Read Chapter XIII. of Wyandotte, free online book, by James Fenimore Cooper, on

  And glory long has made the sages smile,
  Tis something, nothing, words, illusion, wind ­
  Depending more upon the historian’s style
  Than on the name a person leaves behind. 
  Troy owes to Homer what whist owes to Hoyle
  The present century was growing blind
  To the great Marlborough’s skill in giving knocks,
  Until his late Life by Archdeacon Coxe.


Major Willoughby’s feet were scarcely on the library floor, when he was clasped in his mother’s arms.  From these he soon passed into Beulah’s; nor did his father hesitate about giving him an embrace nearly as warm.  As for Maud, she stood by, weeping in sympathy and in silence.

“And you, too, old man,” said Robert Willoughby, dashing the tears from his eyes, and turning to the elder black, holding out a hand ­“this is not the first time, by many, old Pliny, that you have had me between heaven and earth.  Your son was my old play-fellow, and we must shake hands also.  As for O’Hearn, steel is not truer, and we are friends for life.”

The negroes were delighted to see their young master, for, in that day, the slaves exulted in the honour, appearance, importance and dignity of their owners, far more than their liberated descendants do now in their own.  The major had been their friend when a boy; and he was, at present, their pride and glory.  In their view of the matter, the English army did not contain his equal in looks, courage, military skill, or experience; and it was treason per se to fight against a cause that he upheld.  The captain had laughingly related to his wife a conversation to this effect he had not long before overheard between the two Plinys.

“Well, Miss Beuly do a pretty well” ­observed the elder, “but, den he all’e better, if he no get ’Merican ’mission.  What you call raal colonel, eh?  Have ’e paper from ’e king like Masser Bob, and wear a rigimental like a head of a turkey cock, so!  Dat bein’ an up and down officer.”

“P’rhaps Miss Beuly bring a colonel round, and take off a blue coat, and put on a scarlet,” answered the younger.

“Nebber! ­nebber see dat, Plin, in a rebbleushun.  Dis got to be a rebbleushun; and when dat begin in ’arnest, gib up all idée of ’mendment.  Rebbleushuns look all one way ­nebber see two side, any more dan coloured man see two side in a red-skin.”

As we have not been able to trace the thought to antiquity, this expression may have been the original of the celebrated axiom of Napoleon, which tells us that “revolutions never go backwards.”  At all events, such was the notion of Pliny Willoughby, Sen., as the namesake of the great Roman styled himself; and it was greatly admired by Pliny Willoughby, Jun., to say nothing of the opinions of Big Smash and Little Smash, both of whom were listeners to the discourse.

“Well, I wish a colonel Beekman” ­To this name the fellow gave the true Doric sound of Bakeman ­“I wish a colonel Beekman only corprul in king’s troops, for Miss Beuly’s sake.  Better be sarjun dere, dan briggerdeer-ginral in ’Merikan company; dat I know.”

“What a briggerdeer mean, Plin?” inquired Little Smash, with interest.  “Who he keep company wid, and what he do?  Tell a body, do ­so many officer in ’e army, one nebber know all he name.”

“’Mericans can’t hab ’em.  Too poor for dat.  Briggerdeer great gentleum, and wear a red coat.  Olé time, see ’em in hundreds, come to visit Masser, and Missus, and play wid Masser Bob.  Oh! no rebbleushun in dem days; but ebbery body know he own business, and do it, too.”

This will serve to show the political sentiments of the Plinys, and may also indicate the bias that the Smashes were likely to imbibe in such company.  As a matter of course, the major was gladly welcomed by these devoted admirers; and when Maud again whispered to them the necessity of secresy, each shut his mouth, no trifling operation in itself, as if it were to be henceforth hermetically sealed.

The assistants were now dismissed, and the major was left alone with his family.  Again and again Mrs. Willoughby embraced her son; nor had her new ties at all lessened Beulah’s interest in her brother.  Even the captain kissed his boy anew, while Mr. Woods shook hands once more with his old pupil, and blessed him.  Maud alone was passive in this scene of feeling and joy.

“Now, Bob, let us to business,” said the captain, as soon as tranquillity was a little restored.  “You have not made this difficult and perilous journey without an object; and, as we are somewhat critically situated ourselves, the sooner we know what it is, the less will be the danger of its not producing its proper effect.”

