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    Act I

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    Chapter 2
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    SCENE I.

    A Dressing-Room in Bannow-Castle, in Ireland.

    Enter Sir WILLIAM HAMDEN, in his morning-gown.

    Sir W. Every thing precisely in order, even in Ireland!--laid, I do believe, at the very same angle at which they used to be placed on my own dressing-table, at Hamden-place, in Kent. Exact Gilbert! most punctual of valet de chambres!--and a young fellow, as he is, too! It is admirable!--Ay, though he looks as if he were made of wood, and moves like an automaton, he has a warm heart, and a true English spirit--true-born English every inch of him. I remember him, when first I saw him ten years ago at his father's, Farmer Ashfield's, at the harvest-home; there was Gilbert in all his glory, seated on the top of a hay-rick, singing,

    "Then sing in praise of men of Kent, So loyal, brave, and free; Of Britain's race, if one surpass, A man of Kent is he!"

    How he brought himself to quit the men of Kent to come to Ireland with me is wonderful. However, now he is here, I hope he is tolerably happy: I must ask the question in direct terms; for Gilbert would never speak till spoken to, let him feel what he might.

    Sir W. (calls) Gilbert!--Gilbert!

    Enter GILBERT.

    Gilb. Here, sir.

    Sir W. Gilbert, now you have been in Ireland some weeks, I hope you are not unhappy.

    Gilb. No, sir, thank you, sir.

    Sir W. But are you happy, man?

    Gilb. Yes, sir, thank you, sir.

    [GILBERT retires, and seems busy arranging his master's clothes: Sir WILLIAM continues dressing.

    Sir W. (aside) Yes, sir, thank you, sir. As dry as a chip--sparing of his words, as if they were his last. And the fellow can talk if he would--has humour, too, if one could get it out; and eloquence, could I but touch the right string, the heartstring. I'll try again. (Aloud) Gilbert!

    Gilb. Yes, sir. (Comes forward respectfully.)

    Sir W. Pray what regiment was it that was passing yesterday through the village of Bannow?

    Gilb. I do not know, indeed, sir.

    Sir W. That is to say, you saw they were Highlanders, and that was enough for you--you are not fond of the Scotch, Gilbert?

    Gilb. No, sir, I can't say as I be.

    Sir W. But, Gilbert, for my sake you must conquer this prejudice. I have many Scotch friends whom I shall go to visit one of these days--excellent friends they are!

    Gilb. Are they, sir? If so be you found them so, I will do my best, I'm sure.

    Sir W. Then pray go down to the inn here, and inquire if any of the Scotch officers are there.

    Gilb. I will, sir. I heard say the officers went off this morning.

    Sir W. Then you need not go to inquire for them.

    Gilb. No, sir. Only as I heard say, the drum-major and band is to stay a few days in Bannow, on account of their wanting to enlist a new bugle-boy. I was a thinking, if so be, sir, you thought well of it, on account you like these Scotch, I'd better to step down, and see how the men be as to being comfortable.

    Sir W. That's right, do. Pray, have they tolerable accommodations at the inn in this village?

    Gilb. (smiling) I can't say much for that, sir.

    Sir W. (aside) Now I shall set him going. (Aloud) What, the inn here is not like one of our English inns on the Bath road?

    Gilb. (suppressing a laugh) Bath road! Bless you, sir, it's no more like an inn on the Bath road, nor on any road, cross or by-road whatsomdever, as ever I seed in England. No more like--no more like than nothing at all, sir!

    Sir W. What sort of a place is it, then?

    Gilb. Why, sir, I'd be ashamed almost to tell you. Why, sir, I never seed such a place to call an inn, in all my born days afore. First and foremost, sir, there's the pig is in and out of the kitchen all day long, and next the calf has what they call the run of the kitchen; so what with them brute beasts, and the poultry that has no coop, and is always under one's feet, or over one's head, the kitchen is no place for a Christian, even to eat his bread and cheese in.

    Sir W. Well, so much for the kitchen. But the parlour--they have a parlour, I suppose?

