Peter O'Brien was an Irish lawyer and judge who served as Lord Chief Justice of Ireland between 1889 and 1913. In his lifetime he was universally known as Peter the Packer, due to the skill he had shown as Attorney-General in securing "packed" juries. No one on this site gives a flying fiddler's reproductive act about legal achievements. But O'Brien's memoirs reveal that he was no stranger to the mountains.
“I was in Wales for a short holiday, and one day was going by train to Llanberis with the view of ascending Snowdon. A young man — a barrister as I thought — was travelling in my compartment. We discussed legal topics, and I gave him some advice which I deemed might be beneficial to a young barrister. As we found each other's society congenial, we arranged to ascend Snowdon together, and when we reached the summit, my young friend grew pensive and heaved a sigh, whereupon I chaffed him on the possession of a romantic temperament. The beauty of the scene may have moved him to give me his confidence, for before many minutes had elapsed he was asking my advice concerning his love affairs, which were causing him great perplexity. It was a case of " How happy could I be with either, were t'other dear charmer away !" for there were two ladies, and he could not make up his mind to which to propose. One was extremely pretty and well endowed ; the other dowerless, and, to quote my young friend, " an angel," having nursed an invalid and querulous father through a long illness, denying herself all amusement to take her place by his pillow. I advised him to marry the dowerless young lady, saying that, inasmuch as she had proved such an excellent daughter, she would be likely to prove an equally excellent wife, and stand by her husband as she had done by her parents. I told him that under such circumstances, even without money, he would probably succeed at the Bar, as most men who had risen to fame had had to work hard in the beginning. My young friend seemed im- pressed by my advice, and when I had finished speaking, suddenly exclaimed, as he pointed to a lady who appeared on the scene: " Why, there's the pretty girl I was telling you of." Very pretty she certainly was. She had ascended Snowdon with some friend, and was delighted to meet the young barrister. She was very gracious and charming to me, and I felt rather a traitor in her presence, owing to the advice I had just given. The episode was soon almost forgotten by me, and my thoughts might never have reverted to it, had I not many years after received a letter from the barrister, in which he recalled himself to my memory and thanked me for my advice, which he had followed, with the result that he was " happy in his marriage beyond his expectation," and was making a large income at the Bar. My success as a matchmaker much gratified my vanity, but I was content to retire on my laurels, knowing that I could never again hope for a like success, inasmuch as " angels " are rarely to be met with.” Linkback: https://mountainviews.ie/summit/B1963/comment/18851/