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welcome, none were more delighted to see try to think of her impartially, as another us, or made us more perfectly at home, than might; but it was none of these qualities Mr. Bolton, of Newnham Dale, and his that gave her that indescribable charm three daughters. The “Squire," as he was which to me she possessed. People Dowcalled, over many a broad acre was one of a days talk a great deal about “mesmerism ;" class which I hope I may never live to see I think it must have been that ; I can only fading from the face of our country. A kind account for it by a “magnetic influence.” “ Je landlord, a hospitable and affectionate friend, l'aimais
, parceque c'était elle, et parceque a refined scholar, and an enthusiastic sports- c'était moi.” And if you, my indulgent and man, Mr. Bolton was the “ beau ideal" of a venerable reader, will look back some fifty thorough country gentleman, in the broadest years into life, when your heart leapt to sense of the word. I see him now in the your lips, and the color rushed to your old hall at Newnham Dale; we are coming cheek, at the mere sound of a name, or if in from pheasant-shooting in the wide woods you, young and gallant cavalier, will seriousthat skirt his picturesque domain. A ly reflect upon the singular fact, that every travelling carriage has just brought up a one of your horses (of course, you pique fresh accession of guests to partake of his yourself on your riding) bends bimself into bospitalities; and the Squire steps forward a curvet on passing one particular drawing. from the old oak fireplace, with a glow of room window, and stops short, without any pleasure on his handsome countenance—" a indication from his master, at one particular good portly man i' faith, and a corpulent, of door, you will probably be able to give no a cheerful look, a pleasing eye, and a most better explanation of your respective connoble carriage”-receiving the ladies with duct than the French sentence I have just all the refined courtesy of “the old school," quoted, as containing the whole essence and lit up, as it were, by his own kind heart and “morale” of an infatuation as mysterious as affectionate disposition ; while the cordial it is universal. welcome with which he greets the rougher Well, although I was as conceited as most sex, makes the male guest at once feel com- young men of my years, and a bold dragoon pletely at home. The eldest and youngest to boot, I blushed up to my eyes whenever daughter are working by the light of the the second Miss Bolton”—as I reverently wood-fire, in a snug corner, so partitioned denominated my enslaver-made her apoff and intrenched by ottomans, fauteuils, pearance; and on the occasion that now low chairs, tiny tables, footstools, and other presents itself so vividly to my recollection, lady-like encumbrances, that it almost I could hardly muster up courage for what forms a separate apartment. While coming I was dying to do-viz., to place a chair for through the billiard-room, I hear the rustle her by her sisters' work-table, and ensconsof a dress that my heart tells me can only ing myself as near as possible to the wishedbelong to Mary Bolton, the second daughter for spot, monopolize the whole conversation of the hospitable “Squire," and the fairest and attention of my ladye-love. Shall I girl in all the “north countrie."
ever forget my astonishment when, passing I need not now be ashamed to confess close to me, she whispered in a voice inauthat I was over head and ears in love with dible to all but myself, -or what, in military language, we irrever Will you step into the library, Mr. - ? ently denominated, spoony on-Mary Bol. I wish to speak to you alone.” ton; nor can such an event be a matter of Heavens !" I thought,
6 what can it astonishment. As for describing her, I hold mean?" Beyond the fact of my standing in it to be impossible to describe a woman. the position customary with gentlemen in Beautiful she was, that I know, for I have polite society, and not balancing myself on heard her charms discussed in many a crowd- my head, I was conscious of nothing, hardly ed drawing-room; good she was, for much of my own personal identity, though vouched as the Squire loved all his daughters, he for by a smart shooting-dress, and muchnever called Mary by any other name than soiled gaiters. Visions of a declaration, “ best of three." Graceful and lady-like, began by the lady !-throwing ourselves on quiet, and “quite clever enough,” all these the mercy of her indulgent father-sale of I am convinced she must have been, when I commission--retirement in the country,
love in a cottage with my own governor's ite. “He was so gentle !—and would eat awful resentment in the background-all out of her hand: he was so handsome ! this whirled through my brain, as hot and and Mr. would not cut his tail, she cold by turns I stood in the library, appointed begged: and she bad hunted him sometimes as our trysting-place. I never knew exactly (with a smile); and he could leap so beauhow I got there myself; and as for Mary, | tifully (with a blush); and if ever I went she might have come down the chimney for into any of those horrid battles—” Here ought I knew to the contrary. However, poor Mary's voice failed her altogether, and the trance did not last long, for even as the with a hurried “good morning, Mr. application of the pure element to the brows we shall meet to-morrow night at the ball,” of the sleeper—a process called by mischiev- she rushed away by a door that led to the ous urchins “cold pig”—dispels, like an air secluded regions of ladies' boudoirs and bubble, the dreamy creations of fancy, so respectable married couples' chambers, in was I literally startled back to my senses that old country house, far removed from by the matter-of-fact, business-like manner the noise and racket of billiard-room range in which Miss Bolton addressed me.
