A lady who sets her heart upon a lad in uniform must prepare to change lovers pretty quickly, or her life will be but a sad one. This heart of Lischen's was like many a neighboring town and had been stormed and occupied several times before Barry came to invest it.
No lad who has liberty for the first time, and twenty guineas in his pocket, is very sad, and Barry rode towards Dublin thinking not so much of the kind mother left alone, and of the home behind him, but of tomorrow, and all the wonders it would bring.
Barry's first taste of battle was only a skirmish against a small rearguard of Frenchmen who occupied an orchard beside a road down which, a few hours later, the English main force would wish to pass. Though this encounter is not recorded in any history books, it was memorable enough for those who took part.
It is well to dream of glorious war in a snug armchair at home, but it is a very different thing to see it first hand. And after the death of his friend, Barry's thoughts turned from those of military glory to those of finding a way to escape the service to which he was now tied for another six years. Gentlemen may talk of the age of chivalry, but remember the ploughmen, poachers and pickpockets whom they lead. It is with these sad instruments that your great warriors and kings have been doing their murderous work in the world.
Fate had determined that he should leave none of his race behind him, and that he should finish his life poor, lonely and childless.
The Prussian service was considerably worse than the English. The life that the private soldier led was a frightful one. Punishment was incessant, and every officer had the right to inflict it. The gauntlet was the most common penalty for minor offenses. The more serious ones were punishable by mutilation or death. At the close of the Seven Years' War, the army, so renowned for it's disciplined valor, was officered by native Prussians. But it was composed, for the most part, of men from the lowest levels of humanity. Hired, or stolen from almost every nation in Europe. Thus Barry fell into the very worst of courses and company. And was soon very far advanced in the science of every kind of misconduct.
Five years in the army, and some considerable experience of the world, had by now dispelled any of those romantic notions regarding love with which Barry commenced life. And he began to have it in mind, as so many gentlemen had done before him, to marry a woman of fortune and condition. And, as such things so often happen, these thoughts closely coincided with his setting first sight upon a lady who will henceforth play a considerable part in the drama of his life: the Countess of Lyndon, Viscountess Bullingdon of England, Baroness of Castle Lyndon of the Kingdom of Ireland, a woman of vast wealth and great beauty. She was the wife of The Right Honorable Sir Charles Reginald Lyndon, Knight of the Bath, and Minister to George III at several of the smaller Courts of Europe, a cripple, wheeled about in a chair, worn out by gout and a myriad of diseases. Her Ladyship's Chaplain, Mr. Runt, acted in the capacity of tutor to her son, the little Viscount Bullingdon, a melancholy little boy, much attached to his mother.
Utterly baffled and beaten, what was the lonely and broken-hearted man to do? He took the annuity and returned to Ireland with his mother to complete his recovery. Sometime later he travelled to the Continent. His life there, we have not the means of following accurately. But he appears to have resumed his former profession of a gambler without his former success. He never saw Lady Lyndon again.
Gentlemen, cock your pistols! Gentlemen...
...aim your pistols!
...had been bred, like many other young sons of a genteel family, to the profession of the law.
And there is no doubt he would've...
..made an eminent figure in his profession...
...had he not been killed in a duel, which arose over the purchase of some horses.
Excuse me, sir!
Good morning again, young sir!
[a young man on horseback approaches and holds Barry up from behind with a pistol]
Don't even think about it. Get down off that horse. Raise your hands high above your head, please. Come forward... stop. How do you do? I'm Captain Feeny.
Captain Feeny at your service.
THE Captain Feeny?
None other. May I introduce you to my son, Seamus.
How do you do?
How do you do?
To whom have I the honor of speaking?
My name's Redmond Barry.