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Nathalie waited like a criminal for the manager's reply.
"I would say that it makes not the slightest difference to me, Nathalie, that you have been deceived by a villain: it increases my pity and lore for you tenfold. Oh, Nathalie, reconsider your determination 1 I will be a true and leal husband to you: and think better of this dreadful idea of revenge! 'Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.'"
For an instant the woman's better nature almost overcame ber. The trial was a sore one. On one side was peace and happiness, a loving husband, and a quiet home. On the other lay tbe dark, uncertain future, with no star save the baleful light of revenge to guide her on the way. And then, supposing that her vengeance was folly satisfied, supposing that Grantley and his wife, and all her foes, might be humbled to the dost, what was there beyond—a shameful, lonely death, without a friend to smooth her pillow or thrive the parting soul! But her plan with Delia Uroce—ah I there lay the incentive. No, she must not yield thus tamely her revenge, and allow Grantley undisturbed happiness. Her mind was made up. Soothingly she placed her band on Lawrence Hilton's shoulder.
"My noble benefactor 11 have thought of it: it may not be—not that I do not like you. If Cbere were any love remaining in my wretched besom, that surely would be yours: but, as to marrying you, it cannot be, believe me. I shall be hippy, so happy! to hear that yoH have been married to some fair girl, who can appreciate yon, and make your life happy. As for me, I will never forget your kindness; and, when I dare pray, you will be the object of that prayer I" In her simple southern way she took Hilton's hand in hers, and covered it with kisses, breathing out Italian words of endearment, as was her manner when excited. "Try and forget that such a wretched being ever crossed your path I"
Hilton finished his cigar, and sent tbe stump hissing down into the shrubbery.
"Away goes my hope into darkness, like that bit of weed! And now I think we will go in attain. The night is getting chilly, and my sisters are waiting for us."
11Y ADA TREV ANION.
The Jay has passed away in gloom and sorrow; What will betide me ere it close again f
What is to come when I have lived to-morrow-
Dear dreams untold, and gentle joys untastcd,
Or must I weep o'er love and labour wasted,
Alas! alas! I fain Wonld comfort borrow
From any ray of hope which lights the gloom:
The heart has omens, and mine arc of sorrow:
TRYING AND FAILING.
BY MRS. ABDY.
Why is your voice so faint and low? why is your
check so pale? Why tell me that you fear to try, because you fear to
fail? List to iny parting words, dear friend, and oft those
words recall— "'Tis better far to try and foil, than not to try at all I"
Say, who would dwell supinely ou the drear and barren plain,
Nor strive the breezy summit of the pleasant hills to
Sweet birds shall cheer their upward path, sweet flowers enchant their sight,
Even though pcrchaucc they strive in vain to reach the topmost height.
Just so regard the steepy hills of Science and of Art; Attempt to reach the summit with uuwearied head
and heart. Should others pass you on your road, as oft, indeed,
they may, Droop not, but count the treasures you have gathered
on your way.
The lore of many a distant clime, and many a bygone
age; The numbers of the poet, and the wisdom of the sage Secrets of earth, and sea, and sky, to common minds
unknown— These you have culled with patient care, and these are
all your own.
These shall be treasures that endure when youth an"*
health are past; ThescVcr the social circle shall a healing influence
cast; These shall be never lost to you when adverse fortune
lowers, But rest in placid sunshine on your solitary bours.
Let not your zeal be weakened, or your earnest trust
abate, Because you arc not destined to be eminently great. All talents may not equally in rich increase abound; But woe befall the talent that is buried in the
Hope doth not always wear, alas 1 her fair and flattering guise;
The fear of failure often will in timid minds arise;
Then is the fitting time, dear friend, the maxim to recall— | " 'Tis better far to tryand fail, than not to try at all 1" I.—From Brescia To Storo.
A WEEK AT THE GARIBALDIAN HEAD-QUARTERS.
(Notes from an Excursion to the Italian Tyrol, in July, 1866).
July 20: We start from Brescia about midday: the road at first is dustyand hot, but not without scenes worth remembering; and we enjoy a grand view of Lake Garda from the hill above Salo. Leaving the Lake we pass through Preseglie and Vobano; and at a later hour we stop at Vestone, which is cool and inviting, and more than half-way to head-quarters.
