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Each of the others moves in the sphere English lawyers. The latter possess most suited to his endowments, whilst something of a phlegmatic quality, the master mind gives direction, and which is not to be found in the more life, and unity, to all their operations. mercurial temperament of their transIn nothing, perhaps, is his power more marine brethren. In Westminster exemplified than in the numerous mis. Hall the most absurd point of law is takes which he has with impunity com- discussed with the greatest gravity ; mitted, in playing his part on the great authorities from the first of Richard I. theatre created and directed by him to the eighth of George IV. are self. When we use the words “ with brought to bear upon every assailable impunity,"we mean, without diminish- position ; and the unfortunate caitiff, ing his influence, or weakening the who is stripped of his paternal acres veneration attached by his followers by a judicial decree, is consoled with to his name. His errors appear, in the hopeful prospect of a recovery in truth, to have arisen from the same value against the common crier of the rash and ardent temperament, the court, without a smile being raised on same warmth of feeling, that plunge the blooming visages of the junior aphim with enthusiasm into every cause prentices, or a curl on the sailow faces -whether he pleads at the bar of the of the more hardened veterans. In court in behalf of some poor and per- Ireland, the dry details of legal dissecuted client, or rises in his little cussion are generally relieved by the senate to paint the injuries and vindi- flash of ready wit and lively reparcate the rights of his country. In all, tee ; and the play of imagination is and through all, he is the same-eager permitted to illuminate the labyrinth and impassioned. He has thus gained of abstruse speculations. But in the a character seldom bestowed upon a addresses to juries, the difference belawyer--that no man ever heard him tween the two races is still more perspeak, and thought of asking whether ceptible. Here, the balance of conhe was in earnest. In private life no flicting testimonies is measured to the man is more respected. Amniable and weight of a feather ; probabilities are benevolent, he is esteemed by all who marshalled to fill the chasms of direct have access to his circle. It is not, evidence, and its due importance carehowever, our business to lift the screen fully assigned to each conjecture; and which veils domestic life; nor, in the learned counsel can expatiate with truth, can such traits, however com- the most professional sang froid on the mendable, be allowed much weight in quantum of damages to be assigned as deciding on his character and conduct the just value of wounded feelings. as a public man.
In Dublin, there is much inore than Mr. O'Connell, as we have been in- this. The deficiencies of evidence are formed, was born in 1770, and called obviated by appeals to the feelings of to the bar in 1798. Good connexions the jurors ; and the losing pleader enand—what was more important-splen- deavors to subdue the opposition of did talents did not permit him to slum- cool judgment by enlisting the pasber long in that obscurity which gene- sions in his cause. The Irish juries rally chills the spirit of the aspiring expect something more than a mea gre candidate for forensic fame. In the outline of the facts, which they are Irish courts, much greater latitude is afterwards to gather in detail; and a given to the addresses of the practising « pretty speech” has been known to barristers than would be tolerated, or work wonders for one who has perat least encouraged, in Westminster haps little else to offer. Matters, it Hall. There seems, in truth, to be is true, have changed much within the something in the very air of the sister last twenty years since the days when island which precludes the possibility Curran and his compeers were in their of binding down its natives to the cold glory ; but the essential character of dry rules that regulate the orations of pleading remains still the same. Hence it is, that our neighbors are generally rank of his profession, and certainly so fond of attending the public trials. at the head of the Nisi Prius lawyers. The eloquent and impassioned ha- The numbers of the orange party who rangues of the leading lawyers-the send their briefs to the great enemy of ingenious cross-examination of shrewd their band, attest at once the dependand humorous witnesses, who are not ence placed on his talents and integriunfrequently an overmatch for their ty. Of a man so highly gifted, what torturers,—and the splendid and lumi- must be the feelings, when he finds nous charges of such men as Bushe himself superseded in the road of proand Plunkett, afford a mental treat fessional advancement by individuals which it requires some philosophy to whom he knows to be as much his withstand.
