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´╗┐Title: Barry Lyndon
Author: Thackeray, William Makepeace, 1811-1863
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Barry Lyndon" ***

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BARRY LYNDON

By William Makepeace Thackeray


From The Works Of William Makepeace Thackeray


Edited By Walter Jerrold



CONTENTS

          BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

      I.--MY PEDIGREE AND FAMILY--UNDERGO THE INFLUENCE OF THE TENDER
          PASSION

     II.--IN WHICH I SHOW MYSELF TO BE A MAN OF SPIRIT

    III.--I MAKE A FALSE START IN THE GENTEEL WORLD

     IV.--IN WHICH BARRY TAKES A NEAR VIEW OF MILITARY GLORY

      V.--IN WHICH BARRY TRIES TO REMOVE AS FAR FROM MILITARY GLORY AS
          POSSIBLE

     VI.--THE CRIMP WAGGON--MILITARY EPISODES

    VII.--BARRY LEADS A GARRISON LIFE, AND FINDS MANY FRIENDS THERE

   VIII.--BARRY BIDS ADIEU TO THE MILITARY PROFESSION

     IX.--I APPEAR IN A MANNER BECOMING MY NAME AND LINEAGE

      X.--MORE RUNS OF LUCK

     XI.--IN WHICH THE LUCK GOES AGAINST BARRY

    XII.--CONTAINS THE TRAGICAL HISTORY OF THE PRINCESS OF X-----

   XIII.--I CONTINUE MY CAREER AS A MAN OF FASHION

    XIV.--I RETURN TO IRELAND, AND EXHIBIT MY SPLENDOUR AND GENEROSITY
            IN THAT  KINGDOM

     XV.--I PAY COURT TO MY LADY LYNDON

    XVI.--I PROVIDE NOBLY FOR MY FAMILY, AND ATTAIN THE HEIGHT OF MY
          (SEEMING) GOOD FORTUNE

   XVII.--I APPEAR AS AN ORNAMENT OF ENGLISH SOCIETY

  XVIII.--IN WHICH MY GOOD FORTUNE BEGINS TO WAVER

    XIX.--CONCLUSION



BARRY LYNDON



A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Barry Lyndon--far from the best known, but by some critics acclaimed as
the finest, of Thackeray's works--appeared originally as a serial a few
years before VANITY FAIR was written; yet it was not published in book
form, and then not by itself, until after the publication of VANITY
FAIR, PENDENNIS, ESMOND and THE NEWCOMES had placed its author in the
forefront of the literary men of the day. So many years after the event
we cannot help wondering why the story was not earlier put in book form;
for in its delineation of the character of an adventurer it is as great
as VANITY FAIR, while for the local colour of history, if I may put it
so, it is no undistinguished precursor of ESMOND.

In the number of FRASER'S MAGAZINE for January 1844 appeared the first
instalment of 'THE LUCK OF BARRY LYNDON, ESQ., A ROMANCE OF THE LAST
CENTURY, by FitzBoodle,' and the story continued to appear month by
month--with the exception of October--up to the end of the year, when
the concluding portion was signed 'G. S. FitzBoodle.' FITZBOODLE'S
CONFESSIONS, it should be added, had appeared occasionally in the
magazine during the years immediately precedent, so that the pseudonym
was familiar to FRASER'S readers. The story was written, according to
its author's own words, 'with a great deal of dulness, unwillingness and
labour,' and was evidently done as the instalments were required, for in
August he wrote 'read for "B. L." all the morning at the club,' and four
days later of '"B. L." lying like a nightmare on my mind.' The journey
to the East--which was to give us in literary results NOTES OF A
JOURNEY FROM CORNHILL TO GRAND CAIRO--was begun with BARRY LYNDON yet
unfinished, for at Malta the author noted on the first three days of
November--'Wrote Barry but slowly and with great difficulty.' 'Wrote
Barry with no more success than yesterday.' 'Finished Barry after great
throes late at night.' In the number of Fraser's for the following
month, as I have said, the conclusion appeared. A dozen years later, in
1856, the story formed the first part of the third volume of Thackeray's
MISCELLANIES, when it was called MEMOIRS OF BARRY LYNDON, ESQ., WRITTEN
BY HIMSELF. Since then, it has nearly always been issued with other
matter, as though it were not strong enough to stand alone, or as though
the importance of a work was mainly to be gauged by the number of
pages to be crowded into one cover. The scheme of the present edition
fortunately allows fitting honour to be done to the memoirs of the great
adventurer.

To come from the story as a whole to the personality of the eponymous
hero. Three widely-differing historical individuals are suggested as
having contributed to the composite portrait. Best known of these was
that very prince among adventurers, G. J. Casanova de Seingalt, a man
who in the latter half of the eighteenth century played the part of
adventurer--and generally that of the successful adventurer--in most of
the European capitals; who within the first five-and-twenty years of
his life had been 'abbe, secretary to Cardinal Aquaviva, ensign, and
violinist, at Rome, Constantinople, Corfu, and his own birthplace
(Venice), where he cured a senator of apoplexy.' His autobiography,
MEMOIRES ECRIT PAR LUI MEME (in twelve volumes), has been described
as 'unmatched as a self-revelation of scoundrelism.' It has also
been suggested, with I think far less colour of probability, that the
original of Barry was the diplomatist and satiric poet Sir Charles
Hanbury Williams, whom Dr Johnson described as 'our lively and elegant
though too licentious lyrick bard.' The third original, and one who,
there cannot be the slightest doubt, contributed features to the great
portrait, is a certain Andrew Robinson Stoney, afterwards Stoney-Bowes.

The original of the Countess Lyndon was Mary Eleanor Bowes, Dowager
Countess of Strathmore, and heiress of a very wealthy Durham family.
This lady had many suitors, but in 1777 Stoney, a bankrupt lieutenant on
half pay, who had fought a duel on her behalf, induced her to marry him,
and subsequently hyphenated her name with his own. He became member
of Parliament, and ran such extravagant courses as does Barry Lyndon,
treated his wife with similar barbarity, abducted her when she had
escaped from him, and then, after being divorced, found his way to
a debtors' prison. There are similarities here which no seeker after
originals can overlook. Mrs Ritchie says that her father had a friend
at Paris, 'a Mr Bowes, who may have first told him this history of which
the details are almost incredible, as quoted from the papers of the
time.' The name of Thackeray's friend is a curious coincidence, unless,
as may well have been the case, he was a connection of the family into
which the notorious adventurer had married. It is not unlikely
that Thackeray had seen the work published in 1810--the year of
Stoney-Bowes's death--in which the whole unhappy romance was set forth.
This was 'THE LIVES OF ANDREW ROBINSON BOWES ESQ., and THE COUNTESS OF
STRATHMORE. Written from thirty-three years' Professional Attendance,
from letters and other well authenticated Documents by Jesse Foot,
Surgeon.' In this book we find several incidents similar to ones in
the story. Bowes cut down all the timber on his wife's estate, but
'the neighbours would not buy it.' Such practical jokes as Barry Lyndon
played upon his son's tutor were played by Bowes on his chaplain. The
story of Stoney and his marriage will be found briefly given in the
notice of the Countess's life in the DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY.

Whence that part of the romantic interlude dealing with the stay in
the Duchy of X----, dealt with in chapter x., etc., was inspired,
Thackeray's own note\books (as quoted by Mrs Ritchie) conclusively show:
'January 4,1844. Read in a silly book called L'EMPIRE, a good story
about the first K. of Wurtemberg's wife; killed by her husband for
adultery. Frederic William, born in 1734 (?), m. in 1780 the Princess
Caroline of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, who died the 27th September 1788.
For the rest of the story see L'EMPIRE, OU DIX ANS SOUS NAPOLEON, PAR UN
CHAMBELLAN: Paris, Allardin, 1836; vol. i. 220.' The 'Captain Freny' to
whom Barry owed his adventures on his journey to Dublin (chapter iii.)
was a notorious highwayman, on whose doings Thackeray had enlarged in
the fifteenth chapter of his IRISH SKETCH BOOK.

Despite the slowness with which it was written, and the seeming neglect
with which it was permitted to remain unreprinted, BARRY LYNDON was
to be hailed by competent critics as one of Thackeray's finest
performances, though the author himself seems to have had no strong
regard for the story. His daughter has recorded, 'My father once said
to me when I was a girl: "You needn't read BARRY LYNDON, you won't like
it." Indeed, it is scarcely a book to LIKE, but one to admire and to
wonder at for its consummate power and mastery.' Another novelist,
Anthony Trollope, has said of it: 'In imagination, language,
construction, and general literary capacity, Thackeray never did
anything more remarkable than BARRY LYNDON.' Mr Leslie Stephen says:
'All later critics have recognised in this book one of his most powerful
performances. In directness and vigour he never surpassed it.'

W.J.



THE MEMOIRES OF BARRY LYNDON, ESQ.



CHAPTER I. MY PEDIGREE AND FAMILY--UNDERGO THE INFLUENCE OF THE TENDER
PASSION


Since the days of Adam, there has been hardly a mischief done in this
world but a woman has been at the bottom of it. Ever since ours was
a family (and that must be very NEAR Adam's time,--so old, noble, and
illustrious are the Barrys, as everybody knows) women have played a
mighty part with the destinies of our race.

I presume that there is no gentleman in Europe that has not heard of
the house of Barry of Barryogue, of the kingdom of Ireland, than which a
more famous name is not to be found in Gwillim or D'Hozier; and though,
as a man of the world, I have learned to despise heartily the claims
of some PRETENDERS to high birth who have no more genealogy than the
lacquey who cleans my boots, and though I laugh to utter scorn the
boasting of many of my countrymen, who are all for descending from kings
of Ireland, and talk of a domain no bigger than would feed a pig as if
it were a principality; yet truth compels me to assert that my family
was the noblest of the island, and, perhaps, of the universal world;
while their possessions, now insignificant and torn from us by war, by
treachery, by the loss of time, by ancestral extravagance, by adhesion
to the old faith and monarch, were formerly prodigious, and embraced
many counties, at a time when Ireland was vastly more prosperous than
now. I would assume the Irish crown over my coat-of-arms, but that there
are so many silly pretenders to that distinction who bear it and render
it common.

Who knows, but for the fault of a woman, I might have been wearing
it now? You start with incredulity. I say, why not? Had there been a
gallant chief to lead my countrymen, instead or puling knaves who bent
the knee to King Richard II., they might have been freemen; had there
been a resolute leader to meet the murderous ruffian Oliver Cromwell, we
should have shaken off the English for ever. But there was no Barry in
the field against the usurper; on the contrary, my ancestor, Simon de
Bary, came over with the first-named monarch, and married the daughter
of the then King of Munster, whose sons in battle he pitilessly slew.

In Oliver's time it was too late for a chief of the name of Barry
to lift up his war-cry against that of the murderous brewer. We were
princes of the land no longer; our unhappy race had lost its possessions
a century previously, and by the most shameful treason. This I know to
be the fact, for my mother has often told me the story, and besides had
worked it in a worsted pedigree which hung up in the yellow saloon at
Barryville where we lived.

That very estate which the Lyndons now possess in Ireland was once the
property of my race. Rory Barry of Barryogue owned it in Elizabeth's
time, and half Munster beside. The Barry was always in feud with the
O'Mahonys in those times; and, as it happened, a certain English colonel
passed through the former's country with a body of men-at-arms, on the
very day when the O'Mahonys had made an inroad upon our territories, and
carried off a frightful plunder of our flocks and herds.

This young Englishman, whose name was Roger Lyndon, Linden, or Lyndaine,
having been most hospitably received by the Barry, and finding him just
on the point of carrying an inroad into the O'Mahonys' land, offered
the aid of himself and his lances, and behaved himself so well, as it
appeared, that the O'Mahonys were entirely overcome, all the Barrys'
property restored, and with it, says the old chronicle, twice as much of
the O'Mahonys' goods and cattle.

It was the setting in of the winter season, and the young soldier was
pressed by the Barry not to quit his house of Barryogue, and remained
there during several months, his men being quartered with Barry's own
gallowglasses, man by man in the cottages round about. They conducted
themselves, as is their wont, with the most intolerable insolence
towards the Irish; so much so, that fights and murders continually
ensued, and the people vowed to destroy them.

The Barry's son (from whom I descend) was as hostile to the English as
any other man on his domain; and, as they would not go when bidden, he
and his friends consulted together and determined on destroying these
English to a man.

But they had let a woman into their plot, and this was the Barry's
daughter. She was in love with the English Lyndon, and broke the whole
secret to him; and the dastardly English prevented the just massacre of
themselves by falling on the Irish, and destroying Phaudrig Barry, my
ancestor, and many hundreds of his men. The cross at Barrycross near
Carrignadihioul is the spot where the odious butchery took place.

Lyndon married the daughter of Roderick Barry, and claimed the estate
which he left: and though the descendants of Phaudrig were alive, as
indeed they are in my person,[Footnote: As we have never been able to
find proofs of the marriage of my ancestor Phaudrig with his wife,
I make no doubt that Lyndon destroyed the contract, and murdered the
priest and witnesses of the marriage.--B. L.] on appealing to the
English courts, the estate was awarded to the Englishman, as has ever
been the case where English and Irish were concerned.

Thus, had it not been for the weakness of a woman, I should have been
born to the possession of those very estates which afterwards came to me
by merit, as you shall hear. But to proceed with my family, history.

My father was well known to the best circles in this kingdom, as in that
of Ireland, under the name of Roaring Harry Barry. He was bred like many
other young sons of genteel families to the profession of the law, being
articled to a celebrated attorney of Sackville Street in the city of
Dublin; and, from his great genius and aptitude for learning, there is
no doubt he would have made an eminent figure in his profession, had not
his social qualities, love of field-sports, and extraordinary graces
of manner, marked him out for a higher sphere. While he was attorney's
clerk he kept seven race-horses, and hunted regularly both with the
Kildare and Wicklow hunts; and rode on his grey horse Endymion that
famous match against Captain Punter, which is still remembered by lovers
of the sport, and of which I caused a splendid picture to be made and
hung over my dining-hall mantelpiece at Castle Lyndon. A year afterwards
he had the honour of riding that very horse Endymion before his late
Majesty King George II. at New-market, and won the plate there and the
attention of the august sovereign.

Although he was only the second son of our family, my dear father came
naturally into the estate (now miserably reduced to L400 a year); for my
grandfather's eldest son Cornelius Barry (called the Chevalier Borgne,
from a wound which he received in Germany) remained constant to the old
religion in which our family was educated, and not only served abroad
with credit, but against His Most Sacred Majesty George II. in the
unhappy Scotch disturbances in '45. We shall hear more of the Chevalier
hereafter.

For the conversion of my father I have to thank my dear mother, Miss
Bell Brady, daughter of Ulysses Brady of Castle Brady, county Kerry,
Esquire and J.P. She was the most beautiful woman of her day in Dublin,
and universally called the Dasher there. Seeing her at the assembly,
my father became passionately attached to her; but her soul was above
marrying a Papist or an attorney's clerk; and so, for the love of her,
the good old laws being then in force, my dear father slipped into my
uncle Cornelius's shoes and took the family estate. Besides the force of
my mother's bright eyes, several persons, and of the genteelest society
too, contributed to this happy change; and I have often heard my mother
laughingly tell the story of my father's recantation, which was solemnly
pronounced at the tavern in the company of Sir Dick Ringwood, Lord
Bagwig, Captain Punter, and two or three other young sparks of the
town. Roaring Harry won 300 pieces that very night at faro, and laid
the necessary information the next morning against his brother; but his
conversion caused a coolness between him and my uncle Corney, who joined
the rebels in consequence.

This great difficulty being settled, my Lord Bagwig lent my father his
own yacht, then lying at the Pigeon House, and the handsome Bell Brady
was induced to run away with him to England, although her parents
were against the match, and her lovers (as I have heard her tell many
thousands of times) were among the most numerous and the most wealthy
in all the kingdom of Ireland. They were married at the Savoy, and my
grandfather dying very soon, Harry Barry, Esquire, took possession of
his paternal property and supported our illustrious name with credit in
London. He pinked the famous Count Tiercelin behind Montague House, he
was a member of 'White's,' and a frequenter of all the chocolate-houses;
and my mother, likewise, made no small figure. At length, after his
great day of triumph before His Sacred Majesty at Newmarket, Harry's
fortune was just on the point of being made, for the gracious monarch
promised to provide for him. But alas! he was taken in charge by another
monarch, whose will have no delay or denial,--by Death, namely, who
seized upon my father at Chester races, leaving me a helpless orphan.
Peace be to his ashes! He was not faultless, and dissipated all our
princely family property; but he was as brave a fellow as ever tossed
a bumper or called a main, and he drove his coach-and-six like a man of
fashion.

I do not know whether His gracious Majesty was much affected by this
sudden demise of my father, though my mother says he shed some royal
tears on the occasion. But they helped us to nothing: and all that was
found in the house for the wife and creditors was a purse of ninety
guineas, which my dear mother naturally took, with the family plate, and
my father's wardrobe and her own; and putting them into our great coach,
drove off to Holyhead, whence she took shipping for Ireland. My father's
body accompanied us in the finest hearse and plumes money could buy; for
though the husband and wife had quarrelled repeatedly in life, yet at my
father's death his high-spirited widow forgot all her differences, gave
him the grandest funeral that had been seen for many a day, and erected
a monument over his remains (for which I subsequently paid), which
declared him to be the wisest, purest, and most affectionate of men.

In performing these sad duties over her deceased lord, the widow spent
almost every guinea she had, and, indeed, would have spent a great deal
more, had she discharged one-third of the demands which the ceremonies
occasioned. But the people around our old house of Barryogue, although
they did not like my father for his change of faith, yet stood by him at
this moment, and were for exterminating the mutes sent by Mr. Plumer of
London with the lamented remains. The monument and vault in the church
were then, alas! all that remained of my vast possessions; for my father
had sold every stick of the property to one Notley, an attorney, and we
received but a cold welcome in his house--a miserable old tumble-down
place it was. [Footnote: In another part of his memoir Mr. Barry will
be found to describe this mansion as one of the most splendid palaces
in Europe; but this is a practice not unusual with his nation; and with
respect to the Irish principality claimed by him, it is known that Mr.
Barry's grandfather was an attorney and maker of his own fortune.]

The splendour of the funeral did not fail to increase the widow Barry's
reputation as a woman of spirit and fashion; and when she wrote to her
brother Michael Brady, that worthy gentleman immediately rode across the
country to fling himself in her arms, and to invite her in his wife's
name to Castle Brady.

Mick and Barry had quarrelled, as all men will, and very high words had
passed between them during Barry's courtship of Miss Bell. When he took
her off, Brady swore he would never forgive Barry or Bell; but coming
to London in the year '46, he fell in once more with Roaring Harry, and
lived in his fine house in Clarges Street, and lost a few pieces to
him at play, and broke a watchman's head or two in his company,--all
of which reminiscences endeared Bell and her son very much to the
good-hearted gentleman, and he received us both with open arms. Mrs.
Barry did not, perhaps wisely, at first make known to her friends what
was her condition; but arriving in a huge gilt coach with enormous
armorial bearings, was taken by her sister-in-law and the rest of the
county for a person of considerable property and distinction. For a
time, then, and as was right and proper, Mrs. Barry gave the law at
Castle Brady. She ordered the servants to and fro, and taught them,
what indeed they much wanted, a little London neatness; and 'English
Redmond,' as I was called, was treated like a little lord, and had a
maid and a footman to himself; and honest Mick paid their wages,--which
was much more than he was used to do for his own domestics,--doing
all in his power to make his sister decently comfortable under her
afflictions. Mamma, in return, determined that, when her affairs were
arranged, she would make her kind brother a handsome allowance for
her son's maintenance and her own; and promised to have her handsome
furniture brought over from Clarges Street to adorn the somewhat
dilapidated rooms of Castle Brady.

But it turned out that the rascally landlord seized upon every chair and
table that ought by rights to have belonged to the widow. The estate to
which I was heir was in the hands of rapacious creditors; and the only
means of subsistence remaining to the widow and child was a rent-charge
of L50 upon my Lord Bagwig's property, who had many turf-dealings with
the deceased. And so my dear mother's liberal intentions towards her
brother were of course never fulfilled.

It must be confessed, very much to the discredit of Mrs. Brady of Castle
Brady, that when her sister-in-law's poverty was thus made manifest,
she forgot all the respect which she had been accustomed to pay her,
instantly turned my maid and man-servant out of doors, and told Mrs.
Barry that she might follow them as soon as she chose. Mrs. Mick was of
a low family, and a sordid way of thinking; and after about a couple
of years (during which she had saved almost all her little income) the
widow complied with Madam Brady's desire. At the same time, giving way
to a just though prudently dissimulated resentment, she made a vow that
she would never enter the gates of Castle Brady while the lady of the
house remained alive within them.

She fitted up her new abode with much economy and considerable taste,
and never, for all her poverty, abated a jot of the dignity which was
her due and which all the neighbourhood awarded to her. How, indeed,
could they refuse respect to a lady who had lived in London, frequented
the most fashionable society there, and had been presented (as she
solemnly declared) at Court? These advantages gave her a right which
seems to be pretty unsparingly exercised in Ireland by those natives who
have it,--the right of looking down with scorn upon all persons who have
not had the opportunity of quitting the mother-country and inhabiting
England for a while. Thus, whenever Madam Brady appeared abroad in a
new dress, her sister-in-law would say, 'Poor creature! how can it
be expected that she should know anything of the fashion?' And though
pleased to be called the handsome widow, as she was, Mrs. Barry was
still better pleased to be called the English widow.

Mrs. Brady, for her part, was not slow to reply: she used to say
that the defunct Barry was a bankrupt and a beggar; and as for the
fashionable society which he saw, he saw it from my Lord Bagwig's
side-table, whose flatterer and hanger-on he was known to be. Regarding
Mrs. Barry, the lady of Castle Brady would make insinuations still more
painful. However, why should we allude to these charges, or rake up
private scandal of a hundred years old? It was in the reign of George
II that the above-named personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad,
handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now; and do not the
Sunday papers and the courts of law supply us every week with more novel
and interesting slander?

At any rate, it must be allowed that Mrs. Barry, after her husband's
death and her retirement, lived in such a way as to defy slander. For
whereas Bell Brady had been the gayest girl in the whole county of
Wexford, with half the bachelors at her feet, and plenty of smiles and
encouragement for every one of them, Bell Barry adopted a dignified
reserve that almost amounted to pomposity, and was as starch as any
Quakeress. Many a man renewed his offers to the widow, who had been
smitten by the charms of the spinster; but Mrs. Barry refused all offers
of marriage, declaring that she lived now for her son only, and for the
memory of her departed saint.

'Saint forsooth!' said ill-natured Mrs. Brady.

'Harry Barry was as big a sinner as ever was known; and 'tis notorious
that he and Bell hated each other. If she won't marry now, depend on it,
the artful woman has a husband in her eye for all that, and only waits
until Lord Bagwig is a widower.'

And suppose she did, what then? Was not the widow of a Barry fit to
marry with any lord of England? and was it not always said that a woman
was to restore the fortunes of the Barry family? If my mother fancied
that SHE was to be that woman, I think it was a perfectly justifiable
notion on her part; for the Earl (my godfather) was always most
attentive to her: I never knew how deeply this notion of advancing my
interests in the world had taken possession of mamma's mind, until
his Lordship's marriage in the year '57 with Miss Goldmore, the Indian
nabob's rich daughter.

Meanwhile we continued to reside at Barryville, and, considering the
smallness of our income, kept up a wonderful state. Of the half-dozen
families that formed the congregation at Brady's Town, there was not a
single person whose appearance was so respectable as that of the widow,
who, though she always dressed in mourning, in memory of her deceased
husband, took care that her garments should be made so as to set off her
handsome person to the greatest advantage; and, indeed, I think,
spent six hours out of every day in the week in cutting, trimming,
and altering them to the fashion. She had the largest of hoops and the
handsomest of furbelows, and once a month (under my Lord Bagwig's cover)
would come a letter from London containing the newest accounts of the
fashions there. Her complexion was so brilliant that she had no call to
use rouge, as was the mode in those days. No, she left red and white,
she said (and hence the reader may imagine how the two ladies hated each
other) to Madam Brady, whose yellow complexion no plaster could alter.
In a word, she was so accomplished a beauty, that all the women in the
country took pattern by her, and the young fellows from ten miles round
would ride over to Castle Brady church to have the sight of her.

But if (like every other woman that ever I saw or read of) she was proud
of her beauty, to do her justice she was still more proud of her son,
and has said a thousand times to me that I was the handsomest young
fellow in the world. This is a matter of taste. A man of sixty may,
however, say what he was at fourteen without much vanity, and I must say
I think there was some cause for my mother's opinion. The good soul's
pleasure was to dress me; and on Sundays and holidays I turned out in a
velvet coat with a silver-hilted sword by my side and a gold garter at
my knee, as fine as any lord in the land. My mother worked me several
most splendid waistcoats, and I had plenty of lace for my ruffles, and
a fresh riband to my hair, and as we walked to church on Sundays, even
envious Mrs. Brady was found to allow that there was not a prettier pair
in the kingdom.

Of course, too, the lady of Castle Brady used to sneer, because on these
occasions a certain Tim, who used to be called my valet, followed me and
my mother to church, carrying a huge prayer-book and a cane, and dressed
in the livery of one of our own fine footmen from Clarges Street, which,
as Tim was a bandy-shanked little fellow, did not exactly become him.
But, though poor, we were gentlefolks, and not to be sneered out of
these becoming appendages to our rank; and so would march up the aisle
to our pew with as much state and gravity as the Lord Lieutenant's lady
and son might do. When there, my mother would give the responses and
amens in a loud dignified voice that was delightful to hear, and,
besides, had a fine loud voice for singing, which art she had perfected
in London under a fashionable teacher; and she would exercise her talent
in such a way that you would hardly hear any other voice of the little
congregation which chose to join in the psalm. In fact, my mother had
great gifts in every way, and believed herself to be one of the most
beautiful, accomplished, and meritorious persons in the world. Often and
often has she talked to me and the neighbours regarding her own humility
and piety, pointing them out in such a way that I would defy the most
obstinate to disbelieve her.

When we left Castle Brady we came to occupy a house in Brady's town,
which mamma christened Barryville. I confess it was but a small place,
but, indeed, we made the most of it. I have mentioned the family
pedigree which hung up in the drawingroom, which mamma called the yellow
saloon, and my bedroom was called the pink bedroom, and hers the orange
tawny apartment (how well I remember them all!); and at dinner-time Tim
regularly rang a great bell, and we each had a silver tankard to drink
from, and mother boasted with justice that I had as good a bottle of
claret by my side as any squire of the land. So indeed I had, but I was
not, of course, allowed at my tender years to drink any of the wine;
which thus attained a considerable age, even in the decanter.

Uncle Brady (in spite of the family quarrel) found out the above fact
one day by calling at Barryville at dinner-time, and unluckily tasting
the liquor. You should have seen how he sputtered and made faces! But
the honest gentleman was not particular about his wine, or the company
in which he drank it. He would get drunk, indeed, with the parson or the
priest indifferently; with the latter, much to my mother's indignation,
for, as a true blue Nassauite, she heartily despised all those of the
old faith, and would scarcely sit down in the room with a benighted
Papist. But the squire had no such scruples; he was, indeed, one of the
easiest, idlest, and best-natured fellows that ever lived, and many
an hour would he pass with the lonely widow when he was tired of Madam
Brady at home. He liked me, he said, as much as one of his own sons,
and at length, after the widow had held out for a couple of years, she
agreed to allow me to return to the castle; though, for herself,
she resolutely kept the oath which she had made with regard to her
sister-in-law.

The very first day I returned to Castle Brady my trials may be said,
in a manner, to have begun. My cousin, Master Mick, a huge monster of
nineteen (who hated me, and I promise you I returned the compliment),
insulted me at dinner about my mother's poverty, and made all the girls
of the family titter. So when we went to the stables, whither Mick
always went for his pipe of tobacco after dinner, I told him a piece of
my mind, and there was a fight for at least ten minutes, during which I
stood to him like a man, and blacked his left eye, though I was myself
only twelve years old at the time. Of course he beat me, but a beating
makes only a small impression on a lad of that tender age, as I had
proved many times in battles with the ragged Brady's Town boys before,
not one of whom, at my time of life, was my match. My uncle was very
much pleased when he heard of my gallantry; my cousin Nora brought brown
paper and vinegar for my nose, and I went home that night with a pint of
claret under my girdle, not a little proud, let me tell you, at having
held my own against Mick so long.

And though he persisted in his bad treatment of me, and used to cane
me whenever I fell in his way, yet I was very happy now at Castle
Brady with the company there, and my cousins, or some of them, and the
kindness of my uncle, with whom I became a prodigious favourite. He
bought a colt for me, and taught me to ride. He took me out coursing and
fowling, and instructed me to shoot flying. And at length I was released
from Mick's persecution, for his brother, Master Ulick, returning from
Trinity College, and hating his elder brother, as is mostly the way in
families of fashion, took me under his protection; and from that time,
as Ulick was a deal bigger and stronger than Mick, I, English Redmond,
as I was called, was left alone; except when the former thought fit to
thrash me, which he did whenever he thought proper.

Nor was my learning neglected in the ornamental parts, for I had
an uncommon natural genius for many things, and soon topped in
accomplishments most of the persons around me. I had a quick ear and a
fine voice, which my mother cultivated to the best of her power, and
she taught me to step a minuet gravely and gracefully, and thus laid
the foundation of my future success in life. The common dances I learned
(as, perhaps, I ought not to confess) in the servants' hall, which,
you may be sure, was never without a piper, and where I was considered
unrivalled both at a hornpipe and a jig.

In the matter of book-learning, I had always an uncommon taste for
reading plays and novels, as the best part of a gentleman's polite
education, and never let a pedlar pass the village, if I had a penny,
without having a ballad or two from him. As for your dull grammar,
and Greek and Latin and stuff, I have always hated them from my youth
upwards, and said, very unmistakably, I would have none of them.

This I proved pretty clearly at the age of thirteen, when my aunt Biddy
Brady's legacy of L100 came in to mamma, who thought to employ the sum
on my education, and sent me to Doctor Tobias Tickler's famous academy
at Ballywhacket--Backwhacket, as my uncle used to call it. But six
weeks after I had been consigned to his reverence, I suddenly made my
appearance again at Castle Brady, having walked forty miles from the
odious place, and left the Doctor in a state near upon apoplexy. The
fact was, that at taw, prison-bars, or boxing, I was at the head of the
school, but could not be brought to excel in the classics; and after
having been flogged seven times, without its doing me the least good
in my Latin, I refused to submit altogether (finding it useless) to an
eighth application of the rod. 'Try some other way, sir,' said I, when
he was for horsing me once more; but he wouldn't; whereon, and to defend
myself, I flung a slate at him, and knocked down a Scotch usher with a
leaden inkstand. All the lads huzza'd at this, and some or the servants
wanted to stop me; but taking out a large clasp-knife that my cousin
Nora had given me, I swore I would plunge it into the waistcoat of the
first man who dared to balk me, and faith they let me pass on. I slept
that night twenty miles off Ballywhacket, at the house of a cottier, who
gave me potatoes and milk, and to whom I gave a hundred guineas after,
when I came to visit Ireland in my days of greatness. I wish I had the
money now. But what's the use of regret? I have had many a harder bed
than that I shall sleep on to-night, and many a scantier meal than
honest Phil Murphy gave me on the evening I ran away from school. So six
weeks' was all the schooling I ever got. And I say this to let parents
know the value of it; for though I have met more learned book-worms in
the world, especially a great hulking, clumsy, blear-eyed old doctor,
whom they called Johnson, and who lived in a court off Fleet Street,
in London, yet I pretty soon silenced him in an argument (at 'Button's
Coffeehouse'); and in that, and in poetry, and what I call natural
philosophy, or the science of life, and in riding, music, leaping,
the small-sword, the knowledge of a horse, or a main of cocks, and the
manners of an accomplished gentleman and a man of fashion, I may say for
myself that Redmond Barry has seldom found his equal. 'Sir,' said I to
Mr. Johnson, on the occasion I allude to--he was accompanied by a Mr.
Buswell of Scotland, and I was presented to the club by a Mr. Goldsmith,
a countryman of my own--'Sir,' said I, in reply to the schoolmaster's
great thundering quotation in Greek, 'you fancy you know a great deal
more than me, because you quote your Aristotle and your Pluto; but can
you tell me which horse will win at Epsom Downs next week?--Can you run
six miles without breathing?--Can you shoot the ace of spades ten times
without missing? If so, talk about Aristotle and Pluto to me.'

'D'ye knaw who ye're speaking to?' roared out the Scotch gentleman, Mr.
Boswell, at this.

'Hold your tongue, Mr. Boswell,' said the old schoolmaster. 'I had no
right to brag of my Greek to the gentleman, and he has answered me very
well.'

'Doctor,' says I, looking waggishly at him, 'do you know ever a rhyme
for ArisTOTLE?'

'Port, if you plaise,' says Mr. Goldsmith, laughing. And we had SIX
RHYMES FOR ARISTOTLE before we left the coffee-house that evening. It
became a regular joke afterwards when I told the story, and at 'White's'
or the 'Cocoa-tree' you would hear the wags say, 'Waiter, bring me one
of Captain Barry's rhymes for Aristotle.' Once, when I was in liquor at
the latter place, young Dick Sheridan called me a great Staggerite, a
joke which I could never understand. But I am wandering from my story,
and must get back to home, and dear old Ireland again.

I have made acquaintance with the best in the land since, and my
manners are such, I have said, as to make me the equal of them all; and,
perhaps, you will wonder how a country boy, as I was, educated amongst
Irish squires, and their dependants of the stable and farm, should
arrive at possessing such elegant manners as I was indisputably allowed
to have. I had, the fact is, a very valuable instructor in the person of
an old gamekeeper, who had served the French king at Fontenoy, and who
taught me the dances and customs, and a smattering of the language of
that country, with the use of the sword, both small and broad. Many
and many a long mile I have trudged by his side as a lad, he telling me
wonderful stories of the French king, and the Irish brigade, and Marshal
Saxe, and the opera-dancers; he knew my uncle, too, the Chevalier
Borgne, and indeed had a thousand accomplishments which he taught me in
secret. I never knew a man like him for making or throwing a fly, for
physicking a horse, or breaking, or choosing one; he taught me manly
sports, from birds'-nesting upwards, and I always shall consider Phil
Purcell as the very best tutor I could have had. His fault was drink,
but for that I have always had a blind eye; and he hated my cousin Mick
like poison; but I could excuse him that too.

With Phil, and at the age of fifteen, I was a more accomplished man than
either of my cousins; and I think Nature had been also more bountiful to
me in the matter of person. Some of the Castle Brady girls (as you shall
hear presently) adored me. At fairs and races many of the prettiest
lasses present said they would like to have me for their bachelor; and
yet somehow, it must be confessed, I was not popular.

In the first place, every one knew I was bitter poor; and I think,
perhaps, it was my good mother's fault that I was bitter proud too. I
had a habit of boasting in company of my birth, and the splendour of my
carriages, gardens, cellars, and domestics, and this before people who
were perfectly aware of my real circumstances. If it was boys, and they
ventured to sneer, I would beat them, or die for it; and many's the time
I've been brought home well-nigh killed by one or more of them, on what,
when my mother asked me, I would say was 'a family quarrel.' 'Support
your name with your blood, Reddy my boy,' would that saint say, with the
tears in her eyes; and so would she herself have done with her voice,
ay, and her teeth and nails.

Thus, at fifteen, there was scarce a lad of twenty, for half-a-dozen
miles round, that I had not beat for one cause or other. There were the
vicar's two sons of Castle Brady--in course I could not associate with
such beggarly brats as them, and many a battle did we have as to
who should take the wall in Brady's Town; there was Pat Lurgan, the
blacksmith's son, who had the better of me four times before we came
to the crowning fight, when I overcame him; and I could mention a score
more of my deeds of prowess in that way, but that fisticuff facts are
dull subjects to talk of, and to discuss before high-bred gentlemen and
ladies.

However, there is another subject, ladies, on which I must discourse,
and THAT is never out of place. Day and night you like to hear of it:
young and old, you dream and think of it. Handsome and ugly (and, faith,
before fifty, I never saw such a thing as a plain woman), it's the
subject next to the hearts of all of you; and I think you guess my
riddle without more trouble. LOVE! sure the word is formed on purpose
out of the prettiest soft vowels and consonants in the language, and
he or she who does not care to read about it is not worth a fig, to my
thinking.

My uncle's family consisted of ten children; who, as is the custom in
such large families, were divided into two camps, or parties; the one
siding with their mamma, the other taking the part of my uncle in all
the numerous quarrels which arose between that gentleman and his lady.
Mrs. Brady's faction was headed by Mick, the eldest son, who hated me
so, and disliked his father for keeping him out of his property: while
Ulick, the second brother, was his father's own boy; and, in revenge,
Master Mick was desperately afraid of him. I need not mention the girls'
names; I had plague enough with them in after-life, Heaven knows; and
one of them was the cause of all my early troubles: this was (though to
be sure all her sisters denied it) the belle of the family, Miss Honoria
Brady by name.

She said she was only nineteen at the time; but I could read the
fly-leaf in the family Bible as well as another (it was one of the three
books which, with the backgammon-board, formed my uncle's library), and
know that she was born in the year '37, and christened by Doctor Swift,
Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin: hence she was three-and-twenty years old
at the time she and I were so much together.

When I come to think about her now, I know she never could have been
handsome; for her figure was rather of the fattest, and her mouth of the
widest; she was freckled over like a partridge's egg, and her hair was
the colour of a certain vegetable which we eat with boiled beef, to
use the mildest term. Often and often would my dear mother make these
remarks concerning her; but I did not believe them then, and somehow
had gotten to think Honoria an angelical being, far above all the other
angels of her sex.

And as we know very well that a lady who is skilled in dancing or
singing never can perfect herself without a deal of study in private,
and that the song or the minuet which is performed with so much graceful
ease in the assembly-room has not been acquired without vast labour
and perseverance in private; so it is with the dear creatures who are
skilled in coquetting. Honoria, for instance, was always practising,
and she would take poor me to rehearse her accomplishment upon; or the
exciseman, when he came his rounds, or the steward, or the poor curate,
or the young apothecary's lad from Brady's Town: whom I recollect
beating once for that very reason. If he is alive now I make him my
apologies. Poor fellow! as if it was HIS fault that he should be a
victim to the wiles of one of the greatest coquettes (considering her
obscure life and rustic breeding) in the world.

If the truth must be told--and every word of this narrative of my life
is of the most sacred veracity--my passion for Nora began in a very
vulgar and unromantic way. I did not save her life; on the contrary, I
once very nearly killed her, as you shall hear. I did not behold her
by moonlight playing on the guitar, or rescue her from the hands of
ruffians, as Alfonso does Lindamira in the novel; but one day, after
dinner at Brady's Town, in summer, going into the garden to pull
gooseberries for my dessert, and thinking only of gooseberries, I pledge
my honour, I came upon Miss Nora and one of her sisters, with whom
she was friends at the time, who were both engaged in the very same
amusement.

'What's the Latin for gooseberry, Redmond?' says she. She was always
'poking her fun,' as the Irish phrase it.

'I know the Latin for goose,' says I.

'And what's that?' cries Miss Mysie, as pert as a peacock.

'Bo to you!' says I (for I had never a want of wit); and so we fell to
work at the gooseberry-bush, laughing and talking as happy as might be.
In the course of our diversion Nora managed to scratch her arm, and it
bled, and she screamed, and it was mighty round and white, and I tied it
up, and I believe was permitted to kiss her hand; and though it was as
big and clumsy a hand as ever you saw, yet I thought the favour the
most ravishing one that was ever conferred upon me, and went home in a
rapture.

I was much too simple a fellow to disguise any sentiment I chanced to
feel in those days; and not one of the eight Castle Brady girls but
was soon aware of my passion, and joked and complimented Nora about her
bachelor.

The torments of jealousy the cruel coquette made me endure were
horrible. Sometimes she would treat me as a child, sometimes as a man.
She would always leave me if ever there came a stranger to the house.

'For after all, Redmond,' she would say, 'you are but fifteen, and you
haven't a guinea in the world.' At which I would swear that I would
become the greatest hero ever known out of Ireland, and vow that before
I was twenty I would have money enough to purchase an estate six times
as big as Castle Brady. All which vain promises, of course, I did not
keep; but I make no doubt they influenced me in my very early life, and
caused me to do those great actions for which I have been celebrated,
and which shall be narrated presently in order.

I must tell one of them, just that my dear young lady readers may
know what sort of a fellow Redmond Barry was, and what a courage and
undaunted passion he had. I question whether any of the jenny-jessamines
of the present day would do half as much in the face of danger.

About this time, it must be premised, the United Kingdom was in a state
of great excitement from the threat generally credited of a French
invasion. The Pretender was said to be in high favour at Versailles,
a descent upon Ireland was especially looked to, and the noblemen and
people of condition in that and all other parts of the kingdom showed
their loyalty by raising regiments of horse and foot to resist the
invaders. Brady's Town sent a company to join the Kilwangan regiment, of
which Master Mick was the captain; and we had a letter from Master
Ulick at Trinity College, stating that the University had also formed a
regiment, in which he had the honour to be a corporal. How I envied
them both! especially that odious Mick as I saw him in his laced scarlet
coat, with a ribbon in his hat, march off at the head of his men. He,
the poor spiritless creature, was a captain, and I nothing,--I who felt
I had as much courage as the Duke of Cumberland himself, and felt, too,
that a red jacket would mightily become me! My mother said I was too
young to join the new regiment; but the fact was, that it was she
herself who was too poor, for the cost of a new uniform would have
swallowed up half her year's income, and she would only have her boy
appear in a way suitable to his birth, riding the finest of racers,
dressed in the best of clothes, and keeping the genteelest of company.

Well, then, the whole country was alive with war's alarums, the three
kingdoms ringing with military music, and every man of merit paying his
devoirs at the court of Bellona, whilst poor I was obliged to stay at
home in my fustian jacket and sigh for fame in secret. Mr. Mick came
to and fro from the regiment, and brought numerous of his comrades with
him. Their costume and swaggering airs filled me with grief, and Miss
Nora's unvarying attentions to them served to make me half wild. No one,
however, thought of attributing this sadness to the young lady's
score, but rather to my disappointment at not being allowed to join the
military profession.

Once the officers of the Fencibles gave a grand ball at Kilwangan, to
which, as a matter of course, all the ladies of Castle Brady (and a
pretty ugly coachful they were) were invited. I knew to what tortures
the odious little flirt of a Nora would put me with her eternal
coquetries with the officers, and refused for a long time to be one of
the party to the ball. But she had a way of conquering me, against which
all resistance of mine was in vain. She vowed that riding in a coach
always made her ill. 'And how can I go to the ball,' said she, 'unless
you take me on Daisy behind you on the pillion?' Daisy was a good
blood-mare of my uncle's, and to such a proposition I could not for my
soul say no; so we rode in safety to Kilwangan, and I felt myself as
proud as any prince when she promised to dance a country-dance with me.

When the dance was ended, the little ungrateful flirt informed me that
she had quite forgotten her engagement; she had actually danced the set
with an Englishman! I have endured torments in my life, but none like
that. She tried to make up for her neglect, but I would not. Some of the
prettiest girls there offered to console me, for I was the best dancer
in the room. I made one attempt, but was too wretched to continue, and
so remained alone all night in a state of agony. I would have played,
but I had no money; only the gold piece that my mother bade me always
keep in my purse as a gentleman should. I did not care for drink, or
know the dreadful comfort of it in those days; but I thought of killing
myself and Nora, and most certainly of making away with Captain Quin!

At last, and at morning, the ball was over. The rest of our ladies went
off in the lumbering creaking old coach; Daisy was brought out, and Miss
Nora took her place behind me, which I let her do without a word. But we
were not half-a-mile out of town when she began to try with her coaxing
and blandishments to dissipate my ill-humour.

'Sure it's a bitter night, Redmond dear, and you'll catch cold without a
handkerchief to your neck.' To this sympathetic remark from the pillion,
the saddle made no reply.

'Did you and Miss Clancy have a pleasant evening, Redmond? You were
together, I saw, all night.' To this the saddle only replied by grinding
his teeth, and giving a lash to Daisy.

'O mercy! you'll make Daisy rear and throw me, you careless creature
you: and you know, Redmond, I'm so timid.' The pillion had by this
got her arm round the saddle's waist, and perhaps gave it the gentlest
squeeze in the world.

'I hate Miss Clancy, you know I do!' answers the saddle; 'and I only
danced with her because--because--the person with whom I intended to
dance chose to be engaged the whole night.'

'Sure there were my sisters,' said the pillion, now laughing outright in
the pride of her conscious superiority; 'and for me, my dear, I had
not been in the room five minutes before I was engaged for every single
set.'

'Were you obliged to dance five times with Captain Quin?' said I; and
oh! strange delicious charm of coquetry, I do believe Miss Nora Brady
at twenty-three years of age felt a pang of delight in thinking that she
had so much power over a guileless lad of fifteen. Of course she replied
that she did not care a fig for Captain Quin: that he danced prettily,
to be sure, and was a pleasant rattle of a man; that he looked well in
his regimentals too; and if he chose to ask her to dance, how could she
refuse him?

'But you refused me, Nora.'

'Oh! I can dance with you any day,' answered Miss Nora, with a toss
of her head; 'and to dance with your cousin at a ball, looks as if you
could find no other partner. Besides,' said Nora--and this was a
cruel, unkind cut, which showed what a power she had over me, and how
mercilessly she used it,--'besides, Redmond, Captain Quin's a man and
you are only a boy!'

'If ever I meet him again,' I roared out with an oath, 'you shall see
which is the best man of the two. I'll fight him with sword or with
pistol, captain as he is. A man indeed! I'll fight any man--every man!
Didn't I stand up to Mick Brady when I was eleven years old?--Didn't I
beat Tom Sullivan, the great hulking brute, who is nineteen?--Didn't I
do for the Scotch usher? O Nora, it's cruel of you to sneer at me so!'

But Nora was in the sneering mood that night, and pursued her sarcasms;
she pointed out that Captain Quin was already known as a valiant
soldier, famous as a man of fashion in London, and that it was mighty
well of Redmond to talk and boast of beating ushers and farmers' boys,
but to fight an Englishman was a very different matter.

Then she fell to talk of the invasion, and of military matters
in general; of King Frederick (who was called, in those days, the
Protestant hero), of Monsieur Thurot and his fleet, of Monsieur Conflans
and his squadron, of Minorca, how it was attacked, and where it was; we
both agreed it must be in America, and hoped the French might be soundly
beaten there.

I sighed after a while (for I was beginning to melt), and said how much
I longed to be a soldier; on which Nora recurred to her infallible 'Ah!
now, would you leave me, then? But, sure, you're not big enough for
anything more than a little drummer.' To which I replied, by swearing
that a soldier I would be, and a general too.

As we were chattering in this silly way, we came to a place that has
ever since gone by the name of Redmond's Leap Bridge. It was an old high
bridge, over a stream sufficiently deep and rocky, and as the mare Daisy
with her double load was crossing this bridge, Miss Nora, giving a loose
to her imagination, and still harping on the military theme (I would lay
a wager that she was thinking of Captain Quin)--Miss Nora said, 'Suppose
now, Redmond, you, who are such a hero, was passing over the bridge, and
the inimy on the other side?'

'I'd draw my sword, and cut my way through them.'

'What, with me on the pillion? Would you kill poor me?' (This young lady
was perpetually speaking of 'poor me!')

'Well, then, I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd jump Daisy into the river,
and swim you both across, where no enemy could follow us.'

'Jump twenty feet! you wouldn't dare to do any such thing on Daisy.
There's the Captain's horse, Black George, I've heard say that Captain
Qui--'

She never finished the word, for, maddened by the continual recurrence
of that odious monosyllable, I shouted to her to 'hold tight by my
waist,' and, giving Daisy the spur, in a minute sprang with Nora over
the parapet into the deep water below. I don't know why, now--whether
it was I wanted to drown myself and Nora, or to perform an act that
even Captain Quin should crane at, or whether I fancied that the enemy
actually was in front of us, I can't tell now; but over I went. The
horse sank over his head, the girl screamed as she sank and screamed as
she rose, and I landed her, half fainting, on the shore, where we were
soon found by my uncle's people, who returned on hearing the screams. I
went home, and was ill speedily of a fever, which kept me to my bed for
six weeks; and I quitted my couch prodigiously increased in stature,
and, at the same time, still more violently in love than I had been even
before. At the commencement of my illness, Miss Nora had been pretty
constant in her attendance at my bedside, forgetting, for the sake of
me, the quarrel between my mother and her family; which my good mother
was likewise pleased, in the most Christian manner, to forget. And, let
me tell you, it was no small mark of goodness in a woman of her haughty
disposition, who, as a rule, never forgave anybody, for my sake to give
up her hostility to Miss Brady, and to receive her kindly. For, like a
mad boy as I was, it was Nora I was always raving about and asking for;
I would only accept medicines from her hand, and would look rudely and
sulkily upon the good mother, who loved me better than anything else
in the world, and gave up even her favourite habits, and proper and
becoming jealousies, to make me happy.

As I got well, I saw that Nora's visits became daily more rare: 'Why
don't she come?' I would say, peevishly, a dozen times in the day;
in reply to which query, Mrs. Barry would be obliged to make the best
excuses she could find,--such as that Nora had sprained her ankle, or
that they had quarrelled together, or some other answer to soothe me.
And many a time has the good soul left me to go and break her heart in
her own room alone, and come back with a smiling face, so that I should
know nothing of her mortification. Nor, indeed, did I take much pains to
ascertain it: nor should I, I fear, have been very much touched even had
I discovered it; for the commencement of manhood, I think, is the period
of our extremest selfishness. We get such a desire then to take wing
and leave the parent nest, that no tears, entreaties, or feelings
of affection will counter-balance this overpowering longing after
independence. She must have been very sad, that poor mother of
mine--Heaven be good to her!--at that period of my life; and has often
told me since what a pang of the heart it was to her to see all her care
and affection of years forgotten by me in a minute, and for the sake of
a little heartless jilt, who was only playing with me while she could
get no better suitor. For the fact is, that during the last four weeks
of my illness, no other than Captain Quin was staying at Castle Brady,
and making love to Miss Nora in form. My mother did not dare to break
this news to me, and you may be sure that Nora herself kept it a secret:
it was only by chance that I discovered it.

Shall I tell you how? The minx had been to see me one day, as I sat up
in my bed, convalescent; she was in such high spirits, and so gracious
and kind to me, that my heart poured over with joy and gladness, and I
had even for my poor mother a kind word and a kiss that morning. I felt
myself so well that I ate up a whole chicken, and promised my uncle, who
had come to see me, to be ready against partridge-shooting, to accompany
him, as my custom was.

The next day but one was a Sunday, and I had a project for that day
which I determined to realise, in spite of all the doctor's and my
mother's injunctions: which were that I was on no account to leave the
house, for the fresh air would be the death of me.

Well, I lay wondrous quiet, composing a copy of verses, the first I ever
made in my life; and I give them here, spelt as I spelt them in those
days when I knew no better. And though they are not so polished and
elegant as 'Ardelia ease a Love-sick Swain,' and 'When Sol bedecks the
Daisied Mead,' and other lyrical effusions of mine which obtained me
so much reputation in after life, I still think them pretty good for a
humble lad of fifteen:--

THE ROSE OF FLORA.

Sent by a Young Gentleman of Quality to Miss Brady, of Castle Brady.

 On Brady's tower there grows a flower,
   It is the loveliest flower that blows,--
 At Castle Brady there lives a lady
  (And how I love her no one knows):
 Her name is Nora, and the goddess Flora
  Presents her with this blooming rose.

'O Lady Nora,' says the goddess Flora,
  'I've many a rich and bright parterre;
 In Brady's towers there's seven more flowers,
  But you're the fairest lady there:
 Not all the county, nor Ireland's bounty,
  Can projuice a treasure that's half so fair!

 What cheek is redder? sure roses fed her!
  Her hair is maregolds, and her eye of blew
 Beneath her eyelid is like the vi'let,
  That darkly glistens with gentle jew?
 The lily's nature is not surely whiter
  Than Nora's neck is,--and her arrums too.

'Come, gentle Nora,' says the goddess Flora,
  'My dearest creature, take my advice,
 There is a poet, full well you know it,
  Who spends his lifetime in heavy sighs,--
 Young Redmond Barry, 'tis him you'll marry,
  If rhyme and raisin you'd choose likewise.'

On Sunday, no sooner was my mother gone to church, than I summoned Phil
the valet, and insisted upon his producing my best suit, in which I
arrayed myself (although I found that I had shot up so in my illness
that the old dress was wofully too small for me), and, with my notable
copy of verses in my hand, ran down towards Castle Brady, bent upon
beholding my beauty. The air was so fresh and bright, and the birds sang
so loud amidst the green trees, that I felt more elated than I had been
for months before, and sprang down the avenue (my uncle had cut down
every stick of the trees, by the way) as brisk as a young fawn. My heart
began to thump as I mounted the grass-grown steps of the terrace, and
passed in by the rickety hall-door. The master and mistress were at
church, Mr. Screw the butler told me (after giving a start back at
seeing my altered appearance, and gaunt lean figure), and so were six of
the young ladies.

'Was Miss Nora one?' I asked.

'No, Miss Nora was not one,' said Mr. Screw, assuming a very puzzled,
and yet knowing look.

'Where was she?' To this question he answered, or rather made believe
to answer, with usual Irish ingenuity, and left me to settle whether she
was gone to Kilwangan on the pillion behind her brother, or whether she
and her sister had gone for a walk, or whether she was ill in her room;
and while I was settling this query, Mr. Screw left me abruptly.

I rushed away to the back court, where the Castle Brady stables stand,
and there I found a dragoon whistling the 'Roast Beef of Old England,'
as he cleaned down a cavalry horse. 'Whose horse, fellow, is that?'
cried I.

'Feller, indeed!' replied the Englishman: 'the horse belongs to my
captain, and he's a better FELLER nor you any day.'

I did not stop to break his bones, as I would on another occasion, for
a horrible suspicion had come across me, and I made for the garden as
quickly as I could.

I knew somehow what I should see there. I saw Captain Quin and Nora
pacing the alley together. Her arm was under his, and the scoundrel was
fondling and squeezing the hand which lay closely nestling against his
odious waistcoat. Some distance beyond them was Captain Fagan of the
Kilwangan regiment, who was paying court to Nora's sister Mysie.

I am not afraid of any man or ghost; but as I saw that sight my knees
fell a-trembling violently under me, and such a sickness came over me,
that I was fain to sink down on the grass by a tree against which I
leaned, and lost almost all consciousness for a minute or two: then
I gathered myself up, and, advancing towards the couple on the walk,
loosened the blade of the little silver-hilted hanger I always wore in
its scabbard; for I was resolved to pass it through the bodies of the
delinquents, and spit them like two pigeons. I don't tell what feelings
else besides those of rage were passing through my mind; what bitter
blank disappointment, what mad wild despair, what a sensation as if the
whole world was tumbling from under me; I make no doubt that my reader
hath been jilted by the ladies many times, and so bid him recall his own
sensations when the shock first fell upon him.

'No, Norelia,' said the Captain (for it was the fashion of those times
for lovers to call themselves by the most romantic names out of novels),
'except for you and four others, I vow before all the gods, my heart has
never felt the soft flame!'

'Ah! you men, you men, Eugenio!' said she (the beast's name was John),
'your passion is not equal to ours. We are like--like some plant I've
read of--we bear but one flower and then we die!'

'Do you mean you never felt an inclination for another?' said Captain
Quin.

'Never, my Eugenio, but for thee! How can you ask a blushing nymph such
a question?'

'Darling Norelia!' said he, raising her hand to his lips.

I had a knot of cherry-coloured ribands, which she had given me out of
her breast, and which somehow I always wore upon me. I pulled these out
of my bosom, and flung them in Captain Quin's face, and rushed out with
my little sword drawn, shrieking, 'She's a liar--she's a liar, Captain
Quin! Draw, sir, and defend yourself, if you are a man!' and with these
words I leapt at the monster, and collared him, while Nora made the air
echo with her screams; at the sound of which the other captain and Mysie
hastened up.

Although I sprang up like a weed in my illness, and was now nearly
attained to my full growth of six feet, yet I was but a lath by the side
of the enormous English captain, who had calves and shoulders such as no
chairman at Bath ever boasted. He turned very red, and then exceedingly
pale at my attack upon him, and slipped back and clutched at his
sword--when Nora, in an agony of terror, flung herself round him,
screaming, 'Eugenio! Captain Quin, for Heaven's sake spare the child--he
is but an infant.'

'And ought to be whipped for his impudence,' said the Captain; 'but
never fear, Miss Brady, I shall not touch him; your FAVOURITE is safe
from me.' So saying, he stooped down and picked up the bunch of ribands
which had fallen at Nora's feet, and handing it to her, said in a
sarcastic tone, 'When ladies make presents to gentlemen, it is time for
OTHER gentlemen to retire.'

'Good heavens, Quin!' cried the girl; 'he is but a boy.'

'I am a man,' roared I, 'and will prove it.'

'And don't signify any more than my parrot or lap-dog. Mayn't I give a
bit of riband to my own cousin?'

'You are perfectly welcome, miss,' continued the Captain, 'as many yards
as you like.'

'Monster!' exclaimed the dear girl; 'your father was a tailor, and
you are always thinking of the shop. But I'll have my revenge, I will!
Reddy, will you see me insulted?'

'Indeed, Miss Nora,' says I, 'I intend to have his blood as sure as my
name's Redmond.'

'I'll send for the usher to cane you, little boy,' said the Captain,
regaining his self-possession; 'but as for you, miss, I have the honour
to wish you a good-day.'

He took off his hat with much ceremony, made a low CONGE, and was just
walking off, when Mick, my cousin, came up, whose ear had likewise been
caught by the scream.

'Hoity-toity! Jack Quin, what's the matter here?' says Mick; 'Nora in
tears, Redmond's ghost here with his sword drawn, and you making a bow?'

'I'll tell you what it is, Mr. Brady,' said the Englishman: 'I have had
enough of Miss Nora, here, and your Irish ways. I ain't used to 'em,
sir.'

'Well, well! what is it?' said Mick good-humouredly (for he owed Quin a
great deal of money as it turned out); 'we'll make you used to our ways,
or adopt English ones.'

'It's not the English way for ladies to have two lovers' (the 'Henglish
way,' as the captain called it), 'and so, Mr. Brady, I'll thank you
to pay me the sum you owe me, and I'll resign all claims to this young
lady. If she has a fancy for schoolboys, let her take 'em, sir.'

'Pooh, pooh! Quin, you are joking,' said Mick.

'I never was more in earnest,' replied the other.

'By Heaven, then, look to yourself!' shouted Mick. 'Infamous seducer!
infernal deceiver!--you come and wind your toils round this suffering
angel here--you win her heart and leave her--and fancy her brother won't
defend her? Draw this minute, you slave! and let me cut the wicked heart
out of your body!'

'This is regular assassination,' said Quin, starting back; 'there's two
on 'em on me at once. Fagan, you won't let 'em murder me?'

'Faith!' said Captain Fagan, who seemed mightily amused, 'you may settle
your own quarrel, Captain Quin;' and coming over to me, whispered, 'At
him again, you little fellow.'

'As long as Mr. Quin withdraws his claim,' said I, 'I, of course, do not
interfere.'

'I do, sir--I do,' said Mr. Quin, more and more flustered.

'Then defend yourself like a man, curse you!' cried Mick again. 'Mysie,
lead this poor victim away--Redmond and Fagan will see fair play between
us.'

'Well now--I don't--give me time--I'm puzzled--I--I don't know which way
to look.'

'Like the donkey betwixt the two bundles of hay,' said Mr. Fagan drily,
'and there's pretty pickings on either side.'



CHAPTER II. I SHOW MYSELF TO BE A MAN OF SPIRIT

During this dispute, my cousin Nora did the only thing that a lady,
under such circumstances, could do, and fainted in due form. I was in
hot altercation with Mick at the time, or I should have, of course,
flown to her assistance, but Captain Fagan (a dry sort of fellow this
Fagan was) prevented me, saying, 'I advise you to leave the young
lady to herself, Master Redmond, and be sure she will come to.' And so
indeed, after a while, she did, which has shown me since that Fagan
knew the world pretty well, for many's the lady I've seen in after times
recover in a similar manner. Quin did not offer to help her, you may be
sure, for, in the midst of the diversion, caused by her screaming, the
faithless bully stole away.

'Which of us is Captain Quin to engage?' said I to Mick; for it was my
first affair, and I was as proud of it as of a suit of laced velvet. 'Is
it you or I, Cousin Mick, that is to have the honour of chastising this
insolent Englishman?' And I held out my hand as I spoke, for my heart
melted towards my cousin under the triumph of the moment.

But he rejected the proffered offer of friendship. 'You--you!' said he,
in a towering passion; 'hang you for a meddling brat: your hand is in
everybody's pie. What business had you to come brawling and quarrelling
here, with a gentleman who has fifteen hundred a year?'

'Oh,' gasped Nora, from the stone bench, 'I shall die: I know I shall. I
shall never leave this spot.'

'The Captain's not gone yet,' whispered Fagan; on which Nora, giving him
an indignant look, jumped up and walked towards the house.

'Meanwhile,' Mick continued, 'what business have you, you meddling
rascal, to interfere with a daughter of this house?'

'Rascal yourself!' roared I: 'call me another such name, Mick Brady, and
I'll drive my hanger into your weasand. Recollect, I stood to you when I
was eleven years old. I'm your match now, and, by Jove, provoke me, and
I'll beat you like--like your younger brother always did.' That was a
home-cut, and I saw Mick turn blue with fury.

'This is a pretty way to recommend yourself to the family,' said Fagan,
in a soothing tone.

'The girl's old enough to be his mother,' growled Mick.

'Old or not,' I replied: 'you listen to this, Mick Brady' (and I swore a
tremendous oath, that need not be put down here): 'the man that marries
Nora Brady must first kill me--do you mind that?'

'Pooh, sir,' said Mick, turning away, 'kill you--flog you, you mean!
I'll send for Nick the huntsman to do it;' and so he went off.

Captain Fagan now came up, and taking me kindly by the hand, said I was
a gallant lad, and he liked my spirit. 'But what Brady says is true,'
continued he; 'it's a hard thing to give a lad counsel who is in such
a far-gone state as you; but, believe me, I know the world, and if you
will but follow my advice, you won't regret having taken it. Nora Brady
has not a penny; you are not a whit richer. You are but fifteen, and
she's four-and-twenty. In ten years, when you're old enough to marry,
she will be an old woman; and, my poor boy, don't you see--though it's a
hard matter to see--that she's a flirt, and does not care a pin for you
or Quin either?'

But who in love (or in any other point, for the matter of that) listens
to advice? I never did, and I told Captain Fagan fairly, that Nora might
love me or not as she liked, but that Quin should fight me before he
married her--that I swore.

'Faith,' says Fagan, 'I think you are a lad that's likely to keep your
word;' and, looking hard at me for a second or two, he walked away
likewise, humming a tune: and I saw he looked back at me as he went
through the old gate out of the garden. When he was gone, and I was
quite alone, I flung myself down on the bench where Nora had made
believe to faint, and had left her handkerchief; and, taking it up, hid
my face in it, and burst into such a passion of tears as I would then
have had nobody see for the world. The crumpled riband which I had flung
at Quin lay in the walk, and I sat there for hours, as wretched as any
man in Ireland, I believe, for the time being. But it's a changeable
world! When we consider how great our sorrows SEEM, and how small they
ARE; how we think we shall die of grief, and how quickly we forget, I
think we ought to be ashamed of ourselves and our fickle-heartedness.
For, after all, what business has time to bring us consolation? I
have not, perhaps, in the course of my multifarious adventures and
experience, hit upon the right woman; and have forgotten, after a
little, every single creature I adored; but I think, if I could but have
lighted on the right one, I would have loved her for EVER.

I must have sat for some hours bemoaning myself on the garden bench, for
it was morning when I came to Castle Brady, and the dinner-bell
clanged as usual at three o'clock, which wakened me up from my reverie.
Presently I gathered up the handkerchief, and once more took the riband.
As I passed through the offices, I saw the Captain's saddle was still
hanging up at the stable-door, and saw his odious red-coated brute of
a servant swaggering with the scullion-girls and kitchen-people. 'The
Englishman's still there, Master Redmond,' said one of the maids to me
(a sentimental black-eyed girl, who waited on the young ladies). 'He's
there in the parlour, with the sweetest fillet of vale; go in, and don't
let him browbeat you, Master Redmond.'

And in I went, and took my place at the bottom of the big table, as
usual, and my friend the butler speedily brought me a cover.

'Hallo, Reddy my boy!' said my uncle, 'up and well?--that's right.'

'He'd better be home with his mother,' growled my aunt.

'Don't mind her,' says Uncle Brady; 'it's the cold goose she ate at
breakfast didn't agree with her. Take a glass of spirits, Mrs. Brady, to
Redmond's health.' It was evident he did not know of what had happened;
but Mick, who was at dinner too, and Ulick, and almost all the girls,
looked exceedingly black, and the Captain foolish; and Miss Nora, who
was again by his side, ready to cry. Captain Fagan sat smiling; and I
looked on as cold as a stone. I thought the dinner would choke me: but
I was determined to put a good face on it, and when the cloth was drawn,
filled my glass with the rest; and we drank the King and the Church,
as gentlemen should. My uncle was in high good-humour, and especially
always joking with Nora and the Captain. It was, 'Nora, divide that
merry-thought with the Captain! see who'll be married first.' 'Jack
Quin, my dear boy, never mind a clean glass for the claret, we're short
of crystal at Castle Brady; take Nora's and the wine will taste none the
worse;' and so on. He was in the highest glee,--I did not know why. Had
there been a reconciliation between the faithless girl and her lover
since they had come into the house?

I learned the truth very soon. At the third toast, it was always the
custom for the ladies to withdraw; but my uncle stopped them this time,
in spite of the remonstrances of Nora, who said, 'Oh, pa! do let us go!'
and said, 'No, Mrs. Brady and ladies, if you plaise; this is a sort of
toast that is drunk a great dale too seldom in my family, and you'll
plaise to receive it with all the honours. Here's CAPTAIN AND MRS.
JOHN QUIN, and long life to them. Kiss her, Jack, you rogue: for 'faith
you've got a treasure!'

'He has already '----I screeched out, springing up.

'Hold your tongue, you fool--hold your tongue!' said big Ulick, who sat
by me; but I wouldn't hear.

'He has already,' I screamed, 'been slapped in the face this morning,
Captain John Quin; he's already been called coward, Captain John Quin;
and this is the way I'll drink his health. Here's your health, Captain
John Quin!' And I flung a glass of claret into his face. I don't know
how he looked after it, for the next moment I myself was under the
table, tripped up by Ulick, who hit me a violent cuff on the head as I
went down; and I had hardly leisure to hear the general screaming and
skurrying that was taking place above me, being so fully occupied with
kicks, and thumps, and curses, with which Ulick was belabouring me. 'You
fool!' roared he--' you great blundering marplot--you silly beggarly
brat' (a thump at each), 'hold your tongue!' These blows from Ulick, of
course, I did not care for, for he had always been my friend, and had
been in the habit of thrashing me all my life.

When I got up from under the table all the ladies were gone; and I had
the satisfaction of seeing the Captain's nose was bleeding, as mine
was--HIS was cut across the bridge, and his beauty spoiled for ever.
Ulick shook himself, sat down quietly, filled a bumper, and pushed the
bottle to me. 'There, you young donkey,' said he, 'sup that; and let's
hear no more of your braying.'

'In Heaven's name, what does all the row mean?' says my uncle. 'Is the
boy in the fever again?'

'It's all your fault,' said Mick sulkily: 'yours and those who brought
him here.'

'Hold your noise, Mick!' says Ulick, turning on him; 'speak civil of my
father and me, and don't let me be called upon to teach you manners.'

'It IS your fault,' repeated Mick. 'What business has the vagabond here?
If I had my will, I'd have him flogged and turned out.'

'And so he should be,' said Captain Quin.

'You'd best not try it, Quin,' said Ulick, who was always my champion;
and turning to his father, 'The fact is, sir, that the young monkey has
fallen in love with Nora, and finding her and the Captain mighty sweet
in the garden to-day, he was for murdering Jack Quin.'

'Gad, he's beginning young,' said my uncle, quite good-humouredly.
''Faith, Fagan, that boy's a Brady, every inch of him.'

'And I'll tell you what, Mr. B.,' cried Quin, bristling up: 'I've been
insulted grossly in this 'OUSE. I ain't at all satisfied with these here
ways of going on. I'm an Englishman I am, and a man of property; and
I--I'--'If you're insulted, and not satisfied, remember there's two of
us, Quin,' said Ulick gruffly. On which the Captain fell to washing his
nose in water, and answered never a word.

'Mr. Quin,' said I, in the most dignified tone I could assume, 'may
also have satisfaction any time he pleases, by calling on Redmond Barry,
Esquire, of Barryville.' At which speech my uncle burst out a-laughing
(as he did at everything); and in this laugh, Captain Fagan, much to my
mortification, joined. I turned rather smartly upon him, however, and
bade him to understand that as for my cousin Ulick, who had been my best
friend through life, I could put up with rough treatment from him; yet,
though I was a boy, even that sort of treatment I would bear from him
no longer; and any other person who ventured on the like would find me a
man, to their cost. 'Mr. Quin,' I added, 'knows that fact very well; and
if HE'S a man, he'll know where to find me.'

My uncle now observed that it was getting late, and that my mother would
be anxious about me. 'One of you had better go home with him,' said he,
turning to his sons, 'or the lad may be playing more pranks.' But Ulick
said, with a nod to his brother, 'Both of us ride home with Quin here.'

'I'm not afraid of Freny's people,' said the Captain, with a faint
attempt at a laugh; 'my man is armed, and so am I.'

'You know the use of arms very well, Quin,' said Ulick; 'and no one can
doubt your courage; but Mick and I will see you home for all that.'

'Why, you'll not be home till morning, boys. Kilwangan's a good ten mile
from here.'

'We'll sleep at Quin's quarters,' replied Ulick: 'WE'RE GOING TO STOP A
WEEK THERE.'

'Thank you,' says Quin, very faint; 'it's very kind of you.'

'You'll be lonely, you know, without us.'

'Oh yes, very lonely!' says Quin.

'And in ANOTHER WEEK, my boy,' says Ulick (and here he whispered
something in the Captain's ear, in which I thought I caught the words
'marriage,' 'parson,' and felt all my fury returning again).

'As you please,' whined out the Captain; and the horses were quickly
brought round, and the three gentlemen rode away.

Fagan stopped, and, at my uncle's injunction, walked across the old
treeless park with me. He said that after the quarrel at dinner, he
thought I would scarcely want to see the ladies that night, in which
opinion I concurred entirely; and so we went off without an adieu.

'A pretty day's work of it you have made, Master Redmond,' said
he. 'What! you a friend to the Bradys, and knowing your uncle to be
distressed for money, try and break off a match which will bring fifteen
hundred a year into the family? Quin has promised to pay off the four
thousand pounds which is bothering your uncle so. He takes a girl
without a penny--a girl with no more beauty than yonder bullock.
Well, well, don't look furious; let's say she IS handsome--there's no
accounting for tastes,--a girl that has been flinging herself at the
head of every man in these parts these ten years past, and MISSING them
all. And you, as poor as herself, a boy of fifteen--well, sixteen, if
you insist--and a boy who ought to be attached to your uncle as to your
father'--

'And so I am,' said I.

