The Gridiron, the Captain, Patrick, and Frenchman

The Captain, Patrick, and the Frenchman.


PATRICK.   Well, Captain, whereabouts in the wide world are we? Is it Roosia, Proosia, or the Jarmant oceant?

Captain.   Tut, you fool; it's France.

Patrick.   Tare and ouns! do you tell me so? and how do you know it's France, Captain dear?

Captain.   Because we were on the coast of the Bay of Biscay when the vessel was wrecked.


Patrick.   Throth, I was thinkin' so myself. And now, Captain jewel, it is I that wishes we had a gridiron.

Captain.   Why, Patrick, what puts the notion of a gridiron into your head?

Patrick.   Because I'm starving with hunger, Captain dear.

Captain.   Surely you do not intend to eat a gridiron, do you?

Patrick.   Ate a gridiron; bad luck to it! no. But if we had a gridiron, we could dress a beefsteak.

Captain.   Yes; but where's the beefsteak, Patrick?

Patrick.   Sure, couldn't we cut it off the pork?

Captain.   I never thought of that. You are a clever fellow, Patrick.   (Laughing.)

Patrick.   There's many a thrue word said in joke, Captain. And now, if you will go and get the bit of pork that we saved from the rack, I'll go to the house there beyant, and ax some of them to lind me the loan of a gridiron.

Captain.   But, Patrick, this is France, and they are all foreigners here.

Patrick.   Well, and how do you know but I am as good a furriner myself as any o' them.

Captain.   What do you mean, Patrick?

Patrick.   Parley voo frongsay?

Captain.   O, you understand French, then, is it?

Patrick.   Throth, you may say that, Captain dear.

Captain.   Well, Patrick, success to you. Be civil to the foreigners, and I'll be back with the pork in a minute.

[He goes out.

Patrick.   Ay, sure enough, I'll be civil to them; for the Frinch are always mighty p'lite intirely, and I'll show them I know what good  manners is. Indade, and here comes munseer himself, quite convaynient.   (As the Frenchman enters, Patrick takes off his hat, and making a low bow, says:)   God save you, sir, and all your children. I beg your pardon for the liberty I take, but it's only being in disthress in regard of ateing, that I make bowld to trouble ye; and if you could lind me the loan of a gridiron, I'd be intirely obleeged to ye.

Frenchman   (staring at him).   Comment!

Patrick.   Indade it's thrue for you. I'm tathered to paces, and God knows I look quare enough; but it's by rason of the storm that dhruve us ashore jist here, and we're all starvin'.

Frenchman.   Je m'y t—(pronounced zhe meet).

Patrick.   Oh! not at all! by no manes! we have plenty of mate ourselves, and we'll dhress it, if you be plased jist to lind us the loan of a gridiron, sir.   (Making a low bow.)

Frenchman   (staring at him, but not understanding a word.)

Patrick.   I beg pardon, sir; but maybe I'm undher a mistake, but I thought I was in France, sir. An't you all furriners here? Parley voo frongsay?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur.

Patrick.   Then, would you lind me the loan of a gridiron, if you plase?   (The Frenchman stares more than ever, as if anxious to understand.)   I know it's a liberty I take, sir; but it's only in the regard of bein' cast away; and if you plase, sir, parley voo frongsay?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur, oui.

Patrick.   Then would you lind me the loan of a gridiron, sir and you'll obleege me?

Frenchman.   Monsieur, pardon, monsieur—

Patrick.   (Angrily).   By my sowl, if it was you was in disthress, and if it was to owld Ireland you  came, it's not only the gridiron they'd give you, if you axed it, but something to put on it too, and a dhrop of dhrink into the bargain. Can't you understand your own language?   (Very slowly.)   Parley—voo—frongsay—munseer?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur; oui, monsieur, mais—

Patrick.   Then lend me the loan of a gridiron, I say, and bad scram to you.

Frenchman (bowing and scraping).   Monsieur, je ne l'entend—

Patrick.   Phoo! the divil sweep yourself and your long tongs! I don't want a tongs at all, at all. Can't you listen to rason?

Frenchman.   Oui, oui, monsieur: certainement, mais—

Patrick.   Then lind me the loan of a gridiron, and howld your prate.   (The Frenchman shakes his head, as if to say he did not understand; but Patrick, thinking he meant it as a refusal, says, in a passion:)   Bad cess to the likes o' you! Throth, if you were in my counthry, it's not that-a-way they'd use you. The curse o' the crows on you, you owld sinner! The divil another word I'll say to you.   (The Frenchman puts his hand on his heart, and tries to express compassion in his countenance.)   Well, I'll give you one chance more, you old thafe! Are you a Christhian, at all, at all? Are you a furriner that all the world calls so p'lite? Bad luck to you! do you understand your mother tongue? Parley voo frongsay?   (Very loud.)   Parley voo frongsay?

Frenchman.   Oui, monsieur, oui, oui.

Patrick.   Then, thunder and turf! will you lind me the loan of a gridiron?   (The Frenchman shakes his head, as if he did not understand; and Pat says, vehemently:)   The curse of the hungry be on you, you owld negarly villian! the back of my hand and the sowl of my fut to you! May you want a gridiron  yourself yet! and wherever I go, it's high and low, rich and poor, shall hear of it, and be hanged to you!