Here we refresh ourselves in the square.andhere we begin more closely to come in contact with the interest of the campaign; for our attention is attracted by balf-a-dozenor more Garibaldians in and around the Albergo, whose pale and exhausted faces seem those of men going to the rear, as sick or wounded, but who, we find to our surprise, are on their way to the front. They are men just dismissed from the hospital in Brescia, to which wounds and sickness had sent them. Convalescent but not restored to vigour, healed but still enfeebled, they are pushing on to rejoin their regiments. D soon
engages them in an animated conversation. They might have been forwarded in waggons, and spared the fatigue of a long march beneath a sun, which we, though driving, found extremely trying: but there had been some neglect or mistake, and, sooner than wait for conveyances, these men had shouldered their muskets and knapsacks, and taken patiently to the road. This does not look like "shirking " or " skulking." And these are not your untried recruits, inexperienced, and enthusiastic, proud of their right to the red shirt, and singing through the streets of Naples or Florence. These are men who have lasted the monotonous fatigue of a campaign, and heard the whiz of shot fired in earnest—nay, more, who have endured wounds and sickness, and known the inside of the hospital. Yet, spent and enfeebled, their only
thought is " forward" again. However, D
goes off to the Syndic, and soon coming back, half urges, half orders the men to wait for the conveyance which the said authority has promised shall be forthcoming.
We take to our carriage, and continue to follow the course of the rapid, sonorous, and romantic Chiese. We are already among the hills, the extreme spurs of the Tyrolese Alps; and these descending shades veil the fresh and charming scenery that begins to surround us. Some of us are musical, and the " Hymne de Guerre" resounds through the night, followed up by other songs, one of the most successful of which is a set of stanzas, sung to "Suono la Tromba." But in time silence ensues, and we travel on in that semi-conscious state which is neither sleep nor waking. A sudden stop
wakes me up with a start. What is it? Where are we now? I am conscious of something leaden-coloured and vague, dimly towering on the right—mysterious enough in itself, but rendered still more so by two dim, muffled figures, which stand motionless at its base. Other figures rise out of the darkness, and one comes forward. Now I can make out a large white building, the dark, lofty door of which faces the road: two sentinels, in their cloaks or blankets, stand leaning on their muskets; the vast door seems to rise behind them ad libitum.
"Tedeschi," says R , in answer to
my inquiries, "Prigioniere."
The place is Anfo; this is the churcb, and in it are some two hundred Austrian prisoners under guard, the garrison, we understand, of the small fort Ampola, which surrendered'yesterday.
On again. Once more we are challenged by a sentry, and roused to consciousness by the sudden stopping of the carriage. The moon is now up; but this time it is at first still more difficult to comprehend "the situation;" for on the left white lines go zigzagging up some almost perpendicular ascent. On the right a dazzling mass of silver seems to hang suspended below, and to ripple up under the very wheels of the carriage; while, in the distance, its lustrous sheen meets blackness thick and palpable, against which a red spark gleams, but whether a star, just topping the far horizon, or some less celestial beam within arm's-length, defies conjecture.
"Rocca d'Anfo," murmurs R , and the
name and its associations interpret the scene around.
This above is Anfo's rock, with its miniature Gibraltar; that below Lake Idro, secluded, mountain-locked. The greater part of its surface the moon turns into silver, giving to the shadows of the mountains on the opposite shore a solid, tangible blackness, in the midst of which burns the vigilant red light.
"Cannoniere," suggests R , blinking
drowsily at the far-off gleam—the light of a gunboat out on the lake.
A weird silence seems to reign over these silent waters, these silent rocks. You must throw back your head till your neck aches before the eye can catch the fort itself, in which those ascending, winding walls culminate. Embrasures and bastions, on a somewhat small scale, but apparently of solid masonry, cling to and mingle with the cliffs. But now all is dim and unsubstantial, ghost-like whiteness, ghostlike shadows. A sentry seems to move along one overhanging terrace; but one ongs for the flash of a bayonet or the boom of a gun; or, better still, the garish, but "business" eye of day to tell us this is real. But, as morning dawned, wouhl not these aerial walls, those moonlit waters fade too? We seem to gaze upon them on sufferance, and in involuntary tilence. A word too loud, and all will vanish like the Lurley water-nymph, or a broken dream. All is so still, so lonely, so white! Haunted mountains, an elfin castle, an enchanted lake!
