« PreviousContinue »
to treble. On and on, a few artless, unvarying notes. And yet it never tires us, it is always musical, and fresh, and meekly joyous-image of the one unceasing song of the blessed, image of the rapturous monotony of heaven.
Is there not pain in a restless multiplicity of pleasure? Amidst the whirl of changes, is not the heart haunted by a vague dread that the next change may be sadly for the worse? It is a symptom of disease in the soul to stand in need of such vicissitudes. Only commonplace souls, earthy souls, souls without depth or compass, souls with paltry resources of their own, and slavishly dependent upon outward things-none but these desire, none but these can endure, perpetual variety, excitement, travel, change of scene, change of society, change of employment, change of amusement, change of change. The higher natures are stable, equable, self-contained, self-sustaining, placid, domestic-concentrated in their large memories, and in their larger thoughts and hopes-seeking and finding pleasure in a noble loyalty to duty, and regarding duty, not as a task-mistress to be served coldly for wages during as short a day as possible, but as a queenly mother, to live with, and cherish, and reverence, and love, and serve, day and night, in sunshine and in darkness, for life at home with themselves, at home with their conscience and their God, at home in their own homes, at home with a sinless and happy monotony.
"How strange one never tires of the lark!" said the gentlest of my gentle cousins, Annie. And so, while we talked, and were silent, and smiled, and looked at each other, and at the flowers (alas! there was one of us who could not see the flowers except as memory might paint them), we went round and round the garden walks, he and his sisters and I, unwearied by the sameness, arm-inarm and hand-in-hand. And all the while the lark, to his own keen delight and ours, kept up his monotonous carol, high up out of sight, above the field of clover yonder, outside our garden's hedge; and his singing, like the brightness and the odor of the flowers and of the fruits, almost seemed to be a part of the summer sunshine.
But, ah! there is no sunshine now and no singing. It is winter. Is the lark dead? I know not; but my gentle cousin Annie is with God. And twice the daisies have
gleamed in pink and white over the grave of him who could not see the flowers, but who shall see God for
Again, after many years, this withered leaf flutters across my path. Perhaps God may use it as a message to some hearts simple and young as ours were then. Ay, and as theirs are still; for now they are all three gone home to God. Their bodies are in the same tomb, and their souls, I am sure, are in the same heaven; and they are praying, I am sure, for those who remain behind. One of those who remain behind writes: "It feels lonely, having no elder sister, but we get on very well, though we shall have need of many more acts of resignation than we should have had if Mary had been left to us," she, namely, with whom hand-in-hand I walked round the garden in that August forenoon long ago, while the sun shone and the lark sang overhead.
SIR WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL.
WILLIAM HOWARD RUSSELL, the first of war correspondents, was born March 28, 1820, at Lilyvale, County Dublin, and was educated at Trinity College. He was first employed as a Parliamentary reporter on The Times; but the exciting days of Repeal supplied his editor with the opportunity of giving him more congenial work, and he was employed as a traveling correspondent to attend the meetings held by O'Connell and others. In 1846-47 he was again in Ireland, acting as a special commissioner to inquire into the state of the country; and he was a graphic and forcible describer of the famine and the plague.
The Crimean war brought him into still further prominence. The accounts he gave of the mismanagement that reigned supreme in the first disastrous months of the expedition attracted the attention of both the public and Parliament, and his splendid pictures of the great events of the war were waited for with anxiety and read with intense interest. After this he was stationed wherever history was being made by war: the Indian mutiny, the American civil war, the Franco-German war, the wars in South Africa, Zululand, and the Transvaal. He was with the expedition that laid the first Atlantic cable, and in India with Edward VII., then Prince of Wales. His publications are 'Letters from the Crimea,'' British Expedition to the Crimea,' 'Diary in India,' 'Diary, North and South,' 'Diary in the Last Great War,' Hesperothen,' Adventures of Dr. Brady,' 'A Retrospect of the Crimea,' etc. He is a Knight of the Iron Cross, a Commander of the Legion of Honor, and was knighted in 1895.
BALAKLAVA, AND THE CHARGE OF THE
[October 25, 1854.]
