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counsellor had displayed through the whole self for the vulgar calumnies of an infuriated scene, not only brought him into unbounded faction, in the friendship and society of such popularity with the lower orders, but instantly men as Lords Moira, Charlemont, and Kilwarraised him to a distinguished place in the den-Grattan, Ponsonby, and Flood. ranks of his profession.*
The incorporating union of 1800 is said to We turn gladly, and at once, from this have filled Mr. C. with incurable despondency dreadful catastrophe.f Never certainly was as to the fate of his country. We have great short-lived tranquillity-or rather permanent indulgence for this feeling—but we cannot danger so dearly bought. The vengeance of sympathise with it. The Irish parliament the law followed the havoc of the sword — was a nuisance that deserved to be abatedand here again we meet Mr. C. in his strength and the British legislature, with all its partiand his glory. But we pass gladly over these alities, and its still more blamable neglects, melancholy trials; in which we are far from may be presumed, we think, to be more acinsinuating, that there was any reprehensible cessible 10 reason, to justice, and to shame, severity on the part of the Government. When than the body which it superseded. Mr. C. matters had come that length, they had but was not in Parliament when that great meaone duty before them—and they seem to have sure was adopted. But, in the course of that discharged it (if we except one or two pos- year, he delivered a very able argument in thumous attainders) with mercy as well as the case of Napper Tandy, of which the only fairness: for after a certain number of victims published report is to be found in the volumes had been selected, an arrangement was made before us. In 1802, he made his famous with the rest of the state prisoners, under speech in Hevey's case, against Mr. Sirr, the which they were allowed to expatriate them- town-major of Dublin; which affords a strong selves for life. It would be improper, how- picture of the revolting and atrocious barbariever, to leave the subject, without offering ties which are necessarily perpetrated, when our tribute of respect and admiration to the the solemn tribunals are silenced, and inferior singular courage, fidelity, and humanity, with agents intrusted with arbitrary power. The which Mr. C. persisted, throughout these ago- speech, in this view of it, is one of the most nising scenes, in doing his duty to the unfor- striking and instructive in the published votunate prisoners, and watching over the ad- lume, which we noticed in our thirteenth voministration of that law, from the spectacle of lume. During the peace of Amiens, Mr. C. whose vengeance there was so many tempta- made a short excursion to France, and was by tions to withdraw. This painful and heroic no means delighted with what he saw there. task he undertook-and never blenched from In a letter to his son from Paris, in October its fulfilment, in spite of the toil and disgust, 1802, he says, and the obloquy and personal hazard, to which it continually exposed him. In that inflamed many ideas of it, which I have entirely given up, or
"I am glad I have come here. I entertained state of the public mind, it is easy to under- very much indeed altered. Never was there a scene stand that the advocate was frequently con- thai could furnish more to the weeping or the grin. founded with the client; and that, besides the ning philosopher; they well might agree that hu-murderous vengeance of the profligate inform- man affairs were a sad joke. I see it every where, ers he had so often to denounce, he had to round; only changed some spokes and a few fel. encounter the passions and prejudices of all lows,''very little for the better, but the axle cer. those who chose to look on the defender of tainly has not rusted; nor do I see any likelihood traitors as their associate. Instead of being of its rusting., At present all is quiet, except the cheered, therefore, as formerly, by the ap- tongue, thanks to those invaluable protectors of plauses of his auditors, he was often obliged to peace, the army!!"-Vol. ii
. pp. 206, 207. submit to their angry interruptions; and was The public life of Mr. C. was now drawing actually menanced more than once, in the to a close. He distinguished himself in 1804 open court, by the clashing arms and indig- in the Marquis of Headfort's case, and in that nant menaces of the military spectators. He of Judge Johnson in 1805: But, on the acceshad excessive numbers of soldiers, too, billet- sion of the Whigs to office in 1806, he was ted on him, and was in many other ways ex- appointed to the situation of Master of the posed to loss and vexation : But he bore it all, Rolls, and never afterwards made any public with the courage of his country, and the dig- appearance. He was not satisfied with this nity due to his profession-and consoled him- appointment; and took no pains to conceal his
dissatisfaction. His temper, perhaps; was by * The greater part of what follows in the original this time somewhat soured by ill health ; and paper is now omitted ; as touching on points in the his notion of his own importance exaggerated modern history of Ireland which has been sufficient. by the flattery of which he had long been the ly, discussed under preceding titles. I retain only daily object. Perhaps, too, the sudden withwhat relates to Mr. Curran personally; or to those drawing of those tasks and excitements, to his country than to the individual : though, for the which he had been so long accustomed, cosake chiefly of connection, I have made one allusion operating with the languor
of declining age, to the sad and most touching Judicial Tragedy may have affected his views of his own situawhich followed up the deplorable Field scenes of tion: But it certainly appears that he was the rebellion of 1798. + The extinction of the rebellion-by the slaugh.
