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most every body else away. I am scarcely sorry for having come, one gets out of print; however, I have scarcely to complain, I find myself quite a proof copy. Dear Dick, a man loves to be cockered a little; and certainly I am not stinted here. I suspect it is all affectation when I talk cheaply of the great and the grand; for instance, I went to pay my devoirs to Lady D, who was very kind; also to Lady A— who was vastly gracious; also Godwin, as also Lord Holland. To-morrow I shall think of Denis O'Bryen and the Duke of Sussex; 'twill be well if I don't forget you and the hill, while I remember
“ J. P. C."
"Some more lies from the continent:—another victory-three legs of Bonaparte shot away, the fourth foot very precarious. 1 really suspect that you have been here incog., and bit every body; for they will believe nothing, even though authenticated by the most respectable letters from Gottingen. Farewell.
"J. P. CURRAN."
TO THE SAME,
" LONDON, October 12, 1811. “Dear Dick,
“I look forward to being very domestic for the winter. I feel my habits and feelings much upon the change: it puts me in mind of a couple of bad verses of my own growth,
I am weak enough to indulge in a conceited contrition for having done nothing, and the penitential purpose of doing something before I die. God help us ! how poor the vanity that self accuses us of wasting funds that never existed, and draws for compensation upon the time that we are not destined to see ! or upon efforts that we
have not strength to make! You will think it odd that here in London I should be very studious; but so it has been. I have been always prone to metaphysical and theological subjects, though I well know the uncertainty and fruitlessness of such researches ; however, I think to call another cause, and adjourn that, till I go thither where all must be plain and clear—where the evidence must be solid, and the judgment infallible. “I have been only at one play, and that in company with the author, Moore.* I sleep three or four nights in the week in the country; so that in Ireland I look to be very good—like an old bachelor who proposes to marry, and take the benefit of an insolvent act.
* There is still no news here-people seem almost sick of conjecturing. As to my part, if I have any opinion, it is that a change would be only partial. The public undoubtedly have no enthusiasm for the outs, and Perceval unquestionably has risen much. In the City they think him a man of probity and of business, which they think much better than high and lofty tumbling. As to our miserable questions, they are not half so interesting as the broils in the Caraccas. What a test of the Union! And what a proof of the apathy of this blind and insolent country! They affect to think it glorious to struggle to the last shilling of their money, and the last drop of our blood, rather than submit their property and persons to the capricious will of France; and yet that is precisely the power they are exercising over us—the modest authority of sending over to us laws, like boots and shoes ready made for exportation, without once condescending to take our measure, or ask whether or where they pinch us. " But enough, I think, of religion and politics.
“J. P. C.”
* Thonias Moore. The play was operatic, and was damned. Its name was “M. P. or the Blue Stockings.”—M.
Mr. Curran is invited to stand for the borough of Newry-Speech to the electors-Letter
to Sir J. Swinburne-Letter on Irish affairs to H. R. H, the Duke of Sussex.
From the period of Mr. Curran's elevation to the bench, his friends had been very desirous to see him a member of the British parliament. Independent of the service which they expected that his zeal and talents might render to Ireland, there mingled with their feelings on this subject a sentiment of national pride. His parliamentary abilities they considered as having been greatly underrated; notwithstanding the extensive circulation of his reported speeches, the admiration they had met in England was cold in comparison to the enthusiastic applause which their delivery had excited at home. They were therefore anxious that he should have an opportunity, before age or death should render it impossible, of justifying their preference, and confirming his own reputation by even a single display, before such an audience as the British senate, of those powers which his countrymen had so long been extolling as unrivalled.
These reasons—particularly the sense of duty, were frequently urged upon him, but with little effect. The only question, upon which it seemed to him that he could be useful, was that of Catholic Emancipation; and even here he could not venture to be sanguine. When he recollected that his illustrious friend, Mr. Grattan, who had made that question almost the business of a long life, was still (though supported by so much of the most exalted rank and talent in the British empire) vainly exerting his splendid abilities to drive or shame the higot from his post, Mr. Curran feared that the accession of any strength that he possessed
The motives of personal vanity or ambition had still less influence. It is not surprising that he, who in the season of ardour and hope had been so negligent of fame, should continue equally indifferent, now that these incentives to action were passing or had passed away.
