« НазадПродовжити »
and antagonism, and partly by secta- years. Sometimes their misery drives rian differences of creed. From the the poor wretches to mutiny, by which latter cause arises a bitter hatred. they perhaps obtain a small payment * Turkey," said the old Mollah then on account; but often it is found more prime minister of the Shah, “ were it convenient to disband them, and raise twice as large, would be but a small a new regiment. Promotion in Persia monthful for Persia." Carried away is obtained neither by merit nor by by his furious zeal, the old fanatic did military knowledge, but solely by not perceive that he talked nonsense. birth, caprice, or intrigue. Princes Not that such ridiculous rhodomon- and khans, whatever their age, havtade is uncommon in that country, ing never served, totally ignorant of wbose inhabitants are the very Gas- military matters, obtain the most imcons of the East, with the difference, portant posts, and are intrusted with that Gascons, though they may talk commands which they are greatly big, usually fight well ; whereas the puzzled how to exercise. The degree Persians, dispirited and demoralised, of confidence they inspire in their men and having small inducement to fight may be imagined; and the fate of an in defence of a fallen nationality, and army thus officered, when opposed to a government alternately barbarous European troops, or even to the more and pusillapimous, are not likely to warlike of the Asiatic nations, can display much greater prowess and hardly be doubtful. M. Flandin gives military skill, when next taken into some diverting but rather highlythe field, than they did in their con- coloured sketches of the siege of Hetest with the Russians. Individually rat, and of Hadji Mirza Agassi's (the they may be brave. M. Flandin same fanatical prime minister who somewhere affirms that they are, al- was for making a meal of Turkey) tbough such is hardly the opinion that celebrated cannon, which be founded will be formed from many other pas in the camp itself, and for which he sages of his book ; but it will be hard had but a very limited number of to make an efficient Persian army, balls. " The artillerymen's practice under the present system by which was so bad that they all flew over the country is governed, with officers the town, and soldiers, enthusiastic who are either boys, or enervated by admirers of the vizier's balistic skill, the excesses and sbameful vices to volunteered to make the circuit of the which Persians are prone, and who fortress to seek and bring home the look upon the service merely as a precious projectiles. It may be imameans of gratifying their more than gined how this formidable besieging womanish vanity, by wearing fancy artillery diverted General Simonitch, uniforms, monster epaulets, and dia- the Russian ambassador, an old officer mond decorations, and have less of Napoleon. He derived great amuseknowledge of their duty than a Euro ment, it appears, from the Mollahpean corporal. The private soldiers, gunner and his innovations : these upon the other hand, have pothing to puerilities, conceived with all the grafight for. Taken, for the most part, vity of an Oriental, helped him to pass by force, and for perpetual service- the time during that tedious siege, to unless the Shah thinks proper to re- which the Persians had brought not lease them-receiving a little grain only an army of soldiers, but another for sole rations, they are most irregu- of artisans and traders of all kinds. larly paid, and are often pear to star. It seemed as if they were about to vation. The Shah takes from his found a colony in front of the besieged. coffers the money requisite for the place. The royal camp had itself the payment of the soldier, and gives it appearance of a town. It comprised to his prime minister, from whose a bazaar and workshops of all kinds. band it passes through so many others, The Persians, lacking confidence, it that the twelve tomauns (about six would seem, either in their strength pounds), which each man is entitled or in their strategic knowledge, to annually, dwindle to five or six, thought the siege might be a long before, after long delay, they reach one, and carried foresight so far as to his hands. M. Flandin saw a regi- plough and sow the ground around ment that had had no pay for two their camp. Their labour was not
VOL. LXXV.-NO. CCCCLIX.
lost; in due time they gathered in the Parthian-like firing and flying, but harvest."
