|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||The Soldier's Wife|
THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.
Hark! 'tis the battle trumpet;—mark ye well How its portentous voice rings through the air, Like a sad omen of impending fate!
Mark it! for some, it is the knell of death.
But, on!—death hath no terrors for the brave.
BEFORE approaching the encampment Kate had left Phelim at a neighboring village, lest his appearance should assist the memory of her husband, to whom she did not wish to make her self immediately known, hoping the surprise would be more agreeable to him when he finally recognised her. Now she rejoiced at the pre- caution she had taken, as circumstances led her to delay the recognition as long as possible. She therefore determined to take means of intimat- ing her wishes to Phelim, that he should keep out of sight for the present. Meanwhile she continued to occupy her husband's tent, and made herself very acceptable to him by her wit and arch humor. They had reached evening of the 31st of July. No posi- tive orders had been received from head- quarters; still every man instinctively kept on the alert, and none ventured to absent himself. George felt the restraint keenly; he ardently longed to break what seemed his prison bonds, and fly to Erenstein, for five minutes private conference with its fair heiress. He stood at the entrance of his tent, beside the supposed Charles St. John, who, for one so light-hearted by nature, was now in a melan- choly mood. "Have you ever loved, St. John?" said he, abruptly.
"Once," said Kate, in a low voice.
"Only once!" repeated George; "but you are young."
"I shall still say once, when I am very old,"
" How do you know ?" inquired George.
"Because," said Kate, "should every way- ward fancy lead me for a while astray, honor binds me to one, and honor would forbid me to change my love, as much as to defraud a friend.
"You should have lived, St. John, in the good old times of knight-errantry," exclaimed George, gaily, adding, with more seriousness, "still I believe you are right. But I have a favor to ask of you, my young friend. You see how I am manacled here. Do you think you could go for me as far as yonder height? You see that old baronial castle, with the white tur- rets rising above the wood?"
"I do," replied Kate.
"It is the Castle of Erenstein," said George. "You are free to pass where I am not; the sentry will barely question you. Will you go
thither for me?"
"Most readily, sir," said Kate.
"Kind boy," said George, taking a sealed
letter from his bosom. "Ask to be admitted
to the presence of the Countess Anna von Eren- stein; give her this letter, and tell her—"
"I know exactly what to tell her," said Kate, interrupting him; "what you have said to a dozen before her, sir, and will say to as many after, perchance—that she is your first, last, only love! that your heart holds no other image, your memory no other name! Am I not right?"
"You are a saucy stripling!" said George, "and I could almost make up my mind to chastise you, if—"
"If what, sir?" asked Kate.
"If I felt as usual. But something tells me that evil is hanging over me; perhaps I shall fall in the coming battle—who knows?"
"He only knows that is over all," said Kate, laying her hand on his arm, while tears sprang to her eyes, and despite herself her heart yearned for a reconciliation with the love of her youth.
"Your hand is like a woman's, St. John," said George, looking at the delicate fingers
which rested on his arm.
"Does it remind you of the Countess Anna's?"
"No!" said George. "It is an earlier, I had she was an angel of light and purity; and yet on my part. I reminds me of a woman, or rather a sweet child, whom I once fondly loved."
"And have forgotten," said Kate. "Perhaps she proved unworthy."
"No," said George, "it was I who was false; she was an angel of light and purity; and yet till this hour I never seemed to feel how much I had erred. Perhaps, as the moment of pos- sible or probable death approaches, our instincts become more vivid. But go, dear St. John. Bear my word of adieu and gratitude to the countess. She is a noble lady, and I have wronged her."
"How, sir?" said Kate.
"By wooing her when I was no longer free," replied George.
Kate took the letter in silence, and instantly set out on her little expedition. Arrived at the lady's dwelling, she found no difficulty in gain- ing admission to her presence. She found the countess very pale, but calm and quiet. She had received a blow from which her spirit could not rally, and her proud nature was wounded even more than her affections were hurt, but she bitterly condemned herself, and meekly bore the penalty of her error. She received Kate with the utmost kindness, and inquiring for her wel- fare, asked if she were in difficulties or sorrow.
"In both," said Kate, attempting a smile. "I bring you a love-letter from my husband."
"Can he be so base? In your very presence
too!" cried Anna.
"Nay," said Kate, "he is ignorant of my presence; he has not yet recognised me, and I shall not make myself known to him, at least not immediately. I am staying in his tent, how- ever, as a sort of guest; so I am in a measure obliged to do his pleasure. Give some answer, I beseech you, kind lady, for I must be gone."
"Yes," said the Countess Anna, glancing over the letter; "this requires some answer. Tell him, madam, that to-morrow, by my father's consent, and of my own free will, I wed an honorable man, my cousin, the Baron von Arnheim, and that my seeming love for another was a merry jest, already forgotten. Tell him that I have loved like a soldier—he will understand."
