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the plain, while Colborne still maintained the heights with the thirty-first regiment; the British artillery, under Major Dickson, was likewise coming fast into action, and William Stewart, who had escaped the charge of the lancers, was again mounting the hill with General Houghton's brigade, which he brought on with the same vehemence, but instructed by his previous misfortune, in a juster order of battle. The weather now cleared, and a dreadful fire poured into the thickest of the French columns, convinced Soult that the day was yet to be won.
Houghton's regiments soon got footing on the summit; Dickson placed the artillery in line, the remaining brigade of the second division came up on the left, and two Spanish corps at last moved forward. The enemy's infantry then recoiled, yet soon recovering, renewed the fight with greater violence than before; the cannon on both sides discharged showers of grape at half range, and the peals of musketry were incessant, and often within pistol-shot; but the close formation of the French embarrassed their battle, and the British line would not yield them one inch of ground, nor a monient of time to open their ranks: their fighting was, however, fierce and dangerous. Stewart was twice hurt, Colonel Duckworth, of the forty-eighth, was slain, and the gallant Houghton, who had received many wounds without shrinking, fell and died in the act of cheering his men. Still the struggle continued with unabated fury; Colonel Inglis, twenty-two other officers, and more than four hundred men, out of five hundred and seventy that had mounted the hill, fell in the fifty-seventh alone, and the other regiments were scarcely better off, not one-third were standing in any. Ammunition failed; and as the English fire slackened, the enemy established a column in advance upon the right flank; the play of Dickson's artillery checked them a moment, but again the Polish Lancers charging, captured six guns: and, in this desperate crisis, Beresford, who had already withdrawn the thirteenth dragoons from the banks of the river, and brought Hamilton's Portuguese into a situation to cover a retrograde movement, wavered; destruction stared him in the face, his personal resources were exhausted, and the unhappy thought of a retreat rose in his agitated mind; as yet no order to that effect was given, and it was urged by some about him that the day might still be redeemed with the fourth division. While he hesitated, Colonel Hardinge boldly ordered General Cole to advance, and then riding to Colonel Abercrombie, who commanded the remaining brigade of the second division, directed him also to push forward into the fight. The die being thus cast, Beresford acquiesced, and this terrible battle was continued.
The fourth division had only two brigades in the field; the one Portuguese, under General Harvey; the other, commanded by Sir W. Myers, and composed of the seventh and twenty-third British regiments, was called the fuzileer brigade. General Cole directed the Portuguese to move between Lumley's dragoons and the hill, where they were immediately charged by some of the French horsemen, but beat them off with great loss; meanwhile, he led the fuzileers in person up the height.
* At this time six guns were in the enemy's possession, the whole of Werlé's reserves were coming forward to reinforce the front column of the French, and the remnant of Houghton's brigade could no longer maintain its ground. The field was heaped with carcases, the lancers were riding furiously about the captured artillery on the upper part of the hill, and on
the lower slopes, a Spanish and an English regiment, in mutual error, were exchanging volleys: behind all, General Hamilton's Portuguese, in withdrawing from the heights above the bridge, appeared to be in retreat. The conduct of a few brave men soon changed this state of affairs. Colonel Robert Arburthnot, pushing between the double fire of the mistaken troops, arrested that mischief, while Cole, with the fuzileers, flanked by a battalion of the Lusitanian legion, under Colonel Hawkshawe, mounted the hill, dispersed the lancers, recovered the captured guns, and appeared on the right of Houghton's brigade, exactly as Abercrombie passed it on the left.
