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dragged forth with indignities which fell on the sympathizing survivors, not on them. Next came the selection of the victims of the day. Many were hurried out as their names were successively called over. For the females of the lately arrived group, one chance of life remained. It was permitted to each republican soldier to choose from among the condemned one woman to be acknowledged as his wife. The same privilege existed with regard to children; and, being exercised with unbounded humanity, many an adopted infant of Royalist, and often of noble blood, has been ushered to the world; and num. bers, no doubt, at this moment exist as the reputed offspring of revolutionary parents.
Upon every new arrival in the prisons, the well-disposed of the soldiery came in to exercise this right, and a party now waited for admission.
When the previously allotted victims were drawn out for execution, this band of expectants were ushered in. They entered quickly on their scrutiny; but being actuated by humanity much more than passion, the selection was not a matter of difficulty or delay. All the women of the little group were instantly chosen forth but one. Need I name her? Who could have chosen Jeannette? It was impossible. She was looked at but to be turned from ; and showing no sort of interest in her own fate, she excited the less regard from others. She finally remained behind with three or four men, from whom there was no hope. Of these, two saw their wives led forth in the possession of their respective claimants; and, dead to every feeling of their own fate, they now called for death with an eager alacrity-throwing themselves at the feet of the soldiers, embracing their knees, and calling down blessings on the preservers of those for whom alone they ever thought of life.
'One by one the prisoners disappeared, either to be sacrificed or saved. Jeannette, who lay extended in a remote and darkened corner of the room, insensible to what was passing, at length raised her head, and looking round her chamber, found that she was alone. Horrible as was her solitude, it gave her some relief. She felt free to give vent to the accumulated anguish of so many days, and she, not unwillingly, discovered that her cheeks were flooded with tears. She gave herself up to the full abandonment of her sorrow, and sobbed and sighed aloud.'
"Our heroine was handed over to the accompanying guard, with directions to hurry her to the quay, where her companions waited only her arrival to proceed to embarkation! They seized her, and hastened her onwards, her face besmeared with a concrete of dust and tears; her clothes torn and disordered; her hair dishevelled and loose upon her shoulders, for the handkerchief which had bound it was left behind in the prison. All these concurrent disfigurements heightened her natural defects, and in this state she reached the boat. Several of the old and condemned of both sexes were already embarked, but not one female with the least pretensions to youth was there. She was pushed over the side by the guards, and received on board by the ready executioners with a shout of mockery. The preparations being all completed, the boatmen were in the very act of pushing from the
shore, when a young soldier, flushed and panting, forced his way through the crowd; plunged into the water, seized the prow of the boat, and cried out loudly, " Hold! I am not too late. I choose that girl for my wife." The object of his choice shrieked on seeing him, and as he held forth his arms to receive her, she sunk fainting on the floor. The guards, the prisoners, the lookers on, were all for a moment mute. The scene was so quick, and the choice so inexplicable, that no time was given for comment, conjecture, or opposition. A moment more and the boat pushed off-but lightened of its wretched freight, for the insensible Jeannette was borne triumphantly to land, in the nervous arms of the grateful and generous La Coste.
'I must not now linger on my narrative, the interest of which I know to be nearly over. Little remains to be told, and that little shall be shortly despatched. La Coste hastened to explain to his astonished Jeannette, who soon recovered her senses, on his bosom, that on the morning after their parting, he had succeeded in safely making his way to the outposts of the republican army, where he arrived just as the battle began.'
