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to his family party, and the assistant surgeon
goes off at last to his midnight bed.

A night nurse has been set to watch by the
bedside they have left, and as she does so, she
counts the hoursthese long still watches of the
nightwearily enough. St. Paul's Clock speaks
audibly from hour to hour. One; two; still all
quiet; three, and there is a hum from Smithfield
; four, and the hum has grown into a
noise of distant rumbling wheels mingled with
the sounds of an increasing throng; five is less
heard, for other noises of roused and awakening
London begin to absorb the sounds of the
clock in themselves; six!—the hour we
entered yesterday. We have completed the
circle of one day of the life that is led in
Bartholomew's, from, year's end to year's
end, amongst the throng of sick, and the
labours of those who wait on them in their
affliction. Walk out again into Smithfield.
The cattle are all gone. It is a different
market to the one we saw last, for the smell
of new hay comes gratefully towards us,
suggesting memories of quiet pleasant spots in
the country, trebly pleasant to think of after
spending Twenty Four Hours in a Hospital.


IN one of the defiles of the range of mountains
that divides Valencia from New Castile,
stands the ruin of an ancient monastery.
Many years had elapsed since this monastery
had been in prosperous splendour; but its
crumbling walls had not been finally deserted
until the ravages of war, during the French
Invasion, having reached even this barren and
secluded spot, the few remaining monks were
partly driven away by terror, and partly by
force, from their spoliated cloisters and
demolished cells. At the period when this tale
commences, the edifice was not only quite
deserted, but was in a state of mouldering
dilapidation and ruin. The grass was growing
between the stone pavement of the church;
the roof was blown off in many parts; the
altar was dismantled, and bare of ornament;
and alone, amidst the general solitude and
decay of the building, a large figure of Christ,
in black marble, yet stood, surveying, as it
were, the ruins and desolation that surrounded
it on all sides.

On a gloomy evening, in the spring of 1812,
a regiment of French hussars rode cautiously
up the defile in which this deserted monastery
stood. They had had a long and weary
march, and gladly hailed the sight of the
ruins, as a convenient place for a more
comfortable bivouac than the open air afforded. The
troop drew up before the front of the church,
surveyed its capabilities, and, after some
anxious deliberation, decided that the encampment
for the night had better be arranged
outside the tottering walls, as the bivouac
fires would be better sheltered there, than
in the ruined church, through which gusts
of wind rushed on all sides; as well as on
account of the possibility of a surprise, should
the ruins be already occupied by some of the
enemy placed in ambush for that purpose.
The night also threatened to be stormy, and
the broken and demolished roof of the church
did not look as if it could stand a tempest.

The fires were lighted in the most sheltered
spot; the troop supped, and wrapping
themselves in thin travelling cloaks, and such
blankets as they had, extended themselves on
the ground round the various fires, to take
their night's rest. Léon Felner, the captain of
the troop, was the last to lie down by the
fire prepared for him. He had visited the
sentinels, and the horses, and surveyed the
environs, and seen to the general comfort of
his men, before he thought of his own repose.
Satisfied with every precaution that had been
taken, he, at length, wearied out, wrapped
his cloak closely around him, and resting his
head on his horse's saddle, prepared for sleep

But sleep was not to be obtained. His
busy thoughts rambled from scene to scene of
his active life, and the recollections of his
home, family, and friends, arose vividly to
his memory. Two years had he been away
from all he most loved. Latterly, even
communication with them had been impossible.
The image of Gabrielle, to whom he was
betrothed, at length rose, in vivid distinctness,
above his other thoughts. He could dwell
with pleasure on this remembrance, for his
loyalty to her had never swerved. The
charms of the far-famed Spanish women had
not shaken his fidelity; they might be more
beautiful, but had not Gabrielle's candour and
modest grace; and he longed for the conclusion
of the war, that he might be once again
by her side.

While thus pondering upon his country,
home, and love, he began to doze; insensibly
he was dropping asleep, when a rude blast of
wind, accompanied by a driving sleet, and
heavy peal of thunder, aroused him. The
fire was nearly extinguished. Léon arose, and
looked about for a shelter from the storm,
which now no longer merely threatened.
Opposite to him was the unclosed door of the
ruined church. He pushed it wider open,
and entered.

The church was damp and gloomy; flashes
of lightning illuminated, at intervals, the few
panes of painted glass that yet remained in
the broken windows, and brought into view
the stone tombs of ancient knights and abbots,
as well as the dismantled altar. The black
image of the Saviour stood out in bold relief
during these transitory gleams, and added to
the sensation of awe and desolation that the
whole scene called up. In spite of his better
reason, the young soldier shuddered at the
loneliness of this gloomy place; and even felt
a slight emotion of terror as the sound of the
echo of his own footsteps, and clank of his
spurs and sabre, sounded through the vast
nave, disturbing the profound silence that
otherwise reigned there. He did not advance