Unknown.

Classic tales by famous authors (Volume 18) online

. (page 3 of 20)
Online LibraryUnknownClassic tales by famous authors (Volume 18) → online text (page 3 of 20)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


panthry as I came up: she has eyes as black as a sloe,"
says he, "and cheeks like the rose in June; and sorra
taste ov this celestial mixthir shall crass the lips ov man
or morteal this blessed night till she stirs the same up
wid her own delicate little finger."

"Misther Maguire," says the Pope, "it's very un-
proper ov you to spake that way ov my housekeeper: I
won't allow it, sir."



30



FATHER TOM AND THE POPE

"Honor bright, your Holiness," says his Riv'rence,
laying his hand on his heart.

"O, by this and by that, Misther Maguire," says the
Pope, "I'll have none of your insinivations; I don't
care who sees my whole household," says he; "I don't
care if all the faymales undher my roof was paraded
down the High Street of Room," says he.

*'0, it's plain to be seen how little you care who sees
them," says his Riv'rence. "You're afeard, now, if I
was to see your housekeeper that I'd say she was too
handsome."

"No, I'm not !" says the Pope. "I don't care who
sees her," says he. "Anthony," says he to the head
butler, "bid Eliza throw her apron over her head, and
come up here." Wasn't that stout in the blessed man?
Well, my dear, up she came, stepping like a three-year-
old, and blushing like the brake o' day; for though her
apron was thrown over her head as she came forrid, till
you could barely see the tip ov her chin, — more, be
token, there was a lovely dimple in it, as I've been
tould, — yet she let it shlip a bit to one side, by chance
like, jist as she got fornenst the fire, and if she wouldn't
have given his Riv'rence a shot if he hadn't been a
priest, it's no matther.

"Now, my dear," says he, "you must take that skillet
and hould it over the fire till the milk comes to a blood
hate; and the way you'll know that will be by stirring it
onc't or twice wid the little finger ov your right hand,
afore you put in the butther; not that I misdoubt," says
he, "but that the same finger's fairer nor the whitest
milk that ever came from the tit."

"None of your deludhering talk to the young woman,
sir," says the Pope, mighty stern. "Stir the posset as
he bids you, Eliza, and then be off wid yourself," says
he.

"I beg your Holiness's pardon ten thousand times."



31



COMEDY

says his Riv'rence, "I'm sure I meant nothing on-
proper; I hope I'm uncapable ov any sich dirilection of
my duty," says he. "But, merciful Saver!" he cried out,
jumping up on a suddent, "look behind you, your Holi-
ness, — I'm blest but the room's on fire!"

Sure enough, the candle fell down that minit, and was
near setting fire to the windy -curtains, and there was
some bustle, as you may suppose, getting things put to
rights. And now I have to tell you ov a really onpleas-
ant occurrence. If I was a Prodesan that was in it, I'd
say that while the Pope's back was turned, Father Tom
made free wid the two lips of Miss Eliza; but, upon my
conscience, I believe it was a mere mistake that his
Holiness fell into on account of his being an ould man
and not having aither his eyesight or his hearing very
parfect. At any rate, it can't be denied but that he had
a sthrong imprission that sich was the case; for he
wheeled about as quick as thought, jist as his Riv'rence
was sitting down, and charged him wid the offince plain
and plump. "Is it kissing my housekeeper before my
face you are, you villain!" says he. "Go down out o'
this," says he, to Miss Eliza, " and do you be packing
off wid you," he says to Father Tom, "for it's not safe,
so it isn't, to have the likes ov you in a house where
there's temptation in your way."

"Is it me?" says his Riv'rence; "why, what would
your Holiness be at, at all? Sure I wasn't doing no
such thing."

"Would you have me doubt the evidence ov my
sinses?" says the Pope; "would you have me doubt the
testimony ov my eyes and ears?" says he.

"Indeed I would so," says his Riv'rence, "if they
pretend to have informed your Holiness ov any sich
foolishness."

