"Truth's sacred fort th' exploded laugh shall win, And coxcombs vanquish Berkeley by a grin." Dr. Brown's Essay is prefixed to Pope's Essay on Man, in Warburton's edition of Pope's Works, vol. iii. p. 15, edit. 1770, 8vo.]


"Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerint." The author of this anathema was long ago inquired for in "N. & Q." In 1st S. xii. 35, a respondent (W. M. T.), quoting from the "Biglow Papers," gives it to St. Augustine. I have just found, in another American author (O. W. Holmes, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, p. 129), a different source assigned to it. He cites-" that familiar line from Donatus:

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'Pereant illi qui ante nos nostra dixerunt." "

Donatus the schismatic, or Donatus the grammarian? And which is right, Lowell or Holmes?

H. K.

5, Paper Buildings, Temple. [Warton, in his Essay on Pope, in a note, i. 88 (ed. 1806), shows that it was Donatus the grammarian: "St. Jerome relates that his preceptor Donatus, explaining that sensible passage in Terence

Nihil est dictum quod non sit dictum prius,'— railed severely at the ancients for taking from him his best thoughts:

• Pereant qui ante nos, nostra dixerunt." "]

ASTRAKHAN. — Where can I find a practical

account of the manufacture of isinglass as carried on in Astrakhan? Information addressed to CIVIS, care of Mr. Packer, 23, King Street, Portman Square, London, will oblige.

[The account given by Martius of the preparation of Russian isinglass is as follows:-The swimming bladders of the fish are first placed in hot water, carefully deprived of adhering blood, cut open longitudinally, and exposed to the air, with the inner delicate silvery membrane upwards. When dried, this fine membrane is removed by beating and rubbing, and the swimming bladder is then made into different forms. Consult Tomlinson's Cyclopædia of Useful Arts, &c., ed. 1852, i. 754; the Encyclopædia Britannica, ed. 1856, xii. 628; and the English Cyclopædia, "Arts and Sciences," iv. 998.] SHAKESPEARE.-Could you tell me who is the author of the following two books? 1. "Shakespeare and his Friends; or the Golden Age of Merry England."

2. "The Youth of Shakespeare."

Both works were published in 3 vols. by Henry Colburn; the former in 1838, the latter in 1839. P. O. W.

[Both works are by Robert Folkestone Williams, author of The Domestic Manners of the Royal Family,


COLLECTION OF BULLS.-Where could I meet with a collection of all the bulls issued by the

different popes? Have they ever been compared, and their different doctrines fully examined ? E. L.

[The following work may be consulted :-"Bullarum Privilegiorum ac Diplomatum Romanorum Pontificum amplissima collectio. Cui accessere Pontificum omnium vitæ, notæ, et indices opportuni. Opera et studio Carlo Cocquelines, 14 tom. 1733-1762, fol.]



(3rd S. ix. 413.)

The story of the murder of Sir James Stansfield at Newmilns, near Haddington, in 1687, is one of grim interest. (See State Trials, by Howell, vol. ii.; Lord Fountainhall's Works, &c.) It is remarkable that it has hitherto escaped the sensation novelists. Certainly, imagination could not invent a more dreadful story. The poor knight complaining with sighs and tears to his friend, in the Edinburgh Coffee-house, that he had no comfort in wife or sons, his dreary ride home to Newmilns that bleak November evening, the sounds of horror in the house during the night, causing his guest, pious Mr. Bell, to betake himself to his prayers, thinking the house was in possession of evil spirits, the discovery of the body floating amidst the ice,—the hurried and indecent interment, and the suspicions and ruthe scene in Morhame church, when the son asmours consequent on it, the disinterment and sists to raise his father's body, and the gush of blood flows over his parricidal hands,—his horrorstruck exclamation, "Lord, have mercy upon me!"--the trial, conviction, and execution, with the extraordinary mishap of the slip of the rope, the parricide falling on his knees on the scaffold, and being ultimately strangled by the executioner, dying thus the very death he had inflicted on his own father, and the horrible rumours afloat respecting Lady Stansfield; all combine to form a picture of horrors never surpassed by the most unhealthy imagination of the Eugene Sue stamp. The "testament dative and inventar of the "of the ill-fated Sir James is gudes and gear preserved in the Register of Confirmed Testa(Commissariat of Edinburgh, vol. lxxix.) It was ments, General Register House, Edinburgh. given in to the Commissaries of Edinburgh in 1688 by William Smyth, merchant in Edinburgh, as assignee, his brother Alexander, also a merchant in Edinburgh, becoming "cautioner." It Sir James had incurred debts by bond to one from it, amongst other particulars, that James Tudrig and Margaret Syme his wife, whose daughter, Jean, William Smyth had married; and from the "trial" it appears that Sir James had a brother-in-law, Mr. Patrick Smyth, advocate.

