Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a Sling

IT'S on my visiting cards sure enough (and it's them that's all o' pink
satin paper) that inny gintleman that plases may behould the intheristhin
words, "Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt, 39 Southampton Row, Russell
Square, Parrish o' Bloomsbury." And shud ye be wantin' to diskiver who is
the pink of purliteness quite, and the laider of the hot tun in the houl
city o' Lonon -- why it's jist mesilf. And fait that same is no wonder at
all at all (so be plased to stop curlin your nose), for every inch o' the
six wakes that I've been a gintleman, and left aff wid the bogthrothing to
take up wid the Barronissy, it's Pathrick that's been living like a houly
imperor, and gitting the iddication and the graces. Och! and wouldn't it
be a blessed thing for your spirrits if ye cud lay your two peepers jist,
upon Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt, when he is all riddy drissed for
the hopperer, or stipping into the Brisky for the drive into the Hyde
Park. But it's the illigant big figgur that I ave, for the rason o' which
all the ladies fall in love wid me. Isn't it my own swate silf now that'll
missure the six fut, and the three inches more nor that, in me stockins,
and that am excadingly will proportioned all over to match? And it is
ralelly more than three fut and a bit that there is, inny how, of the
little ould furrener Frinchman that lives jist over the way, and that's a
oggling and a goggling the houl day, (and bad luck to him,) at the purty
widdy Misthress Tracle that's my own nixt-door neighbor, (God bliss her!)
and a most particuller frind and acquaintance? You percave the little
spalpeen is summat down in the mouth, and wears his lift hand in a sling,
and it's for that same thing, by yur lave, that I'm going to give you the
good rason.

The truth of the houl matter is jist simple enough; for the very first day
that I com'd from Connaught, and showd my swate little silf in the strait
to the widdy, who was looking through the windy, it was a gone case
althegither with the heart o' the purty Misthress Tracle. I percaved it,
ye see, all at once, and no mistake, and that's God's truth. First of all
it was up wid the windy in a jiffy, and thin she threw open her two
peepers to the itmost, and thin it was a little gould spy-glass that she
clapped tight to one o' them and divil may burn me if it didn't spake to
me as plain as a peeper cud spake, and says it, through the spy-glass:
"Och! the tip o' the mornin' to ye, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt,
mavourneen; and it's a nate gintleman that ye are, sure enough, and it's
mesilf and me forten jist that'll be at yur sarvice, dear, inny time o'
day at all at all for the asking." And it's not mesilf ye wud have to be
bate in the purliteness; so I made her a bow that wud ha' broken yur heart
altegither to behould, and thin I pulled aff me hat with a flourish, and
thin I winked at her hard wid both eyes, as much as to say, "True for you,
yer a swate little crature, Mrs. Tracle, me darlint, and I wish I may be
drownthed dead in a bog, if it's not mesilf, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison,
Barronitt, that'll make a houl bushel o' love to yur leddyship, in the
twinkling o' the eye of a Londonderry purraty."

And it was the nixt mornin', sure, jist as I was making up me mind whither
it wouldn't be the purlite thing to sind a bit o' writin' to the widdy by
way of a love-litter, when up com'd the delivery servant wid an illigant
card, and he tould me that the name on it (for I niver could rade the
copperplate printin on account of being lift handed) was all about
Mounseer, the Count, A Goose, Look -- aisy, Maiter-di-dauns, and that the
houl of the divilish lingo was the spalpeeny long name of the little ould
furrener Frinchman as lived over the way.

And jist wid that in cum'd the little willian himself, and then he made me
a broth of a bow, and thin he said he had ounly taken the liberty of doing
me the honor of the giving me a call, and thin he went on to palaver at a
great rate, and divil the bit did I comprehind what he wud be afther the
tilling me at all at all, excipting and saving that he said "pully wou,
woolly wou," and tould me, among a bushel o' lies, bad luck to him, that
he was mad for the love o' my widdy Misthress Tracle, and that my widdy
Mrs. Tracle had a puncheon for him.