'And this is the return you make him for his kindness! Didn't he harbour
you in his house when you were an orphan, and hasn't he given you
rent-free your fine mansion of Barryville yonder? And now, when his
affairs can be put into order, and a chance offers for his old age to
be made comfortable, who flings himself in the way of him and
competence?--You, of all others; the man in the world most obliged to
him. It's wicked, ungrateful, unnatural. From a lad of such spirit as
you are, I expect a truer courage.'

'I am not afraid of any man alive,' exclaimed I (for this latter part of
the Captain's argument had rather staggered me, and I wished, of course,
to turn it--as one always should when the enemy's too strong); 'and it's
_I_ am the injured man, Captain Fagan. No man was ever, since the world
began, treated so. Look here--look at this riband. I've worn it in
my heart for six months. I've had it there all the time of the fever.
Didn't Nora take it out of her own bosom and give it me? Didn't she kiss
me when she gave it me, and call me her darling Redmond?'

'She was PRACTISING,' replied Mr. Fagan, with a sneer. 'I know women,
sir. Give them time, and let nobody else come to the house, and they'll
fall in love with a chimney-sweep. There was a young lady in Fermoy'--

'A young lady in flames,' roared I (but I used a still hotter word).
'Mark this; come what will of it, I swear I'll fight the man who
pretends to the hand of Nora Brady. I'll follow him, if it's into the
church, and meet him there. I'll have his blood, or he shall have mine;
and this riband shall be found dyed in it. Yes, and if I kill him, I'll
pin it on his breast, and then she may go and take back her token.' This
I said because I was very much excited at the time, and because I had
not read novels and romantic plays for nothing.

'Well,' says Fagan after a pause, 'if it must be, it must. For a young
fellow, you are the most blood-thirsty I ever saw. Quin's a determined
fellow, too.'

'Will you take my message to him?' said I, quite eagerly.

'Hush!' said Fagan: 'your mother may be on the look-out. Here we are,
close to Barryville.'

'Mind! not a word to my mother,' I said; and went into the house
swelling with pride and exultation to think that I should have a chance
against the Englishman I hated so.

Tim, my servant, had come up from Barryville on my mother's return from
church; for the good lady was rather alarmed at my absence, and anxious
for my return. But he had seen me go in to dinner, at the invitation of
the sentimental lady's-maid; and when he had had his own share of the
good things in the kitchen, which was always better furnished than ours
at home, had walked back again to inform his mistress where I was, and,
no doubt, to tell her, in his own fashion, of all the events that had
happened at Castle Brady. In spite of my precautions to secrecy, then,
I half suspected that my mother knew all, from the manner in which she
embraced me on my arrival, and received our guest, Captain Fagan. The
poor soul looked a little anxious and flushed, and every now and then
gazed very hard in the Captain's face; but she said not a word about the
quarrel, for she had a noble spirit, and would as lief have seen anyone
of her kindred hanged as shirking from the field of honour. What has
become of those gallant feelings nowadays? Sixty years ago a man was a
MAN, in old Ireland, and the sword that was worn by his side was at the
service of any gentleman's gizzard, upon the slightest difference. But
the good old times and usages are fast fading away. One scarcely every
hears of a fair meeting now, and the use of those cowardly pistols, in
place of the honourable and manly weapon of gentlemen, has introduced
a deal of knavery into the practice of duelling, that cannot be
sufficiently deplored.

When I arrived at home I felt that I was a man in earnest, and welcoming
Captain Fagan to Barryville, and introducing him to my mother, in a
majestic and dignified way, said the Captain must be thirsty after his
walk, and called upon Tim to bring up a bottle of the yellow-sealed
Bordeaux, and cakes and glasses, immediately.

Tim looked at the mistress in great wonderment: and the fact is, that
six hours previous I would as soon have thought of burning the house
down as calling for a bottle of claret on my own account; but I felt I
was a man now, and had a right to command; and my mother felt this too,
for she turned to the fellow and said, sharply, 'Don't you hear, you
rascal, what YOUR MASTER says! Go, get the wine, and the cakes and
glasses, directly.' Then (for you may be sure she did not give Tim the
keys of our little cellar) she went and got the liquor herself; and Tim
brought it in, on the silver tray, in due form. My dear mother poured
out the wine, and drank the Captain welcome; but I observed her hand
shook very much as she performed this courteous duty, and the bottle
went clink, clink, against the glass. When she had tasted her glass,
she said she had a headache, and would go to bed; and so I asked her
blessing, as becomes a dutiful son--(the modern BLOODS have given up the
respectful ceremonies which distinguished a gentleman in my time)--and
she left me and Captain Fagan to talk over our important business.

'Indeed,' said the Captain,' I see now no other way out of the scrape
than a meeting. The fact is, there was a talk of it at Castle Brady,
after your attack upon Quin this afternoon, and he vowed that he would
cut you in pieces: but the tears and supplications of Miss Honoria
induced him, though very unwillingly, to relent. Now, however, matters
have gone too far. No officer, bearing His Majesty's commission, can
receive a glass of wine on his nose--this claret of yours is very good,
by the way, and by your leave we'll ring for another bottle--without
resenting the affront. Fight you must; and Quin is a huge strong
fellow.'

'He'll give the better mark,' said I. 'I am not afraid of him.'

'In faith,' said the Captain,' I believe you are not; for a lad, I never
saw more game in my life.'

'Look at that sword, sir,' says I, pointing to an elegant silver-mounted
one, in a white shagreen case, that hung on the mantelpiece, under the
picture of my father, Harry Barry. 'It was with that sword, sir, that my
father pinked Mohawk O'Driscol, in Dublin, in the year 1740; with that
sword, sir, he met Sir Huddlestone Fuddlestone, the Hampshire baronet,
and ran him through the neck. They met on horseback, with sword and
pistol, on Hounslow Heath, as I dare say you have heard tell of, and
those are the pistols' (they hung on each side of the picture) 'which
the gallant Barry used. He was quite in the wrong, having insulted Lady
Fuddlestone, when in liquor, at the Brentford assembly. But, like a
gentleman, he scorned to apologise, and Sir Huddlestone received a ball
through his hat, before they engaged with the sword. I am Harry Barry's
son, sir, and will act as becomes my name and my quality.'

'Give me a kiss, my dear boy,' said Fagan, with tears in his eyes.
'You're after my own soul. As long as Jack Fagan lives you shall never
want a friend or a second.'

Poor fellow! he was shot six months afterwards, carrying orders to my
Lord George Sackville, at Minden, and I lost thereby a kind friend. But
we don't know what is in store for us, and that night was a merry one
at least. We had a second bottle, and a third too (I could hear the poor
mother going downstairs for each, but she never came into the parlour
with them, and sent them in by the butler, Mr. Tim): and we parted
at length, he engaging to arrange matters with Mr. Quin's second that
night, and to bring me news in the morning as to the place where the
meeting should take place. I have often thought since, how different my
fate might have been, had I not fallen in love with Nora at that early
age; and had I not flung the wine in Quin's face, and so brought on
the duel. I might have settled down in Ireland but for that (for Miss
Quinlan was an heiress, within twenty miles of us, and Peter Burke,
of Kilwangan, left his daughter Judy L700 a year, and I might have had
either of them, had I waited a few years). But it was in my fate to be
a wanderer, and that battle with Quin sent me on my travels at a very
early age: as you shall hear anon.

I never slept sounder in my life, though I woke a little earlier than
usual; and you may be sure my first thought was of the event of the day,
for which I was fully prepared. I had ink and pen in my room--had I not
been writing those verses to Nora but the day previous, like a poor fond
fool as I was? And now I sat down and wrote a couple of letters more:
they might be the last, thought I, that I ever should write in my life.
The first was to my mother:--

'Honoured Madam'--I wrote--'This will not be given you unless I fall by
the hand of Captain Quin, whom I meet this day in the field of honour,
with sword and pistol. If I die, it is as a good Christian and a
gentleman,--how should I be otherwise when educated by such a mother as
you? I forgive all my enemies--I beg your blessing as a dutiful son.
I desire that my mare Nora, which my uncle gave me, and which I called
after the most faithless of her sex, may be returned to Castle Brady,
and beg you will give my silver-hiked hanger to Phil Purcell, the
gamekeeper. Present my duty to my uncle and Ulick, and all the girls of
MY party there. And I remain your dutiful son,

'REDMOND BARRY.'

To Nora I wrote:--

'This letter will be found in my bosom along with the token you gave me.
It will be dyed in my blood (unless I have Captain Quin's, whom I
hate, but forgive), and will be a pretty ornament for you on your
marriage-day. Wear it, and think of the poor boy to whom you gave it,
and who died (as he was always ready to do) for your sake.

'REDMOND.'

These letters being written, and sealed with my father's great silver
seal of the Barry arms, I went down to breakfast; where my mother was
waiting for me, you may be sure. We did not say a single word about what
was taking place: on the contrary, we talked of anything but that; about
who was at church the day before, and about my wanting new clothes now
I was grown so tall. She said I must have a suit against winter,
if--if--she could afford it. She winced rather at the 'if,' Heaven bless
her! I knew what was in her mind. And then she fell to telling me about
the black pig that must be killed, and that she had found the speckled
hen's nest that morning, whose eggs I liked so, and other such trifling
talk. Some of these eggs were for breakfast, and I ate them with a
good appetite; but in helping myself to salt I spilled it, on which she
started up with a scream. 'THANK GOD,' said she, 'IT'S FALLEN TOWARDS
ME.' And then, her heart being too full, she left the room. Ah! they
have their faults, those mothers; but are there any other women like
them?

When she was gone I went to take down the sword with which my father had
vanquished the Hampshire baronet, and, would you believe it?--the brave
woman had tied A NEW RIBAND to the hilt: for indeed she had the courage
of a lioness and a Brady united. And then I took down the pistols, which
were always kept bright and well oiled, and put some fresh flints I
had into the locks, and got balls and powder ready against the Captain
should come. There was claret and a cold fowl put ready for him on the
sideboard, and a case-bottle of old brandy too, with a couple of little
glasses on the silver tray with the Barry arms emblazoned. In after
life, and in the midst of my fortune and splendour, I paid thirty-five
guineas, and almost as much more interest, to the London goldsmith who
supplied my father with that very tray. A scoundrel pawnbroker would
only give me sixteen for it afterwards; so little can we trust the
honour of rascally tradesmen!

At eleven o'clock Captain Fagan arrived, on horseback, with a mounted
dragoon after him. He paid his compliments to the collation which my
mother's care had provided for him, and then said, 'Look ye, Redmond my
boy; this is a silly business. The girl will marry Quin, mark my words;
and as sure as she does you'll forget her. You are but a boy. Quin is
willing to consider you as such. Dublin's a fine place, and if you have
a mind to take a ride thither and see the town for a month, here are
twenty guineas at your service. Make Quin an apology, and be off.'

'A man of honour, Mr. Fagan,' says I, 'dies, but never apologises. I'll
see the Captain hanged before I apologise.'

'Then there's nothing for it but a meeting.'

'My mare is saddled and ready,' says I; 'where's the meeting, and who's
the Captain's second?'

'Your cousins go out with him,' answered Mr. Fagan.

'I'll ring for my groom to bring my mare round,' I said, 'as soon as you
have rested yourself.' Tim was accordingly despatched for Nora, and I
rode away, but I didn't take leave of Mrs. Barry. The curtains of
her bedroom windows were down, and they didn't move as we mounted and
trotted off... BUT TWO HOURS AFTERWARDS, you should have seen her as she
came tottering downstairs, and heard the scream which she gave as she
hugged her boy to her heart, quite unharmed and without a wound in his
body.

What had taken place I may as well tell here. When we got to the ground,
Ulick, Mick, and the Captain were already there: Quin, flaming in red
regimentals, as big a monster as ever led a grenadier company. The party
were laughing together at some joke of one or the other: and I must say
I thought this laughter very unbecoming in my cousins, who were met,
perhaps, to see the death of one of their kindred.

'I hope to spoil this sport,' says I to Captain Fagan, in a great rage,
'and trust to see this sword of mine in yonder big bully's body.'

'Oh! it's with pistols we fight,' replied Mr. Fagan. 'You are no match
for Quin with the sword.'

'I'll match any man with the sword,' said I.

'But swords are to-day impossible; Captain Quin is--is lame. He knocked
his knee against the swinging park-gate last night, as he was riding
home, and can scarce move it now.'

'Not against Castle Brady gate,' says I: 'that has been off the hinges
these ten years.' On which Fagan said it must have been some other
gate, and repeated what he had said to Mr. Quin and my cousins, when, on
alighting from our horses, we joined and saluted those gentlemen.

'Oh yes! dead lame,' said Ulick, coming to shake me by the hand, while
Captain Quin took off his hat and turned extremely red. 'And very lucky
for you, Redmond my boy,' continued Ulick; 'you were a dead man else;
for he is a devil of a fellow--isn't he, Fagan?'

'A regular Turk,' answered Fagan; adding, 'I never yet knew the man who
stood to Captain Quin.'

'Hang the business!' said Ulick; 'I hate it. I'm ashamed of it. Say
you're sorry, Redmond: you can easily say that.'

'If the young FELLER will go to DUBLING, as proposed'--here interposed
Mr. Quin.

'I am NOT sorry--I'll NOT apologise--and I'll as soon go to DUBLING as
to--!' said I, with a stamp of my foot.

'There's nothing else for it,' said Ulick with a laugh to Fagan. 'Take
your ground, Fagan,--twelve paces, I suppose?'

'Ten, sir,' said Mr. Quin, in a big voice; 'and make them short ones, do
you hear, Captain Fagan?'

'Don't bully, Mr. Quin,' said Ulick surlily; 'here are the pistols.' And
he added, with some emotion, to me, 'God bless you, my boy; and when I
count three, fire.'

Mr. Fagan put my pistol into my hand,--that is, not one of mine (which
were to serve, if need were, for the next round), but one of Ulick's.
'They are all right,' said he. 'Never fear: and, Redmond, fire at his
neck--hit him there under the gorget. See how the fool shows himself
open.' Mick, who had never spoken a word, Ulick, and the Captain retired
to one side, and Ulick gave the signal. It was slowly given, and I had
leisure to cover my man well. I saw him changing colour and trembling as
the numbers were given. At 'three,' both our pistols went off. I heard
something whizz by me, and my antagonist, giving a most horrible groan,
staggered backwards and fell.

'He's down--he's down!' cried the seconds, running towards him. Ulick
lifted him up--Mick took his head.

'He's hit here, in the neck,' said Mick; and laying open his coat, blood
was seen gurgling from under his gorget, at the very spot at which I
aimed.

'How is it with you?' said Ulick. 'Is he really hit?' said he, looking
hard at him. The unfortunate man did not answer, but when the support
of Ulick's arm was withdrawn from his back, groaned once more, and fell
backwards.

'The young fellow has begun well,' said Mick, with a scowl. 'You had
better ride off, young sir, before the police are up. They had wind of
the business before we left Kilwangan.'

'Is he quite dead?' said I.

'Quite dead,' answered Mick.

'Then the world's rid of A COWARD,' said Captain Fagan, giving the huge
prostrate body a scornful kick with his foot. 'It's all over with him,
Reddy,--he doesn't stir.'

'WE are not cowards, Fagan,' said Ulick roughly, 'whatever he was! Let's
get the boy off as quick as we may. Your man shall go for a cart, and
take away the body of this unhappy gentleman. This has been a sad day's
work for our family, Redmond Barry: you have robbed us of 1500(pounds) a
year.'

'It was Nora did it,' said I; 'not I.' And I took the riband she gave me
out of my waistcoat, and the letter, and flung them down on the body of
Captain Quin. 'There!' says I--'take her those ribands. She'll know what
they mean: and that's all that's left to her of two lovers she had and
ruined.'

I did not feel any horror or fear, young as I was, in seeing my enemy
prostrate before me; for I knew that I had met and conquered him
honourably in the field, as became a man of my name and blood.

'And now, in Heaven's name, get the youngster out of the way,' said
Mick.

Ulick said he would ride with me, and off accordingly we galloped, never
drawing bridle till we came to my mother's door. When there, Ulick told
Tim to feed my mare, as I would have far to ride that day; and I was in
the poor mother's arms in a minute.

I need not tell how great were her pride and exultation when she heard
from Ulick's lips the account of my behaviour at the duel. He urged,
however, that I should go into hiding for a short time; and it was
agreed between them that I should drop my name of Barry, and, taking
that of Redmond, go to Dublin, and there wait until matters were blown
over. This arrangement was not come to without some discussion; for why
should I not be as safe at Barryville, she said, as my cousin and Ulick
at Castle Brady?--bailiffs and duns never got near THEM; why should
constables be enabled to come upon me? But Ulick persisted in the
necessity of my instant departure; in which argument, as I was anxious
to see the world, I must confess, I sided with him; and my mother was
brought to see that in our small house at Barryville, in the midst of
the village, and with the guard but of a couple of servants, escape
would be impossible. So the kind soul was forced to yield to my cousin's
entreaties, who promised her, however, that the affair would soon be
arranged, and that I should be restored to her. Ah! how little did he
know what fortune was in store for me!

My dear mother had some forebodings, I think, that our separation was
to be a long one; for she told me that all night long she had been
consulting the cards regarding my fate in the duel: and that all the
signs betokened a separation; then, taking out a stocking from her
escritoire, the kind soul put twenty guineas in a purse for me (she had
herself but twenty-five), and made up a little valise, to be placed
at the back of my mare, in which were my clothes, linen, and a silver
dressing-case of my father's. She bade me, too, to keep the sword and
the pistols I had known to use so like a man. She hurried my departure
now (though her heart, I know, was full), and almost in half-an-hour
after my arrival at home I was once more on the road again, with the
wide world as it were before me. I need not tell how Tim and the cook
cried at my departure: and, mayhap, I had a tear or two myself in my
eyes; but no lad of sixteen is VERY sad who has liberty for the first
time, and twenty guineas in his pocket: and I rode away, thinking, I
confess, not so much of the kind mother left alone, and of the home
behind me, as of to-morrow, and all the wonders it would bring.



CHAPTER III. A FALSE START IN THE GENTEEL WORLD

I rode that night as far as Carlow, where I lay at the best inn; and
being asked what was my name by the landlord of the house, gave it as
Mr. Redmond, according to my cousin's instructions, and said I was of
the Redmonds of Waterford county, and was on my road to Trinity
College, Dublin, to be educated there. Seeing my handsome appearance,
silver-hiked sword, and well-filled valise, my landlord made free to
send up a jug of claret without my asking; and charged, you may be sure,
pretty handsomely for it in the bill. No gentleman in those good old
days went to bed without a good share of liquor to set him sleeping, and
on this my first day's entrance into the world, I made a point to act
the fine gentleman completely; and, I assure you, succeeded in my part
to admiration. The excitement of the events of the day, the quitting my
home, the meeting with Captain Quin, were enough to set my brains in a
whirl, without the claret; which served to finish me completely. I did
not dream of the death of Quin, as some milksops, perhaps, would have
done; indeed, I have never had any of that foolish remorse consequent
upon any of my affairs of honour: always considering, from the first,
that where a gentleman risks his own life in manly combat, he is a fool
to be ashamed because he wins. I slept at Carlow as sound as man could
sleep; drank a tankard of small beer and a toast to my breakfast; and
exchanged the first of my gold pieces to settle the bill, not forgetting
to pay all the servants liberally, and as a gentleman should. I began
so the first day of my life, and so have continued. No man has been
at greater straits than I, and has borne more pinching poverty and
hardship; but nobody can say of me that, if I had a guinea, I was not
free-handed with it, and did not spend it as well as a lord could do.

I had no doubts of the future: thinking that a man of my person, parts,
and courage, could make his way anywhere. Besides, I had twenty gold
guineas in my pocket; a sum which (although I was mistaken) I calculated
would last me for four months at least, during which time something
would be done towards the making of my fortune. So I rode on, singing
to myself, or chatting with the passers-by; and all the girls along the
road said God save me for a clever gentleman! As for Nora and Castle
Brady, between to-day and yesterday there seemed to be a gap as of
half-a-score of years. I vowed I would never re-enter the place but as a
great man; and I kept my vow too, as you shall hear in due time.

There was much more liveliness and bustle on the king's highroad in
those times, than in these days of stage-coaches, which carry you from
one end of the kingdom to another in a few score hours. The gentry rode
their own horses or drove in their own coaches, and spent three days
on a journey which now occupies ten hours; so that there was no lack
of company for a person travelling towards Dublin. I made part of
the journey from Carlow towards Naas with a well-armed gentleman from
Kilkenny, dressed in green and a gold cord, with a patch on his eye, and
riding a powerful mare. He asked me the question of the day, and whither
I was bound, and whether my mother was not afraid on account of the
highwaymen to let one so young as myself to travel? But I said, pulling
out one of them from a holster, that I had a pair of good pistols that
had already done execution, and were ready to do it again; and here, a
pock-marked man coming up, he put spurs into his bay mare and left me.
She was a much more powerful animal than mine; and, besides, I did not
wish to fatigue my horse, wishing to enter Dublin that night, and in
reputable condition.

As I rode towards Kilcullen, I saw a crowd of the peasant-people
assembled round a one-horse chair, and my friend in green, as I thought,
making off half a mile up the hill. A footman was howling 'Stop thief!'
at the top of his voice; but the country fellows were only laughing at
his distress, and making all sorts of jokes at the adventure which had
just befallen.

'Sure you might have kept him off with your blunderBUSH!' says one
fellow.

'Oh, the coward! to let the Captain BATE you; and he only one eye!'
cries another.

'The next time my Lady travels, she'd better lave you at home!' said a
third.

'What is this noise, fellows?' said I, riding up amongst them, and,
seeing a lady in the carriage very pale and frightened, gave a slash of
my whip, and bade the red-shanked ruffians keep off. 'What has happened,
madam, to annoy your Ladyship?' I said, pulling off my hat, and bringing
my mare up in a prance to the chair window.

The lady explained. She was the wife of Captain Fitzsimons, and was
hastening to join the Captain at Dublin. Her chair had been stopped by a
highway-man: the great oaf of a servant-man had fallen down on his knees
armed as he was; and though there were thirty people in the next field
working when the ruffian attacked her, not one of them would help her;
but, on the contrary, wished the Captain, as they called the highwayman,
good luck.

'Sure he's the friend of the poor,' said one fellow, 'and good luck to
him!'

'Was it any business of ours?' asked another. And another told,
grinning, that it was the famous Captain Freny, who, having bribed the
jury to acquit him two days back at Kilkenny assizes, had mounted his
horse at the gaol door, and the very next day had robbed two barristers
who were going the circuit.

I told this pack of rascals to be off to their work, or they should
taste of my thong, and proceeded, as well as I could, to comfort Mrs.
Fitzsimons under her misfortunes. 'Had she lost much?' 'Everything: her
purse, containing upwards of a hundred guineas; her jewels, snuff-boxes,
watches, and a pair of diamond shoe-buckles of the Captain's.' These
mishaps I sincerely commiserated; and knowing her by her accent to be
an Englishwoman, deplored the difference that existed between the
two countries, and said that in OUR country (meaning England) such
atrocities were unknown.

'You, too, are an Englishman?' said she, with rather a tone of surprise.
On which I said I was proud to be such: as, in fact, I was; and I never
knew a true Tory gentleman of Ireland who did not wish he could say as
much.

I rode by Mrs. Fitzsimon's chair all the way to Naas; and, as she had
been robbed of her purse, asked permission to lend her a couple of
pieces to pay her expenses at the inn: which sum she was graciously
pleased to accept, and was, at the same time, kind enough to invite
me to share her dinner. To the lady's questions regarding my birth and
parentage, I replied that I was a young gentleman of large fortune (this
was not true; but what is the use of crying bad fish? my dear mother
instructed me early in this sort of prudence) and good family in the
county of Waterford; that I was going to Dublin for my studies, and that
my mother allowed me five hundred per annum. Mrs. Fitzsimons was equally
communicative. She was the daughter of General Granby Somerset of
Worcestershire, of whom, of course, I had heard (and though I had not,
of course I was too well-bred to say so); and had made, as she must
confess, a runaway match with Ensign Fitzgerald Fitzsimons. Had I been
in Donegal?--No! That was a pity. The Captain's father possesses a
hundred thousand acres there, and Fitzsimonsburgh Castle's the finest
mansion in Ireland. Captain Fitzsimons is the eldest son; and, though he
has quarrelled with his father, must inherit the vast property. She went
on to tell me about the balls at Dublin, the banquets at the Castle, the
horse-races at the Phoenix, the ridottos and routs, until I became quite
eager to join in those pleasures; and I only felt grieved to think that
my position would render secrecy necessary, and prevent me from being
presented at the Court, of which the Fitzsimonses were the most elegant
ornaments. How different was her lively rattle to that of the vulgar
wenches at the Kilwangan assemblies! In every sentence she mentioned a
lord or a person of quality. She evidently spoke French and Italian, of
the former of which languages I have said I knew a few words; and, as
for her English accent, why, perhaps I was no judge of that, for, to
say the truth, she was the first REAL English person I had ever met. She
recommended me, further, to be very cautious with regard to the company
I should meet at Dublin, where rogues and adventurers of all countries
abounded; and my delight and gratitude to her may be imagined, when, as
our conversation grew more intimate (as we sat over our dessert), she
kindly offered to accommodate me with lodgings in her own house, where
her Fitzsimons, she said, would welcome with delight her gallant young
preserver.

'Indeed, madam,' said I, 'I have preserved nothing for you.' Which was
perfectly true; for had I not come up too late after the robbery to
prevent the highwayman from carrying off her money and pearls?

'And sure, ma'am, them wasn't much,' said Sullivan, the blundering
servant, who had been so frightened at Freny's approach, and was waiting
on us at dinner. 'Didn't he return you the thirteenpence in copper, and
the watch, saying it was only pinch-beck?'

But his lady rebuked him for a saucy varlet, and turned him out of the
room at once, saying to me when he had gone, 'that the fool didn't
know what was the meaning of a hundred-pound bill, which was in the
pocket-book that Freny took from her.'

Perhaps had I been a little older in the world's experience, I should
have begun to see that Madam Fitzsimons was not the person of fashion
she pretended to be; but, as it was, I took all her stories for truth,
and, when the landlord brought the bill for dinner, paid it with the air
of a lord. Indeed, she made no motion to produce the two pieces I had
lent to her; and so we rode on slowly towards Dublin, into which city we
made our entrance at nightfall. The rattle and splendour of the coaches,
the flare of the linkboys, the number and magnificence of the houses,
struck me with the greatest wonder; though I was careful to disguise
this feeling, according to my dear mother's directions, who told me that
it was the mark of a man of fashion never to wonder at anything, and
never to admit that any house, equipage, or company he saw, was more
splendid or genteel than what he had been accustomed to at home.

We stopped, at length, at a house of rather mean appearance, and were
let into a passage by no means so clean as that at Barryville, where
there was a great smell of supper and punch. A stout red-faced man,
without a periwig, and in rather a tattered nightgown and cap, made his
appearance from the parlour, and embraced his lady (for it was Captain
Fitzsimons) with a great deal of cordiality. Indeed, when he saw that a
stranger accompanied her, he embraced her more rapturously than ever.
In introducing me, she persisted in saying that I was her preserver, and
complimented my gallantry as much as if I had killed Freny, instead
of coming up when the robbery was over. The Captain said he knew the
Redmonds of Waterford intimately well: which assertion alarmed me, as I
knew nothing of the family to which I was stated to belong. But I posed
him, by asking WHICH of the Redmonds he knew, for I had never heard his
name in our family. He said he knew the Redmonds of Redmondstown. 'Oh,'
says I, 'mine are the Redmonds of Castle Redmond;' and so I put him off
the scent. I went to see my nag put up at a livery-stable hard by, with
the Captain's horse and chair, and returned to my entertainer.

Although there were the relics of some mutton-chops and onions on a
cracked dish before him, the Captain said, 'My love, I wish I had known
of your coming, for Bob Moriarty and I just finished the most delicious
venison pasty, which his Grace the Lord Lieutenant sent us, with a
flask of Sillery from his own cellar. You know the wine, my dear? But as
bygones are bygones, and no help for them, what say ye to a fine lobster
and a bottle of as good claret as any in Ireland? Betty, clear these
things from the table, and make the mistress and our young friend
welcome to our home.'

Not having small change, Mr. Fitzsimons asked me to lend him a
tenpenny-piece to purchase the dish of lobsters; but his lady, handing
out one of the guineas I had given her, bade the girl get the change
for that, and procure the supper; which she did presently, bringing back
only a very few shillings out of the guinea to her mistress, saying that
the fishmonger had kept the remainder for an old account. 'And the more
great big blundering fool you, for giving the gold piece to him,' roared
Mr. Fitzsimons. I forget how many hundred guineas he said he had paid
the fellow during the year.

Our supper was seasoned, if not by any great elegance, at least by a
plentiful store of anecdotes, concerning the highest personages of the
city; with whom, according to himself, the Captain lived on terms of
the utmost intimacy. Not to be behindhand with him, I spoke of my own
estates and property as if I was as rich as a duke. I told all the
stories of the nobility I had ever heard from my mother, and some that,
perhaps, I had invented; and ought to have been aware that my host
was an impostor himself, as he did not find out my own blunders and
misstatements. But youth is ever too confident. It was some time
before I knew that I had made no very desirable acquaintance in Captain
Fitzsimons and his lady; and, indeed, went to bed congratulating myself
upon my wonderful good luck in having, at the outset of my adventures,
fallen in with so distinguished a couple.

The appearance of the chamber I occupied might, indeed, have led me to
imagine that the heir of Fitzsimonsburgh Castle, county Donegal, was not
as yet reconciled with his wealthy parents; and, had I been an English
lad, probably my suspicion and distrust would have been aroused
instantly. But perhaps, as the reader knows, we are not so particular in
Ireland on the score of neatness as people are in this precise country;
hence the disorder of my bedchamber did not strike me so much. For were
not all the windows broken and stuffed with rags even at Castle Brady,
my uncle's superb mansion? Was there ever a lock to the doors there, or
if a lock, a handle to the lock or a hasp to fasten it to? So, though
my bedroom boasted of these inconveniences, and a few more; though my
counterpane was evidently a greased brocade dress of Mrs. Fitzsimons's,
and my cracked toilet-glass not much bigger than a half-crown, yet I was
used to this sort of ways in Irish houses, and still thought myself in
that of a man of fashion. There was no lock to the drawers, which, when
they DID open, were full of my hostess's rouge-pots, shoes, stays, and
rags; so I allowed my wardrobe to remain in my valise, but set out my
silver dressing-apparatus upon the ragged cloth on the drawers, where it
shone to great advantage.

When Sullivan appeared in the morning, I asked him about my mare,
which he informed me was doing well. I then bade him bring me hot
shaving-water, in a loud dignified tone.

'Hot shaving-water!' says he, bursting out laughing (and I confess not
without reason). 'Is it yourself you're going to shave?' said he. 'And
maybe when I bring you up the water I'll bring you up the cat too, and
you can shave her.' I flung a boot at the scoundrel's head in reply
to this impertinence, and was soon with my friends in the parlour for
breakfast. There was a hearty welcome, and the same cloth that had
been used the night before: as I recognised by the black mark of the
Irish-stew dish, and the stain left by a pot of porter at supper.

My host greeted me with great cordiality; Mrs. Fitzsimons said I was an
elegant figure for the Phoenix; and indeed, without vanity, I may say of
myself that there were worse-looking fellows in Dublin than I. I had not
the powerful chest and muscular proportion which I have since attained
(to be exchanged, alas! for gouty legs and chalk-stones in my fingers;
but 'tis the way of mortality), but I had arrived at near my present
growth of six feet, and with my hair in buckle, a handsome lace jabot
and wristbands to my shirt, and a red plush waistcoat, barred with gold,
looked the gentleman I was born. I wore my drab coat with plate
buttons, that was grown too small for me, and quite agreed with Captain
Fitzsimons that I must pay a visit to his tailor, in order to procure
myself a coat more fitting my size.

'I needn't ask whether you had a comfortable bed,' said he. 'Young Fred
Pimpleton (Lord Pimpleton's second son) slept in it for seven months,
during which he did me the honour to stay with me, and if HE was
satisfied, I don't know who else wouldn't be.'

After breakfast we walked out to see the town, and Mr. Fitzsimons
introduced me to several of his acquaintances whom we met, as his
particular young friend Mr. Redmond, of Waterford county; he also
presented me at his hatter's and tailor's as a gentleman of great
expectations and large property; and although I told the latter that I
should not pay him ready cash for more than one coat, which fitted me to
a nicety, yet he insisted upon making me several, which I did not care
to refuse. The Captain, also, who certainly wanted such a renewal of
raiment, told the tailor to send him home a handsome military frock,
which he selected.

Then we went home to Mrs. Fitzsimons, who drove out in her chair to the
Phoenix Park, where a review was, and where numbers of the young gentry
were round about her; to all of whom she presented me as her preserver
of the day before. Indeed, such was her complimentary account of me,
that before half-an-hour I had got to be considered as a young gentleman
of the highest family in the land, related to all the principal
nobility, a cousin of Captain Fitzsimons, and heir to L10,000 a year.
Fitzsimons said he had ridden over every inch of my estate; and
'faith, as he chose to tell these stories for me, I let him have his
way--indeed, was not a little pleased (as youth is) to be made much of,
and to pass for a great personage. I had little notion then that I
had got among a set of impostors--that Captain Fitzsimons was only an
adventurer, and his lady a person of no credit; but such are the dangers
to which youth is perpetually subject, and hence let young men take
warning by me.

I purposely hurry over the description of my life in which the incidents
were painful, of no great interest except to my unlucky self, and of
which my companions were certainly not of a kind befitting my quality.
The fact was, a young man could hardly have fallen into worse hands than
those in which I now found myself. I have been to Donegal since,
and have never seen the famous Castle of Fitzsimonsburgh, which is,
likewise, unknown to the oldest inhabitants of that county; nor are the
Granby Somersets much better known in Worcestershire. The couple into
whose hands I had fallen were of a sort much more common then than at
present, for the vast wars of later days have rendered it very difficult
for noblemen's footmen or hangers-on to procure commissions; and such,
in fact, had been the original station of Captain Fitzsimons. Had
I known his origin, of course I would have died rather than have
associated with him: but in those simple days of youth I took his tales
for truth, and fancied myself in high luck at being, at my outset into
life, introduced into such a family. Alas! we are the sport of destiny.
When I consider upon what small circumstances all the great events of my
life have turned, I can hardly believe myself to have been anything
but a puppet in the hands of Fate; which has played its most fantastic
tricks upon me.

The Captain had been a gentleman's gentleman, and his lady of no higher
rank. The society which this worthy pair kept was at a sort of ordinary
which they held, and at which their friends were always welcome on
payment of a certain moderate sum for their dinner. After dinner, you
may be sure that cards were not wanting, and that the company who played
did not play for love merely. To these parties persons of all sorts
would come: young bloods from the regiments garrisoned in Dublin: young
clerks from the Castle; horse-riding, wine-tippling, watchman-beating
men of fashion about town, such as existed in Dublin in that day more
than in any other city with which I am acquainted in Europe. I never
knew young fellows make such a show, and upon such small means. I never
knew young gentlemen with what I may call such a genius for idleness;
and whereas an Englishman with fifty guineas a year is not able to do
much more than starve, and toil like a slave in a profession, a young
Irish buck with the same sum will keep his horses, and drink his bottle,
and live as lazy as a lord. Here was a doctor who never had a patient,
cheek by jowl with an attorney who never had a client: neither had
a guinea--each had a good horse to ride in the Park, and the best of
clothes to his back. A sporting clergyman without a living; several
young wine-merchants, who consumed much more liquor than they had or
sold; and men of similar character, formed the society at the house
into which, by ill luck, I was thrown. What could happen to a man but
misfortune from associating with such company?--(I have not mentioned
the ladies of the society, who were, perhaps, no better than the
males)--and in a very very short time I became their prey.

As for my poor twenty guineas, in three days I saw, with terror, that
they had dwindled down to eight: theatres and taverns having already
made such cruel inroads in my purse. At play I had lost, it is true, a
couple of pieces; but seeing that every one round about me played upon
honour and gave their bills, I, of course, preferred that medium to the
payment of ready money, and when I lost paid on account.

With the tailors, saddlers, and others, I employed similar means; and
in so far Mr. Fitzsimons's representation did me good, for the tradesmen
took him at his word regarding my fortune (I have since learned that the
rascal pigeoned several other young men of property), and for a little
time supplied me with any goods I might be pleased to order. At length,
my cash running low, I was compelled to pawn some of the suits with
which the tailor had provided me; for I did not like to part with my
mare, on which I daily rode in the Park, and which I loved as the
gift of my respected uncle. I raised some little money, too, on a few
trinkets which I had purchased of a jeweller who pressed his credit upon
me; and thus was enabled to keep up appearances for yet a little time.

I asked at the post-office repeatedly for letters for Mr. Redmond, but
none such had arrived; and, indeed, I always felt rather relieved when
the answer of 'No' was given to me; for I was not very anxious that my
mother should know my proceedings in the extravagant life which I was
leading at Dublin. It could not last very long, however; for when my
cash was quite exhausted, and I paid a second visit to the tailor,
requesting him to make me more clothes, the fellow hummed and ha'd, and
had the impudence to ask payment for those already supplied: on which,
telling him I should withdraw my custom from him, I abruptly left him.
The goldsmith too (a rascal Jew) declined to let me take a gold chain
to which I had a fancy; and I felt now, for the first time, in some
perplexity. To add to it, one of the young gentlemen who frequented Mr.
Fitzsimons's boarding-house had received from me, in the way of play,
an IOU for eighteen pounds (which I lost to him at piquet), and which,
owing Mr. Curbyn, the livery-stable keeper, a bill, he passed into that
person's hands. Fancy my rage and astonishment, then, on going for my
mare, to find that he positively refused to let me have her out of the
stable, except under payment of my promissory note! It was in vain that
I offered him his choice of four notes that I had in my pocket--one of
Fitzsimons's for L20, one of Counsellor Mulligan's, and so forth; the
dealer, who was a Yorkshireman, shook his head, and laughed at every one
of them; and said, 'I tell you what, Master Redmond, you appear a young
fellow of birth and fortune, and let me whisper in your ear that you
have fallen into very bad hands--it's a regular gang of swindlers; and a
gentleman of your rank and quality should never be seen in such company.
Go home: pack up your valise, pay the little trifle to me, mount your
mare, and ride back again to your parents,--it's the very best thing you
can do.'

In a pretty nest of villains, indeed, was I plunged! It seemed as if
all my misfortunes were to break on me at once; for, on going home and
ascending to my bedroom in a disconsolate way, I found the Captain
and his lady there before me, my valise open, my wardrobe lying on the
ground, and my keys in the possession of the odious Fitzsimons. 'Whom
have I been harbouring in my house?' roared he, as I entered the
apartment. 'Who are you, sirrah?'

'SIRRAH! Sir,' said I, 'I am as good a gentleman as any in Ireland.'

'You're an impostor, young man: a schemer, a deceiver!' shouted the
Captain.

'Repeat the words again, and I will run you through the body,' replied
I.

'Tut, tut! I can play at fencing as well as you, Mr. REDMOND BARRY. Ah!
you change colour, do you--your secret is known, is it? You come like a
viper into the bosom of innocent families; you represent yourself as the
heir of my friends the Redmonds of Castle Redmond; I inthrojuice you to
the nobility and genthry of this methropolis' (the Captain's brogue was
large, and his words, by preference, long); 'I take you to my tradesmen,
who give you credit, and what do I find? That you have pawned the goods
which you took up at their houses.'

'I have given them my acceptances, sir,' said I with a dignified air.

'UNDER WHAT NAME, unhappy boy--under what name?' screamed Mrs.
Fitzsimons; and then, indeed, I remembered that I had signed the
documents Barry Redmond instead of Redmond Barry: but what else could
I do? Had not my mother desired me to take no other designation? After
uttering a furious tirade against me, in which he spoke of the fatal
discovery of my real name on my linen--of his misplaced confidence of
affection, and the shame with which he should be obliged to meet his
fashionable friends and confess that he had harboured a swindler, he
gathered up the linen, clothes, silver toilet articles, and the rest of
my gear, saying that he should step out that moment for an officer and
give me up to the just revenge of the law.

During the first part of his speech, the thought of the imprudence of
which I had been guilty, and the predicament in which I was plunged, had
so puzzled and confounded me, that I had not uttered a word in reply to
the fellow's abuse, but had stood quite dumb before him. The sense of
danger, however, at once roused me to action. 'Hark ye, Mr. Fitzsimons,'
said I; 'I will tell you why I was obliged to alter my name: which is
Barry, and the best name in Ireland. I changed it, sir, because, on
the day before I came to Dublin, I killed a man in deadly combat--an
Englishman, sir, and a captain in His Majesty's service; and if you
offer to let or hinder me in the slightest way, the same arm which
destroyed him is ready to punish you; and by Heaven, sir, you or I don't
leave this room alive!'

So saying, I drew my sword like lightning, and giving a 'ha! ha!' and
a stamp with my foot, lunged within an inch of Fitzsimons's heart, who
started back and turned deadly pale, while his wife, with a scream,
flung herself between us.

'Dearest Redmond,' she cried, 'be pacified. Fitzsimons, you don't want
the poor child's blood. Let him escape--in Heaven's name let him go.'

'He may go hang for me,' said Fitzsimons sulkily; 'and he'd better be
off quickly, too, for the jeweller and the tailor have called once,
and will be here again before long. It was Moses the pawnbroker that
peached: I had the news from him myself.' By which I conclude that Mr.
Fitzsimons had been with the new laced frock-coat which he procured from
the merchant tailor on the day when the latter first gave me credit.

What was the end of our conversation? Where was now a home for the
descendant of the Barrys? Home was shut to me by my misfortune in the
duel. I was expelled from Dublin by a persecution occasioned, I must
confess, by my own imprudence. I had no time to wait and choose: no
place of refuge to fly to. Fitzsimons, after his abuse of me, left the
room growling, but not hostile; his wife insisted that we should shake
hands, and he promised not to molest me. Indeed, I owed the fellow
nothing; and, on the contrary, had his acceptance actually in my pocket
for money lost at play. As for my friend Mrs. Fitzsimons, she sat down
on the bed and fairly burst out crying. She had her faults, but her
heart was kind; and though she possessed but three shillings in the
world, and fourpence in copper, the poor soul made me take it before
I left her--to go--whither? My mind was made up: there was a score of
recruiting-parties in the town beating up for men to join our gallant
armies in America and Germany; I knew where to find one of these, having
stood by the sergeant at a review in the Phoenix Park, where he pointed
out to me characters on the field, for which I treated him to drink.

I gave one of my shillings to Sullivan the butler of the Fitzsimonses,
and, running into the street, hastened to the little alehouse at which
my acquaintance was quartered, and before ten minutes had accepted His
Majesty's shilling. I told him frankly that I was a young gentleman in
difficulties; that I had killed an officer in a duel, and was anxious
to get out of the country. But I need not have troubled myself with any
explanations; King George was too much in want of men then to heed from
whence they came, and a fellow of my inches, the sergeant said, was
always welcome. Indeed, I could not, he said, have chosen my time
better. A transport was lying at Dunleary, waiting for a wind, and on
board that ship, to which I marched that night, I made some surprising
discoveries, which shall be told in the next chapter.



CHAPTER IV. IN WHICH BARRY TAKES A NEAR VIEW OF MILITARY GLORY

I never had a taste for anything but genteel company, and hate all
descriptions of low life. Hence my account of the society in which I
at present found myself must of necessity be short; and, indeed,
the recollection of it is profoundly disagreeable to me. Pah! the
reminiscences of the horrid black-hole of a place in which we soldiers
were confined; of the wretched creatures with whom I was now forced to
keep company; of the ploughmen, poachers, pickpockets, who had taken
refuge from poverty, or the law (as, in truth, I had done myself), is
enough to make me ashamed even now, and it calls the blush into my old
cheeks to think I was ever forced to keep such company. I should have
fallen into despair, but that, luckily, events occurred to rouse my
spirits, and in some measure to console me for my misfortunes.

The first of these consolations I had was a good quarrel, which took
place on the day after my entrance into the transport-ship, with a huge
red-haired monster of a fellow--a chairman, who had enlisted to fly from
a vixen of a wife, who, boxer as he was, had been more than a match for
him. As soon as this fellow--Toole, I remember, was his name--got away
from the arms of the washerwoman his lady, his natural courage and
ferocity returned, and he became the tyrant of all round about him.
All recruits, especially, were the object of the brute's insult and
ill-treatment.

I had no money, as I said, and was sitting very disconsolately over a
platter of rancid bacon and mouldy biscuit, which was served to us at
mess, when it came to my turn to be helped to drink, and I was served,
like the rest, with a dirty tin noggin, containing somewhat more than
half a pint of rum-and-water. The beaker was so greasy and filthy that I
could not help turning round to the messman and saying, 'Fellow, get me
a glass!' At which all the wretches round about me burst into a roar of
laughter, the very loudest among them being, of course, Mr. Toole.
'Get the gentleman a towel for his hands, and serve him a basin of
turtle-soup,' roared the monster, who was sitting, or rather squatting,
on the deck opposite me; and as he spoke he suddenly seized my beaker of
grog and emptied it, in the midst of another burst of applause.

'If you want to vex him, ax him about his wife the washerwoman, who
BATES him,' here whispered in my ear another worthy, a retired link-boy,
who, disgusted with his profession, had adopted the military life.

'Is it a towel of your wife's washing, Mr. Toole?' said I. 'I'm told she
wiped your face often with one.'

'Ax him why he wouldn't see her yesterday, when she came to the ship,'
continued the link-boy. And so I put to him some other foolish jokes
about soapsuds, henpecking, and flat-irons, which set the man into a
fury, and succeeded in raising a quarrel between us. We should have
fallen to at once, but a couple of grinning marines, who kept watch at
the door, for fear we should repent of our bargain and have a fancy to
escape, came forward and interposed between us with fixed bayonets;
but the sergeant coming down the ladder, and hearing the dispute,
condescended to say that we might fight it out like men with FISTES if
we chose, and that the fore-deck should be free to us for that purpose.
But the use of fistes, as the Englishman called them, was not then
general in Ireland, and it was agreed that we should have a pair
of cudgels; with one of which weapons I finished the fellow in four
minutes, giving him a thump across his stupid sconce which laid
him lifeless on the deck, and not receiving myself a single hurt of
consequence.

This victory over the cock of the vile dunghill obtained me respect
among the wretches of whom I formed part, and served to set up my
spirits, which otherwise were flagging; and my position was speedily
made more bearable by the arrival on board our ship of an old friend.
This was no other than my second in the fatal duel which had sent me
thus early out into the world, Captain Fagan. There was a young nobleman
who had a company in our regiment (Gale's foot), and who, preferring the
delights of the Mall and the clubs to the dangers of a rough campaign,
had given Fagan the opportunity of an exchange; which, as the latter had
no fortune but his sword, he was glad to make. The sergeant was
putting us through our exercise on deck (the seamen and officers of the
transport looking grinning on) when a boat came from the shore bringing
our captain to the ship; and though I started and blushed red as he
recognised me--a descendant of the Barrys--in this degrading posture, I
promise you that the sight of Fagan's face was most welcome to me, for
it assured me that a friend was near me. Before that I was so melancholy
that I would certainly have deserted had I found the means, and had not
the inevitable marines kept a watch to prevent any such escapes.
Fagan gave me a wink of recognition, but offered no public token of
acquaintance; it was not until two days afterwards, and when we had
bidden adieu to old Ireland and were standing out to sea, that he called
me into his cabin, and then, shaking hands with me cordially, gave me
news, which I much wanted, of my family. 'I had news of you in Dublin,'
he said. ''Faith you've begun early, like your father's son; and I think
you could not do better than as you have done. But why did you not write
home to your poor mother? She has sent a half-dozen letters to you at
Dublin.'

I said I had asked for letters at the post-office, but there were none
for Mr. Redmond. I did not like to add that I had been ashamed, after
the first week, to write to my mother.

'We must write to her by the pilot,' said he, 'who will leave us in
two hours; and you can tell her that you are safe, and married to Brown
Bess.' I sighed when he talked about being married; on which he said
with a laugh, 'I see you are thinking of a certain young lady at Brady's
Town.'

'Is Miss Brady well?' said I; and indeed, could hardly utter it, for I
certainly WAS thinking about her: for, though I had forgotten her in
the gaieties of Dublin, I have always found adversity makes man very
affectionate.

'There's only seven Miss Bradys now,' answered Fagan, in a solemn voice.
'Poor Nora'--

'Good heavens! what of her?' I thought grief had killed her.

'She took on so at your going away that she was obliged to console
herself with a husband. She's now Mrs. John Quin.'

'Mrs. John Quin! Was there ANOTHER Mr. John Quin?' asked I, quite
wonder-stricken.

'No; the very same one, my boy. He recovered from his wound. The ball
you hit him with was not likely to hurt him. It was only made of tow.
Do you think the Bradys would let you kill fifteen hundred a year out of
the family?' And then Fagan further told me that, in order to get me out
of the way--for the cowardly Englishman could never be brought to marry
from fear of me--the plan of the duel had been arranged. 'But hit him
you certainly did, Redmond, and with a fine thick plugget of tow; and
the fellow was so frightened, that he was an hour in coming to. We
told your mother the story afterwards, and a pretty scene she made; she
despatched a half-score of letters to Dublin after you, but I suppose
addressed them to you in your real name, by which you never thought to
ask for them.'

'The coward!' said I (though, I confess, my mind was considerably
relieved at the thoughts of not having killed him). 'And did the Bradys
of Castle Brady consent to admit a poltroon like that into one of the
most ancient and honourable families in the world?'

'He has paid off your uncle's mortgage,' said Fagan; 'he gives Nora
a coach-and-six; he is to sell out, and Lieutenant Ulick Brady of the
Militia is to purchase his company. That coward of a fellow has been the
making of your uncle's family. 'Faith! the business was well done.' And
then, laughing, he told me how Mick and Ulick had never let him out
of their sight, although he was for deserting to England, until the
marriage was completed and the happy couple off on their road to Dublin.
'Are you in want of cash, my boy?' continued the good-natured Captain.
'You may draw upon me, for I got a couple of hundred out of Master Quin
for my share, and while they last you shall never want.'

And so he bade me sit down and write a letter to my mother, which I did
forthwith in very sincere and repentant terms, stating that I had been
guilty of extravagances, that I had not known until that moment under
what a fatal error I had been labouring, and that I had embarked for
Germany as a volunteer. The letter was scarcely finished when the pilot
sang out that he was going on shore; and he departed, taking with him,
from many an anxious fellow besides myself, our adieux to friends in old
Ireland.

Although I was called Captain Barry for many years of my life, and have
been known as such by the first people of Europe, yet I may as well
confess I had no more claim to the title than many a gentleman who
assumes it, and never had a right to an epaulet, or to any military
decoration higher than a corporal's stripe of worsted. I was made
corporal by Fagan during our voyage to the Elbe, and my rank was
confirmed on TERRA FIRMA. I was promised a halbert, too, and afterwards,
perhaps, an ensigncy, if I distinguished myself; but Fate did not intend
that I should remain long an English soldier: as shall appear presently.
Meanwhile, our passage was very favourable; my adventures were told
by Fagan to his brother officers, who treated me with kindness; and my
victory over the big chairman procured me respect from my comrades of
the fore-deck. Encouraged and strongly exhorted by Fagan, I did my duty
resolutely; but, though affable and good-humoured with the men, I never
at first condescended to associate with such low fellows: and, indeed,
was called generally amongst them 'my Lord.' I believe it was the
ex-link-boy, a facetious knave, who gave me the title; and I felt that I
should become such a rank as well as any peer in the kingdom.

It would require a greater philosopher and historian than I am to
explain the causes of the famous Seven Years' War in which Europe was
engaged; and, indeed, its origin has always appeared to me to be
so complicated, and the books written about it so amazingly hard to
understand, that I have seldom been much wiser at the end of a chapter
than at the beginning, and so shall not trouble my reader with any
personal disquisitions concerning the matter. All I know is, that after
His Majesty's love of his Hanoverian dominions had rendered him most
unpopular in his English kingdom, with Mr. Pitt at the head of the
anti-German war-party, all of a sudden, Mr. Pitt becoming Minister,
the rest of the empire applauded the war as much as they had hated it
before. The victories of Dettingen and Crefeld were in every-body's
mouths, and 'the Protestant hero,' as we used to call the godless old
Frederick of Prussia, was adored by us as a saint, a very short time
after we had been about to make war against him in alliance with the
Empress-queen. Now, somehow, we were on Frederick's side: the Empress,
the French, the Swedes, and the Russians, were leagued against us; and
I remember, when the news of the battle of Lissa came even to our remote
quarter of Ireland, we considered it as a triumph for the cause of
Protestantism, and illuminated and bonfired, and had a sermon at church,
and kept the Prussian king's birthday; on which my uncle would get
drunk: as indeed on any other occasion. Most of the low fellows enlisted
with myself were, of course, Papists (the English army was filled with
such, out of that never-failing country of ours), and these, forsooth,
were fighting the battles of Protestantism with Frederick; who was
belabouring the Protestant Swedes and the Protestant Saxons, as well as
the Russians of the Greek Church, and the Papist troops of the Emperor
and the King of France. It was against these latter that the English
auxiliaries were employed, and we know that, be the quarrel what it may,
an Englishman and a Frenchman are pretty willing to make a fight of it.

We landed at Cuxhaven, and before I had been a month in the Electorate
I was transformed into a tall and proper young soldier, and having a
natural aptitude for military exercise, was soon as accomplished at the
drill as the oldest sergeant in the regiment. It is well, however, to
dream of glorious war in a snug arm-chair at home; ay, or to make it as
an officer, surrounded by gentlemen, gorgeously dressed, and cheered by
chances of promotion. But those chances do not shine on poor fellows in
worsted lace: the rough texture of our red coats made me ashamed when I
saw an officer go by; my soul used to shudder when, on going the rounds,
I would hear their voices as they sat jovially over the mess-table;
my pride revolted at being obliged to plaster my hair with flour and
candle-grease, instead of using the proper pomatum for a gentleman.
Yes, my tastes have always been high and fashionable, and I loathed the
horrid company in which I was fallen. What chances had I of promotion?
None of my relatives had money to buy me a commission, and I became soon
so low-spirited, that I longed for a general action and a ball to finish
me, and vowed that I would take some opportunity to desert.

When I think that I, the descendant of the kings of Ireland, was
threatened with a caning by a young scoundrel who had just joined from
Eton College--when I think that he offered to make me his footman, and
that I did not, on either occasion, murder him! On the first occasion I
burst into tears (I do not care to own it) and had serious thoughts of
committing suicide, so great was my mortification. But my kind friend
Fagan came to my aid in the circumstance, with some very timely
consolation. 'My poor boy,' said he, 'you must not take the matter to
heart so. Caning is only a relative disgrace. Young Ensign Fakenham was
flogged himself at Eton School only a month ago: I would lay a wager
that his scars are not yet healed. You must cheer up, my boy; do your
duty, be a gentleman, and no serious harm can fall on you.' And I heard
afterwards that my champion had taken Mr. Fakenham very severely to
task for this threat, and said to him that any such proceedings for the
future he should consider as an insult to himself; whereon the young
ensign was, for the moment, civil. As for the sergeants, I told one of
them, that if any man struck me, no matter who he might be, or what
the penalty, I would take his life. And, 'faith! there was an air of
sincerity in my speech which convinced the whole bevy of them; and as
long as I remained in the English service no rattan was ever laid on the
shoulders of Redmond Barry. Indeed, I was in that savage moody state,
that my mind was quite made up to the point, and I looked to hear my own
dead march played as sure as I was alive. When I was made a corporal,
some of my evils were lessened; I messed with the sergeants by special
favour, and used to treat them to drink, and lose money to the rascals
at play: with which cash my good friend Mr. Fagan punctually supplied
me.

Our regiment, which was quartered about Stade and Luneburg, speedily
got orders to march southwards towards the Rhine, for news came that our
great General, Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, had been defeated--no, not
defeated, but foiled in his attack upon the French under the Duke of
Broglio, at Bergen, near Frankfort-on-the-Main, and had been obliged to
fall back. As the allies retreated the French rushed forward, and made
a bold push for the Electorate of our gracious monarch in Hanover,
threatening that they would occupy it; as they had done before, when
D'Estrees beat the hero of Culloden, the gallant Duke of Cumberland, and
caused him to sign the capitulation of Closter Zeven. An advance upon
Hanover always caused a great agitation in the Royal bosom of the King
of England; more troops were sent to join us, convoys of treasure were
passed over to our forces, and to our ally's the King of Prussia; and
although, in spite of all assistance, the army under Prince Ferdinand
was very much weaker than that of the invading enemy, yet we had the
advantage of better supplies, one of the greatest Generals in the world:
and, I was going to add, of British valour, but the less we say about
THAT the better. My Lord George Sackville did not exactly cover himself
with laurels at Minden; otherwise there might have been won there one of
the greatest victories of modern times.

Throwing himself between the French and the interior of the Electorate,
Prince Ferdinand wisely took possession of the free town of Bremen,
which he made his storehouse and place of arms; and round which he
gathered all his troops, making ready to fight the famous battle of
Minden.

Were these Memoirs not characterised by truth, and did I deign to utter
a single word for which my own personal experience did not give me the
fullest authority, I might easily make myself the hero of some strange
and popular adventures, and, after the fashion of novel-writers,
introduce my reader to the great characters of this remarkable time.
These persons (I mean the romance-writers), if they take a drummer or
a dustman for a hero, somehow manage to bring him in contact with
the greatest lords and most notorious personages of the empire; and
I warrant me there's not one of them but, in describing the battle
of Minden, would manage to bring Prince Ferdinand, and my Lord George
Sackville, and my Lord Granby, into presence. It would have been easy
for me to have SAID I was present when the orders were brought to Lord
George to charge with the cavalry and finish the rout of the Frenchmen,
and when he refused to do so, and thereby spoiled the great victory. But
the fact is, I was two miles off from the cavalry when his Lordship's
fatal hesitation took place, and none of us soldiers of the line knew of
what had occurred until we came to talk about the fight over our kettles
in the evening, and repose after the labours of a hard-fought day. I saw
no one of higher rank that day than my colonel and a couple of orderly
officers riding by in the smoke--no one on our side, that is. A poor
corporal (as I then had the disgrace of being) is not generally invited
into the company of commanders and the great; but, in revenge, I saw,
I promise you, some very good company on the FRENCH part, for their
regiments of Lorraine and Royal Cravate were charging us all day; and
in THAT sort of MELEE high and low are pretty equally received. I hate
bragging, but I cannot help saying that I made a very close acquaintance
with the colonel of the Cravates; for I drove my bayonet into his body,
and finished off a poor little ensign, so young, slender, and small,
that a blow from my pigtail would have despatched him, I think, in
place of the butt of my musket, with which I clubbed him down. I killed,
besides, four more officers and men, and in the poor ensign's pocket
found a purse of fourteen louis-d'or, and a silver box of sugar-plums;
of which the former present was very agreeable to me. If people would
tell their stories of battles in this simple way, I think the cause of
truth would not suffer by it. All I know of this famous fight of Minden
(except from books) is told here above. The ensign's silver bon-bon box
and his purse of gold; the livid face of the poor fellow as he fell;
the huzzas of the men of my company as I went out under a smart fire
and rifled him; their shouts and curses as we came hand in hand with the
Frenchmen,--these are, in truth, not very dignified recollections, and
had best be passed over briefly. When my kind friend Fagan was shot, a
brother captain, and his very good friend, turned to Lieutenant Rawson
and said, 'Fagan's down; Rawson, there's your company.' It was all the
epitaph my brave patron got. 'I should have left you a hundred guineas,
Redmond,' were his last words to me, 'but for a cursed run of ill luck
last night at faro.' And he gave me a faint squeeze of the hand; then,
as the word was given to advance, I left him. When we came back to our
old ground, which we presently did, he was lying there still; but he
was dead. Some of our people had already torn off his epaulets, and,
no doubt, had rifled his purse. Such knaves and ruffians do men in war
become! It is well for gentlemen to talk of the age of chivalry; but
remember the starving brutes whom they lead--men nursed in poverty,
entirely ignorant, made to take a pride in deeds of blood--men who can
have no amusement but in drunkenness, debauch, and plunder. It is with
these shocking instruments that your great warriors and kings have been
doing their murderous work in the world; and while, for instance, we are
at the present moment admiring the 'Great Frederick,' as we call him,
and his philosophy, and his liberality, and his military genius, I, who
have served him, and been, as it were, behind the scenes of which that
great spectacle is composed, can only look at it with horror. What
a number of items of human crime, misery, slavery, go to form that
sum-total of glory! I can recollect a certain day about three weeks
after the battle of Minden, and a farmhouse in which some of us entered;
and how the old woman and her daughters served us, trembling, to wine;
and how we got drunk over the wine, and the house was in a flame,
presently; and woe betide the wretched fellow afterwards who came home
to look for his house and his children!



CHAPTER V. BARRY FAR FROM MILITARY GLORY

After the death of my protector, Captain Fagan, I am forced to confess
that I fell into the very worst of courses and company. Being a rough
soldier of fortune himself, he had never been a favourite with the
officers of his regiment; who had a contempt for Irishmen, as Englishmen
sometimes will have, and used to mock his brogue, and his blunt uncouth
manners. I had been insolent to one or two of them, and had only been
screened from punishment by his intercession; especially his successor,
Mr. Rawson, had no liking for me, and put another man into the
sergeant's place vacant in his company after the battle of Minden.
This act of injustice rendered my service very disagreeable to me; and,
instead of seeking to conquer the dislike of my superiors, and win their
goodwill by good behaviour, I only sought for means to make my situation
easier to me, and grasped at all the amusements in my power. In a
foreign country, with the enemy before us, and the people continually
under contribution from one side or the other, numberless irregularities
were permitted to the troops which would not have been allowed in more
peaceable times. I descended gradually to mix with the sergeants, and to
share their amusements: drinking and gambling were, I am sorry to say,
our principal pastimes; and I fell so readily into their ways, that
though only a young lad of seventeen, I was the master of them all in
daring wickedness; though there were some among them who, I promise you,
were far advanced in the science of every kind of profligacy. I should
have been under the provost-marshal's hands, for a dead certainty, had
I continued much longer in the army: but an accident occurred which took
me out of the English service in rather a singular manner.

The year in which George II died, our regiment had the honour to be
present at the battle of Warburg (where the Marquis of Granby and his
horse fully retrieved the discredit which had fallen upon the cavalry
since Lord George Sackville's defalcation at Minden), and where Prince
Ferdinand once more completely defeated the Frenchmen. During the
action, my lieutenant, Mr. Fakenham, of Fakenham, the gentleman who had
threatened me, it may be remembered, with the caning, was struck by a
musket-ball in the side. He had shown no want of courage in this or any
other occasion where he had been called upon to act against the French;
but this was his first wound, and the young gentleman was exceedingly
frightened by it. He offered five guineas to be carried into the town,
which was hard by; and I and another man, taking him up in a cloak,
managed to transport him into a place of decent appearance, where we put
him to bed, and where a young surgeon (who desired nothing better than
to take himself out of the fire of the musketry) went presently to dress
his wound.

In order to get into the house, we had been obliged, it must be
confessed, to fire into the locks with our pieces; which summons brought
an inhabitant of the house to the door, a very pretty and black-eyed
young woman, who lived there with her old half-blind father, a retired
Jagdmeister of the Duke of Cassel, hard by. When the French were in the
town, Meinherr's house had suffered like those of his neighbours; and
he was at first exceedingly unwilling to accommodate his guests. But the
first knocking at the door had the effect of bringing a speedy answer;
and Mr. Fakenham, taking a couple of guineas out of a very full purse,
speedily convinced the people that they had only to deal with a person
of honour.

Leaving the doctor (who was very glad to stop) with his patient, who
paid me the stipulated reward, I was returning to my regiment with my
other comrade--after having paid, in my German jargon, some deserved
compliments to the black-eyed beauty of Warburg, and thinking, with no
small envy, how comfortable it would be to be billeted there--when the
private who was with me cut short my reveries by suggesting that we
should divide the five guineas the lieutenant had given me.

'There is your share,' said I, giving the fellow one piece; which was
plenty, as I was the leader of the expedition. But he swore a dreadful
oath that he would have half; and when I told him to go to a quarter
which I shall not name, the fellow, lifting his musket, hit me a blow
with the butt-end of it, which sent me lifeless to the ground: when I
awoke from my trance, I found myself bleeding with a large wound in the
head, and had barely time to stagger back to the house where I had left
the lieutenant, when I again fell fainting at the door.

Here I must have been discovered by the surgeon on his issuing out; for
when I awoke a second time I found myself in the ground-floor of the
house, supported by the black-eyed girl, while the surgeon was copiously
bleeding me at the arm. There was another bed in the room where the
lieutenant had been laid,--it was that occupied by Gretel, the servant;
while Lischen, as my fair one was called, had, till now, slept in the
couch where the wounded officer lay.

'Who are you putting into that bed?' said he languidly, in German; for
the ball had been extracted from his side with much pain and loss of
blood.

They told him it was the corporal who had brought him.

'A corporal?' said he, in English; 'turn him out.' And you may be sure
I felt highly complimented by the words. But we were both too faint to
compliment or to abuse each other much, and I was put to bed carefully;
and, on being undressed, had an opportunity to find that my pockets
had been rifled by the English soldier after he had knocked me down.
However, I was in good quarters: the young lady who sheltered me
presently brought me a refreshing drink; and, as I took it, I could not
help pressing the kind hand that gave it me; nor, in truth, did this
token of my gratitude seem unwelcome.

This intimacy did not decrease with further acquaintance. I found
Lischen the tenderest of nurses. Whenever any delicacy was to be
provided for the wounded lieutenant, a share was always sent to the
bed opposite his, and to the avaricious man's no small annoyance. His
illness was long. On the second day the fever declared itself; for some
nights he was delirious; and I remember it was when a commanding
officer was inspecting our quarters, with an intention, very likely, of
billeting himself on the house, that the howling and mad words of the
patient overhead struck him, and he retired rather frightened. I had
been sitting up very comfortably in the lower apartment, for my hurt was
quite subsided; and it was only when the officer asked me, with a
rough voice, why I was not at my regiment, that I began to reflect how
pleasant my quarters were to me, and that I was much better here than
crawling under an odious tent with a parcel of tipsy soldiers, or going
the night-rounds or rising long before daybreak for drill.

The delirium of Mr. Fakenham gave me a hint, and I determined forthwith
to GO MAD. There was a poor fellow about Brady's Town called 'Wandering
Billy,' whose insane pranks I had often mimicked as a lad, and I
again put them in practice. That night I made an attempt upon Lischen,
saluting her with a yell and a grin which frightened her almost out of
her wits; and when anybody came I was raving. The blow on the head had
disordered my brain; the doctor was ready to vouch for this fact. One
night I whispered to him that I was Julius Caesar, and considered him
to be my affianced wife Queen Cleopatra, which convinced him of my
insanity. Indeed, if Her Majesty had been like my Aesculapius, she must
have had a carroty beard, such as is rare in Egypt.

A movement on the part of the French speedily caused an advance on our
part. The town was evacuated, except by a few Prussian troops, whose
surgeons were to visit the wounded in the place; and, when we were well,
we were to be drafted to our regiments. I determined that I never would
join mine again. My intention was to make for Holland, almost the only
neutral country of Europe in those times, and thence to get a passage
somehow to England, and home to dear old Brady's Town.

If Mr. Fakenham is now alive, I here tender him my apologies for my
conduct to him. He was very rich; he used me very ill. I managed to
frighten away his servant who came to attend him after the affair of
Warburg, and from that time would sometimes condescend to wait upon the
patient, who always treated me with scorn; but it was my object to
have him alone, and I bore his brutality with the utmost civility and
mildness, meditating in my own mind a very pretty return for all his
favours to me. Nor was I the only person in the house to whom the worthy
gentleman was uncivil. He ordered the fair Lischen hither and thither,
made impertinent love to her, abused her soups, quarrelled with her
omelettes, and grudged the money which was laid out for his maintenance;
so that our hostess detested him as much as, I think, without vanity,
she regarded me.

For, if the truth must be told, I had made very deep love to her during
my stay under her roof; as is always my way with women, of whatever
age or degree of beauty. To a man who has to make his way in the world,
these dear girls can always be useful in one fashion or another; never
mind, if they repel your passion; at any rate, they are not offended
with your declaration of it, and only look upon you with more favourable
eyes in consequence of your misfortune. As for Lischen, I told her such
a pathetic story of my life (a tale a great deal more romantic than that
here narrated,--for I did not restrict myself to the exact truth in that
history, as in these pages I am bound to do), that I won the poor girl's
heart entirely, and, besides, made considerable progress in the
German language under her instruction. Do not think me very cruel and
heartless, ladies; this heart of Lischen's was like many a town in the
neighbourhood in which she dwelt, and had been stormed and occupied
several times before I came to invest it; now mounting French colours,
now green and yellow Saxon, now black and white Prussian, as the case
may be. A lady who sets her heart upon a lad in uniform must prepare to
change lovers pretty quickly, or her life will be but a sad one.

The German surgeon who attended us after the departure of the English
only condescended to pay our house a visit twice during my residence;
and I took care, for a reason I had, to receive him in a darkened room,
much to the annoyance of Mr. Fakenham, who lay there: but I said the
light affected my eyes dreadfully since my blow on the head; and so I
covered up my head with clothes when the doctor came, and told him that
I was an Egyptian mummy, or talked to him some insane nonsense, in order
to keep up my character.

'What is that nonsense you were talking about an Egyptian mummy,
fellow?' asked Mr. Fakenham peevishly.

'Oh! you'll know soon, sir,' said I.

The next time that I expected the doctor to come, instead of receiving
him in a darkened room, with handkerchiefs muffled, I took care to be
in the lower room, and was having a game at cards with Lischen as the
surgeon entered. I had taken possession of a dressing-jacket of the
lieutenant's, and some other articles of his wardrobe, which fitted me
pretty well; and, I flatter myself, was no ungentlemanlike figure.

'Good-morrow, Corporal,' said the doctor, rather gruffly, in reply to my
smiling salute.

'Corporal! Lieutenant, if you please,' answered I, giving an arch look
at Lischen, whom I had instructed in my plot.

'How lieutenant?' asked the surgeon. 'I thought the lieutenant was'--

'Upon my word, you do me great honour,' cried I, laughing; 'you mistook
me for the mad corporal upstairs. The fellow has once or twice pretended
to be an officer, but my kind hostess here can answer which is which.'

'Yesterday he fancied he was Prince Ferdinand,' said Lischen; 'the day
you came he said he was an Egyptian mummy.'

'So he did,' said the doctor; 'I remember; but, ha! ha! do you know,
Lieutenant, I have in my notes made a mistake in you two?'

'Don't talk to me about his malady; he is calm now.'

Lischen and I laughed at this error as at the most ridiculous thing
in the world; and when the surgeon went up to examine his patient, I
cautioned him not to talk to him about the subject of his malady, for he
was in a very excited state.

The reader will be able to gather from the above conversation what my
design really was. I was determined to escape, and to escape under the
character of Lieutenant Fakenham; taking it from him to his face, as
it were, and making use of it to meet my imperious necessity. It
was forgery and robbery, if you like; for I took all his money and
clothes,--I don't care to conceal it; but the need was so urgent, that
I would do so again: and I knew I could not effect my escape without his
purse, as well as his name. Hence it became my duty to take possession
of one and the other.

As the lieutenant lay still in bed upstairs, I did not hesitate at
all about assuming his uniform, especially after taking care to inform
myself from the doctor whether any men of ours who might know me were in
the town. But there were none that I could hear of; and so I calmly took
my walks with Madame Lischen, dressed in the lieutenant's uniform, made
inquiries as to a horse that I wanted to purchase, reported myself to
the commandant of the place as Lieutenant Fakenham, of Gale's English
regiment of foot, convalescent, and was asked to dine with the officers
of the Prussian regiment at a very sorry mess they had. How Fakenham
would have stormed and raged, had he known the use I was making of his
name!

