I Do not mean to say that cursing is either moral or polite, but I certainly do think that if a man curse at all, he has a right to curse after what fashion he chooses. Now, I am not going to curse, nor swear either, but to write concerning the very superior curse as above-named, and I have premised the foregoing conditions, seeing that, entertaining such an opinion on the subject, no moralist can find fault with me for the minor offence of introducing a curse to my own taste. Let not the polite world either startle at the word "Introduction." I do not intend to force cursing into their notice or their company; I mean the word "introduction" purely in a literary' sense; and lastly, therefore, to the literary I would say a few words on the matter.
There has been already known to the literary world a celebrated curse, called "The Curse of Kehama," and I hope I may not be considered too presumptuous in the intention of putting forward a curse to their notice, as its "Companion." Something of the sort, I think, has been wanted, and should I win the distinction of being considered the person who has supplied the deficiency, I hope Doctor Southey will allow me the further happiness of dedicating the story to him. There are sufficient points of difference in the two curses to make a variety for the reader's entertainment, and yet one point of curious coincidence between them--the drinking of a cup. Now, as regards the variety, Kehama's curse was that he could not die; while poor Kishogue's was that he did. As to the coincidence, Kehama and Kishogue have their interest materially involved in the drinking of a cup; yet in the very coincidence there is a charming want of similitude, for Kehama in not having the cup to drink, and Kishogue in having it to drink, and refusing it, produce such different consequences that it is like the same note being sounded by two voices, whose qualities are so unlike that no one could believe the note to be the same. But lest I should anticipate my story, I will close my observations on the rival merits of the two epics, and request the reader, in pursuance of my desire of being permitted to tell my story according to my own fancy, to step in with me for a few minutes into what is no genteeler place than a shebeen house.
I had been wandering over a wild district, and thought myself fortunate, in default of better quarters, to alight upon a shebeen house, the auberge of Ireland. It had been raining heavily; I was wet, and there was a good turf fire to dry me. From many hours of exercise, I was hungry; and there was a good rasher of bacon and a fresh egg to satisfy the cravings of nature; and to secure me from cold, as a consequence of the soaking I had experienced, there was a glass of pure "mountain dew" at my service--so pure that its rustic simplicity had never been contaminated by such a worldly knowledge as the king's duty. What more, then, might a reasonable man want than a shebeen house under such circumstances?
Ah! we who are used to the refinements of life can never imagine how very little may sufflce, upon occasion, to satisfy our natural wants, until we have been reduced by circumstances to the knowledge. The earthen floor of the shebeen never for an instant suggested the want of a carpet; the absence of a steel grate did not render the genial heat of the blithely blazing fire less agreeable. There was no vagrant hankering after a haunch of venison as I despatched my rasher of bacon, which hunger rendered so palatable; and I believe "poteen," under the immediate circumstances in which I was placed, was more acceptable than the best flask of Chateau Margaux.
When I arrived at the house, the appearance of a well-dressed stranger seeking its hospitality created quite a "sensation"; the bare-legged girl, who acted in the capacity of waiter, was sent driving about in all directions; and I could overhear the orders issued to her by "the misthriss" from time to time, while I was drying myself before the fire.
"Judy, here--come here, Judy, I tell you. See!" Then, in an undertone: "Get ready the quol'ty room--hurry it up soon." Then away trotted Judy; but before she had gone many steps there was another call.
"Put a candle in the tin sconce."
"Sure, Terry Regan has the sconce within there;" pointing to an adjoining apartment where some peasants were very busy in making merry.
"Well, no matter for that; scoop out a pratie, and that'll do well enough for Terry--sure, he knows no better--and take the sconce for the gintleman."
I interrupted her here, to beg she would not put herself to any inconvenience on my account, for I was very comfortable where I was, before her good fire.
"Oh, as for the fire, your honour, Judy shall put some live turf an the hearth, and you'll be as snug as you plaze."
"Yes; but I should be very lonesome, sitting there all night by myself, and I would much rather stay where I am. This fire is so pleasant, you'll hardly make another as good tonight, and I like to see people about me."
"Indeed, an' no wonder, sir, and that's thrue; but I'm afeard you'll find them men dhrinkin' within there throublesome; they're laughin' like mad."
