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not your wife. I have seen many a stout fellow, who would stand fire without blinking, show the white feather at a scold's tongue. But then he must be spliced to her-"
"Cutts, that griffin does not scold -she preaches. She wants to make me spooney, Cutts-she talks of my young days, Cutts she wants to blight me into what she calls an honest man, Cutts ; - the virtuous dodge! She snubs and cows me, and frightens me out of my wits, Cutts. For I do believe that the witch is determined to have me, body and soul, and to marry me some day in spite of myself, Cutts. And if ever you see me about to be clutched in those horrible paws, poison me with ratsbane, or knock me on the head, Cutts."
The little man laughed a little laugh, sharp and elritch, at the strange cowardice of the stalwart daredevil. But Jasper did not echo the laugh. "Hush!" he said timidly, "and let me have a bed, if you can; I have not slept in one for a week, and my nerves are shaky."
The imp lighted a candle-end at the gas-lamp, and conducted Losely up the stairs to his own sleepingroom, which was less comfortless than might be supposed. He resigned his bed to the wanderer, who flung himself on it, rags and all. But sleep was no more at his command than it is at a king's.
"Why the did you talk of that witch?" he cried peevishly to Cutts, who was composing himself to rest on the floor. "I swear I fancy I feel her sitting on my chest like a nightmare."
He turned with a vehemence which shook the walls, and wrapt the coverlid round him, plunging his head into its folds. Strange though it seem to the novice in human nature,-to Jasper Losely the woman who had so long lived but for one object-viz. to save him from the gibbet, was as his evil genius, his haunting fiend. He had conceived a profound terror of her, from the moment he perceived that she was resolutely bent upon making him honest. He had broken
from her years ago fled-resumed his evil courses hid himself from her in vain. Wherever he went,
there went she. He might baffle the police, not her. Hunger had often forced him to accept her aid. As soon as he received it, he hid from her again, burying himself deeper and deeper in the mud, like a persecuted tench. He associated her idea with all the ill-luck that had befallen him. Several times some villanous scheme on which he had counted to make his fortune, had been baffled in the most mysterious way; and just when baffled-and there seemed no choice but to cut his own throat or some one else's-up turned grim Arabella Crane, in the iron-grey gown, and with the iron-grey ringlets
hatefully, awfully beneficent-offering food, shelter, gold-and some demoniacal, honourable work. Often had he been in imminent peril from watchful law or treacherous accomplice. She had warned and saved him as she had saved him from the fell Gabrielle Desmarets, who, unable to bear the sentence of penal servitude, after a long process defended with astonishing skill, and enlisting the romantic sympathies of young France, had contrived to escape into another world by means of a subtle poison concealed about her distinguée person, and which she had prepared years ago with her own bloodless hands, and no doubt scientifically tested its effect on others. The cobra capella is gone at last!
Souviens-toi de ta Gabrielle," O Jasper Losely! But why Arabella Crane should thus continue to watch over him whom she no longer professed to love-how she should thus have acquired the gift of ubiquity and the power to save him-Jasper Losely could not conjecture. The whole thing seemed to him weird and supernatural.
Most truly did he say that she had cowed him. He had often longed to strangle her; when absent from her, had often resolved upon that act of gratitude. The moment he came in sight of her stern, haggard face- her piercing lurid eyes - the moment he heard her slow, dry voice in some such sentences as these "Again you
come to me in your trouble, and ever shall. Am I not still as your mother, but with a wife's fidelity, till death us do part? There is the
portrait of what you were-look at it, Jasper. Now turn to the glass see what you are. Think of the fate of Gabrielle Desmarets! But for me what, long since, had been your own? But I will save you-I have sworn it. You shall be wax in these hands at last;"-the moment that voice thus claimed and insisted on redeeming him, the ruffian felt a cold shudder his courage oozed he could no more have nerved his arm against her than a Thug would have lifted his against the dire goddess of his murderous superstition. Jasper could not resist a belief that the life of this dreadful protectress was, somehow or other, made essential to his that, were she to die, he should perish in some ghastly and preternatural expiation. But for the last few months he had, at length, escaped from her-diving so low, so deep into the mud, that even her net could not mesh him. Hence, perhaps, the im
minence of the perils from which he had so narrowly escaped-hence the utterness of his present destitution. But man, however vile, whatever his peril, whatever his destitution, was born free, and loves liberty. Liberty to go to Satan in his own way was to Jasper Losely a supreme blessing compared to that benignant compassionate espionage, with its relentless eye and restraining hand. Alas and alas! deem not this perversity unnatural in that headstrong self-destroyer! How many are there whom not a grim hard - featured Arabella Crane, but the long-suffering, divine, omniscient, gentle Providence itself, seeks to warn, to aid, to save --- and is shunned, and loathed, and fled from, as if it were an evil genius! How many are there who fear nothing so much as the being made good in spite of themselves?-- how many ?--who can count them?
