ページの画像
PDF

« When once the pestilence had begun, it was im- the religion of his country, let him wear it in his bopossible to check its progress, or confine it to one som for his crucifix to rest upon.» quarter of the city. Hospitals were immediately established, -there were above thirty of them; as soon as

Note 13. Stanza Ixiii, one was destroyed by the bombardment, the patients

- the Vault of Destiny. were removed to another, and thus the infection was Before finally dismissing the enchanted cavern of carried to every part of Zaragoza. Famine aggravated Don Roderick, it may be noticed, that the legend octhe evil; the city had probably not been sufficiently curs in one of Calderon's plays, entitled, La Virgin del provided at the commencement of the siege, and of Sagario. The scene opens with t.e noise of the chase. the provisions which it contained, much was destroyed

oved and Recisundo, a predecessor of Roderick upon the in the daily ruin which the mines and bombs effected.

Gothic throne, enters pursuing a stag. The animal asHad the Zaragozans and their garrison proceeded ac

sumes the form of a man, and defies the king to enter cording to military rules, they would have surrendered

the cave, which forms the bottom of the scene, and before the end of January; their batteries had then

engage with him in single combat. The king accepts been demolished, there were open breaches in many the challenge, and they engage accordingly, but withparts of their weak walls, and the enemy were already out advantage on either side, wbich induces the Genie within the city. On the 3oth above sixty houses were

to inform Recisundo, that he is not the monarch for blown up, and the French obtained possession of the whom the adventure of the enchanted cavern is remonasteries of the Augustines and Les Monicas, which served, and he proceeds to predict the downfall of the adjoined each other, two of the last defensible places Gothic monarchy, and of the christian religion, which left. The enemy forced their way into the church; shall attend the discovery of its mysteries. Recisundo, esery column, every chapel, every altar, became a point appalled by these prophecies, orders the cavern to be of defence, which was repeatedly attacked, taken, and secured by a gate and bolts of iron. In the second part retaken: the pavement was covered with blood, the of the same play we are informed, that Don Roderick arsles and body of the church strewed with the dead, had removed the barrier and transgressed the prohibiwho were trampled under foot by the combatants. In tion of his ancestor, and had been apprised by the prothe midst of this conflict, the roof, shattered by repeat-digies which he discovered of the approaching ruin of ed bombs, fell in; the few who were not crushed, after his kingdom. a short pause, which this tremendous shock and their

Note 14. Conclusion. Stanza ii. own unexpected escape occasioned, renewed the fight

While downward on the land bis legions press. with rekindling fury: fresh parties of the enemy pour

Before them it was rich with vine and flock, ed in; monks, and citizens, and soldiers came to the

And smiled like Eden in her summer dress ;defence, and the contest was continued upon the ruins, Behind their wasteful march, a reeking wilderness. and the bodies of the deail and the dying.»

I have ventured to apply to the movements of the Yet, seventeen days after sustaining these extremi- French army that sublime passage in the prophecies of ties, did the heroic inhabitants of Zaragoza continue Joel, which seems applicable to them in more respects their defence; nor did they then surrender until their than that I have adopted in the text. One would think despair had extracted from the French generals a capi- their ravages, their military appointments, the terror tulation, more honourable than has been granted to which they spread among invaded nations, their milifortresses of the first order.

tary discipline, their arts of political intrigue and deWho shall venture to refuse the Zaragozans the eulo-ceit, were distinctly pointed out in the following verses gium conferred upon them by the eloquence of Words- of Scripture: worth'-« Most gloriously have the citizens of Zara- 2. « A day of darknessc and gloomipesse, a day of Gora proved that the true army of Spain, in a contest clouds and of thick darknesse, as the morning spread of this nature, is the whole people. The same city upon the mountains: a great people and a strong, there has also exemplified a melancholy, yea, a dismal truth, hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more -- yet consolatory and full of joy,—that when a people after it, even to the years of many generations. are called suddenly to fight for their liberty, and are 3. «A fire devoureth before them, and behind them wyrely pressed upon, their best field of battle is the a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden beloors upou which their children have played; the fore them, and bebinde them a desolate wildernesse, chambers where the family of each man has slep! (his yea, and nothing shall escape them own or his neighbour's); upon or under the roofs by 4. « The appearance of them is as the appearance of which they have beco sheltered; in the gardens of their horses and as lorsemen, so shall they runne. recreation; in the street, or in the market-place; before 5. « Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mounthe altars of their temples, and among their congre- tains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire Caled dwellings, blazing or up-rooted,

that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in The government of Spain must never forget Zara- battel array. goza for a moment. Nothing is wanting to produce 6. « Before their face shall the people be much tie same effects everywhere, but a leading mind, such pained: all faces shall gather blacknesse. as that city was blessed with. In the latter contest this 7. « They shall run like mighty men, they shall has been proved; for Zaragoza contained, at that time, climbe the wall like men of warre, and they shall march bodies of men from almost all parts of Spain. The every one in his wayes, and they shall not break their narrative of those two sieges should be the manual of ranks. every Spaniard. He may add to it the ancient stories 8. «Neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk of Numantia and Saguntum ; let him sleep upon the every one in his path: and when they fall upon the book as a pillow, and, if be be a devout adherent 10 sword they shall not be wounded.

