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Is it my
This could not affect him any ways, Phelim replied, because he did not mean to appear in England as an Irishman at all.
"How then ? “As an Englishman, since that is most agreeable.' " How can that be?” ~ Who should hinder it?" His brother, hesitatingly, said “ Yourself.”
“Myself !—What part of myself? tongue ?-You'll acknowledge, brother, that I do not speak with the brogue."
It was true that Phelim did not speak with any Irish brogue ; his mother was an English woman, and he had lived much with English officers in Cork, and he had studied and imitated their manner of speaking so successfully, that no one, merely by his accent, could have guessed that he was an Irishman.
Hey! brother, I say !" continued Phelim; in a triumphant English tone; “I never was taken for an Irishman in my life. Colonel Broadman told me the other day, I spoke English better than the English themselves ; that he should take me for an Englishman, in any part of the known world, the moment I opened my lips. You must allow that not the smallest particle of brogue is discernible on my tongue."
His brother allowed that not the smallest particle of brogue was to be discerned upon Phelim's tongue, but feared that some Irish idiom might be perceived in his conversation. And then the name of O'Mooney!
“O, as to that, I need not trouble an act of parliament, or even a king's letter, just to change my name for a season ; at the worst, I can travel and appear incognito."
“No: only just till I'm upon good terms with the lady—Mrs. Phelim O'Mooney, that is to be, God willing. Never fear, nor shake your head, brother; you men of business are out of this line, and not proper judges: I beg your pardon for saying so, but as you are my own brother, and nobody by, you'll excuse me."
His brother did excuse him, but continued silent for some minutes; he was pondering upon the means of persuading Phelim to give up this scheme.
“I would lay you any wager, my dear Phelim," said be,
“ that you could not continue four days in England incognito."
“Done !” cried Phelim. “ Done for a hundred pounds; done for thousand pounds, and welcome.”
“ But if you lose, how will you pay ?"
“Faith! that's the last thing I thought of, being sure of winning."
« Then you will not object to any mode of payment I shall propose.”
“None: only remembering always, that I was a bankrupt last week, and shall be little better till I'm married; but then I'll pay you honestly if I lose.” “ No, if
you lose I must be paid before that time, my good sir,” said his brother, laughing. “My bet is this:- I will lay you one hundred guineas that
you do not remain four days in England incognito; be upon
honour with me, and promise, that if you lose you will, instead of laying down a hundred guineas, come back immediately, and settle quietly again to business.”
The word business was always odious to our hero's proud ears; but he thought himself so secure of winning his wager, that he willingly bound himself in a penalty which he believed would never become due; and his generous brother, at parting, made the bet still more favourable, by allowing that Phelim should not be deemed the loser unless he was, in the course of the first four days after he touched English ground, detected eight times in being an Irishman. Eight times !” cried Phelim.
“ Good bye to a hundred guineas, brother, you may say.”
“You may say," echoed his brother, and so they parted.
Mr. Phelim O'Mooney the next morning sailed from Cork harbour with a prosperous gale, and with a confidence in his own success which supplied the place of auspicious omens. He embarked at Cork, to go by long sea to London, and was driven into Deal, where Julius Cæsar once landed before him, and with the same resolution to see and conquer. It was early in the morning; having been very sea-sick, he was impatient, as soon as he got into the inn, for his breakfast: he was shown into a room where three ladies were waiting to go by the stage ; his air of easy confidence was the best possible introduction.
said the waiter.
“I never touch an egg for my share,” said O'Mooney, carelessly; he knew that it was supposed to be an Irish custom to eat eggs at breakfast; and when the malicious waiter afterwards set a plate full of eggs in salt upon the table, our hero magnanimously abstained from them ; he even laughed heartily at a story told by one of the ladies of an Hibernian at Buxton, who declared that “no English hen ever laid a fresh egg.”
O’Mooney got through breakfast much to his own satisfaction, and to that of the ladies, whom he had taken a proper occasion to call the three graces, and whom he had informed that he was an old baronet of an English family, and that his name was sir John Bull. The youngest of the graces civilly observed, « that whatever else he might be, she should never have taken him for an old baronet.”
The lady who made this speech was pretty, but O'Mooney had penetration enough to discover, in the course of the conversation, that she and her companions were far from being divinities; his three graces were a greengrocer's wife, a tallowchandler's widow, and a milliner. When he found that these ladies were likely to be his companions if he were to travel in the coach he changed his plan, and ordered a postchaise and four.
O’Mooney was not in danger of making any vulgar Irish blunders in paying his bill at an inn. No landlord or waiter could have suspected him, especially
as he always left them to settle the matter first, and then looked over the bill and money with a careless gentility, saying, “ Very right,” or, “ Very well, sir ;” wisely calculating, that it was better to lose a few shillings on the road, than to lose a hundred pounds by the risk of Hibernian miscalculation.
Whilst the chaise was getting ready he went to the custom-house to look after his baggage. He found a red-hot countryman of his own there, roaring about four and fourpence, and fighting the battle of his trunks, in which he was ready to make affidavit there was not, nor never had been, any thing contraband ; and when the custom-house officer replied by pulling out of one of them a piece of Irish poplin, the Hibernian fell immediately upon the Union, which he swore was Disunion, as the custom-house officers managed it. Sir John Bull appeared to much advantage all this time, maintaining a dignified silence; from his quiet appearance and deportment, the custom-house officers took it for granted that he was an Englishman. He was in no hurry; he begged that gentleman's business might be settled first ; he would wait the officer's leisure, and as he spoke he played so dexterously with half-a-guinea between his fingers, as to make it visible only where he wished. The custom-house officer was his humble servant imme. diately; but the Hibernian would have been his enemy, if he had not conciliated him by observing, “ that even Englishmen must allow there was something very like a bull in professing to make a complete identification of the two kingdoms, whilst, at