Charles James Lever.

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" TROTH, PATSET, IT'S WHAT I'M THINKING, TIIEKE'S NOBODY KNOWS HOW TO COURT LIKE A

RAAL GENTLEMAN." (P. 856.)



THE WORKS



OF



CHARLES LEVER.



VOL. Ill

CHARLES O'MALLET.
JACK HINTOK



W1TU TWE.YTY-SIX ILLUST&ATIOXS.



New York:
PETER FENELON COLLIER, PUBLISHER.



Contents.



SRLF



CHARLES O'MALLEY.



Chapters I. to CXXII.



IAUB

j (OS



JACK IIIXTOX, THE GUARDSMAN.

Chapters I. to LXII






List of Illustrations.



69



89



CHARLES O'MALLEY.

TO PACE TAQE

The gallant animal rose, as if rearing, pawed
for an instant to regain his balance, and
then, with a frightful struggle, fell back-
ward, and rolled from top to bottom of the
hill, carrying me along with hm 10

" He wishes me just to sound your intentions
— to make out how you feel disposed to-
ward him. " 20

" Stop, sir," shouted Sir George 54

The fair Judy, at this, threw her arms about

his neck, and saluted him with a hearty

smack, that was heard all over the room.'.

"I publish the banns of marriage between

Charles O'Malley, latent' his majesty's 14th

dragoons, and Dalrvmple, spinster, of

this city."

With one spring he rose, and cleared it at a
bound i gg

"Oh! then, if they were in swarms foment
me, devil receave the prisoner I'll take
again." l(jo

"It was my first battle; mv epaulettes were
very smart things yesterday, though they
do look a little passees to-day." 1G9

"Master Charles O'Malley, in foreign parts! " 195

" Qui va Idf " shouted I again, and no answer
was returned, when suddenly the huge ob-
ject wheeled rapidly around, and without
waiting for any further parley, made for
the thicket 204

" ' A boneen, sir.' says I. ' Isn't he a fine erav-
ture?— av lie wast so troublesome.'". . . '. . 368

"That was an Irish shout! The Eighty-eighth
are at them ! " ....'..." 281

"Tear an ages! ain't I composin' it? av 1 was
Tommy Moore I couldn't be quicker.". . . . 395



TO PACE PAGE

"Gallant fellow!" "He has him! he has him

b )' ! " 307

"The Fifth division was orthered up, bekase
they were fighting chaps." 334

"Tear and ages! don't howld me— that's him-
self — devil a one else."

JACK HINTON.
Having snuffed the candles, and helped him-
self to a pinch of snuff from a gold box
on the mantelpiece, he stuck his arms,
nearly to the elbows, in the ample pockets
of his coat, and with his head a little
elevated, and his under lip slightly pro-
truded, seemed to meditate upon the muta-
bility of human affairs, and the vanity of
all worldly pursuits * 416

"The haythins !— the Turks ! "

She was sitting upon a sofa, beside a tall ven-
erable-looking old man 440

"No, no. Mrs. Carney. I'll fake the vestment
on it, nothing of the kind -—the allusion
is most discreet." 186

lie nodded familiarly, and placed himself on
the window-sill with one foot upon a ehai

Poor M'Ciien. almost in a panic of excitement
and trepidation, pulled both triggers, and
nearly fell back with the recoil 504

Mahon, meanwhile, handed each man his pis-
tol, and whispering in my ear" Aim low,"
retired 527

"Troth. Patsey, it's what I'm thinking, there's
nobody knows how to court like a raal
gentleman." 562

He tried a faint cheer, but it was scarcely
audible '. 583

He nodded, and, turning quickly round, left

the room ' 684

iii



Charles O'Malley,



THE [RISE DRAGOON.



PREFACE.

The success of Harry Lorreqner was
the reason for writing Charles O'Malley.
That I myself was in m> wise prepared for
the favor the public bestowed on my first
attempt is easily enough understood. The
ease with which I Btrung my stories togeth-
er — and in reality the Confessions of Har-
ry Lorrc(|uer arc little oilier than a note-
hook of absurd and laughable incidents —
led mc to believe that I could draw on this
vein of composition without any limit
whatever. 1 felt, or thought I felt, an in-
exhaustible store of fun and buoyancy
within me, and 1 began to have a misty,
half confused impression that Englishmen
generally labored under a sad-colored tem-
perament, took depressing views of life,
and were proportionately grateful to any
one who would rally them even passingly
out of their despondency, and give them
a laugh without much trouble for going in
search of it.

