« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
THE ASSAULT ON TU CU MAN.
A SOUTH AMERICAN SCENE,
COLONEL KING'S ARGENTINE
SEVERAL days bad thus passed, when Gov- “Do
you wish to see us pillaged, and our ernor Arouez sent an invitation to Calderon people given to the sword ?" said he. and myself to see him in private, at his re- "No, Señor; but if my efforts can be of sidence. We went, accordingly, and the any avail to prevent so fearful a calamity, governor informed us that Ouemez had been they shall not be wanting." so foolish as to suppose that he could at a Calderon determined to remain, and we single blow crush the government of Tucu- set to work assisting in the additional prepaman; also, that he was at that moment ap- rations necessary to save the city from pillage. proaching with a strong force, and a deter- The citadel, which lay outside the town, mination to sack the city; that in view of was already strongly garrisoned, and every this determination he had not only promised preparation had been made for an ordinary full license to his soldiery, but so sure was defense, but something more was now wanthe of success, that he had induced hundreds ing to protect the women, children, and proof the citizens of Salta to follow his army, perty of the citizens from the horrors of a prepared with carros, (carts,) trunks, and saqueo. Every man and every boy that boxes, to carry away the property that should could hold a firelock was forthwith armed ; fall into their hands.
each house became a fortress; and even upon “These are the horrible facts,” he conti- the tops of houses, preparations were made nued ; " but you will readily suppose, gen- by which the women could hurl stones and tlemen, that the governor and the people of other heavy missiles upon the heads of the Tucuman are not prepared to give up their enemy. On the next day the enemy apcity without making an effort to defend it. proached. The doors of the houses were I feel that we shall have a bloody time of it; barricaded, the windows closed, and a fearand as you cannot take part with us without ful silence, broken only by the occasional compromising your neutrality, and perhaps passing of small bodies of troops, pervaded bringing down upon the country for which the whole city. The stillness was awful, you are engaged the enmity of Ouemez and boding terror; every thing that could be his government, it is well that you should done for safety had been done, and the peoleave. You are of the advance-guard of ple now only awaited the bursting of the Humaguaca, (the last village of the Argen- impending storm. I had taken my post at the tine,) and you may escape our slaughter by house of the governor, who was now with a passage through the monte de nogals. I his troops, determined to defend that, at will furnish you with passports and horses." least, to the last extremity, and, in the event
Finding that Calderon made no reply, I of the dreaded pillage, to protect his family. said,
With a number of his family, I had ascend“ Governor, I cannot desert your city un- ed to the house-top; and from that spot we der such circumstances; and if I cannot unite witnessed the approach of Ouemez, with his with your army in its defense, I may per- army, followed by a train of some three haps serve you in a different manner.” hundred carros, provided for the conveyance of booty. His first assault was upon the the windows, never lost their advantage, uncitadel, which lay in full view before us; but til the enemy was forced from the town, and after a short attack he entered the city, driv- the remnant of his army pursued to his own ing the garrison like sheep before him. province.
I had hoped to see a more resolute de- ! The battle over, our company descended fense of the citadel, sufficient at least to have from the house-top, and I went into the weakened the force of the assailants before street to assist in removing the wounded and reaching the town; but when the garrison | dead. The scenes that presented themselves gave way, with scarce an effort at defense, in all directions were such as are calculated I felt as though the wretch would surely | to wring the heart, and cause it to mourn accomplish his purpose.
over its utter helplessness to give tangible I had seen war in its most sanguine forms; relief. The legitimate field of battle, after had been through battle after battle, literally a contest, is horrible enough, with only its wading in blood ; yet never till now had my pictures of death and bodily suffering; but nerves trembled, or my heart quailed, at the here we saw all of that, with the addition of thought of danger. I saw Ouemez' strength; mental agony, presented in every form, and I saw his hellish preparation; and, as he in the utmost depth of excess. Wives, seekapproached, my frame shivered with fear for ing their husbands, and flying froin street the helpless and the young; yet I strove, to street with heads uncovered, and their with the best effort in my power, to soothe loose hair floating on the wind; or, having the terrible apprehensions of the females | found the cold remnant of the object of their who were clinging around me.
