網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

tures, on which the grey light of himself, “ O God - 0 God, she's morning rested; “no more, she will dead!” he passionately exclaimed, wake no more!” At that instant, a and, starting from his seat, rushed cock crew from a neighbouring garden back into the bed-room, and imprinted wall. Raymond started at the sound, a thousand frenzied kisses on the recollecting with wbat painful feelings cold white lips of his unawakening he bad heard it but the morning be. wife. fore, fearing it might disturb his wife's While the widower was thus giving repose. " My God, can all this be vent to his griefs, a gentle knock real?" he resumed, wringing his bands came to the door, and the chemist in agony, “ or do I dream that I am made his appearance. The worthy left alone and desolate ? Julia-alas, man was much shocked at the alterashe hears me not !-oh my brain, my tion which twenty-four hours bad brain !" and, overpowered by the in. wrought in Raymond's person; and still tensity of his emotions, he dropped more at the tierce distraction of his senseless on the floor.

language. Rising up from the bed on When he recovered his senses, he which he had flung himself, and draw. found himself reclining on a sofa-bed ing his visiter into the next room, in the adjoining room, with the nurse which the women had just quitted, he standing beside him, bathing his · said, “ So, you've heard she is dead. hands and temples with vinegar, and Yes, yes, it can be no shock to you; the landlady placing the breakfast you must have foreseen it for weeks ; things on the table.

but l-wretch, ruffian that I am! “ Let me make you some strong could not-would not see it-even tea, Mr Raymond," said the latter, though it was my own hand that struck by his haggard and bewildered struck the blow. Mr Markland, I looks; • there's nothing like tea for am my wife's murderer! You start, fits. I always takes it for the 'sterics sir; but as there is a God above us, and such-like, and it brings me round in whose presence I speak, this is the in a twinkling, as the saying is." truth!"

« She's late-very late at break. “My dear young friend,” replied fast, this morning," muttered Henry, the chemist, “ do not talk in this wild in tones scarcely audible, while he way, but try and compose yourself." kept his eyes fixed on the bed-room Compose myself! What, with a door, as if expecting every moment heart dead to every feeling but rethat Julia would make her appearance. morse, and a brain all scorching ashes !

" You'd better lie down, sir,” said 0 Mr Markland! you know not the the nurse, shaking up the sofa-pillows, tortures I daily-hourly-inflicted on " and try and get a few winks of her, who is now for the first time sleep. It will do you more good than happy since our union. I made her any thing else."

feel what it was to embrace poverty or Hark, whose voice is that in the and destitution ! She was gentle next room?" enquired Raymond, forbearing-affectionate—but I cared leaning forward as if to hear more not for these things, but even resented distinctly.

them as proofs of indifference. When, " I hear no voice," said the land for my sake, she put on an air of conlady; and then, in a whisper to the tentment, almost of cheerfulness, I nurse, added, " I see how it is : his told her she had no heart--as I live, head's touched a little by grief ; but those were the words and yet at that he'll be better presently, when he's very moment, though she uttered no had a good cry, poor gentleman!" word of complaint or reproach, her

" Again! hush, don't speak-she is heart was bleeding at every pore ! singing to the child while dressing it; Ah! you may well shed tears, sir, but I it is her usual custom in the morning. cannot-no, not even for the dead." I have known her to sing, even with After some time spent in endeavour. the tears standing in her eyes; for ing to reason Raymond out of this Charley loves the sound of his mo- painful impression, and to soften the ther's voice ; and if her heart was bitterness of his self-reproaches, by breaking she would sing to him." assuring him that his wife had never Then, after a minute's pause, during once spoken of him but in the fondest which he pressed his hand against his and most grateful manner, Mr Markforehead, as if struggling to recollect land took his departure; and meeting NO. CCCII, VOL. XLVIII.

3 A

engaged

the landlady on the staircase, recom chemist thought it would be a good mended her, just for a few days, till opportunity to pay his promised visit he should have become more recon to his father. ciled to his loss, to keep an attentive eye He found the elder Raymond, who on her lodger-an injunction which had come home late the preceding the good dame obeyed so strictly, that night, in a state of great mental perHenry at once divined the motive for turbation, with his son's letter, writsuch well-meant but officious surveil ten many months before, lying open lance, and from that moment exhibit before him. A few brief words sufed more collectedness and tranquillity ficed to explain every thing, when the of demeanour than he bad shown since old man, on whom age had produced Julia's death.

