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Being an Elegant Conference between English Tom and Irish Teague;


And his Supplication when a Mountain Sailor.

edited by R. H. Cunningham

Part I.

Tom. GOOD morrow, sir. This is a very cold day.

Teag. Arra, dear honey, yesternight was a very cold morning.

Tom. Well, brother traveller, of what nation art thou?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I came from my own kingdom.

Tom. Why, I know that; but where is thy kingdom?

Teag. Allelieu, dear honey, don't you know Cork in Ireland?

Tom. You fool, Cork is not a kingdom, but a city.

Teag. Then, dear shoy, I'm sure it is in a kingdom.

Tom. And what is the reason you have come and left your own dear country?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, by Shaint Patrick, they have got such comical laws in our country that they will put a man to death in perfect health; so, to be free and plain with you, neighbour, I was obliged to come away, for I did not choose to stay among such a people that can hang a poor man when they please, if he either steals, robs, or kills a man.

Tom. Ay, but I take you to be more of an honest man than to steal, rob, or kill a man.

Teag. Honest, I am perfectly honest. When I was but a child my mother would have trusted me with a house full of mill-stones.

Tom. What was the matter? Was you guilty of nothing?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I did harm to nobody, but fancied an old gentleman's gun, and afterwards made it my own.

Tom. Very well, boy, and did you keep it so?

Teag. Keep it? I would have kept it with all my heart while I lived. Death itself could not have parted us; but the old rogue, the gentleman, being a justice of peace himself, had me tried for the rights of it, and how I came by it, and so took it again.

Tom. And how did you clear yourself without punishment?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I told him a parcel of lies, but they would not believe me, for I said that I got it from my father when it was a little pistol, and I had kept it till it had grown a gun, and was designed to use it well until it had grown a big cannon, and then sell it to the military. They all fell a-laughing at me as I had been a fool, and bade me go home to my mother and clean the potatoes.

Tom. How long is it since you left your own country?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I do not mind whether it be a fortnight or four months; but I think myself it is a long time. They tell me my mother is dead since, but I won't believe it until I get a letter from her own hand, for she is a very good scholar, suppose she can neither write nor read.

Tom. Was you ever in England before?

Teag. Ay, that I was, and in Scotland too.

Tom. And were they kind to you when you were in Scotland?

Teag. They were that kind that they kicked me, and the reason was because I would not pay the whole of the liquor that was drunk in the company, though the landlord and his two sons got mouthful about of it all, and I told them it was a trick upon travellers first to drink his liquor, and then to kick him out of doors.

Tom. I really think they have used you badly, but could you not beat them.

Teag. That's what I did, beat them all to their own contentment; but there was one of them stronger than me who would have killed me if the other two had not pulled me away, and I had to run for it till his passion was over. Then they made us drink and gree again; we shook hands, and made a bargain never to harm other more; but this bargain did not last long, for, as I was kissing his mouth, by Shaint Patrick I bit his nose, which caused him to beat me very sore for my pains.

Tom. Well, Paddy, what calling was you when in Scotland?

Teag. Why, sir, I was no business at all, but what do you call the green tree that's like a whin bush, people makes a thing to sweep the house of it!

Tom. O, yes, Paddy, they call it the broom.

Teag. Ay, ay, you have it, I was a gentleman's broom, only waited on his horses, and washed the dishes for the cook; and when my master rode a-hunting I went behind with the dogs.

Tom. O, yes, Paddy, it was the groom you mean. But I fancy you was cook's mate or kitchen boy.

Teag. No, no, it was the broom that I was; and if I had stayed there till now I might have been advanced as high as my master, for the ladies loved me so well that they laughed at me.

Tom. They might admire you for a fool.

Teag. What, sir, do you imagine that I am not a fool? No, no; my master asked counsel of me in all his matters, and I always give him a reason for everything. I told him one morning that he went too soon to the hunting, that the hares were not got out of their beds, and neither the barking of horns nor the blowing of dogs could make them rise, it was such a cold morning that night; so they all ran away that we catched, when we did not see them. Then my master told my words to several gentlemen that were at dinner, and they admired me for want of judgment, for my head was all of a lump, adding they were going a-fishing along with my master and me in the afternoon; but I told them that it was a very unhappy thing for any man to go a-hunting in the morning and a-fishing in the afternoon. They would try it, but they had better stayed at home, for it came on a most terrible fine night of south-west rain, and even down wind; so the fishes got all below the water to keep themselves dry from the shower, and we catched them all, but got none.

