Posted by Shakespeare on March 29, 2008 at 18:02:00:
Below is an Extract from "OLD ELECTION DAYS IN IRELAND"
Anyone know are there any decendants of these characters still living in Castlebar?
170 OLD ELECTION DAYS IN IRELAND.
listened to them, and weakly yielded to considerations of humanity, morality, and the sixth commandment, the whole fun of an election 'could have been damaged altogether. Brown and Bingham were intimate friends j Bingham had a perfect right to contest Castlebar with Brown the two things considered, Brown said that he would be perfectly justified
in calling Bingham out and shooting him if he could.
Both were pleasant fellows, as well as hearty friends, and it was as difficult a matter for Brown to pick a quarrel and fasten it upon a man, as it was for Bingham to take offence, when none was intended. Yet the thing must be accomplished, or dull indeed would be the election time in the good town of Castlebar. Brown meditated and hesitated, but he was told that, like Macbeth's little affair, it not only must be done, but it could be done well only by being done quickly. Brown did not lack courage j what he wanted was an excuse: but an Irishman's invention is
a marvellous machine, and Brown's was in full and efficient play, as he sauntered into the Castlebar club-room and saw Bingham writing a letter, at a table adjacent to a window which looked into a field, or garden. Brown walked slowly up to the writer, who was quite unconscious of his adversary's approach, and leaning over him, said very distinctly and unpleasantly: - Bingham you lie!" Bingham looked up with mingled astonishment and fierceness, and then, addressing the members of the club (who were scattered about the room), as if he could scarcely believe his own ears,-
“My G-d, gentlemen! Did you hear that? And I that never spoke to him! "
"Never mind, Bingham," said Brown. If you didn't speak a lie, you were thinking one”
Bingham was a sensible man, quite amenable to reason, and he recognized the propriety and tendency of things at once. A man could not fight unless offence was given, and another could not fight unless the offence was taken. Brown had been clever enough to give it, Bingham was reasonable enough to take. The logical sequence was that a duel was inevitable, and that all Castlebar would be delighted to witness it. When pistols had been procured and they, as a matter of course, at an election time, of all others, were " handy " or convenient,"-the rival candidates descended to the field or garden behind the house, where they delighted members and as any of the townsfolk as had heard of what was to take place, were assembled. All the usual formalities having been gone through with the usual ceremonious politeness, the two friends, each bent on shooting the other, were placed at a distance of twenty paces, with liberty to advance on each other, and to fire when either thought that time, opportunity, and the devil, who presides at this sort of murder, were likely to be in his favour.
The adversaries stood motionless for a moment at the extreme distance, after the word was given to close; then they moved slowly,
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