Thomas Ettingsall, “Darby Doyle’s Voyage to Quebec” (rep. in D. J. O’Donoghue, The Humour of Ireland, London: Walter Scott [1894], pp.184-60.)

  I tuck the road, one fine morning in May, from Inchegelagh, an’ got up to the Cove safe an’ sound. There I saw many ships with big broad boords fastened to ropes, every one ov them saying, “The first vessel for Quebec.” Siz I to myself, those are about to run for a wager; this one siz she'll be first, and that one siz she'll be first. At any rate I pitched on one that was finely painted. When I wint on boord to ax the fare, who shou’d come up out ov a hole but Ned Flinn, an ould townsman ov my own.
  “Och, is it yoorself that’s there, Ned?” siz I; “are ye goin’ to Amerrykey?”
  “Why, an’ to be shure,” sez he; “I’m mate ov the ship.”
  “Meat! that’s yer sort, Ned,” siz I; “then we'll only wantbread. Hadn’t I betther go and pay my way?”
  “You’re time enough,” siz Ned; “I’ll tell you when we’re ready for sea - leave the rest to me, Darby.”
  “0ch, tip us your fist,” siz I; “you were always the broath of a boy; for the sake ov ould times, Ned, we must have a dhrop ov drink, and a bite to ate.” So, my jewel, Ned brought me to where there was right good stuff. When it got up to three o’clock I found myself mighty weak with hunger. I got the smell ov corn-beef an’ cabbage that knock’d me up entirely. I then wint to the landlady, and siz I to her, “Maybee your leddyship ‘id not think me rood by axin iv Ned an’ myself cou’d get our dinner ov that fine hot mate that I got a taste ov in my nose?” “In throath you can,” siz she (an’ she look’d mighty pleasant), “an’ welkim.” So my darlin’ dish and all came up. “That’s what I call flaughholoch mess,” siz I. So we ate and drank away.
  Many’s the squeeze Ned gave my fist, telling me to leave [148] it all to him, and how comfortable he’d make me on the voyage. Day afther day we spint together, waitin’ for the wind, till I found my pockets begin to grow very light. At last, siz he to me, one day afther dinner
  “Darby, the ship will be ready for sea on the morrow you’d betther go on boord an’ pay your way.”
  “Is it jokin’ you are, Ned?” siz I; “shure you tould me to leave it all to you.”
  “Ah! Darby,” siz he, “you’re for takin’ a rise out o’ me; shure enough, ye were the lad that was never without a joke - the very priest himself couldn’t get over ye. But, Darby, there’s no joke like the thrue one. I’ll stick to my promise; but, Darby, you must pay your way.”
  “Oh, Ned,” siz I, “is this the way you’re goin’ to threat me afther all? I’m a rooin’d man; all I cou’d scrape together I spint on you. If you don’t do something for me, I’m lost. Is there no place where you cou’d hide me from the captin?”
  “Not a place,” siz Ned.
  “An’ where, Ned, is the place I saw you comin’ up out ov?”
  “Oh, Darby, that was the hould where the cargo’s stow’d.”
  “An’ is there no other place?” siz I.
  “Oh, yes,” siz he, “where we keep the wather casks.”
  “An’ Ned,” siz I, “does any one live down there?”
  “Not a mother’s soul,” siz he.
  “An’ Ned,” siz I, “can’t you cram me down there, and give me a lock ov straw an’ a bit?”
  “Why, Darby,” siz he (an’ he look’d mighty pittyfull), “I must thry. But mind, Darby, you’ll have to hide all day in an empty barrel, and when it comes to my watch, I’ll bring you down some prog; but if you’re diskiver’d, it’s all over with me, an’ you’ll be put on a dissilute island to starve.” [150]
  “Oh, Ned,” siz I, “I leave it all to me.” Never fear, Darby, I’ll mind my eye.”