9. « They shall run to and fro in the citie: they dulged themselves in parading their bands of music, shall run upon the wall, they shall climbe up upon and actually performed «God save the King. Ther the houses: they shall enter in at the windows like a minstrelsy was however deranged by the updesired as thief.

companiment of the British horse-artillery, op whose 10. «The earth shall quake before them, the hea- part in the concert they had not calculated. The survens shall tremble, the sunne and the moon shall be prise was sudden, and the rout complete ; for the arus. dark, and the starres shall withdraw their shining.» lery and cavalry did execution upon them for about

In verse 20th also, which announces the retreat of four miles, pursuing at the gallop as often as they get the northern army, described in such dreadful colours, beyond the range of the guns. into a « land barren and desolate,» and the dishonour

Note 17. Conclusion. Stanza a with which God afflicted them for having « magnified

Vainly thy squadroas bide Asseava's plaia, themselves to do great things,» there are particulars

And front the flying thunders as they roar, pot inapplicable to the retreat of Masséna ; Divine Pro

With frantic charge and tenfold odds, in vain! vidence having, in all ages, attached disgrace as the na

In the severe action of Fuentes d'Honoro, upon itt tural punishment of cruelly and presumption.

May, 180, the grand mass of the French cavalry Note 15. Conclusion. Stanza vii.

tacked the right of the British position, covered by two Tbe rudest sentinel, in Britain born,

guns of the horse-artillery, and two squadrons of a

valry. After suffering considerably from the fire of Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch forlorn.

the guns, which annoyed them in every attempt 21 Even the unexampled gallantry of the British army formation, the enemy turned their wrath entirely from in the campaign of 1810-11, although they never wards them, distributed brandy among their troopers, fought but to conquer, will do them less honour in his and advanced to carry the field-pieces with the despre tory than their humanity, attentive to soften to the ut-ration of drunken fury. They were in no ways checked most of their power the horrors which war, in its by the heavy loss which they sustained in this danas mildest aspect, must always inflict upon the defence-attempt, but closed, and fairly mingled with the Britze less inhabitants of the country in which it is waged, cavalry, to whom they bore the proportion of test and which, on this occasion, were tenfold augmented one. Captain Ramsay (let me be permitted to fame : by the barbarous cruelties of the French Soup- gallant countryman), who commanded the two EE, kitchens were established by subscription among the dismissed them at the gallop, and, putting himseis officers, wherever tbe troops were quartered for any the head of the mounted artillerymen, ordered them is length of time. The commissaries contributed the fall upon the French, sabre in hand. This very unesheads, feet, etc. of the cattle slaughtered for the sol. pected conversion of artillerymen into dragoons con diery; rice, vegetables, and bread, where it could be buted greatly to the defeat of the enemy, already work had, were purchased by the officers. Fifty or sixty concerted by the reception they had met from the two starving peasants were daily fed at one of these regi- British squadrons; and the appearance of some simt mental establishments, and carried home the relics to reinforcements, notwithstanding the immense dispor their famished households. The emaciated wretches, portion of force, put them to absolute rout. Acom wbo could not crawl from weakness, were speedily em- or major of their cavalry, and many prisoners ans ployed in pruning their vines. While pursuing Masséna, all intoxicated), remained in our possession. T the soldiers evinced the same spirit of humanity; and, who consider for a moment the difference of the con in many instances, when reduced themselves to short vices, and how much an artilleryman is necessary : allowance, from having out-marched their supplies, naturally led to identify his own safety and utints *. they shared their pittance with the starving inhabitants abiding by the tremendous implement of war, 1 who had ventured back to view the ruins of their habi-exercise of which he is chiefly, if not exclusively tr: tations, burnt by the retreating enemy, and to bury the ed, will know how to estimate the presence of er bodies of their relations whom they had butchered.- which commanded so bold a mancuvre, and the ski Is it possible to know such facts without feeling a ness and confidence with which it was executed. sort of confidence, that those who so well deserve vic

