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This is all very well told. We shall conclude with one more extract. The captain was accompanied part of his route by a Persian servant, who, however, soon found out that his strength was insufficient to support the fatigue of their hurried manner of travelling. The captain then hired an extraordinary fellow, a Tartar, a free and easy, dreadnought gentleman, whose character is very excellently sketched. We have not room for the long description of his person and manners, but we find--
“My stipulation with the Tartar was, that he should accompany me to Kirhai, and for this he should receive a tomaun a day, provided be was always on the alert, and was content with the small portion of sleep I should allow him. He immediately replied that he would not sleep at all; a promise which to the best of my belief he faithfully kept. The bargain was scarcely concluded, when the Persian in an earnest tone of remonstrance spoke a few words to him in Turkish, which I found were intended to dissuade him from accompanying me, saying, that if he did he would certainly die of fatigue. In reply to this friendly caution, the Tartar cast a contemptuous glance at his adviser, and turning round familiarly to me, loudly exclaimed, 'God be praised, we are not Persians.'".
After three days we find--
“My indefatigable servant was full as much on the alert as myself, and, as I said before, never slept a wink during our occasional halts. This habit of wakefulness he had acquired as a' Catcher of Tartars,' a situation in which he had been employed by General Yermoloff when the road was infested by Lesguy hordes. Though I have no notes, I remember arriving on the night of the 14th, at a Cossack station, where, as was my custom, I reclined with my face towards the East, that I might have the advantage of the sun's earliest rays to rouse me from slumbers which a restless spirit grudgingly considered as so much lost time. As I was about to fall asleep, the bright light of the moon was reflected on the huge figure of the Tartar. He was sitting by my side, a bottle of arrack was in his lap, and his glaring eyes were watching mine. At dawn of day I awoke, and beheld him seated exactly in the same position; and but for the evident diminution in the contents of the bottle, I should have given him credit for baving stirred neither hand nor foot."
Thus watchful and assiduous the poor fellow continued from the 12th to the 19th, and we need not be surprised that on the 20th in the afternoon he had scarcely awoke from the sound sleep into which he had fallen the day before on reaching the end of his Journey.
The Military Sketch Book. By an Officer of the Line. 2 vols.
post 8vo. 1827. Colburn. These are pleasant volumes, containing many amusing anecdotes of the service during the late war. The title page seems to force upon us a comparison with the delightful papers of Washington Irving, but in truth the volumes themselves hold out no such pretensions. The author is evidently a man of ability, and writes easily, but there is nothing in this production which makes him in any degree a rival of Geoffrey Crayon. Still, as we said before, they are “ pleasant volumes," and a few hours may be very well spent in their perusal. The story of Maria de Carmo is an extremely good one, full of interest, and told in a very effective style; of the lighter papers we would point out “ Eccentricities of the late Morris Quill," –" The Coup de Grace," and “ Absent without Leave,”-all of them really excellent. Rather than mutilate any of the larger papers, we will give VOL. I.
three of the shorter ones entire, which, although by no means the best, will serve as fair specimens of his general manner.
Rations or Else! General Picton, like Otway's Pierre, was “a bold rough soldier," that stopped at nothing; he was a man whose decisions were as immutable as his conceptions were quick and effective, in all things relative to the command wbich he held. Whilst in the Peninsula, an assistant commissary commonly called assistant commissary general, the rank of which appointment is equal to a captain's) through very culpable carelessness, once failed in supplying with rations the third division under General Picton's command; and on being remonstrated with by one of the principal officers of the division, on account of the deficiency, declared with an affected consequence unbecoming the subject, “that he should not be able to supply the necessary demand for some days;" this was repeated to the general, who instantly sent for the commissary, and laconically accosted him with .
" Do you see that tree, Sir ?"
“ Well, if my division le not provided with rations to-morrow, by twelve o'clock, I'll hang you on that very tree.”
The confounded commissary muttered and retired. The threat was alarming, so he lost not a moment in proceeding at a full gallop to head quarters, where he presented himself to the Duke of Wellington, complaining most eniphatically of the threat which General Picton had held out to him.
“ Did the general say he would hang you, Sir ?" demanded his grace. “Yes my lord, he did," answered the complainant.
“ Well, Sir," returned the duke “if he said so, believe me hè means to do it, and you have no remedy but to provide the rations !"
" The spur of necessity becomes a marvellous useful instrument in sharpening a man to activity, and the commissary found it so; for the rations were all up ready for delivery at twelve o'clock the next day.
The following is of a character pretty similar to the above.
