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of those powers of discrimination which were afterward to procure for the possessor more substantial results than academic honors. In the same year he published a treatise of considerable length upon the manufactures of Ireland. The latter I have never seen, but I have heard an anecdote regarding it which may be mentioned as illustrative of the purity with which Irish academic justice was in those days administered. It was originally composed, like the former, as a prize-essay. The academy hesitated between it and the rival production of one of their members, a Mr. Preston, and referred the decision to a committee. The committee deputed the task to a sub-committee, and the latter to three persons, of whom Mr. Preston was one. The prize was accordingly adjudged to that gentleman's production, and Mr. Wallace revenged himself of the academy by publishing his work, and prefixing to it a detailed account of the transaction.
In concluding my notice of this able person, I have only to add, that if he should ever enter Parliament, it may be safely predicted that his career there will be neither "mute" nor "inglorious." His manliness, integrity, and determination, as well as his general talents, would be soon found out in that assembly, and insure him upon all occasions a respectful hearing. The enlightened portion of the Irish administration would find in him a strenuous supporter of no ordinary value; and the country at large (independently of the benefit of his other exertions) would have a security that no hackneyed and scandalous misrepresentations of its condition, no matter from whose lips they might come, would be allowed to pass in his presence without peremptory contradiction and rebuke.
I AM an Irish Barrister, and go the Leinster Circuit.* I keep a diary of extra-professional occurrences in this halfyearly round, a sort of sentimental note-book, which I preserve apart from the nisi prius adjudications of the going judges of assize. In reading over my journal of the last Circuit, I find much matter which with more leisure I could reduce into better shape. I shall content myself for the present with an account of the last assizes, or rather of myself during the last assizes of Wexford, presuming that I do little more than transcribe the record of my own feelings and observations from a diary, to which, as I have intimated, they were committed without any intention that they should be submitted to the public eye. This will account for the character of the incidents, and the want of classification in their detail.
I set off from Dublin on the 17th of July, 1825, in the mailcoach. In England, a barrister is not permitted to travel in a public vehicle, lest he should be placed in too endearing a juxtaposition to an attorney. But in Ireland no such prohibition exists; and so little aristocracy prevails in our migrations from town to town, that a sort of connivance has been extended to the cheap and rapid jaunting-cars, by which Signor Bianconi (an ingenious Italian) has opened a communication between almost all the towns in the south of Ireland.† Be it,
Sheil, who went the Leinster Circuit, wore no disguise in this sketch, which he originally named, "Diary of a Barrister during the last Wexford Assizes."-M.
+ Charles Bianconi established a system of cheap and rapid travelling in Ireland, on what are called Outside Jaunting-cars, which he spread all over the country, from 1823 until the advent of Railwayism, which has necessarily con
however, remembered, that it was not in an Irish vis-a-vis, that I passed through the ancient city of Ferns. Doctor Elrington, the present Bishop of Clogher, resides in its immediate vicinity; his palace is visible from the road.
A word or two about the doctor.* He had been Provost of Trinity College, and was raised to this important office by Mr. Perceval, to whom he recommended himself by some mystical lucubrations upon the piety, poverty, and simplicity of the Irish Church. They were distinguished by a laborious flimsiness, and exhibited a perfect keeping between the understanding of the writer and his heart: they smelt of a lamp which was fed with rancid oil. The present Archbishop of Dublint had been the competitor of Elrington for the first station of the University. His eminent abilities gave him in his own opinion, and I should add, in the judgment of the University, a paramount claim. But at that time he had the plague-spot of liberality in his character. The stain has been since effaced, but it was still apparent when he presented himself to the Minister.
Doctor Magee used to give a somewhat amusing account of his reception by the flippant personage who was then at the head of the State. He threw out some broad hints as to the principles in which the Protestant youth of Ireland ought to be educated; and said that the office had been given away. tracted his operations. Public convenience and private economy were alike served by Mr. Bianconi, who has made a large fortune, is now a Magistrate in Tipperary (where he has purchased estates), and has served the office of Mayor of Clonmell.-M.
* Dr. Elrington was a great pamphleteer, who distinguished himself by illiberality as Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, and took in a double supply, when he became Bishop. He was reputed to be a good classical scholar.-M.
