an ebook published by Project Gutenberg Australia

Title: How McDougall Topped The Score
Author: Thos. E. Spencer
eBook No.: 2300851h.html
Language: English
Date first posted: 2023
Most recent update: 2023

This eBook was produced by: Walter Moore

View our licence and header




How McDougall Topped The Score
And Other Verses and Sketches

Thos. E. Spencer



Part 1
How McDougall Topped The Score And Other Verses and Sketches

How McDougall Topped the Score
The Prerogative of Piper's Flat
The Song of the Sundowner
A Bush-Bred Youngster
The Degeneration of Jim
The Voice of the Willows
Simple Sam
Schneider Strauss
Think of Me
The Penitent Swagman
O'Mulligan's Wallaby Drive
God Defend the Commonwealth
Latter Day Patriots
A Nicht Wi' Burns in Yackandandie
The Rouseabout
The Song of the Mason
Not Too Bad
Do I Love Thee?
Ben the Stoker
Brogan's Flat
My Own Bonny Yacht
The Political Dead-Beat
Rum and Water
Tim Turpin
Did You Ever?
The Legend of "Dead Man's Gully"
The Irony of Fate
The Haunted Lagoon
Blue-Eyed Nell
Mount Kembla
The Wedding of Winona
The Stockman's Serenade
Come Back to the Bush
O'Toole and McSharry
The Power Behind the Throne
Der Pritish Tar From Amsterdam
The Dream of Harum-Scarum

Part 2
The Reflections and Reminiscences of Mrs. Bridget McSweeney

Mrs. McSweeney's Christmas
Mrs. McSweeney's Bike
Mrs. McSweeney Has Her Fortune Told
Mrs. McSweeney's Spring Cleaning
Mrs. McSweeney's Twins
Mrs. McSweeney at Sea
Mrs. McSweeney at Home
Mrs. McSweeney's Surprise Party
Mrs. McSweeney's Photograph
Mrs. McSweeney About A Dog
Mrs. McSweeney On Clubs
Mrs. McSweeney's Reconciliation
Mrs. McSweeney Does The Block
Mrs. McSweeney On Propriety
Mrs. McSweeney's Lament—"The Geebung Taytotal Society"



Of the sketches contained in this volume, the following were originally written for "The Bulletin," Sydney, viz.:— "How McDougall Topped the Score," "O'Toole and McSharry," "Simple Sam," "The Irony of Fate," "Illawarra," "The Rouseabout," "Come Back to the Bush," "Did you Ever?" "The Degeneration of Jim," and "Brogan's Flat." The grateful acknowledgments of the author are hereby tendered to "The Bulletin" Proprietary and to the Editor for their courtesy, and for the prompt and hearty manner in which consent was given for the reprinting of the above items in these pages.

"The Bush-Bred Youngster" originally appeared in "Splashes," Sydney; "The Prerogative of Piper's Flat," in the "Sydney Mail;" "The Legend of Dead Man's Gully," and "Latter Day Patriots" in the "Evening News," Sydney; "Not Too Bad," "O'Mulligan's Wallaby Drive," and "The Stockman's Serenade," in the "Crookwell Gazette," and "The Dream of Harum-Scarum" in "The Sunday Times," Sydney.

"Mount Kembla" and "The Song of the Mason" were first printed in "Masonry," whilst "Mrs. McSweeney" made her first appearance in the "Glebe Gazette."

The other items in the book appear now for the first time.
       THE AUTHOR.

Part 1
How McDougall Topped The Score And Other Verses and Sketches

How McDougall Topped the Score

A peaceful spot is Piper's Flat.
The folk that live around,
They keep themselves by keeping sheep and turning up the ground.
But the climate is erratic, and the consequences are
The struggle with the elements is everlasting war.
We plough, and sow, and harrow—then sit down and pray for rain;
And then we all get flooded out and have to start again.
But the folk are now rejoicing as they ne'er rejoiced before,
For we've played Molongo cricket, and McDougall topped the score!

Molongo had a head on it, and challenged us to play
A single-innings match for lunch—the losing team to pay.
We were not great guns at cricket, but we couldn't well say No,
So we all began to practise, and we let the reaping go.
We scoured the Flat for ten miles round to muster up our men,
But when the list was totalled we could only number ten.
Then up spoke big Tim Brady, he was always slow to speak,
And he said—"What price McDougall, who lives down at Cooper's Creek?"

So we sent for old McDougall, and he stated in reply
That "he'd never played at cricket, but he'd half a mind to try.
He couldn't come to practice—he was getting in his hay,
But he guessed he'd show the beggars from Molongo how to play."
Now, McDougall was a Scotchman, and a canny one at that,
So he started in to practise with a paling for a bat.
He got Mrs. Mac. to bowl him, but she couldn't run at all,
So he trained his sheep dog, Pincher, how to scout and fetch the ball.

Now, Pincher was no puppy; he was old, and worn, and grey;
But he understood McDougall, and—accustomed to obey —
When McDougall cried out "Fetch it!" he would fetch it in a trice;
But until the word was "Drop it!" he would grip it like a vice.
And each succeeding night they played until the light grew dim;
Sometimes McDougall struck the ball—sometimes the ball struck him!
Each time he struck, the ball would plough a furrow in the ground,
And when he missed, the impetus would turn him three times round.

The fatal day at length arrived—the day that was to see
Molongo bite the dust, or Piper's Flat knocked up a tree!
Molongo's captain won the toss, and sent his men to bat,
And they gave some leather-hunting to the men of Piper's Flat.
When the ball sped where McDougall stood, firm planted in his track,
He shut his eyes, and turned him round, and stopped it—with his back!
The highest score was twenty-two, the total sixty-six,
When Brady sent a yorker down that scattered Johnson's sticks.

Then Piper's Flat went in to bat, for glory and renown,
But, like the grass before the scythe, our wickets tumbled down.
"Nine wickets down for seventeen, with fifty more to win!"
Our captain heaved a heavy sigh—and sent McDougall in.
"Ten pounds to one you lose it!" cried a barracker from town;
But McDougall said "I'll tak' it, mon!" and planked the money down.
Then he girded up his moleskins in a self-reliant style,
Threw off his hat and boots, and faced the bowler with a smile.

He held the bat the wrong side out, and Johnson with a grin,
Stepped lightly to the bowling crease, and sent a "wobbler" in;
McDougall spooned it softly back, and Johnson waited there,
But McDougall, cryin. "Fetch it!" started running like a hare.
Molongo shouted "Victory! He's out as sure as eggs."
When Pincher started through the crowd, and ran through Johnson's legs.
He seized the ball like lightning; then he ran behind a log,
And McDougall kept on running, while Molongo chased the dog.


They chased him up, they chased him down, they chased him round, and then
He darted through a slip-rail as the scorer shouted "Ten!"
McDougall puffed; Molongo swore; excitement was intense;
As the scorer marked down"Twenty," Pincher cleared a barbed-wire fence.
"Let us head him!" shrieked Molongo. "Brain the mongrel with a bat!"
"Run it out! Good old McDougal!" yelled the men of Piper's Flat.
And McDougall kept on jogging, and then Pincher doubled back,
And the scorer counted "Forty" as they raced across the track.

McDougall's legs were going fast, Molongo's breath was gone—
But still Molongo chased the dog—McDougall struggled on.
When the scorer shouted "Fifty!" then they knew the chase could cease;
And McDougall gasped out "Drop it!" as he dropped within his crease.
Then Pincher dropped the ball, and, as instinctively he knew
Discretion was the wiser plan, he disappeared from view.
And as Molongo's beaten men exhausted lay around.
We raised McDougall shoulder-high, and bore him from the ground.

We bore him to M'Ginniss's, where lunch was ready laid,
And filled him up with whisky-punch, for which Molongo paid.
We drank his health in bumpers, and we cheered him three times three,
And when Molongo got its breath, Molongo joined the spree.
And the critics say they never saw a cricket match like that,
When McDougall broke the record in the game at Piper's Flat.
And the folk are jubilating as they never did before;
For we played Molongo cricket—and McDougall topped the score!


The Prerogative of Piper's Flat

Given as an encore to "How McDougall Topped the Score," at the public reception to Victor Trumper in Sydney Town Hall, 19th December, 1903—

One evening, just at sundown, I was sitting on a rail,
When up rode big Tim Brady, who had been to fetch the mail.
Taking out a daily newspaper, he handed it to me,
And, pointing to a paragraph, "Just look at this," says he,
"Here's a cove called Victor Trumper, an Australian by birth,
Has been moppin' up the cricket records all around the earth,
Such centuries and aggregates were never known before,
And New South Wales is 'dotty' because Trumper's topped the score.

I says, when I had read it, "Yes, I think I've heard his name,
And, accordin' to the cablegrams, he plays a decent game.
In breaking English records, he's been makin' fame for us,
And I think, in spite of Kipling, that a young man might do wuss;
But before he breaks all records, he has got to wait a bit,
For he hasn't broke McDougall's, who scored fifty in a hit.
I ain't the least bit jealous—I don't speak because of that,
But we'll let no bloomin' Trumpers take the cake from Piper's Flat.

"When McDougall piled his record up, and knocked Molonglo dead,
He didn't play them with his bat, he played them with his head.
If Trumper comes to Piper's Flat he'll find we're not asleep,
For what we had the head to win we'll have the head to keep.
He'll meet with every kindness, he shall have a horse to ride,
But, if he rides the chestnut mare, he'll have to get inside.
She threw Flash Mat, the horse-breaker, and ruined his profile;
And the man will make a record that can ride her half a mile.

"We'll fill him up with ginger wine, and cream, and nice fresh cheese,
And then, if he is fit to go, we'll show him Bowker's bees;
They're awfully fond of strangers, and if Trumper plays at all
After he's done inspecting them, he'll never see the ball.
He'll find the wicket bumpy, and the bowling rather wild,
And, then, we've still got Pincher left, and Pincher ain't no child.
He understands McDougall. If his master tells him so
He'll get a grip on Trumper's pants, and never let 'em go.

"When every man is equal, why — then no man will be best,
And every score that's made will be same as all the rest.
In the socialistic language there is no such word as strife,
And the bloke that breaks a record will be put in gaol for life.
Then Trumper's and McDougall's fame will not be fame at all,
And perhaps we'll drop our record, just as Pincher dropped the ball.
But until then our record shall remain at Piper's Flat,
We've only one, but you may bet your boots we'll stick to that.

"If Trumper is contented with the records he has got,
And don't come up to Piper's Flat to try to scoop the lot,
Then Brady and McDougall, and the men of Piper's Flat
Will wish good luck to Trumper, and they won't forget the hat.
They mean to keep their record, but they all acknowledge worth,
And hail him as the most accomplished cricketer on earth.
Their cheers will make the gum trees shake, they'll pledge him in a bumper.
While breath holds out they'll roar and shout, 'Long life to Victor Trumper.'"


The Song of the Sundowner

I'm the monarch of valley, and hill, and plain,
    And the king of this golden land.
A continent broad is my vast domain,
    And its people at my command.
My tribute I levy on high and low,
    And I chuckle at Fortune's frown;
No matter how far in the day I go,
    I'm at home when the sun goes down.

In the drought-stricken plains of the lone Paroo,
    When the rainless earth is bare,
I take toll from the shepherd and jackeroo,
    And I sample their humble fare.
Not a fig care I though the stock may die,
    And the sun-cracked plains be brown;
I can make for the east, where the grass is high,
    I'm at home when the sun goes down.

When river and creek their banks o'er leap,
    And the flood rolls raging by;
When the settlers are mourning their crops and sheep,
    I can watch them without a sigh.
What matter to me if their fences go,
    If their horses and cattle drown?
I can find a good meal when the sun is low,
    And a home when the sun goes down.

So I wander away at my own sweet will,
    Be it northerly, south or west;
When I'm hungry my paunch I can always fill,
    When I'm tired I can always rest.
I care not what others may do or think,
    I'm a monarch without a crown;
I can always be sure of my food and drink,
    And a home when the sun goes down.


A Bush-Bred Youngster

There's a lonely gorge in the mountains,
    Where the lyre-bird builds its nest;
Where the mid-day sun scarce lingers,
    And the shadows love to rest;
Where, amid the rocks and boulders,
    The struggling waters leap,
And there, 'mid the ferns and shadows,
    A hero is laid to sleep.

He sought not for death or glory,
    'Mid the battle's pomp and din,
Where the grave awaits the vanquished,
    And the laurel those who win.
It was duty alone that called him,
    Not the sound of the drum or fife,
But he answered the call of duty,
    And he gave — all he had — his life.

Little Bess was the widow's darling,
    Her solace and only joy,
Since Heaven had taken her other loves,
    Her husband and bright-eyed boy.
Little Bess was a fair-haired lassie
    Of five, and she used to play,
And sing, as she weaved her wild flowers
    Into posies bright and gay.

Young Jim was a bush-bred youngster,
    Just a great, strong, awkward lad,
Very much like other mortals
    Neither very good nor bad.
But he loved the fair-haired Bessie,
    And he cleared the gate at a bound
When the widow called that her darling
    Had strayed, and could not be found.

Jim vow'd that he'd seek and find her,
    As, with feverish eagerness,
He packed in a well-worn satchel
    Some food and some fruit for Bess.
Then he followed the path by the willows,
    And he searched for her tracks, until
The shadows were long in the valleys
    And the sun sank behind the hill.

But just as the day was waning,
    And the vanishing light grew less,
Jim found a small posy of wild flowers,
    Which he knew had been plucked by Bess.
Then he eagerly searched the gully,
    Whose every path he knew,
And he spied near a stunted fern-tree,
    The print of a tiny shoe.

And the night crept down the valley
    With its solitude and its gloom,
And the breeze that swayed the tree-tops
    Seemed like murmurings from a tomb.
In vain did Jim call and "Cooey",
    And shout through the gathering night,
For the rocks replied to his calling,
    Like the voice of a mocking sprite.

Jim was only a bush-bred youngster,
    Who had never been taught to pray,
Yet, never was prayer more earnest
    Than Jim's, for the light of day.
And never more pure thanksgiving
    Ascended the Throne of Grace,
Than his, when he saw the first grey dawn
    Illumine the lonesome place.

Then step by step he tracked her,
    Through many a rocky dell,
Through bush, and fern he traced her,
    By the signs that he knew so well.
Sometimes would the footprints vanish
    And the signs wax faint and dim,
But a broken twig, or a grass blade bent,
    Was sufficient guide for him.

He was footsore and tired and weary,
    He was hungry and dinnerless,
For the food that he bore in the satchel
    He had sacredly kept for Bess.
His fingers were scratched and bleeding,
    But he knew he was on her track,
And he cared not for wounds nor hunger,
    If he carried his darling back.

There's a spot in the Corang Mountains,
    Where the cliff hangs high and steep,
And frowns o'er a rocky basin
    Whose waters are cold and deep,
And Jim as he scanned the valley,
    Espied near a moss-grown rock,
The glint of a white sun-bonnet,
    And the gleam of a scarlet frock.

Then he called again to his darling,
    And his eyes grew moist and dim,
When, instead of the mocking echoes,
    Her baby voice called "Jim!"
Then from rock to rock he bounded
    With the speed of a mountain deer,
What mattered the cuts and scratches
    Now dear little Bess was near?

She rose from her sweet child slumbers,
    And clapped her small hands with glee,
And she cried "I've been lost so long, Jim,
    But I knew you would come for me.
I was tired, and I fell asleep, Jim,
    And while sleeping I dreamt of you,
And I thought I could hear you 'Cooey',
    Then I woke, and my dream was true!"

But her wee voice froze with horror,
    And the smile died on her face,
For a rock that Jim had leapt on,
    Was tumbling from its place.
She saw him clutching madly
    At a fern. She saw him cling
To stones and grass and creepers,
    And to every fragile thing.

She heard his cry of anguish,
    Then — rocks and stones and grass,
Came crashing down the hill-side,
    In one commingling mass.
She saw him fall beside her,
    She heard a crushing sound,
And the stone had rolled across his knees,
    And pinned him to the ground.

Three long and weary days and nights
    Jim lay in helplessness.
Though faint for food he would not eat,
    But gave it all to Bess.
He was only a rough, bush youngster,
    And hunger is hard to bear,
But Jim preferred to starve outright
    Than eat of her scanty fare.

And at length, when the searchers found them,
    Little Bessie sat close to him,
And raising her tiny finger,
    She said, "Hush! you'll awaken Jim!"
But Jim was beyond awakening,
    And Jim's was the greater gain,
For, as love had subdued his hunger,
    So death had now vanquished pain.

There are cenotaphs, grand and stately,
    In many a sacred fane,
Recording the deeds of heroes,
    In the turmoil of battle slain.
To kill men may be heroic,
    But, as noble and good and brave,
Is the hero who freely gives his life,
    Another's life to save.

Jim was only a bush-bred youngster,
    But his courage was strong and real;
His head was not crammed with knowledge,
    But his heart was as true as steel.
And when God shall command his heroes
    To appear and be judged by Him,
We shall find engrossed on the Sacred Scroll
    The name of the bush-bred Jim.


The Degeneration of Jim

Once he was a decent chap,
    We called 'im "Lanky Jim,"
There wasn't many coves abart
    Was liked as well as 'im.
But now he's gone and altered,
    And it makes us fit to weep;
'E never looks at no one now
    Since 'e pulled off the sweep.

When we heard 'e'd drawed that 'oss
    All the blokes was glad,
Now the way 'e's wastin' of it
    Makes us all feel mad.
Sixty hundred golden quids
    Coming in a heap!
We thought we'd all be bloomin' toffs
    When Jimmy won the sweep.

Once 'e drove a cart and called
    For bottles at the pubs.
Drives a bran'-new sulky now,
    With nickel-plated 'ubs.
Never comes to see his pals
    Or ask 'em if they're dry;
If 'e sees a bottle man
    'E passes of 'im by.

* * * * *

He's moved away from Wexford-street,
    He's livin' out of town;
Won't let no one call 'im "Jim,"
    Says 'e's "Mister Brown."
I arst 'im for a fiver,
    But the bounder 'e said "No,"
And spoke abart a 'arf-a-quid
    'E lent me years ago.

Takes a girl a-drivin' out
    To one place and another;
When 'e ain't a-drivin' 'er
    'E's drivin' of 'is mother.
Says he's goin' to see 'is mother
    Made orlright for life;
Shouldn't wonder if the beggar
    Went and took a wife.


Puts 'is money in the bank!
    Buys 'is mother blouses!
Talks abart investin' in
    Some terrises of 'ouses!
For all the good 'e's done to us
    'E might 'ave been a sheep;
We've lost our old respect for Jim
    Since 'e pulled off the sweep.


The Voice of the Willows


Hiding away from the sunlight,
    Close by a rippling stream,
Hallowed by childish fancies
    And many a waking dream;
There is my royal palace,
    Within it my regal throne,
The former, a grave of willows,
    The latter, a mossy stone.
And legends of hope did the willows tell
To my childish ears, in that rustic dell.

Here, in my sunny childhood,
    I dreamed in my mystic home,
Weaving the fairy garlands
    To wear in the years to come.
Friendship, and love, and honour,
    They all were to be my own;
The future was strewn with roses,
    As I dreamed on my mossy stone.
And still through the leaves, as they fluttered or fell,
The breezes sang, in the willow dell.

Visions of hope are departed,
    Fairy-like dreams have fled.
The thorns still remain, but the roses,
    Like friendship and love, are dead.
The breezes sigh through the willows,
    I ponder and dream alone
Of the life beyond the river,
    As I sit on my mossy stone.
And the breezes sound like a funeral knell,
As they sigh and sob, through the willow dell.


Simple Sam

Sam Fallow was a farming man
    Of substance and sobriety,
Who lived near Coonabarabran
    In comfort and propriety.

For twenty years from morn till night
    He'd worked with willing cheeriness;
For twenty years from dark till light
    He'd rested from his weariness.

His intellect was calm and free
    From falsehood or duplicity;
And what his neighbours told him he
    Believed with sweet simplicity.

But though his mental calibre
    Was babylike and innocent,
His physical proportions were
    Both mighty and magnificent.

His mind was like the virgin soil,
    Of great potentiality;
His thews and sinews, tough with toil,
    The cultured actuality.

And Sam came down to Sydney town,
    To spend his Christmas holiday;
And there he met with William Brown,
    And with him spent a jolly day.

Now, William Brown was bad and bold,
    While Sam was all simplicity,
And all the tales that William told
    Sam swallowed with felicity.

When introduced to William's friend,
    And William's friend predicted him
Long life and money without end,
    Sam never contradicted him.

When they performed some little trick,
    And challenged Sam to do it, he
At once confessed his head was thick
    And void of ingenuity.

Then William Brown grew sad and sighed,
    And murmured quite dejectedly:—
"My rich old Uncle James has died
    In Fiji, unexpectedly."

As beat of drums and trumpet tones
    Arouse a camp from sleepiness,
So these few words through Samuel's bones
    Produced a kind of creepiness.

Some message from the distant past
    At Sam's dull brain seemed hammering,
He thought a moment, then at last
    He recognised its clamouring.

"Why now I know," at length he cried—
    "And I was near deluded too—
The chap, when poor old grand-dad died,
    His latest words alluded to.

"Before he breathed his last, says he,
    'Remember, though I'm leaving you,
That coves with uncles in Fiji
    Are frauds who are deceiving you.

" 'When Noah on his ancient deck
    Met such a one who sounded him,
He caught the beggar by the neck
    And chucked him out and drownded him.

" 'I'm peggin' out without a doubt,
    But if you meet 'em score with 'em;
Just turn the wasters inside out,
    And wipe the bloomin' floor with 'em.'

"And then poor grand-dad died; and so
    His dying words affected me,
I've got to do, before I go,
    As poor grand-dad directed me."

Sam caught a spieler in each hand,
    In vain was all their battling;
For miles around, I understand,
    Folks heard their bones a-rattling.

He swung those spielers round and round,
    Was deaf to all their squealing, too;
And Sam not only swept the ground,
    He wiped the walls and ceiling too.

And when he dropped them on the floor,
    Mere remnants of humanity,
The room was filled with hair and gore,
    With garments and profanity.

Now, when the festive times come round,
    The time for Jays and Jugginses,
Two battered spielers still are found
    In search of Mugs and Mugginses.

But if perchance they meet a man
    Of simple amiability,
And he says, "Coonabarabran,"
    They vanish with agility.


Schneider Strauss

I vas all der country hunting for a man I vants to meet,
    I vas bursting me to schlog him on der cop.
If mine hands I vonce can on him lay, I'll hit him mit mine feet
    'Till he'll neffer know vhich side of him vas top.

He vas "Dandy Pat from Ballarat," mit mighty gifts of gab,
    Und he got me to insure me for mine house,
Put, py shinks, if I comes down on him, I'll schlog him mit a schlab
    Till he von't some more tricks play mit Schneider Strauss.

I vas built mine house mit packing cases, roofed him in mit tin,
    Mit a gutter for der vater, und a shpout;
Und suppose some leetle cracks der vas, vat let der vind come in,
    Dere vas lots of pigger vons to let it out.
So efery night I drunk mine pipe und shmoked mine lager peer,
    Und I felt shoost most ash happy ash a mouse;
Till von efening apout two o'clock, a voice falls on mine ear,
    Und it said, "Vas you dat man called Schneider Strauss?"

Und der voice vas dat insurance man. He coomed und sat him down
    On a candle box, und talked like eferytings;
Py der vay der vords fell out of him, you'd bet a half-a-crown
    Dat his tongue vas on a see-saw vorked mit shprings.
Und he talked apout insurances, und told me I could get
    Lots of money if a fire purnt down mine house,
So I paid him down two pounds ker-splash, und says to him, "You bet,
    Dat you von't no plowflies catch on Schneider Strauss.

Dat insurance man he gafe me, vat you call, "a polisee,"
    Und I nearly laughed mine sides out mit der yoke.
In apout a veek, or sefen days — mine house — Oh, vhere vas he?
    He vas gone; und dere vas notings left but smoke.
So der Gompany I vent to see, to get mine leetle bill,
    Und I promised me a yolly big carouse;
But, like forty tousand tons of boulders falling down a hill,
    Did der troubles tumble down on Schneider Strauss.

Vhen der Gompany I seen he asked me vhat I vas apout?
    Und I told him I vas coomed to get some tin.
Put, he called a pig policeman und shouted, "Roon him out."
    Und he rooned me out, und den he rooned me in,
Dey put me on a canvas suit, dey cut me off mine hair,
    In some vater cold like ice, dey made me souse;
Und der shtones I vas a preaking oop for six months, you can schvear
    Dey vas not so bad proke oop ash Schneider Strauss.

Und mine house vas gone to plazes, und mine money vas gone too;
    Dat insurance man — vhere he vas — who can tell?
Und mine polisee — mine lots of tin — vas gone clean oop der flue.
    It vas turned to shmoke, und dat vas gone ash vell.
Put, I vant dat nice insurance man, to schlog him on der cop,
    If I drop on him he'll vish he vas a mouse,
For I'll turn his outsides inside, till I bet I'll make him shtop
    Playing paddymelon tricks mit Schneider Strauss.


