« 前へ次へ »
and all this greenery cast warm, dancing shadows over their faces that made the look of them still more fantastic and strange.
The whole battalion passed onward and was swallowed 5 up in the city gate. As it disappeared we heard a strange
noise like the clanking of chains or the rattle of loose iron, and then came four men hauling after them a rusty truck on which was a cannon. These men were harnessed to
the truck as are oxen to the plow, and, like oxen, pulled 10 from head and shoulders. With every muscle at full
stretch they bent forward to their heavy task. Following this truck came another and still another. Gasping though the men were for breath, and almost spent with
weariness, yet they too raised their heads and shouted as 15 they passed through our ranks,“ Long live the nation!”
Day was dawning as we began our march with the battalion, and soon we were on the highroad under a blazing sun, kicking up the dust like twenty flocks of sheep and making our throats as dry as limekilns.
In spite of heat, and dust, in spite of thirst and weariness, no one complained as we tramped steadily on, one body and one soul, with one will and one aim, — and that to make the traitor king and those Parisians who were traitors with him cry mercy.
At midday we reached Orange, where the whole town came to meet us. I can tell
you I was a proud boy as I
entered that town! From my shoes to my eyebrows I was white with dust. My red cap was cocked over one
I kept my eyes glaringly wide open, so as to look fierce and dangerous. I howled the “Marseillaise" at the top of my voice as I marched — and I was sure that 5 no one saw or heard anybody but me!
Hours went by; onward we marched through the black night. Oh, how long was that night and how weary that road! The darkness grew blacker and blacker. We were too tired to talk. The only sounds we heard were the 10 rumbling of the cannon on the road and the chirping of crickets and croaking of frogs in the darkness near us in the fields. Drowsily we plodded on.
At last we came to a village just as the dawn began to whiten the sky. On the straw of some threshing floors 15 we laid ourselves down for an hour's sleep. At sunrise we were in line again. This time I stationed myself in the rear, beside the
A tremendous longing to help pull the guns had taken hold of me, for I thought that if only I could 20 be harnessed up with the others in that hard work I should not seem so young. I fancied to myself how I should look as we passed through the towns and villages
bending over and tugging at the straps, my eyes wide open and rolling ferociously, and all the while shout- 25 ing in a voice as hoarse as I could make it, “Liberty forever !
“Your turn will come in good time, little man,” I was told. “We are not in Paris yet, and before we get there you will have quite. enough to do to carry your bundle and your gun and your sword, that is a good deal longer 5 than you are !
This setback made me turn red with shame; but suddenly the drum beat the quickstep and we steadied our lines. We were entering a town crowded with people. After a short halt, we went to encamp beside a river.
How delicious it was to go down on one's elbows and stretch out at full length on the soft grass in the shade of the poplars and willows. I let my head fall between my hands and watched with great interest an ant who was
carrying through the grass a crumb of bread bigger than 15 himself. The little creature would get lost in a thick
tangle of grass blades, or would slip down from a tall stem. In pity for him I would take a twig and help him on his way, putting the twig under him very gently so
as not to hurt him, and so lifting him over a hard pass 20 that would have cost him an hour of climbing to get over alone. And so the afternoon wore away.
We marched all night. Now we were coming to the frontiers of the north. There were no more olive trees and the soft sea wind of the Mediterranean was far away.
. 25 But this was only the beginning of the march. We went
steadily on, drinking the water of brooks and ditches, and taking only snatches of sleep as the chance came.
The endless road was always the same long, weary way. Footsore, hungry, weary, still we toiled on. Some of the men began to drag behind, limping on bleeding feet, but they struggled bravely along. To drown the murmurs of pain, which even the best of them could not 5 wholly stifle, we sang the “ Marseillaise.” And at last, after days of weariness and hunger and thirst, we saw on the edge of the green plain the towers and spires of Paris.
A great crowd followed us into the city, — drawn on 10 partly by the steady roll of the drums, but more strongly by the terrible chant of the “ Marseillaise,” which all the five hundred men of the battalion sang in one tremendous voice. Soon the crowd caught the words of the chorus and sang with us; and then it was no longer five hun- 15 dred, but a thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand, singers, singing with one voice.
Our weeks and weeks of marching were over. Now it seemed as if a great mountain were galloping after us, with its peaks and valleys and forests shaken and riven 20 by the avalanche, the tempest, the earthquake of God!
king of France : Louis XVI. — Avignon (ä-věn-yoN'): a city in the southeastern part of France. Marseillais (mär-sd-ya') : men from the city of Marseille. the “ Marseillaise" (mär-să-yāz'): the famous war song of the French Revolution, composed in 1792. — tricolor cockade: a cockade of red, white, and blue, which are the French colors as well as the American.
- Orange: a town in France near Avignon.
WE SEE DIMLY IN THE PRESENT
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
Once to every man and nation comes the moment to
decide, In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil
Some great cause, God's new Messiah, offering each the
bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the
right, 5 And the choice goes by forever 'twixt that darkness and
We see dimly in the Present what is small and what is great, Slow of faith how weak an arm may turn the iron helm
of fate, But the soul is still oracular; amid the market's din, List the ominous stern whisper from the Delphic cave
within, 10 “ They enslave their children's children who make com
promise with sin.”
Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her
wretched crust, Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and 't is prosperous
to be just;