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find what I seek. Let the men be perfectly silent, and march them in line, so that at the word they may be ready to gallop forward, and surround the enemy. If the guerillas had the least notice of our approach, they might escape us yet, thanks to the darkness.”
Encouraged by the prospect of a speedy and successful termination to the expedition, the officer did as he was requested. They were now marching along the top of a mountain. The ground was level, or rather slightly descending, and covered with heath, which deadened the noise of the horses' feet. There was room enough for a squadron to have charged along in line.
“ Los veo !" said the guide, in a hollow whisper. “I see them! I saw a man pacing up and down. It is their sentry!"
“ You must have the eyes of a cat," returned the French officer. “It is as dark as pitch, and I can scarcely see my horse's head."
“There ! there!" cried the Spaniard. “Charge! señor, gallop ! or we may yet lose them.”
“ Au galop !" shouted the officer, drawing his sabre. The dragoons drove their spursinto their horses' flanks, and set off at full speed.
But they had not galloped thirty yards when the dull thumping sound of the hoofs suddenly ceased, and a shout or rather shriek of consternation and despair pealed through the night air, and was echoed from the hills around. Loud and distinct above that shriek rose a wild cry of savage exultation and triumph. The next moment all was still.
On the morning subsequent to the events just narrated, a frightful spectacle presented itself to some of the inhabitants of the little village of Benevent who were proceeding to their customary labours in the fields. At the foot of a precipice several hundred feet high lay the bodies of thirty dragoons and their horses, most of them dead, some dying, all horribly crushed and mutilated. A man in peasant's clothes was amongst them, stone dead, and his fingers convulsively clutching the throat of a French officer, whom it was supposed he had caught at in falling by a sort of instinct of self-preservation. He was recognised by some of the peasants as a native of a neighbouring hainlet, by name Esteban Lauz.
The few amongst the dragoons, who were still alive, were conveyed in carts to the nearest French garrison. The account they gave of the affair was, that as they were proceeding in quest of some guerillas, and at the very moment they expected to capture them, the irguide, deceived probably by the darkness of the night, led them over the precipice which had proved fatal to so many of their number.
A party was sent to bury the dead, and the bodies of the sub-lieutenant Pisani, who commanded the detachment, of the guide and three. and-twenty dragoons, were consigned to a common grave in the churchyard of the adjacent village. A rough stone-slab may still be seen there, with a rudely-carved inscription, recording the manner of their death. The accident is well remembered in the wild country in which it occurred, and the cliff behind the village of Benevent still bears the name of El Salto de los Franceses, or the Frenchmen's Leap.
From that day forward, the guerilla called “L'Invisible," was no more heard of in Catalonia.
THE SAILOR'S LAMENT FOR THE SEA.
BY BARRY CORNWALL.
MERRY Ocean! Hon est Ocean !
Wherefore did I fly from thee?
Ever wast a friend to me:
Quiet on thine evening wave ;
In the North—at least a grave.
But amongst these sullen moorlands
Nothing that I seek I find,
Not even a tranquil mind.
I was sailing,-near or far,
In the distance, like a star!
But at last it faded : Helen
Ah, why do I name her name?
Darkness of the heart on me;
To thy storniy arms, O Sea!
Once- no matter— I remember
I did love my father's field,
That the autumn hedge did yield:
There is change in them or me:
With the spirit of the Sea.
Come, old comrades! Hearty seamen!
Are ye not fatigued with shore ?
One long golden voyage more ?
Where all winds can whistle free :
Like our own true home-the Sea!
My bear dances to none but the genteelest of tunes.
“ From the sublime to the ridiculous is but one step," said Napoleon. But he said it in French; and had we also said it in that polite language it might, by some persons, have been considered to be vastly more genteel. For our own part, however, we confess that English, provided it be tolerably good English, is good enough for us; for which confession we may be set down, by those very same persons, as being vulgar. Be it so: it cannot be helped : to borrow the sailor's phrase, we must “grin and bear it." That's genteel, at any rate.
As of the sublime and the ridiculous, so may it be said of the genteel and the vulgar. And here we wish it to be understood that we use those terms, not in their strictly-defined sense, representing, as closely as they can, certain positive qualities; but as they are used, vulgar by the (would be thought) genteel, and genteel by the (would not be thought) vulgar. So taken, even “ one step” is far too liberal an allowance of space; while Dryden's “thin partitions,” so falsely and unphilosophically placed between a great wits and madness," would denote a separation infinitely too wide between them. There is, in fact, no palpable line of demarcation; like the colours of the rainbow, they glide into each other.
Now, of the bear mentioned in the line which we have quoted we know nothing; but if he would dance to none but the genteelest of tunes, he was, unquestionably, a very vulgar bear, without a spark of true gentility in his composition. His stipulating for none but genteel tunes to dance to, such, for instance, as the minuet in " Ariadne,” is clear proof of this. Had he been a real gentleman of a bear, confident in the soundness of his gentility, he would have tripped it on his “light, fantastic toe," to any tune whatever, from “ Nancy Dawson,” to the “Devil among the Tailors :" the innate gentility of such a bear would have manifested itself in his free, unconstrained deportment, in the unaffected
grace of his mien, no matter for the tune he danced to, But we must beg this particular bear's pardon. We have no proof of the vulgar fastidiousness of his habits, beyond his keeper's word for it, and that we are disinclined to take. For whatever may have been the case with regard to the eminent artiste, there can be no doubt that his keeper, manager, or lessee, was himself an essentially vulgar fellow : by praising what he considered to be the gentility of Mr. Bruin, he was doing, in fact, what the essentially vulgar are prone to do-he was apprehensively insinuating to his companions his claim to the same quality for himself.
