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All was now changed to life and high spirits within the building; a messenger was despatched to the lodge with the good tidings, while even the wounded began to cheer up, except Johnny Raugh, who was still unconscious but quiet now, and breathing heavily.
though in these directions also the view | their own eyes. Even the brigadier manwas a good deal intercepted by the trees aged to hobble up; nor could Falkland rein the park. And on this plain some ob- fuse to allow each lady in turn to come up ject was now exciting the attention of the and have a look at the distant horsemen rebels, for, as the look-out man had re- and try to distinguish the Europeans with ported, the two guns were turned away, the force, of whom two had now been and were firing in that direction, and a made out. large column of sepoys was drawn up on the open space behind them. What it was could not at first be told; only a cloud of dust could be seen rising high in the sultry air, and floating over the village; but presently some horsemen could be made out to the south of the village, about three-quarters of a mile off, retiring slowly, the skirts of a larger body, and then as a light air blew the dust away, some cavalry could be distinguished drawn up in regular formation, now halted in column, and facing towards the enemy; and immedi-site ately the news spread through the build- men. ing that relief had come - Kirke and his levy of horse.
“Kirke's levy evidently," said Braddon, who had been summoned to the roof; "the men are dressed in all sorts of ways, and very irregular is the dressing of their ranks. However, handsome is that handsome does! Kirke won't be the man I take him for if he doesn't soon find his way in, now that he has got so far."
"Is it Kirke's men," said Falkland, "or the levy of some native chief? I begin to think it must be the latter. Why should Kirke, if it were he, keep away out there, as if he were afraid of this wretched fire? It is to be hoped that they do not mean to sheer off, after all, and leave us in the lurch; but I can't make out any Europeans with them."
"Yes!" cried Yorke, who was looking through a field-glass; "I see a European there, on a grey horse, going along at a foot-pace, with his back turned this way, and with a helmet on, and there is an orderly riding behind him. Ah! now he is gone out of sight behind those trees. There he comes again, don't you see, sir, to the right?"
"It is Kirke, and no mistake," said Falkland, looking at the distant mass through his glass. "I could tell his figure on horseback among a thousand. Thank God, we are saved!" and the tone of relief with which he spoke showed how much his previous bearing had belied his real hopes of escape.
The news of succour had spread instantaneously through the building; discipline for the moment was suspended, and the staircase to the roof was crowded with people coming to see the relieving force with
The residency now was quite unmolested; but some of the occupants of the lodge showing themselves in their excitement incautiously on the roof, drew down a sharp fire from the village on the opposide of the road, which was still full of
Still the relieving force made no attack; they could be seen now and then, through the gaps in the trees, moving about in the distance, but they came no nearer, deterred apparently by the difficulty of attacking so numerous an infantry well posted; and endless were the surmises of the lookers-on as they watched the movements of the horsemen with straining eyes and eager faces. Why don't they charge down to the south, and clear the ground up to the wall there? The enemy can't be in strength in that direction; they might relieve us in that way without difficulty. Can it be they have been told the residency has fallen? But no, that cannot be, or why should the rebels be investing it? But to make sure, Falkland had a standard hoisted on the roof - a tablecover on a pole. It took some time to manage this, and when the thing was done all sign of the cavalry had disappeared.
Kirke must be acting as the advancedguard of a force which had come to reconnoitre, and has fallen back on the main body, to wait for the infantry to come up, said the more hopeful; but dread despair came upon the garrison when the news spread. It was as if a shipwrecked sailor were to see a ship sail by, unheeding the raft to which he was clinging.
"Main body or not," said Falkland anxiously to his two lieutenants, "we must manage to communicate with Kirke at once, for I am sure it is he; I can't be lieve that his sheering off like this is more than temporary. Kirke has pluck and judgment for fifty men, but every minute is critical; we cannot afford to run the risk of our want of ammunition being found out. The very fact of relief being
so near may incite the rebels to strike a final blow and be off. Which of your men, Braddon, do you think, could be best trusted to get out?"
all yours. But we must not lose time in talking."
They descended to the portico, and the mare was saddled, while the opening was cleared again which had been made in the parapet the previous night for removing the dead horse. The affair occupied only a few minutes, while Falkland, going aside with the brigadier, explained what was proposed, and obtained the old man's consent to his errand. Then turning to Buxey, who also had been summoned to the portico "Buxey, old friend," he said,
"He would have to wait till dark, sir, would he not?" asked Yorke, "before making the attempt; and then if he succeeded he might lose all the night in looking for them. I have a plan to propose, sir; let me mount your mare, and take my chance of getting over the wall and through these brutes. They will be so surprised they won't have time to fire," he added, seeing that Falkland looked doubt-"we are all liable to accident; if I should fully at the proposal.
