The Baldwin Library
I'n Pm o'f
Story of a Short Life
Do you know now when I am wheeling about in my chair, and playing with him and he looks
at me wherever I go ; sometimes for a bit I forget about the King, and I fancy he is sorry for me.
Under the table was the only place where I could get out of the sight of his eyes."
Story of a Short Life
Juliana Horatia Ewing
AUTHOR OF JACKANAPESS," "DADDY DARWIN'S DOVECOT," ETC.
ILLUSTRATED BY GORDON BROWNE
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE,
NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, CHARMING CROSS, W.C.;
43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, P.C.;
26, ST. GEORGES PLACE, HYDE PARK CORNER, S.W.
BRIGHTON: 135, NORTH STREET.
NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO.
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with the abhordd shears
And slits the thin spun life,-' But not the praise.' "-Milton.
It is a calumny on men to say that they are roused to heroic action by ease,
hope of pleasure, recompense,-sugar-plums of any kind in this world or the next!
In the meanest mortal there lies something nobler . . Difficulty, abnegation,
martyrdom, death are the allureCments that act on the heart of man. Kindle the
inner genial life of him, you have a flame that burns up all lower considerations .
S. Not by flattering our appetites; no, by awakening the Heroic that slumbers in
every heart-- . ."-Carl le.
"Arma virumque cano."-AEneid.
Man--and the horseradish-are most biting when grated."-7-ean Paul Richter.
S OST annoying!" said the
Master of the House. His
I i, Il thick eyebrows were puck-
'; ered just then with the vexa-
p Ition of his thoughts; but the
__ '' lines of annoyance on his
forehead were to some ex-
tent fixed lines. They helped
u to make him look older than
his age-he was not forty-
"and they gathered into a
fierce frown as his elbow was
softly touched by his little
The child was defiantly
"like his father, even to a
knitted brow, for his whole
face was crumpled with the
vigour of some resolve which
he found it hard to keep, and
.I. II which was symbolised by his
holding the little red tip of
his tongue betwixt finger and thumb.
"Put your hands down, Leonard! Put your tongue in, sir What
are you after? What do you want? What are you doing here? Be
off to the nursery, and tell Jemima to keep you there. Your mother
and I are busy."
Far behind the boy, on the wall, hung the portrait of one of his
ancestors-a youth of sixteen. The painting was by Vandyck, and it
was the most valuable of the many valuable things that strewed and
decorated the room. A very perfect example of the great master's work,
6 DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI.
and uninjured by Time. The young Cavalier's face was more interest-
ing than handsome, but so eager and refined that, set off as it was by
pale-hued satin and falling hair, he might have been called effeminate, if
his brief life, which ended on the field of Naseby, had not done more
than common to prove his manhood. A coat-of-arms, blazoned in the
corner of the painting, had some appearance of having been added later.
Below this was rudely inscribed, in yellow paint, the motto which also
decorated the elaborate stone mantlepiece opposite-Latus sorte mea.
Leonard was very fond of that picture. It was known to his child-
ish affections as Uncle Rupert." He constantly wished that he could
get into the frame and play with the dog-the dog with the upturned
face and melancholy eyes, and odd resemblance to a long haired Cava-
lier-on whose faithful head Uncle Rupert's slender fingers perpetually
Though not able to play with the dog, Leonard did play with
Uncle Rupert-the game of trying to get out of the reach of his eyes.
"I play Puss-in-the-corner' with him," the child was wont to ex-
plain; "but whichever corner I get into, his eyes come after me. The
dog looks at Uncle Rupert always, and Uncle Rupert always looks at me."
S.. "To see if you are growing up a good boy and a
gallant young gentleman, such as he was." So Leonard's parents and
guardians explained the matter to him, and he devoutedly believed
Many an older and less credulous spectator stood in the light of
those painted eyes, and acknowledged their spell. Very marvellous was
the cunning which, by dabs and streaks of colour, had kept the spirit
of this long dead youth to gaze at his descendants from a sheet of
canvas and stir the sympathy of strangers, parted by more than two
centuries from his sorrows, with the mock melancholy of painted tears.
For whether the painter had just overdone some trick of representing
their liquidness, or whether the boy's eyes had brimmed over as he was
standing for his portrait (his father and elder brother had died in the
civil war before him), there remains no tradition to tell. But Vandyck
never painted a portrait fuller of sad dignity, even in those troubled
Happily for his elders, Leonard invented for himself a reason for
the obvious tears.
"I believe Uncle Rupert knew that they were going to chop the
poor king's head off, and that's why he looks as if he were going to cry."
WORD AND HONOUR.
It was partly because the child himself looked as if he were going
to cry-and that not fractiously, but despite a struggle with himself-
that, as he stood before the Master of the House, he might have been
that other master of the same house come to life again at six years of
age. His long, fair hair, the pliable, nervous fingers, which he had put
down as he was bid, the strenuous tension of his little figure under a
sense of injustice, and, above all, his beautiful eyes, in which the tears
now brimmed over the eyelashes as the waters of a lake well up through
the reeds that fringe its banks. He was very very like Uncle Rupert
when he turned those eyes on his mother in mute reproach.
Lady Jane came to his defence.
"I think Leonard meant to be good. I made him promise me to
try and cure himself of the habit of speaking to you when you are
speaking to some one else. But, dear Leonard" (and she took the hand
that had touched his father's elbow), "I don't think you were quite on
honour when you interrupted Father with this hand, though you were
holding your tongue with the other. That is what we call keeping a
promise to the ear and breaking it to the sense."
All the Cavalier dignity came unstarched in Leonard's figure. With
a red face, he answered bluntly, "I'm very sorry. I meant to keep my
"Next time keep it well, as a gentleman should. Now, what do
"Pencil and paper, please."
"There they are. Take them to the nursery, as Father told you."
Leonard looked at his father. He had not been spoilt for six years
by an irritable and indulgent parent without learning those arts of dip-
lomacy in which children quickly become experts.
Oh, he can stay," said the Master of the House, "and he may say
a word now and then, if he doesn't talk too much. Boys can't sit mum-
chance always-can they, Len? There; kiss your poor old father, and
get away, and keep quiet."
Lady Jane made one of many fruitless efforts on behalf of discipline.
"I think, dear, as you told him to go, he had better go now."
"He will go, pretty sharp, if he isn't good. Now, for pity's sake,
let's talk out this affair, and let me get back to my work."
Have you been writing poetry this morning, Father dear?" Leonard
He was now lolling against a writing-table of the first empire,
8 CROSS QUESTIONS
where sheets of paper lay like fallen leaves among Japanese bronzes, old
and elaborate candlesticks, grotesque letter-clips and paper-weights,
quaint pottery, big seals, and spring flowers in slender Venetian glasses
of many colours. I
"I wrote three lines, and was interrupted four times," replied his
sire, with bitter brevity.
"I think I'/l write some poetry. I don't mind being interrupted.
May I have your ink?" I
"No, you may not!" roared the Master of the House and of the
inkpot of priceless china which Leonard had siezed. "Now, be off to
the nursery "
"I won't touch anything. I am going to draw out of the window,"
said Leonard, calmly.
He had practised the art of being troublesome to the verge of ex-
pulsion ever since he had had a whim of his own, and as skilfully as
he played other games. He was seated among the cushions of the oriel
window-seat (coloured rays from coats-of-arms in the upper panes falling
on his fair hair with a fanciful effect of canonizing him for his sudden
goodness) almost before his father could reply.
I advise you to stay there, and to keep quiet." Lady Jane took
up the broken thread of conversation in despair.
"Have you ever seen him?"
Yes ; years ago."
"You know I never saw either. Your sister was much older than
you; wasn't she?"
The shadows move so on the grass, and the elms have so many
branches, I think I shall turn round and draw the fire-place," murmured
"Ten years. You may be sure, if I had been grown up I should
never have allowed the marriage. I cannot think what possessed my
"I am doing the inscription I can print Old English. What does
L. diphthong AE. T. U. S. mean ?" said Leonard.
It means joyful, contented, happy.- I was at Eton at the time.
Disastrous ill-luck !"
"Are there any children?"
"One son. And to crown all, his regiment is at Asholt. Nice
-family party !"
"A young man !" Has he been well brought up?"
AND CROOKED ANSWERS. 9
What does- "
Will you hold your tongue, Leonard?--Is he likely to have been
well brought up? However, he's 'in the Service,' as they say. I wish
it didn't make one think of flunkeys, what with the word service, and
the liveries (I mean uniforms), and the legs, and shoulders, and swag-
ger, and tag-rags, and epaulettes, and the fatiguing alertness and atten-
tiveness of 'men in the Service.'"
The Master of the House spoke with the pettish accent of one who
says what he does not mean, partly for lack of something better to do,
and partly to avenge some inward vexation upon his hearers. He
lounged languidly on a couch, but Lady Jane sat upright, and her eyes
gave an unwonted flash. She came of an ancient Scottish race, that had
shed its blood like water on many a battle-field, generations before the
family of her English husband had become favourites at the Court of
"I have so many military belongings, both in the past and the
present, that I have a respect for the Service -"
He got up, and patted her head, and smiled.
"I beg your pardon, my child. Et ego-" and he looked at uncle
Rupert, who looked sadly back again : "but you must make allowances
for me. Asholt Camp has been a thorn in my side from the first. And
now to have the barrack master, and the youngest subaltern of a march-
ing regiment- "
"He's our nephew, Rupert !"
"Mine-not yours. You've nothing to do with him, thank good-
Your people are my people. Now do not worry yourself. Of course
I shall call on your sister at once. Will they be here for some time ?"
"Five years, you may depend. He's just the sort of man to
wedge himself into a snug berth at Asholt. You're an angel, Jane;
you always are. But fighting ancestors are one thing, a barrackrmaster
brother-in-law is another.
"Has he done any fighting?"
"Oh dear, yes Bemedalled like that Guy Fawkes General in the
pawnbroker's window, that Len was so charmed by. But, my dear, I
"I only just want to know what S. O. R. T E. M. E. A. means."
Leonard hastily broke in. "I've done it all now, and shan't want to know
IO THEN WOULD HE SING ACHIEVEMENTS HIGH
"Sorte mea is Latin for My fate, or My lot in lfe. Letus sorte mea
means Happy in my lot. It is our family motto. Now, if you ask another
question, off you go !-After all, Jane, you must allow it's about as hard
lines as could be, to have a few ancestral acres and a nice old place in
one of the quietest, quaintest corners of Old England; and for Govern-
ment to come and plant a Camp of Instruction, as they call it and pour
in tribes of savages in war-paint to build wigwams within a couple of
miles of your lodge-gates !"
She laughed heartily.
"Dear Rupert! You are a born poet! You do magnify your
woes so grandly. What was the brother-in-law like when you saw
"Oh, the regular type. Hair cut like a pauper, or a convict," (the
Master of the House tossed his own locks as he spoke), "big, swagger-
ing sort of fellow, swallowed the poker and not digested it, rather good
features, acclimatized complexion, tight fit of hot-red cloth, and general
"Then he must be the Sapper Leonard announced, as he advanced
with a firm step and kindling eyes from the window. "Jemima's other
brother is a Gunner. He dresses in blue. But they both pipeclay their
gloves, and I pipeclayed mine this morning, when she did the hearth.
You've no idea how nasty they look whilst it's wet, but they dry as white
as snow, only mine fell among the cinders. The Sapper is very kind,
both to her and to me. He gave her a brooch, and he is making me a
wooden fort to put my cannon in. But the Gunner is such a funny
man! I said to him, 'Gunner! why do you wear white gloves?' and
he said, 'Young gentleman, why does a miller wear a white hat?' He's
very funny. But I think I like the tidy one best of all. He is so very
beautiful, and I should think he must be very brave."
That Leonard was permitted to deliver himself of this speech with-
out a check can only have been due to the paralysing nature of the
shock which it inflicted on his parents, and of which he himself was
pleasantly unconscious. His whole soul was in the subject, and he
spoke with a certain grace and directness of address, and with a clear
and facile enunciation, which were among the child's most conspicuous
marks of good breeding.
"This is nice !" said the Master of the House between his teeth
with a deepened scowl.
The air felt stormy, and Leonard began to coax. He laid his curls
AND CIRCUMSTANCE OF CHIVALRY. II
against his father's arm, and asked, "Did you ever see a tidy one, Father
dear? He is a very splendid sort of man."
What nonsense are you talking ? What do you mean by a tidy one?"
There was no mistake about the storm now; and Leonard began to
feel helpless, and, as usual in such circumstances, turned to Lady Jane.
"Mother told me !" he gasped.
The Master of the House also turned to Lady Jane.
"Do you mean you have heard of this before?"
She shook her head, and he seized his son by the shoulder.
"If that woman has taught you to tell untruths- "
"Lady Jane firmly interposed.
"Leonard never tells untruths, Rupert. Please don't frighten him,
into doing so. Now, Leonard, don't be foolish and cowardly. Tell
Mother quite bravely all about it. Perhaps she has forgotten."
The child was naturally brave; but the elements of excitement and
uncertainty in his up-bringing were producing their natural results in a
nervous and unequable temperament. It is not the least serious of the
evils of being "spoilt," though, perhaps, the most seldom recognized.
Many a fond parent justly fears to overdo "lessons," who is surprisingly
blind to the brain-fag that comes from the strain to live at grown-up
people's level; and to the nervous exhaustion produced in children, no
less than in their elders, by indulged restlessness, discontent, and craving
for fresh excitement, and for want of that sense of power and repose
which comes with habitual obedience to righteous rules and regulations.
Laws that can be set at nought are among the most demoralising of in-
fluences which can curse a nation; and their effects are hardly less dis-
astrous in the nursery. Moreover, an uncertain discipline is apt to take
even the spoilt by surprise: and as Leonard seldom fully understood
the checks he did receive, they unnerved him. He was unnerved now;
and, even with his hand in that of his mother, he stammered over his
story with ill-repressed sobs and much mental confusion.
"W-we met him out walking. I m-mean we were out walking.
He was out riding. He looked like a picture in my t-t-tales from
Froissart. He had a very curious kind of a helmet-n-not quite a
helmet, and a beautiful green feather-at least, n-not exactly a feather
and a beautiful red waistcoat, only n-not a real waistcoat, b-but-"
"Send him to bed !" roared the Master of the House. Don't let
him prevaricate any more !"
"No, Rupert, please! I wish him to try and give a straight ac-
12 WITH BURNISHED BRAND AND MUSKETOON
count. Now, Leonard, don't be a baby; but go on and tell the truth,
like a brave boy."
Leonard desperately proceeded, sniffing as he did so.
"He c-carried a spear, like an old warrior. He truthfully did.
On my honour! One end was on the tip of his foot, and there was a
flag at the other end-a real fluttering pennon-there truthfully was!
He does poke with his spear in battle, I do believe; but he didn't poke
us. He was b-b-beautiful to b-b-be-hold! I asked Jemima,
'Is he another brother, for you do have such very nice brothers?'
and she said, 'No, he's- '"
HIng Jemima !" said the Master of the House. "Now listen to
me. You said your mother told you. What did she tell you?"
"Je-Je-Jemima said, 'No, he's a 'Orderly;' and asked the way
-I qu-quite forget where to-I truthfully do. And next morning I
asked Mother what does Orderly mean? And she said tidy. So I call
him the tidy one. Dear Mother, you truthfully did-at least," added
Leonard chivalrously, as Lady Jane's face gave no response, at least, if
you've forgotten, never mind: it's my fault.'"
But Lady Jane's face was blank because she was trying not to
laugh. The Master of the House did not try long. He bit his lip, and
then burst into a peal.
Better say no more to him," murmured Lady Jane. I'll see
Jemima now, if he may stay with you."
He nodded, and throwing himself back on the couch, held out his
arms to the child.
"Well, that'll do. Put these men out of your head, and let me see
Leonard stretched his faculties, and perceived that the storm was
overpast. He clambered on to his father's knee, and their heads were
soon bent lovingly together over the much-smudged sheet of paper, on
which the motto from the chimneypiece was irregularly traced.
"You should have copied it from Uncle Rupert's picture. It is in
plain letters there."
Leonard made no reply. His head now lay back on his father's
shoulder, and his eyes were fixed on the ceiling, which was of Eliza-
bethan date, with fantastic flowers in raised plaster-work. But Leonard
did not see them at that moment. His vision was really turned inwards.
Presently he said, "I am trying to think. Don't interrupt me, Father, if
to'~ behld!"-Pae c
He does pok~e with his speair Lq battle, I do belic%\e; but he didn'tr pokie us. He waRs beautiful
to behold 1 '--Page 12.
14 THE LOT IS CAST INTO THE LAP:
The Master of the House smiled, and gazed complacently at the
face beside him. No painting, no china in his possession, was more
beautiful. Suddenly the boy jumped down and stood alone, with his
hands behind his back, and his eyes tightly shut.
"I am thinking very hard, Father. Please tell me again what our
"'Lwetus sorte mea,-Happy in my lot.' What are you puzzling
your little brains about?"
"Because I know I know something so like it, and I can't think
what! Yes-no! Wait a minute I've just got it! Yes, I remember
now: it was my Wednesday text !"
He opened wide shining eyes, and clapped his hands, and his clear
voice rang with the added note of triumph, as he cried, "'The lot is
fallen unto me in a fair ground. Yea, I have a goodly heritage.'"
The Master of the House held out his arms without speaking; but
when Leonard had climbed back into them, he stroked the child's hair
slowly, and said, "Is that your Wednesday text?"
"Last Wednesday's. I learn a text every day. Jemima sets them.
She says her grandmother made her learn texts when she was a little
girl. Now, Father dear, I'll tell you what I wish you would do: and I
want you to do it at once-this very minute."
"That is generally the date of your desires. What is it?"