The interest of this scene is powerfully worked up, and far superior to all the other parts of the volume. La Coste bears her away as his
'He kept the girl with him under this title for three months, but no ceremony had made them one. He treated her, however, with a tenderness and respect more than is to be found in many a legitimate union; but Jeannette clearly perceived that gratitude was the only spring which actuated his bosom with regard to her. She had never hoped for more, nor reckoned on so much; yet, satisfied and even happy, she had some moments of alarm when she reflected that stronger feelings might sometime or other break the ties which thus bound them together. Her apprehensions, and the strength of his attachment, were soon put to the test, for invasion just then advanced on every side; and his regiment, among others, was ordered to the frontiers at a notice of one day. Jeannette feeling that she had no further claim upon him; that he had overpaid the service she had rendered him; and that such a wife as she was could be but an encumbrance to such a man as he;-told him frankly, that miserable as it would make her, she wished him to consider himself perfectly free; and, that being now able to work her own way in the world, she hoped that no delicacy to her would make him risk the ruin of his own prospects in life. La Coste was delicately and difficultly placed. I have said that he was handsome and pleasing. His figure and his manners were, in those days of equality, a certain passport to the best-that was the richest society in Nantes. He was very generally admired, and had been particularly distinguished by the daughter of a wealthy and violent republican. She was beautiful and accomplished. She had solicited his attentions, and he had even a regard for her person. Had he married her, he was certain of both rank and riches ;-but, if he did so, what was to become of Jeannette? He summed up in one of those mental moments, which can grasp at a glance such multitudes of calculations, the manifold advantages of such a match. He then
turned towards Jeannette, and though I cannot say that looking on her face made him forget them all,' I may safely assert, that picturing to himself her forlorn and desolate perspective, he felt some spell strong enough to make him renounce the mighty temptations to abandon her. The struggle was short, for he married her on the moment, and the next morning they marched off together for the seat of war.-How many ready mouths will exclaim, "He only did his duty!" Would that such duties were more commonly performed. He
For twenty-one years La Coste served as a private soldier. was brave and well conducted, but he had not the good fortune of promotion. For this entire period Jeannette was his faithful and affectionate wife. She earned, by her industry, sufficient to add some scanty comforts to his barrack-room or his tent. Through Germany, Italy, and Spain, she attended him in many a bloody campaign, and stood unflinching by his side in many an hour of peril and distress; and, at length, after all, watched by his death-bed in his native town when peace gave him time to die. They had one daughter, beautiful and good. She, too, married a soldier, who was discharged when war became out of fashion; and following his trade of gardening, he now supports with comfort his wife and five children, and gives refuge to his mother-in-law, whose declining years do not prevent her from usefully exerting her talents as a washerwoman.
I have seen the whole group in a cottage, which I thought happier than some homes of prouder dimensions, or sporting in their garden, which is as fragrant and flourishing as others surrounding less enviable, though more refined, societies. Jeannette, or, if the reader should prefer the title, Madame La Coste, has not lost her appellation of La vilaine tête, and, perhaps, her claim to it is somewhat strengthened by the ravages and wrinkles of increasing age, and the deep bronzing of the southern sun. This tale was given from her own recital, and most likely the reader requires not to be told that my old washerwoman, of the village in Medoc, was herself the identical heroine. If I have sometimes enlarged on the details, or substituted my own language for that of the narrator, I have probably done mischief, when I thought I was embellishing. The effect produced on me was, perhaps, too overrated in my estimate of its possible power on others— while sitting before me in my inn bed-room, my old and ugly washerwoman broke suddenly off from counting my linen to the subject of her own eventful story; and carelessly lolling on her chair, commenced, with the naiveté of a peasant, and in the untranslateable idiom, of La Vendée, to tell her simple tale; interrupted often by sighs for her husband, her grandmother, and her native village, whose name now hardly exists but in her memory.'
If all the author's tales were equal to this, we should wish for more; but, as it is, he has presented a very amusing volume to the public; and one which, longo intervallo, may be said to approach the works of his friend to whom they are dedicated, Washington Irving, Esq.'
HAZELWOOD HALL, A VILLAGE DRAMA.
BY ROBERT BLOOMFIELD.