search, shrieking in despair, or bending in As the enemy entered the town, he was silent agony over the dead body; mothers, met by fresh troops and militia, who disputed pale and haggard with dread, inquiring for their ground, inch by inch, for a long time, their sons ; sisters frantically calling on the but at last gave way. Carnage followed names of their brothers, and children seekupon every side; Ouemez' troops separated, ing their fathers, were incidents attending carrying death and havoc through the va- the close of this battle, which the soldier is, rious streets; and, above the uproar of the fortunately, not often called upon to witness. battle, as they were met by small bands of On the one hand, I saw a husband and wife troops and citizens fighting for their fire- bearing their wounded son to his home. sides, arose the shrieks of woman and the They had placed him in a chair, and were groaning prayers of the aged. The work of thus conveying him along the street; but pillage had commenced, houses had been before they reached their house, he had forced, and their owners murdered upon breathed his last. On the other hand, I saw their owa sills, when Governor Arouez, by a a lovely girl upon her knees in the street, vigorous effort, rallied his scattered soldiery, by the side of her dead brother; and the and, falling in desperation upon the main piercing tones of her voice, as she exclaimed, body of Ouemez' army, drove them from “My God! my brother! My God! my brotheir position. New life was given to every ther!" thrilled on the inmost fibres of the heart, and new vigor to every arm, by this heart. Scenes like these were constantly success ; and the brave fellows, cheered by passing before me; and in all directions the the shouts of their friends, and by the sombre padre might be seen kneeling to women, who, with streaming eyes, waved receive the last confession of some dying their handkerchiefs from the house-tops and ) man.
A TALE WITHOUT A HEAD.
ADDRESSED TO AN INQUIRING FRIEND.
BY C. D. STUART.
Now, thank fate! I have squared mat-, if you would know her well; and it would ters; and, first of all neglected duties, 'I sit be better to see her when she has no dream down to fulfil my promise. I think I men
of an intrusive foot. tioned the character of her parents ; I am
I saw her thus, sitting by the side of her quite sure I did, as also her age; but, lest I mother; a mother, over whose brow fell a
few silvery locks, enough to make her beaumay be mistaken, allow the repetition of the few silvery last item. She was seventeen! ah, charm- tifully venerable. Ella--for that is the name
by which I shall call' her—sat reading from ing, dear seventeen! that age of sweet unconsciousness ! Not that I am particular books
, and she would stop at intervals and
some book, perhaps that most sacred of about numbers, for I am not; thirty were as good, if they wore the same brightness
, look up with a holy significanee into the the same halo; but she was seventeen, and, eyes of her parent, and the two seemed to. with the grace she had found in my sight, matters little whether I was a stealthy look
kindle with the glance. I was in love! It there came also the delightful impression
er-on or not; enough that I saw her thus, that hers was indeed a divine age.
and was in love! Love, with me, was not To have attempted resistance to the emo
a passion ; a sentiment engrafted on impultions she inspired, would have been both sive sensibility, to be effaced by the first rain folly and madness with me. She was by of fanciful circumstance. It was the unno means what the world at large would woofing of my very soul; a discovery that call beautiful. She had not thatassumed hau- I was divided, and that the twain, in so far teur and half-languishing air, which a friend
as I was concerned, were ill apart. of mine terms the "indifferent-angel-like;" But I did not finish the portrait. I had nay, at first, to the common observer, she a dream in childhood of beauty, and in that seemed coarse ; more like a peasant-girl vision a proud bust, and high, pale forehead, from the flax-wheel-by the way, queens such as would have delighted Canova; once thought it no shame to spin-than a rather prominent cheeks, an aquiline nose; well-bred and high-born, gentle girl. But ay! a nose in the form of which was blendwho ever saw the lights and shades of suched dignity with, if need be, scorn; and then, a picture at a glance? Who could look those lips, mellow as the sunny side of a more than once, and say there was no en- delicious peach, or the fairest cluster of chantment lingering from the pencil of the blushing grapes, forming a mouth which master, and a beauty which days, and was a volume in itself. Did you, my friend, months, and years of ravishing study and ever mark the expression of a beautiful worship could but partially comprehend ! mouth? A mouth, peopled round about I saw her first in a happy light. Never with dreamy beseechings. A mouth, the looked sunset so beautiful to me as the soft very index of the heart beneath it; the lips smile that played on her full-rounded and just parted, but not pouting; a quiet mirth delicate lip-a lip whose very form was laughing at the corners, and the soul of poetry and music. I saw her at home-ah, frank ingenuousness playing with a smile on you should see a beautiful woman at home, I its curves ? This, with something of inten
sity to fix the colors, is her portrait; but, in sees joy for another in his own loss; I conthis, I have forgotten her eyes. I never soled my heart, and she passed from the could describe my ideal of an eye! A rich, prospect of my possession, like a light which, hazy eye, dark and watery, with long, fine for a moment, flashed over the darkness, and lashes, from beneath which flash a thousand left me a mellower night. But, was there sparkles—the radiance of liquid fre—and no beautiful memory left me for my heart's those lashes lifted timidly to emit the sacred widowhood? Did I not recur, and have I light—such are shadows, mere shadows of not ever since recurred, to that first smile my ideal eyes; such the meteors that gleam- which I saw playing on her lip at seventeen! ed upon my first love. From thencefor- A happy man is he who won her! I envy ward, I saw her a thousand times; indeed, ' him not; I love him that he had the power she was a transparency within my very soul; | to bear so dear a trophy to his bed and an ineffable presence, from which I drank a board. I cannot see that ten years have ravishing delight.
