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“As I now remembered this my heart grew once more softened towards her, for I felt that in her case, with all these signs, my grandmother's prophecy might prove true.
“While I thus mused I became all at once aware of the approach of a crowd of persons advancing towards the spot where I was sitting, and as I rose up in alarm to ascertain the cause, I perceived that the crowd, increasing with each moment, was making for the very tree beneath which I had been seeking a short repose. It was too dark for me to discern aught, save that some of those strange, uncouth, hideous forms which seem to spring from between the very stones of the pavement to compose the fête-day mob of Paris were seen here and there hurrying from amid the trees, and running to join those already assembled, uttering loud and savage shouts as they moved forward. They seemed, however, bent upon the same object, that of securing or impeding the progress of some one who appeared to be jostling and struggling in the midst, while I could now distinctly hear the rude brutal joke of the drunken reveller mingle with the milder and more supplicating tones of the more quiet and better disposed.
“ Presently, while I yet remained gazing almost in terror at the scene, and hoping that the mob would pass away in another direction, a group of two or three individuals, wearing the idolised uniform of the emperor's guard, drew close to my side, and then, to my great alarm, making a halt and placing themselves in a position to block up the passage, vowed and swore, with many a burst of laughter, that they would thus obtain what neither threats nor supplications had been able to effect. By this time I had grown alarmed beyond measure, and begged hard to be allowed to pass, but neither my prayers nor tears, for I need not feel shame to confess that such was the state of nervousness into which I had previously worked myself, that this new terror coming upon me at such a moment, completely overset all my wonted courage and presence of mind, could aid me. Nought availed: I was compelled to remain, and had it not been for the kind courtesy of one of the group, I should have been forced back among the crowd ; the thing of all others which I most dreaded. But he, although loud and boisterous in his mirth like the rest, seemed to take pity on my distress, and bidding me station myself against the tree, he threw his arm around the trunk, and I thus stcod in comparative security awaiting the event. Scarcely had I the time to breathe my thanks to the youth ere the mob had reached us, but, contrary to my anticipations, not the slightest struggle took place on the discovery of the living barrier formed by my laughing companions. On the contrary, a loud shout was raised at sight of them, and a cry of Vive la garde !' while not one attempted to advance an inch further. Here then they halted, and as the glare of light from the broad avenue fell at intervals through the openings in the trees, I could discern that the object of all this turmoil was a female whose thin slight form, clad in white, shone out conspicuously amid the darkness. Terrified as I was, I could yet observe that none of those who surrounded her thus closely, offered to lay a rude finger even upon her dress, but each one kept at a certain distance, thus forming a kind of ring, of which she occupied the centre, and from whence there was no hope, no possibility of escape.
“ As they drew up towards the tree, there was a moment's pause. The girl stood in the midst, silent and motionless, save that with a nervous movement she clasped her hands, and let them fall before her, while her whole frame bent suddenly forward as of one about to kneel. But she recovered herself, however, and then, putting her hand across her brow, she raised her head seemingly to look eagerly right and left for an opening among the crowd. But none gave way to allow her to pass, none spoke a single word of encouragement—there was, in fact, such a deathlike silence, that you might hear her long and hard-drawn breathing. My heart swelled with pity for the poor maiden, although I was in ignorance of the motive by which her tormentors were actuated. I would have given a great deal to have obtained a glimpse of her countenance, and so interested had I become in this adventure, that the very motive of my being abroad, alone, and at such an hour, was, for the moment, entirely banished from my memory.
The young officer who had so kindly protected me, seemed moved to compassion by her situation, for he suddenly quitted his station, and, taking her by the hand, led her gently forward and placed her against the tree. Then might I have escaped, for this sudden movement on his part made me free, but I thought not of departure, every feeling had become engrossed by the scene to which I was thus so unexpectedly compelled to become a witness. I saw the youth bend forward and whisper in the maiden's ear. His voice was soft and gentle, but I now stood so close that I could hear each word he uttered :
« • Damsel,' said he, "fear not, none will seek to harm thee-give us but one-thou know'st that single one thou hast just concealed, and I pledge my honour that thou shalt depart quietly, and I myself will escort thee through the streets in safety.'
“ She breathed not a word in reply, but remained with her head bent low and her hands clasped over her bosom. But he seemed not to heed her silence, for he turned to the group, and said aloud
“ • The maiden consents to give us this one again, and I have pledged my honour, that when it shall be over she shall depart in freedom and unmolested, and if any man should dare to oppose her course, it is to me that he will have to answer for his insolence.
“ Again, by way of answer and agsent to the terms proposed, did the cry of Vive la garde!' replace the low murmur which was beginning to rise, and again all was still and silent as before.
“ The poor girl seemed still to be much agitated. I could hear the low sobs burst from her bosom, as she caught the young soldier's arm, imploring him not to desert her at that moment. But he could do nought else than utter two or three words of hope and encouragement. He then again withdrew to his station by my side, and she once more stood alone. It was then that I beheld her make one desperate effort, one deadly struggle against the terror which had assailed her, and it was not made in vain. The conquest was achieved, and after uttering a few preliminary notes to try the pitch and strength of her voice, she broke forth with impassioned sweetness into that most beautiful air, • Pauvre Jacques !!
“Oh, that rich sweet voice—those clear and melancholy tones—the deep heart-rending pathos of each note! Those accents fell from her parted lips sad and mournful, like the echo of the distant waterfall. None could describe the effect of that simple yet passionate strain sang, as it was amid the darkness upon the invisible listeners. I could hear the stifled sigh, the low convulsivé sob gush forth from the rude breast of many a one around me, and those who uttered a word of admiration spoke in faint and trembling tones.
“ But I, although tender-hearted to a degree, one over whom music hath ever held a potent spell—one who would have found it hard to have listened without tears to that touching ballad, even when sung by an uncultivated voice-I shed not a tear, for I could not weep! A chill — & deadly sickness-a giddiness of the brain, came over me, and had it not been for the protecting arm of the young officer, I should have sunk upon the earth! And yet I listened to the end. I stirred not a limb, although I trembled so violently that the young man courteously raised the shawl upon my shoulders, thinking that I was suffering from the cold.
“The song ceased, and then there was a murmur of admiration from among the crowd, and then a londer expression of gratitude, and finally a tremendous heartfelt burst of applause, at which the maiden seemed to shrink within herself, and to recoil, probably with a renewal of the terror she had felt before. But there was no cause for alarm ; the word of honour had been given, and each one seemed to regard it as a binding pledge. No one among the crowd pressed her further, although by the slowness with which they departed it was evidently with regret.
“A shower of coin had fallen around the maiden, but she offered not to raise it from the ground, and my young champion once more came to her aid by gallantly doffing his shako, and by stooping on bended knee to collect the scattered sou-pieces within its crown.
“The mob slowly withdrew while this was enacting ; I alone moved not from where I stood, but kept my eyes fixed on the trembling form of the poor maiden, as though I had felt a fear that she would have sought to escape by flight.
“When the young soldier had filled his shako, he asked the maiden what were her usual means of conveying it from the place.
“Without uttering a word in reply, she held out a coarse canvass-bag which she had held concealed beneath her shawl ; but there was more, much more than the bag would contain, so she was compelled to loosen the little handkerchief from her throat to receive the rest. The knot was apparently difficult to unloose, and I saw the youth kindly endeavour to aid her. Her back was towards me, and I could not as yet see her face, but I could perceive by the sudden start which she gave when he sought to look upon her features, that he was defeated in his purpose, and that he beheld her not.
“ All this I saw and noted with a minute observance that has often since that hour struck me with astonishment. When at length she was prepared to leave the spot, the young man gently and with politeness reminded her of his promise to escort her home, at whatever distance that home might be. He drew her arm within his own, and was about to move away, when he turned and saw me still standing there gazing on them in wild mute agony, and said courteously,
My protection must also be at the service of this other pretty maiden. It is but just that as I was the cause of her delay, I should make myself responsible that no harm should betide her.”
A FEW MONTHS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
BY LIEUT.-COLOXEL E. NAPIER.
KAFFIR HUNTING IN KAFFIRLAND.
“ As for the rest,
The first truce granted to Sandilla had long since terminated; a second suspension of hostilities was at his urgent request acceded to, and this had likewise nearly expired, without any signs of the promised conditions of peace having as yet been fulfilled.
