Sandt.—Be a German!
Sandt, (having gone out.)—Perjurer and profaner! Yet his heart is kindly. I must grieve for him! Away with tenderness! I disrobe him of the privilege to pity me or to praise me, as he would have done had I lived of old. Better men shall do more. God calls them: me too he calls: I will enter the door again. May the greater sacrifice bring the people together, and hold them evermore in peace and concord. The lesser victim follows willingly. (Enters again.)
Turn! die! (strikes.)
Alas! alas! no man ever fell alone. How many innocent always perish with one guilty! and writhe longer!
Unhappy children! I shall weep for you elsewhere. Some days are left me. In a very few the whole of this little world will lie between us. I have sanctified in you the memory of your father. Genius but reveals dishonour, commiseration covers it.
* * * * *
THE JEWELLER’S WIFE.
A PASSAGE IN THE CAREER OF EL EMPECINADO.
When the Empecinado, after escaping from the Burgo de Osma, rejoined his band, and again repaired to the favourite skirmishing ground on the banks of the Duero, he found the state of affairs in Old Castile becoming daily less favourable for his operations. The French overran the greater part of the province, and visited with severe punishment any disobedience of their orders; so that the peasantry no longer dared to assist the guerillas as they had previously done. Many of the villages on the Duero had become afrancesados, not, it is true, through love, but through dread of the invaders, and in the hope of preserving themselves from pillage and oppression. However much the people in their hearts might wish success to men like the Empecinado, the guerillas were too few and too feeble to afford protection to those who, by giving them assistance or information, would incur the displeasure of the French. The clergy were the only class that, almost without an exception, remained stanch to the cause of Spanish independence, and their purses and refectories were ever open to those who took up arms in its defence.
Noways deterred by this unfavourable aspect of affairs, the Empecinado resolved to carry on the war in Old Castile, even though unaided and alone. He established his bivouac in the pine-woods of Coca, and sent out spies towards Somosierra and Burgos, to get information of some convoy of which the capture might yield both honour and profit.
It was on the second morning after the departure of the spies, and a few minutes before daybreak, that the little camp was aroused by a shot from a sentry, placed on the skirt of the wood. In an instant every man was on his feet. It was the Empecinado’s custom, when outlying in this manner, to make one-half his band sleep fully armed and equipped, with their horses saddled and bridled beside them; and a fortunate precaution it was in this instance. Scarcely had the men time to untether and spring upon their horses, when the sentry galloped headlong into the camp.