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were but few, lay only skin-deep; a most fulsome flatterer, and his hospitality, to which he made high pretensions, was soured and rendered distasteful by his avarice. He dealt in general invitations, and rarely specified the day. Curran went down to Carlow on a special retainer. It was in a case of ejectment. A new CourtHouse had been recently erected, and it was found extremely inconvenient, from the echo, which reverberated the mingled voices of judge, counsel, crier, to such a degree, as to produce constant confusion, and great interruption of business. Lord N— had been, if possible, more noisy that morning than ever. Whilst he was arguing a point with the counsel, and talking very loudly, an ass brayed vehemently from the street adjoining the Court-House, to the instant interruption of the Chief Justice. What noise is that?” exclaimed his Lordship. Lord," returned Curran, “it is merely the echo of the Court !” The Judge felt the force of the repartee, and was evidently disconcerted for the rest of the day.
« Oh, my This is nearly all that I can recollect of Curran at the King of Clubs. At a much later period, it was my good fortune to renew my acquaintance with him, at a dinner given to a select party by Alderman Wood, during the mayoralty of that gentleman. Curran had, in the meanwhile, been transplanted to the Rolls, as forced and unnatural a process as that of removing Erskine to the Court of Chancery; for Curran had not, in his judicial situation, one quality befitting it. In truth he was complexionally, and habitually, an extra-judicial character. As a lawyer, he was almost unread. He never perused his briefs, but employed Burton to note down the leading facts on which the case turned, and if it was a law argument to hunt the books for precedents. This vicarious employment gradually brought Burton himself into considerable business. But Curran, as a general advocate, and more especially when he had to deal in high constitutional and popular topics, was alone and unrivalled. On the other hand, his unfitness for the Rolls was felt by the whole bar; nor was he uncon
scious of it himself. In a year or two he became so uneasy in his situation, that he applied for his pension and retired.
At the renewal of our acquaintance, Curran was living at Brompton, and not in very splendid lodgings. He gave, however, several pleasant dinner parties; but his health was declining, and his spirits apparently broken. Yet, in spite of corporeal decay, his wonted fires burst out frequently in conversation, particularly as he recounted the incidents of his early life, sketched the characters of his legal contemporaries. Then it was that he seemed renovated to youth—to enjoy the vis vivere, the vitá potiore of Martial. I remember well how offended he was, when
one at his table observed that Charles P- who had just published a volume of his own speeches, belonged to Curran's school of oratory, and that many critics traced a strong resemblance of style and manner to the greatest of his own speeches.
· Don't mention the fellow's name,” exclaimed Curran. If his speeches are like my own, it is but the resem
blance of the ape to the man, which only aggravates the animal's deformity."
Shiel, the Roman Catholic demagogue, was there. He had written a tragedy expressly for Miss O'Niel, and the conversation turning on the piece, which was then in preparation at Covent-Garden, “ Shiel,” said Curran,
you know how I regard you. But I cannot better show that regard than by praying to Heaven that your tragedy may be damned. Your lawful wife is the law-stick to her-and don't insult her by your licentious gallantries with the drama.”
Curran said that he never went a hunting but once; and that was at a friend's house about twenty miles from Dublin. They had perched him, he said, upon a self-willed animal, that would not listen to any reason, but was fretting and pulling, and making every effort to get into a full gallop, when they were throwing off the hounds. “ I wanted to get off,” continued Curran," but the cunning brute would not let me dismount, preferring to keep me on his back for the mere luxury of tormenting me.” You were alarmed then, Curran,” some
served. Yes, yes, but not at my horse.
My great fear was that the dogs would find. By good luck it was a bad day for hunting, and they did not find. It was upon that occasion that I made an execrable joke. The hounds had broke through a hedge that bounded a potatoe ground belonging to a rich, substantial agent. Seeing me (for I had given him, a few days before, a long bout of cross-examination in the Court of King's Bench), the fellow came up to me, and said,
Oh, sure you are Counsellor Curran, the great lawyer. Now then, Mr. Lawyer, can you tell me by what law you are trespassing on my ground ?' 'By what law, Mr. Malony,' I replied ; 'why by the lex tally-oh-nis to be sure.' The pun succeeded, the whole party laughed, and the man went grumbling off.”