NATURE makes men poets, but they become authors artificially; it is by no means the same quality that enables them to write verses and to appear before the public to advantage in any other form. Mr. Bloomfield is an example of this: while he confines himself to warbling his native wood-notes wild' he is delightful; but when he assumes any other tone he is quite out of that track to which his powers are limited. His Hazelwood Hall is, at the best, puerile: there is nothing in it to deserve criticism; and, if there were, the author's simplicity would disarm it. He says, in his preface:
'I make no pretensions to a knowledge of the "dramatic unities," or of what is called " stage effect." It may be like twenty plays, which I have never seen. The characters are exclusively villagers, with the exception of Jack Whirlwind; through whom I have endeavoured to censure the horrible vice of seducing unguarded females, and then leaving them to scorn and misery.'
Now, having premised that there is no plot, we shall give our readers a scene to show what the poet, with a simplicity which says nothing for his knowledge of the world, but a good deal for the purity of his heart, calls the horrible vice of seducing unguarded females' it means nothing more than attempting to run away with a young lady, like the felon giants of old, vi et armis.
• The cross Road in the Avenue-WHIRLWIND forcing MARY into his Carriage.
Whirl. Come along, my little charmer-I'll make you happy as a princess-splendid apartments-drive a curricle-have a box at the opera every night-come along.
Mary. Unhand me, you robber!-you miscreant! O if Joel were here!
Enter JOEL, who knocks him down.
Joel. What game are you at, you tallow-faced ruffian ? Answer when you get up; I'll give you time.
Whirl. Why I say, that you are an uncivil brute, and I'll prosecute you for an assault.
Joel. And I say, if you have nothing better to urge, I'll pound your head into pepper.
Mary. Dear Joel, don't put yourself in a passion, and venture your life against such a man.
Joel. Venture my life! what, my life against that farthing candle! I say, Mr. Dastard, Mr. Thief, or whatever name you may be, take yourself off as quick as possible.
Whirl. I have lost my hat.
Joel. Are you sure it is not your head? that loss would be a bless ing to your family.
Whirl. Where's my carriage?
Joel. O here's your carriage, as you call it be nimble, be nimble, be nimble, I tell you.
Whirl. Don't murder me, and I will go as fast as I can get the reins; but you are a
Joel. Come, no preaching, or I'll put my shoulder against your butter-basket, as father calls it, and turn you all into the ditch in half a minute-be nimble.
Whirl. Well, I am going-but you are a set of country brutes all together, and don't know how to behave to a gentleman.
[Exit Whirlwind. Joel. Well, mayhap it may be so, for I have but just begun to learn. Now, my dear Mary, the field is our own, as a soldier would say. How do you feel yourself? Were you very much frightened?
Mary. Not very much, though he came upon me here when I was taking my sun-set walk, as I call it; but when I knew my enemy, I turn'd angry, and then good by fainting and affectation; I have none of them.
Joel. Then you wanted a cudgel.
Mary. Yes, but I would not have used it so unmercifully as you did I wonder you did not knock his brains out.
Joel. Poh! there was no fear of that: it was only a single rapnothing but a bit of a taster.
Mary. But really we must part; we are not far from the house, and I would rather go in alone. I'll give a true account of the adventure to Emma and my lady; it shall be all to your credit.
Joel. Well, but no reward before we part?
Mary. Why I am not a queen, to dub you a knight on the field of battle!
Joel. No, but you can give me a reward of much greater value. Mary. There, there, dear Joel, don't be so foolish: let me go.Farewell. Exit Mary.
Joel. There's a girl for you now ;—who would not break a cudgel in her defence? I would say so to half the world, if it was here to but my heart says so, and that's all the same.'
hear me ;
'Here first I met the lovely maid,
When Hope was young, and dared not soar;
Touch'd by the breeze, with graceful swing,
What joys may rural conquerors prove,
Dear shades, I prize you still the more.'
We cannot examine more minutely such a production as this; it is more like a Sunday-school tract in dialogue than a drama. We shall, therefore, content ourselves with selecting some of the songs, which it will be seen are not so good as many of the author's former lyrics, but they are full of virtuous and pure sentiment:
Twas where the Indian billows roll,
And frightful lightnings spread dismay,