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the front, could not have acted efficiently against musketry in a thick wood; the artillery themselves could not have acted at all; and our own infantry, with the exception of a small body of the rifles, which presently followed the hussars to the front, was still some miles in rear. Luckily the enemy, far from adopting any such bold measure, at once took to flight, the meeting being no more expected, and much less desired, by him than by us and our horse-artillery, debouching into the open space, opened at once on the rear of the fugitives, who, in their haste, left some carriages with baggage and ammunition on the plain.
On this small plain, which is surrounded by trees, stands a large white house, known as Mackenzie's Farm. From Sebastopol a road crosses it at right angles to the one we had come by, ascending very steeply from the plains below, on the side of the city, and descending again on the left after passing the farm. Down the road to the left the troop of horse-artillery (Maude's) pressed in pursuit, and came up with some infantry, who, turning on the skirts of the wood, fired a volley, which did no damage, and ran into the bushes; when the artillery, unlimbering, opened with case shot, and killed several. Some of the Scots Greys, dismounting, went skirmishing through the wood, and about a dozen Russians, throwing themselves down and pretending to be dead, rose after they were past and fired on them, for which discreditable ruse they were, as they deserved to be, all put to death.
In the mean time, all the artillery was brought into the open space and placed in position in both directions, so as to open on the force that had passed us if it returned, or on any other body which might be following it. Going to the edge of the plain opposite the side we had debouched from, we found ourselves on the edge of a steep cliff descending to the plains below, along which was retreating a train of carriages which, cut off by our advance, had turned back by the road they came. A gun was moved down this road, and some rounds were fired, with no other effect, however, than accelerating their flight, and causing
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXX.
them to abandon some of their vehicles. Those left on the plain were immediately submitted by the artillerymen and dragoons to a rigorous examination. They appeared to contain the wardrobe of some luckless cavalry officer. Blue jackets, trimmed with black fur, and laced with silver, silver sashes, smart shakos, marked with the number "12" in silver, and gorgeous shabracks, were among the spoils. There were also fine shirts and other garments, a looking-glass in an inlaid tortoise-shell case, which I tried in vain to tempt the captor to sell me (he said if he was spared he hoped to look at himself in it in England) and a sort of altar-piece, in a great wooden case with folding doors, which, being thrown back, disclosed a goodly assemblage of saints and sacred personages, whose figures were gilt; while their faces, appearing through holes left in the metal, were beautifully painted on ivory behind. There was some concealed machinery by which the figures were moved. My own share of the spoil was a large bucket filled with corn attached to one of the carriages, into which my horse immediately plunged his muzzle, having had but short rations for some days past.
By degrees the divisions of infantry came through the wood, and formed on the plain. The cavalry, coming back from the pursuit, brought in a few prisoners, mounted on Russian carriages, with some pairs of nice horses. An officer was taken, to whom the Duke of Cambridge put some questions in French about the late battle. "Ah," he said, "our men fought well enough, but 'tis of no use your infantry are the best in the world."
Before we resumed our march, a dull deep roar was heard behind us, and from amid the trees ascended a column of smoke, itself in shape like a magnificent tree, its rounded outlines spreading, like white foliage, high and wide. This was the explosion of an ammunition waggon of the enemy, which Captain Fortescue of the artillery had been ordered to blow up. Then the divisions moved in their accustomed order of march down the steep chalky hill, on the precipitous side of which were numerous
carts and waggons, upset by those who had fled back by the road they came. The march was slow, and the stoppages, from the carriages and waggons halting on the steep, frequent; and, though evening was approaching, we still had to traverse some miles of plain before reaching water. These plains had a surface of chalk covered thinly with grass, amid which the white dust rose in clouds at every step, and chalky hills were all around. At length, after a long and weary march, we reached the river Tchernaya, which runs through the valley of Inkerman, and pitched our tents after nightfall, while the rear divisions and batteries did not arrive till some hours afterwards. During the night, the redness of the sky above the heights on which Mackenzie's Farm stands, showed that
our allies, following in our steps, were encamping there.
