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reliefs were daily ferried over, were walls; some with the cross upon their taken. Not a shot was fired. The shields, and their legs laid athwart, to French, trusting to the storm for pro- show that they had served in Palestection, had called in their videttes, tine, or belonged to the order of the having only one on duty at the door Sepulchre; and others in the same anof the house, and he found his arms cient costume of chain armour. But pinioned, and himself secured, ere the whether they were worthy of admiraroar of the tempest had permitted him tion, as specimens of the art of sculpto detect the sound of approaching ture, I cannot now take it upon me to steps. The unfortunate subaltern who declare. I remarked, however, that commanded, sent in a few days after the devices on the shields of most of for his baggage ; but the reply was, these warriors, and the crests upon that the general would forward to him their helmets, resembled the coat and a halter, as the only indulgence which crest which were emblazoned over the he merited.

gateway of the chateau ; and hence I But to return to my own personal concluded that they were the effigies narrative. After the adventure of the of the former lords of the castle, and tea, nothing particular occurred whilst that the family which owned it must I continued in charge of the post. As have been at one period of some consoon as darkness had fairly set in, I sequence. proposed, in obedience to my orders, It was not, however, in examining to withdraw; and I carried my design ese buildings alone that I found into execution without any molesta- amusement for my hours of idletion on the part of the enemy. It was, From the church-yard, as I however, their custom to take posses- have already stated, the view is at sion of the hill as soon as the British all times magnificent, and it was rentroops abandoned it; and hence I had dered doubly so to-day by the movenot proceeded above half way across ments of our army. The tide of war the ravine, when I heard the voices seemed to have taken a sudden turn; of a French detachment, which must and the numerous corps which had so have marched into the court-yard of lately defiled towards the right could the house almost at the very moment now be seen retracing their steps, and when I and my men marched out of deploying towards the left. It was it. But they made no attempt to an- a magnificent spectacle. From the noy us, and we rejoined the corps high ground on which I stood I could from which we had been detached, in see very nearly to the two extreme perfect safety.

points of the position; and the effect The next day was spent in a state produced by the marching of nearly of rest in the chateau of Arcanques. 120,000 men, may be more easily imaIt is a fine old pile, and stands at the gined than described. The roads of foot of the little eminence on which communication ran, for the most part, the church is built. Like many man- in the rear of Arcanques. They were sions in England of the date of Queen all crowded-cavalry, infantry, and Elizabeth or Henry VIII., it is sure artillery, were moving ; some columns rounded by a high wall ; within which marching in eschellon, others pausing, is a paved court, leading up to the from time to time, as if to watch some main entrance. But it, too, like all object in their front; whilst, ever and the buildings near, bore ample testi

anon, a grove, or wood, would receive mony to the merciless operation of an armed mass into its bosom, and war, in its crumbling masonry and then seem to be on fire, from the flashblackened timbers. There was a grove ing of the sun upon the bayonets. of venerable old firs round it, from Happily for me it was a day of bright, which all the late firing had not en- sun-shine, consequently every object tirely expelled a collection of rooks. looked to advantage; nor, I suspect,

of the church I have a less perfect have many of our oldest soldiers berecollection than I have of the cha- held a more striking panorama than teau. I remember, indeed, that its the combination of the objects around situation was highly striking, and that me this day produced. the view from the church-yard was of I stood and watched with intense no ordinary beauty. I recollect, like, interest the shifting scene, till it grawise, several statues of knights and dually settled down into one of quiet. ladies reposing in niches round the The various brigades, as I afterwards learned, were only returning from the assumed. It suited not the policy of point towards which the appearance of

our gallant leader, to expose his troops danger had hurried them, and now wantonly to the miseries of a winter proceeded to establish themselves once campaign, and hence rest and shelter more in their cantonments. The were again the order of the day. But French general, either awed by the in these the corps to which I was atstate of preparedness in which he tached had as yet no participation, found us, or satisfied with having call- our march being directed, on the foled us for a few days into the field lowing morning, to the vicinity of Fort at this inclement season, laid aside Charlotte, where the charge of the the threatening attitude which he had picquets was once more assigned to us.

CHAP. XVII.

