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thousands, regardless of danger. At climate. These brave fellows had the battle of Ortez he was known, gallantly sustained the honor of the with his own hand, to have slain national character before Cumana thirty of the enemy; and his lance, and Barcelona, and, after numerous the weapon with which he perform- fatiguing marches and countered this feat, still wet with the vital marches, had arrived at Achaquas fluid, was by himself, after the ac- some time prior to the truce, and tion, presented to the late General were then regarded as the most efEnglish. He is, without exception, fective and best-disciplined body at the best guerilla chieftain that ex- Paez's head-quarters. Strongly ists. With but little theoretical recommended by Bolivar to the knowledge of the art of war, he has, special protection of that general from experience, become an adept (and to whose kindness their serin its practical duties. Correct in vices alone should have proved a his judgment, decisive in his con- sufficient claim), they relied on duct, and rapid in his movements, the promises made them, and hoped success generally follows the exe- to become sharers, at least, in the cution of his plans. Were his edu- prosperity which now began to cation commensurate with his natu- dawn upon the republic as an earral abilities, he might vie in talent nest of brighter prospect. How fallawith a Napoleon, and the southern cious, alas, were these expectations! hemisphere (according to the bias They soon discovered that an unhis ambition might then take) yet due preference was accorded by have to lament a scourge, or glory those in authority to the Creole in a benefactor.
troops : they beheld themselves the Having now endeavored to give objects of a narrow-minded prejumy reader some faint idea of the dice, considered as intruders in the merits and demerits of the redoubt- country in whose defence they had able Paez, I will request him to ac- bied, hourly insulted by the inhabitcompany me, in his “ mind's eye,” ants and rival soldiery, and desigto the little town of Achaquas, nated by the epithet of slaves purwhere we shall arrive at the period chased by the barter of hides and of the truce agreed to by Bolivar tallow! These bitter gibes and and the Spanish general Morillo. keen sarcasms were borne by the A six months' suspension of hostili- men for a long time with stoical ties had been just declared, and the fortitude, or, rather, with an apathy patriot troops throughout Venezue- uncommon to Englishmen. Their la had taken possession of their energies had been numbed, as it different cantonments, where they were, by intense suffering ; and it hoped to enjoy a short respite from seemed as though the chords of the toils and privations they had so their hearts had ceased to vibrate long and so patiently endured. This to the touch of indignity ! pleasing anticipation was more par- The bow-string, atter rain, if too ticularly indulged in by the garrison forcibly distended, will snap ; so did of Achaquas. Here the remnant our countrymen, by degrees, begin of the “British legion,” that had to feel the strain upon their sensiarrived with General English two bilities, though they writhed not till years previous, was stationed, under that strain became tightened to the command of Colonel Blosset, agony. upon whom the charge had devolved Bolivar had directed that half-pay at the demise of the former. The should be issued monthly to the brigade now consisted of only eight “ British legion.” This advantage incomplete companies of infantry, was, however, only nominal : a base and one squadron of dismounted metal coin, slightly washed with silcavalry--a melancholy and convinc- ver (termed by the inhabitants ing proof of the insalubrity of the “chipe a chipe") was in consequence put in circulation.
The speedily found its way to the haztradesmen refused to receive it in ard table ; whilst the British soldier exchange for the requisite articles was not only suffered to wander of consumption until Paez threaten- about destitute and barefooted, but ed to shoot the recusant ; and even otherwise literally in a state of nuthen the enhanced price of provi- dity! Such, however, was the exsions bore no comparison with the cellent discipline of the corps, that, fictitious value of the spurious coin, notwithstanding these just motives and the English were therefore still of disaffection to a cause which unable to obtain the common neces- they had been induced to espouse saries of existence.
from the most flattering anticipaMeanwhile, the good money fur- tions, the men still continued to nished from the exchequer for the perform their various military avoexpress purpose of carrying Boli- cations, if not with cheerful alacrity, var's order into effect, was by Paez at least with mechanical steadiness, (with an occasional sop in the pan until a circumstance (which I am thrown to one or two of the superior about to relate) occurred, and British officers to keep them quiet) roused their dormant feelings to an distributed amongst his tawny-co- acute sense of the degradation they lored satellites ; nor was it an unu- had so long labored under. sual sight to behold the gambling- General Paez requiring some altables before alluded to covered teration to be made in part of his with doubloons and 66
pesos duros," dress, sent an orderly to command and of which our famished soldiers the immediate attendance of one of well knew they should have been the British regimental tailors. The the legal possessors. A pound of poor devil was in the act of mastibad beef had, for a considerable cating his hard beef when the geneperiod, been the only diurnal ration ral's mandate reached him; and not received by our brave comrades, over anxious, possibly, to work and many of the officers were re- without any chance of remuneration, duced to the necessity of parting neglected to obey quite so promptly with their wearing apparel ; the as Paez expected. The general, “ sambo,” or mulatto purchaser, irritated by what he qualified an act parading his uncomely figure, array- of insolent insubordination, desed in all the glitter of gold and sil- patched an aide-de-camp to Colonel ver embroidery, and triumphing in Blosset, directing him forthwith to the spoil, in the presence even of compliment the refractory tailor its former owner. Splendid uni- with a hundred lashes! That offiforms changed wearers with sur- cer, feeling the injustice of the orprising rapidity; and many a youth- der, lost no time in waiting upon ful “ petit maitre” was happy to Paez, and respectfully stated, that shelter himself from the scorching by the English articles of war (under rays of a tropical sun, or the furious which code the “ British legion " pelting of the pitiless shower, be- had been embodied, and to which, neath the once-despised but now by Bolivar's sanction, they could be coveted blanket. A considerable alone amenable) he was prohibited quantity of clothing, boots, shoes, from inflicting corporeal punish&c. had arrived from England and ment, except by the sentence of a the United States for the use of the court martial ; but if his excellency troops. These were surreptitiously thought proper, he would immedisposed of by the “administrador diately summon one, and doubted to the merchant-pedlars who follow- not, according to the evidence aded the army and preyed upon its duced, the court would satisfy him vitals, and the produce of the sale by their verdict.
*" Administrador," commissary.
During this remonstrance, not a a gallop and acquire an appetite on muscle in Paez's face betrayed his the neighboring plains ! inward agitation, not a gesture in- The effect which this stretch of terrupted the colonel's exordium. arbitrary power had upon the minds An indifferent spectator would have of the men may be readily surmised: inferred from his manner that he non-commissioned officers and prihad either lost all recollection of vates felt equal indignation ; murthe occurrence, or deemed it too murs of disapprobation rose into trivial to attract his further notice ; expressions of loud complaint ; all a more accurate observer, however, were alike clamorous for passports would have detected the smile of to quit the service ; and there is ineffable contempt struggling for little doubt, had an opportunity prepassage through his firmly closed sented itself, the “ British legion" lips. For some moments after to a man would have joined the Blosset had ceased to speak, there standard of the enemy. was a death-like pause-none dared For three days following, the to break the silence; those who symptoms of discontent became so best knew him almost dreaded to generally apparent, that Paez himrespire. All this time Paez kept self began to calculate the result. his eyes intently fixed on Blosset, Not that he dreaded the irruption who (like the bird charmed by the of the volcano, or could be deterred fascinating influence of the rattle- by the burning lava it might vomit snake) involuntarily trembled : at forth from pursuing his course ;
but length he raised them, as if wholly it did not suit his present policy to unconscious of the sensation he had drive things to extremity; he therecaused, and turning to an aide-de- fore adopted conciliatory measures, camp who stood near, told him to or- and by an augmentation of rations der the bugle to sound Turn out the (not forgetting an allowance of
“ whole ;" then approaching Blosset, spirituous liquor), with a few newith calm, unruffled voice, address- cessary articles of clothing, he coned him thus :—“If, Sir, the uncom- trived to appease the mutinous spipromising strictness of your military rit his hard treatment had invoked. code prevents you from chastising But the flame of discord was only insolence in a soldier, by the appli- partially smothered, and needed cation of a few lashes, unless sanc- but a fresh grievance to rake it into tioned by a court-martial, mine im- a fiercer blaze. The men performposes no such delicate restraints ed their wonted duties in sullen siupon my will, and I can shoot the Jence, and were still evidently insubordinate object of my displea- brooding over the injuries they had sure without the aid or authority of sustained. your tribunal. Now mark me,
In this mood we will for the preColonel. Return to your brigade, sent leave them, as I am anxious to see my former orders carried into introduce to my reader's notice a prompt execution, or in ten minutes few of the officers of the “ British the man will have ceased to exist!” legion,” with whom it is necessary Blosset bowed and retired. It is he should have some acquaintance, almost needless to say, that of two in order to enable him to better unevils the least was chosen—the un- derstand the sequel of my narrative. lucky tailor received his hundred Colonel Blosset was a man of lashes. Paez on horseback re- gentlemanlike manners and appearmained on the confines of the ance. He had formerly held the “Grande Plaza” till he saw his rank of captain and brevet-major in victim tied up and receive the first the 28th foot, and served with that stripe : he then rode off, accompa- regiment in Egypt. He was consinied by a numerous staff, to enjoy dered as a brave and clever officer,
but he was ill calculated for the post quondam associates, some of whom he attained in the republican ser- had known him in the British army. vice. Owing, probably, to the in- The trite proverb of “ Set a beggar fluence of climate, his mind became on horseback” was fully verified in enervated, and he evinced a most his conduct. Hints respecting his unpardonable apathy towards the former character were at first cauinterest and comforts of those under tiously indulged in, but soon achis command. He was peculiarly quired a more tangible shape ; till accessible to flattery, and the most at length he was boldly accused of fulsome adulation could neither of- having (whilst serving with his corps fend nor disgust him. This weak- during the occupation of France by ness was taken advantage of by a the Allied Forces) been reduced scoundrel, who, by the meanest from the rank of corporal and punarts, so wormed himself into the ished for theft ! colonel's confidence, and took such As he took no steps to invalidate firm hold of his affections, that he a report so stigmatizing in its nabecame his sole adviser, and direct- ture, the officers of the legion deemed his every action !
ed it their duty to request the comThe officers of the legion beheld manding officer to institute an inwith astonishment the sudden ele- quiry into the truth of a charge vation of a man who but a short which was calculated to reflect dis time previous was a sergeant in the honor upon the whole. Strange to corps in which he now bore the rank say, the colonel not only professed of captain, together with the staff- to discredit the accusation, but disappointment of brigade-major, which countenanced all investigation! The his patron had bestowed upon him officers, compelled to acquiesce in with a view of attaching him more this decision, determined at least to immediately to his person. Conjec- avoid the contamination of his societure was busy in unraveling the ty : save, therefore, on points of mystery of this preferment, but no duty, they held no communication correct solution of it appears to with him, and he was placed in strict have been obtained. What seemed “coventry.” This very just manimost singular was, that Blosset festation of indignant feeling stung should have selected for his intimate Trayner to the soul. Every banecompanion an illiterate man of low ful 'passion rankled in his bosom. and vulgar habits, and whose only He swore to be revenged, and top redeeming qualities were a bustling fatally did he keep his oath !mbut activity and tolerably soldierlike let us not anticipate our tale. appearance, Had he conducted Attached as lieutenant to the himself with prudence in his new light company of the " legion," was station, he might have secured the
a young man of most amiable mangood-will of his former superiors ; ners, gentlemanlike, and unassumbut his overbearing arrogance and ing in his deportment. insolent assumption of consequence respected and idolized by his comrendered himp an object of contempt rades, who took pleasure in predictand detestation to every English- ing his advancement, which they man in the garrison.
would have witnessed without one Still, however, Brigade-major particle of jealousy.
