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purpose of keeping these latter until Jellala- | tribes had barricaded the pass. All was over. bad should have been evacuated. He demanded The army of Cabul was finally extinguished in that General Elphinstone, the commander, that barricaded pass. It was a trap; the British with his second in command, and also one were taken in it. A few mere fugitives escaped other officer, should hand themselves over to from the scene of actual slaughter, and were him as hostages. He promised if this were on the road to Jellalabad, where Sale and his done to exert himself more than before to re- little army were holding their own. When strain the fanatical tribes, and also to provide they were within sixteen miles of Jellalabad the army in the Koord Cabul Pass with pro- the number was reduced to six. Of these six, visions. There was nothing for it but to sub-five were killed by straggling marauders on mit; and the English general himself became, the way. One man alone reached Jellalabad with the women and children, a captive in the to tell the tale. Literally one man, Dr. Bryhands of the inexorable enemy. don, came to Jellalabad out of a moving host which had numbered in all some sixteen thousand when it set out on its march. The curious eye will search through history or fiction in vain for any picture more thrilling with the suggestions of an awful catastrophe than that of this solitary survivor, faint and reeling on his jaded horse, as he appeared under the walls of Jellalabad, to bear the tidings of our Thermopyle of pain and shame.

Then the march of the army, without a general, went on again. Soon it became the story of a general without an army; before very long there was neither general nor army. It is idle to lengthen a tale of mere horrors. The straggling remnant of an army entered the Jugdulluk Pass-a dark, steep, narrow, ascending path between crags. The miserable toilers found that the fanatical, implacable


BORN 1841- DIED 1865.

[Edmund John Armstrong was born in Dublin on the 23d July, 1841. As a child he showed remarkable precocity, and began to write poetry while still a boy. He entered Trinity College in 1859, and commenced his College career with a series of brilliant successes; but from a neglected cold and excessive physical exertion he ruptured a bloodvessel in the lung in the spring of 1860, and was obliged to betake himself for rest to the Channel Islands. His health being restored, he made a long pedestrian tour in France in 1862, during which he collected the material for The Prisoner of Mount St. Michael, a poem which has been highly praised by the Edinburgh Review, both for the treatment of the story and the remarkable ease and power of the blank verse. In the same year he returned to Dublin, and, recommencing his University studies, and entering the intellectual societies of the College, won much distinction as an essayist, and in 1864 was awarded the gold medal for composition in the Historical Society, and elected president of the Philosophical Society. In the winter of 1864, a severe congestion having attacked the lung which had been so seriously injured by the accident of 1860, he was unable to shake it off, and died

on the 24th February, 1865. A selection from his poems was published in the autumn of 1865, as a memorial of him, by the Historical and Philosophical Societies and several eminent friends, and was well received by the press, and warmly praised by some of the most distinguished writers of the day. He was also the author of Ovoca, an Idyllic Poem, and other poetical works, a second edition of which, with his Life and Letters, and Essays and Sketches, was published in London in 1877.

A life thus brief can only be spoken of as to its promise: there can be little doubt that Armstrong, if granted greater length of days, might have attained to high poetic excellence. He had a bright fancy, keen sensibility, and, as has been said already, a command of easy and flowing blank verse which was remarkable in one so young.]


In the dewy April weather,
When the tufts were on the heather
And the feathery larch was green,

1 This and the following extracts are by permission of the author's representatives.

Mary, like the young Aurora, Shone amid the woods of Clorah; Pride was in her stately mien.

O, her laugh was like the runnel
Bubbling in its pebbly channel

'Mid the glistening moss and fern; But it hushed the stock-dove sighing, And it set the cuckoo flying,

And it scared the lonely hern.

She was all alone, sweet Mary,
Tripping like a winsome fairy

Through the woods at break of morn,
Laughing to herself, and singing
Rustic snatches that went ringing
Through the glens like laughs of scorn.
When a year had fled, the weather
Was as fair, as fresh the heather,

And the feathery larch as green;
But no pride was left in Mary,
And the laughing winsome fairy
Was no more what she had been.

