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THE ROMANCE OF WAR; OR, THE HIGHLANDERS IN SPAIN.*
charms which he beheld not at home in his father's mountain tower.
In the merry laugh and the gentle voice of Alice, Ronald found a charm to wean him from the tower of Lochisla; and the hours he spent in her society, or in watching the windows of her father's house, were supposed to be spent in search of the black-cock and the fleet endured, in consequence of bringing home an empty gameroes of Benmore; and many a satirical observation he bag after a whole day's absence with his gun."
he dared to think more of the daughter of the enemy of his geance was finally denounced against Ronald by his sire if
ALTHOUGH this romance were inferior in structure and execution to what we find it, The Highlanders in Spain" would still have a claim to attention from its nationality. The principal characters are Scottish, and so, in great measure, is the scene of action. The heroes of the story, Ronald Stuart and Lewis Lisle, with the henchman the Sancho, or Strap of the former-Evan Iverach, the son of the hereditary piper of the Stuarts of Lochisla, leave Scotland in their prime of youth, to brave the fortunes of war in the Peninsula; and return, as we After many a happy ramble by stream and greenwood, hope one day to learn, to repose beneath their well-won the lovers held one sad, last meeting; for Ronald had laurels, and enjoy their faithful loves by the banks of Gaul," as an ensign in the Gordon Highlanders. The come to say farewell before he assumed the "Garb of old Lochisla, and on the braes of Inchavon : hope to learn --for at present we leave them, or, rather, they desert who was rating Ronald roundly, when, by a lucky accilovers were surprised in their rendezvous by Sir Allan, their courteous readers on the field of Toulouse. If the critics are dissatisfied with our monthly "to be condent, he, in his wrath, popped over the high rocky bank into the Isla. Nothing could be more opportune. tinued," it is hard to say how they may relish the same irritating announcement at the close of three volumes. was, of course, rescued by Ronald, who, in reward of a sound ducking, obtained, though tacitly, the approbation haps the age of the Grand Cyrus-of Mademoiselle Scuderi and Richardson-is about to revive, and we are to get roof Sir Allan to the courtship he had clandestinely paid to Alice. mances in ten or twenty volumes. So much the better, doughty Lochisla; and the respective characters of the Nay, the Baronet even attempted to mollify the if the interest be kept alive as in the Highlanders in educated Saxon gentleman, and the proud, ill-taught, Spain. The author, in his preface, states that the irascible, and ireful Celtic chieftain, are well brought out "veritable histories and military details" are the result of the actual experience of one who served in the High-made fruitless advances for reconciliation. Stern venin the conversation which took place when Sir Allan land regiment which figures the most conspicuously in the story, and that most of the military operations, and, we should suppose, many of the characters, will be familiar to Peninsular veterans. The commanders and field-officers are, indeed, generally brought out under their real names, as Cameron of Fassifern, or "the Chief," as that officer was sportively called; and of the Major Macdonald-who was for ever talking of the brave deeds done in Egypt some years before-and others of "the mess," if we have not the name fairly spelled, we have the unmistakeable mark. But to the story :-For time immemorial a family feud had existed between the Stewarts of Lochisla and the Lisles of Inchavon, both great landed proprietors in Perthshire-though the wings of the former, a proud, irritable Highlander, had been well clipped; first, by the sacrifices entailed on the family by its Jacobitism, and latterly by the arts of a certain Eneas Macquirk, W.S., the laird's Edinburgh agent. Sir Allan Lisle was of better commingled blood and judgment, and of more moderate politics. For him, the family quarrel with the Stuarts might have died in peace; but not so felt the fiery Gael. The tale has been told a hundred times, and will be told a hundred more, of the son and daughter of such belligerent houses falling deeply in love, "a Capulet and a Montague." And here again was young Ronald, the only child and sole representative of the far-famed Stuart of Lochisla, ardently in love with the fair Alice of Inchavon, who, sweet and dutiful girl as she was, had bestowed her heart on the handsome youth of "the proud dark eye and haughty lip," before she had found time to consult her father.