Whenever that worthy used to inquire about his clothes, which he did
with many oaths and curses that he would have me caned at the regiment
for inattention, I, with a most respectful air, informed him that they
were put away in perfect safety below; and, in fact, had them very
neatly packed, and ready for the day when I proposed to depart. His
papers and money, however, he kept under his pillow; and, as I had
purchased a horse, it became necessary to pay for it.

At a certain hour, then, I ordered the animal to be brought round, when
I would pay the dealer for him. (I shall pass over my adieux with my
kind hostess, which were very tearful indeed). And then, making up my
mind to the great action, walked upstairs to Fakenham's room attired in
his full regimentals, and with his hat cocked over my left eye.

'You gWeat scoundWel!' said he, with a multiplicity of oaths; 'you
mutinous dog! what do you mean by dWessing yourself in my Wegimentals?
As sure as my name's Fakenham, when we get back to the Wegiment, I'll
have your soul cut out of your body.'

'I'm promoted, Lieutenant,' said I, with a sneer. 'I'm come to take my
leave of you;' and then going up to his bed, I said, 'I intend to have
your papers and purse.' With this I put my hand under his pillow; at
which he gave a scream that might have called the whole garrison about
my ears. 'Hark ye, sir!' said I, 'no more noise, or you are a dead
man!' and taking a handkerchief, I bound it tight around his mouth so
as well-nigh to throttle him, and, pulling forward the sleeves of his
shirt, tied them in a knot together, and so left him; removing the
papers and the purse, you may be sure, and wishing him politely a good
day.

'It is the mad corporal,' said I to the people down below who were
attracted by the noise from the sick man's chamber; and so taking leave
of the old blind Jagdmeister, and an adieu (I will not say how tender)
of his daughter, I mounted my newly purchased animal; and, as I pranced
away, and the sentinels presented arms to me at the town-gates, felt
once more that I was in my proper sphere, and determined never again to
fall from the rank of a gentleman.

I took at first the way towards Bremen, where our army was, and gave out
that I was bringing reports and letters from the Prussian commandant
of Warburg to headquarters; but, as soon as I got out of sight of the
advanced sentinels, I turned bridle and rode into the Hesse-Cassel
territory, which is luckily not very far from Warburg: and I promise you
I was very glad to see the blue-and-red stripes on the barriers, which
showed me that I was out of the land occupied by our countrymen. I rode
to Hof, and the next day to Cassel, giving out that I was the bearer of
despatches to Prince Henry, then on the Lower Rhine, and put up at the
best hotel of the place, where the field-officers of the garrison had
their ordinary. These gentlemen I treated to the best wines that the
house afforded, for I was determined to keep up the character of the
English gentleman, and I talked to them about my English estates with a
fluency that almost made me believe in the stories which I invented. I
was even asked to an assembly at Wilhelmshohe, the Elector's palace, and
danced a minuet there with the Hofmarshal's lovely daughter, and lost a
few pieces to his excellency the first huntmaster of his Highness.

At our table at the inn there was a Prussian officer who treated me with
great civility, and asked me a thousand questions about England; which
I answered as best I might. But this best, I am bound to say, was bad
enough. I knew nothing about England, and the Court, and the noble
families there; but, led away by the vaingloriousness of youth (and a
propensity which I possessed in my early days, but of which I have long
since corrected myself, to boast and talk in a manner not altogether
consonant with truth), I invented a thousand stories which I told him;
described the King and the Ministers to him, said the British Ambassador
at Berlin was my uncle, and promised my acquaintance a letter of
recommendation to him. When the officer asked me my uncle's name, I was
not able to give him the real name, and so said his name was O'Grady: it
is as good a name as any other, and those of Kilballyowen, county
Cork, are as good a family as any in the world, as I have heard. As for
stories about my regiment, of these, of course, I had no lack. I wish my
other histories had been equally authentic.

On the morning I left Cassel, my Prussian friend came to me with an open
smiling countenance, and said he, too, was bound for Dusseldorf, whither
I said my route lay; and so laying our horses' heads together we jogged
on. The country was desolate beyond description. The prince in whose
dominions we were was known to be the most ruthless seller of men in
Germany. He would sell to any bidder, and during the five years which
the war (afterwards called the Seven Years' War) had now lasted, had
so exhausted the males of his principality, that the fields remained
untilled: even the children of twelve years old were driven off to the
war, and I saw herds of these wretches marching forwards, attended by
a few troopers, now under the guidance of a red-coated Hanovarian
sergeant, now with a Prussian sub-officer accompanying them; with some
of whom my companion exchanged signs of recognition.

'It hurts my feelings,' said he, 'to be obliged to commune with such
wretches; but the stern necessities of war demand men continually, and
hence these recruiters whom you see market in human flesh. They get
five-and-twenty dollars from our Government for every man they bring
in. For fine men--for men like you,' he added, laughing, 'we would go as
high as a hundred. In the old King's time we would have given a thousand
for you, when he had his giant regiment that our present monarch
disbanded.'

'I knew one of them,' said I, 'who served with you: we used to call him
Morgan Prussia.'

'Indeed; and who was this Morgan Prussia?'

'Why, a huge grenadier of ours, who was somehow snapped up in Hanover by
some of your recruiters.'

'The rascals!' said my friend: 'and did they dare take an Englishman?'

''Faith this was an Irishman, and a great deal too sharp for them;
as you shall hear. Morgan was taken, then, and drafted into the giant
guard, and was the biggest man almost among all the giants there. Many
of these monsters used to complain of their life, and their caning, and
their long drills, and their small pay; but Morgan was not one of the
grumblers. "It's a deal better," said he, "to get fat here in Berlin,
than to starve in rags in Tipperary!"'

'Where is Tipperary?' asked my companion.

'That is exactly what Morgan's friends asked him. It is a beautiful
district in Ireland, the capital of which is the magnificent city of
Clonmel: a city, let me tell you, sir, only inferior to Dublin and
London, and far more sumptuous than any on the Continent. Well, Morgan
said that his birthplace was near that city, and the only thing which
caused him unhappiness, in his present situation, was the thought that
his brothers were still starving at home, when they might be so much
better off in His Majesty's service.

'"'Faith," says Morgan to the sergeant, to whom he imparted the
information, "it's my brother Bin that would make the fine sergeant of
the guards, entirely!"

'"Is Ben as tall as you are?" asked the sergeant.

'"As tall as ME, is it? Why, man, I'm the shortest of my family! There's
six more of us, but Bin's the biggest of all. Oh! out and out the
biggest. Seven feet in his stockin-FUT, as sure as my name's Morgan!"

'"Can't we send and fetch them over, these brothers of yours?"

'"Not you. Ever since I was seduced by one of you gentlemen of the cane,
they've a mortal aversion to all sergeants," answered Morgan: "but
it's a pity they cannot come, too. What a monster Bin would be in a
grenadier's cap!"

'He said nothing more at the time regarding his brothers, but only
sighed as if lamenting their hard fate. However, the story was told by
the sergeant to the officers, and by the officers to the King himself;
and His Majesty was so inflamed by curiosity, that he actually consented
to let Morgan go home in order to bring back with him his seven enormous
brothers.'

'And were they as big as Morgan pretended?' asked my comrade. I could
not help laughing at his simplicity.

'Do you suppose,' cried I, 'that Morgan ever came back? No, no; once
free, he was too wise for that. He has bought a snug farm in Tipperary
with the money that was given him to secure his brothers; and I fancy
few men of the guards ever profited so much by it.'

The Prussian captain laughed exceedingly at this story, said that the
English were the cleverest nation in the world, and, on my setting him
right, agreed that the Irish were even more so. We rode on very well
pleased with each other; for he had a thousand stories of the war to
tell, of the skill and gallantry of Frederick, and the thousand escapes,
and victories, and defeats scarcely less glorious than victories,
through which the King had passed. Now that I was a gentleman, I could
listen with admiration to these tales: and yet the sentiment recorded
at the end of the last chapter was uppermost in my mind but three weeks
back, when I remembered that it was the great general got the glory, and
the poor soldier only insult and the cane.

'By the way, to whom are you taking despatches?' asked the officer.

It was another ugly question, which I determined to answer at
hap-hazard; and so I said 'To General Rolls.' I had seen the general
a year before, and gave the first name in my head. My friend was quite
satisfied with it, and we continued our ride until evening came on; and
our horses being weary, it was agreed that we should come to a halt.

'There is a very good inn,' said the Captain, as we rode up to what
appeared to me a very lonely-looking place.

'This may be a very good inn for Germany,' said I, 'but it would not
pass in old Ireland. Corbach is only a league off: let us push on for
Corbach.'

'Do you want to see the loveliest woman in Europe?' said the officer.
'Ah! you sly rogue, I see THAT will influence you;' and, truth to say,
such a proposal WAS always welcome to me, as I don't care to own. 'The
people are great farmers,' said the Captain, 'as well as innkeepers;'
and, indeed, the place seemed more a farm than an inn yard. We entered
by a great gate into a Court walled round, and at one end of which was
the building, a dingy ruinous place. A couple of covered waggens were in
the court, their horses were littered under a shed hard by, and lounging
about the place were some men and a pair of sergeants in the Prussian
uniform, who both touched their hats to my friend the Captain. This
customary formality struck me as nothing extraordinary, but the aspect
of the inn had something exceedingly chilling and forbidding in it,
and I observed the men shut to the great yard-gates as soon as we were
entered. Parties of French horsemen, the Captain said, were about
the country, and one could not take too many precautions against such
villains.

We went into supper, after the two sergeants had taken charge of our
horses; the Captain, also, ordering one of them to take my valise to my
bedroom. I promised the worthy fellow a glass of schnapps for his pains.

A dish of fried eggs-and-bacon was ordered from a hideous old wench that
came to serve us, in place of the lovely creature I had expected to see;
and the Captain, laughing, said, 'Well, our meal is a frugal one, but a
soldier has many a time a worse:' and, taking off his hat, sword-belt,
and gloves, with great ceremony, he sat down to eat. I would not be
behindhand with him in politeness, and put my weapon securely on the old
chest of drawers where his was laid.

The hideous old woman before mentioned brought us in a pot of very sour
wine, at which and at her ugliness I felt a considerable ill-humour.

'Where's the beauty you promised me?' said I, as soon as the old hag had
left the room.

'Bah!' said he, laughing, and looking hard at me: 'it was my joke. I was
tired, and did not care to go farther. There's no prettier woman here
than that. If she won't suit your fancy, my friend, you must wait a
while.'

This increased my ill-humour.

'Upon my word, sir,' said I sternly, 'I think you have acted very
coolly!'

'I have acted as I think fit!' replied the captain.

'Sir,' said I, 'I'm a British officer!'

'It's a lie!' roared the other, 'you're a DESERTER! You're an impostor,
sir; I have known you for such these three hours. I suspected you
yesterday. My men heard of a man escaping from Warburg, and I thought
you were the man. Your lies and folly have confirmed me. You pretend to
carry despatches to a general who has been dead these ten months: you
have an uncle who is an ambassador, and whose name forsooth you don't
know. Will you join and take the bounty, sir; or will you be given up?'

'Neither!' said I, springing at him like a tiger. But, agile as I was,
he was equally on his guard. He took two pistols out of his pocket,
fired one off, and said, from the other end of the table where he stood
dodging me, as it were,--

'Advance a step, and I send this bullet into your brains!' In another
minute the door was flung open, and the two sergeants entered, armed
with musket and bayonet to aid their comrade.

The game was up. I flung down a knife with which I had armed myself; for
the old hag on bringing in the wine had removed my sword.

'I volunteer,' said I.

'That's my good fellow. What name shall I put on my list?'

'Write Redmond Barry of Bally Barry,' said I haughtily; 'a descendant of
the Irish kings!'

'I was once with the Irish brigade, Roche's,' said the recruiter,
sneering, 'trying if I could get any likely fellows among the few
countrymen of yours that are in the brigade, and there was scarcely one
of them that was not descended from the kings of Ireland.'

'Sir,' said I, 'king or not, I am a gentleman, as you can see.'

'Oh! you will find plenty more in our corps,' answered the Captain,
still in the sneering mood. 'Give up your papers, Mr. Gentleman, and let
us see who you really are.'

As my pocket-book contained some bank-notes as well as papers of Mr.
Fakenham's, I was not willing to give up my property; suspecting very
rightly that it was but a scheme on the part of the Captain to get and
keep it.

'It can matter very little to you,' said I, 'what my private papers are:
I am enlisted under the name of Redmond Barry.'

'Give it up, sirrah!' said the Captain, seizing his cane.

'I will not give it up!' answered I.

'HOUND! do you mutiny?' screamed he, and, at the same time, gave me a
lash across the face with the cane, which had the anticipated effect
of producing a struggle. I dashed forward to grapple with him, the two
sergeants flung themselves on me, I was thrown to the ground and
stunned again; being hit on my former wound in the head. It was bleeding
severely when I came to myself, my laced coat was already torn off my
back, my purse and papers gone, and my hands tied behind my back.

The great and illustrious Frederick had scores of these white
slave-dealers all round the frontiers of his kingdom, debauching troops
or kidnapping peasants, and hesitating at no crime to supply those
brilliant regiments of his with food for powder; and I cannot help
telling here, with some satisfaction, the fate which ultimately befell
the atrocious scoundrel who, violating all the rights of friendship and
good-fellowship, had just succeeded in entrapping me. This individual
was a person of high family and known talents and courage, but who had
a propensity to gambling and extravagance, and found his calling as a
recruit-decoy far more profitable to him than his pay of second captain
in the line. The sovereign, too, probably found his services more useful
in the former capacity. His name was Monsieur de Galgenstein, and he was
one of the most successful of the practisers of his rascally trade. He
spoke all languages, and knew all countries, and hence had no difficulty
in finding out the simple braggadocio of a young lad like me.

About 1765, however, he came to his justly merited end. He was at this
time living at Kehl, opposite Strasburg, and used to take his walk upon
the bridge there, and get into conversation with the French advanced
sentinels; to whom he was in the habit of promising 'mountains and
marvels,' as the French say, if they would take service in Prussia.
One day there was on the bridge a superb grenadier, whom Galgenstein
accosted, and to whom he promised a company, at least, if he would
enlist under Frederick.

'Ask my comrade yonder,' said the grenadier; 'I can do nothing without
him. We were born and bred together, we are of the same company, sleep
in the same room, and always go in pairs. If he will go and you will
give him a captaincy, I will go too.'

'Bring your comrade over to Kehl,' said Galgenstein, delighted. 'I will
give you the best of dinners, and can promise to satisfy both of you.'

'Had you not better speak to him on the bridge?' said the grenadier.
'I dare not leave my post; but you have but to pass, and talk over the
matter.'

Galgenstein, after a little parley, passed the sentinel; but presently a
panic took him, and he retraced his steps. But the grenadier brought
his bayonet to the Prussian's breast and bade him stand: that he was his
prisoner.

The Prussian, however, seeing his danger, made a bound across the bridge
and into the Rhine; whither, flinging aside his musket, the intrepid
sentry followed him. The Frenchman was the better swimmer of the two,
seized upon the recruiter, and bore him to the Strasburg side of the
stream, where he gave him up.

'You deserve to be shot,' said the general to him, 'for abandoning your
post and arms; but you merit reward for an act of courage and daring.
The King prefers to reward you,' and the man received money and
promotion.

As for Galgenstein, he declared his quality as a nobleman and a captain
in the Prussian service, and applications were made to Berlin to know if
his representations were true. But the King, though he employed men of
this stamp (officers to seduce the subjects of his allies) could not
acknowledge his own shame. Letters were written back from Berlin to
say that such a family existed in the kingdom, but that the person
representing himself to belong to it must be an impostor, for
every officer of the name was at his regiment and his post. It was
Galgenstein's death-warrant, and he was hanged as a spy in Strasburg.

 'Turn him into the cart with the rest,' said he, as soon as I awoke
from my trance.



CHAPTER VI. THE CRIMP WAGGON--MILITARY EPISODES

The covered waggon to which I was ordered to march was standing, as I
have said, in the courtyard of the farm, with another dismal vehicle
of the same kind hard by it. Each was pretty well filled with a crew of
men, whom the atrocious crimp who had seized upon me, had enlisted under
the banners of the glorious Frederick; and I could see by the lanterns
of the sentinels, as they thrust me into the straw, a dozen dark figures
huddled together in the horrible moving prison where I was now to be
confined. A scream and a curse from my opposite neighbour showed me that
he was most likely wounded, as I myself was; and, during the whole of
the wretched night, the moans and sobs of the poor fellows in similar
captivity kept up a continual painful chorus, which effectually
prevented my getting any relief from my ills in sleep. At midnight
(as far as I could judge) the horses were put to the waggons, and the
creaking lumbering machines were put in motion. A couple of soldiers,
strongly armed, sat on the outer bench of the cart, and their grim faces
peered in with their lanterns every now and then through the canvas
curtains, that they might count the number of their prisoners. The
brutes were half-drunk, and were singing love and war songs, such as 'O
Gretchen mein Taubchen, mein Herzenstrompet, Mein Kanon, mein Heerpauk
und meine Musket,' 'Prinz Eugen der edle Ritter.' and the like; their
wild whoops and jodels making doleful discord with the groans of us
captives within the waggons. Many a time afterwards have I heard these
ditties sung on the march, or in the barrack-room, or round the fires as
we lay out at night.

I was not near so unhappy, in spite of all, as I had been on my first
enlisting in Ireland. At least, thought I, if I am degraded to be a
private soldier there will be no one of my acquaintance who will witness
my shame; and that is the point which I have always cared for most.
There will be no one to say, 'There is young Redmond Barry, the
descendant or the Barrys, the fashionable young blood of Dublin,
pipeclaying his belt and carrying his brown Bess.' Indeed, but for
that opinion of the world, with which it is necessary that every man of
spirit should keep upon equal terms, I, for my part, would have always
been contented with the humblest portion. Now here, to all intents
and purposes, one was as far removed from the world as in the wilds
of Siberia, or in Robinson Crusoe's Island. And I reasoned with myself
thus:--'Now you are caught, there is no use in repining: make the best
of your situation, and get all the pleasure you can out of it. There
are a thousand opportunities of plunder, &c., offered to the soldier in
war-time, out of which he can get both pleasure and profit: make use of
these, and be happy. Besides, you are extraordinarily brave, handsome,
and clever: and who knows but you may procure advancement in your new
service?'

In this philosophical way I looked at my misfortunes, determining not
to be cast down by them; and bore woes and my broken head with perfect
magnanimity. The latter was, for the moment, an evil against which it
required no small powers of endurance to contend; for the jolts of the
waggon were dreadful, and every shake caused a throb in my brain which I
thought would have split my skull. As the morning dawned, I saw that the
man next me, a gaunt yellow-haired creature, in black, had a cushion of
straw under his head.

'Are you wounded, comrade?' said I.

'Praised be the Lord,' said he, 'I am sore hurt in spirit and body,
and bruised in many members; wounded, however, am I not. And you, poor
youth?'

'I am wounded in the head,' said I, 'and I want your pillow: give
it me--I've a clasp-knife in my pocket!' and with this I gave him a
terrible look, meaning to say (and mean it I did, for look you, A LA
GUERRE C'EST A LA GUERRE, and I am none of your milksops) that, unless
he yielded me the accommodation, I would give him a taste of my steel.

'I would give it thee without any threat, friend,' said the
yellow-haired man meekly, and handed me over his little sack of straw.

He then leaned himself back as comfortably as he could against the
cart, and began repeating, 'Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott,' by which I
concluded that I had got into the company of a parson. With the jolts of
the waggon, and accidents of the journey, various more exclamations and
movements of the passengers showed what a motley company we were. Every
now and then a countryman would burst into tears; a French voice would
be heard to say, 'O mon Dieu!--mon Dieu!' a couple more of the same
nation were jabbering oaths and chattering incessantly; and a certain
allusion to his own and everybody else's eyes, which came from a
stalwart figure at the far corner, told me that there was certainly an
Englishman in our crew.

But I was spared soon the tedium and discomforts of the journey. In
spite of the clergyman's cushion, my head, which was throbbing with
pain, was brought abruptly in contact with the side of the waggon; it
began to bleed afresh: I became almost light-headed. I only recollect
having a draught of water here and there; once stopping at a fortified
town, where an officer counted us:--all the rest of the journey was
passed in a drowsy stupor, from which, when I awoke, I found myself
lying in a hospital bed, with a nun in a white hood watching over me.

'They are in sad spiritual darkness,' said a voice from the bed next to
me, when the nun had finished her kind offices and retired: 'they are
in the night of error, and yet there is the light of faith in those poor
creatures.'

It was my comrade of the crimp waggon, his huge broad face looming out
from under a white nightcap, and ensconced in the bed beside.

'What! you there, Herr Pastor?' said I.

'Only a candidate, sir,' answered the white nightcap. 'But, praised be
Heaven! you have come to. You have had a wild time of it. You have been
talking in the English language (with which I am acquainted) of Ireland,
and a young lady, and Mick, and of another young lady, and of a house on
fire, and of the British Grenadiers, concerning whom you sung us parts
of a ballad, and of a number of other matters appertaining, no doubt, to
your personal history.'

'It has been a very strange one,' said I; 'and, perhaps, there is no man
in the world, of my birth, whose misfortunes can at all be compared to
mine.'

I do not object to own that I am disposed to brag of my birth and
other acquirements; for I have always found that if a man does not give
himself a good word, his friends will not do it for him.

'Well,' said my fellow-patient, 'I have no doubt yours is a strange
tale, and shall be glad to hear it anon; but at present you must not
be permitted to speak much, for your fever has been long, and your
exhaustion great.'

'Where are we?' I asked; and the candidate informed me that we were in
the bishopric and town of Fulda, at present occupied by Prince Henry's
troops. There had been a skirmish with an out-party of French near the
town, in which a shot entering the waggon, the poor candidate had been
wounded.

As the reader knows already my history, I will not take the trouble
to repeat it here, or to give the additions with which I favoured
my comrade in misfortune. But I confess that I told him ours was the
greatest family and finest palace in Ireland, that we were enormously
wealthy, related to all the peerage descended from the ancient kings,
&c.; and, to my surprise, in the course of our conversation, I found
that my interlocutor knew a great deal more about Ireland than I did.
When, for instance, I spoke of my descent,--

'From which race of kings?' said he.

'Oh!' said I (for my memory for dates was never very accurate), 'from
the old ancient kings of all.'

'What! can you trace your origin to the sons Japhet?' said he.

''Faith, I can,' answered I, 'and farther too,--Nebuchadnezzar, if you
like.'

'I see,' said the candidate, smiling, 'that you look upon those legends
with incredulity. These Partholans and Nemedians, of whom your writers
fondly make mention, cannot be authentically vouched for in history. Nor
do I believe that we have any more foundation for the tales concerning
them, than for the legends relative to Joseph of Arimathea and King
Bruce which prevailed two centuries back in the sister island.

And then he began a discourse about the Phoenicians, the Scyths or
Goths, the Tuath de Danans, Tacitus, and King MacNeil; which was, to say
the truth, the very first news I had heard of those personages. As for
English, he spoke it as well as I, and had seven more languages, he
said, equally at his command; for, on my quoting the only Latin line
that I knew, that out of the poet Homer, which says,--

   'As in praesenti perfectum fumat in avi,'

he began to speak to me in the Roman tongue; on which I was fain to tell
him that we pronounced it in a different way in Ireland, and so got off
the conversation.

My honest friend's history was a curious one, and it may be told here in
order to show of what motley materials our levies were composed:--

'I am,' said he, 'a Saxon by birth, my father being pastor of the
village of Pfannkuchen, where I imbibed the first rudiments of
knowledge. At sixteen (I am now twenty-three), having mastered the Greek
and Latin tongues, with the French, English, Arabic, and Hebrew; and
having come into possession of a legacy of a hundred rixdalers, a sum
amply sufficient to defray my University courses, I went to the famous
academy of Gottingen, where I devoted four years to the exact sciences
and theology. Also, I learned what worldly accomplishments I could
command; taking a dancing-tutor at the expense of a groschen a lesson, a
course of fencing from a French practitioner, and attending lectures
on the great horse and the equestrian science at the hippodrome of a
celebrated cavalry professor. My opinion is, that a man should know
everything as far as in his power lies: that he should complete his
cycle of experience; and, one science being as necessary as another, it
behoves him.

'I am not of a saving turn, hence my little fortune of a hundred
rixdalers, which has served to keep many a prudent man for a score of
years, barely sufficed for five years' studies; after which my studies
were interrupted, my pupils fell off, and I was obliged to devote much
time to shoe-binding in order to save money, and, at a future
period, resume my academic course. During this period I contracted an
attachment' (here the candidate sighed a little) 'with a person,
who, though not beautiful, and forty years of age, is yet likely to
sympathise with my existence; and, a month since, my kind friend and
patron, University Prorector Doctor Nasenbrumm, having informed me that
the Pfarrer of Rumpelwitz was dead, asked whether I would like to have
my name placed upon the candidate list, and if I were minded to preach a
trial sermon? As the gaining of this living would further my union with
my Amalia, I joyously consented, and prepared a discourse.

'If you like I will recite it to you--No?--Well, I will give you
extracts from it upon our line of march. To proceed, then, with my
biographical sketch, which is now very near a conclusion; or, as I
should more correctly say, which has very nearly brought me to the
present period of time: I preached that sermon at Rumpelwitz, in which I
hope that the Babylonian question was pretty satisfactorily set at
rest. I preached it before the Herr Baron and his noble family, and some
officers of distinction who were staying at his castle. Mr. Doctor Moser
of Halle followed me in the evening discourse; but, though his exercise
was learned, and he disposed of a passage of Ignatius, which he proved
to be a manifest interpolation, I do not think his sermon had the effect
which mine produced, and that the Rumpelwitzers much relished it. After
the sermon, all the candidates walked out of church together, and supped
lovingly at the "Blue Stag" in Rumpelwitz.

'While so occupied, a waiter came in and said that a person without
wished to speak to one of the reverend candidates, "the tall one." This
could only mean me, for I was a head and shoulders higher than any
other reverend gentleman present. I issued out to see who was the
person desiring to hold converse with me, and found a man whom I had no
difficulty in recognising as one of the Jewish persuasion.

'"Sir," said this Hebrew, "I have heard from a friend, who was in your
church to-day, the heads of the admirable discourse you pronounced
there. It has affected me deeply, most deeply. There are only one or
two points on which I am yet in doubt, and if your honour could but
condescend to enlighten me on these, I think--I think Solomon Hirsch
would be a convert to your eloquence."

'"What are these points, my good friend?" said I; and I pointed out to
him the twenty-four heads of my sermon, asking him in which of these his
doubts lay.

'We had been walking up and down before the inn while our conversation
took place, but the windows being open, and my comrades having heard the
discourse in the morning, requested me, rather peevishly, not to resume
it at that period. I, therefore, moved on with my disciple, and, at his
request, began at once the sermon; for my memory is good for anything,
and I can repeat any book I have read thrice.

'I poured out, then, under the trees, and in the calm moonlight, that
discourse which I had pronounced under the blazing sun of noon. My
Israelite only interrupted me by exclamations indicative of surprise,
assent, admiration, and increasing conviction. "Prodigious!" said
he;--"Wunderschon!" would he remark at the conclusion of some eloquent
passage; in a word, he exhausted the complimentary interjections of our
language: and to compliments what man is averse? I think we must have
walked two miles when I got to my third head and my companion begged I
would enter his house, which we now neared, and partake of a glass of
beer; to which I was never averse.

'That house, sir, was the inn at which you, too, if I judge aright, were
taken. No sooner was I in the place, than three crimps rushed upon me,
told me I was a deserter, and their prisoner, and called upon me to
deliver up my money and papers; which I did with a solemn protest as
to my sacred character. They consisted of my sermon in MS., Prorector
Nasenbrumm's recommendatory letter, proving my identity, and three
groschen four pfennigs in bullion. I had already been in the cart twenty
hours when you reached the house. The French officer, who lay opposite
you (he who screamed when you trod on his foot, for he was wounded),
was brought in shortly before your arrival. He had been taken with his
epaulets and regimentals, and declared his quality and rank; but he was
alone (I believe it was some affair of love with a Hessian lady which
caused him to be unattended); and as the persons into whose hands he
fell will make more profit of him as a recruit than as a prisoner, he is
made to share our fate. He is not the first by many scores so captured.
One of M. de Soubise's cooks, and three actors out of a troop in the
French camp, several deserters from your English troops (the men are led
away by being told that there is no flogging in the Prussian service),
and three Dutchmen were taken besides.'

'And you,' said I--'you who were just on the point of getting a valuable
living,--you who have so much learning, are you not indignant at the
outrage?'

'I am a Saxon,' said the candidate, 'and there is no use in indignation.
Our government is crushed under Frederick's heel these five years, and
I might as well hope for mercy from the Grand Mogul. Nor am I, in truth,
discontented with my lot; I have lived on a penny bread for so many
years, that a soldier's rations will be a luxury to me. I do not care
about more or less blows of a cane; all such evils are passing, and
therefore endurable. I will never, God willing, slay a man in combat;
but I am not unanxious to experience on myself the effect of the
war-passion, which has had so great an influence on the human race. It
was for the same reason that I determined to marry Amalia, for a man is
not a complete Mensch until he is the father of a family; to be which
is a condition of his existence, and therefore a duty of his education.
Amalia must wait; she is out of the reach of want, being, indeed, cook
to the Frau Prorectorinn Nasenbrumm, my worthy patron's lady. I have one
or two books with me, which no one is likely to take from me, and one in
my heart which is the best of all. If it shall please Heaven to finish
my existence here, before I can prosecute my studies further, what cause
have I to repine? I pray God I may not be mistaken, but I think I have
wronged no man, and committed no mortal sin. If I have, I know where to
look for forgiveness; and if I die, as I have said, without knowing all
that I would desire to learn, shall I not be in a situation to learn
EVERYTHING, and what can human soul ask for more?

'Pardon me for putting so many _I_'s in my discourse,' said the
candidate, 'but when a man is talking of himself, 'tis the briefest and
simplest way of talking.'

In which, perhaps, though I hate egotism, I think my friend was right.
Although he acknowledged himself to be a mean-spirited fellow, with no
more ambition than to know the contents of a few musty books, I think
the man had some good in him; especially in the resolution with which he
bore his calamities. Many a gallant man of the highest honour is often
not proof against these, and has been known to despair over a bad
dinner, or to be cast down at a ragged-elbowed coat. MY maxim is to bear
all, to put up with water if you cannot get Burgundy, and if you have no
velvet to be content with frieze. But Burgundy and velvet are the best,
bien entendu, and the man is a fool who will not seize the best when the
scramble is open.

The heads of the sermon which my friend the theologian intended to
impart to me, were, however, never told; for, after our coming out
of the hospital, he was drafted into a regiment quartered as far as
possible from his native country, in Pomerania; while I was put into
the Bulow regiment, of which the ordinary headquarters were Berlin. The
Prussian regiments seldom change their garrisons as ours do, for the
fear of desertion is so great, that it becomes necessary to know the
face of every individual in the service; and, in time of peace, men live
and die in the same town. This does not add, as may be imagined, to the
amusements of the soldier's life. It is lest any young gentleman like
myself should take a fancy to a military career, and fancy that of a
private soldier a tolerable one, that I am giving these, I hope, moral
descriptions of what we poor fellows in the ranks really suffered.

As soon as we recovered, we were dismissed from the nuns and the
hospital to the town prison of Fulda, where we were kept like slaves and
criminals, with artillerymen with lighted matches at the doors of the
courtyards and the huge black dormitory where some hundreds of us lay;
until we were despatched to our different destinations. It was soon seen
by the exercise which were the old soldiers amongst us, and which the
recruits; and for the former, while we lay in prison, there was a little
more leisure: though, if possible, a still more strict watch kept than
over the broken-spirited yokels who had been forced or coaxed into the
service. To describe the characters here assembled would require Mr.
Gilray's own pencil. There were men of all nations and callings. The
Englishmen boxed and bullied; the Frenchmen played cards, and danced,
and fenced; the heavy Germans smoked their pipes and drank beer, if they
could manage to purchase it. Those who had anything to risk gambled, and
at this sport I was pretty lucky, for, not having a penny when I entered
the depot (having been robbed of every farthing of my property by the
rascally crimps), I won near a dollar in my very first game at cards
with one of the Frenchmen; who did not think of asking whether I could
pay or not upon losing. Such, at least, is the advantage of having a
gentlemanlike appearance; it has saved me many a time since by procuring
me credit when my fortunes were at their lowest ebb.

Among the Frenchmen there was a splendid man and soldier, whose
real name we never knew, but whose ultimate history created no small
sensation, when it came to be known in the Prussian army. If beauty and
courage are proofs of nobility, as (although I have seen some of the
ugliest dogs and the greatest cowards in the world in the noblesse) I
have no doubt courage and beauty are, this Frenchman must have been of
the highest families in France, so grand and noble was his manner, so
superb his person. He was not quite so tall as myself, fair, while I am
dark, and, if possible, rather broader in the shoulders. He was the only
man I ever met who could master me with the small-sword; with which he
would pink me four times to my three. As for the sabre, I could knock
him to pieces with it; and I could leap farther and carry more than
he could. This, however, is mere egotism. This Frenchman, with whom I
became pretty intimate--for we were the two cocks, as it were, of the
depot, and neither had any feeling of low jealousy--was called, for want
of a better name, Le Blondin, on account of his complexion. He was not a
deserter, but had come in from the Lower Rhine and the bishoprics, as I
fancy; fortune having proved unfavourable to him at play probably, and
other means of existence being denied him. I suspect that the Bastile
was waiting for him in his own country, had he taken a fancy to return
thither.

He was passionately fond of play and liquor, and thus we had a
considerable sympathy together: when excited by one or the other, he
became frightful. I, for my part, can bear, without wincing, both ill
luck and wine; hence my advantage over him was considerable in our
bouts, and I won enough money from him to make my position tenable. He
had a wife outside (who, I take it, was the cause of his misfortunes
and separation from his family), and she used to be admitted to see him
twice or thrice a week, and never came empty-handed---a little brown
bright-eyed creature, whose ogles had made the greatest impression upon
all the world.

This man was drafted into a regiment that was quartered at Neiss in
Silesia, which is only at a short distance from the Austrian frontier;
he maintained always the same character for daring and skill, and was,
in the secret republic of the regiment--which always exists as well
as the regular military hierarchy--the acknowledged leader. He was
an admirable soldier, as I have said; but haughty, dissolute, and a
drunkard. A man of this mark, unless he takes care to coax and flatter
his officers (which I always did), is sure to fall out with them. Le
Blondin's captain was his sworn enemy, and his punishments were frequent
and severe.

His wife and the women of the regiment (this was after the peace) used
to carry on a little commerce of smuggling across the Austrian frontier,
where their dealings were winked at by both parties; and in obedience
to the instructions of her husband, this woman, from every one of her
excursions, would bring in a little powder and ball: commodities which
are not to be procured by the Prussian soldier, and which were stowed
away in secret till wanted. They WERE to be wanted, and that soon.

Le Blondin had organised a great and extraordinary conspiracy. We don't
know how far it went, how many hundreds or thousands it embraced; but
strange were the stories told about the plot amongst us privates: for
the news was spread from garrison to garrison, and talked of by the
army, in spite of all the Government efforts to hush it up--hush it
up, indeed! I have been of the people myself; I have seen the Irish
rebellion, and I know what is the free-masonry of the poor.

He made himself the head of the plot. There were no writings nor papers.
No single one of the conspirators communicated with any other than
the Frenchman; but personally he gave his orders to them all. He had
arranged matters for a general rising of the garrison, at twelve o'clock
on a certain day: the guard-houses in the town were to be seized, the
sentinels cut down, and--who knows the rest? Some of our people used
to say that the conspiracy was spread through all Silesia, and that Le
Blondin was to be made a general in the Austrian service.

At twelve o'clock, and opposite the guard-house by the Bohmer-Thor of
Neiss, some thirty men were lounging about in their undress, and the
Frenchman stood near the sentinel of the guard-house, sharpening a wood
hatchet on a stone. At the stroke of twelve, he got up, split open the
sentinel's head with a blow of his axe, and the thirty men, rushing into
the guard-house, took possession of the arms there, and marched at once
to the gate. The sentry there tried to drop the bar, but the Frenchman
rushed up to him, and, with another blow of the axe, cut off his right
hand, with which he held the chain. Seeing the men rushing out armed,
the guard without the gate drew up across the road to prevent their
passage; but the Frenchman's thirty gave them a volley, charged them
with the bayonet, and brought down several, and the rest flying, the
thirty rushed on. The frontier is only a league from Neiss, and they
made rapidly towards it.

But the alarm was given in the town, and what saved it was that the
clock by which the Frenchman went was a quarter of an hour faster than
any of the clocks in the town. The generale was beat, the troops
called to arms, and thus the men who were to have attacked the other
guard-houses, were obliged to fall into the ranks, and their project
was defeated. This, however, likewise rendered the discovery of the
conspirators impossible, for no man could betray his comrade, nor, of
course, would he criminate himself.

Cavalry was sent in pursuit of the Frenchman and his thirty fugitives,
who were, by this time, far on their way to the Bohemian frontier. When
the horse came up with them, they turned, received them with a volley
and the bayonet, and drove them back. The Austrians were out at the
barriers, looking eagerly on at the conflict. The women, who were on the
look-out too, brought more ammunition to these intrepid deserters, and
they engaged and drove back the dragoons several times. But in these
gallant and fruitless combats much time was lost, and a battalion
presently came up, and surrounded the brave thirty; when the fate of the
poor fellows was decided. They fought with the fury of despair: not one
of them asked for quarter. When their ammunition failed, they fought
with the steel, and were shot down or bayoneted where they stood. The
Frenchman was the very last man who was hit. He received a bullet in the
thigh, and fell, and in this state was overpowered, killing the officer
who first advanced to seize him.

He and the very few of his comrades who survived were carried back
to Neiss, and immediately, as the ringleader, he was brought before a
council of war. He refused all interrogations which were made as to his
real name and family. 'What matters who I am?' said he; 'you have me and
will shoot me. My name would not save me were it ever so famous.' In the
same way he declined to make a single discovery regarding the plot. 'It
was all my doing,' he said; 'each man engaged in it only knew me, and is
ignorant of every one of his comrades. The secret is mine alone, and
the secret shall die with me.' When the officers asked him what was the
reason which induced him to meditate a crime so horrible?--'It was
your infernal brutality and tyranny,' he said. 'You are all butchers,
ruffians, tigers, and you owe it to the cowardice of your men that you
were not murdered long ago.'

At this his captain burst into the most furious exclamations against the
wounded man, and rushing up to him, struck him a blow with his fist. But
Le Blondin, wounded as he was, as quick as thought seized the bayonet of
one of the soldiers who supported him, and plunged it into the officer's
breast. 'Scoundrel and monster,' said he, 'I shall have the consolation
of sending you out of the world before I die.' He was shot that day.
He offered to write to the King, if the officers would agree to let his
letter go sealed into the hands of the postmaster; but they feared, no
doubt, that something might be said to inculpate themselves, and refused
him the permission. At the next review Frederick treated them, it is
said, with great severity, and rebuked them for not having granted the
Frenchman his request. However, it was the King's interest to conceal
the matter, and so it was, as I have said before, hushed up--so well
hushed up, that a hundred thousand soldiers in the army knew it; and
many's the one of us that has drunk to the Frenchman's memory over our
wine, as a martyr for the cause of the soldier. I shall have,
doubtless, some readers who will cry out at this, that I am encouraging
insubordination and advocating murder. If these men had served as
privates in the Prussian army from 1760 to 1765, they would not be
so apt to take objection. This man destroyed two sentinels to get his
liberty; how many hundreds of thousands of his own and the Austrian
people did King Frederick kill because he took a fancy to Silesia? It
was the accursed tyranny of the system that sharpened the axe which
brained the two sentinels of Neiss: and so let officers take warning,
and think twice ere they visit poor fellows with the cane.

I could tell many more stories about the army; but as, from having been
a soldier myself, all my sympathies are in the ranks, no doubt my
tales would be pronounced to be of an immoral tendency, and I had best,
therefore, be brief. Fancy my surprise while in this depot, when one day
a well-known voice saluted my ear, and I heard a meagre young gentleman,
who was brought in by a couple of troopers and received a few cuts
across the shoulders from one of them, say in the best English, 'You
infernal WASCAL, I'll be wevenged for this. I'll WITE to my ambassador,
as sure as my name's Fakenham of Fakenham.' I burst out laughing at
this: it was my old acquaintance in MY corporal's coat. Lischen had
sworn stoutly, that he was really and truly the private, and the poor
fellow had been drafted off, and was to be made one of us. But I bear no
malice, and having made the whole room roar with the story of the way
in which I had tricked the poor lad, I gave him a piece of advice, which
procured him his liberty. 'Go to the inspecting officer,' said I; 'if
they once get you into Prussia it is all over with you, and they will
never give you up. Go now to the commandant of the depot, promise him
a hundred--five hundred guineas to set you free; say that the crimping
captain has your papers and portfolio' (this was true); 'above all, show
him that you have the means of paying him the promised money, and I will
warrant you are set free.' He did as I advised, and when we were put on
the march Mr. Fakenham found means to be allowed to go into hospital,
and while in hospital the matter was arranged as I had recommended.
He had nearly, however, missed his freedom by his own stinginess in
bargaining for it, and never showed the least gratitude towards me his
benefactor.

I am not going to give any romantic narrative of the Seven Years' War.
At the close of it, the Prussian army, so renowned for its disciplined
valour, was officered and under-officered by native Prussians, it is
true; but was composed for the most part of men hired or stolen, like
myself, from almost every nation in Europe. The deserting to and fro
was prodigious. In my regiment (Bulow's) alone before the war, there had
been no less than 600 Frenchmen, and as they marched out of Berlin
for the campaign, one of the fellows had an old fiddle on which he
was flaying a French tune, and his comrades danced almost, rather than
walked, after him, singing, 'Nous allons en France.' Two years after,
when they returned to Berlin, there were only six of these men left; the
rest had fled or were killed in action. The life the private soldier led
was a frightful one to any but men of iron courage and endurance. There
was a corporal to every three men, marching behind them, and pitilessly
using the cane; so much so that it used to be said that in action
there was a front rank of privates and a second rank of sergeants
and corporals to drive them on. Many men would give way to the most
frightful acts of despair under these incessant persecutions and
tortures; and amongst several regiments of the army a horrible practice
had sprung up, which for some time caused the greatest alarm to the
Government. This was a strange frightful custom of CHILD-MURDER. The men
used to say that life was unbearable, that suicide was a crime; in
order to avert which, and to finish with the intolerable misery of their
position, the best plan was to kill a young child, which was innocent,
and therefore secure of heaven, and then to deliver themselves up as
guilty of the murder. The King himself--the hero, sage, and philosopher,
the prince who had always liberality on his lips and who affected a
horror of capital punishments--was frightened at this dreadful protest,
on the part of the wretches whom he had kidnapped, against his monstrous
tyranny; but his only means of remedying the evil was strictly to forbid
that such criminals should be attended by any ecclesiastic whatever, and
denied all religious consolation.

The punishment was incessant. Every officer had the liberty to inflict
it, and in peace it was more cruel than in war. For when peace came
the King turned adrift such of his officers as were not noble; whatever
their services might have been. He would call a captain to the front of
his company and say, 'He is not noble, let him go.' We were afraid of
him somehow, and were cowed before him like wild beasts before their
keeper. I have seen the bravest men of the army cry like children at a
cut of the cane; I have seen a little ensign of fifteen call out a man
of fifty from the ranks, a man who had been in a hundred battles, and
he has stood presenting arms, and sobbing and howling like a baby, while
the young wretch lashed him over the arms and thighs with the stick.
In a day of action this man would dare anything. A button might be awry
THEN and nobody touched him; but when they had made the brute fight,
then they lashed him again into subordination. Almost all of us yielded
to the spell--scarce one could break it. The French officer I have
spoken of as taken along with me, was in my company, and caned like
a dog. I met him at Versailles twenty years afterwards, and he turned
quite pale and sick when I spoke to him of old days. 'For God's sake,'
said he, 'don't talk of that time: I wake up from my sleep trembling and
crying even now.'

As for me, after a very brief time (in which it must be confessed
I tasted, like my comrades, of the cane) and after I had found
opportunities to show myself to be a brave and dexterous soldier, I
took the means I had adopted in the English army to prevent any further
personal degradation. I wore a bullet around my neck, which I did not
take the pains to conceal, and I gave out that it should be for the man
or officer who caused me to be chastised. And there was something in
my character which made my superiors believe me; for that bullet had
already served me to kill an Austrian colonel, and I would have given
it to a Prussian with as little remorse. For what cared I for their
quarrels, or whether the eagle under which I marched had one head or
two? All I said was, 'No man shall find me tripping in my duty; but no
man shall ever lay a hand upon me.' And by this maxim I abided as long
as I remained in the service.

I do not intend to make a history of battles in the Prussian any more
than in the English service. I did my duty in them as well as another,
and by the time that my moustache had grown to a decent length, which
it did when I was twenty years of age, there was not a braver, cleverer,
handsomer, and I must own, wickeder soldier in the Prussian army. I had
formed myself to the condition of the proper fighting beast; on a day of
action I was savage and happy; out of the field I took all the pleasure
I could get, and was by no means delicate as to its quality or the
manner of procuring it. The truth is, however, that there was among our
men a much higher tone of society than among the clumsy louts in the
English army, and our service was generally so strict that we had little
time for doing mischief. I am very dark and swarthy in complexion,
and was called by our fellows the 'Black Englander,' the 'Schwartzer
Englander,' or the English Devil. If any service was to be done, I was
sure to be put upon it. I got frequent gratifications of money, but no
promotion; and it was on the day after I had killed the Austrian colonel
(a great officer of Uhlans, whom I engaged--singly and on foot) that
General Bulow, my colonel, gave me two Frederics-d'or in front of the
regiment, and said, 'I reward thee now; but I fear I shall have to hang
thee one day or other.' I spent the money, and that I had taken from the
colonel's body, every groschen, that night with some jovial companions;
but as long as war lasted was never without a dollar in my purse.



CHAPTER VII. BARRY LEADS A GARRISON LIFE, AND FINDS MANY FRIENDS THERE

After the war our regiment was garrisoned in the capital, the least
dull, perhaps, of all the towns of Prussia: but that does not say much
for its gaiety. Our service, which was always severe, still left many
hours of the day disengaged, in which we might take our pleasure had we
the means of paying for the same. Many of our mess got leave to work
in trades; but I had been brought up to none: and besides, my honour
forbade me; for as a gentleman, I could not soil my fingers by a manual
occupation. But our pay was barely enough to keep us from starving; and
as I have always been fond of pleasure, and as the position in which we
now were, in the midst of the capital, prevented us from resorting to
those means of levying contributions which are always pretty feasible in
wartime, I was obliged to adopt the only means left me of providing
for my expenses: and in a word became the ORDONNANZ, or confidential
military gentleman, of my captain. I spurned the office four years
previously, when it was made to me in the English service; but the
position is very different in a foreign country; besides, to tell the
truth, after five years in the ranks, a man's pride will submit to many
rebuffs which would be intolerable to him in an independent condition.

The captain was a young man and had distinguished himself during the
war, or he would never have been advanced to rank so early. He was,
moreover, the nephew and heir of the Minister of Police, Monsieur de
Potzdorff, a relationship which no doubt aided in the young gentleman's
promotion. Captain de Potzdorff was a severe officer enough on parade or
in barracks, but he was a person easily led by flattery. I won his heart
in the first place by my manner of tying my hair in queue (indeed,
it was more neatly dressed than that of any man in the regiment),
and subsequently gained his confidence by a thousand little arts and
compliments, which as a gentleman myself I knew how to employ. He was a
man of pleasure, which he pursued more openly than most men in the stern
Court of the King; he was generous and careless with his purse, and he
had a great affection for Rhine wine: in all which qualities I sincerely
sympathised with him; and from which I, of course, had my profit. He was
disliked in the regiment, because he was supposed to have too intimate
relations with his uncle the Police Minister; to whom, it was hinted, he
carried the news of the corps.

Before long I had ingratiated myself considerably with my officer,
and knew most of his affairs. Thus I was relieved from many drills and
parades, which would otherwise have fallen to my lot, and came in for a
number of perquisites; which enabled me to support a genteel figure and
to appear with some ECLAT in a certain, though it must be confessed very
humble, society in Berlin. Among the ladies I was always an especial
favourite, and so polished was my behaviour amongst them, that they
could not understand how I should have obtained my frightful nickname of
the Black Devil in the regiment. 'He is not so black as he is painted,'
I laughingly would say; and most of the ladies agreed that the private
was quite as well-bred as the captain: as indeed how should it be
otherwise, considering my education and birth?

When I was sufficiently ingratiated with him, I asked leave to address a
letter to my poor mother in Ireland, to whom I had not given any news of
myself for many many years; for the letters of the foreign soldiers were
never admitted to the post, for fear of appeals or disturbances on the
part of their parents abroad. My captain agreed to find means to forward
the letter, and as I knew that he would open it, I took care to give it
him unsealed; thus showing my confidence in him. But the letter was, as
you may imagine, written so that the writer should come to no harm were
it intercepted. I begged my honoured mother's forgiveness for having
fled from her; I said that my extravagance and folly in my own country
I knew rendered my return thither impossible; but that she would, at
least, be glad to know that I was well and happy in the service of the
greatest monarch in the world, and that the soldier's life was most
agreeable to me: and, I added, that I had found a kind protector and
patron, who I hoped would some day provide for me as I knew it was out
of her power to do. I offered remembrances to all the girls at Castle
Brady, naming them from Biddy to Becky downwards, and signed myself,
as in truth I was, her affectionate son, Redmond Barry, in Captain
Potzdorffs company of the Bulowisch regiment of foot in garrison at
Berlin. Also I told her a pleasant story about the King kicking the
Chancellor and three judges downstairs, as he had done one day when I
was on guard at Potsdam, and said I hoped for another war soon, when I
might rise to be an officer. In fact, you might have imagined my letter
to be that of the happiest fellow in the world, and I was not on this
head at all sorry to mislead my kind parent.

I was sure my letter was read, for Captain Potzdorff began asking me
some days afterwards about my family, and I told him the circumstances
pretty truly, all things considered. I was a cadet of a good family, but
my mother was almost ruined and had barely enough to support her eight
daughters, whom I named. I had been to study for the law at Dublin,
where I had got into debt and bad company, had killed a man in a
duel, and would be hanged or imprisoned by his powerful friends, if I
returned. I had enlisted in the English service, where an opportunity
for escape presented itself to me such as I could not resist; and
hereupon I told the story of Mr. Fakenham of Fakenham in such a way as
made my patron to be convulsed with laughter, and he told me afterwards
that he had repeated the story at Madame de Kamake's evening assembly,
where all the world was anxious to have a sight of the young Englander.

'Was the British Ambassador there?' I asked, in a tone of the greatest
alarm, and added, 'For Heaven's sake, sir, do not tell my name to him,
or he might ask to have me delivered up: and I have no fancy to go to
be hanged in my dear native country.' Potzdorff, laughing, said he would
take care that I should remain where I was, on which I swore eternal
gratitude to him.

Some days afterwards, and with rather a grave face, he said to me,
'Redmond, I have been talking to our colonel about you, and as I
wondered that a fellow of your courage and talents had not been advanced
during the war, the general said they had had their eye upon you: that
you were a gallant soldier, and had evidently come of a good stock; that
no man in the regiment had had less fault found with him; but that no
man merited promotion less. You were idle, dissolute, and unprincipled;
you had done a deal of harm to the men; and, for all your talents and
bravery, he was sure would come to no good.'

'Sir!' said I, quite astonished that any mortal man should have formed
such an opinion of me, 'I hope General Bulow is mistaken regarding my
character. I have fallen into bad company, it is true; but I have only
done as other soldiers have done; and, above all, I have never had a
kind friend and protector before, to whom I might show that I was worthy
of better things. The general may say I am a ruined lad, and send me to
the d---l: but be sure of this, I would go to the d---l to serve YOU.'
This speech I saw pleased my patron very much; and, as I was very
discreet and useful in a thousand delicate ways to him, he soon came to
have a sincere attachment for me. One day, or rather night, when he
was tete-a-tete with the lady of the Tabaks Rath von Dose for instance,
I--But there is no use in telling affairs which concern nobody now.

Four months after my letter to my mother, I got, under cover to the
Captain, a reply, which created in my mind a yearning after home, and
a melancholy which I cannot describe. I had not seen the dear soul's
writing for five years. All the old days, and the fresh happy sunshine
of the old green fields in Ireland, and her love, and my uncle, and Phil
Purcell, and everything that I had done and thought, came back to me
as I read the letter; and when I was alone I cried over it, as I hadn't
done since the day when Nora jilted me. I took care not to show my
feelings to the regiment or my captain: but that night, when I was
to have taken tea at the Garden-house outside Brandenburg Gate, with
Fraulein Lottchen (the Tabaks Rathinn's gentlewoman of company), I
somehow had not the courage to go; but begged to be excused, and went
early to bed in barracks, out of which I went and came now almost as I
willed, and passed a long night weeping and thinking about dear Ireland.

Next day, my spirits rose again and I got a ten-guinea bill cashed,
which my mother sent in the letter, and gave a handsome treat to some of
my acquaintance. The poor soul's letter was blotted all over with tears,
full of texts, and written in the wildest incoherent way. She said
she was delighted to think I was under a Protestant prince, though she
feared he was not in the right way: that right way, she said, she had
the blessing to find, under the guidance of the Reverend Joshua Jowls,
whom she sat under. She said he was a precious chosen vessel; a sweet
ointment and precious box of spikenard; and made use of a great number
more phrases that I could not understand; but one thing was clear in the
midst of all this jargon, that the good soul loved her son still, and
thought and prayed day and night for her wild Redmond. Has it not come
across many a poor fellow, in a solitary night's watch, or in sorrow,
sickness, or captivity, that at that very minute, most likely, his
mother is praying for him? I often have had these thoughts; but they are
none of the gayest, and it's quite as well that they don't come to you
in company; for where would be a set of jolly fellows then?--as mute as
undertakers at a funeral, I promise you. I drank my mother's health that
night in a bumper, and lived like a gentleman whilst the money lasted.
She pinched herself to give it me, as she told me afterwards; and Mr.
Jowls was very wroth with her. Although the good soul's money was very
quickly spent, I was not long in getting more; for I had a hundred ways
of getting it, and became a universal favourite with the Captain and
his friends. Now, it was Madame von Dose who gave me a Frederic-d'or for
bringing her a bouquet or a letter from the Captain; now it was, on
the contrary, the old Privy Councillor who treated me with a bottle of
Rhenish, and slipped into my hand a dollar or two, in order that I might
give him some information regarding the liaison between my captain and
his lady. But though I was not such a fool as not to take his money, you
may be sure I was not dishonourable enough to betray my benefactor; and
he got very little out of ME. When the Captain and the lady fell out,
and he began to pay his addresses to the rich daughter of the Dutch
Minister, I don't know how many more letters and guineas the unfortunate
Tabaks Rathinn handed over to me, that I might get her lover back again.
But such returns are rare in love, and the Captain used only to laugh at
her stale sighs and entreaties. In the house of Mynheer Van Guldensack
I made myself so pleasant to high and low, that I came to be quite
intimate there: and got the knowledge of a state secret or two, which
surprised and pleased my captain very much. These little hints he
carried to his uncle, the Minister of Police, who, no doubt, made
his advantage of them; and thus I began to be received quite in a
confidential light by the Potzdorff family, and became a mere nominal
soldier, being allowed to appear in plain clothes (which were, I warrant
you, of a neat fashion), and to enjoy myself in a hundred ways, which
the poor fellows my comrades envied. As for the sergeants, they were as
civil to me as to an officer: it was as much as their stripes were worth
to offend a person who had the ear of the Minister's nephew. There was
in my company a young fellow by the name of Kurz, who was six feet high
in spite of his name, and whose life I had saved in some affair of
the war. What does this lad do, after I had recounted to him one of my
adventures, but call me a spy and informer, and beg me not to call
him DU any more, as is the fashion with young men when they are very
intimate. I had nothing for it but to call him out; but I owed him no
grudge. I disarmed him in a twinkling; and as I sent his sword flying
over his head, said to him, 'Kurz, did ever you know a man guilty of
a mean action who can do as I do now?' This silenced the rest of the
grumblers; and no man ever sneered at me after that.

No man can suppose that to a person of my fashion the waiting in
antechambers, the conversation of footmen and hangers-on, was pleasant.
But it was not more degrading than the barrack-room, of which I need not
say I was heartily sick. My protestations of liking for the army were
all intended to throw dust into the eyes of my employer. I sighed to be
out of slavery. I knew I was born to make a figure in the world. Had I
been one of the Neiss garrison, I would have cut my way to freedom
by the side of the gallant Frenchman; but here I had only artifice to
enable me to attain my end, and was not I justified in employing it? My
plan was this: I may make myself so necessary to M. de Potzdorff, that
he will obtain my freedom. Once free, with my fine person and good
family, I will do what ten thousand Irish gentlemen have done before,
and will marry a lady of fortune and condition. And the proof that I
was, if not disinterested, at least actuated by a noble ambition, is
this. There was a fat grocer's widow in Berlin with six hundred thalers
of rent, and a good business, who gave me to understand that she would
purchase my discharge if I would marry her; but I frankly told her that
I was not made to be a grocer, and thus absolutely flung away a chance
of freedom which she offered me.

And I was grateful to my employers; more grateful than they to me. The
Captain was in debt, and had dealings with the Jews, to whom he gave
notes of hand payable on his uncle's death. The old Herr von Potzdorff,
seeing the confidence his nephew had in me, offered to bribe me to know
what the young man's affairs really were. But what did I do? I informed
Monsieur George von Potzdorff of the fact; and we made out, in concert,
a list of little debts, so moderate, that they actually appeased the old
uncle instead of irritating, and he paid them, being glad to get off so
cheap.

And a pretty return I got for this fidelity. One morning, the old
gentleman being closeted with his nephew (he used to come to get any
news stirring as to what the young officers of the regiment were doing:
whether this or that gambled; who intrigued, and with whom; who was at
the ridotto on such a night; who was in debt, and what not; for the King
liked to know the business of every officer in his army), I was
sent with a letter to the Marquis d'Argens (that afterwards married
Mademoiselle Cochois the actress), and, meeting the Marquis at a few
paces off in the street, gave my message, and returned to the Captain's
lodging. He and his worthy uncle were making my unworthy self the
subject of conversation.

'He is noble,' said the Captain.

'Bah!' replied the uncle (whom I could have throttled for his
insolence). 'All the beggarly Irish who ever enlisted tell the same
story.'

'He was kidnapped by Galgenstein,' resumed the other.

'A kidnapped deserter,' said M. Potzdorff; 'la belle affaire!'

'Well, I promised the lad I would ask for his discharge; and I am sure
you can make him useful.'

'You HAVE asked his discharge,' answered the elder, laughing. 'Bon Dieu!
You are a model of probity! You'll never succeed to my place, George, if
you are no wiser than you are just now. Make the fellow as useful to you
as you please. He has a good manner and a frank countenance. He can lie
with an assurance that I never saw surpassed, and fight, you say, on a
pinch. The scoundrel does not want for good qualities; but he is vain, a
spendthrift, and a bavard. As long as you have the regiment in terrorem
over him, you can do as you like with him. Once let him loose, and the
lad is likely to give you the slip. Keep on promising him; promise to
make him a general, if you like. What the deuce do I care? There are
spies enough to be had in this town without him.'

It was thus that the services I rendered to M. Potzdorff were qualified
by that ungrateful old gentleman; and I stole away from the room
extremely troubled in spirit, to think that another of my fond dreams
was thus dispelled; and that my hopes of getting out of the army,
by being useful to the Captain, were entirely vain. For some time
my despair was such, that I thought of marrying the widow; but the
marriages of privates are never allowed without the direct permission
of the King; and it was a matter of very great doubt whether His Majesty
would allow a young fellow of twenty-two, the handsomest man of his
army, to be coupled to a pimplefaced old widow of sixty, who was
quite beyond the age when her marriage would be likely to multiply the
subjects of His Majesty. This hope of liberty was therefore vain; nor
could I hope to purchase my discharge, unless any charitable soul would
lend me a large sum of money; for, though I made a good deal, as I
have said, yet I have always had through life an incorrigible knack of
spending, and (such is my generosity of disposition) have been in debt
ever since I was born.

My captain, the sly rascal! gave me a very different version of his
conversation with his uncle to that which I knew to be the true one; and
said smilingly to me, 'Redmond, I have spoken to the Minister regarding
thy services,[Footnote: The service about which Mr. Barry here speaks
has, and we suspect purposely, been described by him in very dubious
terms. It is most probable that he was employed to wait at the table
of strangers in Berlin, and to bring to the Police Minister any news
concerning them which might at all interest the Government. The great
Frederick never received a guest without taking these hospitable
precautions; and as for the duels which Mr. Barry fights, may we be
allowed to hint a doubt as to a great number of these combats. It will
be observed, in one or two other parts of his Memoirs, that whenever he
is at an awkward pass, or does what the world does not usually consider
respectable, a duel, in which he is victorious, is sure to ensue; from
which he argues that he is a man of undoubted honour.] and thy fortune
is made. We shall get thee out of the army, appoint thee to the police
bureau, and procure for thee an inspectorship of customs; and, in fine,
allow thee to move in a better sphere than that in which Fortune has
hitherto placed thee.

Although I did not believe a word of this speech, I affected to be very
much moved by it, and of course swore eternal gratitude to the Captain
for his kindness to the poor Irish castaway.

'Your service at the Dutch Minister's has pleased me very well. There is
another occasion on which you may make yourself useful to us; and if you
succeed, depend on it your reward will be secure.'

'What is the service, sir?' said I; 'I will do anything for so kind a
master.'

'There is lately come to Berlin,' said the Captain, 'a gentleman in
the service of the Empress-Queen, who calls himself the Chevalier de
Balibari, and wears the red riband and star of the Pope's order of the
Spur. He speaks Italian or French indifferently; but we have some
reason to fancy this Monsieur de Balibari is a native of your country of
Ireland. Did you ever hear such a name as Balibari in Ireland?'

'Balibari? Balyb--?' A sudden thought flashed across me. 'No, sir,' said
I, 'I never heard the name.'

'You must go into his service. Of course you will not know a word of
English: and if the Chevalier asks as to the particularity of your
accent, say you are a Hungarian. The servant who came with him will be
turned away to-day, and the person to whom he has applied for a faithful
fellow will recommend you. You are a Hungarian; you served in the Seven
Years' War. You left the army on account of weakness of the loins. You
served Monsieur de Quellenberg two years; he is now with the army in
Silesia, but there is your certificate signed by him. You afterwards
lived with Doctor Mopsius, who will give you a character, if need be;
and the landlord of the "Star" will, of course, certify that you are an
honest fellow: but his certificate goes for nothing. As for the rest of
your story, you can fashion that as you will, and make it as romantic
or as ludicrous as your fancy dictates. Try, however, to win the
Chevalier's confidence by provoking his compassion. He gambles a great
deal, and WINS. Do you know the cards well?'

'Only a very little, as soldiers do.'

'I had thought you more expert. You must find out if the Chevalier
cheats; if he does, we have him. He sees the English and Austrian envoys
continually, and the young men of either Ministry sup repeatedly at his
house. Find out what they talk of; for how much each plays, especially
if any of them play on parole: if you can read his private letters, of
course you will; though about those which go to the post, you need not
trouble yourself; we look at them there. But never see him write a note
without finding out to whom it goes, and by what channel or messenger.
He sleeps with the keys of his despatch-box on a string round his neck.
Twenty Frederics, if you get an impression of the keys. You will, of
course, go in plain clothes. You had best brush the powder out of your
hair, and tie it with a riband simply; your moustache you must of course
shave off.

With these instructions, and a very small gratuity, the Captain left me.
When I again saw him, he was amused at the change in my appearance.
I had, not without a pang (for they were as black as jet, and curled
elegantly), shaved off my moustaches; had removed the odious grease and
flour, which I always abominated, out of my hair; had mounted a demure
French grey coat, black satin breeches, and a maroon plush waistcoat,
and a hat without a cockade. I looked as meek and humble as any servant
out of place could possibly appear; and I think not my own regiment,
which was now at the review at Potsdam, would have known me. Thus
accoutred, I went to the 'Star Hotel,' where this stranger was,--my
heart beating with anxiety, and something telling me that this Chevalier
de Balibari was no other than Barry, of Ballybarry, my father's eldest
brother, who had given up his estate in consequence of his obstinate
adherence to the Romish superstition. Before I went in to present
myself, I went to look in the remises at his carriage. Had he the Barry
arms? Yes, there they were: argent, a bend gules, with four escallops of
the field,--the ancient coat of my house. They were painted in a shield
about as big as my hat, on a smart chariot handsomely gilded, surmounted
with a coronet, and supported by eight or nine Cupids, cornucopias, and
flower-baskets, according to the queer heraldic fashion of those days.
It must be he! I felt quite feint as I went up the stairs. I was going
to present myself before my uncle in the character of a servant!

'You are the young man whom M. de Seebach recommended?'

I bowed, and handed him a letter from that gentleman, with which my
captain had taken care to provide me. As he looked at it I had leisure
to examine him. My uncle was a man of sixty years of age, dressed
superbly in a coat and breeches of apricot-coloured velvet, a white
satin waistcoat embroidered with gold like the coat. Across his breast
went the purple riband of his order of the Spur; and the star of the
order, an enormous one, sparkled on his breast. He had rings on all his
fingers, a couple of watches in his fobs, a rich diamond solitaire in
the black riband round his neck, and fastened to the bag of his wig; his
ruffles and frills were decorated with a profusion of the richest lace.
He had pink silk stockings rolled over the knee, and tied with gold
garters; and enormous diamond buckles to his red-heeled shoes. A sword
mounted in gold, in a white fish-skin scabbard; and a hat richly laced,
and lined with white feathers, which were lying on a table beside him,
completed the costume of this splendid gentleman. In height he was
about my size, that is, six feet and half an inch; his cast of features
singularly like mine, and extremely distingue. One of his eyes was
closed with a black patch, however; he wore a little white and red
paint, by no means an unusual ornament in those days; and a pair of
moustaches, which fell over his lip and hid a mouth that I afterwards
found had rather a disagreeable expression. When his beard was removed,
the upper teeth appeared to project very much; and his countenance wore
a ghastly fixed smile, by no means pleasant.

It was very imprudent of me; but when I saw the splendour of his
appearance, the nobleness of his manner, I felt it impossible to keep
disguise with him; and when he said, 'Ah, you are a Hungarian, I see!' I
could hold no longer.

'Sir,' said I, 'I am an Irishman, and my name is Redmond Barry, of
Ballybarry.' As I spoke, I burst into tears; I can't tell why; but I had
seen none of my kith or kin for six years, and my heart longed for some
one.



CHAPTER VIII. BARRY'S ADIEU TO MILITARY PROFESSION

You who have never been out of your country, know little what it is to
hear a friendly voice in captivity; and there's many a man that will not
understand the cause of the burst of feeling which I have confessed took
place on my seeing my uncle. He never for a minute thought to question
the truth of what I said. 'Mother of God!' cried he, 'it's my brother
Harry's son.' And I think in my heart he was as much affected as I was
at thus suddenly finding one of his kindred; for he, too, was an exile
from home, and a friendly voice, a look, brought the old country back to
his memory again, and the old days of his boyhood. 'I'd give five years
of my life to see them again,' said he, after caressing me very warmly.
'What?' asked I. 'Why,' replied he, 'the green fields, and the river,
and the old round tower, and the burying-place at Ballybarry. 'Twas a
shame for your father to part with the land, Redmond, that went so long
with the name.'

He then began to ask me concerning myself, and I gave him my history at
some length; at which the worthy gentleman laughed many times, saying,
that I was a Barry all over. In the middle of my story he would stop
me, to make me stand back to back, and measure with him (by which I
ascertained that our heights were the same, and that my uncle had
a stiff knee, moreover, which made him walk in a peculiar way), and
uttered, during the course of the narrative, a hundred exclamations of
pity, and kindness, and sympathy. It was 'Holy Saints!' and 'Mother of
Heaven!' and 'Blessed Mary!' continually; by which, and with justice, I
concluded that he was still devotedly attached to the ancient faith of
our family.

It was with some difficulty that I came to explain to him the last part
of my history, viz., that I was put into his service as a watch upon his
actions, of which I was to give information in a certain quarter. When
I told him (with a great deal of hesitation) of this fact, he burst out
laughing, and enjoyed the joke amazingly. 'The rascals!' said he; 'they
think to catch me, do they? Why, Redmond, my chief conspiracy is a
faro-bank. But the King is so jealous, that he will see a spy in every
person who comes to his miserable capital in the great sandy desert
here. Ah, my boy, I must show you Paris and Vienna!'

I said there was nothing I longed for more than to see any city but
Berlin, and should be delighted to be free of the odious military
service. Indeed, I thought, from his splendour of appearance, the
knickknacks about the room, the gilded carriage in the remise, that my
uncle was a man of vast property; and that he would purchase a dozen,
nay, a whole regiment of substitutes, in order to restore me to freedom.

But I was mistaken in my calculations regarding him, as his history of
himself speedily showed me. 'I have been beaten about the world,' said
he, 'ever since the year 1742, when my brother your father (and Heaven
forgive him) cut my family estate from under my heels, by turning
heretic, in order to marry that scold of a mother of yours. Well, let
bygones be bygones. 'Tis probable that I should have run through the
little property as he did in my place, and I should have had to begin
a year or two later the life I have been leading ever since I was
compelled to leave Ireland. My lad, I have been in every service;
and, between ourselves, owe money in every capital in Europe. I made a
campaign or two with the Pandours under Austrian Trenck. I was captain
in the Guard of His Holiness the Pope, I made the campaign of Scotland
with the Prince of Wales--a bad fellow, my dear, caring more for
his mistress and his brandy-bottle than for the crowns of the three
kingdoms. I have served in Spain and in Piedmont; but I have been a
rolling stone, my good fellow. Play--play has been my ruin; that and
beauty' (here he gave a leer which made him, I must confess, look
anything but handsome; besides, his rouged cheeks were all beslobbered
with the tears which he had shed on receiving me). 'The women have made
a fool of me, my dear Redmond. I am a soft-hearted creature, and this
minute, at sixty-two, have no more command of myself than when Peggy
O'Dwyer made a fool of me at sixteen.'

''Faith sir,' says I, laughing, 'I think it runs in the family!' and
described to him, much to his amusement, my romantic passion for my
cousin, Nora Brady. He resumed his narrative.

'The cards now are my only livelihood. Sometimes I am in luck, and then
I lay out my money in these trinkets you see. It's property, look you,
Redmond; and the only way I have found of keeping a little about me.
When the luck goes against me, why, my dear, my diamonds go to the
pawnbrokers, and I wear paste. Friend Moses the goldsmith will pay me a
visit this very day; for the chances have been against me all the week
past, and I must raise money for the bank to-night. Do you understand
the cards?'

I replied that I could play as soldiers do, but had no great skill.

'We will practise in the morning, my boy,' said he, 'and I'll put you up
to a thing or two worth knowing.'

Of course I was glad to have such an opportunity of acquiring knowledge,
and professed myself delighted to receive my uncle's instruction.

