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of which my messmates had contrived to procure we approached the narrow breach, served as an acthree sheep skins; before the second of which was companiment; when many a brave fellow “ lost the emptied however, one evening, we received notice number of his mess” as the soldiers say; or shorn of to prepare for the assault on the following morning. a limb, returned to his native land to “ shoulder his My brother subaltern, happened to be on duty; and crutch, and, shewed how fields were won.” the Captain after having written two or three letters, The scene was appalling, the column deployed in composed himself to sleep as if nothing extraordi- the face of a volcano of shot and shell, and forming nary was about to occur. I tried in vain to follow Indian files to mount the breach, passed over the his example, for my mind filled with thick coming bodies of their dead and wounded countrymen, and fancies of the morrow's danger, effectually banished marched instep deep, in as brave blood as ever flowed repose; and after a couple of hours, wasted in vain from British veins. Whilst passing the breach; the efforts to woo the god of sleep, I threw my cloak enemy sprang a mine, which destroyed about a hunon my shoulders, and strolled through the bivouac. dred and seventy men; when, a volunteer who had
It was a heavenly night, and the moon nearly at been knocked down by the explosion, but not inthe full, poured from a cloud like molten silver, a jured, on seeing two officers of his corps, lie dead, radiance more pleasing, and scarcely less brilliant, cried, “hurrah for a commission!” and an Irish than the noon-tide sun. The deep breathing from serjeant, with more humour than grace, exclaimed, several of the huts, announced that their inmates, “ for what we have received, the lord make us were enjoying that repose which I had so fruitlessly truly thankful." sought; whilst several little groups of talkers, The scene presented by the breach, was sufficient proved that I was not singular in my inquietude. to appall a recruit! but the horrors of the night that
Here was a sun burned veteran, disclosing to a followed the assault, require a more practised pen comrade the contents of his knapsack, the gleanings than mine to describe. of many a fray; and entrusting to his care (in case The enemy had taken refuge in the castle, and the of accident,) a letter to be forwarded with them, to town having been carried by storm; was, according her who---the next day's sun, might see a widow. to the usage of war even amongst the most civilized There, a group of the warm hearted natives of the nations; abandoned to sack and pillage. The officers Emerald Isle, were exchanging promises, to convey lost all control over their men, who exasperated by the remembrances of those who might fall, to the the resistance they had met with, and heated by the mistresses they had left behind; and further on, a wine and spirits which were plentiful in the town; knot of North Britons, were counting the number gave a loose to the worst passions of our nature, of non-commissioned officers, their regiment would and murder, rapine, and violation, reigned trihave in the field, and calculating the chances of umphant through the night: the most costly furniture their casualties, and consequent promotion for the was wontonly destroyed; splendid mirrors, shivered survivors.
to atoms; and the wine suffered to run waste about At three the réveille beat, we fell in, and moved the cellars. If the unfortunate proprietor, attempted in silence towards the town. It was not yet light, to remonstrate; the bayonet or the ball, were his and we remained under arms for some time, in aw- only reply. Amongst the females; age, or youth, ful suspense; at last, the signal was given for the
were no protection, and deeds were perpetrated over advance. The fire flashed red through the darkness which humanity shudders, and delicacy drops the veil. of the morning; the shells with their burning fusees, Accident or design, produced fires in several places, formed arches in the air; and the rockets with their and many an intoxicated wretch, found a fiery tomb meteor tails, and brilliant though momentary cor- amongst the ruins of the mansion he had devastated. ruscations, illumined the field. The breach was Thrice happy Britain, where such scenes are known found to be impracticable, and the attacking column
only by description! long mayst thou enjoy thy blisswas ordered to lay down: whilst the artillery with
full ignorance of the horrors of war, and 'neath the unexampled precision, fired over our heads, until the
paternal sway of thy patriot monarch; mayest thou aperture was considered to be sufficiently enlarged, long flourish the envy of the world. and we again advanced under cover of a tremendous
E. S---y. fire of mortars, howitzers, and heavy artillery; to which, the musketry of the enemy which opened as
of these two creatures should be thus traced out.
