(Armistice-March, 1855.)

On Saturday, during the armistice, I came out upon the advanced French trench, within a few hundred yards” of the Mamelon. The sight was strange beyond description. French, English, and Russian officers were walking about saluting each other courteously as they passed, and occasionally entering into conversation, and a constant interchange of little civilities, such as offering and receiving cigar lights, was going on in each little group. Some of the Russian officers were evidently men of high rank and breeding. Their polished manners contrasted remarkably with their plain, and rather coarse clothing. They wore, with few exceptions, the invariable long grey coat over their uniforms.? The French officers were all en grande tenue, and offered a striking contrast to 8 many of our own officers, who were dressed à la Balaklava. and wore uncouth head-dresses, catskin coats, and nondescript 9 paletots.

Many of the Russians looked remarkably like English gentlemen in “style” of face and bearing10 One tall, finelooking old man, with a long grey beard and strangely shaped cap, was pointed out to us as Hetman of the Cossacks in the Crimea, but it did not appear as if there were many men of very high military rank present.11 The Russians were rather grave and reserved, but they seemed to fraternize with the French better 12 than with ourselves, and the men certainly got on better 13 with our i des Français.

7 la grande capote grise du soldat 2 yards (mesure anglaise d'en- russe. viron trois pieds français). See 8 avec. page 96, note

9 indéfinissables. | 3 allaient et venaient, se salu 10 par le port et les manières. aient en passant.

11 mais il ne semblait pas y avoir 4 comme de se prêter le feu d'un en cet endroit beaucoup d'officiers cigare.

d'un rang élevé. °5 and excellent breeding; see 2 more easily.' page 25, note 16

13 s'entendaient mieux. 6 presque tous.

allies than with the few privates of our own regiments who were down towards the front.1

While all this civility was going on, we were walking among the dead, over blood-stained ground, covered with evidences 4 of recent fight. Broken muskets, bayonets, cartouch-boxes, caps, fragments of clothing, straps and belts,6 pieces of shell, little pools of clotted blood, shot round and grape 7— shattered gabions and sandbags,s were visible around us on every side, and through the midst of the crowd stalked a solemn procession of soldiers bearing their departed comrades to their long home.

I counted seventy-seven litters borne past me in fifteen minutes - each filled with 10 a dead enemy. The contortions of the slain were horrible, and recalled the memories of the fields 11 of Alma and Inkermann. Some few French were lying far in advance towards 12 the Mamelon and Round Tower among the gabions belonging to the French advanced trenches, which the Russians had broken down. 13 They had evidently been slain in pursuit of the enemy. The Russians appeared to treat their dead with great respect. The soldiers I saw were white-faced 14 and seemed ill-fed, though many of them had powerful frames, square shoulders, and broad chests.15 All their dead who fell within and near our lines were stripped of boots and stockings. 16 The cleanliness of their feet and, in most cases, of their coarse linen 17 shirts, was remarkable.

i les quelques soldats que nous marades. avions sur ce point; a common 10 each of which contained ;' soldier,' 'a private,' is, in French, see page 14, note 3. un simple soldat; but soldat alone 11 and recalled the afficting will do here, as there is no contra- spectacle.' distinction made.

,2 gisaient loin des lignes, près 2 'While they exchanged these de.-gisaient, from gésir, an irrecivilities.'

gular and defective verb, much 3 reddened with (de) blood. used in the third person sing. of 4 et qui portait les traces. the pres. indicat., in 'the beginning

5 des schakos, here, not des cas- of epitaphs : ci-gît, 'here lies.' quettes, nor, still less, des bonnets. 13 " belonging, &c., que les . 6 des ceinturons, des baudriers. Russes avaient enlevés à la première

7 des boulets et de la mitraille tranchée française. (i.e., mitraille en grappe de raisin). 14 pales. 8 des sacs de terre.

15 Simply, 'were robust men.' 9 des files de soldats qui portaient 16 avaient été déchaussés. en terre les cadavres de leurs ca- 17 See page 62, note 11,

Several sailors of the “ equipages” of the fleet of Sebastopol were killed in the attack. They were generally muscular, fine, stout fellows, with rough, soldierly faces.

In the midst of all this stern evidence of war, a certain amount of lively conversation began to spring up, in which the Russian officers indulged in a little badinage. Some of them asked our officers “ when we were coming in to take the place," others “ when we thought of going away ? ”3 Some congratulated us upon the excellent opportunity we had of getting a good look at 4 Sebastopol, as the chance of a nearer view, except on similar occasions, was not in their opinion very probable. One officer asked a private, confidentially in English, how many men we sent 6 into the trenches ? « Begorra, only 7,000 anight, and a wake covering party of 10,000,” was the ready reply.8 The officer laughed, and turned away.

