Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

"

he was

[ocr errors]

Dow?"

[ocr errors]

>> see.

that you

[ocr errors]

“But I don't like the thought of the 'felt much less secure. The rector had place any more than of the people.” either no satisfaction to give, or he was

“Don't you?” he said disconsolately. determined not to give it to her; and as

“You forget that I am country born for Georgy, she could get nothing from and bred. I should miss the sight of the her but a continual “No, no." fields and all the beasts and cattle about It was quite refreshing to meet old dreadfully."

Blunt, and together rail out against their “H'm! what is to be done, I wonder ? two children.

“Isn't there anything to be done here?” Christopher and Robin had been gone she asked. They don't all seem to be nearly a month. They had left Seven. so tremendously good, somehow." oaks, where they had first stopped, and

“ It isn't that they're by any means were now at Whitby, hoping that Robin good, but they're offended if you tell might be benefited by the sea. ihem so. They would think it presump- "Into which she might fall, for all I tuous to feel secure of heaven, but you should care," said Mr. Blunt candidly. insult them by the mere suggestion of By that marriage, ma'am", bell. Hell is a place for those who out- imparting this information to Mrs. Temrage society — who break the laws — are ple -“I've lost a son and I haven't sept to prison. The outcasts at Uplands gained a daughter. Indeed, to tell the are those whom you should speak to truth, what I have gained would be hard about hell, not to Wadpole and its re- to say. She hadn't got no money; didn't spectable inhabltants isn't it true, come of, as you may say, anybody in par.

tikler; and there's no sign o' family - no Yes, I'm afraid it is; but then Up- likelihoods of it neither, so far as I can lands isn't a separate parish, you know.”

Mrs. Temple agreed there was “It might be made so at any time. All reason for his dissatisfaction. “They've you want is somebody to rebuild the taken themselves off from here, and I'm church, and give something to further left all alone by myself, high and dry, endow it — with the consent of the rector, with nobody to see and nobody to speak of course know."

to." “And where's that somebody to come “Oh, that is really very hard on you, from, pray?”

Mr. Blunt." "Ah, that's the question;" and he “ Hard - it is indeed! it's more than I shook his head.

can go on putting up with, too. I haven't *Very well, then," said Georgy, by way been used to live without company. I've of teasing him; they had come to the end had two wives already, and if they don't of the cross-roads, the spot where they mind their p's and q's I shall be drove intended parting. “Then there's a thing into taking another; and then Mrs. Chris. for you to wish for; only bring that to topher had better look out for herself, for pass, and I'll believe in you."

matters might take a turn which 'ud end “ And marry me at once, and work with in putting her husband's nose out o' All right; then you'll see."

joint.” It will be all right when I do see,” “Oh, it's terrible,” said Mrs. Temple she said disbelievingly; and then, after a sympathetically, “the way children befew words of good-bye, they turned away have! You know, Mr. Blunt, I have a from each other Mr. Cameron to make daughter." some sick-calls, Georgy to return home “I know you have, ma'am; and all I and listen to those never-ending jeremiads can say is, I wish your daughter was and jobations, of which she was daily mine - that I do." growing more and more weary.

“Oh, it's very kind of you!” and Mrs. Her mother let her have no peace. Temple tried not to speak too condescendJack's sudden departure served for the ingly; "but my daughter is so very pecul continual dripping on the stone. Unless iar, that I am not at all sure, if the Prince it had been to propose, why, the morning of Wales had made her an offer, whether of his departure, had he come up to seek she would not have said no. Young Georgy? and if she had not refused him, ladies who can refuse to make such a what reason was there for his going marriage as she might have made, I away? With the view of securing the don't know what one may not expect of sympathy of her neighbors, Mrs. Tem. them.” ple, when before them, pointed all her " You don't think it's got in no way to lamentations with certainty; but in pres. do with your curate, Mr. Cameron, do eace of her husband and daughter she | you?”

me ?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SON.

