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ing that the vast possibilities of the future are all their own.
Before going any further, I must here acknowledge a very useful "legup" which was indirectly given to me by the CornhiU on my entrance into the Service. Even in 1860 a lengthy examination had to be passed before a commission could be purchased, and every day for a week i was seated at Burlington House, grappling with Latin, history, mathematics, fortification, arithmetic, French, and other subjects in which qualifying marks could be gained. l never had any doubt of passing the examination, but i wanted to pass extra well, for certain advantages were thereby to be secured. My French was not my strongest point, and l thought it worth while to rub it up with a tutor before presenting myself for the ordeal. Naturally, the first thing the tutor did was to tell me to translate some English into French, and he produced a book of exercises, one of which he wanted me to tackle. Fresh from college, i loathed conventional text-books, and suggested that l would rather translate a page from the "Four Georges," a notable feature in the CornhiU, then in its gorgeous youth. My tutor agreed, and my translation was duly criticized and corrected. The examination was three or four days later, and my satisfaction may be conceived when I found that very passage from the CornhiU figuring in my examination paper. Full marks were mine in French at any rate, and, with their aid, my place on the list of successful candidates was much more than respectable. l have ever since looked upon the orange jacket as a porte-bonhtur.
l shall say nothing of my early days as a cavalry subaltern. l spent several years as instructor of musketry and adjutant, but the daily routine of regimental work, though serious enough, did not present any incidents worth recording here. l came little in con
tact with the senior officers of the Service, and can only remember the annual inspections by the inspector-General of Cavalry. General Lawrenson was a real type of an English cavalry officer, and to us subalterns an object of profound admiration. He had at his fingers' ends every detail of duty as it was then understood, and was unapproachable in his knowledge of interior economy. But what appealed to us perhaps more than any other of his accomplishments was his superlative horsemanship. As Wbyte-Melville said in his "Riding Recollections," "Lawrenson combined the strength and freedom of the hunting-field with the scientific exercise of hands and limbs as taught in the haute tcole." And the gallant regiment to which i belonged quite appreciated one method of securing that we should always have a satisfactory inspection. When the General had to be mounted, it was always arranged that he should be provided with the best-looking horse that our stables could produce, and particularly one that took a bit of riding. We thus secured that his mind should be so pleasantly occupied that he did not pay too close attention to any of our shortcomings on parade. He gained all our hearts at one inspection in the beginning of the hunting season. Everything of importance had been done, we hoped, to his satisfaction, and nothing was left but for him to inspect the equitation of the officers in riding-school on the following morning. He finished his official work at once, however, making us a little speech: "Gentlemen, l am quite satisfied with all l have seen. l believe that the hounds meet near here to-morrow, and l propose to judge of your riding by seeing you out hunting." Needless to say, every officer, from the Colonel to the junior cornet, was in the field the next day, ready to ride for all he waa worth.
ln those days, one of the pleasantest episodes of the year was the annual change of quarters, when we marched by squadrons through England. We saw the fairest of lands to the utmost advantage "all in the blue unclouded weather," moving by "hostel, hall, and grange; by bridge and ford, by park and pale," and we had our nightly billets in comfortable, old-fashioned inns, where we were the objects of much regard to matrons and maids, who seldom had a chance of seeing the uniforms of Queen Victoria's cavalry. And when the route took us past some stately country house, how often were we waylaid by the proprietor, particularly if he was an old soldier, who provided liberal and substantial refreshments for the non-commissioned officers and men, and offered the most cordial hospitality to the officers. What good times those were!
it must be acknowledged that in those old days, a piping time of peace, though the few and simple duties of a soldier were conscientiously enough performed, many officers took little thought for the more serious responsibilities of their profession, and indeed there was but small pressure to make them do so. Any one who had stepped but a short way beyond the teaching of the drill-book had, however, the encouragement of being considered a useful man, and was often employed on extra-regimental duties, bringing him in contact with generals and Staff officers who had seen war and knew something of military duties beyond the mere routine of a barrack-yard. How many generals l had thus an opportunity of meeting, and what good, kind fellows most of them were! They had their little eccentricities and mannerisms, however, which were often sources of amusement to their irreverent subordinates. The forms of speech so well known in Flanders still rolled fluently from the tongues of
some of them in moments of excitement, and one cavalry General in particular was distinguished by the freedom of his language. His division was marching past on a certain occasion, and something went wrong, which ellcited some rather lurid remarks. His wife, a most formidable dame, was riding on the drill-ground, looking on at the show, and heard the doubleshotted sentences. She had evidently been trying to break her gallant husband of his bad habit, and now, forgetful of the dignity of a General on parade, she rode up to him, surrounded as he was by his Staff, and, wagging her finger, said with reproachful emphasis "Frank—that word again! Frank—that word again!" We all tried to look unconscious, but it was a sore effort.
