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to exchange against a couple of cigars. But it was in the days of golden youth, and I bore my hardships with a gay heart. The truth is, that in that climate and that land mere animal life is an actual intense pleasure. The air is so pure and clear that rock, sea, castle, lake, or river, even when miles away, looks like a painted picture which you could touch with your hand. The autumn there does not produce the same feeling of melancholy which it does in England. The leaves never seem to fall and decay, and the mellow tints and exquisite softness and stillness of the Indian summer linger to the very last. There are villas nestling in the hills, which look burnt white in the heat of the sun; but there are light cool breezes in the leafy ravines, and the tiny waves of the lake splash and sparkle, just to signify that their waters are not absolutely asleep. In some parts, too, there are dark pine-forests on high rocky ground, but everywhere there are orange-groves, clustering vines, the tender quivering leaf of the acacia, or the powdery grey sad green of the olive-woods, and sometimes the darker shade of the ilex palm or tamarind-tree. The peasantry, too, aro so picturesque and gay-tempered, and my own comrades were so kind, debonnair, and light-hearted, that hungry I might be and often was, but it was not possible to be dismal for long together with these surroundings. What could be done in that direction, however, was done for mo by our captain, whom I have before alluded to as a terrible disciplinarian. It chanced that one day on parade I did not hear my name called out, and of course was silent when I ought to have responded. The captain had been tearing at his moustaches the whole of the morning (an infallible sign of an evil temper for him), and at this instant he thundered out, “ Cadet, are you too proud to answer to your name, and come forward and receive the Imperial money?" I instantly left my place and advanced to him, trying to explain my mistake. “Not a word, cadet, but go into barrack arrest until further orders,” was his amiable reply.
We were at that time in a pleasant little town called Monza, and I had made some friends there, both men and women, whom in my heart I thought the most charming people in the world. Then, either from the coquetry which is natural to them, or from sentiment, or lore of intrigue, or to provoke the jealousy of their countrymen, these beautiful dark-eyed women were often very gracious to us, and even when for patriotic reasous they were less so towards a full-blown Austrian officer, they were always ready, out of pure compassion and tenderness of heart, to give a bright glance and a kind word to a young cadet, who was also well known as an Engländer. Well, my good friends had, I knew, prepared a feast for me, and when I went off parade that day, I was quite in as bad a temper as my captain, and, as I thought, with much more reason. It was in vain I sent two of my comrades, according to custom, to beg me off. All the answer they got was Nichts (nothing), and I was driven nearly wild with vexation. Now I was quartered in a large farmhouse just outside Monza; it had Do gates, but many doors, and the usual guard was placed only at the main entry. I began to contemplate breaking my arrest; the sin was braced my
easy, the temptation great, and the risks,-—-well, I did not take them into consideration,—but as soon as the light shade of an Italian night began to' fall, I fastened my cap well on my head, bit my strap hard in my teeth,
belt tight for racing, and holding my head well down, as soon as I was fairly outside of the house I flew like an arrow to the place of rendezvous, which was fully a mile off and on the other side of the town, through which I had, of course, to pass. I could hardly speak when I arrived, but how I enjoyed myself that night! I was quite the hero of the banquet, and when grey dawn began to break, the company stood up, and, glass in hand, we had a parting chorus to cheer me on my road back. I actually arranged that, provided nothing awkward happened, I would find my way there the following night, and then I set off at the top of my pace to the farmhouse. That awkward thing, however, did happen; for in turning a sharp corner of one of the streets I came face to face against my captain, with such a spin as nearly to knock him down. He reeled back against the wall, and I staggered into the middle of the road; then I stood "attention” and saluted, and he looked hard at me, and simply returning the salute, passed on. It was no use my running more after that rencontre, so I walked thoughtfully to my quarters, feeling very well assured that not of a feast, but of a prison, I should be the hero that night. I dressed myself mournfully for parade, to which I was escorted, as my fears foreboded, by the inspecting sergeant, according to " captain's orders received." After the usual routine I was called forward, and reprimanded with exceeding severity. The captain's concluding words
