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hanging so like a cupola over our heads, assist- / said the lieutenant; and then followed a descriped, perhaps, by some electrical or other peculiar tion of the peculiar manner the bell was rung, state of the almosphere, has repeated or reflected which so exactly tallied with what occurred on the sound of the ringing of a ship's bell now ly board the Indiaman, that no doubt any longer ing just without the verge of our horizon." existed as to the truth of the hypothesis so clev
“Very learned, indeed," said the captain. erly advanced by the purser. But, notwithstand
“And most unsatisfactory," repeated the lieu- ing this explanation, and its singular confirmatenant, who felt himself in duty bound to side tion, there were scores of sailors in the frigate, with his commanding officer.
bold, hardy, strong-willed men, who resolutely “But it may be true, nevertheless,” replied the refused to believe; and to the day of their deaths purser. “At all events it is a much more rational were doubtless prepared to maintain that the conclusion than supposing the sounds to be the ship's bell was rung by supernatural agency. result of supernatural agency."
It was evident that the hypothesis of Old Nip-! THREE VISITS TO THE HOTEL DES cheese, as the purser was nicknamed, was scout- INVALIDES, 1705, 1806, 1840. ed by “ Jack ;" and, indeed, the majority of the IN the 9th of May, 1705, the soldiers of the “hands" put their heads together and prophesied U Hôtel des Invalides were ranged in line in that evil would come of it. “ There never was the great Court of Honor. It was touching to such a stupid yarn ever spun as the purser's. A see two thousand brave fellows, all more or less cow sticks indeed !-what had that to do with mutilated in war, pressing round the banners bell-ringing? He'd better attend to his own which they had won in many a bloody fight. business, and serve out better baccay and slops." Among these victims of war might be seen solThen followed all manner of absurd predictions; diers of all ages. Some had fought at Fribourg for, like their officers, the men preferred to be- or Rocroy; others at the passage of the Rhine, lieve in the impossible rather than in the probable. or the taking of Mäestricht ; a few of the oldest
However, as the sounds were now discon had assisted in the capture of La Rochelle, under tinued, the frigate's bell was re-hooked, the cap- Cardinal Richelieu, while one or two could even tain returned to his cabin, and the crew to their remember the battle of Mariendal under Turenne. respective duties; but it was remarked on that But all alike appeared happy and pleased, waitnight, that every mess spun more yarns about ing for the coming of Louis XIV., who had ansupernatural events than had been heard for nounced his intention of visiting for the first time months before.
these, as he called them, “glorious relics of his But the reader demands to know if the hypoth- battalions." esis of the purser was confirmed. Happily it! At length, surrounded by a magnificent corwas. After we had been becalmed another day, tège of guards and nobles, the royal carriage apa stranger hove in sight, borne down to us by a proached; and, with that delicate courtesy so whiffling catspaw that died away just as she well understood by the king, the troops in atreached us. She proved to be an outward-bound tendance were ordered to sheathe their swords Indiaman. If I remember right, her name was and fall back as he entered the gateway. “M. the “General Palmer.” As the two ships lay de Breteuil," said the monarch to the captain of becalmed for some hours very near each other, his guard, “the King of France has no need of we sent a boat on board for news from England an escort when he finds himself in the midst of
--the frigate having been in the East for three his brave veterans." years. While discussing other matters, we heard Followed by the Dauphin, the Marquis de Louthat the Indiaman had crossed the line on the vais, and other distinguished personages, Louis day of our alarm at the bell-ringing, and that carefully inspected the invalids, pausing now and they had performed the usual ceremony of shav- then to address a few kind words to those whom ing the “greenhorns” on that occasion, accom- he recognized. One very young lad chanced to panied with immense fun.
| attract the king's attention. His face was very After the usual compliments, somewhat hast- pale, and he seemed to have received a severe ened by an appearance of a breeze, we were wound in the neck. about to step over the side, when it suddenly oc " What is your name?" asked Louis. curred to the officer in command of the boat to “Maurice, sire." ask the captain of the Indiaman if, during the “ In what battle were you wounded ?” Saturnalia of crossing the line, his ship's bell had “At Blenheim, sire.” been rung very violently.
