Barry Lyndon
William Makepeace Thackeray

Part 5 out of 7

capital without having his name printed in every newspaper and
mentioned in a number of societies. My name and titles were all over
the town the day after my arrival. A great number of polite persons
did me the honour to call at my lodgings, when I selected them; and
this was a point very necessarily of immediate care, for the hotels
in the town were but vulgar holes, unfit for a nobleman of my
fashion and elegance. I had been informed of the fact by travellers
on the Continent; and determining to fix on a lodging at once, I
bade the drivers go slowly up and down the streets with my chariot,
until I had selected a place suitable to my rank. This proceeding,
and the uncouth questions and behaviour of my German Fritz, who was
instructed to make inquiries at the different houses until
convenient apartments could be lighted upon, brought an immense mob
round my coach; and by the time the rooms were chosen you might have
supposed I was the new General of the Forces, so great was the
multitude following us.

I fixed at length upon a handsome suite of apartments in Capel
Street, paid the ragged postilions who had driven me a splendid
gratuity, and establishing myself in the rooms with my baggage and
Fritz, desired the landlord to engage me a second fellow to wear my
liveries, a couple of stout reputable chairmen and their machine,
and a coachman who had handsome job-horses to hire for my chariot,
and serviceable riding-horses to sell. I gave him a handsome sum in
advance; and I promise you the effect of my advertisement was such,
that next day I had a regular levee in my antechamber: grooms,
valets, and maitres-d'hotel offered themselves without number; I had
proposals for the purchase of horses sufficient to mount a regiment,
both from dealers and gentlemen of the first fashion. Sir Lawler
Gawler came to propose to me the most elegant bay-mare ever stepped;
my Lord Dundoodle had a team of four that wouldn't disgrace my
friend the Emperor; and the Marquess of Ballyragget sent his
gentleman and his compliments, stating that if I would step up to
his stables, or do him the honour of breakfasting with him
previously, he would show me the two finest greys in Europe. I
determined to accept the invitations of Dundoodle and Ballyragget,
but to purchase my horses from the dealers. It is always the best
way. Besides, in those days, in Ireland, if a gentleman warranted
his horse, and it was not sound, or a dispute arose, the remedy you
had was the offer of a bullet in your waistcoat. I had played at the
bullet game too much in earnest to make use of it heedlessly: and I
may say, proudly for myself, that I never engaged in a duel unless I
had a real, available, and prudent reason for it.

There was a simplicity about this Irish gentry which amused and made
me wonder. If they tell more fibs than their downright neighbours
across the water, on the other hand they believe more; and I made
myself in a single week such a reputation in Dublin as would take a
man ten years and a mint of money to acquire in London. I had won
five hundred thousand pounds at play; I was the favourite of the
Empress Catherine of Russia; the confidential agent of Frederick of
Prussia; it was I won the battle of Hochkirchen; I was the cousin of
Madame Du Barry, the French King's favourite, and a thousand things
beside. Indeed, to tell the truth, I hinted a number of these
stories to my kind friends Ballyragget and Gawler; and they were not
slow to improve the hints I gave them.

After having witnessed the splendours of civilised life abroad, the
sight of Dublin in the year 1771, when I returned thither, struck me
with anything but respect. It was as savage as Warsaw almost,
without the regal grandeur of the latter city. The people looked
more ragged than any race I have ever seen, except the gipsy hordes
along the banks of the Danube. There was, as I have said, not an inn
in the town fit for a gentleman of condition to dwell in. Those
luckless fellows who could not keep a carriage, and walked the
streets at night, ran imminent risks of the knives of the women and
ruffians who lay in wait there,--of a set of ragged savage villains,
who neither knew the use of shoe nor razor; and as a gentleman
entered his chair or his chariot, to be carried to his evening rout,
or the play, the flambeaux of the footmen would light up such a set
of wild gibbering Milesian faces as would frighten a genteel person
of average nerves. I was luckily endowed with strong ones; besides,
had seen my amiable countrymen before.

I know this description of them will excite anger among some Irish
patriots, who don't like to have the nakedness of our land abused,
and are angry if the whole truth be told concerning it. But bah! it
was a poor provincial place, Dublin, in the old days of which I
speak; and many a tenth-rate German residency is more genteel. There
were, it is true, near three hundred resident Peers at the period;
and a House of Commons; and my Lord Mayor and his corporation; and a
roystering noisy University, whereof the students made no small
disturbances nightly, patronised the roundhouse, ducked obnoxious
printers and tradesmen, and gave the law at the Crow Street Theatre.
But I had seen too much of the first society of Europe to be much
tempted by the society of these noisy gentry, and was a little too
much of a gentleman to mingle with the disputes and politics of my
Lord Mayor and his Aldermen. In the House of Commons there were some
dozen of right pleasant fellows. I never heard in the English
Parliament better speeches than from Flood, and Daly, of Galway.
Dick Sheridan, though not a well-bred person, was as amusing and
ingenious a table-companion as ever I met; and though during Mr.
Edmund Burke's interminable speeches in the English House I used
always to go to sleep, I yet have heard from well-informed parties
that Mr. Burke was a person of considerable abilities, and even
reputed to be eloquent in his more favourable moments.

I soon began to enjoy to the full extent the pleasures that the
wretched place affords, and which were within a gentleman's reach:
Ranelagh and the Ridotto; Mr. Mossop, at Crow Street; my Lord
Lieutenant's parties, where there was a great deal too much boozing,
and too little play, to suit a person of my elegant and refined
habits. 'Daly's Coffee-house,' and the houses of the nobility, were
soon open to me; and I remarked with astonishment in the higher
circles, what I had experienced in the lower on my first unhappy
visit to Dublin, an extraordinary want of money, and a preposterous
deal of promissory notes flying about, for which I was quite
unwilling to stake my guineas. The ladies, too, were mad for play;
but exceeding unwilling to pay when they lost. Thus, when the old
Countess of Trumpington lost ten pieces to me at quadrille, she gave
me, instead of the money, her Ladyship's note of hand on her agent
in Galway; which I put, with a great deal of politeness, into the
candle. But when the Countess made me a second proposition to play,
I said that as soon as her Ladyship's remittances were arrived, I
would be the readiest person to meet her; but till then was her very
humble servant. And I maintained this resolution and singular
character throughout the Dublin society: giving out at 'Daly's' that
I was ready to play any man, for any sum, at any game; or to fence
with him, or to ride with him (regard being had to our weight), or
to shoot flying, or at a mark; and in this latter accomplishment,
especially if the mark be a live one, Irish gentlemen of that day
had no ordinary skill.

Of course I despatched a courier in my liveries to Castle Lyndon
with a private letter for Runt, demanding from him full particulars
of the Countess of Lyndon's state of health and mind; and a touching
and eloquent letter to her Ladyship, in which I bade her remember
ancient days, which I tied up with a single hair from the lock which
I had purchased from her woman, and in which I told her that
Sylvander remembered his oath, and could never forget his Calista.
The answer I received from her was exceedingly unsatisfactory and
inexplicit; that from Mr. Runt explicit enough, but not at all
pleasant in its contents. My Lord George Poynings, the Marquess of
Tiptoff's younger son, was paying very marked addresses to the
widow; being a kinsman of the family, and having been called to
Ireland relative to the will of the deceased Sir Charles Lyndon.

Now, there was a sort of rough-and-ready law in Ireland in those
days, which was of great convenience to persons desirous of
expeditious justice; and of which the newspapers of the time contain
a hundred proofs. Fellows with the nicknames of Captain Fireball,
Lieutenant Buffcoat, and Ensign Steele, were repeatedly sending
warning letters to landlords, and murdering them if the notes were
unattended to. The celebrated Captain Thunder ruled in the southern
counties, and his business seemed to be to procure wives for
gentlemen who had not sufficient means to please the parents of the
young ladies; or, perhaps, had not time for a long and intricate

I had found my cousin Ulick at Dublin, grown very fat, and very
poor; hunted up by Jews and creditors: dwelling in all sorts of
queer corners, from which he issued at nightfall to the Castle, or
to his card-party at his tavern; but he was always the courageous
fellow: and I hinted to him the state of my affections regarding
Lady Lyndon.

'The Countess of Lyndon!' said poor Ulick; 'well, that IS a wonder.
I myself have been mightily sweet upon a young lady, one of the
Kiljoys of Ballyhack, who has ten thousand pounds to her fortune,
and to whom her Ladyship is guardian; but how is a poor fellow
without a coat to his back to get on with an heiress in such company
as that? I might as well propose for the Countess myself.'

'You had better not,' said I, laughing; 'the man who tries runs a
chance of going out of the world first.' And I explained to him my
own intention regarding Lady Lyndon. Honest Ulick, whose respect for
me was prodigious when he saw how splendid my appearance was, and
heard how wonderful my adventures and great my experience of
fashionable life had been, was lost in admiration of my daring and
energy, when I confided to him my intention of marrying the greatest
heiress in England.

I bade Ulick go out of town on any pretext he chose, and put a
letter into a post-office near Castle Lyndon, which I prepared in a
feigned hand, and in which I gave a solemn warning to Lord George
Poynings to quit the country; saying that the great prize was never
meant for the likes of him, and that there were heiresses enough in
England, without coming to rob them out of the domains of Captain
Fireball. The letter was written on a dirty piece of paper, in the
worst of spelling: it came to my Lord by the post-conveyance, and,
being a high-spirited young man, he of course laughed at it.

As ill-luck would have it for him, he appeared in Dublin a very
short time afterwards; was introduced to the Chevalier Redmond
Barry, at the Lord Lieutenant's table; adjourned with him and
several other gentlemen to the club at 'Daly's,' and there, in a
dispute about the pedigree of a horse, in which everybody said I was
in the right, words arose, and a meeting was the consequence. I had
had no affair in Dublin since my arrival, and people were anxious to
see whether I was equal to my reputation. I make no boast about
these matters, but always do them when the time comes; and poor Lord
George, who had a neat hand and a quick eye enough, but was bred in
the clumsy English school, only stood before my point until I had
determined where I should hit him.

My sword went in under his guard, and came out at his back. When he
fell, he good-naturedly extended his hand to me, and said, 'Mr.
Barry, I was wrong!' I felt not very well at ease when the poor
fellow made this confession: for the dispute had been of my making,
and, to tell the truth, I had never intended it should end in any
other way than a meeting.

He lay on his bed for four months with the effects of that wound;
and the same post which conveyed to Lady Lyndon the news of the
duel, carried her a message from Captain Fireball to say, 'This is

'You, Ulick,' said I, 'shall be NUMBER TWO.'

''Faith,' said my cousin, 'one's enough:' But I had my plan
regarding him, and determined at once to benefit this honest fellow,
and to forward my own designs upon the widow.



As my uncle's attainder was not reversed for being out with the
Pretender in 1745, it would have been inconvenient for him to
accompany his nephew to the land of our ancestors; where, if not
hanging, at least a tedious process of imprisonment, and a doubtful
pardon, would have awaited the good old gentleman. In any important
crisis of my life, his advice was always of advantage to me, and I
did not fail to seek it at this juncture, and to implore his counsel
as regarded my pursuit of the widow. I told him the situation of her
heart, as I have described it in the last chapter; of the progress
that young Poynings had made in her affections, and of her
forgetfulness of her old admirer; and I got a letter, in reply, full
of excellent suggestions, by which I did not fail to profit. The
kind Chevalier prefaced it by saying, that he was for the present
boarding in the Minorite convent at Brussels; that he had thoughts
of making his salut there, and retiring for ever from the world,
devoting himself to the severest practices of religion. Meanwhile he
wrote with regard to the lovely widow: it was natural that a person
of her vast wealth and not disagreeable person should have many
adorers about her; and that, as in her husband's lifetime she had
shown herself not at all disinclined to receive my addresses, I must
make no manner of doubt I was not the first person whom she had so
favoured; nor was I likely to be the last.