Think of Me


Think of me, when 'mid joy and gladness
    Thy bark glides smoothly down life's tranquil stream,
When thy life, free from care or sadness,
    Is calm and peaceful as a summer dream.

Think of me, though thy path be dreary,
    Though care and sorrow may thy life enshroud;
When crushed hopes make the heart grow weary
    And life seems darkened by a wintry cloud.

Think of me, let thy heart grow kinder
    In summer's sunshine or in winter's gloom,
Think of me, when thy sole reminder
    Is but the shadow of my silent tomb.


The Penitent Swagman

One summer day, my faithful steed and I,
    Jogged wearily along a road out west;
And, as the day was hot and we were dry,
    I sought refreshment at the "Digger's Rest."
The house was with its title quite in keeping,
Behind the bar two pigs were soundly sleeping.

I took my lunch, some eggs just newly laid,
    Corned beef and damper and a cup of tea,
Then, while my horse was feeding in the shade,
    I sat and smoked beneath a myall tree.
When, near at hand I heard a dismal droning,
Like some afflicted mortal, sadly groaning.

Seeking the cause, I spied an aged man,
    Whose gaping boots revealed his socks of rag.
He sat beside a battered billy-can,
    And leaned upon a weather-beaten swag.
"Tell me," said I, "what mean these sounds of sadness;
Are you in pain, or are they signs of madness?"

He touched his hat, and 'twixt his toothless jaws
    He thrust the remnants of a battered pipe.
After a few preliminary draws,
    He gave his hoary head a careful wipe.
Then, when he found his pipe was fairly lighted,
The following tale he dolefully recited.

* * * * *

"'Tis the pangs of remorse," said he,
    "That make me groan so sadly,
The source of my woes is the feeling that flows
    From a conscience stricken badly.

"From the time that I learned to walk,
    I was always a wicked sinner,
I've robbed my old mother, and cheated my brother,
    And stolen a swagman's dinner.

"And when I became a man,
    I followed my old career,
I've gone through a digger, I've murdered a nigger,
    And I've stuck up an auctioneer.

"And I wasn't so far away
    When old Robinson's ricks caught fire.
And while he was tearing, and cursing and swearing,
    I snavelled his horse, 'The Squire.'

"In the palmy days of old,
    I used to do well at prigging;
And I frequently went through a digger's tent,
    (It was easier work than digging).

"Ah! many's the ounce of gold
    I have held in this boney fist;
But the finest lot, and the biggest pot,
    Was the blooming lot I missed.

"Jim Jaggers was always known
    As an unlucky sort of coon,
And I peeped in his tent, as past it I went,
    One Saturday afternoon.

"And I saw Jim was fast asleep,
    So I let him sleep away,
For I thought that in there, there was nothing to spare;
    So I didn't go in that day.

"But next day at the 'Miner's Arms,'
    I heard the story told,
That Jimmy was drunk, and hid under his bunk,
    Were two hundred ounces of gold.

"So I crept to the old camp fire,
    When I found that the yarn was true,
And I cussed at the flames, and I called myself names,
    And I kicked myself black and blue.

"No, it isn't the things I've done
    That make me groan and sigh,
What troubles me most is the scoop that I lost,
    And the chance that I let slip by.

"So I never forgives myself,
    And I'm permanently dejected,
And I shivers and starts when my conscience smarts
    For the chance that I neglected.


O'Mulligan's Wallaby Drive

Mr. Peter O'Mulligan often had thought
That he hadn't been nearly so good as he ought,
In dispensing good cheer to his neighbours and friends,
So he hit on a scheme that would make them amends.
He said, "Molly, me darlin', we'll go the whole hog,
You must lay in a stock of provisions and grog.
We'll invite all the neighbours, and try to contrive
Just to give them an iligant wallaby drive.

He invited the Murphy's, both Johnny and Mat,
And old Sandy McDougall from Tumble Down Flat;
There was Barney O'Grady, and Jones from the Mill,
And old Paddy the stockman, from Cabbage Tree Hill.
And they came with their wives, and their sweethearts, and some
Came alone, and a few were unable to come.
But it did Molly's heart good to see them arrive
To Peter O'Mulligan's wallaby drive.

There was game in abundance, and plenty of sport,
And the old gum trees shook with the rattling report
Of old Paddy's big musket, as furious and fast,
He blazed, with his eyes shut, at all that went past.
At the end of the day, when they counted the score,
Paddy hadn't shot one, while McDougall had four.
Johnny Murphy was top, for he shot twenty-five
At Peter O'Mulligan's wallaby drive.

When the sun had gone down, and the shooting was done,
There was dancing and feasting and flirting and fun.
Johnny Murphy got drunk, while his young brother Mat
Courted Kitty McDougall, from Tumble Down Flat.
While Peter himself, quite unknown to his lady,
Sat on the verandah with Biddy O'Grady.
They danced till poor Jones was more dead than alive
At Peter O'Mulligan's wallaby drive.


O'Grady sought Biddy the moment he missed her,
And came on the pair as O'Mulligan kissed her.
Then their joy was diluted; O'Grady showed fight,
While O'Mulligan's missus made Biddy look white.
In a moment the house was like Donnybrook Fair;
There were heads in the fireplace, and heels in the air.
And though Paddy, the stockman, to part them did strive,
He got floored — at O'Mulligan's wallaby drive.

Poor Kitty McDougall lost all her false hair,
While O'Grady got scalped with the leg of a chair;
Johnny Murphy struck Paddy, who called him a liar,
And, upsetting the lamp, set the whole house on fire.
There was fire in the parlour, and smoke in the hall,
And a blaze in the room that was cleared for the ball,
And the ladies who'd fainted, they had to revive
Or be baked — at O'Mulligan's wallaby drive.

Then they rallied round Peter, their friendship returning,
And they pulled down his house, to prevent it from burning;
When the fire was put out, they all shouted, "Good night!"
And then saddling their horses, were soon out of sight.
When the last one was gone, Mrs. Mulligan rose
And she said, as she wiped a big tear from her nose,
"When ye want more divarsion to kape you alive,
I presume, faith! ye'll get up a wallaby drive."

Then, as phoenix-like, Peter arose from the ashes,
With his whiskers all singed, and his eyebrows and lashes,
He exclaimed, "By the ghost of Saint Patrick, I swear —
If I ever recover my eyebrows and hair,
That there's only one small piece of hunting I'll do,
Faith! I'll hunt for O'Grady, and give him his due.
As for you, Divil take you! I'll skin you alive,
If you ever more mention a wallaby drive!"


God Defend the Commonwealth

God defend the Commonwealth. Preserve our southern nation.
    God protect its sons and make them brave and free.
Watch and guard the cradle of Australian Federation.
    Grant that in its manhood it may serve and honour Thee.
        God defend the Commonwealth,
            Bless our new Australian nation,
        Grant our people peace and health,
            God preserve our Federation.

Grant that all our rulers may have strength and power to guide us;
    Wisdom, truth, and justice to determine all their ends.
Plant the blessed Spirit of a lasting Peace beside us,
    Make Australians brothers, and make all mankind their friends.
        God defend the Commonwealth,
            Bless our new Australian nation,
        Grant our people peace and health,
            God preserve our Federation.

Guard our new Britannia and maintain the old one's glory,
    Weld the bond of kinship that encircles all the earth;
Grant that on each page that we may add to Britain's story,
    Glory may be added to the land that gave us birth.
        God defend the Commonwealth,
            Bless our new Australian nation,
        Grant our people peace and health,
            God preserve our Federation.

God defend the Commonwealth and all its sons and daughters;
    God preserve the flag that flies beneath our sunny sky,
Emblem of Fraternity, it floats across the waters,
    Grant us strength and courage to defend our flag or die.
        God defend the Commonwealth,
            Bless our new Australian nation,
        Grant our people peace and health,
            God preserve our Federation.


Latter Day Patriots

A time has been, in nearly every nation,
    When Freedom, crushed beneath a tyrant's heel,
Hast burst her bonds, and, mad to desperation,
    Has struck a blow which made the tyrant reel.
Oppression's chains, with tyrant hands to bind them,
    May doom to servile bonds a slavish race;
But patriot hands, with manly hearts behind them,
    Will snap those chains before the tyrant's face.

We reverence the men, renowned in story,
    Whose gallant blood was poured on Freedom's shrine;
Their sole ambition was a patriot's glory,
    And Freedom's triumph was their sole design.
But now, alas! is Freedom's cause degrading,
    Instead of those of whom the bards have sung,
We now have Patriots (?) openly parading,
    Whose sole reliance is their strength of lung.

With noise and bluster they would rule the nation,
    And crush opponents with their foul remarks,
Their trusty weapon, vile vituperation,
    Their chosen battle ground, our public parks.
And there, when Sabbath bells their peals are ringing,
    To call each wanderer home with silvery tongues,
The bells are silenced by the ceaseless dinging,
    Of peddling patriots, with leather lungs.

One has a nostrum for each fiscal evil,
    Another preaches socialistic rot,
A third attacks religion and the devil,
    And all abuse the wealth they haven't got.
Each of his own pet stump is the selector,
    Each prates on that he thinks he prates on best,
Each fills with dust the eyes of the elector,
    And to advance himself would hang the rest.

Yet all are patriots, for they love the nation
    Whose laws and rulers treat them all so queer,
And are prepared to work out its salvation—
    And ease it of three hundred pounds a year.
They want a seat and its attendant glories,
    For its emoluments their throats they tear;
And, sad to say, O tempora, O mores,
    If their throats stand it, we shall see them there.


A Nicht Wi' Burns in Yackandandie

'Tis said that in the world's great span,
    Be't het or cauld, or foul or fair,
Where'er ye find the trace o' man,
    Ye're bound to find a Scotchman there.
I never met a dizzen men
    But there was "Jock," or "Mac," or "Sandy,"
I've proved it ower and ower again;
    An' sae it was at Yackandandie.

'Twas there I met wi' Jock Munroe,
    An' Jamie Craig o' Ballarat,
Wi' Rob McNab, frae Bendigo,
    An' Sandy Scot, frae Lambing Flat.
Eh, mon! it was a droothy day;
    Oor throats were parched, oor voices husky;
Sae we resolved, withoot delay,
    Tae droon oor drooth wi' Auld Scotch whusky.

We had ae glass or maybe twa,
    When Jamie's throat began to clear,
He sang, "The Fair sae far awa',"
    An' then, "The Bonnie Banks of Ayr."
Auld time gangs bruskly on his flicht
    When Scotland's ploughman bard is handy;
An' sae it cam, we spent the nicht
    Wi' Rabbie Burns in Yackandandie.


We sang "John Anderson, my Jo,"
    An' "Willie brewed a peck o' maut,"
An' then, "My ain kind dearie O,"
    An' "Rantin' dog the daddy o't."
We shook the roof wi' "Duncan Grey,"
    At ilka sang we wat oor throttles,
'Till Jamie laid McNab awa'
    An' fenced him in wi' empty bottles.

Then Jamie sang "O steer her up,"
    An' Jock, "O, why should I repine?"
And then we took "anither cup,"
    But couldna' sing "For Auld Lang Syne."
For Jamie was too fou' to speak,
    An' sae in truth was Jock and Sandy;
Sae I went forth, ma camp to seek,
    Aboot a mile frae Yackandandie.

The road had mony a twist and turn,
    The vera fences a' seemed fou';
An' when I reached the creek or burn,
    Whaur ae brig stood — there noo stood twa!
I couldna' cross the twa at ance,
    I didna' wish to fash or bustle,
 Sae sat me down, beside a fence
    To rest ma legs, and wat ma whustle.

Jist haufway twixt the fence an' creek
    There stood an auld black hollow stump;
An' when I heard the auld stump speak,
    Ye micht ha' heard ma gizzard jump.
Frae out the stump a heid appeared,
    An' on the heid "an auld blue bonnet,"
 Then cam a figure, strange an' weird,
    That "crooned awa' an auld Scots' sonnet."

His withered hauns he waved on high,
    As ane, new-risen frae the deid;
Ma tongue refused to speak, or cry;
    Ma hair stood upricht on ma heid.
"Ye drucken carle," the Form began;
    "Ye bletherin', blinkin', feckless ranter;
Ye gowk! that ca'st yersel' a man;
    Ye needna' quake at Tam O'Shanter."

"It is nae ghaist nor wraith ye see,
    That ye should fyke yersel' wi' fear;
Auld Tam O'Shanter winna' dee
    Whiles min or stars their courses steer;
I chase doure sorrow to its lair,
    I fling ma rung at toil and trouble,
I skelp the lug o' dolefu' care,
    An', fuff! they vanish like a bubble."

"Search torrid zone, or Arctic sea,
    Ye'll find a bonny Scotsman there;
An' where the sons o' Scotland be
    There's Tam O'Shanter and his mare."
 Then stalkin' in the pale moonlicht,
    Tam saw the whusky bottle handy,
An' seizin' it, wi' great delicht,
    He cried, "I'll drink to Yackandandie."

"O Tam," cried I, "ye bear the name
    O' bein' neebourly an' fair,
Ye ken, fair play's a bonny game,
    We'll drink aboot, an' ca' it square."
But Tam, he laughed, an' gied a jump,
    An' louped a loup sae gay and frisky;
Then disappeared, within the stump,
    An' wi' him went ma flask o' whusky.

* * * * *

When next I waked, the sun's first beam
    Was shinin' on my aching heid.
I asked mysel', "Was Tam a dream?
    Or frightfu' eerie frae the deid?"
But no, 'twas Tam himsel' I'd seen,
    Nae wraith has sich a droothy throttle;
An' there's the stump, before ma een,
    An', in the stump, the empty bottle.

If any scornfu' loon should dare
    Tae doubt the truthfu' tale I tell,
The vera stump is stannin' there
    An' he can see it for himsel'.
An' I, for ane, would e'en rejoice
    To see that unbeliever bandy,
Wha doots that Tam O'Shanter's voice
    Could reach frae Ayr to Yackandandie.


The Rouseabout

In a humble hut, on a scrubby flat,
    Near the land of the setting sun,
Lived a simple but honest rouseabout,
    Who rejoiced in the name of Dunn.
He could warble as sweet as a bandicoot,
    He could dance like a kangaroo,
His age, it was just about four feet-ten,
    And his height about thirty-two.

He worshipped a beautiful female maid
    Who lived on a distant plain;
Whose husband had gone to a far-off land,
    And had never come back again.
She had bright blue hair, she had rosy eyes,
    And her cheeks were of golden hue.
So Tommy set off, as the sun went down,
    To tell her he loved her true.

He traversed the hills and the mountain peaks,
    He climbed up a rugged plain,
He swam the beds of the dried-up creeks
    And he tramped o'er the raging main.
He saw not the wind on the distant hills,
    He heard not the rising moon,
For his soul was dead, and his burning head
    Was as calm as a big monsoon.

His eye, like a hurricane, roared aloud,
    His voice, like the lightning flashed,
The blustering blizzard it boomed and burst
    As on through the dust he splashed.
He rode on a flea-bitten chestnut mare,
    With a patent pneumatic tyre;
And the sparks from the feet of his flying steed
    Set Billabong Creek on fire.

He leapt from the train at the half-way house,
    And stood at the maiden's door;
He wept at the sight of that dear old spot
    Which he never had seen before;
He stood on his head at the maiden's feet,
    And he begged her his lot to share,
Then, brushing a tear from his glist'ning ear,
    He spoke of his dumb despair.

"See! see!" he exclaimed to the winsome maid,
    In syllables tall and sweet,
"The whole of my expectations I cast
    At thy beautiful, blushing feet.
For you I would live — through Eternity!
    Say 'yes' — for my own sweet sake,
And without a murmur I'll sacrifice
    All the millions I hope to make."

Then the maiden rested her blushing nose
    For a moment on Tommy's chest,
And she said, as she cuddled his crumpled form
    To her soft and capacious breast,
"As I have been true in the years to come,
    I'll be true in the past," said she.
And she winked her ear at a native bear
    That was perched on a pumpkin tree.


The Song of the Mason

Within an Abbey's sacred pile,
'Neath fretted dome and columned aisle,
A youngster and his father stand,
Viewing its beauties, hand in hand.
And as in awe he looks, the son
Marvels to know how all is done.
"Father," he said, "I fain would know
How all these wondrous buildings grow."

The father paused, then answer made:
"I'll tell thee how they grow," he said.
"Some wealthy man must first engage
To pay the men their daily wage,
Because 'tis surely right and meet
That those who work shall also eat.
Then comes a wondrous skilful man
Who makes designs and draws a plan;
Each column, arch and frieze he draws
In strict accord with nature's laws;
Just as the Great Designer drew
His plan, symmetrical and true;
So that, when built, the whole design
Both strength and beauty shall combine.

"The quarrymen, with maul and wedge,
With swinging pick, and mighty sledge,
Then drill the holes and lay the train
That rends the towering hills in twain;
Then speaks the blast, whose voice of thunder
Can rive the solid rocks asunder;
They split and hew the riven rocks,
And shape them into massive blocks;
Till tier on tier, rough-hewn they stand,
Waiting the expert craftsman's hand.
The skilful Master Mason, then
(Cunning to judge both stones and men),
Examines keenly every stone,
Selects the good and sound alone,
Distributes all his work with care —
A column here, an arch-stone there —
Directing so that all combine
To harmonise one grand design.

And the hammers and the mallets on the chisels ring,
Through the blocks the ropes are creaking as the derricks swing;
    And each stone more shapely grows
    'Neath the skilful craftsman's blows,
And the chips and spawls are flying as the Masons sing.

"The firm foundation next is made,
Each stone is well and truly laid
(The finest building could not stand
If built on mud or shifting sand).
Then stone on stone is fixed in place,
Each massive, strong, yet full of grace;
Whilst each its separate burden bears,
It helps its mates to carry theirs.
The pillars, rising from the ground,
With sculptured capitals are crowned.
Each product of the craftsman's skill
Has its allotted space to fill,
Just as, on earth, the humblest man
Is part of God's almighty plan.

And the mallets and the hammers on the chisels ring,
And the groaning blocks are creaking as the derricks swing;
    And the Master cries 'Well done,'
    For his work is well begun,
And the chips and spawls are flying as the Masons sing.

"The arches spring from pier to pier,
The building rises, tier on tier;
The mullioned windows, seen on high,
Are filled with flowing tracery;
From groinéd ceilings angels weep,
And from quaint corners gargoyles peep,
So queer are some, they almost seem
To have been drawn from some mad dream.
Now, cunning men the spandrails fill
With foliage, carved with wondrous skill.
The Master's cheery accents tell
That all is orderly and well;
For, as his men he moves among,
He hums aloud the Mason's song.

Oh, the hammers and the mallets on the chisels ring,
And the heavy stones are rising as the derricks swing,
And the building slowly grows
'Neath the craftsman's skilful blows,
And the chips and spawls keep flying as the Masons sing.

"Yet still more high the building grows,
Each tier some added beauty shows;
A flying buttress, quoin or label,
Coping stone or pointed gable;
Sculptured bosses, Gothic knees,
Or richly foliated frieze.
While within, the eye may roam
From altar step to stately dome;
Higher still, and yet more high,
Till pinnacles approach the sky.
The gilded finial stands alone,
And seems to kiss the setting sun;
Erect and plumb, it seems to say,
'From earth to heaven I point the way.'

And the mallets and the hammers now no more will ring,
And the blocks will creak no longer as the derricks swing,
    For the victory is won,
    And the Masons' work is done;
And they know that future ages will their praises sing."


Not Too Bad

De cottage vas close py der garden gate,
    It vas not mighdty hardt to find it,
A couple of gum-trees grew shoost in front,
    Und a pig-shty grew shoost pehind it.
Dere vos milk-cows und sheep on der clover-flat
    Und a creek vhere der vater ran,
Der misdress of all, vas der Vidder McCaul,
    Und I vos her handy man.

Ach, shveet vas der ploom on der orchard-trees,
    Und lofely der flowers in shpring;
But, der vidder's daughter, Yemima Ann,
    She vas shveeter ash efferyting.
She valked on der ferry ground I lofed,
    Und her eyes were so lofely prown,
Dat vheneffer I see dat she looked at me,
    Vhy, I felt mineself top-side down.

I lofed mine life ash I lofed dat girl,
    Und a vink from her tvinkling eye
Ash I helped her to moundt on der old prown mare
    Made me feel apout ten feet high.
Vhen she cantered home ash der sun vent down,
    Und I lifted her oop to der ground,
Vhen I felt her yoomp, mine heardt vent boomp,
    Und I felt apout twelfe feet round.

So I shpeaks to mineself, "I must hafe dat girl,
    For mithout her I aint no use;"
So I tole her von day vhat a duck she vas,
    Und she tell me I vas a coose.
Den a shearer coomed town from der Lachlan,
    Pout ash tall ash a wool-shed toor,
Und he took her avay on a pullock-tray,
    Und she neffer comes pack some more.

So I vent, vat you calls, "clean off your shoomps,"
    I crinds oop mine teeth und schvear;
I knocks mineself town mit a pag of shaff,
    Und I picks mineself oop py mine hair.
I shvears I could hang und trown mineself,
    Und fill mineself oop mit shot too;
Put, shoost vhen I run to get mine gun,
    Der vidder, she tole me not to.

She said, ash she fried me some eggs for mine tea,
    Und her tears shpluttered in der pan,
"Vas it not goot enough to her daughter lose,
    Mithout losing her handy man?
Vas der fish not ash goot vhat vas in der sea
    Ash der fish vhat vas taken oudt?
If der shnapper I sought vas got shnapped oop und caught,
    Dere vas plenty more shvimmin apout."

So I said, "Do you know vhere dat fish to find,
    Apout vat you gone und told me?"
Und I town-sat mineself py der vidder's side,
    (Und der vidder she neffer shcold me).
Ash der vidder she mix oop her tears mit mine,
    I got prave und mine heardt grew polder.
So mine left arm I placed round der vidder's vaist,
    Und der vidder's head fell on mine shoulter.

Ach, shveet vas der shmell from der new-fried eggs,
    Vhich der vidder vas shoost peen frying;
Und shveet vas der glance from der vidder's eye,
    (Mit her head on mine shoulter lying).
If I gissed her ten times I gissed her vonce
    Pefore effer I thought of shtoppin;
Und der pig pullock-pell in der milk-pan fell,
    Und ve neffer heardt it droppin.

I takes mine seat in der parlour now,
In der gitchen I hangs mine hat,
Und der milk-cows feed shoost across der creek,
Und der sheep on der clover-flat.
I shnapped oop der fish dat vas shvimmin apout,
Und I neffer no more got mad,
Und I tinks of a night, ash mine shmoke-pipe I light,
Dat I didn't do — NOT TOO BAD.


Do I Love Thee?


I ask my heart, "Do I love thee?"
    But how can I e'er forget
The feelings of joy and rapture
    That thrilled me when first we met?
The memory of each glad meeting
    Is treasured within my heart,
Which has well-nigh ceased its beating,
    Since, in sorrow, we had to part.

Each night, as I seek my pillow,
    I murmur a prayer for thee,
I breathe thy name, as the sunbeams
    Flash red on the eastern sea.
Thy spirit is still the beacon
    That guides me 'mid care and strife,
And there 'twill remain for ever,
    My darling, my love, my life.


Ben the Stoker

The Albatross sailed to the Southern Seas,
Amidst coral islands and banyan trees,
Where the scent-laden puffs of the torrid breeze
Go up to a hundred and forty degrees.
                And the heat in the hole
                Where they shovel the coal
            To replenish the fires below,
                Is exactly the same
                As that region of flame
            Where unorthodox people go.

Benjamin Buckle was stout and strong,
His hands were horny, his arms were long,
He sang as he shovelled the coals among,
And this was the text of the Stoker's song:—
                "Oh, we've shovelled and stoked
                And been bothered and smoked
            Till you can't tell the coal from us,
                We've been frizzled and fried
                Till we've each got a hide
            Like a Rhino-popotamus."

But one afternoon, about four o'clock,
The Albatross struck on a sunken rock;
And she struck it with such a tremendous knock
That she broke in halves with the sudden shock.
                When she fractured her back,
                Ben leaped through the crack,
            And struck manfully out for land.
                At a quarter to five
                He was lying alive—
            But alone — on the coral strand.

Now, His Majesty King Kookabudgerie,
The King of the island of Fi-fo-fee,
Was wondering what he would have for tea,
When he spotted Ben, and he danced with glee.
                He was tired of yams,
                He detested clams,
            And had little else to eat,
                But Ben was a prize
                Of abnormal size,
            And the daintiest kind of meat.

So the King gave vent to a cheerful roar,
He called for his cooks and his wives a score;
They gathered up firewood and sticks galore,
And they kindled a fire on the sandy shore.
                On the embers then
                They lifted Ben,
            And so chubby and plump he looked,
                That they all agreed
                What a splendid feed
            He would make them when nicely cooked.