  When night cum on I got down into the dark cellar, among the barrels; poor Ned fixt a place in a corner for me to sleep, an’ every night he brought me down hard black cakes and salt mate. There I lay snug for a whole month. At last, one night, siz he to me, “Now, Darby, what’s to be done? we’re within three days’ sail ov Quebec; the ship will be overhauled, and all the passengers? names called over; if you are found, you’ll be sould as a slave for your passage money.” “An’ is that all that frets you, my jewel?” siz I; “I can’t you leave it all to me? In throath, Ned, I’ll never forget your hospitality, at any rate. But what place is outside ov the ship?” “Why, the sea, to be shure,” siz he. “Och! botheration,” siz I. “I mean what’s the outside ov the ship?” “Why, Darby,” siz he, “part of it’s called the bulwark.” “An’ fire an’ faggots I “siz I, “is it bulls work the. vessel along?” “No, nor horses,” siz he ((neither; this is no time for jokin’; what do you mean to do?” “Why, I’ll tell you, Ned; get me an empty mealbag, a bottle, an’ a bare ham-bone, and that’s all I’ll ax.” So, begad, Ned look’d very queer at me; but he got them for me, anyhow. “Well, Ned,” siz I, “you know I’m a great shwimmer; your watch will be early in the mornin’; I’ll jist slip down into the sea; do you cry out, ‘There’s a man in the wather,’ as loud as you can, and leave all the rest to me.” Well, to be shure, down into the sea I dropt without as much as a splash. Ned roared out with the hoarseness ov a brayin’ ass, “A man in the sea! a man in the sea!” Every man, woman, and child came running up out ov the hole, the captain among the rest, who put a long red barrel like a gun to his eye-gibbet me, but I thought lie was for shootin’ me! down I dived. When I got my head over the wather agen, what shou’d I see but a boat rowin’ to me, as fast as a throut after a pinkeen. When it [151] came up close enough to be heard, I roared out: “Bad end to yees, for a set ov spalpeen rascals, did ye hear me at last?” The boat now run ’pon the top ov me; down I dived agen like a duck afther a frog, but the minnit my skull came over the wather, I was gript by the scruff ov the neck and dhragged into the boat. To be shure, I didn’t kick up a row.” Let go my hair, ye blue divils,” I roared; “it’s well ye have me in your marcy in this dissilute place, or by the powthers I’d make ye feel the strinth of my bones. What hard look I had to follow yees, at all, at all - which ov ye is the masther?” As I sed this every mother’s son began to stare at me, with my bag round my neck, an’ my bottle by my side, an’ the bare bone in my fist. “There he is,” siz they, pointin’ to a little yellow man in a corner ov the boat. “May the - rise blisthers on your rapin’ hook shins,” siz I, “I you yallow-lookin’ monkey, but it’s a’most time for you to think ov lettin’ me into your ship - I’m here plowin’ and plungin’ this month afther ye: shure I didn’t care a thrawneen was it not that you have my best Sunday clothes in your ship, and my name in your books. For three sthraws, if I don’t know how to write, I’d leave my mark on your skull;” so sayin’, I made a lick at him with the ham-bone, but I was near tumblin’ into the sea agen. “An’ pray, what is your name, my lad?” siz the captin. “What’s my name! What ‘id you give to know?” siz I; “ye unmannerly spalpeen, it might be what’s your name, Darby Doyle, out ov your mouth - ay, Darby Doyle, that was never afraid or ashamed to own it at home or abroad!”
  “An’, Mr. Darby Doyle,” siz he, “do you mean to persuade us that you swum from Cork to this afther us?”
  “This is more ov your ignorance,” siz I - ““ay, an’ if you sted three days longer and not take me up, I’d be in Quebec before ye, only my purvisions were out, and the few rags of bank-notes I had all melted into paste in my pocket, for I hadn’t time to get them changed. But stay, wait till [152] I get my foot on shore, there’s ne’er a cottoner in Cork iv you don’t pay for leavin’ me to the marcy ov the waves.”
  All this time the blue chaps were pushin’ the boat with sticks through the wather, till at last we came close to the ship. Every one on board saw me at the Cove but didn’t see me on the voyage; to be sure, every one’s mouth was wide open, crying out “Darby Doyle.”
  “The - stop your throats,” siz I, “it’s now you call me loud enough,” siz I; “ye wouldn’t shout that way when ye saw me rowlin’ like a tub in a mill-race the other day fornenst your faces.”
