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numbed with cold. We now surprised to observe the air in found it would be impossible to every direction filled with such reach the summit of the mountain, clouds of grasshoppers, as partially and return to our camp of the to obscure the day. They had preceding night, during that part been seen in vast numbers about of the day which remained; but all the higher parts of the mounas we could not persuade ourselves tain, and many had fallen upon to turn back, after having so the snow and perished. It is, nearly accomplished the ascent, perhaps, difficult to assign the we resolved to take our chance of cause which induces these insects spending the night on whatever to ascend to those highly elevatpart of the mountain it mighted regions of the atmosphere. overtake us. We met, as Possibly they may have underwe proceeded, such numbers of taken migrations to some remote unknown and interesting plants, district ; but there appears not as to occasion much delay in col- the least uniformity in the direclecting; and were under the mor- tion of their movements. They tifying necessity of passing by extended upwards from the sumnumbers we saw in situations dif- mit of the mountain to the utmost ficult of access.
limit of vision; and as the sun “As we approached the summit, shone brightly, they could be seen, these became less frequent, and by the glittering of their wings, at at length ceased entirely. Few a very considerable distance. cryptogamous plants are seen “ About all the woodless parts about any part of the mountain; of the mountain, and particularly and neither these nor any others on the summit, numerous tracks occur frequently on the top of the were seen, resembling those of the peak. There is an area of ten or common deer, but most probably fifteen acres, forming the summit, have been those of the animal which is nearly level; and on this called the big horn." part scarce a lichen was to be The account of the Coquimbo seen. It is covered to a great owl relates to the curious habits depth with large splintery frag- of that bird: ments of a rock entirely similar to “In all the prairie-dog vilges that found at the base of the peak, we had passed, small owls d except perhaps a little more com- been observed moving brisy pact in its structure. By remov- about, but they had hither ing a few of these fragments, they eluded all our attempts to tak. were found to rest upon a bed of them. One was here caught, and ice, which is of great thickness, on examination, found to be the and may, perhaps, be as perma- species denominated coquimbo, nent as the rocks, with which it or burrowing owl, (strix cunicu. occurs.
laria.) This fellow citizen of the . “ It was about four o'clock p.m. prairie-dog, unlike its grave and when the party arrived on the recluse congeners, is of a social summit.
disposition, and does not retire “ The weather was calm and from the light of the sun, but enclear while the detachment re- dures the strongest mid-day glare mained on the peak; but we were of that luminary, and is in all
respects a diurnal bird. It stands young owl, did we not know that
By the Author of Sketches in us to understand that the burrow
India. London 1823. penetrates the earth to a consider- The author of this book is an able depth, whilst Viellot informs officer attached to the victorious us that in St. Domingo the depth force of the illustrious Wellington is about two feet.
in Spain. " With us the owl never occur
His acquaintance with his subred but in the prairie-dog villages, ject was acquired during five sometimes in a small flock much years' residence, from the year scattered, and often perched on 1809; and, to commence with the different hillocks, at a distance commencement, we shall copy his deceiving the eye with the appear- account of his first billet in Portuance of the prairie-dog itself in an gal (at Santarem): erect posture. They are not shy, “The regiment was quartered but readily admit the hunter with- for the night in a convent, and I in gun-shot; but on his too near received a billeton a private approach, a part or the whole of house. At the door of it I was them rise upon the wing, uttering met by the owner, a gentlemana note very like that of the prai- like looking well-dressed man, of rie-dogs, and alight at a short dis- about sixty, and of a very mild, tance, or continue their flight pleasing address : he led the way to beyond the view.
a neat apartment, and a pretty bed“ The burrows into which we chamber. I was covered with dust have seen the owl descend, resem- and dirt, and declined them as too bled in all respects those of the good ; but how was my confusion prairie-dog, leading us to suppose increased, when my host himself either that they were common, brought me water in a silver though perhaps not friendly oc- basin to wash, while his good lady cupants of the same burrow, or presented me with chocolate, bearthat the owl was the exclusive ing it herself on a salver. I feared tenant of a burrow gained by that they had mistaken my rank right of conquest. But it is at from my two epaulettes, and I exthe same time possible, that, as in plained to them that I was a simple Chili, the owl may excavate his Lieutenant. No; they well knew own tenement.