"I will not fail to repeat your words exactly, madam," said Kate; "but are they really
"Yes," said the countesss, "as far as my marriage goes. I am about to espouse my cousin, though I have not the least love for him. My heart is almost broken; but I have yet spirit enough left to prevent my appearing to the world as a love-lorn maiden."
With a promise of meeting again, Anna and Kate parted; the latter, returning to her hus- band, reported the words of the countess. Nothing could exceed the young officer's indig- nation. Forgetful of his late admissions, he considered himself wronged and aggrieved, and his honor injured. He paced the small tent with agitated steps, and resolved on the first oppor-
tunity to challenge the Baron von Arnheim. Full of these moody and vexed thoughts, George lay down to sleep. Kate bent over him, and for the first time since their reunion she ventured to kiss his brow, and was rewarded for her patient endurance by hearing him breathe
her name in sleep.
Yet those were sad hours for the poor girl while watching by her sleeping husband, whose days would perhaps in a few hours be cut short, ere one word of reconciliation or endearment had passed between them. At times she felt in- clined to awake the sleeper, and make herself known to him. Then came the thought that she had no place in his remembrance but such as passing feelings of compunction might give, and that she would perhaps only draw on her- self harsh reproofs for having followed his foot- steps. Moreover, her thoughtful tenderness suggested that he needed repose, before the coming fatigues of the battle-field; and she let him sleep on. The church clock close to the encampment had just struck 3, when a sound as of thunder smote the inexperienced ear of Kate.
Sho belioved it a storm.
She believed it a storm. start up from his sleep, "and directed towards Prince Ferdinand's quarters!" While speaking he hastily equipped himself, but with the utmost presence of mind. "Poor youth!" said he, glancing at Kate, who had also sprung on her feet, but with a pale cheek and anxious counte- nance. "You are little used to such scenes," he added. I had thought of pressing you into service; but it were a pity to risk your young life. You had better remain where you are till the fortunes of the day are decided. Farewell! Heaven knows when we shall meet again!"
He way hurrying from the tent, when Kate, detaining him, said, "Have you no word of re- membrance for absent friends in case—" Here the sentence was broken by her emotion.
She snatched her husband's hand and pressed
it to her heart.
"Poor boy!" said he, kindly; "the thought of danger unmans you. Yes, if I fall, and you live to see our native land once more, seek out Fitzmorris. Tell him to go to my wife, and assure her that although I was often untrue to her in life, yet in death—my last thought, my last prayer was for her."
"George, dearest!—best beloved!—stay yet but a moment!" exclaimed Kate; but he heard her not; he was already at some distance, and with cool precision forming his men, who were
even then under arms.
For an instant Kate wept and trembled; but to remain in a state of inaction seemed impos- sible. She left the tent, reckless of random shots, and amidst the roar of artillery, and volumes of obstructing smoke, she succeeded, even in that confusion, in identifying her hus- band's corps, and soon distinguished him at the head of his men. His regiment, and five others of the infantry, had taken up a strong position on the left. On the right, divided from the in- fantry by a scanty wood, that bordered on a heath, were stationed the British and Hano- verian cavalry, under Lord George Sackville.
The burden of the day, and a hard-fought day it was, fell on the British infantry. For a time Kate watched the movements from a height, which she had attained she scarcely knew how, her heart beating with fond apprehension for the precious life over which she watched. Never had she loved her truant husband as at that moment. All the estrangement that years and forgetfulness had wrought was forgotten; her rival no longer existed in her memory; she saw but one object; yet in the midst of her intense anxiety she had enough of the spirit of a soldier's wife in her to feel proud of the cool courage he displayed, to rejoice as he pressed forward, and droop if his regiment appeared to recede. Sometimes the advantage seemed to lean towards the enemy—then as suddenly the giant efforts of our brave infantry regained the lost ground, and turned the tide of fortune. Kate gazed on the scene of conflict, and gave herself up to the enthusiasm which the ani- mating hope of her husband's safety and assur- ance inspired.
Suddenly a doubt suggested itself to her mind whether George really were the officer whose movements she had so intently watched. It was an agonising doubt. But could her heart's instincts thus have failed and misled her? Perhaps at that moment, instead of re- joicing in the prospect of victory, he was weltering in his blood, or trampled beneath the feet of tho enemy. Tho contending armies had feet of the enemy. The contending armies had poor Kate lost sight even of the supposed ob- ject of her interest, and entirely forgetful of personal danger, she impetuously rushed from her post of comparative security and was about to plunge into the mêlée when she met an officer on foot, whose horse had been shot under
"Here, youth!" he cried, on seeing her. "Is it holiday time? Or are you bird's-nesting while brave men are toiling on yon field? What! unarmed! Can you fight?"
"I never tried, sir," she replied.