"In Alice Lisle, Ronald found a pretty and agreeable playmate in youth, but a still more agreeable companion for a solitary ramble as they advanced in years: and he discovered in her splendid dark eyes and glossy black hair,
his vows anew; he has taken his last fond leave of the
While in the Castle of Edinburgh, Ronald made the whose path he afterwards romantically crosses, acquaintance of a young French officer-a prisoner of war; Victor d'Estouville, high in rank, was fighting in Spain under the banner of Napoleon.
romance, but the far more certain misery, of war, that is
And now commence the campaigning adventures; and we shall quote, as a fair specimen of "The Highlanders in comrades were hastening on to join their regiment, then Spain," the adventures of a day, when Ronald with his in Estremadura, under the command of Sir Rowland Hill :
By James Grant, Esq., late 62d Regiment. 3 vols. London: Colburn.
"From a sleep into which he had sunk, he was soon awakened by the warning pipe for the march, which passed close beneath the window, and then grew fainter in sound as Macdonuil-dhu strode on arousing his comrades from their billets, and the wild notes died away in the dark and narrow streets of the city. The Major sprang up at the well-known sound, and Ronald, although wearied and unrefreshed, prepared to follow him.
"Confound this fashion of Lord Wellington's! this marching always an hour before day-break,' muttered Campbell. The morning is so chilly and cold that my very teeth chatter, and-the devil! my canteen is empty,' he added, shaking the little wooden barrel which went by that name, and one of which every officer and soldier on service carried slung in a shoulder belt. Shake your canteen, my boy; is there a shot in the locker?' Luckily for the thirsty commander, Ronald's last day's allowance of ration rum was untouched, and they now quaffed it between them to the regimental toast Here's to the Highlandmen, shoulder to shoulder!' a sentiment well known among the Scottish mountaineers as a true military toast.
On leaving behind the town of Albuquerque, the sound of distant firing in front warned them of their hearer approach to the place of their destination and the scene of actual hostilities. As they advanced, the sharp but scattered reports of musketry, and now and then the deeper boom of a field-piece, came floating towards them on the breeze which swept along the level places; but an eminence, upon which the ancient castle of Zagala is situated, obstructed their view of the hostile operations, and they pressed eagerly forward to gain the height, full of excitement and glee.
"Welcome to Spain,' cried an officer of the 13th Light Dragoons, who came galloping up from the rear, and reined in his jaded charger by the marching Highlanders for a few minutes. There is brave sport going on in front; press forward, my boys, and you will be in at the death, as we used to say at home in old Kent.' "What is going on in advance?' asked the major; are Ours engaged?'
"I have little doubt that they are; Cameron never lags behind, you know. I was left in the rear at Albuquerque on duty, and am now hurrying forward to join the 13th, who belong to Long's cavalry brigade. They are now driving a party of plundering French out of La Nara; you will have a view of the whole affair when you gain the top of the hill. But I must not delay here; adieu and dashing the spurs into his horse, he disappeared behind the ruinous castle.
***Forward, men! double quick. Let us gain the top of the brae,' cried Campbell, urging forward with cudgel and spur a miserable Rosinante which he had procured at Lisbon.
The horizon extended to about six or eight leagues, and all within that ample circle was waste and barren land, where the plough had been unknown for an age, and where nought seemed to flourish but weeds and little laurel bushes.
"The ruddy sun was setting in the west behind the lofty Sierra de Moutauches, the dark ridges of which rose behind the high city and castelated rock of Albuquerque; the sky in every direction was a clear cold blue, save around the sun, where large masses of gold and purple clouds seemed resting on the curved outline on the mountains, over which and through every opening the rays fell asiant, and were reflected by the arms of the troops who cccupied the level plain, over which shone the long line of its setting splendour. From the height of Zagala they beheld the operations in front.
"A party of five hundred French infantry were rapidly retreating toward the cork wood, exposed to the fire of two twelve-pound field pieces and the charges of the cavalry brigade under General Long; who took every opportunity
of breaking among the little band through the gaps formed. by the cannon shot, which made complete lanes through their compact mass. The French retired with admirable coolness and bravery, keeping up a hot and rapid fire from four sides on the cavalry, who often charged them at full speed, brandishing their sabres, but were forced to recoil; and no sooner was a gap made in a face of a solid square, by the fall of a file, than it was instantly filled by another. And thus leaving behind them a line of killed and wounded, they continued their retreat towards Merida, where their main body lay, disputing every foot of ground with desperate courage, until they reached the cork wood, which being unfavourable for the movements of the cavalry, the latter were obliged to retire with considerable loss.
"Hurrah! cried Campbell, flourishing his stick, 'I have not seen this sort of work for this year and more. You see, Stuart, that a solid square of bold infantry may laugh at a charge of horse, who must recoil from their bayonets as water from a rock. There are the 9th and 13th Light Dragoons, and the fire of the French seems to have cooled their chivalry a little, and shown them that a sabre is nothing against brown Bess with a bayonet on her muzzle. They are retiring towards us after doing, however, all that brave hearts could do. Poor fellows! many of them are lying rolling about wounded and in agony, or already dead, near the skirts of that confounded copse, by which the frog-eaters have escaped. But where are ours? I do not see Howard's brigade.'
"Yonder they are, Major,' replied Ronald, 'halted on the level place behind the ruined village. I see the bonnets of the Highlanders and the colours.'
"Ay, I see them now. Yonder they are, sure enough: and the old Half-hundred and the 71st light bobs, with the tartan trews and hummel bonnets, all as spruce as ever, bivouacked comfortably on the bare earth as of old. We shall have the pleasure of passing the night without even a tent to keep the dew off us. Carajo! as the Spaniard says: you will now taste the delights of soldiering in good earnest, as I did first in Egypt with old Sir Ralph Abercrombie.'
We are seen by them. I hear the sound of the pipes, and they are waving their bonnets in welcome,' said Alister Macdonald.
"Blow up your bags, Macdonuildhu, and let them hear the bray of the drones,' cried Campbell, whacking the sides of his nag to urge her onward. Push forward brave lads! we will be with Fassifern and our comrades in a few minutes more.'
"Skirting the miserable village of La Nava, they soon arrived at the ground over which the advanced picquet of the enemy had retired. Two dead bodies attracted the eye of Ronald, as he passed over them, and being the first men he had ever seen slain, and in so revolting a manner, they made an impression on his mind which was not easily effaced. They were young and good-looking men, and the same cannon-shot had mowed them both down. A complete hole was made in the body of one, and his entrails were scattered about; the legs of the other were carried away, and lay a few yards off, with a ball near them half buried in the turf. Their grenadier caps, each adorned with a brass eagle and red plume, had fallen off, and the frightful distortion of their livid features, with the wild glare of their white and glassy eyes, struck Ronald with a feeling of horror and compassion, which it was long ere he could forget.
"Queer work this!' said the Major, coolly looking at them over his horse's flank, and you don't seem to admire it much, Stuart: but you are a young soldier yet, and will get used to it by and bye. Nothing hardens either the heart or the hide so much as a campaign or two. I learned that in Egypt.'
a motion with his hand towards the bear-skin covering of his holsters. 'The scoundrels! they are come to rob and strip the dead.'
"Two Spanish peasants had approached the bodies, about which they exercised their hands so busily, that they soon plundered them of knapsacks, accoutrements, uniform, and everything, leaving the mutilated bodies, stripped to the skin, and exposed on the plain, while they made off towards La Nava with their spoil."
Such is the romance of war! There were, however, cordial and joyous meetings and welcomings when the hard day's work was over :
"There was scarcely an officer or private of the new comers but was met and greeted by some kinsman or old friend, whose canteen of ration rum or Lisbon wine was at his service; and loud were the shouts of laughter and merriment that arose on all sides. Eager and earnest were the inquiries about village homes and paternal hearths in the land of the mountain and the flood,' and to many a Jean, Jessy, and Tibby, were the wooden canteens drained to their dregs! but although the fun 'grew fast and furious' amongst many, there were some whose hearts grew sad at the intelligence which their comrades brought, of some grey head, which they loved and revered, being laid in the dust in some old and wellremembered kirk-yard; or of a faithless Jenny, who preferred a lover, at home to one far away in Spain.
"As the shades of night darkened over the plain of La Nava, the sounds died away; and stretching their bare legs on the dewy earth, the hardy Highlanders reposed between the pyramids of firelocks and bayonets that glittered in the red glare of the watch-fires, lighted at certain distances throughout the bivouac, which became quiet for the night, after strong picquets had been posted in the direction of Merida, where fifteen hundred French under the command of General Dombrouski (a Pole in Buonaparte's service) were quartered. Rolled up in a cloak and blanket, Ronald laid himself down like the rest, with the basket-hilt of his claymore for a pillow and clay for his bed; but to sleep in a situation so new and uncomfortable was almost impossible, and he often raised his head to view the strange scene around him.
"The ruddy blaze of the fires was cast upon the worn uniform, faded tartan, and sun-burned knees and faces of the soldiers, giving a strong light and shade, which increased the picturesque and romantic appearance of the bivouac. The arms of the sentries flashed in the light as they paced slowly to and fro on their posts; and farther off were seen the motionless forms of the cavalry videttes, appearing like black equestrian statues in the distance, standing perfectly still, with their long dark cloaks flowing over their horses' flanks; but as the night grew darker, and the light of the watch-fires waned, these distant objects could be no longer discerned.
The bright stars were twinkling in the dark blue sky, and among them a red planet in the west, (the Tonthena of Ossian,) which Ronald used to watch for hours at midnight from the battlements of the tower at Lochisla, while listening to the ancient tales of war or woe related by Donald Iverach.
He thought sadly of his home, and of poor Alice Lisle. Ile gazed upon her miniature until the flickering light of the fire failed him, and then dropped into an uneasy slumber, from which he was startled more than once by the deep howling of wild dogs, or other animals, from that part of the plain where the dead bodies of the slain lay
The storm rose, and the rain began about midnight to fall in torrents, and at dawn Ronald found himself steeped in a puddle of water:
"It became fair about day-break, and Ronald, unable to remain longer on the ground, where the water was actually forming in puddles around him, arose; and, so wet was the soil, that the impression made by the weight of his body was almost immediately filled with water. His limbs were so benumbed and stiff that he could scarcely move, and his clothing was drenched through the blanket and cloak in which he had been mutfied up. The soldiers,
worn out with the fatigues of the preceding day, lay still until the last moment for rest, and slept in ranks, close together for warmth, with their muskets under their greatcoats, and their knapsacks beneath their heads for pillows. Here and there, apart from the rest, one might be seen with his miserable wife and two or three little children huddled close beside him, all nestling under the solitary blanket (provided by Government for each man), from which the steam arose in a column, owing to the heat of their bodies acting on the rain-soaked covering. standing motionless and silent at intervals along the plain, where banks of white mist were rolling slowly in the yellow lustre of the morning sun, the rising light of which was gilding the summits of the mountains above Albuquerque. All was misery and unutterable discomfort. Ronald wrung the water from the feathers of his bonnet, and kept himself in motion to dry his regimentals and underclothing which stuck close to his skin. He now perceived that, in addition to his blanket, Evan had during the storm cast over him his own greatcoat, standing out the misery of the night in his thin uniform. When he met Ronald's eye, he was shivering with cold, exhaustion, and want of sleep.
"The distant sentinels and cavalry videttes were
***O Evan! my faithful but foolish fellow, what is this you have done? Did you really strip yourself for me, and pass the night thus exposed? exclaimed Ronald, his heart overflowing with tumultuous feelings at the kindness of his humble follower and old friend.
"I thocht ye would be cauld, sir," replied Evan, his teeth chattering while he spoke, " and my heart bled to see ye lying there like a beast of the field on the dreary mur in siccan a miserable and eerie nicht. For me, it mattered naething, for neither my name nor bluid are gentle.'
The superior officers had found no better accommodation. "Where is the Colonel?" asked Ronald of his faithful vassal.
"Lying yonder on the bieldy side of his horse.' "And Mr. Macdonald?'
Is sleeping by the bieldy side of the Major, and a burn of water rinnin round them. Och, sirs! its awfu' wark this for gentlemen's sons.'
"Rouse, Alister,' said Ronald, stirring him with his sword; we shall get under arms immediately. I see through the mist yonder that Howard is preparing to mount.' "'
The bivouac was roused by the roll of the drums, and the troops stood to their arms, and, without food, commenced their march. Some of the familiar sights were too harrowing for the young soldier. On the previous night he had seen two men cut down, and their slaughter had ever since haunted his mind:
"The scattered bones of two skeletons were discovered, red and raw as they had been left by wild animals, which had been busy upon them the livelong night. Yesterday they were active young soldiers, animated probably with spirit, courage, and many a noble sentiment-to-day they were bare skeletons left to bleach unburied on the plain, as the troops had no time to inter them. The old campaigners faced them with comparative indifference; but there was altogether something rather appalling to so young a soldier as Ronald in the lesson of war and mortality before him, and gloomy feelings, which he endeavoured to shake off, took possession of his mind.”
tance, where Dombrouski, a Pole, in the service of France, The troops marched on; Merida was seen in the diswas awaiting the British; but, when he saw General Hill's division advance, he drew off.
"A small ration was now served out to the halffamished soldiers, and thousands of fires were lit in every direction, while all the camp-kettles and pans were put into requisition for cooking, and the axes, saws, and billhooks of the pioneers made devastation among the underwood and wild groves to procure fuel.
*The miserable ration consisted of a few ounces of flour and flesh, given to each man alike without distinction. The flesh was that of ill-fed, jaded, and wearied bullocks, which had become too old for agricultural labour, driven up rapidly after the army. Those given to each regiment were instantly shot through the head, flayed, and in a twinkling served out in the allotted quantities, which were placed warm in the camp kettles to boil almost before the circulation of the blood or the vibration of the fibres had ceased.
"This was the usual way in which the military rations were served out in Spain, killed and eaten when the anituals were in a state of fever from long and hasty journeys, tough and hard as bend leather, in consequence of age, ill-feeding, and want of proper cooking."
Such, again, is the reality, if not the romance of war. More fortunate than many of his brother officers, Ronald obtained the shelter of an old dilapidated house in the suburbs:
"As the room had no fire-place, Evan made one by means of two stones placed in the centre of the floor. Between them was kindled a fire with one of the doors which Ronald had torn down, and hewn in pieces with his sword.
“The smoke filled the place, and rolled in volumes out at every aperture. A large stone, and Evan's knapsack set on end, composed the furniture; and seated thus, they set about the discussion of their meal, which, when cooked, was but a sorry mess, being merely the tough flesh boiled with the flour, without the aid of a single vegetable-tasteless and insipid; but hunger is said to be the best sauce,' and they dispatched it with infinite relish. Each had produced his knife, fork, and spoon, from his haversack-a strong bag of coarse linen, in which provisions are carried on service-and their dinner-set was complete.