“Heaven send, dear sir, that it fail not in its effect, indeed,” answered the son.  “But is not this movement in the valley pressing, and have I not come opportunely to take a part in the defence of the house?”

“That will be seen a few hours later, perhaps.  Everything is quiet now, and will probably so remain until near morning; or Indian tactics have undergone a change.  The fellows have lighted camp-fires on their rocks, and seem disposed to rest for the present, at least.  Nor do I know that they are bent on war at all.  We have no Indians near us, who would be likely to dig up the hatchet; and these fellows profess peace, by a messenger they have sent me.”

“Are they not in their war-paint, sir?  I remember to have seen warriors, when a boy, and my glass has given these men the appearance of being on what they call ‘a war-path.’”

“Some of them are certainly in that guise, though he who came to the Knoll was not. He pretended that they were a party travelling towards the Hudson in order to learn the true causes of the difficulties between their Great English and their Great American Fathers.  He asked for meal and meat to feed his young men with.  This was the whole purport of his errand.”

“And your answer, sir; is it peace, or war, between you?”

“Peace in professions, but I much fear war in reality.  Still one cannot know.  An old frontier garrison-man, like myself, is not apt to put much reliance on Indian faith.  We are now, God be praised! all within the stockade; and having plenty of arms and ammunition, are not likely to be easily stormed.  A siege is out of the question; we are too well provisioned to dread that.”

“But you leave the mills, the growing grain, the barns, even the cabins of your workmen, altogether at the mercy of these wretches.”

“That cannot well be avoided, unless we go out and drive them off, in open battle.  For the last, they are too strong, to say nothing of the odds of risking fathers of families against mere vagabonds, as I suspect these savages to be.  I have told them to help themselves to meal, or grain, of which they will find plenty in the mill.  Pork can be got in the houses, and they have made way with a deer already, that I had expected the pleasure of dissecting myself.  The cattle roam the woods at this season, and are tolerably safe; but they can burn the barns and other buildings, should they see fit.  In this respect, we are at their mercy.  If they ask for rum, or cider, that may bring matters to a head; for, refusing may exasperate them, and granting either, in any quantity, will certainly cause them all to get intoxicated.”

“Why would not that be good policy, Willoughby?” exclaimed the chaplain.  “If fairly disguised once, our people might steal out upon them, and take away all their arms.  Drunken men sleep very profoundly.”

“It would be a canonical mode of warfare, perhaps, Woods,” returned the chaplain, smiling, “but not exactly a military.  I think it safer that they should continue sober; for, as yet, they manifest no great intentions of hostility.  But of this we can speak hereafter.  Why are you here, my son, and in this guise?”

“The motive may as well be told now, as at another time,” answered the major, giving his mother and sisters chairs, while the others imitated their example in being seated.  “Sir William Howe has permitted me to come out to see you ­I might almost say ordered me out; for matters have now reached a pass when we think every loyal gentleman in America must feel disposed to take sides with the crown.”

A general movement among his auditors told the major the extent of the interest they felt in what was expected to follow.  He paused an instant to survey the dark-looking group that was clustering around him; for no lights were in the room on account of the open windows, and he spoke in a low voice from motives of prudence; then he proceeded: 

“I should infer from the little that passed between Maud and myself,” he said, “that you are ignorant of the two most important events that have yet occurred in this unhappy conflict?”

“We learn little here,” answered the father.  “I have heard that my Lord Howe and his brother Sir William have been named commissioners by His Majesty to heal all the differences.  I knew them both, when young men, and their elder brother before them.  Black Dick, as we used to call the admiral, is a discreet, well-meaning man; though I fear both of them owe their appointments more to their affinity to the sovereign than to the qualities that might best fit them to deal with the Americans.”

“Little is known of the affinity of which you speak, and less said in the army,” returned the major, “but I fear there is no hope of the object of the commission’s being effected.  The American congress has declared the colonies altogether independent of England; and so far as this country is concerned, the war is carried on as between nation and nation.  All allegiance, even in name, is openly cast aside.”

[ The mother of the three Lords Howe, so well known in American history, viz:  George, killed before Ticonderoga, in the war of ’56; Richard, the celebrated admiral, and the hero of the 1st June; and Sir William, for several years commander-in-chief in this country, and the 5th and last viscount; was a Mademoiselle Kilmansegge, who was supposed to be a natural daughter of George I. This would make these three officers and George II. first-cousins; and George III their great-nephew a la mode de Bretagne.  Walpole, and various other English writers, speak openly, not only of the connection, but of the family resemblance.  Indeed, most of the gossiping writers of that age seem to allow that Lord Howe was a grandson of the first English sovereign of the House of Brunswick.]

