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their ordinary expression, for they were now dim with tears.
"Sorrow is a sacred thing: they gazed in reverence and silence.
"Upon the couch, the hand of death evidently upon him, lay a fine youth of eighteen: relieved somewhat by rest and a recumbent posture, he was now enabled to repress his groans: his hand grasped that of the elder officer with tenderness, as if to console him; and the expression of his countenance, which must at all times have been most beautiful, was not so changed by pain as not immediately to interest the beholders. Flushes of his wonted bloom still struggled at intervals on his fading cheek, and rays of brightness broke out from his fine blue eyes, as if summoned up by his sweet but strong will to comfort his depressed companion.
"He spoke, too, in soft and subdued tones: -they knew not what he said; but it were easily gathered that he mentioned names and places; then, at a motion of his hand, the elder stranger kneeled down by his side.
"At this sight the good father went near to his pillow, and, holding up the crucifix, offered it to his pale lip. The dying youth grasped and kissed fervently the withered hand that held the sacred symbol, but put it aside, and, turning to his companion, with ear attent and moving lips, seemed to follow him in prayer. The venerable old priest, who saw and did well, in his very heart, understand this action, nevertheless sunk quiet on his knees, as did all the party, though in the looks of the three domestics there was a something of wonder, if not terror, at the thought that a hopeless heretic lay before them.
"Yet that holy name, Christ,' was so often distinctly uttered in the stranger's petition, and being the only one they understood, it so fixed their attention, that, in the fervour of their own devotions, they crossed their
bowed foreheads, and beat their grateful bosoms, and forgot or forgave all difference of creed. When they arose from prayer, they found the open door-way, and part of the gallery, filled with dark and bearded soldiers. These men stood silent and wondering, but respectful, and looked upon their dying favourite with a grave anxiety; their brazen helmets, and the black horse-hair plumes, which hung drooping over their swart cheeks, gave a solemn and funereal aspect to the scene.
"The exhausted youth observed them, signed to them with his feeblylifted hand, and gave them a languid look of kind recognition: the sun of his young existence was fast setting, and they shared its parting smile.
"At a word from the elder officer, these brave men, with drooped heads, and brief but deep regrets, withdrew; and, at his request, he was left by the family alone with his sad charge. The soldiers went down quietly, and occupied the offices below; the family passed into that inner apartment, which being the only room on that floor that contains a fire-place, is the common hearth, common both to masters and servants; for to no one is the proud Spaniard so affable, so amiable, so fond and familiar in his manners, as to the cherished and attached domestics of his household. Here they all sate silent or whispering; -a dying enemy the subject of their words, their thoughts, their very prayers.
"No eyes were closed that night in the dwelling of the Lady Cassilda, save those of the youthful Frenchman, and these were sealed for ever before the morning rose.
the house; at last it ceased, and they heard a voice, subdued and humble, as in prayer, and weeping followed, and then-long silence.
"At day-break he came out of the chamber, with a changed and calm countenance, and called up some soldiers, with a firm voice. The body, wrapped in its cloak, was carried down by these men to the garden, and from the windows they saw a grave quickly dug beneath an olivetree, and the boy, scarce seen, but yet regretted, was buried out of their sight. Henry de la Bourdonnaye, the beloved of his mother, the youngest and fairest of her fine family, the pet of their household, -the pleasure of their neighbourhood, and, of late, the youthful pride of the gallant squadron in which he rode, — Henry de la Bourdonnaye was no more."-P. 8-17.
After having been out upon a reconnoitering party, it was some consolation to Eustace de Rochfort, as he returned late in the evening to his chamber, "to reflect that the minute orderings of that Providence whose goodness he ever recognised, had placed him, at such a moment, in a house where God was feared and loved, and where sorrow would be pitied and respected.
"From principle he had constantly avoided intruding himself on the inmates of the various houses where he had been quartered in his march through the country; for no sooner did he discover the real intentions of Napoleon towards unhappy Spain, than he felt ashamed of the service on which he was employed, and rightly deemed that the presence of a French officer was, or ought to be, if not hateful, at least unwelcome in the domestic circle of a true Spaniard. Few felt with him; some forced, some won their way; not often, indeed, successfully with the men, but there are many avenues to woman's heart, and some of these the flattering Frenchmen found.
"He entered the chamber now prepared for him, and found in it a character and a charm, such as his departed Henry would have delighted in.
The window opened on a veranda, overlooking a garden: the red geranium twined round the trellis-work in front of it; a myrtle hedge beneath, starred with white blossoms, breathed up delicious fragrance; and near the olive, to which the eye of Eustace was instantly directed, stood a citron tree, with its pale fruit gleaming beneath the moon, soft, delicate, unearthly in aspect, as if they grew in that still invisible paradise, whither imagination sought vainly to follow the departed spirit. He passed down by a few steps at the end of the veranda, which descended to the garden, and went to the grave: an unknown and charitable hand had strewn flowers on it; it looked very peaceful; a long time he stood over it lost in painful and unavailing regrets. It was by father Clementè that he was roused from this train of thought, and invited back to his chamber.
