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with this General, for I should have liked well to hear the inner history of the regiment in which he served in India not many years earlier. In the disused churchyard of the station where it had been quartered there are several tombs of officers of the –th (I have seen them myself) on which it is recorded that the officers died of fever. It was generally believed, however, that this meant that they had been killed in duels. The custom of duelling died hard, and a duel was still thought of as a possible dernier ressort in my early soldiering days. I remember two hostile meetings to have taken place in the 'sixties between men whom I knew, fortunately without any serious results; but it was rumoured that other meetings not so harmless had occurred about the same period, which were kept very quiet. I am under the impression that many more duels were fought forty or fifty years ago than ever came to light. I have told how one lady rebuked her husband coram populo, and, before going further, I may tell of another military dame, wife of an officer commanding an artillery battery and, as it was whispered, assuming no small share of his authority. The battery was on parade one day in the barrack square, and, in all its pride, marched past its commanding officer in line in front of the officers’ quarters. As the evolution was finished, the voice of his better half was heard from a window : “That's very bad, Charlie. Make them do it again!” Whether the order was carried out or not I can't tell, but, knowing the lady, I think it is likely that it was. A propos of the strong language I have mentioned, a most distinguished officer who commanded at a very important military station used to express himself frequently with a vigour and ingenuity that have seldom been surpassed. So well known was his fluency in anathema that, soon after his appointment to the command, the question being asked whether he had taken up the duties, some wag replied “I really don’t know, but I am sure he has sworn himself in.” At a big field day, an infantry battalion was unfortunate enough to incur his wrath, and the Staff were rather staggered by receiving the distinct and emphatic order, “Send for a company of sappers l’ Then, after a pause, “Tell them to dig a hole down to h-l, and to put this d-d battalion into it !” All the objurgation that was heard from him and others was really, however, voz et praeterea nihil. It meant reproof and castigation, but had no further consequences, and was, in its nature, like the crack of a huntsman’s whip over a hound that is running riot. Few people heard a Commination Service recited for their WOL. XXV.-NO. 147, N.S. 25

benefit with the coolness and philosophy of the old Colonel of a really fine infantry corps which had failed to satisfy the Duke of Cambridge at some manoeuvres. The Duke could and did express himself upon occasion with considerable strength and precision, and at the pow-wow succeeding the day's operations he had anathematised the regiment, telling the Colonel to take it back to barracks and give it everlasting drill. The old chief listened to the Commander-in-Chief's words with a perfectly unmoved and placid countenance, and, when the pow-wow was over, saluting gravely, titupped on his little nag back to his regiment, standing at ease at a little distance. He called it to attention, and thus addressed it : “ —th, I have to tell you that the Dook is very much gratified—much gratified. March home !’ It has been my great good fortune to form, on several occasions, a humble item in official parties sent to the Continent to see and gather information from foreign armies. England has always had a curious tendency to model her own military ideas upon the pattern found by her in some other nation's army which, for the time, she thinks is the most efficient and highly instructed. Before the great struggle of 1870–71, we copied the French army in everything and looked upon it as the great exemplar of all that was warlike. We were ready to adopt all military details that were approved across the Channel, and we carried our admiration so far as to make our dress as like that of French soldiers as our very antagonistic style of physique permitted. We put leather on the legs of our cavalry overalls, we put very inferior kepis and bonnets de police on our infantry soldiers’ heads; and not only the army but the whole nation wore pegtop trousers. It was a maxim that whatever was French must be good, and that in organisation, drill, and equipment we could not go wrong so long as we had Gallic precedent. Omnia mutantur. The astounding successes of Germany in 1870 showed England that her erstwhile military idol had feet of clay, and she at once fell into line with Prussian ideas and methods as far as her own circumstances permitted. She could not harden her heart to accept the principle of universal liability for service, but she took a short step in the right direction by establishing a limited period with the colours and the consequent formation of a reserve. All her military teaching was now taken from German text-books, histories, and essays. The battlefields round Metz became as familiar as Piccadilly to her military students, and, as a finishing touch, her infantry and artillery found themselves crowned with imitation Pickelhauben. The latest scenes of military prowess and the latest developments of military skill have now been found in the Far East, and, according to our habit, we look longingly towards the Orient for hints on warfare. But the true excellence of armed Japan is on so high a level that it seems to be beyond the reach of imitation by our self-indulgent and self-seeking civilisation. So far we have not attempted to do more than to prate about “bushido, and, I believe, to try to learn ‘jujitsu.’ Let me go back to 1864 and a visit to the French camp of instruction at Mourmelon, near Chalons. Marshal Mac-Mahon was then in command, the most trusted as he was the most popular leader in the French army. He had only recently gained his baton and the title of Duc de Magenta in the Italian war. The English officers were received and greeted by his senior aide-de-camp, Comte de Vogüé, one of the handsomest, most agreeable, and most soldierly men I have ever met. He was a perfect representative of the chivalrous gentlemen of France. Having already served gallantly in Italy and Algeria, he was full of enthusiasm and hopes of a brilliant career. Alas! he was doomed to an early and glorious death, shot through the heart on the disastrous day of Spicheren. What an imposing spectacle was a parade on the plains of Mourmelon | The uniforms of all the corps, reminiscent to a great extent of the First Empire's paraphernalia, were picturesque and gorgeous in the extreme. There were the Lanciers de l'Impératrice in white and gold, the magnificent Guides, the Grenadiers, the Zouaves, and Horse Artillery of the Guard. The Cuirassiers, sombre in equipment and superbly mounted, looked irresistible men-at-arms. They were the ‘Gros Frères,’ famed in history and romance, and had a staid and half-solemn air which they affected as characteristic of their arm of the Service. I had yet to learn that, from the days of the Great Napoleon, each corps cultivated its own special traits, and that in battle a commander could evoke its utmost efforts by appealing to its cherished traditional feelings. In later years, when the French army, to its sorrow and loss, became imbued with a political spirit, the distinctions between arms of the Service were those of political opinions. The infantry were Legitimist, the cavalry Bonapartist, and the artillery and sappers ultraRepublican. I have not mentioned the infantry of the Line, which of course formed the bulk of the army at Mourmelon. They had little of the swagger that marked the corps d'élite. Indeed, all their best men had been taken to fill the ranks of these muchfavoured units, and the undersized pousse-caillouz were little considered. When the day of trial came, however, some years later, the Linesmen showed as dauntless a spirit and died in their ranks as gamely as did the brilliant Guard. Of course the small party of English officers had arrived with their minds full of details on which they wanted to gather information, and as a humble subaltern I had been expected to fraternise with the lower ranks and hear their opinions, while a General and two Colonels tried to suck the brains of the great Marshal himself and his senior Staff officers. The first opportunity of confidential communication came after déjeuner, to which we had been invited at the Headquarters pavilion. It had been expected that the Marshal would talk in English, which he knew very fairly well, but for some reason he would not do so. Our General and one Colonel could not understand a word of French, and the other Colonel was monopolised by Madame la Maréchale, who insisted on maintaining an animated conversation with him. To me, then, there fell the unlooked-for privilege of nearly an hour's tete-à-tête with one of the most important military authorities of the day as he walked up and down, smoking his after-breakfast cigars. He was all kindness and affability, and gave his opinion on all kinds of subjects with the utmost freedom. I remember that, even then, though I did not realise how weighty was the information, he criticised the French system of mobilisation. How true were his words was proved by the disastrous confusion in 1870. He was essentially an infantry general, and placed no great value on cavalry, especially the cuirassiers, which he considered out of date after the improvement in small arms and artillery. He was convinced that the most valuable quality of very heavy horsemen was their imposing appearance and the rattling thunder (what he called the plon-plon, plon-plon) of their advance. My conversation with Marshal Mac-Mahon furnished, as I have reason to know, at least half of the official report on our mission that went to the Horse Guards. While I am thinking of visits to foreign armies, I may recall my experiences in Berlin in 1869. On arrival, I with my seniors left cards on all the most important personages in the Prussian army. In due course we had the utmost kindness shown to us, and the first entertainment to which we were bidden was a small dinner given by the King, of not more than twenty-five or thirty covers. I have never enjoyed an evening more heartily. The monarch was extremely gracious and said a kindly word to each of his guests. The dinner was worthy of the host, and there was a special brand of Rhine wine which was super-excellent. Strauss's band, led by himself, was in attendance and played the ‘Schönen blauen Donau’ for the first time. A very attractive maid of honour on the other side of the table was delightful to watch, and I sat between two Counts Brandenburg, twins, and so much alike that they could not be known apart, who by blood, if not legally, were closely connected with the Royal house. They were both generals of cavalry—stout, bald, elderly men; and, to me at least, showed themselves as essentially jovial, amusing, and genial bonsvivants. It was not to be expected that the privilege of meeting them again should fall to my lot, but I heard of one of them the following year. When General Bredow was about to start on his famous death ride at Mars-le-Tour, that magnificent charge of six or seven squadrons which at a critical moment checked a whole French army, one of the Counts Brandenburg galloped up to him to join as a volunteer in the daring feat of arms, crying out, ‘Worwärts, Bredow. Ich gehe auch mit.’ He could not bear to remain in the rear in the King's cortège when he saw an opportunity of showing the brave spirit of his family, and he rode gloriously with the foremost files. But, alas! delightful as was my evening in such exalted company, I afterwards discovered that I had been invited quite by mistake. Our military attaché, who had been absent from Berlin, returned on the following day, and when I told him of the King's dinner party, he said, “How the deuce came you to be there 7 No one under the rank of a field officer is ever invited to the small dinners.” On inquiry it was found that as, being attached to a general, I had “A.D.C.” on my cards, it was supposed that I must be an A.D.C. to the Queen (necessarily a full colonel), and I had come in for the attention only paid to that superior rank. Certainly the mistake was a lucky one for me, and I could only trust that I had sustained my fictitious character with sufficient propriety. For three successive days the English visitors attended the manoeuvres of the Guard Corps near Berlin, and saturated themselves with ideas which had originally sprung from the brains of Von Moltke and Von Roon. The sight that perhaps has dwelt more distinctly in my memory than any other was the march past of the Grenadiers, with the small son of the Crown Prince

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