All, and much more than all this, 's I stood before thee, while the god was steeping
circled in our eyes within a halo which shades to In soft forgetfulness thy slumbering eye,
softer loveliness, while it does not obscure those days Oh! didst thou think, that while thy soul was sleeping, of old romance ; elating the mind to a fond enthuThus bending o’er thy couch myself was nigh?
siasm for its brighter, while it sleeps it into a willing I leaned above thee, and thy gentle bosom
forgetfulness of its darker and more repugnant Heav'd with the bliss of love's enchanted dream;
shapes. It was not that my hopes should ever blossom Beneath the sun-breath of thy dark eyes' beam.
I remember hearing some years ago, in the neighI saw thee smile; but well I knew that never
bourhood of Pisa, a legend of those dark yet fondly My love drew that approving smile from thee :
recollected times. I tell it, because it is of them, I heard thee sigh-those lips might sigh for ever;
and this must be its only merit. It was enough, they did not sigh for me!
Every one knows, or at least ought to know, the A smile of glory melted on thy slumber,
wretched condition to which the city of Pisa was As of sweet memories that came brightly o’er tbee, But, ah! my image glanced not ʼmid the number
reduced about the end of the fifteenth century. Then Of those, who lov'd and liv'd but to adore thee.
it was that this little state almost fell a victim to the Farewell, farewell, that passing scene is over;
ambition, or causeless vengeance of the Florentines; I would not, would not waste a tear for thee;
and but for a spark of high independence, the only Thy heart from love and mine has turn'd a rover, Then take thy chains and set another free!
and best inheritance of this great republic, which still lingered among the petty communities of Italy, together with a fixed and rooted hatred towards the
invaders of her liberty, she would have been swept Maddelena,
from her existence as a nation and a people. A TALE OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.
Just on the eve of the breaking out of that con
cealed and bitter enmity which had long rankled in " It was of a strange order that the doom
the bosoms of the two states, Florence and Pisa,
before the wild invasion of Charles the Eighth of -both in misery."
France, upon the liberties of Naples, had roused THERE has always been to my mind a something
their animosity to its full and reckless strength, hallowed and mysterious---a strange shadowy hue
their inhabitants lived in a sort of society together, which seems not of this world, cast over that period
restrained and suspicious it is true, yet not without of the history of Europe, generally designated “ the the traces of apparent friendship at least. Many dark ages.” The minds of the nations seemed then Florentines were to be seen in the streets of Pisa, to have sunk beneath the terrible and undermining
and some Pisans in the streets of Florence. Still convulsions which they had undergone, (ere the the contact, when they happened to come into colbarbarian banners were triumphantly unfurled, and lision, was far from friendly. Each scowled on the waved over the conquests of the Hun, the Vandal, | other, as if he would have given way at once to and the Goth); into a long, dark, dismal night of open enmity; but both were equally afraid to begin heavy and restless slumber. Their greatest efforts,
the attack. The heart's wish of the one was to inconsiderable though always daring, resembled the have spit in the face of the other, and cried villain; misdirected starts of a troubled rest. Their in but somehow or other there existed for several years telligence seems to have been as a dream to them a sort of courtesy and restraint on both sides, which selves, and is ever so now to us.
Yet then there prevented this generally taking place, though somewas the soul of bold enterprise and watchful times it did occur. prowess; the mailed knight and lady fair---the As always happens in cases of this kind, the fair castle, the warden, and the armed retainers---the sex were sure to catch up and perpetuate the spirit of sternest encounters relieved by the brightness of soft their lords. Withered matrons and spinster ladies eyes, and the stoniest hearts refined and purified be had their national “ likes and dislikes," and along neath the tender influence of woman's love. Then with these, heir feuds and bitter hostilities. In spite too there was the name of Petrarch and his aura, of all this, however, there were often little love the wild and flashing light of Ariosto's muse, and affairs between the youth of the two cities, genial the shadowy, unearthly inspiration of the patriot and fond, though at times burning into madness, the
To end in madaess
same as love has always appeared and now appears solicitude, Maddelena had arrived at the age of seunder the sun of Italy;
venteen, and her heart was still her own. Many of
the richest nobles of Pisa had made proposals for her * Where fiercest passion riots uncoofined, And in its madness tires the softest mind."
hand, which Jacopo had deemed it prudent to refuse.