Note 18. Conclusion. Stanza .. tory are most likely to attain it?-It is not the least of

And what avails thee that, for C. eos slain, Lord Wellington's military merits, that the slightest dis

Wild from his paided ranks the yell was give position towards marauding meets immediate punishment. Independently of all moral obligation, the army

The gallant Colonel Cameron was wounded mom which is most orderly in a friendly country, has always

during the desperate contest in the streets of the Bill proved most formidable to an armed enemy.

called Fuentes d'Honoro. He fell at the head of "

native Highlanders, the 71st and oth, who ra Note 16. Conclusion. Stanza viji.

a dreadful shriek of grief and rage. They cher Vain-glorious fugitive!

with irresistible fury, the finest body of French ? The French conducted this memorable retreat with diers ever seen, being a part of Buonaparte's soles much of the fanfarronade proper to their country, by guard. The officer who led the French, a man recar which they attempt to impose upon others, and per-| able for stature and symmetry, was killed on the spark haps on themselves, a belief that they are triumphing The Frenchman who stepped out of lus rank to in the very moment of their discomfiture. On the 30th aim at Colonel Caincron, was also bayoneted, and March, 1811, their rear-guard was overtaken near Pega | with a thousand wounds, and almost torn to preces by the British cavalry. Being well posted, and conceiv- the furious Highlanders, who, under the com a ing themselves safe from infantry (who were indeed Colonel Cadogan, bore the enemy out of the code many miles in the rear), and from artillery, they in- ground at the point of the bayonet. Massena poras

countrymen a singular compliment in his account of able manner in which these opinions have been retractthe attack and defence of this village, in which he says, ed. The success of this plan, with all its important the British lost many officers, and Scotch.

consequences, we owe to the indefatigable exertions of Note 19. Conclusion. Stanza xiv..

Field-Marshal Beresford.
O wbo shall grudge him Albuera's bays,

Note 20. Conclusion. Stanza xvii.
Who brought a race regenerate to the field,

- a race renown'd of old,
Roused them to emulate their fathers' praise,

Whose war-cry oft has waked the baule-swell.
Temper'd their beadlong rage, their courage steel'd.

This stanza alludes to the various achievements of Nothing during the war of Portugal seems, to a dis-l the warlike family of Grame, or Graham. They are tinct observer, more deserving of praise, than the self

said, by tradition, to have descended from the Scottish devotion of Field-Marshal Beresford, who was contented

chief, under whose command his countrymen stormed to undertake all the hazard of obloquy which might the wall built by the Emperor Severus between the have been founded upon any miscarriage in the highly friths of Forth and Clyde, the fragments of which are important experiment of training the Portuguese troops still popularly called Grame's Dyke. Sir John the to an improved state of discipline. In exposing his Grseme, « the bardy, wight, and wise,» is well known military reputation to the censure of imprudence from las the friend of Sir William Wallace. Alderne, Kilthe most moderate, and all manner of unutterable ca-l syth, and Tibbermuir, were scenes of the victories of lumnies from the ignorant and malignant, he placed at the heroic Marquis of Montrose. The pass of Killystake the dearest pledge which a military man had to crankie is famous for the action between King Wiloffer, and nothing but the deepest conviction of the Iliam's forces and the Highlanders in 1689, high and essential importance attached to success can

Where glad Dundee in faint huzzas expired. be supposed an adequate motive. How great the chance of miscarriage was supposed, may be estimated from It is seldom that one line can number so many hethe general opinion of officers of unquestioned talents roes, and yet more rare when it can appeal to the and experience, possessed of every opportunity of in- glory of a living descendant in support of its ancient formation ; how completely the experiment has suc- renown. ceeded, and how much the spirit and patriotism of our | The allusions to the private history and character of ancient allies had been under-rated, is evident, not only General Graham may be illustrated by referring to the from those victories in which they have borne a distin- cloquent and affecting speech of Mr Sheridan, upon the guished share, but from the liberal and highly honour vote of thanks to the victor of Barrossa.

The Field of Waterloo :

A POEM.

Though Valois braved young Edward's gentle hand,
And Albert rush'd on Henry's way-worn band,
With Europe's chosen sons in arms renown'd,
Yet not on Vere's bold archers long they look d.
Nor Audley's squires nor Mowbray's yeomen brook'd
They saw their standard fall, and left their monarch bound.

AKENSIDE

TO HER GRACE THE DUCHESS OF WELLINGTON,

PRINCESS OF WATERLOO, ETC., ETC., ETC.
The following Uerses are most respectfully Inscribed,

BY THE AUTHOR.

