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keeping time to a sort of broken melody, to which were affixed a string of unconnected, unintelligible gibberish.
This creature was nearly a dwarf in height, and certainly a dwarf in construction, for his growth appeared stunted, and his head was of enormous disproportion to his lank limbs. His visage was remarkably ugly, possessing all the peculiar construction of the monkey tribe in the lower part of the face, which, however, a big well formed forehead, and a wild comic look about the eyes, somewhat redeemed. His dress consisted of an old blue coat with three or four brass buttons remaining, and so large, that it nearly covered the whole body, the skirts touching the floor as he danced about, while the sleeves hanging down left not even the tips of his fingers visible beyond the cuffs. The coat was fastened round the waist by a string of twine, and opening at the chest for want of fastening, displayed beneath, not a waistcoat, but a certain article of skin-furniture of the colour of April mud, relieved by a band of listing placed diagonally to support his nether wearables, and supply the place of a pair of gallowses.' The front and the lower part of the legs of an old pair of cords', were the only other portions of his apparel to be seen, (as he had neither shoe nor stocking), excepting an antique, odd-looking sealskin cap, which fitted his huge carrotty skull like the wing of a moth on a full-blown poppy.
He had hardly entered the room ere every tongue, like beagles on the first scent, gave one unanimous cry--a shout-and "Squib” "Squib"-"Squib"-"Squib"-resounded from all quarters.
Squib was in the middle of the apartment; he was dancing, whirling, cutting capers; now he put his great toe in his mouth, and now threw up his seal-skin cap to the ceiling, and turning his back on it, caught it on his foot as it fell.
“ Whisht, whisht, your sowls!" roar'd Tim Doolan: "Squib is singin';" and the next moment Squib was heard shouting aloud the following extravaganza.
“ Hibbadee-hobbadee-on the hob
This expressive jargon was kept up as long as his evolutions lasted, when suddenly ceasing both, he cut a caper in the air and fell flat on the ground, every limb in his body cracking with the fall.
“ What's the best news from the fairies, Squib?” enquired Tim Doolan, laughing; he was now. all in his glory.'
Squib jumped up from his recumbency, and placing himself in a position half tailor-like, half Indian juggler fashion, he delivered his answer as follows:
Blustherfication on the consert-take him out perpendiclarput him in horizontle. Fuellan was a Welshman, but nobody knew his wifefor he never was married;—the world's turn'd upside down;—the 'sthronimers taches music, and fiddlers makes the stars dance;--the rabbits runs afther the greyhound, and pigs dhrives the butchers to the shambles;-Pippalarkins was a baker, and his wife was a bellows mendher-it's an ill wind that blows nobody good, therefore the Pope o' Room ates Garman sassingers for his breakust. God forbid!”
These words were jabbered as fast as ever tongue could utter them, and when he had finished, up he jumped, again commenced the same mad rotations, and broke into the same extravagant cantation as before.
“ Hibbadee-hobbadee-on the hob-
Hibbadee-hobbadee-high-go-brogue,” &c. "Blur an'ages," says Tim, “here's a glass, my bouchial, to raise the cockles o' your heart.”
The boy took the glass; he held it between him and the light; examined it with his head hanging on his right shoulder, viewing it askance, and smacked his lips with a loud relish.
“There you are! the most delightfullest an' innocentest bebarige thit uver iscaped the gager's frontispiece—there you are, the silvation iv the belly, an' the pison iv the brain—there you are, jewel wor you!--the delight iv the young---an’ the delight iv the ould—an' the sweetheart of all funny fellows like Squib;” and so saying, he drained the vessel, flung it up to the ceiling, and catching it as it fell, whirled himself round two or three times, then urging his feet into a sort of jig-dance, he accompanied himself with the following song—the melody of which may be found in the fourth air of No. 4 of the Irish Melodies.
Rowdherow-rowdherow--Anty Clayt'n.” “Blood an' tundher an' turf!” exclaimed Tim Doolan, in an ecstacy of delight, "give us a hornpipe; Squib?”
Where's Foley ?” said Squib. The young urchin glanced round the room, and fixing his fish eye, as he discovered the object of his search, in one of the corners, he made a hop, step, and jump, and collared the blind piper.
“Come, ould Morpheus! where's your bags?
“ A-tome of coorse—'id you have us fetch 'em to a wake?" answer'd and ask'd the musician.
“Decisively I would, ould leather-squeezer: isn't it is ordher to capitulate the desased with honor and all kinds of immoluments thit music is always recommended be hearsay, without the slightest conthradiction from present obsirvations.
“Oh! if that's the case," said the piper, taking a pinch of snuff from his waistcoat pocket, which was lined with tin for the double purpose of preserving the flavour of the "Lundy Foot,” and the wear of his garment, and wishing every body to believe that he understood Squib's learned reasons, " if that's the case," says he, and that Misther Doolan, purvided he doesn't deject to Squibs,” the substantive was omitted, "why I'll run for it in a giffey."
“ Not the laste in the world," said Tim, “and when it comes " I'll thrate you to another gallon of whiskey.”
“ Jewel you wor all over, sure enough," said Mrs. Delany, who hadn't an opportunity of opening her mouth for a long time, and felt her lips quite thirsty for want of a talk; and even as it was she could proceed no farther, so uproarious was the applause following the publican's declaration.
Tim departed for the whiskey, and Foley for his chanthers. Tim resided next door, and the piper's dwelling was not far removed.
The four ladies had again renewed their harmonious quartett. At a little distance from them and facing them Squib had seated himself on his hunkers, his body now perfectly at rest. He had furnished him with a pipe nearly the length of his arm, from which came puffs thick and frequent, while all the time his features preserved that strange immobility which seemed their peculiar characteristic, and an entire rigidity of the muscles of the mouth, excepting a slight opening of the right side as he ejected the quick volumes of smoke. When one addressed him he took his pipe from between his teeth, made a different flourish with every word he spoke, and quietly replaced it again.
