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HANDY ANDY.- No. II. Andy walked out of the room with an air of supreme triumph, having laid the letters on the table, and left the squire staring after him in perfect amazement.

Well, by the holy Paul! that's the most extraordinary genius I ever came across,” was the soliloquy the master uttered as the servant closed the door after him; and the squire broke the seal of the letter that Andy's blundering had so long delayed. It was from his law-agent, on the subject of an expected election in the county which would occur in case of the demise of the then-sitting member;- it ran thus :

“Dublin, Thursday. “MY DEAR SQUIRE.—I am making all possible exertions to have every and the earliest information on the subject of the election. I say the election, because, though the seat for the county is not yet vacant, it is impossible but that it must soon be so. Any other man than the present member must have died long ago'; but Sir Timothy Trimmer has been so undecided, all his life that he cannot at present make up his mind to die; and it is only by Death himself giving the casting vote that the question can be decided. The writ-for the vacant county is expected to arrive by every mail, and in the mean time I am on the alert for information. You know we are sure of the barony of Ballysloughgutthery, and the boys of Killanmaul will murder any one that dares to give a vote against you. We are sure of Knockdoughty also, and the very pigs in Glanamuck would return you; but I must put you on your guard in one point where you least expected to be betrayed. You told me you were sure of Neck-or-nothing Hall; but I can tell you you're out there ; for the master of the aforesaid is working heaven and earth to send us all to h=). He backs the other interest ; for he is so over head and ears: in debt, that he is looking out for a pension, and hopes to get one by giving his interest to the Honourable Sackville Scatterbrain, who sits for the borough of Old Gooseberry at present, but whose friends: think? hvis 'talents are worthy of a county. If Sack wins, Neck-or-nothing gets a pension, that's poz. I had it from the best authority. I lodge at a milliner's here:no matter; more when I see you. But don't be afraid ; we 'll bag Sack, and distance Neck-or-nothing. But, seriously speaking, it's a d-d good joke that O'Grady should use you in this manner, who have been so kind to him in money matters ; but, as the old song says, “ Poverty parts good company; and he is so cursed poor that he can't afford to know you any longer, now that you have lent him all the money you had, and the pension in prospectu is too much for his feelings. I'll be down with you again as soon as I can, for I hate the diabolical town as I do poison. They have altered Stephen's Green-ruined it, I should say. They have taken away the big ditch that was round it, where I used to hunt water-rats when a boy. They are destroying the place with their d-d improvements. All the dogs are well, I hope, and my favourite bitch. Remember me to Mrs. Egan, Whom all admire.

My dear squire,

Your's per quire, To Edward Egan, Esq. Merryvale." MURTOUGH MURPIY."

N

Murtough Murphy was a great character, as may be guessed from his letter. He was a country attorney of good practice ;-good, because he could not help it,-for he was a clever, ready-witted fellow, up to all sorts of trap, and one in whose hands a cause was, very safe ; therefore he had plenty of clients without his seeking them. For, if Murtough's practice had depended on his looking for it, he might have made broth of his own parchment; for though, to all intents and purposes, a good attorney, he was so full of fun and fond of amusement, that it was only by dint of the business being thrust upon him he was so extensive a practitioner. He loved a good bottle, a good hunt, a good joke, and a good song, as well as any fellow in Ireland; and even when he was obliged in the way of business to press a gentleman hard, — to hunt bis man to the death, --he did it so good-humouredly that his very victim could not be angry with him. As for those he served, he was their prime favourite; there was nothing they could want to be done in the parchment line that Murtough would not find out some way of doing; and he was so pleasant a fellow, that he shared in the hospitality of all the best tables in the county. He kept good horses, was on every race-ground within twenty miles, and a steeple-chase was no steeple-chase without him. Then he betted freely, and, what's more, won his bets very generally; but no one found fault with him for that, and he took your money with such a good grace, and mostly gave you a bon-mot in exchange for it, so that, next to win. ning the money yourself, you were glad it was won by Murtough Murphy.

The squire read his letter two or three times, and made his comments as he proceeded. “« Working heaven and earth to send us toSo, that 's the work O'Grady 's at— that 's old friendship – d-d unfair; and after all the money I lent him too ;-he'd better take care-I'll be down on him if he plays foul ;—not that I'd like that much either ;-but—Let's see who 'š this is coming down to oppose me?—Sack Scatterbrain—the biggest fool from this to himself ;-the fellow can't ride a bit,-a pretty member for a sporting county! I lodge at a milliner's '- divil doubt you, Murtough ; I'll engage you do.- Bad luck to him !-he 'd rather be fooling away his time in a back-parlour, behind a bonnet-shop, than minding the interests of

• Pension '-ha!— wants it sure enough;- take care, O'Grady, or by the powers I 'll Be at you. You may baulk all the bailiffs, and defy any other man to serve you with a writ; but, by jingo ! if I take the matter in hand, I'll be bound I'll get it done. *Stephen's Green big ditch where I used to hunt water-rats.' Divil sweep you, Murphy! you 'd rather be hunting water-rats any day than minding your business. He's a clever fellow for all that. • Favourite bitch-Mrs. Egan.' Ay!—there's the end of it—with his bit o' po'thry too! The divil !"

The squire threw down the letter, and then his eye caught the other two that Andy had purloined.

“More of that stupid blackguard's work !--robbing the mail - no less !—that fellow will be hanged some time or other. 'Egad, maybe they'll bang him for this ! What's best to be done ?-Maybe it will be the safest way to see who they are for, and send them to the parties, and request they will say nothing: that's it.”

the county.

