Which left intellects minor some eras behind.
    ’Twas in linguistic lore that he dazzled the most
    The Dons of the College--our doctor could boast
    An intimate knowledge of every tongue
    Ever written, or printed, or spoken or sung.
    In the purest of Attic he silenced a Greek;
    For hours to Ojibbeway chiefs he would speak;
    A Zulu, whom accident brought to our shore,
    Heard him preach in Zulost, and was dumb evermore;
    He converted a Choctaw, in purest Choctese;
    Made a Mandarin weep at his flowing Chinese;
    In Turkish persuaded a Bashi-Bazouk;
    In Hindoostanee showed a Sikh how to cook;
    Taught quadratic equations in Welsh to a goat,
    And none of the consonants stuck in his throat.
    If he failed to translate, or translated all wrong,
    The Chinese inscribed on a chest of Souchong,
    Not his be the blame--no, the odium must rest,
    On the printer or reader who muddled that chest;
    Had the text been entire he had read it with ease,
    But he wasn’t prepared for an “out” in Chinese.



A WINDY DAY AT CABRA.


I would sooner be consigned to Mountjoy Prison for eighteen months under
the Coercion Act than spend another windy day in that Dublin suburb so
dear to Castle pensioners and hangers-on, Cabra. A friend of mine hangs
up his hat permanently in that neighborhood. He uses a hat-stand for
that purpose, but there are occasional perfumes floating round there
that would accommodate a fireman’s helmet. My friend’s hearth and home
are in the vicinity of a plot of waste ground, the property of the
executors of a deceased alderman; and if the bones of the departed civic
dignitary were laid in that promiscuous waste, and there was a
conspiracy to bury them fathoms deep from future discovery, it could not
be carried out more vigorously and more enthusiastically. I once passed
a few hours with my unfortunate acquaintance. I had a full view from his
drawing-room window of the interesting ceremonies of the day. I had
barely taken my seat when a picturesque procession of farm carts, donkey
wagons, wheelbarrows, and unattached scavengers hove in sight. Then a
red rubbish rover deposited alongside of this offensive breastwork a
miscellaneous collection of decayed cabbage leaves, cooked and uncooked,
a mixture of mashed turnips and raw turnip peeling, potatoes in various
stages of disease and digestion, and a heterogeneous compound of varied
articles of food, which even a provincial editor would decline with
thanks. After this a wheelbarrow wanderer shot in the ravine between the
two mortifying mounds a specially assorted stock of disreputable rags
and broken bottles, with two dead cats and a vivisected fox terrier to
guard the pass. And then all round the rambling refuse-rangers commenced
to add fresh varieties to the dirty diversity, and new scents to the
odoriferous ozone. This went on for three or four hours, the
kaleidoscope of contamination changing with the arrival of every
contingent of contagion. I felt for my friend, but when I started
homewards in the dusk I felt worse for myself. A gale had arisen of such
stupendous force that I had to open my mouth sideways to speak, for fear
of being blown inside out, and even then the wind whistled through the
irregularities in my teeth like an atmospheric orchestra. My hat was
blown off, and when I recovered it there were ten pounds of clay, a few
dozen broken corks, the skeleton of a pig’s head, and a jagged chimney
pot (which nearly cut my thumb off) in it, and it was enwreathed in a
garland of turnip-tops and cauliflower that smelt of anything but their
native fields. As I opened my lips to utter sage reflections on the
situation, a sudden gust banged a dilapidated Champion into my mouth,
and I had to dig it out with my penknife. I came home with a multitude
of unknown tastes in my palate, that cayenne pepper, salt, mustard,
vinegar, and John Jameson’s finest distillation, taken in large doses at
irregular but frequent intervals for weeks, failed to eradicate; and
such a numerous and variegated selection of smells that I failed to
count them all and was unable to distinguish one-third of the number. It
would take Faraday’s laboratory to disinfect my collar. Imagine what my
top-coat was like!



PEGGY O’SHEA.

AN IRISH SERENADE.


            The pale moon is beaming,
              The bright stars are gleaming.
            Awake from thy dreaming,
              Acushla, arise!
            For sure the moon’s light, dear,
            Though vivid an’ bright, dear,
            Is but darkest night, dear,
              Compared with your eyes.
                    Glimmerin’,
                    Shimmerin’,
    Down in the river there,
      Dancin’ and glancin’ and prancin’ away,
    See how the pale moonbeams sparkle an’ quiver there,
      Rise and eclipse them, sweet Peggy O’Shea!

        See, your own thrue love
        Is waitin’ for you, love,
        So waken anew, love,
          An’ gladden my sight!
        Don’t keep me quakin’ here,
        Freezin’ an’ achin’ here,
        Trimblin’ an’ shakin’ here,
          All the long night;
                  Quiverin’,
                  Shiverin’,
    Faith it’s Decimber, dear,
      Freezes me, teases me--darlin’ don’t stay;
    Troth! this cowld night for a year I’ll remimber, dear,
      For I’m all frost-bitten, Peggy O’Shea!

        This morn had you been, love,
        With me, you’d have seen, love,
        A new dress of green, love,
          I bought--for, you mind,
        But last week you said, dear,
        You hated the red, dear,
        So get out of bed, dear,
          An’ let down the blind!
                  Shyly,
                  Slyly,
    Creep to the window now,
      Sure, love, your love cannot say nay,
    Whin you behold me, devout as a Hindoo now,
      Bent at your shrine, darlin’ Peggy O’Shea!

        Why have you waited
        So long, whin you stated
        To me that you hated
          The red of our foes?
        While you are keepin’
        Me here with your sleepin’
        The color is creepin’
          All over my nose!
                  Face it,
                  Chase it,
    Meet it with bravery,
      Fearless, peerless, rush to the fray.
    The hue on my nose ripresints Saxon slavery,
      Up for the green, then, sweet Peggy O’Shea!

        Och, you are there now,
        So purty and fair now,
        I raley declare, now
          I’m murthered outright;
        My mouth seems like butter,
          I hardly can mutter
        A sintince, or utter
          A word, love, to-night.
                Thumpin’
                An’ bumpin’
    An’ jumpin’ an’ flutterin’,
      Knockin’ an’ rockin’, my heart seems astray,
    And, as I can’t spake, why, I’ll have to be st-st-stutterin’
      How much I love you, sweet Peggy O’Shea!



THE BOSTON CARRIER’S PLAINT.


