The Campaign of 1863

The Campaign of 1863 (
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Froggy 07-30-2019 10:29 PM

By Annie Fellows Johnston

Each, small 16mo, cloth, decorated cover and frontispiece, with decorative text borders 75c.

List of Titles


KEEPING TRYST: A Tale of King Arthur's Time.

*IN THE DESERT OF WAITING: The Legend of Camelback Mountain.

*THE THREE WEAVERS: A Fairy Tale for Fathers and Mothers as Well as for Their Daughters.



*Also bound in full flexible leather, with special tooling in gold, boxed



53 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.

On the street



How Aldebaran, the King's Son, Wore the Sheathed Sword of Conquest
Author of "The Little Colonel Series," "Big Brother,"
"Joel: A Boy of Galilee," "In the Desert of Waiting," etc.



Copyright, 1908
By L. C. Page & Company

Copyright, 1909
By L. C. Page & Company

All rights reserved

First Impression, June, 1909
Second Impression, August, 1909
Third Impression, October, 1910
Fourth Impression, November, 1911
Fifth Impression, November, 1912
Sixth Impression, January, 1916
Seventh Impression, August, 1917
Eighth Impression, April, 1920


"To renounce when that shall be necessary and not be embittered."

R. L. Stevenson.


The Jester's Sword

BECAUSE he was born in Mars' month, which is ruled by that red war-god, they gave him the name of a red star—Aldebaran; the red star that is the eye of Taurus. And because he was born in Mars' month, the bloodstone became his signet, sure token that undaunted[2] courage would be the jewel of his soul.

Now all his brothers were as stalwart and as straight of limb as he, and each one's horoscope held signs foretelling valorous deeds. But Aldebaran's so far out-blazed them all, with comet's trail and planets in most favourable conjunction, that from his first year it was known the Sword of Conquest[3] should be his. This sword had passed from sire to son all down a line of kings. Not to the oldest one always, as did the throne, though now and then the lot fell so, but to the one to whom the signs all pointed as being worthiest to wield it.

So from the cradle it was destined for Aldebaran, and from the cradle it was his greatest teacher. His old[4] nurse fed him with such tales of it, that even in his play the thought of such an heritage urged him to greater ventures than his mates dared take. Many a night he knelt beside his casement, gazing through the darkness at the red eye of Taurus, whispering to himself the words the old astrologers had written, "As Aldebaran the star shines in the[5] heavens, Aldebaran the man shall shine among his fellows."

Day after day the great ambition grew within him, bone of his bone and strength of his sinew, until it was as much a part of him as the strong heart beating in his breast. But only to one did he give voice to it, to the maiden Vesta, who had always shared his play. Now[6] it chanced that she, too, bore the name of a star, and when he told her what the astrologers had written, she repeated the words of her own destiny:

"As Vesta the star keeps watch in the heavens above the hearths of mortals, so Vesta the maiden shall keep eternal vigil beside the heart of him who of all men is the bravest."


When Aldebaran heard that he swore by the bloodstone on his finger that when the time was ripe for him to wield the sword he would show the world a far greater courage than it had ever known before. And Vesta smiling, promised by that same token to keep vigil by one fire only, the fire that she had kindled in his heart.

One by one his elder[8] brothers grew up and went out into the world to win their fortunes, and like a restless steed that frets against the rein, impatient to be off, he chafed against delay and longed to follow. For now the ambition that had grown with his growth had come to be more than bone of his bone and strength of his sinew. It was an all-consuming desire[9] which coursed through him even as his heart's blood; for with the years had come an added reason for the keeping of his youthful vow. Only in that way could Vesta's destiny be linked with his.

When the great day came at last for the Sword to be put into his hands, with a blare of trumpets the castle gates flew open, and a long[10] procession of nobles filed through. To the sound of cheers and ringing of bells, Aldebaran fared forth on his quest. The old king, his father, stepped down in the morning sun, and with bared head Aldebaran knelt to receive his blessing. With his hand on the Sword he swore that he would not come home again, until he had made a braver conquest[11] than had ever been made with it before, and by the bloodstone on his finger the old king knew that Aldebaran would fail not in the keeping of that oath.

With the godspeed of the villagers ringing in his ears, he rode away. Only once he paused to look back, when a white hand fluttered at a casement, and Vesta's sorrowful face shone down[12] on him like a star. Then she, too, saw the bloodstone on his finger as he waved her a farewell, and she, too, knew by that token he would fail not in the keeping of his oath.

Froggy 07-30-2019 10:32 PM










Having received your Lordship's permission to dedicate to you this my first essay as an Author, I beg to tender my best acknowledgements for the honour, and for the interest you have so kindly expressed in the success of the following pages. Under such favourable auspices a successful result may be confidently anticipated by

Your Lordship's
Obliged and obedient servant,





The following pages are literally what they profess to be, a record of a few weeks snatched from a soldier's life in Affghanistān, and spent in travels through a region which few Europeans have ever visited before. The notes from which it is compiled were written on the desert mountains of Central Asia, with very little opportunity, as will be easily supposed, for study or polish. Under these circumstances, it can hardly be necessary to deprecate the criticism of the reader. Composition is not one of the acquirements usually expected of a soldier. What is looked for in his narrative is not elegance, but plainness. He sees more than other people, but he studies less, and the strangeness of his story must make up for the want of ornament. I can hardly expect but that the reader may consider the style of my chapters inferior to many of those which are supplied to the public by those who are fortunate enough to enjoy good libraries and plenty of leisure; two advantages which a soldier on service seldom experiences. But this I cannot help. Such as they are, I offer him my unadorned notes; and perhaps he will be good enough to let one thing compensate another, and to recollect that if the style of the book is different from what he sometimes sees, yet the scenery is so too. If instead of a poetical composition he gets a straightforward story, yet instead of the Rhine or the Lakes he gets a mountain chain between Independent Tartary and China.

March, 1846.






[* Note: A portion of the following pages in their original form has appeared in the Asiatic Journal.]


During the summer of 1840, the aspect of the political horizon in Affghanistān afforded but slight grounds for prognosticating the awful catastrophe which two short years after befel the British arms. Dost Mahommed had not yet given himself up, but was a fugitive, and detained by the King of Bokhara, while many of the principal Sirdars had already tendered their allegiance to Shah Sooja: and there was in truth some foundation for the boast that an Englishman might travel in safety from one end of Affghanistān to the other. An efficient force of tried soldiers occupied Ghuzni, Cabul, Candahar, Jellalabad, and the other strongholds of the country; our outposts were pushed to the north-west some fifty miles beyond Bameeān, the Khyber and Bolun passes were open, and to the superficial observer all was tranquil. The elements of strife indeed existed, but at the time when I took the ramble which these pages attempt to describe, British power was paramount, and the rumour was already rife of the speedy diminution of the force which supported it.

Froggy 07-30-2019 10:37 PM

Notwithstanding the modern rage for exploration, but few of our countrymen have hitherto pierced the stupendous barrier of the Paropamisan range; but the works of Hanway, Forster, Moorcroft, and Trebeck, Masson, and Sir Alexander Burnes, convey most valuable information concerning the wild regions through which they travelled, and I am bound in simple honesty to confess that my little book does not aspire to rank with publications of such standard merit. An author's apology, however humble and sincere, is seldom attended to and more rarely accepted. Surely I am not wrong in assuming that a feeling of mournful interest will pervade the bosom of those who have the patience to follow my perhaps over-minute description of places whose names may be already familiar to them as connected with the career of those bold spirits who in life devoted their energies to the good of their country and the advancement of science, and who in the hour of disaster, when every hope was dead, met their fate with the unflinching gallantry of soldiers and the patient resignation of Christians.

My lamented friend, Lieutenant Sturt, of the Bengal Engineers, was one of the foremost of those who endeavoured, during the critical situation of the Cabul force previous to its annihilation, to rally the drooping spirits of the soldiers; and without wishing in any way to reflect on others, it may fairly be said that his scientific attainments and personal exertions contributed not a little to those partial successes, which to the sanguine seemed for a moment to restore the favourable aspect of our military position. But I forbear from now dwelling upon these circumstances, lest I might undesignedly give pain to those who still survive the fatal event, merely stating my humble opinion that the memory of any mistake committed, either in a political or military light, will by the noble-minded be drowned in sorrow for the sufferings and death of so many thousands of brave men.

In the month of June, 1840, Lieutenant Sturt was ordered to survey the passes of the Hindoo Koosh, and I obtained leave from my regiment, then in camp at Cabul, for the purpose of accompanying him; my object was simply to seek pleasant adventures; the "cacoethes ambulandi" was strong upon me, and I thirsted to visit the capital of ancient Bactria; the circumstances which prevented our reaching Balkh will hereafter be detailed, but the main object of the expedition was attained, as Sturt executed an excellent map of the passes alluded to, and satisfactorily demonstrated that almost all the defiles of this vast chain, or rather group of mountains, may be turned, and that it would require a large and active well-disciplined force to defend the principal ones. I have made every possible inquiry as to the fate of the results of Sturt's labours, but fear that they too were lost in the dreadful retreat. Whatever still exists must be in the Quarter-Master General's Department in India, far out of my reach, so that I am obliged again to request the indulgence of my reader for the want of a proper map on which he might, if he felt so inclined, trace our daily progress,[*] and to crave his forgiveness if I occasionally repeat what has been far more ably related by Moorcroft and the other authors whom I have already mentioned.

[* Note: Since receiving the proof sheets for correction I have been kindly supplied by my friend Major Wade with a map taken principally from the one executed by the late Lieutenant Sturt.]

To the traveller whose experience of mountain scenery is confined to Switzerland, the bold rocks and rich though narrow valleys of the frontiers of Toorkisthān offer all the charms of novelty; the lower ranges of hills are gloomy and shrubless, contrasting strikingly with the dazzling, yet distant splendour of the snowy mountains. It is an extraordinary fact, that throughout the whole extent of country occupied by these under features, which presents every variety of form and geological structure, there are scarcely any hills bearing trees or even shrubs; every valley, however, is intersected by its native stream, which in winter pursues its headlong course with all the impetuosity of a mountain torrent, but in the summer season glides calmly along as in our native meadows.

The multitude and variety of well-preserved fossils which are imbedded in the different strata of the Toorkisthān hills would amply reward the researches of the Geologist, and to the Numismatologist this portion of Asia proves eminently interesting, Balkh and other localities in its vicinity abounding in ancient coins, gems, and other relics of former days; and I much regret that I was unable to reach the field from whence I expected to gather so rich a harvest.

Froggy 07-30-2019 10:44 PM


In accordance with the golden rule of restricting our baggage to the least possible weight and compass, we allowed ourselves but one pony a piece for our necessaries, in addition to what were required for our small tent and cooking utensils, Sturt's surveying instruments being all carried by Affghān porters whom he hired at Cabul for that purpose.

On the 13th of June we commenced our ramble, intending to proceed to Balkh by the road through Bameeān, as we should then have to traverse the principal passes of the Hindoo Khosh, and our route would be that most likely to be selected by an army either advancing from Bokhārā on Cabul or moving in the opposite direction. The plundering propensities of the peasantry rendered an escort absolutely necessary, and ours consisted of thirty Affghans belonging to one of Shah Soojah's regiments, under the command of Captain Hopkins. As Government took this opportunity of sending a lac[*] of rupees for the use of the native troop of Horse-Artillery stationed at Bameeān, our military force was much increased by the treasure-guard of eighty Sipahis and some remount horses; so that altogether we considered our appearance quite imposing enough to secure us from any insult from the predatory tribes through whose haunts we proposed travelling. Our first day's march was merely to make a fair start, for we encamped two miles north-west of the city in a grove of mulberry-trees, and the wind, as usual in summer, blowing strong in the day-time, laid the produce at our feet; so that by merely stretching out our hands, we picked up the fruit in abundance; for although the sun was powerful, we preferred the open air under the deep foliage to the closeness of a tent. During the early part of the night an alarm was raised throughout our small camp, and as we knew the vicinity of Cabul to be infested with the most persevering thieves, we naturally enough attributed the disturbance to their unwelcome visit, but it turned out to be only one of the remount horses, which having broken away from his picket was scampering furiously round our tents, knocking over the chairs, tables, and boxes which had been placed in readiness for packing outside the tent door. The neighing of the other horses, and their struggles to get loose and have a fight with their more fortunate companion, added to the braying of donkeys, barking of dogs, and groaning of the camels, gave me the notion of a menagerie in a state of insurrection. The affair looked serious when the animal began to caper amongst Sturt's instruments, but luckily we secured him before any damage was done, though for some time theodolites, sextants, artificial horizons, telescopes, and compasses were in imminent danger. The worst of an occurrence of this kind is, that your servants once disturbed never think of returning to rest when quiet is restored, but sit up for the remainder of the night, chatting over the event with such warmth and animation, as effectually to keep their master awake as well as each other. We started next morning at four, and marched about six miles and a half, the distances being always measured with a perambulator, the superintending of which gave Sturt considerable trouble, as it was necessary to have an eye perpetually on the men who guided it, lest they should have recourse to the usual practice of carrying the machine, whenever the nature of the ground made that mode of transportation more convenient than wheeling. This, together with taking bearings, and the other details of surveying, gave my companion plenty of occupation, not only during the march, but for the rest of the day when halted.

[*Note: lăc, lăkh (-k), n. (Anglo-Ind.). A hundred thousand (usu. of rupees).]

We were now encamped close to a village called Kulla Kazee, a place of no very good repute as regarding honesty; indeed, we were well aware of the predatory propensities of our neighbours; but we seemed destined to experience more annoyance from the great apprehension of being attacked which existed amongst our followers, than from any well-founded anticipation of it; their fears were not totally groundless, as it must be confessed that to a needy and disorganized population the bait of a lac of rupees was very tempting.

We had chosen a picturesque little garden for our resting place, the treasure and remount horses with the Sipahi guard being encamped about half a mile off to our rear. At about eleven at night the European sergeant in charge of the horses burst into our tent in some consternation, stating that a large band of robbers were descending from the adjacent hills to attack the treasure. Sturt immediately jumped up, and mounting his horse gallopped off to the supposed scene of action. All was quiet without the camp; within there was a terrible bustle, which Sturt at last succeeded in allaying by sending out patrols in various direction, who reported that nothing could be either heard or seen of the dreaded robbers. Being rather averse to these nocturnal diversions, especially as they promised to be of frequent occurrence, I made careful inquiries to ascertain if there were any real foundation for the alarm, but all I could learn was, that the neighbourhood had always been noted for robbers, who hasten towards the point upon the report of any party worth plundering passing near any of their forts. Possibly some robbers had gained intelligence of our treasure, and had actually appeared on the hills, but on discovering the strength of our party had retired.

The next day our route lay through delicious fields of ripening clover, in such profusion that the air was impregnated with its agreeable perfume, to a small fort called Oorghundee, remarkable chiefly for being the head-quarters of the oft-mentioned thieves, of whom I daresay the reader is as tired as we were after the mere dread they inspired had caused us to pass two sleepless nights. But we were now determined to assume a high tone, and summoning the chief of the fort, or, in other words, the biggest villain, into our presence, we declared that in the event of our losing a single article of our property or being annoyed by a night attack, we would retaliate in the morning by cutting the surrounding crops and setting fire to the fort!

Froggy 07-30-2019 10:53 PM

The military reader, especially if conversant with some of the peculiarities of eastern discipline, will question how far we should have been justified in carrying our threats into execution. I can assure him we had no such intention; but be that as it may, our threats had the desired effect, and at length we enjoyed an uninterrupted night's rest.

On the morning of the 16th we proceeded to Koteah Shroof, the whole distance being about ten miles: but the first three brought us to the extremity of the beautiful valley through which we had been travelling ever since we left Cabul. The aspect of the country in the immediate vicinity of our path has been well described by one of the most lamented victims to Affghan ingratitude and treachery. "If the reader can imagine," writes Sir Alexander Burnes, "a plain about twenty miles in circumference, laid out with gardens and fields in pleasing irregularity, intersected by three rivulets which wind through it by a serpentine course, and dotted with innumerable little forts and villages, he will have before him one of the meadows of Cabul." To complete the picture the reader must conceive the grey barren hills, which, contrasting strongly with the fertility of the plains they encompass, are themselves overlooked by the eternal snows of the Indian Caucasus. To the English exile these valleys have another attraction, for in the hot plains of Hindoostan artificial grasses are rarely to be found, and the rich scent of luxuriant clover forcibly reminds the wanderer of the sweet-smelling fields of his native land.

But these pleasing associations were soon dispelled by the steep and rugged features of the pass through which we ascended on leaving the plain. It is called the Suffaed Kāk or White Earth, and we found by the barometer, that the gorge of the ravine was about a thousand feet above our last encamping ground. The hills on either side were ragged and abrupt, but of insignificant height: the length of the pass itself was about two miles, and from its head to Koteah Shroof the road was stony and difficult; but, as we had been careful at starting not to overload our baggage animals, they got through their work without being much distressed.

Froggy 07-30-2019 10:57 PM


I find it difficult to convey to the reader an adequate conception of the strange character of the hilly country we had now entered: no parts of Wales or even the varied groupings of the Swiss mountains offer a correct analogy. After passing the defile of the Suffaed Kāk the hills recede to a distance of about two miles on either side of the road, and the whole space thus offered to the labours of the peasant is very highly cultivated; but the barren rocks soon hem in the narrow valley, and as you approach nearer and nearer you find your enchanting gardens transformed into a dreary and desolate defile,––this succession of small plots of fertile ground, alternating with short rugged passes, extends to Julrez, ten miles beyond Koteah Shroof; which latter place is an insignificant fort, situated in the centre of one of the little green spots so pleasingly varying this part of the country.

At Koteah Shroof we gained the banks of the Cabul river, a placid flowing stream, and as the neighbourhood of our camp did not offer any features of peculiar interest, I determined to try my luck in fishing; but first I had to tax my ingenuity for implements, as I had neither rod, line, nor net. A willow stick and a bit of string was all I could command; and yet my primitive apparatus was very successful, for the fish also were primitive, affording me ample sport and taking the bait with extraordinary eagerness. My occupation attracted the attention of a few peasants who gathered round me, and stood wondering what potent charm attached to the string could entice the fish from their native element. I endeavoured to explain the marvel, but was utterly unsuccessful; indeed, the peasants did not accept my explanation, which they evidently considered as a fabrication invented to deceive them and conceal my supernatural powers. The inhabitants of these valleys seemed a simple and inoffensive race, and, as in Europe, their respectful demeanour became more conspicuous as we increased our distance from the capital.

With regard to the state of cultivation of this valley––in which it resembles others generally throughout Affghanistan––wherever there is soil enough to hold the seed, the Affghān husbandman appears to make the most of it. We found here and there in profusion the pear, apple, cherry, mulberry, and luxuriant vine, and in some situations wheat, with an under-crop of clover.

On the 17th we proceeded to Julrez, a collection of wretched hovels of no interest, and on the 18th, after a march of ten miles through a succession of valleys and defiles, we reached the Kuzzilbash fort, Suffaed Kulla. About two miles before we arrived at our encamping ground we passed near the Sir-e-chusm or "fountain head," one of the sources of the Cabul river; it is a large pool stocked with a multitude of enormous fish that are held sacred by the few inhabitants of the adjoining hamlets, and which are daily fed by an aged fanatic, who for many years has devoted himself to their protection. As it would be deemed in the highest degree sacrilegious to eat any of these monsters, they are never molested, and are so tame as to come readily to the hand when offered food. Of course, my necessary compliance with the prejudices of the guardian of the fish prevented the exercise of my Waltonian propensities.

A little further on is a remarkable bourj or watch-tower isolated on a projecting rock, and supposed to have been built for the purpose of giving the chiefs of the little plain below, when at variance with the neighbouring mountaineers, notice of the approaching invader. At this point the valley is extremely narrow, being almost choked up with huge masses of rock hurled by the violence of some convulsion of nature from the sides of the impending precipices.

There are several minor forts in the vicinity of Suffaed Kulla, which is the largest, and is at present occupied by a Kuzzilbash chief, who took advantage a few years ago of the temporary absence of its rightful owner, and acting upon the principle of "might makes right," possessed himself forcibly of it, and has held it ever since. He treated us with great kindness and attention, sending us most acceptable presents of fruit, with food for our followers and cattle.

Froggy 07-30-2019 11:06 PM

We here experienced to a great degree that remarkable daily variation of temperature so peculiar to these regions: in the gully the wind was bleak and cold, but when encamped under the shelter of the fort the heat from the sun's rays reflected from the smooth surface of the bare rock was so intense that the thermometer rose to 100 of Fahrenheit. While in camp at Cabul I frequently experienced the same rapid change, for it would sometimes be a hard frost at day-break and an Indian summer heat at mid-day.

