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dusk as it was getting, the twelve white-looking sentry-box looking places. When we got to them, the corporal stepped forward and laying down his musket put the key in the lock to open the door ; at the same moment I took three smart paces to the rear, without waiting for an order, and then turning about, took a short run, cleared the prickly pear hedge, and was free. But was there not a row, the corporal and escort shouting, the sentry calling for the sergeant of the guard ; so bidding them all a hasty good night I continued my course at a run, keeping straight across the plain until I struck on to the main road.
The sound of people in search were still audible, however ; while in front I could hear the tramp of a horse's feet. Soon coming up to this, I discovered it was a native servant riding his master's tatoo home. To make a flying jump on behind, at the same time as, with a blow of the gloves, I knocked the fellow off. To gather up the reins and to gallop onwards was only the work of a second. The tatoo (pony) was a first rate one, and I was very soon far ahead of my pursuers; but the difficulty now was to find my way—had the pony been mine I should have trusted to him, but as it was, his instinct would take him home. Seeing something like a mess about a couple of hundred yards away, I made for it, and, to my joy, found I was in the Sappers' lines. Here I dismounted, and gettivg my preserver a drop of water, I went inside and had something stronger. As I stayed chatting there a considerable time, I found I should be obliged to have recourse to my four-footed friend again, and mounting, arrived all safe into my cantonments just as the last post was sounding, and meeting the orderly sergeant, I made for my bungalow all regular. Leaving the pony outside, I walked in, and undressing got into bed, when all at once I thought I should have a lark. Paddy Farrel, who slept next to the door, was a very nervous man; so slipping out, I brought in the pony, fastened the reins to one of the wooden legs of the trestles on which the bed boards are laid, I had only to pretend to strike the animal over the head, who, starting back, pulled away the trestle. Down came bed and boards, and up sprang Paddy Farrel on his haunches half asleep, when he to bis horror, saw in the dim light a head with horns (as he thought), a pair of large eyes, and could hear a snorting. Paddy could not stand this long, for with a yell be sprang up and rushed out into the verandah shouting murder. Quickly untying his cause of fear and turning him outside, I was back in bed again before the sergeant came out. The whole room was now up listening to Paddy's account of the devil who had just paid him a visit. However, he was only laughed at, and while the others were chaffing hin, I took the pony over to the horse lines, where I gave him a feed of grain, and leaving him plenty of hay to nibble at, I returned to the room, where everything was now nearly qniet. The pony was taken down in the morning by a ghorawallah to the Chrowdras, and was claimed in the course of the day.
This finished the second story, when eight bells struck, which put a stopper on yarn-spinning for that night.
Paris, December 22nd. No political event of any particular importance has marked the past month, but the festivities at Compiegne, the visit of the King and Queen of Portugal, the marriage of the Princess Anna Murat with the Duke de Mouchy have given plenty of employment to the Court, not to speak of sundry important matters relative to the domestic concerns of France that will come before the Legislature at the next session. The chief subject which occupies the minds of the Parisians is the desire to make money, and they think little of any public questions which do not appear likely to affect speculation in the various schemes afloat. The visit of Count Bismark, which gave rise to so many conflicting rumours, and created no little disquietude lest France might be involved in any undertaking leading to another armed intervention, has died away, and it is now supposed that nothing will come of the interviews between that astute statesman and the Emperor. People are now asking why there should not be a further reduction of the army, but on the whole they are pretty well satisfied with what has been done, especially as the government has met the complaints of the navy by a practical answer which no doubt has given great gratification to the maritime population. The discharge of seamen not only affects those actually on board vessels now put out of commission, but implies a certainty that unless some unexpected incident arises no levy will be made for a considerable time hence, which will be regarded as good news by mariners and shipowners alike ; the former being set free to engage themselves for long voyages or to return to their fishing pursuits, or coasting trade, or whatever other calling they may prefer.
As regards the recent reduction of the army, the Moniteur de l'Armée publishes instructions from the Minister of War to the generals commanding sub-divisions and the colonels of regiments of infantry relative to the execution of the Imperial decree of the 15th of November last, commanding the suppression of the 6th companies of fusiliers of the 2nd and 3rd battalions of these regiments. The suppression is to take place on the 1st of January next, and the operation is to be conducted by the general under whose orders the depôt of the battalion is placed. He may, however, delegate his powers to the general of brigade commanding the subdivision. The suppression is to be executed simultaneously in the hundred regiments of the line. The privates in these companies are to be incorporated in the companies maintained in depôt. The captains, lieutenants, and second-lieutenants thus losing their employment are to compete for active service, and they are in the meantime to retain their pay, with the accessories of their rank and class. The non-commissioned officers, corporals, and drummers are to enjoy a similar advantage. In order to facilitate the replacing of the officers belonging to the coinpanies reduced, officers on active service for a period of thirty years will be proposed for a retiring pension. Officers proposed for a retiring pension on their own demand will retire to their homes to enjoy the pay given on leave of absence until the retiring pension is arranged. They are immediately to receive their certificate and allowance for making their journey, to be delivered by the general officer conducting the operation. Those among them who ask for a retiring pension with a view to obtain a position in the Finance Department are to be permitted to remain with their regiments until the question is decided. The suppression of the 6th companies of Fusiliers is to be verified by a document prepared by the Deputy Commissary General charged with the administrative inspection of the regiment. A duplicate of this document is to be transmitted to the Minister of War iminediately after the reduction of the companies. All the documents relating to the retiring pensions are to be addressed to the Minister with as little delay as possible by the administrative council of the regiment. Similar orders have been addressed by the Minister of War to generals commanding subdivisions and colonels of regiments for the suppression of a squadron in each regiment of cavalry, and of a battery in every regiment of artillery, in conformity with the Imperial decree of the 15th of November last.
