Sivut kuvina

said that he expected ‘to hear of a ship every day,’1 and on July 28 he sent her a farewell letter from Portsmouth :—

We—meaning Mr. Clive, Bridgeman, and I—sail to Gibraltar when a fair wind arrives. But, as a fair wind is not so Common here as a fair lady, we do not expect to get off soon. . . . What an acquisition it would be if I had you or your hand (not the honour of) in Greece to take views of the country, for we cannot one of us make wittingly either a straight or a crooked line. But, as I cannot have your pencil, I hope to have the advantage of your pen.2

And a fortnight afterwards he was on board the Pique outward bound.

1 In this letter Lord John announced the birth of his half-sister (the Duchess of Abercorn) in these words: ‘ You must have heard of the female added to our family. The Duchess is well, and the child beautiful. Would to God all children could keep their ownI and then we should have all beauties, instead of which nine out of ten of grown people are remarkable for ugliness or nothing at all. The other little girl, Georgey [Lady G. Romilly], is really a beauty, and her face promises a thousand sonnets and five hundred odes.’

’ At Portsmouth Lord John had an unexpected pleasure. ‘Think of my astonishment at finding William land within two feet of me the day before yesterday. Graham, I am sorry to say, has nearly, if not quite, lost the sight of one eye, and looks wretched in the face. If he does not go back, which I hardly expect, William will stay at home and most probably join his regiment.‘ (As a matter of fact, Lord William returned to the Peninsula, and was aide-decamp to the Duke of Wellington at Vittoria.) The Bridgeman mentioned in this letter was George Bridgeman, eldest son of the first, and afterwards second. Earl of Bradford. He has already been mentioned in this biography. Mr. Clive was the second son of the first Earl Powis, and grandfather of the present Lord \Vindsor.


Augurt 19, 1812, lat. 43° 51’ N.; long. 11° 44' 45” W.— Yesterday I completed the twentieth year of my age, in a fine frigate, on my voyage to Cadiz, with a fair wind and an intention of travelling for my amusement through Sicily, Greece, and perhaps Egypt and Syria. Is there any situation happier?

So begins the new diary in which Lord John commemorates his fifth tour. It is contained in five manuscript volumes, in the last four of which the author has written the familiar line—

Forsan et lizec olim meminisse juvabit.

Yet the preface reminds the reader of that famous narrative, ‘The Tramp Abroad.’ Mark Twain set out to take ‘a journey through Europe on foot,’ and ‘for private reasons took the express train’ at Hamburg. Lord John was bound, with a fair wind, for Sicily, Greece, Egypt, and Syria; and he returned home fifteen months afterwards without visiting any of those countries.

We had already been eighteen days coming from Yarmouth Roads, and were somewhat tired of the voyage. In this state we heard from a Spanish schooner from Setub i1, and an English merchantman from Vigo, that Lord Wellington had entered Madrid. The accounts we had before received from several quarters of a great victory near Salamanca1 made the report extremely probable; and, being of sanguine tempers, we readily believed this extent of good fortune. We therefore determined


1 The battle of Salamanca was fought on July 22. Mr. Bridgeman, whose letters home have been privately printed, says that the travellers had heard reports of the victory before they left Portsmouth.


to leave La Pique and to go with four of her large convoy that were bound to Oporto. A schooner, called the Alert, laden with iron, cheese, &c., agreed to take us.

The old temptation had returned with a new opportunity; and abandoning Italy and Greece, Syria and Egypt, the friends decided on marching behind a victorious English army into the Spanish capital. Perhaps their enthusiasm might have been damped if they could have foreseen that they were destined to wander for ten months before they entered the gates of Madrid.

Before definitely setting out for Madrid, indeed, the tourists decided on making a short journey in Portugal, travelling due south, over a road which Lord John had followed with Lord Holland four years before, to Coimbra, and thence north-east by Busaco to Lamego. Travelling by unusual routes, the friends soon found that they had to submit to no ordinary discomforts, and Mr. Bridgeman, writing home to his mother, said :—

We have been at a set of curious pigsties by way of inns, and such places as we have slept in you cannot even imagine ,our beds and clothes are full of fleas, which will be our delightful companions till we return to England; I have thousands of bites about me.

Lord John was much too fully occupied in noticing the physical characteristics of the country through which he was passing,1 the appearance and the manners of the people, and in examining the positions where Lord Wellington had either stood or fought, to pay any attention to such minor discomforts as fleas. In many of his journals there is evidence that he had constantly to submit to poor accommodation and bad food. In none of them is there a word of complaint or repining at doing so.

It was in this short journey, occupying a little less than a fortnight, that Lord John spent the night at Arrouca, which deserves a passing reference in his biography.

1 Mr. Playfair's influence is perceptible throughout the journal of 1812 by the constant references to. the geological characteristics of the country.

After a long descent the town of Arrouca and its large convent burst immediately upon us, and we arrived there and delivered to a monk belonging to a monastery opposite our letter to the Abbess. In a short time we had notice that she would see us; and we were taken to the grate and seated. She soon appeared _-an old lady (not less, I should think, than eighty) of good manners and great apparent authority. [The next morning] we breakfasted with the Lady Abbess, and I formed an acquaintance with a nun who had been handsome, and not so long ago asmany of the others. Her eyes and hair were still good. After breakfast we went to see the church, which is very magnificent. . . A very pretty nun, twenty-five years of age, but seemingly very ill, was brought down by the one I have before mentioned. Her dark eyes were very fine, and her complexion pretty, but her mouth and teeth did not correspond. Her manners were pretty and graceful, and we learned she had been eight years in the convent. She had on a. white veil well put on.

The white veil lingered in Lord John’s memory for ten years, and his imagination, founding a romance on the wearer's pale face and dark eyes, wove out of these slender materials the slender tale ‘The Nun of Arrouca.’

On September 10 the three friends concluded their preliminary tour by returning to Oporto. On the following day Marshal Beresford arrived at the town, and his arrival became the signal for general festivities. On the succeeding evening Lord John was introduced to him at the theatre.

The playhouse is a very pretty one, a much prettier one than there is in London. The play was a. miserable translation from Kotzebue, and there followed three very long addresses to the Marshal, praising his valour in prose and verse.

On the following day Lord John dined with the Marshal, ‘who gave us a very good dinner, at the expense of his host, with Portuguese profusion and English taste.’ On the 13th he dined at Mr. Croft’s ‘with a large party invited to meet the Marshal, and went afterwards to a ball at Ser'ior Pamplona’s.’ On the 14th they dined with General Trant, and went to a ball at the English factory house; and, on the 16th, having in the meanwhile secured, not without difficulty and expense, the necessary mules, Lord John and his friends set out on their journey to Madrid.

The road which the friends pursued did not lead them directly to the Spanish capital. Instead of following the course of the Douro, they struck in the first instance due north, to Braga, Ponte da Lima, and down the Minho to Caminha. Thence they wound their way back to Braga by the coast road through Viana, crossed the bridge of Salamonde, over which Soult had retreated, and, after visiting Chaves and Braganga, reached the Spanish frontier at Villarino, and arrived on the field of Salamanca on October 8. The field of Arapiles (as Lord John calls it) was not a pleasant sight.

Many bodies were lying-about. . . . and we saw in some places, where the people had attempted to burn [? them], a number of seared carcasses intermingled with one another—some much burnt, and others with the skin entire upon the ribs and hands, A number of vultures were collected on the field. They had entirely devoured the flesh of the horses, and were now busily

employed upon the men. In one part they had torn up the bodies that were buried.

Lord John was not depressed by this horrid spectacle.

I have not seen a more interesting sight than the field of Arapiles. The importance of the battle, the victory of our countrymen, the event, yet new upon our minds, made me look with an uncommon curiosity at the ground. The blood spilt on that day will become a real saving of life if it become the means of delivering Spain from French dominion,

Whatever interests, however, the field of Arapiles may have had for Lord John and his friends, they had no intention of remaining with the dead while there was active work doing by the living. Two days after their visit to the battlefield they followed the route by which Lord Wellington had already pursued the beaten French army. They reached Valladolid on the 14th, and Lord Wellington’s headquarters at Villatoro, near Burgos, on October 19. .

Unconscioust the friends had thrown themselves into a VOL. 1. E

« EdellinenJatka »