« AnteriorContinuar »
pearance promised a good old age, and the length of this article warns me I must leave him to my readers, with a request, that, if their peregrinations lead them along the Riviere de Gênes, they will not refuse to give him a passing call, and to believe that many honest and worthy tradesmen, men of probity and rectitude, are to be found even out of England.
BY F. BARNARD.
I marked where rose a hazel bush
From out its thicket nest,
Its leaves among,
More forward than the rest.
Its long green stalk did o'er the pathway bend;
Its feeble shell,
To profit by the aid of equal friend.
And 'twas the first to catch that ripening ray
Which Nature's face in every hue perfects;
Vain, foolish thing!
Whose leafy screen the embryo fruit protects.
A boy with rambling steps approached the spot:
That hour its last!
Torn from its stem, and cast away to rot.
THE IRISH ASPIRANT.
, and had
adir as would be ship, craving such
se receive from LorWhen this sowas with
The following fact is one of those little episodes in life that are perhaps worth recording. A young, and, (what some people would call a raw) Irishman came to me some time since with a letter of introduction from Mr. H- , the worthy agent of Lord M— , in the sister isle ; his name was Molynooks, (a perversion, I suspect, of the more aristocratical one, in this country) and his credentials represented him to be, what, indeed, he looked, viz., the son of an Irish farmer.
His father was a tenant of Lord M— , and had already written to his lordship, craving such patronage for his hopeful heir as would be likely to put him forward in the world; for, added the sire, with paternal partiality, “My boy is too good for farming; and, besides, seems ambitious to try his fortune in the world, and become a gentleman; so, therefore, I have sent him to London.” My friend H- , however, was a practical man, and naturally thought, that as I had always been one also, an introductory epistle to me would be more likely to serve poor Molynooks, than the reception he might and did receive from Lord M , in Grosvenor Square.
Nevertheless, when this youthful aspirant first appeared at my house, I must confess it was with considerable difficulty I could contemplate his grotesque appearance, or listen to his simple recital (much as I wished to do honour to my friend H- 's recommendation, and, reluctant as I felt to wound the poor fellow's feelings) without giving way to my risible inclinations.
Mr. Molynooks seemed about eighteen years of age-very tall, and tolerably robust, with a rubicund tint on his full cheeks, which served as a foil to a very pale nose and pointed chin. His head, moreover, was almost encircled by a frame of thick, carrotty locks, somewhat resembling an old tarnished frame, rudely carved; and together reminded me of those brickdust copies from the inimitable works of Rubens, which one too often sees in great collections.
Luckily, he had (on entering my room,) taken from the top of this portrait a little narrow-brimmed hat, which must have been made for a younger brother (from whom it was perhaps a parting gift,) else indeed I suspect my wife, who happened to be present, could no more have preserved her gravity of putting on his laughing himself way, and Mr.
than myself, on hearing that such a being was a candidate for literary fame.
There was, however, an air of confidence about the goodnatured creature that made him slow to suspect us of anything but admiration, as we gazed upon his close-buttoned, snuffcoloured coat reaching to the heels, and set off by a dark, blue handkerchief, tied tightly enough round his throat to have suffocated any man living upon more inflammable diet than potatoes. But when our eyes descended to his shoes (which they did for fear of looking him in the face), and saw what the short trousers unluckily betrayed, that he had on no stockings at all, the rigidity of our features slightly gave way, and Mr. Molynooks fairly set us off by laughing himself, while he apologized for "not putting on his best clothes, to pay the visit to a lady."
Of course, I soon set him at ease on this score, and proceeded to inquire in what way I could best serve him, and oblige my excellent friend Mr. H
“Why, den Zur," said he, “in the richest brogue imaginable, “ef ye happen to hav any sort of akquaintance wid the dyrectors of the Hingy house, who should be plaized to put my name down in their books, I would be grately honored thereby, and manewbile, zur, I'll try to emprove mesel' in writing.”
“Well, Mr. Molynooks," I replied, “you may depend upon my doing all I can for you, but really, without knowing more particularly your general qualifications, I shall be rather at a loss what place to seek for you.”
“Oh, niver mind that, zur," said he ; "only do you find the plaice, zur, and I'll answer for making mesel suited thereunto in no time whatever. Meanwhile, zur, I thank you and your good lady there, for resaiving me so kindly, and wish you good morning.”
“Poor fellow !” exclaimed my wife, as he left the room, “ he looks not only very tired, but half starved. Do ask him to have some refreshment, and rest himself a little.”
The surmise was not ill-founded, for, although he showed a little coyness when invited to the pantry, this soon vanished at the sight of a sirloin, and he proved that, however full his heart might have been, his stomach was very empty when about to leave us so abruptly.