On the 19th of June we started very early, as the tremendous Oonnye pass rising to the height of 11,400 feet lay before us, and we had a full ten miles march ere we could reach our proposed halting place at the village of Uart. We soon entered the mouth of the pass, which was girt on either side by magnificent precipices; the road was narrow and slippery––of course without even an apology for a parapet––running along a natural ledge on the verge of a perpendicular cliff, and so sheer was the side, that from a horse's back you might sometimes have dropped a stone into the apparently bottomless ravine––bottomless, for the rays of a noon-day sun have never broken the eternal darkness of the awful chasm beneath. Had horse, camel, or man missed their footing whilst scrambling up the steep and stony pathway, nothing could have saved them from being dashed to pieces. Frequently, when rounding some projecting crag, the small treasure-box fastened on the camel literally overhung the abyss, and I held my breath and the pulsations of my heart increased as I watched horse after horse and camel after camel weather the critical point.

Before we reached Uart a poor woman of the Huzareh tribe (the most persecuted and enslaved throughout these regions) came and complained to us that her child had been seized by a band of plunderers, as she supposed, to be sold into slavery. Sturt immediately despatched a couple of the guard to recover her child if possible, and the poor woman went off with the two soldiers in the full confidence that her escort would be successful. I own that I myself was not so sanguine, but I had yet to learn how much even in these wild mountains the British name was respected. The mother's hopes were realized, and in the course of the day the child was recovered, having been instantly surrendered on the requisition being made; but I was surprised to see instead of a helpless child a fine handsome well-knit young man. The gratitude of the poor woman was sincere; she had nothing, she said, to offer in return, but prayed that every blessing might descend upon us and our most distant relations; that we might all become great kings; and that finally we might be successful in conquering the country we were proceeding to invade: vain were our endeavours to set before her in their true light the object of our expedition.

We arrived rather late at Uart after a hard day's work, and were not much gratified by the aspect of our camp, which was disagreeable, from its great elevation and its situation on a bleak table-land, thinly covered with a short grass, with the strong winds of the Hindoo Khoosh sweeping across it.

Here a young woman came to our tent asking permission to avail herself of our protection, as she was proceeding to the frontiers of Toorkisthān to purchase slave girls for the Cabul market. She accompanied us to Bameeān, and there remained. I heard afterwards that she did not succeed according to her anticipations, and that on her return to Cabul she died of fever. Our English ideas of slavery drawn from our knowledge of the varied sufferings endured by the thousands who are annually exported from the western shores of Africa, are opposite to those entertained in the east even by the victims themselves. The Asiatic and African slave are alike in name alone; the treatment of the latter in those parts of America where, spite of the progress of civilization and the advancement of true principles of philanthropy over the world, slavery is still tolerated and encouraged, has been too well and too often described for me to venture a word of my own opinion, but in Asia, in many cases, the loss of liberty is hardly felt.

The situation of the domestic slave of Egypt (though, strictly speaking, he must be classed under the head of "African") is analogous to that observable generally in the east; and I form my opinion partly from an anecdote related to me by my friend Captain Westmacott, of the 37th Native Infantry, who was killed in the retreat from Cabul, which I will venture to repeat as an illustration. He was proceeding by the overland route from England to India, and remained some time in Egypt to view its splendid antiquities. On making inquiries with the object of procuring servants, he was informed that he had better purchase slaves. The civilized notions of my friend revolted at the idea, but he was assured that it was a method very generally adopted, as he would find it extremely difficult to hire servants, and if successful, they would prove the veriest rascals on the face of the earth. He reluctantly consented, and had them purchased. On his departure for India he summoned his slaves, and informed them that as they had behaved themselves well he would give them their freedom. They looked astounded and burst into tears, reminding him that instead of being kind to them he had shewn cruelty, "for where," said they, "shall we go now? Who will have anything to say to us? We shall starve and die; but if your highness will sell us again, we shall be well fed and clothed." I confess I do not see why the servants, if they really were so anxious to return to slavery, should not have sold themselves, and pocketed their own value. Throughout Afghanistān a slave is treated as an humble friend, and is generally found to be faithful and trustworthy.

Froggy 07-31-2019 03:29 AM


After surmounting the Oonnye Pass, which is one of the principal defiles of the Hindoo Khoosh, we proceeded on the 20th to Gurdundewāl, a distance from Uart of about six and a half miles. The road was a gradual descent, and very rugged, leading along the bases of barren rocks, till we debouched upon the river Elbon, as it is termed by the natives, but the Helmund or Etymander of the ancients. Even here, where the stream was in its infancy, the current was so strong, that while we were fording it, one of our baggage ponies laden with a tent was carried away by its violence, and, but for the gallant exertions of our tent-pitcher, we should have had to sleep in the open air for the rest of our journey; as it fortunately happened, both animal and load were recovered; and when properly dried, neither one nor the other were a bit the worse for their washing. On the 21st we encamped near the village of Kazee, after a march of nine miles along the right bank of the Helmund, which here flows in a south-westerly direction; we could procure no supplies whatever, either for man or beast, which was the more vexatious as we had a very hard day's work in prospect for the morrow, and were anxious to recruit ourselves and cattle before attempting it. We managed well enough in spite of our compulsory fast, and on the 22d we reached Kalloo, a distance of twelve miles, after crossing the steep and difficult pass of Hadjekuk, 12,400 feet high; as we approached the summit we found ourselves amongst the snow, and experienced some little inconvenience from a difficulty of respiration; though this pass was even higher than that of Oonnye, it does not possess the same abruptness and boldness of feature which render the latter so interesting and dangerous. The hills near the gorge were so strongly impregnated with iron as sensibly to affect the needle of the theodolite.

Throughout this country, and especially amongst the Uzbegs, there is a fortified wall in the form of a square surrounding each village, with small bastions or towers at the angles. Plunder is so much the order of the day, or rather of the night, that, as a protection, the cattle and every living animal are shut up in these places at sunset; the wicket is locked and barred, and if the villagers happen to have a feud with any of their neighbours, which generally is the case, a watchman is stationed on each bastion. Truly of this land it may be said, that "what one sows another reaps," for frequently a chief forming a "chuppäo" or plundering party against his neighbour, if unsuccessful in seizing men to sell for slaves or cattle for use, reaps and carries off the corn. These chuppäos are considered among the predatory tribes very exciting affairs, as affording opportunities for the young warriors to flesh their maiden swords; but it seldom happens that these encounters are very bloody, as, in the event of one party shewing a determined front, the other generally retreats. The unfortunate Huzareh tribe are constantly the sufferers, and the traveller will recognize more slaves of that than of any other "clan."

We were now in the vicinity of the Koh-i-baba, a mountain whose granite peaks still towered six thousand feet above us, though our own camp was at least nine thousand above the level of the sea. We determined upon ascending it the following morning, but at first experienced considerable difficulty in procuring guides, not from the natives being either unqualified or unwilling to undertake the task, for they were chiefly hunters, and familiar with the paths they had themselves formed in pursuit of game, but they could not conceive why we should be anxious to climb the difficult height, and therefore were obstinately stupid in refusing to understand the purpose for which we required their services. At length we obtained a guide, and started next morning at half-past five: with considerable fatigue and some little risk we reached the summit after three hours walking, but the magnificent view amply rewarded us for our trouble. The peaks about us were capped with eternal snow; those below were rugged and black. The comparison of the view from the top of a lofty mountain in a hilly country with that of the sea in a storm is old perhaps, but only the truer for that very reason. It was, indeed, as if the hand of God had suddenly arrested and turned to stone varied and fantastic forms of the dark tumultuous waves.

The solemn stillness of these lofty regions was a striking contrast with the busy plains below. The mountains abound in wild sheep, which the hardy hunter pursues for days together, taking with him a slender stock of food, and wrapping his blanket about him at night, when he seeks his resting-place amongst the crevices of these barren rocks. It is seldom that he returns empty-handed if he takes up a good position over-night, for the flocks of wild sheep descend from the least accessible parts at the earliest dawn in search of pasture, and one generally falls a victim to the unerring bullet of the rested Juzzyl. The distant view of the barrier range was beautiful beyond description, for, though the peak on which we stood was the highest for many miles around us, the lofty peaks of the Indian Caucasus were many thousand feet above us. We were now beyond the range of the wild sheep, and not a living creature was to be seen save a majestic eagle, who, deeming us intruders where he was lord of all, sailed up along the sides of the precipitous ravines, sweeping about our heads as he soared upwards, then again wheeling downwards near and nearer, till at length I fancied him within range; but so deceptive was the distance or so defective my aim that he continued unruffled in his course, whilst the sharp crack of the rifle echoed and re-echoed from crag to crag. After satiating our gaze with these wild splendours of creation, a most unsentimental craving of the inward man warned us to descend, and we returned to Kalloo by eleven o'clock to do ample justice to our breakfasts.

We left Kalloo on the 24th, ascending by a rugged broken track to the highest point of the pass, where we came upon a fort surrounded by a small belt of cultivation divided into fields by hedgerows abounding with wild roses. I could hardly have imagined the road practicable for camels, but the cautious though unwieldy animals eventually succeeded in surmounting all difficulties, and arrived late at our encampment near a village called Topechee, the whole distance being ten miles and a half. From the crest of the pass to Topechee was a gradual descent, the road bordering a tremendous fissure, deep and gloomy, along the bottom of which a pelting torrent forced its way. The variegated strata on the mountain side, forming distinct lines of red, yellow, blue, and brown, were very remarkable, and I much regret that I had not time to devote to them most strict examination in a geological point of view.

On the 25th we started for Bameeān, passing by another Topechee a few miles further on, which is famous for its trout stream. Very few of these fish are found in the country, and only in the streams within a few miles of this spot. They are red-spotted and well-flavoured, and, as the natives do not indulge in the angler's art, they will rise at any kind of fly and gorge any bait offered. While halting a few minutes at lower Topechee we fell in with an Uzbeg warrior, a most formidable looking personage, armed, in addition to the usual weapons of his country, with a huge bell-mouthed blunderbuss at least three inches in diameter; the individual himself was peaceably enough disposed, and, contrary to the usual habit of Asiatics, made no objections to our examining the small cannon he carried. On inspecting the deadly instrument we discovered it to be loaded to the very muzzle, a mixture of pebbles, slugs, and bits of iron being crammed into the barrel over a charge of a couple of ounces of powder. On our inquiring why it was so heavily charged, the man told us with much naiveté, that it was to kill nine men, illustrating the method by which this wholesale destruction was to be accomplished, by planting the butt on his hip and whirling the muzzle from right to left in a horizontal direction across us all, and telling us very pleasantly that if he were to fire we should all fall from the scattering of the different ingredients contained in the blunderbuss; had we not an instant before drawn the charge from which the fellow anticipated such dire effects, we might have felt rather uncomfortable at our relative positions; but I doubt whether the owner had ever had occasion to try the efficacy of his boasted manoeuvre, as he would probably at the first discharge have been killed himself either by the recoil or the bursting of the defective and honey-combed barrel.

The approach to Bameeān was very singular; the whole face of the hills on either hand was burrowed all over with caves like a huge rabbit-warren. I am informed that these caves are the work of nature, "yet worked, as it were planned," and are occupied occasionally by travellers both in summer and winter; they are observable in many places in Toorkisthān, and, when situated high up on the face of the hill, afford a safe retreat for the hunter. The road was tolerably good for the last three miles, running along a narrow valley sprinkled with numerous forts, which are generally occupied by the Huzareh tribes, an ill-featured but athletic race.

Froggy 07-31-2019 03:30 AM

I shall not detain the reader by any description either of the wonderful ruins of the ancient city of Goolgoolla or of the gigantic images of Bameeān, these curiosities having been ably described in Masson's very interesting work; but I was a good deal amused by the various legends with which the natives are familiar, of one of which, relating to a chalybeate spring in the neighbourhood called the "Dragon's Mouth," I shall take the liberty to offer a free version. It was related to me by an old gentleman who brought a few coins to sell, and I listened to him with some patience; but in proportion as the old fellow observed my passive attention did he increase in verbosity and pompous description. I still waited for the point of the story, but my friend, after exhausting his powers of speech and metaphor, was fain to wind up his tale with a most lame and impotent conclusion. I now give it to the reader, not from a wish to punish him as I was punished, but because from the prolixity of the narrator he necessarily most minutely described scenes and customs, which, though they had nothing on earth to do with the "Dragon's Mouth," may prove interesting to the reader, as illustrating the peculiarities of the people amongst whom we were now sojourning.



In the reign of Ameer Dost Mahommed Khān, when all the pomp and pride of glorious war was in its zenith at Cābul, there lived on the borders of Kulloom and Kundooz, a chieftain named Khan Shereef, whose grandfather had accompanied the illustrious Nadir Shah from Persia in his expedition through Affghanistān, and followed the fortunes of his royal master, even to the very gates of the imperial Delhi. On his return towards Persia, he had for a time intended to settle in Cābul, but "death, who assaults the walled fort of the chieftain as well as the defenceless hovel of the peasant," seized him for his own; the father also paid the debt of nature in the capital of Affghanistān, but not before the young Khan Shereef had seen the light. Growing up to manhood and wearying of the monotonous life a residence in Cābul entailed, he pursued his way across the frontier mountains of Toorkisthān, and arrived at the court of Meer Moorad Beg. Here he performed good service in the field, and becoming his master's personal friend and favourite, had a fort and a small portion of territory assigned to him. It was at the court of the Kundooz ruler that he first became acquainted with Zebah, the lovely rose of Cashmere, whom he eventually purchased from her father for his wife.[*] He started with his bride to take possession of his newly-acquired gift, an insulated fortress in the heart of a country abounding in those extensive prairies for which Toorkisthān is so justly celebrated. On these magnificent savannahs he reared the Toorkman steed, and soon boasted an unrivalled stud.

[* Note: It is customary in this country as well as in other parts of Asia to purchase the young women who may be selected for wives of their relations, the purchase money varying according to the degrees of beauty.] Towards the close of the first year he became a father, an event which was hailed with extravagant joy by all his vassals, the old retainers of his father foretelling the future achievements in the foray of the young Abdoollah Reheem.

Theodoric 09-10-2019 09:45 PM


By J. W. Deforest

By permission of “The New York Times.”

The Colonel was the idol of his bragging old regiment and of the bragging brigade which for the last six months he had commanded.

He was the idol, not because he was good and gracious, not because he spared his soldiers or treated them as fellow-citizens, but because he had led them to victory and made them famous. If a man will win battles and give his brigade a right to brag loudly of its doings, he may have its admiration and even its enthusiastic devotion, though he be as pitiless and as wicked as Lucifer.

“It’s nothin’ to me what the Currnell is in prrivit, so long as he shows us how to whack the rrebs,” said Major Gahogan, commandant of the “Old Tenth.” “Moses saw God in the burrnin’ bussh, an’ bowed down to it, an’ worr-shipt it. It wasn’t the bussh he worrshipt; it was his God that was in it. An’ I worrship this villin of a Currnell (if he is a villin) because he’s almighty and gives us the vict’ry. He’s nothin’ but a human burrnin’ bussh, perhaps, but he’s got the god of war in um. Adjetant Wallis, it’s a———long time between dhrinks, as I think ye was sayin’, an’ with rayson. See if ye can’t confiscate a canteen of whiskee somewhere in the camp. Bedad, if I can’t buy it I’ll stale it. We’re goin’ to fight tomorry, an’ it may be it’s the last chance we’ll have for a dhrink, unless there’s more lik’r now in the other worrld than Dives got.”

The brigade was bivouacked in some invisible region, amid the damp, misty darkness of a September night. The men lay in their ranks, each with his feet to the front and his head rearward, each covered by his overcoat and pillowed upon his haversack, each with his loaded rifle nestled close beside him. Asleep as they were, or dropping placidly into slumber, they were ready to start in order to their feet and pour out the red light and harsh roar of combat. There were two lines of battle, each of three regiments of infantry, the first some two hundred yards in advance of the second. In the space between them lay two four-gun batteries, one of them brass twelve-pounder “Napoleons,” and the other rifled Parrotts. To the rear of the infantry were the recumbent troopers and picketed horses of a regiment of cavalry. All around, in the far, black distance, invisible and inaudible, paced or watched stealthily the sentinels of the grand guards.

There was not a fire, not a torch, nor a star-beam in the whole bivouac to guide the feet of Adjutant Wallis in his pilgrimage after whiskey. The orders from brigade headquarters had been strict against illuminations, for the Confederates were near at hand in force, and a surprise was proposed as well as feared. A tired and sleepy youngster, almost dropping with the heavy somnolence of wearied adolescence, he stumbled on through the trials of an undiscernible and unfamiliar footing, lifting his heavy riding-boots sluggishly over imaginary obstacles, and fearing the while lest his toil were labor misspent. It was a dry camp, he felt dolefully certain, or there would have been more noise in it. He fell over a sleeping sergeant, and said to him hastily, “Steady, man—a friend!” as the half-roused soldier clutched his rifle. Then he found a lieutenant, and shook him in vain; further on a captain, and exchanged saddening murmurs with him; further still a camp-follower of African extraction, and blasphemed him.

“It’s a God-forsaken camp, and there isn’t a horn in it,” said Adjutant Wallis to himself as he pursued his groping journey. “Bet you I don’t find the first drop,” he continued, for he was a betting boy, and frequently argued by wagers, even with himself. “Bet you two to one I don’t. Bet you three to one—ten to one.”

Then he saw, an indefinite distance beyond him, burning like red-hot iron through the darkness, a little scarlet or crimson gleam, as of a lighted cigar.

“That’s Old Grumps, of the Bloody Fourteenth,” he thought. “I’ve raided into his happy sleeping-grounds. I’ll draw on him.”

But Old Grumps, otherwise Colonel Lafayette Gildersleeve, had no rations—that is, no whiskey.

“How do you suppose an officer is to have a drink, Lieutenant?” he grumbled. “Don’t you know that our would-be Brigadier sent all the commissary to the rear day before yesterday? A eanteenful can’t last two days. Mine went empty about five minutes ago.”

“Oh, thunder!” groaned Wallis, saddened by that saddest of all thoughts, “Too late!” “Well, least said soonest mended. I must wobble back to my Major.”

“He’ll send you off to some other camp as dry as this one. Wait ten minutes, and he’ll be asleep. Lie down on my blanket and light your pipe. I want to talk to you about official business—about our would-be Brigadier.”

“Oh, your turn will come some day,” mumbled Wallis, remembering Gildersleeve’s jealousy of the brigade commander—a jealousy which only gave tongue when aroused by “commissary.” “If you do as well as usual to-morrow you can have your own brigade.”

“I suppose you think we are all going to do well to-morrow,” scoffed Old Grumps, whose utterance by this time stumbled. “I suppose you expect to whip and to have a good time. I suppose you brag on fighting and enjoy it.”

“I like it well enough when it goes right; and it generally does go right with this brigade. I should like it better if the rebs would fire higher and break quicker.”

“That depends on the way those are commanded whose business it is to break them,” growled Old Grumps. “I don’t say but what we are rightly commanded,” he added, remembering his duty to superiors. “I concede and acknowledge that our would-be Brigadier knows his military business. But the blessing of God, Wallis! I believe in Waldron as a soldier. But as a man and a Christian, faugh!”

Gildersleeve had clearly emptied his canteen unassisted; he never talked about Christianity when perfectly sober.

“What was your last remark?” inquired Wallis, taking his pipe from his mouth to grin. Even a superior officer might be chaffed a little in the darkness.

“I made no last remark,” asserted the Colonel with dignity. “I’m not a-dying yet. If I said anything last it was a mere exclamation of disgust—the disgust of an officer and gentleman. I suppose you know something about our would-be Brigadier. I suppose you think you know something about him.”

“Bet you I know all about him,” affirmed Wallis. “He enlisted in the Old Tenth as a common soldier. Before he had been a week in camp they found that he knew his biz, and they made him a sergeant. Before we started for the field the Governor got his eye on him and shoved him into a lieutenancy. The first battle h’isted him to a captain. And the second—bang! whiz! he shot up to colonel right over the heads of everybody, line and field. Nobody in the Old Tenth grumbled. They saw that he knew his biz. I know all about him. What’ll you bet?”

Theodoric 09-10-2019 09:52 PM

“I’m not a betting man, Lieutenant, except in a friendly game of poker,” sighed Old Grumps. “You don’t know anything about your Brigadier,” he added in a sepulchral murmur, the echo of an empty canteen. “I have only been in this brigade a month, and I know more than you do, far, very far more, sorry to say it. He’s a reformed clergyman. He’s an apostatized minister.” The Colonel’s voice as he said this was solemn and sad enough to do credit to an undertaker. “It’s a bad sort, Wallis,” he continued, after another deep sigh, a very highly perfumed one, the sigh of a barkeeper. “When a clergyman falls, he falls for life and eternity, like a woman or an angel. I never knew a backslidden shepherd to come to good. Sooner or later he always goes to the devil, and takes down whomsoever hangs to him.”

“He’ll take down the Old Tenth, then,” asserted Wallis. “It hangs to him. Bet you two to one he takes it along.”

