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the Great White Czar was a spectacle of whole huge inert mass of immemorial rotmajestic misery that could never be for- tenness and obstructive officialisın lay doggotten.
gedly athwart the hard path of reform. The Emperor returned to St. Petersburg Alexander's aspirations were powerless to in December. The fall of Plevna and the pierce the dense, solid obstacle ; and the enthusiastic welcome of his capital had re- consciousness of his impotency, with the stored him, spite of his chronic hypochon- no less disquieting consciousness that it dria, to apparent health and spirits. I behooved him to cleanse the Augean stable watched hjin as be moved round the great of the State, embittered his whole later salon of his palace, greeting his guests at life. the home-coming reception. He strode One of poor MacGahan's most sanguine the inlaid floor a very emperor, upright of beliefs was, that a time would come, if figure, proud of gait, arrayed in a brill- the millennium did not intervene, when iant uniform, and covered with decora- the war correspondent shonld overhang tions. A glittering Court and suite the battle-field in a captive balloon, gazing thronged around the stately man with en- down on the scene through a big telethusiastically respectful hon:age ; the daz- scope, and telegraphing a narrative of the zling splendor of the Winter Palace formed combat as it progressed along a wire with the setting of the sumptuous picture ; one end in the balloon and the other in and as I gazed on the magnificent scene, the nearest telegraph office. I don't proI could hardly realize that the central fig- fess to be very sanguine myself that this ure of it in the pomp of his Imperial State elaboration of system will ever be carried was of a verity the self-same man in whose into effect, and I am sure that I should presence I had stood in the squalid Bul- prefer, were it attempted, that some one garian hovel the same worn, anxious, else than myself should make the aërial
— shabby, wistful man who, with spasmodic experiment.' But I remember once beatutterance, and the expression in his eye ing time, or at least apparent time, in as of a hunted deer, had asked me breath- rather a remarkable fashion, in the transless questions as to the episodes and issue mission of war news across the world by of the fighting
means of the telegraph wire. In the early In many respects the monarch wbom morning of the 22nd of November, 1878, the Nihilists slew was a grand man. He a British division under General Sir Sam. was absolutely free from that corruption uel Browne occupied the Afghan fortress which is the blackest curse of Russia, and of Ali Musjid, up in the Khyber Pass. whose taint is still among the nearest rela. I rode back ten miles to Jumrood, where tives of the Sovereign. He had the purest the field telegraph was, and sent the news aspirations to do his loyal duty toward to England in a short message, bearing the huge empire over which he ruled, and date 10 A.M. There is five hours' differnever did he spare himself in toilsome ence of time between India and England work. IIe took few pleasures ; the mel- in favor of the latter ; and the Daily ancholy of his position made sombre his News containing this telegram dated 10 countenance, and darkened for him all the A.M. was selling in Fleet Street at 9 A.M. brightness of life. For he had the bitter. -one hour of apparent time before it was est consciousness of the abuses that were despatched. Its anticipation of time did alienating the subjects who had been wont not end here. Owing to the five hours' in their hearts, as on their lips, to couple difference of time between London and the names of “ God and the Czar.” He New York, the message was in time for knew how the great nation writhed and the regular editions of the New York pagroaned ; and he, absolute despot though pers the same morning. It was immedihe was, writhed and groaned no less in ately wired across the American continent ; the realization of his impotency to ameli- and, owing to the difference in time beorate the evils. For although honest and tween the Atlantic coast and the Pacific sincerely well-intentioned, there was a slope, the early-rising citizen of San Fran
, fatal weakness in the nature of Alexander cisco, purchasing his morning paper at the Second. True, he began his reign 6 A.m, was able to read the announcewith an assertion of masterfulness ; but ment of an event which actually occurred then unworthy favorites gained his ear, over two hours later in apparant time some his family compassed him about, the 13,000 miles away on the other side of the globe from the fair city inside the Nothing of all that makes the scene of a Golden Gate. Puck professed himself yesterday's battle so sickeningly ghastly able to put a girdle round the earth in shocked the senses. A strange dead calin forty minutes, but this telegram sped half reigned in this solitude of nature. Grain round the globe in two hours less than no had grown luxuriantly, sprouting from time at all !