    Gilb. Yes, sir, they have a parlour as they may call it, if they think proper, sir. But then again, an honest English farmer would be afeard on his life to stay in it, on account of the ceiling just a coming down a' top of his head. And if he should go up stairs, sir, why that's as bad again, and worse; for the half of them there stairs is rotten, and ever so many pulled down and burnt.

    Sir W. Burnt!--the stairs?

    Gilb. Burnt, sir, as sure as I'm standing here!--burnt, sir, for fuel one scarce year, as they says, sir. Moreover, when a man does get up the stairs, sir, why he is as bad off again, and worse; for the floor of the place they calls the bedchamber, shakes at every step, as if it was a coming down with one; and the walls has all cracks, from top to toe--and there's rat-holes, or holes o' some sort or t'other, all in the floor: so that if a man don't pick his steps curiously, his leg must go down through the ceiling below. And moreover, there's holes over head through the roof, sir; so that if it rains, it can't but pour on the bed. They tell me, they used for to shift the bed from one place to another, to find, as they say, the dry corner; but now the floor is grown so crazy, they dare not stir the bed for their lives.

    Sir W. Worse and worse!

    Gilb. And moreover, they have it now in the worst place in the whole room, sir. Close at the head of the bed, there is a window with every pane broke, and some out entirely, and the women's petticoats and the men's hats just stuck in to stop all for the night, as they say, sir.

    [GILBERT tries to stifle his laughter.

    Sir W. Laugh out, honest Gilbert. In spite of your gravity and your civility, laugh. There is no harm, but sometimes a great deal of good done by laughing, especially in Ireland. Laughing has mended, or caused to be mended, many things that never would have been mended otherwise.

    Gilb. (recovering his gravity) That's true, I dare to say, sir.

    Sir W. Now, Gilbert, if you were to keep an inn, it would be a very different sort of inn from what you have been describing--would not it?

    Gilb. I hope so, sir.

    Sir W. I remember when we were talking of establishing you in England, that your father told me you would like to set up an inn.

    Gilb. (his face brightening) For sartin, sir, 'tis the thing in the whole world I should like the best, and be the proudest on, if so be it was in my power, and if so be, sir, you could spare me. (Holding his master's coat for him to put on.)

    Sir W. Could. spare you, Gilbert!--I will spare you, whether I can conveniently or not. If I had an opportunity of establishing advantageously a man who has served me faithfully for ten years, do you think I would not put myself to a little inconvenience to do it?--Gilbert, you do not know Sir William Hamden.

    Gilb. Thank you, sir, but I do--and I should be main sorry to leave you, that's sartin, if it was even to be landlord of the best inn in all England--I know I should.

    Sir W. I believe it.--But, stay--let us understand one another--I am not talking of England, and perhaps you are not thinking of Ireland.

    Gilb. Yes, sir, but I am.

    Sir W. You are! I am heartily glad to hear it, for then I can serve you directly. This young heiress, my niece, to whom this town belongs, has a new inn ready built.

    Gilb. I know, sir.

    Sir W. Then, Gilbert, write a proposal for this inn, if you wish for it, and I will speak to my niece.

    Gilb. (bowing) I thank you, sir--only I hope I shall not stand in any honest man's light. As to a dishonest man, I can't say I value standing in his light, being that he has no right to have any, as I can see.

    Sir W. So, Gilbert, you will settle in Ireland at last? I am heartily glad to see you have overcome your prejudices against this country. How has this been brought about?

    Gilb. Why, sir, the thing was, I didn't know nothing about it, and there was a many lies told backwards and forwards of Ireland, by a many that ought to have known better.

    Sir W. And now that you have seen with your own eyes, you are happily convinced that in Ireland the men are not all savages.

    Gilb. No, sir, no ways savage, except in the article of some of them going bare-footed; but the men is good men, most of them.

    Sir W. And the women? You find that they have not wings on their shoulders.

    Gilb. No, sir. (Smiling) And I'm glad they have not got wings, else they might fly away from us, which I'd be sorry for--some of them.

    [After making this speech, GILBERT steps back, and brushes his master's hat diligently.