“You’re right, Adjutant; spoken like a soldier,” swore Gildersleeve, “And the Bloody Fourteenth, too. It will march into the burning pit as far as any regiment; and the whole brigade, yes, sir! But a backslidden shepherd, my God! Have we come to that? I often say to myself, in the solemn hours of the night, as I remember my Sabbath-school days, ‘Great Scott! have we come to that?’ A reformed clergyman! An apostatized minister! Think of it, Wallis, think of it! Why, sir, his very wife ran away from him. They had but just buried their first boy,” pursued Old Grumps, his hoarse voice sinking to a whimper. “They drove home from the burial-place, where lay the new-made grave. Arrived at their door, he got out and extended his hand to help her out. Instead of accepting, instead of throwing herself into his arms and weeping there, she turned to the coachman and said, ‘Driver, drive me to my father’s house.’ That was the end of their wedded life, Wallis.”

The Colonel actually wept at this point, and the maudlin tears were not altogether insincere. His own wife and children he heartily loved, and remembered them now with honest tenderness. At home he was not a drinker and a rough; only amid the hardships and perils of the field.

“That was the end of it, Wallis,” he repeated. “And what was it while it lasted? What does a woman leave her husband for? Why does she separate from him over the grave of her innocent first-born? There are twenty reasons, but they must all of them be good ones. I am sorry to give it as my decided opinion, Wallis, in perfect confidence, that they must all be whopping good ones. Well, that was the beginning; only the beginning. After that he held on for a while, breaking the bread of life to a skedaddling flock, and then he bolted. The next known of him, three years later, he enlisted in your regiment, a smart but seedy recruit, smelling strongly of whiskey.”

“I wish I smelt half as strong of it myself,” grumbled Wallis. “It might keep out the swamp fever.”

“That’s the true story of Col. John James Waldron,” continued Old Grumps, with a groan which was very somnolent, as if it were a twin to a snore. “That’s the true story.”

“I don’t believe the first word of it—that is to say, Colonel, I think you have been misinformed—and I’ll bet you two to one on it. If he was nothing more than a minister, how did he know drill and tactics?”

“Oh, I forgot to say he went through West Point—that is, nearly through. They graduated him in his third year by the back door, Wallis.”

“Oh, that was it, was it? He was a West Pointer, was he? Well, then, the backsliding was natural, and oughtn’t to count against him. A member of Benny Haven’s church has a right to backslide anywhere, especially as the Colonel doesn’t seem to be any worse than some of the rest of us, who haven’t fallen from grace the least particle, but took our stand at the start just where we are now. A fellow that begins with a handful of trumps has a right to play a risky game.”

“I know what euchered him, Wallis. It was the old Little Joker; and there’s another of the same on hand now.”

“On hand where? What are you driving at, Colonel?”

“He looks like a boy. I mean she looks like a boy. You know what I mean, Wallis; I mean the boy that makes believe to wait on him. And her brother is in camp, got here to-night. There’ll be an explanation to-morrow, and there’ll be bloodshed.”

“Good-night, Colonel, and sleep it off,” said Wallis, rising from the side of a man whom he believed to be sillily drunk and altogether untrustworthy. “You know we get after the rebs at dawn.”

“I know it—goo-night, Adjutant—gawbless-you,” mumbled Old Grumps. “We’ll lick those rebs, won’t we?” he chuckled. “Goo-night, ole fellow, an’ gawblessyou.”

Whereupon Old Grumps fell asleep, very absurdly overcome by liquor, we extremely regret to concede, but nobly sure to do his soldierly duty as soon as he should awake.

Stumbling wearily blanketward, Wallis found his Major and regimental commander, the genial and gallant Gahogan, slumbering in a peace like that of the just. He stretched himself anear, put out his hand to touch his sabre and revolver, drew his caped great-coat over him, moved once to free his back of a root or pebble, glanced languidly at a single struggling star, thought for an instant of his far-away mother, turned his head with a sigh and slept. In the morning he was to fight, and perhaps to die; but the boyish veteran was too seasoned, and also too tired, to mind that; he could mind but one thing—nature’s pleading for rest.

In the iron-gray dawn, while the troops were falling dimly and spectrally into line, and he was mounting his horse to be ready for orders, he remembered Gildersleeve’s drunken tale concerning the commandant, and laughed aloud. But turning his face toward brigade headquarters (a sylvan region marked out by the branches of a great oak), he was surprised to see a strange officer, a fair young man in captain’s uniform, riding slowly toward it.

“Is that the boy’s brother?” he said to himself; and in the next instant he had forgotten the whole subject; it was time to form and present the regiment.

Quietly and without tap of drum the small, battle-worn battalions filed out of their bivouacs into the highway, ordered arms and waited for the word to march. With a dull rumble the field-pieces trundled slowly after, and halted in rear of the infantry. The cavalry trotted off circuitously through the fields, emerged upon a road in advance and likewise halted, all but a single company, which pushed on for half a mile, spreading out as it went into a thin line of skirmishers.

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:01 PM

Meanwhile a strange interview took place near the great oak which had sheltered brigade headquarters. As the unknown officer, whom Wallis had noted, approached it, Col. Waldron was standing by his horse ready to mount. The commandant was a man of medium size, fairly handsome in person and features, and apparently about twenty-eight years of age. Perhaps it was the singular breadth of his forehead which made the lower part of his face look so unusually slight and feminine. His eyes were dark hazel, as clear, brilliant, and tender as a girl’s, and brimming full of a pensiveness which seemed both loving and melancholy. Few persons, at all events few women, who looked upon him ever looked beyond his eyes. They were very fascinating, and in a man’s countenance very strange. They were the kind of eyes which reveal passionate romances, and which make them.

By his side stood a boy, a singularly interesting and beautiful boy, fair-haired and blue-eyed, and delicate in color. When this boy saw the stranger approach he turned as pale as marble, slid away from the brigade commander’s side, and disappeared behind a group of staff officers and orderlies. The new-comer also became deathly white as he glanced after the retreating youth. Then he dismounted, touched his cap slightly and, as if mechanically, advanced a few steps, and said hoarsely, “I believe this is Colonel Waldron. I am Captain Fitz Hugh, of the —th Delaware.”

Waldron put his hand to his revolver, withdrew it instantaneously, and stood motionless.

“I am on leave of absence from my regiment, Colonel,” continued Fitz Hugh, speaking now with an elaborate ceremoniousness of utterance significant of a struggle to suppress violent emotion. “I suppose you can understand why I made use of it in seeking you.”

Waldron hesitated; he stood gazing at the earth with the air of one who represses deep pain; at last, after a profound sigh, he raised his eyes and answered:

“Captain, we are on the eve of a battle. I must attend to my public duties first. After the battle we will settle our private affair.”

“There is but one way to settle it, Colonel.”

“You shall have your way if you will. You shall do what you will. I only ask what good will it do to her?”

“It will do good to me, Colonel,” whispered Fitz Hugh, suddenly turning crimson. “You forget me.”

Waldron’s face also flushed, and an angry sparkle shot from under his lashes in reply to this utterance of hate, but it died out in an instant.

“I have done a wrong, and I will accept the consequences,” he said. “I pledge you my word that I will be at your disposal if I survive the battle. Where do you propose to remain meanwhile?”

“I will take the same chance, sir. I propose to do my share in the fighting if you will use me.”

“I am short of staff officers. Will you act as my aid?”

“I will, Colonel,” bowed Fitz Hugh, with a glance which expressed surprise, and perhaps admiration, at this confidence.

Waldron turned, beckoned his staff officers to approach, and said, “Gentlemen, this is Captain Fitz Hugh of the —th Delaware. He has volunteered to join us for the day, and will act as my aid. And now, Captain, will you ride to the head of the column and order it forward? There will be no drum-beat and no noise. When you have given your order and seen it executed, you will wait for me.”

Fitz Hugh saluted, sprang into his saddle and galloped away. A few minutes later the whole column was plodding on silently toward its bloody goal. To a civilian, unaccustomed to scenes of war, the tranquillity of these men would have seemed very wonderful. Many of the soldiers were still munching the hard bread and raw pork of their meagre breakfasts, or drinking the cold coffee with which they had filled their canteens the day previous. Many more were chatting in an undertone, grumbling over their sore feet and other discomfits, chaffing each other, and laughing. The general bearing, however, was grave, patient, quietly enduring, and one might almost say stolid. You would have said, to judge by their expressions, that these sunburned fellows were merely doing hard work, and thoroughly commonplace work, without a prospect of adventure, and much less of danger. The explanation of this calmness, so brutal perhaps to the eye of a sensitive soul, lies mainly in the fact that they were all veterans, the survivors of marches, privations, maladies, sieges, and battles. Not a regiment present numbered four hundred men, and the average was not above three hundred. The whole force, including artillery and cavalry, might have been about twenty-five hundred sabres and bayonets.

At the beginning of the march Waldron fell into the rear of his staff and mounted orderlies. Then the boy who had fled from Fitz Hugh dropped out of the tramping escort, and rode up to his side.

“Well, Charlie,” said Waldron, casting a pitying glance at the yet pallid face and anxious eyes of the youth, “you have had a sad fright. I make you very miserable.”

“He has found us at last,” murmured Charlie in a tremulous soprano voice. “What did he say?”

“We are to talk to-morrow. He acts as my aide-de-camp to-day. I ought to tell you frankly that he is not friendly.”

“Of course, I knew it,” sighed Charlie, while the tears fell.

“It is only one more trouble—one more danger, and perhaps it may pass. So many have passed.”

“Did you tell him anything to quiet him? Did you tell him that we were married?”

“But we are not married yet, Charlie. We shall be, I hope.”

“But you ought to have told him that we were. It might stop him from doing something—mad. Why didn’t you tell him so? Why didn’t you think of it?”

“My dear little child, we are about to have a battle. I should like to carry some honor and truth into it.”

“Where is he?” continued Charlie, unconvinced and unappeased. “I want to see him. Is he at the head of the column? I want to speak to him, just one word. He won’t hurt me.”

She suddenly spurred her horse, wheeled into the fields, and dashed onward. Fitz Hugh was lounging in his saddle, and sombrely surveying the passing column, when she galloped up to him.

“Carrol!” she said, in a choked voice, reining in by his side, and leaning forward to touch his sleeve.

He threw one glance at her—a glance of aversion, if not of downright hatred, and turned his back in silence.

“He is my husband, Carrol,” she went on rapidly. “I knew you didn’t understand it. I ought to have written you about it. I thought I would come and tell you before you did anything absurd. We were married as soon as he heard that his wife was dead.”

“What is the use of this?” he muttered hoarsely. “She is not dead. I heard from her a week ago. She was living a week ago.”

“Oh, Carrol!” stammered Charlie. “It was some mistake then. Is it possible! And he was so sure! But he can get a divorce, you know. She abandoned him. Or she can get one. No, he can get it—of course, when she abandoned him. But, Carrol, she must be dead—he was so sure.”

“She is not dead, I tell you. And there can be no divorce. Insanity bars all claim to a divorce. She is in an asylum. She had to leave him, and then she went mad.”

“Oh, no, Carrol, it is all a mistake; it is not so. Carrol,” she murmured in a voice so faint that he could not help glancing at her, half in fury and half in pity. She was slowly falling from her horse. He sprang from his saddle, caught her in his arms, and laid her on the turf, wishing the while that it covered her grave. Just then one of Waldron’s orderlies rode up and exclaimed: “What is the matter with the—the boy? Hullo, Charlie.”

Fitz Hugh stared at the man in silence, tempted to tear him from his horse. “The boy is ill,” he answered when he recovered his self-command. “Take charge of him yourself.” He remounted, rode onward out of sight beyond a thicket, and there waited for the brigade commander, now and then fingering his revolver. As Charlie was being placed in an ambulance by the orderly and a sergeant’s wife, Waldron came up, reined in his horse violently, and asked in a furious voice, “Is that boy hurt?

“Ah—fainted,” he added immediately. “Thank you, Mrs. Gunner. Take good care of him—the best of care, my dear woman, and don’t let him leave you all day.”

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:14 PM

Further on, when Fitz Hugh silently fell into his escort, he merely glanced at him in a furtive way, and then cantered on rapidly to the head of the cavalry. There he beckoned to the tall, grave, iron-gray Chaplain of the Tenth, and rode with him for nearly an hour, apart, engaged in low and seemingly impassioned discourse. From this interview Mr. Colquhoun returned to the escort with a strangely solemnized, tender countenance, while the commandant, with a more cheerful air than he had yet worn that day, gave himself to his martial duties, inspecting the landscape incessantly with his glass, and sending frequently for news to the advance scouts. It may properly be stated here that the Chaplain never divulged to any one the nature of the conversation which he had held with his Colonel.

Nothing further of note occurred until the little army, after two hours of plodding march, wound through a sinuous, wooded ravine, entered a broad, bare, slightly undulating valley, and for the second time halted. Waldron galloped to the summit of a knoll, pointed to a long eminence which faced him some two miles distant, and said tranquilly, “There is our battle-ground.”

“Is that the enemy’s position?” returned Captain Ives, his adjutant-general. “We shall have a tough job if we go at it from here.”

Waldron remained in deep thought for some minutes, meanwhile scanning the ridge and all its surroundings.

“What I want to know,” he observed, at last, “is whether they have occupied the wooded knolls in front of their right and around their right flank.”

Shortly afterward the commander of the scout ing squadron came riding back at a furious pace.

“They are on the hill, Colonel,” he shouted.

“Yes, of course,” nodded Waldron; “but have they occupied the woods which veil their right front and flank?”

“Not a bit of it; my fellows have cantered all through, and up to the base of the hill.”

“Ah!” exclaimed the brigade commander, with a rush of elation. “Then it will be easy work. Go back, Captain, and scatter your men through the wood, and hold it, if possible. Adjutant, call up the regimental commanders at once. I want them to understand my plan fully.”

In a few minutes, Gahogan, of the Tenth; Gildersleeve, of the Fourteenth; Peck, of the First; Thomas, of the Seventh; Taylor, of the Eighth, and Colburn, of the Fifth, were gathered around their commander. There, too, was Bradley, the boyish, red-cheeked chief of the artillery; and Stilton, the rough, old, bearded regular, who headed the cavalry. The staff was at hand, also, including Fitz Hugh, who sat his horse a little apart, downcast and sombre and silent, but nevertheless keenly interested. It is worthy of remark, by the way, that Waldron took no special note of him, and did not seem conscious of any disturbing presence. Evil as the man may have been, he was a thoroughly good soldier, and just now he thought but of his duties.

“Gentlemen,” he said, “I want you to see your field of battle. The enemy occupy that long ridge. How shall we reach it?”

“I think, if we got at it straight from here, we shan’t miss it,” promptly judged Old Grumps, his red-oak countenance admirably cheerful and hopeful, and his jealousy all dissolved in the interest of approaching combat.

“Nor they won’t miss us nuther,” laughed Major Gahogan. “Betther slide our infantree into thim wuds, push up our skirmishers, play wid our guns for an hour, an’ thin rowl in a couple o’ col’ms.”

There was a general murmur of approval. The limits of volunteer invention in tactics had been reached by Gahogan. The other regimental commanders looked upon him as their superior in the art of war.

“That would be well, Major, if we could do nothing better,” said Waldron. “But I do not feel obliged to attack the front seriously at all. The rebels have been thoughtless enough to leave that long semicircle of wooded knolls unoccupied, even by scouts. It stretches from the front of their centre clear around their right flank. I shall use it as a veil to cover us while we get into position. I shall throw out a regiment, a battery, and five companies of cavalry, to make a feint against their centre and left. With the remainder of the brigade I shall skirt the woods, double around the right of the position, and close in upon it front and rear.”

“Loike scissors blades upon a snip o’ paper,” shouted Gahogan, in delight. Then he turned to Fitz Hugh, who happened to be nearest him, and added, “I tell ye he’s got the God o’ War in um. He’s the burnin’ bussh of humanity, wid a God o’ Battles inside on’t.”

“But how if they come down on our thin right wing?” asked a cautious officer, Taylor, of the Eighth. “They might smash it and seize our line of retreat.”

“Men who have taken up a strong position, a position obviously chosen for defence, rarely quit it promptly for an attack,” replied Waldron. “There is not one chance in ten that these gentlemen will make a considerable forward movement early in the fight. Only the greatest geniuses jump from the defensive to the offensive. Besides, we must hold the wood. So long as we hold the wood in front of their centre we save the road.”

Then came personal and detailed instructions. Each regimental commander was told whither he should march, the point where he should halt to form line, and the direction by which he should attack. The mass of the command was to advance in marching column toward a knoll where the highway entered and traversed the wood. Some time before reaching it Taylor was to deploy the Eighth to the right, throw out a strong skirmish line and open fire on the enemy’s centre and left, supported by the battery of Parrotts, and, if pushed, by five companies of cavalry. The remaining troops would reach the knoll, file to the left under cover of the forest, skirt it for a mile as rapidly as possible, infold the right of the Confederate position, and then move upon it concentrically. Counting from the left, the Tenth, the Seventh, and the Fourteenth were to constitute the first line of battle, while five companies of cavalry, then the First, and then the Fifth formed the second line. Not until Gahogan might have time to wind into the enemy’s right rear should Gildersleeve move out of the wood and commence the real attack.

“You will go straight at the front of their right,” said Waldron, with a gay smile, to this latter Colonel. “Send up two companies as skirmishers. The moment they are clearly checked, lead up the other eight in line. It will be rough work. But keep pushing. You won’t have fifteen minutes of it before Thomas, on your left, will be climbing the end of the ridge to take the rebels in flank. In fifteen minutes more Gahogan will be running in on their backs. Of course, they will try to change front and meet us. But they have extended their line a long way in order to cover the whole ridge. They will not be quick enough. We shall get hold of their right, and we shall roll them up. Then, Colonel Stilton, I shall expect to see the troopers jumping into the gaps and making prisoners.”

“All right, Colonel,” answered Stilton in that hoarse growl which is apt to mark the old cavalry officer. “Where shall we find you if we want a fresh order?”

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:23 PM

“I shall be with Colburn, in rear of Gildersleeve. That is our centre. But never mind me; you know what the battle is to be, and you know how to fight it. The whole point with the infantry is to fold around the enemy’s right, go in upon it concentrically, smash it, and roll up their line. The cavalry will watch against the infantry being flanked, and when the latter have seized the hill, will charge for prisoners. The artillery will reply to the enemy’s guns with shell, and fire grape at any offensive demonstration. You all know your duties, now, gentlemen. Go to your commands, and march!”

The colonels saluted and started off at a gallop. In a few minutes twenty-five hundred men were in simultaneous movement. Five companies of cavalry wheeled into column of companies, and advanced at a trot through the fields, seeking to gain the shelter of the forest. The six infantry regiments slid up alongside of each other, and pushed on in six parallel columns of march, two on the right of the road and four on the left. The artillery, which alone left the highway, followed at a distance of two or three hundred yards. The remaining cavalry made a wide detour to the right as if to flank the enemy’s left.

It was a mile and a quarter—it was a march of fully twenty minutes—to the edge of the woodland, the proposed cover of the column. Ten minutes before this point was reached a tiny puff of smoke showed on the brow of the hostile ridge; then, at an interval of several seconds, followed the sound of a distant explosion; then, almost immediately, came the screech of a rifled shell. Every man who heard it swiftly asked himself, “Will it strike me?” But even as the words were thought out it had passed, high in air, clean to the rear, and burst harmlessly. A few faces turned upward and a few eyes glanced backward, as if to see the invisible enemy. But there was no pause in the column; it flowed onward quietly, eagerly, and with business-like precision; it gave forth no sound but the trampling of feet and the muttering of the officers. “Steady, men! For-ward, men!”

The Confederates, however, had got their range. A half minute later four puffs of smoke dotted the ridge, and a flight of hoarse humming shrieks tore the air. A little aureole cracked and splintered over the First, followed by loud cries of anguish and a brief, slight confusion. The voice of an officer rose sharply out of the flurry, “Close up, Company A! Forward, men!” The battalion column resumed its even formation in an instant, and tramped unitedly onward, leaving behind it two quivering corpses and a wounded man who tottered rearward.

Then came more screeches, and a shell exploded over the highroad, knocking a gunner lifeless from his carriage. The brigade commander glanced anxiously along his batteries, and addressed a few words to his chief of artillery. Presently the four Napoleons set forward at a gallop for the wood, while the four Parrotts wheeled to the right, deployed, and advanced across the fields, inclining toward the left of the enemy. Next Taylor’s regiment (the Eighth) halted, fronted, faced to the right, and filed off in column of march at a double-quick until it had gained the rear of the Parrotts, when it fronted again, and pushed on in support. A quarter of a mile further on these guns went into battery behind the brow of a little knoll, and opened fire. Four companies of the Eighth spread out to the right as skirmishers, and commenced stealing toward the ridge, from time to time measuring the distance with rifle-balls. The remainder of the regiment lay down in line between the Parrotts and the forest. Far away to the right, five companies of cavalry showed themselves, manoeuvring as if they proposed to turn the left flank of the Southerners. The attack on this side was in form and in operation.

Meantime the Confederate fire had divided. Two guns pounded away at Taylor’s feint, while two shelled the main column. The latter was struck repeatedly; more than twenty men dropped silent or groaning out of the hurrying files; but the survivors pushed on without faltering and without even caring for the wounded. At last a broad belt of green branches rose between the regiments and the ridge; and the rebel gunners, unable to see their foe, dropped suddenly into silence.