never very gay or good-humoured after his ter of fifty thousand of the insurgents, and upwards promotion--and passed but a dull and peevish of twenty thousand of the soldiery and their adhe. time of it during the remainder of his life. In rents!
1810, he went, for the first time, to Scotland; and we cannot deny our nationality the plea- ! In France, nowever, he was not much betsure of his honest testimony. He writes thus ter off—and returned, complaining of a coto a friend soon after his arrival on our shore:-stitutional dejection, " for which he could find
“I am greatly delighted with this country. You no remedy in water or in wine." He rejoices see no trace here of ihe devil working against the in the downfall of Bonaparte; and is of opinion wisdom and beneficence of God, and torturing and that the Revolution had thrown that country degrading his creatures. It may seem the romane- a century back. In spring 1817, he began to ing of travelling; but I am satisfied of the fact, that sink rapidly; and had a slight paralytic attack The poorest man here has his children taught to read in one of his hands. He proposed to try and write, and that in every house is found a Bible, another visit to France; and still complained and in almost every house a clock: And the fruiis of this are manifest in the intelligence and manners of the depression of his spirits :-“ he had a of all ranks. In Scotland, what a work have the mountain of lead (he said) on his heart." four-and-twenty letters to show for themselves!- Early in October, he had a very severe shock the natural enemies of vice, and folly, and slavery: of apoplexy, and lingered till the 14th, when the great sowers, but the still greater weeders, of he expired in his 68th year. the human soil. Nowhere can you see here the he There is a very able and eloquent chapter cringing hypocrisy of dissembled detestation, so in. separable from oppression : and as lule do you on the character of Mr. Curran's eloquencemeet the hard, and dull, and right-lined angles of encomiastic of course, but written with great the southern visage; you find the notion exact and temper, talent, and discrimination. Its charm the phrase direct, with the natural tone of the Scot. and its defects, the learned author refers to tish muse. “The first night, at Ballintray, the landlord ai.
the state of genuine passion and vehement tended us at supper; he would do so, though we emotion in which all his best performances "begged him not. We talked to him of the cultiva. were delivered; and speaks of its effects on tion of potatoes. I said, I wondered at his taking his auditors of all descriptions, in terms which them in place of his native food, oatmeal, so mnch can leave no doubt of its substantial excel. more substantial. His answer struck me as very lence. We cannot now enter into these rhetoricharacteristic of the genius of Scotland--frugal, cal disquisitions—though they are full of idsender, and picturesque. 'Sir,' said he,' we are not so much'i' the wrong as you think; the tilth is terest and instruction to the lovers of oratory. easy, they are swift i' the cooking, they take little It is more within our province to notice, that fuel; and then it is pleasant to see the gude wife he is here said to have spoken extempore at wi' a' her bairns aboot the pot, and each wi' a po his first coming to the Bar; but when his rising tatoe in its hand.'"-Vol. ii. pp. 254–256.
