Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon Volume Ii Part 70
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Others again have fallen foul of me, for treating of things, places, and people with which I had no opportunity of becoming personally acquainted.
Thus one of my critics has showed that I could not have been a Trinity College man; and another has denied my military matriculation. Now, although both my Latin and my learning are on the peace establishment, and if examined in the movements for cavalry, it is perfectly possible I should be cautioned, yet as I have both a degree and a commission I might have been spared this reproach.
"Of coorse," says Father Malachi Brennan, who leans over my shoulder while I write,--"of coorse you ought to know all about these things as well as the Duke of Wellington or Marshal Soult himself. UNDE DERYVATUR MILES.
Ain't you in the Derry militia?" I hope the Latin and the translation will satisfy every objection.
While, then, I have nothing but thankfulness in my heart respecting the entire press of my own country, I have a small grudge with my friends of the far west; and as this is a season of complaint against the Yankees, "Why shouldn't I roll my tub also?" A certain New York paper, called the "Sunday Times," has thought fit for some time past to fill its columns with a story of the Peninsular war, announcing it as "by the author of Charles O'Malley." Heaven knows that injured individual has sins enough of his own to answer for, without fathering a whole foundling hospital of American balderdash; but this kidnapping spirit of brother Jonathan would seem to be the fashion of the day! Not content with capturing Macleod, who unhappily ventured within his frontier, he must come over to Ireland and lay hands on Harry Lorrequer. Thus difficulties are thickening every day. When they dispose of the colonel, then comes the boundary question; after that there is Grogan's affair, then me. They may liberate Macleod;  they may abandon the State of Maine,--but what recompense can be made to me for this foul attack on my literary character? It has been suggested to me from the Foreign Office that the editor might be hanged. I confess I should like this; but after all it would be poor satisfaction for the injury done me.
Meanwhile, as Macleod has the _pas_ of me, I'll wait patiently, and think the matter over.
[Footnote 3: I have just read that Macleod and Grogan have been liberated.
May I indulge a hope that _my_ case will engage the sympathies of the world during the Christmas holidays. H. L.]
It was my intention, before taking leave of you, to have apologized separately for many blunders in my book; but the errors of the press are too palpable to be attributed to me. I have written letters without end, begged, prayed, and entreated that more care might be bestowed; but somehow, after all, they have crept in in spite of me. Indeed, latterly I began to think I had found out the secret of it. My publisher, excellent man, has a kind of pride about printing in Ireland, and he thinks the blunders, like the green cover to the volume, give the thing a national look. I think it was a countryman of mine of whom the story is told, that he apologized for his spelling by the badness of his pen. This excuse, a little extended, may explain away anacronisms, and if it won't I am sorry for it, for I have no other.
Here then I conclude: I must say, adieu! Yet can I not do so before I again assure you that if perchance I may have lightened an hour of _your_ solitude, you, my kind friends, have made happy whole weeks and days of _mine_; and if happily I have called up a passing smile upon _your_ lip, your favor has spoken joy and gladness to many a heart around _my_ board.
Is it, then, strange that I should be grateful for the past; be sorrowful for the present?
To one and all, then, a happy Christmas; and if before the new year, you have not forgotten me, I shall be delighted to have your company at OUR MESS.
Meanwhile believe me most respectfully and faithfully yours,
BRUSSELS, November, 1841.
Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon Volume Ii Part 70
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