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to claim the money which the latter saw him deposit the day before: he was compelled to make restoration, in order to avoid worse
Curran often told the story, as an instance of his own ingenuity; and he declared, that if the countryman could not readily have procured the money from his uncle, he himself would have advanced the hundred pounds for the second deposit, so confident was he of the success of his scheme.
Among the numerous puns of which Curran acknowledged himself guilty, was one which the most merciful interpreter of that species of wit must admit to be execrable. He had seen it that very morning in a professed jest-book, and though, confessedly of the lowest description of puns, it has been attributed to several of the most eminent wits of the day. A dentist, who had practised his delicate employment with great success, had at last retired into the country near the Irish metropolis, and built, in the worst taste imaginable, a very superb mansion, which he had decorated with a fine portico, and pillars of the most
barbarous kind. As Curran was passing it one morning on horseback, he met a friend just opposite to the house, who asked him if he could inform him to what order of architecture the pillars belonged.
“ To the Tusk-an, most unquestionably,” replied Curran.
Of some of the jests that had been attributed to him, he disclaimed the paternity. Amongst these was a jeu d'esprit which belonged to Parsons. M'Nally had a very handsome daughter, who was the subject of considerable assiduities from the officers garrisoned in Dublin. He peremptorily discouraged their flirtations. However, one night, after M‘Nally's household had retired to rest, a party of hussars assembled under her windows, and, two or three of them being musicians, serenaded her with a series of impassioned melodies. These were but little to M Nally's taste, who, in a fit of sudden irritation, threw open the sash, and showered upon the minstrels a most unsavoury stream from a vase, which must not be particularized. The gentlemen, upon whom these unwelcome distillations had descended, began to talk very indignantly,
and of revenging it as a deadly affront. M'Nally felt conscious of having gone rather too far, and, having communicated the matter to Parsons, asked him what apology he ought to make them, if they insisted on his making one.
« Pshaw !” said Parsons, "tell them that they came uninvited guests, and you had nothing but pot-luck to give them."
Whilst Curran was keeping his terms in the Temple, he attended, as he told us, for the sake of mere curiosity, a debating society carried on by a few persons who had more ingenuity than money, and once or twice he took part in their debates. The society was held at Coach-makers' Hall, and was open to the public, the admission being sixpence. Curran replied to three or four orators; but, not knowing how to designate them by their names, he was driven to the necessity of particularizing them by some distinguishing characteristic of their dress. For instance, he alluded to them thus :: -“ I by no means concur, Sir, in the observations of the gentleman whose coat is out at elbows. He has been ably and satisfactorily refuted by the speaker who followed him; and, in my opinion, he has derived but faint assistance from the gentleman with the hole in his black breeches."
MACKINTOSH AND BURKE.
In my remininiscences of “ The King of Clubs," I forgot to state that, with the exception of Bobus Smith, Mackintosh was the most efficient in conversation. He was a subtle dialectician, but unsteady to his principles. He seemed to postpone the great aim of metaphysical investigation—the acquisition of truth, to the display of knowledge, and intellectual gladiatorship.
I recollect how we amused ourselves with a domestic incident that befel Mackintosh about the year 1802. He travelled the Norfolk circuit at that time, having found no business on the Home. He had then been delivering his Lectures on the Law of Nature and Nations in Lincoln's-Inn Hall. They were well attended by the profession, and by persons of the highest political eminence Mr. Canning and Lord