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their meagre gaunt looks, their squalid and I and I proceeded in the utmost torture. Thisl ragged attire, and every other external symp. misfortune I owed to the plumpness of my tom of extreme woe, with this appearance of constitution, which I cursed, and envied the festivity. I saluted them, however, and was withered condition of my comrades, whose received with great politeness; after which bodies could not spare juice enough to supply they formed a ring, and danced around me. a common issue, and were indeed proof This jollity had a wonderful effect upon my against all manner of friction. The continual spirits : I was infected with their gaiety, and, pain I felt made me fretful, and my peevishin spite of my dismal situation, forgot my ness was increased by the mortification of cares, and joined in their extravagance. my pride, in seeing those miserable wretches, When we had recreated ourselves a good whom a hard gale of wind would have scatwhile at this diversion, the ladies spread tered through the air like chaff, bear those their manteaus on the ground, upon which toils with alacrity, under which I was ready they emptied their knapsacks of some onions, to sink. coarse bread, and a few flasks of poor wine. One day, while we enjoyed a halt, and the Being invited to a share of the banquet, I sat soldiers with their wives had gone out to
a down with the rest, and in the whole course dance, according to custom, my comrade of my life never made a more comfortable staid at home with me on pretence of friendmeal. When our repast was ended, we got ship, and insulted me with his pity and conup again to dance; and now that I found solation. He told me, though I was young myself refreshed, I behaved to the admiration and tender at present, I would soon be of every body. I was loaded with a thousand seasoned to the service ; and he did not compliments and professions of friendship. doubt but I should have the honour to conThe men commended my person and agility, tribute in some measure to the glory of the and the women were loud in praise of my king: “ Have courage, therefore, my child," bonne grace: the serjeant, in particular, said he, “and pray to God, that you may be expressed so much regard for me, and de- as happy as I am, who have had the honour scribed the pleasures of a soldier's life with of serving Lewis the Great, and of receiving so much art, that I began to listen to his many wounds in helping to establish his proposal of enlisting me in the service; and glory.” When I looked upon the contemptithe more I considered my own condition, ble object that pronounced these words, I the more I was convinced of the necessity I was amazed at the infatuation that possessed was under to come to a speedy determination. him; and could not help expressing my Having therefore maturely weighed the cir- astonishment at the absurdity of a rational cumstances pro and con, I signified my being, who thinks himself highly honoured consent, and was admitted into the regiment in being permitted to encounter abject of Picardy, said to be the oldest corps in poverty, oppression, fainine, disease, mutilaEurope. The company to which this com- tion, and evident death, merely to gratify mand belonged was quartered at a village not the vicious arnbition of a prince, by whom far off, whither we marched next day, and I his sufferings were disregarded, and his was presented to my captain, who seemed very name utterly unknown. I observed, that, if well pleased with my appearance, gave me a his situation was the consequence of comcrown to drink, and ordered me to be accom- pulsion, I would praise his patience and modated with clothes, arms, and accoutre. fortitude in bearing his lot; if he had taken ments. Then I sold my livery suit, purchased up arms in defence of his injured country, he linen, and, as I was at great pains to learn was to be applauded for his patriotism; or, the exercise, in a very short time became a if he had fled to this way of life as a refuge complete soldier.
from a greater evil, he was justifiable in his It was not long before we received orders own conscience (though I could have no to join several more regiments, and march notion of misery more extreme than that he with all expedition into Germany, in order suffered); but to put his condition on the to reinforce Marescha! duc de Noailles, who footing of conducing to the glory of his was then encamped with his army on the prince, was no more than professing himself side of the river Mayne, to watch the motions a desperate slave, who voluntarily underwent of the English, Hanoverians, Austrians, and the utmost wretchedness and peril, and com. Hessians, under the command of the Earl of mitted the most flagrant crimes, to soothe Stair. We began our march accordingly, the barbarous pride of a fellow-creature, hig and then I became acquainted with that superior in nothing but the power he derived part of a soldier's life to which I had been from the submission of such wretches as hitherto a stranger. It is impossible to him. The soldier was very much affronted describe the hunger and thirst I sustained, at the liberty I took with his king, which he and the fatigue I underwent in a march of said nothing but my ignorance could excuse. 60 many hundred miles ; during which I was He affirmed, that the characters of princes so much chafed with the heat and motion of were sacred, and ought not to be profaned my limbs, that in a very short time the inside by the censure of their subjects, who were of my thighs and legs were deprived of skin, I bčund by their allegiance to obey their com.
