Which relates A curious conversation that took place when they reached the house of Angelio’s parents.
As it would be impossible to describe, within the limits to which I am bound as writer of this history, the many curious things that took place when they reached the home of Angelio, I must content myself by stating that the general was cordially received by her aged parents, who set before him the best fare their humble condition afforded, such being the custom of the country. They also hastened to provide for his mule. In short, nothing was left undone that could in any way add to the comfort of man and beast; and though their cabin was built of logs and reeds, more perfect happiness was not to be found under any roof. When then, the general had refreshed himself, Angelio sung to him, brought him flowers, took his hand in her own, and so cheered his drooping spirits that he forthwith commenced, and gave Mr. Tickler an account of all that had befallen him since they parted, not even forgetting to mention the death of old Battle, and the wonderful exploit by which it was brought about; all of which has been truthfully recorded, and need not be repeated here. And when he was finished, he requested Mr. Tickler to give him an account of how he came to be so comfortably situated. “Honestly, your excellency,” replied Mr. Tickler, “though it cannot be said of me that I have faults as a critic, I confess to have weaknesses which are strong in the nature, as it is called; and these weaknesses run to making love, which is a passion with me.”
“Pray, sir,” interrupted the general, with a nod, “remember that men of your profession cannot lay exclusive claim to this, for it is common to the soldier, and indeed the very best proof of his gallantry.”
“That may be,” resumed the critic, “I know but little of soldiering; though give me the pen and I can fight a good stroke. Seeing that you were bent on having a war, which I saw would result in no end of bloody battles. ‘Orlando Tickler,’ said I to myself, ’to them that likes with the war, and do you keep at a safe distance; for when swords are clashing there’s no knowing one minute where a man’s head may be the very next.’ So while your excellency was surrounded by your generals, and had all your thoughts fixed on conquering the kingdom, I rode my mule into the very grove where we met, intending there to spend the night, proceed to Jolliffee in the morning, and seek my way home as best I could. In truth, I felt my poverty pinching, and I was hungry.”
“Two human ills no amount of courage can overcome,” rejoined the general, with a patronizing bow.