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neck. I, furiously indignant, half in fired and fought as long as they could unconsciousness of what I was do- see any thing, but that finding war ing, and equally iniguorance of where was useless, they had retired to the I was going, sprang away, and rush. servants' ball to wait till affairs took ed through smoke and flame; I sup- another turn, or “ till they heard the pose, with some vague idea of getting ring of the Conde's bell!” I burst out of the palace, raising the coun- into an involuntary roar of laughter, try, and returning to the rescue with in which the whole circle sympathesome ten or twenty thousand gallant tically joined. But a new thought peasants resolved to die for their struck me. The hall was in the chief and the realm. In fact, I was wing of this immense building. A precisely in that state of excitement, glance outward shewed me the crowd which the French tenderly term of robbers and patriots, at least a Monomania, and the English more hundred yards in advance, evidently simply pronounce, fit for nothing but crushing nearer to the banqueting a cell, straw, and a strait-waistcoat. room, which they had already so Yet this is the true condition and tone completely cleared of its defenders. of heroism; and Alexander, when he There was Catalina still; for I knew passed the Granicus, or Cæsar the that she would never desert her Rubicon, would have had a narrow feeble charge. The first impulse escape from a British jury impa- was, to hurry back at the head of the nelled on the statute, De Lunatico valets, defend her, and play the inquirendo.
lover. But should I have time, my. Still on I rushed. All was now next was to advance, take the scounthick darkness, except when some drels in flank and rear, and play the gust blew up the embers outside. I general. The question was decided felt my lungs withered ; my limbs with military promptitude. I made tottered. I tried to roar. The at- every man reload, with a double tempt was a failure. The degenerate charge of bullets, hammer his flint thought once passed through my in my presence, and pledge himself, brain-what, in the name of all ab. as a man of honour, not to fire withsurdity, had brought me into this out bringing down his man. Those scrape atall? But it was not a thought principles of tactics settled, I sallied of the heart. I expelled it summa- into the gardens. rily, and it never dared to return. What a contrast all there was to In my fury, I struck about me with all that I had left behind. Every framy carbine. It fell heavy on an un- grance of flower and field breathed been door. The door flew open.
on me; the night air was absolutely Imagine my surprise Within, sat intoxicating with odour, fresh, cool, quietly, as 80 many Dutch burgo- dewy, delicious. I never knew what masters, a dozen valets, smoking
“the breath of life" meant until now. their cigars, and playing a game of Above, a single star looked down, Lansquenet, pour passer le temps, blue and benignant, like the eye of a till the palace was burned. I raved guardian spirit, watching the slum. against the lazy poltroons. I had now bers of the world. But the sudden recovered my voice. I flung their glare of torches, and a shout evi. cards out of the window, threatened dently denoting that an entrance had to send the players after the cards, been made into the scene of conflict, and ordered them to follow me, with awoke me at once. I ranged my a solemn promise, which I believe I little troop in line, and ordering them would not then have much hesitated to fire only by one-half at a time, in executing, to send the contents of levelled their firelocks, one by one, my firearm into the midst of the and gave the word “ fire.” The efgroup, on the slightest symptom fect was indescribable. If a thun. of mutiny:
derbolt had dropped among them, But I did injustice to my Spanish my discharge need not be ashamed recruits. They exhibited no hesita- of the comparison, so far as effect tion whatever. Their spokesman went. The whole multitude, by this told me that they were ready and time some hundreds, were staggerwilling to follow me to the world's ed; I saw their mass heave and shake end, and glad to find that I had as if they were on the deck of one escaped being a roti ; that they had' of their own chebecks. My marksmen had kept their word; every bul- it half burned, and a torch smoulderlet had told, and for one wretch that ing across the fragments; at another was hit, fifty were frightened. But step, my foot plashed in a stream of they had not yet got enough. Some some fluid on the floor. With an of the brawnier ruffians, hot with indescribable shudder I dipped my brandy, and mad for plunder, urged hand in it, and by the last spark of them on again. My remaining pla- the torch, saw that it was blood. I toon fired, with a precision worthy felt sick at heart. The natural preof a Prussian parade. If a whole sumption was, that the same ruffian hemisphere of shot and shells had who had fired the sofa, bad destroyed been rolled upon them from the the unfortunate Conde. The torch sky, nothing could have been more fell from my hands, and was extinconclusive. One universal howl tore guished. I had not power to uttera the air. They burst away in all di- word, much less to call for help to rections, kicking, trampling, and the further end of the vast ball where stabbing each other. The crowd who my followers were still busy in drag, had made their way over the ter- ging down the burning tapestry. I race, were now seen pouring back Aung myself on the sofa, to do with out of the casements like the reflux my hands, what my eyes refused to of a tide. All was a general rush to do, and discover the remnants of escape from the mansion, from the my unhappy friend, and, my heart gardens, and from the grove. Some actually froze at the thought, of that screamed out that the Royal Guards loveliest of the lovely, who I knew were come; others the Algerines; would not stir from his side with the majority, Satan, in the shape of life, and whom I, of course, conclu. a colossal park of artillery. All were ded to have perished under the same sure of but one thing, and that was, dagger. In this moment the sofa that they would be massacred. At fell into fragments, and I was thrown all events, they seemed determined helplessly forward on — To this not to undergo their fate in the hour I feel the pang that shot through grounds of the Conde. For a few my whole frame; it stings me as I minutes there was not a soul of write the words; I fell upon a corpse. them remaining, except some twenty A stream of blood was flowing from legislators, whom our double charges the side. All but overcome with had fairly disqualified from taking horror, I felt that it was the body any active part in national affairs of a man. My hand rested on a star for some time to come.