At the hearin' of this, ye may swear, though, I was as mad as a
grasshopper, but I remimbered that I was Sir Pathrick O'Grandison,
Barronitt, and that it wasn't althegither gentaal to lit the anger git the
upper hand o' the purliteness, so I made light o' the matter and kipt
dark, and got quite sociable wid the little chap, and afther a while what
did he do but ask me to go wid him to the widdy's, saying he wud give me
the feshionable inthroduction to her leddyship.

"Is it there ye are?" said I thin to mesilf, "and it's thrue for you,
Pathrick, that ye're the fortunittest mortal in life. We'll soon see now
whither it's your swate silf, or whither it's little Mounseer
Maiter-di-dauns, that Misthress Tracle is head and ears in the love wid."

Wid that we wint aff to the widdy's, next door, and ye may well say it was
an illigant place; so it was. There was a carpet all over the floor, and
in one corner there was a forty-pinny and a Jew's harp and the divil knows
what ilse, and in another corner was a sofy, the beautifullest thing in
all natur, and sitting on the sofy, sure enough, there was the swate
little angel, Misthress Tracle.

"The tip o' the mornin' to ye," says I, "Mrs. Tracle," and thin I made
sich an illigant obaysance that it wud ha quite althegither bewildered the
brain o' ye.

"Wully woo, pully woo, plump in the mud," says the little furrenner
Frinchman, "and sure Mrs. Tracle," says he, that he did, "isn't this
gintleman here jist his reverence Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt, and
isn't he althegither and entirely the most particular frind and
acquaintance that I have in the houl world?"

And wid that the widdy, she gits up from the sofy, and makes the swatest
curthchy nor iver was seen; and thin down she sits like an angel; and
thin, by the powers, it was that little spalpeen Mounseer Maiter-di-dauns
that plumped his silf right down by the right side of her. Och hon! I
ixpicted the two eyes o' me wud ha cum'd out of my head on the spot, I was
so dispirate mad! Howiver, "Bait who!" says I, after awhile. "Is it there
ye are, Mounseer Maiter-di-dauns?" and so down I plumped on the lift side
of her leddyship, to be aven with the willain. Botheration! it wud ha done
your heart good to percave the illigant double wink that I gived her jist
thin right in the face with both eyes.

But the little ould Frinchman he niver beginned to suspict me at all at
all, and disperate hard it was he made the love to her leddyship. "Woully
wou," says he, Pully wou," says he, "Plump in the mud," says he.

"That's all to no use, Mounseer Frog, mavourneen," thinks I; and I talked
as hard and as fast as I could all the while, and throth it was mesilf
jist that divarted her leddyship complately and intirely, by rason of the
illigant conversation that I kipt up wid her all about the dear bogs of
Connaught. And by and by she gived me such a swate smile, from one ind of
her mouth to the ither, that it made me as bould as a pig, and I jist took
hould of the ind of her little finger in the most dillikitest manner in
natur, looking at her all the while out o' the whites of my eyes.

And then ounly percave the cuteness of the swate angel, for no sooner did
she obsarve that I was afther the squazing of her flipper, than she up wid
it in a jiffy, and put it away behind her back, jist as much as to say,
"Now thin, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, there's a bitther chance for ye,
mavourneen, for it's not altogether the gentaal thing to be afther the
squazing of my flipper right full in the sight of that little furrenner
Frinchman, Mounseer Maiter-di-dauns."

