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his person was encased in a coat which had all the appearance of having originally been a flannel blanket; but having, at a more recent period of its history, passed through the dyer's hand, had now somewhat of a bluish complexion. The interesting couple on whose Herculean shoulders rested the weight of the opera from the commencement to the close, were alternately pathetic and humorous; now affectionate beyond the boiling point, and in a twinkling at daggers drawn. At one moment, they were talking of separating from each other for ever, and the next renewing their vows of eternal attachment. The opera closed, somewhat abruptly, in the midst of the most touching scene; but there being no "rag," alias curtain, to conceal the dual company from the unhallowed gaze of the audience, the gentleman performer was seen, immediately on the affecting conclusion of the piece, to descend from the stage (consisting of two or three deals put carelessly together) to the pit; in other words, the green turf, and to take part in the “wonderful tricks" of a philosophic dog. This was, indeed, a humiliating descent: it would have been enough to draw tears from the eyes of any lover of the histrionic art. The dog appeared to be a marvellously intelligent animal, and wonderfully happy in his guesses, or, if the pbrase be preferred, accurate in his knowledge ; for, when desired by the man who had the charge of him to run round the audience, and put his paws on the greatest rascal in the company, the intelligent dog did as he was bid. He made the circuit of the company, and, stopping at his master, put his paws on him, to the infinite mortification of the latter and the infinite amusement of the audience.
“The animal knows his master," waggishly remarked one of the spectators.
This ended the canine part of the performances. It was intended, I suppose, as a sort of interlude. The gentleman actor then climbed up the stage, there being no stairs or steps by » which to ascend. The operatic lady was waiting his return to the scene of their mutual histrionic achievements. Instantly the performance of a tragedy was commenced. This part of the entertainment occupied full five minutes. It was followed by a farce, which was acted in two minutes and a half, and performed, like the previous pieces, by the same industrious couple. The audience were then informed that the entertainments were over, which they understood to be a hint that it was high time they vacated the theatre to make room for another congregation of admirers. Just before the conclusion of the performances, a respectable looking woman who had charge of the exchequer department, expressed her apprehensions that the acting had not come up to our standard, very candidly adding, that all their pieces were comprehended in one, namely, “Catching all we
Can.” We assured her-and in doing so were guilty of no deviation from the truth-that we never in our lives had been more amused with any acting; for that we had never seen any. thing like it. She took this as a high compliment to the dramatic talents of her company-of two; and expressed her great pleasure that we were pleased.
Not the least laughable of the many drolleries for which Donnybrook Fair has long been celebrated, are the canvas representations outside, of what is professedly to be seen in the interior. The only little drawback here is, that the figures or scenes outside do not in some cases afford the slightest intimation of what is really to be seen inside. One of the most attractive and most admired representations on the occasion of our visit to Donnybrook was
laced in front of a sort of caravan at the nearest end of the fair. The wonders to be witnessed inside professed to be the “ Scotch Giantess," the “ Irish Dwarf," and the “Silverhaired Lady.” There was, on the flaming canvas, the figure of a lady, not only as large as life, but a great deal larger than life; for she was fully twelve feet high, and proportionable in other respects. Never assuredly did woman more satisfactorily establish her claim to the name of giantess. Beside her—on the canvas I mean-stood the Irish dwarf, so very diminutive, that Tom Thumb would have been deemed a giant beside him. The curiosity to see these antagonistic prodigies of nature was, as may be guessed, exceedingly great; and it was very much increased by the absence of any representation whatever of the “Silver-haired Lady.” Who in the earth could she be? What was she like? Was she a beauty or a fright? Tall or short? Dark complexioned or fair ? Old or young ? Our curiosity to know something of this mysterious personage at length became so ungovernable that we felt we must gratify it. “Let us go in and see this 'Silvered-haired Lady,' said one of my two companions." And we were on the eve of patronising the exhibition, when an honest working man, who had just come out, with a wofully disappointed countenance said “ It's all a chate, gintlemen ; don't go
in." “ How a cheat?” “There's no lady or gintleman in the place, yer honours.” “You don't mean that?”
“Faith, and I do mane it. An its thruth I'm telling yer honours, too." “What! no Silver-haired Lady?”
No, nor gintleman either, yer honours.” “ No Scotch Giantess ? " “No, nor nothing like one." " Nor Irish dwarf?” “No, yer honours; nor nothing of the sort."
“What then is to be seen?"
“Ah sure, nothing at all at all, gintlemen ; but some blackguard tricks with cards."
The poor fellow spoke with considerable indignation and great vehemence, because, as he remarked, he had himself “just come out fresh from being chated."
We afterwards ascertained that matters were exactly as Tim Hogan represented them to be. An hour or so previous to Tim's exit, a smartish dialogue took place between one of the company and the proprietor of the exhibition, touching the nonproduction of the promised "living wonders of nature.'
