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Camps, Quarters, and Casual Places by Archibald Forbes

Part 4 out of 5

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offensive, for how can an army advance if it has always to wait till an
enemy attacks?" After much exercitation the Germans determined to adhere
to the offensive. In the recent modest language of Baron von der Goltz:
[Footnote: _The Nation in Arms_, by Lieutenant-Colonel Baron von der
Goltz. (Allen.)] "Our modern German mode of battle aims at being entirely
a final struggle, which we conceive of as being inseparable from an
unsparing offensive. Temporising, waiting, and a calm defensive are very
unsympathetic to our nature. Everything with us is action. Our strength
lies in great decisions on the battlefield." Perhaps also the guileless
Germans were quite alert to the fact that Marshal Niel had shattered the
French army's tradition of the offensive, and gone counter to the French
soldier's nature by enjoining the defensive in the latest official
instructions. Had the Teutons suborned him the Marshal could not have done
them a better turn.

Their offensive tactics against an enemy unnaturally lashed to the stake
of the defensive stood the Germans in excellent stead in 1870. On every
occasion they resorted to the offensive against an enemy in the field;
strictly refraining, however, from that expedient when it was a fortress
and not soldiers _en vive force_ that stood in the way. At St. Privat
their offensive would probably have been worsted if Canrobert had been
reinforced or even if a supply of ammunition had reached him; and a loss
there of one-third of the combatants of the Guard Corps without result
caused them to change for the better the method of their attack. But in
every battle from Weissenburg to Sedan with the exception of the confused
_melee_ of Mars-la-Tour, the French, besides being bewildered and
discouraged, were in inferior strength; after Sedan the French levies in
the field were scarcely soldiers. There was no fair testing of the
relative advantages of defence and offence in the Russo-Turkish War of
1877-78; and so it remains that in an actual and practical sense no firm
decision has yet been established. All civilised nations are, however,
assiduously practising the methods of the offensive.

It may nevertheless be anticipated that in future warfare between evenly
matched combatants the offensive will get the worst of it at the hands of
the defensive. The word "anticipate" is used in preference to "apprehend,"
because one's sympathy is naturally for the invaded state unless it has
been wantonly aggressive and insolent. The invaded army, if the term may
be used, having familiar knowledge of the terrain will take up a position
in the fair-way of the invader; affording strong flank _appui_ and a
far-stretching clear range in front and on flanks. It will throw up
several lines, or still better, tiers of shallow trenches along its front
and flanks, with emplacements for artillery and machine guns. The invader
must attack; he cannot turn the enemy's position and expose his
communications to that enemy. He takes the offensive, doing so, as is the
received practice, in front and on a flank. From the outset he will find
the offensive a sterner ordeal than in the Franco-German War days. He will
have to break into loose order at a greater distance, because of the
longer range of small arms, and the further scope, the greater accuracy,
and the quicker fire of the new artillery. He too possesses those weapons,
but he cannot use them with so great effect. His field batteries suffer
from the hostile cannon fire as they move forward to take up a position.
His infantry cannot fire on the run; when they drop after a rush the aim
of panting and breathless men cannot be of the best. And their target is
fairly protected and at least partially hidden. The defenders behind their
low epaulement do not pant; their marksmen only at first are allowed to
fire; these make things unpleasant for the massed gunners out yonder, who
share their attentions with the spraying-out infantry-men. The
quick-firing cannon of the defence are getting in their work methodically.
Neither its gunners nor its infantry need be nervous as to expending
ammunition freely since plenteous supplies are promptly available, a
convenience which does not infallibly come to either guns or rifles of the
attack. The Germans report as their experience in the capacity of
assailants that the rapidity and excitement of the advance, the stir of
strife, the turmoil, exhilarate the soldiers, and that patriotism and
fire-discipline in combination enforce a cool steady maintenance of fire;
that in view of the ominous spectacle of the swift and confident advance,
under torture of the storm of shell-fire and the hail of bullets which
they have to endure in immobility, the defenders, previously shaken by the
assailants' artillery preparation, become nervous, waver, and finally
break when the cheers of the final concentrated rush strike on their ears.
That this was scarcely true as regarded French regulars the annals of
every battle of the Franco-German War up to and including Sedan
conclusively show. It is true, however, that the French nature is
intolerant of inactivity and in 1870 suffered under the deprivation of its
_metier;_ but how often the Germans recoiled from the shelter trenches of
the Spicheren and gave ground all along the line from St. Privat to the
Bois de Vaux, men who witnessed those desperate struggles cannot forget
while they live. Warriors of greater equanimity than the French soldier
possesses might perhaps stand on the defensive in calm self-confidence
with simple breech-loaders as their weapons, if simple breech-loaders were
also weapons of the assailants. But in his magazine rifle the soldier of
the future can keep the defensive not only with self-confidence, but with
high elation, for in it he will possess a weapon against which it seems
improbable that the attack (although armed too with a magazine or
repeating rifle) can prevail.

The assailants fall fast as their advance pushes forward, thinned down by
the rifle fire, the mitraille, and the shrapnel of the defence. But they
are gallant men and while life lasts they will not be denied. The long
bloody advance is all but over; the survivors of it who have attained thus
far are lying down getting their wind for the final concentration and
rush. Meanwhile, since after they once again stand up they will use no
more rifle fire till they have conquered or are beaten, they are pouring
forth against the defence their reserve of bullets in or attached to their
rifle-butts. The defenders take this punishment, like Colonel Quagg, lying
down, courting the protection of their earth-bank. The hail of the
assailants' bullets ceases; already the artillery of the attack has
desisted lest it should injure friend as well as foe. The word runs along
the line and the clumps of men lying prostrate there out in the open. The
officers spring to their feet, wave their swords, and cheer loudly. The
men are up in an instant, and the swift rush focussing toward a point
begins. The distance to be traversed before the attackers are _aux prises_
with the defenders is about one hundred and fifty yards.

It is no mere storm of missiles which meets fair in the face those
charging heroes; no, it is a moving wall of metal against which they rush
to their ruin. For the infantry of the defence are emptying their
magazines now at point-blank range. Emptied magazine yields to full one;
the Maxims are pumping, not bullets, but veritable streams of death, with
calm, devilish swiftness. The quick-firing guns are spouting radiating
torrents of case. The attackers are mown down as corn falls, not before
the sickle but the scythe. Not a man has reached, or can reach, the little
earth-bank behind which the defenders keep their ground. The attack has
failed; and failed from no lack of valour, of methodised effort, of
punctilious compliance with every instruction; but simply because the
defence--the defence of the future in warfare--has been too strong for the
attack. One will not occupy space by recounting how in the very nick of
time the staunch defence flashes out into the counter-offensive; nor need
one enlarge on the sure results to the invader as the unassailed flank of
the defence throws forward the shoulder and takes in flank the dislocated
masses of aggressors.

One or two such experiences will definitively settle the point as to the
relative advantage of the offensive and the defensive. Soldiers will not
submit themselves to re-trial on re-trial of a _res judicata_. Grant,
dogged though he was, had to accept that lesson in the shambles of Cold
Harbour. For the bravest sane man will rather live than die. No man burns
to become cannon-fodder. The Turk, who is supposed to court death in
battle for religious reasons of a somewhat material kind, can run away
even when the alternative is immediate removal to a Paradise of unlimited
houris and copious sherbet. There are no braver men than Russian soldiers;
but going into action against the Turks tried their nerves, not because
they feared the Turks as antagonists, but because they knew too well that
a petty wound disabling from retreat meant not alone death but unspeakable
mutilation before that release.

It is obvious that if, as is here anticipated, the offensive proves
impossible in the battle of the future, an exaggerated phase of the
stalemate which Boguslawski so pathetically deprecates will occur. The
world need not greatly concern itself regarding this issue; the situation
will almost invariably be in favour of the invaded and will probably
present itself near his frontier line. He can afford to wait until the
invader tires of inaction and goes home.

Magazine and machine guns would seem to sound the knell of possible
employment of cavalry in battle. No matter how dislocated are the infantry
ridden at so long as they are not quite demoralised, however _ruse_ the
cavalry leader--however favourable to sudden unexpected onslaught is the
ground, the quick-firing arms of the future must apparently stall off the
most enterprising horsemen. Probably if the writer were arguing the point
with a German, the famous experiences of von Bredow might be adduced in
bar of this contention. In the combat of Tobitschau in 1866 Bredow led his
cuirassier regiment straight at three Austrian batteries in action,
captured the eighteen guns and everybody and everything belonging to them,
with the loss to himself of but ten men and eight horses. It is true, says
the honest official account, that the ground favoured the charge and that
the shells fired by the usually skilled Austrian gunners flew high. But
during the last 100 yards grape was substituted for shell, and Bredow
deserved all the credit he got. Still stronger against my argument was
Bredow's memorable work at Mars-la-Tour, when at the head of six squadrons
he charged across 1000 yards of open plain, rode over and through two
separate lines of French infantry, carried a line of cannon numbering nine
batteries, rode 1000 yards farther into the very heart of the French army,
and came back with a loss of not quite one half of his strength. The
_Todtenritt_, as the Germans call it, was a wonderful exploit, a second
Balaclava charge and a bloodier one; and there was this distinction that
it had a purpose and that that purpose was achieved. For Bredow's charge
in effect wrecked France. It arrested the French advance which would else
have swept Alvensleben aside; and to its timely effect is traceable the
sequence of events that ended in the capitulation of Metz. The fact that
although from the beginning of his charge until he struck the front of the
first French infantry line Bredow took the rifle-fire of a whole French
division yet did not lose above fifty men, has been a notable weapon in
the hands of those who argue that good cavalry can charge home on unshaken
infantry. But never more will French infantry shoot from the hip as
Lafont's conscripts at Mars-la-Tour shot in the vague direction of
Bredow's squadrons. French cavalry never got within yards of German
infantry even in loose order; and the magazine or repeating rifle held
reasonably straight will stop the most thrusting cavalry that ever heard
the "charge" sound.

Fortifications of the future will differ curiously from those of the
present. The latter, with their towering scarps, their massive
_enceintes_, their "portentous ditches," will remain as monuments of a
vicious system, except where, as in the cases of Vienna, Cologne, Sedan,
etc., the dwellers in the cities they encircle shall procure their
demolition for the sake of elbow-room, or until modern howitzer shells or
missiles charged with high explosives shall pulverise their naked expanses
of masonry. In the fortification of the future the defender will no longer
be "enclosed in the toils imposed by the engineer" with the inevitable
disabilities they entail, while the besieger enjoys the advantage of free
mobility. Plevna has killed the castellated fortress. With free
communications the full results attainable by fortress artillery
intelligently used, will at length come to be realised. Unless in rare
cases and for exceptional reasons towns will gradually cease to be
fortified even by an encirclement of detached forts. Where the latter are
availed of, practical experience will infallibly condemn the expensive and
complex cupola-surmounted construction of which General Brialmont is the
champion. "A work," trenchantly argues Major Sydenham Clarke, "designed on
the principles of the Roman catacombs is suited only for the dead, in a
literal or in a military sense. The vast system of subterranean chambers
and passages is capable of entombing a brigade, but denies all necessary
tactical freedom of action to a battalion."

The fortress of the future will probably be in the nature of an intrenched
camp. The interior of the position will provide casemate accommodation for
an army of considerable strength. Its defences will consist of a circle at
intervals of about 2500 yards, of permanent redoubts which shall be
invisible at moderate ranges for infantry and machine guns, the garrison
of each redoubt to consist of a half battalion. Such a work was in 1886
constructed at Chatham in thirty-one working days, to hold a garrison of
200 men housed in casemates built in concrete, for less than L3000, and
experiments proved that it would require a "prohibitory expenditure" of
ammunition to cause it serious damage by artillery fire. The supporting
defensive armament will consist of a powerful artillery rendered mobile by
means of tram-roads, this defence supplemented by a field force carrying
on outpost duties and manning field works guarding the intervals between
the redoubts. Advanced defences and exterior obstacles of as formidable a
character as possible will be the complement of what in effect will be an
immensely elaborated Plevna, which, properly armed and fully organised,
will "fulfil all the requirements of defence" while possessing important
potentialities of offence.

An illustration is pertinent of the pre-eminent utility of such fortified
and strongly held positions, of whose characteristics the above is the
merest outline. In the event of a future Franco-German War, the immensely
expensive cordon of fortresses with which the French have lined their
frontier, efficiently equipped, duly garrisoned and well commanded, will
unquestionably present a serious obstacle to the invading armies. The
Germans talk of _vive force_--shell heavily and then storm; the latter
resort one for which they have in the past displayed no predilection.
Whether by storm or interpenetration, they will probably break the cordon,
but they cannot advance without masking all the principal fortresses. This
will employ a considerable portion of their strength, and the invasion
will proceed in less force, which will be an advantage to the defenders.
But if instead of those multitudinous fortresses the French had
constructed, say, three such intrenched-camp fortresses as have been
sketched, each quartering 50,000 men, it would appear that they would have
done better for themselves at far less cost. Each intrenched position
containing a field army 50,000 strong would engross a beleaguering host of
100,000 men. The positions of the type outlined are claimed to be
impregnable; they could contain supplies and munitions for at least a
year, detaining around them for that period 300,000 of the enemy. No
European power except Russia has soldiers enough to spare so long such a
mass of troops standing fast, and simultaneously to prosecute the invasion
of a first-rate power with approximately equal numbers. France at the cost
of 150,000 men would be holding supine on her frontier double the number
of Germans--surely no disadvantageous transaction.

In conclusion, it may be worth while to point out that the current
impression that the maintenance by states of "bloated armaments" is a keen
incentive to war, is fallacious. How often do we hear, "There must be a
big war soon; the powers cannot long stand the cost of standing looking at
each other, all armed to the teeth!" War is infinitely more costly than
the costliest preparedness. But this is not all. The country gentleman for
once in a way brings his family to town for the season, pledging himself
privily to strict economy when the term of dissipation ends, in order to
restore the balance. But for a State, as the sequel to a season of war
there is no such potentiality of economy. Rather there is the grim
certainty of heavier and yet heavier expenditure after the war, in the
still obligatory character of the armed man keeping his house. Therefore
it is that potentates are reluctant to draw the sword, and rather bear the
ills they have than fly to other evils inevitably worse still. Whether the
final outcome will be universal national bankruptcy or the millennium, is
a problem as yet insoluble.