Tom. How long did you serve that gentleman, Paddy?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I was with him six weeks, and he beat me seven times.

Tom. For what did he beat you? Was it for your madness and foolish tricks?

Teag. Dear shoy, it was not, but for being too inquisitive, and going sharply about business. First, he sent me to the post office to inquire if there were any letters for him; so when I came there, said I, "Is there any letters here for my master to-day?" Then they asked who was my master. "Sir," said I, "it is very bad manners in you to ask any gentleman's name." At this they laughed, mocking me, and said they could give me none if I would not tell my master's name; so I returned to my master and told him the impudence of the fellow, who would give me no letters unless I would tell him your name, master. My master at this flew in a passion, and kicked me down stairs, saying, "Go, you rogue, and tell my name directly. How can the gentleman give letters when he knows not who is asking for them?" Then I returned and told my master's name; so they told me there was one for him. I looked at it, being very small, and, asking the price of it, they told me it was sixpence. "Sixpence," said I; "will you take sixpence for that small thing, and selling bigger ones for twopence. Faith, I am not such a big fool. You think to cheat me now. This is not a conscionable way of dealing. I'll acquaint my master with it first." So I came and told my master how they would have sixpence for his letter, and was selling bigger ones for twopence. He took up my head and broke his cane with it, calling me a thousand fools, saying the man was more just than to take anything but the right for it; but I was sure there was none of them right, buying and selling such dear pennyworths. So I came again for my dear sixpence letter; and, as the fellow was shuffling through a parcel of them, seeking for it again, to make the best of a dear market, I picked up two, and home I comes to my master, thinking he would be pleased with what I had done. "Now," said I, "master, I think I have put a trick upon them fellows for selling the letter to you." "What have you done." "I have only taken other two letters. Here's one for you, master, to help your dear penny-worth, and I'll send the other to my mother to see whether she be dead or alive, for she's always angry I don't write to her." I had not the word well spoken till he got up his stick and beat me heartily for it, and sent me back to the fellows again with the two. I had a very ill will to go, but nobody would buy them of me.

Tom. Well, Paddy, I think you was to blame, and your master, too, for he ought to have taught you how to go about these affairs, and not beat you so.

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I had too much wit of my own to be teached by him, or anybody else. He began to instruct me after that how I should serve the table, and such nasty things as those. One night I took ben a roasted fish in one hand and a piece of bread in the other. The old gentleman was so saucy he would not take it, and told me I should bring nothing to him without a trencher below it. The same night, as he was going to bed, he called for his slippers; so I clapt a trencher below the slippers, and ben I goes. No sooner did I enter the room than he threw the trencher at me, which broke both my head and the trencher at one blow. "Now," said I, "the evil one is in my master altogether, for what he commands at one time he countermands at another." Next day I went with him to the market to buy a sack of potatoes. I went to the potato-monger, and asked what he took for the full of a Scot's cog. He weighed them in. He asked no less than fourpence. "Fourpence!" said I; "if I were but in Dublin I could get the double of that for nothing, and in Cork and Linsale far cheaper. Them is but small things like pease," said I, "but the potatoes in my country is as big as your head—fine meat, all made up in blessed mouthfuls." The potato merchant called me a liar, and my master called me a fool; so the one fell a-kicking me and the other a-cuffing me. I was in such bad bread among them that I called myself both a liar and a fool to get off alive.

Tom. And how did you carry your potatoes home from the market?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I carried the horse and them both, besides a big loaf, and two bottles of wine; for I put the old horse on my back, and drove the potatoes before me; and when I tied the load to the loaf, I had nothing to do but to carry the bottle in my hand; but bad luck to the way as I came home, for a nail out of the heel of my foot sprung a leak in my brogue, which pricked the very bone, bruised the skin, and made my brogue itself to blood; and I having no hammer by me, but a hatchet I left at home, I had to beat down the nail with the bottom of the bottle; and by the book, dear shoy, it broke to pieces, and scattered the wine in my mouth.