"But you can run I perceive; are fleet as a hare." Then hastily tearing a scrap of paper, and writing a word with pencil, he said, "Carry this to the colonel of the — regiment. See! his men are yonder. If you are successful, and escape, after the battle call on General Caven- dish for any reward you please." So saying he thrust the paper into Kate's hand, and rushed
It was a message to the colonel of her hus- band's regiment, and being the bearer of it she could at least learn his fate. She hastened across the plain while random shots were whiz- zing about her head. On nearing the actual mêlée she stumbled over a corpse that lay ex- tended on the field. It was that of a young officer so young as scarcely to have passed the morning of life. A sweet smile still parted his lips, and his hand grasped his sword. She bent over him to ascertain if life were quite extinct. Yes, all was hushed for ever! Kate, having no weapon of defence, gently disengaged the sword from the cold hand, and ventured to appropri- ate it. It was light, and fitted to her slender grasp. After one more look of sympathy on the noble remains of a brave man, she hurried forward, and succeeded in finding the spot where the brave —— regiment struggled hand to hand
with an irritated foe.
Many a "hair-breadth 'scape" had our heroine in that peril-fraught adventure; but she persevered, and penetrated even to the colonel. It appeared that her message was of some importance. The colonel, having glanced at the paper, dashed it on the ground, and ex- claimed, "Well done, my noble boy! Onward, my brave fellows!" he cried, "they run, they run!" Glancing again at Kate, he said, "If I
survive——" but his remaining words were
The colonel, heading his men, pressed forward, but, alas, he never returned! The enemy's in- fantry were fast receding; a young man, in a captain's uniform, passed by, leading on a corps. The quick eye of love instantly discerned the object of its worship in that gallant soldier. He too recognised the supposed St. John. "What, you here!" he exclaimed; "how?
"With dispatches to the colonel."
"Right! right! On, my brave fellows!"
As he spoke, George's sword was struck from his hand and shattered. Instantaneously Kate replaced it by the weapon she held, and he was again lost to sight. In vain poor Kate exerted her feeble strength to follow the direction he had taken. The numbers, pressure, and tumult, together with her previous fatigues, exhausted her, and she sunk on the earth, where she nar- rowly escaped being trampled to death by the pursuers. She had received a slight sabre cut on the arm, which bled so freely that she fainted; not however till she heard the shouts of victory bursting from thousands of brave
At noon the glorious field of Minden was won, after a prolonged struggle of many hours. Our heroine lay on the cold earth till the even- ing stars came forth, and shone above the dying and the dead. When her eyes unclosed she at first felt stunned and confused; but the events of the day soon recurred to her memory. Then came the consciousness that her husband's fate was still an uncertainty. Making a strong effort, she rose, and contrived to crawl rather than walk to the tent which she had left in the early morning.
The camp presented an animated scene, and was loud with the sounds of triumph and re- joicing. One quarter alone preserved a melan- choly silence; it was that of the British cavalry. In his tent sat Lord George Sackville, the British commander-in-chief. The veteran soldier had torn the vain orders and decorations from his bosom, and snapped his well-worn sword beneath his feet. There it lay, never more to glitter in the sunlight of victory. The melancholy sternness of the general's face was something painful to contemplate; it expressed, though certainly for the first time, defeat and shame. The arms of his country had been victorious, but he had been cut off from a par- ticipation in glory and victory, alike by the base jealousy and ungenerous subterfuges of the Brunswickers, to whom were confided the for- tunes of the day, and who now dared (albeit under a mask) to slander the hitherto unsullied name of Sackville, by attributing to him per- sonal cowardice, and hinting that the victory was shorn of half its lustre by the British general's refusing to act with his cavalry and to execute orders which had been purposely too long delayed. Thus did Prince Ferdinand hope to secure to himself the unshared laurels of the field of Minden, and to overwhelm a brave man with ignominy; but posterity has been just, and judged with an impartial eye between the per- fidious Brunswicker and the noble but culmi- nated Lord George Sackville.
But to return to our heroine. On entering her husband's tent she found it silent and un- tenanted. The young and ardent spirit which occupied it that morning had not returned. Where was he? Among the slain? In that hour of torturing suspense it required the ut- most stretch of courage to bear Kate up above
the natural weakness of her sex. "I will search
for him," she exclaimed, "and, dead or living,
share his fate!"
The stars were waning when the soldier's wife, seizing a lantern, and thoughtfully providing herself with a bottle of water, went forth to search for her husband. To all her inquiries as she passed through the regiment, came the same chilling answer, that Captain Allan was certainly among the slain, as no one had seen him since the first cries of victory arose; and many added, "How sad that he should have fallen! for he distinguished himself so nobly, that had he lived his promotion was certain."