mands, of what nature soever, without occasion-I industriously seek another scruple or repining; and advised me combat with the old Gascon, and vanquish correct the rebellious principles I had im- him in my turn-our regiment is put into bibed among the English, who, for their winter-quarters at Rheims, where I find insolence to their kings, were notorious all my friend Strap-our recognition-he over the world, even to a proverb.
supplies me with money, and procures In vindication of my countrymen, I re- my discharge—we take a trip to Paris ; peated all the arguments commonly used to from whence, by the way of Flanders, we prove that every man has a natural right to set out for London, where we safely liberty; that allegiance and protection are arrive. reciprocal ; that, when the mutual tie is broken by the tyranny of the king, he is ac- He was disconcerted at this declaration, to countable to the people for his breach of which he made no reply, but repaired to the contract, and subject to the penalty of the dancers, among whom he recounted his viclaw; and that those insurrections of the tory, with many exaggerations and gasconEnglish, which are branded with the name ades, while I, taking up my sword, went to of rebellion by the slaves of arbitrary power, my quarters, and examined my wound, which were no other than glorious efforts to rescue I found was of no consequence. The same that independence, which was their birth-day, an Irish drummer, having heard of my right, from the ravenous claws of usurping misfortune, visited me, and, after having ambition. The Frenchman, provoked at the condoled me on the chance of war, gave me little deference I paid to the kingly name, to understand, that he was master of the lost all patience, and reproached me in such sword, and would, in a very short time, a manner, that my temper forsook me, and I instruct me so thoroughly in that noble clenched my fist, with an intention to give science, that I should be able to chastise the him a hearty box on the ear. Perceiving my old Gascon for his insolent boasting at my design, he started back, and demanded a expense. This friendly office he proffered, parley ; upon which I checked my indigna- on pretence of the regard he had for his tion, and he gave me to understand that a countryman; but I afterwards learned the Frenchman never forgave a blow; therefore, true motive was no other than a jealousy he if I was not weary of my life, I would do well entertained of a correspondence between the to spare him that mortification, and do him Frenchman and his wife, which he did not the honour of measuring my sword with his, think proper to resent in person. Be this as like a gentleman. I took his advice, and it will, I accepted his offer, and practised his followed him to a field hard by, where indeed lessons with such application, that I soon I was ashamed at the pitiful figure of my believed myself a match for my conqueror. antagonist, who was a poor, little, shivering In the mean time, we continued our march, creature, decrepid with age, and blind of one and arrived at the camp of Mareschal eye. But I soon found the folly of judging Noailles, the night before the battle of Detfrom appearances, being at the second pass tingen. Notwithstanding the fatigue we wounded in the sword hand, and immediately had undergone, our regiment was one of disarmed with such a jerk, that I thought the those that were ordered next day to cross joint was dislocated. I was no less con- the river, under the command of the Duc de founded than enraged at this event, especially Gramont, to take possession of a narrow as my adversary did not bear his success with defile, through which the allies must of all the moderation that might have been necessity have passed at a great disadvantage, expected; for he insisted upon my asking or remain where they were, and perish for pardon for affronting his king and him. want of provision, if they would not condeThis proposal I would by no means comply scend to surrender at discretion. How they with, but told him it was a mean condescen- suffered themselves to be pent up in this sion, which no gentleman in his circumstan- manner, it is not my province to relate: I ces ought to propose, nor any in my situation shall only observe, that, when we had taken ought to perform; and that, if he persisted in possession of our ground, I beard an old his ungenerous demand, I would in my turn officer, in conversation with another, express claim satisfaction with my musket, when we a surprise at the conduct of Lord Stair, who should be more upon a par than with the had the reputation of a good general. But it sword, of which he seemed so much master. seems, at this time, that nobleman was over
ruled, and only acted in an inferior character;
so that no part of the blame could be CHAPTER XLIV.
