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The Contributor.

DENIS DISCOURSES..

Dear Mr Editor, —’Tis the grate fit av homesickness Katie an’ mesllf’s “been havin’ ivir since we heard Mr Devlin lecturin’ about the Quid Sod, though by the same token if all he ses is thrue, an’ I’m not doubtin’ him, ’tis the lasht place in the World to live in, what wid bad governmint, cancer, lunacy, low wages, an’ emigration. Annyway, ’twas the fine reception Mr D. got, an’ I was quite proud av the way me ould frind Petrie lukt on the platform, among a crowd av me counthrymin. English an’ all as he is, begorrah he only wanted a shillelagh in his 1 fisht an’ a dhudeen betwane his teeth to pass for a broth av a bhoy, an’ Corney he’s nearly sure he heard Mr Petrie say “Faugh a ballagh” an’ “Erin go bragh ” whin ho got excited by Mr Devlin’s fine oratory. * * * «■ “Yes,” ses Bedalia, “an’ did ye see Mr Roche, dad, how plased he was?” He lukt twinty years younger an’ two or three times I thought ho was on the point av jumpin’ up, an’ yellin’ out ‘ Kerry for ever !’ Well,” ses I, “ivirywan seemed to be carried away by Mr Devlin —he’d such a nate way av puttin’ things: that he persuaded ye whether ye wanted to be persuaded or not, an’ if ye wint in against Home Rule ye came out in favour av it. He’s a magician right enough. He reminded me for all the world av the electric machine that came to Ireland wance, except that the paple cheered Mr Devlid inshtead av snaashin’ him as they did the machine. Here’s the whole shtory— MARMADUKE THE MAGICIAN. Nedsville-on-Lagan, as all men know. Is a city of wonderful enterprise ; But something happened not long ago, That made the citizens open their eyes. There were placards pasted up and down, And full-page “ads.” in the papers, I ween, To tell of the marvel that struck the town, In Marmaduke Murphy’s electric machine. “If you are suffering from disease. Cholera, consumption, a broken leg, Brain-fag, typhoid, or wh a t you please,” Marmaduke said —“To state I beg I can heal you through from crown to toe With an electric current keen, And it’s such a simple affair, you know, Is Marmaduke Murphy’s patent machine. Put your feet on the pedals there, Rest your chin on the topmost bar, Stiffen your muscles and say a prayer Catch the handles and there you are! Donegall Place was daily blocked, From “Gibson’s Corner” to City Hall, By thousands waiting to be ''shocked,” And— Marmaduke Mur oh v cured ’em all.

Thousands were shocked out of manifold ills. And some declared they were cured by a look. f They threw away crutches and potions and'pills, To publish their names would take a book. The medicals rose in open war. And swore that the Crown must intervene, If not, they’d have Marmaduke Murphy’s gore, For spoiling their trade with his machine. But a little rift in an eleg'ant lute Will spoil the merriest sort of tune ; Alas, that people should want to shoot A man who furnished such precious boon, But this was the reason, right or wrong, Whatever your politics might have have been, It changed your convictions, weak or strong, Did Marmaduke Murphy’s electric machine. Temperance reformers careless grew. Of licensing laws or prohibition ; Party men turned from green to blue, Open-air spouters forgot their mission ; Other chaps got an opposite twist, Changing their colours from blue to green, You saw things through a political mist, Oncu you were treated by that machine. When men couldn’t tell for whom to cheer, With Redmond and Saunderson passing by. Nor knew which day was the [best in the year, Fifteenth August or Twelfth July ; ’Twas the last straw laid on the camel’s back, ... And the citizens rose to vent their spleen, Each was determined to get a whack At Marmaduke Murphy’s electric machine. Parties of fifty different shades. Unionists, Nationalists, Liberal, too, Formed in squadrons and strong brigades, And a work of vengeance swore to do. Tariff Reformers and Traders Free, Took blackthorns, horsewhips, and daggers keen, And some brought crowbars with savage glee, To smash up Marmaduke Murphy’s machine. Marmaduke got away alive, He in his youth was a champion sprinter ; But the machine did not survive, There was left not a single splinter. They smashed it up, and they stamped i,t down, They left not a fragment to be seen; You’d have heard the wrecking all over the town Of Marmaduke Murphy’s electric ma j chine. * * * * Katie was in a terrible way on Tuesday mornin’ whin she read that America an’ Japan were likely to go to war, an’ whin Bedalia came in a little later an’ towld us that war