Never did the painter's eye rest on a more beautiful scene than I beheld from the ridge. The fleecy vapors still hung around the mountain-tops, and mingled with the ascending volumes of smoke; the patch of sea sparkled in the rays of the morning sun, but its light was eclipsed by the flashes which gleamed from the masses of armed men below. Looking to the left towards the gorge, we beheld six compact masses of Russian infantry, which had just debouched from the mountain-passes near Tchernaya, and were slowly advancing with solemn stateliness up
the valley. Immediately in their front was a regular line of artillery, of at least twenty pieces strong.
Two batteries of light guns were already a mile in advance of them, and were playing with energy on the redoubts, from which feeble puffs of smoke came at long intervals. Behind these guns in front of the infantry, were enormous bodies of cavalry. They were in six compact squares, three on each flank, moving down en échelon towards us, and the valley was lit up with the blaze of their sabers, and lance points, and gay accoutrements. In their front, and extending along the intervals between each battery of guns, were clouds of mounted skirmishers, wheeling and whirling in the front of their march like autumn leaves tossed by the wind.
The zouaves close to us were lying like tigers at the spring, with ready rifles in hand, hidden chin-deep by the earthworks which ran along the line of these ridges on our rear; but the quick-eyed Russians were maneuvering on the other side of the valley, and did not expose their columns to attack. Below the zouaves we could see the Turkish gunners in the redoubts, all in confusion as the shells burst over them. Just as I came up, the Russians had carried No. 1 Redoubt, the farthest and most elevated of all, and their horsemen were chasing the Turks across the interval which lay between it and Redoubt No. 2.
At that moment the cavalry, under Lord Lucan, were formed in glittering masses-the Light Brigade under Lord Cardigan, in advance; the Heavy Brigade, under Brigadier General Scarlett, in reserve. They were drawn up just in front of their encampment and were concealed from the view of the enemy by a slight "wave" in the plain. Considerable to the rear of their right, the 93d Highlanders were drawn up in line, in front of the approach to Balaklava. Above and behind them, on the heights, the marines were visible through the glass, drawn up under arms, and the gunners could be seen ready in the earth works, in which were placed the heavy ships' guns. The 93d had originally been advanced somewhat more into the plain, but the instant the Russians got possession of the first redoubt they opened fire on them from our own guns, which inflicted some injury, and Sir Colin Campbell retired" his men to a better position.
Meantime the enemy advanced his cavalry rapidly. To our inexpressible disgust we saw the Truks in Redoubt No. 2 fly at their approach. They ran in scattered groups across towards Redoubt No. 3, and towards Balaklava; but the horse-hoof of the Cossack was too quick for them, and sword and lance were busily plied among the retreating herd. The yells of the pursuers and pursued were plainly audible. As the lancers and light cavalry of the Russians advanced, they gathered up their skirmishers with great speed and in excellent order the shifting trails of men, which played all over the valley like moonlight on the water, contracted, gathered up, and the little peloton in a few moments became a solid column.
Then up came their guns, in rushed their gunners to the abandoned redoubt, and the guns of No. 2 Redoubt soon played with deadly effect upon the dispirited defenders of No. 3 Redoubt. Two or three shots in return from the earthworks, and all is silent. The Turks swarm over the earthworks, and run in confusion towards the town, firing their muskets at the enemy as they run. Again the solid column of cavalry opens like a fan, and resolves itself into a "long spray" of skirmishers. It laps the flying Turks, steel flashes in the air, and down go the poor Moslems quivering on the plain, split through fez and musket-guard to the chin and breast-belt! There is no support for them. It is evident the Russians have been too quick for us. The Turks have been too quick also, for they have not held their redoubts long enough to enable us to bring them help. In vain the naval guns on the heights fire on the Russian cavalry; the distance is too great for shot or shell to reach.
In vain the Turkish gunners in the earthen batteries, which are placed along the French intrenchments, strive to protect their flying countrymen; their shot fly wide and short of the swarming masses. The Turks betake themselves towards the Highlanders, where they check their flight, and form into companies on the flanks of the Highlanders. As the Russian cavalry on the left crown the hill across the valley, they perceive the Highlanders drawn up at the distance of some half-mile, calmly waiting their approach. They halt, and squadron after squadron flies up from the rear, till they have a body of some fifteen hundred men along the ridge-lancers, and dragoons, and