[Footnote: _Bandobast_ is an Indian word, which, like many others, has
been all but formally incorporated into Anglo-Indian English. The meaning
is, plan, scheme, organised arrangement.]

George Martell was an indigo-planter in Western Tirhoot, a fine tract of
Bengal stretching from the Ganges to the Nepaul Terai, and roughly bounded
on the west by the Gunduck, on the east by the Kussi. Planter-life in
Tirhoot is very pleasant to a man in robust health, who possesses some
resources within himself. In many respects it more resembles active rural
life at home than does any other life led by Anglo-Indians. The joys of a
planter's life have been enthusiastically sung by a planter-poet; and the
frank genial hospitality of the planter's bungalow stands out pre-eminent,
even amidst the universal hospitality of India. The planter's bungalow is
open to all comers. The established formula for the arriving stranger is
first to call for brandy-and-soda, then to order a bath, and finally to
inquire the name of the occupant his host. The laws of hospitality are as
the laws of the Medes and Persians. Once in the famine time a stranger in
a palki reached a planter's bungalow in an outlying district, and sent in
his card. The planter sent him out a drink but did not bid him enter. The
stranger remained in the veranda till sundown, had another drink, and then
went on his way. This breach of statute law became known. There was much
excuse for the planter, for the traveller was a missionary and in other
respects was a _persona ingrata_. But the credit of planterhood was at
stake; and so strong was the force of public opinion that the planter who
had been a defaulter in hospitality had to abandon the profession and quit
the district. It was on this occasion laid down as a guiding illustration,
that if Judas Iscariot, when travelling around looking for an eligible
tree on which to hang himself, had claimed the hospitality of a planter's
bungalow, the dweller therein would have been bound to accord him that
hospitality. Not even newspaper correspondents were to be sent empty away.

The indigo-planter is "up in the morning early" and away at a swinging
canter on his "waler" nag, out into the _dahaut_ to visit the _zillahs_ on
which his crop is growing. He returns when the sun is getting high with a
famous appetite for a breakfast which is more than half luncheon. After
his siesta he may look in upon a neighbour--all Tirhoot are neighbours and
within a radius of thirty miles is considered next door. He would ride
that distance any day to spend an hour or two in a house brightened by the
presence of womanhood. His anxious period is _mahaye_ time, when the
indigo is in the vats and the quantity and quality of the yield depend so
much on care and skill. But except at _mahaye_ time he is always ready for
relaxation, whether it takes the form of a polo match, a pig-sticking
expedition, or a race-meeting at Sonepoor, Muzzufferpore, or Chumparun.
These race-meetings last for several days on end, there being racing and
hunting on alternate days with a ball every second night. It used to be
worth a journey to India to see Jimmy Macleod cram a cross-grained "waler"
over an awkward fence, and squeeze the last ounce out of the brute in the
run home on the flat. The Tirhoot ladies are in all respects charming; and
it must remain a moot point with the discriminating observer whether they
are more delightful in the genial home-circles of which they are the
centres and ornaments, or in the more exciting stir and whirl of the
ballroom. After every gathering hecatombs of slain male victims mournfully
cumber the ground; and one all-conquering fair one, now herself conquered
by matrimony and motherhood, wrung from those her charms had blighted the
title of "the destroying angel."

George Martell was an honest sort of a clod. He stood well with the ryots,
and the mark of his factory always brought out keen bidding at Thomas's
auction-mart in Mission Row and was held in respect in the Commission Sale
Rooms in Mincing Lane. He was a good shikaree and could hold his own
either at polo or at billiards; but being somewhat shy and not a little
clumsy he did not frequent race-balls nor throw himself in the way of
"destroying angels." He had been over a dozen years in the district and
had not been known to propose once, so that he had come to be set down as
a misogynist. Among his chief allies was a neighbouring planter called
Mactavish. Mactavish in some incomprehensible way--he being a gaunt,
uncouth, bristly Scot, whose Highland accent was as strong as the whisky
with which he had coloured his nose--had contrived to woo and win a bonny,
baby-faced girl, the ripple of whose laughter and the dancing sheen of
whose auburn curls filled the Mactavish bungalow with glad bright
sunshine. When Mac first brought home this winsome fairy Martell had
sheepishly shunned the residence of his friend, till one fine morning when
he came in from the _dahaut_ he found Minnie Mactavish quite at home among
the pipes, empty soda-water bottles, and broken chairs that constituted
the principal articles of furniture in his bachelor sitting-room. Minnie
had come to fetch her husband's friend and in her dainty imperious way
would take no denial. So George had his bath, got a fresh horse saddled,
nearly chucked Minnie over the other side as he clumsily helped her to
mount her pony, and rode away with her a willing if somewhat clownish
captive. Arriving at the bungalow Mactavish, honest George was bewildered
by the transformation it had undergone. Flowers were where the spirit-case
used to stand. There was a drawing-room with actually a piano in it; the
_World_ lay on the table instead of the _Sporting Times_, and the servants
wore a quiet, tasteful livery. Mac himself had been trimmed and titivated
almost out of recognition. He who had been wont to lounge half the day in
his _pyjamas_ was now almost smartly dressed; his beard was cropped, and
his bristly poll brushed and oiled. If George had a weak spot in him it
was for a simple song well sung. Mrs. Mac, accompanying herself on the
piano, sang to him "The Land o' the Leal" and brewed him a mild peg with
her own fair hands. George by bedtime did not know whether he was on his
head or his heels.

He lay awake all night thinking over all he had seen. Mactavish now was
clearly a better man than ever he had been before. He had told George he
was living more cheaply as a married man than ever he had done as a
bachelor; and in the matter of happiness there was no comparison. George
rose early to go home; but early as it was Mrs. Mac was up too, and
arrayed in a killing morning _neglige_ that fairly made poor George
stammer, gave him his _chota hazri_ and stroked his horse's head as he
mounted. About half-way home George suddenly shouted, "D----d if I don't
do it too!" and brought his hand down on his thigh with a smack that set
his horse buck-jumping.

In effect, George Martell had determined to get married. But where to find
a Mrs. Martell? Mrs. Mactavish had told him she had no sisters and that
her only relative was a maiden grand-aunt, whom George thought must be a
little too old to marry unless in the last resort. If he took the field at
the next race-meeting the fellows would chaff the life out of him; and
besides, he scarcely felt himself man enough to face a "destroying angel."
As he pondered, riding slowly homeward, a thought occurred to him. When he
had been at home a dozen years ago his two girl-sisters had been at
school, and their great playmate had been a girl of eleven, by name Laura
Davidson. Laura was a pretty child. He had taken occasional notice of her;
had once kissed her after having been severely scratched in the struggle;
and had taken her and his sisters to the local theatre. What if Laura
Davidson--now some three-and-twenty--were still single? What if she were
pretty and nice? He remembered that the colour of her hair was not unlike
Mrs. Mac's, and was in ringlets too. And what if she were willing to come
out and make lonely George Martell as happy a man as was that lucky old

It was mail-day, and George, taking time by the forelock, sat down and
wrote to his sister what had come into his head. By the return mail he had
her reply: Laura Davidson was single; she was nice; she was pretty; she
had fair ringlets; she had a hazy memory of George and the kissing
episode, and was willing to come out and marry him and try to make him
happy. But she could not well come alone; could George suggest any method
of _chaperonage_ on the voyage?

In the district of Champarun, which in essentials is part of Tirhoot, lies
the quaint little cavalry cantonment of Segowlie. It is the last relic of
the old Nepaul war, which caused the erection of a chain of cantonments
along the frontier all of which save Segowlie, are now abandoned. There is
just room for one native cavalry regiment at Segowlie, and the soldiers
like the station because of excellent sport and the good comradeship of
the planters. At Segowlie at the time I am writing of there happened to be
quartered a certain Major Freeze, whose wife, after a couple of years at
home, was about returning to India. George had some acquaintance with the
Major and a far-off profound respect for his wife, who was an admirable
and stately lady. It occurred to him to try whether it could not be
managed that she should bring out the future Mrs. Martell. He saw the
Major, who was only too delighted at the prospect of a new lady in the
district, and the affair was soon arranged. Mrs. Freeze wrote that she and
Miss Davidson were leaving by such-and-such a mail; and knowing that
Martell was rather lumpy when a lady was in the case, she thoughtfully
suggested that he should go down to Bombay and meet them so as to get over
the initial awkwardness by making himself useful and gain his intended's
respect by swearing at the niggers.

All went well. But George Martell was not quite his own master, he was
only part of a "concern" and was bound to do his best for his partners. It
happened, just about the time the P. and O. steamer was due at Bombay,
that the most ticklish period of the indigo-planters' year was upon
Martell. The juice had begun to flow from the vats. He had no assistant
and he did not dare to leave the work, so he telegraphed to Bombay to
explain this to Mrs. Freeze, and added that he would meet her and her
companion at Bankipore where their long railway journey would end. Miss
Davidson did not understand much about the absorbing crisis of indigo
production, and she had a spice of romance in her composition; so that
poor Martell did not rise in her estimation by his default at Bombay. When
the ladies reached Bankipore there was still no Martell, but only a
_chuprassee_ with a note to say that the juice was still running, and that
Martell sahib could not leave the factory but would be waiting for them at
Segowlie. At this even Mrs. Freeze almost lost her temper.

They have a "State Railway" now in Tirhoot, but at the time I am writing
of there was only one _pukha_ road in all the district. The ladies
travelled in palanquins, or palkis, as they are more familiarly called. It
is a long journey from Bankipore to Segowlie, and three nights were spent
in travelling. Bluff old Minden Wilson stood on the bank above the ghat to
welcome Mrs. Freeze across the Ganges. One day was spent at young Spudd's
factory, the second at the residence of a genial planter rejoicing in the
quaint name of Hong Kong Scribbens; on the third morning they reached
Segowlie. But still no Martell; only a _chit_ to say that that plaguy
juice was still running but that he hoped to be able to drive over to
dinner. Miss Davidson went to bed in a huff; and Major Freeze was
temporarily inclined to think that her home-trip had impaired his good
lady's amiability of character.

Martell did turn up at dinner-time. But he was hardly a man at any time to
create much of an impression, and on this occasion he appeared to
exceptional disadvantage. He was stutteringly nervous; and there were some
evidences that he had been ineffectually striving to mitigate his
nervousness by the consumption of his namesake. He wore a new dress-coat
which had not the remotest pretensions to fit him, and the bear's-grease
which he had freely used gave unpleasant token of rancidity. The dinner
was an unsatisfactory performance. Miss Davidson was extremely
_distraite_, while Martell became more and more nervous as the meal
progressed and was manifestly relieved when the ladies retired. Soon after
they had done so the Major was sent for from the drawing-room. He found
Miss Davidson sobbing on his wife's bosom. He asked what was the matter.
The girl, with many sobbing interruptions, gasped out--

"He's the wrong man! O Heavens, I never saw _him_ before! The man I
remember who gave me sweets when I was a child had black hair; _he_ has
red! Oh, what shall I do? Oh, please send that man away and let me go

And then Miss Davidson went off into hysterics.

Here was a pretty state of matters! The Major and his wife could not see
their way clear at all. Consultation followed consultation, with visits on
the Major's part to poor Martell in the dining-room irregularly
interspersed. It was almost morning before affairs arranged themselves
after a fashion. The new basis agreed upon was that the previously
existing arrangement should be regarded as dead, and that a courtship
between Martell and Miss Davidson should be commenced _de novo_--he to do
his best to recommend himself to the lady's affections, she to learn to
love him if she could, red hair and all. And so George went home, and the
Segowlie household went to bed.

Poor George at the best had a very poor idea of courting acceptably; and
surely no man was more heavily handicapped in the enterprise prescribed
him. He had to court to order, and to combat, besides, both the bad
impression made at starting and the misfortune of his red hair. The poor
fellow did his best. He used to come and sit in Mrs. Freeze's drawing-room
hours on end, glowering at Miss Davidson in a silence broken by spasmodic
efforts at forced talk. He brought the girl presents, gave her a horse,
and begged of her to ride with him. But the great stupid fellow had not
thought of a habit and the girl felt a delicacy in telling him that she
had not one. So the horse ate his head off in idleness, and George's heart
went farther and farther down in the direction of his boots. He had so
bothered Mrs. Freeze that she had washed her hands of him, and had bidden
him worry it out on his own line.

In less than a month the crisis came. Miss Davidson could not bring
herself to think of poor George as affording the makings of a husband. She
told Mrs. Freeze so, and begged, for kindness sake, that the Major would
break this her determination to Mr. Martell and desire him to give the
thing up as hopeless. The Major thought the best course to pursue was to
write to George to this effect. Next morning in the small hours the poor
fellow turned up in the Segowlie veranda in a terribly bad way. He would
not accept his fate at second-hand in this fashion; he must see Miss
Davidson and try to move her to be kind to him. In the end there was an
interview between them, from which George emerged quiet but very pale. His
notable matrimonial bandobast had proved the deadest of failures; and the
poor fellow's lip trembled as he thought of Mactavish's happy home and his
own forlorn bungalow.

But although he had red hair and did not know in the least what to do with
his feet, George Martell was a gentleman. The lady continuing anxious to
go home, he insisted on his right to pay her return passage as he had done
her passage outward, urging rather ruefully that, having taken a shot at
happiness and having missed fire, he must be the sole sufferer. It is a
little surprising that this uncouth chivalry did not melt the lady, but
she was obdurate, although she let him have his way about the passage
money. So in the company of an officer's wife going home Miss Davidson
quitted Segowlie and journeyed to Bombay. Poor old George, with a very
sore heart, was bent on seeing the last of her before settling down again
to the old dull bachelor life. He dodged down to Bombay in the same train,
travelling second class that he might not annoy the girl by a chance
meeting; and stood with a sad face leaning on the rail of the Apollo
Bunder, as he watched the ship containing his miscarried venture steam out
of Bombay harbour on its voyage to England.

The same night he set out on his return to his plantation. At near
midnight the mail-train from Bombay reaches Eginpoora, at the head of the
famous Bhore ghat. Some refreshment is ordinarily procurable there, but it
is not much of a place. George Martell had had a drink, and was sauntering
moodily up and down the platform waiting for the whistle to sound. As he
passed the second class compartment reserved for ladies he heard a low,
tremulous voice exclaim, "Oh, if I could only make them understand that
I'd give the world for a cup of tea!" George, if uncouth, was a practical
man. His prompt voice rang out, "_Qui hye, ek pyala chah lao!_" Promptly
came the refreshment-room _khitmutghar_, hurrying with the tea; and
George, taking off his hat, begged to know whether he could be of any
further service.

It was a very pleasant face that looked out on him in the moonlight, and
there was more than mere conventionality in the accents in which the
pleasant voice acknowledged his opportune courtesy. Insensibly George and
the lady drifted into conversation. She was very lonely, poor thing; a
friendless girl coming out to be governess in the family of a _burra
sahib_ at Chupra. Now Chupra is only across the Gunduck from Tirhoot, so
George told his new acquaintance they were both going to nearly the same
place, and professed his cordial willingness to assist her on the journey.
He did so, escorting her right into Chupra before he set his face homeward;
and he thenceforth got into a habit of visiting Chupra very frequently.
Need I prolong the story? I happened to be in Bankipore when the Prince of
Wales visited that centre of famine-wallahs. It fell to my pleasant lot to
take Mrs. Martell in to dinner at the Commissioner's hospitable table.
Mrs. Mactavish was sitting opposite; and I went back to my bedroom-tent in
the compound without having made up my mind whether she or Mrs. Martell
was the prettier and the nicer. So you see George Martell did not make
quite so bad a _bandobast_ after all.


It was in Cawnpore on my way up country, during the Prince of Wales's tour
through India, that there were shown to me some curious and interesting
mementoes of the siege of Lucknow. The friend in whose possession they
were was near Havelock as he sat before his tent in the short Indian
twilight, a short time before the advance on Lucknow made by him and
Outram in September 1857. Through the gloom of the falling twilight there
came marching towards the General a file of Highlanders escorting a tall,
gaunt Oude man, on whose swarthy face the lamplight struck as he salaamed
before the General Lord Sahib. Then he extracted from his ear a minute
section of quill sealed at both ends. The General's son opened the strange
envelope forwarded by a postal service so hazardous, and unrolled a morsel
of paper which seemed to be covered with cabalistic signs. The missive had
been sent out from Lucknow by Brigadier Inglis, the commander of the
beleaguered garrison of the Lucknow Residency, and its bearer was the
stanch and daring scout, Ungud. As I write the originals of this
communication and of others which came in the same way lie before me; and
two of those missives in their curious mixture of characters may be found
of interest to readers of to-day.

LUKHNOW, _Septr. 16th._ (Recd. 19th.)

MY DEAR GENERAL--The last letter I recd. from you was dated 24th ult'o,
since when I have rec'd [Greek: no neus] whatever from y'r [Greek: kamp]
or of y'r [Greek: movements] but am now [Greek: dailae expekting] to
receive [Greek: inteligense] of y'r [Greek: advanse] in this [Greek:
direktion]. Since the date of my last letter the enemy have continued to
persevere unceasingly in their efforts against this position & the firing
has never ceased day or night; they have about [Greek: sixten] guns in
position round us--many of them 18 p'rs. On 5th inst. they made a very
determined attack after exploding 2 mines and [Greek: suksaeded] for a
[Greek: moment] in [Greek: almost geting] into one of our [Greek:
bateries], but were eventually repulsed on all sides with heavy loss.
Since the above date they have kept up a cannonade & musketry fire,
occasionally throwing in a shell or two. My [Greek: waeklae loses]
continue very [Greek: hevae] both in [Greek: ophisers] & [Greek: men]. I
shall be quite out of [Greek: rum] for the [Greek: men] in [Greek: eit
dais], but we have been [Greek: living] on [Greek: redused rations] & I
hope to be [Greek: able] to [Greek: get] on [Greek: til] about [Greek:
phirst prox]. If you have not [Greek: relieved] us by [Greek: then] we
shall have [Greek: no meat lepht], as I must [Greek: kaep] some few [Greek:
buloks] to [Greek: move] my [Greek: guns] about the [Greek: positions].
As it is I have had to [Greek: kil] almost all the [Greek: gun buloks],
for my men c'd not [Greek: perphorm] the [Greek: ard work without animal
phood]. There is a report, tho' from a source on which I cannot implicitly
rely, that [Greek: mansing] has just [Greek: arived] in [Greek: luknow]
havg. [Greek: lepht part] of his [Greek: phors outside] the [Greek:
sitae]. It is said that [Greek: he] is in [Greek: our interest] and that
[Greek: he] has [Greek: taken] the [Greek: above step] at the [Greek:
instigation] of B[Greek: riti]sh [Greek: athoritae]. But I cannot say
whether [Greek: su]ch [Greek: be the kase], as all I have to go upon is
[Greek: bazar rumors]. I am [Greek: most anxious] to [Greek: hear] of yr.
[Greek: advanse] to [Greek: enable mae] to [Greek: rae-asure our native
soldiers]. [Footnote: The reader will observe that the words are English,
though the characters are Greek.]--Yours truly,

J. INGLIS, _Brigadier_,

H.M. 32'd Reg't.

To Brig'r Havelock, Commg. Relieving Force.

The other missive is of an earlier date, and was brought out in the same
manner as the first.

_August 16_. (Recd. 23rd August.)

MY DEAR GENERAL--A note from Colonel Tytler to Mr. Gubbins reached last
night, dated "Mungalwar, 4th instant," the latter part of which is as
follows:--"You must [Greek: aid] us in [Greek: everae] way even to cutting
y'r way out if we [Greek: kant phorse our] way in. We have [Greek: onlae a
small phorse]." This has [Greek: kaused mae] much [Greek: uneasiness], as
it is quite [Greek: imposible] with my [Greek: weak] & [Greek: shatered
phorse] that I can [Greek: leave] my [Greek: dephenses]. You must bear in
mind how I am [Greek: hampered], that I have upwards of [Greek: one undred
& twentae-sik wounded], and at the least [Greek: two undred & twenae
women], & about [Greek: two undred] & [Greek: thirtae children], & no
[Greek: kariage] of any [Greek: deskription], besides [Greek: sakriphising
twentae-thrae laks] of [Greek: treasure] & about [Greek: thirtae guns] of
[Greek: sorts]. In consequence of the news rec'd I shall soon put the
[Greek: phorse] on [Greek: alph rations], unless I [Greek: hear phrom]
you. [Greek: Our provisions] will [Greek: last] us [Greek: then] till
[Greek: about] the [Greek: tenth] [Greek: september]. If you [Greek: hope]
to [Greek: save this no time must] be [Greek: lost] in pushing forward. We
are [Greek: dailae] being [Greek: ataked] by the [Greek: enemae], who are
within a few yards of our [Greek: dephenses]. Their [Greek: mines] have
[Greek: alreadae weakened our post], & I have [Greek: everae] [Greek:
reason] to [Greek: believe] that are carrying on [Greek: others]. Their
[Greek: aeteen] [Greeks: pounders] are within 150 yards of [Greek: some
oph our bateries], & [Greek: phrom] their [Greek: positions & [Greek: our
inabilitae] to [Greek: phorm working] [Greek: parties], we [Greek: kanot
repli] to [Greek: them. Thae damage done ourlae] is very [Greek: great].
My [Greek: strength] now in [Greek: europeans] is [Greek: thrae undred] &
[Greek: phiphtae], & about [Greek: thrae hundred natives], & the men
[Greek: dreadphulae] [Greek: harassed], & owing to [Greek: part] of the
[Greek: residensae] having been [Greek: brought down] by [Greek: round
shot] are without [Greek: shelter]. Our [Greek: native] [Greek: phorse]
hav'g been [Greek: asured] on Col. Tytler's authority of y'r [Greek: near]
[Greek: aproach some twentae phive dais ago are naturallae losing
konphidense], [Greek: and iph thae leave] us I do not [Greek: sae how the
dephenses] are to be [Greek: manned]. Did you [Greek: reseive a letter &
plan phrom] the [Greek: man] [Greek: Ungud]?--Kindly answer this
question.--Yours truly,

J. INGLIS, _Brigadier_.

Cawnpore is an engrossing theme, and Bithoor alone would furnish material
for an article; but my present subject is Lucknow, and I must get to it.
There is a railway now to Lucknow from Cawnpore, but the railway bridge
across the Ganges is not yet finished and passengers must cross by the
bridge of boats to the Oude side. Behind me, as the gharry jingles over
the wooden platform, is the fort which Havelock began, which Neill
completed, and in which Windham found the shelter which alone saved him
from utter defeat. Before me is the low Gangetic shore, with the dumpy
sand-hills gradually rising from the water's edge. A few years ago there
used to ride at the head of that noble regiment the 78th Highlanders, a
smooth-faced, gaunt, long-legged, stooping officer on an old white horse.
The Colonel had a voice like a girl and his men irreverently called him
the "old squeaker"; but although you never heard him talk of his deeds he
had a habit of going quietly and steadily to the front, taking fighting
and hardship philosophically as part of the day's work. Those sand-banks
were once the scene of some quiet, unsensational heroism of his. He
commanded the two companies of Highlanders whom Havelock threw on the
unknown shore as the vanguard of his advance into Oude. No prior
reconnaissance was possible. Oude swarmed with an armed and hostile
population. The chances were that an army was hovering but a little way
inland, waiting to attack the head of the column on landing. But it was
necessary to risk all contingencies, and Mackenzie accepted the service as
he might have done an invitation to a glass of grog. In the dead of the
night the boats stood across with the little forlorn hope with which
Havelock essayed to grapple on to Oude. Landing in the rain and darkness,
it was Mackenzie's task to grope for an enemy if there should be one in
his vicinity. There was not; but for four-and-twenty hours his little band
hung on to the Oude bank as it were by their eyelids, detached,
unsupported, and wholly charged with the taking care of themselves until
it was possible to send a reinforcement. The charge of this vague,
uncertain, tentative enterprise, fraught with risks so imminent and so
vast, required a cool, steady-balanced courage of no common order.

"Onao!" shouts the conductor of the train at the first station from
Cawnpore, and we look out on a few railway bungalows and a large native
village apparently in a ruinous state. All this journey is studded with
battlefields, and this is one of them. If I had time I should like to make
a pilgrimage to the street mouth into which dashed frantically Private
Patrick Cavanagh of the 64th, who, stung to madness by the hesitation of
his fellows, was cut to pieces by the tulwars of the mutineers. We jog on
very slowly; the Oude and Rohilcund Railway is to India in point of
slowness what the Great Eastern used to be to us at home; but every yard
of the ground is interesting. Along that high road passed in long,
strangely diversified procession the people whom Clyde brought away from
Lucknow--the civilians, the women, the children, and the wounded of the
immortal garrison. That swell beyond the mango trees under which the _nhil
gau_ are feeding, is Mungalwar, Havelock's menacing position. No wonder
though the outskirts of this town on the high road present a ruined
appearance. It is Busseerutgunge, the scene of three of Havelock's battles
and victories, fought and won in a single fortnight. We pass Bunnee, where
Havelock and Outram tramping on to the relief, fired a royal salute in the
hope that the sound of it might reach to the Residency and cheer the
hearts of its garrison. And now we are on the platform of the Lucknow
station which has more of an English look about it than have most Indian
stations. There is a bookstall, although it is not one of Smith's; and
there are lots of English faces in the crowd waiting the arrival of the
train. The natives, one sees at a glance, are of very different physique
from the people of Bengal. The Oude man is tall, square-shouldered, and
upright; he has more hair on his face than has the Bengali, and his
carriage is that of a free man. The railway station of Lucknow is flanked
by two earthwork fortifications of considerable pretensions.

Lucknow is so full of interest and the objects of interest are so widely
spread that one is in doubt where to begin the pilgrimage. But the
Alumbagh is on the railway side of the canal and therefore nearest; and I
drive directly to it before going into the town. From the station the road
to the Alumbagh turns sharp to the left and the two miles' drive is
through beautiful groves and gardens. Then the plain opens up and there is
the detached temple which so long was one of Outram's outlying pickets;
and to the left of it the square-walled enclosure of the Alumbagh itself
with the four corners flanked by earthen bastions. The top of the wall is
everywhere roughly crenelated for musketry fire, and on two of its faces
there are countless tokens that it has been the target for round shot and
bullets. The Alumbagh in the pre-Mutiny period was a pleasure-garden of
one of the princes of Oude. The enclosed park contained a summer palace
and all the surroundings were pretty and tasteful. It was for the
possession of the Alumbagh that Havelock fought his last battle before the
relief; here it was where he left his baggage and went in; here it was
that Clyde halted to organise the turning movement which achieved the
second relief. Hither were brought from the Dilkoosha the women and
children of the garrison prior to starting on the march for Cawnpore; here
Outram lay threatening Lucknow from Clyde's relief until the latter's
ultimate capture of the city. But these occurrences contribute but
trivially to the interest of the Alumbagh in comparison with the
circumstance that within its enclosure is the grave of Havelock. We enter
the great enclosure under the lofty arch of the castellated gateway. From
this a straight avenue bordered by arbor vitae trees, conducts to a square
plot of ground enclosed by low posts and chains. Inside this there is a
little garden the plants of which a native gardener is watering as we open
the wicket. From the centre of the little garden there rises a shapely
obelisk on a square pedestal and on one side of the pedestal is a long
inscription. "Here lie," it begins, "the mortal remains of Henry
Havelock;" and so, methinks, it might have ended. There is needed no
prolix biographical inscription to tell the reverent pilgrim of the deeds
of the dead man by whose grave he stands--so long as history lives, so
long does it suffice to know that "here lie the mortal remains of Henry
Havelock"--and the text and verse of poetry grate on one as redundancies.
He sickened two days before the evacuation of the Residency and died on
the morning of the 24th of November in his dooly in a tent of the camp at
the Dilkoosha. The life went out of him just as the march began, and his
soldiers conveyed with them, on the litter on which he had expired, the
mortal remains of the chief who had so often led them on to victory.

