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French out. Accordingly, he was not | Had the prince at least been honest about over-much delighted to find Marlborough it, the English would have known where approaching his borders.
they were, and been spared much hardIn 1705, understanding, to some extent ship, and Marlborough much anxiety. at least, what Marlborough intended, Vil- Bishop Hare, in his unpublished letters, lars, summoned to the command from the suggests that the French at headquarters depths of the Cevennes, took his meas- were well aware of the hitch, and therefore ures accordingly. With what difficulty an did not send Villars the reinforcements adequate force was mustered we learn which he demanded. Villars was "strongly from Voltaire's "Siècle de Louis XIV." encamped with a wood and two ruisseaus However, somehow or other, fifty-five before him, besides the hollow way bethousand men were put in the field. "Ex- tween us, which is very deep and broad." cellentes troupes," Villars says, "pleines "Villars ne pouvait être attaqué de front," d'ardeur et de courage," and, as offensive says a French writer in the Austrasie." warfare was out of the question on this It would, indeed, have been sheer folly in point, the country beyond Sierck was laid an inferior force to attack him. waste. In Sierck and along the heights, could neither make a siege without artilVillars took up a position which he him-lery, nor attack their army without more self described, one or two days before troops." And there the English were, on Marlborough's appearance, in these "Hungry Hill," as the soldiers christened words: "Here is a fine place to meet an their starvation quarters. "Sure, never enemy; the best ground in the world to army passed fifteen such tedious days. fight on a good occasion." The French The soldiers will remember this camp, lines stretched from the heights of the one while; both forage and provisions Moselle, opposite Retel, over Montenach were very scarce, and neither to be had beights, the Coteau d'Altenberg, the after the two or three first days within any Ferme de Künsberg, to the villages of reasonable distance, the country being of Früsching and Kerling, to the brook of itself extremely bad, and made still worse Königsmachern. by a strange and unnatural season, such ap-as has not been known even here above once in the memory of man.'
As Marlborough complains to Harley, the weather was exceptionally cold, which might, he thought, account for the large number of desertions from the English camp. He begs that deserters may be watched for in the English ports, and seized and punished "for an example." Of these desertions our commissariat unfortunately did not get the benefit. For, as Hare writes, if our men deserted home, in still larger numbers did the French desert to the English, so that the matter became serious. There were too many mouths already for the supply of food. "All this time the poor devils who had taken so much pains to come so far lay starving in a cursed camp, under an impossibility of doing anything."
A few days after, Marlborough proached at the head of his motley force, consisting of English, Dutch, Danes, Lünenburgers, Hanoverians, etc., having crossed the Moselle at Igel and the Saar at Consarbrück. "This march," says Bishop Hare, "for the length of it, I consider a masterpiece." "The opportunity," he goes on, "should have been tempting for the enemy to oppose the invaders, had the marshal had any stomach for it." But "stomach" he evidently had none. No opposition of any kind was offered. On the contrary, as soon as the French heard of the English being at Perle, they made | what haste they could to get away from Sierck, being fifty-five thousand against our forty-two thousand. "It was diverting to see the marshal retiring," writes Hare. Already at that time the French troops began to desert; so Marlborough The duke grew anxious. "He uses was kept pretty well informed concerning not to make complaint, but nobody's coun. their condition. The French retired to tenance speaks more." His entourage Retel, and Marlborough pushed on to feared that he might be taken downright what he called the "Camp d'Elft"-it ill. At length, under pressure from the should be "Eft"— of which Castle Mens- distressed Dutch, who sent express berg was the centre. Here, accordingly, upon express," on the 15th of June, the he fixed his quarters, and here he waited army were given orders to hold themselves twelve weary days for the three thousand in readiness to march. Never was order horses for the artillery, and for the Ger- more welcome. On the fifteenth, at midman troops under Prince Louis of Baden, night, the retreat began, the troops marchto come up. They were, as Hare says, ing back to their old camping-ground at continually coming, and never came.' Cons and Igel, twenty squadrons guarding
the rear. "But the maréchal was very | retire from service at the end of the camcivil, and let us go off without giving us paign. the least disturbance. It happened unfortunately," the chaplain-general goes "to be a very wet night, the first rain we have had a long time, till about ten next morning. This made a march, which was in itself very long, exceedingly fatiguing; tho' if the men might have had their choice, I believe they would have gone it rather than stay'd at Elft a day longer."
