Imatges de pÓgina

brated. • Unquestionably,' said I; I have heard many such ;' and a whole string of these blunders came at once into my head. I then told the story of the Irishman, who, when asked why he wore stockings with the wrong side out, answered, because there was a hole in the other side;' of the still better anecdote of another disciple of St Patrick, who was sleeping in the same bed with a choleric Scotch highlander. An English wag, who was lodged in the same room, by way of a practical joke, took one of the Irishman's spurs, and, perceiving that he was fast asleep, buckled it on his heel. Soon after, the Irishman happening to turn round, tore the Scotchman's leg with the spur; whereupon the latter, in great wrath, gave his companion a violent box on the ear, and the Englishman had the satisfaction of hearing betwixt them the following ingenious discourse :- What devil,' said the Irishman, has got possession of you? and why are you beating me? Because,' said the other, you have torn me with your spurs.' - How is that

possible ? I took off my clothes.' — And yet it is so see s only here.'- Damnation !--you are in the right. The

rascally waiter has pulled off my boots, but left on the

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spurs !

The story, however old, was new to the innkeeper, who broke out into immoderate laughter ; but the stranger, who had now wound up his dinner with a great draught of beer from a glass as high as a church tower, looked at me gravely, and said — You have spoken well, Sir. The Irishmen cer, tainly do make these bulls; but this by no means depends upon the character of the people, who are ingenious and witty, but on the cursed air of that damp country, which infects one with them, as with coughs and catarrhs. I my. self, Sir, am an Englishman, though born and bred in Ireland, and therefore am, on that account, subjected to the vile propensity of making bulls.'

Hereupon the innkeper laughed more and more, and I was obliged to join him heartily, for it was delightful that the Irishman, gravely lecturing on bulls, should unconscious, ly give us one of the very best as a specimen. The stranger seemed not in the least offended by our Jaughing In England,' said he with his finger on hişi inose, and dilating his eyes in England, the Irishmen are like strong spices added to society to render it tasteful. I am myself, in one respect, like Falstaff; I am not only witty in myself, but the cause of wit in others, which, in these times, is no slight

accomplishment. Could you suppose it possible, that in the empty leathern brain of this innkeeper, wit, generated by me, is now and then roused? But mine host is, in this respect, a prudent man. He takes care not to draw on the small capital that he possesses of his own, but lends out a thought now and then at interest, when he finds himself in the society of the rich ! With these words, the little original rose and left us. I immediately begged the innkeeper to give me something of his history.

• This Irishman,' said mine host,' whose name is Ewson, and who, on that account, will have himself to be an Englishman, has now been here for the short period of twentytwo years ! As a young man, I had just set up in the world, purchased a lease of this inn, and it happened to be on my wedding day when Mr Ewson first arrived among us. He was then a youth, but wore his fox-red wig, his grey

hat, and coffee-brown coat, exactly as you saw him to-day. He then seemed to be travelling in great haste, and said that he was on his return to his own country; however, hearing the band of music which played at my wedding feast, he was so much delighted with it that he came into the house and insisted on making one of the party. Hereupon, though he approved our music, he swore that it was only on board an English war-ship that people knew how to dance; and to prove his assertion, gave us a hornpipe, whistling to it all the while most horribly through his teeth, fell down, dislocated his ankle, and was, of course, obliged to remain with us till it was cured.

• Since that time he has never left my house, though I have had enough to do with his peculiarities. Every day through these twenty-two years, he has quarrelled with me. He despises my mode of life, complains that my bills are overcharged; that he cannot live any longer without roastbeef and porter ; packs up his portmanteau, with his three red wigs one above the other, mounts an old broken-winded horse, and rides away. This, however, turns out nothing more than a ride for exercise ; for at dinner-time he comes in at the other end of the town, and in due time makes his appearance at my table, eating as much of the despised dishes as might serve for any three men ! Once

every year he receives from his own country'a valuable bank-bill. Then, with an air of the deepest melancholy, he bids me farewell, calls me his best friend, and sheds tears, which I do also; but with me they are tears of laugh

ter. After having, by his own account, made his will, and provided a fortune for my eldest daughter, he rides away slowly and pensively, so that the first time I certainly believed he was gone for good and all. His journey, however, is only four German miles, viz. into the residenz, from whence he never fails to return on the third or fourth day, bringing with him two new coffee-brown coats, six new shirts, three wigs, all of the same frightful and staring red, a new grey hat, and other requisites for his wardrobe ; finally, to my eldest daughter, though she is now eighteen, a paper of sugar-plums. He then thinks no more of residing in the capital, nor of his homeward journey. His afternoon expenses are paid every night, and his money for breakfast is thrown angrily at my head every morning. At other times, however, he is the best-tempered man in the world. He gives presents every holiday to all of my children, and in the village has done much real good among the poor; only he cannot bear the priest, because he learned from the schoolmaster that the former had changed a gold piece that Mr Ewson had put into the box, and given it out in copper pennies. Since that time, he avoids him on all occasions, and never goes to church, and the priest calls him an atheist.

