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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
EDMUND JOHN ARMSTRONG.
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.]
MARY OF CLORAH.1
In the dewy April weather,
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
'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,
Through the woods at break of morn,
And the feathery larch as green;
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,
"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,
I've striven this wrongful love to smother.
"Thy sweet eyes open, baby mine;
Such lustres pure of trustful love,
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
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
And she clasped her infant tight:
A man of noble gait was he,
And his frown became him well
He strode on with passion pale,
When he touched her trembling arm.
"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 . . .
I never saw that gloom before.
Such sound of wordless pain as ever flows
A dark thought seized my brain and sent its
Through all the stagnant courses of my blood.
So would my memory fade from lips of men.
Washed white in deep repentance) than to have
"Ah me! you loved me, then? O, why
To save those saddened eyes from tears.
Nor will it fade with lapse of years."
She broke in weeping, "Woe is me!
My mother almost starved"
Fled moaning, "O my child, my child!"
Long stood he there in silent woe;
Behind the larches of the glen,
He lingered in those woods again.
A JOURNEY IN WOE.
THE PRISONER OF MOUNT ST. MICHAEL.")
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,
In the abyss in madness, whence to meet
Snatched from the grave by Him who girds our
With power as the round ocean rings the lands,
pale And quenched the whitening stars. Then by the
I communed with my lonely soul, and said:
I bade my shores farewell.
From day to day
And, weak and pale with suffering, viewed once
I wandered, aimless, hopeless, seeking rest,
Not recking whither, till I saw the spires
On through the blossomed valleys wearily
Thou hadst no peace for me! My memory flies
Scourging the bases of the crags with surf,
Wild blows the tempest on their brows
While round the brave ship's keel and o'er the bows
So, in the roar and hiss of the vexed sea,
Of the waters that coil o'er the decks black and
While hither and thither through chink and
The foam of the green leaping billows is driven.
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
The sea-birds are screaming,
The billows are whirling voluminously;
Like snakes in fierce battle
Of ocean and sky,
While the terrible bell of the thunder is tolled
Till the buffeting blast
Is hushed to a whisper at last;
And the sun in his splendour and majesty
GEORGE FRANCIS ARMSTRONG.
fickle Marina, and finds Cecilia in the arms of
[Mr. G. F. Armstrong was born in Dublin | father had contrived to buy back before his death
with crafty devices to alienate him temporarily
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.
Fran. Poor fallen king of men, my own Ugone,
UGONE'S LAST HOURS.
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