reputation made him more chary of his fame, There are various other interesting letters he tried for some time to write down, and comin these volumes, and in particular a long one mit to memory, the more important parts of to the Duke of Sussex, in favour of Catholic his pleadings. The result, however, was not at Emancipation; but we can no longer afford all encouraging: and he soon laid aside his pen room for extracts, and must indeed hurry so entirely, as scarcely even to make any notes through our abstract of what remains to be in preparation. He meditated his subjects, noticed of his life. He canvassed the burgh however, when strolling in his garden, or more of Newry unsuccessfully in 1812. His health frequently while idling over his violin ; and failed very much in 1813; and the year after, often prepared, in this way, those splendid he resigned his situation, and came over tó passages and groups of images with which he London in his way to France. He seems at was afterwards to dazzle and enchant his ad. no time to have had much relish for English mirers. The only notes he made were often society. In one of his early letters, he com- of the metaphors he proposed to employ—and plains of “the proud awkward sulk" of Lon- these of the utmost brevity. For the grand don company, and now he characterises it peroration, for example, in H. Rowan's case, with still greater severity :
his notes were as follows:-"Character of "I question if it is much better in Paris. Here Stalks—Redeeming Spirit.” From such slight
Mr. R. - Furnace — Rebellion — smothered the parade is gross, and cold, and vulgar; there it hints he spoke fearlessly—and without cause is, no doubt, more flippant, and the attitude more graceful; but in either place is not Society equally for fear. With the help of such a scanty a tyrant and a slave? The judgment despises it. chart, he plunged boldly into the unbuoyed and the heart renounces it." We seek it because channel of his cause; and trusted himself to we are idle; we are idle because we are silly; and the torrent of his own eloqnence, with no the natural remedy is some social intercourse, of better guidance than such landmarks as these. the whole vial, and are sicker of the remedy than It almost invariably happened, however, that we were of the disease."'-Vol. ii. pp. 337, 338. the experiment succeeded; "that his own And again, a little after,
expectations were far exceeded; and that,
when his mind came to be more intensely " England is not a place for society. It is 100 heated by his subject, and by that inspiring cold, 190 vain, without pride enough to be hum; confidence which a public audience
seldom ble, drowned in dull fantastical formality, vulgarized fails to infuse into all who are sufficiently by rank without talent, and talent foolishly recommending itself by weight rather than by fashion- gifted to receive it, a multitude of new ideas, a perpetual war between the disappointed preten- adding vigour or ornament, were given off; sion of talent and the stupid overweening of affect. and it also happened, that, in the same proed patronage ; means without enjoyment, pursuits lific moments, and as their almost inevitable without an object, and society without conversation or intercourse : Perhaps they manage this better in consequence, some crude and fantastic notions France-a few days, I think, will enable me to escaped; which, if they impeach their audecide."-Vol. ii. pp. 345, 346.
thor's taste, at least leave him the merit of a
, which none but men of genius tincture of it 10 such writers as Milton, Bacon, can commit.” (pp. 403, 404.), The best ex- or Taylor. There is fancy and figure enough planation of his success, and the best apology certainly in their compositions: But there is for his defects as a speaker, is to be found, we no intoxication of the fancy, and no rioting believe, in the following candid passage :- and revelling among figures-no ungoverned • The Juries among whom he was thrown, and
and ungovernable impulse--no fond dalliance for whom he originally formed his style, were not with metaphors-no mad and headlong purfastidious critics; they were more usually men suit of brilliant images and passionate ex; abounding in rude unpolished sympathies, and who pressions — no lingering among tropes and were ready to surrender the treasure, of which melodies-no giddy bandying of antitheses they scarcely knew the value, to him that offered and allusions-no craving, in short, for perthem the most alluring toys. Whatever might have been his own better taste, as an advocate he soon
petual glitter, and panting after effect, till discovered, that the surest way to persuede was to both speaker and hearer are lost in the conciliate by amusing them. With them he found splendid confusion, and the argument evapothat his imagination might revel unrestrained ; that, rates in the heat which was meant to enforce when once the work of intoxication was begun, it
. This is perhaps too strongly put; but every wayward fancy and wild expression was as there are large portions of Mr. C.'s Speeches acceptable and effectual as the most refined wit; and ihat the favour which they would have refused to which we think the substance of the de10 the unattractive reasoner, or to the too distant scription will apply. Take, for instance, a and formal orator, they had not the firmness to passage, very much praised in the work bewithhol when solicited with the gay persuasive fore us, in his argument in Judge Johnson's familiarity of a companion. These careless or licentious habits, encouraged by early applause and case, -an argument, it will be remembered, victory, were never thrown aside ; and we can ob
on a point of law, and addressed not to a Jury, serve, in almost all his productions, no matter how but to a Judge. august the audience, or how solemn the occasion, that his mind is perpetually relapsing into its primi-struction has received the sanction of another Court,
“I am not ignorant that this extraordinary contive indulgences.”—pp. 412, 413.