But both together were evidently overflowing, and he vowed eternal gratitude to Mrs. Simms, for her “very great kindness towards him, which surely he never could forget.”
Nor did he, I do believe; for within a week's time he called again to report progress, yet was totally unable to do so, till he had assured himself from me, “that Mrs. Simms was quite December, 1819.--VOL. LVI. NO. ccxxiv.
well.” He then proceeded to tell me how hard he had since been working to “emprove his English larning, and most particularly his hand-writing.”
Whereupon I congratulated him, expressing my regret that no situation suited to his peculiar talents had yet presented itself.
“Oh, niver mind, zur," said he, “I can wait patiently a little while yet, because then I'll be the more fit to go to Hingy, no
doubtell, after inust eine
Well, after this, he absented himself so long, that we began to think he must either have gone to “Hingy" in a hurry, or returned to Ireland in despair, and I was on the point of writing my friend H- , to inquire, when Molynooks's grinning face appeared, looking so plump, beneath a new hat, (which, like his other garments, now fitted him) that our alarms were soon dispelled, and our various suspicions roused as to the cause of such a sudden metamorphosis.
He commenced, as usual, by expressing his sincere hope that Mrs. Simms (then in the room) was very well, but followed up this prologue by delicately insinuating that he would explain to me by and bye all about it. Upon this intelligent hint, my wife thought it prudent to retire ; and, drawing near me, he thus began to state his case, and somewhat with an air of mystery.
ir Well, then, zur, I'll just tell you what it is, by which I am zure you'll know I've behaved like a gintleman, and a man of honour likewise.”
“Oh, no doubt-no doubt, Mr. Molynooks," I observed; “I see how it is,-you're going to get married forthwith, or perhaps are so already, for I know, with you Irish gentlemen, it is pretty much a word and a blow, in these matters."
“Why, yes, zur," said he, “that is pretty much the case, surely ;” and here, after hesitating a little, he added, “but, I hope your good lady, though she has left the room, is quite well ?”
“Perfectly so, Mr. Molynooks ; she was, however, willing to afford you every opportunity of explaining your affairs to me, which, pray do, as I really feel anxious for you,” (and in truth I began to suspect the poor fellow had got into some scrape, when he thus proceeded to explain.)
“Ye must know, then, zur, that, happening mesel' to lodge in the house of a young lady, who kept a child-bed linen warehouse, and dealt in shirts likewise, I would often assist hur on a bizzy day, by sorting of these last articles, by which we became so plaized with each other, that we resolved to become partners, like, altogether, for life; and so, sure enough, zur, as you say, we are man and wife, as well as partners in the child-bed linen warehouse, and the manufactory for shirts likewise."
“Well, then, Mr. Molynooks, I suppose you no longer wish to go to India, if you are really married to this young woman, and carrying on such a prosperous business lere ?”
"Really married, is it you say, zur? Oh, surely you don't think, zur, I'd decaive an innocent young creature in that way, though she did say she admired my person and manners, when I first made love to her, and I belaive would go to Hingy wid me, if ever I axed her. So, pray tell Mrs. Simms dis, upon my honour, zur. And, hoping your good lady, like mine, will long continue quite well, I must thank you both for your great kindnesses, and say-good bye t' ye !”
Another interval of several months again passed, before Mr. Molynooks paid us a visit, and then his appearance indicated that the child-bed linen concern, and shirts likewise, had failed to supply him with the gay apparel he sported when last with us, all of which his long face soon confirmed, as well as his tongue.
After, therefore, as usual, expressing his hope that Mrs. Simms was quite well, he proceeded to state that, finding business too slack to support both him and his wife, he had resumed his writing lessons, preparatory to going out to Hingy, if I would again assist him to do so.
“What !” I said ; "and leave your wife behind ?”
“Ob dear no, zur, she'll go wid me, if I get the good appointment I hope for; besides, zur,” he added, "we have fortunately got no bairns yet," and rather jocosely hinted that they would be bad customers to a child-bed linen warehouse, though he took a few shirts out of it, now and then, to be sure, to help the consarn. But how lucky it was, zur, for us both, that I've kept up my handwriting.”
“Well, perhaps it is," I replied ; " still, I can't exactly see how this branch of your education should be so much more important than all the rest, unless, indeed, you mean to go out as a schoolmaster, and even then a little knowledge of arithmetic will, of course, be required, in India as well as England. So, too, if you enter the army, one is quite as much wanted as the other. Do pray, therefore, Mr. Molynooks, explain this to me, before I make any application to the India Company on your behalf.”
“Oh, it is sartainly not for a soldier I'd go, though I balaive my figure and face would help me on there better than writing: still, I niver did like fighting in my own dear country, where we've so much of it, and rather think myself fitted for a civil