'I would, my dear child,' he added, 'that the ugly attainder round
my neck, and the resolution I have formed of retiring from a world
of sin and vanity altogether, did not prevent me from coming
personally to your aid in this delicate crisis of your affairs; for,
to lead them to a good end, it requires not only the indomitable
courage, swagger, and audacity, which you possess beyond any young
man I have ever known' (as for the 'swagger,' as the Chevalier calls
it, I deny it in toto, being always most modest in my demeanour);
'but though you have the vigour to execute, you have not the
ingenuity to suggest plans of conduct for the following out of a
scheme that is likely to be long and difficult of execution. Would
you have ever thought of the brilliant scheme of the Countess Ida,
which so nearly made you the greatest fortune in Europe, but for the
advice and experience of a poor old man, now making up his accounts
with the world, and about to retire from it for good and all?

'Well, with regard to the Countess of Lyndon, your manner of winning
her is quite en l'air at present to me; nor can I advise day by day,
as I would I could, according to circumstances as they arise. But
your general scheme should be this. If I remember the letters you
used to have from her during the period of the correspondence which
the silly woman entertained you with, much high-flown sentiment
passed between you; and especially was written by her Ladyship
herself: she is a blue-stocking, and fond of writing; she used to
make her griefs with her husband the continual theme of her
correspondence (as women will do). I recollect several passages in
her letters bitterly deploring her fate in being united to one so
unworthy of her.

'Surely, in the mass of billets you possess from her, there must be
enough to compromise her. Look them well over; select passages, and
threaten to do so. Write to her at first in the undoubting tone of a
lover who has every claim upon her. Then, if she is silent,
remonstrate, alluding to former promises from her; producing proofs
of her former regard for you; vowing despair, destruction, revenge,
if she prove unfaithful. Frighten her--astonish her by some daring
feat, which will let her see your indomitable resolution: you are
the man to do it. Your sword has a reputation in Europe, and you
have a character for boldness; which was the first thing that caused
my Lady Lyndon to turn her eyes upon you. Make the people talk about
you at Dublin. Be as splendid, and as brave, and as odd as possible.
How I wish I were near you! You have no imagination to invent such a
character as I would make for you--but why speak; have I not had
enough of the world and its vanities?'

There was much practical good sense in this advice; which I quote,
unaccompanied with the lengthened description of his mortifications
and devotions which my uncle indulged in, finishing his letter, as
usual, with earnest prayers for my conversion to the true faith. But
he was constant to his form of worship; and I, as a man of honour
and principle, was resolute to mine; and have no doubt that the one,
in this respect, will be as acceptable as the other.

Under these directions it was, then, I wrote to Lady Lyndon, to ask
on my arrival when the most respectful of her admirers might be
permitted to intrude upon her grief? Then, as her Ladyship was
silent, I demanded, Had she forgotten old times, and one whom she
had favoured with her intimacy at a very happy period? Had Calista
forgotten Eugenio? At the same time I sent down by my servant with
this letter a present of a little sword for Lord Bullingdon, and a
private note to his governor; whose note of hand, by the way, I
possessed for a sum--I forget what--but such as the poor fellow
would have been very unwilling to pay. To this an answer came from
her Ladyship's amanuensis, stating that Lady Lyndon was too much
disturbed by grief at her recent dreadful calamity to see any one
but her own relations; and advices from my friend, the boy's
governor, stating that my Lord George Poynings was the young kinsman
who was about to console her.

This caused the quarrel between me and the young nobleman; whom I
took care to challenge on his first arrival at Dublin.

When the news of the duel was brought to the widow at Castle Lyndon,
my informant wrote me that Lady Lyndon shrieked and flung down the
journal, and said, 'The horrible monster! He would not shrink from
murder, I believe;' and little Lord Bullingdon, drawing his sword--
the sword I had given him, the rascal!--declared he would kill with
it the man who had hurt Cousin George. On Mr. Runt telling him that
I was the donor of the weapon, the little rogue still vowed that he
would kill me all the same! Indeed, in spite of my kindness to him,
that boy always seemed to detest me.

Her Ladyship sent up daily couriers to inquire after the health of
Lord George; and, thinking to myself that she would probably be
induced to come to Dublin if she were to hear that he was in danger,
I managed to have her informed that he was in a precarious state;
that he grew worse; that Redmond Barry had fled in consequence: of
this flight I caused the Mercury newspaper to give notice also, but
indeed it did not carry me beyond the town of Bray, where my poor
mother dwelt; and where, under the difficulties of a duel, I might
be sure of having a welcome.

Those readers who have the sentiment of filial duty strong in their
mind, will wonder that I have not yet described my interview with
that kind mother whose sacrifices for me in youth had been so
considerable, and for whom a man of my warm and affectionate nature
could not but feel the most enduring and sincere regard.

But a man, moving in the exalted sphere of society in which I now
stood, has his public duties to perform before he consults his
private affections; and so, upon my first arrival, I despatched a
messenger to Mrs. Barry, stating my arrival, conveying to her my
sentiments of respect and duty, and promising to pay them to her
personally so soon as my business in Dublin would leave me free.

This, I need not say, was very considerable. I had my horses to buy,
my establishment to arrange, my entree into the genteel world to
make; and, having announced my intention to purchase horses and live
in a genteel style, was in a couple of days so pestered by visits of
the nobility and gentry, and so hampered by invitations to dinners
and suppers, that it became exceedingly difficult for me during some
days to manage my anxiously desired visit to Mrs. Barry.

It appears that the good soul provided an entertainment as soon as
she heard of my arrival, and invited all her humble acquaintances of
Bray to be present: but I was engaged subsequently to my Lord
Ballyragget on the day appointed, and was, of course, obliged to
break the promise that I had made to Mrs. Barry to attend her humble

I endeavoured to sweeten the disappointment by sending my mother a
handsome satin sack and velvet robe, which I purchased for her at
the best mercers in Dublin (and indeed told her I had brought from
Paris expressly for her); but the messenger whom I despatched with
the presents brought back the parcels, with the piece of satin torn
half way up the middle: and I did not need his descriptions to be
aware that something had offended the good lady; who came out, he
said, and abused him at the door, and would have boxed his cars, but
that she was restrained by a gentleman in black; who I concluded,
with justice, was her clerical friend Mr. Jowls.

This reception of my presents made me rather dread than hope for an
interview with Mrs. Barry, and delayed my visit to her for some days
further. I wrote her a dutiful and soothing letter, to which there
was no answer returned; although I mentioned that on my way to the
capital I had been at Barryville, and revisited the old haunts of my

I don't care to own that she is the only human being whom I am
afraid to face. I can recollect her fits of anger as a child, and
the reconciliations, which used to be still more violent and
painful: and so, instead of going myself, I sent my factotum, Ulick
Brady, to her; who rode back, saying that he had met with a
reception he would not again undergo for twenty guineas; that he had
been dismissed the house, with strict injunctions to inform me that
my mother disowned me for ever. This parental anathema, as it were,
affected me much, for I was always the most dutiful of sons; and I
determined to go as soon as possible, and brave what I knew must be
an inevitable scene of reproach and anger, for the sake, as I hoped,
of as certain a reconciliation.

I had been giving one night an entertainment to some of the
genteelest company in Dublin, and was showing my Lord Marquess
downstairs with a pair of wax tapers, when I found a woman in a grey
coat seated at my doorsteps: to whom, taking her for a beggar, I
tendered a piece of money, and whom my noble friends, who were
rather hot with wine, began to joke, as my door closed and I bade
them all good-night.

I was rather surprised and affected to find afterwards that the
hooded woman was no other than my mother; whose pride had made her
vow that she would not enter my doors, but whose natural maternal
yearnings had made her long to see her son's face once again, and
who had thus planted herself in disguise at my gate. Indeed, I have
found in my experience that these are the only women who never
deceive a man, and whose affection remains constant through all
trials. Think of the hours that the kind soul must have passed,
lonely in the street, listening to the din and merriment within my
apartments, the clinking of the glasses, the laughing, the choruses,
and the cheering.

When my affair with Lord George happened, and it became necessary to
me, for the reasons I have stated, to be out of the way; now,
thought I, is the time to make my peace with my good mother: she
will never refuse me an asylum now that I seem in distress. So
sending to her a notice that I was coming, that I had had a duel
which had brought me into trouble, and required I should go into
hiding, I followed my messenger half-an-hour afterwards: and, I
warrant me, there was no want of a good reception, for presently,
being introduced into an empty room by the barefooted maid who
waited upon Mrs. Barry, the door was opened, and the poor mother
flung herself into my arms with a scream, and with transports of joy
which I shall not attempt to describe--they are but to be
comprehended by women who have held in their arms an only child
after a twelve years' absence from him.

The Reverend Mr. Jowls, my mother's director, was the only person to
whom the door of her habitation was opened during my sojourn; and he
would take no denial. He mixed for himself a glass of rum-punch,
which he seemed in the habit of drinking at my good mother's charge,
groaned aloud, and forthwith began reading me a lecture upon the
sinfulness of my past courses, and especially of the last horrible
action I had been committing.

'Sinful!' said my mother, bristling up when her son was attacked;
'sure we're all sinners; and it's you, Mr. Jowls, who have given me
the inexpressible blessing to let me know THAT. But how else would
you have had the poor child behave?'

'I would have had the gentleman avoid the drink, and the quarrel,
and this wicked duel altogether,' answered the clergyman.

But my mother cut him short, by saying such sort of conduct might be
very well in a person of his cloth and his birth, but it neither
became a Brady nor a Barry. In fact, she was quite delighted with
the thought that I had pinked an English marquis's son in a duel;
and so, to console her, I told her of a score more in which I had
been engaged, and of some of which I have already informed the

As my late antagonist was in no sort of danger when I spread that
report of his perilous situation, there was no particular call that
my hiding should be very close. But the widow did not know the fact
as well as I did: and caused her house to be barricaded, and Becky,
her barefooted serving-wench, to be a perpetual sentinel to give
alarm, lest the officers should be in search of me.

The only person I expected, however, was my cousin Ulick, who was to
bring me the welcome intelligence of Lady Lyndon's arrival; and I
own, after two days' close confinement at Bray, in which I narrated
all the adventures of my life to my mother, and succeeded in making
her accept the dresses she had formerly refused, and a considerable
addition to her income which I was glad to make, I was very glad
when I saw that reprobate Ulick Brady, as my mother called him, ride
up to the door in my carriage with the welcome intelligence for my
mother, that the young lord was out of danger; and for me, that the
Countess of Lyndon had arrived in Dublin.

'And I wish, Redmond, that the young gentleman had been in danger a
little longer,' said the widow, her eyes filling with tears, 'and
you'd have stayed so much the more with your poor old mother.' But I
dried her tears, embracing her warmly, and promised to see her
often; and hinted I would have, mayhap, a house of my own and a
noble daughter to welcome her.

'Who is she, Redmond dear?' said the old lady.

'One of the noblest and richest women in the empire, mother,'
answered I. 'No mere Brady this time,' I added, laughing: with which
hopes I left Mrs. Barry in the best of tempers.

No man can bear less malice than I do; and, when I have once carried
my point, I am one of the most placable creatures in the world. I
was a week in Dublin before I thought it necessary to quit that
capital. I had become quite reconciled to my rival in that time;
made a point of calling at his lodgings, and speedily became an
intimate consoler of his bed-side. He had a gentleman to whom I did
not neglect to be civil, and towards whom I ordered my people to be
particular in their attentions; for I was naturally anxious to learn
what my Lord George's position with the lady of Castle Lyndon had
really been, whether other suitors were about the widow, and how she
would bear the news of his wound.

The young nobleman himself enlightened me somewhat upon the subjects
I was most desirous to inquire into.

'Chevalier,' said he to me one morning when I went to pay him my
compliments, 'I find you are an old acquaintance with my kinswoman,
the Countess of Lyndon. She writes me a page of abuse of you in a
letter here; and the strange part of the story is this, that one day
when there was talk about you at Castle Lyndon, and the splendid
equipage you were exhibiting in Dublin, the fair widow vowed and
protested she never had heard of you.

'"Oh yes, mamma," said the little Bullingdon, "the tall dark man at
Spa with the cast in his eye, who used to make my governor tipsy and
sent me the sword: his name is Mr. Barry."

