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mighty shallow this thumbler gets with drinkin' out ov it. I'll nade another dhrop by way ov doin justice till that toast."
It's not necessary to mintion how I thravelled to London thirdclass, an' was obliged to knock down a porther at Dublin for insulting me dignity, an' refusin to carry me portmantle, an' me a mimber ov Parliment. I came acrass wid a counthryman, who towld me the best Irish hotel was the Green Harp in Shoreditch, an' I engaged me room there at three shillins' a week, never lettin on I was a legislator for fear they'd overcharge me. Father O'Swill promised me he would write to some frinds in the House till look afther me, an' recommended me to dhrive down there at three in the afternoon. So I dhressed in my best linen shirt, an' me black suit an' hat, an' not knowin' the characther ov the company I was goin' into, I carried me shillelagh undher me arm. I'd niver seen a "handsome" before, an' it seemed a delooshun ov spache, but as I was towld 'twas the quickest way ov travellin' I got into wan an' towld the dhriver to go till the House ov Commons. It seemed as far to that place as from Rash killen to Dublin, an' houses an' people an' vehicles all the way, but at last we came undher a great tower wid a clock in it ye might have seen twenty miles off, an' the jerry turned into a courtyard an' dhrew rein opposite two grate doores. At the same time he startled me by shoutin down threw a hole in the roof
"'Ere's Westminster 'All, sir. Through them doors to the 'Ouse of Commons," an' he began to laugh.
Whin I'd got out ov the trap, says I—
"There's a sixpence for ye, me lad, an' ye're a purty dhriver considherin where ye sit in the vehicle."
He tossed it up in the air, an' says he
"Look 'ee 'ere, guvnor, none o' your jokes-my fare's two shillin' an' sixpence." I knew he was tryin to decave me.
"Two shillins an' sixpence, ye blaguard," says I, "an' you only dhrivin me wan Irish mile. Is it takin advanthage ov a sthranger ye're tryin on wid me? Sorra a fardin more ye'll get from me," an' I turned to go in at the big doores, where two polishmen were standin at ease. At that, the jerry came down from his cage behind the masheen, an' sazed me by the collar-it's what no man widin twenty miles ov Rashkillen would venthur to do, an' me blood was up. So I twisted meself out ov his hand, an' with a whoop an' a whirl ov me shillelagh give him a crack on the head that sounded all over the place. He wint down like a rabbit, an' in a moment there was a grate commoshun. There was a bigger crowd in wan minute than ye could gather in county Slayo wid a week ov notis. The consthabulary came forward, but I swore if any wan ov them touched me I'd be the death ov him. Says I
"I'm the mimber for Rashkillen, an' a shtranger to the country, an' the thavin spalpeen was for takin advantage ov me novel an'
unprothecthed condishun to charge me half-a-crown for a dhrive in that crazy masheen. If yer a peeler," says I to wan ov the polishmen, "take him up for assaultin a mimber ov parliment."
The crowd laughed; an' indade the man wanted takin' up badly, for his head was bleedin.
"There's some mistake," says the peeler. "Get up, Charlie, if you're not too much hurt, and tell us what's it all about."
When he'd got it explained, he says to me respecfully—
"I'm afraid you're in the wrong, sir, but no doubt it's from your disacquaintance with London. If you'll take my advice, sir, you'll settle with the man, for he can have you up for the assault and give you a great deal of trouble, and it won't be pleasant for you, coming to the House for the first time."
After considerin the matther I took his advice, an' gave the man two pounds-an' me that has broken many an Irishman's head free of charge and been thanked for the honour!* "Twas a quare counthry I'd come to. When it was arranged, the peeler says—
"I see ye're a new mimber, sir, an' not used to the ways of the metropolis. I'll show you the entrance to the House."