    The summer sun, disgusted at some too-familiar cloud,
    Had muffled up his brightness in a sort of misty shroud;
    The sky o’ercast and leaden-hued, as if in angry pain,
    Poured down upon our busy town huge tears of hissing rain.
    Amid the crowds that hurried from the sloppy streets amain
    Was one poor limping creature--the embodiment of pain.
    His pale face, drawn and twisted in a multitude of ways,
    Was really calculated quite to shock the public gaze;
    His body was contorted; bent his back, and clenched each hand,
    And his lips ejaculated words I could not understand;
    Yet his phrases, I confess it, were not very transcendental,
    For his adjectives, if forcible, were far from ornamental.

    I questioned him--this blighted one--I asked him what the reason
    Of his sorrow, and his anger, and his language out of season;
    And in such a tone he answered, that a Tartar savage prowling
    Around the near environs would have thought a wolf was howling:--

    “Don’t my uniform tell you that I
      Am of the unfortunate band,
    Whom you see day by day passing by,
      Never pausing a moment to stand;
    Who, in one perpetual round,
      Forever are marching, until
    It seems that while one of us stays overground
      Fate ordains he shall never be still.

    “‘Tis hard when the bright golden sun
      Smiles out from a clear azure sky,
    To set out on a pilgrimage ne’er to be done
      Till his glory has gone and passed by.
    And e’en along green country lanes,
      ’Mid the scent of the newly mown hay,
    And a thousand gay birds chanting joyous refrains,
      Who would care to be tramping all day?

    “Then why do you wonder to hear
      An unlucky sad mortal complain,
    Who has walked through the Hub, all the day pretty near,
      In this ne’er-ending, pitiless rain?
    Or say, are you looking for smiles
      From a fellow who feels on the rack,
    After walking some twenty odd miles
      On a path like a porcupine’s back?

    “They say that the Muscovite knout,
      On the back of a troublesome peasant,
    When wielded by hands that are stout,
      Is decidedly very unpleasant.
    The rack and the thumb-screw, I’m told,
      Caused aught but delightful sensations,
    But what were their tortures of old,
      Compared to our new innovations?

    “No martyr that ever yet died
      In those times that have long passed away,
    Whether gibbeted, hanged, drowned, or fried,
      Suffered more than I’ve suffered to-day.
    My feet are denuded of skin,
      My toes every one are disjointed,
    For the soles of my boots are peculiarly thin,
      And the most of our pavement is pointed!

    “Aye, jagged, like the teeth of a saw,
      Or the glass of a smashed window-pane,
    Save where an occasional flaw
      Leaves a hole in to gather the rain--”

    Here my comrade gave vent to a shriek
      That emptied a neighboring tavern,
    He had planted one foot on a peak,
      While the other was lost in a cavern!

    Then his language assumed such a tone--
      And one not by any means sweeter--
    And he mixed up such adverbs with every groan
      That they couldn’t be put into metre.
    So thus my sad narrative ends,
      As I left the poor tortured one raving,
    And hoping the rest of his Post-office friends
      Would survive Boston’s wonderful paving.



APROPOS OF THE CENSUS.


If they do not call for the census papers in our street soon, we shall
have a revolution. The crisis has arrived in Ryan’s already. Mrs. Ryan’s
mother came a day or two before the numbering of the people to assist
Mrs. Ryan through a difficulty not altogether unconnected with the
census. The enumerator hadn’t called for the paper on Tuesday last, and
on that morning there was another visitor at Ryan’s. Mrs. Ryan and her
mother insist that the latest comer must be added to the list. Ryan, who
is conscientious to a decimal point, argues that the important personage
in question has no moral right to figure in the population for another
ten years. After an animated and personal discussion on this point, Ryan
retired to his study, took out the census paper, and filled up the last
column by appending to his sainted mother-in-law’s name the classical
expression “idiot!” That lady got hold of the document later, and she
filled up Ryan’s own blank with the declaration that he was a brute,
blind, deaf, dumb, and a dangerous lunatic. Ryan secured the blue pages
afterwards, and what pen-and-ink profanity he was guilty of will not be
known until the collector comes round. We expect something rather lively
on that occasion.

Brown has got his form filled up all right. There was a preliminary
difficulty between himself and his better four-fifths as to which of
them had the greater claim to be entitled “Head of the Family.” As she
threatened to sit on him, if he resisted her mandate, and her sitting
weight is two hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupois, he consented to a
compromise by which she appears as “Head of the Family,” and his dignity
is maintained by the insertion of “Ditto, ditto,--occasionally.”

If Timmins’s paper be not called for soon he will occupy the abnormal
position of being the husband of a lady as yet unborn. Their eldest is
fifteen, and duly entered as of that age, yet Mrs. T. insisted on
figuring as thirty, and to avoid hysterics Timmins consented to let her
appear as of that matronly but not too far advanced period of
adolescence. She has had charge of the sheet since, and when it was not
called for on Monday she studied her charms in the mirror for an hour or
so, and thought appearances justified her in knocking two years off her
record. On Tuesday, a lady friend congratulated her on her youthful
figure, and she abbreviated her years by half a decade. She has been at
that column every day since, and by latest accounts was only two years
ahead of her eldest born. In another week she should be fit for spoon
and bottle-feeding.

The worst case of all, however, is that of poor Robinson. Robinson is
the family man of our street. He has been adding to the population of it
for a quarter of a century with a regularity that is inspiring. He is a
commercial traveller, and he seldom returns from a lengthy journey
without the expectation of an introduction to another of his name and
lineage. He don’t know half his offspring. From the moment he turns the
corner into our street on his return from a month’s absence he is the
central figure of an imposing procession. A territorial army of young
Robinsons surround him, climb on his shoulders, take up quarters in his
arms, cling to his coat-tails, impede his footsteps, follow four deep in
his wake, and make the welkin ring with filial expressions of welcome.
He has shirked the fearful ordeal of reckoning his responsibilities
until the fatal exigencies of the census have brought it home to him.
The only occasions on which he has obtained a faint idea of his success
as a father have been those momentous periods when the baptismal
signboard of the latest Robinson has had to be hung out. “What shall we
call sonny?” has whispered the joint shareholder in his live-stock. “Oh,
John.” “But we’ve got John already.” “Oh, then, name him Peter or
Theodore--Theodore sounds well with Robinson.” “But we have had Peter
fifteen years, my dear, and it was only yesterday, you know, that we
feared Theodore had the measles.” Then Robinson would became irritated.
“Hang it,” he would exclaim, “do you think I am a Thom’s Directory, or
an army list, or a dictionary of scriptural names? What name are you
short of? Give him that.” Then Mrs. R. would begin the catalogue. “We
have John, and Peter, and Theodore, and Joe’s with his aunt, and Tom’s
at his grandmother’s, and there’s Philip, and James, and little Edmund,
and--” Then Robinson would fly out with his fingers in his ears, and
knock over two or three of the middle-sized ones in the lobby, and be
followed by the screams of the smaller ones to the door, and meet some
of the eldest “sparking” in the lane; and when he entered some refuge
to drown reflection in a flowing bowl, he would hear one tall stripling
whisper to another, “Here’s father,” and his end of the counter would be
left deserted. It was too much to think of, and he didn’t, as a rule.

