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mind. Directly we could raise the money, we bought second-hand labourers' clothes, which we hid in a wood lying outside the town; and when all our preparations were complete, we set out one moonless night, scaled the barrack-wall, disinterred our disguises, buried our uniforms, and started for the land where we hoped to find freedom and fortune. We walked all that night, all the next day; then, after a few hours' sleep, on again, meeting with no interruption till we were close upon safety, and then we were stopped. Whether it was bad luck, whether the many desertions which had taken place had caused excessive watchfulness, or whether in the perpetual close observance of all my movements by Captain Ashley's spies my intentions had been discovered, I know not; but just as we came in sight of the haven of our hopes, a picket came down upon us. We fought all we could ; but in a minute poor Harrison had impaled himself on a bayonet, and I was overpowered and a prisoner. I was carried back to my regiment, and after a short time was once more tried by court-martial ; and now I thought seriously of laying before the court what had happened between Captain Ashley and myself, how that officer had hunted me down, and the conversation overheard by Harrison between him and Sergeant Smith; but if I did that, my real name, my sister's shame, must all be made public, and I shrank from such an exposure. So I held my tongue, and was sentenced to be flogged. I hear that this punishment is falling by degrees into disuse, and that it must, after a while, be abolished; the sooner the better, for it is a mistake. The principal value of a soldier lies in his courage, and you cannot rule him by physical fear without damping that quality, which, on the contrary, is cultivated by acting on his natural desire to be thought well of by his companions. Living in fear of the lash would spoil any man's courage, if the effect were not counteracted by the greater fear of being thought a coward; and if you could only establish in a regiment 8 feeling that insubordination or neglect of duty was as disgraceful as lack of coolness under fire, English soldiers would become as manageable in barracks as in the field. Indeed, many experienced officers uphold corporal punishment on the principle that it attaches a stigma to the man who suffers it, and so to the offence which he has committed ; and there is something in this, only the evils of the practice are greater than the advantages. Certainly the shame is excessive, even for the man whose sensibilities have from childhood been blunted by the apathetic ignorance of the country, or degraded by the vice of the metropolis ; imagine what it was for me. But you cannot; I could not myself; for if I had had any idea beforehand of the unutterable shame I felt on being led out into that square of gazing fellow-creatures,-on having to strip myself,—on being tied up to the triangle,-I should have committed suicide. But the thought had come too late, and all I had to do was to strive with all my soul, with all my might, to let no cry or contortion increase the piquancy of my enemy's triumph. To this end, I set my teeth close, and tightened every nerve, as I heard the cat whistling
through the air ; but it was all I could do to help screaming when it cut into the flesh. I had expected pain, but had not any idea there was an agony in the world like this. It was as if the devil had set his claw upon my back, and was tightening his grasp, until his scorching talons penetrated my very entrails. But I conquered,—not a cry escaped me; and after the first three dozen my flesh became numb, and my task of endurance more possible.
But in that furnace of agony I moulded a purpose, the aim of my after-life; and when at last I was cast off, I turned to where he stood, saluted him, and said, “ Captain Ashley, thank you, sir!" and he turned as pale as a sheet.
About a week afterwards Captain Ashley visited the hospital where I lay, and as he passed my bed he stooped down, and said in a low tone, “Whipping for whipping, Private Brown.”
“Yes, sir," I answered ; “it is your game this time. I wonder if I shall ever have another chance?” And those were the first words alluding to past events we had ever exchanged, the last we ever spoke to each other at all.
When I got well, and returned to my duty, my conduct was quite changed; never was there such a wonderful instance of the effect of corporal punishment. I became a reformed man, winning golden opinions from my officers,-for I was removed to another company; sober, attentive, with a particular turn for musketry-practice, which caused me to become the best shot in the regiment.
I might often have killed him ; I might have sent my ramrod through him at a review, or even have stepped out of the ranks and bayoneted him on parade ; but then I should have been punished for the act, which would have given him the last blow, and made my revenge very imperfect: so, with the aid of temperance, I resisted a thousand temptations, and bided my time. It was long in coming, and I began to grow moody and uncompanionable, when an event occurred which acted on my spirits like rum.
The Russian war broke out!
For the next few months I led the life of a gambler watching the chances; I feared lest my enemy should show the white feather, and leave the army, or get a staff-appointment, and quit the regiment. Then reports were rife that peace would be established without a battle being fought, or that the war wonld be settled by the navy. But all these fears were unfounded ; Captain Ashley remained within my reach, and we landed in the Crimea.
The morning of Alma broke, and now I had only one fear left: I dreaded lest a Russian bullet should rob me of my prey; his death was nothing if he did not meet it at my hands. I have often thought since, that it was strange that I did not relent when I found myself fighting on the same side as himself against a common enemy; strange that I, who had been piously brought up, felt no fear at meeting death face to face with my heart full of revenge: but so it was,—the courage with which he led on his company struck me with no admiration; the probability of my being myself hit never occurred to me. Vengeance for my sister, vengeance for myself; to that eager yearning the destinies of nations, the lives of thousands, the fate of my comrades, were but accessory and immaterial. I was glad when the shells, bursting over our regiment as it waded through the brook, threw it into confusion; for confusion was what I wanted. I cheered for joy when the line, broken into a mob by grape, surged back from the Russian batteries ; for then I found my opportunity. Through all the fire, smoke, blood, and confusion, I had never lost sight of him, and I rejoiced to see that he was still uninjured, as I raised my musket, and carefully sighted him between the shoulders. I pressed the trigger: he threw up his arms, and fell on his face-dead. I ought to have felt remorse when the deed was done, I suppose,
but I did not. That day and afterwards I shot many an inoffensive Russian in the public quarrel, and one life seemed a small matter on my own private account. Even now that I wish to repent and forgive, I do not feel remorse. No one suspected me; on the contrary, I gained great credit for my behaviour that day, and at Inkermann, where I was wounded. The cloud of my life seemed to have passed away now that my enemy was dead, and I once more rose to be sergeant. When the war was over, we went to India, and there I got a ball through the lungs, was invalided, pensioned, and here I am, dying in my bed, not at the end of a rope.