Tom. And how did you recompense your master for the loss of the bottle of wine?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I had a mind to cheat him, and myself too, for I took the bottle to a blacksmith, and desired him to mend it, that I might go to the butcher and get it full of bloody water; but he told me he could not work in anything but steel and iron. "Arra," said I, "if I were in my own kingdom, I could get a blacksmith who would make a bottle out of a stone, and a stone out of nothing."

Tom. And how did you trick your master out of it?

Teag. Why, the old rogue began to chide me, asking me what way I broke it. Then I held up the other as high as my head, and let it fall to the ground on a stone, which broke it all to pieces likewise. "Now," said I, "master, that's the way," and he beat me very heartily until I had to shout out mercy and murder all at once.

Tom. Why did you not leave him when he used you so badly?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I could never think to leave him while I could eat; he gave me so many good victuals, and promised to prefer me to be his own bone-picker. But, by Shaint Patrick, I had to run away with my life or all was done, else I had lost my dear shoul and body too by him, and then come home much poorer than I went away. The great big bitch dog, which was my master's best beloved, put his head into a pitcher to lick out some milk, and when it was in he could not get it out; and I, to save the pitcher, got the hatchet and cut off the dog's head, and then I had to break the pitcher to get out the head. By this I lost both the dog and the pitcher. My master, hearing of this, swore he would cut the head off me, for the poor dog was made useless, and could not see to follow anybody for want of his eyes. And when I heard of this, I ran away with my own head, for, if I had wanted it, I had lost my eyes too, then I would not have seen the road to Port Patrick, through Glen-nap; but, by Shaint Patrick, I came home alive in spite of them.

Tom. O, rarely done, Paddy; you behaved like a man! But what is the reason that you Irish people swear always by Saint Patrick?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, he was the best shaint in the world, the father of all good people in the kingdom. He has a great kindness for an Irishman when he hears him calling on his name.

Tom. But, Paddy, is Saint Patrick yet alive?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I don't know whether he be dead or alive, but it is a long time since they killed him. The people all turned heathens, but he would not change his profession, and was going to run the country with it, and for taking the gospel away to England, so the barbarous Tories of Dublin cutted off his head; and he swimmed over to England, and carried his head in his teeth.

Part II.

Tom. How did you get safe out of Scotland?

Tom. By the law, dear honey. When I came to Port Patrick, and saw my own kingdom, I knew I was safe at home, but I was clean dead, and almost drowned before I could get riding over the water; for I, with nine passengers more, leapt into a little young boat, having but four men dwelling in a little house in the one end of it, which was all thacked with deals; and, after they had pulled up her tether-stick, and laid her long halter over her mane, they pulled up a long sheet, like three pair of blankets, to the rigging of the house, and the wind blew in that, which made her gallop up one hill and down another, till I thought she would have run to the world's end.

Tom. Well, Paddy, and where did you go when you came to Ireland again?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, and where did I go but to my own dear cousin, who was now become very rich by the death of the old buck, his father, who died but a few weeks before I went over, and the parish had to bury him out of pity; it did not cost him a farthing.

Tom. And what entertainment did you get there?

Teag. O, my dear shoy, I was kindly used as another gentleman, and would have stayed there long enough, but when a man is poor his friends think little of him. I told him I was going to see my brother Harry. "Harry!" said he, "Harry is dead." "Dead!" said I, "and who killed him?" "Why," said he, "Death." "Allelieu, dear honey, and where did he kill him?" said I. "In his bed," says he. "Arra, dear honey," said I, "if he had been upon Newry mountains, with his brogues on, and his broad sword by his side, all the deaths in Ireland had not have killed him. O that impudent fellow Death. If he had let him alone till he died for want of butter milk and potatoes, I am sure he had lived all the days of his life."