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The following particulars respecting this family of Smyth, which, as far as can be ascertained, is now extinct, have been gleaned almost entirely from original records and registers, and may therefore be deemed worthy of preservation in the pages of "N. & Q." Some particulars of the Stansfields are added, in the hope of eliciting some more information about them.

I. The Rev. James Smyth, born 1613, died 1673, was minister of the parish of Innerleithen, in Tweedale, and afterwards of the neighbouring parish of Eddlestone, where he died and was buried. In 1643, when at Innerleithen, he married Euphemia Somervall, of the parish of Newton in Midlothian, and had the following children (from Registers of Innerleithen) :

1. (Name torn out), baptized by Mr. Theodor Hay: witnesses William Givan of Cardrona; Mr. John Hay, minister of Peebles; Geo. Tait of Pirn; and Alexander Murray of Kirkhouse.

No doubt this entry is that of the birth of William Smyth, who gave in Sir James Stansfield's testament dative, and of whom some particulars are given, infrà.

2. James, 1646. I find in 1680 a James Smyth in Leith, who, with his wife Isobel Allan, leaves that and settles in St. Andrews, and is apprehended for debt there; George Fogo, late baillie of St. Andrews, being his friend and helper (General Register of Deeds, " Dalrymple," 1680). There is little doubt that these two Jameses are one and the same.

[3rd S. XII. JULY 13, '67.

who gave in Sir James's, the "cautioners "being James Anderson, merchant, David Somervill, merchant, and John Somervill, writer; the last two being, probably, cousins, as his mother was a Somervall. (See suprà.)

3. Margaret. (No account.)

4. George, 1650. In 1682 he appears before the Presbytery of Peebles with a certificate from Mr. William Fogo, minister of St. Ninians, and is "entered for his trials." In 1684 he is presented to the parish of Dawick (now broken up between the parishes of Stobo and Drumelzier) by the Archbishop of Glasgow, being inducted by one Mr. Robert Smith or Smyth, minister of Manor in the same county (Peebles). This Robert Smith was formerly schoolmaster at Peebles, and appears to have been a relation of the family of which we are speaking. His wife's name was Janet Buchanan, and they had, with other children, a daughter Agnes, born in 1664; and as I find from the Register of Manor parish that in 1690 Mr. George Smyth of Dawick was married, at Kilbucho, by Mr. William Alieson, to Agnes Smith of Manor parish, I have no doubt it was to his daughter Agnes that George of Dawick was married. George was dead before 1717, leaving a daughter Ann, and, possibly, other children. (Presbytery Record.)

The testament contains a long list of debtors and creditors, which is here re-arranged alphabetically for convenience of reference, occasional notes being added to some of the names.

Debts. were owing to the deceased by the following persons, all residing in St. Andrews:

Jas. and Robert Carstairs; Baillie Findlay; Mr. Jas. Hamilton; Mrs. Livingstone; Mr. David M'Gill; Thos. Rankillour, skipper; John Sangster; James Smyth (qy. his brother ?); Dr. Skene; Dr. Waddel; and William Watson.