of some order on its breast. All doubt One half of them had discharged was now at an end, the fate of the the only debt that they would ever Conde was decided. With but one have paid, and the rest were howling enquiry more to make, or one feelfor mercy, when they saw me and ing to satisfy, I blindly felt for the my phalanx advancing at double last reliques of that gentle and noblequick time over the field of battle. hearted being, who had within so However, I had other matters then short a period exercised so extraorto think of than knocking out the dinary an influence over me. There, brains of a set of fools who had so too, I was soon satisfied. little to spare; and at the head of In the dark I grasped the richly my heroes I moved full speed on the embroidered mantle which she had mansion. The fire had been more worn. Even the goblet which she persevering than the patriots. For held to the lips of the expiring man, it had laid hold on the massive frame- was then lying on its folds! What work of the doors and casements, became of 'me from that moment I and was tranquilly making its way know not. There never was born to the tapestries and pictures. Or- an individual less made to play the dering my troop to expel this inva- sentimentalist. I was now thirtyder, as it had done the rest, I rushed six, an age when the little incense through the intolerable smoke, to that every man offers to the passions, find the treasure which I had left had been fairly blown off my altar. behind. After a search, by no means I had passed through all the captibrief; for all round me was utter vations of eyes, feet, and fingers, in darkness. I stumbled against the a pilgrimage from Calais to Constan. sofa at last. To my horror I found tinople. I had seen all that could be magical in glance, dance, and brute at his feet, to settle their precanzonet,—the spirits, white, black cedency, and tottered out into the and grey, that work such tempests open air. It was one of the finest in the world of man; yet had passed mornings of the finest season in the heart whole. Not a feather of my world-a Spanish Spring. All was tranquillity had ever been ruffled by lucid, lustrous, balmy; a globe of the fairest of them all. Not a bottle clouds, the living colour of crimson, of claret or an ortolan the less had from which a Venus might have deexcited my sensorium; not a dream scended within the last five minutes, of chariots winged with doves, or and which seemed waiting for her, matrimonial balloons, despising the until she had paid a morning visit world below, and sweeping along, to Adonis, lay on a sky of molten with their freight of happiness to the lapis lazuli; every tree was dropping evening star, had for five seconds fragrance and dew, and every dew. ever favoured the quiet currents of drop was a diamond that might have my fancy. If there was on earth a set the King of Visapour in battle being stamped with “single blessed. array against the King of Golconda. ness," bound in the triple steel of For the moment, I actually found it resolute bachelorism, a sworn anti- impossible to bring back the recolhymenist, I was the man, six hours be- lections of the night. There was fore. And now, a time scarcely longer that around me which was enough than an Englishman takes to eat his to cheer all sadness but despair." dinner, or a Frenchman to curl his But I was soon to be awakened. ringlets, had upturned my whole On forcing my way through a thicket microcosm, and metamorphosed un of roses, that covered me with buds malgre into a Rinaldo, or an Amadis and otto, the whole scene lay before de Gaul.
