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NORTH

SHEPHERD.

When a sudden strong frost succeeds a week's wet, James, icicles make really a pretty show, as depending from slate or thatch eaves of cot or palace, they glitter in the sunlight, with something even of the lustre of the rainbow. The eye regards, with a sort of sensuous pleasure, the fantastic and fairy frostwork. But it soon is satisfied with the peg-like display of prisms—for even to the sense of sight they are cold, James-cold-we blow our fingers-on with our gloves—and leave the icicles to the admiration of schoolboys, who regard with open mouths and uplifted hands the raree-show-but who soon pass by unheeding when familiar with the dripping brotherhood, as they melt

away beneath the meridian beat into the common mire of the street. Sheil's speeches are as formal and as cold as any long low level eaves of icicles --and can any other quality, James, supposing it to be there, compensate for frigidity?

Neither man nor woman can thole frigidity. It's the death o' every thing, either dangerous or delightfu’-and then, because in his case it's sae totally unexpected-it strikes a chill into the marrow o' the back-bane-comin' either frae the haun' or the tongue o' an Eerishman.

Mr Sheil is a man of education-and something, though not much, of a scholar. You have real his plays ?

Are they tragedies, comedies, or farces ? A sort of unintended mixture of the three, James. Occasionally rather elegant

Rather elegant! Oh, sir, that's damnation to a drama! Pity me the day! An elegant tragedy! Yet aiblins no sae very elegant either, if we tak a critical look at it

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

No me.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

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Just as my leddy's waitin' maid, or my leddy's milliner, whom you may hae mista’en, at a hasty glance, for my leddy hersell, is sune seen and heard thro', when you begin to flirt wi' her on the ootside o' a cotch.

NORTH.

The outside of a coach, James ?

SHEPHERD.

Yes, the ootside o' a cotch, Kit. For she's aye sae fashous in pu’in' her petticoats ower her coots, though you're no lookin' at them; and aye drawin' her shawl across her breist, or rather wushin' you to do that for her, though there's neither cauld nor wund; and instead o' looking straight forrit, aye leerin' unaccoontably frae aneath her curls to the tae side and every noo and then pretendin' to be frichtened whan ane o' the blin' leaders gies a start or a stumble, that she may press her shoother at the least again' yours—and then when she does ventur to begin to speak, keepin' at it tongue and nail, up bill and doon bill, the hail fifteen-mile-stage, wi' an H afore every vooel to help it out, and makin' use o' the maist comicallest words that are no even provincialisms, but peculiar to peculiar butlers in peculiar servants' ha's; sae that you're sair bamboozled to form a conjecture o' her meanin', and out o' pure gude breedin' are under the necessity, the first owershadowin' tree you cum to on the road, to loot down aneath her bannet and gie her a kiss.

NORTH. And that somewhat amatory description of a would-be lady, you conceive, James, to answer, at the same time, for a critical dissertation on the dramatic genius of Mr Sheil ?

SILEPHERD. I leave you to judge o' that, sir. The pictur's drawn frae natur and experience—but it's for you and ithers to mak the application, for I ne'er read a verse of Mr Sheil's in my life-and after yon beastly abuse, in a speech o' his that has long been dead and stinkin', o' the late gude and gracious Duke o' York, wliom all Britain loved-gude God! in the last stage o' a dropsy! and a' Eerland loved too, savin' and acceppin' the disgustin'imp himsell-confoond me gin I ever wull, though it were to save his neck frae the gallows.

With that sentiment, my dear Shepherd, all mankind will sympathise. Yet it was no outrage on the dying Duke.

What?

NORTH

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

Sheil, as he uttered those foul execrations, was simply in the condition of a drunk street-blackguard, who, in attempting to spit in the face of some sickly gentleman well stricken in years, grew so sick with blue ruin as to spew while a sudden blast of wind from an opposite direction blew the filth back with a blash all over his own ferocious physiognomy, forcing the self-punished brute, amidst the hootings of the half-mirthful, half-abhorring mob, to stoop staggering over the gutter, and, in strong convulsions, to empty his stomach into the common sewer.

Ma faith! you tawk o' my strang language ? What's a' the coorse things I ever said at the Noctes Ambrosianæ puttin' thegither in comparison wi' that?

NORTH. Far too mild, James. Let him or her who thinks otherwise fling Maga into the fire from the arms of " the rude and boisterous North,” fly into those of the sweet and simpering Sheil—for“ rude am I in speech, and little graced with the set phrase of peace,” iron would not melt in my mouth nor butter in his -yes, he is as mealy-mouthed on occasion as a flour sack in autumn-as honeylipped as a bee-hive in spring-Yet hearken to me, James—his potatoe-trapto borrow a good vulgarism of his own country, is liker the hole of a wasp's nest, when in the heat of the dog-days all the angry insects are aswarm, all at work, heaven only knows exactly at what, but manifestly bent on mischief, and ready to bury themselves with a bizz in the hair of your head, or to sting out your eyes lost in a blue-swelling, if you so much as look at them as the yellow Shanavests are robbing the hives of the beautiful industrious Orangemen the bees—aye just as the Catholic crew would, if they dared, rob the domiciles of the Protestants, upset if they could, James, the great Hives of National Industry, and

SHEPHERD. Murder a' the Queen Bees. There's a cleemax!

