Scene Between Fitzgibbon And Curran In The Irish Parliament





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.





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