A CAREER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION,

on

a

“No, I don't," said Mrs. Temple said, regarding the letter wrathfully; "if sharply.

they choose to chalk out their own way, Mr. Blunt felt he had made a mistake, let 'em take it. I shan't interfere." and hastened to say,

So the letter remained unangwered. “Where might the squire be gone to?Later on, before going to Whitby, Chris. " To Norway.”

topher wrote again. No reply came. Norway! h'm! There it is, you see; Only through Mr. Cameron they heard another man drove from his home. Oh, that Mr. Blunt had shut up the house and it's a very serious matter, I can tell you ; left for London. for unless things can be arranged, and I can bring my son to his senses, I shan't be able to go on staying here neither. Mr. Blunt's mode of bringing his son

From Blackwood's Magazine. to his senses rested entirely on the power LIEUTENANT-COLONEL PATRICK FERGUhe possessed of withholding the necessary supplies of money. Brought up in the certainty that whatever he wanted he could have, Christopher's expenditure “HAD Cleopatra's nose been but a trifle had only been limited by his very simple shorter, how different might have been tastes and habits. His father made it a the destiny of the world !" is a wellmatter of reproach that he wouldn't spend known remark of Pascal's; and at least money like a gentleman, and it was with one incident in the experience of the ala certain degree of satisfaction, that Mr. most forgotten individual whose name Blunt had noticed how greatly since his heads this article might afford food for inarriage Christopher's ideas had ex- somewhat similar reflections. The sword panded.

that menaced Damocles hung So long as they remained where their hair, and on the fate of comparatively obneighbors could be dazzled by it, nothing scure persons have sometimes turned the was too costly for them to have, to do, to fortunes of nations.

Some years ago, wear; but away from Wadpole, Mr. Blunt the pages of “Maga" contained a sketch in one place, Christopher and Robin in of Sir Banastre Tarleton, the famous paranother, the whole circumstances were tisan, whose exploits furnished the negro changed. Not only did he derive no sat- nurses of the Carolinas with a name of isfaction from the money they were terror, as effective for quieting troublespending, but he had the knowledge that some children as that of Richard C@ur. they enjoyed it the more because he had de-Lion was found to be by the Saracen, no share in it.

women of the days of the Crusaders, or In a letter written on their departure, the Black Douglas's by English mothers Christopher had firmly but most con. of the northern marchés. That notice of siderately told him, how impossible, it Tarleton we now propose to supplement was that they all should remain living by a short survey of the career of_his' under one roof together. On the score equally dashing companion, Colonel Fer

. of his health he expressed the wish to guson, who, unlike him, laid down his life leave England for the winter, and he im- on the scene of their combined efforts, plored his father to allow further arrange and achievements. The story is an inments to stand over until they came back; teresting one, for it gives a picture of the then they would meet and come to some life which might be led by a younger son final decision together.

of a Scottish family in the eighteenth But of late years, Mr. Blunt had not century, and shows that even in what we been a man to listen to reason. He who are accustomed to consider as the artifi. had made his fortune; who, by his own cial age and jaded generation on which energy, had climbed rung by rung until there shortly burst the deluge of the he found himself standing on the top step French Revolution, it was possible to of the ladder, be dictated to by his son, illustrate the truth so well expressed by put down and set at naught by that Veri. Lord Beaconsfield, that “to believe in the ker's daughter — he no longer thought of heroic makes heroes.” Robin as his daughter-in-law never!

