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along the banks of the rivulet. A report had spread of the Kaffirs being upon us, and the most ludicrous scene took place, as the Hottentot women with piercing screams, and in all the unadorned beauty of their prominent and nearly naked charms, now rushed towards the camp, carrying the bundles of wet clothes under their arms. It proved, however, after all, to be a false alarm, and we therefore had now time to dress ourselves, but M was so heartily disgusted, that he proposed we should apply at once for a tent.
"I'll see Jack* Somerset
before I ask him,' was my wrathful reply, but if you can manage to get one for yourself I shall be very glad to pay you a visit.'
"My friend accordingly went, and in half an hour Mr. Jacob came to announce that a marquee had been pitched, which, to confess the truth, I was not sorry for.
"I feel convinced that this inhospitable treatment proceeded not from the gallant chief himself—a gruff, though fine warm-hearted old soldierwho probably knew nothing of our amateur' discomforts, but from some kind friend, who thinking us 'de trop,' took this means of disgusting and driving us away from the second division. Were this, as I imagine, the intention of the individual in question, it fully succeeded, for we resolved on the very first opportunity to leave a scene where our merits appeared to be so little appreciated, and where we had experienced so poor a welcome, though from this charge of inhospitality I must in justice exempt my friend Colonel Mackinnon, and one or two officers of the 73rd, who showed us whatever attention lay in their power.
"On the 25th, at day-break-taking advantage of the protection afforded by an escort carrying despatches, we left the 2nd division at the Chalumna, and to prove to you what sharp fellows are these Kaffirs, a few miles from the camp we counted no less than 500 head of cattle which had been driven back by them since the passage of the troops. Shortly afterwards, just as we were about to enter the Keiskamma bush, a couple of Kaffir scouts were seen to dive into the jungle-to carry, as we feared, intelligence of our approach.
"These prognostications were soon verified, for we had not proceeded above half way down the wooded descent, when, at a part of the road lined on each side by dense bush, and commanded by an eminence close above it—a large party of Kaffirs suddenly showed themselves on the latter. From the nature of the ground, we appeared to be completely at their mercy; and in expectation of seeing half the party next minute out of their saddles, I gave orders to the escort to trot quickly by without firing, and thus, enveloped in a cloud of dust, we passed close under their noses without molestation, they having probably taken us for the advance of a larger party, and being perhaps unable to distinguish the smallness of our numbers. We continued to advance rapidly through the bush until we had crossed the ford of the Keiskamma and reached the comparatively open country on the other side, shortly after which the escort turned off to the left, towards Fort Peddie; whilst, together with Farley (my Cape Corps orderly) and our two servants, we pushed along
Colonel Somerset often went by this "sobriquet."
the direct road to Block Drift, leading across the battle-field of the Gwanga, from which I carried in token of memento a Kaffir skull.
"A ride of fifty miles, under the influence of a powerful sun and sharp drying wind, both of which combined, peeled the skin cour weather-beaten countenances, brought us, after one or two 'off-saddlings,' to the camp at Phoonahs Kloof, where we luckily got a comfortable tent for the night, which was bitterly cold, and also met with the greatest hospitality (strongly contrasting with our late treatment), at the hands of Lieut. Fitzgerald, of the 91st, who then commanded at this post, and who had greatly distinguished himself by his gallantry during the war.
"Ere starting early on the 26th (yesterday) our kind host supplied us with a cup of hot coffee, which thawed us sufficiently to enable us to get into the saddle, and we reached Block Drift just in time for the mess breakfast of the 90th, after nearly a week's absence, during which time we have been enabled to form from experience, a tolerably correct idea of the hardships undergone by our troops, during this unsatisfactory campaign-the more unsatisfactory as little is to be hoped from its results, either in the shape of credit or advantage."
My angel! when the morning stars
'Twixt Magdalene, and she who mourned On Judah's Hills her doom,
Thou sittest lily-crowned, and wav'st
My angel! for mine own thou art-
So when He breathed my spirit forth,
An anxious fearful mother's love
My angel! as a curtain fell
Thy bright wings o'er my head,
By some seraphic sympathy
My angel! we shall one day meet-
The seraph king shall stand;
My angel! when the human swarm
My angel! I can image thee,
Gazing, as pilot on the bark
Brought troublously to land-
My angel! when Heav'n's tide of light
MEMOIRS OF AN OLD ETON BOY.
BY CHARLES ROWCROFT, AUTHOR OF TALES OF THE COLONIES; OR, THE ADVENTURES OF AN EMIGRANT."