"Such a gallant line, issuing from the midst of the smoke, and rapidly separating itself from the confused and broken multitude, startled the enemy's heavy masses, which were increasing and pressing onwards as to an assured victory; they wavered, kesitated, and then vomiting forth a storm of fire, hastily endeavoured to enlarge their front, while a fearful discharge of grape from all their artillery whistled through the British ranks. Myers was killed ; Cole and the three Colonels, Ellis, Blakeney, and Hawkshawe, fell wounded, and the fuzileer battalions, struck by the iron tempest, reeled, and staggered like sinking ships. Suddenly and sternly recovering, they closed on their terrible enemies, and then was seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights. In vain did Soult, by voice and gesture, animate his Frenchmen; in vain did the hardiest veterans, extricating themselves from the crowded columns, sacrifice their lives to gain time for the mass to open out on such a fair field ; in vain did the mass itself bear up, and fiercely striving, fire indiscriminately upon friends and foes, while the horsemen hovering on the flank threatened to charge the advancing line. Nothing could stop that astonishing infantry. No sudden burst of undisciplined valour, no nervous enthusiasm weakened the stability of their order; their flashing eyes were bent upon the dark column in their front; their measured tread shook the ground; their dreadful volleys swept away the head of every formation; their deafening shouts overpowered the dissonant cries that broke from all parts of the tumultuous crowd, as foot by foot, and with a horrid carnage, it was driven by the incessant vigour of the attack to the farthest edge of the hill. In vain did the French reserves, joining with the struggling multitude, endeavour to sustain the fight; their efforts only increased the irremediable confusion, and the mighty mass giving way like a loosened cliff, went headlong down the ascent. The rain flowed after in streams discoloured with blood, and fifteen hundred unwounded men, the remnant of six thousand unconquerable British soldiers, stood triumphant on the fatal hill !'—vol. iii. pp. 534–541.
This passage affords another proof of the Colonel's curious felicity in the description of battles. When occupied on this, his favourite theme, his conceptions become radiant with genius, his diction rises in dignity and force, his imagination glows with poetic fervor, and his whole composition assumes a compact and classic elegance, which fits it for immortality.
Art. II.---Narrative of a Journey across the Balcan, by the two passes
of Selimno and Pravadi ; also of a visit to Azani, and other newly discovered ruins in Asia Minor, in the year 1829, 30. By Major, the Hon. George Keppel, F.S.A. In two volumes. 8vo.
In two volumes. 8vo. London : 1831. The author of these volumes is an indefatigable traveller, and a most industrious note taker. He
goes about from country to country, evidently for the purpose of making books, and of gratifying his own curiosity as well as that of the public. Such an occupation as this is very far from being unworthy either of his rank or profession. The idle time that is at the disposal of military men in a period of peace, could hardly have been more usefully occupied by Mr. Keppel, if it had been devoted to the fashionable amusements of London. His example is worthy all praise, and the advice which he gives to others of his profession, to move about the world, and bring home records of their activity, will not we hope be without influence. To those whom it may reach and induce to become literary tourists, we would however offer a word of admonition, which" Mr. Keppel could not be expected to have given, with the view of warning them not to be quite so voluminous as he his. When we say that whatever is really interesting in these two tomes might well have been comprised in a duodecimo, we feel that we are abundantly liberal upon the point of limitation. There are upwards of a hundred and thirty pages of Appendix, which might have been altogether spared, for nobody now ever thinks of reading that avowedly dull division of a book. The author has a habit of separating his composition into innumerable small paragraphs, the correction of which habit would reduce the work by nearly another hundred pages. He is moreover diffuse and prosy in an extreme degree, expanding through many sentences a slender idea, which might be much more advantageously omitted or conveyed in a single line; and of introducing an infinity of small details, to which no human being, save Mr. Keppel himself, will attach the slightest value. If these incumbrances were removed, and the remaining matter clothed in a concise style, we are satisfied that a small duodecimo would afford ample room for the description of all that we should have any fancy to know, concerning either his journey across the Balcan, or his visit to the newly discovered ruins in Asia minor.'
It is with regret that we make these remarks, because we feel every disposition to treat Mr. Keppel with that indulgence, which his accomplished mind and his very amiable character deserve. We wish also to give the utmost encouragement in our power to those gentlemen, who, after travelling in foreign countries, undergo
the trouble of preparing their observations for the press. We are not among those who look upon all modern books of travels as so many nuisances; on the contrary, we think that there cannot be too many of such productions, provided they be comprised re
pectively within a reasonable and readable compass. The features of society are passing through perpetual changes in almost every quarter of the globe. Tourists who follow each other, for example, in Russia or Germany, not to speak of England, find much that is new in each succeeding cycle of four or five years. Even what is old and unvarying, two men will seldom see under the same aspect. Their travels are or ought to be their biographies for the time of their absence, and must in this respect be always interesting, however beaten the path may be over which they have journied. For our own part we confess that we uniformly take up works of this class with a peculiar pleasure, which nothing can take away except the imperfection of their execution.