Here it appeared that the road divided. The highway traversed the forest, mounted the slope beyond and dissected the enemy’s position, while a branch road turned to the left and skirted the exterior of the long curve of wooded hillocks. At the fork the battery of Napoleons had halted, and there it was ordered to remain for the present in quiet. There, too, the Fourteenth filed in among the dense greenery, threw out two companies of skirmishers toward the ridge, and pushed slowly after them into the shadows.

“Get sight of the enemy at once!” was Wal-dron’s last word to Gildersleeve. “If they move down the slope, drive them back. But don’t commence your attack under half an hour.”

Next he filed the Fifth to the thickets, saying to Colburn, “I want you to halt a hundred yards to the left and rear of Gildersleeve. Cover his flank if he is attacked; but otherwise lie quiet. As soon as he charges, move forward to the edge of the wood, and be ready to support him. But make no assault yourself until further orders.”

The next two regiments—the Seventh and First—he placed in échelon, in like manner, a quarter of a mile further along. Then he galloped forward to the cavalry, and a last word with Stilton. “You and Gahogan must take care of yourselves. Push on four or five hundred yards, and then face to the right. Whatever Gahogan finds let him go at it. If he can’t shake it, help him. You two must reach the top of the ridge. Only, look out for your left flank. Keep a squadron or two in reserve on that side.”

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:32 PM

“Currnel, if we don’t raich the top of the hill, it’ll be because it hasn’t got wan,” answered Gahogan. Stilton only laughed and rode forward.

Waldron now returned toward the fork of the road. On the way he sent a staff officer to the Seventh with renewed orders to attack as soon as possible after Gildersleeve. Then another staff officer was hurried forward to Taylor with directions to push his feint strongly, and drive his skirmishers as far up the slope as they could get. A third staff officer set the Parrotts in rear of Taylor to firing with all their might. By the time that the commandant had returned to Col-burn’s ambushed ranks, no one was with him but his enemy, Fitz Hugh.

“You don’t seem to trust me with duty, Colonel,” said the young man.

“I shall use you only in case of extremity, Captain,” replied Waldron. “We have business to settle to-morrow.”

“I ask no favors on that account. I hope you will offer me none.”

“In case of need I shall spare no one,” declared Waldron.

Then he took out his watch, looked at it impatiently, put it to his ear, restored it to his pocket, and fell into an attitude of deep attention. Evidently his whole mind was on his battle, and he was waiting, watching, yearning for its outburst.

“If he wins this fight,” thought Fitz Hugh, “how can I do him a harm? And yet,” he added, “how can I help it?”

Minutes passed. Fitz Hugh tried to think of his injury, and to steel himself against his chief. But the roar of battle on the right, and the suspense and imminence of battle on the left, absorbed the attention of even this wounded and angry spirit, as, indeed, they might have absorbed that of any being not more or less than human. A private wrong, insupportable though it might be, seemed so small amid that deadly clamor and awful expectation! Moreover, the intellect which worked so calmly and vigorously by his side, and which alone of all things near appeared able to rule the coming crisis, began to dominate him, in spite of his sense of injury. A thought crossed him to the effect that the great among men are too valuable to be punished for their evil deeds. He turned to the absorbed brigade commander, now not only his ruler, but even his protector, with a feeling that he must accord him a word of peace, a proffer in some form of possible forgiveness and friendship. But the man’s face was clouded and stern with responsibility and authority. He seemed at that moment too lofty to be approached with a message of pardon. Fitz Hugh gazed at him with a mixture of prof ound respect and smothered hate. He gazed, turned away, and remained silent.

Minutes more passed. Then a mounted orderly dashed up at full speed, with the words, “Colonel, Major Gahogan has fronted.”

“Has he?” answered Waldron, with a smile which thanked the trooper and made him happy. “Ride on through the thicket here, my man, and tell Colonel Gildersleeve to push up his skirmishers.”

With a thud of hoofs and a rustling of parting foliage the cavalryman disappeared amid the underwood. A minute or two later a thin, dropping rattle of musketry, five hundred yards or so to the front, announced that the sharpshooters of the Fourteenth were at work. Almost immediately there was an angry response, full of the threatenings and execution of death. Through the lofty leafage tore the screech of a shell, bursting with a sharp crash as it passed overhead, and scattering in humming slivers. Then came another, and another, and many more, chasing each other with hoarse hissings through the trembling air, a succession of flying serpents. The enemy doubtless believed that nearly the whole attacking force was massed in the wood around the road, and they had brought at least four guns to bear upon that point, and were working them with the utmost possible rapidity. Presently a large chestnut, not fifty yards from Fitz Hugh, was struck by a shot. The solid trunk, nearly three feet in diameter, parted asunder as if it were the brittlest of vegetable matter. The upper portion started aside with a monstrous groan, dropped in a standing posture to the earth, and then toppled slowly, sublimely prostrate, its branches crashing and all its leaves wailing. Ere long, a little further to the front, another Anak of the forest went down; and, mingled with the noise of its sylvan agony, there arose sharp cries of human suffering. Then Colonel Colburn, a broad-chested and ruddy man of thirty-five, with a look of indignant anxiety in his iron-gray eyes, rode up to the brigade commander.

“This is very annoying, Colonel,” he said. “I am losing my men without using them. That last tree fell into my command.”

“Are they firing toward our left?” asked Waldron.

“Not a shot.”

“Very good,” said the chief, with a sigh of contentment. “If we can only keep them occupied in this direction! By the way, let your men lie down under the fallen tree, as far as it will go. It will protect them from others.”

Colburn rode back to his regiment. Waldron looked impatiently at his watch. At that moment a fierce burst of line firing arose in front, followed and almost overborne by a long-drawn yell, the scream of charging men. Waldron put up his watch, glanced excitedly at Fitz Hugh, and smiled.

“I must forgive or forget,” the latter could not help saying to himself. “All the rest of life is nothing compared with this.”

“Captain,” said Waldron, “ride off to the left at full speed. As soon as you hear firing at the shoulder of the ridge, return instantly and let me know.”

Fitz Hugh dashed away. Three minutes carried him into perfect peace, beyond the whistling of ball or the screeching of shell. On the right was a tranquil, wide waving of foliage, and on the left a serene landscape of cultivated fields, with here and there an embowered farm-house. Only for the clamor of artillery and musketry far behind him, he could not have believed in the near presence of battle, of blood and suffering and triumphant death. But suddenly he heard to his right, assaulting and slaughtering the tranquillity of nature, a tumultuous outbreak of file firing, mingled with savage yells. He wheeled, drove spurs into his horse, and flew back to Waldron. As he re-entered the wood he met wounded men streaming through it, a few marching alertly upright, many more crouching and groaning, some clinging to their less injured comrades, but all haggard in face and ghastly.

“Are we winning?” he hastily asked of one man who held up a hand with three fingers gone and the bones projecting in sharp spikes through mangled flesh.

“All right, sir; sailing in,” was the answer.

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:41 PM

“Is the brigade commander all right?” he inquired of another who was winding a bloody handkerchief around his arm.

“Straight ahead, sir; hurrah for Waldron!” responded the soldier, and almost in the same instant fell lifeless with a fresh ball through his head.

“Hurrah for him!” Fitz Hugh answered frantically, plunging on through the underwood. He found Waldron with Colburn, the two conversing tranquilly in their saddles amid hissing bullets and dropping branches.

“Move your regiment forward now,” the brigade commander was saying; “but halt it in the edge of the wood.”

“Shan’t I relieve Gildersleeve if he gets beaten?” asked the subordinate officer eagerly.

“No. The regiments on the left will help him out. I want your men and Peck’s for the fight on top of the hill. Of course the rebels will try to retake it; then I shall call for you.”

Fitz Hugh now approached and said, “Colonel, the Seventh has attacked in force.”

“Good!” answered Waldron, with that sweet smile of his which thanked people who brought him pleasant news. “I thought I heard his fire. Gahogan will be on their right rear in ten minutes. Then we shall get the ridge. Ride back now to Major Bradley, and tell him to bring his Napoleons through the wood, and set two of them to shelling the enemy’s centre. Tell him my idea is to amuse them, and keep them from changing front.”

Again Fitz Hugh galloped off as before on a comfortably safe errand, safer at all events than many errands of that day. “This man is sparing my life,” he said to himself. “Would to God I knew how to spare his!”

He found Bradley lunching on a gun caisson, and delivered his orders. “Something to do at last, eh?” laughed the rosy-cheeked youngster. “The smallest favors thankfully received. Won’t you take a bite of rebel chicken, Captain? This rebellion must be put down. No? Well, tell the Colonel I am moving on, and John Brown’s soul not far ahead.”

When Fitz Hugh returned to Waldron he found him outside of the wood, at the base of the long incline which rose into the rebel position. About the slope were scattered prostrate forms, most numerous near the bottom, some crawling slowly rearward, some quiescent. Under the brow of the ridge, decimated and broken into a mere skirmish line sheltered in knots and singly, behind rocks and knolls, and bushes, lay the Fourteenth Regiment, keeping up a steady, slow fire. From the edge above, smokily dim against a pure, blue heaven, answered another rattle of musketry, incessant, obstinate, and spiteful. The combatants on both sides were lying down; otherwise neither party could have lasted ten minutes. From Fitz Hugh’s point of view not a Confederate uniform could be seen. But the smoke of their rifles made a long gray line, which was disagreeably visible and permanent; and the sharp whit! whit! of their bullets continually passed him, and cheeped away in the leafage behind.

“Our men can’t get on another inch,” he ventured to say to his commander. “Wouldn’t it be well for me to ride up and say a cheering word?”

“Every battle consists largely in waiting,” replied Waldron thoughtfully. “They have undoubtedly brought up a reserve to face Thomas. But when Gahogan strikes the flank of the reserve, we shall win.”

“I wish you would take shelter,” begged Fitz Hugh. “Everything depends on your life.”

“My life has been both a help and a hurt to my fellow-creatures,” sighed the brigade commander. “Let come what will to it.”

He glanced upward with an expression of profound emotion; he was evidently fighting two battles, an outward and an inward one.

Presently he added, “I think the musketry is increasing on the left. Does it strike you so?”

He was all eagerness again, leaning forward with an air of earnest listening, his face deeply flushed and his eye brilliant. Of a sudden the combat above rose and swelled into higher violence. There was a clamor far away—it seemed nearly a mile away—over the hill. Then the nearer musketry—first Thomas’s on the shoulder of the ridge, next Gildersleeve’s in front—caught fire and raged with new fury.

Waldron laughed outright. “Gahogan has reached them,” he said to one of his staff who had just rejoined him. “We shall all be up there in five minutes. Tell Colburn to bring on his regiment slowly.”

Then, turning to Fitz Hugh, he added, “Captain, we will ride forward.”

They set off at a walk, now watching the smoking brow of the eminence, now picking their way among dead and wounded. Suddenly there was a shout above them and a sudden diminution of the firing; and looking upward they saw the men of the Fourteenth running confusedly toward the summit. Without a word the brigade commander struck spurs into his horse and dashed up the long slope at a run, closely followed by his enemy and aid. What they saw when they overtook the straggling, running, panting, screaming pellmell of the Fourteenth was victory!

The entire right wing of the Confederates, attacked on three sides at once, placed at enormous disadvantage, completely outgeneraled, had given way in confusion, was retreating, breaking, and flying. There were lines yet of dirty gray or butternut; but they were few, meagre, fluctuating, and recoiling, and there were scattered and scurrying men in hundreds. Three veteran and gallant regiments had gone all to wreck under the shock of three similar regiments far more intelligently directed. A strong position had been lost because the heroes who held it could not perform the impossible feat of forming successively two fresh fronts under a concentric fire of musketry. The inferior brain power had confessed the superiority of the stronger one.

On the victorious side there was wild, clamorous, fierce exultation. The hurrying, shouting, firing soldiers, who noted their commander riding among them, swung their rifles or their tattered hats at him, and screamed “Hurrah!” No one thought of the Confederate dead underfoot, nor of the Union dead who dotted the slope behind. “What are you here for, Colonel?” shouted rough old Gildersleeve, one leg of his trousers dripping blood. “We can do it alone.”

“It is a battle won,” laughed Fitz Hugh, almost worshiping the man whom he had come to slay.

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:49 PM

“It is a battle won, but not used,” answered Waldron. “We haven’t a gun yet, nor a flag. Where is the cavalry? Why isn’t Stilton here? He must have got afoul of the enemy’s horse, and been obliged to beat it off. Can anybody hear anything of Stilton?”

“Let him go,” roared Old Grumps. “The infantry don’t want any help.”

“Your regiment has suffered, Colonel,” answered Waldron, glancing at the scattered files of the Fourteenth. “Halt it and reorganize it, and let it fall in with the right of the First when Peck comes up. I shall replace you with the Fifth. Send your Adjutant back to Colburn and tell him to hurry along. Those fellows are making a new front over there,” he added, pointing to the centre of the hill. “I want the Fifth, Seventh and Tenth in échelon as quickly as possible. And I want that cavalry. Lieutenant,” turning to one of his staff, “ride off to the left and find Colonel Stilton. Tell him that I need a charge in ten minutes.”

Presently cannon opened from that part of the ridge still held by the Confederates, the shell tearing through or over the dissolving groups of their right wing, and cracking viciously above the heads of the victorious Unionists. The explosions followed each other with stunning rapidity, and the shrill whirring of the splinters was ominous. Men began to fall again in the ranks or to drop out of them wounded. Of all this Waldron took no further note than to ride hastily to the brow of the ridge and look for his own artillery.

“See how he attinds to iverything himself,” said Major Gahogan, who had cantered up to the side of Fitz Hugh. “It’s just a matther of plain business, an’ he looks after it loike a business man. Did ye see us, though, Captin, whin we come in on their right flank? By George, we murthered urn. There’s more’n a hundred lyin’ in hapes back there. As for old Stilton, I just caught sight of um behind that wood to our left, an’ he’s makin’ for the enemy’s right rair. He’ll have lots o’ prisoners in half an hour.”

When Waldron returned to the group he was told of his cavalry’s whereabouts, and responded to the information with a smile of satisfaction.

“Bradley is hurrying up,” he said, “and Taylor is pushing their left smartly. They will make one more tussle to recover their line of retreat; but we shall smash them from end to end and take every gun.”

He galloped now to his infantry, and gave the word “Forward!” The three regiments which composed the échelon were the Fifth on the right, the Seventh fifty yards to the rear and left of the Fifth, the Tenth to the rear and left of the Seventh. It was behind the Fifth, that is, the foremost battalion, that the brigade commander posted himself.

“Do you mean to stay here, Colonel?” asked Fitz Hugh, in surprise and anxiety.

“It is a certain victory now,” answered Wal-dron, with a singular glance upward. “My life is no longer important. I prefer to do my duty to the utmost in the sight of all men.”

“I shall follow you and do mine, sir,” said the Captain, much moved, he could scarcely say by what emotions, they were so many and conflicting.

“I want you otherwheres. Ride to Colonel Taylor at once, and hurry him up the hill. Tell him the enemy have greatly weakened their left. Tell him to push up everything, infantry, and cavalry, and artillery, and to do it in haste.”

“Colonel, this is saving my life against my will,” remonstrated Fitz Hugh.

“Go!” ordered Waldron, imperiously. “Time is precious.”

Fitz Hugh dashed down the slope to the right at a gallop. The brigade commander turned tranquilly, and followed the march of his échelon. The second and decisive crisis of the little battle was approaching, and to understand it we must glance at the ground on which it was to be fought. Two hostile lines were marching toward each other along the broad, gently rounded crest of the hill and at right angles to its general course. Between these lines, but much the nearest to the Union troops, a spacious road came up out of the forest in front, crossed the ridge, swept down the smooth decline in rear, and led to a single wooden bridge over a narrow but deep rivulet. On either hand the road was hedged in by a close board fence, four feet or so in height. It was for the possession of this highway that the approaching lines were about to shed their blood. If the Confederates failed to win it all their artillery would be lost, and their army captured or dispersed.

The two parties came on without firing. The soldiers on both sides were veterans, cool, obedient to orders, intelligent through long service, and able to reserve all their resources for a short-range and final struggle. Moreover, the fences as yet partially hid them from each other, and would have rendered all aim for the present vague and uncertain.

“Forward, Fifth!” shouted Waldron. “Steady. Reserve your fire.” Then, as the regiment came up to the fence, he added, “Halt; right dress. Steady, men.”

Meantime he watched the advancing array with an eager gaze. It was a noble sight, full of moral sublimity, and worthy of all admiration. The long, lean, sunburned, weather-beaten soldiers, in ragged gray stepped forward, superbly, their ranks loose, but swift and firm, the men leaning forward in their haste, their tattered slouch hats pushed backward, their whole aspect business-like and virile. Their line was three battalions strong, far outflanking the Fifth, and at least equal to the entire échelon. When within thirty or forty yards of the further fence they increased their pace to nearly a double-quick, many of them stooping low in hunter fashion, and a few firing. Then Waldron rose in his stirrups and yelled, “Battalion! ready—aim—aim low. Fire!”

There was a stunning roar of three hundred and fifty rifles, and a deadly screech of bullets. But the smoke rolled out, the haste to reload was intense, and none could mark what execution was done. Whatever the Confederates may have suffered, they bore up under the volley, and they came on. In another minute each of those fences, not more than twenty-five yards apart, was lined by the shattered fragment of a regiment, each firing as fast as possible into the face of the other.

Theodoric 09-10-2019 10:55 PM

The Fifth bled fearfully: it had five of its ten company commanders shot dead in three minutes; and its loss in other officers and in men fell scarcely short of this terrible ratio. On its left the Seventh and the Tenth were up, pouring in musketry, and receiving it in a fashion hardly less sanguinary. No one present had ever seen, or ever afterward saw, such another close and deadly contest.

But the strangest thing in this whole wonderful fight was the conduct of the brigade commander. Up and down the rear of the lacerated Fifth Waldron rode thrice, spurring his plunging and wounded horse close to the yelling and fighting file-closers, and shouting in a piercing voice encouragement to his men. Stranger still, considering the character which he had borne in the army, and considering the evil deed for which he was to account on the morrow, were the words which he was distinctly and repeatedly heard to utter. “Stand steady, men—God is with us!” was the extraordinary battle-cry of this backslidden clergyman, this sinner above many.

And it was a prophecy of victory. Bradley ran up his Napoleons on the right in the nick of time, and, although only one of them could be brought to bear, it was enough; the grape raked the Confederate left, broke it, and the battle was over. In five minutes more their whole array was scattered, and the entire position open to galloping cavalry, seizing guns, standards, and prisoners.

It was in the very moment of triumph, just as the stubborn Southern line reeled back from the fence in isolated clusters, that the miraculous immunity of Waldron terminated, and he received his death wound. A quarter of an hour later Fitz Hugh found a sorrowful group of officers gazing from a little distance upon their dying commander.

“Is the Colonel hit?” he asked, shocked and grieved, incredible as the emotion may seem.

“Don’t go near him,” called Gildersleeve, who, it will be remembered, knew or guessed his errand in camp. “The chaplain and surgeon are there. Let him alone.”

“He’s going to render his account,” added Ga-hogan. “An’ whativer he’s done wrong, he’s made it square to-day. Let um lave it to his brigade.”

Adjutant Wallis, who had been blubbering aloud, who had cursed the rebels and the luck energetically, and who had also been trying to pray inwardly, groaned out, “This is our last victory. You see if it ain’t. Bet you two to one.”

“Hush, man!” replied Gahogan. “We’ll win our share of um, though we’ll have to work harder for it. We’ll have to do more ourselves, an’ get less done for us in the way of tactics.”

“That’s so, Major,” whimpered a drummer, looking up from his duty of attending to a wounded comrade. “He knowed how to put his men in the right place, and his men knowed when they was in the right place. But it’s goin’ to be uphill through the steepest part of hell the rest of the way.”

Soldiers, some of them weeping, some of them bleeding, arrived constantly to inquire after their commander, only to be sent quietly back to their ranks or to the rear. Around lay other men—dead men, and senseless, groaning men—all for the present unnoticed. Everything, except the distant pursuit of the cavalry, waited for Wal-dron to die. Fitz Hugh looked on silently with the tears of mingled emotions in his eyes, and with hopes and hatreds expiring in his heart. The surgeon supported the expiring victor’s head, while Chaplain Colquhoun knelt beside him, holding his hand and praying audibly. Of a sudden the petition ceased, both bent hastily toward the wounded man, and after what seemed a long time exchanged whispers. Then the Chaplain rose, came slowly toward the now advancing group of officers, his hands outspread toward heaven in an attitude of benediction, and tears running down his haggard white face.

“I trust, dear friends,” he said, in a tremulous voice, “that all is well with our brother and commander. His last words were, ‘God is with us.’”

“Oh! but, man, that isn’t well,” broke out Gahogan, in a groan. “What did ye pray for his soul for? Why didn’t ye pray for his loife?”

Fitz Hugh turned his horse and rode silently away. The next day he was seen journeying rearward by the side of an ambulance, within which lay what seemed a strangely delicate boy, insensible, and, one would say, mortally ill.

