« 上一頁繼續 »
A small savanna extended from the stockade. At towards his comrades, as if to seek their assent to several hundred yards' distance it was bounded by the some proposition. woods. As soon as the day broke, we saw three men Both seemed to grant it with a ready nod; and emerge from the timber, and advance into the open Oçeola, who now assumed the leadership of the affair, ground. They were Indian chiefs in full costume; faced towards the forest, at the same time giving they were the commissioners. All three were recog- utterance to a loud and peculiar intonation. nised from the camp-Abram, Coa Hajo, and Oceola. The echoes of his voice had not ceased to vibrate
Outside musket-range, they halted, placing them- upon the air, when the evergreen grove was observed selves side by side in erect attitudes, and facing the to be in motion along its whole edge; and the next enclosure.
instant, a line of dusky warriors shewed itself in the Three officers, two of whom could speak the native open ground. They stepped forth a pace or two, tongue, were sent forth to meet them. I was one of then halted in perfect order of battle—so that their the deputation.
numbers could easily be told off from where we stood. In a few seconds we stood face to face with the •Count the red warriors !' cried Oçeola, in a hostile chiefs.
triumphant tone-'count them, and be no longer ignorant of the strength of your enemy.'
As the Indian uttered these words, a satirical smile played upon his lips ; and he stood for some seconds
confronting us in silence. Before a word was uttered, all six of us shook Now,' continued he, once more pointing to his hands—so far as appearances went, in the most followers, 'do yonder braves—there are fifteen hundred friendly manner. Oceola grasped mine warmly ; as of them-do they look starving and submissive? No! he did so, saying, with a peculiar smile:
they are ready to continue the war till the blood of "Ah, Randolph! friends sometimes meet in war as the last man sinks into the soil of his native land. well as in peace.'
If they must perish, it will be here-here in Florida I knew to what he referred, but could only answer -in the land of their birth, upon the graves of their him with a significant look of gratitude.
fathers. An orderly, sent to us with a message from the * We have taken up the rifle because you wronged general, was seen approaching from the camp. At us, and would drive us out. For the wrongs we have the same instant, an Indian appeared coming out had revenge. We have killed many of your people, of the timber, and, keeping pace with the orderly, and we are satisfied with the vengeance we have simultaneously with the latter arrived upon the taken. We want to kill no more. But about the ground. The deputation was determined we should removal, we have not changed our minds. We shall not outnumber it.
never change them. As soon as the orderly had whispered his message, “We have made you a fair proposition: accept it, the talk' began.
and in this hour the war may cease; reject it, and Abram was the spokesman on the part of the Indians, more blood shall be spilled—ay, by the spirit of and delivered himself in his broken English. The Wykomé! rivers of blood shall flow. The red poles of others merely signified their assent by a simple nod, our lodges shall be painted again and again with the or the affirmative 'Ho;' while their negative was blood of our pale-faced foes. Peace or war then-you expressed by the exclamation Cooree.'
are welcome to your choice.' Do you white folk want make peace?' abruptly As Oçeola ceased speaking, he waved his hand demanded the negro.
towards his dusky warriors by the wood, who at the Upon what terms ?' asked the head of our party. sign disappeared among the trees silently, rapidly, Da tarms we gib you are dese: you lay down arm, almost mysteriously. an' stop de war; your sogas go back, an' stay in dar A meet reply was being delivered to the passionate forts : we Indyen cross ober da Ouithlacoochee; an' harangue of the young chief, when the speaker was from dis time forth, for ebber affer, we make de interrupted by the report of musketry, heard in the grand ribber da line o' boundary atween de two. We direction of the Indians, but further off. The shots promise lib in peace an' good tarms wi' all white followed each other in rapid succession, and were neighbor. Dat's all got say.'