seed scattered from the wagon-loads, and The Zulu war was my last campaign, falling on soil fertilized by the life-blood and during it the cost of necessarily co- of the brave men whose poor remains were pious telegraphing bore hard on news- visible in the intervals of the maize-stems. papers. Writhing under the expenditure, As one strayed aimlessly about, one stumnewspaper managers of reactionary ten- bled in the long grass over skeletons that dency were heard to bewail that Benjamin rattled to the touch. It was the miserFranklin had ever been invented ; a regret ablest work wandering about the desolate which most of their correspondents have, camp, amid the sour odor of stale death, I am sure, over and over again shared in. and gathering mournful relics—letters I had not reached South Africa when from home, photographs of loved ones, there occurred that ghastly misfortune, blood-stained books, and other sad souvethe massacre of Isandlwana. But I was nirs. of the first party which visited that fatal The poor Prince Imperial I had met field, and the spectacle which it presented occasionally at home, but came to know I can never forget. A thousand corpses him with some degree of intimacy in the had been lying there in rain and sun for early days of the Zululand campaign. He four long months. In the precipitous was a young man of great brightness and ravine at the base of the slope stretching active sympathy, full of aptitude for milidown from the crest on which stood the tary study, and with a keen sense of duty abandoned wagons dead men lay thick, and discipline. He was fond, in the inmere bones, with toughened, discolored tervals of work, of gossiping with me skin like leather covering the skeletops about the events of the Franco-German and clinging tight to them, the flesh all war, and he told me some very interesting wasted away. Some were almost wholly stories regarding the early days of that dismembered, mere heaps of clamıny yel- struggle, which had so changed the future low bones. I forbear to describe the of his young life. On the voyage to faces, with their blackened features and South Africa, as I have heard, he had exbeards blanched by rain and sun. The pressed the wish that he might be woundclothes had lasted better than the poored by an assegai stab at close quarters bodies they covered, and helped to keep with a Zulu. Poor fellow, he was covthe skeletons together. All the way up ered with assegai stabs from head to foot the slope I traced, by the ghastly token when I saw him lying, stone dead, on the of dead men, the fitful line of flight. It blood-stained sward by the Ityotyosi was like a long string with knots in it: river. We found him lying on his back, the string formed of single corpses, the stripped, bis head so bent to the right knots of clusters of dead, where, as it that the cheek touched the sward, the seemed, litile groups had gathered to make right arm stretched out, the left bent ina hopeless, gallant stand, and so die fight- ward toward the thigh. The face, whose ing.
features were nowise distorted, but wore Still following the trail of bodies a faint smile that somewhat parted the through long rank grass and among stones, lips, was stained with blood from a cut on I approached the crest. Here the slaugh. the chin. On the trunk were a score and tered dead lay very thick, so that the more of assegai wounds ; most were sustring became a broad belt. On the bare perficial stabs, but there were two deep ground on the crest itself, among the wounds on the side, one in the throat, and wagons, the dead were less thick ; but on one destroying an eye and penetrating the the slope beyond, on which from the head. His wounds bled afresh as ciest we looked down, the scene was the moved him. His slayers had left a little saddest, and more full of weird desolation gold chain which was clasped round his than anything I had ever gazed upon. neck, and on which were strung a locket There was nothing of the stark blood- containing a miniature of his mother and curdling horror of a fresh battle-field. another enclosing a relic. The relic was
garian Atrocities." It is no exaggeration The hardships he blithely endured when indeed to aver that, for better or worse, were frozen around him in their MacGahan was the virtual author of the wretched bivouacs among the snow, and Russo-Turkish war. His pen-pictures of when to write his letters he had to thaw the atrocities so excited the fury of the his frozen ink and chafe sensation into bis Sclave population of Russia, that their numbed fingers, move admiration not less passionate demand for retribution on the than the brilliant quality of the work per
unspeakable Turk” compelled the Em- formed under conditions so arduous. peror Alexander to undertake the war. Lieutenant Greene, in his work on the MacGahan's work throughout the long campaign, which constitutes its history, campaign was singularly effective, and his remarks that of the seventy-five correphysical exertions quite stupendous, yet spondents who began the campaign, only he was suffering all through from a lame. three, and those all Americans, MacGahan ness that would have disabled altogether and Millet of the Daily News and Grant eleven out of twelve men. He had broken of the Times—followed its fortunes to the a bone in his ankle just before the declara- close. But this is not strictly correct ; tion of war, and when I met him first the one other member of our profession-for joint was encased in plaster of Paris. He that profession surely includes the warinsisted on accompanying Gourko's raid artist-saw the war from beginning to across the Balkans ; and in the Hankioj end, Frederic Villiers, the artist and corPass his horse slid over a precipice and respondent of the Graphic. fell on its rider, so that the half-set bone The first serious fighting in the camwas broken again. But the indomitable paign occurred on that June morning when MacGaban refused to be invalided by this General Dragomiroff's division of the Rusmisfortune. He quietly
bad bimself sian army forced the passage of the Danube hoisted on to a tumbril, and so went under the fire of the Turkish batteries through the whole adventurous expedition, about Sistova. Of that crossing it hapbeing involved thus helpless in several ac- 'pened that I was the only correspondent tions, and once all but falling into the who was a spectator. hands of the Turks. He kept the front It was about midnight when we threaded throughout, long after I had gone home our way through the chaos in the streets disabled by fever ; he chronicled the fall of Simnitza, and at length made our way of Plevna ; he crossed the Balkans with down into the willow grove on the Danube Skobeleff in the dead of the terrible win- side, where Yolchine's brigade was wait. ter; and finally, at the premature age of ing until the pontoon boats should be thirty-two, he died, characteristically, a ready for its embarkation.