and bachelors' gallery. “ Mr. I wished to speak to you in
The second Miss Bolton's eyes were someprivate, about selling my brown horse." what red when she appeared at dinner, and
“ Your brown horse, Miss Bolton! very I thought that she studiously avoided me, nice horse"-was all I could stammer out. so as to allow of no further explanation as " The fact is,” she proceeded, in the same regarded our mysterious
“ deal," When, calm, measured tones, " I wish to sell him after a fair “symposium" over our host's for fifty pounds. I believe him to be worth most excellent claret, we walked into the a good deal more ; and papa says he would drawing-room, the ladies had retired for the at any time command that price ; so I night; and as I was to breakfast early, and thought, Mr. that perhaps you could hunt my way back to the barracks the foldispose of him for me: only I want the lowing day, I could only console myself by money immediately. In fact, it is absolutely anticipating a confidential and delightful necessary I should have it in two days; and explanation at the coming ball. I must beg of you not to say a word upon “ There were dandies in those days;" and the subject to any one.”
as, in the present fashion, a young man I felt that this was the moment to become prides himself chiefly on the extreme loosepossessed of a treasure, so intimately asso- ness of his garments, more particularly those ciated with Mary Bolton; and accordingly, in which he means to take violent exercise mystified as I was at the whole proceeding, by standing in a doorway, and watching I expressed my willingness to purchase the people attempt to dance, -50, in my time, brown horse, and begged to be allowed to we thought it impossible to gird up our send for him at Miss Bolton's convenience. loins too tightly, or to be brushed up, curled, When buyer and seller are both of one mind, and starched too severely, ere we offered a bargain is easily concluded; and it was ourselves up, willing victims to the barbarsoon settled that the animal should be paid ous institutions of our ancient Terpsichore. for by his new master in person, the very “Down the middle, and up again,” through next evening, at a York ball which we were six-and-thirty couple, might well be called both to attend, and that, contrary to the what old Major Dumb-bells of ours--an usual practice in these cases, he should be apoplectic dragoon, in a stock pine inches delivered the following morning.
deep-hoarsely designated it, “a choker, And now, Miss Bolton having succeeded my boy!" in attaining her object, began, like a true My toilet on the evening in question woman, to experience sundry twinges of was of the most elaborate kind, as befitted regret at that which, a few moments before, one who hoped to progress in the good had appeared to be the point she was most graces of his fair.
for anxious to gain ; and it was not without decoration the military simplicity of a unicertain chokings in that white throat, and form afforded, was taken advantage of; and overflowings of those violet eyes, that she the buckle of my belt, on that inportant consigned to me the care of her dumb favor- | occasion, was drawn at least two holes tighter than any previous experience of the and bend your dainty ear, to the twaddle of strength and toughness of Russia leather some insipid coxcomb-one of the world's could warrant. I was present in the body “ monstrous gentlemanlike fellows"-and at mess, but any thing so absent as my be when you raise your eyes again, they look havior has not often been seen at that con- in vain among the crowd for that wellvivial institution of the —th Dragoons. In known form; they glance from face to face, little humor was I for that popular descrip- in search of that kind, serious brow; he is tion of “badinage,” which the vulgar call not in this room, nor in the next, nor on the “chaff;” and my thirst was of a kind which staircase with some more indulgent damsel ; red port wine only served to aggravate; so, he is gone. You have made no half-exafter an early cup of coffee, another turn at pressed, well-understood appointment to the hairbrushes in my barrack-room, with meet again ; you know not whether you an abortive attempt to draw that infernal shall see him more; you smile on, but you belt a bole tighter, I proceeded to the daz- are sick at heart, and your brain is beating; zling scene of my anticipated happiness. you smile on, but it is a pale, wan smile, for
Well may Byron talk of “the hopes and love will not be denied, and you never felt fears that shake a single ball.” Could we before how much you love him; you think look into the hearts of the merry throng who of the encouragement that might have been fill yon glittering hall, what jealousies, what given, the return of affection he so well deanxieties, what flutterings of hope, what served; you wish you could but live the pangs of regret, should we not discover ! last half-hour of your life over again; someLove and hatred, malice and revenge, gener- thing whispers, “ too late !—too late!" osity and ill-nature, passions both good and Mary Bolton gave me no opportunity of evil, all arising from a scene professedly of explanation certainly; I danced with her, gayety and merry-making. Ladies ! ladies ! but a country-dance is a bad medium of a ball is to you a matter of even greater confidential communication; and declining importance than to ourselves. We beseech all offers