inferiors in talent as they are in standMr. O'Connell's peculiar qualifica- ing? Without detracting from his tions can be more easily described by patriotism, we may readily suppose stating what he is not, than by telling that a little personal leaven mingles what he is. He is not equal to Pen- with his public zeal. A curious misnefather in puzzling the judges upon understanding ensued some time since some subtle point, which has been between him and Mr. North, concernraked from the dusty folios of techni- ing some point of etiquette in the bucal perplexity. He is not a match siness of court, which cut home to the for Wallace in showing the cogency bosom of Mr. O'Connell, whilst it gave of an inapplicable reason, or the ne- Irim a triumphant opportunity of wreakcessity of admitting what his hearers ing vengeance on the laws, that deprive know to be impossible. He is not so him of the just reward of his exertions. ingenious as O'Grady in diving to the 'Tis seldom, however, that he is drawn core of a recreant witness, and tearing into a squabble in court : he is a goodaside the mantle wrapped round per- natured though warm man; and the jury or fraud. He has not the cold, briefless barrister or busy attorney, but graceful and classic, eloquence of with whom he exchanges the ready North, pouring upon the ear “like joke in passing, can seldom regard moonlight on a marble statue." But him with feelings of ill-will. he is endowed in an eminent degree The Association is the place in with the characteristic excellencies of which he is most at home. As with them all. Undiverted from his pro- him it originated, so has he since orfessional duties by the temptations of ganized and directed it. Whatever pleasure, or the devotion that he pays may be the opinion entertained of his at the shrine of ambition, his clients conduct, or the influence of this asknow that he will not fail to be pre- sembly, it has done more to forward pared for the important moment, with the Catholic cause, by forcing it perall the power which a strong mind and petually upon the public mind, and a life of industry bestow. Intimately compelling attention to its consideraacquainted with the peculiarities of tion, than any less obtrusive method Irish disposition, he is not often de- could possibly have effected. The feated by the stubbornness or cunning public debates have attracted and inof a witness. Natural ingenuity, and structed all, even the lowest of the a ready fluency, render his arguments Catholic body; and the Rent has furat the least deserving of attention; nished such means to organize and while his earnest manner and air of consolidate the energies of the whole sincere conviction sometimes make mass, that it would be now equally his audience believe that they also impolitic and impossille to suppress should hold the same opinions with the Association, without incurring the himself. Upon the whole, those who risk of a general and bloody rebellion. regard him without the prejudice of It is to use an old, but not the less political feeling will have little hesita- appropriate, metaphor) the safetytion in placing him in the foremost valve, by which the discontent of the population may escape. Mr. O'Con- invariably closes his address, is as renell has latterly abated much of the gularly followed by one, not less violent personal abuse, in which he hearty, given to himself. If Cæsar forinerly allowed himself to indulge. wrote as he fought, Mr. O'Connell Besides the obvious impropriety of may be said to speak as he looks. using such language at all, it came with a broad chest and Herculean with a bad grace from him, who con- shoulders, his careless and independent sidered the fatal result of one unfor- swing as he walks along, might pass tunate duel a sufficient plea for refus- him for a plain wealthy farmer, were ing either apology or satisfaction to it not for the fire that occasionally men with whose feelings and reputa- flashes from his eye. His language tions he had wantonly trifled. One and look are strong and homely ; but so circumstanced should be particu- a second glance shows that he is larly guarded in his language. Since something out of the way of ordinary Mr. O'Connell has resolved not to give men. We can read in his countenance satisfaction, he should avoid incurring a little of that stiffness, which prevents the obligation. There is still, howe- him from willingly acknowledging his ver, a degree of coarseness in his ha- error, when the warmth or violence of rangues that might well be spared. his temper has led him astray. We His mind seems rather strong and fiery might mention instances of this stubthan polished or delicate. He is not bornness, but our sketch is already a classical speaker; and, if we may too long. We have purposely declined judge from his own practice, his ac- saying anything about the Clare elecquaintance with English literature is tion, or its consequences, as politics small : his whole quotations may be do not properly belong to our pages; found within the compass of eight lines. but we do hope that a recurrence of His manner, too, is not that of a po- such dilemmas will soon be rendered lished man : it is vigorous and animat- unnecessary. Though not so sanguine ed, and perhaps the best for the audi- as many are, with respect to Mr. tory which he generally addresses ; it O'Connell's prospect of success in his comes home to them, for he speaks enterprise, we cannot conclude without for himself as well as them—he is one repeating our belief that he has done of themselves. Amongst the peasant- much for the freedom of his country, ry, no other orator could be so power- and that, when political passion has ful. He knows their dispositions ; and died away, his name will be inscribed the “ Cheer for old Ireland,” which among the most favored of her children.
