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Of an opponent who tried to do him an injury, and who plumed himself upon his cleverness, Sheridan neatly remarked : * I could laugh at his malice, but not at his wit."
A clergyman, who desired to annotate Shakespeare's plays, took a specimen of his work to Sheridan, and asked his opinion.
“Sir," said Sheridan, shortly, “I wonder people won't mind their own affairs; you may spoil your own Bible if you please, but pray, let ours alone."
During the debate on Pitt's Indian Bill, when John Robinson was Secretary to the Treasury, Sheridan, one evening when Fox's majorities were decreasing, said: “Mr. Speaker, this is not at all to be wondered at, when a member is employed to corrupt everybody in order to obtain votes."
Upon this, there was a general outcry made by everybody in the House: “Who is it? Name him! Name him!”
“ Sir,” said Sheridan to the Speaker, “ I shall not name the person. It is an unpleasant and invidious thing to do so, and therefore I shall not name him. But don't suppose, sir, that I abstain because there is any difficulty in naming; I could do that, sir, as soon as you could say Jack Robinson.”
When some one proposed to tax milestones, Sheridan protested that it would not be constitutional or fair, as they could not meet to remonstrate.
Lord Lauderdale having declared his intention to circulate some witticism of Sheridan's, the latter hastily exclaimed: “Pray don't, my dear Lauderdale; a joke in your mouth is no laughing matter!”
Lord Erskine on one occasion said that “a wife was only a tin canister tied to one's tail." Lady Erskine was justly annoyed at this remark, and Sheridan dashed off this:
“ Lord Erskine, at woman presuming to rail,
Calls a wife a tin canister tied to one's tail ;
MRS. CLEMENT SHORTER (DORA SIGERSON).
DORA SIGERSON is the eldest daughter of Dr. George Sigerson, F.R.U.I., a distinguished scholar and man of letters, and of Mrs. Hester Sigerson, a woman of fine literary talent. She was born in Dublin, was educated at home, and lived in Dublin till her marriage to Mr. Clement Shorter, then editor of The Illustrated London News, in July, 1895. She has published Verses' (1894); The Fairy Changeling and Other. Poems' (1897); • My Lady's Slipper and Other Poems' (1899) ; * Ballads and Poems' (1899) ; 'The Father Confessor' (1900); and “The Woman who went to Hell and Other Poems' (1901).
Speaking of one phase of her work, Mr. Douglas Hyde writes in 'A Treasury of Irish Poetry.' “She has turned herself with signal success to ballad-poetry, and in many of her pieces, especially in her second volume, she has sought inspiration from Irish motives and dealt with Irish superstition. Her very absence from Ireland has made her-a phenomenon which we may often witness—more Irish than if she had never left it."
CEAN DUV DEELISH.
Cean duv deelish, beside the sea
Across the world.
Blown manes uncurled.
Cean duv deelish, I cry to thee
Thou being dead.
Thy dear black head?
Cean duy deelish, 't is hard to pray
And no reply;
God bless the woman, whoever she be,
And lashing wind.
Dry thy wet face on her bosom warm
And lips so kind?
I not to know! It is hard to pray,
“ Comfort my dead, The sport of the winds and the play of the sea.” I loved thee too well for this thing to be,
O dear black head!
THE WIND ON THE HILLS.
Go not to the hills of Erin
When the night winds are about;
And so keep the danger out.
For the good-folk whirl within it,
And they pull you by the hand,
Till you move to their command.
And lo! you have forgotten
What you have known of tears,
That the world goes full of years :
A year there is a lifetime,
And a second but a day;
Each morn you come away.
Your wife grows old with weeping,
And your children one by one
Before your dance is done.
And it will chance some morning
You will come home no more;
In the wind about the door.
And your children will inherit
The unrest of the wind;
They shall seek some face elusive,
And some land they never find.
When the wind is loud, they sighing
Go with hearts unsatisfied,
For some memory denied.
And all your children's children,
They cannot sleep or rest,
And the sun is in the West.
THE ONE FORGOTTEN.
A spirit speeding down on All Souls Eve 1
From the wide gates of that mysterious shore
“ So gay a wind was never heard before,”
And, “ 'T is the souls that pass us on their way,"
So left their glowing nuts awhile to pray.
Came to this window, looking from the dark
Where crouched the whining dog, afraid to bark,
Pushed softly open, and then tapped once more.
“ How strange a wind is blowing on the door!”
And said the old man, crouching to the fire:
“Draw close your chairs, for colder falls the night;
For it is dreary in the moon's pale light."
Passed over salt and clay to touch the ring,
Have that within their hearts to flame and sting." 1 There is a belief in some parts of Ireland that the dead are allowed to return to earth on November 2 (All Souls Night), and the peasantry leave food and fire for their comfort, and set a chair by the hearth for their resting before they themselves retire to bed.-Author.
And then the spirit, moving from her place,
Touched there a shoulder, whispered in each ear,
But no one heeded her, or seemed to hear.
She went alone into the night again;
“How sad a wind blows on the window-pane!”
And then from dreaming the long dreams of age
He woke, remembering, and let fall a tear:
I set no chair to welcome you, my dear.”
“How he goes groaning, wrinkle-faced and hoar.
Hush! hear the banshee sobbing past the door."
ALL SOULS NIGHT.
O mother, mother, I swept the hearth, I set his chair and the
white board spread, I prayed for his coming to our kind Lady when Death's sad
doors would let out the dead; A strange wind rattled the window-pane, and down the lane a
dog howled on; I called his name, and the candle flame burnt dim, pressed a
hand the door-latch upon. Deelish! Deelish! my woe for ever that I could not sever coward
flesh from fear. I called his name, and the pale Ghost came; but I was afraid
to meet my dear. O mother, mother, in tears I checked the sad hours past of the
year that 's o'er, Till by God's grace I might see his face and hear the sound of
his voice once more; The chair I set from the cold and wet, he took when he came
from unknown skies Of the land of the dead, on my bent brown head I felt the re
proach of his saddened eyes; I closed my lids on my heart's desire, crouched by the fire, my
voice was dumb: At my clean-swept hearth he had no mirth, and at my table he
broke no crumb.