The Absentee eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about The Absentee.
was changed; and if his heart swelled, it swelled no more with pleasurable sensations, for instantly he found himself surrounded and attacked by a swarm of beggars and harpies, with strange figures and stranger tones:  some craving his charity, some snatching away his luggage, and at the same time bidding him ’never trouble himself,’ and ‘never fear.’  A scramble in the boat and on shore for bags and parcels began, and an amphibious fight betwixt men, who had one foot on sea and one on land, was seen; and long and loud the battle of trunks and portmanteaus raged!  The vanquished departed, clinching their empty hands at their opponents, and swearing inextinguishable hatred; while the smiling victors stood at ease, each grasping his booty—­bag, basket, parcel, or portmanteau:  ’And, your honour, where will these go?—­Where will We carry ’em all to, for your honour?’ was now the question.  Without waiting for an answer, most of the goods were carried at the discretion of the porters to the custom-house, where, to his lordship’s astonishment, after this scene of confusion, he found that he had lost nothing but his patience; all his goods were safe, and a few TINPENNIES made his officious porters happy men and boys; blessings were showered upon his honour, and he was left in peace at an excellent hotel in —­Street, Dublin.  He rested, refreshed himself, recovered his good-humour, and walked into the coffee-house, where he found several officers—­English, Irish, and Scotch.  One English officer, a very gentleman-like, sensible-looking man, of middle age, was sitting reading a little pamphlet, when Lord Colambre entered; he looked up from time to time, and in a few minutes rose and joined the conversation; it turned upon the beauties and defects of the city of Dublin.  Sir James Brooke, for that was the name of the gentleman, showed one of his brother officers the book which he had been reading, observing that, in his opinion, it contained one of the best views of Dublin which he had ever seen, evidently drawn by the hand of a master, though in a slight, playful, and ironical style:  it was ‘an intercepted letter from china.’  The conversation extended from Dublin to various parts of Ireland, with all which Sir James Brooke showed that he was well acquainted.  Observing that this conversation was particularly interesting to Lord Colambre, and quickly perceiving that he was speaking to one not ignorant of books, Sir James spoke of different representations and misrepresentations of Ireland.  In answer to Lord Colambre’s inquiries, he named the works which had afforded him most satisfaction; and with discriminative, not superficial celerity, touched on all ancient and modern authors, from Spenser and Davies to Young and Beaufort.  Lord Colambre became anxious to cultivate the acquaintance of a gentleman who appeared so able and willing to afford him information.  Sir James Brooke, on his part, was flattered by this
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The Absentee from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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