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woman. (Mr. Rellstab, by the way, is The affair of Smolensko, bloody particularly given to having his billing though it was, was a trifling skirmish and cooing done where cannons are compared with the terrible battle of roaring and bullets are flying,' amidst the Borodino, excellently well dedeath-wounds and conflagration.) But scribed by Mr. Rellstab. This was a we cannot abide, or read with common profitless battle-nay, a disastrous patience, even though we know it to be one to the victors, whose numerical mere fiction,-for surely no men wear loss rather exceeded that of the vaning boots, breeches, a soldier's coat, quished; and the Russians, little and sword on hip, ever descended to ruffled by their defeat, might almost such Sporus-like familiarities,—an have renewed the strife the following account of soldiers kissing and slab- day, had it so pleased them. Another bering each other like a set of senti- such victory would have been the ruin mental school-girls parting for the of the French. But it did not accord holidays. Bernard the painter, a with Russian tactics to give them anvery worthy fellow, and efficient man. other chance. The invaders' doom at-arms, and withal a bit of a cynic, awaited them there, where they antideparts from his natural character, and cipated safety and repose-in the falls at once a hundred per cent. in our ancient city of the Czars, imperial estimation, when we read of his im- Moscow. The insignificant spoils of printing “a soft brother's kiss upon the action that had cost them so much Ludwig's lips.” Having done this, blood, made it evident to the French however, he announces his resolution host that the triumph was but nomito avoid for the future softness of all nal. What were a few hundred prikinds, and to stand “like a veteran soners, and four-and-twenty guns, after pilot, cold and calm amidst the storm such a tremendous day's slaughter? of fate.”. Nevertheless, when Ludwig “ It is the sun of Austerlitz!" Nalearns his mother's decease, we find poleon, with his accustomed clap-trap, the artist relapsing into the nasty had said upon the morning of the weakness, clasping his friend in his fight. Like that of Austerlitz, the arms, and pressing “a long kiss upon sun set upon a victory; but how difhis lips." The same sort of mandlin ferent in its results! is of frequent recurrence throughout descendants,” said Napoleon, in one the book. Formerly very prevalent of his unrivalled and spirit-stirring upon the continent, the practice of proclamations,“ make it their chief embracing amongst men is sensibly on boast that their ancestors fought in the decline, or rather it has become that great battle before the walls of modified, for the most part, into a Moscow !" How few who shared in sort of meaningless hug, compounded that day's perils and glories ever reof a clasp round the body, and a grin turned to their native land, to boast over the shoulder. There is no harm the exploits or bewail the mishaps in this, if it amuse the actors, or is in of the most unfortunate campaign any way gratifying to their feelings. the world's military history can The last time we saw the ceremony show! The action of the Borodino, gone through, by a couple of bearded claimed as a victory by the French, big-paunched Frenchmen, we thought although in reality a drawn battle, they looked rather conscious of the inspired Napoleon's host with no feelabsurdity of the exhibition, and more ings of exultation. The losses were than half ashamed of it. Anything too tremendous—the advantages too beyond this, anything like contact of problematical. Still, the fight-or ehins, lips, cheeks, or mustaches, is rather the voluntary retreat of the nauseous, and degrades any male Russians during the following nightanimal of the genus homo, superior in opened the road to Moscow, and this moral dignity to a French man- gave fresh spirits to the army; not milliner, or a German student drunk that they rejoiced and triumphed at with beer. Let not, however, our occupying the second capital of Russia, rightful disgust be misinterpreted. but because they well knew that There are kisses that are hallowed in Moscow was a further stage upon history. Such was the kiss of Hardy the only road by which they would be apon the cheek of Nelson.
permitted to return to France, Ger
6 Let your
many, Italy, Switzerland—to all the the tall, dead walls; so that, when
first time a refreshing sound was “The streets through which they heard—a confused jumble of human passed made a strange impression: voices and warlike stir. It was a alive with the clang of war, they yet party of the inhabitants, collected in were deadly still, for the houses on a dark swarm round a train of corts either hand stood like silent tombs, conveying provisions and wounded whence no sound or sign of life pro- men, who had not been soon enough ceeded. Not a single chinney smoked. got out of the city. A few Cossacks, The cupolas of the cathedr:1 glittered left behind to escort them, spurred in shining gold, encircled with wreaths their active little horses and quickly of green; the pillars of palaces towered disappeared in the maze of streets, in lofty magnificence. But the glories uninjured by the bullets sent after of this noble architecture resembled them. Suddenly, from the Kremlin, the dismal finery of a corpse laid out at whose doors the French had now in state for a last melancholy exhi- arrived, issued a horrible uproar of bition, so mute, so rigid was all it howling voices. Rasinski, at the enclosed. This mixture of the wanton noise of the firing, had galloped to splendour of life with the profound the head of the column, followed by stillness and solitude of death was so Bernard, to ascertain its cause; and painful, that it oppressed the hearts even his manly heart, long accustomed of those rough warriors, who as yet, to sounds and perils of every descrip however, were far from suspecting tion, beat quickly at the ghastly the terrible truth.
