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fare; lie is, by profession, a butcher; but he is now employed by the contractor for supplying his majesty's navy with Irish beef. There peeps through the laughing jollity of his eye a humourous keenness which defies deception ; he knows the weight of a bullock to a pound, and can tell the quantity of fat in a heifer without approaching her within seven yards. He disdains mystery ; he talks big and loud, and makes his hargain in the face of day, not, however, without some handying of a guinea between himself and the seller.
At a distance, the gentleman farmer, with top-boots, silver spurs, and buckskin breeches, is dealing in flocks of sheep. His agent, who stands beside him, knows that he is only an amateur in such matters, and, therefore, thinks it a duty to combine with the fanners to cheat him. He considers himself very wise, however, and therefore not ' wanting what is stolen,' 'let him not know it, and he's not robbed at all.'
The j ockey is busy at a distance: his self-importance contrasts well with the stupid look of suspicion which he encounters fiom every peasant who has a horse to sell—But hush! —Ay, I thought as much. The Murroughs and the Moonies have burst from their seeming neutrality, and now all is confusion and uproar. The more timid fly in haste from the fair green; the unsold cattle are driven off, and boys and old men take their place on the ditches with a mixture of joy and apprehension painted on their countenances. In a moment the battle becomes general; gingerbread stalls are crushed against a table full of hardware, and quickly disappears the 'Plough and Harrow ;' the poles which supported the canvass serving as hostile weapons for the hadly armed Moonies.
If Irish fighting be fun, the scene has something terrible in it: a din of a thousand voices in rage or fear painfully strike the ear, and the wild commotion of upraised clubs appals the si;>ht of those who are not accustomed to it. Paddy is a pugnacious animal: he isastranger to an ' armed neutrality,' and is sure to join either the Murroughs or the Moonies. The hostile phalanx, as chance decides, inclines to north or south, and wherever it moves it carries destruction in its van; in a few minutes all is desolation around; the women augment the clamour; stones begin to fly; one party gives way; the wounded are forced oft', bellowing with rage, and the priest and the magistrate at length obtain a hearing. Again all is peace, people laugh carelessly at each other, and you are ultimately convinced that the Irish fight for fun. M.
EXTRACTS FROM THE COMMON-PLACE BOOK OF A LITERARY LOUNGER. NO. VII.
ANTIQUITY OF ORGANS.
The organ was in use among the Anglo-Saxons. Cassiodorus and Fortunatus mention the word organ as a musical instrument, but it has been thought to have been a collection of tubes blowed into by the human breath. Muratori has contended that the art of making organs like ours was known in the eighth century only to the Greeks; that the first organ in Europe was the one sent to Pepin from Greece in 756, and that it was in 826 that a Venetian priest, who had discovered the secret, brought it to France.
A passage in Aldhelm's poem, De Laude Virginum, entirely overthrows these theories; for he, who died in 709, and who never went to Greece, describes them in a manner which shows that he was acquainted with great organs made on the same principle as our own:—
'Listening to the greatest organs with a thousand blasts, the ear is soothed by the windy bellows, while the rest shines in the gilt chests.'
Another evidence of the antiquity of organs among the Anglo-Saxons occurs in the works of Bede, a contemporary and survivor of Aldhelm. The passage is express, and also shows how they were made :—
'An organum is a kind of tower made with various pipes, from which, by the blowing of bellows, a most copious sound is issued; and that a becoming modulation may accompany this, it is furnished with certain wooden tongues from the interior part, which, the master's fingers skilfully repressing, produce a grand and a most sweet melody.'
St. Giles is the patron of beggars. Going to church, in his youth, he gave his coat to a sick beggar who asked alms of him—the mendicant was clothed, and the garment miraculously cured a disorder with which he was afflicted. He was also the patron of cripples. It is related of him, by that pious chronicler of the saints, Rihadeneira, that one day when the French king was a hunting near a thicket where St. Giles was concealed, he was wounded by an arrow from a huntsman's bow while in the act of praying; whereupon being found unmoved from his position, the king fell at his feet, craved his pardon, and gave orders for the cure of his wound, but this the saint would not permit, preferring to remain a cripple, and thereby increase his merits. Our church of St. Giles, Cripplegate, is dedicated to him; hence the name of the locality.
