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Will you, will you, will you,
Won't you come to the brook ?. Wiru the name of Donnybrook how many gay, how many pleasureable ideas are associated. Friendship and fun, frolic and frivolity, dancing, dressing, shows, and sheebeen shops; whiskey and whim, broken heads and broken glasses, pitch, toss, merry-go-round, begging, blackguardism, and ballad-singing, all rise in regular confusion before the mind's eye, like the scattering images of a wild but half-forgotten dream.
The fair always commences, whether the Lord Mayor permits it or not, on the 25th of August, and when you are in Stephen's Green, one of the largest squares in Europe, you may either ride or walk. Pedestrians proceed via Ball's Bridge, on the Rock Road, but all who delight in fun will mount a jingle or a jaunting car, both unexceptionable vehicles, as things go, in Dublin. The last time I was there Irish jarvies mustered strong at the corner of Leeson Street, and as I 'love not phizzes of dismay,'I accepted the invitation of a smiling driver, who was proclaiming, with sten. torian lungs, that he had 'room for two!' Myself and friend any where else, or on any other day, would be considered a couple, but the carman’ thought other. wise, and therefore kept exclaiming · Who's for de brook ? room for two!' We completed what at other times would have been called his load, but he still kept up the cry— Who's for de brook ? room for one !'-One at length came; he placed bimself in what they call the well of the car, the driver forced a grim smile, and away we went merrily.
• Away we dash, Torrents less rapid and less rash.' The road from Leeson Street to the scene of amuse. ment was one flood of cars : shouts, jibes, and jokes, were loudly interchanged as the motley multitude whirled by each other. The passengers, in many in.
stances, were singularly mingled; on the one side of the car you probably beheld a dairy-woman, a black serving-man, and a coal porter, while the other side gave to your view a dandy, a sweep, and a soldier, all hurrying forward in search of fun. The wheels of Irish jaunting cars not being constructed on the safety principle, many an inside was transformed into an outside passenger ; but though left clean in the dirt, the drivers make no additional charge for these set downs.
Paddy, it is universally known, is a wet soul, and, all Nature sympathizing with him, it never fails to rain during Donnybrook fair. Just as we approached the scene of merriment something heavier than the dews of Castilly' descended on our heads, and compelled us to seek shelter in a place of entertainment.
• Dive in, boys!' said a gay-looking fellow, who pressed close behind us. We descended two or three steps, and found ourselves at once in the centre of a temple of mirth. The impression made upon me by the appearance of the place is indeed indescribable. We stood in a room about ten feet by five ; it had got what I would call its annual cleaning: the delph ware and the pewter seemed tidily arranged-new deal fornis ran by the walls, and the large flag in the centre of the floor had been carefully polished ;-around this dag 'two lively-looking boys,' with two smartlydressed damsels, apparently belonging to the village, were footing it merrily. Each proof of skill or of bottom on the part of the dancers drew from their admiring auditory a loud shout of applause. At every shout the musician rapidly moved his sightless lids, twisted his face into a smile, and taught the bow to force a louder note from his tortured instrument.
Glory to you, Judy!' cried one ; "She's the divil at it,' says another ; • Faith,' says a third, ‘she's still as fresh as a daisy! She'll beat 'em all out.'
The ruistress of the mansion came forward from a little corner, which had been enclosed as a temporary bar. What d'ye wish, gentlemen? We were wet, and requested some grog; she made room for us in her
circumscribed bar, while she poured from the spout of a broken milk-can the soul-cheering liquor—the liquor recommended by Carolan as the universal specific. Good when you are wet, good when you are cold, good when you are hot, and good when nothing whatever
It never rains in Ireland but the sun shines after it -particularly in autumn; and when apprised, by a straggling gleam which surreptitiously found its way through a dim casement, that the storm had passed, we sallied out, like the knight-errants of other days, in search of adventures.
Donnybrook (the little river) stands about two miles south of Dublin. A stream called the Dodder passes through it, and the fair green does not exceed two Eng. lish acres.
The place is low and circumscribed, and, being situated at the extremity of the village, you hear the sounds of merriment before you arrive within sight of the scene of festivity. To the right are several respectable houses, and in the distance the blue and sombre mountains of Wicklow.
So much for the topography of Donnybrook ; now for the fair. We yielded ourselves willingly to the crowd, and were quickly carried in front of the different exhibitions of wild men and wild beasts, mermaids and merry-andrews, rope dancers, and comic performers. We did not, however, 'walk up,' but turned round to the open part of the green, where were several scattered groupes engaged in various sorts of amuse
Here sat the dark-hrowed, cautious-looking proprietor of the 'Stick and the Loop,' with his accomplices and his dupes gathered closely around him; near him moved the bearer of the dial, an enterprizing confectioner, whose sweet wares were disposed of by the wheel of fortune ; farther on stood a fellow with a pile of gingerbread, at which some well-dressed rake was allowed to throw his shillelah-if he touched the luscious heap it became his own; if he missed it, he was compelled to pay. Many a shin was blackened during the progress of this game. In a sheltered nook
you beheld a blanketted Boccogh (lame beggar) ' wid her three faderless orphans, all of the same age, and all probably borrowed. Beside her stood the loquacious sharp-eyed horse-jockey, and not far off a blind Homer, singing, in sounds discordant, the pathetic ballad, beginning
• It was in King Faro's days,
As the Holy Scriptures says, When Moses he was found upon the water.' All bad their ways and means'-intent on carrying on the grand game of imposition.
Leaving this busy scene we repaired to the 'mall' of Donnybrook, an avenue between two rows of booths. Their signs were various and significant; Brien Boru invited to one tent, and Dan Donnelly to another ; here was the bottle, and there was a real ham, cherrycoloured and well-boiled, stuck on the top of a pole twenty feet high. There were signs of 'mirth and revelry in all; the fiddle or the bagpipe was heard in each; and now and then would burst on the ear the encouraging Whoo !' of some dancing swain soli. citous to animate his drooping partner, although his full design was to 'tire her down.' •The Rakes of Mallow' was played in one tent, and Off she goes' in another; and the sun-burnt daughters of labour' seemed to have felt the full influence of the enlivening sounds, for they stood up bold "right forenent their partners,' on the elastic door placed on the floor of the tent, this temporary stage enabling their feet to keep tune to the music.
Donnybrook, however, is no vulgar place; the city legislators dine here annually, and the Dublin fashionables visit it in crowds. Gigs, dennets, and coaches, block up the way from twelve to six o'clock, and the Lady Mayoress and the Lady Lieutenant honour the scene with their presence and their smiles. The last time Matthews was here be sang more than one song ; aud the only time I ever heard . Donnybrook fair' with delight was in 1822, when Webb, the comedian, sang it in O'Brien's booth, at twelve precisely.
F. vol.. 11. Sept. 1829.
A DRAMATIC SKETCH.
Scene.-- A convent cell. Time, midnight. Francesco
seated at a table, reading. The hour draws on-hut a few moments more, And that which I have sought through days and nights, Of sleepless and intolerable thoughtThe secret power by which the mind's desires May be fulfilled, even to their utmost scope, Is mine-and I am happy-happy on earth Without one unaccomplished dream of bliss.
(Clock strikes. ]
present with me, and upon my heart
and earthly pride,