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“ lave the mather to me, and never fear but I'll find a way to punish the owld rogue: tell me is he a good warrant to give a beggar a night's lodging ?” “O, thin, indeed, he is,” says Shone, “Devil a bether, wid respect to you." “ Well an' good,” says the preist, “we'll manage the business betwixt us ;” an' wid that, my dear, he tells the boy the plan he had ; an' whin it was all fixed, away wid Shone, as fast as the horse's four legs ed take him home agin. So the first opporthunity he got, he tould Kate ov the schame betwixt himself an' the preist, an' long enough they thought is, till a couple oy nights aftherwards, whin at the God's speed, jist as they war sittin' down to their

supper, who'd cum up to the doore but a fine slashing fello' ov a begger? “God save all here,” says he; “God save ye kindly,” says the owld man, making

, “ Charity, for the honour ov God! an' the Lord spare the provither,” says the strange begger, outside the doore. “ Come in, in God's name,” says the owld man, makin' room for him beside the hob. “ Hav' ye a good warrant to tell a story?” says he. “Oh! thin, 'tis I that hav”,” says the beggerman.

' So win the pratees were boiled, he got his supper along wid the rest, an' a dthrop ov potheen afther it. An' whin the neighbours heard ov the strange begger being there, they all gathered to 'em, an sot down about the fire, listening to the stories, an’ if they hadn't quoile* the dicens bein' in the dice. Wid that


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* Fun.

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the owld man's heart was open; an' by an' by the beggerman whispers him, “That's the purty peice ov a colleen,” pointing to the daughther. “Oh! thin,

” indeed, she is,” says the father, pullin' up his cravat, , “an' as good as she's purty.” “An' is that fine

’ grown gossoon ye’r son ?” says the purty boy ov a begger. “Och, no,” says the owld man, puttin' a twist in his nose, “och, no. Is it that shrimallah mathaun to be my son? Wait awhile, why, till I'll tell ye about him. That fello' hav' been wid me these three years, workin for nothin, only his 'ating an’dthrinking, an' a thrifle of cloathes, on account ov a soort ov ha'f promise I gave him ov my daughther." “Oh! the insensible boy, I'm astonished at him,” says the begger. “Wisha ! I can't blame ye,”

“ says the owld cobbeen. “Sich a fool entirely I never heard ov,” says the other. “I'll engage you didn't,” says the owld man; “but I can tell ye, that to this day he hav' every notion of it; nothing else is keepin' him here.”

Wid that the two ov thim burst out laughing, an? the beggerman says to the owld fello', “Faith ’tis a pity not to make a fool ov him all together, since he's so soft.” “Iss, if we had any soort ov a plan,” says the father. “Whist, wait awhile,” says the good begger; “Dicens a castle in Kildare, if I don't find a schame that 'll be afther makin' a rale show ov him. I do'know,” says he, looking a little unsartin, “ if it ’ed be of any use for me. I'm afeard afther all he's not sich a gamallah as to b’leive me.”

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what is it, agra?” says the other (impatient he was 'till he'd hear the schame). “I was thinkin', if I'de

" let on I was a preist that had a vow," says

the begger, winkin' his eye at the owld man. « Oh! that's illegant,” says the owld gandther, screeching out, laughing. “Come here, Shone avick!” says he, “ 'tis many a long day since I promised Kate to ye, a nenow! an' now she's for you—take her, in God's name, an' my blessin', an' the blessin' ov God may ’tind yeye! What are you doing lookin' about ye, this way an' that way, as if the sinses had left ye? This is no begger at all, at all,” says he, whispering him, “but a preist that comes all the way from your own place, so call over the little girl till you'll get married. Devil a doubt but we'll hav' one merry night out ov ye, at all evints.” Wid that all the people began to laugh, an' Shone put a soft face on himself, in the way he 'ed keep up the joke. “ "Tis funnin' you are!” says he, “ for how 'ed we be married widout a ring ?” “Oh! that's thrue, sure enough,” a

* , says the owld fellow.

“ Kate, aragal!” says he, winkin' at her, as it were to carry on the fun, “Kate, aragal! there's your mother's ring (God rest her sowl!) in the big chest beyond there*.”

So, faith, it wasn't long till she brought it up, an’ the pair ov thim went down upon their knees before the preist (as it were). “I know every bit of the

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* The lower order of Irish are not superstitious as regards a "twice-used ring."

podreen,” says the begger, whispering over to the owld man, that was crackin his sides wid the laugh he had; an' sure enough he said every word of it just as if it is the book he was reading, till he cum to put the ring on her finger, whin down he lets the ragged owld coat fall off ov him, an' there he was, a rale preist, sure enough. “Och! murther!” says the owld man, screeching out, “ye pack of outrageous schamersye vagabonds ov the world !” says he; “sure I didn't mean it at all, at all, only for a bit ov divarshion.” “Hould y'er nise, my good man,” says the preist, “ 'tis jist as good for you, for this young couple is as lawfully married as any in the room, an' with y'er own consint too; God bless ye, young people,” say he, “an' spare ye long together.” An' wid that the people couldn't keep the laugh off ov them, for all the preist was to the fore, to think how fine the owld sleveen was caught in his own thrap.





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