“You astonish me, Bob!  I did not think it could ever come to this!”

“I thought your native attachments would hardly endure as strong a measure as this has got to be,” answered the major, not a little satisfied with the strength of feeling manifested by his father.  “Yet has this been done, sir, and done in a way that it will not be easy to recall.  Those who now resist us, resist for the sake of throwing off all connection with England.”

“Has France any agency in this, Bob? ­I own it startles me, and has a French look.”

“It has driven many of the most respectable of our enemies into our arms, sir.  We have never considered you a direct enemy, though unhappily inclining too much against us; ’but this will determine Sir Hugh,’ said the commander-in-chief in our closing interview ­I suppose you know, my dear father, that all your old friends, knowing what has happened, insist on calling you Sir Hugh.  I assure you, I never open my lips on the subject; and yet Lord Howe drank to the health of Sir Hugh Willoughby, openly at his own table, the last time I had the honour to dine with him.”

“Then the next time he favours you with an invitation, Bob, be kind enough to thank him.  I want no empty baronetcy, nor do I ever think of returning to England to live.  Were all I had on earth drummed together, it would barely make out a respectable competency for a private gentleman in that extravagant state of society; and what is a mere name to one in such circumstances?  I wish it were transferable, my dear boy, in the old Scotch mode, and you should be Sir Bob before you slept.”

“But, Willoughby, it may be useful to Robert, and why should he not have the title, since neither you nor I care for it?” asked the considerate mother.

“So he may, my dear; though he must wait for an event that I fancy you are not very impatient to witness ­my death.  When I am gone, let him be Sir Robert, in welcome.  But, Bob ­for plain, honest Bob must you remain till then, unless indeed you earn your spurs in this unhappy war ­have you any military tidings for us?  We have heard nothing since the arrival of the fleet on the coast.”

“We are in New York, after routing Washington on Long Island.  The rebels” ­the major spoke a little more confidently than had been his wont ­“The rebels have retreated into the high country, near the borders of Connecticut, where they have inveterate nests of the disaffected in their rear.”

“And has all this been done without bloodshed?  Washington had staff in him, in the old French business.”

His stuff is not doubted, sir; but his men make miserable work of it.  Really I am sometimes ashamed of having been born in the country.  These Yankees fight like wrangling women, rather than soldiers.”

“How’s this! ­You spoke honestly of the affair at Lexington, and wrote us a frank account of the murderous work at Bunker Hill.  Have their natures changed with the change of season?”

“To own the truth, sir, they did wonders on the Hill, and not badly in the other affair; but all their spirit seems gone.  I am quite ashamed of them.  Perhaps this declaration of independence, as it is called, has damped their ardour.”

“No, my son ­the change, if change there is, depends on a general and natural law.  Nothing but discipline and long training can carry men with credit through a campaign, in the open field.  Fathers, and husbands, and brothers and lovers, make formidable enemies, in sight of their own chimney-tops; but the most flogging regiments, we used to say, were the best fighting regiments for a long pull.  But, have a care, Bob; you are now of a rank that may well get you a separate command, and do not despise your enemy.  I know these Yankees well ­you are one, yourself, though only half-blooded; but I know them well, and have often seen them tried.  They are very apt to be badly commanded, heaven cursing them for their sins, in this form more than any other ­ but get them fairly at work, and the guards will have as much as they can wish, to get along with.  Woods will swear to that.”

“Objecting to the mode of corroboration, my dear sir, I can support its substance.  Inclined as I am to uphold Cæsar, and to do honour to the Lord’s anointed, I will not deny my countrymen’s courage; though I think, Willoughby, now I recall old times, it was rather the fashion of our officers to treat it somewhat disrespectfully.”

