Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

house, at the barrier-gate, undiscovered, walls, nor the deadly fire of the enemy for the ripple of the waters smothered could stop, staggered back appalled by a the sound of their footsteps; but just chimera of their own raising, and in then the explosion at the breaches took this disorder, a French reserve, under place, the moon shone out, and the French General Viellande, drove on them with sentinels, discovering the columns, fired. a firm and rapid charge, and pitching The British troops immediately spring- some men over the walls and killing ing forward under a sharp musketry, others outright, again cleared the rambegan to hew down the wooden barrier parts even to the San Vincente. There, at the covered way, while the Portuguese, however, Leith had placed Colonel Nubeing panic-stricken, threw down the gent with a battalion of the thirty-eighth scaling-ladders. Nevertheless the others as a reserve, and when the French came snatched them up again, and forcing the up, shouting and slaying all before them, barrier, jumped into the ditch; but the this battalion, about two hundred strong, guiding engineer officer was killed, and arose, and with one close volley destroyed there was a cunette, which embarrassed them. the column, and when the foremost men “ Then the panic ceased, the soldiers succeeded in rearing the ladders, the rallied, and in compact order once more latter were found too short, for the walls charged along the walls towards the were generally above thirty feet high. breaches, but the French, although turnMeanwhile the fire of the French was ed on both flanks and abandoned by fordeadly, a small mine was sprung beneath tune, did not yet yield ; and meanwhile the soldiers' feet, beams of wood and the detachment of the fourth regiment, live shells were rolled over on their heads, which had entered the town when the showers of grape from the flank swept San Vincente was first carried, was the ditch, and man after man dropped strangely situated, for the streets were dead from the ladders.

empty and brilliantly illuminated, and “ Fortunately some of the defenders

no person was seen ; yet a low buzz and having been called away to aid in recover- whisper were heard around, lattices were ing the castle, the ramparts were not now and then gently opened, and from entirely manned, and the assailants, hav- time to time shots were fired from uning discovered a corner of the bastion derneath the doors of the houses by the where the scarp was only twenty feet Spaniards. However, the troops, with high, placed three ladders there under bugles sounding, advanced towards the an embrasure which had no gun, and great square of the town, and in their was only stopped with a gabion. Some progress captured several mules going men got up, but with difficulty, for the with amunition to the breaches ; but the ladders were still too short, and the first square itself was as empty and silent as man who gained the top was pushed up the streets, and the houses as bright by his comrades, and then drew others with lamps; a terrible enchantment after him, until many had gained the seemed to be in operation, for they saw summit; and though the French shot nothing but light, and heard only the heavily against them, from both flanks low whispers close around them, while and from a house in front, they thicken- the tumult at the breaches was like the ed and could not be driven back; half crashing thunder. the fourth regiment entered the town “ There, indeed, the fight was still itself to dislodge the enemy from the plainly raging, and hence, quitting the houses, while the others pushed along square, they attempted to take the garthe rampart towards the breach, and by rison in reverse, by attacking the ramdint of hard fighting successively won parts from the town side, but they were three bastions.

received with a rolling musketry, driven “ In the last of these combats General back with loss, and resumed their moveWalker leaping forward, sword in hand, ment through the streets. At last the at the moment when one of the enemy's breaches were abandoned by the French, cannoneers was discharging a gun, fell other parties entered the place, desultory covered with so many wounds that it combats took place in various parts, and was wonderful how he could survive, finally General Viellande, and Phillipon, and some of the soldiers immediately who was wounded, seeing all ruined, after, perceiving a lighted match on the passed the bridge with a few hundred ground, cried out, • A mine!' At that soldiers and entered San Cristoval, where word, such is the power of imagination, they all surrendered early the next mornthose troops whom neither the strong ing upon summons, to Lord Fitzroy barrier, nor the deep ditch, nor the high Somerset, who had with great readiness

pushed through the town to the draw out shrinking, and that the town was bridge ere they had time to organize won at last; let any man consider this, further resistance. But even in the and he must admit that a British army moment of ruin the night before, the bears with it an awful power. And noble governor had sent some horsemen false would it be to say that the French out from the fort to carry the news to were feeble men, for the garrison stood Soult's army, and they reached him in and fought manfully, and with good time to prevent a still greater misfor- discipline, behaving worthily. Shame tune.

