Зображення сторінки

its energy

so sorely beleaguered. An officer in rich ap- the thong which suspended the quiver at parel, who had just dismounted from a my side, accidentally becoming loose, it fell noble horse, all foaming with the speed he to the ground, and the few remaining ar. had made, now entered the court, and, rows it contained tumbled out. The acci. followed by several soldiers, approached dent attracted the eye of Nader : Truly, the tower. At the entrance he was met by young man,' said he, thy quiver looks like Ibrahim Khan, covered with sweat and that of a soldier returning from the field ; dust and blood. "Who art thou ?' cried thy shafts have been spent, and spent to the officer. “Hussun Allee Beg,' exclaim. purpose, I hear. They say thy arrows tell ed Ibrahim Khan, in reply, is it thou ? sharply and true; come hither, let me see Welcome, by the hand of my brother ! thee use them.' I stood a moment irresowelcome, in any season, to the soul of Ibra. lute, and uncertain of his meaning: 'String him ! but doubly so, when, like the water thy bow,' cried Nader, giving the wellof life to a dying man, thou comest so op- known word of command in use among our portunely in the time of need.'”

tribe :-it carried me back to the Desert, This danger past, they reach the and I instinctively obeyed; old habits camp of Nader without further accie rushed upon my mind, and awakened all dent. The character of this great

• Will your Highness permit chieftain is on the whole, perhaps, turning round at the same time to look for

me to have my horse ?'-said I to my chief, the happiest effort of the book. Stern, Boorrauk. Nader smiled at my eagerness. noble, and ferocious, not naturally : What is a bow without a string ? --what bloody, yet shedding blood in profu. is a Toorkoman without his horse ? - let it sion when it can advance his cause; straight be brought.' He praised its figure generous, yet unrelenting, rigid in ex- and its spirit, and turning to Ibrahim, re. acting discipline, but profuse in re- marked that we were both wild, active warding valour; full of talent and creatures, well suited to each other. "Yah, energy, Nader is represented not only Hyder !_Yah, Allee! cried I mentally, as in perfect accordance with historical I mounted— help a good Sheah at his truth, but with a strength and vigour need!, for much may depend on this mo

. of delineation, indicative of very high

" I now mounted and waited for orders power in the artist. Ismael is intro- to proceed. The Maidaun before the tents duced by Ibrahim to this great chief- of the chief was the place appropriated to tain, and Nader is pleased with his military exercises, nor were there wanting appearance, and the account given by butts and poles upon which to hang marks Ibrahim of the skilful and courage for the archers to practise at. The motion ous manner in which he bore himself of Nader's arm pointed out the mark at in the combat with the Toorkomans. which I was to aim : the crowd opened Nader, however, is not accustomed to wide in the same direction, and I started take things on trust, and directs our

at full speed after the Toorkoman fashion. hero to give, without delay, a taste of Three times I passed the lofty pole within his qualities as a warrior. The follow

a moderate distance, each time discharging ing is the issue :

an arrow: once in approaching, once in

retreating, and once in the act of wheeling “ After gazing steadily on me for a while, and each time I was fortunate enough to the chief turned to his brother, and said in make them ring'upon the basin which hung a familiar under-tone, The youth's ap- suspended by a thong from its summit. pearance is not against him; he is young, It happened that, as I returned a fourth but hardy-looking, and quite an Affshar in time, a blue pigeon, numbers of which countenance.Young man,' continued he, built their nests in the wells and water. turning to me, thou hast commenced thy courses of the neighbourhood, flew over the career favourably; the Zoheir-udowlut is plain, and whether alarmed and confused satisfied with thy conduct, and his good re by the noise, or sent by Allee expressly to port goes far with me. Thou shalt have do me service, it alighted upon the top of employment, and fair scope to 'shew thy the pole at which I had been shooting. own value. Men here receive the esteem The thought of making this the mark for and promotion which their own merits de my last arrow, struck me as I observed it, termine,-nor, however partially we may and I urged my horse to fuller speed, lest be disposed towards thee, for thy services the bird should take wing before I came to our brother, or our ancient friendship for within distance : just as I reached within thy father, shall the course adopted with a long and difficult shot, I saw the first regard to thee be different. For the pre- flutter of its wing upon the rise ; but my sent, Hussun Allee Beg shall provide for bow was drawn, I uttered an ejaculation thy wants ; thou needest refreshment and to Moorteza Allee, and saw my shaft strike repose ; retire and enjoy them freely.' the bird before it had well quitted the pole.