But he couldn’t escape the census. He was at home. His feelings as a
father and his duty as head of the household demanded that that paper
should be filled up. Anna Maria couldn’t assist--there was another
Robinson _en route_. So he entered the parlor on Sunday night, and sent
the housemaid round to summon the clan. They came--in twos, in threes,
in fours, and the last batch was half a dozen. He gazed upon the throng,
and as he traced his nose in this one, his mouth in that, and the cast
in his eye leered at him all round the room from other eyes, he felt
like Noah--only Noah would have been nowhere with an ark of the
dimensions used at the time of the Flood. He commenced his enumeration,
and before any appreciable diminution had been made in the numbers
present by the retirement of those whose descriptive particulars had
been entered, his form, with its fifteen spaces, pegged out. The room
was still full. Two or three of the boys were playing leap-frog in one
corner, a few girls were dressing and comparing dolls in another, the
twins were fighting under the table, the youngest but two was struggling
with the coal scuttle, and some of them hadn’t come home from church
yet. Then Robinson felt the full extent of his marital liabilities, and
he laughed. “Ha! ha!” he yelled. “What’s the use of this bit o’ paper?
Send me a volume, four hundred pages, bound in morocco, forty names on
a page! I’ll fill ’em up. Order up your whole staff of enumerators, two
or three barrels of ink, and a goods train to carry out the returns. I’m
ready. There’s Robinsons enough round to make a census of their own. Oh,
let us be joyful!” Then he began to dance, sang “A father’s early love,”
and went up-stairs to swallow the latest arrival. It’s a pity Robinson
was at home this census time.



NEW ENGLAND’S MARKSMEN.


    Rank on rank they march together,
    Through the lanes and o’er the heather,
    And the rhythmic ringing beat
    Of their measured swinging feet
    Music bears in martial tone
    To the land they call their own.
    Happy land that proudly boasts,
    Not coerced, unwilling hosts,
    But around her throne can feel
    Hearts of oak and nerves of steel,
    Hearts whose love no bribes retain,
    Hands that never strike in vain.

    Through the fields of yellow grain,
      Through the woods of leafy green,
    Here and there on many a plain,
      Are their snowy targets seen;
    And the mountains echo back
    From their peaks the rifles’ crack.

    Freedom knows how keen of eye,
      Firm of nerve and quick of finger,
    Are the marksmen brave who vie
      In the skill they freely bring her.
    Bunker Hill and Concord tell
    They have won their laurels well.

    And should war assail our shore,
      Still to guard it ever ready
    As their fathers were of yore.
      Calm, yet eager, true and steady,
    Are the loyal ranks that play
    But at mimic strife to-day.



A MIXED ANTIQUARIAN.


They have high old times of it occasionally at the Royal Dublin Society
rooms. For example, at a recent festive gathering Mr. William Smith, C.
E., read an exciting essay on “The Manufacture of paper from molina
cœrulea.” Then there was some light literature from Mr. W. E. Burton, F.
R. A. S., who gave a paper on “A new form of micrometer for astronomical
instruments.” After these two courses came dessert in the shape of a
sweet thing from Dr. Leith Adams, F. R. S., about “Explorations in the
bone cave of Ballynamintra.” I wanted to read a dozen pages of
“Falconer’s Railway Guide,” but in the feverish state of excitement in
which the audience were boiling over it was felt that the experiment
might be dangerous. It might have led to revolution, and it wouldn’t be
logical--or geological--to use the Ballynamintra bones for ammunition.

I always had a sneaking regard for these delicious scientific
symposiums. I love to hear of the domestic arrangements of the gay
ichthyosaurus, and to see dragged forth from the dark recesses of
antiquity the private character (very shaky it was) of the lordly
mastodon.

I once lectured myself on “Relics of the Pre-Glacial Period discovered
during Excavations at Ballymacslughaun.” I got on very well for an hour
or so. The bald-headed antiquarian who had excavated the relics had been
kind enough to label them--“Tooth of an Irish Elk,” “Skull of a Land
Agent of the Pliocene Era (dinged by rocks),” “Feeding-bottle of the
Bone Age,” etc.

I was all right till I came to a confounded triangular iron arrangement
in a wooden handle covered with mud. I couldn’t for the life of me tell
what it was. There was no label on it. I was going to dub it the
“toe-nail of an Irish giant,” but the wooden handle forbade. Finally,
with a desperate plunge I went on: “The heroism of our sires has been
told in song and story for centuries. The predatory Norse pirates turned
not their prows to the inhospitable shores of Erin, guarded by fiery
gallowglass and furious kerne. The Danish invaders felt at Clontarf the
whirlwind passion of the Irish charge. What feelings of awe must be
inspired by the sight of this--this--this ancient weapon--it is
evidently a spear-head--which in the nervous hands of some brave Celtic
warrior of old has probably pierced many a proud invader’s breast. This
spear-head, ladies and gentlemen--”

I was here interrupted by the appearance on the platform of a dirty
bricklayer who had been engaged in the early part of the day in some
repairs about the building. “Howld on,” he exclaimed, seizing the
pre-glacial relic; “I beg your honor’s pardon, but I want my throwel to
finish a job outside!”



JONES’S UMBRELLA.