It was a martyr to duty and to friendship. When strange, weird time. The darkness was the Russian armies lay around Constanti- 80 dense that nothing could be seen nople waiting for the arrangement of the around one ; and the Turkish bank was treaty of Berlin, typhoid fever and camp only just to be discerned, looming black pestilences were slaying their thousands and dark up against the hardly less dark and their tens of thousands. Lieutenant and sullen sky. Stumbling forward, Greene, an American officer attached to through mud and over roots, I struck the Russian army, fell sick, and MacGahan against something like a wall, yet the devoted himself to the service of nursing wall was soft and warm. It was a column his countryman. His derotion cost him of soldiers, silent and motionless till the his life. As Greene was recovering, Mac- time should come to move. Not a light Gahan sickened of malignant typhus ; and was permitted—not even a cigarette was a few days later they laid him in his far-off allowed to be smoked. When men spoke foreign grave, around which stood weep- at all it was in whispers, and there was ing mourners of a dozen nationalities. only a soft hum of low talk, half drowned
Another colleague was Mr. Frank Mil- by the gurgle of the Danube, and broken let, who, still young, has forsaken the occasionally by the splash caused by the war-path, and appears to be on the high launching of a pontoon boat. The gray road to the inferior position of a Royal dawn faintly began to break. I could Academician. Millet, like MacGahan, is dimly discern Dragoniroff, mud almost an American. He accompanied Gourko to the waist, directing the marshalling of across the Balkans after the fall of Plevna. the pontoon boats, close to the water's
edge. Here come the Avengers,' a getic gestures, to lie down. We fall stern, silent band, the cross in silver
prone in the thick glutinous slime, under standing out from the sombre fur of their the cover of a little bank. Already dead caps. They have the place of honor in and wounded men lie here thick among the first boat. As it is pulling off, Lieg- the living. Boat after boat disembarks nitz, the gallant German attaché, darts for its freight. At length Yolchine thinks he ward and leaps on board. The stalwart has men enough. He who, with young linesmen of Yolchine's brigade are man- Skobeleff, has never lain down, gives the ning the other boats. The strong strokes word, and the two spring up the ascent ; of the sailors shoot us into the stream. a billow of strong supple Russian soldiers, The gloom of the night is waning fast, released from restraint, surges with resistand now we can faintly discern, across the less rush up the steep bank. The detachbroad swirl of water, the crags of the ment of Turkish militiamen holding the Turkish bank and the steep slope above. post are overwhelmed, but they do not What if the Turks are there in force ? A No ; they die where they stand, grim precipice that, truly, to carry at the neither quailing nor asking for quarter. bayonet point, in the teeth of a determined For that brave band of Mustaphis, Abdul enemy! And an enemy is there, sure Kerim Pasha unconsciously furnished a enough, and on the alert. There is a noble epitaph. “They have never been flash out of the gloom, and the near whis- heard of since,” he wrote. No, nor will tle and scream of a shell thrills us, as it they, till the last trumpet sounds ! speeds over us and bursts among the The day after the passage of the Danube in the willows behind us. There follows had been made good, the Emperor crossed shell after shell, from due opposite, from the river to congratulate and thank his higher up, and from the knoll still higher gallant soldiers. In front of the long, up, close to which the minarets of Sistova massive line formed on the slope below now dimly visible.