* I bowed low, and was retiring, when It fluttered and fell, while the cries of the

crowd rent the air, and · Barik illah!' tion of the war in which Nader was

Mashallah !' " Mashallah!' echoed on engaged against Malek Mahmoud, all sides. Many years have passed since and of the events which terminated in that day, but I still can remember the the recovery of the Holy shrine from thrill of delight with which I picked up the grasp of that usurper. the bird, and galloping to the tent, with glowing cheeks laid it at the feet of Na- volume finds the army of Nader inquiet

The commencement of the second der. By the head of my father ! youth,'

occupation of the city of Mushed. We gaid he, Ibrahim has not belied thee in now acquire some insight into the modes his praises of thy archery or thy horse

of life and manners of the civil portion manship: these thou hast now fairly pro- of the community, though this part ved; let thy skill and conduct in other of the subject engrosses less of the authings be but equally conspicuous, and thor's attention than might be wished. thou shalt not lack advancement. But During the period of idleness which this is enough for one day : thyself and ensues, the young military men of thy horse need rest, and, in truth, he is a

Nader s army, as might be expected, brave beast, and should be well dealt with; -- where didst thou get him? but I need get into all sorts of dissipation. In

this respect our hero forms no excepnot ask, for every hoof and sinew speaks him desert-bred, as well as thee. Thou

tion; and we confess, that some of art, in truth, a strange youth, and I must

the incidents in this portion of the hear thy story at large ;-but not now.

story are not altogether to our taste, Get thee gone for the present-thou art

and savour too much of the Arabian welcome !"

Nights, with which work, linked as “ It now occurred to me, that the Ge. it is with a thousand delightful meneral had taken a fancy to my horse. I mories, it must always be perilous to knew that when a great man has once sig. provoke a comparison. nified his admiration of anything belongs In stating this our trivial solitary ing to a dependent, it is deemed equiva.

objection, we would wish by no means lent to a demand, and expected that the

to be understood as withholding our coveted article shall forth with be tendered

belief in the truth of the pictures of as an offering to conciliate his favour. In the elation of the moment, I felt that I Persian life presented by the advencould even bear the bitter pang of parting tures in this portion of the narrative; with my faithful steed; particularly when

or as denying the probability of such I considered, that my future fortune might incidents in a state of society simidepend upon the sacrifice. Respectfully

lar to that of Khorasan. But we bowing, therefore, and taking the bridle think, that in themselves they possess in my hand, I said, “May the favour of little interest, and, with the great powyour Highness never diminish! may your ers of invention which the author has servant find grace in your eyes ! the horse

evidently at command, he could have of your servant is unworthy of your notice bad little difficulty in supplying their -but, pardon the poverty of your slave, and deign to accept his humble offering place by others, of a character better

calculated to elicit the sympathies of So saying, I offered the bridle to an at. tendant.

his readers. No, no, young man !' replied Nader ; ' the horse is a good one, and thou

There is really only one scene in meritest him well; keep him, and tend

the work in which we think any stri. him as he deserves ; I promise thee thou king failure is discernible. We allude shalt need his best service. Meantime, it is to that in which an attempt is made thou, rather, who mayest look to me for a to interest the feelings of the reader, token of favour: thou hast exhausted thy by a picture of the revolting horrors arms; the stock shall be replenished_now connected with the deaths of Fatimah go thy ways !'_ May the happy fortune

and Zeeba. The lowest of all human of your Highness increase ! may your fa: sympathies is that which is excited vour never diminish towards your servant!' cried I, bowing once more, and left the

by mere physical suffering. It is felt, presence with Xussun Allee Beg.”

perhaps, by the rudest of mankind as

powerfully as by the most refined. Ismael finds favour in the eyes of But the chord of this feeling is one Nader, and is constituted one of his which a skilful writer will generally Gholaums, or Life-guards, an bonour refrain from touching. In the details bestowed only on persons of distin- of torture and bloodshed, there is guished inerit. The narrative, till the ever something shocking to the ima. end of the first volume, is occupied gination.

gination. Our alms to the beggar, chiefly by an account of the prosecue who displays his mutilated and disa torted members, are always accompa- ground. In matters of this sort he is nied with loathing.

