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sometimes ventured on a daring and successful resistance. He was therefore an object of no common curio sity, and the odd manner of his capture added in no small degree to the feeling. His arm, I found, was broken; and the agony of the pain seemed to have entirely mastered his spirit, for he never even attempt ed to release himself, and seemed only happy if by yielding his arm freely to the motions of the carriage, he could prevent any addition to his pangs. I was sorry that dire necessity exacted his life, but the gibbet was a punishment his cruelty and lawlessness had richly earned,-yet I was not altogether pleased with the noise my share in his capture made, as I was aware, among people of his class, it might incite his associates to revenge his loss upon the individual who caused it. However, it made me only the more strict in maintaining rigid discipline; and in a few months after my arrival I had brought the forces under my command to a state of military organization to which they had not previously been accustomed.

I need not engage your attention with a detail of my proceedings while I was attached to the grand army, and under the control of the supreme head. My fame then only increased as being a sharer of the laurels of the whole army; it was only when placed in an independent command, that fortune wove a chaplet for my own peculiar brows. În the spring of the year 18-, whilst our glorious chief was pursuing his successes in the provinces of and, I was detached to the neighbourhood of, to watch the movements of the Duc de

This, you are aware, was one of the most distinguished of the " sons of the empire." He had, it is true, been outmanœuvred on one occasion by his Grace, but you must know, as a military man, that the excellence of his dispositions, and the orderliness of his retreat, amply redeemed what he had lost in professional reputation. Against him I was sent with a large though mixed force; and if even under the protection of the whole British army I felt tormented with almost unceasing terrors, you may guess what my feelings were on being given up to the fury of the Duc

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de by myself. The feelings of Daniel on descending into the lion's den, if he had not been preternaturally endowed, must have borne a great resemblance to mine on undertaking this expedition. However, I submitted with my usual philosophy to what was unavoidable, and set out upon my march with " the pomp and circumstance of glorious war,' though a victim all the time to the most fearful forebodings, and startled at the shadows of coming evil. On arriving in the vicinity of the enemy, I made it my first business to strengthen my own position as much as possible. For this purpose I formed lines, on a smaller scale indeed, but as similar as I could to those of Torres Vedras. Secure in my entrenchments, or, when I did move out, always cautious to leave a certainty of a retreat into them once more, I watched the enemy with more comfort, and a greater feeling of security, than I had experienced for many years. The foe seemed to be as cautious as myself; but my situation was infinitely to be preferred. I was well supplied with every sort of provision, my position was nearly impregnable, and the whole circumjacent country was commanded by the disposition of my troops. From day to day my courage waxed higher and higher, till at last, on seeing the enemy so long quiescent, I made no doubt that pusillanimity was the cause of their repose, and rejoiced, with a joy which I find it impossible to describe, that the Duc de was as great a coward as myself. Full of these hopes, I now on several occasions ventured beyond my lines to reconnoitre. But even at those times I did not by any means trust myself with few attendants. I was generally accompanied by a large staff, and had my movements covered by several thousands of the troops. The enemy, on my first presenting myself in this manner, made demonstrations of an active attack, upon which I immediately withdrew to my entrenchments, and was thankful I had for that time effected my escape. But when for several days I had repeated the same operation, they no longer shewed any symptoms of opposition, but allowed me in peace and safety to go along the whole extent of their line,

