October 31

Stormed this forenoon; went up to see Nate and Ardelia Harrington and remained all night; called on Mrs. Patterson and Mr. Hiram Blanchard's family. Captain L. D. Thompson's remains arrived at Waterbury this evening; funeral tomorrow; cold tonight; army news good this evening.

October Thirty-First

Rising from the position of a private soldier to wear the wreath and stars of a lieutenant-general, and that without education or influence to help him, wounded four times and having twenty-nine horses shot under him, capturing 31,000 prisoners, and cannon, flags, and stores of all kinds beyond computation, Nathan Bedford Forrest was a born genius for war, and his career is one of the most brilliant and romantic to be found in the pages of history.

Rev. J. William Jones

October 31, 1863

Saturday. Lieutenant Colonel Parker and Dr. Warren left us to look for a healthier place, as many of the men are getting chills and fever. The ground is low and wet and I suppose is a regular breeding place for fever and ague. We are glad of a prospect of a change, but this country is all swampy and wet. The Teche country comes the nearest to dry ground of anything I have seen. We are getting into full swing. Companies A, B, and C are organized and assigned to Captain Merritt, Captain Hoyt, and Captain Enoch. There are thirty men left and these are turned over to Lieutenant Reynolds for drill. At night, a telegram from Colonel Parker says we must stay at Brashear City until our regiment is full. I have been out of sorts to-day and have laid up for repairs.

Saturday, October 31st.—Left Boulogne at twelve, and have just reached Bailleul, 6 p.m., where we are to take up wounded Indians again. Somehow they are not so harrowing as the wounded British, perhaps because of the block in language and the weirdness of them. Big guns are booming again. (This was the most critical day of the first battle of Ypres.)

H. sent me a lovely parcel of fifty packets of cigarettes and some chocolate, and A. sent a box of nutmilk choc. They will be grand for the men.

One drawback on having the Indians is that you find them squatting in the corridor, comparing notes on what varieties they find in their clothing! Considering the way one gets smothered with their blankets in the bunks it is the most personally alarming element in the War so far.

October 31

October 31, 1852. (Lancy.)--Walked for half an hour in the garden. A fine rain was falling, and the landscape was that of autumn. The sky was hung with various shades of gray, and mists hovered about the distant mountains, a melancholy nature. The leaves were falling on all sides like the last illusions of youth under the tears of irremediable grief. A brood of chattering birds were chasing each other through the Shrubberies, and playing games among the branches, like a knot of hiding schoolboys. The ground strewn with leaves, brown, yellow, and reddish; the trees half-stripped, some more, some less, and decked in ragged splendors of dark-red, scarlet, and yellow; the reddening shrubs and plantations; a few flowers still lingering behind, roses, nasturtiums, dahlias, shedding their petals round them; the bare fields, the thinned hedges; and the fir, the only green thing left, vigorous and stoical, like eternal youth braving decay; all these innumerable and marvelous symbols which forms colors, plants, and living beings, the earth and the sky, yield at all times to the eye which has learned to look for them, charmed and enthralled me. I wielded a poetic wand, and had but to touch a phenomenon to make it render up to me its moral significance. Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail. True poetry is truer than science, because it is synthetic, and seizes at once what the combination of all the sciences is able at most to attain as a final result. The soul of nature is divined by the poet; the man of science, only serves to accumulate materials for its demonstration.

Mentone Oct. 31, 1879

You were threatened with a long letter from me, about people at Paris, but I could not finish it, ... and so I lost the only days on which Paris information could be of any use. After a week of care, varied by pleasant visits from Lacaita, F. Leveson, and H. Cowper, we started, and rested at Milan and Genoa, and yet were nearly the first arrivals here. We expect to have the Granvilles for neighbours at Cannes, as well as Westminsters.

Let me first of all transcribe a passage from my unsent letter: "If you see Madame Waddington you will find her a very pleasant specimen of American womanhood. Her husband wants the qualities that charm and win at first, and I suppose he will not hold his own long. He has no dash, no entrain, no personal ascendency, like the men who succeed in France; but there is not a deeper scholar, or a more sincere and straightforward Christian in the country." I see from your letter that the unfavourable part of my remarks came true more than the praise. Something may be due to awkwardness connected with the Ferry[1 ] Bill. The interview with Scherer consoles me. He is a man of the first order as far as that can be without showy gifts. But he is guarded, cold, unsympathising, and the intellectual crisis by which he came to repudiate the Christian faith was so conspicuous that he is embarrassed with people who are notable for religious conviction.

I wanted to say so much about Mignet, who was celebrated before your father went up to college; of St. Hilaire, the best Grecian and earliest Republican in France; of Dufaure and Simon, the leaders of the Left Centre, who hold the fate of the Ministry in their hands; of Laboulaye, the political oracle of Waddington, who solves every problem by American principles; of Vielcastel, the most sensible and experienced of Conservatives, and the only surviving Doctrinaire; of Broglie,[2 ] who has all but ruined the Republic, in order to expiate his former ecclesiastical Liberalism; of Pasquier, who possesses the good qualities in which Broglie is deficient; of Taine, who has almost the solidity of Scherer, and more than his brilliancy. But it is all too late now.

You describe the Professor[3 ] most justly. Serenity has grown on him with years, although they were years of conflict and of the great grief that men who do not live for themselves can feel for the cause they have lived for. Strength, too, though in less degree, by reason of a vice which besets another great man. From a sense of dignity and of charity he refuses to see all the evil there is in men; and in order that his judgments may be always charitable, generous, and leaning to the safer side, he is not always exact in definitions or rigorous in applying principles. He looks for the root of differences in speculative systems, in defect of knowledge, in everything but moral causes, and if you had remained with us longer you would have found out that this is a matter on which I am divided from him by a gulf almost too wide for sympathy.

Boutney I never saw. But he is a sound and useful man, who makes it his business to spread political knowledge among those classes that govern France. A cousin of ours lectures, under his auspices, to half-educated Parisians.

"Le Gendre de M. Poirier" at the Français is one of the greatest treats imaginable. Your stay at Paris must have been full of new impressions and experiences, even in its levity.

And now, after a short interval of Victor Hugo at Keble, I fancy you will start for the Midlothian campaign. You were very wrong to suppress that second sheet of your letter, and I hope you will make up for it by letting me know how things go on, and bearing in mind that one learns nothing at Mentone, except the bare outside of public events.

[1 ] Jules Ferry.

[2 ] Duc de Broglie, statesman and historian (1821-1901).

[3 ] Dr. Döllinger.