Nay, scarce was there a finger in all Pisa that could About this time there lived in Pisa a rich Florentine
touch the lute, which was not, some night or other of merchant, by name Jacopo. He had retired many the year, sweeping its chords beneath her latticed years from trade, living quietly and contentedly on window. She used to smile, as she heard the serehis gains. Pisa had become his place of residence, nades to her own beauty, at times admiring the munot so much from choice, as from the strong asso- sician's skill, and sometimes blushing, as she heard ciations with which it was connected in his mind--
herself, in the same stanza, compared to the rose, the reminiscences of early love, which his business life lily, and the morning star. and business habits had all been unable to efface.
One night in December---it was a cold and silent Pisa had been the birth-place of his wife, and the night, and the moon was up, which steeped, as it first scene of the first and fondest affection he had
were, the pure white marble of Pisa in her own still ever known. There too the curtain had dropped, purer and whiter light---Maddelena sat alone in her and left him widowed in heart and life. It was to
pannelled chamber, in anxious expectation of the rehim, therefore, as the enchanter's palace of light
turn of her father, who had been absent for some and darkness, which he would gladly have avoided, hours. The moon-light streaming through the but which he found it impossible to tear himself
casement at which she sat, fell full and bright on the from. He clung to it as the spirit of an injured maid
picture of an old crusader, giving a shadowy and nnis said, in the old legends,, to linger round the scene usual look to the countenance. This, together with of her ruin. Those who have had the links of
the wild imagery of one of the provençal ballads she earliest, and consequently most powerful love, snapt had been reading, deeply embued her mind with a asunder, e'er well united, alone know the feelings melancholy and tender feeling. She threw down which still through life attach themselves to the the ballad---she gazed on the bold and rugged outscene of its first raptures, even though its original lines of the warrior's face---she attempted again to brightness may afterwards have been dimmed, by read---she desisted---and her eyes were rivetted on becoming the scene of its bitterest desolation.
the dark contour of the warrior's countenance, made His wife died little more than a year after they more striking by the moon-light which rested upon had been united, leaving Jacopo a daughter. On it. Her mind could not settle. The hour, and the this solitary pledge of his wedded love, all his at
scene altogether, had wrought her up into that fetention had been lavished, and no expense spared ; verish feeling of romance which all young hearts so that when Maddelena attained the age
of woman- have known, and they the most which have held hood, there was scarcely a more accomplished, and least intercourse with the world. not a more beautiful and gentle maiden to be found While she continued in this state, half in pleasure, in the whole of Pisa. She was the image of her
half in pain, the tones of a lute, in a slow and solemn mother in figure, mind, and temper; and this had
Italian air, softly arose from below the casement at bound, if possible, more closely the ties of paternal which she sat. At first the musician's fingers affection. Jacopo, in the warmth of his love, had seemed scarcely to touch the chords. A single note never allowed her to leave his sight, or at least to be was only now and then heard, like the distant murfar from him. She was seldom to be met with in
mur of a stream in the desert; then it gradually rose the public places, to which, in those days, the youth and rose, and swelled into deeper softness, till the of her age so generally resorted. The lists, the
music at length burst into all the voluptuousness of dance, and the marriage-feast, were seldom graced perfect melody. Love could not have fixed upon a by her presence ; and even when she did make her
better hour to insinuate himself into the most impeappearance there, it was more as a spectator than a netrable heart. A maid alone, and in moon-light, partaker in their gaities; for Jacopo, thongh he
with her senses floating on the lovely sounds of lived in that dissolute age, knew and dreaded the music, and her heart steeped in romantic feeling, radangers to which youth and beauty are exposed in ther woos than shuns his approaches; and we need their communion with the world.
scarcely inform our readers of either sex, that so it Under the protection and guidance of this fatherly was with Maddelena.
(To be continued.)