They stirred up the fire till the sun went down,
Then His Majesty frowned with an awful frown,
And the feathers he tore from his royal crown,
For Benjamin hadn't begun to brown.
                When they poked up the fire
                And the flames shot higher
            Ben waked from his sleep and smiled,
                And said, "Stupid old joker,
                You can't cook a stoker,
            He'll neither make roast nor biled."

"Wot are yer givin' us," shouted Ben,
"Do you think I'm as soft as a new-laid hen?
I ain't a poor beggar wot drives a pen,
I'm one of His Majesty's fire-proof men,
                Who have shovelled and stoked,
                And smothered and smoked,
            Till you can't tell the coal from us,
                And we can't be fried
                For we've each got a hide
            Like a Hippo-Rhinoceros."

Then the cannibal King, Kookabudgerie,
He welcomed Ben Buckle on bended knee;
"I make you from this very hour," said he,
"Controller of Customs for Fi-fo-fee.
                Since my reign began
                I've been seeking a man
            This dangerous post to fill,
                Who is proof against slaughter
                And thrives in hot water,
            And you will just fill the bill.


Brogan's Flat

It wasn't quite the spot an average person would select
    To study classic architecture in,
For every man in Brogan's Flat was his own architect,
    And materialised his plans in slabs and tin.
The sun-baked street was crooked, and the houses wide apart,
    With a patch of bush between them now and then;
But the township didn't pride itself on literature or art —
    All its pride was concentrated on its men.

As I don't hail from Brogan's Flat, it don't apply to me;
    So you can take my word this tale is true.
The people there possessed in a superlative degree
    The faculty to go for all they knew.
If a Brogan's Flat inhabitant played cards, he played to win;
    And he always held the joker and the bower;
But if he didn't play at cards, then cards were deadly sin
    And a shocking waste of energy and power.

The good men there were extra good, the bad ones very bad,
    The tall men always grew extremely tall;
And every man was jolly or superlatively sad,
    And they always smoked or never smoked at all.
The pious men at Brogan's Flat spent all their time in prayer,
    The gossips spent the whole of theirs in chat;
And the teamsters on the Namoi never quite knew how to swear
    Till they had a final course at Brogan's Flat.

Bill Peters kept the smithy at the west end of the town,
    And he couldn't fit a shoe or weld a link,
Fix a bolt for Jimmy Thompson or a nut for Johnny Brown,
    But his shibboleth was "Comanavadrink."
Then sounds of noisy revelry would float from Murphy's bar,
    And be followed by a simple old refrain,
The melodies were various, but as constant as a star
    Was the chorus — it was "Fillemupagain."

Beyond the mill, where Brogan's Flat extended to the east,
    Stood the forge of Jock McTavish, who would swear
That the man who touched strong drink was more degraded than a beast,
    And that wine was a delusion and a snare.
While McTavish made a horse-shoe 'twas his custom to inveigh
    Against publicans and whisky, rum and gin,
And his preaching was as powerful while riveting a stay
    As the blows with which he drove the rivets in.

While Peters sang a roaring song in praise of rosy wine,
    And filled himself with whisky from the still,
McTavish used to preach in praise of abstinence divine
    And sing of sparkling water from the rill.
If a stranger came to Brogan's Flat, and entered from the west,
    The place seemed full of drunkenness and mirth,
While the stranger from the eastward always thought the town was blessed,
    And imagined it the soberest spot on earth.

Now, although the temperance question was decided east and west,
    In the middle Brogan's Flat was still in doubt;
And the middle folks consulted and decided it was best
    Just to meet and thrash the troubled problem out.
So they called a public meeting and arranged for a debate,
    And the subject for discussion it was this:
"Does the cup what's said to cheer us, and what don't inebriate,
    Or does whisky, give the greatest share of bliss?"

Jock McTavish championed temperance with eloquence and skill,
    And his reasons were convincing and profound;
While Peters fought for alcohol and whisky from the still,
    And his arguments were logical and sound.
And every point McTavish made was driven home with force
    Like his mighty sledge, his blows were hard and true;
While the arguments that Peters used, he clinched without remorse,
    As he clinched the nails when nailing on a shoe.

When the chairman put the question, he announced, 'mid great applause,
    That the voting had resulted in a tie;
And he couldn't give a casting vote on either side, because
    He was at a loss to give a reason why.
He had listened to the various points the speakers dwelt upon,
    And he felt convinced the meeting would agree
That the intellectual arguments delivered pro and con.
    Were just about as equal as could be.

When Peters rose to move a vote of thanks unto the chair,
    He said, "I'd like to make this one remark —
The arguments of friend McTavish lead me to declare
    That I've always been a-gropin' in the dark.
I've been like one benighted, and I'm certain as can be
    That I've always been mistaken heretofore;
From to-night I'll stick to water, varied now and then with tea,
    And I'll never touch the whisky any more."

Then McTavish rose to second it, and briefly he announced,
    "Mr. Peters has converted me outright;
And, although my love for water has been ardent and pronounced,
    I will never touch cold water from to-night.
I feel to William Peters gratitude that's quite intense,
    Words fail me to express the thoughts I think,
But I can't resist his eloquence, his wit, and common sense—
    In short, my brethren, Comanavadrink."

McTavish now sings roaring songs in praise of rosy wine,
    And fills himself with whisky from the still;
While Peters preaches temperance and abstinence divine,
    And sings of sparkling water from the rill.
Now, the stranger entering Brogan's Flat, and coming from the west,
    Never hears the sounds of revelry and mirth;
And the stranger from the eastward never marks the place as blest,
    For he thinks he's struck the drunkest spot on earth.


My Own Bonny Yacht


The rider may sing of his high-mettled steed,
    Or the lover may boast of his lass;
The scholar love books, or the smoker his weed,
    And the toper find joy in the glass.
But poor are their pleasures, when measured by mine,
    And more perfect the joy that I feel,
When steering my bonny yacht over the brine,
    As the wavelets keep kissing her keel.

        With my hand upon the tiller, how we glide before the breeze,
            Not a wrinkle in her well-filled sail;
        Oh! I feel her pulses quiver, as she dances o'er the seas,
            When we fly before a fine, fresh, gale.

Our crew is the smartest, our boat is the best,
    From her keelson to pennant complete;
A capful of wind, or a gale from sou'-west,
    She is always the first of the fleet.
From Pinchgut to Manly, and home round the Shark,
    A run to Port Stephens and back;
We shew them the way, in our bonny wee bark,
    And the others sail home in our track.
            With my hand upon the tiller, etc.

Then keep all your horses, your women, and wine,
    For my love is far sweeter than all;
She's trusty, and lively, she's handsome and fine,
    And her wants are exceedingly small.
Let this be our toast, as we lazily float,
    "To our love may we ever prove true;
May we never grow rusty for want of a boat,
    Nor our boat ever want a good crew."
            With my hand upon the tiller, etc.


The Political Dead-Beat

You needn't think a man's a mouse, because he looks forlorn,
'Cause his pants are out at elbows, and his linen's frayed and torn;
Because his coat's seen better days, and his waistcoat ain't quite new,
And his hat's a ventilating one and lets the air come through.
A man is easy sat upon when Fortune's done its worst,
And the only asset left him is unliquidated thirst.
I'm the shuttle-cock of Fortune, and the boomerang of Fate,
I'm a blighted politician, who got plucked for voting straight.

When first I entered parliament I knew a thing or two,
I used to trim my flowing sails to every wind that blew;
Though I didn't have much learning I possessed some common sense,
And could hold my own at sitting on or sliding off a fence.
My opinions were elastic, but my principles were sound,
For if they caught an adverse wind, they always twisted round.
So Fortune smiled upon me, and I proved from day to day,
That the politics that wobble are the politics that pay.

One night when party strife was keen, I was an absentee,
So when they counted noses they could count on all but me;
My vote was worth the fattest prize the Ministry could give,
For I could kill the Government or I could let it live.
The party whip soon found me out and I remarked that I
Was conscientiously inclined to let the Government die.
Said he "What price your conscience?" Then I whispered in his ear,
And the party when I took my seat received me with a cheer.

Alas! for fickle Fortune that will sometimes kick the beam,
While members droned I slumbered, and I dreamt a blissful dream.
The division bell awoke me; then I started from my doze,
And cast the vote among the "Ayes," I'd promised to the "Noes."
I discovered when I rubbed my eyes, and turned to look about,
That I'd voted with my conscience, but I'd put the Government out.
So a dissolution followed, and I found out when too late,
That people thought I'd lost my head, because I voted straight.

On polling day I faced the crowd, I argued north and south,
But talking's hard when half-hatched eggs keep dropping in one's mouth;
I could argue against men but not against bubonic rats,
Bits of pumpkin, rotten apples, and resuscitated cats.
I could raise my voice with resonance above the surging sea,
But a thousand braying asses were a bit too strong for me;
So the boys sang "Rule Britannia," and the men threw up their hats,
And when I tried to soothe the crowd, the crowd just shouted "Rats!"

I promised to do anything, to vote just as they chose,
But the ancient eggs came faster, then a furious yell arose;
My platform swayed, and then gave way, and then I lost my feet,
And when I found my head again I found I'd lost my seat.
I'm a blighted politician, crushed beneath the wheels of fate,
Minus my golden railway pass, because I voted straight.
So take heed ye politicians, and this little maxim keep,
The most successful wobbler is the man who doesn't sleep.


Rum and Water

Stifling was the air, and heavy; blowflies buzzed and held a levee,
    And the mid-day sun shone hot upon the plains of Bungaroo,
As Tobias Mathew Carey, a devout bush missionary,
    Urged his broken-winded horse towards the township of Warhoo.
He was visiting the stations, and delivering orations
    About everlasting torture and the land of Kingdom Come,
And astounding all his hearers, both the rouseabouts and shearers,
    When discanting on the horrors that result from drinking rum.

As Tobias Mathew Carey, lost in visions bright and airy,
    Tried to goad his lean Pegasus to a canter from a jog,
All his visions were sent flying by his horse abruptly shying
    At a newly-wakened something that reclined beside a log.
It was bearded, bronzed, and hairy, and Tobias Mathew Carey
    Had a very shrewd suspicion as the object he espied,
And observed its bleary winking, that the object had been drinking,
    A suspicion which was strengthened by a bottle at its side.

It was Jacob William Wheeler, better known as "Jake the Spieler,"
    Just returning from a sojourn in the township of Warhoo,
Where, by fast-repeated stages, he had swamped his cheque for wages,
    And for language made a record for the plains of Bungaroo.
Then the earnest missionary, Mr. Toby Mathew Carey,
    Like a busy bee desiring to improve each shining hour,
Gave his horse a spell much needed, and immediately proceeded
    To pour down, on Jake the Spieler, an admonitory shower.

He commenced his exhortation with a striking illustration
    Of the physical and moral degradation that must come
To the unrepentant sinner who takes whiskey with his dinner,
    And converts his stomach into a receptacle for rum.
"Give attention to my query," said the ardent missionary:
    "Do you not perceive that Satan is this moment calling you?
He is shouting! he is calling, in a voice that is appalling:
    Do you hear him?" And the spieler answered sadly — "Yes! I do."

"I can prove it is impious," said the eloquent Tobias,
    "To drink stuff containing alcohol, and liquors that are strong,
And I'll prove to demonstration that your guzzling inclination
    Is quite morally, and socially, and physically wrong.
When about to drain a bottle, or pour whiskey down your throttle,
    You should think upon the thousands who have perished for its sake.
Gone! to Davey Jones's locker, through the wine that is a mocker,
    And which biteth like a serpent's tooth, and stingeth like a snake."

Toby paused, and Jake replying, said: "It ain't no use denying
    That your logic is convincing, and your arguments are sound.
I have heard with admiration your remarks and peroration,
    And your knowledge of the subject seems extensive and profound.
Yet, in spite of all your spouting, there is just one thing I'm doubting,
    But I'm open to conviction, so convince me if you can;
As the iron's hot now strike it, just convince me I don't like it,
    And I'll chuck the grog, and sign the pledge, and keep it, like a man."

Then Tobias Mathew Carey eyed the spieler bronzed and hairy,
    But his tongue no word could utter, and the silence was intense,
As the spieler, slowly rising, in a style quite patronising,
    Blandly smiled upon Tobias, and continued his defence.
"In your arguments I noted that the scriptures you misquoted,
    But you know, Old Nick proved long ago that two could play at that.
Which has caused the greatest slaughter? Was it rum? or was it water?
    If you say it was the former, why I'll contradict it flat.

"When old Noah at the deluge, in the Ark was taking refuge,
    All the other people in the world by water met their fate.
And King Pharaoh's countless army! — Did they drink and all go balmy?
    No! You'll find they died by water if you'll just investigate.
All the records of the ages, mentioned in the sacred pages,
    Only tell of one example, and the fact you know full well,
Where a cove a drink was craving and for water started raving,
    And that beggar was located — where he ought to be — in Hell!"

Jake then dropped the tone effusive, and began to be abusive,
    Swore he'd "pick the missionary up and drop him in the dirt,"
Vowed he'd "twist his blooming nose up, make him turn his blinded toes up,
    Sing him for a dusty fiver, or else fight him for his shirt."
And the air was hot and heavy, and the blowflies held their levee,
    And the evening sun shone red upon the plains of Bungaroo;
As Tobias Mathew Carey, a disgusted missionary,
    Spurred his broken-winded steed towards the township of Warhoo.


Tim Turpin

Tim Turpin by trade was a saddler,
A nice little chap from his birth;
His height was five feet in his stockings,
And just about three feet his girth.

He feel deep in love with a maiden,
Both buxom and bonnie was she;
So, giving the reins to his passion,
He said, "Harness up dear with me."

"For sad'll be my fate without you,
And hobbled the aims of my life;
Of joy I shall ne'er have the traces,
If you don't buckle to as my wife."

The maid said, "Sir, single life bores me,
But just a bit hasty you are,
Just curb all this; bridle ambition,
For I can't till you ask my papa."

So the youth tried to whip up his courage,
The maiden's papa to assail;
And to stir-up his feeble invention,
He consulted his friend, Martin Gale.

Hope spurred him as far as her dwelling,
But he altered his tone at the door,
For her pa got a grip at his collar
And pummelled him, till he was sore.

He lifted Tim up by the breeching,
And with one of his number nine feet,
He fetched Tim a kick on the crupper,
That landed him into the street.


Did You Ever?

Did you effer seen some leetle pootle dog
    Dat vas shnoodled oop so shnug upon a mat?
Did you seen some sheeps in clover, or a hog
    Vhat could hardly valk around himself for fat?
Did you effer seen a cat vhat caught a mouse?
    Or a poy vhat shtole a lump of sugar-cane?
If you did, I bet a pumpkin to a house
    Dat you seen some beoples happy. Dat vas plain.
                Und dat vas shoost like me,
                Shoost so happy as could pe,
    When first mine eyes dropped down on Susan Yane.

She vos riding on a horse dat vos a mare;
    Und she plushed all oop und down und looked so shy;
Der sun vos playing "peep-bo" mit her hair,
    Und der shtars could neffer twinkle like her eye.
I could hardly mofe mineself for shtanding still;
    I vos got all hot, and soon got cold again.
She shmiled at me, und cantered down der hill,
    Und left me filled mit gladness in der lane.
                Und der singing of der preeze,
                As it murmured through der trees,
    Vas like music, vhen I first seen Susan Yane.

I vent courting Susan Yane like efferything;
    Und see shmiled so sveet und soon shtuck oop mit me.
So I pought a leetle golten vedding ring,
    Und ve poth vos shoost so happy as could pe.
She vos promise she vould lofe me und opey,
    Und vould shtick to me mit sunshine und mit rain;
Und it seemed der vorld so happy vos und gay,
    Dat I neffer couldn't sigh no more again.
                Und I sang vhen I vos talking,
                Und I yumped vhen I vos valking,
    On der day dat I got spliced mit Susan Yane.

* * * * *

Did you effer seen some leetle pootle dog
    Vhat his leetle tail got yammed between a door?
Or a cow dat vos shtuck fast into a pog,
    Und vhat couldn't neffer get him out some more?
Did you seen a man egstracted from his tooth,
    Und vhat kick der teeth egstractor mit his pain?
If you vos yourself dat man und shpeak der truth,
    You vas neffer vant to pe dat man again.
                Dese are things dat vasn't fun,
                But shoost poil dem down to von,
    Und dat vos like I last seen Susan Yane.


She vost shtanding mit her arms und elbows pare,
    Und der vords she said dey make me feel so sick;
In her left hand vos a handful of mine hair,
    While her right hand gripped der handle of a pick.
I could hardly stand me oop, I felt so sore,
    Und I ran so hard I neffer shtopped again—
If I effer shows mine face to her some more,
    I shall mighty quick pe numbered mit der slain.
                For mine heart is in mine poots,
                Und mine hair's pulled out py roots—
    Und dat's der last I seen of Susan Yane.


The Legend of "Dead Man's Gully"

At Wheeo, in the county of King, is a lonely spot which bears the euphonious appellation of "Dead Man's Gully." It derived its name and subsequent unenviable reputation from the incident related in the following lines:—

As Sol sank smiling in the west,
    The shadows lengthened on the plain,
Each blushing hill and mountain crest
    His rays reflected back again.

The waving wattles softly sighed,
    From scented shrubs the perfume rose,
The tiny streamlet's murmuring tide
    Whispered of peace and calm repose.

The magpie's vesper song was o'er—
    Her farewell to the setting sun,
The curlew in its lonely bower
    Its plaintive cry had not begun.

And as the shadows longer grew,
    And twilight took the place of day,
A wayworn traveller came in view,
    And wearily pursued his way.

A broken, battered wreck was he,
    Whose active cruising days were o'er;
A flotsam on Life's troubled sea,
    A derelict on Fate's lee shore.

His bloodshot eye and haggard face,
    His hungry look and unkempt hair,
His tottering limbs and faltering pace,
    All spoke of want and dull despair.

But suddenly erect he stood—
    A lonely hut had met his view,
And thoughts of succour and of food
    Had given him life and strength anew.

He reached the door, for food he craved.
    Its tenant was a lonely dame,
Who deemed him mad; she thought he raved,
    And bade him go — to whence he came.

The haggard look returned once more,
    His chin drooped heavy on his breast;
He staggered, fainting, from the door
    To seek some lonely spot to rest.

He reached a gully, drear and lone—
    His weary pilgrimage was o'er—
And, with a last despairing groan,
    He sank and fell to rise no more.

And when the moon's pale silvery light
    Came shimmering through the dreary place,
The bright and beauteous orb of night
    Was shining on a dead man's face.

He had obeyed the timid dame —
    His head lay resting on a clod;
The earth had gone to whence it came,
    The spirit had returned to God.

They dug a rude and humble grave,
    They crossed his hands upon his breast;
And there, where golden wattles wave,
    They left his weary bones to rest.

And shivering clowns, with pallid face,
    With bated breath and straining eyes,
Still to the stranger show the place
    In Dead Man's Gully where he lies.

They tell of many a fearsome sight,
    And many a weird uncanny sound,
And say that in the gloom of night
    The dead man's spirit hovers round.

They say that 'midst the lightning flash
    Is seen a blue and spectral gleam,
And how amid the thunder's crash
    Is heard a wild unearthly scream.

The boldest rider past the spot,
    Who fears no foe of mortal kind,
Will spur his steed and tarry not
    Till Dead Man's Gully's far behind.


The Irony of Fate

Paddy Rooke was the boss o' the shearin' shed,
    'E was sinewy, straight and tall;
While I was employed as the shearers' cook,
    And was skinny and plain and small.
It wasn't my fault that the meat was tough,
    An' the tar got inter the stoo;
Yet 'e kicked me the length o' the shearin' shed,
    An' 'e walloped me black and blue.
                An' I brooded on my wrong,
                An' I cursed both loud an' strong,
An' I felt that Life was nothing but a sham;
                An' I wished that I was 'e,
                Or that Paddy Rooke was me,
An' I railed at Fate, wot made me wot I am.

Tilly Brady, she lived at the 'Arf-way 'Ouse,
    An' a plum of a gal was she;
An' I seen 'er tip Paddy a hartful wink
    As she sugared and milked 'is tea.
Then 'e jined the "Horstralian Mounted 'Orse,"
    With a uniform like a toff,
An' 'e went to the wars to fight the Boers,
    And she went to see 'im off.
                An' I watched 'er pipe 'er eye
                As they kissed an' said, "Good-bye,"
An' I felt that all the world was only sham.
                An' I wished that I was 'e,
                Or that Paddy Rooke was me,
An' I moaned the Fate wot made me wot I am.

But Paddy got 'it with a cannon-ball,
    And it scrunched up 'is bloomin' bones;
An' they laid 'im out on the starry veldt,
    An' they covered 'im up with stones,
While I got spliced to the Brady gal;
    But she turned out a blinded sell,
For she's always a-wishin' that I was 'e,
    Till I wishes 'em both in — well—
                In a place both 'ot an' deep;
                For I sit an' groan an' weep,
And I still think all the world's a rotten sham;
                An' I wishes I was 'e,
                An' that Paddy Rooke was me,
An' I cuss my Fate, wot made me wot I am.


The Haunted Lagoon

There was once a man who came from Bundanoon,
And a maiden from the town of Kangaloon,
    And each evening in the gloaming,
    They would go together roaming
Down a winding track that led to a lagoon,
        Where they'd spoon,
And talk nonsense by the glimmer of the moon.

He was wood-and-water Joey at the "Star"
Where she waited, and assisted at the bar;
    He was fair, and tall, and slender,
    She was dark, and plump, and tender;
And he told her that her eyes were brighter far
        Than a star,
Which remark just proves how stupid lovers are.

But, through sitting in the moonlight on a log,
Or meandering 'mid the bracken in a fog,
    With the glass approaching zero,
    Influenza gripped our hero,
Which resulted in his talking like a frog,
        Or a hog,
Whilst his cough was like the barking of a dog.

And the falling dew descending from the trees,
With the moisture that was borne upon the breeze,
    Caused a bronchial inflammation,
    So our hero's conversation
Was a cross between a snuffle and a wheeze,
        Whilst his sneeze
Used to shake him from his elbows to his knees.

And he'd sit, and court, and spoon until he froze,
'Till he couldn't tell his fingers from his toes.
    Yet he'd plead with her and flatter,
    Whilst his teeth would snap and chatter,
And his speech was punctuated by the blows
        Of his nose.
(In his wretched state he called his nose his "dose".)

So he said to her "Sweet baid — Atchoo! — be bide,
Let us dwell for ever side — Atchoo! — by side.
    Say the word, you dearest pet, you,
    That shall — bake you — you —U-retchoo!
That shall bake you—bake you by—Atchoo!—by bride,
        Add by pride;
Add for everbore I'll be—U-retchoo! — thide.

Let be steal frob those sweet lips wud fodd caress,
Let theb speak that wud sweet word —Ah-tishoo! Yes.
    By thy love I'll thed be richer,
    Bake by burdig heart—Ah-ticher!
Bake by burdig heart this blissful bobedt bless,
        Do say yes.
Say—At-choo! Atchoo!—you'll crowd by happidess."

But she positively spurned his fond refrain,
Though she said she didn't wish to give him pain.
    Hot-baked hearts she'd seen a-many,
    But she wasn't taking any,
Then she added that he'd water on the brain,
        That was plain.
And she cocked her little nose up in disdain.

So the man from Bundanoon, in his despair
Cried "Cads't thou be false add yet —Atchoo! — so fair?
    Burst—Atchoo!—ye clouds asudder!
    Flash ye lightdigs! Boob thou thudder!
It's edough to bake a bortal—Tishoo!—swear,
        I declare."
And the man from Bundanoon then tore his hair.

And they parted by the germ-infested shore
Of the lake that "skylark never warbled o'er."
    And the wild fowl left its waters,
    And the 'possum changed its quarters,
So the pool became more silent than before,
        For the roar
Of that sneeze, disturbed the echoes—never more.

For they found his sodden corpse in the lagoon,
Where he floated, calmly staring at the moon,
    And some folks who went there boating
    Said they heard, Ah-tishoo! floating
O'er its waters; so they ceased to go and spoon
        Very soon,
And especially the maid from Kangaloon.


Blue-Eyed Nell

Have you seen little Nelly
    That lives by the mill?
There's a charm in her presence,
    That makes my heart thrill.
The sound of my footsteps
    Makes Nelly's eyes shine,
And Nelly has promised
    Some day to be mine.

            My beautiful blue-eyed Nell,
            How I love her no tongue can tell;
            All the birds fold their wings
            And sit mute when she sings,
            So joyous and bright is Nell.

The early peach blossom
    Scarce rivals her cheeks;
'Tis Harmony's spirit
    When sweet Nelly speaks.
The scent-laden breezes
    That blow from the sea,
Are not any purer
    Than Nelly to me.

            My beautiful blue-eyed Nell,
            How I love her no tongue can tell;
            All the birds fold their wings
            And sit mute when she sings,
            So joyous and bright is Nell.

