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French-Retaliation of the Prussians-Death of Dahesme-Utter Rout
of the French--Humanity of the Euglish to their wounded Enemies.
stition of the French-L'Homme Rouge-Bonaparto's Faith in Des-
PAUL TO HIS SISTER MARGARET.
It is three long weeks since I left the old mansion-house, which, for years before, has not found me absent for three days, and yet no letter has assured its quiet inmates and neighbours whether my curiosity has met its punishment. Methinks I see the evening circle assembled, and anxiously expressing their doubts and fears on account of the adventurous traveller. The Major will talk of the dangers of outposts and free corps, and lament that I could not have marched under the escort of his old messmates of the regiment. The Laird will speak scholarly and wisely of the dangers of bighway robbery and overturns, in a country where there are neither justices of peace nor turnpikes. The Minister, again, will set up his old bugbears of the Inquisition, and of the Lady who sittelh upon the Seven Hills. Peter, the politician, will have his anxious thoughts on the state of the public spirit in France,-the prevalence of Jacobinical opinions, -the reign of mobs, and of domiciliary visits,-the horrors of the lantern, and of the guillotine. And thou, my dear sister, whose life has been one unwearied course of affectionate interest in the health and happiness of a cross old bachelor brother, what woful anticipations must thy imagination have added to this accumulation of dangers ! Broken sleep, bad diet, hard lodging, and damp sheets, have, in your apprehension, already laid me up a patient in the cabaret of some miserable French village, which neither affords James's Powders, nor Daffy's Elixir, nor any of those infallible nostrums which your charily distributes among our village patients, undiscouraged by the obstinacy of those who occasionally die, in despite both of the medicine and physician. It well becomes the object of so much and such varied solicitude, lo remove il as speedily as the posts of this distracted country will permit. I anticipate the joy in every countenance when my packet arrives ; the pleasure with which each will seize the epistle addressed to himself, and the delight of old James, when, returned from the post-office at * * *, he delivers with an air of triumph the long-expected despatches, and then, smoothing his grey hairs with one hand, and holding with the other the handle of the door, lingers in the parlour, till he, too, has the reward of his diligence, in learning his master's welfare.
Till these news arrive, I cannot flatter myself that things will go perfectly right at the old chateau; or rather my vanity suggests, that the absence of so principal a person among its inmates and intimates has been a chilling damp upon the harmless pleasures and pursuits of those who have remained behind. I shall be somewhat disappointed, , if the Major has displayed alacrity in putting his double-barrel in order for the moors; or if the Laird has shown his usual solicitude for a seasonable sprinkling of rain to refresh the turnip-field. Peter's speculations on politics, and his walks to the bowling-green, have been darkened, doubtless, and saddened, by the uncertainty of my fate; and I even suspect the Parson has spared his flock one Seventhly of his text in his anxiety upon my account.
For you, my dear Margaret, can I doubt the interest you have given me in your affections, from the earliest period of recollection, when we pulled gowans together upon the green, until the moment when my travelling-trunk, packed by your indefatigable exertions, stood ready to be locked, but, ere the key could be turned, reversing the frolics of the enchanted chest of the Merchant Abudah, sprung once more open, as if in derision of your labours ? To you, therefore, in all justice, belongthe first fruits of my correspondence; and while I dwell upon topics personal to myself, and therefore most interesting to you, do not let our kind friends believe that I have forgotten my promise, to send each of them, from foreign parts, that species of information with which each is most gratified. No! the Major shall hear of more and bloodier baltles than ever were detailed to Young Norval by his tutor the Hermit. The Laird shall know all I can tell him on the general state of the country. Peter shall be refreshed with politics, and the Minister with polemics; that is, if I can find any thing of the latter descriplion worlh sending; for if ever there existed a country without a sense of religion of any kind, it is that of France. The churches indeed remain, but the worship to which they are dedicated has as little effect upon the minds of the people, as that of the heathen Pantheon on the inhabitants of modern Rome. I must take Ovid's maxim, “ Tamen excute nullum;' and endeavour to describe the effects which the absence of this salutary restraint upon our corrupt