FROM SPAIN TO PIEDMONT.
WHEN last I wrote to you, oh Ebony, it was from the banks of the Manzanares; I resume my pen upon the shores of the Po. Those, when I left them, bordered a tiny streamlet, daily dwindling under the double suction of a fierce sun and a thirsty sand; between these, as I write, the waters rush swift, deep, and troubled over their rugged bed, dashing down rocky ledges, circling and foaming round snow-capped islets. Spain in July was true to its torrid reputation; Italy, in February, is faithless to its fame as a land of sunshine and flowers. Frequent change of place is the destiny and duty of your Vedette; and generally by the straightest line, and with little pause, he speeds his way from point to point. This time he must beg of you to bear with and accompany him on a more circuitous and desultory march. The start was a joyful one. Of all the capitals, whence men desire to escape in summer, Madrid is surely that whence departure is most urgent. Of all the parched cities in which human beings ever passed July and August, and lived, it assuredly is the most scorch
ed, arid, leafless, and calcined. nights are so short and hot that the earth never cools the tiles on the house-tops glow in the glare-the visible heat quivers over the ground
the insidious white dust provokes dire ophthalmia-the rarified air of the elevated and blazing plateau irritates every nerve and fibre of the human frame. In Madrid you are not melted and made languid, as by the heat of most other places, but you are baked, high-dried, and your nerves are strained like fiddle-strings. The pinguid portion of your body is exhausted by some mysterious process, until you become all bone and tendon and tightly-stretched skin, and you get to feel quite brittle, and go about in a state of morbid apprehension lest somebody should run against you and crack you. The houses are saturated with heat; beds are voted a nuisance, and you prefer a plank to a blanket-a tightly-stuffed paillasse to cushions of feathers: everything eatable and drinkable is dried up, faded, tepid, or in some way nauseous. The vegetables, brought from afar, would be denounced by a Covent
gardener as fit only for the dungheap; and you must eat your mutton as tough as boot-leather if you will not have it higher than venison. You live chiefly on liquids, and ingurgitate oceans of iced drinks; but even the ice, or rather snow-for that is the substitute for it in Madrid--becomes, at that time of year, unworthy of the name, and has little coolness left in it. A certain portion of the aborigines contrive to support life under this complication of trials; but the flit is general amongst all who can get away; and by the middle of summer the clubs are deserted, the theatres closed, and the number of dogs in Madrid has greatly diminished, those intelligent quadrupeds having wandered away from the sultry shadeless capital in search of water to drink and a bush to lie under. So that, in fact, there is nobody left to converse with.
These things duly considered, you will not wonder that it was with delight, as intense as the prevailing heat, that I received, soon after the departure of my last despatch to you, the route for France, and that I instantly sallied forth in quest of a conveyance, proposing, if possible, to start next morning. But in Spain, stage-coaching, like many other things, is managed in a fashion peculiar to the country. At Madrid, in summer, the supply by no means meets the demand, and families anxious to get north are sometimes detained until the journey is scarcely worth making. The prudent, whose plans are fixed, secure places weeks, and even months, beforehand; but persons compelled to start on a sudden are often greatly embarrassed. Posting in the Peninsula is troublesome work; and, out of consideration for the ill-paid postmasters, the number of orders granted for horses is very limited. Rail-less Spain still continues, and may long remain, the most inconvenient country in Europe to travel through. In summer it is common to see advertisements in the Madrid papers, offering high premiums for places by mail or diligence, but often in vain. As a solitary traveller, however, not particular about the nature or compartment of the vehicle in which I should journey, I trusted to
find a nook. The mail had no places for a month to come; the diligences were booked full inside and out for nearly as long, and there were applications from living subjects to be taken as luggage on the roof. I would have gone round by Saragossa, a long and wearisome route, but the coaches to that city were engaged for the next three weeks. I began to deliberate on the propriety of ridingnot very pleasant in that blazing weather, over Spanish roads, and in Spanish saddles-when, luckily, a place fell vacant in a diligence proceeding to Bayonne by way of Soria and Pampeluna.