O'er her little babe her laughter Burst in fits, but sighs came after;

Through her mirth was breathed a sigh. Now she kissed her infant wildly, Now she looked upon it mildly

Through the tears that dimmed her eye.

Then she murmured, "Baby mine, Would my soul were calm as thine!

Sleep, my darling little boy;

Sleep, the winds about thee moaning; Sleep, nor heed thy mother groaning; Sleep, my own, my only joy.

"Ah, methinks thine eyes of blue Are more loving, deep, and true,

Closed beneath those silken lashes, Than the smiling eyes that hold My spirit with their glances bold,— Tempest-gleams and lightning-flashes!

"Would that I had never strayed, Wayward, in the greenwood shade,

Singing at the break of morn! Those dear eyes had never dazed me, Those sweet words had never mazed meWould I never had been born!

"Then I saw him, as a dream, Standing by the brawling stream,

And I felt a sudden shiver Seize me as I gazed on him— He was fishing by the brim

Of the roaring mountain river.

"Then he turned, and took the breath From my breast that shook beneath

Those steadfast eyes; he smiled, and then

I was bold, and broke the spell,
And passed on proudly . . . well, ah! well,
I learned to love that smile again!

"Ah me, I never broke the spell! My love is more than I can tell;

It burns, it scorches . . . yet I know This should not be: my babe, I wrong Thy father, but I am not strong

Worn weaker by this hidden woe. "I never broke my marriage vows; Thy father is my wedded spouse;

And if my heart be with another,
God knows I've striven, howe'er in vain,
Though baffled by the blissful pain,

I've striven this wrongful love to smother.

"Thy sweet eyes open, baby mine;
And from their depths of violet shine

Such lustres pure of trustful love,
I am rebuked. I dare not dwell
In fancy on the baleful spell

That turns me false to thee, sweet dove. "Well I love thee, little child, Soothing with thy glances mild

All my trouble. Thou wilt be My help, my angel; thou wilt make Thy father kind for thy sweet sake,

And charm away his cruelty."

Laughing lightly, lightly sighing
O'er the babe all calmly lying

In her arms, she showered kisses On its tender mouth and brows; And she felt a lover's vows

Were not worth a mother's blisses.

Then a step within the wood
Stilled the beating of her blood,

And she clasped her infant tight:
In a dark tempestuous mood
The man she loved before her stood,
And her face and lips grew white.

A man of noble gait was he,
As fair a lord as you might see:

And his frown became him well
When she rose and turned away,
And took the homeward path that lay
Among the wild-flowers of the dell.

He strode on with passion pale,
And her limbs began to fail

When he touched her trembling arm.
Then she uttered a low cry:
But he, "Have comfort; it is I,
Mary; I never meant you harm.

"I loved you with all truth; my love Is registered in Heaven above;

I would have made you wife, I swore,


And I have never broken vows . . .
Ha! there's a sadness on your brows-

I never saw that gloom before.

Such sound of wordless pain as ever flows
Around the eddying darkness and the fires
Of Tophet from the spirits of the fallen,
Gushed from my lone and desolated heart.
Anon I found my wavering course had strayed,
Unguided by the broken helm of will,
To the wet strand left naked by the sea.

A dark thought seized my brain and sent its

Through all the stagnant courses of my blood.
I knew the quicksands of St. Michael's bay,
The cheating tombs that swallow up alive
So many souls-what if they sank with me,
then, wild And buried me for ever with my curse?
No trace would tell it to the prying world;
The tide of morn would wash my tracks away,
Leaving the image of the ebbing wave;

So would my memory fade from lips of men.
The impulse mastered me. I trod the beach
With clenched teeth and hands. My pulses beat
In tumult with the might of my resolve.
My feet were treading on the skirts of Death
Ere terror stayed them. God, I thank Thee now!
Thou madest my curse a blessing. Better here,
Far better here to die a felon's death
(If so be I may grasp the gift, and go

Washed white in deep repentance) than to have


"Ah me! you loved me, then? O, why
Did you not trust me? I would die

To save those saddened eyes from tears.
Your doubts have made a young man old.
Such love as mine may not be told,

Nor will it fade with lapse of years."

She broke in weeping, "Woe is me!
They said you died in Italy.

My mother almost starved"
With love and the keen agony
Of duty, sobbing bitterly,

Fled moaning, "O my child, my child!"

Long stood he there in silent woe;
And when the sun was dipping low

Behind the larches of the glen,
He knelt and wept-then passed away
For ever. Never from that day

He lingered in those woods again.





PREAMBLE. The narrator of the following history perished on the scaffold on the morning on which he penned its closing lines. He sketched it hurriedly, under the influence of agonizing passions and still more agonizing fears, during the three days previous to his death, while awaiting the summons of the executioner in the solitude of the condemned cell. The victim of the treachery of her whom he loved, his mind is for a time wholly unable to realize her duplicity, and he would fain convince himself of her purity by believing that he is the dupe of an illusion. As the hours roll on, and as he recapitulates one by one the incidents of his history, he begins to apprehend more clearly the character of the woman who has destroyed him; and at the last, after a great struggle, he learns to pardon her, looking back upon the past as from another world, and accepting his destiny as a blessing rather than a curse.

The gloomy superstitions and the peculiar habits of the Bretons have been made familiar to the public through the works of MM. de la Villemarqué and Souvestre. The prisoner, a Breton by birth, but a man of good parentage and average education, appears to have retained throughout his life the dark, romantic tone of thought which essentially distinguishes the native of Brittany even at the present day. The Breton character, with its deep passions and its habitual melancholy, its superstitious terrors and its strong religious bias, exhibits itself in his thought and actions, and gives a colour to his expressions, written down hastily in the intervals of despair and hope, which seem to have possessed him alternately during the closing hours of his life.

The woods were wrapt in midnight when I rose,
And staggered-where I knew not. Chains of lead
Pressed on my spirit, and the chill of woe
Made mute my tongue, and only a low wail,

In the abyss in madness, whence to meet
I bless Thee, Father: Thou art wise and good.
Thy face in shame that cannot hide or die!

Snatched from the grave by Him who girds our

With power as the round ocean rings the lands,
I wandered through the night till the East grew

pale And quenched the whitening stars. Then by the


I communed with my lonely soul, and said:
"I am not weak, to offer thus my cheek
To the smiter, and then turn aside and mourn;
Nor yet so strong as to forbear revenge,
To sheathe the dagger in its silken sheath
Divides in twain-to slay or to be slain.
When I might sate its hungry edge. The way
To die-I dare not.
And front the waste, alone with my despair;
I will rise, and turn,
So perish, if I perish." Wrestling thus,
A quick resolve flashed on me, blinding me—
To fly those woods to be for ever haunted
By terrible suggestions, which might swoop
Upon me, unaware, or weak with doubt,
And drive my feet to evil. Wherefore there

I bade my shores farewell.

From day to day
Around, before, above me-like a ghost
I wandered, with a sense of dullest pain
That clings to him whose hands with guilt are red,
The vampire of his soul. Through Normandy

And, weak and pale with suffering, viewed once


I wandered, aimless, hopeless, seeking rest,
Not caring much to find it. All the vales,
The bosomed vales sprinkled with buds and bells, Thy vines and orchards, O beloved France!
The snowy blossoms of the orchard-fields,
The quiet loveliness of copse and grange,
Wore a cold glare of beauty to my eyes.
I strayed amid the Valleys of the Vire
Four weary days, and revelled in my woe,
Fevering a heavy heart with drink and song—
The songs of Basselin fragrant of the vine,
Which with a fascinated zest I sung,
Draining the bowl in passionate despair,
And laughing loud and long with wassailers
Who knew not of the canker-worm within.
The contrast filled me with a fierce delight;
But soon I tasted of the bitter dregs,
And wallowed in the dust of crumbled hopes
Once more, in agony of shame. Inflamed
By self-contempt, and goaded by the sting
Of penitence, I journeyed on afoot,

Not recking whither, till I saw the spires
Of moonlit Caen piercing the starry heaven;
And there I bode three dismal nights and days,
Nursing my grief and changing words with none.

