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course, under arms. In this situation struck, our baggage packed up on the we remained till the sun arose, when, mules, and ourselves in motion tomarching to the right, we halted not wards the high road. Of course, we till we reached a rising ground in front flattered ourselves that we were desof the village of Badarre, and imme- tined to return to those rural billets, diately in rear of the church of Ar- which, by dint of mechanical skill and canques. When we set out the sky manual lábbur, we had made so snug; was cloudy, and the air cold, but no but there we were disappointed. rain had fallen. We had hardly got We traversed, almost step by step, to our station, however, when a heavy the same ground over which we had shower descended, which, but for the travelled in the course of the late mi. opportune arrival of our tents, would litary operations, till we reached the have speedily placed it out of our identical green fields in which it had power to experience any degree of bo- been our lot to bivouac with so little dily comfort for the next twenty-four comfort, on the 10th of the preceding hours. Under these circumstances, November. I believe I have already the tents, which a few weeks ago we mentioned, if not I may state here, had regarded with horror, were now that adjoining to these fields were se esteemed dwellings fit for princes to veral farm-houses ; one of them, ininhabit, whilst the opportunity which deed, of very respectable size and aptheir shelter afforded, of disencumber- pearance, but the rest hardly elevated ing ourselves of our apparel, was hail- above the rank of cottages. In a maned as a real blessing. No man who sion of the latter description in that has not worn his garments for five or same mansion, indeed, where I and a six days on end, cau conceive the luxe host of more active animals had forury of undressing; and above all, the merly contended for the possession of feeling of absolute enjoyment which a bed, were Grabam, myself, and our follows the pulling off of his boots. men stationed ; nor can I say, though
As the rain continued during the the place was certainly in better plight whole of the day, little inducement than when last I beheld it, that we was held out to wander abroad. On were particularly delighted with our the contrary, I perfectly recollect, that, abode. for the first time in our lives, we suc- The room allotted to us was an ceeded in lighting a fire in our tent, apartment on the ground-floor. It and escaped the inconvenience of smoke was furnished with a fire-place, which by lying flat upon the ground; and had been built by the corps that prethat the entire day was consumed in ceded us, and among the members of eating, drinking, smoking, conversing, which it was very evident that there and sleeping. No doubt, my unwar- existed no one possessing an equal skill like readers will exclaim that the hours in masonry with ourselves. "It smothus spent, were spent unprofitably; ked abominably. In the construction but I cannot, even now, think so, in- of their window, our predecessors had, asmuch as they were hours of great however, been more fortunately their enjoyment.
oiled paper holding out against the We were not without serious ap- wind and rain with much obstinacy : prehension that circumstances had oc- but the quarters were, on the whole, excurred which would compel Lord Wel- ceedingly comfortless, especially when lington to keep us, during the remain contrasted, as it was impossible not to der of the winter, under canvass, when contrast them, with those which we the better half of the day following had so lately fitted up. Nevertheless, had passed over, and no order arrived we were too happy in finding ourselves for our return into quarters. Nor once more under shelter of a roof, to were these feelings of alarm diminish waste many repining thoughts upon ed, by witnessing the march of the unavoidable evils; and we had the sawhole of the 5th division through our tisfaction to know that our abode here encampment, confessedly on their way would be of no longer continuance to comfortable cantonments. As the than the duration of the winter; if, event proved, however, our dread was indeed, it continued so long. perfectly
groundless, for, about an hour It is an old and a just observation, and a half after noon, we too received that the term comfort is one of relaorders; two o'clock saw our tents tive, rather than of direct signification.
To the truth of this saying we were he dwelt, lying upon the sea-shore, and
and as any very lengthened exposure
relate in regular detail, the occurrences sutler or muleteer had taken up his of each day, from the 21st of Decem- abode there; the cavalry were all ber, 1813, when we returned to our withdrahe sight of the original inhacantonments, to the 21 of January, bitants 1 purselv bad returned. The 1814, when we again quitted them. reader return tbelieve that I looked Enough is done, when I state in few round, dy dint of part of my journey, words, that the ordinary resources with pecubour, we list, for the fields against ennui, that is to say, shooting, across while were dmyself skirmishcourcing, and even fishing, were adopt- ed; more esed. a) y for a friendly ed; and that the evenings were spent, hedge, the intervention of a stout stake for the most part, in convivial parties, in which had saved my better arm; and to the inordinate consumption of se- that I did not pass the churchyard, gars, wine, and sometimes of patience. without dismounting to pay a visit Nor were other, and more rational to the grave of my former comrades. employments wanting. On more than Neither was I unmindful of the chaone occasion I visited St Jean de Luz, teau, in which, to my no small surattended high mass, and the theatre; prise, I had found a letter from my and once I rode as far to the rear as father; and the change wrought in it, Irun. The effect of the latter ride since last I beheld it, gave me a more upon myself, was vivid at the time; perfect idea of the disastrous effects of and may perhaps be worth conveying war, than any other object upon which to others.