For persons who are not nice about provender, the Soria route is pleasanter than the more usual one by Burgos, since one sooner escapes from the dreary and desolate plains of Castile, where everything one beholds, landscape and houses, men's faces and clothes, are of one monotonous brown and sun-baked tint. But although inns in Spain generally afford but poor entertainment, the doubt may be permitted, whether, on any road in that most backward country of Europe, more villanous baiting-places are to be met with than those between Madrid and Pampeluna. The heat, however, in the latter half of last July, was such as to leave little appetite even for more tempting viands than those detestable ventas afforded. As everywhere in Spain, good chocolate and excellent white bread were always to be obtained; and with these, the favourite refreshment of the nation, and of which they never weary, any more than the Frenchman does of his coffee, or the Englishman of his tea, the foreigner will do wisely to content himself when travelling in that season and in that country. Anything hotter than the whole of that sixty-five hours' journey I do not remember to have felt. It was painful to witness the perspiring agonies of the women, who formed the majority of the occupants of the interior and rotunda of the. diligence. There was one corpulent Madrilenian matron (Spanish women, after a certain age, are much inclined to obesity), with a yellow skin, a strong mustache, and formidable eyebrows, but inclining to calvity as regarded
her head, who, I thought, must have given up the ghost before reaching her destination. She had a shining skin, and, round her apoplectic-looking neck, many rolls of fat, which soon got much begrimed by the dust of the road. Whenever I got down at the relays, she was sure to be leaning with her fat flabby cheek against the side of the window, moaning piteously, and dabbling heavily with eau-de-cologne, and every few leagues she had a fainting-fit. Her husband, a wizened, grizzled little Span iard, seemed used to her ways, and took no heed of her miseries, beguiling his time by the perpetual fabrication and consumption of paper cigars, which profitable and intellectual occupation and possibly also an insufficient recognition of the virtues of soap-had brought his finger-tips to the tint of a cocoa-nut. Two daughters, miniatures of their mother, and, like her, inclining to embonpoint; a young officer, who flirted indifferently with one or other of the sisters; a lady's-maid, and a poodle (the latter very large, tail-less, slightly mangy, and of flea-bitten aspect), completed the party in the interior, amongst which I sincerely thanked my guardian_angel for not having placed me. I had been so fortunate as to obtain a seat in the coupé, and still more lucky did I deem myself in having two lean and intelligent companions, who took little room, discoursed agreeably, smoked moderately, and spat not at all. One of them, a priest, was at first taciturn, as is not uncommon with men of his cloth and country. He was tall, wiry, and hard-featured, near upon fifty, with a furrowed brow, and of ascetic aspect-the very model of a Spanish priest, as Velasquez has painted many. When a little courtesy and attention, the offer of a cigar, and one or two compliments paid to his country, had lured him out of his reserve and into conversation, he proved to be a man of the world, and of education such as is not often found amongst Spanish churchmen. He had led an eventful life, and, like many of his fraternity, had been largely mixed up in Spanish political convulsions and civil contests. More than twenty
years previously he had laid aside the clerical robe, and had taken up the sabre in defence of the rights of Don Carlos. He related many incidents of the war, which, from the lips of one who had witnessed or borne a part in them, possessed an interest they might perhaps lose upon paper. One or two anecdotes, however, appeared to me so characteristic as to be worth retaining. Don Geronimo (it was the priest's name) had been with Zumalacarregui early in the war, when Lord Eliot was sent to Biscay, and succeeded in making the convention that bears his name, and that gave a more merciful character to the strife which had commenced with the cry of "no quarter." To the mountain camp of the royalist chief, the English lord, with justifiable mistrust of its resources, and a true Englishman's care for the creature comforts, took with him a string of mules, well laden with provisions. Zumalacarregui was shocked at this. "What!" he exclaimed to his officers, amongst whom were then to be found some of the best soldiers and best blood in Spain, "does he think we are starving? We will show him the contrary." The fact was, that, whatever their deficiencies in various respects, in arms, uniforms, and money, the Carlists, holding some of the most fertile valleys of Biscay and Navarre, and having the