  When they heard me say that, some of them grew pale as a sheet-every thumb was at work till they almost brought the blood from their forreds. But, my jewel, the captin does no more than runs to the book, an’ calls out the names that paid, and them that wasn’t paid-to be shure, I was one ov them that didn’t pay. If the captin looked at me bdore with wondherment, he now looked with astonishment. Nothin’ was tawkd ov for the other three days but Darby Doyle’s great shwim from the Cove to Quebec. One sed, “I always knew Darby to be a great shwimmer.” “Do ye remimber,” siz another, “when Darby’s dog was nigh been dhrownded in the great duck hunt, whin Darby peeled off an’ brought in the dog, an’ made afther the duck himself, and swam for two hours endways; an’ do ye remimber whin all the dogs gather round the duck at one time; whin it wint down how Darby dived afther it, - an’ sted below while the creathur was eatin’ a few frogs, for she was weak an’ hungry; an’ whin everybody thought he was lost, up he came with the duck by the leg in his kithogue” (left hand). Begar, I agreed to all they sed, till at last we got to Amerrykey. I was now in a quare way; the captin wouldn’t let me go till a friend of his would see me. By this time, my jewel, not only his friends came, but swarms upon swarms, starin’ at poor Darby. [153]
  At last I called Ned. “Ned, avic,” siz I, “I want to go about my bisness.” “Be asy, Darby,” siz he; “haven’t ye your fill ov good atin’, an’ the captin’s got mighty fond ov ye entirely.” “Is he, Ned?” siz I; “but tell us, Ned, are all them crowd ov people goin’ to sea?” “Augh, ye omadhaun,” I siz Ned, “sure they are come to look at you.” Just as he said this a tall yallow man, with a black curly head, comes and stares me full in the face. “You’ll know me agen,” siz I, “bad luck to yer manners an’ the schoolmasther that taught ye.” But I thought he was goin’ to shake hands with me when he tuck hould ov my fist and opened every finger, one by one, then opened. my shirt and look’d at my breast. “Pull away, ma bouchal,” siz I, “I’m no desarthur, at any rate.” But never an answer he made, but walk’d down into the hole where the captin lived. “This is more ov it,” siz”; “Ned, what could that tallahfaced man mean?” “Why,” siz Ned, “he was lookin’ to see if your fingers were webbed, or had ye scales on your breast.” “His impidence is great,” siz”; “did he take me for a duck or a bream? But, Ned, what’s the meanin’ ov the boords acrass the stick the people walk on, and the big white boord up there?” “Why, come over and read,” siz Ned. But, my jewel, I didn’t know whether I was stannin’ on my head or my heels when I saw in great big black letthers:

A Man that beats out Nicholas the Diver!
He has swum from Cork to Amerrykey!!
Proved on oath by ten of the Crew and twenty Passengers.
Admittance - Half a Dollar.

Bloody wars! Ned,” siz I, “does this mean your humble sarvint?” “Divil another,” siz he. So I makes [154] no more ado, than with a hop, skip, and jump gets over to the captin, who was now talkin’ to the yallow fellow that was afther starin’ me out ov countenance. “Pardon my roodness, your honour,” siz I, mighty polite, and makin’ a bow,-at the same time Ned was at my heels-so risin’ my foot to give the genteel scrape, shure I scraped all the skin off Ned’s shins. “May bad luck to your brogues,” siz he.