When I set to work to write Charles
O'Malley I was, as I have ever been, very
low with fortune, and the success of a new
venture was pretty much as eventful to me
as the turn of the right color at, rouge et
noir. At the same time I had then an
amount of spring in my temperament, and
a power of enjoying life, which 1 can hon-
estly say I nowv found surpassed. The
world had for me all the interest of an ad-
mirable comedy, in which the part allotted
myself, if not a high or a. foreground oik .
was eminently sailed to my taste, ami
brought me. besides, sufficiently often on
the stage to enable me to follow all the
fortunes of the piece. Brussels, where I
was then living, was adorned at the period
by a most agreeable English society. Some
leaders of the fashionable world of London
had come there to relit and recruit, both
vol. in. — 1



in body and estate. There were Beveral
pli asant and a greal number or pretty peo-
ple among them : and, BO far a- I Could
judge, the fashionable drama- of I;. Igmve
Square and its vicinity were being per-
formed in the Rue Royale and tie- Boule-
vard de Waterloo with very considerable
success. There were dinners, halls, dejeu-
ners and picnics in the Boh de Cambre,
excursions to Waterloo, and select little
parties to Bois-fort, a charming little re-
sort in the forest, whose intense cockney-
ism became perfectly inoffensive as being
in a foreign land, and remote from the in-
vasion of home-bred vulgarity. 1 mention
all these things to show the adjuncts by
which 1 was aided, and the rattle of gaycty
by which 1 was as it wire, "accompa-
nied," when I next tried my voice.

The soldier element tinctured strongly
our society, and 1 will say most agreeably.
Amongst those whom 1 remember b(
were several old Peninsulars. Lord Com-
bermere was of this number, and another
of our set was an officer who accompanied,
if indeed he did not command, the first
boat party who crossed the Douro. It is
needless to say how 1 cultivated a society
so full of all the storied details 1 was eager
to obtain, and how generously disposed
were they to give me all the information I
needed. On topogra] pecially were

they valuable to me. and with such good
result that 1 have been more than once
complimented on the accuracy of my de-
scriptions of places which 1 have never seen,
and whose features 1 have derived entirely
from the narratives of my friei

When, therefore, my publishers asked
me could 1 write a story in the Lorrequer
vein, in which active service and military
adventure could figure more prominently
than mere civilian life, and where the
achievements of a British army might



CHARLES LEVERS WORKS.



form the staple of the narrative ? When
this question was propounded me, I was
ready to reply— Not one, but fifty. Do
not mistake me. and suppose that any over-
weening confidence in my literary powers
would have emboldened me to make this
reply; my whole strength lay in the t'acl
that I could not recognize anything like
literary cfforl in t lie ■ If the world

would only condescend to read that which
I wrote !•: ! was in the habit of

talking, nothing could be easier than for
me to occupy them. Nol alone was it very
easy to me. but ii was intensely interesting
and amusing to myself, to be so engaged.

The success of Harry Lorrequer had
been freely wafted across the German
Ocean, but even in its mildest accents it
was very intoxicating incense to me; and
i set to work second book with a

thrill of 1. sgards the world's favor

which — and it is no small thing to say it —
1 can yet recall.

I can recall, too, and T am afraid more
vividly still, sonic of the difficulties of my
task when 1 endeavored to form anything
like an accurate or precise idea of some
campaigning incident, or some passage of
arms, from the narratives of two distinct
and separate ki eye-witnesses." What mis-
trust 1 conceived for all eye-witnesses from
my own brief experience of their testi-
monies ! What an impulse did it lend me
to study the nature and the temperament
of the narrator, as indicative of the pecu-
liar coloring lie might lend his narrative ;
and how it taught me to know the force of
The French epigram that has declared how
it was entirely the alternating popularity
of Marshal Sou It that decided whether he
won or lost the battle of Toulouse.

While, however, I was sifting these evi-
dences, and separating, as well as I might,
the wheat from the chaff, I was in a mea-
sure training myself for what, without my
then knowing it, was to he come my career
in life. This was not therefore altogether
without a certain degree of labor, but so
light and pleasant withal, so full of pictu-
resque peeps at character, and humorous
■ iews of human nature, that it would be
the very rankest ingratitude of me if I did
not own that I gained all my earlier ex-
ice of the world in very pleasant
company — highly enjoyable at the time,
and with matter for charming souvenirs
Jong after.

Thai certain trait- of my acquaintances
I >und i hi ms I in some of the

characters of this story, 1 do not seek to
deny. The principle oi natural selection
adapts itself to novels as to nature, and it



would have demanded an effort above my
strength to have disabused myself at the
desk of all the impressions of the dinner
table, and to have forgotten features which
interested or amused me.

