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disposed to quarrel, without the additional incentive of polemics? Is it in a ditch school that his learned friend conceives that the mysteries of the Trinity, of the Incarnation, and not more embarrassing Sacrament, are to be discussed ?

Kindling as he advances, the great demagogue throws himself into other topics, and charges his pious friends with a violation of their duty to the public, in the arbitrary imposition of conditions against which every Roman Catholic exclaims. He disputes their right to exercise a compulsion founded on their own phantasies in the execution of a solemn trust, and at last roundly insinuates that proselytism must be their object. At this a mighty uproar ensues.

The holy rabble in the distance send up a tremendous shout: their Bibles are brandished-their eyes gleam with a more deadly fire and their faces become more formidably grim :-a thrill of indignation runs through the whole assembly—the spirit of Obadiah himself is moved within him, and even the ladies allow the fierce infection to make its way into their gentle and forbearing breasts. An universal sibilation is heard, mouths that pout and mince their orisons with Madonna sweetness are suddenly distorted,-a hiss issues from lips of roses, and intimates the venom that lurks beneath. O'Connel struggles hard and long, but he is at length fairly shouted down. In the midst of this stormy confusion, the learned Serjeant appears, and the moment his tall and slender person is presented to their notice, a deep and reverential silence pervades the meeting. The previous tumult is followed by attention

“ Still as night, or summer's noontide air"the ladies resume their suavity, and look angelical again ; and the men chuckle at his anticipated triumphs over the far-famed missionary of Antichrist. To pursue their champion through his victorious reply would swell my pages beyond their fitting compass; suffice it to say, that be satisfactorily demonstrates the propriety of teaching the alphabet from the Prophecies, and turning the Apocalypse into a primer. He points out the manifold advantages of familiarizing the youthful mind with the history of the Jews. The applauses of his auditors, and his own heated conviction (for be is quite sincere), inflame him into emotions which bear a resemblance to eloquence, and raise his language beyond its ordinary tone. The feelings nearest to his heart ascend to his mind, and communicate their effervescence. His phrase is struck with the stamp of passion. His eye becomes ennobled with better thought ; he shuffles off for a moment the coil of his forensic habitudes. The universal diffusion of Christian truth fills him with enthusiasm. He beholds the downfall of Popery in the opening dimness of time. Every chapel is touched by that harlequin the fancy into a conventicle. The mass bells are cracked, and the pots of lustral water are shattered. A millennium of Methodism succeeds. A new Jerusalem arises. The Jews are converted (a favourite project with the Serjeant, who holds an annual meeting for the purpose); all Monmouthstreet is illuminated ; its tattered robes are turned into mantles of glory. The temple is rebuilt upon an exact model of the Four-Courts. The Harlot of Babylon is stripped stark-naked, and the cardinals are given over to Sir Harcourt Lees. At length the vision becomes too radiant for endurance. A third heaven opens upon him, and he sinks


exhausted by his enjoyments, and perspiring with ecstasy, amidst the transports of auditors to whom he imparts a rapture almost equal to his own.

Let me conduct the reader from Kildare-street to the Court of Chancery. Here an utter transformation takes place in the person of the learned Serjeant, which almost brings his identity into doubt. Instead of eyes alternately veiled in the humility of their long and downcast lashes, or lifted up in visionary devotion, you behold them fixed upon the Chancellor, and watching with a subtle intensity all the shiftings of expression with which the judicial countenance intimates its approval or dissent. The whole face of the vigilant and wily pleader is overspread with craft. There is a lurking of design in every feature of his sharp and elongated visage. You will not perceive any nice play of the muscles, or shadowings of sentiment in his physiognomy; it is fixed, hard, and imperturbable. His deportment is in keeping with his countenance. He scarcely ever stands perfectly erect, and there is nothing upright or open in his bearing. His shoulders are contracted and drawn in; and the body is bent, while the neck is protruded. No rapidity of gesture, or suddenness of movement, indicates the unanticipated startings up of thought. The arm is never braced in the strenuous confidence of vigorous enforcement with which Plunket hurls the truth at the Bench ; but the long and taper fingers just .tip the green table on which they are laid with a peculiar light

