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memory, he is fond of repeating passages from the older poets, which he recites with propriety and force. Of modern authors he is wholly ignorant, nor is a new book to be found in his library. His study presents, indeed, a curious spectacle. In the centre of the room lies a heap of old papers, covered with dust, mingled with political pamphlets, written some forty years ago, together with an odd volume of the “ Irish Parliamentary Debates,” recording the speeches of Mr. Sergeant Toler. On the shelves, which are half empty, and exhibit a most “ beggarly account,” there are some forty moth-eaten lawbooks; and by their side appear odd volumes of “ Peregrine Pickle,” and “ Roderick Random,” with the “Newgate Calendar," complete. A couple of wornout saddles, with rusty stirrups, hang from the top of one of the bookcases, wlich are enveloped with cobwebs; and a long line of veteran boots of mouldy leather are arrayed on the opposite side of the room. King William's picture stands over the chimney-piece, with prints of Eclipse and other celebrated racers, from which his lordship's politics, and other predilections, may be collected.
He was a remarkably good horseman, and even now always appears well mounted in the streets. A servant, dressed in an ancient livery, rides close beside him; and by his very proximity and care, assists a certain association with loneliness which has begun to attend him. He has, in truth, assumed of late a very dreary and desolate aspect. When he rode to court, as he did every day while a judge, he exhibited, for his time of life, great alacrity and spirit; and as he passed by Mr. Joy, wliom he looked upon as his probable successor, putting spurs to his horse, lie cantered rapidly along. But now he is without occupation or pursuit, and looks alone in the world. His gayety is gone, and when he stops an old acquaintance in the street to inquire liow the world wags, his voice and manner exhibit a certain wandering and oblivion, while his face seems at once dull, melancholy, and abstracted.
Sometimes he rides beyond Dublin, and is to be met in lonely and unfrequented roads, looking as if he was musing over mournful recollections, or approaching to a suspension of all thought. Not many days ago, on my return to town from a short excursion. in the country, as the evening drew on, I saw him riding near a cemetery, while the chill breezes of October were beginning to grow bitter, and the leaves were falling rapidly from the old and withered trees in the adjoining churchyard. The wind had an additional bleakness as it blew over the residences of the dead; and although it imparted to liis red and manly cheeks a stronger flush, still, as it stirred his gray locks, it seemed with its wintry murmurs to whisper to the old man a funeral admonition. He appeareil, as lie urged on his horse and tried to hurry from so dismal a scene, to shrink and huddle himself from the blast. In anticipation of an event, which can not be remote (while I forgot all his political errors, and only remembered how often lie bad beguiled a tedious hour, and set the Four Courts in a roar), 1 could not help muttering, as I passed him, with some feeling of regret, “ Alas, poor Yorick !"
The delineation of the leading members of the Irish bar is not the only object of these sketches. It is my purpose to describe the striking scenes, and to record the remarkable incidents, which fall within my own forensic observation. That these incidents and scenes should take place in our courts of justice, affords a sufficient justification for making the “Sketches of the Irish Bar” the medium of their narration. I might also suggest that the character of the bar itself is more or less influenced by the nature of the business in which it is engaged. The mind of any man who habitually attends the assizes of Clonmel carries deep, and not perhaps the most useful, impressions away from it. How often have I reproached myself with having joined in the boisterous merriment which either the jests of counsel or the droll perjuries of the witnesses have produced during the trial of a capital offence! How often have I seen the bench, the jury, the bar, and the galleries, of an Irish court of justice, in a roar of tumultuous laughter, while I beheld in the dock the wild and baggard face of a wretch who, placed on the verge of eternity, seemed to be surveying the gulf on the brink of which he stood, and presented, in his ghastly aspect and motionless demeanor, a reproof of the spirit of hilarity with which he was to be sent before his God!
It is not that there is any kind of cruelty intermixed with this tendency to mirth ; but that the perpetual recurrence of incidents of the most awful character divests them of the power of producing effect, and that they—
“ Whose fell of hair
acquire such a familiarity with direness, that they become not only insensible to the dreadful nature of the spectacles which are presented, but scarcely conscious of them. But it is not merely because the bar itself is under the operation of the incidents which furnish the materials of their professional occupation that I have selected the last assizes at Cloumel as the subject of this article. The extensive circulation of this periodical work affords the opportunity of putting the English public in possession of many illustrative facts; and in narrating the events which attended the murder of Daniel Mara, and the trial of his assassins, I propose to myself the useful end of fixing the general attention upon a state of things which ought to lead all wise and good men to the consideration of the only effectual means by which the evils which result from the moral condition of the country may be remedied.*
In the month of April, 1827, a gentleman of the name of Chadwick was murdered in the open day, at a place called Rath Cannon, in the immediate vicinity of the old Abbey of Holycross. Mr. Chadwick was the member of an influential family, and was employed as land-agent in collecting their rents. The person who fills this office in England is called “ a steward ;" but in Ireland it is designated by the more honorable name of a land-agency. The discharge of the duties of this situation must be always more or less obnoxious. In times of public distress, the landlord, who is liimself urged by his own creditors, urges lis agent on, and the latter inflicts upon the tenants the necessities of his employer.
I have heard that Mr. Chadwick was not peculiarly rigorous in the exaction of rent, but he was singularly injudicious in his demeanor toward tlie lower orders. He believed that they detested him; and, possessing personal courage, bade them defiance. He was not a man of a bad heart; but was despotic and contumelious in his manners to those whose hatred he returned with contempt. It is said that he used to stand among a body of the peasantry, and, observing that his corpulency was on the increase, was accustomed to exclaim, “ I think I am fattening upon your curses !” In answer to these taunts
* This sketch was published in July, 1828.-M.
the peasants who surrounded him, and who were well habitu. ated to the concealment of their fierce and terrible passions, affected to laugh, and said that “his honor was mighty pleasant; and sure his honor, God bless him, was always fond of his joke!" But while they indulged in the sycophaney under which they are wont to smother their sanguinary detestations, they were lying in wait for the occasion of revenge. Perhaps, however, they would not have proceeded to the extremities to which they had recourse, but for a determination evinced by Mr. Chadwick to take effectual means for keeping them in awe. He set about building a police-barrack at Rath Cannon. It was resolved that Mr. Chadwick should die.
This decision was not the result of individual vengeance. The wide confederacy into which the lower orders are organized in Tipperary held council upon him, and the village areopagus pronounced his sentence. It remained to find an executioner.
Patrick Grace, who was almost a boy, but was distinguished by various feats of guilty courage, offered himself as a volunteer in what was regarded by him as an honorable cause. He had set up in the county as a sort of knight-errant against landlords; and, in the spirit of a barbarous chivalry, proffered his gratuitous services wherever what he conceived to be a wrong was to be redressed. He proceeded to Rath Cannon; and, without adopting any sort of precaution, and while the public road was traversed by numerous passengers, in the broad daylight, and just beside the barrack, in the construction of which Mr. Chadwick was engaged, shot that unfortunate gentleman, who fell instantly dead.
This dreadful crime produced a great sensation, not only in the county where it was perpetrated, but through the whole of Ireland. When it was announced in Dublin, it created a sort of dismay, as it evinced the spirit of atrocious intrepidity to which the peasantry had been roused. It was justly accounted, by those who looked upon this savage assassination with most horror, as furnishing evidence of the moral condition of the people, and as intimating the consequences which might be Anticipated from the ferocity of the peasantry, if ever thev