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dinner: he was a general, though on half pay, and on account of failing health and infirmities, apparently attributable to old age, quite unfit for service. The two formed an odd contrast, for the son looked very little younger than his father, but had nothing of the same keen fiery glance, or hale, active appearance. A very important and distinguished personage, in his own way, and certainly in his own opinion, was Karl, the Marshal's servant. He stood behind his master's chair, attending solely to him, and never deigning to lend a hand or cast an eye on any either right or left. It would appear they understood each other very well, for it was Karl's custom, when he thought the Marshal had eaten sufficient, to take away his plate at once. He did so on this occasion; the "old father" looked disconsolate, but neither surprised nor rebellious, and began in the most unoffending way to nibble at and break off pieces of his bread. The officious wretch immediately removed this also. Fortunately we could pass the bottles about without his stopping them, so that if our good "father" was stinted of his food, his dutiful children prevented his supplies of wine being cut off. General Hess was chief of Radetzky's staff, and was of course in pretty close attendance on him. Between the General and Karl there was not a very good understanding, and as commonly happens the dislike entertained by the inferior was the most openly expressed. On one occasion Karl said, "General, both of us cannot remain with our father;' therefore one of us must leave him, but I shall not be the one to go." It might, of course, be only a coincidence, but shortly after the General certainly did go, and Karl was left master of the field. From that time, whenever we had anything to do with Karl, we treated him with a respectful awe, which I have reason to believe was highly gratifying to his queer cross-grained temper.
Duels, though strictly forbidden in the service, are, nevertheless, connived at, if not permitted by the authorities. They are not of frequent occurrence, for though the intercourse among the officers is as close and unrestrained as that which subsists between brothers, it is tempered by extreme politeness and good feeling; moreover, the Austrians are not naturally a quarrelsome race. I do not approve of duels, though I am disposed to think the knowledge that a resort to cold steel would most certainly be the result of any rudeness helps to maintain among men a high standard of refinement and courtesy My first duel was in this wise: one of the cadets had received his promotion to the rank of commissioned officer, and according to custom celebrated the affair by giving a dinner. We dined well, too well perhaps, for champagne is a heady drink for youths accustomed to the thin light wines of Germany, which were our usual beverage. After dinner a few words were exchanged on some trivial matter, and, in answer to a remark of mine, one of my comrades told me that "I knew nothing about it, and was an altes Weib ( old wife') for saying so." As I was well aware that this was an epithet I ought not to allow to be applied to me, I immediately left the room with a brother officer, and just outside the door we held our consultation. In reply to my question he said he had
distinctly heard the offensive words: so I sent him back to make arrangements for a hostile meeting next day. Everything was settled in less than three minutes; I resumed my place at the table, and the conviviality went on as before. The next morning at nine we breakfasted together, principals and seconds, in the most amicable way; for we were really excellent friends, and had no ill-feeling in the affair. The place selected was the old church, which was used as our riding-school, and the weapons were our cavalry swords. My antagonist was neither so tall nor so muscular as myself, but more nimble and a better swordsman, so that I counted on having the worst of it. We were stripped to the waist, and our swords, after being well sharpened, were slung to our waists by silk handkerchiefs. Our seconds took up their position, also with drawn swords; the word was given, "On guard!" and we were then at liberty to slash away as well as we could. Before long I received a cut in the fleshy part of my right arm, and blood being drawn, proceedings were stopped, and I was asked if I were satisfied? The doctor examined the wound and pronounced it to be nothing serious, and by that time I had got warm and wished to flesh my own sword, if ever so little, so I elected to continue. After much parrying and thrusting, I cut through my antagonist's guard and pierced him in the breast. The wound looked ugly, but we were both glad to find that it was not even dangerous, and, moreover, that it brought the duel to an honourable conclusion. He reported himself sick on "doctor's certificate," and from that moment we were firm friends.