The shells are Sistova awaiting the coming of the Great falling and bursting on the surface of the White Czar, stood Dragomiroff, Yolchine, Danube ; they splash us with the spray and Skobeleff, the three generals who had they raise ; their jagged splinters fly yell- been the leaders of the successful attempt. ing by us. There is no shelter ; we must Dragomiroff, the divisional commander, stand here in the open boat, this densely the Emperor embraced, and gave him the packed mass of men, and take what for- Cross of St. George ; he shook hands tune Heaven may send us. The face of warmly with Yolchine, the brigade comthe Danube, pitted with falling shells, is mander, and gave him, too, a St. George flecked, too, with craft crowded to the to add to the decorations which this cheery gunwale. Hark to that crash, the splin- little warrior had been gathering from tering of wood, and the riving of iron, boyhood in the Caucasus and Central there on our starboard quarter ! A huge Asia. Then the Emperor strode to where pontoon, laden with guns and gunners, Skobeleff stood, and men watched the lithas been struck by a shell. It heaves tle scene with intent interest ; for it was heavily twice ; its stern rises ; there are notorious that Skobeleff was in disfavor wild cries—a confused turmoil of men and with his Sovereign, and yet of him the horses struggling in the water ; the guns camps were ringing with the story of his sink, and drowning men drift by us with conduct on the previous morning. Would the current down to their death. From Alexander maintain his umbrage, or would out the foliage, now, in the little cove for he make it manisest that it had been diswhich we are heading, belches forth volc pelled by Skobeleff's heroism ? For at ley after volley of musketry fire, helping least a minute the Czar hesitated, as the the devilry of the shells. Several men of two tall, proud, soldierly men confronted our company are down ere our craft each other : you could trace in his countouches the 'mud of the Danube shore. tenance the struggle between disapproval The “Avengers” are already landed : so and appreciation. It was soon over-and is Yolchine, with a handful of his lines- the wrong way for Skobeleff. The Emmen. As we tumble out of the boats peror frowned, turned short on his heel, with the bullets whizzing about our heads, and strode abruptly away, without a word and swarm up on to the bank, we are bida or a gesture of greeting or recognition. den, by energetic orders and not less ener- A man of strong prejudices, he was not
that fragment of the true cross which was that were showing in dense 'black masses given by Pope Leo the Third to Charle- all around. This point attained, the magne on his coronation, and which dy. whole force then halted. Already there nasty after dynasty of French monarchs had been ringing out around the moving have since worn as a talisman.
square the rattle of the musketry fire of Very sad and solemn was the scene as Buller's horsemen as they faced and stung we stood around, silent all, and with bared the ingathering impis. heads, looking down on the untimely The time had come. Buller's men, dead. An officer detached the necklet, having done their work, galloped back and placed it in an envelope, with several into the shelter of the square till their locks of the Prince's short dark hair, for time should come again. And lo! as transmission to his poor mother, who a they cleared the front, a living, concentric year later made so sad a pilgrimage to the wave of Zulus was disclosed. On the spot where we then stood over her dead slope toward Nodwengo the shells were son, Then the body, wrapped in a blan- crashing into the black masses that were ket, was placed on lance-shafts, and on this rushing forward to the encounter. Into extemporized bier it was borne by officers the hordes in front the Gatlings, with up the slope to the ambulance that was in their measured volleys, were raining pitiwaiting. It was a miserable ending, less showers of death. Le Grice and truly, for him who had once been the Son Harness were pouring shell into the thickof France! It was strange that it should ets of black forms showing on the left and have happened to me to have stood by the rear. But those Zulus could die—ay, first gun fired by the Germans from the they could dare and die with a valor and heights of Saarbrück on that August devotion unsurpassed by the soldiery of morning of 1870 when the Prince Imperial any age and of any nationality. They received what his father grandiloquently went down in numbers, but numbers stood styled the boy's “ baptism of fire,” and up and sped swiftly and steadily on. The to stand thus by the corpse of him un- sharper din of the musketry fire filled the timely slain in the obscure corner of a re- intervals between the hoarse roar of the mote continent. I had seen the Emperor cannon and the scream of the speeding his father at the pinnacle of his Imperial shells. Still the Zulus would not stay the power ; I saw him in the hour of his bit- whirlwind of their converging attack. ter humiliation after the defeat of Sedan ; They fired and rushed on, halting to fire, I saw him lying dead in the corridor of and then rushing on again. There were Camden Place, and witnessed his coffin those who had feared lest the sudden conlaid down in the little chapel under the front with the fierce Zulu rush should try elms of Chislehurst. And now I had the nerves of our beardless Jads ; but the lived to see his only son lying dead in a British soldier was true to his manly tradigrassy hollow of Zululand, pierced to tions when he found himself in the open, death by assegai stabs. It has been my
It has been my and saw his enemy face to face in the lot to gaze on many dead who have died daylight.
For half an hour the square of wounds at the hands of an enemy; stood
stood grim and purposeful, doggedly but never have I stood by death with pro- pouring the sleet of death from every founder emotion than when I looked down face. There was scarce any sound of huthat mournful morning on the corpse of man speech, save the quiet injunctions of the last heir of a splendid name.
the officers—“ Fire low, men ; get your After many delays the day at length aiin ; no wildness !". The Zulus could came when, as our little army camped on not get to close quarters simply because the White Umfaloosi, there lay on the of the sheer weight of our fire.
The canbosom of the wide plain over against us ister tore through them like a harrow the great circular kraal of Ulundi, King through weeds ; the rockets ravaged their Cetewayo's capital. After two days' fu- zigzag path through the masses. One tile delay, on the third morning the force rush came within a few yards, but it was crossed the river and moved forward their last effort. Their noble ardor could across the plain, preserving on its march not endure in the face of the appliances of the formation of a great square, until a civilized warfare. They began to waver. suitable spot was reached whereon to halt The time for the cavalry had at length and accept the assault of the Zulu bordes
Lord Chelmsford caught the mo