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The Two Captains by Friedrich Heinrich Karl Freiherr de La Motte-Fouque
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by Friedrich Heinrich Karl, Freiherr de La Motte-Fouque


A Mild summer evening was resting on the shores of Malaga, awakening
the guitar of many a merry singer among the ships in the harbor, and
in the city houses, and in many an ornamental garden villa.
Emulating the voices of the birds, the melodious tones greeted the
refreshing coolness, and floated like perfumed exhalations from
meadow and water, over the enchanting region. Some troops of
infantry who were on the shore, and who purposed to spend the night
there, that they might be ready for embarkation early on the
following morning, forgot amid the charms of the pleasant eventide
that they ought to devote these last few hours on European soil to
ease and slumber; they began to sing military songs, to drink to each
other with their flasks filled to the brim with the rich wine of
Xeres, toasting to the long life of the mighty Emperor Charles V.,
who was now besieging the pirate-nest Tunis, and to whose assistance
they were about to sail. The merry soldiers were not all of one
race. Only two companies consisted of Spaniards; the third was
formed of pure Germans, and now and then among the various fellow-
combatants the difference of manners and language had given rise to
much bantering. Now, however, the fellowship of the approaching sea-