And by the following, residing in various other places:

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Andrew Aitkin; Sir David Arnot; the Laird of Balroune (who was this?); Jas. Buird; Alexander Brown, merchant; Chas. Chalmer, writer; William Cockburn, merchant in Edinburgh (he was banished, Lord Fountainhall tells us, in 1674, for defaming Lady Oxfurd-"not without reason," says Robert Mylne in a noteand prayed for a remission of sentence in 1679. His brother-in-law, William Clerk, advocate, was the Stansfields' lawyer); Lady Craigleith; Pat. Crawford, merchant; Lady Crimstain (Crimstain is in the parish of Dunse, Berwickshire; the lady was probably a Home or a Bredfoot); Mr. James Dalrymple (no doubt Mr. James Dalrymple of Killoch, one of the clerks of session, mentioned also in Sir James Stansfield's testament dative; brother of Sir John Dalrymple, afterwards first Earl of Stair, and of Mr. Hugh Dalrymple, one of the Commissaries of Edinburgh. To the latter, Sir James Stansfield bequeathed all his estate, after cutting off his eldest son Philip, the parricide; and failing his second son John, who seems to have been nearly as bad as the elder. Sir James was probably associated with the Dalrymples from holding leases over the lands of Hailes, Morhame, and others, in East Lothian); Mr. Robert Douglas, and Mr. George Douglas, brothers of the Earl of Morton (afterwards seventh and eighth Earls. Their mother was a Hay of Smithfield, in Peeblesshire); William Donne, writer; James Elies (probably the father-in-law of the celebrated James Anderson, compiler of the Diplomata Scotia); the Laird of Gredoun (probably Ker of Graden, in Berwickshire); Thomas Hamilton, of Aliestob; Hunter, in Polmood; Charles Kinnaird; the Laird of Kinnaldie (Kinnaldie is in the parish of St. Viglaus; the laird was probably a Ren

5. Alexander, 1652, afterwards a merchant in Edinburgh, the "cautioner" for Sir Jas. Stans-nald); Rob. Kyll, W.S.; James Linton, merfield's testament. He died at Edinburgh in 1689, chant; Geo. Livingstone; Geo. Marshall; Wilunmarried. His "testament dative and in- liam Masman; John Morrison, writer; James, ventar" &c. is given in by his brother William, Earl of Morton (sixth earl); Robert Murray,

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3rd S. XII. JULY 13, '67.]

merchant; James Nasmyth in Posso (no doubt the "Deil of Dawick," father of Sir James, first baronet of Posso); John Oliphant; the Laird of Prestoungrange (Morrison of Prestoungrange, in Haddingtonshire); Mr. Duncan Robertson (sheriffclerk of Argyll; he married Alison, youngest daughter of James Aitkin, Bishop of Moray and Galloway, who died 1687); Mr. Patrick Smyth, advocate, and Anna Rutherford, his wife, relict of James (Aitkin), Bishop of Galloway (see "N. & Q." 3rd S. viii. 533). Was this Patrick Sir James Stansfield's brother-in-law? Unfortunately at this date there was another Mr. Patrick Smyth, advocate, who married Lillias, daughter of Bishop Aitkin. This was Patrick Smyth of Rapness, in Orkney, a cousin of Patrick Smyth of Braco in Perthshire, now represented by William Smythe of Methven Castle. He was also of Burruine or Burwane, in the parish of Culross, and had a house on the south side of the Castlehill of Edinburgh; and had been Commissaryprincipal of Wigton from 1682 to 1687. Both he and his wife Lillias were dead before 1723, leaving Archibald, Ann, and Lillias, who married one George Cheyne, surgeon in Leith. Any information as to the descent of the first Patrick will be esteemed a very great favour. There were other two Patrick Smyths of the Braco family, probably also living at this time, both nephews of Patrick, the laird of Braco, viz. Patrick, son of John Smyth of Huip, in Orkney; and Patrick, son of Alexander Smyth of Strynzie in Orkney, and Isobel Gladstones his wife, born 1665. (Registers of Edinburgh.) Robert Sharpe; Mr. Andrew Smyth, doctor at.... (undecipherable); Alexander Thomson; Thomas Thomson, student in divinity; Patrick Tailziefer; and Thomas Young, tailor.


Debts were owing to the deceased by the following persons:-Mr. William Bullo, "person of Stobo; Alexander Campbell, merchant (he was one of the persons present in Morhame church when Philip Stansfield assisted to raise his father's body); John and Lawrence Gellitie; Robert Halyburton; Patrick Johnston; William Menzies; Mr. Robert Smyth, minister (this may have been Mr. Robert of Manor, mentioned above, or Mr. Robert, minister of the parish of Longformacus, near Dunse: I should much like to discover which); and Alexander Wood, brewer.

