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advance. They forced their way in spite of all these difficulties into the building, and defended themselves against the repeated attacks of the enemy with a courage equal to the soldiers of Inkerman. At last, however, overpowered but unsubdued, they withdrew from the fatal Redan, and saw the tricolor floating in triumph on the summit of the Malakoff. The town which had resisted so heroically was subdued at last by an accidental assault. The losses on both sides in this crowning operation were very slight. The garrison had been taken unawares. It had been so absorbed in the terrible scene going on at the Redan that it did not attend enough to its own affairs. French riflemen scrambled with the agility of famished tigers into the place, and the fate of Sebastopol was sealed. With this great effort the power of the Russians was exhausted. France also found it imperative to put an end to the sacrifices of men and money the contest constantly entailed. England alone, which had entered almost blindfold into the war, and had been shaken for a moment by the breakdown of her military system and the sufferings of her soldiers, was ready to go on. Her resources were untouched, her ancient warlike spirit had become universal and irresistible, and single-handed she was anxious to continue the contest.
§ 20. The pride of the Russians had obtained a counterpoise for their defeat in the Crimea by great successes in Asia. They had taken the city of Kars, defended by Turks and English, under the command of General Williams, and driven Omar Pacha, the Ottoman commander-in-chief, down to the sea coast. Successful, therefore, in the East, where the fame of these victories spread their reputation as still irresistible though assaulted by three of the European nations, they could afford to submit their proposals for peace to a congress which assembled in Paris. Austria, which throughout the quarrel had shown her usual selfishness and dishonesty, advocated the cause of the Czar, and the terms were
more favourable than the vanquished had any reason to expect. Affairs in Asia were restored to their former state. The Black Sea was interdicted to the ships of war of all nations, except a few light vessels of the Turks and Russians. The Danube was declared free, and for the satisfaction of our Baltic allies, the Kings of Sweden and Denmark, the Aland Isles were to be kept unfortified by the Czar. Sardinia raised her voice in favour of the independence of Italy and the curtailment of Austrian domination in that peninsula. Privateering also was declared illegal during hostilities; and the goods of enemies, except contraband of war, were covered by the neutral flag. But the impatience of the late belligerents did not allow much discussion. The peace was hurriedly concluded, and the worn-out populations looked forward to a long period of prosperity and peace (30th March, 1856).
§ 21. In the more immediate interest of these European events, the foreign affairs of England commanded little attention. Yet incidents of far greater magnitude than the siege of Sebastopol were drawing to their final consummation both in China and Hindostan. A mighty opening for Christian civilization was made in those two dark regions, and we trust without presumption that war and tumult have been but the dreadful prelude to the spread of Gospel truth. With the Chinese our intercourse had been conducted on very unsatisfactory terms, as it was found impossible to keep that childishly civilized and intrinsically barbarous people to the terms of a treaty we had entered into with them in 1812. In fatal forgetfulness of the Oriental mind, which sees only weakness or cowardice in justice and moderation, we had allowed some of our rights to remain unexercised, and permitted language and behaviour on the part of the governors and mandarins which were studiously intended to humiliate and insult us. An act of open violence, in the seizure of a vessel under English protection in the river of Canton, brought affairs to a crisis on the 8th of October, 1856. The
DISPUTE WITH CHINA.
Imperial Commissioner Yeh, one of the most bloodthirsty ruffians recorded in history, would offer neither apology nor reparation, and it was found necessary to send a special ambassador to arrange all matters in dispute, and offer a display of British power which should make a sufficient impression on the natives' fears. Lord Elgin was the statesman chosen to carry on the negotiation, and hurried across to Singapore to wait the arrival of the ships and troops with which his authority was to be supported. At Singapore he met General Ashburnham, who had left India to take the command of the Chinese expedition, and from him heard the first report of the mutiny of the Sepoys, and the appalling magnitude of our danger. With a courage and self-reliance which only great men display, Lord Elgin altered the destination of the troops. He diverted them from China to Hindostan, leaving the barbarians of the Flowery Land to a surer punishment at some future time, and took on himself the whole responsibility of the delay.
