Abbildungen der Seite


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

three other projectiles. Soon we sponsibility. His colonel had gone made out three 6-pounder pieces, drunk into action. Grant asked blazing away at a large boat in the second lieutenant-colonel to line with residence." It put their superior under arrest. was only the king's collectors get- That gentleman angrily declined ting in his taxes, and taking pot- the invidious duty.

« So early shots at the warlike and impe- next morning I went to the colonel cunious peasants, who much pre- in his tent, and I spoke thus ferred fighting to paying. When to him. "You know you were the cannonade grew hotter, they very drunk yesterday, sir, when took to the water, and struck out you led us into action. I have for the English shore. “Ten of the come to tell you that if you do not fugitives were killed, seven were at once leave the regiment, I will wounded, and only three reached now put you under arrestand report the bank, so severely mauled that your conduct.'” The colonel, not

' their escape was a marvel. Such unnaturally, took the initiative, was the rule of the Oude Govern- and it was Grant who went under ment,”—which certainly was doing arrest, charged with a false and its best to provoke annexation. calumnious accusation. There was

Since Clive decided for battle at “a great to-do,” followed by a Plassey, the English Raj had never court of inquiry, and Grant had a more narrow escape than in the reason to congratulate himself on night that followed the drawn the upshot of a game in which the battle of Ferozeshah. The victory honours were left doubtful. He was won by British bluff, and by was quit for six weeks of confinethe indiscipline that followed suc- ment, with the slow torment of cess among the disorderly Sikh harrowing suspense. He had a good levies. Sir Hope's personal ex- deal in common with Sir Charles periences in these thrilling times, Napier, who had come up from though he was not actually present Scinde at the head of a corps at the three days' battle, were in- d'armée.

" Sir Charles was teresting and sensational. It gives extraordinary looking person, some idea of the encumbrances of an short, slight, and with a handsome Indian column on the march, when cast of countenance. we are told that his personal trans- large spectacles, and had small port consisted of six camels, of two eyes, large, dark shaggy eyebrows, bullock-carts, with spans of four an aquiline nose, and a most fearbullocks each, and of a private ful quantity of grizzly grey whiscart besides. Sleep was made kers, beard, and moustache, with difficult to any but a seasoned hair streaming down his back.” campaigner by the bellowing of Like Mr Peggoty, he was a most tens of thousands of cattle and the agreeable man when he happened groaning of innumerable camels. to be in good humour, and was He does not say much of Sobraon, fond of talking about the diffithough he was in the thick of culties he had surmounted. He the charges,-possibly, as Colonel told Grant afterwards that, till he Knollys suggests, because there was sixty, he had never known he had nearly made shipwreck of what it was to be out of poverty. his fortunes. Yet no action in his As a general officer, with a wife career is more characteristic of his and daughter, he managed somesturdy manhood than that in which how to make ends meet on his

рау. he assumed an unprecedented re- When he landed at Bombay, to


He wore



take command of a division, he and return them. But if shot had only a couple of sovereigns in was scarce, beer was plentiful, for bis pocket. After his victory at all the agents of Bass and Allsopp Meeanee he got £60,000 of prize- made a merit of necessity, and money, and subsequently, as Indian swamped the camp in the liquor Commander-in-Chief, he drew his they could not hope to sell. Sir £15,000 a-year.

But not even

Hope says that he believes he that ample income could bind the should never have pulled through fiery old man, whose very aspect had not the Bass given new vigour struck superstitious terror into the to his exhausted frame. The duty Sikhs, to a decent show of subordi- was incessant, and the heat innation. Quarrelling with the Gov- tense, In June, “the weather ernor - General, he resigned the was so fearfully hot that the

gunlucrative command, and so Grant ners could not handle the shot implies that it was Napier's impet- wherewith to load the guns.” The uous temper which was at fault in fighting in the assaults, and the the regrettable feud with Outram. repelling of the sorties, was at Passing over the second Sikh

least as

as the weather. war, with the terrible Sikh atroci- Grant records a heroic deed of his ties and the severe retaliations, we native orderly. With a few men come to the grand drama of the he had charged in the dusk a Mutiny. And we may read the strong force of the enemy.

His chapters which vividly depict the horse had fallen, shot through the scenes with pride as well as pleas- body. “I was in rather an awkure. Had the scattered handfulsward predicament, unhorsed, surof English shown a less uncom- rounded by the enemy, and ignorpromising front everywhere, they ant in which direction to proceed, would have been deserted in the when my orderly, by name Rooper dark hour of their extremity by Khan, rode up to me and said, their formidable fighting allies. “Take my horse: it is your only Their unflinching courage inspired chance of safety.” Grant refused the conviction that they could not the noble offer, but laid hold of be beaten, and relied on inexhaust- the tail of the sowar's horse, and ible reserves.

