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muttered something about the Plantagenets and Henry V., and whilst bewildered in revery, the horse-hair helmet passed the distant turn in the road, and the inheritor of Elleringay Manor was lost to the view.

The young soldier's letters from America were most characteristic of the writer. He was delighted with the sports and scenery of the New World, and gave graphic details of all he had heard and seen, not only of the aspects of nature in the other hemisphere, but of the kind of society.

VOL. I.

H

CHAPTER VII.

Too much my heart of beauty's power hath known, Too long to love hath Reason left her throne."

AKENSIDE.

“ There wan Dejection, faltering as he goes,

In shades and silence vainly seeks repose ;
Musing through pathless wilds consumes the day-
Then lost in darkness weeps the hours away."

IBID.

" And now the tears were on his face,

And fondly in his arms he took
Fair Geraldine,"

“ CHRISTABEL.”

TIME passed over, and Moreton returned. These were troublous days; the war clarion had sounded in every country in Europe; every month brought fresh tidings, fresh political changes. There was no stability in men or things; faction sought to subdue faction; tyrannous domination to subvert rule; the genius of anarchy marched triumphant over order, trampled on social ruins. A few years had completely changed the complexion of society throughout the civilized world, and frenzied France was the vanguard in all the heterogeneous charges. In this unsettled condition of public affairs, the life of a soldier was full of uncertainties. The boundless wealth of England had subsidized the allies—had kept the Continent in pay; and in this, the sweeping policy of Mr. Pitt, the British Government had acquired in the demagogues abroad implacable enemies. To invade our island, and render its sovereign a vassal to the new empire was the cherished hope of the most absolute despot that ever enslaved the human race. то keep Napoleon in check, troops were commanded and countermanded from one place to another, as exigencies required.

The unheard-of atrocities in Egypt-the slaughtering fields of Rivoli, Marengo, , Hohenlinden, and Austerlitz, were fresh in every memory—the ensanguined plains of the Peninsula—the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Tarragona, and Badajos, were contemplated with dismay. The British Senate determined to assume a bold front-every preparation was made. A series of military blunders, and the growing disaffection of his marshals, had began to dim the star of the Emperor, to totter the empire; the French people were nauseated with glory, detested the conscription; sympathy towards the Bourbons kindled warmer in loyalist's breasts, and hints were thrown out that a few months would conduct Louis XVIII. from his quiet exile at Hartwell to the throne of his ancestors. The allies were skirting on the boundaries of France; Napoleon felt his sceptre more difficult than ever to maintain. Colonel Sommerton's regiment was ordered to return, and stationed at Dover. De Bohun was out of health, and so long as active warfare was not immediately pending, he was allowed to repair to Elleringay to recruit his lost strength.

It was in the autumn of 1814, when the heir of Elleringay put his foot into a London coach to revisit his native village. The weather was clear and serene; the light rays of a September sun threw over nature a golden smile. The foliage of the thick hedge rows, which the vehicle swept past, was tiuctured with autumnal dyes—the fields had scarcely been cleared of their yellow crops—birds on every sprig carolled their matins-culture and fertility forcibly struck the eye of one so long accustomed to the barren and bare. Moreton had beheld the vastness of the Canadian wilds—had visited the shores of Huron and Ontario—had been charmed with the Cascade La Portaillie and the Doric Arch-awed at the wonder of Niagara—he had looked over the dizzy side of the Thunder Mountains, and stemmed the Ottawa in the frail canoe-seen the most desolate wildness and the sternest grandeur in nature : yet there was one spot on earth dearer than all—his native fields, whither he was wending, and where he would be hailed with rapturous welcome. He had left with the down of youth upon his lip

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