THE

FIELD OF WATERLOO.

Thy wood, dark Soignies, holds us now,
Where the tall beeches' glossy bough
For many a league around,
With birch and darksome oak between,
Spreads deep and far a pathless screen,

Of tangled forest ground.
Stems planted close by stems defy
The adventurous foot--the curious eye

For access seeks in vain!
And the brown tapestry of leaves,
Strew'd on the blighted ground, receives

Nor sun, nor air, nor rain.

FAIR BRUSSELS, thou art far behind,
Though, lingering on the morning wind,

We yet may hear the hour
Peald over orchard and canal,
With voice prolong'd and measured fall,

From proud Saint Michael's tower.

And where the earth seems scorch'd by flame,
To dress the homely feast they came,
And toild the kerchiefd village dame

Around her fire of straw.)

No opening glade dawns on our way,
No streamlet, glancing to the ray,

Our woodland path has cross'd;
And the straight causeway which we tread
Proloogs a line of dull arcade,
Unvarying through the unvaried shade,
Until in distance lost.

II.
A brighter, livelier scene succeeds;
In groups the scattering wood recedes,
Hedge-rows, and huts, and sunny meads,

And corn-fields glance between;
The peasant, at his labour blithe,
Plies the hook'd staff and shorten'd scythe :-(1)

But when these ears were green, Placed close within destruction's scope, Full little was that rustic's hope

Their ripening to have seen!
And, lo, a hamlet and its fane:-
Let not the gazer with disdain

Their architecture view;
For yonder rude ungraceful shrine,
And disproportion'd spire, are tline,
Immortal WATERLOO !

JII.
Fear not the heat, though full and high
The sun has scorch'd the autumn sky,
And scarce a forest straggler now
To shade us spreads a green-wood bough.
These ficlds have scen a hotter day
Than e'er was fired by sunny ray.
Yet one mile on--yon shatter'd hedge
Crests the soft bill whose long smooth ridge

Looks on the field below,
And sinks so gently on the dale,
That not the folds of Beauty's veil

In easier curves can Now.
Brief space from thence, the ground again,
Ascending slowly from the plain,

Forms an opposing screen,
Which, with its crest of upland ground,
Shuts the horizon all around.

The soften'd vale between
Slopes smooth and fair for courser's tread;
Not the most timid maid need dread
To give her snow-white palfrey head

On that wide stubble-ground.
Nor wood, nor tree, nor bush are there,
Her course to intercept or scare,

Nor fosse nor fence are found,
Save where, from out her shatter'd bowers,
Rise Hougoumont's dismantled towers.

So deem'st thou-50 each mortal deems,
Of that which is from that which seems :

But other harvest here
Than that which peasant's scythe demands,
Was gather'd in by sterner lands,

With bayonet, blade, and spear.
No vulgar crop was theirs to reap,
No stinted harvest thin and cheap!
Ileroes before each fatal sweep

Fell thick as ripen'd grain;
And ere the darkening of the day,
Piled high as autumn shocks, there lay
The ghastly harvest of the fray,
The corpses of the slain.

VI.
Ay, look again that line so black
And trampled marks the bivouack,
Yon deep-graved ruts, the artillery's track,

So often lost and won :
And close beside, the harden'd mud
Still shows where, fetlock-deep in blood,
The fierce dragoon, through battle's flood,

Dash'd the hot war-horse on.
These spots of excavation tell
The ravage of the bursting shell-
And feel'st thou not the tainted steam,
That reeks against the sultry beam,

From yonder trenched mound?
The pestilential fumes declare
That Carnage has replenish'd there

ller garner-house profound.

VII.

Far other harvest-home and feast,
Than claims the boor from scythe released,

On those scorch'd fields were known!
Death hover'd o'er the maddening rout,
And, in the thrilling battle-shout,
Sent for the bloody banquet out

A summons of his own.
Through rolling smoke the demon's eye
Could well each destined guest espy,
Well could his ear in ecstasy

Distinguish every tone
That fill'd the chorus of the fray-
From cannon-roar and trumpet-bray,
From charging squadrons' wild hurra,
From the wild clang that mark'd their way,-

Down to the dying groan, And the last sob of life's decay

When breath was all but flown.

JV. Now, seest thou aught in this lone scene Can tell of that which late hath been!

A stranger might reply, « The bare extent of stubble-plain Seems lately lightend of its grain; And yonder sable tracks remain, Marks of the peasants ponderous wain,

When harvest-home was nigh. On these broad spots of trampled ground, Perchance the rusties danced such round

As Teniers loved to draw;

VIII.
Feast on, stern foe of mortal life,
Feast on!--but think not that a strife,
With such promiscuous carnage rife,

Protracted space may last;
The deadly tug of war at length
Must limits find in human strength,

And cease when these are passid.