"Why," says the Pope, "I've seen you afther kissing
Eliza as plain as I see the nose on your face; I heard



32



FATHER TOM AND THE POPE

^he^smack you gave her as plain as ever I heard thun-

"And how do you know whether you see the nose on
my face or not?" says his Riv'rence. "and how do you
know whether what you thought was thundher was
thundher at all? Them operations on the sinses " says
he. "comprises only particular corporal emotions con-
nected wid sartain confused perciptions called sinsa-
tions, and isn't to be depended upon at all. If we were
to follow them blind guides we might jist as well turn
heretics at onc't. Ton my secret word, your Holiness
It s neither charitable nor orthodox ov you to set up
the testimony ov your eyes and ears agin the char-
aether ov a clergyman. And now, see how aisy it is
to explain all them phwenomena that perplexed you
I ns and went over beside the young woman because
the skillet was boiling over, to help her save the
dhrop ov liquor that was in it: and as for the noise
you heard my dear man, it was neither more nor less
nor myself dhrawing the cork out ov this blissed
bottle.

"Don't offer to thrape that upon me!" says the
i^opej here s the cork in the bottle still, as tight as
a wedge. s ^ aa

"I beg your pardon," says his Riv'rence, "that's not
^e cork at all." says he; "I dhrew the cork a good two

t^ " K, ''^''; :'' ^''^ P"'"^'^^ ^P'"^d on the end ov
this blessed corkshcrew at this prisint moment; how-
andiver you can't see it, because it's only its real pris-
>nce thats in it. But that appearance that you call a
cork, says he, "is nothing but the outward spades and
w7f .^""" •!? °^ '^' '°''^'^^' "^^hur. Them's noth-
Z h ^v ^""u"'"'' °^ '^' '""'^ '^'^' y^^''^ looking at
and handling; but, as I tould you afore, the real cork's
dhrew ,„d IS here prisint on the end ov this nate little
insthrument. and it was the noise I made in dhrawing

Vol. 18-3 33



COMEDY

it, and nothing else, that you mistook for the sound ov
the pogue."

You know there was no conthravening what he said;
and the Pope couldn't openly deny it. Howandiver he
thried to pick a hole in it this way. "Granting," says
he, "that there is the differ you say betwixt the reality
ov the cork and these cortical accidents; and that it's
quite possible, as you allidge, that the thrue cork is
really prisint on the end ov the shcrew, while the acci-
dents keep the mouth ov the bottle stopped — still," says
he, "I can't undherstand, though willing to acquit you,
how the dhrawing ov the real cork, that's onpalpable
and widout accidents, could produce the accident ov
that sinsible explosion I heard jist now."

"All I can say," says his Riv'rence, ''is that it was a
rale accident, anyhow."

"Ay," says the Pope, "the kiss you gev Eliza, you
mane."

"No," says his Riv'rence, "but the report I made."

"I don't doubt you," says the Pope.

"No cork could be dhrew with less noise," says his
Riv'rence.

"It would be hard for anything to be less nor noth-
ing, barring algebra," says the Pope.

"I can prove to the conthrary," says his Riv'rence.
"This glass ov whiskey is less nor that tumbler ov
punch, and that tumbler ov punch is nothing to this jug
ov scaltheen."

"Do you judge by superficial misure or by the liquid
contents?" says the Pope.

"Don't stop me, betwi.xt my premises and my conclu-
sion," says his Riv'rence; "Ergo, this glass ov whiskey
is less than nothing; and for that raison I see no harm
in life in adding it to the contents ov the same jug, just
by way ov a frost-nail."

"Adding what's less nor nothing," says the Pope,

34



FATHER TOM AND THE POPE

"is subtraction according to algebra, so here goes to
make the rule good," says he, filling his tumbler wid the
blessed stuff, and sitting down again at the table, for
the anger didn't stay two minits on him, the good-
hearted ould sowl.