At that word the brow of Louis darkened. “Very,” replied the captain ; “very ; it was “ Under what marshal did you serve?" one of the main features of our droll pastime. / “Sire, under Monseigneur de Tallard.” But why do you ask ?"
“Messieurs de Tallard and de Marsein," said “Oh, nothing particular—at least, not very,” the monarch, turning to Louvais, “can reckon a he said hesitatingly; "only we fancied we heard sufficient number of glorious days to efface the it.”
memory of that one. Even the sun is not with"What! on board your frigate ?” replied the out a spot.” And again addressing the young captain ; “that's impossible. Why, we never soldier, he said, “ Are you happy here?” sighted you till this morning."
“Ah! sire,” replied Maurice, “ your majesty's “ Nevertheless, I believe we heard your bell," goodness leaves us nothing to wish for."
The Marshal de Grancey, governor of the es- I shall not stay long." And throwing the bridlo tablishment, advanced and said: “Sire, behold to his aid-de-camp, Napoleon passed beneath the fruits of your beneficence! Before your ac- the principal gateway. Seeing a man dressed in cession the defenders of France had no asylum : a military hat, and with two epaulets badly connow, thanks to your majesty, want or distress cealed by his half-buttoned redingote, the sentry can never reach those who have shed their blood supposed him to be a superior officer, and allowed for their country. And if that which still runs him to pass without question. through our veins can do aught for the safety or Crossing his arms on his chest, the visitor, glory of our king, doubtless we will yet show having reached the principal court, stopped and our successors what stout hearts and willing looked around him. Suddenly the conversation hands can do.”
of two invalids coming out of the building atOnce more Louis looked around, and asked in tracted his attention. In order to listen, he a loud voice : “Well, my children, are ye happy walked behind them, regulating his pace by theirs, here?"
for they walked very slowly. These two men Till that moment etiquette and discipline had seemed bowed down with years. The least feeble imposed solemn silence; but when the king asked of them led his companion, and as they tottered a question, must he not be answered ? So two on he looked anxiously around. thousand voices cried together : “ We are! we “ Jerome," said the eldest, in a husky voice, are!-Long live the king! Long live Louis !” do you see him coming?"
Accompanied by the governor and a guard of “No, father; but never mind! I'll read him honor chosen from among the invalids, the mon- a lecture which he won't forget in a hurry-carearch then walked through the establishment. The less boy that he is !" guard consisted of twenty men, of whom ten had “But, Jerome, we must make some allowance lost a leg, and ten an arm, while the faces of all for him-we were once young ourselves. Bewere scarred and seamed with honorable wounds. sides, I dare say he thought my prayers would One of them, while serving as a subaltern at the not be finished so soon this evening—the boy battle of Berengen, threw himself before his col- has a kind heart." onel in time to save him, and received a ricochet Napoleon stepped forward, and addressing the bullet in his own leg. Another at the age of old men, said, “ Apparently, my friends, you are seventy-five was still a dandy, and managed to waiting for some one?" plait a queue with three hairs which yet remained The youngest looked up and touched his hat, on the top of his head. In one of the battles his for he saw the gleam of the epaulets. arm was carried off by a bullet. “Ah, my ring!! “Yes, colonel," replied he, "my father Maurmy ring !" cried he to a trumpeter next him- | ice and I have been waiting for my truant son. “ go get me my ring !" It had been a present He knows well that his grandfather requires the from a noble lady; and when the trumpeter placed support of his arms to reach the dormitory, as one it in his remaining hand, he seemed perfectly con- of mine is” Here he shook his empty sleeve. tented.
“ You are a brave fellow !” said the Emperor, The royal procession quitted the Hôtel amidst and your son has done wrong. But how came the saluting of cannon, and the shouting of the your father," he continued, as they walked along, inmates; and the next day, in order to commem- “ to remain so late out?”. orate the event, the following words were en “Because, colonel, he always devctes the aftergraved on a piece of ordnance : "Louis the Great noon of the 1st of September to conmemorate the honored with his august presence, for the first anniversary of the death of the king under whom time, his Hôtel des Invalides, on the 9th May, he formerly served.”
• What king was that ?"