In this attitude, in which he looks a sophism personified, he applies his talents and erudition to the sustainment of the most questionable case, with as much alacrity as if weeping innocence and virtuous misfortune clung to him for support. The doubtful merits of his client seem to give a new stimulus to his abilities ; and if some obsolete form can be raised from oblivion, if some preposterous precedent can be found in the mass of antiquated decision under which all reason and justice are entombed; or if some petty flaw can be found in the pleadings of his adversary, which is sure to be detected by his minute and microscopic cye, woe to the widow and the orphan! The Chancellor is called upon to decide in conformity with some old monastic doctrine. The pious Serjeant presses him upon every side. He surrounds him with a horde of barbarous authorities ; and giving no quarter to common sense, and having beaten equity down, and laid simple honesty prostrate, he sets up the factious demurrer and the malicious plea in trophy upon their ruins. Every expedient is called into aid : facts are perverted, precedents are tortured, positions unheard before are laid down as sacred canons ; and in order to effect the utter wreck of the opposite party, deceitful lights are held up as the great beacons of legal truth. In short, one who had previously seen the learned Serjeant for the first time in a Bible Society, would hardly believe him to be the same, but would almost be inclined to suspect that it was the Genius of Chicane which had invested itself with an angelic aspect, and, for the purpose of more effectually accomplishing its pernicious ends, had assumed the celestial guise of Mr. Serjeant Lefroy.

Let me not be considered as casting an imputation upon this able, and, I believe, amiable man. In the exhibition of so much professional dexterity and zeal, he does no more than what every advocate will

regard as his duty. I am only indulging in some surprise at the promptness and facility of his transition from the religious to the forensic mood; and at the success with which he divests himself of that moral squeamishness, which one would suppose to be incidental to his intellectual habits. Looking at him as an advocate, he deserves great encomium. In industry he is not surpassed by any member of his profession. It was his good fortune, that, soon after he had been called to the bar, Lord Rędesdale should have been lord chancellor. That great lawyer introduced a reformation in Irish practice. He substituted great learning, unwearied diligence, and a spirit of scientific discussion,

for the flippant apophthegms and irritable self-sufficiency of the late Lord Clare. He entertained an honourable passion for the study, as well as for the profits of his profession, and not satisfied with pronouncing judgments which adjusted the rights of the immediate parties, he disclosed the foundations of his decisions, and opening the deep groundwork of equity, revealed the principles upon which the whole edifice is established. The value of these essays delivered from the Bench was well appreciated by Mr. Lefroy, who, in conjunction with Mr. Schoales, engaged in the reports which bear their names, and which are justly held in so much esteem. Soon after their publication, Mr. Lefroy rose into business, for which he was in every way qualified. He was much favoured by Lord Redesdale, and now enjoys the warm friendship of Lord Manners, for whom he acts as confidential counsel. His great familiarity with cases, and a spirit of peculiar deference to his Lordship, combined with eminent capacity, have secured for him a large portion of the judicial partialities. He is in the fullest practice, and, taking his private and professional income into account, may be well regarded as the wealthiest man at the Irish Bar. His great fortune, however, has not had the effect of impairing in him the spirit of acquisition. He exhibits, indeed, as acute a perception of pecuniary excitement, as any of his less devout brethren of the coif.

Serjeant Lefroy will in all likelihood be shortly raised to the Bench. He has already officiated upon one occasion as a judge of assize, in consequence of the illness of some of the regular judges, and gone the Munster circuit. His opinions and demeanour in this capacity are not undeserving of mention: they have attracted much attention in Ireland, and in England have not escaped observation. Armed with the King's commission, he arrived in Limerick in the midst of those dreadful scenes to which no country in Europe affords a parallel. All the mounds of civil institution appeared to have been carried away by the dark and overwhelming tide, which was running with a tremendous current, and swelling every day into a more portentous magnitude. Social order seemed to be at an end. A wild and furious population, barbarized by a heartless and almost equally savage gentry, had burst through the bonds by which its madness had been hitherto restrained, and rushed into an insurrection in which the animosities of a civil, were blended with the ferocity of a servile war. Revenge and hunger employed their united excitations in working up this formidable insanity. Reckless of the loss of an existence which afforded them no enjoyment, the infuriated victims of the landlord and the tithe-proctor extended to the lives of others the same estimate which they set upon their own, and their appreciation of the value of human breath


was illustrated in the daily, assassinations which were devised with the guile, and perpetrated with the fury of an Indian tribe. The whole country smoked with the traces of devastation-blood was shed at