And what a scene of sorrow. But I had then no thoughts to The conflagration had nearly died waste upon my own transformations; away, but it was not until it had or rather I had no thoughts at all; done its work with terrible effect. for the conviction that Catalina, in- of the entire magnificent pile but nocent, fond, high-hearted, and beau- one wing stood; buttress and battletiful,—Catalina, with all her rosy ment had fallen, and were falling ; smiles, and all her sparkling perfec- the flame had sunk only after caltions, had been trampled into one cining the huge walls into dust, and of the masses of death and gore, that scattering the enormous beams in seemed to thicken round me, had ashes. Every gust of the morning been too much for my frame, warm wind that swept away the white and as it was with the fever and fatigue suffocating cloud which constantly of the night. I sank at once, and arose from the ruins, shewed some sank into total insensibility. How new overthrow, and let the light in long I thus remained, I knew not, on some new vista of mirrors, picbut by the discovery, on opening my tures, and costly furniture, gradually eyes, that I was lying under the nose melting down into the flames that of a very handsome Arabian horse, still spread and gnawed the vitals of which seemed to be prodigiously ill the building below, like an army of reconciled to my company. Day wolves. Shattered walls, cleft from was streaking the roof of the stable, top to bottom by the fury of the now my bed-chamber; and by the flame; painted windows, illuminasnoring of a groom lying doubled up ted, and dissolving in the partial on a heap of straw beside me, I ascer. blaze within, and the delicate flowers tained, alone, that I was yet in the and traceries of the Gothic architecland where sunshine is the staff of ture, reddening, bursting off with the life, a cloak serves for every integu. heat, or whitening into smoke and ment of the human frame, and the decay, were all that remained f breath of man's nostrils has been the princely habitation, that the last poured in only for the purpose of sunset had seen the seat of beings being puffed out again through a worthy of the habitation, hearts gecigar. Stiff with weariness, and nerous and dignified, accomplished stained with blood, much of others, intellects, and forms which birth and and a little of my own, I left the beauty had sealed with a signet, not Arabian, and the inferior rational to be counterfeited by kings.
When I could collect myself, after alive at this hour. Like Antæus, the first shock of the sight, I looked instead of being strangled at his round for the domestics, or tenant- point of solitary elevation, he would ry, or any of the hundred or thou- have found himself much the better sand human beings that might, I for the roughest contact with the naturally concluded, have crowded level of humanity. Determining to to the spot of such a calamity. To make a courage, if I could not find my astonishment, not a soul was to one, and equally determining to rebe found. Terror, guilt, or super- sist the intolerable and diseased stition, had made every body fly, as lassitude which I felt growing over if the place contained a pestilence. my mind, much more than over my As a last resource, I returned to the frame, I still had not power to leave groom whom I had left in my straw. the scene of destruction. I roved it He was now awake at last, and even from sunrise to sunset, and I had all sitting up; but drunk to the top of the world to myself. Not a human bis bent. To my first word, he an- being ever interrupted me by the swered only by drinking my health, sound of a human voice. Clustered and suiting the action to the word, cottages and village alehouses are by putting a flask of aqua ardiente matters unheard of in the remoter to his mouth, which he took from it provinces of Spain. The palace again, only to let fall on the pave- stands in solemn solitude. The farmment, and to follow it there. In my house stands equally clear of the indignation, I called him some name. contamination of meaner society. It penetrated to the seat of his sensi. The peasant's hut buries itself in bilities, wherever that was. He the fissure of some precipice, where opened his eyes wide, flung the its only visiting acquaintance must flask at my head, and made a bound be the wolf or the vulture. The towards me, borsewhip in hand. I land is all lines of circumvallation was tired, vexed, disgusted, dreamy, and contravallation. In the cities, sick of the world. But the oppor- society, on the contrary, is crowded tunity of at once doing an act of jus- like a camp. If the trader, lover, tice, inculcating a lesson of virtue, soldier, priest, scholar, lawyer, and and relieving myself of a portion of noble, find room enough to stand my ennui, was too tempting to be in and sun himself to sleep, or room resisted. I met him in full charge, enough to lie down and smoke himwrested the flagellum from his nerve- self to sleep, his broadest ambition less hands, and, before he had time asks no more; and therein it shews, to fall asleep again, gave him a its good sense, for no more could it practical lecture on his outer man, get. Life is compression; the busiwhich might make him sympathizo, ness of life is flirtation; the pleasure for all time to come, with any bela- of life is gossip; the trial of life is houred donkey, from Cadiz to the having something to do; and the Pyrenees.