Mention is made in the testament of a legacy to the defunct by the deceased Charles Smyth, probably an uncle or near kinsman.

To return now to the eldest son, William, who carried on the line of the family. There appears to be no doubt that it is the entry of his birth which is torn out of the register of Innerleithen; for circ. 1675, he receives a grant of arms from the Lord Lyon of Scotland, being described in the grant as "son to the deceast Mr. James Smith,

The arms are,


minister at Ethelston Kirk."
Azur, a book expanded, proper, between three
flames of fire, or; all within a bordure engrailed
argent, charged with mullets and cross-crosslets
of the first. The arms of the family of Braco,
Azure, a burning cup between two chess-rooks
fessways, or," were granted about the same date.
About 1686, William married Jean Todrig,
daughter of James Todrig, indweller in New-
bottle, afterwards of Edgefield (qy. where is
this?) and Margaret Syme his wife; and had the
following children (from the Edinburgh re-
gister): -

1. Margaret, 1687; baptized by Mr. Alexander Ramsay; witnesses, Mr. William Smyth, minister; Mr. George Smyth, at Daick Kirk (see suprà); Mr. Patrick Smyth, advocate (which of them ?) and James Todrig. (William Smyth, minister, was no doubt William, parson of Moneydie in Perthshire, brother of Patrick Smyth of Braco; he also married a daughter of Bishop Aitkin.)

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2. James, 1689; witnesses, Mr. Duncan Robertson (son-in-law of Bishop Aitkin, see suprà); David Plenderleath of Blyth (in Peeblesshire); Andrew Aitkin, and James Todrig of Edgefield. 3. Jean, 1691; same witnesses.

4. Marion, 1699; witnesses, Mr. Duncan Robertson; Mr. John Plenderleath (a brother of Mr. David's above; he died at Dalkeith, in 1728); and John Henrie, Cordiner.

It appears highly probable, from the way the two families seem to have been mixed up, that this Peeblesshire family of Smyth was a branch of the family of Braco in Perthshire. A satisfactory identification of the two "Patrick Smyths, advocates," will throw much light on the question; and it would be interesting to determine which of them was Sir James's brother-in-law, both for genealogical considerations, and on account of the horrible rumours afloat respecting Lady Stansfield at the time of the murder.

James Smyth of Innerleithen and Eddlestone appears to have had brothers or cousins, as under, for he baptizes some of their children, and appears to have been otherwise mixed up with them. (See Register of Peebles, 1660-80):

1. Thomas Smyth, town clerk of Peebles: his wife was Isobel Todrig; and their son John was served heir to his father in 1677. (Retours.)

2. John Smyth, dean of guild of Peebles. 3. Another Thomas Smyth, whose wife's name was Margaret Turnbull, and who left

1. Thomas, served heir 1699, as "Thomas Smyth generosus vir, filius nat. mat. et haer. Thomae Smyth quondam lanionis in Peeblis." II. Robert, 1662. (What became of him?) III. Barbara, 1665.

This last Thomas appears to have been twice married, his second wife being one Margaret Aitkins.

Sir James Stansfield came from Yorkshire. Was he one of the Stansfields of Stansfield in that country? (See Pedigree, Harl. MS. No. 4630.) When young he was secretary to General Morgan, but soon after took to trade and married a Scotch lady. Philip the parricide was sent to college at Saint Andrews. He was of age, and married, in 1680-82; and before 1687 had been a soldier abroad, and in several prisons. As early as 1683, he attempted his father's life. John, the second son, was also an "evil youth." Sir James had a nephew named James Mitchell, aged twenty at the time of the murder; wanted, his mother's


Any information relative to the Stansfields or Smyths will be thankfully received by me, if addressed care of the Publisher of "N. & Q." F. M. S.


(3rd S. xi. 485.)

After a careful investigation, I have come to the conclusion that the report that descendants of this illustrious Byzantine family are at present existing in Cornwall, and Cargreen near Plymouth, earning a miserable existence as miners and bargemen, is as groundless as the claims (see Morning Star, February 6, 1863,) of a W. T. Palæologus, medical officer in the English army, and some others in different parts of Europe, who boast of such imperial descent without, as it can clearly be proved, their having had any just claim to that distinction.