    Sir W. (aside) Ha! is that the case? Now I understand it all. 'Tis fair, that Cupid, who blinds so many, should open the eyes of some of his votaries. (Aloud.) When you set up as landlord in your new inn, Gilbert, (Gilbert comes forward) you will want a landlady, shall not you?

    Gilb. (falls back, and answers) I shall, sir, I suppose.

    Sir W. Miss--what's her name? the daughter of the landlord of the present inn. Miss--what's her name?

    Gilb. (answers without coming forward) Miss Gallagher, sir.

    Sir W. Miss Gallagher?--A very ugly name!--I think it would be charity to change it, Gilbert.

    Gilb. (bashfully) It would, no doubt, sir.

    Sir W. She is a very pretty girl.

    Gilb. She is, sir, no doubt.

    [Cleaning the brush with his hand, bows, and is retiring.

    Sir W. Gilbert, stay, (GILBERT returns.) I say, Gilbert, I took particular notice of this Miss Gallagher, as she was speaking to you last Sunday. I thought she seemed to smile upon you, Gilbert.

    Gilb. (very bashfully) I can't say, indeed, sir.

    Sir W. I don't mean, my good Gilbert, to press you to say any thing that you don't choose to say. It was not from idle curiosity that I asked any questions, but from a sincere desire to serve you in whatever way you like best, Gilbert.

    Gilb. Oh, dear master! I can't speak, you are so good to me, and always was--too good!--so I say nothing. Only I'm not ungrateful--I know I'm not ungrateful, that I am not! And as to the rest, there's not a thought I have, you'd condescend for to know, but you should know it as soon as my mother--that's to say, as soon as ever I knowed it myself. But, sir, the thing is this, since you're so good to let me speak to you, sir--

    Sir W. Speak on, pray, my good fellow.

    Gilb. Then, sir, the thing is this. There's one girl, they say, has set her thoughts upon me: now I don't like she, because why? I loves another; but I should not choose to say so, on account of its not being over and above civil, and on account of my not knowing yet for sartin whether or not the girl I loves loves me, being I never yet could bring myself to ask her the question. I'd rather not mention her name neither, till I be more at a sartinty. But since you be so kind, sir, if you be so good to give me till this evening, sir, as I have now, with the hopes of the new inn, an independency to offer her, I will take courage, and I shall have her answer soon, sir--and I will let you know with many thanks, sir, whether--whether my heart's broke or not.

    [Exit GILBERT hastily.

    Sir W. (alone) Good, affectionate creature! But who would have thought that out of that piece of wood a lover could be made? This is Cupid's delight!

    [Exit Sir WILLIAM.

    SCENE II.

    Parlour of the Inn at Bannow.

    Miss FLORINDA GALLAGHER, sola.

    Various articles of dress on the floor--a looking-glass propped up on a chest--Miss GALLAGHER is kneeling before the glass, dressing her long hair, which hangs over her shoulders.

    Miss G. I don't know what's come to this glass, that it is not flattering at all the day. The spots and cracks in it is making me look so full of freckles and crow's feet--and my hair, too, that's such a figure, as straight and as stiff and as stubborn as a presbyterian. See! it won't curl for me: so it is in the papillotes it must be; and that's most genteel.

    [Sound of a drum at a distance--Miss GALLAGHER starts up and listens.

    Miss G. Hark till I hear! Is not that a drum I hear? Ay, I had always a quick ear for the drum from my cradle. And there's the whole band--but it's only at the turn of the avenue. It's on parade they are. So I'll be dressed and dacent before they are here, I'll engage. And it's my plaid scarf I'll throw over all, iligant for the Highlanders, and I don't doubt but the drum-major will be conquist to it at my feet afore night--and what will Mr. Gilbert say to that? And what matter what he says?--I'm not bound to him, especially as he never popped me the question, being so preposterously bashful, as them Englishmen have the misfortune to be. But that's not my fault any way. And if I happen to find a more shutable match, while he's turning the words in his mouth, who's to blame me?--My father, suppose!--And what matter?--Have not I two hundred pounds of my own, down on the nail, if the worst come to the worst, and why need I be a slave to any man, father or other?--But he'll kill himself soon with the whiskey, poor man, at the rate he's going. Two glasses now for his mornings, and his mornings are going on all day. There he is, roaring. (Mr. GALLAGHER heard singing.) You can't come in here, sir.