The Chevalier's account of himself rather disagreeably affected me.
All his show was on his back, as he said. His carriage, with the fine
gilding, was a part of his stock in trade. He HAD a sort of mission from
the Austrian Court:--it was to discover whether a certain quantity of
alloyed ducats which had been traced to Berlin, were from the King's
treasury. But the real end of Monsieur de Balibari was play. There was
a young attache of the English embassy, my Lord Deuceace, afterwards
Viscount and Earl of Crabs in the English peerage, who was playing high;
and it was after hearing of the passion of this young English nobleman
that my uncle, then at Prague, determined to visit Berlin and engage
him. For there is a sort of chivalry among the knights of the dice-box:
the fame of great players is known all over Europe. I have known the
Chevalier de Casanova, for instance, to travel six hundred miles, from
Paris to Turin, for the purpose of meeting Mr. Charles Fox, then only my
Lord Holland's dashing son, afterwards the greatest of European orators
and statesmen.

It was agreed that I should keep my character of valet; that in the
presence of strangers I should not know a word of English; that I should
keep a good look-out on the trumps when I was serving the champagne and
punch about; and, having a remarkably fine eyesight and a great natural
aptitude, I was speedily able to give my dear uncle much assistance
against his opponents at the green table. Some prudish persons may
affect indignation at the frankness of these confessions, but Heaven
pity them! Do you suppose that any man who has lost or won a hundred
thousand pounds at play will not take the advantages which his neighbour
enjoys? They are all the same. But it is only the clumsy fool who
CHEATS; who resorts to the vulgar expedients of cogged dice and cut
cards. Such a man is sure to go wrong some time or other, and is not fit
to play in the society of gallant gentlemen; and my advice to people who
see such a vulgar person at his pranks is, of course, to back him
while he plays, but never--never to have anything to do with him. Play
grandly, honourably. Be not, of course, cast down at losing; but above
all, be not eager at winning, as mean souls are. And, indeed, with all
one's skill and advantages, winning is often problematical; I have seen
a sheer ignoramus that knows no more of play than of Hebrew, blunder you
out of five thousand pounds in a few turns of the cards. I have seen a
gentleman and his confederate play against another and HIS confederate.
One never is secure in these cases: and when one considers the time and
labour spent, the genius, the anxiety, the outlay of money required, the
multiplicity of bad debts that one meets with (for dishonourable rascals
are to be found at the play-table, as everywhere else in the world),
I say, for my part, the profession is a bad one; and, indeed, have
scarcely ever met a man who, in the end, profited by it. I am writing
now with the experience of a man of the world. At the time I speak of I
was a lad, dazzled by the idea of wealth, and respecting, certainly too
much, my uncle's superior age and station in life.

There is no need to particularise here the little arrangements made
between us; the playmen of the present day want no instruction, I take
it, and the public have little interest in the matter. But simplicity
was our secret. Everything successful is simple. If, for instance, I
wiped the dust off a chair with my napkin, it was to show that the enemy
was strong in diamonds; if I pushed it, he had ace, king; if I said,
'Punch or wine, my Lord?' hearts was meant; if 'Wine or punch?' clubs.
If I blew my nose, it was to indicate that there was another confederate
employed by the adversary; and THEN, I warrant you, some pretty trials
of skill would take place. My Lord Deuceace, although so young, had a
very great skill and cleverness with the cards in every way; and it was
only from hearing Frank Punter, who came with him, yawn three times when
the Chevalier had the ace of trumps, that I knew we were Greek to Greek,
as it were.

My assumed dulness was perfect; and I used to make Monsieur de
Potzdorff laugh with it, when I carried my little reports to him at
the Garden-house outside the town where he gave me rendezvous. These
reports, of course, were arranged between me and my uncle beforehand. I
was instructed (and it is always far the best way) to tell as much truth
as my story would possibly bear. When, for instance, he would ask me,
'What does the Chevalier do of a morning?'

'He goes to church regularly' (he was very religious), 'and after
hearing mass comes home to breakfast. Then he takes an airing in his
chariot till dinner, which is served at noon. After dinner he writes his
letters, if he have any letters to write: but he has very little to
do in this way. His letters are to the Austrian envoy, with whom he
corresponds, but who does not acknowledge him; and being written in
English, of course I look over his shoulder. He generally writes for
money. He says he wants it to bribe the secretaries of the Treasury,
in order to find out really where the alloyed ducats come from; but,
in fact, he wants it to play of evenings, when he makes his party with
Calsabigi, the lottery-contractor, the Russian attaches, two from the
English embassy, my Lords Deuceace and Punter, who play a jeu d'enfer,
and a few more. The same set meet every night at supper: there are
seldom any ladies; those who come are chiefly French ladies, members of
the corps de ballet. He wins often, but not always. Lord Deuceace is a
very fine player. The Chevalier Elliot, the English Minister, sometimes
comes, on which occasion the secretaries do not play. Monsieur de
Balibari dines at the missions, but en petit comite, not on grand days
of reception. Calsabigi, I think, is his confederate at play. He has
won lately; but the week before last he pledged his solitaire for four
hundred ducats.'

'Do he and the English attaches talk together in their own language?'

'Yes; he and the envoy spoke yesterday for half-an-hour about the new
danseuse and the American troubles: chiefly about the new danseuse.'

It will be seen that the information I gave was very minute and
accurate, though not very important. But such as it was, it was carried
to the ears of that famous hero and warrior the Philosopher of Sans
Souci; and there was not a stranger who entered the capital but his
actions were similarly spied and related to Frederick the Great.

As long as the play was confined to the young men of the different
embassies, His Majesty did not care to prevent it; nay, he encouraged
play at all the missions, knowing full well that a man in difficulties
can be made to speak, and that a timely rouleau of Frederics would
often get him a secret worth many thousands. He got some papers from
the French house in this way: and I have no doubt that my Lord Deuceace
would have supplied him with information at a similar rate, had his
chief not known the young nobleman's character pretty well, and had
(as is usually the case) the work of the mission performed by a steady
roturier, while the young brilliant bloods of the suite sported their
embroidery at the balls, or shook their Mechlin ruffles over the green
tables at faro. I have seen many scores of these young sprigs since,
of these and their principals, and, mon Dieu! what fools they are! What
dullards, what fribbles, what addle-headed simple coxcombs! This is one
of the lies of the world, this diplomacy; or how could we suppose, that
were the profession as difficult as the solemn red-box and tape-men
would have us believe, they would invariably choose for it little
pink-faced boys from school, with no other claim than mamma's title, and
able at most to judge of a curricle, a new dance, or a neat boot?

When it became known, however, to the officers of the garrison that
there was a faro-table in town, they were wild to be admitted to the
sport; and, in spite of my entreaties to the contrary, my uncle was
not averse to allow the young gentlemen their fling, and once or twice
cleared a handsome sum out of their purses. It was in vain I told him
that I must carry the news to my captain, before whom his comrades would
not fail to talk, and who would thus know of the intrigue even without
my information.

'Tell him,' said my uncle.

'They will send you away,' said I; 'then what is to become of me?'

'Make your mind easy,' said the latter, with a smile; 'you shall not be
left behind, I warrant you. Go take a last look at your barracks, make
your mind easy; say a farewell to your friends in Berlin. The dear
souls, how they will weep when they hear you are out of the country;
and, as sure as my name is Barry, out of it you shall go!'

'But how, sir?' said I.

'Recollect Mr. Fakenham of Fakenham,' said he knowingly. ''Tis you
yourself taught me how. Go get me one of my wigs. Open my despatch-box
yonder, where the great secrets of the Austrian Chancery lie; put your
hair back off you forehead; clap me on this patch and these moustaches,
and now look in the glass!'

'The Chevalier de Balibari,' said I, bursting with laughter, and began
walking the room in his manner with his stiff knee.

The next day, when I went to make my report to Monsieur de Potzdorff, I
told him of the young Prussian officers that had been of late gambling;
and he replied, as I expected, that the King had determined to send the
Chevalier out of the country.

'He is a stingy curmudgeon,' I replied; 'I have had but three Frederics
from him in two months, and I hope you will remember your promise to
advance me!'

'Why, three Frederics were too much for the news you have picked up,'
said the Captain, sneering.

'It is not my fault that there has been no more,' I replied. 'When is he
to go, sir?'

'The day after to-morrow. You say he drives after breakfast and before
dinner. When he comes out to his carriage, a couple of gendarmes will
mount the box, and the coachman will get his orders to move on.'

'And his baggage, sir?' said I.

'Oh! that will be sent after him. I have a fancy to look into that red
box which contains his papers, you say; and at noon, after parade, shall
be at the inn. You will not say a word to any one there regarding the
affair, and will wait for me at the Chevalier's rooms until my arrival.
We must force that box. You are a clumsy hound, or you would have got
the key long ago!'

I begged the Captain to remember me, and so took my leave of him. The
next night I placed a couple of pistols under the carriage seat; and
I think the adventures of the following day are quite worthy of the
honours of a separate chapter.



CHAPTER IX. I APPEAR IN A MANNER BECOMING MY NAME AND LINEAGE

Fortune smiling at parting upon Monsieur de Balibari, enabled him to win
a handsome sum with his faro-bank.

At ten o'clock the next morning, the carriage of the Chevalier de
Balibari drew up as usual at the door of his hotel; and the Chevalier,
who was at his window, seeing the chariot arrive, came down the stairs
in his usual stately manner.

'Where is my rascal Ambrose?' said he, looking around and not finding
his servant to open the door.

'I will let down the steps for your honour,' said a gendarme, who was
standing by the carriage; and no sooner had the Chevalier entered,
than the officer jumped in after him, another mounted the box by the
coachman, and the latter began to drive.

'Good gracious!' said the Chevalier, 'what is this?'

'You are going to drive to the frontier,' said the gendarme, touching
his hat.

'It is shameful--infamous! I insist upon being put down at the Austrian
Ambassador's house!'

'I have orders to gag your honour if you cry out,' said the gendarme.

'All Europe shall hear of this!' said the Chevalier, in a fury.

'As you please,' answered the officer, and then both relapsed into
silence.

The silence was not broken between Berlin and Potsdam, through which
place the Chevalier passed as His Majesty was reviewing his guards
there, and the regiments of Bulow, Zitwitz, and Henkel de Donnersmark.
As the Chevalier passed His Majesty, the King raised his hat and said,
'Qu'il ne descende pas: je lui souhaite un bon voyage.' The Chevalier de
Balibari acknowledged this courtesy by a profound bow.

They had not got far beyond Potsdam, when boom! the alarm cannon began
to roar.

'It is a deserter,' said the officer.

'Is it possible?' said the Chevalier, and sank back into his carriage
again.

Hearing the sound of the guns, the common people came out along the road
with fowling-pieces and pitchforks, in hopes to catch the truant. The
gendarmes seemed very anxious to be on the look-out for him too. The
price of a deserter was fifty crowns to those who brought him in.

'Confess, sir,' said the Chevalier to the police officer in the carriage
with him, 'that you long to be rid of me, from whom you can get nothing,
and to be on the look-out for the deserter who may bring you in fifty
crowns? Why not tell the postilion to push on? You may land me at the
frontier and get back to your hunt all the sooner.' The officer told
the postillion to get on; but the way seemed intolerably long to
the Chevalier. Once or twice he thought he heard the noise of horse
galloping behind: his own horses did not seem to go two miles an hour;
but they DID go. The black and white barriers came in view at last, hard
by Bruck, and opposite them the green and yellow of Saxony. The Saxon
custom-house officers came out.

'I have no luggage,' said the Chevalier.

'The gentleman has nothing contraband,' said the Prussian officers,
grinning, and took their leave of their prisoner with much respect.

The Chevalier de Balibari gave them a Frederic apiece.

'Gentlemen,' said he, 'I wish you a good day. Will you please to go to
the house whence we set out this morning, and tell my man there to send
on my baggage to the "Three Kings" at Dresden?'

Then ordering fresh horses, the Chevalier set off on his journey for
that capital. I need not tell you that _I_ was the Chevalier.

'From the Chevalier de Balibari to Redmond Barry, Esquire, Gentilhomme
Anglais, a l'Hotel des 3 Couronnes, a Dresde en Saxe.

'Nephew Redmond,--This comes to you by a sure hand, no other than Mr.
Lumpit of the English Mission, who is acquainted, as all Berlin will
be directly, with our wonderful story. They only know half as yet;
they only know that a deserter went off in my clothes, and all are in
admiration of your cleverness and valour.

'I confess that for two hours after your departure I lay in bed in no
small trepidation, thinking whether His Majesty might have a fancy to
send me to Spandau, for the freak of which we had both been guilty. But
in that case I had taken my precautions: I had written a statement of
the case to my chief, the Austrian Minister, with the full and true
story how you had been set to spy upon me, how you turned out to be
my very near relative, how you had been kidnapped yourself into the
service, and how we both had determined to effect your escape. The laugh
would have been so much against the King, that he never would have dared
to lay a finger upon me. What would Monsieur de Voltaire have said
to such an act of tyranny? But it was a lucky day, and everything has
turned out to my wish. As I lay in my bed two and a half hours after
your departure, in comes your ex-Captain Potzdorff. "Redmont!" says he,
in his imperious High-Dutch way, "are you there?" No answer. "The rogue
is gone out," said he; and straightway makes for my red box where I keep
my love-letters, my glass eye which I used to wear, my favourite lucky
dice with which I threw the thirteen mains at Prague; my two sets of
Paris teeth, and my other private matters that you know of.

'He first tried a bunch of keys, but none of them would fit the little
English lock. Then my gentleman takes out of his pocket a chisel and
hammer, and falls to work like a professional burglar, actually bursting
open my little box!

'Now was my time to act. I advance towards him armed with an immense
water-jug. I come noiselessly up to him just as he had broken the box,
and with all my might I deal him such a blow over the head as smashes
the water-jug to atoms, and sends my captain with a snort lifeless to
the ground. I thought I had killed him.

'Then I ring all the bells in the house; and shout and swear and
scream, "Thieves!--thieves!--landlord!--murder!--fire!" until the whole
household come tumbling up the stairs. "Where is my servant?" roar I.
"Who dares to rob me in open day? Look at the villain whom I find in
the act of breaking my chest open! Send for the police, send for his
Excellency the Austrian Minister! all Europe shall know of this insult!"

'"Dear Heaven!" says the landlord, "we saw you go away three hours ago!"

'"ME!" says I; "why, man, I have been in bed all the morning. I am
ill--I have taken physic--I have not left the house this morning! Where
is that scoundrel Ambrose? But, stop! where are my clothes and wig?"
for I was standing before them in my chamber-gown and stockings, with my
nightcap on.

'"I have it--I have it!" says a little chambermaid: "Ambrose is off in
your honour's dress."

'"And my money--my money!" says I; "where is my purse with forty-eight
Frederics in it? But we have one of the villains left. Officers, seize
him!"

'"It's the young Herr von Potzdorff!" says the landlord, more and more
astonished.

'"What! a gentleman breaking open my trunk with hammer and
chisel--impossible!"

'Herr von Potzdorff was returning to life by this time, with a swelling
on his skull as big as a saucepan; and the officers carried him off, and
the judge who was sent for dressed a proces verbal of the matter, and I
demanded a copy of it, which I sent forthwith to my ambassador.

'I was kept a prisoner to my room the next day, and a judge, a general,
and a host of lawyers, officers, and officials, were set upon me to
bully, perplex, threaten, and cajole me. I said it was true you had told
me that you had been kidnapped into the service, that I thought you were
released from it, and that I had you with the best recommendations. I
appealed to my Minister, who was bound to come to my aid; and, to make
a long story short, poor Potzdorff is now on his way to Spandau; and his
uncle, the elder Potzdorff, has brought me five hundred louis, with a
humble request that I would leave Berlin forthwith, and hush up this
painful matter.

'I shall be with you at the "Three Crowns" the day after you receive
this. Ask Mr. Lumpit to dinner. Do not spare your money--you are my son.
Everybody in Dresden knows your loving uncle,

'THE CHEVALIER DE BALIBARI.'


And by these wonderful circumstances I was once more free again: and I
kept my resolution then made, never to fall more into the hands of any
recruiter, and henceforth and for ever to be a gentleman.

With this sum of money, and a good run of luck which ensued presently,
we were enabled to make no ungenteel figure. My uncle speedily joined
me at the inn at Dresden, where, under pretence of illness, I had
kept quiet until his arrival; and, as the Chevalier de Balibari was in
particular good odour at the Court of Dresden (having been an intimate
acquaintance of the late monarch, the Elector, King of Poland, the most
dissolute and agreeable of European princes), I was speedily in the very
best society of the Saxon capital: where I may say that my own person
and manners, and the singularity of the adventures in which I had been a
hero, made me especially welcome. There was not a party of the nobility
to which the two gentlemen of Balibari were not invited. I had the
honour of kissing hands and being graciously received at Court by the
Elector, and I wrote home to my mother such a flaming description of my
prosperity, that the good soul very nearly forgot her celestial welfare
and her confessor, the Reverend Joshua Jowls, in order to come after me
to Germany; but travelling was very difficult in those days, and so we
were spared the arrival of the good lady.

I think the soul of Harry Barry, my father, who was always so genteel
in his turn of mind, must have rejoiced to see the position which I now
occupied; all the women anxious to receive me, all the men in a fury;
hobnobbing with dukes and counts at supper, dancing minuets with
high-well-born baronesses (as they absurdly call themselves in Germany),
with lovely excellencies, nay, with highnesses and transparencies
themselves: who could compete with the gallant young Irish noble? who
would suppose that seven weeks before I had been a common--bah! I am
ashamed to think of it! One of the pleasantest moments of my life was at
a grand gala at the Electoral Palace, where I had the honour of walking
a polonaise with no other than the Margravine of Bayreuth, old Fritz's
own sister: old Fritz's, whose hateful blue-baize livery I had worn,
whose belts I had pipeclayed, and whose abominable rations of small beer
and sauerkraut I had swallowed for five years.

Having won an English chariot from an Italian gentleman at play, my
uncle had our arms painted on the panels in a more splendid way than
ever, surmounted (as we were descended from the ancient kings) with an
Irish crown of the most splendid size and gilding. I had this crown in
lieu of a coronet engraved on a large amethyst signet-ring worn on my
forefinger; and I don't mind confessing that I used to say the jewel had
been in my family for several thousand years, having originally belonged
to my direct ancestor, his late Majesty King Brian Boru, or Barry. I
warrant the legends of the Heralds' College are not more authentic than
mine was.

At first the Minister and the gentlemen at the English hotel used to be
rather shy of us two Irish noblemen, and questioned our pretensions to
rank. The Minister was a lord's son, it is true, but he was likewise a
grocer's grandson; and so I told him at Count Lobkowitz's masquerade.
My uncle, like a noble gentleman as he was, knew the pedigree of
every considerable family in Europe. He said it was the only knowledge
befitting a gentleman; and when we were not at cards, we would pass
hours over Gwillim or D'Hozier, reading the genealogies, learning the
blazons, and making ourselves acquainted with the relationships of
our class. Alas! the noble science is going into disrepute now: so are
cards, without which studies and pastimes I can hardly conceive how a
man of honour can exist.

My first affair of honour with a man of undoubted fashion was on the
score of my nobility, with young Sir Rumford Bumford of the English
embassy; my uncle at the same time sending a cartel to the Minister, who
declined to come. I shot Sir Rumford in the leg, amidst the tears of joy
of my uncle, who accompanied me to the ground; and I promise you that
none of the young gentlemen questioned the authenticity of my pedigree,
or laughed at my Irish crown again.

What a delightful life did we now lead! I knew I was born a gentleman,
from the kindly way in which I took to the business: as business
it certainly is. For though it SEEMS all pleasure, yet I assure any
low-bred persons who may chance to read this, that we, their betters,
have to work as well as they: though I did not rise until noon, yet had
I not been up at play until long past midnight? Many a time have we come
home to bed as the troops were marching out to early parade; and oh!
it did my heart good to hear the bugles blowing the reveille before
daybreak, or to see the regiments marching out to exercise, and think
that I was no longer bound to that disgusting discipline, but restored
to my natural station.

I came into it at once, and as if I had never done anything else all my
life. I had a gentleman to wait upon me, a French friseur to dress my
hair of a morning; I knew the taste of chocolate as by intuition almost,
and could distinguish between the right Spanish and the French before
I had been a week in my new position; I had rings on all my fingers,
watches in both my fobs, canes, trinkets, and snuffboxes of all sorts,
and each outvying the other in elegance. I had the finest natural taste
for lace and china of any man I ever knew; I could judge a horse as well
as any Jew dealer in Germany; in shooting and athletic exercises I
was unrivalled; I could not spell, but I could speak German and French
cleverly. I had at the least twelve suits of clothes; three richly
embroidered with gold, two laced with silver, a garnet-coloured velvet
pelisse lined with sable; one of French grey, silver-laced, and lined
with chinchilla. I had damask morning robes. I took lessons on the
guitar, and sang French catches exquisitely. Where, in fact, was there a
more accomplished gentleman than Redmond de Balibari?

All the luxuries becoming my station could not, of course, be purchased
without credit and money: to procure which, as our patrimony had been
wasted by our ancestors, and we were above the vulgarity and slow
returns and doubtful chances of trade, my uncle kept a faro-bank. We
were in partnership with a Florentine, well known in all the Courts
of Europe, the Count Alessandro Pippi, as skilful a player as ever was
seen; but he turned out a sad knave latterly, and I have discovered that
his countship was a mere imposture. My uncle was maimed, as I have said;
Pippi, like all impostors, was a coward; it was my unrivalled skill with
the sword, and readiness to use it, that maintained the reputation of
the firm, so to speak, and silenced many a timid gambler who might have
hesitated to pay his losings. We always played on parole with anybody:
any person, that is, of honour and noble lineage. We never pressed for
our winnings or declined to receive promissory notes in lieu of gold.
But woe to the man who did not pay when the note became due! Redmond
de Balibari was sure to wait upon him with his bill, and I promise you
there were very few bad debts: on the contrary, gentlemen were
grateful to us for our forbearance, and our character for honour stood
unimpeached. In later times, a vulgar national prejudice has chosen
to cast a slur upon the character of men of honour engaged in the
profession of play; but I speak of the good old days in Europe, before
the cowardice of the French aristocracy (in the shameful Revolution,
which served them right) brought discredit and ruin upon our order. They
cry fie now upon men engaged in play; but I should like to know how much
more honourable THEIR modes of livelihood are than ours. The broker of
the Exchange who bulls and bears, and buys and sells, and dabbles with
lying loans, and trades on State secrets, what is he but a gamester? The
merchant who deals in teas and tallow, is he any better? His bales of
dirty indigo are his dice, his cards come up every year instead of every
ten minutes, and the sea is his green table. You call the profession of
the law an honourable one, where a man will lie for any bidder; lie down
poverty for the sake of a fee from wealth, lie down right because wrong
is in his brief. You call a doctor an honourable man, a swindling quack,
who does not believe in the nostrums which he prescribes, and takes your
guinea for whispering in your ear that it is a fine morning; and
yet, forsooth, a gallant man who sits him down before the baize and
challenges all comers, his money against theirs, his fortune against
theirs, is proscribed by your modern moral world. It is a conspiracy
of the middle classes against gentlemen: it is only the shopkeeper cant
which is to go down nowadays. I say that play was an institution of
chivalry: it has been wrecked, along with other privileges of men of
birth. When Seingalt engaged a man for six-and-thirty hours without
leaving the table, do you think he showed no courage? How have we had
the best blood, and the brightest eyes, too, of Europe throbbing round
the table, as I and my uncle have held the cards and the bank against
some terrible player, who was matching some thousands out of his
millions against our all which was there on the baize! when we engaged
that daring Alexis Kossloffsky, and won seven thousand louis in a single
coup, had we lost, we should have been beggars the next day; when HE
lost, he was only a village and a few hundred serfs in pawn the worse.
When, at Toeplitz, the Duke of Courland brought fourteen lacqueys, each
with four bags of florins, and challenged our bank to play against
the sealed bags, what did we ask? 'Sir,' said we, 'we have but eighty
thousand florins in bank, or two hundred thousand at three months. If
your Highness's bags do not contain more than eighty thousand, we will
meet you.' And we did, and after eleven hours' play, in which our
bank was at one time reduced to two hundred and three ducats, we won
seventeen thousand florins of him. Is THIS not something like boldness?
does THIS profession not require skill, and perseverance, and bravery?
Four crowned heads looked on at the game, and an Imperial princess, when
I turned up the ace of hearts and made Paroli, burst into tears. No
man on the European Continent held a higher position than Redmond Barry
then; and when the Duke of Courland lost, he was pleased to say that we
had won nobly; and so we had, and spent nobly what we won.

At this period my uncle, who attended mass every day regularly, always
put ten florins into the box. Wherever we went, the tavern-keepers made
us more welcome than royal princes. We used to give away the broken meat
from our suppers and dinners to scores of beggars who blessed us. Every
man who held my horse or cleaned my boots got a ducat for his pains.
I was, I may say, the author of our common good fortune, by putting
boldness into our play. Pippi was a faint-hearted fellow, who was always
cowardly when he began to win. My uncle (I speak with great respect of
him) was too much of a devotee, and too much of a martinet at play ever
to win GREATLY. His moral courage was unquestionable, but his daring was
not sufficient. Both of these my seniors very soon acknowledged me to be
their chief, and hence the style of splendour I have described.

I have mentioned H.I.H. the Princess Frederica Amelia, who was affected
by my success, and shall always think with gratitude of the protection
with which that exalted lady honoured me. She was passionately fond of
play, as indeed were the ladies of almost all the Courts in Europe in
those days, and hence would often arise no small trouble to us; for the
truth must be told, that ladies love to play, certainly, but not to PAY.
The point of honour is not understood by the charming sex; and it was
with the greatest difficulty, in our peregrinations to the various
Courts of Northern Europe, that we could keep them from the table, could
get their money if they lost, or, if they paid, prevent them from using
the most furious and extraordinary means of revenge. In those great days
of our fortune, I calculate that we lost no less than fourteen thousand
louis by such failures of payment. A princess of a ducal house gave us
paste instead of diamonds, which she had solemnly pledged to us; another
organised a robbery of the Crown jewels, and would have charged the
theft upon us, but for Pippi's caution, who had kept back a note of hand
'her High Transparency' gave us, and sent it to his ambassador; by which
precaution I do believe our necks were saved. A third lady of high (but
not princely) rank, after I had won a considerable sum in diamonds and
pearls from her, sent her lover with a band of cut-throats to waylay me;
and it was only by extraordinary courage, skill, and good luck, that
I escaped from these villains, wounded myself, but leaving the chief
aggressor dead on the ground: my sword entered his eye and broke there,
and the villains who were with him fled, seeing their chief fall. They
might have finished me else, for I had no weapon of defence.

Thus it will be seen that our life, for all its splendour, was one of
extreme danger and difficulty, requiring high talents and courage for
success; and often, when we were in a full vein of success, we were
suddenly driven from our ground on account of some freak of a reigning
prince, some intrigue of a disappointed mistress, or some quarrel with
the police minister. If the latter personage were not bribed or won
over, nothing was more common than for us to receive a sudden order of
departure; and so, perforce, we lived a wandering and desultory life.

Though the gains of such a life are, as I have said, very great, yet the
expenses are enormous. Our appearance and retinue was too splendid for
the narrow mind of Pippi, who was always crying out at my extravagance,
though obliged to own that his own meanness and parsimony would never
have achieved the great victories which my generosity had won. With all
our success, our capital was not very great. That speech to the Duke
of Courland, for instance, was a mere boast as far as the two hundred
thousand florins at three months were concerned. We had no credit, and
no money beyond that on our table, and should have been forced to fly if
his Highness had won and accepted our bills. Sometimes, too, we were
hit very hard. A bank is a certainty, ALMOST; but now and then a bad day
will come; and men who have the courage of good fortune, at least, ought
to meet bad luck well: the former, believe me, is the harder task of the
two.

One of these evil chances befell us in the Duke of Baden's territory, at
Mannheim. Pippi, who was always on the look-out for business, offered
to make a bank at the inn where we put up, and where the officers of the
Duke's cuirassiers supped; and some small play accordingly took place,
and some wretched crowns and louis changed hands: I trust, rather to
the advantage of these poor gentlemen of the army, who are surely the
poorest of all devils under the sun.

But, as ill luck would have it, a couple of young students from the
neighbouring University of Heidelberg, who had come to Mannheim for
their quarter's revenue, and so had some hundred of dollars between
them, were introduced to the table, and, having never played before,
began to win (as is always the case). As ill luck would have it, too,
they were tipsy, and against tipsiness I have often found the best
calculations of play fail entirely. They played in the most perfectly
insane way, and yet won always. Every card they backed turned up in
their favour. They had won a hundred louis from us in ten minutes; and,
seeing that Pippi was growing angry and the luck against us, I was for
shutting up the bank for the night, saying the play was only meant for a
joke, and that now we had had enough.

But Pippi, who had quarrelled with me that day, was determined to
proceed, and the upshot was, that the students played and won more;
then they lent money to the officers, who began to win, too; and in this
ignoble way, in a tavern room thick with tobacco-smoke, across a
deal table besmeared with beer and liquor, and to a parcel of hungry
subalterns and a pair of beardless students, three of the most skilful
and renowned players in Europe lost seventeen hundred louis! I blush
now when I think of it. It was like Charles XII or Richard Coeur de Lion
falling before a petty fortress and an unknown hand (as my friend Mr.
Johnson wrote), and was, in fact, a most shameful defeat.

Nor was this the only defeat. When our poor conquerors had gone off,
bewildered with the treasure which fortune had flung in their way
(one of these students was called the Baron de Clootz, perhaps he who
afterwards lost his head at Paris), Pippi resumed the quarrel of the
morning, and some exceedingly high words passed between us. Among other
things I recollect I knocked him down with a stool, and was for flinging
him out of the window; but my uncle, who was cool, and had been
keeping Lent with his usual solemnity, interposed between us, and a
reconciliation took place, Pippi apologising and confessing he had been
wrong.

I ought to have doubted, however, the sincerity of the treacherous
Italian; indeed, as I never before believed a word that he said in his
life, I know not why I was so foolish as to credit him now, and go to
bed, leaving the keys of our cash-box with him. It contained, after our
loss to the cuirassiers, in bills and money, near upon L8000 sterling.
Pippi insisted that our reconciliation should be ratified over a bowl of
hot wine, and I have no doubt put some soporific drug into the liquor;
for my uncle and I both slept till very late the next morning, and woke
with violent headaches and fever: we did not quit our beds till noon. He
had been gone twelve hours, leaving our treasury empty; and behind him
a sort of calculation, by which he strove to make out that this was his
share of the profits, and that all the losses had been incurred without
his consent.

Thus, after eighteen months, we had to begin the world again. But was I
cast down? No. Our wardrobes still were worth a very large sum of money;
for gentlemen did not dress like parish-clerks in those days, and
a person of fashion would often wear a suit of clothes and a set of
ornaments that would be a shop-boy's fortune; so, without repining for
one single minute, or saying a single angry word (my uncle's temper in
this respect was admirable), or allowing the secret of our loss to
be known to a mortal soul, we pawned three-fourths of our jewels and
clothes to Moses Lowe the banker, and with the produce of the sale, and
our private pocket-money, amounting in all to something less than 800
louis, we took the field again.



CHAPTER X. MORE RUNS OF LUCK

I am not going to entertain my readers with an account of my
professional career as a gamester, any more than I did with anecdotes of
my life as a military man. I might fill volumes with tales of this kind
were I so minded; but at this rate, my recital would not be brought to
a conclusion for years, and who knows how soon I may be called upon to
stop? I have gout, rheumatism, gravel, and a disordered liver. I have
two or three wounds in my body, which break out every now and then, and
give me intolerable pain, and a hundred more signs of breaking up.
Such are the effects of time, illness, and free-living, upon one of
the strongest constitutions and finest forms the world ever saw. Ah! I
suffered from none of these ills in the year '66, when there was no
man in Europe more gay in spirits, more splendid in personal
accomplishments, than young Redmond Barry.

Before the treachery of the scoundrel Pippi, I had visited many of
the best Courts of Europe; especially the smaller ones, where play was
patronised, and the professors of that science always welcome. Among
the ecclesiastical principalities of the Rhine we were particularly well
received. I never knew finer or gayer Courts than those of the Electors
of Treves and Cologne, where there was more splendour and gaiety than at
Vienna; far more than in the wretched barrack-court of Berlin. The Court
of the Archduchess-Governess of the Netherlands was, likewise, a royal
place for us knights of the dice-box and gallant votaries of fortune;
whereas in the stingy Dutch or the beggarly Swiss republics, it was
impossible for a gentleman to gain a livelihood unmolested.

After our mishap at Mannheim, my uncle and I made for the Duchy of X---.
The reader may find out the place easily enough; but I do not choose to
print at full the names of some illustrious persons in whose society I
then fell, and among whom I was made the sharer in a very strange and
tragical adventure.

There was no Court in Europe at which strangers were more welcome than
at that of the noble Duke of X---; none where pleasure was more eagerly
sought after, and more splendidly enjoyed. The Prince did not inhabit
his capital of S---, but, imitating in every respect the ceremonial of
the Court of Versailles, built himself a magnificent palace at a
few leagues from his chief city, and round about his palace a superb
aristocratic town, inhabited entirely by his nobles, and the officers of
his sumptuous Court. The people were rather hardly pressed, to be sure,
in order to keep up this splendour; for his Highness's dominions were
small, and so he wisely lived in a sort of awful retirement from them,
seldom showing his face in his capital, or seeing any countenances but
those of his faithful domestics and officers. His palace and gardens of
Ludwigslust were exactly on the French model. Twice a week there were
Court receptions, and grand Court galas twice a month. There was the
finest opera out of France, and a ballet unrivalled in splendour;
on which his Highness, a great lover of music and dancing, expended
prodigious sums. It may be because I was then young, but I think I never
saw such an assemblage of brilliant beauty as used to figure there on
the stage of the Court theatre, in the grand mythological ballets which
were then the mode, and in which you saw Mars in red-heeled pumps and
a periwig, and Venus in patches and a hoop. They say the costume was
incorrect, and have changed it since; but for my part, I have never
seen a Venus more lovely than the Coralie, who was the chief dancer, and
found no fault with the attendant nymphs, in their trains, and lappets,
and powder. These operas used to take place twice a week, after
which some great officer of the Court would have his evening, and his
brilliant supper, and the dice-box rattled everywhere, and all the world
played. I have seen seventy play-tables set out in the grand gallery
of Ludwigslust, besides the faro-bank; where the Duke himself would
graciously come and play, and win or lose with a truly royal splendour.

It was hither we came after the Mannheim misfortune. The nobility of the
Court were pleased to say our reputation had preceded us, and the two
Irish gentleman were made welcome. The very first night at Court we lost
740 of our 800 louis; the next evening, at the Court Marshal's table, I
won them back, with 1300 more. You may be sure we allowed no one to know
how near we were to ruin on the first evening; but, on the contrary,
I endeared every one to me by my gay manner of losing, and the Finance
Minister himself cashed a note for 400 ducats, drawn by me upon my
steward of Ballybarry Castle in the kingdom of Ireland; which very note
I won from his Excellency the next day, along with a considerable sum in
ready cash. In that noble Court everybody was a gambler. You would see
the lacqueys in the ducal ante-rooms at work with their dirty packs of
cards; the coach and chair men playing in the court, while their masters
were punting in the saloons above; the very cook-maids and scullions, I
was told, had a bank, where one of them, an Italian confectioner, made
a handsome fortune: he purchased afterwards a Roman marquisate, and
his son has figured as one of the most fashionable of the illustrious
foreigners in London. The poor devils of soldiers played away their pay
when they got it, which was seldom; and I don't believe there was an
officer in any one of the guard regiments but had his cards in his
pouch, and no more forgot his dice than his sword-knot. Among such
fellows it was diamond cut diamond. What you call fair play would have
been a folly. The gentlemen of Ballybarry would have been fools indeed
to appear as pigeons in such a hawk's nest. None but men of courage and
genius could live and prosper in a society where every one was bold and
clever; and here my uncle and I held our own: ay, and more than our own.

His Highness the Duke was a widower, or rather, since the death of the
reigning Duchess, had contracted a morganatic marriage with a lady
whom he had ennobled, and who considered it a compliment (such was the
morality of those days) to be called the Northern Dubarry. He had been
married very young, and his son, the Hereditary Prince, may be said to
have been the political sovereign of the State: for the reigning Duke
was fonder of pleasure than of politics, and loved to talk a great deal
more with his grand huntsman, or the director of his opera, than with
ministers and ambassadors.

The Hereditary Prince, whom I shall call Prince Victor, was of a very
different character from his august father. He had made the Wars of the
Succession and Seven Years with great credit in the Empress's service,
was of a stern character, seldom appeared at Court, except when ceremony
called him, but lived almost alone in his wing of the palace, where he
devoted himself to the severest studies, being a great astronomer and
chemist. He shared in the rage then common throughout Europe, of hunting
for the philosopher's stone; and my uncle often regretted that he had no
smattering of chemistry, like Balsamo (who called himself Cagliostro),
St. Germain, and other individuals, who had obtained very great sums
from Duke Victor by aiding him in his search after the great secret. His
amusements were hunting and reviewing the troops; but for him, and if
his good-natured father had not had his aid, the army would have been
playing at cards all day, and so it was well that the prudent prince was
left to govern.

Duke Victor was fifty years of age, and his princess, the Princess
Olivia, was scarce three-and-twenty. They had been married seven years,
and in the first years of their union the Princess had borne him a son
and a daughter. The stern morals and manners, the dark and ungainly
appearance, of the husband, were little likely to please the brilliant
and fascinating young woman, who had been educated in the south (she
was connected with the ducal house of S---), who had passed two years
at Paris under the guardianship of Mesdames the daughters of His Most
Christian Majesty, and who was the life and soul of the Court of X---,
the gayest of the gay, the idol of her august father-in-law, and,
indeed, of the whole Court. She was not beautiful, but charming; not
witty, but charming, too, in her conversation as in her person. She was
extravagant beyond all measure; so false, that you could not trust her;
but her very weaknesses were more winning than the virtues of other
women, her selfishness more delightful than others' generosity. I never
knew a woman whose faults made her so attractive. She used to ruin
people, and yet they all loved her. My old uncle has seen her cheating
at ombre, and let her win 400 louis without resisting in the least. Her
caprices with the officers and ladies of her household were ceaseless:
but they adored her. She was the only one of the reigning family whom
the people worshipped. She never went abroad but they followed her
carriage with shouts of acclamation: and, to be generous to them, she
would borrow the last penny from one of her poor maids of honour,
whom she would never pay. In the early days her husband was as much
fascinated by her as all the rest of the world was; but her caprices had
caused frightful outbreaks of temper on his part, and an estrangement
which, though interrupted by almost mad returns of love, was still
general. I speak of her Royal Highness with perfect candour and
admiration, although I might be pardoned for judging her more severely,
considering her opinion of myself. She said the elder Monsieur de
Balibari was a finished old gentleman, and the younger one had the
manners of a courier. The world has given a different opinion, and I can
afford to chronicle this almost single sentence against me. Besides, she
had a reason for her dislike to me, which you shall hear.

Five years in the army, long experience of the world, had ere now
dispelled any of those romantic notions regarding love with which I
commenced life; and I had determined, as is proper with gentlemen (it
is only your low people who marry for mere affection), to consolidate my
fortunes by marriage. In the course of our peregrinations, my uncle
and I had made several attempts to carry this object into effect; but
numerous disappointments had occurred which are not worth mentioning
here, and had prevented me hitherto from making such a match as I
thought was worthy of a man of my birth, abilities, and personal
appearance. Ladies are not in the habit of running away on the
Continent, as is the custom in England (a custom whereby many
honourable gentlemen of my country have much benefited!); guardians, and
ceremonies, and difficulties of all kinds intervene; true love is not
allowed to have its course, and poor women cannot give away their honest
hearts to the gallant fellows who have won them. Now it was settlements
that were asked for; now it was my pedigree and title-deeds that were
not satisfactory: though I had a plan and rent-roll of the Ballybarry
estates, and the genealogy of the family up to King Brian Boru, or
Barry, most handsomely designed on paper; now it was a young lady who
was whisked off to a convent just as she was ready to fall into my arms;
on another occasion, when a rich widow of the Low Countries was about to
make me lord of a noble estate in Flanders, comes an order of the police
which drives me out of Brussels at an hour's notice, and consigns my
mourner to her chateau. But at X---I had an opportunity of playing a
great game: and had won it too, but for the dreadful catastrophe which
upset my fortune.

In the household of the Hereditary Princess there was a lady nineteen
years of age, and possessor of the greatest fortune in the whole duchy.
The Countess Ida, such was her name, was daughter of a late Minister and
favourite of his Highness the Duke of X---and his Duchess, who had done
her the honour to be her sponsors at birth, and who, at the father's
death, had taken her under their august guardianship and protection. At
sixteen she was brought from her castle, where, up to that period, she
had been permitted to reside, and had been placed with the Princess
Olivia, as one of her Highness's maids of honour.

The aunt of the Countess Ida, who presided over her house during her
minority, had foolishly allowed her to contract an attachment for her
cousin-german, a penniless sub-lieutenant in one of the Duke's foot
regiments, who had flattered himself to be able to carry off this rich
prize; and if he had not been a blundering silly idiot indeed, with the
advantage of seeing her constantly, of having no rival near him, and the
intimacy attendant upon close kinsmanship, might easily, by a private
marriage, have secured the young Countess and her possessions. But
he managed matters so foolishly, that he allowed her to leave her
retirement, to come to Court for a year, and take her place in the
Princess Olivia's household; and then what does my young gentleman do,
but appear at the Duke's levee one day, in his tarnished epaulet and
threadbare coat, and make an application in due form to his Highness,
as the young lady's guardian, for the hand of the richest heiress in his
dominions!

The weakness of the good-natured Prince was such that, as the Countess
Ida herself was quite as eager for the match as her silly cousin,
his Highness might have been induced to allow the match, had not the
Princess Olivia been induced to interpose, and to procure from the
Duke a peremptory veto to the hopes of the young man. The cause of this
refusal was as yet unknown; no other suitor for the young lady's hand
was mentioned, and the lovers continued to correspond, hoping that time
might effect a change in his Highness's resolutions; when, of a sudden,
the lieutenant was drafted into one of the regiments which the Prince
was in the habit of selling to the great powers then at war (this
military commerce was a principal part of his Highness's and other
princes' revenues in those days), and their connection was thus abruptly
broken off.

It was strange that the Princess Olivia should have taken this part
against a young lady who had been her favourite; for, at first, with
those romantic and sentimental notions which almost every woman has, she
had somewhat encouraged the Countess Ida and her penniless lover, but
now suddenly turned against them; and, from loving the Countess, as she
previously had done, pursued her with every manner of hatred which a
woman knows how to inflict: there was no end to the ingenuity of her
tortures, the venom of her tongue, the bitterness of her sarcasm and
scorn. When I first came to Court at X--, the young fellows there had
nicknamed the young lady the Dumme Grafinn, the stupid Countess. She
was generally silent, handsome, but pale, stolid-looking, and awkward;
taking no interest in the amusements of the place, and appearing in the
midst of the feasts as glum as the death's-head which, they say, the
Romans used to have at their tables.

It was rumoured that a young gentleman of French extraction, the
Chevalier de Magny, equerry to the Hereditary Prince, and present at
Paris when the Princess Olivia was married to him by proxy there, was
the intended of the rich Countess Ida; but no official declaration
of the kind was yet made, and there were whispers of a dark intrigue:
which, subsequently, received frightful confirmation.

This Chevalier de Magny was the grandson of an old general officer in
the Duke's service, the Baron de Magny. The Baron's father had quitted
France at the expulsion of Protestants after the revocation of the edict
of Nantes, and taken service in X--, where he died. The son succeeded
him, and, quite unlike most French gentlemen of birth whom I have known,
was a stern and cold Calvinist, rigid in the performance of his duty,
retiring in his manners, mingling little with the Court, and a close
friend and favourite of Duke Victor; whom he resembled in disposition.

The Chevalier his grandson was a true Frenchman; he had been born in
France, where his father held a diplomatic appointment in the Duke's
service. He had mingled in the gay society of the most brilliant Court
in the world, and had endless stories to tell us of the pleasures of the
petites maisons, of the secrets of the Parc aux Cerfs, and of the wild
gaieties of Richelieu and his companions. He had been almost ruined at
play, as his father had been before him; for, out of the reach of the
stern old Baron in Germany, both son and grandson had led the most
reckless of lives. He came back from Paris soon after the embassy which
had been despatched thither on the occasion of the marriage of the
Princess, was received sternly by his old grandfather; who, however,
paid his debts once more, and procured him the post in the Duke's
household. The Chevalier de Magny rendered himself a great favourite
of his august master; he brought with him the modes and the gaieties
of Paris; he was the deviser of all the masquerades and balls, the
recruiter of the ballet-dancers, and by far the most brilliant and
splendid young gentleman of the Court.

After we had been a few weeks at Ludwigslust, the old Baron de Magny
endeavoured to have us dismissed from the duchy; but his voice was not
strong enough to overcome that of the general public, and the Chevalier
de Magny especially stood our friend with his Highness when the question
was debated before him. The Chevalier's love of play had not deserted
him. He was a regular frequenter of our bank, where he played for some
time with pretty good luck; and where, when he began to lose, he paid
with a regularity surprising to all those who knew the smallness of his
means, and the splendour of his appearance.

Her Highness the Princess Olivia was also very fond of play. On
half-a-dozen occasions when we held a bank at Court, I could see her
passion for the game. I could see--that is, my cool-headed old uncle
could see--much more. There was an intelligence between Monsieur de
Magny and this illustrious lady. 'If her Highness be not in love with
the little Frenchman,' my uncle said to me one night after play, 'may I
lose the sight of my last eye!'

'And what then, sir?' said I.

'What then?' said my uncle, looking me hard in the face. 'Are you so
green as not to know what then? Your fortune is to be made, if you
choose to back it now; and we may have back the Barry estates in two
years, my boy.'

'How is that?' asked I, still at a loss.

My uncle drily said, 'Get Magny to play; never mind his paying: take
his notes of hand. The more he owes the better; but, above all, make him
play.'

'He can't pay a shilling,' answered I. 'The Jews will not discount his
notes at cent. per cent.'

'So much the better. You shall see we will make use of them,' answered
the old gentleman. And I must confess that the plan he laid was a
gallant, clever, and fair one.

I was to make Magny play; in this there was no great difficulty. We had
an intimacy together, for he was a good sportsman as well as myself, and
we came to have a pretty considerable friendship for one another; if he
saw a dice-box it was impossible to prevent him from handling it; but he
took to it as natural as a child does to sweetmeats.

At first he won of me; then he began to lose; then I played him money
against some jewels that he brought: family trinkets, he said, and
indeed of considerable value. He begged me, however, not to dispose of
them in the duchy, and I gave and kept my word to him to this effect.
From jewels he got to playing upon promissory notes; and as they would
not allow him to play at the Court tables and in public upon credit, he
was very glad to have an opportunity of indulging his favourite passion
in private. I have had him for hours at my pavilion (which I had fitted
up in the Eastern manner, very splendid) rattling the dice till it
became time to go to his service at Court, and we would spend day after
day in this manner. He brought me more jewels,--a pearl necklace,
an antique emerald breast ornament, and other trinkets, as a set-off
against these losses: for I need not say that I should not have played
with him all this time had he been winning; but, after about a week, the
luck set in against him, and he became my debtor in a prodigious sum. I
do not care to mention the extent of it; it was such as I never thought
the young man could pay.

Why, then, did I play for it? Why waste days in private play with a mere
bankrupt, when business seemingly much more profitable was to be done
elsewhere? My reason I boldly confess. I wanted to win from Monsieur de
Magny, not his money, but his intended wife, the Countess Ida. Who can
say that I had not a right to use ANY stratagem in this matter of love?
Or, why say love? I wanted the wealth of the lady: I loved her quite as
much as Magny did; I loved her quite as much as yonder blushing virgin
of seventeen does who marries an old lord of seventy. I followed the
practice of the world in this; having resolved that marriage should
achieve my fortune.

I used to make Magny, after his losses, give me a friendly letter of
acknowledgment to some such effect as this,--

'MY DEAR MONSIEUR DE BALIBARI,--I acknowledge to have lost to you this
day at lansquenet [or picquet, or hazard, as the case may be: I was
master of him at any game that is played] the sum of three hundred
ducats, and shall hold it as a great kindness on your part if you will
allow the debt to stand over until a future day, when you shall receive
payment from your very grateful humble servant.'

With the jewels he brought me I also took the precaution (but this was
my uncle's idea, and a very good one) to have a sort of invoice, and a
letter begging me to receive the trinkets as so much part payment of a
sum of money he owed me.

When I had put him in such a position as I deemed favourable to my
intentions, I spoke to him candidly, and without any reserve, as one man
of the world should speak to another. 'I will not, my dear fellow,' said
I, 'pay you so bad a compliment as to suppose that you expect we are
to go on playing at this rate much longer, and that there is any
satisfaction to me in possessing more or less sheets of paper bearing
your signature, and a series of notes of hand which I know you never
can pay. Don't look fierce or angry, for you know Redmond Barry is your
master at the sword; besides, I would not be such a fool as to fight a
man who owes me so much money; but hear calmly what I have to propose.

'You have been very confidential to me during our intimacy of the last
month; and I know all your personal affairs completely. You have given
your word of honour to your grandfather never to play upon parole, and
you know how you have kept it, and that he will disinherit you if he
hears the truth. Nay, suppose he dies to-morrow, his estate is not
sufficient to pay the sum in which you are indebted to me; and, were you
to yield me up all, you would be a beggar, and a bankrupt too.

'Her Highness the Princess Olivia denies you nothing. I shall not ask
why; but give me leave to say, I was aware of the fact when we began to
play together.'

'Will you be made baron-chamberlain, with the grand cordon of the
order?' gasped the poor fellow. 'The Princess can do anything with the
Duke.'

'I shall have no objection,' said I, 'to the yellow riband and the gold
key; though a gentleman of the house of Ballybarry cares little for
the titles of the German nobility. But this is not what I want. My good
Chevalier, you have hid no secrets from me. You have told me with
what difficulty you have induced the Princess Olivia to consent to the
project of your union with the Grafinn Ida, whom you don't love. I know
whom you love very well.'

'Monsieur de Balibari!' said the discomfited Chevalier; he could get out
no more. The truth began to dawn upon him.

'You begin to understand,' continued I. 'Her Highness the Princess' (I
said this in a sarcastic way) 'will not be very angry, believe me, if
you break off your connection with the stupid Countess. I am no more an
admirer of that lady than you are; but I want her estate. I played you
for that estate, and have won it; and I will give you your bills and
five thousand ducats on the day I am married to it.'

'The day _I_ am married to the Countess,' answered the Chevalier,
thinking to have me, 'I will be able to raise money to pay your claim
ten times over' (this was true, for the Countess's property may have
been valued at near half a million of our money); 'and then I will
discharge my obligations to you. Meanwhile, if you annoy me by threats,
or insult me again as you have done, I will use that influence, which,
as you say, I possess, and have you turned out of the duchy, as you were
out of the Netherlands last year.'

I rang the bell quite quietly. 'Zamor,' said I to a tall negro fellow
habited like a Turk, that used to wait upon me, 'when you hear the bell
ring a second time, you will take this packet to the Marshal of the
Court, this to his Excellency the General de Magny, and this you
will place in the hands of one of the equerries of his Highness the
Hereditary Prince. Wait in the ante-room, and do not go with the parcels
until I ring again.'

The black fellow having retired, I turned to Monsieur de Magny and said,
'Chevalier, the first packet contains a letter from you to me, declaring
your solvency, and solemnly promising payment of the sums you owe me; it
is accompanied by a document from myself (for I expected some resistance
on your part), stating that my honour has been called in question,
and begging that the paper may be laid before your august master his
Highness. The second packet is for your grandfather, enclosing the
letter from you in which you state yourself to be his heir, and begging
for a confirmation of the fact. The last parcel, for his Highness the
Hereditary Duke,' added I, looking most sternly, 'contains the Gustavus
Adolphus emerald, which he gave to his princess, and which you pledged
to me as a family jewel of your own. Your influence with her Highness
must be great indeed,' I concluded, 'when you could extort from her
such a jewel as that, and when you could make her, in order to pay your
play-debts, give up a secret upon which both your heads depend.'

'Villain!' said the Frenchman, quite aghast with fury and terror, 'would
you implicate the Princess?'

'Monsieur de Magny,' I answered, with a sneer, 'no: I will say YOU STOLE
the jewel.' It was my belief he did, and that the unhappy and infatuated
Princess was never privy to the theft until long after it had been
committed. How we came to know the history of the emerald is simple
enough. As we wanted money (for my occupation with Magny caused our bank
to be much neglected), my uncle had carried Magny's trinkets to Mannheim
to pawn. The Jew who lent upon them knew the history of the stone in
question; and when he asked how her Highness came to part with it, my
uncle very cleverly took up the story where he found it, said that the
Princess was very fond of play, that it was not always convenient to
her to pay, and hence the emerald had come into our hands. He brought it
wisely back with him to S--; and, as regards the other jewels which the
Chevalier pawned to us, they were of no particular mark: no inquiries
have ever been made about them to this day; and I did not only not know
then that they came from her Highness, but have only my conjectures upon
the matter now.

The unfortunate young gentleman must have had a cowardly spirit, when I
charged him with the theft, not to make use of my two pistols that were
lying by chance before him, and to send out of the world his accuser and
his own ruined self. With such imprudence and miserable recklessness on
his part and that of the unhappy lady who had forgotten herself for this
poor villain, he must have known that discovery was inevitable. But it
was written that this dreadful destiny should be accomplished: instead
of ending like a man, he now cowered before me quite spirit-broken, and,
flinging himself down on the sofa, burst into tears, calling wildly upon
all the saints to help him: as if they could be interested in the fate
of such a wretch as he!

I saw that I had nothing to fear from him; and, calling back Zamor my
black, said I would myself carry the parcels, which I returned to my
escritoire; and, my point being thus gained, I acted, as I always do,
generously towards him. I said that, for security's sake, I should send
the emerald out of the country, but that I pledged my honour to restore
it to the Duchess, without any pecuniary consideration, on the day when
she should procure the sovereign's consent to my union with the Countess
Ida.

This will explain pretty clearly, I flatter myself, the game I was
playing; and, though some rigid moralist may object to its propriety, I
say that anything is fair in love, and that men so poor as myself can't
afford to be squeamish about their means of getting on in life. The
great and rich are welcomed, smiling, up the grand staircase of the
world; the poor but aspiring must clamber up the wall, or push and
struggle up the back stair, or, PARDI, crawl through any of the conduits
of the house, never mind how foul and narrow, that lead to the top. The
unambitious sluggard pretends that the eminence is not worth attaining,
declines altogether the struggle, and calls himself a philosopher. I say
he is a poor-spirited coward. What is life good for but for honour? and
that is so indispensable, that we should attain it anyhow.

The manner to be adopted for Magny's retreat was proposed by myself, and
was arranged so as to consult the feelings of delicacy of both parties.
I made Magny take the Countess Ida aside, and say to her, 'Madam, though
I have never declared myself your admirer, you and the Court have had
sufficient proof of my regard for you; and my demand would, I know, have
been backed by his Highness, your august guardian. I know the Duke's
gracious wish is, that my attentions should be received favourably; but,
as time has not appeared to alter your attachment elsewhere, and as I
have too much spirit to force a lady of your name and rank to be united
to me against your will, the best plan is, that I should make you, for
form's sake, a proposal UNauthorised by his Highness: that you should
reply, as I am sorry to think your heart dictates to you, in the
negative: on which I also will formally withdraw from my pursuit of
you, stating that, after a refusal, nothing, not even the Duke's desire,
should induce me to persist in my suit.'

The Countess Ida almost wept at hearing these words from Monsieur de
Magny, and tears came into her eyes, he said, as she took his hand for
the first time, and thanked him for the delicacy of the proposal. She
little knew that the Frenchman was incapable of that sort of delicacy,
and that the graceful manner in which he withdrew his addresses was of
my invention.

As soon as he withdrew, it became my business to step forward; but
cautiously and gently, so as not to alarm the lady, and yet firmly, so
as to convince her of the hopelessness of her design of uniting herself
with her shabby lover, the sub-lieutenant. The Princess Olivia was good
enough to perform this necessary part of the plan in my favour, and
solemnly to warn the Countess Ida, that, though Monsieur de Magny had
retired from paying his addresses, his Highness her guardian would
still marry her as he thought fit, and that she must for ever forget her
out-at-elbowed adorer. In fact, I can't conceive how such a shabby rogue
as that could ever have had the audacity to propose for her: his birth
was certainly good; but what other qualifications had he?

When the Chevalier de Magny withdrew, numbers of other suitors, you
may be sure, presented themselves; and amongst these your very humble
servant, the cadet of Ballybarry. There was a carrousel, or tournament,
held at this period, in imitation of the antique meetings of chivalry,
in which the chevaliers tilted at each other, or at the ring; and on
this occasion I was habited in a splendid Roman dress (viz., a silver
helmet, a flowing periwig, a cuirass of gilt leather richly embroidered,
a light blue velvet mantle, and crimson morocco half-boots): and in this
habit I rode my bay horse Brian, carried off three rings, and won
the prize over all the Duke's gentry, and the nobility of surrounding
countries who had come to the show. A wreath of gilded laurel was to
be the prize of the victor, and it was to be awarded by the lady he
selected. So I rode up to the gallery where the Countess Ida was seated
behind the Hereditary Princess, and, calling her name loudly, yet
gracefully, begged to be allowed to be crowned by her, and thus
proclaimed myself to the face of all Germany, as it were, her suitor.
She turned very pale, and the Princess red, I observed; but the Countess
Ida ended by crowning me: after which, putting spurs into my horse, I
galloped round the ring, saluting his Highness the Duke at the opposite
end, and performing the most wonderful exercises with my bay.

My success did not, as you may imagine, increase my popularity with the
young gentry. They called me adventurer, bully, dice-loader, impostor,
and a hundred pretty names; but I had a way of silencing these gentry.
I took the Count de Schmetterling, the richest and bravest of the young
men who seemed to have a hankering for the Countess Ida, and publicly
insulted him at the ridotto; flinging my cards into his face. The next
day I rode thirty-five miles into the territory of the Elector of B----,
and met Monsieur de Schmetterling, and passed my sword twice through
his body; then rode back with my second, the Chevalier de Magny, and
presented myself at the Duchess's whist that evening. Magny was very
unwilling to accompany me at first; but I insisted upon his support, and
that he should countenance my quarrel. Directly after paying my homage
to her Highness, I went up to the Countess Ida, and made her a marked
and low obeisance, gazing at her steadily in the face until she grew
crimson red; and then staring round at every man who formed her circle,
until, MA FOI, I stared them all away. I instructed Magny to say,
everywhere, that the Countess was madly in love with me; which
commission, along with many others of mine, the poor devil was obliged
to perform. He made rather a SOTTE FIGURE, as the French say, acting the
pioneer for me, praising me everywhere, accompanying me always! he
who had been the pink of the MODE until my arrival; he who thought his
pedigree of beggarly Barons of Magny was superior to the race of great
Irish kings from which I descended; who had sneered at me a hundred
times as a spadassin, a deserter, and had called me a vulgar Irish
upstart. Now I had my revenge of the gentleman, and took it too.

I used to call him, in the choicest societies, by his Christian name
of Maxime. I would say, 'Bon jour, Maxime; comment vas-TU?' in the
Princess's hearing, and could see him bite his lips for fury and
vexation. But I had him under my thumb, and her Highness too--I, poor
private of Bulow's regiment. And this is a proof of what genius and
perseverance can do, and should act as a warning to great people never
to have SECRETS--if they can help it.

I knew the Princess hated me; but what did I care? She knew I knew all:
and indeed, I believe, so strong was her prejudice against me, that she
thought I was an indelicate villain, capable of betraying a lady, which
I would scorn to do; so that she trembled before me as a child before
its schoolmaster. She would, in her woman's way, too, make all sorts
of jokes and sneers at me on reception days; ask about my palace in
Ireland, and the kings my ancestors, and whether, when I was a private
in Bulow's foot, my royal relatives had interposed to rescue me, and
whether the cane was smartly administered there,--anything to mortify
me. But, Heaven bless you! I can make allowances for people, and used to
laugh in her face. Whilst her jibes and jeers were continuing, it was my
pleasure to look at poor Magny and see how HE bore them. The poor devil
was trembling lest I should break out under the Princess's sarcasm and
tell all; but my revenge was, when the Princess attacked me, to say
something bitter to HIM,--to pass it on, as boys do at school. And THAT
was the thing which used to make her Highness feel. She would wince just
as much when I attacked Magny as if I had been saying anything rude to
herself. And, though she hated me, she used to beg my pardon in private;
and though her pride would often get the better of her, yet her
prudence obliged this magnificent princess to humble herself to the poor
penniless Irish boy.

As soon as Magny had formally withdrawn from the Countess Ida, the
Princess took the young lady into favour again, and pretended to be very
fond of her. To do them justice, I don't know which of the two disliked
me most,--the Princess, who was all eagerness, and fire, and coquetry;
or the Countess, who was all state and splendour. The latter,
especially, pretended to be disgusted by me: and yet, after all, I have
pleased her betters; was once one of the handsomest men in Europe, and
would defy any heyduc of the Court to measure a chest or a leg with me:
but I did not care for any of her silly prejudices, and determined
to win her and wear her in spite of herself. Was it on account of
her personal charms or qualities? No. She was quite white, thin,
short-sighted, tall, and awkward, and my taste is quite the contrary;
and as for her mind, no wonder that a poor creature who had a hankering
after a wretched ragged ensign could never appreciate ME. It was her
estate I made love to; as for herself, it would be a reflection on my
taste as a man of fashion to own that I liked her.



CHAPTER XI. IN WHICH THE LUCK GOES AGAINST BARRY

My hopes of obtaining the hand of one of the richest heiresses in
Germany were now, as far as all human probability went, and as far as
my own merits and prudence could secure my fortune, pretty certain of
completion. I was admitted whenever I presented myself at the Princess's
apartments, and had as frequent opportunities as I desired of seeing
the Countess Ida there. I cannot say that she received me with any
particular favour; the silly young creature's affections were, as I have
said, engaged ignobly elsewhere; and, however captivating my own person
and manners may have been, it was not to be expected that she should all
of a sudden forget her lover for the sake of the young Irish gentleman
who was paying his addresses to her. But such little rebuffs as I got
were far from discouraging me. I had very powerful friends, who were to
aid me in my undertaking; and knew that, sooner or later, the victory
must be mine. In fact, I only waited my time to press my suit. Who
could tell the dreadful stroke of fortune which was impending over my
illustrious protectress, and which was to involve me partially in her
ruin?

All things seemed for a while quite prosperous to my wishes; and in
spite of the Countess Ida's disinclination, it was much easier to
bring her to her senses than, perhaps, may be supposed in a silly
constitutional country like England, where people are not brought up
with those wholesome sentiments of obedience to Royalty which were
customary in Europe at the time when I was a young man.

I have stated how, through Magny, I had the Princess, as it were, at my
feet. Her Highness had only to press the match upon the old Duke, over
whom her influence was unbounded, and to secure the goodwill of
the Countess of Liliengarten, (which was the romantic title of his
Highness's morganatic spouse), and the easy old man would give an
order for the marriage: which his ward would perforce obey. Madame de
Liliengarten was, too, from her position, extremely anxious to oblige
the Princess Olivia; who might be called upon any day to occupy the
throne. The old Duke was tottering, apoplectic, and exceedingly fond of
good living. When he was gone, his relict would find the patronage of
the Duchess Olivia most necessary to her. Hence there was a close
mutual understanding between the two ladies; and the world said that the
Hereditary Princess was already indebted to the favourite for help on
various occasions. Her Highness had obtained, through the Countess,
several large grants of money for the payment of her multifarious debts;
and she was now good enough to exert her gracious influence over Madame
de Liliengarten in order to obtain for me the object so near my
heart. It is not to be supposed that my end was to be obtained without
continual unwillingness and refusals on Magny's part; but I pushed
my point resolutely, and had means in my hands of overcoming the
stubbornness of that feeble young gentleman. Also, I may say, without
vanity, that if the high and mighty Princess detested me, the Countess
(though she was of extremely low origin, it is said) had better taste
and admired me. She often did us the honour to go partners with us in
one of our faro-banks, and declared that I was the handsomest man in the
duchy. All I was required to prove was my nobility, and I got at Vienna
such a pedigree as would satisfy the most greedy in that way. In fact,
what had a man descended from the Barrys and the Bradys to fear before
any VON in Germany? By way of making assurance doubly sure, I promised
Madame de Liliengarten ten thousand louis on the day of my marriage, and
she knew that as a play-man I had never failed in my word: and I vow,
that had I paid fifty per cent. for it, I would have got the money.

Thus by my talents, honesty, and acuteness, I had, considering I was
a poor patronless outcast, raised for myself very powerful protectors.
Even his Highness the Duke Victor was favourably inclined to me; for,
his favourite charger falling ill of the staggers, I gave him a ball
such as my uncle Brady used to administer, and cured the horse; after
which his Highness was pleased to notice me frequently. He invited me
to his hunting and shooting parties, where I showed myself to be a good
sportsman; and once or twice he condescended to talk to me about my
prospects in life, lamenting that I had taken to gambling, and that I
had not adopted a more regular means of advancement. 'Sir,' said I, 'if
you will allow me to speak frankly to your Highness, play with me is
only a means to an end. Where should I have been without it? A private
still in King Frederick's grenadiers. I come of a race which gave
princes to my country; but persecutions have deprived them of their vast
possessions. My uncle's adherence to his ancient faith drove him from
our country. I too resolved to seek advancement in the military service;
but the insolence and ill-treatment which I received at the hands of
the English were not bearable by a high-born gentleman, and I fled their
service. It was only to fall into another bondage to all appearance
still more hopeless; when my good star sent a preserver to me in my
uncle, and my spirit and gallantry enabled me to take advantage of the
means of escape afforded me. Since then we have lived, I do not disguise
it, by play; but who can say I have done him a wrong? Yet, if I could
find myself in an honourable post, and with an assured maintenance, I
would never, except for amusement, such as every gentleman must have,
touch a card again. I beseech your Highness to inquire of your resident
at Berlin if I did not on every occasion act as a gallant soldier. I
feel that I have talents of a higher order, and should be proud to have
occasion to exert them; if, as I do not doubt, my fortune shall bring
them into play.'

The candour of this statement struck his Highness greatly, and impressed
him in my favour, and he was pleased to say that he believed me, and
would be glad to stand my friend.

Having thus the two Dukes, the Duchess, and the reigning favourite
enlisted on my side, the chances certainly were that I should carry off
the great prize; and I ought, according to all common calculations, to
have been a Prince of the Empire at this present writing, but that
my ill luck pursued me in a matter in which I was not the least to
blame,--the unhappy Duchess's attachment to the weak, silly, cowardly
Frenchman. The display of this love was painful to witness, as its end
was frightful to think of. The Princess made no disguise of it. If
Magny spoke a word to a lady of her household, she would be jealous, and
attack with all the fury of her tongue the unlucky offender. She would
send him a half-dozen of notes in the day: at his arrival to join her
circle or the courts which she held, she would brighten up, so that all
might perceive. It was a wonder that her husband had not long ere this
been made aware of her faithlessness; but the Prince Victor was himself
of so high and stern a nature that he could not believe in her stooping
so far from her rank as to forget her virtue: and I have heard say,
that when hints were given to him of the evident partiality which the
Princess showed for the equerry, his answer was a stern command never
more to be troubled on the subject. 'The Princess is light-minded,' he
said; 'she was brought up at a frivolous Court; but her folly goes not
beyond coquetry: crime is impossible; she has her birth, and my name,
and her children, to defend her.' And he would ride off to his
military inspections and be absent for weeks, or retire to his suite of
apartments, and remain closeted there whole days; only appearing to
make a bow at her Highness's LEVEE, or to give her his hand at the Court
galas, where ceremony required that he should appear. He was a man of
vulgar tastes, and I have seen him in the private garden, with his great
ungainly figure, running races, or playing at ball with his little son
and daughter, whom he would find a dozen pretexts daily for visiting.
The serene children were brought to their mother every morning at
her toilette; but she received them very indifferently: except on one
occasion, when the young Duke Ludwig got his little uniform as colonel
of hussars, being presented with a regiment by his godfather the Emperor
Leopold. Then, for a day or two, the Duchess Olivia was charmed with
the little boy; but she grew tired of him speedily, as a child does of
a toy. I remember one day, in the morning circle, some of the Princess's
rouge came off on the arm of her son's little white military jacket; on
which she slapped the poor child's face, and sent him sobbing away. Oh,
the woes that have been worked by women in this world! the misery into
which men have lightly stepped with smiling faces; often not even with
the excuse of passion, but from mere foppery, vanity, and bravado! Men
play with these dreadful two-edged tools, as if no harm could come to
them. I, who have seen more of life than most men, if I had a son, would
go on my knees to him and beg him to avoid woman, who is worse than
poison. Once intrigue, and your whole life is endangered: you never know
when the evil may fall upon you; and the woe of whole families, and the
ruin of innocent people perfectly dear to you, may be caused by a moment
of your folly.

When I saw how entirely lost the unlucky Monsieur de Magny seemed to be,
in spite of all the claims I had against him, I urged him to fly. He had
rooms in the palace, in the garrets over the Princess's quarters
(the building was a huge one, and accommodated almost a city of noble
retainers of the family); but the infatuated young fool would not
budge, although he had not even the excuse of love for staying. 'How
she squints,' he would say of the Princess, 'and how crooked she is! She
thinks no one can perceive her deformity. She writes me verses out of
Gresset or Crebillon, and fancies I believe them to be original. Bah!
they are no more her own than her hair is!' It was in this way that the
wretched lad was dancing over the ruin that was yawning under him. I do
believe that his chief pleasure in making love to the Princess was, that
he might write about his victories to his friends of the PETITES MAISONS
at Paris, where he longed to be considered as a wit and a VAINQUEUR DE
DAMES.

Seeing the young man's recklessness, and the danger of his position,
I became very anxious that MY little scheme should be brought to a
satisfactory end, and pressed him warmly on the matter.

My solicitations with him were, I need not say, from the nature of the
connection between us, generally pretty successful; and, in fact, the
poor fellow could REFUSE ME NOTHING: as I used often laughingly to say
to him, very little to his liking. But I used more than threats, or the
legitimate influence I had over him. I used delicacy and generosity;
as a proof of which, I may mention that I promised to give back to the
Princess the family emerald, which I mentioned in the last chapter that
I had won from her unprincipled admirer at play.

This was done by my uncle's consent, and was one of the usual acts of
prudence and foresight which distinguish that clever man. "Press the
matter now, Redmond my boy," he would urge. "This affair between her
Highness and Magny must end ill for both of them, and that soon; and
where will be your chance to win the Countess then? Now is your time!
win her and wear her before the month is over, and we will give up the
punting business, and go live like noblemen at our castle in Swabia. Get
rid of that emerald, too," he added: "should an accident happen, it will
be an ugly deposit found in our hand." This it was that made me agree to
forego the possession of the trinket; which, I must confess, I was
loth to part with. It was lucky for us both that I did: as you shall
presently hear.

Meanwhile, then, I urged Magny: I myself spoke strongly to the Countess
of Liliengarten, who promised formally to back my claim with his
Highness the reigning Duke; and Monsieur de Magny was instructed to
induce the Princess Olivia to make a similar application to the old
sovereign in my behalf. It was done. The two ladies urged the Prince;
his Highness (at a supper of oysters and champagne) was brought to
consent, and her Highness the Hereditary Princess did me the honour of
notifying personally to the Countess Ida that it was the Prince's will
that she should marry the young Irish nobleman, the Chevalier Redmond de
Balibari. The notification was made in my presence; and though the young
Countess said 'Never!' and fell down in a swoon at her lady's feet, I
was, you may be sure, entirely unconcerned at this little display of
mawkish sensibility, and felt, indeed, now that my prize was secure.

