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Scene Between Fitzgibbon And Curran In The Irish Parliament

Irish Humour Home






Mr. Fitzgibbon (afterwards Lord Clare) rose and said:--The politically
insane gentleman has asserted much, but he only emitted some effusions
of the witticisms of fancy. His declamation, indeed, was better
calculated for the stage of Sadler's Wells than the floor of the House
of Commons. A mountebank, with but one-half of the honorable gentleman's
talent for rant, would undoubtedly make his fortune. However, I am
somewhat surprised he should entertain such a particular asperity
against me, as I never did him a favor. But, perhaps, the honorable
gentleman imagines he may talk himself into consequence; if so, I should
be sorry to obstruct his promotion; he is heartily welcome to attack me.
Of one thing only I will assure him, that I hold him in so small a
degree of estimation, either as a man or as a lawyer, that I shall never
hereafter deign to make him any answer.

Mr. Curran.--The honorable gentleman says I have poured forth some
witticisms of fancy. That is a charge I shall never be able to retort
upon him. He says I am insane. For my part were I the man who, when all
debate had subsided--who, when the bill was given up, had risen to make
an inflammatory speech against my country, I should be obliged to any
friend who would excuse my conduct by attributing it to insanity. Were
I the man who could commit a murder on the reputation of my country, I
should thank the friend who would excuse my conduct by attributing it to
insanity. Were I a man possessed of so much arrogance as to set up my
own little head against the opinions of the nation, I should thank the
friend who would say, 'Heed him not, he is insane!' Nay, if I were such
a man, I would thank the friend who had sent me to Bedlam. If I knew one
man who was 'easily roused and easily appeased,' I would not give his
character as that of the whole nation. The right honorable gentleman
says he never came here with written speeches. I never suspected him of
it, and I believe there is not a gentleman in the house, who, having
heard what has fallen from him, would ever suspect him of writing
speeches. But I will not pursue him further. I will not enter into a
conflict in which victory can gain no honor.





Next: His Defence Of Archibald Hamilton Rowan

Previous: Curran's Eloquence



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