    [She bolts the door.

    Enter CHRISTY GALLAGHER, kicking the door open.

    Christy. Can't I, dear? what will hinder me?--Give me the kay of the spirits, if you plase.

    Miss G. Oh, sir! see how you are walking through all my things.

    Christy. And they on the floor!--where else should I walk, but on the floor, pray, Miss Gallagher?--Is it, like a fly, on the ceiling you'd have me be, walking with my head upside down, to plase you?

    Miss G. Indeed, sir, whatever way you're walking, it's with your head upside down, as any body may notice, and that don't plase me at all--isn't it a shame, in a morning?

    Christy. Phoo! don't be talking of shame, you that knows nothing about it. But lend me the kay of the spirits, Florry.

    Miss G. Sir, my name's Florinda--and I've not the kay of the spirits at all, nor any such vulgar thing.

    Christy. Vulgar! is it the kay?

    Miss G. Yes, sir, it's very vulgar to be keeping of kays.

    Christy. That's lucky, for I've lost all mine now. Every single kay I have in the wide world now I lost, barring this kay of the spirits, and that must be gone after the rest too I b'lieve, since you know nothing of it, unless it be in this here chist.

    [CHRISTY goes to the chest.

    Miss G. Oh, mercy, sir!--Take care of the looking-glass, which is broke already. Oh, then, father, 'tis not in the chist, 'pon my word and honour now, if you'll b'lieve: so don't be rummaging of all my things.

    [CHRISTY persists in opening the chest.

    Christy. It don't signify, Florry; I've granted myself a gineral sarch-warrant; dear, for the kay; and, by the blessing, I'll go clane to the bottom o' this chist. (Miss GALLAGHER writhes in agony.) Why, what makes you stand twisting there like an eel or an ape, child?--What, in the name of the ould one, is it you're afeard on?--Was the chist full now of love-letter scrawls from the grand signior or the pope himself, you could not be more tinder of them.

    Miss G. Tinder, sir!--to be sure, when it's my best bonnet I'm thinking on, which you are mashing entirely.

    Christy. Never fear, dear! I won't mash an atom of the bonnet, provided always, you'll mash these apples for me, jewel. (He takes apples out of the chest.) And wasn't I lucky to find them in it? Oh, I knew I'd not sarch this chist for nothing. See how they'll make an iligant apple-pie for Mr. Gilbert now, who loves an iligant apple-pie above all things--your iligant self always excipted, dear.

    [Miss GALLAGHER makes a slight curtsy, but motions the apples from her.

    Miss G. Give the apples then to the girl, sir, and she'll make you the pie, for I suppose she knows how.

    Christy. And don't you, then, Florry?

    Miss G. And how should I, sir?--You didn't send me to the dancing-school of Ferrinafad to larn me to make apple-pies, I conclude.

    Christy. Troth, Florry, 'twas not I sint you there, sorrow foot but your mother; only she's in her grave, and it's bad to be talking ill of the dead any way. But be that how it will, Mr. Gilbert must get the apple-pie, for rasons of my own that need not be mintioned. So, Biddy! Biddy, girl! Biddy Doyle!

    Enter BIDDY, running, with a ladle in her hand.

    Christy. Drop whatever you have in your hand, and come here, and be hanged to you! And had you no ears to your head, Biddy?

    Biddy. Sure I have, sir--ears enough. Only they are bothering me so without, that pig and the dog fighting, that I could not hear ye calling at-all-at-all. What is it?--For I'm skimming the pot, and can't lave it.

    [Miss GALLAGHER goes on dressing

    Christy. It's only these apples, see!--You'll make me an apple-pie, Biddy, smart.

    Biddy. Save us, sir!--And how will I ever get time, when I've the hash to make for them Scotch yet? Nor can I tell, for the life of me, what it was I did with the onions and scallions neither, barring by great luck they'd be in and under the press here--(running to look under the press)--which they are, praised be God! in the far corner.

    [BIDDY stretches her arm under the press.

