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Canto the Eighth


Oh, blood and thunder! and oh, blood and wounds!
These are but vulgar oaths, as you may deem,
Too gentle reader! and most shocking sounds:--
And so they are; yet thus is Glory's dream
Unriddled, and as my true Muse expounds
At present such things, since they are her theme,
So be they her inspirers! Call them Mars,
Bellona, what you will--they mean but wars.


All was prepared--the fire, the sword, the men
To wield them in their terrible array,--
The army, like a lion from his den,
Marched forth with nerve and sinews bent to slay,--
A human Hydra, issuing from its fen
To breathe destruction on its winding way,
Whose heads were heroes, which cut off in vain
Immediately in others grew again.


History can only take things in the gross;
But could we know them in detail, perchance
In balancing the profit and the loss,
War's merit it by no means might enhance,
To waste so much gold for a little dross,
As hath been done, mere conquest to advance.
The drying up a single tear has more
Of honest fame, than shedding seas of gore.


And why?--because it brings self-approbation;
Whereas the other, after all its glare,
Shouts, bridges, arches, pensions from a nation,
Which (it may be) has not much left to spare,
A higher title, or a loftier station,
Though they may make Corruption gape or stare,
Yet, in the end, except in Freedom's battles,
Are nothing but a child of Murder's rattles.


And such they are--and such they will be found:
Not so Leonidas and Washington,
Whose every battle-field is holy ground,
Which breathes of nations saved, not worlds undone.
How sweetly on the ear such echoes sound!
While the mere victor's may appal or stun
The servile and the vain--such names will be
A watchword till the Future shall be free.


The night was dark, and the thick mist allowed
Nought to be seen save the artillery's flame,
Which arched the horizon like a fiery cloud,
And in the Danube's waters shone the same--[412]
A mirrored Hell! the volleying roar, and loud
Long booming of each peal on peal, o'ercame
The ear far more than thunder; for Heaven's flashes
Spare, or smite rarely--Man's make millions ashes!


The column ordered on the assault scarce passed
Beyond the Russian batteries a few toises,
When up the bristling Moslem rose at last,
Answering the Christian thunders with like voices:
Then one vast fire, air, earth, and stream embraced,
Which rocked as 't were beneath the mighty noises;
While the whole rampart blazed like Etna, when
The restless Titan hiccups in his den;[413]


And one enormous shout of "Allah!"[414] rose
In the same moment, loud as even the roar
Of War's most mortal engines, to their foes
Hurling defiance: city, stream, and shore
Resounded "Allah!" and the clouds which close
With thickening canopy the conflict o'er,
Vibrate to the Eternal name. Hark! through
All sounds it pierceth--"Allah! Allah Hu!"[415]


The columns were in movement one and all,
But of the portion which attacked by water,
Thicker than leaves the lives began to fall,[416]
Though led by Arseniew, that great son of slaughter,
As brave as ever faced both bomb and ball.
"Carnage" (so Wordsworth tells you) "is God's daughter:"[417]
If _he_ speak truth, she is Christ's sister, and
Just now behaved as in the Holy Land.


The Prince de Ligne was wounded in the knee;
Count Chapeau-Bras,[ia]--too, had a ball between
His cap and head,[418] which proves the head to be
Aristocratic as was ever seen,
Because it then received no injury
More than the cap; in fact, the ball could mean
No harm unto a right legitimate head;
"Ashes to ashes"--why not lead to lead?


Also the General Markow, Brigadier,
Insisting on removal of _the Prince_
Amidst some groaning thousands dying near,--
All common fellows, who might writhe and wince,
And shriek for water into a deaf ear,--
The General Markow, who could thus evince
His sympathy for rank, by the same token,
To teach him greater, had his own leg broken.[419]


Three hundred cannon threw up their emetic,
And thirty thousand muskets flung their pills
Like hail, to make a bloody Diuretic.[420]
Mortality! thou hast thy monthly bills:
Thy plagues--thy famines--thy physicians--yet tick,
Like the death-watch, within our ears the ills
Past, present, and to come;--but all may yield
To the true portrait of one battle-field;


There the still varying pangs, which multiply
Until their very number makes men hard
By the infinities of agony,
Which meet the gaze, whate'er it may regard--
The groan, the roll in dust, the all-_white_ eye
Turned back within its socket,--these reward
Your rank and file by thousands, while the rest
May win perhaps a riband at the breast!


Yet I love Glory;--Glory's a great thing:--
Think what it is to be in your old age
Maintained at the expense of your good King:
A moderate pension shakes full many a sage,
And Heroes are but made for bards to sing,
Which is still better--thus, in verse, to wage
Your wars eternally, besides enjoying
Half-pay for life, make Mankind worth destroying.


The troops, already disembarked, pushed on
To take a battery on the right: the others,
Who landed lower down, their landing done,
Had set to work as briskly as their brothers:
Being grenadiers, they mounted one by one,
Cheerful as children climb the breasts of mothers,
O'er the intrenchment and the palisade,[421]
Quite orderly, as if upon parade.


And this was admirable: for so hot
The fire was, that were red Vesuvius loaded,
Besides its lava, with all sorts of shot
And shells or hells, it could not more have goaded.
Of officers a third fell on the spot,
A thing which Victory by no means boded
To gentlemen engaged in the assault:
Hounds, when the huntsman tumbles, are at fault.


But here I leave the general concern
To track our Hero on his path of Fame:
He must his laurels separately earn--
For fifty thousand heroes, name by name,
Though all deserving equally to turn
A couplet, or an elegy to claim,
Would form a lengthy lexicon of Glory,
And, what is worse still, a much longer story:


And therefore we must give the greater number
To the Gazette--which doubtless fairly dealt
By the deceased, who lie in famous slumber
In ditches, fields, or wheresoe'er they felt
Their clay for the last time their souls encumber;--
Thrice happy he whose name has been well spelt
In the despatch: I knew a man whose loss
Was printed _Grove_, although his name was Grose.[422]


Juan and Johnson joined a certain corps,
And fought away with might and main, not knowing
The way which they had never trod before,
And still less guessing where they might be going;
But on they marched, dead bodies trampling o'er,
Firing, and thrusting, slashing, sweating, glowing,
But fighting thoughtlessly enough to win,
To their _two_ selves, _one_ whole bright bulletin.


Thus on they wallowed in the bloody mire
Of dead and dying thousands,--sometimes gaining
A yard or two of ground, which brought them nigher
To some odd angle for which all were straining;
At other times, repulsed by the close fire,
Which really poured as if all Hell were raining
Instead of Heaven, they stumbled backwards o'er
A wounded comrade, sprawling in his gore.


Though 't was Don Juan's first of fields, and though
The nightly muster and the silent march
In the chill dark, when Courage does not glow
So much as under a triumphal arch,
Perhaps might make him shiver, yawn, or throw
A glance on the dull clouds (as thick as starch,
Which stiffened Heaven) as if he wished for day;--
Yet for all this he did not run away.


Indeed he could not. But what if he had?
There _have been_ and _are_ heroes who begun
With something not much better, or as bad:
Frederick the Great from Molwitz[423] deigned to run,
For the first and last time; for, like a pad,
Or hawk, or bride, most mortals after one
Warm bout are broken in to their new tricks,
And fight like fiends for pay or politics.


He was what Erin calls, in her sublime
Old Erse or Irish, or it may be _Punic_;--
(The antiquarians[424]--who can settle Time,
Which settles all things, Roman, Greek, or Runic--
Swear that Pat's language sprung from the same clime
With Hannibal, and wears the Tyrian tunic
Of Dido's alphabet--and this is rational
As any other notion, and not national;)--


But Juan was quite "a broth of a boy,"
A thing of impulse and a child of song;
Now swimming in the sentiment of joy,
Or the _sensation_ (if that phrase seem wrong),
And afterward, if he must needs destroy,
In such good company as always throng
To battles, sieges, and that kind of pleasure,
No less delighted to employ his leisure;


But always without malice: if he warred
Or loved, it was with what we call "the best
Intentions," which form all Mankind's _trump card_,
To be produced when brought up to the test.
The statesman--hero--harlot--lawyer--ward
Off each attack, when people are in quest
Of their designs, by saying they _meant well_;
'T is pity "that such meaning should pave Hell."[425]


I almost lately have begun to doubt
Whether Hell's pavement--if it be so _paved_--
Must not have latterly been quite worn out,
Not by the numbers good intent hath saved,
But by the mass who go below without
Those ancient good intentions, which once shaved
And smoothed the brimstone of that street of Hell
Which bears the greatest likeness to Pall Mall.[ib]


Juan, by some strange chance, which oft divides
Warrior from warrior in their grim career,
Like chastest wives from constant husbands' sides
Just at the close of the first bridal year,
By one of those odd turns of Fortune's tides,
Was on a sudden rather puzzled here,
When, after a good deal of heavy firing,
He found himself alone, and friends retiring.


