Page:Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day.djvu/178

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Charles Lever.

he soon abandoned physic for literature, and so followed the bent of his great natural genius. From 'Harry Lorrequer,' completed about the year 1836, to 'Lord Kilgobbin,' only recently finished in 'The Cornhill,' Charles Lever wrote a very large number of works of fiction of great merit. His wise and witty essays in 'Blackwood,' under the nom de plume of Cornelius O'Dowd, have been universally admired, as have his numerous contributions to 'All the Year Round,' 'St. Pauls,' and the columns of 'Once a Week.' The proximate cause of his death—which took place at Trieste, on the 1st of June 1872—was disease of the heart. This sad event was expected by his relatives and friends, and calmly contemplated by himself. His letters of late were full of allusions to the shattered state of his health, and he often mentioned his belief that he had not long to live. Still his brightness and fun never left him, and he was the good, genial, and amiable Charles Lever to the last days of his life; and every reader of his writings will cordially echo the words of a writer in 'Blackwood,' that 'we have lost in Charles Lever one of those brilliant and cheering lights the extinction of which may be said to "eclipse the gaiety of nations."