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1e1 Robert W. MOORE, Broker, 20, Token-house-yard, Lothbury.
MARCH 1, 1827.
A COCKNEY'S JOURNEY TO IRELAND.
Mid-Winter.-Frigid Zone. MY DEAR JACK, I sit down to write these sad reminiscences of your unhappy friend. Heaven knows whether they will ever come to hand! It may never be my fate to see Bow-church, or my sweet Nancy, again; but my heart is with them! Oh! the dear girl! I suffer a dreadful martyrdom for her sake; and still continue to obey all her wishes, except that of washing in Eau de Cologne; for, alas ! there is no such thing to be had here. Here I am, Jack; but where that is, I declare I cannot say—somewhere, I should think, among the mohocks and savages of North America—for here are large lakes, or internal seas;
and I am sure the one now in sight is lake Erie; or, as it is misspelt in their Yankee papers, Erne; which is evidently the same word. When I asked my host, who is the only man in these parts that can speak indifferent English, when the “ Erne Packet,”* (which I had seen advertised,) was to sail; he made some unintelligible reply, about its being printed on market days—A packet printed ? but this is the way that all my hopes of getting back to London are frustrated. I have strayed among a people who know nothing of the English language, but what they pick up from sailors and watermen: and I see it is vain to explore my way out of these in hospitable regions, until I have made myself master of their jargon-packet is their corruption, it seems, of pamphlet. In like manner, when I inquired if there were any stages in that place, he shook his head; and on my repeata ing the word in the precisest way, stages, a ray of light seemed to strike him, and he ran out, and brought me in an old tea-chest, asking me, if that was what I wanted. I succeeded no better in trying to convey my meaning, by asking for vans and flys. In the first case, he brought me a boy, with a large wen upon his neck; and in the next,
he presented me with a book full of hooks, covered with silk and feathers, swearing that they were the best killing flies in the world. On my word, Jack, I could almost, in that moment, have swallowed a dozen of them, on his recommendation ; so sick was I of life, and so dispirited at the solitary and unsocial state to which I have been reduced, by my not comprehending the inhabitants of this country, nor they me. Had I known that it would have been my fate to be thrown among these savage Canadians, I would bave set about learning the Illinois, or Esquimaux, on Mr. Hamilton's system, before I left London ; or, at least, have provided myself with dictionaries and grammars, at Boosey's—only think, Jack, they never heard of him, or of The Literary Gazette, in these parts—but, in truth, it was impossible for me to conceive that I should have been so soon ferried over the Atlantic. I am yet in some perplexity, how those villains of cads and 'water-jacks, at Liverpool, could have managed to put me into an American steam-boat, instead of one of the Dublin packets. But I will commence the sad history of my travels and adventures, not that I have the smallest hope of their ever reaching you, but because it will be a melancholy consolation to me, and a means of keeping up my English, which is likely to be all forgotten, should I be doomed to another month of such unusual silence and seclusion.
Jack, you remember how Nancy taunted me one night, at Vauxhall, with never having been in the country, nor, indeed, out of the hearing of Bow-bells. It was her delightful prattle about haymaking, nutting, picking blackberries, and the pleasures of rurial life, that made me resolve to take, unknown to you all, a trip into the country that I might come back a finished traveller, and be able to cut out Joe, my rival, in his flowery nonsense about daisies, buttercups, and primroses. Oh! that I had been content with the posies of Covent-garden, and the rustic scenery of Kensington park : and as for hay, and nuts, and berries, I vow that I have seen nothing yet to come up to the cartloads of hay in the Haymarket, and the walnuts and cranberries of our fruiterers.
But to proceed methodically: when I had formed this plan, the difficulty was to select a part to go to, and become thoroughly countrified in the space of a few weeks. I had some idea of Kent, from its being, as I had heard, a hop country; but then, if that was all for which it was remarkable, it would be much cheaper for me to become a subscriber-at Willis's Caledonian hope for a season, than encounter the expense of a voyage into Kent, which I understood to be the nearest part of England to the continent, and, of course, a distant country.
As for Scotland, though a fashionable summer drive, I knew that it would not do fór me; for I never yet drank their whiskey without qualms in the stomach ; and could not bear the thoughts of eating nothing but oats, according to Dr. Johnson, during my stay there; and of coming home eaten up, like a leper, with the itch. At length I determined on taking the trip mentioned in the London Magazine, under the head of “ Sporting Excursion,” in August last.
It is not my intention to accuse the writer of that article with a design of misleading unfortunate tourists: I have no doubt that every thing which he states is true; but, at least, the editor might have
added, in a note, that there was a new Dublin, and a new Enniskillen, as well as a New York, and a New England; and have cautioned his readers to inquire for the right place, that they might not run the risk of being shipped over to America, as I have been, when their intention was only to visit the north-west of Ireland ; where people speak the English language, and where eatables and drinkables might be had to suit the palate of a Londoner. If ever this should come to your hand, dear Jack, pray send the editor an account of the woful plight to which I am reduced, by having followed too literally his directions. Some shipwrecked mariner, or hardy adventurer, may face the horrors of these bogs and wastes, to seek again his native land; and through him I may remit these sad memorials of your once lively friend, Bob Trimmings. Then it will be some small comfort to me to think, that others may be deterred, in future, from falling into the same error, which has led to my expatriation; and from the consequences of which it may be years before I can extricate myself. Oh! Jack, Jack! if erer I get upon the flags of London again, no florid description shall ever tempt me more to rusticate-no; not even to Hampstead, or Paddington-or Gretna Green, with Nancy!
Having thus settled the weighty point of my destination, and obtained leave to go and spend the Christmas in the country, I packed up my whole luggage, consisting of a very small stock of linen, and a single change of clothes ; for I thought that nothing would be easier than to send for any thing I wanted, and have it down in a day or two by the coach. As for perfume, soaps, &c. I would not overburden myself with any quantity, as I fancied that those necessaries could be had any where upon the road. Ah, Jack! had I foreseen the misfortune of being cast away, and left desolate in an uncivilized waste, I would have rigged myself out, like an India endet, in our shop, and should not now be obliged to mourn over my poor kit, of three shirts, two collars, and single pot of bear's grease.
But, in fact, my guide, in his “ Sporting Excursion,” recommended travelling light; for which reason I packed up none but the lightest articles—silk stockings, kid gloves, and dress shoes, that are of no more use to me, in this marshy country, than so much spider's web. I took neither gun nor fishing-rod, but a good silk umbrella, which answer my purpose much better--that is, exploring the country, occasionally, on the top of the coach; and occasionally on foot, or on horseback-and had I known as much as I do now, I would have brought twenty of them; for I am sure they would have been a very good spec, in a country like this, where not a day passes without frequent showers, and where the inhabitants appear perfectly unacquainted with that convenient article. Well, Jack! having bid good bye to you all, and slipt one of Nancy's small tortoiseshell combs, and sweet little artificial ringlets, into my bosom, I hurried off to the Swan with Two Necks, my valise under my arm, to secure a place, inside, for the night. I wanted to know what the fare was by the hour, as that appeared to me the most correct way of doing the thing, but the clerks would not listen to any such proposal; and wiien I inquired how we were to settle, whenever I might detain the coach for an extra half-hour or so, they smiled, and told me, that I should post it. I auswered them sharply, that it was their business to post it, as they