A Witness Cajoled
O'Connell knew so intimately the habits and character of the humbler
class, that he was able, by cajolery or intimidation, to coerce them,
when on the table, into truth-telling. He was once examining a witness,
whose inebriety, at the time to which the evidence referred, it was
essential to his client's case to prove. He quickly discovered the man's
character. He was a fellow who may be described as half foolish with
Well, Darby, said the Counsellor, taking him on the cross-examination,
you told the whole truth to that gentleman? pointing to the counsel
who had just examined the witness.
Yes, your honor, Counsellor O'Connell.
How, do you know my name?
Ah, sure every one knows our own pathriot
Well, you are a good-humored, honest fellow Now, tell me, Darby, did you
take a drop of anything that day?
Why, your honor, I took my share of a pint of spirits.
Your share of it; now by virtue of your oath, was not your share of it
all but the pewter?
Why, then, dear knows, that's true for you, sir.
The Court was convulsed at both question and answer. It soon came out
that the man was drunk, and was not, therefore, a competent witness.
Thus O'Connell won the case for his client.