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was not one whit greater in muscular power than in activity and skilfulness in its exercise, whilst he was appropriately aided in the development of both by the possession of a hardihood that actually knew not how to quail at danger. Never did he more greatly need those qualities than now, and never did they stand him in better stead." Throwing his right arm round the waist of the officer, who was of a short, slight figure, he lifted him from the ground with apparently as much ease as a girl lifts her doll, turned on his heel, and cleared at a bound, which was accompanied by a shriek of terror from the affrighted Frenchman, the chasm between the face of the precipice and the Devil's Crag; and the next moment, standing erect on its narrow surface, shouted to the soldiers in the deep stern tone which he assumed when highly excited, and which resembled rather the loud bray of a trumpet than a sound proceeding from human organs, Halt!” .
The command was unnecessary. At the moment of his plunge, the whole body, believing he had really thrown himself over the precipice, and carried their officer with him, had, paralysed at the sight, involuntarily halted as suddenly as if transformed into stone by the touch of a magician's wand, whilst à cry of horror broke from every lip. Ere they had recovered from their astonishment and inaction, he again spoke_" Advance but a step, point but a rifle, and down I go, and carry your officer along with me!”
Turning to the latter, he inquired, “ Know you who I am?" 6 Yes,' faintly replied the Frenchman; “ you are Martin Diez, called the Empecinado.”
“ And you have come hither to arrest me; is it not so?" pursued Diez.
“ Yes,” was the reply. " Then," said the guerilla, “ I need scarcely inform you that it is not my intention either to be taken alive or to die alone. Now look below you."
The appalled soldier, who probably had never shrunk from the prospect of death amid the roar of battle, cast a shuddering glance on the awful abyss over which he found himself in effect hair-hung and breeze-shaken, and then, in utter agony, clung even more closely than before to the terrible man in whose hands he felt his fate to be.
“I perceive you don't admire the prospect,” coolly resumed Diez. “ Now mark my words : I leave this hill by the way I came, unharmed, and free; or I leave it by the shorter route, and take you in my company. But do as I direct you, and not a hair of your head shall be injured. First order your men to face towards the wood, and discharge their rifles.”
“ What security have I that you will keep your promise should I do as you direct ?" inquired the Frenchiman.
“ For security," said Diez, "you have only the word of a man
who never broke his pledge to friend or foe! But then what other choice have you than to trust me? Your only alternative is one which you don't appear to relish much. Do as I direct you,” he continued, raising his voice as the other still hesitated, < or we take the leap together!”
The officer complied. The men, whose training and discipline would have insured their obedience even had they been less powerfully influenced by the contemplation of his danger, at once faced round in the opposite direction, and in another second every rifle in the company was empty.
“ Now order them to pile their arms, and retire a hundred paces to the right,” said Diez.
Again he was obeyed. The men piled their arms in silence, and retired to the prescribed distance.
“ One word more," said the Empecinado. “ Have I been betrayed by any Spaniard ?”
6 Yes, said the Frenchman, who in his heart abhorred a traitor, though willing to profit by the treachery; " by a member of your own band."
“ His name?” asked Diez.
“ His name is Pedro Velascas,” was the reply. “ He awaits me at the fountain where the three roads meet, near the foot of the hill, where he expects to receive the reward offered for your apprehension.”
**He has earned his reward; and he shall have it !” said the guerilla in a stern tone. He bounded lightly from the crag to the top of the cliff, and called on the Frenchman to follow. This, however, he feared to attempt, though the distance was little more than a lengthened stride; and it was only after grasping the stout belt of Diez, the end of which he threw him for the purpose, that he could bring himself to adopt even the apparently less bold, though in reality more hazardous, method of scrambling down upon the connecting fragment, and thence to the top of the precipice at the opposite side. When at length he stood in safety on the firm ground, his bolder companion wished him a laughing good-morning, and started for the wood in a direction opposite to that in which the military were still drawn up. The latter, on perceiving him run, followed his example, and made for their arms. Before they had traversed the hundred paces, however, the Empecinado had traversed a hundred and fifty, and long before the most expert soldier amongst them had reloaded his rifle, the fugitive was completely lost to view in the plantation. A brief pursuit took place, which was one in name rather than reality ; for, if the truth were known, the French officer had little desire to hold further communication with Martin Diez for that day.
Diez, however, continued his headlong course until he had reached the foot of the hill, when, turning from the path he had previously pursued, he proceeded in the direction of the fountain
where he had been told his betrayer waited to receive the reward of his treachery. Velascas was stretched beneath a tree, but started to his feet on hearing a heavy body crashing through the bushes, and the next moment found himself face to face with the man whose confidence he had so grossly violated, and whose person he had sought to betray to a cruel and shameful death. He would have turned to fly, however fruitlessly; but his limbs refused to perform their office. He would have spoken; but, conscience-stricken, his tongue clove to the roof of his mouth. The Empecinado uttered but one word : « Traitor!" he shouted in a voice of thunder, as he grasped him by the throat. They were the last human accents that ever fell upon the wretch's ear: the blood gushed in torrents from his mouth and nose ; Diez maintained his grasp for a few seconds, then hurled him to the earth, and again was lost among the trees. On passing the spot an hour subsequently, the Frenchmen found it difficult to recognise, in the blackened and distorted features of the corpse which lay across the path, the countenance of Pedro Velascas, their guide of the morning.