I love my sweet Nelly,
    And Nelly loves me;
When Hymen unites us
    How happy we'll be.
Sweet peace and contentment
    With Love shall combine,
And earth will be heaven
    When Nelly is mine.

            My beautiful blue-eyed Nell,
            How I love her no tongue can tell;
            All the birds fold their wings
            And sit mute when she sings,
            So joyous and bright is Nell.


Mount Kembla

The judges are sitting in solemn array,
    The parties are stern and unbending,
The issues that have to be fought out to-day
    Must be fought to the bitterest ending.
The miners are seeking to better their lot,
    And to ease the stern fight for existence:
While the masters assert that the coal trade will not
    Justify any course but resistance.

"We delve in the earth," cry the children of toil,
    "We labour with vigour unceasing,
While you sit at ease, and grow fat on the spoil,
    And your fatness is ever increasing.
While we spend our lives in the effort to live,
    On the fruits of our labour you flourish;
So we claim, as a right, that a portion you give,
    That our bodies and souls we may nourish."

The masters declare that the men are well paid,
    And to prove it bring yards of statistics;
That a fondness for rest, and a wish to kill trade,
    Are the miners' chief characteristics.
"They are slothful," they say, "and are fond of disputes;
    They are thriftless, depraved, and unsteady,
With the bodies of men, but the passions of brutes,
    They are getting too well paid already."

So they wrangle and argue, protest and declare,
    The statistics come thicker and faster,
Till it seems that a miner is nought but a bear,
    With a ravenous shark for a master.
The chasm between them's so deep and so wide,
    'Twould appear there is naught that is human
Could ever induce them to stand side by side,
    Or to share one small feeling in common.

* * * * *

But, hark! A sound comes rumbling through the town,
    A sound that causes every nerve to thrill;
It shakes the mighty mountain to its crown!
    Its deep vibrations roll from hill to hill.
A few brief moments of suspense expire—
    Suspense, now shared alike by man and master;
Then the dread words come trembling through the wire,
    That tell of deadly terror and disaster.

Below — the sea is rippling in the breeze,
    Each wavelet dancing at the zephyr's breath,
Above — a wail is echoing through the trees,
    Telling of homes made desolate by death.
Of loved ones stricken low, of broken hearts,
    Of weeping children, and of wives forlorn;
Of all the horrors sudden death imparts,
    It tells of orphan children yet unborn.

Then speaks a hero, "Miners of the south,
    Men lie entombed, and some, perchance, yet live!
Within th' inferno of that tunnel's mouth
    Men lack the succour we alone can give.
Let each man speak who has the pluck to dare;
    Will any follow me? If so, reply!"
But not a craven heart is beating there,
    Masters and men, with one accord, say, "Aye!"

The rescue party formed, they enter then
    To seek survivors from the dread disaster.
A trusty band of picked and faithful men,
    Under the guidance of an expert master.
Through the black tunnels plunge the plucky band,
    By the dull flicker of the safety lamp
They note destruction's work on every hand;
    They find, alas! the dreaded afterdamp.

"Back!" cries the leader. "Boys, go back!" he calls,
    "Back, for your lives, or it will be too late."
He struggles manfully, then staggers—falls,
    But bids them go, and leave him to his fate.
The afterdamp engulfs them; like a wave
    It rushes on them with its fatal breath;
Like drowning men, they seek their lives to save,
    Each, for the moment, face to face with death.

As one band, baffled by the poisonous air,
    Is led or carried from that awful space,
Another band of heroes gathers there,
    Eager and resolute, to take its place.
And who can paint the utter, helpless woe
    Of that grief-stricken crowd who hear the tread,
On the rough mountain paths, of those who go
    Bearing, with reverence, their comrades, dead?

Among the lifeless burdens there are two
    For whom the melancholy crowd divide,
For they are those who to the rescue flew,
    And, fighting for their fellow-creatures, died.

Master and man! could sympathetic tie
    E'er bind such men in mutual interest?
Thank heaven, yes! At sorrow's helpless cry
    They rushed, and died, each on the other's breast.

The morning saw them, full of vital power,
    Masters and men, opposed in stern array;
No thought in common, yet the evening hour
    Found, in a last embrace, their lifeless clay.
Their latest breath they shared; with struggling feet,
    Dying, the same square yard of earth they trod.
Their souls, released, will at the judgment seat,
    At the same moment, stand before their God.

And shall they die in vain? Has not their fate
    Some heaven-born meaning, as a sign of peace?
That men should foster love, and conquer hate?
    That strife and discord may for ever cease?
God send the time, and grant that it be nigh,
    When men no more with hatred shall be riven;
When they, like brethren, shall both live and die,
    And thus make earth a stepping-stone to heaven.


The Wedding of Winona

An Indian Legend

In the dim remote antiquity
    Of very long ago,
When the warriors of Wabasha
    Chased the roving buffalo;
Near the mighty Mississippi
    Lived a chieftain, old and grey;
And he ruled the wild Wabashas
    In an energetic way.

He could hunt and fight no longer,
    For his hunting days were gone;
But he used to talk for hours about
    The deeds he once had done;
His once mighty arm was feeble,
    Age had dimmed his vision keen,
So he lived upon the memory
    Of what he once had been.

And the darling of his wigwam—
    Who was dearer than his life,
Was not, as perhaps it should have been,
    That aged Chieftain's wife,
'Twas his sweet and loving daughter,
    Who was supple, strong, and trim,
For the beautiful Winona
    Was the salt of life to him.

Lithe and active was Winona,
    And the sparkle of her eyes
Was like dewdrops on the lilies
    When the sun begins to rise.
Like the bosom of the robin
    Were her lips, so rosy red,
And her laugh like sound of water
    Rippling o'er its pebbly bed.

In the tribe of the Wabashas
    Was a warrior, brave and young;
And the praises of Winona
    Were for ever on his tongue.
He declared he loved her dearly,
    And beneath the twilight dim,
She vowed, by the Great Spirit,
    She would love no man but him.

Alas! for lovers' promises;
    Alas! for lovers' dreams;
Too often are they shattered
    By a parent's sordid schemes.
Soon the aged Chief, her father,
    In the wigwam caused a stir,
When he quietly announced, that he
    Had other views for her.

Then, he told her how another chief,
    From out another band,
Whose warriors were invincible,
    Had asked him for her hand.
Said he, "You'll be obedient
    And marry him, I trust;
In short, the day and hour are fixed,
    So marry him you must."

There's commotion in a dovecot
    When an eagle-hawk appears,
We are startled when a sudden clap
    Of thunder greets our ears;
But neither ever caused such dire
    Perplexity, as stirred
Poor Winona's gentle bosom
    When the horrid news she heard.

Yet, for filial obedience,
    Winona was renowned;
So she hung her head and answered,
    As she knelt upon the ground,
"I must do my father's bidding,
    Though my aching heart may burst;"
But, she added, sotto voce,
    "I will see you smothered first."

Upon the wedding morning,
    As the sun rose in the east,
She wandered forth to gather flowers
    To deck the bridal feast.
She climbed a rock, and standing there,
    All in the morning glow,
She saw her aged ancestor
    Upon the ground below.

He gazed upon her, as she stood,
    With all a father's pride,
"My lovely eldest born," cried he,
    "So soon to be a bride."
She laughed a wild, unearthly laugh,
    As if his words to mock,
Then, with one loud heartrending scream,
    She leapt from off the rock.

It chanced that soon Winona's own
    Wabasha man came round,
He clasped Winona's senseless form
    And raised it from the ground.
She soon unclosed her lovely eyes,
    And smiling sweetly said,
"I'm just a little shaken up,
    I lit on father's head."

They turned the aged Chieftain o'er,
    But not a word he spoke;
Winona, was a solid girl,
    His spinal cord was broke.
Winona and her lover then
    So lightly skipped away,
To seek fresh fields and pastures new,
    To spend their wedding day.

Now, Indians in their birch canoes,
    At twilight paddle by,
And pause beneath the "Maiden's Rock"
    To hear Winona's cry.
The dusky paddlers softly sing,
    And, as they glide along,
The "Wedding of Winona,"
    Is the burden of their song.


The Stockman's Serenade

Gentle Jemima! hear me sing,
    While sweetly you reposes, dear,
Of thoughts that makes my bosom ring,
    And fills me up with woeses, dear.
The love that from my heart now pours,
    Is all poured out for you, my dear;
If you'll be mine, as I am yours,
    I'll stick to you like glue, my dear.

Day after day I minds the sheep,
    As quietly they browses, dear,
Then scours the gullies, broad and deep,
    While fetching home the cowses, dear.
And all day long, and through the night,
    My heart is staunch and true, my dear;
And sheep and cowses, honour bright,
    All makes me think of you, my dear.

I pines, Jemima, oft when you
    Are making of your cheeses, dear;
Or listening to the winds that blew
    The limbs from off the treeses, dear.
Ah! tell me when the calves you tend,
    So frolicsome and free, my dear,
If, when you get the beggars penned,
    They makes you think of me, my dear.

I'm sitting on the stockyard gate,
    The cold night wind is howling, dear;
I've got a cold, it's getting late,
    The blooming dog is growling, dear.
I can't sit on the fence all night!
    How obstinate you are, my dear!
I'd shout out loud but then I might
    Disturb your dear papa, my dear.

Thank goodness! Here she comes at last!
    What makes you bring a lanthorn, dear?
Geewillikins! she's coming fast;
    You're like a blooming phantom, dear.
Is it? Yes! No! It is! It ain't!
    What makes you come so quick, my dear?
If that's Jemima, I'm a saint!
    It's someone with a stick, my dear.

Jerusalem! I must vamoose,
    I've riz your father's dander, dear;
But still, if you will be my goose,
    I'll be your faithful gander, dear.
Oh! call away that horrid dog,
    While I, your love, levants, my dear.
Great scott! While I'm stuck in a bog,
    He's knawing at my pants, my dear.


Come Back to the Bush

    I'm what they call a "solid man,"
        I've made a decent pile;
    So I brought my folks to London,
        And we've settled down in style.
    We wear clothes that don't quite suit us,
        Go to balls, and shows, and plays,
    And we're striking out for happiness
        In various kinds of ways.

But a Voice keeps on calling me back
To the bush and the wallaby-track,
        To the home in the clearing,
       The sheep and the shearing—
The voice keeps on saying, "Come back!"

    We're living in Belgravia,
        In the midst of Fashion's whirl;
    On my left there lives a marquis,
        And right opposite an earl.
    We've a carriage and a coachman,
        And a footman dressed in plush,
    Whose calves stick out so prominent
        They make my daughters blush.

But the Voice keeps on saying, "Come back
To the bush and the wallaby-track,
        Where the bright sun is glowing
        And cattle are lowing,
Come back to your freedom, come back!"

    My wife she holds "receptions,"
        While my daughters study "art,"
    And my son he drives a tandem,
        Though his father drove a cart.
    We have dinner in the evening,
        And we always dress to dine;
    We eat strange food with foreign names,
        And wash it down with wine.

Yet, the Voice keeps on calling me back
To the bush and the wallaby-track,
        Where the wool-bales are packing,
        And stockwhips are cracking,
It whispers for ever— "Come back!"

    And the voice keeps calling, calling
        Till I see the iron-bark ridge,
    Till I scent the gum-logs burning
        In the gully near the bridge;
    I can hear the teamsters swearing
        As they drive the bullock-dray,
    And my spirit's branding cattle
        In the paddocks far away.

And the Voice keeps on saying, "Come back
To the bush and the wallaby-track!"
        To the parrots and 'possums
        And sweet wattle-blossoms,
It keeps on inviting me back.

    And my heart seems crushed and stifled
        'Mid the teeming city's push,
    And my eager soul is panting
        For the freedom of the bush;
    And I feel that though I wander
        Where illustrious feet have trod,
    I'm near the world's great throbbing heart,
        But I'm not so close to God.

And the Voice keeps on saying, "Come back
To the bush and the wallaby-track—
        To the bush, with its sadness,
        Its grandeur and gladness,
Its space and its freedom. Come back!"


O'Toole and McSharry

A Lachlan Idyll

In the valley of the Lachlan, where the perfume from the pines,
    Fills the glowing summer air, like incense spreading,
Where the silent, flowing river, like a bar of silver, shines,
    When the winter moon its pallid beams is shedding.
In a hut on a selection, near a still and silent pool,
    Lived two mates, who used to shear, and fence, and carry,
The one was known, both near and far, as Dandy Dan O'Toole,
    And the other, as Cornelius McSharry.

And they'd share each others blankets, and each others horses ride,
    And go off together, shearing, in the summer;
They would canter off, from sunrise to the gloaming, side by side;
    While McSharry rode the "Barb" and Dan the "Drummer."
And the boys about the Lachlan recognised it as a rule,
    From Eugowra to the plains of Wanandarry,
That, if ever love was stronger than McSharry's for O'Toole,
    'Twas the love O'Toole extended to McSharry.

And their love might have continued and been constant to the end,
    And they might have still been affable and jolly;
But they halted at a shanty, where the river takes a bend,
    And were waited on by Doolan's daughter, Polly.
Now, the pretty Polly Doolan was so natty, neat and cool,
    And so pleasant, that they both agreed to tarry,
For she winked her dexter eye-lid at susceptible O'Toole
    While she slyly winked the other at McSharry.

So they drank her health in bumpers, till the rising of the moon,
    And she had them both in bondage so completely,
That, each time they talked of going, she said "Must you go so soon?"
    And they couldn't go: She smiled at them so sweetly.
Dan O'Toole grew sentimental, and McSharry played the fool,
    Though they both had sworn on oath they'd never marry.
Yet the selfsame dart from Cupid's bow that vanquished Dan O'Toole,
    Had gone through the heart of honest Con McSharry.

Then McSharry thought, if Dandy Dan got drunk and went to bed,
    He (McSharry) could indulge his little folly.
And Dan thought, if McSharry once in drunken sleep lay spread,
    He could have a little flirt with pretty Polly.
So they kept the bottle going, till they both were pretty full,
    And yet each rival seemed inclined to tarry;
The precise amount of pain-killer it took to fill O'Toole
    Was required to close the optics of McSharry.

So the rivals lost their tempers, and they called each other names,
    And disturbed the Doolan children from their pillows,
And so Doolan came and told them that he wouldn't have such games,
    They must go and fight it out beneath the willows.
So they went beneath the willows, near a deep and shady pool,
    With as much inside as each of them could carry,
And McSharry started thumping the proboscis of O'Toole,
    While O'Toole retaliated on McSharry.

And they fought till they were winded, and yet neither had the best,
    Though, from each of them the blood was freely flowing;
And they paused at last to breathe a while, and take a moment's rest,
    But O'Toole's two eyes with rage were faily glowing.
Then, without a moment's warning, he charged forward like a bull,
    And before poor Con had time to run or parry,
With a terrible momentum the big head of Dan O'Toole,
    Went bump! into the stomach of McSharry.


And the force of the concussion laid McSharry out quite still,
    With his feet above his head among the bushes;
While O'Toole, with the momentum, cannoned madly down the hill,
    And fell plump in the lagoon among the rushes.
Like a weedy river-god he climbed the far side of the pool,
    And he did not for one single moment tarry,
For the curse of Cain was in the brain of Dandy Dan O'Toole,
    Who felt certain that he'd settled poor McSharry.

Now, while Dan O'Toole was stealing through the still and silent night,
    And his aching brain with pain-killer was throbbing,
McSharry lay and listened, till his heart grew sick with fright,
    And he eased his guilty soul with silent sobbing.
For he heard his boon companion falling headlong in the pool,
    And he thought he was as dead as poor old Harry.
And McSharry mourned the drowning of poor Dandy Dan O'Toole,
    While O'Toole was sadly weeping for McSharry.

And the valley of the Lachlan never more will know the men
    That were once so loving, frolicsome and frisky,
For O'Toole cleared out to Queensland and was never seen again,
    While McSharry started South and took to whiskey.
And McSharry, in his nightmare, often sees the fatal pool,
    And the pricks of guilty conscience tries to parry;
While away among the back blocks wanders Dandy Dan O'Toole,
    Always flying from the ghost of Con McSharry.


The Power Behind the Throne

You ask me to take up my pen, and stain
    The snowy whiteness of these virgin pages;
If I comply, repentance then were vain,
    For words, once written, may endure for ages.
Yet to refuse, is harder still to do,
If my refusal must be made to you.

I could refuse a wish by man expressed,
    Though the refusal might our friendship sever;
But when a woman proffers a request,
    Man must comply, or hide his head for ever.
In Adam's time, a woman had her will,
The case is still the same, she has it still.

Our rulers, statesmen, potentates and kings,
    Lords, dukes, and judges, mighty in their stations,
May seem to rule and govern earthly things,
    And by a word decide the fate of nations.
But, draw the veil! unmasked our rulers stand,
Lo! each is guided by a woman's hand.

Then, mighty woman! since the power you have,
    Which like the fabled wand of the magician,
Enables you to render man your slave,
    And bring the mightiest warrior to submission,
Be merciful to your poor servant, man,
And use your power as gently as you can!

As maid, or mother, sister, bride or wife,
    Be true and kind, affectionate and tender;
The lover, husband, son, will turn through life,
    To you for counsel none but you can render;
Great are your powers, and great your duties are,
For some man lives, whose life you'll make or mar.


Der Pritish Tar From Amsterdam

If you listen to mine shtory vat I tell,
    I vas told you all apout it vhen I'm done.
It's apout a man vhat I knows pooty vell,
    Pecause he vas mine fader's only son.
Mine fader cut me out to be a tailor,
    Put he took a lion to cut out a lamb;
So I yoined a Pritish ship to pe a sailor
    Und a Pritish tar vhat hailed from Amsterdam.

Ve hoisted oop der masts upon der sails,
    Und sailed across der ocean und der sea;
Ve sailed from Liverpool to New Soud Vales,
    Und dhat vas shoost der place vhat suited me.
I learned me how to polish oop der anchor,
    Und how to tie a knot vhat didn't yamb,
To box der pig yib-boom und shplice der shpanker
    Like a Pritish tar vhat coomed from Amsterdam.

I learned to sing "Pritannia Rules der Vaves,"
    Der leetle mermaids coomed to hear me sing;
I shouted "Pritons neffer shan't be shlafes,
    Und after dat "Cot Pless oor Cracious King."
I safed me oop a pocket full of money,
    A Vhite Australian Pritisher I am;
I learned to say "Vhat cheer?" und "Oh! my honey,"
    I'm a Pritish tar, vhat coomed from Amsterdam.

I vas followed soon py Yanson, Hans, and Fritz,
    Und men from Scandinavia, until
You might hunt all your Pritish ships to bits,
    Und you couldn't neffer find a Tom or Pill.
Dere vas no vons from der Clyde or Tipperary,
    Dere vas neffer any Pat or Yack or Sam;
Und Dick, und Yoe, und Sandy, Mick, und Harry,
    Dey vas hunted py der man from Amsterdam.

Den shplice der prace, und throw der main deck ofer,
    Und oop der puckets fill, mit lager peer,
Ve'll sail der seas from Shmoky Cape to Dover,
    Und ve'll pust oorselfes der Union Yack to cheer.
Put if der clouds of war should effer threaten,
    For Priton's foes ve didn't gif a dam,
Ve'll neffer shtop to see oorselfs get peaten,
    For ve'll luff her oop und off for Amsterdam.


The Dream of Harum-Scarum

(With profuse apologies to the shade of Tom Hood.)

'Twas near the chime of supper time, the night was calm and cool,
As five and-twenty legislators bounded out of school.
And they sought the snug refreshment-room as tadpoles seek a pool.

And as they passed the jovial glass their tongues all glibly ran,
Stones of the Democratic Arch, they gloried in its span,
But the "Keystone" sat remote from all, a melancholy man.

He wore a meek and crumpled look, his voice was but a wheeze,
An air of care was on his brow, for his mind was ill at ease;
So he leaned his head on his hand and read the papers on his knees.

Sheaf after sheaf he turned them o'er, nor ever glanced aside,
He read the cost of wild-cat schemes and the price of humbled pride;
He saw the ghosts of buried hopes, and wondered why they died.

Then leaping to his feet upright, some moody turns he took,
He sought the Labour Members' room to find a quiet nook;
And, lo! he saw a swarthy man, who pored upon a book.

"Jimmy, my boy, what is't you read? Some tale of bygone ages?
Or is it some new scheme to get less work for bigger wages?"
But Jimmy gave an upward glance: "'Tis Hansard's classic pages."

Six hasty strides the "Keystone" took, as smit by Jimmy's glance,
Then slowly he came back to talk political romance;
And sitting down by Jimmy's side, he spoke about finance.

He told how Fat Men walk the earth with stores of wealth untold,
All eager to invest it in a policy that's bold;
And how to prop the Sacred Arch he'd spent the Fat Man's gold.

"Ah, well," quoth he, "I know for truth their wealth must be extreme;
It ought to keep on flowing in a vast perennial stream.
But, Jim, methought last night I killed the Fat Man in a dream.

"I did not use a knife or gun to strike him stiff and cold,
I hit him with a policy that was both new and bold;
I guessed that that would lay him flat, and I could spend his gold.

"Two sudden blows with the Income Tax and one with a Heavy Loan,
One extra squeeze with the Day-Work stroke and then the deed was done;
There was nothing lying at my feet but lifeless flesh and bone.

"Methought a crowd then gathered round, from town and bush they came,
Ten thousand thousand unemployed, all crying out with blame;
I took the Fat Man by the hand and called upon his name.

"And, lo! from forth the famished crowd, from starving child and wife,
There came a bitter, mournful cry that filled my ears with strife:
'Thou foolish man, take up thy dead and bring it back to life!'

"I took the Fat Man's body up and bore it to a stream,
I bathed his brow with Common Sense! my fright was so extreme;
But Jim, my boy, remember this was nothing but a dream.

"For months I lived in agony, from weary chime to chime,
The Arch, that stood so solid once was shaking all the time;
The very rock on which it stood seemed changing into slime.

"My only hope was now a loan, and I resolved to try,
I called upon the Fat Man with a wild despairing cry;
But the Fat Man lay a heap of clay, and the stream of gold was dry.

"Then down I cast me on my face, and first began to weep,
For I felt my billet then was one I could not hope to keep;
And I cursed the howling unemployed with curses loud and deep.

"And now that wretched, horrid dream, pursues me while awake,
Again, again, with frenzied brain, the Fat Man's life I take;
And the constant wobbling of the Arch makes e'en the 'Keystone' shake.

"And still no peace from the hungry throng will night or day allow;
The unemployed pursue my soul. They stand before me now!"
The frightened Jim looked up, and saw huge drops upon his brow.

That very night, while gentle sleep Jim's tired eyes caressed,
The "Keystone" tumbled from the Arch, then down fell all the rest;
And Harum-Scarum lay beneath with the ruins on his chest.



In thy garden, Illawarra, where the giant lilies grow,
And the brightly blooming coral-trees expend their ruddy glow,
Where the tendrils of the lawyer-bush affectionately cling,
And the strong and graceful supple-jacks from lofty branches swing,
Where the hills are always smiling, and the valleys wondrous fair,
Where the stately eucalyptus spreads a fragrance through the air,
Where breaking seas on golden sands their crested billows roll;
'Twas there I first saw bonny Kate, the lode-star of my soul.

In thy garden, Illawarra, from the mountains to the sea,
In thy gorgeous wealth of blossoms, there was none so fair as she.
Her form was supple as thy vines that cluster overhead,
Thy coral bloom grew pale beside her lips of ruddy red.
Her mind was pure and guileless as thy sea-swept golden sands,
Her voice was like a magic harp touched by celestial hands;
Her very presence formed a link 'twixt earth and heaven above,
And thy fragrant air grew greater with the perfume of her love.

In thy garden, Illawarra, where the giant lilies wave,
'Mid the tangled ferns and flannel flowers, there lies a lonely grave.
For Death came riding by, and plucked my blossom in his flight,
And all thy gorgeous Paradise grew barren in a night.
For me thy flowers no longer bloom, thy valleys smile no more,
And thou art Desolation, from the mountain to the shore;
There's a dirge among the supple-jacks, a requiem by the sea,
For thy garden is a sepulchre, where all is Death to me.



As we travel Life's weary journey,
    And plod through the gathering years,
With our burdens of care and sorrow,
    O'er a pathway bedewed with tears.
If, perchance, for a fleeting moment
    Our hearts should with rapture swell,
We have added but one more sorrow,
    When we bid the glad time "Farewell."

I have watched the bright dawn awaking,
    And noted each changing light,
As the sun, in its morning splendour,
    Dispelled the dark gloom of night.
I have welcomed its bright rays stealing
    Over hill-top, and wood, and dell;
Yet, my joy was alloyed with sorrow,
    As I bade the bright stars "Farewell."

I have seen the red sun descending
    To its home in the glowing west,
Whilst the tremulous voice of nature
    Was solemnly lulled to rest.
I have welcomed the stars, appearing,
    And greeted them one by one,
Yet, my greeting was toned with sadness,
    As I said "Farewell" to the sun.