convenient excuse for you, do not disclose your hearts as openly love-making, and disregarding all hints of as you uncover your bosoms! Self-denial, the room being hot, and the flowers on the and something almost akin to deception, staircase well worth seeing, she walked me have been the lessons most sedulously incul- back to her aunt, a stiff old lady, well cated on your maiden minds; stick to the adapted for a chaperon, and receiving my maternal precepts ; smile if you will, and if note addressed to herself, and inclosing the your teeth are white, but not too kindly ; fifty pounds for her horse, she thanked me look proper and dignified, though you feel coldly for performing her commission, and ready to cry—calm and careless, though accepting “my cousin John's” arm for the your hearts be breaking. Say, “I believe next dance, left me planted by the forbidI'm engaged,” when you would give your ding old aunt, more in love than ever, hor. two dovelike eyes for but one five minutes' | ribly angry with myself for the little way more conversation with him whose hand has I had made in the lady's good graces, and been already accepted for a single quadrille. hugely inclined to pick a quarrel with What matter that the opportunity may never "cousin John," as an infernally conceited occur again !—that he is dying to tell you fellow, and much too “ bumptious,” for a what you are dying to hear—that on the civilian. next quarter of an hour the happiness for Had I known what the morrow would life of two persons may depend ? Mamma" bring forth, I think I could not have found and the world have laid down certain rules it in my heart to part thus from Mary. I of propriety, and “Mamma” and the world think even she would have felt it not unmust be obeyed; so you draw your glove a becoming to show some interest in one so little higher, with a freezing smile, and re- soon to be severed from her by the hoarse pressing the bitter tears to curdle coldly call of war; but truly none of us can tell round your heart, tears that shall gush unre. what an hour may bring forth ; and neither strained on your lonely pillow, when“ Mam she nor I, on that evening, anticipated a ma" is enjoying the placid slumbers of con parting of more than a few days. Long, scious virtue, you bow your Grecian head, long years were to elapse, and stirring scenes to be enacted, in which one was des- I answered in the affirmative, and making tined to bear a part, ere we should meet a guess, from a slight north-country accent again.
on my friend's tongue, though scarcely perAnd now I see a figure wrapped in ceptible--for sailors, like soldiers, soon catch a horseman's cloak, and adorned by a a tone and idiom peculiar to themselves-I gold-braided forage-cap, listlessly wearing inquired,“ Do you know any thing of Yorkthrough the moonlit hours of the “middle shire ?" watch," on the deck of Government Trans- "Well, sir, I'm Yorkshire myself," was the port, No. 9—a capacious old tub, which reply; “ born and bred at Newnham Dale; is stiffly and steadily working her way to till ten years of age. Maybe you know windward over the long rolling swell of the Newnham Dale, sir, and 'Squire Bolton—a Bay of Biscay-close-hauled is she on her kind, good gentleman is 'Squire Boltoncourse, for the breeze is steady from the and the young ladies, too, God bless 'em, I southwest, and glorious is that boundless owe 'em more nor ever I shall pay, and waste of waters, athwart whose hill and father likewise; but I ask your pardon, sir; dale the flickering reflection of the moon perhaps you never see 'Squire Bolton ?" seems to fling a glittering pathway, even to I longed to shake hands with the honest the far horizon, while myriads of fairies ap- fellow, if it was only for knowing the Miss pear to be dancing their way along that Boltons, and assured him, with my heart on road of gold. The old Transport makes tol. my lips, that I was on intimate terms with erable way, as she bends industriously to the good 'squire and his whole family; and her larboard tack, and the cavalry officer having once got him on the subject, he on watch, with one hand ever and anon re. never stopped till he had told me the whole moving a glowing cigar from his mouth, particulars of his birth, parentage, and eduwhile the other grasps a friendly stay to cation ; and what interested me a good deal aid a landsman's balance, who is he but the more, he described to me diverse circumunacknowledged lover of bonny Mary Bolton, stances connected with his own family, and bound for the field of honor and promotion, the kind-hearted generosity of “Miss Mary,” the land of medal, clasp, and decoration, which entirely cleared up the mystery of the blood-stained Peninsula 1
the sale of her brown horse, and the secresy We had marched from York the very in which that affair was involved. morning after the ball I have mentioned; the It appeared, from wbat the mate told me brown horse promoted to second charger, in his honest Yorkshire dialect, -for as he had arrived in the nick of time, and after talked of home he got more and more prothe usual jollities and humors of a march vipcial in his accent,—that his father had through England, we were now fairly em- become seriously involved, in his small way, barked, and already half way to a land during the past summer, that in consequence where a far different service from any we of a rascally cousin, (then in America, of had yet seen awaited our corps. I was course,) he had become liable for an amount, keeping "the middle watch,” as was then that all he could realize in the world, withthe custom of the service, even for “ sogers,” out selling the necessary stock from his little when on board ship; and, moreover, I was farm, would be insufficient to liquidate; thinking of Mary Bolton, when my reveries that the 'squire, having already returned were interrupted by the second mate of the him a half-year's rent, to assist him in maTransport, a smart sailor-like young fellow, king head against his difficulties, the old of some five or six-and-twenty, who was not man's honest pride would not allow him to unwilling to relieve the tedium of his watch ask for any further assistance from that by my agreeable society, and one of my still source; that his children had gathered round more acceptable cigars.