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The transactions of the three days, it appeared, had been placed in our from the 8th to the 11th of January, former apartments; and we were,

in resembled so completely, in all parti- consequence, commanded to house ourculars, the transactions of other days, selves in the village of Bedart. I mean during which it fell to our lot to keep not to assert that the order was receiguard beside the Mayor's house, that ved with any degree of dissatisfaction ; I will not try the patience of my read. but feeling as at that moment we er by narrating them at length. He did, it was, in truth, a matter of perwill accordingly take it for granted, fect indifference where we were stathat the ordinary routine of watching tioned, provided only we had a roof and labour was gone through ; that no over our heads, and an opportunity attempt was made, on the part of the was granted of resting from our las enemy, to surprise or harass us; and bours. that, with the exception of a little suf- The village of Bedart is built upon fering from extreme cold, and the an eminence, immediately in rear of want of a moderate proportion of sleep, the large common on which the ad.. we had no cause to complain of our vanced brigade lay encamped. It condestiny. When we first came to our sists of about thirty houses, some of ground, we found the redoubt in a them of a tolerable size, but the mastate of considerable forwardness ; jority were cottages. Into one of the quite defensible, indeed, in case of largest my friend and myself were emergency; and we left it on the last fortunate enough to be ushered ; and of the month mentioned above, even as we found chimneys and windows more perfect, and capable of contain- already formed, the former permitting ing at least a thousand men as its gar- us to keep fires alight without the atrison. It was not, however, with any tendant misery of smoke, and the lata feeling of regret that we beheld a bri- ter proof against the weather, we singade of guards approaching our en- cerely congratulated ourselves on our campment, about two hours after noon, change of abode. Nor was it only on on the 11th, nor did we experience the account of the superiority of these slightest humiliation in surrendering over our former quarters, that we reto them our tents, our working tools, joiced in this migration. The country and the post of honour.

around proved to be better stocked Now, then, we looked forward, not with game, especially with hares, than only with resignation, but with real any which we had yet inhabited ; and satisfaction, to a peaceable sojourn of hence we continued, by the help of a few weeks at Gauthory. We had our guns and greyhounds, not only to never, it is true, greatly admired these spend the mornings very agreeably, cantonments, but the events of the but to keep our own and our friends' last eight or ten days had taught us tables well supplied. to set its true value upon a settled ha- I have mentioned, in a former chapbitation of any description ; and we ter, that the little town of Biaritz accordingly made up our minds to stands upon the sea-shore, and that it grumble no more. But just as the line was, at the period of which I now of march was beginning to form, in- write, regarded as a sort of neutral telligence reached us, that the place of ground by the French and English our abode was changed ; other troops, armies. Patroles from both did, in

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deed, occasionally reconnoitre it; the putting them up, as we were in the French, in particular, seldom permit- habit of doing, in the stable. ting a day to pass without a party of It was well for us that even this their light cavalry riding through it. slender precaution had been taken. Yet to visit Biaritz became now the We had sat about half an hour with favourite amusement amongst us, and our fair friends, and had just ceased the greater the risk run of being sa- to joke on the probability of our sufbred or taken, the more eager were we fering the fate of Sampson, and being to incur and to escape it. But there caught by the Philistines, when, on a was a cause for this, good reader, and pause in the conversation taking place, I will tell thee what it was.

our ears were saluted with the sound In peaceable times, Biaritz consti- of horses' hoofs trampling upon the tuted, as we learned from its inhabit- paved street. We sprang to the winants, a fashionable watering-place to dow, and our consternation may be the wealthy people of Bayonne and its guessed at, when we beheld eight or vicinity. It was, and no doubt is, now ten French hussars riding slowly from a remarkably pretty village, about as the lower end of the town. Whilst large, perhaps, as Sandgate, and built we were hesitating how to proceed, upon the very margin of the water. whether to remain quiet, with the The town itself lies in a sort of hollow, hope that the party might retire withbetween two green hills, which, to- out searching any of the houses, or wards the sea, end in broken cliffs. expose ourselves to a certain pursuit Its houses were neatly white-washed; by flying, we observed a rascal in the and, above all, it was, and I trust still garb of a seaman run up to the leader is, distinguished as the residence of of the patrole, and lay hold of his britwo or three handsome females. These dle, enter into conversation with him, ladies had about them all the gaiety and point to the abode of our new acand liveliness of Frenchwomen, with quaintances. This was hint enough. a good deal of the sentimentality of Without pausing to say farewell to our own fair countrywomen. To us our fair friends, who screamed, as if they were particularly pleasant, pro- they, and not we, had been in danger, fessing, I know not how

truly, to pre- we ran with all haste to the spot where fer our society to that of any persons our horses stood, and, springing into besides ; and we, of course, were far the saddle, applied the spur with very too gallant to deny them that gratifie little mercy to their flanks. We were, cation, because we risked our lives or none of us, particularly well mounted; our freedom at each visit. By no but either our pursuers had dismount

