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a thirty shilling Bank of Irelander; and then we'll settle the business in a jiffy : though, upon my deed, and deed, and double deed ! you have no occasion to be in the least dread or uneasiness about the notes; becase, d’ye see as how, there is not a banker from this to Dublin, ay, or to Galway, that would not be proud to take Jack Ryan's paper.'
“ . That is not so very certain, my good fellow, returned one of the gentlemen; the people on the road know us to be strangers, and they will require payment in the legal coin of the realm.'
Pray, Sir,' said the banker, eagerly, does yer
honur mane to take the road to Millstreet ? because, as how, you must go that way any how, there being no other. Oh! then, it is there, Mr. Cotter will be glad to see so fine a company at his iligant hotel ; and joyful will he be to entertain you with the best, both for man and horse, for the notes of the Killarney Bank.'
“ It being in vain to think of any exchange of this non-circulating medium, the English gentleman not attaching the same importance to it as the banker, the party wished him a good morning, and took their leave; laughing heartily at the adventure.
" It is an ill wind, however, which blows nobody good; when the party arrived at the inn door, they found the carriages surrounded by nearly two hundred unfortunate mendicants : amongst whom the gentlemen let fly their notes, in order to have a passage cleared ; and took their departure whilst the miserable creatures were scrambling for the alms."
Hundreds of anecdotes might be related of the Irish Banks; but, the following will suffice to show the general disrepute in which their potes were held among the people ; although the necessities of the latter compelled them to pass from one to the other, this base fabrication, instead of real money; or, indeed, instead of even a paper representative payable on demand.
CHANGING A NOTE.
It was the custom in the City of Cork, during the French war, and, perhaps, is still, for a number of the respectable citizens to assemble every
morning at the post-office window; waiting the delivery of letters and newspapers. Amongst them were generally to be seen a banker of the name of Bonwell, and a gentleman of the name of Mitchell, who was strongly suspected of republican principles. Whilst they waited, politics were generally the topic of conversation : a subject on which Bonwell held forth with energy; making up by the loudness of his voice, for lack of sense or argument.
One day he expatiated, in glowing terms, on the merit of consistency ; although, pending the American War, he had given many proofs of attachment to liberty; and, indeed, had openly advocated American Independence.
This was by some of the company thrown in his teeth ; · and one gentleman said, that he had changed his political opinions only since he had commenced the profitable trade of banker."
Upon this, Bonwell became quite furious, and exclaimed, “ It is a lie, Sir !a d-d lie ! Where is the man who will dare to charge me with inconsistency ?”
Mitchell, seeing that it was time to interpose, to prevent a challenge, and at the same time desirous of hitting the banker in the tenderest part, said, in a quiet, but most sarcastic tone, Upon my word, gentlemen, this accusation against Mr. Bonwell is really unjust ; for, to my own knowledge, and, indeed, to that of us all, he has not changed his note these three years at all events:" alluding to the invariable practice of the Cork Bank, of exchanging one set of notes for another parcel of the same paper.
This capital repartee set all to rights ; for it caused a loud laugh against the banker, and was the means of preventing a settlement of disputes of a more grave
IRISH WIT AND CHARACTER.
THERE is no country under heaven where wit is more keen and extemporaneous than in Ireland. All ranks possess it; but the lower orders, in particular, are noted for the quickness and ingenuity of their replies. Whether this peculiar gift arises from any innate quality of soil or air ; from their temperate vegetable diet; or from their mercurial, careless temperament, which enables them to make light of any subject, however serious or distressing; or whether it proceeds from all these causes combined, is a point which must remain undetermined. Though a devotee in his religion, the puritanical mien, and cautious manners of the Scot would sit heavily on an Irishman, and render him uncomfortable; and though sincere, warm-hearted, and