« AnteriorContinua »
UNDER Mount Etna he lies ;
It is slumber, it is not death ; For he struggles at times to arise, And above him the lurid skies
Are hot with his fiery breath.
The crags are piled on his breast,
The earth is heaped on his head; But the groans of his wild unrest, Though smothered and half suppressed,
Are heard, and he is not dead.
And the nations far away
Are watching with eager eyes; They talk together and say, “ To-morrow, perhaps to-day,
Enceladus will arise ! ”
And the old gods, the austere
Oppressors in their strength, Stand aghast and white with fear, At the ominous sounds they hear,
And tremble, and mutter, “ At length !”
Ah, me ! for the land that is sown
With the harvest of despair ! Where the burning cinders, blown From the lips of the overthrown
Enceladus, fill the air !
Where ashes are heaped in drifts
Over vineyard and field and lown,
Of the crags that keep him down!
See, see ! the red light shines !
'Tis the glare of his awful eyes ! And the storm-wind shouts through the pines Of Alps and of Apennines,
“ Enceladus, arise !”
The decree of October 1, 1830, ap- Haratsch,-in 1565, at the siege of Malta, proved by a royal ordinance, March 21, -in 1572, in the seafight of Lepanto,-in 1831, created two battalions of Zouaves. many smaller combats at different times, To perceive the necessity for this body defending their land triumphantly in 1775 of troops, to understand the nature of the against the Spaniards under O'Reilly and service required of them, and to obtain Castejon. Hardy and ready they were, a just notion of their important position from the very necessity of the case ; for in African affairs, it will be necessary to they were hated and dreaded beyond glance, for a moment, at the previous measure by the Arabs, and theirs was a history of Algeria under the Deys, and life of constant exertion. Other than especially at the history of that Turkish united they could not be; for they were militia which they were to replace, — a in continual warfare of offence or of debody of irresponsible tyrants, which, since fence; they suppressed rebellion and an1516, had exercised the greatest power archy,—for without a leader and union in Africa, and had rendered their name they had been cut off by the restless foe, hated and feared by the most distant whose piercing eyes watched, and whose tribes.
daggers waited only for the time. In conAlgeria was settled in 1492, by Moors stant danger, they could not sink into that driven from Spain. They recognized a sloth that eats out the heart of Eastern kind of allegiance to the Sultan of Tur- and Southern nations; for it was only in key, which was, however, only nominal; unrest that safety lay ; — he who slumhe appointed their Emirs, but further than bered on those burning plains, no less this there was no restraint on their ac- than the sleeper on Siberian ice, was lost tions. Hard pressed by the Spaniards utterly and without remedy. in 1509, the Emirs sent in haste to Tur- This body of troops, called the Odjack, key for aid; and Barbarossa, a noted pi- elected or deposed Deys at pleasure; the rate, sailed to their help, drove out the Dey, nominally their ruler, was in reality Christians, but fixed upon the Moors the their tool. In one period of twenty years yoke of Turkish sovereignty. In 1516, there were six Deys, of whom four were he declared himself Sultan, or Dey, of decapitated, one abdicated through fear, Algiers; and his brother succeeding him, and one died peacefully in the exercise of the Ottoman power was firmly establish- his governing functions. * In 1629, they ed in the Northwest of Africa. Hated declared the kingdom free from the domby the people of this great territory, both ination of Turkey; soon after, they expelMoors and Arabs, menaced not only by led the Koulouglis, or half-breed Turks, their dissensions, but frequently attacked and enslaved the Moors. Admitting some by the Christians from the North, there of the latter to service in the militia, they was but one method by which the Dey never allowed them to hope for advancecould maintain his power. He formed a ment in the State, or, what was the same large body of mercenary soldiers, drawn thing, the army. Only Turks, or in some entirely from Turkey, united with him. instances renegade Christians, could lead self and each other by a feeling of mu- the soldiers, whom thus no feeling of lo tual dependence and common danger, cal patriotism mollified in their course of and bound by no feeling of interest or savage cruelty, grinding the face of the affection to the inhabitants of the soil.
poor natives till spirit and hope were lost Brave they were, as they proved in 1541,
* Voyage pour la Rédemption des Captifs aux against Charles the Fifth, whose forces
Royaumes d'Alger et de Tunis, fait en 1720. they defeated and nearly destroyed at Paris, 1721.
and resistance ceased to be a settled idea exchange the products of their industry in their minds.
