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of the eighteenth century, said of the peasantry that “ а. people so generally civil he had never seen either in Europe or in America.” He also described them as “an immeasurably loving people," and declared, “I have seen as real courtesy in their cabins as could be found at St. James' or the Louvre.” This, indeed, is the testimony of all fine natures who have been brought into close relations with the Irish people. Some of the foibles of the peasantry may have perplexed them a little; but that they are an attractive and interesting and lovable race has been admitted by all. Sir Edward Burne-Jones, the renowned artist, a Welshman, has written:“I am by blood and nature and sympathy more Irish than Saxon. I do not love the English even; I admire and respect them often more than any other nation now existing; but they don't touch my heart a bit, and I often really hate them, and though the Irish disappoint, vex, and confuse me, they touch me and melt my heart often and often."

I heard a very amusing story from a priest, who related it, he told me, on the authority of the clergyman who fig. ured in the incident, which shows that this attention and courtesy to strangers sometimes leads to laughable contretemps. Three Protestant ladies were staying at Glengariff. Owing to the sympathetic manner in which they interested themselves in the welfare of the people, they became great friends with the parish priest. One Sunday the ladies were obliged to take refuge from a heavy shower of rain in the little chapel. The parish priest, who happened to be celebrating Mass at the time, observed them, and whispering to the simple old clerk, who was attending him at the altar, he said, “ Get three chairs for the Protestant ladies.” The clerk, mistaking his instructions, turned round to the congregation and cried—“ His riverence wants three cheers for the Protestant ladies.” They were given with a heart and a half.

The Irishman is the most approachable of human beings. There is no man with whom one can become so thoroughly acquainted in a short time, and there is no man who takes so kindly and keen an interest in one's affairs on a casual acquaintance. The Duke of Connaught had an amusing experience of this quality of the Irish character during the tour which he made through Ireland about twenty years ago. He was standing on the steps of a hotel in the west of Ireland when a peasant approached him, and with native bland and infantile assurance, said: “Welcome to Ireland, yer Royal Highness. I hope I see yer Royal Highness well.” Quite well. I'm much obliged to you,” replied the Duke. “And yer noble mother, the Queen. I hope her ould ladyship is enjoyin' the best of health,” said the peasant. “Yes, thank you, the Queen is very well,” answered the Duke, who seemed highly amused by the easy familiarity of the peasant. “I'm glad to hear it,” continued the latter; "an' tell me, yer Royal Highness, how are all yer noble brothers and sisters? " But at that moment an aide-de-camp appeared on the scene, and cried, “Get along there, you fellow." “What are ye interferin' wid me for?” retorted the peasant, apparently much affronted. “Don't ye see that I'm houldin' a conversation wid his Royal Highness?"

But the irrepressible sense of humor of the people often leads them to the perpetration of amusing practical jokes on unwary visitors. Could there be anything more laughable than the joke played on the clever and astute Thackeray by a simple peasant? The author of Vanity Fair' was filled with a detestation of O'Connell when, in 1813, he made that journey through Ireland which led to the production of the caustic Irish Sketch Book. Going along a country road one day, the eminent novelist saw at certain intervals pillar-stones bearing the mystic letters “G.P.0." The stones had just been erected by the post-office authorities to mark the post roads. But great men do not know everything, and Thackeray happened to be ignorant of that fact. He therefore asked an explanation of the stones and their inscription from a peasant whom he met on the road. “ Sure, sur,” said the man; “G.P.O, stands for God Presarve O'Connell!”” Thackeray took a note of the explanation, and in the original manuscript of the Irish Sketch Book' he gravely stated that so blind and extravagant was the devotion of the people to the great demagogue that they had actually erected along the highways pillar-stones with the inscription “G.P.O.," which meant “God Preserve O'Connell.” The blunder was, however, discovered in the office of the publisher, and was set right before the book appeared.

But the practical joking is by no means confined to visitors. Some years ago the Shannon Rowing Club, Limerick, had a famous boat crew, which carried everything before them in aquatic sports in Ireland. The crew went to Cork one year, and, as usual, won the big race. Naturally there was immense excitement in the rival cities over the event, and during its height, on the day of the race, a telegram purporting to come from the Mayor of Cork reached the Mayor of Limerick. It was couched in the following terms: “Your Limerick crew beat us to-day, , but, for the honor of Cork, I hereby challenge you, for a stake of £50, to row a measured mile on the river Lee." Now, as the Mayor of Limerick had only one arm, he saw in this message a deliberate insult, and, remembering that the Mayor of Cork was not complete in the matter of legs, he furiously dispatched to Cork a message to this effect: “ If you want to avenge your disgraceful beating to-day, I'll hop you over the Wellesley Bridge, in this city, for £100.”

