O'leary And John O'keefe

In the Recollections of John O'Keefe, the following anecdote is


In 1775 I was in company with Father O'Leary, at the house of Flynn,

the printer in Cork. O'Leary had a fine smooth brogue; his learning was

extensive, and his wit brilliant. He was tall and thin, with, a long,

pale, and pleasant visage, smiling and expressive. His dress was an

entire suit of brown, of the old shape; a narrow stock, tight about his

neck; his wig amply powdered, with a high poking foretop. In the year,

1791, my son Tottenham and I met him in St. James's Park, (London,) at

the narrow entrance near Spring Gardens. A few minutes after, we were

joined accidentally by Jemmy Wilder, well known in Dublin--once the

famous Macheath, in Smock Alley--a worthy and respectable character, of

a fine, bold, athletic figure, but violent and extravagant in his mode

of acting. He had quitted the stage, and commenced picture-dealer; and

when we met him in the Park, was running after a man, who, he said, had

bought a picture of Rubens for three shillings and sixpence at a

broker's stall in Drury-lane, and which was to make his (Wilder's)

fortune. Our loud laughing at O'Leary's jokes, and his Irish brogue, and

our stopping up the pathway, which is here very narrow, brought a crowd

about us. O'Leary was very fond of the drama, and delighted in the

company of the 'Glorious Boys,' as he called the actors--particularly

that of Johnny Johnstone, for his fine singing in a room.

O'leary And Captain Rock O'leary And The Irish Parliament facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail