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it long, after reaching the years of manhood, ere he had an opportunity of distinguishing himself; for among the very first of Sir Arthur Wellesley's victories in the Peninsula he joined a forlorn hope and reaped, besides some scars, the particular notice of the General.
Theodore was a bold dragoon, his partiality for that department of the army being very decided; and when it is stated that he speedily rose in his profession as the increase of the stripes on his arm indicated, one may be sure that he did not repent of his choice, either as to the line of life or the particular branch of it, chosen. And yet it is not to be supposed that he had no longings for domestic endearments and the comforts of the civilian's condition. Certainly few had greater inducements to remain at home; for although in the eyes of some, Theodore had for once been rash and improvident, viz. in splicing himself to as lovely a girl as ever "broke bread,”the plain, frank, and brief phrase being his own,-before either had seen twenty summers, yet he himself was ever of a different way of thinking, and he often said, "I would not make half so good a soldier if I had not Harriet to think of.”
While some blamed Theodore for tramelling, as they called it, himself with a wife, ere he had worn the Guardsman's uniform a twelvemonth, others ridiculed and looked down upon Harriet Evans for "casting away herself," as was their phrase, upon a private soldier. But here the sweetest and loveliest girl in Coventry had an opinion of her own, which happened, too, to accord with that of the young and dashing dragoon; for she said to her widowed mother, "I'll take for better and for worse Theodore Buckley, if he will have me; and the fifty pounds a-year which my uncle bequeathed to me, shall always be at my husband's command, and I am sure he will never make a bad use of the trust."
Whenever Theodore was in England, and whatever might be the part of the country in which he was stationed, thither his loving and beloved wife was sure to follow. It was a hard parting, a most unwilling one on her part, therefore, when for the first time they had to sever, she to nestle and to nurse her solicitudes at home, he to be carried abroad, and join in mortal conflicts. "Oh! Theodore," said Harriet, "this is what I have all along secretly dreaded; it has been the only drawback to my happiness; and now I almost wish that I had never been born." "Do you wish that you had never married me, my Harriet ?"-was the somewhat anxious interrogatory. "No, no, I did not mean that, did not say that; only, to be
separated, and perhaps widowed, I think, will break my heart. Oh! stay at home; you can purchase your discharge." "Purchase my discharge! purchase disgrace, a coward's name? Then Harriet Evans loves me not. No, I will not tarnish my father's name, nor be thought of in after life by our William with feelings of shame; I will go forth with my comrades, and in the hopes too of returning to be a credit to you Harriet, by having borne myself in such a manner as to be worthy of you." What could poor Harriet do but weep and clasp to her their two little ones, when Theodore was gone, and fighting the battles of his country in a foreign land?
The Guardsman did return as has already been intimated, honoured and promoted. "Oh how weather-beaten and warworn,-how like a veterán you now look, Theodore !"-were the first words that Harriet uttered as she threw herself into the hero's arms. "That scar upon your forehead," she continued, "is what I most think of. I wonder if any one is so proud of Wellington as I am of you. Never did you look so graceful and so noble; oh! never did I love you as I do now.' "Who would not be a soldier, and fight for the hearths and altars of his country, when such as you bestow, Harriet, are the rewards ?". -was the Guardsman's exulting reply.
It has been said that a proper Englishman is instinctively heroic. But it may be also added that many of the daughters of Britain have as enduringly and resolutely maintained the national character as have her sons. Is the sacrifice which a wife offers of small account when she parts with her yokefellow, with her stay and shield, the probabilities being numerous that she shall see him no more,-that he may die untended, unpitied by all around him, and perhaps the victim of horrid and prolonged cruelties ? All these feelings and solicitudes were keenly experienced by Harriet, and when her loved one did return she thought that never again could she endure so much; but she also fondly hoped that never again would the sacrifice be called for. At length peace seems about to be restored, and her joy was complete. Napoleon is at Elba, and who will disturb, in the exhausted state of the nation, the tranquillity of Europe? The plough-share and the pruning-hook are to take their rightful places; the sword and spear are to be hung against the wall, and only to be numbered among the rusted relics cherished by the antiquary.