The squire here took up the letters that lay before him, to read their superscriptions; and the first he turned over was directed to Gustavus Granby O'Grady, Esq. Neck-or-nothing Hall, Knockbotherum. This was what is called a curious coincidence. Just as he had been reading all about O'Grady's intended treachery to him, here was a letter to that individual, and with the Dublin post-mark too, and a very grand seal.

The squire examined the arms, and, though not versed in the mysteries of heraldry, he thought he remembered enough of most of the arms he had seen to say that this armorial bearing was a strange one to him. He turned the letter over and over again, and looked at it back and front, with an expression in his face that said, as plain as countenance could speak, “I'd give a trifle to know what is inside of this.” He looked at the seal again : “Here's a-goose, I think it is, sitting in a bowl, with cross-bars on it, and a spoon in its mouth : like the fellow that owns it, maybe. A goose with a silver spoon in his mouth! Well, here's the gable-end of a house, and a bird sitting on the top of it. Could it be Sparrow? There's a fellow called Sparrow that's under-secretary at the Castle. D-n it ! I wish I knew what it's about."

The squire threw down the letter as he said “d-n it,” but took it up again in a few seconds, and, catching it edgewise between his fore-finger and thumb, gave a gentle pressure that made the letter gape at its extremities; and the squire, exercising that sidelong glance which is peculiar to postmasters, waiting-maids, and magpies who inspect marrow-bones, peeped into the interior of the epistle, saying to himself as he did so, “ All's fair in war, and why not in electioneering ?” His face, which was screwed up to the scrutinizing pucker, gradually lengthened as he caught some words that were on the last turn-over of the sheet, and so could be read thoroughly, and his brow darkened into the deepest frown as he scanved these lines: “As you very properly and pungently remark, poor Egan is a bladder a mere bladder.“Am I a bladdher ? by Jasus !” said the squire, tearing the letter into pieces and throwing it into the fire. “ And so, Misther OʻGrady, you say I'm a bladdher!" and the blood of the Egans rose as the head of that pugnacious family strided up and down the room: “I'll bladdher you, my buck, I'll settle your hash !"

Here he took up the poker, and made a very angry lunge at the fire, that did not want stirring, and there he beheld the letter blazing merrily away. He dropped the poker as if he had caught it by the hot end, as he exclaimed, “What the d-1 shall I do? I've burnt the letter !” This threw the squire into a fit of what he was wont to call his “considering cap;" and he sat with his feet on the fender for some minutes, occasionally muttering to himself what he began with,—“ What the d-1 shall I do? It's all owing to that infernal Andy-I'll murder that fellow some time or other. If he hadn't brought it, I shouldn't have seen it—to be sure, if I hadn't looked ; but then the temptation—a saint couldn't have withstood it. Confound it! what a stupid trick to burn it. Another here, too-must burn that as well, and say nothing about either of them ;” and he took up the second letter, and, merely looking at the address, threw it into the fire. He then rang the bell, and desired Andy

to be sent to him. As soon as that ingenious individual made his appearance, the squire desired him with peculiar emphasis to shut the door, and then opened upon him with,

“ “ You unfortunate rascal!" “Yis, your honour." “Do you know that you might be hanged for what you did to-day ?” “ What did I do, sir?" “ You robbed the post-office.” “ How did I rob it, sir ?” “ You took two letters you had no right to.” “It's no robbery for a man to get the worth of his money."

“Will you hold your tongue, you stupid villain! I'm not joking: you absolutely might be hanged for robbing the post-office."

“Sure I didn't know there was any harm in what I done ; and for that matther, sure, if they ’re sitch wondherful value, can't I go

back again wid 'em ?”

“ No, you thief. I hope you have not said a word to any one about it."

“ Not the sign of a word passed my lips about it.”
“ You 're sure ?"
“ Sartin.”

“ Take care, then, that you never open your mouth to mortal about it, or you'll be hanged, as sure as your name is Andy Rooney."

Oh, at that rate I never will. But maybe your honour thinks I ought to be hanged?"

No,-because you did not intend to do a wrong thing; but, only I have pity on you, I could hang you to-morrow for what you've done.”

“ Thank you, sir.”

“I've burnt the letters, so no one can know anything about the business unless you tell on yourself: so remember,—not a word.”

“ Faith, I 'll be as dumb as the dumb baste."

“Go, now; and, once for all, remember you'll be hanged so sure as you ever mention one word about this affair.”

Andy made a bow and a scrape, and left the squire, who hoped the secret was safe. He then took a ruminating walk round the pleasure-grounds, revolving plans of retaliation upon his false friend O'Grady; and having determined to put the most severe and sudden measure of the law in force against him for the monies in which he was indebted to him, he only awaited the arrival of Murtough Murphy from Dublin to execute his vengeance. Having settled this in his own mind, he became more contented, and said, with a self-satisfied nod of the head, “ We'll see who's the bladdher."

In a few days Murtough Murphy returned from Dublin, and to Merryvale he immediately proceeded. The squire opened to him directly his intention of commencing hostile law proceedings against O'Grady, and asked what most summary measures could be put in practice against him.

“Oh! various, various, my dear squire,” said Murphy; " but I don't see any great use in doing so yet,—he has not openly avowed himself.”

“ But does he not intend to coalesce with the other party?" “I believe so ;—that is, if he's to get the pension."

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