Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 045 [12-28-1857]

generous � dishonestly so, of course, as it�s not based on
integrity. And he ranks this virtue above all others � naturally
so, because it helps to justify himself to himself.   He can talk
well, pun with Irish readiness, and if there were not such an
air of heavy swell ostentatiousness about him, would be capital
company.  He has been a fast man and lived with fast men,
and fast women � indeed, been as profiligate in morals as may
ordinarily be.   He affects to hold that people are not accountable
for their actions � an opinion equally abhorrent and foolish to me.
Of course he only half believes it.        He has no veracity � I never
knew an Irishman who had, except, perhaps, Dillon Mapother.
Not that O�Brien has deliberately, in cold blood; but he flams
from conceit and a desire to be thought amazingly well informed
about every thing.   He used to tell Levison that he (O�Brien) was
the Editor of the �Lantern� &c.    I fancy if he hears anything,
he will be sure to retail it as something he has seen, knows &c.
He�s a borrower from his intimates, and they�re never sure of
getting paid.    When he gets a lump of money � as for instance
for a story in the newly-published Atlantic Monthly � his self
esteem rises prodigiously; he comes out in some new article of
dress, pays up a loan or two, invites people to dinner and
flashes round prodigiously.   He also speaks of being �closely
engaged on the Atlantic� &c � which means, simply, that he�s
writing articles which they may accept.     He can write lively, read-
able sketches, in pleasant colloquial English, sometimes disfigured
by that abominable, easy, high-flown Irish eloquence which is
half theatric and wholly bosh.           His stories are all conventional
and generally melodramic � devil a bit of subtle truth or life-
painting in them.        He only respects success, in literature,               
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