Patrick Ferguson, who was born in It was she who had dictated this; she 1744, was the second son of an Aberdeen. who had put Christopher up to defying shire laird, James Ferguson of Pitfour, his father; and it was she who should be and Anne Murray, a daughter of the paid out for it.

fourth Lord Elibank. His elder brother “I won't take no notice of that,” he became in later years an attached sups

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

64

porter and boon companion of the young." I left orders to send Petty Ferguson to er Pitt, representing his native county in the accadamy at Wolich: I hope it was the Tory interest for thirty years. Their done. I mean to push him in my own father had followed the legal profession, profession. I am sure, if I live, I shall and after being for some time dean of have it in my power; and if I die, it will the Faculty of Advocates, was in 1764 not be the worse for him that I bad the raised to the Scottish bench as Lord Pit- care of him.” The auspices were good; four. A good story is told of him, which and the time — that annus mirabilis in manifests the same readiness of resource which the imperial policy of Chatham was as was in widely different circumstances illustrated by victories and conquests in displayed by his son. When the unfor- every quarter of the globe — was an intunate followers of Prince Charles Ed-spiring one for a young soldier entering on ward were put on their trial at Carlisle his career. before an English jury, Ferguson and his Young Ferguson, according to his biog. friend Lockhart went up from Edinburgh rapher, “having early chosen the life of a for the defence. The panic in England soldier, was sent to finish his education at had been great, and the severity of the a military academy in London, where he jurors was commensurate. The tartan acquired the elements of fortification, gunwas a sure passport to conviction, and nery, and other arts subservient to his those who wore it got but short trial. intended profession. Of these he afterThe two advocates determined on a bold wards pursued the study in real situations stroke,- dressed up one of their servants in action as well as on paper; and was in Highland dress, and sent him in with sagacious, original, and inventive in the the next batch of prisoners. The case application of expedients to actual ser. for the Crown went on as satisfactorily vice. : . Those who associate ferocity as in the other instances, but they were with the military character will hardly be. of course able to prove conclusively that lieve in what degree a person so fond of the man had been attending to his du- of the military life was humane and comties with his master during the whole passionate to his enemies, as well as rising, and could not possibly have been affectionate and generous in his friend.

The artifice is said to have had ships.” He certainly proved himself in very salutary result in influencing all later life to be a scientific soldier as well. concerned to be more discriminating and as a brave officer; but one would scarcely merciful.

think that he could have obtained much There is in existence a brief but inter- practical knowledge at this academy, as esting biographical sketch of Colonel he was only fourteen years old when he Ferguson, written by Dr. Adam Fergus. got his first commission in the Royal son, the eminent historian of the Roman North British Dragoons the famous republic. It was originally intended for Scots Greys. With them he served the “ Encyclopædia Britannica,” but the through some of the German campaigns, editor thought it too long, the author and two episodes are recorded which would not curtail it, and it was not in- illustrate his spirit. The first occurred serted. A few copies were printed in in Germany before he had completed his 1817, and it is from one of them that we sixteenth year. He and another young take most of the incidents we are about officer were out on horseback a few miles to narrate.

in front of the army, when they fell in with An interesting glimpse into the influ. a party of the enemy's hussars, who gave ences which helped to form his character, chase. In passing a ditch, Ferguson is afforded by a letter printed by Dr. dropped one of his pistols; “but thinking Fraser in his work on the Earls of Croit improper for an officer to return to marty. It is from a brother of his moth. camp with the loss of any of his arms, he er, Brigadier-General James Murray, who releaped the ditch in the face of the enewas known in after years as “old Minor- my, and recovered his pistol.” They ca,” from his gallant defence of that island halted, and he completed his retreat in against the combined forces of France safety and with honor. The next occurred and Spain, and who at this time had just at Paris some years after. An officer in succeeded the gallant Wolfe in command the French service "spoke reproachfully of the army which had triumphed on the in his presence of the British nation. The Heights of Abraham. He dates from insult he not only resented on the spot, · Quebec, Oct. 11, 1759," and after observ. but surprised his antagonist next morning ing that he had too great a share in the with a visit before he was out of bed. battle to condescend to particulars, says: “This is well, young man,' said the other;

"out."