upon the public way—and crimes even more dreadful than murder made every parent tremble. Such was the situation of the county of Limerick, when the learned Serjeant arrived to administer a remedy for these frightful evils. The calendar presented almost all the possible varieties which guilt could assume, and might be designated as a hideous miscellany of crime. The court-house exhibited an appalling spectacle. A deep and awful silence hung heavily upon it, and the consciousness that lay upon every man's heart, of the frightful crisis to which the county seemed rapidly advancing, bound up the very breath of the assembly in a fearful hush. The wretched men in the dock stood before the judicial novice in a heedless certainty of their fate. A desperate independence of their destiny seemed to dilate their broad and expanded chests, and their powerful faces gave a gloomy token of their sullen indifference to death. Their confederates in guilt stood around them with much stronger intimations of anxiety in their looks, and as they eyed their fellow conspirators in the dock, seemed to mutter a vow of vengeance for every hair that should be touched upon their heads. The gentry of the county stood in the galleries with a kind of confession in their aspect, that they had themselves been participant in the production of the crimes which they were collected to punish, but which they knew that they could not repress. In this assembly, so silent that the unsheathing of a stiletto might have been heard amidst its hush, the learned Serjeant rose, and called for the piece of parchment in which an indictment had been written. It was duly presented to him by the clerk of the crown. Lifting up the legal scroll

, he paused for a moment, and said, “Behold! in this parchment writing, the causes of all the misery with which the Lord has afflicted this unhappy island are expressed. Here is the whole mystery of guilt manifestly revealed. All, all is intimated in the indictment. Unhappy men, you have not the fear of God before your eyes, and you are moved by the instigations of the Devil.” This address went beyond all expectation--the wretches in the dock gazed upon their sacred monitor with a scowling stare--the Bar tipped each other the wink-the parsons thought that this was a palpable interference with my Lord the Bishopthe O'Grady's thrust their tongues into their cheeks, and O'Connel cried out " leather!" I have no room to transcribe the rest of this remarkable charge. It corresponded with the specimen already given, and verified the reference to the fabulist. So, indeed, does every charge delivered from the Irish Bench. Each man indulges in his peculiar propensities. Shed blood enough, cries old Renault. Be just, be humane, be merciful, says Bushe. While the learned Serjeant charges a confederacy between Beelzebub and Captain Rock, imputes the atrocities of the South to an immediate diabolical interposition, and lays at the Devil's door all the calamities of Ireland.

The Monarch of Arragon hied to the field,

The flower of his warriors round,
When a stranger knight, with no arms on his shield,

Approach'd from the distant ground:
Far Hash'd his blue mail in the sunbeams bright,

As his war-horse career'd the plain,
With foam-cover'd bit and an eye of light,
And nostrils distended, that breathed in their might

Thick smoke round his bridle's chain.
The courtiers were still—not a whisper was heard

All eyes on the strange knight gazed ;
From his horse he alighted-no visage appear’d,

His plume-shaded beaver was raised :
He moved tward the presence of majesty,

With the air of a noble graced ;
All were awe-struck and dumb as he slowly drew nigh,
And, lifting his steel-cover'd fingers on high,

His beaver and helmet displaced.
Peranzules, the traitor to Arragon's king-

'Tis he that stands hoary there,
Where the ancient oak, aloft wavering,

Shoots its stately gnarld boughs in air:
And his knee to the monarch he lowly bends,

His hand a vile halter bears;-
Distrusted, alone, unsupported by friends,
On the rock of his courage and truth he depends,

In the wane of his glorious years.
“king! I once swore to be true to thy cause

With the blood in every vein,
And I tender it now for my breach of the laws,

To wash out the forfeited stain !
O king! at thy footstool this worn life I lay,
But thou ne'er canst take from me
That which I more cherish, my honour, away,
Nor blacken a name with foul treachery,
That ne'er hath been treacherous to thee.
“ I was bound by my knighthood, by justice, by ties,

More worth than these sinews dry;
More worth than the fast ebbing tide that supplies

This old heart with its pulses high :
By the law of Castile and my country's command,

When its Queen you divorced from your throne,
She took back the cities I held at your hand-
She took her dominion again o'er the land,

Her forefathers' right and her own.
“ I blush for my country!-this insult of thine

To the blood of proud Castile
Might cancel all bonds of my vassals and mine,

All service of homage and steel
But Peranzúles no traitor shall shield with his name

Though faithless,—it was to be just !
To his Queen he has acted as duty became,
And now is before thee unsullied in fame,

To pay with his life for his trust." * See a striking Fragment of Spanish History, page 309 of this work.

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