As she heard those words, the young wife wept tears of mingled anguish and proud pleasure. She continued her course to the battle-field, accompanied by an old soldier to whom George had shown great kindness. It was a sad task to walk amongst the ghastly and mutilated corpses, some scarcely recognisable as human beings, so disfigured and shattered were they; others again lying in such calm tran- quility that they seemed but enjoying a peace- ful slumber. The night was so dark that the remains of mortality seemed doubly ghastly by the uncertain glare of the lantern. Yet not for a moment did Kate think of relinquishing her painful search. Her kind companion entreated her to return, and leave the melancholy office to him. Had the veteran surmised her real character and relationship to him they sought, he could scarcely have been more urgent; but she would not yield the point.
At length they reached a part of the field where a number of dead had fallen one on the other in a confused heap. To recognise any they must be removed. Happily our heroine was becoming in a measure nerved to horrors, and her dreadful suspense kept her from yield- ing to the feelings of disgust which such scenes of blood would otherwise have inspired. Sud- denly another lantern lit the darkness of the night, a man approached, and kneeling beside a corpse, held his lantern near enough to scru-
tenise the features of the dead.
"Some bereaved one, perchance," said Kate, speaking unconsciously aloud, "in quest of life's dearest object."
"An' is it yourself, Misthress—Misther St. John, I mane. Now praised be all the saints in hiven that I met you this blissed night!" ex- claimed Phelim, for he it was who had thus suddenly appeared to view. "Ah' you was afther thinkin', darlint, that ould Phelim was goin' to secure himself in peace and comfort while you was sufferin' hardship! No, no, ma- vourneen; it's watchin' over you I've been, an' fighting too; an' now I can handle a sword as well as a shillelagh."
"Oh, Phelim! Phelim!—where is he? Help me to find him!" cried Kate, interrupting his long exordium.
"Faith an' its myself as has been these three blissed hours asking that same of ivery poor gontleman as lies here; an' among ivery mother's son there's not one, darlint, as answers to the name of Captain Allan."
"But here, Phelim," said Kate, "help me to move these poor gentlemen. There, gently! lay them down again. They feel not rough handling; but, oh Phelim, there are hearts that love them. They have mothers, sisters—some to whom they are all most dear."
After removing several bodies they came to that of an officer, his sword-arm pinioned to his side by a blade which had evidently broken in two while inflicting the wound, for the hilt lay by the side of the dead or wounded man, while the steel stuck upright in the wound. Trembl- ing with apprehension, Kate held the lantern to that pale face, and recognised her husband. Who can describe the agony of that moment! Kate, however, neither shrieked nor fainted. She knelt down beside the body, and laying her ear on the unclosed lips, became instantly con- scious that life was not extinct, though its func- tions were suspended. Supressing the cry of joy which trembled on her lips, she whispered eagerly, "He lives, Phelim!—he lives! Let us convey him to the tent."
"But first let us draw out that ugly steel from the wound," said Phelim.
"No, no; that must remain as it is till the doctor sees him," said Kate. "We should only make the wound bleed, and here we have no means of stooping it."
She put a little water into the parched lips— some on the pale brow, and immediately the little party set out for the camp, carrying the wounded and insensible man as tenderly as pos- sible. On arriving there they soon had a sur- geon in attendance, who gave it as his opinion that the wound was mortal, and that George had not many hours to survive; but love is like faith, it hopes and believes seeming impossibilities, and for once love was clearer-sighted than science. Kate had not ceased to hope, and her hopes were joyfully fulfilled. George's suffer- ings were great, but by his young nurse's con- stant assiduties he ultimately recovered. He learnt with feelings of the warmest gratitude the devotion with which the supposed Charles St. John had watched over and attended him in his illness; still he was far from imagining the cause of that devotion; and whether it was to spare him the agitation of a recognition, or to try her husband yet further, Kate still put off the moment of making herself known to him.
MEN'S laws and claims are weak to set aside
The bonds that heaven and love have sanctified.
WHEN George was sufficiently recovered to be left alone, Kate happened one day to wander a short distance from the camp to breathe the fresh air. Her heart was full of unspeakable happiness, not only because she had been heaven's chosen instrument to snatch from death, and to comfort in the hours of weakness and suffering, the being who was most dear to her, but because during his illness she had received abundant proofs that her husband's affections had returned to the channel wherein nature and duty alike should have taught them to flow.
While indulging in soothing visions of coming happiness, Kate was suddenly aroused from her pleasant dreams by feeling a hand grasp her shoulder, and it was by no means a gentle grasp. She turned round indignantly and began to re- monstrate in the language of the country, with which she was now becoming familiar; but what were her feelings of surprise and conster- nation when she found herself face to face with Lord William Harvey!
"Ah, madam!" he exclaimed. "You may well tremble. Unhappy girl! Doubly lost to all sense of shame or duty—and do I find you thus?—in this habit!—in such a scene!—while your affectionate father spends his days and nights in bitter lamentation for the absence and degradation of his only child."