"Two minuses make one plus," says his Riv'rence, as
ready as you plase, "and that'll account for the in-
creased daycrement I mane to take the liberty of pro-
ducing in the same mixed quantity," says he, follying
his Holiness's epistolical example.

"By all that's good," says the Pope,' "that's the best
stuff I ever tasted; you call it a mix'd quantity, but
I say it's prime."

"Since it's ov the first ordher, then," says his Riv'-
rence, "we'll have the less deffeequilty in reducing it to
a simple equation."

"You'll have no fractions at my side, anyhow," says
the Pope. "Faix, I'm afeared," says he, "it's only too
aisy ov solution our sum is like to be."

"Never fear for that," says his Riv'rence, "I've a
good stick ov surds here in the bottle; for I tell you it
will take us a long time to exthract the root ov it, at the
rate we're going on."

"What makes you call the blessed quart an irrational
quantity?" says the Pope.

"Because it's too much for one and too little for
two," says his Riv'rence.

"Clear it ov its coefScient, and we'll thry," says the
Pope.

"Hand me over the exponent, then," says his Riv'
rcnce.

"What's that?" says the Pope.

"The shcrew, to be sure," says his Riv'rence.

"What for?" says the Pope.

"To dhraw the cork," says his Riv'rence.

"Sure, the cork's dhrew," says the Pope.

35



COMEDY

"But the sperets can't get out on account ov the acci-
dents that's stuck in the neck ov the bottle," says his
Riv'rence.

"Accident ought to be passable to sperit," says the
Pope, "and that makes me suspect that the reality ov
the cork's in it afther all."

"That's a barony-masia," says his Riv'rence, "and
I'm not bound to answer it. But the fact is, that it's
the accidents ov the sperits, too, that's in it, and the
reality's passed out through the cortical spacies, as you
say; for, you may have observed, we've both been in
real good sperits ever since the cork was dhrawn, and
where else would the real sperits come from if they
wouldn't come out ov the bottle?"

"Well, then," says the Pope, "since we've got the
reality, there's no use throubling ourselves wid the ac-
cidents."

"O, begad," says his Riv'rence. "the accidents is very
essential, too; for a man may be in the best ov good
sperits, as far as his immaterial part goes, and yet need
the accidental qualities ov good liquor to hunt the sin-
sible thirst out ov him." So he dhraws the cork in
earnest, and sets about brewing the other skillet ov
scaltheen; but faix, he had to get up the ingradients
this time by the hands ov ould Moley; though devil a
taste ov her little finger he'd let widin a yard ov the
same coction.

But, my dear, here's the "Freeman's Journal," and
we'll see what's the news afore we finish the residuary
proceedings of their two Holinesses.



36



CHAPTER V

THE REASON WHY FATHER TOM WAS NOT MADE A CARDINAL

Hurroo, my darlings !— didn't I tell you it 'ud never
do? Success to bould John Tuam and the ould simi-
nary ov Firdramore! O, more power to your Grace
every day you rise, 'tis you that has broken their Boord
into shivers undher your feet! Sure, and isn't it a
proud day for Ireland, this blessed feast ov the chair ov
Saint Pether? Isn't Carlisle and Whateley smashed to
pieces, and their whole college of swaddling teachers
knocked into smidhereens. John Tuam, your sowl, has
tuck his pasthoral stafT in his hand and heathen them
out o' Connaught as fast as ever Pathric druve the sar-
pints into Clew Bay.

Poor ould Mat Kevanagh, if he was alive this day,
'tis he would be the happy man. "My curse upon their
g'ographies and Bibles," he used to say; "where's the
use ov perplexing the poor childre wid what we don't
undherstand ourselves?" No use at all, in troth, and
so I said from the first myself.

Well, thank God and his Grace, we'll have no more
thrigonomethry nor scripther in Connaught. We'll
hould our lodges every Saturday night, as we used to
do, wid our chairman behind the masther's desk, and
we'll hear our mass every Sunday morning wid the
blessed priest standing afore the same.