That evening I gave the Chevalier de Magny the emerald, which he
promised to restore to the Princess; and now the only difficulty in my
way lay with the Hereditary Prince, of whom his father, his wife, and
the favourite, were alike afraid. He might not be disposed to allow the
richest heiress in his duchy to be carried off by a noble, though not
a wealthy foreigner. Time was necessary in order to break the matter to
Prince Victor. The Princess must find him at some moment of good-humour.
He had days of infatuation still, when he could refuse his wife nothing;
and our plan was to wait for one of these, or for any other chance which
might occur.

But it was destined that the Princess should never see her husband at
her feet, as often as he had been. Fate was preparing a terrible ending
to her follies, and my own hope. In spite of his solemn promises to me,
Magny never restored the emerald to the Princess Olivia.

He had heard, in casual intercourse with me, that my uncle and I had
been beholden to Mr. Moses Lowe, the banker of Heidelberg, who had given
us a good price for our valuables; and the infatuated young man took
a pretext to go thither, and offered the jewel for pawn. Moses Lowe
recognised the emerald at once, gave Magny the sum the latter demanded,
which the Chevalier lost presently at play: never, you may be sure,
acquainting us with the means by which he had made himself master of so
much capital. We, for our parts, supposed that he had been supplied by
his usual banker, the Princess: and many rouleaux of his gold pieces
found their way into our treasury, when at the Court galas, at our own
lodgings, or at the apartments of Madame de Liliengarten (who on these
occasions did us the honour to go halves with us) we held our bank of
faro.

Thus Magny's money was very soon gone. But though the Jew held his
jewel, of thrice the value no doubt of the sums he had lent upon it,
that was not all the profit which he intended to have from his unhappy
creditor; over whom he began speedily to exercise his authority. His
Hebrew connections at X--, money-brokers, bankers, horse-dealers, about
the Court there, must have told their Heidelberg brother what Magny's
relations with the Princess were; and the rascal determined to take
advantage of these, and to press to the utmost both victims. My
uncle and I were, meanwhile, swimming upon the high tide of fortune,
prospering with our cards, and with the still greater matrimonial game
which we were playing; and we were quite unaware of the mine under our
feet.

Before a month was passed, the Jew began to pester Magny. He presented
himself at X--, and asked for further interest-hush-money; otherwise
he must sell the emerald. Magny got money for him; the Princess again
befriended her dastardly lover. The success of the first demand only
rendered the second more exorbitant. I know not how much money was
extorted and paid on this unluckly emerald: but it was the cause of the
ruin of us all.

One night we were keeping our table as usual at the Countess of
Liliengarten's, and Magny being in cash somehow, kept drawing out
rouleau after rouleau, and playing with his common ill success. In
the middle of the play a note was brought into him, which he read, and
turned very pale on perusing; but the luck was against him, and looking
up rather anxiously at the clock, he waited for a few more turns of the
cards, when having, I suppose, lost his last rouleau, he got up with a
wild oath that scared some of the polite company assembled, and left
the room. A great trampling of horses was heard without; but we were
too much engaged with our business to heed the noise, and continued our
play.

Presently some one came into the play-room and said to the Countess,
'Here is a strange story! A Jew has been murdered in the Kaiserwald.
Magny was arrested when he went out of the room.' All the party broke
up on hearing this strange news, and we shut up our bank for the night.
Magny had been sitting by me during the play (my uncle dealt and I paid
and took the money), and, looking under the chair, there was a crumpled
paper, which I took up and read. It was that which had been delivered to
him, and ran thus:--'If you have done it, take the orderly's horse who
brings this. It is the best of my stable. There are a hundred louis in
each holster, and the pistols are loaded. Either course lies open to
you if you know what I mean. In a quarter of an hour I shall know our
fate--whether I am to be dishonoured and survive you, whether you are
guilty and a coward, or whether you are still worthy of the name of

    'M.'

This was in the handwriting of the old General de Magny; and my uncle
and I, as we walked home at night, having made and divided with the
Countess Liliengarten no inconsiderable profits that night, felt our
triumphs greatly dashed by the perusal of the letter. 'Has Magny,' we
asked, 'robbed the Jew, or has his intrigue been discovered?' In either
case, my claims on the Countess Ida were likely to meet with serious
drawbacks: and I began to feel that my 'great card' was played and
perhaps lost.

Well, it WAS lost: though I say, to this day, it was well and gallantly
played. After supper (which we never for fear of consequences took
during play) I became so agitated in my mind as to what was occurring
that I determined to sally out about midnight into the town, and inquire
what was the real motive of Magny's apprehension. A sentry was at the
door, and signified to me that I and my uncle were under arrest.

We were left in our quarters for six weeks, so closely watched that
escape was impossible, had we desired it; but, as innocent men, we had
nothing to fear. Our course of life was open to all, and we desired and
courted inquiry. Great and tragical events happened during those six
weeks; of which, though we heard the outline, as all Europe did, when we
were released from our captivity, we were yet far from understanding all
the particulars, which were not much known to me for many years after.
Here they are, as they were told me by the lady, who of all the world
perhaps was most likely to know them. But the narrative had best form
the contents of another chapter.



CHAPTER XII. TRAGICAL HISTORY OF PRINCESS OF X----

More than twenty years after the events described in the past chapters,
I was walking with my Lady Lyndon in the Rotunda at Ranelagh. It was in
the year 1790; the emigration from France had already commenced, the
old counts and marquises were thronging to our shores: not starving and
miserable, as one saw them a few years afterwards, but unmolested as
yet, and bringing with them some token of their national splendour.
I was walking with Lady Lyndon, who, proverbially jealous and always
anxious to annoy me, spied out a foreign lady who was evidently
remarking me, and of course asked who was the hideous fat Dutchwoman who
was leering at me so? I knew her not in the least. I felt I had seen the
lady's face somewhere (it was now, as my wife said, enormously fat and
bloated); but I did not recognise in the bearer of that face one who had
been among the most beautiful women in Germany in her day.

It was no other than Madame de Liliengarten, the mistress, or as some
said the morganatic wife, of the old Duke of X----, Duke Victor's
father. She had left X----a few months after the elder Duke's demise,
had gone to Paris, as I heard, where some unprincipled adventurer
had married her for her money; but, however, had always retained her
quasi-royal title, and pretended, amidst the great laughter of the
Parisians who frequented her house, to the honours and ceremonial of a
sovereign's widow. She had a throne erected in her state-room, and was
styled by her servants and those who wished to pay court to her,
or borrow money from her, 'Altesse.' Report said she drank rather
copiously--certainly her face bore every mark of that habit, and
had lost the rosy, frank, good-humoured beauty which had charmed the
sovereign who had ennobled her.

Although she did not address me in the circle at Ranelagh, I was at this
period as well known as the Prince of Wales, and she had no difficulty
in finding my house in Berkeley Square; whither a note was next morning
despatched to me. 'An old friend of Monsieur de Balibari,' it stated
(in extremely bad French), 'is anxious to see the Chevalier again and
to talk over old happy times. Rosina de Liliengarten (can it be that
Redmond Balibari has forgotten her?) will be at her house in Leicester
Fields all the morning, looking for one who would never have passed her
by TWENTY YEARS ago.'

Rosina of Liliengarten it was indeed--such a full-blown Rosina I have
seldom seen. I found her in a decent first-floor in Leicester Fields
(the poor soul fell much lower afterwards) drinking tea, which had
somehow a very strong smell of brandy in it; and after salutations,
which would be more tedious to recount than they were to perform, and
after further straggling conversation, she gave me briefly the
following narrative of the events in X----, which I may well entitle the
'Princess's Tragedy.'

'You remember Monsieur de Geldern, the Police Minister. He was of Dutch
extraction, and, what is more, of a family of Dutch Jews. Although
everybody was aware of this blot in his scutcheon, he was mortally angry
if ever his origin was suspected; and made up for his fathers' errors
by outrageous professions of religion, and the most austere practices
of devotion. He visited church every morning, confessed once a week, and
hated Jews and Protestants as much as an inquisitor could do. He never
lost an opportunity of proving his sincerity, by persecuting one or the
other whenever occasion fell in his way.

'He hated the Princess mortally; for her Highness in some whim had
insulted him with his origin, caused pork to be removed from before him
at table, or injured him in some such silly way; and he had a violent
animosity to the old Baron de Magny, both in his capacity of Protestant,
and because the latter in some haughty mood had publicly turned his back
upon him as a sharper and a spy. Perpetual quarrels were taking place
between them in council; where it was only the presence of his
august masters that restrained the Baron from publicly and frequently
expressing the contempt which he felt for the officer of police.

'Thus Geldern had hatred as one reason for ruining the Princess, and it
is my belief he had a stronger motive still--interest. You remember whom
the Duke married, after the death of his first wife?--a princess of the
house of F----. Geldern built his fine palace two years after, and, as I
feel convinced, with the money which was paid to him by the F----family
for forwarding the match.

'To go to Prince Victor, and report to his Highness a case which
everybody knew, was not by any means Geldern's desire. He knew the man
would be ruined for ever in the Prince's estimation who carried him
intelligence so disastrous. His aim, therefore, was to leave the matter
to explain itself to his Highness; and, when the time was ripe, he cast
about for a means of carrying his point. He had spies in the houses of
the elder and younger Magny; but this you know, of course, from your
experience of Continental customs. We had all spies over each other.
Your black (Zamor, I think, was his name) used to give me reports every
morning; and I used to entertain the dear old Duke with stories of you
and your uncle practising picquet and dice in the morning, and with your
quarrels and intrigues. We levied similar contributions on everybody
in X----, to amuse the dear old man. Monsieur de Magny's valet used to
report both to me and Monsieur de Geldern.

'I knew of the fact of the emerald being in pawn; and it was out of my
exchequer that the poor Princess drew the funds which were spent upon
the odious Lowe, and the still more worthless young Chevalier. How the
Princess could trust the latter as she persisted in doing, is beyond my
comprehension; but there is no infatuation like that of a woman in
love: and you will remark, my dear Monsieur de Balibari, that our sex
generally fix upon a bad man.'

'Not always, madam,' I interposed; 'your humble servant has created many
such attachments.'

'I do not see that that affects the truth of the proposition,' said
the old lady drily, and continued her narrative. 'The Jew who held the
emerald had had many dealings with the Princess, and at last was offered
a bribe of such magnitude, that he determined to give up the pledge. He
committed the inconceivable imprudence of bringing the emerald with him
to X----, and waited on Magny, who was provided by the Princess with
money to redeem the pledge, and was actually ready to pay it.'

'Their interview took place in Magny's own apartments, when his valet
overheard every word of their conversation. The young man, who was
always utterly careless of money when it was in his possession, was
so easy in offering it, that Lowe rose in his demands, and had the
conscience to ask double the sum for which he had previously stipulated.

'At this the Chevalier lost all patience, fell on the wretch and was for
killing him; when the opportune valet rushed in and saved him. The man
had heard every word of the conversation between the disputants, and
the Jew ran flying with terror into his arms; and Magny, a quick and
passionate, but not a violent man, bade the servant lead the villain
downstairs, and thought no more of him.

'Perhaps he was not sorry to be rid of him, and to have in his
possession a large sum of money, four thousand ducats, with which he
could tempt fortune once more; as you know he did at your table that
night.'

'Your ladyship went halves, madam,' said I; 'and you know how little I
was the better for my winnings.'

'The man conducted the trembling Israelite out of the palace, and no
sooner had seen him lodged at the house of one of his brethren, where
he was accustomed to put up, than he went away to the office of his
Excellency the Minister of Police, and narrated every word of the
conversation which had taken place between the Jew and his master.

'Geldern expressed the greatest satisfaction at his spy's prudence and
fidelity. He gave him a purse of twenty ducats, and promised to provide
for him handsomely: as great men do sometimes promise to reward their
instruments; but you, Monsieur de Balibari, know how seldom those
promises are kept. "Now, go and find out," said Monsieur de Geldern,
"at what time the Israelite proposes to return home again, or whether he
will repent and take the money." The man went on this errand. Meanwhile,
to make matters sure, Geldern arranged a play-party at my house,
inviting you thither with your bank, as you may remember; and finding
means, at the same time, to let Maxime de Magny know that there was
to be faro at Madame de Liliengarten's. It was an invitation the poor
fellow never neglected.'

I remembered the facts, and listened on, amazed at the artifice of the
infernal Minister of Police.

'The spy came back from his message to Lowe, and stated that he had made
inquiries among the servants of the house where the Heidelberg banker
lodged, and that it was the latter's intention to leave X----that
afternoon. He travelled by himself, riding an old horse, exceedingly
humbly attired, after the manner of his people.

'"Johann," said the Minister, clapping the pleased spy upon the
shoulder, "I am more and more pleased with you. I have been thinking,
since you left me, of your intelligence, and the faithful manner in
which you have served me; and shall soon find an occasion to place you
according to your merits. Which way does this Israelitish scoundrel
take?"

'"He goes to R----to-night."

'"And must pass by the Kaiserwald. Are you a man of courage, Johann
Kerner?"

'"Will your Excellency try me?" said the man, his eyes glittering: "I
served through the Seven Years' War, and was never known to fail there."

'"Now, listen. The emerald must be taken from that Jew: in the very
keeping it the scoundrel has committed high treason. To the man who
brings me that emerald I swear I will give five hundred louis. You
understand why it is necessary that it should be restored to her
Highness. I need say no more."

'"You shall have it to-night, sir," said the man. "Of course your
Excellency will hold me harmless in case of accident."

'"Psha!" answered the Minister; "I will pay you half the money
beforehand; such is my confidence in you. Accident's impossible if you
take your measures properly. There are four leagues of wood; the Jew
rides slowly. It will be night before he can reach, let us say, the
old Powder-Mill in the wood. What's to prevent you from putting a
rope across the road, and dealing with him there? Be back with me
this evening at supper. If you meet any of the patrol, say 'foxes are
loose,'--that's the word for to-night. They will let you pass them
without questions."

'The man went off quite charmed with his commission; and when Magny was
losing his money at our faro-table, his servant waylaid the Jew at the
spot named the Powder-Mill, in the Kaiserwald. The Jew's horse stumbled
over a rope which had been placed across the road; and, as the rider
fell groaning to the ground, Johann Kerner rushed out on him, masked,
and pistol in hand, and demanded his money. He had no wish to kill the
Jew, I believe, unless his resistance should render extreme measures
necessary.

'Nor did he commit any such murder; for, as the yelling Jew roared for
mercy, and his assailant menaced him with a pistol, a squad of patrol
came up, and laid hold of the robber and the wounded man.

'Kerner swore an oath. "You have come too soon," said he to the sergeant
of the police. "FOXES ARE LOOSE." "Some are caught," said the sergeant,
quite unconcerned; and bound the fellow's hands with the rope which he
had stretched across the road to entrap the Jew. He was placed behind
a policeman on a horse; Lowe was similarly accommodated, and the
party thus came back into the town as the night fell. 'They were taken
forthwith to the police quarter; and, as the chief happened to be there,
they were examined by his Excellency in person. Both were rigorously
searched; the Jew's papers and cases taken from him: the jewel was
found in a private pocket. As for the spy, the Minister, looking at him
angrily, said, "Why, this is the servant of the Chevalier de Magny, one
of her Highness's equerries!" and without hearing a word in exculpation
from the poor frightened wretch, ordered him into close confinement.

'Calling for his horse, he then rode to the Prince's apartments at the
palace, and asked for an instant audience. When admitted, he produced
the emerald. "This jewel," said he, "has been found on the person of a
Heidelberg Jew, who has been here repeatedly of late, and has had many
dealings with her Highness's equerry, the Chevalier de Magny. This
afternoon the Chevalier's servant came from his master's lodgings,
accompanied by the Hebrew; was heard to make inquiries as to the route
the man intended to take on his way homewards; followed him, or preceded
him rather, and was found in the act of rifling his victim by my police
in the Kaiserwald. The man will confess nothing; but, on being searched,
a large sum in gold was found on his person; and though it is with the
utmost pain that I can bring myself to entertain such an opinion, and to
implicate a gentleman of the character and name of Monsieur de Magny,
I do submit that our duty is to have the Chevalier examined relative to
the affair. As Monsieur de Magny is in her Highness's private service,
and in her confidence I have heard, I would not venture to apprehend him
without your Highness's permission."

'The Prince's Master of the Horse, a friend of the old Baron de
Magny, who was present at the interview, no sooner heard the strange
intelligence than he hastened away to the old general with the dreadful
news of his grandson's supposed crime. Perhaps his Highness himself
was not unwilling that his old friend and tutor in arms should have the
chance of saving his family from disgrace; at all events, Monsieur de
Hengst, the Master of the Horse, was permitted to go off to the Baron
undisturbed, and break to him the intelligence of the accusation pending
over the unfortunate Chevalier.

'It is possible that he expected some such dreadful catastrophe, for,
after hearing Hengst's narrative (as the latter afterwards told me), he
only said, "Heaven's will be done!" for some time refused to stir a
step in the matter, and then only by the solicitation of his friend
was induced to write the letter which Maxime de Magny received at our
play-table.

'Whilst he was there, squandering the Princess's money, a police visit
was paid to his apartments, and a hundred proofs, not of his guilt with
respect to the robbery, but of his guilty connection with the Princess,
were discovered there,--tokens of her giving, passionate letters
from her, copies of his own correspondence to his young friends at
Paris,--all of which the Police Minister perused, and carefully put
together under seal for his Highness, Prince Victor. I have no doubt he
perused them, for, on delivering them to the Hereditary Prince, Geldern
said that, IN OBEDIENCE TO HIS HIGHNESS'S ORDERS, he had collected
the Chevalier's papers; but he need not say that, on his honour, he
(Geldern) himself had never examined the documents. His difference with
Messieurs de Magny was known; he begged his Highness to employ any other
official person in the judgment of the accusation brought against the
young Chevalier.

'All these things were going on while the Chevalier was at play. A run
of luck--you had great luck in those days, Monsieur de Balibari--was
against him. He stayed and lost his 4000 ducats. He received his uncle's
note, and such was the infatuation of the wretched gambler, that, on
receipt of it, he went down to the courtyard, where the horse was in
waiting, absolutely took the money which the poor old gentleman had
placed in the saddle-holsters, brought it upstairs, played it, and lost
it; and when he issued from the room to fly, it was too late: he
was placed in arrest at the bottom of my staircase, as you were upon
entering your own home.

'Even when he came in under the charge of the soldiery sent to arrest
him, the old General, who was waiting, was overjoyed to see him, and
flung himself into the lad's arms, and embraced him: it was said,
for the first time in many years. "He is here, gentlemen," he sobbed
out,--"thank God he is not guilty of the robbery!" and then sank back in
a chair in a burst of emotion; painful, it was said by those present,
to witness on the part of a man so brave, and known to be so cold and
stern.

'"Robbery!" said the young man. "I swear before Heaven I am guilty of
none!" and a scene of almost touching reconciliation passed between
them, before the unhappy young man was led from the guard-house into the
prison which he was destined never to quit.

'That night the Duke looked over the papers which Geldern had brought to
him. It was at a very early stage of the perusal, no doubt, that he gave
orders for your arrest; for you were taken at midnight, Magny at ten
o'clock; after which time the old Baron de Magny had seen his Highness,
protesting of his grandson's innocence, and the Prince had received him
most graciously and kindly. His Highness said he had no doubt the
young man was innocent; his birth and his blood rendered such a crime
impossible; but suspicion was too strong against him: he was known to
have been that day closeted with the Jew; to have received a very large
sum of money which he squandered at play, and of which the Hebrew had,
doubtless, been the lender,--to have despatched his servant after him,
who inquired the hour of the Jew's departure, lay in wait for him, and
rifled him. Suspicion was so strong against the Chevalier, that common
justice required his arrest; and, meanwhile, until he cleared himself,
he should be kept in not dishonourable durance, and every regard had
for his name, and the services of his honourable grandfather. With
this assurance, and with a warm grasp of the hand, the Prince left old
General de Magny that night; and the veteran retired to rest almost
consoled, and confident in Maxime's eventual and immediate release.

'But in the morning, before daybreak, the Prince, who had been reading
papers all night, wildly called to the page, who slept in the next
room across the door, bade him get horses, which were always kept in
readiness in the stables, and, flinging a parcel of letters into a
box, told the page to follow him on horseback with these. The young man
(Monsieur de Weissenborn) told this to a young lady who was then of my
household, and who is now Madame de Weissenborn, and a mother of a score
of children.

'The page described that never was such a change seen as in his august
master in the course of that single night. His eyes were bloodshot, his
face livid, his clothes were hanging loose about him, and he who
had always made his appearance on parade as precisely dressed as any
sergeant of his troops, might have been seen galloping through the
lonely streets at early dawn without a hat, his unpowdered hair
streaming behind him like a madman.

'The page, with the box of papers, clattered after his master,--it was
no easy task to follow him; and they rode from the palace to the town,
and through it to the General's quarter. The sentinels at the door were
scared at the strange figure that rushed up to the General's gate, and,
not knowing him, crossed bayonets, and refused him admission. "Fools,"
said Weissenborn, "it is the Prince!" And, jangling at the bell as if
for an alarm of fire, the door was at length opened by the porter, and
his Highness ran up to the Generals bedchamber, followed by the page
with the box.

'"Magny--Magny," roared the Prince, thundering at the closed door, "get
up!" And to the queries of the old man from within, answered, "It is
I--Victor--the Prince!--get up!" And presently the door was opened by
the General in his ROBE-DE-CHAMBRE, and the Prince entered. The page
brought in the box, and was bidden to wait without, which he did; but
there led from Monsieur de Magny's bedroom into his antechamber two
doors, the great one which formed the entrance into his room, and a
smaller one which led, as the fashion is with our houses abroad, into
the closet which communicates with the alcove where the bed is. The door
of this was found by M. de Weissenborn to be open, and the young man
was thus enabled to hear and see everything which occurred within the
apartment.

'The General, somewhat nervously, asked what was the reason of so early
a visit from his Highness; to which the Prince did not for a while
reply, farther than by staring at him rather wildly, and pacing up and
down the room.

'At last he said, "Here is the cause!" dashing his fist on the box; and,
as he had forgotten to bring the key with him, he went to the door for a
moment, saying, "Weissenborn perhaps has it;" but seeing over the stove
one of the General's couteaux de chasse, he took it down, and said,
"That will do," and fell to work to burst the red trunk open with the
blade of the forest knife. The point broke, and he gave an oath, but
continued haggling on with the broken blade, which was better suited
to his purpose than the long pointed knife, and finally succeeded in
wrenching open the lid of the chest.

'"What is the matter?" said he, laughing. "Here's the matter;--read
that!--here's more matter, read that!--here's more--no, not that; that's
somebody else's picture--but here's hers! Do you know that, Magny? My
wife's--the Princess's! Why did you and your cursed race ever come out
of France, to plant your infernal wickedness wherever your feet fell,
and to ruin honest German homes? What have you and yours ever had from
my family but confidence and kindness? We gave you a home when you
had none, and here's our reward!" and he flung a parcel of papers down
before the old General; who saw the truth at once;--he had known it long
before, probably, and sank down on his chair, covering his face.

'The Prince went on gesticulating, and shrieking almost. "If a man
injured you so, Magny, before you begot the father of that gambling
lying villain yonder, you would have known how to revenge yourself. You
would have killed him! Yes, would have killed him. But who's to help
me to my revenge? I've no equal. I can't meet that dog of a
Frenchman,--that pimp from Versailles,--and kill him, as if he had
played the traitor to one of his own degree."

'"The blood of Maxime de Magny," said the old gentleman proudly, "is as
good as that of any prince in Christendom."

'"Can I take it?" cried the Prince; "you know I can't. I can't have the
privilege of any other gentleman in Europe. What am I to do? Look here,
Magny: I was wild when I came here; I didn't know what to do. You've
served me for thirty years; you've saved my life twice: they are all
knaves and harlots about my poor old father here--no honest men or
women--you are the only one--you saved my life; tell me what am I to
do?" Thus from insulting Monsieur de Magny, the poor distracted Prince
fell to supplicating him; and, at last, fairly flung himself down, and
burst out in an agony of tears.

'Old Magny, one of the most rigid and cold of men on common occasions,
when he saw this outbreak of passion on the Prince's part, became, as my
informant has described to me, as much affected as his master. The
old man from being cold and high, suddenly fell, as it were, into
the whimpering querulousness of extreme old age. He lost all sense of
dignity; he went down on his knees, and broke out into all sorts of wild
incoherent attempts at consolation; so much so, that Weissenborn said he
could not bear to look at the scene, and actually turned away from the
contemplation of it.

'But, from what followed in a few days, we may guess the results of the
long interview. The Prince, when he came away from the conversation with
his old servant, forgot his fatal box of papers and sent the page back
for them. The General was on his knees praying in the room when the
young man entered, and only stirred and looked wildly round as the other
removed the packet. The Prince rode away to his hunting-lodge at three
leagues from X----, and three days after that Maxime de Magny died in
prison; having made a confession that he was engaged in an attempt to
rob the Jew, and that he had made away with himself, ashamed of his
dishonour.

'But it is not known that it was the General himself who took his
grandson poison: it was said even that he shot him in the prison. This,
however, was not the case. General de Magny carried his grandson the
draught which was to carry him out of the world; represented to the
wretched youth that his fate was inevitable; that it would be public and
disgraceful unless he chose to anticipate the punishment, and so left
him. But IT WAS NOT OF HIS OWN ACCORD, and not until he had used EVERY
means of escape, as you shall hear, that the unfortunate being's life
was brought to an end.

'As for General de Magny, he quite fell into imbecility a short time
after his grandson's death, and my honoured Duke's demise. After his
Highness the Prince married the Princess Mary of F----, as they were
walking in the English park together they once met old Magny riding in
the sun in the easy chair, in which he was carried commonly abroad
after his paralytic fits. "This is my wife, Magny," said the Prince
affectionately, taking the veteran's hand; and he added, turning to his
Princess, "General de Magny saved my life during the Seven Years' War."

'"What, you've taken her back again?" said the old man. "I wish you'd
send me back my poor Maxime." He had quite forgotten the death of the
poor Princess Olivia, and the Prince, looking very dark indeed, passed
away.

'And now,' said Madame de Liliengarten, 'I have only one more gloomy
story to relate to you--the death of the Princess Olivia. It is even
more horrible than the tale I have just told you.' With which preface
the old lady resumed her narrative.

'The kind weak Princess's fate was hastened, if not occasioned, by the
cowardice of Magny. He found means to communicate with her from his
prison, and her Highness, who was not in open disgrace yet (for the
Duke, out of regard to the family, persisted in charging Magny with only
robbery), made the most desperate efforts to relieve him, and to bribe
the gaolers to effect his escape. She was so wild that she lost all
patience and prudence in the conduct of any schemes she may have had
for Magny's liberation; for her husband was inexorable, and caused the
Chevalier's prison to be too strictly guarded for escape to be possible.
She offered the State jewels in pawn to the Court banker; who of course
was obliged to decline the transaction. She fell down on her knees, it
is said, to Geldern, the Police Minister, and offered him Heaven knows
what as a bribe. Finally, she came screaming to my poor dear Duke, who,
with his age, diseases, and easy habits, was quite unfit for scenes of
so violent a nature; and who, in consequence of the excitement created
in his august bosom by her frantic violence and grief, had a fit
in which I very nigh lost him. That his dear life was brought to an
untimely end by these transactions I have not the slightest doubt; for
the Strasbourg pie, of which they said he died, never, I am sure,
could have injured him, but for the injury which his dear gentle heart
received from the unusual occurrences in which he was forced to take a
share.

'All her Highness's movements were carefully, though not ostensibly,
watched by her husband, Prince Victor; who, waiting upon his august
father, sternly signified to him that if his Highness (MY Duke) should
dare to aid the Princess in her efforts to release Magny, he, Prince
Victor, would publicly accuse the Princess and her paramour of high
treason, and take measures with the Diet for removing his father from
the throne, as incapacitated to reign. Hence interposition on our part
was vain, and Magny was left to his fate.

'It came, as you are aware, very suddenly. Geldern, Police Minister,
Hengst, Master of the Horse, and the colonel of the Prince's guard,
waited upon the young man in his prison two days after his grandfather
had visited him there and left behind him the phial of poison which the
criminal had not the courage to use. And Geldern signified to the young
man that unless he took of his own accord the laurelwater provided by
the elder Magny, more violent means of death would be instantly employed
upon him, and that a file of grenadiers was in waiting in the
courtyard to despatch him. Seeing this, Magny, with the most dreadful
self-abasement, after dragging himself round the room on his knees
from one officer to another, weeping and screaming with terror, at last
desperately drank off the potion, and was a corpse in a few minutes.
Thus ended this wretched young man.

'His death was made public in the COURT GAZETTE two days after, the
paragraph stating that Monsieur de M----, struck with remorse for having
attempted the murder of the Jew, had put himself to death by poison in
prison; and a warning was added to all young noblemen of the duchy to
avoid the dreadful sin of gambling, which had been the cause of the
young man's ruin, and had brought upon the grey hairs of one of the
noblest and most honourable of the servants of the Duke irretrievable
sorrow.

'The funeral was conducted with decent privacy, the General de Magny
attending it. The carriages of the two Dukes and all the first people
of the Court made their calls upon the General afterwards. He attended
parade as usual the next day on the Arsenal-Place, and Duke Victor, who
had been inspecting the building, came out of it leaning on the brave
old warrior's arm. He was particularly gracious to the old man, and
told his officers the oft-repeated story how at Rosbach, when the
X----contingent served with the troops of the unlucky Soubise, the
General had thrown himself in the way of a French dragoon, who was
pressing hard upon his Highness in the rout, had received the blow
intended for his master, and killed the assailant. And he alluded to
the family motto of "Magny sans tache," and said, "It had been always
so with his gallant friend and tutor in arms." This speech affected all
present very much; with the exception of the old General, who only bowed
and did not speak: but when he went home he was heard muttering "Magny
sans tache, Magny sans tache!" and was attacked with paralysis that
night, from which he never more than partially recovered.

'The news of Maxime's death had somehow been kept from the Princess
until now: a GAZETTE even being printed without the paragraph containing
the account of his suicide; but it was at length, I know not how, made
known to her. And when she heard it, her ladies tell me, she screamed
and fell, as if struck dead; then sat up wildly and raved like a
madwoman, and was then carried to her bed, where her physician attended
her, and where she lay of a brain-fever. All this while the Prince used
to send to make inquiries concerning her; and from his giving orders
that his Castle of Schlangenfels should be prepared and furnished, I
make no doubt it was his intention to send her into confinement thither:
as had been done with the unhappy sister of His Britannic Majesty at
Zell.

'She sent repeatedly to demand an interview with his Highness; which the
latter declined, saying that he would communicate with her Highness when
her health was sufficiently recovered. To one of her passionate letters
he sent back for reply a packet, which, when opened, was found to
contain the emerald that had been the cause round which all this dark
intrigue moved.

'Her Highness at this time became quite frantic; vowed in the presence
of all her ladies that one lock of her darling Maxime's hair was more
precious to her than all the jewels in the world: rang for her carriage,
and said she would go and kiss his tomb; proclaimed the murdered
martyr's innocence, and called down the punishment of Heaven, the wrath
of her family, upon his assassin. The Prince, on hearing these speeches
(they were all, of course, regularly brought to him), is said to have
given one of his dreadful looks (which I remember now), and to have
said, "This cannot last much longer."

'All that day and the next the Princess Olivia passed in dictating
the most passionate letters to the Prince her father, to the Kings of
France, Naples, and Spain, her kinsmen, and to all other branches of her
family, calling upon them in the most incoherent terms to protect her
against the butcher and assassin her husband, assailing his person in
the maddest terms of reproach, and at the same time confessing her
love for the murdered Magny. It was in vain that those ladies who were
faithful to her pointed out to her the inutility of these letters, the
dangerous folly of the confessions which they made; she insisted
upon writing them, and used to give them to her second robe-woman, a
Frenchwoman (her Highness always affectioned persons of that nation),
who had the key of her cassette, and carried every one of these epistles
to Geldern.

'With the exception that no public receptions were held, the ceremony of
the Princess's establishment went on as before. Her ladies were allowed
to wait upon her and perform their usual duties about her person.
The only men admitted were, however, her servants, her physician and
chaplain; and one day when she wished to go into the garden, a heyduc,
who kept the door, intimated to her Highness that the Prince's orders
were that she should keep her apartments.

'They abut, as you remember, upon the landing of the marble staircase
of Schloss X----; the entrance to Prince Victor's suite of rooms being
opposite the Princess's on the same landing. This space is large, filled
with sofas and benches, and the gentlemen and officers who waited upon
the Duke used to make a sort of antechamber of the landing-place, and
pay their court to his Highness there, as he passed out, at eleven
o'clock, to parade. At such a time, the heyducs within the Princess's
suite of rooms used to turn out with their halberts and present to
Prince Victor--the same ceremony being performed on his own side, when
pages came out and announced the approach of his Highness. The pages
used to come out and say, "The Prince, gentlemen!" and the drums beat in
the hall, and the gentlemen rose, who were waiting on the benches that
ran along the balustrade.

'As if fate impelled her to her death, one day the Princess, as her
guards turned out, and she was aware that the Prince was standing, as
was his wont, on the landing, conversing with his gentlemen (in the
old days he used to cross to the Princess's apartment and kiss her
hand)--the Princess, who had been anxious all the morning, complaining
of heat, insisting that all the doors of the apartments should be left
open; and giving tokens of an insanity which I think was now evident,
rushed wildly at the doors when the guards passed out, flung them open,
and before a word could be said, or her ladies could follow her, was
in presence of Duke Victor, who was talking as usual on the landing:
placing herself between him and the stair, she began apostrophising him
with frantic vehemence:--

'"Take notice, gentlemen!" she screamed out, "that this man is a
murderer and a liar; that he lays plots for honourable gentlemen, and
kills them in prison! Take notice, that I too am in prison, and fear the
same fate: the same butcher who killed Maxime de Magny, may, any night,
put the knife to my throat. I appeal to you, and to all the kings of
Europe, my Royal kinsmen. I demand to be set free from this tyrant
and villain, this liar and traitor! I adjure you all, as gentlemen of
honour, to carry these letters to my relatives, and say from whom you
had them!" and with this the unhappy lady began scattering letters about
among the astonished crowd.

'"LET NO MAN STOOP!" cried the Prince, in a voice of thunder. "Madame de
Gleim, you should have watched your patient better. Call the Princess's
physicians: her Highness's brain is affected. Gentlemen, have the
goodness to retire." And the Prince stood on the landing as the
gentlemen went down the stairs, saying fiercely to the guard, "Soldier,
if she moves, strike with your halbert!" on which the man brought the
point of his weapon to the Princess's breast; and the lady, frightened,
shrank back and re-entered her apartments. "Now, Monsieur de
Weissenborn," said the Prince, "pick up all those papers;" and the
Prince went into his own apartments, preceded by his pages, and never
quitted them until he had seen every one of the papers burnt.

'The next day the COURT GAZETTE contained a bulletin signed by the three
physicians, stating that "her Highness the Hereditary Princess laboured
under inflammation of the brain, and had passed a restless and disturbed
night." Similar notices were issued day after day. The services of all
her ladies, except two, were dispensed with. Guards were placed within
and without her doors; her windows were secured, so that escape from
them was impossible: and you know what took place ten days after. The
church-bells were ringing all night, and the prayers of the faithful
asked for a person IN EXTREMIS. A GAZETTE appeared in the morning, edged
with black, and stating that the high and mighty Princess Olivia
Maria Ferdinanda, consort of His Serene Highness Victor Louis Emanuel,
Hereditary Prince of X----, had died in the evening of the 24th of
January 1769.

'But do you know HOW she died, sir? That, too, is a mystery.
Weissenborn, the page, was concerned in this dark tragedy; and the
secret was so dreadful, that never, believe me, till Prince Victor's
death, did I reveal it.

'After the fatal ESCLANDRE which the Princess had made, the Prince
sent for Weissenborn, and binding him by the most solemn adjuration to
secrecy (he only broke it to his wife many years after: indeed, there is
no secret in the world that women cannot know if they will), despatched
him on the following mysterious commission.

'"There lives," said his Highness, "on the Kehl side of the river,
opposite to Strasbourg, a man whose residence you will easily find
out from his name, which is MONSIEUR DE STRASBOURG. You will make your
inquiries concerning him quietly, and without occasioning any remark;
perhaps you had better go into Strasbourg for the purpose, where the
person is quite well known. You will take with you any comrade on whom
you can perfectly rely: the lives of both, remember, depend on your
secrecy. You will find out some period when MONSIEUR DE STRASBOURG is
alone, or only in company of the domestic who lives with him (I myself
visited the man by accident on my return from Paris five years since,
and hence am induced to send for him now, in my present emergency). You
will have your carriage waiting at his door at night; and you and your
comrade will enter his house masked; and present him with a purse of
a hundred louis; promising him double that sum on his return from his
expedition. If he refuse, you must use force and bring him; menacing him
with instant death should he decline to follow you. You will place him
in the carriage with the blinds drawn, one or other of you never
losing sight of him the whole way, and threatening him with death if he
discover himself or cry out. You will lodge him in the old Tower here,
where a room shall be prepared for him; and his work being done, you
will restore him to his home with the same speed and secrecy with which
you brought him from it."

'Such were the mysterious orders Prince Victor gave his page; and
Weissenborn, selecting for his comrade in the expedition Lieutenant
Bartenstein, set out on his strange journey.

'All this while the palace was hushed, as if in mourning, the bulletins
in the COURT GAZETTE appeared, announcing the continuance of the
Princess's malady; and though she had but few attendants, strange
and circumstantial stories were told regarding the progress of her
complaint. She was quite wild. She had tried to kill herself. She
had fancied herself to be I don't know how many different characters.
Expresses were sent to her family informing them of her state, and
couriers despatched PUBLICLY to Vienna and Paris to procure the
attendance of physicians skilled in treating diseases of the brain.
That pretended anxiety was all a feint: it was never intended that the
Princess should recover.

'The day on which Weissenborn and Bartenstein returned from their
expedition, it was announced that her Highness the Princess was much
worse; that night the report through the town was that she was at the
agony: and that night the unfortunate creature was endeavouring to make
her escape.

'She had unlimited confidence in the French chamber-woman who attended
her, and between her and this woman the plan of escape was arranged. The
Princess took her jewels in a casket; a private door, opening from
one of her rooms and leading into the outer gate, it was said, of
the palace, was discovered for her: and a letter was brought to her,
purporting to be from the Duke, her father-in-law, and stating that a
carriage and horses had been provided, and would take her to B----: the
territory where she might communicate with her family and be safe.

'The unhappy lady, confiding in her guardian, set out on the expedition.
The passages wound through the walls of the modern part of the palace
and abutted in effect at the old Owl Tower, as it was called, on the
outer wall: the tower was pulled down afterwards, and for good reason.

'At a certain place the candle, which the chamberwoman was carrying,
went out; and the Princess would have screamed with terror, but her hand
was seized, and a voice cried "Hush!" The next minute a man in a
mask (it was the Duke himself) rushed forward, gagged her with a
handkerchief, her hands and legs were bound, and she was carried
swooning with terror into a vaulted room, where she was placed by a
person there waiting, and tied in an arm-chair. The same mask who had
gagged her, came and bared her neck and said, "It had best be done now
she has fainted."

'Perhaps it would have been as well; for though she recovered from her
swoon, and her confessor, who was present, came forward and endeavoured
to prepare her for the awful deed which was about to be done upon her,
and for the state into which she was about to enter, when she came to
herself it was only to scream like a maniac, to curse the Duke as a
butcher and tyrant, and to call upon Magny, her dear Magny.

'At this the Duke said, quite calmly, "May God have mercy on her sinful
soul!" He, the confessor, and Geldern, who were present, went down on
their knees; and, as his Highness dropped his handkerchief, Weissenborn
fell down in a fainting fit; while MONSIEUR DE STRASBOURG, taking the
back hair in his hand, separated the shrieking head of Olivia from the
miserable sinful body. May Heaven have mercy upon her soul!'

*****

This was the story told by Madame de Liliengarten, and the reader will
have no difficulty in drawing from it that part which affected myself
and my uncle; who, after six weeks of arrest, were set at liberty, but
with orders to quit the duchy immediately: indeed, with an escort of
dragoons to conduct us to the frontier. What property we had, we were
allowed to sell and realise in money; but none of our play debts were
paid to us: and all my hopes of the Countess Ida were thus at an end.

When Duke Victor came to the throne, which he did when, six months
after, apoplexy carried off the old sovereign his father, all the good
old usages of X----were given up,--play forbidden; the opera and ballet
sent to the right-about; and the regiments which the old Duke had
sold recalled from their foreign service: with them came my Countess's
beggarly cousin the ensign, and he married her. I don't know whether
they were happy or not. It is certain that a woman of such a poor spirit
did not merit any very high degree of pleasure.

The now reigning Duke of X----himself married four years after his first
wife's demise, and Geldern, though no longer Police Minister, built the
grand house of which Madame de Liliengarten spoke. What became of
the minor actors in the great tragedy, who knows? Only MONSIEUR DE
STRASBOURG was restored to his duties. Of the rest--the Jew, the
chamber-woman, the spy on Magny--I know nothing. Those sharp tools with
which great people cut out their enterprises are generally broken in the
using: nor did I ever hear that their employers had much regard for them
in their ruin.



CHAPTER XIII. I CONTINUE MY CAREER AS A MAN OF FASHION

I find I have already filled up many scores of pages, and yet a vast
deal of the most interesting portion of my history remains to be told,
viz. that which describes my sojourn in the kingdoms of England and
Ireland, and the great part I played there; moving among the most
illustrious of the land, myself not the least distinguished of the
brilliant circle. In order to give due justice to this portion of my
Memoirs, then,--which is more important than my foreign adventures can
be (though I could fill volumes with interesting descriptions of the
latter),--I shall cut short the account of my travels in Europe, and of
my success at the Continental Courts, in order to speak of what befell
me at home. Suffice it to say that there is not a capital in Europe,
except the beggarly one of Berlin, where the young Chevalier de Balibari
was not known and admired; and where he has not made the brave, the
high-born, and the beautiful talk of him. I won 80,000 roubles from
Potemkin at the Winter Palace at Petersburg, which the scoundrelly
favourite never paid me; I have had the honour of seeing his Royal
Highness the Chevalier Charles Edward as drunk as any porter at Rome;
my uncle played several matches at billiards against the celebrated Lord
C----at Spa, and I promise you did not come off a loser. In fact, by a
neat stratagem of ours, we raised the laugh against his Lordship, and
something a great deal more substantial. My Lord did not know that the
Chevalier Barry had a useless eye; and when, one day, my uncle playfully
bet him odds at billiards that he would play him with a patch over
one eye, the noble lord, thinking to bite us (he was one of the most
desperate gamblers that ever lived), accepted the bet, and we won a very
considerable amount of him.

Nor need I mention my successes among the fairer portion of the
creation. One of the most accomplished, the tallest, the most athletic,
and the handsomest gentlemen of Europe, as I was then, a young fellow
of my figure could not fail of having advantages, which a person of my
spirit knew very well how to use. But upon these subjects I am dumb.
Charming Schuvaloff, black-eyed Sczotarska, dark Valdez, tender
Hegenheim, brilliant Langeac!--ye gentle hearts that knew how to beat in
old times for the warm young Irish gentleman, where are you now? Though
my hair has grown grey now, and my sight dim, and my heart cold with
years, and ennui, and disappointment, and the treachery of friends,
yet I have but to lean back in my arm-chair and think, and those sweet
figures come rising up before me out of the past, with their smiles, and
their kindnesses, and their bright tender eyes! There are no women like
them now--no manners like theirs! Look you at a bevy of women at the
Prince's, stitched up in tight white satin sacks, with their waists
under their arms, and compare them to the graceful figures of the old
time! Why, when I danced with Coralie de Langeac at the fetes on the
birth of the first Dauphin at Versailles, her hoop was eighteen feet
in circumference, and the heels of her lovely little mules were three
inches from the ground; the lace of my jabot was worth a thousand
crowns, and the buttons of my amaranth velvet coat alone cost eighty
thousand livres. Look at the difference now! The gentlemen are dressed
like boxers, Quakers, or hackney-coachmen; and the ladies are not
dressed at all. There is no elegance, no refinement; none of the
chivalry of the old world, of which I form a portion. Think of the
fashion of London being led by a Br-mm-l! [Footnote: This manuscript
must have been written at the time when Mr. Brummel was the leader of
the London fashion.] a nobody's son: a low creature, who can no more
dance a minuet than I can talk Cherokee; who cannot even crack a bottle
like a gentleman; who never showed himself to be a man with his sword in
his hand: as we used to approve ourselves in the good old times, before
that vulgar Corsican upset the gentry of the world! Oh, to see the
Valdez once again, as on that day I met her first driving in state,
with her eight mules and her retinue of gentlemen, by the side of yellow
Mancanares! Oh, for another drive with Hegenheim, in the gilded sledge,
over the Saxon snow! False as Schuvaloff was, 'twas better to be jilted
by her than to be adored by any other woman. I can't think of any one
of them without tenderness. I have ringlets of all their hair in my poor
little museum of recollections. Do you keep mine, you dear souls that
survive the turmoils and troubles of near half a hundred years? How
changed its colour is now, since the day Sczotarska wore it round her
neck, after my duel with Count Bjernaski, at Warsaw.

I never kept any beggarly books of accounts in those days. I had no
debts. I paid royally for everything I took; and I took everything
I wanted. My income must have been very large. My entertainments and
equipages were those of a gentleman of the highest distinction; nor let
any scoundrel presume to sneer because I carried off and married my Lady
Lyndon (as you shall presently hear), and call me an adventurer, or say
I was penniless, or the match unequal. Penniless! I had the wealth
of Europe at my command. Adventurer! So is a meritorious lawyer or
a gallant soldier; so is every man who makes his own fortune an
adventurer. My profession was play: in which I was then unrivalled. No
man could play with me through Europe, on the square; and my income was
just as certain (during health and the exercise of my profession) as
that of a man who draws on his Three-per-cents., or any fat squire whose
acres bring him revenue. Harvest is not more certain than the effect of
skill is: a crop is a chance, as much as a game of cards greatly played
by a fine player: there may be a drought, or a frost, or a hail-storm,
and your stake is lost; but one man is just as much an adventurer as
another.

In evoking the recollection of these kind and fair creatures I have
nothing but pleasure. I would I could say as much of the memory of
another lady, who will henceforth play a considerable part in the drama
of my life,--I mean the Countess of Lyndon; whose fatal acquaintance I
made at Spa, very soon after the events described in the last chapter
had caused me to quit Germany.

Honoria, Countess of Lyndon, Viscountess Bullingdon in England, Baroness
Castle Lyndon of the kingdom of Ireland, was so well known to the great
world in her day, that I have little need to enter into her family
history; which is to be had in any peerage that the reader may lay
his hand on. She was, as I need not say, a countess, viscountess, and
baroness in her own right. Her estates in Devon and Cornwall were
among the most extensive in those parts; her Irish possessions not less
magnificent; and they have been alluded to, in a very early part of
these Memoirs, as lying near to my own paternal property in the kingdom
of Ireland: indeed, unjust confiscations in the time of Elizabeth and
her father went to diminish my acres, while they added to the already
vast possessions of the Lyndon family.

The Countess, when I first saw her at the assembly at Spa, was the wife
of her cousin, the Right Honourable Sir Charles Reginald Lyndon, Knight
of the Bath, and Minister to George II. and George III. at several of
the smaller Courts of Europe. Sir Charles Lyndon was celebrated as a wit
and bon vivant: he could write love-verses against Hanbury Williams, and
make jokes with George Selwyn; he was a man of vertu like Harry Walpole,
with whom and Mr. Grey he had made a part of the grand tour; and was
cited, in a word, as one of the most elegant and accomplished men of his
time.

I made this gentleman's acquaintance as usual at the play-table, of
which he was a constant frequenter. Indeed, one could not but admire the
spirit and gallantry with which he pursued his favourite pastime; for,
though worn out by gout and a myriad of diseases, a cripple wheeled
about in a chair, and suffering pangs of agony, yet you would see him
every morning and every evening at his post behind the delightful green
cloth: and if, as it would often happen, his own hands were too feeble
or inflamed to hold the box, he would call the mains, nevertheless,
and have his valet or a friend to throw for him. I like this courageous
spirit in a man; the greatest successes in life have been won by such
indomitable perseverance.

I was by this time one of the best-known characters in Europe; and the
fame of my exploits, my duels, my courage at play, would bring crowds
around me in any public society where I appeared. I could show reams of
scented paper, to prove that this eagerness to make my acquaintance was
not confined to the gentlemen only; but that I hate boasting, and
only talk of myself in so far as it is necessary to relate myself's
adventures: the most singular of any man's in Europe. Well, Sir Charles
Lyndon's first acquaintance with me originated in the right honourable
knight's winning 700 pieces of me at picquet (for which he was almost my
match); and I lost them with much good-humour, and paid them: and paid
them, you may be sure, punctually. Indeed, I will say this for myself,
that losing money at play never in the least put me out of good-humour
with the winner, and that wherever I found a superior, I was always
ready to acknowledge and hail him.

Lyndon was very proud of winning from so celebrated a person, and we
contracted a kind of intimacy; which, however, did not for a while go
beyond pump-room attentions, and conversations over the supper-table at
play: but which gradually increased, until I was admitted into his more
private friendship. He was a very free-spoken man (the gentry of those
days were much prouder than at present), and used to say to me in his
haughty easy way, 'Hang it, Mr. Barry, you have no more manners than a
barber, and I think my black footman has been better educated than you;
but you are a young fellow of originality and pluck, and I like you,
sir, because you seem determined to go to the deuce by a way of your
own.' I would thank him laughingly for this compliment, and say, that
as he was bound to the next world much sooner than I was, I would be
obliged to him to get comfortable quarters arranged there for me. He
used also to be immensely amused with my stories about the splendour of
my family and the magnificence of Castle Brady: he would never tire of
listening or laughing at those histories.

'Stick to the trumps, however, my lad,' he would say, when I told him of
my misfortunes in the conjugal line, and how near I had been winning the
greatest fortune in Germany. 'Do anything but marry, my artless Irish
rustic' (he called me by a multiplicity of queer names). 'Cultivate your
great talents in the gambling line; but mind this, that a woman will
beat you.'

That I denied; mentioning several instances in which I had conquered the
most intractable tempers among the sex.

'They will beat you in the long run, my Tipperary Alcibiades. As soon
as you are married, take my word of it, you are conquered. Look at me. I
married my cousin, the noblest and greatest heiress in England--married
her in spite of herself almost' (here a dark shade passed over Sir
Charles Lyndon's countenance). 'She is a weak woman. You shall see her,
sir, HOW weak she is; but she is my mistress. She has embittered my
whole life. She is a fool; but she has got the better of one of the best
heads in Christendom. She is enormously rich; but somehow I have never
been so poor as since I married her. I thought to better myself; and
she has made me miserable and killed me. And she will do as much for my
successor, when I am gone.'

'Has her Ladyship a very large income?' said I. At which Sir Charles
burst out into a yelling laugh, and made me blush not a little at my
gaucherie; for the fact is, seeing him in the condition in which he was,
I could not help speculating upon the chance a man of spirit might have
with his widow.

'No, no!' said he, laughing. 'Waugh hawk, Mr. Barry; don't think, if
you value your peace of mind, to stand in my shoes when they are vacant.
Besides, I don't think my Lady Lyndon would QUITE condescend to marry
a'----

'Marry a what, sir?' said I, in a rage.

"Never mind what: but the man who gets her will rue it, take my word
on't. A plague on her! had it not been for my father's ambition and mine
(he was her uncle and guardian, and we wouldn't let such a prize out of
the family), I might have died peaceably, at least; carried my gout down
to my grave in quiet, lived in my modest tenement in Mayfair, had every
house in England open to me; and now, now I have six of my own, and
every one of them is a hell to me. Beware of greatness, Mr. Barry. Take
warning by me. Ever since I have been married and have been rich, I have
been the most miserable wretch in the world. Look at me. I am dying a
worn-out cripple at the age of fifty. Marriage has added forty years to
my life. When I took off Lady Lyndon, there was no man of my years
who looked so young as myself. Fool that I was! I had enough with my
pensions, perfect freedom, the best society in Europe; and I gave up
all these, and married, and was miserable. Take a warning by me, Captain
Barry, and stick to the trumps."

Though my intimacy with the knight was considerable, for a long time I
never penetrated into any other apartments of his hotel but those which
he himself occupied. His lady lived entirely apart from him; and it
is only curious how they came to travel together at all. She was a
goddaughter of old Mary Wortley Montagu: and, like that famous old woman
of the last century, made considerable pretensions to be a blue-stocking
and a bel esprit. Lady Lyndon wrote poems in English and Italian, which
still may be read by the curious in the pages of the magazines of the
day. She entertained a correspondence with several of the European
savans upon history, science, and ancient languages, and especially
theology. Her pleasure was to dispute controversial points with abbes
and bishops; and her flatterers said she rivalled Madam Dacier in
learning. Every adventurer who had a discovery in chemistry, a new
antique bust, or a plan for discovering the philosopher's stone, was
sure to find a patroness in her. She had numberless works dedicated to
her, and sonnets without end addressed to her by all the poetasters of
Europe, under the name of Lindonira or Calista. Her rooms were crowded
with hideous China magots, and all sorts of objects of VERTU.

No woman piqued herself more upon her principles, or allowed love to be
made to her more profusely. There was a habit of courtship practised
by the fine gentlemen of those days, which is little understood in our
coarse downright times: and young and old fellows would pour out floods
of compliments in letters and madrigals, such as would make a sober lady
stare were they addressed to her nowadays: so entirely has the gallantry
of the last century disappeared out of our manners.

Lady Lyndon moved about with a little court of her own. She had
half-a-dozen carriages in her progresses. In her own she would travel
with her companion (some shabby lady of quality), her birds, and
poodles, and the favourite savant for the time being. In another would
be her female secretary and her waiting-women; who, in spite of their
care, never could make their mistress look much better than a slattern.
Sir Charles Lyndon had his own chariot, and the domestics of the
establishment would follow in other vehicles.

Also must be mentioned the carriage in which rode her Ladyship's
chaplain, Mr. Runt, who acted in capacity of governor to her son, the
little Viscount Bullingdon,--a melancholy deserted little boy, about
whom his father was more than indifferent, and whom his mother never
saw, except for two minutes at her levee, when she would put to him a
few questions of history or Latin grammar; after which he was consigned
to his own amusements, or the care of his governor, for the rest of the
day.

The notion of such a Minerva as this, whom I saw in the public places
now and then, surrounded by swarms of needy abbes and schoolmasters,
who flattered her, frightened me for some time, and I had not the
least desire to make her acquaintance. I had no desire to be one of the
beggarly adorers in the great lady's train,--fellows, half friend, half
lacquey, who made verses, and wrote letters, and ran errands, content to
be paid by a seat in her Ladyship's box at the comedy, or a cover at her
dinner-table at noon. 'Don't be afraid,' Sir Charles Lyndon would
say, whose great subject of conversation and abuse was his lady: 'my
Lindonira will have nothing to do with you. She likes the Tuscan brogue,
not that of Kerry. She says you smell too much of the stable to be
admitted to ladies' society; and last Sunday fortnight, when she did me
the honour to speak to me last, said, "I wonder, Sir Charles Lyndon,
a gentleman who has been the King's ambassador can demean himself by
gambling and boozing with low Irish blacklegs!" Don't fly in a fury! I'm
a cripple, and it was Lindonira said it, not I.'

This piqued me, and I resolved to become acquainted with Lady Lyndon;
if it were but to show her Ladyship that the descendant of those Barrys,
whose property she unjustly held, was not an unworthy companion for any
lady, were she ever so high. Besides, my friend the knight was dying:
his widow would be the richest prize in the three kingdoms. Why should I
not win her, and, with her, the means of making in the world that figure
which my genius and inclination desired? I felt I was equal in blood
and breeding to any Lyndon in Christendom, and determined to bend this
haughty lady. When I determine, I look upon the thing as done.

My uncle and I talked the matter over, and speedily settled upon a
method for making our approaches upon this stately lady of Castle
Lyndon. Mr. Runt, young Lord Bullingdon's governor, was fond of
pleasure, of a glass of Rhenish in the garden-houses in the summer
evenings, and of a sly throw of the dice when the occasion offered; and
I took care to make friends with this person, who, being a college tutor
and an Englishman, was ready to go on his knees to any one who resembled
a man of fashion. Seeing me with my retinue of servants, my vis-a-vis
and chariots, my valets, my hussar, and horses, dressed in gold, and
velvet, and sables, saluting the greatest people in Europe as we met
on the course, or at the Spas, Runt was dazzled by my advances, and
was mine by a beckoning of the finger. I shall never forget the poor
wretch's astonishment when I asked him to dine, with two counts, off
gold plate, at the little room in the casino: he was made happy by
being allowed to win a few pieces of us, became exceedingly tipsy, sang
Cambridge songs, and recreated the company by telling us, in his horrid
Yorkshire French, stories about the gyps, and all the lords that had
ever been in his college. I encouraged him to come and see me oftener,
and bring with him his little viscount; for whom, though the boy always
detested me, I took care to have a good stock of sweetmeats, toys, and
picture-books when he came.

I then began to enter into a controversy with Mr. Runt, and confided to
him some doubts which I had, and a very very earnest leaning towards the
Church of Rome. I made a certain abbe whom I knew write me letters upon
transubstantiation, &c., which the honest tutor was rather puzzled to
answer. I knew that they would be communicated to his lady, as they
were; for, asking leave to attend the English service which was
celebrated in her apartments, and frequented by the best English then
at the Spa, on the second Sunday she condescended to look at me; on the
third she was pleased to reply to my profound bow by a curtsey; the next
day I followed up the acquaintance by another obeisance in the public
walk; and, to make a long story short, her Ladyship and I were in full
correspondence on transubstantiation before six weeks were over. My Lady
came to the aid of her chaplain; and then I began to see the prodigious
weight of his arguments: as was to be expected. The progress of this
harmless little intrigue need not be detailed. I make no doubt every one
of my readers has practised similar stratagems when a fair lady was in
the case.

I shall never forget the astonishment of Sir Charles Lyndon when, on
one summer evening, as he was issuing out to the play-table in his
sedan-chair, according to his wont, her Ladyship's barouche and four,
with her outriders in the tawny livery of the Lyndon family, came
driving into the courtyard of the house which they inhabited; and in
that carriage, by her Ladyship's side, sat no other than the 'vulgar
Irish adventurer,' as she was pleased to call him: I mean Redmond Barry,
Esquire. He made the most courtly of his bows, and grinned and waved his
hat in as graceful a manner as the gout permitted; and her Ladyship and
I replied to the salutation with the utmost politeness and elegance on
our parts.

I could not go to the play-table for some time afterwards for Lady
Lyndon and I had an argument on transubstantiation, which lasted for
three hours; in which she was, as usual, victorious, and, in which her
companion, the Honourable Miss Flint Skinner, fell asleep; but when, at
last, I joined Sir Charles at the casino, he received me with a yell of
laughter, as his wont was, and introduced me to all the company as Lady
Lyndon's interesting young convert. This was his way. He laughed and
sneered at everything. He laughed when he was in a paroxysm of pain; he
laughed when he won money, or when he lost it: his laugh was not jovial
or agreeable, but rather painful and sardonic.

'Gentlemen,' said he to Punter, Colonel Loder, Count du Carreau, and
several jovial fellows with whom he used to discuss a flask of champagne
and a Rhenish trout or two after play, 'see this amiable youth! He has
been troubled by religious scruples, and has flown for refuge to my
chaplain, Mr. Runt, who has asked for advice from my wife, Lady Lyndon;
and, between them both, they are confirming my ingenious young friend in
his faith. Did you ever hear of such doctors, and such a disciple?'

''Faith, sir,' said I, 'if I want to learn good principles, it's surely
better I should apply for them to your lady and your chaplain than to
you!'

'He wants to step into my shoes!' continued the knight.

'The man would be happy who did so,' responded I, 'provided there were
no chalk-stones included!' At which reply Sir Charles was not very well
pleased, and went on with increased rancour. He was always free-spoken
in his cups; and, to say the truth, he was in his cups many more times
in a week than his doctors allowed.

'Is it not a pleasure, gentlemen,' said he, 'for me, as I am drawing
near the goal, to find my home such a happy one; my wife so fond of me,
that she is even now thinking of appointing a successor? (I don't mean
you precisely, Mr. Barry; you are only taking your chance with a score
of others whom I could mention.) Isn't it a comfort to see her, like
a prudent housewife, getting everything ready for her husband's
departure?'

'I hope you are not thinking of leaving us soon, knight?' said I, with
perfect sincerity; for I liked him, as a most amusing companion. 'Not
so soon, my dear, as you may fancy, perhaps,' continued he. 'Why, man,
I have been given over any time these four years; and there was always a
candidate or two waiting to apply for the situation. Who knows how long
I may keep you waiting?' and he DID keep me waiting some little time
longer than at that period there was any reason to suspect.

As I declared myself pretty openly, according to my usual way, and
authors are accustomed to describe the persons of the ladies with whom
their heroes fall in love; in compliance with this fashion, I perhaps
should say a word or two respecting the charms of my Lady Lyndon. But
though I celebrated them in many copies of verses, of my own and other
persons' writing; and though I filled reams of paper in the passionate
style of those days with compliments to every one of her beauties and
smiles, in which I compared her to every flower, goddess, or famous
heroine ever heard of,--truth compels me to say that there was nothing
divine about her at all. She was very well; but no more. Her shape was
fine, her hair dark, her eyes good, and exceedingly active; she loved
singing, but performed it as so great a lady should, very much out of
tune. She had a smattering of half-a-dozen modern languages, and, as I
have said before, of many more sciences than I even knew the names of.
She piqued herself on knowing Greek and Latin; but the truth is, that
Mr. Runt, used to supply her with the quotations which she introduced
into her voluminous correspondence. She had as much love of admiration,
as strong, uneasy a vanity, and as little heart, as any woman I ever
knew. Otherwise, when her son, Lord Bullingdon, on account of his
differences with me, ran--but that matter shall be told in its proper
time. Finally, my Lady Lyndon was about a year older than myself;
though, of course, she would take her Bible oath that she was three
years younger.

Few men are so honest as I am; for few will own to their real motives,
and I don't care a button about confessing mine. What Sir Charles Lyndon
said was perfectly true. I made the acquaintance of Lady Lyndon with
ulterior views. 'Sir,' said I to him, when, after the scene described
and the jokes he made upon me, we met alone, 'let those laugh that win.
You were very pleasant upon me a few nights since, and on my intentions
regarding your lady. Well, if they ARE what you think they are,--if I DO
wish to step into your shoes, what then? I have no other intentions than
you had yourself. I'll be sworn to muster just as much regard for my
Lady Lyndon as you ever showed her; and if I win her and wear her when
you are dead and gone, corbleu, knight, do you think it will be the fear
of your ghost will deter me?'

Lyndon laughed as usual; but somewhat disconcertedly: indeed I had
clearly the best of him in the argument, and had just as much right to
hunt my fortune as he had.

But one day he said, 'If you marry such a woman as my Lady Lyndon, mark
my words, you will regret it. You will pine after the liberty you once
enjoyed. By George! Captain Barry,' he added, with a sigh, 'the thing
that I regret most in life--perhaps it is because I am old, blase, and
dying--is, that I never had a virtuous attachment.'

'Ha! ha! a milkmaid's daughter!' said I, laughing at the absurdity.

'Well, why not a milkmaid's daughter? My good fellow, I WAS in love
in youth, as most gentlemen are, with my tutor's daughter, Helena, a
bouncing girl; of course older than myself' (this made me remember my
own little love-passages with Nora Brady in the days of my early life),
'and do you know, sir, I heartily regret I didn't marry her? There's
nothing like having a virtuous drudge at home, sir; depend upon that. It
gives a zest to one's enjoyments in the world, take my word for it. No
man of sense need restrict himself, or deny himself a single amusement
for his wife's sake: on the contrary, if he select the animal properly,
he will choose such a one as shall be no bar to his pleasure, but a
comfort in his hours of annoyance. For instance, I have got the gout:
who tends me? A hired valet, who robs me whenever he has the power. My
wife never comes near me. What friend have I? None in the wide world.
Men of the world, as you and I are, don't make friends; and we are
fools for our pains. Get a friend, sir, and that friend a woman--a
good household drudge, who loves you. THAT is the most precious sort of
friendship; for the expense of it is all on the woman's side. The man
needn't contribute anything. If he's a rogue, she'll vow he's an angel;
if he's a brute, she will like him all the better for his ill-treatment
of her. They like it, sir, these women. They are born to be our greatest
comforts and conveniences; our--our moral bootjacks, as it were; and to
men in your way of life, believe me such a person would be invaluable.
I am only speaking for your bodily and mental comfort's sake, mind. Why
didn't I marry poor Helena Flower, the curate's daughter?'

I thought these speeches the remarks of a weakly disappointed man;
although since, perhaps, I have had reason to find the truth of Sir
Charles Lyndon's statements. The fact is, in my opinion, that we often
buy money very much too dear. To purchase a few thousands a year at the
expense of an odious wife, is very bad economy for a young fellow of any
talent and spirit; and there have been moments of my life when, in the
midst of my greatest splendour and opulence, with half-a-dozen lords at
my levee, with the finest horses in my stables, the grandest house over
my head, with unlimited credit at my banker's, and--Lady Lyndon to boot,
I have wished myself back a private of Bulow's, or anything, so as to
get rid of her. To return, however, to the story. Sir Charles, with his
complication of ills, was dying before us by inches! and I've no doubt
it could not have been very pleasant to him to see a young handsome
fellow paying court to his widow before his own face as it were. After
I once got into the house on the transubstantiation dispute, I found a
dozen more occasions to improve my intimacy, and was scarcely ever out
of her Ladyship's doors. The world talked and blustered; but what cared
I? The men cried fie upon the shameless Irish adventurer; but I have
told my way of silencing such envious people: and my sword had by this
time got such a reputation through Europe, that few people cared to
encounter it. If I can once get my hold of a place, I keep it. Many's
the house I have been to where I have seen the men avoid me. 'Faugh! the
low Irishman,' they would say. 'Bah! the coarse adventurer!' 'Out on the
insufferable blackleg and puppy!' and so forth. This hatred has been
of no inconsiderable service to me in the world; for when I fasten on a
man, nothing can induce me to release my hold: and I am left to myself,
which is all the better. As I told Lady Lyndon in those days, with
perfect sincerity, 'Calista' (I used to call her Calista in my
correspondence)--' Calista, I swear to thee, by the spotlessness of thy
own soul, by the brilliancy of thy immitigable eyes, by everything pure
and chaste in heaven and in thy own heart, that I will never cease
from following thee! Scorn I can bear, and have borne at thy hands.
Indifference I can surmount; 'tis a rock which my energy will climb
over, a magnet which attracts the dauntless iron of my soul!' And it was
true, I wouldn't have left her--no, though they had kicked me downstairs
every day I presented myself at her door.

That is my way of fascinating women. Let the man who has to make his
fortune in life remember this maxim. ATTACKING is his only secret. Dare,
and the world always yields: or, if it beat you sometimes, dare again,
and it will succumb. In those days my spirit was so great, that if I
had set my heart upon marrying a princess of the blood, I would have had
her!

I told Calista my story, and altered very very little of the truth.
My object was to frighten her: to show her that what I wanted, that I
dared; that what I dared, that I won; and there were striking passages
enough in my history to convince her of my iron will and indomitable
courage. 'Never hope to escape me, madam,' I would say: 'offer to
marry another man, and he dies upon this sword, which never yet met its
master. Fly from me, and I will follow you, though it were to the gates
of Hades.' I promise you this was very different language to that she
had been in the habit of hearing from her Jemmy-Jessamy adorers. You
should have seen how I scared the fellows from her.

When I said in this energetic way that I would follow Lady Lyndon across
the Styx if necessary, of course I meant that I would do so, provided
nothing more suitable presented itself in the interim. If Lyndon would
not die, where was the use of my pursuing the Countess? And somehow,
towards the end of the Spa season, very much to my mortification I do
confess, the knight made another rally: it seemed as if nothing would
kill him. 'I am sorry for you, Captain Barry,' he would say, laughing as
usual. 'I'm grieved to keep you, or any gentleman, waiting. Had you not
better arrange with my doctor, or get the cook to flavour my omelette
with arsenic? What are the odds, gentlemen,' he would add, 'that I don't
live to see Captain Barry hanged yet?'

In fact, the doctors tinkered him up for a year. 'It's my usual luck,'
I could not help saying to my uncle, who was my confidential and most
excellent adviser in all matters of the heart. 'I've been wasting the
treasures of my affections upon that flirt of a countess, and here's
her husband restored to health and likely to live I don't know how many
years!' And, as if to add to my mortification, there came just at this
period to Spa an English tallow-chandler's heiress, with a plum to
her fortune; and Madame Cornu, the widow of a Norman cattle-dealer and
farmer-general, with a dropsy and two hundred thousand livres a year.

'What's the use of my following the Lyndons to England,' says I, 'if the
knight won't die?'

'Don't follow them, my dear simple child,' replied my uncle. 'Stop here
and pay court to the new arrivals.'

'Yes, and lose Calista for ever, and the greatest estate in all
England.'

'Pooh, pooh! youths like you easily fire and easily despond. Keep up a
correspondence with Lady Lyndon. You know there's nothing she likes
so much. There's the Irish abbe, who will write you the most charming
letters for a crown apiece. Let her go; write to her, and meanwhile look
out for anything else which may turn up. Who knows? you might marry the
Norman widow, bury her, take her money, and be ready for the Countess
against the knight's death.'

And so, with vows of the most profound respectful attachment, and having
given twenty louis to Lady Lyndon's waiting-woman for a lock of her
hair (of which fact, of course, the woman informed her mistress), I took
leave of the Countess, when it became necessary for her return to her
estates in England; swearing I would follow her as soon as an affair of
honour I had on my hands could be brought to an end.

I shall pass over the events of the year that ensued before I again
saw her. She wrote to me according to promise; with much regularity at
first, with somewhat less frequency afterwards. My affairs, meanwhile,
at the play-table went on not unprosperously, and I was just on the
point of marrying the widow Cornu (we were at Brussels by this time, and
the poor soul was madly in love with me,) when the London Gazette was
put into my hands, and I read the following announcement:--

'Died at Castle-Lyndon, in the kingdom of Ireland, the Right Honourable
Sir Charles Lyndon, Knight of the Bath, member of Parliament for Lyndon
in Devonshire, and many years His Majesty's representative at various
European Courts. He hath left behind him a name which is endeared to all
his friends for his manifold virtues and talents, a reputation justly
acquired in the service of His Majesty, and an inconsolable widow to
deplore his loss. Her Ladyship, the bereaved Countess of Lyndon, was
at the Bath when the horrid intelligence reached her of her husband's
demise, and hastened to Ireland immediately in order to pay her last sad
duties to his beloved remains.'

That very night I ordered my chariot and posted to Ostend, whence I
freighted a vessel to Dover, and travelling rapidly into the West,
reached Bristol; from which port I embarked for Waterford, and found
myself, after an absence of eleven years, in my native country.