Thus ended, owing to German dilatoriness, a "noble enterprise," a plan which, if carried out, must have altered the position of the contending countries materially for the year, and might have ended the war. Marlborough felt his disappointment keenly, as Villars puts it, "almost like a defeat." At any rate, he did not wish to be misunderstood by his opponent, and so he wrote to Villars: "Rendez-moi la justice de croire que ma retraite est la faute du Prince de Bade et que je vous éstime encore plus que je ne suis fâché contre lui." Villars makes fun of this as a mere pretence. He pretends that the army under Marlborough was overwhelmingly superior in numbers to his own, that the whole German contingent was with the duke, and that the latter, to put it in plain English, "funked "a battle. The English quitted the camp, he says, in such absolute silence that he was not aware of it till too late, or he would have been down upon them. He wrote to his king: "Il me semble que Dieu, protecteur des armes de Votre Majesté, avait marqué à ce grand nombre d'ennemis les termes qu'ils de vaient respecter. On les a empêchés de mettre le pied sur vos terres. Le poste que votre armée a occupé était précisément sur la frontière de ses états."
Villars turned the duke's stealthy_departure to good account for a laugh against a poor Lorrain envoy who was brought up as a prisoner by his outposts, having been seized with a safe-conduct from Marlborough in his hands. There was another Lorrain envoy with Villars at the time. The latter said, "Tell your master what has happened to you, and that the same fate awaits himself according to the decision which he may make in his alliance between France and the emperor."
Marlborough pushed on to the Netherlands, and still managed to obtain laurels in that year. But he felt it difficult to get over his disappointment at Mensberg. When he reached Dryborn, he wrote to the duchess and to Godolphin, expressing to the former his sense of humiliation, and to the latter his desire to be allowed to
I left Mensberg much less crestfallen. I had had a glorious walk and some fine views, and had seen an interesting site and building. But Arnold de Sierck's devil must baulk me in some little way, or he would belie his character. My friends at the castle had confided to me that there was a curious old chronicle relating to the castle in the possession of an old facteur (that is, a postman) at Sierck; that chronicle, of course, I was anxious to see. With some difficulty I found the facteur, who had lent the manuscript to the curé for inspection, and for the preparation of a notice to be published. The curé was most civil, and asked me, as French curés, when they are students, are fond of asking, what was the correct pronunciation of certain English words, carefully laid by for such an occasion. But the manuscript turned out to be a poor, incorrect copy of something I had already seen at Metz. I was much questioned about the inhabitants of the castle. Est-ce-qu'on a été complaisant?" "Very," I was bound to reply. And back I went along that route de Thionville, which has been called le grénier de Mets, and had ample opportunity of satisfying myself of the truth of the Lorrain saying which, not without justice, affirms that "les plus beaux villages bordent le cours de la Moselle."
HENRY W. WOLFF.
From The Speaker.
ALL that follows was spoken in a small tavern, a stone's throw from Cheapside, the day before I left London. It was spoken in a dull voice, across a greasy tablecloth, and amid an atmosphere so thick with the reek of cooking that one longed to change it for the torrid street again, to broil in an ampler furnace. Old Tom Pickford spoke it, who has been a clerk for fifty-two years in Tweedy's East India warehouse, and in all that time has never been out of London; but when he takes a holiday, spends it in hanging about Tweedy's and observing that unlovely place of business from the outside. The dust, if not the iron, of Tweedy's has entered into his soul; and Tweedy's young men know him as "The Mastodon." is a thin, bald septuagenarian, with sloping shoulders and a habit of regarding the pavement when he walks, so that he seems
to steer his way by instinct rather than | it, to feel the heat now. Well, the 'bus sight. In general he keeps silence while was packed, inside and out. At least, eating his chop; and on this occasion there was just room for one more inside there was something unnatural in his ut- when we pulled up by Charing Cross, and terance, a divorce of manner between the there he got in-a boy with a stick and a speaker and his words such as one would bundle in a blue handkerchief. expect in a Sybil disclaiming under stress of the god. I fancied it had something to do with a black necktie that he wore instead of the blue bird's-eye cravat familiar to Tweedy's; and with his extraordinary conduct in refusing to-day the chop that the waiter brought, and limiting his lunch to cheese and lettuce.