The mention of her father's name filled poor Kate's eyes with tears; she could not reply to justify herself, but turned away her
head in mournful silence.
"You repent—I see you do!" cried Lord William, in a softened voice. "Return with me, and all will be forgiven."
"With you, my lord!—impossible!" ex-
"Wherefore?" he asked.
"Because I have ties, sacred duties, which bind me here; but to you, my lord, I owe neither duty nor obedience, nor any—"
"I come armed with your father's authority, madam!" exclaimed he—"commissioned, wher- ever I find you, to lead you back to him. "No tie can equal that of a parent at your age."
"Pardon me, my lord, there is still a stronger tie. Much as I love my father, I have greater affection for my husband."
"Your husband, madam!" he exclaimed.
"Yes, my lord, my husband," replied Kate. "I am the wife of one of those brave man who have struggled gloriously on yonder field for their country's honor, while idlers remained at home. I am proud of being his wife, and would not quit his side or cease to share his perils, for the most brilliant station, the most luxurious life, that could be offered me without
"You are frantic, madam," cried Lord William, rudely grasping her arm. "If such a marriage ever took place it is illegal; law and equity will establish your father's superior claims. You must and shall accompany me."
"Never, my lord!—never!" exclaimed Kate. "I have freely explained all to my father, by a letter entrusted to the care of Miss Chambers; he must have had it long since."
"He has never received such a letter," said Lord William; "he is ignorant that you have crossed the seas. I traced you hither, after having been artfully sent by yourself on a false scent. I have narrowly escaped falling into the hands of the enemy—have run through many risks to find you, and, by heaven, it shall not be in vain!" Here he made an effort to snatch Kate's light weight in his arms, evidently intend- ding to carry her off.
"Stand back, my lord!—stand back!" cried Kate. "I warn you, I am not unarmed; and I have spirit and resolution to defend myself. Beware, sir, how you outrage me further. Another step and I fire! The camp is close at hand, where there are friends who will protect me. Think not your rank will screen you from the chastisement of many a brave man if you dare to insult the wife of one of their com- panions in arms."
While Kate spoke she presented a pistol. Lord William was astounded at her firmness and resolution. Darting a look of contempt at him, our heroine turned and fled, and plunging into the wood that skirted a portion of the plain, was soon out of view. Taking a circuitous direction, she again emerged, though not in sight of her pursuer, and made for the camp. When she reached her husband's tent, she sunk exhausted on the ground. George, who was seated, reading, hastened to learn the cause of her agitation.
"Dear St. John!" he exclaimed, "what is this? I know you are not one to be frightened at a trifle. What has happened?"
Kate could not reply; but taking his hand in both of hers, and pressing it, she looked at
him with such indescribable tenderness that he started. There was something in the boy's eyes like a familiar memory of other days. While he was still perplexed and uncertain, Kate en- deavored to speak, when a messenger arrived to summon Captain Allan to Lord George Sack- ville's tent. He laid Kate on his pallet, and followed the soldier. Lord George, as usual, looked sad and stern, when the captain entered. A strange gentleman, in the guise of a traveller, was seated beside his lordship.
"Captain Allan," said Lord George, "I have sent for you to give you the opportunity of clearing your honor."
"My honor, my lord," said George, "has never been impeached. I appeal to the whole army."
"Justice, sir," replied Lord George, "is not always found in the decision even of an army. But to come to the point. You are aware, perhaps, Captain Allan, that my command here is soon to be laid down. I am recalled to Eng-
"To England, my lord!" exclaimed George.
"Yes," replied his lordship, "my reputation and honor have not escaped the fangs of malice. yielding my command I wish to leave no theme arms again; but I believe they will do me justice."
"Yes; to a man, my lord, they will," replied George.
"But this is not to my purpose," continued his lordship. "I was about to remark, that in yielding my command I wish to leave no theme of discord or disunion among my officers. You are accused, Captain Allan, by this gentleman—
"On my oath, my lord, I never saw him before!" exclaimed George.
"Possibly not," said Lord William, darting at the young soldier the glance of an angry and jealous rival. "I nevertheless, sir, accuse you of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentle- man, and am ready to support my accusation with my sword."
"Excuse me, my lord," said Lord George Sackville, "but I believe you placed this affair in my hands; if so, it is for me to investigate it. As for my officers, they have other uses for their swords than to flourish them in private brawls and frays."
Lord William bit his lip, but was obliged to be silent, while his lordship addressed Captain Allan. "Will you, captain," said he, "on the word of a man of honor, assure me that you have no lady concealed in your tent?"
"Lady, my lord!" exclaimed George, with a smile; "my tent would indeed be a rough dwelling for a lady!"
"That is no answer, sir," said Lord George, frowning. "Do you refuse to satisfy me?"