Nearly the whole of the winter months were devoted to practice in the Regiments Equitations Schule, or riding-school. The best rider among the officers was appointed by the Colonel to act as riding-master, and the cadets, junior officers, two non-commissioned officers from each squadron, and in fact any other officer whose style of riding was not considered sufficiently good, were given into his charge. We were put through a thorough course of school-riding, drill, sword-exercise, veterinary surgery, practical and theoretical. We were required to perform all the minor operations, to learn to shoe a horse, break him in, &c.; and from 5 A.M. to noon, we were at this kind of work almost without intermission. The school at Crema was an old church fitted up for the purpose. On the place where the altar had stood, and which was greatly elevated, a splendid gallery was erected for spectators, and the arrangements of the establishment were excellent. At 2 P.M., we again assembled for drill until 6 P.M., when we went to the stables to see the horses settled down for the night, and we were then at liberty to amuse ourselves until 5 A.M. in the morning, but it will be admitted we had not much idle time on our hands. Short of a course at a regular veterinary college, I know no place where a man gains so much scientific and practical knowledge of horses as in an Austrian cavalry regiment, and there is this further advantage, that the teaching given comprehends every branch of horsemanship. unruly, vicious, or unbroken horses are sent to the riding-school to be tamed or trained; and, as I was well advanced, I was placed in the rough
riding class, and had one after the other of these animals given to me to mount and break.
The time drew near for the yearly inspection to be made by the Colonel of the division, and when the day was fixed for his arrival we were all prepared to the very last point, and were, moreover, in a very serious frame of mind. It began with a heavy drill under the command of the Major, after which the Colonel was to examine the kit, horses, saddlery, &c. of the different troops separately. When the turn came for the inspection of horses for my troop, I was filled both with pride and apprehension. On the one hand, I knew that they were in perfect discipline and admirable condition, and I was so far sure of receiving his approbation. On the other hand, there was among them a most vicious and unmanageable brute, which was on that day at least my bête-noire, for he rarely missed a chance of showing his furious and unmanageable temper, and I felt certain that on an occasion like this he would, if possible, distinguish himself. We had given him the name of Jiddo (the Jew), and he was a magnificent horse, in colour coal black. He would often almost scream with rage, would worry with his teeth every one he could get hold of, and strike both with fore and hind legs. There was only one man in the troop who could do anything at all with him, and, though not a very good rider, Jiddo was of course given into his charge. His last rider (the trumpeter to the squadron), a gipsy by birth, this brute had killed. Each man led out his horse at the proper distance, and to my eye all looked well; but following the others, only considerably in the rear, was Jiddo, to my great relief, walking along with great decorum. The Colonel instantly said to me, "For what reason does that black horse not close in properly?" "Vice, sir," was my reply, and nothing further passed at that moment, though I observed a peculiar and ominous twitching of the Colonel's nose, which satisfied me the circumstance was not forgotten. Each horse was thoroughly examined and pronounced to be in a satisfactory. state, and at last came Jiddo, with his ears well laid back and the whites of his eyes exhibited like a storm-signal. He stood, however, still as a statue, almost ominously so. The Colonel approached him, but no sooner did he put out his hand to touch him than he reared up, and struck with his near fore-leg full at the officer's head, and would assuredly have killed him had I not braved etiquette, and catching hold of his arm suddenly twisted him away. As it was, I could not prevent the animal giving him a severe blow on the shoulder. The officer made no sign of pain or alarm, but his nose twitched more than ever. He said to the man in charge, "Turn in," and then addressed me with great slowness and deliberation, as follows:-"I am satisfied on the whole with the appearance of the horses in your troop, but I am surprised that a lieutenant of Hussars should allow a wild animal to be among them. In one month from this day I shall return here, and I must find that horse as tractable as the others. I thank you." These last words are the phrase generally used by a superior to inform his subaltern that the interview is over. One month to make Jiddo
