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5. I vow I never had my affections more tenderly awakened; and I heavily walked upstairs, unsaying every word I had said in going down them.
6. 'Disguise thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery,' said I, 'still thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands in all ages have been made to drink of thee, thou art no less bitter on that account. "Tis thou, thrice sweet and gracious goddess,' addressing myself to Liberty, 'whom all in public or in private worship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till nature herself shall change; with thee to smile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled.'
7. The bird in his cage pursued me into my room. I sat down close to my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination. I was going to begin with the millions of my fellow-creatures born to no inheritance but slavery; but finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of sad groups in it did but distract me, I took a single captive, and having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door to take his picture.
8. I beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement, and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it was which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish; in thirty years the western breeze had not once fanned his blood; he had seen no sun, no moon, in all that time, nor had the voice of friend or kinsman breathed through his lattice; his children—— But
here my heart began to bleed, and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.
9. He was sitting upon the ground upon a little straw, in the farthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed: a little calendar of small sticks lay at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there; he had one of these little sticks in his hand, and with a rusty nail he was etching another day of misery to add to the heap.
10. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door, then cast it down, shook his head, and went on with his work of affliction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep sigh: I saw the iron enter into his soul. I burst into tears: I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy had drawn.
Bas-tile', a famous prison in Paris,
li'-vre, an old French coin, value 93d.
con-ceit', good opinion.
pro-pos-i'-tion, thing said or stated.
dis-temp'-er, sickness; disease. hey'-day, height.
sol-il'-o-quy, talk with himself.
lam-en-ta'-tion, cry of grief.
trel'-lis, the bars of wood in the
cage that cross one another. dis-guise', change the appearance of. swain, countryman. ex'-iled, banished. in-her-it-ance, that which is
received from our ancestors. al-ter'-nate-ly, by turns. cal'-en-dar, something to register time by.
etch'-ing, marking; notching.
EXERCISES.-1. The Latin prefix ex- (which has also the forms e-, ec-, ef-) means out of, from, as exclude, to shut out; educe, to lead out; eject, to throw out; eradicate, to root out; eccentric, from the centre; efflux, a flowing out; efface, to wipe out; effect, a thing made out.
2. Analyse and parse the following: 'A little calendar of small sticks lay at the head, notched all over with the dismal days and nights he had passed there.'
3. Make sentences of your own, and use in each one or more of the following words: Soliloquy, captivity, alternately, disguise.
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE.
[William Howard Russell, a brilliant journalist, acted as special correspondent to the Times, while the Crimean war (1854) was in progress, and from time to time sent home splendid battle pictures and descriptions. This is his account of the charge of the Light Brigade, rendered even more famous by Tennyson's spirited poem on the subject.]
1. And now occurred the melancholy catastrophe which fills us all with sorrow. Brigadier Airey gave
an order in writing to Captain Nolan, to take to Lord Lucan, directing his lordship 'to advance' his cavalry nearer to the enemy.
2. When Lord Lucan received the order from Captain Nolan, and had read it, he asked, we are told, 'Where are we to advance to?' Captain Nolan pointed with his finger to the line of the Russians, and said, 'There are the enemy, and there are the guns, sir, before them; it is your duty to take them,' or words to that effect. Lord Lucan, with reluctance, gave the order to Lord Cardigan to advance upon the guns, conceiving that his orders compelled him to do so.
3. At ten minutes past eleven our Light Cavalry brigade advanced. The whole brigade scarcely made one effective regiment, according to the numbers of
continental armies, and yet it was more than we could spare. As they rushed toward the front, the Russians opened on them from the guns in the redoubt on the right, with volleys of musketry and rifles. They swept proudly past, glittering in the morning sun in all the pride and splendour of war.
4. We could scarcely believe the evidence of our senses! Surely that handful of men are not going to charge an army in position! Alas! it was but too true. Their desperate valour knew no bounds, and far indeed was it removed from its so-called better part-discretion.
5. They advanced in two lines, quickening their pace as they closed toward the enemy. A more fearful spectacle was never witnessed than by those who beheld these heroes rushing to the arms of death. At the distance of twelve hundred yards the whole line of the enemy belched forth from thirty iron mouths a flood of smoke and flame, through which hissed the deadly balls. Their flight was marked by instant gaps in our ranks, by dead men and horses, by steeds flying wounded or riderless across the plain.
6. The first line is broken!—it is joined by the second-they never halt, or check their speed an instant. With diminished ranks-thinned by those thirty guns, which the Russians had laid with the most deadly accuracy-with a halo of flashing steel above their heads, and with a cheer which was many a noble fellow's death-cry, they flew into the smoke of the batteries; but ere they were lost from view, the plain was strewed with their bodies, and with the carcasses of horses.
7. They were exposed to an oblique fire from the batteries on the hills on both sides, as well as to a
direct fire of musketry. Through the clouds of smoke we could see their sabres flashing as they rode up to the guns and dashed between them, cutting down the gunners as they stood.
8. To our delight, we saw them returning after breaking through a column of Russian infantry and scattering them like chaff, when the flank-fire of the battery on the hill swept them down, scattered and broken as they were. Wounded men and dismounted troopers flying toward us told the sad tale. Demigods could not have done what they had failed to do.
9. At the very moment when they were about to retreat, an enormous mass of lancers was hurled on their flank. Colonel Shewell, of the 8th Hussars, saw the danger, and rode his few men straight at them, cutting his way through with fearful loss. The other regiments turned, and engaged in a desperate encounter. With courage too great almost for credence, they were breaking their way through the columns which enveloped them, when there took place an act of atrocity without parallel in the modern warfare of civilised nations.
10. The Russian gunners, when the storm of cavalry passed, returned to their guns. They saw their own cavalry mingled with the troopers who had just ridden over them; and, to the eternal disgrace of the Russian name, the miscreants poured a murderous volley of grape and canister on the mass of struggling men and horses, mingling friend and foe in one common ruin! It was as much as our heavy cavalry brigade could do to cover the retreat of the miserable remnants of the band of heroes as they returned to the place they had so lately quitted in all the pride of life. At thirty-five minutes past eleven not a British soldier, except the