It was the sternness of the Scotch Covenanter
, softened by a century's residence abroad, amid persecution and trial, wedded to the comic humor and pathos of the Irish, and then grown wild in the woods among their own New England
There never existed a people at once so jovial and so religious.
This volume could be filled with a collection of their religious repartees and pious jokes.
It was Pat. Larkin
, a Scotch-Irishman, near Londonderry
, who, when he was accused of being a Catholic, because his parents were Catholics
, replied: ‘If a man happened to be born in a stable, would that make him a horse?’
and he won his bride by that timely spark.
Quaint, bold, and witty were the old Scotch-Irish clergymen, the men of the siege, as mighty with carnal weapons as with spiritual.
There was no taint of the sanctimonious In their
rough, honest, and healthy natures.
During the old French war, it is related, a British officer, in a peculiarly ‘stunning’ uniform, came one Sunday morning to the Londonderry Meeting House
Deeply conscious was this individual that he was exceedingly well dressed and he took pains to display his finery and his figure by standing in an attitude, during the delivery of the sermon, which had the effect of withdrawing the minds of the young ladies from the same.
At length, the minister, who had both fought and preached in Londonderry
“at home,” and feared neither man, beast, devil, nor red-coat, addressed the officer thus: ‘Ye are a braw lad; ye ha'e a braw suit of claithes, and we ha'e aa seen them; ye may sit doun
The officer subsided instantly, and old Dreadnought went on with his sermon as though nothing had happened.
The same clergyman once began a sermon on the vain self-confidence of St. Peter
, with the following energetic remarks: ‘Just like Peter, aye, mair forrit than wise, ganging swaggering about wia a sword at his side; ana a puir hand he made of it when he came to the trial; for he only cut off a chiel's lug, ana he ought to haa split down his head
On another occasion, he is said to have opened on a wellknown text in this fashion: ‘ “I can do all things;” ay, can
I'll bet ye a dollar oa that
(placing a dollar on the desk). But stop!
let's see what else Paul
says: “I can do all things through Christ
, which strengtheneth me;” ay, sae can I, Paul
I draw my bet,’ and he returned the dollar to his pocket.