as quiet as other horses! I was well persuaded the thing was impossible, but it was the Colonel's orders and must be obeyed, or I knew the consequences-arrest and disgrace. Any one who has been in a cavalry regiment will remember how difficult it is to prevent soldiers playing tricks with their horses, which ruin the animals' temper. The Germans are much quieter and less cunning in expedients, but the Hungarians were as full of mischief as a set of English schoolboys; so my first step was to remove Jiddo and his attendant to my own stables, and keep the former under lock and key, so that no one might meddle with him and undo my work. It was many days before Jiddo allowed me to approach him without attacking me, but that point gained I began to see my way clearer. Rarey's system had not then been invented, but every means I could think of I faithfully and perseveringly used. Every spare moment I spent with him, and at last he would allow me to caress him frequently, and to clean him, pick up his feet, and perform all those little offices about him which a groom usually does. He let me saddle and unsaddle him, and had not as yet worried me, and he would when in a good humour follow me about in the stable, and answer to my voice by neighing; but beyond this point we had not proceeded, and the time was growing very short. On application, and stating the reason, I was excused from my usual drill, and for the last three days I hardly ever left" The Jew,"-"accursed Jew," as my comrades now called him. The month expired, and to the hour, almost to the minute, the Colonel arrived. I was awaiting him in the barrack-yard, having prepared myself for the encounter as best I knew how-which was by stuffing my pockets with lumps of sugar, with especial reference to a well-marked weakness of " The Jew." The Colonel said very gently, “Let me see, sir, whether you have obeyed my orders." I saluted and went into the stable, saddled "The Jew," and having popped a lump of sugar into his ready mouth, I brought him out apparently in a wonderfully docile frame of mind. I got him well into the centre of the barrack-yard by a kind of tacking progress, so that he should not see the spectators who were to witness his behaviour; but alas! the moment he caught sight of the Colonel and his staff, he laid back his perverse ears and glared at them like an infuriated savage. I knew directly that it was all up with him, but I still continued to walk by him, patting him, and exhorting him affectionately in an under-tone to restrain his temper, to be amiable for five minutes even if he were to be vicious for all eternity, and not to ruin my prospects as well as his own. As I expected, the instant the Colonel offered to touch him, Jiddo sprang into the air off all fours with a roar of rage. The Colonel said, "Well, sir, it certainly appears me that you have not carried out my orders."
I felt perfectly reckless, but answered respectfully, "I have tried every means I could think of, sir, for the whole of the past month; every moment of my time I have been with him in his own stall, and he is quiet with me. Look!" and with the courage of desperation I passed beneath the horse's belly, picked up his fore-foot and placed it on my
shoulder, and even put my arm within his mouth. The animal, I am thankful to say, never stirred or objected in the slightest degree, but sniffed about me for more sugar. The Colonel then said, "Lieutenant, I have heard and can well discern that you have worked with that horse, so I dismiss you with commendation, only adding that he must be made quiet and tractable, not alone towards you, but towards every one else." It was over and I breathed again.
"Accursed Jiddo!" said my brother officers when I detailed the matter to them; "we will no longer have that beast in our regiment; for it is a disgrace that a Jew should be even bestridden by Christian gentlemen. The Jew shall go and quickly."
Our efforts in this direction were successful; and long before the yearly inspection came round, Jiddo was conspicuous by his absence. I forget how it happened. As well as I remember, he was selected for some long and difficult journey, and never returned; but I always felt some little gratitude towards the poor animal for having behaved well towards me in what I regarded as an awful crisis at the time.
Of course it never
The Major who then commanded our division was not by any means a popular character. He had two peculiarities in his disposition: he was exceedingly amorous and exceedingly suspicious; and these infirmities acted and reacted on each other until we had no rest. His fixed idea was that a revolution was constantly on the point of breaking out, or that some conspiracy was being hatched beneath our very feet, which he would be blamed if he did not discover and crush. I really think the numerous ladies to whom he paid his court must have taken pleasure in mystifying him and playing on his fears; for after a visit of this kind he used to appear full of care and importance, confine us to barracks for several nights, double the guard and sentries, and order the horses to be kept saddled, and everything in readiness for an outbreak. came. Crema was a singularly quiet little town, and the inhabitants were certainly as well, if not better affected towards us than those of many other places. A young officer who had been under the Major's command at Lodi, told me that while there he rushed into the café one morning after a heavy drill, and announced to the astonished officers, who were composedly getting their breakfasts, that "the revolution was abroad, the tricolour publicly displayed, and they were instantly to get under arms and in the saddle." Of course the café was cleared in an instant, and every man was off like a shot; but the revolution did not seem to make progress-at least nothing was to be heard or seen. The market-place was indeed crowded, but it was with women and girls. The Major was a little disconcerted; he, however, still asserted that he had seen the tricolour openly exhibited in the market-square, and thither he insisted on his officers accompanying him, in order that they might be satisfied of the fact; and there he pointed out what he imagined to be the offensive emblem. The truth was, the old Major was somewhat near-sighted and uncertain of vision at the best of times. Now he had gone to the market