It is not easy to define the object of the Russian troops in thus sallying from Sebastopol. Probably it was done with a view to operate in the woods in our rear during the siege, on the supposition that we should attack the fortress from our camp on the Balbek. But for the halt which our artillery made in the wood, it would have debouched at Mackenzie's Farm, across the middle instead of across the rear of the enemy's column of route. Had the infantry been close, in sufficient force to support us, this would have insured the discomfiture of the Russians, and the capture of many prisoners. But, under the actual circumstances, we may consider the halt fortunate, and console ourselves with thinking all's well that ends well.
CHAP. VIII.-OCCUPATION OF BALAKLAVA.
On the 27th we only went about four miles; but the consequences of the long and fatiguing march of the day before, showed themselves directly we started. Men, fallen out of the ranks, began to strew the roadside, many of them in the agonies of cholera; and, within a mile, I saw at least fifty or sixty Highlanders lying exhausted. On this day Colonel Cox, of the Guards, seized with cholera, was taken up on one of our gun-limbers, and, going on shipboard, died the same evening.
Before noon the first division halted at the mouth of a gorge between very lofty hills; and up the heights enclosing it, the brigades of the light division advanced, one on each side; while some riflemen took possession of a low pointed hill in the valley, crowned with a white house. From beyond this hill we presently heard some of the guns of the light division, and the smoke of others also rolled back over the heights on the left, while a shell or two from the enemy burst over the valley. The Guards were moved forward into a village at the mouth of the gorge, down which appeared a piece of water like a small lake, closed at the other extremity by a high hill crowned by a long wall with towers, looking in the distance like a respect
able fort. Presently ship's guns were heard from the sea. Our own continued to fire from the height on the left, and dust flew from the walls where they struck; while the garrison, instead of continuing to reply, ran along the edge of the wall towards the sea, apparently in great agitation. A party of Rifles, moving up the slopes, entered the place and followed the garrison along the wall, and a white flag showed that Balaklava had surrendered, fortunately without any blood spilt; while a small English steamer, appearing suddenly on the piece of water below, assured us that the harbour was our own, and our communication with the fleet re-established.
The manœuvre, now successfully accomplished, of transferring the army from the north to the south side of Sebastopol, would, as before remarked, have been impossible under the old conditions of war. With a stationary depôt north of Sebastopol, convoys with munitions could not have been taken past the fortress, unless guarded by detachments of such strength as could not have been spared from the army, and then only with constant risk of interruption and loss. transfer this depôt to the south side of the fortress, in sailing ships, the first condition must have been a
favourable wind; and, when the fleet had obtained this and taken advantage of it, the manoeuvre, detected from the fortress, would have been baffled by the interposition of a Russian force on the land side of Balaklava. But, thanks to steam, the army could afford to abandon its communications with the fleet on the Balbek, confident of resuming them at the point concerted; and the labours of the Russian engineers, long directed solely to resist the anticipated attack on the north side, were, by this unexpected movement, rendered unavailing.
As Balaklava henceforth becomes a place of importance in the narrative of the campaign, it is worth describing, and indeed deserves notice from its picturesque beauty.
The valley, extending less than a mile from the gorge to the edge of the harbour, consists of gardens, meadows, and vineyards, the latter spreading a little way up the slopes on each side till the hard rock forbids further cultivation. To the soldiers, long accustomed to eat their ration, fresh or salt, with the vegetable accompaniment of rice only, the vineyards, rich with clusters of ripe grapes, and the gardens, abounding overhead in apples and plums, and underfoot in pumpkins, tomatas, and cabbages, all of excellent quality, appeared a paradise. The last-mentioned vegetable seemed especially agreeable to the military palate; and men of all arms of the service might be seen crossing the meadows, bearing on their shoulders long poles, on which whole rows of cabbages were impaled. Clusters of trees were intermingled with the spots of tillage, and a small stream, filling wells as it went, flowed along the meadows.