"That is a big wall to take," observed the colonel, after a pause, during which he had been regarding the young man with a look that conveyed his approbation.
"Kathleen would do it, sir, never fear," replied the other; "it is not five feet high there by the gateway; she is good for that any day."
"I think she is, but she will need to have her master on her back to do it, after being so long without being ridden."
"I think I can sit a fresh nag as well as most people," observed Braddon, "though I say it who shouldn't; but these are not times to stand on modesty. Let me go, sir, and you shall see me witch Pandy with noble horsemanship."
"No, Braddon, you are too heavy. Yorke's idea, however, is a capital one, but it will be better for me to go than either of you."
"But ought the commandant to desert the garrison, sir?" objected Braddon. "We shall never be able to get on without you; and the people would lose heart if they heard you were gone."
"I would rather stay of course, but this is a case of duty. Everything depends on communicating with the force outside, and for this it is necessary to get over the wall. Relief will then only be a question of a few minutes; my absence for so long can't do any harm."
"You have seen me take a wall, sir," said Yorke, "and on a horse that was a mere pony beside Kathleen. I believe I could do the trick all right. I am a good stone lighter than you, and certainly I can be better spared."
"No reflections on your horsemanship, my dear boy," replied the colonel, putting his hand kindly on Yorke's shoulder, and looking down as he spoke; "but Kathleen has not been out of her stall for ten days, and has been on half rations for a week. She will do best with her master
on her back, but the credit of the plan is
come to grief, I charge you to convey to government my particular recommendation of Braddon and Yorke. The conduct of the whole garrison will speak for itself, and will, no doubt be rewarded suitably; but I wish it particularly to be recorded that these two have especially contributed to the success of the defence." Then he made a movement, intending to enter the building; but suddenly turned back again, and saying in a low voice as he passed Yorke, while he pressed his hand for an instant, "I leave Olivia in your charge," mounted, and passed out by the gap from underneath the portico.
The mare walked quietly out for a few paces, but when having got clear of the building Falkland pressed her sides, she gave a furious plunge which almost unseated him, the preface to a course of bounds into the air, which tried her rider's horsemanship, but did not advance his progress off the hard road. At last he got her on to the lawn, only one degree less hard, and put her into a canter towards the north end, the mare still plunging madly in the excitement of leaving the stable, trying to pull the reins out of his hands, but going with a short stiff action as if her limbs were cramped by the long confinement.
It was about midday, and the scorching vertical rays of the sun beat down on the fiery soil; shadow to the right or left there was none. As the rider and horseman approached the north park-wall numerous faces appeared behind it and from the outhouse at the end, and there was rapid firing at the sudden apparition. The anxious and excited lookers-on thought at first he was going to take the wall at that end, which was very high, but he turned round when near it and came cantering back again towards the portico, saluted now by a shower of bullets from the enclosures beyond the lodge.
The guard of the portico had some of them clambered on the parapet, while
others unable to restrain themselves ran | roof that the guns were being again outside to watch the event. The lodge- turned on the building; and in a few picket, too, were all standing on the roof seconds the whistle of the shot recomor on the pathway outside, but the enemy for the moment did not heed them.
Again Falkland turned the mare up the park and galloped her to the end and back. She is going more at her ease now, and the rider stoops over to pat her neck as the noble beast settles into her long stride. Now he turns her again, still going at an easy gallop, and describing an arc and bringing her round, puts her straight at the east wall, just above the entrance gap, where it was lowest. The distance is about a hundred yards, but to the lookers-on it seems a dozen times that length, as breathlessly they watch him nearing the wall. Then there is an instant of suspense as the mare rises at the obstacle and clears it gallantly. The leap accomplished, Falkland makes straight forward between the village and the court-house; the former seems alive with men, all firing at him as he shoots by, while a whole platoon is discharged from the men drawn up by the court-house; but the figure of the rider can be made out erect and harmless, galloping over the plain, the danger past, until lost to view in the distance by the intervening trees. "Hurrah! He will be up with the cavalry in no time at that rate, and we shall have them back again in a minute or two." Such are the cries echoed by the spectators of Falkland's successful feat, as they take the news into the building. All is joy again for the moment. It seems as if the relief had
But the minutes pass by, and there are no signs of the horsemen; no dust in the distance marks their return. And now there follows another long pause of dreary heart-sickening suspense. No one can guess what has happened; and the weaker members of the party put vague guesses and questions to each other, which no one can answer, while the sterner ones remain silent. Braddon and Yorke scan the scene from the roof; but the long hours pass by, and no signs can be discerned of relief. Once when Yorke descended to the building he met Olivia coming out of the sick-room, and her sorrow-stricken face told him that she knew of Falkland's departure; but as he advanced towards her she turned a look as of reproach and scorn towards him, and passed suddenly into the ladies' room to avoid him. Alas! thought he, even her firm mind is giving way under these trials, and no wonder.
