The Serenading Lover





In the very zenith of Curran's professional career, he was consulted in

a case of extremely novel character, which arose out of the following

circumstances:--



Not many doors from Eden Quay, in Upper Sackville-street, lived a young

lady of very fascinating manners, and whose beauty had attracted

considerable attention wherever she made her appearance. Amongst the

many gentlemen whose hearts she had touched, and whose heads she had

deranged, was one young Englishman, a graduate of Trinity College, and

about as fair a specimen of the reverse of beauty as ever took the chair

at a dinner of the Ugly Fellows' Club. Strange to say, he above all

others was the person on whom she looked with any favor. Men of rank and

fortune had sought her hand--lords and commoners had sought the honor of

an introduction; but no!--none for her but the ugly man! In vain did the

ladies of her acquaintance quiz her about her taste--in vain did her

family remonstrate upon the folly of her conduct, in refusing men of

station for such an individual--no go! none for her but the ugly man!

Her dear papa only seemed to take the affair in a quiet way; not that he

was indifferent about the matter, but he loved her too much to throw

any obstacle in the way of her happiness. Not so, however, with her

brother--a splendid young fellow, whose mortification was intense,

especially as the whole affair was the theme of ridicule among his

fellow-students in Old Trinity. He, though sharing in all the love and

tenderness of the father, could not understand his quiet resignation.

What is it to be thought of that one who was the butt of the

University--one on whom nature had played her fantastic tricks, should

be the person who held the key to his lovely sister's heart? No! the

father might resign himself to his quiet philosophy, but he, at least,

would have none of it. It should never be said within the college walls

that he looked tamely on while a farce of this kind was being played

out, especially as some of his most intimate fellow-students, and a

beloved one in particular, took more than a common interest in the

matter.



On a summer morning, in the middle of July, he was coming out of his

hall-door, when the postman handed him two letters, one of which was

directed to his sister. Suspecting the party from whom it came, and that

a knowledge of its contents might lead to some discovery useful to him

in frustrating the writer's designs, he opened it, and found that his

suspicion was correct, and that himself was the object of complaint for

his manner towards him in college; and further, that, as he was about to

leave for England on the following day, and would not return for some

weeks, he would do himself the honor of serenading her at twelve o'clock

that night. After reading the letter, his first thought was to look to

the condition of his horsewhip; but, after a little quiet reflection, he

resolved upon another plan of action.



Breakfast over, he proceeded to the kitchen, summoned all the servants

to his presence, to whom he related the whole story from beginning to

end, and proposed that they should drench him with water when he made

his appearance under the window. But there happened to be among them a

corpulent lady called Betty Devine, who entered a plea of objection to

that mode of proceeding on the ground of waste of water; that in

Edinburgh, where she had served for seven years, they wouldn't think

of such waste; and that, if the young master would only leave the matter

in her hands, she would drown the musician in a chorus, the like of

which was not to be heard outside the boundaries of bonnie Scotland. To

this proposition on the part of Betty the young gentleman gave a hearty

assent; adding, at the same time, a hope that her want of practice since

she left Edinburgh would be no obstacle to her success. To which Miss

Devine replied, by asking him to name the window out of which she was to

present her compliments to the English minstrel. As to that, Betty,

said he, I leave you to select your own ground; but take care that you

don't miss fire--an observation which took the stable-boy, Bill Mack,

by the greatest surprise, as, from Betty's powers of administration in

his regard, a faded dark-brown coat the master gave him had been

restored to its original color.



For once in her life-time Betty found herself mistress of her situation,

and having made her arrangements, despatched Bill Mack with an

invitation to some of her sable friends of the Quay to witness the

forthcoming concert at twelve o'clock that night.



Scarcely had the hour arrived, however, when the serenader made his

appearance, dressed in the pink of fashion; and, placing himself under

his lady's window, proceeded to play the guitar in the best style. The

performance hadn't well commenced, when, throwing



his eye

To her lattice high,



he beheld a female figure at the two-pair window, which she opened

gently. Then commenced his best efforts in the art divine. No doubt it

was the lady of his love that was there, about to reward him with



Nature's choice gifts from above,



----not the wax artificials of these days, but the real gems, which he

hoped to preserve on his passage to England!



That he saw a female figure was but too true: it was Miss Betty Devine,

who had been arranging that portion of her toilet which might endanger

the free exercise of her right arm. This done, Miss Devine stood

forward, and, grasping a certain utensil of more than ordinary

proportions, with one bound, not only returned its lining on the

night, as Tom Moore says, but also on the head of the devoted

serenader, who was so stunned by Betty's favor, that it was some time

before he realized the nature of the gift. His nasal organ having

settled all doubt in that respect, he made his way from the crowd,

vowing law and vengeance. What is the matter? asked a popular

commoner, on his way from the parliament house, to one of the boys of

the Quay; It's a consart, yer honor, given by Betty de Scotch girl; de

creature's fond o' harmony; and for my part, de tung is stickin' to de

roof of my mout from de fair dint of de corus! I didn't taste a drop

since mornin'. Ay boys, aint ye all dry? This appeal having met with a

favorable response, the gentlemen of the Quay retired to drink his

honor's health, and to wash down de music!



Meanwhile, the next morning the serenading gentleman went in all haste

to his brother-in-law, one of the leading merchants of the city, to whom

he communicated the occurrence of the previous night. He had scarcely

finished, when the merchant took him off to his attorney who, without

further delay, went with them to the residence of Curran, to have his

opinion on the case. When they had finished, Curran at once gave his

opinion. Gentlemen, said he, in this country, when we go to see a

friend or acquaintance, all we ever expect is--pot luck!



* * * * *



Carew O'Dwyer was the first who had the honor of proposing that Curran's

remains should be brought over from England and laid in Glasnevin.



* * * * *



Charles Phillips' first introduction to Curran took place at the Priory,

a country villa about four miles from Dublin. Curran would have no one

to introduce him, but went and took him by the hand.



* * * * *



Lundy Foot, the tobacconist, was on the table, under examination, and,

hesitating to answer--Lundy, Lundy, said Curran, that's a poser--a

devil of a pinch.





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