"Certainly not, my lord," said George. "For your satisfaction, though not for that of any other person, I declare, on the faith of a gentleman, and a soldier, that no lady inhabits my tent, and that no female of any kind has en- tered it for weeks. Nay, in my late severe ill- ness, after my wound received at Minden, I was attended by a youth—a mere boy."
Lord George flinched a little at the mention of Minden; but the momentary emotion passed, and his countenance settled down into its usual expression. "You see, my lord," he said, turn- ing to Lord William, "how the matter stands."
"And," said Lord William, "you believe the assertion, my lord, do you?"
"Assuredly," replied Lord George. "I place implicit confidence in the word of Captain Allan; his bravery and known honor place his word beyond suspicion."
George bowed low, as well he might, to that high compliment.
"Still I repeat my charge, my lord!" said Lord William, passionately. "Not only is there a lady living night and day in that officer's tent,
but she is one who has been lured from her friends and family, my affianced bride erewhile, but now ruined in her honor and reputation. I come armed with her father's commands to snatch her from destruction. I have found her following the camp, and habited as—"
"It is false, my lord—utterly false!" ex- claimed George. "No one inhabits my tent but myself and a youth whom you have seen, who travelled from England with dispatches for your lordship."
"May not that youth be summoned, my lord?" said Lord William, eagerly.
"I can produce him instantly, my lord," said Captain Allan.
"No, sir," said Lord George, "you will re- main here, if you please."
"Am I to consider myself a prisoner, my lord?" asked George, proudly
"Consider yourself what you please, Captain Allan, but pray moderate your impatient spirit." So saying, Lord George desired his secretary to dispatch a messenger in quest of Charles St. John, while the two young men gazed at each other with looks of indignation.
It was not long before Charles St. John made his appearance; pale indeed, but firm and
"Come in, good youth," said Lord George Sackville; "I have sent for you on an import- ant occasion. Speak frankly, and you have nothing to fear."
"I do fear nothing, my lord," said Kate, re- solutely; "your presence is a sufficient pro-
"Tell me, then, where have you been quartered since your arrival?"
"In Captain Allan's tent, my lord," she re- plied.
"Alone with him?"
"Quite alone, my lord."
"And during that time no lady has been in the tent? You have seen none?"
"There has been one," said Kate, deliberately. "How, St John! Do you turn traitor?" cried George.
"Let the lad proceed, sir!" said Lord George, indignantly, to the unfortunate captain, who began to think all the world leagued against him. "Tell me, youth," continued the wrath- ful commander, "do you know who the lady is?"
"I should know, my lord," said Kate.
"Speak, then," demanded Lord George; "who
Kate looked at her husband a moment with a
speaking earnest look, and still paused.
During the conversation, if such it might be called, Lord William had made many efforts to speak, but each time Lord George imperatively demanded silence. Kate's prolonged gaze at her husband became more and more fixed.
"Speak out, young man!" said Lord George, who was becoming impatient.
"My lord, I will speak," said Kate. "The lady who has been in Captain Allan's tent has been there without his knowledge; therefore if blamo rests with any ono it must bo with her,
for she has imposed on him by a disguise
"Disgraceful subterfuge!" interrupted Lord
"Gentlemen, I am disgusted with these enigmas, and my time is precious," said Lord George Sackville; "pray come to some open explanation."
"I will explain everything, my lord," said Kate; "and will be brief, too; but forgive me if I go back to matters which may appear irre- levant. My lord, you are a man of honor; you will understand, and sympathise with me, even if you condemn me, when you have heard my story."
"But it is not your story I would hear, good
youth," said Lord George; "proceed to state what you can to clear the doubts and difficulties
of the present matter."