accompanied by shouts, that, though feebly borne • Brothers !' said our speaker in reply, 'I fear these from the far distance, could be distinguished as the conditions will not be accepted by the white general, charging cheers of men advancing into a battle. nor our great father, the President. I am commis- Ha! foul play!' cried the chiefs in a breath; sioned to say, that the commander-in-chief can treat .pale-faced liars! you shall rue this treason ;' and, with you on no other conditions than those of your without waiting to exchange another sentence, all absolute submission, and under promise that you three sprang off from the spot, and ran at full speed will now agree to the removal.'
towards the covert of the woods. • Cooree! cooree! never!' haughtily exclaimed Coa We turned back within the lines of the camp, Hajo and Oceola in one breath, and with a determined where the shots had also been heard, and interpreted emphasis, that proved they had no intention of as the advance of Clinch's brigade attacking the offering to surrender.
Indian outposts in the rear. We found the troops 'An' what for we submit?' asked the black, with already mustered in battle-array, and preparing to some show of astonishment. “We not conquered ! issue forth from the stockade. In a few minutes, the We conquer you ebbery fight-we whip you people, order was given, and the army marched forth, extendone, two, tree time-we whip you; dam! we kill you ing itself rapidly both right and left along the bank well too. What for we submit? We come here of the river. gib condition-not ask um.'
As soon as the formation was complete, the line It matters little what has hitherto transpired,' advanced. The troops were burning for revenge. observed the officer in reply ; 'we are by far stronger Cooped up as they had been for days, half-famished, than you—we must conquer you in the end.'
and more than half-disgraced, they had now an opporAgain the two chiefs simultaneously cried Cooree!'| tunity to retrieve their honour; and were fully bent
May be, white men, you make big mistake 'bout upon the punishment of the savage foe. With an our strength. We not so weak you tink for-dam! army in their rear, rapidly closing upon them by an We shew you our strength.'
extended line-for this had been pre-arranged between As the negro said this, he turned inquiringly | the commanders-another similarly advancing upon
MISTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE OF AN ARMY.
their front, how could the Indians escape? They must Of course wonderful things were expected from fight—they would be conquered at last.
the new commander-in-chief, and great deeds were This was the expectation of all-officers and promised. He would deal with the savages in a soldiers. The commander-in-chief was himself in different way from that adopted by his predecessors; high spirits. His strategic plan had succeeded. The he would soon put an end to the contemptible war. enemy was surrounded-entrapped ; a great victory There was much rejoicing at the appointment; and was before him-a harvest of laurels.'
preparations were made for a campaign on a far more We marched forward. We heard shots, but now extensive scale than had fallen to the lot of either of only solitary or straggling. We could not hear the the chiefs who preceded him. The army was doubled well-known war-cry of the Indians.
-almost trebled—the commissariat amply provided We continued to advance. The hommocks were for, before the great general would consent to set foot carried by a charge, but in their shady coverts we upon the field. found no enemy.
He arrived at length, and the army was put in Surely they must still be before us—between our motion. lines and those of the approaching reinforcement ? I am not going to detail the incidents of this camIs it possible they can have retreated_escaped ? paign; there were none of sufficient importance to
No! Yonder they are-on the other side of the be chronicled, much less of sufficient interest to be meadow-just coming out from the trees. They are narrated. It consisted simply of a series of harassing advancing to give us battle! Now for the charge— marches, conducted with all the pomp and regularity
of a parade review. The army was formed into three Ha! those blue uniforms and white belts--those divisions, somewhat bombastically styled “right wing,' forage-caps and sabres—these are not Indians! It is left wing,' and .centre.' Thus formed, they were to not the enemy! They are our friends—the soldiers approach the 'Cove of the Ouithlacoochee'-again that of Clinch's brigade!
fatal Cove-from three different directions, Fort King, Fortunate it was that at that moment there was Fort Brooke, and the St Johns. On arriving on the a mutual recognition, else might we have annihilated edge of the great swamp, each was to fire minuteone another.
guns as signals for the others, and then all three were
to advance in converging lines towards the heart of CHAPTER LXXI.
the Seminole fastness.