"So much the better," said I. "I like to see people happy."
"Indeed, and your honour's mighty agreeable; but that's always the way with a gintleman--it make no differ in life to the rale quol'ty."
"Say no more about It," said I, "I beg of you. I can enjoy myself here by this good fire, and never mind the sconce, nor anything else that might inconvenience you; but let me have the rasher as soon as you can, and some more of that good stuff you have just given me, to make some punch, and I will be as happy as a king."
"Throth, thin, you're aisely satisfied, sir; but sure, as I said before, a rale gintleman takes everything as it comes."
Accordingly, the rasher was dressed on the fire before which I sat, and it was not long before I did honour to the simple fare; and being supplied by the materials for making punch, I became my own brewer on the occasion.
In the meantime, the mirth grew louder in the adjoining compartment of the house, and Terry Regan, before alluded to, seemed to be a capital master of the revels; and while I enjoyed my own tipple beside the lively fire, I had all the advantage of overhearing the conversation of Terry and his party. This was of a very motley description. The forthcoming sporting events on a neighbouring race-course, the last execution at the county jail, and an approaching fair, were matters of discussion for some time, but these gave place at last to the politics of the day.
It was the period when the final downfall of Napoleon had created such a sensation, and it was a long time before the peasantry of Ireland could believe that the hero of France was so utterly discomfited. He had long been a sort of idol to them, and the brilliancy of his successes for years had led them into the belief that he was invincible. There is, perhaps, in the lower orders in general, a tendency to admire military heroes, but this is peculiarly the case amongst the Irish, and Alexander and Julius Caesar are names more familiar to them than a stranger could well believe. But their love of Buonaparte, and their exultation in his triumphs, had a deeper motive than mere admiration as a warrior. What that motive was, it would be foreign to my pages to touch upon, therefore let me resume.
The conversation amongst these peasant politicians turned upon Buonaparte's imprisonment at St. Helena, and some of the party, unwilling to believe it, doubted the affair altogether.
"By the powdhers' o' war," said one, "I'll never b'live that he's 'a presoner. Tut--who could take him prisoner? There's none o' them aiqual to it."
"Oh, I'm afeard it's too thrue it is," said another.
"An' you b'live it, thin?" said a third.
"Faix, I do. Sure, Masther Frank--the captain, I mane--said he seen him there himself."
"Tare-au-onus, did he see him in airnest?"
"Sure enough, faith, with his own two eyes."
"And was he in chains, like a rale presoner?"
"Oh, no, man alive! Sure, they wouldn't go for to put a chain an him, like any other housebraker, or the like o' that."
"Well, sure, I heard them makin' spaches about it at the meetin' was beyant in the town last summer; and a gintleman out o' Dublin, that kem down an purpose, had the hoith o' fine language all about it, and I remember well he said these very words: 'They will never blot the stain from their annuals; and when he dies it will be a livin' disgrace to them; for what can he do but die,' says he, 'non compossed as be is by the wide oceant, chained, undher a burnin' climax, to that salutary rock? Oh! think o' that!' So you see, he was chained, accordin' to his account."
"But Masther Frank, I tell you, says he seen him; and there's no chain an him, at all; but he says he is there for sartin."
"Oh, murther, murther! Well, if he's there, sure, he's a pres'ner, and that'll brake his heart."
"Oh, thrue for you! Think o' Bonyparty bein' a prisoner like any other man, and him that was able to go over the whole world wherever he plazed, bein' obleeged to live an a rock."
"Aye," said the repeater of the spache; "and the villians to have him undher that burnin' climax. I wondher what is it?"
"I didn't hear Masther Frank say a word about that. Oh, what will my poor Bony do, at all, at all!"
"By dad, it is hard for to say."
"By gor!" said Terry Regan, who had been hitherto a silent listener. "I dunna what the dlvil he'll do wid himself now, barrin' he takes to dhrink."
"Faix, an' there is great comfort in the sup, sure enougb," said one of his companions.
"To be sure there is," said Terry. "Musha, thin, Phil," said he to one of the party, "give us 'The Jug o' Punch,' the sorra betther song you have than that same, and sure, it's just the very thing that will be nate and opprobrious at this present, as they say in the spatches at the char'ty dinners."