One of the personages of my tale I drew,
however, with very little aid from fancy.
I would go so far as to say that 1 took him
from the life, if my memory did not con-
front me with the lamentable inferiority
of my picture to the great original it was
meant to port ray.

With the exception of the quality of
courage, J never met a man who contained
within himself so many of the traits of
iff, as the individual who furnished
me with .Major Monsoon. But the Major
1 must call him so, though that rank
was Jar beneath his own — was a man of
unquestionable bravery. His powers as a

i story-teller were to my thinking unrivaled.

I the peculiar reflections on life which he
would passingly introduce — the wise apo-

! thegnis — were after a morality essentially
of bis own invention, that he would in-
dulge in the unsparing exhibition of him-
self in situations such as other men would
never have confessed to, all blended up
with a racy enjoyment of life, dashed oc-
casionally with sorrow that our tenure of
it was short of patriarchal. All these, ac-
companied by a face redolent of intense
humor, and a voice whose modulations

| were managed with the skill of a consum-

i mate artist, all these I say were above mo
to convey, nor indeed as I re-read any of
the adventures in which lie figures, am I
other than ashamed at the weakness of my
drawing and the poverty of my coloring.

That I had a. better claim to personify
him than is always the lot of a novelist —
that i | d, so to say, a vested interest

in his life and adventures, I will relate a
little incident in proof ; and my accuracy,
if necessary, can be attested by another
in I i ene who yet survives.
I was living a bachelor life at Brussels,
my family being at Osf.endo for the bath-
ing during the summer, of 1840. The

^ o

city was comparatively empty ; all the so-
called socio v being absent at the various
spas or baths of Germany. One member

of the British Legation, who remained at,
his post to represent the mission, and my-
self making common cause of our desola-
tion and ennui, spent much of our time
together, and dined tete-a-tete every day.

It chanced that one evening, as wc were
hastening through the park on our way to
dinner, we espied the Major — for as Major
1 must speak of him — lounging along with
that half careless, half observant air wo



[RLES VM ALLEY.



had both of as remarked as indicating a
desire to be someb

rai hi r than surrender himself to the aome-
of domes! ic fare.

"There's that confounded old Mon-
Boon," cried my diplomatic friend. "It's
all up if he sees us, and 1 can't endure
him."

Now I must remark that my friend,
I hough very Ear IV >ra insensible to i lie

id< of I he Major's
was not always in the vein to enjoy it, and
when so indisposed he could invi
object of his dislike with something little
short of antipathy, " Promi '■• me," said
he as Monsoon came toward us, "promi c
me, you'll not ask him to dinner.*' Before
1 cuii Id make any reply, the Major was
shaking a hand of either of us, and rap-
turously expatiating over his good luck at
meel ihg us. " M rs. M.," said lie, " has
got a dreary partj of old ladies to dine
with her, and 1 have come out here to find
some pleasant fellow to join mo, ;uid lake
our mutton chop togcl :

" We're behind our time, Major," aid
my friend, "sorry to leave you so abrupt-
ly, but must push on. Eh, Lorrequer,"
added he, to evoke corroboration on my
part.

" Harry says nothing of the kind," re-
plied Monsoon, '* he says, or he's going to
say, 'Major, 1 have a nice bit of dinner
waiting for me at home, enough for two,
will feed three, or if there be a shortcom-
ing, nothing easier than to eke out the dc-
ficiency by another bottle of Moulton ;
come along with us then, Monsoon, ami
we shall be all the merrier for your com-
pany."'

Repeating his last, words. " come along,
Monsoon/' etc., I passed my arm within
his. and away we went. For a, moment
my friend tried to get free and have me,
but 1 held him fast and carried him along
in spite of himself, lie was. however, so
chagrined and provoked that till the mo-
ment we reached mydoor he never uttered
a word, nor paid (lie slightest attention to
Monsoon, who talked away in a, vein that
occasionally made gravity all but. impossi-
ble.

Our dinner proceeded drearily enough,
the diplomatist's stiffness neverrelaxed for
a moment, and my own awkwardness
damped all my attempts at. conversation.
Not, so. however, Monsoon, he ate heartily,
approved of everything, and pronounced
my wine to be exquisite. He gave us a,
perfect discourse on sherry, and Spanish
wines in general, told us the secret of the
Amontillado flavor, anil explained that



process of browning by boiling down wine,
which some ■• England. A.I

last, seeing perhaps that the protection
had little charm . with his acciu

tomed taet, he diverged into anecdote. '■ 1
once fori unate enough," • tid he, " to
fall upon 6ome of thai clu
i he St. Lucas Lnentas, u hich is ah.

ved lor royalt; . i I w •■ ;i pale w inc.
delicious in iIk drinking, and leaving no
more flavor in the mouth than a faint
dryness thai, si cue d to say — anotl •
Shall I tell y>u I. I ■
scarcely pausing f< r reply he told the story
of having robbed his own convoy, ami
stolen the wine he was in i for .-ate

conveyance.