nor of the surprise and dismay with which it smote The learned author closes this very able upon the general heart of the Bar. I am aware that and eloquent dissertation with some remarks I may have the mortification of being told, in anupon what he says is now denominated the foresee in what confusion I shall hang down my
other country, of that unhappy decision; and I Irish school of eloquence; and seems inclined head when I am told of it. But I cherish, too, the to deny that its profusion of imagery implies consolatory hope, that I shall be able to tell them, any deficiency, or even neglect of argument. that I had an old and learned friend, whom I would As we had some share, we believe, in impo- put above all the sweepings of their Hall (no great sing
this denomination, we may be pardoned compliment, we should think), who was of a differfor feeling some little anxiety that it should liberty from the purest fountains of Athens and of be rightly understood; and beg leave there- Rome–who had fed the youthful vigour of his fore to say, that we are as far as possible from studious mind with the theoretic knowledge of their holding, that the greatest richness of imagery wisest philosophers and statesmen—and who had necessarily excludes close or accurate reason- refined that theory into the quick and exquisite ing; holding, on the contrary, that it is fre- sensibility of moral instinct, by contemplating the
practice of their most illustrious examplesby quently its most appropriate vehicle and na- dwelling on the sweet-souled piety of Cimon-on tural exponent - as in Lord Bacon, Lord the anticipaled Christianity of Socrates--on the Chatham, and Jeremy Taylor. But the elo- gallant and pathetic patriotism of Epaminondasquence we wished to characterise, is that on that pure austerity of Fabricius, whom to move where the figures and ornaments of speech than to have pushed the sun from his course! I do interfere with its substantial object--where would add, that if he had seemed to hesitate, it fancy is not ministrant but predominant- was but for a moment-hat his hesitation was like where the imagination is not merely awak- the passing cloud that floals across the morning sun, ened, but intoxicated — and either overlays and’hides it from the view, and does so for a moand obscures the sense, or frolics and gambols ment hide it, by involving the spectator without even around it, to the disturbance of its march, soothing hope I draw from the dearest and tenderest and the weakening of its array for the con- recollections of my life--from the remembrance of test :- And of this kind, we still humbly think, those attic nights, and those refections of the gods, was the eloquence of Mr. Curran.
which we have spent with those admired, and reHis biographer says, indeed, that it is a mis- specied, and beloved companions, who have gone take to call it Irish, because Swift and Gold- before us; qver whose ashes the most precious smith had none of it—and Milton and Bacon Avonmore could not refrain from bursting into
(Here Lord and Chatham had much; and moreover, that iears.) Yes, my good Lord. I see you do not forBurke and Grattan and Curran had each a get them. I see their sacred forms passing in sad distinctive style of eloquence, and ought not review before your memory. I see your pained and to be classed together. How old the style softened fancy recalling those happy meetings, where may be in Ireland, we cannot undertake to the innocent enjoyment of social mirth became ex. say-though we think there are traces of it panded into the nobler warmth of social virtue, and
The horizon of the board became enlarged into the in Ossian. We would observe too, that, though horizon of man where the swelling heart conceived born in Ireland, neither Swift nor Goldsmith and communicated the pure and generous purposewere trained in the Irish school, or worked where my slenderer and younger taper imbibed its for the Irish market; and we have already borrowed light from the more matured and redunsaid, that it is totally to mistake our concep
dant fountain of yours.''