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Facts for the Kind-Hearted of England! by Rogers

[Illustration: University of London]

Presented by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. 1903.

FACTS

FOR THE

KIND-HEARTED OF ENGLAND!

AS TO

THE WRETCHEDNESS

OF THE

IRISH PEASANTRY,

AND

THE MEANS FOR THEIR REGENERATION.

BY JASPER W. ROGERS, C.E.

This Edition (500 copies bound), has been presented by the Author, as a donation;--to be sold at the Ladies Bazaar, for relief of the famine in Ireland, and distress in Scotland.

LONDON: JAMES RIDGWAY, PICCADILLY. 1847.

FACTS FOR THE KIND-HEARTED OF ENGLAND.

In my twentieth year my first visit was made to London--how long since need not be said, lest I make discoveries. I arrived at the "Swan with _two_ necks," in Lad Lane, to the imminent peril of my own _one_, on entering the yard of that then famous hostelry, the gate of which barely allowed admission to the coach itself--and first set foot on London ground, midst the bustle of some half-dozen coaches, either preparing for exit, or discharging their loads of passengers and parcels.

Four "insides" were turned out, and eight "outsides" turned in--I, amongst the unfortunates of the latter class, taking possession of the nearest point I could to the coffee-room fire. It is to be recollected that in those days one had but _four_ chances in his favour, against perhaps forty applicants for the interior of the mail--and he who was driven in winter, by necessity of time, to the top of a coach in Liverpool, and from thence to Lad Lane, and found himself in the coffee-room there unfrozen, might be well contented. So felt I, then,--and doubly so now, as I think of the dangers of flood, and road, and neck, which I encountered in a twenty-six hours' journey, exposed to the "pelting of the pitiless storm,"--for it snowed half the way.

Dinner discussed, and its etceteras having been partaken, in full consciousness of the comforts which surrounded me, contrasted with the discomforts, &c. from which I had escaped,--I sank into an agreeable reverie; and during a vision,--I must not call it a doze,--composed of port wine and walnuts--the invigorating beams of Wallsend coal--an occasional fancied jolt of the coach--the three mouthfuls of dinner, by the name, I had gotten at Oxford--and the escape of my one neck, when, goose as I was, I presented it where two seemed to be an essential by the sign of the habitation and the dangers of the gate,--I was aroused by a crash, something like the noise of the machine which accompanies the falling of an avalanche or a castle, or some such direful affair at "Astley's;" and starting up, I thought,--had the coach upset? but, much to my gratification, found myself a safe "inside." Still came crash after crash, until I thought it high time to see as well as hear. "What on earth is the matter?" said I to the first waiter I met, as I descended from the coffee-room, and got to the door of the "tap," or room for accommodation of the lower grade of persons frequenting the establishment. "Oh! sir," said he, "it is two dreadful Irishmen fighting: one has broken a table on the other's head; the other smashed a chair." I stopped short, and well do I recollect that the blood rushed to my face as I turned away; I confess, too, that while returning to the coffee-room, when the waiter followed and asked, should he bring tea, I "cockneyfied" my accent as much as possible, in the hope that he should not know I was an Irishman:--such was my shame for my country at the moment.


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