-“I know that a cadet can claim to be sent for punishment to the propos, or provost sergeant-major, or to the sergeant-major's room; bat now there is no propos, neither has the sergeant-major a barrack-room. You will therefore go to the guard-room, and there be kurzgeschlossen for twenty-four hours; you will afterwards remain under barrack arrest until I think fit to release you.” I was immediately conducted to the guardroom, there to undergo my sentence. In the punishment called kurzschliessen manacles are put on the right ankle and left wrist; when shut, a cap is put over each of them, which closes the ends. These caps have holes in them. Then a chain with a bolt at the end of it is passed first through the leg manacle, then through that on the wrist; it is run up pretty tight, and fastened in the third link from the bolt by a padlock. The prisoner is cobbled in this manner for six hours at a time, when the sergeant of the watch is required to let out the chain to its full length, so that the prisoner may for two hours stretch himself and walk about, not indeed at his ease, but comparatively so. He is then again cobbled as before, and so on to the expiration of the sentence. This punishment is not allowed to be inflicted for more than forty-eight hours at a time, and the two hours of long chain are counted in such case along with the others; but they are not reckoned if the sentence is for any less period than forty-eight hours, so that in all I had actually thirty-two hours of cobbles and long chain. I sat sadly enough on the little truckle bed, with
my right foot on the other knee and my left wrist fast on to it, with no other amusement than rubbing up and polishing the remainder of the chain, and I remember thinking that it was a very severe chastisement, and that I had unquestionably merited it. I was horribly stiff when the first six hours were over, and tried to persuade the sergeant when he tied me up again to put the manacles on the other leg and wrist.
The goodnatured fellow would willingly have done it to ease me, but did not dare, for, as he truly remarked, if the captain came round and noticed it, tho punishment would in all probability be doubled, and he would be included un it. I was aware we were under orders to march to Bergamo ; and as the moment of my release drew near, I looked forward with actual pleasure to a long tramp on foot and in freedom. The two subalterns had arrived on the parade-ground, for I recognized their voices, and I heard the tread of the captain ; still no message came to me, though from my prison window I could see the heads of the men, and could tell they were all in marching order. At last the door opened, and I was told to come out. My accoutrements were given me, but the lock was not in my rifle, and my sword was not in its sheath. I slung my knapsack, and then the chains and manacles just taken off me were fastened on to it in an unpleasantly conspicuous manner. My heart sank within me as I perceived a corporal and four privates with fixed bayonets, who immediately surrounded me, for then I knew that I was to march as a prisoner and in disgrace. It was certainly what may be called “hard lines,” for we had thirty-two miles of ground to accomplish that day, and I was sadly cramped in my limbs from having been kept so long in one position. However, I had no rancorous feeling in me, for if I had met with severity, I had certainly not encountered injustice, and I thought I should best please my captain by showing him I was not sulky; so I stepped out my very best, and chatted, sang, and whistled as gaily as I could. Occasionally I saw him check his horse and fall back, to ascertain how I was getting on; and when he found I was not flagging even to the last, his stern old face looked positively kindly. Ho said afterwards to one of my comrades, who of course repeated it to me, “Our Engländer is made of good stuff'; he has this day pleased me well.” And at the end of that day's march I was released from arrest, and, full of good resolutions, took my place as usual with my comrades. I shortly afterwards received a remittance from home, and the welcome intelligence that efforts were being made to get me transferred to a cavalry regiment, -a change I greatly desired.
Whilst at Bergamo one of our cadets died after a very short illness. As a body they are so exceedingly healthy that it is a most rare thing for a cadet to die otherwise than in the field, or in consequence of wounds; and we had grown to regard such an accident as a kind of anomaly or unaccountable weakness. This poor fellow was by birth a Swiss, and a fine handsome youth much liked by us all. He was of course to be interred with military honours, and we obtained leave from the commanding officer to take it by turns to watch by the body. VOL. XV.-NO, 86.
I was called at two in the morning to perform my share of this melancholy task. The corpse was lying on a long table supported by trestles, and was covered with a sheet. I had hardly been alone with it in the room ten minutes before I thought I heard a noise under the sheet like tapping. I looked towards the place, but the body remained quite motionless, so I concluded it was my fancy. Then I dozed little, and woke up, hearing most distinctly three deliberate raps proceeding from that part where the head was laid. I mustered courage to say aloud, “ Was willst Du?—(Dost thou want anything ?)" but the sheet did not move, and no reply was given. I broke out into a cold perspiration, and began to hope I was not locked in. I would have given anything for courage to have raised the sheet and satisfied myself ; but in the first place it seemed to me a sort of sacrilege to touch it; and, secondly, I dared not. So I sat staring very hard at it, the sweat standing on my forehead in great drops. The candles flickered and all was again quiet; then came the same sound-tuck-tuck-tuck—this time faster, and certainly proceeding from the table. I could stand it no longer, but rushed to the door and roared out for the guard. There was a general rush to see what was the matter; my courage returned when I found myself in company with others, though I cannot say my colour did—so I said with white cheeks, but with as much dignity and authority as I could get up, “ The gentleman lying there wants some assistance." Even as I said these words we all heard the same sound, and equally we all bolted from the room.