[ocr errors]

was

a

"I have paid such visits — seldom re- ties of action, he regarded with attention ceived them: but it is fair to tell you that the aspect of affairs; and the outbreak of I am reputed one of the best swordsmen war with the revolted colonies found him in France.' That is not the question intent on the invention of a new species now,' said Ferguson; you are in my of rifle, with which to counteract the sudebt — let us find a fit place to settle our periority as marksmen of the American accounts. They accordingly went to the backwoodsınen. Curious, that a century Boulevards together; Ferguson consider- ago a breech-loading rifle, which enabled ing how he might deprive this swordsman those armed with it to seize every advanof the advantage of his superior skill, and tage of cover, should have been invented, the other regarding with security and con- brought into use, and then lost sight of. tempt so young an antagonist. As soon American writers note that, during the as they had drawn, Ferguson rushed with Revolution war, Ferguson's rifle * in his adversary's point, seized the hilt of used with effect by his corps ;” and the his sword, and in the scuffle was so fortu- biographer of Washington says of its innate as to get possession of it. • You are ventor: “ The British extolled him as a brave fellow,' said the other; and I superior to the American Indians in the shall certainly do you justice whenever use of the rifle - in short, as being the our affair is nientioned." is

best marksman living." An account of As, owever, has been the case with its exhibition before Lord Townsend, more than one naval and military hero, then master-general of the ordnance, is Ferguson had to struggle with the disad- to be found in the “Annual Register' vantages of a delicate constitution, and he of ist June, 1776. “Some experiments had scarcely finished his first campaign were tried at Woolwich before Lord Viswhen he was disabled by sickness, and count Townsend, Lord Amherst, Generals after being some time in hospital, was Hervey and Desaguiliers, and a number sent home when in a state to be removed. of other officers, with a rifle-gun, upon a He did not himself take so serious a view new construction, by Captain Ferguson of his condition, and was anything but of the 70th Regiment; when that gentle. resigned to circumstances. Writing to man, under the disadvantages of a heavy a friend, he said: “I am now entirely rain and a high wind, performed the folrecovered, and might serve the next cam- lowing four things, none of which had paign with ease, had not the fears of my ever before been accomplished with any parents prompted them to apply for an other small arm: ist, he fired during four order for my joining the light troop; by or five minutes at a target, at two hun. which means I am deprived for these dred yards' distance, at the rate of four many years to come of the only chance of shots each minute; 2d, he fired six shots getting a little insight into my profession." in one minute ; 3d, he fired four times per But though not in the field, he was by no minute, advancing at the same time at the means idle. “Being much at home, we rate of four miles in the hour; 4th, he are told, “ from the year 1762 to the year poured a bottle of water into the pan and 1768, he entered warmly into the ques. barrel of the piece when loaded, so as to tion which was then agitated, relating to wet every grain of powder, and in less the extension of the militia laws to Scot- than half a minute fired with her as well land. He saw no difficulty in combining as ever without extracting the ball. He the character of a soldier with that of a also hit the bull's-eye at one hundred citizen, so far as was necessary for the yards, lying with his back on the ground; defence of a country in which citizens en- and notwithstanding the unequalness of joy such invaluable privileges; and some the wind and wetness of the weather, he of the ablest and most intelligent publica. only missed the target three times during tions which appeared in the public prints the whole course of the experiments. The of the time were of his writing.”

captain has since taken out a patent for In 1768, a company was purchased for the said improvements.” him in the 70th Regiment, and he joined The invention attracted a good deal of his detachment at Tobago, where" he was attention, and before long was exhibited of great service in quelling very formida- before the king at Windsor by some pri. ble insurrections of the negroes.” In the vate men of the Guards. But in the presWest Indies, however, he suffered much ence of majesty the marksmen were shy, from bad health, and after a short visit to and shot wild. “They would not,” said North America, returned to Britain in the captain, “be so embarrassed in the 1774.

