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Grace After Dinner
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His Birth
A Certificate Of Marriage
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His Birth
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His First Client

Irish Humour Home

When Curran was called to the bar, he was without friends, without
connections, without fortune, conscious of talents far above the mob by
which he was elbowed, and cursed with sensibility, which rendered him
painfully alive to the mortifications he was fated to experience. Those
who have risen to professional eminence, and recollect the impediments
of such a commencement--the neglect abroad--the poverty, perhaps, at
home--the frowns of rivalry--the fears of friendship--the sneer at the
first essay--the prophecy that it will be the last--discouragement as
to the present--forebodings as to the future--some who are established
endeavoring to crush the chance of competition, and some who have failed
anxious for the wretched consolation of companionship--those who
recollect the comforts of such an apprenticeship may duly appreciate
poor Curran's situation. After toiling for a very inadequate recompense
at the Sessions of Cork, and wearing, as he said himself, his teeth
almost to their stumps, he proceeded to the metropolis, taking for his
wife and young children a miserable lodging on Hog-hill. Term after
term, without either profit or professional reputation, he paced the
hall of the Four Courts. Yet even thus he was not altogether
undistinguished. If his pocket was not heavy, his heart was light--he
was young and ardent, buoyed up not less by the consciousness of what he
felt within, than by the encouraging comparison with those who were
successful around him, and his station among the crowd of idlers, whom
he amused with his wit or amused by his eloquence. Many even who had
emerged from that crowd, did not disdain occasionally to glean from his
conversation the rich and varied treasures which he did not fail to
squander with the most unsparing prodigality; and some there were who
observed the brightness of the infant luminary struggling through the
obscurity that clouded its commencement. Among those who had the
discrimination to appreciate, and the heart to feel for him, luckily for
Curran, was Mr. Arthur Wolfe, afterwards the unfortunate, but respected
Lord Kilwarden. The first fee of any consequence that he received was
through his recommendation; and his recital of the incident cannot be
without its interest to the young professional aspirant whom a temporary
neglect may have sunk into dejection. I then lived, said he, upon
Hog-hill; my wife and children were the chief furniture of my
apartments; and as to my rent, it stood much the same chance of its
liquidation with the national debt. Mrs. Curran, however, was a
barrister's lady, and what was wanting in wealth, she was well
determined should be supplied by dignity. The landlady, on the other
hand, had no idea of any other gradation except that of pounds,
shillings, and pence. I walked out one morning in order to avoid the
perpetual altercations on the subject, with my mind, you may imagine, in
no very enviable temperament. I fell into gloom, to which from my
infancy I had been occasionally subject. I had a family for whom I had
no dinner, and a landlady for whom I had no rent. I had gone abroad in
despondence--I returned home almost in desperation. When I opened the
door of my study, where Lavater alone could have found a library, the
first object that presented itself was an immense folio of a brief,
twenty golden guineas wrapped up beside it, and the name of Old Bob
Lyons marked on the back of it. I paid my landlady--bought a good
dinner--gave Bob Lyons a share of it; and that dinner was the date of my

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