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would be shocked at the practical frenzy of his scholars, who in their paradoxes are servile imitators; and even in their incredulity discover an implicit faith.
THE FORCED RECRUIT.
You honour your bravest that fall.
No stranger, and yet not a traitor,
Though alien the cloth on his breast ;
Young heart, has a shot sent to rest !
To march with them, stand in their file,
He facing your guns with that smile !
He yearned to your patriot bands ;-
A ball in the body which may
This badge of the Austrian away!'
So thought he, so died he this morning.
What then ? many others have died.
The death-stroke, who fought side by side
One tricolor floating above them ;
Struck down ʼmid triumphant acclaims
And blazon the brass with their names.
But he,—without witness or honour,
Mixed, shamed in his country's regard,
Died faithful and passive : 'twas hard.
That moves you ? Nay, grudge not to show it,
While digging a grave for him here :
ASSAULT OF BADAJOZ.
Dry but clouded was the night, the air thick with watery exhalations from the rivers, the ramparts and the trenches unusually still ; yet a low murmur pervaded the latter, and in the former lights were seen to flit here and there while the deep voices of the sentinels at times proclaimed that all was well in Badajoz. The French, confiding in Phillipon's
direful skill, watched from their lofty station the approach of enemies whom they had twice before baffled, and now hoped to drive a third time blasted and ruined from the walls. The British, standing in deep columns, were as eager to meet that fiery destruction as the others were to pour it down, and both were alike terrible for their strength, their discipline, and the passions awakened in their resolute hearts. Former failures there were to avenge, and on both sides leaders who furnished no excuse for weakness in the hour of trial. The possession of Badajoz had become a point of personal honour with the soldiers of each nation, but the desire for glory with the British was dashed by a hatred of the citizens on an old grudge ; and recent toil and hardship with much spilling of blood had made many incredibly savage ; for these things render the noble-minded indeed averse to cruelty, but harden the vulgar spirit: numbers Iso were heated with the recollection of Ciudad Rodrigo and thirsted for spoil. Thus every spirit found a cause of excitement, the wondrous power of discipline bound the whole together as with a band of iron, and in the pride of arms none doubted their might to bear down every obstacle that man could oppose to their fury.
At ten o'clock, the castle, the San Roque, the breaches, the Pardaleras, the distant bastion of San Vincente, and the bridge head on the other side of the Guadiana were to have been simultaneously assailed, and it was hoped the strength of the enemy would shrivel within that fiery girdle. But many are the disappointments of war. An unforeseen accident delayed the attack of the fifth division, and a lighted carcase thrown from the castle, falling close to the third division, discovered their array and compelled them to anticipate the signal by half an hour. Then, everything being suddenly disturbed, the double columns of the fourth and light divisions also moved silently and swiftly against the breaches, and the guard of the trenches rushing forward with a shout encompassed the San Roque with fire, and broke in so violently that scarcely any resistance was made. But a sudden blaze of light and the
rattling of musketry indicated the commencement of a more vehement combat at the castle. There General Kempt,-for Picton, hurt by a fall in the camp and expecting no change in the hour, was not present,—there Kempt, I say, led the third division. Having passed the Rivillas in single files by a narrow bridge under a terrible musketry, he had re-formed and running up a rugged hill reached the foot of the castle, where he fell severely wounded, and as he was carried back to the trenches, met Picton, who was hastening to take the command. Meanwhile the troops, spreading along the front, had reared their heavy ladders, some against the lofty castle, some against the adjoining front on the left, and with incredible courage ascended amidst showers of heavy stones, logs of wood, and bursting shells rolled off the parapet, while from the flanks the enemy plied his musketry with fearful rapidity, and in front with pikes and bayonets stabbed the leading assailants or pushed the ladders from the walls : and all this was attended with deafening shouts and the crash of breaking ladders, and the shrieks of crushed soldiers answering to the sullen stroke of the falling weights.
Still swarming round the remaining ladders these undaunted veterans strove who should first climb, until all being overturned the French shouted victory, and the British, baffled but untamed, fell back a few paces and took shelter under the rugged edge of the hill. There the broken ranks were somewhat re-formed, and the heroic Ridge springing forward seized a ladder, and calling with stentorian voice on his men to follow, once more raised it against the castle, yet to the right of the former attack, where the wall was lower and an embrasure offered some facility. A second ladder was soon placed alonyside of the first by the grenadier officer Canch, and the next instant he and Ridge were on the rampart ; the shouting troops pressed after them ; the garrison, amazed and in a manner surprised, were driven fighting through the double te into the tow
and the castle was won. A reinforcement from the French reserve then came up, a sharp action followed,
both sides fired through the gate and the enemy retired, but Ridge fell, and no man died that night with more glory-yet many died, and there was much glory.
All this time the tumult at the breaches was such as if the very earth had been rent asunder, and its central fires bursting upwards uncontrolled. The two divisions had reached the glacis just as the firing at the castle commenced, and the flash of a single musket discharged from the covered way as a signal showed them that the French were ready; yet no stir was heard, and darkness covered the breaches. Some hay-packs were thrown, some ladders placed, and the forlorn hopes and storming parties of the light division, five hundred in all, descended into the ditch without opposition ; but then a bright flame shooting upwards displayed all the terrors of the scene.
The ramparts crowded with dark figures and glittering arms were on one side, on the other the red columns of the British, deep and broad, were coming on like streams of burning lava ; it was the touch of the magician's wand, for a crash of thunder followed, and with incredible violence the storming parties were dashed to pieces by the explosion of hundreds of shells and powder barrels.
For an instant the light division stood on the brink of the ditch amazed at the terrific sight, but then with a shout that matched even the sound of the explosion the men flew down the ladders, and disdaining their aid leaped reckless of the depth into the gulf below,—and at the same moment, amidst a blaze of musketry that dazzled the eyes, the fourth division came running in and descended with a like fury. There were only five ladders for the two columns which were close together, and a deep cut made in the bottom of the ditch as far as the counter-guard of the Trinidad was filled with water from the inundation ; into that watery snare the head of the fourth division fell, and it is said above a hundred of the fusiliers, men of Albuera, were there smothered. Those who followed checked not, but as if such a disaster had been expected, turned to the left and thus came upon the face of the