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Poor Mr. Gray ought to find from this, that he has more than his match ; but he is rather slow in learning, and he exposes himself to many needless mortifications, ere his task is accomplished. MILLY'S HERO. By the Author of “Grandmother's Money," &c. 3
The mention of the author will at once suggest the nature and scope of this novel. Like Grandmother's Money,” it deals with the joys, the woes, the temptations of middle, if not even humble life; no lords or ladies of title figure in its pages, but the course of one of Nature's gentlewomen is plainly traced. We have no wish to deprive any reader of the pleasure that a full perusal of the work will produce, and there. fore we can say little of the story, beyond the fact that Mr. Laurence Raxford is the “hero" of Milly Athorpe, responding to her ideal of all that a great and true-hearted man ought to be, though we confess that we have not so high an opinion of him; but that only shows the naturalness of the portrait. The scene is laid in Devonshire, where Mr. Raxford is a partner in “ Meal Desperation,” the senior partner, Mr. Jonathan Fyrie, having a daughter, Hester, who is destined to be Mrs. Raxford, and certainly would
be if her father's good wishes could bring it about. Milly is in an inferior position; but she charms Mr. Raxford as he charms her, and a sad embroglio ensues. That all eventually comes right, the reader need not fear; but we do not feel under any obligation to detail all the steps of the process, or even to say what is the solution of the riddle. FROM CADET TO COLONEL. The Record of a Life of Active Service.
By Major-General Sir Thomas Seaton, K.C.B. 2 vols.
This is a clever book by an Indian officer, a man who ventures to say a kind word for the Sepoy army, the result of long service in it, and notwithstanding the fact that he had to fly for his life from his regiment, the 60th Bengal Native Infantry. He went out to India in 1822, served in the Bhurtpore war, and in both the advances on Cabool, was one of the garrison of Jellalabad, and afterwards came home on furlough. On his return to India, he observed with dismay the tampering with the authority of commanding officers which was the result of the so-called “reforms” of Lord William Bentinck, and from that time forward, he, like other experienced Indian officers, anticipated such a mutiny as eventually occurred. When this occurred, he was in command of the 60th N. Í., and an arduous time he
appears to have had of it, for the regiment, though suspected, was not disarmed, and for many days the European officers were in daily danger of their lives: some of the older men, however, protected them, and at last they made their escape to the camp before Delhi. After the fall of that stronghold, our author was entirely employed against the Rohilcund and other rebels, was made first à Brigadier, then a K.C.B., and at the close of the war he retired from the service. Those who wish for a connected account of the Affgban war, and the “arenging expedition" will find the story of both well told by our author, but probably many will be still more gratified by the following account of the entente cordiale that prevailed between the European and the native forces at the memorable siege of Jellalabad.
"All this time the greatest cordiality and good feeling prevailed between the European and native soldiers; only one instance of disagreement ever came to my ears. I made a short note of it in my journal, and it may be interesting. After a shower of rain the unpaved streets of the town always became a mass of mud, leaving only a little path at each side, scarcely wider than a shoe; of course, when two people passed each other, it required the nicest management to
prevent one or both going into the mud. A sepoy of my company met a soldier of the 13th in this narrow path; the soldier overbalanced himself and stepped into the mud. Being a very hot-tempered man, without a moment's consideration he struck the sepoy a violent blow. The latter immediately came off to make his complaint to me.
The matter was on the instant referred to Sale, who was exceedingly angry, blew-up the soldier fearfully, and ordered him into confinement, with a view to further proceedings. As the adjutant was marching the soldier off, the sepoy took Sale by the hand, and said, “ General Sahib, forgive him; there has not been one quarrel between any of us ever since the regiments have been together, why should there be now? You have scolded him, so pray forgive him.' The General granted the sepoy's request. The soldier said he was very sorry he had given way to his temper and struck a man who could behave so generously.
