תמונות בעמוד

derable interest amongst the Parliamentary supporters of Government; but Mr. George, late member for Wexford county, and Mr. Miller, member for Armagh, seem to hold the best position in the running—that is to say if the Napier-Whiteside party fail in getting up Mr. Robinson into the Attorney-Generalship. If what is designated the

Family Party' succeed, either Mr. Miller or Mr. George would have a fair chance of the Solicitor-Generalship.

“But other arrangements, connected with the wholesale and reckless jobbing said to be in preparation, are bruited here. It is aid that Mr. Long and Mr. Yelverton O'Keeffe, Registers in the Irish Court of Chancery, are to retirethat Mr. Robinson, brother of the Law Adviser, and a cousin of the Lord Chancellor and the Attorney-General, who had been a solicitor of some eminence before he became proprietor of the Daily Express government organ, is to obtain one of those Registerships, with £1,200 a-year; but there are other candidates, some of whom, including an Irish Queen's Counsel, are pressing their claims here with remarkable energy and apparent success. "

I see one friend of the family connected with the Daily Express is not mentioned here. What is to become of Mr. Porter of that office; his ability as a cash-keeper was fully proved in the employment of the "Trustees for Bettering the Condition of the Irish Poor,” why not prevail on Starkey to retire, and put Porter in for the AccountantGeneralship of the Court of Chancery.

Mr. Robinson, attorney and newspaper proprietor, or as some will have it, the partner of his relatives, the Chancellor and Attorney-General, is provided for; William Dwyer Ferguson, who was act-of-parliament grinder for "the Brummagem,” as Cobbet would call him, law reformer, the Attorney-General, is secure, and Mr. James Robinson, being Castle Adviser, is, should all be made safe by the shelving of Baron Pennefather, and the peerage of the Chief Justice, certain of a good thing.

But what claims has Mr. James Robinson, extra the fact that he is the Attorney-General's relative, and brother of Daily Express Robinson? I know of none. He was in fair business, on Circuit, and was chiefly known in Dublin as having evinced the grasping, grabbing spirit of the whole family, by throwing up his prosecutorship, because Justice Keogh, when Attorney-General, required him to

attend to crown cases alone, and for which he was very well paid.

Thus the whole family are provided for, or soon will be comfortably quartered upon the revenues of the country. With a generosity, and a family affection which would be quite touching, were they not exercised at the cost of the public, and in a manner reminding us of that patriot who to built this bridge at the expense of the county," the Chancellor and the Attorney-General have proved how true was that thought expressed in the old Roman proverb, Ex alieno tergore lata secantur."

To be sure there was one appointment out of the family, that of Mr. Brereton, to the Assistant Barristership of the County Kerry; and if the appointment is to be considered as one representing the learning, the ability, and the polished elegance of the great Conservative Bar of Ireland, I certainly shall not object to it, not being a member of that body; and I presume anything was considered good enough for the county of lakes and mountains. Besides, this appointment winds up fitly that list of nominations, evincing nothing but “political partizanship, or personal and family nepotism ;” and which does not include, in any case," real merit, irrespective of party or politics.

Surely it is a fit ending to a roll of appointments, proving that what was once the great Conservative party in Ireland has dwindled into a talentless, place-grasping, wretched rump of the old Orange faction. Knowing how uncertain, even in its briefness, must be their possession of office, seeing that the Cabinet exists but on sufferance, and through the temporary disorganization of the Liberal party, and seeing that higher adventures in England are throwing off all reserve in taking, or making appointments, the lesser adventurers here in Ireland are becoming equally bold, equally shameless, and equally greedy in making, taking, and accepting place. Fitness, merit, propriety of selection are all forgotton, and we live in the epoch of the Dunciad of the Irish Bar, in an age of “ brazen, brainless" nepotism, the era of Napier and Whiteside. --Alas poor Conservative Bar! what has it come to? To a Zenith in Whiteside-a Nadir in Brereton !

Were it not for the peril to the Bar, I should be glad that these men have come into office. We shall now hear no more of the grand Conservative Bar of Ireland, and we

shall hear no more of Whig corruption. Compare the Whig appointinents with those of Blackburne and Napier, and who can deny that bigotry and faction were, in these instances, much more frequently than fitness, the sources of the call to the Inner Bar. All men now know that in genius, in learning, and in powers of advocacy, the Liberal Bar is richer than the Conservative, and its members having, in most cases, neither relatives nor friends upon the Bench, obtain the honors of the profession by work, by proved ability, and by stern self-reliance; not by nepotism, or through a brazen, dishonest, factious partizanship.

When I look back now, upon the events of the past six months, it astounds me to remember how absurdly people used to talk about the Conservative Bar. How its reputation has dwindled away to nothing-to James Whiteside and Joseph Napier !