    Christy. There's a nice girl, and a 'cute cliver girl, worth a dozen of your Ferrinafads.

    [BIDDY throws the onions out from under the press, while he speaks.

    Miss G. Then she's as idle a girl as treads the earth, in or out of shoe-leather, for there's my bed that she has not made yet, and the stairs with a month's dust always; and never ready by any chance to do a pin's worth for one, when one's dressing.

    [A drum heard; the sound seems to be approaching near.

    Christy. Blood! the last rowl of the drum, and I not got the kay of the spirits.

    Miss G. Oh, saints above! what's gone with my plaid scarf?--and my hair behind, see!

    [Miss GALLAGHER twists up her hair behind.--BIDDY gathers up the onions into her apron, and exit hastily.--CHRISTY runs about the room in a distracted manner, looking under and over every thing, repeating--The kay! the kay! the kay!

    Christy. For the whiskey must be had for them Scotch, and the bottled beer too for them English; and how will I get all or any without the kay? Bones, and distraction!

    Miss G. And my plain hanke'cher that must be had, and where will I find it, in the name of all the damons, in this chaos you've made me out of the chist, father? And how will I git all in again, before the drum-major's in it?

    Christy. (sweeping up a heap of things in his arms, and throwing them into the chest) Very asy, sure! this ways.

    Miss G. (darting forward) There's the plaid hanke'cher.--(She draws it out from the heap under her father's arm, and smooths it on her knee.) But, oh! father, how you are making hay of my things!

    Christy. Then I wish I could make hay of them, for hay is much wanting for the horses that's in it.

    Miss G. (putting on her plaid scarf) Weary on these pins! that I can't stick any way at all, my hands all trimble so.--Biddy! Biddy! Biddy! Biddy, can't ye?--(Re-enter BIDDY, looking bewildered.) Just pin me behind, girl--smart.

    Christy. Biddy is it?--Biddy, girl, come over and help me tramp down this hay.

    [CHRISTY jumps into the chest.

    Miss G. Oh, Biddy, run and stop him, for the love of God! with his brogues and big feet.

    Biddy. Oh, marcy! that's too bad, sir; get out o' that if you plase, or Miss Florry will go mad, sure! and the major that's coming up the street--Oh, sir, if you plase, in the name of mercy!

    Christy. (jumping out) Why, then, sittle it all yourself, Biddy, and success to you; but you'll no more get all in again afore Christmas, to the best of my opinion, no more, see! than you'd get bottled porter, froth and all, into the bottle again, once it was out.

    Miss G. Such comparisons!--(tossing back her head.)

    Christy. And caparisons!--(pointing to the finery on the floor.) But in the middle of it all, lend me the poker, which will answer for the master-kay, sure!--that poker that is houlding up the window--can't ye, Biddy?

    [BIDDY runs and pulls the poker hastily from under the sash, which suddenly falls, and every pane of glass falls out and breaks.

    Christy. Murder! and no glazier!

    Miss G. Then Biddy, of all girls, alive or dead, you're the awk'ardest, vulgarest, unluckiest to touch any thing at all!

    Biddy. (picking up the glass) I can't think what's come to the glass, that makes it break so asy the day! Sure I done it a hundred times the same, and it never broke wid me afore.

    Christy. Well! stick up a petticoat, or something of the kind, and any way lend me hould of the poker; for, in lieu of a kay, that's the only frind in need.

    [Exit CHRISTY with the poker.

    Miss G. There, Biddy, that will do--any how.--Just shut down the lid, can't ye? and find me my other shoe. Biddy--then, lave that,--come out o' that, do girl, and see the bed!--run there, turn it up just any way;--and Biddy, run here,--stick me this tortise comb in the back of my head--oh! (screams and starts away from BIDDY.) You ran it fairly into my brain, you did! you're the grossest! heavy handiest!--fit only to wait on Sheelah na Ghirah, or the like.--(Turns away from BIDDY with an air of utter contempt.) But I'll go and resave the major properly.--(Turns back as she is going, and says to BIDDY) Biddy, settle all here, can't ye?--Turn up the bed, and sweep the glass and dust in the dust corner, for it's here I'm bringing him to dinner,--so settle up all in a minute, do you mind me, Biddy! for your life!