When we welcome the summer sunshine,
    Farewell to the flowers of Spring.
Adieu to the fruits of Autumn,
    When we welcome the frosty king.
Good-bye to the joys of childhood,
    When vigorous youth appears;
Then—a season of strife and turmoil,
    And—farewell to the vanished years.

I am sighing a farewell message,
    As I sit in the gathering gloom.
Farewell to all earthly sorrows,
    Then—rest, in the silent tomb.
Farewell to the trees, and flowers,
    To mountain, and stream, and dell,
Farewell to the glorious sunlight,
    To the moon and stars, "Farewell."

Farewell to each earthly passion,
    To vanity, pride, and strife,
To jealousy, hate, and discord,
    To this vanishing dream, called life.
Ambition, nor glory, tempts me,
    To yield to their magic spell,
And a feeling of peace pervades me,
    As I utter my last "Farewell."

For I see, through the opening shadows,
    A light, like a beacon star,
Inspiring my soul to glory,
    As it beckons me from afar.
'Tis the Star of Hope, inviting
    To absolute peace and rest,
And I know that the Great Designer
    Has planned what is wise and best.

And I feel that, in His great mercy,
    In His infinite power and might,
In His justice and perfect wisdom,
    His ordinance must be right.
As the Spirit of Hope steals o'er me,
    Its whisperings seem to tell
That the perfect and bright hereafter
    Will know not the word—"Farewell."


Part 2
The Reflections and Reminiscences of Mrs. Bridget McSweeney

Mrs. McSweeney's Christmas

"The great dhrawback to this climate," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she ushered Mrs. Tacitus into the drawing-room, "is that the hottest days all come in the summer, whin we could do without 'em, and the cold ones in the winter, whin we don't want 'em. The man at the conservatory that the Government pays to look afther the weather just lets it do as it loikes, and thin we have cyclopses and torpedoes waltzing round the counthry, blowin' people's houses down and ruinin' their complexions, till we have as many koinds of weather in a day as would make the whole four saysons and a bit over."

"And how did you spend your Christmas?" said Mrs. Tacitus, as she seated herself on the couch, and made a mental note of the cut of Mrs. McSweeney's new blouse.

"Don't ask me!" said Mrs. McSweeney, "I've been that worried and upset, to say nothin' of me trouble and expinse, that I don't care if we didn't have another Christmas fur the next six months! Afther all me bother, to have me cake all dough is enough to vex me if I was Saint Bridget herself. I shpared no expinse, and I put in nearly everything that could be put into a cake, and I was tould thin that all I wanted was a good slow fire. I put it in the oven to make shure before I lit the fire, and thin I only lit a shmall one, and no fire could be much slower nor that, unless it was out altogether.

"Me feelin's will not allow me to tell you how I watched that cake, and me twins that throublesome that I was nigh disthracted. It never rose a bit, and afther wastin' all the mornin' I found it that heavy that you might have thought it was a fire brick. Pat seen it, and felt the weight ov it, and says that he's considerin' whether he'll send it to the Mines Departmint to get it assayed, or make a grindstone av it. I thried to get hould of it, but he locked it up, and every person that has come to me house this wake Pat says, afther wishin' thim the toime of day.

"'Come into me worrkshop till I show ye the cake me ould woman made!'

"Thin away they go, and I hear him say,

"'Phwat do ye think ov it? Fale the weight ov it!'

"Just the remark he used to say about one of me twins.

"'Fale the weight of it," says he, and thin I can hear them laugh, and they come in and say,

"'Faith! it's a foine cake ye made, Mrs. McSweeney.'

"One impudent puppy asked Pat how he was going to divide it.

"'Sure,' says he, 'I suppose if we have to break it up, a couple of wedges and a hammer would do it.'

"But the son of a witch said:

"'I don't think anything wud do it except a charge of dianimite.'

"And there's Mrs. Maloney a-sittin' on her balkinny, and to everybody that passes she says:

"'Good mornin'. It's a foine mornin' don't ye think?' says she. 'Did ye hear about Mrs. McSweeney's cake?'

"I furrumly belave that she put a gossoon that sells fruit up to throw me cake in me face. He knocked at me door yesterday mornin', and he says, says he,

"'Any peaches or apricots? A penny a dozen!'

"'No!' says I. 'I don't want yer peaches, and it's loike yer chake to be knockin' at paple's doors widout bein' asked.'

"'Ah! go on,' says he, 'Yer cake's all dough!'

"'If you don't git outer me gate,' says I, 'I'll throw the bucket at ye.'

"'I don't care so long as you don't throw yer cake,' says he.

"We caught two rats in the thrap last night. They both had their front tathe broken. Pat said they'd been thrying to nibble me cake. It upset me that way that I lost me interest in the festive sayson. I'm thankful to say that the Christmas holidays is over, and barrin' a slight attack of biliousniss and the shkin palin' off me nose, I fale none the worse of it.

"We had a quoite day on Christmas, and nothin' out of the common, except the puddin' and the goose, which I bought for a young wan, and which Pat said I must have got out of the Ark, as it was the same goose that cackled when Nero was burnin' and Rome played the fiddle. I didn't belave a word of it, as I put it down to Pat's awkwardness, he not bein' used to carvin' poultry. He said the legs was as tough as if the goose was a champion bicycle ridher, but he only said that becase I shcolded him for shpillin' the gravy all over me best clane cloth, that caused a coldness between us all the rist of the day.

"But the picnic was the thing! Faith! We had a foine time at the picnic. It was on Boxing Day we had the picnic. We left the twins at home with Mrs. O'Reilly. I put on me white muslin, and the slaves were that thin that the sun burnt me arrums true it, though say nothin' of the muskeeters. Pat had on a new soot, and a big basket full of all sorts of things to ate and dhrink, and we were to mate Mr. and Mrs. Regan at the Railway Stashion.

"Oh, the crowds that were there! What wid the crowds a-comin' in and the crowds a-comin' out, and the railway porthers takin' the skin off me shins wid the portmantels, and the hate, and Pat upsettin' the basket on the platform, and wantin' to foight an old gintleman that throd on a mate pie with grane shpeckles and made it onsightly, besides awkward to carry, I was glad when we got to the Nashunel Park.

"We thried to find a shady place to have lunch, but all the shady places were taken up by a lot of people, wid no perliteness, mostly boys and girls that were carryin' on that way that they ought to have been kept at home. We found a place at last, and Con Regan took the billy to get some hot wather; but he had a long way to go, and he forgot to take the tay and sugar wid him, so whin he got back the wather was too cold to make tay, and it was too hot to drink it cold, and me dying for a dhrink tha way that the sweat was pourin' out of me.

"The lunch was lovely, except that the jam had got into the mate pie, and the gravy from the mate pie had got into the plum pudden, and the cork had come out of the pickle bottle, and the pickles was all mixed wid the bluemange. But, as Con Regan remarked, it had all to go one way, and as we were all hungry, it was very good.

"Pat had brought a couple of bottles of beer for himself and Con, and as we couldn't get any tay, I had just a sup of the beer, which I'm not in the habit of, and between the sun and the beer, Pat said I had two chakes on me loike the loights of a Glabe Point thram, whoile he said me nose looked loike a Paddington thram.

"However, we gathered wild flowers in the afthernoon, and got home at noight all roight, and Pat was a bit grumpy because Con Regan asked me did I remimber the fun we had at the fair of Ballyragin. However, Con sung 'Paddy Hagarthy's Leather Breeches,' and then I gave them a bit of a jig while Con whistled 'The Wind that Shook the Barley,' and we parted as good friends as ever, and after puttin' some vaseline on me nose we wint to bed, and I dhreamed that I was dhrinkin' tay out of a beer bottle in the Nashunel Park, and that all the sugar we had was mustard."

And Mrs. McSweeney went out to make a cup of afternoon tea, while Mrs. Tacitus, glancing at Mrs. McSweeney's new lace curtains, remarked sotto voce, "Two and eleven the pair."


Mrs. McSweeney's Bike

"The bane of middle loife," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she passed the sugar to Mrs. Tacitus, "is fat."

"It is," said Mrs. Tacitus, as she took two pieces of sugar, and noticed that Mrs. McSweeney was wearing a new collarette.

"But is there no cure for it?"

"Well," replied Mrs. McSweeney, "it is a long toime since I turned me thoughts to the devilopmint of me figger. The bane of a perfect figger is fat, the remedy for fat is calesthanics, and the best calesthanics is the bike. Now, you know, me dear, silf praise is not me wakeness, but I may say that me physic is good, though me devilopmint is such that I find it hard to presarve me cemetery. I have heard lately that all the noicest people are takin' to the bicycle, and shure am I that an exorcise that is fit for the King's daughters—God bless him! — is not unbecomin' to your humble servant. So I sat down the other wake and indoited a small billydoo to a firm in Sydney, asking for prices of a bicycle fit for a dacent female to ride. I resaved in reply a catalog, and to me surprise I was tould to sind the lingth of me leg and weight. The lingth of me leg I would reveal to no man, and I think it the height of impidence to ask it; and as for the lingth of me weight I did not know how to sind that, but shpeakin' to Mrs. Jackson on the subject, she said it was me weight itself she required. I consulted me butcher, but he said that his scales would only weigh twenty-eight pound of mate at a toime, but the produce man weighed me, and found me corrict weight to be a thrifle over two hundred and ten pounds aver-de-poy.

"I was waited on soon afther by a smart young man, who said he came from the firm to see if he could git me ordher. I informed him, wid the stoyle of dignity I can ashume so well, that if the lingth of me leg was indispinsible I should renounce the idea. He tould me, however, it was of no consequince, so we come to turms. I got me machane the following day on toime paymint. Shure, it was a beautiful machane, and I pictured the look that would be on Mrs. Maloney's face when she, would see me glidin' gracefully down the sthrate. Sure, it was a proud day to me whin it was delivered at me residence, wid its nickel-plated handles and patent rheumatic toyres.

"I consulted wid me friend, Mrs. Jackson, as to me costhume, and she said that the devoided skirt was anasthetic, but that bloomers was the most rekerky (that's Frinch, ye know). So I wint wid her to a shop in town, and ordhered a fine, light-blue bloomer costhume, thrimmed wid pink ribbins. Mrs. Jackson came to help me dress, and I was rather surprised whin she said I was finished."

"'Where's the rist?' says I.

"'There is no rist,' says she, 'you've got 'em all on.'

"I felt as if there was something wantin' about me lower extremities, but when I gazed at me profile in the glass it was not bad. Mrs. Jackson said that the bould outline of me limbs would dhrive Mrs. Moloney green wid envy, so I was satisfied. Her youngest boy, Antonius, was houldin' me machane in front of the door, and I paused on me step to fasten me gloves, bekase I knew that Mrs. Moloney —bad cess to her —was papin' through her balkinny blind. I then tuk me green parasol from Mrs. Jackson, and prepared to start. I whispered to Tony to hould her tight, and I tuk me sate.

"'How do ye do it, Tony?' says I.

"'Jest put ye're fate on the threddles, and let her go,' says he.

"'Hould on,' says I, for I had dhropped me parasol.

"'Now,' says he, when I had got me parasol, 'look out whin I give her a push.'

"'Hould on a minute,' says I.

"'Hould on you,' says he, and he started the machane rollin'.

"Just then I seen young Moloney, wid the red hair, standin' forninst me, like a danger-signal.

"'Git out o' me road,' says I.

"'Be the holy post, 'tis the missin' link!' says he.

"Jist as he shpoke me machane took a sudden turn, and before I could sthop I was layin' on the broad of me back inside Mrs. Moloney's gate, and me limbs and me machane was that way entangled, that if it hadn't been that Pat at that moment came up the sthrate, I don't belave that I'd ever have been able to perform the operation of exthrication. If I live to be a centurion I'll never forgit the look on Pat's face whin he sthopped in front of Moloney's gate.

"'Phwat blatherin' nonsense is this?' says he.

"'Sure,' says I, 'help me up, and don't sthand stharin' like a pig in a fit.'


"Wid that he guv the machane a wrinch, and I thought one of me limbs was broke. He banged the machane in the gutter, and in a tone of acrimoniousness he said 'Go indoors and dhress yerself.'

"'Pat,' says I, rising to me fate, 'is that the way so shpake to yer own lawful, wedded woife when she's in throuble, and the eyes of envy and malice upon her' (for I seen Mrs. Moloney grinnin' over the balkinny). Jest then, to let me know she was there, she says, 'Will ye koindly shut me gate, Mrs. McSweeney, whin ye've gathered up yer machanes and things?' Then she added, in a tone of satire: 'Don't ye think the Centennial Park 'ud be the best place to practice in?'

"'What do you mane,' says I, 'by interferin' wid yer betters?'

"'Shut up!' says Pat, in a tone of thunder. 'I'll have no more of this. I'm goin' to put me fut down on ye, and kape it there! Get into the house this minit, and put on some clothes becomin' a daycent famale woman.'

"I rose to me full hoight, and I says to Pat: 'Pat,' says I:—

    'Bridget McSweeney is me name,
    And Ireland is me nation,
    Sydney it is me dwellin' place,

"Wid that he gev me a shove, and seizin' me wid the grasp of a madman, he hurried me in a most unbecomin' manner into me own door. Faith! it's small assistance I get from Pat in me endayvours to kape up the thraditions of me ancesthry. Whin I tell him that me father's great-uncle, on his mother's side, lived in a castle, he only whistles.

"I'm still payin' five shillins' a wake to the collector. I've a bicycle to sell chape. It's nearly all there, only some of the pieces that ought to be bint are shtraight, and those that ought to be shtraight are bint. But it's a new machine, only used wanst.

"Ah!" sighed Mrs. McSweeney, after a pause, "'Tis a quare wurruld, so it is. The only things you can depind on in it is the conthradictions of it."

The last observation escaped the notice of Mrs. Tacitus, whose mind was concentrated on an effort to decipher the post-mark on a letter that was on Mrs. McSweeney's mantelpiece.


Mrs. McSweeney Has Her Fortune Told

"I was passing on my way to the butcher's," said Mrs. Tacitus, as she sat in the easy chair and put her basket on the hearth-rug, "so I thought I'd pop in and see if you went." And Mrs. Tacitus thought she could detect the smell of spirits.

"I did," said Mrs. McSweeney, opening the window and quietly closing the door of the chiffonnier. "I did. I wint this mornin', and she's a wonder, so she is. 'Twas early whin I got there —about tin. There were three ladies there thin, and one of them was so frindly that we got quite confidential whin I tould her me throubles, she said I'd done the right thing to come, as the cards could tell some wonderful things. She said she come regular wanst a wake. She wint in before me.

"While I was waitin', all alone by meself, I got as nervous as an old hen that's lost her chicks. I could have got up and ran away, but while I was wondherin' whether to shtop or to go, a gurrl came in and tould me it was my turn. I wint into a small room, and saw a dark woman sittin' at a table.

"'Sit down, Mrs.—'

"'McSweeney,' says I, 'at your service.'

"'Yes,' says she, 'I could have tould you yer name, if ye hadn't interrupted.'

"Then she got some cards, and she says, 'Will you shuffle them, Mrs. McSweeney?'

"So I took the cards and shuffled them, though me hands thrembled to that extent I could hardly hould thim. Then she spread thim in a row, and closed her eyes, and I looked at her across the table. Then she said in a solemn voice,

"'Mrs. McSweeney,' says she, 'to show ye that I am no imposther I will revale to you some of the past. You can then judge of me correctness. Ye had onions for breakfast.'

"And sure enough I couldn't deny it, although how she knew I never could find out. Then she said—

"'You have a husband, and he is an Irishman.'

"'Well,' says I, bridlin' up like, 'and sure he's none the worse for that.'

"'I didn't say he was,' says she, 'but am I right?'

"'You are,' says I, 'although, bein' a sthranger, I don't know how ye can tell these things!'

"'It's on the cards,' she says, solemnly. Thin she shuffled the cards, and laid thim out in little hapes.

"'There's throuble,' she says, solemnly, 'ye have an inimy.'

"'That's Mrs. Moloney,' says I.

"'It's a female inimy,' says she as she shuffled the cards again.

"Thin she tould me that I was born far away across the say, that I had had a lot of throuble, but that I had more throuble forninst me in the future. That I was in a delicate state of health, but I would be all right again whin me throuble was over. That me husband would make money, but he'd come to a sudden ind and lave me a widder. That me accomplishmints would athract a rich squather, and that I should make a thrip in a big ship across the say. That I should live as long as several of me ancesthry, and that I needn't be afraid of anything bein' the mather wid me so long as I kept up me health and strength. She said there was a dark man a-frettin' out his soul fer me, and to beware of a fair woman wid a mole on her chake. She said there was money on the say fer me, and that if the ship didn't go down, I'd git it.

"She charged me half-a-crown, and I come away moighty plazed. I felt a bit flustered whin I got home, and didn't fale meself till I took a dhrop of whiskey wid a little wather in it. Perhaps you would loike a shmall taste yourself? It is not often I take it, but I foind it shtimulatin' whin I do."

Mrs. Tacitus said she couldn't refuse the kind invitation of her friend, so Mrs. McSweeney closed the window and opened the door of the chiffonnier. Mrs. Tacitus pledged her friend with love and "best respects." She then picked up her basket, and as she did so, remarked to herself that Mrs. McSweeney's carpet was getting very shabby.


Mrs. McSweeney's Spring Cleaning

"Faith! it must be nice to be a man," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she passed the biscuit barrel to Mrs. Tacitus, "wid nothin' in the wurruld to do but go to yer wurruk in the mornin' and come home agin at night to amuse yerself wid choppin' wood and doin' up the garden. A man's loife rowls along as smooth as a pat of buther round a hot fryin' pan, while a woman do be frettin' and slavin', washin' and ironin', wid shpring clanin' thrown in, three or four times a year. 'Twould be good fer the men if they sometimes had to seek relaxation from the timptation of dissipation by ingagin' in the occupation of domistication."

And Mrs. McSweeney poured out a second cup of tea for herself and her friend, while Mrs. Tacitus quietly felt the texture of Mrs. McSweeney's new tablecloth.

"Such a toime I've had since I saw you last. My limbs are that stiff I can't sit down, and whin I do, I can't get up again. I've been havin' me spring clanins. On Monday last I sent fer Mrs. O'Reilly, who goes out clanin' be the day, an' I says to her,

"'Mrs. O'Reilly,' says I, 'I am goin' to go right through the house. We'll take up the carpets and bate thim, and clane the house from top to bottom. We'll wash the curtains, and clane the bidsteads, and wash the paint, and put everything noice and toidy.'

"So we put all the chairs in the hall, and the beds on the stairs, and threw the carpets out of the windy, and put the wardrobe on the balkinny, and were jist in the thick of it, and me wid a towel round me head to kape off the dirt, whin there came a ring at the bell.

"I said to Mrs. O'Reilly, 'I'll go to the door,' and I wint, and an ugly gossoon was there, and asked me 'did I want to buy a sewing machane?'

"'I don't,' says I, as I banged the door in his face.

"Well, I tuk a bucket of wather in me hand, and had got half-way upstairs again, whin there came another ring at the bell.

"'Bad luck to the bell!' says I, and I put down the bucket on the stairs and opened the door again.

"'Do yer want any pertaters?' says a spalpeen wid a red head.

"'I don't,' says I. 'To the devil wid you and yer pertaties, ringin' people's bells!'

"'Yer needn't to shnap me head off,' says he.

"'Do ye call that thing a head?' says I.

"'It's as good as yours,' says he, 'barrin' the turban.'

"'The phwat?' says I.

"'The turban,' says he (alludin' to the towel I had on). Then he added 'Go and ask yer Missus does she want any pertaters; a bob a quarter. Take 'em in and show her.'

"'Phwat do ye take me for?' says I.

"'I wouldn't take yer at any price,' says he.

"'If yer don't take yer fut out of me door,' says I, 'I'll squaze yer toes off.' So wid that the impident puppy purtended to sneeze in me face, and he wint away singin' 'Oh! Molly Reilly, I Love You.'

"So I wint into the kitchen to see if the fire was all right, and the bell rung again. So I sung out to Mrs. O'Reilly,

"'Tell 'em over the balkinny that I don't want any,' and then the blessed bell rung again. She sung out again, 'Bad luck to ye, will ye go away out of that?' she says, 'whin I tell ye we don't want any.' Wid that I heerd a millifluous voice inquire 'Is Mrs. McSweeney in?' and I thought I should have dhropped whin I recognised the voice of Father Roonan. So I shlipped into the dhrawin-room, and tuk the towel off me head, and opened the door to his reverence. Just as I was openin' the door, I see Mrs. O'Reilly on the landin' wid a big bundle of sheets and curtains and things, and I sung out, 'Mind the bed!' Father Roonan smoiled swately, and says 'Phwat bed?' says he, as he enthered and shuk hands wid me.


"Me warnin' was too late, for the wurruds were scarcely out of me mouth, when Mrs. O'Reilly throd on the bed and turned head and heels over it, right foreninst his reverence, and landed wid her fate in the bucket of wather I had left standin' on the stairs. She moight have recovered her balance, only the bed cum rollin' afther her and knocked her over again, and then Mrs. O'Reilly and the bed and the bucket, and the bundle of washin' all came rollin' down the stairs, and you couldn't tell which was the bed and which was the bucket, and which was the washin' and which was Mrs. O'Reilly; but the bed got down first, and Mrs. O'Reilly turned a summerset over it, jest for all the wurruld like the clowns in the circus, and landed between two chairs, right at the fate of Father Roonan. I shut the door as soon as I could, and as I shut who should I see but Mrs. Moloney sittin' on her balkinny and laughin' fit to shake herself into a thousand pieces. I know me face was as red as the sun in a fog, and Father Roonan was laughin' fit to burst as he helped me to straiten Mrs. O'Reilly, who was mixed up that way wid the chairs that we had a job to exthricate her. She wasn't hurt, but she was dhrenched from top to bottom, and forgettin' that the chairs was in the hall, I asked his reverence to sit down in the dhrawin'-room while I wint to get some dhry clothes for Mrs. O'Reilly. His reverence didn't sthay long, as he had only called to pass the toime of day, and I made a cup of tay, and me and Mrs. O'Reilly was jest havin' it in the kitchen whin the door bell rang again.

"'Och!' says I, 'let thim ring. It's not Father Roonan this time, any way.' So we wint on wid our tay, and the bell rang again and again, till I thought they'd break the wire. So I jumped quite desperate up from me tay, and sayzin' a dipper of wather in me hand, I wint to the door and opened it.

"'Take that!' says I, as I threw the wather. You may guess me falins whin I discovered, just in toime to be too late, that it was Pat! Didn't he roar? Didn't he swear? Oh! I thought he'd tear the house down wid langwidge not fit to repate, and he in a hurry to go and catch a thrain, and swearin' all the whoile he was changin' his shirt. But we finished the clanin', and I locked the dhrawin'-room door and hid the kay, and forgot where I hid it, so that it won't get disarranged. But, och! I'll never forget the sight of Mrs. O'Reilly, and I'll never see Father Roonan widout blushin' at the remimbrance of it. Will you take another cup, Mrs. Tacitus?"

"No thank you, dear," said Mrs. Tacitus, "I have done splendidly." And Mrs. Tacitus kissed Mrs. McSweeney, and took her leave. As she passed out of the front gate one of Mrs. McSweeney's boys came in. She smiled sweetly at the child, and noticed that his trousers were made from a pair of his father's old ones.


Mrs. McSweeney's Twins

"Take a glass of wine and a pace of cake, Mrs. Tacitus," said Mrs. McSweeney, when Mrs. Tacitus had taken off her gloves and deposited her umbrella in the hall-stand. "'Tis the birthday of me twins."

So Mrs. Tacitus took a glass of wine and a piece of cake, wished the dear children many happy returns of the day, and made a mental note of the fact that Mrs. McSweeney had a new hair buckle, which must have cost at least one and fourpence.

"God bless them!" said Mrs. McSweeney, "they're good children, though I say it as shouldn't, bein' the mother of 'em both. But the throuble I've had wid them children you'd never belave. Me first throuble came in namin' 'em. They was me first, and I niver properly knew the grate difficulty of choosin' names fur children until those twins was born. I had often remarked and expatriated on the rediculosity of paple givin' names to their helpless progenitors, that hang round their necks for the rist of their lives like a milestone. I have seen a man called 'Samson,' who wasn't sthrong enough to lift a red herrin' off a gridiron; and a man called 'Solomon,' who hadn't got sinse enough to come in out of the rain. Such cases as these may be due to accident, but where a child, through no fault of his parents, has to go through loife wid such a name as Jones, it is the fault of his parents if he is called 'Jack' Jones. Others, again, may be due to unfortunate devilopments. Like Mrs. Jackson's niece, who was christened 'Wild Rose,' and aftherwards married a clergyman named Bull, and became 'Wild Bull.' When the duty devolved upon me to choose names fer me twins, I made me moind up to be exthra careful. I consulted me friend, Mrs. Jackson, and afther I had gone through the History of England and Ireland, Moore's Almanack and The Police News, some numbers of Comic Cuts and The Gardener's Chronicle, I had a list as long as a pawnbroker's conscience. I could have got some beautiful names from The Gardener's Chronicle if they'd only been gurruls. Well, to make a long story short, I decided at last to call the ouldest of the twins Demetrius Angelus, and the youngest Reginald Augustus. I chose these names as bein' quiet and gentale, and not too high-soundin'. Whin Pat cum home to lunch I tould him phwat I had decided, and expected him to be plazed wid me, but he wasn't. He said the names wasn't Irish enough, and he wanted the ouldest one called afther him.