"Hech me, sirs! I would rather sup sour crowdy at the ingle neuk o' auld Lochisla, than chow sic fushionless trash as this,' said Evan, with strong contempt, as he sat squatted on the floor, taking his share of the provision out of a camp-kettle lid, and scarcely seen amid the smoke. It micht pass muster wi' a puir chield like me, but I trow it's no for sie as you, Maister Ronald, or you, Maister Macdonald, or ony gentleman o' that ilk.' *** "It's an unco thing to march far wi' an empty wame, and fecht fasting; it makes my very heart loup like a laverock when I think o' the braw Scotch brochan and kail that the miserable folk here ken naething aboot. Oh, it's a puir hole this Spain, I think, either to fecht or forage in.
After their unsavoury repast, Ronald and his companion walked out to examine the town. In returning to their quarters, the friends rescued a Spanish officer, who, while serenading a lady, had been set upon by a band of assassins; and much comes of the adventure, besides the introduction of Ronald to Donna Catalina, the beautiful and most grateful sister of Don Alvaro-the gentleman whose life had been saved by the gallantry of Ronald and his friend. The Spaniard, as a first mark of his sense of their services, proposed to transfer them from their miserable quarters to his own residence. How much of what follows is the embellishment of romance, how much exact description, we pretend not to say:
"They halted before a large mansion, ornamented with lofty columns and broad balconies, upon which the tall windows opened; through the curtains bright rays of light streamed into the dark street. Alvaro applied his hand to the large knocker hanging on the entrance door, which appeared more like the portal of a prison than that of a hidalgo's residence-being low, arched, and studded with iron nails.
"Quien es ?' said a voice within.
"Gente de pas replied Alvaro, while the light from the passage flashed through a little panel which was
drawn aside, and through which they were cautiously scrutinized.
The door was immediately opened by an aged and wrinkled female servant, whose bright black eyes contrasted strangely with her skin, which was shrivelled and yellow as an old drum-head. Old Dame Agnes, lamp in hand, led them along a passage, up a broad wooden staircase and into a noble and spacious apartment, which displayed the usual combination of elegance and discomfort, so common in the houses of Spanish nobles. The ceiling presented beautifully-painted panels, and a gorgeous cornice of gilded stucco, supported by pilasters of the Corinthian order; while the floor from which they rose was composed of large square red tiles. Four large casements looked towards the Plaza: they were glazed with glass -a luxury in Spain-but their shutters were rough deal boards, which were barely concealed by the rich white curtains overhanging them. The furniture was oakmassive, clumsy, and old as the days of Don Quixote. Upon the panels of the ceiling, the bases of the pillars, and other places, appeared the blazonry of coats armorial, displaying the alliances of the family of Villa Franca.
"On the table, beside a guitar, castanets, music books, &c., stood a large silver candelabrum, bearing four tall candles, the flames of which flickered in the currents of air flowing through many a chink and cranny, as if to remind the three British officers that it was at home only that comfort was to be' found. Heat was diffused through the room by means of a pan of glowing charcoal placed in the centre of the floor; and a lady, who sat with her feet resting upon it in the Spanish manner, rose at their entrance.
"As she stood erect, her velvet mantilla fell from her white shoulders, displaying a round and exquisitelymoulded form, tall and full, yet light and graceful. The noble contour of her head, and the delicate outline of her features, were shown by the removal of her black lace veil, which she threw back, permitting it to hang sweeping down behind, giving her that stately and dignified air so common to the Spanish ladies, but of which our own are so deficient, owing, probably, to the extreme stiffness of their head dress. Her skin was fair, exceedingly so for a Spaniard, but the glossy curls of the deepest black falling on her neck, rendered it yet more so by contrast. Her crimson lips, and the fine form of her nostrils; her white transparent brow, and full dark eyes, shining with inexpressible brilliance, struck the three Scots mute with surprise-almost with awe. So showy a beauty had not met their gaze since their departure from Edinburgh; and even Ronald, while keeping his hand within the breast of his coat upon the miniature of Alice, felt his heart beneath it strangely moved at the sight of the fair Spaniard.".
No common romance can move on without the help of some incredible monster, some arch-villain, to work the machinery. Such a one had already been encountered by Ronald in his march to Estremadura. It was the same wretch who led the bravoes that had assailed Don. Alvaro on the preceding night; and who now, on the march, shot the Scottish ensign from behind a thicket of evergreens, which overhung the road:--
"Ronald Stuart, staggering backwards, fell prostrate and bleeding at the feet of his comrades, from whom burst a wild shout of rage and surprise; but the strictness of British discipline prevented any man from moving in search of the assassin.
"Hell's fury!' cried Colonel Cameron, spurring his horse to the spot, while his eyes shot fire. Search the bushes: forward, men! Do not fire in case of alarming the rear of the column; but fix bayonets, slay, hew, cut to pieces, whoever you find.'
With mingled curses and shouts, a hundred IIighlanders dashed through the thicket; but their heavy knapsacks and the tall plumes of their bonnets impeded their movements in piercing the twisted and tangled branches of the thickly-leaved laurels. They searched the grove through and through, beating the bushes in every direction; but no trace of the assassin was found,
save a broad-brimmed sombrero, bearing the figure of the Virgin stamped in pewter, fastened to the band encircling it, which Alister Macdonald found near a gigantic laurel bush, in the midst of the umbrageous branches of which its owner lurked unseen.
It is the hat of Cifuentes-the vagabond of our last night's adventure'-said Alister, hewing a passage through the bushes with his sword, and regaining the regiment.
"I would you had brought his head rather. O that it was within the reach of my trusty stick! I would scorn to wet Andrea with his base blood.' A frown of rage contracted the broad brow of Campbell while he spoke, holding in one hand a steel Highland pistol, which he had drawn from his holsters for the purpose of executing dire vengeance, had opportunity offered.
By all the powers above!' cried Alister, with fierce and stern energy, if ever this accursed Spaniard crosses my path, I will make his head fly from his shoulders, as I would a thistle from its stalk! nor shall all the corregidors and alcaldes in Spain prevent me. But how is Stuart? Poor fellow he looks very pale. Has he lost much blood?' Ronald, supported on the arm of Evan Iverach, stood erect within a circle formed by the officers, who crowded round, while one of the regimental surgeons examined his left arm, which had been wounded by the shot.
O, gude sake! be gentle wi' him, Doctor!' said honest Evan, in great anguish."
And every one was gentle; and Ronald was consigned The to the yet more gentle leeching of Donna Catalina. presence of her uncle, the fat prior, gave decorum to the arrangement; but that worthy seldom came in the way of Catalina and her charge-a handsome youth, who had come to fight for her country, and who but last night had saved the life of her brother. What follows is touching. It is not the romance of war, indeed, but the reality
of natural sentiment
"Weak and exhausted from the loss of blood, and his head buzzing with Mendizabal's discourse, right glad was Ronald when he found himself in a comfortable and splendid couch-Catalina's own, which she had resigned for his use as the best in the house-with its curtains drawn round for the night: and he forgot, in a dreamy and uneasy slumber, the exciting passages of the last few days, the danger of his wound, and the sunny eyes of the
The tolling bells of a neighbouring steeple awakened him early next morning, and brought his mind back to the world, and a long chain of disagreeable thoughts.
"There is scarcely anything which makes one feel so much from home as the sound of a strange church bell; and the deep and hollow ding-dong which rung from the Gothic steeple of San Juan was very different from the merry rattle of the well-known kirk bell at Lochisla. Ronald thought of that village bell, and the noble peasantry whom it was wont to call to prayer; and the association brought a gush of fond and sad recollections into his mind. He felt himself, as it were, deserted in a strange country-among a people of whose language he knew almost nothing: he looked round him, and his apart ment appeared strange and foreign-every object it presented was new and peculiar to his eye. He thought of Scotland-of HOME-home, with all its ten thousand dear and deeply-impressed associations, until he wept like a child, and his mind became a prey to most profound and intense dejection; suffering from the home sickness an acuteness and agony of feeling which only those can know who have been so unhappy as to experience this amiable feeling; one which exists all-powerfully in the hearts of the Scots, who, although great travellers and wanderers from home, ever turn their thoughts, fondly and sadly, to the lofty mountains, the green forests, and the rushing rivers which they first beheld when young, and to the grassy sod that covers the dust of their warrior ancestors, and which they wish to cover their own, when they follow them to the land of the leal.'
"The feverish state of his body had communicated itself to his mind; and for several days and nights, in
the solitude of his chamber, he brooded over the memory of his native place, enduring the acuteness of the nostalgia in no small degree and even the fair Catalina, with her songs, her guitar, and her castanets, failed to enliven him, at least for a time; his whole pleasure -- and a gloomy pleasure it was-being to brood over the memory of his far-off home. The dreams that haunted the broken slumbers, which the pain of his wound permitted him to snatch, served but to increase the disorder; and often from a pleasing vision of his paternal tower, with its mountain loch aud pathless pine forests-of his white-haired sire as he first beheld him-or of Alice Lisle, smiling and beautiful, with her bright eyes and curling tresses, twining her arms endearingly round him, and laying her soft cheek to his-he was awakened by some confounded circumstance, which again brought on him the painful and soul-absorbing lethargy, which weighed down every faculty, rendering him careless of every present object save the miniature of Alice."
Gradually Ronald recovered, and slowly began to feel that he had been venturing too far. "Yes," he said to himself, "if I would preserve a true heart, and my allegiance to Alice, I must fly from you, Catalina."—
"While he reasoned thus with himself, Catalina raised her dark and laughing eyes to his, while she struck the chords of her instrument, and sang a few words of a very beautiful Spanish air. So melodious was her tone, so graceful her manner, so winning the expression of eye, who can wonder that Ronald's resolution melted like snow in the sunshine, and that he felt himself vanquished? Poor Alice! With an air of tenderness and embarrassment, he took the little hand of the donna within his own. She read in his eye the thoughts that passed through his mind: she cast down her long jetty lashes, while a rich
bloom suffused her soft cheek. Ronald was about to murmur forth something-in fact, he knew not what— when a loud knocking at the outer gate of the mansion, and the sound of a well-known voice, aroused him.
"Unbar the yett this instant, ye aul' doited gomeral! I will see my Maister in spite o' ye,' cried Evan impatiently, while Agnes delayed unbarring the door to so boisterous a visiter.
"Caramba, senor! Quien es?' she repeated. "Gudewife, I speak nae language but my ain; so ye needna waste your wind by speirin' questions that I canna answer."
"At Ronald's desire, the old housekeeper undid the door, which was well secured by many a bar and lock; and he immediately saw the waving plumes of Evan's bonnet dancing above the shrubbery, as he came hastily towards the fountain, with his musket at the long trail, and his uniform and accoutrements covered with the dust of a long day's march. His joy was unbounded on seeing his master, and rapid and quick were the earnest inquiries he made, without waiting for answers, concerning his wound, and how he had been treated by the unco folk he had been left to bide amang-begging the bonnie leddy's pardon.'
An old newspaper, which was found among Evan's dispatches, came opportunely to cover Ronald's disloyalty; for it announced, amongst its other lying chronicles, the intended marriage of Lord Hyndford-there was then a Lord Hyndford-with the only daughter of Sir Allan Lisle. The brother of that young lady, we should have told had now arrived in Spain, like Ronald, an ensign in the "Gordons"; and Louis Lisle was the earliest friend of Ronald.
Though swerving from his fealty himself, Ronald claimed the privilege of his sex to be madly wroth with the faithlessness of Alice ;—“ Hyndford Carmichael, Earl of Hyndford! Ay! the glitter of the coronet has more charms for her than a subaltern's epaulet. But I would not be my father's son if I thought more of her." And now, like a true man, Mr. Ensign Stuart, when about to be deprived of his mistress, not through his own inconstancy