Such were his feelings (too full perhaps of despondency and indolence) when, upon the general election in 1812, the independent interest of the town of Newry proposed to elect him their member. A deputation from that borough having waited upon him for the purpose, he accepted the invitation,* and repaired to Newry ;t but after a contest of six days, perceiving that the
* The feelings with which Mr. Curran accepted the invitation appear in his answer.
"GENTLEMEN --I have just received an address, signed by a number of highly respectable members of your ancient borough, inviting me to offer myself a candidate to represent your town in parliament. To be thought worthy of such a trust, at so awful a crisis As the present, and to receive such an invitation, unsolicited and unexpected, is an honour that I feel deeply and gratefully.
“Gentlemen, I need not trouble you with many words. You know my principles, you know my conduct heretofore-I am not a stranger coming forward to menace, or to buy you, in order that I may sell you; nor do I rest my pretension on any contrition for the past, nor any premediated promise that I will at some future period begin to act honestly by you. From the earliest period of my life to see this ill-fated couutry retrieved from her sad condition of suffering and of shame has been the first and warmest wish of my heart, and warm it shall continue, till I myself am cold for ever.
"I know you will not impute it to a want of the most profound respect for you, when I say that I will not personally solicit the vote of any individual. I cannot run the risk of soliciting a suitor in the character of an elector—it would not benefit my judicial situation, and I think it would diminish that credit, which sufrage above all suspicion of bias, ought to give to your representative. It will therefore be sufficient that I attend you in such time before the election as will enable me to know your farther pleasure. "I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, with a full sense of your confidence and favour,
" Your obedient servant,
"JOAN PHILPOT CURRAN. "Stephen's Green, October 8, 1812."
+ Mr. Curran's reception was most enthusiastic. He was met two miles outside Newry, and about 8000 persons joined in drawing him into the borough in his carriage, from which the horses had been taken. He made a brilliant speech (of which no report has been preserved), which occupied eighty minutes in the delivery, and was greatly applauded. His rival, wbo avowed Anti-Catholic opinions, was groaned. But some of the Catholic voters were pot true to their own cause, and this, backed by government influence, defeated Curran.-M.
strength of the other candidate (General Needham) left him no prospect of success, he declined any farther struggle. Upon this
occasion, Mr. Curran delivered a speech of considerable length. It was his last great public effort, and was characterized by the
same energy and fancy, and the same spirit of patriotic enthusiasm, which reign in all his former productions. After stating to the electors of Newry the circumstances under which he had been induced to appear among them, and the condition of the borough, which had baffled the exertions of his friends, Mr. Curran proceeded to impress upon his hearers that the long train of sufferings which Ireland had endured for centuries had originated in the dissension of her people, and that whatever of them remained could only be removed by mutual toleration.“ Under this sad coalition of confederating dissensions, nursed and fomented by the policy of England, this devoted country has continued to languish with small Ructuations of national destiny, from the invasion of the second Henry to the present time. And here let me be just while I am indignant; let me candidly own that to the noble examples of British virtue, to the splendid exertions of British courage, to their splendid sacrifices, am I probably indebted for my feelings as an Irishmen and my devotion to my country. They thought it madness to trust themselves to the influence of any foreign country; they thought the circulation of the political blood could be carried on only by the action of the heart within the body, and could not be injected from without. Events have shown you that what they thought, was just; and that what they did, was indispensable: they thought they ought to govern themselvesthey thought that at every hazard they ought to make the effortthey thought it more eligible to perish than to fail; and to the God of Heaven I pray that the authority of so splendid an example may not be lost upon Ireland.”
After describing the condition of Ireland subsequent to the