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British army." He, at the same time, sends to Lord Stanhope a letter preserved in the French Dépôt général de la Guerre, which shows that, in 1674, the young Churchill had applied for a commission as colonel of infantry in the army of Louis XIV.; and, in a memorandum on the Moscow Retreat, he gives an opinion " that the loss of the French army under Napoleon would have been accelerated, more disastrous and disgraceful, if the season had been wet instead of having been frosty.” “In truth," he adds, " the army could not in that case have moved at all in the state to which all its animals were reduced at the time.”
From these we turn to lighter subjects: to inquiries not altogether useless, as to the origin of the red uniforms of our soldiers, and the blue and buff of the Whigs. Lord Stanhope (then Lord Mahon) writes to Macaulay, “ • Pray when was the British army for the first time clothed in red ?' was the inquiry addressed to me yesterday by no less a person than the Duke of Wellington.” Lord Mahon thought in the time of Charles the Second. The Duke thought it was earlier; “that Monk's troops, for example, were Redcoats.” Macaulay says the Duke was right. The army of the Commonwealth wore red: and he quotes Hudibras in proof.
The uniform of the Whigs is not so easily accounted for. It was supposed, by some, to have been copied from the army of Washington; but Mr. Jared Sparks says that, on the contrary, the Revolutionists, as was much more probable, borrowed it from the Whigs. Others have traced it to a mixture of the Tory blue with the orange of William III.; and Lord Sidney Osborne thinks that the political followers of the Duke of Richmond adopted it from the uniform of the Goodwood Hunt, and that it thus became the distinguishing dress of his nephew, Charles Fox. Like many party distinctions, however, its origin cannot be very distinctly traced.
Out of consideration for the intellectual character of fallen royalty, we leave the verses by the Pretender unnoticed.
There is a short and very characteristic letter from Lord Macaulay, written on his return from his last tour in Italy ; and the volume finishes with a discussion and correspondence between Sir Robert Peel, Macaulay, Lord Mahon, and Hallam, as to the question, “ Were human sacrifices in use among the Romans?" Sir Robert Peel (with a knowledge of authorities that seems marvellous) rather leans to the affirmative; and the amount of learning that is brought to bear upon the controversy could have been retained by no ordinary men in the midst of very different, and often harassing, pursuits.
We might have dwelt longer upon Lord Stanhope's volume; but the subjects we have already indicated will sufficiently show that it must be estimated by a higher standard of value than the dumber of its pages.
GRANVILLE DE VIGNE.
A TALE OF THE DAY.
PART THE TWENTY-EIGHTH.
HOW FREEDOM CAME AT LAST. WAEN De Vigne went back to the hotel, he found a letter from his steward, asking him to go down to Vigne, where business matters required his absolute and personal attention. He read the letter, put it down, and thought a minute over its contents. Vigne was hateful to him: he had never been there since he had quitted it on that fatal New Year's Day which had bound him to Constance Trefusis. Every association connected with it was one of keen and stinging pain, interwoven as they were with the one great irremediable mistake and misery of his life. One place, indeed, was dear and sacred to him—that one green grave under the shadowy elms, where his mother lay; but even there lingered and haunted bitter regret and vain remorse, since it was his folly, his headstrong and wilful passion, which had sent her there—the mother whom he had loved so tenderly from the early hours when, as a young boy, he had loved to lean against her knee, sitting under the very shadow of those elms that now sheltered her grave under their fostering foliage. Vigne was full of dark and bitter memories to him : he had not visited it now for eleven long years, exiled from his ancestral home by the gaunt spectre of the folly which there had first clung around his life, to bear him such after-fruits of misery. Yet now, whether Alma's love had made life bear a different colouring, he felt a vague wish and longing to see the old home where his careless childhood and his happy youth had passed; the home where so many of his forefathers had lived; the home-nearest and holiest tie of all--the home where his mother had died. Alma would not be in England, whither she was coming with the Molyneux, for two days; if he should go and dwell with her in Italy or Southern France, he wished to see the old elm woods of Vigne before he left the country; he wished to see his mother's grave-his mother, the only woman that had ever loved him purely, devotedly, unselfishly, till Alma, poor child! spent all her wealth of love on him. Something impelled him to go down to Vigne as strongly as he had before loathed even the mention of revisiting it. That day he threw himself into the train, and went down to spend twenty-four hours under that roof where he had once slept the sweet, untroubled, dreamless sleep of childhood ere he knew the bitter sorrow and the delirious joys of manhood. They did not know he was coming, and there was no welcome for him (so best, he could ill have borne it, remembering how he had quitted it); there was only the flag flying from the west turret because he was returned in safety from the Crimea, and the old lodge-keeper's recognition of him as she looked into his face and burst into tears, for
May-VOL. CXXVIII. NO. DIX.