CHAPTER XIV. I RETURN TO IRELAND, AND EXHIBIT MY SPLENDOUR AND
GENEROSITY IN THAT KINGDOM

How were times changed with me now! I had left my country a poor
penniless boy--a private soldier in a miserable marching regiment.
I returned an accomplished man, with property to the amount of five
thousand guineas in my possession, with a splendid wardrobe and
jewel-case worth two thousand more; having mingled in all the scenes of
life a not undistinguished actor in them; having shared in war and in
love; having by my own genius and energy won my way from poverty and
obscurity to competence and splendour. As I looked out from my chariot
windows as it rolled along over the bleak bare roads, by the miserable
cabins of the peasantry, who came out in their rags to stare as the
splendid equipage passed, and huzza'd for his Lordship's honour as
they saw the magnificent stranger in the superb gilded vehicle, my
huge body-servant Fritz lolling behind with curling moustaches and
long queue, his green livery barred with silver lace, I could not help
thinking of myself with considerable complacency, and thanking my stars
that had endowed me with so many good qualities. But for my own merits
I should have been a raw Irish squireen such as those I saw swaggering
about the wretched towns through which my chariot passed on its road to
Dublin. I might have married Nora Brady (and though, thank Heaven, I
did not, I have never thought of that girl but with kindness, and even
remember the bitterness of losing her more clearly at this moment than
any other incident of my life); I might have been the father of ten
children by this time, or a farmer on my own account, or an agent to
a squire, or a gauger, or an attorney; and here I was one of the most
famous gentlemen of Europe! I bade my fellow get a bag of copper money
and throw it among the crowd as we changed horses; and I warrant me
there was as much shouting set up in praise of my honour as if my Lord
Townshend, the Lord Lieutenant himself, had been passing.

My second day's journey--for the Irish roads were rough in those days,
and the progress of a gentleman's chariot terribly slow--brought me to
Carlow, where I put up at the very inn which I had used eleven years
back, when flying from home after the supposed murder of Quin in the
duel. How well I remember every moment of the scene! The old landlord
was gone who had served me; the inn that I then thought so comfortable
looked wretched and dismantled; but the claret was as good as in the old
days, and I had the host to partake of a jug of it and hear the news of
the country.

He was as communicative as hosts usually are: the crops and the markets,
the price of beasts at last Castle Dermot fair, the last story about the
vicar, and the last joke of Father Hogan the priest; how the Whiteboys
had burned Squire Scanlan's ricks, and the highwaymen had been beaten
off in their attack upon Sir Thomas's house; who was to hunt the
Kilkenny hounds next season, and the wonderful run entirely they had
last March; what troops were in the town, and how Miss Biddy Toole
had run off with Ensign Mullins: all the news of sport, assize, and
quarter-sessions were detailed by this worthy chronicler of small-beer,
who wondered that my honour hadn't heard of them in England, or in
foreign parts, where he seemed to think the world was as interested
as he was about the doings of Kilkenny and Carlow. I listened to these
tales with, I own, a considerable pleasure; for every now and then a
name would come up in the conversation which I remembered in old days,
and bring with it a hundred associations connected with them.

I had received many letters from my mother, which informed me of the
doings of the Brady's Town family. My uncle was dead, and Mick, his
eldest son, had followed him too to the grave. The Brady girls had
separated from their paternal roof as soon as their elder brother came
to rule over it. Some were married, some gone to settle with their
odious old mother in out-of-the-way watering-places. Ulick, though he
had succeeded to the estate, had come in for a bankrupt property, and
Castle Brady was now inhabited only by the bats and owls, and the old
gamekeeper. My mother, Mrs. Harry Barry, had gone to live at Bray, to
sit under Mr. Jowls, her favourite preacher, who had a chapel there;
and, finally, the landlord told me, that Mrs. Barry's son had gone to
foreign parts, enlisted in the Prussian service, and had been shot there
as a deserter.

I don't care to own that I hired a stout nag from the landlord's stable
after dinner, and rode back at nightfall twenty miles to my old home.
My heart beat to see it. Barryville had got a pestle and mortar over the
door, and was called 'The Esculapian Repository,' by Doctor Macshane;
a red-headed lad was spreading a plaster in the old parlour; the little
window of my room, once so neat and bright, was cracked in many places,
and stuffed with rags here and there; the flowers had disappeared
from the trim garden-beds which my good orderly mother tended. In the
churchyard there were two more names put into the stone over the family
vault of the Bradys: they were those of my cousin, for whom my regard
was small, and my uncle, whom I had always loved. I asked my old
companion the blacksmith, who had beaten me so often in old days, to
give my horse a feed and a litter: he was a worn weary-looking man now,
with a dozen dirty ragged children paddling about his smithy, and had no
recollection of the fine gentleman who stood before him. I did not
seek to recall my-self to his memory till the next day, when I put ten
guineas into his hand, and bade him drink the health of English Redmond.

As for Castle Brady, the gates of the park were still there; but the old
trees were cut down in the avenue, a black stump jutting out here and
there, and casting long shadows as I passed in the moonlight over
the worn grass-grown old road. A few cows were at pasture there. The
garden-gate was gone, and the place a tangled wilderness. I sat down on
the old bench, where I had sat on the day when Nora jilted me; and I do
believe my feelings were as strong then as they had been when I was a
boy, eleven years before; and I caught myself almost crying again, to
think that Nora Brady had deserted me. I believe a man forgets nothing.
I've seen a flower, or heard some trivial word or two, which have
awakened recollections that somehow had lain dormant for scores of
years; and when I entered the house in Clarges Street, where I was born
(it was used as a gambling-house when I first visited London), all of a
sudden the memory of my childhood came back to me--of my actual infancy:
I recollected my father in green and gold, holding me up to look at a
gilt coach which stood at the door, and my mother in a flowered sack,
with patches on her face. Some day, I wonder, will everything we have
seen and thought and done come and flash across our minds in this way?
I had rather not. I felt so as I sat upon the bench at Castle Brady, and
thought of the bygone times.

The hall-door was open--it was always so at that house; the moon was
flaring in at the long old windows, and throwing ghastly chequers upon
the floors; and the stars were looking in on the other side, in the blue
of the yawning window over the great stair: from it you could see the
old stable-clock, with the letters glistening on it still. There had
been jolly horses in those stables once; and I could see my uncle's
honest face, and hear him talking to his dogs as they came jumping and
whining and barking round about him of a gay winter morning. We used to
mount there; and the girls looked out at us from the hall-window, where
I stood and looked at the sad, mouldy, lonely old place. There was a
red light shining through the crevices of a door at one corner of the
building, and a dog presently came out baying loudly, and a limping man
followed with a fowling-piece.

'Who's there?' said the old man.

'PHIL PURCELL, don't you know me?' shouted I; 'it's Redmond Barry.'

I thought the old man would have fired his piece at me at first, for he
pointed it at the window; but I called to him to hold his hand, and came
down and embraced him.... Psha! I don't care to tell the rest: Phil and
I had a long night, and talked over a thousand foolish old things that
have no interest for any soul alive now: for what soul is there alive
that cares for Barry Lyndon?

I settled a hundred guineas on the old man when I got to Dublin, and
made him an annuity which enabled him to pass his old days in comfort.

Poor Phil Purcell was amusing himself at a game of exceedingly dirty
cards with an old acquaintance of mine; no other than Tim, who was
called my 'valet' in the days of yore, and whom the reader may remember
as clad in my father's old liveries. They used to hang about him in
those times, and lap over his wrists and down to his heels; but Tim,
though he protested he had nigh killed himself with grief when I went
away, had managed to grow enormously fat in my absence, and would have
fitted almost into Daniel Lambert's coat, or that of the vicar of Castle
Brady, whom he served in the capacity of clerk. I would have engaged
the fellow in my service but for his monstrous size, which rendered him
quite unfit to be the attendant of any gentleman of condition; and so I
presented him with a handsome gratuity, and promised to stand godfather
to his next child: the eleventh since my absence. There is no country in
the world where the work of multiplying is carried on so prosperously
as in my native island. Mr. Tim had married the girls' waiting-maid,
who had been a kind friend of mine in the early times; and I had to go
salute poor Molly next day, and found her a slatternly wench in a mud
hut, surrounded by a brood of children almost as ragged as those of my
friend the blacksmith.

From Tim and Phil Purcell, thus met fortuitously together, I got the
very last news respecting my family. My mother was well.

''Faith sir,' says Tim, 'and you're come in time, mayhap, for preventing
an addition to your family.'

'Sir!' exclaimed I, in a fit of indignation.

'In the shape of father-in-law, I mane, sir,' says Tim: 'the misthress
is going to take on with Mister Jowls the praacher.'

Poor Nora, he added, had made many additions to the illustrious race of
Quin; and my cousin Ulick was in Dublin, coming to little good, both my
informants feared, and having managed to run through the small available
remains of property which my good old uncle had left behind him.

I saw I should have no small family to provide for; and then, to
conclude the evening, Phil, Tim, and I, had a bottle of usquebaugh, the
taste of which I had remembered for eleven good years, and did not part
except with the warmest terms of fellowship, and until the sun had been
some time in the sky. I am exceedingly affable; that has always been
one of my characteristics. I have no false pride, as many men of high
lineage like my own have, and, in default of better company, will hob
and nob with a ploughboy or a private soldier just as readily as with
the first noble in the land.

I went back to the village in the morning, and found a pretext for
visiting Barryville under a device of purchasing drugs. The hooks were
still in the wall where my silver-hiked sword used to hang; a blister
was lying on the window-sill, where my mother's 'Whole Duty of Man' had
its place; and the odious Doctor Macshane had found out who I was (my
countrymen find out everything, and a great deal more besides), and
sniggering, asked me how I left the King of Prussia, and whether my
friend the Emperor Joseph was as much liked as the Empress Maria Theresa
had been. The bell-ringers would have had a ring of bells for me, but
there was but one, Tim, who was too fat to pull; and I rode off before
the vicar, Doctor Bolter (who had succeeded old Mr. Texter, who had
the living in my time), had time to come out to compliment me; but the
rapscallions of the beggarly village had assembled in a dirty army to
welcome me, and cheered 'Hurrah for Masther Redmond!' as I rode away.

My people were not a little anxious regarding me, by the time I returned
to Carlow, and the landlord was very much afraid, he said, that the
highwaymen had gotten hold of me. There, too, my name and station had
been learned from my servant Fritz: who had not spared his praises of
his master, and had invented some magnificent histories concerning me.
He said it was the truth that I was intimate with half the sovereigns of
Europe, and the prime favourite with most of them. Indeed I had made
my uncle's order of the Spur hereditary, and travelled under
the name of the Chevalier Barry, chamberlain to the Duke of
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.

They gave me the best horses the stable possessed to carry me on my road
to Dublin, and the strongest ropes for harness; and we got on pretty
well, and there was no rencontre between the highwaymen and the pistols
with which Fritz and I were provided. We lay that night at Kilcullen,
and the next day I made my entry into the city of Dublin, with four
horses to my carriage, five thousand guineas in my purse, and one of the
most brilliant reputations in Europe, having quitted the city a beggarly
boy, eleven years before.

The citizens of Dublin have as great and laudable a desire for knowing
their neighbours' concerns as the country people have; and it is
impossible for a gentleman, however modest his desires may be (and such
mine have notoriously been through life), to enter the capital without
having his name printed in every newspaper and mentioned in a number of
societies. My name and titles were all over the town the day after my
arrival. A great number of polite persons did me the honour to call at
my lodgings, when I selected them; and this was a point very necessarily
of immediate care, for the hotels in the town were but vulgar holes,
unfit for a nobleman of my fashion and elegance. I had been informed
of the fact by travellers on the Continent; and determining to fix on
a lodging at once, I bade the drivers go slowly up and down the streets
with my chariot, until I had selected a place suitable to my rank. This
proceeding, and the uncouth questions and behaviour of my German Fritz,
who was instructed to make inquiries at the different houses until
convenient apartments could be lighted upon, brought an immense mob
round my coach; and by the time the rooms were chosen you might have
supposed I was the new General of the Forces, so great was the multitude
following us.

I fixed at length upon a handsome suite of apartments in Capel Street,
paid the ragged postilions who had driven me a splendid gratuity, and
establishing myself in the rooms with my baggage and Fritz, desired the
landlord to engage me a second fellow to wear my liveries, a couple
of stout reputable chairmen and their machine, and a coachman who
had handsome job-horses to hire for my chariot, and serviceable
riding-horses to sell. I gave him a handsome sum in advance; and I
promise you the effect of my advertisement was such, that next day I had
a regular levee in my antechamber: grooms, valets, and maitres-d'hotel
offered themselves without number; I had proposals for the purchase of
horses sufficient to mount a regiment, both from dealers and gentlemen
of the first fashion. Sir Lawler Gawler came to propose to me the most
elegant bay-mare ever stepped; my Lord Dundoodle had a team of four that
wouldn't disgrace my friend the Emperor; and the Marquess of Ballyragget
sent his gentleman and his compliments, stating that if I would step
up to his stables, or do him the honour of breakfasting with him
previously, he would show me the two finest greys in Europe. I
determined to accept the invitations of Dundoodle and Ballyragget,
but to purchase my horses from the dealers. It is always the best way.
Besides, in those days, in Ireland, if a gentleman warranted his horse,
and it was not sound, or a dispute arose, the remedy you had was the
offer of a bullet in your waistcoat. I had played at the bullet game too
much in earnest to make use of it heedlessly: and I may say, proudly for
myself, that I never engaged in a duel unless I had a real, available,
and prudent reason for it.

There was a simplicity about this Irish gentry which amused and made me
wonder. If they tell more fibs than their downright neighbours across
the water, on the other hand they believe more; and I made myself in a
single week such a reputation in Dublin as would take a man ten years
and a mint of money to acquire in London. I had won five hundred
thousand pounds at play; I was the favourite of the Empress Catherine of
Russia; the confidential agent of Frederick of Prussia; it was I won the
battle of Hochkirchen; I was the cousin of Madame Du Barry, the French
King's favourite, and a thousand things beside. Indeed, to tell the
truth, I hinted a number of these stories to my kind friends Ballyragget
and Gawler; and they were not slow to improve the hints I gave them.

After having witnessed the splendours of civilised life abroad, the
sight of Dublin in the year 1771, when I returned thither, struck me
with anything but respect. It was as savage as Warsaw almost, without
the regal grandeur of the latter city. The people looked more ragged
than any race I have ever seen, except the gipsy hordes along the banks
of the Danube. There was, as I have said, not an inn in the town fit for
a gentleman of condition to dwell in. Those luckless fellows who could
not keep a carriage, and walked the streets at night, ran imminent risks
of the knives of the women and ruffians who lay in wait there,--of a set
of ragged savage villains, who neither knew the use of shoe nor razor;
and as a gentleman entered his chair or his chariot, to be carried to
his evening rout, or the play, the flambeaux of the footmen would light
up such a set of wild gibbering Milesian faces as would frighten a
genteel person of average nerves. I was luckily endowed with strong
ones; besides, had seen my amiable countrymen before.

I know this description of them will excite anger among some Irish
patriots, who don't like to have the nakedness of our land abused, and
are angry if the whole truth be told concerning it. But bah! it was a
poor provincial place, Dublin, in the old days of which I speak; and
many a tenth-rate German residency is more genteel. There were, it is
true, near three hundred resident Peers at the period; and a House of
Commons; and my Lord Mayor and his corporation; and a roystering noisy
University, whereof the students made no small disturbances nightly,
patronised the roundhouse, ducked obnoxious printers and tradesmen, and
gave the law at the Crow Street Theatre. But I had seen too much of the
first society of Europe to be much tempted by the society of these noisy
gentry, and was a little too much of a gentleman to mingle with the
disputes and politics of my Lord Mayor and his Aldermen. In the House of
Commons there were some dozen of right pleasant fellows. I never heard
in the English Parliament better speeches than from Flood, and Daly, of
Galway. Dick Sheridan, though not a well-bred person, was as amusing and
ingenious a table-companion as ever I met; and though during Mr. Edmund
Burke's interminable speeches in the English House I used always to go
to sleep, I yet have heard from well-informed parties that Mr. Burke was
a person of considerable abilities, and even reputed to be eloquent in
his more favourable moments.

I soon began to enjoy to the full extent the pleasures that the wretched
place affords, and which were within a gentleman's reach: Ranelagh and
the Ridotto; Mr. Mossop, at Crow Street; my Lord Lieutenant's parties,
where there was a great deal too much boozing, and too little play, to
suit a person of my elegant and refined habits. 'Daly's Coffee-house,'
and the houses of the nobility, were soon open to me; and I remarked
with astonishment in the higher circles, what I had experienced in the
lower on my first unhappy visit to Dublin, an extraordinary want of
money, and a preposterous deal of promissory notes flying about, for
which I was quite unwilling to stake my guineas. The ladies, too, were
mad for play; but exceeding unwilling to pay when they lost. Thus, when
the old Countess of Trumpington lost ten pieces to me at quadrille, she
gave me, instead of the money, her Ladyship's note of hand on her
agent in Galway; which I put, with a great deal of politeness, into the
candle. But when the Countess made me a second proposition to play, I
said that as soon as her Ladyship's remittances were arrived, I would
be the readiest person to meet her; but till then was her very humble
servant. And I maintained this resolution and singular character
throughout the Dublin society: giving out at 'Daly's' that I was ready
to play any man, for any sum, at any game; or to fence with him, or to
ride with him (regard being had to our weight), or to shoot flying, or
at a mark; and in this latter accomplishment, especially if the mark be
a live one, Irish gentlemen of that day had no ordinary skill.

Of course I despatched a courier in my liveries to Castle Lyndon with
a private letter for Runt, demanding from him full particulars of
the Countess of Lyndon's state of health and mind; and a touching and
eloquent letter to her Ladyship, in which I bade her remember ancient
days, which I tied up with a single hair from the lock which I had
purchased from her woman, and in which I told her that Sylvander
remembered his oath, and could never forget his Calista. The answer I
received from her was exceedingly unsatisfactory and inexplicit; that
from Mr. Runt explicit enough, but not at all pleasant in its contents.
My Lord George Poynings, the Marquess of Tiptoff's younger son, was
paying very marked addresses to the widow; being a kinsman of the
family, and having been called to Ireland relative to the will of the
deceased Sir Charles Lyndon.

Now, there was a sort of rough-and-ready law in Ireland in those days,
which was of great convenience to persons desirous of expeditious
justice; and of which the newspapers of the time contain a hundred
proofs. Fellows with the nicknames of Captain Fireball, Lieutenant
Buffcoat, and Ensign Steele, were repeatedly sending warning letters
to landlords, and murdering them if the notes were unattended to. The
celebrated Captain Thunder ruled in the southern counties, and his
business seemed to be to procure wives for gentlemen who had not
sufficient means to please the parents of the young ladies; or, perhaps,
had not time for a long and intricate courtship.

I had found my cousin Ulick at Dublin, grown very fat, and very poor;
hunted up by Jews and creditors: dwelling in all sorts of queer corners,
from which he issued at nightfall to the Castle, or to his card-party at
his tavern; but he was always the courageous fellow: and I hinted to him
the state of my affections regarding Lady Lyndon.

'The Countess of Lyndon!' said poor Ulick; 'well, that IS a wonder. I
myself have been mightily sweet upon a young lady, one of the Kiljoys of
Ballyhack, who has ten thousand pounds to her fortune, and to whom her
Ladyship is guardian; but how is a poor fellow without a coat to his
back to get on with an heiress in such company as that? I might as well
propose for the Countess myself.'

'You had better not,' said I, laughing; 'the man who tries runs a
chance of going out of the world first.' And I explained to him my own
intention regarding Lady Lyndon. Honest Ulick, whose respect for me was
prodigious when he saw how splendid my appearance was, and heard how
wonderful my adventures and great my experience of fashionable life had
been, was lost in admiration of my daring and energy, when I confided to
him my intention of marrying the greatest heiress in England.

I bade Ulick go out of town on any pretext he chose, and put a letter
into a post-office near Castle Lyndon, which I prepared in a feigned
hand, and in which I gave a solemn warning to Lord George Poynings to
quit the country; saying that the great prize was never meant for the
likes of him, and that there were heiresses enough in England, without
coming to rob them out of the domains of Captain Fireball. The letter
was written on a dirty piece of paper, in the worst of spelling: it came
to my Lord by the post-conveyance, and, being a high-spirited young man,
he of course laughed at it.

As ill-luck would have it for him, he appeared in Dublin a very short
time afterwards; was introduced to the Chevalier Redmond Barry, at the
Lord Lieutenant's table; adjourned with him and several other gentlemen
to the club at 'Daly's,' and there, in a dispute about the pedigree of
a horse, in which everybody said I was in the right, words arose, and
a meeting was the consequence. I had had no affair in Dublin since
my arrival, and people were anxious to see whether I was equal to my
reputation. I make no boast about these matters, but always do them when
the time comes; and poor Lord George, who had a neat hand and a quick
eye enough, but was bred in the clumsy English school, only stood before
my point until I had determined where I should hit him.

My sword went in under his guard, and came out at his back. When he
fell, he good-naturedly extended his hand to me, and said, 'Mr. Barry, I
was wrong!' I felt not very well at ease when the poor fellow made this
confession: for the dispute had been of my making, and, to tell the
truth, I had never intended it should end in any other way than a
meeting.

He lay on his bed for four months with the effects of that wound;
and the same post which conveyed to Lady Lyndon the news of the duel,
carried her a message from Captain Fireball to say, 'This is NUMBER
ONE!'

'You, Ulick,' said I, 'shall be NUMBER TWO.'

''Faith,' said my cousin, 'one's enough:' But I had my plan regarding
him, and determined at once to benefit this honest fellow, and to
forward my own designs upon the widow.



CHAPTER XV. I PAY COURT TO MY LADY LYNDON

As my uncle's attainder was not reversed for being out with the
Pretender in 1745, it would have been inconvenient for him to accompany
his nephew to the land of our ancestors; where, if not hanging, at least
a tedious process of imprisonment, and a doubtful pardon, would have
awaited the good old gentleman. In any important crisis of my life, his
advice was always of advantage to me, and I did not fail to seek it at
this juncture, and to implore his counsel as regarded my pursuit of the
widow. I told him the situation of her heart, as I have described it in
the last chapter; of the progress that young Poynings had made in her
affections, and of her forgetfulness of her old admirer; and I got a
letter, in reply, full of excellent suggestions, by which I did not fail
to profit. The kind Chevalier prefaced it by saying, that he was for
the present boarding in the Minorite convent at Brussels; that he had
thoughts of making his salut there, and retiring for ever from the
world, devoting himself to the severest practices of religion. Meanwhile
he wrote with regard to the lovely widow: it was natural that a person
of her vast wealth and not disagreeable person should have many adorers
about her; and that, as in her husband's lifetime she had shown herself
not at all disinclined to receive my addresses, I must make no manner
of doubt I was not the first person whom she had so favoured; nor was I
likely to be the last.

'I would, my dear child,' he added, 'that the ugly attainder round my
neck, and the resolution I have formed of retiring from a world of sin
and vanity altogether, did not prevent me from coming personally to your
aid in this delicate crisis of your affairs; for, to lead them to a
good end, it requires not only the indomitable courage, swagger, and
audacity, which you possess beyond any young man I have ever known' (as
for the 'swagger,' as the Chevalier calls it, I deny it in toto, being
always most modest in my demeanour); 'but though you have the vigour to
execute, you have not the ingenuity to suggest plans of conduct for the
following out of a scheme that is likely to be long and difficult of
execution. Would you have ever thought of the brilliant scheme of the
Countess Ida, which so nearly made you the greatest fortune in Europe,
but for the advice and experience of a poor old man, now making up his
accounts with the world, and about to retire from it for good and all?

'Well, with regard to the Countess of Lyndon, your manner of winning her
is quite en l'air at present to me; nor can I advise day by day, as
I would I could, according to circumstances as they arise. But your
general scheme should be this. If I remember the letters you used to
have from her during the period of the correspondence which the silly
woman entertained you with, much high-flown sentiment passed between
you; and especially was written by her Ladyship herself: she is a
blue-stocking, and fond of writing; she used to make her griefs with her
husband the continual theme of her correspondence (as women will do). I
recollect several passages in her letters bitterly deploring her fate in
being united to one so unworthy of her.

'Surely, in the mass of billets you possess from her, there must be
enough to compromise her. Look them well over; select passages, and
threaten to do so. Write to her at first in the undoubting tone of a
lover who has every claim upon her. Then, if she is silent, remonstrate,
alluding to former promises from her; producing proofs of her former
regard for you; vowing despair, destruction, revenge, if she prove
unfaithful. Frighten her--astonish her by some daring feat, which will
let her see your indomitable resolution: you are the man to do it. Your
sword has a reputation in Europe, and you have a character for boldness;
which was the first thing that caused my Lady Lyndon to turn her eyes
upon you. Make the people talk about you at Dublin. Be as splendid, and
as brave, and as odd as possible. How I wish I were near you! You have
no imagination to invent such a character as I would make for you--but
why speak; have I not had enough of the world and its vanities?'

There was much practical good sense in this advice; which I quote,
unaccompanied with the lengthened description of his mortifications and
devotions which my uncle indulged in, finishing his letter, as usual,
with earnest prayers for my conversion to the true faith. But he
was constant to his form of worship; and I, as a man of honour and
principle, was resolute to mine; and have no doubt that the one, in this
respect, will be as acceptable as the other.

Under these directions it was, then, I wrote to Lady Lyndon, to ask on
my arrival when the most respectful of her admirers might be permitted
to intrude upon her grief? Then, as her Ladyship was silent, I demanded,
Had she forgotten old times, and one whom she had favoured with her
intimacy at a very happy period? Had Calista forgotten Eugenio? At the
same time I sent down by my servant with this letter a present of a
little sword for Lord Bullingdon, and a private note to his governor;
whose note of hand, by the way, I possessed for a sum--I forget
what--but such as the poor fellow would have been very unwilling to pay.
To this an answer came from her Ladyship's amanuensis, stating that Lady
Lyndon was too much disturbed by grief at her recent dreadful calamity
to see any one but her own relations; and advices from my friend, the
boy's governor, stating that my Lord George Poynings was the young
kinsman who was about to console her.

This caused the quarrel between me and the young nobleman; whom I took
care to challenge on his first arrival at Dublin.

When the news of the duel was brought to the widow at Castle Lyndon, my
informant wrote me that Lady Lyndon shrieked and flung down the journal,
and said, 'The horrible monster! He would not shrink from murder, I
believe;' and little Lord Bullingdon, drawing his sword--the sword I had
given him, the rascal!--declared he would kill with it the man who had
hurt Cousin George. On Mr. Runt telling him that I was the donor of the
weapon, the little rogue still vowed that he would kill me all the same!
Indeed, in spite of my kindness to him, that boy always seemed to detest
me.

Her Ladyship sent up daily couriers to inquire after the health of Lord
George; and, thinking to myself that she would probably be induced to
come to Dublin if she were to hear that he was in danger, I managed to
have her informed that he was in a precarious state; that he grew worse;
that Redmond Barry had fled in consequence: of this flight I caused the
Mercury newspaper to give notice also, but indeed it did not carry me
beyond the town of Bray, where my poor mother dwelt; and where, under
the difficulties of a duel, I might be sure of having a welcome.

Those readers who have the sentiment of filial duty strong in their
mind, will wonder that I have not yet described my interview with that
kind mother whose sacrifices for me in youth had been so considerable,
and for whom a man of my warm and affectionate nature could not but feel
the most enduring and sincere regard.

But a man, moving in the exalted sphere of society in which I now
stood, has his public duties to perform before he consults his private
affections; and so, upon my first arrival, I despatched a messenger
to Mrs. Barry, stating my arrival, conveying to her my sentiments of
respect and duty, and promising to pay them to her personally so soon as
my business in Dublin would leave me free.

This, I need not say, was very considerable. I had my horses to buy, my
establishment to arrange, my entree into the genteel world to make; and,
having announced my intention to purchase horses and live in a genteel
style, was in a couple of days so pestered by visits of the nobility and
gentry, and so hampered by invitations to dinners and suppers, that
it became exceedingly difficult for me during some days to manage my
anxiously desired visit to Mrs. Barry.

It appears that the good soul provided an entertainment as soon as she
heard of my arrival, and invited all her humble acquaintances of Bray to
be present: but I was engaged subsequently to my Lord Ballyragget on the
day appointed, and was, of course, obliged to break the promise that I
had made to Mrs. Barry to attend her humble festival.

I endeavoured to sweeten the disappointment by sending my mother a
handsome satin sack and velvet robe, which I purchased for her at the
best mercers in Dublin (and indeed told her I had brought from Paris
expressly for her); but the messenger whom I despatched with the
presents brought back the parcels, with the piece of satin torn half
way up the middle: and I did not need his descriptions to be aware that
something had offended the good lady; who came out, he said, and
abused him at the door, and would have boxed his cars, but that she was
restrained by a gentleman in black; who I concluded, with justice, was
her clerical friend Mr. Jowls.

This reception of my presents made me rather dread than hope for an
interview with Mrs. Barry, and delayed my visit to her for some days
further. I wrote her a dutiful and soothing letter, to which there was
no answer returned; although I mentioned that on my way to the capital I
had been at Barryville, and revisited the old haunts of my youth.

I don't care to own that she is the only human being whom I am afraid
to face. I can recollect her fits of anger as a child, and the
reconciliations, which used to be still more violent and painful: and
so, instead of going myself, I sent my factotum, Ulick Brady, to her;
who rode back, saying that he had met with a reception he would not
again undergo for twenty guineas; that he had been dismissed the house,
with strict injunctions to inform me that my mother disowned me for
ever. This parental anathema, as it were, affected me much, for I was
always the most dutiful of sons; and I determined to go as soon as
possible, and brave what I knew must be an inevitable scene of reproach
and anger, for the sake, as I hoped, of as certain a reconciliation.

I had been giving one night an entertainment to some of the genteelest
company in Dublin, and was showing my Lord Marquess downstairs with a
pair of wax tapers, when I found a woman in a grey coat seated at my
doorsteps: to whom, taking her for a beggar, I tendered a piece of
money, and whom my noble friends, who were rather hot with wine, began
to joke, as my door closed and I bade them all good-night.

I was rather surprised and affected to find afterwards that the hooded
woman was no other than my mother; whose pride had made her vow that she
would not enter my doors, but whose natural maternal yearnings had made
her long to see her son's face once again, and who had thus planted
herself in disguise at my gate. Indeed, I have found in my experience
that these are the only women who never deceive a man, and whose
affection remains constant through all trials. Think of the hours that
the kind soul must have passed, lonely in the street, listening to the
din and merriment within my apartments, the clinking of the glasses, the
laughing, the choruses, and the cheering.

When my affair with Lord George happened, and it became necessary to me,
for the reasons I have stated, to be out of the way; now, thought I, is
the time to make my peace with my good mother: she will never refuse me
an asylum now that I seem in distress. So sending to her a notice that I
was coming, that I had had a duel which had brought me into trouble, and
required I should go into hiding, I followed my messenger half-an-hour
afterwards: and, I warrant me, there was no want of a good reception,
for presently, being introduced into an empty room by the barefooted
maid who waited upon Mrs. Barry, the door was opened, and the poor
mother flung herself into my arms with a scream, and with transports
of joy which I shall not attempt to describe--they are but to be
comprehended by women who have held in their arms an only child after a
twelve years' absence from him.

The Reverend Mr. Jowls, my mother's director, was the only person to
whom the door of her habitation was opened during my sojourn; and he
would take no denial. He mixed for himself a glass of rum-punch, which
he seemed in the habit of drinking at my good mother's charge, groaned
aloud, and forthwith began reading me a lecture upon the sinfulness of
my past courses, and especially of the last horrible action I had been
committing.

'Sinful!' said my mother, bristling up when her son was attacked;
'sure we're all sinners; and it's you, Mr. Jowls, who have given me the
inexpressible blessing to let me know THAT. But how else would you have
had the poor child behave?'

'I would have had the gentleman avoid the drink, and the quarrel, and
this wicked duel altogether,' answered the clergyman.

But my mother cut him short, by saying such sort of conduct might be
very well in a person of his cloth and his birth, but it neither became
a Brady nor a Barry. In fact, she was quite delighted with the thought
that I had pinked an English marquis's son in a duel; and so, to console
her, I told her of a score more in which I had been engaged, and of some
of which I have already informed the reader.

As my late antagonist was in no sort of danger when I spread that report
of his perilous situation, there was no particular call that my hiding
should be very close. But the widow did not know the fact as well as I
did: and caused her house to be barricaded, and Becky, her barefooted
serving-wench, to be a perpetual sentinel to give alarm, lest the
officers should be in search of me.

The only person I expected, however, was my cousin Ulick, who was to
bring me the welcome intelligence of Lady Lyndon's arrival; and I own,
after two days' close confinement at Bray, in which I narrated all the
adventures of my life to my mother, and succeeded in making her accept
the dresses she had formerly refused, and a considerable addition to
her income which I was glad to make, I was very glad when I saw that
reprobate Ulick Brady, as my mother called him, ride up to the door in
my carriage with the welcome intelligence for my mother, that the young
lord was out of danger; and for me, that the Countess of Lyndon had
arrived in Dublin.

'And I wish, Redmond, that the young gentleman had been in danger a
little longer,' said the widow, her eyes filling with tears, 'and you'd
have stayed so much the more with your poor old mother.' But I dried her
tears, embracing her warmly, and promised to see her often; and hinted
I would have, mayhap, a house of my own and a noble daughter to welcome
her.

'Who is she, Redmond dear?' said the old lady.

'One of the noblest and richest women in the empire, mother,' answered
I. 'No mere Brady this time,' I added, laughing: with which hopes I left
Mrs. Barry in the best of tempers.

No man can bear less malice than I do; and, when I have once carried
my point, I am one of the most placable creatures in the world. I was a
week in Dublin before I thought it necessary to quit that capital. I
had become quite reconciled to my rival in that time; made a point of
calling at his lodgings, and speedily became an intimate consoler of his
bed-side. He had a gentleman to whom I did not neglect to be civil, and
towards whom I ordered my people to be particular in their attentions;
for I was naturally anxious to learn what my Lord George's position with
the lady of Castle Lyndon had really been, whether other suitors were
about the widow, and how she would bear the news of his wound.

The young nobleman himself enlightened me somewhat upon the subjects I
was most desirous to inquire into.

'Chevalier,' said he to me one morning when I went to pay him my
compliments, 'I find you are an old acquaintance with my kinswoman, the
Countess of Lyndon. She writes me a page of abuse of you in a letter
here; and the strange part of the story is this, that one day when there
was talk about you at Castle Lyndon, and the splendid equipage you were
exhibiting in Dublin, the fair widow vowed and protested she never had
heard of you.

'"Oh yes, mamma," said the little Bullingdon, "the tall dark man at Spa
with the cast in his eye, who used to make my governor tipsy and sent me
the sword: his name is Mr. Barry."

'But my Lady ordered the boy out of the room, and persisted in knowing
nothing about you.'

'And are you a kinsman and acquaintance of my Lady Lyndon, my Lord?'
said I, in a tone of grave surprise.

'Yes, indeed,' answered the young gentleman. 'I left her house but to
get this ugly wound from you. And it came at a most unlucky time too.'

'Why more unlucky now than at another moment?'

'Why, look you, Chevalier, I think the widow was not unpartial to me. I
think I might have induced her to make our connection a little closer:
and faith, though she is older than I am, she is the richest party now
in England.'

'My Lord George,' said I, 'will you let me ask you a frank but an odd
question?--will you show me her letters?'

'Indeed I'll do no such thing,' replied he, in a rage.

'Nay, don't be angry. If _I_ show you letters of Lady Lyndon's to me,
will you let me see hers to you?'

'What, in Heaven's name, do you mean, Mr. Barry?' said the young
gentleman.

'_I_ mean that I passionately loved Lady Lyndon. I mean that I am
a--that I rather was not indifferent to her. I mean that I love her to
distraction at this present moment, and will die myself, or kill the man
who possesses her before me.'

'YOU marry the greatest heiress and the noblest blood in England?' said
Lord George haughtily.

'There's no nobler blood in Europe than mine,' answered I: 'and I tell
you I don't know whether to hope or not. But this I know, that there
were days in which, poor as I am, the great heiress did not disdain to
look down upon my poverty: and that any man who marries her passes over
my dead body to do it. It's lucky for you,' I added gloomily, 'that on
the occasion of my engagement with you, I did not know what were your
views regarding my Lady Lyndon. My poor boy, you are a lad of courage
and I love you. Mine is the first sword in Europe, and you would have
been lying in a narrower bed than that you now occupy.'

'Boy!' said Lord George: 'I am not four years younger than you are.'

'You are forty years younger than I am in experience. I have passed
through every grade of life. With my own skill and daring I have made
my own fortune. I have been in fourteen pitched battles as a private
soldier, and have been twenty-three times on the ground, and never was
touched but once; and that was by the sword of a French maitre-d'armes,
Whom I killed. I started in life at seventeen, a beggar, and am now at
seven-and-twenty, with twenty thousand guineas. Do you suppose a man
of my courage and energy can't attain anything that he dares, and that
having claims upon the widow, I will not press them?'

This speech was not exactly true to the letter (for I had multiplied my
pitched battles, my duels, and my wealth somewhat); but I saw that it
made the impression I desired to effect upon the young gentleman's
mind, who listened to my statement with peculiar seriousness, and whom I
presently left to digest it.

A couple of days afterwards I called to see him again, when I brought
with me some of the letters that had passed between me and my Lady
Lyndon. 'Here,' said I, 'look--I show it you in confidence--it is a
lock of her Ladyship's hair; here are her letters signed Calista, and
addressed to Eugenio. Here is a poem, "When Sol bedecks the mead with
light, And pallid Cynthia sheds her ray," addressed by her Ladyship to
your humble servant.'

'Calista! Eugenio! Sol bedecks the mead with light?' cried the young
lord. 'Am I dreaming? Why, my dear Barry, the widow has sent me the
very poem herself! "Rejoicing in the sunshine bright, Or musing in the
evening grey."'

I could not help laughing as he made the quotation. They were, in
fact, the very words MY Calista had addressed to me. And we found, upon
comparing letters, that whole passages of eloquence figured in the
one correspondence which appeared in the other. See what it is to be a
blue-stocking and have a love of letter-writing!

The young man put down the papers in great perturbation. 'Well, thank
Heaven!' said he, after a pause of some duration,--'thank Heaven for
a good riddance! Ah, Mr. Barry, what a woman I MIGHT have married had
these lucky papers not come in my way! I thought my Lady Lyndon had a
heart, sir, I must confess, though not a very warm one; and that, at
least, one could TRUST her. But marry her now! I would as lief send
my servant into the street to get me a wife, as put up with such an
Ephesian matron as that.'

'My Lord George,' said I, 'you little know the world. Remember what a
bad husband Lady Lyndon had, and don't be astonished that she, on her
side, should be indifferent. Nor has she, I will dare to wager, ever
passed beyond the bounds of harmless gallantry, or sinned beyond the
composing of a sonnet or a billet-doux.'

'My wife,' said the little lord, 'shall write no sonnets or
billets-doux; and I'm heartily glad to think I have obtained, in good
time, a knowledge of the heartless vixen with whom I thought myself for
a moment in love.'

The wounded young nobleman was either, as I have said, very young and
green in matters of the world--for to suppose that a man would give up
forty thousand a year, because, forsooth, the lady connected with it had
written a few sentimental letters to a young fellow, is too absurd--or,
as I am inclined to believe, he was glad of an excuse to quit the field
altogether, being by no means anxious to meet the victorious sword of
Redmond Barry a second time.

When the idea of Poynings' danger, or the reproaches probably addressed
by him to the widow regarding myself, had brought this exceedingly weak
and feeble woman up to Dublin, as I expected, and my worthy Ulick had
informed me of her arrival, I quitted my good mother, who was quite
reconciled to me (indeed the duel had done that), and found the
disconsolate Calista was in the habit of paying visits to the wounded
swain; much to the annoyance, the servants told me, of that gentleman.
The English are often absurdly high and haughty upon a point of
punctilio; and, after his kinswoman's conduct, Lord Poynings swore he
would have no more to do with her.

I had this information from his Lordship's gentleman; with whom, as
I have said, I took particular care to be friends; nor was I denied
admission by his porter, when I chose to call, as before.

Her Ladyship had most likely bribed that person, as I had; for she had
found her way up, though denied admission; and, in fact, I had watched
her from her own house to Lord George Poynings' lodgings, and seen her
descend from her chair there and enter, before I myself followed her. I
proposed to await her quietly in the ante-room, to make a scene there,
and reproach her with infidelity, if necessary; but matters were, as
it happened, arranged much more conveniently for me; and walking,
unannounced, into the outer room of his Lordship's apartments, I had the
felicity of hearing in the next chamber, of which the door was partially
open, the voice of my Calista. She was in full cry, appealing to the
poor patient, as he lay confined in his bed, and speaking in the most
passionate manner. 'What can lead you, George,' she said, 'to doubt of
my faith? How can you break my heart by casting me off in this monstrous
manner? Do you wish to drive your poor Calista to the grave? Well, well,
I shall join there the dear departed angel.'

'Who entered it three months since,' said Lord George, with a sneer.
'It's a wonder you have survived so long.'

'Don't treat your poor Calista in this cruel cruel manner, Antonio!'
cried the widow.

'Bah!' said Lord George, 'my wound is bad. My doctors forbid me much
talk. Suppose your Antonio tired, my dear. Can't you console yourself
with somebody else?'

'Heavens, Lord George! Antonio!'

'Console yourself with Eugenio,' said the young nobleman bitterly, and
began ringing his bell; on which his valet, who was in an inner room,
came out, and he bade him show her Ladyship downstairs.

Lady Lyndon issued from the room in the greatest flurry. She was dressed
in deep weeds, with a veil over her face, and did not recognise the
person waiting in the outer apartment. As she went down the stairs, I
stepped lightly after her, and as her chairman opened her door, sprang
forward, and took her hand to place her in the vehicle. 'Dearest widow,'
said I, 'his Lordship spoke correctly. Console yourself with Eugenio!'
She was too frightened even to scream, as her chairman carried her away.
She was set down at her house, and you may be sure that I was at the
chair-door, as before, to help her out.

'Monstrous man!' said she, 'I desire you to leave me.'

'Madam, it would be against my oath,' replied I; 'recollect the vow
Eugenio sent to Calista.'

'If you do not quit me, I will call for the domestics to turn you from
the door.'

'What! when I am come with my Calista's letters in my pocket, to return
them mayhap? You can soothe, madam, but you cannot frighten Redmond
Barry.'

'What is it you would have of me, sir?' said the widow, rather agitated.

'Let me come upstairs, and I will tell you all,' I replied; and she
condescended to give me her hand, and to permit me to lead her from her
chair to her drawing-room.

When we were alone I opened my mind honourably to her.

'Dearest madam,' said I, 'do not let your cruelty drive a desperate
slave to fatal measures. I adore you. In former days you allowed me to
whisper my passion to you unrestrained; at present you drive me from
your door, leave my letters unanswered, and prefer another to me. My
flesh and blood cannot bear such treatment. Look upon the punishment I
have been obliged to inflict; tremble at that which I may be compelled
to administer to that unfortunate young man: so sure as he marries you,
madam, he dies.'

'I do not recognise,' said the widow, 'the least right you have to give
the law to the Countess of Lyndon: I do not in the least understand
your threats, or heed them. What has passed between me and an Irish
adventurer that should authorise this impertinent intrusion?'

'THESE have passed, madam,' said I,--'Calista's letters to Eugenio. They
may have been very innocent; but will the world believe it? You may have
only intended to play with the heart of the poor artless Irish gentleman
who adored and confided in you. But who will believe the stories of your
innocence, against the irrefragable testimony of your own handwriting?
Who will believe that you could write these letters in the mere
wantonness of coquetry, and not under the influence of affection?'

'Villain!' cried my Lady Lyndon, 'could you dare to construe out of
those idle letters of mine any other meaning than that which they really
bear?'

'I will construe anything out of them,' said I; 'such is the passion
which animates me towards you. I have sworn it--you must and shall be
mine! Did you ever know me promise to accomplish a thing and fail? Which
will you prefer to have from me--a love such as woman never knew from
man before, or a hatred to which there exists no parallel?'

'A woman of my rank, sir, can fear nothing from the hatred of an
adventurer like yourself,' replied the lady, drawing up stately.

'Look at your Poynings--was HE of your rank? You are the cause of that
young man's wound, madam; and, but that the instrument of your savage
cruelty relented, would have been the author of his murder--yes, of his
murder; for, if a wife is faithless, does not she arm the husband who
punishes the seducer! And I look upon you, Honoria Lyndon, as my wife.'

'Husband? wife, sir!' cried the widow, quite astonished.

'Yes, wife! husband! I am not one of those poor souls with whom
coquettes can play, and who may afterwards throw them aside. You would
forget what passed between us at Spa: Calista would forget Eugenio; but
I will not let you forget me. You thought to trifle with my heart, did
you? When once moved, Honoria, it is moved for ever. I love you--love as
passionately now as I did when my passion was hopeless; and, now that
I can win you, do you think I will forego you? Cruel cruel Calista! you
little know the power of your own charms if you think their effect is so
easily obliterated--you little know the constancy of this pure and noble
heart if you think that, having once loved, it can ever cease to
adore you. No! I swear by your cruelty that I will revenge it; by your
wonderful beauty that I will win it, and be worthy to win it. Lovely,
fascinating, fickle, cruel woman! you shall be mine--I swear it! Your
wealth may be great; but am I not of a generous nature enough to use it
worthily? Your rank is lofty; but not so lofty as my ambition. You threw
yourself away once on a cold and spiritless debauchee: give yourself
now, Honoria, to a MAN; and one who, however lofty your rank may be,
will enhance it and become it!'

As I poured words to this effect out on the astonished widow, I stood
over her, and fascinated her with the glance of my eye; saw her turn red
and pale with fear and wonder; saw that my praise of her charms and the
exposition of my passion were not unwelcome to her, and witnessed with
triumphant composure the mastery I was gaining over her. Terror, be sure
of that, is not a bad ingredient of love. A man who wills fiercely to
win the heart of a weak and vapourish woman MUST succeed, if he have
opportunity enough.

'Terrible man!' said Lady Lyndon, shrinking from me as soon as I had
done speaking (indeed, I was at a loss for words, and thinking of
another speech to make to her)--'terrible man! leave me.'

I saw that I had made an impression on her, from those very words. 'If
she lets me into the house to-morrow,' said I, 'she is mine.'

As I went downstairs I put ten guineas into the hand of the hall-porter,
who looked quite astonished at such a gift.

'It is to repay you for the trouble of opening the door to me,' said I;
'you will have to do so often.'



CHAPTER XVI. I PROVIDE NOBLY FOR MY FAMILY

The next day when I went back, my fears were realised: the door was
refused to me--my Lady was not at home. This I knew to be false: I had
watched the door the whole morning from a lodging I took at a house
opposite.

'Your lady is not out,' said I: 'she has denied me, and I can't, of
course, force my way to her. But listen: you are an Englishman?' 'That
I am,' said the fellow, with an air of the utmost superiority. 'Your
honour could tell that by my HACCENT.'

I knew he was, and might therefore offer him a bribe. An Irish family
servant in rags, and though his wages were never paid him, would
probably fling the money in your face.

'Listen, then,' said I. 'Your lady's letters pass through your hands,
don't they? A crown for every one that you bring me to read. There is a
whisky-shop in the next street; bring them there when you go to drink,
and call for me by the name of Dermot.'

'I recollect your honour at SPAR,' says the fellow, grinning: 'seven's
the main, hey?' and being exceedingly proud of this reminiscence, I bade
my inferior adieu.

I do not defend this practice of letter-opening in private life, except
in cases of the most urgent necessity: when we must follow the examples
of our betters, the statesmen of all Europe, and, for the sake of a
great good, infringe a little matter of ceremony. My Lady Lyndon's
letters were none the worse for being opened, and a great deal
the better; the knowledge obtained from the perusal of some of her
multifarious epistles enabling me to become intimate with her character
in a hundred ways, and obtain a power over her by which I was not slow
to profit. By the aid of the letters and of my English friend, whom I
always regaled with the best of liquor, and satisfied with presents of
money still more agreeable (I used to put on a livery in order to meet
him, and a red wig, in which it was impossible to know the dashing and
elegant Redmond Barry), I got such an insight into the widow's movements
as astonished her. I knew beforehand to what public places she would
go; they were, on account of her widowhood, but few: and wherever she
appeared, at church or in the park, I was always ready to offer her her
book, or to canter on horseback by the side of her chariot.

Many of her Ladyship's letters were the most whimsical rodomontades that
ever blue-stocking penned. She was a woman who took up and threw off
a greater number of dear friends than any one I ever knew. To some of
these female darlings she began presently to write about my unworthy
self, and it was with a sentiment of extreme satisfaction I found at
length that the widow was growing dreadfully afraid of me; calling me
her bete noire, her dark spirit, her murderous adorer, and a thousand
other names indicative of her extreme disquietude and terror. It was:
'The wretch has been dogging my chariot through the park,' or, 'my fate
pursued me at church,' and 'my inevitable adorer handed me out of
my chair at the mercer's,' or what not. My wish was to increase this
sentiment of awe in her bosom, and to make her believe that I was a
person from whom escape was impossible.

To this end I bribed a fortune-teller, whom she consulted along with a
number of the most foolish and distinguished people of Dublin, in those
days; and who, although she went dressed like one of her waiting-women,
did not fail to recognise her real rank, and to describe as her future
husband her persevering adorer Redmond Barry, Esquire. This incident
disturbed her very much. She wrote about it in terms of great wonder
and terror to her female correspondents. 'Can this monster,' she wrote,
'indeed do as he boasts, and bend even Fate to his will?--can he make
me marry him though I cordially detest him, and bring me a slave to
his feet. The horrid look of his black serpent-like eyes fascinates and
frightens me: it seems to follow me everywhere, and even when I close my
own eyes, the dreadful gaze penetrates the lids, and is still upon me.'

When a woman begins to talk of a man in this way, he is an ass who
does not win her; and, for my part, I used to follow her about, and put
myself in an attitude opposite her, 'and fascinate her with my glance,'
as she said, most assiduously. Lord George Poynings, her former admirer,
was meanwhile keeping his room with his wound, and seemed determined to
give up all claims to her favour; for he denied her admittance when she
called, sent no answer to her multiplied correspondence, and contented
himself by saying generally, that the surgeon had forbidden him to
receive visitors or to answer letters. Thus, while he went into the
background, I came forward, and took good care that no other rivals
should present themselves with any chance of success; for, as soon as I
heard of one, I had a quarrel fastened on him, and, in this way, pinked
two more, besides my first victim Lord George. I always took another
pretext for quarrelling with them than the real one of attention to
Lady Lyndon, so that no scandal or hurt to her Ladyship's feelings might
arise in consequence; but she very well knew what was the meaning of
these duels; and the young fellows of Dublin, too, by laying two and two
together, began to perceive that there was a certain dragon in watch for
the wealthy heiress, and that the dragon must be subdued first before
they could get at the lady. I warrant that, after the first three, not
many champions were found to address the lady; and have often laughed
(in my sleeve) to see many of the young Dublin beaux riding by the side
of her carriage scamper off as soon as my bay-mare and green liveries
made their appearance.

I wanted to impress her with some great and awful instance of my power,
and to this end had determined to confer a great benefit upon my honest
cousin Ulick, and carry off for him the fair object of his affections,
Miss Kiljoy, under the very eyes of her guardian and friend, Lady
Lyndon; and in the teeth of the squires, the young lady's brothers, who
passed the season at Dublin, and made as much swagger and to-do about
their sister's L10,000 Irish, as if she had had a plum to her fortune.
The girl was by no means averse to Mr. Brady; and it only shows how
faint-spirited some men are, and how a superior genius can instantly
overcome difficulties which to common minds seem insuperable, that he
never had thought of running off with her: as I at once and boldly did.
Miss Kiljoy had been a ward in Chancery until she attained her majority
(before which period it would have been a dangerous matter for me to
put in execution the scheme I meditated concerning her); but, though now
free to marry whom she liked, she was a young lady of timid disposition,
and as much under fear of her brothers and relatives as though she had
not been independent of them. They had some friend of their own in view
for the young lady, and had scornfully rejected the proposal of Ulick
Brady, the ruined gentleman; who was quite unworthy, as these rustic
bucks thought, of the hand of such a prodigiously wealthy heiress as
their sister.

Finding herself lonely in her great house in Dublin, the Countess of
Lyndon invited her friend Miss Amelia to pass the season with her at
Dublin; and, in a fit of maternal fondness, also sent for her son the
little Bullingdon, and my old acquaintance his governor, to come to
the capital and bear her company. A family coach brought the boy, the
heiress, and the tutor from Castle Lyndon; and I determined to take the
first opportunity of putting my plan in execution.

For this chance I had not very long to wait. I have said, in a former
chapter of my biography, that the kingdom of Ireland was at this
period ravaged by various parties of banditti; who, under the name
of Whiteboys, Oakboys, Steelboys, with captains at their head, killed
proctors, fired stacks, houghed and maimed cattle, and took the law into
their own hands. One of these bands, or several of them for what I know,
was commanded by a mysterious personage called Captain Thunder; whose
business seemed to be that of marrying people with or without their own
consent, or that of their parents. The Dublin Gazettes and Mercuries
of that period (the year 1772) teem with proclamations from the Lord
Lieutenant, offering rewards for the apprehension of this dreadful
Captain Thunder and his gang, and describing at length various exploits
of the savage aide-de-camp of Hymen. I determined to make use, if not
of the services, at any rate of the name of Captain Thunder, and put my
cousin Ulick in possession of his lady and her ten thousand pounds. She
was no great beauty, and, I presume, it was the money he loved rather
than the owner of it.

On account of her widowhood, Lady Lyndon could not as yet frequent the
balls and routs which the hospitable nobility of Dublin were in the
custom of giving; but her friend Miss Kiljoy had no such cause for
retirement, and was glad to attend any parties to which she might be
invited. I made Ulick Brady a present of a couple of handsome suits of
velvet, and by my influence procured him an invitation to many of the
most elegant of these assemblies. But he had not had my advantages or
experience of the manners of Court; was as shy with ladies as a young
colt, and could no more dance a minuet than a donkey. He made very
little way in the polite world or in his mistress's heart: in fact, I
could see that she preferred several other young gentlemen to him, who
were more at home in the ball-room than poor Ulick; he had made his
first impression upon the heiress, and felt his first flame for her, in
her father's house of Ballykiljoy, where he used to hunt and get drunk
with the old gentleman.

'I could do THIM two well enough, anyhow,' Ulick would say, heaving
a sigh; 'and if it's drinking or riding across country would do it,
there's no man in Ireland would have a better chance with Amalia.'

'Never fear, Ulick,' was my reply; 'you shall have your Amalia, or my
name is not Redmond Barry.'

My Lord Charlemont--who was one of the most elegant and accomplished
noblemen in Ireland in those days, a fine scholar and wit, a gentleman
who had travelled much abroad, where I had the honour of knowing
him--gave a magnificent masquerade at his house of Marino, some
few miles from Dublin, on the Dunleary road. And it was at this
entertainment that I was determined that Ulick should be made happy for
life. Miss Kiljoy was invited to the masquerade, and the little Lord
Bullingdon, who longed to witness such a scene; and it was agreed that
he was to go under the guardianship of his governor, my old friend the
Reverend Mr. Runt. I learned what was the equipage in which the party
were to be conveyed to the ball, and took my measures accordingly.

Ulick Brady was not present: his fortune and quality were not sufficient
to procure him an invitation to so distinguished a place, and I had
it given out three days previous that he had been arrested for debt: a
rumour which surprised nobody who knew him.

I appeared that night in a character with which I was very familiar,
that of a private soldier in the King of Prussia's guard. I had a
grotesque mask made, with an immense nose and moustaches, talked
a jumble of broken English and German, in which the latter greatly
predominated; and had crowds round me laughing at my droll accent, and
whose curiosity was increased by a knowledge of my previous history.
Miss Kiljoy was attired as an antique princess, with little Bullingdon
as a page of the times of chivalry; his hair was in powder, his doublet
rose-colour, and pea-green and silver, and he looked very handsome and
saucy as he strutted about with my sword by his side. As for Mr. Runt,
he walked about very demurely in a domino, and perpetually paid his
respects to the buffet, and ate enough cold chicken and drank enough
punch and champagne to satisfy a company of grenadiers.

The Lord Lieutenant came and went in state-the ball was magnificent.
Miss Kiljoy had partners in plenty, among whom was myself, who walked
a minuet with her (if the clumsy waddling of the Irish heiress may be
called by such a name); and I took occasion to plead my passion for Lady
Lyndon in the most pathetic terms, and to beg her friend's interference
in my favour.

It was three hours past midnight when the party for Lyndon House went
away. Little Bullingdon had long since been asleep in one of Lady
Charlemont's china closets. Mr. Runt was exceedingly husky in talk, and
unsteady in gait. A young lady of the present day would be alarmed to
see a gentleman in such a condition; but it was a common sight in those
jolly old times, when a gentleman was thought a milksop unless he was
occasionally tipsy. I saw Miss Kiljoy to her carriage, with several
other gentlemen: and, peering through the crowd of ragged linkboys,
drivers, beggars, drunken men and women, who used invariably to wait
round great men's doors when festivities were going on, saw the carriage
drive off, with a hurrah from the mob; then came back presently to the
supper-room, where I talked German, favoured the three or four topers
still there with a High-Dutch chorus, and attacked the dishes and wine
with great resolution.

'How can you drink aisy with that big nose on?' said one gentleman.

'Go an be hangt!' said I, in the true accent, applying myself again
to the wine; with which the others laughed, and I pursued my supper in
silence.

There was a gentleman present who had seen the Lyndon party go off, with
whom I had made a bet, which I lost; and the next morning I called upon
him and paid it him. All which particulars the reader will be surprised
at hearing enumerated; but the fact is, that it was not I who went back
to the party, but my late German valet, who was of my size, and,
dressed in my mask, could perfectly pass for me. We changed clothes in
a hackney-coach that stood near Lady Lyndon's chariot, and driving after
it, speedily overtook it.

The fated vehicle which bore the lovely object of Ulick Brady's
affections had not advanced very far, when, in the midst of a deep rut
in the road, it came suddenly to with a jolt; the footman, springing off
the back, cried 'Stop!' to the coachman, warning him that a wheel
was off, and that it would be dangerous to proceed with only three.
Wheel-caps had not been invented in those days, as they have since been
by the ingenious builders of Long Acre. And how the linch-pin of the
wheel had come out I do not pretend to say; but it possibly may have
been extracted by some rogues among the crowd before Lord Charlemont's
gate.

Miss Kiljoy thrust her head out of the window, screaming as ladies
do; Mr. Runt the chaplain woke up from his boozy slumbers; and little
Bullingdon, starting up and drawing his little sword, said, 'Don't be
afraid, Miss Amelia: if it's footpads, I am armed.' The young rascal had
the spirit of a lion, that's the truth; as I must acknowledge, in spite
of all my after quarrels with him.

The hackney-coach which had been following Lady Lyndon's chariot by this
time came up, and the coachman seeing the disaster, stepped down from
his box, and politely requested her Ladyship's honour to enter his
vehicle; which was as clean and elegant as any person of tiptop quality
might desire. This invitation was, after a minute or two, accepted by
the passengers of the chariot: the hackney-coachman promising to drive
them to Dublin 'in a hurry.' Thady, the valet, proposed to accompany
his young master and the young lady; and the coachman, who had a friend
seemingly drunk by his side on the box, with a grin told Thady to get
up behind. However, as the footboard there was covered with spikes, as
a defence against the street-boys, who love a ride gratis, Thady's
fidelity would not induce him to brave these; and he was persuaded
to remain by the wounded chariot, for which he and the coachman
manufactured a linch-pin out of a neighbouring hedge.

Meanwhile, although the hackney-coachman drove on rapidly, yet the party
within seemed to consider it was a long distance from Dublin; and what
was Miss Kiljoy's astonishment, on looking out of the window at length,
to see around her a lonely heath, with no signs of buildings or city.
She began forthwith to scream out to the coachman to stop; but the man
only whipped the horses the faster for her noise, and bade her Ladyship
'hould on--'twas a short cut he was taking.'

Miss Kiljoy continued screaming, the coachman flogging, the horses
galloping, until two or three men appeared suddenly from a hedge, to
whom the fair one cried for assistance; and the young Bullingdon opening
the coach-door, jumped valiantly out, toppling over head and heels as
he fell; but jumping up in an instant, he drew his little sword, and,
running towards the carriage, exclaimed, 'This way, gentlemen! stop the
rascal!'

'Stop!' cried the men; at which the coachman pulled up with
extraordinary obedience. Runt all the while lay tipsy in the carriage,
having only a dreamy half-consciousness of all that was going on.

The newly arrived champions of female distress now held a consultation,
in which they looked at the young lord and laughed considerably.

'Do not be alarmed,' said the leader, coming up to the door; 'one of my
people shall mount the box by the side of that treacherous rascal, and,
with your Ladyship's leave, I and my companions will get in and see you
home. We are well armed, and can defend you in case of danger.'

With this, and without more ado, he jumped into the carriage, his
companion following him.

'Know your place, fellow!' cried out little Bullingdon indignantly: 'and
give place to the Lord Viscount Bullingdon!' and put himself before the
huge person of the new-comer, who was about to enter the hackney-coach.

'Get out of that, my Lord,' said the man, in a broad brogue, and shoving
him aside. On which the boy, crying 'Thieves! thieves!' drew out his
little hanger, and ran at the man, and would have wounded him (for a
small sword will wound as well as a great one); but his opponent, who
was armed with a long stick, struck the weapon luckily out of the lad's
hands: it went flying over his head, and left him aghast and mortified
at his discomfiture.

He then pulled off his hat, making his Lordship a low bow, and entered
the carriage; the door of which was shut upon him by his confederate,
who was to mount the box. Miss Kiljoy might have screamed; but I presume
her shrieks were stopped by the sight of an enormous horse-pistol which
one of her champions produced, who said, 'No harm is intended you,
ma'am, but if you cry out, we must gag you;' on which she suddenly
became as mute as a fish.

All these events took place in an exceedingly short space of time; and
when the three invaders had taken possession of the carriage, the poor
little Bullingdon being left bewildered and astonished on the heath, one
of them putting his head out of the window, said,--

'My Lord, a word with you.'

'What is it?' said the boy, beginning to whimper: he was but eleven
years old, and his courage had been excellent hitherto.

'You are only two miles from Marino. Walk back till you come to a big
stone, there turn to the right, and keep on straight till you get to the
high-road, when you will easily find your way back. And when you see her
Ladyship your mamma, give CAPTAIN THUNDER'S compliments, and say Miss
Amelia Kiljoy is going to be married.'

'O heavens!' sighed out that young lady.

The carriage drove swiftly on, and the poor little nobleman was left
alone on the heath, just as the morning began to break. He was fairly
frightened; and no wonder. He thought of running after the coach; but
his courage and his little legs failed him: so he sat down upon a stone
and cried for vexation.

It was in this way that Ulick Brady made what I call a Sabine marriage.
When he halted with his two groomsmen at the cottage where the ceremony
was to be performed, Mr. Runt, the chaplain, at first declined to
perform it. But a pistol was held at the head of that unfortunate
preceptor, and he was told, with dreadful oaths, that his miserable
brains would be blown out; when he consented to read the service. The
lovely Amelia had, very likely, a similar inducement held out to her,
but of that I know nothing; for I drove back to town with the coachman
as soon as we had set the bridal party down, and had the satisfaction
of finding Fritz, my German, arrived before me: he had come back in my
carriage in my dress, having left the masquerade undiscovered, and done
everything there according to my orders.

Poor Runt came back the next day in a piteous plight, keeping silence as
to his share in the occurrences of the evening, and with a dismal story
of having been drunk, of having been waylaid and bound, of having been
left on the road and picked up by a Wicklow cart, which was coming in
with provisions to Dublin, and found him helpless on the road. There was
no possible means of fixing any share of the conspiracy upon him. Little
Bullingdon, who, too, found his way home, was unable in any way to
identify me. But Lady Lyndon knew that I was concerned in the plot, for
I met her hurrying the next day to the Castle; all the town being up
about the enlevement. And I saluted her with a smile so diabolical,
that I knew she was aware that I had been concerned in the daring and
ingenious scheme.

Thus it was that I repaid Ulick Brady's kindness to me in early days;
and had the satisfaction of restoring the fallen fortunes of a deserving
branch of my family. He took his bride into Wicklow, where he lived
with her in the strictest seclusion until the affair was blown over; the
Kiljoys striving everywhere in vain to discover his retreat. They did
not for a while even know who was the lucky man who had carried off
the heiress; nor was it until she wrote a letter some weeks afterwards,
signed Amelia Brady, and expressing perfect happiness in her new
condition, and stating that she had been married by Lady Lyndon's
chaplain Mr. Runt, that the truth was known, and my worthy friend
confessed his share of the transaction. As his good-natured mistress
did not dismiss him from his post in consequence, everybody persisted in
supposing that poor Lady Lyndon was privy to the plot; and the story of
her Ladyship's passionate attachment for me gained more and more credit.

I was not slow, you may be sure, in profiting by these rumours. Every
one thought I had a share in the Brady marriage; though no one could
prove it. Every one thought I was well with the widowed Countess; though
no one could show that I said so. But there is a way of proving a thing
even while you contradict it, and I used to laugh and joke so apropos
that all men began to wish me joy of my great fortune, and look up to
me as the affianced husband of the greatest heiress in the kingdom.
The papers took up the matter; the female friends of Lady Lyndon
remonstrated with her and cried 'Fie!' Even the English journals and
magazines, which in those days were very scandalous, talked of the
matter; and whispered that a beautiful and accomplished widow, with
a title and the largest possessions in the two kingdoms, was about to
bestow her hand upon a young gentleman of high birth and fashion, who
had distinguished himself in the service of His M-----y the K--- of
Pr----. I won't say who was the author of these paragraphs; or how
two pictures, one representing myself under the title of 'The Prussian
Irishman,' and the other Lady Lyndon as 'The Countess of Ephesus,'
actually appeared in the Town and Country Magazine, published at London,
and containing the fashionable tittle-tattle of the day.

Lady Lyndon was so perplexed and terrified by this continual hold upon
her, that she determined to leave the country. Well, she did; and
who was the first to receive her on landing at Holyhead? Your humble
servant, Redmond Barry, Esquire. And, to crown all, the Dublin Mercury,
which announced her Ladyship's departure, announced mine THE DAY BEFORE.
There was not a soul but thought she had followed me to England; whereas
she was only flying me. Vain hope!--a man of my resolution was not thus
to be balked in pursuit. Had she fled to the antipodes, I would have
been there: ay, and would have followed her as far as Orpheus did
Eurydice!

Her Ladyship had a house in Berkeley Square, London, more splendid than
that which she possessed in Dublin; and, knowing that she would come
thither, I preceded her to the English capital, and took handsome
apartments in Hill Street, hard by. I had the same intelligence in her
London house which I had procured in Dublin. The same faithful porter
was there to give me all the information I required. I promised to
treble his wages as soon as a certain event should happen. I won over
Lady Lyndon's companion by a present of a hundred guineas down, and a
promise of two thousand when I should be married, and gained the
favours of her favourite lady's-maid by a bribe of similar magnitude. My
reputation had so far preceded me in London that, on my arrival, numbers
of the genteel were eager to receive me at their routs. We have no idea
in this humdrum age what a gay and splendid place London was then: what
a passion for play there was among young and old, male and female; what
thousands were lost and won in a night; what beauties there were--how
brilliant, gay, and dashing! Everybody was delightfully wicked: the
Royal Dukes of Gloucester and Cumberland set the example; the nobles
followed close behind. Running away was the fashion. Ah! it was a
pleasant time; and lucky was he who had fire, and youth, and money, and
could live in it! I had all these; and the old frequenters of 'White's,'
'Wattier's,' and 'Goosetree's' could tell stories of the gallantry,
spirit, and high fashion of Captain Barry.

The progress of a love-story is tedious to all those who are not
concerned, and I leave such themes to the hack novel-writers, and the
young boarding-school misses for whom they write. It is not my intention
to follow, step by step, the incidents of my courtship, or to narrate
all the difficulties I had to contend with, and my triumphant manner of
surmounting them. Suffice it to say, I DID overcome these difficulties.
I am of opinion, with my friend the late ingenious Mr. Wilkes, that such
impediments are nothing in the way of a man of spirit; and that he can
convert indifference and aversion into love, if he have perseverance and
cleverness sufficient. By the time the Countess's widowhood was expired,
I had found means to be received into her house; I had her women
perpetually talking in my favour, vaunting my powers, expatiating
upon my reputation, and boasting of my success and popularity in the
fashionable world.

Also, the best friends I had in the prosecution of my tender suit were
the Countess's noble relatives; who were far from knowing the service
that they did me, and to whom I beg leave to tender my heartfelt thanks
for the abuse with which they then loaded me! and to whom I fling
my utter contempt for the calumny and hatred with which they have
subsequently pursued me.

The chief of these amiable persons was the Marchioness of Tiptoff,
mother of the young gentleman whose audacity I had punished at Dublin.
This old harridan, on the Countess's first arrival in London,
waited upon her, and favoured her with such a storm of abuse for her
encouragement of me, that I do believe she advanced my cause more than
six months' courtship could have done, or the pinking of a half-dozen
of rivals. It was in vain that poor Lady Lyndon pleaded her entire
innocence and vowed she had never encouraged me. 'Never encouraged him!'
screamed out the old fury; 'didn't you encourage the wretch at Spa,
during Sir Charles's own life? Didn't you marry a dependant of yours to
one of this profligate's bankrupt cousins? When he set off for England,
didn't you follow him like a mad woman the very next day? Didn't he
take lodgings at your very door almost--and do you call this no
encouragement? For shame, madam, shame! You might have married my
son--my dear and noble George; but that he did not choose to interfere
with your shameful passion for the beggarly upstart whom you caused to
assassinate him; and the only counsel I have to give your Ladyship
is this, to legitimatise the ties which you have contracted with this
shameless adventurer; to make that connection legal which, real as it is
now, is against both decency and religion; and to spare your family and
your son the shame of your present line of life.'

With this the old fury of a marchioness left the room, and Lady Lyndon
in tears: I had the whole particulars of the conversation from her
Ladyship's companion, and augured the best result from it in my favour.

Thus, by the sage influence of my Lady Tiptoff, the Countess of Lyndon's
natural friends and family were kept from her society. Even when Lady
Lyndon went to Court the most august lady in the realm received her with
such marked coldness, that the unfortunate widow came home and took to
her bed with vexation. And thus I may say that Royalty itself became
an agent in advancing my suit, and helping the plans of the poor Irish
soldier of fortune. So it is that Fate works with agents, great and
small; and by means over which they have no control the destinies of men
and women are accomplished.

I shall always consider the conduct of Mrs. Bridget (Lady Lyndon's
favourite maid at this juncture) as a masterpiece of ingenuity: and,
indeed, had such an opinion of her diplomatic skill, that the very
instant I became master of the Lyndon estates, and paid her the promised
sum--I am a man of honour, and rather than not keep my word with the
woman, I raised the money of the Jews, at an exorbitant interest--as
soon, I say, as I achieved my triumph, I took Mrs. Bridget by the hand,
and said, "Madam, you have shown such unexampled fidelity in my service
that I am glad to reward you, according to my promise; but you have
given proofs of such extraordinary cleverness and dissimulation, that
I must decline keeping you in Lady Lyndon's establishment, and beg
you will leave it this very day:" which she did, and went over to the
Tiptoff faction, and has abused me ever since.

But I must tell you what she did which was so clever. Why, it was the
simplest thing in the world, as all master-strokes are. When Lady
Lyndon lamented her fate and my--as she was pleased to call it--shameful
treatment of her, Mrs. Bridget said, 'Why should not your Ladyship write
this young gentleman word of the evil which he is causing you? Appeal to
his feelings (which, I have heard say, are very good indeed--the whole
town is ringing with accounts of his spirit and generosity), and beg him
to desist from a pursuit which causes the best of ladies so much pain?
Do, my Lady, write: I know your style is so elegant that I, for my part,
have many a time burst into tears in reading your charming letters, and
I have no doubt Mr. Barry will sacrifice anything rather than hurt your
feelings.' And, of course, the abigail swore to the fact.