I don't know how the thing occurred--it might
Be that the greater part were killed or wounded,
And that the rest had faced unto the right
About; a circumstance which has confounded
Cæsar himself, who, in the very sight
Of his whole army, which so much abounded
In courage, was obliged to snatch a shield,
And rally back his Romans to the field.[426]


Juan, who had no shield to snatch, and was
No Cæsar, but a fine young lad, who fought
He knew not why, arriving at this pass,
Stopped for a minute, as perhaps he ought
For a much longer time; then, like an ass
(Start not, kind reader, since great Homer[427] thought
This simile enough for Ajax, Juan
Perhaps may find it better than a new one);


Then, like an ass, he went upon his way,
And, what was stranger, never looked behind;
But seeing, flashing forward, like the day
Over the hills, a fire enough to blind
Those who dislike to look upon a fray,
He stumbled on, to try if he could find
A path, to add his own slight arm and forces
To corps, the greater part of which were corses.


Perceiving then no more the commandant
Of his own corps, nor even the corps, which had
Quite disappeared--the gods know how! (I can't
Account for everything which may look bad
In history; but we at least may grant
It was not marvellous that a mere lad,
In search of Glory, should look on before,
Nor care a pinch of snuff about his corps:)--[ic]


Perceiving nor commander nor commanded,
And left at large, like a young heir, to make
His way to--where he knew not--single handed;
As travellers follow over bog and brake
An "ignis fatuus;" or as sailors stranded
Unto the nearest hut themselves betake;
So Juan, following Honour and his nose,
Rushed where the thickest fire announced most foes.[428]


He knew not where he was, nor greatly cared,
For he was dizzy, busy, and his veins
Filled as with lightning--for his spirit shared
The hour, as is the case with lively brains;
And where the hottest fire was seen and heard,
And the loud cannon pealed his hoarsest strains,
He rushed, while earth and air were sadly shaken
By thy humane discovery, Friar Bacon![id][429]


And as he rushed along, it came to pass he
Fell in with what was late the second column,
Under the orders of the General Lascy,
But now reduced, as is a bulky volume
Into an elegant extract (much less massy)
Of heroism, and took his place with solemn
Air 'midst the rest, who kept their valiant faces
And levelled weapons still against the Glacis.[ie]


Just at this crisis up came Johnson too,
Who had "retreated," as the phrase is when
Men run away much rather than go through
Destruction's jaws into the Devil's den;
But Johnson was a clever fellow, who
Knew when and how "to cut and come again,"
And never ran away, except when running
Was nothing but a valorous kind of cunning.


And so, when all his corps were dead or dying,
Except Don Juan, a mere novice, whose
More virgin valour never dreamt of flying,
From ignorance of danger, which indues
Its votaries, like Innocence relying
On its own strength, with careless nerves and thews,--
Johnson retired a little, just to rally
Those who catch cold in "shadows of Death's valley."


And there, a little sheltered from the shot,
Which rained from bastion, battery, parapet,
Rampart, wall, casement, house--for there was not
In this extensive city, sore beset
By Christian soldiery, a single spot
Which did not combat like the Devil, as yet,--
He found a number of Chasseurs, all scattered
By the resistance of the chase they battered.


And these he called on; and, what 's strange, they came
Unto his call, unlike "the spirits from
The vasty deep," to whom you may exclaim,
Says Hotspur, long ere they will leave their home:--[430]
Their reasons were uncertainty, or shame
At shrinking from a bullet or a bomb,
And that odd impulse, which in wars or creeds[if]
Makes men, like cattle, follow him who leads.


By Jove! he was a noble fellow, Johnson,
And though his name, than Ajax or Achilles,
Sounds less harmonious, underneath the sun soon
We shall not see his likeness: he could kill his
Man quite as quietly as blows the Monsoon
Her steady breath (which some months the same _still_ is):
Seldom he varied feature, hue, or muscle,
And could be very busy without bustle;


And therefore, when he ran away, he did so
Upon reflection, knowing that behind
He would find others who would fain be rid so
Of idle apprehensions, which like wind
Trouble heroic stomachs. Though their lids so
Oft are soon closed, all heroes are not blind,
But when they light upon immediate death,
Retire a little, merely to take breath.


But Johnson only ran off, to return
With many other warriors, as we said,
Unto that rather somewhat misty bourne,
Which Hamlet tells us is a pass of dread.[431]
To Jack, howe'er, this gave but slight concern:
His soul (like galvanism upon the dead)
Acted upon the living as on wire,
And led them back into the heaviest fire.


Egad! they found the second time what they
The first time thought quite terrible enough
To fly from, malgré all which people say
Of Glory, and all that immortal stuff
Which fills a regiment (besides their pay,
That daily shilling which makes warriors tough)--
They found on their return the self-same welcome,
Which made some _think_, and others _know_, a _hell_ come.


They fell as thick as harvests beneath hail,
Grass before scythes, or corn below the sickle,
Proving that trite old truth, that Life's as frail
As any other boon for which men stickle.
The Turkish batteries thrashed them like a flail,
Or a good boxer, into a sad pickle
Putting the very bravest, who were knocked
Upon the head before their guns were cocked.


The Turks behind the traverses and flanks
Of the next bastion, fired away like devils,
And swept, as gales sweep foam away, whole ranks:
However, Heaven knows how, the Fate who levels
Towns--nations--worlds, in her revolving pranks,
So ordered it, amidst these sulphury revels,
That Johnson, and some few who had not scampered,
Reached the interior "talus"[432] of the rampart.[433]


First one or two, then five, six, and a dozen
Came mounting quickly up, for it was now
All neck or nothing, as, like pitch or rosin,
Flame was showered forth above, as well 's below,
So that you scarce could say who best had chosen,
The gentlemen that were the first to show
Their martial faces on the parapet,
Or those who thought it brave to wait as yet.


But those who scaled, found out that their advance
Was favoured by an accident or blunder:
The Greek or Turkish Cohorn's[434] ignorance
Had pallisadoed in a way you'd wonder
To see in forts of Netherlands or France--
(Though these to our Gibraltar must knock under)--
Right in the middle of the parapet
Just named, these palisades were primly set:[435]


So that on either side some nine or ten
Paces were left, whereon you could contrive
To march; a great convenience to our men,
At least to all those who were left alive,
Who thus could form a line and fight again;
And that which farther aided them to strive
Was, that they could kick down the palisades,
Which scarcely rose much higher than grass blades.[436]


Among the first,--I will not say _the first_,
For such precedence upon such occasions
Will oftentimes make deadly quarrels burst
Out between friends as well as allied nations:
The Briton must be bold who really durst
Put to such trial John Bull's partial patience,
As say that Wellington at Waterloo
Was beaten,--though the Prussians say so too;--


And that if Blucher, Bulow, Gneisenau,
And God knows who besides in "au" and "ow,"
Had not come up in time to cast an awe[437]
Into the hearts of those who fought till now
As tigers combat with an empty craw,
The Duke of Wellington had ceased to show
His Orders--also to receive his pensions,
Which are the heaviest that our history mentions.


But never mind;--"God save the King!" and _Kings!_
For if _he_ don't, I doubt if _men_ will longer--
I think I hear a little bird, who sings
The people by and by will be the stronger:
The veriest jade will wince whose harness wrings
So much into the raw as quite to wrong her
Beyond the rules of posting,--and the mob
At last fall sick of imitating Job.


At first it grumbles, then it swears, and then,
Like David, flings smooth pebbles 'gainst a Giant;
At last it takes to weapons such as men
Snatch when Despair makes human hearts less pliant.
Then comes "the tug of war;"--'t will come again,
I rather doubt; and I would fain say "fie on 't,"
If I had not perceived that Revolution
Alone can save the earth from Hell's pollution.


But to continue:--I say not _the_ first,
But of the first, our little friend Don Juan
Walked o'er the walls of Ismail, as if nursed
Amidst such scenes--though this was quite a new one
To him, and I should hope to _most_. The thirst
Of Glory, which so pierces through and through one,
Pervaded him--although a generous creature,
As warm in heart as feminine in feature.[ig]


And here he was--who upon Woman's breast,
Even from a child, felt like a child; howe'er
The Man in all the rest might be confessed,
To him it was Elysium to be there;
And he could even withstand that awkward test
Which Rousseau points out to the dubious fair,
"Observe your lover when he _leaves_ your arms;"
But Juan never _left_ them--while they had charms,


Unless compelled by Fate, or wave, or wind,
Or near relations--who are much the same.
But _here_ he was!--where each tie that can bind
Humanity must yield to steel and flame:
And _he_ whose very body was all mind,
Flung here by Fate or Circumstance, which tame
The loftiest, hurried by the time and place,
Dashed on like a spurred blood-horse in a race.


So was his blood stirred while he found resistance,
As is the hunter's at the five-bar gate,
Or double post and rail, where the existence
Of Britain's youth depends upon their weight--The
lightest being the safest: at a distance
He hated cruelty, as all men hate
Blood, until heated--and even then his own
At times would curdle o'er some heavy groan.


The General Lascy, who had been hard pressed,
Seeing arrive an aid so opportune
As were some hundred youngsters all abreast,
Who came as if just dropped down from the moon
To Juan, who was nearest him, addressed
His thanks, and hopes to take the city soon,
Not reckoning him to be a "base Bezonian"[438]
(As Pistol calls it), but a young Livonian.[439]


Juan, to whom he spoke in German, knew
As much of German as of Sanscrit, and
In answer made an inclination to
The General who held him in command;
For seeing one with ribands, black and blue,
Stars, medals, and a bloody sword in hand,
Addressing him in tones which seemed to thank,
He recognised an officer of rank.