Froggy 09-15-2019 12:54 AM

The Augustan Reprint Society




In Falsehood Probability imploys,

Nor his old Lies with newer Lies destroys.(p. 16)
Not unlike Paintings, Principles appear,

Some best at distance, some when we are near
The Middle way the best we sometimes call.

But 'tis in Politicks no way at all.
There is no Medium: for the term in vogue

On either side is, Honest Man, or Rogue
To Likelihood your Characters confine;

Don't turn Sir Paul out, let Sir Paul resign.

In Walpole's Voice (if Factions Ill intend)

Give the two Universities a Friend;

Give Maidston Wit, and Elegance refin'd;

To both the Pelhams give the Scipios Mind;

To Cart'ret, Learning, Eloquence, and Parts;

To George the Second, give all English Hearts

To Likelihood your Characters confine;

Don't turn Sir Paul out, let Sir Paul resign.

Such artless art did ever mortal see,

Or politicks so void of policy?

What bard but this could Pelham's train compare

To Roman Scipio's thunder-bolts of war?

Did e'er their wars enrich their native isle,

With foreign treasures and with Spanish spoil?

But hark! and stare with all your ears and eyes!

Walpole is friend to Universities!

Hail politician bard! we ask not whether

A whig or tory; thou art both and neither.

Poultney and Walpole each adorn thy lays,

Which one for love, and one for money praise.

Alike are mention'd, equally are sung

Will. Shippen staunch, and slight Sir Wm. Young.

Bromley and Wyndham share the motley strain,

With Cart'ret, Maidstone, and the Pelhams twain
Alas Poor Me, you may my fortune guess:

I write, and yet Humanity profess:
[Pg viii]

I love the King, the Queen, and Royal Race:

I like the Government, but want no Place:

Was never in a Plot, my Brain's not hurt;

I Politicks to Poetry convert.



Universiy of California, Los Angel

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:13 AM






I Humbly Dedicate





In this book I have sought to present the reader with some dry facts about Corea and the Coreans. I have attempted to describe the manners and customs of the people as accurately as possible from the impressions which my visit to their country left upon me, but of course I do not claim that these personal opinions expressed are absolutely infallible. My sojourn extended over several months, and I never during all that time neglected any opportunity of studying the natives, giving my observations as they were made a permanent form by the aid both of pen and of brush. I was afforded specially favourable chances for this kind of work through the kind hospitality shown me by the Vice-Minister of Home Affairs and Adviser to the King, Mr. C.R. Greathouse, to whom I feel greatly indebted for my prolonged and delightful stay in the country, as well as for the amiable and valuable assistance which he and General Le Gendre, Foreign Adviser to His Corean Majesty, gave me in my observations and studies among the upper classes of Corea. I am also under great obligations to Mr. Seradin Sabatin, Architect to His Majesty the King, and to Mr. Krien, German Consul at Seoul, for the kindness and hospitality with which they treated me on my first arrival at their city.

The illustrations in this book are reproductions of sketches taken by me while in the country, and though, perhaps, they want much in artistic merit, I venture to hope that they will be found characteristic.

For literary style I hope my readers will not look. I am not a literary man, nor do I desire to profess myself such. I trust, however, that I have succeeded in telling my story in a simple and straightforward manner, for this especially was the object with which I started at the outset.



Christmas on board—Fusan—A body-snatcher—The Kiung-sang Province—The cotton production—Body-snatching extraordinary—Imperatrice Gulf—Chemulpo. Pp. 1—15

Chemulpo—So-called European hotels—Comforts—Japanese concession—The Guechas—New Year's festivities—The Chinese settlement—European residents—The word "Corea"—A glance at Corean history—Cho-sen. Pp. 16—31

The road to Seoul—The Mapu—Ponies—Oxen—Coolies—Currency—Mode of carrying weights—The Han River—Nearly locked out. Pp. 32—44

The Coreans—Their faces and heads—Bachelors—Married men—Head-band—Hats—Hat-umbrellas—Clothes—Spectacles. Pp. 45—58

The Woman of Cho-sen—Her clothes—Her ways—Her looks—Her privileges—Her duties—Her temper—Difference of classes—Feminine musicians. Pp. 59—77

Corean children—The family—Clans—Spongers—Hospitality—Spinning-tops—Toys—Kite-flying—Games—How babies are sent to sleep. Pp. 78—89

Corean inns—Seoul—A tour of observation—Beggars—Lepers—Philosophy—An old palace—A leopard hunt—Weather prophets—The main street—Sedan chairs—The big bell—Crossing of the bridges—Monuments—Animal worship—The Gate of the Dead—A funeral—The Queen-dowager's telephone. Pp. 90—123

Seoul—The City Wall—A large image—Mount Nanzam—The fire-signals—The women's joss-house—Foreign buildings—Japanese settlement—An anecdote—Clean or not clean?—The Pekin Pass—The water-carrier—The man of the Gates. Pp. 124—135

The Corean house—Doors and windows—Blinds—Rooms—The "Kan"—Roasting alive—Furniture—Treasures—The kitchen—Dinner-set—Food—Intoxicants—Gluttony—Capacity for food—Sleep—Modes of illumination—Autographs—Streets—Drainage—Smell. Pp. 136—150

A Corean marriage—How marriages are arranged—The wedding ceremony—The document—In the nuptial chamber—Wife's conduct—Concubines—Widows—Seduction—Adultery—Purch asing a husband—Love—Intrigue—Official "squeezing"—The cause. Pp. 151—164

Painting in Seoul—Messages from the King—Royal princes sitting for their portraits—Breaking the mourning law—Quaint notions—Delight and despair—Calling in of State ceremony—Corean soldiers—How they mount guard—Drill—Honours—A much-admired shoe—A gift. Pp. 165—181

The royal palace—A royal message—Mounting guard—The bell—The royal precinct—The Russian villa—An unfinished structure—The Summer Palace—The King's house—Houses of dignitaries—The ground and summer pavilion—Colds—The funeral of a Japanese Minister—Houses of royal relations—The queen—The oldest man and woman—The King and his throne—Politics and royalty—Messengers and spies—Kim-Ka-Chim—Falcons and archery—Nearly a St. Sebastian—The queen's curiosity—A royal banquet—The consequences. Pp. 182—203

Students—Culture—Examination ground—The three degrees—The alphabet—Chinese characters—Schools—Astronomers—Diplomas—Students abroad—Adoption of Western ways—Quick perception—The letter "f"—A comical mistake—Magistrates and education Rooted superstition—Another haunted palace—Tigers—A convenient custom. Pp. 204—215

Religion—Buddhism—Bonzes—Their power—Shamanism—Spirits—Spirits of the mountain—Stone heaps—Sacred trees—Seized by the spirits—Safe-guard against them—The wind—Sorcerers and sorceresses—Exorcisms—Monasteries—Temples—Buddha—M onks—Their customs and clothing—Nuns—Their garments—Religious ceremonies—The tooth-stone. Pp. 216—234

Police—Detectives—The plank-walk—The square board—The wooden blocks for hands and feet—Floggings—The bamboo rod—The stick—The flexible board—A flogging in Seoul—One hundred strokes for three-halfpence—Wounds produced—Tender-hearted soldiers—Imprisonment—Exile—Status of women, children, and bachelors—Guilds and the law—Nobles and the law—Serfdom—mild form of slavery. Pp. 235—245

Executions—Crucified and carried through the streets—The execution ground—Barbarous mode of beheading—Noble criminals—Paternal love—Shut out—Scaling the wall—A catastrophe—A nightmare. Pp. 246—240

The "King's procession"—Removing houses—Foolhardy people—Beaten to death—Cavalry soldiers—Infantry—Retainers—Banners—Luxurious saddles—The King and his double—Royal palanquins—The return at night. Pp. 261—266

Fights—Prize fights—Fist fights—Special moon for fighting—Summary justice—The use of the top-knot—Cruelty—A butcher combatant Stone fights—Belligerent children—Battle between two guilds—Wounded and killed—The end of the battle postponed—Soldiers' fights. Pp. 267—275

Fires—The greatest peril—A curious way of saving one's house—The anchor of safety—How it worked—Making an opposition wind—Saved by chance—A good trait in the native character—Useful friends. Pp. 276—282

A trip to Poo-kan—A curious monastery. Pp. 283—287

Corean physiognomy—Expressions of pleasure—Displeasure—Contempt—Fear—Pluck—Laughter— Astonishment—Admiration—Sulkiness— Jealousy—Intelligence—Affection—Imagination—Dreams —Insanity—Its principal causes—Leprosy—The family—Men and women—Fecundity—Natural and artificial deformities—Abnormalities—Movements and attitudes—The Corean hand—Conservatism. Pp. 288—300

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:16 AM

It was on a Christmas Day that I set out for Corea. The year was 1890. I had been several days at Nagasaki, waiting for the little steamer, Higo-Maru, of the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (Japan Steamship Company), which was to arrive, I think, from Vladivostock, when a message was brought to me saying that she was now in port, and would sail that afternoon for Tsushima, Goto, and the Corean ports.

I went on board, and, our vessel's anchor being raised at four o'clock, we soon steamed past Battenberg Island and got away from the picturesque Bay of Nagasaki. This was the last I saw of Japan.

The little Higo was not a bad seaboat, for, following good advice, her owners had provided her with rolling beams; but, mind you, she had by no means the steadiness of a rock, nor did she pretend to cut the water at the rate of twenty knots an hour. Still, taken all in all, she was a pretty good goer. Her captain was a Norwegian, and a jolly fellow; while the crew she carried was entirely Japanese, with the exception of the stewards in the saloon, who were two pig-tailed subjects of the Celestial Empire.

"Numbel one Clistmas dinnel has got to-night, Mastel," expostulated John Chinaman to me in his pidgen English, as I was busy making my cabin comfortable. "Soup has got, fish has got, loast tulkey has got, plan-puddy all bulning has got. All same English countly. Dlink, to-night, plenty can have, and no has to pay. Shelly can have, Boldeau can have, polt, bea, champagne, blandy, all can have, all flee!"

I must say that when I heard of the elaborate dinner to which we were to be treated by the captain, I began to feel rather glad that I had started on my journey on a Christmas Day.

There were a few Japanese passengers on board, but only one European, or rather American, besides myself, and a most pleasant companion he turned out to be. He was Mr. Clarence R. Greathouse, formerly Consul-General for the United States at Yokohama—at which place I first had the pleasure of meeting him—who was now on his way to Corea, where he had been requested by the Corean Government to accept the high and responsible position of Vice-Minister of Home Affairs, as well as of legal adviser to the King in international affairs.

Curiously enough, he had not been aware that I was to travel on the same ship, and I also never dreamt that I would have had the good fortune of being in such good and agreeable company during a voyage which otherwise would have been extremely dull. Accordingly, when we met again thus accidentally on the deck of the Higo, the event was as much to our mutual satisfaction as it was unexpected.

The sea was somewhat choppy, but notwithstanding this, when the steward appeared on the companion-way, beaming all over, in his best silk gown and jacket, and rang the dinner-bell with all his might, we gaily responded to his call and proceeded below.

Heavens! it was a Christmas dinner and no mistake! The tables and walls had been decorated with little paper flags and flowers made of the brightest colours that human fancy could devise, and dishes of almonds and raisins filled the centre of the table. There were little flags stuck in those dishes, and, indeed, everywhere. A big cake in the middle had prudently been tied to the table with a string, as the rolling motion of the ship was rather against its chances of keeping steady in the place that had been assigned to it, and the other usual precautions had been taken to keep the plates and glasses in their proper positions.

Our dinner-party consisted of about eight. At one moment we would be up, with our feet on a level with our opposite companion's head; the next we would be down, with the soles of their boots higher than our skulls.

It is always a pretty sight to see a table decorated, but when it is not only decorated but animated as well, it is evidently prettier still. When you see all the plates and salt-cellars moving slowly away from you, and as slowly returning to you; when you have to chase your fork and your knife before you can use them, the amusement is infinitely greater.

"O gomen kudasai"—"I beg your pardon"—said a Japanese gentleman in rather a hurried manner, and more hurriedly still made his exit into his cabin. Two or three others of his countrymen followed suit during the progress of the dinner, and as number after number of the menu was gone through, so that we who remained had a capital time. Not many minutes also elapsed without our having a regular fusillade of bottles of champagne of some unknown brand, and "healths" were drunk of distant friends and relatives.

Mr. Greathouse, who, like many of his countrymen, has a wonderful gift for telling humorous stories, of which he had an unlimited supply, kept us in fits all evening, and in fact the greater part of the night, so that when we passed the islands of Goto and Tsushima we were still awake and in course of being entertained by his Yankee yarns.

The next day we reached the Corean port of Fusan. I well remember how much I was struck when we entered the pretty harbour and approached the spot where we cast anchor, by the sight of hundreds of white spots moving slowly along the coast and on a road winding up a hill. As we drew nearer, the white spots became larger and assumed more and more the form of human beings. There was something so ghostly about that scene that it is still vividly impressed upon my mind.

There is at Fusan not only a Japanese settlement, but also a Chinese one. About two and a half miles distant round the bay, the native walled town and fort can be plainly seen, while in the distance one may distinguish the city and castle of Tong-nai, in which the Governor resides. If I remember correctly, the number of Europeans at this port is only three or four, these being mainly in the employ of the Chinese Customs service.

We had hardly come to a standstill when a curious-looking being, who had come to meet the steamer in a boat, climbed up the rope-ladder which had been let down on the starboard side and came on board. He was a European.

"Do you see that man?" a voice whispered in my ear. "He is a body-snatcher."

"Nonsense," I said; "are you joking, or what?"

"No, I am not; and, if you like, I will tell you his story at luncheon." And surely what better time could be chosen for a "body-snatching" story than "luncheon." Meanwhile, however, I lost not my chance, and while conversing with somebody else, the snatcher found himself "snatched" in my sketch-book. It is not every day that one comes across such individuals! I went to speak to him, and I must confess that whether he had as a fact troubled the dead or not, he was none the less most courteous and polite with the living. He had, it is true, at times somewhat of a sinister look in his face; but for his unsteady eyes, you might almost have put him down as a missionary. He informed me that codfish was to be had in great abundance at Fusan, and that the grain export was almost entirely done by the Japanese, while the importation of miscellaneous articles was entirely in the hands of the Chinese.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:28 AM

Fusan is situated at the most south-westerly extremity of the province of Kiung-sang, which words, translated into English mean, "polite compliment." The kingdom of Corea, we may here mention, is divided into eight provinces, which rejoice in the following names: Kiung-sang-do,[1] Chulla-do, Chung-chon-do, Kiung-kei-do, Kang-wen-do, Wang-hai-do, Ping-yan-do, Ham-kiung-do. The province in which Fusan is situated is, without exception, the richest in Corea after that of Chulla, for it has a mild climate and a very fertile soil. This being the case, it is not astonishing to find that the population is more numerous than in most other districts further north, and also, that being so near the Japanese coast, a certain amount of trading, mostly done by junks, is continually being transacted with the Mikado's subjects on the opposite shores. Fusan has been nominally in the hands of the Japanese from very ancient times, although it was only in 1876 that a treaty was concluded by which it was opened to Japanese trade. The spot on which the settlements lie is pretty, with its picturesque background of high mountains and the large number of little islands rising like green patches here and there in the bay. Maki, the largest island, directly opposite the settlement, is now used as a station for breeding horses of very small size, and it possesses good pastures on its high hills. In the history of the relations between Corea and Japan this province plays indeed a very important part, for being nearer than any other portion of the kingdom to the Japanese shores—the distance being, I believe, some 130 miles between the nearest points of the two countries—invasions have been of frequent occurrence, especially during the period that Kai-seng, then called Sunto, was the capital. This city, like the present capital, Seoul, was a fortified and walled town of the first rank and the chief military centre of the country, besides being a seat of learning and making some pretence of commercial enterprise. It lay about twenty-five miles N.E. of Seoul, and at about an equal number of miles from the actual sea. For several hundreds of years, Sunto had been one of the principal cities of Corea, when Wang, a warrior of the Fuyu race and an ardent Buddhist, who had already conquered the southern portion of the Corean peninsula, made it the capital, which it remained until the year 1392 A.D., when the seat of the Government was removed to Seoul.

To return to Fusan and the Kyung-sang province. It is as well to mention that the chief product cultivated is cotton. This is, of course, the principal industry all over Corea, and the area under cultivation is roughly computed at between eight and nine hundred thousand acres, the unclean cotton produced per annum being calculated at about 1,200,000,000 lbs. In a recent report, the Commissioner of Customs at Fusan sets down the yearly consumption of cleaned cotton at about 300,000,000 lbs. The greater part of the cotton is made up into piece-goods for making garments and padding the native winter clothes. In the Kiung-sang province the pieces of cloth manufactured measure sixty feet, while the width is only fourteen inches, and the weight between three and four pounds. The fibre of the cotton stuff produced, especially in the Kiung-sang and Chulla provinces, is highly esteemed by the Coreans, and they say that it is much more durable and warmth-giving than that produced either in Japan or China.

Of course the production of cotton could be greatly increased if more practical systems were used in its cultivation, and if the magistrates were not so much given to "squeezing" the people. To make money and to have it extorted the moment you have made it, is not encouraging to the poor Corean who has worked for it; therefore little exertion is displayed beyond what is necessary to earn, not the "daily bread," for that they do not eat, but the daily bowl of rice. There is much fertile land, which at present is not used at all, and hardly any attention, and much less skill, is manifested when once the seed is in the ground.

The Neapolitan lazzaroni, of world-wide reputation for extreme laziness, have indeed worthy rivals in the Corean peasantry. The women are made to do all the work, for by them the crops are gathered, and by them the seeds are separated with the old-fashioned roller-gin. To borrow statistics from the Commissioners' Report, a native woman can, with a roller-gin, turn out, say, nearly 3 lbs. of clean cotton from 12 lbs. of seed-cotton; while the industrious Japanese, who have brought over modern machines of the saw-gin type, can obtain 35 lbs. of clean cotton from 140 lbs. of seed-cotton in the same space of time. Previous to being spun, the cotton is prepared pretty much in the same way as in Japan or China, the cotton being tossed into the air with a view to separating the staple; but the spinning-wheel commonly used in Corea only makes one thread at a time.

The crops are generally gathered in August, and the dead stalk is used for fuel, while the ashes make fairly good manure. The quantity of clean cotton is about 85 lbs. per acre, and of seed-cotton 345 lbs. per acre.

But to return to my narrative, luncheon-time came in due course, and as I was spreading out my napkin on my knees, I reminded the person who had whispered those mysterious words in my ear, of the promise he had made.

"Yes," said he, as he cautiously looked round, "I will tell you his story. Mind you," he added, "this man to whom you spoke a while ago was only one of several, and he was not the principal actor in that outrageous business, still he himself is said to have taken a considerable part in the criminal dealings. Remember that the account I am going to give you of the affair is only drawn in bold lines, for the details of the expedition have never been fully known to any one. For all I know, this man may even be perfectly innocent of all that is alleged against him."

"Go on; do not make any more apologies, and begin your story," I remarked, as my curiosity was considerably roused.

"Very good. It was on April 30th, 1867, that an expedition left Shanghai bound for Corea. The aims of that expedition seemed rather obscure to many of the foreign residents at the port of departure, as little faith was reposed in the commander. Still, it must be said for its members that until they departed they played their rôle well. Corea was then practically a closed country; wherefore a certain amount of curiosity was displayed at Shanghai when three or four Coreans, dressed up in their quaint costumes and transparent horse-hair hats, were seen walking about, and being introduced here and there by a French bishop called Ridel. A few days later the curiosity of the foreign residents grew in intensity when the news spread that an American subject, a certain Jenkins, formerly interpreter at the U.S. Consulate, had, at his own expense, chartered a ship and hurriedly fitted out an expedition, taking under his command eight other Europeans, all of a more or less dubious character, and a suite of about 150 Chinamen and Manillamen, the riff-raff of the Treaty Port, who were to be the crew and military escort of the expedition. A man called Oppert, a North German Jew, and believed by everybody to be an adventurer under the guise of a trader, was in command of the 'fleet'—which was composed of a steamer, if I remember right, of about 700 tons, called the China, and a smaller tender of little over 50 tons, called the Greta. Oppert flew the flag of his own country, and in due course gave the order to start."

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:34 AM

"Well, so far so good," I interrupted; "but you have not told me what connection there was between Bishop Ridel's four Coreans and your body-snatching friends?"

"Well, you see, the American and Oppert took advantage of their appearance in Shanghai to let people believe that they were high officials sent over by the king, who was anxious to send an embassy to the different courts of Europe to explain the slaughter of foreigners which had taken place in his country, and also with the object of entering, if possible, into treaties with the different European monarchs—in fact to open his country to foreign trade and commerce. It seemed somewhat a large order to any one who knew of the retiring nature of the king, but everything was done so quickly that the expedition was gone before people had time to inquire into its real object.