Thus it is, too, à complete Bourgognoni, vivid, vigoin description. Scenes which human rous, and spirit-stirring, in all his des nature would shrink from beholding, lineations of broil and battle. Our should not be obtruded on the imagi- readers shall not take all this praise nation. Mind is the proper object of upon trust. Let them read the folsympathy with mind. True, bodily lowing extract, and charge us with anguish may occasionally be thrown exaggeration if they dare :in to heighten the effect, and deepen the colouring, of the picture of mental

“ It was a gallant and spirit-stirring agony, but it must never be suffered sight to see them bearing down upon us,

more than thirty thousand strong, all adto become the chief object in the mirably armed and equipped. Hundreds group. Least of all, can we tolerate a

of the small flags of companies, so much in picture, in which the mere horrors of

use among the Affghauns, waved over their corporeal suffering engross the whole heads; and the points of their spears, and powers of the artist's pencil. We are their drawn swords, gleamed with a flick. not quite sure, that in these remarks ering above the dark and compact masses. we have expressed ourselves very Two of these bodies were entirely compo, clearly, but we trust to our author's sed of cavalry, while that which occupied intelligence to seize the precise extent

the centre consisted both of cavalry and and bearing of our objections, and to

infantry, accompanied by the greater part his candour to give them such weight and in good order to the brink of the ri.

of their artillery. They moved on gently as they may appear to merit.

ver's bed below them : it was an object Passing over, therefore, this portion with their leaders, no doubt, to pass this of the story, we come to a long epic obstacle without the confusion which might sode, which is somewhat clumsily in attend a more rapid course. But scarcely troduced, in the story of a young mer- had they formed upon the nearer bank, chant, with whom Ismael becomes than uttering a fearful yell, the greater acquainted in the course of his adven- part of their cavalry dashed forward at full tures in Mushed. By this digression speed to the charge. we think an unpleasant break is occa

“ The space between the water-course sioned in the continuity of the story,

and our position might be something less though considered as an isolated story

than half a mile, but we were quite preit is altogether unexceptionable. The pared for this onset; the word was rapidly

passed along to keep steady till the signal merchant is a great traveller, and car- should be given, and then to pour upon the ries us through many lands, giving advancing enemy the full discharge of our pleasant sketches of the manners of matchlocks and arrows. On they came; the different nations, among whom his the thunder of their innumerable hoofs erratic calling had made him a so- increasing every moment till it shook the journer. We then return to the ad- very earth ; their spears in rest and their ventures of Ismael, in whose society naked scymetars gleaming over their heads, we continue to travel on, both pleac filling the air with their war-cries. It was santly and profitably, till the end of

a moment of breathless suspense; not a the work. Nader goes on from con

sound was to be heard throughout our host quest to conquest; Sultan Mahmoud reached within eighty yards. Human na

until the foremost of the Affghauns had is vanquished and slain ; and the glory ture could have endured no longer, when of the feeble Shah is completely over the report of three cannon parting in quick shadowed by that of his victorious succession rose above the uproar. Instantly commander. All this portion of the they were answered by a volley from forty narrative is full of descriptions of or fifty other pieces, and by the quick martial exploits, which are executed dropping fire of muskets, which soon in. by a masterly hand. Whether the au- creased to a continued roar. The whole thor belongs to the military profession line was enveloped in smoke, which for a we know not, but his knowledge, not few moments hid the enemy from our view; only of the general character of Easte but when the light breeze of morning waft. ern warfare, but of all minute cire ed it in part away, a striking change was

seen in their condition. From the close cumstances connected with its tactic order of the enemy, who had charged in a and strategy, is evidently very exten- dense body, every shot we fired must have sive. His military sketches are come taken effect, and the front ranks were plete in all their particulars, and he therefore almost totally destroyed : the never falls into the error of fighting plain was now strewed with men and mere European battles on Persian horses, and those behind, who were spur. ring up at full speed, increased the con- that a fresh reinforcement had come up, fusion by stumbling over the bodies of were checked in their career. their fallen friends. The deadly fire of “ At this moment, I observed Caleb matchlocks and of arrows still continued ; Allee Beg, who was actively cheering on and ever and anon the cannon scattered his men, hurled with great violence from havoc among the amazed Affghauns, who, his horse to the earth. A cannon-shot confounded at a resistance so determined, had struck him on the shoulder, and car. Wavered, drew up, and then turned and ried off his arm, with half the muscles of fied beyond reach of our shot.