NORTH. Do they, or do they not, seek the destruction of the Protestant Established Church in Ireland ?

SHEPHERD. Leears, as most o' the Roman leaders are, they sometimes speak the truth and I believe them when they say, as they have said a thousand times coram populo, that that will be the most glorious, the most blessed day for Ireland, which sees that Church razed to its foundation-stane, and hears the huzzas o' the seven millions mixed wi' the dusty thunder o'its overthrow.

Let all Protestants therefore, who hope to hear the echoes of that consummation, vote for Catholic emancipation. Let all Protestants who venerate the holy altar of the Living Temple resist Catholic emancipation, even to the death! though to avert that calamity, they once more must see the green shamrockGod bless it-blush red and for a season trodden with pain under patriotic feet, torn from the foreheads of traitors and rebels.

SHEPHERD.
What ! mercy on us ! ye’re for fechtin'-are ye, sir?

NORTH. No, James, I am for peace ; but though blustering and bullying may for a long time be despised, yet when ruffians shake their fists or flourish their shillelas in your face, or begin sharpening their pikes, James-then it is time

NORTH.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

to point with your hand to your sword—So, James-somto recite with the alteration of one word those lines of Milton

“ HE SPOKE—AND TO CONFIRM HIS WORDS, OUT FLEW
MILLIONS OF FLAMING SWORDS DRAWN FROM THE THIGH
OF MIGHTY PROTESTANTS!"

SHEPHERD,
Wha spak?
Wellington.

Oh! do, my dear sir, I beseech you, tell me what can be the meanin', in a case like this, oʻ-securities,

NORTH. A man of common prudence, James-a man who was not a downright abe solute born idiot, would not lend five pounds on such securities as are talked of by some politicians as sufficient to lend out upon them the dearest and most vital rights and privileges that belong to us as Protestants, to our avowed enemies the Catholics, whose religious duty it is-let frightened fools deny it, and get laughed at and murdered for their cowardly falsehoods—to overthrow Church and State. For we, James, the prime of the people of England, and Scotland, and Ireland—that is, of the Earth-are Heretics-that is, we love the Tree of Freedom that is planted on earth, because it is a scion from the Tree of Life that grows in heaven “ fast by the Throne of God.” For centu. ries now have we flourished beneath its shade, and been refreshed with its fruit. age. But had the Roman Catholics sway, the axe would be laid to its root

SHEPHERD. Mony a thump it would thole afore the bark even was chipped through o' the gnarled aik; for, wi' your permission, I change the eemage frae a fruit intil a forest-tree; but then, sir, as you weel ken, the bark's

Not like “ the unfeeling armour of old Time

Na, sir; but like the very hide o' a man, a horse, or an elephant, protectin' the beautifu' and fine vein-machinery through which the blood or the sap keeps ebbing and flowing, just as mysteriously as the tides o' the great sea. For my ain pairt, I hae nae fears that a' the axes o' our enemies, langarmed and roun'-shoother'd though the race o' Eerishers be, could ever, were they to hack awa for ten thousan' years, penetrate through the outer ring, o' the flint-hard wood, far less lab awa intil the heart o' the michty bole o' ihe Tree

NORTH.
“ Like a cedar on the top of Lebanon
Darkening the sea.”

SHEPHERD. Na, na, na. For there's nae saft silly sap in the body o' the tremendous auld giant. He's a' heart, sir-and the edges o' their axes would be turned as if strucken against granite.

NORTH,
True, James-most beautifully, sublimely true!

SHEPHERD. Yet still an aik-tree (be thinkin' o' the British Constitution, sir), though o' a' things that grow, wi' roots far down in earth, and branches high up in heaven, the maist storm-lovin' and thunder-proof, depends for its verra life amaist as muckle on its outer rind as on its inner heart. Tear aff or cut through the rind, and the bole festers with fungus's, that, like verra cancers, keep eatin', and eatin', and eatin' day and nicht, summer and winter, into the mysterious principle o' leafy life.

NORTH. You speak like a man inspired, James.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

SHEPHERD.

Hae na ye seen, sir, and amaist grat in the solitude to see, some noble Tree, it matters not whether elm, ash, or aik, staunin' sick sick-like in the forest why or wherefore you canna weel tell—for a roun' the black deep soil is pervious to the rains and dews, and a great river gangs sweepin' by its roots, gently waterin' them when it rins laigh, and dashin' drumly yards up the bank when it'sinspate-and yet the constitution o’thetree, sir, is gane--its big branches a' tattery wi’ unhealthfu' moss, and it's wee anes a' frush as saugh-wands, and tryin' in vain to shoot out their buds unto the spring-so the hawk or heron builds there nae mair-and you are willing, rather than the monarch o' the wood should thus dee o' consumption, that axes should be laid to his root, and pulleys fastened to his bole and branches, to rug him doon out o' that lang slaw linger o’ dwining death, till at last, wi' ae crash no unworthy o' him, doon he comes--owerwhelming hunders o'smaʼsaplins, and inferior stannards, and alarmin' distant vales wi' the unaccountable thunder o’his fa'-no the less awfu' because lang expecket, and leavin' a gap that 'ill no be filled up for centuriesperhaps never while the earth is the earth, and wi' a' its ither trees gangs circlin' round the sun, who misses, as niest morning he rises in the east, the lang-illumined Glory!

