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WE may introduce the following Chip by
premising that, at the introduction of the
Poor Law into Ireland, the workhouses were
built by means of loans, advanced by the
Government, on the security of the rates.
Constructed generally in that style of
architecture called "Elizabethan," they were the
most imposing in the country in elevation and
frequency, and placed usually in the wretched
suburbs of towns and villages, formed amongst
the crumbling and moss-green cottages, a
pleasing contrast in the eye of the tourist.
They were calculated to accommodate from
five hundred to two thousand inmates,
according to the area and population of the
annexed district, but some of them remained
for years altogether closed, or, if open, nearly
unoccupied, owing to the ingenious shifts
of the "Guardians," under the advice of
the "Solicitor of the Board." Their object
was to economise the resources of the Union,
to keep the rates down, and in some instances
they evaded the making of any rate for years,
after the support of the destitute was made
nominally imperative by the law of the land.

As there was a good deal of patronage in a
small way placed at the disposal of the
"Guardians," great anxiety was manifested by
those eligible to the office. Most Justices of the
Peace were indeed, ipso facto, Guardians, but a
considerable number had to be elected by the
rate-payers, and an active canvass preceded
every election. A great deal of activity and
conviviality, if not gaiety, was the result, and
more apparently important affairs were
neglected by many a farmer, shopkeeper, and
professional man, to ensure his being elected a
"Guardian," while the unsuccessful took pains
to prove their indifference, or to vent their ill-
humour in various ways, sometimes causing
less innocuous effects than the following

At a certain Court of Quarter Sessions,
during the dog-day heat of one of these
contests, a burly fellow was arraigned before
"their worships" and the jury, charged with
some petty theft; and as he perceived that
the proofs were incontestably clear against
him, he fell into a very violent trepidation.
An attorney of the court, not overburdened
with business, and fond of occupying his idle
time in playing off practical jokes, perceiving
how the case stood, addressed the prisoner in
a whisper over the side of the dock with a
very ominous and commiserating shake of his

"Ah, you unfortunate man, ye'll be found
guilty; and as sure as ye are, ye'll get worse
than hangin' or thransportation. As sure as
ever the barristher takes a pinch of snuff,
that's his intention; ye'll see him put on the
black cap immaydiately. Plaid guilty at once,
and I'll tell ye what ye'll say to him afther."

The acute practitioner knew his man: the
poor half-witted culprit fell into the snare;
and after a short and serious whispering
between them, which was unobserved in the
bustle of the Court-house usual on such
occasions, the prisoner cried out, just as the issue
paper was going up to the jury, "Me lord, me
lord, I plaid guilty,—I beg yer wortchip's an'
their honours' pardon!"

"Very well," said the assistant-barrister,
whose duty it was to advise upon the law of
each case, and preside at the bench in judicial
costume; "very well, Sir. Crier, call silence."

Several voices immediately called
energetically for silence, impressing the culprit
with grave ideas at once of his worship's great
importance, and the serious nature of the
coming sentence.

"Withdraw the plea of not guilty, and
take one of guilty to the felony," continued
the assistant-barrister, taking a pinch of snuff
and turning round to consult his brother
magistrates as to the term of intended

"Don't lose yer time, ye omodhaun!" said
the attorney, with an angry look at the

"Will I be allowed to spake one word!
yer wortchips?" said the unfortunate culprit.

"What has he to say?" said the assistant-
barrister with considerable dignity.

"Go on, ye fool ye!"—urged the attorney.

"My lord, yer wortchips, and gintlemin av
the jury," exclaimed the culprit, "sind me out
o' the counthry, or into jail, or breakin' stones,
or walkin' on the threadmill, or anything else
in the coorse o' nature, as yer wortchips
playses; but for the love o' the Virgin Mary,
don't make me a 'Poor Law Garjin.'"


SOME of these treasures were fished up, and
brought to our readers' knowledge in our
article on Billingsgate in our tenth
number. We received an additional illustration
of the subject from a correspondent:—
"People talk of the 'treasures of the deep'
with generally a very confused notion of their
own meaning, if, indeed, they have any meaning
at all. Probably they have some
incoherent ideas of rich merchantmen that have
gone down with their costly cargoes, mingled
with coral reefs and pearl fisheries, as forming
no inconsiderable portion of those treasures.
But how often do they think of the countless
riches which the sea produces in the living
things that dwell in it? Take, for illustration,
the whale alone. For ten days the writer of
this was becalmed in the latitude of the Azores
or Western Isles. During the whole of that
period huge whales were incessantly 'blowing'
in every direction round the ship. As
many as twenty or thirty at a time might be
seen rolling their unwieldy bodies half out of
the sea, and puffing up large fountains of
spray into the air. At a moderate calculation,
two hundred and fifty whales were seen from

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