图书图片
PDF
ePub

With a shocking bad hat, and his credit at Zero,
What on earth can he hope to become,—but a Hero ?

What a famous thought this is !

I'll go as Ulysses Of old did like him I 'll see manners, and know countries ;* Cut Paris,-and gaming,—and throats in the Low Countries.”

So said, and so done—he arranged his affairs,
And was off like a shot to his Black Mousquetaires.

Now it happen'd just then

That Field-marshal Turenne,
Was a good deal in want of “ some active young men,”

To fill up the gaps

Which, through sundry mishaps,
Had been made in his ranks by a certain “ Great Condé,”
A General unrivall'd—at least in his own day-

Whose valour was such,

That he did not care much If he fought with the French,—or the Spaniards,—or Dutch, A fact which has stamped him a rather “ Cool hand," Being nearly related to Louis le Grand. It had been all the same had that King been his brother ; He fought sometimes with one, and sometimes with another;

For war, so exciting,

He took such delight in,
He did not care whom he fought, so he was fighting,
And, as I've just said, had amused himself then
By tickling the tail of Field Marshal Turenne;
Since when, the Field Marshal's most pressing concern
Was to tickle some other Chief's tail in his turn.

What a fine thing a battle is !-not one of those
Which you see at “the Surry" or Mr. Ducrow's,
Where a dozen of scene-shifters, drawn up in rows,
A dozen more scene-shifters boldly oppose,

Taking great care their blows

Do not injure their foes,
And alike, save in colour and cut of their clothes,
Which are varied, to give more effect to “ Tableaux,
But a real good fight, like Pultowa, or Lützen,
(Which Gustavus the Great ended all his disputes in,)
Or that which Suwarrow engaged without boots in,
Or Dettingen, Fontenoy, Blenheim, or Minden,
Or the one Mr. Campbell describes, Hohenlinden,

Where “the sun was low,".

The ground all over snow,
And dark as mid-winter the swift Iser's flow,
Till its colour was alter'd by General Moreau ;
While the big-drum was heard in the dead of the night,

* Qui mores hominum multorum vidit et urbes.

Who view'd men's manners, Londons, Yorks, and Derbys. VOL. VIII.

Which rattled the Bard out of bed in a fright,
And he ran up the steeple to look at the fight.

'Twas in just such another one,

(Names only bother oneDutch ones, indeed, are sufficient to smother one-) In the Netherlands somewhere-I cannot say where

Suffice it that there

La Fortune de guerre
Gave a cast of her calling to our Mousquetaire.
One fine morning, in short, François Xavier Auguste,
After making some scores of his foes “ bite the dust,”
Got a mouthful himself of the very same crust;
And though, as the Bard says, “ No law is more just
Than for Necis artifices,"—so they callid fiery
Soldados at Rome, -"arte sua perire,

Yet Fate did not draw

This poetical law
To its fullest extent in the case of St. Foix.
His Good Genius most probably found out some flaw,

And diverted the shot

From some deadlier spot To a bone which, I think, to the best of my memory, 's Call’d by Professional men the “os femoris;" And the ball being one of those named from its shape, And some fancied resemblance it bears to the grape,

St. Foix went down,

With a groan and a frown,
And a hole in his small-clothes the size of a crown.-

-Stagger'd a bit

By this “ palpable hit,"
He turn'd on his face, and went off in a fit!

Yes !—a Battle 's a very fine thing while you 're fighting, These same Ups-and-Downs are so very exciting.

But a sombre sight is a Battle-field

To the sad survivor's sorrowing eye,
Where those, who scorn'd to fly or yield,
In one promiscuous carnage lie;
When the cannon's roar

Is heard no more,
And the thick dun smoke has rollid away,
And the victor comes for a last survey
Of the well-fought field of yesterday I

No triumphs flush that haughty brow,—

No proud exulting look is there,
His eagle glance is humbled now,

As, earth-ward bent, in anxious care
It seeks the form whose stalwart pride
But yester morn was by his side!

[blocks in formation]

And this is Glory !–Fame !—But, pshaw !

Miss Muse, you're growing sentimental;
Besides, such things we never saw;

In fact, they ’re merely Continental.
And then your Ladyship forgets

Some widows came for-epaulettes.
So go back to your canter; for one, I declare,
Is now fumbling about our capsized Mousquetaire,

A beetle-brow'd hag,

With a knife and a bag, And an old tatter'd bonnet which, thrown back, discloses The ginger complexion, and one of those noses Peculiar to females named Levy and Moses, Such as nervous folks still when they come in their way shun, Old vixen-faced tramps of the Hebrew persuasion.

You remember, I trust,

François Xavier Auguste,
Had uncommon fine limbs, and a very fine bust.
Now there's something I cannot tell what it may be-
About good-looking gentlemen turn’d twenty-three,
Above all, when laid up with a wound in the knee,
Which affects female hearts, in no common degree,
With emotions in which many feelings combine,
Very easy to fancy, though hard to define;

Ugly or pretty,

Stupid or witty,
Young or old, they experience, in country or city,
What is clearly not Love--yet it's warmer than Pity-
And some such a feeling, no doubt, 'tis that stays
The hand you may see that old Jezebel raise,

Arm’d with the blade,

So oft used in her trade,
The horrible calling e'en now she is plying,
Despoiling the dead, and despatching the dying !
For these “ nimble Conveyancers," after such battles,
Regarding as treasure trouve all goods and chattels,
Think nought, in “perusing and settling" the titles,
So safe as six inches of steel in the vitals.