I wisht to goodness I hadn't parted wid my Seven
Champions ov Christendom and Freney the Robber:
they're books that'll be in great requist in Leithrim as

27



COMEDY

soon as the pasthoral gets wind. Glory be to God!
I've done wid their lecthirs, — they may all go and be
d — d wid their consumption and production.

I'm off to Tallymactaggart before daylight in the
morning, where I'll thry whether a sod or two o* turf
can't consume a cart-load ov heresy, and whether a
weekly meeting ov the lodge can't produce a new thay-
ory ov rints.

But afore I take my lave ov you, I may as well finish
my story about poor Father Tom that I hear is coming
up to slate the heretics in Adam and Eve during the
Lint.

The Pope — and indeed it ill became a good Catholic
to say anything agin him — no more would I, only that
his Riv'rence was in it — but you see the fact ov it is,
that the Pope was as envious as ever he could be, at
seeing himself sacked right and left by Father Tom; and
bate out o' the face, the way he was, on every science
and subjec' that was started. So, not to be outdone al-
together, he says to his Riv'rence, "You're a man that's
fond of the brute crayation, I hear, Misther Maguire?"

"I don't deny it," says his Riv'rence. "I've dogs
that I'm willing to run agin any man's, ay, or to match
them agin any other dogs in the world for genteel edi-
cation and polite manners," says he.

"I'll hould you a pound," says the Pope, "that I've
a quadhruped in my possession that's a wiser baste nor
any dog in your kennel."

"Done," says his Riv'rence, and they staked the
money.

"What can this larned quadhruped o' yours do?" says
his Riv'rence.

"It's my mule," says the Pope, "and, if you were
to offer her goolden oats and clover off the meadows o'
Paradise, sorra taste ov aither she'd let pass her teeth

38



FATHER TOM AND THE POPE

till the first mass is over every Sunday or holiday in the
year."

"Well, and what 'ud you say if I showed you a baste
ov mine," says his Riv'rence, "that, instead ov fasting
till first mass is over only, fasts out the whole four and
twenty hours ov every Wednesday and Friday in the
week as reg'lar as a Christian?"

"O, be asy, Masther Maguire," says the Pope.

"You don't b'lieve me, don't you?" says his Riv'-
rence; "very well, I'll soon show you whether or no."
And he put his knuckles in his mouth and gev a whistle
that made the Pope stop his fingers in his ears. The
aycho, my dear, was hardly done playing wid the cob-
webs in the cornish, when the door flies open, and in
jumps Spring. The Pope happened to be sitting next
the door, betuxt him and his Riv'rence, and, may I
never die, if he didn't clear him, thriple crown and all,
at one spring. "God's presence be about us!" says the
Pope, thinking it was an evil spirit come to fly away
wid him for the lie that he had told in regard ov his
mule (for it was nothing more nor a thrick that con-
sisted in grazing the brute's teeth) ; but, seeing it
was only one ov the greatest beauties ov a greyhound
that he'd ever laid his epistolical eyes on, he soon re-
covered ov his fright, and began to pat him, while
Father Tom ris and went to the sideboord, where he
cut a slice ov pork, a slice ov beef, a slice ov mutton,
and a slice ov salmon, and put them all on a plate the-
gither. "Here, Spring, my man," says he, setting the
plate down afore him on the hearthstone, "here's your
supper for you this blessed Friday night." Not a word
more he said nor what I tell you; and, you may believe
it or not, but it's the blessed truth that the dog, afther
jist tasting the salmon and spitting it out again, lifted
his nose out o' the plate, and stood wid his jaws wath-
ering and his tail wagging, looking up in his Riv'-

39



t^'-VWMVMliMfe



COMEDY

fence's face, as much as to say, "Give me your abso-
lution, till I hide them temptations out o' my sight."