"Well, I'll do my endeavour, if it's plazin' to the company," said Phil.
"That's your sort," said Terry. "Rise it, your sowl!"
Phil then proceeded to sing, after some preliminary hums and hahs and coughing to clear his voice, the following old ballad:
THE JUG OF PUNCH
As I was sitting In my room,
One pleasant evening in the month of June,
I heard a thrush singing in a bush,
And, the tune he sung was a jug o' punch.
Too ra loo! too ra loo! too ra loo! too ra loo!
A jug o' punch! a jug o' punch!
The tune he sung was a jug o' punch.
What more divarshin might a man desire
Than to be seated by a nate turf fire,
And by his side a purty wench,
And on the table a jug o' punch?
The Muses twelve and Apollio famed,
In Castilian pride dhrinks pernicious sthrames;
But I would not grudge them tin times as much,
As long as I had a jug o' punch.
Then the mortial gods dhrinks their necthar wine,
And they tell me claret is very fine;
But I'd give them all, just in a bunch,
For one jolly pull at a jug o' punch.
The docthor falls, with all his art,
To cure an imprisson an the heart;
But if life was gone--within an inch--
What would bring it back like a jug o' punch?
But when I am dead and in my grave,
No costly tombstone will I crave;
But I'll dig a grave both wide and deep,
With a jug o' punch at my head and feet.
Too ra loo! too ra loo! too ra loo! too ra loo!
A jug o' punch! a jug o' punch!
Oh! more power to your elbow, my jug o' punch!
Most uproarious applause followed this brilliant lyric, and the thumping of fists and the pewter pot on the table testified the admiration the company entertained for their minstrel.
"My sowl, Phil!" said Terry Regan, "it's betther and betther you're growing every night I hear you; and the real choice sperit is in you that improves with age."
"Faith, an' there's no choicer sperit than this same Mrs. Muldoody has in her house," said one of the party, on whom the liquor had begun to operate, and who did not take Terry Regan's allusion.
"Well, fill your glass again with it," said Terry, doing the honours, and then, resuming the conversation and addressing Phil again, he said: "Why, thin, Phil, you have a terrible fine voice."
"Troth, an' you have, Phil," said another of the party. "It's a pity your mother hadn't more of yez--oh, that I may see the woman that deserves you, and that I may dance at your weddin'!"
"Faix an' I'd rather sing at my own wake," said Phil.
"Och that you may be able!" said Terry Regan; "but I'm afeard there'll be a man hanged the day you die."
"Pray for yourself, Terry, if you plaze," said Phil.
"Well, sing us another song, thin."
"Not a one more I remimber," said Phil.
"Remimber!" said Terry. "Bad cess to me, but you know more songs than would make the fortune of a ballad singer."
"Throth, I can't think of one."
"Ah, don't think at all, man, but let the song out of you. Sure, it'll come of itself if you're willin'."
"Bad cess to me if I remimber one."
"Oh, I'll jog your memory," said Terry. "Sing us the song you deludhered ould Roony's daughter with."
"What's that?" said Phil.
"Oh, you purtind not to know, you desaiver."
"Throth, an' I don't," said Phil.
"Why, bad fortune to you, you know it well--sure, the poor girl was never the same since she heerd it, you kem over her so, with the tindherness."
"Well, what was it; can't you tell me?"
"It was the 'Pig that was in Aughrim.'"
"Oh, that's a beautiful song, sure enough, and it's too thrue, it is. Oh, them vagabone staymers that's goin' evermore to England, the divil a pig they'll lave in the counthry, at all."
"Faix, I'm afeard so--but that's no rule why you should not sing the song. Out with it, Phil, my boy."
"Well, here goes," said Phil, and he commenced singing in a most doleful strain the following ballad:
THE PIG THAT WAS IN AUGHRIM.
The pig that was in Aughrim was dhruv to foreign parts,
And when he was goin' an the road it bruk the ould sows heart.