Short speeches pass between two men who speak
No common language; and besides, in time
Of war and taking towns, when many a shriek
Rings o'er the dialogue, and many a crime
Is perpetrated ere a word can break
Upon the ear, and sounds of horror chime
In like church-bells, with sigh, howl, groan, yell, prayer,
There cannot be much conversation there.


And therefore all we have related in
Two long octaves, passed in a little minute;
But in the same small minute, every sin
Contrived to get itself comprised within it.
The very cannon, deafened by the din,
Grew dumb, for you might almost hear a linnet,
As soon as thunder, 'midst the general noise
Of Human Nature's agonizing voice!


The town was entered. Oh Eternity!--
"God made the country, and man made the town,"
So Cowper says[440]--and I begin to be
Of his opinion, when I see cast down
All walls men know, and many never known;
And pondering on the present and the past,
To deem the woods shall be our home at last:--


Of all men, saving Sylla,[441] the man-slayer,
Who passes for in life and death most lucky,
Of the great names which in our faces stare,
The General Boon, back-woodsman of Kentucky,[442]
Was happiest amongst mortals anywhere;
For killing nothing but a bear or buck, he
Enjoyed the lonely, vigorous, harmless days
Of his old age in wilds of deepest maze.


Crime came not near him--she is not the child
Of solitude; Health shrank not from him--for
Her home is in the rarely trodden wild,
Where if men seek her not, and death be more
Their choice than life, forgive them, as beguiled
By habit to what their own hearts abhor--
In cities caged. The present case in point I
Cite is, that Boon lived hunting up to ninety;


And, what's still stranger, left behind a name
For which men vainly decimate the throng,
Not only famous, but of that _good_ fame,
Without which Glory's but a tavern song--
Simple, serene, the _antipodes_ of Shame,
Which Hate nor Envy e'er could tinge with wrong;
An active hermit, even in age the child
Of Nature--or the Man of Ross[443] run wild.


'T is true he shrank from men even of his nation,
When they built up unto his darling trees,--
He moved some hundred miles off, for a station
Where there were fewer houses and more ease;
The inconvenience of civilisation
Is, that you neither can be pleased nor please;
But where he met the individual man,
He showed himself as kind as mortal can.


He was not all alone: around him grew
A sylvan tribe of children of the chase,
Whose young, unwakened world was ever new,
Nor sword nor sorrow yet had left a trace
On her unwrinkled brow, nor could you view
A frown on Nature's or on human face;
The free-born forest found and kept them free,
And fresh as is a torrent or a tree.


And tall, and strong, and swift of foot were they,
Beyond the dwarfing city's pale abortions,
Because their thoughts had never been the prey
Of care or gain: the green woods were their portions;
No sinking spirits told them they grew grey,
No fashion made them apes of her distortions;
Simple they were, not savage--and their rifles,
Though very true, were not yet used for trifles.


Motion was in their days, Rest in their slumbers,
And Cheerfulness the handmaid of their toil;
Nor yet too many nor too few their numbers;
Corruption could not make their hearts her soil;
The lust which stings, the splendour which encumbers,
With the free foresters divide no spoil;
Serene, not sullen, were the solitudes
Of this unsighing people of the woods.


So much for Nature:--by way of variety,
Now back to thy great joys, Civilisation!
And the sweet consequence of large society,
War--pestilence--the despot's desolation,
The kingly scourge, the lust of notoriety,
The millions slain by soldiers for their ration,
The scenes like Catherine's boudoir at threescore,[444]
With Ismail's storm to soften it the more.


The town was entered: first one column made
Its sanguinary way good--then another;
The reeking bayonet and the flashing blade
Clashed 'gainst the scimitar, and babe and mother
With distant shrieks were heard Heaven to upbraid:--
Still closer sulphury clouds began to smother
The breath of morn and man, where foot by foot
The maddened Turks their city still dispute.


Koutousow,[445] he who afterwards beat back
(With some assistance from the frost and snow)
Napoleon on his bold and bloody track,
It happened was himself beat back just now:
He was a jolly fellow, and could crack
His jest alike in face of friend or foe,
Though Life, and Death, and Victory were at stake;[446]
But here it seemed his jokes had ceased to take:


For having thrown himself into a ditch,
Followed in haste by various grenadiers,
Whose blood the puddle greatly did enrich,
He climbed to where the parapet appears;
But there his project reached its utmost pitch
('Mongst other deaths the General Ribaupierre's
Was much regretted), for the Moslem men
Threw them all down into the ditch again.[447]


And had it not been for some stray troops landing
They knew not where, being carried by the stream
To some spot, where they lost their understanding,
And wandered up and down as in a dream,
Until they reached, as daybreak was expanding,
That which a portal to their eyes did seem,--
The great and gay Koutousow might have lain
Where three parts of his column yet remain.[448]


And scrambling round the rampart, these same troops,
After the taking of the "Cavalier,"[449]
Just as Koutousow's most "forlorn" of "hopes"
Took, like chameleons, some slight tinge of fear,
Opened the gate called "Kilia," to the groups[450]
Of baffled heroes, who stood shyly near,
Sliding knee-deep in lately frozen mud,
Now thawed into a marsh of human blood.


The Kozacks, or, if so you please, Cossacques--
(I don't much pique myself upon orthography,
So that I do not grossly err in facts,
Statistics, tactics, politics, and geography)--
Having been used to serve on horses' backs,
And no great dilettanti in topography
Of fortresses, but fighting where it pleases
Their chiefs to order,--were all cut to pieces.[451]


Their column, though the Turkish batteries thundered
Upon them, ne'ertheless had reached the rampart,[452]
And naturally thought they could have plundered
The city, without being farther hampered;
But as it happens to brave men, they blundered--
The Turks at first pretended to have scampered,
Only to draw them 'twixt two bastion corners,[453]
From whence they sallied on those Christian scorners.


Then being taken by the tail--a taking
Fatal to bishops as to soldiers--these[ih]
Cossacques were all cut off as day was breaking,
And found their lives were let at a short lease--But
perished without shivering or shaking,
Leaving as ladders their heaped carcasses,
O'er which Lieutenant-Colonel Yesouskoi
Marched with the brave battalion of Polouzki:--[454]


This valiant man killed all the Turks he met,
But could not eat them, being in his turn
Slain by some Mussulmans,[455] who would not yet,
Without resistance, see their city burn.
The walls were won, but 't was an even bet
Which of the armies would have cause to mourn:
'T was blow for blow, disputing inch by inch,
For one would not retreat, nor 't other flinch.


Another column also suffered much:--
And here we may remark with the historian,
You should but give few cartridges to such
Troops as are meant to march with greatest glory on:
When matters must be carried by the touch
Of the bright bayonet, and they all should hurry on;
They sometimes, with a hankering for existence,
Keep merely firing at a foolish distance.[456]


A junction of the General Meknop's men
(Without the General, who had fallen some time
Before, being badly seconded just then)
Was made at length with those who dared to climb
The death-disgorging rampart once again;
And, though the Turk's resistance was sublime,
They took the bastion, which the Seraskier
Defended at a price extremely dear.[457]


Juan and Johnson, and some volunteers,
Among the foremost, offered him good quarter,
A word which little suits with Seraskiers,
Or at least suited not this valiant Tartar.
He died, deserving well his country's tears,
A savage sort of military martyr:
An English naval officer, who wished
To make him prisoner, was also dished:


For all the answer to his proposition
Was from a pistol-shot that laid him dead;[458]
On which the rest, without more intermission,
Began to lay about with steel and lead--
The pious metals most in requisition
On such occasions: not a single head
Was spared;--three thousand Moslems perished here,
And sixteen bayonets pierced the Seraskier.[459]


The city's taken--only part by part--
And Death is drunk with gore: there's not a street
Where fights not to the last some desperate heart
For those for whom it soon shall cease to beat.[460]
Here War forgot his own destructive art
In more destroying Nature; and the heat
Of Carnage, like the Nile's sun-sodden slime,
Engendered monstrous shapes of every crime.


A Russian officer, in martial tread
Over a heap of bodies, felt his heel
Seized fast, as if 't were by the serpent's head
Whose fangs Eve taught her human seed to feel;
In vain he kicked, and swore, and writhed, and bled,
And howled for help as wolves do for a meal--
The teeth still kept their gratifying hold,
As do the subtle snakes described of old.[ii]


A dying Moslem, who had felt the foot
Of a foe o'er him, snatched at it, and bit
The very tendon which is most acute--
(That which some ancient Muse or modern wit
Named after thee, Achilles!) and quite through 't
He made the teeth meet, nor relinquished it
Even with his life--for (but they lie) 't is said
To the live leg still clung the severed head.


However this may be, 't is pretty sure
The Russian officer for life was lamed,
For the Turk's teeth stuck faster than a skewer,
And left him 'midst the invalid and maimed:
The regimental surgeon could not cure
His patient, and, perhaps, was to be blamed
More than the head of the inveterate foe,
Which was cut off, and scarce even then let go.