woven one wrinkle on her brow, or changed I recollect only, after that, writing a long the joyousness of those fiery eyes, or the letter, in which I disembodied my soul to blush of those delicious lips. There are little her, and offered it for acceptance on the altar semblances of her climbing upon a father's of her love. Quietly, the post came rattling knees, but the mother is still the Ella who at its accustomed hour, and I read within charmed me at seventeen. Not a day have five minutes, with a heart throbbing like the I loved her less ; she is as near to the pure pulse of a volcano, the seal of my fond affections of my heart as though altars and dream, my long worship, my hopes, my all! marriage-bells had never been. How can I In a few brief words of regret on my ac- love again?
love again! Is not my soul already full count, of course—that her heart was beyond with this one tender remembrance ?" her gift, that it was already another's, and
“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.” she concluded by asking me to her wedding. I was not one who had envious thoughts of I still glide in occasionally, and sit by the daggers, corrosive sublimate, and deep cis- cottage hearth, and feel the thrill which terns. I felt no acme of despair, for I loved spelled me in youth. He is not jealous that her still, and, though she has been wedded I look on his delight, and she is no less for years, I love her now!
frank than at seventeen. Should I die Can it be that I gave her up without before them, I shall will them all but my a sigh! No, I sighed, but like one who grave-clothes.
His years weighed heavy on him;
“AGOWAN! thy people wait thee; And now, with faltering tread,
Thy sires have bid us come; He came from the track of the setting sun
Thy spirit is weary of waiting, To the home of his people dead,
Thy winters have told their sum: To lay his bones where bis maidens sung,
List, list to the soft notes round them, Where bis thousand braves had bled.
The beat of the spirit-drum! Beneath the medting branches
" It waits, child of mighty sires, or those old trees he stood,
Last son of a lofty race, The spot where his ancient wigwam fire
For thy death-gong to ring in our ancient balls. Flashed out in the dim old wood:
Acowan! unveil thy face: Vainly he seeks some vestige now
A thousand kings are around thee now In that wild, stern solitude.
In their ancient council-place." Beneath those grim old giants
A wild blast shook the forest, The ancient once sat down:
And died with a saddened moan How well the spot that bore him now
In the far-off hills; and the spirit-train His earlier years had known,
From the moonlit hall was gone, That dark-gray stone, long time grown o'er
And the “Eagle Eye" sprang swiftly up With moss and lichen brown!
From his seat on the moss-gray stone. Long in the spectral moonlight
The moon-tays came like silver He bowed his silvered hend:
And sat on the old chief's brow; Old AGOWAN communeth now
The eye that was named the Eagle's With his people's ancient dead;
Grows dim in its gleaming now; They sweep along through the whispering wood
The dream that has just swept o'er him With a noiseless, awful trend.
Tells him Acowan's soul must go. He sees their looks bent on bim,
The death-song wakes the forest The looks of that shadowy band;
As AGOWAN waits to die, He sees the loss of each warrior's plume,
Now, soft as the passing zephyr,
Now, swelling stern and high,
And his war-plumed braves sweep by. “Great Spirit of my people ! thy son hath come to die
Within the ancient shades where rung his fathers' battle-cry;