population entirely in their favour, and devoted to the king, were then, and during the greater part of the war, abundantly supplied with food, and lived, indeed, on the fat of the land. Zumalacarregui was put upon his mettle by the sumpter-mules of the British envoy. He ordered a dinner to be prepared at Segura, his native town, in honour of Lord Eliot. He had three capital Guipuzcoan cooks; and, that the service might be worthy of the fare, he borrowed plate from all the country round. It was willingly and abundantly contributed; and, probably, so motley and remarkable a dinner-service was never before or since got together. Cups, jugs, and salvers, that had been for generations in the ancient Basque families— heirlooms much prized, but many of which, at a later period, were cheer
fully thrown into the melting-pot to support the identified causes of legitimacy and the Biscayan fuerospoured in on the requisition of the beloved general; and the table, when laid, would have been in its place in a museum of antiquities. Old wine, too, of rare vintage, was not wanting; the cooks did their utmost for the honour of their province; and Lord Eliot was fain to admit that he had underrated the resources of his hospitable entertainer. On another occasion, the Carlist leader invited him to breakfast near Estella, and gave secret orders that, during the repast, his guerillas should provoke the Christinos, and bring on a skirmish. At the sudden sound of firing close at hand, Lord Eliot, by a natural impulse, started from his seat, as did a foreign aide-de-camp of Zumalacarregui's there present. "Don't disturb yourself, my lord," said the general quietly. "When they know that I am here, they will not come on." And the meal was finished to the music of the musketry. Lord Eliot, Don Geronimo added, took a great liking to Zumalacarregui, who seems to have had the power of inspiring all who approached him with sentiments of esteem and respect, and remained with him, for the sake of his society, for some days after the object of his mission was attained.
If the priest was an interesting companion, especially to one who had seen something of the war, in reminiscences of which he abounded, my other fellow-traveller proved still more so. He was a slender, smartlymade, alert-looking man of about thirty-five, with aquiline features, an expressive and determined countenance, a frank and pleasing smile, and a face clean-shaven, except of a wiry mustache. Nothing in his dress betrayed the soldier; but still it was impossible to doubt that he had served, and probably for a long time. There were lines on his face which told of hardship and suffering, although these seemed in no degree to have depressed his spirits, or to have impaired his youthful vigour and activity. He was a good linguist, talked French admirably, Spanish tolerably, and only a slight
accent when he spoke to me in capital English, betrayed him to be a German. He was by no means difficult to draw out; and before our journey was half over we had obtained from him, without much questioning, a graphic sketch of his adventurous life. He had just left a German university when the revolutions of 1848 broke out, and, having a hot head and notions somewhat exaggerated as to the amount of liberty for which the Fatherland was ripe, he plunged at once into the contest, and, after many adventures and narrow escapes, found himself in the ranks of the Hungarian army. The war at an end, Gerinany was no place for one so compromised as he was; and after pining for a short time in idleness in England, he proceeded to India, and entered the service of a native prince. There he passed several eventful years, saw some fighting, and improved his knowledge of English; but, becoming disgusted with his position, he accepted an offer of service in the Persian army. On his way from India, and before entering the Persian Gulf, the native vessel, in which he had taken passage, was captured by pirates, and carried into a little port on the coast of Oman. Everybody on board was massacred except himself. He saved his life by proclaiming himself a physician. could not have hit upon a happier device. The brother of the piratical chief of the small town at which he was landed had long been ill of fever native art had afforded him no relief, and the Frank doctor was called upon immediately to cure him. Fortunately he had with him quinine and other drugs, suitable to the most ordinary diseases of those climates; and, stimulated by the promise of his liberty if he effected a cure, and by the threat of instant death if he failed, he proceeded to administer remedies. Perhaps the malady was not very obstinate, but at any rate they proved effectual, and the sick man recovered. The doctor gained great praise, and was told that he should shortly be released; but he soon found that the Arabs had no intention of depriving themselves of the valuable assistance of so skilful a