Vain hope!-that morn's o'erclouded sun Heard the wild shout of fight begun

Ere he attain'd his height,
And through the war-smoke volumed high
Still peals that unremitted cry,

Though now he stoops to night.
For ten long hours of doubt and dread,
Fresh succours from the extended head
Of either bill the contest fed ;

Still down the slope they drew,
The charge of columns paused not,
Nor ceased the storm of shell and shot;

For all that war could do,
Of skill and force, was proved that day,
And turn'd cot yet the doubtful fray

On bloody Waterloo.

Three hundred cannon-mouths roar'd loud,
And from their throats, with flash and cloud,

Their showers of iron threw,
Beneath their fire, in full career,
Rush'd on the ponderous cuirassier,
The lancer couch'd his ruthless spear,
And burrying as to havoc near,

The cohorts' eagles flew.
Jo one dark torrent broad and strong, "
The advancing onset roll along,
Forth harbinger'd by fierce acclaim,
That from the shroud of smoke and flame,
Peald wildly the imperial name.

[ocr errors]

Pale Brussels! then what thoughts were thine, (2)
When ceaseless from the distant line

Continued thunders came!
Each burgher held his breath to hear
These forerunners of havoc near,

Of rapide and of flame.
What chastly sights were thine to meet,
When rolling through thy stately street,
The wounded show'd their mangled plight
In token of the unfinish'd fight,
And from each anguish-laden wain
The blood-drops laid thy dust like rain!
How often in the distant drum
Heard'st thou the fell Invader come,
While Ruin, shouting to his band,
Shook high her torch and gory brand !
Cheer thee, fair city! From yon stand,
Impatient, still his outstretch'd hand

Points to his prey in vain, .
While maddening in his eager mood,
And all unwont to be withstood,

He fires the fight again.

XII.
But on the British heart were lost
The terrors of the charging host;
For not an eye the storm that view'd
Changed its proud glance of fortitude,
Nor was one forward footstep staid,
As dropp'd the dying and the dead.
Fast as their ranks the thunders tear,
Fasi they renew'd each serried square ;
And on the wounded and the slain
Closed their diminish'd files again,
Till from their line scarce spears' length three,
Emerging from the smoke they see
Helmet and plume and panoply,-

Then waked their fire at once !
Each musketeer's revolving knell,
As fast, as regularly fell, .
As when they practise to display
Their discipline on festal day.

Then down wept helm and lance,
Down were the eagle banners sent,
Down reeling steeds and riders went,
Corslets were pierced, and pendons rent;

And to augment the fray,
Wheeld full against their staggering flanks,
The English horsemen's foaming ranks

Forced their resistless way.
Then to the musket-knell succeeds
The clash of swords—the neigh of steeds-
As plies the smith his clanging trade,
Against the cuirass rang the blade; (6)
And while amid their close array
The well-served cannon rent their way,
And while amid their scatter'd band
Raged the fierce rider's bloody brand,
Recoild in common rout and fear,
Lancer and guard and cuirassier,
Horsemen and foot,-a mingled host,
Their leaders fall'n, their standards lost.

[ocr errors]

« On! On!» was still his stern exclaim,
« Confront the battery's jaws of flame!

Rush on the levell'd gun! (3)
My steel-clad cuirassiers, advance! .
Each Hulan forward with his lance,
My Guard-my chosen--charge for France,

France and Napoleon!» Loud answer'd their acclaiming shout, Greeting the mandate which sent out Their bravest and their best to dare The fate their leader shunnd to share. (4) But He, his country's sword and shield, Still in the battle-front reveald, Where danger fiercest swept the held,

Came like a beam of light, In action prompt, in sentence brief«Soldiers, stand firm !» exclaim'd the chief,

« England shall tell the tight!»(5)

XIII.
Then, Wellington! thy piercing eye
This crisis caught of destiny.

The British host had stood
That morn 'gaiost charge of sword and lance,
As their own ocean-rocks hold stance,
But when thy voice had said « Advance !»

They were their ocean's flood. O thou, whose ipauspicious aim Hath wrought thy host this hour of shame, Think'st thou thy broken bands will bide The terrors of yon rushing tide ?

XI. On came the whirlwind-like the last But fiercest sweep of tempest blast On came the whirlwind-steal-gleams broke Like lightning through the rolling smoke.

The war was waked anew;

« 前へ次へ »