she had worshipped him from his birth (though De Vigne, in his wayward, mischievous, high-spirited, care-for-nothing childhood, must have been a very troublesome divinity), and had never thought to see him again before she laid her aged bones to rest. The old familiar things came with a strange thrill of memory upon him. Every turn of the approach--the shadowy double avenue, with its giant elms swaying their massive boughs backwards and forwards in the sunlight; the great sweep of park and woodland, forest and pasture, stretching away farther than the eye could reach ; the clear, sweet ripple of the river, rushing under the hawthorns, white as new-fallen snow; the scamper of the startled hares under the fan-like ferns; the distant belling of the rare red deer, trooping under the arching trees, in the blue distance; the grand front of that magnificent pile that his ancestors had left him in heritage, with its stately terraces and turrets, its stretching lawns and gardens-a home too fair to be deserted by its lord and left to silence and to solitude i home that should have had revelry in its halls and sweet laughter ringing to its stately roof, and love and joy filling its forsaken chambers with their soft silvery chimes--all came back upon him with a very anguish of memory, such a tightening of the heart, as we feel looking on the face of an old friend long parted, and tracing the difference in him and us since the joyous days of old gone by for ever. He loved the place, for its own sake ; he had been proud of it, for its grand beauty and its historic aroma, when he was yet' a child, playing light-hearted, free, and careless under the shade of its stately woods. He had loved it until it was cursed with the shadow of his unhappy marriage; till the dark memory of the woman who had taken his name haunted and poisoned the air, and filled every well-remembered scene of his home with the relentless ghost; ever pursuing, never eluded, following in the full glare of a noontide sun, as in the voiceless silence of the midnight hours, the spirit of an error in judgment, repented of, but irremediable: no sin, but what costs us dearer as the world goes--a folly.
That ghost pursued him at each step through all the old familiar. scenes. He could not enter the great hall where he had seen her the first night she came to Vigne, standing under the gas glare in her dazzling, voluptuous, but ever coarse beauty, with her scarlet wreath over her raven hair, and her scarlet cloak fung half off from that divine form that had won and tempted his eye-love; he could not mount the wide staircase where he had seen her on his marriage-day, her eyes flashing in triumph : under her bridal veil, that diamond ceinture round her waist that was nov. turned into gold at the Mont de Piété ; he could not enter his home, so fair, so stately, with its wide windows opening on to the sloping lawns and sunny woods beyond, that were all, far as the eye could reach, his; the. ghost of the Past-the Past which his own madness. had made, and no power of his could now unmake-haunted and pursued him too bitterly! Still less could he have entered his mother's room, undisturbed by his order: from the day she died; the chamber sacred to the memory of one who had loved him with so rare, so self-denying, so infinitely patient, unweary. ing, and tender a devotion; the mother whom the fruit of his own head.. long madness had slain from the very depth and strength of her love for her wayward and idolised son.
How fair Vigne looked that day, with the sunlight of the budding
summer on its white terraces and green woodlands, all around silent 'and hushed, save the murmur of the leaves and the soft rush of the river, and the distant belling of the deer that came on the warm, hushed air! It was a strangely sad and silent return-a return for twenty-four hours !