“ His late majesty, Louis XIV.," said the old On the afternoon of the 1st September, 1806, man, who had not before joined in the conversaNapoleon mounted his horse, and quitted St. tion. Cloud, accompanied only by his grand marshal, “Louis XIV.!" repeated Napoleon in astonhis aid-de-camp, Rapp, and a page. After en-ishment. “Where can you have seen him ?" joying a brisk gallop through the Bois de Bou- “Here, in this place; he spoke to me, and I logne, he drew up at the gate of Maillot, and answered," said Maurice, grandly. dismissed his attendants, with the exception of “How old are you?" Rapp, who followed him into the avenue of Neu- “If I live till Candlemas, colonel, I shall be illy. Galloping by the spot where the triumphal | one hundred and twenty-one years old." arch was then beginning to rise from its foun "A hundred and twenty-one years !" cried the dations, they reached the grand avenue of the Emperor. And taking the old man's arm, he Champs Elysées, and proceeded toward the Hôtel said kindly, “Lean on me, old comrade, I will des Invalides. There Napoleon stopped and gazed support you." at the splendid edifice, glowing in the beams of "No, no, colonel; I know too well the rethe setting sun.
spect—" “Fine! very fine!” he repeated several times. "Nonsense! I desire it.” And the Emperor “Truly Louis XIV. was a great king!” Then gently placed the arm within his own, although addressing Rapp, he said, “ I am going to visit the veteran still resisted. my invalids this evening. Hold my horse-I “Come, father,” said Jerome, “ do as the col
onel orders you, or else the end of your polite-i “And an honorable one it is," said Napoleon. ness will be, that you'll have a fine cold to-mor- "Pray, in what engagement were you wounded ?” row. And then this young Cyprian is not coming “At the battle of Fleurus, colonel, gained
against the Austrians by General Jourdan, now “You must have entered this Hôtel while very Marshal of the Empire. A volley of grape-shot young ?" said Napoleon, as they walked along. knocked out my eye, and carried off both my legs
“Yes, colonel ; I was but eighteen when I at the same time. But,” added Cyprien, striking fought at Freidlingen, and the next year, at Blen- his powerful chest, “my heart was not touched, heim, I received a wound in my neck which dis- nor my stomach either, and they have both, I abled me, and obtained for me the favor of enter- hope, some good days' work in them yet." ing bere."
Napoleon smiled. “The battle of Fleurus," " It was not a favor,” interrupted Napoleon- he said, " was fought, I think, in 1794 ?” " it was a right."
“ Yes, colonel." "I have lived here upward of a hundred years. “That was already in Bonaparte's time,” reI was married here, and I have seen all my old
A and I have seen all my old I marked Maurice. comrades pass away. But, although there are “Grandfather,” replied Cyprien, "please to only young people now in the Hôtel, I am very say the Emperor Napoleon the Great ; that is happy since my children came to join me." I his proper title." "M. Jerome,” said Napoleon, how old are “In the time of his late majesty, Louis XIV._"
“Ah, grandfather," interrupted Cyprien, im“Going on ninety-one, colonel ; I was born in patiently, “we're tired of hearing about that mon1715.”
arch of the old régime, who used to go to war in “Yes," said his father, “the very year that his a flowing wig and silk stockings! He's not to late majesty, Louis XIV., died. I remember it be mentioned in the same year with the Emperor, as well as if it were yesterday."
who dresses and lives like one of ourselves. Is “What battles have you been in, my friend?" it not so, colonel ?"
" At Fontenoy, colonel, at Lamfedi, at Ros. Napoleon knitted his brows, and answered bach, at Berghen, and at Fribourg. It was in coldly: “You are mistaken, M. Cyprien; Louis the last battle I lost my arm. I came here in the XIV, was a great king! It was he who raised year 1763, in the time of Louis XV.”
France to the first rank among the nations of “That poor king,” said Napoleon, as if speak Europe ; it was he who first marshaled 400,000 ing to himself, “ who signed a shameful treaty soldiers on land, and one hundred vessels on the that deprived France of fifteen hundred leagues sea. He added to his dominions Roussillon, of coast."