There has been a lot of atmosphere round our neighborhood this past
week. Jones’s umbrella has been round the neighborhood, too. On the
whole it has pervaded the locality to a greater extent than the
atmosphere, and has left impressions of a more or less durable
character, according to their positions. Jones’s umbrella is the eighth
wonder of the world. Its size is majestic, its staying powers in the
heaviest hurricane are miraculous; its age is lost in the dim recesses
of primeval tradition; its performances are historic. It is believed to
have belonged to the original Jones, and to have been manufactured in
view of a second deluge, and were it not that the Joneses are such a
scattered family (being distributed over half a dozen sub-lunar
continents, to say nothing of their colonization of other spheres,
principally tropical in their temperature), that umbrella could afford
shelter to the clan yet. It is massive in its strength. It’s a kind of
an iron-clad umbrella. I won’t undertake to say that it’s bullet-proof,
but a Ceylon cyclone or a Texan tornado wouldn’t disturb a seam in it.
It has only one defect. Given sufficient space--say Yellowstone Park,
and a child could open that umbrella; but there are occasions when
Samson would need all his locks to shut it up. Tuesday was one of those
occasions. Jones and Mrs. Jones and three of the grown-up Joneses left
their ancestral home to pay a visit to the Cyclorama. They had the
umbrella with them. In an evil hour, Jones, persuaded by a slight shower
that threatened destruction to Mrs. Jones’s new bonnet, opened that
umbrella. Just at that moment, a miniature tempest careened up the
street. It struck the umbrella broadside on, and that antiquated
arrangement of ribs and canvas began an express excursion in the
direction of the eastern coast, at the rate of a mile a minute. Jones
held on to the umbrella, making heroic efforts to close it; Mrs. Jones
held on to him; the little Joneses clung to her; and the family
quintette sailed along in a series of gyrations and bounds and flops
that flung the whole population of the city into a labyrinth of
confusion and dismay. Two hand-carts, a street car, an apple stall, and
a policeman were whelmed in the impetuous charge. Then the wind changed
and the umbrella suddenly turned round, jabbed Jones in the mouth,
dabbed Mrs. Jones in the gutter, threw the Jones minors promiscuously
about the side streets, and started back erratically for the west. It
was a thrilling time, but after Jones had been smashed through a few
shop windows, and softened his brain against a lamp-post or two, and
tried to dig up the pavement with that part of his manly figure caressed
by his coat-tails, and sat down once or twice quite unexpectedly in
Mrs. Jones’s lap, and lost his spectacles, and wrecked his hat, he let
the umbrella go. It hasn’t been seen since; but he don’t pine for it. He
hesitates to offer a reward for its recovery. In fact, if any fellow
restores it to him, I think he’ll have that man’s blood.



LESSONS IN THE FRENCH DRAMA.


The adorable Sara has been, she has seen, she has conquered. She has
nearly done for Guffin.

Guffin is a pork butcher, and there is about as much romance in his
nature as in that of Jay Gould. He prefers pigs to poetry, and knows
much more about sausages than he does about Shakespeare.

Now, Mrs. Guffin is exactly the opposite. She is æsthetic, she is
poetic, she is romantic--in fact, she has a Soul. So has her daughter,
and the pair of them go languishing and sighing round the Guffin mansion
with their Souls in a way that distracts Guffin, who has more liver than
soul. That mansion is situate in a fashionable suburb, far from the
prosaic pork-curing establishment where Guffin makes his money--so far,
in fact, from business houses of any description that, as Guffin puts
it, one has to take a street-car to get a ha’porth of salt. Of course,
in this sacred locality all mention of Guffin’s trade is forbidden--Mrs.
Guffin’s soul couldn’t stand it. The works of Hogg and Bacon find no
place on the shelves of his library, the family never visit the theatre
when Ham-let is on, and the fair young Guffin blighted the future of an
ardent suitor, because he accidentally referred to the price of
pig-iron, in which his father was interested. So there is a polite
fiction kept up by the Guffins that Guffin, senior, is in a bank--a sort
of director, and for the sake of peace that matter-of-fact pig-sticker
has acquiesced in the social fraud. But he has declared he will do so no
longer. His blood is up, and he has threatened to slaughter his future
porcine victims in the front lawn, cure his bacon in the drawing-room,
and decorate the mediæval porch of his country home with strings of
sausages.

The ethereal Mlle. Bernhardt was the cause of it all. From the day her
appearance at the leading theatre was announced, Guffin has been a
martyr to the French dramatic enthusiasm of his feminine accessories.
They engaged a tutor who had advertised his proficiency, grammatically
and conversationally, in the language of the Gaul. For six weeks the
Saxon tongue was unheard in the house, save when some of its most
vigorous expletives would escape Guffin, or when Miss G. or Mrs. G.
would get stuck in their French. The maid-of-all-work, cook, laundress,
housemaid, and generally useful Molly became Marie. It was “Marie,
donnez moi la curling-tongs,” or “Marie, avez vous such a thing as a
hairpin about you?” the whole day long. Harry Snaffles, groom,
stable-boy, gardener, and general help, was Henri, and he was beginning
to get gray with such orders as--“Henri, mon garçon, harness le cheval
noir, nous avons made up our mind to take a drive apres quatre heures et
demi aujourd’hui.” And Harry would go into the stables and bury his head
in the straw, and wonder why he was born.

But it wasn’t till after they had seen the shadowy artiste in “La Dame
aux Camellias” that the explosion came. They returned home enraptured.
Guffin hadn’t been with them. He said he’d been getting enough of French
at home for nothing, and he wasn’t going to pay for it. But they told
him she was too utterly utter, and the gushing Miss G. showed him how
Marguerite interviewed her intended father-in-law, while the Matron
Guffin gave an imitation of Sara B. dying of consumption. The latter
performance was a failure, however. Mrs. Guffin is fat, she is
ponderous, she is florid. Guffin, when he is facetious, says it would be
a good investment to let her out in lots. She has a face you could dwell
on actually as well as figuratively, and the most lively flea must find
it a weary journey from her yard of placid forehead to the foot and a
half of solid humanity she calls her chin. She has a neck that Guffin
can only fling his arms round once a week, taking a note each day of the
point where he leaves off. She has a chest and shoulders you could pitch
a tent on.

Once a month the stairs leading to her boudoir have to be repaired, and
when a woman like that goes in for acting the consumptive, the result is
disappointing.

But she did; so did Miss G., and the next day one or other of them might
be encountered about the house gasping and sighing and murmuring very
much broken French, and practising faints and back-falls and
death-scenes. When Guffin came home the dinner was spoiled; Miss G. was
leaning against the banisters of the stairs, one hand pressed against
her beating heart, the other scratching her left ear, and her eyes
turned upward towards the ceiling in an expression meant to convey
unutterable anguish, but which really suggested she was learning to
squint; while Mrs. G. awaited her smaller half in the dining-room on the
only seat that could accommodate her--the sofa, and looked as
consumptive and woe-begone as a woman of her weight possibly could.
Guffin had just heard of a failure in the curing trade which touched
him, and he was in a morose humor. So when his daughter dragged herself
wearily to the table and helped herself with a groan to the potatoes,
and when his wife, heaving a monstrous sigh, cut herself a pound and a
half or so off the joint, and supplied Guffin with half an ounce or
less, he broke into rebellion.