As I have before taken occasion to note, no explanation had ever taken place between Lavinia and me on the most interesting of all subjects; nor, indeed, had there been an opportunity for it; and it must be taken into account also, that, our acquaintance had been really very slight; although it is curious how very short an acquaintance and how very slight communication sometimes proves sufficient perfectly to possess those of the same elective affinities of each other's sentiments; but this latter remark must be considered as made in a parenthesis.
It is true, that, I might consider myself justified in regarding myself as an accepted suitor from the circumstance of the vow which Lavinia, in her enthusiasm, had so generously and rashly uttered over my supposed lifeless form, when, she thought, I had lost my life in attempting to rescue her from death in one of its most fearful shapes; but as I could not avail myself of my knowledge of her secret for the purpose of asserting my claim on her promise without exposing myself to the suspicion of having voluntarily and deliberately acted an untruth by feigning an unconsciousness which was not the fact, I was obliged to let that matter rest in the oblivion and mystery in which it was shrouded. Besides, I felt, that, any allusion to that occurrence, carrying with it, as it must have done, my knowledge of her mortuary visit, must have shocked her delicacy in the most painful manner, and was on every account, therefore, to be avoided.
It is necessary to bear in mind also, that, the occasion of my last interview with Lavinia was by no means favourable to my character for modesty, discretion, or sobriety; and that my ignominious prostration before the family, and my furtive evasion the next morning were not calculated to raise me in her estimation; and more than that, it could not but have wounded her pride and offended her sense of propriety, that, I had left the county without an attempt either to make my peace with her, or to fulfil the ordinary requirements of good breeding and polite
Such being the state of things between us, it is not surprising, that, although, for the moment, a little flurried at the sudden appearance of one whom she so little expected, she quickly resumed her self-possession. She made no return to my embarrassed obeisance, but regarded me with a cold and disdainful eye and with an air so chilling that it seemed to freeze me up and to congeal my very senses; I can compare it to nothing but to the greeting which one might expect to receive from a young lady of the most Dianaic complexion who had lived all her life on the top of an ice-berg
and had been fed on snowballs; but I was not at all inclined to be facetious at that moment; on the contrary, my sensations were such as I can imagine a saturated solution of sulphate of soda to experience, if endowed with vitality, during a process of rapid crystallisation. The shooting pains which accompanied this advance to a state of comparative petrification were exquisitely painful, and the remembrance of the scene is one which I do not like to dwell on; I would willingly have omitted it if I could with justice to my readers-or part of it at least--for the sake of sparing myself the humiliating confessions which it contains,—as well as for other obvious reasons which all those who are curious in their studies of love scenes and at the same time of delicate feelings and perceptions will readily appreciate.
I remained for a considerable time in a state of extraordinary embarrassment from which the lady did not evince the slightest inclination to relieve me. She stood erect and motionless; and, at first, with her head slightly averted, she bore herself as Dido treated Æneas in the infernal regions (it must be allowed he treated her more infernally in the regions above); and then slowly turning away from her disregardful contemplation of an unworthy object, she remained rigid as marble, with her eyes gazing on vacancy and as passionless as those of the Sphynx in the desert ;--and presenting to me, who did not at the time take into consideration all the reasons which actuated her behaviour, as great a riddle.
In the state of perturbation which this inhuman conduct caused in me, I could neither collect my thoughts, nor summon up words to express or to disguise them if I had any, but following a sort of impulse, I ejaculated :
"Oh! Lavinia !"
But the "oh," albeit that it is the acknowledged exponent of the pathetic, had no effect on the obdurate Lavinia; although I fancied that the invocation of her name made her lip curl a little in disdain of its assumption of a right to familiarity.
I was terribly abashed; my predominant idea was that she must have actually accepted the great red hand of the arithmetic Peter, and, as she might think, had irretrievably committed herself by a formal consent. This thought brought to my mind the letter from the affectionate coachman in which the disastrous news was first communicated; and, as there is a natural association of ideas, as philosophers tell us, which leads in the chambers of the brain to consecutive recollections, my thoughts immediately recurred to the interesting announcement which was the proximate cause of the worthy coachman's "promiscuous" information. Thus it was, that, feeling the absolute necessity of breaking the horrible silence which oppressed the place, in the perturbation of spirit and the confusion of thought which her cold and withering disdain produced in me, I said the very last thing which at a calmer moment I should have thought of saying. It is not surprising that the effect of my words was as prompt and astounding as their sense must have been incomprehensible, for with a look of the most intense anguish, and in an accent of the most profound despair -all the while thinking of the coachman's complex information-I suddenly blurted out:
"Oh, Lavinia! Have you had one of Jenny's pups ?"
It is impossible to describe the effect which this extraordinary inquiry had on the amazed Lavinia! The rigidity of her bearing was dissolved