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A Jesting Marshal

A Jesting Marshal image
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The stories told of the celebrated Russiiin Marshal Suvoroff display, better tlan whole pages of description, the . derful way iu whieh he contrived to adapt himself to the rude spirits with ' whom he had to deal, without losing one jot ot his authority. What Napoleon was to the French, Suvoroff was to the Russian ariny - now jesting with a soldier, and now rebuking a general ; one day shariug a ration of black bread bedde a bivouac fire, and the next spcaking as fin equal to priuces and potentates. In faot, the two great sponsors ot Russian wit form a most picturesque contrast. Balkaireff was very much the character of a spaniel in a lion's cage - admiring even while tnock ing his formidable patrón, behaving toward him with a hilf waggish, half affectionate faoiiliarity, perpetually forgiven. Suvoroff comes before us is an uncrowned king, one whose authority needed no outward symbol ; an autocrat of nature's making, full of iough, hearty familiarity that was in no danger of of breeding contempt, and surrounded by men who enjoyed the bonhomie, while they dreaded the displeasure of the little pug-nosed, grimy man, who was in their eyes the incarnation of earthly power and grandeur. It must be owned, however, that in his own peculiar vein of pleasantry the old marshal more than once met with his match. One of his tavorite jokes was to confuse a man by asking, unexpectedly - " How many stars are there in the sky ?" On one occasion he put this question to one of his sen tries on a bitter January, such as only ltussia can produce. The soldier, not a whit disturbed, answered coolly - " Wait a little and I'll teil you," and he deliberately began to count, "One, two, three, etc. In this way he went gravely on to a hundred, at which point Suvoroff, who was already half frozen, thought it high time to ride off, not, however, without iuquiring the name of the ready reckoner. The next day the latter found hirnself promoted, and the story (which Suvoroff told with great glee to his staff), speedily made its way throughout the ariny. On another occasion one of his generáis of a división sent him a sergeant with dispatches, at the same time recominendiiig the bearer to SuvorofFs notice. The marshal, as usual, proceeded to test him by a series of whimsical questions; Dut the catechumen was equal to the occasion. " How far is it to the moou ? " asked Suvoroff. " Two of your excellency's forced marches," answered the sergeant. " Suppose you were blockaded, and had no provisión left, how would you supply yourself 'f " " From the enemy." " How uiauy fish are there in the sea ?" " As many as have not been caught." Aud so the examination went on, till Suvoroff, tinding his new acquaintance ariued at all points, at length asked him, as a final poser - " What is the difference between your colonel auc myself'f " " The differeuce is this," replied the soldier, coolly : " my colonel cannot make me a captain, but your excellenoy has ouly to say the word." Suvoroff, struck by his shrewdness, kept his eye upon the man, and in no long time aft er actually gave him the specified promotion. The auecdotes of the great marshal's eccentricities - his habits of wanderiug about the camp in disguise, his whiin of giviug the bignal for assault by crowing hko a cock, his astounding endurance of beat and cold, his savage disregard of personal comfort and neatness - are be yond calculatiou ; but perhaps the most characteristic of all was his appearance iu 1799 at the Anstrian court, then one of the most brilliaut in Europe. On being shown to a room prepared for him (a splendid apartment füled with costly mirrors and rich furniture) this modern Diogenes said, simply : " Turn out the rubbish, and shake me down ionio straw." Au Anstrian grandee who came to visit him was startled at these preparations, and still more so at the first sight of the marshal's " baggage," which consisted of two coarse shirts and a tattered cloak tied up iu a buudle. " Is that enough for winter?" asked the astonished visitor. "The wiuter is the father of us Kassia.ns," answered Suvoroff, with a grin ; " besides, you don't feel the cold when you're riding full gallop. " But when you're tired of riding what do you do '(' " " Walk." " But when you're tired of walking ? " "Run." "And do younever sleep, then?" asked the petrified questioner. " Sometimes, when I've nothing better to do," replied Suvoroff, carelessly ; "aud when I want to have a very luxurious nap, I take off one of my apura." The thunderstruck Austrian bowed and retired, doubtless considerably enlightened in his ideas of a Russian general. The English breakfast at 8 o'clook, or later, lunch at 1 o'clock, and have dinner at 6 or 7 o'clock. The breakfast is light, the luncheon similar, and the dinner is quite hearty. One English dinner in the inexperienced American stomach will produce that night - 12 cross-eyed lions, 8 bears, with calicó tails, 11 giants, with illuminated heads, 1 awful dog, with legs, and 14 bow-legged ruffiatis chased by a host of piratical cauhflowers, mounted on sdddles of beef roasted. Any reapcctable cheniist will corrobórate this stntement. - Danbury News. Washington Irving once said of a pompou8 American diploiuatist, "Ah, he is a great man, and in his own estimation a very great man, a man of great weight; when he goes to the west, the east tips up." A pack of wolves in Sherbruue County, MinneROta, chased a conple of lawyers flve miles, and the New Orleans Republican thinks they showed a lack of professional curiosity in doing so. An affected young lady on boing asked, in a large company, if she had read Shaknpeare, assuuu d a look of astonishment, and replied : " Read Shakspeare ! Of course I have ; I read it when it fint ! came out." i


Old News
Michigan Argus