What gave rise to such assertions in England, I am at a loss to imagine-most probably the small brass tablet fixed against the wall in the parish church of Landulph, to the memory of Theodore Palæologus, whose English marriage with Mary Balls, it may be worth noting while on the subject, according to the ecclesiastical and civil laws of the Byzantine empire, was illegal.

The name of Palæologus,t though rare in

* Have any of your antiquarian readers examined personally this tablet? And if so, did they conclude from its vetustity that it was really erected at the time of the death of Theodore Palæologus? The non-mention in it of the name of his first wife and daughter ("N. & Q.," 3rd S. vii. 506), and the nonconformity in the date of his death, which according to the inscription took place the 21st of January, 1636, with the entry of his burial in the Landulph registry book, a copy of which was dis

covered by the Rev. I. Vyvyan Jago, deposited of the

room of the archives in Exeter Cathedral, and from which we learn that he was buried the 20th day of October, 1636, or rather 1637-as, from the mode of calculating in use at that time, the year commenced at Lady Day (Archæologia, vol. xviii. p. 92),-give grounds to suspect its erection, near the mortal remains of Palæologus, to be more recent.

During the reigns of King Charles I. and II., many Greeks came over to England from Italy and Spain

England, is very common amongst the Greeks, as well as those of Cantacuzene, Comnenus, Ducas, Phocas, &c., without anyone imagining their bearers to be descendants of the emperors who bore them.

The frequency of these ancient names of extinct illustrious families of the lower empire arose from the vanity of the Phanariots-traitors of their emperor, and cause of the fall of Constantinoplechristening their children with them; who, after the lapse of years, either dropped their vulgar surname, substituting the illustrious one given to them in baptism-and so a Démétrius Comnenus Stephanoupolos became Démétrius Comnenussimply changed their position, as for instance Démétrius Stephanopoulos Comnenus.


I conclude, observing that the anecdote mentioned by Sir Robert Schomburgk in his History of Barbadoes, that during the last conflict for Grecian independence and deliverance from the Turkish yoke, a letter was received from the provisional government at Athens, addressed to the authorities in Barbadoes, inquiring whether a male branch of the Palæologi was still existing in the island, and conveying the request that, if such were the case, he should be provided with the means of returning to Greece, and the government would, if required, pay all the expenses of the voyage-is merely an anecdote and nothing more, no such letter ever having been written. RHODOCANAKIS.

(3rd S. xi. 516.)

An abbess cannot exercise "ecclesiastica et spiritalia munera, quibus eam sexus ineptam reddit. (Ludov. Richard, Analysis Concilior., tom. iii., sub



Abbesses are forbidden-1. "Benedictiones impertiri cum manus impositione; et 2. Signaculo sancte crucis." (Aquisgranense, "Aix-la-Chapelle," capitulare i. an. 789.) Both are required from a confessor.

They cannot even select a priest to hear the confessions of their nuns without the authorisation of their superiors. In fact, they possess no spiritual jurisdiction whatever-" quia nulla clavium potestate gaudent." (L. Richard, loc. cit.)

Priests only can hear confessions, says the Council of Trent; such is, according to that famous assembly, "perpetua Ecclesiæ praxis et traditio, seu universorum patrum consensus." (Concil. Trident. sess. xiv. c. 1.)

("N. & Q.," 3rd S. iii. 172), amongst whom were some bearing the name of Palæologus, of course not related to the imperial family. This must account for the occasional entries of that name in the registry books of the parishes of St. Katharine Tower, London, St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, &c.; also of its mention elsewhere.

St. Ambrose says, "Jus absolvendi solis permissum est sacerdotibus." (Lib. I. De Pœnit. c. 2.) We find the same doctrine maintained byCyprian (lib. De Lapsis), Chrysostom (De Sacerdotio, iii. 5); Jerome (Epist. I. ad Heliodorum); Augustin (Epist. 128); Leo (Epist. 82), &c.