"I don't know what you are talking about, but I know what I
want. Now you and I are all alone to our very selves, I want you to
come to the organ, and put that text to music like the anthem you made
out of those texts Mother chose for you, for the harvest festival. I'll
tell you the words, for fear you don't quite remember them, and I'll blow
the bellows. You may play on all-fours with both your feet and hands;
you may pull out trumpet handle ; you may make as much noise as ever
you like-you'll see how I'll blow !"
Satisfied by the sounds of music that the two were happy, Lady
Jane was in no haste to go back to the library; but when she did return,
Leonard greeted her warmly.
He was pumping at the bellows handle of the chamber organ,
before which sat the Master of the House, not a ruffle on his brow,
playing with all-fours," and singing as he played.
Leonard's cheeks were flushed, and he cried impatiently,-
"Mother! Mother dear! I've been wanting you ever so long!
THE DISPOSING THEREOF IS OF THE LORD. 15
Father has set my text to music, and I want you to hear it; but I want
to sit by him and sing too. So you must come and blow."
"Nonsense, Leonard! Your mother must do nothing of the sort,
Jane Listen to this !-In a fa-air grou-nd. Bit of pure melody,
that, eh? The land flowing with milk and honey seems to stretch be-
fore one's eyes- "
"No! Father, that is unfair. You are not to tell her bits in the
middle. Begin at the beginning, and-Mother dear, will you blow, and
let me sing ?"
"Certainly. Yes, Rupert, please. I've done it before; and my
back isn't aching to-day. Do let me !"
"Yes, do let her," said Leonard, conclusively; and he swung him-
self up into the seat beside his father without more ado.
"Now, Father, begin! Mother, listen! And when it comes to
'Yea,' and I pull trumpet handle out, blow as hard as ever you can.
This first bit-when he only plays-is very gentle, and quite easy to
Deep breathing of the organ filled a brief silence, then a prelude
stole about the room. Leonard's eyes devoured his father's face, and
the Master of the House looking down on him, with the double compla-
cency of father and composer, began to sing:
'The lot-the lot is fallen un-to me;' and, his mouth wideparted
with smiles, Leonard sang also: 'The lot-the lot is fallen-fallen un-
'In a fa-air grou-nd.'
'Yea! (Now, Mother dear, blow! and fancy you hear trumpets!)
Yea YEA! I have a good-ly Her-i-tage !'
And after Lady Jane had ceased to blow, and the musician to make
music, Leonard still danced and sang wildly about the room.
Isn't it splendid, Mother ? Father and I made it together out of
my Wednesday text. Uncle Rupert, can you hear it? I don't think
you can. I believe you are dead and deaf, though you seem to see.
And standing face to face with the young Cavalier, Leonard sang
his Wednesday text all through:
"The lot is fallen unto me in a fair ground; yea, I have a goodly
But Uncle Rupert spoke no word to his young kinsman, though he
still "seemed to see" through eyes drowned in tears.
an acre of barren ground ; ling, heath, broom, furze, anything."
'empest, Act i. Scene I.
Sound, sound the clarion, fill the fife !
To all the sensual world proclaim,
One crowded hour of glorious life
Is worth an age without a name."
.-_-- AKE a Highway-
vestige of life with
t fire and axe, from
the pine that has
longest been a land-
mark, to the smallest
beetle smothered in
Burn acres of
purple and pink
heather, and pare
away the young
bracken that springs
verdant from its
Let flame con-
sume the perfumed gorse in all its glory, and not spare the broom,
whose more exquisite yellow atones for its lack of fragrance.
In this common ruin be every lesser flower involved : blue beds of
speedwell by the wayfarer's path-the daintier milkwort, and rougher
red rattle-down to the very dodder that clasps the heather, let therr
perish, and the face of Dame Nature be utterly blackened! Then:
Shave the heath as bare as the back of your hand, and if you have
felled every tree, and left not so much as a tussock of grass or a scarlet
toadstool to break the force of the winds ; then shall the winds come.
CAMP AND COMRADES. 17
from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south,
and shall raise on your shaven heath clouds of sand that would not
discredit a desert in the heart of Africa.
By some such recipe the ground was prepared for that Camp of
Instruction at Asholt which was, as we have seen, a thorn in the side
of at least one of its neighbours. Then a due portion of this sandy
oasis in a wilderness of beauty was mapped out into lines, with military
precision, and on these were built rows of little wooden huts, which
were painted a neat and useful black.
The huts for married men and officers were of varying degrees ot
comfort and homeliness, but those for single men were like toy-boxes
of wooden soldiers; it was only by doing it very tidily that you could
(so to speak) put your pretty soldiers away at night when you had done
playing with them, and get the lid to shut down.
But then tidiness is a virtue which-like Patience-is its own
reward. And nineteen men who keep themselves clean and their be-
longings cleaner; who have made their nineteen beds into easy chairs
before most people have got out of bed at all; whose tin pails are kept
as bright as average teaspoons (to the envy of housewives and the
shame of housemaids !); who establish a common and a holiday side
to the reversible top of their one long table, and scrupulously scrub
both; who have a place for everything and a discipline which obliges
everybody to put everything in its place ;-nineteen men, I say, with
such habits, find more comfort and elbow-room in a hut than an out-
sider might believe possible, and hang up a photograph or two into the
But it may be at once conceded to the credit of the camp, that
those who lived there thought better of it than those who did not, and
that those who lived there longest were apt to like it best of all.
It was, however, regarded by different people from very opposite
points of view, in each of which was some truth.
There were those to whom the place and the life were alike
They said that, from a soldier's stand point, the life was one of
exceptionally hard work, and uncertain stay, with no small proportion
of the hardships and even risks of active service, and none of the more
glorious chances of war.
That you might die of sunstroke on the march, or contract rheu-
matism, fever, or dysentery, under canvas, without drawing Indian pay
18 HARD LINES.
and allowances; and that you might ruin your uniform as rapidly as in
a campaign, and never hope to pin a ribbon over its inglorious stains.
That the military society was too large to find friends quickly in
the neighbourhood, and that as to your neighbours in camp, they were
sure to get marching orders just when you had learnt to like them.
And if you did not like them-! (But for that matter, quarrelsome
neighbours are much the same everywhere. And a boundary road
between two estates will furnish as pretty a feud as the pump of a com-
The haters of the camp said that it had every characteristic to
disqualify it for a home; that it was ugly and crowded without the
appliances of civilisation; that it was neither town nor country, and
had the disadvantages of each without the merits of either.
That it was unshaded and unsheltered, that the lines were monoto-
nous and yet confusing, and every road and parade-ground more dusty
That the huts let in the frost in winter and the heat in summer,
and were at once stuffy and draughty.
That the low roofs were like a weight upon your head, and that
the torture was invariably brought to a climax on the hottest of the
dog-days, when they were tarred and sanded in spite of your teeth; a
process which did not insure their being water-tight or snow-proof when
the weather changed.
That the rooms had no cupboards, but an unusual number of
doors, through which no tall man could pass without stooping.
That only the publicity and squalor of the back-premises of the
"Lines"-their drying clothes, and crumbling mud walls, their coal-
boxes and slop-pails-could exceed the depressing effects of the gardens
in front, where such plants as were not uprooted by the winds perished
of frost or drought, and where, if some gallant creeper had stood fast
and covered the nakedness of your wooden hovel, the Royal Engineers
would arrive one morning, with as little announcement as the tar and
sand men, and tear down the growth of years before you had finished
shaving, for the purpose of repainting your outer walls.
On the other hand, there were those who had a great affection for
Asholt, and affection never lacks arguments.
Admitting some hardships and blunders, the defenders of the
Camp fell back successfully upon statistics for a witness to the general
ET CONSTRICTA SUAS HABITANS AMAT OSTREA VALVAS 19
They said that if the Camp was windy the breezes were exquisitely
bracing, and the climate of that particular part of England such as
would qualify it for a health-resort for invalids, were it only situated in
a comparatively inaccessible part of the Pyrenees, instead of being
within an hour or two of Lonlon.
That this fact of being within easy reach of town made the Camp
practically at the head-quarters of civilisation and refinement, whilst the
simple and sociable ways of living, necessitated by hut-life in common,
emancipated its select society from rival extravagance and cumbersome
That the Camp stood on the borders of the two counties of Eng-
land which rank highest on the books of estate and house-agents, and
that if you did not think the country lovely and the neighbourhood
agreeable you must be hard to please.
That, as regards the Royal Engineers, it was one of your privileges
to be hard to please, since you were entitled to their good offices; and
if, after all, they sometimes failed to cure your disordered drains and
smoky chimneys, you, at any rate, did not pay as well as suffer, which
is the case in civil life.
That low doors to military quarters might be regarded as a practi-
cal joke on the part of authorities, who demand that soldiers shall be
both tall and upright, but that man, whether military or not, is an adapt-
able animal and can get used to anything; and indeed it was only those
officers whose thoughts were more active than their instincts who in-
variably crushed their best hats before starting for town.
That huts (if only they were a little higher !) had a great many
advantages over small houses, which were best appreciated by those
who had tried drawing lodging allowance and living in villas, and which
would be fully known if ever the Lines were rebuilt in brick.
That on moonlit nights the airs that fanned the silent Camp were
as dry and wholesome as by day; that the song of the distant nightin-
gale could be heard there; and finally, that from end to end of this
dwelling-place of ten thousand to (on occasion) twenty thousand men,
a woman might pass at midnight with greater safety than in the country
lanes of a rural village or a police protected thoroughfare of the metro-
But, in truth, the Camp's best defence in the hearts of its defen-
ders was that it was a camp,- military life in epitome, with all its
defects and all its charm; not the least of which, to some whimsical
20 AUF WIEDER SEHN!
minds, is, that it represents, as no other phase of society represents, the
human pilgrimage in brief.
Here be sudden partings, but frequent re-unions; the charities and
courtesies of an uncertain life lived largely in common; the hospitality
of passing hosts to guests who tarry but a day.
Here, surely, should be the home of the sage as well as the soldier,
where every hut might fitly carry the ancient motto, Dwell as if about
to Depart," where work bears the nobler name of duty, and where the
living, hastening on his business amid "the hurryings of this life,"*
must pause and stand to salute the dead as he is carried by.
Bare and dusty are the Parade Grounds, but they are thick with
memories. Here were blessed the colours that became a young man's
shroud that they might not be a nation's shame. Here march and
music welcome the coming and speed the parting regiments. On this
Parade the rising sun is greeted with gun-fire and trumpet clarions
shriller than the cock, and there he sets to a like salute with tuck of
drum. Here the young recruit drills, the warrior puts on his medal,
the old pensioner steals back to watch them, and the soldiers' children
play-sometimes at fighting or flag-wagging,f but oftener at funerals !
Bunyan's filgrzm's Progress.
"t l h .... -; .." a name among soldiers' children for "signalling."
Ut migratunrs habitat" ("Dwell as if about to Depart"). -Old House Motto.
HE barrack-master's wife
was standing in the porch
of her hut, the sides of
Which were of the simp-
lest trellis-work of crossed
fir-poles, through which
she could watch the pro-
"ceedings of the gardener
Without baking herself in
Sthe sun. Suddenly she
Snatched up a green-lined
white umbrella, that had
seen service in India, and
S" O'Reilly! what is
that baby doing? There!
that white-headed child
crossing the parade with.
a basket in its little arms!
It's got nothing on its,
head. Please go and take
,,4 it to its mother before it
a gets sunstroke."
The gardener was an
Irish soldier-an old sol-
dier, as the handkerchief
depending from his cap,
to protect the nape of his neck from the sun, bore witness. He was a
tall man, and stepped without ceremony over the- garden paling to get,
a nearer view of the parade. But he stepped back again at once, and
resumed his place in the garden.
22 A FUNERAL; AND THIS HATH NOW HIS HEART.
"He's Corporal Macdonald's child, madam. The Blind Baby,
they call him. Not a bit of harm will he get. They're as hard as
nails the whole lot of them. If I was to take him in now, he'd be
out before my back was turned. His brothers and sisters are at the
school, and Blind Baby's just as happy as the day is long, playing at
funerals all the time."
"Blind! Is he blind? Poor little soul! But he's got a great
round potato-basket in his arms. Surely they don't make that afflicted
infant fetch and carry?"
O'Reilly laughed so heartily, that he scandalized his own sense of
"I ask your pardon, madam. But there's no fear that Blind
Baby'll fetch and carry. Every man in the Lines is his nurse."
"But what's he doing with that round hamper as big as himself?"
"It's just a make-believe for the Big Drum, madam. The Dead
March is his whole delight. 'Twas only yesterday I said to his father,
'Corporal,' I says, 'we'll live to see Blind Baby a bandmaster yet,' I
says; 'it's a pure pleasure to see him beat out a tune with his closed
"Will I go and borrow a barrow now, madam?" added O'Reilly,
returning to his duties. He was always willing and never idle, but he
liked change of occupation.
"No, no. Don't go away. We shan't want a wheelbarrow till
we've finished trenching this border, and picking out the stones. Then
you can take them away and fetch the new soil."
"You're at a deal of pains, madam, and it's a poor patch when
all's done to it."
I can't live without flowers, O'Reilly, and the Colonel says I may
do what I like. with this bare strip."
"Ah Don't touch the dirty stones with your fingers, ma'am. I'll
have the lot picked in no time at all."
You see, O'Reilly, you can't grow flowers in sand unless you can
command water, and the Colonel tells me that when it's hot here the
water supply runs short, and we mayn't water the garden from the
O'Reilly smiled superior.
"The Colonel will get what water he wants, ma'am. Never fear
him! There's ways and means. Look at the gardens of the Royal
Engineers' Lines. In the hottest of summer weather they're as green
EXPERIENCE KEEPS A DEAR SCHOOL. 23
as Old Ireland; and it's not to be supposed that the Royal Engineers
can requisition showers from the skies when they need them, more than
the rest of Her Majesty's forces."
"Perhaps the Royal Engineers do what I mean to do-take more
pains than usual; and put in soil that will retain some moisture. One
can't make poor land yield anything without pains, O'Reilly, and this is
like the dry bed of a stream-all sand and pebbles."
"That's as true a word as ever ye spoke, madam, and if it were
not that wouldd be taking a liberty, I'd give ye some advice about gar-
dening in Camp. It's not the first time I'm quartered in Asholt, and
I know the ways of it."
"I shall be very glad of advice. You know I have never been
stationed here before."
"'Tis an old soldier's advice, madam."
"So much the better," said the lady, warmly.
O'Reilly was kneeling to his work. He now sat back on his heels,
and not without a certain dignity that bade defiance to his surroundings
he commenced his oration.
Please GOD to spare you and the Colonel, madam, to put in his
time as Barrack Master at this station, ye'll see many a regiment come
and go, and be making themselves at home all along. And anny one
that knows this place, and the nature of the soil, tear-rs would overflow
his eyes to see the regiments come for drill, and betake themselves to
gardening. Maybe the boys have marched in footsore and fasting, in
the hottest of weather, to cold comfort in empty quarters, and they'll
not let many hours flit over their heads before some of 'em '11 get
possession of a load of green turf, and be laying it down for borders
around their huts. It's the young ones I'm speaking of; and there
ye'll see them, in the blazing sun, with their shirts open, and not a
thing on their heads, squaring and fitting the turfs for bare life, water-
ing them out of old pie-dishes and stable-buckets and whatnot, singing
and whistling, and fetching and carrying between the pump and their
quarters, just as cheerful as so many birds building their nests in the
"A very pretty picture, O'Reilly. Why should it bring tears to
your eyes? An old soldier like you must know that one would never
have a home in quarters at all if one did not begin to make it at
"True for you, madam. Not a doubt of it. But it goes to your
24 SOW BEANS IN THE MUD AND THEY'LL GROW LIKE WOOD.
heart to see labour thrown away; and it's not once in a hundred times
that grass planted like that will get hold of a soil like this, and the boys
themselves at drill all along, or gone out under canvas in Bottomless
Bog before the week's over, as likely as not."
"That would be unlucky. But one must take one's luck as it
comes. And you've not told me, now, what you do advise for Camp
"That's just what I'm coming to, ma'am. See the old soldier!
What does he do? Turns the bucket upside down outside his hut, and
sits on it, with a cap on his head, and a handkerchief down his back,
and some tin tacks, and a ball of string-trust a soldier's eye to get the
lines straight-every one of them beginning on the ground and going
nearly up to the roof."
"For creepers, I suppose? What does the old soldier plant?"
"Beans, madam-scarlet runners. These are the things for Asholt.
A few beans are nothing in your baggage. They like a warm place,
and when they're on the sunny side of a hut they've got it, and no
mistake. They're growing while you're on duty. The flowers are the
right soldier's colour; and when it comes to the beans, ye may put
your hand out of the window and gather them, and no trouble at all."
"The old soldier is very wise; but I think I must have more
flowers than that. So I plant, and if they die I am very sorry; and if
they live, and other people have them, I try to be glad. One ought to
learn to be unselfish, O'Reilly, and think of one's successors."
"And that's true, madam; barring that I never knew any one's
successor to have the same fancies as himself: one plants trees to give
shelter, and the next cuts them down to let in the air."
"Well, I suppose the only way is to be prepared for the worst.
The rose we planted yesterday by the porch is a great favourite of
mine; but the Colonel calls it 'Marching Orders.' It used to grow
over my window in my old home, and I have planted it by every home
I have had since; but the Colonel says whenever it settled and began
to flower the regiment got the route."
"The Colonel must name it again, madam," said O'Reilly, gallantly,
as he hitched up the knees of his trowsers, and returned to the border.
"It shall be 'Standing Orders' now, if soap and water can make it
blossom, and I'm spared to attend to it all the time. Many a hundred
roses may you and the Colonel pluck from it, and never one with a
BRING EVERY FLOWER THAT SAD EMBROIDERY WEARS. 25
"Thank you, O'Reilly; thank you very much. Soapy water is
very good for roses, I believe ?"
