under the far-spreading shade of an ancient fairy thorn. He was clad in the royal apparel in which, according to Carlyle, Louis XVI of France was guillotined, a sleeved waistcoat of white flannel, and he reeked away at a beautifully burnished old stumpy clay pipe, punctuating his clauses by puffs.
"An' do you know Mr. M , the big grazier?" (Puff.)
Yes, I knew him.
"An' do you know Mrs. McSharry, his hurd, his hurd at Cloone?" (Puff)
Yes, I knew Mistress McSharry too.
"Well, there some years ago, when the praty-stocks were steahn' about the groun', her wan cow got bad. She was badly sthruck, that's what it was (puff) ; so she sent for myself. (Puff.) Off I goes to the daycent woman and makes the cure. An' what would you have ov it? (Puff.) Next day there she was in the mornin' routing ^ at the stake, wild wid th' 'unger." (Puff. Then the stumpy pipe was taken out of the mouth, the stem politely wiped by the palm of the hand, offered to me, and respectfully decHned. This gave time for the wonder to properly impress.)
"That fared well till the Sunday afthur, when lo and behold you! wan ov Mr. M.'s own prize shorthorns got bad — an' a power of them he has. (Puff.)
"'G' off,' says she to Johnny th' son, 'an' tell himself!'
"'An' what may be th' matther wid hur?' says he, as Inglified as you plaze.
"'It's just the peel moral of what was on our own cow,' says Johnny, says he, ' an' troth if I were you I'd get some
^ " Routing " = lowing, a term never heard in North Leitrim. "Routing" is a Scotticism. But then we in North Leitrim learned our English in a great measure from the Scotch moss-troopers of Sir Frederick Hamilton, the Earl of Arran's grandson. Bums's use of the word corresponds exactly with that of Leitrim :
" Now, aulo Kilmarnock, cock thy tail, And toss thy horns fu' canty ; Nae mair thou'lt rowte out-owre the dale, Because thy pasture's scanty." (The context assured me that it was the cow, and not the " daycent woman," that was hollering at the stake in the mornin'.)