This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1855 edition. Excerpt: ...alone will not detract from the dignity of its object; that it is often but the impotent railing of an inferior. Whether it ...Read MoreThis historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1855 edition. Excerpt: ...alone will not detract from the dignity of its object; that it is often but the impotent railing of an inferior. Whether it be a public or a private delinquent that they denounce, they feel that they would be allowing him to escape almost with impunity, if they did not degrade him from his social or personal rank down to the level of his offence. To hatred they therefore add bitter ridicule; for ridicule, though not the test of truth, is the test of scorn and contempt. Humour for such a purpose (and it was for this that Mr. Curran most frequently employed it) is not levity; it has nothing of the sportings of a heart at ease, but its source is in the profoundest passion, and in that indignant haughtiness peculiar to the extreme of passion, which in its most violent paroxysm will assume a proud vindictive playfulness of exterior, lest the detested object should glory in the discovery of all the agitation that he excites, or lest it might be taken as a tribute to his importance to deem him worthy of a frown. It was in this impassioned, exaggerating spirit, upon which the particular talent of an advocate so much depends, that Mr. Curran approached every person or measure that he had occasion to arraign; whether the subject of his sarcasm happened to be a rival candidate, " whose voters might bo seen coming in like the beasts of the field, in droves, from their pastures, presenting a picture of human nature in a state of degradation such as never had been witnessed since Nebuchadnezzar was at grass;" or an Irish secretary, " regarding whom he would not imitate the ancient tyrant's practice of torturing insects;" or an English ministry, " a motley group, without virtue, or character, or talents--the sort of cabinet that we have laughed at on...Read Less
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