“Look here,” he said, “what are you grunting and groaning about, like a
pig in a nightmare?”

“Pig!” shrieked his wife.

“Oh, mon Dieu!” sobbed his daughter.

“Yes, pig,” retaliated Guffin; “it’s a noble animal. You’d neither of
you have a shift to your backs if it wasn’t for pigs.”

“You are a brute!” cried Mrs. G. “I shall leave the house this instant.
Julia, order the carriage.”

Julia rang the bell with an expression of approaching insanity. The girl
responded with an alacrity suggestive of a key-hole performance.

“Marie,” said Julia, “Henri.”

“Well, if you’re hungry,” snarled Guffin, “sit down and eat. What’s
Molly got to do with it? Perhaps you don’t like the mutton. Will you
have a rasher?”

“Monster, unfeeling monster!” screamed mater-familias. “Let us haste,
Julia, to quit this abode of--of--this abode of--this maison du diable,
there!” she ejaculated, flinging a parting shot in French at the brutal
Guffin.

“You needn’t mind,” said Guffin. “I’m going out myself. Hope you’ll be
in your senses when I come back. Get me my hat.”

“Marie,” called Julia from the head of the stairs, “voulez vous bring up
la chapeau de mon pere.”

“You needn’t mind a chop or a pair,” retorted Guffin. “I want my hat.
And now, Mrs. G., let me tell you one thing. I’ve had enough of your
French capers. You’re turning my house into a gibberishing Bedlam.
You’ve upset me so much with your d----d rubbishy parley-vooing and
moping round that I don’t believe I’ll ever be able to stick a pig with
a cheerful heart again. I won’t have it. It’ll drive me mad. Hang it, if
you don’t drop this cursed nonsense, I’ll let all the neighbors know
what I am. I’ll hang my signboard out of the drawing-room window, I’ll
put on a blue apron and my skewer and knife, and I’ll stand on the front
door-step all day. D----n me, if I won’t buy all the pigs at the next
Smithfield market and anchor them out in the front garden, and I’ll
begin killing them the same night, and if their squealing don’t let
folks know what I am, I’ll send circulars and samples of bacon to every
house for two miles around.”

There was a pause for a few brief moments, and then forgetting their
French and their consumption and their æsthetic delicacy, mother and
child flung themselves upon the luckless pork purveyor, and they helped
themselves to his hair and tore his clothes, and tried to gouge his eyes
out, and bit his ears, and finally flung him on the carpet, where the
elephantine maternal Guffin sat on him for five minutes. How he survived
this crushing operation is a miracle; but he lives still, though he is
so flat that he can slide under a door, and only he took the precaution
of changing his brown suit, his shop-boy would frequently put him up for
a shutter.



CALCRAFT AND PRICE.[M]

A LYRIC FOR LOYALISTS.


    Oh! England’s the gem of the waters,
      The pride of the foam-crested sea!
    And her brave sons and fair smiling daughters
      Are always contented and free!
    Unknown are all want and starvation;
      Her subjects are strangers to vice;
    And the bulwarks of this model nation
      Are Calcraft and Governor Price!

    Wherever this proud nation’s standard
      Unfurls its red folds to the light,
    Its bearers you’ll find are the vanguard
      Of freedom, and progress, and right.
    Barbarian tribes, by their teaching,
      Her soldiers reclaim in a trice;
    Oh, there’s nothing can equal the preaching
      Of Calcraft and Governor Price!

    From the Ind to the banks of the Shannon,
      Wherever their footsteps have trod,
    With the aid of the bayonet and cannon
      They’ve planted the altar of God!
    And the teachers of heretic notions
      Have been silent and quiet as mice,
    For fear they should pay their devotions
      At the shrine of grim Calcraft and Price!

    Oh, lives there a slave who dare utter
      A word ’gainst the laws of the realm?
    Or breathes there a serf who would mutter
      A thought ’gainst the “men at the helm”?
    If he’s English, his faults they’ll pass over
      With a sound word or two of advice;
    But if Irish, he soon will discover
      The logic of Calcraft and Price!

    Then kneel, comrades, kneel, and thank heaven
      You’re subjects of Britain’s great throne,
    When, horror! you might have been given
      A Republican birthright to own!
    Thank God, that your blood is untainted,
      You’re subjects of England--how nice!--
    You’ve a chance of yet being acquainted
      With Calcraft or Governor Price!



ENTITLED TO A RAISE.

SUGGESTED BY A ROYAL IRISH CONSTABULARY PETITION.


    This is a brave Sub-Constable, a credit to the force,
    To the landlord sleek and servile, to the peasant rude and coarse;
    When Lord Knows Who was there, he could present his arms to him,
    And then club Paddy Murphy with the true official vim.
    And once when his contingent, in war’s circumstance and pride,
    Turned out to spill his mother on the dreary mountain side,
    His blood was cool--(discipline’s rule)--he made no moan, so he
    Says no one should begrudge to him his rise of salaree.

    This is a wise Head Constable, with little frills or lace,
    But with a soul that’s panting for a much superior place,
    He feels his head throb proudly with a bursting intellect,
    And looks for that promotion which a genius should expect.
    He has faced the jibes of Healy and such giants of the bar,
    He has peeped through many a key-hole, when the door was not ajar;
    He has shadowed many a priest and checked seditious childhood’s glee,
    So is he not entitled to a rise of salaree?

    And this, a Sub-Inspector, is a lady’s man, you know;
    With braid, and rings, and eye-glass, he can make a gallant show;
    Of justice he knows nothing, and of law he never dreamt,
    But he can stop a meeting or he’ll fall in the attempt.
    He can really waltz divinely; he can powder, he can puff,
    And he’d quite an ear for music till ’twas spoiled by “Harvey Duff”;
    He is silly, he is loyal,--he is all a Sub should be,
    With a due appreciation of a rise of salaree.



THE POSTMAN’S WOOING.

THE POSTMAN’S PLIGHT.


    John Thompson was a postman who
      Was bound in Cupid’s fetters,
    And though not deeply read, ’tis true,
      Was still a Man of Letters.

    He paid attention to one Kate
      Maria Julia Jervis,
    But she did not appreciate
      John Thompson’s Civil Service.