Man is naturally the most awkward in the more complicated operations of animal that inhales the breath of life. life. Behold that individual on a There is nothing, however simple, horse! See with what persevering which he can perform with the alacrity he hobbles up and down from smallest approach to gracefulness or the croup to the pommel, while his ease. If he walks,-he hobbles, or horse goes quietly at an amble of from jumps, or limps, or trots, or sidles, or four to five miles in the hour. See creeps—but creeping, sidling, limp- how his knees, flying like a weaver's ing, hobbling, and jumping, are by no shuttle, from one extremity of the means walking. If he sits, -he fid- saddle to another, destroy, in a pleagets, twists his legs under his chair, sure-ride from Edinburgh to Rosthrows his arm over the back of it, lin, the good grey kerseymeres, which and puts himself into a perspiration, were glittering a day or two ago in by trying to be at ease. It is the same Scaife and Willis's shop. The horse
begins to gallop-Bless our soul! the unwieldy animal puts himself in mogentleman will decidedly roll off. The tion; he throws out his arms, crouches reins were never intended to be pulled up his shoulders, and, without moving like a peal of Bob Majors; your a muscle of his face, kicks out his head, my friend, ought to be on your legs, to the manifest risk of the byown shoulders, and not poking out standers, and goes back to his place between your charger's ears; and puffing and blowing like an otter, after your horse ought to use its exertions a half-hour's burst. Is this dancing ? to move on, and not you. It is a very Shades of the filial and paternal Vescold day, you have cantered your two tris! can this be a specimen of the miles, and now you are wiping your art which gives elasticity to the most brows, as if you had run the distance inert conformation, which sets the in half the time on foot.
blood glowing with a warm and genial People think it a mighty easy thing flow, and makes beauty float before to roll along in a carriage. Step our ravished senses, stealing our adinto this noddy. That creature in the miration by the gracefulness of each corner is evidently in a state of such new motion, till at last our souls thrill nervous excitement that his body is to each warning movement, and disas immovable as if he had breakfasted solve into ecstacy and love ? Maiden, on the kitchen poker ; every jolt of with the roses lying among the twinthe vehicle must give him a shake like ings of thy long red hair! think not a battering-ram; do you call this that the art of dancing consists merely coming in to give yourself a rest ? in activity and strength. Thy limbs, Poor man, your ribs will ache for this which are none of the weakest, were for a month to come! But the other not intended to be the rivals of a pagentleman opposite : see how flexible vior's hammer : the artificer, who he has rendered his body. Every trimmed thy locks, had no idea that time my venerable friend on the coach- his labors were to be listed three feet box extends the twig with a few yards higher than thy natural height from of twine at the end of it, which he the ground; spare thyself such dreaddenominates “a whupp," the sudden- ful exertion, we beseech thee, and ness of the accelerated motion makes consider that thine ankle, though his great round head flop from the strong and thick as St. George's pilcentre of his short thick neck, and lars, may still be broken or sprained come with such violence on the un- with such saltatations. stuffed back, that his hat is sent down People seem even to labor to be upon the bridge of his nose with a awkward. One would think a gentlevehemence which might well nigh car- man might shake hands with a familiar ry it away. Do you say that man friend without any symptoms of cubis capable of taking a pleasure ride ? bishness. Not at all. The hand is Before he has been bumped three jerked out by the one with the velocimiles, every pull of wind will be jerk- ty of a rocket, and comes so unexed out of his body, and by the time pectedly to the length of its tether, he has arrived at Roslin, he will be that it nearly dislocates the shoulder a dead man. If that man prospers in bone. There it stands swaying and the world, he commits suicide the clutching at the wind, at the full exmoment he sets up his carriage. tent of the arm, while the other is
We go to a ball. Mercy upon us! half poked out, and half drawn in, as is this what you call dancing ? A if rheumatism detained the upper man of thirty years of age, and with moiety, and only below the elbow were legs as thick as a gate-post, stands up at liberty to move. After you have in the middle of the room, and gapes, shaken the hand, (but for what reason and fumbles with his gloves, looking you squeeze it, as if it were a sponge, all the time as if he were burying his I can by no means imagine,) can you grandmother. At a given signal, the not withdraw it to your side, and keep
