GLOSSARY 22. THE CURRAGH--is the Newmarket of Ireland.
GLOSSARY 23. THE CANT--The auction.
GLOSSARY 24. AND SO SHOULD CUT HIM OFF FOR EVER BY LEVYING A FINE, AND SUFFERING A RECOVERY TO DOCK THE ENTAIL.--The English reader may perhaps be surprised at the extent of Thady's legal knowledge, and at the fluency with which he pours forth law-terms; but almost every poor man in Ireland, be he farmer, weaver, shopkeeper, ox steward, is, besides his other occupations, occasionally a lawyer. The nature of processes, ejectments, custodiams, injunctions, replevins, etc., is perfectly known to them, and the terms as familiar to them as to any attorney. They all love law. It is a kind of lottery, in which every man, staking his own wit or cunning against his neighbour's property, feels that he has little to lose, and much to gain.
'I'll have the law of you, so I will!' is the saying of an Englishman who expects justice. 'I'll have you before his honour,' is the threat of an Irishman who hopes for partiality. Miserable is the life of a justice of the peace in Ireland the day after a fair, especially if he resides near a small town. The multitude of the KILT (KILT does not mean KILLED, but hurt) and wounded who come before his honour with black eyes or bloody heads is astonishing: but more astonishing is the number of those who, though they are scarcely able by daily labour to procure daily food, will nevertheless, without the least reluctance, waste six or seven hours of the day lounging in the yard or court of a justice of the peace, waiting to make some complaint about--nothing. It is impossible to convince them that TIME IS MONEY. They do not set any value upon their own time, and they think that others estimate theirs at less than nothing. Hence they make no scruple of telling a justice of the peace a story of an hour long about a tester (sixpence); and if he grows impatient, they attribute it to some secret prejudice which he entertains against them.
Their method is to get a story completely by heart, and to tell it, as they call it, OUT OF THE FACE, that is, from the beginning to the end, without interruption.
'Well, my good friend, I have seen you lounging about these three hours in the yard; what is your business?'
'Please your honour, it is what I want to speak one word to your honour.'
'Speak then, but be quick. What is the matter?'