It is said that the Newhaven Arms Company (U. S.) has sent an agent here for the purpose of laying before the Artillery Committee a new weapon. This weapon is a breech-loader, or rather it has a chamber at the breech capable of containing fifteen cartridges, each of which is thrust forward in succession to take the place of that discharged. The rapidity with which it may be fired is one of its greatest advantages. The ordinary muzzle-loading rifle we will suppose fires one shot a minute, the breech-loader may be fired ten times a minute, a
a minute, a number not likely to be exceeded, whereas the new weapon may be fired, it is said, thirty times in a minate. The effective range of the weapon is put at a thousand yards. According to the statements made, it was extensively used during the American war, and Sherman's successes in Georgia were to a great extent due to the fact that several of his regiments were armed with it. On one occasion, we are told, the 66th Illinois, when drawn up in line, were enabled by its use to check the advance of a body of the enemy five times more numerous, by its rapid and deadly fire.
The day succeeding that of the date of the last Summary,
meeting of the Central Society for Saving the Lives of Shipwrecked Persons was held under the presidency of Admiral Rigault de Genouilly, at which he announced that the society had been elevated by an imperial decree to the rank of a society of public utility. From the statement made by the president, we learn that the society counts upwards of 7,000 subscribers already, the total ainount subscribed being nearly £16,000, which, however, is only about one-fourth of the sum required for the establishment of the different stations, and will not leave anything for keeping them up and paying the officers and the crews of the life-boats.
The examination of the coast from Dunkirk to St. Jeau de Luz has been concluded, and it has been decided that there shall be fifteen stations between those limits, several of which will soon be, if they are not already, in working order, and it is expected that the whole of them will be before the close of the bad season. A similar enquiry is in progress with respect to the coasts of the Mediterranean, Corsica and Algeria. It is further intended to establish a periodical, entirely devoted to the advocacy of the claims of the society to public support, and to record the proceedings of the society.
Not satisfied with endeavouring to save life on the coast, experiments have recently been made with the view of saving the lives of travellers ashore. By a simple arrangement, runaway horses can be detached from the vehicle, and it is proposed to employ a similar plan to enable a train to be detached from the tender when a collision is imminent, with the view of diminishing the shock to the passengers.
It seems to me very doubtful if such a plan would not rather increase instead of lessening the evil effects of such accidents.
The resistance offered by a small number of Mexicans to the authority of the Emperor is almost at an end, and it is not unlikely that the next mail may bring us the information that an amnesty has been proclaimed which, if not taken advantage of forth with, those who persist in their resistance will be treated as brigands, the pretence that they are fighting under the orders of the legitimate ruler of the country being no longer available, inasmuch as his authority has become extinct by the expiration of the period for which he was elected president. It is probable that there is an understanding between the United States government and France that the French troops shall withdraw from Mexico as speedily as possible, the former undertaking that there shall be no intervention in Mexico, nor any filibustering expeditions permitted which should embarrass the French government and retard the termination of the costly occupation. From the correspondence I have read concerning public opinion in the United States, I am inclined to believe that there does not exist the least desire to enter into a war with France for the possession of Mexico, and that the statements to the contrary are made by persons who make them for the mere sake of acquiring a species of popularity, and that the Government itself is actuated by similar motives in insinuating that they are opposing public opinion by their refusal to give active assistance to Juarez. İf it were not that it would seem like yielding to pressure, there is not, as far as can be perceived, any reason why the French troops should not be embarked at once; the Emperor of Mexico has an army quite strong enough to put down any opposition to his authority, and in addition to the force already at his disposal he has the consent of the Emperor of Austria to enrol two thousand men yearly in Austria until 1870, which will be amply sufficient to maintain the throne so long as it is the wish of the larger portion of the Mexican population to be governed by him; and it would be useless to increase the army beyond this strength, as the finances of Mexico would not at present furnish the means of maintaining; besides, the surest way of making the new government unpopular would be to tax the country beavily for the support of a foreign force.
The action of the Papal troops on the Neapolitan frontier, shows a determination to put down, which if imitated with equal zeal by the Italian Government will put a speedy end to brigandage. Not only are the brigands attacked whenever the opportunity offers, but the people are encouraged to inform the troops of their whereabouts by the offers of rewards ; which will be doubly effective as a stimulant from the tangible advantages which they confer, and the moral assurance that the government is really in earnest, and that they have nothing to fear from the vengeance of these brutes. Matters have been going on very peaceably in Rome, during the month; no disquieting rumours regarding the Pope's health, nor anything indicating that the Papal Government has any apprehensions with respect to the future. In Italy there have been the elections, which have resulted in the return of members who are not expected to keep the present Ministry in power. Speculations as to their successors are numerous enough in Italy, but in France very little interest is felt in Italian questions when they do not involve the possibility of a war with Austria, which might drag France into the quarrel, and so long as there is no chance of the supporters of Mazzinian doctrines getting the power of carrying their ideas into effect, they care very little who the king's advisers
Of course this is not the case in Italy itself, but I do not believe that even there the mass of the people are greatly interested in that or any other public question.
There has been for some time past talk of a marriage between Prince Humbert and the Grand Duchess Mary of Russia, but there was a difficulty in the way at the very outset. According to Russian State Law, not only are the members of the Imperial family prohibited from embracing any other religion than that of the Greek Church, but the princesses of the royal family who marry into other royal families, are bound to hold fast by the creed