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to get, for the Squire turned me off, you see, and I'm out of place at this present."
“Oh, never mind it,” said Owny. " Sure it was the widow woman got the money, and I don't begrudge it; and now that it's all past and gone, I forgive you. But tell me, Andy, what put sich a quare thing in your head ?”
“ Why, you see,” said Andy, “I didn't like the poor mother's pride should be let down in the eyes o' the neighbours ; and so I made the weeshy bit o' hay look as dacent as I could, but at the same time I wouldn't chate any one for the world, Misther Doyle."
“ Throth, I b'lieve you wouldn't, Andy ; but, 'pon my sowl, the next time I go buy hay 1'll take care that Saint Pether hasn't any hand in it."
Owny turned on his heel, and was walking away with that air of satisfaction which men so commonly assume after fancying they have said a good thing, when Andy interrupted his retreat by an interjectional - Misther Doyle."
“Well," said Owny, looking over his shoulder. “ I was thinkin', sir," said Andy.
“ For the first time in your life, I b’lieve," said Owny ; “and what was it you wor thinkin'?"
“ I was thinkin' o' dhrivin' a chay, sir.”
"And kill more o' my horses, Andy,--ch? No, no, fais ; I'm afeerd o' you, Andy."
" Not a boy in Ireland knows dhrivin' betther nor me, any way,” said Andy.
" Faix, it's any way and every way but the way you ought, you'd dhrive, sure enough, I b'lieve: but at all events, I don't want a postboy, Andy,-I have Micky Doolin, and his brother Pether, and them's enough for me."
“ Maybe you'd be wantin' a helper in the stable, Misther Doyle ?"
“ No, Andy; but the first time I want to make hay to advantage I'll send for you," said Owny, laughing as he entered his house, and nodding at Andy, who returned a capacious grin to Owny's shrewd smile, like the exaggerated reflection of a concave mirror. But the grin soon subsided, for men seldom prolong the laugh that is raised at their expense; and the corners of Andy's mouth turned down as his hand turned up to the back of his head, which he rubbed as he sauntered down the street from Owny Doyle's.
It was some miles to Andy's home, and night overtook him on the way. As he trudged along in the middle of the road, he was looking up at a waning moon and some few stars twinkling through the gloom, absorbed in many sublime thoughts as to their existence, and wondering what they were made of, when his cogitations were cut short by tumbling over something which lay in the middle of the highway; and on scrambling to his legs again, and seeking to investigate the cause of his fall, he was rather surprised to find a man lying in such a state of insensibility that all Andy's efforts could not rouse him. While he was standing over him, undecided as to what he should do, the sound of approaching wheels, and the rapid steps of galloping horses, attracted his attention ; and it became evident that unless the chaise and pair which he now saw in advance were brought to a pull up, the cares of the man in the middle of the road would be very soon over. Andy shouted lustily, but to every “Halloo there !” he gave, the crack of a whip replied, and accelerated speed, instead of a halt, was the consequence; at last, in desperation, Andy planted himself in the middle of the road, and with outspread arms before the horses, succeeded in arresting their progress, while he shouted “ Stop !" at the top of his voice.
A pistol shot from the chaise was the consequence of Andy's summons, for a certain Mr. Furlong, a foppish young gentleman, travelling from the castle of Dublin, never dreamed that a humane purpose could produce the cry of “Stop” on a horrid Irish road; and as he was reared in the ridiculous belief that every man ran a great risk of his life who ventured outside the city of Dublin, he travelled with a brace of loaded pistols beside him ; and as he had been anticipating murder and robbery ever since night-fall, he did not await the demand for his “ money or his life” to defend both, but fired away the instant he heard the word “ Stop;" and fortunate it was for Andy that the traveller's hurry inpaired his aim. Before he could discharge a second pistol, Andy had screened himself under the horses' heads, and recognising in the postilion his friend Micky Doolin, he shouted out, “ Micky, jewel, don't let them be shootin' me !"
Now Micky's cares were quite enough engaged on his own account ; for. the first pistol shot made the horses plunge violently, and the second time Furlong blazed away, set the saddle-horse kicking at such a rate that all Micky's horsemanship was required to preserve his seat. Added to which, the dread of being shot came over him ; and he crouched low on the grey's neck, holding fast by the mane, and shouting for mercy as well as Andy, who still kept roaring to Mick, “not to let them be shootin' him," while he held his hat above him, in the fashion of a shield, as if that would have proved any protection against a bullet.
“ Who are you at all ?" said Mick.
The last words only caught the ear of the frightened Furlong ; and as the phrase “ his life" seemed a personal threat to himself, he swore a trembling oath at the postilion that he would shoot him if he did not dwive on, for he abjured the use of that rough letter, R, which the Irish so much rejoice in.
" Dwive on, you wascal, dwive on !" exclaimed Mr. Furlong. “ There's no fear o' you, sir," said Micky, “it's a friend o'my own.” Mr. Furlong was not quite satisfied that he was therefore the safer. “ And what is it at all, Andy ?" continued Mick.
" I tell you there's a man lying dead in the road there, and sure you'll kill him if you dhrive over him : 'light, will you, and help me to rise him."
