+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

sad reciter be before you when men prate
of glory for glory's sake; and believe him
as he gasps upon his scanty pallet, in the bare
white-washed room, without one friend about
him, and (but for you) unable to apprise one
of his fate, when he affirms that this is Eden.
Paradise, Heaven, to what he has endured these
six months. Be sure this is the reality of the
whole matterwar stripped of its pomp and

First is a foot-soldier, wounded by a shell
in the knee, who thinks he would like to
write to his first-cousin. This first cousin
is his only relative, and does not know even of
his having volunteered for foreign service; he
is not sure about the direction, but knows
that it is somewhere in the county Clare. In
the next bed a woe-begone sad creature
answers your question in a hollow, despairing
voice: "I have no friends," he says, and "Let
me alone." The brain of this poor fellow is
affected, and we can be of no service to him
at present, so pass on. There is a boy of only
seventeen, wounded at the battle of the Alma.
His face is quite beautiful, round, and healthy-
looking. He seems quite happy and contented,
and answers cheerfully enough, that he would
wish to write to father and mother, and tell
them he had lost his leg: such a letter he
dictates as would shame a whole army of
philosophers;—when he gets used to "those," he
says, pointing to the crutches by his bed's
head, he will do well enough.

The next case is one of dysentery. A giant
of an Hussarthe skeleton of one at least
all shaggy hair and eyes, with cough,
accompanied by moaning, would like to let his
wife and children know about him; they
have not heard since he went out five
months ago; they will not see him again in
this world, he feels sure, and truly his state
is very sad; his attenuated legs find even the
weight of bedclothes insupportable, he can
only fetch his breath to speak at intervals;
has been deadly ill these six weeks, as far as
he could take note of lagging time; would
have sent home some money long ago, but
that they robbed him in Scutari hospital of all
he hadwhich they cut from around his
naked neck where he wore it in a bag;
there was some more due to him if he had his
rights, and they should have all; they must
have wanted it, he knew, through this sad
winter. Yes, he was in the great horse-charge
that was so famous,—borne up by the men
around him through the rain of bullets
borne and back again to the Russian guns,
and back again, he means, without much
thought of danger; there was no time. He
does not wish that to be set down in the letter:
said it to inform us only. We have written
all he wishes; and so, with a "Thank ye,
thank ye," he sinks back in his bed and

The fifth place has no tenant; its latest
occupant was borne out yesterday to a still
narrower resting-place.

The sixth is a maimed man; his right arm
was shot off at Inkermann; he was in all the
previous battles. This man talks freely of the
war and without pain in utterance, which
most can do (and let it be kept in remembrance
by all those making themselves useful to
the sick, not to allow their compassion to be
sacrificed to curiosity). The fearfullest thing
of a battle-field is the treading upon the
bodies of the fallen. The thunder of the guns
and the flashes, the trembling of the ground
under the horses, seemed as though heaven
and earth were coming together; but the
stepping on a wounded manthat was the worst:
before the fighting, it was not unpleasant,
perhaps; and after, it was a dreadful time,—but
the fighting itself was enough to flush a man,
a great while of excitement and madness;
often and often used to think of it as he lay
in bed and on board ship.

The seventh bed is occupied by a living
being at present, and that is all we can call
the shadowy form; the eyes are sunk into
the head, and all the features have the sharpness
of death. He has ceased to disturb the
ward (as he did at first) with coughs and
groans, and a few hours will rid them of his
presence. We must here mention that the
want of a smaller apartment for the reception,
of those who cannot cease from coughing
and expressions of pain, is much felt in all
our hospitals here.

In striking contrast to this dying man is his
neighbour, the eighth and last patient of the
line; he has lost three fingers of his left hand
by a cannon ball, and has received a fracture
of the leg, but is getting on capitally, and is
in the highest spirits. He has no need to tell
us he is an Irishman, for he has an accent as
broad as from here to Cork: indeed it is
with the greatest difficulty we can understand
what he wishes us to write; it takes us five
minutes to unravel "respects to inquiring
friends"—(always "respects," however near
may be the relationships) from the mass of r's,
which he is pleased to insert amongst that
sentence. Russia, as far as he knows, is
absolutely good for nothing; except, indeed, he
must say, for grapes and lice. Amidst a heap
of extraneous matter of this sort, he writes
to his mother in Tipperary, ''Don't let our
Patrick, mother, go for a soldier; not that
I mind for myself," he says, pointing to his
shattered hand, " but one's enough."

This day is published, for greater convenience, and
cheapness of binding,





Price of the Set, thus bound in Five Double Instead of Ten
Single Volumes, £2  I0s 0d.