Having pulled the lettuce to pieces, he pushed himself back a little from the table, looked over his spectacles at me, then at the tablecloth, and began in a dreamy voice:
"Old Gabriel is dead. I heard the news at the office this morning, and went out and bought a black tie. I am the oldest man in Tweedy's now-older by six years than Sam Collins, who comes next; so there is no mistake about it. Sam is looking for the place; I saw it in his eye when he told me, and I expect he'll get it. But I'm the oldest clerk in Tweedy's. Only God Almighty can alter that, and it's very satisfactory to me. I don't care about the money. Sam Collins will be stuck up over it, like enough; but be'll never write a hand like Gabriel's, not if he lives to be a hundred; and he knows it, and knows I'll be there to remind him of it. Gabriel's was a beautiful fistsmall, too, if he chose. Why, once, in his spare hours, he wrote out all the Psalms, with the headings, on one side of a folio sheet, and had it framed and hung up in his parlor, out at Shepherd's Bush. He died in the night-oh, yes, quite easily. He was down at the office all yesterday, and spoke to me as brisk as a bird. They found him dead in his bed this morning.
"I seem cut up about it? Well, not exactly. Ah, you noticed that I refused my chop to-day. Bless your soul, that's not on Gabriel's account. I am well on in years, and I suppose it would be nat ural of me to pity old men, and expect pity. But I can't; no, it's only the young that I pity. If you must know, I didn't take a chop to-day because I haven't the money in my pocket to pay for it. You see there was this black tie that I gave eighteenpence for; but something else happened this morning that I'll tell you about.
"I came down in a 'bus as usual. You remember what muggy weather it was up to ten o'clock-though you wouldn't think
"He wasn't more than thirteen; bound for the Docks, you could tell at a glance; and by the way he looked about you could tell as easily that in stepping outside Charing Cross Station he'd set foot on London stones for the first time. God knows how it struck him the slush and drizzle, the ugly shop-fronts, the horses slipping in the brown mud, the crowd on the pavement pushing him this side and that. The poor little chap was standing in the middle of it with dazed eyes, like a hare's, when the 'bus pulled up. His. eyelids were pink and swollen; but he wasn't crying, though he wanted to. Instead, he gave a gulp as he came on board with stick and bundle, and tried to look brave as a lion.
"I'd have given worlds to speak to him; but I couldn't. On my word, sir, I should have cried. It wasn't so much the little chap's look. But to the knot of his bundle there was tied a bunch of cottage flowers-sweet williams, boy's love, and a rose or two- and the sight and smell of them in that stuffy omnibus were like tears on thirsty eyelids. It's the young that I pity, sir. For Gabriel, in his bed up at Shepherd's Bush, there's no more to be said, as far as I can see; and as for me, I'm the oldest clerk in Tweedy's, which is very satisfactory. It's the young faces, set towards the road along which we have travelled, that trouble me. Sometimes, sir, I lie awake in my lodgings and listen, and the whole of this London seems filled with the sound of children's feet running, and I can sob aloud. You may say that it is only selfishness, and what I really pity is my own boyhood. I dare say you're right. It's certain that, as I kept glancing at the boy and his sea-kit, and his bunch of flowers, my mind went back to the January morning, sixty-five years back, when the coach took me off for the first time from the village where I was born, to a London charity school. I was worse off than the boy in the omnibus, for I had just lost father and mother. Yet it was the sticks and stones and flower-beds that I mostly thought of. I went round and said good-bye to the lilacs, and told them to be in flower by the time I came back. I said to the rose-bush, 'You must be as high as my window next May; you know you only missed it by three
inches last summer,' Then I went to the cow-house, and kissed the cows one by one. They were to be sold by auction the very next week, but I guessed nothing of it, and ordered them not to forget me. And last I looked at the swallows' nests under the thatch the last year's nests and told myself that they would be filled again when I returned. I remembered this; and how I stretched out my hands to the place from the coach-top; and how at Reading, where we stopped, I spent the two shillings that I possessed in a cocoanut and a bright clasp-knife; and how I broke the knife in opening the nut; and how, when I opened it, the nut was sour; and how I cried myself to sleep, and woke in London.
