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his lip, some strong and powerful feeling occupied his mind; but it was of brief duration. Emotions unconnected with action seemed not made for him: by the tossing back of his head, he appeared to give thought to the winds, , and plunged into all the bustle and activity of the circumstances in which he was placed.
The Holyhead packet was not yet visible; and the earliness of the hour left the pier still in quietude. The landwaiter had been called to go through the necessary forms, and of him the Commodore asked some questions, with eager curiosity, clearness, and rapidity of utterance, as if life were too short to suffer one moment to pass by unoccupied, or uninstructed; then, as if impatient of the drawling replies, anticipated the answers, and started new inquiries of local reference. Meantime Mr. De Vere had landed; but wholly abstracted from the noise and activity
that surrounded him, he stood, turning over the leaves of his Spencer, while the valet was receiving parcels, portmanteaux, and port-folios, from a sailor, who was flinging them on shore, and exclaiming, as he appropriated or rejected each several article, « C'est à nous,"_" ce n'est
à nous.”_With the exception of“got dam," the Frenchman had not yet acquired a single word of English. But with this small portion of the language, and his own very expressive gesticulations, he had succeeded so well, as almost to think with Figaro, that this emphatic imprecation was the basis of the tongue; and that with it “ on ne manque de rien, nulle part.”
56 Will I step in for a jingle for your honor?" demanded a voice, in the broad languid drawling of the genuine patois of Dublin, addressing the full force of its brogue to the delicate ears of Mr. De Vere. “ Will I, plaze your honor,
step in, Sir?” This question, several times repeated, at last obtained notice by its reiteration. The young stranger raised his eyes for a moment to the face of him who thus unceremoniously proffered his services, but he withdrew them again in disgust. The object of this ungracious glance, so little flattering in its expression, had stood its inquiry with great coolness. leaning, and had been leaning since the dawn, against one of the posts of the pier, and had watched the approach of Il Librador idly and patiently for more than an hour, partly for the gratification of his curiosity, and partly in the hope of earning some trifle by going for a vehicle, or by carrying into the town some luggage for the
passengers. There is scarcely any place so lonely, or hour so unseasonable, at which some one of these genuine lazzaroni of the Irish metropolis may not be found lounging away time, between hope and idleness,
in the enjoyment of doing nothing, or the vague expectation of having something to do.
Miserably clad, disgustingly filthy, squalid, meagre, and famished, the petitioner for employment had yet humour in his eye, and observation in his countenance. Occasionally ready to assist, and always prompt to flatter, he did neither gratuitously. Taunt and invective seemed the natural expression of his habit; for though debasingly acquiescent to a destiny, which left him without motive for industry, in a country where industry is no refuge from distress, he yet preserved the vindictiveness of conscious degradation; and there was frequently a deep-seated sincerity in his curse, which was sometimes wanting to his purchased benediction. Idleness had become the custom of his necessity; and his wants were so few, that a trifling exertion would supply them.
Yet he sought
early and late for employment; for he had probably wants more urgent than his own to satisfy.
This unfortunate representative of his class had hitherto lolled on the pier, a listless spectator of the scene, which was going forward, muttering at intervals a shrewd observation, laughing deridingly as he threw his eyes over the French valet, whose foreign air and dress were peculiarly notable; and again composing his sharp features into a look of respectful deference, as he reiterated his question to him, whom he supposed the master.—“ Will I step in for a jingle, your honor? will I, Sir?” “ Step in!" at last repeated Mr. De Vere, struck perhaps by the calm steady perseverance of his intrusion—“ step in where, friend?” “Step into Dublin, plaze your honor, for a jingle, Sir, or a hack
“ Is Dublin so near then ?”