"'I always made up me moind,' says he, 'that if ever I had a son, and especially if he should happen to be an eldest son, that I'd call him Pat.'"

"'You won't if I know it,' says I. 'Sure, every gossoon is called Pat nowadays.'

"'And maybe,' says he, wid a shneer, 'every Pat's a gossoon?'

"'I didn't mane it that way,' says I, fer I cud see he was losin' his timper. 'And, indade, ye can't help yer name. But they're my children, and I'm goin' to name them.'

"'And maybe,' says Pat, sthill flarin' up —'maybe they ain't my children?'

"'Phwat!' says I, beginning to flare up to, 'Can ye say such a thing as that to me? Look at the noses on 'em, the poor, dear lambs.'

"And he looked at the noses of 'em as they lay shlapin' pacefully, side by side, and he was satisfied. Pat cud niver look at thim widout wantin to kiss thim, and he was bindin' over to do it, and he not shaven fur three days. I didn't want to wake thim, so I thried to blush and said, 'Shure, ye can kiss me insthead.' And sure enough he did. And thin he said 'Well, we won't fall out about it. Have yer own way. Only I would have loiked the eldest boy named afther his dad.' So I gave him a hug, and it was settled.

"'The names is roight enough,' says he, afther a pause, 'only they don't sound very Irish.'

"'And faith,' says I, 'isn't McSweeney Irish enough fur anything?'

"'Thrue for ye,' says he.

"See how noice their initials will look when I mark them on their linen and things,' says I, beginning to wroite them down.

'There's D. fur Demetrius, A. fur Angelus, and M. fur McSweeney,' says Pat. That's D.A.M. dam.'

"And thin Pat stharted to wroite down, too, and he says, mimickin' loike —'There's R. for Reginald, A. fur Augustus, and M. fur McSweeney. That's R.A.M. ram.' And he stharted laughin' till I thought that he'd take a fit.

"'Oh!' says he, 'Ye're a ganius at choosin' names. Faith! we must wake 'em up now. Here,' says he, between his lafture —'Dam and Ram, wake up and see how noice ye'll sound in yer bran new names.'

"'Sure, Pat,' says I, 'Don't make fun of me. I throid to do me best fur the dear darlins', but I didn't think of the initials. Lave off laughin' at me, and ye can call them phwat you loike.'

"'All right,' says he, 'that's a bargain. I'll lave off laughin', and we'll call them Pat and Mike.'

"So he kissed me again, and off he wint to his work, and that's all I got fur all me throuble.

"Well, afther me unfortunate misthake in the choosin' of me children's names, I had to consint to the unavoidable, and let thim be christened Pat and Mike. Pat was moighty particular about the eldest one bein' called afther him.

"'Sure,' says I to him, 'there's only about tin minutes difference betwixt them, and what does it mather?'

"'I don't care,' says he, 'if there was only tin siconds. Do you think I am goin' to allow me eldest son to be done out of his pathrimonial rights?'

"'Which is the eldest of them?' says I.

"'Divil a know I know,' says he, scratchin' his head and lookin' at the two darlins' as they lay in their cot. 'Shure, they're so much alike that I can't tell the other from which; but they say a mother can always tell the difference.'

"'Well, it's lucky,' says I, 'that I kept tally of 'em. When the little darlins' was born Mrs. O'Reilly put a red shawl round the eldest one, and so we knew him, although Mrs. Jackson said it was the youngest one. But as Mrs. O'Reilly offered to take her Bible oath that she was nearly sure she wasn't mistaken, we put a green ribbin round the waste of the one that had the red shawl on. And that's how we know him to be the oldest.'

"'But where's the green ribbin now?' says Pat.

"'Oh! I left it off,' says I, 'bekase the youngest one got a pimple on his nose, and whin I look at them I know he can't be the oldest, and thin I guess the other one's the oldest.'

"So we got Father Roonan to name thim, and we told him the names, which he said was highly euphonius, which partly reconciled me to me disappointmint.

"'Which is to be Pat?' says he.

"'The oldest one,' says Pat.

"'And which is the oldest one?' says Father Roonan.

"'Faith!' says I, 'there's one of 'em has a pimple on his nose.'

"'I see him,' says he. 'I name you Pat.'"

"'Hould on, Father dear!' says I. 'Is that the one wid the pimple?'

"'It is,' says he. 'Look at it.'

"'Well,' says I, 'that's the one that's not the one.'

"'What do you mane?' asked Father Roonan. 'Didn't you tell me the one wid the pimple?'

"'I meant,' says I, 'beggin' yer riverence's pardon, that when you got the one wid the pimple, that one wasn't him.'

"'Wasn't who?' says he, wid a twinkle in his eye.

"'Wasn't Pat, yer riverence.'

"'Are we to understand,' says his riverence, 'That the one widout the pimple is to be called Pat?'

"'That's it,' says Pat, 'he's the oldest of 'em.'

"'Faith, I thought so,' says his riverence, 'from his likeness to his father.'

"Pat looked plazed, and the christenin' was finished, and we all wint home as plazed as cud be, although I had to take a dhrop of whiskey, wid a little water in it, whin I got home, owing to the fright I got at Pat, junior, nearly losin' his pathrimony. Well, we had a party in the evenin', and had a great time, although I haven't got time to tell ye all about it. About tin o'clock one of Pat's friends cum in, and he says to him:—

"'Come here till I show ye me oldest son, till ye see if he's loike his father!'

"He told Mrs. O'Reilly to fetch little Pat, and whin she brought him, he says, 'Shure, that's not him, that's the ugly gossoon wid the pimple. Bring the other one.' So she brought the other one, and Pat, who had had a whiskey or two, yelled at the poor woman and says, 'Bring the other one!'

"'Shure, there's only two of thim,' says poor Mrs. O'Reilly.

"'The divil's curse to ye!' says Pat. 'I know there's only two, but I want the other one!'

"'This is the other one,' says she. Wid that Mrs. Jackson brought the other one, and as I'm a livin' sinner, they both had pimples on their noses! And now, if we were to be all skinned alive, we don't know which is Pat and which is Mike. If we only knew which was the oldest, we'd know he was Pat, or if we could find out which was the youngest we'd know he wasn't the oldest, and thin we could find out which was Pat. Meanwhile, Pat, senior, was ragin' like a ravin' lunatic, and me cryin' me eyes out. I asked Father Roonan if they could be christened again, but he said he didn't think that would settle it unless they were born again. What to do we didn't know, and it was nigh being the cause of a separation, but at last we decided that as Mike got his pimple first, he'd be likely to lose it first and so whichever lost his pimple first should be Mike. Well, would you belave it, the very next Sunday mornin' whin we got up, there wasn't a thrace of a pimple on either of 'em. And so to the present toime we don't rightly know which is Pat and which is Mike. It was only last night that I heard Mrs. Moloney shpakin' to her next door neighbour from her balkinny, and she said, in a tone of sarcasm—

"'I don't thry to hould me head as high as some paple, but I know me eldest boy whin I say him. There's a poor woman, not a mile away from here, that looks down on her bethers, and yet, when she sees her eldest son, she don't know whether it's him or his brother.'

"Take another glass of wine, Mrs. Tacitus?"

"Thank you, my dear, I will," said Mrs. Tacitus, "and then I must be going." So saying, she proceeded to put on her gloves, and decided in her own mind that the port wine had cost eighteen-pence per bottle.


Mrs. McSweeney at Sea

"'Tis a foine day, so it is," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she handed the plate of scones to Mrs. Tacitus.

"It is, indeed," said Mrs. Tacitus, as she took two scones and made a mental note of the fact that Mrs. McSweeney's skirt had been turned and dyed.

"How did you enjoy yourself on Saturday?"

"Enjoy meself, is it?" answered Mrs. McSweeney, with a slight suspicion of scorn in her voice. "Enjoy meself, did you say?"

Then stirring her tea in a pensive manner, and throwing the tea-cosy at the cat that was preparing to make a bed of her best antimacassar, she said:—

"It was a beautiful afthernoon, last Sathurday, whin I consinted, in a foolish moment, to go for a thrip to the Hawkesbury. Pat and I had an early lunch of pork chops and onions, and wid me best muslin, fresh ironed, and me new hat wid the roses, I felt quite happy and nautical as the sthame boat glided down the harbour, and the band (two fiddles, a cornet and a harp) played "A Loife on the Ocean Wave.'

"'Twas a great crowd there was on the boat, and as we approached the place they called the Heads, they were all laughing and talking as lively as young colts in a clover patch. There was a young gentleman near me that had two young ladies wid him, in a pair of white duck throusers and a blue coat wid a sthraw hat, pointin' out the different places we come to. He looked so noice and nate, wid his waxed moustache, that I thought he must be a captain or left tenant at laste.

"'That's Pinchgut,' says he, and he shmoiled till he showed a row of teeth as white as the dhriven shnow.

"'And that's Bradley's Head, and yonder is Watson's Bay.' And he twirled his moustache until the two inds shtuck out like two mate skewers. Whin we come to the Heads the ship began to lift up and down, and I could hardly shtand, and the young gintleman smoiled and said—

"'Oh! you'll be all right, mam, whin ye get yer say legs on.'

"I thought his remark was rather rude, so I purtinded not to hear him, and looked over to where somebody said there was a sow and some pigs, but I didn't see any. Just then a big wave sthruck the ship, and nearly knocked her over, and I says to Pat, 'Hould me, Pat,' says I, 'I'm afraid I'll fall."

"'Oh!' says the young man wid the waxed moustache, grippin' hold of a post, 'It'll be all right whin ye get yer say legs on. That's the —eh —the loite ship,' says he.

"Well, the ship began to rock about that way I thought me head 'ud shplit.

"'Oh, Pat!' says I, 'for the love of Heaven,' says I, 'Ask the captain to kape the ship from wobbling.'

"Just thin I heard one of the young ladies say, 'Oh! ain't it just lovely?' Her companion didn't answer her, and I was just goin' to give her a look of witherin' sarcasm, whin the ship heaved agin —and so did I.

"'Oh!' says I, 'I want to go ashore, Pat. I fale so bad. Ask the captain to let me go back.'

"Pat said the captain would only laugh at him, and said I wouldn't be sick if I'd kape me mouth shut. Then the ship gave a bigger lurch than ever, and the young man wid the waxed moustache said, 'Oh, it'll be all roight whin ye get yer say legs —.' But just thin he began to slither, and as he couldn't rache the post, he went head furst into the harp, and the harp knocked over the cornet, and the cornet bumped into the only fiddler that was playin', and thin all of thim fell on top of the other fiddler that was looking over the soide of the ship, that pale as if he'd seen the ghost of his grandmother in the wather. And thin they all scrambled to their fate, the young man in the waxed moustache was lanin' on the side of the ship. His sthraw hat was missin', the wax was all gone out of his moustache, his white duck pants was dirty, and he was all limp, and just looked as if he'd been washed out and never rinsed, and thin fell off the line into the mud, and somebody had picked him up and flung him on a fence to dhry.

"And all the toime the ship kept rollin' about, this way and that way. She reminded me of Pat whin he comes home from a meetin' of the Buffyloes. And there was the young min and the gurrls all gettin' mixed, and shlitherin' this way and the other if they was all on roller skates. Some was laughin' and some was shcreamin', some was groanin', and everybody was holdin' on to everybody else. Such a confusion I never heard since Dooley's cow ran into the tinker's shop in the market place in Sligo. I was throyin' to kape me mouth shut, and Pat standin' by, wid his hands in his pockets, a-shmokin' his poipe as if nothin' in the wurruld was the matter. I was so mad at the unconcarned look of him that I forgot meself and said, 'Pat!' It was all I said. But I'd opened me mouth, and I couldn't shut it. The ship tipped up all to one side, and I found meself runnin', and I couldn't sthop till I sthopped wid me two arrums round the neck of the young man in the moustache, and I fale ashamed every toime I think of the state of his white duck pants —but I couldn't help it.

"What loike is the Hawkesbury I don't know. I remimber Pat takin' me into a sthuffy place they called a cabin, and givin' me some brandy and soda. I sat on the flure with me new ironed muslin, while a big woman in a red blouse made a convanience of me new hat. It seemed about tin years that I'd been lyin' there whin Pat came and said we was back in the Harbour. He was rowlin' about, and he said he had his say legs on and cudn't get shot of 'em. And I was such a wreck you never saw; me muslin was shpoiled, me hat was ruined, me hair was down, and me false front that cost siven-and-six, I never seen from that day to this. The shtewardess had hair the same colour as mine, but Heaven forbid that I should have any suspicion of her, for she tinded me loike a mother. Pat had to get a cab to bring me home, and me cup of misery was overflowin' whin I was layin' on me bed, wid a bottle of o-de-colone in me hand, some vinegar and brown paper on me head, and a bottle of soda-water by me soide. The balkinny door was open to let the air in, and I heard Mrs. Moloney, from her balkinny, remark to some person in the sthrate:—

"'Did you see Mrs. McSweeney since she wint to say? Oh! the sight she is! The sun has brought out all the freckles, and the salt wather has made her that limp that poor Mr. McSweeney had to carry her up and put her to bed. Poor man! 'Tis small wondher he has the lumbagy. You can't wondher at him takin' a dhrop now and again.'"

"Well, I must be going, dear," said Mrs. Tacitus.

"And I must go and look afther that gurrul or she'll burn the jint," said Mrs. McSweeney as she preceded Mrs. Tacitus to the door.

As Mrs. Tacitus passed through the hall she sniffed, and as Mrs. McSweeney closed the door after her she murmured, "Hash!"


Mrs. McSweeney at Home

"Thry a ginger nut," said Mrs. McSweeney.

"Thank you, my dear, I will," said Mrs. Tacitus, helping herself to a handful of ginger-nuts, as she wondered where Mrs. McSweeney had got the new d'oyley.

"'Tis an age since I saw ye," remarked Mrs. McSweeney, fanning herself with a serviette. "And I've been that worried wid me domestic and social jooties that I'm loike one av me own twins, and don't know whether I'm meself or some other person. 'Twas last Monday was a fortnight since I wint into a dhraper's shop to buy a box of hair-curlers, and to thry to match the loinin' of a new dhress I was makin' out of the one that got shpoiled on me thrip to the Hawkesbury, when who should be there but Mrs. Delaney, whose husband is working at the gas works —buyin' a couple of yards of Torchon.

"'Good day to you,' says she, 'and how's the twins?'

"'They are as well as can be,' says I, 'barrin' that one has a slight influenzy, and the other has a black eye through fightin' young Moloney. I haven't sane ye for an age,' says I.

"'Why don't ye come on me day at home?' says she, and she gave me a card on which was printed:—


"I promised I would, and she bade me good-day. Now, this set me thinkin', and as one moight as well be out of the wurruld as out of the fashion, I made up me moind that I'd have me day at home, too. So I got some cards printed, which said as follows:—


"So the first Wednesday in last wake I prepared to resave me guests. Not havin' a gurrl nor a lady help, I got Mrs. O'Reilly to come round for the afthernoon. I wanted to manage the thing properly, for I knew that some of me friends would only come to see phwat they could see, and to pick holes in me arrangements; and so I made some tay, and some sandwiches, and got some cake and biscuits, and a couple of pounds of jam roll and some ice crame, and a little dhrop of spirits in a decanther in the dinin'-room in case anybody should fale inclined to "take a little wine for their stomachs' ache,' as the prophet says. I dhressed meself in me new o-de-neel muslin, wid the puffed slaves, and a pink belt wid a large silver buckle, wid yellow gloves, and takin' me fan in one hand and me shmall cambric handkerchief in the other, I tuk me sate about two o'clock, and dhrapin' me skirt to the best advantage, I waited fer me visitors.

"I had arranged wid Mrs. O'Reilly to look afther the things in the kitchen, and to admit me visitors. Mrs. Jackson ran over before dinner and did me hair, and tould me I looked charmin', and that no one would take me to be the mother of twins. I sat waitin' for about three-quarters of an hour, till me arrums and legs were that cramped that me carves seemed to be tied in a knot, and me not likin' to move for fear I'd shpoil the dhrapin' of me dhress, whin a ring comes to me door. I was all pins and needles as I sat listenin' for Mrs. O'Reilly to come and open the door, and she clatherin' the things about in the kitchen, and takin' no notice of the bell, through bein' deaf in one ear and not hearin' very well with the other. Then the bell rang again, and I felt as if I was sittin' on a hants' nest, until I heard her comin' along the hall. She poked her head into the door and said:—

"'Have anybody come yet?'

"'There's been somebody ringin' the bell this half-hour,' says I. 'Woipe that black off yer nose and open the door, and show them in, and be careful to denounce them in the way I tould ye.' So she opened the door, and sthranin' me ears to listen I heard somebody say,

"'Do ye want a noice load of wood?'

"She said we didn't, and shut the door.

"'Mrs. O'Reilly,' says I, 'Would ye moind sittin' in the doinin'-room until the visitors have all arrived, so that you can hear the bell?'

"She said, 'Very well, mum,' and she wint and sat in the doinin'-room, which is separated from the dhrawin-room by a pair of damascus curtains. The furst to arrive was Mrs. Jackson, and soon aftherwards came fat Mrs. O'Grady and her two daughters. Mrs. O'Reilly opened the door and denounced thim, and we chatted about the weather, and the children, and our husbands, and the neighbours, and things. Afther we had exhausted all the usual thropics of the day, I was fidgetted by seein' Mrs. O'Reilly pokin' her head through the curtains, and makin' faces as if she was thryin' to say somethin' widout makin' a noise. Not wishin' to move for fear of spoilin' me pose, and she not takin' any notice of me frownin' at her, and thinkin' somethin' might be wrong wid the twins, I said at last wid as much composion as I could ashume, 'Do ye want to shpake to me, Mrs. O'Reilly?'

"'I do,' says she, 'but I don't want everybody to hear. Where do you kape the lump sugar?'

"Now, I didn't want the O'Grady's to know that I didn't kape a servant regular, and that was the rayson why I was afther buyin' Mrs. O'Reilly a cap wid muslin sthrings, and so I said, 'Shure, you ought to know. It's on the cheffoneer in the doinin'-room, behind the silver tay sit.' There was no silver tay sit, but I said it to make Mrs. O'Grady woild, for she had never been in me doinin'-room and would know no bether, so I said 'Behind the silver tay sit,' in a low voice that I knew Mrs. O'Reilly wouldn't hear; thin I added in a louder voice, 'We'll wait and say if any more ladies come before we serve the collation.' Includin' Mrs. Jackson, that you could hardly call a visitor, we had only four, and two of thim was bits of gurls, and I had provided for twinty. Well, we sat and yawned and looked at one another until me limbs was jumpin' agin through sittin' shtill, so I resolved to wait no longer.

"'Bring up the collation, Mrs. O'Reilly,' says I.

"Afther waitin' some toime and gettin' no response, I called again; and still, afther waitin' a long toime and listenin', I got no reply, so thryin' to divert the oppressive silence that was hangin' loike a wet blanket about us, I said, 'Would either of you loike a taste of spirits?'

"'It's no use sayin' one thing and manin' another,' said Mrs. Jackson, 'I would.'

"'And so would I,' says Mrs. O'Grady, wid a sigh of relafe.

"So raisin' me voice to its highest pitch, I shouted, 'Mrs. O'Reilly!' Shtill I could get no answer, and not bein' able to shtand sittin' in one position any longer, I jumped up at risk of shpoilin' me pose, and dashed into the doinin' room loike a volcano. The soight that met me gaze I'll never forget as long as I remimber. There, ferninst me on the table, was the decanter full of nothin' but emptiness. By the side of it was a glass and a sugar basin, and Mrs. O'Reilly not to be sane, except the chair that she'd been sittin' in, and the two legs of her a-shtickin' out from underneath the table. I pulled her out and propped her up wid her back agin the chimbley-pace, and her hair hangin' down over her face, and her muslin cap hangin' down loike a bib, when she blinked her eyes, and says:—

"'Spasms! Mrs. McSweeney. Spasms!'

"'Git up out av that, ye drunken baste!' says I, 'And git out av me house this minute, if not sooner!'


"She thried to get on her fate, and to assist her risin' she caught the tablecloth, and before I could shtop it, away it came, and down, wid a crash, wint me decanter, the glass, the sugar basin, and a case of stuffed birds wid a glass shade that Pat won in a heart union, valued at twinty-foive shillins'; and Mrs. O'Reilly fell on her back, wid a stuffed parrakeet perched on her nose. Just at that very moment, whin I thought that the cup of me degradation was full up to its last gasp, and that it would burst me bosom, I seen Mrs. O'Grady poke her head through the cartains, and she says in a swate tone of bitter sarcasm, 'Don't bother, Mrs. McSweeney, we must be goin' now, as we have to call and pass the toime of day wid Mrs. Moloney.' I sat down and cried till you could have rung the tears from me o-de-neel, and whin I wint to change there was that vampire, Mrs. Moloney, biddin' Mrs. O'Grady an' her two daughters good-bye, and the whole of thim lookin' over at me house and laughin' as if they'd bust. On me nixt day at home I shall go to the gardens or somewhere to be out of the way. Mrs. O'Reilly niver darkens me door again."

Mrs. McSweeney sighed, and Mrs. Tacitus sighed in sympathy.

Mrs. McSweeney ran out to see if the kettle was boiling over, and Mrs. Tacitus lifted a flower-pot that stood on the table, and was gratified to find that her suspicions were correct. It had been placed there to cover a hole in the table-cover.


Mrs. McSweeney's Surprise Party

"It's a beautiful day," remarked Mrs. Tacitus, as she entered the dining-room, and noticed that three of Mrs. McSweeney's Austrian chairs had been re-caned.

"It is indade a foine day," answered Mrs. McSweeney. "It is weather loike this that makes one fale glad to be aloive. It minds me of the toime whin I was a gurrul, chasin' the pigs out of the potato field on me father's farrum at Ballyragin. Shure, thim was happy days, whin I had no social jooties to worry me, no twins and no shneerin', shquintin' neighbours acastin' reflections on me from their balkinnies! Whin I think of thim days I am remoinded of the poet who said:—

      "'I wish, I wish, but all in vain,
      I wish I was a maid again.
      But a maid again I'll never be,
      Till pumpkin grows on apple tree.'

"But wait till I tell you all about me surproise party. Little did I think I'd ever live to see the day whin me friends would all assimble at me humble dwellin' in the evenin' and give me a shpontaneous surproise party. Thruly does the poet say that it is the unexpected that happens, and that at the toime whin we are not lookin' for it.

"About a fortnight ago Mrs. Jackson came to see me one day, and she says, 'Mrs. McSweeney, says she, 'can ye kape a sacret?'

"'Of course I can,' says I. 'Did ye ever know a woman that couldn't?'

"'Well, I don't know that I did,' she says. 'I know I wouldn't revale a sacret if I died, except to me most intimate friends.'

"'Well,' says I, 'And phwat's the sacret ye have?'

"'You won't tell it?' she says.

"'No,' says I.

"'Well, then, we're goin' to give ye a surproise party.'

"'And phwat's that?' says I.

"'Why, a lot of yer friends are goin' to come round some night and bring a lot of things to ate and dhrink, and we're goin' to have great toimes.'

"'And whin is it to be?' says I.

"'On Thursday noight, about eight o'clock,' she says.

"She had no sooner gone than in came Mrs. Regan —and she tould me the sacret. And then I heard it from Mrs. Delaney, and Mrs. Smith, and siveral others, and by Thursday noight I'd heard it from about fourteen of 'em, and they aiche made me promise not to say a wurrud about it. So whin Thursday noight came I had me dhrawin'-room all noice and toidy, and some fresh flowers in the vases, and afther Mrs. Jackson had done me hair, and I had put on me new white muslin, wid the green sash and pink fishoo, I tuk me sate on the sofy and a book, and lookin' fur all the wurruld as if I expected nobody. I waited to be surproised. I didn't have long to wait, for about eight o'clock I heard some whisperin' and laughin' outside, and a ring came to me bell. Pat had gone out, and so I opened the door, and they all walked in.

"'We've come to have a party,' says Mrs. Jackson.

"'Well!' says I, 'I was never more surproised in me loife!'

"'I'm so glad,' said Mrs. Jackson. 'I thought you would be.'

"'And so did I,' said Mrs. Regan.

"'And so did we,' added Mrs. Delaney and Mrs. Smith.