“It was, indeed,” answered the captain, thoughtfully ­“and a silly thing it was.  They mistook the nature of a mild and pacific people, totally without the glitter and habits of military life, for a timid people; and I have often heard the new hands in the colonies speak of their inhabitants with contempt on this very head.  Braddock had that failing to a great degree; and yet this very major Washington saved his army from annihilation, when it came to truly desperate work.  Mark the words of a much older soldier than yourself, Bob; you may have more of the bravery of apparel, and present a more military aspect; may even gain advantages over them by means of higher discipline, better arms, and more accurate combinations; but, when you meet them fairly, depend on it you will meet dangerous foes, and men capable of being sooner drilled into good soldiers than any nation I have met with.  Their great curse is, and probably will be, in selecting too many of their officers from classes not embued with proper military pride, and altogether without the collaterals of a good military education.”

To all this the major had nothing very material to object, and remembering that the silent but thoughtful Beulah had a husband in what he called the rebel ranks, he changed the subject.  Arrangements were now made for the comfort and privacy of the unlooked-for guest.  Adjoining the library, a room with no direct communication with the court by means of either door, or window, was a small and retired apartment containing a cot-bed, to which the captain was accustomed to retire in the cases of indisposition, when Mrs. Willoughby wished to have either of her daughters with herself, on their account, or on her own.  This room was now given to the major, and in it he would be perfectly free from every sort of intrusion.  He might eat in the library, if necessary; though, all the windows of that wing of the house opening outward, there was little danger of being seen by any but the regular domestics of the family, all of whom were to be let into the secret of his presence, and all of whom were rightly judged to be perfectly trustworthy.

As the evening promised to be dark, it was determined among the gentlemen that the major should disguise himself still more than he was already, and venture outside of the building, in company with his father, and the chaplain, as soon as the people, who were now crowded into the vacant rooms in the empty part of the house, had taken possession of their respective quarters for the night.  In the meantime a hearty supper was provided for the traveller in the library, the bullet-proof window-shutters of which room, and indeed of all the others on that side of the building, having first been closed, in order that lights might be used, without drawing a shot from the adjoining forest.

“We are very safe, here,” observed the captain, as his son appeased his hunger, with the keen relish of a traveller.  “Even Woods might stand a siege in a house built and stockaded like this.  Every window has solid bullet-proof shutters, with fastenings not easily broken; and the logs of the buildings might almost defy round-shot.  The gates are all up, one leaf excepted, and that leaf stands nearly in its place, well propped and supported.  In the morning it shall be hung like the others.  Then the stockade is complete, and has not a speck of decay about it yet.  We shall keep a guard of twelve men up the whole night, with three sentinels outside of the buildings; and all of us will sleep in our clothes, and on our arms.  My plan, should an assault be made, is to draw in the sentinels, as soon as they have discharged their pieces, to close the gate, and man the loops.  The last are all open, and spare arms are distributed at them.  I had a walk made within the ridge of the roofs this spring, by which men can run round the whole Hut, in the event of an attempt to, set fire to the shingles, or fire over the ridge at an enemy at the stockades.  It is a great improvement, Bob; and, as it is well railed, will make a capital station in a warm conflict, before the enemy make their way within the stockade.”

“We must endeavour not to let them get there, sir,” answered the major ­“but, as soon as your people are housed, I shall have an opportunity to reconnoitre.  Open work is most to the taste of us regulars.”

“Not against an Indian enemy.  You will be glad of such a fortress as this, boy, before the question of independence, or no independence, shall be finally settled.  Did not Washington entrench in the town?”

“Not much on that side of the water, sir; though he was reasonably well in the ground on Long Island. There he had many thousands of men, and works of some extent.”

“And how did he get off the island?” demanded the captain, turning round to look his son in the face.  “The arm of the sea is quite half-a-mile in width, at that point ­how did he cross it in the face of a victorious army? ­or did he only save himself, while you captured his troops?”

The major coloured a little, and then he looked at Beulah and smiled good-naturedly.

“I am so surrounded by rebels here,” he said, “that it is not easy to answer all your questions, sir.  Beat him we did, beyond a question, and that with a heavy loss to his army ­and out of New York we have driven him, beyond a question ­but ­I will not increase Beulah’s conceit by stating any more!”

“If you can tell me anything kind of Evert, Bob, you will act like a brother in so doing,” said the gentle wife.

“Ay, Beekman did well too, they said.  I heard some of our officers extolling a charge he made; and to own the truth, I was not sorry to be able to say he was my sister’s husband, since a fierce rebel she would marry.  All our news of him is to his credit; and now I shall get a kiss for my pains.”