  You’d betther not curse the wearer,” siz I, “or -” “Oh, Darby!” siz the captin, “don’t be unginteel, an’ so many ladies and gintlemen lookin’ at ye.” “The never another mother’s soul shall lay their peepers on me till I see sweet Inchegelagh agen,” siz I. “Begar, ye are doin’ it well. How, much money have ye gother for my shwimmin’?” “Be quiet, Darby,” siz the captin, an’ he look’d very much frickened; “I have plenty, an’ I’ll have more for ye if ye do what I want ye to do.” “An’ what is it, avic?” siz I. “Why, Darby,” siz he, “I’m afther houldin’ a wager last night with this gintleman for all the worth ov my ship, that you’ll shwim agen any shwimmer in the world; an’ Darby, if ye don’t do that I’m a gone man.” “Augh, give us your fist,” siz”; “did ye ever hear ov Paddies disheving any man in the European world yet - barrin’ thernselves?” “Well, Darby,” siz he, “I’ll give you a hundred dollars; but, Darby, you must be to your word, an’ you shall have another hundred.” So sayin’, he brought me down into the cellar; but, my jewel, I didn’t think for the life of me to see sich a wondherful place-nothin’ but goold every way I turn’d, an’ Darby’s own sweet face in twenty places. Begar, I was a’most ashamed to ax the gintleman for the dollars. “But,” siz I to myself agen, “the gintleman has too much money, I suppose, he does be throwin’ it into the sea, for I often heard the sea was much richer than the land, so I may as well take it, anyhow.” “Now, Darby,” siz he, “here’s the dollars for ye.” But, begar, it was only a bit of paper he was handin’ me[.] “Arrah, none ov yer thricks [155] upon thravellers,” siz I; “I had betther nor that, an’ many more ov them, melted in the sea; give me what won’t wash out ov my pocket.” “Why, Darby,” siz he, “this is an ordher on a marchant for the amount.” “Pho, pho!” siz I, “I’d sooner take your word nor his oath,” lookin’ round mighty respectful at the goold walls. “Well, Darby,” siz he, “ye must have the raal thing.” So, by the powthers, he reckoned me out a hundred dollars in goold. I never saw the like since the stockin’ fell out of the chimley on my aunt and cut her forred. “Now, Darby,” siz he, “ye are a rich man, and ye are worthy ov it all-sit down, Darby, an’ take a bottle ov wine.” So to please the gintleman I sat down. Afther a bit, who comes down but Ned. “Captin,” siz he, “the deck is crowded; I had to block up the gangway to prevint any more from comin’ in to see Darby. Bring him up, or blow me if the ship won’t be sunk.” “Come up, Darby,” siz the captin, lookin’ roguish pleasant at myself, So, my jewel, he handed me up through the hall, as tendher as if I was a lady, or a pound ov fresh butther in the dog days.
  When I got up, shure enough I couldn’t help starin’; sich crowds of fine ladies and yallow gintlemen never was seen before in any ship. One ov them, a little rosy-cheeked beauty, whispered the captin somethin’, but he shuk his head, and then came over to me. “Darby,” siz he, “I know an Irishman would do anything to please a lady.” “In throth you may say that with your own ugly mouth,” siz I. “Well, then, Darby,” siz he, “the ladies would wish to see you give a few sthrokes in the sea.” “Och, an’ they shall have them, an’ welkim,” siz I. “That’s a good fellow,” siz he; “now strip off.” “Decency, captin,”siz I; “is it in my mother-naked pelt before the ladies? Bad luck to the undacent brazen-faced - but no matther I Irish girls for ever, afther all I “But all to no use. I was made to peel off behind a big sheet, and then I made one race an’ [156] jump’d ten yards into the wather to get out of their sight. Shure enough, every one’s eyes danced in their head, while they look’d on the spot where I went down. A thought came into my head while I was below, how I’d show them a little divarsion, as I could use a great many thricks on the wather. So I didn’t rise at all till I got to the other side, an’ every one run to that side; then I took a hoult ov my two big toes, an’ makin’ a ring ov myself, rowled like a hoop on the top ov the wather all round the ship. I b’leeve I opened their eyes! Then I yarded, back swum, an’ dived, till at last the captin made signs for me to come out, so I got into the boat an’ threw on my duds. The very ladies were breakin’ their necks runnin’ to shake hands with [157] me. “Shure,” siz they, “you’re the greatest man in the world!!” So for three days I showed off to crowds ov people, though I was fryin’ in the wather for shame.
