Page images

hunger and thirst for the course of school of poetry, but steel is not to that evening

be despised. If the table was someWe met at five o'clock--sharp, what rickety, the inequality in the and very sharp. Not a man was miss- legs was supplied by clapping a voing when the clock of the Inner lume of Vesey under the short one. Temple struck the last stroke. Jack As for the chairs—but why weary Ginger had done every thing to ad- about details—chairs being made to miration. Nothing could be more be sat upon, it is sufficient to say splendid than his turn-out. He had that they answered their purposes, superintended the cooking himself and whether they had backs or not of every individual dish with his whether they were cane-bottomed, own eyes-or rather eye-he having or hair-bottomed, or rush-bottomed, but one, the other having been lost is nothing to the present enquiry. in a skirmish when he was midship- Jack's habits of discipline made man on board a pirate in the Brazi. him punctual, and dinner was on the lian service. “Ah!” said Jack, of table in less than three minutes after ten and often,“ these were my honest five. Down we sate, hungry as hundays–Gad-did I ever think when ters, and eager for the prey. I was a pirate that I was at the end to “ Is there a parson in company ?” turn rogue, and study the law.”-All said Jack Ginger, from the head of was accurate to the utmost degree. th le, The table-cloth, to be sure, was not “No," responded I, from the foot. exactly white, but it had been washed “ Then, thank God,” said Jack, last week, and the collection of the and proceeded, after this pious plates was miscellaneous, exhibiting grace, to distribute the cod's head several of the choicest patterns of and shoulders to the hungry multiDelf. We were not of the silver-fork tude.


HOW WE DINED AT JACK GINGER's. The history of that cod's head and gillicuddy, wiping his mouth with shoulders would occupy but little the back of his hand. space to write. Its flakes, like the "With pleasure, Joe,"replied Bob. snow flakes on a river, were for one “ What wine do you choose ? You moment bright, then gone for ever; may as well say port, for there is no it perished unpitiably. Bring hi- other; but attention to manners alther,” said Jack, with a firm voice, ways becomes a gentleman." “the leg of pork." It appeared, but " Port, then, if you please," cried soon to disappear again. Not a man Joe, “ as the ladies of Limerick say, of the company but shewed his ab- when a man looks at them across the horrence of the Judaical practice of table.” abstaining from the flesh of swine. " Hobnobbing wastes time,” said Equally clear in a few moments was Jack Ginger, laying, down the pot it that we were truly British in our out of which he had been drinking devotion to beef. The sirloin was im- for the last few minutes ; "and, bepartially destroyed on both sides, sides, it is not customary now in upper and under. Dire was the clat- genteel society—80 pass the bottle ter of the knives, but deep the silence about." of the guests. Jerry Gallagher, Jack's [I here pause in my narrative to valet-de-chambre, footman, cook, state, on more accurate recollection, clerk, shoeblack, aide-de-camp, scout, that we had not decanters; we drank confidant, dun.chaser, bum-defyer, from the black bottle, which Jack and many other offices in commen- declared was according to the fashion dam, toiled like a hero. He covered of the continent.] himself with glory and gravy every So the port was passed round, and moment. In a short time a vocifera declared to be superb. Antony Hartion arose for fluid, and the half-and- rison received the unanimous ap. half-Whitbread quartered upon plause of the company; and, if he Chamyton — beautiful heraldry !- did not blush at all the fine things was inhaled with the most savage that were said in his favour, it was beBatisfaction.

cause his countenance was of that .The pleasure of a glass of wine peculiar hue that no addition of red with you, Bob Burke," said Joe Mac- could be visible upon it. A blush on

Antony's face would be like gilding “For my part,” said Antony Harrefined gold.

rison, “I take this dram because I Whether cheese is prohibited or ate pork, and fear it might disagree not in the higher circles of the West with me.” End, I cannot tell; but I know it was “I take it," said Bob Burke, not prohibited in the very highest “chiefly by reason of the fish.” chambers of the Temple.

