The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 6, April, 1858 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 6, April, 1858.
that was to decide his fate.  No branch of art was idle that could contribute to the approaching conflict.  Cannon were cast with unprecedented rapidity, and the material of war was turned out to the extent of human ability.  But he was deficient in everything that constitutes an army.  Men, horses, arms, equipage, all were wanting.  The long succession of dreadful wars which had decimated the country had also destroyed, beyond the possibility of immediate repair, that formidable arm which had decided so many battles, and which is peculiarly adapted to the impetuosity of the French character.  The cavalry was feeble, and it was evident, even to an unpractised eye, as the columns marched through the streets, that the horses were unequal to their riders.  The campaign of Moscow had been irretrievably disastrous to this branch of the service.  Thirty thousand horses had perished in a single night, and the events which succeeded had almost entirely exhausted this indispensable auxiliary in the tactics of war.

The expedients to which the government was reduced were evident in the processions of unwashed citizens, which paraded the streets as a demonstration of the popular determination to “do or die.”  Whatever could be raked from the remote quarters of Paris was marshalled before the Emperor.  Faubourgs, which in the worst days of the Revolution had produced its worst actors, now poured out their squalid and motley inhabitants, and astonished the more refined portions of the metropolis with this eruption of semi-civilization.

[To be continued.]





I can no longer complain that I see no one but Kate, for she has an ardent admirer in one of our neighbors.  He comes daily to watch her, in the Dumbiedikes style of courtship, and seriously interferes with our quiet pursuits.  Besides this “braw wooer,” we have another intruder upon our privacy.

Kate told me, a fortnight ago, that she expected a young friend of hers, a Miss Alice Wellspring, to pay her a visit of some weeks.  I did not have the ingratitude to murmur aloud, but I was secretly devoured by chagrin.

How irksome, to have to entertain a young lady; to be obliged to talk when I did not feel inclined; to listen when I was impatient and weary; to have to thank her, perhaps fifty times a day, for meaningless expressions of condolence or affected pity; to tell her every morning how I was!  Intolerable!

Ten chances to one, she was a giggling, flirting girl,—­my utter abhorrence.  I had seldom heard Lina speak of her.  I only knew that she and her half-brother came over from Europe in the same vessel with my sister, and that, as he had sailed again, the young lady was left rather desolate, having no near relatives.

Miss Wellspring arrived a week ago, and I found that my fears had been groundless.  She is an unaffected, pretty little creature,—­a perfect child, with the curliest chestnut hair, deep blue eyes, and the brightest cheeks, lips, and teeth.  She has a laugh that it is a pleasure to hear, and a quick blush which tempts to mischief.  One wants continually to provoke it, it is so pretty, and the slightest word of compliment calls it up.

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The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 01, No. 6, April, 1858 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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