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Let stupid sots, while tippling wine,
Then fill your glass of sparkling juice
THE GLASS OF WHISKY
Was originally printed in "The Sentimental and Masonic Magazine," vol. iii. for December 1793, a Dublin periodical, remarkable from the first productions of the Muse of Moore having appeared therein.
This song bears the signature W. P. C-y, and was illustrated in that publication by an engraving, executed by W. P. Carey, probably the author, which represents an old man with clasped hands, uplifting a glass of whisky.— See the last verse.
William Paulet Carey is known to have been the writer, in 1789, of a political squib against the Marquess
This district (the barony of Innishone, county of Tyrone) has long been famous for its whisky, and has even become a name for the liquor itself; real Innishone is its highest praise, and nothing in the way of panegyric can be added to this."-Views of Society and Manners in the North of Ireland, by John Gamble, Esq., 1819.
of Buckingham, entitled "The Nettle, an Irish Bouquet to tickle the Nose of an English Viceroy." Carey was the printer and publisher of "The National Evening Star," a Dublin newspaper, and acquired considerable and an unenviable notoriety in June 1794, as the principal witness on the trial of Dr. Drennan for the publication of a seditious libel. It appeared that Carey had been a zealous member of the Society of United Irishmen; but, conceiving himself aggrieved by the conduct of that body towards him, and being himself under prosecution for a libel against Government, he came forward as an evidence for the Crown. Carey was closely cross-examined by Curran, who commented so severely upon his admissions and statements, that the acquittal of Dr. Drennan followed.
Considering the political apostasy of the author-a crime seldom forgotten or forgiven in Ireland—it is singular that any song known to have been of his writing should have become popular, which Murrough O'Monaghan's aspiration respecting a glass of whisky certainly did; and it has continued to be so to the present time,-upwards of forty years. This, however, has been accounted for to the Editor, by the statement that the character of Murrough O'Monaghan was a sketch from life of a well-known cripple and mendicant, who frequented the locality mentioned, and retailed whisky from a huge black bottle. He is further said to have been a faithful emissary of the United Irishmen, and an active agent in procuring information for them, and in extending the influence of the association by means of "a glass of north country” judiciously administered.
It is not easy to arrive at the approved standard of a
glass for whisky. Irishmen are sometimes fastidious about the matter. On one occasion a hospitable lady, who had rewarded a labourer for his exertions with some admirable whisky, administered in a claret glass, was both shocked and astonished at the impiety and ingratitude of his exclamation, "May the devil blow the man that blew this glass!"
"What is that you say?" inquired the lady. "What do I hear?"
"I'm much obliged to you, honourable madam, and 'tis no harm I mean; only bad luck to the blackguard glass-blower, whoever he was, since, with the least bit of breath in life more, he could have made the glass twice as big."
Air" When I was a young man in sweet Tipperary."
At the side of the road, near the bridge of Drumcondra,*
He brought from the wars, as his share of the plunder,
Oagh, Murrough!" he'd cry-"musha nothing may
What made you go fight for a soldier on sea? You fool, had you been a marine in the army,
You'd now have a pinchun and live on full pay.
But now I'm a cripple-what signifies thinking?
The past I can never bring round to the fore; The heart that with old age and weakness is sinking, Will ever find strength in good whisky galore.
* A village in the vicinity of Dublin, vulgarly called Drumconder.
Oagh, whisky, ma vurneen, my joy, and my jewel,
When cold in the winter, it warms you so hearty;
When hot in the summer, it cools you like ice;
Neither frost, snow, nor rain, any harm can do me,
Now merry be the Christmas! success to good neighbours!
May sweet luck attend every heart that is true!"
High held up the glass, while he vented this prayer:"May whisky, by sea or by land in all weather,
Be never denied to the children of care!"
A SUP OF GOOD WIIISKY.
Whisky has been styled "the universal favourite-from the prince to the peasant;" and this assertion is fully supported by the following song, which chronicles its influence over various sects and parties. Mr. Gamble,
discussing the origin of the name of some high ground called Whisky Hill, in the north of Ireland, conjectures that-" Perhaps whisky is made in greater quantities here than elsewhere; for on all hills, and I believe I may add in all valleys, people drink as much as they can."
This writer elsewhere adds, describing an acquaintance at Strabane:" Though an Englishman and a Methodist, he is not averse to the beverage of the country; for time, as he well remarked, does reconcile us to many things: and I never met in this country with an Englishman, of his condition in life, that it did not reconcile to whisky. So universal, indeed, is the perception of misery, and the nothingness of this world, that the people of all countries are pleased to have a cheap opportunity of drowning thought in intoxication, and creating a little happy world of their own. Even the nations which the strong motive of superstition induces to abandon the use of strong liquor here, look to it with longing hereafter: and perpetual inebriation is the Mahommedan's heaven."
A sup of good whisky will make you glad;
Too much of the creatur'* will make you mad;
you take it in reason, 'twill make you wise; If you drink to excess, it will close up your eyes: †
Yet father and mother,
And sister and brother,
They all take a sup in their turn.
* "C'est le nom aimable que l'on donne au Whisky."-M. DE LATOCNAYE, Promenade en Irlande.
+ Shakspere observes" One draught above heat makes him a fool, the second mads him, and a third drowns him."-Twelfth Night, i. 5.