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"Well, to be sure, they all stopped ating at wanst, and begun to stare at me; and faith they almost looked me out of countenance; and I thought to myself it was not good manners at all— more betoken from furriners, which they call so mighty p'lite: but I never minded that, in regard o' wantin' the gridiron; and so says I, I beg your pardon,' says I, for the liberty I take, but it's only bein' in disthress in regard of ating,' says I, that I make bowld to throuble yez, and if you could lind me the loan of a gridiron,' says I, 'I'd be entirely obleeged to ye.'
"By gor, they all stared at me twice worse nor before; and with that says I (knowin' what was in their minds), indeed, it's thrue for you,' says I, 'I'm tatthered to pieces, and God knows I look quare enough; but it's by raison of the storm,' says I which dhruv us ashore here below, and we're all starvin',' says I.
"So then they began to look at each other agin; and myself, seeing at wanst dirty thoughts was in their heads, and that they tuk me for a poor beggar comin' to crave charity, - with that says I, Oh! not at all,' says I, 'by no manes: we have plenty o' mate ourselves there below, and we'll dhress it,' says I, 'if you would be pleased to lind us the loan of a gridiron,' says I, makin' a low bow.
"Well, sir, with that, throth they stared at me twice worse nor ever: and faith, I began to think that maybe the captain was wrong, and that it was not France at all at all; and so says I, I beg your pardon, sir,' says I, to a fine ould man with a head of hair as white as silver, maybe I'm undher a mistake,' says I, 'but I thought I was in France, sir; aren't you furriners?' says I, Parly voo frongsay?'
"We, munseer,' says he.
"Then would you lind me the loan of a gridiron,' says I, 'if you plase?'
"Oh, it was thin that they stared at me as if I had seven heads and faith, myself began to feel flusthered like, and onaisy; and so says I, makin' a bow and scrape agin, I know it's a liberty I take, sir,' says I, but it's only in the regard of bein' cast away; and if you plase, sir,' says I, Parly voo frongsay?'
"We, munseer,' says he, mighty sharp.
"Then would you lind me the loan of a gridiron?' says I, and you'll obleege me.'
"Well, sir, the ould chap began to munseer' me; but the
divil a bit of a gridiron he'd gi' me: and so I began to think they wor all neygars, for all their fine manners; and throth my blood begun to rise, and says I, By my sowl, if it was you was in disthriss,' says I, and if it was to ould Ireland you kem, it's not only the gridiron they'd give you, if you axed it, but something to put an it too, and the dhrop o' drink into the bargain, and cead mile failte.'
"Well, the words cead mile failte seemed to sthreck his heart, and the ould chap cocked his ear: and so I thought I'd give another offer, and make him sinsible at last; and so says I wanst more, quite slow, that he might understand, Parly — voo frongsay, munseer?'
"We, munseer,' says he.
“Then lind me the loan of a gridiron,' says I, ‘and bad scram to you.'
"Well, bad win to the bit of it he'd gi' me, and the ould chap begins bowin' and scrapin', and said something or other about long tongs.
"Phoo! the divil sweep yourself and your tongs,' says I: 'I don't want a tongs at all at all; but can't you listen to raison?' says I: Parly voo frongsay?'
"Then lind me the loan of a gridiron,' says I, ‘and howld your prate.'
"Well, what would you think but he shook his owld noddle as much as to say he wouldn't; and so says I, 'Bad cess to the likes o' that I ever seen, throth if you wor in my counthry it's not that-a-way they'd use you: the curse o' the crows an you, you owld sinner,' says I, 'the divil a longer I'll darken your door.'
"So he seen I was vexed; and I thought, as I was turnin' away, I seen him begin to relint, and that his conscience throubled him; and says I, turnin' back, Well, I'll give you one chance more, you ould thief, you a Chrishthan at all at that all the world calls so
all? are you a furriner?' says I, p'lite. Bad luck to you, do you undherstand your own language?-parly voo frongsay?
"We, munseer,' says he.
"Then thunder an turf,' says I, will you lind me the loan of a gridiron ?'
"Well, sir, the divil resave the bit of it he'd gi' me: and so with that, the curse o' the hungry an you, you ould negarly
villian,' says I; the back o' my hand and the sowl o' my fut to you, that you may want a gridiron yourself yit,' says I; and wherever I go, high and low, rich and poor, shall hear o' you,' says I and with that I left them there, sir, and kem away and in throth it's often sence that I thought that it was remarkable."
HANDY ANDY AT THE POST-OFFICE.
(From "Handy Andy.")
"RIDE into the town and see if there's a letter for me," said the Squire one day to our hero.
