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son to believe that in peace they are, to say the least, not less humane than others.
The author of" Recollections of an Officer"* sums up the character of the Zouaves in a few words which clear them from the other two charges, those of dissoluteness and drunkenness. He says,— "Beside the condition of success resulting from the first organization, it must be said, that, somewhat later, the happy idea came to be adopted, of giving to the Zouaves destined to fight in the light-armed troops the costume of Chasseurs-a-pied. The recruitment added also not a little to the reputation which the Zouaves so rapidly acquired; the soldiers are all drawn, not from conscripts, but from applicants for the service. Many are Parisians, or, at all events, inhabitants of the other great French cities; most have already served,— are therefore inured to the work, — accustomed to privations, which they undergo gayly,—to fatigues, at which they joke, — to dangers in battle, which they treat as mere play. They are proud of their uniform, which does not resemble that of any other corps, — proud of that name, Zouave, of mysterious origin,— proud of the splendid actions with which each succeeding day enriches the history of their troops,—happy in the liberty they experience, both in garrison and on expeditions. It is said that the Zouaves love wine; it is true; but they are rarely seen intoxicated; they seek the pleasures of conviviality, not the imbrutement of drunkenness. These regiments count in their ranks officers, who, ennuied by a lazy life, have taken up the musket and the Chechia,— under-officers, who, having already served, bravo, even rash, seek to win their epaulettes anew in this hard service, and gain either a glorious position or a glorious death,—old officers of the garde mobile,—broad-shouldered marines, who have served their time on shipboard, accustomed to cannon and the thunderings of the tempest,—young men of family, desirous to replace with the red
* Sonrtnirs <tun Officicr du 2me de Zouatts. Paris, 1859.
ribbon of the Legion of Honor, bought and colored with their blood, the dishonor of a life gaped wearily away on the pavements of Paris.
"Composed of such elements, one can scarcely imagine the body of Zouaves other than brilliant in the field of battle. The officers are generally chosen from the regiments of the line, men remarkable for strength, courage, and prudence; full of energy, pushing the love of their colors to its last limit, always ready to confront death and to run up to meet danger, they seek glory rather than promotion. To train up their soldiers, to give them an example, in their own persons, of all the military virtues,— such are their only cares. Our ancestors said, 'Noblesse oblige'; these choose the same motto. Their nobility is not that of old family-titles, but the uniform in which they are clothed, the title of officer of Zouaves. Esprit de corps, that religion of the soldier, is carried by the Zouaves to its highest pitch; the common soldiers would not consent to change their turban for the epaulettes of an ensign in the other service; and many an ensign, and not a few captains, have preferred to await their advancement in the Zouaves rather than immediately obtain it by entering other regiments. There exists, moreover, between the soldiers and officers, a military fraternity, which, far from destroying discipline, tends rather to draw more closely its bonds. The officer sees in his men rather companions in danger and in glory than inferiors; he willingly attends to their complaints, and strives to spare them all unnecessary privations. Where they are exposed to difficulties, he docs not hesitate to employ all the means in his power to aid them. In return, the soldier professes for his officer an afTection, a devotion, a sort of filial respect Discipline, he knows, must bo severe, and he does not grumble at its penalties. In battle, he does not abandon his chief; he watches over him, will die for his safety, will not let him fall into the hands of the enemy if wounded. At the bivouac he makes the officer's fire,
though his own should die for want of fuel; cares for his horse, arranges his furniture; if any delicacy in the way of food can be procured, he brings it to the chief. Convinced of the desire of their master that the soldiers shall be well fed, the Zouaves often insist that a part of their pay be expended for procuring the provisions of the tribe.* The colonel is the man most venerated by these soldiers, who look upon him as the father of the family. They are proud of the colonel's
* In accordance with Arab customs, the Zouaves, who (to use the ordinary expression) "live in common," compose a circle to which they give the name of tribe. In the tribe, each
success, and happy to have contributed to his honor or advancement. When an order comes directly from him, be sure it will be religiously obeyed. * When papa says anything,' they repeat, one to another, 'it must be done. Papa knows it is already done; he wants us to be the best children possible.' In critical moments, the colonel can use the severest Draconian code, without having anything to fear from the disapprobation of his men."
one has his allotted task: one attends to making the fires and procuring wood; another draws water and does the cooking; another makes the coffee and arranges the camp, etc.
MY PSALM. I Mourn no more my vanished years:Beneath a tender rain,
Aside the toiling oar;
Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look Through fringed lids to heaven,
Ilis chastening turned me back, —That more and more a Providence Of love is understood,
That care and trial seem at last, Through Memory's sunset air,
That all the jarring notes of life Seem blending in a psalm,
THE PROFESSOR AT THE BREAKFAST-TABLE. WHAT HE SAID, WHAT HE HEARD, AND WHAT HE SAW. There has been a sort of stillness in the atmosphere of our boarding-house since my last record, as if something or other were going on. There is no particular change that I can think of in the aspect of things; yet I have a feeling as if some game of life were quietly playing and strange forces were at work, underneath this smooth surface of every-day boarding-house life, which would show themselves some fine morning or other in events, if not in catastrophes. I have been watchful, as I said I should be, but have little to tell as yet. You may laugh at me, and very likely think me foolishly fanciful to trouble myself about what is going on in a middling-class household like ours. Do as you like. But here is that terrible fact to begin with, — a beautiful young girl, with the blood and the nerve-fibre that belong to Nature's women, turned loose among live men. Terrible fact?