§ 22. The moral support was equal to the material. The gallant opposers of that ferocious mutiny felt that their country had not forgotten them; and from that time the tide was turned. Courage, self-sacrifice, the dash of headlong valour, and the nobler fortitude of refined and delicate women, were now certain of appreciation; and never was national pride so stimulated in the midst of national grief as by the heroic endurance and magnificent efforts of the outnumbered English in that darkest period of our annals. It is scarcely possible to speak yet without mingled tears and triumph of the sufferings and exploits of the victims and survivors of that unequalled erime. Disaffection had existed for a long time in the native armies. They had been spoiled by kindness which they did not understand, and had deceived their benefactors with pretended gratitude. On pretence of some fear that we intended to interfere with their religion, they broke out in mutiny and murder in several quarters at once,
THE INDIAN MUTINY.
slew their officers in cold blood, and formed themselves into combined armies of great force. The massacre of Cawnpore, where several hundred English were faithlessly destroyed by order of a villain called Nana Sahib, placed the quarrel on a basis on which no quarter could be given on either side. Till that innocent blood was avenged there could neither be honour nor safety to Europeans in Hindostan. But the mutineers were twenty to one in number. They had arms and treasure, military discipline learned in their masters' school, and the first advantages of a surprise. Yet great men rose as if by enchantment everywhere. Havelock carried victory before him wherever he went. Lord Canning, the GovernorGeneral, showed energy and determination; the gallant Lawrences carried on a fraternal rivalry in heroism and skill. All the characteristics of the noblest of our race came forth magnified and embellished under the pressure of that great necessity. The garrison of Lucknow-consisting of few soldiers, indeed, but animated by the presence of ladies and maidens who looked to them with a spirit of trust and resignation worthy of the wives and sisters of the men who were already gathering for their rescue-fought on against their innumerable assailants, though they were uncheered with the knowledge that deliverance was at hand. The pent-up excitement of that beleaguered family found its relief in prayer. But even upon earth they boasted "great allies”—
"Their friends were exultations, agonies,
§ 23. The great capital of Agra was subjected to the same trials. A rebel army was outside the walls. Delhi was nominally besieged by the English; but little progress was made against enormous numbers, and two generals had already yielded to fatigue and anxiety; a military repulse was experienced at Dinapore, and Havelock was in retreat.
It was at this time that two gentlemen walking in the Garden Reach at Calcutta heard the rustle of sails on the river,
and saw the stately form of the Shannon rounding a point, and presenting a deck crowded with fighting men and broadsides filled with guns. They threw their hats in the air, and waved their arms, and one of them, of an eloquent turn of mind, evidently made an address to the good old ship which would have made her figurehead blush with modesty if she had only been within hearing; but the boom of her great sixty-eight pounders saluting the flag on Fort-William, and shattering the window-panes with the loudness of their thunders, filled the City of Palaces with delight; and all men felt that India was saved. The gallant Sir William Peel, worthy son of the great minister, was in command of the noble vessel. In a week he had organized the Naval Brigade, and was on his way to the seat of war. Sir Colin Campbell arrived on the scene of his future glories as commander-in-chief, and by a series of exploits unequalled in romance, and skilful combinations beyond the comprehension of the enemy, the dignity of the British name was restored. Punishment was meted out to the guilty, and as a conclusive sign that the long struggle was over between the real wielder of power and the nominal possessor of the authority of the Moguls, the King of Delhi was tried for mutiny and treason, and sentenced by an English court. Thus died out in infamy and weakness the greatest dynasty of Hindostan.
§ 24. Little more than a hundred years before, the British flag waved over a few factories on the coasts of Coromandel and Malabar. A trading firm, under the name of the East India Company, had obtained some privileges, and the promise of protection from the native chiefs. Rising in ambition as they increased in wealth, they interfered with the domestie policies of the royal houses, and gave the first sign of the military genius which was to spread its influence from sea to sea at Clive's great battle of Plassy in 1757. Other great men arose, and after succeeding in destroying the hostile influence of the French, and driving them from all their pos