"The fleet, as I have remarked, in due time started, and after calling on its way at Nagasaki, where rifles and other firearms and ammunition were purchased with which to arm the military escort, steered a course to the mouth of the Han river. Among the eight Europeans of dubious character on board was a Frenchman, a Jesuit priest, who called himself Farout, but whose real name was Feron, and who played an important part in the piratical scheme, for, having lived some time previously in Corea, he had mastered the language. Besides, he had travelled a good deal along the river Han, so that he was entrusted with the responsible position of guide and interpreter to the body-snatchers!"

"Curious position for a missionary to occupy," I could not help remarking.

"Yes. They reached Prince Jerome's Gulf on the 8th of May, and the next day, sounding continually, slowly steamed up the river Han to a point where it was deemed advisable to man the tender and smaller rowing-boats with a view to completing the expedition in these.

"This plan was successfully carried out, and during the night, under the command of Oppert, and escorted by the marauders, who were armed to the teeth, they proceeded to the point where l'Abbé Feron advised a landing. Here, making no secret of their designs, they ill-treated the natives, and pillaged their poor huts, after which they made their way to the tomb, where the relics lay of some royal personage supposed to have been buried there with mountains of gold and precious jewels, which relics were held in much veneration by the great Regent, the Tai-wen-kun. The impudent scheme, in a few words, was this: to take the natives by surprise, dig the body quickly out of its underground place of what should have been eternal rest, and take possession of anything valuable that might be found in the grave. The disturbed bones of the unfortunate prince were to be carried on board, and a high ransom was to be extorted from the great Regent, who they thought would offer any sum to get back the cherished bones of his ancestor.

"The march from the landing-place to the tomb occupied longer than had been anticipated, and crowds of astonished and angry natives followed the procession of armed men. The latter finally reached the desired spot, a funny little semi-spherical mound of earth, with a few stone figures of men and ponies roughly carved on either side, and guarded by two stone slabs.

"The 'abbé,' who, among other things, was said to have been the promoter of the scheme, pointed out the mound, and, rejoicing with Oppert and Jenkins at having been so far successful, gave orders to the coolies to proceed at once to dig. Spades and shovels had been brought for the purpose, and the little mound was rapidly being levelled, while the turbulent crowd of infuriated Coreans which had collected was getting more and more menacing. These seemed to spring out by hundreds from every side as by magic, and the body-snatchers were soon more than ten times outnumbered. No greater insult or infamous act could there be to a Corean mind than the violation of a grave. As spadeful after spadeful of earth was removed by the shaking hands of the frightened coolies, shouts, hisses, and oaths went up from the maddened crowd, but Oppert and the French abbé, half scared as they were, still pined for the hidden treasure, and encouraged the grave-diggers with promises of rewards as well as with the invigorating butt-ends of their rifles. At last, after digging a big hole in the earth, their spades came upon a huge slab of stone, which seemed to be the top of the sarcophagus."

"I suppose that no oath was bad enough for the three leaders, then?" said I.

"No; they were mad with fury, and more so when all the strength of their men combined was not sufficient to stir the stone an inch."

"The crowd which till then had been merely turbulent, now became so exasperated at the cheek of the 'foreign white devils' that it could no more keep within bounds, and a wild attack was made on the pirates. Showers of stones were thrown, and the infuriated natives made a rush upon them; but, hélas! their attack was met by a volley of rifle-shots. Frightened out of their lives by the murderous effects of these strange weapons, they fell back for a time, only to return by-and-by with fresh ardour to the attack. The body-snatchers, having little confidence in the courage and fidelity of the ruffian lot that composed their military escort, and, moreover, seeing that all efforts were useless to remove the 'blessed' stone, deemed it more than advisable to retreat to the tender—a retreat which, one may add, was effected somewhat hurriedly. This being done, they steamed full speed down the river, and once on board the China, began to feel more like themselves again.

"They anchored opposite Kang-wha Island, and remained there for three days. Then as they were holding a parley on land near Tricauld Island, they were attacked again by the angry mob, the news of their outrageous deed having spread even hitherwards, and two or three of their men were killed. Realising, therefore, that it was impossible to carry out their plan, the body-snatchers returned to Shanghai, but here a surprise awaited them.

"They were all arrested and underwent a trial. So little evidence, however, was brought against them, and that little was of such a conflicting character, that they were all acquitted. Oppert, nevertheless, was imprisoned in his own country, and even brought out a book in which he described his piratical expedition."

"Yes," I remarked, "your story is a very good one; but what part did this particular man, now at Fusan, take in the marauding scheme?"

"Oh, that I do not exactly know—in fact, no one knows more than this, that he was one of the eight Europeans who accompanied Oppert. Here at Fusan all the foreign residents look down on him, and his only pleasure is to come on board when a ship happens to call, that he may exchange a few words in a European tongue, for no one belonging to this locality will speak to him."

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:04 PM


Fights—Prize fights—Fist fights—Special moon for fighting—Summary justice—The use of the top-knot—Cruelty—A butcher combatant—Stone-fights—Belligerent children—Battle between two guilds—Wounded and killed—The end of the battle postponed—Soldiers' fights.

One of the characteristic sights in Cho-sen is a private fight. The natives, as a rule, are quiet and gentle, but when their temper is roused they seem never to have enough of fighting. They often-times disport themselves in witnessing prize-fights among the champions of different towns, or of different wards in the same town, and on these occasions large crowds assemble to view the performance. The combatants generally fight with their fists, but, like the French, are much given to use their knees and feet as well in the contest. Much betting, also, goes on amongst the excited spectators, and it is not seldom that a private contest of this kind degenerates into a free fight.

The lower classes in the towns thoroughly enjoy this kind of sport, and the slightest provocation is sufficient to make them come to blows. The curious point about their fighting is that during the first moon of the new year all rows can be settled in this rough and ready manner, without committing any breach of the law. Hence it is that during that moon, one sees hardly anything but people quarrelling and fighting. All the anger of the past year is preserved until the New Year festivities are over, but then free play is straightway given to the bottled-up passions. Were a man even to kill his antagonist during a fight at this legalised season, I doubt whether he would be imprisoned or punished; very likely not.

For about fifteen days, in truth, things are simply dreadful in the streets. Go in one direction, and you see people quarrelling; go in another, and you see them fighting. The original causa movens of all this is generally cash!

When a deadly fight takes place in the streets, you may at once set it down as having arisen over, say, a farthing! Debts ought always to be paid before the old year is over; and, occasionally, grace is allowed for the first fifteen days in the first moon; after that, the defaulting debtors get summary justice administered to them. Creditors go about the town in search of their debtors, and should they come face to face, generally a few unparliamentary remarks are passed, followed by a challenge. Hats are immediately removed, and given for safe keeping to some one or other of the spectators, a crowd of whom has, of course, at once assembled; and then the creditor, as is customary under such circumstances in all countries, makes a dash for his debtor. The main feature about these fights, so far as I could judge, was the attempt of each antagonist to seize hold of the other by his top-knot. Should this feat be successfully accomplished, a violent process of head-shaking would ensue, followed by a shower of blows and scratches from the free hand, the lower extremities meanwhile being kept busy distributing kicks, really meant for the antagonist, but, occasionally, in fact often, delivered to some innocent passer-by, owing to the streets of Cho-senese towns not being as a rule over-wide.

When in a passion, the Coreans can be very cruel. No devices are spared which can inflict injury on the adversary, and scratching and biting during these fights are common concomitants. One afternoon, as I was returning from a call at the Japanese Legation, and was proceeding down a slight incline, riding Mr. Greathouse's horse, I witnessed a dreadful scene. A butcher and another tradesman were settling questions in their own delightful way, and were knocking each other about. At last, the butcher felled the other man with a blow of a short club—like a policeman's club—which is often made use of in these fights. As the man lay motionless on the ground, the other, far from being content with what he had done, seized a huge block of wood, one of those upon which they chop up the meat, and, lifting it up with a great effort, dropped it on his antagonist's head, with a dreadful sounding crack, which smashed his skull, as one would a nut. Then, sitting triumphantly on the wooden block, he solicited the compliments of the spectators.

Special interest is taken when the women fight, that is, among the very lowest classes, and frequently the strings of cash earned during the day are lost or doubled on the odds of the favourite.

The better classes, it must be said to their credit, never indulge in fist-fighting in public, though occasionally they have competitions in their own compounds, champions being brought there at great expense and made to fight in their presence. I believe they consider it to be degrading, either first, to lose one's temper, or secondly, to administer justice in such a fashion.

The most important contests of all are the stone and club-fights, which are a national institution, approved by the Government and patronised by everybody. They sometimes attain such large proportions as to be regular battles. Supposing that one town or village has, from motives of jealousy or other causes, reason to complain of a neighbouring city or borough, a stone-fight during the first moon is invariably selected as the proper method of settling the difference. Private families, with their friends, fight in this way against other private families and their allies; and entire guilds of tradesmen sometimes fight other guilds, several hundreds of men being brought into the field on either side.

Children are much encouraged in this sport, it being supposed that they are thus made strong, brave and fearless; and I have actually seen mothers bring children of only eight or nine years old up to the scratch, against an equal number of lads urged on by their mothers on the other side. One boy on each side, generally the pluckiest of the lot, is the leader, and he is provided with a small club, besides wearing on his head a large felt hat with a sort of wreath round the crown, probably as a protection against the blows that might reach his head. After him come ten, twenty, or more other children in their little red jackets, some armed with a club like their leader, the others with armfuls of stones. A good mound of this ammunition is also, as a rule, collected in the rear, to provide for the wants of the battle. The two leaders then advance and formally challenge each other, the main body of their forces following in a triangle; and when, after a certain amount of hesitation, the two have exchanged a few sonorous blows with their clubs on each other's skulls, the battle begins in earnest, volleys of stones are fired and blows freely distributed until the forces of one leader succeed in pushing back and disbanding the others.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:11 PM

A fight of this kind, even among children, lasts for several hours, and, as can well be imagined, at the end of it there are a great many bleeding noses and broken teeth, besides bruises in profusion. The victor in these fights is made much of and receives presents from his parents and the friends of the family. The principal streets and open spaces in Seoul, during the fighting period, are alive with these youthful combatants, and large crowds assemble to witness their battles, taking as much interest in them as do the Spaniards in their bull-fights, and certainly causing as much excitement.

More serious than these, however, are the hostilities which occasionally take place between two guilds. When I was in Seoul, there was a great feud between the butchers and those practising the noble art of plastering the houses with mud. Both trades are considered by the Coreans to belong to the lowest grade of society; and, this being so, the contest would naturally prove of an envenomed and brutal character. A day was fixed, upon which a battle should take place, to decide whose claims were to prevail, and a battle-field was selected on a plain just outside the South Gate of the city. The battle-field was intersected by the same small frozen rivulet which also crosses Seoul; and it was on the western side, near the city wall, where stood a low hill, that on the day appointed I took up my position to view the fight, sketch and note-book in hand.

The two armies duly arrived, and placed themselves in position, the butchers on one side of the stream, the plasterers on the other. There were altogether about eighteen hundred men in the field, that is to say, about nine hundred on each side. As I could not get a very good view from my high point of vantage, I foolishly descended to the valley to inspect the fighting trim of the combatants, with the result that when the signal for the battle to begin was given I found myself under a shower of missiles of all weights and sizes, which poured down upon me with incredible rapidity and solidity. Piles of stones had been previously massed together by the belligerent parties, and fresh supplies came pelting down incessantly. I must acknowledge I did not enjoy my position at all, for the stones went whistling past, above my head, fired as they were with tremendous force by means of slings.

The confusion was great. Some men were busy collecting the stones into heaps again, while others were running to and fro—going to fetch, or carrying, fresh ammunition to the front; and all the time the two armies were gradually approaching one another until at last they came together on the banks of the narrow stream. Here, considering the well-directed pelting of stones, it was difficult to say which army would succeed in dislodging the other. Those on the opposite side to where I was made a rush upon us, but were fired upon with such increased vigour that they were repulsed; then, however, concentrating their forces on one point, they made a fresh attack and broke right into our ranks, fighting corps à corps, and pushing back the men on my side, until the whole of their contingent was brought over to our side of the stream. I was not, of course, taking any active part in the fighting, but, seeing the bad turn the struggle was assuming, I made up my mind that I was destined to have my own skull broken before the fray was over. Though the duelling was fierce, however, each man being pitted against his opponent with clubs and drawn knives, and hammering or stabbing at him to his heart's content, I, somehow, was in no way molested, except of course, that I was naturally much knocked about and bruised, and several times actually came in contact, and face to face, with the irate enemy.

If you can imagine eighteen hundred people fighting by twos in a comparatively limited space and all crowded together; if you can form an idea of the screaming, howling, and yelling in their excitement; and if you can depict the whole scene with its envelopment of dust, then you will have a fair notion of what that stone-fight was like. The fighting continued briskly for over three hours, and many a skull was smashed. Some fell and were trampled to death; others had very severe knife wounds; a few were killed right out. When the battle was over, few were found to have escaped without a bruise or a wound, and yet, after all, very few were actually killed, considering how viciously they fought. Indeed, there were in all only about half a dozen dead bodies left on the battle-field when the combatants departed to the sound of the "big bell" which announced the closing of the city gates.

After a long discussion on the part of the leaders, it was announced that the battle was to be considered a draw, and that it would, therefore, have to be renewed on the next afternoon. The argument, I was told, was that, though the other side had managed to penetrate the camp on my side, yet they had not been able to completely rout us, we having made a firm stand against them. For the following two or three days, however, it snowed heavily, and the fighting had to be postponed; and on the day it actually did take place, to my great sorrow, I was unable to attend, owing to a command to go to the palace. To my satisfaction I was subsequently informed that the plasterers, that is to say, my side, had ultimately come off victorious.

The police generally attend these battles, but only to protect the spectators, and not to interfere in any way with the belligerents. Soldiers are prohibited from taking any active part in fights which have no concern for them; but they may fight as much as ever they please among themselves during the free period allowed by the law. The fights of the latter class are usually very fierce, and are invariably carried out with bare chest and arms, that their uniforms may not be spoiled.

When that dreadful fortnight of fighting is over, the country again assumes its wonted quiet; new debts are contracted, fresh hatreds and jealousies are fomented, and fresh causes are procured for further stone-battles during the first moon of the next year.

Such is life in Cho-sen, where, with the exception of those fifteen days, there is calm, too much of it, not only in the morning, in accordance with the national designation, but all through both day and night; where, month after month, people vegetate, instead of live, leading the most monotonous of all monotonous lives. It is not surprising, then, that once a year, as a kind of redeeming point, they feel the want of a vigorous re-action; and, I am sure, for such a purpose as this, they could not have devised anything wilder or more exciting than a stone-battle.

The King himself follows with the utmost interest the results of the important battles fought out between the different guilds, and reports of the victories obtained are always conveyed to him at once, either by the leaders of the conquering parties, or through some high official at Court.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:22 PM



Corean physiognomy—Expressions of pleasure—Displeasure—Contempt—Fear—Pluck—Laughter— Astonishment—Admiration—Sulkiness— Jealousy—Intelligence—Affection—Imagination—Dreams —Insanity—Its principal causes—Leprosy—The family—Men and women—Fecundity—Natural and artificial deformities—Abnormalities—Movements and attitudes—The Corean hand—Conservatism.

The physiognomy of the Coreans is an interesting study, for, with the exception of the Chinese, I know of few nations who can control the movements of their features so well as do the Coreans. They are trained from their infancy to show neither pain, nor pleasure, grief nor excitement; so that a wonderful placidity is always depicted on their faces. None the less, however, though slightly, different expressions can be remarked. For instance, an attitude peculiar to them is to be noticed when they happen to ponder deeply on any subject; they then slightly frown, and with a sudden movement incline the head to the left, after previously drawing the head backwards. If in good humour or very pleased, again, though the expression is still grave and sedate, there is always a vivid sparkle to be detected in the generally sleepy eyes; and, curiously enough, while in our case the corners of the mouths generally curl up under such circumstances, theirs, on the contrary, are drawn downwards.

Where the Coreans—and I might have said all Asiatics—excel, is in their capacity to show contempt. They do this in the most gentleman-like manner one can imagine. They raise the head slowly, looking at the person they despise with a half-bored, half "I do not care a bit" look; then, leisurely closing the eyes and opening them again, they turn the head away with a very slight expiration from the nose.

Fear—for those, at least, who cannot control it—is to all appearance a somewhat stronger emotion. The eyes are wide open and become staring, the nostrils are spread wide, and the under lip hangs quivering, while the neck and body contract, and the hands, with fingers stiffly bent, are brought up nearly as high as the head. The yellowish skin on such occasions generally assumes a cadaverous whitish green colour which is pitiful to behold.

On the other hand, when pluck is shown, instead of fear, a man will draw himself up, with his arms down and hands tightly closed, and his mouth will assume a placid yet firm expression, the lips being firmly shut (a thing very unusual with Coreans), and the corners tending downwards, while a frown becomes clearly defined upon his brow.

Laughter is seldom indulged in to any very great extent among the upper classes, who think it undignified to show in a noisy manner the pleasure which they derive from whatever it may be. Among the lower specimens of Corean humanity, however, sudden explosions of merriment are often noticeable. The Corean enjoys sarcasm, probably more than anything else in the world; and caricature delights him. I remember once drawing a caricature of an official and showing it to a friend of his, who, in consequence, so lost the much-coveted air of dignity, and went into such fits, that his servants had to come to his rescue and undo his waist-girdle. This, having occurred after a hearty meal, led to his being seized by a violent cough, and becoming subsequently sick. Were I quite sure of not being murdered by my readers, I would like to call it see-sickness, for it was caused by—seeing a joke!

Astonishment is always expressed by a comical countenance. Let me give you an illustration. When we anchored at Fusan in the Higo-Maru, many Coreans came on board to inspect the ship; and, as I looked towards the shore with the captain's powerful long-sight glasses, several natives collected round me to see what I was doing. I asked one of them to look through, and never did I see a man more amazed, than he did, when he saw some one on the shore, with whom he was acquainted, brought so close to him by the glasses as to make him inclined to enter into a very excited conversation with him. His astonishment was even greater when, removing his eyes from the lens, he saw everything resume its natural position. When he had repeated this experiment several times, he put the glasses down, looked at them curiously with his eyebrows raised, his mouth pinched, and his hands spread apart at about the height of his waist, and then looked at me. Again did he glance at the optical instrument, with his mouth wide open; then, making a comical movement of distrust, he quickly departed whence he had come. When he had got fairly into his row-boat, he entered into a most animated conversation with his fellows, and, judging by his motions as he put his hands up to his eyes, I could see that the whole subject was his experience of what he had seen through the "foreign devil's" pair of glasses.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:24 PM

Admiration is to a great extent, a modification of astonishment, and is by the Coreans expressed more by utterance than by any very marked expression of the face. Still, the eyes are opened more than usual, and the eyebrows are raised, and the lips slightly parted, sifting the breath, though not quite so loudly as in Japan.

Another curious Corean expression is to be seen when the children are sulky. Our little ones generally protrude their lips in a tubular form, and bend the head forward, but the Cho-senese child does exactly the reverse. He generally throws his head back and hangs his lips, keeping the mouth open, and making his frown with the upper part of his face. Jealousy in the case of the women finds expression in a look somewhat similar to the above, with an additional vicious sparkle in the eyes.

Notwithstanding the fact that it is not uncommon to hear Coreans being classified among barbarians, I must confess that, taking a liberal view of their constitution, they always struck me as being extremely intelligent and quick at acquiring knowledge. To learn a foreign language seems to them quite an easy task, and whenever they take an interest in the subject of their studies they show a great deal of perseverance and good-will. They possess a wonderfully sensible reasoning faculty, coupled with an amazing quickness of perception; a fact which one hardly expects, judging by their looks; for, at first sight, they rather impress one as being sleepy, and dull of comprehension. The Corean is also gifted with a very good memory, and with a certain amount of artistic power. Generally speaking, he is of an affectionate frame of mind, though he considers it bad form to show by outward sign any such thing as affection. He almost tends to effeminacy in his thoughtful attentions to those he likes; and he generally feels much hurt, though silently, if his attentions are not appreciated or returned. For instance, when you meet a Corean with whom you are acquainted, he invariably asks after the health of yourself, and all your relations and friends. Should you not yourself be as keen in inquiring after his family and acquaintances, he would probably be mortally offended.

One of the drawbacks of the Corean mind is that it is often carried away by an over-vivid imagination. In this, they reminded me much of the Spaniards and the Italians. Their perception seems to be so keen that frequently they see more than really is visible. They are much given to exaggeration, not only in what they say, but also in their representations in painting and sculpture. In the matters both of conversation and of drawing, the same ideas will be found in Cho-sen to repeat themselves constantly, more or less cleverly expressed, according to the differently gifted individuality of the artist. The average Corean seems to learn things quickly, but of what they learn, some things remain rooted in their brains, while others appear to escape from it the moment they have been grasped. There is a good deal of volubility about their utterances, and, though visibly they do not seem very subject to strong emotions, judging from their conversation, one would feel inclined to say that they were. Another thing that led me to this suspicion was the observation that the average Corean is much given to dreaming, in the course of which he howls, shouts, talks and shakes himself to his heart's content. This habit of dreaming is to a large extent due, I imagine, to their mode of sleeping flat on their backs on the heated floors, which warm their spines, and act on their brains; though it may also, in addition to that be accounted for by the intensity of the daily emotions re-acting by night on over-excited nervous systems. I have often observed Coreans sleep, and they always impressed me as being extremely restless in their slumbers. As for snoring, too, the Coreans are entitled to the Championship of the world.