Yet Grant, in his so was dragged out of the mêlée. simple but soldier-like language, And the trooper refused the rupees gives all the excitement of a sen- which his grateful officer pressed sational novel to his narrative of upon him. Afterwards there was the sieges of Delhi and Lucknow. a touching scene, when on Both Sikhs and Goorkhas were order for the disarmament of the beginning to waver; each day was native levies, the orderly, in melanpregnant with new anxiety, as ex- choly and resentful mood, brought pected succour was delayed; and Grant the sword he had used so perhaps we owe our triumph to loyally; and, we are glad to say, half-a-dozen heroic men, who had the weapon was returned to him. asserted their individual ascend- The mortality from disease in ancy over the fierce warriors who the siege force was very great, followed them under fire. and, thanks to the heat and Delhi the Sikh Guides and the malarious damp, the injuries from Goorkhas did noble service. Am- shot for the most part proved munition was so scarce that to fatal. Among the early victims load the heavy guns they had to to cholera was Barnard, the Compick up the enemy's round-shot mander-in-Chief, and his burial,

[ocr errors]




with the impressive circumstances, But we must not linger longreminds us of that of Sir John er among those thrilling scenes, Moore. " We were unable to pro- though we should gladly say somecure a coffin for him : the funeral thing of Grant's adventures when service was rapidly though rever- travelling unprotected through a ently performed, and the earth was country still seething in turmoil thrown into the small space allotted and infested by bands of fugitive to him as quickly as possible, for rebels; of thedashingexploits when, every moment we expected to be with flying columns of horse and obliged to turn out to repel an field-batteries, he followed up the attack by the enemy; but peals of scattered forces of the mutineers; musketry and the roar of cannon and of his descriptions of those paid a grander tribute to poor Sir picturesque and lonely forts in the Henry than the usual formal dis- jungle, which were difficult to discharge of blank cartridge.” Among cover without local guides, and

. the most dashing leaders of ir- might have been almost impregregular horse to whom our out- nable had they been resolutely numbered countrymen were

defended, being generally unapgreatly indebted, Hodson has fre- proachable by artillery on wheels. quent and honourable mention. Nor can we say much of the Grant gives the story of the shoot- second China war, where Sir Hope ing of the princes as it was told not only showed his military skill, him by Hodson himself. He but his shrewd diplomacy, in outwent on the next day to visit manæuvring and yet conciliating the Great Mogul in confinement. his susceptible French colleague. The old man, who had been coerced To Grant, as Colonel Knollys satisinto conniving at the Mutiny, had factorily demonstrates, is due the been seized and carried off by credit of the plan, which saved an Hodson from a swarm of armed incalculable sacrifice of time and ragamuffins — an act of extraor- life by taking the formidable Peiho dinary courage and coolness.

forts in rear. The capture of Pe

kin, the burning of the Summer “He was an old man, said by one Palace, the treacherous murder and of his servants to be ninety years of the tortures inflicted on our counage, short in stature, slight, very fair for a native, and with a high-bred, trymen, avenged somewhat ar

a delicate-looking cast of features.

bitrarily by that fire-raising and It might have been supposed that pillage, are all graphically related death would be preferable to such in due sequence. But two episodes humiliation, but it is wonderful how should be singled out for notice. we all cling to the shreds of life. One is the almost miraculous esWhen I saw the poor old man, he cape of Lieutenant Lumsden, now was seated on a wretched charpoy or

Sir Peter, who was upset in a yawl native bed, with his legs crossed be

He held fore him, and swinging his body four miles out at sea. backwards and forwards, with an

on for two hours to the bottom unconscious dreamy look. I asked of the boat, when he let go and him one or two questions, and was struck out for the land.

“Darksurprised to hear an unpleasant vul

ness came on, and he could only gar voice answering from behind a

trust to a strong wind and tide.” small screen.

I was told that it proceeded from his begum or queen, who

He floated and drifted for five and prevented his replying, fearful lest he

a half hours, when at last he felt should say something which might ground in the shallows, and then, compromise their safety."

by way of restoring the circula

[ocr errors]



tion, he walked ten miles to the vive of George IV. and his royal camp. The other episode forcibly brothers; that two of the princes illustrates the anxieties of a com- gave his sons a standing invitation mander when campaigning in such to their tables, and that Jekyll the a country as China. English and elder could pick and choose withFrench were crowded together into out giving offence among invitathe small town of Peh-tang, which tions from the very highest had been previously cleared of its nobility. Yet, so far as we can inhabitants. As the town was judge, though bright and ready surrounded by pestilential swamps, with repartee, he was by no means there was no possibility of encamp- extraordinarily gifted. He nursed ing outside :

his wit carefully, as

the "The occupation was fraught with

fashion in those days, and some the most fearful risks it has ever fallen of the jokes and puns, reported to my lot to encounter. The town was for the pleasure of his corresvery small, not much more than 500 pondent, strike as scarcely yards square, and in it were crowded worth repeating. But his man11,000 of our men, exclusive of the

ners probably were excellent; he French force, amounting to about 6700 more, and about 4000 of our

had rare tact, and having quickly horses, mules, and ponies, all stored and surely established his social away in houses and in narrow lanes. ascendancy, he speaks of all and The buildings were almost all thatched, sundry with the easy confidence fires burning, dinners cooking, men

of established superiority.

