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He answered, · Plaise yer honur, I do'nt dislike them at all ;--sure, they're very well with a bit o' maet.' Now, this poor fellow, and all his equals for miles round, to my certain knowledge, never ate a bit of animal food, from the first day of January until the thirty-first of December, except a morsel of old ram, or bull beef, for three days at Christmas!
“But to show you, gentlemen," continued the speaker, " that the Irish, though fond enough of animal food, are temperate in their diet (for they are by no means gross feeders in any case, whatever attachment they may have to good drinking, and plenty of it), I will relate a conversation, in which a gentleman of my acquaintance bore a part."
My friend, travelling by the Cork mail to Dublin, on a fine summer's evening, having abandoned his seat within, mounted the coach box, where he was much entertained with the sallies of wit from the coachman and guards.
Learning that the coachman had been in the Tiperrary militia, and in England, he was desirous to hear his account of the sister kingdom ; and said to him, " So, Pat, you have been in England ; what do you think of that place ?”
“ My name is Michael, plaise your honour;" returned the coachman, with a slight degree of hauteur.*
“I ask your pardon, Michael,” said the gentleman, I meant no offence.”
" I thank your honur,” replied the coachman, “ I would niver suspect it."
“ Well, Michael," continued the querist, “what do you think of England ?"
Indeed, Sir, it is a fine country,” responded Michael; "and what wonder is that!-aren't the Sassonacs plundering the four quarters of the globe, and Ireland in the bargain, to help out their extravagance? Ounly look at our
Ounly look at our own poor country—what a figure they have made of it!”
“You are a bit of a politician, Michael,” observed the gentleman.
" Plase yer honur,” replied the coachman, “it does not require much knowledge for an Irishman to find that out—it is plain enough, by Jasus! every step ye take,”
* No Irishman likes to be called Pat, unless his name be Patrick : he considers such familiarity to be an insult to his country as well as to himself.
But, Michael, what do you think of the people of England ?” continued the gentleman.
Upon my say so, Sir," responded the coachman, “they seem to be a mighty honest and good kind of people—that is, as far as they would let one of us know them; though, certainly, I must say, I took notice of one great fault amongst them.
“ What is that?" inquired the traveller.
" They are entirely too fond of glottuning themselves with flesh maet,” returned Michael, “ it must make them cru'l and bloody-minded —what else is it that makes them so fond of hanging one another?-didn't these two ears of mine hear sintence of death pronounced upon a poor starving cratur of a Lancashire woman, with three smaal childer, for ounly taking an apronfull of potaetis, that wur spilt from a cart on the road?”
That was very horrible, Michael,” observed the gentleman; “ but, perhaps, you, yourself, are not fond of flesh meat ?"
“In raison, plase yer honur," replied the coachman, " upon my word! if your honur was to give me the run of your larder, I wouldn't touch flesh more than once a day, five days in the week.”
Michael," said the gentleman, archly, “suppose I was to give you the run of my cellar?”
Oh, by the powers! masthur,” replied coachee, I'd drink
my Wine and good sperrits gladden the heart of man, and make him jovial; whilst the maet makes a tiger and a slug of him at the same time.”
At an election for the representation of the City of Cork, a Mr. Bousfield was what is called the popular candidate; and, after some days sharp polling, his tally not being ready, he directed one of his counsel to keep a voter of Colonel (the present Lord) Hutchinson as long as he could, to gain time.
It was well known that the elector in question was what, in Ireland, is technically designated a Buck—that is, one who is bribed to swear to a freehold he never possessed. This man claimed the privilege of voting, by virtue of a tenement in Maypole Lane, which he described as a slated house, built of stone, three stories high; although every house in the lane in question consisted but of one story, and were built of mud, and thatched.
The counsel requested the buck to give particulars of the dwelling—asking him how it was inhabited? To which he replied—" I live on the ground floor myself, where I carry on my trade of shoe making; my first-floor is let; and the garret is untenanted at present.”
And how much rent do you pay for the house?” continued the counsel.
Oh, by the hokey! is it tell ye my bargain ?catch me at that, any how! By the powers of Moll Kelly! if I was to tell such a thing to a laayer he would put a leg under me in a jiffy, and spin me into the street.”
“ The barrister was delighted with the loquacity of his man-it being exactly what he wanted, to prolong the time; and he began again: “ My good friend,” said he," I have been often in Maypole Lane, and I never happened to see such a house there as you describe ; perhaps you mistake the name of the street ?"