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Myself
by [?]

Bland Reader,–If you ever look into the Irish papers–and I hope you are not so exclusive regarding them as is Mr Cobden with the ‘Times’–you will see that, under the title, “Landed Estates Court, County Mayo,” Judge Dobbs has just sold the town and lands of Kilmuray-nabachlish, Ballaghy, and Gregnaslattery, the property of Cornelius O’Dowd, Esq. of Dowd’s Folly, in the same county.

Now the above-recited lands, measuring seven hundred and fourteen acres, two roods, and eleven perches, statute measure, were mine, and I am the Cornelius O’Dowd, Esq., referred to in the same paragraph.

Though it is perfectly true that, what between mortgages, settlement claims, and bonds, neither my father nor myself owned these lands any more than we did the island of Jamaica, it was a great blow to me to be sold out; for, somehow or other, one can live a long time in Ireland on parchment–I mean on the mere documents of an estate that has long since passed away; but if you come once to an open sale and Judge Dobbs, there’s an end of you, and you’ll not get credit for a pair of shoes the day after.

My present reason for addressing you does not require that I should go into my family history, or mention more of myself than that I was called to the Bar in ’42; that I stood an unsuccessful election for Athlone; that I served as a captain in the West Coast Rifles; that I married a young lady of great personal attractions; and completed my misfortunes by taking the chairmanship of the Vichnasehneshee silver mines, that very soon left me with nothing but copper in my own pocket, and sent me to Judge Dobbs and his Court on the Inns Quay.

Like the rest of my countrymen, I was always hoping the Government would “do something” for me. I have not missed a levee for fourteen years, and I have shown the calves of my legs to every viceroyalty since Lord Clarendon’s day; but though they all joked and talked very pleasantly with me, none said, “O’Dowd, we must do something for you;” and if it was to rain commissionerships in lunacy, or prison inspectorships, I don’t believe one would fall upon C. O’D. I never knew rightly how it was, but though I was always liked at the Bar mess, and made much of on circuit, I never got a brief. People were constantly saying to me, “Con, if you were to do this, that, or t’other,” you’d make a hit; but it was always conditional on my being somewhere, or doing something that I never had attempted before.

It was clear, if I was the right man, I wasn’t in the right place; and this was all the more provoking, because, let me do what I would, some one was sure to exclaim, “Con, my boy, don’t try that; it is certainly not your line.” “What a capital agent for a new assurance company you’d be!” “What a success you’d have had on the stage! You’d have played Sir Lucius better than any living actor. Why don’t you go on the boards? Why not start a penny newspaper? Why not give readings?” I wonder why they didn’t tell me to turn organist or a painter in oils.

“You’re always telling us how much you know of the world, Mr O’Dowd,” said my wife; “I wish you could turn the knowledge to some account.”

This was scarcely generous, to say the least of it.

Mrs O’D. knew well that I was vain of the quality–that I regarded it as a sort of specialty. In fact, deeming, with the poet, that the proper study of mankind was man, I had devoted a larger share of my life to the inquiry than quite consisted with professional advancement; and while others pored over their Blackstone, I was “doing Baden;” and instead of term reports and Crown cases, I was diverting myself in the Oberland or on the Lago Maggiore.