individually brave, skilful with their Although French and English offi- weapons, and generally well-mounted. cers have in turu instructed the Shah's Led in a body against a disciplined troops, and, for a time, with some Russian force, they would probably show of success, the favourable results be scattered to the winds; distributed they temporarily achieved melted along its line of march, pressing on its away after their departure. M. Flan- rear, cutting off its stragglers, wearydin gives a dismal account of the ing it by night alarms, intercepting state of the Persian army at the time its supplies, they would form a heavy of his residence in the country, citing, addition to the perils and difficulties as a specimen-and probably ratber it must inevitably brave, by wbatever a favourable one of the whole, the route it might attempt to reach our six thonsand men he saw encamped, Indian frontier. We have always under the Shah's immediate command, considered the apprehensions expressoutside Ispahan. The lines of white ed by some few persons, with respect tents were most symmetrical; the to Russian views on India, to be, if guns were drawn up in good order, not chimerical, at least much exaggeand vigilantly guarded by sentries rated, and entirely premature. Engwith bare sabres ; the horses were land could hardly have a better barpicketed in the rear, at mangers rier between ber Eastern possessions cleverly and cheaply constructed of and Russia's ambition than countries clay. But on parade, and in the field, constituted and inbabited as are Indethe aspect of affairs was far less mar- pendent Turkey and Afghanistan, or tial and imposing. Ragged uniforms, tban Persia, with its barren salt wastes dirty belts, wretched muskets, many and frequent malaria. Until those of them without flints, some without countries are swallowed up, or subjulocks, soldiers in a state of misery, gated by the encroaching northern and officers who knew but just enough colossus, there is little chance, we to make their men carry and present think, of Cossacks on our Indian fronarms-such were the elements of the tier. If Russia had Constantinople, regiments ranged beneath the brilliant the case would be different. With banner of the Lion and the Sun. If the Black Sea all her own, with the Russia, as some believe, has designs, great naval power her vastly angresolute, although not yet ripe, on mented trade would speedily give British India, and is bent on discover- her, and with the increased weight ing a south-east passage to our vast she would acquire in Asia, she might Asiatic possessions, certainly Persia's one day attempt a move eastwards. regular troops would be no serious But these are remote speculations, to obstacle to her march. She would be realised, if ever, only in a very bave infinitely more to fear from na distant future. If Russia were allowtural difficulties, from the immense ed to get the Dardanelles, which it is tracts of desert her armies must tra- pretty evident she will not be, she verse-solitudes where no vegetation would soon find herself in a position or water are found-from disease and to push westwards as well as eastclimate, and from the harassing at- wards, and would be more likely to tacks of Persia's irregular cavalry, trench upon Austrian and Prussian Kourds, Arabs, Turcomans, variously provinces which lie at her door, than armed and equipped, fighting after to traverse half Asia in quest of a disthe manner of their different tribes, tant foe and a doubtful victory.
THE QUIET HEART,
PART II. - CHAPTER VI.
* JENNY, Jenny, canna ye open the but I wouldna have the face to be-
lieve that, though mony thanks to ye
as a guid friend?"
à family misfortune? Gae way wi'
right, and me being sae lang away
thing that wouldna be expected frae
sides greeing with the stranger ser-
ither concerns of my ain- and I would
for a single woman; or my mother upon the tray, which she was crowding would be blithe to take you in for a with breakfast " things." The breadlodger, and she's guid company when basket quivered upon the table where she's no thrawn- and Jenny, wo her excited hand bad set it down. man "
She turned to the hearth, and the * Gang out of this house," said poor little copper kettle rang upon Jenny, with quiet fury, holding the the grate-the poker assaulted the door wide open in her hand, and set- startled fire--the very chain quaked ting down her right foot upon the and trembled, hanging from the oldfloor of her own domain, with a stamp fashioned crook far back in the abyss of absolute supremacy. “No anither of the chimney. Very conspicnous word--gang out of this door, and let in this state of the mental atmosme see your face again if ye daur! phere became Jenny's high shoulder. Gang to London--fleech up the mis. It seemed to develop and increase tress--wait upon Miss Menie! My with every additional fuff, and the patience and you'll ca' a decent most liberal and kindly commentator woman thrawn to me! Gang out of could not have denied this morning this house, ye shadow! the sight of the existence of the “ thraw." you's enough to thraw ony mortal And not without audible exprestemper. Your mother, honest wo- sion, over and above the hard-drawn man 1-but I canna forgive her for breath of the “ fuff," was Jenny's being art or part in bringing the like indignation. “My place, my certy! of you to this world. Are ye gaun less wouldna serve her!”-“Handier away peaceably-or I'll put ye out than could be expected frae the like by the shouthers with my ain twa of me !" – "Stand my friend conhands!"
stant!"-"A cothouse atween Kirk"Eh, sic a temper!" said Nelly lands and the Brigend !" A snort of Panton, vanishing from the thresh rage punctuated and separated every old as Jenny made one rapid step successive quotation, till, as Jenny forward. “I'm sure I forgive you, cooled down a little, there came to Jenny, though I'm sure as weel, that her relief a variety of extremely comif the rain hadna laid a' the stour, plimentary titles, all very eloquent mony a ane has shaken the dust off and expressive, conveying in the their feet for a testimony against less clearest language Jenny's opinion of ill usage than you've gi'en me; but I'm the good qualities of Nelly Panton, thankful for my guid disposition-- I'm which last, by- and - by, however, thankful that there's nae crook in me, softened still further into the milder and I leave you to your ain thoughts, chorus of "a bonnie ane!" with Jenny Durward; it's weel kent what which Jenny's wrath gradually wore a life thae twa puir ladies lead with itself away. ye through a' the countryside."