“ I take it,” said Joe Macgillicud. “ It's double Gloucester,” said Jack dy, “because the day was warm, and Ginger ; “ prime, bought at the cor- it is very close in these chambers." ner-Heaven pay the cheesemonger, “I take it," said Tom Meggot, for I shan't—but, as he is a gentle- " because I have been very chilly man, I give you his health.”

all the day.” “ I don't think,” said Joe Macgilli- “I take it,” said Humpy Harlow, cuddy," that I ought to demean my. “ because it is such strange weather self to drink the health of a cheese- that one does not know what to do." monger; but I'll not stop the bottle." “ I take it,” said Jack Ginger,

And, to do Joe justice, he did not. “ because the rest of the company Then we attacked the cheese, and in takes it.”. an incredibly short period we bat- “And I take it," said I, winding tered in a breach of an angle of 45 up the conversation, “because I like degrees, in a manner that would have a dram.” done honour to any engineer that

So we all took it for one reason directed the guns at San Sebastian. or another-and there was an end The cheese, which on its first entry of that. on the table presented the appear

“ Be off, Jerry Gallagher,” said ance of a plain circle, was soon made Jack_“Igive to you, your heirs and to exhibit a very different shape, as assigns, all that and those which remay be understood by the subjoined mains in the pots of half-and-halfdiagram :

item for your own dinners what is left of the solids—and when you have pared the bones clean, you may give them to the poor. Charity covers a multitude of sins. Brush away like a shoeblack-and levant."

“Why, thin, God bless your honour,” said Jerry Gallagher, “it's a small liggacy he would have that

would dippind for his daily bread (A, original cheese ; EBD, cheese for what is left behind any of ye in after five minutes standing on the the way of the drink and this blesstable; EBC, angle of 45°.]

ed hour there's not as much as would With cheese came, and with cheese blind the left eye of a midge in one went, celery. It is unnecessary to of them pots--and may it do you all repeat whai a number of puns were good, if it a'n't the blessing of heamade on that most pun-provoking of ven to see you eating. By my sow), plants.

he that has to pick a bone after you, “ Clear the decks,” said Jack Gin- won't be much troubled with the ger to Jerry Gallagher. “ Gentle- mate. Howsomever”. men, I did not think of getting pas- “No more prate,” said Jack Gintry, or puddings, or dessert, or ices, ger. “Here's twopence for you to or jellies, or blancmange, or any buy some beer-but, no,” he conthing of the sort, for men of sense tinued, drawing his empty hand from like you."

that breeches-pocket into which he We all unanimously expressed our had most needlessly put it—"no," indignation at being supposed even said he, “ Jerry-get' it on credit for a moment guilty of any such wherever you can, and bid them weakness; but a general suspicion score it to me.”. seemed to arise among us that a dram "If they will "-said Jerry. might not be rejected with the same “Shut the door,” said Jack Ginmarked scorn. 'Jack Ginger accord- ger, in a peremptory tone, and Jerry ingly uncorked one of Bob Burke's retreated. bottles. Whop! went the cork, and “ That Jerry,” said Jack, “is an the potteen soon was seen meander- uncommonly honest fellow, only he ing round the table.

is the damnedest rogue in London. But all this is wasting time—and get rid of this wine as fast as we can. time is life. Dinner is over, and the Mr Vice, look to your bottles.” business of the evening is about to And on this, Jack Ginger gave a begin. So, bumpers, gentlemen, and bumper toast.


HOW WE CONVERSED AT JACK GINGER's. This being done, every man pulled agricultural interest. We gave it as in his chair close to the table, and our opinion that Don Miguel should prepared for serious action. It was be King of Portugal -and that Don plain, that we all, like Nelson's sail- Carlos, if he had the pluck of the ors at Trafalgar, felt called upon to most nameless of insects, could as. do our duty. The wine circulated cend the throne of Spain. We pitchwith considerable rapidity; and ed Louis Philippe to that place which there was no flinching on the part is never mentioned to ears polite, of any individual of the company. and drank the health of the Duchess It was quite needless for our presiof Berri. Opinions differed somedent to remind us of the necessity what about the Emperor of Russia of bumpers, or the impropriety of -some thinking that he was too hard leaving heel-taps. We were all too on the Poles-others gently blaming well trained to require the admoni- him for not squeezing them much tion, or to fall into the error. On tighter. Antony Harrison, who had the other hand, the chance of any seen the Grand Duke Constantine, man obtaining more than his share when he was campaigning, spoke in the round was infinitesimally with tears in his eyes of that illussmall. The Sergeant himself, ce- trious prince_declaring him, with an lebrated as he is, could not have oath, to have been a d-d good felsucceeded in obtaining a glass more low. As for Leopold, we unanimous. than his neighbours. Just to our ly voted him to be a scurvy hound; friends, we were also just to our. and Joe Macgillicuddy was pleased selves; and a more rigid circle of phi. to say something complimentary of losophers never surrounded a board. the Prince of Orange, which would