tumult. His eye followed the direc“For two hours the troops had per- tion given by his ear, and he beheld, ambulated this stony desert, in whose upon the Kremlin's walls, a group of labyrinthine mazes they became ever hideous figures, both men and women, more deeply involved. Their progress furiously gesticulating, and evidently was of the slowest, for the King of resolved to defend the entrance to the Naples, still refusing to believe what holy fortress. The women's tangled each moment rendered more apparent, and dishevelled hair, the wild bristling was in constant expectation of a sur- beards of the men, the distorted fed prise, and could not banish the idea tures and frantic gestures of all, their that the foe cunningly inveigled him horrible cries, and rags, and filth, and into this confused and treacherous barbarous weapons, composed a picnetwork of streets and lanes, in order ture frightful beyond expression. the better suddenly to assail him. He •What! cried Rasinski, with a start, therefore sent strong detachments into 'has hell sent against us its most every side street, to seek the enemy hideous demons ? Are they men or supposed to lurk there. None was spectres ? inquired the shuddering detected. A dreadful stillness reigned Bernard. Again the grisly band set in the huge city, where erst the din of up their wild and horrid shriek, and traffic deafened every ear. There was shots were fired from the wall into the heard but the dull, hollow hoof tramp compact mass of soldiers. The King of the horses, and the jar of the of Naples waved a white handkerweapons, dismally reverberated from chief in sign of truce, and called to
Rasinski to tell the people in their but the fanatical patriotism of the own language that no harm should unfortunates made mercy impossible. be done to them if they abandoned Like ferocious beasts, they threw their useless and desperate opposition. themselves upon their foes, thinking Rasinski rode forward, but scarcely only of destroying all they could. One had he uttered the first word of peace, raging madman, armed with a treewhen his voice was drowned in a branch, fashioned into a huge club, horrid yell, whilst the women furi- struck down two Frenchmen, and ously beat their breasts and tore their with a few agile leaps was close to the hair. Once more Rasinski called to King of Naples-as usual foremost in them to yield. Therenpon a woman danger-when Rasinski sprang forof colossal stature, whose loosened ward and cut at him with his sabre. hair fell wildly on her shoulders, But the blow fell flat; with the fury sprang upon a turret of the wall. of a goaded hound, the wounded man Dog!' she cried, ' with my leeih will sprang upon the Count, dragged him I rend thee, like a hungry wolf her with giant strength from his saddle, prey! Robber! thou shalt be torn hurled him to the ground, and threw like the hunter who despoils the she- himself upon him. In a moment Berbear of her cubs! Curse upon ye, nard was of his horse, and, grappling murderers of our sons and husbands! the lunatic, who strove to throttle Curse upon ye, spoilers of our cities ! Rasinski, pulled him violently backA triple curse upon the godless crew, wards.
A French officer sprang to who defile our holy altars, and scoff his assistance. With the greatest the Almighty with a devil's tongue ! difficulty they unlocked the fierce Woe shall be your portion, worse grasp in which the Russian held your sufferings than those of the Rasinski ; and when this was done the damned in the sulphur-pit! Curses, wretch gnashed his teeth, and strove eternal curses upon ye all !!
