Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

Notwithstanding the censure which I have intimated of Mr. Bellew's political tendencies and opinions, I repeat, and that sincerely and unaffectedly, that I entirely acquit him of all deliberate corruption. His private life gives an earnest of integrity which I can not question. It is, in all his individual relations in society, deserving of the most unqualified encomium. It would be a deviation from delicacy, even for the purposes of praise, to follow Mr. Bellew through the walks of private life. Suffice it to say, that a more generous, amiable, and tender-hearted man is not to be found in his profession, and underneath a frozen and somewhat rugged surface, a spring of deep and abundant goodness lives in his mind.

If in tlie lasty writing of the present sketel, I have allowed grotesque images in connection with Mr. Bellew to pass across my mind, I have “set down naught in malice;” and if I have ventured on a smile, that smile has not been sardonic. In addition to the other qualities of Mr. Bellew for which he merits high praise, I should not omit his sincere spirit of religion. He is one of those few who unite with the creed of the Pharisee the sensibilities of the Samaritan. Mr. Bellew is a devout and unostentatious Roman Catholic, deeply convinced of the truth of his religion, and most rigorous in the practice of its precepts. The only requisite which he wants to give him a complete title to spiritual perfection, is one in which some of his learned brethren are not deficient; and it can not be said that he “lias given joy in heaven,” upon the principle on which so many barristers have the opportunity of administering to the angelic transports. One of the results of his having been always equally moral and abstemious as at present is, that his dedication to religion attracts no notice. If another barrister receives the sacrament, it is bruited through town; and at all tlie Catholic parties, the ladies describe, with a pious minuteness, the collected aspect, the combined expression of penitence and humility, the clasped hands, and thie uplifted eyes of the counsellors; while the devout Mr. Bellew, wlio goes through the same sacred exercise, passes without a comment.

In truth, I should not myself know that Mr. Bellew was a

[blocks in formation]

vidual

man of such strong religious addictions, but for an incident which put me upon the inquiry. Upon Ash-Wednesday, it is the practice among pious Catholics to approach the altar; and while he repeats in a solemn tone, “Remember, man, that thou art dust,” with the ashes which he carries in a vase the priest impresses the foreheads of those who kneel before him with the sign of the cross.

Some two or three years ago, I recollect the court was kept waiting for Mr. Bellew, and the Master of the Rolls began to manifest some unusual symptoms of impatience, when at last Mr. Bellew entered, having just come from his devotions; and such was his haste from chapel, that he had omitted to efface thie “memento morifrom his brow. The countenance of this gentleman is in itself sufficiently full of melancholy reminiscences; but when the Master of the Rolls, raising liis eyes from a notice which he was diligently perusing, looked lim full in the face, he gave an involuntary start. The intimation of judicial astonishment directed the general attention to the advocate; and traced in broad sepulchral lines, formed of ashes of ebony in the very centre of Mr. Bellew's forehead, and surmounted by an ample and fully-powdered wig, the black and appalling emblem. The burning cross upon the forehead of the sorcerer, in “ The Monk,” could not have produced a more awful effect. The Six Clerks stood astonished; the Registrar was petrified; the whiskers of Mr. Daniel M*Kay, the Irish Vice-Chancellor, stood on end ; and while Mr. Driscoll explained the matter to Mr. Sergeant Lefroy, Sir William M‘Mahon with some abruptness of tone declared that he would not go beyond the motion.*

SSION,

ce,

pored

CIOS

lave

* Sir William M-Mahon, appointed Master of the Rolls in Ireland, through the influence of his brother, Sir John, Private Secretary to George IV. when Regent, was anything but a lawyer. Mr. Sheil's first wife was Miss O'Hallaron, piece to Sir William.-M.

g*

MICHAEL O'LOGHLIN.

“ COUNSELLOR O'Loghlin, my motion is on, in the Rolls !"

Ih, Counsellor, I'm ruined for the want of you in the ComIwon Pleas!” “For God's sake, Counsellor, step up for a moment to Master Townsend's office !” “ Counsellor, what will I do without you in the King's Bench!” “Cousellor O'Loghlin, Mr. O'Grady is carrying all before him in the Court of Exchequer !" Such were the simultaneous exclamations, which, upon entering the Hall of the Four Courts, at the beginning of last term, I heard from a crowd of attorneys, who surrounded a little gentleman, attired in a wig and gown, and were clamorously contending for his professional services, which they had respectively retained, and to which, from the strenuousness of their adjurations, they seemed to attach the utmost value.

