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His destin placed him in his proper sphere; most other men form erroneous judgements of their fitness for the particular pursuits in which they are about to engage,-many are called, but few are chosen; few are found altogether fortunate in that momentous election.

When we consider the peculiar adaptation and cast of Mr. Curran's mind for all the enterprize and activity of the profession he adopted, his spirit, capacity, and energy, probably few men in the history of the law approached that temple with more powerful pretensions. We accordingly find him called to the Irish bar in 1775; a race of illustrious men had then preceded him, and were sinking on the horizon. The late chief baron Burgh, whose persuasive eloquence made an æra at the Irish bar and in the senate, equally distinguished for the grace and harmony of his style, and the sweetness and fulness of his voice; of him it may be said, as of the Greek orator, he was the Bee. Of Mr. Burgh the following anecdote is related: Mr. Burgh and Mr. Yelverton: being both engaged on opposite sides in some great and important cause, all the powers of their talents were called forth, as well by the interest the case excited, as by a competition for fame: in speaking of the effect of Mr. Burgh's oration, Mr. Yelverton observed to a friend, that he would have been satisfied that he had obtained

the victory; "But," said he, "when I perceived an old case-hardened attorney sitting in a distant corner of the court, and saw the tears silently coursing down his iron cheeks, and these wrung from him by the touching eloquence of Mr. Burgh, I confess," said Mr. Yelverton, "I felt myself vanquished."

Barry Yelverton, afterwards Lord Avonmore, probably possessed more of the vehemence of masculine intellect than most others of his countrymen. Comprehensive and luminous, of a copious wit and extensive erudition, he was among the order of talent which Mr. Curran was to succeed. Lord Clonmell had a coarse jocularity, which was received as an useful talent. Mr. Burgh had the majesty of Virgil, and Duquery the elegance of Addison. The eldest Emmet possessed the vigour of a great and original mind; he was certainly a person of singular natural and acquired endowments; a man who read Coke on Littleton in his bed, as others do Tom Jones or the Persian Tales. Of the chaste, accomplished and classic Duquery, it is related on his own authority, that he read Robertson on the day before his best displays, to catch his unrivalled style, and to harmonize his composition by that of the master of historic eloquence. He had also to contend with the wit of Mr. Keller, and the unbending stubbornness of Hoare, a person in whom,

if but one wreck was left behind, you discern the marks of what genius, unaided as it was, could: achieve in the figure of the Cornish plunderer.

"But if a sickly appetite cannot be controlled, and must be fed with perpetual supplies of dearly purchased variety, let the wealth he commands and abuses, procure it, without breaking in upon the peace and honour of respectable families. The noble lord proceeded to the completion of his diabolical project, not with the rash precipitancy of youth, but with the most cool and deliberate consideration. The Cornish plunderer, intent on spoil, callous to every touch of humanity, shrouded in darkness, holds out false lights to the tempest-tost vessel, and lures her and her pilot to that shore upon which she must be lost for ever, -the rock unseen, the ruffian invisible, and nothing apparent but the treacherous signal of security and repose; so this prop of the throne, this pillar of the state, this stay of religion, the ornament of the peerage, this common protector of the people's privileges, and of the crown's prerogatives, descends from these high grounds of character, to muffle himself in the gloom of his own base and dark designs, to play before the eyes of the deluded wife and the deceived husband, the falsest lights of love to the one, and of friendly and hospitable regards to the other, until she is at length dashed upon that hard bosom, where her

honour and happiness are wrecked and lost for ever; the agonized husband beholds the ruin with those sensations of misery and of horror, which you can better feel than I describe; her, upon whom he had embarked all his hopes and all his happiness in this life, the treasure of all his earthly felicities, the rich fund of all his hoarded joys, sunk before his eyes into an abyss of infamy, or if any fragment escape, escaping to solace, to gratify, to enrich her vile destroyer. Such, gentlemen, is the act upon which you are to pass your judgement; such is the injury upon which you are to set a price*."

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Of the caustic acerbity of Mr. Hoare, this anecdote was related by himself to the Editor :— In a notable conflict between him and the late judge Robinson, (suppose it so,) whose temper was so vitriolic that he became the object of universal dislike; the judge was small and peevish, Mr. Hoare strong and solemn; the former had been powerfully resisted by the uncompromising sternness of the latter; at length, the judge charged him with a desire to bring the king's commission into contempt. No, my lord," said Mr. Hoare, "I have read in a book that when a peasant, during


* This is an extract from Mr. Hoare's speech on behalf of the Reverend Charles Massy, plaintiff, against the Marquis of Headfort.

the troubles of Charles the First, found the king's crown in a bush, he shewed to it all marks of reverence; but I will go a step farther, for though I should find the king's commission even on a bramble, still I shall respect it."

John Fitzgibbon, afterwards lord Clare, and lord high chancellor of Ireland, was a competitor whose ardent and energetic decision of character, whose precision of mind and legal capacity, rendered him a formidable rival. They did not uniformly run the same course of competition: Mr. Curran was not early qualified to start for the hunter's plate, nor had he ever much taste for the Olympics of a Castle chase; for such, he said, he was short by the head. Yet Mr. Curran often repeated, that had not the father of Mr. Fitzgibbon pre-occupied the ground for his son, by one stage, he never should or could have gone beyond him. But whenever these high-mettled racers started fairly, and on an equal plain, Mr. Curran was always first at the winning post. So rapidly did his fame spread, that shortly after he was called to the bar, he was employed (in one of those sanguinary elections for the county of Tipperary,) for Daniel Toler, Esq. (the eldest brother of Lord Norbury,) a person not to be passed without the notice of all respect due to a gentleman of exquisite wit, universally beloved, and who sat twice in parliament for that county. It was by the desire

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