"Oh," says she, "my counthry's ruin'd and deserted now by all,
And the rise of pigs in England will ensure the counthry's fall,
For the landlords and the pigs are all goin' hand in hand--"
"Oh, stop, Phil jewel," said the fellow who had been doing so much honour to Mrs. Muldoody's liquor--" stop, Phil, my darlin'!" and here he began to cry in a fit of drunken tenderness. "Oh, stop, Phil--that's too much for me--oh, I can't stand it at all. Murther, murther but it's heart-breakin', so it is."
After some trouble on the part of his companions, this tenderhearted youth was reconciled to hearing the "Pig that was in Aughrim" concluded, though I would not vouch for so much on the part of my readers, and therefore I will quote no more of it. But he was not the only person who began to be influenced by the potent beverage that had been circulating, and the party became louder in their mirth and more diffuse in their conversation, which occasionally was conducted on the good old plan of a Dutch concert, where every man plays his own tune. At last, one of the revellers, who had just sufficient sense left to know it was time to go, yet not sufficient resolution to put his notion in practice, got up and said: "Good-night, boys!"
"Who's that sayin' good-night?" called out Terry Regan, in a tone of indignation.
"Oh, it's only me, and it's time for me to go, you know yourself, Terry," said the deserter; "and the wife will be as mad as a hatter if I stay out longer."
"By the powers o' Moll Kelly, if you had three wives you mustn't go yet," said the president.
"By dad, I must, Terry."
"Ah, thin, why?"
"Bekase I must."
"That's so good a raison, Barny, that I'll say no more--only, mark my words, you'll be sorry."
"Will be sorry," said Barny. "Faix, an' it's sorry enough I am--and small blame to me; for the company's pleasant and the dhrink's good."
"And why won't you stay, thin?"
"Bekase I must go, as I tould you before."
"Well, be off wid you at wanst, and don't be spylin' good company, if you won't stay. Be off wid you, I tell you, and don't be standin' there with your hat in your hand like an ass betune two bundles o' hay, as you are, but go if you're goin'--and the Curse of Kishogue an you!"
"Well, good-night, boys!" said the departing reveller.
"Faix, you shall have no good-night from us. You're a bad fellow, Barny Corrigan--so the Curse o' Kishogue an you!"
"Oh, tare-an-ouns," said Barny, pausing at the door, "don't put the curse an a man that is goin' the road, and has to pass by the Rath, [fairies are supposed to haunt all old mounds of earth, such as raths, tumuli, etc., etc. ] more betoken, and no knowin' where the fairies would be."
"Throth, thin, and I will," said Terry Regan, increasing in energy, as he saw Barny was irresolute--" and may the Curse o' Kishogue light on you again and again!"
"Oh, do you bear this!!!" exclaimed Barny, in a most comical state of distress.
"Aye!" shouted the whole party, almost at a breath; "the Curse o' Kishogue an you--and your health to wear it!"
"Why, thin, what the dickens do you mane by that curse?" said Barny. "I thought I knew all the curses out, but I never heerd of the Curse o' Kishogue before."
"Oh, you poor, ignorant craythur," said Terry: "Where were you born and bred, at all, at all? Oh, signs on it, you were always in a hurry to brake up good company, or it's not askin' you'd be for the maynin' of the Curse o' Kishogue."
"Why, thin, what does it mane?" said Barny, thoroughly posed.
"Pull off your cubeen and sit down forninst me there, and tackle to the dhrink like a man, and it is I that will enlighten your benighted undherstandin', and a beautiful warnin' it will be to you all the days o' your life, and all snakin' chaps like you, that would be in a hurry to take to the road and lave a snug house like this, while there was the froth an the pot or the bead an the naggin."
So Barny sat down again, amidst the shouts and laughter of his companions, and after the liquor had passed merrily round the table for some time, Terry, in accordance with his promise, commenced his explanation of the malediction that had brought Barny Corrigan back to his seat; but before he began, he filled a fresh glass, and profiting by the example, I will proceed with the narrative:--
You see, there was wanst a mighty dacent boy, called Kishogue--and not a complater chap was in the siven parishes nor himself--and for dhrinkin,' or 'coortin' (and by the same token he was a darlint among the girls, be was so bowld), or cudgellin', or runnin', or wrastlin', or the like o' that, none could come near him; and at patthern, or fair, or the dance, or the wake, Kishogue was the flower o' the flock.