to his noble ancestral home after an absence of nine years. It was not so that the lords of Vigne-in bygone time came back to their stately manor after fighting a good fight at Acre or Antioch, Worcester or Edgehill, Blenheim or Ramillies. Alone he turned slowly from the house and walked across the park, leaving the grand old pile behind him standing on its knoll of velvet turf, with its famous elms closing around it, and waving their green tree-tops up to the blue clear heavens above-a home worthy of a royal line, forsaken by its master, and left to hirelings and servants in all its fair and stately beauty-with its legends of honour, and its memories of glory and of greatness. He left the house and walked across the park alone, save an old staghound, well-nigh blind, who had leaped upon him at the first sound of his step, and who now followed him with measured tread across the soft-yielding grass, and under the chequered shade that the great forest-trees of Vigne Aung across his pathi He walked across the stretching suplit park, where he had passed so many happy hours as a boy, riding, shooting, fishing, lying under the elniboughs in the dreamy beauty of such another summer day as this, thinking to himself what a brilliant, glorious, shadowless thing he, De Vignes of Vigne, would make of life when he should grow to man's estate. He walked along, strange commingling thoughts rushing through his brain of his mother, of Constance Trefusis, of Alma Tressillian, of his life, so full as it had been of adventure and excitement, revelry and sport, daring and pleasure-his life so brilliant before that one fatal mistake which marred and darkened it, which now but for that one error would have been so cloudless, crowned as it was with the strong, deep love of manhood, and the passionate devotion, the unswerving fidelity of such a heart as few men win to beat response to theirs. There rose before him the two women who had had so much influence upon his life; the one coarse, insolent, lost to shame, to mercy, and to decency, who had tempted with fifty devils' force in the dark gloom of the Royal Forest, goading him with insult, twitting him with brutal jeer, and luring him to murder; the other delicatė, refined, loving, impassioned, with not a thought he might not read in her clear eyes, not a throb of her young heart that did not beat for him, leading him with her soft voice, and her noble trust, and ber unselfish love to a higher, fairer, purer life, teaching him faith in human nature. They rose before him as he walked along, cutting the ferns and grasses as he passed, thought, and memory, and passion all at work, his nature as fiery, restless, wayward, impassioned, as when, years before, under the elms of Vigne, he had wooed the milliner of Frestonhills, the scrub and protégée of old Fantyre. He walked on under the great trees that had watched over his race for centuries, bitter thoughts rising in him at every step, and stung to keener pain rather than softened at the knowledge of the warm, loving heart that was so wholly his, and would be his, let him try it how he might, or ask what sacrifice he would; walked on until he came to the low ivy-clad fence which parted the churchyard from the park of Vigne, and there, under the great waving elm-trees, tossing their bows in the summer air, with the lilies and the
purple violets clustering round its pure white stone, he saw his mother's grave, the simple headstone bearing her name, lying in the soft summer sunshine, with the birds singing sweet low requiems around, and the church bells swinging slowly through the air, and the great elm-boughs sighing a Miserere for her whose life had been pure as the lilies, and sweet and humble as the violets that clustered round her tomb. And here even the living were forgotten in the memory of the dead, and De Vigne threw himself down beside the grave, calling on her name, as though his voice must waken the woman who had loved his slightest whisper, and never been deaf to any prayer of his. All the love he had borne his mother, all the love she had borne him, rushed upon his mind with an anguish of regret; if he had listened to her counsel, ever gentle, never ill timed or unwise, she might have been now living, and the curse of his marriage would not have been on his life, nor its stain upon his name.
If-ah, if! How much of our life hinges upon if! She had been very dear to him. The sound of her voice, the tenderness of her smile—the voice that had never spoken harshly to him, that smile that had never failed to welcome him; her gentle nature that his wayward will so often had tried ; her unwearying affection, which would so fain have guarded him from every adverse fate; all that had made his mother beloved and reverent and precious to him ; all that had made her words have weight with him in his high-spirited, dauntless, self-willed boyhood, when he would listen to no other; all that had made her death a remorse and a regret that a lifetime would not efface—came back upon him in a flood of memories, as he saw the summer sunlight glistening on her grave, and felt the bitterness, the sharpness, the keen, lasting, cruel sorrow of that mystery of Death which wrenches a human life so strangely from those who would so fain hold it back from that dark and ruthless tomb, where no regret, however bitter, can follow to atone for wrong, and no voice, however loved, can hope to waken a response.
The sunshine streamed around him, playing fitfully on the marble as it fell on it through the parted foliage of the overhanging elms. The violets and the lilies of the valley filled the air with their fragrance"; the chimes tolled out slowly from the old church tower; all was silent around him, save the carols of the birds and the myriad nameless hushed murmurs and whispers that stir the solitude of a summer's day, with the low and solemn voices of the earth. In the stillness- where no human eyes looked on him-he lay there on the green sods, with the bitterness of a yearning and futile remorse heavy upon him, as he remembered the words of her prophecy, “ You will love again, to find the crowning sorrow of your life, or drag another in to share your curse!"
And like the cut of a lancet on fresh-opened wounds fell words spoken beside him :
“You are thinking, Major, of what a mistake you made eleven years ago, and what a fortune you would give to be able to undo it!"
Such an intruder in such a place--coarse insult by his mother's gravehe, who held his dearest friends at a distance from his deeper feelings, to be broken in upon thus rudely by such an intruder! He started up, and swung round to meet his ex-valet, Raymond. A deep Aush of anger rose over his face; the man quailed before the fire that flashed from his eyes,