The Christmas Books of Mr. M.A. Titmarsh

The Christmas Books of Mr. M.A. Titmarsh

by William Makepeace Thackeray

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Overview

CHRISTMAS STORIES.

Mrs. Perkins's Ball

Our Street

Dr. Birch and his Young Friends

The Kickleburys on the Rhine

The Rose and the Ring; or, The History of Prince Giglio and Prince Bulbo




MRS. PERKINS'S BALL.

THE MULLIGAN (OF BALLYMULLIGAN), AND HOW WE WENT TO MRS. PERKINS'S BALL.


I do not know where Ballymulligan is, and never knew anybody who did.
Once I asked the Mulligan the question, when that chieftain assumed a
look of dignity so ferocious, and spoke of "Saxon curiawsitee" in a
tone of such evident displeasure, that, as after all it can matter very
little to me whereabouts lies the Celtic principality in question, I
have never pressed the inquiry any farther.

I don't know even the Mulligan's town residence. One night, as he bade
us adieu in Oxford Street,--"I live THERE," says he, pointing down
towards Oxbridge, with the big stick he carries--so his abode is in that
direction at any rate. He has his letters addressed to several of
his friends' houses, and his parcels, &c. are left for him at various
taverns which he frequents. That pair of checked trousers, in which you
see him attired, he did me the favor of ordering from my own tailor,
who is quite as anxious as anybody to know the address of the wearer. In
like manner my hatter asked me, "Oo was the Hirish gent as 'ad ordered
four 'ats and a sable boar to be sent to my lodgings?" As I did not
know (however I might guess) the articles have never been sent, and the
Mulligan has withdrawn his custom from the "infernal four-and-nine-penny
scoundthrel," as he calls him. The hatter has not shut up shop in
consequence.

I became acquainted with the Mulligan through a distinguished countryman
of his, who, strange to say, did not know the chieftain himself. But
dining with my friend Fred Clancy, of the Irish bar, at Greenwich, the
Mulligan came up, "inthrojuiced" himself to Clancy as he said, claimed
relationship with him on the side of Brian Boroo, and drawing his chair
to our table, quickly became intimate with us. He took a great liking
to me, was good enough to find out my address and pay me a visit: since
which period often and often on coming to breakfast in the morning I
have found him in my sitting-room on the sofa engaged with the rolls
and morning papers: and many a time, on returning home at night for an
evening's quiet reading, I have discovered this honest fellow in the
arm-chair before the fire, perfuming the apartment with my cigars and
trying the quality of such liquors as might be found on the sideboard.
The way in which he pokes fun at Betsy, the maid of the lodgings, is
prodigious. She begins to laugh whenever he comes; if he calls her a
duck, a divvle, a darlin', it is all one. He is just as much a master
of the premises as the individual who rents them at fifteen shillings a
week; and as for handkerchiefs, shirt-collars, and the like articles of
fugitive haberdashery, the loss since I have known him is unaccountable.
I suspect he is like the cat in some houses: for, suppose the whiskey,
the cigars, the sugar, the tea-caddy, the pickles, and other groceries
disappear, all is laid upon that edax-rerum of a Mulligan.

The greatest offence that can be offered to him is to call him MR.
Mulligan. "Would you deprive me, sir," says he, "of the title which was
bawrun be me princelee ancestors in a hundred thousand battles? In
our own green valleys and fawrests, in the American savannahs, in the
sierras of Speen and the flats of Flandthers, the Saxon has quailed
before me war-cry of MULLIGAN ABOO! MR. Mulligan! I'll pitch anybody out
of the window who calls me MR. Mulligan." He said this, and uttered the
slogan of the Mulligans with a shriek so terrific, that my uncle (the
Rev. W. Gruels, of the Independent Congregation, Bungay), who had
happened to address him in the above obnoxious manner, while sitting at
my apartments drinking tea after the May meetings, instantly quitted the
room, and has never taken the least notice of me since, except to state
to the rest of the family that I am doomed irrevocably to perdition.

Well, one day last season, I had received from my kind and most
estimable friend, MRS. PERKINS OF POCKLINGTON SQUARE (to whose amiable
family I have had the honor of giving lessons in drawing, French, and
the German flute), an invitation couched in the usual terms, on satin
gilt-edged note-paper, to her evening-party; or, as I call it, "Ball."

Besides the engraved note sent to all her friends, my kind patroness had
addressed me privately as follows:--

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012865656
Publisher: SAP
Publication date: 03/13/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 222 KB
Age Range: 6 - 8 Years

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