'But my Lady ordered the boy out of the room, and persisted in
knowing nothing about you.'

'And are you a kinsman and acquaintance of my Lady Lyndon, my Lord?'
said I, in a tone of grave surprise.

'Yes, indeed,' answered the young gentleman. 'I left her house but
to get this ugly wound from you. And it came at a most unlucky time

'Why more unlucky now than at another moment?'

'Why, look you, Chevalier, I think the widow was not unpartial to
me. I think I might have induced her to make our connection a little
closer: and faith, though she is older than I am, she is the richest
party now in England.'

'My Lord George,' said I, 'will you let me ask you a frank but an
odd question?--will you show me her letters?'

'Indeed I'll do no such thing,' replied he, in a rage.

'Nay, don't be angry. If _I_ show you letters of Lady Lyndon's to
me, will you let me see hers to you?'

'What, in Heaven's name, do you mean, Mr. Barry?' said the young

'_I_ mean that I passionately loved Lady Lyndon. I mean that I am a
--that I rather was not indifferent to her. I mean that I love her
to distraction at this present moment, and will die myself, or kill
the man who possesses her before me.'

'YOU marry the greatest heiress and the noblest blood in England?'
said Lord George haughtily.

'There's no nobler blood in Europe than mine,' answered I: 'and I
tell you I don't know whether to hope or not. But this I know, that
there were days in which, poor as I am, the great heiress did not
disdain to look down upon my poverty: and that any man who marries
her passes over my dead body to do it. It's lucky for you,' I added
gloomily, 'that on the occasion of my engagement with you, I did not
know what were your views regarding my Lady Lyndon. My poor boy, you
are a lad of courage and I love you. Mine is the first sword in
Europe, and you would have been lying in a narrower bed than that
you now occupy.'

'Boy!' said Lord George: 'I am not four years younger than you are.'

'You are forty years younger than I am in experience. I have passed
through every grade of life. With my own skill and daring I have
made my own fortune. I have been in fourteen pitched battles as a
private soldier, and have been twenty-three times on the ground, and
never was touched but once; and that was by the sword of a French
maitre-d'armes, Whom I killed. I started in life at seventeen, a
beggar, and am now at seven-and-twenty, with twenty thousand
guineas. Do you suppose a man of my courage and energy can't attain
anything that he dares, and that having claims upon the widow, I
will not press them?'

This speech was not exactly true to the letter (for I had multiplied
my pitched battles, my duels, and my wealth somewhat); but I saw
that it made the impression I desired to effect upon the young
gentleman's mind, who listened to my statement with peculiar
seriousness, and whom I presently left to digest it.

A couple of days afterwards I called to see him again, when I
brought with me some of the letters that had passed between me and
my Lady Lyndon. 'Here,' said I, 'look--I show it you in confidence--
it is a lock of her Ladyship's hair; here are her letters signed
Calista, and addressed to Eugenio. Here is a poem, "When Sol bedecks
the mead with light, And pallid Cynthia sheds her ray," addressed by
her Ladyship to your humble servant.'

'Calista! Eugenio! Sol bedecks the mead with light?' cried the young
lord. 'Am I dreaming? Why, my dear Barry, the widow has sent me the
very poem herself! "Rejoicing in the sunshine bright, Or musing in
the evening grey."'

I could not help laughing as he made the quotation. They were, in
fact, the very words MY Calista had addressed to me. And we found,
upon comparing letters, that whole passages of eloquence figured in
the one correspondence which appeared in the other. See what it is
to be a blue-stocking and have a love of letter-writing!

The young man put down the papers in great perturbation. 'Well,
thank Heaven!' said he, after a pause of some duration,--'thank
Heaven for a good riddance! Ah, Mr. Barry, what a woman I MIGHT have
married had these lucky papers not come in my way! I thought my Lady
Lyndon had a heart, sir, I must confess, though not a very warm one;
and that, at least, one could TRUST her. But marry her now! I would
as lief send my servant into the street to get me a wife, as put up
with such an Ephesian matron as that.'

'My Lord George,' said I, 'you little know the world. Remember what
a bad husband Lady Lyndon had, and don't be astonished that she, on
her side, should be indifferent. Nor has she, I will dare to wager,
ever passed beyond the bounds of harmless gallantry, or sinned
beyond the composing of a sonnet or a billet-doux.'

'My wife,' said the little lord, 'shall write no sonnets or billets-
doux; and I'm heartily glad to think I have obtained, in good time,
a knowledge of the heartless vixen with whom I thought myself for a
moment in love.'

The wounded young nobleman was either, as I have said, very young
and green in matters of the world--for to suppose that a man would
give up forty thousand a year, because, forsooth, the lady connected
with it had written a few sentimental letters to a young fellow, is
too absurd--or, as I am inclined to believe, he was glad of an
excuse to quit the field altogether, being by no means anxious to
meet the victorious sword of Redmond Barry a second time.

When the idea of Poynings' danger, or the reproaches probably
addressed by him to the widow regarding myself, had brought this
exceedingly weak and feeble woman up to Dublin, as I expected, and
my worthy Ulick had informed me of her arrival, I quitted my good
mother, who was quite reconciled to me (indeed the duel had done
that), and found the disconsolate Calista was in the habit of paying
visits to the wounded swain; much to the annoyance, the servants
told me, of that gentleman. The English are often absurdly high and
haughty upon a point of punctilio; and, after his kinswoman's
conduct, Lord Poynings swore he would have no more to do with her.

I had this information from his Lordship's gentleman; with whom, as
I have said, I took particular care to be friends; nor was I denied
admission by his porter, when I chose to call, as before.

Her Ladyship had most likely bribed that person, as I had; for she
had found her way up, though denied admission; and, in fact, I had
watched her from her own house to Lord George Poynings' lodgings,
and seen her descend from her chair there and enter, before I myself
followed her. I proposed to await her quietly in the ante-room, to
make a scene there, and reproach her with infidelity, if necessary;
but matters were, as it happened, arranged much more conveniently
for me; and walking, unannounced, into the outer room of his
Lordship's apartments, I had the felicity of hearing in the next
chamber, of which the door was partially open, the voice of my
Calista. She was in full cry, appealing to the poor patient, as he
lay confined in his bed, and speaking in the most passionate manner.
'What can lead you, George,' she said, 'to doubt of my faith? How
can you break my heart by casting me off in this monstrous manner?
Do you wish to drive your poor Calista to the grave? Well, well, I
shall join there the dear departed angel.'

'Who entered it three months since,' said Lord George, with a sneer.
'It's a wonder you have survived so long.'

'Don't treat your poor Calista in this cruel cruel manner, Antonio!'
cried the widow.

'Bah!' said Lord George, 'my wound is bad. My doctors forbid me much
talk. Suppose your Antonio tired, my dear. Can't you console
yourself with somebody else?'

'Heavens, Lord George! Antonio!'

'Console yourself with Eugenio,' said the young nobleman bitterly,
and began ringing his bell; on which his valet, who was in an inner
room, came out, and he bade him show her Ladyship downstairs.

Lady Lyndon issued from the room in the greatest flurry. She was
dressed in deep weeds, with a veil over her face, and did not
recognise the person waiting in the outer apartment. As she went
down the stairs, I stepped lightly after her, and as her chairman
opened her door, sprang forward, and took her hand to place her in
the vehicle. 'Dearest widow,' said I, 'his Lordship spoke correctly.
Console yourself with Eugenio!' She was too frightened even to
scream, as her chairman carried her away. She was set down at her
house, and you may be sure that I was at the chair-door, as before,
to help her out.

'Monstrous man!' said she, 'I desire you to leave me.'

'Madam, it would be against my oath,' replied I; 'recollect the vow
Eugenio sent to Calista.'

'If you do not quit me, I will call for the domestics to turn you
from the door.'

'What! when I am come with my Calista's letters in my pocket, to
return them mayhap? You can soothe, madam, but you cannot frighten
Redmond Barry.'

'What is it you would have of me, sir?' said the widow, rather

'Let me come upstairs, and I will tell you all,' I replied; and she
condescended to give me her hand, and to permit me to lead her from
her chair to her drawing-room.

When we were alone I opened my mind honourably to her.

'Dearest madam,' said I, 'do not let your cruelty drive a desperate
slave to fatal measures. I adore you. In former days you allowed me
to whisper my passion to you unrestrained; at present you drive me
from your door, leave my letters unanswered, and prefer another to
me. My flesh and blood cannot bear such treatment. Look upon the
punishment I have been obliged to inflict; tremble at that which I
may be compelled to administer to that unfortunate young man: so
sure as he marries you, madam, he dies.'

'I do not recognise,' said the widow, 'the least right you have to
give the law to the Countess of Lyndon: I do not in the least
understand your threats, or heed them. What has passed between me
and an Irish adventurer that should authorise this impertinent

'THESE have passed, madam,' said I,--'Calista's letters to Eugenio.
They may have been very innocent; but will the world believe it? You
may have only intended to play with the heart of the poor artless
Irish gentleman who adored and confided in you. But who will believe
the stories of your innocence, against the irrefragable testimony of
your own handwriting? Who will believe that you could write these
letters in the mere wantonness of coquetry, and not under the
influence of affection?'

'Villain!' cried my Lady Lyndon, 'could you dare to construe out of
those idle letters of mine any other meaning than that which they
really bear?'

'I will construe anything out of them,' said I; 'such is the passion
which animates me towards you. I have sworn it--you must and shall
be mine! Did you ever know me promise to accomplish a thing and
fail? Which will you prefer to have from me--a love such as woman
never knew from man before, or a hatred to which there exists no

'A woman of my rank, sir, can fear nothing from the hatred of an
adventurer like yourself,' replied the lady, drawing up stately.

'Look at your Poynings--was HE of your rank? You are the cause of
that young man's wound, madam; and, but that the instrument of your
savage cruelty relented, would have been the author of his murder--
yes, of his murder; for, if a wife is faithless, does not she arm
the husband who punishes the seducer! And I look upon you, Honoria
Lyndon, as my wife.'

'Husband? wife, sir!' cried the widow, quite astonished.

'Yes, wife! husband! I am not one of those poor souls with whom
coquettes can play, and who may afterwards throw them aside. You
would forget what passed between us at Spa: Calista would forget
Eugenio; but I will not let you forget me. You thought to trifle
with my heart, did you? When once moved, Honoria, it is moved for
ever. I love you--love as passionately now as I did when my passion
was hopeless; and, now that I can win you, do you think I will
forego you? Cruel cruel Calista! you little know the power of your
own charms if you think their effect is so easily obliterated--you
little know the constancy of this pure and noble heart if you think
that, having once loved, it can ever cease to adore you. No! I swear
by your cruelty that I will revenge it; by your wonderful beauty
that I will win it, and be worthy to win it. Lovely, fascinating,
fickle, cruel woman! you shall be mine--I swear it! Your wealth may
be great; but am I not of a generous nature enough to use it
worthily? Your rank is lofty; but not so lofty as my ambition. You
threw yourself away once on a cold and spiritless debauchee: give
yourself now, Honoria, to a MAN; and one who, however lofty your
rank may be, will enhance it and become it!'

As I poured words to this effect out on the astonished widow, I
stood over her, and fascinated her with the glance of my eye; saw
her turn red and pale with fear and wonder; saw that my praise of
her charms and the exposition of my passion were not unwelcome to
her, and witnessed with triumphant composure the mastery I was
gaining over her. Terror, be sure of that, is not a bad ingredient
of love. A man who wills fiercely to win the heart of a weak and
vapourish woman MUST succeed, if he have opportunity enough.

'Terrible man!' said Lady Lyndon, shrinking from me as soon as I had
done speaking (indeed, I was at a loss for words, and thinking of
another speech to make to her)--'terrible man! leave me.'

I saw that I had made an impression on her, from those very words.
'If she lets me into the house to-morrow,' said I, 'she is mine.'

As I went downstairs I put ten guineas into the hand of the hall-
porter, who looked quite astonished at such a gift.