Franche-Comté, and Flanders; he seated one of "And for the last forty-three years," said Mau- his children on the throne of Spain ; and it was rice, “ Jerome has watched me like a good and he who founded this Hôtel des Invalides. Since dutiful son. Pity that his should be so forgetful!" Charlemagne, there has not been a king in France
“Well," said Napoleon, “ I will do my best to worthy of being compared to him!” supply M. Cyprien's place. At your age it is not This eulogium on the monarch whom he almost good to be under the night air.”
idolized, caused the dim eyes of old Maurice to "Here he comes at last !" cried Jerome. sparkle ; he tried to straighten himself, and said,
The Emperor looked with some curiosity at this in a broken voice: “Bravo! bravo! Ah! colwild boy, for whose youth allowance was to be onel, you are worthy to have served his late mamade, and saw to his astonishment an invalid of jesty, Louis XIV. Had you lived in bis time he some sixty years old, with two wooden legs, but would have made you a field-marshal !" one eye, and a frightfully scarred face, advancing Somewhat abashed, Cyprien stammered out, toward them as quickly as his infirmities would "Excuse me, colonel; but you know I never knew permit. Jerome began to reproach his truant son, this king of grandfather's. I only heard him but the latter interrupted him by holding up a spoken of by some of the oldest men here." flask, a piece of white bread, and a few lumps of " And those who spoke disrespectfully of him," sugar. “See,” he said, “it was getting these said Napoleon, “ did wrong. Here, at all events, things that delayed me. I knew grandfather the memory of Louis XIV. ought to be venerawould like a draught of warm wine and sugar ted." after his long stay out; so I went to my old At that moment lights appeared at the end of friend Colibert, and persuaded him to give me the court, a sound of voices was heard, and many his allowance of wine in exchange for my mount- persons approached. Rapp had waited a long ing guard in his place to-morrow."
time on the spot where the Emperor had left him ; “Well, well,” said Jerome, " that was thought- but when it became dark, and his master did not ful of you my boy, but meantime we should have return, he grew uneasy, and giving the horses in been badly off but for the kindness of this noble charge to a soldier, he entered the Hôtel, and told colonel, who has made your grandfather lean on the governor, Marshal Serrurier, that the Emperor him."
had been for the last hour incognito within the Cyprien saluted the Emperor, whom, in the in- | walls. The news spread quickly among the of · creasing darkness, he did not recognize, and said, ficers; they hastened to look for their beloved
“ Now then, sir, with your permission I will remaster, and found him on the terrace conversing sume my post."
with his three companions.
At the cries of “ Here he is ! long live the Em- of dragoons to be in attendance. The Emperor peror !!. Cyprien, fixing his eye attentively on the got in with his aid-de-camp, while the echoes of supposed colonel, suddenly recognized him, and the Seine resounded with shouts of " Vire l'Emclasping his hands, exclaimed : “ Ah! Sire, par- pereur !". don me. Father, grandfather-this is the Em- “ This has been one of the happiest evenings in peror himself!"
my life!” he said to Rapp. “I should like well “ You the Emperor, colonel !" cried the two enough to pass the remainder of my days in the old men.
Hôtel des Invalides." “Yes, my children,” replied Napoleon, kindly “Then I," replied the aid-de-camp, with his holding each by an arm, in order to prevent them usual frankness, “ should like to be assured of from kneeling, “although much younger than dying and being buried there." you, I am your father, and the father of every sol- “Who knows ?" said Napoleon ; "that may dier who has fought for the honor of France !” happen; and I myself—who knows" He did
At that moment, Rapp, the governor, and their not finish the sentence, but fell into a profound attendants, came up and saluted Napoleon. With reverie, which lasted during the remainder of the a stern look, he said to his aid-de-camp, in an drive. under tone, “ You should have had patience to wait.” . Then, turning to the others in an affable On the 15th of December, 1840, a funeral car, manner, he said : “ Approach, marshal and gen-covered with crowns of laurel, preceded by the tlemen; help me to recompense three generations banner of France, and followed by the surviving of heroes. These brave men," pointing to Mau- relics of her forty armies, passed slowly beneath rice, Jerome, and Cyprien,“ have fought in three the Triumphal Arch de l'Etoile. The sarcophaglorious battles--Freidlingen, Racours, and Fleu-gus it bore contained the mortal spoils of him rus. Marshal," to Serrurier, “lend me your cross; who, in the space of fifteen years, had well-nigh you shall have one in its stead to-morrow," he conquered the world. The dead Napoleon was added, smiling. “Give me yours also, Rapp.” thus tardily borne to his place beneath that dome
Having received the two crosses, Napoleon raised for the shelter of heroes. gave one to Jerome, the other to Cyprien ; and Late in the evening, when the crowd had slowthen taking off his own, he fastened it on the ly dispersed, when the murmur of its thousand breast of the venerable Maurice, saying, as he mournful voices was hushed, when the solitude did so, “My old comrade, I regret that I did not was complete, and the silence unbroken, an invasooner discharge this debt which France owes lid, a centegenarian, almost blind, and walking on
two wooden legs, entered the chapel where re“Long live the Emperor! long live the Em-posed the body of Napoleon. Supported by two peror !" shouted all present.