Mr. O’Loglilin stood in some suspense in the midst of this riotous competition. While he was deliberating to which of the earnest applicants for lis attendance he should addict himself, I had an opportunity to take notes of him. He had at first view a very juvenile aspect. His figure was lighthis stature low, but liis form compact, and symmetrically put together. His complexion was fresh and healthy, and intimated a wise acquaintance with the morning sun, more than a familiarity with the less salubrious glimmerings of the midnight lamp. His hair was of sanded lue, like that of bis Danish forefathers, from whom his name, which in Gaelic signifies Denmark, as well as his physiognomy, intimates his descent. Although at first he appeared to have just passed the boundaries of boyhood, yet upon a closer inspection all symptoms

BAR ASSIZE COSTUME.

107

of puerility disappeared. His head is large, and, from the breadth and altitude of the forehead, denotes a more than ordinary quantity of that valuable pulp, with the abundance of which the intellectual power is said to be in measure. His large eyes of deep blue, although not enlightend by the flashings of constitutional vivacity, carry a more professional expression, and bespeak caution, sagacity, and slyness, while his mouth exhibits a steadfast kindliness of nature, and a tranquillity of temper, mixed with some love of ridicule, and, although perfectly free from malevolence, a lurking tendency to derision.* An enormous bag, pregnant with briefs, was thrown over his shoulder. To this prodigious wallet of litigation on his back, his person presented a curious contrast.

At the moment I surveyed him, he was surrounded by an aggregate meeting of attorneys, each of whom claimed a title paramount to the Counsellor,” and vehemently enforced their respective rights to his exclusive appropriation. He seemed to be at a loss to determine to wliich of these amiable expostulators his predilections ought to be given. I thought that he chiefly hesitated between Mr. Richard Scott, the protector

* Mr. O'Loghlin's appearance was very distinguished. He had clear blue eyes, which almost seemed to smile, if I may so express it. His light hair curled closely and crisply on a head which was beautifully set upon his shoulders. His figure was compact and light, and, as much as any one whom I recollect on the Munster Circuit, his neatness of attire evidenced that he cultivated the graces. In those days, barristers wore neither wigs nor gowns in the Assize Courts, on circuit, and thus every one could notice their “human face divine," without the professional accompaniments which so much change its expression. Mr. O'Connell very frequently wore a green sporting jacket, in the Assize Court — but his usual attire was the “customary suit of solenin black.” He was careful, and rather felicitous, in the tie of his white cravat, but, when he warmed in a speech, he used to seize this article of his dress and pull it on one side or the other, occasionally varying the action, by twitching his black wig from right to left, and back again, as if to adjust it properly on his head. Mr. Wolfe, who subsequently became Chief Baron of the Exchequer, presented a marked contrast to O’Loghlin and O'Connell. He was careless in his attire, wore his garments as if he never had consulted a mirror, and had a habit of thrusting his long hands through his dark hair. He was tall in stature, awkward and angular in his movemenis, and swarthy in complexion. His voice, like that of most Irish barristers, was clear and strong; his utterance good; and his occasional emphacising very effective with juries.-M.

of the subject in Emis, and Mr. Edward Hickman, the patron of the crown, upon the Connaught circuit. Ned, a loyalist of the brightest water, had hold of him by one shoulder, while Dick, a patriot of the first magnitude, laid his grasp upon the other. Between their rival attractions, Mr. O'Loghlin stood with a look, which, so far from intimating that either of “the two charmers” should be away, expressed regret at his inability to apportion himself between these fascinating disputants for his favors. Mr. Scott, whose countenance was inflamed with anxiety for the numerous clients, exhibited great vehemence and emotion. His meteoric hair stood up, his quick and eager eye was on fire, the indentations upon his forehead were filled with perspiration, and the whole of his strongly Celtic visage was moved by that honorable earnestness, which arises from a solicitude for the interest of those who intrust their fortunes to liis care. Ned Hickman, whose countenance never relinquishes the expression of mixed finesse and drollery for which it is remarkable, excepting when it is laid down for an air of profound reverence for the Attorney-General, was amusingly opposed to Mr. Scott; for Ned holds all emotion to be vulgar, and, on account of its gentility, hath addicted himself to self-control.

Mr. O'Loghlin, as I have intimated, seemed for some time to waver between them, but at length Mr. Hickman, by virtue of a whisper, accompanied by a look of official sagacity (for he is one of the crown solicitors), prevailed, and was carrying Mr. O'Loglilin off in triumplı, when a deep and rumbling sound was heard to issue from the Court of Exchequer, and shortly after, there was seen descending its steps, a form of prodigious altitude and dimensions, in whose masses of corpulency, which were piled up to an amazing height, I recognised no less eminent a person than Bumbo Green.* He came like an ambula

The individual known as “Bumbo” Green, was well known, in the Irish law-Courts, some five-and-twenty years ago). I saw him once and to see was to remember. He was an attorney in good practice; hailing, I believe, from the west of Ireland. He knew the private affairs of three fourths of the estatea gentlemen in the counties of Galway and Clare, and no lawsuit of any imporlance was entered into, in that part of the world, without Mr. Green being em.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »