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Curran

Anecdotes Home




A farmer, attending a fair with a hundred pounds in his pocket,
took the precaution of depositing it in the hands of the landlord of the
public-house at which he stopped. Having occasion for it shortly
afterwards, he repaired to mine host for the amount, but the landlord, too
deep for the countryman, wondered what hundred was meant, and was quite
sure no such sum had ever been lodged in his hands. After many ineffectual
appeals to the recollection, and finally to the honour of Bardolph, the
farmer applied to Curran for advice. "Have patience, my friend," said
Curran; "speak to the landlord civilly, and tell him you are convinced you
must have left your money with some other person. Take a friend with you,
and lodge with him another hundred in the presence of your friend, and then
come to me." We may imagine the vociferations of the honest rustic at such
advice; however, moved by the rhetoric of the worthy counsel, he followed
it, and returned to his legal friend. "And now, sir, I don't see as I'm to
be better off for this, if I get my second hundred again--but how is that
to be done?" "Go and ask him for it when he is alone," said the counsel.
"Aye, sir; but asking won't do I'm afraid, and not without my witness, at
any rate." "Never mind, take my advice," said the counsel; "do as I bid
you, and return to me." The farmer returned with the hundred, glad at any
rate to find that safe again his possession. "Now I suppose I must be
content, though I don't see as I'm much better off." "Well, then," said the
counsel, "now take your friend with you, and ask the landlord for the
hundred pounds your friend saw you leave with him." We need not add, that
the wily landlord found that he had been taken off his guard, while our
honest friend returned to thank his counsel exultingly, with both of his
hundreds in his pocket.


Mr. Curran was once engaged in a legal argument; behind him stood his
colleague, a gentleman whose person was remarkably tall and slender, and
who had originally intended to take orders. The judge observing that the
case under discussion involved a question of ecclesiastical law; "Then,"
said Curran, "I can refer your lordship to a _high_ authority behind me,
who was once intended for the church, though in my opinion he was fitter
for the steeple."


There is a celebrated reply of Mr. Curran to a remark of Lord Clare, who
curtly exclaimed at one of his legal positions, "O! if that be law, Mr.
Curran, I may burn my law books!" "Better _read_ them, my lord," was the
sarcastic and appropriate rejoinder.





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