'It is to repay you for the trouble of opening the door to me,' said
I; 'you will have to do so often.'



The next day when I went back, my fears were realised: the door was
refused to me--my Lady was not at home. This I knew to be false: I
had watched the door the whole morning from a lodging I took at a
house opposite.

'Your lady is not out,' said I: 'she has denied me, and I can't, of
course, force my way to her. But listen: you are an Englishman?'
'That I am,' said the fellow, with an air of the utmost superiority.
'Your honour could tell that by my HACCENT.'

I knew he was, and might therefore offer him a bribe. An Irish
family servant in rags, and though his wages were never paid him,
would probably fling the money in your face.

'Listen, then,' said I. 'Your lady's letters pass through your
hands, don't they? A crown for every one that you bring me to read.
There is a whisky-shop in the next street; bring them there when you
go to drink, and call for me by the name of Dermot.'

'I recollect your honour at SPAR,' says the fellow, grinning:
'seven's the main, hey?' and being exceedingly proud of this
reminiscence, I bade my inferior adieu.

I do not defend this practice of letter-opening in private life,
except in cases of the most urgent necessity: when we must follow
the examples of our betters, the statesmen of all Europe, and, for
the sake of a great good, infringe a little matter of ceremony. My
Lady Lyndon's letters were none the worse for being opened, and a
great deal the better; the knowledge obtained from the perusal of
some of her multifarious epistles enabling me to become intimate
with her character in a hundred ways, and obtain a power over her by
which I was not slow to profit. By the aid of the letters and of my
English friend, whom I always regaled with the best of liquor, and
satisfied with presents of money still more agreeable (I used to put
on a livery in order to meet him, and a red wig, in which it was
impossible to know the dashing and elegant Redmond Barry), I got
such an insight into the widow's movements as astonished her. I knew
beforehand to what public places she would go; they were, on account
of her widowhood, but few: and wherever she appeared, at church or
in the park, I was always ready to offer her her book, or to canter
on horseback by the side of her chariot.

Many of her Ladyship's letters were the most whimsical rodomontades
that ever blue-stocking penned. She was a woman who took up and
threw off a greater number of dear friends than any one I ever knew.
To some of these female darlings she began presently to write about
my unworthy self, and it was with a sentiment of extreme
satisfaction I found at length that the widow was growing dreadfully
afraid of me; calling me her bete noire, her dark spirit, her
murderous adorer, and a thousand other names indicative of her
extreme disquietude and terror. It was: 'The wretch has been dogging
my chariot through the park,' or, 'my fate pursued me at church,'
and 'my inevitable adorer handed me out of my chair at the
mercer's,' or what not. My wish was to increase this sentiment of
awe in her bosom, and to make her believe that I was a person from
whom escape was impossible.

To this end I bribed a fortune-teller, whom she consulted along with
a number of the most foolish and distinguished people of Dublin, in
those days; and who, although she went dressed like one of her
waiting-women, did not fail to recognise her real rank, and to
describe as her future husband her persevering adorer Redmond Barry,
Esquire. This incident disturbed her very much. She wrote about it
in terms of great wonder and terror to her female correspondents.
'Can this monster,' she wrote, 'indeed do as he boasts, and bend
even Fate to his will?--can he make me marry him though I cordially
detest him, and bring me a slave to his feet. The horrid look of his
black serpent-like eyes fascinates and frightens me: it seems to
follow me everywhere, and even when I close my own eyes, the
dreadful gaze penetrates the lids, and is still upon me.'

When a woman begins to talk of a man in this way, he is an ass who
does not win her; and, for my part, I used to follow her about, and
put myself in an attitude opposite her, 'and fascinate her with my
glance,' as she said, most assiduously. Lord George Poynings, her
former admirer, was meanwhile keeping his room with his wound, and
seemed determined to give up all claims to her favour; for he denied
her admittance when she called, sent no answer to her multiplied
correspondence, and contented himself by saying generally, that the
surgeon had forbidden him to receive visitors or to answer letters.
Thus, while he went into the background, I came forward, and took
good care that no other rivals should present themselves with any
chance of success; for, as soon as I heard of one, I had a quarrel
fastened on him, and, in this way, pinked two more, besides my first
victim Lord George. I always took another pretext for quarrelling
with them than the real one of attention to Lady Lyndon, so that no
scandal or hurt to her Ladyship's feelings might arise in
consequence; but she very well knew what was the meaning of these
duels; and the young fellows of Dublin, too, by laying two and two
together, began to perceive that there was a certain dragon in watch
for the wealthy heiress, and that the dragon must be subdued first
before they could get at the lady. I warrant that, after the first
three, not many champions were found to address the lady; and have
often laughed (in my sleeve) to see many of the young Dublin beaux
riding by the side of her carriage scamper off as soon as my bay-
mare and green liveries made their appearance.

I wanted to impress her with some great and awful instance of my
power, and to this end had determined to confer a great benefit upon
my honest cousin Ulick, and carry off for him the fair object of his
affections, Miss Kiljoy, under the very eyes of her guardian and
friend, Lady Lyndon; and in the teeth of the squires, the young
lady's brothers, who passed the season at Dublin, and made as much
swagger and to-do about their sister's L10,000 Irish, as if she had
had a plum to her fortune. The girl was by no means averse to Mr.
Brady; and it only shows how faint-spirited some men are, and how a
superior genius can instantly overcome difficulties which to common
minds seem insuperable, that he never had thought of running off
with her: as I at once and boldly did. Miss Kiljoy had been a ward
in Chancery until she attained her majority (before which period it
would have been a dangerous matter for me to put in execution the
scheme I meditated concerning her); but, though now free to marry
whom she liked, she was a young lady of timid disposition, and as
much under fear of her brothers and relatives as though she had not
been independent of them. They had some friend of their own in view
for the young lady, and had scornfully rejected the proposal of
Ulick Brady, the ruined gentleman; who was quite unworthy, as these
rustic bucks thought, of the hand of such a prodigiously wealthy
heiress as their sister.

Finding herself lonely in her great house in Dublin, the Countess of
Lyndon invited her friend Miss Amelia to pass the season with her at
Dublin; and, in a fit of maternal fondness, also sent for her son
the little Bullingdon, and my old acquaintance his governor, to come
to the capital and bear her company. A family coach brought the boy,
the heiress, and the tutor from Castle Lyndon; and I determined to
take the first opportunity of putting my plan in execution.

For this chance I had not very long to wait. I have said, in a
former chapter of my biography, that the kingdom of Ireland was at
this period ravaged by various parties of banditti; who, under the
name of Whiteboys, Oakboys, Steelboys, with captains at their head,
killed proctors, fired stacks, houghed and maimed cattle, and took
the law into their own hands. One of these bands, or several of them
for what I know, was commanded by a mysterious personage called
Captain Thunder; whose business seemed to be that of marrying people
with or without their own consent, or that of their parents. The
Dublin Gazettes and Mercuries of that period (the year 1772) teem
with proclamations from the Lord Lieutenant, offering rewards for
the apprehension of this dreadful Captain Thunder and his gang, and
describing at length various exploits of the savage aide-de-camp of
Hymen. I determined to make use, if not of the services, at any rate
of the name of Captain Thunder, and put my cousin Ulick in
possession of his lady and her ten thousand pounds. She was no great
beauty, and, I presume, it was the money he loved rather than the
owner of it.

On account of her widowhood, Lady Lyndon could not as yet frequent
the balls and routs which the hospitable nobility of Dublin were in
the custom of giving; but her friend Miss Kiljoy had no such cause
for retirement, and was glad to attend any parties to which she
might be invited. I made Ulick Brady a present of a couple of
handsome suits of velvet, and by my influence procured him an
invitation to many of the most elegant of these assemblies. But he
had not had my advantages or experience of the manners of Court; was
as shy with ladies as a young colt, and could no more dance a minuet
than a donkey. He made very little way in the polite world or in his
mistress's heart: in fact, I could see that she preferred several
other young gentlemen to him, who were more at home in the ball-room
than poor Ulick; he had made his first impression upon the heiress,
and felt his first flame for her, in her father's house of
Ballykiljoy, where he used to hunt and get drunk with the old

'I could do THIM two well enough, anyhow,' Ulick would say, heaving
a sigh; 'and if it's drinking or riding across country would do it,
there's no man in Ireland would have a better chance with Amalia.'

'Never fear, Ulick,' was my reply; 'you shall have your Amalia, or
my name is not Redmond Barry.'

My Lord Charlemont--who was one of the most elegant and accomplished
noblemen in Ireland in those days, a fine scholar and wit, a
gentleman who had travelled much abroad, where I had the honour of
knowing him--gave a magnificent masquerade at his house of Marino,
some few miles from Dublin, on the Dunleary road. And it was at this
entertainment that I was determined that Ulick should be made happy
for life. Miss Kiljoy was invited to the masquerade, and the little
Lord Bullingdon, who longed to witness such a scene; and it was
agreed that he was to go under the guardianship of his governor, my
old friend the Reverend Mr. Runt. I learned what was the equipage in
which the party were to be conveyed to the ball, and took my
measures accordingly.

Ulick Brady was not present: his fortune and quality were not
sufficient to procure him an invitation to so distinguished a place,
and I had it given out three days previous that he had been arrested
for debt: a rumour which surprised nobody who knew him.

I appeared that night in a character with which I was very familiar,
that of a private soldier in the King of Prussia's guard. I had a
grotesque mask made, with an immense nose and moustaches, talked a
jumble of broken English and German, in which the latter greatly
predominated; and had crowds round me laughing at my droll accent,
and whose curiosity was increased by a knowledge of my previous
history. Miss Kiljoy was attired as an antique princess, with little
Bullingdon as a page of the times of chivalry; his hair was in
powder, his doublet rose-colour, and pea-green and silver, and he
looked very handsome and saucy as he strutted about with my sword by
his side. As for Mr. Runt, he walked about very demurely in a
domino, and perpetually paid his respects to the buffet, and ate
enough cold chicken and drank enough punch and champagne to satisfy
a company of grenadiers.

The Lord Lieutenant came and went in state-the ball was magnificent.
Miss Kiljoy had partners in plenty, among whom was myself, who
walked a minuet with her (if the clumsy waddling of the Irish
heiress may be called by such a name); and I took occasion to plead
my passion for Lady Lyndon in the most pathetic terms, and to beg
her friend's interference in my favour.

It was three hours past midnight when the party for Lyndon House
went away. Little Bullingdon had long since been asleep in one of
Lady Charlemont's china closets. Mr. Runt was exceedingly husky in
talk, and unsteady in gait. A young lady of the present day would be
alarmed to see a gentleman in such a condition; but it was a common
sight in those jolly old times, when a gentleman was thought a
milksop unless he was occasionally tipsy. I saw Miss Kiljoy to her
carriage, with several other gentlemen: and, peering through the
crowd of ragged linkboys, drivers, beggars, drunken men and women,
who used invariably to wait round great men's doors when festivities
were going on, saw the carriage drive off, with a hurrah from the
mob; then came back presently to the supper-room, where I talked
German, favoured the three or four topers still there with a High-
Dutch chorus, and attacked the dishes and wine with great

'How can you drink aisy with that big nose on?' said one gentleman.

'Go an be hangt!' said I, in the true accent, applying myself again
to the wine; with which the others laughed, and I pursued my supper
in silence.

There was a gentleman present who had seen the Lyndon party go off,
with whom I had made a bet, which I lost; and the next morning I
called upon him and paid it him. All which particulars the reader
will be surprised at hearing enumerated; but the fact is, that it
was not I who went back to the party, but my late German valet, who
was of my size, and, dressed in my mask, could perfectly pass for
me. We changed clothes in a hackney-coach that stood near Lady
Lyndon's chariot, and driving after it, speedily overtook it.

