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tinel, who is ever on the alert, and might pick me off on the point of his bayonet, and throw me back into the ditch, which would be woful, as it is full of rank, green slime, and frogs, and snakes, and a thousand other little interesting animals. But I will consider that she has a claim to be adjusted before I dispose of it. Scaling a wall is not a matter of such great import, provided you can only get at it. To approach the ramparts, and cross the first ditch, is all pastime and moonshine; but the
of that rascally inner moat is the tug of war, and the very diablo's work itself, provided, especially, that the besieged are fractious, stubborn, and exert themselves to prevent you. When, in the year of our Lord 1762, it was attempted by Sir WilLIAM Draper, it cost him many lives, and eight days' inconvenience, malgré the three thousand Sepoys, to say nothing of other soldiers of the East India Company, marines and sailors, which he had at his back. How much more difficult, then, would it be for me, who have no Sepoys, (who have been known, stubborn rascals ! to sit down and die before a Mahrattas fort, because the said Mahrattas would not let them take it,) no other soldiers, no marines, no sailors, with their long pikes, to incommode one; nothing under the blessed sun to as
but the thirteen shabby rascals who compose my happy household, of whose valor, (my own, of course, being unquestionable,) I have some little doubt, as I have seen the whole rabble rout of them put to the right-about by an enraged washerwoman; and more than this, when my dogs Ellin' and Smuggler' howl at midnight, every one of my valiant retainers trembles, from turret to foundation stone. So you see, backed by such a regiment, were I to attempt a little wallscaling recreation, I should doubtless be left in the same plight as the gentry at the Siege of Corinth, when Alp made his midnight perigrination, and
'Saw the lean dogs beneath the wall,
I will therefore — the better part of valor being discretion - defer the matter until to-morrow morning at day-break, when I can walk quietly in through the Puerta Parian, without molestation,
“I never could bear the silent, grim, defying frown of a bastion, with its long brass thirty-two pounders, especially by moonlight ; nor the silent, measured step of the sentinel, who never sleeps; nor the eternal winking of a loop-hole; nor the ominous clang of the chains of a draw-bridge, which fills one with awful forbodings, as you pass over; nor the two mysterious brass lions, which cap the pillars of the gate, nor a watch-tower, nor a horn-work, nor a scarp, (always so slippery,) nor a lunette, and a redoubt! The very idea of storming a redoubt, fills one with such ‘forlorn hope' ideas, that I always pass them by as silently as possible. Give me but the 'covered way,' and you are welcome to the poetry of all the rest. And yet I often wish that I had been reared a soldier; and I never read an account of a battle, without wishing that I had been one of the
immortal few' who. covered themselves with glory;' which, by the way, I should fancy rather a slender covering, of a winter night, bivouacked in a morass, with six inches of ice and water!
• Tell me, my dear why it is that women are so partial to soldiers ? I have known a thing in a red coat, and crimson sash, and
moustaches, to play the very deuce with the hearts of some half a dozen young ladies. Yet he was a fool, and a coward, and would suffer you to pull his nose with impunity. I know that with women, the man who has the reputation of a 'gallant soldier,' or 'brave officer,' is quite irresistible; and a military coat in a ball-room sets their unsophisticated hearts fluttering, like a dog-vane in a high wind. It is very laudable in a woman to love a brave man, yet she ought to recollect, that regimentals are often worn by braggadocios, whose sterling value is hardly one straw.
• How awfully it thunders! Flash crash — roll — thump! And down comes the rain, like a second deluge! Your violent rains,' as they are called at home, are mere April showers, compared with our rains here, during the south-west monsoon; and if you would like to behold a genuine, real revel of the Furies, just travel into these foreign parts,' and we will get up a typhoon, for your especial gratification.
The annexed little incident will remind the reader of a similar faux pas, recorded long since by OLLAPOD,' (from whom ‘more anon,') of a young villager at a country-ball. The dance, it will be remembered, was beginning. He had triumphantly taken his place, at the head of the 'male line,' to lead off in a contra-dance, with a favorite dancer, the belle of the room. He'seized his partner,' as commanded by the sable Apollo, who stamped them off, "up outside and down the middle;' and when at last they had reached the bottom, our rustic Adonis paused, and drawing from the deep Charybdis of his coat, what seemed to his dim eyes a pocket-handkerchief,' essayed to mop bis perspiring temples. As he did so, he was partially aware of a general snicker, through the room. What could it be for? He looked around; every one looked at him. He looked down — then at his hands. The sight was quite enough. For a handkerchief, he had flourished a common dickey, the strings whereof fell to his feet, long as the moral law! For gloves, he had selected from his trunk a pair of short silk pump-hose, well saved,' by numerous emendations that had been required by sundry previous scrapes; all these he had displayed, on and in his hands, before the multitude! His mortification was at its height, when an envious haw-buck dancer asked if his gloves were fresh from ’York,' and pronounced them.darned good, at any rate ;' and another inquired, if that ‘was the latest shape for han’ker'chers, and whether the strings were to prevent their being stolen ? But we are keeping the reader from the passage alluded to.