"It is so, madam. I put in a good deal of my time as officer's
servant after I was in the Connaught Rangers, and the Captain I was
with one time was as fond of flowers as yourself. There was a mighty
fine rose-bush by his quarters, and every morning I had to carry out
his bath to it. He used more soap than most gentlemen, and when he
sent me to the town for it-' It's not for myself, O'Reilly,' he'd say,
'so much as for the Rose. Bring large tablets,' he'd say, 'and the
best scented ye can get. The roses '11 be the sweeter for it.' That was
his way of joking, and never a smile on his face. He was odd in many
of his ways, was the Captain, but he was a grand soldier entirely; a
good officer, and a good friend to his men, and to the wives and chil-
dren no less. The regiment was in India when he died of cholera,
in twenty-four hours, do what I would. 'Oh, the cramp in my legs,
O'Reilly !' he says. GOD bless ye, Captain,' says I; 'never mind your
legs; I'd manage the cramp, sir,' I says, 'if I could but keep up your
heart.' 'Ye'll not do that, O'Reilly,' he says, 'for all your goodness;
I lost it too long ago.' That was his way of joking, and never a smile
on his face. 'Twas a pestilential hole we were in, and that's the truth;
and cost Her Majesty more in lives than would have built healthy
quarters, and given us every comfort; but the flowers throve there if
we didn't, and the Captain's grave was filled till ye couldn't get the
sight of him for roses. He was a good officer, and beloved of his
men; and better master never a man had !"
As he ceased speaking, O'Reilly drew his sleeve sharply across his
eyes, and then bent again to his work, which was why he failed to see
what the Barrack Master's wife saw, and did not for some moments dis-
cover that she was no longer in the garden. The matter was this :
The Barrack Master's quarters were close to the Iron Church, and
the straight road that ran past both was crossed, just beyond the church,
by another straight road, which finally led out to and joined a country
highway. From this highway an open carriage and pair were being
driven into the camp as a soldier's funeral was marching to church.
The band frightened the horses, who were got past with some difficulty,
and having turned the sharp corner, were coming rapidly towards the
Barrack Master's hut when Blind Baby, excited by the band, strayed
from his parade-ground, tumbled, basket and all, into the ditch that
divided it from the road, picked up himself and his basket, and was
26 BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER.
sturdily setting forth across the road just as the frightened horses came
plunging to the spot.
The Barrack Master's wife was not very young, and not very
slender. Rapid movements were not easy to her. She was nervous
also, and could never afterwards remember what she did with herself in
those brief moments before she became conscious that the footman had
got to the horses' heads, and that she herself was almost under their
feet, with Blind Baby in her arms. Blind Baby himself recalled her to
consciousness by the ungrateful fashion in which he pummelled his
deliverer with his fists and howled for his basket, which had rolled
under the carriage to add to the confusion. Nor was he to be pacified
till O'Reilly took him from her arms.
By this time men had rushed from every hut and kitchen, wash-
place and shop, and were swarming to the rescue, and through the
whole disturbance, like minute-guns, came the short barks of a black
puppy, which Leonard had insisted upon taking with him to show to
his aunt despite the protestations of his mother: for it was Lady Jane's
carriage, and this was how the sisters met.
They had been sitting together for some time, so absorbed by the
strangeness and the pleasure of their new relations that Leonard and
his puppy had slipped away unobserved, when Lady Jane, who was near
the window, called to her sister-in-law :-" Adelaide, tell me, my dear, is
this Colonel Jones?" She spoke with some trepidation. It is so easy for
those unacquainted with uniforms to make strange blunders. Moreover,
the Barrack Master, though soldierly looking, was so, despite a very un-
soldierly defect. He was exceedingly stout, and as he approached the
miniature garden gate, Lady Jane found herself gazing with some anxiety
to see if he could possibly get through.
But O'Reilly did not make an empty boast when he said that a
soldier's eye was true. The Colonel came quite neatly through the toy
entrance, knocked nothing down in the porch, bent and bared his head
with one gesture as he passed under the drawing-room doorway, and
bowing again to Lady Jane, moved straight to the side of his wife.
Something in the action-a mixture of dignity and devotion, with
just a touch of defiance-went to Lady Jane's heart. She went up to
him and held out both her hands:-"Please shake hands with me,
Colonel Jones. I am so very happy to have found a sister !" In a
TOLL FOR THE BRAVE! 27
moment more she turned round, saying: -" I must show you your
nephew. Leonard !" But Leonard was not there.
I fancy I have seen him already," said the Colonel. "If he is a
very beautiful boy, very beautifully dressed in velvet, he's with 0 Reilly,
watching the funeral."
Lady Jane looked horrified, and Mrs. Jones looked much relieved.
"He's qdite safe if he's with O'Reilly. But give me my sunshade,
Henry, please; I dare say Lady Jane would like to see the funeral too."
It is an Asholt amenity to take care that you miss no opportunity
of seeing a funeral. It would not have occurred to Lady Jane to wish
to go, but as her only child had gone she went willingly to look for him.
As they turned the corner of the hut they came straight upon it, and at
that moment the "Dead March" broke forth afresh.
The drum beat cut those familiar notes which strike upon the heart
rather than the ear, the brass screamed, the ground trembled to the
tramp of feet and the lumbering of the gun-carriage, and Lady Jane's
eyes filled suddenly with tears at the sight of the dead man's accoutre-
ments lying on the Union Jack that serves a soldier for a pall. As she
dried them she saw Leonard.
Drawn up in accurate line with the edge of the road, O'Reilly was
standing to salute; and as near to the Irish private as he could squeeze
himself stood the boy, his whole body stretched to the closest possible
imitation of his new and deeply-revered friend, his left arm glued to his
side, and the back of his little right hand laid against his brow, gazing at
the pathetic pageant as it passed him with devouring eyes. And behind
them stood Blind Baby, beating upon his basket.
For the basket had been recovered, and Blind Baby's equanimity
also; and he wandered up and down the parade again in the sun, long
after the soldier's funeral had wailed its way to the graveyard, over the
"My mind is in the anomalous condition of hating war, and loving its discipline,
which has been an incalculable contribution to the sentiment of duty . .. the
devotion of the common soldier to his leader (the sign for him of hard duty), is the
type of all higher devotedness, and is full of promise to other and better generations."
OUR sister is as nice as
nice can be, Rupert; and
vI like the Barrack Master
"very much, too. He is
stout But he is very ac-
tive and upright, and his
manners to his wife are
wonderfully pretty. Do
you know, there is some-
thing to me most touching
in the way these two have
knocked about the world
together, and seem so
happy with so little. Cot-
tagers could hardly live
more simply, and yet their
ideas, or at any rate their
experiences, seem so much
larger than one's own."
"My dear Jane! if
j'/ you've taken them up from
the romantic point of view
all is, indeed, accomplished.
I know the wealth of your
imagination, and the riches
of its charity. If, in such
a mood, you will admit
that Jones is stout, he must
"be fat indeed! Never again
"upbraid me with the price
that I paid for that Chip-
pendale arm-chair. It will hold the Barrack Master."
"Rupert !-I cannot help saying it-it ought to have held him
BIRTH'S GUDE, BUT BREEDING'S BETTER. 29
long ago. It makes me miserable'to think that they have never been
under our roof."
Jane! Be miserable if you must; but, at least, be accurate.
The Barrack Master was in India when I bought that paragon of all
Chips, and he has only come home this year. Nay, my dear Don't
be vexed. I give you my word, I'm a good deal more ashamed than I
like to own to think how Adelaide has been treated by the family-with
me as its head. Did you make my apologies to-day, and tell her that I
shall ride out to-morrow and pay my respects to her and Jones?"
"A "Of course. I told her you were obliged to go to town, and I
would not delay to call and ask if I could be of use to them. I begged
them to come here till their quarters are quite finished; but they won't
They say they are settled. I could not say much, because we ought to
have asked them sooner. He is rather on his dignity with us, I think,
and no wonder."
"He's disgustingly on his dignity! They both are. Because .the
family resented the match at first, they have refused every kind of help
that one would have been glad to give him as Adelaide's husband, if
only to secure their being in a decent position. Neither interest nor
money would he accept, and Adelaide has followed his lead. She has
very little of her own, unfortunately; and she knows how my father left
things as well as I do, and never would accept a farthing more than her
bare rights. I tried some dodges, through Quills; but it was of no use.
The vexation is that he has taken this post of Barrack Master as a sort
of pension, which need never have been. I suppose they have to make
that son an allowance. It's not likely he lives on his pay. I can't con-
ceive how they scrub along."
And as the Master of the House threw himself into the paragon ot
all Chips, he ran his fingers through hair, the length and disorder of
which would have made the Barrack Master feel positively ill, with a
gesture of truly dramatic despair.
"Your sister has made her room look wonderfully pretty. One
would never imagine those huts could look as nice as they do inside.
But it's like playing with a doll's house. One feels inclined to examine
everything, and to be quite pleased that the windows have glass in them,
and will really open and shut."
The Master of the House raised his eyebrows funnily.
You did take rose-coloured spectacles with you to the Camp !"
Lady Jane laughed.
"I did not see the Camp itself through them. What an incompar-
30 NON EADEM MIRAMUR.
ably dreary place it is It makes me think of little woodcuts in mis-
sionary reports-" Sketch of a Native Settlement "-rows of little black
huts that look, at a distance, as if one must creep into them on all-fours;
nobody about, and an iron church on the hill."
"Most accurately described And you wonder that I regret that
a native settlement should have been removed from the enchanting dis-
tance of missionary reports to become my permanent neighbour?"
Well, I must confess the effect it produces on me is to make me
feel quite ashamed of the peace and pleasure of this dear old place, the
shade and greenery outside, the space above my head, and the lovely
things before my eyes inside (for you know, Pupert, how I appreciate
your decorative tastes, though I have so few myself. I only scolded about
the Chip because I think you might have got him for less)-when so
many men bred to similar comforts, and who have served their country
so well, with wives I dare say quite as delicate as I am, have to be
cooped up in those ugly little kennels in that dreary place- "
What an uncomfortable thing a Scotch conscience is!" interrupted
the Master of the House. "By-the-by, those religious instincts, which
are also characteristic of your race, must have found one redeeming
feature in the Camp, the "iron church on the hill;" especially as I
imagine that it is puritanically ugly !"
"There was a funeral going into it as we drove into Camp, and I
wanted to tell you the horses were very much frightened."
"Richards fidgets those horses; they're quiet enough with me."
"They did not like the military band."
"They must get used to the band and to other military nuisances.
It is written in the stars, as I too clearly foresee, that we shall be driving
in and out of that Camp three days a-week. I can't go to my club
without meeting men I was at school with who are stationed at Asholt,
and expect me to look them up. As to the women, I met a man yes-
terday who is living in a hut, and expects a Dowager Countess and her
two daughters for the ball. He has given up his dressing-room to the
Dowager, and put two barrack-beds into the coal-hole for the young
ladies, he says. It's an insanity !"
"Adelaide told me about the ball. The Camp seems very gay just
now. They have had theatricals; and there is to be a grand Field Day
'- So our visitors have already informed me. They expect to go.
Louisa Mainwaring is looking handsomer than ever, and I have always
regarded her as a girl with a mind. I took her to see the peep I have
FIELD DAYS. 31
cut opposite to the island, and I could not imagine why those fine eyes
of hers looked so blank. Presently she said, I suppose you can see
the Camp from the little pine-wood?" And to the little pine-wood we
had to go. Both the girls have got stiff necks with craning out of the
carriage window to catch sight of the white tents among the heather as
they came along in the train.
"I suppose we must take them to the Field Day; but I am very
nervous about those horses, Rupert."
"The horses will be taken out before any firing begins. As to
bands, the poor creatures must learn, like their master, to endure the
brazen liveliness of military music. It's no fault of mine that our
nerves are scarified by any sounds less soothing than the crooning of
the wood-pigeons among the pines !"
No one looked forward to the big Field Day with keener interest
than Leonard; and only a few privileged persons knew more about the
arrangements for the day than he had contrived to learn.
O'Reilly was sent over with a note from Mrs. Jones to decline the
offer of a seat in Lady Jane's carriage for the occasion. She was not
very well. Leonard waylaid the messenger (whom he hardly recognized
as a tidy one !), and O'Reilly gladly imparted all that he knew about
the Field Day: and this was a good deal. He had it from a friend-a
corporal in the Head Quarters Office.
As a rule, Leonard only enjoyed a limited popularity with his
mother's visitors. He was very pretty and very amusing, and had
better qualities even than these; but he was restless and troublesome.
On this occasion, however, the young ladies suffered him to trample
their dresses and interrupt their conversation without remonstrance.
He knew more about the Field Day than any one in the house, and,
standing among their pretty furbelows and fancywork in stiff military
attitudes, he imparted his news with an unsuccessful imitation of an
"O'Reilly says the March Past '11 be at eleven o'clock on the
"Louisa, is that Major O'Reilly of4the Rifles?"
"I don't know, dear. Is your friend O'Reilly in the Rifles,
"I don't know. I know he's an owld soldier-he told me so."
"Old, Leonard; not owld. You mustn't talk like that."
"I shall if I like. He does, and I mean to."
I dare say he did, Louisa. He's always joking."
32 OLD SOLDIERS.
"No he isn't. He didn't joke when the funeral went past. He
looked quite grave, as if he was saying his prayers, and stood so."
"How like him !"
"How graceful and tenderhearted Irishmen are !"
"I stood so, too. I mean to do as like him as ever I can. I do
love him so very very much !"
"Dear boy !"
"You good, affectionate little soul!"
"Give me a kiss, Leonard dear."
"No, thank you. I'm too old for kissing. He's going to march
past, and he's going to look out for me with the tail of his eye, and I'm
going to look out for him."
"Do, Leonard; and mind you tell us when you see him coming."
I can't promise. I might forget. But perhaps you can know
him by the good-conduct stripe on his arm. He used to have two;
"but he lost one all along of St. Patrick's Day."
"That can't be your partner, Louisa !"
"Officers never have good-conduct stripes."
"Leonard, you ought not to talk to common soldiers. You've got
a regular Irish brogue, and you're learning all sorts of ugly words.
You'll grow up quite a vulgar little boy, if you don't take care."
"I don't want to take care. I like being Irish, and I shall be a
vulgar little boy too, if I choose. But when I do grow up, I am going
to grow into an owld, owld, Owld Soldier!"
"Leonard made this statement of his intentions in his clearest
manner. After .which, having learned that the favour of the fair is
fickleness, he eft the ladies, and went to look for his Black Puppy.
The Master of the House, in arranging for his visitors to go to the
Field Day, had said that Leonard was not to be of the party. He had
no wish to encourage the child's fancy for soldiers: and as Leonard
was invariably restless out driving, and had a trick of kicking people's
shins-in his changes of mood and position, he was a most uncomfort-
able element in a carriage full of ladies. But it is needless to say that
he stoutly resisted his father's decree; and the child's disappointment
was so bitter, and he howled and wept himself into such a deplorable
condition, that the young ladies sacrificed their own comfort and the
crispness of their new dresses to his grief, and petitioned the Master of
the House that he might be allowed to go.
The Master of the House gave in. He was accustomed to yield
LOVE ME, LOVE MY DOG. 33
where Leonard was concerned. But the concession proved only a pre-
lude to another struggle. Leonard wanted the Black Puppy to go too.
On this point the young ladies presented no petition. Leonard's
boots they had resolved to endure, but not the dog's paws. Lady Jane,
too, protested against the puppy, and the matter seemed settled; but at
the last moment, when all but Leonard were in the carriage, and the
horses chafing to be off, the child made his appearance, and stood on
the entrance-steps with his puppy in his arms, and announced, in digni-
fied sorrow, "I really cannot go if my Sweep has to be left behind."
With one consent the grown-up people turned to look at him.
Even the intoxicating delight that colour gives can hardly exceed
the satisfying pleasure in which beautiful proportions steep the sense of
sight; and one is often at fault to find the law that has been so exqui-
sitely fulfilled, when the eye has no doubt of its own satisfaction.
The shallow stone steps, on the top of which Leonard stood, and
the old doorway that framed him, had this mysterious grace, and, truth
to say, the boy's beauty was a jewel not unworthy of its setting.
A holiday dress of crimson velvet, with collar and ruffles of old
lace, became him very quaintly; and as he laid a cheek like a rose-leaf
against the sooty head of his pet, and they both gazed piteously at the
carriage, even Lady Jane's conscience was stifled by motherly pride.
He was her only child, but as he had said of the Orderly, "a very
splendid sort of one."
The Master of the House stamped his foot wth an impatience that
was partly real and partly, perhaps, affected.
"Well, get in somehow, if you mean to. The horses can't wait all
day for you."
No ruby-throated humming-bird could have darted more swiftly
from one point to another than Leonard from the old gray steps into
the carriage. Little boys can be very careful when they choose, and he
trode on no toes and crumpled no finery in his flitting.
To those who know dogs, it is needless to say that the puppy
showed an even superior discretion. It bore throttling without a
struggle. Instinctively conscious of the alternative of being shut up
in a stable for the day, and left there to bark its heart out, it shrank
patiently into Leonard's grasp, and betrayed no sign of life except in
the strained and pleading anxiety which a puppy's eyes so often wear.
Your dog is a very good dog, Leonard, I must say," said Louisa
Mainwaring; "but he's very ugly. I never saw such legs !"
Leonard tucked the lank black legs under his velvet and. ltutle.
At the last moment, when all but Leonard were in the carriage, and the horses chafing to be
off, the child made his appearance, and stood on the entrance-steps, with his puppy in his arms, and
announced in dignified sorrow, 'I really cannot go if my Sweep has to be left behind.' "-Page 33.
