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Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General   By: (1806-1872)

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First Page:


By Charles Lever

Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine




A Friend Of Gioberts: Being A Reminiscence Of Seventeen Years Ago.

Garibaldi's Worshippers.

Something About Solferino And Ships.

The Stranger At The Croce Di Malta.

The Strange Man's Sorrow.

Italian Law And Justice.

The Organ Nuisance And Its Remedy.

R. N. F. The Great Chevalier D'industrie Of Our Day.


A New Investment.

Italian Traits And Characteristics.

The Decline Of Whist.

One Of Our "Two Puzzles".

A Masterly Inactivity.

A New Hansard.

Foreign Clubs.

A Hint For C. S. Examiners.

Of Some Old Dogs In Office.

Decline Of The Drama.

Pensions For Governors.

A Grumble.

Of Our Brothers Beyond The Border.

The Rule Nisi.

On Climbing Boys.


The Old Conjurors And The New.

Gambling For The Million.

The Intoxicating Liquors Bill.


My dear Anster,

If you knew how often I have thought of you as I was writing this book, if you knew how there rose before my mind memories of long ago of those glorious evenings with all those fine spirits, to think of whom is a triumph even with all its sadness, and if you knew how I long to meet once more the few soldiers who survive of that "old guard," you would see how naturally I dedicate my volume to him who was the best of us. Accept it, I beg you, as a token of recollection and regard from your affectionate friend,


Lago Maggiore, July 20,1864.



As I have very little to say for myself that is not said in some of my opening pages, there is no need that I should delay you on the threshold.

You will learn, if you take the trouble, by what course of events I came to my present pursuit, converting myself into what a candid, but not complimentary, friend has called "a diverting Vagabond."

The fact was, I gave the world every reasonable opportunity of knowing that they had a remarkable man amongst them, but, with a stupidity all their own, they wouldn't see it; so that when the solicitor who once gave me a brief died I believe it was a softening of the brain I burned my wig and retired from the profession.

Now, let people say what they may, it is by no means easy to invent a new line of life; and even if you should, there are scores of people ready to start up and seize on your discovery; and as I write these lines I am by no means sure that to morrow will not see some other Cornelius O'Dowd inviting the public to a feast of wisdom and life knowledge, with perhaps a larger stock than my own of "things not generally known." I will disparage no man's wares. There is, I feel assured, a market for us all. My rivals, or my imitators, whichever you like to call them, may prove superior to me; they maybe more ingenious, more various, more witty, or more profound; but take my word for it, bland Header, there is always something in the original tap, whether the liquor be Harvey sauce or L.L. whisky, and such is mine. You are, in coming to me, frequenting the old house; and if I could only descend to it, I could print you more testimonials to success than Mr Morrison's of the pills, or the other man of cod liver oil, but I scorn to give the names, imparted as they were in secret gratitude. One only trick of the trade I will condescend to it is to assure you that you had need to beware of counterfeits, and that no O'Dowderies are genuine except signed by me.

My heart is broke with requests for my autograph. Will a sympathising public accept the above which, of course, will be immediately photographed.


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