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towards her with arms stretched outand
overturned the candle he had left on the
table at the side of his bed.


          To the field where I was lying
          Once sorrow came a-flying.
And bade me bring my heart to mould at her goodwill.
           Shudd'ring, I turn'd aside;
           "Avaunt! O fiend! " I cried,
"My heart is dear to me, and none shall work it ill!"

            "But if thou must! " said she.
            "Nay," said I, "let it be!
'Tis yet so young and tender, and so slight of make,
            Ungentle touch would crush it,
            Hard word for aye would hush it!"
She smiled, and said, "Hearts sooner turn, to stone
            than break!"

            "Yet stay awhile!" I pray'd;
            And, frowning, she obey'd;
While I to cast about my sentence to evade.

            Then came she near again,
            And hover'd o'er the plain
"Where I sat listening to my darling's long love-story.
             "Art ready now?" she cried:
             "O, no! no! " I replied,
"My heart is now in all its fullest prime and glory!"

             A third time came she near:
             "Now! " said she, " now prepare!
For I must have thy heart to mould at my good
             "Here, take it!" I replied,
             And pluck'd it from my side
(For I in sooth was half a-weary of my treasure).

             "But what is this?" says she,
             And flung it back to me;
"A stone! O traitor! thou shall rue this jesting
             She wing'd her flight away,
             And I to shriek and pray
For that dear angel, who would never more return.


Louis DE BONFILS is a captain in the corps
of état-major, or the staff corps of France. I
have known him for several years, and always
found him an honourable upright soldier;
in every sense of the word, a gentleman.
According to our insular ideas of decorum, the
captain is, perhaps, rather too much given to
swaggering about with his hands in the far-
down pockets of his red trousers, and is
slightly addicted to swearing when ladies are
not by. An English cavalry captain might
think Louis awfully slow, because he does
not know or care anything about racing, is
proud of, and wears, his uniform at all times
and on all occasions, and has but one suit of
plain clothes to his name. Moreover, since
he commenced his career in the army, the
captain has thought of, and worked for,
nothing but his profession, and has,
consequently, succeeded in making him.self what
the state pays him to bea useful active
wheel in the great mass of French military
machinery. Not but that my friend has his
failings and shortcomings like other men;
but he knows full well that unless he keeps
pace withand, to do so, he must strive to
outrunhis comrades on the staff in the race
for professional pre-eminence, he will be cast
aside as a useless encumbrance on the army
list of France. Besides his rank of captain in
the staff corps, Louis de Bonfils is attached to
the depot general de la guerre at Paris;
where he is assisting, together with several
others of his own rank and regiment, in
completing a magnificent series of military maps
of France, on a larger scale than any that
have yet been published. The captain lately
returned from the Crimea, where he was
attached as aide-de-camp to the staff of
a general of division; but, being sent to Paris
in charge of some valuable topographical
papers relating to Russiawhich he had
compiled when in camp by order of his superiors
the minister of war attached him, for the
present, to the aforesaid depôt de la guerre.

I met Captain de Bonfils the other day in
Paris, and asked him to tell me what were
the qualifications required for a staff officer
in his service, and how he had been fortunate
enough to obtain employment in so
distinguished a corps. This request he complied
with at once; assuring me that the career of
one officer in the corps d'état-major may be
taken as an exact sample of all, and that the
same qualifications are required from every
one who aspires to the honour of holding a
commission in that regiment.

To apply the term regiment to the French
staff is perhaps not quite appropriate, as the
corps consists entirely of officers. Belonging
to this body are thirty colonels, thirty
lieutenant-colonels, one hundred chefs d'escadron
(who would be termed majors in the English
service), three hundred captains, and one
hundred lieutenants. No one can join the
regiment unless he passes through the special
school instituted in eighteen hundred and
eighteen for that purpose, and now called
L'École Impériale d' Application d'État-
Major. This my friend, Captain Louis de Bonfils,
of course, did. There are sixty pupils in the
establishment, one-half of whom leave it every
year; thus creating thirty annual vacancies.
Of these thirty, three are selected from the
Ecole Polytechnique; the remaining twenty-
seven places in the staff-school are filled by
competition from amongst fifty-seven
candidates, thirty of whom must be sub-lieutenants
who have been at least one year in the
service, and must be under twenty-five years
of age; and twenty-seven from the pupils of
the military school of St. Cyr. Captain da
Boufils was one of the latter class, he had
already spent his regulated time of three
years at St. Cyr; and having passed the
required examination for a commission in the
line, might have joined a regiment without
delay. Being one of the twenty-seven pupils

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