On the following morning they buried him here in the Alumbagh, under the
tree which still spreads its branches over the little garden in which he
lies. There stood around the grave-mouth Colin Campbell and the chivalrous
Outram, and stanch old Walter Hamilton, and the ever-ready Fraser Tytler;
and the "boy Harry" to whom the campaign had brought the gain of fame and
the loss of a father; and the devoted Harwood with "his heart in the
coffin there with Caesar;" and the heroic William Peel; and that "colossal
red Celt," the noble, ill-fated Adrian Hope, sacrificed afterwards to
incompetent obstinacy. Behind stood in a wide circle the soldiers of the
Ross-shire Buffs and the "Blue Caps" who had served the dead chief so
stanchly, and had gathered here now, with many a memory of his ready
praise of valour and his indefatigable regard for the comfort of his men,
stirring in their war-worn hearts--

Guarded to a soldier's grave
By the bravest of the brave,
He hath gained a nobler tomb
Than in old cathedral gloom.
Nobler mourners paid the rite,
Than the crowd that craves a sight;
England's banners o'er him waved,
Dead he keeps the name he saved.

The burial-place was being temporarily abandoned, and as the rebels
desecrated all the graves they could discover it was necessary to
obliterate as much as possible the tokens of the interment. A big "H" was
carved into the bark of the tree and a small tin plate fastened to its
trunk, to guide to the subsequent investigation of the spot. Dr. Russell
tells us that when he visited the Alumbagh before his return home after
the mutiny in Oude was stamped out, he found the hero's grave a muddy
trench near the foot of a tree which bore the mark of a round shot and had
carved into its bark the letter "H." The tree is here still and the dent
of the round shot, and faintly too is to be discerned the carved letter
but the bark around it seems to have been whittled away, perhaps by the
sacrilegious knives of relic-seeking visitors. There is the grave of a
young lieutenant in a corner of the little garden and a few private
soldiers lie hard by.

I turn my face now toward the Charbagh bridge, following the route taken
by Havelock's force on the 25th of September--the memorable day of the
relief. There is the field where, as at a table in the open air Havelock
and Outram were studying a map, a round shot from the Sepoy battery by the
Yellow House ricochetted between them. There is the spot where stood the
Yellow House itself, whence after a desperate struggle Maude's
artillerymen drove the Sepoy garrison and its guns. Presently with a sweep
the road comes into a direct line with the Charbagh bridge over the canal.
Now there is not a house in the vicinity; the Charbagh garden has been
thrown into the plain and the steep banks of the canal are perfectly
naked. But then the scene was very different. On the Lucknow side the
native city came close up to the bridge and lined the canal. The tall
houses to right and left of the bridge on the Lucknow side were full of
men with firearms. At that end of the bridge there was a regular
overlapping breastwork, and behind it rose an earthwork battery solidly
constructed and armed with five guns, one a 42-pounder, all crammed to the
muzzle with grape. Let us sit down on the parapet and try to realise the
scene. Outram with the 78th has made a detour to the right through the
Charbagh garden to clear it of the enemy, and, gaining the canal bank, to
bring a flanking fire to bear on its defenders. There is only room for two
of Maude's guns; and there they stand out in the open on the road trying
to answer the fire of the rebel battery. Thrown forward along the bank to
the left of the bridge is a company of the Madras Fusiliers under Arnold,
lying down and returning the musketry fire from the houses on the other
side. Maude's guns are forward in the straight throat of the road where it
leads on to the bridge close by, but round the bend under cover of the
wall the Madras Fusiliers are lying down. In a bay of the wall of the
Charbagh enclosure General Neill is standing waiting for the effect of
Outram's flank movement to develop, and young Havelock, mounted, is on the
other side of the road somewhat forward. Matters are at a deadlock. It
seems as if Outram had lost his way. Maude's gunners are all down; he has
repeatedly called for volunteers from the infantry behind, and now his
gallant subaltern, Maitland, is doing bombardier's work. Maude calls to
young Havelock that he shall be forced to retire his guns if something is
not done at once; and Havelock rides across through the fire and in his
capacity as assistant adjutant-general urges on Neill the need for an
immediate assault. Neill "is not in command; he cannot take the
responsibility; and General Outram must turn up soon." Havelock turns and
rides away down the road towards the rear. As he passes he speaks
encouragingly to the recumbent Fusiliers, who are getting fidgety at the
long detention under fire. "Come out of that, sir," cried one soldier, "a
chap's just had his head taken off there!" It is a grim joke that reply
which tickles the Fusiliers into laughter: "And what the devil are we here
for but to get our heads taken off?" Young Havelock is bent on the
perpetration of what, under the circumstances, may be called a pious
fraud. His father, who commands the operations, is behind with the
Reserve, and he disappears round the bend on the make-belief of getting
instructions from the chief. The General is far in the rear but his son
comes back at the gallop, rides up to Neill, and saluting with his sword,
says, "You are to carry the bridge at once, sir." Neill, acquiescing in
the superior order, replies, "Get the regiment together then, and see it
formed up." At the word and without waiting for the regiment to rise and
form the gallant and eager Arnold springs up from his advanced position
and dashes on to the bridge, followed by about a dozen of his nearest
skirmishers. Tytler and Havelock, as eager as Arnold, set spurs to their
horses and are by his side in a moment. The brave and ardent 84th,
commanded by Willis, dashes to the front. Then the hurricane opens. The
big gun crammed to the muzzle with grape, sweeps its iron sleet across the
bridge in the face of the gallant band, and the Sepoy sharpshooters
converge their fire on it. Arnold drops shot through both thighs, Tytler's
horse goes down with a crash, the bridge is swept clear save for young
Havelock erect and unwounded, waving his sword and shouting for the
Fusiliers to come on, and a Fusilier corporal, Jakes by name, who, as he
rams a bullet home into his Enfield, says cheerily to Havelock, "We'll
soon have the ---- out of that, sir!" And corporal Jakes is a true
prophet. Before the big gun can be loaded again the stormers are on the
bridge in a rushing mass. They are across it, they clear the barricade,
they storm the battery, they are bayoneting the Sepoy gunners as they
stand. The Charbagh bridge is won, but with severe loss which continues
more or less all the way to the Residency; and when one comes to know the
ground it becomes more and more obvious that the strategy of Havelock,
overruled by Outram, was wise and prescient, when he counselled a wide
turning movement by the Dilkoosha, over the Goomtee near the Martiniere,
and so along its northern bank to the Badshah-bagh, almost opposite to the
Residency and commanding the iron bridge.

I recross the Charbagh bridge and bend away to the left by the byroad
along the canal side by which the 78th Highlanders penetrated to the front
of the Kaiser-bagh. Most of the native houses are now destroyed, whence
was poured so deadly a fire on the advancing Ross-shire men that three
colour-bearers fell in succession, and the colour fell to the grasp of the
gallant Valentine McMaster, the assistant-surgeon of the regiment. And now
I stand in front of the main entrance to the Kaiser-bagh, hard by the spot
where stood the Sepoy battery which the Highlanders so opportunely took in
reverse. Before me on the _maidan_ is the plain monument to Sir
Mountstuart Jackson, Captain Orr, and a sergeant, who were murdered in the
Kaiser-bagh when the success of Campbell's final operations became
certain. I enter the great square enclosure of the Kaiser-bagh and stand
in the desolation of what was once a gay garden where the King of Oude and
his women were wont to disport themselves. The place stands much as
Campbell's men left it after looting its multifarious rich treasures. The
dainty little pavilions are empty and dilapidated, the statues are broken
and tottering. Quitting the Kaiser-bagh, I try to realise the scene of
that informal council of war in one of the outlying courtyards of the
numerous palaces. I want to fix the spot where on his big waler sat
Outram, a splash of blood across his face, and his arm in a sling; where
Havelock, dismounted, walked up and down by Outram's side with short,
nervous strides, halting now and then to give emphasis to the argument,
while all around them were officers, soldiers, guns, natives, wounded men,
bullocks, and a surging tide of disorganisation momentarily pouring into
the square. But the attempt is fruitless. The whole area has been cleared
of buildings right up to the gate of the Residency, only that hard by the
Goomtee there still stands the river wing of the Chutter Munzil Palace
with its fantastic architecture, and that the palace of the King of Oude
is now the station library and assembly rooms. The Hureen Khana, the
Lalbagh, the courts of the Furrut Bux Palace, the Khas Bazaar, and the
Clock Tower have alike been swept away, and in their place there opens up
before the eye trim ornamental grounds with neat plantations which extend
up to the Baileyguard itself. One archway alone stands--a gaunt
commemorative skeleton--a pedestal for the statue of a noble soldier. It
was from a chamber above the crown of this arch that the sepoy shot Neill
as he sat on his horse urging the confused press of guns and men through
the archway. The spot is memorable for other causes. This archway led into
that court which is world-famous under the name of Dhooly Square. Here it
was that the native bearers abandoned the wounded in the doolies which
poor Bensley Thornhill was trying to guide into the Residency; here it was
where they were butchered and burned as they lay, and here it was where
Dr. Home and a handful of men of the escort did what in them lay to cover
the wounded and defended themselves for a day and a night against
continuous attacks of countless enemies.

The _via dolorosa_, the road of death up which Outram and Havelock fought
their way with Brazier's Sikhs and the Ross-shire Buffs, is now a pleasant
open drive amid clumps of trees, leading on to the Residency. A strange
thrill runs through one's frame as there opens up before one that
reddish-gray crumbling archway spanning the roadway into the Residency
grounds. Its face is dented and splintered with cannon-shot and pitted all
over by musket-bullets. This is none other than that historic Baileyguard
gate which burly Jock Aitken and his faithful Sepoys kept so stanchly. You
may see the marks still of the earth banked up against it on the interior
during the siege. To the right and left runs the low wall which was the
curtain of the defence, now crumbled so as to be almost indistinguishable.
But there still stands, retired somewhat from the right of the archway,
Aitken's post--the guard-house and treasury, its pillars and facade cut
and dented all over with the marks of bullets fired by "Bob the Nailer"
and his comrades from the Clock Tower which stood over against it. And in
the curtain wall between the archway and the building is still to be
traced the faint outline of the embrasure through which Outram and
Havelock entered on the memorable evening. The turmoil and din and
conflicting emotions of that terrible, glorious day have merged into a
strange serenity of quietude. The scene is solitary, save for a native
woman who is playing with her baby on a spot where once dead bodies lay in
heaps. But the other older scene rises up vividly before the mind's eye
out of the present calm. Havelock and Outram and the staff have passed
through the embrasure here, and now there are rushing in the men of the
ranks, powder-grimed, dusty, bloody; but a minute before raging with the
stern passion of the battle, now full of a woman-like tenderness. And all
around them as they swarm in there crowd a mass of folk eager to give
welcome. There are officers and men of the garrison, civilians whom the
siege has made into soldiers; women, too, weeping tears of joy down on the
faces of the children for whom they had not dared to hope for aught but
death. There are gaunt men, pallid with loss of blood, whose great eyes
shine weirdly amid the torchlight and whose thin hands tremble with
weakness as they grip the sinewy, grimy hands of the Highlanders. These
are the wounded of the long siege who have crawled out from the hospital
up yonder, as many of them as could compass the exertion, with a welcome
to their deliverers. The hearts of the impulsive Highlanders wax very
warm. As they grasp the hands held out to them they exclaim, "God bless
you!" "Why, we expected to have found only your bones!" "And the children
are living too!" and many other fervid and incoherent ejaculations. The
ladies of the garrison come among the Highlanders, shaking them
enthusiastically by the hand; and the children clasp the shaggy men round
the neck, and to say truth, so do some of the mothers. But Jessie Dunbar
and her "Dinna ye hear it?" in reference to the bagpipe music, are in the
category of melodramatic fictions.