"A basket of fruit, piled as by the hand of a painter, and a glass magnum of old wine of Xeres, were on his table. 'The compliments of my lady,' said Clementè; 'she bids me say, that she shall be happy to make your stay beneath her roof comfortable, in such manner as she can; but as she is suffering herself under severe domestic affliction, she is secluded, and cannot have the pleasure of any personal intercourse.'
66 6 I understand you, Father; she is a true Spaniard, and the presence of a Frenchman would be hateful to her.'
"With some reason: she has lost a husband and a son since your troops entered this country.'
May I ask the name?' "Velasco: Don Juan de Velasco was shot in the Prado on the third of May; her boy perished in the tumult on the second.'
"The blood rushed with the hot tide of indignation into the pale cheek of Eustace, then back again it hurried, leaving his visage marble and deathlike.
"I remember,' said he, this brave man's name, and I heard of this abominable case at Toledo. Upon the devoted heads of the instruments will the sins of our emperor be repaid, and the flower of our young chivalry will fall in this war of crimes. Many were the gallant and unoffending soldiers who fell beneath the knives of your patriots, in the streets of Madrid. As for the boy who lies below, tell your afflicted lady that he, like her own, fell by the hand of a Frenchman.'
By the hand of one of your own army?' asked the Father.
Yes, while rescuing some helpless lady of your city from the violence of a rude marauder. We are not all marauders, good Father: to kill, and to burn, and to plunder, is the business of a few, who are very demons in activity to conquer and to sigh, to fight and to fall, this is the stern destiny of thousands among us, who, though we cannot leave our standards, detest this war of aggression, and have a melancholy fear of unhonoured and unpitied deaths, of withered laurels, of life-blood poured out in the dark by the silent stabs of patriot assassins."
"It is a horrid thing war, a horrid alternative for us; but death is better than a life in chains.'
666 Yes, Father; the man who arms for liberty, who fights and dies defending his country, chooses the better and the nobler part: so long as he lives he shall be honoured, and when he falls, he shall be mourned over and remembered; but we, alas! are but the hounds of a mighty hunter; our master is the Nimrod of this latter age. From the heart I served him once, for I always thought I was fighting for the cause of France; but I have seen the snake around
VOL. VIII. NEW SERIES.
his iron crown, and sicken of his service.'
Why not leave it? Can you not live among the citizens of France in peace?'
"Father, you know not the citizens of France; you know not the bonds about the soldier; the march of his life is shaped out for him; he moves a passive unit among a million of warriors; and though he serve a despot, yet, if he break that silken thread which binds him to the colours of his country, traitor and coward are his names for ever. No; there are many of us march on, and hold our breath, and wait for an opportunity to deliver France: doubtless the day will come.'
They now opened their minds to each other freely, and jointly deplored the war.
"Clementè convinced Eustace that the contest would last long; that no invader, no foreigner, could ever maintain a footing in the country; that all the best prejudices, the noblest pride, the blindest superstition, the fiercest zeal of Spain, would unite to oppose them; that the virtues and vices of the land would all be arrayed against them ; that no reverses of fortune would shake the constancy of the people: that the warfare would assume a dreadful character. 'You have begun,' said Clementè, 'we shall finish. It is some comfort, though, of a truth, a melancholy one, to be able to esteem an enemy. In your person, Senhor, I feel I can do this; but, though old and grey, though a minister of peace, though war is a word hateful to my ear, yet, till the troops of your iron master are beyond the Pyrennees, I pray for their discomfiture, and I sigh for the freedom of Spain.""-Pp. 28-33.
Reader, you have here a true representation of the fruits of war under its most favourable aspect;-a fond mother in France deprived of her darling child at the early age of
by a French soldier, for protecting a In
eighteen, who is basely murdered is never satisfied but when it is inflicting outrage and wrong upon the innocent and helpless; outrages which it endeavours to disguise under the specious names of patriotism and honour. The soldier may be conscious that he is only an instrument of aggression, of crime, of robbery, and of murder; but, unless he quits the service, and this is not always in his power, he has no remedy; he has only one principle of action, obedience to his superior officer; whose commands, however atrocious, and revolting to justice and humanity, and to the mild precepts of Christianity, he must unhesitatingly obey. How can a Christian thus make a barter of his conscience? Well, therefore, may our author say, "War is the eldest born of hell's dark brood of curses.”
female from his brutal violence.
The Annals of my Village: being a Calendar of Nature for every Month in the Year. By the Author "Select Female Biography," Conchologist's Companion, &c."
London: Hatchard and Son. 1831.