"There's a dog that knows his duty," says his Riv'-
rence; "there's a baste that knows how to conduct
himself aither in the parlor or the field. You think
him a good dog, looking at him here; but I wisht you
seen him on the side ov Sleeve-an-Eirin! Be my soul,
you'd say the hill was running away from undher him.
O, I wisht you had been wid me," says he, never letting
on to see the dog stale, "one day, last Lent, that I was
coming from mass. Spring was near a quarther ov a
mile behind me, for the childher was delaying him wid
bread and butther at the chapel door; when a lump ov
a hare jumped out ov the plantations ov Grouse Lodge
and ran acrass the road; so I gev the whilloo, and
knowing that she'd take the rise of the hill, I made over
the ditch, and up through Mullaghcashel as hard as I
could pelt, still keeping her in view, but afore I had
gone a perch Spring seen her, and away the two
went like the wind, up Drumrewy, and down Clooneen,
and over the river, widout his being able onc't to turn
her. Well, I run on till I come to the DifTagher, and
through it I went, for the wather was low and I didn't
mind being wet shod, and out on the other side, where
I got up on a ditch, and seen sich a coorse as I'll be
bound to say was never seen afore or since. If Spring
turned that hare onc't that day, he turned her fifty
times, up and down, back and for'ard, throughout and
about. At last he run her right into the big quarryhole
in Mullaghbawn, and when I went up to look for her
fud, there I found him sthretchcd on his side, not able
to stir a foot, and the hare lying about an inch afore
his nose as dead as a door-nail, and divil a mark of a
tooth upon her. Eh, Spring, isn't that thrue?" says he.
Just at that minit the clock sthruck twelve, and, be-
fore you could say thrap-sticks, Spring had the plateful

40



FATHER TOM AND THE POPE

of mate consaled. "Now," says his Riv'rence, "hand
me over my pound, for I've won my bate fairly."

"You'll excuse me," says the Pope, pocketing his
money, "for we put the clock half an hour back, out ov
compliment to your Riv'rence," says he, "and it was
Sathurday morning afore he came up at all."

"Well, it's no matter," says his Riv'rence, putting
back his pound-note in his pocket-pook. "Only," says
he, "it's hardly fair to expect a brute baste to be so
well skilled in the science ov chronology."

In troth his Riv'rence was badly used in the same bet,
for he won it clever; and, indeed, I'm afeard the shabby
way he was thrated had some effect in putting it into
his mind to do what he did. "Will your Holiness take
a blast ov the pipe?" says he, dhrawing out his dhudeen.

"I never smoke," says the Pope, "but I haven't the
least objection to the smell of the tobaccay."

"O, you had betther take a dhraw," says his Riv'-
rence, "it'll relish the dhrink, that 'ud be too luscious
entirely, widout something to flavor it."

"I had thoughts," said the Pope, wid the laste sign
ov a hiccup on him, "ov getting up a broiled bone for
the same purpose."

"Well," says his Riv'rence, "a broiled bone 'ud do
no manner ov harm at this present time; but a smoke,"
says he, " 'ud flavor both the devil and the dhrink."

"What sort o' tobaccy is it that's in it?" says the
Pope.

"Raal nagur-head," says his Riv'rence, " a very mild
and salubrious spacies ov the philosophic weed."

"Then, I don't care if I do take a dhraw," says the
Pope. Then Father Tom held the coal himself till his
Holiness had the pipe lit; and they sat widout saying
anything worth mentioning for about five minutes.

At last the Pope says to his Riv'rence, "I dunna
what gev me this plaguy hiccup," says he. "Dhrink



41



COMEDY

about," says he — "Begorra," he says, "I think I'm
getting merrier 'an's good for me. Sing us a song,
your Riv'rence," says he.

Father Tom then sung him Monatagrenage and the
Bunch o' Rushes, and he was mighty well pleased wid
both, keeping time wid his hands, and joining in the
choruses, when his hiccup 'ud let him. At last, my
dear, he opens the lower button ov his waistcoat, and
the top one of his waistband, and calls to Masther An-
thony to lift up one ov the windys. "I dunna what's
wrong wid me, at all, at all," says he; "I'm mortal
sick."

