Here in the quiet old convent of Thomar, the Convento de Christo, the strife of the past months seems like a dream. Wandering through the long corridors, with their bare, empty apartments, gazing by the hour on paintings faded and torn, the work of long dead and forgotten masters, dwelling on marvels of ancient architecture, resting the eyes on peaceful landscapes and hearing the sweet murmur of falling waters, the scenes of war seem distant and remote.
The heart but so lately harrowed by the devouring emotions of anger, hate, and the lust of blood, now soothed by the sympathy of the kindly Portuguese, is lulled into harmony with the surrounding scenes of peace and beauty. Only the thought of our ravaged country, struggling still for dear life, though forced upon her knees, brings back the claims of duty and the yearning to be up and doing, to enter once more the ranks of the foemen and strike another blow for liberty.
Hopeless! Yet where is the Boer—prisoner, exile, or renegade—even he!—who does not dream by nights he feels once more the free veld air upon his brow, lives again the wild night rides beneath twinkling stars? He feels once more his noble steed bound beneath him, grips again his comrade's welcoming hand, and wakens with a bitter sigh.
Some consolation, then, to recall blows already struck, and duty fairly done.