He smoking-in fact, all the accessories may have known little of the law for the outbreak of a blaze. After

by which he got the best part of the storm, the weather became very his income hot, and the thatched roofs as dry as

a placeman tinder. Had a spark fallen on one of

but he had a fair acquaintance them, it is difficult to say what would

with books, of which he was inhave been the result."

ordinately fond; and so he formed

a sort of connecting-link between Why have some men marvellous the dandy aristocrat and the litsuccess in society, beyond their térateurs who were the rage. The birth, their connections, or their best proof of his attainments as apparent abilities? Granted that scholar and bibliophile is that the all these are above the average, Abbé Morellet, when ruined by still the success of certain fav- the Revolution, charged him to oured individuals is remarkable. negotiate the sale of his curious It might seem that Joseph Jekyll library. His own criticisms of gave himself airs, yet we believe the books of the day are slight there is no affectation in_his and perfunctory in the extreme; letters. Those written in Eng- nor does it give us a high opinion land are addressed to his sister-in- of the soundness of his judgment law, who was one of the Carlisle when he summarily dismisses Vicfamily, and to her he would never tor Hugo's 'Notre Dame'as unhave paraded false assumptions of intelligible nonsense. Latterly, fastidiousness or untenable preten- the veteran diner-out said that, sions. We may take it, then, that like old Gilpin, he was one of the he was the familiar friend and con- odd fellows who preferred his own


[ocr errors]

1 Correspondence of Mr Joseph Jekyll with his Sister-in-law, Lady Gertrude Sloane Stanley, 1818-1838. Edited by the Hon. Algernon Bourke. London : John Murray, 1894.

[ocr errors]


society, and he was almost as Among the literary men he much wedded to West London as either met or mentions in the wold Q.” But sitting in his own London letters are Byron and chimney-corner he still diligently Scott, Moore, Rogers, and Crabbe. gathered in gossip, retailing

it for The Waverley Novels are always the benefit of his sister-in-law by noticed as they come out, and the marriage, Lady Gertrude Sloane brief remarks are generally sagaStanley

cious. He had met Moore at That correspondence is prefaced Bowood or elsewhere, and took a by some letters written to his father great fancy to him. « Little from France nearly half a century Moore has amused us inexhaustibefore. Young Jekyll had gone bly with humour all the day, and to Touraine in 1775 to perfect his tasteful singing of an evening. himself in French, and, with his : . It is a good little fellow, usual social luck, found himself with so much sense and talent, received at once by the very élite and a most independent spirit.' of the nobility of the old régime. Apropos to Moore's biographies There are strange pictures of the he says: "As he was forced to state of the smouldering French slur Sheridan's treachery to his volcano in these pre-Revolutionary party, so he was forced to slur days. He met courtiers, parasites, Byron's treachery to his wife. and mistresses of Louis the bien But what can a man do who, like aimé, who were lavishing their the Newgate Calendar, selects ill - gotten wealth, or in only rogues for biography ?" There receipt of handsome pensions. are sundry specimens given of Money went very far in France Byron's bitterness, and no love at that time, for young Jekyll was lost between him and Rogers. could live like a gentleman on “Lady Blessington recited to me four louis a-month. Such private most dreadful verses by Byron châteaux as Chenonceau were sump- against his friend Rogers, but tuously fitted up; but Chambord, will not publish them, or the a royal residence, was absolutely poet must plunge into the Serbare. For the kings still followed pentine." That was after Byron's the barbarous medieval custom of death : the verses subsequently carrying all their household plen- appeared in ‘Fraser's Magazine, ishing about with them. Crime and were maliciously shown to was so rife in the good city of Rogers when he was suffering Paris, that half - a a - dozen corpses from the death of a favourite were shown most mornings in the brother. - The cleverness of the Morgue; and nets were lowered libel almost equals its bitterness each night from the Pont Neuf to and cruelty, especially as the pubcatch the persons thrown over by lic believed they were linked in the cut-throats. Yet the punish- friendship.” As to Rogers, at ments were by no means lenient, whose breakfasts Jekyll was and Jekyll gives a horrible de- frequent guest, there are endless scription of how he had seen a jokes about his constitutional illcriminal broken on the wheel, nature, cadaverous aspect, &c. without stirring from the balcony Tom Moore told how a common of his own apartment, when “Mon- friend of theirs had observed that sieur de Paris” discharged the duty Rogers lived on viper-broth, as of his office in bag-wig and ruffles being nutritious for persons of and bien poudré.

weakly habit. Somebody said the


« ZurückWeiter »