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and allusions - no craving, in short, for perpetual glitter, and panting after effect, till both speaker and hearer are lost in the splendid confusion, and the argument evaporates in the heat which was meant to enforce it. This is perhaps too strongly put; but there are large portions of Mr. C.'s Speeches to which we think the substance of the description will apply. Take, for instance, a passage, very much praised in the work before us, in his argument in Judge Johnson's case, an argument, it will be remembered, on a point of law, and addressed, not to a Jury, but to a Judge.

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"I am not ignorant that this extraordinary construction has received the sanction of another Court, nor of the surprise and dismay with which it smote upon the general heart of the Bar. I am aware that I may have the mortification of being told, in another country, of that unhappy decision; and I foresee in what confusion I shall hang down my head when I am told it. But I cherish, too, the consolatory hope, that I shall be able to tell them, that I had an old and learned friend, whom I would put above all the sweepings of their Hall, (no great compliment, we should think,) who was of a different opinion who had derived his ideas of civil liberty from the purest fountains of Athens and of Rome - who had fed the youthful vigour of his studious mind with the theoretic knowledge of their wisest philosophers and statesmen — and who had refined that theory into the quick and exquisite sensibility of moral instinct, by contemplating the practice of their most illustrious examples-by dwelling on the sweet-souled piety of Cimon-on the anticipated Christianity of Socrates on the gallant and pathetic patriotism of Epaminondas on that pure austerity of Fabricius, whom to move from his integrity would have been more difficult than to have pushed the sun from his course! I would add, that if he had seemed to hesitate, it was but for a moment-that his hesitation was like the passing cloud that floats across the morning sun, and hides it from the view, and does so for a moment hide it, by involving the spectator without even approaching the face of the luminary. And this soothing hope I draw from the dearest and tenderest recollections of my life-from the remembrance of those attic nights, and those refections of the gods, which we have spent with those admired, and respected, and beloved companions, who have gone before us; over whose ashes the most precious tears of Ireland have been shed. [Here Lord Avonmore could not refrain from bursting into tears.] Yes, my good Lord, I see you do not forget them. I see their sacred forms passing in sad review before your memory. I see your pained and softened fancy recalling those happy meetings, where the innocent enjoyment of social mirth became expanded into the nobler warmth of social virtue, and the horizon of the board became enlarged into the horizon of man where the swelling heart conceived and communicated the

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CURRAN

GREAT VICES OF HIS STYLE.

pure and generous purpose · where my slenderer and younger taper imbibed its borrowed light from the more matured and redundant fountain of yours."-Vol. i. pp. 139-148.

Now, we must candidly confess, that we do not remember ever to have read any thing much more absurd than this-and that the puerility and folly of the classical intrusions is even less offensive, than the heap of incongruous metaphors by which the meaning is obscured. Does the learned author really mean to contend, that the metaphors here add either force or beauty to the sentiment? or that Bacon or Milton ever wrote any thing like this upon such a topic? In his happier moments, and more vehement adjurations, Mr. C. is often beyond all question a great and commanding orator; and we have no doubt was, to those who had the happiness of hearing him, a much greater orator than the mere readers of his speeches have any means of conceiving:- But we really cannot help repeating our protest against a style of composition which could betray its great master, and that very frequently, into such passages as those we have just extracted. The mischief is not to the master— whose genius could efface all such stains, and whose splendid successes would sink his failures in oblivion but to the pupils, and to the public, whose taste that very genius is thus instrumental in corrupting. If young lawyers are taught to consider this as the style which should be aimed at and encouraged, to render Judges benevolent,-by comparing them to "the sweetsouled Cimon," and the "gallant Epaminondas;" or to talk about their own "young and slender tapers," and "the clouds and the morning sun," with what precious stuff will the Courts and the country be infested! It is not difficult to imitate the defects of such a style — and of all defects they are the most nauseous in imitation. Even in the hands of men of genius, the risk is, that the longer such a style is cultivated, the more extravagant it will grow,-just as those who deal in other means of intoxication, are tempted to strengthen the mixture as they proceed. The learned and candid author before us, testifies this to have been the progress of Mr. C.

CONVERSATIONAL ENDOWMENTS.

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himself and it is still more strikingly illustrated by the history of his models and imitators. Mr. Burke had much less of this extravagance than Mr. Grattan Mr. Grattan much less than Mr. Curran-and Mr. Curran much less than Mr. Phillips.-It is really of some importance that the climax should be closed, somewhere.