At one time' a Russian with a litter stopped by a dead body, and put it into the litter. He looked round for a comrade to help him. 10 A Zouave at once advanced with much grace and lifted it, to the infinite amusement of the bystanders ; 11 but the joke was not long-lived, as a Russian brusquely came up and helped to carry off his dead comrade. In the town we could see large bodies of soldiery in the streets, assembled at the corners and in the public places. 12 Probably they were ordered out to make a show of their strength. 13

General Bosquet and several officers of rank 14 of the

1 tristes restes.

and put this just before 'only.' 2 commença une conversation . 9. At another moment.' gère.

10 Turn, "a Russian placed a 3 Leave out of,' and use the dead body (cadavre) on a litter, infinitive without any preposition, and began to (page 151, note 10) after the verb penser, when thus look round for (chercher des yeux) employed, in the sense of 'to ex- a comrade to help him to carry it pect, to intend.'

away.' 4 de bien voir.

11 ce qui fit beaucoup rire les 5 en ajoutant qu'à moins d'occa assistants. sions semblables nous avions peu de 12 de nombreux groupes de sol. chances de voir la place de plus dats sur les places et aux coins des

6 had senti r ues. 7 avec dix mille hommes de - 13 avaient reçu l'ordre de se faire serve.

voir. 8 Simply, 'answered the soldier,' 14 officiers généraux.


allied army visited the trenches during the armistice, and staff officers were present on both sides to see that the men did not go out of bounds. The armistice was over 1 about three o'clock. Scarcely had the white flag disappeared behind the parapet of the Mamelon before a round shot from the sailors' battery, 2 went slap through one of the embrasures of the Russian work, and dashed up a great pillar of earth inside. The Russians at once replied, and the noise of cannon soon re-echoed through the ravines.-(W. H. RUSSELL, The War.)


(Written by Benjamin Franklin.) I HAVE heard,5 that nothing gives an author so great pleasure as to find his works respectfully quoted by other learned authors. Judge then how much I have been gratified by an incident which I am going to relate to you.

I stopped my horse lately where 6 a great number of people were collected at an auction of merchants' goods.? The hour of sale not being come, they were conversing on the badness 8 of the times; and one of the company called to a plain, clean, old man, with white locks, 9 “ Pray,

1. The armistice ended.' and other such functionaries, have

? qu'un boulet lancé par la bat- retained to the present day, in terie de la marine.

their antiquated forms of address, 8 passa droit à travers une embrathe second person plural of its imsure russe, et fit jaillir comme une perative (oyez, 'hear ye,'-—which colonne de terre dans l'intérieur de they wrongly pronounce 'Oh, l'ouvrage.

yes!'), borrowed from the Norman4 This admirable production of French, and by which they geneDr. Franklin is known in France rally begin their announcements, under the title of La science du &c. bonhomme Richard.

6 o at a place where.' 5 J'ai ouï dire. The verb ouïr 7 Simply, pour une vente à l'en('to hear') is old and defective; it is chère. only used now in the infinitive and 8 de la dureté. the compound tenses (as here, in 9 s'adressant à un bon vieillard the compound of the present indi- en cheveux blancs et assez bien mis, cative). The English public criers, lui dit.

father Abraham, what think ye of the times ?1 Won't these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise nis to ?” Father Abraham stood up, and replied, “ If you'd have my advice, I'll give it to you in short ;? for 'a word to the wise is enough ;3 and many words won't fill a bushel,'4 as poor Richard says.” 5 They joined in desiring him to speak his mind ;6 and, gathering round? him, he proceeded as follows:

“Friends (says he) and neighbours, the taxes are indeed very heavy; and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them ; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly ; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us, by allowing an abatement.10 However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us ; God helps them that help themselves,'ll as poor Richard says in his Almanac.

" It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part 12 of their time, to be employed in its service; but idleness taxes many of us much more.13 Sloth, by bringing on diseases, absolutely shortens life. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labour wears,

1 de ce temps-ci.

de penser. See page 85, note 5. 2 en peu de mots ; or, en rac- T'to gather around,' faire cercle courci.

autour de.-'gathering . . . he ;' 3.Le sage entend à demi-mot. alter this construction, which is This form of the Proverb is little not grammatical. used; the following are the cur- 8 Nous sommes cotés pour le rent sayings: 'A bon entendeur, double. demi-mot (or, salut, or, again, peu 9'three,' &c., pour le paroles).''

four,' &c., pour le quadruple. 4 et souvent on emploie bien des 10 et, pour ces impôts-ld, le permots pour ne pas dire grand chose' cepteur ne peut nous obtenir ni di(PROVERBIAL); or, et quant aux minution ni délai. vains mots (or, aux paroles en l'air), 11 'Aide-toi, le Ciel t'aidera' 'autant en emporte le vent' (PRO- (PROVERB). VERBIAL).

12 exigerait de ses sujets la diri5 See page 6, note 3.-' poor ème pariie. Richard, le bonhomme Richard 13 est bien plus exigeante chez la (see preceding page, note 4). plupart d'entre nous.

o s'expliquer; or, dire sa façon

« VorigeDoorgaan »