— Vol. i. pp. 139–148. tion of the style in question, to ascribe any! Now, we must candidly confess, that we do not remember ever to have read any thing: -being often caught sobbing over the pathos much more absurd than this—and that the of Richardson, or laughing at the humour of puerility and folly of the classical intrusions Cervantes, with an unrestrained vehemence is even less offensive, than the heap of incon- which reminds us of that of Voltaire. He gruous inetaphors by which the meaning is spoke very slow, both in public and private, obscured. Does the learned author really and was remarkably scrupulous in his choice mean to contend, that the metaphors here of words: He slept very little, and, like Jobsadd either force or beauty to the sentiment ? son, was always averse to retire at nightor that Bacon or Milton ever wrote any thing lingering long after he arose to depart-and, in like this upon such a topic? In his happier his own house, often following one of his guests moments, and more vehement adjurations, to his charnber, and renewing the conversation Mr. C. is often beyond all question a great for an hour. He was habitually abstinent and and commanding orator; and we have no temperate; and, from his youth up, in spite of doubt was, to those who had the happiness all his vivacity, the victim of a constitutional of hearing him, a much greater orator than melancholy. His wit is said to have been ready the mere readers of his speeches have any and brilliant, and altogether without gair means of conceiving:—But we really cannot But the credit of this testimony is somewha: help repeating our protest against a style of weakened by a Little selection of his bons composition which could betray its great mas- mots, with which we are furnished in a bote. ter, and that very frequently, into such pas. The greater part, we own, appear to us to be sages as those we have just extracted. The rather vulgar and ordinary; as, when a man mischief is not to the master-whose genius of the name of Halfpenny was desired by the could efface all such stains, and whose splen- Judge to sit down, ŠIr. C. said, "I thank your did successes would sink his failures in obli- Lordship for having at last nailed that röp to vion—but to the pupils, and to the public, the counter ;"! or, when observing upon the whose taste that very genius is thus instru- singular pace of a Judge who was lame, be mental in corrupting. If young lawyers are said, " Don't you see that one leg goes before. taught to consider this as the style which like a tipstafi, to make room for the other!" should be aimed at and encouraged, to ren- —or, when vindicating his countrymen from der Judges benevolent, -by comparing them the charge of being naturally vicious, he said, to " the sweet-souled Cimon," and the “gal. He had never yet heard of an Irishman being lant Epaminondas ;' or to talk about their born drunk.” The following, however, is
young and slender tapers," and "the good—"I can't tell you, Curran," observed clouds and the morning sun," — with what an Irish nobleman, who had voted for the precious stuff will the Courts and the country Union, “how frightful our old House of Combe infested! It is not difficult to imitate the mons appears to me." "Ah! my Lord." redefects of such a style—and of all defects plied the other," it is only natural for Marthey are the most nauseous in imitation. derers to be afraid of Ghosts ;'?—and this is Even in the hands of men of genius, the risk at least grotesque. “Being asked what an is, that the longer such a style is cultivated, Irish gentleman, just arrived in England, could the more extravagant it will grow,-just as mean by perpetually putting out his for gue? those who deal in other means of intoxica- Answer—I suppose he's trying to catch the tion, are tempted to strengthen the mixture English accent.!" In his last illness. his phys. as they proceed. The learned and candid cian observing in the morning that he seemed author before us, testifies this to have been to cough with more difficulty; he answered, the progress of Mr. C. himself—and it is still “that is rather surprising, as I have been more strikingly illustrated by the history of his practising all night." models and imitators. Mr. Burke had much But these things are of little consequence. less of this extravagance than Mr. Grattan - Mr. Curran was something much better than Mr. Grattan much less than Mr. Curran-and a sayer of smart sayings. He was a lover of Mr. Curran much less than Mr. Phillips. It his country—and its fearless, its devoted, and is really of some importance that the climax indefatigable servant. To his energy and talshould be closed, somewhere.
ents she was perhaps indebted for some mitiThere is a concluding chapter, in which gation of her sufferings in the days of her exMr. C.'s skill in cross-examination, and his tremity—and to these, at all events, the public conversational brilliancy, are commemorated; has been indebted, in a great degree, for the as well as the general simplicity and affability knowledge they now have of her wrongs; and of his manners, and his personal habits and for the feeling which that knowledge has peculiarities. He was not a profound lawyer, excited, of the necessity of granting them renor much of a general scholar, though reason- dress. "It is in this character that he must ably well acquainted with all the branches of have most wished to be remembered, and in polite literature, and an eager reader of novels which he has most deserved it.