to use them on his prostrated opponent. “Rasinski shuddered. This me- But Rasinski had now an arm at nacing figure, although fearful to be- liberty, and when his furious foe hold, excited not loathing. Wide advanced his head to bite, he struck robes of black and grey shrouded the him with his clenched fist so severe a person of the Pythoness; a blood-red blow in the mouth, that a thick dark cloth, half cap, half turban, was stream of blood gushed over his breast twined around her head. Her griz- and face. Nevertheless, the barbarian zled hair fluttered in the wind, her yielded not, but made head against glittering eye rolled wildly in its the three men with all the prodigious orbit, whilst her open mouth poured strength of his muscular body, until forth curses, and her upraised' hands a bullet from the pistol of a dragoon, appealed to heaven to fulfil them. who coolly put the muzzle to his
"Summoning all his strength, Ra. breast and shot him through the heart, sinski once more shouted, in his lion- laid him lifeless on the ground.” like voice
Convinced at last that the city is * • Madmen! do you reject mercy ?' theirs without opposition, the French
" Another wild howl, accompanied take up their quarters. Rasinski estawith threatening gestures, drowned blishes himself with his friends in a his words. By a sign he warned the spacious palace, full of corridors, stair. King that all was in vain, and Murat cases, and long suites of rooms, remindgave orders to burst open the door. ing us in some degree of one of Mrs. The artillery was already unliinbered, Radcliffe's castles. Here some welland three shuts, whose thunder re- managed scenes occur. Voices and sounded fearfully in the empty city, footsteps are heard, and Ludwig has crashed through the barrier, which a dream “that is not all a dream,” broke and shivered at the shock. As in which Bianca appears to him, warnit opened, a dense throng of the mad ing of danger, and bidding bim fly. Russians streamed out, and dashed As token of her real presence, she headlong into the French ranks. The leaves him a bracelet--the same by invaders would fain have spared them, picking up which he first made her for they were too few to prompt a acquaintance-and a letter, a mystepowerful foe to needless bloodshed; rious sort of missive, like that by which
the gunpowder plot was discovered, soon we get into the open in which she hints at danger under country.' ground. Rasinski, who has been dis. “ • Not he,' replied Rasinski. 'He turbed by a dark figure passing through will not deprive the soldier, who has his room, at which he fires a pistol plodded wearily over two-thirds of without effect, institutes a search Europe, of the recompense of oft-prothrough the palace. In the cellars mised booty. But my word for it, they are met by a smell of sulphur, before this day is over, the fellows and presently the building shakes will of themselves begin to throw their with the explosion of a mine. They ballast overboard. See yonder, those hurry up to their apartments, and find two men, they look like officers' serthem full of smoke. Just then the vants. Have they not gone and barstillness of the night is broken by nessed themselves to a hand-cart, and shouts of fire, and by sounds of drums now draw their load wearily after and trumpets. Moscow is in flames. them! Not six hours will their
And now begins, with the com- strength endure; but blinded by avamencement of Mr. Rellstab's third vo- rice, they forget the eight hundred lume, the prodigious retreat from Mos- leagues that lie between this and cow to Paris. It occupies six books Paris. And yonder lines of heavyout of the sixteen into which “1812” laden carts, how long will their axles is divided; and however the interest hold ? And if one breaks, whence is of the other ten may occasionally be it to be replaced ? It is as much as found drawn out and flagging, it must the artillery can do to supply their be admitted that these six are of in. deficiencies. The Emperor looks illtense and enthralling interest. From pleased at all this encumbrance, but a rising ground near Moscow, Rasin- he leaves it to time to teach them the ski and his friends obtained a bird's- impossibility of their undertaking. eye view of the retreating multitude, There is a wagon down! do you see? just as, encumbered by spoil, exas one who will leave at half-a-league perated by unwonted
and from Moscow all that he had probably disappointment, their blood, impo- reckoned upon conveying to Paris. verished by previous privations, now
“ The cart which Rasinski saw upset inflamed to fever by brief but furious was overloaded with plunder; an axle excesses in the palaces and wine cel- had broken, and it lay in the middle lars of the Russian nobles, they started of the road, stopping the passage. upon their weary march.
There was an instant check in the “In three broad streams the enor- whole column. From the rear came mous mass of men and baggage poured angry cries of “Forward ! for all across the fields, issuing forth in inex- felt that the utmost exertion was nehaustible numbers from the ruins of cessary to make way through the Moscow, whilst the head of the column throng and bustle. The very density disappeared in the blue and misty dis- of the crowd impeded movement, so tance. And besides this main body, that an accident diminishing the numthe plain to the right and left was ber of carts was a matter of self-gracovered with scattered horsemen and tulation to the others. As the broken pedestrians.