Very terrible. Nothing more so. Do you forget the angels who lost heaven for the daughters of men? Do you forget Helen, and the fair women who made mischief and set nations by the ears before Helen was born? If jealousies that gnaw men's hearts out of their bodies,— if pangs that waste men to shadows and drive them into raving madness or moping melancholy,— if assassination and suicide are dreadful possibilities, then there is always something frightful about a lovely young woman.—I love to look at this "Rainbow," as her father used sometimes to call her, of ours. Handsome crea
ture that she is in forms and colors,—the very picture, as it seems to me, of that "golden blonde" my friend whose book you read last year fell in love with when he was a boy, (as you remember, no doubt,) — handsome as she is, fit for a sea-king's bride, it is not her beauty alone that holds my eyes upon her. Let me tell you one of my fancies, and then you will understand the strange sort of fascination she has for me. It is in the hearts of many men and women — let me add children — that there is a Great Secret waiting for them,—a secret of which they get hints now and then, perhaps oftener in early than in later years. These hints come sometimes in dreams, sometimes in sudden startling flashes, — second wakings, as it were,— a waking out of the waking state, which last is very apt to be a half-sleep. I have many times stopped short and held my breath, and felt the blood leaving my cheeks, in one of these sudden clairvoyant flashes. Of course I cannot tell what kind of a secret this is; but I think of it as a disclosure of certain relations of our personal being to time and space, to other intelligences, to the procession of events, and to their First Great Cause. This secret seems to be broken up, as it were, into fragments, so that we find here a word and there a syllable, and then again only a letter of it; but it never is written out for most of us as a complete sentence, in this life. I do not think it could be; for I am disposed to consider our beliefs about such a possible disclos
ure rather as a kind of premonition of an enlargement of our faculties in some future state than as an expectation to be fulfilled for most of us in this life. Persons, however, have fallen into trances, — as did the Reverend William Tennent, among many others,— and learned some things which they could not tell in our human words. Now among the visible objects which hint to us fragments of this infinite secret for which our souls are waiting, the faces of women are those that carry the most legible hieroglyphics of the great mystery. There are women's faces, some real, some ideal, which contain something in them that becomes a positive element in our creed, so direct and palpable a revelation is it of the infinite purity and love. 1 remember two faces of women with wings, such as they call angels, of Fra Angelico, —and I just now came across a print of Raphael's Santa Apollina, with something of the same quality, — which I was sure had their prototypes in the world above ours. No wonder the Catholics pay their vows to the Queen of Heaven! The unpoetical side of Protestantism is, that it has no women to be worshipped. But mind you, it is not every beautiful face that hints the Great Secret to us, nor is it only in beautiful faces that we find traces of it. Sometimes it looks out from a sweet sad eye, the only beauty of a plain countenance; sometimes there is so much meaning in the lips of a woman, not otherwise fascinating, that we know they have a message for us, and wait almost with awe to hear their accents. But this young girl has at once the beauty of feature and the unspoken mystery of expression. Can she tell me anything? Is her life a complement of mine, with the missing element in it which I have been groping after through so many friendships that I have tired of, and through
Hush! Is the door fast? Talking loud is a bad trick in these curious boarding-houses. You must have sometimes noted this fact that I am going to remind you of and to use for a special illustration. Rid
Vol. iv. 15
ing along over a rocky road, suddenly the slow monotonous grinding of the crushing gravel changes to a deep heavy rumble. There is a great hollow under your feet, — a huge unsunned cavern. Deep, deep beneath you, in the core of the living rock, it arches its awful vault, and far away it stretches its winding galleries, their roofs dripping into streams where fishes 'have been swimming and spawning in the dark until their scales are white as milk and their eyes have withered out, obsolete and useless. So it is in life. We jog quietly along, meeting the same faces, grinding over the same thoughts, — the gravel of the soul's highway, — now and then jarred against an obstacle we cannot crush, but must ride over or round as we best may, sometimes bringing short up against a disappointment, but still working along with the creaking and rattling and grating and jerking that belong to the journey of life, even in the smoothest-rolling vehicle. Suddenly we hear the deep underground reverberation that reveals the unsuspected depth of some abyss of thought or passion beneath us. I wish the girl would go. I don't like to look at her so much, and yet I cannot help it. Always that same expression of something that I ought to know, — something that she was made to tell and I to hear,—lying there ready to fall off from her lips, ready to leap out of her eyes and make a saint of me, or a devil or a lunatic, or perhaps a prophet to tell the truth and be hated of men, or a poet whose words shall flash upon the dry stubble-field of worn-out thoughts and burn over an age of lies in an hour of passion. It suddenly occurs to me that I may have put you on the wrong track. The Great Secret that I refer to has nothing to do with the Three Words. Set your mind at ease about that, — there are reasons I could give you which settle all that matter. I don't wonder, however, that you confounded the Great Secret with the Three Words. I Love You is all the secret that many,