The absurd maneuvre was carried out, and ended, The two divisions of the army now came together, as might have been expected, in complete failure. and after a rapid council had been held between the During the march, no man saw the face of a red commanders, continued scouring the field in search Indian. A few of their camps were discovered, but of our enemy. Hours were spent in the search; nothing more. The cunning warriors had heard the but not an Indian foe could be found !
signal guns, and well understood their significance. Oceola had performed a piece of strategy unheard | With such a hint of the position of their enemy, of in the annals of war. He had carried an army of they had but little difficulty in making their retreat 1500 men from between two others of nearly equal between the 'wings.' numbers, who had completely enfiladed him, without Perhaps the most singular, if not the most importleaving a man upon the ground—ay, without leaving ant, incident occurring in Scott's campaign was one a trace of his retreat. That host of Indian warriors, which came very near costing me my life. If not so lately observed in full battle-array, had all at worthy of being given in detail, it merits mention as once broken up into a thousand fragments, and, as a curious case of 'abandonment.' if by magic, had melted out of sight.
While marching for the . Cove'with his centre wing, The enemy was gone, we knew not wlither; and the idea occurred to our great commander to leave the disappointed generals once more marched their behind him, upon the banks of the Amazura, what forces back to Fort King.
he termed a post of observation. This consisted of a
detachment of forty men-mostly our Suwanee volunThe dispersion, as it was termed, of the Indian teers, with their proportion of officers, myself among army, was of course chronicled as another 'victory.' | the number. It was a victory, however, that killed poor old We were ordered to fortify ourselves on the spot, Gaines—at least his military fame—and he was and stay there until we should be relieved from our only too glad to retire from the command he had duty, which was somewhat indefinitely understood been so eager to obtain.
even by him who was placed in command of us.
After giving these orders, the general, at the head of A third general now took the field as commander- his central wing,' marched off, leaving us to our fate. in-chief-an officer of more notoriety than either of Our little band was sensibly alive to the perilous his predecessors-Scott. A lucky wound received in position in which we were thus placed ; and we at the old British wars, seniority of rank, a good deal once set about making the best of it. We felled trees of political buffoonery, but above all a free translation -built a block-house, dug a well, and surrounded of the French .system of tactics,' with the assumption both with a strong stockade. of being their author, had kept General Scott con- Fortunately we were not discovered by the enemy spicuously before the American public for a period of for nearly a week after the departure of the army, twenty years.* He who could contrive such a system else we should most certainly have been destroyed to of military maneuvring, could not be otherwise than
The Indians, in all probability, had followed a great soldier; so reasoned his countrymen.
the "centre wing,' and thus for the time were carried
out of our neighbourhood. * Scott's whole career, political as well as military, has been
On the sixth day, however, they made their appeara series of faut pas. His campaign in Mexico will not bear ance, and summoned us to surrender. criticism. The numerous blunders he there committed would
We refused, and fought them--again and again, at have led to most fatal results, had they not been neutralised by the judgment of his inferior ofhcers, and the indomitable valour intervals, during a period of fifty days! of the soldiery. The battle of Molino del Rey-the armistice
Several of our men were killed or wounded; and with Santa Anna, were military errors unworthy of a cadet among the former, the gallant chief of our devoted fresh from college. I make bold to affirm that every action band, Holloman, who fell from a shot fired through was a mob-fight-the result depending upon mere chance; or rather on the desperate bravery of the troops upon one side, and the interstices of the stockade. the infamous cowardice of those on the other.
Provisions had been left with us to serve us for tro
weeks; they were eked out to last for seven! For apparent happiness, and real freedom. He was very thirty days we subsisted upon raw corn and water, much mistaken if any further legislation was necessary with a few handfuls of acorns, which we contrived to than to legalise such seclusion.' gather from the trees growing within the enclosure. The lecturer concluded by suggesting for this purpose,
In this way we held out for a period of fifty days, a modification of the system pursued in regard to lunatic and still no commander-in-chief-no army came to asylums. Retreats for dipsomaniacs, licensed by the relieve us. During all that gloomy siege, we never sheriff as being properly situated, and under proper heard word of either; no white face ever shewed management, might receive patients, whose need for the itself to our anxious eyes, that gazed constantly retirement was certified by the same authority, dismissal outward. We believed ourselves abandoned-for- to be only obtained through the sheriff, or a certificate of
cure from the proprietor of the establishment, and the gotten.