there was none on any side. Yet who Now commenced that wild and despe- shall do justice to the bravery of the rate wickedness, which tarnished the soldiers? the noble emulation of the offilustre of the soldier's heroism. All in- cers? Who shall measure out the glory deed were not alike, for hundreds risked, of Ridge, of Macleod, of Nicholas, or of and many lost their lives in striving to O'Hare, of the ninety-fifth, who perishstop the violence; but the madness ed on the breach, at the head of the generally prevailed, and as the worst stormers, and with him nearly all the men were leaders here, all the dreadful volunteers for that desperate service? passions of human nature were displayed. Who shall describe the springing valour Shameless rapacity, brutal intemperance, of that Portuguese grenadier who was savage lust, cruelty, and murder, shrieks killed the foremost man at the Santa and piteous lamentations, groans, shouts, Maria ? or the martial fury of that desimprecations, the hissing of fires burst- perate soldier of the ninety-fifth, who, ing from the houses, the crashing of in his resolution to win, thrust himself doors and windows, and the reports of beneath the chained sword-blades, and muskets used in violence, resounded for there suffered the enemy to dash his two days and nights in the streets of head to pieces with the ends of their Badajos! on the third, when the city muskets? Who can sufficiently honour was sacked, when the soldiers were ex- the intrepidity of Walker, of Shaw, of hausted by their own excesses, the tumult Canch, or the resolution of Ferguson of rather subsided than was quelled. The the forty-third, who having in former wounded men were then looked to, the assaults received two deep wounds, was dead disposed of!

here, with his hurts still open, leading “ Five thousand men and officers fell the stormers of his regiment, the third during this siege, and of these, including time a volunteer, and the third time seven hundred Portuguese, three thou- wounded! Nor would I be understood sand five hundred had been stricken in to select these as pre-eminent, many and the assault; sixty officers, and more than signal were the other examples of unseven hundred men, being slain on the bounded devotion, some known, some spot. The five generals, Kempt, Harvey, that never will be known; for in such a Bowes, Colville, and Picton, were wound- tumult much passed unobserved, and ed, the first three severely; about six often the observers fell themselves, ere hundred men and officers fell in the they could bear testimony to what they escalade of San Vincente, as many at the saw; but no age, no nation, ever sent castle, and more than two thousand at

forth braver troops to the battle than the breaches, each division there losing those who stormed Badajos. twelve hundred! And how deadly the “ When the extent of the night's havoc strife was, at that point, may be gather- was made known to Lord Wellington, ed from this: the forty-third and fifty- the firmness of his nature gave way for second regiments of the light division, a moment, and the pride of conquest alone, lost more men than the seven re- yielded to a passionate burst of grief for giments of the third division engaged at the loss of his gallant soldiers.” the castle!

“ Let any man picture to himself this All good Englishmen must turn from frightful carnage taking place in a space this horrible picture, with a feeling of of less than a hundred square yards. gratitude to the Almighty, that our seaLet him consider that the slain died not girt island is yet unexposed to the calaall suddenly, nor by one manner of mities which befel the unhappy Spaniards death; that some perished by steel, some -that while other countries have been by shot, some by water; that some were desolated by invading and contending crushed and mangled by heavy weights, armies, England has not been the theatre some trampled upon, some dashed to of such long and sanguinary wars. atoms by the fiery explosions; that for hours this destruction was endured with

HAYDN AND HIS WIFE.

BIRMAN CUSTOMS.

MISCELLANIES.

it with some oatmeal, then bake it, and eat it like bread: it is bitterish; and

affords but little nourishment." The celebrated Haydn delighted in tell

BLARNEY. ing the origin of his good fortune, which

This is the name of a castle, about three he said he entirely owed to a bad wife. miles from Cork. Adjoining to the inWhen he was first married, he said,

habited mansion, there was formerly a finding no remedy against domestic squabbles, he used to quit his bad half, large square tower, with a winding stone

staircase to the top; the floors were all and go and enjoy himself with his good friends, who were Hungarians and Ger- gone, but the stone roof was entire ; it