As with bears and bearesses, so with men and women. The vulgar among them are the most sensitive to the quality of the tune.
The pretension to gentility takes strange forms, and exhibits itself in odd ways. We were one day riding in an Omnib-There ! two
letters more and we had irretrievably compromised ourselves, with the whole community of bears who will dance to none but genteel tunes ; for, with them, riding in such a vehicle, is the height, or depth, of vulgarity. Having, however, gone so far, we will risk the rest; endeavouring, at the same time, to render our fall in their opinion as easy as possible, by pulliag down along with us two others who both plead guilty to the same enormity. Sir W
(not a knighted cheesemonger or apothecary, who would neither of them have so compromised his "position," but a baronet of the oldest standing) was coming to town in aH ammersmith omnibus. Presently it stopped, and the vacant seat next to him was taken by Lord , a nobleman who had been employed as ambassador at more than one of the European courts.
“ Bless my soul !" whispered the latter, and affecting astonishment, "bless my soul! my dear do you ever ride in an omnibus ?”
“ Never, Lord "gravely replied Sir W
Now, then. We were riding in an omnibus. Opposite to us sat two very "genteel” women. One of them, indeed, evidently thought herself,“ uncommon genteel :" she was showily dressed ; she looked at every one about her (except her companion) with an air of disdain, and seemingly wondering how she came to be where she found herself: every now and then she put to her nose a handkerchief overpoweringly scented with bergamot; and this she did in a manner to make it clear to every body that the operation was indispensable to her comfort-under the circumstances. She made it distinctly intelligible that she was unused to omnibuses and their disagreeable concomitants.
The two ladies talked to each other in a half whisper, the word "genteel” being used by her of the bergamot once, at least, in every three sentences. In the course of their conversation two infallible tests of “the genteel,” of both person and place, were adduced.
“Well!” said the companion, “I do wonder that you visit that Mrs. Edwards, considering.”
“Considering what?" inquired the other : “I never heard any thing against her.”
“No; I don't mean to say there's any thing against her; only she is so very vulgar, and you are so very particular about that.” “Why, I am particular upon that p’int, in course.
But you are quite mistaken about her, I do assure you: on the contrary, she's quite the lady, and uncommon genteel : she always wears silk stockings, and has done ever since I've known her ;--but, in course, I won't undertake to say what she might have done before then."
The next was
" But," said the companion, “I wonder you should think of learing the Crescent"—(some suburban paradise)—“it is so very pleasant."
“Very true," replied the vastly genteel lady, " but we must. It is no longer the genteel place it was. Why, when we went to it almost
* " Are you the box-keepor q” drawled a puppy to a gentleman who was looking through a box-door at the late Covent-garden Theatre.
"No," quietly retorted the gentleman ; are you pa
every house hal'a pe-arny"-(pianoforte)—" whereas, now! (wo shops has come to the upper end of it; as true as I'm sitting here."
We were not personally acquainted with Brummel; but, if many of the sayings which are attributed to him were uttered in sober seriousness, we should set down that “glass of fashion" as an essentially vulgar man. We incline, however, to consider him as a humorist, who was slily laughing at those who had chosen to establish him as their model for conduct; and can imagine him chuckling, upon seeing some fool refusing the piece of cauliflower he longed for, because Brummel had said, “ No gentleman eats vegetables—I did once pick a pea;" and at another for rejecting a second plate of turtle, because, upon Brummel's authority, it was established " that no gentleman takes soup twice."
The vulgar.genteel are nervously cautious concerning every thing they say or do: they are ever alive to the dread of compromising their ogentility.” Ata ball—it was a charity-ball!--given at a fashionable watering, place, a pretty young woman, who was sitting by her mother, was invited by a gentleman to dance. He led her to a set; when, instantly, two "young ladies" who were of it, haughtily withdrew to their seats. " They had no notion of dancing in such company,"—and with good reason. The young person was nothing more than the daughter of a wealthy and respectable tradesman of the place; whilst they—the two Misses Knibbs— were members of its resident small “ aristocracy.” The places they had vacated were good-naturedly filled by two ladies who had witnessed the proceeding, one of whom was the daughter, the other the niece, of a nobleman. Their position was too well established to be compromised by dancing for a quarter of an hour in the same set with a respectable tradesman's daughter ; but the two Misses Knibbs were the daughters of a retired soap-boiler from Bermondsey.
A lady of rank and high-breeding, being asked whether she had been at the last Polish ball,
“ No, indeed," replied she; “ for upon my word I begin to consider the Polomania a humbug.”
Our “ vastly genteel” woman in the omnibus, or the Misses Knibbs, would have shuddered at the sound of such a word.
We were led to reflect upon this subject by an anecdote which was related to us, not long ago, by an old man-of-war's man. It was concerning two parrots-an " uncommon genteel" parrot, and a parrot of somewhat easier habits. We were standing on the pier at Ramsgate, when a man came up and offered for sale a member of that entertaining community. Much he said in praise of its conversational powers. What might have ensued had the bird exerted its own eloquence, we know not; but, certain it is, it's owner's were powerless to persuade us to the purchase. Poll, however, had not made the slightest remark: it kept a wise tongue in its head; not a word, not a syllable did it utter : so its proprietor's motion not being seconded by the honourable member in the cage, he withdrew it, and went away. We will relate the anecdote, or story, as nearly as we remember, in the old sailor's words, running the chances as to whether it shall be thought genteel or otherwise.
" That parrot can't talk, sir! and never will talk as long as it's a parrot," said the old sailor.