Between Sir Everard Valletort and Charles de Haldimar, who, it has already been remarked, were lieutenants in Captain Blessington’s company, a sentiment of friendship had been suffered to spring up almost from the moment of Sir Everard’s joining. The young men were nearly of the same age; and although the one was all gentleness, the other all spirit and vivacity, not a shade of disunion had at any period intervened to interrupt the almost brotherly attachment subsisting between them, and each felt the disposition of the other was the one most assimilated to his own. In fact, Sir Everard was far from being the ephemeral character he was often willing to appear. Under a semblance of affectation, and much assumed levity of manner, never, however, personally offensive, he concealed a brave, generous, warm, and manly heart, and talents becoming the rank he held in society, such as would not have reflected discredit on one numbering twice his years. He had entered the army, as most young men of rank usually did at that period, rather for the agremens it held forth, than with any serious view to advancement in it as a profession. Still he entertained the praiseworthy desire of being something more than what is, among military men, emphatically termed a feather-bed soldier; and, contrary to the wishes of his fashionable mother, who would have preferred seeing him exhibit his uniform in the drawing-rooms of London, had purchased the step into his present corps from a cavalry regiment at home. Not that we mean, however, to assert he was not a feather-bed soldier in its more literal sense: no man that ever glittered in gold and scarlet was fonder of a feather-bed than the young baronet; and, in fact, his own observations, recorded in the early part of this volume, sufficiently prove his predilection for an indulgence which, we take it, in no way impugned his character as a soldier. Sir Everard would have fought twenty battles in the course of the month, if necessary, and yet not complained of the fatigue or severity of his service, provided only he had been suffered to press his downy couch to what is termed a decent hour in the day. But he had an innate and, perhaps, it may be, an instinctive horror of drills and early rising; a pastime in which the martinets and disciplinarians of the last century were very much given to indulge. He frequently upheld an opinion that must have been little less than treason in the eyes of a commander so strict as Colonel de Haldimar, that an officer who rose at eight, with all his faculties refreshed and invigorated, might evince as much of the true bearing of the soldier in the field, as he who, having quitted his couch at dawn, naturally felt the necessity of repose at a moment when activity and exertion were most required.