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ognition than it was like to get, and, And after a pause. "Iš he-is he all thinking the matter over, I decided on right, sir?" a course which would, I had reason to "All right last time I heard from believe, give Dan more satisfaction him, Dan. I suppose we may sit than anything else was likely to do. down?"
I let two days elapse, and then, see- "Surely, sir," said the sergeant, who ing Dan sitting outside his tent with a was hovering around. “Now, you byes, circle of admirers round him, and the skedaddle. Like your imperence, recovered Jim playing devil's chorus at hangin' round with your mouths wide the door of his own tent, I walked in open when Rendle has visitors from past the sentries with my youngsters, his Uncle Dan." and requested audience of the Com- "Well, and have they made you sermander-in-Chief.
geant yet, Dan, or corporal, or what?" That high official was absent on "No, sir, I ain't noth'n but just full pleasure, but I was introduced to a ser- private. But I've got two good-congeant, who happened to be the one duct stripes, an'-an' they say I'm who got his trousers wet on the beach t' have a medal." the other day.
“Oh, and what's the medal for? "Have you got a boy here named Shooting?" Rendle, sergeant-Dan Rendle?" I “No, sir, fur-fur swimmin',” said asked.
Dan modestly. “We have, sir. Do you know him?" "For savin' a bye's life at sea at risk
"Well, I know something about him. of his own," said the sergeant, who His Uncle Dan,"
was still within earshot. “Ay, ay, sir; that's him. There he is, “Oh! how was that? That's a great 'mong all them byes. He's the cheeky. thing to have done, my boy, and a looking young limb in the middle that's thing to be proud of. It's not everydoing all the talking; but he's a good body gets the chance, or has the pluck bye, and a plucky one. I'll call him." to take advantage of it."
“No, if you don't mind, we'd like to It was the sergeant, however, who go to him."
told us the story and pointed out Jim “Right, sir," and he led us across the Foley, still sitting in the door of his vacant space to where Danny was tent and straining eyes and ears our holding court.
way, as the "fullish bye what didn't "Rendle, here's a gentleman come to know enough to keep inside his depth, see you from your Uncle Dan," said and spiled me a pair o' new trousers, the sergeant, and Danny sprang up to he did too, forbye, wi' his fullishness." the salute with a face like a red rose We stopped chatting with Dan for dusted with gold, for it gleamed all close on half an hour. He told us all over-and tipped with dew, for his that he knew, and a great deal that he eyes sparkled like diamondswet dia. thought, about a sham fight with the monds.
soldiers in the other camp that was to "Well, Dan, my boy,” I said, “how come off in the marshes that night, are you, and how are you getting on? and strongly advised us to be present. Heard from Uncle Dan lately?"
It was to be a slap-up, real banging "No, sir, I ain't,” said Dan, with affair, and wouldn't they just make a something of a dazed look in his eyes. noise! He showed us inside his tent,
“Ah, he's not much of a writer, is which he shared with five others, and he, with his one arm?"
all his belongings, and led us past Jim “No, sir, he ain't."
Foley, with his nose up and his head
in the air, to the mess tent, and finally, But when I hinted that money was after we had taken leave of the ser- meant to be spent, and was apt to geant, and begged bis acceptance of burn holes in boys' pockets if kept too half-a-crown, he conducted us proudly long-a proposition which made my past the sentries and said good-bye, Own youngsters prick up their earsand stood looking after us, with his and endeavored to draw him out on the right hand firmly clasped on a five- use to which the balance was to be put, shilling piece, and an expression of he rapidly changed the subject, and I face that was strangely compounded of forbore to worry him. gratitude and mystification.
I was very curious to know if my When we strolled up to camp next own surmises as to Dan's Uncle Dan day Dan was on sentry duty at the were anywhere near the mark, and front entrance. There were a score of when my wife was putting the younger the town boys regarding him en- children to bed I told the others to run viously, and he would not permit him- down to the beach while Dan and I self so much as the flicker of an eyelid had a talk. from the straight path of duty. His “Now, Danny, my man, tell me about eyes shone on us like blue diamonds, your Uncle Dan," I began when we and I got a fleeting impression of a were alone. “Where does he live?" slight tremor of the under part of the He looked at me very straight for the left eye-cup; but the little warrior space of a minute, as though debating sternly nipped the flower of friendship in his own mind whether to unload in the bud, and remained as immobile himself or not, and then said briefly: as if he had swallowed the barrel of "I ain't got no Uncle Dan." his musket and had been cast in gun- It was so exactly what I expected metal.
that, after all that had passed, I could The next day we begged leave for not refrain from a shout of laughter, at him for the afternoon, and carried him which he knitted his brows and off in a carriage and pair for a drive blinked quickly, and I saw that I bad round the countryside, and home to our burt him. I stretched out my hand. lodgings to tea, and we all delighted in "You must excuse me, old man," I him greatly. My youngest boy desired said, “but that was exactly what I forthwith to be put into a soldier's imagined," at which a look of relief orphanage, that he migbt begin to em
over his face. “And yet you ulate the deeds of Danny the Greatfought Jim Foley because he cast and his mother had to be at much doubts on Uncle Dan, and you went in pains to explain to him that on several after Jim because your Uncle Dan sent counts he was not at present eligible. you?"