'Do you think so, Bridget?' said her Ladyship. And my mistress forthwith
penned me a letter, in her most fascinating and winning manner:--'Why,
sir,' wrote she, 'will you pursue me? why environ me in a web of
intrigue so frightful that my spirit sinks under it, seeing escape is
hopeless from your frightful, your diabolical art? They say you are
generous to others--be so to me. I know your bravery but too well:
exercise it on men who can meet your sword, not on a poor feeble woman,
who cannot resist you. Remember the friendship you once professed
for me. And now, I beseech you, I implore you, to give a proof of it.
Contradict the calumnies which you have spread against me, and repair,
if you can, and if you have a spark of honour left, the miseries which
you have caused to the heart-broken

'H. LYNDON.'


What was this letter meant for but that I should answer it in person? My
excellent ally told me where I should meet Lady Lyndon, and accordingly
I followed, and found her at the Pantheon. I repeated the scene at
Dublin over again; showed her how prodigious my power was, humble as
I was, and that my energy was still untired. 'But,' I added, 'I am as
great in good as I am in evil; as fond and faithful as a friend as I am
terrible as an enemy. I will do everything,' I said, 'which you ask of
me, except when you bid me not to love you. That is beyond my power; and
while my heart has a pulse I must follow you. It is MY fate; your fate.
Cease to battle against it, and be mine. Loveliest of your sex! with
life alone can end my passion for you; and, indeed, it is only by dying
at your command that I can be brought to obey you. Do you wish me to
die?'

She said, laughing (for she was a woman of a lively, humorous turn),
that she did not wish me to commit self-murder; and I felt from that
moment that she was mine.

*****

A year from that day, on the 15th of May, in the year 1773, I had the
honour and happiness to lead to the altar Honoria, Countess of Lyndon,
widow of the late Right Honourable Sir Charles Lyndon, K.B. The ceremony
was performed at St. George's, Hanover Square, by the Reverend Samuel
Runt, her Ladyship's chaplain. A magnificent supper and ball was given
at our house in Berkeley Square, and the next morning I had a duke, four
earls, three generals, and a crowd of the most distinguished people
in London at my LEVEE. Walpole made a lampoon about the marriage, and
Selwyn cut jokes at the 'Cocoa-Tree.' Old Lady Tiptoff, although she had
recommended it, was ready to bite off her fingers with vexation; and as
for young Bullingdon, who was grown a tall lad of fourteen, when called
upon by the Countess to embrace his papa, he shook his fist in my face
and said, 'HE my father! I would as soon call one of your Ladyship's
footmen Papa!'

But I could afford to laugh at the rage of the boy and the old woman,
and at the jokes of the wits of St. James's. I sent off a flaming
account of our nuptials to my mother and my uncle the good Chevalier;
and now, arrived at the pitch of prosperity, and having, at thirty years
of age, by my own merits and energy, raised myself to one of the highest
social positions that any man in England could occupy, I determined to
enjoy myself as became a man of quality for the remainder of my life.

After we had received the congratulations of our friends in London--for
in those days people were not ashamed of being married, as they seem
to be now--I and Honoria (who was all complacency, and a most handsome,
sprightly, and agreeable companion) set off to visit our estates in the
West of England, where I had never as yet set foot. We left London in
three chariots, each with four horses; and my uncle would have been
pleased could he have seen painted on their panels the Irish crown and
the ancient coat of the Barrys beside the Countess's coronet and the
noble cognisance of the noble family of Lyndon.

Before quitting London, I procured His Majesty's gracious permission to
add the name of my lovely lady to my own; and henceforward assumed
the style and title of BARRY LYNDON, as I have written it in this
autobiography.



CHAPTER XVII. I APPEAR AS AN ORNAMENT OF ENGLISH SOCIETY

All the journey down to Hackton Castle, the largest and most ancient of
our ancestral seats in Devonshire, was performed with the slow and sober
state becoming people of the first quality in the realm. An outrider in
my livery went on before us, and bespoke our lodging from town to town;
and thus we lay in state at Andover, Ilminster, and Exeter; and the
fourth evening arrived in time for supper before the antique baronial
mansion, of which the gate was in an odious Gothic taste that would have
set Mr. Walpole wild with pleasure.

The first days of a marriage are commonly very trying; and I have known
couples, who lived together like turtle-doves for the rest of their
lives, peck each other's eyes out almost during the honeymoon. I did not
escape the common lot; in our journey westward my Lady Lyndon chose to
quarrel with me because I pulled out a pipe of tobacco (the habit of
smoking which I had acquired in Germany when a soldier in Billow's, and
could never give it over), and smoked it in the carriage; and also her
Ladyship chose to take umbrage both at Ilminster and Andover, because
in the evenings when we lay there I chose to invite the landlords of
the 'Bell' and the 'Lion' to crack a bottle with me. Lady Lyndon was
a haughty woman, and I hate pride; and I promise you that in both
instances I overcame this vice in her. On the third day of our journey
I had her to light my pipematch with her own hands, and made her deliver
it to me with tears in her eyes; and at the 'Swan Inn' at Exeter I had
so completely subdued her, that she asked me humbly whether I would not
wish the landlady as well as the host to step up to dinner with us. To
this I should have had no objection, for, indeed, Mrs. Bonnyface was a
very good-looking woman; but we expected a visit from my Lord Bishop,
a kinsman of Lady Lyndon, and the BIENSEANCES did not permit the
indulgence of my wife's request. I appeared with her at evening service,
to compliment our right reverend cousin, and put her name down for
twenty-five guineas, and my own for one hundred, to the famous new organ
which was then being built for the cathedral. This conduct, at the very
outset of my career in the county, made me not a little popular; and
the residentiary canon, who did me the favour to sup with me at the inn,
went away after the sixth bottle, hiccuping the most solemn vows for the
welfare of such a p-p-pious gentleman.

Before we reached Hackton Castle, we had to drive through ten miles of
the Lyndon estates, where the people were out to visit us, the church
bells set a-ringing, the parson and the farmers assembled in their best
by the roadside, and the school children and the labouring people were
loud in their hurrahs for her Ladyship. I flung money among these worthy
characters, stopped to bow and chat with his reverence and the farmers,
and if I found that the Devonshire girls were among the handsomest in
the kingdom is it my fault? These remarks my Lady Lyndon especially
would take in great dudgeon; and I do believe she was made more angry by
my admiration of the red cheeks of Miss Betsy Quarringdon of Clumpton,
than by any previous speech or act of mine in the journey. 'Ah, ah, my
fine madam, you are jealous, are you?' thought I, and reflected, not
without deep sorrow, how lightly she herself had acted in her husband's
lifetime, and that those are most jealous who themselves give most cause
for jealousy.

Round Hackton village the scene of welcome was particularly gay: a band
of music had been brought from Plymouth, and arches and flags had been
raised, especially before the attorney's and the doctor's houses, who
were both in the employ of the family. There were many hundreds of stout
people at the great lodge, which, with the park-wall, bounds one side of
Hackton Green, and from which, for three miles, goes (or rather went) an
avenue of noble elms up to the towers of the old castle. I wished they
had been oak when I cut the trees down in '79, for they would have
fetched three times the money: I know nothing more culpable than the
carelessness of ancestors in planting their grounds with timber of small
value, when they might just as easily raise oak. Thus I have always said
that the Roundhead Lyndon of Hackton, who planted these elms in Charles
II.'s time, cheated me of ten thousand pounds.

For the first few days after our arrival, my time was agreeably spent
in receiving the visits of the nobility and gentry who came to pay their
respects to the noble new-married couple, and, like Bluebeard's wife
in the fairy tale, in inspecting the treasures, the furniture, and the
numerous chambers of the castle. It is a huge old place, built as far
back as Henry V.'s time, besieged and battered by the Cromwellians in
the Revolution, and altered and patched up, in an odious old-fashioned
taste, by the Roundhead Lyndon, who succeeded to the property at the
death of a brother whose principles were excellent and of the true
Cavalier sort, but who ruined himself chiefly by drinking, dicing, and
a dissolute life, and a little by supporting the King. The castle stands
in a fine chase, which was prettily speckled over with deer; and I can't
but own that my pleasure was considerable at first, as I sat in the oak
parlour of summer evenings, with the windows open, the gold and silver
plate shining in a hundred dazzling colours on the side-boards, a dozen
jolly companions round the table, and could look out over the wide green
park and the waving woods, and see the sun setting on the lake, and hear
the deer calling to one another.

The exterior was, when I first arrived, a quaint composition of all
sorts of architecture; of feudal towers, and gable-ends in Queen Bess's
style, and rough-patched walls built up to repair the ravages of the
Roundhead cannon: but I need not speak of this at large, having had the
place new-faced at a vast expense, under a fashionable architect, and
the facade laid out in the latest French-Greek and most classical style.
There had been moats, and drawbridges, and outer walls; these I had
shaved away into elegant terraces, and handsomely laid out in parterres
according to the plans of Monsieur Cornichon, the great Parisian
architect, who visited England for the purpose.

After ascending the outer steps, you entered an antique hall of vast
dimensions, wainscoted with black carved oak, and ornamented with
portraits of our ancestors: from the square beard of Brook Lyndon, the
great lawyer in Queen Bess's time, to the loose stomacher and ringlets
of Lady Saccharissa Lyndon, whom Vandyck painted when she was a maid of
honour to Queen Henrietta Maria, and down to Sir Charles Lyndon, with
his riband as a knight of the Bath; and my Lady, painted by Hudson, in
a white satin sack and the family diamonds, as she was presented to
the old King George II. These diamonds were very fine: I first had
them reset by Boehmer when we appeared before their French Majesties at
Versailles; and finally raised L18,000 upon them, after that infernal
run of ill luck at 'Goosetree's,' when Jemmy Twitcher (as we called
my Lord Sandwich), Carlisle, Charley Fox, and I played hombre for
four-and-forty hours SANS DESEMPARER. Bows and pikes, huge stag-heads
and hunting implements, and rusty old suits of armour, that may have
been worn in the days of Gog and Magog for what I know, formed the other
old ornaments of this huge apartment; and were ranged round a fireplace
where you might have turned a coach-and-six. This I kept pretty much in
its antique condition, but had the old armour eventually turned out
and consigned to the lumber-rooms upstairs; replacing it with china
monsters, gilded settees from France, and elegant marbles, of which the
broken noses and limbs, and ugliness, undeniably proved their antiquity:
and which an agent purchased for me at Rome. But such was the taste
of the times (and, perhaps, the rascality of my agent), that thirty
thousand pounds' worth of these gems of art only went for three hundred
guineas at a subsequent period, when I found it necessary to raise money
on my collections.

From this main hall branched off on either side the long series of
state-rooms, poorly furnished with high-backed chairs and long queer
Venice glasses, when first I came to the property; but afterwards
rendered so splendid by me, with the gold damasks of Lyons and the
magnificent Gobelin tapestries I won from Richelieu at play. There
were thirty-six bedrooms DE MAITRE, of which I only kept three in their
antique condition,--the haunted room as it was called, where the murder
was done in James II.'s time, the bed where William slept after
landing at Torbay, and Queen Elizabeth's state-room. All the rest were
redecorated by Cornichon in the most elegant taste; not a little to the
scandal of some of the steady old country dowagers; for I had pictures
of Boucher and Vanloo to decorate the principal apartments, in which the
Cupids and Venuses were painted in a manner so natural, that I recollect
the old wizened Countess of Frumpington pinning over the curtains of her
bed, and sending her daughter, Lady Blanche Whalebone, to sleep with her
waiting-woman, rather than allow her to lie in a chamber hung all over
with looking-glasses, after the exact fashion of the Queen's closet at
Versailles.

For many of these ornaments I was not so much answerable as Cornichon,
whom Lauraguais lent me, and who was the intendant of my buildings
during my absence abroad. I had given the man CARTE BLANCHE, and when he
fell down and broke his leg, as he was decorating a theatre in the room
which had been the old chapel of the castle, the people of the
country thought it was a judgment of Heaven upon him. In his rage for
improvement the fellow dared anything. Without my orders he cut down
an old rookery which was sacred in the country, and had a prophecy
regarding it, stating, 'When the rook-wood shall fall, down goes Hackton
Hall.' The rooks went over and colonised Tiptoff Woods, which lay near
us (and be hanged to them!), and Cornichon built a temple to Venus and
two lovely fountains on their site. Venuses and Cupids were the rascal's
adoration: he wanted to take down the Gothic screen and place Cupids in
our pew there; but old Doctor Huff the rector came out with a large oak
stick, and addressed the unlucky architect in Latin, of which he did not
comprehend a word, yet made him understand that he would break his
bones if he laid a single finger upon the sacred edifice. Cornichon
made complaints about the 'Abbe Huff,' as he called him. ('Et quel abbe,
grand Dieu!' added he, quite bewildered, 'un abbe avec douze enfans');
but I encouraged the Church in this respect, and bade Cornichon exert
his talents only in the castle.

There was a magnificent collection of ancient plate, to which I added
much of the most splendid modern kind; a cellar which, however well
furnished, required continual replenishing, and a kitchen which I
reformed altogether. My friend, Jack Wilkes, sent me down a cook from
the Mansion House, for the English cookery,--the turtle and venison
department: I had a CHEF (who called out the Englishman, by the way, and
complained sadly of the GROS COCHON who wanted to meet him with COUPS DE
POING) and a couple of AIDES from Paris, and an Italian confectioner,
as my OFFICIERS DE BOUCHE. All which natural appendages to a man of
fashion, the odious, stingy old Tiptoff, my kinsman and neighbour,
affected to view with horror; and he spread through the country a report
that I had my victuals cooked by Papists, lived upon frogs, and, he
verily believed, fricasseed little children.

But the squires ate my dinners very readily for all that, and old Doctor
Huff himself was compelled to allow that my venison and turtle were
most orthodox. The former gentry I knew how to conciliate, too, in
other ways. There had been only a subscription pack of fox-hounds in
the county and a few beggarly couples of mangy beagles, with which old
Tiptoff pattered about his grounds; I built a kennel and stables,
which cost L30,000, and stocked them in a manner which was worthy of
my ancestors, the Irish kings. I had two packs of hounds, and took
the field in the season four times a week, with three gentlemen in
my hunt-uniform to follow me, and open house at Hackton for all who
belonged to the hunt.

These changes and this train de vivre required, as may be supposed, no
small outlay; and I confess that I have little of that base spirit of
economy in my composition which some people practise and admire. For
instance, old Tiptoff was hoarding up his money to repair his father's
extravagance and disencumber his estates; a good deal of the money
with which he paid off his mortgages my agent procured upon mine. And,
besides, it must be remembered I had only a life-interest upon the
Lyndon property, was always of an easy temper in dealing with the
money-brokers, and had to pay heavily for insuring her Ladyship's life.

At the end of a year Lady Lyndon presented me with a son--Bryan Lyndon
I called him, in compliment to my royal ancestry: but what more had I to
leave him than a noble name? Was not the estate of his mother entailed
upon the odious little Turk, Lord Bullingdon? and whom, by the way, I
have not mentioned as yet, though he was living at Hackton, consigned to
a new governor. The insubordination of that boy was dreadful. He used
to quote passages of 'Hamlet' to his mother, which made her very angry.
Once when I took a horsewhip to chastise him, he drew a knife, and would
have stabbed me: and, 'faith, I recollected my own youth, which was
pretty similar; and, holding out my hand, burst out laughing, and
proposed to him to be friends. We were reconciled for that time, and
the next, and the next; but there was no love lost between us, and his
hatred for me seemed to grow as he grew, which was apace.

I determined to endow my darling boy Bryan with a property, and to this
end cut down twelve thousand pounds' worth of timber on Lady Lyndon's
Yorkshire and Irish estates: at which proceeding Bullingdon's guardian,
Tiptoff, cried out, as usual, and swore I had no right to touch a
stick of the trees; but down they went; and I commissioned my mother to
repurchase the ancient lands of Ballybarry and Barryogue, which had once
formed part of the immense possessions of my house. These she bought
back with excellent prudence and extreme joy; for her heart was
gladdened at the idea that a son was born to my name, and with the
notion of my magnificent fortunes.

To say truth, I was rather afraid, now that I lived in a very different
sphere from that in which she was accustomed to move, lest she should
come to pay me a visit, and astonish my English friends by her bragging
and her brogue, her rouge and her old hoops and furbelows of the time
of George II.: in which she had figured advantageously in her youth, and
which she still fondly thought to be at the height of the fashion. So
I wrote to her, putting off her visit; begging her to visit us when
the left wing of the castle was finished, or the stables built, and so
forth. There was no need of such precaution. 'A hint's enough for me,
Redmond,' the old lady would reply. 'I am not coming to disturb you
among your great English friends with my old-fashioned Irish ways. It's
a blessing to me to think that my darling boy has attained the position
which I always knew was his due, and for which I pinched myself to
educate him. You must bring me the little Bryan, that his grandmother
may kiss him, one day. Present my respectful blessing to her Ladyship
his mamma. Tell her she has got a treasure in her husband, which she
couldn't have had had she taken a duke to marry her; and that the Barrys
and the Bradys, though without titles, have the best of blood in their
veins. I shall never rest until I see you Earl of Ballybarry, and my
grandson Lord Viscount Barryogue.'

How singular it was that the very same ideas should be passing in my
mother's mind and my own! The very title she had pitched upon had also
been selected (naturally enough) by me; and I don't mind confessing that
I had filled a dozen sheets of paper with my signature, under the
names of Ballybarry and Barryogue, and had determined with my usual
impetuosity to carry my point. My mother went and established herself
at Ballybarry, living with the priest there until a tenement could be
erected, and dating from 'Ballybarry Castle;' which, you may be sure,
I gave out to be a place of no small importance. I had a plan of the
estate in my study, both at Hackton and in Berkeley Square, and the
plans of the elevation of Ballybarry Castle, the ancestral residence of
Barry Lyndon, Esq., with the projected improvements, in which the castle
was represented as about the size of Windsor, with more ornaments to
the architecture; and eight hundred acres of bog falling in handy, I
purchased them at three pounds an acre, so that my estate upon the map
looked to be no insignificant one. [Footnote: On the strength of this
estate, and pledging his honour that it was not mortgaged, Mr. Barry
Lyndon borrowed L17,000 in the year 1786, from young Captain Pigeon, the
city merchant's son, who had just come in for his property. At for the
Polwellan estate and mines, 'the cause of endless litigation,' it must
be owned that our hero purchased them; but he never paid more than the
first L5000 of the purchase-money. Hence the litigation of which he
complains, and the famous Chancery suit of 'Trecothick v. Lyndon,' in
which Mr. John Scott greatly distinguished himself.-ED.]

I also in this year made arrangements for purchasing the Polwellan
estate and mines in Cornwall from Sir John Trecothick, for L70,000--an
imprudent bargain, which was afterwards the cause to me of much dispute
and litigation. The troubles of property, the rascality of agents, the
quibbles of lawyers, are endless. Humble people envy us great men, and
fancy that our lives are all pleasure. Many a time in the course of my
prosperity I have sighed for the days of my meanest fortune, and envied
the boon companions at my table, with no clothes to their backs but
such as my credit supplied them, without a guinea but what came from
my pocket; but without one of the harassing cares and responsibilities
which are the dismal adjuncts of great rank and property.

I did little more than make my appearance, and assume the command of my
estates, in the kingdom of Ireland; rewarding generously those persons
who had been kind to me in my former adversities, and taking my fitting
place among the aristocracy of the land. But, in truth, I had small
inducements to remain in it after having tasted of the genteeler and
more complete pleasures of English and Continental life; and we passed
our summers at Buxton, Bath, and Harrogate, while Hackton Castle was
being beautified in the elegant manner already described by me, and the
season at our mansion in Berkeley Square.

It is wonderful how the possession of wealth brings out the virtues of
a man; or, at any rate, acts as a varnish or lustre to them, and
brings out their brilliancy and colour in a manner never known when the
individual stood in the cold grey atmosphere of poverty. I assure you it
was a very short time before I was a pretty fellow of the first class;
made no small sensation at the coffee-houses in Pall Mall and
afterwards at the most famous clubs. My style, equipages, and elegant
entertainments were in everybody's mouth, and were described in all the
morning prints. The needier part of Lady Lyndon's relatives, and such as
had been offended by the intolerable pomposity of old Tiptoff, began to
appear at our routs and assemblies; and as for relations of my own, I
found in London and Ireland more than I had ever dreamed of, of cousins
who claimed affinity with me. There were, of course, natives of my own
country (of which I was not particularly proud), and I received visits
from three or four swaggering shabby Temple bucks, with tarnished lace
and Tipperary brogue, who were eating their way to the bar in London;
from several gambling adventurers at the watering-places, whom I soon
speedily let to know their place; and from others of more reputable
condition. Among them I may mention my cousin the Lord Kilbarry, who, on
the score of his relationship, borrowed thirty pieces from me to pay his
landlady in Swallow Street; and whom, for my own reasons, I allowed to
maintain and credit a connection for which the Heralds' College gave no
authority whatsoever. Kilbarry had a cover at my table; punted at play,
and paid when he liked, which was seldom; had an intimacy with, and was
under considerable obligations to, my tailor; and always boasted of his
cousin the great Barry Lyndon of the West country.

Her Ladyship and I lived, after a while, pretty separate when in London.
She preferred quiet: or to say the truth, I preferred it; being a great
friend to a modest tranquil behaviour in woman, and a taste for the
domestic pleasures. Hence I encouraged her to dine at home with her
ladies, her chaplain, and a few of her friends; admitted three or four
proper and discreet persons to accompany her to her box at the opera or
play on proper occasions; and indeed declined for her the too frequent
visits of her friends and family, preferring to receive them only twice
or thrice in a season on our grand reception days. Besides, she was a
mother, and had great comfort in the dressing, educating, and dandling
our little Bryan, for whose sake it was fit that she should give up the
pleasures and frivolities of the world; so she left THAT part of the
duty of every family of distinction to be performed by me. To say the
truth, Lady Lyndon's figure and appearance were not at this time such as
to make for their owner any very brilliant appearance in the fashionable
world. She had grown very fat, was short-sighted, pale in complexion,
careless about her dress, dull in demeanour; her conversations with
me characterised by a stupid despair, or a silly blundering attempt at
forced cheerfulness still more disagreeable: hence our intercourse was
but trifling, and my temptations to carry her into the world, or to
remain in her society, of necessity exceedingly small. She would try my
temper at home, too, in a thousand ways. When requested by me (often,
I own, rather roughly) to entertain the company with conversation, wit,
and learning, of which she was a mistress: or music, of which she was
an accomplished performer, she would as often as not begin to cry, and
leave the room. My company from this, of course, fancied I was a tyrant
over her; whereas I was only a severe and careful guardian over a silly,
bad-tempered, and weak-minded lady.

She was luckily very fond of her youngest son, and through him I had a
wholesome and effectual hold of her; for if in any of her tantrums or
fits of haughtiness--(this woman was intolerably proud; and repeatedly,
at first, in our quarrels, dared to twit me with my own original poverty
and low birth),--if, I say, in our disputes she pretended to have the
upper hand, to assert her authority against mine, to refuse to sign such
papers as I might think necessary for the distribution of our large and
complicated property, I would have Master Bryan carried off to Chiswick
for a couple of days; and I warrant me his lady-mother could hold out
no longer, and would agree to anything I chose to propose. The servants
about her I took care should be in my pay, not hers: especially the
child's head nurse was under MY orders, not those of my lady; and a very
handsome, red-cheeked, impudent jade she was; and a great fool she made
me make of myself. This woman was more mistress of the house than the
poor-spirited lady who owned it. She gave the law to the servants; and
if I showed any particular attention to any of the ladies who visited
us, the slut would not scruple to show her jealousy, and to find means
to send them packing. The fact is, a generous man is always made a fool
of by some woman or other, and this one had such an influence over me
that she could turn me round her finger. [Footnote: From these curious
confessions, it would appear that Mr. Lyndon maltreated his lady in
every possible way; that he denied her society, bullied her into
signing away her property, spent it in gambling and taverns, was openly
unfaithful to her; and, when she complained, threatened to remove her
children from her. Nor, indeed, is he the only husband who has done
the like, and has passed for 'nobody's enemy but his own:' a jovial
good-natured fellow. The world contains scores of such amiable people;
and, indeed, it is because justice has not been done them that we
have edited this autobiography. Had it been that of a mere hero of
romance--one of those heroic youths who figure in the novels of Scott
and James--there would have been no call to introduce the reader to a
personage already so often and so charmingly depicted. Mr. Barry Lyndon
is not, we repeat, a hero of the common pattern; but let the reader look
round, and ask himself, Do not as many rogues succeed in life as honest
men? more fools than men of talent? And is it not just that the lives of
this class should be described by the student of human nature as well
as the actions of those fairy-tale princes, those perfect impossible
heroes, whom our writers love to describe? There is something naive
and simple in that time-honoured style of novel-writing by which Prince
Prettyman, at the end of his adventures, is put in possession of every
worldly prosperity, as he has been endowed with every mental and bodily
excellence previously. The novelist thinks that he can do no more for
his darling hero than make him a lord. Is it not a poor standard that,
of the summum bonum? The greatest good in life is not to be a lord;
perhaps not even to be happy. Poverty, illness, a humpback, may be
rewards and conditions of good, as well as that bodily prosperity which
all of us unconsciously set up for worship. But this is a subject for
an essay, not a note; and it is best to allow Mr. Lyndon to resume the
candid and ingenious narrative of his virtues and defects.]

Her infernal temper (Mrs. Stammer was the jade's name) and my wife's
moody despondency, made my house and home not over-pleasant: hence I was
driven a good deal abroad, where, as play was the fashion at every club,
tavern, and assembly, I, of course, was obliged to resume my old habit,
and to commence as an amateur those games at which I was once unrivalled
in Europe. But whether a man's temper changes with prosperity, or his
skill leaves him when, deprived of a confederate, and pursuing the game
no longer professionally, he joins in it, like the rest of the world,
for pastime, I know not; but certain it is, that in the seasons of
1774-75 I lost much money at 'White's' and the 'Cocoa-Tree,' and
was compelled to meet my losses by borrowing largely upon my wife's
annuities, insuring her Ladyship's life, and so forth. The terms at
which I raised these necessary sums and the outlays requisite for my
improvements were, of course, very onerous, and clipped the property
considerably; and it was some of these papers which my Lady Lyndon (who
was of a narrow, timid, and stingy turn) occasionally refused to sign:
until I PERSUADED her, as I have before shown.

My dealings on the turf ought to be mentioned, as forming part of my
history at this time; but, in truth, I have no particular pleasure
in recalling my Newmarket doings. I was infernally bit and bubbled in
almost every one of my transactions there; and though I could ride
a horse as well as any man in England, was no match with the English
noblemen at backing him. Fifteen years after my horse, Bay Bulow, by
Sophy Hardcastle, out of Eclipse, lost the Newmarket stakes, for which
he was the first favourite, I found that a noble earl, who shall be
nameless, had got into his stable the morning before he ran; and the
consequence was that an outside horse won, and your humble servant was
out to the amount of fifteen thousand pounds. Strangers had no chance
in those days on the heath: and, though dazzled by the splendour and
fashion assembled there, and surrounded by the greatest persons of the
land,--the royal dukes, with their wives and splendid equipages; old
Grafton, with his queer bevy of company, and such men as Ancaster,
Sandwich, Lorn,--a man might have considered himself certain of fair
play and have been not a little proud of the society he kept; yet, I
promise you, that, exalted as it was, there was no set of men in Europe
who knew how to rob more genteelly, to bubble a stranger, to bribe
a jockey, to doctor a horse, or to arrange a betting-book. Even _I_
couldn't stand against these accomplished gamesters of the highest
families in Europe. Was it my own want of style, or my want of fortune?
I know not. But now I was arrived at the height of my ambition, both
my skill and my luck seemed to be deserting me. Everything I touched
crumbled in my hand; every speculation I had failed, every agent I
trusted deceived me. I am, indeed, one of those born to make, and not to
keep fortunes; for the qualities and energy which lead a man to effect
the first are often the very causes of his ruin in the latter case:
indeed, I know of no other reason for the misfortunes which finally
befell me. [Footnote: The Memoirs seem to have been written about the
year 1814, in that calm retreat which Fortune had selected for the
author at the close of his life.]

I had always a taste for men of letters, and perhaps, if the truth must
be told, have no objection to playing the fine gentleman and patron
among the wits. Such people are usually needy, and of low birth, and
have an instinctive awe and love of a gentleman and a laced coat; as all
must have remarked who have frequented their society. Mr. Reynolds, who
was afterwards knighted, and certainly the most elegant painter of
his day, was a pretty dexterous courtier of the wit tribe; and it was
through this gentleman, who painted a piece of me, Lady Lyndon, and
our little Bryan, which was greatly admired at the Exhibition (I
was represented as quitting my wife, in the costume of the Tippleton
Yeomanry, of which I was major; the child starting back from my helmet
like what-d'ye-call'im--Hector's son, as described by Mr. Pope in his
'Iliad'); it was through Mr. Reynolds that I was introduced to a score
of these gentlemen, and their great chief, Mr. Johnson. I always thought
their great chief a great bear. He drank tea twice or thrice at my
house, misbehaving himself most grossly; treating my opinions with no
more respect than those of a schoolboy, and telling me to mind my
horses and tailors, and not trouble myself about letters. His Scotch
bear-leader, Mr. Boswell, was a butt of the first quality. I never saw
such a figure as the fellow cut in what he called a Corsican habit,
at one of Mrs. Cornely's balls, at Carlisle House, Soho. But that
the stories connected with that same establishment are not the most
profitable tales in the world, I could tell tales of scores of queer
doings there. All the high and low demireps of the town gathered there,
from his Grace of Ancaster down to my countryman, poor Mr. Oliver
Goldsmith the poet, and from the Duchess of Kingston down to the Bird
of Paradise, or Kitty Fisher. Here I have met very queer characters,
who came to queer ends too: poor Hackman, that afterwards was hanged for
killing Miss Reay, and (on the sly) his Reverence Doctor Simony, whom
my friend Sam Foote, of the 'Little Theatre,' bade to live even after
forgery and the rope cut short the unlucky parson's career.

It was a merry place, London, in those days, and that's the truth. I'm
writing now in my gouty old age, and people have grown vastly more moral
and matter-of-fact than they were at the close of the last century, when
the world was young with me. There was a difference between a gentleman
and a common fellow in those times. We wore silk and embroidery then.
Now every man has the same coachmanlike look in his belcher and caped
coat, and there is no outward difference between my Lord and his groom.
Then it took a man of fashion a couple of hours to make his toilette,
and he could show some taste and genius in the selecting it. What a
blaze of splendour was a drawing-room, or an opera, of a gala night!
What sums of money were lost and won at the delicious faro-table! My
gilt curricle and out-riders, blazing in green and gold, were very
different objects from the equipages you see nowadays in the ring, with
the stunted grooms behind them. A man could drink four times as much as
the milksops nowadays can swallow; but 'tis useless expatiating on this
theme. Gentlemen are dead and gone. The fashion has now turned upon your
soldiers and sailors, and I grow quite moody and sad when I think of
thirty years ago.

This is a chapter devoted to reminiscences of what was a very happy
and splendid time with me, but presenting little of mark in the way of
adventure; as is generally the case when times are happy and easy. It
would seem idle to fill pages with accounts of the every-day occupations
of a man of fashion,--the fair ladies who smiled upon him, the dresses
he wore, the matches he played, and won or lost. At this period of time,
when youngsters are employed cutting the Frenchmen's throats in Spain
and France, lying out in bivouacs, and feeding off commissariat beef and
biscuit, they would not understand what a life their ancestors led; and
so I shall leave further discourse upon the pleasures of the times when
even the Prince was a lad in leading-strings, when Charles Fox had not
subsided into a mere statesman, and Buonaparte was a beggarly brat in
his native island.

Whilst these improvements were going on in my estates,--my house, from
an antique Norman castle, being changed to an elegant Greek temple,
or palace--my gardens and woods losing their rustic appearance to be
adapted to the most genteel French style--my child growing up at his
mother's knees, and my influence in the country increasing,--it must
not be imagined that I stayed in Devonshire all this while, and that I
neglected to make visits to London, and my various estates in England
and Ireland.

I went to reside at the Trecothick estate and the Polwellan Wheal, where
I found, instead of profit, every kind of pettifogging chicanery; I
passed over in state to our territories in Ireland, where I entertained
the gentry in a style the Lord Lieutenant himself could not equal; gave
the fashion to Dublin (to be sure it was a beggarly savage city in those
days; and, since the time there has been a pother about the Union, and
the misfortunes attending it, I have been at a loss to account for the
mad praises of the old order of things, which the fond Irish patriots
have invented); I say I set the fashion to Dublin; and small praise to
me, for a poor place it was in those times, whatever the Irish party may
say.

In a former chapter I have given you a description of it. It was
the Warsaw of our part of the world: there was a splendid, ruined,
half-civilised nobility, ruling over a half-savage population. I say
half-savage advisedly. The commonalty in the streets were wild, unshorn,
and in rags. The most public places were not safe after nightfall.
The College, the public buildings, and the great gentry's houses were
splendid (the latter unfinished for the most part); but the people were
in a state more wretched than any vulgar I have ever known: the exercise
of their religion was only half allowed to them; their clergy were
forced to be educated out of the country; their aristocracy was quite
distinct from them; there was a Protestant nobility, and in the towns,
poor insolent Protestant corporations, with a bankrupt retinue of
mayors, aldermen, and municipal officers--all of whom figured in
addresses and had the public voice in the country; but there was no
sympathy and connection between the upper and the lower people of
the Irish. To one who had been bred so much abroad as myself, this
difference between Catholic and Protestant was doubly striking;
and though as firm as a rock in my own faith, yet I could not help
remembering my grandfather held a different one, and wondering that
there should be such a political difference between the two. I passed
among my neighbours for a dangerous leveller, for entertaining and
expressing such opinions, and especially for asking the priest of the
parish to my table at Castle Lyndon. He was a gentleman, educated
at Salamanca, and, to my mind, a far better bred and more agreeable
companion than his comrade the rector, who had but a dozen Protestants
for his congregation; who was a lord's son, to be sure, but he could
hardly spell, and the great field of his labours was in the kennel and
cockpit.

I did not extend and beautify the house of Castle Lyndon as I had done
our other estates, but contented myself with paying an occasional visit
there; exercising an almost royal hospitality, and keeping open house
during my stay. When absent, I gave to my aunt, the widow Brady, and her
six unmarried daughters (although they always detested me), permission
to inhabit the place; my mother preferring my new mansion of Barryogue.

And as my Lord Bullingdon was by this time grown excessively tall
and troublesome, I determined to leave him under the care of a proper
governor in Ireland, with Mrs. Brady and her six daughters to take care
of him; and he was welcome to fall in love with all the old ladies if he
were so minded, and thereby imitate his stepfather's example. When tired
of Castle Lyndon, his Lordship was at liberty to go and reside at my
house with my mamma; but there was no love lost between him and her,
and, on account of my son Bryan, I think she hated him as cordially as
ever I myself could possibly do.

The county of Devon is not so lucky as the neighbouring county of
Cornwall, and has not the share of representatives which the latter
possesses; where I have known a moderate country gentleman, with a
few score of hundreds per annum from his estate, treble his income by
returning three or four Members to Parliament, and by the influence with
Ministers which these seats gave him. The parliamentary interest of the
house of Lyndon had been grossly neglected during my wife's minority,
and the incapacity of the Earl her father; or, to speak more correctly,
it had been smuggled away from the Lyndon family altogether by the
adroit old hypocrite of Tiptoff Castle, who acted as most kinsmen and
guardians do by their wards and relatives, and robbed them. The Marquess
of Tiptoff returned four Members to Parliament: two for the borough of
Tippleton, which, as all the world knows, lies at the foot of our estate
of Hackton, bounded on the other side by Tiptoff Park. For time out
of mind we had sent Members for that borough, until Tiptoff, taking
advantage of the late lord's imbecility, put in his own nominees. When
his eldest son became of age, of course my Lord was to take his seat for
Tippleton; when Rigby (Nabob Rigby, who made his fortune under Clive in
India) died, the Marquess thought fit to bring down his second son, my
Lord George Poynings, to whom I have introduced the reader in a former
chapter, and determined, in his high mightiness, that he too should go
in and swell the ranks of the Opposition--the big old Whigs, with whom
the Marquess acted.

Rigby had been for some time in an ailing condition previous to his
demise, and you may be sure that the circumstance of his failing health
had not been passed over by the gentry of the county, who were staunch
Government men for the most part, and hated my Lord Tiptoff's principles
as dangerous and ruinous, 'We have been looking out for a man to fight
against him,' said the squires to me; 'we can only match Tiptoff out
of Hackton Castle. You, Mr. Lyndon, are our man, and at the next county
election we will swear to bring you in.'

I hated the Tiptoffs so, that I would have fought them at any election.
They not only would not visit at Hackton, but declined to receive those
who visited us; they kept the women of the county from receiving
my wife: they invented half the wild stories of my profligacy and
extravagance with which the neighbourhood was entertained; they said
I had frightened my wife into marriage, and that she was a lost woman;
they hinted that Bullingdon's life was not secure under my roof, that
his treatment was odious, and that I wanted to put him out of the way
to make place for Bryan my son. I could scarce have a friend to Hackton,
but they counted the bottles drunk at my table. They ferreted out my
dealings with my lawyers and agents. If a creditor was unpaid, every
item of his bill was known at Tiptoff Hall; if I looked at a farmer's
daughter, it was said I had ruined her. My faults are many, I confess,
and as a domestic character, I can't boast of any particular regularity
or temper; but Lady Lyndon and I did not quarrel more than fashionable
people do, and, at first, we always used to make it up pretty well. I
am a man full of errors, certainly, but not the devil that these odious
backbiters at Tiptoff represented me to be. For the first three years
I never struck my wife but when I was in liquor. When I flung the
carving-knife at Bullingdon I was drunk, as everybody present can
testify; but as for having any systematic scheme against the poor lad,
I can declare solemnly that, beyond merely hating him (and one's
inclinations are not in one's power), I am guilty of no evil towards
him.

I had sufficient motives, then, for enmity against the Tiptoffs, and am
not a man to let a feeling of that kind lie inactive. Though a Whig,
or, perhaps, because a Whig, the Marquess was one of the haughtiest
men breathing, and treated commoners as his idol the great Earl used to
treat them--after he came to a coronet himself--as so many low vassals,
who might be proud to lick his shoe-buckle. When the Tippleton mayor and
corporation waited upon him, he received them covered, never offered Mr.
Mayor a chair, but retired when the refreshments were brought, or had
them served to the worshipful aldermen in the steward's room. These
honest Britons never rebelled against such treatment, until instructed
to do so by my patriotism. No, the dogs liked to be bullied; and, in the
course of a long experience, I have met with but very few Englishmen who
are not of their way of thinking.

It was not until I opened their eyes that they knew their degradation.
I invited the Mayor to Hackton, and Mrs. Mayoress (a very buxom pretty
groceress she was, by the way) I made sit by my wife, and drove them
both out to the races in my curricle. Lady Lyndon fought very hard
against this condescension; but I had a way with her, as the saying is,
and though she had a temper, yet I had a better one. A temper, psha! A
wild-cat has a temper, but a keeper can get the better of it; and I know
very few women in the world whom I could not master.

Well, I made much of the mayor and corporation; sent them bucks for
their dinners, or asked them to mine; made a point of attending their
assemblies, dancing with their wives and daughters, going through, in
short, all the acts of politeness which are necessary on such occasions:
and though old Tiptoff must have seen my goings on, yet his head was
so much in the clouds, that he never once condescended to imagine his
dynasty could be overthrown in his own town of Tippleton, and issued
his mandates as securely as if he had been the Grand Turk, and the
Tippletonians no better than so many slaves of his will.

Every post which brought us any account of Rigby's increasing illness,
was the sure occasion of a dinner from me; so much so, that my friends
of the hunt used to laugh and say, 'Rigby's worse; there's a corporation
dinner at Hackton.'

It was in 1776, when the American war broke out, that I came into
Parliament. My Lord Chatham, whose wisdom his party in those days used
to call superhuman, raised his oracular voice in the House of Peers
against the American contest; and my countryman, Mr. Burke--a great
philosopher, but a plaguy long-winded orator--was the champion of the
rebels in the Commons--where, however, thanks to British patriotism, he
could get very few to back him. Old Tiptoff would have sworn black was
white if the great Earl had bidden him; and he made his son give up his
commission in the Guards, in imitation of my Lord Pitt, who resigned his
ensigncy rather than fight against what he called his American brethren.

But this was a height of patriotism extremely little relished in
England, where, ever since the breaking out of hostilities, our people
hated the Americans heartily; and where, when we heard of the fight of
Lexington, and the glorious victory of Bunker's Hill (as we used to call
it in those days), the nation flushed out in its usual hot-headed anger.
The talk was all against the philosophers after that, and the people
were most indomitably loyal. It was not until the land-tax was
increased, that the gentry began to grumble a little; but still my party
in the West was very strong against the Tiptoffs, and I determined to
take the field and win as usual.

The old Marquess neglected every one of the decent precautions which are
requisite in a parliamentary campaign. He signified to the corporation
and freeholders his intention of presenting his son, Lord George, and
his desire that the latter should be elected their burgess; but he
scarcely gave so much as a glass of beer to whet the devotedness of his
adherents: and I, as I need not say, engaged every tavern in Tippleton
in my behalf.

There is no need to go over the twenty-times-told tale of an election. I
rescued the borough of Tippleton from the hands of Lord Tiptoff and his
son, Lord George. I had a savage sort of satisfaction, too, in forcing
my wife (who had been at one time exceedingly smitten by her kinsman,
as I have already related) to take part against him, and to wear and
distribute my colours when the day of election came. And when we spoke
at one another, I told the crowd that I had beaten Lord George in
love, that I had beaten him in war, and that I would now beat him in
Parliament; and so I did, as the event proved: for, to the inexpressible
anger of the old Marquess, Barry Lyndon, Esquire, was returned member of
Parliament for Tippleton, in place of John Rigby, Esquire, deceased; and
I threatened him at the next election to turn him out of BOTH his seats,
and went to attend my duties in Parliament.

It was then I seriously determined on achieving for myself the Irish
peerage, to be enjoyed after me by my beloved son and heir.



CHAPTER XVIII. MY GOOD FORTUNE BEGINS TO WAVER

And now, if any people should be disposed to think my history immoral
(for I have heard some assert that I was a man who never deserved that
so much prosperity should fall to my share), I will beg those cavillers
to do me the favour to read the conclusion of my adventures; when they
will see it was no such great prize that I had won, and that wealth,
splendour, thirty thousand per annum, and a seat in Parliament, are
often purchased at too dear a rate, when one has to buy those enjoyments
at the price of personal liberty, and saddled with the charge of a
troublesome wife.

They are the deuce, these troublesome wives, and that is the truth. No
man knows until he tries how wearisome and disheartening the burthen of
one of them is, and how the annoyance grows and strengthens from year
to year, and the courage becomes weaker to bear it; so that that trouble
which seemed light and trivial the first year, becomes intolerable
ten years after. I have heard of one of the classical fellows in the
dictionary who began by carrying a calf up a hill every day, and so
continued until the animal grew to be a bull, which he still easily
accommodated upon his shoulders; but take my word for it, young
unmarried gentlemen, a wife is a very much harder pack to the back than
the biggest heifer in Smithfield and, if I can prevent one of you from
marrying, the 'Memoirs of Barry Lyndon, Esq.' will not be written in
vain. Not that my Lady was a scold or a shrew, as some wives are; I
could have managed to have cured her of that; but she was of a cowardly,
crying, melancholy, maudlin temper, which is to me still more odious:
do what one would to please her, she would never be happy or in
good-humour. I left her alone after a while; and because, as was natural
in my case, where a disagreeable home obliged me to seek amusement and
companions abroad, she added a mean detestable jealousy to all her other
faults: I could not for some time pay the commonest attention to any
other woman, but my Lady Lyndon must weep, and wring her hands, and
threaten to commit suicide, and I know not what.

Her death would have been no comfort to me, as I leave any person of
common prudence to imagine; for that scoundrel of a young Bullingdon
(who was now growing up a tall, gawky, swarthy lad, and about to become
my greatest plague and annoyance) would have inherited every penny of
the property, and I should have been left considerably poorer even than
when I married the widow: for I spent my personal fortune as well as the
lady's income in the keeping up of our rank, and was always too much a
man of honour and spirit to save a penny of Lady Lyndon's income. Let
this be flung in the teeth of my detractors, who say I never could have
so injured the Lyndon property had I not been making a private purse for
myself; and who believe that, even in my present painful situation, I
have hoards of gold laid by somewhere, and could come out as a Croesus
when I choose. I never raised a shilling upon Lady Lyndon's property but
I spent it like a man of honour; besides incurring numberless personal
obligations for money, which all went to the common stock. Independent
of the Lyndon mortgages and incumbrances, I owe myself at least one
hundred and twenty thousand pounds, which I spent while in occupancy of
my wife's estate; so that I may justly say that property is indebted to
me in the above-mentioned sum.

Although I have described the utter disgust and distaste which speedily
took possession of my breast as regarded Lady Lyndon; and although I
took no particular pains (for I am all frankness and above-board) to
disguise my feelings in general, yet she was of such a mean spirit, that
she pursued me with her regard in spite of my indifference to her, and
would kindle up at the smallest kind word I spoke to her. The fact is,
between my respected reader and myself, that I was one of the handsomest
and most dashing young men of England in those days, and my wife was
violently in love with me; and though I say it who shouldn't, as the
phrase goes, my wife was not the only woman of rank in London who had a
favourable opinion of the humble Irish adventurer. What a riddle these
women are, I have often thought! I have seen the most elegant creatures
at St. James's grow wild for love of the coarsest and most vulgar of
men; the cleverest women passionately admire the most illiterate of
our sex, and so on. There is no end to the contrariety in the foolish
creatures; and though I don't mean to hint that _I_ am vulgar or
illiterate, as the persons mentioned above (I would cut the throat of
any man who dared to whisper a word against my birth or my breeding),
yet I have shown that Lady Lyndon had plenty of reason to dislike me
if she chose: but, like the rest of her silly sex, she was governed
by infatuation, not reason; and, up to the very last day of our being
together, would be reconciled to me, and fondle me, if I addressed her a
single kind word.

'Ah,' she would say, in these moments of tenderness--'Ah, REDMOND, if
you would always be so!' And in these fits of love she was the most easy
creature in the world to be persuaded, and would have signed away her
whole property, had it been possible. And, I must confess, it was
with very little attention on my part that I could bring her into
good-humour. To walk with her on the Mall, or at Ranelagh, to attend her
to church at St. James's, to purchase any little present or trinket for
her, was enough to coax her. Such is female inconsistency! The next
day she would be calling me 'Mr. Barry' probably, and be bemoaning her
miserable fate that she ever should have been united to such a monster.
So it was she was pleased to call one of the most brilliant men in His
Majesty's three kingdoms: and I warrant me OTHER ladies had a much more
flattering opinion of me.

Then she would threaten to leave me; but I had a hold of her in the
person of her son, of whom she was passionately fond: I don't know
why, for she had always neglected Bullingdon her older son, and never
bestowed a thought upon his health, his welfare, or his education.

It was our young boy, then, who formed the great bond of union between
me and her Ladyship; and there was no plan of ambition I could propose
in which she would not join for the poor lad's behoof, and no expense
she would not eagerly incur, if it might by any means be shown to tend
to his advancement. I can tell you, bribes were administered, and in
high places too,--so near the royal person of His Majesty, that you
would be astonished were I to mention what great personages condescended
to receive our loans. I got from the English and Irish heralds a
description and detailed pedigree of the Barony of Barryogue, and
claimed respectfully to be reinstated in my ancestral titles, and also
to be rewarded with the Viscounty of Ballybarry. 'This head would become
a coronet,' my Lady would sometimes say, in her fond moments, smoothing
down my hair; and, indeed, there is many a puny whipster in their
Lordships' house who has neither my presence nor my courage, my
pedigree, nor any of my merits.

The striving after this peerage I considered to have been one of
the most unlucky of all my unlucky dealings at this period. I made
unheard-of sacrifices to bring it about. I lavished money here and
diamonds there. I bought lands at ten times their value; purchased
pictures and articles of vertu at ruinous prices. I gave repeated
entertainments to those friends to my claims who, being about the Royal
person, were likely to advance it. I lost many a bet to the Royal Dukes
His Majesty's brothers; but let these matters be forgotten, and,
because of my private injuries, let me not be deficient in loyalty to my
Sovereign.

The only person in this transaction whom I shall mention openly, is that
old scamp and swindler, Gustavus Adolphus, thirteenth Earl of Crabs.
This nobleman was one of the gentlemen of His Majesty's closet, and one
with whom the revered monarch was on terms of considerable intimacy. A
close regard had sprung up between them in the old King's time; when
His Royal Highness, playing at battledore and shuttlecock with the young
lord on the landing-place of the great staircase at Kew, in some moment
of irritation the Prince of Wales kicked the young Earl downstairs, who,
falling, broke his leg. The Prince's hearty repentance for his violence
caused him to ally himself closely with the person whom he had injured;
and when His Majesty came to the throne there was no man, it is said, of
whom the Earl of Bute was so jealous as of my Lord Crabs. The latter was
poor and extravagant, and Bute got him out of the way, by sending him
on the Russian and other embassies; but on this favourite's dismissal,
Crabs sped back from the Continent, and was appointed almost immediately
to a place about His Majesty's person.

It was with this disreputable nobleman that I contracted an unluckly
intimacy; when, fresh and unsuspecting, I first established myself in
town, after my marriage with Lady Lyndon: and, as Crabs was really one
of the most entertaining fellows in the world, I took a sincere pleasure
in his company; besides the interesting desire I had in cultivating the
society of a man who was so near the person of the highest personage in
the realm.

To hear the fellow, you would fancy that there was scarce any
appointment made in which he had not a share. He told me, for instance,
of Charles Fox being turned out of his place a day before poor Charley
himself was aware of the fact. He told me when the Howes were coming
back from America, and who was to succeed to the command there. Not
to multiply instances, it was upon this person that I fixed my chief
reliance for the advancement of my claim to the Barony of Barryogue and
the Viscounty which I proposed to get.

One of the main causes of expense which this ambition of mine entailed
upon me was the fitting out and arming a company of infantry from the
Castle Lyndon and Hackton estates in Ireland, which I offered to my
gracious Sovereign for the campaign against the American rebels. These
troops, superbly equipped and clothed, were embarked at Portsmouth in
the year 1778; and the patriotism of the gentleman who had raised them
was so acceptable at Court, that, on being presented by my Lord North,
His Majesty condescended to notice me particularly, and said, 'That's
right, Mr. Lyndon, raise another company; and go with them, too!' But
this was by no means, as the reader may suppose, to my notions. A man
with thirty thousand pounds per annum is a fool to risk his life like a
common beggar: and on this account I have always admired the conduct of
my friend Jack Bolter, who had been a most active and resolute cornet
of horse, and, as such, engaged in every scrape and skirmish which could
fall to his lot; but just before the battle of Minden he received news
that his uncle, the great army contractor, was dead, and had left him
five thousand per annum. Jack that instant applied for leave; and, as
it was refused him on the eve of a general action, my gentleman took it,
and never fired a pistol again: except against an officer who questioned
his courage, and whom he winged in such a cool and determined manner, as
showed all the world that it was from prudence and a desire of enjoying
his money, not from cowardice, that he quitted the profession of arms.

When this Hackton company was raised, my stepson, who was now sixteen
years of age, was most eager to be allowed to join it, and I would have
gladly consented to have been rid of the young man; but his guardian,
Lord Tiptoff, who thwarted me in everything, refused his permission, and
the lad's military inclinations were balked. If he could have gone on
the expedition, and a rebel rifle had put an end to him, I believe, to
tell the truth, I should not have been grieved over-much; and I should
have had the pleasure of seeing my other son the heir to the estate
which his father had won with so much pains.

The education of this young nobleman had been, I confess, some of the
loosest; and perhaps the truth is, I DID neglect the brat. He was of
so wild, savage, and insubordinate a nature, that I never had the least
regard for him; and before me and his mother, at least, was so moody and
dull, that I thought instruction thrown away upon him, and left him for
the most part to shift for himself. For two whole years he remained
in Ireland away from us; and when in England, we kept him mainly at
Hackton, never caring to have the uncouth ungainly lad in the genteel
company in the capital in which we naturally mingled. My own poor boy,
on the contrary, was the most polite and engaging child ever seen: it
was a pleasure to treat him with kindness and distinction; and before he
was five years old, the little fellow was the pink of fashion, beauty,
and good breeding.

In fact he could not have been otherwise, with the care both his parents
bestowed upon him, and the attentions that were lavished upon him in
every way. When he was four years old, I quarrelled with the English
nurse who had attended upon him, and about whom my wife had been so
jealous, and procured for him a French gouvernante, who had lived with
families of the first quality in Paris; and who, of course, must set my
Lady Lyndon jealous too. Under the care of this young woman my little
rogue learned to chatter French most charmingly. It would have done your
heart good to hear the dear rascal swear Mort de ma vie! and to see
him stamp his little foot, and send the manants and canaille of the
domestics to the trente mille diables. He was precocious in all things:
at a very early age he would mimic everybody; at five, he would sit at
table, and drink his glass of champagne with the best of us; and his
nurse would teach him little French catches, and the last Parisian songs
of Vade and Collard,--pretty songs they were too; and would make such
of his hearers as understood French burst with laughing, and, I promise
you, scandalise some of the old dowagers who were admitted into the
society of his mamma: not that there were many of them; for I did not
encourage the visits of what you call respectable people to Lady Lyndon.
They are sad spoilers of sport,--tale-bearers, envious narrow-minded
people; making mischief between man and wife. Whenever any of these
grave personages in hoops and high heels used to make their appearance
at Hackton, or in Berkeley Square, it was my chief pleasure to frighten
them off; and I would make my little Bryan dance, sing, and play the
diable a quatre, and aid him myself, so as to scare the old frumps.

I never shall forget the solemn remonstrances of our old square-toes of
a rector at Hackton, who made one or two vain attempts to teach little
Bryan Latin, and with whose innumerable children I sometimes allowed the
boy to associate. They learned some of Bryan's French songs from him,
which their mother, a poor soul who understood pickles and custards much
better than French, used fondly to encourage them in singing; but which
their father one day hearing, he sent Miss Sarah to her bedroom and
bread and water for a week, and solemnly horsed Master Jacob in the
presence of all his brothers and sisters, and of Bryan, to whom he hoped
that flogging would act as a warning. But my little rogue kicked and
plunged at the old parson's shins until he was obliged to get his sexton
to hold him down, and swore, corbleu, morbleu, ventrebleu, that his
young friend Jacob should not be maltreated. After this scene, his
reverence forbade Bryan the rectory-house; on which I swore that his
eldest son, who was bringing up for the ministry, should never have the
succession of the living of Hackton, which I had thoughts of bestowing
on him; and his father said, with a canting hypocritical air, which
I hate, that Heaven's will must be done; that he would not have his
children disobedient or corrupted for the sake of a bishopric, and wrote
me a pompous and solemn letter, charged with Latin quotations, taking
farewell of me and my house. 'I do so with regret,' added the old
gentleman, 'for I have received so many kindnesses from the Hackton
family that it goes to my heart to be disunited from them. My poor, I
fear, may suffer in consequence of my separation from you, and my being
hence-forward unable to bring to your notice instances of distress
and affliction; which, when they were known to you, I will do you the
justice to say, your generosity was always prompt to relieve.'

There may have been some truth in this, for the old gentleman was
perpetually pestering me with petitions, and I know for a certainty,
from his own charities, was often without a shilling in his pocket;
but I suspect the good dinners at Hackton had a considerable share in
causing his regrets at the dissolution of our intimacy: and I know
that his wife was quite sorry to forego the acquaintance of Bryan's
gouvernante, Mademoiselle Louison, who had all the newest French
fashions at her fingers' ends, and who never went to the rectory but you
would see the girls of the family turn out in new sacks or mantles the
Sunday after.

I used to punish the old rebel by snoring very loud in my pew on Sundays
during sermon-time; and I got a governor presently for Bryan, and a
chaplain of my own, when he became of age sufficient to be separated
from the women's society and guardianship. His English nurse I married
to my head gardener, with a handsome portion; his French gouvernante I
bestowed upon my faithful German Fritz, not forgetting the dowry in the
latter instance; and they set up a French dining-house in Soho, and I
believe at the time I write they are richer in the world's goods than
their generous and free-handed master.

For Bryan I now got a young gentleman from Oxford, the Rev. Edmund
Lavender, who was commissioned to teach him Latin, when the boy was
in the humour, and to ground him in history, grammar, and the other
qualifications of a gentleman. Lavender was a precious addition to our
society at Hackton. He was the means of making a deal of fun there. He
was the butt of all our jokes, and bore them with the most admirable and
martyrlike patience. He was one of that sort of men who would rather be
kicked by a great man than not be noticed by him; and I have often put
his wig into the fire in the face of the company, when he would laugh
at the joke as well as any man there. It was a delight to put him on
a high-mettled horse, and send him after the hounds,--pale, sweating,
calling on us, for Heaven's sake, to stop, and holding on for dear life
by the mane and the crupper. How it happened that the fellow was never
killed I know not; but I suppose hanging is the way in which HIS neck
will be broke. He never met with any accident, to speak of, in our
hunting-matches: but you were pretty sure to find him at dinner in his
place at the bottom of the table making the punch, whence he would be
carried off fuddled to bed before the night was over. Many a time have
Bryan and I painted his face black on those occasions. We put him into
a haunted room, and frightened his soul out of his body with ghosts; we
let loose cargoes of rats upon his bed; we cried fire, and filled his
boots with water; we cut the legs of his preaching-chair, and filled his
sermon-book with snuff. Poor Lavender bore it all with patience; and
at our parties, or when we came to London, was amply repaid by being
allowed to sit with the gentlefolks, and to fancy himself in the society
of men of fashion. It was good to hear the contempt with which he talked
about our rector. 'He has a son, sir, who is a servitor: and a servitor
at a small college,' he would say. 'How COULD you, my dear sir, think of
giving the reversion of Hackton to such a low-bred creature?'

I should now speak of my other son, at least my Lady Lyndon's: I mean
the Viscount Bullingdon. I kept him in Ireland for some years, under the
guardianship of my mother, whom I had installed at Castle Lyndon; and
great, I promise you, was her state in that occupation, and prodigious
the good soul's splendour and haughty bearing. With all her oddities,
the Castle Lyndon estate was the best managed of all our possessions;
the rents were excellently paid, the charges of getting them in smaller
than they would have been under the management of any steward. It was
astonishing what small expenses the good widow incurred; although she
kept up the dignity of the TWO families, as she would say. She had a set
of domestics to attend upon the young lord; she never went out herself
but in an old gilt coach and six; the house was kept clean and tight;
the furniture and gardens in the best repair; and, in our occasional
visits to Ireland, we never found any house we visited in such good
condition as our own. There were a score of ready serving-lasses,
and half as many trim men about the castle; and everything in as fine
condition as the best housekeeper could make it. All this she did with
scarcely any charges to us: for she fed sheep and cattle in the parks,
and made a handsome profit of them at Ballinasloe; she supplied I don't
know how many towns with butter and bacon; and the fruit and vegetables
from the gardens of Castle Lyndon got the highest prices in Dublin
market. She had no waste in the kitchen, as there used to be in most of
our Irish houses; and there was no consumption of liquor in the cellars,
for the old lady drank water, and saw little or no company. All her
society was a couple of the girls of my ancient flame Nora Brady, now
Mrs. Quin; who with her husband had spent almost all their property,
and who came to see me once in London, looking very old, fat, and
slatternly, with two dirty children at her side. She wept very much when
she saw me, called me 'Sir,' and 'Mr. Lyndon,' at which I was not sorry,
and begged me to help her husband; which I did, getting him, through
my friend Lord Crabs, a place in the excise in Ireland, and paying the
passage of his family and himself to that country. I found him a dirty,
cast-down, snivelling drunkard; and, looking at poor Nora, could not but
wonder at the days when I had thought her a divinity. But if ever I have
had a regard for a woman, I remain through life her constant friend,
and could mention a thousand such instances of my generous and faithful
disposition.

Young Bullingdon, however, was almost the only person with whom she was
concerned that my mother could not keep in order. The accounts she sent
me of him at first were such as gave my paternal heart considerable
pain. He rejected all regularity and authority. He would absent himself
for weeks from the house on sporting or other expeditions. He was when
at home silent and queer, refusing to make my mother's game at piquet of
evenings, but plunging into all sorts of musty old books, with which he
muddled his brains; more at ease laughing and chatting with the
pipers and maids in the servants' hall, than with the gentry in the
drawing-room; always cutting jibes and jokes at Mrs. Barry, at which
she (who was rather a slow woman at repartee) would chafe violently: in
fact, leading a life of insubordination and scandal. And, to crown
all, the young scapegrace took to frequenting the society of the Romish
priest of the parish--a threadbare rogue, from some Popish seminary in
France or Spain--rather than the company of the vicar of Castle Lyndon,
a gentleman of Trinity, who kept his hounds and drank his two bottles a
day.

Regard for the lad's religion made me not hesitate then how I should act
towards him. If I have any principle which has guided me through life,
it has been respect for the Establishment, and a hearty scorn and
abhorrence of all other forms of belief. I therefore sent my French
body-servant, in the year 17--, to Dublin with a commission to bring
the young reprobate over; and the report brought to me was that he
had passed the whole of the last night of his stay in Ireland with his
Popish friend at the mass-house; that he and my mother had a violent
quarrel on the very last day; that, on the contrary, he kissed Biddy and
Dosy, her two nieces, who seemed very sorry that he should go; and that
being pressed to go and visit the rector, he absolutely refused, saying
he was a wicked old Pharisee, inside whose doors he would never set his
foot. The doctor wrote me a letter, warning me against the deplorable
errors of this young imp of perdition, as he called him; and I could see
that there was no love lost between them. But it appeared that, if not
agreeable to the gentry of the country, young Bullingdon had a huge
popularity among the common people. There was a regular crowd weeping
round the gate when his coach took its departure. Scores of the ignorant
savage wretches ran for miles along by the side of the chariot; and some
went even so far as to steal away before his departure, and appear
at the Pigeon-House at Dublin to bid him a last farewell. It was with
considerable difficulty that some of these people could be kept from
secreting themselves in the vessel, and accompanying their young lord to
England.

To do the young scoundrel justice, when he came among us, he was a
manly noble-looking lad, and everything in his bearing and appearance
betokened the high blood from which he came. He was the very portrait
of some of the dark cavaliers of the Lyndon race, whose pictures hung
in the gallery at Hackton: where the lad was fond of spending the chief
part of his time, occupied with the musty old books which he took out of
the library, and which I hate to see a young man of spirit poring over.
Always in my company he preserved the most rigid silence, and a haughty
scornful demeanour; which was so much the more disagreeable because
there was nothing in his behaviour I could actually take hold of to find
fault with: although his whole conduct was insolent and supercilious to
the highest degree. His mother was very much agitated at receiving him
on his arrival; if he felt any such agitation he certainly did not show
it. He made her a very low and formal bow when he kissed her hand; and,
when I held out mine, put both his hands behind his back, stared me full
in the face, and bent his head, saying, 'Mr. Barry Lyndon, I believe;'
turned on his heel, and began talking about the state of the weather to
his mother, whom he always styled 'Your Ladyship.' She was angry at this
pert bearing, and, when they were alone, rebuked him sharply for not
shaking hands with his father.

'My father, madam?' said he; 'surely you mistake. My father was the
Right Honourable Sir Charles Lyndon. _I_ at least have not forgotten
him, if others have.' It was a declaration of war to me, as I saw at
once; though I declare I was willing enough to have received the boy
well on his coming amongst us, and to have lived with him on terms of
friendliness. But as men serve me I serve them. Who can blame me for my
after-quarrels with this young reprobate, or lay upon my shoulders
the evils which afterwards befell? Perhaps I lost my temper, and my
subsequent treatment of him WAS hard. But it was he began the quarrel,
and not I; and the evil consequences which ensued were entirely of his
creating.

As it is best to nip vice in the bud, and for a master of a family to
exercise his authority in such a manner as that there may be no question
about it, I took the earliest opportunity of coming to close quarters
with Master Bullingdon; and the day after his arrival among us, upon
his refusal to perform some duty which I requested of him, I had him
conveyed to my study, and thrashed him soundly. This process, I confess,
at first agitated me a good deal, for I had never laid a whip on a lord
before; but I got speedily used to the practice, and his back and my
whip became so well acquainted, that I warrant there was very little
CEREMONY between us after a while.

If I were to repeat all the instances of the insubordination and brutal
conduct of young Bullingdon, I should weary the reader. His perseverance
in resistance was, I think, even greater than mine in correcting him:
for a man, be he ever so much resolved to do his duty as a parent, can't
be flogging his children all day, or for every fault they commit: and
though I got the character of being so cruel a stepfather to him, I
pledge my word I spared him correction when he merited it many more
times than I administered it. Besides, there were eight clear months
in the year when he was quit of me, during the time of my presence in
London, at my place in Parliament, and at the Court of my Sovereign.

At this period I made no difficulty to allow him to profit by the
Latin and Greek of the old rector; who had christened him, and had a
considerable influence over the wayward lad. After a scene or a quarrel
between us, it was generally to the rectory-house that the young rebel
would fly for refuge and counsel; and I must own that the parson was a
pretty just umpire between us in our disputes. Once he led the boy
back to Hackton by the hand, and actually brought him into my presence,
although he had vowed never to enter the doors in my lifetime again, and
said, 'He had brought his Lordship to acknowledge his error, and submit
to any punishment I might think proper to inflict.' Upon which I caned
him in the presence of two or three friends of mine, with whom I was
sitting drinking at the time; and to do him justice, he bore a pretty
severe punishment without wincing or crying in the least. This will
show that I was not too severe in my treatment of the lad, as I had the
authority of the clergyman himself for inflicting the correction which I
thought proper.

Twice or thrice, Lavender, Bryan's governor, attempted to punish my
Lord Bullingdon; but I promise you the rogue was too strong for HIM,
and levelled the Oxford man to the ground with a chair: greatly to the
delight of little Byran, who cried out, 'Bravo, Bully! thump him, thump
him!' And Bully certainly did, to the governor's heart's content; who
never attempted personal chastisement afterwards; but contented himself
by bringing the tales of his Lordship's misdoings to me, his natural
protector and guardian.

With the child, Bullingdon was, strange to say, pretty tractable. He
took a liking for the little fellow,--as, indeed, everybody who saw that
darling boy did,--liked him the more, he said, because he was 'half
a Lyndon.' And well he might like him, for many a time, at the dear
angel's intercession of 'Papa, don't flog Bully to-day!' I have held my
hand, and saved him a horsing, which he richly deserved.

With his mother, at first, he would scarcely deign to have any
communication. He said she was no longer one of the family. Why should
he love her, as she had never been a mother to him? But it will give
the reader an idea of the dogged obstinacy and surliness of the lad's
character, when I mention one trait regarding him. It has been made
a matter of complaint against me, that I denied him the education
befitting a gentleman, and never sent him to college or to school; but
the fact is, it was of his own choice that he went to neither. He
had the offer repeatedly from me (who wished to see as little of his
impudence as possible), but he as repeatedly declined; and, for a long
time, I could not make out what was the charm which kept him in a house
where he must have been far from comfortable.

It came out, however, at last. There used to be very frequent disputes
between my Lady Lyndon and myself, in which sometimes she was wrong,
sometimes I was; and which, as neither of us had very angelical
tempers, used to run very high. I was often in liquor; and when in that
condition, what gentleman is master of himself? Perhaps I DID, in this
state, use my Lady rather roughly; fling a glass or two at her, and call
her by a few names that were not complimentary. I may have threatened
her life (which it was obviously my interest not to take), and have
frightened her, in a word, considerably.

After one of these disputes, in which she ran screaming through the
galleries, and I, as tipsy as a lord, came staggering after, it appears
Bullingdon was attracted out of his room by the noise; as I came up
with her, the audacious rascal tripped up my heels, which were not very
steady, and catching his fainting mother in his arms, took her into his
own room; where he, upon her entreaty, swore he would never leave the
house as long as she continued united with me. I knew nothing of the
vow, or indeed of the tipsy frolic which was the occasion of it; I was
taken up 'glorious,' as the phrase is, by my servants, and put to bed,
and, in the morning, had no more recollection of what had occurred any
more than of what happened when I was a baby at the breast. Lady Lyndon
told me of the circumstance years after; and I mention it here, as it
enables me to plead honourably 'not guilty' to one of the absurd charges
of cruelty trumped up against me with respect to my stepson. Let my
detractors apologise, if they dare, for the conduct of a graceless
ruffian who trips up the heels of his own natural guardian and
stepfather after dinner.

This circumstance served to unite mother and son for a little; but their
characters were too different. I believe she was too fond of me ever to
allow him to be sincerely reconciled to her. As he grew up to be a man,
his hatred towards me assumed an intensity quite wicked to think of (and
which I promise you I returned with interest): and it was at the age
of sixteen, I think, that the impudent young hangdog, on my return from
Parliament one summer, and on my proposing to cane him as usual, gave me
to understand that he would submit to no farther chastisement from me,
and said, grinding his teeth, that he would shoot me if I laid hands on
him. I looked at him; he was grown, in fact, to be a tall young man, and
I gave up that necessary part of his education.

It was about this time that I raised the company which was to serve in
America; and my enemies in the country (and since my victory over the
Tiptoffs I scarce need say I had many of them) began to propagate
the most shameful reports regarding my conduct to that precious young
scapegrace my stepson, and to insinuate that I actually wished to get
rid of him. Thus my loyalty to my Sovereign was actually construed into
a horrid unnatural attempt on my part on Bullingdon's life; and it
was said that I had raised the American corps for the sole purpose of
getting the young Viscount to command it, and so of getting rid of him.
I am not sure that they had not fixed upon the name of the very man in
the company who was ordered to despatch him at the first general action,
and the bribe I was to give him for this delicate piece of service.

But the truth is, I was of opinion then (and though the fulfilment of
my prophecy has been delayed, yet I make no doubt it will be brought to
pass ere long), that my Lord Bullingdon needed none of MY aid in sending
him into the other world; but had a happy knack of finding the way
thither himself, which he would be sure to pursue. In truth, he began
upon this way early: of all the violent, daring, disobedient scapegraces
that ever caused an affectionate parent pain, he was certainly the most
incorrigible; there was no beating him, or coaxing him, or taming him.

For instance, with my little son, when his governor brought him into the
room as we were over the bottle after dinner, my Lord would begin his
violent and undutiful sarcasms at me.

'Dear child,' he would say, beginning to caress and fondle him, 'what
a pity it is I am not dead for thy sake! The Lyndons would then have a
worthier representative, and enjoy all the benefit of the illustrious
blood of the Barrys of Barryogue; would they not, Mr. Barry Lyndon?'
He always chose the days when company, or the clergy or gentry of the
neighbourhood, were present, to make these insolent speeches to me.

Another day (it was Bryan's birthday) we were giving a grand ball
and gala at Hackton, and it was time for my little Bryan to make his
appearance among us, as he usually did in the smartest little court-suit
you ever saw (ah me! but it brings tears into my old eyes now to think
of the bright looks of that darling little face). There was a great
crowding and tittering when the child came in, led by his half-brother,
who walked into the dancing-room (would you believe it?) in his
stocking-feet, leading little Bryan by the hand, paddling about in the
great shoes of the elder! 'Don't you think he fits my shoes very well,
Sir Richard Wargrave?' says the young reprobate: upon which the company
began to look at each other and to titter; and his mother, coming up to
Lord Bullingdon with great dignity, seized the child to her breast, and
said, 'From the manner in which I love this child, my Lord, you ought
to know how I would have loved his elder brother had he proved worthy of
any mother's affection!' and, bursting into tears, Lady Lyndon left the
apartment, and the young lord rather discomfited for once.