I had yet looked. The distance from our present can- When a man of peaceable habits, tonments to the town of Irun might -one, for example, who has spent his amount to sixteen or eighteen miles. whole life in this favoured country, Over the whole of that country, be- under the shelter of his own sacred tween the two extreme points, the tide roof,-reads of war, and the miseries of war, it will be recollected, had attendant upon war, his thoughts inswept; not boisterously, but with variably turn to scenes of outrage and comparative harmlessness, -as when rapine, in which soldiers are the acone army rapidly retreats, and another tors, and to which the hurry and exrapidly follows,—but slowly and ruin- citement of battle give rise. I mean ously, every foot of ground having not to say that a battle is ever fought been obstinately contested, and hence without bringing havoc upon the face every fold, garden, and dwelling, ha- of that particular spot of earth, which ving been exposed to the ravages in. chances to support it. But the misseparable from the progress of hostili, chief done by both contending armies, ties. The spectacle which presented to the buildings and property of the itself on each side of the road, was ac- inhabitants, is a mere nothing, when cordingly distressing in the extreme; compared to that which the followers the houses and hovels were everywhere of a successful army work. These in ruins, the inclosures and cultivated wretches tread in the steps of the armfields were all laid waste and desolate, ed force, with the fidelity and haste of whilst the road itself was strewed with kites and vultures. No sooner is a the carcases of oxen, mules, horses, battle won, and the troops pushed forand other animals, which had drop- ward, than they spread themselves ped down from fatigue, and died upon over the entire territory gained ; and their march. I was particularly struck all which had been spared by those, with the aspect of things in and about in whom an act of plunder, if excusathe town of Urogne. Of the works ble at all, might most readily be exon the heights above it, so carefully cused, is immediately laid waste. The and so skilfully erected by Marshal chateau of which I am speaking, for Soult, some had already begun to yield example, and which I had left perto the destructive operations of the fectly entire, fully furnished, and in elements, and others had been wan- good order, was now one heap of ruins. tonly demolished by the followers of Not a chair or a table remained ; not. the camp; whilst, in the town itself, a volume of all the library so lately where so lately was heard the roar of examined by me, existed; nay, it was cannon, and the rattle of musketry, evident from the blackened state of the most perfect silence prevailed. It the walls, and the dilapidation of the was wholly tenantless ; not even a ceilings, that fire had been wantonly
applied to complete the devastation tribute of a regret as unavailing as, I which avarice had begun. To say fear, it was transitory: the truth, I could not but regret at By and by I reached the brow of the the moment, that I had not helped last height on the French border, and myself to a little more of Monsieur the Bidaossa once more lay beneath Briguette's property, than the Spanish us. The day on which my present exGrammar already advertised for re- cursion was made, chanced to be one demption.
of the few lovely days with which, Having cleared Urogne, and passed during that severe winter, we were through the remains of the barricade favoured. The air was frosty, but not which I had assisted in carrying on intensely so; the sky was blue and the tenth of the last month, I soon cloudless, and the sun shone out with arrived at the site of the village of a degree of warmth, which cheered, which I have formerly taken notice, as without producing languor or wearibeing peopled and furnished with ness. High up, the mountains which shops and other places of accommoda- overhang the river were covered with tion, by sutlers and adventurers. The snow, which sparkled in the sunhuts, or cottages, still stood, though beams, and contrasted beautifully they were all unroofed, and many of with the sombre hue of the leafless them otherwise in ruins; but the sign groves beneath, whilst the stream itof the “ Jolly Soldier” had disappear- self flowed on as brightly and as plaed. Like other incitements to folly, if cidly as if it had never witnessed a not to absolute vice, it had followed more desperate struggle than that the tract of the multitude. I marked, which the fisherman maintains with a too, as I proceeded, the bleak hill-side trout of extraordinary agility and dion which our tents had so long con- mensions. Fain would I have persuatended with the winds of heaven ; and ded myself that I was quietly travelI could not help thinking, how many ling in a land of peace, but there were of those who had found shelter be too many proofs of the contrary ever neath their canvass, were now sleeping and anon presented, to permit the deupon the bosom of mother-earth; of lusion to keep itself for one moment course, I paid to their memories the in the mind.