"Great numbers of the soldiers had friends amongst the sepoys, with whom they were always walking, and I have more than once known a soldier, when dying, send for his sepoy friend to be with him in his last moments.”
On one occasion a sally was made, and a capture effected of a large number of sheep and goats, Akber Khan being in the habit of amusing bis people by driving flocks and herds close under the eyes of the half-starved garrison. On this occasion the native troops shewed great generosity,
“We now retired as fast as possible; but before we could reach the gate, some of the enemy got on the top of Piper's Hill, and we had one man killed and eight slightly wounded. We were all in the highest spirits, and when the enemy, dancing with rage, showed themselves on the height, they were saluted with shouts of laughter and “B-a-aB-a-a!" all along the wall. We got four hundred and eighty-one sheep and a few goats; which gave sixteen days' meat for all the Europeans in garrison, at three-quarter rations. The General gave forty sheep to the men of my regiment, but as they knew that for many days the Europeans had received only six ounces of meat, including bones, daily, they, with great good feeling, desired that the sheep should be given to the English soldiers, for whom they said such food was necessary, and that they themselves could do very well for some days yet on the rations they were allowed. This act elicited the following letter from the 13th :
"To Colonel Dennie. Sir,—In the name of the N.C.O. and privates of the regiment under your command, I trust you will pardon my addressing to you this letter, requesting you will have the goodness to communicate to our brother soldiers of the 35th N.I. our thanks for the good feeling evinced towards us in giving us their share of yesterday's capture, more especially at the present time of the garrison being on reduced rations. Believe me, sir, that feeling is more gratifying to us than the value of the gift, and we shall ever feel the obligation our old comrades and brother campaigners bave placed us under. I have, &c. (Signed) George Munrowd. Jellalabad, April 1st, 1842.
"All this added greatly to our satisfaction at this timely capture, and made us as merry as possible, I was nearly saying; but an addition to our enjoyment was in store for us. On the 3rd, a spy came in and told us that when Akber learnt that we had captured his sheep, he burst into such a transport of fury, that his people were afraid to go near him.”
We are sorry that want of space hinders us from giving any further extracts from this interesting work. English TRAVELLERS AND ITALIAN BRIGANDS. A Narrative of Capture thrust upon them, and very uncomfortable they often find it. Few men have more reason to heartily agree with this than the author of the present volumes. To an ambitious man it migbt be something to occupy a large share of public attention all over Europe, as Mr. Moens did in the summer of the last year—we now learn the price he paid for it. One hundred and two days passed mainly in cold and hunger, and with the prospect of death from some one or other of the hideous ruffians into whose hands he had fallen, ever before his eyes, being for the whole time without the shelter of a roof for a single night, and not even allowed to take off his clothes, presents a picture of misery almost unexampled, and renders it wonderful indeed that he has lived to tell the tale. The only adventure that we can call to mind at all resembling this, is the capture of Lieutenant White of the Royal Marines, by the Carlists, as told by himself in our pages some five and twenty years ago, but he was fortunate in soon being given over to the custody of men who, though they fought in an unpopular cause, yet conducted themselves in accordance with the rules of war, and who therefore made his captivity as bearable as they could. On the contrary, the prolongation of the sufferings of Mr. Moens was directly owing to the conduct of the Italian military authorities. From the best of motives, no doubt, they threw every possible obstacle in the way of his ransom, being apparently confident of their own power to release him by the strong hand; but they failed, and we now see very clearly that it could not be otherwise. The fact appears to be, that the great body of the peasantry (as distinguished from the landed proprietors) in Southern Italy bave a direct pecuniary interest in brigandage ; for they furnish supplies of food, water, ammunition, &c., to the brigands, and at such exorbitant rates (a single cartridge for a revolver costing a ducat, and bread a shilling à pound) that Mr. Moens calculates that at least five-sixths of the ransom-money go into the pockets of those who do not take up arms themselves, but are so well known as the abettors of those who do, that they have received the name of manutengoli, and as such are a recognised class of Italian society. Thus we can account for the fact otherwise so inexplicable, of some thirty marauders baffling all the efforts of thousands of regular troops, passing unbarmed between their posts, hiding for days together in caves within a few yards of a high road close to a garrison town, and after three months of such work, walking off in triumph with £5000 as the prize of their exertions.