The Coreans are much affected mentally by dreams, and being, as we have already seen, an extremely superstitious race, they attach great importance to their nocturnal visions. A good deal of hard cash is spent in getting the advice of astrologers, who pretend to understand and explain the occult art, and pleasure or consternation is thus usually the result of what might have been explained naturally either by one of the above-named causes, or by the victim having feasted the previous evening on something indigestible. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that the Corean mind is seldom thrown off its balance altogether. Idiocy is not frequent, and lunacy is uncommon.

Insanity, when it does exist, generally exhibits itself under the form of melancholia and dementia, and is more frequently found among the upper than among the lower classes. With the men it is generally due to intemperance and excesses, and is occasionally accompanied by paralysis. Among the women, the only cases which came under my notice were of wives whose husbands had many concubines, and of young widows. Suicide is not unfrequently practised among the latter; partly in consequence of the strict Corean etiquette, but often also caused by insanity when it does not follow immediately upon the husband's death. Another cause of melancholia—chiefly, however, among the lower classes—is a dreadful complaint, which has found its way among the natives in its most repulsive form. Many are affected by it, and no cure for it seems to have been devised by the indigenous doctors. The accounts one hears in the country of its ravages are too revolting to be repeated in these pages, and I shall limit myself to this. Certain forms of insanity are undoubtedly a common sequence to it.

Leprosy also prevails in Cho-sen, and in the more serious cases seems to affect the brain, producing idiocy. This disease is caused by poverty of blood, and is, of course, hereditary. I have seen two forms of it in Cho-sen; in the one case, the skin turns perfectly white, almost shining like satin, while in the other—a worse kind, I believe—the skin is a mass of brown sores, and the flesh is almost entirely rotted away from the bones. The Coreans have no hospitals or asylums in which evils like these can be properly tended. Those affected with insanity are generally looked after by their own families, and, if considered dangerous, are usually chained up in rooms, either by a riveted iron bracelet, fastened to a short heavy chain, or, more frequently, by an anklet over the right foot.

Families in Corea are generally small in number. I have no exact statistics at hand, for none were obtainable; but, so far as I could judge from observation, the males and females in the population are about equal in number. If anything, the women slightly preponderate. The average family seldom includes more than two children. The death-rate of Cho-sen infants is great, and many reasons can account for the fact. In the first place, all children in Corea, even the stronger ones who survive, are extremely delicate until a certain age is attained, when they seem to pick up and become stronger. This weakness is hereditary, especially among the upper classes, of whom very few powerful men are to be found, owing to their dissolute and effeminate life.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:31 PM

Absolute sterility in women is not an uncommon phenomenon, and want of virile power in the male part of the community is also often the subject of complaint; many quaint drugs and methods being adopted to make up for the want of it, and to stimulate the sexual desire. A good many of the remedies resorted to by the Corean noblemen under such circumstances are of Chinese manufacture and importation. Certain parts of the tiger, dried and reduced to powder, are credited with the possession of wonderful strengthening qualities, and fetch large sums. Some parts of the donkey, also, when the animal is killed during the spring and under special circumstances, are equally appreciated. The lower classes of Cho-sen—as is the case in most countries—are more prolific than the upper ones. The parents are both healthier and more robust, and the children in consequence are stronger and more numerous, but even among these classes large families are seldom or never found. Taken as a whole, the population of Corea is, I believe, a slowly decreasing quantity.

The Corean is in some respects very sensible, if compared with his neighbours. Deformities, artificially produced, are never found in Corea. In civilised Japan, on the other hand, as we all know, the women blacken their teeth and shave their eyebrows, while there are numberless people in the lower classes who are tattooed from head to foot with designs of all kinds. In China, too, people are occasionally deformed for the sake of lucre, as, for instance, to be exhibited at village shows, and the Chinese damsel would not consider herself fascinating enough if her feet were not distorted to such an extent as to be shapeless, and almost useless. The head-bands worn by the men in Corea are probably the only causes which tend to modify the shape of their heads, and that only to a very small degree. These head-bands are worn so very tightly from their earliest youth, that I have often noticed men—when the head-band was removed—show a certain flattening of the upper part of the forehead, due undoubtedly to the continuous pressure of this head-gear. In such cases, however, the cranial deformation—though always noticeable—is but slight, and, of course, unintentionally caused. The skull, as a whole, in the case of those who have worn the head-band is a little more elongated than it is in the case of those few who have not; the elongation being upwards and slightly backwards.

Natural abnormalities are more frequent. I have seen numerous cases of goitre, and very often the so-called hare-lip. Webbed fingers also are frequently noticed; while inguinal hernia, both as a congenital and as an acquired affection, is unfortunately all too common. The natives do not undergo any special treatment until the complaint assumes alarming proportions, when a kind of belt is worn, or bandages of home manufacture are used. These are the more common abnormalities. To them, however, might also be added manifestations of albinism—though I have never seen an absolute albino in Corea—such as, large patches of white hair among the black. Red hair is rarely seen.

The Corean, apart, that is, from these occasional defects, is well proportioned, and of good carriage. When he stands erect his body is well-balanced; and when he walks, though somewhat hampered by his padded clothes, his step is rational. He sensibly walks with his toes turned slightly in, and he takes firm and long strides. The gait is not energetic, but, nevertheless, the Coreans are excellent pedestrians, and cover long distances daily, if only they are allowed plenty to eat and permission to smoke their long pipes from time to time. Their bodies seem very supple, and like those of nearly all Asiatics, their attitudes are invariably graceful. In walking, they slightly swing their arms and bend their bodies forward, except, I should say, the high officials, whose steps are exaggeratedly marked, and whose bodies are kept upright and purposely stiff.

One of the things which will not fail to impress a careful observer is the beauty of the Corean hand. The generality of Europeans possess bad hands, from an artistic point of view, but the average Corean, even among the lower classes, has them exceedingly well-shaped, with long supple fingers, somewhat pointed at the end; and nails well formed and prettily shaped, though to British ideas, grown far too long. It is not a powerful hand, mind you, but it is certainly most artistic; and, further, it is attached to a small wrist in the most graceful way, never looking stumpy, as so often is the case with many of us. The Coreans attach much importance to their hands; much more, indeed, than they do to their faces; and special attention is paid to the growth of the nails. In summer time these are kept very clean; but in winter, the water being very cold, the cleanliness of their limbs, "laisse un peu à desirer." I have frequently seen a beautifully-shaped hand utterly spoilt by the nails being lined with black, and the knuckles being as filthy as if they had never been dipped in water. But these are only lesser native failings; and have we not all our faults?

The two qualities I most admired in the Corean were his scepticism and his conservatism. He seemed to take life as it came, and never worried much about it. He had, too, practically no religion and no morals. He cared about little, had an instinctive attachment for ancestral habits, and showed a thorough dislike to change and reform. And this was not so much as regards matters of State and religion, for little or nothing does the Corean care about either of these, as in respect of the daily proceedings of life. To the foreign observer, many of his ways and customs are at first sight incomprehensible, and even reprehensible; yet, when by chance his mode of arguing out matters for himself is clearly understood, we will almost invariably find that he is correct. After all, every one, whether barbarian or otherwise, knows best himself how to please himself. The poor harmless Corean, however, is not allowed that privilege. He, as if by sarcasm, calls his country by the retiring name of the "Hermit Realm" and the more poetic one of the "Land of the Morning Calm"; "a coveted calm" indeed, which has been a dream to the country, but never a reality, while, as for its hermit life, it has been only too often troubled by objectionable visitors whom he detests, yet whom, nevertheless, he is bound to receive with open arms, helpless as he is to resist them.

Poor Corea! Bad as its Government was and is, it is heart-rending to any one who knows the country, and its peaceful, good-natured people, to see it overrun and impoverished by foreign marauders. Until the other day, she was at rest, heard of by few, and practically forgotten by everybody, to all intents an independent kingdom, since China had not for many years exercised her rights of suzerainty,[4] when, to satisfy the ambition of a childish nation, she suddenly finds herself at the mercy of everybody, and with a dark and most disastrous future before her!

Poor Corea! A sad day has come for you! You, who were so attractive, because so quaint and so retiring, will nevermore see that calm which has ever been the yearning of your patriot sons! Many evils are now before you, but, of all the great calamities that might befall you, I can conceive of none greater than an attempt to convert you into a civilised nation!

After a cessation of many years a tribute was again exacted from Corea in 1890, in consequence of overtures being made to Corea by Japan, which displeased China.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:42 PM


Seoul—The City Wall—A large image—Mount Nanzam—The fire-signals—women's joss-house—Foreign buildings—Japanese settlement—An anecdote—Clean or not clean?—The Pekin Pass—The water-carrier—The man of the Gates.



The ground in and around Seoul is very hilly. The wall that surrounds the capital uncoils itself, like a gigantic snake, up and down the slopes of high bluffs, and seems a very marvellous work of patient masonry when it is borne in mind that some of the peaks up which it winds its way are so steep that even climbing on foot is not an easy task. The height is not uniform, but where it is highest it reaches to over thirty feet. The North Gate, for instance, is at a much higher level than the town down below, and it is necessary to go up a steep road to reach it. From it, a very good idea is obtainable of the exact situation of Seoul. Down in the valley, a narrow one, lies the town itself, completely surrounded by hills, and even mountains, covered with thick snow during the winter months.

The wall, several miles long, goes over the hill ridges far above the level of the town, except towards the west, where it descends to the valley, and is on almost level ground, as far as the East Gate. It has a rampart in which holes have been pierced, for the defence of the town by archers and gunners; and, to let out the water of the streams, which intersect the town, low arches have been cut in the wall, provided with strong iron bars, and a solid grating through which no man can penetrate. Outside the town, bridges of masonry have been constructed; for instance, there is one of four arches, a short distance from the North Gate, being the continuation of a portion of the wall protecting the river valley on the north of Seoul. Not far from this bridge, is a monastery, and a small temple with curled-up roof supported by columns, painted red and green. The latter protects an enormous block of stone upon which has been carved a large image of Buddha, the surface of which has been painted white. When I saw it, close by the river side, with the sun shining on it, and its image reflected in the limpid ice of the frozen river, the sight was indeed quite a picturesque one.

Towards the south side of Seoul, and within the city wall, rises in a cone-like fashion a high hill called Mount Nanzam. One cannot help feeling interested about this hill, and for many reasons. In the first place, it is most picturesque; secondly, it is a rare thing to find a mountain rising in the centre of a town, as this one does; thirdly, from the summit of this particular hill a constant watch is kept on the state of affairs all over the kingdom.

The mode of accomplishing the last-mentioned object is as ingenious as it is simple. It is shortly this. On the summit of Mount Nanzam a signal station is placed—a miserable shed, in which the watchmen live. In front of this, five piles of stones have been erected, upon which, by means of the "Pon-wa," or fire-signals, messages are conveyed and transmitted from one end of the Corean kingdom to the other. Now, it is on these five piles of stones that the safety of the Land of the Morning Calm depends, and it is a pretty and weird sight to watch the lights upon them, playing after dark, in the stillness of the night. Similarly appointed stations on the tops of all the highest peaks in Corea issue, transmit, and answer, by means of other lights, messages from the most distant provinces, by which means, in a very few minutes, the King in his royal palace is kept informed of what happens hundreds of miles from his capital. It is from the royal palace itself that fire-messages start in the first instance, and that too is the place which lastly receives them from other mountain tops. All along the coast line of Corea, on the principal headlands, fire-stations have long been in use in order to give the alarm in the capital, should marauders approach the coast or other invasions take place.

Until quite lately, the coast villages and towns used to suffer much at the hands of Chinese pirates, who, though well aware that they would, if caught, most certainly find themselves in the awkward position of having their heads cut off, nevertheless used to approach the coast by night in swift junks, make daring raids, and pillage the villages, and even some of the smaller towns. So suddenly were these incursions usually made that by the time the natives had managed to get over their astonishment at the attack of these unpleasant and greedy visitors, the acute Chinamen, with their booty, were well out at sea again.



The great drawback to fire-signalling is, that messages can only be clearly conveyed at night. In the day-time, when necessary, smoke-signals are transmitted, though never with the same safety as are the fire-signals. By burning large torches of wet straw, masses of white smoke are produced, upon which the alarm is raised that the country is in danger. The code of smoke signalling, however, is almost limited to that one signal; for, on a windy or rainy day, it would be quite impossible to distinguish whether there were one or more torches smoking, unless, of course, they could be set very far apart, which cannot be done on Nanzam. Prior to sending a message, a bell is rung in the royal palace to attract the attention of the Mountain Watchmen. The whole code, for they have a really systematic way of using their pyrographs, is worked with five burning fires only, and more than that number of lights are never shown, though, of course, many times there are less. The five-lights-together signal, I believe, indicates that the country is in imminent danger; there are other signals to meet the cases of rebellions, recalling of magistrates from distant provinces, orders to them to extort money from their subjects, the despatch or recall of troops, &c. &c.

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:46 PM

A few yards from the signal station, though still on Mount Nanzam, there is a picturesque red joss-house with a shrine in close proximity to it. The story goes—and the women of Cho-sen find it convenient to believe it—that a visit to this particular joss-house has the wonderful effect of making sterile women prolific. A few strings of cash and a night's rest at the temple—preceded, if I remember rightly, by prayers—constitute sufficient service to satisfy the family duties, and I was certainly told that in many cases the oracle worked so well that in due time the chin-chins got rewarded with the birth of babies. I may mention incidentally that the caretaker of the joss-house was a strong, healthy, powerful man.

As we are now on a splendid point of vantage for a bird's-eye view of the town we may as well take a glance over it.

Very prominent before us, after the large enclosure of the royal Palace, are the foreign buildings, such as the Japanese Legation on a smaller hill at the foot of Nanzam, and overlooking the large Japanese settlement; the abode of the Chinese Minister resident, with its numerous buildings around it; the British Consulate with its new red brick house in course of construction; and, by the side of the last mentioned, the compounds of the American and Russian legations. Farther on, nearer the royal Palace, the German flag may be seen surmounting the German Consulate, which is situated in an enclosure containing several Corean houses which have been reduced à l' Européenne and made very comfortable. Then the large house with a glass front is the one now inhabited by the Vice-Minister for Home Affairs, but the grounds surrounding this are very restricted. A nunnery and a few houses of missionaries also stand prominent, mostly in the neighbourhood of the Japanese settlement.

The Japanese settlement, into which we will now descend, is noteworthy for the activity and commercial enterprise shown by the subjects of the Mikado. It is remarkable, also, to notice the curious co-existence of sense and nonsense in the Jap's adoption of foreign customs. For instance, you see the generality of them dressed in European clothes, but nevertheless still sticking to the ancient custom of removing their boots on entering a house; a delightful practice, I agree, in Japan, where the climate is mild, but not in a country like Corea, where you have an average of sixty degrees of frost. Then again, the Japanese houses, the outer walls of which consist of tissue paper, seem hardly suited to such a climate as that of Corea. It is really comical to watch them as they squat in a body round a brass brasier, shivering and blue with cold, with thin flat faces and curved backs; reminding one very much of the large family of quadrumans at the Zoo on a cold day. Nevertheless, they are perfectly happy, though many die of pleurisy, consumption, and cold in the chest.

The Japanese women dress, of course, in their national kimonos, and just as it is in Japan the fashion to show a little of the chest under the throat, so in Cho-sen the same custom is adopted; with the result that many are carried off by bronchitis to the next world.

One cannot but admire the Japanese, however, for the cleanliness of their houses and for the good-will—sometimes too much of it—which they display as well in their commercial dealings as in their colonising schemes. The custom of daily bathing in water of a boiling-point temperature is carried on by them in Corea as in their own country, notwithstanding which I venture to say that the Japanese are very dirty people. This remark seems non-coherent and requires, I am afraid, some explanation.

"How can they be dirty if they bathe every day? I call that being very clean," I fancy I hear you reply.

So they would undoubtedly be, if they bathed in clean water; but, unfortunately, this is just what they do not do, and, to my uncivilised mind, bathing in filthy water seems ten times more dirty than not bathing at all. Just imagine a small tank of water in which dozens, if not hundreds, of people have been already boiled before you in your turn use it, and upon which float large "eyes" of greasy matter. Well, this is what every good Japanese is expected to immerse himself in, right up to his nose, for at least half an hour at a time! I cannot but admire them for their courage in doing it, but, certainly, from the point of view of cleanliness my view is quite different; for, really and truly, I have always failed to see where the "cleanliness" comes in. Persons belonging to the wealthier classes have small baths of their own, in the steaming hot liquid of which bask in turns the family itself, their friends, the children and servants; and probably the same water is used again and again for two or three days in succession.

I remember well how horrified I was one evening, in the Land of the Rising Sun, when, on visiting a small village, I was, as a matter of politeness on their part, requested to join in the bath. Being a novice at Japanese experiences, and as their request was so pressing, I thanked them and accepted; whereupon, I was buoyantly led to the bath. Oh what a sight! Three skinny old women, "disgraces," I may almost call them, for certainly they could not be classified under the designation of "graces," were sitting in a row with steaming water up to their necks, undergoing the process of being boiled. What! thought I, panic-stricken—am I to bathe with these three ... old lizards? Oh no, not I! and I made a rush for the door, greatly to the annoyance of the people, who not only considered me very dirty, but also very rude in not availing myself of their polite invitation! The next morning as I took my cold bath as usual in beautifully clean spring water, I was condemned and pitied as a lunatic! Such are the different customs of different people.

When visiting Seoul, it is well worth one's while to take a walk to the Pekin Pass, a li or two outside the West Gate. The pass itself, which is cut into the rock, is situated on the road leading from Seoul to Pekin; which, by the way, is the road by which the envoys of the Chinese Emperor, following an ancient custom, travel overland with a view to claiming the tribute payable by the King of Corea. As a matter of fact, this custom of paying tribute had almost fallen into disuse, and China had not, for some years, I believe, enforced her right of suzerainty over the Corean peninsula, until the year 1890, when the envoys of the Celestial Emperor once again proceeded on their wearisome and long journey from Pekin to the capital of Cho-sen. It was here at the Pekin Pass, then, that, according to custom, they were received with great honour by the Coreans, and led into Seoul. It was at a large house, surrounded by a wall, on the road side, that these envoys were usually received and welcomed, either by the king in person or by some representative; and it was here that they were treated with refreshments and food, previously to being conducted in state into the capital, this being

Froggy 09-15-2019 01:56 PM

accomplished amidst the cheers of a Corean crowd, which, like other crowds, is always ready to cheer the last comer. At the Pekin Pass, a "triumphal arch"—for want of a better word—could be seen. It was a lofty structure, composed of two high columns, the lower part of these being of masonry, and the upper of lacquered wood, which supported a heavy roof of the orthodox Corean pattern, under which, about one-fourth down the columns, was a portion decorated with native fretwork of a somewhat rough type. The illustration represents this monument as it appeared in winter time, when the ground was covered with snow, beyond it being the square cut in the rocks, through which the road leads to Newchuang and Pekin.

There are two types of individuals that are very interesting from a picturesque point of view; viz., the water-coolie, and the man who carries the huge locks and keys of the city gates.

The water-coolie is almost as much of a "personality," as the mapu, in his rude independent ways. He displays much patience, and certainly deserves admiration for the amount of work he daily does, for very little pay. His work consists in carrying water, from morning until night, to whoever wants it. This is a simple enough process in summer time, but in winter matters are rather different, for now nearly all the fountains are frozen, and the water has to be drawn from a well. The water-coolie carries a peculiar arrangement on his shoulders, a long pole fastened cross-wise upon his shoulder-blades, by straps going under and round the arms; by which means he is enabled to carry two buckets of water at a time. The arrangement, though more complicated, is not dissimilar to that used for the same purpose, by women in Holland, or to that for carrying milk in many parts of Switzerland. In winter time the buckets of water become buckets of ice the moment they are drawn from the well, and then it is really pitiable to see these poor beggars with the skin of their hands all cracked and bleeding with the cold. They run along at a good pace when loaded, and show great judgment in avoiding collision, sighing as they go a loud hess! hess! hess! hess! to which they keep time with their steps. They are considered about the lowest creatures in the kingdom, and enjoy some of the privileges of children and unmarried men as regards clothing; for instance, they generally wear a light blue jacket even when the country is in mourning. When on duty they never wear hats, and often no head-bands, having, instead, blue kerchiefs wrapt round the head. The inevitable long pipe is not forgotten, and is carried, after the fashion of the mapu, stuck down the back.