Oh! to be here, and nor to be an artist; to have nu faculty of reproducing in striking outlines and vivid colours the strange life all around! And yet, here the artist might long nnder, with delighted eyes, before he could decide what to select, what to begin with, what to pass over; for here the picturesque reigns redundant and supreme. The " piece" is put on in perfection. Scenery, costumes, and characters are equally striking, equally harmonious. And how well this at 1. ast might be put on the ttage, this scene that I survey from a window of the little albergo, in which we have found narrow but sufficient quarters. Beneath is a square, irregular in shape, and not large, but very suitable for the main action of the piece. On the tall old bouses round it, the gables and huge oak beams have an Elizabethan look; but rude frescoes and carvings, on stone and wood, give them another character. There is a large old-fashioned fountain in one corner, with an immense round basin, into which splashes from a stone-pipe the clear, cold water that courses down from the cliffs. The back-ground is most appropriate. The principal church rises in the midst of a little piazza of its own, whose terraced wall overlooks the larger square; its old picturesque campanile rises high in air, and is seen against a still loftier range of precipitous rocks, which form the background of the whole scene. They are of great height, with a few trees here and there in their deep clifts: and half-way up, but still high above the town, is a grassy ledge or shelf, and on it one little chalet. From this ledge, not many days back, a body of Austrians were firing down into the town, till a party of volunteers climbed to a higher point and promptly dislodged them. The perspective and distance are equally effective, for the other end of the square rises rapidly, and narrows into a lung street that winds up round to the church, with so steep an ascent, that it is paved in successive levels, like long, low steps; but at present it has the appearance of being covered with a carpet, of red and of greyish blue; for about half a battalion of Garibaldians (part of the 7th, I think) are extended there in successive layers. They are momently expecting to march, and in the meantime lie so thick in the shade of the tall houses and walls, that you must pick your way through and over them with careful eye, and many an apologetic "Perdono!"
Round the square, and up against the houses, are stalls and extemporized booths of every kind; some occupied by camp-followers, others by natives of the country. Here, across a few rough planks, a Tyrolese is selling pane and biseto, each as brown as bis own sunburnt features. Next to him another shouts at intervals "Cafe! cafe! calda!" He has quite an elaborate set-out: metal urn, portable fire, and china, magnificent to behold. Milk he has not, but a row of longnecked bottles contains rum and cognac, as well as various spirits peculiar to the country. From one of these he will pour your choice, with great urbanity, into your cup of excellent coffee, &c, all for dub soldi (one penny). Close by a wide open door gives a view of some shed or coachhouse, now occupied by two mighty casks, one of which has its stains dyed with ruby red streaks. The proprietor does not fail to advertise Ins liquor: a voice from within shouts, "Vino buono et birra" (wine from Asti and beer from Chiavenna). Hard-by is a stall covered with little piles "of stationery (note-paper, envelopes, sealing-wax, ink, pencils, Sic), most extensively patronized, too, for the Garibaldian is a letter-writing animal; and you may see him at every corner, in and out of the houses, inditing his private despatches to those at home. Half-round the corner you can get eggs, sardines, sausages, cheese, butter, potatoes; and on that same corner, a few feet above this stall, "Piazza Garibaldi," in large letters, covers, but not completely, the name which the square was known by under the Austrian rule. But these sutlers are, after all, mere supernumeraries. Soldiers are, of course, all about the place. The " Camicha rossa" abounds in single dots, or in groups; blue volunteer-bersagliere, now and then a "Cantiniere," in her scarlet jacket and bright blue skirt; officers' horses held by peasants, some in fustian, some in their national costume—most picturesque, and now, alas I most rarely seen.
Waggons frequently pass through the square, some marked "Treno borghese," and "Voluntari Italiani;" and laden, some with loaves, cheeses, or blankets, others with biscuits, winekegs, sacks of flour, or other commissariat properties. Some are drawn by mules, others by bullocks, large, handsome, and white, or what is sometimes called cream-coloured. The passage of these carts is often attended with unbounded excitement and ejaculation; for the streets are narrow, the square crowded, the oxen sometimes fond of backing, and, if expostulated with too vehemently, apt to kneel down, and finally to lie at full-length; then, of course, there is a block, and a motley train accumulates behind, till the shouts of "Avanti" grow more and more frenzied, and a hundred epithets of fell purport, but euphonious sound, are poured upon the maledetta bestia, who calmly reclines beneath his yoke, having probably dragged down his yoke-fellow with him. But more leading characters cross the scene at times; mounted officers on their way to the "Quartier-generale," which is just out of sight in the main street, or a party of Guides, whose chargers are in fine condition, and apparently most carefully groomed. And hark! bugles are eounding: the dormant battalion is pouring down from the narrow, steep street, with their bnglers in front, and at quick step they file out on their way to the front. And now, on this varied scene, it is only necessary that the "central interest" should appear, and render it complete. But the "General" is at the outposts; he drove off at four this morning. Anxiously does the heart beat for the moment when a carriage, accompanied by a slender staff and unassuming escort, shall cross the square, and for some brief moments present to our eyes the soldier of a thousand fights—the kingdom-maker of our day—the old sea-lion, wounded, patient, unsubdued!