The Mayor of Cork was perfectly innocent, and absolutely ignorant of the sending of the first telegram, and recognizing in this message from Limerick the addition of insult to the injury done to the reputation of the city of which he was the chief magistrate, by the illfortune of the Cork oars, he gratified himself by informing the Mayor of Limerick by telegraph that he was “a cowardly cad.” The correspondence was subsequently continued by the solicitors of the respective mayors, and it took some days to reach a conclusion which avoided an appeal to the law courts.

"Peter,” said a gentleman to his servant, “ did you take my note to Mr. Downey?” “Yis, sur, an' I think his eyesight is gettin' very bad,” replied Peter. “ Why so?" asked the master. “ Begorra, sur,” said Peter, “while I was in the room, he axed me twice where me hat was, an' 't was on me head all the time.But it's not often that Irish servants are wanting in good manners, and the offense in this case was unintentional. Here is another story of an Irish servant. Having carried a basket of game from his master to a friend, he waited a considerable time for the customary fee, but, not finding it forthcoming, he said: “If me masther should say, 'Pat, what did the gintleman give you?' what would your honner have me tell him?"

“ Old White,” the late major-domo or house-steward of the Mansion House, Dublin-an office which he filled for many, many years—was a well-known character. Many funny stories are told of him. He was once guilty of some neglect of duty, and was summoned before the Lord Mayor, who said: “ White, I have borne with you in many things, but this complaint goes beyond my power of endurance.” “And does yur lordshup really cridit the sthory?" asked White. “ Certainly,” answered the Lord Mayor. “I've just heard it from two members of the Corporation." “Faith,” retorted White, “if I believed all that twinty town councilors and aldhermin say about you, it's little I'd think you was fit to ware the gould chain of Lord Mayor of Dublin.” White, as on many a previous occasion, was dismissed with a caution. He had, indeed, a hot temper and a sarcastic tongue, from the sting of which even the Lord Mayor himself was occasionally not sacred.

I often heard from “Old White ” wonderful stories of “the great doings," and "the lashin's of hospitality," in the Mansion House before its civic sanctity was invaded by “the Commonalty”—as White called them—who came in when the Nationalists got the upper hand in the Corporation. A licensed vintner was Lord Mayor some years ago. A captain of a regiment stationed in Dublin called one day to see his lordship in connection with a concert for some charitable institution. The door of the Mansion House was, as usual, opened by White. “Good-morrow, White,” was the salute of the captain. “Ah, thin, goodday to yez, captain, and how 's ivery bit of yez? Shure you 're welcome," said White. “Is the Lord Mayor in?asked the captain. “Well, the way it is, captain, if yez want to see him at wanst, he's out; but if yez can wait a quarther of an hour, he's in.” The visitor agreed to wait in the room off the hall. Captain,” continued White, “would yez be after havin' a dhrop of whisky wid me? “I really can't, White; but thank you very much,” replied the captain. “Oh, shure, make yer mind aisy! It's none of the Lord Mayor's fusil oil I'd be after givin' ye; it's rale John Jameson. I paid me solid twinty-wan shillin's the gallon for it. You can dhrink it wid safety, captain.” Then, “ Whist yer sowl, captain; here 's his lordshup!”

Some of the priests were opposed to the custom, very popular at one time with the boys and girls, but now almost a thing of the past, of public dances at “the cross roads,”—a point where three or four roads meet-on fine Sunday afternoons. A blind fiddler was brought out from a neighboring town to supply the music at one of these festive gatherings. Just as the fun was at its height, “his riverence” the parish priest was seen approaching, and the boys and girls fled across the fields. But the blind fiddler, unconscious of the stampede, continued rasping out the lively strains of the jig, The Cats' Rambles to the Child's Saucepan,' when he was interrupted by the priest asking him, “ Do you know the Third Commandment?” “It sounds familiar like to me, but I can't recall it,” said the fiddler. Maybe, if ye whistled a bar or two of it I might remimber it.” He thought it was another jig he had been asked to play, instead of being reproved for desecrating the Sabbath!

The following good story may not be true--I certainly would not care to vouch for its accuracy—but those who know the leisurely and casual way many things are done in Ireland will admit that it is by no means improbable. A train which was slowly wending its way in the south of Ireland suddenly pulled up outside a station. The guard, putting his head out of his van at the end of the train, shouted to the engine driver, so that all the passengers might hear, “I say, Jim, what are ye stoppin' for? Go on out o' that, will ye?” The engine driver roared back, Yerra, man, how can I go on? Don't ye see the signal's agin us.” “ The signal 's agin us!” cried the guard contemptuously. Musha, how mighty particular yer gettin'!” I remember attending at Limerick an inquiry into the wreck of a ship in the Shannon, while it was being brought up the river by one of the local pilots. The captain stated in the course of his evidence that when the vessel struck on a rock he said angrily to the pilot, “ You said you knew every rock in the river.” “Of course I do, sur, and that's wan o' thim,” replied the pilot !

The average tourist, with his inordinate love of personal comfort and personal well being when holiday-making,

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