vehicle could not immediately move “6 What is to become of it all ?' said on, and there was no room to turn it Rasinski, gazing down on the throng. aside, the driver of one of the follow*How is an army to move with such ing carts called out to clear it away baggage? Fortunately the first charge at any rate. “Throw the lumber out of Cossacks will rid us of at least half of the road! every one for himself the encumbrance. What blind greedi- here! we cannot wait half the day for ness has presided at the collection of one man. Lend a hand, comrades; the spoil! How many have laden unharness the horses, and pitch the themselves with useless burdens, rubbish into the fields.' Înstantly, under which they are destined to twenty, thirty, fisty arms were extendsink!
ed to obey the suggestion. In vain “• I shall be much surprised,' said the owner of the cart stormed and Jaromir, “ if the Emperor does not swore, and strove to defend his prohave the entire plunder burned so perty. In two minutes he was sur
rounded on all sides; and not only left behind, and the horses taken for was the cart pillaged of all it con- the artillery; for which purpose, before tained, but the horses were unharness- reaching Smolensko, every second man ed, the wheels taken off, and the body in the cavalry was deprived of his of the vehicle broken up and thrown charger. Although winter had not aside ; so that the road was once more yet set in, there were frosts every clear. The howling fury of the plun- night, and the slippery roads trebled dered man was drowned in the scorn- the fatigues of the attenuated and ill ful laughter of the bystanders; no shod horses. After a short time, one troubled his head about the mat- every means of transport, not monoter, or dreamed of affording assistance polized by the guns, was required by to the despoiled individual, who the sick, wounded, and weary; and might consider himself fortunate that nobody thought of possessing more his horses were left bim.
baggage than he could carry with him. 6 "If this happens on the first day's And even the trophies selected in march, at the gates of Moscow,' ob- Moscow by Napoleon's order, to served Rasinski, . what is to be ex- throw dust in the eyes of the Parispected when an enemy threatens these ians,--splendid bronze ornaments from heavy-laden masses ? Yonder ma- the palaces, outlandish cannon (the rauder has saved nothing but his pair spoils of Russia in her eastern wars), of lean horses. The others may think and the cross of St. Ivan, wrenched themselves lucky if they save as much from the tower of the Kremlin,—were from the first feint-attack of half a sunk in a lake by the roadside. Soon hundred Cossacks! The fellow now snow was the sole pillow, and horsehowling and cursing is the luckiest of flesh the best nourishinent, of the them all; for he is the first relieved broken and dispirited army. from his useless drudgery. This very At Smolensko, Ludwig and Berday he will have abundant opportu- nard, when seeking in the storehouses nity to laugh and scoff in his turn, of the depot a supply of shoes for the perhaps at his despoilers themselves. regiment, suddenly find themselves And before a week is over, he will bless face to face with their old enemies, his stars that he has been saved the Beaucaire and the Baron de St. Luces, profitless toil. The difference is who have them arrested as spies of merely that he loses to-day what Russia. Prevented from communicatothers will lose to-morrow and the day ing with Rasinski, who is suddenly aster: of all these thousands not one ordered off
' and compelled to march will ultimately profit by his booty.' without them, they undergo a sort of
“ The prognostications of the expe- mock examination in the grey of the rienced soldier were speedily verified. morning, and are led out of the town The track of the French army was to be shot. The place appointed for marked first by abandoned spoils, then their execution is a snow-covered hilby the bodies of the spoilers. Napo- lock, a few hundred yards from the leon's soldiers were little accustomed walls, and close to the extremity of a to retreats, and seemed to imagine thick pine wood. They are escorted that, now, they had condescended to by thirty men, and an escape appears commence one, the enemy would show impossible. Nevertheless Bernard, his surprise and respect by abstaining hopeful and energetic, despairs not of from molesting them. Such at least accomplishing it, and communicates is the only plausible way of explain- his intentions to Ludwig. ing the infatuation that loaded with Seizing a favourable moment, the most cumbersome plunder the Bernard suddenly knocked down the multitude of men who, on the 16th two foremost soldiers, sprang from September, 1812, turned their backs amongst his giards, and shouting to upon the blazing turrets of Moscow. Ludwig to follow, bounded like a roeNothing was too clumsy or heavy to buck towards the forest. He had cleared be carried off; but ultimately nothing the way for Ludwig, who, prepared was found portable enough to be car- for the signal, availed himselt of the ried through the fatigues and dangers opening, and sped across the snowy of the winter march. Baggage and field. The soldiers stood astounded. superfluous munition-carts were soon 'Fire !' cried the officer; and a few