† Dr. William Magee, born in 1765, was educated at Dublin University, when he became Professor of Oriental languages. In 1806, he was a senior fellow of the College, and, soon after Professor of Mathematics. After being successively Dean of Cork and Bishop of Raphoe, he was made Archbishop of Dublin in 1822. His chief literary work, published in 1801, was on the subject of The Atonement-on this, which obtained great popularity, he attacked Unitarianism with Orthodox zeal, acuteness, and learning. He became strongly anti-Catholic in politics after his last preferment, and disappointed the hopes which arose out of his previous moderation. Archbishop Magee died in 1831, aged sixty-six.-M.
"Let me see" (said Mr. Perceval, in the Doctor's description), "let me see—yes, his name is Doctor Elrington, I have his pamphlets upon tithes; he has demonstrated their divine origin. How much such men are wanted in these dangerous times!"* The mistake made by the Minister in pronouncing the name of his successful rival (which he hardly knew), produced an increased secretion of gall in the Doctor, to which he used to give vent in many a virulent gibe. At this time he was Mr. Plunket's friend, and his own enemy. But Perceval's admonition was not lost upon him. He perceived that he had taken a wrong course, and, selecting his competitor as his example, speedily improved upon his model. But let him
Doctor Elrington, while a fellow of the college, published an edition of Euclid. A schoolboy might have given it to the world. But such is the state of the Irish Protestant University, that by constituting an exception to the habits of intellectual sloth which prevail over that opulent and inglorious corporation, even an edition of Euclid confers upon a fellow of the university a comparative title to respect.
When Provost, he was a rigid disciplinarian. He attracted public attention by two measures: he suppressed the Histori
Spencer Perceval, son of the Earl of Egmont, was born in 1762, practised as a Chancery barrister, and was brought into Parliament by Mr. Pitt. He became leading Counsel on the Midland Circuit. When Pitt was about fighting a duel with Mr. Tierney, he told Lord Harrowby that, if he fell, Perceval was the most competent person to succeed him as Prime Minister and opponent to Fox-an opinion of his powers few else have held. In 1801, he became Solicitor-General under Addington's Ministry, resigned office on Pitt's death, and became Prime Minister on the death of the Duke of Portland in 1807, which was on May 11, 1812, when he was shot through the heart, in the lobby of the House of Commons, by a madman named Bellingham, who was tried, condemned, and executed. On his death an annuity of two thousand pounds sterling a year was voted to his wife and fifty thousand pounds sterling for her twelve children; the lady married again, with very little delay. Perceval, with an admirable private character (which made Moore write on his death "We forgot in that hour how the statesman had erred,
And we wept for the father, the husband, the friend"),
was intolerant in politics and religion. Dying as he did, by the violent hand of an assassin, even his opponents mourned for him - M.
cal Society, and issued a proclamation against witchcraft. Special orders were given by the Doctor against the raising of the Devil. The library of Trinity College is filled with books of necromancy; and, apprehending that the students might be reduced into a commerce with the Fiend, the Doctor gave peremptory directions, that the ponderous and wormeaten repertories of the Black art should not be unclasped. A scholar of the house, who appears to have had a peculiar predilection for the occult sciences, complained of the restraint which the Doctor had taken upon himself to put upon his intercourse with the "Prince of the Air," and called the former to account in a visitation, at which Lord Chief-Justice Downes (not very appropriately) presided, as the representative of His Royal Highness the Duke of Cumberland.* I do not recollect the decision of his Lordship upon this important question, but, if I may be allowed to conjecture from his intellectual habits, I can not help suspecting that any appeal to the statutes of James I. must have been conclusive, in his mind, in favor of the injunction against sorcery. Shortly after this exploit against the Devil, the Doctor was raised to the see of Limerick, and upon the detection of his sanctimonious and detestable predecessor,† he was promoted to the bishopric of Clogher. He resides in a noble palace, which arrests the attention of the traveller in his way to Wexford, and affords an illustration of that apostolic poverty, in which the teachers of the reformed religion embody its holy precepts.
Wexford is a very ancient town. It was formerly surrounded by walls, a part of which continue standing. They are mantled with ivy, and are rapidly mouldering away; but must once have been of considerable strength. The remains of an old monastery are situate at the western gate.
The Duke of Cumberland, fifth son of George III., succeeded to the Crown of Hanover, in 1837, on the death of William IV., and died in 1851. In England he was extremely unpopular, but the Hanoverians liked and regretted him. He was elected Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin, in 1805, and for many years Grand Master of the Orangemen of Great Britain and Ireland.-M.
+ Percy Jocelyn, son of the Earl of Roden, was Bishop of Clogher, and was deposed by his clergy, in 1824, for having been detected in the commission of an unnatural crime.-M.