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the first rudiments of his education at one of those old Irish schools, in which the Latin and Greek languages were radically taught. No time was spent there in lisping prosody, or in composing nonsense verses: it passed in learning the root and frame of the languages; and some of the most distinguished scholars of that country have been educated in these humble seminaries. In this very village school, all that was celebrated in wit, learning, and law, in the persons of Lord Avonmore, and of Mr. Keller, had their beginnings.

Mr. Curran began very soon to develope the force of his great talents. The spring of his mind threw out its blossoms in quick and early vegetation, with an exuberant promise of fruit. No blight had power to throw into the sear or yellow leaf, those buds of hope, which his latter life did not disappoint. The benevolence, and the promised protection of the Allworths, flung a mantle over his infancy and youth. A lady of that name speedily transplanted him to the school of Middleton, a large and well established seminary in that county; there he became the favourite, and the hope that through him its fame would be widely extended; and though he did not then, or there, leave any track portending those streams of light which afterwards shone forth with such brilliancy; yet the parents of his

school-fellows frequently came to see him who outstepped all others.

.. Mrs. Allworth was benevolent; perhaps, for his taste, too ostentatious to secure his sincerest praise. It appears from the anecdote, that she delighted in the credit of a bountiful action, and the glitter of it, with equal or more sincerity than in the quiet sensation of internal pleasure; she appeared not to be over fond of paying down in ready money for so light an article as good words. However that may be, even at that early period of his youth, she was not left unnoticed by the keen and penetrating eye of Mr. Curran, who remarked, “ It is not to be wondered at, that she does not do all that is expected of her. To be enabled so to do, nature should have supplied her with three hands. It is impossible that, stintedly furnished as she is, she could accomplish the great purposes of her heart; she is not prepared for so enlarged a charity. Such in truth is her benevolence, that she would have occasion for the constant employment of three hands; but having only two, and these always engaged, one in holding the petition of the poor, the other in wiping away the tears which flow for their distresses; and not having a third to put into her pocket for their relief, she is thus rendered incapable of administering to their wants; but still she is excellent, and her heart is bountiful."

With this family he was in some degree connected by relationship, and a close friendship for a long time subsisted between them; I am not apprized that it was ever after interrupted, as both in his school and college vacations, he' passed much of his time with them, and was always kindly received, not only there, but among the Wrixons, and others of the first rank in that part of the country. And here it was (he has been heard to declare), he formed the first notions of oratory,

The wakes in the country parts of Ireland present an odd assemblage of different characters," and of different passions. The real genius of the people is no where so well, or so openly displayed,' as at those nightly meetings. It is a theatre on which tragedy, comedy, broad farce, matchmaking, speech-making, &c. all that is bizarre and comical in the genuine Irish character, develope themselves with a freedom truly fantastic. Here the scenes are shifted with a rapidity of change, and an unrestrained succession, quite' surpassing any other drama. The transitions' from the deepest and most impassioned tones of sorrow, to mirth and humour, are quick as thought. There is a melancholy in their mirth, and a mirth in their melancholy, which is often found to prevail in their music, and which was a character impressed on national sensibility, by

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successive changes of ill fortune; and as no one passion is permitted to continue very long, they mingle and vary like shades of light and darkness playing upon the surface of a sullen stream: or, like those blazes intermittingly shot forth by: the Persian fire-flies on the Meinham tree, which glittering in their confusion, shed their most beautiful lights in regular irregularity.

*

At one of those national carnivals, where the common excitements of snuff, tobacco, and whiskey, and the fruits of plundered orchards, are abundantly supplied, Mr. Curran felt the first dawn, the new-born light, and favourite transport which almost instantly seized upon his imagination, and determined his mind to the cultivation and pursuit of oratory. It was produced by the speech of a tall, finely shaped woman, with long black hair flowing loosely down her shoulders; her stature and eye commanding; her air and manner austere and majestic. On such occasions nothing is prepared; all arises out of the emotion excited by the surrounding circumstances and objects; and if the Corinne has been highly celebrated by Madame De Stael, this woman has found in Mr. Curran an eulogist not surpassed even by the enthusiastic and rapturous descriptions of the French novelist, by a re

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corder not less national, certainly not less touching.

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pace,

Some of the kindred of the deceased had made funeral orations on his merits: they measured their eulogies by his bounties; he was wealthy; his last will had distributed among his relations his fortune and effects ; but to this woman, who married without his consent, to her, his favourite niece, a widow, and with many children, he carried his resentment to the grave, and left her poor and totally unprovided for. She sat long in silence, and at length, slowly, and with a measured approaching the dead body from a distant quarter of the room, with the serenest calm of meditation, laying her hand on his forehead, she paused; and whilst all present expected a passionate and stormy expression of her anger and disappointment, she addressed these few words to him: "Those of my kindred who have uttered praises, and poured them forth with their tears to the memory of the deceased, did that, which by force of obligation they were bound to do. They have been benefited; they have, in their different degrees, profited by that bounty which he could no longer withhold. He forgot in his life the exercise of that generosity by which his memory might now be held regarded and embalmed in the hearts of a disinterested affection. Such consolation, however, as these purchased praises could

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