• As before said, however, I have often trouble enough with his temper. On coming home, just yesterday, I heard a great noise in the house, and a voice in furious wrath, which I knew to be Ewson's. Accordingly I found him in vehement altercation with the housemaid. He had, as usual with him, thrown away his wig, and was standing bald-pated in bis shirt-sleeves before her, and holding a great book under her nose, wherein he obstinately pointed at something with his finger. The maid stuck her hands in her sides, told him he might get somebody else to play his tricks upon, that he was a bad wicked man, who believed in nothing, &c. &c. With considerable difficulty I succeeded in parting the disputants, and bringing the matter under arbitration. Mr Ewson had desired the maid to bring him a wafer to seal a letter. The girl never having written or sealed a letter in her life, at first did not in the least understand him. At last it occurred to her that the wafers he spoke of were those used at mass, and thought Mr Ewson wanted to mock at religion, because the priest had said he was an atheist. She therefore refused to obey him. Hereupon he had recourse to the dictionary, and at last got into such a rage,

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that he spoke nothing but English, which she imagined was gibberish of the devil's own inspiration. Only my coming in prevented a personal encounter, in which, probably, Mr Ewson would have come off with the worst.'

I here interrupted mine host with the question, - Whether it was Mr Ewson also who tormented me so much in the night with his flute-playing'? Alas! Sir,' said he, that is another of his eccentricities, by which he frightens away all my night-lodgers. Three years ago one of my sons came on a visit here from the residenz. He plays well on the flute, and practises a good deal. Then, by evil chance, it occurred to Mr Ewson that he had also in former days learned to blow the flute, and never gave over till he prevailed on my son to sell him his instrument for a good round sum, and also a difficult concerto which he had brought with him from town. Hereafter Mr Ewson, who has not the slightest pretensions to a musical ear, began with furious zeal to blow at this concerto. He came, however, only to the second solo of the first allegro. There he met with a passage which he could by no possible means bring out, and this one passage he has now blown at through these three years, about a hundred times per day, till at last, in the utmost rage, he throws his flute and wig together against the wall.

• As few instruments can long hold out against such treatment, he therefore frequently gets a new one, and has indeed three or four in use at the same time. If any of them exhibit the smallest flaw in one of the keys or joinings, then with a God damu me, it is only in England that musical instruments can be made !' he throws it out of the window. What is worst of all, however, is that this passion for blowing the fute of his, seizes him in the night, and he then never fails to diddle all my guests out of their first sleep. Could

you believe it, however, that there is in our town another foreigner, an Englishman, by name Doctor Green, who has been in the house of the Amtmann about as long as Mr Ewson has lived with me, and that the one is just as absurd an original as the other? These two are constantly quarrelling, and yet without each other could not live. It has just now occurred to me, that Mr Ewson has for this 'evening ordered a bowl of punch at my house, to which he has invited Dr Green. If, Sir, you choose to stay here till

to-morrow, you will see the most absurd trio that this world could afford.

I was very willing on this account to delay my journey, as I had thereby an opportunity of seeing Mr Ewson in his glory. As soon as the morning drew on, he came into my room, and was so good as to invite me to his bowl of punch, although he regretted that he could only give me that contemptible drink which, in this country, bore the honoured name of a far different liquor. It was only in England where good punch could be drunk, and if ever I came to see him in his own country, he would convince me that he knew how to prepare, in its best fashion, that divine panacea. : Not long afterwards, the two other guests whom he had invited, made their appearance. - The Amtmann was, like Ewson, a little figure, but round as a ball, happy and contented, with a red snub nose, and large sparkling eyes. " Dr Green, on the contrary, was a tall, powerful, and middleaged man, with a countenance strikingly national, carelessly, yet fashionably dressed, spectacles on his nose, and a round white hat on his head.'

• Give me sack that mine eyes may be red, cried this hero, (marching up to the innkeeper, whom he seized by the breast, shaking him heartily.) Speak, thou rascally Cambyses, where are the princesses ?. There is here a base odour of coffee and Bremen cigars, but no fumigation yet floats on the air from the ambrosial drink of the gods.' Have mercy, O champion ! Away with thy hands-relax thy potent grasp," answered the host, coughing, otherwise, in thine ire, thou might'st crush my ribs like an egg-shell. Not till thy duties are fulfilled,' replied Dr Green; 'not before the sweet vapour of punch, ambrosial punch, delights our nostrils. Why are thy functions thus delayed ? Not till then shall I let thee go, thou most unrighteous host !

Now, however, Ewson darted out ferociously against the Doctor, crying, "Green, thou brute, thou rascal Green shalt thou be beneath the eyes--nay, thou shalt be green and yellow with grief, if thou dost not immediately desist from thy shameful deeds.'

Accordingly, I expected a violent quarrel, and prepared myself for departure; but I was for once mistaken. contempt, then, of his cowardly impotence, I shall desist,' said the Doctor,' and wait patiently for the divine drink which thou, Ewson, shalt prepare for us. With these words he let go the innkeeper, (who instantly ran out of the room,)



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