Tom. In all your travels when abroad, did you never see none of your countrymen to inform you of what happened at home concerning your relations?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I saw none but Tom Jack, one day in the street; but when I came to him, it was not him, but one just like him.

Tom. On what account did you go a-travelling?

Teag. Why, a recruiting sergeant listed me to be a captain, and after all advanced me no higher than a soldier itself, but only he called me his dear countryman recruit, for I did not know what the regiment was when I saw them. I thought they were all gentlemen's sons and collegioners, when I saw a box like a Bible upon their bellies, until I saw G for King George upon it, and R for God bless him. "Ho, ho," said I, "I shan't be long here."

Tom. O, then, Paddy, you deserted from them?

Teag. That's what I did, and ran to the mountains like a buck, and ever since when I see any soldiers I close my eyes, lest they should look and know me.

Tom. And what exploits did you when you was a soldier?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I killed a man.

Tom. And how did you do that?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, when he dropt his sword I drew mine, and advanced boldly to him, and then cutted off his foot.

Tom. O, then, what a big fool was you, for you ought first to have cut off his head.

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, his head was cutted off before I engaged him, else I had not done it.

Tom. O, then, Paddy, you acted like a fool; but you are not such a big fool as many take you to be. You might pass for a philosopher.

Teag. A fulusipher. My father was a fulusipher; besides, he was a man under great authority by law, condemning the just and clearing the guilty. Do you know how they call the horse's mother?

Tom. Why, they call her a mare.

Teag. A mare, ay, very well minded. My father was a mare in Cork.

Tom. And what riches was left you by the death of your mother?

Teag. A bad luck to her own barren belly, for she lived in great plenty, and died in great poverty; devoured up all or she died, but two hens and a pockful of potatoes—a poor estate for an Irish gentleman, in faith.

Tom. And what did you make of the hens and potatoes? Did you sow them?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I sowed them in my belly, and sold the hens to a cadger.

Tom. What business did your mother follow after?

Teag. Greatly in the merchant way.

Tom. And what sort of goods did she deal in?

Teag. Dear honey, she went through the country and sold small fishes, onions, and apples; bought hens and eggs, and then hatched them herself. I remember of a long-necked cock she had, of an oversea brood, that stood on the midden and picked all the stars out of the north-west, so they were never so thick there since.

Tom. Now, Paddy, that's a bull surpasses all; but is there none of that cock's offspring alive now?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I don't think there are; but it is a pity but that they had, for they would fly with people above the sea, which would put the use of ships out of fashion, and nobody would be drowned at all.

Tom. Very well, Paddy, but in all your travels did you ever get a wife?

Teag. Ay, that's what I did, and a wicked wife, too; and, my dear shoy, I can't tell whether she is gone to Purgatory or the parish of Pig-trantrum, for she told me she should certainly die the first opportunity she could get, as this present evil world was not worth the waiting on, so she would go and see what good things is in the world to come; so when that old rover called the Fever came raging over the whole kingdom, she went away and died out of spite, leaving me nothing.

Tom. O, but, Paddy, you ought to have gone to a doctor, and got some pills and physic for her.

Teag. By Shaint Patrick, I had as good a pill of my own as any doctor in the kingdom could give her.

Tom. O, you fool, that is not what I mean. You ought to have brought the doctor to feel her pulse, and let blood off her if he thought it needful.

Teag. Yes, that's what I did, for I ran to the doctor whenever she died, and sought something for a dead or dying woman. The old foolish devil was at his dinner, and began to ask me some stupid questions, and then kicked me down stairs.

Tom. And in what good order did you bury your wife when she died?

Teag. O, my dear shoy, she was buried in all manner of pomp, pride, and splendour—a fine coffin, with cords in it; and within the coffin, along with herself, she got a pair of new brogues, a penny candle, a good, hard-headed old hammer, with an Irish sixpenny piece, to pay her passage at the gate, and what more could she look for?

Tom. I really think you gave her enough along with her, but you ought to have cried for her, if it was no more but to be in the fashion.

Teag. And why should I cry without sorrow, when we hired two criers to cry all the way before her to keep her in the fashion?

Tom. And what do they cry before a dead woman?