The wine was really good, and its have, no doubt, much gratified his merits did not appear the less stri. Royal Highness, if it had been comking from the fact that we were not municated to him, but I fear it nehabitually wine-bibbers, our de- ver reached his ears. votion generally being paid to fluids Turning to domestic policy-we more potent or more heavy than the gave it to the Whigs in high style. juice of the grape, and it soon If Lord Grey had been within hearexcited our powers of conversation. ing, he must have instantly resigned Heavens ! what a flow of soul! -he never could have resisted the More good things were said in Jack thunders of our eloquence. All the Ginger's chambers that evening, than hundred and one Greys would have in the Houses of Lords and Com- been forgotten-he must have sunk mons in a month. We talked of before us. Had Brougham been every thing politics, literature, there, he would have been converted the fine arts, drama, high life, low to Toryism long before he could life, the opera, the cockpit-every have got to the state of tipsyfication thing from the heavens above to the in which be sometimes addresses the hells in St James's Street. There House of Lords. There was not a was not an article in a morning, topic left undiscussed. With one evening, or weekly paper for the hand we arranged Ireland—with anweek before, which we did not re- other put the Colonies in order. Capeat. It was clear that our know. tholic Emancipation was severely ledge of things in general was drawn condemned, and Bob Burke gave the in a vast degree from these recondite glorious, pious, and immortal mesources. In politics we were har. mory. The vote of £20,000,000 to the monious-we were Tories to a man, greasy blacks was much reprobated, and defied the Radicals of all classes, and the opening of the China trade ranks, and conditions. We deplored declared a humbug. We spoke, in the ruin of our country, and breath- fact, articles that would have made ed a sigh over the depression of the the fortunes of half a hundred magazines, if the editors of those works fint thief would not stand more than would have had the perspicacity to the half, for which he merits the most insert them-and this we did with infinite certainty of non-payment.” such ease to ourselves, that we never (You may depend upon it that Harfor a moment stopped the circulation rison was as good as his word, and of the bottle, which kept running on treated the man of bottles according its round rejoicing, while we settled to his deserts.) the affairs of the nation.

The port was gathered to its faThen Antony Harrison told us all thers, and potteen reigned in its stead. his campaigns in the Peninsula, and A most interesting discussion took that capital story how he bilked the place as to what was to be done with tavernkeeper in Portsmouth. Jack it. No doubt, indeed, existed as to Ginger entertained us with an ac- its final destination; but various opi. count of his transactions in the Bra- nions were broached as to the manzils; and as Jack's imagination far ner in which it was to make its way outruns his attention to matters of to its appointed end. Some wished fact, we had them considerably im- that every man should make for himproved. Bob Burke gave us all the self; but that Jack Ginger strenuparticulars of his duel with Ensign ously opposed, because he said it Brady of the 48th, and how be hit would render the drinking unsteady. him on the waistcoat pocket, which, The company divided into two par, fortunately for the Ensigo, contained ties on the great questions of bowl a five-shilling piece, (how he got it or jug. The Irishmen maintained was never accounted for,) which sa- the cause of the latter. Tom Megved him from grim death. From Joe got, who had been reared in GlasMacgillicuddy we heard multifarious gow, and Jack Ginger, who did not narrations of steeple-chases in Tip- forget his sailor propensities, were perary, and of his hunting with the in favour of the former. Much eruBlazers in Galway. Tom Meggot dition was displayed on both sides, expatiated on his college adventures and I believe I may safely say, that in Edinburgh, which he maintained every topic that either learning or to be a far superior city to London, experience could suggest, was exand repeated sundry witty sayings of hausted. At length we called for a the advocates in the Parliament division, when there appearedHouse, who seem to be gentlemen of For the jung,

For the boul, great facetiousness. As for me, I Bob Burke Jack Ginger emptied out all Joe Miller on the Joe Macgillicuddy Humpy Harlow company; and if old Joe could have Antony Harrison Tom Meggot. burst his cerements in the neigh- Myself. bouring churchyard of St Clement Majority 1, in favour of the jug. Danes, he would have been infinitely I was principally moved to vote as delighted with the reception which I did, because I deferred to the the contents of his agreeable miscelIrishmen, as persons who were best lany met with. To tell the truth, my · acquainted with the pature of potjokes were not more known to my teen; and Antony Harrison was on the companions than their stories were same side from former recollections to me. Harrison's campaigns, Gin- of his quarterings in Ireland. Humger's cruises, Burke's duel, Macgilli. py Harlow said, that he made it cuddy's steeple-chases, and Tom

a point always to side with the man Meggot's rows in the High Street, of the house. had been told over and over-so of- “It is settled,” said Jack Ginger, ten indeed, that the several relators "and, as we said of Parliamentary Rebegin to believe that there is some form, though we opposed it, it is now foundation in fact for the wonders law, and must be obeyed. I'll clear which they are continually repeat away these marines, and do you, Bob ing.