Two or three times in each ed to search the house, or they took at week the favoured few mounted their first a wrong direction, for we got so horses, and took the road to Biaritz, much the start of them before the from which, on more than one occa- chase fairly began, that we might have sion, they with difficulty returned. possibly escaped, had we been obliged

With the circumstances of one of to trust to our own steeds as far as the these escapes I may as well make my picquets. Of this, however, I am by reader acquainted. We were, for the no means certain, for they were unmost part, prudent enough to cast lots questionably gaining upon us, as a previous to our setting out, in order to sailor would say, hand over hand, decide on whom, among the party, the when, by great good fortune, a patrole ordinary task should devolve of watch- of our own cavalry made its appear. ing outside, to prevent a surprisal by, ance. Then, indeed, the tables were the enemy's cavalry, whilst his com- completely turned. The enemy pulled panions were more agreeably employed up, paused for an instant, and then within. So many visits had, however, took to their heels, whilst our troopbeen paid, without any alarm being ers, who had trotted forward as soon given, that one morning, having quite as they saw what was the matter, put ted Bedart fewer in number than usual, their horses to the speed, and followed. we rashly determined to run all risks, Whether they overtook their adversarather than that one of the three should ries, and what was the issue of the spend an hour so cheerlessly. The skirmish, if indeed any skirmish took only precaution which we took was to place, I cannot tell ; for though we picquet our horses, ready saddled and made an attempt to revenge ourselves bridled, at the garden gate, instead of upon our late pursuers, we soon found

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that we were distanced by both par- or tack-it was a desperate one. Great ties, and were, perforce, contented to God! I cannot even now think with, ride quietly home, congratulating each out shuddering of the consequence. other by the way on our hair-breadth The sail, caught by a sudden squall, deliverance. From that time forward was shivered into an hundred shreds; we were more prudent. Our visits down, down she went, before the surge; were, indeed, resumed, and with their and in five seconds she struck against usual frequency, but we took care not a reef; and in ten minutes more, split again to dispense with the watchful- into a thousand fragments. One gun ness of one, who, on the contrary, only was fired as a signal of distress ; took his station henceforth on the top but who could regard it? We posof one of the heights, from which he sessed no boats ; and had the contrary commanded a view of the surrounding been the case, this was a sea in which country, to the distance of several no boat could live. Powerless, theremiles. Though, therefore, we were fore, of aid, we could only stand and more thau once summoned to horse, gaze upon the wreck, till piece by piece because the enemy's dragoons were in it disappeared amid the raging of the sight, we generally contrived to mount waters. Not a soul survived to tell to in such time, as to preclude the neces- what country she belonged, or with sity of riding, as we had before ridden, what she was freighted ; and only one for life or liberty.

body was drifted to land. It was that By spending my mornings thus, or of a female, apparently about thirty in a determined pursuit of game, and years of age, genteelly dressed, and ramy evenings in such society as a corps ther elegantly formed ; to whom we of gentlemanly young men furnished, gave such sepulture as soldiers can nearly a fortnight passed over my head give, and such as they are themselves before I was aware that time could taught to expect. have made so much progress. It sel- The impression which that shipdom happens, however, that any pe- wreck made upon me was not only far riod of human existence, whether ex- more distressing, but far more permatensive or contracted, passes by with- nent, than the impression made by out some circumstance occurring cal- any other spectacle, of which, during culated to produce painful sensations. the course of a somewhat eventful life, I recollect, in the course of this fort- I have been the spectator. For sevenight, an event, which, though I was ral days I could think of hardly anyno farther concerned in it than as a thing besides, and at night my dreams spectator, made a deep and melancholy were constantly of drowning men, and impression on my mind. I allude to vessels beating upon rocks; so great is the loss of a large vessel, during a tre- the effect of desuetude even in painful mendous storm, on the rocks which subjects, and so appalling is death, run out into the sea off Bedart.

