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We moved on towards a village, and charged right through, killing great numbers, the place was so crowded. We formed on the other side of it, and lay down in the open air, hungry and wearied to death. We had been oppressed all day with the weight of our blankets and greatcoats, which were drenched with rain, and lay like logs of wood on our shoulders. The moment I stretched myself on the ground sleep came. The whole night I was harassed by dreams of fighting and charging. As my comrades one by one awoke, we began to talk over the great battle. I had been in many an action where our own regiment had fought harder, but I had never known one where the firing was so dreadful or the noise so great. When I looked over the field of battle, it was covered and heaped in places with dead, and it was horrible to see the wounded crawling along the rows of corpses. Yet it seemed a mere matter of course then. Somehow I have been more distressed by the burial of a comrade who had died in a hospital, than seeing after a battle fifty comrades put into the same trench. In the morning we got half an allowance of liquor, and remained under arms till mid-day; then we received orders to cook. When cooking was over, we marched on towards France. When we reached Paris, and the French capitulated, we marched towards the gates, placing a cannon on each side and gunners with lighted matches. Lord Wellington stood at the gates to see us. After three months in Paris, we were marched to Flanders for winter quarters, and I got my discharge. I left my comrades with regret, but the service with joy.
O vows of love on Alpine path,
'Midst Alpine summits, sworn ! O sweet false love ! 0 after-math
Of love-love's sweetness shorn ! Our bodies twain, our souls were not;
Our kiss our spirits drew-
Their fleshly prison through.
So ran our vows; and they,
Held true—till close of day. * True e'en as to their craggy bed
Dash down those mountain rills ; True e'en as they are true,' she said,
. The everlasting hills.
See how the storm flees past !
Dissolve, love melts not so ; Love, firm as e'en the rock beneath,
Heeds not the sun's fierce glow !!
Only a twelvemonth since, and now
T. H. S. ESCOTT.
You cannot separate man from the world in which he lives; cannot imagine him severed from his ' accidentals. Whose highest flights of fancy can conceive a disembodied spirit ? Even ghosts must be visible to be appreciated. Hamlet's father revisited the glimpses of the moon in his habit as he lived, and walked the windy battlements of Elsinore in the very armour which he had worn in his mortality when at war with Norway. And in no ghost story which I have ever heard does the apparition come without costume; even if the spectral phenomenon is invisible, there is a rustle of silken attire, or a tapping of high-heeled boots, or a clatter of chain-armour.
Similarly there is a tendency to connect a man with the country in which he dwelt, and which influenced his character and career. No one is uninfluenced by the scenes which surround him. What island but Corsica, the home of romance and revenge and adventure, could have given the world Napoleon Bonaparte ? Where, but in the very omphalos of England, could a Shakespeare or a Landor have been born and bred ? What, save a London birth and education, could have made Charles Lamb our choicest essayist? Who can read a page of Mr. Tennyson without perceiving that he began life in a flat country? I have seen in my time all sorts of maps, which the enterprising publishers of Charing-cross originate; allow me to offer them a new idea. Why not a biological map—a map in which every county, and each district of each county, shall be coloured according to the men who have been its actual or adopted children? For, observe, it is not always the place in which a man is born that gives the tone to his life. I begin, for example, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge ; he was a baby in Devon, a schoolboy in London, a pantisocratic enthusiast in Somerset, a great poet in Lakeland, a rather visionary philosopher at Highgate. His slight foreign adventures I omit as unimportant; nor need I recall the details of his brief career as a cavalry private. But, while Devon gave him his normal power, it was in the romantic region of the Lakes that he reached the perfection of his art. Everywhere have I followed his footsteps, and have thereby reached the conviction that among the Lakes was his natural home.
But when he was a young fellow of twenty-six, and had just begun to sow his wild - oats, he was living at Nether Stowey in Somerset. It is a pretty village enough, a few miles from what the Somerset folk flatter themselves is the sea—namely, the muddy
Second SERIES, Vol. II. F.8. Vol. XII.