Miek dismounted and assisted Andy in lifting the prostrate man from the centre of the road to the slope of turf which bordered its side. They judged he was not dead, from the warmth of the body, but that he should still sleep seemed astonishing, considering the quantity of shaking and kicking they gave him.
“ I b'lieve it's dhrunk he is,” said Mick.
“ He gave a grunt that time,” said Andy,-"shake him again and he'll spake.”
To a fresh shaking the drunken man at last gave some tokens of returning consciousness by making several winding blows at his benefactors, and uttering some half intelligible maledictions.
“ Bad luck to you, do you know where you are ?” said Mick. “ Well!” was the drunken ejaculation.
“ By this and that it's my brother Pether !" said Mick. “We wondhered what had kept him so late with the return shay, and this is the way, is it ? he tumbled off his horses, dhrunk: and where's the shay, I wonder ? Oh, murdher! What will Misther Doyle say?"
" What's the weason you don't dwive on?” said Mr. Furlong, putting his head out of the chaise.
“ It's one on the road here, your honour, a'most killed.”
" Your bwother !-and you pwesume to put your bwother to wide with me? You'll put me in the debdest wage if you don't dwive on."
“ Faith, then, I won't dhrive on and lave my brother here on the road."
“ You wascally wappawee !” exclaimed Furlong.
“ See Andy,” said Micky Doolin, " will you get up and dhrive him, while I stay with Pether ?!!
“ To be sure I will,” said Andy. “ Where is he goin'?"
" To the Squire's,” said Mick; “ and when you lave him there, make haste back, and I'll dhrive Pether home.”
Andy mounted into Mick's saddle ; and although the traveller “pwotested” against it, and threatened “ pwoceedings” and “magistwates," Mick was unmoved in his brotherly love. As a last remonstrance, Furlong exclaimed, “ And pwehaps this fellow can't wide, and don't know the woad.”
" Is it not know the road to the Squire's ?-wow ! wow !" said Andy. “ It's I that'll rattle you there in no time, your honour.”
" Well, wattle away then !" said the enraged traveller, as he threw himself back in the chaise, cursing all the postilions in Ireland.
Now it was to Squire O'Grady's that Mr. Furlong wanted to go; but in the confusion of the moment the name of O'Grady never once was mentioned; and with the title of " Squire" Andy never associated another idea than that of his late master, Mr. Egan.
Mr. Furlong, it has been stated, was an official of Dublin Castle, and had been despatched on electioneering business, to the county. He was related to a gentleman of the same name, who held a lucrative post under government, and was well known as an active agent in all affairs requiring what in Ireland was called “Castle influence ;" and this, his relative, was now despatched, for the first time, on a similar employment. By the way, while his name is before one, a little anecdote may be appropriately introduced, illustrative of the wild waggery prevailing in the streets of Dublin in those days.
Those days were the good old days of true virtue !-When a bishop, who had daughters to marry, would advance a deserving young curate to a good living; and, not content with that manifestation of his regard, would give him one of his own children for a wife! Those were the days, when, the country being in danger, fathers were willing to sacrifice, not only their sons, but their daughters, on the altar of patriotism ! Do you doubt it?-unbelieving and selfish creatures of these degenerate times ! Listen! A certain father waited upon the Irish Secretary one fine morning, and in that peculiar strain which secretaries of state must be pretty well used to, descanted at some length on the devotion he had always shown to the government, and yet they had given him no proof of their confidence. The Secretary declared they had the highest sense of his merits, and that they had given him their entire confidence.
“ But you have given me nothing else, my lord," was the answer.
“ My dear sir, of late we have not had any proof of sufficient weight in our gift to convince you."
“Oh, I beg your pardon, my lord; there's a majority of the --Dragoons vacant."
“Very true, my dear sir; and if you had a child to devote to the service of your country, no one should have it sooner.”
“ Thank you, my lord !!!" said the worthy man, with a low bow," then I have a child."
“ Bless me, sir! I never heard you had a son." “ No, my lord ; but I have a daughter."
“ A daughter !" said my Lord Secretary, with a look of surprise ; “ but you forget, sir,—this is a regiment;-a dragoon regiment.”
66 Oh, she rides elegant !” said her father. “ But, my dear sir, a woman ?"
“ Why shouldn't a woman do her duty, my lord, as well as a man, when the country is in danger ? I'm ready to sacrifice my daughter, said the heroic man, with an air worthy of Virginius.
" My dear sir, this is really impossible ; you know it's impossible."
“ I know no such thing, my lord. But I'll tell you what I know : there's a bill coming on next week,-and there are ten friends of mine who have not made up their minds yet.”
“ My dear sir," said the Lord Secretary, squeezing his hand with vehement friendship, “why place us in this dreadful difficulty ? It would be impossible even to draw up the commission ;-fancy • Major Maria,' or ' Major Margery!'" .
“Oh, my lord," said the father, quickly; “I have fancied all that long ago, and got a cure ready for it. My wife, not having been blessed with boys, we thought it wise to make the girls ready for any chance that might turn up, and so we christened the eldest George, the second Jack, and the third Tom; which enables us to call them Georgina,