my rank, but did not pay me the “ From the remarkable coinci- less attention: they perfumed my dence of note between these two chamber with rose-water, took off widely distinct animals, we might my knapsack with their own hands, take occasion to remark the pro- and then left me to refresh myself bability of the prairie-dog being by washing and dressing, and to an unintentional tutor the recover from the pleasing astonish
ment into which their cordial and arms piled, picquets and guards polite reception had thrown me. paraded and posted, and, in two in the evening my party dined minutes, all appear at home. here, and the worthy host present. Some fetch large stones to form ed us with some magnums of fine fire-places ; others hurry off with old wine, and the choicest fruit. canteens and kettles for water, We made scruples; he over-ruled while the wood resounds with the them with true and unaffected hos- blows of the bill-hook. Dispitality, and we, in return, pressed persed, under the more distant on his acceptance six bottles of trees, you see the officers; some excellent Sauterne, the remains of dressing, some arranging a few our small stock of French wine. boughs to shelter them by night;
" Such was my treatment in the others kindling their own fires ; first billet I ever entered in Portu- while the most active are seen regal, and such, with very few ex- turning from the village laden with ceptions, was the character of the bread, or, from some flock of goats reception given by Portuguese of feeding near us, with a supply of ail classes, according to their new milk. How often, under some means, at the commencement of spreading cork-tree, which offered the peninsula struggle, to the shade, shelter, and fuel, have I British army: rich and poor, the taken up my lodging for the night; clergy and laity, the fidalgo and and here, or by some gurgling the peasant, all expressed an stream, my bosom fanned by whateagerness to serve, and readiness ever air was stirring, made my to honour us. In these early careless toilet, and sat down with marches, the villa, the monastery, men I both liked and esteemed, to and the cottage were thrown open a coarse but wholesome meal, seaat the approach of our troops ; soned by hunger and by cheerfulthe best apartments, the neatest ness. The rude simplicity of this cells, the humble but only beds, life I found most pleasing. An were all resigned to the march- enthusiastic admirer of nature, I worn officers and men, with un- was glad to move and dwell amid disguised cheerfulness. It is her grandest scenes, remote from with pain I am compelled to con- cities, and unconnected with what fess, that the manners of my is called society. Her mountains, strange, but well-meaning, coun- her forests, and, sometimes, her trymen soon wrought a change in bare and bladeless plains, yielded the kind dispositions of this peo- me a passing home : her rivers, ple.”
streams, and springs, cooled my This quotation may appro- brow and allayed my thirst. The priately be followed by a more inconvenience of one camp taught striking picture of a bivouack:
to enjoy the next; and I “ It is a pleasing sight to see learned (a strange lesson for the a column arrive at its halting- thoughtless) that wood and water, ground. The camp is generally shade and grass, were luxuries. I marked out, if circumstances allow saw the sun set every evening: I of it, on the edge of some wood, saw him rise again each morning and near a river or stream. The in all his majesty, and I felt that troops are halted in open columns, my very existence was a blessing.
Strange, indeed, to observe how passing a village, a country-house, soon men, delicately brought up, a cottage, or indeed a human can inure themselves to any thing. being. No clean ale-house, as in Wrapt in a blanket, or a cloak, the England; no rustic auberge, as in head reclining on a stone or a France, invites you to refreshment knapsack, covered by the dews of and repose. If you are benightnight, or drenched perhaps by the ed, and the weather be fine, you thunder-shower, sleeps many a must betake yourself to the first youth, to whom the carpeted tree; if it be stormy, and you have chamber, the curtained couch, and no baggage, or conveniencies for the bed of down, have been from encamping, you must wander on. infancy familiar."
Luckily, however, for us, we es“ A bivouack in heavy weather pied a light at some distance from does not, I allow, present a very
the road, and made towards it. It comfortable appearance. The proceeded from a solitary cottage ; officers sit shivering in their wet and a woman, who answered to tents, idle and angry till dinner. our knocks, expressed her willingtime, after which they generally ness to receive us.
Wretched as contrive to kill the evening with was her appearance, I never saw mulled wine, round a camp-kettle more cordial, more fearless hospilid filled with hot wood-ashes by tality: she heaped up her little way of a fire. The men, with their fire, killed and stewed for us two forage caps drawn over their ears, out of the few chickens she had, huddle together under banks or spread for us two straw mattresses walls, or crowd round cheerless, near the hearth, and regarded us smoky fires, cursing their commis- the while with looks of the most saries, the rain, and the French.” benevolent pleasure. Seated on a Another view occurs upon a
rude bench of cork, near this march, going to sick quarters: cottage fire, I thankfully partook
“At the distance of 2 leagues of the repast she prepared; and from Estremos, the set while the thunder burst in peals with the most threatening appear
the most loud and awful over our A sky heavily overcast; heads, and the pouring rain beat a breathless, yet speaking stillness rudely on her humble dwelling, around us ; far off, amid the with a heartfelt sensation of grasouthern bills, a low muttering titude I composed myself to rest. sound, that faintly reached us ; “Comfort is ever comparative; all foretold a violent autumnal and, after all, if his wishes be storm. Being both invalids, we moderate, how little does man refelt not a little anxious about shel- quire. Sick, hungry, and exter, and spurred forward ; but hausted, I wanted shelter, food, strength was denied me, and I fell and repose: I enjoyed all these on the neck of my horse, nearly blessings; the storm raged withfainting : the colonel would not out, but not a raindrop fell on leave me, and bidding me recline me. I never ate with a keener on my saddle, made his groom relish, I never passed a night in lead my animal by the bridle. more sweet or refreshing slumbers. Here you may frequently travel Yet where, me ask, was the from one town to another without hotel in England which, in the
caprice of sickness, would have the enemy as, from the summit satisfied all my wants and wishes? of the ridge, which they had most When we rose with the morning intrepidly ascended, beheld it, and to depart, our good hostess was who, ignorant of Hill's presence, resolute in refusing any remune- thought they had been attacking ration, though the wretched ap- the extreme of the British right. pearance of her hovel, and the We were halted exactly in rear rags on her children, bespoke the of that spot, from which the extreme of poverty. No,' said seventy-fourth regiment, having she ; ' the saints guided you to just repulsed a column, was remy threshold, and I thank them. tiring in line, with the most My husband, too, was journeying beautiful regularity, its colours all yesterday, perhaps last night, torn with shot. Here a few shells amid that thunder-storm; he also flew harmlessly over our line, but knocked at some Christian's door, we had not the honour of being and found shelter.''
engaged. The first wounded man But all the foregoing yield to I ever beheld in the field was the first encounter :
carried past me, at this moment: .“ Two hours before break of he was a fine
young Englishman, day, the line was under arms; but in the Portuguese service, and the two hours glided by rapidly lay helplessly in a blanket, with and silently. At last, just as the both his legs shattered by cannonday dawned, a few distant shots shot. He looked pale, and big were heard on our left, and were drops of perspiration stood on his soon followed by the discharge of manly forehead; but he spoke cannon, and the quick, heavy, and not his agony appeared unuttercontinued roll of musquetry. We able. I secretly wished
him received orders to move, and sup- death ; a mercy, I believe, that port the troops attacked : the was not very long withheld. About whole of Hill's corps, amounting this time, Lord Wellington, with to fourteen thousand men, was a numerous staff, galloped up, thrown into open column, and and delivered his orders to moved to its left in steady double General Hill, immediately in quick, and in the highest order. front of our corps ; I therefore
“When within about a furlong distinctly overheard him. If of one of the points of attack, they attempt this point again, from which the enemy was just Hill, you will give them a volley, then driven by the seventy-fourth and charge bayonets ; but don't regiment, I cast my eye back to let your people follow them too see if I could discover the rear of far down the hill. I was particuour divisions : eleven thousandlarly struck with the style of this men were following ; all in sight, order, so decided, so manly, and all in open column, all rapidly ad- breathing no doubt as to the revancing in double quick time. No pulse of any attack ; it confirmed one, but a soldier, can picture confidence. Lord Wellington's to himself such a sight; and it is, simplicity of manner in the delieven for him, a rare and a grand very of orders, and in command,
certainly must have had is quite that of an able man. He a very strong effect on such of has nothing of the truncheon about