close of life is, to go out like an ex. I had now to make up my mind hausted pipe, give its last smoke, as to what were to be my further and have its ashes shaken out by the proceedings. With ruins before me, hand of the sexton, to smoke no and with solitude round me, I was exactly in the condition in wbich a The few huts wbich I detected in man has the finest opportunity of the forest were deserted; and famine discovering what resources are in at last made it necessary for me to bimself. The experiment did not think seriously of returning to the succeed with me, more than with world again. There is no use in Pompey the Great. Yet I was sen- saying now, how loftily 1 then dessibly the better for the horsewhip- pised the world, and how.contempt, ping I had given the drunken groom. ible all the bustlings of life seemed The vice was not Spanish ; and in to me in comparison with thinking punishing it, I had soared to the of the loss of the lovely and the dignity of a national avenger. Many young. But I had not the option. a man has died of dejection, who, if 'The fiercest of all instincts had behe had an act of public justice of gun to assert its supremacy; and this kind to execute, would have after gazing at the smouldering pagathered up his faculties, and been lace for the thousandth time, exe crating the folly which had suffered tled off the tongue of a dashing, darkme to lose sight of Catalina for a browed, and very handsome Spamoment, and resolving thenceforth niard, young, volatile, and in boundto shut my eyes, my ears, and my less spirits. I had met with him at soul, to the sight, sound, and sense, our ambassador's, he was to be seen of woman in her beauty, I sat down everywhere, in the best company, on the pedestal of a fallen statue, to and everywhere was the admiration ponder over the whole matter, and of the ladies, and, of course, the envy, decide my decision again. In the and, now and then a little, the hatred moodiness of the time, I swung my of the gentlemen. By what accident foot against a small heap of dust, or this showy personage attached himfragments of the stone: it scat- self, is matter of but a few words. tered before me, and disclosed a One night, shortly after my arri. little morocco case, which bad pro- val in Madrid, as I was returning bably been dropped by some of the from a fête at the Austrian ambassaplunderers in their flight. , I opened dor's, my carriage, driving through it, and saw-Catalina! I felt as if one of those frightfully dark streets, a stroke of lightning had fallen on which make the capital of the Casme. The sensation was electric tiles as perilous as the straits of There was the exquisite counte- Thermopylæ, ran down an unfortunance, living, and illumined: her nate calèche coming with great rapi. eyes were looking into the depths of dity in the opposite direction.
As I mine. I could see the half-defined did not feel myself qualified to use and delicate smile ripening on her the privileges of a grandee of Spain, lip. It was just half opening, and I and break men's bones that I might could have listened for the words. arrive the earlier at my supper, I orThe sweet, soft voice seemed to be dered my coachman to stop, and ensinking in my ear. But the dream quire what mischief he had done. I was but for a moment, and it had its was not left long in doubt; for, by the bitter reverse. A blast that came, light of the little lamp that twinkled heavy with the sulphurous vapours before a little image of the Virgin, like of the ruin, made me lift my eyes, the decaying piety of the people, and made me remember, too, that in I saw a gallant cavalier, in the unithe mass of wreck before me, the form of the royal guard, extricate daughter of loveliness was bimself from the overturned calèche, mouldering Into what hideous and drawing his sabre, dart towards shape might not that elegance of the carriage door, with all the apform have been crusbed? What pearance of a determination to wipe spire of flame, that from time to out the affront by sending me to the time shot up from the corners of the other world. It was in vain that I once proud fabric, might not be ex- apologized, with alldue consideration tinguishing the last remnant of all for the ill luck of so well-dressed a that was the charm of all eyes and hero. He would hear of nothing but ears ? What cloud of those wbite immediate war. As I had no liking ashes, that the gusts swept high and for war in a dark street, at three in far, might not be dust once moulded the morning, and with no other reinto a form worthy only of the bright corders to hand down the exploit to spirit it had enshrined,—dust that fame than a pair of postilions, I furwould have made every spot where ther attempted to explain, that if it lay, sacred to my heart,—dust that there had been any fault in addition would have reconciled me to lying to the misfortune, it was his own, and down with it that hour in the grave. that he had only to drive more lei.
surely in future. But this did not “ You are an Englishman? Of prove a palliative. At length, a little course you are a friend of liberty. We iired of ibis dialogue, I told him that Spaniards are rather late in the field, I was sleepy, cold, and only desired I acknowledge; but then we have the then to go to bed, but that in the less time to throw away. So what morning I should be ready for his carare you for to-night? The club, the tel. This was but throwing oil on the opera, the bazard table, or the bal fire; he grew furious, and at length paré at Madame Crescembini's ?” was hasty enough to use some flowers All this variety of delights was rate of the street vocabulary, which put