    Quoth he, “Oh scorn me not, sweet Kate,
      Nor let my love-suit fail,
    Oh tell me not my pleading’s late,
      And don’t Despatch this Mail.”

    But she replied, in accents grave,
      “I love you not--decamp!”
    And when he spoke again--she gave
      Her foot an Extra Stamp.

    And cried, “My anger you awake,
      Your speech on insult borders,
    I’m poor, but I would scorn to take
      Your vile Post-office Orders.”

    Then Thompson felt in mournful mood,
      And moaned in accents shivery,
    “Miss Jervis, if my speech be rude,
      Pray pardon its Delivery.”

    He left the room with footsteps slow,
      A bitter lesson taught,
    And then to counteract the blow,
      A pillar-box he sought.

    He felt how foolish was the tact
      In courtship he had boasted,
    And recognized the solemn fact
      That he was badly Posted.



SONNETS TO A SHOEMAKER.


    The cobbler’s always cheerful, though
      His path of life be crost,
    He does not tear his hair in woe,
      Whene’er his all is lost.

    He welts a lot, but not the wife
      With whom his lot is cast;
    She’ll find him, whatsoe’er their strife,
      Still faithful to the last.

    Onward his motto, aye, he strives
      To grasp some other feat,
    And in the dullest times contrives
      Somehow to make ends meet.

    The world may smite him without cause,
      He never shuns its whacks,
    And seldom grumbles at the laws
      That regulate his tax.

    We know but little of the good
      His many acts reveal--
    Were he ’midst madmen, why, he would
      Their understandings heal.

    And a much higher motive yet
      His generous heart controls,
    You would not see that saint forget
      Their perishable souls.



A COMMERCIAL CRISIS.


The financial flare-up is going round. It has penetrated the modest
shanty of Jones, in our street.

“It was late when you came home last night, my dear,” said Mrs. J. at
breakfast yesterday morning. When that lady addresses her husband with
the affix of “my dear,” Jones recognizes a disturbed condition of the
domestic atmosphere. He has had solemn experiences of the way Mrs. Jones
works up a tea-table tornado. Therefore, Jones said nothing. He couldn’t
say less; he was afraid to say more.

“I repeat, my dear, it was late when you returned home last night.”

Jones admitted there was nothing particularly premature about the hour
in question.

“Perhaps, my dear, you wouldn’t find your feelings much hurt if I wished
to know where you spent your evening.”

“Well, you see, love,” began the marital martyr, “there’s a sort of a
kind of a description of--you don’t understand these things, Maria, but
we’re plunged into the throes of a commercial crisis, and I
thought--that is, we thought--a few of us thought, you know--a whole lot
of us thought that we’d have a consultation, you understand--to--to
avert anything in the shape of a pecuniary panic about these diggings.”

“Oh, you consulted, then?”

“Yes; we deliberated. We put our heads together, as it were, and we
decided on a whole lot of things.”

“What time did you decide on breaking up?”

“Well, we had very important matters to discuss. You know the Jewish
financiers--Baron Rothschild, and--and the rest of the Rothschilds, and
the chief rabbis--and--and--and--all of them synagogue fellows, they’ve
been working the oracle--and they’ve had a slap at the Barings.” Here
Jones gasped for breath. He felt that somehow he wasn’t explaining
matters as lucidly as was necessary.

“I think,” interposed Mrs. Jones, “that you’ll have a slap at the
almshouse before you die, at the rate--the poor rate--you’re going on.
What else?”

“Well,” desperately; “Maria, I must say that women can’t grasp the
monetary situation. Don’t you understand that there’s been a withdrawal
of gold from the Bank of England, and they’ve raised their rate to six
per cent., and there’s been a heap of failures, and, in fact, things
have gone so far that, that--”

“That you were so far gone when you came back last night that you took
your boots off at the door-step, and tried to go to sleep on the
scraper. And when you landed up-stairs in your bedroom you told me that
you were at a meeting to pull the Czar of Russia over the coals about
the atrocities on the Jews. You showed me the minutes of the
proceedings. They were in your inside pocket, in a pint bottle labelled
‘Duffy’s Malt.’ Then you said there was a European war just hatching in
the Herzegovina. You wanted to demonstrate the position of the Austrians
and the Russians out there. You tried to do it with the wash-hand basin,
the coal scuttle, and the fire-irons. You sat down in the coal scuttle,
and you stood on your head in the wash basin, and I’m sure you swallowed
some of the irons, for I can’t find the tongs anywhere. Then you tried
to make a speech to the milkman out of the bedroom window this morning;
and now it’s all a commercial crisis. Do you know what I got in your
coat this morning, Mr. Jones? A hairpin, you wretch! A woman’s hairpin,
you antiquated sinner! And there were two or three hairs round it, red
hairs, you crooked-eyed deceiver! I have stood treachery, Mr. Jones, I
have put up with your tantrums and your goings out and comings in for
five years, Mr. Jones, but I can’t, I won’t, I shan’t be bamboozled any
longer with your pint bottles of Russian atrocities and your red-headed
commercial crisis, the hussy.” At this stage Mr. Jones effected a
remarkably rapid retreat, but he has been heard to observe since that it
is really astonishing what an effect a bank-break in London can have in
a quiet kitchen in South Boston.



AT THE COLLEGE SPORTS.


    Heigho for the morning, murky and dark,
      When, heedless of threatening cloud,
    I ventured to visit the green College park,
      And mingled along with the crowd.
    I am almost now on insanity’s brink,
      And this I attribute to
    Either a fairy attired in pink
      Or an angel whose robe was blue.

    The world considered my heart was flint,
      And futile were womanly wiles--
    Sigh and ogle, whisper and hint,
      Glances and glittering smiles.
    I meant, uncontrolled by the marital link,
      My journey of life to go through,
    But in those days I hadn’t met beauty in pink,
      To say nothing of beauty in blue.

    I’ve had thirty odd years of a bachelor’s life,
      Bachelor’s buttons and fare;
    And escaped all the bankruptcy, troubles, and strife
      That Benedicts weepingly share.
    But to-night I believe that I scarcely would shrink
      To join the Hymeneal crew,
    If the ship were controlled by a captain in pink
      Or a lovely commander in blue.

    I didn’t go, like the mob, to the place
      For frivolous chatter and talk;
    I was interested in every race,
      Jump and hurdle and walk;
    Yet when all was over I’m hanged but I think--
      Of course it can hardly be true--
    That the quarter was won by a sprinter in pink,
      And the mile by a stayer in blue.

