« VorigeDoorgaan »
meals, the Hulans could only conjec- venture; with the battalions and squadture, but the future was large.
rons of a brilliant French army comTowards evening a distant and ing up successively into the sunshine, broken cannonade showed that an and glittering like phalanxes of fire; affair was taking place, and that and, above all, with the strongest posmovements were making by the ar- sible chance of seeing a pitched battle mies. The night was moonless but for the first time in his life-to ride clear, and the height on which the back as he came seemed the most proHulans were posted, gave them an voking course imaginable. Sitting on uninterrupted view across a plain of his charger, he held a council of war several leagues' breadth to a chain of like a field-marshal; and the unani. gentle acclivities in front. By degrees mous opinion being that to return was those hills began to be dotted with absurd, without having something to fires, and it was evident that a strong tell, they resolved to see whatever body of troops were preparing to bi- was to be seen.
With every hour there were They were not kept long in susnew arrivals of columns; and in the pense. The army, on whose skirts stillness of the night, the sounds of the They now hung, was in the act of ef. waggons, the rattling of the guns over fecting its retreat from the Archduke; the rocky ground, and even the cla- who, by a series of brilliant maneuvres, mours of the troops, were distinctly au- had repelled its invasion, forced it to dible. Still, the question, to which army throw itself into the difficult mountliey belonged, was unanswered ; and tains which border the river Maine, Carlo, eager as usual for distinction, and was now pressing forward to de claimed, on the ground of his being stroy or drive it into France. an aid-de-camp, the right to take out All the world knows, that the two a few cavalry to reconnoitre. The cap- thingsin the world least like each other, tain, an honest soldier, but who loved are a battle and a review ; and Carlo, his pipe at least as well as his spur, was who had hitherto witnessed nothing not unwilling to settle his doubts upon more substantial than the parades of the easiest terms; and Sebastiani gal- the garrison of Ratisbon, with the ex. loped off with half-a-dozen of his com- ception of his single night's experience rades, loaded with “ most particular at the passage of the Rhine, was all orders” not to commit themselves, not astonishment at the raggedness, the tomake any false step by getting too rushing, and the desperate disorder of near, and, above all, to come back the fifty thousand gallant republicans with their intelligence as speedily as who were pouring back through the possible.
defiles of this singularly broken and All this was prudent in the captain, now wasted country. Yet, when the But prudent maxims ought to be put French began to take up
their position, into prudent hands, and not into the nothing could be more magnificent to keeping of warriors of eighteen, full of the eye of the young soldier. The infire and full of contempt for all precau- dividual destitution of the troops tion, eager to see whatever was going ceased to be visible, when they were on, and disposed to forget captains once more massed in their columns ; and commands, and all the earth be- and he longed for the first sound of the side, the moment they heard the first cannon which was to put them in cannon-shot. Within the half-hour, action, with a feeling which he could Carlo had completed all the original compare to nothing but the eagerness objects of his mission--had reached to see the curtain rise on some great the verge of the bivouac—had rode theatric spectacle. The features of between a couple of its advanced the moment aided the conception. posts—had heard with his own ears From the summit of the mountain the troops conversing in French; and, range to the plain, all was open to the that his captain might have simi- blaze of a summer sun, and every spot lar evidence, had dispatched a stray which was not covered with forest was suttler, a drunken grenadier, and covered with human beings. a sleeping sentinel, musket and all, The French had no sooner taken up and severally bound hand and foot on their ground than they had begun to the croups of three Hulan horses, to prepare their meal, in which the gehis officer. But with three capitally nius of the nation of cooks makes them mounted comrades, all eager for ad- more expert than any other campaign
ers on the globe. Clouds of smoke “ Merely to draw on your gene. rose in all quarters; the noise and ral. If he fights, he must be annihi: laughter of busy multitudes filled the lated ; if he does not, he must be disair; and, but when a change of posi- graced. In either case, France trition threw their helmets and muskets umphs; we shall have a general into the flash of the sunshine, or the peace, and the Republic will be the galloping of a park of artillery thun. mistress of Europe !—ça ira !” dered among the precipitous roads, all The Frenchman, in the exhilaration looked like an immense fair.
of the prospect, gave them a stanza of It was now noon, and still no symp- the air, as if he were sitting in a café, tom of battle appeared. Carlo alighted, or a club of the sons of liberty in the to lead his horse deeper into the forest, metropolis of the graces. and, with some displeasure at the tar- Carlo felt the honour of his country diness of war, prepared to return to his getting the better of his politeness
, captain. But a sound of hoofs suddenly and was about to make an angry an. struck his ear. He threw his men swer, when a roar of cannon pealed into the copse, and awaited the event. round the mountain. The battle had A small party of French dragoons, with evidently begun, and the party hasan officer, forcing their way through tened to a height from which the the thicket, soon showed them. whole scene of commotion lay beneath selves. Carlo fired his carbine at the eye. The French stood in order them ; his example was followed by of battle on the ridge of the hills, with his men; the officer's horse was wound cavalry posted in the intervals of the ed, and brought him to the ground; columns, and their artillery thrown the dragoons, probably thinking that in front of the line, to pour down a they had fallen into the hands of some plunging fire on the Austrians as they strong patrol, wheeled about, and the ascended the gorges. The fog, which officer remained, unable to rise, and a had hitherto covered all the lower den prisoner. Carlo's refusing to take his clivities and the plain stretching to the watch and purse, a remarkably un- river, was now gradually clearing off
, usual instance in campaigning, put the and at every movement the ArchFrenchman into good spirits again ; duke's force was developing itself on and in five minutes after his capture, a larger scale through the cloud. It he talked away, as if the Hulans and actually looked as if the battalions he had been friends for the last half and squadrons were starting up from century.
the soil. The colonel's spirits pal• Who commands ?" was the first pably sank with every new developquestion of the captors.
ment. 66 Oh! Jourdan of course. He has What! more battalions, more been looking for the Archduke as far masses !" he continually exclaimed. as the Danube, and, not finding him “ Jourdan ought to have known the there, has brought back the army, in force against him, before he halted order to see whether he will fight on to fight. More troops still ! he any terms. Pray, gentlemen,” add- will have the whole German army upon ed the prisoner, with the true smile his hands. Look there that sacre of a Frenchman, “ can any of you movement will bring the enemy on tell me where the Archduke is ? If his flank, and he does not see it, or if you wish to earn fifty louis, you he did, he has not a single soldier to will have only to ride to the field spare.” The Colonel now attempted marshal with the intelligence, and the gentler arts, and tried the offer of say that Colonel Vancourt sent a large sum, to purchase the power
carrying his knowledge of this im“ No, colonel, we should rather portant manæuvre to his general. But take care of you, and have to bring the attempt only increased Carlo's viback the news of your field-mar. gilance, and produced a search of the shal's being soundly beaten; as he will unlucky colonel's person in return, be, if he waits where he is till night which elicited a small case of defall."
spatches. The battle now raged; the “ Soundly beaten! Ha, ha, ha! Archduke, apparently to mask the Why, he has twelve demi-brigades that flank attack, moved several strong would walk over Germany.'
columns directly to the front, and the " Ay, if they were let alone.
But firing grew tremendous. The colonel's why are they retreating now?" emotions had all the characteristic
vivacity of his nation. He writhed, by Starray and Wertensleben, mowed E exclaimed, sacre-d, and danced, with down the battalions at the foot of the
every change of the fight. There,” hills, Kray, at the head of the Hungahe cried, “ go the thirty-fifth, the finest rian grenadiers, continued to press on, demi-brigade in France. The Austri. pouring showers of musketry and ans might as well shake a rock. There grape on the shattered line. Evening go Lemoine's six-pounders : capital! was not far off ; and the only hope of - they have broken up the column. escape lay in their being able to resist But who are those forming to charge? until nightfall. They might then conAye: Milhaud's dragoons ! Nothing tinue their march, and, by fortifying can withstand them. Bravo! They the passes of the last hills bordering on
are in the midst of the Austrians : all the Rhine, accomplish the object of it is a mêlée. Grenier follows them with stopping the pursuit for a while. The u the light infantry-the enemy are French brigades now concentrated
turning already-Jourdan will march themselves round their general; the to the Danube.” A Frenchman's ideas plain and the river being wholly abanalways break out in words, and the doned, with vast quantities of ammucolonel's interest in this great and nition, and nearly all their guns and
formidable scene let loose all his vo- baggage. On the summit of the range is lubility. But a roar now rose on the they still kept up a determined resist
flank, and the heads of the Austrian ance; but all the purposes of the galE columns were seen rapidly forcing lant Archduke being completed for the m their way down the defiles on the left time, the firing at length died away on er of the French. The flow of his ideas all sides.
now ran just as rapidly in the opposite Carlo now thought of his captain. direction. He was au désespoir. « All But where was he to find him? Every is lost!”exclaimed the colonel; “Jour- thing had been changed by the event dan is a madman. This is only a of the day. Besides, he now had the new specimen of the folly which charge of an important prisoner. The precipitated him into Germany, and conclusion was, that the Archduke's drove him back, with the loss of headquarters must now be his only half his army, through the worst point of direction. He set out at full roads and worst country that ever speed; by making a detour of some disbroke
up an army. Sacrel where tance, passed beyond the reach of the is Ney now?--he saved us already, patrols of both armies, and at midnight
and it cost him a week's desperate reached the village where the Archit work to do it. But there-he is ad- duke and his staff had taken their rest
vancing at the head of the cuirassiers; for the night. On making his report, Grand Sabreur! the enemy wavers his prisoner was ordered to attend the - he
pursues them off the field. general. A croix or a commission Diable? where did that mass of cavalry was in Carlo's thoughts, while he come from? Ney is enveloped again awaited the end of the examination. -his squadrons are broken to frag- At length an Imperial aid-de-camp ments. "Nothing can save him—no. made his appearance. Carlo's heart thing can save the
Unless beat quick : the aid-de-camp simply Jourdan is killed in the field, he will delivered a paper to the officer of the fall by the guillotine. France is un- guard, and returned. It was an order done!”
for Carlo's arrest; and within the hour The aspect of the fieldby this time he was on his way to one of the forest fully accounted for the colonel's de fortresses, the condemned cells of the spair. The Archduke had completely Imperial dominions. turned the French army; and while a
To be continued.] succession of vigorous attacks in front,
The conflicting relations between exterior points from which their fronGreat Britain and Russia, in which tier might have been assailed. Russia the double position held by each of appears at first to have regarded this those powers in reference to Europe advance on our part as a false step, and Asia has for some time placed both in a military and political view, them, appear to have been brought, which must so speedily and inevitably by the results of our advance into work out its own discomfiture, as to Cabul, to the verge of an inevitable relieve her from the necessity of accel
. collision. The gradual absorption of erating the catastrophe. The distance all the Indian sovereignties into the and impracticable nature of the counempire of the Company, and the pre- try to be attacked, separated from our dominance of Russia over the whole own territories by deserts and hostile of Northern Asia, from Kamschatka independent tribes; the injudicious to the Caucasus, must sooner or later reductions recently made in our In
, have occasioned this; and the turn dian army, opposed to the presumed which the adroitness of Russian di- energy and popularity of the Barukzye plomacy, since the accession of the rulers, and the valour of the Affghans, reigning sovereign, Mohammed Shah, whom the siege of Herat had shown has given to Persian politics, has con- not to have degenerated in this respect tributed to hasten the crisis, by con- from their fathers,-all concurred to verting that country, from a stubborn set Russia at ease as to the British barrier to Russian encroachment, into operations west
of the Indus; and, with a highway to be securely traversed by the exception of the (afterwards disher troops, in prosecution of her ul. avowed)' mission of the unfortunate terior schemes of conquest. How far Vikovich to Cabul, she appears to this untoward state of affairs might have waited in tranquil expectation for have been prevented or averted by the time when the destruction of the timely management on the part of our Sepoy columns in the mountain passes administration in the East, it is not of the Affghan country should have our present purpose to enquire; and it left the Anglo-Indian government is a point on which neither pampblets destitute of disposable troops, and disnor parliamentary debates seem to tracted by the innumerable revolts have succeeded in throwing much and conspiracies which would have light; but the consequences speedily exploded in all parts of India at the became apparent in the famous siege first tidings of reverse in Cabul.* Even of Herat, an event which will probably if these anticipations should not be be hereafter regarded as the opening verified in their full extent, the dearly of a new page in the history of Cen- bought experience of Circassian mountral Asia. Notwithstanding the failure tain warfare justified the assumption, of the enterprise, the rulers of British that the conquest of Affghanistan must India were at last effectually startled occupy more than a single campaign, and alarmed by the danger to which one of the keys of their empire had calculations were overthrown by the
But all these seemingly well-reasoned been exposed ; and the expedition for ;
events of the war. The Affglans rethe restoration of Shah Shooja was coiled from the encounter of the proplanned and undertaken in haste, in verbial ikbal, or luck of the Company, order to strengthen their defences in and the bayonets of disciplined troops
, the north-west, and pre-occupy the in a panic from which the gallant
* There must be many still living who remember the sensation produced by the threatened invasion of India in 1797 by Shah Zemaun, the elder brother of the mo. narch whom a British army has just restored to a nominal sovereignty; when, in the words of Elphinstone, “the Rohillas and Patans began to assemble from all quarters in arms, and every Mussulman, even in the remotest regions of the Dekkan, waited in anxious expectation for the advance of the champion of Islam!”
storm of Ghazni* gave them no time last few years brought it into now to recover; and the blow thus struck tice; but more accurate information produced an impression through all exists in the jealously guarded arthe tribes of Central Asia, of the chives of Petersburg : and while our promptitude and invincibility of Eng- politicians at home, and our military lish warfare, which made it impera- leaders in India, are exulting in havtive on Russia to vindicate her own ing secured our Oriental empire from military reputation, and counter- any future approaches on the side of balance the prestige of the English Herat and Western Affghanistan, successes, by a corresponding display Russia has lost no time in repairing of power and energy. The announce- this check by a move in flank, the sucment, therefore, that an armament cess of which will (as we shall endea. bad been dispatched against Khiva, vour in the course of the present articould excite no surprise in the minds cle to show) give her the command of
of those who had regarded with atten- a position at once beyond the reach of * tion the changes of the political hori. any offensive operations on our part,
zon-the only doubt was, where the and presenting equal advantages with bolt would be aimed. We have thus Herat as a basis for attacking both briefly traced the successive move- commerce and rule in India. ments by which the two great aggres. Since the siege of Herat, indeed, and sive powers of Asia, issuing from the the undisguised avowals of its ulterior boundaries within which they had objects which the European Journals hitherto restrained themselves, have at in the pay of the Czar were perlength descended into the arena which mitted to make, Russia seems to have
the annihilation of the political inde- felt that any effectual concealment of 2 pendence of Persia, and the division her designs in that quarter is no longer
and limited extent of the Turkman practicable: the mask, once raised, has and Uzbek states, have left clear for been thrown aside as useless ; and the coming contest. The mountains arms have taken the place of intrigue
of Afghanistan, at the upperextremity and diplomacy. In our article on els of the valley of the Oxus, have already eastern affairs in January 1839, we
been occupied by British forces--the alluded to a prevalent report that the lower part of the course of that river Uzbek sovereignties had been deterhas probably, even while we write, red from sending troops to the relief become
a component part of the Mus. of Shah Kamran, by the impending covite empire--the plains of Mawara- advance of a Russian force against ’Inahr, unbroken, from the foot of Khiva. The rumour proved, however, the Hindoo Koosh to the Sea of Aral, to be at that time premature; but its by a mountain or intersecting river, accomplishment was only delayed. alone separate the advanced posts. Late in last year it became known The existing circumstances of the so- that an expedition had marched under vereignties comprehended in this re- the command of General Peroffski ; † gion, (in past ages the battle-field of and the strength of this corps, which the Moguls and Moslems,) as well as is said to amount to 24,000 men of their political relations with each all arms, with seventy-two pieces of other, and with the more powerful cannon, (besides a powerful reserve, states in their vicinity, are as little and the volunteered aid of 10,000 generally known in Europe as Affghan- Kirghizes,) obviously denotes, when istan was before the events of the directed against a principality the
The ancient capital of Mahmood Shah Ghaznevi, the first Moslem conqueror of India, who rifled the virgin treasures of the idol shrines for the embellishment of his native city, has become, in the lapse of eight centuries, an appendage to the title of an English noble, Baron Keane of Ghazni !
† The similarity of name has led some to imagine this officer identical with the General Berowski reported to have been killed before Herat in 1838 ; but this is not the case. Berowski was a Polish Jew by birth, who had long been employed in Egypt and elsewhere as an emissary of Russia, before his appearance in a military capacity. Some years since he presented himself to Sir John Malcolm, at Bombay, in search of employment, but was speedily sent out of India He then proceeded to Persia, and was actually killed before Herat.