[Concluded from p. 135.] SOME of our readers may, probably, be ready to inquire, "What connexion has The Annals of my Village with a work devoted to the consideration, whether the prosecution of war is consistent with the Christian system of morals?" We answer, that works inculcating studies and pursuits which tranquillize the passions, soften the heart, and open the sluices of benevolence towards man, and promote piety towards God; as they present a striking contrast to the excitements which awaken the heroic and warlike spirit, so they are congenial with the pacific character of our work. That such is the work before us, we appeal to the extracts already given from it, and as a further proof of its claims upon our notice, we add the following:
How striking was the contrast between the active pursuits of day, and the deep and touching silence of the night! A few The business of the farm had not conhours before, all was bustle and activity. cluded; in some of the fields, people were employed in hoeing turnips and potatoes; in others, weeding the fallows: in one the haymakers plied their pleasant labours; in another, the farmer witnessed the cutting down of his peas,-now, not nips and potatoes, grass and corn, every a moving object met the eye. The turuseful herb or tree, received the soft dew as it silently descended on the earth. Neither was there any sound of bees about the hive; the little birds had ceased their warbling, the chickens were gathered under the wing of the hen, and the hen
herself was at rest.
While surveying the beautiful moonlight scene of hills and valleys, populous towns and hamlets, that were spread like
a map before us, the dark vault of heaven, studded "with hieroglyphics older than the Nile," seemed to rest on the circling hills, of which the outlines were distinguishable in the clear moonshine. How kind and wise appeared the solace of refreshing slumber! how wonderful the relation of sleep to-night, and the revol
tion of the earth upon her axis! All that had lived and moved around us through the busy day, were then calmly resting upon their beds: but the lovely scene did not want spectators
"Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep:
All these with ceaseless praise His work behold
Both day and night."-MILTON.
Nor were the unconscious sleepers unprotected. All, all, were safe beneath the care of Him by whom the worlds were made, whose ever wakeful eye was then around our paths, whose power sustained the feeblest insect that slept beside us on the grass.
A few days after, we again visited the same scene. All now was cheerfulness and animation. The little gardens, on which the moon had shone so full and clear, presented a pleasing assemblage of fruits and flowers. Raspberry, currant, and gooseberry-bushes grew beside the pathways, with tufts of strawberries: acceptable and cooling fruits, which ripen during the hottest months, and are equally salutary and grateful to the constitution, when the air is heated by a fierce summer sun. "Ah, Monsieur, the first consul," said Madame Helvetius, in answer to a question from Bonaparte, when walking one day with him, " you little know how much happiness a person may enjoy upon three acres of land." She spoke only of the pleasures which a cultivated mind derives from embellishing a spot of ground, and from bringing together, within a narrow compass, the beautiful productions of either zone. But even the small cottage-gardens comprise within them sources of health, thankfulness, and pleasure, which are unknown to the disturbers of mankind:
"From hence the country markets are supplied,
Enough remains for household charge beside,
Their wives and tender children to sustain,
And gratefully to feed the dumb deserving train."-GEORGICS.
You may see the labourers at work early in the morning, before the general labour of the day commences; again late in the evening, when, also, as Hooker beautifully observes, they may see God's
blessing spring out of the ground, and eat their bread in privacy and peace.
What a succession of herbs and flowers, of fruits and esculents, are comprised in these little gardens, and how striking is their structure and appropriation! Some kinds of herbs and fruits are gathered early in the spring, others during the hot months at the approach of autumn, and in winter.
While observing and commenting on the various productions of these little gardens, beautiful butterflies, warmed by the sun, came sporting from one flower to another, or rested on the fragrant lavender bushes, which our 66 gudewives are fond of cultivating. The white, or silver butterfly (gonepteryx rhamni), the earliest birth of the spring; the marble butterfly (papilio galathea), and the brown meadow butterfly (papilio janira), were seen hovering from one tuft to another, now skirmishing in the air, and now opening and closing their gay goldencoloured pinions in the sun-beams, to warm and cool their slender bodies. That tribe of little butterflies, which are called blues, also flitted round us in our summer ramble, as we passed from the garden into an adjacent meadow, and exhibited an endless variety of tints. Among these the lycana adonis scarcely yields to any exotic butterfly in the celestial purity of its azure wings. We also observed several species of our native copper-coloured butterflies, remarkable for their fulgid hues, and the burnished silver spots that vary and adorn them. This metallic lustre is occasioned, probably, by the striking contrast of a pure and shining white with the dull opaque colour of the under surface of the secondary wings. The vanissio shone still more gloriously: her wings emulated the many-coloured eyes with which the peacock and argus pheasant are decked by their Creator. In the same meadow were several small white butterflies: these, though colourless, were often rendered extremely beautiful from the reflection of the prismatic rays.
While observing the ceaseless evolutions, the surprising grace and lustre of such light, evanescent, flitting creatures, and contrasting their present with their past condition, it very forcibly occurred to us, that invisible things are often beautifully shadowed forth by the works
A few weeks since, these creatures of light and air crawled along the earth,