III.—Under The Chestnut And
Something like the above is the picture seen from this window. Every detail it is useless to introduce, superfluous to touch in every feature; but leave the square, wander through the intricate streets; or, better still, quit the town altogether, and walk down the homeward road to the bridge. The streets were picturesque, but the sylvan beauty of the encampment gives a charm still greater to the fields. From Storo a level country extends to the river, on the further side of which green slopes of pasture and orchard stretch rapidly upward, till they meet, and are bounded by a range of rocks similar to the masses which overhang Storo.
The ground along the bank is open green sward, with scattered oaks and chestnut: the rest is gardens, orchards, vineyards, in continuous succession, unbroken by fences or by walls. Everywhere are the bivouacs of the volunteers. Tents, wigwams, and huts extend far and wide, beneath the shade of the vines, the acacias, and the fruit-trees. On either side the road or lanes they branch off in picturesque streets, till lost to the eye amidst the distant stems and foliage. They line the river-banks, and sprinkle the opposite slopes, till the blue smoke of their fires is seen rising against the lighter grey of the rocks. Rows of piled muskets alternate with the tents. Here and there long, narrow fires crackle beneath rows of big cauldrons, tended by sedulous red shirts; another, with fixed bayonet, stands sentry over a pyramid of loaves, cheeses, and huge dusky biscuits. Near the fires is carried on abundant chopping of herbs or meat, washiug of vegetables, and plucking of fowls. Wine is there in casks, sometimes drawn off into open tubs. By these often sits a vivandiere, sometimes serving out the drink, sometimes stitching at red shirts or blue. Hundreds of bullocks, mules, and horses are tethered beneath the trees, or graze in the more open meadows,
A deep hum pervades the air, and mingles with the rumbling and stir of the town. From this sometimes a bugle sounds, and is echoed back from the hills; or you hear the clock from the old campanile which overlooks the whole. It is difficult to associate the mingled reposed animation of this scene with the idea of battle, the din of the onslaught, with wounds and suffering! It is the sunny side of war; for, though there are pictures of the Salvator Rosa type, and spots everywhere where the fiercer mood of the river, as it dashes between horrent crags and beneath dark precipices, and wild figures, too, whose matted locks, fierce eyes, and swarthy faces blackened with powder almost suggest the outlawed bandit—yet the prevailing one is oneof serene beauty and picturesque enjoyment. It has the air of some mighty pic-nic, with the abandon and wildness of a gipsy encampment; but it is a pic-nic on the scale of a campaign— a gipsy settlement, with the numbers and material of an army. Come here at early dawn, when the sleepers are rising in hundreds from their blankets and straw, and rolling up their cloaks in the dewy morning air; or, rather wander here beneath this moon, beneath the soft Italian night, that has all the cool freshness of the Tyrol climate. It is the same scene that we saw, not two hours since; yet not the same, for now the moonlight's potent spell is gilding even squalor with beauty, and deepening toe picturesque into the romantic. At regular intervals gleam the bayonets of the sentries; here is a mounted guide, his grey cloak almost envelopes rider and steed in its ample folds; he sits silent, motionless, statuesque; the moon's rays shine on his charger's arching neck and sleek sides. Near are a group of his comrades' horses; all round you hear the jingle of the bells on the mules, and occasionally a shrill neigh sounds far and wide. Mellowed by distance a loud chorus is borne from some recumbent group of soldiers; nearer, a guitar is struck, and a plaintive song, which it accompanies, silences and soothes the listening bivouacs.
It is a moment for fancies fresh and free as these tender leaves and wreathed sprays overhead, which chequer the magic silver light on the turf beneath: slight as they are, they screen thee better than even yonder icy ranges from our mighty, toiling, nineteenth century! The minnesinger roams once more on his Swabian hills, the troubadour beneath the vines of Provence. The free lance gleams again! Sire Tristan carouses with his routier captors; Raymond and De Foix breathe anew, and love and fight, and sing!
Dreams are fair, but they are short. It is well: yet
'Ef; ovtipariiiv oirap,
Day is greater than night, yet even dreams are sometimes true.
