Wheelwright ran to the rescue of his help-meet, and pulling her through the door, endeavored to shut it on the instant, to keep out the foe; in doing which the proboscis of Mistress Pettit, which was truly of the Strasburgh order, was unhappily and literally caught in the door crack, and beyond all question somewhat injured thereby.
The ministers of the allies, rendered proud and wanton by success, and seeing their own private interest in the continuation of the war, insisted upon the restitution of the Upper and Lower Alsace to the empire; upon the French monarch's restoring Strasburgh in its present condition; upon his ceding the town and castellany of Lisle, demolishing Dunkirk, New Brisac, Fort-Louis, and Hunningen.
The Master of the Rolls, with great good humour, desired him to proceed now on the other side, observing, that he knew no counsel who could answer his arguments half so well as himself. Fools. A lawyer of Strasburgh being in a dying state sent for a brother lawyer to make his will, by which he bequeathed nearly the whole of his estate to the Hospital for Idiots.
We reached the vicinity of Strasburgh, the Sixth corps in advance, at three o'clock on the 20th, and, as we expected, found the rebels awaiting us in a position, which the citizens of the valley assured us could be held by Early's army against one hundred thousand men. The position was indeed a formidable one, but nothing daunted our spirited leader set about devising a way of taking it.
Worms perished after a long and obstinate siege; Strasburgh, Spires, Rheims, Tournay, Arras, Amiens, experienced the cruel oppression of the German yoke; and the consuming flames of war spread from the banks of the Rhine over the greatest part of the seventeen provinces of Gaul.
At the foot of this mountain, on the north, is the village of Strasburgh, and still north of Strasburgh Cedar creek runs almost directly across the valley. We took possession of the northern part of the village of Strasburgh, the Union pickets occupying one part of the town, and the rebels the other. The night passed with little of interest.
Upon one point we agreed, too, in politics, viz., being Anti-Napoleonites. Now for the Rhine. The Maine falls into it just above the town, and there appears nothing on the Frankfort or Strasburgh side to interest a traveller's eye, the country being flat vine or corn land.
Augustus of Saxony, prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, the prince of Neuvied, even the coadjutor of the ecclesiastical principalities on the banks of the Rhine, those of Mayence, Worms, and Constance, signalised themselves by their ardour for the mystic doctrines of freemasonry or the illuminati. Cagliostro was astounding Strasburgh Cardinal de Rohan ruined himself, and bent before his voice.
The wheels of the chariot consisted of upwards of ten thousand springs, formed so as to give the greater impetuosity to the vehicle, and were more complex than a dozen clocks like that of Strasburgh. The external of the chariot was adorned with banners, and a superb festoon of laurel that formerly shaded me on horseback.
Lacoste and Baudet, when they were on mission at Strasburgh, lived in daily riot and intoxication with the members of the Revolutionary Tribunal, who, after qualifying themselves in these orgies, proceeded to condemn all the prisoners brought before them.