l always regretted that l never was on very confidential terms with this General, for l should have liked well to hear the inner history of the regiment in which he served in india not many years earlier. ln the disused churchyard of the station where it had been quartered there are several tombs of officers of the —th (l have seen them myself) on which it is recorded that the officers died of fever. lt was generally believed, however, that this meant that they had been killed in duels. The custom of duelling died hard, and a duel was still thought of as a possible dernier re-sort in my early soldiering days. l remember two hostile meetings to have taken place in the 'sixties between men whom l knew, fortunately without any serious results; but it was rumored that other meetings not so harmless had occurred about the same period, which were kept very quiet . l am under the impression that many more duels were fought forty or fifty years ago than ever came to light .
l have told how one lady rebuked her husband coram populo, and, before going further, I may tell of another military dame, wife of an officer commanding an artillery battery and, as it was whispered, assuming no small share of his authority. The battery was on parade one day in the barrack square, and, in all its pride, marched past its commanding officer in line in front of the officers' quarters. As the evolution was finished, the voice of his better half was heard from a window: "That's very bad, Charlie. Make them do it again!" Whether the order was carried out or not l can't tell, but knowing the lady, i think it is likely that it was.
A propos of the strong language i have mentioned, a most distinguished officer who commanded at a very important military station used to express himself frequently with a vigor and ingenuity that have seldom been surpassed. So well known was his fluency in anathema that, soon after his appointment to the command, the question being asked whether he had taken up the duties, some wag replied. "l really don't know, but I am sure he has sworn himself in." At a big field day, an infantry battalion was unfortunate enough to incur his wrath, and the Staff were rather staggered by receiving the distinct and emphatic order, "Send for a company of sappers!" Then, after a pause, "Tell them to dig a hole down to h—1, and to put this d—d battalion into it!" All the objurgation that was heard from him and others was really, however, vox et praeterea nihil. it meant reproof and castigation, but had no further consequences, and was, in its nature, like the crack of a huntsman's whip over a hound that is running riot .
Few people heard a Comminution Service recited for their benefit with the cooiness and philosophy of the old Colonel of a really fine infantry corps which had failed to satisfy the Duke of Cambridge at some manoeuvres.
The Duke could and did express himself upon occasion with considerable strength and precision, and at the powwow succeeding the day's operations he had anathematized the regiment, telling the Colonel to take it back to barracks and give it everlasting drill. The old chief listened to the Commander-inChief's words with a perfectly unmoved and placid countenance, and when the pow-wow was over, saluting gravely, titupped on his little nag back to his regiment, standing at ease at a little distance. He called it to attention, and thus addressed it:" th, l
have to tell you that the Dook is very much gratified—much gratified. March home!"
lt has been my great good fortune to form, on several occasions, a humble item in official parties sent to the Continent to see and gather information from foreign armies. England has always had a curious tendency to model her own military ideas upon the pattern found by her in some other nation's army which, for the time, she thinks is the most efficient and highly instructed. Before the great struggle of 1870-71, we copied the French army in everything and looked upon it as the great exemplar of all that was warlike. We were ready to adopt all military details that were approved across the Channel, and we carried our admiration so far as to make our dress as like that of French soldiers as our very antagonistic style of physique permitted. We put leather on the legs of our cavalry overalls, we put very inferior kepis and bonnets de police on our infantry soldiers' heads; and not only the army but the whole nation wore pegtop trousers. it was a maxim that whatever was French must be good, and that in organization, drill, and equipment we could not go wrong so long as we had Gallic precedent. itn,nit: mutant ur. The astounding successes of Germany in 1870 showed England that her erstwhile military idol had feet of clay, and she at once fell into line with Prussian ideas and methods as far as her own circumstances permitted. She could not harden her heart to accept the principle of universal liability for service, but she took a short step in the right direction by establishing a limited period with the colors and the consequent formation of a reserve. All her military teaching was now taken from German text-books, histories, and essays. The battlefields round Metz became as familiar as Piccadilly to her military students, and, as a finishing touch, her infantry and artillery found themselves crowned with imitation Pickelhanben. The latest scenes of military prowess and the latest developments of military skill have now been found in the Far East, and, according to our habit, we look longingly towards the Orient for hints on warfare. But the true excellence of armed Japan is on so high a level that it seems to be beyond the reach of imitation by our self-indulgent and self-seeking civilization. So far we have not attempted to do more than to prate about "bushido," and, l believe, to try to learn "jujitsu."