Come here before me in thy common dress
Not clad in vain and delicate deceits
Loosed from thy wimple : let the rustic sweets
Of beans in bloom, whose fragrance, suddenly
Contentment to the homely passer-by :
Bought with no price, but of thine own free will
So I would cherish and would love thee still:
Undoubting to my arms, and with such eyes
A. J. M.
With Mr. Gorilla's Compliments.
My family having been grossly scandalised for many years by persons none of whom can boast the honour of even a personal acquaintance with us, and by far the majority of those who talk so very loudly about our affairs, and the way we manage matters on the Gaboon, never having set eyes on us, or even been within a hundred miles of the country, I naturally feel it incumbent upon me to set the great Gorilla nation right with humanity generally. My attention has been called more especially to the absurd stories recently told by a Frenchman, who knows just as much about us as his countrymen do of their neighbours across the English Channel. I have read a Frenchman's account of how the English live on raw meat, and drink nothing but a dark mixture of tobacco-juice and treacle, which they call “porter;" and how all the members of the Jocky Club always go to evening parties in top-boots, spurs, and red coats; but we don't believe this any more than we do the stories we have heard from English sailors about Frenchmen living upon frogs and coffee. Then, let me beg you will not believe all that this wonderful traveller tells you, for we don't know him, and all that he knows of us and our habits he has picked up in his gossipings with the dirty black niggers,—a set of people who have always been trying to curry favour with you, and would be certain never to let an opportunity slip for lowering us, who are as good blood as them any day. They happen to have got taken up by the upper classes, who only despise them in their hearts; and with this they are so tossed up with pride, that they are ready to cut the throats of all their poorer relations. They say we drag them down; they forget that we are of the old stock of Primates, and that if it hadn't been for some of us, as your great philosopher Mr. Darwin will tell you, there would have been no Bushmen; and if there had been no Bushmen, there would have been no Negroes; and I should like to know where all you white people would have been if there had been no Negroes ? Why, Adam was a man of colour, as you know. He was made of red eartb, and took his name accordingly; he was no doubt a copper-coloured primate. Then there came Esau, his near descendant; he was a hairy man. And as to that, why, if our upper ten thousand, the Chimpanzees, who, we admit, have more brains than we have, and only want education to become quite equal to many men, had not taught your ancestors that two hands were quite enough for a
and that the other two might be better employed in walking, who knows but your lot would have been cast in with ours? Let me remind you of what the Negroes are well aware of, and which makes them so spiteful against us,-we are a silent race; we know better than expose ourselves as some people do ; we rarely utter a word, when we do it is forcible and to the point; but we think a great deal. We have our opinions, and amongst ourselves, in private society, there is, I assure you, no lack of
conversation. We know very well that Nature never makes a leap, and we have watched the best of you crawling on all fours just as our children do, and with no better notions of helping themselves than ours ; indeed, I suspect not quite as good, for our youngsters at three years old are turned out into the world, able to get a living and fight their own battles. Every thing must have a beginning, and the greatest men have sprung sometimes from very
humble stock. There is a story, which was told amongst us with great glee, about your famous Alexandre Dumas,-a man of colour in more senses than one-it was this. An impertinent fellow, as it might be, one of our nigger acquaintances, questioned him of his family, his father, his grandfather, and so on, when Dumas (as my French is rather rusty, I tell it in English), getting angry, replied to his question,—“But your great-grandfather ?”—“Ah, I don't know; perhaps he was an ape, in which case my ancestry begins where yours ends." We are naturally proud of this; we accept the compliment from so distinguished a member of the family, though we all felt for our nearer relative, who thus got snubbed for not having made the best of the advantages of cultivation,a disability under which Troglodytes suffer as well as the genus Homo. As to ancestry, we have our traditions. The same country which we hold now was inhabited by our forefathers for many centuries,—I may say, without vain boasting, for ages. We are disposed now, as we were in ancient times, to defend our home against invaders. We have a place in the history of the ancients, as you may be aware from a rare record by one Hanno, a Carthaginian navigator or admiral, preserved, it is said, in your University of Oxford.* According to our traditions, these first explorers of your kind known to us sailed up a river and landed upon an island then in our possession. Our people fled, making a brave attempt at defence by throwing stones. None of the men fell into the hands of the enemy; but the women, not being so well able to run, three of them were taken prisoners and were carried away.
[Referring to Hanno's account, we find he says that after sailing three days up a river, they came to a gulf with an island, on which they landed, and saw many wild hairy men,—ävOpw tol áyploi,—and women also covered with hair; the native interpreters they had with them called these creatures yopilas. They tried to catch them, but the men escaped, being as nimble as rope-walkers— peuvosárol ortes ; they caught hold of trees and rocks, and defended themselves by throwing stones as they ran. Three women, however, were caught; but they bit and scratched so, that they were obliged to kill them. Their skins were carried as trophies to Carthage, and there placed in the Temple of Juno. These skins are also distinctly proved to have been placed in this temple by the reference of Pliny to them. He, however, mystifies the matter by substituting the name Gorgones for Gorillas ; but his words áre, « Penetravit in eas
* Αννωνος Περιπλους. . Oxon. 1698.-Ed. T. B.
Geographic Veteri Scriptores Græci Minores, vol. i.