NINE TAILORS MAKE A HAN!
This is a corruption of a very reverse and true saying, viz.' that one tailor was the making of nineteen men :' for, as the poet says,
'Men three parts made by tailors and by harbers.' The great Lord Burleigh used to observe, when he threw off his treasury robes,'there lye lord treasurer!' Would it not be somewhere about the mark, if, when two-thirds of our sprigs of fashion took off their clothes, were to say,' there lies manhood.'
It would appear that the ancient Welsh were not quite as civilized as their historians would willingly persuade us. In the * Triads' we are told ' three disgraceful traitors enabled the Saxons to take the crown of the Isle of Britain from the Cambrians. The first was Gwrgi Garwlwyd, who, after tasting human flesh in the court of Edelfled the Saxon king, became so fond of it that he would eatno other but human flesh ever after. In consequence of this, lie and his men united with Kdelfield king of the Saxons; and lie made secret incursions upon the Cambrians, and brought a young male and female whom he daily ate.'
'This and the following triad,' says the editor, * are the only instances upon record of cannihalism in the island; and it is worthy of notice that these savages first tasted human flesh in the Saxon court.'
A PUNNING EPITAPH.
There is no subject so grave but that some people will make puns on it. Dr. Franklin made a very ingenious epitaph for himself, the terms of which were borrowed from his trade of a printer. He thought better of it, however, before he died, and gave directions for a more suitable memorial. Not so a baker at Bristol, for the following epitaph is engraved on his tombstone in Christ church, in his native city. 'Like to the haker's oven is the grave, Wherein the bodies of the faithful have A sitting-in, and where they do remain, In hopes to rise, and to be drawn again; Blessed are tliey, who in the Lord are dead, Though set like dough, they shall be drawn like bread.'
SEND HIM TO COVENTRY!
The phrase of 'sending to Coventry!' originated, accoiding to Hutton, the Birmingham historian, in the Birmingham people apprehending all messengers and suspected persons, and frequently attacking and reducing small parties of the royalists during the civil war, whom they sent prisoners to Coventry. Birmingham is noted by Lord Clarendon, under the name of Bromicham (unde Brumigem), as a singularly disaffected and puritanical village.
Another writer says, Merridean, or Merriden, (frwn Meridian), is a village within six miles of Coventry, and is supposed to be the centre of England. Hence arose a common phrase, 'send him to Coventry,' i.e. enclose him, or dehar him of the society of his fellow men, &c. The former origin, however, seems the most prohable.
ANECDOTES OP DOGS.—NO. IT.
'They are honest creatures.'— Otway.
Every day serves to furnish some new anecdote illustrative of the peculiar instinct of the dog. Mr. Maw, in his 'Journal of a Passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic' just puhlished, relates some facts which many will deem incredible. 'Mr. Hinde' (his travelling companion) he says,' mentioned to me a curious anecdote, with which he had become acquainted respecting the watch dogs. It was, that these dogs, when young, are taught to suck the flock to which they are afterwords to belong as guardians ; and, being brought up in this manner, when grown to full size they continue to attend the flocks; going out with them in the morning, remaining during the day, and bringing them home in the evening, without the necessity of herdsmen. He said also, that some English spaniels had been sent out to the British merchants resident in Truxillo ; and being much admired, puppies were distributed as presents to some of the principal natives; amongst others, one was given to the prefect, who, being desirous that it should be trained in a particular manner, and become attached to him and his people, sent it up to his 'hacienda' (estate.) When full grown it was brought down to Truxillo, but it did not remain long in the city before it began to find out that the British residents were its countrymen, and, in common with other
Vol. n. Sept. 1829. K