was the custom here for all strangers mans, for weeks together. Once, hav

who ascended to the top of the tower, ing returned home after a considerable

to creep on their hands and knees to the absence, his wife, while he was in bed

corner-stone of the highest pinnacle, next morning, followed her husband's

and kiss the same; by virtue of which, example; she did even more, for she the parties ever after were said to be entook all his clothes, even to his shoes, dowed with extraordinary powers of stockings, and small clothes, nay, every loquacity and persuasion. Though nothing he had, along with her. Thus body could have believed that kissing situated, he was under the necessity of

the stone had any such effect, the cusdoing something to cover his nakedness; and this, he himself acknowledged, was mirth, and it accordingly became a com

tom was followed, through innocent the first cause of his seriously applying himself to the profession which has since fellow," he has been at Blarney;” and

mon saying at Cork, of any prating made his name immortal, He used to

hence the phrase, “none of your blarlaugh, saying, “I was from that time

ney. so habituated to study, that my wife, often fearing it would injure me, would threaten me with the same operation, if Ar Martaban should any man wish to I did not go out and amuse myself; separate entirely from his wife, with or but then,” added he, “ I was grown old,

without her consent, the children of the and she was sick, and no longer jealous.” marriage, and his clothes, gold, orna

ments, &c. are taken by her.

Should a

wife desire separation, but the husband The following is the account given by not, she must pay to him double the Harrison of the fare of the labouring expense he was put to by the marriage. classes in the reign of Elizabeth: When a child has attained the age of “ The bread throughout the land is seven days, its head is shaved, and an made of such graine as the soile yeeld- entertainment is given : at the same eth ; neverthelesse the gentilitie com- time, some old astrologer inspects the monlie provide themselves sufficientlie horoscope, and having foretold a fortuof wheate for their owne tables, whilest nate hour, he bestows a name on the their household and poore neighbours in child. The visitors then each present some shires are enforced to content it with a piece of money or something themselves with rie or barlie ; yea, and of value. The Martabaners generally in time of dearth, manie with bread burn their dead, in compliance with the either of beanes, peasen, or otes, or of Budhist ordinances. The poor do not altogither, and some acarns among; of burn the body of a person who has died which scourge the poorest doe soonest suddenly, but expose it to birds and taste, sith they are least able to provide dogs. The reason is not known, but themselves with better, and I will not perhaps the expense of large quantities saie that this extremitie is oft so well to of wood and earthsoil, which would be be seene in time of plentie as of dearth; required to consume a body which has but if I should, I could easilie bring my not been wasted by disease, may be the trial.” He concludes thus— The arti- cause of the custom. The corpses of ficer and labourer are driven to content priests are burned in the manner describthemselves with horse - corn, beanes, ed by Captain Symes and by Dr. Carey, peasen, otes, tares, and lintels.” This in the Asiatic Researches, by being was nearly as bad as the peasants of placed on a pile of billets, amongst which Norway, who in times of scarcity mix are some of odoriferous woods; it is fired the bark of trees, usually the fir-tree, by means of rockets let off at a distance, with their oatmeal; they dry this bark and which reach the pile along a wire before the fire, grind it to powder, mix stretched for the purpose.

BREAD IN THE TIME OF ELIZABETH.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

THE CHALLENGE.

Monsieur de L— always, in his heart, (For the Parterre.)

wished the quærists at the devil ; but politesse obliged him to receive them

graciously—in truth, he made himself lago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy ; It is the green-ey'd monster, which doch mock

very miserable; and more than once The meat it feeds on.

thought of closed windows and doors, Othello, Act 3, Scene 3. and a pan of lighted charcoal, after the

favourite method of his countrymen, MONSIEUR de L- was an agreeable, when bent on suicide. But, somehow or sprightly old gentleman of the ancien other, he altered his determination from regime, but he had one very great fail- day to day, and lived on. He always ing-he was intolerably jealous. This, found an excuse for delaying the ceremo. however, will not excite the wonder of ny. A new Vaudeville was announcedour readers, when they hear that Madame they were preparing a grand opera with de L- was a very agreeable sprightly music, that he could not die without dame, full twenty years younger than hearing, or some great savage from Zeaher husband.

land or Timbuctoo had just arrived, to Many a wicked young Parisian took astonish the Parisians with his outlandish delight in teazing the poor old gentle- performances, so the charcoal fumes were man, and fanning the flame which the not put in requisition, and Monsieur de considerate and humane always endea- L- continued to exist. voured to stifle.

