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Ipsallitiraitts InMIijptt.



A RELIC OF THE PAST. Twice within the last few weeks have instances been recorded in which veterans of the British army, after exhausting the risks of a lifelong service in all quarters of the globe, have expired, full of years and honour, in the very mansions in which they were born. Such stories express the realisation of chances almost beyond the bounds of probability, but the whole chronicle of wonders contains no stronger example than that just no^. reported from Paris. Marshal Reille, the old soldier of the Empire, whose remains were last week escorted to a peaceful tomb in his native land, had not only outlived the days assigned to man, but had at- tained to extreme age, after a career of dangers which we may safely describe as without a parallel. A life of 85 years would in most cases embrace some strange events. but in the instance before us it covered such a chain of revolutions and such a series of wars as no period of the world's history had ever produced. The boyhood of the soldier who but a few days ago lived to tell of his own adventures was spent under the old regime of France. He only missed by a month or two being born under Louis XV., and he actually saw the whole reign of the unfortunate Sovereign who perished on a scaffold. He could perfectly remember the Assembly of Notables at Versailles, and, as far as his age went, might have played a part in any of the scenes through which the Revolution was conducted. As soon, indeed, as those famous wars commenced which turned the passions of democratic France towards view of foreign conquest, the military services of young Reille commenced also, nor did they terminate until the swords of all nations, after 20 years of conflict, were once more sheathed. It is here that the story presents so incredible an aspect. Napoleon had many generals, and they were all working men, but no officer of the Grand Army could have shown, we believe, an account of service so extraordinary as that performed by Reille. He was not in Egypt, and he escaped the disastrous expedition to Moscow, but with these ex- ceptions he appears to have been fighting and com- manding in every country through which the French eagles were carried. He fought against the Duke of Brunswick, against Suwarrow, against Wurmser, against the Archduke Charles, against Mina, against Hill, and against Wellington. He fought in Belgium, in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, in Flanders. He began his campaigns as a subaltern of infantry under Dumouriex, and ended them in command of a corps d'armie at Waterloo. His ubiquity seems to have brought him into every episode of the war, how- ever peculiar. He assisted at the siege of Toulon, penetrated the blockade of Genoa, held command in the camp of Boulogne, watched the great leaguer of Stralsund on the part of the Emperor, and was actually on board ship at one of Villeneuve's sea-fights. He was in the campaign at Valmy, when the French, unconscious of their own power, were protecting their own frontiers. He was in those of Montenotte, of Zurich, of Jena, of Friedland, of Wagram, of the Pyrenees; and, after a career of service in the Pen- insula alone which would have sufficed to create a military reputation, he bore a brave and distinguished part in the Hundred Days, and finally covered Paris with his division against the last advance of the Allies. From the year 1792 to the year 1815 he can be traced from place to place, always in a post of danger, usually in one of trust; and yet, after confronting in person the accumulated perils of this eventful period, he sur- vived in peace and quiet to our own days, and wit- nessed, after an interval of half a century, the de- velopment of a second Empire. It provokes a smile of incredulity or astonishment to read of a man whose "retirement from political life" had commenced before George iII. died, and before some of our present statesmen were born. General Reille was 45 years of age when he withdrew, certainly after a fair share of experience, from the strife and struggles of the world; but so little had his vital powers been injured by the strain that 40years more remained to him. During this period he received the honours which formed the natural lot of such dignified ease. Louis Philippe made him a Marshal of France a few days before the roll of those dignitaries was diminished by the death of Oudinot, and the usual accompaniments of place and distinction were, of course, at his com- mand. His distinctions, in fact, were too genuine to be overlooked under any kind of Government; Le- gitimists and Orlean-sts alike were fain to recognise the deserts of a life like his. He had contributed to the glories of France, and in those glories every Frenchmen was a participator. _——.