Wid that I giv'd her a big wink jist to say, "lit Sir Pathrick alone for
the likes o' them thricks," and thin I wint aisy to work, and you'd have
died wid the divarsion to behould how cliverly I slipped my right arm
betwane the back o' the sofy, and the back of her leddyship, and there,
sure enough, I found a swate little flipper all a waiting to say, "the tip
o' the mornin' to ye, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt." And wasn't it
mesilf, sure, that jist giv'd it the laste little bit of a squaze in the
world, all in the way of a commincement, and not to be too rough wid her
leddyship? and och, botheration, wasn't it the gentaalest and dilikittest
of all the little squazes that I got in return? "Blood and thunder, Sir
Pathrick, mavourneen," thinks I to mesilf, "fait it's jist the mother's
son of you, and nobody else at all at all, that's the handsomest and the
fortunittest young bog-throtter that ever cum'd out of Connaught!" And
with that I givd the flipper a big squaze, and a big squaze it was, by the
powers, that her leddyship giv'd to me back. But it would ha split the
seven sides of you wid the laffin' to behould, jist then all at once, the
consated behavior of Mounseer Maiter-di-dauns. The likes o' sich a
jabbering, and a smirking, and a parley-wouing as he begin'd wid her
leddyship, niver was known before upon arth; and divil may burn me if it
wasn't me own very two peepers that cotch'd him tipping her the wink out
of one eye. Och, hon! if it wasn't mesilf thin that was mad as a Kilkenny
cat I shud like to be tould who it was!

"Let me infarm you, Mounseer Maiter-di-dauns," said I, as purlite as iver
ye seed, "that it's not the gintaal thing at all at all, and not for the
likes o' you inny how, to be afther the oggling and a goggling at her
leddyship in that fashion," and jist wid that such another squaze as it
was I giv'd her flipper, all as much as to say, "isn't it Sir Pathrick
now, my jewel, that'll be able to the proticting o' you, my darlint?" and
then there cum'd another squaze back, all by way of the answer. "Thrue for
you, Sir Pathrick," it said as plain as iver a squaze said in the world,
"Thrue for you, Sir Pathrick, mavourneen, and it's a proper nate gintleman
ye are -- that's God's truth," and with that she opened her two beautiful
peepers till I belaved they wud ha' cum'd out of her hid althegither and
intirely, and she looked first as mad as a cat at Mounseer Frog, and thin
as smiling as all out o' doors at mesilf.

"Thin," says he, the willian, "Och hon! and a wolly-wou, pully-wou," and
then wid that he shoved up his two shoulders till the divil the bit of his
hid was to be diskivered, and then he let down the two corners of his
purraty-trap, and thin not a haporth more of the satisfaction could I git
out o' the spalpeen.

Belave me, my jewel, it was Sir Pathrick that was unreasonable mad thin,
and the more by token that the Frinchman kipt an wid his winking at the
widdy; and the widdy she kept an wid the squazing of my flipper, as much
as to say, "At him again, Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, mavourneen:" so I just
ripped out wid a big oath, and says I;

"Ye little spalpeeny frog of a bog-throtting son of a bloody noun!" -- and
jist thin what d'ye think it was that her leddyship did? Troth she jumped
up from the sofy as if she was bit, and made off through the door, while I
turned my head round afther her, in a complate bewilderment and
botheration, and followed her wid me two peepers. You percave I had a
reason of my own for knowing that she couldn't git down the stares
althegither and intirely; for I knew very well that I had hould of her
hand, for the divil the bit had I iver lit it go. And says I; "Isn't it
the laste little bit of a mistake in the world that ye've been afther the
making, yer leddyship? Come back now, that's a darlint, and I'll give ye
yur flipper." But aff she wint down the stairs like a shot, and thin I
turned round to the little Frinch furrenner. Och hon! if it wasn't his
spalpeeny little paw that I had hould of in my own -- why thin -- thin it
wasn't -- that's all.

And maybe it wasn't mesilf that jist died then outright wid the laffin',
to behold the little chap when he found out that it wasn't the widdy at
all at all that he had had hould of all the time, but only Sir Pathrick
O'Grandison. The ould divil himself niver behild sich a long face as he
pet an! As for Sir Pathrick O'Grandison, Barronitt, it wasn't for the
likes of his riverence to be afther the minding of a thrifle of a mistake.
Ye may jist say, though (for it's God's thruth), that afore I left hould
of the flipper of the spalpeen (which was not till afther her leddyship's
futman had kicked us both down the stairs, I giv'd it such a nate little
broth of a squaze as made it all up into raspberry jam.

"Woully wou," says he, "pully wou," says he -- "Cot tam!"

And that's jist the thruth of the rason why he wears his lift hand in a
sling.

Edgar Allan Poe