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my motto; how happy you'll feel when once you are out of harness!"
"I have had every reason to be grateful to the general,' said Walford; 'he has been kindest of the kind to me, and has never exacted half the duties which he had a right to claim.'
"His Excellency seems an extremely pleasant man,' said Mrs Brashleigh.
"His Excellency,' said Walford, 'would be extremely well pleased to hear that you think so, Mrs Brashleigh.'
"She!' said Brashleigh; how should she know anything about generals ?—why her father was a hatter in the Poultry, or some such place. She'd call anything gentlemanly and pleasant that was a cut above the counter.'
"Well, my dear,' said Amelia, 'I only observed
"Keep your observations to yourself, then, ma'am,' said Brashleigh, and go and nurse your little child-I hear it squalling again. There never was go peevish a brat in Bengal as your pet lamb. Come go, ma'am, and make them keep it still.'
"The tears stood in the poor young creature's eyes, and casting a glance at Walford, she pushed her plate away from her, hastily rose, and left the room.
"Now that's what she calls fine: she'd have made a capital actress,' said her husband. She thinks you'll pity her, and set me down for a brute and a tyrant -that's just her way.'
"Well,' said Walford, anxious to get away, I will not intrude any longer; you will call on Mansel to-morrow as soon as you can ?'
"Can?-must you mean,' said Brashleigh. I must go full fig, I suppose, to the military secretary: no mufti-no white jacket-no being comfortable.'
"I think you had better be dressed,' said Walford, for I rather believe-I don't know, that his Excellency wishes to speak to you himself.'
"Oh, then,' said Brashleigh, 'I'd bet fifty rupees I know what he is after.'
"The deuce you do,' thought Walford. "Great men always want something when they are so devilish civil to little ones,' said Brashleigh.
"Walford was startled by this observation, and somewhat apprehensive that his friend might suspect the real object of his Excellency's desire to see him, inasmuch as there are but few things in the world which a commander of the forces can possibly want from a liente
“'Indeed,' said Walford, I can't assist you in your surmises.'
"When he departed, Brashleigh returned to the room where tiffin was still on the table, and having regaled himself with all the different degrees of the then favourite Indian beverage, in as many distinct tumblers, from Sangaree the first, to Sangrorum the last, proceeded, half asleep and half stupid, with the aid of his servant, to buckle on his accoutrements, and betake himself to afternoon parade.
"His poor wife remained with her hapless child until his return, which occurred at a late hour, just in time to announce that he should dine at the mess, -a measure he often adopted, not because he liked the society of his brother officers, or received the smallest gratification from visiting them, but because he knew they were always happier and more comfortable when he was absent. This, and the desire to show that he had a right (for he had a great notion of his rights) to be there, generally led him into their company about twice or three times in each week, upon which occasions he generally involved himself in some new scrape, and excited some new disgust.
"On the particular occasion under discussion, he signalized himself by the display of his independent indignation at the conduct of the commander of the forces, whom he denounced in terms hardly decent, and not quite safe, even at a mess-table, for having tyrannized over some poor fellow of his acquaintance, and stopped his promotion, to favour a protegé of his own; and swore, that if he were Jackson, he would do this, and he would say that, and he would write home to the Horse Guards, and he would never submit to be made a fool of, nor a tool of; he would have justice, the birthright of a British soldier; and thus the conversation was engrossed, and the evening's harmony destroyed, by one of Lieutenant Brashleigh's edifying exhibitions of military independence, good taste, and good sense.
"The morning came, and with it, parade-Halt, left wheel-front-dress, as
usual; then breakfast, and more quarrelling with poor Mrs Brashleigh, to whom, for the fifty-third time, he mentioned how bitterly he repented having married her, upbraided her with low birth, swore that he had been tricked and deceived, and wished himself dead, which, being calmly interpreted by his better half, was translated into a wish that she were dead, and he rid of her.
"After parade, however, Lieutenant Brashleigh betook himself to the office of Major Mansel, the Military Secretary, where he remained for upwards of an hour. When he returned home, he appeared to be in an extraordinary humour; he seemed nearly good-tempered, spoke almost kindly to his poor wife, whose beautiful eyes were actually reddened and swollen with tears: something very strange had evidently occurred; he was an altered man, and she an astonished woman; he dined, however, at the mess, and there, when reminded of what he had said the night before, seemed particularly anxious to bury all recollection of his former conduct and conversation in oblivion. His brother officers wondered at the subdued and softened tone of the boisterous lieutenant, and were marvelling at the strange alteration so suddenly effected in his manner, and the tone of his observations upon his superiors, heretofore the constant objects of his vituperation, when the orderly-book was brought to one of the captains at table by his serjeant. He opened it, and the exclamation which escaped him as he read the order of the day, excited a sudden feeling of surprise in all around him.
"I wish you joy, Brashleigh,' said Captain Osborne, returning the book to the serjeant. Why, this is a surprise.' "What-promotion?' exclaimed the
"Read-read!' was the general cry. "Osborne took back the orderly-book and read with an audible voice,
sed the assembled party than this announcement; indeed, in Brashleigh's presence, it was almost impossible to do justice to their astonishment! That so accomplished a person, and distinguished an officer, as the Commander-in-Chief, should have selected from amongst all his Majesty's regiments then at Fort William, a man hardly two removes from downright boorishness for one of his personal staff, seemed like a miracle, or a proof of sudden and violent insanity: they looked, and winked, and stared, but finally drank the health of the new aiddu-camp by unanimous consent, consoling themselves, in the midst of their contending feelings upon the subject, with the reflection, that, let what might happen, at all events they should get rid of him.
'Head-Quarters, Fort William, February 8, 1786.
G. O.-His Excellency the Commander in Chief has been pleased to appoint Lieutenant Brashleigh, of the Regiment, to be his Excellency's Aid-du-Camp, vice Walford, who joins his regiment.
(Signed) W. MANSEL, Mil. Sec.'
"A thunder-bolt-an apparitionOld Nick himself, had he made his appearance, in the full uniform of the corps, could not have more completely surpri
"As I do not profess to detail the history of Mr Brashleigh's early life, and as our concerns with him are of much more recent date, I shall merely observe, that in the course of the following week, the new aid-du-camp shifted his quarters to the general's house, where, with the urbanity and consideration which always marked his Excellency's conduct, his Excellency caused rooms to be fitted up for Mrs Brashleigh and her dear infant:that, after nine or ten months had elapsed, Lieutenant Brashleigh became the most abject sycophant that ever crawled, devoted his days to tattling, and his evenings to eaves-dropping, to collect anecdotes, scandal, or even more serious matter of information for his Excellency :that he was the warmest advocate of all his Excellency's military measures, and the constant eulogist of his Excellency's domestic virtues :-that Mrs Brashleigh, shortly after the appointment, recovered her health and good looks surprisingly :that whenever she took her airings, it was in the lofty phæton of his Excellency, (at that time the fashionable carriage :)— that whenever she went to parties, his Excellency's palanquin attended her:that her control over her husband, and her sovereign contempt for him, were as evident to all beholders as her influence over, and her high consideration for, the General:- and that at the end of some ten months, she presented Lieutenant Brashleigh with a fine boy, which, though pronounced by the lady's female friends to be the very image of his father,' did not in the smallest degree resemble her former child, who was, at the time it was born, declared, by the same competent authorities, to be the Lieutenant's counterpart."
This, we think, is quite excellent-and so buy the book, good people all. It is a most amusing one to read now, and most assuredly it will be a very curious one to read two hundred years hence or so.
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