But then the fact's a fact--and 't is the part
Of a true poet to escape from fiction
Whene'er he can; for there is little art
in leaving verse more free from the restriction
Of Truth than prose, unless to suit the mart
For what is sometimes called poetic diction,
And that outrageous appetite for lies
Which Satan angles with for souls, like flies.[ij]


The city's taken, but not rendered!--No!
There's not a Moslem that hath yielded sword:
The blood may gush out, as the Danube's flow
Rolls by the city wall; but deed nor word
Acknowledge aught of dread of Death or foe:
In vain the yell of victory is roared
By the advancing Muscovite--the groan
Of the last foe is echoed by his own.


The bayonet pierces and the sabre cleaves,
And human lives are lavished everywhere,
As the year closing whirls the scarlet leaves[ik]
When the stripped forest bows to the bleak air,
And groans; and thus the peopled city grieves,
Shorn of its best and loveliest, and left bare;
But still it falls in vast and awful splinters,
As oaks blown down with all their thousand winters.


It is an awful topic--but 't is not
My cue for any time to be terrific:
For checkered as is seen our human lot
With good, and bad, and worse, alike prolific
Of melancholy merriment, to quote
Too much of one sort would be soporific;--
Without, or with, offence to friends or foes,
I sketch your world exactly as it goes.


And one good action in the midst of crimes
Is "quite refreshing," in the affected phrase[461]
Of these ambrosial, Pharisaic times,
With all their pretty milk-and-water ways,
And may serve therefore to bedew these rhymes,
A little scorched at present with the blaze
Of conquest and its consequences, which
Make Epic poesy so rare and rich.


Upon a taken bastion, where there lay
Thousands of slaughtered men, a yet warm group
Of murdered women, who had found their way
To this vain refuge, made the good heart droop
And shudder;--while, as beautiful as May,
A female child of ten years tried to stoop
And hide her little palpitating breast
Amidst the bodies lulled in bloody rest.[462]


Two villanous Cossacques pursued the child
With flashing eyes and weapons: matched with _them_,
The rudest brute that roams Siberia's wild
Has feelings pure and polished as a gem,--
The bear is civilised, the wolf is mild;
And whom for this at last must we condemn?
Their natures? or their sovereigns, who employ
All arts to teach their subjects to destroy?


Their sabres glittered o'er her little head,
Whence her fair hair rose twining with affright,
Her hidden face was plunged amidst the dead:
When Juan caught a glimpse of this sad sight,
I shall not say exactly what he _said_,
Because it might not solace "ears polite;"[463]
But what he _did_, was to lay on their backs,
The readiest way of reasoning with Cossacques.


One's hip he slashed, and split the other's shoulder,
And drove them with their brutal yells to seek
If there might be chirurgeons who could solder
The wounds they richly merited,[464] and shriek
Their baffled rage and pain; while waxing colder
As he turned o'er each pale and gory cheek,
Don Juan raised his little captive from
The heap a moment more had made her tomb.


And she was chill as they, and on her face
A slender streak of blood announced how near
Her fate had been to that of all her race;
For the same blow which laid her mother here
Had scarred her brow, and left its crimson trace,
As the last link with all she had held dear;[465]
But else unhurt, she opened her large eyes,
And gazed on Juan with a wild surprise.


Just at this instant, while their eyes were fixed
Upon each other, with dilated glance,
In Juan's look, pain, pleasure, hope, fear, mixed
With joy to save, and dread of some mischance
Unto his protégée; while hers, transfixed
With infant terrors, glared as from a trance,
A pure, transparent, pale, yet radiant face,
Like to a lighted alabaster vase:--[466]


Up came John Johnson (I will not say _"Jack,"_
For that were vulgar, cold, and common-place
On great occasions, such as an attack
On cities, as hath been the present case):
Up Johnson came, with hundreds at his back,
Exclaiming--"Juan! Juan! On, boy! brace
Your arm, and I'll bet Moscow to a dollar,
That you and I will win St. George's collar.[467]


"The Seraskier is knocked upon the head,
But the stone bastion still remains, wherein
The old Pacha sits among some hundreds dead,
Smoking his pipe quite calmly 'midst the din
Of our artillery and his own: 't is said
Our killed, already piled up to the chin,
Lie round the battery; but still it batters,
And grape in volleys, like a vineyard, scatters.


"Then up with me!"--But Juan answered, "Look
Upon this child--I saved her--must not leave
Her life to chance; but point me out some nook
Of safety, where she less may shrink and grieve,
And I am with you."--Whereon Johnson took
A glance around--and shrugged--and twitched his sleeve
And black silk neckcloth--and replied, "You're right;
Poor thing! what's to be done? I'm puzzled quite."


Said Juan--"Whatsoever is to be
Done, I'll not quit her till she seems secure
Of present life a good deal more than we."--
Quoth Johnson--"_Neither_ will I quite insure;
But at the least _you_ may die gloriously."--
Juan replied--" At least I will endure
Whate'er is to be borne--but not resign
This child, who is parentless, and therefore mine."


Johnson said--"Juan, we've no time to lose;
The child's a pretty child--a very pretty--
I never saw such eyes--but hark! now choose
Between your fame and feelings, pride and pity:--
Hark! how the roar increases!--no excuse
Will serve when there is plunder in a city;--
I should be loath to march without you, but,
By God! we'll be too late for the first cut."


But Juan was immovable; until
Johnson, who really loved him in his way,
Picked out amongst his followers with some skill
Such as he thought the least given up to prey,
And, swearing, if the infant came to ill
That they should all be shot on the next day,--
But if she were delivered safe and sound,
They should at least have fifty rubles round,


And all allowances besides of plunder
In fair proportion with their comrades;--then
Juan consented to march on through thunder,
Which thinned at every step their ranks of men:
And yet the rest rushed eagerly--no wonder,
For they were heated by the hope of gain,
A thing which happens everywhere each day--
No hero trusteth wholly to half pay.


And such is Victory, and such is Man!
At least nine tenths of what we call so:--God
May have another name for half we scan
As human beings, or his ways are odd.
But to our subject: a brave Tartar Khan--
Or "Sultan," as the author (to whose nod
In prose I bend my humble verse) doth call
This chieftain--somehow would not yield at all:


But flanked by _five_ brave sons (such is polygamy,
That she spawns warriors by the score, where none
Are prosecuted for that false crime bigamy),
He never would believe the city won
While Courage clung but to a single twig.--Am I
Describing Priam's, Peleus', or Jove's son?
Neither--but a good, plain, old, temperate man,
Who fought with his five children in the van.[468]


To _take_ him was the point.--The truly brave,
When they behold the brave oppressed with odds,
Are touched with a desire to shield and save;--
A mixture of wild beasts and demi-gods
Are they--now furious as the sweeping wave,
Now moved with pity: even as sometimes nods
The rugged tree unto the summer wind,
Compassion breathes along the savage mind.


But he would _not_ be _taken_, and replied
To all the propositions of surrender
By mowing Christians down on every side,
As obstinate as Swedish Charles at Bender.[469]
His five brave boys no less the foe defied;
Whereon the Russian pathos grew less tender
As being a virtue, like terrestrial patience,[il]
Apt to wear out on trifling provocations.


And spite of Johnson and of Juan, who
Expended all their Eastern phraseology
In begging him, for God's sake, just to show
So much less fight as might form an apology
For _them_ in saving such a desperate foe--
He hewed away, like Doctors of Theology
When they dispute with sceptics; and with curses
Struck at his friends, as babies beat their nurses.


Nay, he had wounded, though but slightly, both
Juan and Johnson; whereupon they fell,
The first with sighs, the second with an oath,
Upon his angry Sultanship, pell-mell,
And all around were grown exceeding wroth
At such a pertinacious infidel,
And poured upon him and his sons like rain,
Which they resisted like a sandy plain


That drinks and still is dry. At last they perished--
His second son was levelled by a shot;
His third was sabred; and the fourth, most cherished
Of all the five, on bayonets met his lot;
The fifth, who, by a Christian mother nourished,
Had been neglected, ill-used, and what not,
Because deformed, yet died all game and bottom,[im]
To save a Sire who blushed that he begot him.


The eldest was a true and tameless Tartar,
As great a scorner of the Nazarene
As ever Mahomet picked out for a martyr,
Who only saw the black-eyed girls in green,
Who make the beds of those who won't take quarter
On earth, in Paradise; and when once seen,
Those houris, like all other pretty creatures,
Do just whate'er they please, by dint of features.


And what they pleased to do with the young Khan
In Heaven I know not, nor pretend to guess;
But doubtless they prefer a fine young man
To tough old heroes, and can do no less;[in]
And that's the cause no doubt why, if we scan
A field of battle's ghastly wilderness,
For one rough, weather-beaten, veteran body,
You'll find ten thousand handsome coxcombs bloody.


Your houris also have a natural pleasure
In lopping off your lately married men,
Before the bridal hours have danced their measure
And the sad, second moon grows dim again,
Or dull Repentance hath had dreary leisure
To wish him back a bachelor now and then:
And thus your Houri (it may be) disputes
Of these brief blossoms the immediate fruits.


Thus the young Khan, with Houris in his sight,
Thought not upon the charms of four young brides,
But bravely rushed on his first heavenly night.
In short, howe'er _our_ better faith derides,
These black-eyed virgins make the Moslems fight,
As though there were one Heaven and none besides--
Whereas, if all be true we hear of Heaven
And Hell, there must at least be six or seven.


