Billeder på siden

one, and the departure of the other, affected him as deeply as his careless, thoughtless disposition would admit of. He came to pay his farewell visit, and was entering the room, with ludicrous melancholy pictured on his counte, nance, when happening to meet the attendant going out with the child, he, as a matter of course, first kissed her, en passant, and then the infant, (who seemed mightily pleased with the compliment paid to him and his nurse,) and with a sorrowful face, commenced ;.“ So you are going away, I hear. Well, don't look cross at me for kissing the girl ; and what am I to do without any body to take care of me? But what an unfortunate devil I have been since I came to this cursed country; and at Bunker's-Hill I was in beautiful luck, wasn't I? Why I saw no more of the fun than if I had been in Cunemara! I'm sure it was some blackguard trying how far his rifle would kill, that drilled me, for no one was hit but myself for half an hour after. All I know is, that I knew nothing at all till I found myself in my own bed, and then, at least, I expected the Company, and what did they do but send that


scare-crow from the Horse-Guards—the devil bother them for the same; but the regiment were told to bless God and the Duke, that they did not make a grenadier of his Lordship. But there's one comfort-he's in the raven's book, and his last leave of absence is on the road.”

“ Pray, are you and he acquainted yet?"

“Oh Lord, yes, intimate as brothers-did'nt the Colonel bring him in yesterday to the Mess in one hand, and a croft of toast and water in the other, for the crature never tastes wine ; and he talked of St. James's, and field-days in Hyde-Park, and at eight o'clock his servant came with a great coat and a muff and tippet, and some of the lads said that he walked in pattens, to keep his feet from the gravel; but, at all events, off he set, greatly alarmed for fear the night air would injure him."

O'Hara laughed at the lively description which his countryman gave of the successor of the gallant Edwards.

“ But if you had seen him," continued Malowney, “ when he showed upon parade--that exceeded any thing he was powdered and pomatumed to the life, and his clothes was what

an Irish tailor calls an easy fit,' for they touched him no place ; certainly he was not by when his measure was taken; and the weight of him-he'll not be hard run to find a charger when he gets the regiment.”

The chord of Malowney's humour was struck, and on he went without stopping. ." But yesterday he sent to excuse himself Parade, as he was unwell; and thought I, its good manners to ask him how he is afterwards, so over I went to his quarters, and found him, large as life, stretched upon a sofa. It was a fine warm day, but he had a blazing wood fire on: up I went, and took him by the hand; I gave him a bit of a shake, and he roared lustily,

Easy, easy, my dear Ma-Ma'- lowney', says I, helping him out with it, for I had nearly shook the breath out of him: by-theby, I was thinking if he had gone off in the shake, could they have hanged me for murder. Árrah! what's the matter with your Lordship? says I. He coughed hard. I'm afraid, says I, your bellows are bad, and if that's the case, when the Spring comes here, you'll go like snow off a ditch.'

“Do I look very-very ill, dear Malowney?' ««• The devil a worse, says I.'

“ Oh!' says he, “it's these pills : I take two in the morning, and they require great care, for there are twelve grains of calomel divided among thirty-six.' .« I'll tell you what,' says I, - you're killing yourself; let me roll up fifteen or twenty of them in a lump; swallow that, and it will be the life of you. Why they are only fit for the canary in the corner there.'

666 Speak lower, my dear fellow,' says he, * for my head is aching.'

“In came a foreign-looking villain, too rosy in the nose for a water-drinker, with chocolate; he offered me some, but I told him I preferred spirits and water. His Lordship appeared thunderstruck, and swore it was rank poison. • It may be so,' says I, “but it's a slow one, for I have drank it since I was born; but as may be it's not in the house, there's a bottle on the sideboard that looks like Madeira ; I wouldn't care to taste a drop in a tumbler.' He spoke gibberish to his valet, I'm sure it was not Irish :-the fellow went to the table, and poured a little into the bottom of the glass. Says I, • I beg your Lordship’s pardon, but as I don't speak the languages, will you tell that saffron-faced gentleman to raise his hand a trifle, and help me as as he helps himself.'"

O'Hara laughed, as he exclaimed, “Upon my life, Malowney, you are a most unblushing dog, to treat your commanding Officer, and a Nobleman to boot, with such easy familiarity."

Malowney smiled, and continued ; “ Well, in comes Serjeant O'Neill with the orderly-book. What the devil have you there, O'Neill ?” says I.

«« Nothing strange,' says he, . only we're expecting some night to be called upon to retake this damned neck, please your honour, which these Yankees have taken a fancy to lately.'

66" To carry it,' says I, 'won't be very easy.'

"• Yourself would say that, if you but knew all,' replied the Serjeant. It was reconnoitred this morning, and may be, they are not prepared for us ; not content with ditches and shells, they have paraded a row of tobacco hogsheads, filt with rocks and paving stones along

« ForrigeFortsæt »