of his comrades, he reached with difficulty the "Sire,” said old Maurice, in a voice trembling foot of the imperial catafalque. Taking off his with rapture, “you have made the remainder of wooden legs in order to kneel down, he bent his life happy to me and my children.”
| venerable head on the steps; and presently, min“My brave fellow," replied Napoleon, giving gled with sobs, ho uttered in broken accents the his hand, which the old man seized and pressed words, “ Emperor! father!” respectfully with his lips, " I repeat that I am At length his companions succeeded in draw. only discharging a debt which our country owes ing him away; and as he passed out, the superior you."
officers of the Hôtel respectfully saluted the old Meantimne the news had spread throughout the man. He who thus came to render his last homHôtel that the Emperor was there. All the in- age to his master was Cyprien, the grandson of mates, disregarding rules and discipline, came father Maurice. out of their rooms, and rushed into the court, crying out, “ Long live the Emperor !"
A CHAPTER ON ASHES. In a moment Napoleon found himself surround-SUOME of the most beautiful provisions of an ed by a crowd of eager veterans, each trying who Almighty power are lost to our comprehencould get nearest to his beloved general. sion from the very circumstance of their being so
“My Emperor !” cried one, “I was with you common. If the world's economy had been regat Toulon !” “And I at the passage of St. Ber- ulated by the Creator after the fashion of our own nard !” “And I at Trebia !” “You spoke to imperfect schemes, among which there are various me at Aboukir !” “I shared my bread with you degrees of excellence, then we might have been at Roveredo !” “I picked up your hat at Maren- struck with perfections by comparison with things go!” “I was at Austerlitz !” etc., etc.
less perfect; but where all is so perfect, so excelNapoleon smiled at the reminiscences of these lent, the beauty of that excellence is only to be extempore Xenophons, and tried to answer each learned by study and attention. individually, inquiring whether they were content What can seemingly present so uninteresting with their position, or wished for any thing with a scope for investigation as the theme of ashes? which he could supply them.
What subject apparently so commonplace, so At length Napoleon took leave of the governor; poor, so uninviting? Yet beautiful consideraand the crowd opening, respectfully made way tions spring out of the study of this material, and for him to pass to the gate. Rapp had sent back proofs of God's benevolence are made evident, as the horses, and ordered a carriage with an escort we shall see.
Reader, have you never stood before a black- | when burned yields no gas or smoke, but is consmith's forge? Have you never seen a piece of verted entirely into ashes; and still more wonderiron, white-hot and glowing, snatched from the ful to relate, the ashes weigh more than the origforge, and then, when laid on the anvil and struck inal iron, so that twenty-eight pounds of iron by a hammer, dart forth in every direction its yield after combustion no less than thirty-three sparkling coruscations? What do you imagine pounds of ashes. See what a beautiful provision to be the nature of these metallic coruscations? of nature this circumstance makes known to us. They are ashes, nothing but ashes—ashes of burn- It appears that wood and coal and coke, and every ing iron ; and although such ashes are dignified other variety of fuel commonly used by mankind, by chemists with a peculiar name, being called would have been totally unadapted to our uses, "oxide of iron,” yet they are nevertheless ashes. if provision had not been made relative to the Let us here pause awhile to create in the reader's quantity of their resulting ashes. Thus, suppose mind an idea with which he is perhaps not yet for an instant that every twenty-eight pounds of fainiliar-an idea of the combustibility of iron. coals had been so constituted that they must have Every body knows that candles and coal and wood, yielded thirty-three of ashes, it follows that in and many other things ordinarily termed com- process of time we could no longer have employbustibles, will burn, but every body does not yet ed coal as fuel. The constant necessity for clearknow that a piece of iron will in like manner ing away so vast an amount of ashes would have burn, even though they may have seen the opera- been too much for us. The vicinity of man's tion performed.