About four o'clock news came from the
menced, with the accustomed accompaniment of falling masonry, as great pieces of the brickwork fell away under each discharge. Then despair seized upon most of them. This must surely mean that the relieving force has been driven off. A large body of sepoys, too, were seen moving down to join the outposts in the village. This looked as if another assault were intended. There was nothing left now but to sell their lives as dearly as possible.
But half an hour afterwards some of the portico-guard thought they heard musketry-firing in the direction of the city. All ears were turned anxiously in that direction, one or two men being sent outside to hear better. There could be no doubt about it. Nor was it a mere feu de joie, as some said at first; the noise was continuous but irregular, like sharp skirmishing or street-fighting. Hope began to stir again with them. It must surely be the relief coming at last. Falkland is leading an attack upon the enemy from their rear, to clear the city of them. Yes! it must be so. See, the sepoys are being called back from the village, towards the court-house, and the number about that building has diminished; they are evidently being sent forward to defend the city. The guns too have been withdrawn again, and are turned in that direction.
And now the sound of firing gets closer; the attacking party must be gaining ground.
Still the strife proceeds, but as the sun gets low, the sepoys can be seen coming back from the city and forming up irregu larly to the south of the court-house, while some of their leaders are riding about on horseback as if trying to rally them. But it is of no use; they begin to break away by twos and threes and to make for the village again, from the rear of which other stragglers are now running away in the direction of cantonments. There will be no rally in the village, although the place would be hard to carry if well defended. The garrison can restrain themselves no longer; and a party headed by Braddon rush out from the portico, and, joined by those on picket at the lodge, they line the park-wall and fire their last cartridges at the rebels retiring in disorder over the ground in front. This completes the panic. The sepoys, instead of retreating into the village, send back a few desultory shots in reply, and now sheer off behind it to avoid the fire thus opened on them,
leaving a few bodies stretched on the plain. In a few minutes they have all disappeared, and the attacking force is seen emerging from the trees towards the city and advancing in skirmishing order up to the court-house. Amongst them can be distinguished in the dusk an officer on horseback, a European by his helmet. He looks ahead for an instant, and then hearing the cheers set up by the garrison on catching sight of him, gallops up to the gateway, the barrier at which is pulled down by eager hands to make way for his horse, and in another instant he rides among them within, and is surrounded by the excited group, each trying to grasp his hand, while they shout to the others in the building, who with some of the ladies may be seen hurrying down the walk. The siege is over, the garrison is relieved.
The horseman was Kirke. "You thought I meant to go off and leave you in the lurch," he said smiling, in reply to some of the numerous questions with which he was assailed. "We could have come down to the south and cleared the place in a jiffey, I know, but that would have driven the enemy back into the city, and it would have been a devil of a job to dislodge them. No, I determined to take them in rear; and besides, Falkland got news that a large party in the city were prepared to join our side and release the nawab, if we only showed ourselves near the palace, so we thought we had better begin at that end and work downwards; and very well the thing has been done. wish you could have seen my fellows skirmishing through the streets, with nothing but their swords and carbines."
opposition to existing systems of life. It appealed only to men's desire to make the best they could of themselves. It called upon them to know the value of the treasures which were really theirs, but which they had let slip from careless hands. Around them were the riches of the past, the literature and art of Italy's golden days, which a wave of barbarism had scattered and hidden too long from the eyes of Italy's true sons. It was an object worthy of the best energies of the noblest minds to gather together all that could be saved from the wreck, to cleanse the remnants carefully and tenderly from the dirt and rubbish with which they had been encrusted, and then set them lovingly before young minds, which might learn from them all that was noble in the life of the past.
This was the spirit of the early Renaissance in Italy. It had no hidden meaning, it cherished nothing which it need be afraid to tell abroad. It combated nothing in existing systems, because it made no claim to have a system of its own. It went along its own course with a deep belief in man's perfections, and a deep desire to cultivate man's nature into all that it could become.
It is true that a time came when the spiritual enfranchisement brought about by the Renaissance began to degenerate into license. This is a danger which all movements towards greater freedom have always had to face. It is hard to pour new wine into old bottles, and there is always the same twofold danger- that the botItles will burst, and the wine be spilt. It was so with Italy of the later fifteenth century. Spiritual freedom tended to run riot; the self-assertion of the individual loosened the bonds of society; mental subtilty pared away the obligations of morality; religion was threatened with gradual dissolution before the gentle solvent of graceful and playful criticism. Culture had become a source of weakness rather than of strength. The Italian mind had lost its beliefs, and with its beliefs had lost all meaning. Under the hard rule of the foreigner, and under the galling fetters of the old dogmatic system, restored as a harsh despot, and ruling no longer as an indulgent master, Italy was
"And Falkland?" cried the eager group of listeners, who had forgotten him for the moment in the excitement of deliverance; "where is Falkland?"