Oh! Dogberry, Oh! Verges, Oh! Bridlegoose, Oh! Goatsnose, Oh! Midas, (of Kane O'Hara), Oh! Justice Shallow, Oh! all ye spirits of Judges, who have “set the table in a roar," ye gather around me as I write, and lo! ye fade away, resolving yourselves into the embodiment of Joseph Napier and James Whiteside—and as the Chancellor stands before me,

" -Mr. Napier,

With his hand on his ear;' as the Attorney-General sways, and rocks, and mouths and shouts, as is his custom, I cry, in terror and admiration of Goethe's "prophetic soul,"


At last the INDESCRIBABLE is realized.

Yours, my dear friend, most truly,


[blocks in formation]


1. Analectabiblion, ou Extraits Critiques de Divers Livres

Rares, Oubliés ou peu connus. Tirés du Cabinet du

Marquis D. R * * 2 Tomes. Paris : Techener, 1836. 2. A Collection of Ou English Customs and Curious Bequests

and Charities, extracted from the Reports made by the Commissioners for Enquiring into Charities in England and Wales. By H. Edwards. London : Nichols and Son, 1842.

ODD AND SINGULAR TASTES.-Several illustrious men have evinced a marked predilection for certain days in the year. We know that Napoleon felt such a disposition for the 20th of March.

“Charles V.,” said Brantôme, "was particularly fond of the festival of St. Matthias (24th of February), and sanctified it beyond all other days, because on that day he was elected Emperor, on that day crowned, and on that day also he took King Francis prisoner, not himself but through his lieutenants.”

Brantôme adds, also, that the Emperor was born on the feast of St. Matthias (24th February, 1500), that on the same day, in 1527, his brother Ferdinand was elected King of Bohemia, and that, on the 24th of February, 1556, he abdicated the empire.

The 1st of January was to Francis J. wɔat the 24th of February was to Charles V. Born on the 1st of January, it was on the 1st of January that this prince lost his father, that he became king, on which his daughter was married, and that on which Charles V. made his entry into Paris.

Sixtus V., born on a Wednesday (13th of December, 1521), made his profession as a Franciscan friar on a Wednesday, was promised à Cardinalship on a Wednesday, was elected Pope on a

a Wednesday, and exalted to the dignity the following Wednesday.

For the uther Papers of this Series see IRISH QUARTERLY REVIEW, Vol. VI., No. 23, p. 439; No. 24, p. 647; Vol. VII., No. 25, p. 1; No. 26, p. 267; No. 27, p. 629; Vol. VIII, No. 29, p. 1. NO. XXXI., VOL. VIII.


Louis XIII., some hours before his death (Thursday 14th of May, 1643), called his physicians and asked them if they thought he could live until the next day, saying that Friday had always been to him a fortunate day, that he had on that day engaged in enterprises which were uniformly successful, that he had ever gained battles on that day, that having always considered it his happiest day, he wished he might die on it.

"Augustus,” according to Suetonius, “had a senseless fear of thunder and lightning, and it is believed protected himself from this danger by always carrying about him the skin of a sea-calf. When a storm approached he ran to conceal himself in a subterranean vault or cavern. This fear was occasioned by an incident, during a nocturnal march, in his expedition against the Cantabri, when the lightning having struck his litter, killed the slave who walked before bearing the flambeau.”

A Roman Emperor at the age of fifty-nine, was seized with an insurmountable terror at the sight of the sea. Returning from an expedition into Syria, he sojourned in the palace of a king, on the confines of Asia ; «The chief of Constantinople,” says Nicephorus, (ch. vii.) "commanded the Prefect to build a bridge of boats over the Bosphorus, and to adorn it at each side with planks and branches of trees, in order that he might pass without beholding the sea. This work having been finished very promptly, the Emperor crossed on horseback, as if he had been on dry land."

One of the Spanish kings could not endure any one in his presence who had taken tobacco. He had, besides, the mania of feeling incensed at any man's demanding the age of a woman, unless he had intentions of marriage.

Louis XIV detested les chapeaux gris, almost as much as he did the Jansenists. *

It is related by Saint-Simon, “the king wished to be informed what manner of people were followers of the Duke of Orleans in Spain, (1709) the Duke mentioned amongst others Fonterpuis. At this name, the king assumed an austere air, “ How is that, my nephew, said the king, Fonterpuis the son of this Jansenist, of this fool who has been running everywhere after Arnaud ? I cannot see of what value this man

can be to you,” “Sire," replied the Duke of Orleans, “ I do not know what his mother may have been, but as for the son, he has no desire to be a Jansenist, I can vouch for that; for he does not believe even in the existence of a God.”_" Is that possible, my nephew ?” replied the king, becoming assuaged,”—“Nothing more certain, Sire," replied the Duke, “ I assure you,"_" Then if that be so, you can manage him, I see no harm in that." This scene, for I call it by no other name, occurred in the morning, and after dinner the same day, the Duke related to me whilst convulsed with laughter all I have written, word for word.”

« הקודםהמשך »