  At last the day came that I was to stand the tug. I saw the captin lookin’ very often at me. At last, “Darby,” siz he, “are you any way cow’d? The fellow you have to shwim agenst can shwim. down watherfalls an’ catharacts.” “Can he, avic?” says I; “but can he shwim up agenst them? Wow, wow, Darby, for that. But, captin, come here; is all my purvisions ready? don’t let me fall short ov a dhrop ov the raal stuff above all things.” An’ who should come up while I was tawkin’ to the captin but the chap I was to shwim. with, an’ heard all I sed. Begar! his eyes grew as big as two oysther-shells. Then the captin called me aside. “Darby,” siz he, “do you put on this green jacket an’ white throwsers, that the people may betther extinguish you from the other chap.” “With all hearts, avic,” siz I; “green for ever I Darby’s own favourite colour .the world over; but where am I goin’ to, captin?” “To the swhimmin’ place, to be shure,” siz he. “Divil shoot the failers an’ take the hindmost,” siz I; “here’s at ye.” I was then inthrojuiced to the shwimmer. I looked at hinmi from head to foot. He was so tall he could eat bread an’ butther over my head - with a face as yallow as a kite’s foot. “Tip us the mitten, ma bouchal,” siz I (but, begad, I was puzzled. “Begar,” siz I to myself, “I’m done. Cheer up, Darby. If I’m not able to kill him, I’ll fricken the life oui ovhim.” “Where are we goin’ to shwim to?” But never a word he answered. “Are ye bothered, neighbour?” I reckon I’m not,” siz he, mighty chuff. “Well, then,” siz I, “why didn’t ye answer your betthers? What ‘ud ye think if we shwum to Keep Cleer or the Keep ov Good Hope?” “I reckon neither,” siz he agen, eyein’ me as if I was goin! to pick his pockets. “Well, then, have ye any favourite place?” siz I. “Now, I’ve heard a great deal about the [158] place where poor Boney died; I’d like to see it, if I’d any one to show me the place; suppose we wint there?” Not a taste ov a word could I get out ov him, good or bad. Of we set through the crowds ov ladies and gintlemen. Sich cheerin’ an’ wavin’ ov hats was never seen even at Dan’s [i.e., Daniel O’Connell] enthry; an’ then the row ov purty girls laughin’ an’ rubbin’ up agenst me, that I could har”y get on. To be shure, no one could be lookin’ to the ground, an’ not be lookin’ at them, till at last I was thript up by a big loomp ov iron stuck fast in the ground with a big ring to it. “Whoo, Darby!” siz I, makin’ a hop an’ a crack ov my finger, “you’re not down yet.” I turn’d round to look at what thript me.
  “What d’ye call that?” siz I to the captin, who was at my elbow.
  “Why, Darby,” siz he, “that’s half an anchor.”
  “Have ye any use for it?” siz I.
  “Not in the least,” siz he; “it’s only to fasten boats to.”
  “Maybee you’d give it to a body,” siz I.
  “An’ welkim, Darby,” siz he; “it’s yours.”
  “God bless your honour, sir,” siz I, “it’s my poor father that will pray for you. When I left home the creather hadn’t as much as an anvil but what was sthreeled away by the agint - bad end to them. This will be jist the thing that’ll match him; he can tie the horse to the ring, while he forges on the other part. Now, will ye obleege me by getting a couple ov chaps to lay it on my shoulder when I get into the wather and I won’t have to be comin’ back for it afther I shake hands with with this fellow.”
  Begar, the chap turned from yallow to white when he beard me my this. An’ siz he to the gintleman that was walkin’ by his side -
  “I reckon I’m not fit for the shwimmin’ to-day - I don’t feel myself
  “An’, murdher an’ Irish, if you’re yer brother, can’t you [159] send him for yerself, an’ I’ll wait here till he comes. Here, man, take a dhrop ov this before ye go. Here’s to yer betther health, and your brother’s into the bargain.” So I took off my glass, and handed him another; but the never a dhrop ov it he’d take. “No force,” siz I, “avic; maybee you think there’s poison in it - well, here’s another good luck to us. An’ when will ye be able for the shwim, avic?” siz I, mighty complisant.
  “I reckon in another week,” siz he.
  So we shook hands and parted. The poor fellow went home, took the fever, then began to rave. “Shwim up catharacts! - shwim to the Keep ov Good Hope! - shwim to St. Helena! - shwim to Keep Cleer!- shwim with an anchor on his back! 0h! oh! oh!”
 I now thought it best to be on the move; so I gother up my winners; and here I sit undher my own hickory threes, as indipindent as any Yankee.

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