imputed to him, who declared his disappro
bation of the step, in consequence of which In order to be revenged, I learn the science the whole army was in the utmost danger;
of defence—we join the Mareschal duc de but providence or destiny acted miracles in Noailles--are engaged with the allies at their behalf, by disposing the Duc de GraDettingen, and put to flight—the beha- mont to quit his advantageous post, pass the viour of the French soldiers on that defile, and attack the English, who were
drawn up in order of battle on the plain, and agility, and, drawing his sword, attacked me who handled us so roughly, that, after having with great fury; several people interposed ; lost a great number of men, we turned our but when he informed them of its being an backs without ceremony, and fled with such affair of honour, they retired, and left us to precipitation, that many hundreds perished decide the battle by ourselves. I sustained in the river, through pure fear and confusion ; his onset with little damage, having only re. for the enemy was so generous, that they did ceived a small scratch on my right shoulder, not pursue us one inch of ground; and if our and seeing his breath and vigour almost exconsternation would have permitted, we hausted, assaulted him in my turn, closed Inight have retreated with great order and with him, and wrested his sword out of his deliberation. But, notwithstanding the royal hand in the struggle. Having thus acquired clemency of the king of Great Britain, who the victory, I desired him to beg his life; headed the allies in person, and, no doubt, to which demand he inade no answer, but put a stop to the carnage, our loss amounted shrugged up his shoulders to his ears, to 5000 men, among whom were many expanded his hands, elevated the skin on his officers of distinction. Our miscarriage forehead and eye-brows, and depressed the opened a passage for the foe to Hanau, corners of his mouth in such a manner, that whither they immediately marched, leaving I could scarce refrain from laughing aloud their sick and wounded to the care of the at his grotesque appearance. That I might, French, who next day took possession of however, mortify his vanity, which triumphed the field of battle, buried the dead, and without bounds over my misfortune, I thrust treated the living with humanity. This cir- his sword up to the hilt in something (it was cumstance was a great consolation to us, not a tansy) that lay smoking on the plain, who thence took occasion to claim the and joined the rest of the soldiers with an air victory; and the genius of the French nation of tranquillity and indifference. never appeared more conspicuous than now, There was nothing more of moment in the rhodomontades they uttored on the attempted by either of the armies during the subject of their generosity and courage : remaining part of the campaign, which being every man (by his own account) performed ended, the English marched back to the feats that eclipsed all the heroes of antiquity. Netherlands ; part of our arıny was detached One compared himself to a lion retiring at to French Flanders, and our regiment or. leisure from his cowardly pursuers, who keep dered into winter quarters in Champagne. at a wary distance, and gall him with their It was the fate of the grenadier company, to darts. Another likened himself to a bear which I now belonged, to lie at Rheiins, that retreats with his face to the enemy, who where I found myself in the utmost want of dare not assail him; and the third assumed every thing; my pay, which amounted to five the character of a desperate stag, that turns sols a day, far from supplying me with upon the hounds and keeps them at bay. necessaries, being scarce sufficient to procure There was not a private soldier engaged, a wretched subsistence, to keep soul and who had not, by the prowess of his single body together : so that I was, by hunger and arm, demolished a whole platoon, or put a hard duty, brought down to the meagre consquadron of horse to fight; and, among dition of my fellow-soldiers, and my linen others, the meagre Gascon extolled his ex- reduced from three tolerable shirts, to two ploits above those of Hercules or Charle- pair of sleeves and necks, the bodies having magne. As I still retained my resentment been long ago converted into spatterdashes; for the disgrace I suffered in my last rencontre and after all, I was better provided than any with him, and, now that I thought myself private man in the regiment. In this qualified, longed for an opportunity to retrieve urgency of my affairs, I wrote to my uncle in my honour, I magnified the valour of the England, though my hopes from that quarter English with all the hyperboles I could were not at all sanguine, for the reasons I imagine, and decried the pusillanimity of have already explained ; and, in the mean the French in the same style, comparing time, had recourse to my old remedy, them to hares flying before grey-hounds, or patience, consoling myself with the flattering mice pursued by cats; and passed an ironical suggestions of a lively imagination, that coinpliment on the speed he exerted in his never abandoned me in my distress. flight, which, considering his age and infirm- One day, while I stood sentinel at the gate ities, I said was surprising. He was stung of a general officer, a certain nobleman came to the quick by this sarcasm, and, with an air to the door, followed by a gentleman in of threatening disdain, bade me know myself mourning, to whom, at parting, I heard him better, and remember the correction I had saying,—" You may depend upon my good lately received froin him for my insolence; offices.” This assurance was answered by for he might not always be in the humour of a low bow of the person in black, who, sparing a wretch who abused his goodness. turning to go away, discovered to me the To this inuendo I made no reply, but by a individual countenance of my old friend and kick in the breech which overturned him in adherent Strap. I was so much astonished an instant. He started up with wonderful at the sight, that I lost the power of utterance,