Teag. Why, they cry the common cry, or funeral lament, that is used in our Irish country.

Tom. And what manner of cry is that, Paddy?

Teag. Dear Tom, if you don't know I'll tell you. When any person dies there is a number of criers goes before, saying, "Luff, fuff, fou, allelieu, dear honey, what aileth thee to die! It was not for want of good butter milk and potatoes."

Part III.

Tom. Well, Paddy, and what did you do when your wife died?

Teag. Dear honey, what would I do? Do you think I was such a big fool as to die too? I am sure if I had I would not have got fair play, when I am not so old yet as my father was when he died.

Tom. No, Paddy, it is not that I mean. Was you sorry, or did you weep for her?

Teag. Weep for her! By Shaint Patrick, I would not weep, nor yet be sorry, suppose my own mother and all the women in Ireland had died seven years before I was born.

Tom. What did you do with your children when she died?

Teag. Do you imagine I was such a big fool as bury my children alive along with a dead woman? Arra, dear honey, we always commonly give nothing along with a dead person but an old shirt, a winding sheet, a big hammer, with a long candle, and an Irish silver threepenny piece.

Tom. Dear Paddy, and what do they make of all these things?

Teag. Then, Tom, since you are so inquisitive, you must go ask the priest.

Tom. What did you make of your children, Paddy?

Teag. And what should I make of them? Do you imagine that I should give them into the hands of the butchers, as they had been a parcel of young hogs. By Shaint Patrick, I had more unnaturality in me than to put them in an hospital as others do.

Tom. No; I suppose you would leave them with your friends?

Teag. Ay, ay, a poor man's friends is sometimes worse than a professed enemy. The best friend I ever had in the world was my own pocket while my money lasted; but I left two babes between the priest's door and the parish church, because I thought it was a place of mercy, and then set out for England in quest of another fortune.

Tom. I fancy, Paddy, you came off with what they call a moonshine flitting.

Teag. You lie like a thief now, for I did not see sun, moon, nor stars, all the night then, for I set out for Cork at the dawn of night, and I had travelled twenty miles all but twelve before gloaming in the morning.

Tom. And where did you go to take shipping?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I came to a country village called Dublin, as big a city as any market town in all England, where I got myself aboard of a little young boat with a parcel of fellows and a long leather bag. I supposed them to be tinklers, until I asked what they carried in that leather sack. They told me it was the English mail they were going over with. "Then," said I, "is the milns so scant in England that they must send over their corn to Ireland to grind it?" The comical, cunning fellows persuaded me it was so. Then I went down to a little house below the water, hard by the rigg-back of the boat, and laid me down on their leather sack, where I slept myself almost to death with hunger. And, dear Tom, to tell you plainly, when I waked I did not know where I was, but thought I was dead and buried, for I found nothing all round me but wooden walls and timber above.

Tom. And how did you come to yourself to know where you was at last?

Teag. By the law, dear shoy, I scratched my head in a hundred parts, and then set me down to think upon it; so I minded it was my wife that was dead, and not me, and that I was alive in the young boat with the fellows that carries over the English meal from the Irish milns.

Tom. Oh, then, Paddy, I am sure you was glad when you found yourself alive?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I was very sure I was alive, but I did not think to live long, so I thought it was better for me to steal and be hanged than to live all my days and die directly with hunger at last.

Tom. Had you no meat nor money along with you?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I gave all the money to the captain of the house, or gudeman of the ship, to take me into the sea or over to England; and when I was like to eat my old brogues for want of victuals, I drew my hanger and cut the lock of the leather sack to get a lick of their meal; but, allelieu, dear shoy, I found neither meal nor seeds, but a parcel of papers and letters—a poor morsel for a hungry man.

Tom. Oh, then, Paddy, you laid down your honesty for nothing.

Teag. Ay, ay, I was a great thief, but got nothing to steal.

Tom. And how did you get victuals at last?

Teag. Allelieu, dear honey, the thoughts of meat and drink, death and life, and everything else, was out of mind. I had not a thought but one.

Tom. And what was that, Paddy?

Teag. To go down among the fishes and become a whale; then I would have lived at ease all my days, having nothing to do but to drink salt water and eat caller oysters.