The harbour, a narrow inlet of the sea winding between steep barren heights, looked more like a fresh-water lake than an arm of the ocean, its mouth
being concealed by an abrupt bend. I have seen something like it in the basins of the hills around Snowdon and Cader Idris. Except at the upper extremity, where it grows shallow, it shelves down to an extraordinary depth close to the shore. Its greatest width is about 400 yards. In the course of the afternoon many ships came in and ranged themselves side by side close to the south shore ;the Agamemnon, towering above the rest, looked like the old puzzle of the reel in the bottle on a magnificent scale. The town, consisting of several narrow streets, stands on the south shore; the women, apprehensive of ill treatment, had fled to the opposite side, but a staff officer crossing to assure them of safety, several boat-loads returned. Amongst them was a poor lady who told me in French that she had left Sebastopol only the day before, "to escape from the English": she submitted with exceeding good grace to the will of fate. Outside the guardroom were ranged in order the garrison to the number of eighty, with their venerable white-mustached commandant, prisoners of war, their arms being piled on the ground in front. Behind the town the rock slopes very steeply up to the wall and the towers at the top. These, built in rude times, and unrepaired for centuries, are absolutely useless for defence. The ruinous towers seem ready to topple over with the first footstep that ascends their broken stair; huge gaps yawn in the intervening walls; and the portions of the latter still standing show, by their thin parapet raised in front of a narrow path, that they were intended to resist an enemy who knew not the use of cannon. Nevertheless, at a distance these shattered stones wore an imposing and martial aspect, like an ancient suit of mail in an armoury. There were no guns in the place, and the shells fired at us were from a
ZAIDEE: A ROMANCE.
CHAPTER I.-THE GRANGE.
"SOME call it the Uplands, sir, and some call it the Grange-to us hereabouts it is nought but the Squire's house; that's the name."
Such would be the answer of the Cheshire peasant of whom you asked the designation of this old-established family dwelling-place: it is both the Uplands and the Grange in reality, but the Squire's house, its simplest and most common distinction, is sufficiently satisfactory. The scenery about is Cheshire scenery-nothing grand or elevated certainly, but, after its bare, bleak, windy fashion, wild enough to please a moderate taste for desolation. The principal feature in the landscape is a low rocky hill, where a shelf of bare brown whinstone, almost as hard as granite, alternates with a slope of that close, slippery hill-side turf, rich with thyme and low-springing plants of heather, with bits of cover and crowflower, and infant prickles of furze, which seems to seize and hold fast the warmth of sunshine better than the most velvet greensward. A strange, eerie-looking, solitary windmill, the very picture of useless labour, flapping its long solemn wings in the air, crowns one dreary mound; on the other is a small round tower of observation, surmounted by a gallery, whence you can look out upon the sea; and the summit of this dreary little hill, and these two buildings standing out abrupt and gaunt from its points, strike sheer upon the sky without a softening tree. To be so minute in real extent, and so slightly elevated, the loneliness and silence of this place is remarkable; below it, a long stretch of pasture, the flattest and least varied of Cheshire fields stretches away towards the bleak sandbanks and unfeatured coast-a treacherous shore, where the waves roll in strong and wild, with a tawny foam and ocean force, but where there is
scarcely either rock or headland-no
thing but the border of dry and pow
dery sand, and the hidden shifting banks that make this shore so dangerous, and without either beauty or interest to claim a second glance from an unacquainted eye.
The trees of the district are few and scanty; twisted and struggling oaks, Scotch firs, gaunt and defiant, bits of half-grown hedgerow, and wild dishevelled willows. On the sheltered side of this hill alone a young plantation flourishes; and under the shadow of these trees, closely folded into a cozy nook of this strong-ribbed iron miniature of a mountain, lies the Grange or Uplands, the Squire's house of the adjacent village, and the scene of our tale.