There is a concluding chapter, in which Mr. C.'s skill in cross-examination, and his conversational brilliancy, are commemorated; as well as the general simplicity and affabilty of his manners, and his personal habits and peculiarities. He was not a profound lawyer, nor much of a general scholar, though reasonably well acquainted with all the branches of polite literature, and an eager reader of novels-being often caught sobbing over the pathos of Richardson, or laughing at the humour of Cervantes, with an unrestrained vehemence which reminds us of that of Voltaire. He spoke very slow, both in public and private, and was remarkably scrupulous in his choice of words: He slept very little, and, like Johnson, was always averse to retire at night -lingering long after he arose to depart-and, in his own house, often following one of his guests to his chamber, and renewing the conversation for an hour. He was habitually abstinent and temperate; and, from his youth up, in spite of all his vivacity, the victim of a constitutional melancholy. His wit is said to have been ready and brilliant, and altogether without gall. But the credit of this testimony is somewhat weakened by a little selection of his bons mots, with which we are furnished in a note. The greater part, we own, appear to us to be rather vulgar and ordinary; as, when a man of the name of Halfpenny was desired by the Judge to sit down, Mr. C. said, "I thank your Lordship for having at last nailed that rap to the counter;" or, when observing upon the singular pace of a Judge who was lame, he said, "Don't you see that one leg goes before, like a tipstaff, to make room for the other?"-or, when vindicating his countrymen from the charge of being naturally vicious, he said, "He had never yet heard of an Irish

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man being born drunk." The following, however, is good—“I can't tell you, Curran," observed an Irish nobleman, who had voted for the Union, "how frightful our old House of Commons appears to me." "Ah! my Lord," replied the other, "it is only natural for Murderers to be afraid of Ghosts;"-and this is at least grotesque. "Being asked what an Irish gentleman, just arrived in England, could mean by perpetually putting out his tongue? Answer-I suppose he's trying to catch the English accent." In his last illness, his physician observing in the morning that he seemed to cough with more difficulty, he answered, "That is rather surprising, as I have been practising all night."

But these things are of little consequence. Mr. Curran was something much better than a sayer of smart sayings. He was a lover of his country-and its fearless, its devoted, and indefatigable servant. To his energy aud talents she was perhaps indebted for some mitigation of her sufferings in the days of her extremity-and to these, at all events, the public has been indebted, in a great degree, for the knowledge they now have of her wrongs; and for the feeling which that knowledge has excited, of the necessity of granting them redress. It is in this character that he must have most wished to be remembered, and in which he has most deserved it.

CURRAN―HIS TRUE TITLES TO DISTINCTION.

SIMOND'S SWITZERLAND.

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(NOVEMBER, 1822.)

Switzerland, or a Journal of a Tour and Residence in that Country in the Years 1817, 1818, and 1819. Followed by an Historical Sketch of the Manners and Customs of Ancient and Modern Helvetia, in which the Events of our own Time are fully detailed; together with the Causes to which they may be referred. By L. SIMOND, Author of Journal of a Tour and Residence in Great Britain during the Years 1810 and 1811. In 2 vols. 8vo. London: 1822.*

M. SIMOND is already well known in this country as the author of one of the best accounts of it that has ever been given to the world, either by native or foreignerthe fullest certainly, and the most unprejudiced-and containing the most faithful descriptions both of the aspect of our country, and the peculiarities of our manners and character, that has yet come under our observation. There are some mistakes, and some rash judg ments; but nothing can exceed the candour of the estimate, or the fairness and independence of spirit with which it is made; while the whole is pervaded by a vein of original thought, always sagacious, and not unfrequently profound. The main fault of that book, as a work of permanent interest and instruction, which it might otherwise have been, is the too great space which is allotted to the transient occurrences and discussions of the time to which it refers-most of which have already lost their interest, and not only read like old news and stale politics, but have extended their own

I reprint a part of this paper:-partly out of love to the memory of the author, who was my connection and particular friend: - but chiefly for the sake of his remarks on our English manners, and my judgment on these remarks—which I would venture to submit to the sensitive patriots of America, as a specimen of the temperance with which the patriots of other countries can deal with the censors of their national habits and pretensions to fine breeding.

VOL. III.

Q Q

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