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And while they dropt a friendly tear Said things that but you must n't hear. And now, methought, a wandering ghost, You whizz'd along the Stygian coast ; And if, percbance, you gained the wherry, And tuggd an oar across the ferry, That, sitting on the further shore, You watch'd each boatful wafted o'er, While with impatience you attend Th' arrival of your quondam friend ; To tell his wonder where you 've been, And what surprising things you've seen ; And, from experience wise, relate The various politics of fate ; And show where boary sages stray, And where they chance to keep their way ; Then laugh to think, how light as air, Our blind dogmatic guesses were ; When, fancy throned and placed on high We sat in judgment o'er the sky. There envy too began to rise, To think that you were grown so wise ; That bursting from this shell of clay, You now enjoy'd eternal day; While I was left perplex'd and blind, In anxious ignorance behind ; Doom'd this insipid part to play In life's dull farce another day, That, bent with sorrows and with age, I late might totter off the stage : But yet my Muse, I cried, will pay, The tribute of a weeping lay : And though the flowers strewn o'er his tomb May boast, perhaps, a longer bloom, The short-liv'd verse he'll still receive, Since that is all a Muse can give. The Muse, contented, took her place-I solemnly composed my face, And took the pen, prepared to write What she sat ready to indite,
When Rumor, lo! with deafʼning sound,
J. P. C.
William Apjohn is a name of which the world has heard nothing. He died prematurely, and “without his fame;" but had his days been lengthened, he would probably have acted a distinguished part in the history of his country. Like his friend, he had chosen the bar as the most honorable road to fortune and celebrity, and had already given a promise of such talents for public life, that his success was looked to as undoubted. Mr. Curran never spoke of his capacity but in terms of the most respectful admiration. “Apjohn's mind," he used to say, “was, beyond exception, the most accomplished that I ever met: his abilities and attainments were so many and so rare, that if they could have been distributed among a dozen ordinary persons, the share of each would have promoted him to the rank of a man of talents."
Mr. Curran leaves College-Enters the Middle Temple-Letter to Mr. Weston-Letter to Mr. Keller–His first attempts in Oratory fail-His own account of the failure, and of his first success—A regular attendant at Debating Clubs --Anecdotes—His Poem on Friendship--Dr. Creagh's character of him—Mr. Hudson's predictions and friendship His early manners and habits-Subject to constitutional melancholy-Letters from London-His society in London--Anecdote of his interview with Macklin-His early application and attainments-Favorite authors-Early attachment to the Irish peasantry-His marriage-Remarks upon the English Law.
Mr. Curran completed his college studies in the early part of the year 1773, having qualified himself to a Master's degree, and passed over to London, where he became a student of law in the Society of the Middle Temple.* During his residence in England he wrote regularly, and at considerable length to his friends in Ireland. · A collection of these letters has been preserved, and as several of them contain a more striking picture of his circumstances, and of many traits of individual character, than any description by another could convey, he shall in this stage of his life be occasionally made his own biographer.
The following was written immediately after his arrival in the British capital. The gentleman to whom it is addressed was a resident of Newmarket, and one of the most attached of Mr. Curran's early friends.
* It is indispensable that every person who seeks admission to the Irish bar, shall bare " studied " (i, e., eaten a certain number of dinners during two years) at one of the Inng of the Court, in London, as well as at the Queen's Inn of law, in Dublin !--M,
" LONDON, 31 Chandos-street, July 10, 1773.
* THE REV. HENRY WESTON,
“I would have taken a last farewell of my dear Harry from Dublin, if I had not written so shortly before I left it; and, indeed, I was not sorry for being exempt from a task for which a thousand causes conspired to make me, at that juncture, unqualified. It was not without regret that I could leave a country, which my birth, education, and connections had rendered dear to me, and venture alone, almost a child of fortune, into a land of strangers. In such moments of despondence, when fancy plays the self-tormentor, she commonly acquits herself to a miracle, and will not fail to collect in a single group the most hideous forms of anticipated misfortune. I considered myself, besides, as resigning for ever the little indulgences that youth and inexperience may claim for their errors, and passing a period of life in which the best can scarce escape the rigid severity of censure; nor could the little trivial vanity of taking the reins of my own conduct alleviate the pain of so dear-bought a transition from dependence to liberty. Full of these reflections as I passed the gate, I could not but turn and take a last lingering look of poor Alma-mater; it was the scene of many a boyish folly, and of many a happy hour. I should have felt more confusion at a part of the retrospect, had I not been relieved by a recollection of the valuable friendship I had formed there. Though I am far from thinking such a circumstance can justify a passed misconduct, yet I cannot call that time totally a blank, in which one has acquired the greatest blessing of humanity. It was with a melancholy kind of exultation I counted over the number of those I loved there, while my heart gave a sigh to each name in the catalogue; nay, even the fellows, whom I never loved, I forgave at that moment; the parting tear blotted out every injury, and I gave them as hearty a benediction as if they had deserved it: as for my general acquaintance (for I could