and Captivity. By W. J. C. Moens. 2 vols. Whilst some men are born great, others, it is said, have greatness
We do not mean to give here an outline even of Mr. Moens' story. All that has hitherto been known has been in every newspaper Europe; his captivity has been the theme of debate many a time in both the English and the Italian Parliaments, and the cause of a display of telegraphic, diplomatic and military activity altogether unprecedented, but all these have been only the exterior features; Mr. Moens alone can tell us how he fared among the brigands, what such people are really like, and he has unluckily for himself acquired the right to suggest some practical mode of dealing with them, for the efforts of the Italian Government have met with such decided failure that we should think they would be glad to learn from any quarter what to do with the greatest pest that has ever afflicted a land calling itself civilized, - we mean an organized system of robbery and murder in which the whole labouring population are concerned. Therefore referring all who would know the details of a painfully exciting story to the work itself, we shall confine ourselves to an extract which will give a fair idea of the nature of the book, merely premising that, though it bears only the name of Mr. Moens, it is the joint production of himself and his wife.
After visiting Sicily, in the spring of 1865, and there making the
acquaintance of the Rev. Mr. Aynsley and his wife, the whole party proceeded to Naples, and thence by railway to Salerno. Hence, receiving positive assurances that the road was perfectly safe, and guarded by soldiers throughout, they drove to Pæstum, on the 15th of May, accompanied by a cavalry escort, and duly explored the temples. When they wished to return, no soldiers were to be found, they having, as it afterwards appeared, been drawn off to allow of a negotiation being carried on for the ransom of some Italian captives, but without any notice being given to the English party. On their way back, their carriage was stopped on the high road, near Battipaglia, by a body of some thirty armed men, wbo sprang out from a corn-field, ordered the two gentlemen to descend, and marched them at once out of sight; but did not molest the ladies, who, after passing the night in the village, repaired to Salerno, and songht an interview with the General in command. Troops were at once ordered out, Government officials of every grade, private friends and public journals applied to, but month after month passed away, and Mr. Moens was still in captivity. According to the custom of the brigands, one of the captives was to be liberated, in order to raise the ransom for both, they drew lots, feeling, as Mr. Moens says, that they were drawing for life; Mr. Aynsley won, and most strenuously he exerted himself to fulfil bis commission, both Mr. and Mrs. Moens speak in the warmest terms of him. Mr. Moens had very soon a taste of what sort of a life he was to lead.
"I was put under the charge of four or five men, and ordered off to the rear.