"Ah!" said Kirke, looking grave as he dismounted. Falkland had been killed, leading the advance through the town. Who will break the news to his wife?
From Macmillan's Magazine.
A SCHOOLMASTER OF THE RENAISSANCE. doomed to learn, by three centuries of
VITTORINO DA FELTRE.
ONE of the chief features of the early Renaissance is its entire simplicity and straightforward earnestness. It was not perplexed by fear lest it might awaken antagonism, for it was not conscious of any
silent suffering, how freedom could be woven into the web of daily life.
Yet her experience had not been in vain. In the long years of her own darkness she still might feel that the torch which she had kindled was blazing steadily, if not brightly, in other more favoured
strove by entreaties to prevail on the avaricious Biagio Pelacane to give him a few lessons for the love of knowledge. In vain he tried to melt him by humility even of
lands. To medieval Italy must all who honour culture turn with unfailing reverence; for she has ever been the home of great interpreters who have revealed man to himself, and have taught him in ever-fering to work out the fees by rendering changing forms to see and know what is menial service. For six months Vittorino the heritage which the past has handed on. acted as his servant, waiting on him at In the higher lines of literature and art table, and washing his plates and dishes; this is perhaps sufficiently felt and has but the proud professor was relentless, been often enough expressed; but in and would have nothing but the money. smaller things it is forgotten. We are ac- Stung by such unworthy treatment, Vittocustomed, for instance, to look for the rino procured a Euclid, and never rested origin of our ideas of education to the till he had puzzled out for himself its congradual progress of society, to the workings tents, and by that means obtained a firm of modern philanthropy or the enlightened hold of the principles of geometry. He teaching of modern science. Education did not, however, wish to use his knowlamongst us has grown slowly to become a edge as food either for vanity or avarice. part of our political life. Its function is What he had so hardly learned he readily held to consist in drilling the young into taught to any who came to him, till his fitness to discharge their duties as citizens. fame spread in Padua and his story became Our highest views of education rarely go known. Pelacane discovered, when it was beyond this. No teacher amongst us too late, that generosity in education is would venture to say that he had no belief the best policy, and that a reputation which in the efficacy of formal outward discipline, wishes to stand upon the exclusive posor of the rigid tests of unbending exami- session of knowledge rests on an insecure nations, but that his aim was to develop footing. He was exposed to ridicule, his with care and tenderness the youthful pupils all deserted him, and he had to spirit into liberty, beauty, and grace. leave Padua for Parma, where he died five years afterwards, in 1416.
It may perhaps be worth while to bring forward from his obscurity, for a little while, a great Italian teacher of the early and unconscious epoch of the Renaissance. Like all men who have been content only to teach without aspiring to literary fame, his name is seldom heard; for his labours left no other fruit than the noble actions of his scholars, which the world claimed for its own and straightway | forgot. Yet his silence might deserve respect. Enough, he said, had been written by those of old; his work was to try and make men understand the meaning of the treasures which they already possessed.
Henceforward Vittorino had a secure reputation in Padua, but he lived as a retired student, teaching a few pupils and ready to assist all who came to him. He knew much, but still was ignorant of Greek, till, in the year 1420, when he was more than forty years of age, he went to Venice to learn Greek from Guarino. In him he did not find another Pelacane but a warm-hearted student, who gladly taught him all he knew, and warmly appreciated his simple moral worth. Vittorino returned to Padua, and was regarded by all with reverence as a prodigy; by his own efforts he had raised himself to the rank of one of the greatest scholars in Italy. He was now past the prime of life and had shown no desire for self-advancement, no interest beyond a genuine love for knowledge. His company was eagerly sought, and his advice reverently asked and listened to. In 1422 the students of the gymnasium besought him to be their teacher in philosophy and rhetoric.
Vittorino dei Ramboldini was born of a noble but poor family in Feltre, in the year 1378. Having a taste for learning, he went to the University of Padua, where he maintained himself by acting as tutor to younger boys while he pursued his own studies. He was not satisfied merely with the ordinary reading for the doctor's degree, but wished also to obtain a knowledge of mathematics, a science then so. At the age of forty-four Vittorino first little known that there was at Padua only became a public teacher, and instituted one professor who was acquainted even that system of education on which his with the outlines. He, moreover, lectured reputation is founded. Having no object publicly on philosophy, and refused to in life except the good of his pupils, he part with his mathematical knowledge, ex-devised the plan of living entirely among cept to private pupils on payment of large them. Accordingly he chose a few, whom fees. These Vittorino's poverty made it he took to live with him in his own house, hopeless for him to pay. In vain he and whose whole life was spent in his