presence of your Majesty's enemies." Always on the outlook for opportuni-| Ferguson “then took a rise himself; and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of nine shots which he fired at the dis- / wood in front of General Knyphausen's tance of a hundred yards, put five balls division. into the bull's-eye of the target, and four “We had not lain long,” he says, within as many inches of it. Three of " when a rebel officer, remarkable by a these shots were fired as he lay on his hussar dress, passed towards our army, back, the other six standing erect. Being within a hundred yards of my right flank, asked how often he could load and fire in not perceiving us. He was followed by a minute, he said seven times ; but added, another dressed in da green or blue, pleasantly, that he could not undertake in mounted on a bay horse, with a remarkthat time to knock down above five of his ably large cocked-hat. I ordered three Majesty's enemies."

good shots to steal near to them, and fire Now, however, he was to enter upon at them; but the idea disgusted me. I that scene of action where his greenest recalled the order. Tbe hussar in return. laurels were gathered, and where, in ing made a circuit, but the other passed course of time, his life was to be laid again within a few hundred yards of us, down. He volunteered for service in upon which I advanced from the wood America, and obtained special instruc- towards him. On my calling he stopped, tions to the commander-in-chief to have a but after looking at me proceeded. I corps of volunteers drafted from the vari- again drew his attention, and made signs ous regiments, armed in his own way, and to him to stop, levelling my piece at him, put under his command. He thus had but he slowly continued his way. As I an opportunity of independent action, so was within that distance at which I could dear to every aspiring spirit, and particu. in the quickest firing have lodged half-alarly prized by the soldier, who, in ordi- dozen of balls in or about him before he Dary circumstances, would see notbing was out of my reach, I had only to deterbefore him for a long time to come but mine: but it was not pleasant to fire at the weary routine of regimental duty. the back of an unoffending individual, “He gave,” it is said, “a signal speci- who was acquitting himself very coolly of men of the services of his corps at the his duty; so I let him alone. The day battle of Brandywine, when, being ad- after, I had been telling this story to vanced in the front of the column com; some wounded officers who lay in the manded by General Knyphausen, and same room with me, when one of our sursupported by the Rangers under Colonel geons, who had been dressing the woundWemyss, he scoured the ground so effec- ed rebel officers, came in, and told us they tually that there was not a shot to annoy had been informing him that General the column in its march." His practical Washington was all the morning with the genius and scientific study of the art of light troops, and only attended by a war led him to excel in these very French officer in a hussar dress, he himbranches of military skill on which most self dressed and mounted in every point stress is laid nowadays in the changed as above described. I am not sorry that condition of modern warfare. But al. I did not know at the time who it was. though his “spirited conduct” was ac. Further this deponent sayeth not, as his knowledged in a special letter from the bones were broke a few minutes after.” commander-in-chief, Sir William Howe What might have been the course of was jealous of the rifle corps having been American and European history, had this formed without his being previously con- captain of riflemen been less chivalrous sulted, and took advantage of Ferguson's or more practical, it is impossible to imbeing wounded, to reduce it and return agine; but the story is a romantic one, the rifles to store. When, on receipt of and the legal phrase which concludes Ferthe London Gazette, it appeared that Sirguson's narrative of it, is suggestive of William Howe had, in his official des. old Edinburgh associations, and his fapatch, ignored the services for which he ther's conversation, who had died at Gilbad sent the letter of thaoks, Ferguson merton scarcely three months before. immediately forwarded a copy of that He had “received a ball in the right document to the secretary of state. arm, which so shattered the joint of the

But before leaving the battle of Brandy- elbow as to render it doubtful whether wine, an episode of peculiar interest must amputation would not be necessary. He be ooted, which more than justifies the was for some months disabled from ser. observation made at the outset. Fergu-vice, and although he preserved his arm, son, in a letter home, thus narrates an in- never recovered the use of that joint; but cident which took place while he lay with with a spirit peculiar to himself, so assidusome of his riflemen on the skirts of a lously practised the use of the sword and

« VorigeDoorgaan »