The relation of such adventures as this, in a simple and unostentatious manner, by the hero of them himself, "possessed an interest for the young and ardent Frenchman which may be more readily conceived than described. So thoroughly at ease did he feel himself before long in his novel position, that he almost regretted when, his wounds having healed, the period arrived when he could no longer honourably remain in retirement whilst the army to which he belonged was actively engaged in the field. Faithful to his promise, Diez escorted him in person to the lines of his countrymen, and bade him farewell only when almost within musket-shot of the French outpost, farther than which he could not have ventured in safety. They parted with genuine feelings of mutual regard; and often afterwards did Dubois entertain his companions in arms, on the march or in the mess-tent, with his reminiscences of the heroic Empecinado.
A word may be added on the result of the Peninsular war, and the fate of the Empecinado. Under Wellington, the British army drove the French from Spain; and in 1814 the war was closed by the fall of Napoleon. Spain being now free to reestablish a native government, recalled Ferdinand VII., who had for some years been a prisoner in France; on the understanding, however, that he confirmed the constitution established by the cortes, and which was wished for by the nation. As soon as Ferdinand had securely fixed himself on the throne, he repudiated the constitution, and resumed a despotic and tyrannical sway. A protracted civil war followed this invasion of the liberties of
the people, in which monstrous barbarities were perpetrated by the royalists. The Empecinado placed himself, at the head of a body of constitutionalists, and he struggled manfully for national freedom; but in vain. On the faith of a treaty, he laid down his arms; notwithstanding which he was seized, and executed at Rueda, August 19, 1825, with circumstances of insulting cruelty highly disgraceful to his persecutors.
What Spain has been ever since, everybody knows-a scene of contention and disaster; nor is any change for the better likely soon to ensue. Prosperity and happiness are ever denied to national disorganisation. And such are the consequences of the great struggle made by Britain for the sake of this naturally fine country! The Peninsular war—with all its glory, bloodshed, and expenditure of means—has ended in putting Spain into a ten times worse position than it would in all likelihood have been under the rule of a Bonapartean king. In relieving Spain from the authority of an invader, England delivered up the people to the domination of an imbecile dynasty, without the slightest guarantee that the new would be any better than the expelled government. A great act of heroism has gone for nothing, as far as the parties immediately concerned are interested. What a lesson to those who would heedlessly plunge into foreign quarrels, and pour out the blood and treasure of Britain in wars with which it has no proper concern!
VAIN the ancient saying, “The hand of the diligent A maketh rich," is found one of the truest principles
of social economy. Riches are the visible testimony b
of diligent industry - the tangible result of painstaking and consistent labour. Houses, clothing, articles of elegance and utility, public works of all kinds, private wealth, are all a product of skilful and persevering industry.
Some one has worked for them. Money is only a variety of wealth: it is an article representing the accumulated fruits of past labour. The industry which tends to an increase of wealth by labours useful to society, or which aims by honest means at mere personal subsistence, is usually blest, and is at all events always respectable. The humblest individual labouring honestly for his bread occupies an honourable position. Obscure as are his efforts, he forms part of a great system of industry-he helps to carry on the national machine. Unfortunately, there is a dishonest as well as an honest course of industry. Dishonest industry is that kind of labour which attempts to acquire riches at the expense of another, without the intervention of useful services, or without increasing in anyway the general resources of the country. This vicious and worthless species of industry is exemplified in two ways—by robbing, and gambling. A man may be very industrious in robbing his neighbours by means of artifice or violence, but all his labours in this way do not add a penny to the general wealth of the nation. A wrong is done without a corresponding good. As striking at the foundation of society, theft and robbery of every kind are the subject of severe legal chastisement in all civilised communities. Gambling may be said to be robbery under a different form. Two parties engage to stake a sum of money on the precarious turn of a die, the winner to pocket the stake of his antagonist. It is evident that the gaining of money by this means is not reputable. The only difference between it and robbery is, that chance is substituted for artifice or violence. It is a mutual agreement of two persons to try to rob each other, the robber to be the party whom chance happens to favour. Besides being disreputable, gambling is worthless in every sense. It adds nothing to general resources. A party of men might gamble with each other for a whole year, and yet at the end, amongst them all, there would not be any more property than at the beginning. Some would be rich, but others would be poor. All would likewise be demoralised. Besides being conscious of having misspent their time, their minds would be perverted to mean pursuits, and any former relish for habits of honest industry would have vanished. Thus, gambling, though not considered so great a crime as robbery, is