The fated vehicle which bore the lovely object of Ulick Brady's
affections had not advanced very far, when, in the midst of a deep
rut in the road, it came suddenly to with a jolt; the footman,
springing off the back, cried 'Stop!' to the coachman, warning him
that a wheel was off, and that it would be dangerous to proceed with
only three. Wheel-caps had not been invented in those days, as they
have since been by the ingenious builders of Long Acre. And how the
linch-pin of the wheel had come out I do not pretend to say; but it
possibly may have been extracted by some rogues among the crowd
before Lord Charlemont's gate.

Miss Kiljoy thrust her head out of the window, screaming as ladies
do; Mr. Runt the chaplain woke up from his boozy slumbers; and
little Bullingdon, starting up and drawing his little sword, said,
'Don't be afraid, Miss Amelia: if it's footpads, I am armed.' The
young rascal had the spirit of a lion, that's the truth; as I must
acknowledge, in spite of all my after quarrels with him.

The hackney-coach which had been following Lady Lyndon's chariot by
this time came up, and the coachman seeing the disaster, stepped
down from his box, and politely requested her Ladyship's honour to
enter his vehicle; which was as clean and elegant as any person of
tiptop quality might desire. This invitation was, after a minute or
two, accepted by the passengers of the chariot: the hackney-coachman
promising to drive them to Dublin 'in a hurry.' Thady, the valet,
proposed to accompany his young master and the young lady; and the
coachman, who had a friend seemingly drunk by his side on the box,
with a grin told Thady to get up behind. However, as the footboard
there was covered with spikes, as a defence against the street-boys,
who love a ride gratis, Thady's fidelity would not induce him to
brave these; and he was persuaded to remain by the wounded chariot,
for which he and the coachman manufactured a linch-pin out of a
neighbouring hedge.

Meanwhile, although the hackney-coachman drove on rapidly, yet the
party within seemed to consider it was a long distance from Dublin;
and what was Miss Kiljoy's astonishment, on looking out of the
window at length, to see around her a lonely heath, with no signs of
buildings or city. She began forthwith to scream out to the coachman
to stop; but the man only whipped the horses the faster for her
noise, and bade her Ladyship 'hould on--'twas a short cut he was

Miss Kiljoy continued screaming, the coachman flogging, the horses
galloping, until two or three men appeared suddenly from a hedge, to
whom the fair one cried for assistance; and the young Bullingdon
opening the coach-door, jumped valiantly out, toppling over head and
heels as he fell; but jumping up in an instant, he drew his little
sword, and, running towards the carriage, exclaimed, 'This way,
gentlemen! stop the rascal!'

'Stop!' cried the men; at which the coachman pulled up with
extraordinary obedience. Runt all the while lay tipsy in the
carriage, having only a dreamy half-consciousness of all that was
going on.

The newly arrived champions of female distress now held a
consultation, in which they looked at the young lord and laughed

'Do not be alarmed,' said the leader, coming up to the door; 'one of
my people shall mount the box by the side of that treacherous
rascal, and, with your Ladyship's leave, I and my companions will
get in and see you home. We are well armed, and can defend you in
case of danger.'

With this, and without more ado, he jumped into the carriage, his
companion following him.

'Know your place, fellow!' cried out little Bullingdon indignantly:
'and give place to the Lord Viscount Bullingdon!' and put himself
before the huge person of the new-comer, who was about to enter the

'Get out of that, my Lord,' said the man, in a broad brogue, and
shoving him aside. On which the boy, crying 'Thieves! thieves!' drew
out his little hanger, and ran at the man, and would have wounded
him (for a small sword will wound as well as a great one); but his
opponent, who was armed with a long stick, struck the weapon luckily
out of the lad's hands: it went flying over his head, and left him
aghast and mortified at his discomfiture.

He then pulled off his hat, making his Lordship a low bow, and
entered the carriage; the door of which was shut upon him by his
confederate, who was to mount the box. Miss Kiljoy might have
screamed; but I presume her shrieks were stopped by the sight of an
enormous horse-pistol which one of her champions produced, who said,
'No harm is intended you, ma'am, but if you cry out, we must gag
you;' on which she suddenly became as mute as a fish.

All these events took place in an exceedingly short space of time;
and when the three invaders had taken possession of the carriage,
the poor little Bullingdon being left bewildered and astonished on
the heath, one of them putting his head out of the window, said,--

'My Lord, a word with you.'

'What is it?' said the boy, beginning to whimper: he was but eleven
years old, and his courage had been excellent hitherto.

'You are only two miles from Marino. Walk back till you come to a
big stone, there turn to the right, and keep on straight till you
get to the high-road, when you will easily find your way back. And
when you see her Ladyship your mamma, give CAPTAIN THUNDER'S
compliments, and say Miss Amelia Kiljoy is going to be married.'

'O heavens!' sighed out that young lady.

The carriage drove swiftly on, and the poor little nobleman was left
alone on the heath, just as the morning began to break. He was
fairly frightened; and no wonder. He thought of running after the
coach; but his courage and his little legs failed him: so he sat
down upon a stone and cried for vexation.

It was in this way that Ulick Brady made what I call a Sabine
marriage. When he halted with his two groomsmen at the cottage where
the ceremony was to be performed, Mr. Runt, the chaplain, at first
declined to perform it. But a pistol was held at the head of that
unfortunate preceptor, and he was told, with dreadful oaths, that
his miserable brains would be blown out; when he consented to read
the service. The lovely Amelia had, very likely, a similar
inducement held out to her, but of that I know nothing; for I drove
back to town with the coachman as soon as we had set the bridal
party down, and had the satisfaction of finding Fritz, my German,
arrived before me: he had come back in my carriage in my dress,
having left the masquerade undiscovered, and done everything there
according to my orders.

Poor Runt came back the next day in a piteous plight, keeping
silence as to his share in the occurrences of the evening, and with
a dismal story of having been drunk, of having been waylaid and
bound, of having been left on the road and picked up by a Wicklow
cart, which was coming in with provisions to Dublin, and found him
helpless on the road. There was no possible means of fixing any
share of the conspiracy upon him. Little Bullingdon, who, too, found
his way home, was unable in any way to identify me. But Lady Lyndon
knew that I was concerned in the plot, for I met her hurrying the
next day to the Castle; all the town being up about the enlevement.
And I saluted her with a smile so diabolical, that I knew she was
aware that I had been concerned in the daring and ingenious scheme.

Thus it was that I repaid Ulick Brady's kindness to me in early
days; and had the satisfaction of restoring the fallen fortunes of a
deserving branch of my family. He took his bride into Wicklow, where
he lived with her in the strictest seclusion until the affair was
blown over; the Kiljoys striving everywhere in vain to discover his
retreat. They did not for a while even know who was the lucky man
who had carried off the heiress; nor was it until she wrote a letter
some weeks afterwards, signed Amelia Brady, and expressing perfect
happiness in her new condition, and stating that she had been
married by Lady Lyndon's chaplain Mr. Runt, that the truth was
known, and my worthy friend confessed his share of the transaction.
As his good-natured mistress did not dismiss him from his post in
consequence, everybody persisted in supposing that poor Lady Lyndon
was privy to the plot; and the story of her Ladyship's passionate
attachment for me gained more and more credit.

I was not slow, you may be sure, in profiting by these rumours.
Every one thought I had a share in the Brady marriage; though no one
could prove it. Every one thought I was well with the widowed
Countess; though no one could show that I said so. But there is a
way of proving a thing even while you contradict it, and I used to
laugh and joke so apropos that all men began to wish me joy of my
great fortune, and look up to me as the affianced husband of the
greatest heiress in the kingdom. The papers took up the matter; the
female friends of Lady Lyndon remonstrated with her and cried 'Fie!'
Even the English journals and magazines, which in those days were
very scandalous, talked of the matter; and whispered that a
beautiful and accomplished widow, with a title and the largest
possessions in the two kingdoms, was about to bestow her hand upon a
young gentleman of high birth and fashion, who had distinguished
himself in the service of His M-----y the K--- of Pr----. I won't
say who was the author of these paragraphs; or how two pictures, one
representing myself under the title of 'The Prussian Irishman,' and
the other Lady Lyndon as 'The Countess of Ephesus,' actually
appeared in the Town and Country Magazine, published at London, and
containing the fashionable tittle-tattle of the day.

Lady Lyndon was so perplexed and terrified by this continual hold
upon her, that she determined to leave the country. Well, she did;
and who was the first to receive her on landing at Holyhead? Your
humble servant, Redmond Barry, Esquire. And, to crown all, the
Dublin Mercury, which announced her Ladyship's departure, announced
mine THE DAY BEFORE. There was not a soul but thought she had
followed me to England; whereas she was only flying me. Vain hope!--
a man of my resolution was not thus to be balked in pursuit. Had she
fled to the antipodes, I would have been there: ay, and would have
followed her as far as Orpheus did Eurydice!

Her Ladyship had a house in Berkeley Square, London, more splendid
than that which she possessed in Dublin; and, knowing that she would
come thither, I preceded her to the English capital, and took
handsome apartments in Hill Street, hard by. I had the same
intelligence in her London house which I had procured in Dublin. The
same faithful porter was there to give me all the information I
required. I promised to treble his wages as soon as a certain event
should happen. I won over Lady Lyndon's companion by a present of a
hundred guineas down, and a promise of two thousand when I should be
married, and gained the favours of her favourite lady's-maid by a
bribe of similar magnitude. My reputation had so far preceded me in
London that, on my arrival, numbers of the genteel were eager to
receive me at their routs. We have no idea in this humdrum age what
a gay and splendid place London was then: what a passion for play
there was among young and old, male and female; what thousands were
lost and won in a night; what beauties there were--how brilliant,
gay, and dashing! Everybody was delightfully wicked: the Royal Dukes
of Gloucester and Cumberland set the example; the nobles followed
close behind. Running away was the fashion. Ah! it was a pleasant
time; and lucky was he who had fire, and youth, and money, and could
live in it! I had all these; and the old frequenters of 'White's,'
'Wattier's,' and 'Goosetree's' could tell stories of the gallantry,
spirit, and high fashion of Captain Barry.

The progress of a love-story is tedious to all those who are not
concerned, and I leave such themes to the hack novel-writers, and
the young boarding-school misses for whom they write. It is not my
intention to follow, step by step, the incidents of my courtship, or
to narrate all the difficulties I had to contend with, and my
triumphant manner of surmounting them. Suffice it to say, I DID
overcome these difficulties. I am of opinion, with my friend the
late ingenious Mr. Wilkes, that such impediments are nothing in the
way of a man of spirit; and that he can convert indifference and
aversion into love, if he have perseverance and cleverness
sufficient. By the time the Countess's widowhood was expired, I had
found means to be received into her house; I had her women
perpetually talking in my favour, vaunting my powers, expatiating
upon my reputation, and boasting of my success and popularity in the
fashionable world.

Also, the best friends I had in the prosecution of my tender suit
were the Countess's noble relatives; who were far from knowing the
service that they did me, and to whom I beg leave to tender my
heartfelt thanks for the abuse with which they then loaded me! and
to whom I fling my utter contempt for the calumny and hatred with
which they have subsequently pursued me.

The chief of these amiable persons was the Marchioness of Tiptoff,
mother of the young gentleman whose audacity I had punished at
Dublin. This old harridan, on the Countess's first arrival in
London, waited upon her, and favoured her with such a storm of abuse
for her encouragement of me, that I do believe she advanced my cause
more than six months' courtship could have done, or the pinking of a
half-dozen of rivals. It was in vain that poor Lady Lyndon pleaded
her entire innocence and vowed she had never encouraged me. 'Never
encouraged him!' screamed out the old fury; 'didn't you encourage
the wretch at Spa, during Sir Charles's own life? Didn't you marry a
dependant of yours to one of this profligate's bankrupt cousins?
When he set off for England, didn't you follow him like a mad woman
the very next day? Didn't he take lodgings at your very door almost--
and do you call this no encouragement? For shame, madam, shame! You
might have married my son--my dear and noble George; but that he did
not choose to interfere with your shameful passion for the beggarly
upstart whom you caused to assassinate him; and the only counsel I
have to give your Ladyship is this, to legitimatise the ties which
you have contracted with this shameless adventurer; to make that
connection legal which, real as it is now, is against both decency
and religion; and to spare your family and your son the shame of
your present line of life.'