turned round and saw Mr. Aynsley and his two guides walking down the hill. It was a trying moment. I was now driven on at a fast pace, and in a minute heard the report of a gun, the bullet whizzing over my head. This was from the soldiers whom Mr. Aynsley met almost immediately after leaving us. The brigands answered this, and there was a brisk fire. I tried to go off to the right, thinking an escape possible, but was turned immediately; my foot slipped, and I fell down some depth, for the mountain was very steep, aud all the stones loose. I was very much shaken, and I thought my arm was broken. I could hardly move it, but I was made to get up, and to the cry “ Corre, corre,” on we went. The hill was very high, the base of it covered with fir-trees. I looked up, and saw the rest of the band lining the top of the hill in skirmishing order, firing as fast as they could. The shots of the soldiers now came rattling round us as we passed from bush to bush one by one; and for a quarter of an hour we had to run the gauntlet. At last we got to the bottom of the mountain, where we found a rushing torrent ten yards wide; the fire was too hot for hesitation, so one by one the brigands waded over. I had to follow; on I went, the water up to my waist, rushing, foaming over the stones, and the bullets splashing into it on all sides of me. I do believe the soldiers took special aim at me, the tallest of the party. My death would no doubt have saved them considerable trouble. Had it not been for my stick, I should have been carried away by the force of the stream ; as it was, I had to cross in au oblique direction, landing on the other side only two yards above a waterfall of some height. The brigand who followed me was washed down, and went head over heels over the fall, but he was not much hurt, and scrambled out below. The others passed over safely, and we burried up the steep ascent over the other side for some considerable distance till we were concealed among the trees, and safe from the fire of the troops. I thanked God for my escape from my rescuers, and felt anything but charitably disposed towards their rulers, wbo ought years ago to have cleared their country from these ruffians, instead of leaving them alone till they carried off an Englishman. We rested among the trees until nightfall. At sunset we saw about two hundred soldiers in a body ascending the opposite
bank by a path from the stream. They cheered as they marched along; I turned to the brigands and said, "You have lost some comrades." They did not choose to admit this. After dark some more shots were heard, and the band was surprised again. The other prisoners managed to escape-lucky fellows--they were but small fry, and were forgotten in the excitement of the fight; but the greatest care was taken of me. I was never allowed a chance for a moment. When it was dark, we saw the bivouac-fire of the troops. We had no fire, but lay down under our capotes, I lying between two men. We soon forgot our fatigue in sleep, and an hour before sunrise I was woken up, stiff from the cold and wet, for the passage through the river had thoroughly soaked me. The walking, however, warmed us, and after an hour's march, by which time the day had dawned, we reached a spot hidden by broom, all golden with the yellow blossoms. It was a lovely place, the ground mossy, and covered with luxuriant creepers, graceful ferns, and foxgloves. Here we rested, a murmuring stream running below. The ferns were at least ten feet high. I laid down and tried to sleep, but my thoughts would not allow me. I kept thinking of the desolate situation of my wife, and of the anxiety that would be felt by my family in England. I looked round for a chance of escaping and edged off as far as I could from the men, but the slightest movement caused them to look after me with the cry Che fate? We were on the edge of a hill, at the base of which ran the rivulet, crossed by a rude bridge formed of the trunk of a tree. We saw soldiers passing at intervals all in small bodies, eight or ten at a time, over the bridge and along a bridle-path near. It struck me that I might run off and cry out to the soldiers; but it was soon intimated to me by the brigands (they must have divined what was passing in my mind) that if I attempted to escape I should be shot at once. I noticed that the soldiers looked like mites, thus showing the great height of the mountain, and the distance we were from them. I now turned my attention to nearer objects, looking at the violets and forget-me-nots. I then read my prayer-book, which I had found in my pocket. This was it great find, and afforded me the greatest comfort throughout my capcivity. I read some of the Psalms, which brought tears to my eyes. The brigands soon perceived this, and entreated me not to be down-hearted, as they would not hurt me, if they got the money soon. I told them that it was not fear but grief for what my wife was suffering on my account. Talking, however, was not my humour then, and I would say no more to them, but returned to my sad meditations."
Before taking leave of Mr. Moens' work, we must not omit to mention that it is well illustrated. We have a portrait of the author, also por. traits of Manzo and another of the brigands, and several spirited sketches of the scenery of Southern Italy, which make us regret that so fair a region should be ill-governed.
OBITUARY. Major-General John Fitzmaurice, K H., lieutenant of her Majesty's Body Guard, died on Christmas-eve at Drayton-green, Ealing, aged 73. The late gallant officer, who had for some years held the post of lieutenant of her Majesty's Body Guard, entered the army in April 1811, and served in the Peninsula till the end of the war in 1814. He served also in the campaign of 1815, and led the advanced guard at Quatre Bras, where he was severely wounded. In recogrition of his distinguished services, he was made by William IV. a Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order in 1833. The gallant officer, on obtaining his majority, went on half-pay. He had received a silver war medal with eight clasps for his services in the Peninsula, and the Waterloo medal,