Tom. What was you like to be drowned again?

Teag. Ay, ay, drowned, as cleanly drowned as a fish, for the sea blew very loud, and the wind ran so high, that we were all cast safe on shore, and not one of us drowned at all.

Tom. Where did you go when you came on shore?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I was not able to go anywhere. You might cast a knot on my belly, I was so hollow in the middle, so I went into a gentleman's house and told him the bad fortune I had of being drowned between Ireland and the foot of his garden, where we came all safe ashore. But all the comfort I got from him was a word of truth.

Tom. And what was that, Paddy?

Teag. Why, he told me if I had been a good boy at home I needed not to have gone so far to push my fortune with an empty pocket, to which I answered, "And what magnifies that so long as I am a good workman at no trade at all?"

Tom. I suppose, Paddy, the gentleman would make you dine with him?

Teag. I really thought I was when I saw them roasting and skinning so many black chickens, which was nothing but a few dead crows they were going to eat. "Ho ho," said I, "them is but dry meat at the best. Of all the fowls that flee commend me to the wing of an ox; but all that came to my share was a piece of boiled herring and a roasted potato. That was the first bit of bread I ever ate in England."

Tom. Well, Paddy, what business did you follow after in England when you was so poor?

Teag. What, sir, do you imagine I was poor when I came over on such an honourable occasion as to list, and bring myself to no preferment at all? As I was an able-bodied man in the face, I thought to be made a brigadeer, a grandedeer, or a fuzeleer, or even one of them blew-gowns that holds the fierry stick to the bung-hole of the big cannons when they let them off to fright away the French. I was as sure as no man alive ere I came from Cork, the least preferment I could get was to be riding master to a regiment of marines, or one of the black horse itself.

Tom. And where in England was it you listed?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I was going through a little country village. The streets were very sore by reason of the hardness of my feet and lameness of my brogues, so I went but very slowly across the streets. From port to port is a pretty long way; but I, being weary, thought nothing of it. Then the people came all crowding to me as I had been a world's wonder, or the wandering Jew, for the rain blew in my face and the wind wetted all my belly, which caused me to turn the back of my coat before and my buttons behind, which was a good safeguard to my body, and the starvation of my naked body, for I had not a good shirt.

Tom. I am sure, then, Paddy, they would take you for a fool?

Teag. No, no, sir; they admired me for my wisdom, for I always turned my buttons before when the wind blew behind; but I wondered how the people knew my name and where I came from, for every one told another that was Paddy from Cork. I suppose they knew my face by seeing my name in the newspapers.

Tom. Well, Paddy, what business did you follow in the village?

Teag. To be sure I was not idle, working at nothing at all, till a decruiting sergeant came to town with two or three fellows along with him, one beating on a fiddle, and another playing on a drum, tossing their airs through the streets, as if they were going to be married. I saw them courting none but young men, so, to bring myself to no preferment at all, I listed for a soldier. I was too big for a grandedeer.

Tom. What listing money did you get, Paddy?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I got five thirteens and a pair of English brogues. The guinea, and the rest of the gold, was sent to London to the King, my master, to buy me new shirts, a cockade, and common treasing for my hat. They made me swear the malicious oath of devilry against the king, the colours, and my captain, telling me if ever I desert and not run away that I should be shot, and then whipt to death through the regiment.

Tom. No, Paddy; it is first whipt, and then shot, you mean.

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, it is all one thing at last; but it is best to be shot and then whipt—the cleverest way to die I'll warrant you.

Tom. How much pay did you get, Paddy?

Teag. Do you know the little tall fat sergeant that feed me to be a soldier?

Tom. And how should I know them I never saw, you fool?

Teag. Dear shoy, you may know him whether you see him or not. His face is all bored in holes with the smallpox, his nose is the colour of a lobster-toe, and his chin like a well washen potato. He's the biggest rogue in our kingdom. You'll know him when you meet him again. The rogue height me sixpence a day, kill or no kill; and when I laid Sunday and Saturday both together, and all the days in one day, I can't make a penny above fivepence of it.