and did not seem to be incommoded by the movements of so considerable a force. When I had gone on in this manner for nearly three weeks, (for I was delighted with the courage I had at last been enabled to assume,) things quite unexpectedly took a very different turn. A regiment of British cavalry, the Irish brigade, and a regiment of Caçadores, were the party appointed to cover my progress. They staid, of course, at a considerable distance from my staff, but somewhat closer to the enemy, in order to intercept any force which might be sent against us. The enemy, I was surprised to see, had changed the disposition of his troops. He had drawn them closer to the hill on which my camp was placed, and formed them into a semicircle round its base. Accordingly, on reaching the end of their line, I found myself alarmingly near to the outposts of their right wing, and hastily turned my horse, in order to retire to my entrenchments. But, skirting the hill at a fearful pace, and making rapidly for the place where I stood, I saw a large body of the enemy's cavalry. In an instant I put spurs to my horse, and flew like the wind. I waved my hat for my escort to come to my assistance, and began utterly to despair, as I saw but small prospect of escape. At last I joined the forces, which were hurrying to my aid, and still in terror and hopelessness urged my horse to the very top of his speed. The cavalry dashed after me with the wildest impetuosity-and ere I could check my horse, he had breasted the hill, and we rushed, like a torrent of sword and plume, into the totally unprepared masses of the enemy's left wing. A prodigious slaughter immediately took place; I shut my eyes to the horrid sights I saw everywhere around me, and as I had no hopes of ever finding my way out of the mêlée, unless supported by the whole army, I sent an aid-de-camp to the second in command, and ordered an immediate charge of the whole line. Down the gentle declivity of that hill rushed three-and-twenty thousand men, in double quick time,-I heard a tremendous volley, followed by a still more awful shout, and nature reeled before me. I saw no VOL. XXX. NO. CLXXXIII.

more, and sank in a delirium of fear and horror, quite insensible, upon the ground. The victory was by far the most complete that had been gained during the whole war-there were 8000 men killed, and 13,000 prisoners, besides an immense quantity of military stores. But the consequences of the battle were still more important. The enemy abandoned the whole province, and the impregnable fortress of immediately surrendered. I rejoiced, on recovering my senses, to find I had been wounded. I was shot through the arm, and the horse I rode was killed by a bayonet stab.

The whole glory of the victory was attributed to me. The plan of inducing the enemy to strengthen his right wing, and then leading the attack so instantaneously upon his weakened left, was considered one of the most illustrious incidents in the art of war; and I have blushed over and over again to hear it compared in intricacy of plot, and brilliancy of execution, to the Duke of Marlborough's celebrated passage of the causeway of Arleux, in which he outwitted the great Marshal Villars. The honours that were heaped upon me were quite overpowering. I received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, and was presented with the freedom of the city of London in a gold box. The gratitude of the Spanish nation knew no bounds. I was the theme of many of their songs; I was called in some of their ballads only inferior to the Cid; and in honour of me, by a delicate compliment of that highly chivalrous nation, a Pumpkin became a favourite dish at the tables of the highest of their nobility. In the meantime my wound gave me no small inconvenience; some of the minor nerves were lacerated, and afflicted me with intolerable pain. This, joined to the continuance of my fears, (for every new success seemed only to make me more timorous and apprehensive,) preyed seriously upon my health. His Grace wrote me a letter with his own hand, thanking me for the assistance I had rendered him, and complimenting me on the ability I had displayed. This I perhaps prized more than any of the other honours; but, alas! what right can I

advance to all these praises? Many a more courageous man than I am, I was well convinced, had been shot for the basest cowardice,-and yet! I have really suffered more from the goadings of my conscience, and the reproaches of my own heart at my paltriness in remaining silent under so much unmerited eulogium, than I should have undergone had I boldly stated the truth, and consigned myself to infamy and security at once. Even now, however, it is not too late, and I find my heart relieved of an intolerable burden even by the confession I have now made to you.

But to proceed. The state of my health necessitated my return to England. I gave up my command, I may safely say, with far more pleasure than I had assumed it, and set out with great satisfaction on my homeward way. It was now the beginning of winter. The wind blew most tempestuously when I arrived upon the coast. This circumstance, added to the weakening effects of my wound, reduced me to a lower point of pusillanimity than I ever remember to have reached. In fact, I was totally unmanned, and thought my only plan to avoid observation in going from the little boat on board the transport, was to affect an utter insensibility, from the painfulness of my arm. I lay at the bottom of the boat, totally absorbed in the contemplation of my danger, and, luckily without any very manifest display of my cowardice, I got hoisted up on the deck of the transport; and although even she was tossed with fearful violence, I considered myself to be now in a place of comparative safety. I found myself unable to stand the atmosphere below; so with cloaks and other appliances, I made a sort of couch upon the deck, and lay down upon it, overcome partly by my state of health, and partly by my fears. Opposite to me was laid another sufferer, though I was at first so occupied with my own wants, that I had no great time or inclination to scrutinize his features attentively; but even in the cursory glance I gave him, there was something in his appearance which reminded me of some one I had seen before. But he seemed so wasted by disease, that even if I had been intimately acquainted,

