Two men, named John Slevin and William Smith, whose dishevelled locks, swollen and half-closed eyes, lips pale and pendant, wan und dirty cheeks, unshorn chins, and dress rather too much en dishabille, all tended to satisfy the observer, without the trouble of an inquiry, that they had been recently devoting their mortal hours to that happy species of existence which is expressively termed being on the batter were charged by Police-constable C 194 with being drunk and disorderly in Phoenix-street on the preceding night.
The complainant, on being sworn, said-- Your worships, I met these two men that now stands so distractedly for inst yes while on my bate in Phoenix-street. They were about to smadder in a door that would not be opened for them, and when I went to provint them, they guzzled me up agin the wall until my tongue hung like a mad dog's out of my mouth, and then, by way of compensation, they swore their holy Moses that I would not leave that until I punished every drop of a whole bottle of whiskey, the neck of which they stuck half way down my gullet. The complainant concluded by stating that he at length got away from his very pressing entertainers, and that in return for their hospitable attention, he accommodated them with lodgings for the night at the adjacent station-house.
The prisoners, on being asked for their defence, said their conduct arose altogether from an excess of good nature, and that they meant no harm at all in what they had done. Police-constable 194 C had appeared to them to be a jovial, pleasant fellow enough, by no means like one who would eschew a closer acquaintance with a glass of whiskey if he had it behind the door; and as they imagined his objection to drink arose from a too scrupulous dread of disobeying the orders of their mightinesses the Commissioners while on duty, they thought a little gentle force in giving him a stoop out of their bottle would not in effect be very annoying to him, however he might feel himself bound to resist it in appearance. After being, however, locked up for a few hours in the station-house, they began to perceive their mistake, and to discover that, instead of a true-hearted rollicking real Irishman like one of themselves, they had actually "caught a Tartar."
The prisoners' explanation, though perfectly satisfactory in their own opinion, had unfortunately as little effect in convincing the worthy magistrates of their innocence as it had in appeasing the insulted dignity of Police-constable 194 C in the first instance; and Mr. Slevin was accordingly ordered to pay a fine of 2s.6d, and his companion to find bail to keep the peace, or in default to suffer one weeks' imprisonment.
Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser (Dublin, Ireland) May 10, 1842.