Well, to be sure, the gintlemen iv the counthry did not belove him so well as his own sort--that in, the eldherly gintlemen, for as to the young 'squires, by gor, they loved him like one of themselves, and betther a'most, for they knew well that Kishogue was the boy to put them up to all sorts and sizes of divilment and divarshin, and that was all they wanted--but the ould, studdy [steady] gintlemen--the responsible people like, didn't give in to his ways at all--and in throth, they used to be thinkin' that if Kishogue was out of the counthry, body and bones, that the counthry would not be the worse iv it, in the laste, and that the deer and the hares and the pattheridges wouldn't be scarcer in the laste, and that the throut and the salmon would lade an aisier life; but they could get no howlt of him, good or bad, for he was an cute as a fox, and there was no sitch thing as getting him at an amplush, at all, for he was like a weasel a'most--asleep wid his eyes open.
Well, that's the way it was for many a long day, and Kishogue was as happy as the day was long, antil, as bad luck id have it, he made a mistake one night, as the story goes, and by dad, how he could make the same mistake was never cleared up yet, barrin' that the night was dark, or that Kishogue had a dhrop o' dhrink in; but the mistake was made, and this was the mistake, you see: that he consaived he seen his own mare threspasain' an the man's field by the roadside, and so, with that he cotched the mare--that is, the mare to all appearance, but it was not his own mare, but the Squire's horse, which be tuk for his own mare--all in a mistake, and he thought that she had sthrayed away, and not likin' to see his baste threspassin' an another man's field, what does be do, but be dhrives home the horse in a mistake, you see, and how he could do the like is hard to say, excep'n that the night was dark, as I said before, or that he had a dhrop too much in; but howsomever, the mistake was made, and a sore mistake it was for poor Kishogue, for he never persaived it at all, antil three days afther, when the polisman kem to him and tould him he should go along with him.
"For what?" says Kishogue.
"Oh, you're mighty innocent," says the polisman.
"Thrue for you, sir," says Kishogue, as quite [quiet] as a child. "And where are you goin' to take me, may I make bowld to ax, sir?" says he.
"To jail," says the peeler.
"For what?" says Kishogue.
"For staalin' the Squire's horse," says the peeler.
"It's the first I heerd of it," says Kishogue.
"Throth, thin, 'twon't be the last you'll hear of it," says the other. "Why, tare-an-ouns, sure, it's no housebrakin' for a man to dhrive home his own mare," says Kishogue.
"No," says the peeler; "but it is burglaarious to sarcumvint another man's horse," says he.
"But supposin' 'twas a mistake," says Kishogue.
"By gor, it'll be the dear mistake to you," says the polisman.
"That's a poor case," says Kishogue.
But there was no use in talkin'. He might as well have been whistlin' jigs to a milestone as sthrivin' to invaigle the polisman, and the ind of it was, that he was obleeged to march off to jail, and there he lay in lavendher, like Paddy Ward's pig, antil the 'sizes kem an, and Kishogue, you see, bein' of a high sperrit, did not like the iday at all of bein' undher a complimint to the king for his lodgin'. Besides, to a chap like him, that was used all his life to goin' round the world for sport, the thoughts o' confinement was altogether contagious, though, indeed, his friends endayvoured for to make it as agreeable as they could to him, for he was mightily beloved in the oounthry, and they wor goin' to see him mornin', noon, and night--throth, they led the turnkey a busy life lettin' them in and out, for they wor comin' and goin' evermore, like Mulligan's blanket.
Well, at last the 'sizes kem an, and down kem the sheriffs and the judge, and the jury and the witnesses, all book-sworn to tell nothin' but the born thruth; and with that, Kishogue was the first that was put an his thrial for not knowin' the differ betune his own mare and another man's horse, for they wished to give an example to the counthry, and he was bid' to hould up his hand at the bar (and a fine big fist be had of his own, by the same token)--and up be held it--no ways danted at all, but as bowld as a ram. Well, thin, a chap in a black coat and a frizzled wig and spectacles gets up, and he reads and reads, and you'd think he'd never have done readin'; and it was all about Kishogue--as we heard' afther--but could not make out at the time--and no wondher; and in throth, Kishogue never done the half of what the dirty little ottomy was readin' about him--barrin' he knew lies iv him; and Kishogue himself, poor fellow, got frekened at last, when he heard him goin' an at that rate about him, but afther a bit, he tuk heart and said:
"By this and by that, I never done the half o' that, anyhow."