Burke, make the punch. I think * I perceive this is the last bottle you will find the lemons good-the of port,” said Jack Ginger; sugar superb--and the water of the suppose that there cannot be any Temple has been famous for centubarm in drinking bad luck to Antony ries.” Harrison's wine-merchant, who did “And I'll back the potteen against not make it the dozen."

any that ever came from the Island “Yes," said Harrison, “the skinof Saints," said Bob, proceeding to

« so I

[ocr errors]

his duty, which all who have the ho- he sang the pathetic ballad of Hugnour of his acquaintance will admit ger-mo-fane. him to be well qualified to perform.

“ I wish I had a red herring's tail," &c. He made it in a couple of big blue water-jugs, observing that making It was an agreeable picture of conpunch in small jugs was nearly as tinued use and ornament, and regreat a bother as ladling from a minded us strongly of the Abyssi. bowl-and as he tossed the steamy nian maid of the Platonic poetry of fluid from jug to jug to mix it kindly, Coleridge.

CHAP. IV. HOW HUMPY HARLOW BROKE SILENCE AT JACK GINGER's. The punch being made, and the the fourth bottle of potteen was conjug revolving, the conversation con- verting into punch, that he had a tinued as before. But it may have desire to speak. We had been for been observed that I have not taken some time busily employed in smoany notice of the share which one of king cigars, when, all on a sudden, a the party, Humpy Harlow, took in it. shrill and sharp voice was heard from The fact is, that he had been silent the midst of a cloud, exclaiming, in a for almost all the evening, being out high treble key,blazed and overborne by the bril- “ Humphries told me"liancy of the conversation of his com- We all puffed our Havannahs with panions. We were all acknowledged the utmost silence, as if we were so wits in our respective lines, whereas many Sachems at a palaver, listening he had not been endowed with the to the narration which issued from same talents. How he came among the misty tabernacle in which Humus I forget; nor did any of us know py Harlow was enveloped. He unwell who or what he was. Some folded a tale of wondrous length, maintained he was a drysalter in the which we never interrupted. No City; others surmised that he might sound was heard save that of the be a pawnbroker at the West End. voice of Harlow, narrating the story Certain it is that he had some money, which had to him been confided by which perhaps might have recom- the unknown Humphries, or the mended him to us, for there was not gentle gliding of the jug, an occaa man in the company who had not sional tingle of a glass, and the soft occasionally borrowed from him a suspiration of the cigar. On moved sum, too trifling, in general, to permit the story in its length, breadth, and any of us to think of repaying it. He thickness, for Harlow gave it to us in was a broken-backed little fellow, as its full dimensions. He abated it not vain of his person as a peacock, and a jot. The firmness which we disaccordingly we always called him played was unequalled since the Humpy Harlow, with the spirit of battle of Waterloo. We sat with gentlemanlike candour which cha determined countenances, exhaling racterised all our conversation. With smoke and inhaling, punch, while a kind feeling towards him, we in the voice still rolled onward. At general permitted him to pay our Jast Harlow came to an end; and a bills for us whenever we dined to Babel of conversation burst from gether at tavern or chop-house, lips in which it had been so long merely to gratify the little fellow's imprisoned. Harlow looked proud vanity, which I have already hinted of his feat, and obtained the thanks to be excessive.

of the company, grateful that he had He had this evening made many come to a conclusion. How we ineffectual attempts to shine, but was finished the potteen-converted my at last obliged to content himself with bottle of rum into a bowl, (for here opening his mouth for the admission, Jack Ginger prevailed)-how Jerry not for the utterance, of good things. Gallagher, by superhuman exerHe was evidently unhappy, and a tions, succeeded in raising a couple rightly constituted mind could not of hundred of oysters for supperavoid pitying his condition. As jug, how the company separated, each to however, succeeded jug, he began to get to his domicile as he could-how recover his self-possession; and it I found, in the morning, my personal was clear, about eleven o'clock, when liberty outraged by the hands of

« PreviousContinue »