The position which bears and will bear to all time the title of the
Residency of Lucknow, is an elevated plateau of land, irregular in
surface, of which the highest point is occupied by the Residency building,
while the area around was studded irregularly with buildings, chiefly the
houses of the principal civilian officials of the station. When Campbell
brought away the garrison in November 1857 it lapsed into the hands of the
mutineers, who held it till his final occupation of the city and its
surroundings in March of the following year. They pulled down not a few of
the already shattered buildings, and left their fell imprint on the spot
in an atrociously ghastly way by desecrating the graves in which brave
hands had laid our dead country-people and flinging the exhumed corpses
into the Goomtee. When India once more became settled the Residency, its
commemorative features uninterfered with, was laid out as a garden and
flowers and shrubs now grow on soil once wet with the blood of heroes. The
_debris_ has been removed or dispersed; the shattered buildings are
prevented from crumbling farther; tablets bearing the names of the
different positions and places of interest are let into the walls; and it
is possible, by exploring the place map in hand, to identify all the
features of the defence. The avenue from the Baileyguard gate rises with a
steep slope to the Residency building. On either side of the approach and
hard by the gate, are the blistered and shattered remnants of two large
houses; that on the right is the banqueting house which was used as the
hospital during the siege; that on the left was Dr. Fayrer's house. The
banqueting house is a mere shell, riven everywhere with shot and pitted
over by musket-bullets as if it had suffered from smallpox. The
ground-floor has escaped with less damage but the banqueting hall itself
has been wholly wrecked by the persistent fire which the rebels showered
upon it, and to which, notwithstanding the mattresses and sandbags with
which the windows were blocked, several poor fellows fell victims as they
lay wounded on their cots. Dr. Fayrer's house is equally a battered ruin.
In its first floor, roofless and forlorn, its front torn open by shot and
the pillars of its windows jagged into fantastic fragments, is the veranda
in which Sir Henry Lawrence, 4th July 1857, died, exposed to fire to the
very last. At the top of the slope of the avenue and on the left front of
the Residency building as we approach it--on what, indeed, was once the
lawn--has been raised an artificial mound, its slopes covered with
flowering shrubs, its summit bearing the monumental obelisk on the
pedestal of which is the terse, appropriate inscription: "In memory of
Major-General Sir Henry Lawrence and the brave men who fell in defence of
the Residency. _Si monumentum quaeris Circumspice!_" Beyond this lies the
scathed and blighted ruin of the Residency House, once a large and
imposing structure, now so utterly wrecked and shivered that one wonders
how the crumbling reddish-gray walls are kept erect. The veranda was
battered down and much of the front of the building lies bodily open, the
structure being supported on the battered and distorted pillars assisted
by great balks of wood. Entering by the left wing I pass down a winding
stair into the bowels of the earth till I reach the spacious and lofty
vaults or _tykhana_ under the building. Here, the place affording
comparative safety, lived immured the women of the garrison, the soldiers'
wives, half-caste females, the wives of the meaner civilians and their
children. The poor creatures were seldom allowed to come up to the
surface, lest they should come in the way of the shot which constantly
lacerated the whole area, and few visitors were allowed access to them.
Veritably they were in a dungeon. Provisions were lowered down to them
from the window orifices near the roof of the vaulting, and there were
days when the firing was so heavy that orders were given to them not even
to rise from their beds on the floor. For shot occasionally found a way
even into the _tykhana_; you may see the holes it made in penetrating. The
miserables were billeted off ten in a room, and there they lived, without
sweepers, baths, dhobies, or any of the comforts which the climate makes
necessities. Here in these dungeons children were born, only for the most
part to die. Ascending another staircase I pass through some rooms in
which lived (and died) some of the ladies of the garrison, and passing
from the left wing by a shattered corridor am able to look up into the
room in which Sir Henry Lawrence received his death-wound. Access to it is
impossible by reason of the tottering condition of the structure; and
turning away I clamber up the worn staircase in the shot-riven tower on
the summit of which still stands the flagstaff on which were hoisted the
signals with which the garrison were wont to communicate with the
Alumbagh. The walls of the staircase and the flat roof of the tower are
scratched and written all over with the names of visitors; many of the
names are those of natives, but more are those of British soldiers, who
have occasionally added a piece of their mind in characteristically strong

I set out on a pilgrimage under the still easily traceable contour of the
intrenchment. Passing "Sam Lawrence's Battery" above what was the
water-gate, I traverse the projecting tongue at the end of which stood the
"Redan Battery" whose fire swept the river face up to the iron bridge.
Returning, and passing the spot where "Evans's Battery" stood, I find
myself in the churchyard in a slight depression of the ground. Of the
church, which was itself a defensive post, not one stone remains on
another and the mutineers hacked to pieces the ground of the churchyard.
The ground is now neatly enclosed and ornamentally planted and is studded
with many monuments, few of which speak the truth when they profess to
cover the dust of those whom they commemorate. There are the regimental
monuments of the 5th Madras Fusiliers, the 84th (360 men besides
officers), the Royal Artillery, the 90th (a long list of officers and 271
men). The monument of the 1st Madras Fusiliers bears the names of Neill,
Stephenson, Renaud, and Arnold, and commemorates a loss of 352 men. There
is a monument to Mr. Polehampton the exemplary chaplain, and hard by a
plain slab bears the inscription, "Here lies Henry Lawrence, who tried to
do his duty; may the Lord have mercy on his soul!" words dictated by
himself on his deathbed. Other monuments commemorate Captain Graham of the
Bengal Cavalry and two children; Mr. Fairhurst the Roman Catholic chaplain;
Major Banks; Captain Fulton of the 32nd who earned the title of "Defender
of Lucknow;" Lucas, the travelling Irish gentleman who served as a
volunteer and fell in the last sortie; Captain Becher; Captain Moorsom;
poor Bensley Thornhill and his young daughter; "Mrs. Elizabeth Arne, burnt
with a shell-ball during the siege;" Lieutenant Cunliffe; Mr. Ommaney the
Judicial Commissioner; and others. The nameless hillocks of poor Jack
Private are plentiful, for here were buried many of those who fell in the
final capture; and there are children's graves. Interments take place
still. I saw a freshly-made grave; but only those are entitled to a last
resting-place here who were among the beleaguered during the long defence.
I have seen the medal for the defence of Lucknow on the breast of a man
who was a child in arms at the time of the siege, and such an one would
have the right to claim interment in this doubly hallowed ground. From the
churchyard I pass out along the narrow neck to that forlorn-hope post,
"Innes's Garrison," and along the western face of the intrenchment by the
sides of the sheep-house and the slaughter-house, to Gubbins's post. The
mere foundations of the house are visible which the stout civilian so
gallantly defended, and the famous tree, gradually pruned to a mere stump
by the enemy's fire, is no longer extant. Along the southern face of the
position there are no buildings which are not ruined. Sikh Square, the
Brigade Mess House, and the Martiniere boys' post, are alike represented
by fragmentary gray walls shivered with shot and shored up here and there
by beams. The rooms of the Begum Kothi near the centre of the position,
are still laterally entire but roofless. The walls of this structure are
exceptionally thick and here many of the ladies of the garrison were
quartered. All around the Residency position the native houses which at
the time of the siege crowded close up on the intrenchment, are now
destroyed; and indeed the native town has been curtailed into
comparatively small dimensions and is entirely separated from the area in
which the houses of the station are built.

Quitting the Residency I drive westward by the river side, over the site
of the Captan Bazaar, past also that huge fortified heap the Muchee Bawn,
till I reach the beautiful enclosure in which the great Imambara stands.
This majestic structure--part temple, part convent, part palace, and now
part fortress--dominates the whole _terrain_, and from its lofty flat roof
one looks down on the plain where the weekly _hat_ or market is being
held, on the gardens and mansions across the river, and southward upon the
dense mass of houses which constitute the native city. Sentries promenade
the battlements of the Muchee Bawn, and the Imambara--an apartment to
which for space and height I know none in Europe comparable--is now used
as an arsenal, where are stored the great siege guns which William Peel
plied with so great skill and gallantry. Just outside the Imambara, on the
edge of the _maidan_ between it and the Moosabagh, I come on a little
railed churchyard where rest a few British soldiers who fell during Lord
Clyde's final operations in this direction. Then, with a sweep across the
plain to the south and by a slight ascent, I reach the gate of the city
which opens into the Chowk or principal street--the street traversed in
disguise by the dauntless Kavanagh when he went out from the garrison to
convey information and afford guidance to Sir Colin Campbell on his first
advance. The gatehouse is held by a strong force of native policemen,
armed as if they were soldiers; and as I pass the guard I stand in the
Chowk itself, in the midst of a throng of gaily clad male pedestrians,
women in chintz trousers, laden donkeys, multitudinous children, and still
more multitudinous stinks. All down both sides the fronts of the lower
stories are open, and in the recesses sit merchants displaying paltry
jewelry, slippers, pipes, turban cloths, and Manchester stuffs of the
gaudiest patterns. The main street of Lucknow has been called "The Street
of Silver," but I could find little among its jewelry either of silver or
of gold. The first floors all have balconies, and on these sit draped,
barefooted women of Rahab's profession. The women of Lucknow are fairer
and handsomer, and the men bolder and more stalwart, than those in Bengal,
and it takes no great penetration to discern that Lucknow is still ruled
by fear and not by love.

It remained for me still to investigate the scenes of the route by which
Lord Clyde came in on both his advances; but to do justice to these would
demand separate articles. Let me begin the hasty sketch at the Dilkoosha
Palace, two miles and more away to the east of the Residency; for on both
occasions the Dilkoosha was Clyde's base. Wajid Ali's twenty-foot wall has
now given place to an earthen embankment surrounding a beautiful pleasure
park, and there are now smooth green slopes instead of the dense forest
through which Clyde's soldiers marched on their turning movement. On a
swell in the midst of the park, commanding a view of the fantastic
architecture of the Martiniere down by the tank, stands the gaunt ruin of
the once trim and dainty Dilkoosha Palace or rather garden-house. From one
of the pepper-box turrets up there Lord Clyde directed the attack on the
Martiniere on his ultimate operation; and here it was that, as Dr. Russell
tells us, a round shot dispersed his staff on the adjacent leads. After
quietude was restored the Dilkoosha was the headquarters for a time of Sir
Hope Grant, but now it has been allowed to fall into decay although the
garden in the rear of it is prettily kept up. On the reverse slope behind
the Dilkoosha was the camp in one of the tents of which Havelock died. We
drive down the gentle slope once traversed at a rushing double by the
Black Watch on their way to carry the Martiniere, past the great tank out
of the centre of which rises the tall column to the memory of Claude
Martine, and reach the entrance of the fantastic building which he built,
in which he was buried, and which bears his name. We see at the angle of
the northern wing the slope up which the gun was run which played so
heavily on the Dilkoosha up on the wooded knoll there. The Martiniere is
now, as it was before the Mutiny, a college for European boys, and the
young fellows are playing on the terraces. Grotesque stone statues are in
niches and along the tops of the balconies; you may see on them the marks
of the bullets which the honest fellows of the Black Watch fired at them,
taking them for Pandies. I go down into a vault and see the tomb of Claude
Martine; but it is empty, for the mutineers desecrated his grave and
scattered his bones to the winds of heaven. Then I make for the roof,
through the dormitories of the boys and past fantastic stone griffins and
lions and Gorgons, till I reach the top of the tower and touch the
flagstaff from which, during the relief time, was given the answering
signal to that hoisted on the tower of the Residency. I stand in the
niches where the mutineer marksmen used to sit with their hookahs and take
pot shots at the Dilkoosha. I look down to the eastward on the Goomtee,
and note the spot where Outram crossed on that flank movement which would
have been very much more successful than it was had he been permitted to
drive it home. To the north-east beyond the topes is the battle-ground of
Chinhut, where Lawrence received so terrible a reverse at the beginning of
the siege. Due north is the Kookrail viaduct which Outram cleared with the
Rifles and the 79th, and in whose vicinity Jung Bahadour, the crafty and
bloodthirsty generalissimo of Nepaul, "co-operated" by a demonstration
which never became anything more. And to the west there lie stretched out
before me the domes, minarets, and spires of Lucknow, rising above the
foliage in which their bases are hidden, and the routes of Clyde in the
relief and capture. The rays of the afternoon sun are stirring into colour
the dusky gray of the Secunderbagh and of the Nuddun Rusool, or "Grave of
the Prophet," used as a powder magazine by the rebels. Below me, on the
lawn of the Martiniere, is the big gun--one of Claude Martine's casting--
which did the rebels so much service at the other angle of the Martiniere
and which was spiked at last by two men of Peel's naval brigade, who swam
the Goomtee for the purpose. That little enclosure slightly to the left
surrounds "all that can die" of that strange mixture of high spirit, cool
daring, and weak principle, the famous chief of Hodson's Horse. By
Hodson's side lies Captain da Costa of the 56th N.I., attached to
Brazier's Sikhs. Of this officer is told that, having lost many relatives
in the butchery of Cawnpore, he joined the regiment likeliest to be in the
front of the Lucknow fighting, and fell by one of the first shots fired in
the assault on the Kaiser-bagh.

Descending from the Martiniere tower I traverse the park to the westward
passing the grave of Captain Otway Mayne, cross the dry canal along which
are still visible the heaps of earth which mark the stupendous first line
of the rebels' defences, and bending to the left reach the Secunderbagh.
This famous place was a pleasure garden surrounded with a lofty wall with
turrets at the angles and a castellated gateway. The interior garden is
now waste and forlorn, the rank grass growing breast-high in the corners
where the slaughter was heaviest. Here in this little enclosure, not half
the size of the garden of Bedford Square, 2000 Sepoys died the death at
the hands of the 93rd, the 53rd, and the 4th Punjaubees. Their common
grave is under the low mound on the other side of the road. The loopholes
stand as they were left by the mutineers when our fellows came bursting in
through the ragged breach made in the reverse side from the main entrance
by Peel's guns. Farther on--that is, nearer to the Residency--I come to
the Shah Nujeef, with its strong exterior wall enclosing the domed temple
in its centre. It is still easy to trace the marks of the breach made in
the angle in the wall by Peel's battering guns, and the tree is still
standing up which Salmon, Southwell, and Harrison climbed in response to
his proffer of the Victoria Cross. Opposite the Shah Nujeef white girls
are playing on the lawn of that castellated building, for the Koorsheyd
Munzil, on the top of which there was hoisted the British flag in the face
of a _feu d'enfer_, is now a seminary for the daughters of Europeans. A
little beyond, on the plain in front of the Motee Mahal, is the spot where
Campbell met Outram and Havelock--a spot which, methinks, might well be
marked by a monument; and after this I lose my reckoning by reason of the
extent of the demolition, and am forced to resort to guesswork as to the
precise localities.