The lock-carrier, again, is by no means the dirtiest individual in the land of Cho-sen, at least as far as it was my good fortune to see. Nevertheless, his clothes are invariably in a state of dilapidation, and, though intended to be white, are usually black with grease and dirt. As he is employed by the Government he wears the deepest mourning; his face, and one half of his body being actually hidden under the huge hat provided for deep mourners. He seldom possesses a pair of padded socks and sandals, and in the coldest days walks about bare-footed with his trousers turned up to



the knees. He is visible only at sunrise and sunset, when he goes on his round to all the city gates in order to inspect the locks and bring or take away the keys. Slung down his back, he carries a large leather bag, something like a tennis bag, which contains numberless iron implements of different shapes and weights. He appears to be friendless and despised by everybody, and I have never seen him talk to any one. I rather pitied the poor fellow as I saw him go night after night, with his long unwashed face and hands, along the rampart of the wall from one gate to another. Apropos of this I once made a Corean very angry by remarking that "really the safety of the city could not be in dirtier hands."

Froggy 09-15-2019 02:03 PM

It was just 6.30 in the morning, when there was a loud tap at my door, and the servant rushed in, in the wildest state of excitement, handing me a note from General Le Gendre. The note read somewhat as follows: "Dear Mr. Landor, Prince Min has arrived at my house to sit for his picture. Please come at once."

That is punctuality, is it not? To make an appointment, and go to the place to keep it four-and-a-half hours before the time appointed!

In less than no time I was on the spot. Le Gendre's house was, as it were, in a state of siege, for hundreds of armed soldiers were drawn up, in the little lane leading to it, while the court of his compound was crammed with followers and officers, in their smartest clothes. The warriors, who had already made themselves comfortable, and were squatting on their heels, playing cards and other games, got up most respectfully as I passed, and, by command of one of the officers, rendered me a military salute, which I must confess made me feel very important. I had never suspected that such an armed force was necessary to protect a man who was going to have his portrait painted, but of course, I am well aware that artists are always most unreliable people. When the real reason of this display was explained, I did indeed feel much flattered.

The Prince had, in fact, come to me in his grandest style, and with his full escort, just as if his object had been to call on some royal personage, such as the King himself. The compliment was, I need hardly say, much appreciated by me. I was actually lifted up the steps of the house by his servants, for it was supposed that the legs of such a grand personage must indeed be incapable of bearing his body, and thus I was brought into his presence. As usual, he was most affable, and full of wit and fun. So great had been his anxiety to be down on canvas, that he had been quite unable to sleep. He could only wish for the daylight to come, which was to immortalise him, and that was why he had come "a little" before his time.

Having assured himself that there was no one else in the room, he discarded his mourning clothes, and put on a magnificent blue silk gown with baggy sleeves, upon which dragons were depicted, in rather lighter tones. On his chest, he wore a square on which in multicoloured embroideries were represented the flying phoenix and the tiger, and the corners of which were filled in artistically with numerous scrolls. He had also a rectangular jewelled metal belt, projecting both at his chest and at the back, and held in position by a ribbon on both sides of his body. His cap was of the finest black horse-hair with wings fastened at the back. He seemed most proud of his three white leather satchels, and a writing pad, which hung down from his left side, by wide white straps. Into these straps, in time of war, is passed the sword of supreme command, and by them in time of peace is his high military rank made known. His sword was a magnificent old blade, which had been handed down from his ancestors, and naturally he was very proud of it. While showing it to me, he related the noble deeds, which had been accomplished by its aid, his eyes glistening all the time, but, as he was about to graphically describe in what way such and such an ancestor had done away with his foe, I, who am not at all fond of playing with razor-edged swords, thought it prudent to interrupt him by placing him in position for the picture. As I posed him, he did not utter a word, nor wink an eye. And during the whole of a sitting of nearly three hours he sat motionless and speechless, like a statue.

"It is finished," I finally said, and he sprang up in a childish fashion and came over to look at the work. His delight was unbounded, and he seized my hand and shook it for nearly half an hour; after which, he suddenly became grave, stared at the canvas, and then looked at the back of it. He seemed horrified.

"What is it?" I inquired of His Royal Highness.

"You have not put in my jade decoration," said he, almost in despair.

I had, of course, painted his portrait full face, and as the Coreans have the strange notion of wearing their decorations in the shape of a small button of jade, gold, silver or amber, behind the left ear, these did not appear thereon. I then tried to remonstrate, saying that it was impossible in European art to accomplish such a feat as to show both front and back at once, but, as he seemed distressed at what to him seemed a defect, I made him sit again, and compromised the matter by making another large but rapid sketch of him from a side point of view, so as to include the decoration and the rest rather magnified in size. It is from this portrait that the illustration is taken; for I corrected it as soon as he was out of sight. But with this second portrait my Corean sitter was more grieved than ever, for, he remarked, now he could see the decoration, but not his other eye!

These difficulties having, with the exercise of a good deal of patience and time, been finally overcome by my proving to him that one cannot see through things that are not transparent, we were entertained by General Le Gendre to an excellent lunch, during which toasts to the health of everybody under the sun were drunk in numberless bottles of champagne. Then he began to wax quite enthusiastic about his likeness. He called in his officers and followers; by this time, of course, he had got into his mourning clothes again, and donned his semi-spherical crane-surmounted hat; and they all showed great admiration of the work, although many went round, as he had done, to look at the backs of the two canvases to find "the eye," or the other missing "button."

He wanted to purchase both pictures there and then, but I declined, saying that I would be pleased to present him with a smaller copy when completed. With this promise he departed happy.

Now it was the turn of his Prime Minister brother, Prince Min. He also came in full state, with hundreds of servants and followers, hours before his time; was a most restless model; and, having profited by his brother's experience, was continually coming over to examine the painting and reminding me not to forget this and that and the other thing—generally what was on the other side of his body, or what from my point of vantage I could not see. This time, however, I had chosen a three-quarter face pose, and he expressed the fullest satisfaction with the result, until, going to poke his nose into the canvas, which was about 4 feet by 3, he began to take objections to the shadows. He insisted that his face was all perfectly white; whereas I had made one-half his nose darker in colour than the other; also that there was the same defect under the chin; his untrained mind being unable to grasp the fact that the same colour under different lights becomes lighter or darker in tone. I would have lost my patience with him if I had had any to lose, but, remaining silent, I smiled idiotically at his observations, and did exactly the reverse of what he wished me to do. The beautifying touches having been duly added, and the high lights put in where it seemed proper that they should go, I summoned the Prince to see the effect, this time building up a barricade of chairs and tables in front of the canvas, in order that His Royal Highness might be compelled to conduct his examination of it at the right distance. This had the desired effect, and, as he now gazed at it, he found the likeness excellent and to use his words "just like a living other-self." It seemed to him a most inexplicable circumstance that when he got his nose close to the canvas the picture appeared so different from what it was when inspected at the right distance. This sitting also ended with a feast, and everything passed off in the best of ways.

Theodoric 09-15-2019 10:57 PM

does anyone know if they still have that 15 days of feuding and all the guild wars, and stone fights in korea?

Theodoric 09-15-2019 10:58 PM

that was quite a skirmish between the butcher guild and the dry wall crews.

Froggy 09-16-2019 10:53 PM

Welsh Rarebit Tales


Illustrated by

Cover and Decorations by BIRD

The Mutual Book Company
Boston, Mass.

Copyright, by
The Mutual Book Company

Plimpton Press

To my Mother

The author wishes to express his thanks to S. S. McClure & Co., F. A. Munsey, The Shortstory Publishing Company, and others, for their courtesy in allowing him book rights on the following tales.



A PREFACE is the place where an author usually apologizes to the public for what he is about to inflict. Such being the case, I hasten to state that I am only jointly responsible for this aggregation of tales, which resemble, more than anything else, the creations of a disordered brain.

The origin of the Welsh Rarebit Tales was as follows: A certain literary club, of which I am a member, is accustomed to hold semi-occasional meetings at some of the uptown hotels. At the close of the dinner each of the fifteen members is permitted to read to the others what he considers his most acute spasm since the previous meeting. The good and bad points of the manuscript are then discussed, and we believe that much mutual benefit is thereby derived.

Having run short of first-class plots, the club at a recent meeting decided to try a gastro-literary experiment. Knowing the effect upon the digestive and cerebral organs of indulging in[vi] concentrated food before retiring, we each and every one partook, just before adjourning, of the following combination:—

1 Large Portion Welsh Rarebit,

1 Broiled Live Lobster,

2 Pieces Home Made Mince Pie,

1 Portion Cucumber Salad.

At the second meeting of the club (the next meeting, by the way, had to be postponed on account of illness of fourteen of the members) the accompanying tales were related.

Partly as a warning to injudicious diners, we decided to publish the result of our experiment, hoping that all who read this book, and see the nightmares which were produced, will be warned never to try a similar feat (or eat).

By unanimous sentence of the other fourteen members, and as a punishment for having been the originator of the scheme, mine was chosen as the unlucky name under which the Tales should appear.

H. O. C.

Boston, Mass.,
Feb. 10, ’02.


1. The Man Who Made a Man 3
2. In the Lower Passage 13
3. The Fool and His Joke 23
4. The Man and the Beast 31
5. At the End of the Road 45
6. The Space Annihilator 51
7. A Question of Honor 73
8. The Wine of Pantinelli 81
9. The Strangest Freak 91
10. The False Prophet 103
11. A Study in Psychology 115
12. The Painted Lady and The Boy 127
13. The Palace of Sin 139
14. The Man Who Was Not Afraid 153
15. The Story the Doctor Told 163


Froggy 09-16-2019 10:54 PM






WILLIAM WATERS was not in any way what you would call a braggart, yet upon two things did he pride himself. These two things were: first, an earnest and sincere contempt for all things supernatural; and, secondly, a marksmanship with a Colt’s No. 4 revolver which bordered on the marvelous. He had on several occasions proved his bravery by such feats as sleeping alone an entire night in a house said to be haunted, and by visiting a country graveyard at midnight, and digging up a corpse. He had likewise won numerous bets by pumping six bullets into an inch and a half bull’s eye at a distance of sixteen paces, and being a healthy and vigorous animal his pride was perhaps more or less excusable.

In the house in which Waters had his rooms there also lived a Fool. His particular brand of folly was practical joking, which is universally recognized by intelligent men as a particularly acute and dangerous kind of idiocy. As a[24] child The Fool had soaked a neighbor’s cat in kerosene and then applied a match. Since then he had performed many other equally humorous feats.

After much planning The Fool devised a joke, the victim of which was to be The Man Who Knew Not Fear, as the jester sneeringly called Waters.

The prologue to this joke was the substitution of blanks in each of the six chambers of the No. 4 Colt’s, which hung over the headboard in William Waters’s sleeping-room, not as a weapon of defense, but as a glittering little possession dear to the heart of its owner.

The Fool had once, in the presence of all the people at the dinner table, asked Waters what he would do should he wake up at night and find a ghost in the room.

“Fire a bullet straight at his heart, so be sure and wear a breastplate,” Waters answered promptly, and the laugh had been on the joker.

After removing the cartridges from the revolver, The Fool withdrew the bullets from each, and placed them in his pocket. He had that day also laid in a supply of phosphorescent paint and several yards of white muslin.

Waters never locked his door at night, for he was as free from fear of all things physical as from those supernatural. This of course made the program which The Fool had arranged easy[25] to carry out, though he would not have hesitated at a little thing like stealing the key and having an impression made. He was a very thorough practical joker.

That night as the French clock in the hall outside Waters’s room was striking twelve The Man Who Knew Not Fear was awakened by a rattling of chains and a dismal moaning.

As he opened his eyes he saw standing in the darkest corner of the room a white-robed figure, which glistened with phosphorescent lights as it waved its arms to and fro. Without a moment’s hesitation, Waters reached for his revolver, and leveling it at the moaning figure, fired full at its breast.

The Fool, chuckling to himself behind the sheet, thrust his hand upon his heart, and apparently plucking something from the folds of cloth, he tossed back toward the bed a bullet.

The Man Who Knew Not Fear reached for the heavy little object that he had felt strike the bed-clothes, and his hand touching the bit of lead, he picked it up curiously, then realizing what it was that he held, he sat up stiffly in bed, and tried to raise his arm again. But his muscles refused to obey. The thought that his revolver had been tampered with never entered his head. For the first time in his life a fear, sickening and unmanning as it was new, came over him. He recognized in that little piece of lead a bullet from the gun which had never[26] before failed him. What was that moaning Thing upon which powder and lead had no effect? Three times he tried to raise his arm, and each time it fell back upon the bed.

Meanwhile the rattling of chains began once more, and with eyes starting from his head because of his fear, Waters saw the fearsome shape advancing upon him. By a supreme effort he raised his arm, and emptied the remaining five chambers of his revolver at the approaching figure.

The Fool, who had never ceased moaning while the shots were being fired, executed a rapid movement with his hands as if catching the bullets, and then slowly tossed them back, one after the other.

The man in bed reached for the little balls of lead mechanically, then straightened back against the pillow, and remained perfectly motionless, staring at the Thing, which had now stopped again and was groaning dismally.

For five minutes neither man moved, then The Fool, thinking that the joke was once more on him, for Waters still refused to speak, gathered his glittering robe about him, and slunk out.

Back once more in his own room he undressed hurriedly, and slipped into bed. He was disappointed. He had expected that Waters would be terribly frightened, and that he could joke him unmercifully at the table for the next week.[27] Then, too, the obstinate silence of the man puzzled him.

About five o’clock in the morning he woke up vaguely alarmed. He did not know what the matter was, but he could not sleep. He could not get out of his mind that strange silence of the man down-stairs. Then, suddenly, a terrible suspicion came over him.

“Not that, my God, not that!” he cried. Jumping from the bed he threw on a few clothes, and crept fearfully down to the scene of his midnight joke.

He opened the door cautiously, and, feeling for the button, turned on the electric light. Then he gave a hysterical cry, half laugh, half moan, and, rushing from the room, he fled down the hall out into the street.

For this is what he had seen: in the bed propped up stiffly against the pillow, and staring with dull, unseeing eyes into the corner, sat “The Man Who Knew not Fear.” Not a muscle had he moved since The Fool had left him six hours before.

One hand still held the silver-mounted revolver, while in the other were tightly clasped—six little leaden balls.


Froggy 09-16-2019 11:15 PM

A Literal Transcription of the Original MSS.
Hydrographer of the Admiralty.
Illustrated by Maps and Facsimiles.



K.G., ETC.,


STRANGE it must appear that the account of perhaps the most celebrated and, certainly to the English nation, the most momentous voyage of discovery that has ever taken place--for it practically gave birth to the great Australasian Colonies--has never before been given to the world in the very words of its great leader. It has fallen out in this wise.

After the return of the Endeavour it was decided that a full and comprehensive account of the voyage should be compiled. COOK'S JOURNAL dealt with matters from the point of view of the seaman, the explorer, and the head of the expedition, responsible for life, and for its general success. The Journals of Mr. Banks and Dr. Solander looked from the scientific side on all that presented itself to their enthusiastic observation.

What could be better than to combine these accounts, and make up a complete narrative from them all?

The result, however, according to our nineteenth-century ideas, was not altogether happy. Dr. Hawkesworth, into whose hands the Journals were put, not only interspersed reflections of his own, but managed to impose his own ponderous style upon many of the extracts from the united Journals; and, moreover, as they are all jumbled together, the whole being put into Cook's mouth, it is impossible to know whether we are reading Cook, Banks, Solander, or Hawkesworth himself.

The readers of the day were not, however, critical. Hawkesworth's book,* (* "Hawkesworth's Voyages" 3 volumes quarto 1773.) which undoubtedly contains all the most generally interesting passages of the three writers, gave a clear description of the events of the voyage in a connected manner, and was accepted as sufficient; and in the excitement of devouring the pages which introduced so many new lands and peoples, probably few wished for more, and the Journals were put away as dealt with.

Since that time it has been on several occasions in contemplation to publish Mr. (after Sir Joseph) Banks' Journal; but this has never been accomplished.

Cook's Journal was in triplicate. The Admiralty Orders of the day enjoined that the captain should keep a journal of proceedings, a copy of which was to be forwarded to the Admiralty every six months, or as soon after as possible. In the case of this voyage the ship was two and a half years from England before any opportunity of sending this copy occurred. The ship was the whole of this time in new and savage lands. When Batavia was reached the duplicate of Cook's Journal was sent home, and six months later, when the ship arrived in England, the full Journal of the voyage was deposited at the Admiralty.

The Secretary of the Admiralty, Sir Philip Stephens, a personal friend and appreciator of Cook, appears to have appropriated the Batavia duplicate, as we find it in the hands of his descendants, and passing thence by sale, first to Mr. Cosens in 1868, and then in 1890 to Mr. John Corner.

The other and complete copy is still in possession of the Admiralty, though in some unexplained manner it was absent for some years, and was only recovered by the exertions of Mr. W. Blakeney, R.N.

A third copy of the Journal also terminates a few days before reaching Batavia. It is in the possession of Her Majesty the Queen, and from its appearance was kept for, and probably presented to, George III, who took great interest in the voyage.

Neither private possessors nor the Admiralty have felt moved to publish this interesting document until Mr. Corner acquired his copy, when, being an enthusiastic admirer of Captain Cook, he determined to do so, and was making preliminary arrangements, when he suddenly died, after a few hours' illness. His son, anxious to carry out his father's wishes, which included the devotion of any proceeds to the restoration of Hinderwell Church--the parish church of Staithes, whence Cook ran away to sea--has completed these arrangements, and the present volume is the result.

The text is taken from Mr. Corner's copy so far as it goes, paragraphs from the Admiralty copy, which do not appear in the former, being added, with a notation of their source.

The last portion, from October 23rd, 1770, which is only given in the Admiralty copy, is necessarily taken from it.

The three copies are, practically, identical, except for the period August 13th to 19th, 1770, during which the wording is often different, though the events are the same.

It is not very difficult to account for this.

Froggy 09-16-2019 11:22 PM

The two first-mentioned Journals are in the handwriting of an amanuensis, Mr. Orton, the clerk. No autograph journal is, so far as is known, in existence, but some rough original must have been kept, as both copies bear internal evidence of having been written up after the lapse of an interval after the events described.

This is markedly the case in the Australian part of the Journal.

It is known that Botany Bay was at first called by Cook, Stingray Bay, on account of the number of rays caught there; but after Banks had examined his collection, and found all his plants new to science, Cook determined to call it Botany Bay. It is, however, called Botany Bay from the first in the Journals.

The name, "New South Wales," was not bestowed without much consideration, and apparently at one stage New Wales was the appellation fixed upon, for in Mr. Corner's copy it is so called throughout, whereas the Admiralty copy has "New South Wales."

It would therefore seem that about the period of the discrepant accounts Mr. Corner's copy was first made, and that Cook, in the Admiralty copy, which for this part is fuller, revised the wording of his description of this very critical portion of the voyage.

The Queen's Copy has been written with especial care, and by several different hands. It was evidently the last in point of time.

In reading COOK'S JOURNAL of his First Voyage it must be remembered that it was not prepared for publication. Though no doubt the fair copies we possess were revised with the care that characterises the man, and which is evidenced by the interlineations and corrections in his own hand with which the pages are dotted, it may be supposed, from the example we have in the published account of his Second Voyage, which was edited by himself, that further alterations and additions would have been made, to make the story more complete, had he contemplated its being printed.

This does not, however, in any way detract from the interest of a transcript of his record on the spot; and though many circumstances recorded in Hawkesworth, from Banks or others, will not be found, it is probable that an exact copy of the great navigator's own impressions, and the disentanglement of them from the other interpolated matter, will be welcome.

In printing this Journal the only alterations that have been made are the breaking-up into chapters, with modern headings; the addition of punctuation; and in the form of the insertion of the daily record of wind, weather, and position of the ship. These in the original are on the left hand page in log form. To save space they have been placed at the end of every day's transactions.

The eccentricities in the spelling have been preserved. A good many of these would seem to be due to Mr. Orton, the transcriber, as Cook's own letters are generally correct in their orthography. The use of the capital letter was usual at the time.

References will be found to sketches and plans which have not been reproduced.

Cook's knack of finding names for localities was peculiarly happy. Those who have had to do this, know the difficulty. Wherever he was able to ascertain the native name, he adopts it; but in the many cases where this was impossible, he manages to find a descriptive and distinctive appellation for each point, bay, or island.

He seems to have kept these names very much to himself, as it is seldom the officers' logs know anything of them; and original plans, still in existence, in many cases bear different names to those finally pitched upon.

Cook's names have rarely been altered, and New Zealand and Australian places will probably for all time bear those which he bestowed.

In the orthography of his native names he was not so successful. The constant addition of a redundant "o" has altered many native sounds, such as Otaheite for Tahiti, Ohwhyhee for Hawaii; while his spelling generally has been superseded by more simple forms. This is a matter, however, in which great difficulties are found to the present day by Englishmen, whose language presents no certain laws for rendering any given sound into a fixed combination of letters.

Cook's language is unvarnished and plain, as a sailor's should be. His incidents, though often related with circumstance, are without exaggeration; indeed if any fault is to be found, it is that he takes occurrences involving much labour and hardship as such matters of course, that it is not easy for the reader, especially if he be a landsman, to realise what they really entail.

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