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He, too, was here, the Giant Child,
VOL. CLXV.-NO. M.
Whose Crutch fell heavier than he knew
The Scorpion of the loyal heart,
ΧΡΗ ΔΕΝ ΣΥΜΠΟΣΙΩ ΚΥΛΙΚΩΝ ΠΕΡΙΝΙΣΣΟΜΕΝΑΩΝ
PHOC, ap. Ath.
Scene- The Blue Parlour, Gabriel's Road, Elysium. Time-Eight
o'clock. Tea, coffee, and “the materials" on the table.
THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
SHEPHERD. I'll thank ye, Mr North, to rax us ower the Scotsman whenever ye're dune wi' it.
NORTH. Take it, James; take it. You'll not find much news in it today. “Tuberculosis and Milk," h'm, h'm. “The Crisis in the Whisky Trade,” h’m, him. But have the London papers not come in yet?
SHEPHERD (politely). Alloo me, sir, if ye please. (Jumps up and pulls bell vigorously.
Enter TAPPYTOORY with a large bundle of newspapers which he deposits on the table, and exit.
NORTH. Here they are at last. Well, well, James, they may talk of the improvements of civilisation and the progress of the age, but I gravely doubt if Charon, Limited, be half as punctual as the old boy used to be before his conversion-into a company. Of all the infernal
SHEPHERD. Hooly an' fairly, Mr North, hooly an' fairly. Ye suldna use sic awfu' language. NORTH (rising solemnly and shaking his crutch for five
minutes by the clock at the SHEPHERD). If I thought, James, that the pun was intentional, your pow and this stick would soon become better acquainted.
SHEPHERD (with an air of innocence). Me mak' a pun, Mr North ? H’ard onybody iver the like o’ that!
NORTH (resuming seat). Take warning, O presumptuous Shepherd, and let me continue. Where was I? Ah! those infernal companies. Since the promotion of the Glenmutchkin Railway there has been no such fever of speculation as in the last few years; though I question if there is much which your modern promoter could have taught to Bob M'Corkindale and Augustus Reginald Dunshunner. They knew most of the moves on the board half a century ago; for people forgot then as they forget now that, after all, what counts in a business is the personal element. Personal energy and personal interest are half the battle. Thank heaven, Picardy still keeps his tavern in his own hands. Confound your “managing directors," say I. Give me mine host, and let him strive by strict attention to business to merit a continuance of that esteemed patronage which
SHEPHERD, A noble sentiment, sir, beautifully expressed. There's no' twa ways aboot it. As for me, I didna mak' verra muckle o' the fairming up-bye thonder, but gif I had been working no’ for my ain gudewife an' bairns, but for a wheen ither fouk wha caredna twa straes aboot hillside or headrigg, plough or pasture, an' were aye jist wantin'“ oot” theirsels at a primmium an' to lat in some ither buddy in their place—think ye, Mr North, I wad hae wrocht my hardest ? Think ye I wad hae risen airly an' lain doon late for the likes o’ thon? Na, na, sir; deil the fears o't.
NORTH. Ha! ha! ha! ha!
SHEPHERD. Ay, an' aiblins sell’n a number owre the coonter for a bawbee doon an' a promise to pay nine-an-fifty mair instalments per mensem! Ho! ho !
NORTH. Not forgetting, James, a handsome bookcase, made of the same wood as this crutch, to hold the priceless treasure. На ! ha! ha!
SHEPHERD. But there maun be a speecial byuck - case, a' studded wi’ di’monds an' ither sorts o' jew'llery, to dae justice to the thoosan'th number. Ye'll no hae forgotten, sir, that it'll be oot in Febrwary?
NORTH. Forget, my dear Shepherd ? As soon could a mother forget her child, or you Bonny Kilmeny.
SHEPHERD. Or Mr North the Isle o' Pawms.
NORTH. And therefore, James, I propose to tip you a stave of my own composing in honour of the great occasion. Do you and Mr Tickler give me a hearty chorus.
TICKLER. Hrmmph! Wawawawrmmph!
SHEPHERD. Gude guide us, Mr North, but Southside's been reposin' in the airms o' Murphy for the last quarter o' an 'oor! (Fortissimo.) Wake up, Mr Tickler, sir, an' gie's a haun' in the chorus to Mr North’s braw new sang aboot Maga !
TICKLER (waking up, rubbing eyes, yawning, &c.) Eh? Bless me, what's the matter, gentlemen ? Ah-h-h! A chorus, say you? By all means.
[Clears throat, and pulls himself together.
NORTH. Here goes then, gentlemen.
MAGA: AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG.
A thousand moons have waxed and waned,
And fourscore years have rolled,
With Ebony the bold.
For dunce, and knave, and fool;
Beneath her righteous rule?
For from forty-five George Street to far Wagga-wagga
Or roll the loud log with the sanction of Maga.
She soon took up for Church and King
Her parable with zest,
Invective, reason, jest.