With this the old fury of a marchioness left the room, and Lady
Lyndon in tears: I had the whole particulars of the conversation
from her Ladyship's companion, and augured the best result from it
in my favour.

Thus, by the sage influence of my Lady Tiptoff, the Countess of
Lyndon's natural friends and family were kept from her society. Even
when Lady Lyndon went to Court the most august lady in the realm
received her with such marked coldness, that the unfortunate widow
came home and took to her bed with vexation. And thus I may say that
Royalty itself became an agent in advancing my suit, and helping the
plans of the poor Irish soldier of fortune. So it is that Fate works
with agents, great and small; and by means over which they have no
control the destinies of men and women are accomplished.

I shall always consider the conduct of Mrs. Bridget (Lady Lyndon's
favourite maid at this juncture) as a masterpiece of ingenuity: and,
indeed, had such an opinion of her diplomatic skill, that the very
instant I became master of the Lyndon estates, and paid her the
promised sum--I am a man of honour, and rather than not keep my word
with the woman, I raised the money of the Jews, at an exorbitant
interest--as soon, I say, as I achieved my triumph, I took Mrs.
Bridget by the hand, and said, "Madam, you have shown such
unexampled fidelity in my service that I am glad to reward you,
according to my promise; but you have given proofs of such
extraordinary cleverness and dissimulation, that I must decline
keeping you in Lady Lyndon's establishment, and beg you will leave
it this very day:" which she did, and went over to the Tiptoff
faction, and has abused me ever since.

But I must tell you what she did which was so clever. Why, it was
the simplest thing in the world, as all master-strokes are. When
Lady Lyndon lamented her fate and my--as she was pleased to call it--
shameful treatment of her, Mrs. Bridget said, 'Why should not your
Ladyship write this young gentleman word of the evil which he is
causing you? Appeal to his feelings (which, I have heard say, are
very good indeed--the whole town is ringing with accounts of his
spirit and generosity), and beg him to desist from a pursuit which
causes the best of ladies so much pain? Do, my Lady, write: I know
your style is so elegant that I, for my part, have many a time burst
into tears in reading your charming letters, and I have no doubt Mr.
Barry will sacrifice anything rather than hurt your feelings.' And,
of course, the abigail swore to the fact.

'Do you think so, Bridget?' said her Ladyship. And my mistress
forthwith penned me a letter, in her most fascinating and winning
manner:--'Why, sir,' wrote she, 'will you pursue me? why environ me
in a web of intrigue so frightful that my spirit sinks under it,
seeing escape is hopeless from your frightful, your diabolical art?
They say you are generous to others--be so to me. I know your
bravery but too well: exercise it on men who can meet your sword,
not on a poor feeble woman, who cannot resist you. Remember the
friendship you once professed for me. And now, I beseech you, I
implore you, to give a proof of it. Contradict the calumnies which
you have spread against me, and repair, if you can, and if you have
a spark of honour left, the miseries which you have caused to the


What was this letter meant for but that I should answer it in
person? My excellent ally told me where I should meet Lady Lyndon,
and accordingly I followed, and found her at the Pantheon. I
repeated the scene at Dublin over again; showed her how prodigious
my power was, humble as I was, and that my energy was still untired.
'But,' I added, 'I am as great in good as I am in evil; as fond and
faithful as a friend as I am terrible as an enemy. I will do
everything,' I said, 'which you ask of me, except when you bid me
not to love you. That is beyond my power; and while my heart has a
pulse I must follow you. It is MY fate; your fate. Cease to battle
against it, and be mine. Loveliest of your sex! with life alone can
end my passion for you; and, indeed, it is only by dying at your
command that I can be brought to obey you. Do you wish me to die?'

She said, laughing (for she was a woman of a lively, humorous turn),
that she did not wish me to commit self-murder; and I felt from that
moment that she was mine.

. . . .

A year from that day, on the 15th of May, in the year 1773, I had
the honour and happiness to lead to the altar Honoria, Countess of
Lyndon, widow of the late Right Honourable Sir Charles Lyndon, K.B.
The ceremony was performed at St. George's, Hanover Square, by the
Reverend Samuel Runt, her Ladyship's chaplain. A magnificent supper
and ball was given at our house in Berkeley Square, and the next
morning I had a duke, four earls, three generals, and a crowd of the
most distinguished people in London at my LEVEE. Walpole made a
lampoon about the marriage, and Selwyn cut jokes at the 'Cocoa-
Tree.' Old Lady Tiptoff, although she had recommended it, was ready
to bite off her fingers with vexation; and as for young Bullingdon,
who was grown a tall lad of fourteen, when called upon by the
Countess to embrace his papa, he shook his fist in my face and said,
'HE my father! I would as soon call one of your Ladyship's footmen

But I could afford to laugh at the rage of the boy and the old
woman, and at the jokes of the wits of St. James's. I sent off a
flaming account of our nuptials to my mother and my uncle the good
Chevalier; and now, arrived at the pitch of prosperity, and having,
at thirty years of age, by my own merits and energy, raised myself
to one of the highest social positions that any man in England could
occupy, I determined to enjoy myself as became a man of quality for
the remainder of my life.

After we had received the congratulations of our friends in London--
for in those days people were not ashamed of being married, as they
seem to be now--I and Honoria (who was all complacency, and a most
handsome, sprightly, and agreeable companion) set off to visit our
estates in the West of England, where I had never as yet set foot.
We left London in three chariots, each with four horses; and my
uncle would have been pleased could he have seen painted on their
panels the Irish crown and the ancient coat of the Barrys beside the
Countess's coronet and the noble cognisance of the noble family of

Before quitting London, I procured His Majesty's gracious permission
to add the name of my lovely lady to my own; and henceforward
assumed the style and title of BARRY LYNDON, as I have written it in
this autobiography.



All the journey down to Hackton Castle, the largest and most ancient
of our ancestral seats in Devonshire, was performed with the slow
and sober state becoming people of the first quality in the realm.
An outrider in my livery went on before us, and bespoke our lodging
from town to town; and thus we lay in state at Andover, Ilminster,
and Exeter; and the fourth evening arrived in time for supper before
the antique baronial mansion, of which the gate was in an odious
Gothic taste that would have set Mr. Walpole wild with pleasure.

The first days of a marriage are commonly very trying; and I have
known couples, who lived together like turtle-doves for the rest of
their lives, peck each other's eyes out almost during the honeymoon.
I did not escape the common lot; in our journey westward my Lady
Lyndon chose to quarrel with me because I pulled out a pipe of
tobacco (the habit of smoking which I had acquired in Germany when a
soldier in Billow's, and could never give it over), and smoked it in
the carriage; and also her Ladyship chose to take umbrage both at
Ilminster and Andover, because in the evenings when we lay there I
chose to invite the landlords of the 'Bell' and the 'Lion' to crack
a bottle with me. Lady Lyndon was a haughty woman, and I hate pride;
and I promise you that in both instances I overcame this vice in
her. On the third day of our journey I had her to light my pipematch
with her own hands, and made her deliver it to me with tears in her
eyes; and at the 'Swan Inn' at Exeter I had so completely subdued
her, that she asked me humbly whether I would not wish the landlady
as well as the host to step up to dinner with us. To this I should
have had no objection, for, indeed, Mrs. Bonnyface was a very good-
looking woman; but we expected a visit from my Lord Bishop, a
kinsman of Lady Lyndon, and the BIENSEANCES did not permit the
indulgence of my wife's request. I appeared with her at evening
service, to compliment our right reverend cousin, and put her name
down for twenty-five guineas, and my own for one hundred, to the
famous new organ which was then being built for the cathedral. This
conduct, at the very outset of my career in the county, made me not
a little popular; and the residentiary canon, who did me the favour
to sup with me at the inn, went away after the sixth bottle,
hiccuping the most solemn vows for the welfare of such a p-p-pious

Before we reached Hackton Castle, we had to drive through ten miles
of the Lyndon estates, where the people were out to visit us, the
church bells set a-ringing, the parson and the farmers assembled in
their best by the roadside, and the school children and the
labouring people were loud in their hurrahs for her Ladyship. I
flung money among these worthy characters, stopped to bow and chat
with his reverence and the farmers, and if I found that the
Devonshire girls were among the handsomest in the kingdom is it my
fault? These remarks my Lady Lyndon especially would take in great
dudgeon; and I do believe she was made more angry by my admiration
of the red cheeks of Miss Betsy Quarringdon of Clumpton, than by any
previous speech or act of mine in the journey. 'Ah, ah, my fine
madam, you are jealous, are you?' thought I, and reflected, not
without deep sorrow, how lightly she herself had acted in her
husband's lifetime, and that those are most jealous who themselves
give most cause for jealousy.

Round Hackton village the scene of welcome was particularly gay: a
band of music had been brought from Plymouth, and arches and flags
had been raised, especially before the attorney's and the doctor's
houses, who were both in the employ of the family. There were many
hundreds of stout people at the great lodge, which, with the park-
wall, bounds one side of Hackton Green, and from which, for three
miles, goes (or rather went) an avenue of noble elms up to the
towers of the old castle. I wished they had been oak when I cut the
trees down in '79, for they would have fetched three times the
money: I know nothing more culpable than the carelessness of
ancestors in planting their grounds with timber of small value, when
they might just as easily raise oak. Thus I have always said that
the Roundhead Lyndon of Hackton, who planted these elms in Charles
II.'s time, cheated me of ten thousand pounds.

For the first few days after our arrival, my time was agreeably
spent in receiving the visits of the nobility and gentry who came to
pay their respects to the noble new-married couple, and, like
Bluebeard's wife in the fairy tale, in inspecting the treasures, the
furniture, and the numerous chambers of the castle. It is a huge old
place, built as far back as Henry V.'s time, besieged and battered
by the Cromwellians in the Revolution, and altered and patched up,
in an odious old-fashioned taste, by the Roundhead Lyndon, who
succeeded to the property at the death of a brother whose principles
were excellent and of the true Cavalier sort, but who ruined himself
chiefly by drinking, dicing, and a dissolute life, and a little by
supporting the King. The castle stands in a fine chase, which was
prettily speckled over with deer; and I can't but own that my
pleasure was considerable at first, as I sat in the oak parlour of
summer evenings, with the windows open, the gold and silver plate
shining in a hundred dazzling colours on the side-boards, a dozen
jolly companions round the table, and could look out over the wide
green park and the waving woods, and see the sun setting on the
lake, and hear the deer calling to one another.

The exterior was, when I first arrived, a quaint composition of all
sorts of architecture; of feudal towers, and gable-ends in Queen
Bess's style, and rough-patched walls built up to repair the ravages
of the Roundhead cannon: but I need not speak of this at large,
having had the place new-faced at a vast expense, under a
fashionable architect, and the facade laid out in the latest French-
Greek and most classical style. There had been moats, and
drawbridges, and outer walls; these I had shaved away into elegant
terraces, and handsomely laid out in parterres according to the
plans of Monsieur Cornichon, the great Parisian architect, who
visited England for the purpose.

After ascending the outer steps, you entered an antique hall of vast
dimensions, wainscoted with black carved oak, and ornamented with
portraits of our ancestors: from the square beard of Brook Lyndon,
the great lawyer in Queen Bess's time, to the loose stomacher and
ringlets of Lady Saccharissa Lyndon, whom Vandyck painted when she
was a maid of honour to Queen Henrietta Maria, and down to Sir
Charles Lyndon, with his riband as a knight of the Bath; and my
Lady, painted by Hudson, in a white satin sack and the family
diamonds, as she was presented to the old King George II. These
diamonds were very fine: I first had them reset by Boehmer when we
appeared before their French Majesties at Versailles; and finally
raised L18,000 upon them, after that infernal run of ill luck at
'Goosetree's,' when Jemmy Twitcher (as we called my Lord Sandwich),
Carlisle, Charley Fox, and I played hombre for four-and-forty hours
SANS DESEMPARER. Bows and pikes, huge stag-heads and hunting
implements, and rusty old suits of armour, that may have been worn
in the days of Gog and Magog for what I know, formed the other old
ornaments of this huge apartment; and were ranged round a fireplace
where you might have turned a coach-and-six. This I kept pretty much
in its antique condition, but had the old armour eventually turned
out and consigned to the lumber-rooms upstairs; replacing it with
china monsters, gilded settees from France, and elegant marbles, of
which the broken noses and limbs, and ugliness, undeniably proved
their antiquity: and which an agent purchased for me at Rome. But
such was the taste of the times (and, perhaps, the rascality of my
agent), that thirty thousand pounds' worth of these gems of art only
went for three hundred guineas at a subsequent period, when I found
it necessary to raise money on my collections.