We went in at the doores, an' there was the biggest an' butifullest place that ever me eyes beheld, wid a roof an' stained windas like a church, an' images all along wan side, which the peeler towld me was the works of Ayrton, a celebrated sculpther. But it turned out to be a mistake, for he's now drinkhin brandy-and-water beside me in the smoking-room, an' he's called the "Aydile ov the people," a name I don't understhan, but it's clear it don't mane an idol, from what I know. The consthable showed me through the side doore an' towld me to folla me nose up the lobby. I took his advice an' that brought me to a grate place full ov people standin about wid their hats on. "Sure," says I to meself, "this is the House ov Commons." But another polishman comes up to me an' says
"I am; is this the House?"
"No, sir, this is the lobby; the entrance to the House is through that doorway."
I felt very quare at the sthrangeness ov the place, an' obsarvin there was glasses an' bottles on a counter at wan side ov the house, I stepped up an' called for a dhrop ov the crather.
"Ov the what, sir?" says the man.
"The crather," says I.
"Och," says he, "what part do ye come from?”
"Rashkillen," says I.
"Yer Mr. Barney Geoghegan," says he.
"Yer right," says I.
* Mr. Barney shares a common surprise with Dodd père in the matter of responsibility for broken heads.
"I read ov your
"Thin welcome to the house, sir," says he. succhess with rapther. I'm Tully O'More's nevvy," says he.
ye take it nate or hot?"
"I'll thry it nate first," says I.
So we dhrank to the good of Ould Ireland, an' says Tully O'More's nevvy, "Ye might dhrink up all the whiskey we have in London to that same toast in this place, an sure it'll projuce no effect on the hard-hearted Sassenachs."
Well," says I, takin a second reviver, "I'm about to give a notis that will shake the cowards in their shues." Wid that says I "Where's the house?" an' puttin me hat on wan side ov me head and me shillelagh undher me arm, I sauntered up to the doore the polishman had shown me. There was two little spalpeens in clerical dress sittin on both sides in two things like large coal-scuttles turned up on ind. Wan ov them jumps up an' says
"Where are you going, sir?"
"Intil the House ov Commons," says I.
You can't go in, sir. Only members are admitted," says he.
They both laughed, an' says the other—
"Come, sir, we can't let you stop the way.
Stand aside if you please, or I'll hand you over to the police. You must be drunk."
On that word I stepped back two paces, an' with a whirra an' a shout, I sazed me shillelagh, which was in me han' at the time, an' I screeched out
"I'm the mimber for Rashkillen to the House ov Commons ov the United Kingdom ov Grate Britan an' Ireland. I'm for Civil and Religious Liberty, Home Rule, an' Denominashunal Educashun; an' by the powers, if you two little skulking blaguards don't get out ov the doore an' let me intil the house I'll brake ivery bone ov yer bodies."
Iv'ry wan in the lobby turned round an' shouted "Silence!"—it's more partikler they are about silence outside than they are inside the house-and three peelers came forward. There was about to be a gineral shindy, for Tully O'More's nevvy stood to me with a sodawather bottle, when a pleasant-looking jintleman stepped up to me an' said, "Are you Mr. Barney Geoghegan, the new mimber for
Thrue for ye," said I, "I'm the very man. An' me refused enthrance to the very place I was sent to by me consthituents.”
"Oh! it's all right," says he, winkin to the constables. "I've heard ov you from Father O'Swill. I'm a counthryman ov yer
"I'd know it by yer spache," says I
"An though I'm not ov yer way ov thinkin, I'll take ye in an inthrojuce ye, an' put ye up till the ways ov the house."
"Would ye mind givin me yer name?" says I.
"Maguire," says he.
"What!" says I; "the pathriot ov Cork?"
"The same," says he.
"Well," says I, "yer well known to be the gratest man in the House ov Commons, an' the lader ov the pathriotic party; and I'm proud ov yer acquaintance, Mister Maguire. Will ye join me in a dhrap for the sake ov ould Ireland?"
It's about the worst whiskey that iver I tasted they sell at the counther. It's too near the officers of excise to be a natheral element. Says I when we'd collogued,
"I'm goin' to give notis ov a moshun in favour of Home Rule, an' if ye'll show me the Spaker it's till him his riverence towld me to addhress meself."