--as it often does on stern naturesWhen the chemist next saw him, he a mellowing effect, insisted on setting was surprised and delighted by this out, without a moment's delay, to his unexpected change. There were no son's lodgings ; and, as his own carmore startling outbursts of remorse. riage was not in the way, he Raymond was now quite cool, and ap a hackney.coach to convey him to Isparently resigned; and not only freely lington. On their road, the chemist entered into conversation with his mentioned to the anxious father the friend, but even explained to him the circumstances under which he had left position in which he stood towards his his son, which greatly added to his father, and requested him to call on disquietude; for he was well aware of the old gentleman, and say how an Henry's sensitive temperament, how xiously his son desired to see him little self-control he possessed, and once more, and hear from his own lips how apt to be the slave of impulse. that he no longer entertained an angry As they turned into Gray's-iun Lane, feeling towards him. The kind-hearted they were stopped for a few minutes Markland readily undertook this com- by two heavy coal-waggons, which so mission ; but on calling at the elder annoyed the old gentleman that he Raymond's house, he learned that he would have jumped out, and hurried had not yet come back, but was ex- the rest of the way on foot, had he not pected every hour; whereupon he left been checked by his more composed à letter which he had brought with companion. “God grant I find the him, in anticipation of such an answer, boy well!” he kept frequently mutterin which he stated all that Henry had ing to himself. told him, and added, that he would “No doubt ofit, sir," replied Marktake an early opportunity of seeing land. “ I left him tranquil; but so worn Mr Raymond, in order to learn his out by his recent sorrows, that he said decision respecting his son.

he should go and lie down, for he bad The day appointed for the funeral had no sleep for several nights.". had now arrived. Markland had look “ I never intended to drive him to ed forward to it with some anxiety ; extremities," continued the repentant but he was gratified to perceive that parent ; “no, I merely meant to read he had no cause for uneasiness, for him a severe lesson. Long before I there was an excitement in Henry's quitted England, I expected to bave manner and a lustre in his eye, that seen, or heard from him, and his led the chemist-whose penetration silence stung me to the quick. How was by no means remarkable-to be. slow the man drives !” he added, and lieve that he was gradually and surely putting his head out of the window, regaining a healthy and active frame of he called upon the coachman to hurry mind. Throughout the solemn cere on at his utmost speed. mony he maintained an appearance of In a few minutes the lumbering composure ; but when the first clod of vehicle drew up at the door of the earth rung upon the coffin-lid, a vio lodging-house, which was opened by lent shudder came over him, which, the landlady, who had recognised the however, he contrived to repress, for chemist from the parlour-window, and he saw Markland's mild eyes fixed on formed a pretty accurate guess as to him with a steady gaze. When the who was his companion. last rites had been paid to the departed, Well, how is he-Henry--my and the grave covered in, the widower son?" exclaimed the elder Raymond, and his friend returned to the former's “ I think he's asleep, sir," replied lodgings; and as Henry quietly but the landlady, dropping a curtsy : firmly insisted on being left alone, the " for I ain't heard his footstep for

nearly an hour, and when he's awake Alas! it was too late. The he does nothing but walk up and zied deed was done. Right in down the room, talking to hisself. centre of the apartment stood the n. Perhaps I'd better go up and tell him niac-a ghastly spectacle !-with the as you're come, sir, for he's summut blood pouring in a full tide from his startlish at times."

yawning throat, and bis red eye kind« No, no; I'll be my own messen. ling like a coal! The instant he caught ger," and, accompanied by Markland, sight of the intruders, he glared on the old man rushed up to his son's them like a demon, tossed his arms apartments.

wildly above his head, and then fell After knocking once or twice at the forward his full length, stone-dead, at door, and receiving no answer, they the feet of his father! tried to open it, but, to their surprise, found that it was bolted.

- Do not be alarmed, sir," said Thirty years had passed, when one Markland to the trembling parent; day, in the early part of the London “ doubtless your son's asleep, and season, a clergyman of the Church of does not wish to be disturbed." : England (who was afterwards raised

" True-true; I forgot that," re- to the deanery of ) discovered, plied the elder Raymond, grasping his while turning over some volumes on a companion fervently by the hand, in book-stall in the Blackfriar's Road, a gratitude for his suggestion-"never work, covered with dust, in boards, theless, I cannot rest till I've ascer- and with scarcely a leaf cut, entitled, tained the fact;" with which words « THE PLAYS OF Æschylus, translahe knocked more loudly than before, ted by HENRY RAYMOND, Esq." Being and called on his son by name, in å an ardent lover of classical literature, tone of voice, however, which was he examined the book, which was quite broken and disguised by agita- quite new to him, with considerable tion.

