But In Whatever Capacity He Laboured
He Was True To His Reputation.
Whether he is portrayed bitterly
criticising to Graham the tactics of the assault on the Redan; or
Head of Lar Wang from under his bedstead and waving it in
paroxysms of indignation before the astonished eyes of Sir Halliday
Macartney; or riding alone into the camp of the rebel Suliman and
receiving the respectful salutes of those who had meant to kill him;
or telling the Khedive Ismail that he 'must have the whole Soudan to
govern'; or reducing his salary to half the regulation amount because
'he thought it was too much'; or ruling a country as large as Europe;
or collecting facts for Lord Ripon's rhetorical efforts - we perceive a
man careless alike of the frowns of men or the smiles of women, of life
or comfort, wealth or fame.
It was a pity that one, thus gloriously free from the ordinary
restraining influences of human society, should have found in his own
character so little mental ballast. His moods were capricious and
uncertain, his passions violent, his impulses sudden and inconsistent.
The mortal enemy of the morning had become a trusted ally before the
night. The friend he loved to-day he loathed to-morrow. Scheme after
scheme formed in his fertile brain, and jostled confusingly together.
All in succession were pressed with enthusiasm. All at times were
rejected with disdain. A temperament naturally neurotic had been
aggravated by an acquired habit of smoking; and the General carried this
to so great an extreme that he was rarely seen without a cigarette.
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