Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Sir Jasper Carew His Life and Experience   By: (1806-1872)

Book cover

First Page:


His Life and Experience

By Charles James Lever

Illustrated By E. Van Muyden and Phiz.

Boston: Little, Brown, And Company. 1904.

Copyright, 1894, By Little, Brown, And Company.




It has been constantly observed by writers of travels that to gain credence for any of the strange incidents of their journeys, they have been compelled to omit many of the most eventful passages of their lives. "The gentlemen," and still more the ladies, "who live at home at ease" take, indeed, but little account of those adventures which are the daily lot of more precarious existences, and are too prone to set down as marvellous, or worse, events which have comparatively little remarkable for those whose fortunes have thrown them on the highways of the world.

I make this remark in part to deprecate some of the criticism which I have seen pronounced upon these Memoirs. It has been said: How could any man have met so many adventures? and my answer is simply: By change of place. Nothing more is required. The pawn on the chess board has a life of a very uneventful character, simply because his progress is slow, methodical, and unchanging. Not so the knight, who, with all the errantry of his race, dashes here and there, encountering every rank and condition of men, continually in difficulties himself, or the cause of them to others. What the knight is to the chess board, the adventurer is to real life. The same wayward fortune and zig zag course belongs to each, and each is sure to have his share in nearly every great event that occurs about him. But I also refer to this subject on another account. Tale writers are blamed for the introduction of incidents which have little bearing on the main story, or whose catastrophes are veiled in obscurity. But I would humbly ask, Are not these exactly the very traits of real life? Is not every man's course checkered with incidents, and crossed by people who never affect his actual career? Do not things occur every week singular enough to demand a record, and yet, to all seeming, not in any way bearing upon our fortunes? While I need but appeal to universal experience to corroborate me when I say that life is little else than a long series of uncompleted adventures, I do not employ the strongest of all argument on this occasion, and declare that in writing my Memoirs I had no choice but to set down the whole or nothing, because I am aware that some sceptical folk would like to imagine me a shade, and my story a fiction!

I am quite conscious of some inaccuracies; for aught I know, there may be many in these pages; but I wrote most of them in very old age, away from books, and still further away from the friends who might have afforded me their counsel and guidance. I wrote with difficulty and from memory, that is, from a memory in which a fact often faded while I transcribed it, and where it demanded all my efforts to call up the incidents, without, at the same time, summoning a dozen others, irrelevant and unwarranted.

These same pages, with all their faults, have been a solace to many a dreary hour, when, alone and companionless, I have sat in the stillness of a home that no footsteps resound in, and by a hearth where none confronts me. They would be still richer in comfort if I thought they could cheer some heart lonely as my own, and make pain or sorrow forget something of its sting. I scarcely dare to hope for this, but I wish it heartily! And if there be aught of presumption in the thought, pray set it down amongst the other errors and short comings of

Jasper Carew.

Palazzo Guidotte, Senegaqlia, Jan. 1855.


It has sometimes occurred to me that the great suits of armor we see in museums, the huge helmets that come down like extinguishers on the penny candles of modern humanity, the enormous cuirasses and gigantic iron gloves, were neither more nor less than downright and deliberate cheats practised by the "Gents" of those days for the especial humbugging of us, their remote posterity... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books