From this main hall branched off on either side the long series of
state-rooms, poorly furnished with high-backed chairs and long queer
Venice glasses, when first I came to the property; but afterwards
rendered so splendid by me, with the gold damasks of Lyons and the
magnificent Gobelin tapestries I won from Richelieu at play. There
were thirty-six bedrooms DE MAITRE, of which I only kept three in
their antique condition,--the haunted room as it was called, where
the murder was done in James II.'s time, the bed where William slept
after landing at Torbay, and Queen Elizabeth's state-room. All the
rest were redecorated by Cornichon in the most elegant taste; not a
little to the scandal of some of the steady old country dowagers;
for I had pictures of Boucher and Vanloo to decorate the principal
apartments, in which the Cupids and Venuses were painted in a manner
so natural, that I recollect the old wizened Countess of Frumpington
pinning over the curtains of her bed, and sending her daughter, Lady
Blanche Whalebone, to sleep with her waiting-woman, rather than
allow her to lie in a chamber hung all over with looking-glasses,
after the exact fashion of the Queen's closet at Versailles.

For many of these ornaments I was not so much answerable as
Cornichon, whom Lauraguais lent me, and who was the intendant of my
buildings during my absence abroad. I had given the man CARTE
BLANCHE, and when he fell down and broke his leg, as he was
decorating a theatre in the room which had been the old chapel of
the castle, the people of the country thought it was a judgment of
Heaven upon him. In his rage for improvement the fellow dared
anything. Without my orders he cut down an old rookery which was
sacred in the country, and had a prophecy regarding it, stating,
'When the rook-wood shall fall, down goes Hackton Hall.' The rooks
went over and colonised Tiptoff Woods, which lay near us (and be
hanged to them!), and Cornichon built a temple to Venus and two
lovely fountains on their site. Venuses and Cupids were the rascal's
adoration: he wanted to take down the Gothic screen and place Cupids
in our pew there; but old Doctor Huff the rector came out with a
large oak stick, and addressed the unlucky architect in Latin, of
which he did not comprehend a word, yet made him understand that he
would break his bones if he laid a single finger upon the sacred
edifice. Cornichon made complaints about the 'Abbe Huff,' as he
called him. ('Et quel abbe, grand Dieu!' added he, quite bewildered,
'un abbe avec douze enfans'); but I encouraged the Church in this
respect, and bade Cornichon exert his talents only in the castle.

There was a magnificent collection of ancient plate, to which I
added much of the most splendid modern kind; a cellar which, however
well furnished, required continual replenishing, and a kitchen which
I reformed altogether. My friend, Jack Wilkes, sent me down a cook
from the Mansion House, for the English cookery,--the turtle and
venison department: I had a CHEF (who called out the Englishman, by
the way, and complained sadly of the GROS COCHON who wanted to meet
him with COUPS DE POING) and a couple of AIDES from Paris, and an
Italian confectioner, as my OFFICIERS DE BOUCHE. All which natural
appendages to a man of fashion, the odious, stingy old Tiptoff, my
kinsman and neighbour, affected to view with horror; and he spread
through the country a report that I had my victuals cooked by
Papists, lived upon frogs, and, he verily believed, fricasseed
little children.

But the squires ate my dinners very readily for all that, and old
Doctor Huff himself was compelled to allow that my venison and
turtle were most orthodox. The former gentry I knew how to
conciliate, too, in other ways. There had been only a subscription
pack of fox-hounds in the county and a few beggarly couples of mangy
beagles, with which old Tiptoff pattered about his grounds; I built
a kennel and stables, which cost L30,000, and stocked them in a
manner which was worthy of my ancestors, the Irish kings. I had two
packs of hounds, and took the field in the season four times a week,
with three gentlemen in my hunt-uniform to follow me, and open house
at Hackton for all who belonged to the hunt.

These changes and this train de vivre required, as may be supposed,
no small outlay; and I confess that I have little of that base
spirit of economy in my composition which some people practise and
admire. For instance, old Tiptoff was hoarding up his money to
repair his father's extravagance and disencumber his estates; a good
deal of the money with which he paid off his mortgages my agent
procured upon mine. And, besides, it must be remembered I had only a
life-interest upon the Lyndon property, was always of an easy temper
in dealing with the money-brokers, and had to pay heavily for
insuring her Ladyship's life.

At the end of a year Lady Lyndon presented me with a son--Bryan
Lyndon I called him, in compliment to my royal ancestry: but what
more had I to leave him than a noble name? Was not the estate of his
mother entailed upon the odious little Turk, Lord Bullingdon? and
whom, by the way, I have not mentioned as yet, though he was living
at Hackton, consigned to a new governor. The insubordination of that
boy was dreadful. He used to quote passages of 'Hamlet' to his
mother, which made her very angry. Once when I took a horsewhip to
chastise him, he drew a knife, and would have stabbed me: and,
'faith, I recollected my own youth, which was pretty similar; and,
holding out my hand, burst out laughing, and proposed to him to be
friends. We were reconciled for that time, and the next, and the
next; but there was no love lost between us, and his hatred for me
seemed to grow as he grew, which was apace.

I determined to endow my darling boy Bryan with a property, and to
this end cut down twelve thousand pounds' worth of timber on Lady
Lyndon's Yorkshire and Irish estates: at which proceeding
Bullingdon's guardian, Tiptoff, cried out, as usual, and swore I had
no right to touch a stick of the trees; but down they went; and I
commissioned my mother to repurchase the ancient lands of Ballybarry
and Barryogue, which had once formed part of the immense possessions
of my house. These she bought back with excellent prudence and
extreme joy; for her heart was gladdened at the idea that a son was
born to my name, and with the notion of my magnificent fortunes.

To say truth, I was rather afraid, now that I lived in a very
different sphere from that in which she was accustomed to move, lest
she should come to pay me a visit, and astonish my English friends
by her bragging and her brogue, her rouge and her old hoops and
furbelows of the time of George II.: in which she had figured
advantageously in her youth, and which she still fondly thought to
be at the height of the fashion. So I wrote to her, putting off her
visit; begging her to visit us when the left wing of the castle was
finished, or the stables built, and so forth. There was no need of
such precaution. 'A hint's enough for me, Redmond,' the old lady
would reply. 'I am not coming to disturb you among your great
English friends with my old-fashioned Irish ways. It's a blessing to
me to think that my darling boy has attained the position which I
always knew was his due, and for which I pinched myself to educate
him. You must bring me the little Bryan, that his grandmother may
kiss him, one day. Present my respectful blessing to her Ladyship
his mamma. Tell her she has got a treasure in her husband, which she
couldn't have had had she taken a duke to marry her; and that the
Barrys and the Bradys, though without titles, have the best of blood
in their veins. I shall never rest until I see you Earl of
Ballybarry, and my grandson Lord Viscount Barryogue.'

How singular it was that the very same ideas should be passing in my
mother's mind and my own! The very title she had pitched upon had
also been selected (naturally enough) by me; and I don't mind
confessing that I had filled a dozen sheets of paper with my
signature, under the names of Ballybarry and Barryogue, and had
determined with my usual impetuosity to carry my point. My mother
went and established herself at Ballybarry, living with the priest
there until a tenement could be erected, and dating from 'Ballybarry
Castle;' which, you may be sure, I gave out to be a place of no
small importance. I had a plan of the estate in my study, both at
Hackton and in Berkeley Square, and the plans of the elevation of
Ballybarry Castle, the ancestral residence of Barry Lyndon, Esq.,
with the projected improvements, in which the castle was represented
as about the size of Windsor, with more ornaments to the
architecture; and eight hundred acres of bog falling in handy, I
purchased them at three pounds an acre, so that my estate upon the
map looked to be no insignificant one. [Footnote: On the strength of
this estate, and pledging his honour that it was not mortgaged, Mr.
Barry Lyndon borrowed L17,000 in the year 1786, from young Captain
Pigeon, the city merchant's son, who had just come in for his
property. At for the Polwellan estate and mines, 'the cause of
endless litigation,' it must be owned that our hero purchased them;
but he never paid more than the first L5000 of the purchase-money.
Hence the litigation of which he complains, and the famous Chancery
suit of 'Trecothick v. Lyndon,' in which Mr. John Scott greatly
distinguished himself.-ED.]

I also in this year made arrangements for purchasing the Polwellan
estate and mines in Cornwall from Sir John Trecothick, for L70,000--
an imprudent bargain, which was afterwards the cause to me of much
dispute and litigation. The troubles of property, the rascality of
agents, the quibbles of lawyers, are endless. Humble people envy us
great men, and fancy that our lives are all pleasure. Many a time in
the course of my prosperity I have sighed for the days of my meanest
fortune, and envied the boon companions at my table, with no clothes
to their backs but such as my credit supplied them, without a guinea
but what came from my pocket; but without one of the harassing cares
and responsibilities which are the dismal adjuncts of great rank and

I did little more than make my appearance, and assume the command of
my estates, in the kingdom of Ireland; rewarding generously those
persons who had been kind to me in my former adversities, and taking
my fitting place among the aristocracy of the land. But, in truth, I
had small inducements to remain in it after having tasted of the
genteeler and more complete pleasures of English and Continental
life; and we passed our summers at Buxton, Bath, and Harrogate,
while Hackton Castle was being beautified in the elegant manner
already described by me, and the season at our mansion in Berkeley

It is wonderful how the possession of wealth brings out the virtues
of a man; or, at any rate, acts as a varnish or lustre to them, and
brings out their brilliancy and colour in a manner never known when
the individual stood in the cold grey atmosphere of poverty. I
assure you it was a very short time before I was a pretty fellow of
the first class; made no small sensation at the coffee-houses in
Pall Mall and afterwards at the most famous clubs. My style,
equipages, and elegant entertainments were in everybody's mouth, and
were described in all the morning prints. The needier part of Lady
Lyndon's relatives, and such as had been offended by the intolerable
pomposity of old Tiptoff, began to appear at our routs and
assemblies; and as for relations of my own, I found in London and
Ireland more than I had ever dreamed of, of cousins who claimed
affinity with me. There were, of course, natives of my own country
(of which I was not particularly proud), and I received visits from
three or four swaggering shabby Temple bucks, with tarnished lace
and Tipperary brogue, who were eating their way to the bar in
London; from several gambling adventurers at the watering-places,
whom I soon speedily let to know their place; and from others of
more reputable condition. Among them I may mention my cousin the
Lord Kilbarry, who, on the score of his relationship, borrowed
thirty pieces from me to pay his landlady in Swallow Street; and
whom, for my own reasons, I allowed to maintain and credit a
connection for which the Heralds' College gave no authority
whatsoever. Kilbarry had a cover at my table; punted at play, and
paid when he liked, which was seldom; had an intimacy with, and was
under considerable obligations to, my tailor; and always boasted of
his cousin the great Barry Lyndon of the West country.

