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AN AGGREGATE MEETING.
cable to force my way toward the chair, I was obliged to ascend and occupy a place in the gallery. I must confess that I was not sorry for the disappointment; for, in the first feeling of awe which the scene inspired, I found that my oratorical courage, which, like natural courage,
comes and goes,” was rapidly “oozing out;" — but, as the business and the passions of the day proceeded as the fire of national emotion lighted every eye, and exploded in simultaneous volleys of applause-- all my apprehensions for myself were forgotten. Every fresh round of huzzas that rent the roof rekindled my ambition. I became impatient to be fanned, for my own sake, by the beautiful white bandkerchiefs that waved around me, and stirred my blood like the visionary flags of the fabled Houris inviting the Mohammedan warrior to danger and to glory.
O'Connell, who was speaking, spied me in the gallery. He perceived at once that I had a weight of oratory pressing upon my mind, and good-naturedly resolved to quicken the delivery. Without naming me, he made an appeal to me under the character of " a liberal and enlightened young Protestant,” which I well understood. This was conclusive, and he had no sooner sat down than I was on my legs.
The sensation my unexpected appearance created was immense. I had scarcely said "My Lord, I rise," when I was stopped short by cheers that lasted for some minutes. It was really delicious music, and was repeated at the close of almost every sentence of my speech. I shall not dwell upon the speech itself, as most of my readers must remember it, for it appeared the next day in the Dublin Journals (the best report was in the Freeman), and was copied into all the London opposition papers except the Times. It is enough to say that the effect was, on the whole, tremendous.
As soon as I had concluded, a special messenger was despatched to conduct me to the platform. On my arrival there, I was covered with praises and congratulations. O'Connell was the warmest in the expression of his admiration : yet I thought I could read in his eyes that there predominated over that feeling the secret triumph of the partisan, at having con
tributed to bring over a young deserter from the enemy's camp. However, he took care that I should not
without my reward.
He moved a special resolution of thanks" to his illustrious young friend," whom he described as “one of those rare and felicitous combinations of human excellence, in which the spirit of a Washington is embodied with the genius of a Grattan,” These were his very words, but my modesty was in no way pained at them, for I believed every syllable to be literally true.
I went home in a glorious intoxication of spirits. My success had surpassed my most sanguine expectations. I had now established a character for public speaking, which, independently of the general fame that would ensue, must inevitably lead to my retainer in every important case where the passions were to be movel, and, whenever the Whigs should come in, to a seat in the British Senate.
After a restless night-in which however, when I did sleep, I contrived to dream, at one time that I was at the head of my profession, at another that I was on the opposition-side of the House of Commons redressing Irish grievances --I sallied forth to the Courts to enjoy the impression which my display of the day before must have made there. On my way, my ears were regaled by the cries of the news-hawkers, announcing that the morning papers contained "Young Counsellor
's grand and elegant speech."-" This," thought I, “is genuine fame," and I pushed on with a quickened pace toward tlie Hall.
On my entrance, the first person that caught my eye was my friend and fellow-student, Dick We had been intimate at College, and inseparable at the Temple. Our tastes and tempers had been alike, and our political opinions the same, except that he sometimes went far beyond me in his abstract enthusiasm for the rights of man. I was surprised for our eyes met-- that lie did not rush to tender me his greetings. However, I went up to him, and held out my band in the usual cordial way. He took it, but in a very unusual way. The friendly pressure was no longer there. His countenance,
which heretofore bad glowed with warmth at my approach, was still and chilling. He made no allusion to my speech, but looking round as if fearful of being observed, and muttering something about its being “ Equity-day in the Exchequer," moved away. This was a modification of “genuine fame" for which I was quite unprepared. In my present elevation of spirits, however, I was rather perplexed than offended at the occurrence. I was willing to suspect that my friend must have found himself suddenly indisposed, or that, in spite of his better feelings, an access of involuntary envy might have overpowered him; or perhaps, poor fellow, some painful subject of a private nature might be pressing upon liis mind, so as to cause this strange revolution in his mamer. At tlie time I never adverted to the rumor that there was shortly to be a vacancy for a commissionership of bankrupts, nor bad I been aware that his name as a candidate stood first on the Chancellor's list. He was appointed to the place a few days after, and the mystery of his coldness was explained.
