« AnteriorContinuar »
THE SOLDIER'S FAREWELL, AFTER THE FASHION OF
THE BRITISH ARMY-LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
“ Ballymaccrocodile, May 10, 18—. “ DEAR COBB,—I hear that you have sold your hunters and pulled in and taken to spooning instead, which pained me much, as I had supposed you were eminently successful on the Stock Exchange. I hope, however, that the smash is not very serious; but in your new character I wish to recomVOL. I.
mend to your patronage a girl that has done me to flirt with all the time I have been here, and behaved very well, and I wish you would take her up. Ellen O'Reilly is her name; she is about twenty-two, with good teeth, and I have taught her to waltz properly, and have promised her that you shall teach her to galoppe after the fashion of the court of Saxe-Weimar, on which subject, or rather about old Goethe, she is somewhat enthusiastic; her only fault being that she is a bit of a blue, and consequently talks a d-d deal of stuff about things that she don't understand; that, however, you know, most of them do without a tithe of her redeeming qualities, for she really is a very nice girl, as lady-like as could be hoped for here, and does not expect one to marry her. If you lend her that grey mare of yours, and put your smartest boy on the cab horse, you will win her heart slick away.
“The garrison hacks here are pretty smart steppers; indeed, rather better than usual; there are not dragoons enough to inoculate them with stable slang and canteen manners. One girl, daughter of an old fellow (pork and provision trade), who is as rich as a Jew, and gives dinners twice a-week, devilish near caught Willy Jackson. I think she would have booked him dearly beloved if it had not been for a host of utterly unpresentable relations that Willy could not swallow. She was not a bad style of craft either, though she ate like a cormorant and drank like a fish. She waltzes well, but is too adhesive for my taste. Beauty Bill, with that spooney manner of his, had his usual luck; he seemed so soft, that they tried a brother on him, but it did not fit; two can play at barking irons, and all that the affectionate brother got was a ball through both thighs, and within half an inch of the left femoral artery into the bargain, devil mend him! He missed Bill altogether. So beware of the Boyds; though perhaps you may say they have had their lesson. But, seriously, you cannot do better than take up with Ellen; there are many worse ways of spending an evening than a quiet game of écarté with her. You understand; and though it is true that when she has too much champagne on board she is apt to be troublesome from jealousy, that will not signify to you, whose fidelity (for three months) is proverbial through the whole British army and most of the Prussian.
“ Beware of a fat lump of a girl of the name of Hooper; her governor gives pretty good dinners, and the girl herself is amusing for a time, but she lies like a trooper. Ellen's father is a clergyman, so I conclude you will speedily get to windward of him with that extensive biblical knowledge of yours, that so forcibly reminds one of the