IV.—Signs Of Victory.-'
The sound of music below made me think that another column was marching out; but on going into the equare I found that one of the volunteer bands had turned out to play there for an hour. They were surroonded by a throng of red shirts, enjoying the music; this, of its kind, was particularly good, the band, nearly thirty strong, played with the utmost rigour and animation. "Viola les signes de rictoire," said R—. I don't know whether the band had really been ordered to play in honour of the morning's repulse of the "Tedeschi," but it was clear that the men connected the two in their minds. By this time the day's work was on every tongue. Men Mid officers were coming in every moment, who hid been engaged, enquiries for friends and excited exclamations of grief or exultation mingled with the notes of cornet and bugle. Parties had been told off to assist in conveying the rounded, and the thought that some hundreds of" feriti" were even now on their way from the front, and that scores lay, not yet cold, but never to hear drum or bugle again, made the heart vibrate to the joyous strains with a somewhat deeper throb than is generally excited by marches or dance tunes. But there are few who do not know that grief and exultation, which must too often meet and jarr, can sometimes harmonize and blend in one. The soldier at all events soon learns it. Many a man in that crowd might be heard to mutter during the most jubilant cadence, "Povero Giovanni 1" or "Povero Francesco 1" while "Medio de fonte" leporum," something seems to surge upward, with a choking sensation from the very bottom of the heart. But there was no doubt that, if our loss had been severe, the attack had been thoroughly repulsed, and the enemy driven back even beyond their own outposts; so triumph was the order of the day. As the old walls rang to a popular tune some of the red shirts began to extemporize a waltz, dancing with each other, every couple keeping perfect time, to the old trois temps. This was an infectious sort of proceeding, couple after couple was funned, and drifted away from the central crowd, and the more scattered groups down the main street and up the narrow winding Strada di Chiesa, set to. Everywhere the eye met revolving red shirts; it was taken up by the troops on the small square above, in front of the church, till the great fountain, the tall picturesque campanile, the town's quaint gables, tnd even the huge rocks that rose over all, seemed to take part in the dance.
It is the 21st, and the battle of Tiano (or of Beccezza) has been raging from dawn till afternoon; but all was over two hours since. Tomorrow morning we 6hall drive on to Tiano, to visit the scene of the fight.
V.—Further " Signs."
The music has ceased, the crowd generally dispersed, and most of the men bare gone to
their quarters; still the squares and streets are anything but deserted; but a changed spirit rules the hour; for see, as the sun sinks lower and lower, these white-canopied waggons come rolling in. "Feriti I" they are indeed the ambulances with wounded. From now till dark and after dark they come in at intervals : some stop at houses with sentries at the door, some pass through the town, or down the Brescia road. Their arrival creates no sensation ; there has been too much fighting during the last month for that; yet what is going on is not altogether suggestive of insensibility. I saw at every step eager-looking men gaze into the waggons—sometimes mounting the steps, sometimes taking advantage of the frequent halts which the carriages made. I heard their passionate greetings when they found a comrade among the pale occupants, their anxious enquiries, their lingering farewells. I saw others, some, apparently, themselves with slight wounds, alleviating the roughness of the progress by their exertions, for the ambulances jolted terribly over the paved streets. Their conductors surrounded them, and lifting or holding back, softened and broke the constant jolts that occurred. "Adagio 1 adagio!" they cried, laying hold of the spokes of the wheels, or the sides of the ambulance, and sometimes literally carrying it over the rough places.
The men were supported or lifted from the ambulance at the hospitals with almost womanly tenderness. It was impossible not to feel something more than respect for these men, some of them so unkempt and disguised by rough camp life, yet so tender and solicitous : it was a respect mingled with the conviction—" these are brave men." More too, that ready courtesy and politeness, which we are perhaps too apt to contrast with British bluffness or reserve, is, after all, not mere "superficies;" it has, after all, a core of its own—a background of Stirling humanity. It would have been mere useless officiousness to offer assistance, none was wanted. A certain class of wounds seem to have been kept at Tiano; here at least we see few of the more ghastly description—little of that rending and mangling which result from shell and round shot. The more deadly wounds often make the least external show. Men sit up or limp away whose heads, arms, and feet are swathed in discoloured bandages; these look somewhat ghastly, but seem generally cheerful and unsubdued. But others are lifted out, sometimes moaning, more often silent, whose hurts you cannot readily discover. Many of these have had their uniforms more or less stripped off by the surgeon, and are wrapped in cloaks and blankets. One I saw, near the centre of whose bare chest was a small red spot: he must have been shot right through the lungs, and a painful catching gasp seemed to say that he was drawing the few last breaths of the life he had given for Italy.