The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous. Volume 1
Sala George Augustus. The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous. Volume 1
CHAPTER THE FIRST. MINE OWN HOUSE
CHAPTER THE SECOND. THE HISTORY OF AN UNKNOWN LADY, WHO CAME FROM DOVER IN A COACH-AND-SIX
CHAPTER THE THIRD. THE HISTORY OF MY GRANDMOTHER, WHO WAS A LADY OF CONSEQUENCE IN THE WEST COUNTRY
CHAPTER THE FOURTH. MY GRANDMOTHER DIES, AND I AM LEFT ALONE, WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A NAME
CHAPTER THE FIFTH. I AM BARBAROUSLY ABUSED BY THOSE WHO HAVE CHARGE OF ME, AND FLYING INTO CHARLWOOD CHASE, JOIN THE "BLACKS."
CHAPTER THE SIXTH. THE HISTORY OF MY GRANDFATHER, WHO WAS SO LONG KEPT A PRISONER IN ONE OF THE KING'S CASTLES IN THE EAST COUNTRY
CHAPTER THE SEVENTH. I AM BRED UP IN VERY BAD COMPANY, AND (TO MY SHAME) HELP TO KILL THE KING'S DEER
CHAPTER THE EIGHTH. THE HISTORY OF MOTHER DRUM
CHAPTER THE NINTH. THE END OF MY ADVENTURES AMONG THE BLACKS
CHAPTER THE TENTH. I AM VERY NEAR BEING HANGED
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I, John Dangerous, a faithful subject of his Majesty King George, whose bread, God bless him! I have eaten, and whose battles I have fought, in my poor way, am now in my sixty-eighth year, and live in My Own House in Hanover Square. By virtue of several commissions, both English and foreign, I have a right to call myself Captain; and if any man say that I have no such right, he Lies, and deserves the Stab. It may be that this narrative, now composed only for my own Pleasure, will, long after my Death, see the light in Print, and that some copper Captain, or counterfeit critic, or pitiful creature of that kidney, will question my Rank, or otherwise despitefully use my Memory. Let such treachours and clapper-dudgeons (albeit I value not their leasing a bagadine) venture it at their peril. I have, alas, no heirs male; but to my Daughter's husband, and to his descendants, or, failing them, to their executors, administrators, and assigns, I solemnly commit the task of seeking out such envious Rogues, and of kicking and firking them on the basest part of their base bodies. The stab I forego; I wish not to cheat the hangman of his due, or the Rev. Mr. Villette of a sermon. But let the knaves discover, to the aching of their scald sides, that even the Ghost of John Dangerous is not to be libelled.
There is a knot of these same cittern-headed simpletons who meet at a coffee-house in Great Swallow Street, which I am sometimes minded to frequent, and who imagine that they show their wit and parts by reviling their Church and their King, and even by maligning the Honourable East India Company, – a corporation to which I am beholden for many Favours. "Fellow," I said, only last Saturday, to a whippersnapper from an Inn of Court, – a Thing I would not trust to defend my Tom-Cat were he in peril at the Old Bailey for birdslaughter, and who picks up a wretched livelihood, I am told, by scribbling lampoons against his betters in a weekly Review, – "Fellow," I said, "were I twenty years younger, and you twenty years older, John Dangerous would vouchsafe to pink an eyelet-hole in your waistcoat. Did I care to dabble in your polite conversation or your belles lettres (of which I knew much more than ever you will know years before the Parish was at pains to fix your begetting on some one), I would answer your scurrilities in Print; but this I disdain, sirrah. Good stout Ash and good strong Cordovan leather are the things fittest to meet your impertinences with;" and so I held out my Foot, and shook my Staff at the titivilitium coxcomb; and he was so civil to me during the rest of the evening as to allow me to pay his clog-shot for him.
Lilias Dangerous has been wedded to Edward Marriner these two years. It was at first my design to buy the youth a Pair of Colours, and to let him see the world and the usages of honourable warfare for a year or two; but my Lilias could not bear the thought of her young Ensign's coming home without an arm or a leg, or perchance being slain in some desperate conflict with savage Indians, or scarcely less savage Americans; and I did not press my plan of giving Edward for a time to the service of the King. He, I am bound to say, was eager to take up a Commission; but the tears and entreaties of my Daughter, who thinks War the wickedest of crimes, and the shedding of human blood a wholly Unpardonable Thing, prevailed. So they were Married, and are Happy; and I am sure, now, that were I to lose either of them, it would break the old man's heart.
My Lilias is tall and slender, her skin is very white, her hair a rich brown, her eyes very large and clear and blue. But that I am too old to be vain, I might be twitted with Conceit when I state that she holds these advantages of person less from her Mother than from myself, her loving Father. Not that I was so comely in my young days; but my Grandmother before me was of the same fair Image that I so delight to look upon in Lilias. She was tall, and white, and brown-haired, and blue-eyed. She had Lilias's small and daintily-fashioned hands and feet, or rather Lilias has hers. To me these features were only transmitted in a meaner degree. I was a big-boned lusty lad, with flowing brown locks, an unfreckled skin, and an open eye; but my Grandmother's Face and Form have renewed themselves in my child. At twenty she is as beautiful as her Great-grandmother must have been at that same sunny time, as I am told and know that Lady was: albeit when I remember her she was nearly Ninety years of age.