"Munden's Sir Anthony Absolute. "A certain little gentleman attached to the army of Lord Wellington, while on the march in Portugal, once took up his quarters in the best house he could find, and having seen his horses well put up in the rear of it, retired to the best apartment to indulge himself in a cup of coffee; which luxury, with many others, he was from the nature of his situation enabled to carry with him, while others, his superiors, were obliged to put up with what they could en passant. Scarcely had his rapaz drawn off his boots and re-covered his feet with slippers, when it was announced to him that an officer was below examining the stables, and had ordered his horses to be put up in them, that the officer's baggage was already unloading at the door of the house, and that the officer himself had selected the quarters in preference to any other in the village.
“ The slippered possessor, in all the consequence of his grade, immediately determined that no one should turn him out of his quarters, unless he could establish fully a claim to rank superior to his own, and that too pretty clearly; in which resolution he began to stride across the chamber with becoming dignity. At this moment the officer in question entered the apartment and proceeded to inspect its conveniences without observing the occupier, who with three formidable strides approached the intruder, and demanded what he wanted : which question was answered by the officer, saying that he wished to have the quarters in which he then stood.
at You shall not have them sir,' replied the little gentleman ; (he was about four inches in height; but a very respectable and dapper member of the army.) • You shall not have them, sir-I am determined on that.'
" Pray, sir,' demanded the stranger with astonishment,' may I be permitted to inquire what is your rank in the army ľ
"My rank, sir!' replied the little disputant, considerably irritated; ' my rank, sir!' At this moment he put his two hands into his side pockets in a style that perfectly astonished the listener—'I am, sir, since you must know my rank, I am, sir, MR. LEWIS, APOTHECARY TO THE FORCES!'
“ *Indeed!' replied the stranger, that rank, I presume, in taking quarters is equivalent to a lieutenant's ?'
“ Yes, sir, it is, sir,' rejoined the apothecary to the forces; and now, sir, let me ask you, sir, what is your rank, sir?'
"• The only difference between our respective ranks is this,' said the stranger, that you are apothecary to the forces ;--I am commander-in-chief of the same forces; and now, sir, I order you to be out of these quarters in half an hour!
." The tiny gentleman stared ; and with the most polite and submissive bow, (when he had recovered from the consternation into which the explanation had thrown him,) pulled out bis watch and said, half an hour ? your lordship-half an hour ? that's very short notice indeed :---say thirty-five minutes, and it shall be done.'
“ The commander-in-chief nodded assent, and laughing heartily, left the little gentlenean to take his own time in removing." One more extract is all we can find room for.
HOLY ORDERS. " They say tható a frank confession is good for the soul,' but whoever said it was good for a military body? Even the confessors themselves, enthusiastic as they may be about the salvation of souls, through the means of contrition and atonement, show but little disposition to trouble the army, or expect the army will ever trouble thém by kneeling at their confessionals. However, the military in France are subject to the civil laws; and, as a holy order has been issued by the Court of Charles X., imposing the necessity of confession as a preparatory step to the celebration of marriage, the soldier who wishes to enter into the bonds of Hymen, must, like his civil brethren, confess his naughty doings to his pastor. Without a certificate of having duly done this, be must be contented with single cursedness.
“ A colonel who fought for France in the days of her triumph-a pupil of that revolutionary school which gave its best moral lesson in its downfall-presented himself at the house of the priest, who held the sacerdotal command of the town in which the militaire was quartered, and informed him that he was desirous of entering into the married state next day; adding, that he wished to give his reverence the preference in the performance of the ceremony. Monsieur le Pretre bowed, and thanked the colonel for the honor conferred upon him, and the hour was appointed for the marriage. The colonel, not aware that any thing more was officially required of him, than to present himself with his intended cara esposa, before the altar on the following day, was about to take his leave, when the priest informed him that he must confess before he could be eligible to the dignity of wearing the matrimonial collar.-Only fancy a tall, bony, mustachioed Colonel of the French Infantry, about forty-five years of age-a sort of half devil, half republican, -- with ear-rings and bald temples---a ruddy brown face, that spoke of many a hot sun and strong vintage---with an eye like Mars and an air like Robin Hood-only fancy such a man called by a priest, to kneel down and confess his sins in an audible yoice, that he might be qualified to enter into the holy state of marriage ; and then fancy his gaze of astonishment at the holy man's summons ! For such a rough personage as this was the colonel ; a fellow who, during his military life, had little to do with priests, except to lay them under contribution, and knew no more about the merits of confession than he did about the Evidences of Christianity, or the Decalogue itself.
“ Sacre !” replied the colonel ; “ What's the meaning of this, ? Confession! what bave I to do with confession ?"
“ The priest, who was a man as liberal as might be, consistent with his office, informed the colonel that by a late law, no marriage could be celebrated in France between Catholics, unless the parties had first obtained a certificate of confession ; but gave him to understand that he would make it easy to him.
" Eh bien !---very well, very well," said the colonel ; " but what am I to do?"
“ Very little, very little. Merely sit down, and tell me what sins you have committed in your life.”
" Parbleu!" replied the colonel; “ How am I to do that? I don't know that I ever did any great harm." o sumuses “Well then," returned the priest,“ merely speak to the best of your récollection.”