Day after day passed in anxious expectation of a forward move, but naught save negotiations, missionary consultations, conferences, and embassies followed each other in rapid succession ; the object on the part of these wily savages being evidently to procrastinate and gain time, in order to drive off and secure their ill-gotten booty ; for the numerous flocks and herds of which they had feloniously plundered the colony, were most probably, during all this delay, rapidly progressing towards Kreli's country
In the meanwhile, the summer of these regions was fast advancing, and the heat becoming more and more intense, whilst the herbage-on which all in this country depends for the sustenance of horses and cattle; in other words, for the practicability of military movements--was withering, like our hopes, under the power of a vertical sun, whose scorching rays, darting on our frail canvass tenements, kept us during the day at the average comfortable temperature of about 120 degrees; whilst at night, or after rain, the glass would not unfrequently in the course of a very short time fall some fifty or sixty degrees !
Thus passed away the sultry month of November, bringing with it no other results save the surrender of Macomo with his family, that of some bundles of assegaïs, a few rusty firelocks, with a small number of starved cattle, and raw-boned, sore-backed ponies.*
At last, even the general's patience became fairly exhausted; he vowed, in spite of the missionaries, that he would stand no more humbug, whereupon Mr. Sandilla (who had hitherto remained very quietly bivouacked on a height overlooking our camp) took up his blanket and limped off into the bush.
It was now determined on- - when too late to obtain from the Kaffirs by force what diplomacy had failed to effect; but the savages, meanwhile, had not been asleep, and the greater part of the stolen colonial herds
* In consequence of being ridden without a saddle, the Kaffir horses have mostly sore backs.
† Sandilla has from his birth been a cripple, one of his legs being withered up.
were then, no doubt,“ ruminating" on their captive lot in the far distant pastures beyond the Kye.
In consequence of the above resolution,-instead of a simultaneous advance of three or four strong columns, — the usual system of petty frontier warfare was again commenced, in a partial skirmishing, carried on by patroles or commandos, sent to scour the enemy's country in quest of cattle, more than Kaffirs.
The last day of November passed in the usual routine of camp occupation and amusements. To a burning day of more than usual tropical heat, had succeeded the mild influence of a temperate zone ; whilst the bright sun sank below the horizon, gilding with its departing rays the
snowy whiteness of the camp, the distant lowing of numerous herds, returning for the night from their several pastures to the precincts of the kraal, added to the rural peacefulness of the scene; and as the shades of evening slowly gathered around, the shrill sound of bugles to the tune of “The Roast Beef of Old England" announced that important operations were now contemplated at the capacious mess-tent, which formed such a conspicuous object in the camp, where ' a hungry party were soon assembled and doing ample justice to all the “delicacies of the season.”
The cloth had been removed, and the bottle was circling briskly around, when, with port erect and cane in hand, the serjeant on duty entered with the " division orders” of the day, which now, for the first time, announced the resumption of hostilities, and directed three strong columns to parade at two A. M. the following morning,
This welcome intelligence allowing but little time for sleep, the party speedily broke up to obtain what repose they could, leaving strict injunctions with the mess-waiter to have coffee in readiness at half-past one in the morning; at which early hour we were again assembled, though in far different costumes from those of the preceding night.
The most sudden transitions from heat to cold, and vice versâ, is a marked peculiarity of this changeful, though, strange to say, most salubrious climate, in which one may, generally speaking, and with equal impunity, sleep under the bush at the mercy of dew and rain, or expose oneself during all hours of the day to the fiery heat of a vertical sun.
On the present occasion a most grilling hot day, or, as we termed it, “a regular frizzler,” was succeeded by a night as bitterly cold ; and pea-jackets, cloaks, and woollen comforters, were now in general request, whilst we assiduously comforted the inward man with good hot coffee, backed by substantial slices of cold beef and ham.
The appointed hour had arrived; a bright moon shone on the dense columns so silently assembled, and remaining in such noiseless expectation, that:
From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night
The secret whispers of each other's watch. The expedition was divided into three distinct parties, destined simultaneously to sweep the whole country between the Chumie and the Amatola Hills, co-operating for this purpose, with the 91st regiment stationed at Fort Cox in the vicinity of Burn's Hill, on the lower slope of those mountains.
For an account of our proceedings on this occasion, and which may