    [Exit Miss GALLAGHER.

    BIDDY, alone--(speaking while she puts the things in the room in order.)

    Settle up all in a minute!--asy said!--and for my life too!--Why, then, there's not a greater slave than myself in all Connaught, or the three kingdoms--from the time I get up in the morning, and that's afore the flight of night, till I get to my bed again at night, and that's never afore one in the morning! But I wouldn't value all one pin's pint, if it was kind and civil she was to me. But after I strive, and strive to the utmost, and beyand--(sighs deeply) and when I found the innions, and took the apple-pie off her hands, and settled her behind, and all to the best of my poor ability for her, after, to go and call me Sheelah na Ghirah! though I don't rightly know who that Sheelah na Ghirah was from Adam--but still it's the bad language I get, goes to my heart. Oh, if it had but plased Heaven to have cast me my lot in the sarvice of a raal jantleman or lady instead of the likes of these! Now, I'd rather be a dog in his honour's or her honour's house than lie under the tongue, of Miss Gallagher, as I do--to say nothing of ould Christy.

    Miss GALLAGHER'S voice heard, calling,

    Biddy! Biddy Doyle! Biddy, can't ye?

    Biddy. Here, miss, in the room, readying it, I am.

    CHRISTY GALLAGHER'S voice heard calling,

    Biddy!--Biddy Doyle!--Biddy, girl! What's come o' that girl, that always out o' the way idling, when wanted?--Plague take her!

    Biddy. Saints above! hear him now!--But I scorn to answer.

    Screaming louder in mingled voices, CHRISTY'S and Miss GALLAGHER'S,

    Biddy! Biddy Doyle!--Biddy, girl!

    Christy. (putting in his head) Biddy! sorrow take ye! are ye in it?--And you are, and we cracking our vitals calling you. What is it you're dallying here for? Stir! stir! dinner!

    [He draws back his head, and exit.

    BIDDY, alone.

    Coming then!--Sure it's making up the room I am with all speed, and the bed not made after all!--(Throws up the press-bed.)--But to live in this here house, girl or boy, one had need have the lives of nine cats and the legs of forty.

    [Exit.

    SCENE III.

    The Kitchen of the Inn.

    Miss FLORINDA GALLAGHER and CHRISTY GALLAGHER.

    Boys and Men belonging to the Band, in the back Scene.

    Christy. (to the band) The girl's coming as fast as possible to get yees your dinners, jantlemen, and sorrow better dinner than she'll give you: you'll get all instantly--(To Miss GALLAGHER) And am not I telling you, Florry, that the drum-major did not come in yet at all, but went out through the town, to see and get a billet and bed for the sick man they've got.

    Enter BIDDY, stops and listens.

    Miss G. I wonder the major didn't have the manners to step in, and spake to the lady first--was he an Irishman, he would.

    Biddy. Then it's my wonder he wouldn't step in to take his dinner first--was he an Englishman, he would. But it's lucky for me and for him he didn't, becaase he couldn't, for it won't be ready this three-quarters of an hour--only the Scotch broth, which boiled over.

    [BIDDY retires, and goes on cooking.--CHRISTY fills out a glass of spirits to each of the band.

    Miss G. Since the major's not in it, I'll not be staying here--for here's only riff-raff triangle and gridiron boys, and a black-a-moor, and that I never could stand; so I'll back into the room. Show the major up, do you mind, father, as soon as ever he'd come.

    Christy. Jantlemen all! here's the king's health, and confusion worse confounded to his enemies, for yees; or if ye like it better, here's the plaid tartan and fillibeg for yees, and that's a comprehensive toast--will give ye an appetite for your dinners.

    [They drink in silence.

    Miss G. Did ye hear me, father?

    Christy. Ay, ay.--Off with ye!

    [Exit Miss GALLAGHER, tossing back her head.--CHRISTY pours out a glass of whiskey for himself, and with appropriate graces of the elbow and little finger, swallows it, making faces of delight.

    Christy. Biddy! Biddy, girl, ye!--See the pig putting in his nose--keep him out--can't ye?