All this time the sunshine lay silent The kitchen door violently shut, by and unbroken upon the paved pas. good fortune drowned for Jenny this sage, with its strip of matting, and Tast vindictive utterance, and Nelly the light shone quiet in Mrs Laurie's Panton, unexcited, drew her shawl parlour. The petulant rain had ceased again close over her elbows, and went to ring upon the panes, though some with her stealthy steps upon her way large drops hung there still, clinging -a veritable shadow falling dark to the framework of the window, and across the sunshine, and without a gradually shrinking and drying up spot of brightness in her, within or before the light. The branches withwithout, to throw back reflection, or out made a sheen through the air answer to the sunny morning light almost as dazzling as if every tree which flashed upon all the glistening were a Highland dancer with a drawn way.
claymore in his right hand, and the But no such quietness possessed larch flang its spray of rain upon the soul of Jenny of Burnside; over Menie Laurie's chamber window, the fresh sanded floor of her bright bidding her down to the new life and kitchen her short vigorous steps pat- the new day which brightened all the tered like bail. Cups and saucers watching hills. came ringing down from her hands And now comes Mrs Laurie steadily
down the stairs with her little shawl in and had no time to lose in prelimiher hand, and traces of a mind made naries. op and determined in her face; and “There's twa or three things to be now comes Menie, with a half song done about the bouse before onybody on her lips, and a little light of amuse- can stir out of this,” said Jenny emment and expectation in her eyes, for phatically, pausing when she had half Menie has heard afar off the sound of cleared the breakfast-table. “I want Jenny's excitement. But Jenny, too to ken, mem, if it's your pleasure, what decorous to invade the dignity of the time we're to gang away." breakfast-table, says nothing when “I have just been thinking about she brings in the kettle, and does not the term, Jenny," said her mistress, even add to its fuff the sound of her accepting Jenny's adhesion quietly own, and Menie has time to grow and without remark; “ if we can get composed and grave, and to hear a tenant to Burnside.” with a more serious emotion Mrs “I thought you would be wanting Laurie's decision. Not without a & tenant to Burnside," muttered sigh Mrs Laurie intimates it, though Jenny, “to make every table and her daughter knows nothing of the chair in the house a shame to be seen, one reason which has overweighed all and the place no fit to live in when others. But the ruling mind of the we come back; but it's nane o' Jenny's household, having decided, loses no business if the things maun be spoiled. time in secondary hesitations. "We I have had a woman at me this mornwill try to let Burnside as it is, ing with an offer to gang in my Menie," said Mrs Laurie, looking place. I've nae business to keep it round upon the familiar room. “If out of your knowledge, so you may we can get a careful tenant, it will be get Nelly Panton yet, if it's your far better not to remove the furniture. pleasure, instead of me. I'm speakIf we make it known at once, the ing to your mother, Miss Menie; the hoase may be taken before the term; like of you has nae call to put in your and I will write to your aunt and say word. Am I to tell Nelly you would that we accept her offer. It is a long like to speak to her, mem-or what journey by land, and expensive. I am I to say ?” think we will go to Edinburgh first, And Jenny again planted her right Menie. The weather is settled, and foot firmly before her, again expanded should be fine at Whitsunday; and her irascible nostril, ard, with comic then to London by sea.”
perversity and defiance, stood and Menie did not trust herself to ex waited for her inistress's answer. press in words the excitement of hope “Away you go, Jenny, and put and pleasure with which she heard your work in order," said Mrs Laurie; this great and momentous change « get somebody in from the Brigend brought down into a matter of sober to help you, and let everything be everyday arrangement ; but it was not ready for the flitting-you know I difficult to understand and translate don't want Nelly Panton—no, you the varying colour on ber cheek, and need not interrupt me-nor anybody the sudden gleam of ber sunny eyes. else. We'll all go to London together, As it happened, however, with a na- and we'll all come back again some taral caprice, the one objection which time if we're spared. I don't know her mother's will could not set aside how you would manage without us, suddenly suggested itself to Menie. Jenny; but see, there's Menie with She looked up with a slight alarm- open eyes wondering what we should * But Jenny, mother?” Menie Laurie do without you." could not realise the possibility of “Na, the bairn has discrimination," leaving Jenny behind.
said Jenny steadily ; " that's just Mrs Laurie's hand had not left the what I say to mysel. Nae doubt it's bell. Jenny, at the door, caught the a great change to a woman at my words with satisfaction. But Jenny time of life, but I just say what could did not choose to acknowledge herself the two ladies do, mair especially a subject to any influence exercised by young lassie like Miss Menie, and the "youngest of the house;" and that's enough to reconcile ane to mony Jenny, moreover, had come prepared, a thing. Weel, I'll see the wark