Daley very coolly took the bottle of claret by the neck, and holding it between himself and the light, took a lunar squint at it, as if doubting its contents; and then, putting it down, exclaimed, “Ah! the divil a red I’d give you for your claret. Sure, why didn’t ye bring a token of good old hardware?” “Hardware! what is hardware?” inquired Manuel. “Ah! botheration to the bunch of yees—a drap of old whiskey, that ’d make the delight cum f’nent. Have ye ne’er a drap among the whole o’ yees?” Receiving an answer in the negative, he turned about with a Kilkenny, “It don’t signify,” and toddled for the door, which he left open, to await Tommy’s return. Redman knew Daley’s propensity too well, and having ocular proof that he had wet t’other eye until it required more than ordinary effort to make either one stay open, he declined recognising his very significant hint.
As soon as Daley withdrew, Manuel invited his companions to partake of the Captain’s present, which they did with general satisfaction.
The law’s intricacy.
While the scenes we have described in the foregoing chapter were being performed, several very interesting ones were going through the course of performance at the consul’s office and other places, which we must describe. The British Government, in its instructions to Mr. Mathew, impressed upon him the necessity of being very cautious lest he should in any manner prejudice the interests of the local institutions within his consular jurisdiction; to make no requests that were incompatible with the local laws; but to pursue a judicious course in bringing the matter of Her Majesty’s subjects properly to the consideration of the legal authorities, and to point to the true grievance; and as it involved a question of right affecting the interests and liberties of her citizens, to ask the exercise of that judicial power from which it had a right to expect justice. The main object was to test the question whether this peculiar construction given to that local law which prohibits free colored men from coming within the limits of the State, was legal in its application to those who come into its ports connected with the shipping interests, pursuing an honest vocation, and intending to leave whenever their ship was ready. The consul was censured by the press in several of the slaveholding States, because he dared to bring the matter before the local legislature. We are bound to say that Consul Mathew, knowing the predominant prejudices of the Carolinians, acted wisely in so doing. First, he knew the tenacious value they put upon courtesy; secondly, the point at issue between South Carolina and the Federal Government, (and, as a learned friend in Georgia once said, “Whether South Carolina belonged to the United States, or the United States to South Carolina;”) and thirdly, the right of State sovereignty, which South Carolina held to