The son of a Trayner (so was the colonel's min- rich and respectable manufacturer ion named) set public opinion at de- in Yorkshire, young Risdale, with fiance, and, heedless of the odium all the ardent feelings of youthful he incurred, continued to assert the ambition, and his heart glowing with prerogative of his place, and exer- enthusiasm to become a participator cise its functions with a severity in the glorious struggle of South that astonished, but could not re- American independence, left his strain the sarcastic comments of his father's house ; exchanging the ad
8 ATHENEUM, VOL. 5, 3d series.
vantages of affluence for a preca- son of an old British officer. Their rious existence—the delights of a relative situation as comrades linked peaceful home, endeared to him by them together, whilst a similarity of a thousand infantile recollections, disposition and sentiments cemented for a country convulsed by civil war an attachment, the natural result of --the salubrity of his native air for this reciprocity of feeling. Captain the pestiferous vapors of a foreign Hodgkinson was an excellent officlime; sacrificing, in short, every cer, and, by his persevering exerearthly blessing to a vain phantom tions, the light company of the which has lured millions to destruc- “ British legion” would have done tion !
credit to the best-disciplined battaUnfortunate and misguided youth lion in Europe. Respected and -May the tears of the brave that esteemed by his superiors, he was have been shed o'er thy untimely likewise beloved by his equals. No fate propitiate thine honored shade! man knew better than himself how -may the remembrance of thy vir- to draw the line of distinction betues soothe the regrets of the friends twixt hauteur and prudent reserve. that survive thee ! The turf that He was condescending to all, famicovers thy humble sepulchre will lie liar with none; but he regarded light upon thy bosom, for it is not Risdale in the double light of friend burthened with the curses of the and pupil, and took both pride and widow or the orphan ; whilst the pleasure in imparting to him the marble that entombs the oppressor fruits of his experience. Under cannot shelter him from the execra- these friendly auspices the young tion he merits !
aspirant soon became a proficient in The reader will, I am sure, par- all military exercises, and bid fair don my digression. I was unable to rival his instructer, which Hodgto check this small tribute of respect kinson rather gloried in than envied. to the manes of one endowed with Proud of his own creation, he negevery noble quality. Should a pa- lected no opportunity of extolling rent's eye peruse this sketch, in de- the merits of his youthful competiploring the melancholy event that tor ; and the affection which they bereaved him of his son, he will, I mutually cherished towards each -trust, derive some consolation from other made them inseparable comeven my feeble efforts to do justice panions, and caused them to be conto the memory of my friend, and sidered as the Damon and Pythias shield his character from aspersion. of modern friendship.
How many young men, like poor The very soul of honor himself, Risdale, impelled by the fervor of it is not surprising that Captain an ardent imagination, and the spi- Hodgkinson should have shrunk rit of chivalrous enterprise, embrac- from the polluting touch of infamy. ed a cause which presented to their Too sincere to disguise his feelings view the Aattering perspective of at any time, he attempted not to immortal renown! How soon, alas! restrain them when the routine of were the evergreen laurels they his professional duties brought him sought changed into mournful cy- into contact with the degraded
Denied even by the soil Trayner. His heart would have they aided in delivering from the sympathized with misfortune, might yoke of the despot a little earth to have wept over the delusions of cover their inanimate remains, their error, but never could hold commumouldering bones, the refuse of vul- nion with guilt. Trayner's baretures, are still left to bleach upon faced impudence disgusted him, and the arid plains of Candalaria !- But he evinced his abhorrence on every to resume my narration.
occasion by the most sovereign conThe company to which Risdale tempt. Risdale of course partook belonged was commanded by the of his friend's antipathy; and both