Tom. You should have kept an account, and asked your arrears once a month.

Teag. That's what I did, but he reads a paternoster out of his prayer book, wherein all our names are written; so much for a stop-hold to my gun, to bucklers, to a pair of comical harn-hose, with leather buttons from top to toe; and, worst of all, he would have no less than a penny a week to a doctor. "Arra," said I, "I never had a sore finger, nor yet a sick toe, all the days of my life; then what have I to do with the doctor, or the doctor to do with me."

Tom. And did he make you pay all these things?

Teag. Ay, ay, pay and better pay: he took me before his captain, who made me pay all was in his book. "Arra, master captain," said I, "you are a comical sort of a fellow now; you might as well make me pay for my coffin before I be dead, as to pay for a doctor before I be sick;" to which he answered in a passion, "Sir," said he, "I have seen many a better man buried without a coffin;" "Sir," said I, "then I'll have a coffin, die when I will, if there be as much wood in all the world, or I shall not be buried at all." Then he called for the sergeant, saying, "You, sir, go and buy that man's coffin, and put it in the store till he die, and stop sixpence a week off his pay for it." "No, no, sir," said I, "I'll rather die without a coffin, and seek none when I'm dead, but if you are for clipping another sixpence off my pay, keep it all to yourself, and I'll swear all your oaths of agreement we had back again, and then seek soldiers where you will."

Tom. O then, Paddy, how did you end the matter?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, by the nights of Shaint Patrick and help of my brogues, I both ended it and mended it, for the next night before that, I gave them leg bail for my fidelity, and went about the country a fortune-teller, dumb and deaf as I was not.

Tom. How old was you, Paddy, when you was a soldier last?

Teag. Arra, dear honey, I was three dozen all but two, and it is only two years since, so I want only four years of three dozen yet, and when, I live six dozen more, I'll be older than I am, I warrant you.

Tom. O but, Paddy, by your account you are three dozen of years old already:

Teag. O what for a big fool are you now, Tom, when you count the years I lay sick; which time I count no time at all.


Tom. Of all the opinions professed in religion tell me now, Paddy, of what profession art thou?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, my religion was too weighty a matter to carry out of mine own country: I was afraid that you English Presbyterians should pluck it away from me.

Tom. What, Paddy, was your religion such a load that you could not carry it along with you?

Teag. Yes, that it was, but I carried it always about with me when at home, my sweet cross upon my dear breast, bound to my dear button hole.

Tom. And what manner of worship did you perform by that?

Teag. Why, I adored the cross, the pope, and the priest, cursed Oliver as black as crow, and swears myself a cut throat against all Protestants and church of Englandmen.

Tom. And what is the matter but you would be a church of Englandmen, or a Scotch Presbyterian yourself, Paddy?

Teag. Because it is unnatural for an Irishman: but had Shaint Patrick been a Presbyterian, I had been the same.

Tom. And for what reason would you be a Presbyterian then, Paddy?

Teag. Because they have liberty to eat flesh in lent, and everything that's fit for the belly.

Tom. What, Paddy, are you such a lover of flesh that you would change your profession for it?

Teag. O yes, that's what I would. I love flesh of all kinds, sheep's beef, swine's mutton, hare's flesh, and hen's venison; but our religion is one of the hungriest in all the world, ah! but it makes my teeth to weep, and my stomach to water, when I see the Scotch Presbyterians, and English churchmen, in time of lent, feeding upon bulls' and sheep's young children.

Tom. What reward will you get when you are dead, for punishing your stomach so while you are alive?

Teag. By Shaint Patrick I'll live like a king when I'm dead, for I will neither pay for meat nor drink.

Tom. What, Paddy, do you think that you are to come alive again when you are dead?

Teag. O yes, we that are true Roman Catholics will live a long time after we are dead; when we die in love with the priests, and the good people of our profession.

Tom. And what assurance can your priest give you of that?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, our priest is a great shaint, a good shoul, who can repeat a paternoster and Ave Maria, which will fright the very horned devil himself, and make him run for it, until he be like to fall and break his neck.

Tom. And what does he give you when you are dying? that makes you come alive again?