"Silence in the coort!" says the crier--puttin' him down that-a-way. Oh, there's no justice for a poor boy, at all!
"Oh, murther!" says Kishogue, "is a man's life to be sworn away afther this manner, and mustn't spake a word?"
"Hould your tongue!" says my lord the judge. And so, afther some more jabberin' and gibberish, the little man in the spectacles threw down the paper and asked Kishogue if he was guilty or not guilty.
"I never done it, my lord," says Kishogue.
"Answer as you are bid, sir," says the spectacle man.
"I'm innocent, my lord I" says Kishogue.
"Bad cess to you, can't you say what you're bid," says my lord the judge. "Guilty or not guilty."
"Not guilty," says Kishogue.
"I don't believe you," says the judge.
"Small blame to you," says Kishogue. "You're ped for hangin' people, and you must do something for your wages."
'You've too much prate, sir," says my lord.
"Faix, thin, I'm thinking' it's yourself and your friend, the hangman, will cure me o' that vary soon," says Kishogue.
And thrue for him, faith, he wasn't far out in sayin' that same, for they murthered him intirely. They brought a terrible sight o' witnesses agin him, that swore away his life an the cross-examination; and indeed, sure enough, it' was the crossest examination altogether I ever seen. Oh, they wor the bowld witnesses, that would sware a hole in an iron pot any day in the year. Not but that Kishogue's friends done their duty by him. Oh, they stud to him like men, and swore a power for him, and sthrove to make out a lullaby for him--maynin,' by that same, that he was asleep in another place at the time--but it wouldn't do, they could not make it plazin' to the judge and the jury; and my poor Kishogue was condimned for to die; and the judge put an his black cap--and indeed, it is not becomin'--and discoorsed the hoighth of fine language, and gev Kishogue a power o' good advice, that it was a mortial pity Kishogue didn't get sooner; and the last words the judge said was: "The Lord have marcy an your sowl!"
"Thank'ee, my lord," says Kishogue; "though, indeed, it is few has luck or grace afther your prayers."
And sure enough, faith; for the next Sathurday Kishogue was ordhered out to be hanged, and the sthreets through which he was to pass was mighty throng; for in them days, you see, the people used to be hanged outside o' the town, not all as one, as now, when we're hanged genteelly out o' the front o' the jail; but in them days they did not attind to the comforts o' the people at all, but put them into a cart, all as one a conthrairy pig goin' to market, and stravaiged them through the town to the gallows, that was full half a mile beyant it; but to be sure, whin they kem to the corner of the crass streets, where the Widdy Houlaghan's public, house was then, afore them dirty swaddlers knocked it down and built a meetin'-house there--bad cess to them, sure, they're spylin' divarshin wherever they go--when they kem there, as I was tellin' you, the purcesshin was always stopped, and they had a fiddler and mulled wine for the divarahin of the presoner, for to rise his heart for what he was to go through; for, by all accounts, it is not plazin' to be goin' to be hanged, supposin' you die in a good cause itself, as my Uncle Jim tould me whin he suffer'd for killin' the gauger.
Well, you see, they always stopped tin minutes at the public-house, not to hurry a man with his dhrink, and besides, to give the presoner an opportunity for sayin' an odd word or so to a frind in the crowd, to say nothin' of its bein' mighty improvin to the throng, to see the man lookin' pale at the thoughts o' death, and maybe an idification and warnin' to thim that was inclined to sthray. But however, it happened, and the like never happened afore nor sence; but as bad luck would have it, that day the divil a fiddler was there whin Kishogue dhruv up in the cart, no ways danted, at all; but the minit the cart stopped rowlin' he called out as stout as a ram: "Sind me out Tim Riley here "--Tim Riley was the fiddler's name--" sind me out Tim Riley here," says he, "that he may rise my heart wid 'The Rakes o' Mallow'; " for be was a Mallow man, by all accounts, and mighty proud of his town. Well, av coorse, the tune was not to be had, bekase Tim Riley was not there, but was lyin' dhrunk in a ditch at the same time comin' home from confission; and when poor Kishogue heerd that be could not have his favourite tune, it wint to his heart to that degree that he'd hear of no comfort in life, and he bid them dhrive him an, and put him out o' pain at wanst.