When we say that our old Monsieur “Ah! my dear Monsieur de L-, was jealous, it will scarcely be necessary what a happy man are you! How is to add, that he kept a sharp eye upon your amiable and lovely spouse ?” were Madame, who, as may be supposed, was the constant exclamations and questions very much annoyed at it; but she found with which he was saluted, whenever relief in the consciousness that his suspi. he encountered a young friend in the cions were groundless. She might, perstreets.

haps, have sometimes innocently thought,

open window.

that as she was yet young she might The professed novelist would here outlive her ancient partner, and have the sprinkle the page with a triple row of good fortune to meet with a somewhat stars, while the writers of newspaperyounger husband—but then this was all paragraphs would inform us, that the in perspective—merely in perspective: scene which took place between Monshe was a Frenchwoman-witty, lively, sieur and Madame, after the departure gay, but not corrupt. But to proceed of the gallant, may be “better imagined with our story.

than described.” It will be sufficient to Monsieur de L- was one evening re- inform our readers, that at the appointed turning from a visit to a friend in a dis- hour Monsieur de L- arrived at the tant quarter of the city, and had arrived Bois de Boulogne with pistol in hand, in sight of his residence, when he saw, and dire revenge in his heart. He had with some surprise, a man under the been pacing up and down about ten miwindows of his drawing-room, to which nutes, when he beheld two persons aphe ever and anon directed an anxious proaching. look. Rage took possession of the old “ The villains !” exclaimed the old Frenchman. His first thought was to Frenchman, “ they are come to assassirush upon the fellow and annihilate him nate me;" and he resolved to fire upon upon the spot, but then he had no wea- the pair as they advanced, when one of pon. A moment's reflection, however, them called on him to surrender in the convinced him that it would be better to name of the law ! wait, and have further proof of his wife's Monsieur de L- stared with sursupposed infidelity. Concealing himself prise, for he now perceived that neither in a gateway, he saw, while his frame of the men was the fellow who had apquivered with rage and indignation, the pointed to meet him. That surprise object of his suspicions clamber up with was greatly increased, when the police the agility of a monkey, and enter an (for such they were) informed him that

he was arrested on suspicion of a design Monsieur de L- waited no longer; to commit highway robbery. he rushed into the house and encounter- Our old Frenchman was overwhelmed ed the intruder in the drawing-room. with rage, grief, and mortification, from

The enraged husband, forgetting his which he had not recovered when he natural politeness, instantly commenced stood before the prefect at the Bureau a torrent of abuse, which the intruder de Police. received with great coolness. Of course Luckily for Monsieur, the prefect was this only increased the rage of the abus- an acquaintance of his, and a shrewd ing party: it was a marvel that Mon- clever man, who saw through the affair sieur de L— did not go out of his wits in a moment. at that moment. His almost unintel- " Monsieur de L-," said he, “you ligible splutterings at length subsided, appear to have fallen into a sad error. I and addressing the violater of his honour strongly suspect that the man whom you in a calm determined tone; he said:- thought your rival was a thief, and that

“ Monsieur, you have wounded a he has given information to the police in Frenchman where he is most vulnerable revenge for your having thwarted his

- you have invaded my dwelling to dis- designs upon your property, honour me”-here his voice faltered, and Scarcely had he spoken when Madame his lips quivered; but recovering himself

, de L- entered the office in breathless he continued—“ The Bois de Boulogne haste, and confirmed the prefect's suspiat five to-morrow morning! Pistols ! cions. She had risen immediately on you understand me, eh ?"

the departure of her jealous spouse, and “ Perfectly well, Monsieur,” replied then discovered what she had overlooked the stranger—" at five precisely, I will in the turmoil of the preceding evening meet you—you will bring a friend with —that the stranger had possessed him

self of several valuable portable articles, “ No," rejoined Monsieur de L-, as he passed through a room in his way sternly, “I will possess no one with the down stairs. hateful story-we will meet alone, if you Poor Monsieur de L- was stung please.”

with self-reproach, he saw that he had Agreed," said the stranger bowing: been the dupe of groundless jealousy, “ Good evening, Monsieur ;” and with and, embracing his wife, swore that he all possible sang froid he proceeded down would never again doubt the purity of stairs, leaving the poor old Frenchman a her conduct. prey to the most torturing emotions.

E. F.

you ?i

« ForrigeFortsæt »