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- REAL SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE - 4/25 -
Later, in the _Court Journal_, October 28, 1876, we read:
"Colonel MacIver, who a few years ago was very well known in military circles in Dublin, now is making his mark with the Servian army. In the war against the Turks, he commands about one thousand Russo-Servian cavalry."
He was next to receive the following honors:
"Colonel MacIver has been appointed commander of the cavalry of the Servian armies on the Morava and Timok, and has received the Cross of the Takovo Order from General Tchemaieff for gallant conduct in the field, and the gold medal for valor."
Later we learn from the _Daily News_:
"Mr. Lewis Farley, Secretary of the 'League in Aid of Christians of Turkey,' has received the following letter, dated Belgrade, October 10, 1876:
"'DEAR SIR: In reference to the embroidered banner so kindly worked by an English lady and forwarded by the League to Colonel MacIver, I have great pleasure in conveying to you the following particulars. On Sunday morning, the flag having been previously consecrated by the archbishop, was conducted by a guard of honor to the palace, and Colonel MacIver, in the presence of Prince Milan and a numerous suite, in the name and on behalf of yourself and the fair donor, delivered it into the hands of the Princess Natalie. The gallant Colonel wore upon this occasion his full uniform as brigade commander and chief of cavalry of the Servian army, and bore upon his breast the 'Gold Cross of Takovo' which he received after the battles of the 28th and 30th of September, in recognition of the heroism and bravery he displayed upon these eventful days. The beauty of the decoration was enhanced by the circumstances of its bestowal, for on the evening of the battle of the 30th, General Tchernaieff approached Colonel MacIver, and, unclasping the cross from his own breast, placed it upon that of the Colonel.
"'(Signed.) HUGH JACKSON, "'_Member of Council of the League_."
In Servia and in the Servian army MacIver reached what as yet is the highest point of his career, and of his life the happiest period.
He was _general de brigade_, which is not what we know as a brigade general, but is one who commands a division, a major-general. He was a great favorite both at the palace and with the people, the pay was good, fighting plentiful, and Belgrade gay and amusing. Of all the places he has visited and the countries he has served, it is of this Balkan kingdom that the general seems to speak most fondly and with the greatest feeling. Of Queen Natalie he was and is a most loyal and chivalric admirer, and was ever ready, when he found any one who did not as greatly respect the lady, to offer him the choice of swords or pistols. Even for Milan he finds an extenuating word.
After Servia the general raised more foreign legions, planned further expeditions; in Central America reorganized the small armies of the small republics, served as United States Consul, and offered his sword to President McKinley for use against Spain. But with Servia the most active portion of the life of the general ceased, and the rest has been a repetition of what went before. At present his time is divided between New York and Virginia, where he has been offered an executive position in the approaching Jamestown Exposition. Both North and South he has many friends, many admirers. But his life is, and, from the nature of his profession, must always be, a lonely one.
While other men remain planted in one spot, gathering about them a home, sons and daughters, an income for old age, MacIver is a rolling stone, a piece of floating sea-weed; as the present King of England called him fondly, "that vagabond soldier."
To a man who has lived in the saddle and upon transports, "neighbor" conveys nothing, and even "comrade" too often means one who is no longer living.
With the exception of the United States, of which he now is a naturalized citizen, the general has fought for nearly every country in the world, but if any of those for which he lost his health and blood, and for which he risked his life, remembers him, it makes no sign. And the general is too proud to ask to be remembered. To-day there is no more interesting figure than this man who in years is still young enough to lead an army corps, and who, for forty years, has been selling his sword and risking his life for presidents, pretenders, charlatans, and emperors.
He finds some mighty changes: Cuba, which he fought to free, is free; men of the South, with whom for four years he fought shoulder to shoulder, are now wearing the blue; the empire of Mexico, for which he fought, is a republic; the empire of France, for which he fought, is a republic; the empire of Brazil, for which he fought is a republic; the dynasty in Servia, to which he owes his greatest honors, has been wiped out by murder. From none of the eighteen countries he has served has he a pension, berth, or billet, and at sixty he finds himself at home in every land, but with a home in none.
Still he has his sword, his blanket, and in the event of war, to obtain a commission he has only to open his tin boxes and show the commissions already won. Indeed, any day, in a new uniform, and under the Nineteenth Flag, the general may again be winning fresh victories and honors.