and, before I could recollect myself, he was ; impossible !" I smiled at his interjections,
The Swiss told me, his name was Monsieur sighted, I was not altogether blind : and
find him undebauched by prosperity, which cure your discharge. I have some interest seldom fails to corrupt the heart. He be- with a nobleman who is able to do me that spoke for dinner some soup and bouille, a favour.” Weconsulted about this affair, and couple of pullets roasted, and a dish of it was determined, that Monsieur d'Estrapes asparagus, and in the interim entertained me should wait upon the marquis in the morning, with biscuit and Burgundy; after which and tell him he had by accident found his repast, he entreated me to gratify his longing brother, whom he had not seen for many desire of knowing every circumstance of my years before, a private soldier in the regiment fortune since his departure from London. of Picardy, and implore that nobleman's This request I complied with, beginning at interest for his discharge. In the mean time the adventure of Gawky, and relating every we enjoyed ourselves over a bottle of good particular event in which I had been con- Burgundy, and spent the evening in concertcerned from that day to the present hour. ing schemes for our future conduct, in case I During the recital, my friend was strongly should be so lucky as to get rid of the army. affected, according to the various situations The business was to make ourselves easy for described : he started with surprise, glowed life, by means of his legacy, a task very with indignation, gaped with curiosity, smiled difficult, and, in the usual methods of laying with pleasure, trembled with fear, and wept out money, altogether impracticable; so that, with sorrow, as the vicissitudes of my life after much canvassing, we could come to no inspired these different passions : and, when resolution that night, but when we parted, my story was ended, signified his amazement recommended the matter to the serious on the whole, by lifting up his eyes and attention of each other. As for my own hands, and protesting, that, though I was a part, I puzzled my imagination to no purpose. young man, I had suffered more than all the When I thought of turning merchant, the blessed martyrs.
smallness of our stock, and the risk of seas, After dinner, I desired, in my turn, to enemies, and markets, deterred me from that know the particulars of his peregrination, scheme: if I should settle as a surgeon in my and he satisfied me in a few words, by giving own country, I would find the business already me to understand that he had lived a year at overstocked ; or, if I protended to set up in Paris with his master, who in that time hav- England, must labour under want of friends, ing acquired the language, as well as the and powerful opposition, obstacles insurfashionable exercises to perfection, made a mountable by the most shining merit : tour of France and Holland, during which neither should I succeed in my endeavours excursion he was so unfortunate as to meet to rise in the state, inasmuch as I could with three of his own countrymen on their neither flatter nor pimp for courtiers, nor travels, in whose company he committed prostitute my pen in defence of a wicked and such excesses, that his constitution failed, contemptible administration. Before I could and he fell into a consumption; that, by the form any feasible project, I fell asleep, and advice of his physicians, he went to Nont- my fancy was blessed with the image of my pelier for the benefit of good air, and dear Narcissa, who seemed to smile upon recovered so well in six weeks, that he my passion, and offer her hand as a reward returned to Rheims, seemingly in good for all my toils. health, where he had not continued above a Early in the morning, I went to the lodg. month, when he was seized with a looseness, ings of my friend, whom I found exulting that carried him off in ten days, to the over his happy invention; for I no sooner enunspeakable sorrow of all who knew him, tered his apartment, than he addressed himand especially of Strap, who had been very self to me in these words, with a smile of happy in his service, and given such satis- self-applause : “Well, Mr Random, a lucky faction, that his master, on his deathbed, thought may come into a fool's head somerecommended him to several persons of times. I have hit it—I'll hold you a button, distinction, for his diligence, sobriety, and my plan is better than yours, for all your affection, and left him by will his wearing learning. But you shall have the preference apparel, gold watch, sword, rings, ready in this, as in all other things; therefore pro. money, and all the movables he had in ceed, and let us know the effects of your me. France, to the value of three hundred ditation-and then I will impart my own pounds,--" Which I now," said he, “in the simple excoyitations.” I told him, that not sight of God and man, surrender to your one thought had occurred to me which de. absolute disposal: here are my keys, take served the least notice,and signified my imthem, I beseech you, and God give you joy of patience to be acquainted with the fruits of the possession.” My brain was almost his reflection.-“ As we have not,” said he, turned by this sudden change of fortune, “ money sufficient to maintain us during a which I could scarce believe real ; however, tedious expectation, it is my opinion, that a I positively refused this extravagant proffer bold push must be made; and I see none so of ny friend, and put him in mind of my likely to succeed as your appearing in the being a soldier; at which hint he started, character of a gentleman (which is your due), crying,—“Odso! that's true, we must pro- and making your addresses to some lady of