dwelling-places would be disfigured by enormous Although the heating of a piece of iron in a heaps of unsightly cinders. But the mere embarsmith's forge is the instance we have chosen, yet rassment connected with the presence of such a there are far commoner examples than this. Is material where not required is not the only disadthe circumstance not quite familiar to most of us, vantage that would ensue. Providence has so arthat a fire-poker becomes after the lapse of time ranged matters, that the ashes of wood and coals, considerably diminished in size? and do we not and perhaps of all other bodies commonly employeven in common language say that the poker has ed by man as articles of fuel, shall be advantageburned away? The expression is not figurative, ous to man's future wants. Thus, for instance, it is real; in point of fact, iron is a combustible supposing wood to be the combustible under conbody, and so, under peculiar circumstances, is sideration, the resulting ashes are for the most overy other metal, not even gold being an excep part a mixture of various substances which are tion to the rule. Perhaps the reader will like to soluble in water, and which being dissolved by witness a rather more decided case of iron com- rain, prove advantageous to the growth of plants. bustion than any of those we have already cited. Of this kind is potash, a substance not only useful Well, his desires can be gratified with much ease. | as a manure, but employed in the manufacture of If a very fine sewing needle be stuck by means soap and numerous other articles. All the potash of its eye extremity in a piece of cork, and its sold in shops was originally produced from woodpoint inserted into the flame of a candle, the point ashes; and in certain places, where soap is dear, will take fire, and dart off sparks in every direc- water that has been poured over wood-ashes and tion. Presently, however, for some reason not has extracted the potash is used as a substitute. yet evident, although it will be soon, the needle At this period of our description, the reader may ceases to burn, and now it is time for us to pause, as well perform an experiment. It will require and reflect on what we have seen. The very fact no costly apparatus, and will teach an important that iron burns under ordinary circumstances, yet fact; therefore, although not of a very showy does not burn well, demonstrates the beauty of character, the experiment will not be devoid of that provision by which the Almighty has render- interest. Taking a portion of actually pure water ed the metal iron adapted to our wants. Sup- -that is to say, distilled water-the young exposing it were so constituted as not merely to perimentalist may pour it into a watch-glass, and, burn, but to burn well in the ordinary manner of placing the watch-glass in a heated oven, the combustibles, then we at once see that the metal whole may be allowed to remain until perfectly iron might as well have not existed for aught of dry. These directions being attended to, it will service it would have been to man. Who would be found, at the expiration of a certain time-debe thoughtless enough to build fire-stoves of wood? pendent on the quantity of water used, the degree or to make tongs and pokers and shovels of wood ? | of heat employed, and some other considerations It is evident such instruments never could be used —that the watch-glass is not only perfectly dry, · for their appropriate purposes. They would take but also quite clean and unsoiled; in other words, fire, and burn, dissipated for the most part into that all the water has been driven off in the form invisible fleeting gases, but leaving a little, a very of steam. But if the experiment be repeated with little, ashes. Well, if iron had been capable of water that has been allowed to come in contact bnrning a little more readily than it does, then we with wood-ashes, and from which the ashes have could no more have formed fire-tongs and shovels been allowed to deposit, then the watch-glass will and grates and pokers of iron than we now can contain a portion—a small portion it is true-of of wood. All this is evident; but a very wonder-white solid matter, which, in general terms, may ful fact remains to be told. Although burning be called " potash ;” and in this way potash, sold wood is dissipated for the most part into gases in commerce under the name of pearlash, is actuand smoke, leaving but very little aslies, yet iron ally made on the large scale.