NORTH.

Better and better still, my dear James. The bold, bluff, sea-breeze-bronzed Men of Kent, James, how their strong lungs must have crowed within their broad bosoms, to see Sheil attempting to introduce on that stage the principal part in the farce of the Fantoccini !

Oh! the puppy !-Oh! the puppet!

SHEPHERD.

NORTH.

SHEPHERD.

A great soul in a small body-and I know some such—is a noble-yes, a noble spectacle !-for there mind triumphs over matter, or, rather, dilates the diminutive form into kindred majesty ;--or, what is most likely, the shape is sunk, and we see, while we hear, only the soul.

That's as true a word's ever was spoken, sir. As reasonably admire a great, big, hulkin' fallow wi' a wee sowl, as think o' undervaluin' a man wi' a wee, neat body,-or even if it's no neat, -wi'a sowl fit for a giant. Never mind the size o' a man. Let him, on risin' to speak, tak the advantage o’a stool, sae that his head be on a level wi' the lave, and when the fire o’genius flashes frae his een, and the flood o'eloquence frae his lips, a' the waves o' that livin' sea will be charmed into a cawm; and whan he ceases speakin', and, jumpin' aff the stool, disappears, that livin' sea will hail him wi' its thunder, like fifty thousan' billows, at full tide, breakin' against the beach.

NORTH. Admirable, my dear James, admirable !—But here was a puppet indeed! jerking legs and arms, and contorting nose and mouth, as if to a string, managed by Punch, or Punch's wife, beneath the platform.

SHEPHERD. Sputterin' out amang shoots and shrieks o' involuntary lauchter—for man's by nature a lauchin' animal, and that distinguishes him frae a' the beasts, no acceppin' the lauchin' hyena, who after a' only grunts--sentences o' a speech, written a fortnight afore in Eerland !

NORTH. Something inexpressibly ludicrous in the whole concern from beginning to end, James. The farewell to his native shores—the passage to Liverpool' by steam-his approach in the mail towards London, of which that mighty mea tropolis lay, with all its millions, unconscious and unaware—and finally, the irresistible appearance of the ape in a cart on the Heath, with his mows and grins, and strangely accented chatter, so different from that of the same species in the Tower or Exeter 'Change—the rage of the animal on being what is absurdly called insulted, that is, treated in one universal and varied roar, with the tribute felt, by sixty-or say thirty thousand Englishmen,—to be due to one small Paddy, self-elected representative of the seven millions and whom any Jack Tibbutts of a Kent yeoman could have put into his breeches.pocket,

SHEPHERD.

where the little orator, like the caterwauling voice of a ventriloquist suddenly thrown into your apparel, would have delivered a speech just as like the one he did from the cart, as its report in the Sun newspaper.

Haw-haw-haw! about midnight, sir, you begin to open out granly, and to wax wondrous comical. But what say ye to O'Connell ? Dan, again, James

AMBROSE—(entering with his suavest physiognomy.) Beg pardon, Mr North, for venturing in unrung, but there's a young lady wishing to speak with you

NORTH

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SHEPHERD.

Miss Sandford had got alarmed, sir-
Safe us! only look at the time-piece! Foure o'clock in the mornin'!
And has walked up from the Lodge

AMBROSE.

NORTH

What ? Alone!

AMBROSE.

No, sir. Her father is with her--and she bids me say—now that she knows her master is well—that here is your Kilmarnock nightcap.

(Me North submits his head to Picardy, who adjusts the nightcap.)

SHEPHERD.

What a cowl !

NORTH

SHEPHERD.

A capote-James. Mr Ambrose,—we three must sleep here all night.

A’mornin' ye mean. Tak’ care o' Tickler amang ye—but recollect it's no safe to wauken sleepin' dowgs. -Oh! man! Mr North! Sir! but that was touchin' attention in puir Eelen. She's like a dochter, indeed.--Come awa', you auld vagabon', to your bed. I'll kick open the door o' your dormitory wi' my fit, as I pass alang the trans in the mornin.' The mornin'! Faith I'm beginnin' already to get hungry for breakfast! Come awa, you auld vagabon' -come

(Exeunt North and SHEPHERD, followed by the Height of TICKLER,
to Roost.)

NORTH-(singing as they go.)
“Early to bed, and early to rise,
Is the way to be healthy, wealthy, and wise !"

Da Capo.

awa.

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