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Archibald Forbes

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Scribner's Monthly for December lias a rery interesting sketch of this very interting man and fatnous war correspondent. As Mr. Forbes is engaged for a lccture at university liall this season there wilt be more or less desire to koow wbat mannor il' man he i.s in character as well as in ;xploits, and no better picture can be abtained than the one furuished by Scribner. Archibald Forbes's fatber was a Presbyterian c'ergyman in the north of Scotland. Archibald finished bis eduqation at Aberieen college, hut does not seera to bave been a very brilliant scholar ; for when in after ycars it was proposed to confèr on hiin the degree of LL. D., one conscientious professor declared he would never consent to suoh a mockery, and stultify the university by conférring an honorary degree on aman wlio always tailed to pass bis exaininations. Young Forbes' aspirations seemed to be divided between the church and thelaw. While debating the question, however, he was not idlo in othor directi ns. Before he was 20 he RLL IN LOVE with a young lady and attempted an elopement, but his plans were nipped in the bud by his prospective father-in-law waylaying hiui on bis clandestino expedition and sousing hini in aditch full of niuddy water. When 21 years of age he took his small inheritanee in hand- $2,500- and sailed for America to join a cousin in fitrmiiig near Lake Hurnn. In Quebec, however, he feil in love with auother pair of bright eyes, and by the time he recovero froui the attack be lbuod his money was all ppent. With eight shillings in hia pocket he shipped for home as a common sailor. The three montbs' voyage afforded opportunity lor furtherexercise of his abundant resources. The vessel became waterlogged, and for weeks he steered 12 hours a day. After the loss of several men the crew abandoned the vessel and took to the boat, and were finally picked up by another vessel. The crew were badly diseased and Forbes, who had studied medicino en amateur, got out his medicine chest, killed oue patiënt and cured tbe rest. He alsq signalized himself by falling in love with the captain's daughter and spending his last cent on her when they arrived in Liverpool. By the sale of a fine field glass' which he possessed our hero raised money enougli to got to London, where he was RECRUITED IN THE ROYAL DRAGONS. His superior education to that of his comrades gained him some favors, and also somo exemption from discipline which he richly deserved. Years after, when he was invited to address the united service club, at which the old colonel - now Gen. Wardlay - presided, he took occasion to revert to the insubordination of those days by recalling to thecallant chairman's memory the times when he had more than once issued the edict, "Let that man have 10 days' pack drill." Forbes' military career lasted five years ; then he was invalided on account of failing health. No doubt much of his experience then gained proved of great value to him in bis subsequent role of war correspondent. His first contribution to journalisni was made in 1865 in the Evening Star, and was followed by various others of a desultory and multifarius character, including essays on various subjects, squibs, paragraphs, musical and dramatic criticisms, etc. He also made an effort to run a paper himself, which he callcd the London Scotchman, but he only lost money by it. The story of Mr. Forbes1 SÜDDEN RISE TO FAME as a war correspondent has already found its way into the papers, but without some of the interesting details here given. He was engaged in writing a novel for his paper when the Franco-Prussian war broke out, when the editor of the Morning Advertiser, who knew something of him and his peculiar genius said to him one day, "I've eoncluded to offer you a position as war correspondent. (Jhoose which side you prefer." He chose the Germán side and went at once to Saarbruck, where he witnessed the celebrated " baptism of fire." " It is strange," says the writer, "that he should have beheld the defeat at Sedan, seeu Louis Napoleon dead at Chiselhurst and his son dead in África." He and a young Dutch companion, De Lielde, were the only civilians who witnesscd Napoleon's surrender to Bismarck. On the night of the day Napoleon left Wilhelmshohe Forbes and De Liefde asked and obtained lodgings in the chateau Bellevue, the ex-emperor s temporary residence. They had no food, however, and De Liefde in disgust at not being ablc to derive any satisfaction out of an old ham bonc threw it upon the table where Forbes was writing his dispatch, and on which the articles of capitulation had been signed, and overtured the ink-bottle. Three months after that Forbes was gravely shown that same ink stain as a souvenir of the capitulation. The French commander it was said, had upset the bottle in his rage at Moltke's exorbitant demands. Thus is history made. It was at this time that Forbes and hisoouipanion drow lots for the honor of SLEEn.NO IN THE EX-EMl'EROR B BED, which Forbes, with his usual luck, won. On a little table by the bed, with leaf turncd down, was the book which Napoleon had read before jjoing to sleep- Bolwer's "'Last of the Barons!" Forbes was the first non-combatant to to ride around l'aris before the city was entirely invested. The story of his recall to England by the Morning Advertiser, which "no longer needed his services, ' and bis subsequent engagement by the Daily News, with which he has ever since been connected, has been told before. His career niñee then is full of the wildest romance, the most daring exploits, the most wonderful achievements; completely revolutionizing the system of war correspondence by living on foreposts, witnessing every fight, and substituting for curt telegrams of uare facts long descriptivo letters telegraphed in full. During the six weeks before Metz capitulated- the wettest autumn on record - he did not sleep in a bed, and though a severo wound in the leg received in a sordo continued open for months, it never forced him to leave the front. He was the first to enter Metz, when he gave himslf up assiduousjy to the care of the sick and wounded. The most inibctious disorders reigned and the wouuds he dressed were in a state of semi-putrefaction. The result was tliat his own leg was ATTA' KKI WITH ANOKENE ind had to be burnea out with nitric acid. By constant smoking, never removing his boots, and oarrying in his moutb a sponge -mu itnl with vinegar, he was ablc to keep 3n his legs. It was feared, however, that amputation would become necessary if he remained in so foul an atmosphere, aml hu was finally ordered to England. Arrived there, he called on the editor of the News and showed his leg. The editor remarked with a phudder, As a fcllow man, I say you ought to lay up for six months ; as a newspaper manager I wish you would start for tne siege of Paris to-night. ' ' Forbes itarted, and his leg got well. Again his good star befriended him ; or, perhaps, his foresight, prouiptitude and daring; and again he was the journalist to get witliin the walLs and to scnd the first, most comprehensivo and most accurate account of' the condition ol' things within to his journal. lt was durint; that first surreptitious visit that ome slices of' ham which he had in hi wallet were exhibited at a hotel in the Faubourg St. Honore at 10 CKNTIMKS A I'KEP, as the first outside marketing to enter Paris. During the seige it was not unusual for Forbes to carry news to England twice a week hiuifelf. He was often the only passenger, and nearly died from fatigue. When accompanying the Germán troops into Paris, becoming seiarated froru thein, and entering a part of the town still in Freneh hands, he was arrested as a Gemían spy, his clothes were torn off, and he was drapged over the stsne streetscovered with blood and bruises. Upon his release, for which he was indebted to the testimony ol' Frrnch woman, he iinmndiately started tbr England and wrote his account of the entrance into Paris before he had washed the blood stains from his head and hands. This account appeared in a special edition of the Daily News, and the next morning the manager of the paper found his correspondent asleep on the floor with the London directory for a pillow. There ia not space to follow Mr. Forbes through his subsequent career - in Spain, with the Prince of Wales in India, in the Seryian war, in the Llussian mmpttgo a?ainst the Turks, in the Afghan war, and finally in the Zulu campaign, in which he performed achicvements alniost miraculous in their nature ; hut enough has been said to aaken an interest for more even than the magazine supplies, and to insure Mr. Forbes, when he does viit Anu Arbor, a large and intelligent audiencc.


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