curiosity, and was so much struck “ Hark!” said be, listening with with the spirited and poetic manner intense anxiety, " I hear a sound !" in which the translation of some of

Yes," rejoined Markland," he is the choruses was executed, that he opening his bed-room door;" and, made an instant purchase of the work; peeping through the keyhole, the and finding, on a careful perusal, that chemist beheld Henry walk slowly to. it fully realized all his expectations, wards the fireplace, which was right he made it the subject of an elaborate opposite the door.

criticism in a well-known monthly re. • Just as he reached it, he turned view, to which, in common with the round, when the horrorstruck Mark best scholars of the day, he occasion. land perceived that his throat was ally contributed. This criticism exbared, and that he held an open razor cited, in no ordinary degree, the atin his hand.

tention of the learned world, and nu" Oh, my God!” he exclaimed, merous, but fruitless, were the enqui. starting back,“ he's about to"

ries made after the translator, whose " What? Speak, man, speak, or I volume thus, for the first time, sancshall lose my senses."

tioned by the imprimatur of the cog• The chemist made no reply, but noscenti, speedily ran through a sethundered at the door with all his cond edition, while he himself slept might.

unnoticed in his humble grave! Yes, “ Henry, my son-my darling boy, the fame for which he had toiled in let me in ; pray, let me in-quick! vain when living, was awarded to him 'Tis your father calls !".

when dead—the usual lot of genius; A loud frantic laugh was the only for the Temple of Fame stands upon reply.

the grave, and death is the price that • " Help, help-break open the door!” must be paid for the privilege of enshonted the old man at the top of bis trance. Gentle reader, the moral of voice; and joining his strength-the my tale-to quote the words of that strength of desperation-to that of the great and good man, Walter Scottis chemist's, they at length succeeded in this:-“ Literature is a good staff, but wrenching the crazy door off its & sorry crutch!" hinges, and dashed into the room,

A NIGHT EXCURSION WITH MARTIN ZURBANO.

During the late civil war in Spain, men, usually armed peasants ; and, one of the means adopted by both pare although calling themselves Carlists, ties for their mutual annoyance was were frequently disowned by the latter, the formation, or, more properly and shot as robbers when taken by the speaking, the permitting to be formed, queen's troops or authorities. The muof various “ Cuerpos Francos'or Free leteer, unapprehensive of danger, and Corps, the men belonging to which singing gayly as he guided his wellgenerally partook in pretty equal pro- laden team; the solitary dragoon bear. portions of the character of brigands ing a despatch; the foot-sore straggler and of soldiers. There was, however, from an escort party; the officer at. a difference in the composition and na- tended only by his servant, and rejointure of these bands, according as they ing his regiment on horseback after a belonged to the one or to the other of short leave of absence, dearly purchasthe two parties who for seven years ed by some severe wound; these were made Spain the arena of their strife, usually the prey sought after by the and a land of bloodshed and desola, volantes. A gleaming of musket-bartion.

rels in the copse bordering the road, The Carlist free corps were in far did not warn the lonely traveller suffi. greater number, and much less scrupu- ciently early to avoid the quickly follous than those of the Christinos; in lowing discharge, fatal to rider or fact, assimilating more to the robber. horse, or both, and in an incredibly They were of many kinds. The par short time he was stripped of every tida or corps of several hundred men, thing worth taking, and the plunderers usually from two hundred to a thou. in full retreat to their fastnesses, or sand, and commanded in most instances perhaps in ambush for another victim. by chiefs who, in addition to great The Cuerpos Francos of the Chris. boldness and recklessness of character, tinos were better disciplined and orhad pretensions to some degree of ganized, and most of the officers were military knowledge these parties, allowed a rank in the queen's service augmented by volunteers and desert- one grade below that which they held ers, and driven by the Christinos from as free companions. In the course of the district where they carried on their the war more than one of these corps depredations, were not unfrequently were made regiments of the line, being formed into a regular battalion and equal in discipline and appearance to attached to a Carlist corps d'armée. nearly any of the Spanish regular inSometimes beaten and decimated by fantry. But not any of the free corps the troops of the queen, and by the have more distinguished themselves or national guards, who waged a war of become better known throughout extermination with them wherever Spain, than that of the volunteers of they appeared, the remnants of two or La Rioja, under Martin Zurbano, three partidas would unite under one called Barea. This intrepid and forleader and recommence their excur. tunate adventurer is a native of the sions. Besides these large bodies of district of La Rioja, from which his men their were smaller ones, chiefly corps takes its name, and which com. of cavalry, and from fifty to two prises small portions of the province hundred horse, who would appear of Alava and of the kingdom of suddenly in villages where their com Navarre. In time of peace a contraing was unexpected and their very bandista, or smuggler, he soon after existence unknown, and after plunder the commencement of the war sought ing the unfortunate inhabitants, con- and obtained permission to raise a trived by forced marches, and an in- body of men to act in conjunction with timate acquaintance with the country, the queen's troops against the Carlists. to baffle for the time the pursuit of the His standard, once displayed, was retroops sent after them. The volantes sorted to by smugglers, robbers, and or flying guerilla parties are hardly to outcasts of all descriptions, attracted be named, as, although they were to by the prospect of plunder and advenbe found in most of the provinces ture. These were increased by deof Spain during the war, they were serters from the faction, until at last seldom of more than ten to twenty he numbered five or six hundred men