I knew I should have found it difficult to recognise him. For the first two days I thought he was quite deserted, but on the morning of the third, a beautiful little boy, about six or seven years of age, came up from below, where he had been detained by sickness, and watched his couch with the most tender affection. The weather had now in some degree moderated, though the swell, to one unaccustomed to the sea, was still very unpleasant. I got up and moved about a little, and entered into conversation with the little boy who had attracted my observation. His father I did not disturb, as he looked so languid I was afraid he might be harassed and incommoded if I addressed him. I sat on the taffril and spoke to the little boy, who with all the wildness and fearlessness of youth, rejoiced in rambling and climbing all over the ship. My rank made no impression on him. He sat upon my knee, and admired my dress with the most confiding innocence; and I was delighted to encourage his familiarity. One morning, as I leant over the side in a violent qualm of sea-sickness, the little boy was amusing himself by climbing up one of the ropes which hung directly above where I stood. I cautioned him two or three times of the

danger of his sport, but he still persisted in going, by his hands alone, as high up the rope as he could. Í heard a slight scream, and the next moment was overwhelmed with a great weight, and was instantly overbalanced and driven into the sea. I have no recollection of any thing more, except a strange thundering sound in my ears, and the flashing of red lights in my eyes. A boat was instantaneously put down, and I was picked up quite insensible; the boy also, who had caused the catastrophe by losing his hold and falling on my head, was saved from his perilous situation, and we were conveyed on board after our safety had been despaired of. When I came perfectly to myself, I found the invalid had been carried across the ship to the side of my couch, and there he lay with the intent eyes of earnest affection watching for my recovery. His boy was lying sound asleep in his arms. He said, when I opened my eyes-" This is the second time, Ge

neral, I have been indebted to you more than I shall ever be able to repay-first, for I see you do not in these wasted features recognise a friend of your youth,-when you saved me in the bathing-ground at , when you were a simple ensign, and I, what I am now-a poor lieutenant."

"Jack Wharton!" I said, in astonishment.

"The same-No one has rejoiced more in your rapid and brilliant progress than I have, though my own, I grieve to say, has been very different. But now this second time you have saved my boy, my poor little Frederick, and Jack Wharton can only thank you with his tears."

And poor Wharton wept like a child. I said nothing to all this, for I knew even if I told him the truth, that my precipitation into the water was by no means voluntary, he would not have given credit to the statement; so I was forced passively to submit to the admiration of the whole crew for the heroism of the achievement, when the fact was that the child himself had knocked me over the side, and nearly been the cause of my death. My friend's had been the usual fate of military men-he had stood all the dangers of several campaigns, and had risen no higher than lieutenant; I am happy, however, to say I had it in my power to be of essential service to him afterwards, and to-morrow, I believe, I shall have the honour of introducing you to Colonel Wharton. I may conclude the story of my professional progress by informing you that in a short period after my arrival, I was advanced to the highest step in the army save one, and that my sovereign was graciously pleased to confer on me the honour of a baronetcy, and the knighthood of the Bath, and that Parliament voted me money to purchase an estate, and settled two thousand a-year on my lineal representative for three generations.

This, sir, from the story you have heard, will afford you ground for moralizing. Here am I, a man of no strength of mind, a man of no personal courage, celebrated from one end of the kingdom to the other, for the possession, in a peculiar degree, of both these qualities. I have risen to the summit of a soldier's ambi

tion, and to the eye of philosophy I present as interesting a subject of contemplation as would be the elevation to the seals of a lawyer ignorant beyond measure of the law, or the translation to such a see as Winchester, of a clergyman unendowed with either learning, or piety, or talents. That such an event never occurred in any profession but my own, I would fain hope; but I trust that, while I thus unburden myself of a secret which has preyed on my conscience for many years, you will allow that, poor and contemptible as my conduct has in reality been, I have never added to my baseness by arrogance and pride. You now, I feel convinced, look on me with loathing and abhorrence; but, believe me, that whatever your feelings may be, mine are a thousaud times more humiliating, a thousand times more bitter!

Here the General paused, and laid his head upon his hand-for my own part I did not know what to do. I did not at first believe a single word of what he said about his want of courage; but as he proceeded in his story, I began to think he could scarcely mean all that long rigmarole for a hoax, and accordingly I felt it impossible to offer him the slightest consolation. Whilst I was hesitating what to say, for the unfortunate General was now sobbing convulsively in the bitterness of his self-upbraiding, we were startled by the most horrific shrieks I ever heard, and above the clamour which immediately arose, we heard the cries of "Fire! fire!" and then the wildest ejaculations of "Help! help! save us! save us!" I darted with the speed of lightning to the door, but the whole passage was filled with smoke; I, however, as the only chance of escape, (after telling the General, who sat still, lost apparently in grief, that no time was to be lost,) sprang down the already blazing staircase, and providentially arrived safe. The heat and agitation, however, had been too much for me, and I sank in a swoon upon the grass the moment I reached the lawn. When I recovered my senses, the fire had made the most alarming progres It burst in vivid wreaths out of most all the windows, and the smo

thickly eddying round the whole building, hid all the portions of it which were not actually in a blaze. The servants, and many country people from the neighbouring village, gazed at the progress of the devouring element in helpless consternation and dismay. Many of them were in tears, and I heard them uttering the most heart-rending lamentations over the inevitable fate of their mistress. She had retired to her couch at an early hour, and the flames now totally enveloped the suite of apartments which she had occupied. I made several attempts to dash through the flames, and save the unfortunate lady—and also had no doubt the General would be overcome by his terrors, and be incapacitated from escape. In the midst of these vain and impotent endeavours, we saw some dark object moving along the corridor. It proceeded quietly and sedately, whatever it was; and the superstitious peasantry began to give all up for lost, when they saw what they considered the demon of fire himself so deliberately taking his path amidst the flames. I, however, caught a single glimpse, which satisfied me it was the General; and I now in truth believed that his fears had turned his brain, and that he threw himself in his delirium upon certain death. We traced him, however, as he passed each window, and at last saw him dive suddenly into the hottest of the fire, and, to our amazement, emerge in the anteroom of her ladyship's bedchamber. We could even, above the roaring of the flames, hear a scream of delight; and in another instant, again we traced the figure pursuing its fiery way with a burden in its arms, and a shout of hope and exultation among the spectators could no longer be restrained. The walls themselves began to crack and totter in many places, and several of the floors had already given way, yet, apparently undismayed, the figure flitted across each successive window of the corridor, and by some means or other

came down the blazing staircase uninjured. I saw, to my delight and amazement, it was indeed the General, with the still beautiful and fascinating Lady Anabella closely clinging to his neck. I rushed to him in a moment, and offered him my assistance, but he was apparently as calm and collected as he had appeared that very day at the head of his own table. Her ladyship, too, recovered herself very soon, and related her escape, with the fondest acknowledgments of her husband's matchless intrepidity. To all that she said he made no answer whatsoever; he seemed, indeed, scarcely to listen to what she was saying; but after she had been given over to the care of her maids, he took me aside, and told me, that in a state of the greatest agitation he walked along the corridor, in hopes of finding his way down the back stairs which communicated with the garden. He found the door locked, and entered Lady Annabella's room, with the intention of leaping out of her window; but she sprang upon him, and seized him round the neck-and then his apprehension rose to such a pitch that he lost all command of himself, and how he found his way into the open air he was altogether unable to guess. After giving me this account, he slipt quietly away from the bustle, and left me musing on what a confoundedly useful sort of cowardice it was, which enabled the man always to be terrified at the right time; and the sum of my musing was this, that it will be a pretty considerable particular long time before all my courage, and dashing, and intrepidity, will raise me to be a General of Division, with a splendid fortune-a baronetcy-and two thousand a-year settled on my lineal representative for three generations. So much better is it, as Solomon or some other person has said in his proverbs, to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth than a wooden ladle.

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