The major was not mistaken.  With a swelling heart, but smiling countenance, his sister threw herself into his arms, when she kissed and was kissed until the tears streamed down her cheeks.

“It was of Washington I intended to speak, sir,” resumed the major, dashing a tear or two from his own eyes, as Beulah resumed her chair.  “His retreat from the island is spoken of as masterly, and has gained him great credit.  He conducted it in person, and did not lose a man.  I heard Sir William mention it as masterly.”

“Then by heaven, America will prevail in this contest!” exclaims I the captain, striking his fist upon the table, with a suddenness and force that caused all in the room to start.  “If she has a general who can effect such a movement skilfully, the reign of England is over, here.  Why, Woods, Xenophon never did a better thing!  The retreat of the ten thousand was boy’s play to getting across that water.  Besides, your victory could have been no great matter, Bob, or it would never have been done.”

“Our victory was respectable, sir, while I acknowledge that the retreat was great.  No one among us denies it, and Washington is always named with respect in the army.”

In a minute more, Big Smash came in, under the pretence of removing the dishes, but, in reality to see Master Bob, and to be noticed by him.  She was a woman of sixty, the mother of Little Smash, herself a respectable matron of forty; and both had been born in the household of Mrs. Willoughby’s father, and had rather more attachment for any one of her children than for all of their own, though each had been reasonably prolific.  The sobriquets had passed into general use, and the real names of Bess and Ma_ri’_ were nearly obsolete.  Still, the major thought it polite to use the latter on the present occasion.

“Upon my word, Mrs. Bess,” he said, shaking the old woman cordially by the hand, though he instinctively shrunk back from the sight of a pair of lips that were quite ultra, in the way of pouting, which used often to salute him twenty years before ­“Upon my word, Mrs. Bess, you improve in beauty, everytime I see you.  Old age and you seem to be total strangers to each other.  How do you manage to remain so comely and so young?”

“God send ‘e fus’, Masser Bob, heabben be praise, and a good conscience do ‘e las’.  I do wish you could make olé Plin hear dat!  He nebber t’ink any good look, now-a-day, in a olé wench.”

“Pliny is half blind.  But that is the way with most husbands, Smash; they become blind to the charms of their spouses, after a few years of matrimony.”

“Nebber get marry, Masser Bob, if dat be ’e way.”

Then Great Smash gave such a laugh, and such a swing of her unwieldy body, that one might well have apprehended her downfall.  But, no such thing.  She maintained the equilibrium; for, renowned as she had been all her life at producing havoc among plates, and cups, and bowls, she was never known to be thrown off her own centre of gravity.  Another hearty shake of the hand followed, and the major quitted the table.  As was usual on all great and joyous occasions in the family, when the emotions reached the kitchen, that evening was remarkable for a “smash,” in which half the crockery that had just been brought from the table, fell an unresisting sacrifice.  This produced a hot discussion between “The Big” and “The Little” as to the offender, which resulted, as so often happens, in these inquiries into the accidents of domestic life, in the conclusion that “nobody” was alone to blame.

“How ’e t’ink he can come back, and not a plate crack!” exclaimed Little Smash, in a vindicatory tone, she being the real delinquent ­“Get in ’e winder, too!  Lor! dat enough to break all ’e dish in ’e house, and in ’e mill, too!  I do wish ebbery plate we got was an Injin ­den you see fun!  Can nebber like Injin; ’em so red, and so sabbage!”

“Nebber talk of Injin, now,” answered the indignant mother ­“better talk of plate.  Dis make forty t’ousand dish you break, Mari’, sin’ you war’ a young woman.  S’pose you t’ink Masser made of plate, dat you break ’em up so!  Dat what olé Plin say ­de nigger!  He say all men made of clay, and plate made of clay, too ­well, bot’ clay, and bot’ break.  All on us wessels, and all on us break to pieces some day, and den dey’ll t’row us away, too.”

A general laugh succeeded this touch of morality, Great Smash being a little addicted to ethical remarks of this nature; after which the war was renewed on the subject of the broken crockery.  Nor did it soon cease; wrangling, laughing, singing, toiling, a light-heartedness that knew no serious cares, and affection, making up the sum of the everyday existence of these semi-civilized beings.  The presence of the party in the valley, however, afforded the subject of an episode; for a negro has quite as much of the de haut en bas in his manner of viewing the aborigines, as the whites have in their speculations on his own race.  Mingled with this contempt, notwithstanding, was a very active dread, neither of the Plinys, nor of their amiable consorts, in the least relishing the idea of being shorn of the wool, with shears as penetrating as the scalping-knife.  After a good deal of discussion on this subject, the kitchen arrived at the conclusion that the visit of the major was ordered by Providence, since it was out of all the rules of probability and practice to have a few half-clad savages get the better of “Masser Bob,” who was born a soldier, and had so recently been fighting for the king.