· Yesterday was Santa Cristina,' the Saint's day of the Queen Regent; and we had great doings in going to court, and salutes from the forts and battlements of the city, and processions; and in the evening, all the military bands were in the square, and played until ten o'clock. As usual, seats were prepared for the ladies in the Plaza, and all the beauty and fashion of the place,' as newspaper editors say, were there.'
• It is the fashion here, to carry in one's pocket a very gay, wrought handkerchief, which our female friends sometimes mark very prettily for us. Last night, I made a visit at a house in the 'Callé del Palacio,' to 'hobble' Spanish with some young ladies, and pass a pleasant evening. After being there a short time, I pulled out my handkerchief, (as people sometimes will,) and as I
did so, one who sat opposite to me, made some remark which caused me to turn and laugh at the person on my left, when the senorita' on my right caught out of my hand, what I, in the hurry of dressing, had put into my pocket for a handkerchief, and held up to the muchamused company, a grass-cloth pillow-case ! severe jesters, when in the humor; and this little incident brought down a deluge of jokes and laughter upon poor me, wbo returned thrust for thrust, and enjoyed the fun as well as any of them.'
We once heard or saw and if the latter, we shall be greatly obliged to any reader who will inform us where
a story somewhat akin to this, of a distinguished literary gentleman in London, the victim of an over-prudent wife, who was a continual source of kind annoyance to him. One drizzly, dubious evening, he was about betaking himself to a soirée, in a distant quarter of the metropolis, when his cautious companion, fearing the threatening weather might detain him with his host all night, besought him to take with him a night-cap, from which he could be sure no danger would ensue, by reason of dampness, that might result from one borrowed for the occasion. He declined; the wife implored, but the man resisted. Finally, the * better half' apparently yielded the point, and after throwing her arms tenderly around her husband, he was permitted to depart. Now he was to meet, at the conversazione, whither he was wending, a literary old maid, 'darkly, deeply, beautifully blue,' and vain as a peacock, whose ms. poem lay perdue in his coat-pocket. He had taken it to read, and was to return it, with his opinion of its merits, when next he met the benign cerulean who had made it out of her head.' In the course of the evening, he encountered her, the centre of a bevy of admiring and kindred spirits. The circle widened at his approach, and when he was seated, a triumphant appeal was made to his literary judgment. Great was the joy of the authoress, when the umpire declared, as he placed the ms. in her bands, that he was highly delighted with the whole poem,' although he had not read a line of it. . What scene enchanted you the most ?' inquired the poet. ess; the one which records the story of Adelgitha Fitzclarence ? or that where Godfrey-Augustus de Mandeville restores the Lady Georgiana to her lover ?
Tell us what effect that scene had upon you.'
Here was a poser! What was the critic to answer ? He only knew that the poem was written upon fancy-colored paper, and prettily stitched together with a pink ribbon. What was he to do? Suddenly a felicitous idea strikes him. He remembers that he has often been enabled to collect his thoughts, in an urgent emergency, by taking his 'kerchief slowly from his pocket, unfolding it gradually, and applying it gracefully, and as if necessarily, to his forehead; and he forth with proceeds to adopt the dernier resort; when lo! suspended by white tape-strings, and yawning with a plaited border, there unfolds in his uplifted right hand, a – NIGHT CAP, which bis too cautious wife had conveyed stealthily into his pocket, when she embraced him at parting! And there it hung, glaring like a sheeted ghost upon his astonished vision! There was no misunderstanding the significant though silent reply. He had fallen asleep,' so reasoned the wounded vanity of the authoress,
‘over the most touching scene in the whole poem!". From that moment, the great umpire's • little business was finished,' in at least one female coterie of London. But what has all this to do with Manilla and the Phillipines? “Rerenons à nos mouton !