"Oh, take the dhrink anyhow, aroon," says the Widdy Houlaghan, who was mighty tindher-hearted, and always attinded the man that was goin' to be hanged with the dhrink herself, if he was ever so grate a sthranger; but if he was a frind of her own, she'd go every fut to the gallows wid him and see him suffer. Oh, she was a darlint! Well--"Take the dhrink, Kishogue, my jewel," says she, handin' him up a brave big mug o' mulled wine, fit for a lord--but he wouldn't touch it. "Take it out o' my sight," says he, "for my heart is low because Tim Riley desaived me, whin I expected to die game, like one of the Rakes o' Mallow! Take it out o' my sight," says he, puttin' it away wid his hand, and sure, 'twas the first time Kishogue was ever known to refuse the dhrop o' dbrink, and many remarked that it was the change before death was comin' over him.
Well, away they rowled, to the gallows, where there was no delay in life for the presoner, and the sheriff asked him if he had anything to say to him before he suffered; but Kishogue hadn't a word to throw to a dog, and av coorse, he said nothin' to the sheriff, and wouldn't say a word that might be improvin', even to the crowd, by way of an idification; and indeed, a sore disappointment it was to the throng, for they thought be would make an iligant dyin' speech; and the prenthers there, and the ballad-singers, all ready for to take it down complate, and thought it was a dirty turn of Kishogue to chate them out o' their honest penny, like; but they owed him no spite, for all that, for they considhered his heart was low an account of the disappointment, and he was lookin' mighty pale while they wor makin matthers tidy for him; and indeed, the last words he said himself was:
"Put me out o' pain at wanst, for my heart is low bekase Tim Riley desaived me, whin I thought be would rise it, that I might die like a rale Rake o' Mallow!" And so, to make a long story short, my jewel, they done the business for him--it was soon over wid him; it was just one step wid him, aff o' the laddher into glory; and to do him justice, though he was lookin pale, he died bowld, and put his best leg foremost.
Well, what would you think, but just as all was over wid him, there was a shout o' the crowd, and a shilloo 'that you'd think would split the sky; and what should we see gallopin' up to the gallows, but a man covered with dust an a white horse, to all appearance, but it wasn't a white horse but a black horse, only white wid the foam, he was dhruv to that degree; and the man hadn't a breath to dhraw, and couldn't spake, but dhrew a piece o' paper out of the breast of his coat and handed it up to the sheriff; and, my jewel, the sheriff grown as white as the paper itself, when he clapt his eyes an it; and says he:
"Cut him down--cut him down this minute!" says he; and the dhragoons made a slash at the messenger, but he ducked his head and sarcumvinted them. And then the sheriff shouted out: "Stop, you villians, and bad luck to yiz, you murtherin' vagabones," says he to the sojers; "is it goin' to murther the man you wor? It isn't him at all I mane, but the man that's hangin'. Cut him down," says he; and they cut him down; but it was no use. It was all over wid poor Kishogue; he was as dead as small-beer, and as stiff as a crutch.
"Oh, tare-an-ouns," says the sheriff, tarin' the hair aff his head at the same time, with the fair rage. "Isn't it a poor case that he's dead, and here is a reprieve that is come for him; but, bad cess to him," says be, "it's his own fault, he wouldn't take it aisy."
"Oh, millia murther! millia murther!" cried out the Widdy Houlaghan, in the crowd. "Oh, Kishogue, my darlint, why did you refuse my mull'd wine? Oh, if you stopped wid me to take your dhrop o' dhrink, you'd be alive and merry now!"
So that is the maynin' of the Curse o' Kishogue; for, you see, Kishogue was hanged for lavin' his liquor behind him.