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erto examined, though they may be called Irish bulls by the ignorant vulgar, have no right, title, or claim to such a distinction. We should invariably exclude from that class all blunders which can be found in another country. For instance, a speech of the celebrated Irish beauty, Lady Chas been called a bull; but as a parallel can be produced, in the speech of an English nobleman, it tells for nothing. When her ladyship was presented at court, his majesty George the Second politely hoped, " that, since her arrival in England, she had been entertained with the gayeties of London."
"O yes, please your majesty, I have seen every sight in London worth seeing, except a coronation."
This naïveté is certainly not equal to that of the English earl-marshal, who, when his king found fault with some arrangement at his coronation, said, “ Please your majesty, I hope it will be better next time.”
A naïveté of the same species entailed a heavy tax upon the inhabitants of Beaune, in France. Beaune is famous for burgundy; and Henry the Fourth, passing through his kingdom, stopped there, and was well entertained by his loyal subjects. His majesty praised the burgundy which they set before him—"It was excellent! it was admirable !"
“O, sire!" cried they,“ do you think this excellent? we have much finer burgundy than this."
“Have you so ? then you can aflord to pay for it," cried Harry the Fourth ; and he laid a double tax thenceforward upon the burgundy of Beaune.
Of the same class of blunders is the following speech, which we actually heard not long ago from an Irishman :
“ Please your worship, he sent me to the devil, and I came straight to your honour.".
We thought this an original Irish blunder, till we recollected its prototype in Marmontel's Annette and Lubin. Lubin concludes his harangue with, “ The bailiff sent us to the devil, and we come to put ourselves under your protection, my lord.”
The French, at least in former times, were celebrated for politeness; yet we meet with a naïve compliment of a Frenchman which would have been accounted a bull if it had been found in Ireland :
“Le bailli nous donne au diable, et nous nous recommandons a rouo, monseigneur."
A gentleman was complimenting Madame Denis on the manner in which she had just acted Zara. " To act that part,” said she, “ a person should be young and handsome."-"Ah, niadam !” replied the complimenter naïvement, “ you are a complete proof of the contrary."*
We know not any original Irish blunder superior to this, unless it be that which Lord Orford pronounced to be the best bull that he ever heard :
"I hate that woman,” said a gentleman, looking at one who had been his nurse, “I hate that woman, for she changed me at nurse.”
Lord Orford particularly admires this bull, because in the confusion of the blunderer's ideas he is not clear even of his personal identity. Philosophers will not per. haps be so ready as his lordship has been to call this a blunder of the first magnitude. Those who have never been initiated into the mysteries of metaphysics may have the presumptuous ignorance to fancy that they understand what is meant by the common words I or me; but the able metaphysician knows better than Lord Orford's changeling how to prove, to our satisfaction, that we know nothing of the matter.
“ Personal identity," says Locke, “consists not in the identity of substance, but in the identity of conscious. ness, wherein Socrates and the present Mayor of Quinborough agree they are the same person: if the same Socrates sleeping and waking do not partake of the same consciousness, Socrates waking and sleeping is not the same person; and to punish Socrates waking for what sleeping Socrates thought, and waking Socrates was never conscious of, would be no more of right than to punish one twin for what his brother twin did, whereof he knew nothing, because their outsides are so like that they could not be distinguished; for such twins have been seen.”+
We may presume that our Hibernian's consciousness could not retrograde to the time when he was changed at nurse; consequently there was no continuity of identity between the infant and the man who expressed his hatred of the nurse for perpetrating the fraud. At all
On faisoit compliment & Madame Denis de la façon dont elle venoit do jouer Zaire.
" Il faudroit," dit elle, * etre belle et juene."_" Ah, madame !" reprit le complimenteur nalvement, * vous êtes bien la pregve du contraire."
Locke's Essay concerning the Human Understanding, Ileenth edition, vol. i. p. 299.
events, the confusion of identity which excited Lord Orford's admiration in our Hibernian is by no means unprecedented in France, England, or ancient Greece, and consequently it cannot be an instance of national idiosyncrasy, or an Irish bull. We find a similar blunder in Spain, in the time of Cervantes :
"Pray tell me, squire,” says the duchess, in Don Quixote, “is not your master the person whose_history is printed under the name of the sage Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, who professes himself the admirer of one Dulcinea del Toboso ?"