THE BEETLE IS A BEAUTY IN THE EYES OF ITS MOTHER. 35
"Oh, he's all right," he said. "He'll be very handsome soon. It's his
I wonder you didn't insist on our bringing Uncle Rupert and his
dog to complete the party," said the Master of the House.
The notion tickled Leonard, and he laughed so heartily that the
puppy's legs got loose, and required to be tucked in afresh. Then both
remained quiet for several seconds, during which the puppy looked as
anxious as ever; but Leonard's face wore a smile of dreamy content
that doubled its loveliness.
But as the carriage passed the windows of the library a sudden
thought struck him, and dispersed his repose.
Gripping his puppy firmly under his arm, he sprang to his feet-
regardless of other people's-and waving his cap and feather above his
head he cried aloud, "Good-bye, Uncle Rupert! Can you hear me?
Uncle Rupert, I say! I am-lctus-sorte-mea "
All the Camp was astir.
Men and bugles awoke with the dawn and the birds, and now the
women and children of all ranks were on the alert. (Nowhere does so
large and enthusiastic a crowd collect "to see the pretty soldiers go by,"
as in those places where pretty soldiers live.)
Soon after gun-fire O'Reilly made his way from his own quarters to
those of the Barrack Master, opened the back-door by some process
best known to himself, and had been busy for half an hour in the
drawing-room before his proceedings woke the Colonel. They had
been as noiseless as possible; but the Colonel's dressing-room opened
into the drawing-room, his bedroom opened into that, and all the doors
and windows were open to court the air.
Who's there?" said the Colonel from his pillow.
"'Tis O'Reilly, Sir. I ask your pardon, Sir; but I heard that the
Mistress was not well. She'll be apt to want the reclining-chair, Sir;
and 'twas damaged in the unpacking. I got the screws last night, but I
was busy soldiering* till too late; so I come in this morning, for Smith's
no good at a job of the kind at all. He's a butcher to his trade."
Mrs. Jones is much obliged to you for thinking of it, O'Reilly."
"'Tis an honour to oblige her, Sir. I done it sound and secure.
'Tis as safe as a rock; but I'd like to nail a bit of canvas on from the
porch to the other side of the hut, for shelter, in case she'd be sitting
"* Soldiering "-a barrack term for the furbishing up of accoutrements, &c.
36 FAIR LAUGHS THE MORN, AND SOFT THE ZEPHYR BLOWS.
out to taste the air and see the troops go by. 'Twill not take me five
minutes, if the hammering wouldn't be too much for the Mistress. 'Tis
a hot day, Sir, for certain, till the guns bring the rain down."
Put it up, if you've time."
"I will, Sir. I left your sword and gloves on the kitchen-table,
Sir; and I told Smith to water the rose before the sun's on to it."
With which 0 Reilly adjusted the cushions of the invalid-chair, and
having nailed up the bit of canvas outside, so as to form an impromptu
veranda, he ran back to his quarters to put himself into marching order
for the Field Day.
The Field Day broke into smiles of sunshine too early to be last-
ing. By breakfast-time the rain came down without waiting for the
guns; but those most concerned took the changes of weather cheer-
fully, as soldiers should. Rain damages uniforms, but it lays dust; and
the dust of the Sandy Slopes was dust indeed !
After a pelting shower the sun broke forth again, and from that
time onwards the weather was Queen's Weather," and Asholt was at its
best. The sandy Camp lay girdled by a zone of the verdure of early
summer, which passed by miles of distance, through exquisite gradations
of many blues, to meet the soft threatening of the changeable sky.
Those lowering and yet tender rain-clouds which hover over the British
Isles, guardian spirits of that scantly recognized blessing--a temperate
climate; Naiads of the waters over the earth, whose caprices betwixt
storm and sunshine fling such beauty upon a landscape as has no'
parallel except in the common simile of a fair face quivering between
tears and smiles.
Smiles were in the ascendant as the regiments began to leave their
parade-grounds, and the surface of the Camp (usually quiet, even to
dullness) sparkled with movement. Along every principal road the
colour and glitter of marching troops rippled like streams, and as the
band of one regiment died away another broke upon the excited ear.
At the outlets of the Camp eager crowds waited patiently in the
dusty hedges to greet favourite regiments, or watch for personal friends
amongst the troops ; and on the ways to the Sandy Slopes every kind
of vehicle, from a drag to a donkey-cart, and every variety of pedes-
trian, from an energetic tourist carrying a field-glass to a more admirably I
energetic mother carrying a baby, disputed the highway with cavalry in
brazen breastplates, and horse-artillery whose gallant show was drowned
in its own dust.
Lady Jane's visitors had expressed themselves as anxious not to
STAND FAST, CRAIGELLACHIE! 37
miss anything, and troops were still pouring out of the Camp when the
Master of the House brought his skittish horses to where a "block"
had just occurred at the turn to the Sandy Slopes.
What the shins and toes of the visitors endured whilst that knot of
troops of all arms disentangled itself and streamed away in gay and
glittering lines, could only have been concealed by the supreme powers
of endurance latent in the weaker sex; for with the sight of every
fresh regiment Leonard changed his plans for his own future career, and
with every change he forgot a fresh promise to keep quiet, and took by
storm that corner of the carriage which for the moment offered the best
point of view.
Suddenly, through the noise and dust, and above the dying away of
conflicting bands into the distance, there came another sound-a sound
unlike any other-the skirling of the pipes; and Lady Jane sprang up
and put her arms about her son, and bade him watch for the High-
landers, and if Cousin Alan looked up as he went past to cry Hurrah
for Bonnie Scotland !"
For this sound and this sight-the bagpipes and the Highlanders-
a sandy-faced Scotch lad on the tramp to Southampton had waited for
an hour past, frowning and freckling his face in the sun, and exasperat-
ing a naturally dour temper by reflecting on the probable pride and
heartlessness of folk who wore such soft complexions and pretty clothes
as the ladies and the little boy in the carriage on the other side of the
But when the skirling of the pipes cleft the air his cold eyes
softened as he caught sight of Leonard's face, and the echo that he
made to Leonard's cheer was caught up by the good-humoured crowd,
who gave the Scotch regiment a willing ovation as it swung proudly by.
After which the carriage moved on, and for a time Leonard sat very
still. He was thinking of Cousin Alan and his comrades; of the toss-
ing plumes that shaded their fierce eyes; of the swing of kilt and
sporran with their unfettered limbs; of the rhythmic tread of their
white feet and the fluttering ribbons on the bagpipes; and of Alan's
handsome face looking out of his most becoming bravery.
The result of his meditations Leonard announced with his usual
"I am Scotch, not Irish, though O'Reilly is the nicest man I ever
knew. But I must tell him that I really cannot grow up into an Owld
Soldier, because I mean to be a young Highland officer, and look at
ladies with my eyes like this-and carry my sword so /"
"Oh that a man might know the end of this day's business ere it comes!"
,"I | ; EARS of living amongst
j,'" soldiers had increased,
'I i rather than diminished,
Mrs. Jones's relish for
: the sights and sounds of
: military life.
\ ,- The charm of novelty
I is proverbially great, but
"": it is not so powerful as
that peculiar spell which
S' *"' drew the retired tallow-
i ., chandler back to "shop"
on melting-days, and
which guided the choice
of the sexton of a ceme-
"tery who only took one
V holiday trip in the course
S. -r of seven years, and then
,-'' he went to a cemetery
) at some distance to see
"' '-s how they managed mat-
ters there. And, indeed, poor humanity may be very thankful ftr the
infatuation, since it goes far to make life pleasant in the living to plain
folk who do not make a point of being discontented.
In obedience to this law of nature, the Barrack Master's wife did
exactly what O'Reilly had expected. her to do. As she could not drive
to the Field Day, she strolled out to see the troops go by. Then the
vigour derived from breakfast and the freshness of the morning air
began to fail, the day grew hotter, the camp looked dreary and deserted,
THERE'S TROUBLE IN THE AIR. 39
and, either from physical weakness or from some untold cause, a name-
less anxiety, a sense of trouble in the air, began to oppress her.
Wandering out again to try and shake it off, it was almost a relief,
like the solving of a riddle, to find Blind Baby sitting upon his Big
Drum, too low-spirited to play the Dead March, and crying because
all the bands had "gone right away." Mrs. Jones made friends with
him, and led him off to her hut for consolation, and he was soon as
happy as ever, standing by the piano and beating upon his basket in
time to the tunes she played for him. But the day and the hut grew
hotter, and her back ached, and the nameless anxiety re-asserted itself
and was not relieved by Blind Baby's preference for the Dead March
over every other tune with which she tried to beguile him.
And when he had gone back to his own Parade, with a large piece
of cake and many assurances that the bands would undoubtedly return,
and the day wore on, and the hut became like an oven (in the absence
of any appliances to mitigate the heat), the Barrack Master's wife came
to the hasty conclusion that Asholt was hotter than India, whatever
thermometers might say; and, too weary to seek for breezes outside, or
to find a restful angle of the reclining chair inside, she folded her hands
in her lap and abandoned herself to the most universal remedy for most
ills-patience. And Patience was its own reward, for she fell asleep.
Her last thoughts as she dozed off were of her husband and her
son, wishing that they were safe home again, that she might assure her-
self that it was not on their account that there was trouble in the air.
Then she dreamed of being roused by the Colonel's voice saying, "1
have bad news to tell you-" and was really awakened by straining
in her dream to discover what hindered him from completing his
She had slept some time-it was now afternoon, and the air was
full of sounds of the returning bands. She went out into the road and
saw the Barrack Master (he was easy to distinguish at some distance!)
pause on his homeward way, and then she saw her son running to join
his father, with his sword under his arm; and they came on together,
talking as they came.
And as soon as they got within earshot she said, Have you bad
news to tell me?"
The Colonel ran up and drew her hand within his arm.
"Come indoors, dear Love."
"You are both well?"
40 ROOSE THE FAIR DAY AT E'EN.
"Both of us. Brutally so."
"Quite well, dear Mother."
Her son was taking her other hand into caressing care; there
could be no doubt about the bad news.
"Please tell me what it is."
"There has been an accident- "
"To your brother's child; that jolly little chap- "
"Oh, Henry! how?"
He was standing up in the carriage, I believe, with a dog in his
aims. George saw him when he went past-didn't you?"
"Yes. I wonder he didn't fall then. I fancy some one had told
him it was our regiment. The dog was struggling, but he would take
off his hat to us-"
The young soldier choked, and added with difficulty, "I think I
never saw so lovely a face. Poor little cousin !"
"And he overbalanced himself?"
"Not when George saw him. I believe it was when the Horse
Artillery were going by at the gallop. They say he got so much ex-
cited, and the dog barked, and they both fell. Some say there were
people moving a drag, and some that he fell under the horse of a patrol.
Anyhow, I'm afraid he's very much hurt. They took himh straight home
in an ambulance-waggon to save time. Erskine went with him. I sent
off a telegram for them for a swell surgeon from town, and Lady Jane
promised a line if I send over this evening. O'Reilly must go after
dinner and wait for the news."
O'Reilly, sitting stiffly amid the coming and going of the servants
at the Hall, was too deeply devoured by anxiety to trouble himself as to
whether the footman's survey of his uniform bespoke more interest or
contempt. But when-just after gunfire had sounded from the distant
camp-Jemima brought him the long-waited for note, he caught the
girl's hand, and held it for some moments before he was able to say,
"Just tell me, miss; is it good news or bad that I'll be carrying back in
this bit of paper?" And as Jemima only answered by sobs, he added,
almost impatiently, "Will he live, dear? Nod your head if ye can do
Jemima nodded, and the soldier dropped her hand, drew a long
breath, and gave himself one of those shakes with which an Irishman
so often throws off care.
PORCELAIN OR BRICK-YET BOTH CLAY. 41
"Ah, then, dry your eyes, darlin'; while there's life there's hope."
But Jemima sobbed still.
The doctor-from London-says he may live a good while, but
-but-he's to be a cripple all his days !"
"Now wouldn't I rather be meeting a tiger this evening than see
the mistress's face when she gets that news !"
And O'Reilly strode back to camp.
Going along through a shady part of the road in the dusk, seeing
nothing but the red glow of the pipe with which he was consoling him-
self, the soldier stumbled against a lad sleeping on the grass by the
roadside. It was the tramping Scotchman, and as he sprang to his feet
the two Kelts broke into a fiery dialogue that seemed as if it could only
come to blows.
It did not. It came to the good-natured soldier's filling the way-
farer's pipe for him.
"Much good may it do ye And maybe the next time a decent
man that's hastening home on the wings of misfortune stumbles against
ye, ye'll not be so apt to take offence."
"I ask your pardon, man; I was barely wakened, and I took ye
for one of these gay red-coats blustering hame after a bloodless battle
on the Field Day, as they ca' it."
"Bad luck to the Field Day! A darker never dawned; and
wouldn't a bloodier battle have spared a child ?"
"Your child? What's happened to the bairn?"
"My child indeed And his mother a lady of title, no less."
"What's got him?"
"Fell out of the carriage, and was trampled into a cripple for all
the days of his life. He that had set as fine a heart as ever beat on
being a soldier; and a grand one he'd have made. Sure 'tis a noble-
man ye'll be," says I. "'Tis an owld soldier I mean to be, O'Reilly,"
says he. And- "
"Fond of the soldiers-his mother a leddy? Man! Had he a
braw new velvet coat and the face of an angel on him?"
"He had so."
"And I that thocht they'd all this warld could offer them!-A
cripple? Ech sirs !"
"I will do it . . for I am weak by nature, and very timorous, unless where
a strong sense of duty holdeth and supporteth me. There GOD acteth, and not His.
Lady 7ane Grey.
1- EONARD was to some ex-
tent a spoiled child. But it
/ demands a great deal of un-
selfish foresight, and of self-
discipline, to do more for a
S4 beautiful and loving pet than
i play with it.
And if his grace and
beauty and high spirits had
A been strong temptations to.
Give him everything he de-
Ssired, and his own way above
d fall, how much greater were
S- the excuses for indulging every
S whim when the radiant loveli-
s ness of health had faded to the
wan wistfulness of pain, when.
"the young limbs bounded no.
more, and when his boyish hopes and hereditary ambitions were cut
off by the shears of a destiny that seemed drearier than death?
As soon as the poor child \vas able to be moved his parents took a
place on the west coast of Scotland, and carried him thither.
The neighbourhood of Asholt had become intolerable by them for
some time to come, and a soft climate and sea-breezes were /recom-
mended for his general health.
Jemima's dismissal was revoked. Leonard flatly, and indeed furi-
ously, refused to have any other nurse. During the first crisis a skilled
hospital nurse was engaged, but from the time that he fully recovered
consciousness he would receive help from no hands but those of Jemima.
and Lady Jane.
THE TYRANNY OF THE WEAK. 43
Far older and wiser patients than he become ruthless in their de-
mands upon the time and strength of those about them; and Leonard
did not spare his willing slaves by night or by day. It increased their
difficulties and his sufferings that the poor child was absolutely un-
accustomed to prompt obedience, and disputed the doctor's orders as
he had been accustomed to dispute all others.
Lady Jane's health became very much broken, but Jemima was
fortunately possessed of a sturdy body and an inactive mind, and with
a devotion little less than maternal she gave up both to Leonard's
He had a third slave of his bed-chamber-a black one-the Black
Puppy, from whom he had resolutely refused to part, and whom he
insisted upon having upon his bed, to the Doctor's disgust. When
months passed, and the Black Puppy became a Black Dog, large and
cumbersome, another effort was made to induce Leonard to part with
him at night; but he only complained bitterly.
It is very odd that there cannot be a bed big enough for me and
my dog. I am an invalid, and I ought to have what I want."
So The Sweep remained as his bedfellow.
The Sweep also played the part of the last straw in the drama of
Jemima's life; for Leonard would allow no one but his own dear nurse
to wash his own dear dog; and odd hours, in which Jemima might have
snatched a little rest and relaxation, were spent by her in getting the
big dog's still lanky legs into a tub, and keeping him there, and washing
him, and drying and combing him into fit condition to spring back on
to Leonard's coverlet when that imperious little invalid called for him.
It was a touching manifestation of the dog's intelligence that he
learned with the utmost care to avoid jostling or hurting the poor suffer-
ing little body of his master.
Leonard's fourth slave was his father.
But the Master of the House had no faculty for nursing, and was
by no means possessed of the patience needed to persuade Leonard for
his good. So he could only be with the child when he was fit to be
read or played to, and later on, when he was able to be out of doors.
And at times he went away out of sight of his son's sufferings, and tried
to stifle the remembrance of a calamity and disappointment, whose
bitterness his own heart alone fully knew.
After the lapse of nearly two years Leonard suddenly asked to be
taken home. He was tired of the shore, and wanted to see if The
44 TO EACH HIS SUFFERINGS.
Sweep remembered the park. He wanted to see if Uncle Rupert would
look surprised to see him going about in a wheel-chair. He wanted to
go to the Camp again, now the doctor said he might have drives, and
see if O'Reilly was alive still, and his uncle, and his aunt, and his
cousin. He wanted father to play to him on their own organ, their very
own organ, and-no, thank, you!--he did not want any other music
He hated this nasty place, and wanted to go home. If he was
going to live he wanted to live there, and if he was going to die he
wanted to die there, and have his funeral his own way, if they knew a
General and could borrow a gun-carriage and a band.
He didn't want to eat or to drink, or to go to sleep, or to take his
medicine, or to go out and send The Sweep into the sea, or to be read
to or played to; he wanted to go home-home-home !
The upshot of which was, that before his parents had time to put
into words the idea that the agonizing associations of Asholt were still
quite unendurable, they found themselves congratulating each other on
having got Leonard safely home before he had cried himself into con-
vulsions over twenty-four hours' delay.