On through the blossomed valleys wearily
I dragged my solitary way, and passed
The blue, the slumbering Seine, from bank to bank,
To the great Haven, with its crowded marts
And labour-ringing quays. The Orient
Breathed on the ocean with his panting steeds,
And the tall ships, with canvas broad unfurled,
Moved swanlike on the wave. A dull desire
To leave the sunny land, which now was dark
With my soul's gloom, possessed me, and I sailed
To the white cliffs of Albion.
Isle of peace,

Thou hadst no peace for me! My memory flies
O'er that sad waste of exile; for the fields,
The dewy woods, the gardens, and the halls
Of that fair land, brought no delicious calm
To hush the tempest of my soul; but, sad
And sullen as a fallen spirit allowed
To pass within the jewelled gates of Heaven
And view the glories that no more are his,
So in the land that once I longed to know
I moved contentless. No, much dearer seems
The bleak bare coast of Erin, where I mused
Beside the deep Atlantic many days,
Dreaming of Brittany, poring on the waves,
Whose deep-voiced thunder numbed my sharper


Scourging the bases of the crags with surf,
And sweeping the long caverns with a roll
Of booming guns. I sat from dawn till eve
Watching the grand confusion, till it sank
Into my spirit with a sense of rest,
An influence of peace from tumult born,
As light from darkness, as the calm blue heaven
From clouds of tempest, as the even pulse
From fever. Then I yearned for my own land,


Wild blows the tempest on their brows
Lit by the dying sunset's fire;

While round the brave ship's keel and o'er the bows
The thundering billows break. And, as a lyre
Struck by a maniac writhes with storms of sound,
Wherein the moan of some low melody
Is crushed in that tumultuous agony
That sweeps and whirls around;

So, in the roar and hiss of the vexed sea,
And 'mid the flapping of the tattered sails,
The thousand voices of the ruthless gales
Are blended with the sigh of murmured prayer,
The long low plaint of sorrow and of care-
The sound of prayer upon the storm-blown sea,
The sound of prayer amid the thunder's roll,
'Mid the howl of the tempest, the pale-flashing

Of the waters that coil o'er the decks black and

While hither and thither through chink and
through seam

The foam of the green leaping billows is driven.
A moment their forms are aglow in the flash
Of the red, lurid bolt; then the vibrating crash
Of the echoing thunder above and below
Shakes the folds of the darkness; they reel to

and fro

From the crest to the trough of the flickering wave,

Where the waters are curved like the crags of a


That drip with red brine in the vapours of gold
From the doors of the sunrise in hurricane rolled.

The sea-birds are screaming,
The lightning is gleaming,

The billows are whirling voluminously;

Like snakes in fierce battle
They twist and they fold,
Amid the loud rattle

Of ocean and sky,

While the terrible bell of the thunder is tolled
And the fiends of the storm ride by;

Till the buffeting blast

Is hushed to a whisper at last;

And the sun in his splendour and majesty
Looks down on the deep's aerial blue;
And the soft low cry of the white seamew,
And the plash of the ripple around the keel,
Like a girl's rich laughter, lightly steal
O'er those true hearts by troubles riven;
And a song of praise goes up to Heaven.


fickle Marina, and finds Cecilia in the arms of
Count Rocco. He restrains his anger to save his
sister from more dishonour. Count Rocco manages