The spectator in question-a recent importation from Tipperary—having waited patiently, as did the rest of the expectant crowd, until the sleight of hand tricks were concluded, then set up a loud clamour for some of the “ wonders."
“ The show is over,” remarked the proprietor.
"What do you mane," said the Tipperary malcontent; and six or seven voices echoed the question.
“I mane, that you have seen all that you will see.”
“You can't see her to-day."
“Ah, sure, and I can't do that same, for the little fellow's braking his heart for his companions. He's not out of bed yet; but come back to-morrow, and you will see them all three for nothing. Faith, you will."
The simple spectators, with one or two exceptions, were credulous enough to believe all this, and retired quietly from the place. An English audience would have seen through the deception, torn the caravan in pieces, and half murdered the persons who had practised the imposition upon them.
The proprietors of the stalls which were appropriated to the sale of edibles and liquids, displayed considerable ingenuity in their efforts to induce the patrons of Donnybrook to partake of their good cheer. And the inscriptions on the small boards affixed to these places, containing invitations to enter, were as diversified as the notions of the immense assemblage. For the Repealers there were “Repale” tents. The Teetotallers were
Oct. 1844.—VOL. XLI.-NO. CLXII.
sought to be decoyed into places untainted by the presence of the brandy bottle, or any other receptacle of spirituous liquors, beer, porter, or anything else proscribed by Father Mathew. One odd Irisliman determined to sell nothing but milk and bread -very primitive commodities. And to convince his customers that there was no adulteration of the milk, he took the cow into the tent along with him, and kept her there ; so that those who were partial to new milk in its native state, had the gratification of obtaining it pure as it was extracted from the animal. The proprietor in this case was John Maconan, who belonged to a place called Slopeside, but where or in what direction Slopeside is, nobody could inform me. As John's invitation to his expected patrons was in rhyme, and the orthography was altogether peculiar, I took a copy, which I now present to the reader exactly in the form I found it:
“ Do Not Pass By,
Step In And See
Milk This Cow Gives Mee." The measure and the orthography may be a little out of joint, but we need not much wonder at that, when we see foreign powers and political parties all at sixes and sevens. Why even the Times-- I do not mean the Times newspaper—are also out of joint, and consequently we must not scan the lines of the Donnybrook poets with too rigid or inquisitive an eye.
The marquees or places in which spirits were sold were few in number, and their customers wer: correspondingly scanty. And yet when you did meet with such places, there was no want of urgent and ingeniously framed invitations to go in and partake (assuming of course you had previously paid for it) of the virtues of poteen. In one case an old man and still older woman were represented as large as life on a blue-painted sign board, with glass in hand, and peeping with a sly, arch expression into each other's faces. Underneath were these words. I can make no meaning out of them; perhaps those who are more conversant than myself with the older exhibitions of Irish character at fairs, may be able to throw some light on their import, and establish a connection between them and whisky drinking :
"I see a fish,' she says, 'so shy,
See how it gapes ; look, Polly, look.' * And i see something else,' says i
To Dolly Dune of Donnybrook.” It was pleasing to find that amid all the humour and hilarity which characterised the scenes we witnessed during our visit to Donnybrook Fair, there was the entire absence of drunkenness. I did not see a single individual out of the 40,000 or 50,000 assembled on the occasion, who appeared to be under the influence of spirituous liquors. Nor did I see any fighting, if I except what in the phraseology of the ring is called "a brush" between two boys. Before the beginning of the temperance movement, every sixth or seventh person you met was more or less under the inspiration of whisky; and fights were as plentiful as blackberries.
The change which has been produced is as wonderful as it is gratifying. None but those who have witnessed it can form any idea of its magnitude. He who was present at Donnybrook Fair seven years ago, and attended it in August last, could scarcely believe the evidence of his eyes as to the greatness of the moral reformation which has been effected. He must have thought, if he knew the locality to be the same, that he had fallen among a different people. It only shows the mighty power which right principles exercise on the human mind, when brought fairly to bear upon it.
The wonderful change in question contributed in no small degree to increase the gratification we experienced in witnessing the oddities of Irish character at Donnybrook Fair.
“LA BOUTON DE ROSE.” *
BY MRS. CRAWFORD.
Flow on, thou dark river! beneath thy chill waters,
Like a pearl deeply cradled in ocean, she lies,-
A rose-bud, transplanted to bloom in the skies :
And hung on the song she will warble no more;
Flow on, thou dark river!
Flow, waters of Tiber! flow on, thou dark river !
The cross of the holy one marks where she fell ;
Around thy chill waters, that murmur her knell :
But the love of them all, oh! 'tis nothing to mine;
Flow on, thou dark river !