The stone bridge which was wont intimately connected the one with the to connect the two banks of the Bida- other, attracted my attention almost at ossa, and which the French, after their the same moment. A body of Spanish evacuation of the Spanish territory, had cavalry, which appeared to have passed destroyed, was not, I found, repaired, the river at one of the fords a little highbut a temporary bridge of pontoons er up, presented themselves as they rendered the stream passable, without wound up a steep by-path which coma subjecting the traveller to the neces- municated with the high road just besity of fording. A party of artificers side the old tete-du-pont. They were were, moreover, at work, renewing the Guerillas, and were consequently clotharches which had been broken down, ed, armed, and mounted, in a manner whilst a new tete-du-pont on the oppo- the least uniform that can well be imasite side from the old one, was already gined. Of the men, some were arrayed erected, to be turned to account in ingreenjackets, with slouched hats, and case of any unlooked-for reverse of long feathers; others in blue, helmetfortune, and consequent retreat be- ed like our yeomanry, or artillery-driyond the frontier. I observed, too, vers, whilst not a few wore cuirasses that the whole front of the pass, be- and brazen head-pieces, such as they yond the river, was blocked up with had probably plundered from their redoubts, batteries, and breast-works, slaughtered enemies. But, notwithand that Lord Wellington, though standing this absence of uniformity in pressing forward with Victory in his dress, the general appearance of these train, was not unmindful of the fickle- troopers was exceedingly imposing. ness of the blind goddess.
They were, on the whole, well mountAs I was crossing the pontoon bridge, ed, and they marched in that sort of two objects, very different in kind, but loose and independent manner, which, without indicating the existence of any it appeared, behaved so badly in the discipline amongst them, bespoke no action of the ninth of November, that want of self-confidence in individuals. Lord Wellington was induced to orTheir whole appearance, indeed, for der them to the rear in disgrace ; and they could not exceed sixty or eighty they had remained in quarters in Irun men, reminded me forciblyof atroop of and the neighbourhood, till on the day bandits; and the resemblance was not preceding my arrival, when they were the less striking, that they moved to again permitted to join the army. By the sound, not of trumpets or other whom they were commanded on the martial music, but of their own voices. day of their shame, I have totally forThey were singing a wild air as they goiten; nor will I cast a slur upon the passed, in which sometimes one chant- reputation of any general officer, by ed by himself, then two or three chi, naming one at random. med in, and, by and by, the whole Notwithstanding the departure of squadron joined in a very musical and so great a multitude, I found the place spirited chorus.
far from deserted either by military or The other object which divided my civil inhabitants. A garrison of two attention with these bold-looking, but or three thousand soldiers was still lawless warriors, was about half
a do- there; a corps, I believe, of militia, or zen dead bodies, which the flow of the national guards; whilst few of the tide brought at this moment in con- houses were unoccupied, though whetact with the pontoons. They were ther by their rightful occupants.or quite naked, bleached perfectly white, not, I take it not upon me to deterand so far had yielded to the operation mine. One thing, however, I perof decay, that they floated like rags of fectly recollect, and that is, the exlinen on the surface of the water. Per- treme incivility and absence of all hoshaps these were some of our own men pitality which distinguished them. who had fallen in the passage of the Whether it was that the troops so river upwards of eight weeks ago; or long, quartered amongst them had perhaps they were the bodies of such of filled them with hatred of my counthe French soldiers as had perished in trymen, or whether that jealousy their retreat after one of Soult's despe, which the Spanish people have unirate, but fruitless efforts, to relieve formly felt, and which, in spite of the garrison in St Sebastian's. Who,or all that Lord Nugent and Sir Robert what they were, I had no means of Wilson may assert to the contrary, ascertaining, nor was it of much con- they feel, even now, towards the Engsequence; to whatever nation they had lish, was, of its own accord, beginonce belonged, they were now food for ning to gather strength, I cannot tell; the fishes, and to the fishes they were but I well remember that it was with left, no one dreaming that it was re, some difficulty I persuaded the keepquisite to pull them to land, or to rob er of an inn to put up my own and one set of reptiles of their prey only to my servant's horses in his stable; feed another.
and with still greater difficulty that Such is a summary of the events I could prevail upon him to dress an which befell me in a morning's ride omelet for my dinner. Nor was this from the cantonments at Gauthory, to all; my journey, be it known, had the town of Irun. After crossing the been undertaken not from curiosity river, my progress was direct, and of alone, but in the hope of laying in a little interest. I journeyed, indeed, stock of coffee, cheese, tea, &c., at a amid scenes all of them familiar, and cheap rate. But every effort to obtain therefore, in some degree, having a these was fruitless, the merchants elaim upon my own notice ; but I nei- sulkily refusing to deal with me, except ther saw nor met with any object worth on the most exorbitant terms. I was describing to my reader. It was a lit- not sorry, under such circumstances, tle past the hour of noon, when my when, having finished my omelet, and horse's hoofs clanked upon the pave- baited and rested my horses, I turned ment of Irun..
my back upon Irun, and took once I found that city just recovering more a direction towards the front. from the bustle which the departure I would lay before my readers a deof a corps of twenty thousand Spa- tail of another excursion executed on nish infantry may be supposed to have Christmas-day, to St Jean de Luz, produced. This vast body of men had, were I not fully aware that there are