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“ Well, now," replied old Tom, “ I consider that going plump into the river, when covered with ice, to be quite contrary to human natur.”
“ But not to save a friend, father?”
“ No-because that be Jacob's naturė; so
you see, one nature conquered the other, and that's the whole long and short of it."
“ Well, now, suppose we sit down and make ourselves comfortable," observed Stapleton ; “ but here be somebody else coming up-who can it be?”
say, old codger, considering you be as deaf as a post, you hears pretty well,” said old
“ Yes, I hear very well in the house, provided people don't speak loud.”
“Well, that's a queer sort of deafness; I
plaint,” cried Tom, laughing.
During this remark the Domine made his
66 Salve Domine," said I, upon his entering, taking my worthy pedagogue by
“ Et tu quoque fili mi, Jacobe! but whom have we here? the deaf man, the maiden, and -ehu !-the old man called old Tom, and likewise the young Tom ;” and the Domine looked
• Nay, sir,” said young Tom, going up to the Domine, “ I know you are angry with us,
because we both drank too much when we were
last in your company ; but we promise—don't we, father ?- not to do so again.”
This judicious reply of young Tom's put the Domine more at his ease; what he most feared was raillery and exposure on their parts.
Very true, old gentleman ; Tom and I did bowse our jibs up a little too taut when last we met--but what then ?—there was the grog, and there was nothing to do."
• All human natur," observed Stapleton.
“ Come, sir, you have not said one word to me,” said Mary, going up to the Domine. “ Now you must sit down by me, and take care of me, and see that they all behave themselves and keep suber.”
The Domine cast a look at Mary, which was intended for her alone, but which was not un. perceived by young Tom or me. « We shall have some fun, Jacob,” said he, aside, as we all sat down to the table, which just admitted six, with close stowage. The Domine on one side of Mary, Tom on the other, Stapleton next to Tom, then I and old Tom, who closed in on the other side of the Domine, putting one of his timber toes on the old gentleman's corns, which induced him to lift up his leg in a hurry, and draw his chair still closer to Mary, to avoid a repetition of the accident; while old Tom was axing pardon, and Stapleton demon
strating that on the part of old Tom, not to feel with a wooden leg, and on the part of the Domine, to feel with a bad corn, was all nothing but “ human natur.” At last we were all seated, and Mary, who had provided for the evening, produced two or three pots of beer, a bottle of spirits, pipes, and tobacco.”
“ Liberty Hall-I smokes,” said Stapleton, lighting his pipe, and falling back on his chair.
“ I'll put a bit of clay in my mouth too,” followed up old Tom; “ it makes one thirsty, and one enjoys one's liquor.”
“ Well, I malts," said Tom, reaching a pot of porter, and taking a long pull, till he was out of breath. “ What do you do, Jacob?"
“ I shall wait a little, Tom.” “ And what do you do, sir ?” said Mary to
the Domine. The Domine shook his head.
“ Nay, but you must—or I shall think you do not like my company. Come, let me fill a pipe for you. Mary filled a pipe and handed it to the Domine, who hesitated, looked at her, and
He lighted it and smoked fu
“ The ice is breaking up-we shall have a change of weather-the moon quarters to-morrow,” observed old Tom, puffing between every observation; " and then honest men may earn their bread again. Bad times for you, old codger,
heh !” continued he, addressing Stapleton. Stapleton nodded an assent through the smoke, which was first perceived by old Tom. “Well, he arn't deaf, a'ter all; I thought he was only shamming a bit. I say, Jacob, this is the weather to blow your fingers, and make your eyes bright.”
“ Rather to blow a cloud, and make your eyes water,” replied Tom, taking up the pot; “ I'm just as thirsty with swallowing smoke, as if I had a pipe myself—at all events, I pipe