Yet, I must do him the justice to say that lie had no sooner attained his object than he showed symptoms of remorse for having shaken me off. He praised my speech, in a confidential way, to a mutual friend, and I forgave him
for one gets tired of being indignant—and to this day we converse wit our old familiarity upon all subjects except the abstract rights of man. In the course of the morning I received many similar manifestations of homage to my genius from others of my Protestant colleagues. The young, who up to that time liad sought my society, now brushed by me as if there was infection in my touch. The seniors, some of whom had occasionally condescended to take my arm in the Hall, and treat me to prosing details of their adventures at the Temple, held themselves suddenly aloof, and, if our glances encountered, petrified me with looks of establisher order. In whatever direction I cast my eyes, I met signs of anger or estrangeinent, or, what was still less welcome, of pure commiseratiov.
Such were the first fruits of my “grand and elegant speech,” which had combined (O'Connell, may Heaven forgive you !) "the spirit of a Washington with the genius of a Grattan,"
I must, however, in fairness state that I was not utterly " left alone in my glory." The Catholics certainly crowded round me and extolled me to the skies. One eulogized my simile of the eagle; another swore that the Corporation would never recover from the last bit I gave them; a third that fortune at the Bar was made. I was invited to all their dinner-parties, and as far as “lots" of white soup and Spanish flummery went, had unquestionably no cause to complain. The attorneys, in both public and private, were loudest in their admiration of my rare qualifications for success in my profession; but, thongh they took every occasion, for weeks and months after, to recur to the splendor of my eloquence, it still somebow happened that not one of them sent me a guinea.
I was beginning to charge the whole body with ingratitude, when I was agreeably induced to change my opinion, at least for a while. One of the most rising among them was an old schoolfellow of mine, named Shanahan. He might have been of infinite service to me, but he had never employed me, even in the most trivial matter. We were still, however, on terms of, to me rather unpleasant familiarity ; for he affected in luis language and manners a certain wagyish slang, from which my classical sensibilities revolted. One day, as I was going my usual rounds in the Hall, Shanahan, who held a bundle of briefs under his arm, came up and drew me aside toward one of the recesses. "Ned, my boy,” said lie, for that was bis customary style of addressing me, “ I just want to tell you that I have a sporting record now at issue, and which I'm to bring down to
for trial at the next assizes. It's an action against a magistrate, and a Bille-distributer into the bargain, for the seduction of a farmer's daughter. You are to be in it- I bave taken care of that. and I just want to know if you'd like to state the case, for, if you do, it can be managed." My heart palpitated with gratitude, but it would have been umprofessional to give it utterance; so I simply expressed my readiness to undertake the office. Consider yourself, then, retained as stating counsel," said lie, but without handing me
• All you want is an opportunity of showing what you can do with a jury, and never was there a finer one than
THE LAWYER IN LOVE.
this. It was just such another that first brouglit that lad tliere into notice," pointing to one of the sergeants that rustled by
"You shall have your instructions in full time to be prepared. Only hit the Bible-boy in the way I know you can, and your name will be up on the circuit.”
The next day Shanahan called me aside again. In the interval, I had composed a striking exordium and peroration, with several powerful passages of general application, to be interspersed according as the facts should turn ont, through the body of the statement. " Ned,” said the attorney to me, as soon as we had reached a part of the Hall where there was no risk of being overlieard, “ I now want to consult you upon" - here he rather hesitated. “ in fact, upon a little case of my own." After a short
“ You know a young lady from your county, Miss Dickson ?”
.“ Harriet Dickson ?" The
one.". " Intimately well; she's now in town with her cousins in Harcourt street: I see her almost every day."-"She has a very pretty property too, they say, under her father's will — a lease for lives renewable for ever."
“So I have always understood.”—“In fact, Ned,” he continued, looking somewhat foolish, and in a tone balf slaug, half sentiment, “ I am rather inclined to think- as at present advised -- that she has partly gained my affections. Come, come, my boy, no laughing; upon my faith and soul, I'm serious - and what's more, I have reason to think that she'll have no objection to my telling her so: but, with those devils of cousins at her elbow, there's no getting her into a corner with one's self for an instant; so, what I want you to do for me, Ned, is this -- just to throw your eye over a wide-line copy of a little notice to that effect I have been thinking of serving her with.” Here he extracted from a mass of law-locuments a paper endorsed, “Draft letter to Miss Damme," and folled up and tied with red tape like the rest. The matter corresponded with the exterior. I contrived, but not without an effort, to preserve my countenance as I pernsed this singular production, in which sighs and vows were embodied in the language of an affidavit to hold to bail. Amid the manifold vagaries of Cupid, it was the first time I had seen him