[Mr. G. F. Armstrong was born in Dublin | father had contrived to buy back before his death
county in May, 1845, and educated at Trinity out of the remnant of his broken fortunes. At
College. Returning from a tour in Normandy, Milan Ugone is taken by the hand by an English
whither he had accompanied his brother nobleman, to whose daughter, the lady Adelaide,
Edmund, he gained, in 1864, the highest he becomes affianced. Returning in high hope
distinctions in English verse. In 1866 the and joyful expectation to the villa by the lake,
gold medal for composition was awarded to Ugone witnesses the blight of Francesco's noble
him in the Historical Society; and in the fol- though boyish love for the worldly-minded and
lowing year his essays won the gold medal of
the Philosophical Society, of which he was
twice elected president. Poems, Lyrical and
Dramatic, appeared in 1869, and in 1870 Ugone,
a tragedy, which had been suggested by his
travels and residence in Italy. In the fol-
lowing year he was appointed Professor of
History and English Literature in Queen's Col-
lege, Cork. In 1872 he was presented with the
degree of M.A. in Dublin University, revisited
Italy and Switzerland, and published the first
part of The Tragedy of Israel, “King Saul,"
together with new editions of his former
works. In 1874 appeared "King David," and
in 1876 "King Solomon," the second and final
parts of The Tragedy of Israel. In 1877 he
brought out the Life, Letters, and Essays of
his brother, and a new edition of the Poems
of the latter, the first edition having appeared
under his editorship in 1865.

with crafty devices to alienate him temporarily
from Adelaide by causing doubts of her fidelity to
be sown in his mind; and he prevails upon Cecilia
to fly to him. He seduces her, and in her shame
and despair she drowns herself in the lake. Ugone
is present when her body is discovered; and when
it is brought home he swears that he will avenge
her. He finds Rocco in a wood by the lake side,
pursues him, and kills him. He has been fol-
lowed by Francesco (lately risen from a bed of
sickness), who suspects his purpose; and, as he
enters his boat to fly, Francesco jumps in along
with him, and insists on accompanying him. They
cross the lake to Baveno, and arrive at night at
Domo D'Ossola, where the following scene opens.]

All these works have received an equally favourable reception from the chief organs of criticism. Ugone-from which we quote-in particular displays a dramatic vigour, poetic passion, and pathos, which speak for the possession of the true poetic inspiration.]

Night. A room in an Inn at Domo D'Ossola.

Lightning and thunder at frequent intervals.
UGONE asleep on a couch. FRANCESCO sitting

Fran. Poor fallen king of men, my own Ugone,
Thou on whose shoulder I have laid my head
How many a time, when tears o'erran my face,
And the child's heart within me ached for grief,
Touched by the world's indefinite agonies,
Liest thou thus?... O, blind my eyes, great


I cannot watch the dear beloved face, And think upon his ruin. . . . Brother, brother... [The ruin of Ugone's father and the downfall of I cannot call thee "brother". . wreck of glory, his house have been brought about by the machina- My pride that is my shame, my loathed love, tions of Count Teodulfo and his natural son and I cling to thee as the lorn widow clings soi-disant nephew, Count Rocco. The deaths of To the dead ghastly flesh that was her lord's; his father and mother have left Ugone guardian She loves the body for the soul it held, and sole support of his younger brother Francesco, As I thee love for thy wrecked majesty, a precocious but delicate boy, and his sister Cecilia, Though horrible as that. . . sleep on, sleep on. a beautiful girl just emerging from childhood. (Thunder heard.) Ugone, a noble and gifted youth, who endeavours... The thunder's come at last; I felt its coming. to combine the pursuit of art with the humble toil As we drew near the village, all the road by which he is forced to earn his bread, resides Smelt as of sulphur-something in the soil from necessity chiefly at Milan, while Francesco Drawn by the sultry air. Footsore, and weak and Cecilia live with an old domestic in a decayed Nigh unto death, I longed for rain and storm. villa on the shores of Lago Maggiore, which their | If there be any in pursuit, he'll steal

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