his side. I flew to him as he lay gasping "A strong body of cavalry from each on the ground, when, gazing wildly at me wing was immediately dispatched to take for a moment, he recognised me, and said advantage of their disorder, and for a with a ghastly smile, "Ah, my friend, you while the fugitives were slaughtered al. will not laugh at me now! But go-you most unresistingly; but as they fell back are required; take my place and do your upon their reserve, and our fire ceased, duty ; mine is over! There was, truly, they recovered somewhat from their panic, no time for delay; consigning him to the and drawing off on either hand, left our care of two trusty men, I few to the front, horsemen exposed to a heavy fire from the where the ground was still hotly contested, cannon and musketry of their centre divi- though the superiority of the enemy be. sion. This checked us in our turn; but came every moment more decided. My instead of forming and making an orderly presence and my voice, calling on them to retreat, as they should have done, our remember who they were, exhorting them men, flashed with success, thought only to fight for Nader, who was even now at of carrying all before them-of gallop- hand with assistance, restored their sink. ing on, and cutting down the topechees of ing spirits; and by a strenuous effort, we the Affghauns at their guns. This un- once more gained ground upon our adver. lucky mistake was observed simultaneous. saries, and placed them between us and ly by Nader and the enemy: the latter de. their own cannon. The junction of a party tached a farther force of horsemen to come of our comrades, who succeeded in cutting plete the confusion which their fire was their way through to where we stood, enafast effecting among our men, while his bled us to support the struggle with better Highness pushed forward a strong body advantage ; but by this time I discovered of cavalry, including the remainder of his that the body of the guards, of which I own guards, to support and bring them was now the leader, had been completely off; and moved on himself in good order, separated from the rest of the army in the with the matchlockmen and infantry, to fluctuations of the fight, and was opposed,' act as circumstances should determine. unassisted, to a large force of cavalry, with

“ The engagement now became general the infantry and artillery still threatening and furious: what the Affyhauns lacked in front. There was nothing for it but in discipline, they possessed in personal to fight while we could; so, shouting strength and courage. They charged the out once more to those around me, that most compact bodies of our cavalry in Nader was driving them before him on parties of ten or twenty, and often broke our left, and that we must open ourselves them with great loss, by dint of determi. a path to join him, I called on them to ned bravery; and though their desultory close their ranks, and charge in that direc. devotion generally proved fatal to them in tion. the end, it was not without a serious ex. “The name of Nader, echoed from hunpense of lives to ourselves. So bloody was dreds of tongues in reply, startled the ene. the struggle, that even the portion of his my, and aided the force of our charge. Highness's guards which had accompanied Their horsemen were borne down and filed the first detachment in pursuit, thinned before it, and we found ourselves fast clo. by discharges of cannon in front, and fu- sing with the line of artillery and musketriously assailed on either flank by the cers. But from them we did not meet the heavy battle-axes and long spears of the reception I expected ;--they seemed to have horsemen, began to fall into confusion and their attention divided. • Charge them give back. I had hastily collected a small also,' cried I ; charge them, in the name number of men to rally another corps of of God, and they are ours !' The spirits of cavalry, which was shrinking under its my companions were elevated by the sucheary loss, when, casting my eyes towards cess of our first effort, and the effect of this my own companions, I saw them strug- order was electrifying ; scarcely was there gling with a fresh and powerful troop of time for the guns to be fired, when the Cadanharaes, who were led by some of the gunners were cut and trampled down, and Sultaun's gholaums. The crisis was ur. their infantry were flying in all directions. gent in the extreme : calling out to my At this moment an unlucky shot struck followers, and shouting aloud the well- our banner-man, and the colours, as they known cry of the Shurtee Naderee !! we fell, were seized upon by one among the charged the new assailants, who, thinking enemy more bold than the rest ; fortu. VOL. XXIV.


