Gaining Over A Jury

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


Epitaph On Judge Boat Grace After Dinner facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail