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glittering in the morning sun in all the pride and splendour of war.
2. 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 l'emoved from its so-called better part-discretion.
3. 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.
4. 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 carcases of horses.
5. They were exposed to a cross 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.
6. 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
Wounded men and dismounted troopers flying toward us told the sad tale. Demigods could not have done what they had failed to do.
7. At the very moment when they were about to retreat, an
mass of lancers was hurled on their flank. Colonel Shewell, of the Eighth 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.
8. 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. At thirty-five minutes past eleven not a British soldier, except the dead and dying, was left in front of the Russian guns.—Dr. W. H. Russell.
SUMMARY.—This incident occurred in the Crimean War, at the siege of Sebastopol by the allied troops. An order was given by mistake, and a brigade of light cavalry advanced against the enemy. The tire of the Russian lines was opened fiercely against them, but they advanced boldly in obedience to orders. A more terrible spectacle was never witnessed, but the heroes never faltered. The heavy fire of the Russian guns greatly thinned their ranks, and the brigade returned very much reduced in number. Of all the force which had ridden forward so bravely, only a miserable remnant was left to tell the tale.
Demigods-were Greek heroes who were deified on account of their
bravery. They occupy a distinct position in legend, between the gods of Olympus and ordinary mortals. The term is
now applied poetically to persons specially honoured. Russia—The lesson refers to an episode of the Anglo-French and
Russian war of 1833. Through a mistaken order, the English Light Brigade undertook a task which no amount of bravery could effect; and although those who escaped death at the hands of the Russians got back again to their friends, no advantage was gained by the charge.
Bat-ter-ies, cannon ranged in Ev-i-dence, proof. order for battle.
Mis-cre-ants, false, unfaithful Belched, ejected, thrown out, as
persons. from the mouth of a gun. Par-al-lel, resembling, at equal Bri-gade', a division of troops distances. under a brigadier.
Reg-i-ment, a numbered division Can-is-ter, a case or box, en- of soldiers. cased shot.
Ri-fles, a grooved gun. Civ-il-ised', instructed in arts, Re-doubt', a place of retreat in not savage.
battle. Dis-cret-ion, exercise of wisdom, Vol-ley, a simultaneous discaution.
charge of many shots.
QUESTIONS. Where is the Crimea ? Who | How did the brigade face the attacked the Russians there? foe? How did Colonel Shewell Why did the light brigade ad- act? In what
way did the vance? In what manner? How Russian gunners behave? What were they met by the enemy? was the fate of the brigade ?
EXERCISES.–1. Parse and analyse- They were exposed to an oblique fire from the batteries on the hills.
2. Nouns are formed by adding ary, ory, ice, ment, which mean "that which,” or “those who or which;" as, luminary, that which gives light (lumen, a light); auditory, those who listen (audio, I hear); justice, that which is just; amusement, that which amuses. Give the exact meaning of the following words—boundary, directory, service, aliment (alo, I nourish).
heirs bub-ble gar-ment mus-cles hard-i-er scarce dain'ty heir-ship pa-tience in-her-its seems fra-grant lev-el fac-tor-y
wea-ri-ness [JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL (6. 1819, ) was born in Cambridge, Mass., and is a graduate of Harvard College. He entered the profession of law; but, in 1843, turned aside to publish “ The Pioneer, a Literary and Critical Magazine,” which proved, however, a financial failure. In 1855 he was appointed professor of Belles-lettres in Harvard College; and in 1877 was made U.S. Minister to Spain. Lowell's powers as a writer are very versatile, and his poems range from the most dreamy and imaginative to the most trenchant and witty. Among his most noted poetical works are “ The Biglow Papers," The Fable for Critics,” “The Vision of Sir Launfal,” “The Cathedral," and "The Legend of Brittany;” while “ Conversations on some of the old Poets,” “ Among my Books,” and “My Study Windows,” place him in the front rank as an essayist.]
1. The rich man's son in rits lands,
And piles of brick, and stone, and gold,
And tender flesh that fears the cold,
Nor dares to wear a garment old;
2. The rich man's son inherits cares;
The bank may break, the factory burn,
And soft white hands could hardly earn
A living that would serve his turn;
3. The rich man's son inherits wants,
His stomach craves for dainty fare ;
Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare,
And wearies in his easy chair;
4. What doth the poor mau's son inherit?
Stout muscles and a sinewy lieart,
every useful toil and art;
5. What doth the poor man's son inherit ?
Wishes o’erjoyed with humble things, A rank adjudged by toil-worn merit,
Content that from employment springs,
A heart that in its labour sings;
6. What doth the poor man's son inherit ?
A patience learned of being poor, Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it,
A fellow-feeling that is sure
To make the outcast bless his door ;
7. O rich man's son ! there is a toil
That with all others level stands ; Large charity doth never soil,
But only whiten soft white hands, -
This is the best crop from thy lands;
8. O poor man's son ! scorn not thy state;
There is worse weariness than thine In merely being rich and great :
Toil only gives the soul to shine,
And makes rest fragrant and benign;