Delusive hopes! The scourge of nations is again let loose, -his foot is upon the soil of France,―his march to the throne is triumphant; his menaces are more fearful than ever.
trumpet awakening the sons of England is sounded, -the armies are marshalled,-the men of might are in the field,— and the day of Waterloo is at hand. And where is Serjeant Buckley?
Serjeant Buckley has taken farewell of his Harriet, of his children, and all his household. Strong resolve is in his heart, but there are also some painful forebodings. He smiles and kisses his offspring; but there are deep solicitudes within. Harriet implores not, because she knows it to be needless, but she weeps and utters brief and weighty injunctions. My brave and good one, promise me one thing," such was her last words, ere saying farewell, "promise me that if wounded or sick not a moment will be wasted in forwarding the tidings to me, for the only solace to mitigate the anguish of this moment that I can take to myself is the hope of seeing you once more alive or -," but the mournful word defied utterance, only to be the more intensely and secretly pondered on.
Waterloo! the ensanguined field of Waterloo! Who among the slain and trampled down lies there for whom Harriet's thoughts and dreams have never slackened since the moment she saw her gallant Theodore last time vault into his saddle? What white robed angel is it that moves searchingly over the field, the morrow after the unparalleled conflict? It is the Guardsman's Harriet. A dream or some unseen visitant has filled her soul with the assurance that the critical day is near when the foundation of the hope expressed when last she parted with her adored one is to be tested. She leaves her home, and speeds to the camp; and before the sun has set on the 18th of June she has listened to the artillery's roar that has laid prostrate on Waterloo's plain many of her countrymen. Did she not at times shriek at the sound of the fell summons, and almost persuade herself that her voice was echoed by the dying groans of her beloved?
What a scene for timid and delicate woman to tread, was the scene of carnage on the morning when the white-robed wanderer examined its heaps of wounded and slain ! Nor was she the only visitant bent on a message of love and succour. But had she been alone, still her heart strong in the mail of love would have borne her through, although it might be to faint and die the moment the task was relinquished.
"Ah! yonder is his uniform,-I think I know his helmet," she exclaims. But no, it is another's, yet of the same regiment. He breathes and may speak. This is bringing her nearer to the one great solution. "Hold my head," says the dying JANUARY, 1840.
trooper, in answer to the soothings, the womanly offices, and the tense whispering inquiry of the heroic Harriet. "Buckley fell early in the day, but whether ;"-the soldier ceased to
speak, and a moment after, to breathe. "Buckley fell early in the day, but whether were the words which the searcher continued to ejaculate, as she hurried again over and among the fallen. At length she is told, in reply to the "Whether," that if alive she must seek for him elsewhere. No time is lost in repairing to the hospitals and the receptacles of the maimed. Nor is it long until her eye rests once more upon the treasure of her heart. The rest is soon told-Buckley has been severely wounded, his graceful proportions have been marred, he is insensible, but his recovery pronounced probable. Harriet is his sleepless, most considerate nurse. Ere many weeks elapse he embraces his children; and those who take delight in hearing of the beautiful lives and loves of married pairs, should they ever pass through the village of -, let them ask for Serjeant-Major Buckley, or if, perchance a veteran, minus a right arm, with silver locks, and patriarchal dignity, comes in sight, let the stranger feel assured that is the well-pensioned Guardsman, whose matronly Harriet is as much cherished and beloved by him in her mellow years, as when the parson united them "for better and for worse."
"THOU that hast been what words may never tell
When thou wert pillowed there, and wont to raise
TO CLASP the treasure to her breast,
Or hush it to its breathing rest,
To deck its young and fragile form,
Or woo from it sweet kisses warin-
To guide its steps with patient hand,
Or cheer it, with her soothings bland,
And often through the sleepless night,
And catch his smile with early light-