And so, this brief sketch of him is left unfinished. We will mark it--_To be continued_.
BARON JAMES HARDEN-HICKEY
THIS is an attempt to tell the story of Baron Harden-Hickey, the Man Who Made Himself King, the man who was born after his time.
If the reader, knowing something of the strange career of Harden-Hickey, wonders why one writes of him appreciatively rather than in amusement, he is asked not to judge Harden-Hickey as one judges a contemporary.
Harden-Hickey, in our day, was as incongruous a figure as was the American at the Court of King Arthur; he was as unhappily out of the picture as would be Cyrano de Bergerac on the floor of the Board of Trade. Judged, as at the time he was judged, by writers of comic paragraphs, by presidents of railroads, by amateur "statesmen" at Washington, Harden-Hickey was a joke. To the vacant mind of the village idiot, Rip Van Winkle returning to Falling Water also was a joke. The people of our day had not the time to understand Harden-Hickey; they thought him a charlatan, half a dangerous adventurer and half a fool; and Harden-Hickey certainly did not under stand them. His last words, addressed to his wife, showed this. They were: "I would rather die a gentleman than live a blackguard like your father."
As a matter of fact, his father-in-law, although living under the disadvantage of being a Standard Oil magnate, neither was, nor is, a blackguard, and his son-in-law had been treated by him generously and with patience. But for the duellist and soldier of fortune it was impossible to sympathize with a man who took no greater risk in life than to ride on one of his own railroads, and of the views the two men held of each other, that of John H. Flagler was probably the fairer and the more kindly.
Harden-Hickey was one of the most picturesque, gallant, and pathetic adventurers of our day; but Flagler also deserves our sympathy.
For an unimaginative and hard-working Standard Oil king to have a D'Artagnan thrust upon him as a son-in-law must be trying.
James A. Harden-Hickey, James the First of Trinidad, Baron of the Holy Roman Empire, was born on December 8, 1854. As to the date all historians agree; as to where the important event took place they differ. That he was born in France his friends are positive, but at the time of his death in El Paso the San Francisco papers claimed him as a native of California. All agree that his ancestors were Catholics and Royalists who left Ireland with the Stuarts when they sought refuge in France. The version which seems to be the most probable is that he was born in San Francisco, where as one of the early settlers, his father, E. C. Hickey, was well known, and that early in his life, in order to educate him, the mother took him to Europe.
There he was educated at the Jesuit College at Namur, then at Leipsic, and later entered the Military College of St. Cyr.
James the First was one of those boys who never had the misfortune to grow up. To the moment of his death, in all he planned you can trace the effects of his early teachings and environment; the influences of the great Church that nursed him, and of the city of Paris, in which he lived. Under the Second Empire, Paris was at her maddest, baddest, and best. To-day under the republic, without a court, with a society kept in funds by the self-expatriated wives and daughters of our business men, she lacks the reasons for which Baron Haussmann bedecked her and made her beautiful. The good Loubet, the worthy Fallieres, except that they furnish the cartoonist with subjects for ridicule, do not add to the gayety of Paris. But when Harden-Hickey was a boy, Paris was never so carelessly gay, so brilliant, never so overcharged with life, color, and adventure.
In those days "the Emperor sat in his box that night," and in the box opposite sat Cora Pearl; veterans of the campaign of Italy, of Mexico, from the desert fights of Algiers, sipped sugar and water in front of Tortoni's, the Cafe Durand, the Cafe Riche; the sidewalks rang with their sabres, the boulevards were filled with the colors of the gorgeous uniforms; all night of each night the Place Vendome shone with the carriage lamps of the visiting pashas from Egypt, of nabobs from India, of _rastaquoueres_ from the sister empire of Brazil; the state carriages, with the outriders and postilions in the green and gold of the Empress, swept through the Champs Elysees, and at the Bal Bulier, and at Mabile the students and "grisettes" introduced the cancan. The men of those days were Hugo, Thiers, Dumas, Daudet, Alfred de Musset; the magnificent blackguard, the Duc de Morny, and the great, simple Canrobert, the captain of barricades, who became a marshal of France.
Over all was the mushroom Emperor, his anterooms crowded with the titled charlatans of Europe, his court radiant with countesses
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