So fully flashed the phantom on his eyes,
That when the very lance was in his heart,
He shouted "Allah!" and saw Paradise
With all its veil of mystery drawn apart,
And bright Eternity without disguise
On his soul, like a ceaseless sunrise, dart:--
With Prophets--Houris--Angels--Saints, descried
In one voluptuous blaze,--and then he died,--[io]


But with a heavenly rapture on his face.
The good old Khan, who long had ceased to see
Houris, or aught except his florid race,
Who grew like cedars round him gloriously--
When he beheld his latest hero grace
The earth, which he became like a felled tree,
Paused for a moment from the fight, and cast
A glance on that slain son, his first and last.


The soldiers, who beheld him drop his point,
Stopped as if once more willing to concede
Quarter, in case he bade them not "aroynt!"
As he before had done. He did not heed
Their pause nor signs: his heart was out of joint,
And shook (till now unshaken) like a reed,
As he looked down upon his children gone,
And felt--though done with life--he was alone.[470]


But 't was a transient tremor:--with a spring
Upon the Russian steel his breast he flung,
As carelessly as hurls the moth her wing
Against the light wherein she dies: he clung
Closer, that all the deadlier they might wring,
Unto the bayonets which had pierced his young;
And throwing back a dim look on his sons,
In one wide wound poured forth his soul at once.


'T is strange enough--the rough, tough soldiers, who
Spared neither sex nor age in their career
Of carnage, when this old man was pierced through,
And lay before them with his children near,
Touched by the heroism of him they slew,
Were melted for a moment; though no tear
Flowed from their bloodshot eyes, all red with strife,
They honoured such determined scorn of Life.


But the stone bastion still kept up its fire,
Where the chief Pacha calmly held his post:
Some twenty times he made the Russ retire,
And baffled the assaults of all their host;
At length he condescended to inquire
If yet the city's rest were won or lost;
And being told the latter, sent a Bey
To answer Ribas' summons to give way.[471]


In the mean time, cross-legged, with great sang-froid,
Among the scorching ruins he sat smoking
Tobacco on a little carpet;--Troy
Saw nothing like the scene around;--yet looking
With martial Stoicism, nought seemed to annoy
His stern philosophy; but gently stroking
His beard, he puffed his pipe's ambrosial gales,
As if he had three lives, as well as tails.[472]

The town was taken--whether he might yield
Himself or bastion, little mattered now:
His stubborn valour was no future shield.
Ismail's no more! The Crescent's silver bow
Sunk, and the crimson Cross glared o'er the field,
But red with no _redeeming_ gore: the glow
Of burning streets, like moonlight on the water,
Was imaged back in blood, the sea of slaughter.[ip]


All that the mind would shrink from of excesses--
All that the body perpetrates of bad;
All that we read--hear--dream, of man's distresses--
All that the Devil would do if run stark mad;
All that defies the worst which pen expresses,--
All by which Hell is peopled, or as sad
As Hell--mere mortals who their power abuse--
Was here (as heretofore and since) let loose.


If here and there some transient trait of pity
Was shown, and some more noble heart broke through
Its bloody bond, and saved, perhaps, some pretty
Child, or an agéd, helpless man or two--
What's this in one annihilated city,
Where thousand loves, and ties, and duties grew?
Cockneys of London! Muscadins of Paris!
Just ponder what a pious pastime War is.[iq]


Think how the joys of reading a Gazette
Are purchased by all agonies and crimes:
Or if these do not move you, don't forget
Such doom may be your own in after-times.
Meantime the Taxes, Castlereagh, and Debt,
Are hints as good as sermons, or as rhymes.
Read your own hearts and Ireland's present story,
Then feed her famine fat with Wellesley's glory.


But still there is unto a patriot nation,
Which loves so well its country and its King,
A subject of sublimest exultation--
Bear it, ye Muses, on your brightest wing!
Howe'er the mighty locust, Desolation,
Strip your green fields, and to your harvests cling,
Gaunt famine never shall approach the throne--
Though Ireland starve, great George weighs twenty stone.[473]


But let me put an end unto my theme:
There was an end of Ismail--hapless town!
Far flashed her burning towers o'er Danube's stream,
And redly ran his blushing waters down.
The horrid war-whoop and the shriller scream
Rose still; but fainter were the thunders grown:
Of forty thousand who had manned the wall,
Some hundreds breathed--the rest were silent all![474]


In one thing ne'ertheless 't is fit to praise
The Russian army upon this occasion,
A virtue much in fashion now-a-days,
And therefore worthy of commemoration:[ir]
The topic's tender, so shall be my phrase--
Perhaps the season's chill, and their long station
In Winter's depth, or want of rest and victual,
Had made them chaste;--they ravished very little.


Much did they slay, more plunder, and no less
Might here and there occur some violation
In the other line;--but not to such excess
As when the French, that dissipated nation,
Take towns by storm: no causes can I guess,
Except cold weather and commiseration;[is]
But all the ladies, save some twenty score,
Were almost as much virgins as before.


Some odd mistakes, too, happened in the dark,
Which showed a want of lanterns, or of taste--
Indeed the smoke was such they scarce could mark
Their friends from foes,--besides such things from haste
Occur, though rarely, when there is a spark
Of light to save the venerably chaste:
But six old damsels, each of seventy years,
Were all deflowered by different grenadiers.


But on the whole their continence was great;
So that some disappointment there ensued
To those who had felt the inconvenient state
Of "single blessedness," and thought it good
(Since it was not their fault, but only fate,
To bear these crosses) for each waning prude
To make a Roman sort of Sabine wedding,
Without the expense and the suspense of bedding.


Some voices of the buxom middle-aged
Were also heard to wonder in the din
(Widows of forty were these birds long caged)
"Wherefore the ravishing did not begin!"
But while the thirst for gore and plunder raged,
There was small leisure for superfluous sin;
But whether they escaped or no, lies hid
In darkness--I can only hope they did.


Suwarrow now was conqueror--a match
For Timour or for Zinghis in his trade.
While mosques and streets, beneath his eyes, like thatch
Blazed, and the cannon's roar was scarce allayed,
With bloody hands he wrote his first despatch;
And here exactly follows what he said:--
"Glory to _God_ and to the Empress!" (_Powers
Eternal! such names mingled!_) "Ismail's ours."[475]


Methinks these are the most tremendous words,
Which hands or pens have ever traced of swords.
Heaven help me! I'm but little of a parson:
What Daniel read was short-hand of the Lord's,
Severe, sublime; the prophet wrote no farce on
The fate of nations;--but this Russ so witty
Could rhyme, like Nero, o'er a burning city.


He wrote this Polar melody, and set it,
Duly accompanied by shrieks and groans,
Which few will sing, I trust, but none forget it--
For I will teach, if possible, the stones
To rise against Earth's tyrants. Never let it
Be said that we still truckle unto thrones;--
But ye--our children's children! think how we
Showed _what things were_ before the World was free!


That hour is not for us, but 't is for you:
And as, in the great joy of your Millennium,
You hardly will believe such things were true
As now occur, I thought that I would pen you 'em;
But may their very memory perish too!--
Yet if perchance remembered, still disdain you 'em
More than you scorn the savages of yore,
Who _painted_ their _bare_ limbs, but _not_ with gore.


And when you hear historians talk of thrones,
And those that sate upon them, let it be
As we now gaze upon the mammoth's bones,
And wonder what old world such things could see,
Or hieroglyphics on Egyptian stones,
The pleasant riddles of futurity--
Guessing at what shall happily be hid,
As the real purpose of a pyramid.


Reader! I have kept my word,--at least so far
As the first Canto promised. You have now
Had sketches of Love--Tempest--Travel--War,--
All very accurate, you must allow,
And _Epic_, if plain truth should prove no bar;
For I have drawn much less with a long bow
Than my forerunners. Carelessly I sing,
But Phoebus lends me now and then a string,


With which I still can harp, and carp, and fiddle.
What further hath befallen or may befall
The hero of this grand poetic riddle,
I by and by may tell you, if at all:
But now I choose to break off in the middle,
Worn out with battering Ismail's stubborn wall,
While Juan is sent off with the despatch,
For which all Petersburgh is on the watch.


This special honour was conferred, because
He had behaved with courage and humanity--
Which last men like, when they have time to pause
From their ferocities produced by vanity.
His little captive gained him some applause
For saving her amidst the wild insanity
Of carnage,--and I think he was more glad in her
Safety, than his new order of St. Vladimir.


The Moslem orphan went with her protector,
For she was homeless, houseless, helpless; all
Her friends, like the sad family of Hector,
Had perished in the field or by the wall:
Her very place of birth was but a spectre
Of what it had been; there the Muezzin's call
To prayer was heard no more!--and Juan wept,
And made a vow to shield her, which he kept.


{331}[412] ["La nuit était obscure; un brouillard épais ne nous
permettait de distinguer autre chose que le feu de notre artillerie,
dont l'horizon était embrasé de tous côtés: ce feu, partant du milieu du
Danube, se réfléchissait sur les eaux, et offrait un coup d'oeil
très-singulier."-_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 209.]