had broken out, ye cud have knocked us down wid the proverbial feather. “Aisy, child, aisy,” sies I, "what makes ye think that war has broken out " "Well,’’ ses she. "there’s a big placard on the side av the tram car wid the words on it 1 —‘ Forced to the war.’ ’’ ‘‘‘Sure,” ses I, that’s only the way the I.A. Dramatic Club have av advertisin’ their new play, an’ ’twas the grate laff we had. * * * * "Well," ses Corney, "talkin’ av advertisin’, I see Cr. Carroll, av Riverton, is determined to advertise that lovely shpot. "What is he afther doin’ ?” ses I. ‘‘Why,’’ ses Corney, "he’s usin’ shtrong language wid the view av course av attractin’ attintion to the place. Ye see, he was talkin’ about a road an’ its cost, an’ ses he —‘It’s something ’ He wasn’t allowed to finish, for Cr. Blackmore ses ‘Shoo ! Shoo !’ an’ the Mayor” towld -him it wasn’t Parfiamentary language, an’ he withdrew the remark. ’ ’ * * * * " I hope he won’t indulge in such language annymore,’’ ses I, "or he’ll be as aisily recognised as the farmer’s wife. Her husband was sceptical as to whether paple who were miles apart could really talk to ache other over a tiliphone wire. Wan day his wife wint to make a visit to a distant frind who had a tiliphone in her house. Durin’ the afthernoon the farmer visited a near neighbour who also boasted a house tiliphone, an’ who persuaded the farmer to call up his wife as a little surprise. Followin’ instructions, he put the receiver to his ear, an’ after the usual preliminaries, he shouted — ‘Hello, Jane!’ Jusht thin a flash av lightnin’ caused by the beat av the summer day shtruck the wire, an’ he fell sprawlin’ to the floor. The neighbour was sorry that the ould man shud meet wid such an accident on his firsibt trial av a tiliphone, an’ assured him that such a thing would not happen except in case av storms. But the farmer was convinced av the possibilities av communication, however, an’ would not try again. He rose to his fate, an’ shakin’ his head knowingly, ses ‘ It’s wonderful ! That was Jane, all right.’ ” * * * * "Cr. Carroll shud have sworn in Esperanto,’’ ses Katie, "an’ the Mayor wudn’t have been able to call him to order.’’ "What’s Esperanto, Katie ?” ses I. "Why,’’ ses she, "its the latest fad among a certain class av paple that get tized av the ould way av doin’ things. As a rule, they are fairly well oil, an’ they haven’t much to do, an’ plinty av time to do it in, an’ they either give way to Esperanto or theosophy." "What is the new lingo like, Katie ?" ses I. "I’d like to know, for Sir J. G. Ward hopes to see it taught in the schools." "Well," ses Katie, "ye may well call it a lingo. Now, supposin’, Denis, ye wanted to say—' I have found it out —I know what it is,’ this' is how 7 it ’ud come out in Esperanto —‘Mi ghin eltrovis ! Mi scias kio estas !’ " "TbatTl do, acushla," ses I, "sure I’ll shtick to the brogue—l’d lose mesilf in Esperanto—?l’d be like the man that got losht in the mud. A chap was walkin’ along the sidewalk, an noticed that the mud was pretty deep, an’ suddenly he saw a silk hat apparently floatin’ along in a puddle. Think-

in’ to do aomewan a favour, he reached out wid his cane, an’ tried to haul it ashore, but to his amazement an ould gintleman lukt up from beneath it, mad clear' through. ‘Hello! 1 ses the chap, ‘you’re in pretty deep. l ‘l’m in deeper than you think,’ sea he, ‘l’m on top of an’ omnibus.’- ” * * * * “Well,” ses Corney, “there was a young couple at the show that made up their minds not to get losht in the crowd, for they shtuck like grim' death to the go-cart wid the baby, in it, an’ moreover, they had a label on it wid the letthers ‘Hong Bush l printed on it. They were as plain as the shmile on Charlie Reading’s face whin his horse got firsht prize for buck-jumpin’. It tuk him three weeks to catch the horse in the Waiau, an’ he’ll not part wid him for a thrifle, afther the way he shaped on Widnesday. He ses some paple may object to the colour av the horse, which is afther bein’ white, but thin the craythur may turn black whin h<3 casts his coat. Charlie sesi he knows some min that have changed their coats, so why not horses ? * * * * I’m towld that a big syndicate from Auckland is goin’ to take charge av Stewart Island an’ Mr Mackie an’his sawmill, an’ shtart diggin’ for tin an’ other minerals. “That explains what I saw on Thursday,” ses Corney. Mr Todd, the auctioneer, an’ Mr Horace Bastings, were hurryin’ down to the jetty to catch the shteamer for Preservation Inlet. ‘Corney, my boy,’ ses Mr Todd, as he shuk me hand in farewell, ‘Corney, tell your respected dad that we’re goin’ down to the Inlet to hoist the Union Jack an’ work the gold mines in the interests av Southland. Tell him, from me, Corney, that if any thing happens to mo he find the words—‘Advance Southland!’ engraven on this old heart of mine,’an’ wid that he flew on afthjer Mr Horace, who’s as good as ivir as a shpr inter.” * * * * “I’d like to be wid thim,” ses I. “for Mr Todd’s like a tonic. He always lukes on the right side av things. He reminds me av Maguire whin he losht a job at five shillings a day, an’ his wife cried her heart out. ‘Don’t cry, Norah,’ ses he, ‘sure I’m out av work, but if I’d been gettin’ 10s a day our loss wud have been twice as grate.’ That’s Mr Todd all over.” DENIS,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SOCR19061215.2.8

Bibliographic details

The Contributor., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 42, 15 December 1906

Word Count
1,788

The Contributor. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 42, 15 December 1906

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