At last, on one occasion, his behaviour to me was so outrageous (it was
in the hunting-field and in a large public company), that I lost all
patience, rode at the urchin straight, wrenched him out of his saddle
with all my force, and, flinging him roughly to the ground, sprang
down to it myself, and administered such a correction across the young
caitiff's head and shoulders with my horsewhip as might have ended in
his death, had I not been restrained in time; for my passion was up, and
I was in a state to do murder or any other crime. The lad was taken home
and put to bed, where he lay for a day or two in a fever, as much from
rage and vexation as from the chastisement I had given him; and three
days afterwards, on sending to inquire at his chamber whether he would
join the family at table, a note was found on his table, and his bed
was empty and cold. The young villain had fled, and had the audacity to
write in the following terms regarding me to my wife, his mother:--

'Madam,' he said, 'I have borne as long as mortal could endure the
ill-treatment of the insolent Irish upstart whom you have taken to your
bed. It is not only the lowness of his birth and the general brutality
of his manners which disgust me, and must make me hate him so long as I
have the honour to bear the name of Lyndon, which he is unworthy of, but
the shameful nature of his conduct towards your Ladyship; his brutal
and ungentlemanlike behaviour, his open infidelity, his habits of
extravagance, intoxication, his shameless robberies and swindling of my
property and yours. It is these insults to you which shock and annoy me,
more than the ruffian's infamous conduct to myself. I would have stood
by your Ladyship as I promised, but you seem to have taken latterly
your husband's part; and, as I cannot personally chastise this low-bred
ruffian, who, to our shame be it spoken, is the husband of my mother;
and as I cannot bear to witness his treatment of you, and loathe his
horrible society as if it were the plague, I am determined to quit my
native country: at least during his detested life, or during my own.
I possess a small income from my father, of which I have no doubt Mr.
Barry will cheat me if he can; but which, if your Ladyship has some
feelings of a mother left, you will, perhaps, award to me. Messrs.
Childs, the bankers, can have orders to pay it to me when due; if they
receive no such orders, I shall be not in the least surprised, knowing
you to be in the hands of a villain who would not scruple to rob on
the highway; and shall try to find out some way in life for myself more
honourable than that by which the penniless Irish adventurer has arrived
to turn me out of my rights and home.'

This mad epistle was signed 'Bullingdon,' and all the neighbours vowed
that I had been privy to his flight, and would profit by it; though I
declare on my honour my true and sincere desire, after reading the above
infamous letter, was to have the author within a good arm's length of
me, that I might let him know my opinion regarding him. But there was no
eradicating this idea from people's minds, who insisted that I wanted
to kill Bullingdon; whereas murder, as I have said, was never one of my
evil qualities: and even had I wished to injure my young enemy ever so
much, common prudence would have made my mind easy, as I knew he was
going to ruin his own way.

It was long before we heard of the fate of the audacious young truant;
but after some fifteen months had elapsed, I had the pleasure of being
able to refute some of the murderous calumnies which had been uttered
against me, by producing a bill with Bullingdon's own signature, drawn
from General Tarleton's army in America, where my company was conducting
itself with the greatest glory, and with which my Lord was serving as
a volunteer. There were some of my kind friends who persisted still in
attributing all sorts of wicked intentions to me. Lord Tiptoff would
never believe that I would pay any bill, much more any bill of Lord
Bullingdon's; old Lady Betty Grimsby, his sister, persisted in declaring
the bill was a forgery, and the poor dear lord dead; until there came a
letter to her Ladyship from Lord Bullingdon himself, who had been at New
York at headquarters, and who described at length the splendid festival
given by the officers of the garrison to our distinguished chieftains,
the two Howes.

In the meanwhile, if I HAD murdered my Lord, I could scarcely have been
received with more shameful obloquy and slander than now followed me in
town and country. 'You will hear of the lad's death, be sure,' exclaimed
one of my friends. 'And then his wife's will follow,' added another. 'He
will marry Jenny Jones,' added a third; and so on. Lavender brought me
the news of these scandals about me: the country was up against me. The
farmers on market-days used to touch their hats sulkily, and get out of
my way; the gentlemen who followed my hunt now suddenly seceded from it,
and left off my uniform; at the county ball, where I led out Lady Susan
Capermore, and took my place third in the dance after the duke and the
marquis, as was my wont, all the couples turned away as we came to them,
and we were left to dance alone. Sukey Capermore has a love of dancing
which would make her dance at a funeral if anybody asked her, and I had
too much spirit to give in at this signal instance of insult towards me;
so we danced with some of the very commonest low people at the bottom of
the set--your apothecaries, wine-merchants, attorneys, and such scum as
are allowed to attend our public assemblies.

The bishop, my Lady Lyndon's relative, neglected to invite us to the
palace at the assizes; and, in a word, every indignity was put upon me
which could by possibility be heaped upon an innocent and honourable
gentleman.

My reception in London, whither I now carried my wife and family, was
scarcely more cordial. On paying my respects to my Sovereign at
St. James's, His Majesty pointedly asked me when I had news of Lord
Bullingdon. On which I replied, with no ordinary presence of mind, 'Sir,
my Lord Bullingdon is fighting the rebels against your Majesty's crown
in America. Does your Majesty desire that I should send another regiment
to aid him?' On which the King turned on his heel, and I made my bow out
of the presence-chamber. When Lady Lyndon kissed the Queen's hand at the
drawing-room, I found that precisely the same question had been put to
her Ladyship; and she came home much agitated at the rebuke which had
been administered to her. Thus it was that my loyalty was rewarded,
and my sacrifice, in favour of my country, viewed! I took away my
establishment abruptly to Paris, where I met with a very different
reception: but my stay amidst the enchanting pleasures of that capital
was extremely short; for the French Government, which had been long
tampering with the American rebels, now openly acknowledged the
independence of the United States. A declaration of war ensued: all we
happy English were ordered away from Paris; and I think I left one
or two fair ladies there inconsolable. It is the only place where a
gentleman can live as he likes without being incommoded by his wife.
The Countess and I, during our stay, scarcely saw each other except upon
public occasions, at Versailles, or at the Queen's play-table; and our
dear little Bryan advanced in a thousand elegant accomplishments which
rendered him the delight of all who knew him.

I must not forget to mention here my last interview with my good
uncle, the Chevalier de Ballybarry, whom I left at Brussels with strong
intentions of making his salut, as the phrase is, and who had gone into
retirement at a convent there. Since then he had come into the world
again, much to his annoyance and repentance; having fallen desperately
in love in his old age with a French actress, who had done, as most
ladies of her character do,--ruined him, left him, and laughed at him.
His repentance was very edifying. Under the guidance of Messieurs of the
Irish College, he once more turned his thoughts towards religion; and
his only prayer to me when I saw him and asked in what I could relieve
him, was to pay a handsome fee to the convent into which he proposed to
enter.

This I could not, of course, do: my religious principles forbidding me
to encourage superstition in any way; and the old gentleman and I parted
rather coolly, in consequence of my refusal, as he said, to make his old
days comfortable.

I was very poor at the time, that is the fact; and entre nous, the
Rosemont of the French Opera, an indifferent dancer, but a charming
figure and ankle, was ruining me in diamonds, equipages, and furniture
bills, added to which I had a run of ill-luck at play, and was forced to
meet my losses by the most shameful sacrifices to the money-lenders, by
pawning part of Lady Lyndon's diamonds (that graceless little Rosemont
wheedled me out of some of them), and by a thousand other schemes for
raising money. But when Honour is in the case, was I ever found backward
at her call: and what man can say that Barry Lyndon lost a bet which he
did not pay?

As for my ambitious hopes regarding the Irish peerage, I began, on my
return, to find out that I had been led wildly astray by that rascal
Lord Crabs; who liked to take my money, but had no more influence to get
me a coronet than to procure for me the Pope's tiara. The Sovereign was
not a whit more gracious to me on returning from the Continent than he
had been before my departure; and I had it from one of the aides-de-camp
of the Royal Dukes his brothers, that my conduct and amusements at Paris
had been odiously misrepresented by some spies there, and had formed
the subject of Royal comment; and that the King had, influenced by these
calumnies, actually said I was the most disreputable man in the three
kingdoms. I disreputable! I a dishonour to my name and country! When
I heard these falsehoods, I was in such a rage that I went off to Lord
North at once to remonstrate with the Minister; to insist upon being
allowed to appear before His Majesty and clear myself of the imputations
against me, to point out my services to the Government in voting with
them, and to ask when the reward that had been promised to me--viz., the
title held by my ancestors--was again to be revived in my person?

There was a sleepy coolness in that fat Lord North which was the most
provoking thing that the Opposition had ever to encounter from him.
He heard me with half-shut eyes. When I had finished a long violent
speech--which I made striding about his room in Downing Street, and
gesticulating with all the energy of an Irishman--he opened one eye,
smiled, and asked me gently if I had done. On my replying in the
affirmative, he said, 'Well, Mr. Barry, I'll answer you, point by point.
The King is exceedingly averse to make peers, as you know. Your claims,
as you call them, HAVE been laid before him, and His Majesty's gracious
reply was, that you were the most impudent man in his dominions, and
merited a halter rather than a coronet. As for withdrawing your support
from us, you are perfectly welcome to carry yourself and your vote
whithersoever you please. And now, as I have a great deal of occupation,
perhaps you will do me the favour to retire.' So saying, he raised his
hand lazily to the bell, and bowed me out; asking blandly if there was
any other thing in the world in which he could oblige me.

I went home in a fury which can't be described; and having Lord Crabs to
dinner that day, assailed his Lordship by pulling his wig off his head,
and smothering it in his face, and by attacking him in that part of the
person where, according to report, he had been formerly assaulted by
Majesty. The whole story was over the town the next day, and pictures
of me were hanging in the clubs and print-shops performing the operation
alluded to. All the town laughed at the picture of the lord and the
Irishman, and, I need not say, recognised both. As for me, I was one of
the most celebrated characters in London in those days: my dress, style,
and equipage being as well known as those of any leader of the fashion;
and my popularity, if not great in the highest quarters, was at least
considerable elsewhere. The people cheered me in the Gordon rows, at
the time they nearly killed my friend Jemmy Twitcher and burned Lord
Mansfield's house down. Indeed, I was known as a staunch Protestant, and
after my quarrel with Lord North veered right round to the Opposition,
and vexed him with all the means in my power.

These were not, unluckily, very great, for I was a bad speaker, and the
House would not listen to me, and presently, in 1780, after the Gordon
disturbance, was dissolved, when a general election took place. It came
on me, as all my mishaps were in the habit of coming, at a most unlucky
time. I was obliged to raise more money, at most ruinous rates, to face
the confounded election, and had the Tiptoffs against me in the field
more active and virulent than ever.

My blood boils even now when I think of the rascally conduct of my
enemies in that scoundrelly election. I was held up as the Irish
Bluebeard, and libels of me were printed, and gross caricatures drawn
representing me flogging Lady Lyndon, whipping Lord Bullingdon, turning
him out of doors in a storm, and I know not what. There were pictures of
a pauper cabin in Ireland, from which it was pretended I came; others in
which I was represented as a lacquey and shoeblack. A flood of calumny
was let loose upon me, in which any man of less spirit would have gone
down.

But though I met my accusers boldly, though I lavished sums of money in
the election, though I flung open Hackton Hall and kept champagne and
Burgundy running there, and at all my inns in the town, as commonly as
water, the election went against me. The rascally gentry had all turned
upon me and joined the Tiptoff faction: it was even represented that
I held my wife by force; and though I sent her into the town alone,
wearing my colours, with Bryan in her lap, and made her visit the
mayor's lady and the chief women there, nothing would persuade the
people but that she lived in fear and trembling of me; and the brutal
mob had the insolence to ask her why she dared to go back, and how she
liked horsewhip for supper.

I was thrown out of my election, and all the bills came down upon me
together--all the bills I had been contracting during the years of my
marriage, which the creditors, with a rascally unanimity, sent in until
they lay upon my table in heaps. I won't cite their amount: it was
frightful. My stewards and lawyers made matters worse. I was bound up
in an inextricable toil of bills and debts, of mortgages and insurances,
and all the horrible evils attendant upon them. Lawyers upon lawyers
posted down from London; composition after composition was made, and
Lady Lyndon's income hampered almost irretrievably to satisfy these
cormorants. To do her justice, she behaved with tolerable kindness at
this season of trouble; for whenever I wanted money I had to coax
her, and whenever I coaxed her I was sure of bringing this weak and
light-minded woman to good-humour: who was of such a weak terrified
nature, that to secure an easy week with me she would sign away a
thousand a year. And when my troubles began at Hackton, and I determined
on the only chance left, viz. to retire to Ireland and retrench,
assigning over the best part of my income to the creditors until their
demands were met, my Lady was quite cheerful at the idea of going, and
said, if we would be quiet, she had no doubt all would be well; indeed,
was glad to undergo the comparative poverty in which we must now live
for the sake of the retirement and the chance of domestic quiet which
she hoped to enjoy.

We went off to Bristol pretty suddenly, leaving the odious and
ungrateful wretches at Hackton to vilify us, no doubt, in our absence.
My stud and hounds were sold off immediately; the harpies would have
been glad to pounce upon my person; but that was out of their power.
I had raised, by cleverness and management, to the full as much on my
mines and private estates as they were worth; so the scoundrels were
disappointed in THIS instance; and as for the plate and property in the
London house, they could not touch that, as it was the property of the
heirs of the house of Lyndon.

I passed over to Ireland, then, and took up my abode at Castle Lyndon
for a while; all the world imagining that I was an utterly ruined man,
and that the famous and dashing Barry Lyndon would never again appear in
the circles of which he had been an ornament. But it was not so. In the
midst of my perplexities, Fortune reserved a great consolation for me
still. Despatches came home from America announcing Lord Cornwallis's
defeat of General Gates in Carolina, and the death of Lord Bullingdon,
who was present as a volunteer.

For my own desires to possess a paltry Irish title I cared little. My
son was now heir to an English earldom, and I made him assume forthwith
the title of Lord Viscount Castle Lyndon, the third of the family
titles. My mother went almost mad with joy at saluting her grandson as
'my Lord,' and I felt that all my sufferings and privations were repaid
by seeing this darling child advanced to such a post of honour.



CHAPTER XIX. CONCLUSION

If the world were not composed of a race of ungrateful scoundrels, who
share your prosperity while it lasts, and, even when gorged with your
venison and Burgundy, abuse the generous giver of the feast, I am sure I
merit a good name and a high reputation: in Ireland, at least, where
my generosity was unbounded, and the splendour of my mansion and
entertainments unequalled by any other nobleman of my time. As long as
my magnificence lasted, all the country was free to partake of it; I had
hunters sufficient in my stables to mount a regiment of dragoons, and
butts of wine in my cellar which would have made whole counties drunk
for years. Castle Lyndon became the headquarters of scores of needy
gentlemen, and I never rode a-hunting but I had a dozen young fellows of
the best blood of the country riding as my squires and gentlemen of
the horse. My son, little Castle Lyndon, was a prince; his breeding and
manners, even at his early age, showed him to be worthy of the two noble
families from whom he was descended: I don't know what high hopes I had
for the boy, and indulged in a thousand fond anticipations as to his
future success and figure in the world. But stern Fate had determined
that I should leave none of my race behind me, and ordained that I
should finish my career, as I see it closing now--poor, lonely, and
childless. I may have had my faults; but no man shall dare to say of me
that I was not a good and tender father. I loved that boy passionately;
perhaps with a blind partiality: I denied him nothing. Gladly, gladly,
I swear, would I have died that his premature doom might have been
averted. I think there is not a day since I lost him but his bright face
and beautiful smiles look down on me out of heaven, where he is, and
that my heart does not yearn towards him. That sweet child was taken
from me at the age of nine years, when he was full of beauty and
promise: and so powerful is the hold his memory has of me that I have
never been able to forget him; his little spirit haunts me of nights
on my restless solitary pillow; many a time, in the wildest and maddest
company, as the bottle is going round, and the song and laugh roaring
about, I am thinking of him. I have got a lock of his soft brown hair
hanging round my breast now: it will accompany me to the dishonoured
pauper's grave; where soon, no doubt, Barry Lyndon's worn-out old bones
will be laid.

My Bryan was a boy of amazing high spirit (indeed how, coming from such
a stock, could he be otherwise?), impatient even of my control, against
which the dear little rogue would often rebel gallantly; how much more,
then, of his mother's and the women's, whose attempts to direct him he
would laugh to scorn. Even my own mother ('Mrs. Barry of Lyndon' the
good soul now called herself, in compliment to my new family) was quite
unable to check him; and hence you may fancy what a will he had of his
own. If it had not been for that, he might have lived to this day: he
might--but why repine? Is he not in a better place? would the heritage
of a beggar do any service to him? It is best as it is--Heaven be good
to us!--Alas! that I, his father, should be left to deplore him.

It was in the month of October I had been to Dublin, in order to see a
lawyer and a moneyed man who had come over to Ireland to consult with me
about some sales of mine and the cut of Hackton timber; of which, as I
hated the place and was greatly in want of money, I was determined to
cut down every stick. There had been some difficulty in the matter. It
was said I had no right to touch the timber. The brute peasantry about
the estate had been roused to such a pitch of hatred against me, that
the rascals actually refused to lay an axe to the trees; and my agent
(that scoundrel Larkins) declared that his life was in danger among
them if he attempted any further despoilment (as they called it) of the
property. Every article of the splendid furniture was sold by this time,
as I need not say; and as for the plate, I had taken good care to bring
it off to Ireland, where it now was in the best of keeping--my banker's,
who had advanced six thousand pounds on it: which sum I soon had
occasion for.

I went to Dublin, then, to meet the English man of business; and so
far succeeded in persuading Mr. Splint, a great shipbuilder and
timber-dealer of Plymouth, of my claim to the Hackton timber, that he
agreed to purchase it off-hand at about one-third of its value, and
handed me over five thousand pounds: which, being pressed with debts at
the time, I was fain to accept. HE had no difficulty in getting down the
wood, I warrant. He took a regiment of shipwrights and sawyers from his
own and the King's yards at Plymouth, and in two months Hackton Park was
as bare of trees as the Bog of Allen.

I had but ill luck with that accursed expedition and money. I lost the
greater part of it in two nights' play at 'Daly's,' so that my debts
stood just as they were before; and before the vessel sailed for
Holyhead, which carried away my old sharper of a timber-merchant, all
that I had left of the money he brought me was a couple of hundred
pounds, with which I returned home very disconsolately: and very
suddenly, too, for my Dublin tradesmen were hot upon me, hearing I had
spent the loan, and two of my wine-merchants had writs out against me
for some thousands of pounds.

I bought in Dublin, according to my promise, however--for when I give
a promise I will keep it at any sacrifices--a little horse for my dear
little Bryan; which was to be a present for his tenth birthday, that was
now coming on: it was a beautiful little animal and stood me in a good
sum. I never regarded money for that dear child. But the horse was very
wild. He kicked off one of my horse-boys, who rode him at first, and
broke the lad's leg; and, though I took the animal in hand on the
journey home, it was only my weight and skill that made the brute quiet.

When we got home I sent the horse away with one of my grooms to a
farmer's house, to break him thoroughly in, and told Bryan, who was all
anxiety to see his little horse, that he would arrive by his birthday,
when he should hunt him along with my hounds; and I promised myself
no small pleasure in presenting the dear fellow to the field that day:
which I hoped to see him lead some time or other in place of his fond
father. Ah me! never was that gallant boy to ride a fox-chase, or to
take the place amongst the gentry of his country which his birth and
genius had pointed out for him!

Though I don't believe in dreams and omens, yet I can't but own that
when a great calamity is hanging over a man he has frequently many
strange and awful forebodings of it. I fancy now I had many. Lady
Lyndon, especially, twice dreamed of her son's death; but, as she was
now grown uncommonly nervous and vapourish, I treated her fears with
scorn, and my own, of course, too. And in an unguarded moment, over the
bottle after dinner, I told poor Bryan, who was always questioning me
about the little horse, and when it was to come, that it was arrived;
that it was in Doolan's farm, where Mick the groom was breaking him in.
'Promise me, Bryan,' screamed his mother, 'that you will not ride the
horse except in company of your father.' But I only said, 'Pooh, madam,
you are an ass!' being angry at her silly timidity, which was always
showing itself in a thousand disagreeable ways now; and, turning round
to Bryan, said, 'I promise your Lordship a good flogging if you mount
him without my leave.'

I suppose the poor child did not care about paying this penalty for the
pleasure he was to have, or possibly thought a fond father would remit
the punishment altogether; for the next morning, when I rose rather
late, having sat up drinking the night before, I found the child had
been off at daybreak, having slipt through his tutor's room (this was
Redmond Quin, our cousin, whom I had taken to live with me), and I had
no doubt but that he was gone to Doolan's farm.

I took a great horsewhip and galloped off after him in a rage, swearing
I would keep my promise. But, Heaven forgive me! I little thought of it
when at three miles from home I met a sad procession coming towards me:
peasants moaning and howling as our Irish do, the black horse led by the
hand, and, on a door that some of the folk carried, my poor dear dear
little boy. There he lay in his little boots and spurs, and his little
coat of scarlet and gold. His dear face was quite white, and he smiled
as he held a hand out to me, and said painfully, 'You won't whip me,
will you, papa?' I could only burst out into tears in reply. I have seen
many and many a man dying, and there's a look about the eyes which you
cannot mistake. There was a little drummer-boy I was fond of who was hit
down before my company at Kuhnersdorf; when I ran up to give him
some water, he looked exactly like my dear Bryan then did--there's no
mistaking that awful look of the eyes. We carried him home and scoured
the country round for doctors to come and look at his hurt.

But what does a doctor avail in a contest with the grim invincible
enemy? Such as came could only confirm our despair by their account
of the poor child's case. He had mounted his horse gallantly, sat him
bravely all the time the animal plunged and kicked, and, having overcome
his first spite, ran him at a hedge by the roadside. But there were
loose stones at the top, and the horse's foot caught among them, and he
and his brave little rider rolled over together at the other side. The
people said they saw the noble little boy spring up after his fall and
run to catch the horse; which had broken away from him, kicking him on
the back, as it would seem, as they lay on the ground. Poor Bryan ran a
few yards and then dropped down as if shot. A pallor came over his face,
and they thought he was dead. But they poured whisky down his mouth, and
the poor child revived: still he could not move; his spine was injured;
the lower half of him was dead when they laid him in bed at home. The
rest did not last long, God help me! He remained yet for two days with
us; and a sad comfort it was to think he was in no pain.

During this time the dear angel's temper seemed quite to change: he
asked his mother and me pardon for any act of disobedience he had been
guilty of towards us; he said often he should like to see his brother
Bullingdon. 'Bully was better than you, papa,' he said; 'he used not
to swear so, and he told and taught me many good things while you were
away.' And, taking a hand of his mother and mine in each of his little
clammy ones, he begged us not to quarrel so, but love each other, so
that we might meet again in heaven, where Bully told him quarrelsome
people never went. His mother was very much affected by these
admonitions from the poor suffering angel's mouth; and I was so too. I
wish she had enabled me to keep the counsel which the dying boy gave us.

At last, after two days, he died. There he lay, the hope of my family,
the pride of my manhood, the link which had kept me and my Lady Lyndon
together. 'Oh, Redmond,' said she, kneeling by the sweet child's body,
'do, do let us listen to the truth out of his blessed mouth: and do you
amend your life, and treat your poor loving fond wife as her dying child
bade you.' And I said I would: but there are promises which it is out of
a man's power to keep; especially with such a woman as her. But we
drew together after that sad event, and were for several months better
friends.

I won't tell you with what splendour we buried him. Of what avail are
undertakers' feathers and heralds' trumpery? I went out and shot the
fatal black horse that had killed him, at the door of the vault where we
laid my boy. I was so wild, that I could have shot myself too. But for
the crime, it would have been better that I should, perhaps; for what
has my life been since that sweet flower was taken out of my bosom?
A succession of miseries, wrongs, disasters, and mental and bodily
sufferings which never fell to the lot of any other man in Christendom.

Lady Lyndon, always vapourish and nervous, after our blessed boy's
catastrophe became more agitated than ever, and plunged into devotion
with so much fervour, that you would have fancied her almost distracted
at times. She imagined she saw visions. She said an angel from heaven
had told her that Bryan's death was as a punishment to her for her
neglect of her first-born. Then she would declare Bullingdon was alive;
she had seen him in a dream. Then again she would fall into fits of
sorrow about his death, and grieve for him as violently as if he had
been the last of her sons who had died, and not our darling Bryan; who,
compared to Bullingdon, was what a diamond is to a vulgar stone. Her
freaks were painful to witness, and difficult to control. It began to
be said in the country that the Countess was going mad. My scoundrelly
enemies did not fail to confirm and magnify the rumour, and would add
that I was the cause of her insanity: I had driven her to distraction, I
had killed Bullingdon, I had murdered my own son; I don't know what else
they laid to my charge. Even in Ireland their hateful calumnies reached
me: my friends fell away from me. They began to desert my hunt, as they
did in England, and when I went to race or market found sudden reasons
for getting out of my neighbourhood. I got the name of Wicked Barry,
Devil Lyndon, which you please: the country-folk used to make marvellous
legends about me: the priests said I had massacred I don't know how
many German nuns in the Seven Years' War; that the ghost of the murdered
Bullingdon haunted my house. Once at a fair in a town hard by, when I
had a mind to buy a waistcoat for one of my people, a fellow standing by
said, ''Tis a strait-waistcoat he's buying for my Lady Lyndon.' And
from this circumstance arose a legend of my cruelty to my wife; and many
circumstantial details were narrated regarding my manner and ingenuity
of torturing her.

The loss of my dear boy pressed not only on my heart as a father, but
injured my individual interests in a very considerable degree; for as
there was now no direct heir to the estate, and Lady Lyndon was of a
weak health, and supposed to be quite unlikely to leave a family, the
next in succession-that detestable family of Tiptoff--began to exert
themselves in a hundred ways to annoy me, and were at the head of
the party of enemies who were raising reports to my discredit. They
interposed between me and my management of the property in a hundred
different ways; making an outcry if I cut a stick, sunk a shaft, sold a
picture, or sent a few ounces of plate to be remodelled. They harassed
me with ceaseless lawsuits, got injunctions from Chancery, hampered my
agents in the execution of their work; so much so that you would have
fancied my own was not my own, but theirs, to do as they liked with.
What is worse, as I have reason to believe, they had tamperings and
dealings with my own domestics under my own roof; for I could not have
a word with Lady Lyndon but it somehow got abroad, and I could not be
drunk with my chaplain and friends but some sanctified rascals would
get hold of the news, and reckon up all the bottles I drank and all the
oaths I swore. That these were not few, I acknowledge. I am of the old
school; was always a free liver and speaker; and, at least, if I did and
said what I liked, was not so bad as many a canting scoundrel I know of
who covers his foibles and sins, unsuspected, with a mask of holiness.
As I am making a clean breast of it, and am no hypocrite, I may as well
confess now that I endeavoured to ward off the devices of my enemies
by an artifice which was not, perhaps, strictly justifiable. Everything
depended on my having an heir to the estate; for if Lady Lyndon, who
was of weakly health, had died, the next day I was a beggar: all my
sacrifices of money, &c., on the estate would not have been held in a
farthing's account; all the debts would have been left on my shoulders;
and my enemies would have triumphed over me: which, to a man of my
honourable spirit, was 'the unkindest cut of all,' as some poet says.

I confess, then, it was my wish to supplant these scoundrels; and, as I
could not do so without an heir to my property, _I_ DETERMINED TO FIND
ONE. If I had him near at hand, and of my own blood too, though with
the bar sinister, is not here the question. It was then I found out the
rascally machinations of my enemies; for, having broached this plan to
Lady Lyndon, whom I made to be, outwardly at least, the most obedient
of wives,--although I never let a letter from her or to her go or arrive
without my inspection,--although I allowed her to see none but those
persons who I thought, in her delicate health, would be fitting society
for her; yet the infernal Tiptoffs got wind of my scheme, protested
instantly against it, not only by letter, but in the shameful libellous
public prints, and held me up to public odium as a 'child-forger,' as
they called me. Of course I denied the charge--I could do no otherwise,
and offered to meet any one of the Tiptoffs on the field of honour, and
prove him a scoundrel and a liar: as he was; though, perhaps, not
in this instance. But they contented themselves by answering me by a
lawyer, and declined an invitation which any man of spirit would have
accepted. My hopes of having an heir were thus blighted completely:
indeed, Lady Lyndon (though, as I have said, I take her opposition for
nothing) had resisted the proposal with as much energy as a woman of her
weakness could manifest; and said she had committed one great crime in
consequence of me, but would rather die than perform another. I could
easily have brought her Ladyship to her senses, however: but my scheme
had taken wind, and it was now in vain to attempt it. We might have had
a dozen children in honest wedlock, and people would have said they were
false.

As for raising money on annuities, I may say I had used her life
interest up. There were but few of those assurance societies in my time
which have since sprung up in the city of London; underwriters did
the business, and my wife's life was as well known among them as, I do
believe, that of any woman in Christendom. Latterly, when I wanted to
get a sum against her life, the rascals had the impudence to say my
treatment of her did not render it worth a year's purchase,--as if my
interest lay in killing her! Had my boy lived, it would have been a
different thing; he and his mother might have cut off the entail of a
good part of the property between them, and my affairs have been put in
better order. Now they were in a bad condition indeed. All my schemes
had turned out failures; my lands, which I had purchased with borrowed
money, made me no return, and I was obliged to pay ruinous interest for
the sums with which I had purchased them. My income, though very large,
was saddled with hundreds of annuities, and thousands of lawyers'
charges; and I felt the net drawing closer and closer round me, and no
means to extricate myself from its toils.

To add to all my perplexities, two years after my poor child's death, my
wife, whose vagaries of temper and wayward follies I had borne with for
twelve years, wanted to leave me, and absolutely made attempts at what
she called escaping from my tyranny.

My mother, who was the only person that, in my misfortunes, remained
faithful to me (indeed, she has always spoken of me in my true light, as
a martyr to the rascality of others and a victim of my own generous and
confiding temper), found out the first scheme that was going on; and
of which those artful and malicious Tiptoffs were, as usual, the main
promoters. Mrs. Barry, indeed, though her temper was violent and her
ways singular, was an invaluable person to me in my house; which would
have been at rack and ruin long before, but for her spirit of order
and management, and for her excellent economy in the government of my
numerous family. As for my Lady Lyndon, she, poor soul! was much too
fine a lady to attend to household matters--passed her days with her
doctor, or her books of piety, and never appeared among us except at my
compulsion; when she and my mother would be sure to have a quarrel.

Mrs. Barry, on the contrary, had a talent for management in all matters.
She kept the maids stirring, and the footmen to their duty; had an eye
over the claret in the cellar, and the oats and hay in the stable; saw
to the salting and pickling, the potatoes and the turf-stacking, the
pig-killing and the poultry, the linen-room and the bakehouse, and the
ten thousand minutiae of a great establishment. If all Irish housewives
were like her, I warrant many a hall-fire would be blazing where the
cobwebs only grow now, and many a park covered with sheep and fat cattle
where the thistles are at present the chief occupiers. If anything
could have saved me from the consequences of villainy in others, and
(I confess it, for I am not above owning to my faults) my own too easy,
generous, and careless nature, it would have been the admirable prudence
of that worthy creature. She never went to bed until all the house was
quiet and all the candles out; and you may fancy that this was a matter
of some difficulty with a man of my habits, who had commonly a dozen of
jovial fellows (artful scoundrels and false friends most of them were!)
to drink with me every night, and who seldom, for my part, went to bed
sober. Many and many a night, when I was unconscious of her attention,
has that good soul pulled my boots off, and seen me laid by my servants
snug in bed, and carried off the candle herself; and been the first
in the morning, too, to bring me my drink of small-beer. Mine were no
milksop times, I can tell you. A gentleman thought no shame of taking
his half-dozen bottles; and, as for your coffee and slops, they were
left to Lady Lyndon, her doctor, and the other old women. It was my
mother's pride that I could drink more than any man in the country,--as
much, within a pint, as my father before me, she said.

That Lady Lyndon should detest her was quite natural. She is not the
first of woman or mankind either that has hated a mother-in-law. I set
my mother to keep a sharp watch over the freaks of her Ladyship; and
this, you may be sure, was one of the reasons why the latter disliked
her. I never minded that, however. Mrs. Barry's assistance and
surveillance were invaluable to me; and, if I had paid twenty spies
to watch my Lady, I should not have been half so well served as by the
disinterested care and watchfulness of my excellent mother. She slept
with the house-keys under her pillow, and had an eye everywhere. She
followed all the Countess's movements like a shadow; she managed to
know, from morning to night, everything that my Lady did. If she walked
in the garden, a watchful eye was kept on the wicket; and if she chose
to drive out, Mrs. Barry accompanied her, and a couple of fellows in my
liveries rode alongside of the carriage to see that she came to no harm.
Though she objected, and would have kept her room in sullen silence,
I made a point that we should appear together at church in the
coach-and-six every Sunday; and that she should attend the race-balls
in my company, whenever the coast was clear of the rascally bailiffs who
beset me. This gave the lie to any of those maligners who said I wished
to make a prisoner of my wife. The fact is, that, knowing her levity,
and seeing the insane dislike to me and mine which had now begun to
supersede what, perhaps, had been an equally insane fondness for me, I
was bound to be on my guard that she should not give me the slip. Had
she left me, I was ruined the next day. This (which my mother knew)
compelled us to keep a tight watch over her; but as for imprisoning her,
I repel the imputation with scorn. Every man imprisons his wife to a
certain degree; the world would be in a pretty condition if women were
allowed to quit home and return to it whenever they had a mind. In
watching over my wife, Lady Lyndon, I did no more than exercise the
legitimate authority which awards honour and obedience to every husband.

Such, however, is female artifice, that, in spite of all my watchfulness
in guarding her, it is probable my Lady would have given me the slip,
had I not had quite as acute a person as herself as my ally: for, as
the proverb says that 'the best way to catch one thief is to set another
after him,' so the best way to get the better of a woman is to engage
one of her own artful sex to guard her. One would have thought that,
followed as she was, all her letters read, and all her acquaintances
strictly watched by me, living in a remote part of Ireland away from her
family, Lady Lyndon could have had no chance of communicating with
her allies, or of making her wrongs, as she was pleased to call them,
public; and yet, for a while, she carried on a correspondence under my
very nose, and acutely organised a conspiracy for flying from me; as
shall be told.

She always had an inordinate passion for dress, and, as she was never
thwarted in any whimsey she had of this kind (for I spared no money to
gratify her, and among my debts are milliners' bills to the amount of
many thousands), boxes used to pass continually to and fro from Dublin,
with all sorts of dresses, caps, flounces, and furbelows, as her fancy
dictated. With these would come letters from her milliner, in answer to
numerous similar injunctions from my Lady; all of which passed through
my hands, without the least suspicion, for some time. And yet in these
very papers, by the easy means of sympathetic ink, were contained all
her Ladyship's correspondence; and Heaven knows (for it was some time,
as I have said, before I discovered the trick) what charges against me.

But clever Mrs. Barry found out that always before my lady-wife chose to
write letters to her milliner, she had need of lemons to make her drink,
as she said; this fact, being mentioned to me, set me a-thinking, and
so I tried one of the letters before the fire, and the whole scheme
of villainy was brought to light. I will give a specimen of one of the
horrid artful letters of this unhappy woman. In a great hand, with wide
lines, were written a set of directions to her mantua-maker, setting
forth the articles of dress for which my Lady had need, the peculiarity
of their make, the stuff she selected, &c. She would make out long lists
in this way, writing each article in a separate line, so as to have more
space for detailing all my cruelties and her tremendous wrongs. Between
these lines she kept the journal of her captivity: it would have made
the fortune of a romance-writer in those days but to have got a copy of
it, and to have published it under the title of the 'Lovely Prisoner,
or the Savage Husband,' or by some name equally taking and absurd. The
journal would be as follows:--

*****

'MONDAY.--Yesterday I was made to go to church. My odious, MONSTROUS,
VULGAR SHE-DRAGON OF A MOTHER-IN-LAW, in a yellow satin and red ribands,
taking the first place in the coach; Mr. L. riding by its side, on the
horse he never paid for to Captain Hurdlestone. The wicked hypocrite led
me to the pew, with hat in hand and a smiling countenance, and kissed
my hand as I entered the coach after service, and patted my Italian
greyhound--all that the few people collected might see. He made me
come downstairs in the evening to make tea for his company; of whom
three-fourths, he himself included, were, as usual, drunk. They painted
the parson's face black, when his reverence had arrived at his seventh
bottle; and at his usual insensible stage, they tied him on the grey
mare with his face to the tail. The she-dragon read the "Whole Duty of
Man" all the evening till bedtime; when she saw me to my apartments,
locked me in, and proceeded to wait upon her abominable son: whom she
adores for his wickedness, I should think, AS STYCORAX DID CALIBAN.'

*****

You should have seen my mother's fury as I read her out this passage!
Indeed, I have always had a taste for a joke (that practised on the
parson, as described above, is, I confess, a true bill), and used
carefully to select for Mrs. Barry's hearing all the COMPLIMENTS that
Lady Lyndon passed upon her. The dragon was the name by which she was
known in this precious correspondence: or sometimes she was designated
by the title of the 'Irish Witch.' As for me, I was denominated 'my
gaoler,' 'my tyrant,' 'the dark spirit which has obtained the mastery
over my being,' and so on; in terms always complimentary to my power,
however little they might be so to my amiability. Here is another
extract from her 'Prison Diary,' by which it will be seen that my Lady,
although she pretended to be so indifferent to my goings on, had a sharp
woman's eye, and could be as jealous as another:--

*****

'WEDNESDAY.--This day two years my last hope and pleasure in life was
taken from me, and my dear child was called to heaven. Has he joined his
neglected brother there, whom I suffered to grow up unheeded by my side:
and whom the tyranny of the monster to whom I am united drove to exile,
and perhaps to death? Or is the child alive, as my fond heart sometimes
deems? Charles Bullingdon! come to the aid of a wretched mother, who
acknowledges her crimes, her coldness towards thee, and now bitterly
pays for her error! But no, he cannot live! I am distracted! My only
hope is in you, my cousin--you whom I had once thought to salute by a
STILL FONDER TITLE, my dear George Poynings! Oh, be my knight and my
preserver, the true chivalric being thou ever wert, and rescue me from
the thrall of the felon caitiff who holds me captive--rescue me from
him, and from Stycorax, the vile Irish witch, his mother!'

(Here follow some verses, such as her Ladyship was in the habit of
composing by reams, in which she compares herself to Sabra, in the
'Seven Champions,' and beseeches her George to rescue her from THE
DRAGON, meaning Mrs. Barry. I omit the lines, and proceed:)--

'Even my poor child, who perished untimely on this sad anniversary, the
tyrant who governs me had taught to despise and dislike me. 'Twas
in disobedience to my orders, my prayers, that he went on the fatal
journey. What sufferings, what humiliations have I had to endure since
then! I am a prisoner in my own halls. I should fear poison, but that I
know the wretch has a sordid interest in keeping me alive, and that my
death would be the signal for his ruin. But I dare not stir without my
odious, hideous, vulgar gaoler, the horrid Irishwoman, who pursues my
every step. I am locked into my chamber at night, like a felon, and
only suffered to leave it when ORDERED into the presence of my lord (_I_
ordered!), to be present at his orgies with his boon companions, and
to hear his odious converse as he lapses into the disgusting madness of
intoxication! He has given up even the semblance of constancy--he, who
swore that I alone could attach or charm him! And now he brings
his vulgar mistresses before my very eyes, and would have had me
acknowledge, as heir to my own property, his child by another!

'No, I never will submit! Thou, and thou only, my George, my early
friend, shalt be heir to the estates of Lyndon. Why did not Fate join me
to thee, instead of to the odious man who holds me under his sway, and
make the poor Calista happy?'

*****

So the letters would run on for sheets upon sheets, in the closest
cramped handwriting; and I leave any unprejudiced reader to say whether
the writer of such documents must not have been as silly and vain a
creature as ever lived, and whether she did not want being taken care
of? I could copy out yards of rhapsody to Lord George Poynings, her old
flame, in which she addressed him by the most affectionate names, and
implored him to find a refuge for her against her oppressors; but they
would fatigue the reader to peruse, as they would me to copy. The fact
is, that this unlucky lady had the knack of writing a great deal more
than she meant. She was always reading novels and trash; putting
herself into imaginary characters and flying off into heroics and
sentimentalities with as little heart as any woman I ever knew; yet
showing the most violent disposition to be in love. She wrote always as
if she was in a flame of passion. I have an elegy on her lap-dog, the
most tender and pathetic piece she ever wrote; and most tender notes
of remonstrance to Betty, her favourite maid; to her housekeeper, on
quarrelling with her; to half-a-dozen acquaintances, each of whom she
addressed as the dearest friend in the world, and forgot the very moment
she took up another fancy. As for her love for her children, the above
passage will show how much she was capable of true maternal feeling:
the very sentence in which she records the death of one child serves
to betray her egotisms, and to wreak her spleen against myself; and she
only wishes to recall another from the grave, in order that he may be of
some personal advantage to her. If I DID deal severely with this woman,
keeping her from her flatterers who would have bred discord between us,
and locking her up out of mischief, who shall say that I was wrong? If
any woman deserved a strait-waistcoat,--it was my Lady Lyndon; and I
have known people in my time manacled, and with their heads shaved, in
the straw, who had not committed half the follies of that foolish, vain,
infatuated creature.

My mother was so enraged by the charges against me and herself which
these letters contained, that it was with the utmost difficulty I could
keep her from discovering our knowledge of them to Lady Lyndon; whom it
was, of course, my object to keep in ignorance of our knowledge of her
designs: for I was anxious to know how far they went, and to what pitch
of artifice she would go. The letters increased in interest (as they say
of the novels) as they proceeded. Pictures were drawn of my treatment
of her which would make your heart throb. I don't know of what
monstrosities she did not accuse me, and what miseries and starvation
she did not profess herself to undergo; all the while she was living
exceedingly fat and contented, to outward appearances, at our house at
Castle Lyndon. Novel-reading and vanity had turned her brain. I could
not say a rough word to her (and she merited many thousands a day, I
can tell you), but she declared I was putting her to the torture; and
my mother could not remonstrate with her but she went off into a fit of
hysterics, of which she would declare the worthy old lady was the cause.

At last she began to threaten to kill herself; and though I by no means
kept the cutlery out of the way, did not stint her in garters, and left
her doctor's shop at her entire service,--knowing her character full
well, and that there was no woman in Christendom less likely to lay
hands on her precious life than herself; yet these threats had an
effect, evidently, in the quarter to which they were addressed; for the
milliner's packets now began to arrive with great frequency, and the
bills sent to her contained assurances of coming aid. The chivalrous
Lord George Poynings was coming to his cousin's rescue, and did me
the compliment to say that he hoped to free his dear cousin from the
clutches of the most atrocious villain that ever disgraced humanity; and
that, when she was free, measures should be taken for a divorce, on the
ground of cruelty and every species of ill-usage on my part.

I had copies of all these precious documents on one side and the other
carefully made, by my beforementioned relative, godson, and secretary,
Mr. Redmond Quin at present the WORTHY agent of the Castle Lyndon
property. This was a son of my old flame Nora, whom I had taken from her
in a fit of generosity; promising to care for his education at Trinity
College, and provide for him through life. But after the lad had been
for a year at the University, the tutors would not admit him to commons
or lectures until his college bills were paid; and, offended by this
insolent manner of demanding the paltry sum due, I withdrew my patronage
from the place, and ordered my gentleman to Castle Lyndon; where I made
him useful to me in a hundred ways. In my dear little boy's lifetime,
he tutored the poor child as far as his high spirit would let him; but
I promise you it was small trouble poor dear Bryan ever gave the
books. Then he kept Mrs. Barry's accounts; copied my own interminable
correspondence with my lawyers and the agents of all my various
property; took a hand at piquet or backgammon of evenings with me and
my mother; or, being an ingenious lad enough (though of a mean boorish
spirit, as became the son of such a father), accompanied my Lady
Lyndon's spinet with his flageolet; or read French and Italian with her:
in both of which languages her Ladyship was a fine scholar, and with
which he also became conversant. It would make my watchful old mother
very angry to hear them conversing in these languages; for, not
understanding a word of either of them, Mrs. Barry was furious when they
were spoken, and always said it was some scheming they were after. It
was Lady Lyndon's constant way of annoying the old lady, when the three
were alone together, to address Quin in one or other of these tongues.

I was perfectly at ease with regard to his fidelity, for I had bred the
lad, and loaded him with benefits; and, besides, had had various proofs
of his trustworthiness. He it was who brought me three of Lord George's
letters, in reply to some of my Lady's complaints; which were concealed
between the leather and the boards of a book which was sent from the
circulating library for her Ladyship's perusal. He and my Lady too had
frequent quarrels. She mimicked his gait in her pleasanter moments;
in her haughty moods, she would not sit down to table with a tailor's
grandson. 'Send me anything for company but that odious Quin,' she would
say, when I proposed that he should go and amuse her with his books and
his flute; for, quarrelsome as we were, it must not be supposed we were
always at it: I was occasionally attentive to her. We would be friends
for a month together, sometimes; then we would quarrel for a fortnight;
then she would keep her apartments for a month: all of which domestic
circumstances were noted down, in her Ladyship's peculiar way, in her
journal of captivity, as she called it; and a pretty document it is!
Sometimes she writes, 'My monster has been almost kind to-day;' or, 'My
ruffian has deigned to smile.' Then she will break out into expressions
of savage hate; but for my poor mother it was ALWAYS hatred. It was,
'The she-dragon is sick to-day; I wish to Heaven she would die!' or,
'The hideous old Irish basketwoman has been treating me to some of her
Billingsgate to-day,' and so forth: all which expressions, read to Mrs.
Barry, or translated from the French and Italian, in which many of them
were written, did not fail to keep the old lady in a perpetual fury
against her charge: and so I had my watch-dog, as I called her, always
on the alert. In translating these languages, young Quin was of great
service to me; for I had a smattering of French--and High Dutch, when I
was in the army, of course, I knew well--but Italian I knew nothing of,
and was glad of the services of so faithful and cheap an interpreter.

This cheap and faithful interpreter, this godson and kinsman, on whom
and on whose family I had piled up benefits, was actually trying to
betray me; and for several months, at least, was in league with the
enemy against me. I believe that the reason why they did not move
earlier was the want of the great mover of all treasons--money: of
which, in all parts of my establishment, there was a woful scarcity; but
of this they also managed to get a supply through my rascal of a godson,
who could come and go quite unsuspected: the whole scheme was arranged
under our very noses, and the post-chaise ordered, and the means of
escape actually got ready; while I never suspected their design.

A mere accident made me acquainted with their plan. One of my colliers
had a pretty daughter; and this pretty lass had for her bachelor, as
they call them in Ireland, a certain lad, who brought the letter-bag
for Castle Lyndon (and many a dunning letter for me was there in it, God
wot!): this letter-boy told his sweetheart how he brought a bag of money
from the town for Master Quin; and how that Tim the post-boy had told
him that he was to bring a chaise down to the water at a certain hour.
Miss Rooney, who had no secrets from me, blurted out the whole story;
asked me what scheming I was after, and what poor unlucky girl I was
going to carry away with the chaise I had ordered, and bribe with the
money I had got from town?

Then the whole secret flashed upon me, that the man I had cherished in
my bosom was going to betray me. I thought at one time of catching the
couple in the act of escape, half drowning them in the ferry which they
had to cross to get to their chaise, and of pistolling the young traitor
before Lady Lyndon's eyes; but, on second thoughts, it was quite clear
that the news of the escape would make a noise through the country, and
rouse the confounded justice's people about my ears, and bring me no
good in the end. So I was obliged to smother my just indignation, and
to content myself by crushing the foul conspiracy, just at the moment it
was about to be hatched.

I went home, and in half-an-hour, and with a few of my terrible looks, I
had Lady Lyndon on her knees, begging me to forgive her; confessing
all and everything; ready to vow and swear she would never make such an
attempt again; and declaring that she was fifty times on the point of
owning everything to me, but that she feared my wrath against the poor
young lad her accomplice: who was indeed the author and inventor of
all the mischief. This--though I knew how entirely false the statement
was--I was fain to pretend to believe; so I begged her to write to her
cousin, Lord George, who had supplied her with money, as she admitted,
and with whom the plan had been arranged, stating, briefly, that she had
altered her mind as to the trip to the country proposed; and that, as
her dear husband was rather in delicate health, she preferred to stay at
home and nurse him. I added a dry postscript, in which I stated that it
would give me great pleasure if his Lordship would come and visit us
at Castle Lyndon, and that I longed to renew an acquaintance which in
former times gave me so much satisfaction. 'I should seek him out,'
I added, 'so soon as ever I was in his neighbourhood, and eagerly
anticipated the pleasure of a meeting with him.' I think he must have
understood my meaning perfectly well; which was, that I would run him
through the body on the very first occasion I could come at him.

Then I had a scene with my perfidious rascal of a nephew; in which the
young reprobate showed an audacity and a spirit for which I was quite
unprepared. When I taxed him with ingratitude, 'What do I owe you?' said
he. 'I have toiled for you as no man ever did for another, and worked
without a penny of wages. It was you yourself who set me against you,
by giving me a task against which my soul revolted,--by making me a spy
over your unfortunate wife, whose weakness is as pitiable as are her
misfortunes and your rascally treatment of her. Flesh and blood could
not bear to see the manner in which you used her. I tried to help her
to escape from you; and I would do it again, if the opportunity offered,
and so I tell you to your teeth!' When I offered to blow his brains out
for his insolence, 'Pooh!' said he,--'kill the man who saved your poor
boy's life once, and who was endeavouring to keep him out of the
ruin and perdition into which a wicked father was leading him, when a
Merciful Power interposed, and withdrew him from this house of crime? I
would have left you months ago, but I hoped for some chance of rescuing
this unhappy lady. I swore I would try, the day I saw you strike her.
Kill me, you woman's bully! You would if you dared; but you have not the
heart. Your very servants like me better than you. Touch me, and they
will rise and send you to the gallows you merit!'

I interrupted this neat speech by sending a water-bottle at the young
gentleman's head, which felled him to the ground; and then I went to
meditate upon what he had said to me. It was true the fellow had saved
poor little Bryan's life, and the boy to his dying day was tenderly
attached to him. 'Be good to Redmond, papa,' were almost the last words
he spoke; and I promised the poor child, on his death-bed, that I would
do as he asked. It was also true, that rough usage of him would be
little liked by my people, with whom he had managed to become a great
favourite: for, somehow, though I got drunk with the rascals often, and
was much more familiar with them than a man of my rank commonly is,
yet I knew I was by no means liked by them; and the scoundrels were
murmuring against me perpetually.

But I might have spared myself the trouble of debating what his fate
should be, for the young gentleman took the disposal of it out of my
hands in the simplest way in the world: viz. by washing and binding up
his head so soon as he came to himself: by taking his horse from the
stables; and, as he was quite free to go in and out of the house and
park as he liked, he disappeared without the least let or hindrance;
and leaving the horse behind him at the ferry, went off in the very
post-chaise which was waiting for Lady Lyndon. I saw and heard no more
of him for a considerable time; and now that he was out of the house,
did not consider him a very troublesome enemy.

But the cunning artifice of woman is such that, I think, in the long
run, no man, were he Machiavel himself, could escape from it; and
though I had ample proofs in the above transaction (in which my wife's
perfidious designs were frustrated by my foresight), and under her own
handwriting, of the deceitfulness of her character and her hatred
for me, yet she actually managed to deceive me, in spite of all my
precautions and the vigilance of my mother in my behalf. Had I followed
that good lady's advice, who scented the danger from afar off, as it
were, I should never have fallen into the snare prepared for me; and
which was laid in a way that was as successful as it was simple.

My Lady Lyndon's relation with me was a singular one. Her life was
passed in a crack-brained sort of alternation between love and hatred
for me. If I was in a good-humour with her (as occurred sometimes) there
was nothing she would not do to propitiate me further; and she would
be as absurd and violent in her expressions of fondness as, at other
moments, she would be in her demonstrations of hatred. It is not your
feeble easy husbands who are loved best in the world; according to my
experience of it. I do think the women like a little violence of temper,
and think no worse of a husband who exercises his authority pretty
smartly. I had got my Lady into such a terror about me, that when I
smiled, it was quite an era of happiness to her; and if I beckoned to
her, she would come fawning up to me like a dog. I recollect how, for
the few days I was at school, the cowardly mean-spirited fellows would
laugh if ever our schoolmaster made a joke. It was the same in
the regiment whenever the bully of a sergeant was disposed to be
jocular--not a recruit but was on the broad grin. Well, a wise and
determined husband will get his wife into this condition of discipline;
and I brought my high-born wife to kiss my hand, to pull off my boots,
to fetch and carry for me like a servant, and always to make it a
holiday, too, when I was in good-humour. I confided perhaps too much
in the duration of this disciplined obedience, and forgot that the very
hypocrisy which forms a part of it (all timid people are liars in their
hearts) may be exerted in a way that may be far from agreeable, in order
to deceive you.

After the ill-success of her last adventure, which gave me endless
opportunities to banter her, one would have thought I might have been on
my guard as to what her real intentions were; but she managed to mislead
me with an art of dissimulation quite admirable, and lulled me into a
fatal security with regard to her intentions: for, one day, as I was
joking her, and asking her whether she would take the water again,
whether she had found another lover, and so forth, she suddenly burst
into tears, and, seizing hold of my hand, cried passionately out,--

'Ah, Barry, you know well enough that I have never loved but you! Was I
ever so wretched that a kind word from you did not make me happy! ever
so angry, but the least offer of goodwill on your part did not bring me
to your side? Did I not give a sufficient proof of my affection for
you, in bestowing one of the first fortunes in England upon you? Have I
repined or rebuked you for the way you have wasted it? No, I loved you
too much and too fondly; I have always loved you. From the first moment
I saw you, I felt irresistibly attracted towards you. I saw your bad
qualities, and trembled at your violence; but I could not help loving
you. I married you, though I knew I was sealing my own fate in doing so;
and in spite of reason and duty. What sacrifice do you want from me? I
am ready to make any, so you will but love me; or, if not, that at least
you will gently use me.'

I was in a particularly good humour that day, and we had a sort of
reconciliation: though my mother, when she heard the speech, and saw me
softening towards her Ladyship, warned me solemnly, and said, 'Depend
on it, the artful hussy has some other scheme in her head now.' The old
lady was right; and I swallowed the bait which her Ladyship had prepared
to entrap me as simply as any gudgeon takes a hook.

I had been trying to negotiate with a man for some money, for which I
had pressing occasion; but since our dispute regarding the affair of
the succession, my Lady had resolutely refused to sign any papers for my
advantage: and without her name, I am sorry to say, my own was of little
value in the market, and I could not get a guinea from any money-dealer
in London or Dublin. Nor could I get the rascals from the latter place
to visit me at Castle Lyndon: owing to that unlucky affair I had with
Lawyer Sharp when I made him lend me the money he brought down, and
old Salmon the Jew being robbed of the bond I gave him after leaving my
house, [Footnote: These exploits of Mr. Lyndon are not related in the
narrative. He probably, in the cases above alluded to, took the law into
his own hands.] the people would not trust themselves within my walls
any more. Our rents, too, were in the hands of receivers by this time,
and it was as much as I could do to get enough money from the rascals to
pay my wine-merchants their bills. Our English property, as I have
said, was equally hampered; and, as often as I applied to my lawyers and
agents for money, would come a reply demanding money of me, for debts
and pretended claims which the rapacious rascals said they had on me.

It was, then, with some feelings of pleasure that I got a letter from
my confidential man in Gray's Inn, London, saying (in reply to some
ninety-ninth demand of mine) that he thought he could get me some money;
and inclosing a letter from a respectable firm in the city of London,
connected with the mining interest, which offered to redeem the
incumbrance in taking a long lease of certain property of ours, which
was still pretty free, upon the Countess's signature; and provided they
could be assured of her free will in giving it. They said they heard
she lived in terror of her life from me, and meditated a separation, in
which case she might repudiate any deeds signed by her while in durance,
and subject them, at any rate, to a doubtful and expensive litigation;
and demanded to be made assured of her Ladyship's perfect free will in
the transaction before they advanced a shilling of their capital.

Their terms were so exorbitant, that I saw at once their offer must be
sincere; and, as my Lady was in her gracious mood, had no difficulty in
persuading her to write a letter, in her own hand, declaring that the
accounts of our misunderstandings were utter calumnies; that we lived
in perfect union, and that she was quite ready to execute any deed which
her husband might desire her to sign.

This proposal was a very timely one, and filled me with great hopes.
I have not pestered my readers with many accounts of my debts and law
affairs; which were by this time so vast and complicated that I never
thoroughly knew them myself, and was rendered half wild by their
urgency. Suffice it to say, my money was gone--my credit was done. I was
living at Castle Lyndon off my own beef and mutton, and the bread, turf,
and potatoes off my own estate: I had to watch Lady Lyndon within, and
the bailiffs without. For the last two years, since I went to Dublin
to receive money (which I unluckily lost at play there, to the
disappointment of my creditors), I did not venture to show in that city:
and could only appear at our own county town at rare intervals, and
because I knew the sheriffs: whom I swore I would murder if any ill
chance happened to me. A chance of a good loan, then, was the most
welcome prospect possible to me, and I hailed it with all the eagerness
imaginable.

In reply to Lady Lyndon's letter, came, in course of time, an answer
from the confounded London merchants, stating that if her Ladyship
would confirm by word of mouth, at their counting-house in Birchin Lane,
London, the statement of her letter, they, having surveyed her property,
would no doubt come to terms; but they declined incurring the risk of
a visit to Castle Lyndon to negotiate, as they were aware how other
respectable parties, such as Messrs. Sharp and Salmon of Dublin,
had been treated there. This was a hit at me; but there are certain
situations in which people can't dictate their own terms: and, 'faith,
I was so pressed now for money, that I could have signed a bond with Old
Nick himself, if he had come provided with a good round sum.

I resolved to go and take the Countess to London. It was in vain that
my mother prayed and warned me. 'Depend on it,' says she, 'there is some
artifice. When once you get into that wicked town, you are not safe.
Here you may live for years and years, in luxury and splendour, barring
claret and all the windows broken; but as soon as they have you in
London, they'll get the better of my poor innocent lad; and the first
thing I shall hear of you will be, that you are in trouble.'

'Why go, Redmond?' said my wife. 'I am happy here, as long as you are
kind to me, as you are now. We can't appear in London as we ought; the
little money you will get will be spent, like all the rest has been.
Let us turn shepherd and shepherdess, and look to our flocks and be
content.' And she took my hand and kissed it; while my mother only said,
'Humph! I believe she's at the bottom of it--the wicked SCHAMER!'

I told my wife she was a fool; bade Mrs. Barry not be uneasy, and was
hot upon going: I would take no denial from either party. How I was to
get the money to go was the question; but that was solved by my good
mother, who was always ready to help me on a pinch, and who produced
sixty guineas from a stocking. This was all the ready money that Barry
Lyndon, of Castle Lyndon, and married to a fortune of forty thousand a
year, could command: such had been the havoc made in this fine fortune
by my own extravagance (as I must confess), but chiefly by my misplaced
confidence and the rascality of others.

We did not start in state, you may be sure. We did not let the country
know we were going, or leave notice of adieu with our neighbours. The
famous Mr. Barry Lyndon and his noble wife travelled in a hack-chaise
and pair to Waterford, under the name of Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and thence
took shipping for Bristol, where we arrived quite without accident. When
a man is going to the deuce, how easy and pleasant the journey is! The
thought of the money quite put me in a good humour, and my wife, as she
lay on my shoulder in the post-chaise going to London, said it was the
happiest ride she had taken since our marriage.

One night we stayed at Reading, whence I despatched a note to my agent
at Gray's Inn, saying I would be with him during the day, and begging
him to procure me a lodging, and to hasten the preparations for the
loan. My Lady and I agreed that we would go to France, and wait there
for better times; and that night, over our supper, formed a score of
plans both for pleasure and retrenchment. You would have thought it
was Darby and Joan together over their supper. O woman! woman! when I
recollect Lady Lyndon's smiles and blandishments--how happy she seemed
to be on that night! what an air of innocent confidence appeared in
her behaviour, and what affectionate names she called me!--I am lost
in wonder at the depth of her hypocrisy. Who can be surprised that an
unsuspecting person like myself should have been a victim to such a
consummate deceiver!

We were in London at three o'clock, and half-an-hour before the time
appointed our chaise drove to Gray's Inn. I easily found out Mr.
Tapewell's apartments--a gloomy den it was, and in an unlucky hour I
entered it! As we went up the dirty back-stair, lighted by a feeble lamp
and the dim sky of a dismal London afternoon, my wife seemed agitated
and faint.

'Redmond,' said she, as we got up to the door, 'don't go in: I am
sure there is danger. There's time yet; let us go back--to
Ireland--anywhere!' And she put herself before the door, in one of her
theatrical attitudes, and took my hand.

I just pushed her away to one side. 'Lady Lyndon,' said I, 'you are an
old fool!'

'Old fool!' said she; and she jumped at the bell, which was quickly
answered by a mouldy-looking gentleman in an unpowdered wig, to whom she
cried, 'Say Lady Lyndon is here;' and stalked down the passage muttering
'Old fool.' It was 'OLD' which was the epithet that touched her. I might
call her anything but that.

Mr. Tapewell was in his musty room, surrounded by his parchments and tin
boxes. He advanced and bowed; begged her Ladyship to be seated; pointed
towards a chair for me, which I took, rather wondering at his insolence;
and then retreated to a side-door, saying he would be back in one
moment.

And back he DID come in one moment, bringing with him--whom do you
think? Another lawyer, six constables in red waistcoats with bludgeons
and pistols, my Lord George Poynings, and his aunt Lady Jane Peckover.

When my Lady Lyndon saw her old flame, she flung herself into his arms
in an hysterical passion. She called him her saviour, her preserver,
her gallant knight; and then, turning round to me, poured out a flood of
invective which quite astonished me.

'Old fool as I am,' said she, 'I have outwitted the most crafty and
treacherous monster under the sun. Yes, I WAS a fool when I married you,
and gave up other and nobler hearts for your sake--yes, I was a fool
when I forgot my name and lineage to unite myself with a base-born
adventurer--a fool to bear, without repining, the most monstrous tyranny
that ever woman suffered; to allow my property to be squandered; to see
women, as base and low-born as yourself'--

'For Heaven's sake, be calm!' cries the lawyer; and then bounded back
behind the constables, seeing a threatening look in my eye which the
rascal did not like. Indeed. I could have torn him to pieces, had he
come near me. Meanwhile, my Lady continued in a strain of incoherent
fury; screaming against me, and against my mother especially, upon whom
she heaped abuse worthy of Billingsgate, and always beginning and ending
the sentence with the word fool.

'You don't tell all, my Lady,' says I bitterly; 'I said OLD fool.'

'I have no doubt you said and did, sir, everything that a blackguard
could say or do,' interposed little Poynings. 'This lady is now safe
under the protection of her relations and the law, and need fear your
infamous persecutions no longer.'

'But YOU are not safe,' roared I; 'and, as sure as I am a man of honour,
and have tasted your blood once, I will have your heart's blood now.'

'Take down his words, constables: swear the peace against him!' screamed
the little lawyer, from behind his tipstaffs.

'I would not sully my sword with the blood of such a ruffian,' cried my
Lord, relying on the same doughty protection. 'If the scoundrel remains
in London another day, he will be seized as a common swindler.' And this
threat indeed made me wince; for I knew that there were scores of writs
out against me in town, and that once in prison my case was hopeless.

'Where's the man will seize me!' shouted I, drawing my sword, and
placing my back to the door. 'Let the scoundrel come. You--you cowardly
braggart, come first, if you have the soul of a man!'

'We're not going to seize you!' said the lawyer; my Ladyship, her aunt,
and a division of the bailiffs moving off as he spoke. 'My dear sir, we
don't wish to seize you: we will give you a handsome sum to leave the
country; only leave her Ladyship in peace!'

'And the country will be well rid of such a villain!' says my Lord,
retreating too, and not sorry to get out of my reach: and the scoundrel
of a lawyer followed him, leaving me in possession of the apartment, and
in company of the bullies from the police-office, who were all armed to
the teeth. I was no longer the man I was at twenty, when I should have
charged the ruffians sword in hand, and have sent at least one of them
to his account. I was broken in spirit; regularly caught in the toils:
utterly baffled and beaten by that woman. Was she relenting at the door,
when she paused and begged me turn back? Had she not a lingering love
for me still? Her conduct showed it, as I came to reflect on it. It was
my only chance now left in the world, so I put down my sword upon the
lawyer's desk.

'Gentlemen,' said I, 'I shall use no violence; you may tell Mr. Tapewell
I am quite ready to speak with him when he is at leisure!' and I sat
down and folded my arms quite peaceably. What a change from the Barry
Lyndon of old days! but, as I have read in an old book about Hannibal
the Carthaginian general, when he invaded the Romans, his troops, which
were the most gallant in the world, and carried all before them, went
into cantonments in some city where they were so sated with the
luxuries and pleasures of life, that they were easily beaten in the next
campaign. It was so with me now. My strength of mind and body were no
longer those of the brave youth who shot his man at fifteen, and fought
a score of battles within six years afterwards. Now, in the Fleet
Prison, where I write this, there is a small man who is always jeering
me and making game of me; who asks me to fight, and I haven't the
courage to touch him. But I am anticipating the gloomy and wretched
events of my history of humiliation, and had better proceed in order.

I took a lodging in a coffee-house near Gray's Inn; taking care to
inform Mr. Tapewell of my whereabouts, and anxiously expecting a visit
from him. He came and brought me the terms which Lady Lyndon's friends
proposed-a paltry annuity of L300 a year; to be paid on the condition of
my remaining abroad out of the three kingdoms, and to be stopped on the
instant of my return. He told me what I very well knew, that my stay
in London would infallibly plunge me in gaol; that there were writs
innumerable taken out against me here, and in the West of England; that
my credit was so blown upon that I could not hope to raise a shilling;
and he left me a night to consider of his proposal; saying that, if I
refused it, the family would proceed: if I acceded, a quarter's salary
should be paid to me at any foreign port I should prefer.

What was the poor, lonely, and broken-hearted man to do? I took the
annuity, and was declared outlaw in the course of next week. The rascal
Quin had, I found, been, after all, the cause of my undoing. It was he
devised the scheme for bringing me up to London; sealing the attorney's
letter with a seal which had been agreed upon between him and the
Countess formerly: indeed he had always been for trying the plan, and
had proposed it at first; but her Ladyship, with her inordinate love of
romance, preferred the project of elopement. Of these points my mother
wrote me word in my lonely exile, offering at the same time to come over
and share it with me; which proposal I declined. She left Castle Lyndon
a very short time after I had quitted it; and there was silence in that
hall where, under my authority, had been exhibited so much hospitality
and splendour. She thought she would never see me again, and bitterly
reproached me for neglecting her; but she was mistaken in that, and in
her estimate of me. She is very old, and is sitting by my side at this
moment in the prison, working: she has a bedroom in Fleet Market over
the way; and, with the fifty-pound annuity, which she has kept with
a wise prudence, we manage to eke out a miserable existence, quite
unworthy of the famous and fashionable Barry Lyndon.

 Mr. Barry Lyndon's personal narrative finishes here, for the hand
of death interrupted the ingenious author soon after the period at which
the Memoir was compiled; after he had lived nineteen years an inmate
of the Fleet Prison, where the prison records state he died of delirium
tremens. His mother attained a prodigious old age, and the inhabitants
of the place in her time can record with accuracy the daily disputes
which used to take place between mother and son; until the latter, from
habits of intoxication, falling into a state of almost imbecility,
was tended by his tough old parent as a baby almost, and would cry if
deprived of his necessary glass of brandy.

His life on the Continent we have not the means of following accurately;
but he appears to have resumed his former profession of a gambler,
without his former success.

He returned secretly to England, after some time, and made an abortive
attempt to extort money from Lord George Poynings, under a threat of
publishing his correspondence with Lady Lyndon, and so preventing
his Lordship's match with Miss Driver, a great heiress, of strict
principles, and immense property in slaves in the West Indies.
Barry narrowly escaped being taken prisoner by the bailiffs who were
despatched after him by his lordship, who would have stopped his
pension; but Lady Lyndon would never consent to that act of justice,
and, indeed, broke with my Lord George the very moment he married the
West India lady.

The fact is, the old Countess thought her charms were perennial, and was
never out of love with her husband. She was living at Bath; her property
being carefully nursed by her noble relatives the Tiptoffs, who were to
succeed to it in default of direct heirs: and such was the address of
Barry, and the sway he still held over the woman, that he actually had
almost persuaded her to go and live with him again; when his plan and
hers was interrupted by the appearance of a person who had been deemed
dead for several years.

This was no other than Viscount Bullingdon, who started up to the
surprise of all; and especially to that of his kinsman of the house
of Tiptoff. This young nobleman made his appearance at Bath, with
the letter from Barry to Lord George in his hand; in which the former
threatened to expose his connection with Lady Lyndon--a connection,
we need not state, which did not reflect the slightest dishonour upon
either party, and only showed that her Ladyship was in the habit of
writing exceedingly foolish letters; as many ladies, nay gentlemen, have
done ere this. For calling the honour of his mother in question, Lord
Bullingdon assaulted his stepfather (living at Bath under the name of
Mr. Jones), and administered to him a tremendous castigation in the
Pump-Room.

His Lordship's history, since his departure, was a romantic one, which
we do not feel bound to narrate. He had been wounded in the American
War, reported dead, left prisoner, and escaped. The remittances which
were promised him were never sent; the thought of the neglect almost
broke the heart of the wild and romantic young man, and he determined to
remain dead to the world at least, and to the mother who had denied
him. It was in the woods of Canada, and three years after the event had
occurred, that he saw the death of his half-brother chronicled in
the Gentleman's Magazine, under the title of 'Fatal Accident to Lord
Viscount Castle Lyndon;' on which he determined to return to England:
where, though he made himself known, it was with very great difficulty
indeed that he satisfied Lord Tiptoff of the authenticity of his
claim. He was about to pay a visit to his lady mother at Bath, when
he recognised the well-known face of Mr. Barry Lyndon, in spite of the
modest disguise which that gentleman wore, and revenged upon his person
the insults of former days.

Lady Lyndon was furious when she heard of the rencounter; declined
to see her son, and was for rushing at once to the arms of her adored
Barry; but that gentleman had been carried off, meanwhile, from gaol to
gaol, until he was lodged in the hands of Mr. Bendigo, of Chancery Lane,
an assistant to the Sheriff of Middlesex; from whose house he went to
the Fleet Prison. The Sheriff and his assistant, the prisoner, nay, the
prison itself, are now no more.

As long as Lady Lyndon lived, Barry enjoyed his income, and was perhaps
as happy in prison as at any period of his existence; when her Ladyship
died, her successor sternly cut off the annuity, devoting the sum
to charities: which, he said, would make a nobler use of it than the
scoundrel who had enjoyed it hitherto. At his Lordship's death, in the
Spanish campaign, in the year 1811, his estate fell in to the family of
the Tiptoffs, and his title merged in their superior rank; but it does
not appear that the Marquis of Tiptoff (Lord George succeeded to the
title on the demise of his brother) renewed either the pension of Mr.
Barry or the charities which the late lord had endowed. The estate has
vastly improved under his Lordship's careful management. The trees in
Hackton Park are all about forty years old, and the Irish property is
rented in exceedingly small farms to the peasantry; who still entertain
the stranger with stories of the daring and the devilry, and the
wickedness and the fall of Barry Lyndon.

THE END





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