And such in reality was the fact-General Scott, relatives. When a patient was sent to such a sanatoin his eagerness to get away from Florida, liad quite rium; it should not be necessary that he should be forgotten to relieve the post of observation ; " and leprived of all control over his affairs, but that he should others, believing that we had long since perished, sheriff; if the patient were unfit for that, then the nearest
be allowed to manage them under the guidance of the made no effort to send a rescue. Death from hunger stared us in the face, until at friends of the inmates were to pay for their maintenance,
relative should have power to sue for a curator. As the length the brave old hunter, Hickman, found his way it would be quite unnecessary to provide for the erection through the lines of our besiegers, and communicated of asylums of the kind required, as the supply would be our situation to our 'friends at home.'
sure to follow the demand. The case of pauper lunatics His tale produced a strong excitement, and a of this order could not, of course, be thought of at that force was despatched to our relief, that succeeded in moment, but must be delayed till the experiment had dispersing our enemies, and setting us free from our been tried on the other classes.' block-house prison.
Professor Christison's lecture was well received by a Thus terminated 'Scott's campaign,' and with it numerous and respectable auditory, and we cannot but his command in Florida. The whole affair was a consider that the difficult and delicate subject on which burlesque, and Scott was only saved from ridicule, le treated has already made a distinct advance towards and the disgrace of a speedy recall, by a lucky acci- legislative action. dent that fell in his favour. Orders had already reached him to take control of another ‘Indian war'
EVENING IN EARLY SPRING, -the ‘Creek '-that was just breaking out in the states of the south-west; and this afforded the The west is crimsoned, and the evening falls, discomfited general a well-timed excuse for retiring The lamp of night is lighting up aloft; from the 'Flowery Land.'
Unto his mate afar the partridge calls, Florida was destined to prove to Anierican generals
The blue wren's tinkle ceases in the croft. a land of melancholy remembrances. No less than
Upon the waving poplar's topmost spray, seven of them were successively beaten at the game
His mellow note the thrush is piping forth, of Indian warfare by the Seminoles and their wily
Singing his farewell to the dying day, chieftains. It is not my purpose to detail the history of their failures and mishaps. From the disappearance
While pale stars peep out in the dusky north. of General Scott, I was myself no longer with the Over the land the sunny south wind blows, main army. My destiny conducted me through the The spring's first wrestle with the winter's cold; more romantic by-ways of the campaign-the paths
And nature flushed, with genial triumph glows, of la petite guerre—and of these only am I enabled to On sparkling fount, and cloudlet tipped with gold, write. Adieu, then, to the grand historic.
The morn was balmy, and the noontide bright,
And happy children strayed to gather flowers; DIPS OMANIACS.
Seeking the slopes with celandines adigbt,
Whercon in March winds, daisies make their bowers, A short time ago, we drew attention to a pamphlet of Dr Peddie on the subject of dipsomania--a craving for
The father led his children forth to-day, intoxicating liquors that partakes of the nature of mad
To scented violets, clustered white and blue, ness, and which now seems to call for some special legis
To watch the young lambs bounding in their play, Jation. Since making these remarks, a lecture on the
Perchance to hear the merry sweet cuckoo. same subject has been delivered at the Royal College of The twilight closes o'er the balmy ere, Surgeons in Edinburgh, by Professor Christison, who
The bat is flitting in the quiet air, adopts views of dipsomania similar to those of Dr Peddie.
The wren, his last song on the fence doth weave, Referring to the peculiar style of treatment required for
And the shy rabbit leaves his sandy lair. dipsomaniacs, the learned professor made some obseryations which are worthy of extended publicity.