Dan chattered away most entertain. “Gosh!" said Danny, and looked upon ingly of his soldiering experiences, as- me as a wizard. serted that they had licked the big fel- "Tell me all about it, Danny. Perlows all to fits in the marshes the haps I can help." other night, and dilated at consider- “Well, sir, it were like this," he said able length on the great time they had stoutly; "all the other chaps had sisters had at the canteen, when he had had and cousins and aunts and things, and his Uncle Dan's health drunk with full I never had nobody, and I felt kind of honors in forty bottles of ginger beer. out, and I just made up Uncle Dan to “But I ain't spent all the money yet," be upsides with 'em. An' I made him he said with a deprecatory glance at just as I'd ha' liked to ha' had him if me.
I'd had him really. Bin at Watterloo,
an' lost his arm an' his legs an' all the never omitted the quotation marks),rest of it. An'-an'-" and there was
“We had a tough time, as you will the suspicion of a shamefaced break in have seen from the papers; but I came the clear little voice—"an' I tried to do through all right. They've made me things as I thought he'd ha' like me to
full sergeant" (he was just turned
twenty-two), "and I'm down for the do 'em. An' it done me good, sir, so
V.C. But it was nothing. My sergeant what's the odds?"
(Braden, I've told you about him) was “Danny," I said, "you're a little
alongside me in the charge. We came trump. Now tell me one other thing.
on one nasty bit of ground where we What were you saving the rest of that had to jump our horses in and out, and money for?"
not too much room, and the fuzzies "I were goin' to write myself some slashing and shooting and howling letters from Uncle Dan,” he said, with like" (there is a word carefully inked a twinkle in his eyes.
over here and "mad" written in above “Well now, Danny, I'm going to
it). “Braden's horse went down in a make a proposal to you. You've got no
heap, and him with it. I was next him, Uncle Dan, and you want one badly, and I saw it was only the horse was
hurt. to be upsides with the other fellows.
The black and white" (another Will you let me be your Uncle Dan and
word carefully inked over and "der.
vishes" written in above it) "came look after you a bit?"
down on us like hail” (this word had The blue eyes sparkled like dia
also undergone revision), and began monds, and filled suddenly, and his
chop-chopping away-and I can tell head went down into his arms on the
you their swords do cut. My horse was table and he sobbed silently for the brick, and danced about round space of two minutes an emotion that Braden till he got on to his feet again, I should imagine was very foreign to Then we made a dash at the blacks him-and my heart rejoiced exceedingly and hurt several of them, I believe; that this happy thought had been given
and then the lieutenant came back for to it.
us with a score of the boys and we
came out right except for a few cuts I have had one moment's
more or less. Everybody says it was
a fine bit of work, for they were 3,000 cause to regret my self-election to the
and we not over 400. Everybody is post of Dan's Uncle Dan, nor, I think,
talking of Colonel Macdonald. He did has Danny.
the hardest fighting of the day. He We corresponded with him regularly
rose from the ranks, and I'm going to and visited him frequently in barracks do the same. when the regiment went home, and “Love to all. Yours very gratefully, found more to like in him every time
"Dan Rendle (Sergt., V.C.).” we saw him.
All that happened some years ago. I am proud to remember that I am Before me on my desk as I write lies Dan Rendle's Uncle Dan by adoption, a letter dated from Omdurman, Sep- and I think it likely I shall be prouder tember 3, 1898:
He sprang from nowhere in particu“Dear 'Uncle Dan'" (since he came lar, but I think he will go far. to years of understanding Dan has
John Oxenham. Longman's Magazine.
MRS. GLADSTONE AS SEEN FROM NEAR AT HAND.
