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ballooners themselves, who, it was said, had
become disgusted with the hardships to which
they were exposed. It was repaired, but fell
into the hands of the enemy at Wurtzburg,
September 17th, 1796.

Meanwhile Coutelle, now a chef de bataillon,
had resumed the direction of the Institute at

From this period, notwithstanding the
importance attached to the subject by the National
Assembly, war-ballooning appears to have fallen
into disuse. Whether or no this result may be
attributed to want of zeal on the part of the
officers who succeeded Coutelle in charge of
the companies, we cannot say. The experiment
itself had certainly proved a success. In
a line of operations extending over one hundred
and fifty French leagues, along the Sambre,
Meuse, and Rhine, from Maubeuge by
Charleroi, Liege, Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, Bonn,
Coblentz, Mayence, and Mannheim to
Strasbourg, the two balloons had been available
whenever and wherever they were needed.
For this service three permanent establishments
had been found amply sufficient.
Experience had also proved that the balloons would
retain their gas for a considerable length of
time. L'Entreprenant, filled at Maubeuge on
June 18th, was fit for duty at Namur at the
end of July. Neither had the difficulties
attendant on the transport of the machines,
when inflated, proved as great as had been
anticipated. Whether passing in or out of
fortified towns, across ramparts and ditches, or
guided by men along the line of march, towed
by horses, as at Fleurus, or by men in boats,
as at the passage of the Meuse, the difficulties
had never proved insurmountable; while the
important nature of the services rendered
on many occasions were allowed by friends
and foes. Nevertheless the service fell into
disrepute. Coutelle, now a colonel, had
returned to duty with the engineer corps; and
the establishment at Meudon, deprived of its
chief, like the "compagnies aérostiers," soon
ceased to exist.

Although balloons were not used in the
campaign in Italy, in 1796, as is sometimes
erroneously asserted, nor indeed in any of the
Napoleonic campaigns, Buonaparte would seem to
have been alive to their military importance.
On the departure of the expedition to Egypt
in 1798, he commissioned Conté to form a
corps of ballooners out of the remains of the
"compagnies aérostiers." Their equipage,
however (which had been provided on an extensive
scale), fell into the hands of the British
cruisers; and the only service they performed
was the construction of a huge tri-coloured
Montgolfier, which was sent up at Cairo on the
9th "Vendemiare," 1799 (the fête day of the
Republic), and disappeared in the desert, to the
great edification of crowds of the faithful.

On the recommendation of a commission of
engineer officers, it was now directed that the
of aerostation should form part of the
course at the engineer establishments at Metz,
to which the remains of the balloon Télémaque,
were made over, and where, says M. le Colonel
Augoval, "they long remained, a mouldering
enigma amongst the college stores."

L'Entreprenant, which had also found its
way back into French hands, was sold with the
other effects of the Institut Aéronautique, at
Meudon, in 1802. It then became the property
of the English aeronaut, Robertson.
Subsequently, and under a new name, it figured, we
believe, at Vauxhall Gardens, and other public


THE winter is round again
Will winter and want ne'er part?—
And the frost is back on the pane,
And the frost is back at the heart.
There's starlight up in the sky,
And there's firelight over the way;
But the stars are all too high,
And fires are for those that pay.
I tramp in the cold grey morn,
I tramp when the daylight lags,
'Till my bleeding feet are torn,
On these merciless London flags;
And I stare as the folk go by,
Their faces so cold and hard,
That I think of the stones that lie
In the hell of the workhouse yard.
"Dear soul I have nothing to give,"
Is all that the best reply;
"How is it you care to live,
There is nothing to do but to die."
And others scoff as they walk
"Oh, yes! we know you of old;
You have plenty of pitiful talk,
And brass is the beggar's gold."
Yet I ask neither silver nor bread,
I merely seek for a wage;
But somehow, they say, the markets are dead,
And it's only the fault of the age!
Still I read that far away,
Somewhere in the glowing west,
There are realms without rent to pay,
And the labourer's lot is the best.
And oft in the long dark hours
I dream of the tales they tell,
Till the breath of the prairie flowers
Steals over me like a spell.
And I smile on my own broad farm,
While the children around me call,
"Now, father, we fear no harm,
There's room enough for us all."
But I wake too soon to my pains,
And, waking, I hear once more
The din of the market wains,
Heaven-laden with rich men's store.
They pass with the music of birds,
And I hear men shout as they go;
But the very cheer of their words
Falls into my heart like snow.
Still I ask for the goods of none,
And I ask for the alms of none;
But murmur, "Thy will be done,
If it be that I starve alone."
For I trust that the good God knows
And they tell me His ways are just
That the winter will bring its woes,
That some must fall in the dust.
Yet ever I tramp and strive
For the labour that will not come,
For the loaf that keeps alive.
And the hope that makes a home.
Are they never to come again?
Ah, me! for that land in the west.
Is there none will lead the train
That takes us away to our rest?