Writing of the late Alexander III. of Russia, a foreign author has
recently permitted himself to observe: "Marvellous personal courage is not
a striking characteristic of the dynasty of the Romanoffs as it was of the
English Tudors." It will be conceded that periods materially govern the
conditions under which sovereigns and their royal relatives have found
opportunities for proving their personal courage. The Tudor dynasty had
ended before the Romanoff dynasty began. It is true, indeed, that the
ending of the former with the death of Elizabeth in 1603 occurred only a
few years before the foundation of the latter by the election to the
Tzarship of Michael Feodorovitz Romanoff in 1612. But of the five
sovereigns of the Tudor dynasty it happened that only one, Henry VII., the
first monarch of that dynasty, found or made an opportunity for the
display of marked--scarcely perhaps of "marvellous"--personal courage; and
thus the selection of the Tudor dynasty by the writer referred to as
furnishing a contrasting illustration in the matter of personal courage to
that of the Romanoffs was not particularly fortunate. Henry VIII. was only
once in action; he shared in the skirmish known as the "Battle of the
Spurs," because of the precipitate flight of the French horse. Edward VI.
died at the age of sixteen, and the two remaining sovereigns of the
dynasty were women, of whom it is true that Elizabeth was a strong and
vigorous ruler, but in the nature of things had no opportunity for showing
"marvellous personal courage." Henry VII. literally found his crown in the
heart of the _melee_ on Bosworth field, it matters not which of the
alternative stories is correct, that he himself killed Richard, or that
Richard was killed in the act of striking him a desperate blow. But Henry
at Bosworth in 1485 still belonged to the days of chivalry--to an era in
which monarchs were also armour-clad knights, who headed charges in person
and gave and took with spear, sword, and battle-axe. Long before Peter the
Great, more than two centuries after Bosworth, foamed at the mouth with
rage and hacked with his sword at his panicstricken troops fleeing from
the field of Narva on that winter day of 1700, the face of warfare had
altered and the _metier_ of the commander, were he sovereign or were he
subject, had undergone a radical change.

Of a family of the human race it is not rationally possible to predicate a
typical generic characteristic of mind. A physical trait will endure down
the generations, as witness the Hapsburg lip and the swarthy complexion of
the Finch-Hattons, in the face of alliances from outside the races; but,
save as regards one exception, there is no assurance of a continuous
inheritance of mental attributes. What a contrast is there between
Frederick the Great and his father; between George III. and his successor;
between the present Emperor of Austria and his hapless son; between the
genial, wistful, and well-intentioned Alexander II. of Russia and the not
less well-intentioned but narrow-minded and despotic sovereign who
succeeded him! But there may be reserved one exception to the absence of
assurance of inherited mental attributes--one mental feature in which
identity takes the place of dissimilarity, and even of actual contrast.
And that feature--that inherited characteristic of a race whose
progenitors happily possessed it--is personal courage.

Take, for example, the Hohenzollerns. One need not hark back to Carlyle's
original Conrad, the seeker of his fortune who tramped down from the
ancestral cliff-castle on his way to take service under Barbarossa. Before
and since the "Grosse Kurfurst" there has been no Hohenzollern who has not
been a brave man. He himself was the hero of Fehrbellin. His son, the
first king of the line, Carlyle's "Expensive Herr," was "valiant in
action" during the third war of Louis XIV. The rugged Frederick William,
father of Frederick the Great, had his own tough piece of war against the
volcanic Charles XII. of Sweden and did a stout stroke of hard fighting at
Malplaquet. Of Fritz himself the world has full note. Bad, sensual,
debauched Hohenzollern as was his successor, Frederick the Fat, he had
fought stoutly in his youth-time under his illustrious uncle. His son,
Frederick William III., overthrown by Napoleon who called him a
"corporal," did good soldierly work in the "War of Liberation" and fought
his way to Paris in 1814. His eldest son, Frederick William IV., the
vague, benevolent dreamer whom _Punch_ used to call "King Clicquot" and
who died of softening of the brain, even he, too, as a lad had
distinguished himself in the "War of Liberation" and in the fighting
during the subsequent advance on Paris. As for grand old William I., the
real maker of the German Empire on the _quid facit per alium facit per se_
axiom, he died a veteran of many wars. He was not seventeen when he won
the Iron Cross by a service of conspicuous gallantry under heavy fire. He
took his chances in the bullet and shell fire at Koeniggraetz, and again on
the afternoon of Gravelotte. Not a Hohenzollern of them all but shared as
became their race in the dangers of the great war of 1870-71; even Prince
George, the music composer, the only non-soldier of the family, took the
field. William's noble son, whose premature death neither Germany nor
England has yet ceased to deplore, took the lead of one army; his nephew
Prince Frederick Charles, a great commander and a brilliant soldier, was
the leader of another. One of his brothers, Prince Albert the elder, made
the campaign as cavalry chief; whose son, Prince Albert junior, now a
veteran Field-Marshal, commanded a brigade of guard-cavalry with a skill
and daring not wholly devoid of recklessness. Another brother, Prince
Charles, the father of the "Red Prince," made the campaign with the royal
headquarters; Prince Adalbert, a cousin of the sovereign and head of the
Prussian Navy, had his horse shot under him on the battlefield of

The trait of personal courage has markedly characterised the House of
Hanover. As King of England George I. did no fighting, but before he
reached that position he had distinguished himself in war not a little;
against the Danes and Swedes in 1700 and in high command in the war of the
Spanish succession from 1701 to 1709. His successor, while yet young, had
displayed conspicuous valour in the battle of Oudenarde, and later in life
at Dettingen; and he was the last British monarch who took part in actual
warfare. Cumberland had no meritorious attribute save that of personal
courage, but that virtue in him was undeniable. At Dettingen he was
wounded in the forefront of the battle; at Fontenoy the "martial boy" was
ever in the heart of the fiercest fire, fighting at "a spiritual white
heat." His grand-nephew the Duke of York was an unfortunate soldier, but
his personal courage was unquestioned. In the present reign a cousin and a
son of the sovereign have done good service in the field; and that
venerable lady herself in situations of personal danger has consistently
maintained the calm courage of her race.

The foreign author has written that "marvellous personal courage is not
the striking characteristic of the dynasty of the Romanoffs." He makes an
exception to this quasi-indictment in favour of the Emperor Nicholas, who,
he admits, "was absolutely ignorant of fear, and could face a band of
insurgents with the calm self-possession of a shepherd surveying his
bleating sheep." The monarch who at the moment of his accession
illustrated the dominant force of his character by confronting amid the
bullet fire the ferocious mutiny of half an army corps, and who crushed
the bloodthirsty _emeute_ with dauntless resolution and iron hand; the man
who, facing the populace of St. Petersburg crazed with terror of the
cholera and red with the blood of slaughtered physicians, quelled its
panic-fury by commanding the people in the sternest tones of his sonorous
voice to kneel in the dust and propitiate by prayers the wrath of the
Almighty--such a man is scarcely, perhaps, adequately characterised by the
expressions which have been quoted. But setting aside this instance of the
fearlessness of Nicholas, facts appear to refute pretty conclusively
reflections on the personal courage of the Romanoffs. No purpose can be
served by cumbering the record by going back into the period of Russia's
semi-civilisation; illustrations from three generations may reasonably
suffice. At Austerlitz Alexander I. was close up to the fighting line in
the Pratzen section of that great battle, and so recklessly did he expose
himself that the report spread rearward that he had fallen. He was riding
with Moreau in the heart of the bloody turmoil before Dresden when a
French cannon-ball mortally wounded the renegade French general, and he
was splashed by the latter's blood. Moreau had insisted on riding on the
outside, else the ball which caused his death would certainly have struck
Alexander. That monarch participated actively and forwardly in most of the
battles of the campaign of 1814 which culminated in the allied occupation
of Paris. Marmont's bullets were still flying when he rode on to the hill
of Belleville and looked down through the smoke of battle on the French
capital. The captious foreign writer has admitted that Nicholas, the
successor of Alexander, was "absolutely ignorant of fear," and I have
cited a convincing instance of his "marvellous personal courage." Two of
his sons--the Grand Dukes Nicholas and Michael--were under fire in the
battle of Inkerman and shared for some time the perils of the siege of
Sevastopol. Alexander II. was certainly a man of real, although quiet and
undemonstrative, personal courage. But for his disregard of the
precautions by which the police sought to surround him he probably would
have been alive to-day. The Third Section was wholly unrepresented in
Bulgaria and His Majesty's protection on campaign consisted merely of a
handful of Cossacks. No cordon of sentries surrounded his simple camp; his
tent at Pavlo and the dilapidated Turkish house which for weeks was his
residence at Gorni Studen were alike destitute of any guards. The imperial
Court of Russia is said to be the most punctiliously ceremonious of all
courts; in the field the Tzar absolutely dispensed with any sort of
ceremony. He dined with his suite and staff at a frugal table in a spare
hospital marquee; his guests, the foreign attaches and any passing
officers or strangers who happened to be in camp. When he drove out his
escort consisted of a couple of Cossacks. In the woods about Biela at the
beginning of the war there still remained some forlorn bivouacs of Turkish
families; he would alight and visit those, his sole companion the
aide-de-camp on duty; and would fearlessly venture among the sullen Turks
all of whom were armed with deadly weapons, try to persuade them to return
to their homes, and, unmoved by their refusal, promise to send them food
and medicine. Dispensing with all etiquette he would see without delay any
one coming in with tidings from fighting points, were he officer,
civilian, or war correspondent. During the September attack on Plevna he
was continually in the field while daylight lasted, looking out on the
slaughter from an eminence within range of the Turkish cannon-fire, and
manifestly enduring keen anguish at the spectacle of the losses sustained
by his brave, patient troops. Later, during the investment of Plevna, his
point of observation was a redoubt on the Radischevo ridge still closer to
the Turkish front of fire, and it was thence he witnessed the surrender of
Osman's army on the memorable 10th December 1877. If Alexander was
fearless alike in camp and in the field on campaign, he was certainly not
less so in St. Petersburg, when he returned thither after the fall of

Alexander II. literally sacrificed his life to his self-regardless concern
for the suffering. After the first bomb had burst on the Alexandra Canal
Road, striking down civilians and Cossacks of the following escort but
leaving the Emperor unhurt, his coachman begged to be allowed to dash
forward and get clear of danger. But Alexander forbade him with the words,
"No, no! I must alight and see to the wounded;" and as he was carrying out
his heroic and benign intention, the second bomb exploded and wrought his

As did the men of the Hohenzollern house in 1870, so in 1877 the adult
male Romanoffs went to the war with scarce an exception. The Grand Duke
Nicholas, brother of the Emperor and Commander-in-Chief of the Russian
armies in Europe, was neither a great general nor an honest man; but there
could be no question as to his personal courage. That attribute he evinced
with utter recklessness when arriving, as was his wont, too late for a
deliberate and careful survey, he galloped round the Turkish positions on
the morning on which began the September bombardment of Plevna, in
proximity to Turkish cannon-fire so dangerous that his staff remonstrated,
and that even the sedate American historian of the war speaks of him as
having "exposed himself imprudently to the Turkish pickets." His son, the
Grand Duke Nicholas, jun., in 1877 scarcely of age, was nevertheless a
keen practical soldier, imbued with the wisdom of getting to close
quarters and staying there. He was among the first to cross the Danube at
Sistova under the Turkish fire, and he fought with great gallantry under
Mirsky in the Schipka Pass. The brothers, Prince Nicholas and Prince
Eugene of Leuchtenberg, members of the imperial house, commanded each a
cavalry brigade in Gourko's dashing raid across the Balkans at the
beginning of the campaign, and both were conspicuous for soldierly skill
and personal gallantry in the desperate fighting in the Tundja Valley. The
Grand Duke Vladimir, the second brother of Alexander III., headed the
infantry advance in the direction of Rustchuk, and served with marked
distinction in command of one of the corps in the army of the Lom. A
younger brother, the Grand Duke Alexis, the nautical member of the
imperial family, had charge of the torpedo and subaqueous mining
operations on the Danube, and was held to have shown practical skill,
assiduity, and vigour. Prince Serge of Leuchtenberg, younger brother of
the Leuchtenbergs previously mentioned, was shot dead by a bullet through
the head in the course of his duty as a staff officer at the front of a
reconnaissance in force made against the Turkish force in Jovan-Tchiflik
in October of the war. He was a soldier of great promise and had
frequently distinguished himself. No unworthy record, it is submitted,
earned in war by the members of a family of which, according to the
foreign author, "personal courage is not the striking characteristic."

That writer may be warranted in stating that the late Tzar had been
frequently accused of cowardice--an indictment to which, it must be
admitted, many undeniable facts lent a strong colouring of probability;
and he further tells of "the Emperor's aversion to ride on horseback, and
of his dread of a horse even when the animal was harnessed to a vehicle."
There is something, however, of inconsistency in his observation that
Alexander III. might well have been a contrast to his grandfather without
deserving the epithet craven-hearted. The melancholy explanation of the
strange apparent change between the Tzarewitch of 1877 and the Tzar of
1894 may lie in the statement that "Alexander's nerves had been
undoubtedly shaken by the terrible events in which he had been a spectator
or actor." In 1877, when in campaign in Bulgaria, Alexander did not know
what "nerves" meant. He was then a man of strong, if slow, mental force,
stolid, peremptory, reactionary; the possessor of dull but firm
resolution. He had a strong though clumsy seat on horseback and was no
infrequent rider. He had two ruling dislikes: one was war, the other was
officers of German extraction. The latter he got rid of; the former he
regarded as a necessary evil of the hour; he longed for its ending, but
while it lasted he did his sturdy and loyal best to wage it to the
advantage of the Russian arms. And in this he succeeded, stanchly
fulfilling the particular duty which was laid upon him, that of protecting
the Russian left flank from the Danube to the foothills of the Balkans. He
had good troops, the subordinate commands were fairly well filled, and his
headquarter staff was efficient--General Dochtouroff, its _sous-chef_, was
certainly the ablest staff-officer in the Russian army. But Alexander was
no puppet of his staff; he understood his business as the commander of the
army of the Lom, performed his functions in a firm, quiet fashion, and
withal was the trusty and successful warden of the eastern marches. His
force never amounted to 50,000 men, and his enemy was in considerably
greater strength. He had successes and he sustained reverses, but he was
equal to either fortune; always resolute in his steadfast, dogged manner,
and never whining for reinforcements when things went against him, but
doing his best with the means to his hand. They used to speak of him in
the principal headquarter as the only commander who never gave them any
bother. So highly was he thought of there that when, after the
unsuccessful attempt on Plevna in the September of the war, the Guard
Corps was arriving from Russia and there was the temporary intention to
use it with other troops in an immediate offensive movement across the
Balkans, he was named to take the command of the enterprise. But this
intention having been presently departed from, and the reinforcements
being ordered instead to the Plevna section of the theatre of war, the
Tzarewitch retained his command on the left flank, and thus in
mid-December had the opportunity of inflicting a severe defeat on Suleiman
Pasha, just as in September he had worsted Mehemet Ali in the battle of
Carkova. It is sad to be told that a man once so resolute and masterful
should later have been the victim of shattered nerves; it is sadder still
to learn that he was a mark for accusations of cowardice. He never was a
gracious, far less a lovable man; but, as I can testify from personal
knowledge, he was a cool and brave soldier in the Russo-Turkish War of