    It’s over now, and I feel quite wise,
      For I mean in futurity’s days
    When I go to races to cover my eyes
      With glasses to temper my gaze,
    Lest my heart intoxicant draughts should drink
      Of Cupid’s ambrosial dew,
    Supplied by a nymph in bewildering pink
      Or equally dangerous blue.



A MUSICAL REVENGE.


I’m sick of music. I’m surfeited with music. I’m engulphed in an ocean
of music. I’m buried beneath a mountain of music. The air I breathe is
oxygenized with music. The food I eat is flavored with music. I go to
sleep to the tootle of the flute next door; my slumbers are oppressed
with the nightmare of a solo on the trombone by a demon across the way,
and I wake to the crash of a grand piano that some fallen angel with
forty-horse-power wrists tortures in the semi-detached gentlemanly
residence at the back. In short, I live in a locality that is so utterly
utter in the matter of harmonic proclivities that I feel wild enough to
undermine and blow it to splinters. The sound of the explosion would be
a welcome change.

But I have had revenge. Ha! ha! It was temporary, but bliss is brief.
For six weeks the pianist behind my bedroom has been ringing the withers
of my soul matutinally with selections from Wagner. For two months the
trombonist over the way has been tearing my vitals asunder by his
frantic efforts to extort unhallowed tones from his instrument. For a
fortnight the flutist next door has congealed my blood with variations
on the “Carnival of Venice.” They have had _one_ night from me. They
won’t want another this side the Day of Judgment.

I gave a musical party. I summoned to my aid my brother who plays the
melodeon. I called to my assistance my friend who lets the tempest of
his heart loose into the cornet. I obtained the powerful alliance of my
cousin who exercises his muscles on the double-bass. I invoked the
tremendous services of an Aberdeen acquaintance, who has been practising
for ten years on the Scotch bagpipes, and still survives. I appealed
successfully to patriotic passions and pecuniary prejudices, and secured
the presence of a fife and drum--principally drum--band from a Grand
Army post.

The first part of the concert lasted two hours. By the end of that time
all the boarders in the street had given their landladies notice to
quit, and I had received three deputations from the outraged inhabitants
of the disturbed district.

But my scheme of vengeance was only budding. I had generously plied the
perspiring performers with copious draughts of Pilsener and Canada malt,
till they felt fit for anything in the way of a musical monstrosity or
instrumental indignity I could ask them to perpetrate on the suffering
locality. Then I marshalled them out in the backyard, and implored them,
as a last personal favor, to make themselves at home, and let each
artist give vent to his feelings in his favorite tune. They vented. The
bagpipes squealed out the “Reel of Tullochgorum,” till it seemed as if
all the pigs in the States had joined in shrill lament over Armour’s
interference with their happiness. The cornet pealed forth “Killarney”
with energy enough to drown the roar of Niagara. The double-bass growled
like a thunder-storm in its last agonies an operatic overture that I had
never heard before, and I hope never, never to listen to again. The
melodeon struggled manfully with “Nancy Lee,” and the fife and drum band
wrestled desperately with “Patrick’s Day,” except half a dozen or so of
its members, who got up a fight in one corner, and added a choice
assortment of yells, shouts, and profane expressions to the glories of
the occasion.

It was gorgeous. In ten minutes we had three fireengines and a division
of police in the street; in half an hour there were several attempts at
suicide of leading residents of the locality; and before our “grand
finale” was finally done with there wasn’t a juvenile or adult within
half a mile that didn’t feel he or she had had music enough to last a
lifetime.

If I am disturbed any more by the operators round me, I shall give them
another dose of my orchestra. I will. I have sworn it.



A LIAR LAID OUT.


We have an amiable tallow-chandler and soap-boiler in our street, who
certainly should have been a novelist. I firmly believe he could give
weight to Baron Munchausen, Jules Verne, M. de Chaillu, or the London
_Times_ in the matter of exaggeration, and romp in an easy winner. The
whoppers that spreader of lies and light can tell would raise the hair
on the head of an Egyptian mummy.

But he met his match last week.

I happened to be in our club-room with Dipps, when there entered an
acquaintance of mine, a gentleman who aspires to legislative honors. Of
course Congressional candidates must acquire the art of so embellishing
and embroidering the naked truth as to make it attractive. Well, my
friend has been studying this science, and he has advanced so far that
he can dispense with facts altogether now. His enemies aver that the
truth isn’t in him. I wouldn’t say that myself. I think it is in
him--very much in him--it’s impossible to get it out of him.

I didn’t think of this, or I wouldn’t have introduced him to Dipps. I
regretted it on the spot. Dipps was smoking a peculiar pipe. The future
member noticed it. He made some slight remark about it. Dipps was all
there. He replied on the instant that that was the identical pipe that
Napoleon III. was smoking when he surrendered at Sedan. He had procured
it from a wandering Teutonic troubadour, who had picked it up when the
Emperor dropped it to hand his sword to his German conqueror.

The statesman expressed no surprise. He merely observed that by a
strange coincidence he possessed the stump of the cigar which had fallen
from Marshal MacMahon’s lips when his eleventh horse was shot under him
at Worth. He had purchased the souvenir from a Zouave with two wooden
legs and a glass eye, who had secured the half-finished weed and was
smoking it out when a fragment of a shell drove it and a couple of
teeth into the back of his head, from which they were extracted by the
regimental surgeon. He had one of the teeth, too, fitted into his own
gums. He showed it to Dipps.

I could see Dipps was rather staggered. He changed the subject. He
exhibited his walking-stick. Remarkable stick, that. It was manufactured
out of one of the railway carriages blown into the river on the night of
the terrible Tay bridge disaster, in Scotland. At the risk of his life,
a diver had brought up a panel out of that carriage for the express
purpose of making that stick.

The embryo representative had another coincidence on hand. He had
another walking-stick at home--made out of the thigh bone of the
engine-driver of that ill-fated train. It was too ghastly a memento to
carry about with him; but he could show it to Dipps at any time, and
would point out the half-cooked appearance of a portion of it, arising
from the fact that the driver was in the habit of sitting on the boiler
in cold weather to warm himself.

Dipps was silent after this for a few minutes. But he wasn’t going to be
put down without a desperate effort. He drew out his large scarf-pin. He
called our attention to what appeared to be a drop of water in the
centre of the colorless stone. No, the stone was not real. It was not a
diamond. It was far more precious. That small dewy globule inside was
worth a hundred diamonds of its size. It had been borne from the mystic
shores of Lake Nyanza by a mighty traveller. It had passed into Dipps’s
hands by a miracle. It was the tear Livingstone had shed when he first
met Stanley. And Dipps smiled a lofty smile at the coming Daniel
Webster, which said, as plainly as a candle-contriver’s grin could say
anything, “Trot out your curiosities, now, old man, and match that if
you’re able.”

