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  • 1844
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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.



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!



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.



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