The Fudges In England. Letter V. From Larry O'Branigan, In England, To His Wife Judy, At Mullinafad.

A poem by Thomas Moore

Dear Judy, I sind you this bit of a letther,
By mail-coach conveyance--for want of a betther--
To tell you what luck in this world I have had
Since I left the sweet cabin, at Mullinafad.
Och, Judy, that night!--when the pig which we meant
To dry-nurse in the parlor, to pay off the rent,
Julianna, the craythur--that name was the death of her--[1]
Gave us the shlip and we saw the last breath of her!
And there were the childher, six innocent sowls,
For their nate little play-fellow turning up howls;
While yourself, my dear Judy (tho' grievin's a folly),
Stud over Julianna's remains, melancholy--
Cryin', half for the craythur and half for the money,
"Arrah, why did ye die till we'd sowled you, my honey?"

But God's will be done!--and then, faith, sure enough,
As the pig was desaiced, 'twas high time to be off.
So we gothered up all the poor duds we could catch,
Lock the owld cabin-door, put the kay in the thatch,
Then tuk laave of each other's sweet lips in the dark,
And set off, like the Chrishtians turned out of the Ark;
The six childher with you, my dear Judy, ochone!
And poor I wid myself, left condolin' alone.

How I came to this England, o'er say and o'er lands,
And what cruel hard walkin' I've had on my hands,
Is, at this present writin', too tadious to speak,
So I'll mintion it all in a postscript, next week:--
Only starved I was, surely, as thin as a lath,
Till I came to an up-and-down place they call Bath,
Where, as luck was, I managed to make a meal's meat,
By dhraggin' owld ladies all day thro' the street--
Which their docthors (who pocket, like fun, the pound starlins,)
Have brought into fashion to plase the owld darlins.
Divil a boy in all Bath, tho' I say it, could carry
The grannies up hill half so handy as Larry;
And the higher they lived, like owld crows, in the air,
The more I was wanted to lug them up there.

But luck has two handles, dear Judy, they say,
And mine has both handles put on the wrong way.
For, pondherin', one morn, on a drame I'd just had
Of yourself and the babbies, at Mullinafad,
Och, there came o'er my sinses so plasin' a flutther,
That I spilt an owld Countess right clane in the gutther,
Muff, feathers and all!--the descint was most awful,
And--what was still worse, faith--I knew'twas unlawful:
For, tho', with mere women, no very great evil,
'Tupset an owld Countess in Bath is the divil!
So, liftin' the chair, with herself safe upon it,
(for nothin' about her--was kilt, but her bonnet,)
Without even mentionin' "By your lave, ma'am,"
I tuk to my heels and--here, Judy, I am!

What's the name of this town I can't say very well,
But your heart sure will jump when you hear what befell
Your own beautiful Larry, the very first day,
(And a Sunday it was, shinin' out mighty gay,)
When his brogues to this city of luck found their way.
Bein' hungry, God help me and happenin' to stop,
Just to dine on the shmell of a pasthry-cook's shop,
I saw, in the window, a large printed paper.
And read there a name, och! that made my heart caper--
Though printed it was in some quare ABC,
That might bother a schoolmaster, let alone me.
By gor, you'd have laughed Judy, could you've but listened,
As, doubtin', I cried, "why is it!--no, it isn't:"
But it was, after all--for, by spellin' quite slow,
First I made out "Rev. Mortimer"--then a great "O";
And, at last, by hard readin' and rackin' my skull again,
Out it came, nate as imported, "O'Mulligan!"

Up I jumpt like a sky-lark, my jewel, at that name,--
Divil a doubt on my mind, but it must be the same
"Master Murthagh, himself," says I, "all the world over!
My own fosther-brother--by jinks, I'm in clover.
Tho' there, in the play-bill, he figures so grand,
One wet-nurse it was brought us both up by hand,
And he'll not let me shtarve in the inemy's land!"

Well, to make a long hishtory short, niver doubt
But I managed, in no time, to find the lad out:
And the joy of the meetin' bethuxt him and me,
Such a pair of owld cumrogues--was charmin' to see.
Nor is Murthagh less plased with the evint than I am,
As he just then was wanting a Valley-de-sham;
And, for dressin' a gintleman, one way or t'other,
Your nate Irish lad is beyant every other.

But now, Judy, comes the quare part of the case;
And, in throth, it's the only drawback on my place.
'Twas Murthagh's ill luck to be crost, as you know,
With an awkward mishfortune some short time ago;
That's to say, he turned Protestant--why, I can'tlarn;
But, of coorse, he knew best, an' it's not my consarn.
All I know is, we both were good Catholics, at nurse,
And myself am so still--nayther better not worse.
Well, our bargain was all right and tight in a jiffy,
And lads more contint never yet left, the Liffey,
When Murthagh--or Morthimer, as he's now chrishened,
His name being convarted, at laist, if he isn't--
Lookin' sly at me (faith, 'twas divartin' to see)
"Of coorse, you're a Protestant, Larry," says he.
Upon which says myself, wid a wink just as shly,
"Is't a Protestant?--oh yes, I am, sir," says I;--
And there the chat ended, and divil a more word
Controvarsial between us has since then occurred.

What Murthagh could mane, and, in troth, Judy dear,
What I myself meant, doesn'tseem mighty clear;
But the truth is, tho' still for the Owld Light a stickler,
I was just then too shtarved to be over partic'lar:--
And, God knows, between us, a comic'ler pair
Of twin Protestants couldn't be seen any where.

Next Tuesday (as towld in the play-bills I mintioned,
Addrest to the loyal and godly intintioned,)
His Riverence, my master, comes forward to preach,--
Myself doesn'tknow whether sarmon or speech,
But it's all one to him, he's a dead hand at each;
Like us Paddys in gin'ral, whose skill in orations
Quite bothers the blarney of all other nations.

But, whisht!--there's his Riverence, shoutin' out "Larry,"
And sorra a word more will this shmall paper carry;
So, here, Judy, ends my short bit of a letther,
Which, faix, I'd have made a much bigger and betther.
But divil a one Post-office hole in this town
Fit to swallow a dacent sized billy-dux down.
So good luck to the childer!--tell Molly, I love her;
Kiss Oonagh's sweet mouth, and kiss Katty all over--
Not forgettin' the mark of the red-currant whiskey
She got at the fair when yourself was so frisky.
The heavens be your bed!--I will write, when I can again,
Yours to the world's end,


Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Fudges In England. Letter V. From Larry O'Branigan, In England, To His Wife Judy, At Mullinafad.' by Thomas Moore

comments powered by Disqus