cheating myself all these years; that, in fact, I was mad all the while, and have no stable reason for existing I, the oldest clerk in Tweedy's! To be sure, there would be my parents' head-stones in the churchyard. But what are they, if the churchyard itself is changed?
"As it is, with £300 per annum and enough laid by to keep him, if I fail, an old bachelor has no reason to grumble. But the sight of that little chap's nosegay and the thought of the mother who tied it there, made my heart swell as I fancy the earth must swell when rain is coming. His eyes filled once and he brushed them under pretence of pulling his cap forward, and stole a glance round to see if any one had noticed him. The other "The young men in Tweedy's, though passengers were busy with their own they respect my long-standing there, make thoughts, and I pretended to stare out of fun of me at times, because I never take the window opposite; but there was the a holiday in the country. Why, sir, I dare drop, sure enough, on his hand as he laid not. I should wander back to my old vil-it on his lap again. lage, and Well, I know how it would be then. I should find it smaller and meaner; I should search about for the flowers and nests, and listen for the music that I knew sixty-five years ago, and remember; and they would not be discoverable. Also every face would stare at me; for all the faces I know are dead. Then I should think I had missed my way and come to the wrong place; or (worse) that no such spot ever existed, and I have been
"He was bound for the Docks and thence for the open sea, and I, that was bound for Tweedy's only, had to get out at the top of Cheapside. I know the 'bus-conductor a very honest manand, in getting out, I slipped half-a-crown into his hand to give to the boy, with my blessing, at his journey's end. When I picture his face, sir, I wish I had made it five shillings, and gone without a new tie and dinner altogether."
A TURKISH "DAUGHTER OF THE REGI placed at the Maria College for young girls MENT."―The St. Petersburg correspondent at Warsaw. Twelve years have passed and of the Daily News tells the following pretty Maria Kexholmskaia has become a pretty story of a "daughter of the regiment. Dur- girl, and has just finished her college studies. ing the Russo-Turkish war a private in the The regiment gave a fête in her honor a few Kexholm Regiment when in Bulgaria found a days ago; then a state dinner, during which little Turkish girl about four years old, who the oldest non-commissioned officers of the had been abandoned by her father and mother. regiment, in the name of all the privates, preThe soldier took the little one to his officers, sented a holy image, and in the evening there who resolved to adopt it. The child, who was a ball. As a sign of her gratitude, Maria was suffering from want of food, soon recov- Kexholmskaia presented the regiment with a ered, and told her protectors that her name large velvet cushion, on which she had emwas Aish. As soon as peace had been signed broidered in gold the monogram of the regiand the Russians were allowed to enter Con- ment and exact copies of all the decorations stantinople the colonel bought a quantity of and medals the regiment has received for its dresses for "the young lady," and "a hat gallantry. In one of the corners she had emwith a real garden of flowers upon it." When broidered "Masha (or Maria) Kexholmskaia, the regiment returned to Warsaw the officers 24th January, 1878-19th June, 1890.' resolved to do their best for the girl. They emperor of Austria is the chief of the regiimposed upon themselves an income-tax of ment, and it is supposed that he will do someone per cent. and resolved to pay to "the thing to show his interest in the daughter of Aish fund "ten copecks of each game of his regiment, who is now staying with Gencards used at the regimental club, etc. Aish, eral Panjoutin, commander of the 11th Diviwho meanwhile had been christened under sion, the officer who commanded the Kexholm the name of Maria Kexholmskaia, was then | Regiment when little Aish was found.