Tracks Of A Rolling Stone By Henry J. Coke


He was at Longford, my present home, on a visit to my father 
in 1835, when, one evening after dinner - Page 7
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He Was At Longford, My Present Home, On A Visit To My Father In 1835, When, One Evening After Dinner,

The two old gentlemen - no one else being present but myself - sitting in armchairs over the fire, finishing their bottle

Of port, Lord Lynedoch told the wonderful story of his adventures during the siege of Mantua by the French, in 1796. For brevity's sake, it were better perhaps to give the outline in the words of Alison. 'It was high time the Imperialists should advance to the relief of this fortress, which was now reduced to the last extremity from want of provisions. At a council of war held in the end of December, it was decided that it was indispensable that instant intelligence should be sent to Alvinzi of their desperate situation. An English officer, attached to the garrison, volunteered to perform the perilous mission, which he executed with equal courage and success. He set out, disguised as a peasant, from Mantua on December 29, at nightfall in the midst of a deep fall of snow, eluded the vigilance of the French patrols, and, after surmounting a thousand hardships and dangers, arrived at the headquarters of Alvinzi, at Bassano, on January 4, the day after the conferences at Vicenza were broken up.

'Great destinies awaited this enterprising officer. He was Colonel Graham, afterwards victor at Barrosa, and the first British general who planted the English standard on the soil of France.'

This bare skeleton of the event was endued 'with sense and soul' by the narrator.

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