Image from page 360 of "Tales and sketches, illustrating the character, usages, traditions, sports and pastimes of the Irish peasantry" (1845)
Authors: Carleton, William, 1794-1869
Subjects: Peasantry -- Ireland
Publisher: Dublin : J. Duffy
Contributing Library: University of California Libraries
Digitizing Sponsor: MSN
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ss; and, in consequence of his great practice thatway, you may be sure that if any man could make a fortuneby it he would have done it. Billy was the only son of his father, barring two daughters;but they have nothing to do with the story Im telling you.Indeed it was kind father and grandfather for Billy to behandy at the knavery as well as at the idleness ; for it was wellknown that not one of their blood ever did an honest act,except with a roguish intention. In short, they were altogethera dacent connexion, and a credit to the name. As for Billy,all the villany of the family, both plain and ornamental, camedown to liim by way of legacy ; for it so happened that thefather, in spite of all his cleverness, had nothing but hisroguery to lave him. Billy, to do him justice, improved the fortune he got: everyday advanced him farther into dishonesty and poverty, until,at the long run, he was acknowledged on all hands to be thecomplatest swindler and the poorest vagabond in the wholeparish.
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AN IRISH LEGEND. 331 Billys father, in his young days, had often been forced toacknowledge the inconvenience of not having a trade, in con-sequence of some nice point in law, called the Vagrant Act,that sometimes troubled him. On this account he made up bismind to give Bill an occupation, and he accordingly bound himto a blacksmith ; but wdiether Bill was to live or die hj forgerywas a puzzle to his father,—though the neighbours said thatboth was most likely. At all events, he was put apprentice toa smith for seven years, and a hard card his master had toplay in managing him. He took the proper method, however;for Bill was so lazy and roguish that it would vex a saint tokeep him in order. Bill, says his master to him one day that he had beensunning himself about the ditches, instead of minding hisbusiness, Bill, my boy, Im vexed to the heart to see you insuch a bad state of health. Youre very ill with that complaintcalled an All-overness; however, says he, I think I can cureyou. Not
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