Blithe lovers wander happy, arm in arm, He mentioned, that 'in Scotland, medical men had Moved by the magic of the witching time, already established a system of treatment which was Thus tasting, ere life's toils begin, a balm, applied to all those who would consent to submit to it; To memory precious in their after prime. and it was found to answer the purpose very well; so that all that was required of the legislature was to render
The field, and grove, and music of the bird, compulsory, at the instance of the nearest relative of
The humming insect, and the budding bough, the patient, what was at present merely voluntary. He
Wildling and tame, the sounds in still night heard, then described an institution at Strathaird, in the Isle
And the shrill whistle of the wild wind's sough; of Skye, for patients of this kind, where inmates had
All sing God's praise ; thus musing home we go, unrestrained liberty, ample opportunities for amusing and Grateful for nature, pleased that as we plod, interesting pursuits, no possibility of getting any drink While native music falls from these, we know, but whisky, and no chance of getting that except by We too may raise a grateful song to God. walking twelve miles to one place, where they had to
J. HAWKINS. deceive the dealer, who was bound not to sell it to any of the anchorites of Strathaird, or by walking fourteen miles to another place, where the dealer was free from any
Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoster
Row, LONDON, and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH. Also sold by restriction. He had visited that establishment himself,
WILLIAM ROBERTSON, 23 Upper Sackville Street, DUBLIX, and and found the patients living in a state of sobriety,
LITERATURE $ sience and Arts.
WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.
SATURDAY, MAY 22, 1858.
unanimously pointed out the greatest fool of the THE GENERAL'S NEPHEW.
family as the fittest for the army. SEVERAL years before the introduction of Minié-rifles No rational doubt could be entertained that Lord and tunics, when Brown Bess with a well-hammered Cawood's second son was perfectly eligible on this flint was considered the most efficient weapon of the score to wear a red coat: he accompanied his uncle British soldier, the regiment to which I then belonged to India; and soon after their arrival, the Gazette was stationed, during its Indian tour of service, in informed us that the Honourable Peregrine Falcon the Sultrypore division, commanded by Major-general Rooke had purchased an ensigncy in our regiment. Sir Hannibal Peacocke, K.C.B., one of the best There was at the time, I fear, a sadly democratic whist-players and worst general officers in the service. feeling in the corps, as some of our slips bf aristocHe had entered the army young, and having both racy had not been very favourable specimens; and luck and interest, rose rapidly to the rank of lieu- others who had left the regiment soon after going on tenant-colonel, when he was put on half-pay, and, foreign service, had made rather hard bargains with having served almost exclusively on the staff, as their successors. We were not, therefore, inclined to ignorant of regimental duty as a man well could be. think better of the young hand because he happened During the years which followed, he endeavoured, by to be an earl's son; besides which, we were shortly assiduous attention to the duties of a man about town, afterwards ordered in from our out-station, where to fit himself for future command; and on promo- game was abundant and duty light, to the formality tion to the rank of general, attended every levee of and field-days of division head-quarters; and we all the commander-in-chief, asking for employment, and felt sure that our recall from our happy huntingbecame a regular hanger-on at the Horse-guards, who, grounds was chiefly in order that the junior ensign either to get rid of his importunities, or oblige his should be under the avuncular eye, and have the brother-in-law, Lord Cawood, gave him a division in benefit of his countenance and support on first joining. India. Favoured child of fortune as he was, the We arrived in Sultrypore at the beginning of the general was always grumbling at his ill-luck, particu- hot season, and being a new station, houses were so larly at the card-table, though he could not bear to scarce there that five of us were fain to content hear any one else do so, and would always demolish ourselves with the joint-occupancy of a splendid the complainant's grievance by quoting some greater mansion, consisting of one large room, with an misfortune which had happened to himself, making enclosed verandahı all round. That is to say, we the lesser mischance appear contemptible and insigni- remained in the house by day, and slept at night in ficant. If a defeated adversary made any remark on tents pitched close outside, until, as the rainy season the number of rubbers he had lost, the general would drew near, we were driven from their comparative exclaim: “You don't call that a run of ill-luck, do coolness by sand-storms occurring nearly every night, you, sir? Why, I played whist regularly every night which forced us to take refuge in the house. for eight years, and never held a trump the whole It was an unusually hot season even for that time.'
