A Fop

The two-edged sword of wit, as that faculty has been termed, was

wielded by O'Leary in the more serious circumstances of life, as well as

in its playful hours. An instance where the painful exercise of this was

happily spared, occurred at one of the meetings of the English

Catholics, during the celebrated Blue Book Controversy. One of the

individuals who was expected to advocate the objectionable designation

of protest
ng Catholic dissenters, an appellation equally ludicrous

and unnecessary, was remarkable for an affected mode of public speaking.

What in dress is termed foppish, would be appropriate as applied to

his oratory. He was no admirer of O'Leary, and the feeling of dislike

was as mutual as could well be conceived. Him, therefore, O'Leary

selected as the opponent with whom he meant to grapple. Those to whom

he communicated his intention, and who knew his powers, looked forward

with expectation on tiptoe for a scene of enjoyment that no

anticipation could exaggerate. Disappointment was, however, their lot.

The meeting passed over quietly, and neither the objectionable matter

nor speaker was brought forward. However much his friends regretted this

circumstance, O'Leary was himself sincerely pleased; for he never

desired to give unnecessary pain. The gentlemen in concert with whom he

acted, dined together after the meeting, and the conversation happening

to turn on the disappointment which they had experienced in the result

of the debate, one of them who knew O'Leary intimately, inquired what

line of argument he had intended to pursue, if the meeting had assumed

the objectionable aspect which was dreaded--this was applying the torch

to gunpowder: he commenced an exhibition of the ludicrous so like what

would have taken place, so true in manner and matter to what every one

who knew the parties could anticipate, that the assemblage was convulsed

with laughter to a degree that made it memorable in the recollections of

all who witnessed it.