For a time, being at home seemed to revive him. He was in less
pain, in better spirits, had more appetite, and was out a great deal with
his dog and his nurse. But he fatigued himself, which made him fret-
ful, and he certainly grew more imperious every day.
His whim was to be wheeled into every nook and corner of the
place, inside and out, and to show them to The Sweep. And who
could have had the heart to refuse him anything in the face of that
dread affliction which had so changed him amid the unchanged sur-
roundings of his old home?
Jemima led the life of a prisoner on the treadmill. When she
wasn't pushing him about she was going errands for him, fetching and
carrying. She was "never off her feet."
He moved about a little now on crutches, though he had not
strength to be very active with them, as some cripples are. But they
became ready instruments of his impatience to thump the floor with
one end, and not infrequently to strike those who offended him with the
His face was little less beautiful than of old, but it looked wan and
weird; and his beauty was often marred by what is more destructive of
beauty even than sickness the pinched lines of peevishness and ill-
STERN DAUGHTER OF THE VOICE OF GOD O DUTY! 45
temper. He suffered less, but he looked more unhappy, was more
difficult to please, and more impatient with all efforts to please him.
But then, though nothing is truer than that patience is its own reward,
it has to be learned first. And, with children, what has to be learned
must be taught.
To this point Lady Jane's meditations brought her one day as
she paced up and down her own morning-room, and stood before the
window which looked down where the elm-trees made long shadows on
the grass; for the sun was declining, greatly to Jemima's relief, who had
been toiling in Leonard's service through the hottest hours of a summer
Lady Jane had a tender conscience, and just now it was a very
uneasy one. She was one of those somewhat rare souls who are by
nature absolutely true. Not so much with elaborate avoidance of lying,
or an aggressive candour, as straight-minded, single-eyed, clear-headed,
and pure-hearted; a soul to which the truth and reality of things, and
the facing of things, came as naturally as the sham of them and the
blinking of them cones to others.
When such a nature has strong affections it is no light matter if
love and duty come into conflict. They were in conflict now, and the
mother's heart was pierced with a two-edged sword. For if she truly
believed what she believed, her duty towards Leonard was not only that
of a tender mother to a suffering child, but the duty of one soul to
another soul, whose responsibilities no man might deliver him from, nor
make agreement unto Gon that he should be quit of them.
And if the disabling of his body did not stop the developing, one
way or another, of his mind; if to learn fortitude and patience under
his pains was not only his highest duty but his best chance of happi-
ness; then, if she failed to teach him these, of what profit was it that
she would willingly have endured all his sufferings ten times over that
life might be all sunshine for him?
And deep down in her truthful soul another thought rankled. No
one but herself knew how the pride of her heart had been stirred by
Leonard's love for soldiers, his brave ambitions, the high spirit and
heroic instincts which he inherited from a long line of gallant men and
noble women. Had her pride been a sham? Did she only care for the
courage of the battle-field? Was she willing that her son should be a
coward, because it was not the trumpet's sound that summoned him to
fortitude? She had strung her heart to the thought-that, like many a
46 HE THAT THOLES, OE'RCOMES.
mother of her race, she might live to gird on his sword; should she fail
to help him to carry his cross ?
At this point a cry came from below the window, and looking out
she saw Leonard, beside himself with passion, raining blows like hail
with his crutch upon poor Jemima; The Sweep watching matters ner-
vously from under a garden seat.
Leonard had been irritable all day, and this was the second serious
outbreak. The first had sent the Master of the House to town with a
Vexed at being thwarted in some slight matter, when he was sitting
in his wheel-chair by the side of his father in the library, he had seized
a sheaf of papers tied together with amber-coloured ribbon, and had
torn them to shreds. It was a fair copy of the first two cantos of The
Soul's Satiety, a poem on which the Master of the House had been
engaged for some years. He had not touched it in Scotland, and was
now beginning to work at it again. He could not scold his cripple
child, but he had gone up to London in a far from comfortable mood.
And now Leonard was banging poor Jemima with his crutches!
Lady Jane felt that her conscience had not roused her an hour too soon.
The Master of the House dined in town, and Leonard had tea
with his mother in her very own room; and The Sweep had tea there too.
And when the old elms looked black against the primrose-coloured
sky, and it had been Leonard's bed-time for half an hour past, the three
were together still.
"I beg your pardon, Jemima, I am very sorry, and I'll never do so
-any more. I didn't want to beg your pardon before, because I was
naughty, and because you trode on my Sweep's foot. But I beg your
pardon now, because I am good-at least I am better, and I am going
to try to be good."
Leonard's voice was as clear as ever, and his manner as direct and
forcible. Thus he contrived to say so much before Jemima burst in
(she was putting him to bed).
"My lamb! my pretty; You're always good- "
Don't tell stories, Jemima; and please don't contradict me, for it
makes me cross; and if I am cross I can't be good; and if I am not
.good all to-morrow I am not to be allowed to go downstairs after
dinner. And there's a V. C. coming to dinner, and I do want to see
him more than I want anything else in all the world."
"What is there in the world to distinguish virtues from dishonour, or that can
make anything rewardable, but the labour and the danger, the pain and the diffi-
/ HE V. C. did not look like a
-- bloodthirsty warrior. He had a
-- smooth, oval, olivart face, and
dreamy eyes. He was not very
big, and he was absolutely
unpretending. He was a
S young man, and only by
the courtesy of his manners
escaped the imputation of
being a shy young man.
Before the campaign in
which he won his cross he
was most distinctively
known in society as having
a very beautiful voice and
a very charming way of
singing, and yet as giving
himself no airs on the sub-
ject of an accomplishment
-which makes some men
almost intolerable by their fellow-men.
He was a favourite with ladies on several accounts, large and smalL
Among the latter was his fastidious choice in the words of the songs he
sang, and sang with a rare fineness of enunciation.
It is not always safe to believe that a singer means what he sings;
but if he-sing very noble words with justness and felicity, the ear rarely
refuses to flatter itself that it is learning some of the secrets of a noble
Upon a silence that could be felt the last notes of such a song had
just fallen. The V. C.'s lips were closed, and those of the Master of
48 THE COURAGE TO BEAR, AND THE COURAGE TO DARE
the House (who had been accompanying him) were still parted with a
smile of approval, when the wheels of his chair and some little fuss at
the drawing-room door announced that Leonard had come to claim his
mother's promise. And when Lady Jane rose and went to meet him,
the V. C. followed her.
"There is my boy, of whom I told you. Leonard, this is the
gentleman you have wished so much to see."
The V. C., who sang so easily, was not a ready speaker, and the
sight of Leonard took him by surprise, and kept him silent. He had
been prepared to pity and be good-natured to a lame child who had a
whim to see him; but not for this vision of rare beauty, beautifully
dressed, with crippled limbs lapped in Eastern embroideries by his
colour-loving father, and whose wan face and wonderful eyes were
lambent with an intelligence so eager and so wistful, that the creature
looked less like a morsel of suffering humanity than like a soul fretted
by the brief detention of an all-but-broken chain.
"How do you do, V. C. ? I am very glad to see you. I wanted
to see you more than anything in the world. I hope you don't mind
seeing me because I have been a coward, for I mean to be brave now;
and that is why I wanted to see you so much, because you are such a
very brave man. The reason I was a coward was partly with being so
cross when my back hurts, but particularly with hitting Jemima with my
crutches, for no one but a coward strikes a woman. She trode on my
dog's toes. This is my dog. Please pat him; he would like to be
patted by a V. C. He is called The Sweep because he is black. He
lives with me all along. I have hit him, but I hope I shall not be
naughty again any more. I wanted to grow up into a brave soldier
but I don't think, perhaps, that I ever can now; but mother says I can
be a brave cripple. I would rather be a brave soldier, but I'm going to
try to be a brave cripple. Jemima says there's no saying what you can
do till you try. Please show me your Victoria Cross."
"It's on my tunic, and that's in my quarters in Camp. I'm so
"So am I. I knew you lived in Camp. I like the Camp, and I
want you to tell me about your hut. Do you know my uncle, Colonel
Jones? Do you know my aunt, Mrs. Jones? And my cousin, Mr.
Jones? Do you know a very nice Irishman, with one good-conduct
stripe, called O'Reilly? Do you know my cousin Alan in the Highlan-
ders? But I believe he has gone away. I have so many things I want
ARE REALLY ONE AND THE SAME. 49
to ask you, and oh!-those ladies are coming after us! They want to
take you away. Look at that ugly old thing with a hook-nose and an
eye-glass, and a lace shawl and a green dress; she's just like the Poll
Parrot in the housekeeper's room. But she's looking at you. Mother !
Mother dear! Don't let them take him away. You did promise me,
you know you did, that if I was good all to-day I should talk to the
V. C. I can't talk to him if I can't have him all to myself. Do let us
go into the library, and be all to ourselves. Do keep those women
away, particularly the Poll Parrot. Oh, I hope I shan't be naughty! I
do feel so impatient! I was good, you know I was. Why doesn't
James come and show my friend into the library, and carry me out of
"Let me carry you, little friend, and we'll run away together, and
the company will say, 'There goes a V. C. running away from a Poll
Parrot in a lace shawl!'"
"Ha! ha! You are nice and funny. But can you carry me?
Take off this thing Did you ever carry anybody that had been hurt?"
"Yes, several people-much bigger than you."
"Men hurt like me, or wounded in battle ?"
"Wounded in battle."
"Poor things! Did they die ?"
"Some of them."
"I shall die pretty soon, I believe. I meant to die young, but
more grown-up than this, and in battle. About your age, I think. How
old are you?"
"I shall be twenty-five in October."
"That's rather old. I meant about Uncle Rupert's age. He died
in battle. He was seventeen. You carry very comfortably. Now we're
safe! Put me on the yellow sofa, please. I want all the cushions, be-
cause of my back. It's because of my back, you know, that I can't
grow up into a soldier. I don't think I possibly can. Soldiers do have
to have such very straight backs, and Jemima thinks mine will never be
straight again 'on this side the grave.' So I've got to try and be brave
as I am; and that's why I wanted to see you. Do you mind my talking
rather more than you? I have so very much to say, and I've only a
quarter of an hour, because of its being long past my bed-time, and a
good lot of that has gone."
-:"^-^-- -- _3 ---
._", .-- . ._. . ........_I --i 1---it
Let me carry yod, little friend, and we'll run away together, and the company will say,
'There goes a V.C. running away from a Poll Parrot in a lace shawl!'"-Page 49.
'TIS GOOD FOR MEN TO LOVE THEIR PRESENT PAINS, 51
S "Please talk, and let m e listen."
"Thank you. Pat The Sweep again, please. He thinks we're
neglecting him. That's why he gets up and knocks you with his head."
"Poor Sweep Good old dog !"
"Thank you. Now should you think that if I am very good, and
not cross about a lot of pain in my back and my head-really a good
lot-that that would count up to be as brave as having one wound if I'd
been a soldier?"
"Mother says it would, and I think it might. Not a very big
wound, of course, but a poke with a spear, or something of that sort.
It is very bad sometimes, particularly when it keeps you awake at
"My little friend, that would count for lying out all night wounded
'on the field when the battle's over. Soldiers are not always fighting."
"Did you ever lie out for a night on a battle-field?"
"Did the night seem very long?"
"Very long; and we were very thirsty."
"So am I sometimes, but I have barley-water and lemons by my
bed, and jelly, and lots of things. You'd no barley-water, had you?"
"Nothing till the rain fell, then we sucked our clothes."
"It would take a lot of my bad nights to count up to that But I
think when I'm ill in bed I might count that like being a soldier in
"I thought-no matter how good I got to be-nothing could ever
count up to be as brave as a real battle, leading your men on and fight-
ing for your country, though you know you may be killed any minute.
But Mother says, if I could try very hard, and think of poor Jemima as
well as myself, and keep brave in spite of feeling miserable, that then
(particularly as I shan't be very long before I do die) it would be as
good as if I'd lived to be as old as Uncle Rupert, and fought bravely
when the battle was against 'me, and cheered on my men, though I
knew I could never come out of it alive. Do you think it could count
up to that? Do you ? Oh, do answer me, and don't stroke my head i
I get so impatient. You've been in battles-do you?"
52 UPON EXAMPLE; SO IS THE SPIRIT EASED.
I do, I do."
"You're a V. C., and you ought to know. I suppose nothing-not
even if I could be good always, from this minute right away till I die-
nothing could ever count up to the courage of a V. C.?"
"GOD knows it could, a thousand times over !"
"Where are you going? Please don't go. Look at me. They're
not going to chop the Queen's head off, are they?"
"Heaven forbid What are you thinking about?"
Why, because Look at me again. Ah you've winked it
away, but your eyes were full of tears; and the only other brave man
I ever heard of crying was Uncle Rupert, and that was because he
knew they were going to chop the poor King's head off."
"That was enough to make anybody cry."
"I know it was. But do you know now, when I'm wheeling about
in my chair and playing with him, and he looks at me wherever I go;
sometimes for a bit I forget about the King, and I fancy he is sorry for
me. Sorry, I mean, that I can't jump about, and creep under the table.
Under the table was the only place where I could get out of the sight
of his eyes. Oh, dear! there's Jemima."
"But you are going to be good?"
"I know I am. And I'm going to do lessons again. I did a little
French this morning-a story. Mother did most of it; but I know
what the French officer called the poor old French soldier when he
went to see him in a hospital."
"Mon brave. That means my brave fellow.' A nice name, wasn't
Very nice. Here's Jemima."
"I'm coming, Jemima. I'm not going to be naughty; but you
may go back to the chair, for this officer will carry me. He carries so
comfortably. Come along, my Sweep. Thank you so much. You
have put me in beautifully. Kiss me, please. Good night, V. C."
"Good night, man brave."
"I am a man of no strength at all of body, nor yet of mind; but would, if I
could, though I can but crawl, spend my life in the pilgrims' way. When I came at
the gate that is at the head of the way, the lord of that place did entertain me freely.
. . gave me such things that were necessary for my journey, and bid me hope to the
end. . Other brunts I also look for; but this I have resolved on, to wit, to run
"when I can, to go when I cannot run, and to creep when I cannot go. As to the
main, I thank Him that loves me, I am fixed; my way is before me, my mind is be-
yond the river that has no bridge, though I am as you see."
"And behold-Mr. Ready-
S to-halt came by with his crutches
S'in his hand, and he was also
I1 1' 1 going on Pilgrimage."
SI Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
l F'N D if we tie it with the
I ,,Ui amber-coloured ribbon,
",l then every time I have it
;,ij out to put in a new Poor
iII 1 I Thing, I shall remember
i o M how very naughty I was, and
) how I spoilt your poetry."
S "Then we'll certainly
tie it with something else,"
said the Master of the
House, and he jerked away
the ribbon with a gesture
as decisive as his words.
"Let bygones be bygones.
F If I forget it, you needn't
I, remember it !"
"Oh, but, indeed, I
ought to remember it; and
I I do think I better had--to
II 'remind myself never, never
Sto be so naughty again !"
"Your mother's own
son !" muttered the Master
of the House; and he
added aloud: "Well, I for-
bid you to remember it--so there It'll be naughty if you do. Here's
54 THE BOOK OF POOR THINGS.
some red ribbon. That should please you, as you're so fond of
Leonard and his father were seated side by side at a table in the
library. The dog lay at their feet.
They were very busy; the Master of the House working under
Leonard's direction, who, issuing his orders from his wheel-chair, was so
full of anxiety and importance, that when Lady Jane opened the library-
door he knitted his brow and put up one thin little hand, in a comically
old-fashioned manner, to deprecate interruption.
"Don't make any disturbance, Mother dear, if you please. Father
and I are very much engaged."
"Don't you think, Len, it would be kind to let poor Mother see
what we are doing, and tell her about it?"
Leonard pondered an instant.
"Well- I don't mind."
Then, as his mother's arm came round him, he added, impetuously:
Yes, I should like to. You can show, Father dear, and I'll do all
The Master of the House displayed some sheets of paper, tied
with ribbon, which already contained a good deal of his handiwork, in-
cluding a finely-illuminated capital LI on the title-page.
"It is to be called the Book of Poor Things, Mother dear. We're
doing it in bits first; then it will be bound. It's a collection-a collec-
tion of Poor Things who've been hurt, like me; or blind, like the
organ-tuner; or had their heads-no, not their heads, they couldn't go
on doing things after that-had their legs or their arms chopped off in
battle, and are very good and brave about it, and manage very, very
nearly as well as people who have got nothing the matter with them.
Father doesn't think Poor Things is a good name. He wanted to call
it Masters of Fate, because of some poetry. What was it, Father?"
"'Man is man and Master of his Fate,'" quoted the Master of the
"Yes, that's it. But I don't understand it so well as Poor Things.
They are Poor Things, you know, and of course we shall only put in
brave Poor Things: not cowardly Poor Things. It was all my idea
only Father is doing the ruling, and printing, and illuminating for me.
I thought of it when the Organ-tuner was here."
"Yes, I heard the organ, and I made James carry me in, and put
SWEET ARE THE USES OF ADVERSITY. 55
me in the armchair close to the organ. And the tuner was tuning, and
he looked round, and James said, It's the young gentleman,' and the
Tuner said, 'Good morning, Sir,' and I said, Good morning, Tuner;
go on tuning, please, for I want to see you do it.' And he went on;
and he dropped a tin thing, like a big extinguisher, on to the floor ; and
he got down to look for it, and he felt about in such a funny way that I
burst out laughing. I didn't mean to be rude; I couldn't help it. And
I said, 'Can't you see it? It's just under the table.' And he said, 'I
can't see anything, Sir; I'm stone blind.' And he said, perhaps I would
be kind enough to give it him. And I said I was very sorry, but I hadn't
got my crutches, and so I couldn't get out of my chair without some
one to help me. And he was so awfully sorry for me, you can't think !