8 ATHENEUM, vol. 1, 3d series.
it in the station where nature and a confoundedly small spoon, and somecomfort alike tell you it ought to be ? times with rather unsteady fingers. To Do you think your breeches' pocket avoid this, you take the egg-cup in the most proper place to push your your band, and every spoonful have to hand into ? Do you put it there to lay it down again, in order to help guard the solitary half-crown from the yourself to bread; so, upon the whole, rapacity of your friend; or do you we disapprove of eggs. put it across your breast in case of an But the glass of wine--can any unexpected winder from your appa- thing be more easy? One would rently peaceable acquaintance on the think not-but if you take notice next opposite side ?
time you empty a glass with a friend, Who, in the name of wonder, you will see that, sixteen to one, he taught you to touch your hat? Do makes the most convulsive efforts to you imagine that any lady will be do with ease what a person would napleased by your doffing your castor, as turally suppose was the easiest thing if it hurt your head, or throwing your in the world. Do you see, in the hand up to it, as if to hold it on against first place, how hard he grasps the a sudden gust of wind, or tapping it decanter, leaving the misty marks of on the brim with the point of your fore- five hot fingers on the glittering crystal, finger, as if it were the interior of a which ought to be pure as Cornelia's snuff-box? Why will you be so fame? Then remark at what an acute awkward ? Most learned expounder angle he holds his right elbow as if he of the intricacies of law, remember were meditating an assault on his when your hat is fairly and genteelly neighbor's ribs; then see how he claps off, the best thing you can do is to the bottle down again as if his object put it quietly and calmly on again. were to shake the pure ichor, and Recollect in these easterly winds that make it muddy as his own brains. you have left your wig in the Parlia- Mark how the animal seizes his glass, ment House, and besides, that some-he will break it into a thousand booby of a phrenologist will set you fragments! See how he bows bis down in his next philosophical essay, lubberly head to meet half way the as endowed with an enormous organ glorious cargo; how he slobbers the of off hattiveness, and the proportions beverage over his unmeaning gullet, of your neck may be quite as well and chucks down the glass so as alconcealed. Stop, my dear George, most to break its stem after he has you intended to take off your hat to emptied it of its contents as if they the ladies in the blue pelisses, your had been jalap or castor-oil! Call nod was pretty well, but your salute, you that taking a glass of wine ? Sir, as we say in the army, was bestowed it is putting wine into your gullet as upon two lady's maids and three chil- you would put small beer into a bardren in a window three doors farther rel,-but it is not-oh, no! it is not on.
taking, so as to enjoy, a glass of red, Is it not quite absurd that a man rich port, or glowing, warm, tinted, can't even take a glass of wine without beautiful caveza! Men are decidedly an appearance of infinite difficulty and more awkward than “all-commanding pain ? Eating an egg at breakfast, woman,” every where, except on the we allow, is a difficult operation, but road. surely a glass of wine after dinner A newly married couple are invited should be as easy as it is undoubtedly to a wedding-dinner. See when they agreeable. The egg lies under many enter the room, how differently they disadvantages. If you leave the egg- behave.-How gracefully she waves cup on the table, you have to steady her head in the fine recover from the it with the one hand, and carry the withdrawing curtsy, and beautifully floating nutriment a distance of about extends her hand to the bald-pated two feet with the other, and always in individual grinning to her on the rug!