A few more desultory passages must close our article. Here is a reproach of a female correspondent, who had spoken · Americanisms' trippingly on the tongue. Nice, howbeit, as the writer should have known, is far more an English than an American term :
*I am glad to hear that you liked the little present. You say that it was nice' – an Americanism, meaning good. Pray never say to any one that I am a ' nice' person, or I shall never forgive you. I know by experience, that the biped most to be avoided in this world, is that which the ladies call •a nice man. I have seen many, and they are most insufferable bores. Then again, you say to a person who may come at a proper hour, that he is “just in season.' An American lady at M who had invited me to dine at her house, told me on entering, that I was just in season ;' and as fruits and vegetables come in season,' a man with a limited imagination, like myself, when told that he is in season, naturally fancies himself a squash, and trembles lest the succeeding sentence may be a mandate to the servant John, to bring a string, and hang him up by the neck to a beam in the pantry! It is by these home expressions, that 'griffins' are at once discovered abroad. Never, as you value your fair fame, call a person a nice man' - or tell him he is in season'. or ask him to *call again' - or any such thing. Abroad, it is certain ruin to one, and at home, has the appearance of being very green.'
The following passage is a striking commentary upon a remark of an accomplished and favorite contributor to these pages : Next to the pressure of the lips next to the pressure of the hand — is the unfolding of those white-winged messengers, which come commissioned by Love, with tidings from the absent :'
• When I am deep — twice fathoms five'. sunk into calculations of profits, and losses, and commissions, (beautiful word, this last!) and interest, and in balances carried to the debit of new account, bearing interest from the seventeenth of August last, at the delightful rate of one per cent. per month ; a rate rather usurious, but with us • hab got old custom,' as the Chinese say; and the midnight cock crows, (as he always does here,) and the lamp burns dim and drowsily; and the cigar which lies on the right hand corner of the desk, has expired and become a defunct soldier; and Time, the alort old rascal, (may his home be ruined ! for he has caused seven white hairs to take up their unwelcome abode upon my front, to remind me every time I look into my glass, that my days are passing,) tolls out his requiem to the day departed, and Saz! a change comes o'er the spirit of my dream,' and in walks one of your charming letters, full of butterfly's wings, and nightingales' songs, and knocking head to the northwestern corner of my desk, says, ' Tenga, buenos dias, Don J -; le traigo una carta de sa hermana M - !'
A kit-kat picture of a smuggler, and a fragment of fashionable intelligence from the court end' of Manilla, etc., bring us down to the last advices :
'I had prepared a tremendous flourish with which to finish this VOL. XIII.
letter; but my inspiration was dispelled to the winds of heaven, by the sudden appearance of my old friend • Carlos el Chico,' (Carlos the little man,) a rather celebrated 'contrabandisto,' who furnishes who is rather purveyor general to my vice of smoking tobacco; a huge fellow in his way, although a funny, wary little man, from the mountains of Gapan, a range many leagues at the north, where he keeps his hold, and whence he supplies young gentleman like myself with the best puros' that the islands can produce. Tobacco is a monopoly of government here, and the penalties are severe in the extreme, in case any one be caught illegally interfering with this branch of Her Majesty's royal rents. Yet this omnipresent little ugly man has succeeded until now, in keeping his neck out of the 'garrote,' and ranges north and south, through village and through city, in defiance of the patroles of Her Majesty's tobacco guards.
* There was a grand ball given here, not long since, by · M. Barrot, Consul de France,' in honor of the birth-day of the King of the French, and at which I assisted as one of the comissarios,' or masters of ceremonies, and eclipsed all the Knights of the Legion of Honor, Knights of the royal orders of San Fernando and San Hermenezildo, Knights of Albuera, and Calatrava, Knights of Arragon, and of Cadiz, and of Los Molinos, and of every other cross and order under the sun. There were knights and gentles, who had fought in all the peninsular wars, and through and through South America; who had never · flinched nor bated one single jot;' who were literally blazing with orders; yet
I would you had been there to see,
Why the deuce do you write with steel pens? They are a rascally invention, and I would rather pen my inspirations' with a bamboo, than use one. No! give me my gray goose quill, ‘that mighty instrument of little men' - as sings the noble bard in his satire upon English bards and Scotch reviewers against the world. I can make a straight mark with a steel pen pretty well, but when it comes to turning corners ! - oh!'
• I can find nothing but black wax to seal my letter with ; but do n't be frightened, because you know if I were dead, you know, this letter would not be from me, you know - eh!-do n't you see ?'
Fate's direst page unmoved to read,
Is thine, and thine alone;
Hath petrified to stone:
Death drops his dark design;
An icier hand, in thine!