“The very same, my lady,” answered Sancho ; "and I myself am that very squire of his who is mentioned, or ought to be mentioned, in that history, unless they have changed me in the cradle."
In Moliere's Amphitrion there is a dialogue between Mercure and Sosie evidently taken from the attic Lucian. Sosie, being completely puzzled out of his personal identity, if not out of his senses, says literally, “ of my being myself I begin to doubt in good earnest; yet when I feel myself, and when I recollect myself, it seems to me that I am 1."*
We see that the puzzle about identity proves at last to be of Grecian origin. It is really edifying to observe how those things which have long been objects of popular admiration shrink and fade when exposed to the light of strict examination. An experienced critic proposed that a work should be written to inquire into the pretensions of modern writers to original invention, to trace their thefts, and to restore the property to the ancient owners. Such a work would require powers and erudition beyond what can be expected from any ordinary individual; the labour must be shared among numbers, and we are proud to assist in ascertaining the rightful property even of bulls and blunders; though without pretending, like some literary bloodhounds, to follow up a plagiarism where common sagacity is at a fault.
*"De moi je commence à douter tout de bon.
Pourtant quand je me tête, et quand je mo rapella,
We presume that we have successfully disputed the claims imposed upon the public in behalf of certain spurious alien blunders, pretending to be native original Irish bulls; and we shall now with pleasure proceed to examine those which have better titles to notice. Even nonsense ceases to be worthy of attention and public favour unless it be original.
“ Dear Lady Emily,” says Miss Allscrip, in the excellent comedy of the Heiress—“Dear Lady Emily, don't you dote upon folly ?"
“ To ecstasy !" replied her ladyship, " I only despair of seeing it well kept up."
We fatter ourselves " there is no great danger of that," for we have the Irish newspapers before us, where, no doubt, we shall find a fresh harvest of indigenous absurdity ripe for the sickle.
The first advertisement that meets our eye is promising.
It is the late proclamation of an Irish mayor, in which we are informed that certain business is to be transacted in that city "every Monday (Easter Sunday only excepted)." 'This seems rather an unnecessary exception; but it is not an inadvertency caused by any hurry of business in his worship: it is deliberately copied from a precedent, set in England, by a baronet fornierly well known in parliament, who, in the preamble to a bill, proposed that certain regulations should take place "on every Monday (Tuesday excepted)." We fear, also, that an English mayor has been known to blunder. Some years ago the inayor of a capital English city published a proclamation and advertisement, previous to the races, " that no gentleman will be allowed to ride on the course, but the horses that are to run.” A mayor's blundering proclamation is not, however, worth half so much in the eye of ridicule as a lord-lieutenant's.
" A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn."
A bull on the throne is worth twice as much as a bull in the chair. “ By the Lord-lieutenant and Council of Ireland.
“ A proclamation. “Whereas the greatest economy is necessary in the consumption of all species of grain, and especially in the consumption of potatoes, &c.
“ Given at the Council-chamber in Dublin."
This is the first time we have been informed, by authority, that potatoes are a species of grain; but we must accede to this new botanical arrangement, when published under such splendid auspices. The assertion, certainly, is not made in distinct terms; but all who understand the construction of language must imply the conclusion that we draw from these premises. A general position is in the first member of the sentence laid down, “ that the greatest economy is necessary in the con sumption of all species of grain.”. A particular exemplification of the principle is made in the next clause, " pecially in the consumption of potatoes.”
The inference is as plain as can be made. The next article in our newspaper is an advertisement of lands to be let to an improving tenant :-“A few miles from Cork, in a most sporting country, bounded by an uncommon fine turf-bog, on the verge of which there are a number of fine lime-kilns, where that manure may be had on very moderate terms, the distance for carriage not being many hundred yards. The whole lands being now in great heart, and completely laid down, entirely surrounded and divided by impenetrable furze ditches, made of quarried stone laid edgeways."
It will be a matter of difficulty to the untravelled English reader to comprehend how furze ditches can be made of quarried stones laid edgeways, or any way; and we fear that we should only puzzle his intellects still more if we should attempt to explain to him the mysteries of Irish ditching in the technical terms of the country. With the face of a ditch he may be acquainted, but to the back and gripe, and bottom of the gripe, and top of the back of a ditch, we fear he is still to be introduced. We can never sufficiently admire these furze ditches