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Robert Stiles, Four years under Marse Robert, Chapter 1: explanation of the title-scheme of the work. (search)
ef but glorious annals: I followed old Mars' Robert For four year, near about; Got wounded in three places And starved at Pint Lookout. Again, why Marse Robert? The passion of soldiers for nicknaming their favorite leaders, re-christening them according to their unfettered fancy and their own sweet will, is well known. The little corporal, The iron Duke, Marshall forwards, Bobs, Bobs Bahadur, Little Mac, Little Phil, Fighting Joe, Stonewall, Old Jack, Old Pete, Old Jube, Jubilee, Rooney, Fitz, Marse Robert --all these and many more are familiar. There is something grotesque about most of them and in many, seemingly, rank disrespect. Yet the habit has never been regarded as a violation of military law, and the commanding general of an army, if a staunch fighter, and particularly if victory often perches on his banner, is very apt to win the noways doubtful compliment of this rough and ready knighthood from his devoted troops. But however this may be, Marse Robert is far