    Biddy. Hurrush! hurrush! (Shaking her apron.) Then that pig's as sinsible as any Christian, for he'd run away the minute he'd see me.

    Christy. That's manners o' the pig.--Put down a power more turf, Biddy:--see the jantlemen's gathering round the fire, and has a right to be could in their knees this St. Patrick's day in the morning--for it's March, that comes in like a lion.

    [The band during this speech appear to be speaking to BIDDY.--She comes forward to CHRISTY.

    Christy. What is it they are whispering and conjuring, Biddy?

    Biddy. 'Twas only axing me, they were, could they all get beds the night in it.

    Christy. Beds! ay can yees, and for a dozen more--only the room above is tinder in the joists, and I would not choose to put more on the floor than two beds, and one shake-down, which will answer for five; for it's a folly to talk,--I'll tell you the truth, and not a word of lie. Wouldn't it be idle to put more of yees in the room than it could hold, and to have the floor be coming through the parlour ceiling, and so spoil two good rooms for one night's bad rest, jantlemen?--Well, Biddy, what is it they're saying?

    Biddy. They say they don't understand--can they have beds or not?

    Christy. Why, body and bones! No, then, since nothing else will they comprehend,--no,--only five, say,--five can sleep in it.

    [The band divide into two parties,--Five remain, and the others walk off in silence.

    Biddy. And it's into the room you'd best walk up, had not yees, five jantlemen, that sleep?

    [The five walk into the parlour--CHRISTY preparing to follow, carrying whiskey bottle and, jug--turns back, and says to BIDDY,

    Is it dumb they are all? or innocents?

    Biddy. Not at all innocents, no more than myself nor yourself. Nor dumb neither, only that the Scotch tongue can't spake English as we do.

    Christy. Oh! if that's all, after dinner the whiskey punch will make 'em spake, I'll engage.

    [Exit CHRISTY.

    Biddy. 'Tis I that am glad they've taken themselves away, for there's no cooking with all the men in the fire.

    Enter Mr. ANDREW HOPE, Drum-major.

    Mr. H. A gude day to you, my gude lassy.

    Biddy. The same to you, sir, and kindly. I beg your pardon for not knowing--would it be the drum-major, sir?

    Mr. H. No offence, my gude lass; I am Andrew Hope, and drum-major. I met some of my men in the street coming down, and they told me they could not have beds here.

    Biddy. No, sir, plase your honour, only five that's in the room yonder: if you'd be plased to walk up, and you'll get your dinner immediately, your honour, as fast as can be dished, your honour.

    Mr. H. No hurry, my gude lass. But I would willingly see the beds for my poor fellows, that has had a sair march.

    Biddy. Why then, if your honour would take a fool's advice, you'd not be looking at them beds, to be spoiling your dinner--since, good or bad, all the looking at 'em in the wide world won't mend 'em one feather, sure.

    Mr. H. My gude girl, that's true. Still I'd like ever to face the worst.

    Biddy. Then it's up that ladder you'll go.

    Mr. H. No stairs?

    Biddy. Oh, there are stairs--but they are burnt and coming down, and you'll find the ladder safest and best; only mind the little holes in the floor, if you plase, your honour.

    [Mr. HOPE ascends the ladder while she speaks, and goes into the bedchamber above.

    BIDDY, sola.

    Well, I'm ashamed of my life, when a stranger and foreigner's reviewing our house, though I'm only the girl in it, and no ways answerable. It frets me for my country forenent them Scotch and English. (Mr. HOPE descends the ladder.) Then I'm sorry it's not better for your honour's self, and men. But there's a new inn to be opened the 25th, in this town; and if you return this way, I hope things will be more agreeable and proper. But you'll have no bad dinner, your honour, any way;--there's Scotch broth, and Scotch hash, and fried eggs and bacon, and a turkey, and a boiled leg of mutton and turnips, and pratees the best, and well boiled; and I hope, your honour, that's enough for a soldier's dinner, that's not nice.

    Mr. H. Enough for a soldier's dinner! ay, gude truth, my lass; and more than enough for Andrew Hope, who is no ways nice. But, tell me, have you no one to help you here, to dress all this?