Her Ladyship and I lived, after a while, pretty separate when in
London. She preferred quiet: or to say the truth, I preferred it;
being a great friend to a modest tranquil behaviour in woman, and a
taste for the domestic pleasures. Hence I encouraged her to dine at
home with her ladies, her chaplain, and a few of her friends;
admitted three or four proper and discreet persons to accompany her
to her box at the opera or play on proper occasions; and indeed
declined for her the too frequent visits of her friends and family,
preferring to receive them only twice or thrice in a season on our
grand reception days. Besides, she was a mother, and had great
comfort in the dressing, educating, and dandling our little Bryan,
for whose sake it was fit that she should give up the pleasures and
frivolities of the world; so she left THAT part of the duty of every
family of distinction to be performed by me. To say the truth, Lady
Lyndon's figure and appearance were not at this time such as to make
for their owner any very brilliant appearance in the fashionable
world. She had grown very fat, was short-sighted, pale in
complexion, careless about her dress, dull in demeanour; her
conversations with me characterised by a stupid despair, or a silly
blundering attempt at forced cheerfulness still more disagreeable:
hence our intercourse was but trifling, and my temptations to carry
her into the world, or to remain in her society, of necessity
exceedingly small. She would try my temper at home, too, in a
thousand ways. When requested by me (often, I own, rather roughly)
to entertain the company with conversation, wit, and learning, of
which she was a mistress: or music, of which she was an accomplished
performer, she would as often as not begin to cry, and leave the
room. My company from this, of course, fancied I was a tyrant over
her; whereas I was only a severe and careful guardian over a silly,
bad-tempered, and weak-minded lady.

She was luckily very fond of her youngest son, and through him I had
a wholesome and effectual hold of her; for if in any of her tantrums
or fits of haughtiness--(this woman was intolerably proud; and
repeatedly, at first, in our quarrels, dared to twit me with my own
original poverty and low birth),--if, I say, in our disputes she
pretended to have the upper hand, to assert her authority against
mine, to refuse to sign such papers as I might think necessary for
the distribution of our large and complicated property, I would have
Master Bryan carried off to Chiswick for a couple of days; and I
warrant me his lady-mother could hold out no longer, and would agree
to anything I chose to propose. The servants about her I took care
should be in my pay, not hers: especially the child's head nurse was
under MY orders, not those of my lady; and a very handsome, red-
cheeked, impudent jade she was; and a great fool she made me make of
myself. This woman was more mistress of the house than the poor-
spirited lady who owned it. She gave the law to the servants; and if
I showed any particular attention to any of the ladies who visited
us, the slut would not scruple to show her jealousy, and to find
means to send them packing. The fact is, a generous man is always
made a fool of by some woman or other, and this one had such an
influence over me that she could turn me round her finger.
[Footnote: From these curious confessions, it would appear that Mr.
Lyndon maltreated his lady in every possible way; that he denied her
society, bullied her into signing away her property, spent it in
gambling and taverns, was openly unfaithful to her; and, when she
complained, threatened to remove her children from her. Nor, indeed,
is he the only husband who has done the like, and has passed for
'nobody's enemy but his own:' a jovial good-natured fellow. The
world contains scores of such amiable people; and, indeed, it is
because justice has not been done them that we have edited this
autobiography. Had it been that of a mere hero of romance--one of
those heroic youths who figure in the novels of Scott and James--
there would have been no call to introduce the reader to a personage
already so often and so charmingly depicted. Mr. Barry Lyndon is
not, we repeat, a hero of the common pattern; but let the reader
look round, and ask himself, Do not as many rogues succeed in life
as honest men? more fools than men of talent? And is it not just
that the lives of this class should be described by the student of
human nature as well as the actions of those fairy-tale princes,
those perfect impossible heroes, whom our writers love to describe?
There is something naive and simple in that time-honoured style of
novel-writing by which Prince Prettyman, at the end of his
adventures, is put in possession of every worldly prosperity, as he
has been endowed with every mental and bodily excellence previously.
The novelist thinks that he can do no more for his darling hero than
make him a lord. Is it not a poor standard that, of the summum
bonum? The greatest good in life is not to be a lord; perhaps not
even to be happy. Poverty, illness, a humpback, may be rewards and
conditions of good, as well as that bodily prosperity which all of
us unconsciously set up for worship. But this is a subject for an
essay, not a note; and it is best to allow Mr. Lyndon to resume the
candid and ingenious narrative of his virtues and defects.]

Her infernal temper (Mrs. Stammer was the jade's name) and my wife's
moody despondency, made my house and home not over-pleasant: hence I
was driven a good deal abroad, where, as play was the fashion at
every club, tavern, and assembly, I, of course, was obliged to
resume my old habit, and to commence as an amateur those games at
which I was once unrivalled in Europe. But whether a man's temper
changes with prosperity, or his skill leaves him when, deprived of a
confederate, and pursuing the game no longer professionally, he
joins in it, like the rest of the world, for pastime, I know not;
but certain it is, that in the seasons of 1774-75 I lost much money
at 'White's' and the 'Cocoa-Tree,' and was compelled to meet my
losses by borrowing largely upon my wife's annuities, insuring her
Ladyship's life, and so forth. The terms at which I raised these
necessary sums and the outlays requisite for my improvements were,
of course, very onerous, and clipped the property considerably; and
it was some of these papers which my Lady Lyndon (who was of a
narrow, timid, and stingy turn) occasionally refused to sign: until
I PERSUADED her, as I have before shown.

My dealings on the turf ought to be mentioned, as forming part of my
history at this time; but, in truth, I have no particular pleasure
in recalling my Newmarket doings. I was infernally bit and bubbled
in almost every one of my transactions there; and though I could
ride a horse as well as any man in England, was no match with the
English noblemen at backing him. Fifteen years after my horse, Bay
Bulow, by Sophy Hardcastle, out of Eclipse, lost the Newmarket
stakes, for which he was the first favourite, I found that a noble
earl, who shall be nameless, had got into his stable the morning
before he ran; and the consequence was that an outside horse won,
and your humble servant was out to the amount of fifteen thousand
pounds. Strangers had no chance in those days on the heath: and,
though dazzled by the splendour and fashion assembled there, and
surrounded by the greatest persons of the land,--the royal dukes,
with their wives and splendid equipages; old Grafton, with his queer
bevy of company, and such men as Ancaster, Sandwich, Lorn,--a man
might have considered himself certain of fair play and have been not
a little proud of the society he kept; yet, I promise you, that,
exalted as it was, there was no set of men in Europe who knew how to
rob more genteelly, to bubble a stranger, to bribe a jockey, to
doctor a horse, or to arrange a betting-book. Even _I_ couldn't
stand against these accomplished gamesters of the highest families
in Europe. Was it my own want of style, or my want of fortune? I
know not. But now I was arrived at the height of my ambition, both
my skill and my luck seemed to be deserting me. Everything I touched
crumbled in my hand; every speculation I had failed, every agent I
trusted deceived me. I am, indeed, one of those born to make, and
not to keep fortunes; for the qualities and energy which lead a man
to effect the first are often the very causes of his ruin in the
latter case: indeed, I know of no other reason for the misfortunes
which finally befell me. [Footnote: The Memoirs seem to have been
written about the year 1814, in that calm retreat which Fortune had
selected for the author at the close of his life.]

I had always a taste for men of letters, and perhaps, if the truth
must be told, have no objection to playing the fine gentleman and
patron among the wits. Such people are usually needy, and of low
birth, and have an instinctive awe and love of a gentleman and a
laced coat; as all must have remarked who have frequented their
society. Mr. Reynolds, who was afterwards knighted, and certainly
the most elegant painter of his day, was a pretty dexterous courtier
of the wit tribe; and it was through this gentleman, who painted a
piece of me, Lady Lyndon, and our little Bryan, which was greatly
admired at the Exhibition (I was represented as quitting my wife, in
the costume of the Tippleton Yeomanry, of which I was major; the
child starting back from my helmet like what-d'ye-call'im--Hector's
son, as described by Mr. Pope in his 'Iliad'); it was through Mr.
Reynolds that I was introduced to a score of these gentlemen, and
their great chief, Mr. Johnson. I always thought their great chief a
great bear. He drank tea twice or thrice at my house, misbehaving
himself most grossly; treating my opinions with no more respect than
those of a schoolboy, and telling me to mind my horses and tailors,
and not trouble myself about letters. His Scotch bear-leader, Mr.
Boswell, was a butt of the first quality. I never saw such a figure
as the fellow cut in what he called a Corsican habit, at one of Mrs.
Cornely's balls, at Carlisle House, Soho. But that the stories
connected with that same establishment are not the most profitable
tales in the world, I could tell tales of scores of queer doings
there. All the high and low demireps of the town gathered there,
from his Grace of Ancaster down to my countryman, poor Mr. Oliver
Goldsmith the poet, and from the Duchess of Kingston down to the
Bird of Paradise, or Kitty Fisher. Here I have met very queer
characters, who came to queer ends too: poor Hackman, that
afterwards was hanged for killing Miss Reay, and (on the sly) his
Reverence Doctor Simony, whom my friend Sam Foote, of the 'Little
Theatre,' bade to live even after forgery and the rope cut short the
unlucky parson's career.

It was a merry place, London, in those days, and that's the truth.
I'm writing now in my gouty old age, and people have grown vastly
more moral and matter-of-fact than they were at the close of the
last century, when the world was young with me. There was a
difference between a gentleman and a common fellow in those times.
We wore silk and embroidery then. Now every man has the same
coachmanlike look in his belcher and caped coat, and there is no
outward difference between my Lord and his groom. Then it took a man
of fashion a couple of hours to make his toilette, and he could show
some taste and genius in the selecting it. What a blaze of splendour
was a drawing-room, or an opera, of a gala night! What sums of money
were lost and won at the delicious faro-table! My gilt curricle and
out-riders, blazing in green and gold, were very different objects
from the equipages you see nowadays in the ring, with the stunted
grooms behind them. A man could drink four times as much as the
milksops nowadays can swallow; but 'tis useless expatiating on this
theme. Gentlemen are dead and gone. The fashion has now turned upon
your soldiers and sailors, and I grow quite moody and sad when I
think of thirty years ago.

This is a chapter devoted to reminiscences of what was a very happy
and splendid time with me, but presenting little of mark in the way
of adventure; as is generally the case when times are happy and
easy. It would seem idle to fill pages with accounts of the every-
day occupations of a man of fashion,--the fair ladies who smiled
upon him, the dresses he wore, the matches he played, and won or
lost. At this period of time, when youngsters are employed cutting
the Frenchmen's throats in Spain and France, lying out in bivouacs,
and feeding off commissariat beef and biscuit, they would not
understand what a life their ancestors led; and so I shall leave
further discourse upon the pleasures of the times when even the
Prince was a lad in leading-strings, when Charles Fox had not
subsided into a mere statesman, and Buonaparte was a beggarly brat
in his native island.

Whilst these improvements were going on in my estates,--my house,
from an antique Norman castle, being changed to an elegant Greek
temple, or palace--my gardens and woods losing their rustic
appearance to be adapted to the most genteel French style--my child
growing up at his mother's knees, and my influence in the country
increasing,--it must not be imagined that I stayed in Devonshire all
this while, and that I neglected to make visits to London, and my
various estates in England and Ireland.

I went to reside at the Trecothick estate and the Polwellan Wheal,
where I found, instead of profit, every kind of pettifogging
chicanery; I passed over in state to our territories in Ireland,
where I entertained the gentry in a style the Lord Lieutenant
himself could not equal; gave the fashion to Dublin (to be sure it
was a beggarly savage city in those days; and, since the time there
has been a pother about the Union, and the misfortunes attending it,
I have been at a loss to account for the mad praises of the old
order of things, which the fond Irish patriots have invented); I say
I set the fashion to Dublin; and small praise to me, for a poor
place it was in those times, whatever the Irish party may say.

In a former chapter I have given you a description of it. It was the
Warsaw of our part of the world: there was a splendid, ruined, half-
civilised nobility, ruling over a half-savage population. I say
half-savage advisedly. The commonalty in the streets were wild,
unshorn, and in rags. The most public places were not safe after
nightfall. The College, the public buildings, and the great gentry's
houses were splendid (the latter unfinished for the most part); but
the people were in a state more wretched than any vulgar I have ever
known: the exercise of their religion was only half allowed to them;
their clergy were forced to be educated out of the country; their
aristocracy was quite distinct from them; there was a Protestant
nobility, and in the towns, poor insolent Protestant corporations,
with a bankrupt retinue of mayors, aldermen, and municipal officers


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