{332}[413] ["À peine eut-on parcouru l'espace de quelques toises au-delà
des batteries, que les Turcs, qui n'avaient point tiré pendant toute la
nuit s'apperçevant de nos mouvemens, commencèrent de leur côté un feu
très-vif, qui embrasa le reste de l'horizon: mais ce fut bien autre
chose lorsque, avancés davantage, le feu de la mousqueterie commença
dans toute l'étendue du rempart que nous appercevions. Ce fut alors que
la place parut à nos yeux comme un volcan dont le feu sortait de toutes
parts."-_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 209.]

[414] ["Un cri universel d'_allah_, qui se répétait tout autour de la
ville, vint encore rendre plus extraordinaire cet instant, dont il est
impossible de se faire une idée."--_Ibid._, p. 209.]

[415] Allah Hu! is properly the war-cry of the Mussulmans, and they
dwell on the last syllable, which gives it a wild and peculiar effect.

[See _The Giaour_, line 734, _Poetical Works_, 1900, iii. 120, note 1;
see, too, _Siege of Corinth_, line 713, ibid., p. 481.]

[416] ["Toutes les colonnes étaient en mouvement; celles qui attaquaient
par eau commandées par le général Arséniew, essuyèrent un feu
épouvantable, et perdirent avant le jour un tiers de leurs
officiers."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 209.]


"But _Thy_[*] most dreaded instrument,
In working out a pure intent,
Is Man--arrayed for mutual slaughter,--
Yea, _Carnage is thy daughter!_"

Wordsworth's _Thanksgiving Ode_ (January 18, 1816), stanza xii. lines
20, 23.

[*]To wit, the Deity's: this is perhaps as pretty a pedigree for murder
as ever was found out by Garter King at Arms.--What would have been
said, had any free-spoken people discovered such a lineage?

[Wordsworth omitted the lines in the last edition of his poems, which
was revised by his own hand.]

{333}[ia] _The Duc de Richelieu_----.--[MS. erased.]

[418] ["Le Prince de Ligne fut blessé au genou; le Duc de Richelieu eut
une balle entre le fond de son bonnet et sa tête."--_Hist. de la
Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.

For the gallantry of Prince Charles de Ligne (died September 14, 1792)
eldest son of Prince Charles Joseph de Ligne (1735-1814), see _The
Prince de Ligne_, 1899, ii. 46.

Armand Emanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu, born 1767, a grandson of
Louis François Duc de Richelieu, the Marshal of France (1696-1780),
served under Catherine II., and afterwards under the Czar Paul. On the
restoration of Louis XVIII. he entered the King's household; and after
the battle of Waterloo took office as President of the Council and
Minister for Foreign Affairs. His _Journal de mon Voyage en Allemagne_,
which was then unpublished, was placed at the disposal of the Marquis de
Castelnau (see _Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, 1827, i. 241). It has been
printed in full by the _Société Impériale d'Histoire de Russie_, 1886,
tom. liv. pp. 111-198. See for further mention of the manuscript, _Le
Duc de Richelieu_, par Raoul de Cisternes, 1898, Preface, p. 3, note 1.
He died May 17, 1822, two months before Cantos VI., VII., VIII. were

{334}[419] ["Le brigadier Markow, insistant pour qu'on emportât le
prince blessé, reçut un coup de fusil qui lui fracassa le pied."--_Hist.
de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.]

[420] ["Trois cents bouches à feu vomissaient sans interruption, et
trente mille fusils alimentaient sans reláche une grêle de
balles."--_Ibid._, p. 210.]

{335}[421] ["Les troupes, déja débarquées, se portèrent á droite pour
s'emparer d'une batterie; et celles débarquées plus bas, principalement
composées des grenadiers de Fanagorie, escaladaient le retranchement et
la palissade."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.]

[422] A fact: see the Waterloo Gazettes. I recollect remarking at the
time to a friend:--"_There_ is _fame!_ a man is killed, his name is
Grose, and they print it Grove." I was at college with the deceased, who
was a very amiable and clever man, and his society in great request for
his wit, gaiety, and "Chansons à boire."

[In the _London Gazette Extraordinary_ of June 22, 1815, Captain Grove,
1st Guards, is among the list of killed. In the supplement to the
_London Gazette_, published July 3, 1815, the mistake was corrected, and
the entry runs, "1st Guards, 3d Batt. Lieut. Edward Grose, (Captain)." I
am indebted to the courtesy of the Registrar of the University of
Cambridge for the information that Edward Grose matriculated at St.
John's College as a pensioner, December 7, 1805. Thanks to the
"misprint" in the _Gazette_, and to Byron, he is "a name for
ever."--_Vir nullâ non donatus lauru!_]

{337}[423] [At the Battle of Mollwitz, April 10, 1741, "the king
vanishes for sixteen hours into the regions of Myth 'into Fairyland,'
... of the king's flight ... the king himself, who alone could have told
us fully, maintained always rigorous silence, and nowhere drops the
least hint. So that the small fact has come down to us involved in a
great bulk of fabulous cobwebs, mostly of an ill-natured character, set
a-going by Voltaire, Valori, and others."--Carlyle's _Frederick the
Great_, 1862, iii. 314, 322, sq.]

[424] See General Valancey and Sir Lawrence Parsons.

[Charles Vallancey (1721-1812), general in the Royal Engineers,
published an "Essay on the Celtic Language," etc., in 1782. "The
language [the Iberno-Celtic]," he writes (p. 4), "we are now going to
explain, had such an affinity with the Punic, that it may be said to
have been, in a great degree, the language of Hanibal (_sic_), Hamilcar,
and of Asdrubal." Sir Laurence Parsons (1758-1841), second Earl of
Rosse, represented the University of Dublin 1782-90, and afterwards
King's County, in the Irish House of Commons. He was an opponent of the
Union. In a pamphlet entitled _Defence of the Antient History of
Ireland_, published in 1795, he maintains (p. 158) "that the
Carthaginian and the Irish language being originally the same, either
the Carthaginians must have been descended from the Irish, or the Irish
from the Carthaginians."]

{338}[425] The Portuguese proverb says that "hell is paved with good
intentions."--[See _Vision of Judgment_, stanza xxxvii. line 8,
_Poetical Works_, 1901, iv. 499, note 2.]

[ib] _At least the sharp faints of that "burning marle."_--[MS. erased.]

{339}[426] ["The Nervii marched to the number of sixty thousand, and
fell upon Cæsar, as he was fortifying his camp, and had not the least
notion of so sudden an attack. They first routed his cavalry, and then
surrounded the twelfth and the seventh legions, and killed all the
officers. Had not Cæsar snatched a buckler from one of his own men,
forced his way through the combatants before him, and rushed upon the
barbarians; or had not the tenth legion, seeing his danger, ran from the
heights where they were posted, and mowed down the enemy's ranks, not
one Roman would have survived the battle."--Plutarch, _Cæsar_,
Langhorne's translation, 1838, p. 502.]

["As near a field of corn, a stubborn ass ...
E'en so great Ajax son of Telamon."

_The Iliad_, Lord Derby's translation, bk. xi. lines 639, 645.]

{339}[ic] _Nor care a single damn about his corps_.--[MS. erased.]

[428] ["N'apercevant plus le commandant du corps dont je faisais partie,
et ignorant où je devais porter mes pas, je crus reconnaître le lieu où
le rempart était situé; on y faisait un feu assez vif, que je jugeai
être celui ... du général-major de Lascy."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle
Russie_, ii. 210. The speaker is the Duc de Richelieu. See, for
original, his _Journal de mon Voyage, etc., Soc. Imp. d'Hist. de
Russie_, tom. liv. p. 179]

_For he was dizzy, busy, and his blood_
_Lightening along his veins, and where he heard_
_The liveliest fire, and saw the fiercest flood_
_Of Friar Bacon's mild discovery, shared_
_By Turks and Christians equally, he could_
_No longer now resist the attraction of gunpowder_
_But flew to where the merry orchestra played louder_.--[MS. erased.]

[429] Gunpowder is said to have been discovered by this friar. [N.B.
Though Friar Bacon seems to have discovered gunpowder, he had the
_humanity_ not to record his discovery in intelligible language.]

---- _whose short breath, and long faces_
_Kept always pushing onwards to the Glacis_.--[MS. erased.]

{342}[430] [_I Henry IV._, act iii. sc. 1, line 53.]

[if] _And that mechanic impulse_----.--[MS. erased.]

[431] [_Hamlet_, act iii, sc. 1, lines 79, 80.]

{343}[432] ["_Talus:_ the slope or inclination of a wall, whereby,
reclining at the top so as to fall within its base, the thickness is
gradually lessened according to the height."--_Milit. Dict._]

[433] ["Appelant ceux des chasseurs qui étaient autour de moi en assez
grand nombre, je m'avançai et reconnus ne m'être point trompé dans mon
calcul; c'était en effet cette colonne qui à l'instant parvenait au
sommet du rempart. Les Turcs de derrière les travers et les flancs des
bastions voisins fasaient sur elle un feu très-vif de canon et de
mousqueterie. Je gravis, avec les gens qui m'avaient suivi, le talus
intérieur du rempart."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 210.]

{344}[434] [Baron Menno van Coehoorn (circ. 1641-1704), a Dutch military
engineer, the contemporary and rival of Vauban, invented a mortar which
bore his name. He was the author of a celebrated work on fortification,
published in 1692.]

