« FöregåendeFortsätt »
This you of course know is a favourite soup at Madras, made of fowl, and spiced till it is as hot
-O! Heaven! I cannot name it; but, should you be desirous of getting a good mouth-burning, you may for half a guinea be supplied with a bowl of it in Piccadilly. The Nabob said it was horrible, in Ireland. All his wealth could not procure a cook to make it sufficiently Asiatic for his palate. “ It is horrible,” he would say, “ It is really horrible, that
you will not throw in enough of chillies.Now—there—thus--ay-now it may do.” But I like not to describe character ; I hate personality ; let us, therefore, leave the Nabob to open, as the pages of a book, in the progress of our tale.
This old Indian had certainly amassed great wealth, some said one way and some another; but it little matters, in the eyes of the world, how a man acquires sovereign power ; if he can sport the yellow effigies of our king, people enough will be found ready to take him by the hand. Our Nabob, after his return from the East, took up a position in London ; but, finding himself nobody in such a crowd of nobs, he instructed his agent, Mr. Bernard M'Mahon, then practising as a solicitor in the great city, to proceed to county Monaghan, inspect an estate there advertised for sale, and purchase it at the hammer, should it prove worth Irish money. Bernard M‘Mahon, attorney-at-law, styling himself solicitor, and of course gentleman, having a strong inclination to return to the dear sod, fulfilled his commission to the letter; and, agreeably to his wishes, found himself invested as agent and receiver to the Nabob.
Soon after, the important personage himself crossed the channel to inspect his newly acquired property; and, finding every thing so horrible, he ordered the old house to be pulled down (his agent, with the materials, building a handsome residence for himself); turned the whole topsy turvy; threw the front into lawns, the rear into plantations, the wings into picturesque views, and, altogether, produced such astonishing changes and improvements—as any one may produce with money.
At last, Mulgatawny Lodge was pronounced fit for Indian reception, and the Nabob's family arrived at the neighbouring town in four carriages. Here they were met by the population of Mullinabrack, who, if they had been permitted, would have made horses of themselves; but the Nabob, who, under all his ostentation, generally looked to expense, said it was horrible, and forced the Monaghan colts to content themselves with an Irish howl, expressive of their supreme delight on the occasion of this auspicious arrival.
In the front carriage were the Nabob and Nabobess, both peeping, and bowing to front and wings, as they passed the different groups of blue frieze-coated Paddies, and red-cloaked Shelahs, who stared at their prim faces, and gaped at the black servant man and maid who sat perched on the box. I do not like the title Nabobess; it is a foot too long; nor do I like our lady Nabob, though I need not state my objection; therefore, we shall call this stranger Mrs. Wilford. She was about fifty winters
years younger than her husband, but in appearance older. In temper they were much alike; and time had given them the same cast of aspect, in proportion as habit had reconciled them to each other's peculiarities. Their youngest son, a boy about seven years of age, sat beside his mother, grinning at the wild Irish. In a carriage behind were four daughters, laughing, black-haired, blackeyed, good-natured-looking girls; and immediately after them, in two coaches, under the superintendance of the Nabob's two grown-up sons, were his antiquarian treasures, his Hindoo idols, his stuffed snakes, birds, and beasts, with a few living specimens, to form a museum adjoining the library of Mulgatawny Lodge. Outside of all the carriages were servants, black, yellow, and white, in rich liveries of sky-blue and gold.
It was a slow and long procession. The hills were covered with bonfires, the bells were ringing, the people were shouting, and of course labour stood still, as the Nabob's family approached Mulgatawny Lodge; where, notwithstanding all his entreaties to the contrary, the horses were taken from the carriages, and the Nabob and his lady, their daughters, their sons, their servants, and their Indian curiosities, were drawn, by the strong-bodied tenants of the Mullinabrack estate, up the new-fashioned circumbendibus that now led to the lodge, instead of the former avenue of trees. The females, and more ancient, and more juvenile portions of the tenantry were arranged in a line along the flight of stone stairs, by which you pass to the portico, vestibule, or whatever you please to call the handsome landing place before the hall door of Mulgatawny; for the Nabob has now dropped the word “ Lodge,” as an unimpressive addition.
Well, the Nabob, and of course the Nabob's whole family, having been received by Mr. Bernard M‘Mahon, attorney-at-law, and it follows, gentleman, with all the antiquated politeness for which he is so remarkable, entered their new habitation, with every desire to consider it a horrible place; but at the same time, with no disposition to decline the well furnished table and sideboard, which Mr. M‘Mahon had provided.
“ Has my hookah arrived, Bernard ?" asked the Nabob. “ Yes, sir," replied the agent," and Connaferam has a chillum ready.” “ Have the rascals any curry and rice for me?”
“ No, sir; we must crave your pardon, I entirely forgot the curry stuff when in Dublin.” “This is too bad, by Bernard. It is horrible! I shall not be able to exist here. Has the Madeira been obdared ?* Did you examine the saltpetre? Give me a glass! I am lost. Pah! as hot as mull ought to be. What an infer