Teag. Why, he writes a letter upon our tongues, sealed with a wafer, gives us a sacrament in our mouth, with a pardon, and direction in our right hand, who to call for at the ports of Purgatory.

Tom. And what money design you to give the priest for your pardon?

Teag. Dear shoy, I wish I had first the money he would take for it, I would rather drink it myself, and then give him both my bill and my honest word, payable in the other world.

Tom. And how then are you to get a passage to the other world, or who is to carry you there?

Teag. O, my dear shoy, Tom, you know nothing of the matter: for when I die, they will bury my body, flesh, blood, dirt, and bones, only my skin will be blown up full of wind and spirit, my dear shoul I mean; and then I will be blown over to the other world on the wings of the wind; and after that I'll never be killed, hanged, nor drowned, nor yet die in my bed, for when any hits me a blow, my new body will play buff upon it like a bladder.

Tom. But what way will you go to the new world, or where is it?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, the priest knows where it is, but I do not, but the Pope of Rome keeps the outer-port, Shaint Patrick the inner-port, and gives us a direction of the way to Shaint Patrick's palace, which stands on the head of the Stalian loch, where I'll have no more to do but chap at the gate.

Tom. What is the need for chapping at the gate, is it not always open?

Teag. Dear shoy, you know little about it, for there is none can enter but red hot Irishmen, for when I call Allelieu, dear honey, Shaint Patrick countenance your own dear countryman if you will, then the gates will be opened directly for me, for he knows and loves an Irishman's voice, as he loves his own heart.

Tom. And what entertainment will you get when you are in?

Teag. O, my dear, we are all kept there until a general review, which is commonly once in the week; and then we are drawn up like as many young recruits, and all the blackguard scoundrels is picked out of the ranks, and one half of them is sent away to the Elysian fields, to curry the weeds from among the potatoes, the other half of them to the River sticks, to catch fishes for Shaint Patrick's table, and them that is owing the priests any money is put in the black hole, and then given to the hands of a great black bitch of a devil, which is keeped for a hangman, who whips them up and down the smoky dungeon every morning for six months.

Tom. Well, Paddy, are you to do as much justice to a Protestant as a Papist?

Teag. O, my dear shoy, the most justice we are commanded to do a Protestant, is to whip and torment them until they confess themselves in the Romish faith; and then cut their throats that they may die believers.

Tom. What business do you follow after at present?

Teag. Arra, dear shoy, I am a mountain sailor and my supplication is as follows—


Good Christian people, behold me a man! who has com'd through a world of wonders, a hell full of hardships, dangers by sea, and dangers by land, and yet I am alive; you may see my hand crooked like a fowl's foot, and that is no wonder at all considering my sufferings and sorrows. Oh! oh! oh! good people. I was a man in my time who had plenty of the gold, plenty of the silver, plenty of the clothes, plenty of the butter, the beer, beef, and biscuit. And now I have nothing: being taken by the Turks and relieved by the Spaniards, lay sixty-six days at the siege of Gibraltar, and got nothing to eat but sea wreck and raw mussels; put to sea for our safety, cast upon the Barbarian coast, among the wicked Algerines, where we were taken and tied with tugs and tadders, horse locks, and cow chains: then cut and castcate yard and testicle quite away, put in your hand and feel how every female's made smooth by the sheer bone, where nothing is to be seen but what is natural. Then made our escape to the desart wild wilderness of Arabia; where we lived among the wild asses, upon wind, sand, and sapless ling. Afterwards put to sea in the hull of an old house, where we were tossed above and below the clouds, being driven through thickets and groves by fierce, coarse, calm, and contrary winds: at last, was cast upon Salisbury plains, where our vessel was dashed to pieces against a cabbage stock. And now my humble petition to you, good Christian people, is for one hundred of your beef, one hundred of your butter, another of your cheese, a cask of your biscuit, a tun of your beer, a keg of your rum, with a pipe of your wine, a lump of your gold, a piece of your silver, a few of your half-pence or farthings, a waught of your butter milk, a pair of your old breeches, stockings, or shoes, even a chaw of tobacco for charity's sake.