The house is such a moated Grange as Mariana herself might have inhabited; a far-seeing, wistful, solitary house, commanding long lines of road, along which nobody ever travels. The freest heart in the world might pine at one of these deep antique windows, and grow aweary of its life, looking along the roads from the Grange; and the Grange stands straining all its dark glowing eyes into the day and into the night, as if on constant watch for the expected stranger who never comes out of the wintry windy horizon. It is a rare chance, indeed, when there is not a reddening of storm in the sunset which blazes upon this uplying house-a still rarer joy when the morning comes without the chill breath of a sea gale-and the sea itself could not witness a wilder riot of wind and brewing tempest than rings about the ears of the dwellers here through many a winter night. The old house never wavers of its footing for such an argument, but stands firm upon the little rocky platform over which a lawn, which has been green for centuries, mantles warmly, and, stoutly defiant of the winds to which it has been used so long, sets its back against the bill, and holds its ground.
In a semicircle round the front of the Grange is the moat, which in
these peaceable days is nothing better than a pond enclosed in broken masonry, the evil qualities of which bit of half-stagnant water are numerous, and would be more so in a less breezy locality, while its sole good one is an innumerable crop of water-lilies; but no one has the heart to destroy this bit of antiquity, and every one is proud of the swan-like floating flowers. Behind the house rises the rocky defence of the hill, so sheltered here that it is green with the richest turf, and draped with wealth of hardy, ruddy, half alpine flowers. Fruit-trees and blossoming shrubs do not refuse to grow under this verdant shadow, and within the warm and well-defended enclosure; and they say it is summer in the garden of the Grange many a day after the autumn winds are wild upon the dreary fields of the level country, and when the last hollyhocks are dying in the cottage flower-plots below. Modern requirements have made sad havoc in the regularity of the building-modern improvements, beginning in the days of Elizabeth, have thrown out oriel windows, and enlarged casements, and built additions, till the Grange, though still not very large, is a cluster of houses, a domestic chronicle of architecture in its own person, and has just that graceful medley of styles and periods, which, with the ivies and mosses of old centuries, and the living flowers of today, combine to form the finest harmony of a hereditary dwelling place.
Within, there is an old hall, no longer used or possible to use in these days. Remnants of old armour, a faded banner, and an emblazoned coat-of-arms, give something of ancestral dignity to this ancient apartment; but the modern servant, who goes soft-footed across its echoing stones towards one of those closed doors, which break the wall, looks strangely out of keeping with the variegated pavement, the great wide chimney, and lofty window, which he passes in his way. No longer the rude retainers of an old Cheshire barony to make this vaulted roof ring again, and yonder old oaken table groanone mild-spoken man of all employments, in his rusty black coat and white neckcloth, like what the parish vicar might have been a hundred years
ago, carrying his tray to the modern drawing-room-and as he opens the door, the modern luxury of a soft Persian carpet appears just edging the pavement of the hall. The wonder is, after all, that there is so slight an incongruity felt and visible between the antique life, chill here without in the ancient apartment, and the modern life, warm and full of comfort, which meets it on the threshold of the modern room.
It is an autumn evening, and the whole family are assembled within. The room is large-very large for the dimensions of the house-stretching from the broad and heavy mullioned window which looks towards the front, to the long narrow modern sashes which open upon the green turf and trim walks of the garden behind. More than one smaller room opens from this drawing-room, and the family must be a tolerably affectionate and harmonious family, or it could not bear such close neighbourhood. One door, which you would fancy to open directly into the wall, opens instead into one of the oddest little nooks of building, as bright as daylight, all aglow with a great round window, where, with fairy bookshelves and a miniature piano, with little ottomans and couches, dainty with their own needlework, the young ladies of the house have made themselves a bower-for only the young ladies' maid, who is much the finest person in the family, calls it the boudoir. Just at the opposite end, running off at an angle, a low one-storeyed addition to the original house is the gentlemanly retirement, the library, a larger, graver apartment-less gay and more comfortable; while the mother claims as her own exclusive property, a door opposite the everopen door of the young ladies' room. The matron's "closet" is always closed, and is a sober, lady-like housekeeper's room; so each separate interest having its separate possession in a cluster round the drawingroom, it is less wonderful to find the whole family assembled here.
You cannot mistake the lady of the house in dignified possession of her little work-table and her easy chair; but that rich gown of dim black silk, and that snowy widow's cap, coming close