when he comes in a form in which we The precise day of the month on are unaccustomed to contemplate him. which this sad shipwreck occurred, I Of slaughtered men I have, of course, have forgotten ; but I recollect being beheld multitudes, as well when life sent for by my friend during the pro- had just departed from them, as when gress of one of the heaviest gales which corruption had set its seal upon their we had witnessed, to come and watch forms; but such sights never affected with him the fate of a brig, which was me, no, not even at the commencein evident distress, about a couple of ment of my military career, as I was miles from the land. The wind blew affected by the loss of that ship, though a perfect hurricane on shore; and hence she went to pieces at too great a disthe question was, would the ship suc- tance from the beach to permit more ceed in weathering the cape, or would than a very indistinct view of her pe. she strike? If she got once round the rishing inmates. Yet there is nothing headland, then her course to the har- in reality more terrible in drowning bour of Secoa was direct; if other- than in any other kind of death; and wise, nothing could save her. We a sailor will look upon it, I dare say, turned our glasses towards her in a with precisely the same degree of instate of feverish anxiety, and beheld difference which a soldier experiences, her bending under a single close-reefed when he contemplates the prospect of top-sail, and making lee-way at a fear- his own dissolution by fire or steel. ful rate, every moment. Presently a In the course of my narrative, I have sort of attempt was made to luff up, not made any regular attempt to conVOL. XVIII.

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vey to the mind of the reader a dis- tenths of my brethren in arms, who tinct notion of the peculiar costume write at all, commit the most egreand language which distinguish the gious blunders in those very portions natives of this country. Two motives of their books where they particularly have guided me in this. In the first aim at enlightening the reading pubplace, it is, now-a-days, known to all lic; and that the most matter-of-fact who are likely to peruse what I write, tour, spun out by the most matter-ofthat the inhabitants of those provinces, fact man or woman, who has visited which lie at the immediate base of the the seat of the late war since the cesPyrenees, are a race totally distinct, sation of hostilities, contains, and and essentially different in almost all must contain, more certain information respects, from either the Spaniards or touching the fire-side occupations of the French. They speak a language of the people, than all the “ Journals” or their own, namely Basque, which is “ Letters to Friends at Home," which said by those who profess to be ac- this age of book-making has produced. quainted with it, to resemble the Cel- Frankly confessing, therefore, that any tic more than any other known tougue. account which I could give of the The dress of the men consists usually manners and habits of the Basques, of a blue or brown jacket, of coarse would deserve as little respect as the woollen cloth ; of breeches or trowsers accounts already given by other miliof the same, with a waistcoat, fre- tary tourists, I am content to keep my quently of scarlet ; grey worsted stock. reader's attention rivetted—if, indeed, ings, and wooden shoes. On their that be practicable-upon my own litheads they wear a large flat bonnet, tle personal adventures, rather than precisely similar to the Lowland bon- amuse him with details, which might net, or scone, of Scotland. They are be true, as far as I know to the congenerally tall

, but thin; and they pre- trary, but which, in all probability,

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would be false. couth as need be fancied. The women, Proceed we, then, in our own way. again, equip themselves in many re- From the day of the shipwreck, up to spects as the fish-women of the good the 23d of the month, I have no recol. town of Newhaven are equipped with lection of any occurrence worthy to be this difference, that they seldom cover recorded. Advantage was taken, it is their heads at all, and, like the men, true, of that period of rest, to lay in a wear wooden clogs. They are a singular fresh stock of tea, and other luxuries, tribe, and appear to take a pride in with the means of accomplishing which those peculiarities, which keep them an opportune disbursement of one from coalescing with either of the na- month's pay supplied us; whilst an tions among whom they dwell. But ample market was established by cerall this, as I said before, is too ge- tain speculating traders, who followed nerally known, to render it impera- the progress of the army from post to tive upon me minutely to repeat it. post. Secoa was now the grand mart My second motive for keeping, in a for the procurement of necessaries, a great degree, silent on the head of considerable fleet of English vessels manners and customs, is one, the effi- having entered it; and hither I and ciency of which the reader will not, I my comrades resorted for the purchase dares ay, call in question; namely, the of such articles as habit, or caprice, want of opportunity to make myself prompted us to purchase. Then by sufficiently master of the subject, to coursing, shooting, and riding-someenter, con amore, upon it. No man times to Biaritz, and the house of our who journeys through a country, in pretty Frenchwomen-sometimes to the train of an invading army, ought St Jean de Luz, where, by the way, to pretend to an intimate acquaintance races were regularly established, and with the manners and customs of its occasionally to the cantonments of a inhabitants. Wherever foreign troops friend in another division of the army, swarm, the aborigines necessarily ap- we found our days steal insensibly, pear in false colours. The greater part and therefore agreeably, away ; nor of them, indeed, abandon their homes, was it without a feeling somewhat whilst such of them as remain are ser- akin to discontent that we saw ourvile and submissive through terror ; selves again setting forth, to take our nor do they ever display their real turn of outpost duty at the old station characters, at least in the presence of beside Fort Charloite. 2 stranger. Hence it is, that nine,

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