Lord Avonmore





Curran was often annoyed when pleading before Lord Avonmore, owing to

his lordship's habit of being influenced by first impressions. He and

Curran were to dine together at the house of a friend, and the

opportunity was seized by Curran to cure his lordship's habit of

anticipating.



Why, Mr. Curran, you have kept us a full hour waiting dinner for you,

grumbled out Lord Avonmore. Oh, my dear Lord, I regret it much; you

must know it seldom happens, but--I've just been witness to a most

melancholy occurrence. My God! you seem terribly moved by it--take a

glass of wine. What was it?--what was it?--I will tell you, my Lord,

the moment I can collect myself. I had been detained at Court--in the

Court of Chancery--your Lordship knows the Chancellor sits late. I do,

I do--but go on.--Well, my Lord, I was hurrying here as fast as ever

I could--I did not even change my dress--I hope I shall be excused for

coming in my boots? Poh, poh--never mind your boots: the point--come

at once to the point of the story.--Oh--I will, my good Lord, in a

moment. I walked here--I would not even wait to get the carriage

ready--it would have taken time, you know. Now there is a market exactly

in the road by which I had to pass--your Lordship may perhaps recollect

the market--do you? To be sure I do--go on, Curran--go on with the

story.--I am very glad your Lordship remembers the market, for I

totally forget the name of it--the name--the name-- What the devil

signifies the name of it, sir?--it's the Castle Market.--Your Lordship

is perfectly right--it is called the Castle Market. Well, I was passing

through that very identical Castle Market, when I observed a butcher

preparing to kill a calf. He had a huge knife in his hand--it was as

sharp as a razor. The calf was standing beside him--he drew the knife to

plunge it into the animal. Just as he was in the act of doing so, a

little boy about four years old--his only son--the loveliest little baby

I ever saw, ran suddenly across his path, and he killed--oh, my God! he

killed-- The child! the child! the child! vociferated Lord Avonmore.

No, my Lord, the calf, continued Curran, very coolly; he killed the

calf, but--your Lordship is in the habit of anticipating.





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