Here he gave the colonel his benediction.
“ I never injured any one in my life---except, perhaps, running a few dozen Prussians and Spaniards through the body. I have killed a few Englishmen too."
“ Ce n'est rien ! that's nothing."
“ Oh, pour cela, ce n'est rien---ce n'est rien! All in the way of your profession. Did you ever kill a priest ?"
“ No !---I---a---a---don't think I ever killed one."
“ We melted down the golden candlesticks, and removed a few of the pictures; but this was by our general's orders."
“ You did not rob anybody?"
“ Never---except the Spaniards and Portuguese.------yes, we did a little amongst the Prussians."
"Ah! that was as I said before, merely in the way of your profession. Very good ---very good, colonel, I think that will do. Now I will give you absolation, and your certificate of purity."
The colonel received the paper, and was about to depart, when the priest informed him that there was something more to be done :---A small fee was necessary. The colonel cheerfully put his hand in his pocket, and presented the clergyman with two Napoleons, one of which his reverence returned, observing that he was amply remunerated for his trouble by the other. “ Yet," said he," there is something more to be done : you inust have a mass celebrated, to complete the marriage and render it legal.",
“ Parbleu ! mass !” exclaimed the colonel,“ what is the use of mass to me ?"
He was again told that it was necessary, and he agreed to have it performed; “ But," said he, “what is the expense ?"
“ You can have it done in a superior manner-.-full high-mass---for two hundred franks."
" Ah, mon Dieu! two hundred francs ! what !---for a mass ?"
“ Can said the colonel," and is the ten-franc mass equally good in point of law, with that for two hundred ?"
“ Yes, colonel ! but not so respectable."
“ Sacre! never mind the respectability of the matter ; I'll have ten francs worth of maks---that will do for me."
The marriage was accordingly celebrated next day in due form, the colonel having purchased the confessor's certificate and ten francs worth of mass ; and he solemnly declared, on the day after his wedding, that he could not have felt more happy, even if he had purchased the highest priced mass in France. *"
These may be considered approaching rather too near the jestbook style of narrative; but the volumes before us contain several stories of a pathetic character, all well told. We have selected the above, not because they are the best, but the best calculated for extract.
National Tales. By Thomas Hood, author of Whims and Oddities.
-2 vols. 8vo. Ainsworth : 1827. Mr. Hoop's “ Whims and Oddities” was a very clever production : the plates were extremely humourous, and the book altogether obtained for its author a well merited reputation. The present
*" The author of this little sketch has had the account of the circumstances related in it from the benedict colonel himself."
volumes will not add much to his fame, but they are nevertheless amusing, and told in a quaint, simple style. We do not think much of the lithographic plates by which they are illustrated ; they have not half the merit of those which adorned “ the Whims and Oddities.”
The Confessions of an Old Batchelor. Colburn. I vol. post
8vo. 1827. OLD BATCHELORS are very disagreeable fellows---tiresome, stupid bores---full of aches, nonsense, and complaints---unhappy themselves, and rendering unhappy all around them. The confessions of such old sinners may be made useful, as the drunkenness of the Helots was reputed to be amongst the Spartans, namely, as examples to disgust the young who are about to enter upon their course---we know not for what other purpose they can be desired. It would perhaps, therefore, be well to direct that the present volume should be introduced into all academies, and read as a school book ; we are sure that few persons of mature age will derive any pleasure from its absurd details. Paul Pry and his Umbrella are fifty times more tolerable than this “ Old Batchelor" and his thermometer.
Two Hundred and Nine Days, or the Journal of a Traveller on the
Continent. By Thomas Jefferson Hogg. 2 vols. 8vo. Hunt
and Clarke. 1827. Mr. BROUGHAM cannot of course help being admired by all sorts of people; but really it must sometimes be an unpleasant thing to be 80 very popular. For instance, this work, which is a mixture of irreligion, absurdity, and profanity, goes forth to the world under the sanction of a dedication to “ Henry Brougham, Esq. M.P."---which dedication is said to be a testimonial of “the esteem” which is felt for him by the author, a brother lawyer. There are, we hope, many men (and we should think worse than we do of Mr. Brougham, if we did not believe him to be one of them) to whom the esteem of such a man would be any thing but agreeable. As a book of travels, this work is bad and uninteresting; its style is vulgar, and it is throughout distinguished by all the cant and absurdity of the very worst school of reformers and sceptics. With the author, all government is tyranny; all religion, hypocrisy; and all human feeling, weakness. We cannot be surprised when we perceive the source from which these volumes emanate, but we are satisfied that amongst the names which will be remembered as doing honor to the legal profession,“ the learned author of these catch-penny volumes will never be found. A Bacon, a Hardwicke, a Kenyon, a Mansfield, or an Eldon, would feel himself disgraced by being associated with