On a Sunday morning in early June, just before the church bells begin to
ring, there is wont to be held the annual general parade and inspection of
the Corps of Commissionaires, on the enclosed grass plot by the margin of
the ornamental water in St. James's Park. On the ground, and accompanying
the inspecting officer on his tour through the opened ranks, there are
always not a few veteran officers, glad by their presence on such an
occasion to countenance and recognise their humbler comrades in arms in
bygone war-dramas enacted elsewhere than within hearing of London Sunday
bells. No scene could be imagined presenting a more practical confutation
of the ignorant calumny that the British army is composed of the froth and
the dregs of the British nation, and that there exists no cordial feeling
between British soldiers and British officers. It is good to see how the
face kindles of the veteran guardsman at the sight and the kindly greeting
of Sir Charles Russell. Doubtless the honest private's thoughts go back to
that misty morning on the slopes of Inkerman, when officer and private
stood shoulder to shoulder in the fierce press, and there rang again in
his ears the cheer with which the Guards greeted the act of valour by the
performance of which the baronet won the Victoria Cross. There is a
feeling deeper than a mere formality in the half-dozen words that pass
between Sir William Codrington and the old soldier of the 7th Royal
Fusiliers, to whom the gallant general showed the way up to the Russian
front, through the shot-torn vineyards on the slopes of the Alma. When one
feeble old ex-warrior is smitten suddenly on parade with a palsied
faintness, it is on the yet stalwart arm of his old chief that he totters
out of the ranks, and the twain do not part till the superior has exacted
a pledge that his humble ex-subordinate shall call upon him on the morrow,
with a view to medical advice and strengthening comforts.

Notwithstanding that in the true old martial spirit it shows what in the
Service is known as a good front, it is not a very athletic or puissant
cohort this, that stands on parade here on the grass within hearing of the
church bells. The grizzled old soldiers, sooth to say, look rather the
worse for wear. There is a decided shortcoming among them of the proper
complement of limbs, and one at least, in speaking of the battlefields he
had seen, might with truth echo the old soldier in Burns's _Jolly

And there I left for witness a leg and an arm.

They carry no weapons; to some may belong the knowledge only of the
obsolete "Brown Bess" manual exercise; and not many have been so recently
on active service as to have learnt the handling of the modern
breech-loader. On the whole, a battered, fossil, maimed army of
superannuated fighting men, scarcely fitted to shine in the new tactics of
the "swarm-attack" by which the battles of the future are to be won or
lost. But you cannot jibe at the worn old soldiers as "lean and slippered
pantaloons." Look how truly, with what instinctive intuition, the dressing
is taken up at the word of command; note how the old martial carriage
comes back to the most dilapidated when the adjutant calls his command to
"attention." Age and wounds have not quenched the fighting spirit of the
old soldiers; there is not a man of them but would, did the need arise,
"clatter on his stumps to the sound of the drum." There are few breasts in
those ranks that are not decorated with medals. In very truth the parade
is a record of British campaigns for the last thirty years. Among the
thicket of medals on the bosom of this broken old light dragoon note the
one bearing the legend, "Cabul 1842" within the laurel wreath. Its wearer
was a trooper in the famous "rescue" column. The skeletons of
Elphinstone's hapless force littered the slopes of the Tezeen Valley, up
which the squadron in which he rode charged straight for the tent of the
splendid demon Akbar Khan. He rode behind Campbell at the battle of
Punniar, and won there that star of silver and bronze which hangs from the
famous "rainbow" ribbon. "Sutlej" is the legend on another of his medals,
and he could recount to you the memorable story of Thackwell's cavalry
operations against the Sikh field works, and how that division of seasoned
horsemen reduced outpost duty to a methodical science. "Punjab" medals for
Gough's campaign of 1848-49 are scattered up and down in the ranks. The
sword-cut athwart this wiry old trooper's cheek he got in the hot _melee_
of Ramhuggur, where a certain Brigadier Colin Campbell whom men knew
afterwards as Lord Clyde, found it hard work to hold his own, and where
gallant Cureton and the veteran William Havelock fell at the head of their
light horsemen as they crashed into the heart of 4000 Sikhs. His neighbour
took part in the storm of Mooltan, and saw stout, calm-pulsed Sergeant
John Bennet of the 1st Bombay Fusiliers plant the British ensign on the
crest of the breach and quietly stand by it there, supporting it in the
tempest of shot and shell till the storming party had made the breach
their own. This old soldier of the 24th can tell you of the butchery of
his regiment at Chillianwallah; how Brooks went down between the Sikh
guns, how Brigadier Pennycuick was killed out to the front, and how his
son, a beardless ensign, maddened at the sight of the mangling of his
father's body, rushed out and fought against all comers over the corpse
till the lad fell dead on his dead father; how on that terrible day the
loss of the 24th was 13 officers killed, 10 wounded, and 497 men killed
and wounded; and how the issue of the bloody combat might have been very
different but for the display, on the part of Colin Campbell, of "that
steady coolness and military decision for which he was so remarkable."
Scarcely a great show on a troop-horse would this bent and gnarled old
12th Lancer make to-day, but he and his fellows rode right well on the day
for which he wears this "Cape" medal, with the blue and orange ribbon and
the lion and mimosa bush on the reverse. Because of its prickles the Boers
call the mimosa the "wait-a-bit" thorn, but there was no thought of
waiting a bit among the 12th Lancers at the Berea, when they charged the
savage Basutos and captured their chief Moshesh. This one-armed veteran of
the Royal Fusiliers was left lying wounded in the Great Redoubt on the
Russian slope of the Alma, when the terrible fire of grape and musketry
forced Codrington's brigade of the Light Division temporarily to give
ground after it had struggled so valiantly up the rugged broken banks, and
through the hailstorm of fire that swept through the vineyards. This still
stalwart man was one of the nineteen sergeants of the 33rd--the Duke of
Wellington's Own--who were either killed or wounded in defence of the
colours on the same bloody but glorious day. A few files farther down the
line stands an old 93rd man. The veteran Sutherland Highlander was one of
that "thin red line" which disdained to form square when the Russian
squadrons rode with seeming heart at the kilted men on Balaclava day. He
heard Colin Campbell's stern repressive rebuke--"Ninety-third,
ninety-third, damn all that eagerness!" when the hotter spirits of the
regiment would fain have broken ranks and met the Russians half-way with
the cold steel; he saw the Scotch wife chastise the fugitive Turks with
her tongue and her frying-pan. Speak to his tall, shaggy neighbour of the
"bonny Jocks," and you will call up a flush of pleasure on the
harsh-featured Scottish face; for he was a trooper in the Greys on that
self-same Balaclava day when the avalanche of Russian horsemen thundered
down upon the heavy brigade. He was among those who heard, and with
sternly rapturous anticipation obeyed Scarlet's calm-pitched, far-sounding
order, "Left wheel into line!" He was among those who, when the trumpets
had sounded the charge, strove in vain by dint of spur to overtake the
gallant old chief with the long white moustache, as he rode foremost on
the foe with the dashing Elliot and the burly Shegog on either flank of
him; he was among those who, as they hewed and hacked their way through
the press, heard already from the far side of the _melee_ the stentorian
adjuration of big Adjutant Miller, as standing up in his stirrups the
burly Scot shouted, "Rally, rally on me, ye muckle ----!" Mightily knocked
about has been this man with the empty sleeve, but he does not belie the
familiar sobriquet of his old regiment; he was one of the "Diehards," a
title well earned by the 57th on the bloody height of Albuera, and it was
under their colours that he lost his arm on Inkerman morning. There is
quite a little regiment of men who were wounded in the "trenches" or about
the Redan. There is no "19" now on the buttons of this scarred veteran,
but the number was there when he followed Massy and Molesworth over the
parapet of the Redan on the day when so much good English blood was
wasted. Shoulder to shoulder now, as oft of yore, stand two old soldiers
of the Buffs both of whom went down in the same assault; and an umwhile
bugler of the Perthshire Grey-breeks "minds the day" well also by reason
of the wound that has crippled him for life. As he stands on parade this
calm Sabbath morning, that maimed man of the 60th Rifles can remember
another and a very different Sabbath--the 10th of May 1857 in Meerut--day
and place of the first outburst of the Mutiny; a fell Sabbath of burning,
slaughter, and dismay, of disregard of sex, age, and rank, of fierce
brutality and of nameless agony. He was one of the rifles whose fire in
the assault of Delhi covered the desperate duty of blowing open the
Cashmere Gate, performed with so methodical calmness by Home, Salkeld, and
Burgess; and his comrade hero with the maimed limb, when the hour had come
for a rush to close quarters, followed Reid and Muter over the breastwork
at the end of the serai of Kissengunge. Proud, yet their pride dashed by
sadness, must be the soldiering memories of this stout northman, erstwhile
a front rank man in the old Ross-shire Buffs, a regiment ever true to its
noble Celtic motto of _Cuidichn Rhi_. At Kooshab, in the short, but
brilliant Persian War, he fought in the same field where Malcolmson earned
the Victoria Cross by one of the most gallant acts for which that guerdon
of valour ever has been accorded. He was in Mackenzie's company at
Cawnpore when the Highlanders, stirred by the wild strains of the
war-pibroch, rushed upon the Nana's battery at the angle of the mango tope
with the irresistible fury of one of their own mountain torrents in spate.
And next day he was among those who, with drawn ghastly faces and scared
eyes, looked into that fearful well, filled to the lip with the mangled
corpses of British women and children. He was one of those who, standing
by that well, pledged the oath administered by the bareheaded Ross-shire
sergeant over the long, heavy tress of auburn hair which a demon's tulwar
had severed from the head of an Englishwoman, that while strong arm and
trusty steel lasted to no living thing of the accursed race should quarter
be accorded. And he was one of those who, having battled their way over
the Charbagh Bridge, having threaded the bullet-torn path to the
Kaiser-bagh, and having forced for themselves a passage up to the
embrasures by the Baileyguard Gate, melted from the stern fierceness of
the fray when the siege-worn women and children in the residency of
Lucknow sobbed out upon their necks blessings for the deliverance. His
rear-rank man is an ex-Bengal Fusilier, wounded once at Sabraon, again at
Pegu, and a third time at Delhi. He will not be offended if you hail him
as one of the "old Dirty-shirts;" for it was in honourable disregard of
appearances as they toiled night and day in the trenches of Delhi that the
regiment, which now in the Queen's service is numbered 101, gained the
nickname. Time and space fail one to tell a tithe of the stories of valour
and hardship linked in the medals and wounds borne by men on this
unostentatious parade--a parade the members of which have shed their blood
on the soil of every quarter of the globe. The minutest military annals
scarcely name some of the obscure combats in which men here to-day have
fought and bled. This man desperately wounded at Najou, near Shanghai;
that one wounded in two places at Owna, in Persia; this one with a sleeve
emptied at Aroga, in Abyssinia--who among us remember aught, if, indeed,
we have ever heard, of Najou, Owna, or Aroga? On the breast of this bent,
hoary old man, note these strange emblems, the Cross of San Fernando and
the Order of the Tower and Sword. Their wearer is a relic of the British
Legion in the Carlist War of 1837, and they were won under brave old De
Lacy Evans at the siege of Bilbao.

Over the modest portals of the Commissionaire Barracks in the Strand might
well be inscribed the legend, "To all the military glories of Britain."
But just as we have not long ago seen the pride of a palace in another
land on whose facade is a kindred inscription, abased by the occupation of
a foreign conqueror, so there was a time when the living emblems of
Britain's military glory were wont to undergo much humiliation and
adversity when their career of soldiering had come to an end. Germany
recompenses her veterans by according them, as a right, reputable civil
employ when they have served their time as soldiers; the custom of
Britain, on the contrary, has been too commonly to leave her scarred and
war-worn soldiers to their own resources, or to a pension on which to live
is impossible. We were always ready enough to feel a glow at the
achievements of our arms; but till lately we were prone to reckon the
individual soldier as a social pariah, and to regard the fact of a man's
having served in the ranks as a brand of discredit. To this estimate, it
must be allowed, the ex-soldier himself very often contributed not a
little. Destitute of a future, and often debarred by wounds or by broken
health from any laborious industrial employment, he made the most of the
present; and his idea of making the most of the future not unfrequently
took the form of beer and shiftlessness. Recognising the disadvantages
that bore so hard on the deserving old soldier, recognising too, in the
words of the late Sir John Burgoyne, that "there are many qualities
peculiar to the soldier and sailor, and imbibed by him in the ordinary
course of his service, which, added to good character and conduct, may
render such men more eligible than others for various services in civil
life," Captain Edward Walter founded the Corps of Commissionaires. That
organisation, beginning with seven men, has now a strength of several
hundreds, and its ranks are still open to all the eligible recruits who
choose to come forward. The Commissionaire is no recipient of charity;
what Captain Walter has done is simply to show him how he may earn an
honest and comfortable livelihood, and to provide him, if he desires it,
with a home of a kind which the ex-militaire naturally most appreciates.
The advantages are open to him of a savings-bank and of a sick and burial
fund, and when the evil days come when he can no longer earn his own
bread, the "Retiring Fund" guarantees the thrifty and steady
Commissionaire against the prospect of ending his days in the workhouse.
Among the fruits of Captain Walter's devoted and gratuitous services in
this cause has been a wholesome change in the bias of popular opinion as
to the worth of old soldiers. No longer are they regarded as the mere
chaff and _debris_ of the cannon fodder--"no account men," as Bret Harte
has it; he has furnished them with opportunity to prove, and they have
proved, that they can so live and so work as to win the respect and trust
of their brethren of the civilian world. The man who has done this thing
deserves well, not alone of the British army, but of the British nation.
He has brought it about that the time has come when most men think with
Sir Roger de Coverley. "You must know," says Sir Roger, "I never make use
of anybody to row me that has not lost either a leg or an arm. I would
rather bate him a few strokes of his oar than not employ an honest man
that has been wounded in the Queen's service. If I was a lord or a bishop
... I would not put a fellow in my livery that had not a wooden leg."