    Biddy. Sorrow one, to do a hand's turn for me but myself, plase your honour; for the daughter of the house is too fine to put her hand to any thing in life: but she's in the room there within, beyond, if you would like to see her--a fine lady she is!

    Mr. H. A fine lady, is she? Weel, fine or coarse, I shall like to see her,--and weel I may and must, for I had a brother once I luved as my life; and four years back that brother fell sick here, on his road to the north, and was kindly tended here at the inn at Bannow; and he charged me, puir lad, on his death-bed, if ever fate should quarter me in Bannow, to inquire for his gude friends at the inn, and to return them his thanks; and so I'm fain to do, and will not sleep till I've done so.--But tell me first, my kind lassy,--for I see you are a kind lassy,--tell me, has not this house had a change of fortune, and fallen to decay of late? for the inn at Bannow was pictured to me as a bra' neat place.

    Biddy. Ah! that was, may-be, the time the Larkens had it?

    Mr. H. The Larkens!--that was the very name: it warms my heart to hear the sound of it.

    Biddy. Ay, and quite another sort of an inn this was, I hear talk, in their time,--and quite another guess sort, the Larkens from these Gallaghers.

    Mr. H. And what has become of the Larkens, I pray?

    Biddy. They are still living up yonder, by the bush of Bannow, in a snug little place of a cabin--that is, the Widow Kelly.

    Mr. H. Kelly!--but I am looking for Larken.

    Biddy. Oh, Larken! that's Kelly: 'tis all one--she was a Kelly before she was married, and in this country we stick to the maiden's name throughout.

    Mr. H. The same in our country--often.

    Biddy. Indeed! and her daughter's name is Mabel, after the Kellys; for you might have noticed, if it ever happened your honour to hear it, an ould song of Mabel Kelly--Planxty Kelly. Then the present Mabel is as sweet a cratur as ever the ould Mabel Kelly was--but I must mind the pratees. (She goes to lift a pot off the fire.)

    Mr. H. Hold! my gude girl, let me do that for you; mine is a strong haund.

    Biddy. I thank your honour,--it's too much trouble entirely for a jantleman like you; but it's always the best jantleman has the laste pride.--Then them Kellys is a good race, ould and young, and I love 'em, root and branch. Besides Mabel the daughter, there's Owen the son, and as good a son he is--no better! He got an edication in the beginning, till the troubles came across his family, and the boy, the child, for it's bare fifteen he is this minute, give up all his hopes and prospects, the cratur! to come home and slave for his mother.

    Mr. H. Ah, that's weel--that's weel! I luve the lad that makes a gude son.--And is the father deed?

    Biddy. Ay, dead and deceased he is, long since, and was buried just upon that time that ould Sir Cormac, father of the young heiress that is now at the castle above, the former landlord that was over us, died, see!--Then there was new times and new takes, and the widow was turned out of the inn, and these Gallaghers got it, and all wint wrong and to rack; for Mrs. Gallagher, that was, drank herself into her grave unknownst, for it was by herself in private she took it; and Christy Gallagher, the present man, is doing the same, only publicly, and running through all, and the house is tumbling over our ears: but he hopes to get the new inn; and if he does, why, he'll be lucky--and that's all I know, for the dinner is done now, and I'm going in with it--and won't your honour walk up to the room now?

    Mr. H. (going to the ladder) Up here?

    Biddy. Oh, it's not up at all, your honour, sure! but down here--through this ways.

    Mr. H. One word more, my gude lassy. As soon as we shall have all dined, and you shall have ta'en your ane dinner, I shall beg of you, if you be not then too much tired, to show me the way to that bush of Bannow, whereat this Widow Larken's cottage is.

    Biddy. With all the pleasure in life, if I had not a fut to stand upon.

    [Exit Mr. HOPE.--BIDDY follows with a dish smoking hot.

    Biddy. And I hope you'll find it an iligant Scotch hash, and there's innions plinty--sure the best I had I'd give you; for I'm confident now he's the true thing--and tho' he is Scotch, he desarves to be Irish, every inch of him.

    [Exit BIDDY DOYLE.
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