him, and offered all their savings, as in duty we getting on?” said I, the bound ; that he, the sailor, had been home usual question of a landsman on a voyage. at the time, and “ did what he could," as he
Making five knots, sir," was the reply; modestly expressed the immediate producand after a slight pause in our conversation, tion of three years' wages,—his all; but he added, " I think as your rig'ment was last that, do what they would, and struggle as at York, sir, if I'm not mistaken."
they might, there was still fifty pounds
wanting to set Farmer Bradley straight with | adventures inseparable from such a camthe world, and to enable him to fight his paign, as the one on which I now entered. way on, “not afeard,” as he called it, “to Mighty operations were being carried on by look e'er a man in the face;" that this fifty the master warriors of that day, and the pounds was not forthcoming, and the old great Duke was building, step by step, that farmer's distress was at its height, when, pinnacle of glory which was eventually to one evening, a letter arrived from the lawyer be crowned by the closing triumph of Waat York, who had managed poor Bradley's terloo. difficulties, stating that he had received a In these operations, though but a unit in fifty-pound note to Farmer Bradley's ac- the mass, I bore my part. In common with count, which, with the money then in hand, the smallest drummer-boy in the army, I would liquidate all claims against him, and identified myself with its victories, as I set him square with the world; that they shared its privations and its dangers; and bad no clew to discover who might be the we rather piqued ourselves on being in the donor of so acceptable a gift, and that it thick of the latter. It was my pride to was only on the very morning my inform- know, that even a subaltern of dragoonsant, the second son, Tom, departed to join even the charger that bore him—was part his ship, that he was told by her old nurse, and parcel of that mighty whole, which was it was Miss Mary who had furnished the to shake the war-apointed Emperor on his money, but that it was not to be mentioned, throne, and to influence the destinies of the on any account, as she did not wish it world. known to any one; and,
poor dear," as A cavalry officer, like a centaur, is noththe old nurse added, “ she sold her horse, ing without his other half—his trusty charger. that, I've heard her say, she loved like a No fish out of water looks half so helpless Christian, to be hunted to death by one of as a dismounted dragoon. them soger-officers, God forgive 'em,” to As the animal is so important a portion obtain the necessary sum, “and,” logically of the pair, I may be forgiven for devoting added Tom Bradley, “if there's angels in a few lines to the description of “ Best-ofheaven, that Miss Mary, she's a born angel Three." on earth; and if she's not, I'm—" some- Next to talking of themselves, men are thing or another, which had very little to apt to take the greatest delight in talking of do with the class of beings the honest young their horses, and mine was indeed the most mate referred to.
glorious of his kind. The whole mystery was now cleared up; He was a rich dark-brown, rather low, all my misgivings were at an end; whilst I but of extraordinary strength and symmetry had been puzzling my brain inventing clan- of frame, with a beautiful little head, and destine reasons, and racking my heart, small, pointed ears, which—when excited by thinking hard thoughts against my ladye- the difficulty in front of him, whether fence love, she had been performing an act of or foe, a brook or a battery-turned inwards, charity and self-denial, in the truest sense till their quivering tips almost met. His of the word; and when I told Tom Brad back and loins were strength personified ; ley-as how could I help telling him ?- he was thorough-bred, and as fast as the that I was the “soger-officer” who had wind, with that instinctive love for all the obtained Miss Mary's favorite, what wonder display and trappings of war peculiar to the that, for the rest of the voyage, we jointly horse among animals, as to the weaker sex and severally petted the brown charger as among the human race. In temper he was never animal was petted before, even at docile as high-couraged, “gentle and not sea ? and that from the very night on which fearful,” with the faithful affection and alI became acquainted with his history, I most the sagacity of a dog. He learnt his distinguished him from the other two horses drill quicker than any charger that had ever I possessed, in honor of his former mistress, before been placed under the tuition of our as well as for his own intrinsic qualities, riding-master, and the colonel complimented by the well-remembered title of “ Best-of- me on his appearance, when we made our Three.”
joint debut in the field. Poor old “ Best-ofIt is not for me to dwell upon the series of | Three !" All I have left of you, is that