The actual fighting phase of this memorable campaign was confined to the
four days from the 15th to the 18th of June, both days inclusive. The
literature concerning itself with that period would make a library of
itself. Scarcely a military writer of any European nation but has
delivered himself on the subject, from Clausewitz to General Maurice, from
Berton to Brialmont. Thiers, Alison, and Hooper may be cited of the host
of civilian writers whom the theme has enticed to description and
criticism. There is scarcely a point in the brief vivid drama that has not
furnished a topic for warm and sustained controversy; and the cult of the
Waterloo campaign is more assiduous to-day than when the participators in
the great strife were testifying to their own experiences.

Quite recently an important work dealing chiefly with the inner history of
the campaign has come to us from the other side of the Atlantic. [Footnote:
_The Campaign of Waterloo: a Military History_. By John Codman Ropes. New
York: Charles Scribner's Sons. February 1893.] Its author, Mr. John Ropes,
is a civilian gentleman of Boston, who has devoted his life to military
study. He has given years to the elucidation of the problems of the
Waterloo campaign, has trodden every foot of its ground, and has burrowed
for recondite matter in the military archives of divers nations. A citizen
of the American Republic, he is free alike from national prejudices and
national prepossessions; if he is perhaps not uniformly correct in his
inferences, his rigorous impartiality is always conspicuous. By his
research and acute perception he has let light in upon not a few
obscurities; and it may be pertinent briefly to summarise the inner
history of the campaign, giving what may seem their due weight to the
arguments and representations of the American writer.

The following were the respective positions on the 14th of June:--
Wellington's heterogeneous army, about 94,000 strong with 196 guns, lay
widely dispersed in cantonments from the Scheldt to the Charleroi-Brussels
chaussee, its front extending from Tournay through Mons and Binche to
Nivelles and Quatre Bras. Of the Prussian army under Bluecher, about
121,000 strong with 312 guns, one corps was at Liege, another near the
Meuse above Namur, a third at Namur, and Ziethen's in advance holding the
line of the Sambre. The mass of Bluecher's command had already seen service
and, with the exception of the Saxons, was full of zeal; the corps were
well commanded, and their chief, although he had his limits, was a
thorough soldier. The French army, consisting of five corps d'armee, the
Guard, four cavalry corps and 344 guns--total fighting strength 124,500--
Napoleon had succeeded in assembling with wonderful celerity and secrecy
south of the Sambre within an easy march of Charleroi. Its officers and
soldiers were alike veterans but its organisation was somewhat defective.
Napoleon scarcely preserved the phenomenal force of earlier years; but, in
Mr. Ropes's words, he disclosed "no conspicuous lack of energy and
activity." Soult was far from being an ideal chief of staff. Ney, to whom
was assigned the command of the left wing, only reached the army on the
15th, and without a staff; Grouchy, to whom on the 16th was suddenly given
the command of the right wing, was not a man of high military capacity.

Napoleon's plan of campaign was founded on the circumstance that the bases
of the allied armies lay in opposite directions--the English base on the
German Ocean, the Prussian through Liege and Maestricht to the Rhine. The
military probability was that if either army was forced to retreat, it
would retreat towards its base; and to do this would be to march away from
its ally. Napoleon was in no situation to manoeuvre leisurely, with all
Europe on the march against him. His engrossing aim was to gain immediate
victory over his adversaries in Belgium before the Russians and Austrians
should close in around him. His expectation was that Bluecher would offer
battle about Fleurus and be overwhelmed before the Anglo-Dutch army could
come to the support of its Prussian ally. To make sure of preventing that
junction the Emperor's intention was to detail Ney with the left wing to
reach and hold Quatre Bras. The Prussians thoroughly beaten, drifting
rearward toward their base, and reduced to a condition of comparative
inoffensiveness, he would then turn on Wellington and force him to give

Mr. Ropes refutes the contention maintained by a great array of
authorities, that Napoleon's design was to "wedge himself into the
interval between the allied armies" by seizing simultaneously Sombreffe
and Quatre Bras, in order to cut the communication between the two armies
and then defeat them in succession. Against this view he successfully
marshals Napoleon himself, Wellington by the mouth of Lord Ellesmere, and
the great German strategist Clausewitz. It will suffice to quote

The Emperor's intention was that his advance should
occupy Fleurus, the mass concealed behind this town;
he took good care ... above all things not to occupy
Sombreffe. To have done so would have caused the
failure of all his dispositions, for then the battle of Ligny
would not have been fought, and Bluecher would have had
to make Wavre the concentration-point for his army.

Wellington alludes pointedly to the obvious danger to the French army of
the suggested wedge position in what the Germans call _die taktische
Mitte_, where, instead of being able to defeat the allies in succession,
it would itself be liable to be crushed between the upper and the nether

At daybreak of the 15th Napoleon took the offensive, driving in Ziethen on
and through Charleroi although not without sharp fighting. On that evening
three French corps, the Guard, and most of the cavalry, were concentrated
about Charleroi and forward toward Fleurus, ready to attack Bluecher next
day. Controversy has been very keen on the question whether or not on the
afternoon of the 15th Napoleon gave Ney verbal orders to occupy Quatre
Bras the same evening. Mr. Ropes holds it "almost certain" that the order
was given. From Napoleon's bulletin despatched on the evening of the 15th,
which is the only piece of strictly contemporary evidence, he quotes: "Le
Prince de la Moskowa (Ney) a eu le soir son quartier general aux
Quatres-Chemins;" and he remarks that this must have been the belief in
the headquarter "unless we gratuitously invent an intention to deceive the
public." There is no need for Mr. Ropes to put that strain on himself,
since the main purport of Napoleon's bulletins notoriously was to deceive
the public. But if Napoleon had not intended that Ney should occupy Quatre
Bras on the night of the 15th, the statement that this had been done would
have been a purposeless futility; and if he had intended that Ney should
do so it is unlikely that he should have omitted to give him instructions
to that effect. Grouchy claims to have heard Napoleon censure Ney for his
omission to occupy Quatre Bras; an omission which had its importance, for
the reason, among others, that it was ominous of the Marshal's infinitely
more harmful disobedience of orders next day.

All writers agree that Bluecher ordered the concentration of his army in
the fighting position previously chosen in the event of the French
advancing by Charleroi, "without," in Mr. Ropes's words, "any definite
agreement or undertaking with Wellington that he was to have English aid
in the impending battle." He was content to take his risk of the English
general's possible inability for sundry obvious reasons, to come to his
support. And while the Prussian army with the unfortunate exception of
Buelow's corps, was on the 15th moving toward the chosen position of Ligny,
where its right was to be on St. Amand, its centre on and behind Ligny,
and its left about Balatre, what was happening in the Anglo-Dutch army
lying spread out westward of the Charleroi--Brussels chaussee?

Wellington was at Brussels expecting the French invasion by or west of the
Mons-Brussels road, to meet which he considered his army very well placed,
but could expect no Prussian cooperation. His courier service, with his
forces so dispersed, should have been well organised and alert, but it was
neither; and Napoleon's secrecy and suddenness in taking the offensive
were worthy of his best days. It has been freely imputed to Wellington
that he was thereby in a measure surprised. There is the strange and
probably mythical story in the work professing to be Fouche's _Memoirs_ to
the effect that Wellington was relying on him for information of
Napoleon's plans, and that he--Fouche--played the English commander false.
"On the very day of Napoleon's departure from Paris," say the _Memoirs_,
"I despatched Madame D----, furnished with notes in cipher, narrating the
whole plan of the campaign. But at the same time I privately sent orders
for such obstacles at the frontier, where she was to pass, that she could
not reach Wellington's headquarters till after the event. This was the
real explanation of the inactivity of the British generalissimo which
excited such universal astonishment." Readers of the _Letters of the First
Earl of Malmesbury_ will remember the apparently authentic statement of
Captain Bowles, that Wellington, rising from the supper-table at the
famous ball,

whispered to ask the Duke of Richmond if he had a good
map. The Duke of Richmond said he had, and took
Wellington into his dressing-room. Wellington shut the
door and said, "Napoleon has humbugged me, by God;
he has gained twenty-four hours' march on me.... I
have ordered the army to concentrate at Quatre Bras;
but we shall not stop him there, and if so I must fight
him _there_" (passing his thumb-nail over the position of
Waterloo). The conversation was repeated to me by the
Duke of Richmond two minutes after it occurred.

Facts, however, are stronger evidence than words; and this confession on
Wellington's part is inconsistent with the circumstance that he had not
hurried to retrieve the time he is represented as having owned that
Napoleon had gained on him--that he had, on the contrary, allowed his
adversary to gain several hours more. Wellington's combination of caution
and decision throughout this momentous period is a very interesting study.
It was not until 3 P.M. (of the 15th) that there reached him tidings
almost simultaneously of firing between the outposts about Thuin and that
Ziethen had been attacked before Charleroi, the two places ten miles apart
and both occurrences in the early morning. Those affairs might have been
casual outpost skirmishes; and the Duke, in anticipation of further
information, took no measures for some hours. At length, in default of
later tidings he determined on the precautionary step of assembling his
divisions at their respective rendezvous points in readiness to march;
further specifically directing a concentration of 25,000 men at Nivelles
on his then left flank, when it should have been ascertained for certain
that the enemy's line of attack was by Charleroi. These orders were sent
out early in the evening--"between 5 and 7." Later in the evening came a
letter from Bluecher announcing the concentration of the Prussian army to
occupy the Ligny fighting position, in which disposition Wellington
acquiesced; but, still uncertain of Napoleon's true line of attack--his
conviction being, as is well known, that Napoleon should have moved on the
British right--he would not definitely fix the point of ultimate
concentration of his army until he should receive intelligence from Mons.
But Bluecher's tidings caused him to issue about 10 P.M. a second set of
orders, commanding a general movement of the army, not as yet to any
specific point of concentration but in prescribed directions towards its
left (eastward). At length, when the news came from Mons that he need have
no further serious solicitude about his right since the whole French army
was advancing by Charleroi, he saw his way clear. Towards midnight, writes
Mueffling the Prussian Commissioner at his headquarters, Wellington
informed him of the tidings from Mons, and added: "The orders for the
concentration of my army at Nivelles and Quatre Bras are already
despatched. Let us, therefore, go to the ball."

There are three definite evidences that before midnight of the 15th
Wellington had resolved to concentrate about Quatre Bras, and had issued
final orders accordingly--his statement to the Duke of Richmond, his
statement to Mueffling, and his statement in his official report to Lord
Bathurst. Yet Mr. Ropes believes that his decision to that effect "could
not have been arrived at very long before he left Brussels" on the morning
of the 16th, which he did "probably about half-past seven." He founds this
belief on two orders dated "16th June" sent to Lord Hill in the early
morning of that day, in which there is no allusion to a concentration at
Quatre Bras. But those were merely supplementary instructions as to points
of detail; for example, one of them enjoined that a division ordered
earlier to Enghien should move instead by way of Braine le Comte, that
being a nearer route toward the final general destination of Quatre Bras
specified in the earlier (the "towards midnight") orders. The latter
orders are not extant, having been lost according to Gurwood, with De
Lancey's papers when he fell at Waterloo; but that they must have been
issued is proved by the fact that they were acted upon by the troops; and
that they were issued before midnight of the 15th is made clear by
Wellington's three specific statements to that effect.

When the Duke left Brussels for the front on the morning of the 16th he
took with him a singularly optimistic paper styled "Disposition of the
British Army at 7 A.M., 16th June," which was "written out for the
information of the Commander of the Forces by Colonel Sir W. de Lancey,"
his Quartermaster-General. In the nature of things for the most part
guess-work, the wish as regarded almost every particular set out in this
document was father to the thought. Wellington was no doubt reasonably
justified in accepting and relying on this flattering "Disposition;" but
its terms, as Mr. Ropes conclusively shows, simply misled him and caused
him also unconsciously to mislead Bluecher, both by the expressions of the
letter written by him to that chief on his arrival at Quatre Bras and
later when he met the Prussian commander at the mill of Brye. Wellington
was indeed trebly fortunate in finding the Quatre Bras position still
available to him--fortunate that Ney on the previous evening had defaulted
from his orders in refraining from occupying it; fortunate that Ney still
on this morning was remaining passive; and more fortunate still that it
had been occupied, defended, and reinforced by Dutch-Belgian troops not
only without orders from him but in bold and happy violation of his
orders. Perponcher's division was scarcely a potent representative of the
Anglo-Dutch army, but there was nothing more at hand; and pending the
coming up of reinforcements Wellington, with rather a sanguine reliance on
Ney's maintenance of inactivity, rode over to Brye and had a conversation
with Bluecher. There are contradictory accounts of its tenor, and Gneisenau
certainly seems to have formed the impression that the Duke gave a
positive pledge of support. Mr. Ropes considers that, misled by the
erroneous "Disposition," Wellington honestly believed he would be able to
co-operate with Bluecher, and that he "certainly did give that commander
some assurance of support by the Anglo-Dutch army in the impending
battle." Mueffling, who was present, states that the Duke's last words were:
"Well, I will come, provided I am not attacked myself;" and this probably
was the final undertaking. Wellington's words were in accordance with the
caution of his character; and it is certain that Bluecher had decided to
fight at Ligny whether assured or not of his brother-commander's support.
That Wellington regarded Bluecher's dispositions for battle as

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