climate; the rains delayed their coming; the hot But, Sir Hannibal,' rashly suggests an incredulous wind blew from sunrise till midnight; there was a sub, you must have dealt every fourth round, and lurid haze in the scorching atmosphere, through taken the turn-up card into your hand.'
which objects loomed large as if seen through a fog. * By no means, sir; with my usual luck, I positively Our only chance of getting any sleep was to keep the made a misdeal every time.'
punkah going all night, for which purpose we had a The youngster is silenced; and the triumphant relay of coolies; much-enduring individuals, without general makes a mental mem. that so wide-a-wake a any peculiar characteristics mental or physical, except young gentleman is just suited for the agreeable task an inordinate capacity for sleep and extreme scantiof the next treasure-escort, which amiable intention ness of drapery, who, in consideration of the monthly lie generally carried out with praise worthy fidelity. guerdon of eight shillings, without board or lodging,
The general had never been married; but he undertook that one of their number should always be brought out a nephew with him, who he requested ready to fan our fevered brows. Like most natives, might be gazetted to the first vacancy occurring in they possessed the power of instantly composing any of Her Majesty's regiments in the Sultrypore themselves to sleep at any hour of the four and division. In those days, commissions had not been twenty; but at night, in particular, the exercise of thrown open to public competition; preparatory their monotonous vocation seemed to possess an effect examination was undreamed of, and popular opinion as irresistibly somniferous as the branch dripping with Lethean dew did on Palinurus. Somnus he would have been at any rate. Accordingly, he relaxed their wearied limbs; the long punkah, under gravely informed Rooke, that, as he had got on so which all slept, stopped, and we awoke, bathed in far in his drill, it was time for him to proceed to more perspiration, to abuse the coolie, rub our mosquito advanced exercises, and commence learning the drum, bites, and doze off again. The paymaster, a choleric for which purpose the drum-major would provide him little Welshman, being the most wakeful of the party, with an instrument, and attend at his quarters for an took upon himself the task of keeping the coolies on hour daily, after morning parade-a private hint being the alert, for which purpose his cot was placed in the given to the instructor, that the lesson should always centre, with an abundant supply of ammunition heaped be given in the verandah, which was in full view of the alongside thereof, in the shape of the united boots mess-room. There we used to assemble every morning and shoes of the entire party, besides a collection for coffee and billiards, but both were neglected for the of sundry miscellaneous articles, such as glove-trees, pleasure of seeing Rooke pacing up and down with a cricket-balls, old books, &c., which might, on occa- drum suspended from his shoulders, practising the sion, be converted into projectiles. Even with this initiatory exercise called "mammy daddy,' which is, formidable armament, and the fear of punislıment in fact, the do, re, mi of all who learn this sonorous before their eyes, the coolies did snooze occasionally ; instrument. but retribution swift and terrible followed, from the To explain for the benefit of the uninitiated, it may avenging slipper of the paymaster.
be briefly described as follows: The tyro's hands being I do not think we were as grateful to him as we arranged in the proper position, he gives two taps ought to have been for lois exertions, as we found with the right one, then withdrawing it, holds the that the noise produced by the shower of missiles, drum-stick perpendicularly by his side, repeats the the crash of broken glass, or the piteous accents of same process with the left, and so on ad infinitum. the coolie deprecating master's wrath, protesting he It is rather monotonous work, and, at the best of was murdered, or imploring assistance from the times, makes the performer look rather foolish ; but governor-general and East India Company, was quite when Rooke's awkward movements and shambling as fatal to 'tired nature's sweet restorer' as the want gait were contrasted with the splendid proportions of cool air.