On the latter subject, we ought to have stated that the captain’s kitchen was ultra-loyal.  The rude, but simple beings it contained, had a reverence for rank and power that even a “rebbelushun” could not disturb, and which closely associated, in their minds, royal authority with divine power.  Next to their own master, they considered George III, as the greatest man of the age; and there was no disposition in them to rob him of his rights or his honours.

“You seem thoughtful, Woods,” said the captain, while his son had retired to his own room, in order to assume a disguise less likely to attract attention in the garrison than a hunting-shirt.  “Is it this unexpected visit of Bob’s that furnishes food for reflection?”

“Not so much his visit, my dear Willoughby, as the news he brings us.  God knows what will befall the church, should this rebellion make serious head.  The country is in a dreadful way, already, on the subject of religion; but it will be far worse if thesecanters’ get the upper hand of the government.”

The captain was silent and thoughtful for a moment; then he laughingly replied ­

“Fear nothing for the church, chaplain.  It is of God, and will outlast a hundred political revolutions.”

“I don’t know that, Willoughby ­I don’t know that” ­The chaplain did not exactly mean what he said ­“’Twouldn’t surprise me if we had ‘taking up collections,’ ‘sitting under preaching,’ ’providentially happening,’ ‘exercised in mind,’ and ‘our Zion’ finding their way into dictionaries.”

“Quite likely, Woods” ­returned the captain, smiling ­“Liberty is known to produce great changes in things; why not in language?”

“Liberty, indeed!  Yes; ‘liberty in prayer’ is another of their phrases.  Well, captain Willoughby, if this rebellion should succeed, we may give up all hopes for the church.  What sort of government shall we have, do you imagine, sir?”

“Republican, of course,” answered the captain, again becoming thoughtful, as his mind reverted to the important results that were really dependent on the present state of things.  “Republican ­it can be no other.  These colonies have always had a strong bias in that direction, and they want the elements necessary to a monarchy.  New York has a landed gentry, it is true; and so has Maryland, and Virginia, and the Carolinas; but they are not strong enough to set up a political aristocracy, or to prop a throne; and then this gentry will probably be much weakened by the struggle.  Half the principal families are known to be with the crown, as it is; and new men will force them out of place, in a revolution.  No, Woods, if this revolution prosper, the monarchy is done in America, for at least a century.”

“And the prayers for the king and royal family ­what will become of them?”

“I should think they must cease, also.  I question if a people will continue long to pray for authorities that they refuse to obey.”

“I shall stick to the rubrics as long as I have a tongue in my head.  I trust, Willoughby, you will not stop these prayers, in your settlement?”

“It is the last mode in which I should choose to show hostility.  Still, you must allow it is a little too much to ask a congregation to pray that the king shall overcome his enemies, when they are among those very enemies?  The question presents a dilemma.”

“And, yet, I have never failed to read that prayer, as well as all the rest.  You have not objected, hitherto.”

“I have not, for I have considered the war as being waged with parliament and the ministers, whereas it is now clearly with the king.  This paper is certainly a plain and forcible document.”

“And what is that paper?  Not the Westminster Confession of Faith, or the Saybrook Platform, I hope; one of which will certainly supersede the Thirty-nine Articles in all our churches, if this rebellion prosper.”

“It is the manifesto issued by congress, to justify their declaration of independence.  Bob has brought it with him, as a proof how far matters have been carried; but, really, it seems to be a creditable document, and is eloquently reasoned.”

“I see how it is, Willoughby ­I see how it is.  We shall find you a rebel general yet; and I expect to live to hear you talk about ‘our Zion’ and ‘providential accidents.’”

“Neither, Woods.  For the first, I am too old; and, for the last, I have too much taste, I trust.  Whether I shall always pray for the king is another matter.  But, here is the major, ready for his sortie.  Upon my word, his masquerade is so complete, I hardly know him myself.”