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Hrolleif was a wild and disorderly character,
so that Ingemund, after a few years, was
obliged to turn him out of his house; but he
allowed him, nevertheless, to live upon, a
little farm. Some time after this, a dispute
arose between one of Ingemund's sons and
Hrolleif about a fish-pond; and, as the quarrel
ran very high, Ingernuud, accompanied by
one of his house-servants, rode down to the
water-side, to divide the combatants, when
a spear, thrown by Hrolleif, pierced him.
The old man, concealing his wound
turned home, his sons being absent. Arrived
here, he said to his servant: " Thou
hast served me faithfully for a long time; do
now that which I command thee. Go to
Hrolleif. and say to him that I expect, before
this time to-morrow, my sons will
demand their father's blood at his hands. I
counsel him therefore, immediately to hasten

With the help of his servant he went in,
seated himself on his chair of state, and
forbade lights to be brought into the room
till his sons' return. When they came back,
and lights were taken in, they beheld
Ingemund sitting dead on his chair of state with
the spear in his body.

Jökul, one of the sons, a strong, ardent, and
high-spirited youth, exclaimed, "let us instantly
set off and slay Hrolleif!"

"Thou little knowest our father's disposition,"
replied another of the sons, the sensible
and mild-tempered Thorsten. " Was it for
this, that he endeavoured to save him? We
must therefore act with deliberation, not rashness.
It must be our consolation that there
is a great difference between our father and
Hrolleif, and that our father now enjoys
happiness in the presence of Him who
created the sun!

The same noble disposition was shown by
another northman, Askel Gode. During a
skirmish, he warned the leader of the enemy
not to venture upon the ice, which was
unsafe. When he, nevertheless, did so, and
lost his life in consequence, one of his near
kinsmen sought for revenge; and, seizing the
opportunity when Askel was driving in a
sledge, gave him his death-blow. Old Askel
concealed his wound until his murderer had
made his escape, and then admonished his
children not to avenge his death


SOLDIERS who have been engaged in " the
dreadful revelry" of war, are often asked how
they felt while performing their duty in the
heat of battle. I believe that allowance
made for all varieties of temperamentthere
is a far greater similarity in the sensations
felt on these occasions than is commonly supposed;
and that, although habit blunts, to a
certain extent, the perception of danger, it
never takes off the keenness of its edge. The;
impressions of this kind made upon my mind
as a fighting soldier in Mexico, are still quite

The soldier's love of novelty and excitement
is more than a counterpoise to all
depressing influences; and at no period of his
career does his spirit show itself more buoyant
than when he has been ordered out on a
campaign. It is only after he has endured
some of the stern realities of the situation
that he begins to cast a nervous glance or
two upon the road before him. One of the
most common and natural of the sources of
apprehension that disturb the young soldier,
and one which his first engagement always
finally disposes of, is a fear that his faculties
may be so paralysed by the spectacle of carnage
during an engagement, that, being
rendered faint and incapable of performing
his duty, the stain of cowardice may taint his
character. With his first battle this apprehension
vanishes, and he discovers that when
he is once fairly in action, the excitement is
intense, and his whole energy is concentrated
on the work in hand. Comrades fall wounded
around him and are scarcely noticed; there
is no time for pity, fear, or anything but

I am a Scotchman by birth, but enlisted
into the American service. It was
not my fortune to come to close quarters
with the enemy until I had been nearly
three months in Mexico; I consequently
experienced a portion of that uneasy state
of feeling which I have just mentioned
before first meeting the enemy face to
face. I had become familiar with the
sound, and with the fury too, of shot
and shell, in trenches at Vera Cruz, and
was on easy terms with them. Constant
rumours of attacks, meditated on our rear,
had helped also to keep the idea of close
conflict familiar. In camp at Vera Cruz, I had
become acquainted with an old soldier, Billy
Wright, a fellow-countryman, who had served
in his youth under Wellington, and been in
several engagements without receiving any
serious wounds. He had also fought with
the Indians in the Florida war. I frequently
talked with this comrade on the subject of
my first engagement; and his advice to me
invariably was, that, as soon as firing had
commenced, I should fire and load as expeditiously
as possible, taking good aim; in
which case, he assured me, that I should feel
all right after the first few rounds. Poor old
fellow! I passed him as he sat down, after
the first few rounds at my first battle, Cerro
Gordo, wounded; but he recovered from his
wound, however, and was sent home to receive
a pension.

We had lain inactive four or five days at
Plan del Rio, a few miles from the enemy's
strong position at Cerro Gordo, when General
Scott having arrived, and examined as closely
as possible the enemy's strength and position,
at once decided on his plan of action. In
pursuance of his design, General Twiggs,

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