Now don't make a joke of

That feeling I spoke of;
For, as sure as you 're born, that same feeling,—whate'er
It may be,-saves the life of the young Mousquetaire !
The knife, that was levell’d, erewhile, at his throat,
Is employ'd now in ripping the lace from his coat,
And from what, I suppose, I must call his culotte ;

And his pockets, no doubt,

Being turn'd inside out,
That his mouchoir and gloves may be put “ up the spout,"
(For of coin, you may well conceive, all she can do
Fails to ferret out even a single ecu ;)
As a muscular Giant would handle an elf,
The Virago at last lifts the soldier himself,
And, like a She Samson, at length lays him down
In a hospital form'd in the neighbouring town! ·

I am not very sure,

But I think 'twas Namur ;
And there she now leaves him, expecting a cure.

There, too,—as the Frog, when he “ask'd for a song,"
Said, “ Miss Mouse, give us something that is not too long!”

Even so, Mr. Bentley

Now hints to me gently,
With slightly elongated visage, I must
Leave, myself, till next month, François Xavier Auguste.

(END OF CANTO 1.)

A SAILOR'S TRIP UP THE RHINE.

BY THE AUTHOR OF " THE LIFE OF A SAILOR."

“ There is nothing certain in this world but death and taxation, and I have just lived long enough in it to believe in the truth of the proverb. My father made the remark before me; and my son, if ever I have one, will no doubt follow my example.

“How comfortably,” said I, “ does the world wag now! No wars -no revolutions—all is peace, quietness, and harmony. The Eastern question, with Syria and Mehemet Ali, gives some occupation to the usual idleness of diplomatic life, which would otherwise stagnate from the peaceful current on which it is embarked. “France," said I, as I cut the cards for the last rubber-(it was half past eleven o'clock on Wednesday night, the 5th of this present August)-France has overcome all her enemies, and will shortly bury the animosity of the world with the dust of Napoleon in the Invalides at Paris. How delightful it is,” said I, as I warmed upon the subject, as the slow dealer doled out our thirteen cards, “to weigh our anchors at our pleasure, - to make sail for any port, creek, or harbour, - to run

along the roadstead of the world, and to anchor or heave-to at discretion. For instance, here am I at Boulogne; to-morrow I start for Baden, a trip up the Rhine. What care I which way the wind sets, as long as there is not, as we used to say, a southerly wind in the bread-bag.–Clubs trumps"-(all of us as silent as a set of Tartars at prayers, or Quakers before the spirit is active).

"I think, sir,” said I, addressing my companion, or partner, after the deal was over, “that you might gain considerable knowledge of this game by a careful perusal of the Baron Bon de Vautray's work, called · Le Genie du Whist. It teaches us a good lesson for the married state; for all his doctrine is founded upon the necessity of never deceiving your partner ; and his instructions might well serve for a gourmand, as he inculcates the necessity of keeping your eyes always on the board. If you had followed his advice, you would not have revoked (the opponents never found it out), and I should have been sure of your holding an honour.”

“ Major A- , sir,” he replied, “has a remark, that he who scolds should be cut, and never come again.'”

“Well, then, I shall cut and run now, and certainly not come again.” So saying, I pocketed my winnings, wished my hospitable host good night, and emerged into the Grande Rue.

It was a calm and beautiful night; the stars were forth, but the moon had set, and there was no brilliancy to outdo the glare of the gas-lights in the Rue de l'Ecu. I stood gazing at the quiet scene before me. All those who earned their livelihood by labour were now in repose ; the careful housewife, the tired artisan, the votary of pleasure, the hunter after dissipation, were all at rest. With such thoughts, I wore ship round the corner of the Rue de l'Ecu, and got to my comfortable moorings. I soon feel asleep, for not a sound dis. turbed my repose.

“ Hark!” said I, suddenly leaping from my bed, “what infernal sounds are these?” I rushed to the window, and caught even for a second the enthusiasm with which « Vive l’Empereur” resounded. I soon found that a second Napoleon was in the streets leading on some fifty or sixty men, all shouting and distributing proclamations. As there was evidently a mutiny in the ship of the state, I was soon on the alert. I have often dressed in a minute ; but, as an Emperor was to be seen, I gave myself a privateer wash, a lick and a promise, and putting on a blouse, to be mistaken by either party, as circumstances might occur, away I went. Before I started, however, I desired my servant to get a proclamation, that I might not sail without understanding under whose orders I might be.

The Frenchman came in with a face as white as a Hertfordshire turnip clean washed for market.

“Oh, mon Dieu ! mon Dieu ! voila un affaire bien grave.

“ Hand it here," said I. “What is it? New naval instructions, or a new set of articles of war?"

He then read aloud, that the dynasty of Louis Philippe had ceased to reign; that M. Thiers was to be Prime Minister ; Marshal Clausel, Commander of the Army; Pajol, Governor of Paris; that the Chambers were dissolved, and the National Assembly convened ; and this notice of revolution was signed “ Napoleon Louis.”

“ Nothing sure," said I, “ in this world but death and taxation. I said so before, my father said so before me, my child shall say so

« 上一页继续 »