Leake, Macfarlane, Alexander, Walsh, and other writers, have very lately visited and described almost every foot of the ground which has been trodden by Mr. Keppel. Yet his volumes are not at all to be despised. Though his style is diffuse, it is always gentlemanly; it may not be captivating, but at the same time it is never offensive either to good taste or morals.
His attention was attracted to the Balcan in the summer of 1829, by the war then pending between Russia and Turkey. He had felt interested in the fortunes of the latter power, from the intercourse which he had already had with the country, and he determined to witness the issue of the contest in which, as it was then generally apprehended, her existence, as a nation, was at stake. It was at first his inten
. tion to hover in the rear of her armies, in order to observe their mode of warfare ; but, unfortunately for his military education, they were all routed by the Russians before he could get near them. He was therefore, to use a vulgar adage, “a day after the fair.” But he saw a good deal that was interesting in either camp after the conclusion of the peace, and he carefully ascertained, what Diebitsch had sufficiently demonstrated before him, that the Balcan is not impassable to an invader. He proceeded to Constantinople by Corfu, Lepanto, Corinth, Napoli di Romania, and the Dardanelles. He is thus one of our latest travellers in Greece, of which he gives us a deplorable account. Corinth is a mere heap of ruins, interspersed with the bones of men and horses, the melancholy proofs of the massacre which was perpetrated there some few years ago. Near it is a village recently founded by a Philhellenic association of Americans, under the the direction of a Dr. Howe, with the existence of which we were not before acquainted. This gentleman, under the sanction of Capo d'Istria, formed a colony of destitute persons collected from different parts of Greece, and was making, it would seem, some progress towards success, his community having been within a period of three years augmented from fifty to one hundred families. 'But Mr. Keppel, who is manifestly prejudiced against Capo d'Istria, says that the Doctor is likely to give up his charge, from disgust with the Count, to whose mandates he is unwilling to yield obedience. At Argos, Mr. Keppel witnessed a meeting of the
Greek legislative assembly, which was held in an ancient theatre, temporary semicircular benches having been arranged for the occasion. The building had no roof, but, like the primitive theatres of Greece, was covered in with boughs of trees. "The assembly was summoned by beat of drum. Mr. Keppel asserts that the President, Capo d' Istria, had already corrupted, by bribing, all the members to the number of about two hundred, and that they were prepared to approve of any measures which he might propose. They were for the most part dressed in the Albanian costume, which is eminently classical and becoming. Mr. Keppel gives the following not very prepossessing description of the President:
* His excellency is a man of small stature, with large dark eyes, black eyebrows, white hair, a very pale face, (apparently the consequence of the anxiety attending his situation,) and a pair of ears whose size has already been eulogised by a preceding tourist. "I was introduced as a traveller on his way to Constantinople, and I was gratified by about five and twenty minutes' very entertaining conversation, if conversation it could be called, when the only part I bore in it was the occasional interjections of “oui,” “mais,” and “vraiment.” We were scarcely seated, when, without further preface, the president entered into what appeared to me to be a defence of his government. He began by repeating the usual arguments against the general diffusion of knowledge, alleging that instruction would be more detrimental than advantageous to the happiness of the Greeks in their present state: he said that it was impossible to legislate for a people who belonged to the eleventh, upon the principles of the nineteenth century. He observed that the greater portion of the Greeks were but little removed from the state of barbarians, but omitted to mention the number of patriotic and enlightened natives of Greece who were endeavouring to raise their countrymen from this degraded condition, or how assiduously he had himself been employed in undermining the laudable efforts of all such patriots. To some of his remarks the answers were so obvious, that I was about to attempt a reply; but I never got further than “mais,” for the point was abandoned without a struggle, and his observations were dexterously shifted to another subject.
• Upon the whole, I was more entertained by the interview than convinced by the arguments, or impressed with the talents of the speaker. There was something too dramatic in his manner, and the matter appeared to be too much got up to produce the effect intended. I afterwards compared notes with others who had also had the honour of an interview with the President of Greece, and found their reception to tally very much with my own.
A few facts relating to Count Capo d'Istria will illustrate his character better than a host of arguments:
"In 1829, previous to the election of deputies for the Panhellenium, the president announced his intention of making a tour through the Morea, and applied to the French political agent, and to the admiral, for money to enable the peasantry to cultivate the lands, many of which had gone out of cultivation for want of means. A large sum was advanced to him, which he distributed among the electors of the several places were he was doubtful of obtaining votes; the consequence of this bribery was, that he