nately I saw the accident, and, clapping 66 Too much exhausted to pursue them, stirrups to my horse's side, reached and we were resting, panting on our arms, cut down the Affghaun, whose sacrilegious when his Higliness, accompanied by a hand had dared to touch the sacred ensign, strong party of gholaums, rode up to us catching it in my left hand, so that it ne. at speed. Checking his horse, he threw a ver touched the ground. Burning with en. single keen glance at us, and then gave thusiasm, I cleared a path to the right and rapid orders to several of his attendants to left with the sweep of my scymetar. "On- go and stop the pursuit, which had already ward ! onward !' cried I ; who will aban. led some of the troops too far. "The don his colours ?-who fears to follow his place of encampment for this night is yon. leader ?' and, gallantly followed by the der, on the ground deserted by the enemy; whole of my remaining band, I plunged -go! Let the several corps be mustered into the thickest of the enemy.

there, and let me have immediate returns “But though surprised and confound. of our loss in killed and wounded ; leave ed, the Affghauns by no means gave way only Muhabut Allee and half-a-dozen to their first panic. They turned upon us, gholaums with me I shall find guards and hemmed in our greatly diminished enough here, and trusty ones too. What troop on all sides, depriving us of the news ?-how fares it, Ísmael ? No chilpower to charge them, as, with their long dren's play this--you have found enough sharp swords, they rushed upon our horses, to do, it seems ?—these fellows have fought and dealt them ghastly and disabling like devils as they are. Come, muster the wounds, while their riders were engaged men now ; you must be my guard to camp. with other assailants. And now did I But how is this ? on foot ?' _Your Highsuffer a loss which cost me a keener pang ness sees my horse,' replied I, pointing to than many a graver misfortune in life ;- poor Boorrauk. «Whai ! my old acquainte my faithful Boorrauk had been severely ance ?-your friend of the Desert ? This wounded during our first successful charge, is in truth a loss ; but we must try to reby a spear which broke in his chest : yet pair it; meantime, some of you give him a still he bore me gallantly through the fight, horse.'— Your Highness has sustained a and trampled down many a one who ata greater loss—Caleb Allee Beg.'_Punah. tempted to assail his master. But the be-khodah! killed ?' demanded Nader, in sword of an Affghaun reached his side at a voice of great emotion. Struck by a last, and inflicted another fearful wound. I cannon-shot, while bravely leading your saw the deed and revenged it dearly; for, Highness's guards ;-he cannot survive, if with a blow of my sword, I clove the vil- not already dead.' -— Where is he ? let me lain from shoulder to chest; but my un. once more see my old and faithful servant,' fortunate horse, staggering forward a pace said Nader, stilling a groan ; and motion. or two, sank on his knees with a convul. ed immediately to lead the way. The spot sive shudder; and scarcely had I time to where I had left Caleb Alee was not far in disengage myself, when he fell on his side, our rear, for every inch of ground had been and giving me one look with his bright iné hotly contested, and we had advanced but telligent eye, stretched out his quivering little. We found him attended but by one limbs, and breathed his last. Had my aged soldier, for many years under his dearest friend been murdered at my feet, command, who bent over his mangled offithe pang I felt could not have been more cer with a look of fixed sorrow, while his keen, nor my indignation greater, than that tears, mingling with the blood that trickled which I experienced at the loss of this most from a large wound in his head, dropped faithful and invaluable companion of my heavily on the breast of the dying man. A toils.

party of Affghauns, who swept this part of “ The colours were still safe, and, en. the plain after we had quitted it, had cut trenched behind my slaughtered horse, I down the other attendant, and wounded kept all assailants at bay ; but how long this old man ; but when they observed his we could have held out against the odds white beard, and saw how he was occupied, opposed to us, I cannot say, for the un. the blow was not repeated ;—they left him equal struggle was brought to a sudden to himself, and, wounded as he was, he had elose. Loud cries were heard on the left; propped up the body of the unfortunate and even through the infernal din which Caleb Allee, supporting his head in his surrounded us, I could distinguish the loud lap, and, covering his ghastly wounds with and terrible voice of Nader shouting out his garments, thus awaited the painful his orders, and encouraging his men. All struggle of expiring nature.” now was over; the shout was returned by every one of us that remained alive ; the

We now approach the conclusion of enemy, assailed in rear, broke, and melted the story, which may be briefly told. from before us like snow in the April sun; Ismael fights like a tiger, and is raised and we, who but a moment before had by Nader to the dignity of a Khan. been gasping and struggling for our lives, He encounters his old friend Selim, were lefi undisputed possessors of the and through his means is restored to ground, now covered with the flying foc. the young and beautiful Shireen, who

« НазадПродовжити »