A soldier's life in China.
-- A French officer with the army in China
thus describes, in a letter dated at Tien-tsin, his mode of life in that country :-- At six o'clock a comrade comes to dine with me. What a feast we have!
On a roasted pheasant stuffed with truffies, and mince-meat made with the flesh of a ben pheasant ! This is a new idea, and not a bad one, either.
The truffies, it is true, were a present.
Have I told you of the resources of this country in fish, game, and poultry ! My company of voltigeurs having resolved to give themselves a treat, bought twenty-eight hares for eleven frames; quails cost six centimes each, (a little more than a sou,) and pullets from five to six sous each. -- Never was an army better fed, lodged, or paid than ours is ! For four sous a day our men can live on poultry and pig's feet ! I look with wonder and delight on the Pantagruelic repasts made every day by our soldiers.
As to military danger there is now none whatever, as the Chinese adore us ! Our piastres, with which they see we are amply provided, area guaranty that they will keep us from returning to France
as long as possible.
, too, is well fortified, and as our force amounts to 3,000 French and 4,000 English
, we are well able to defend ourselves."