"Forgive me, my lord," said Kate, in a tone so gently persuasive that his lordship was con- strained to hear her. "Grant me your patient hearing. It is now nineteen years since a gentle- man of Longford, mourning over the loss of a beloved wife, left the home of his fathers, to dissipate his grief by sojourning in another land. In expiring, his wife left him an infant daughter. The bereaved husband dared not trust himself to gaze on the child whose linea- ments would too faithfully have recalled his loss, and he departed for England. Months passed, and even years swept over the heads of father and daughter, but they met not. The girl saw her fifteenth summer, while still an inmate of hear foster-father's cottage. She grew up un- tutored in the world's ways, ignorant of its knowledge; in fact a very child of nature. Her father claimed her not; he seemed to have forgotten her existence. She thought of him as a stranger, and knew no parents but those who had nurtured her from infancy. Chance—shall I call it so ?—no! it surely something more than chance, threw in her path one who was loved as soon as seen. She need not blush for that ac-
knowledgment. I have said she was ignorant of the world's ways; and in her ignorance, or innocence, call it by which name you please, she gave her hand to him who already owned her heart, and she has never repented her choice, for her husband is one whose name she is proud
Kate paused; her secret was revealed. George would have interrupted her; despite the pre- sence of strangers would have clasped his wife to his bosom, but she waved him back, and thus continued: "The fate of war separated those that were truly lovers; the husband departed to join his companions in arms, leaving his bride to await his return; and not long afterwards the young wife was claimed by her father. She obeyed her parent's call; his seeming neglect was explained. She found in him all that a daughter's heart could wish, and by devoted affection she repaid the tenderness he lavished
on her. He instructed her untutored mind— opened to her admiring sight the hitherto closed page of knowledge—led her into the world, where her eyes were dazzled by hitherto un- dreamt-of splendors, and her imagination charmed by scenes as new as they were delight- ful; but in the midst of all, the young girl's heart remained faithful to its trust, and she con- tinued worthy of her noble husband. Time swept onward in its flight. A gentleman whose rank and fortune were the envy of many, whose external advantages were great, whose high qualities appeared to correspond to his unble- mished reputation, wooed the young girl, of whose ties he was ignorant, for she did not dare to reveal them. A friend, indeed one who bore almost the relationship of a sister, and to whom she had confided the position in which she stood, advised her to fly to her husband's protecting arms, urging that if she longer de- layed, her marriage would be dissolved as soon as discovered, and she would be forced into a union, as criminal as it would be repugnant to her feelings. My lord, what could she do? Where turn for assistance and protection? She had no mother. Her father was kind; but would he so continue when he found his child
had given her hand to a stranger without his knowledge and consent, and thus frustrated his own plans for her matrimonial establishment? Again and again was she told he would not con- tinue kind; and thus, to save her honor and preserve her faith inviolate, she fled from her father's house. The same friend who had en- couraged her flight devised the plan and found the means for its execution. She was induced, though reluctantly, to assume the habit of a youth, and in that character was introduced to the great and eminent statesman who presides over the destinies of England. He was desirous of meeting with some trusty and secret mes- senger, to whom he might confide despatches, which he hesitated to forward by an ordinary envoy. The girl was admitted to his presence. Whether he penetrated her disguise I am not sure; but at least he trusted her, and she de- parted, proud of his confidence, and resolved to be worthy of it. She pursued her route on horseback attended by her foster-father, who had joined her, and determined to follow her fortunes. They reached the sea shore, embarked, crossed the seas, landed at the Hague, where some of the despatches she bore were to be left. After fulfilling her mission there, she was setting out for the army with renewed energies, when, by a treacherous device, on which I will not now dwell, she was thrown into prison. Escaped from thence by a stratagem, she claimed, and had justice done her by the rulers of the coun- try. She continued her journey and soon after found herself a second time a prisoner, though now in the hands of a French detach- ment. Fortunately it was commanded by a man of honor, whose noble countenance assured her that in him she might confide. Even to him however she would not communicate the
mission with which she was intrusted, but she
avowed to him her sex, and her motives for the disguise she had assumed; told him that she had encountered perils and hardships to join a beloved husband, then fighting in the army of
the allies. My lord, she threw herself on his generosity, and the noble-minded man recom-
pensed her confidence by bestowing on her the boon of liberty. Strengthened by the kind pro- she at length surmounted all the difficulties that she at length surmounted all the difficulties that lay in her path, and reached her husband's
Kate paused, and George turned aside in con- fusion, for well he might, while her clear blue eye rested on him with an expression in which a ray of laughing mischief might be traced.
"She found him," continued Kate, "what he had ever been—brave, enthusiastic, and a lover still. It was not long before the last battle, my lord, that she stood in this position. Perhaps she consulted her husband's interests more than
her own feelings; perhaps she feared to unnerve
his arm for the coming fight; however that might be, she resolved (as he did not recognise her) to continue her disguise, and thereby be less a charge to him, and more at liberty to share his toils and danger. She has shared them, my lord. The years which had elapsed since their meeting effectually prevented a dis- covery. She has been privileged to watch over, and, under Providence, to save a life more pre- cious to her than her own. And now, my lord, do you condemn her? Speak, I am the cul-
Kate threw back the golden ringlets which clustered over her brow, while George enthusias- tically exclaimed, "My beloved, my noble wife!" and unmindful of the restraint she would have imposed on him, pressed her to his heart. Lord William Harvy became livid with rage.
"Brave girl!" said Lord George Sackville; "Heaven forbid that I should condemn you. My Lord William you had better retire from so unequal a contest. Love is the conqueror."
"But the marriage is illegal, my lord!" said Lord William. "Surely you will not refuse to do me justice?"
"Any justice," replied Lord George, "that lies in my power, my lord; but I have no au- thority in this matter; and be the marriage ever so illegal to human eye, it is evidently one of Heaven's forming; and I have no doubt that the young lady's father, when he learns all the circumstances, will become perfectly reconciled
to the match."
"You refuse, then," said Lord William, "to place the young lady in my hands?"