(November, 1822.) Switzerland, or a Journal of a Tour and Residence in that Country in the Years 1817, 1818,
and 1819. Followed by an Historical Sketch of the Manners and Customs of Ancient and Modern Helvetia, in which the Events of our own time are fully detailed ; together with the Causes to which they may be referred. By L. SIMOND, Author of Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain during the Years 1810 and 1811. In 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1822.*
M. SImond is already well known in this accordingly, in all his moral and political obcountry as the author of one of the best ac- servations at least, a constant aliernation of counts of it that has ever been given to the romantic philanthropy and bitter sarcasm--of world, either by native or foreigner--the full- the most captivating views of apparent hapest certainly, and the most unprejudiced- piness and virtue, and the most relentless disand containing the most faithful descriptions closures of actual guilt and misery--of the both of the aspect of our country, and the pe- sweetest and most plausible illusions, and the culiarities of our manners and character, that most withering and chilling truths.' He exhas yet come under our observation. There patiates, for example, through many pages, are some mistakes, and some sash judgments; on the heroic valour and devoted patriotism but nothing can exceed the candour of the of the old Helvetic worthies, with the memoestimate, or the fairness and independence of rials of which the face of their country is spirit with which it is made; while the whole covered—and then proceeds to dissect their is pervaded by a vein of original thought, 'character and manners with the most cruel always sagacious, and not unfrequently pro- particularity, and makes them out to have found. The main fault of that book, as a been most barbarous, venal, and unjust. In work of permanent interest and instruction, the same way, he bewitches his readers with which it might otherwise have been, is the seducing pictures of the peace, simplicity, intoo great space which is alloted to the tran- dependence, and honesty of the mountain sient occurrences and discussions of the time villagers; and by and by takes occasion to to which it refers-most of which have already tell us, that they are not only more stupid, lost their interest, and not only read like old but more corrupt than the inhabitants of cities. news and stale politics, but have extended He eulogises the solid learning and domestic their own atmosphere of repulsion to many habits that prevail at Zurich and Geneva; and admirable remarks and valuable suggestions, then makes it known to us that they are inof which they happen to be the vehicles. fested with faction and ennui. He draws a
The work before us is marked by the same delightful picture of the white cottages and excellences, and is nearly free from the faults smiling pastures in which the cheerful peasto which we have just alluded. In spite of ants of the Engadine have their romantic this, however-perhaps even in consequence habitations and then casts is down from of it-we suspect it will not generally be our elevation without the least pity, by inthought so entertaining; the scene being nec- forming us, that the best of them are those essarily so much narrower, and the persons who have returned from hawking stucco parof the drama fewer and less diversified. The rots, sixpenny looking-glasses, and coloured work, however, is full of admirable description sweetmeals through all the towns of Europe. and original remark :-nor do we know any He is always strong for liberty, and indignant book of travels, ancient or modern, which at oppression—but cannot seitle very well in contains, in the same compass, so many what liberty consists; and seems to suspect, graphic and animated delineations of exter- at last, that political rights are oftener a source nal objects, or so many just and vigorous ob- of disorder than of comfort; and that if perservations on the moral phenomena it records. son and property are tolerably secure, it is The most remarkable thing about it, however mere quixotism to look further. -and it occurs equally in the author's former So strong a contrast of warm feelings and publication—is the singular combination of cold reasonings, such animating and such deenthusiasm and austerity that appears both in spairing views of the nature and destiny of the descriptive, and the reasoning or ethical mankind, are not often to be found in the same parts of the performance-the perpetual strug- mind-and still less frequently in the same gle that seems to exist between the feelings book: And yet they amount but to an extreme and fancy of the author, and the sterner in- case, or strong example, of the inconsistencies timations of his understanding. There is, through which all men of generous tempers
and vigorous understandings are perpetually * ! reprint a part of this paper :-partly out of love passing, as the one or the other part of their to the memory of the author, who was my connec. constitution assumes the ascendant. There hinn and parricular friend :-hut chiefly for the sake are many of our good feelings, we suspect, of his remarks on our English manners, and my and some even of our good principles, that judgment on these remarks--which I would ven. lire to submit to the sensitive patriots of America, rest upon a sort of illusion; or cannot submit
at least to be questioned by frigid reason, as a specimen of the temperance with which the trio's of other countries can deal with ihe censors of without being for the time a good deal disbiler national habits and pretensions to fine breeding countenanced and impaired—and this we take