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Thus the Duc de Richelieuthe "vainqueur
de Mahon," as they were fond of calling him,
in glorification of that diminutive victory,—
was appointed colonel of the Bearne regiment
at the age of twenty-two; while the
Duc de Broglie was similarly "provided for,"
at the earlier age of sixteen. But the Duc
de Mouchy was even luckier in his generation.
He found himself military governor of
the town, castle, and parks of Versailles and
Marly, at the capable age of five years!
Another marshal became colonel at nineteen;
while the Mar├ęchal de Castries rejoiced in
the important posts of king's lieutenant in
Languedoc, and governor of Montpellier and
Cette, when only thirteen years old.

This glance at the pages of this official
handbook helps us to some knowledge of the
way they were ordering matters military in
France, just before the great crash came.

UNOPENED BUDS.

A SHAPE of beauty beyond man's device,
Which held a precious life with us begun,
Light feet at rest, like streamlets chain'd with ice,
And folded hands whose little work is done,
Make this poor hamlet sacred to our grief:
Pass'd is the soul, which was of nobler worth,
Like fire from glowworm, tint from wither'd leaf,
Perfume from fallen flower, or daylight from the
earth.

Star, faded from our sky elsewhere to shine,
Whose beam to bless us for a while was given;
Little white hand, a few times clasp'd in mine,
Sweet face, whose light is now return'd to heaven.
With empty arms, I linger where thou liest,
And pluck half-open'd flowers as types of thee,
And think that angels, amid joys the highest,
Are happier for thy love, which still they share
with me.

AGNES LEE.
CHAPTER THE FIRST.

MRS. WARREN was a charming womanas
like the popular notion of a perfect angel as
anybody could hope to find, if they took the
longest summer day for the search. She was
an Irishwoman, the widow of an English
gentleman of large fortune, who had left her
endowed with an ample jointure and a handsome
manor-house in Staffordshire. She was
young, bright, fascinating, and thoroughly
good-natured; she enjoyed nothing so much
as making people happy, and would sacrifice
her own pleasure or convenience even, for an
entire stranger, provided the necessities of
the case had been brought before her with
sufficient eloquence or emphasis. She did
everything in the easiest and most graceful
manner, and had the virtue of forgetting all
about it herself, as soon as the occasion had
passed away. She was devoted to her friends,
and loved them dearly, so long as they were
there to assist themselves; but, if they went
away, she never thought of them till the next
time she saw them, when she was again as
fond of them as ever. With all her generosity,
however, her tradespeople complained
that she did not pay her bills; that she did
very shabby things, and that she drove
dreadfully hard bargains. A poor woman
whom she had employed to do some plain
work, declared contemptuously that she
would sooner work for Jews than for
charitable ladies: they screwed down so in the
price, and kept folks waiting so long for their
money.

It was not difficult for Mrs. Warren to be
an angel: she had no domestic discipline to
test her virtues too severely, nor to ruffle the
bird of paradise beauty of her wings.
Husbands are daily stumbling-blocks in the path
of female perfection; they have the faculty
of taking the shine out of the most dazzling
appearances. It is easier to be an angel than
to be an average good woman under domestic
difficulties.

Mrs. Huxley was the wife of the
hard-working clergyman in whose parish Mrs.
Warren's manor-house was situated. She
had a cross husband, who did not adore
her, but who (chiefly from the force of habit)
found fault with everything she did; nothing
but the purest gold could have stood the
constant outpouring of so much sulphuric
acid. Yet Mrs. Huxley went on in the even
tenor of her way, struggling with straitened
means, delicate health, recurring washing-
days, and her husband's temper. Her
economical feebleness, and the difficulties of
keeping her weekly bills in a state of
liquidation, were greatly complicated in
consequence of all the poor people in the parish
coming to her as to a sort of earthly Providence,
to supply all they lacked in the shape
of food, physic, raiment, and good advice.
Strangers said that Mrs. Huxley looked fretful,
and that it was a pity a clergyman's wife
should have such unattractive manners; that
it must be a trial to such a pleasant genial
man as her husband to have a partner so
unlike himself, and all that. The recording
angel might have given a different verdict;
the poor of her parish knew her value.

The family at the Rectory consisted of one
daughter, named Miriam, and an orphan
niece of Mr. Huxley's, whom they had
adopted. Mr. Huxley had made many
difficulties when this plan was first proposed. He
objected to the expense, and wished the girl
to be sent as an articled pupil to some cheap
school, where she might qualify herself to
become a nursery governess, or to wait on young
ladies. This he said on the plea that, as they
would not be able to give her any fortune, it
would be cruel to give her a taste for comforts,
she could not hereafter expect; that it was best
to accustom her betimes to the hardships of
her lot. Mrs. Huxley did not often contradict
her husband; but, on this occasion, she exerted
her powers of speech; she was a mother, and
acted as she would have wished another to