"They set out the pervisions in the doinin'-room, and we found that Mrs. Jackson had brought some biscuits, Mrs. Regan some bananas, Mrs. Delaney some biscuits, Mrs. Smith some bananas, Miss Delaney some bananas and her young man, and I thought I'd have doid with lafture whin we found that those that had not brought bananas had brought biscuits, and divil a thing had they got amongst sixteen of 'em but bananas and biscuits, and an odd young man or two. However, I tould thim not to moind, as I happened to have a little thing or two in the house. So thin they began to enjoy thimselves, and they took the couch and aisy chairs on to the verandah to make more room, and put all the other things in a corner, so as to have a dance, and Miss Delaney had her music wid her, and played and sang, 'I Would I Were a Bird.' Her young man sang 'Will of the Wisp,' and he had such a big voice that there wasn't room enough for it in me dhrawin'-room, and ould Delaney and Con Regan wint outside, and whin he came to the part where he says, 'Mark their fright' I could hear the glasses in the doinin'-room jingle again. Thin they tuk the carpet up and put it in the hall, and had a dance; and thin we had supper, and ould Delaney proposed me health in bumpers wid tears in his eyes, and thin Con Regan proposed Pat's health, and Miss Delaney's young man proposed the 'Chairman,' Mr. Delaney, and Mr. Delaney responded and proposed the 'Ladies.' Mrs. Smith's eldest son was asked to respond to the toast of the 'Ladies,' and he did so in the following way:—

"'Ladies and gintlemen!' says he. 'I am goin' to respond for the ladies, and propose the twins — God bless 'em — I mane both the ladies and the twins. What should we do widout 'em, gentlemen? I mane the ladies. They cook for us, and darn for us, and sing to us, and play to us, and sometimes they play the divil wid us. Whin I see them, sittin' like two cherubs on the wash-house roof, a-shmokin' brown paper and peltin' banana skins at the Chinamen —I mane the twins — I think how proud Mrs. McSweeney must be of 'em. And I hope we may all be as fortunate as Mrs. McSweeney —I mane the ladies —and I hope that they may grow up to become great men —I mane the twins —and that we may all live long and die happy, for, as the song says, "They are the joy of our lives" —I mane the ladies.'

"He sat down amid thremendous applause, and wavin' of handkerchiefs, and ould Delaney said he was proud of him (for he was courtin' Delaney's youngest daughter.) And thin Con Regan started to sing 'He's a Jolly Good Fellow,' whin I thought me heart was in me mouth, for I heard such a clather in the hall that it sounded loike as if a load of bricks had been tipped on the floor. I ran out to see phwat was the mather, and there I see Pat lyin' on his face wid the hall-shtand on top of him.


"It sames he had come in and thripped over the dhrawin'-room carpet that was folded up in the hall, and in fallin' had knocked over the hall-shtand, that had made a lump on the back of his head as big as a wather-melon. He was spacheless wid insensibility, and when Con Regan and Delaney carried him into the dhrawin'-room, and tuk his collar off, and he never opened his eyes to say a wurrud, I thought it would be widder's weeds I'd be wantin, and me only afther buyin' a new hat wid pink flowers the day before. They bathed his face wid wather, and rubbed his hands, and it was all no good, until Delaney said:—

"'Do you think he cud take a dhrop of whiskey?'

"'He couldn't take whiskey the way he is,' said Con Regan.

"'You're a liar!' said Pat, as he opened his eyes.

"Well, we got him to bed afther a toime, although we had a job to perswade him to move, as he laid wid his head on Mrs. Regan's lap, and she rubbin' his hands, while Con poured the whiskey into him. When he was safe in bed, they all bid me goodnight, and it was three o'clock in the mornin' before I was able to shut the front door, through the couch gettin' shtuck in the enthrance, and me wid no one to give me a lift.

"Pat's head was achin' a bit the next mornin'. He said it was the knock he got. I think the whiskey had somethin' to do wid it. I'd thought he'd be in a great timper, but he wasn't. He said he'd take a knock loike it again every noight, if he could lay his head in Mrs. Regan's lap and have the whiskey poured into him. It's all over now, but it was a grand surproise party. Mrs. Moloney must have heard the music and the singin' and the lafture, but I don't think she knows of Pat's bump. For three days afther the party, she sat on her balkinny wid her head rapped up, purtindin' to have a cold in the head, and lookin' about as happy as a pig wid the yellow janders. 'Tis surproisin' the way some paple invy other paple's good fortune. And must you go so soon, shure?"

"Yes dear," replied Mrs. Tacitus.

She kissed Mrs. McSweeney, and, in passing, rubbed her finger on the chiffonnier to see whether it had any dust on it.


Mrs. McSweeney's Photograph

"Ye're just in time," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she removed the tea-cosy and poured out the tea. "Shure! a taste of shpirits in it 'ul do ye no harrum this afthernoon."

"Only just a taste," replied Mrs. Tacitus, as she noticed that Mrs. McSweeney had some new cups and saucers. "I hear you have had your photo taken.

"Yes," replied Mrs. McSweeney. "In a momint of wakeness, and in response to the pressin' solicitations of me innumerable friends, acquaintances, and others, I reluctantly consinted to get me photo tuk. Whin I say reluctantly, I don't want you to misundersthand me. I am not ashamed of the linimints that Nature has given me, and if me shtoyle of beauty differs from phwat they call the classical, it is more in quantity than quality. It would ill become me to flather meself, but the truth is not flathery. I moind the toime whin I'd get heaps of flathery widout havin' to do it meself, and even now, Pat is sometoimes jealous at the way the young fellows shtare whin we go out widout the twins, and me wid me new Sunday clothes on, and the combinations of colours that set off me proportions to the bist advantage. Me reluctance is caused by me modesty, which in the wurruds of the poet, would rather 'under-rate the charms I have than claim the others that I have not got.' Yet, though I say it meself, ye could foind many a wurse lookin' face in Paddy's Market on a Sathurday noight than Bridget McSweeney's. So, as me friends samed so anxious, I thought it over, and the contimplation of the twins decoided me. I, therefore, made up me moind to conquer me natural modesty and timidity, and to hand the liniments down to me ancesthors. So I wint to a foinelookin' place in George Sthrate, just between the Railway Station and the Circular Quay, and shpoke to a young lady that was a-sittin' at a little desk:—

"'Is this where you get your photo tuk?' says I.

"'It is,' says she, shmoilin' shwately.

"'Phwat do ye charge,' says I, 'for a sthraight-out photo widout any flathery?'

"'Siven-and-six a dozen fur cabinets,' says she.

"'I said photos,' says I, calmly but severely, 'not cabinets.'

"'Well, it's all the same,' says the young lady, 'Cabinets is the size of 'em.'

"So she showed me the soize, and I said I'd be tuk. She asked me to sit in the waitin'-room, and guv me some pictures to look at.

"'A wonderful thing is photography,' says she.

"'It is,' says I.

"'Look at the X-rays,' says she.

"'Where are they?' says I, lookin' round the room.

"'Oh! we haven't them here,' says she, shmoilin', 'but we have some pictures taken by them. Here is one. It is Mr. * ———'s hand.'

* The reader may here fill in the name of any prominent politician or local magnate.

"'Is it now?' says I. 'Shure, nobody would think that was Mr. *———'s hand. It don't look like it.'

"'No,' she says, 'You see, when anybody shows your hand widout the rays, you only see phwat is on the surface. The X-rays shows phwat is underneath the surface.'

"'Well,' I says, examinin' the picture again, 'I don't think the X-rays brings it all out. There is more in Mr. *———'s hand than you can see there.' Then I added, afther a pause, 'Do you think the X-rays would show you phwat eh has up his slave?

"'I don't know,' says she.

"'Well, then,' says I, 'I can tell you. The X-rays may be very good. You might be able to see through most men wid 'em. You might even see through *——— wid 'em in two or three looks, but ye'll never see through * ——— wid 'em. And if, in addition to the X-rays, ye get all the Y-Z rays, ye'll not be able to see phwat he has up his slave?'

"'Phwat do you think he has?' says she.

"'Devil a know I know,' says I, 'but you may be sure that he has somethin' else in his slave besides the loinin'. You moind me now!'

"Then she showed me into phwat she called the shtudy-oh, and as she shut the door I found meself all alone wid a man. He bowed politely, and in shpoite of me nervousness I did not forget to remimber me good breedin', and I returned his politeness.

"'Will you take a sate, mam?' says he.

"'I will,' says I, 'Thankin' you koindly. It's toirin' shtandin' afther washin' all the mornin' and a heavy wash too —four shirts, three blouses and a lot of coloured things, besides two pairs of blankets and a quilt, which I had to rince over again, through the loine breakin'.'

"'How would you loike it?' says he. 'Full length, three-quarther, or the bust only?'

"'Shure!' says I to him, 'Phwad 'ud be the good of takin' me bust only?'

"He smoiled and said:—

"'Oh! of course your face would be in wid it!'

"'In wid phwat?' says I.

"'Wid the bust,' says he.

"'Well, I don't want it in wid me bust,' says I. 'I want it where it is.'

"'It'll be all roight,' says he, 'Wait till I get me focus.'

"So he wint up to the thing he called his focus, which looked somethin' loike a three-legged shtool wid a pair of bellows on top, and afther turnin' it about, he says, 'Now it's all roight. Would you loike to look through it?'

"I said I would as he was so perloite, and he sat in a chair whoile I looked at him through the focus, and shure! I couldn't belave me eyes, for he was upside down.'

"'You've got your focus the wrong way up!' says I.

"'Oh! it's all roight,' says he, laughin'.

"'And do you think,' says I, 'that I'm goin' to sit in that chair and allow a man to look at ME upside down? No!' says I, 'I'd sooner let me ancestors go widout me liniments for ever and ever.'

"'It's always done that way,' he says, 'And it won't take a minute, and you'll be roight soid up whin its finished.'

"'Well,' says I, as a compromise, 'Will ye shut your eyes whin yer look?'

"'I will,' says he.

"'Well thin foire away,' says I. 'But moind, if I catch ye at any tricks, although I'm only a lone faymale, I'll stuff you into your focus and throw you out of the window,' I says, 'And you'll get thrampled under the fate of the omnibusses,' says I,''till they won't be able to tell which is you and which is the focus.'

"He got white and said that, 'If I preferred it he would not look at all. He'd chance it.' So he gave me a book to hould in one hand, a fan and a big bunch of flowers to hould in the other, and I sat down in the chair. He said:—

"'Are you ready? Kape shtill!'

"And thin somethin' gave a click, and he said it was all roight and I came away. I got me photos yesterday. I didn't loike them much, because, although they're not upsoide down, the big bunch of flowers is hidin' me face. Pat says he thinks that's an improvement, but he is no judge. Mrs. Jackson says it is more loike me than I am loike meself.

"I was walkin' down past the place where I had me photo tuk this mornin', and I saw they had one shtuck outside, and some boys was lookin' at it.

"'That's Charley's Aunt,' says one.

"How he knew that me brother Barney had a boy called Charley, and he away in Ireland, and me only havin' the news by the last mail, and only a few loines and fivepence to pay, I couldn't say. It showed the loikeness, however, and I shmoiled at the boy, and said:—

"'I'm glad you loike 'em!'

"'Hulloh!' says he, laughin' to his friend.

"'Phwat price?'

"'Seven-and-six a dozen,' says I.

"He laughed again, and I said:—

"So you knew me poor brother Barney, did you?'

"'Oh!' says he to his friend, 'Come along; she's got 'em!'

"'Yes,' says I, 'I got 'em this mornin'; a dozen of 'em.'

"'A dozen phwat?' says he.

"'Photos,' says I.

"'Rats!' says he.

"Wid that I could see that he was only makin' fun of me.

"'Ye impident shpalpeen!' says I, 'How dare ye thry to make fun of yer bethers?'

"'Oh! give us a rest!' says he.

"'I'll give ye,' says I, 'A prod in the jaw wid me umbrella!' says I.

"'Ye're Irish!' says he.

"Wid that I made a poke at him, but he shlipped away, and the pint of me umbrella shtuck into a shtout gentleman's waistcoat, which made him cough that way that his langwidge was not fit for a daycent woman to hear.

"And can I have this one?' said Mrs. Tacitus.

"You can then, and welcome," said Mrs. McSweeney.

And Mrs. Tacitus, vowing she would never part with it, kissed Mrs. McSweeney and went away resolving to post the photo to Mrs. Moloney that very night.


Mrs. McSweeney About a Dog

"Good afthernoon to yer," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she got out another cup and saucer for Mrs. Tacitus, "And how's the neuralgy?"

"It is slightly better, thank you, dear," replied Mrs. Tacitus, as she drew her chair up to the table, noticing at the same time that Mrs. McSweeney's blouse had a rent under the armpit.

"I have been that worried since I seen ye last," continued Mrs. McSweeney, as she sweetened Mrs. Tacitus' tea, "That me nerves is like a ball of woosted that the cat's been playin' wid. It was all about a dog, a dog that you wouldn't give a threepenny-bit for, if there wasn't another dog in the wurruld, even for breedin' purposes. I had had a heavy wash last Monday, and the copper fire, conthrary, and the smuts blowin' that way that it would vex a saint, and me limbs achin' as if I'd been thrashed wid a bamboo. So I laid down to take forty winks afther lunch. I'd hardly got into me first doze whin Mrs. O'Reilly shouted to tell me I was wanted in the back yard. Whin I got out I saw a polaceman, lookin' over the fence.

"'Is yer dog registered, Mrs. McSweeney?' says he.

"'Faith! Divil a dog have I at all,' says I.

"'Phwat's that?' says he, pointin' to a corner of the yard.

"'That's a dog,' says I, 'by the look of it.'

"'Well, is it registered?' says he.

"'How do I know?' says I, 'Shure, it's no dog of mine.

"'Oh! we're used to that,' says he, as he made a note in his book.

"So I got the clothes-prop, and I gave the dog a prod, and I says, 'Whisht! Git out of that!' And thin I found it was that thafe of a dog that belongs to Mrs. Moloney. I knew him at once, for, by the token, he lost part of his tail, through the butcher at the corner throwin' a knife at him whin he was walkin' off wid a sthring of sausages. Pat says he's a rough-haired black and white fox terrier, wid a bit of the blood-hound in him. Anyway, whin I prodded him with the clothes-prop, he dodged through a hole in the fince into the nixt yard, and I wint back to me nap. I thought no more about it till the nixt day, whin I was served wid a summons to attind the polace court to answer to a charge of not registherin' a dog. I consulted Pat, and wanted him to go, but he said he couldn't neglict his work.

"'But phwat am I to say?' says I.

"'Oh!' he says. 'You can plade all sorts of things. Say the dog wasn't yours, or that it was under age, or that it was dead, or anything like that. You can plade as many things as you loike, and the more ye plade the hardher will it be fur thim to prove it. So I attinded the court. There was a big crowd there, and there was somebody there from everyone of the six houses in our terrace. Jobson, the publican at the corner, was the first one called.

"'You are charged,' says the clerk of the court, 'wid havin' an unregistered dog on yer premises. How do ye plade?'

"'The dog wasn't mine, yer Washup.'

"'Swear Constable Finnigan,' says the clerk.

"So Constable Finnigan stated that he saw a dog in Jobson's yard. It was a fox terrier.

"'Have ye got yer receipt?' says the clerk.

"'No!' says Jobson. 'I tell ye the dog—'

"'Tin shillin's, and four-and-tinpence costs,' says his Washup.

"'But—' says Jobson.

"'Livy and disthress,' says his Washup. 'Nixt case!'

Mrs. Smith was charged nixt. On bein' charged, she said:—

"'Plaze yer Washup, I don't own no dog.'

"'Swear Constable Finnigan,' says the clerk.

"Constable Finnigan stated that he saw a dog in defindint's yard. It was a rough-coated terrier, wid a shtumpy tail.

"'Where's yer husband?' says his Washup.

"'He's up at the Macquarie fossickin',' says Mrs. Smith, 'And I've five children, and we haven't had a bite of feed in the house this two days.'

"'Tin shillin's and four-and-tinpence costs,' says his Washup.

"'But plaze yer Washup,' says Mrs. Smith, burstin' into tears.

"'Livy and disthress,' says his Washup, blowin' his nose. 'Nixt case!'

"The nixt one called was Miss Tomkins, who said she never had a dog, and couldn't abear the soight of one. Constable Finnigan said he saw a dog in her yard on the day mintioned. It was a cross between a fox terrier and a blood-hound.

"'Tin shillin's and four-and-tinpence costs. Nixt case!'

"Mrs. Mulligan was nixt called. She had the same defince. Constable Finnigan stated that he saw a dog in the yard; it was a—

"'Tin shillin's and costs!' says his Washup. 'Nixt case!'

"'Bridget McSweeney!' says the clerk.

"'I'm here,' says I.

"'How do ye plade?' says he.

"I plade,' says I, 'That it was Moloney's dog, and if it wasn't Moloney's dog it wasn't mine, and if it was it was not six months old, and if it was it died of old age twelve months ago nixt Anniversary Day, and if it didn't it wasn't there, and if it was there it was registhered. Now!' says I, 'Put that in your poipe and schmoke it!'

"'Can ye prove it was registhered?' says he.

"'Can ye prove it wasn't?' says I.

"'You mustn't spake loike that to the coort,' says his Washup. 'Call Constable Finnigan.'

"'But, yer Woshup!' says I, 'I'm a daycent married—'

"'Silence!' shouted the clerk of the court, and Constable Finnigan was sworn. He stated that on the day in quistion he saw in the defindant's yard a full-bred blood-hound wid a shtumpy tail.

"'Tin shillin's and costs!' says his Washup.

"'I'm a daycent married woman,' says I, 'and have enough to do lookin' afther me twins and me house wurruk widout kapin' an apology for a dog wid no tail to shpake of.'

"'Livy and disthress,' says his Woshup. 'Nixt case! Nixt case!'

"But I came away thin, and whin we got outside the coort, we found that it was Mrs. Moloney's dog that was in Jobson's yard, and he threw it over the fince whin the polaceman had gone, and Mrs. Smith threw a boot at it, and it ran through the fince into Miss Tomkins. Whin the polaceman called there she hunted it out of her back gate, and whoile the officer was writin' in his book it run into Mrs. Mulligan's yard. She dhrove it into my yard, and I prodded it wid the clothes-prop, and it wint into Jones' yard, and whoile we was talkin' out comes Jones, and said he had been foined too, and all for Moloney's dog. And of course Mrs. Moloney hadn't been summoned at all. I seen Mrs. Smith at the distance, and I wint and shpoke to her. I said, 'I'd loike to have the combin' of the hair of that hard-hearted wretch for foinin' you, and yer children hungry.'

"'Ah! Mrs. McSweeney,' says she, 'Don't abuse the good man. He has to administher the law, and if the law's an ass he can't help it. God bless him! He sint a polaceman out wid a sovereign, and a message that I was to pay the foine and kape the change. If he administhers law and justice wid one hand he dispenses charity and mercy wid the other. God bless him!'

"So I came home. I forgave his Washup, but I'm kapin' me eye open for Mrs. Moloney's dog. 'Tis for that I kape the broom on the kitchen table, a bucket of wather near the front door, and a brick undher me pillow. If I catch him in me yard agin I'll give him such a batin' that he won't shtop runnin' and shqualin' till he falls over the South Head and encumbers the Pacific Ocean wid his carcase."

"No more, thank you!' said Mrs. Tacitus, as Mrs. McSweeney reached for her cup. "I must be going now." And she brushed the crumbs from her lap, kissed Mrs. McSweeney, and took her departure, wondering as she went up the street what had become of the vase that used to stand on Mrs. McSweeney's side table.


Mrs. McSweeney On Clubs

"You're not looking well, Mrs. McSweeney," remarked Mrs. Tacitus, as she took her seat in the kitchen, where Mrs. McSweeney was busy making pastry. "Don't mention it, dear; I don't mind sitting in the kitchen," she continued, as she speculated as to the price of Mrs. McSweeney's new preserving pan.

"I've been purty well, barrin' a sinkin' falin' due to the worry of me domestic affairs," replied Mrs. McSweeney, in answer to the first remark of Mrs. Tacitus. "Whin Pat won the three hundred pounds in the swape I thought me luck was in, but I never shpeculated on the way he'd alther. I don't know phwat's comin' over him, for iver since that toime he's been as big in the head as a newly elected mimber of Parlymint, and he is gettin' no bether every day.

"First he bought a watch, and thin a chain. Nixt he wasted his money in a lot of dingle-um-dangle-ums, to hang at the ind of the chain. A wake or two afther that he must buy a ring for his little finger, no less. The nixt thing he did was to shave off his beard, and as he lift nothin' but a moustache he reminded me of the man that used to shtand outside the fotygraffer's shop, sayin', 'This stoyle fourpince,' wid a big hat. Thin he'd want hot wather two or three toimes a wake, and it 'ud be, 'Where's me razor? Where's me shtrop? and where's me shavin' pot?' to say nothin' of the way he'd schrub me whin he had about two days' growth on. Thin he tuk to wearin' starched shirts every day, which I'm sure I wouldn't loike to do this hot weather, havin' as many as four in the wash in one wake.

"This was all bad enough, but I lost me patience one night last wake. I wint to bed early, and was just in me first slape —that I call me beauty slape— bein' phwat I rely on for me complexion. I'd had a late supper —just a shlice of roast pork wid some cucumber and onions, a bit of toasted cheese and a couple of bananas, and I was dhramin' a shwate dhrame. I thought I was a flyin'-fox, and that I was flyin' about from tree to tree, dhressed in a pink mervelow and a green sunshade, whin I seen Mrs. Moloney shtandin' under one of the trees wid an air of vindictiveness and a gun. I thried to schrame, but me tongue was tied up by the roots, for I thought that ivery minit would be me nixt. She pointed the gun at me, and says, 'I'll taiche you to be puttin' yerself above yer naybours,' says she. Just then she fired, wid a noise loike a thunderclap, and I woke up and found meself alone in me bed aclaspin' the bedpost wid the shweat oozin' from every pore.

"Before I had time to calm me falins' and collect me scathered sinses, I heard a noise at the front door. I listened, and there was a-schrapin', and thin a bump, and thin more schrapin' and more bumpin'. Thin there was a pause, durin' which I could here me heart thumpin' agin me ribs loike a billy-goat agin a barn door, and thin I heard Pat say to himself loike, 'Who the blazes has shifted the kay-hole?' So whin I knew it was him, I just shlipped down in me wrapper wid the transparent yoke, and opened the door.

"'Is that you, Biddy?' says he.

"'It is,' says I. 'Phwat do ye mane by comin' home this time of noight, makin' a noise and frightenin' the naybours?'

"'Who the blazes has shifted the kay-hole?' says he.

"'I wondher you're not ashamed to be sane in the moonlight,' says I, 'the way ye are.'

"'Shure!' says he, 'I'm all roight, Biddy, me ould gal, Bid. But I've dhropped me kay, and somebody's shifted the kay-hole.'

"He wouldn't come in till he found his kay; so, as there was nobody about, I just shtepped out on to the verandah to look for it. It was a foine night, and the moon was shoinin' bright, as the poet says, and jist as I shtipped out, Pat says:—

"'Whist!' says he, 'There it is agin!' And he wint down on his hands and knees on me flower bed.

"'There's phwat?' says I.

"'Begorra! I've got it,' says he. Thin he added, 'No, I ain't.'

"'Got phwat?' says I, wid me wrapper flyin' in the breeze.

"'There it is again!' he says, reachin' out and breakin' me polyanthus.

"'Don't ye see it,' he says.

"So I wint to see phwat he was grabbin' at and hoppin' around afther, and if he wasn't chasin' the shadow of the branch of a tree that was wavin' in the moonlight. Wid considherable throuble and inconvanience, owin' to me bare fate, I got him up, whin he thried to shteady himself by the handle of the door, and pulled it to; and there I was, in nothin' but me wrapper wid the transparent yoke, out on the verandah, and the wind that cold that I thought I'd get me death, and me fate freezin' wid the joo. I'll not tell you exactly phwat I said to him, fur I was a bit mixed, more by token, because I heard the twins begin to sing out fer me at the same minute. The only thing Pat did was to sit on the gas mater, wid his hat all on one side. Whin I remonsthrated he only laughed and sang:—

      'We are the bhoys that make the noise
      In the Royal Artilleree!'


"'I heard some paple comin' up the sthrate, and just then Pat sthruck a match fur me to foind the kay, and me the way I was. However, I got the kay, and wint to bed, and left him to follow. I thought he'd never get up, fur ivery shtep he came up he shlipped down two. Whin at lingth he did get upshtairs, I says to him:—

"'And pray, phwat sort of place have ye been in till this hour in the mornin'?'

"'At me club,' says he.

"'And phwat's a club?' says I.

"'It's a place,' says he, 'Where men go to polish up their intellecks, by friction wid other intellecks, where they injy a quiet game at shnooker and poker wid kindred shpirits, or discuss the ivints of the day; and where they don't get interrupted by any blatherin' faymales.'