A sketch "from near at hand" has laid out before, but growing one out of not the same meaning when
we another. She was indefatigable with are speaking of Mrs. Gladstone as her pen. She forgot nobody and nothwhen we were speaking of her illustri- ing in which her sympathy was once ous husband. There is in her case no enlisted, and she had a genius for distorting medium of political or theo- making every expedition of charity logical prepossession. Her character, yield double and treble fruit by kind though not essentially simpler than things got in by this way. Her care of
his to those who judged her husband began with their married him simply or who saw him close, life. He had already been in Parlia. was less
open to the possibility ment seven years, had been Under Secof misconstruction. A life of wifely retary of State, and was within a few devotion and of large-hearted benefi- months of entering on the apprenticecence is attractive, and is intelligible ship at the Board of Trade which deto everybody. But if the world at large termined the chief interest of a large could not be mistaken in the nature of part of his political ife. His health the life, those who were nearest knew which, thanks to her watchfulness and best the completeness of the devotion his own temperate and ordered life, and the true warmth and largeness of stood him in good stead for so many the heart.
years, was not in the beginning such In writing of her it is almost neces- as to exempt him from the need of sary to treat separately the two pur- considerable care. The beautiful verses poses between which her life was di- have been often quoted in which his vided; but the most remarkable feature friend Sir Francis Doyle drew the pic. in it was the instinctive skill with ture of what the wife of such a man which she dovetailed the two into one should be, and it was
than a another, throwing her whole soul into poet's dream. It would be difficult to each, and never allowing one to mar say how much he owed in freedom for the completeness of the other. It was his proper work, in the peace and interesting to compare her in this re- strength that come from sympathy, to spect with Mr. Gladstone. He also “his answering spirit-bride." Her lived two very full lives, in public af- efforts were unresting, and rarely unfairs and in study; but though the en- successful, to economize his strength ergy was the same, the way in which and time by giving him all the it worked was as different as pos- comfort of home and sible. His life was one of the strictest its worries. It is a touching witorder and method. So far as the exigen- ness in a small matter, to the mascies of public business allowed, every ter-purpose, that in the wanderings of five minutes was apportioned. With her her failing life one of the very last impulse took the place of method. She fancies which expressed itself in intelhad even a horror (in every one but in ligible words that a carriage him) of what she would have called which should have been ready for him "red tape." The framework of her was after time. She scolded the nurse days was given by his needs; but when and sent urgent messages, and then these were satisfied the rest was a turning, as she thought, to him, with rush of multifarious occupations not her old tact, changing her voice that he
might not guess that there was any delay or difficulty, said "Shall you be ready soon to start, darling?" Within his own house and without it, as towards servants, as towards his chil. dren, his guests, everything that could burden him was deftly and without his consciousness taken upon her shoulders. She remembered faces better than he did, and could save him sometimes from giving unintended offense. She was his constant companion in society, on visits, at political gatherings, always on the watch to help or shield him, and charming friends, great and humble, by her gracious and cordial manner. In his study at Hawarden (the “Temple of Peace”), and even in his official room in Downing Street when he was alone, she had her own table and was busy silently writing. And he leaned upon her greatly. She was not a great reader but by nature tician,' but she had
very keen and quick intelligence, excellent natural memory, a woman's wit in piercing things together, and an absorbing interest in what interested him. There were no secrets between them, and, in spite of the impulsive and sympathetic nature, she was his most discreet confidante. “She has known every secret," we are told he said, "and has never betrayed one." When apart, they corresponded daily, and his letters to her are a complete record of his thoughts and aims.
measure how completely she lived for and in her care of him by the collapse of vital force which she showed when his public life with its heavy calls
her ceased abruptly six years ago. She rallied a good deal
his illness brought back the old preoccupations, but after May 28, 1898, she was
never herself again. Her life was over.
When we speak of her charitable work we naturally think in the first instance of movements for the relief of suffering in which she was a pioneer or gave the first effective impulse. Such was the establishment of the Newport Market Refuge, which was due to her initiation. She got together the committee which found the disused slaughter-houses in Soho in which the Refuge was first established, and partly by means of meetings, at which Mr. Gladstone spoke, partly by endless personal correspondence, and by appeals through The Times, she raised the funds both for the start and for the subsequent developments. It was a new departure in the effort to grapple with the problem of the shelterless wanderer at night in the streets of London. At that time only a few of the workhouses had even opened casual wards and no attempt had been made to distinguish those whom misfortune had made for the moment homeless from the inveterate and professional tramp. It had its marked effect on public opinion and upon the development of Poor Law administration, and it was the precursor of the many other refuges since opened, which aim at helping those who are capable of being really helped.
Another institution, also the first of its kind, which owed its conception and commencement to her, is the Free Convalescent Home so long located at Woodford Hall. That, like the Industrial school attached to the Newport Market Refuge and her own Orphan. age for Boys at Hawarden, grew out of the needs of which she had had personal experience in the London Hospital during the great cholera epidemic in 1867. There were two novelties in
So far as heredity goes she should bave had in her the elements of a politician, for her grandmother (Catherine, Lady Brybrooke.)
was the sister of one Prime Minister (Lord Grenville), the
daughter of another (Mr. Grenville), and the Orst cousin of a third, the greatest of them (Mr. Pitt).