Let me go back to 1864 and a visit to the French camp of instruction at Mourmelon, near Chalons. Marshal Mac-Mahon was then in command, the most trusted as he was the most popular leader in the French army. He had only recently gained his baton and the title of Due de Magenta in the italian war. The English officers were received and greeted by his senior aide-de-camp, Comte de Vogue, one of the handsomest, most agreeable, and most soldierly men l have ever met. He was a perfect representative of the chivalrous gentlemen of France. Having already served gallantly in italy and Algeria, he was full of enthusiasm and hopes of a brilliant career.
Alas! he was doomed to an early and glorious death, shot through the heart on the disastrous day of Spicheren.
What an imposing spectacle was a parade on the plains of Mourmelon! The uniforms of all the corps, reminiscent to a great extent of the First Empire's paraphernalia, were picturesque and gorgeous in the extreme. There were the Lanciers de l'lmperatrice in white and gold, the magnificent Guides, the Grenadiers, the Zouaves, and Horse Artillery of the Guard. The Cuirassiers, sombre in equipment and superbly mounted, looked irresistible men-at-arms. They were the "Gros Freres," famed in history and romance, and had a staid and half-solemn air which they affected as characteristic of their arm of the Service. I had yet to learn that, from the days of the Great Napoleon, each corps cultivated its own special traits, and that in battle a commander could evoke its utmost efforts by appealing to its cherished traditional feelings. In later years, when the French army, to its sorrow and loss, became imbued with a political spirit, the distinctions between arms of the Service were those of political opinions. The infantry were Legitimist, the cavalry Bonapartlst, and the artillery and sappers ultra-Republican. l have not mentioned the infantry of the Line, which of course formed the bulk of the army at Mourmelon. They had little of the swagger that marked the corps d'iUte. Indeed, all their best men had been taken to fill the ranks of these much-favored units, and the undersized pousge-caiUouai were little considered. When the day of trial came, however, some years later, the Linesmen showed as dauntless a spirit and died in their ranks as gamely as did the brilliant Guard.
Of course the small party of English officers had arrived with their minds full of details on which they wanted to gather information, and as a humble subaltern l had been expected to fraternize with the lower ranks and hear their opinions while a General and two Colonels tried to suck the brains of the great Marshal himself and his senior Staff officers. The first opportunity of confidential communication came after dijeuner, to which we had been invited at the Headquarters pavilion. lt had been expected that the Marshal would talk in English, which he knew very fairly well, but for some reason he would not do so. Our General and one Colonel could not understand a word of French, and the other Colonel was monopolized by Madame la Mar6chale, who insisted on maintaining an animated conversation with him. To me, then, there fell the unlooked-for privilege of nearly an hour's Ute-i-Ute with one of the most important military authorities of the day as he walked up and down, smoking his after-breakfast cigars. He was all kindness and affability, and gave his opinion on all kinds of subjects with the utmost freedom. l remember that, even then, though l did not realize how weighty was the information, he criticized the French system of mobilization. How true were his words was proved by the disastrous confusion in 1870. He was essentially an infantry general, and placed no great value on cavalry, especially the cuirassiers, which he considered out of date after the improvements in small arms and artillery. He was convinced that the most valuable quality of very heavy horsemen was their imposing appearance and the rattling thunder (what he called the pkm-pUm, plon-plon) of their advance. My conversation with Marshal Mac-Mahon furnished, as I have reason to know, at least half of the official report on our misison that went to the Horse Guards.
While l am thinking of visits to foreign armies, I may recall my experiences in Berlin in 1869. On arrival,
I with my seniors left cards on all the most important personages in the Prussian army. ln due course we had the utmost kindness shown to us, and the first entertainment to which we were bidden was a small dinner given by the King, of not more than twenty-five or thirty covers. I have never enjoyed an evening more heartily. The monarch was extremely gracious and said a kindly word to each of his guests. The dinner was worthy of the host, and there was a special brand of Rhine wine which was super-excellent . Strauss's band, led by himself, was in attendance and played the "Schonen blauen Donau" for the first time. A very attractive maid of honor on the other side of the table was delightful to watch, and l sat between two Counts Brandenburg, twins, and so much alike that they could not be known apart, who by blood, if not legally, were closely connected with the Royal house. They were both generals of cavalry—stout, bald, elderly men; and, to me at least, showed themselves as essentially jovial, amusing, and genial bons-vivants. It was not to be expected that the privilege of meeting them again should fall to my lot, but I heard of one of them the following year. When General Bredow was about to start on his famous death ride at Mars-le-Tour, that magnificent charge of six or seven squadrons which at a critical moment checked a whole French army, one of the Counts Brandenburg galloped up to him to join as a volunteer in the daring feat of arms, crying out "VorwHrts, Bredow. Ich gehe auch mlt." He could not bear to remain in the rear in the King's cortdge when he saw an opportunity of showing the brave spirit of his family, and he rode gloriously with the foremost files.
But, alas! delightful as was my evening in such exalted company, l afterwards discovered that l had been in