[435] ["Ce fut dans cet instant que je reconnus combien l'ignorance du
constructeur des palissades était importante pour nous; car, comme elles
étaient placées au milieu du parapet," etc.--_Hist. de la Nouvelle
Russie_, ii. 211.]

[436] They were but two feet above the level.--[MS.]

["Il y avait de chaque côté neuf à dix pieds sur lesquels on pouvait
marcher; et les soldats, après être montés, avaient pu se ranger
commodément sur l'espace extérieur et enjamber ensuite les palissades,
qui ne s'élevaient que d'à-peu-près deux pieds au-dessus du niveau de la
terre."--_Ibid._, p. 211.]

{345}[437] [Friederich Wilhelm, Baron von Bülow (1755-1816), was in
command of the 4th corps of the Prussian Army at Waterloo. August
Wilhelm Antonius Neidhart von Gneisenau (1760-1831) was chief of staff,
and after Blücher was disabled by a fall at Ligny, assumed temporary
command, June 16-17, 1815. He headed the triumphant pursuit of the
French on the night of the battle. For Blücher's official account of the
battles of Ligny and Waterloo (subscribed by Gneisenau), see W.H.
Maxwell's _Life of the Duke of Wellington_, 1841, iii. 566-571; and for
Wellington's acknowledgment of Blücher's "cordial and timely
assistance," see _Dispatches_, 1847, viii. 150. See, too, _The Life of
Wellington_, by the Right Hon. Sir Herbert Maxwell, Bart., 1899, ii. 88,
et passim.]

---- _as feminine of feature_.--[MS.]

_Led him on--although he was the gentlest creature_,
_As kind in heart as feminine of feature_.--[MS. erased.]

{347}[438] [Pistol's "_Bezonian_" is a corruption of _bisognoso_--a
rogue, needy fellow. Byron, quoting from memory, confuses two passages.
In _2 Henry VI._, act iv. sc. 1, line 134, Suffolk says, "Great men oft
die of vile bezonians;" in _2 Henry IV._, act v. sc. 3, line 112, Pistol
says, "Under which King, Besonian? speak or die."]

[439] ["Le Général Lascy, voyant arriver un corps, si à-propos à son
secours, s'avança vers l'officier qui l'avait conduit, et, le prenant
pour un Livonien, lui fit, en allemand, les complimens les plus
flatteurs; le jeune militaire (le Duc de Richelieu) qui parlait
parfaitement cette langue, y répondit avec sa modestie
ordinaire."-_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 211.]

{348}[440] [_The Task_, bk. i. line 749. It was pointed out to Cowper
that the same thought had been expressed by Isaac Hawkins Browne, in
_The Fire-side, a Pastoral Soliloquy_, lines 15, 16 (_Poems_, ed. 1768,
p. 125)--

"I have said it at home, I have said it abroad,
That the town is Man's world, but that this is of God."

There is a parallel passage in M.T. Varro, _Rerum Rusticarum_, lib. iii.
I. 4, "Nee minim, quod divina natura dedit agros, ars humami aedificavit
urbes."--See _The Task, etc._, ed. by H.T. Griffith, 1896, ii. 234.]

[441] [Sulla spoke of himself as the "fortunate," and in the
twenty-second book of his Commentaries, finished only two days before
his death, "he tells us that the Chaldeans had predicted, that after a
life of glory he would depart in the height of his prosperity." He was
fortunate, too, with regard to his funeral, for, at first, a brisk wind
blew which fanned the pile into flame, and it was not till the fire had
begun to die out that the rain, which had been expected throughout the
day, began to fall in torrents.--Langhorne's _Plutarch_, 1838, pp. 334,
335. See, too, _Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte_, stanza vii. _Poetical
Works_, 1900, in. 308, note I.]

[442] [Daniel Boone (1735-1820) was the grandson of an English settler,
George Boone, of Exeter. His great work in life was the conquest of
Kentucky. Following in the steps of another pioneer, John Finley, he
left his home in North Carolina in May, 1769, and, after numerous
adventures, effected a settlement on the Kentucky river. He constructed
a fort, which he named Boonesborough, and carried on a protracted
campaign with varying but final success against the Indians. When
Kentucky was admitted into the Union, February 4, 1791, he failed to
make good his title to his property at Boonesborough, and withdrew to
Mount Pleasant, beyond the Ohio. Thence, in 1795, he removed to
Missouri, then a Spanish possession. Napoleon wrested Missouri from the
Spaniards, only to sell the territory to the United States, with the
result that in 1810 he was confirmed in the possession of 850 out of the
8000 acres which he had acquired in 1795. "Boone was then seventy-five
years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to
him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting
excursion to the mouth of the Kansas river."--Appleton's _Encyclopedia,
etc_., art. "Boone." His fine and gracious nature reveals itself in his
autobiography (_The Adventures of Colonel Daniel Boon, Formerly a
Hunter; Containing a Narrative of the Wars of Kentucky_; Imlay's _North
America_, 1793, ii. 52-54). "One day," he writes (pp. 330, _sq_.), "I
undertook a tour through the country, and the diversity and beauties of
nature ... expelled every gloomy and vexatious thought. Just at the
close of day the gentle gales retired, and left the place to the
disposal of a profound calm. Not a breeze shook the most tremulous leaf.
I had gained the summit of a commanding ridge, and, looking round with
astonishing delight, beheld the ample plains, the beauteous tracts
below. On the other hand, I surveyed the famous river Ohio, that rolled
in silent dignity, marking the western boundary of Kentucky with
inconceivable grandeur. ... All things were still. I kindled a fire near
a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loins of a buck, which a
few hours before I had killed.... No populous city, with all the
varieties of commerce and stately structures, could afford so much
pleasure to my mind as the beauties of nature I found here." (See, too,
_The Kentucky Pioneers_, by John Brown, _Harper's New Monthly Magazine_,
1887, vol. lxxv. pp. 48-71.)]

{350}[443] [For John Kyrle, "the Man of Ross" (1635-1724), see Pope's
_Moral Essays_, epist. iii. lines 249-284. See, too, _Letters of S.T.
Coleridge_, 1895 (letter to R. Southey, July 13, 1794), i. 77.]

{351}[444] [Byron seems to have derived his knowledge of Catherine's
_vie intime_ from the _Mémoires Secrets sur la Russie_, of C.F.P.
Masson, which were published in Amsterdam in 1800, and translated into
English in the same year.]

[445] [Michailo Smolenskoi Koutousof (1743-1813), who was raised to
eminence through the influence of Potemkin, was in command of the
Austro-Russian Army at Austerlitz. During the retreat from Moscow he
repulsed Napoleon at Malo-yaroslavetz, and pursued the French to Kalisz.
Tolstoi introduces Koutousof in his novel, _War and Peace_, and dwells
on his fatalism.]

{352}[446] ["Parmi les colonnes, une de celles qui souffrirent le plus
était commandée par le général Koutouzow (aujourd'hui Prince de
Smolensko). Ce brave militaire réunit l'intrépidité à un grand nombre de
connaissances acquises; il marche au feu avec la même gaîeté qu'il va à
une fête; il sait commander avec autant de sang froid qu'il déploie
d'esprit et d'amabilité dans le commerce habituel de la vie."--_Hist. de
la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 212.]

[447] ["Ce brave Koutouzow se jeta dans le fossé, fut suivi des siens,
et ne pénétra jusqu'au haut du parapet qu'après avoir éprouvé des
difficultés incroyables. (Le brigadier de Ribaupierre perdit la vie dans
cette occasion: il avail fixé l'estime générale, et sa mort occasionna
beaucoup de regrets.) Les Turcs accoururent en grand nombre; cette
multitude repoussa deux fois le général jusqu'au fossé."--_Ibid._, p.

[448] ["Quelques troupes russes, emportées par le courant, n'ayant pu
débarquer sur le terrain qu'on leur avait prescrit," etc.--_Ibid._, p.

[449] ["A 'Cavalier' is an elevation of earth, situated ordinarily in
the gorge of a bastion, bordered with a parapet, and cut into more or
fewer embrasures, according to its capacity."--_Milit. Dict._]

{353}[450] [" ... longèrent le rempart, après la prise du cavalier, et
ouvrirent la porte dite _de Kilia_ aux soldats du général
Koutouzow."--_Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 213.]

[451] ["Il était réservé aux Kozaks de combler de leurs corps la partie
du fossé où ils combattaient; leur colonne avail été divisée entre MM.
Platow et d'Orlow ..."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[452] [" ... la première partie, devant se joindre à la gauche du
général Arséniew, fut foudroyée par le feu des batteries, et parvint
néanmoins au haut du rempart."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[453] ["Les Turcs la laissèrent un peu s'avancer, dans la ville, et
firent deux sorties par les angles saillans des bastions."--_Ibid._, p.

[ih] _Fatal to warriors as to women--these_.--[MS.]

{354}[454] ["Alors, se trouvant prise en queue, elle fut écrasée;
cependant le Lieutenant-colonel Yesouskoï, qui commandait la réserve
composée d'un bataillon du régiment de Polozk, traversa le fossé sur les
cadavres des Kozaks ..."--_Hist. de la Nouvell Russia_, ii. 212.]

[455] [" ... et extermina tous les Turcs qu'il eut en tête: ce brave
homme fut tué pendant l'action."--_Ibid._, p. 213.]

