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impassible; not a muscle of his proud face
stirred. He did riot fear death; he had
looked it in the face many a time without
flinching, and to die in the open air, pierced
by a dozen balls-- a soldier's death-- what
should he care much for that ? But when he
was informed that he had to run the gauntlet
twice through his company, after having
been previously degraded, he trembled for
the first time in his life. He knew of many
a soldier who had run the gauntlet thrice
through a whole battalion, and not been the
worse for it after all; he knew of some that
had even married afterwards, and brought
up families of children; he was fully aware
that the issue of this terrible torture
depended entirely upon the dispositions of
the men. Dreadful reflection! Above all,
he thought of the shame, the dishonourand
his proud heart was well nigh giving way.

On the evening previous to the punishment,
the Second Rifle Battalion of Kherenh├╝ller
Infantry would have been unfit for service:
the men were drunk. They had got up a
carousal in joy and honour of the coming day.
But in the morning they were sober enough.
The drums ceased to beat as soon as the
prisoner had arrived in the middle of the
square; his escort fell back. He stood alone
near the right wing of his company. There
was a dead silence: not a respiration was to be
heard from all the thousands gathered on the
spot. The commanding officer read the
sentence over to him for the second time. This
done, he exhorted the men, according to
custom, to dispense with all feelings of
compassion, and to do their duty conformably to
the law. The colonel went through this part
of the formality in a quick and hurried
manner, as if he were unwilling to perform it. So
he was: he knew but too well that, in this
instance, there was no need whatever for
exhortation. These preliminaries being over,
the prisoner was delivered into the hands of
the provost.

When the latter tore off from his uniform
the golden lace and galloonsthe marks of
his military rankthrowing them, together
with the gold medal, at his feet, the face of
the unfortunate man became purple, and his
dark eyes flashed fire. When he was stripped
of his coat and shirt, and placed at the entry
of the terrible street through which he had
to pass, he became pale again. Two soldiers
went ahead of him; they marched backward,
with their bayonets presented to his breast,
so as to force him to keep measure to a
drum which brought up the rear. The
drum was muffled: its slow and dismal beats
sounded like the music of a funeral procession.

When he received the first stroke his
features assumed an expression of pain, and
his firm-set lips quivered slightly. This was,
however, the only sign of sensation. Crossing
his arms over his breast and pressing his
teeth close together, his proud face remained
henceforth immovable. His merciless enemies
enjoyed but an incomplete triumph after all;
they might slash his body in pieces, but his
proud and indomitable spirit they could not
break. The blows descended with a fearful
violence upon him. After the first dozen,
blood came; but never did he utter one
single exclamation of pain; never-- not even
with a look-- did he implore for mercy. An
expression of scorn and disdain was deeply
set on his face, as pale as death. When
he had reached at last the left wing of the
company, his lacerated back presented a
frightful appearance. Even his most exasperated
enemies might well have been satisfied
now; if it had but been possible, the
commanding officer himself would have
interceded in his behalf; but this was not even
to be thought of; the law must have its
course. They faced him right about; he had
to make the same way back again.

There was one formality connected with
this punishment, which was a cruel,
barbarous, and shameful mockery: the
delinquent had to thank his executioners for his
tortures.

When the victim had arrived at the
file-leader of the right wing of his
company, and the dreadful execution was over
at last, he threw one last, long look, full of
contempt, at his tormentors. Then he was
seen staggering like a drunken man towards
the commanding officer. His eyes, swollen
with blood, beamed with an unnatural brightness,
his respiration was short and painful;
touching his head with his right hand, in
token of the military salute, he said in a
voice that came out of his throat with a
rattling sound, hut that was nevertheless
distinctly audible all over the place: " I have
to-- thank your honour for this exquisite
punishment," and fell down dead.

OUR VEGETABLE FRIENDS.

WE want to bring to our readers' minds a
few of the benefits which we owe to the more
familiar members of the vegetable world; how
much more they are our friends than we
generally remember in our off-hand railroad kind
of life; though, at the same time, we do not
undervalue the worth of the other two great
divisions. We know the value of minerals,
and we love animals, and confess their infinite
usefulness-- acknowledging that they are our
benefactors, servants, guardians, and helpers,
in a thousand loving, intelligent ways, impossible
to greens and roots. But even animals
are scarcely so necessary to our happiness as
vegetables. For instance, what would we do for
clothes, if there were no plants with weaveable
fibres, no blue-eyed flax, no cotton shrub
with its snowy pods, no wonderful nettles to
spin into China grass-cloth, no fibres of the
kind banana for eastern muslins, no straw
for pretty women's bonnets? We should
have woollens, certainly, and furs and hides,
beaver-tails and moleskins for the head,

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