I « ish ! could give any— c^ en the \
i '< ■;•■ of how he narrated 1 1 lent

the struggle thai he portrayed be; w
duty and temptation, ami the apblog
tone of his voice in which he explained
t hat t l.e frame of mind that sua
any yielding to seductive influences, is
often in the main more profitabli to a man
than is the vain-glorious E having

resisted a temptation. " Meekness is the
mother of all the virl u id he, " and

there is no being meek without frailty."
The story, told as he told it. was too much
for the diplomatist's gravity, he resisted
all signs of attention as long as he v.;
able, and at last fairly roared out with
laughter.

As soon as I myself recovered from the
effects of t his drollery J said. ".Major, J
have a proposition to make you: let me tell
the st. .ry in print, ami I'll give yon five
naps."

"Are you serious, Harry ?" asked he.
" Is this on honor

■• ( m honor, assuredly," 1 replied.

" Let me have the money ('own. on the
nail, and I'll give you leave to have me and
my whole life, every adventure that i
befell me, aye. and. If you like, every moral
reflection that my experiences have sug-
gested."

" Done !" cried I. "1 agree."

"Not so fast," cried the diplomatist,
" we must make a protocol of this ; the
high contracting parties must know wl
theygiveand whal thej receive. I'll draw

out the I real v."

Ei did so at full length on a sheet of
that solemn blue tinted paper, so dedi-
cated to dispatch purposes— he dulj
forth the concession and the consideration.
We each signed the document, he wit-
nessed and sealed it. and Monsoon pocket-
ed my live napoleons, filling a bumper to
any success the bargain might bring me,



CHARLES LEVERS WORKS.



and of which T have never had reason to
express deep disappointment.

Tins document, along with my Univer-
sity degree, my commission in a Militia
regiment, and a vast amount of letters
very interesting to me, were seized by the
Austrian authorities on the way from
Como to Florence in the August of 1847,
being deemed part of a treasonable cor-
idencc — probably purposely allegori-
cal in form — and never restored to me. 1
fairly own that I'd give all the res! wil-
If of i lie Monsoon
. not a little for the* sake of that
quaint old autograph, faintly shaken by
the quiet laugh with which lie wrote it.

That I did not entirely fail in giving my
Major some faint resemblance to bhe great
original from whom I copied him. I may
mention that he was speedily recognized in
print by the Marquis of Londonderry, the
well-known Sir Charles Stuart of the Pen-
insular campaign. " I know that fellow
well," said he ; "lie once sent me a chal-
lenge, and I had to make him a very hum-
ble apology. The occasion was this : I
had been out with a single aide-de-camp,
io make a reconnaissance in front of Vic-
tor's division ; and to avoid attracting any
notice, we covered over our uniform with
two common gray overcoats, which reached
to the feet, and effectually concealed our
rank as officers. Scarcely, however, had
we topped a hill which commanded the
view of the French, than a shower of
shells flew over and around us. Amazed
to think howAve could have been so quickly
noticed, I looked around me, and discov-
ered, quite close in my rear, your friend
Monsoon with what he called his staff, a
popinjay set of rascals, dressed out in green
and gold, and with 'more plumes and
feathers than the general staff ever bosted.
Carried away by momentary passion at the
failure of my reconnaissance, I burst out
with some insolent allusion to the harlequin
assembly which had drawn the French fire
upon us. Monsoon saluted me respect-
fully, and retired without a word ; but I
had scarcely reached my quarters when a
'friend' of his waited on me with a mes- I
sage, a very categorical message it was too,
' it must be a meeting or an ample apolo-

.' 1 made the apology, a most full one,
for the Major was right, and I had not a
fraction of r< as >n to sustain me in my con- 1
duct, and we have been the best of friends
ever since."

1 myself had heard the incident before]
this from Monsoon, but told amongst]
other adventures win i veracity Ii

was rath . I I > qui ion, and did



not therefore accord it all the faith that
was its due; and I admit, that the acci-
dental corroboration of this one event very
often served to puzzle me afterward, when
I listened to stories m which the Major
seemed a second Munchausen, but might,
like in this of the duel, have been amongst
the truest and most, matter-of-fact of his-
torians. May the reader be no! lessembar-
rassed than myself is my sincere, if not
very courteous, prayer.

