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But “Shiver my topsail lee-scuppers, what cheer ?
Look lively, my hearties !” cried Jack; “Please your Majesty, don't get piping your eye,"
And he lent him a slap on the back ! Thereat the Prime-Minister gravely arose,
Looking fierce and forbidding as Phocion,
With a view to conceal his emotion.
I'll endeavour to give you a notion. “And first, let me state, for your full information,
When our great-great-great grandsires were brats, That from sunrise to sundown the whole of the nation
Was sorely infested with rats.
And then our affliction was cats!
“One Whittington, he was the man who brought
To our rat-eaten country a kitten. When it cleared off our pest, how little we thought
With a new kind of plague we were smitten; For about his good hap this imprudent young chap
To his friends and relations had written :
“And lo ! thenceforth every merchantman here
Brought a shipload of cats for a cargo;
Such importing would rather too far go,
His Majesty laid an embargo.
For the cats now o'er all hold the swayThey shatter our windows and throw down the
crockery, And carry our victuals away, They kill our canaries, and clear out our dairiesThey keep us awake with their nightly vagaries
And the cold loins of lamb they purloin from our
aireys'— In fact there's the devil to pay !" Jack winked his
eye with a cheery smile, And “Old fellow," he chuckled, “if that's The only cause of your sadness, I'll
Effect a clean sweep of the cats !
If he doesn't I'll eat up your hats !"
Those cats he incited to worry.
With a great caterwauling and scurry-
For the cats had decamped in a hurry!
Pearls, emeralds, sapphires, and rubies-
Twenty-seven exactly the cube is,
Of the weak imitation of boobies.
Took a house, but, afraid of disgraces,
Disappeared from it, leaving no traces; But, by latest advices, retails penny ices,
And was seen t'other day at the Races.
CHRISTMAS OUT OF TOWN.
For many a winter in Billiter-lane,
Our bark has now taken a contrary heel,
little Flanigan, with a wife and four children: a guinea or two would be more to him than twice as much to another. Now, as I can't show him any humanity myself, I must beg leave you'll do it for me.
Honeywood. I assure you, Mr. Twitch, yours is a most powerful recommendation.
[Giving money to the Follower. Bailiff. Sir, you're a gentleman. I see you know what to do with your money.
But to business: we are to be here as your friends, I suppose.
But set in case company comes. Little Flanigan here, to be sure, has a good face; a very good face : but then, he is a little seedy, as we say among us that practise the law. Not well in clothes. Smoke the pocket-holes.
Honeywood. Well, that shall be remedied without delay.
Enter Servant. Servant. Sir, Miss Richland is below. Honeywood. How unlucky! Detain her a moment. We must improve my good friend little Mr. Flanigan's appearance first. Here, let Mr. Flanigan have a suit of my clothes-quick-the brown and silver. Do you hear ?
Servant. That your honour gave away to the begging gentleman that makes verses, because it was as good as new.
Honeywood. The white and gold then.
Servant. That, your honour, I made bold to sell, because it was good for nothing.
Honeywood. Well, the first that comes to hand, then: the blue and gold. I believe Mr. Flanigan will look best in blue.
[Exit Flanigan. Bailiff. Rabbit me, but little Flanigan will look well in anything. Ah, if your honour knew that bit of flesh as well as I do, you'd be perfectly in love with him. There's not a prettier scout in the four counties after a shy-cock than he. Scents like a hound; sticks like a weasel. He was master of the ceremonies to the black Queen of Morocco, when I took him to follow me.
[Re-enter Flanigan.] Heh, I think he looks so well, that I don't care if I have a suit from the same place for myself.
Honeywood. Well, well, I hear the lady coming. Dear Mr. Twitch, I beg you'll give your friend directions not to speak. As for yourself, I know you will say nothing without being directed.
Bailif. Never you fear me; I'll show the lady that I have something to say for myself as well as another. One man has one way of talking, and another man has another; that's all the difference between them.
Enter Miss Richland and her Maid. Miss Rich. You'll be surprised, sir, with this visit. But you
know I'm yet to thank you for choosing my little library.
Honeywood. Thanks, madam, are unnecessary, as it was I that was obliged by your commands. Chairs here. Two of my very good friends, Mr. Twitch and Mr. Flanigan. Pray, gentlemen, sit without ceremony.
Miss Rich. Who can these odd-looking men be? I fear it is as I was informed. It must be so. [A side.
Bailif [after a pause]. Pretty weather, very pretty weather, for the time of year, madam.
Follower. Very good circuit weather in the country.
Honeywood. You officers are generally favourites among the ladies. My friends, madam, have been upon very disagreeable duty, I assure you. The fair should, in some measure, recompense the toils of the brave. Miss Rich. Our officers do indeed deserve every fa
The gentlemen are in the marine service, I pre
sume, sir ?
Honeywood. Why, madam, they do-occasionally serve in the Fleet, madam: a dangerous service.
Miss Rich. I'm told so. And I own it has often surprised me that, while we have had so many instances of bravery there, we have had so few of wit at home to
Honeywood. I grant, madam, that our poets have not