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Gaining Over A Jury

Irish Humour Home

At a Cork Assizes, many years ago, he was employed in an action of
damages, for diverting a stream from its regular channel, or diverting
so much of it as inflicted injury on some party who previously benefited
by its abundance. The injury was offered by a nobleman, and his
attorney, on whose advice the proceeding was adopted, was a man of
corpulent proportions, with a face bearing the ruddy glow of rude
health, but, flushed in a crowded court, assumed momentarily, a color
like that imparted by intemperance. He really was a most temperate man.

O'Connell dwelt on the damage his client had sustained by the unjust
usurpation. The stream should have been permitted to follow its old and
natural course. There was neither law nor justice in turning it aside
from his client's fields. He had a light to all its copiousness, and the
other party should have allowed him full enjoyment. In place of that,
the latter monopolized the water--he diminished it. It became every day
small by degrees and beautifully less. There is not now, he said,
gentlemen of the jury, a tenth of the ordinary quantity. The stream is
running dry--and so low is it, and so little of it is there, that,
continued he, turning to the rubicund attorney, and naming him, there
isn't enough in it to make grog for Fogatty.

A roar of laughter followed, and it was not stopped by the increased
rosiness and embarrassment of the gentleman who became the victim of the
learned advocate's humorous allusion. The tact in this sally was, in
endeavoring to create an impression on the jury that his poor client
was sacrificed by the harsh conduct of a grog-drinking attorney, and
thus create prejudice against the plaintiff's case. Thus did O'Connell
gain the hearts of Irish juries; and thus did he, indulging his own
natural humor, on the public platform, gain the affections of his

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