[456] ["L'autre partie des Kozaks, qu' Orlow commandait, souffrit de la
manière la plus cruelle: elle attaqua à maintes reprises, fut souvent
repoussée, et perdit les deux tiers de son monde (c'est ici le lieu de
placer une observation, que nous prenons dans les mémoires qui nous
guident; elle fait remarquer combien il est raal vu de donner beaucoup
de cartouches aux soldats qui doivent emporter un poste de vive force,
et par conséquent où la baïonnette doit principalement agir; ils pensent
ne devoir se servir de cette derniere arme, que lorsque les cartouches
sont epuisées: dans cette persuasion, ils retardent leur marche, et
restent plus long-temps exposés au canon et à la mitraille de
l'ennemi)."--_Ibid._, p. 214.]

{355}[457] ["La jonction de la colonne de Meknop--(le général fut nial
secondé et tué)--ne put s'effectuer avec celle qui l'avoisinait, ... ces
colonnes attaquèrent un bastion, et éprouvèrent une résistance
opiniâtre; raais bientôt des cris de victoire se font entendre de toutes
parts, et le bastion est emporté: le séraskier défendait cette
partie."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 214.]

[458] [" ... un officier de marine Anglais veut le faire prisonnier, et
reçoit un coup de pistolet qui l'étend roide mort."--_Ibid._, p. 214.]

[459] ["Les Russes passent trois mille Turcs au fil de l'épée; seize
baïonnettes percent à la fois le séraskier."--_Ibid._, p. 214.]

[460] ["La ville est emportée; l'image de la mort et de la désolation se
représente de tous les côtés le soldat furieux n'écoute plus la voix de
ses officiers, il ne respire que le carnage; altéré de sang, tout est
indifférent pour lui."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 214.]

{356}[ii] _As do the subtle snake's denounced of old_.--[MS.]

{357}[ij] _Which most of all doth man characterise_.--[MS. Alternative

[ik] _As Autumn winds disperse the yellow leaves_.--[MS. erased.]

[461] [See _The Blues_, ecl. i. line 25, _Poetical Works_, 1901, iv.
574, note 3.]

{358}[462] ["Je sauvai la vie à une fille de dix ans, don't l'innocence
et la candeur formaient un contraste bien frappant avec la rage de tout
ce qui m'environnait. En arrivant sur le bastion où commença le carnage,
j'aperçus un groupe de quatre femmes égorgées, entre lesquelles cet
enfant, d'une figure charmante, cherchait un asile contre la fureur de
deux Kozaks qui étaient sur le point de la massacrer,"--Duc de
Richelieu. (See _Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 217.)]

[463] ["Who never mentions Hell to ears polite."--Pope, _Moral Essays_,
ep. iv, line 150.]

{359}[464] ["Ce spectacle m'attira bientôt, et je n'hésitai pas, comme
on peut le croire, à prendre entre mes bras cette infortunée, que les
barbares voulaient y poursuivre encore. J'eus bien de la peine à me
retenir et à ne pas percer ces misérables du sabre que je tenais
suspendu sur leur tête:--je me contentai cependant de les éloigner, non
sans leur prodiguer les coups et les injures qu'ils méritaient...."--Duc
de Richelieu, _vide Hist, de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 217.]

[465] [" ... J'eus le plaisir d'apercevoir que ma petite prisonnière
n'avait d'autre mal qu'une coupure legere que lui avail faite au visage
le même fer qui avail percé sa mére."--Duc de Richelieu, _ibid_.

The Turks clamoured for the child, and Richelieu was forced to give way.
But in the original the story ends unhappily.

"Je fus obligé de céder á leurs instances et á celles de l'officier qui
parlementait avec eux; ... ce ne fut pas sans de grandes difficultés et
sans une promesse expresse de la parl de cet officier [Colonel Ribas] de
me la faire rendre aussitôt que les Tures auraient mis bas les armes. Je
me séparai donc de cet enfant qui m'était déjà devenu très-cher, et même
a présent, je ne puis penser á ce moment sans amertume, puisque malgré
toutes les recherches et les peines que je me donnai pour la retrouver,
il me fut impossible d'y réussir, el je n'ai que trop sujet de craindre
qu'elle n'ait péri malheureusement."--_Société Impériale d'Histoire de
Russie_, tom. liv. p. 185.]

{360}[466] [Sir Walter Scott (_Quarterly Review_, October, 1816, vol.
xvi. p. 177) says that a "brother-poet" compared Byron's features to the
sculpture of a beautiful alabaster vase, only seen to perfection when
lighted up from within. Byron alludes to this comparison in his
_Detached Thoughts_, October 15, 1821, _Letters_, 1901, v. 408. It may
be noted that Lorenzo Bartolini, the Italian sculptor who took a bust of
Byron at Pisa, in the spring of 1822, had been employed by Napoleon, in
1814, to design marble vases for a terrace at Elba, which were to be
illuminated at night "from within."]

[467] A Russian military order.

{362}[468] ["Le sultan périt dans l'action en brave homme, digne d'un
meilleur destin; ce fut lui qui rallia les Turcs lorsque l'ennemi
pénétra dans la place ... ce sultan, d'une valeur éprouvée, surpassait
en générosité les plus civilisés de sa nation; cinq de ses fils
combattaient à ses côtés, il les encourageait par son exemple."--_Hist.
de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 215.]

[469] ["When Charles XII. reached Bender, August 1, 1709, he refused, in
the first instance, to cross the river Dniester, and on yielding to the
representations of the Turks, he declined to enter the town, but decided
on remaining encamped on an island, in spite of the assurances of the
inhabitants that it was occasionally flooded." But, perhaps, Byron had
in mind Voltaire's remarks on Charles's _Opiniâtreté_. (See _Histoire de
Charles XII._, 1772, p. 377. See, too, _Charles XII._, by Oscar
Browning, 1899, pp. 231-234.)]

[il]---- _like celestial patience_.--[MS. erased.]

[im] _Because a hunchback_----.--[MS. erased.]

{364}[in] _In battle to old age and ugliness_.--[MS. erased.]

{365}[io] _In one immortal glance, and then he died_.--[MS. erased]

[470] ["Tous cinq furent tous tués sous ces yeux: il ne cessa point de
se battre, répondit par des coups de sabre aux propositions de se
rendre, et ne fut atteint du coup mortel qu'après avoir abattu de sa
main beaucoup de Kozaks des plus acharnée à sa prise; le reste de sa
troupe fut massacré."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 215.]

{366}[471] ["Quoique les Russes fussent répandus dans la ville, le
bastion de pierre résistait encore; il était défendu par un vicillard,
pacha à trois queues, et commandant les forces réunies à Ismaël. On lui
proposa une capitulation; il demanda si le reste de la ville était
conquis; sur cette réponse, il autorisa quelques-uns de ces officiers à
capituler avec M. de Ribas."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 215.]

[472] ["Pendant ce colloque, il resta étendu sur des tapis placés sur
les ruines de la forteresse, fumant sa pipe avec la même tranquillité et
la même indifférence que s'il eût été étranger à tout ce qui se
passait."--_Ibid._, p. 215.]

_Of burning cities, those full moons of slaughter_
_Was imaged back in blood instead of water_.--[MS. Alternative reading.]

[iq] _Would_ you _do less_, "pro focis et pro aris"?--[MS. erased.]

{368}[473] [Compare--

"Spread--spread for Vitellius, the royal repast,
Till the gluttonous despot be stuffed to the gorge!"

_The Irish Avatar_, stanza 20, _Poetical Works_, 1891, iv. 559.]

[474] ["On égorgea indistinctement, on saccagea la place; et la rage du
vainqueur ... se répandit comme un torrent furieux qui a renversé les
digues qui le rétenaient: personne obtint de grâce, et _trente huit
mille huit cent soixante_ Turcs périrent dans cette journée de
sang."--_Hist. de la Nouvelle Russie_, ii. 216.]

[ir]---- _of my peroration_.--[MS. erased.]

---- _the cause I cannot guess_--
_I hardly think it was commiseration_.--[MS. erased.]

{370}[475] In the original Russian--

"Slava bogu! slava vam!
Krépost vzata i ya tam;"

a kind of couplet; for he was a poet.

[J.H. Castéra (_Vie de Catherine II._, 1797, ii. 374) relates this
incident in connection with the fall of Turtukey (or Tutrakaw) in
Bulgaria, giving the words in French, "Gloire à Dieu! Louange à
Catherine! Toutoukai est pris. Souwaroff y est entré." W. Tooke (_Life
of Catherine II._, 1800, iii. 278). Castéra's translator, gives the
original Russian with an English version. But according to Spalding
(_Suvóroff_, 1890, pp. 42, 43), the words, which were written on a scrap
of paper, and addressed to Soltikoff, ran thus: "Your Excellency, we
have conquered. Glory to God! Glory to you! Alexander Suvóroff." When
Ismail was taken he wrote to Potemkin, "The Russian standard floats
above the walls of Ismail," and to the Empress, "Proud Ismail lies at
your Majesty's feet." The tenour of the poetical message on the fall of
Tutrakaw recalls the triumphant piety of the Emperor William I. of
Germany. See, too, for "mad Suwarrow's rhymes," Canto IX. stanza lx.
lines 1-4.]

Lord George Gordon Byron