He said he didn't know I was more afflicted than he was; but I was
awfully sorry for him, for I've tried shutting my eyes; and you can bear
it just a minute, but then you must open them to see again. And I
said, 'How can you do anything when you see nothing but blackness all
along?' And he says he can do well enough as long as he's spared the
use of his limbs to earn his own livelihood. And I said, Are there
any more blind men, do you think, that earn their own livelihood? I
wish I could earn mine !' And he said, 'There are a good many blind
tuners, Sir.' And I said, 'Go on tuning, please : I like to hear you do
it.' And he went on, and I did like him so much. Do you know the
blind tuner, Mother dear? And don't you like him very much? I
think he is just what you think very good, and I think V. C. would
think it nearly as brave as a battle to be afflicted and go on earning
your own livelihood when you can see nothing but blackness all along.
Poor man !"
"I do think it very good of him, my darling, and very brave."
"I knew you would. And then I thought perhaps there are lots of
brave afflicted people-poor things and perhaps there never was any-
body but me who wasn't. And I wished I knew their names, and I
asked the Tuner his name, and he told me. And then I thought of my
book, for a good idea-a collection, you know. And I thought per-
haps, by degrees, I might collect three hundred and sixty-five Poor
Things, all brave. And so I am making Father rule it like his Diary,
and we've got the Tuner's name down for the First of January; and if
you can think of anybody else you must tell me, and if I think they're
afflicted enough and brave enough, I'll put them in. But I shall have
to be rather particular, for we don't want to fill up too fast. Now,
56 NOBLESSE OBLIGE.
Father, I've done the explaining, so you can show your part. Look,
Mother, hasn't he ruled it well?" There's only one tiny mess, and it
was the Sweep shaking the table with getting up to be patted."
"He has ruled it beautifully. But what a handsome L !"
"Oh, I forget! Wait a minute, Father; the explaining isn't quite
finished. What do you think that L stands for, Mother dear?"
"For Leonard, I suppose."
"No, no! What fun You're quite wrong, Guess again."
"Is it not the Tuner's name ?"
"Oh, no He's in the first of January-I told you so. And in
plain printing. Father really couldn't illuminate three hundred and
sixty-five poor things !"
"Of course he couldn't. It was silly of me to think so."
"Do you give it up?"
"I must. I cannot guess."
"It's the beginning of "Latus sorte mea." Ah, you know now!
You ought to have guessed without my telling you. Do you remember?
I remember, and I mean to remember. I told Jemima that very night.
I said, It means Happy with my fate, and in our family we have to be
happy with it, whatever sort of a one it is.' For you told me so. And
I told the Tuner, and he liked hearing about it very much. And then
he went on tuning, and he smiled so when he was listening to the
notes, I thought he looked very happy; so I asked him, and he said,
Yes, he was always happy when he was meddling with a musical instru-
ment. But I thought, most likely all brave poor things are happy with
their fate, even if they can't tune; and I asked Father, and he said, 'Yes,'
and so we are putting it into my collection-partly for that, and partly,
when the coat-of-arms is done, to show that the book belongs to me.
Now, Father dear, the explaining is really quite finished this time, and
you may do all the rest of the show-off yourself!"
St. George a stirring life they lead,
That have such neighbours near."
J !iH, Jemima! Jemima! I
". know you are very kind,
Sand I do mean not to be
Impatient; but either
You're telling stories or
you're talking nonsense,
and that's a fact. How
can you say that that blue
stuff is a beautiful match,
and will wash the exact
colour, and that you're
"sure I shall like it when
it's made up with a cord
and tassels, when it's not
Sthe blue I want, and when
you know the men in hos-
pital haven't any tassels
to their dressing-gowns at
all! You're as bad as
that horrid shopman who made me so angry. If I had not been obliged
to be good, I should have liked to hit him hard with my crutch, when
he kept on saying he knew I should prefer a shawl-pattern lined with
crimson, if I would let him send one. Oh, here comes Father! .Now,
that's right; he'll know. Father dear, is this blue pattern the same
colour as that?"
"Certainly not. But what's the matter, my child?"
"It's about my dressing-gown; and I do get so tired about it, be-
cause people will talk nonsense, and won't speak the truth, and won't
believe I know what I want myself. Now, I'll tell you what I want. Do
you know the Hospital Lines?"
58 A BLUE DRESSING GOWN.
"Inth Camp? Yes."
"And you've seen all the invalids walking about in blue dressing-
gowns and little red ties?"
"Yes. Charming bits of colour."
"Hurrah! that's just it! Now, Father dear, if you wanted a
dressing-gown exactly like that- would you have one made of
"Not if I knew it! Crude, coarse, staring- please don't wave
it in front of my eyes, unless you want to make me feel like a bull with
a red-rag before him !"
"Oh, Father dear, you are sensible (Jemima, throw this pattern
away, please !) But you'd have felt far worse if you'd seen the shawl-
pattern lined with crimson. Oh, I do wish I could have been a bull
that wasn't obliged to be latus for half a minute, to give that shopman
just one toss But I believe the best way to do will be as O'Reilly says
-get Uncle Henry to buy me a real one out of store, and have it made
smaller for me. And I should like it out of store.'"
From this conversation it will be seen that Leonard's military bias
knew no change. Had it been less strong it could only have served to
intensify the pain of the heartbreaking associations which anything con-
nected with the troops now naturally raised in his parents' minds. But
it was a sore subject that fairly healed itself.
The Camp had proved a more cruel neighbour than the Master of
the House had ever imagined in his forebodings; but it also proved a
friend. For if the high, ambitious spirit, the ardent imagination, the
vigorous will, which fired the boy's fancy for soldiers and soldier-life,
had thus led to his calamity, they found in that sympathy with men of
hardihood and lives of discipline, not only an interest that never failed
and that lifted the sufferer out of himself, but a constant incentive to
those virtues of courage and patience for which he struggled with touch-
Then, without disparagement to the earnestness of his efforts to be
good, it will be well believed that his parents did their best to make
goodness easy to him. His vigorous individuality still swayed the plans
of the household, and these came to be regulated by those of the Camp
to a degree which half annoyed and half amused its Master.
The Asholt Gazette was delivered as regularly as the Times; but on
special occasions, the arrangements for which were only known the night
before, O'Reilly, or some other Orderly, might be seen wending his way
MILITARY MANCEUVRES. 59
up the Elm Avenue by breakfast time, "with Colonel Jones' compli-
ments, and the Orders of the Day for the young gentleman." And
so many were the military displays at which Leonard contrived to be
present, that the associations of pleasure and alleviation with Parades
and Manoeuvres came at last almost to blot out the associations of pain
connected with that fatal Field Day.
He drove about a great deal, either among air-cushions in the big
carriage or in a sort of perambulator of his own, which was all too
easily pushed by any one, and by the side of which the Sweep walked
slowly and contentedly, stopping when Leonard stopped, wagging his
tail when Leonard spoke, and keeping sympathetic step to the invalid's
pace with four sinewy black legs, which were young enough and strong
enough to have ranged for miles over the heather hills and never felt
fatigue. A true Dog Friend!
What the Master of House pleasantly called Our Military Mania,"
seemed to have reached its climax during certain July manoeuvres of the
regiments stationed at Asholt, and of additional troops who lay out
under canvas in the surrounding country.
Into this mimic campaign Leonard threw himself heart and soul.
His camp friends furnished him with early information of the plans for
each day, so far as the generals of the respective forces allowed them to
get wind, and with an energy that defied his disabilities he drove about
after "the armies," and then scrambled on his crutches to points of
vantage where the carriage could not go.
And the Master of the House went with him.
The House itself seemed soldier-bewitched. Orderlies were as
plentiful as rooks among the elm-trees. The staff clattered in and out,
and had luncheon at unusual hours, and strewed the cedar-wood hall
with swords and cocked hats, and made low bows over Lady Jane's
hand, and rode away among the trees.
These were weeks of pleasure and enthusiasm for Leonard, and of
not less delight for the Sweep; but they were followed by an illness.
That Leonard bore his sufferings better helped to conceal the fact
that they undoubtedly increased; and he over-fatigued himself and got
a chill, and had to go to bed, and took the Sweep to bed with him.
And it was when he could play at no "soldier-game," except that
of "being in hospital," that he made up his mind to have a blue dress-
ing-gown of regulation colour and pattern, and met with the difficulties
aforesaid in carrying out his whim.
"Fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me;
Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words,
Remembers me of all his gracious parts,
Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form."
King 3ohn, Act iii
SONG years after they were
"written, a bundle of letters lay in
Sthe drawer of a cabinet in Lady
-4 Jane's morning-room, carefully
and every envelope stamped with
Sthe post-mark of Asholt Camp.
They were in Leonard's
handwriting. A childish hand,
though good for his age, but
round and clear as his own
After much coaxing and
considering, and after consulting
with the doctors, Leonard had
been allowed to visit the Barrack
SMaster and his wife. After his
-illness he was taken to the sea-
S.~ side, which he liked so little that
___ he was bribed to stay there by
the promise that, if the doctor
would allow it, he should, on his return, have the desire of his heart,
and be permitted to live for a time "in Camp," and sleep in a hut.
The doctor gave leave. Small quarters would neither mar nor
mend an injured spine; and if he felt the lack of space and luxuries to
which he was accustomed, he would then be content to return home.
The Barrack Master's hut only boasted one spare bed-chamber for
LIFE IS MADE UP OF LITTLE THINGS. 61
visitors, and when Leonard and his dog were in it there was not much
elbow-room. A sort of cupboard was appropriated for the use of
Jemima, and Lady Jane drove constantly into Camp to see her son.
Meanwhile he proved a very good correspondent, as his letters will show
"BARRACK MASTER'S HUT,
The Camp, Asholt.
"MY DEAR, DEAR MOTHER,-
I hope you are quite well, and Father also. I am very happy, and
so is the Sweep. He tried sleeping on my bed last night, but there was not room,
though I gave him as much as ever I could. So he slept on the floor. It is a camp.
bed, and folds up, if you want it to. We have nothing like it. It belonged to a real
General. The General is dead. Uncle Henry bought it at his sale, You always.
have a sale if you die; and your brother-officers buy your things to pay your debts.
Sometimes you get them very cheap. I mean the things.
"The drawers fold up, too. I mean the chest of drawers, and so does the wash-
hand-stand. It goes into the corner, and takes up very little room. There couldn't
be a bigger one, or the door would not open-the one that leads into the kitchen.
The other door leads into a passage. I like having the kitchen next me. You can
hear everything. You can hear O'Reilly come in the morning, and I call to him to
open my door, and he says, Yes, sir,' and opens it, and lets the Sweep out for a
run, and takes my boots. And you can hear the tap of the boiler running with your
hot water before she brings it, and you can smell the bacon frying for breakfast.
Aunt Adelaide was afraid I should not like being woke up so early, but I do.
I waked a good many times. First with the gun. It's like a very short thunder, and
shakes you.' And then the bugles play. Father would like them! And then right
away in the distance-trumpets. And the air comes in so fresh at the window. And
you pull up the clothes, if they've fallen off you, and go to sleep again. Mine had
all fallen off, except the sheet, and the Sweep was lying on them. Wasn't it clever
of him to have found them in the dark ? If I can't keep them on, I'm going to have
campaigning blankets; they are sewed up like a bag, and you get into them.
"What do you think I found on my coverlet when I went to bed? A real,
proper, blue dressing-gown, and a crimson tie! It came out of store, and Aunt
Adelaide made it smaller herself. Wasn't it kind of her?
"I have got it on now. Presently I am going to dress properly, and O'Reilly is
going to wheel me down to the stores. It will be great fun. My cough has been
pretty bad, but it's no worse than it was at home.
There's a soldier come for the letters, and they are obliged to be ready.
"I am, your loving and dutiful son,
P.S.--Uncle Henry says his father was very old-fashioned, and he always
liked him to put Your dutiful son,' so I put it to you.
All these crosses mean kisses, Jemima told me."
62 CHURCH PARADE.
". .. .I WENT to church yesterday, though it was only Tuesday. I need not
have gone unless I liked, but I liked. There is service every evening in the Iron
Church, and Aunt Adelaide goes, and so do I, and sometimes Uncle Henry. There
are not very many people go, but they behave very well, what there are. You can't
tell what the officers belong to in the afternoon, because they are in plain clothes;
but Aunt Adelaide thinks they were Royal Engineers, except one Commissariat one,
and an A. D. C., and the Colonel of a regiment that marched in last week. You
can't tell what the ladies belong to unless you know them.
"You can always tell the men. Some were Barrack Sergeants, and some were
Sappers, and there were two Gunners, and an Army Hospital Corps, and a Cavalry
Corporal who came all the way from the barracks, and sat near the door, and said
very long prayers to himself at the end. And there were some schoolmasters, and a
man with gray hair and no uniform, who mends the roofs and teaches in the Sunday
School, and I forget the rest Most of the choir are Sappers and Commissariat
men, and the boys are soldiers' sons. The Sappers and Commissariat belong to our
There is no Sexton to our Church. He's a Church Orderly. He has put me
-a kind of a back in the corner of one of the Officers' Seats, to make me comfortable
in church, and a very high footstool. I mean to go every day, and as often as I can
on Sunday, without getting too much tired.
"You can go very often on Sunday mornings if you want to. They begin at
-eight o'clock, and go on till luncheon. There's a fresh band, and a fresh chaplain,
and a fresh sermon, and a fresh congregation every time. Those are Parade Services.
The others are Voluntary Services, and I thought that meant for the Volunteers; but
O'Reilly laughed, and said, No, it only means that there's no occasion to go to them
at all'-he means unless you like. But then I do like. There's no sermon on week
days. Uncle Henry is very glad, and so am I. I think it might make my back ache.
1 am afraid, dear Mother, that you won't be able to understand all I write to
you from the Camp; but if you don't, you must ask me and I'll explain.
When I say our quarters, remember I mean our hut; and when I say rations
it means bread and meat, and I'm not quite sure if it means coals and candles as well.
But I think I'll make you a Dictionary if I can get a ruled book from the Canteen.
It would make this letter too much to go for a penny if I put all the words in I know.
Cousin George tells me them when he comes in after mess. He told me the Camp
name for Iron Church is Tin Tabernacle; but Aunt Adelaide says it's not, and I'm
not to call it so, so I don't. But that's what he says.
"I like Cousin George very much. I like his uniform. He is very thin, par-
ticularly round the waist. Uncle Henry is very stout, particularly round the waist.
Last night George came in after mess, and two other officers out of his regiment came
too. And then another officer came in. And they chaffed Uncle Henry, and Uncle
Henry doesn't mind. And the other officer said, Three times round a Subaltern-
once round a Barrack Master.' And so they got Uncle Henry's sword-belt out of his
dressing-room, and George and his friends stood back to back, and held up their
jackets out of the way, and the other officer put the belt right round them, all three,
WHEN GREEK MEETS GREEK, 63
and told them not to laugh. And Aunt Adelaide said, 'Oh!' and 'You'll hurt
them.' And he said, 'Not a bit of it.' And he buckled it. So that shows. It was
"I am, your loving and dutiful Son,
P.S.-The other officer is an Irish officer-at least, I think so, but I can't be
quite sure, because he won't speak the truth. I said, 'You talk rather like O'Reilly;
are you an Irish soldier?' And he said, 'I'd the misfortune to be quartered for six
months in the County Cork, and it was the ruin of my French accent.' So I said,
'Are you a Frenchman ?' and they all laughed, so I don't know.
"P.S. No. 2.-My back has been very bad, but Aunt Adelaide says I have been
very good. This is not meant for swagger, but to let you know.
("Swagger means boasting If you're a soldier, swagger is the next worst thing
to running away.)
"P.S. No. 3.-I know another officer now. I like him. He is a D.A.Q.M.G.
I would let you guess that if you could ever find it out, but you couldn't. It means
Deputy-Assistant-Quarter-Master-General. He is not so grand as you would think;
a plain General is really grander. Uncle Henry says so, and he knows."
.... IHAVE seen V. C. I have seen him twice. I have seen his cross. The
first time was at the Sports. Aunt Adelaide drove me there in the pony carriage.
We stopped at the Enclosure. The Enclosure is a rope, with a man taking tickets.
The Sports are inside; so is the tent, with tea; so are the ladies, in awfully pretty
dresses, and the officers walking round them.
"There's great fun outside, at least, I should think so. There's a crowd of
people, and booths, and a skeleton man. I saw his picture. I should like to have
seen him, but Aunt Adelaide didn't want to, so I tried to be latus without.
"When we got to the Enclosure there was a gentleman taking his ticket, and
when he turned round he was V. C. Wasn't it funny? So he came back and said,
'Why, here's my little friend !' And he said, 'You must let me carry you.' And so
he did, and put me among the ladies. But the ladies got him a good deal. He went
and talked to lots of them, but I tried to be lItus without him; and then Cousin
George came, and lots of others, and then the V. C. came back and showed me
things about the Sports.
"Sports are very hard work: they make you so hot and tired; but they are
very nice to watch. The races were great fun, particularly when they fell in the
water, and the men in sacks who hop, and the blindfolded men with wheelbarrows.
Oh, they were so funny! They kept wheeling into each other, all except one, and he
went wheeling and wheeling right away up the field, all by himself and all wrong!
I did laugh.
"But what I liked best were the tent-pegging men, and most best of all, the
"The Irish officer did tent-pegging. He has the dearest pony you ever saw.
.He is so fond of it, and it is so fond of him. He talks to it in Irish, and it under-
64 THEN COMES THE TUG-OF-WAR.
stands him. He cut off the Turk's head,- not a real Turk, a sham Turk, and not a
whole one, only the head stuck on a pole.
