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212 Pages
English
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Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1

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212 Pages
English

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CHARLES O'MALLEY
The Irish Dragoon BY CHARLES LEVER.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2), by Charles Lever This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) Author: Charles Lever Release Date: February 2, 2007 [EBook #8577] [First posted on August 13, 2004] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CHARLES O'MALLEY, I. ***
Produced by The Online Distributed Proofreading Team. Illustrated HTML by David Widger
CHARLES O'MALLEY
The Irish Dragoon
BY CHARLES LEVER.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY PHIZ.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
Volume I.
TO THE MOST NOBLE THE MARQUESS OF DOURO, M.P., D.C.L., ETC., ETC. MY DEAR LORD,— The imperfect attempt to picture forth some scenes of the most
brilliant period of my country's history might naturally suggest their dedication to the son of him who gave that era its glory. I feel, however, in the weakness of the effort, the presumption of such a thought, and would simply ask of you to accept these volumes as a souvenir of many delightful hours passed long since in your society, and a testimony of the deep pride with which I regard the honor of your friendship. Believe me, my dear ...

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CHARLES O'MALLEY The Irish Dragoon BY CHARLES LEVER. The Project Gutenberg EBook of Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2), by Charles Lever This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 1 (of 2) Author: Charles Lever Release Date: February 2, 2007 [EBook #8577] [First posted on August 13, 2004] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CHARLES O'MALLEY, I. *** Produced by The Online Distributed Proofreading Team. Illustrated HTML by David Widger CHARLES O'MALLEY The Irish Dragoon BY CHARLES LEVER. WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY PHIZ. IN TWO VOLUMES. Volume I. TO THE MOST NOBLE THE MARQUESS OF DOURO, M.P., D.C.L., ETC., ETC. MY DEAR LORD,— The imperfect attempt to picture forth some scenes of the most brilliant period of my country's history might naturally suggest their dedication to the son of him who gave that era its glory. I feel, however, in the weakness of the effort, the presumption of such a thought, and would simply ask of you to accept these volumes as a souvenir of many delightful hours passed long since in your society, and a testimony of the deep pride with which I regard the honor of your friendship. Believe me, my dear Lord, with every respect and esteem, Yours, most sincerely, THE AUTHOR. BRUSSELS, November, 1841. A WORD OF EXPLANATION. KIND PUBLIC,— Having so lately taken my leave of the stage, in a farewell benefit, it is but fitting that I should explain the circumstances which once more bring me before you,—that I may not appear intrusive, where I have met with but too much indulgence. A blushing debutant—entre nous, the most impudent Irishman that ever swaggered down Sackville Street —has requested me to present him to your acquaintance. He has every ambition to be a favorite with you; but says—God forgive him—he is too bashful for the foot-lights. He has remarked—-as, doubtless, many others have done—upon what very slight grounds, and with what slender pretension, my Confessions have met with favor at the hands of the press and the public; and the idea has occurred to him to indite his own. Had his determination ended here, I should have nothing to object to; but unfortunately, he expects me to become his editor, and in some sort responsible for the faults of his production. I have wasted much eloquence and more breath in assuring him that I was no tried favorite of the public, who dared take liberties with them; that the small rag of reputation I enjoyed, was a very scanty covering for my own nakedness; that the plank which swam with one, would most inevitably sink with two; and lastly, that the indulgence so often bestowed upon a first effort is as frequently converted into censure on the older offender. My arguments have, however, totally failed, and he remains obdurate and unmoved. Under these circumstances I have yielded; and as, happily for me, the short and pithy direction to the river Thames, in the Critic, "to keep between its banks," has been imitated by my friend, I find all that is required of me is to write my name upon the title and go in peace. Such, he informs me, is modern editorship. In conclusion, I would beg, that if the debt he now incurs at your hands remain unpaid, you would kindly bear in mind that your remedy lies against the drawer of the bill and not against its mere humble indorser, HARRY LORREQUER BRUSSELS, March, 1840. PREFACE The success of Harry Lorrequer was the reason for writing Charles O'Malley. That I myself was in no wise prepared for the favor the public bestowed on, my first attempt is easily enough understood. The ease with which I strung my stories together,—and in reality the Confessions of Harry Lorrequer are little other than a note-book of absurd and laughable incidents,—led me to believe that I could draw on this vein of composition without any limit whatever. I felt, or thought I felt, an inexhaustible store of fun and buoyancy within me, and I began to have a misty, half-confused impression that Englishmen generally labored under a sad-colored temperament, took depressing views of life, and were proportionately grateful to any one who would rally them even passingly out of their despondency, and give them a laugh without much trouble for going in search of it. When I set to work to write Charles O'Malley I was, as I have ever been, very low with fortune, and the success of a new venture was pretty much as eventful to me as the turn of the right color at rouge-et-noir. At the same time I had then an amount of spring in my temperament, and a power of enjoying life which I can honestly say I never found surpassed. The world had for me all the interest of an admirable comedy, in which the part allotted myself, if not a high or a foreground one, was eminently suited to my taste, and brought me, besides, sufficiently often on the stage to enable me to follow all the fortunes of the piece. Brussels, where I was then living, was adorned at the period by a most agreeable English society. Some leaders of the fashionable world of London had come there to refit and recruit, both in body and estate. There were several pleasant and a great number of pretty people among them; and so far as I could judge, the fashionable dramas of Belgrave Square and its vicinity were being performed in the Rue Royale and the Boulevard de Waterloo with very considerable success. There were dinners, balls, déjeûners, and picnics in the Bois de Cambre, excursions to Waterloo, and select little parties to Bois-fort,—a charming little resort in the forest whose intense cockneyism became perfectly inoffensive as being in a foreign land, and remote from the invasion of home-bred vulgarity. I mention all these things to show the adjuncts by which I was aided, and the rattle of gayety by which I was, as it were, "accompanied," when I next tried my voice. The soldier element tinctured strongly our society, and I will say most agreeably. Among those whom I remember best were several old Peninsulars. Lord Combermere was of this number, and another of our set was an officer who accompanied, if indeed he did not command, the first boat party who crossed the Douro. It is needless to say how