Andy presented himself at the counter and said, "I want a letther, sir, if you plaze."
"And who do you want it for?" repeated the postmaster. "What's that to you?" said Andy.
The postmaster, laughing at his simplicity, told him he could not tell what letter to give him unless he told him the direction. "The direction I got was to get a letther here; that's the directions."
"Who gave you those directions?"
"And who's your master?"
"What consarn is that o' yours?"
"Why, you stupid rascal, if you don't tell me his name how can I give you a letter?"
"You could give it if you liked; but you're fond of axin' impident questions, bekase you think I'm simple."
"Go along out o' this! Your master must be as great a goose as yourself, to send such a messenger."
"Bad luck to your impidence," said Andy; "is it Squire Egan you dare to say goose to?"
"Oh, Squire Egan's your master, then?"
"Yis; have you anything to say agin it?" "Only that I never saw you before."
"Faith, then, you'll never see me agin if I have my own consint."
"I won't give you any letter for the Squire, unless I know you're his servant. Is there anyone in the town knows you?" "Plenty," said Andy. "It's not everyone is as ignorant as
Just at this moment a person to whom Andy was known
entered the house, who vouched to the postmaster that he might give Andy the Squire's letters.
"Have you one for me?"
"Yes, sir," said the postmaster, producing one "fourpence."
The gentleman paid his fourpence and left the shop with his letter.
"Here is a letter for the Squire," said the postmaster. "You 've to pay me elevenpence postage."
"What 'ud I pay you elevenpence for?"
"To the devil wid you! Didn't I see you give Mr. Durfy a letter for fourpence this minit, and a bigger letther than this? Do you want me to pay elevenpence for this scrap of a thing? Do you think I'm a fool?"
"No, but I'm sure of it," said the postmaster.
“Well, you're welcome, to be sure, sir; but don't be delayin' me now; here's fourpence for you, and gi' me the letther."
"Go along, you stupid thief!" said the postmaster, taking up the letter, and going to serve a customer with a mouse-trap.
While this person and many others were served, Andy lounged up and down the shop, every now and then putting in his head in the middle of the customers, and saying, "Will you gi' me the letther?"
He waited for above half an hour, in defiance of the anathemas of the postmaster, and at last left, when he found it impossible to get common justice for his master, which he thought he deserved as well as another man; for, under this impression, Andy determined to give no more than the fourpence.
The Squire in the meanwhile was getting impatient for his return, and when Andy made his appearance, asked if there was a letter for him.
"There is, sir," said Andy.
"Then give it to me."
"I haven't it, sir."
"He wouldn't give it to me, sir."
"Who wouldn't give it to you?"
"That owld chate beyant in the town - wanting to charge double for it."
Maybe it's a double letter. Why the devil didn't you pay what he asked, sir?"
"Arrah, sir, why should I let you be chated? It's not a double letther at all; not above half the size o' the one Mr. Durfy got before my face for fourpence."
"You'll provoke me to break your neck some day, you vagabond! Ride back for your life, you omadhaun; and pay whatever he asks, and get me the letter."
“Why, sir, I tell you he was selling them before my face for fourpence apiece."
"Go back, you scoundrel, or I'll horse whip you; and if you're longer than an hour, I'll have you ducked in the horsepond."
Andy vanished, and made a second visit to the post-office. When he arrived, two other persons were getting letters, and the postmaster was selecting the epistles for each from a large parcel that lay before him on the counter; at the same time many shop customers were waiting to be served.
"I've come for that letther," said Andy.
"I'll attend to you by and by."
"The masther's in a hurry."
"Let him wait till his hurry's over."
"He'll murther me if I'm not back soon."
"I'm glad to hear it."
While the postmaster went on with such provoking answers to these appeals for dispatch, Andy's eyes caught the heap of letters which lay on the counter; so while certain weighing of soap and tobacco was going forward, he contrived to become possessed of two letters from the heap, and having effected that, waited patiently enough till it was the great man's pleasure to give him the missive directed to his master.
Then did Andy bestride his hack, and, in triumph at his trick on the postmaster, rattled along the road homeward as fast as the beast could carry him. He came into the Squire's presence, his face beaming with delight, and an air of self-satisfied superiority in his manner, quite unaccountable to his master, until he pulled forth his hand, which had been grabbing up his prizes from the bottom of his pocket; and holding three letters over his head, while he said, "Look at that!" he next slapped them down under his broad fist on the table before the Squire, saying:
"Well, if he did make me pay elevenpence, by gor, I brought your honor the worth o' your money anyhow!"