there are worse things than ghosts—one at least was my captain, so I got serious and desperate, and ordered the men to return into the room with me. They would not, however, enter unless I preceded them, and this I did not want to do. While we were discussing the point the doctor came up, to our great relief, having been fetched by one of the men who happened to be more sensible than the rest. He settled the question by walking straight up to the corpse and taking off the sheet. No; there our poor comrade was lying, cold, silent, and motionless, unmistakably dead. The surgeon, or to use the nickname which is invariably given them among the men, the Pflasterschmierer, or “salve-smearer,” sharply taunted na with having disturbed him so uselessly, it being evident to him, he said, that it all arose out of our own fears and fancies. He was just retiring when, to our real delight, the noise was heard distinctly; and this time having the courage that is born of numbers, we set to work to find out the cause, which was quickly made apparent. The young cadet had been a Protestant, and therefore a minister of that faith had been sent for, so that the funeral might be conducted with the appropriate ceremonies, and this had caused a little delay in the interment. It was thought advisable to place blocks of ice about the body, and this ice had melted into little pools, which from time to time overflowed, and the water dropping from the table on to the floor had caused the tapping sound which had frightened us so much. It was long before I heard the last of the " cadet's ghost," as they chose to call it, from my companions ; but they nevertheless
resolved that if any duty of a similar kind fell to our share in future it would be more agreeable to all parties to watch in couples.
Shortly after this I was sent for by the Adjutant, and informed that by order of the “ Most High War Minister” I was to be transferred to the
Hussars, the regimental staff of which was then at Brescia. So I bade farewell to the Jägers, reminded them that though my whole body no longer belonged to them, my right leg and stirrup was theirs of right, and with many a kind hearty wish and warm grasp of their hands I left them, and immediately joined the staff and reported myself to my new Colonel.
The — Hussars was a very crack regiment: it was composed of pure Hungarians, and the celebrated General Georgey had served in it both as subaltern and adjutant; but it had lately been somewhat in the shade, for during the Hungarian revolution in 1848, many of the men, and even one or two of the officers, had deserted in order to join Kossuth. It had consequently been sent out of Bohemia, and was to be quartered in Italy until it could be thoroughly reorganized. The task of getting together and bringing under proper discipline some 1,600 men is by no means a trifling one, and not any easier because the men were Hungarians. They perhaps learn more quickly than Austrians, and are more ready and active ; but they are also excitable, passionate, and much more difficult to keep in hand. The position of Colonel in the service is, however, one of great power and authority, and our Colonel had been especially selected for the purpose on account of his great skill and his remarkable capacity for conciliating and attaching to him both officers and men. He was a magnificent-looking soldier, courteous and genial in address and disposition, and of unswerving justice in discipline. His horsemanship was simply perfection from a military point of view. We used sometimes to get up races among ourselves, and I have seen him ride a steeplechase in a fashion absolutely suicidal according to English notions, i.e. with a loose rein and a military seat, and yet by his high courage, perfect balance, and the great strength of his limbs, he kept his horse together, and arrived first at the winning-post, cool and unconcerned, and bestriding his horse as though he and it were one and the same. My impression is, however, still, that if he had had a fall it would have been not only a cropper but a crusher. The long stirrup and balance seat are not the best aids for going “ cross-country,” and though our own cavalry officers are in the hunting-field as bold if not bolder riders than the others, those who do not shorten stirrup-leathers and abandon the military seat get the most falls and the worst—which, however, they take with the pluck natural to English gentlemen. - Therefore it is,” says Friar John in the Inestimable Lije of the Great Gargantua, “ that I make my prayers in the fashion of stirrup-leathers, and I shorten them or lengthen them when I think good." In one matter our Colonel was thoroughly Austrian : he was exceedingly particular that the officers should be dressed strictly according to the