"I do, my lord," was the reply. "I have neither the right nor the inclination. She is free to choose her own course. If she resolve on continuing to share her brave husband's perils and privations, there will be no impedi- ment to so noble a resolution. If, on the con- trary, she decide on returning to England, in order to claim her father's protection, till peace shall restore her to her husband's arms, I my- self will be her escort. Nothing would induce me to sanction the young lady's travelling under your care, considering the claim you still seem to lay to her hand, and the jealous feeling you
"My generous, noble benefactor! with what words shall I thank you?" exclaimed Captain
"With none," replied Lord George Sackville; "but what does the young lady decide?"
"Most assuredly to remain with my husband, my lord," said Kate; "and I have a good hope that when hostilities here have ceased, we shall be enabled to make our peace with my dear
father at home."
"Madam, I commend your resolve," said Lord George, "and you may depend on my good offices with your father the moment I reach England."
Once more expressing their warmest thanks, George and Kate retired, and with joyous hearts repaired to their tent, where they were most agreeably engaged till evening in recounting to each other their mutual adventures during their long separation.
By tacit consent the Countess Anna von Erenstein's name was never mentioned, though Kate could not refrain from occasionally making some mischievous allusion to her rival; still her hints were unaccompanied by reproaches, and her temper was so good that George wisely re- frained from retaliating. The encomiums which she lavished on the Vicomte de Montravers ex-
cited a vague jealousy in her husband's bosom, but she smilingly assured him that he had a much more formidable rival than the Vicomte. George seemed incredulous; but in after years Kate always declared that Mr. Pitt was the only man she had ever met who had inspired her with a feeling of admiration which could give umbrage to her husband.
Lord William Harvey remained in the camp long enough to send Captain Allan a challange, which was privately accepted, but did not es- cape Kate's vigilant eye. She wrote in haste to Lord George Sackville:—
"MY LORD, —I entreat you to crown all your goodness by placing my husband under arrest, as he is about throwing away his life in a silly fray.
"Your lordship's grateful servant, CATHE-
Lord George acted on her suggestion. George was placed under arrest, and only released when Lord William contrived by his own rashness to fall into the enemy's hands, in consequence of having approached their quarters too nearly.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
"I LIKE to see the dear little creatures amus-
ing themselves," said Mrs. Brown, when her older boy took the visitor's new bonnet and affixed it to the tail of his kite. "Never fear," said the good matron to her visitor, when she saw her bonnet in the air, "soon as the kite comes down he will give it to you."
An aged Forfurshiro lady, knowing tho habits of her old and spoiled servant, when she wished a note taken without loss of time, held it open and read it over to him, saying: "There noo, Andrew, ye ken a' that's in it; noo dinna stop to open it, but jest send it off."
A NEW BULL.—The Detroit Tribune says that a resident of that city, who lives on a fashionable thoroughfare, observed a man whom he did not care to see coming toward his door, and hurriedly instructed Bridget to tell the per- son that he was not at home. "All right, sir," said Bridget, as she made haste to answer the door bell. "Is Mr.—at home?" inquired the caller. "Faith, an' he's gone out," re- sponded the obedient servant. "When will he be at home?" asked the man at the door. "Hould on a minnit," put in Bridget, "an' I'll
JOSH BILLINGS ON HORNETS.—The hornet is an inflamible bug sudden in his impreshuns and hasty in hiz conclusions, or end. His natral disposishen iz a warm cross between red pepper in the pod and fusil ile, and hiz moral bias iz, "git out ov my wa." They have a long, black body, divided in the middle by a waist spot, but their phizikle importance lays at the terminus of their subbub, in the shape ov a javelin. This javelin is always loaded, and stands ready to un- load at a minit's warning; and enters a man az still az though it wuz litening, and az full ov melankoly as the toothake. Hornets never argy a ouse j thoy sottlo awl thoir differences or opin yuu by letting thoir javelin fly, ond uro az sur tain to hit az a mule iz. Hornets build their nests wherever they take a noshun to, and sel- dom are disturbed, for what would it profit a man tew kill 99 hornets and have the 100th hit him with hiz javelin. They bild their nests ov paper, without enny windows to them or back doors. They have but one place ov admission, and the nest iz the shape ov an overgrown pine- apple, and is cut up into just az menny bed- rooms as there iz hornets. It iz very simple to make a hornets' nest if you kan, but I will wager enny man 300 dollars he kant bild one that he could sell to a hornet for half price. Hornets are az bizzy az their second cousins, the bee, but what they are about I don't know. They don't lay up enny honey, nor enny money; they seem to be bizzy only just for the sake ov work- ing all the time; they are always in as much ov a hurry as though they waz going for a doktor. I suppose this uneasy world would grind around on its axle tree onst in 24 hours even if there warnt enny hornets, but hornets must be good for sumthing, but I kant think now what it is.