The following canon of the Council of Narbonne, in France, 1609, seems sufficiently explicit:

"Ad fidelium confessiones audiendas nullus, sive sæcularis, sive regularis sacerdos sit, aut quacunque dignitate, vel auctoritate fulgeat, admittatur, nisi qui per Episcofuerit approbatus; . . . . cum alias non sit absolvere, sed confitentem decipere; excepto mortis periculo, in quo quilibet sacerdos vere pœnitentem potest ab omnibus peccatis absolvere."-Concil. Narbonense, De Fænitentia Sacramento, cap. 16.


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A very learned French theologian, l'Abbé C. Bandeville, says:

"La plupart des règles monastiques, celles de saint Benoît, de saint Colomban, de saint Basile, &c., pour mieux inculquer l'obéissance et l'humilité, assujétissaient les religieux à faire tous les jours leur examen de conscience, en présence de leurs supérieurs, à leur découvrir ce qui se passait dans leur âme, et à se soumettre aveuglément à leurs décisions. Cette pratique a pu être appelée confession, parce qu'elle demande aussi des aveux; mais elle n'a jamais été confondue avec la confession sacramentelle, et n'a jamais fait partie du sacrement de pénitence. Ce n'est donc que dans ce sens qu'on doit entendre ce qui a été dit que des abbesses auraient eu la permission d'entendre les confessions de leurs religieuses."— Diction, de la Conversat. Paris, 1853; art. "Confession." A. D. F.

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affair, and while so doing have tried to explain it as much as was in my power. Afterwards I have reported the official one. Between the two tales there is no material difference. I now shall have to examine the testimonies on which ulterior and entirely distinct accounts have been founded. Some have questioned the Chevalier d'Assas's heroic deed altogether, because of a passage which occurs in Grimm's inedited memoirs. I must not forget to state that these memoirs are very suspicious, and are generally taken for apocryphal. I have read that no one can produce the original manuscript. I am not in a position to verify that assertion; besides, here is not the place to settle that matter. As an impartial judge I must register all the evidence of the case, whether suspicious or not. All I can do is to evince my individual opinion on the probable and improbable sides of the question; the ultimate decision must be left to the grand jury-the public at large.

I transcribe word for word the passage in Grimm's memoirs referred to:

"J'étais au camp de Rhinberg le jour du combat si connu par le dévouement d'un militaire français. Le mot sublime, A moi, Auvergne, ce sont les ennemis! appartient au valeureux Dubois, sergent de ce régiment; mais, par une erreur presque inévitable dans un jour de bataille, ce mot fut attribué à un jeune officier nommé d'Assas. M. de Castries le crut comme tant d'autres ; mais quand, après ce combat, il eut forcé le prince héréditaire repasser le Rhin et à lever le siège de Wesel, des renseignements positifs apprirent que le Chevalier d'Assas n'était pas entre seul dans le bois, mais accom

pagné de Dubois, sergent de la compagnie. Ce fut celui-ci temps, mais il n'expira pas sous le coup, comme Dubois; qui cria A nous, etc. Le chevalier fut blessé en même et une foule de témoins affirmèrent à M. de Castries que cet officier avait souvent répété à ceux qui le transportaient au camp: Enfants, ce n'est pas moi qui ait crié, c'est Dubois. A mon retour à Paris, on ne parlait que du beau trait du Chevalier d'Assas, et il n'était pas plus convaincre personne," etc. question de Dubois que s'il n'eût jamais existé. Je ne pus

Now, first of all, I find it very curious that M. de Castries, being so well acquainted with the facts of the case, did not offer any opposition at all to the letters patent of 1777 rewarding the chevalier's family. On the contrary, I read in the letter of the Baron d'Assas, mentioned by me in the first article:

"M. de Castries ne vit pas sans doute avec plaisir sortir du sein de l'oubli une action qui ternissait un peu l'éclat de la sienne. La demande de la jonction du nom de Clostercamp au mien ne l'amusa pas davantage; mais j'en reçus deshonnêtetés. Il en fit même de marquées à mon fils le chevalier, dans son voyage à Brest, et en présence de tout le corps de la marine."

Well, how is this? It would have been quite natural, if M. de Castries had protested against an undeserved honour being conferred on D'Assas's family. I do not for a moment believe that a military man of reputation, like M. de Castries, would have liked to share the honours of a glorious engagement with a fictitious hero. But, I

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