"'The more's the pity,' says I, 'That they haven't somebody to help them to kape sthraight.'

"'If it wasn't for the wimin,' says he, 'the min 'ud be always sthraight.'

"'If it wasn't for the wimin,' says I, 'And you wid yer clubs and yer intellecks, and these sort of things in yer pocket,' says I, as I produced to his gaze the fotygraff of a faymale, wid hardly anythin' on, that he'd dhropped out of his coat pocket.

"'Is that a woman?' says I.

"'It looks loike one,' says he.

"'Tell me where to foind her?' says I, clinchin' me fists.

"'Oh! it's only off a packashigaritz,' says he.

"'I don't belave a word of it,' says I. But he wint on singin':—

      'We are the bhoys that make the noise
      In the Royal Artilleree!'

"'Will ye hould yer whist?' says I, 'And not be wakin' the terrace,' says I, 'And thry to lave off shtaggerin', and shtand sthraight.'

"'The divil's cure to ye!' says he, 'Do ye think I want any help to kape sthraight?'

"And wid that he thried to shteady himself by the bedpost, but missed it, and sat down on the box wid me new hat in wid the ostrich feathers.

"'You'll be the ruin' of me hat!' says I.

"'And your blatherin', blistherin' hat-pin 'ul be the ruin uv me!' says he. 'Pull it out quick before I blade to death!'

"I pulled it out, but faith! it sobered him up a bit, and afther a severe shtruggle wid his boots, he pulled thim off, flung thim into the four corners of the room, and wint to bed.

"My opinion is that if clubs are places where they sind men home at all hours in the mornin', to lose their kay-holes, and dhrop their latch-kays, disthurbin' the shlape of their wives, and singin' out at the top of their voices, and Mrs. Moloney's balkinny door wide open, so that she couldn't be off hearin', to say nothin' of the risk of rheumatics and lumbago, and brazen faymales givin' their fotygraffs wid scarcely anything on, to the husbands of virtuous women, it's a great shame, and ought to be brought before the Arbitration Court under the Act for the Protiction of Daycent Married Faymales."

And Mrs. McSweeney handed Mrs. Tacitus a jam tart, hot from the oven, while Mrs. Tacitus noticed that the kitchen floor covering, which Mrs. McSweeney had described as "linoleum," was only oilcloth, worth about tenpence a yard.


Mrs. McSweeney's Reconciliation

"I didn't know you could sing so nicely, dear," said Mrs. Tacitus, as she entered the sitting-room where Mrs. McSweeney sat and sang as she plied her needle.

'Faith! I'm loike a canary this mornin', and I'm singin' bekase me heart is overflowin' wid the milk of human koindness that way that it's oozin' out ov me."

"Why, what has happened?" enquired Mrs. Tacitus, as she noticed that Mrs. McSweeney was darning Pat's white socks with brown cotton.

"Thruly," says Mrs. McSweeney, "Does the poet say:—

"'One touch of nature makes the whole wurruld kin,
And often makes us fale phwat fools we've bin.'

"There is a toide in the affairs of men and women, if you can only take it on the hop, that lades to the most unexpected demonsthrations of the ould sayin' that 'every cloud has a silver loinin', as everyone can see for himself if he'll only take the throuble to git behind it.

"Little did I think a wake ago that I'd ever have to relate the evints that I am now about to relate, but a merciful Providence rules over all, and I'm glad to say that the inmity of the past is dissolved in the swate frindship of the prisint. I fale as happy as a flea in a stockin', for I'm at pace wid the whole of mankoind and everybody else, barrin' Mrs. O'Reilly, who is not worth mentionin', she bein' a shnake in the grass, wid a smooth face and a mischief-makin' tongue.

"I had been down the road one day last wake, to lave Pat's boots to be half-soled and haled, and a patch put on the soide, whin I seen a chubby-faced little boy walkin' along the road, wid a basket of pertaters on his arrum, and a big chunk of wathermelon in his hand. He was crossin' the road and lookin' behoind him at two dogs foightin', and I was admirin' his rosy chakes and chubby bare legs, and thinkin' that it was a shame to thrust him out by himself, and no one wid him, whin a butcher's cart come tarin' round the corner, and before I could schrame, the horse was on top of the little child, and thin the poor little fellow lay all sthill and white, wid his pertaters all over the road, and the cart was gone.

"I ran and picked the poor child up, and another woman felt him and said he wasn't dead, and she picked up his hat and gathered up the pertaters, and a girl come and said she knew where he lived. It was only just round the corner, and I carried him home. I found that his mother was out washin', and nobody at home but his little sisther about tin years old, and we put the poor little lad on the bed, and found a big bruise on his head, but no bones broken. It broke me heart entoirely to see him lyin' there so shtill and white and as limp as a piece of wet paper, that me mother's falins' rose in me throat, and brought the tears to me eyes at the sight of him. I chafed his hands and legs and blew in his face, and offered up a prayer to the Blessed Virgin that the dear little innocent might not die on our hands. While I was chafin' and cryin' and prayin', and thinkin' phwat else I could do, the other lady plastered the lump on his head wid vinegar and brown paper and things, and by and by we had the satisfaction to see him open his big blue eyes and looked at us. I'll never forget the falins' I felt when I found that he was shtill aloive and that he wasn't dead. 'Twas a tremenduous relafe off me moind. Just as he opened his eyes, his mother come runnin' in, and was besoide herself wid thankin' me and the other lady for our koindness to her poor little boy.

"Up to that toime I had been so busy wid the child that I had taken no notice of the other lady; but I turned round thin, and I thought I'd dhrop whin I saw that it was me mortal inimy, Mrs. Moloney. The recognition was shpontaneously instantaneous on both sides at once. I was covered wid mortification from head to foot. She made a sort of a bow of recognition, and not to be outdone by her in perliteness, I did the same. Then she bowed a little lower, and so did I. Now the room was only a shmall one, and I couldn't see behoind me. Neither could Mrs. Moloney. In thryin' to bow lower I bumped up agin a box or a piece of furniture behoind me. So did Mrs. Moloney. The bump caused me to lose me balance, and I butted forward for all the wurruld like a goat. So did Mrs. Moloney. In buttin' forward I butted Mrs. Moloney wid such force that I sat down wid considerable violence and velocity. So did Mrs. Moloney; and the double concussion shook the whole house. I was not much hurt, and I was that amused at seein' her sittin' forninst me, especially afther the upset I'd had wid the child, that I could not presarve me dignity, and I burst out larfin'. So did Mrs. Moloney. I felt mad wid meself, but I couldn't help it. I throid to smother it, and was just gettin' the bether of it, whin that blessed darlin' wid the chubby legs and blue eyes, and the roses comin' back to his chakes, sat up on the bed and shouted:—

"'Oh! Mumma, look! The two ladies are goin' to play cock-fightin'!"

"Well, I roared again. So did Mrs. Moloney. I larfed till me soides ached wid larfin', and the tears run down me chakes. I got that helpless that I rowled on the floor. So did Mrs. Moloney. At length, when we could larf no more, we picked ourselves up, and the boy's mother would make us have a cup of tay before we wint. I throid to be dignified once more, but it was no use. Every toime I caught Mrs. Moloney's eye I shmoiled. So did Mrs. Moloney. She looked so good-humoured whin she shmoiled, that I said at last:—

"'Mrs. Moloney,' says I, 'Phwat did I ever do to make you so cool to me?'

"'Mrs. McSweeney,' says she, 'I will not decave you. I thought it was unkoind in you to tell Mrs. O'Reilly that I was no bether than I should be.'

"'If I was to die this minit,' says I, 'I never said such a thing.'

"'You didn't?' says she.

"'No,' says I, 'But I felt hurt whin she tould me that you said that I was proud, and thought meself above me neighbours.'

"'Did she tell you that?' says she.

"She did?' says I.

"'Thin,' says she, 'She is a viper. I only said you ought to be proud, for you was so much superior to your neighbours.'

"So afther this explanation we shook hands and come home together, and as we parted at the door, I resolved to have no more to do wid Mrs. O'Reilly. So did Mrs. Moloney. And now Mrs. Moloney and me are frinds. I pass the toime of day to her from me balkinny, and she does the same to me. I pop over to her gate and have a chat, and she pops over to mine. I wint yisterday and had afthernoon tay wid her, and she is comin' to-day to have the same wid me. She made her boy apologise for turnin' off me gas at the mayther, and tyin' shtrings to me knocker, and I'm the happiest woman in the whole wide wurruld this day. And so is Mrs. Moloney.

"'Shure, ye're not goin'?' said Mrs. McSweeney, as Mrs. Tacitus commenced to put on her hat.

But Mrs. Tacitus explained that she had an engagement with her dentist, who was going to ease her top plate, and as she shook the dust of Mrs. McSweeney's linoleum off her feet on the gravel path, she remarked that some people were like members of Parliament. You never knew to-day what they would do to-morrow.


Mrs. McSweeney Does the Block

"'Tis quoite a sthranger ye are," exclaimed Mrs. McSweeney, as she placed a chair in front of the fire for Mrs. Tacitus. "And where have you been this long time?"

"I had no girl," replied Mrs. Tacitus, as she took her seat and noticed that Mrs. McSweeney's slipper had a hole in the toe. "Have you been keeping well?"

"Faith! I'm as happy as a new-made polaceman. Since me reconciliation wid Mrs. Moloney I fale that the sunshine of pace and thranquility is castin' its blessed shade upon me, and removin' from me path the avilanches of doubt and inmity in which I used to be steeped. I'm a new woman.

"I don't wish you to undhershtand from that, that I've forgotten phwat's due to me sects. Glory be to Providence I know me place. Women who want to be min may thry to revolutionize the equilibrium of the social phwat-do-you-call-it and turn the sexes upside down, but they will get no help from me. Whin I say I'm a new woman, I mane that me bosom has evicted the falins' of acrimoniousness that used to dwell therein, and has become the tiniment of pace and thranquility, and is swellin' wid love and affection to that extent that me corset won't meet on me. The more I come to know Mrs. Moloney, the more thankful I am to the little darlint wid the chubby legs, that was the manes of bringin' us together, and the greater is me falin' of contimptousness fur that degraded craythur, Mrs. O'Reilly.

"A thrue frind is loike a beacon foire, that blazes the brightest on the darkest noight. A false frind is loike a rush-light on a stick, whose flame is extinguished wid the first puff of wind. The threachery of a false frind is loike a nadle in a sofy cushion. It pricks you whin you laste expict it, and sometimes in the tindherest part. An inimy who bethrays an inimy may be forgiven, but a frind who is false is like a rotten crutch that breaks the first toime you lane on it. A man or woman who will bethray a frind would bethray their counthry, and couldn't be thrusted to carry a bone to a dog.

"Mrs. Moloney popped over to me the day before yesterday just as I was washin' some pertaties to cook fur Pat's dinner, as he will always make me cook thim in their jackets, because, he says, it kapes the goodness in and sames more homely, and she says to me:—

"'Where are you goin' to this afthernoon?' says she.

"'I wasn't thinkin' of goin' anywhere,' says I.

"'Phwat do ye say if we come and do the block?' says she.

"'I'd loike it of all the wurruld,' says I, 'But faith! I've nothin' to wear.'

"'Oh!' says she, 'You'll be all roight. I'll call for you at three o'clock, and moind you are ready.'

"So she did me hair fur me, whoile I was makin' some pancakes, so as to save toime, and afther I had washed up the dinner things I got ready. I put on me new tan shoes and me open-work shtockins', and a new pink muslin skirt, cut full behind; a white blouse, and me dark-green Princess Maude cape wid a red frill round the back. Me Tommy Shanther hat was a beauty. It was covered wid flowers on the top and underneath the brim, and thrimmed wid airyfane and tool rosettes, wid loops of coloured shtraw, and a twist of net near the edge caught down wid fancy pins. I had just put on me light tan gloves and me green parasol, whin Mrs. Moloney tapped at me door. Whin she seen me I thought it would take her breath away.

"'I loike you,' says she, 'Wid your nothin' to wear! Why, you look as smart as the woife of a Jew money-lender, or a Labour Mimber of Parliamint.'

"So we tuk the thram to King-street, and then we did the block. We looked at the shops, and we passed remarks on the dhresses of the ladies, and as the young civil servants and bank clerks, wid the big walkin'-shticks and large shirt cuffs, walked past us, I noticed more than one admoirin' glance thrown towards me. We were lookin' in a shop windher, admoirin' the pictures, whin there was a young man in a straw hat and a black moustache and an eye-glass, lookin' over our shoulders, and I'll never forget the way he apologised whin somebody in the crowd pushed him up against us. We told him perlitely not to mention it, and he raised his hat and bowed, and we saw him no more. As it was nearly time to be gettin' home, Mrs. Moloney wint into a shop to buy some fruit, and in a minute she comes runnin' out as pale as death, and she says:—

"'Mrs. McSweeney,' says she, 'I've lost me purse!'

"'Perhaps ye left it at home?' says I.

"'I don't think so,' she says. 'But, anyway, lind me a shillin' till I pay fur the fruit.'

"I felt in me pocket, and it was impty! I couldn't restrain the conthrol of me feelins' as I remumbered that there was in it four and ninepence in silver, fourpence in copper, three throuser buttons, a darnin' nadle, and the resate for the last month's rint.

"'Thieves! Robbers! Murder!' I shouted, as fast as me lungs could carry me. A polaceman came up, and he says:—

"'Here! Move on, and don't be obsthructin' the footpath.'

"'Do you know who you are shpakin' to,' says I, 'Wid your move on?'

"'I guess I know what YOU are,' says he.

"'If you look at me in that tone of voice,' says I, 'I'll take your number.'

"'Gwanawayouterthat!' says he, as he gave me a push.

"I wouldn't demane meself to say any more to him, but we had to walk home, seein' that we had no money. Nixt toime I do the block, I'm goin' to kape me eye open fur that young man wid the black moustache, and if I see him, he'll think the wurruld's at an ind, and that the ruins are all on top of him. I'll make it that worrum for him that he'll be glad to 'sake the cold shades of obliviousness to give his moustache time to grow, and his eyes to rayshume their normal tint. Will ye take another pace of jam roll?"

"Thank you, I will," said Mrs. Tacitus, helping herself to a piece of jam roll and a couple of tarts, and remarking to herself that Mrs. McSweeney's new fringe net was a couple of shades darker than her hair.


Mrs. McSweeney on Propriety

"Take the aisy chair, Mrs. Moloney," said Mrs. McSweeney, as she ushered Mrs. Moloney into the drawing-room, and placed a cushion on the best arm-chair.

"Shure, it's toired ye must be afther your long walk into town, to say nothin' of the pushin' and dhrivin' at the sale, and the sthruggle at the bargain counther."

"It's a bit fatigued I am, thin," said Mrs. Moloney, as she sank into the arm-chair and removed her hat-pins. "Did Mrs. Tacitus call to-day?"

"Indade, she didn't then," replied Mrs. McSweeney, with a toss of her head. "It's poor and humble I am, Mrs. Moloney, although, thank Heaven, I have always a cup of tay and a bite for a frind. But humble as I am I know me spear, and what is joo to meself and me sects! If I have my way Mrs. Tacitus will not darken my door agin, for though above want and livin' on a terrace of houses left her by her late husband, she has lost the sinse of propriety.

"It has always been my aim, Mrs. Moloney, although it is meself that says it, to live and conduct meself wid such propriety that no man or woman of either sects can pint the finger of schorn at me. Mrs. Tacitus has forfeited the reshpict joo to her sects by lettin' her vanity get the bether of her discretion in such a way as to make propriety hide her face to consale her blushes.

"It was this way: —As you are aware, Mrs. Moloney, the late political contist was productive of great excitement. There was a male committee and a famale committee. Pat was chairman of the male committee, which was how I come to know all about it, and Mrs. Tacitus was chairwoman of the faymale committee. Whin the eliction was over, and our mimber got in on the top of a pole, he decoided to give a dinner to the most prominent of his supporters.

"He invited Pat, who supported him because he was an Irishman, Mr. Thompson (who is thryin' to get his son on the thramway), Mr. Jones (who wants a billet in the post-office), Mr. Simpson (who is thryin' to get into the Government Printin' Office), Mr. Tracey (who is thryin' to get the conthract for the supply of red tape to the Government institutions), and about a dozen more aqually disintherested elictors.

"He also invited Mrs. Tacitus, and you'd niver belave it, but she wint! One solitary faymale to about twinty males! The wake before the dinner our mimber sent for Mr. Tracey, and he says to him, says he,

"'I think I'll be able to get ye that conthract for red tape,' he says, 'But I'd loike to get up a tistimonial,' says he, 'to Mrs. Tacitus.' 'Will you head it?' says he.

"So Mr. Tracey said he'd head it wid a guinea, and he did; and thin wint home and added tin guineas to his tinder for red tape.

"And Mr. Tracey wint to Mr. Thompson, and he says,

"'If you don't want to ruin the prospects of your son,' says he, 'Ye'll have to give tin shillins' to a testimonial to Mrs. Tacitus. The mimber's moind is bint on it,' he says.

"So Mr. Thompson, afther some persuadin', wint and borrowed tin shillins', and gave it to Mr. Tracey, and thin wint home and threw a boot at his youngest boy for shtandin' on the doorstep.

"Thin Mr. Tracey wint to Mr. Jones, and he says:—

"'I want tin shillins' for a tistimonial to Mrs. Tacitus.'

"'But,' says Jones, 'I haven't tin shillins' to me name.'

"'If you don't give it,' says Tracey, 'the post-office is a sealed book to ye.'

"So Jones wint and pawned his watch to git the tin shillins', and sould the ticket to git a dhrink.

"By the same logical argumints to the rest of the committee the testimonial was bought, and the night for the prisintation arrived.


"The dinner was given at a fashionable resterong, and Pat says it was a beautiful dinner, except that the turkey was tough, and that the whiskey was off afther the first round. Whin dinner was announced, all the min shtud in a loine, and Mrs. Tacitus walked in, wid a shmoile on her face, on the arm of the mimber and a long train. All the time the dinner was on she sat on the mimber's right hand, and as soon as it was over, the mimber rose and said he had a plazin' jooty to perform.

"'I have,' said he, 'to prisint a voluntary offerin' of our love to Mrs. Tacitus,' he says. 'I love Mrs. Tacitus,' he says. 'We all love Mrs. Tacitus.'

"'Hear! Hear!' says Mr. Tracey.

"'Silence!' says the mimber, lookin' at him with a tone of severity. 'And I have much pleasure in claspin' on her fair arrum,' he says, 'this bangle, the shpontaneous gift of her frinds and admoirers,' he says.

"And he fastened on the bangle, squazin' her hand as he did it, and sat down amid considerable jinglin' of impty glasses.

"'Will you say a few wurruds, my dear Mr. Tracey?' said the mimber, whin the applause had died away.

"So Mr. Tracey said he was delighted to be present at the prisintation to Mrs. Tacitus, whom they all loved, and he throd on the toe of Mr. Jones, who sat nixt to him, and said in an undhertone, 'Pass the whiskey!'

"Thin the mimber said he would like Mr. Jones to say a few wurruds, and Mr. Jones said he was plazed to be prisint to do honour to Mrs. Tacitus, whom they was all so fond of. And he sat down and pinched the knee of Mr. Thompson, and said, 'Pass the whiskey!'

Thin the mimber asked Mr. Thompson to say a few wurruds, and Mr. Thompson said he was delighted to assist in doin' honour to Mrs. Tacitus, whom they all loved, and said, 'Pass the whiskey!'

"And the mimber asked each of the others to say a few wurruds, and they each said how they was burstin' wid deloight to be prisint on the prisint occasion to take part in the prisintation of a prisint to Mrs. Tacitus, whom they was all so fond of.

"As aiche one sat down his concloodin' remarks was, 'Pass the whiskey,' but whin the whiskey was passed divil a dhrop was there barrin' the impty bottle.

"Thin the mimber returned thanks for Mrs. Tacitus. He said how plazed she was, and how proud she was to be so loved by them all, and to resave the free and shpontaneous offerin' of their affection. Thin he tould her again how fond they all was of her, and rayshumed his sate.

"Thin come the harminy. Mr. Thompson sang 'The Soldier's Tear,' and

Pat says he didn't sing it bad, barrin' havin' to lave out the top notes owin' to a could on his chist.

"Thin there was loud calls for a song from the mimber, and afther clearin' his voice, and thryin' two or three kays till he got the roight one, he sang a new song called, 'Put Me in My Little Bed,' which was received wid great applause, especially as he was accompanied by Mrs. Tacitus on a mouthorgan, wid variations.

"Pat sang 'Oft in the Shtilly Noight,' but wandhered into 'The Groves of Blarney' in the second verse, and couldn't for the life of him foind his way back into the 'Shtilly Noight.'

"Then Mrs. Tacitus played the 'Ould Folks at Home' on the banjo, that the mimber prisinted her wid some time ago, and that bein' an insthrument calkerlated to show off a bangle, and make the imitation diamonds shparkle, was a great success.

"Thin Mr. Tracey said to the mimber, 'Will you pass the whiskey?' he says. But the mimber didn't hear him, and proposed that they should all jine in singin' 'She's a Jolly Good Fellow,' and 'So Say All of Us,' and they cheered agin and agin.

"'One for the mimber,' says Mr. Thompson, who is thryin' to get his son on the thramway; and they cheered agin.

"'One for the mimber's wife,' said Tracey, who couldn't get anybody to pass the whiskey.

"But the mimber said he thought it was time to go, and so they separated, as it was nigh closin' time, and they was all dhry. Pat and the rist of the committee wint round to the club, and the mimber tuk Mrs. Tacitus home in a cab.

"And where was the mimber's wife, that she wasn't there?" said Mrs. Moloney.

"Oh!" replied Mrs. McSweeney, in a tone of sarcasm, "She was sint to Melbourne for a holiday fer the benefit of her health."

"Oh, indade!" said Mrs. Moloney, winking significantly at Mrs. McSweeney.

"Yes, indade!" replied Mrs. McSweeney, winking slowly but effectively at Mrs. Moloney.

"It may be all roight," she added, after a pause.

"I hope and thrust it is, but, Mrs. Moloney, it is not propriety, and I belave in propriety, and therefore Mrs. Tacitus is no longer a frind of mine."


Mrs. McSweeney's Lament

"The Geebung Taytotal Society"

'Twas the red-lether day of me loife,
    Whin Pathrick McSweeney first married me;
Whin he made me his own wedded woife,
    And away for the honeymoon carried me.

Although things are not all that they same,
    And though Cupid's professions are brittle ones,
Yet the first year flew by loike a dhrame,
    And the whole of our throubles were "little ones."

In the corner Pat kept a cruiskeen,
    Though of whiskey he'd not take a lot of it,
But in toime it was plain to be seen,
    That shtill fonder and fonder he got of it.

He would take it to kape out the could,
    For the heat—he would just take a sup of it,
Until nought could be purchased or sould,
    Till the bargain was clinched wid a cup of it.

And noight after noight would I wait,
    Till the clock had shtruck midnight expectin' him,
And me trouble was sad to relate,
    When I found that the dhrink was affectin' him.

I'd besache him his Biddy to plaze
    By avoidin' such gross insobriety,
And I'd beg him on both of me knees
    Just to join the Taytotal Society.

I would say, "You're a baste and a hog,
    And I don't know whatever to do wid you,
For you lade me the loife of a dog,
    And me once rosy chakes are quite blue wid you."

"Faith! I'll lave you, and let you go free,
    Since you cause me no end of anxiety,
If you won't give up whiskey for me,
    And join the Taytotal Society."

Then I coaxed him, and petted him so,
    Persistently kept on insistin' it,
That he said, "He supposed he must go,
    As he couldn't be afther resistin' it."

"Arrah! Biddy, me darlin'," said he,
    "You have got such a swate wheedlin' way wid you,
Faith, I'll dhrink nothing shtronger than tay,
    And I'll give up the whiskey, and shtay wid you."

So he wint to the matin' that noight,
    Afther dhressin' himself wid propriety,
And he soon was a glitherin' loight
    Of the Geebung Taytotal Society.

For they gave him a banner to bear,
    And a collar wid gilt and gold lace on it,
Such as Malachi once used to wear,
    Before thraitors brought down such disgrace on it.

And I felt loike a bride newly wed,
    And wid joy was replete to satiety,
Whin he marched through the town at the head
    Of the Geebung Taytotal Society.

But me heart grew quite heavy and sore,
    Afther all I had done in amindin' him,
Whin he shtaggered one noight to me door,
    Wid a party of Geebungs attendin' him.

They explained as they led him along,
    Wid a great affectation of piety,
"They sapposed that the tay was too shtrong
    At the Geebung Taytotal Society."

And he goes to the matins' each noight,
    Though I now thry to kape him away from 'em,
And I'm in a continual froight,
    But I cannot induce him to shtay from 'em.

He now tipples away widout end,
    And he takes it in greater variety,
For he says that they taught him the blend
    In the Geebung Taytotal Society.


Project Gutenberg Australia