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Most of our readers must have read the
story of a noble army, sent out to wrestle
with Russia, which had a pleasant variety of
work to do. Sometimes it had to fight all
day, and to dig in the trenches all night;
and at other times it had to labour in the
trenches all day, and to fight the Russians
all night. But even this became monotonous
at last. Change of work is as good as
play; so some kind friends hit upon a happy
mode of furnishing our soldiers with a little
amusement. They sent out to them a sufficient
supply of raw coffee to roast and grind.
The smell of roasting coffee is known to be an
exhilarating fumigator, and the operation of
turning the handle of a coffee-mill is notoriously
a first-rate calisthenic exercise. How
often is benevolence misapprehended! The
ungrateful military, instead of thankfully accepting
the sportive recreation thus provided,
threw their nice raw coffee away, strewing it
over the ground in front of their tents, as if it
had been so much horse-beans or pebbles; they
went on sulkily with their fighting and working;
and showed their temper by going without
coffee, rather than enter into the intentions
manifested by their thoughful well-wishers,
the commissariat. The commissariat had
good reason to complain of the insult implied
by so marked a slight; but I have not yet
heard of any steps being seriously taken to
punish the offending parties. However,
I have another true tale about coffee to
tell, which may perhaps afford a useful hint,
should our authorities hereafter be troubled
with similar annoyances on the part of a
thankless soldiery.

In a pleasant, well-known watering-place
in France, the handsomest archway in one of
its handsomest streets, serves as the entrance
to the magazines of one of the wealthiest
negotiants, whom I respect too highly to designate
otherwise than as Monsieur Le Vendeur.
or Mister The-Seller, because the French verb
"vendre" fully implies every shade of meaning
conveyed by our own "to sell." How many
thousand francs a day are M. Levendeur's
business returns, I cannot precisely say, though
I saw his books produced and unsealed in
open court. Of course, Monsieur L. does not
reside in the building approached by the
aforesaid archway; he has a handsome
villa outside the town, at the foot of
the hill which slopes down to the river.
Wellone day, some two months since,
when this honourable merchant of Venice,
like the nursery king, was sitting in his
counting-house, counting out his money, and
while the queen, madame, mademoiselle, or
whatever she may be, was in her chamber in
the suburban villa eating bread and honey,
pop camenot a black bird, but a couple of
blue and yellow men, with cocked hats on
their heads and swords by their sides,—
individuals whom the gods call gendarmes, but
whom the vulgar style red herrings,—and
snapped off not merely M. L.'s nose,
but his whole body corporate, through the
instrumentality of a piece of paper drawn
up by the minister of war, and bearing
the Imperial signature, which ordered the
immediate arrest of the eminent commercial
speculator. In short, he was walked
off, handcuffed, to prison. After a few
weeks sojourn therein, he was transferred
to another prison, to the city where the
assizes are held, there to be dealt with according
to law. The worst of it was, that
poor Monsieur was not alone in his unmerited
troubles. A valued acquaintancehow dear,
how valued, it is impossible to say exactly,
because the amount of the figure did not
appear, though it must have been
considerable,—but a highly estimated friend, one
Monsieur Rougepain, a near relative of the
English family of Nibbleloafs, an officier
comptable or accountable officer, whose duty
was to receive and take care of everything
belonging to the army (the provisions especially),
was also carried off and clapped into
prison; not into the same prison, where
Pylades might soothe the sorrows of Orestes,
but into quite a different prison, with a neat
little chamber all to himself.

A little bird (though with rather long legs,
a hawk's bill, and jet-black moustaches)
having whispered in my ear that on a
certain Thursday the Levendeur- Rougepain
affair would come on and off, at the
Cour des Assizes of St. Eloi, I determined to
fly thither, on wings of steam. At nine in the
morning, one of the twelve jur├ęs took me
under his wing, and also my bird (who talked
so well that he was afterwards called upon to