Tim and the piper returned about the same time. At the midwife's suggestion the piper was requested to play a derige, as she called it. Poor Foley never heard of such a piece of music; but he was not one to acknowledge his ignorance, so he asked her was there any particular way she'd like to have it played,' and Mrs. Delany scarce knowing this was a feeler, replied, “Of coorse as a musicianer you must know better nor me what ’ill best be 'dapted and shootable over poor Poll's corp." This let Foley into the secret, and he was about to commence, when Tim told him “to down with his bags till he gave round the dhrink once more.”
'Twas done :-and first the bellows was heard filling the bag —then came an odd squeak, reminiscent of a hurt sucking pig, or the buzz of the drone like the wind among bull-rushes then we had a note or two from the pipes, or a whisht' from the audience, and a preparatory trial concluding in a sort of minor prelude--and at last the bag being well filled, we received a
burst of music that made the very walls shake with reverberation. This was the commencement of the dirge-or derige as the midwife called it—for poor Poll.
Now of all instruments human ingenuity ever invented, a bagpipes is least suited to sad sounds or dolorous strains, its fitness lying in its being qualified for merry movements and loud noises; and the louder the more certain its success; and therefore when it attempts to dole out, be the performer never so skilful, an adagio in a mournful minor, by the pipe of Hermes—which was po bag-pipe—you might as well fancy the lord of the grunting herd snorting one of the flowing melodies from The Creation, as our trusty friend, poor blind Foley, mistaking his numerous abilities and sacrificing his noble gifts to the fruitless endeavour of awaking a REQUIEM from the notes of his hinge-grating—sowsqueaking-file-rasping—fender-scraping - bull-lowing --duckquacking — cock-crowing-wheel-creaking --child-squallingnose-blowing-nurse-scolding—and bee-humming chanthers.
The dirge was an extemporaneous effusion of the piper's, and as a composition, if we may judge by its power over the minds of the listeners, must have been by no means inconsiderable. At first the audience were hush'd then wrapt-and anon its influences were visible. Mistress Delany was in tears, as well as a few more-aprons were lifted up, and many were wiping their eyes bitterly.
Hark! the strain changes sounds of praise succeed the lamentation—the artist in glowing theme celebrates the washerwoman's virtues and her deeds of renown. An angelic melody proclaims her resurrection, and an heroic burst of joy her enthronement in heaven. The hearers are bewildered--they are carried away.
The enthusiasm of the moment seizes on themtheir hearts labour against their breast-bones- they join the music, and a sublime chorus is the consequence. Regardless of tune, time, or phrase, each takes his part, and the vocal department is complete. The originality of a Dutch concert, where every body sings a different song—and the shouts of Bacchanalian Tevellers, where each bawls louder than he can — commingle their united beauties and diffuse an enchanting, deafening and Niagarical harmony through the room : 'tis done-Tim Doolan waves his hand on high-the voices die away_Squib ceases singing “Moll Brooke she sneezed in the tay-pot "--and the Handel of the chanthers' finishes his moments of inspiration by wiping the perspiration from his throbbing brow.
Thus, oh! Poll, were thy obsequies duly solemnized, and thy manes graciously appeased: and thus, as happens to many princes -kings-emperors-potentates—before and since thy reign, Poll, did the honour paid thee after death make some amends for the contempt-the calumny-and abuse which you and their royal highnesses in life time were not always undeserving of.
But now that grief was pacified, every body was beginning to think 'twas high time the fun’ should commence : yet none had the courage to suggest its revival so soon upon the heels of sor
• At length one whisper'd his companion, who
Whisper'd another, and thus it went round,'and first a single voice, then the whole room, catching the spark, cried out 'Squib-Squib—the jig--the jig.' The young rascal wanted but the word-he flung his pipe into the empty gratebounded up from the ground where he squatted, and standing on the floor with his face towards the corpse, he put his right foot in his left hand, and shouted out, “ Jig Polthogue !"
“ Jig Polthogue," echoed every thing in the room. To it they fell—the piper and Squib-in strenuous emulation of their individual exertions. “ Whoop," said Squibmand the whole room took
cry. . Whoop—whoop-whoop," cried Tim Doolan. Foley played faster-Squib kept his time;-his bare feet beat demi-semiquavers on the hard ground;-now he patted with his heel;—now his toes double-footed ;-anon he kicked out his leg in a perpendicular line with his body, and drawing it back, treated its fellow to the same caper ;--now he knocked his ancles together, making a noise like a dog cracking a bone, and then the soles of his feet met slapping together in mid air :-his hands moved round him, and over his head, like the wheel of a windmill in a hurricane. “Whoop-whoop.” The boys were all yielding their mite--some were playing the drum on the forms with their knuckles;-some beating rattaratoo on the floor with their well nailed brogues;--even the girls were not remiss-some accompanied Foley with their voices, and others urged on Squib with their plaudits and acclamations. “Whoop-whoop, thas' the boy, go it Squib,” said one party. “Fasther Foley, your sowl,” exclaimed the opposition. Whoop--whoop—whoop.” There was certainly a division in the house. “Whoop-whoopwhoop;” Tim Doolan could stand it no longer; he caught the infection; up he jumped; "whoop--whoop--whoop,” says he, " I'll have a touch myself;” but Tim had hardly risen, when down he sat as suddenly as though he had been shot with a leaden bullet, from a patent detonator-and small blame to you, Tim.
“ Down with that infernal noise every mother's soul of you!" roared Father Mc Dermody, as he stood at the door-way brandishing his heavy horsewhip, his sudden appearance throwing dismay, consternation, and terror among the Bacchantes.