Hang me if that expectant recruit to the ranks of the legislators didn’t
squelch Dipps with a third coincidence. It was extraordinary--it was
almost fabulous, he said, but he had another breastpin which contained a
companion tear to Dipps’s. The knight of the soap-pan flatly denied the
assertion. Livingstone had only shed one tear; that tear hadn’t been
divided into suitable lots; it remained intact, complete, unmutilated,
and he (Dipps) was its proud possessor.

“I didn’t say,” gently interposed the coming victim of some future Tom
Reed, “I didn’t say that I had the tear Livingstone shed when the advent
of the New York _Herald_ Central African tourist pumped that saline
particle up. No, sir; but I have a lachrymose relic equally enthralling
in the interest which it must inspire.”

“Pooh!” snorted Dipps contemptuously, “what have you, what can you have,
that approaches within a hemisphere of my historic, geographic
treasure?”

“My friend,” replied the next man to be counted in his absence by the
Speaker, “I do not grudge you the tear that Livingston shed when he
embraced Stanley, for know that I have the identical tear that Stanley
_didn’t_ shed on that occasion, nor since, that I’m aware of.”



MULROONEY.--A TROOPER’S TALE.


    We were stanch and brave a company as ever saddled steeds;
    When proclamations filled the land, our signatures were deeds;
    When Mosby’s horse we fell across, the heads that met our blades
    Lost count of stolen cattle, and could plan no future raids.
    We blazed with glory, but a cloud around its radiance hung;
    Unto the bays that decked our brows a slimy creeper clung--
    For word passed round from camp to camp: The man for whom we’d die,
    The darling of our devil-dares, Mulrooney, was a spy!

    Mulrooney was our squadron’s pride; its star, its guiding lance;
    The last to leave a losing fight, the foremost to advance;
    His laughter chased the poison from the fever-breeding swamp;
    His merry heart and blithesome ways made sunshine in the camp.
    So when the provost-marshal came and marched Mulrooney out,
    Each trooper’s face with wrath aflame bespoke rebellious doubt;
    Till our captain came and “soothered” us, and said, “We’ll have to try
    To clear our troop’s bad record that it ever held a spy.”

    Oh, our captain was a jewel, with his oily locks of jet,
    His shiny spurs of silver, and his gold-fringed epaulette;
    The daintiest of kidskin gloves controlled his charger’s reins,
    The bluest flood of Norman blood coursed proudly through his veins;
    His voice had quite a lordly lisp, in warning or command--
    A pearl in iron setting was this leader of our band;
    But gem and metal never fused, and that’s the reason why
    Our boys despised the perfumed dude and loved the roughspun “spy.”

    The morn Mulrooney went away, our “pretty” captain led
    Our troop to where a squadron of the Johnnies slept, he said;
    But as we trod a darksome gorge, a flash of flame ahead,
    A roar of musketry behind, an ambush told, instead!
    Entrapped like rats, like rats we fought, in desperate despair--
    One sabre ’gainst ten rifles, and no outlet front or rear,
    Our captain faded from our sight, while rose a frenzied cry:
    “By God! the cur has sold us out! Mulrooney was no spy!”

    But while our hearts were quaking and our ranks were melting fast,
    There rang athrough the rustling pines a clear, familiar blast;
    The bugle-call of Northern foot thrilled on our ears anew,
    As swiftly on our hidden foes swept down a line of blue!
    One skulking figure sought escape behind the sheltering trees,
    A keen-eyed marksman’s bullet brought the coward to his knees,
    And as the captor fiercely dragged the wounded captive by,
    A shout went up from every throat, “Mulrooney’s got the spy!”

    Mulrooney had been hard and fast upon the captain’s trail,
    The traitor thought to euchre Pat by placing him in jail,
    And, ere the blundering Kerry tongue could tell how matters stood,
    Give up his comrades to the wolves that thirsted for their blood.
    The captain played his cards with skill--his triumph almost came;
    But Irish hearts are always trumps in war’s uncertain game;
    And pinioned in his tent that night he heard gay voices nigh
    Tell o’er and o’er the story of Mulrooney and the spy.


FOOTNOTES:

[A] This incident was recorded at the time in the Irish newspapers, was
debated in Parliament, and formed the subject of rich comic cartoons in
_Pat_, the _Weekly News_, the _Weekly Freeman_, and _United Ireland_.

[B] Rory, or Capt. Moonlight, is the latest cognomen for the Ribbon or
Whiteboy avenger of landlord oppression.

[C] During the period of Irish obstruction in Parliament, the Speaker
or Chairman of the House of Commons had frequently to preside for
twenty or twenty-four hours at a stretch, during a debate, in the
course of which the Irish members would raise points of order every
five minutes or so.

[D] Allen, Larkin, and O’Brien, executed at Manchester, England, for
their share in the rescue of Col. Kelly and Capt. Deasy, two Fenian
leaders, were buried in the prison grounds, their bodies being refused
to their relatives lest their funeral should be made the occasion of a
demonstration.

[E] On this day William Philip Allen, Michael O’Brien, and Michael
Larkin were hanged in Manchester, England, for the rescue of two Fenian
leaders. Until the sentence of death was actually carried into effect
it was not believed that the first political execution since that of
Robert Emmet would take place. A mass meeting was held at the Old Swan
Cross in Manchester, to welcome the reprieve, but their messenger
brought news of the execution instead.

[F] Allen--nineteen years old.

[G] O’Brien--A brave Union soldier, who had fought in Meagher’s Irish
Brigade.

[H] Larkin--An elderly man, who left a widow and four orphans.

[I] At the explosion which took place in the Tower of London on Jan.
23, 1885, the Grenadier Guards and the Police distinguished themselves
by their frantic efforts to escape from the building.

[J] In April, 1885, the Prince of Wales paid a visit to Ireland. On the
morning of his arrival a placard containing the verses above was found
posted on every dead-wall in the cities and villages of Ireland. The
poem had previously appeared in an American paper.

[K] A victim of English law, whose innocence was proven after he had
been executed.

[L] Give me a kiss.

[M] Calcraft was a notorious English hangman, and Price a British
jailer, whose brutalities to Irish political prisoners will be
remembered for years.





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