"The Tug-of-War was splendid! Two sets of men pulling at a rope to see
which is strongest. They did pull! They pulled so hard, both of them, with all
their might and main, that we thought it must be a drawn battle. But at last one set
pulled the other over, and then there was such a noise that my head ached dreadfully,
and the Irish officer carried me into the tent and gave me some tea. And then we
The next time I saw V. C. was on Sunday at Parade Service. He is on the
Staff, and wears a cocked hat. He came in with the General and the A.D.C., who
was at church on Tuesday, and I was so glad to see him.
After church, everybody went about saying 'Good morning,' and How hot it
was in church!' and V. C. helped me with my crutches, and showed me his cross.
And the General came up and spoke to me, and I saw his medals, and he asked how
you were, and I said, 'Quite well, thank you.' And then he talked to a lady with
some little boys dressed like sailors. She said how hot it was in church, and he said,
'I thought the roof was coming off with that last hymn.' And she said, 'My little
boys call it the Tug-of-War Hymn; they are very fond of it.' And he said, 'The
men seem very fond of it.' And he turned round to an officer I didn't know,'and
said, 'They ran away from you that last verse but one.' And the officer said,
'Yes, sir, they always do; so I stop the organ and let them have it their own way.'
"I asked Aunt Adelaide, 'Does that officer play the organ?' And she said,
'Yes, and he trains the choir. He's coming in to supper.' So he came. If the
officers stay sermon on Sunday evenings, they are late for mess. So the chaplain
stops after Prayers, and anybody that likes to go out before sermon can. If they stay
sermon, they go to supper with some of the married officers instead of dining at mess.
So he came. I liked him awfully. He plays like Father, only I think he can
play more difficult things.
"He says, Tug-of-War Hymn' is the very good name for that hymn, because
the men are so fond of it they all sing, and the ones at the bottom of the church
'drag over' the choir and the organ.
"He said, 'I've talked till I'm black in the face, and all to no purpose. It
would try the patience of a saint.' So I said, 'Are you a saint?' And he laughed
and said, 'No, I'm afraid not; I'm only a kapellmeister.' So I call him 'Kapell-
meister.' I do like him.
I do like the Tug-of-War Hymn. It begins, The Son of GOD goes forth to
war.' That's the one. But we have it to a tune of our own, on Saints' Days. The
verse the men tug with is, 'A noble army, men and boys.' I think they like it, be-
cause it's about the army; and so do I.
I am, your loving and dutiful son,
P.S.-I call the ones with cocked hats and feathers, 'Cockatoos.' There was-
another Cockatoo who walked away with the General. Not very big. About the
bigness of the stuffed General in that Pawnbroker's window; and I do think he had
quite as many medals. I wanted to see them. I wish I had. He looked at me.
He had a very gentle face; but I was afraid of it. Was I a coward?
"You remember what these crosses are, don't you ? I told you."
A SOLDIER SAINT. 65
"THIs is a very short letter. It's only to ask you to send my book of Poor
Things by the Orderly who takes this, unless you are quite sure you are coming to see
"A lot of officers are collecting for me, and there's one in the Engineers can
print very well, so he'll put them in.
"A Colonel with only one arm dined here yesterday. You can't think how well
he manages, using first his knife and then his fork, and talking so politely all the
time. He has all kinds of dodges, so as not to give trouble and do everything for
himself. I mean to put him in.
"I wrote to Cousin Alan, and asked him to collect for me. I like writing
letters, and I do like getting them. Uncle Henry says he hates a lot of posts in the
day. I hate posts when there's nothing for me. I like all the rest.
"Cousin Alan wrote back by return. He says he can only think of the old
chap, whose legs were cut off in battle:
And when his legs were smitten oft,
He fought upon his stumps!"
It wds very brave, if it's true. Do you think it is ? He did not tell me his name.
"Your loving and dutiful son,
P.S.-I am ltus sorte mea, and so is the Sweep."
THIS letter is not about a Poor Thing. It's about a saint-a soldier saint-
which I and the chaplain think nearly the best kind. His name was Martin, he got
to be a Bishop in the end, but when he first enlisted he was only a catechumen. Do
you know what a catechumen is, dear mother ? Perhaps if you're not quite so high-
church as the engineer I told you of, who prints so beautifully, you may not know.
It means when you've been born a heathen, and are going to be a Christian, only
you've not yet been baptized. The engineer has given me a picture of him, St.
Martin I mean, and now he has printed underneath it, in beautiful thick black letters
that you can hardly read if you don't know what they are, and the very particular
words in red, Martin-yet but a Catechumen!' He can illuminate too, though not
quite so well as Father, he is very high-church, and I'm high-church too, and so is our
Chaplain, but he is broad as well. The engineer thinks he's rather too broad, but
Uncle Henry and Aunt Adelaide think he's quite perfect, and so do I, and so does
everybody else. He comes in sometimes, but not very often because he's so busy.
He came the other night because I wanted to confess. What I wanted to confess
was that I had laughed in church. He is a very big man, and he has a very big sur-
plice, with a great lot of gathers behind, which makes my engineer very angry, because
it's the wrong shape, and he preaches splendidly, the Chaplain I mean, straight out
of his head, and when all the soldiers are listening he swings his arms about, and the
surplice gets in his way, and he catches hold of it, and oh Mother dear, I must tell
you what it reminded me of. When I was very little, and Father used to tie a knot
66 MARTIN-YET BUT A CATECHUMEN!
in his big pocket-handkerchief and put his first finger into it to make a head that
nodded, and wind the rest round his hand, and stick out his thumb and another finger
for arms, and do the Yea-verily-man' to amuse you and me. It was last Sunday,
and a most splendid sermon, but his stole got round under his ear, and his sleeves did
look just like the Yea-verily-man, and I tried not to look, and then I caught the Irish
officer's eye and he twinkled, and then I laughed, because I remembered his telling
Aunt Adelaide 'That's the grandest old Padre that ever got up into a pulpit, but did
ye ever see a man get so mixed up with his clothes?' I was very sorry when I laughed,
so I settled I would confess, for my engineer thinks you ought always to confess, so
when our chaplain came in after dinner on Monday, I confessed, but he only laughed,
till he broke down Aunt Adelaide's black and gold chair. He is too big for it,
really. Aunt Adelaide never lets Uncle Henry sit on it. So he was very sorry, and
Aunt Adelaide begged him not to mind, and then in came my engineer in war-paint
(if you look out war-paint in the Canteen Book I gave you, you'll see what it means).
He was in war-paint because he was Orderly Officer for the evening, and he'd got
his sword under one arm, and the picture under the other, and his short cloak on to
keep it dry, because it was raining. He made the frame himself; he can make
Oxford frames quite well, and he's going to teach me how to. Then I said, 'Who
is it?' so he told me, and now I'm going to tell you, in case you don't know. Well,
St. Martin was born in Hungary, in the year 316. His father and mother were
heathens, but when he was about my age he made up his mind he would be a
Christian. His father and mother were so afraid of his turning into a monk, that as
soon as he was old enough they enlisted him in the army, hoping that would cure
him of wanting to be a Christian, but it didn't-Martin wanted to be a Christian just
as much as ever; still he got interested with his work and his comrades, and he
dawdled on only a Catechumen, and didn't make full profession and get baptized.
One winter his corps was quartered at Amiens, and on a very bitter night, near the
gates, he saw a half-naked beggar shivering with the cold. (I asked my engineer,
'Was he Orderly Officer for the evening?' but he said, 'More likely on patrol duty,
with some of his comrades.' However, he says he won't be sure, for Martin was
Tribune, which is very nearly a Colonel, two years afterwards, he knows). When
Martin saw the Beggar at the gate, he pulled out his big military cloak, and drew his
sword, and cut it in half, and wrapped half of it round the poor Beggar to keep him
warm. I know you'll think him very kind, but wait a bit, that's not all. Next night
when Martin the soldier was asleep he had a vision. Did you ever have a vision?
I wish I could! This was Martin's vision. He saw Christ our Lord in Heaven,
sitting among the shining hosts, and wearing over one shoulder half a military cloak,
and as Martin saw Him he heard Him say, 'Behold the mantle given to Me by
Martin-yet but a Catechumen !' After that vision he didn't wait any longer; he
was baptized at once.
"Mother dear, I've told you this quite truthfully, but I can't tell it you so
splendidly as my engineer did, standing with his back to the fire and holding out
his cape, and drawing his sword to show me how Martin divided his cloak with the
Beggar. Aunt Adelaide isn't afraid of swords, she is too used to them, but she says
she thinks soldiers do things in huts they would never think of doing in big rooms,
just to show how neatly they can manage, without hurting anything. The chaplain
broke the chair, but then he isn't exactly a soldier, and the D.A.Q.M.G. that I told
"I\lartin--vet bu a Cotechomen I"--PnSp 66.
68 ON GOD AND GOD-LIKE MEN WE BUILD OUR TRUST.
you of, comes in sometimes and says, 'I beg your pardon Mrs. Jones, but I must,'-
and puts both his hands on the end of the sofa, and lifts his body till he gets his legs
sticking straight out. They are very long legs, and he and the sofa go nearly across
the room, but he never kicks anything, it's a kind of athletics; and there's another
officer who comes in at one door and Catherine-wheel's right across to the farthest
corner, and he is over six foot, too, but they never break anything. We do laugh.
"I wish you could have seen my engineer doing St. Martin. He had to go directly
afterwards, and then the chaplain came and stood in front of me, on the hearthrug, in
the firelight, just where my engineer had been standing, and he took up the picture,
and looked at it. So I said, 'Do you know about St. Martin ?' and he said he did,
and he said, 'One of the greatest of those many Soldiers of the Cross who have also
fought under earthly banners.' Then he put down the picture, and got hold of his
elbow with his hand, as if he was holding his surplice out of the way, and said, 'Great,
as well as good, for this reason : he was one of those rare souls to whom the counsels
of GOD are clear, not to the utmost of the times in which he lived-but in advance ot
those times. Such men are not always popular, nor even largely successful in their
day, but the light they hold lightens more generations of this naughty world, than
the pious tapers of commoner men. You know that Martin the Catechumen became
Martin the Saint-do you know that Martin the Soldier became Martin the Bishop?-
and that in an age of credulity and fanaticism, that man of GOD discredited some
relics very popular with the pious in his diocese, and proved and exposed them to be
those of an executed robber. Later in life it is recorded of Martin, Bishop of Tours,
that he lifted his voice in protest against persecutions for religion, and the punishment
of heretics. In the nineteenth century we are little able to judge, how great must
have been the faith of that man in the GOD of truth and of love.' It was like a little
sermon, and I think this is exactly how he said it, for I got Aunt Adelaide to write it
out for me this morning, and she remembers sermons awfully well. I've been looking
St. Martin out in the calendar; his day is the Ioth of November. He is not a
Collect, Epistle, and Gospel Saint, only one of the Black Letter ones; but the Ioth
of November is going to be on a Sunday this year, and I am so'glad, for I've asked
our chaplain if we may have the Tug-of-War Hymn for St. Martin-and he has given
It's a long way off; I wish it came sooner. So now, Mother dear, you have
time to make your arrangements as you like, but you see that whatever happens, I
must be in Camp on St. Martin's Day.
Your loving and dutiful son,
"I have fought a gool fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.
I Tim. iv. 7.
T was Sunday. Sun-
day, the tenth of
SNovember St. Mar-
Though it was in
"November, a summer
day. A day of that
Little Summer which
alternately claims St.
Sr .... -- Luke and St. Martin
Sas its patrons, and is
apt to shine its bright-
est when it can claim both-on the feast of All
Sunday in camp. With curious points of
likeness and unlikeness to English Sundays else-
where. Like in that general aspect of tidiness
and quiet, of gravity and pause, which betrays
that a hard-working and very practical people have thought good to
keep much of the Sabbath with its Sunday. Like, too, in the little
groups of children, gay in Sunday best, and grave with Sunday books,
trotting to Sunday school.
Unlike, in that to see all the men about the place washed and
shaved is not, among soldiers, peculiar to Sunday. Unlike, also, in a
more festal feeling produced by the gay gatherings of men and officers
on Church Parade (far distant be the day when Parade Services shall be
abolished!), and by the exhilarating sounds of the Bands with which
each regiment marched from its parade-ground to the church.
Here and there small detachments might be met making their way
to the Roman Catholic church in camp, or to places of worship of
70 SAINT MARTIN'S DAY.
various denominations in the neighboring town; and on Blind Baby's
Parade (where he was prematurely crushing his Sunday frock with his
drum-basket in ecstatic sympathy with the bands), a corporal of excep-
tional views was parading himself and two privates of the same denomi-
nation, before marching the three of them to their own peculiar prayer-
The Brigade for the Iron Church paraded early (the sunshine and
sweet air seemed to promote alacrity). And after the men were seated
their officers still lingered outside, chatting with the ladies and the Staff,
as these assembled by degrees, and sunning themselves in the genial
warmth of St. Martin's Little Summer.
The V. C. was talking with the little boys in sailor suits and their
mother, when the officer who played the organ came towards them.
"Good morning, Kapellmeister !" said two or three voices.
Nicknames were common in the camp, and this one had been
Ye look cloudy this fine morning, Kapellmeister !" cried the Irish
officer. "Got the toothache ?"
The Kapellmeister shook his head, and forced a smile which rather
intensified than diminished the gloom of a countenance which did not
naturally lend itself to lines of levity. Was he not a Scotchman and
also a musician? His lips smiled in answer to the chaff, but his sombre
eyes were fixed on the V. C. They had-as some eyes have-an odd,
summoning power, and the V. C. went to meet him.
When he said, "I was in there this morning," the V. C.'s eyes fol-
lowed the Kapellmeister's to the Barrack -Master's hut, and his own face
"He wants the Tug-of-War Hymn," said the Kapellmeister.
"He's not coming to church?"
Oh, no; but he's set his heart on hearing the Tug-of-War Hymn
through his bedroom window; and it seems the chaplain has pro-
mised we shall have it to-day. It's a most amazing thing," added the
Kapellmeister, shooting out one arm with a gesture common to him
when oppressed by an idea,-"it's a most amazing thing! For I think, if
I were in my grave, that hymn-as these men bolt with it-might make
me turn in my place of rest; but it's the last thing I should care to hear
if I were ill in bed! However, he wants it, poor lad, and he asked me
to ask you if you would turn outside when it begins, and sing so that he
can hear your voice and the words."
ES GILT AM ENDE DOCH NUR VORWARTS! 71
"Oh, he can never hear me over there !"
"He can hear you fast enough It's quite close. He begged me
to ask you, and I was to say it's his last Sunday."
There was a pause. The V. C. looked at the little "Officers'
Door," which was close to his usual seat, which always stood open in
summer weather, and half in half out of which men often stood in the
crush of a Parade Service. There was no difficulty in the matter ex-
cept his own intense dislike to anything approaching to display. Also
he had become more attached than he could have believed possible to
the gallant-hearted child whose worship of him had been flattery as
delicate as it was sincere. It was no small pain to know that the boy
lay dying-a pain he would have preferred to bear in silence.
"Is he very much set upon it?"
"Is she is Lady Jane there ?"
"All of them. He can't last the day out."
". "When will it be sung-that hymn, I mean?"
"I've put it on after the third Collect."
The V. C. took up his sword and went to his seat, and the Kapell-
meister took up his and went to the organ.
In the Barrack Master's Hut my hero lay dying. His mind was
now absolutely clear, but during the night it had wandered-wandered
in a delirium that was perhaps some solace of his sufferings, for he had
believed himself to be a soldier on active service, bearing the brunt of
battle and the pain of wounds; and when fever consumed him, he
thought it was the heat of India that parched his throat and scorched
his skin, and called again and again in noble raving to imaginary com-
rades to keep up heart and press forward.
About four o'clock he sank into stupor, and the doctor forced Lady
Jane to go and lie down, and the Colonel took his wife away to rest
At Gun-fire Leonard opened his eyes. For some minutes he gazed
straight ahead of him, and the Master of the House, who sat by his
bedside, could not be sure whether he were still delirious or no; but
when their eyes met he saw that Leonard's senses had returned to him,
and kissed the wan little hand that was feeling about for the Sweep's
head in silence that he almost flared to break.
72 BEYOND THE VEIL.
Leonard broke in by saying, "When did you bring Uncle Rupert
to Camp, Father dear?"
"Uncle Rupert is at home, my darling; and you are in Uncle
"I know I am; and so is Uncle Rupert. He is at the end of the
room there. Can't you see him?"
"No, Len; I only see the wall, with your text on it that poor old
Father did for you."
"My Goodly heritage,' you mean ? I can't see that now. Uncle
Rupert is in front of it. I thought you put him there. Only he's out
of his frame, and- it's very odd !"
"What's odd, my darling?"
"Some one has wiped away all the tears from his eyes."
"Hymn two hundred and sixty-three: 'Fight the good fight of
The third Collect was just ended, and a prolonged and somewhat
irregular Amen was dying away among the Choir, who were beginning
to feel for their hymn-books.
The lack of precision, the "dropping shots" style in which that
Amen was delivered, would have been more exasperating to the Kapell-
meister, if his own attention had not been for the moment diverted by
anxiety to know if the V. C. remembered that the time had come.
As the Chaplain gave out the hymn, the Kapellmeister gave one
glance of an eye, as searching as it was sombre, round the corner of
that odd little curtain which it is the custom to hang behind an organist;
and this sufficing to tell him that the V. C. had not forgotten, he drew
out certain very vocal stops, and bending himself to manual and pedal,
gave forth the popular melody of the "Tug-of-War" hymn with a pre-
cision indicative of a resolution to have it sung in strict time, or know
the reason why.
And as nine hundred and odd men rose to their feet with some
clatter of heavy boots and accoutrements the V. C. turned quietly out
of the crowded church, and stood outside upon the steps, bare-headed
in the sunshine of St. Martin's Little Summer, and with the tiniest of
hymn-books between his fingers and thumb.