"All right," says Mister Maguire, wid a twinkle in his eye; "but ye must first ov all take the oaths an' yer sate, an' for that purpose I'll get Sir Kilmoy O'Clocker to accompany ye to the table. They're at prayers now," says he.
Then he inthrojuced me to Sir Kilmoy, an' when prayers was over they took me till the bar ov the House as they called it, but sorra a gill ov spirits is iver to be found there as I have larned to me disgust. The House was lit widout lamps and was crowded wid jintlemen all wearin their hats, an' not a faymale to be seen. There was an ould jintleman wid a wig on, sittin directly opposite the doore in a sate wid a grate thing like an umbrella over it; an' two other jintlemen in the same costume at a thable in front ov him; an' before the thable a grate goulden mace in a gun-rack ov the same metal.
Whin the ceremony was complated, Mister Maguire whispered in me ear, "Ye'll now follow me to a sate, an' whin ye sit down put yer hat on."
I sat down next him on a sate which was butifully cushioned an' as soft as the moss on Drumcarn, an' thin as directhed I put on me hat. There was a buzz of conversashun in the House at the time an' some laughin. Thinks I, if they're laughin' at me, they're mighty misthaken, an' I'll give them a touch of Irish assurance, so I stood up an' said loud enough to be heard all over the place—
"Misther Spaker!"—but the words was not well out ov me mouth whin the whole company roared at me like a herd ov mad bulls"Ordher! ordher!"
The Spaker too stood up.
Says I, "Ye cowardly spalpeens--" but they drowned me remarks inthirely by shoutin' "Ordher, ordher! Chair, chair!" I began to get angry, for thinks I to meself, this is a thrick ov the Sassenach blaguards to shut me mouth, they well knowin what I'm about to say. I gave a flourish ov me shillelagh an' shouted at the top ov me voice—
"Is it ordher ye want," says I, "for I'll soon interjuice it to ye!" but again the whole place was filled with shoutins to that extint you couldn't hear yer own words. "Ordher, ordher! Chair, chair!"
Me frind at me side sazed me coat-tails, an' pulled me down on the sate, an' afther possessin himself ov me shillelagh, which I was about to bring down on the head ov a jintleman who was shoutin "Chair, chair!" and who had mighty little hair for the size ov his brains, named the member for Waterford, says to me—
"Kape still, I tell ye. Ye've made a misthake. Ye must always on risin to addhress the Spaker take off yer hat.
Ye'll have to
The Spaker said in a slow, clear voice
"I must inform the Honourable Member that he is not in order in addressing the chair with his hat on; and I hope he will not consider it one of his duties as a representative to bring a shillelagh into this House and emphasise his remarks with flourishes not strictly rhetorical."
At that there was a roar of laughter, an' bein willin to adhere to the ways ov the place, I took off me hat an' got up again on me legs, says I
"Misther Spaker, I axe yer pardin, but I'm unbeknownst to the rules ov the House. I hereby give notis that at an airly day I shall call the attenshun ov the House to the subjec ov the relashuns ov Ireland to Grate Brittan an' move resolushuns thereon." Ye see I'd got it as pat as could be from Father O'Swill.
The laughter was ten times worse than before, an' the little Spaker nearly rowled off the chair. I was beginnin to feel for me shillelagh, whin up jumps a man right forenenst the Spaker, an' standin' at the table, looks roun the house, wid his eyes very angry and very wild, an' says he, pointin at me with his right ear
"And I beg to give notice on behalf of the Government that if that motion is brought forward by the Honourable Gentleman, the Government will consider it its duty to treat it as one involving a question of confidence in the Ministry" (here there was loud cries of "Oh! oh!"). "Yes, I repeat it, as involving confidence in the Ministry, and we shall be governed by the result accordingly."
Misther Maguire explaned to me that the jintleman was in the habit ov givin these notises afther any moshun he didn't like, an' 'twas a sign ov the importance attached to me weight an' standin' to have me proposal made a critical question. So afther doin me duty, I went out to exchange congratulashuns wid Tully O'More's nevvy, who, betwane you an me is the only honest pathriot, barrin meself, in the Parliment Houses.