"I thrust," says his Riv'rence, "the pasthry that you
ate at dinner hasn't disagreed wid your Holiness's
stomach."

"Oh my! oh!" says the Pope, "what's this at all?"
gasping for breath and as pale as a sheet, wid a could
swate bursting out over his forehead, and the palms ov
his hands spread out to cotch the air. "O my! O myl"
says he, "fetch me a basin! — Don't spake to me. Oh!
— oh! — blood alive! — O, my head, my head, hould my
head ! — oh ! — ubh ! — I'm poisoned ! — ach !"

"It was them plaguy pasthries," says his Riv'rence.
"Hould his head hard," says he, "and clap a wet cloth
over his timples. If you could only thry another
dhraw o' the pipe, your Holiness, it 'ud set you to
rights in no time."

"Carry me to bed," says the Pope, "and never let
me see that wild Irish priest again. I'm poisoned by
his manes — ubplsch ! — ach — ach ! — He dined wid Car-
dinal Wayld yestherday," says he, "and he's bribed him
to take me ofif. Send for a confessor," says he, "for my
latther end's approaching. My head's like to split — so
it is! — O my! Oh my! — ubplsch! — ach!"

Well, his Riv'rence never thought it worth his while
to make him an answer; but, when he seen how un-



42















FATHER TOM


AND THE


POPE





gratefully he was used, afther all his throuble in making
the evening agreeable to the ould man, he called Spring
and put the butt-end ov the second bottle into his
pocket, and left the house widout once wishing "Good
night, an' plaisant dhrames to you;" and, in troth, not
one of them axed him to leave them a lock ov his hair.
That's the story as I heard it tould; but myself
doesn't b'lieve over one-half of it. Howandiver, when
all's done, it's a shame, so it is, that he's not a bishop
this blessed day and hour, for, next to the goiant ov
Saint Garlath's, he's out and out the cleverest fellow
ov the whole jing-bang.



43



THE DIVERTING HISTORY
OF JOHN GILPIN



Portrait of William Cowper



lyqwoO rnfiilliW to ^i£i:tioS



THE DIVERTING HISTORY
OF JOHN GILPIN



By William Cowper

OHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he
Of famous London Town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
"Though wedded we have been

These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.

"To-morrow is our wedding-day,

And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,

All in a chaise and pair.

"My sister and my sister's child.
Myself, and children three.

Will fill the chaise ; so you must ride
On horseback after we."

He soon replied, "I do admire

Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear.

Therefore it shall be done.



47



;




; COMEDi'


\


"I am a linendraper bold,




As all the world doth know,




And my good friend, the Calender,




Will lend his horse to go."


{


Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said;




And for that wine is dear,




We will be furnished with our own,




Which is both bright and clear."


;


John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;




O'erjoyed was he to find




That, though on pleasure she was bent,




She had a frugal mind.




The morning came, the chaise was brought,




But yet was not allowed




To drive up to the door, lest all


1


Should say that she was proud.




So three doors ofT the chaise was stayed,




Where they did all get in,




Six precious souls, and all agog




To dash through thick and thin.




Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,




Were never folk so glad ;




The stones did rattle underneath,




As if Cheapside were mad.


1


John Gilpin, at his horse's side,





Seized fast the flowing mane,




And up he got, in haste to ride, '


'■


But soon came down again.




48


!



JOHN GILPIN

For saddle-tree scarce reached had he,

His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.

So down he came ; for loss of time.
Although it grieved him sore.

Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
Would trouble him much more.

'Twas long before the customers

Were suited to their mind.
When Betty, screaming, came down-stairs,

"The wine is left behind !"

"Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me.

My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise."

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone-bottles found.

To hold the liquor that she loved.
And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear,

Through which the belt he drew,

And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.


1 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Online LibraryUnknownClassic tales by famous authors (Volume 18) → online text (page 3 of 20)