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meridian sun sparkling on the white foam of the waves as they dashed on the shore with a monotonous but yet not unpleasing sound; the concourse of spectators, some attracted by idle curiosity alone, others too much occupied with their own griefs to take any notice of the multitude by whom they were surrounded; hands extended, and handkerchiefs waving, gentle and half-uttered farewells drowned by loud shouts and seamen's boisterous voices,--the proud vessels rushing along the anxiety of the friends of the soldiers that nothing should be forgotten for the comfort of those who so soon might need only a mound of earth to cover them; all presented a new and not unwelcome subject of contemplation to Vaughan. Yet the common but natural reflection, how few were destined to return, how many of those left behind had taken their last look, sank into his mind, and a circumstance of the moment renewed but too strongly his own regrets.
There was one officer, a lieutenant in Vaughan's regiment, for whom he felt deeply moved. His young wife had accompanied him even to the shore. Their only child was in its father's arms. The child, fascinated by the scene, was all delight. The beating of the drums, the scarlet of the soldiers, the epaulettes, the swords, the plumed caps, the flags streaming from the masts of the vessels, were all so many objects of wonder to the child's eye. He clapped his little hands with transport;. but when the final moment came, and the father was about to resign him,when the boy found that he was to be borne away, he clung round his
neck with a shriek as heart-rending as the agony
of a deeper sorrow. There is something in the innocent anguish of an infant that wrings the soul. The weeping mother took it struggling from the father's arms, but still lingered on the shore. A tear started to the soldier's eye; the most indifferent of the spectators gazed on the scene with an air of painful interest; there was even a momentary silence.-" This parting should have taken place at home, Sir," said the colonel of the regiment; “ these things are unwise, and not for the public eye. A soldier should suffer in secret.” The young lieutenant made no reply. He might perhaps have said, with Macduff, “ He has no children;" but he contented himself with casting a last look of tender regret upon his wife and child, and a somewhat reproachful glance at his colonel; then putting his foot firmly, on the deck of the vessel, he folded his arms, and walked apart from the group. In a few minutes after the vessel was under weigh.
The passengers consisted chiefly of officers and soldiers sent to the assistance of the Spanish patriots. It was the commencement of the memorable year 1812, the time when all Europe, agitated by the struggles of Spain, looked to the issue of the contest with a mixture of hope and fear.
The conversation soon became mixed and animated. Soldiers are a lighthearted and thoughtless race; painful recollections or dark anticipations seldom interfere to check their mirth. The present is all that they can reckon upon, and the present they are fully disposed to enjoy. They talked over the Spanish
cause, its laurels, its prize-money, its promotion. Vaughan witnessed their careless hilarity with surprise. are a young soldier,” said one of them, advancing and disturbing his reverie by a friendly tap on the shoulder; “you are new to these matters,—your thoughts are with England and English friends; but come, rouse yourself, and be one of Should
have the luck to return, a second parting will have lost half its regrets; and, if not, why then, you know, neither head nor heart will ever ache again. That is my way of reasoning.”
Roused by the appeal, he endeavoured to shake off the weight which oppressed him, and take a more lively interest in the revelries round him.
There was one yet more abstracted than himself, who trod the deck with a