1 have no doubt myself, that often in
recounting some strange incident, a per-
sonal experience it always was. he was
himself more amnsed by the credulity of
the hearers, and the amount of interest he
could excite in them, than were they by
the story. lie possessed the true narrative
gusto, and there was a marvelous instinct
in the way in which he would vary a tale
to suit tlie tastes of an audience ; -while
his m oral i zings were almost certain to take
the tone of a humoristic quiz on the com-

p an y-

1 hough fully aware that 1 was availing
myself of the contract that delivered him
into my hands, and dining with me two
or three days a week, lie never lapsed into
any allusion to his appearance in print,
and the story had been already some weeks
published before he asked me to lend him
"that last thing — he forgot the name of
it, — I was writing."

Of Frank Webber I have said, in a for-
mer notice, that lie was one of my earliest
friends, my chum in college, and in the
very chambers where 1 have located
Charles O'Malley, in Old Trinity. He was
a man of the highest order of abilities, and
with a memory that never forgot, but
ruined and run to seed by the idleness
that came of a discursive, uncertain tem-
perament. Capable of anything, he spent
his youth in follies and eccentricities ;
every one of which, however, gave indica-
tions of a mind inexhaustible in resources,
and abounding in devices and contrivances
that none other but himself would have
thought of. Poor fellow, he died young ;
and perhaps it is better it should have
been so. Had he lived to a later day. he
would most probably have been found a
foremost leader of Fenian ism, and from
what I knew of him, I can say he would
have been a more dangerous enemy to
English rule than any of those dealers in
the petty larceny of rebellion we have late-
ly seen amongst us.

" 1 have said that of Mickey Free I had
not one, but one thousand — types. In-
deed. I am not quite sure that in my last
visit to Dublin, I did not chance on a liv-



CHARLES 0" MALLET,



ing specimen of the "Free" family, much
readier in repartee, quicker with an apro-
pos, and droller in illustral ion Minn my
own Mickey. This fellow was "boots" al
:i great hotel in Sackville 81 reel ; and I
awe him more amusement and some heart-
ier laughs than it, has been always my for-
tune to enjoy in a party of wits II:-
criticisms on my sketches of Irish charac-
ter were about the shrewdest and the best
i ever listened to : and that 1 am tiol
bribed to this opinion by any flattery, 1
may remark thai they were more often
severe than complimentary, and that he
■hit every blunder of image, every mistake
in figure, of my peasant characters, with

an acuteness and "rectness, which made

nic very grateful to know that, his daily
occupations were limited to blacking
boots, ami not polishing off authors. ,

I believe 1 have now done with my con-
fessions, except I should like to own that
this story was ■> mean- of according me
a more heartfelt low of satisfaction, a
more gratifying sense ni pride, than any-
thing I ever have or over shall write, and
in this wise. My brother, at thai, time the
rector of an Irish parish, once forwarded
to me a letter from a lady unknown to
him, hul, who h'd he rd he was the broth
er of "Harry r^orreciuer," and who ad-
dressed him, n"t '"lowing where a letter
might be directed to myself. The letter
was the grateful expression of a mother,
who said " 1 am the widow of a Held ofti-
cer, and with an only son, for whom I ob-
tained a presentation to Woolwich; but
seeing in mv hoy'.: nature certain traits of
nervousness and ti u !ity, which induced
me to hesitate on embarking him in the
career of a <.dicr, I became very unhappy
and uncertain which course to decide on.

" While in this state of uncertainty T
"jhanced to make him a birthday present
of ' Char] e O'Malley,' t he reading of which
seemed to act like a charm on his whole
character, inspiring him with a passion for
movement and adventure, and spiriting
him toan eager desire for a military life.
Seeing that t his was no passing enthusiasm,
bin a decided and letermincd bent, [ac-
cepted the cadet Mi ip for him. and his career
has been not alone distinguished as a stu-
dent, but one which has marked him out
for an almost hare-brained courage, and for
a dash and heroism that give high promise
for his Mi t ure.

'• Thank your brother for me." wrote
she, "a mother's thanks for the welfare of
an only son, and say how I. wish that my
best wishes for him and his could recom-
pense him for what I owe him.''



1 humbly hope i hat it may not be im-
puted tome a unpardonable vanity — the



Online LibraryCharles James LeverThe works of Charles Lever (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 126)