[ocr errors]

soon

under his orders. It is not intended ting quarrelsome over their cups, and
at present to give a memoir of Zur- , that the cuchillo* might chance to be
baño, and we shall therefore not follow brought into play. It was in these
him through the numerous bold ex houses that were billeted the volun.
ploits, and daring and successful en teers of La Rioja ; and the sergeant,
terprises, which have raised him from whose arrival we have noted, came
chief of a handful of banditti-like charged with an order to march that
guerillas, to be a general in the Spanish night. His communication
service at the head of several thousand changed the occupations of the men.
fine troops. His distinguishing char Glasses and bottles were deserted,
acteristics are a reckless personal guitars thrown aside, women dismissed
bravery, entire devotion to the cause with almost as little ceremony, and
he has espoused, and great conduct the careful examination of the musket,
and cunning in carrying through his the changing of the damaged flint, the
enterprizes, which, whilst only in com- filling the leathern belt with cartridges,
mand of a small force, were necessarily were the pressing cares of the mo-
limited to harassing the enemy, cut-

ment. The soldiers of Zurbano were ting off convoys, and

surprising detach- too well habituated to the sudden or. ments; exploits in which he was highly ders of their restless chief to be easily successful, greatly aided no doubt by taken unprepared ; and on this occahis minute knowledge of the greater sion Martin had purposely kept his part of the Basque provinces, more intended sortie a secret from all until especially of Alava and the Navarrese the gates were closed, lest some spy bank of the Ebro. It is one of these or peasant might have conveyed in. exploits that is about to be recounted; telligence to the enemy. and the few observations that have The church clocks had chimed the preceded were necessary, in order to eleventh hour of the night, and “ dispense with too great detail in the tinela alerta” † was running round the subsequent narrative.

[ocr errors]

sen

line of sentries on the well-guarded It was a gusty evening in the autumn walls of Vittoria, when Martin Zurof 1836. The gates of the city of bano rode along the front of his little Vittoria had been shut about an hour, band, drawn up within the eastern when an orderly sergeant passed under gate of the city. Could an inhabitant the high gloomy arch which, accord- of peaceful and highly-civilized couning to the fashion of building in most tries, a London or Paris lounger for Spanish towns of a certain antiquity, instance, have been transported sudforms the entrance to the narrow and denly to the side of the guerilla chief, dirty lane koown as the Calle Nueva. and have accompanied him in his inFrom the dingy windows and half spection, he would hardly have been open doors of the wine-shops and less induced to believe himself in the reputable places of resort, which thirty-sixth year of the nineteenth abound in that street, issued forth century, and within a week's travelsounds of boisterous merriment, united ling of either of the above-named cawith the tinkling of cracked guitars pitals; still less would he have been and the rattling of castanets. An oc inclined to accord the title of soldiers casional deep oath and noisy scuffle to the wild-looking troops before him, betokened that the revellers were get- whose only point of uniformity con

ALYA

the cap

rake

* Knife.

| On the summit of the highest church-tower in Vittoria, was established, during the war, an observatory for the purpose of noting the movements of the Carlists. It was fitted up with several telescopes, by means of which every thing that occurred within some leagues around the town was discernible by the persons employed to keep a lookout, and to communicate to the governor of the town any movements they might observe among the enemy's forces. At night a watcher was stationed in this observatory with a speaking-trumpet, through which he bellowed, at the end of every half-hour, “sentinela alerta,” literally, the sentinel is alert, equivalent to our "all's well ;” and this cry was immediately taken up by the whole of the sentries on the walls and fortifications, who were very numerous. The noise made by the man with the speakingtrumpet was prodigious, and sufficient to drive sleep from the pillow of any new-comer to that quarter of the town,

« 上一頁繼續 »