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lent dinners, his new friends bought all their wine from Mr. O'Mooney, and never paid for it; he lived upon credit himself, and gave all his friends credit, till he became a bankrupt. Then nobody came to dine with him, and every body found out that he had been very imprudent; and he was obliged to sell his gig, but not before it had broken his wife's neck; so that when accounts came to be finally settled, he was not much worse than when he began the world, the loss falling upon his creditors, and he being, as he observed, free to begin life again, with the advantage of being once more a bachelor. He was such a good-natured, free-hearted fellow, that every body liked him, even his creditors. His wife's relations made
up the sum of five hundred pounds for him, and his brother offered to take him into his firm as partner ; but O’Mooney preferred, he said, going to try, or rather to make, his fortune in England, as he did not doubt but he should by marriage, being, as he did not scruple to acknowledge, a personable, clever-looking man, and a great favourite with the sex.
My last wife I married for love, my next I expect will do the same by me, and of course the money must come on her side this time,” said our hero, half jesting, half in earnest. His elder and wiser brother, the merchant, whom he still held in more than sufficient contempt, ventured to hint some slight objections to this scheme of Phelim's seeking fortune in England. He observed that so many had gone upon this plan already, that there was rather a prejudice in England against Irish adventurers.
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? Is it my 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 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
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.”
Always ?” “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 ; yoų 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 he, “ that you could not continue four days in England incognito."
“ Done !” cried Phelim. “ Done for a hundred pounds ; done for a thousand pounds, and welcome.” “But if you lose, how will
?” « 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.
“ Would ariy of the company choose eggs?” 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 afterward 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
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