of the drum-major, who owed his situation to the fact We accordingly had a tall three-legged stool of his being the handsomest man in the regiment, the constructed, on which the coolie on duty was always effect was inexpressibly ludicrous, and formed a neverperched. It gave him great facility in pulling the failing source of amusement to those who witnessed punkah, and proved an excellent seat as long as he it. The pupil, however, had not advanced beyond remained awake, and sat upright; but the moment these elementary studies, when his further progress he began to nod, the rickety tripod was over balanced, was stopped by liis uncle coming in one day to pay and the whole concern upset bodily. This we found our colonel a visit. a most effectual means of murdering sleep, as, after Sir Hannibal Peacocke, like most ignorant men, performing half-a-dozen of these involuntary somer- was very fussy about trifles, and constantly getting saults, the coolies learned to keep themselves awake, hold of some new hobby, which he rode until he tired and the punkąh going.
of it, or some fresh one came in his way. Having Whilst we, in a semi-deliquescent state, were that morning mounted a new one-- a novel method of endeavouring, by expedients such as these, to render putting on the knapsack without straps, which prored the heat somewhat less unbearable, we were con- a complete failure-le came in to display his equitastantly tantalised by seeing the junior ensign in tion for the colonel's benefit. Having taken as much undivided possession of an excellent house adjoining exercise in that way as he felt disposed for, the conours, which he did not offer to share with any one. versation turned on his nephew, who, the general
Young Rooke seemed an ungainly, rather silly lad, remarked, he was glad to hear was getting on so well without much harm in his composition, or anything with his drill. aristocratic in his manners or appearance, but with an 'I am sorry I cannot agree with you, general,' said overweening sense of his own importance. At drill, the outspoken Colonel Hardy, 'for really I never met he was the most awkward fellow I ever saw; it a more stupid lad in my life; he seems to make no required a couple of sergeants to put him in the progress, notwithstanding all the trouble taken with proper position of a soldier, and the moment their him.' hands were withdrawn, he relapsed into his usual 'I am afraid you do not take the trouble of making slouching attitude. He had a habit, too, of knocking yourself acquainted with what passes in your regione foot against another like a horse cutting, by ment,' replied Sir Hannibal, with some asperity; ‘for which he was always losing step; and when he I can tell you the adjutant is so well satisfied with shouldered his musket, it seemed an even chance his proficiency, that he has allowed him to commence whether he sent the bayonet into his own cheek learning the drum.' or his neighbour's. All rebukes and corrections The drum, generall you cannot be serious; there he received with so well-satisfied an air, that his must be some mistake. Surely no one ever heard of amendment seemed hopeless; and Wright, our adju- such a thing as training an officer to a bandsman's tant, was in a state of despair at having such an duties.' unpromising recruit to deal with, declaring his life My nephew never told me a falsehood, even in would be shortened by being daily compelled to jest, Colonel Hardy; and you will find what I have witness so melancholy a spectacle. Now, next to a stated to be perfectly correct, if you ask your adjupretty girl and a well-drilled battalion, there was tant, who I saw writing in the next room when I nothing Wright liked so much as a joke, particularly came in.' a practical one; indeed, he loved it not wisely, but too Wright was summoned, and the moment he entered well, and had often got into trouble by indulging his the room, perceived that the conjunction of two such facetious propensities.
luminaries boded him no good; and augured from the He longed to play off some trick upon Rooke, ominous silence which greeted liis entrance, that, as which might soothe his own feelings, and diminish he expressed it, the devoted storm was about to the other's self-importance, but found it difficult to descend on his thundering head. get an opportunity for doing so, as the youngster Have you been playing off any of your jokes on seldom came to mess or mixed with his brother- Mr Rooke?' sternly demanded the colonel. officers, being unwisely kept away by his uncle, the • Jokes, sir!' demurely answered Wright; 'I general, which made himn even more unpopular than assure you it is no joke trying to teach a man of his