Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

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“Are the two ponies ready?”


“And the ass?”

“All right!”

“And you’ve, all five of you, got your fi’pennies for Tony Dolan, the barber, at Kells?”

“Every one of us.”

“Then be off; there’s good boys!  Ride and tie like Christians, and don’t be going double on the brute beasts; for a bit of a walk now and then will just stretch your legs.  Be back at five to dinner; and let us see what bucks you’ll look with your new-trimmed curls.  Stay, there’s another fi’penny; spend that among you, and take care of yourselves, my little jewels!”

Such were the parting queries and instructions of my kind old uncle to five as roaring, mischievous urchins as ever stole whisky to soak the shamrock on St. Patrick’s day.  The chief director, schemer, and perpetrator of all our fun and devilry, was, strange to say, “my cousin Bob:”  the smallest, and, with one exception, the youngest of the party.  But Bob was his grandmother’s “ashey pet”—­his mother’s “jewel”—­his father’s “mannikin”—­his nurse’s “honey”—­and the whole world’s “darlin’ little devil of a rogue!” The expression of a face naturally arch, beaming with good humour, and radiant with happy laughter, was singularly heightened by a strange peculiarity of vision, which I am at a loss to describe.  It was, if the reader can idealise the thing, an absolute “beauty,” which, unfortunately, can only be written about by the appliances of some term conveying the notion of a blemish.  The glances from his bright eyes seemed to steal out from under their long fringe, the most reckless truants of exulting mirth.  No matter what he said, he looked a joke.  Now for his orders:—­

“Aisy with you, lads.  Cousin Harry, take first ride on St. Patrick (the name of the ass)—­here’s a leg up.  The two Dicks can have Scrub and Rasper.  Jack and Billy, boys, catch a hold of the bridles, or devil a ha’p’worth of ride and tie there’ll be in at all, if them Dicks get the start—­Shanks’ mare will take you to Kells.  Don’t be galloping off in that manner, but shoot aisy!  Remember, the ass has got to keep up with you, and I’ve got to keep up with the ass.  That’s the thing—­steady she goes!  It’s an elegant day, and no hurry in life.  Spider! come here, boy—­that’s right.  Down, sir! down, you devil, or wipe your paws.  Bad manners to you—­look at them breeches!  Never mind, there’s a power of rats at Tony Carroll’s barn—­it’s mighty little out o’ the way, and may be we’ll get a hunt.  What say you?”

Project Gutenberg
Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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