Circumstances had made a soldier of the V. C.,.but by nature he
was a student. When he brought the little hymn-book to his eyes to,
IF THOU BEAR THY CROSS IT WILL BEAR THEE. 73
get a mental grasp of the hymn before he began to sing it, he committed
the first four lines to an intelligence sufficiently trained to hold them in
remembrance for the brief time that it would take to sing them. Invol-
untarily his active brain did more, and was crossed by a critical sense
of the crude, barbaric taste of childhood, and a wonder what consola-
tion the suffering boy could find in these gaudy lines :-
The Son of GOD goes forth to war,
A kingly crown to gain;
His blood-red banner streams afar:
Who follows in His train ?"
But when he brought the little hymn-book to his eyes to take in the
next four lines, they startled him with the revulsion of a sudden sym-
pathy; and lifting his face towards the Barrack Master's Hut, he sang
-as he rarely sang in drawing-rooms, even words the most felicitous to
melodies the most sweet-sang not only to the delight of dying ears,
but so that the Kapellmeister himself heard him, and smiled as he
Who best can drink His cup of woe
Triumphant over pain,
Who patient bears His cross below,
He follows in His train."
On each side of Leonard's bed, like guardian angels, knelt his
father and mother. At his feet lay the Sweep, who now and then lifted
a long, melancholy nose and anxious eyes.
At the foot of the bed stood the Barrack Master. He had taken
up this position at the request of the Master of the House, who had
avoided any further allusion to Leonard's fancy that their Naseby An-
cestor had come to Asholt Camp, but had begged his big brother-in-law
to stand there and blot out Uncle Rupert's Ghost with his substantial
But whether Leonard perceived the ruse, forgot Uncle Rupert, or
saw him all the same, by no word or sign did he ever betray.
Near the window sat Aunt Adelaide, with her Prayer-book, follow-
ing the service in her own orderly and pious fashion, sometimes saying a
prayer aloud at Leonard's bidding, and anon replying to his oft-repeated
inquiry: "Is it the third Collect yet, Aunty dear?"
74 THUS TO THE STARS!
She had turned her head, more quickly than usual, to speak, when,
clear and strenuous on vocal stops, came the melody of the "Tug-of-
"There! There it is! Oh, good Kapellmeister! Mother dear,
please go to the window and see if V. C. is there, and wave your hand
to him. Father dear, lift me up a little, please. Ah, now I hear him !
Good V. C.! I don't believe you'll sing better than that when you're
promoted to be an angel. Are the men singing pretty loud? May I
have a little of that stuff to keep me from coughing, Mother dear? You
know I am not impatient'; but I do hope, please GOD, I shan't die till
I've just heard them tug that verse once more !"
The sight of Lady Jane had distracted the V. C.'s thoughts from
the hymn. He was singing mechanically, when he became conscious of
some increasing pressure and irregularity in the time. Then he remem-
bered what it was. The soldiers were beginning to tug.
In a moment more the organ stopped, and the V. C. found him-
self, with over three hundred men at his back, singing without accom-
paniment, and in unison-
A noble army-men and boys,
The matron and the maid,
Around their Saviour's throne rejoice,
In robes of white arrayed."
The Kapellmeister conceded that verse to the shouts of the con-
gregation; but he invariably reclaimed control over the last.
Even now, as the men paused to take breath after their "tug," the
organ spoke again, softly, but seraphically, and clearer and sweeter above
the voices behind him rose the voice of the V. C., singing to his little
"They climbed the steep ascent of Heaven,
Through peril, toil, and pain "
The men sang on; but the V. C. stopped, as if he had been shot. For
a man's hand had come to the Barrack Master's window and pulled the
white blind down.
He that hath found some fledged-bird's nest may know
At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair dell or grove he sings in now,
That is to him unknown."
RUE to its character as
an emblem of human
life, the Camp stands
on, with all its little
manners and customs,
whilst the men who
garrison it pass rapidly
So Strange as the vicis-
xpt situdes of a whole gene-
GO, ration elsewhere, are the
_- changes and chances
that a few years bring to
those who were stationed
To what unforseen
-- celebrity (or to a drop-
ping out of one's life
and even hearsay that
once seemed quite as
little likely) do one's old
?. neighbours sometimes
come !, They seem to
pass in a few drill seasons
as other men pass by
a> lifetimes. Some to fool-
ishness and forgetfulness,
and some to fame. This
old acquaintance to un-
expected glory; that dear friend-alas !-to the grave. And some-
GOD speed them !-to the world's end and back, following the drum
76 UNWORLDLY WISE.
till it leads them Home again, with familiar faces little changed-with
boys and girls, perchance, very greatly changed-and with hearts not
changed at all. Can the last parting do much to hurt such friendships
between good souls, who have so long learnt to say farewell; to love in
absence, to trust through silence, and to have faith in reunion?
The Barrack Master's appointment was an unusually permanent
one; and he and his wife lived on in Asholt Camp, and saw regiments
come and go, as O'Reilly had prophesied, and threw out additional
rooms and bow-windows, and took in more garden, and kept a cow on
a bit of Government grass beyond the stores, and-with the man who
did the roofs, the church orderly, and one or two other public characters
--came to be reckoned among the oldest inhabitants.
George went away pretty soon with his regiment. He was a good,
straightforward young fellow, with a dogged devotion to duty, and a
certain provincialism of intellect, and general John Bullishness, which
he inherited from his father, who had inherited it from his country fore-
fathers. He inherited equally a certain romantic, instinctive, and im-
movable high-mindedness, not invariably characteristic of much more
He had been very fond of his little cousin, and Leonard's death was
a natural grief to him. The funeral tried his fortitude, and his detesta-
tion of "scenes," to the very uttermost.
Like most young men who had the honour to know her, George's:
devotion to his beautiful and gracious aunt, Lady Jane, had had in it
something of the nature of worship; but now he was almost glad he was
going away, and not likely to see her face for a long time, because it
made him feel miserable to see her, and he objected to feeling miserable
both on principle and in practice. His peace of mind was assailed,
however, from a wholly unexpected quarter, and one which pursued him
even more abroad than at home.
The Barrack Master's son had been shocked by his cousin's death;
but the shock was really and truly greater when he discovered, by chance
gossip, and certain society indications, that the calamity which left Lady
Jane childless had made him his uncle's presumptive heir. The almost
physical disgust which the discovery that he had thus acquired some
little social prestige produced in this subaltern of a marching regiment
must be hard to comprehend by persons of more imagination and less
sturdy independence, or by scholars in the science of success. But man
differs widely from man, and it is true.
GOOD NEWS FROM HOME. 77
He had been nearly two years in Canada when "the Enghsh mail"
caused him to fling his fur cap into the air with such demonstrations of
delight as greatly aroused the curiosity of his comrades, and, as he
bolted to his quarters without further explanation than Good news
from home!" a rumour was for some time current that Jones had
come into his fortune."
Safe in his own quarters, he once more applied himself to his mother's
letter, and picked up the thread of a passage which ran thus :-
Your dear father gets very impatient, and I long to be back in my hut again
and see after my flowers, which I can trust to no one since O'Reilly took his discharge.
The little conservatory is like a new toy to me, but it is very tiny, and your dear father
is worse than no use in it, as he says himself. However, I can't leave Lady Jane till
she is quite strong. The baby is a noble little fellow and really beautiful-which I
know you won't believe, but that's because you know nothing about babies : not as
beautiful as Leonard, of course-that could never be-but a fine, healthy, handsome
boy, with eyes that do remind one of his darling brother. I know, dear George, how
greatly you always did admire and appreciate your Aunt. Not one bit too much, my
son. She is the noblest woman I have ever known. We have had a very happy time
together, and I pray it may please GOD to spare this child to be the comfort to her
that you are and have been to
"Your loving MOTHER."
This was the good news from home that had sent the young sub-
altern's fur cap into the air, and that now sent him to his desk; the last
place where, as a rule, he enjoyed himself. Poor scribe as he was, how-
ever, he wrote two letters then and there: one to his mother, and one of
impetuous congratulations to his uncle, full of messages to Lady Jane.
The Master of the House read the letter more than once. It
In his own way he was quite as unworldly as his nephew, but it was
chiefly from a philosophic contempt for many things that worldly folk
struggle for, and a connoisseurship in sources of pleasure not purchas-
able except by the mentally endowed, and not even valuable to George,
as he knew. And he was a man of the world, and a somewhat cynical
student of character.
After the third reading he took it, smiling, to Lady Jane's morning
room, where she was sitting, looking rather pale, with her fine hair
coming down" over a tea-gown of strange tints of her husband's
choosing, and with the new baby lying in her lap.
He shut the door noiselessly, took a footstool to her feet, and
kissed her hand.
78 MORE PRECIOUS THAN RUBIES.
"You look like a Romney, Jane,-an .unfinished Romney, for you
are too white. If you've got a headache, you shan't hear this letter,
which I know you'd like to hear."
"I see that I should. Canada postmarks. It's George."
Yes; it's George. He's uproariously delighted at the advent of
this little chap."
"Oh, I knew he'd be that. Let me hear what he says."
The Master of the House read the letter. Lady Jane's eyes filled
with tears at the tender references to Leonard, but she smiled through
"He's a dear, good fellow."
"He is a dear, good fellow. It's a most born intellect, but excel-
lence itself. And I'm bound to say," added the Master of the House,
driving his hands through the jungle of his hair, "that there is a certain
excellence about a soldier when he is a good fellow that seems to be a
thing per se."
After meditating on this matter for some moments, he sprang up
and vigorously rang the bell.
"Jane, you're terribly white; you can bear nothing. Nurse is to
take that brat at once, and I'm going to carry you into the garden."
Always much given to the collection and care of precious things,
and apt also to change his fads and to pursue each with partiality for
the moment, the Master of the House had, for some time past, been
devoting all his thoughts and his theories to the preservation of a pos-
session not less valuable than the paragon of Chippendale chairs, and
much more destructible-he was taking care of his good wife.
Many family treasures are lost for lack of a little timely care and
cherishing, and there are living "examples" as rare as most bric-a-
brac, and quite as perishable. Lady Jane was one of them, and after
Leonard's death, with no motive for keeping up, she sank into a con-
dition of weakness so profound that it became evident that, unless her
failing forces were fostered, she would not long be parted from her son.
Her husband had taken up his poem again, to divert his mind from
his own grief; but he left it behind, and took Lady Jane abroad.
Once roused, he brought to the task of coaxing her back to life an
intelligence that generally insured the success of his aims, and he suc-
ceeded now. Lady Jane got well; out of sheer gratitude, she said.
Leonard's military friends do not forget him. They are accustomed
to remember the absent.
I LIST NO MORE THE TUCK OF DRUM. 79
With the death of his little friend the V. C. quits these pages. He
will be found in the pages of history.
The Kapellmeister is a fine organist, and a few musical members of
the congregation, of all ranks, have a knack of lingering after Evensong
at the Iron Church to hear him "play away the people." But on the
Sunday after Leonard's death the congregation rose and remained en
masse as the Dead March from Saul spoke in solemn and familiar tones
the requiem of a hero's soul.
Blind Baby's father was a Presbyterian, and disapproved of organs,
but he was a fond parent, and his blind child had heard tell that the
officer who played the organ so grandly was to play the Dead March on
the Sabbath evening for the Itttle gentlemen that died on the Sabbath
previous, and he was wild to go and hear it. Then the service would
be past, and the Kapellmeister was a fellow-Scot, and the house of
mourning has a powerful attraction for that serious race, and for one
reason or another Corporal Macdonald yielded to the point of saying,
" Aweel, if you're a gude bairn, I'll tak ye to the kirk door, and ye may
lay your lug at the chink, and hear what ye can."
But when they got there the door was open, and Blind Baby pushed
his way through the crowd, as if the organ had drawn him with a rope,
straight to the Kapellmeister's side.
It was the beginning of a friendship much to Blind Baby's advan-
tage, which did not end when the child had been sent to a Blind School,
and then to a college where he learnt to be a tuner, and "earned his
Poor Jemima fretted so bitterly for the loss of the child she had
nursed with such devotion, that there was possibly some truth in
O'Reilly's rather complicated assertion that he married her because he
could not bear to see her cry.
He took his discharge, and was installed by the Master of the
House as lodge-keeper at the gates through which he had so often
passed as "a tidy one."
Freed from military restraints, he became a very untidy one indeed,
and grew hair in such reckless abundance that he came to look like an
ourang outang with an unusually restrained figure and exceptionally up-
He was the best of husbands every day in the year but the seven-
teenth of March; and Jemima enjoyed herself very much as she boasted
to the wives of less handy civilians that "her man was as good as a
80 WHAT IS HOME, AND WHERE?
woman about the house, any day." (Any day, that is, except the seven-
teenth of March.)
With window-plants cunningly and ornamentally enclosed by a
miniature paling and gate, as if the window-sill were a hut garden; with
coloured tissue-paper fly-catchers made on the principle of barrack-
room Christmas decorations; with shelves, brackets, Oxford frames, and
other efforts of the decorative joinery of O'Reilly's evenings; with a
large, hard sofa, chairs, elbow-chairs, and antimacassars; and with a
round table in the middle-the Lodge parlour is not a room to live in,
but it is almost bewildering to peep into, and curiously like the shrine of
some departed saint, so highly framed are the photographs of Leonard's
lovely face, and so numerous are his relics.
The fate of Leonard's dog may not readily be guessed.
The gentle reader would not deem it unnatural were I to chronicle
that he died of a broken heart. Failing this excess of sensibility, it
seems obvious that he should have attached himself immovably to Lady
Jane, and have lived at ease and died full of dignity in his little master's
ancestral halls. He did go back there for a short time, but the day
after the funeral he disappeared. When word came to the household
that he was missing and had not been seen since he was let out in the
morning, the butler put on his hat and hurried off with a beating heart
to Leonard's grave.
But the Sweep was not there, dead or alive. He was at that mo-
ment going at a sling trot along the dusty road that led into the Camp.
Timid persons, imperfectly acquainted with dogs, avoided him; he went
so very straight, it looked like hydrophobia; men who knew better, and
saw that he was only "on urgent private affairs," chaffed him as they
passed, and some with little canes and horseplay waylaid and tried to
intercept him. But he was a big dog, and made himself respected, and
pursued his way.
His way was to the Barrack Master's hut.
The first room he went into was that in which Leonard died. He
did not stay there three minutes. Then he went to Leonard's own room,
the little one next to the kitchen, and this he examined exhaustively,
crawling under the bed, snuffing at both doors, and lifting his long nose
against hope to investigate impossible places, such as the top of the
military chest of drawers. Then he got on to the late General's camp
bed and went to sleep.
He was awakened by the smell of the bacon frying for breakfast, and
BUT WITH THE LOVING. 81
he had breakfast with the family. After this he went out, and was seen
by different persons at various places in the Camp, the General Parade,
the Stores, and the Iron Church, still searching.
He was invited to dinner in at least twenty different barrack-rooms,
but he rejected all overtures till he met O'Reilly, when he turned round
and went back to dine with him and his comrades.
He searched Leonard's room once more, and not finding him, he
refused to make his home with the Barrack Master; possibly because
he could not make up his mind to have a home at all till he could have
one with Leonard.
Half-a-dozen of Leonard's officer friends would willingly have
adopted him, but he would not own another master. Then military
dogs are apt to attach themselves exclusively either to commissioned or
to non-commissioned soldiers, and the Sweep cast in his lot with the
men, and slept on old coats in corners of barrack-rooms, and bided his
time. Dogs' masters do get called away suddenly and come back again.
The Sweep had his hopes, and did not commit himself.
Even if, at length, he realized that Leonard had passed beyond this
life's outposts, it roused in him no instincts to return to the Hall. With
a somewhat sublime contempt for those shreds of poor mortality laid to
rest in the family vault, he elected to live where his little master had
been happiest-in Asholt Camp.
Now and then he became excited. It was when a fresh regiment
marched in. On these occasions he invariably made so exhaustive an
examination of the regiment and its baggage, as led to his being more
or less forcibly adopted by half-a-dozen good-natured soldiers who had
had to leave their previous pets behind them. But when he found that
Leonard had not returned with that detachment, he shook off everybody
and went back to O'Reilly.
When O'Reilly married, he took the Sweep to the Lodge, who there-
upon instituted a search about the house and grounds; but it was
evident that he had not expected any good results, and when he did
not find Leonard he went away quickly down the old Elm Avenue. As
he passed along the dusty road that led to Camp for the last time, he
looked back now and again with sad eyes to see if O'Reilly was not
coming too. Then he returned to the Barrack Room, where he was
greeted with uproarious welcome, and eventually presented with a new
collar by subscription. And so, rising with gunfire and resting 'with
"lights out," he lived and died a Soldier's Dog.
82 NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE.
The new heir thrives at the Hall. He has brothers and sisters to
complete the natural happiness of his home, he has good health, good
parents, and is having a good education. He will have a goodly
heritage. He is developing nearly as vigorous a fancy for soldiers as
Leonard had, and drills his brothers and sisters with the help of O'Reilly.
If he wishes to make arms his profession he will not be thwarted, for
the Master of the House has decided that it is in many respects a
desirable and wholesome career for an eldest son. Lady Jane may yet
have to buckle on a hero's sword. Brought up by such a mother in
the fear of GOD, he ought to be good, he may live to be great, it's odds
if he cannot be happy. But never, not in the "one crowded hour of
glorious victory, not in years of the softest comforts of a peaceful home,
by no virtues and in no success shall he bear more fitly than his
crippled brother bore the ancient motto of their house:
Laetus orte itda."
LONDON: ENGRAVED AND PRINTED BV EDMUND EVANS, RACQUET COURT, FLEET STREET, E.C.
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