for the luxuries of comparative civilizaNow when the French navy came up tion. As they had the reputation of beto the port of Algiers, June 12, 1830, the ing the best soldiers in the Regency, and unity between the soldiers and their mas- had occasionally lent their services to the ter, Hussein Pacha, was tottering on the Algerine princes, their name was given verge of dissolution ; a plot against his to the new military force ; while, to give life had just been discovered, he had it the character of a French corps, the punished the ringleaders with death, and number of native soldiers received into many who had been concerned in the its ranks was limited, and all its officers, conspiracy felt that there was no safety from the highest to the lowest grade, were for them with him. Beaten constantly required to be native-born Frenchmen. in every skirmish or battle, they conceiv- The service in this corps was altogether ed a high respect for the military genius voluntary, none being appointed to the of the invaders, and, ere the close of the Zouaves who did not seek the place; but summer campaign, offered their services there were found enough young and darin a body to General Clausel; this offering spirits who embraced with enthusiasm he promptly declined, and they thereupon this life, so harassing, so full of privation, withdrew, carrying their swords to the of rude labor, of constant peril. The aid of other powers less scrupulous. first battalion was commanded by Major
The news, however, that the terrible Maumet; the second by Captain DuviviOdjack had offered themselves to serve er, (since General,) who died in Paris, under the French spread a lively terror 1848, of wounds received in the African through the Arab tribes, who, believing service. Levaillant, (since General of themselves about to suffer an aggravation Division,) Verge, (now General of Brigof their already intolerable oppression, ade,) and Mollière, who died Colonel, experienced a sensation of relief and an of wounds received at the siege of Rome, elevation of spirit no less marked, on were officers in these first two battalhearing that the newly formed government had rejected their services. Perceiv- Searcely six weeks had elapsed since ing the fear in which these Algerine Præ- their formation, when the Zouaves took torians were held by the tribes, Marshal the field under Marshal Clausel, marchClausel conceived the plan of replacing ing against Medeah, an important station. them by a corps of light infantry, con- in the heart of Western Algeria. On the sisting of two battalions, to perform the hill of Mouzaïa they fought their first batservices of household troops, and to re- tle, in which they were completely succeive some name as significant as that cessful. They remained two months as a held by their predecessors under the old garrison in Medeah. Here they showed régime. Consequently, after some consid- proofs of a valor and patience most exeration, the newly constituted body was traordinary. Left alone in a frontier post, called by the name of Zouaves, from the constantly in the vicinity of a savage foe, Arabic word Zouaoua.
watching and fighting night and day, leavThe Zouaoua are a tribe, or rather a ing the gun only to take up the spade, comconfederation of tribes, of the Kabyles, pelled to create everything they needed, who inhabit the gorges of the Jurjura reduced to the last extremities for food, Mountains, the boundary of Algeria on cut off from all communications,- it was the east, separating it from the province a rough trial for this little bandful of new of Constantine. They are a brave, fierce, soldiers. The place was often attacked ; laborious people, whose submission to the they were always at their posts; till in Turks was never more than nominal; yet the last days of April they were recalled, they were well known in the city of Al- and the fortress yielded up to the feegiers, whither they came frequently to ble Bey whom the French had decided
to establish there. In June, troubles hav- their subsequent success must be ascribing again arisen, General Berthezène con- ed. In his dealings with the Arabs he ducted some troops of the regular army had shown himself the first who could to Medeah, to which was added the sec- treat with them by other means than the ond battalion of Zouaves, under its gal- rifle or bayonet.* In his capacity of Lieulant captain, Duvivier. On his return, tenant-Colonel of Zouaves he showed the troops were attacked with fury on the talents of a high order. He infused inhill of Mouzaïa, the spot where the Zou- to them the spirit, the activity, the boldaves had in February of the same year ness and impetuosity which he himself so received their baptism of fire. Wearied remarkably possessed, with a certain inwith the long night-march, borne down dependence of character which demanded by insupportable heat, stretched in a long from those who commanded them a resostraggling line through mountain-pass- lute firmness on essential, and a dignified es, the commander of the van severely indulgence on unessential points.t To wounded at the first discharge, they them- the course of discipline used by him, and selves separated, without chiefs, and sur- still maintained in this arm of the service, rounded by enemies, the French troops are due their tremendous working power, recoiled ; when Duvivier, seeing the peril their tirelessness, their self-dependence, that menaced the army, advanced with his and all their qualities differing from those battalion. Shouting their war-cry, they of other soldiers; so that by his means rushed on the Kabyles, supported by the one of the most irregular species of warVolunteers of the Chart, or French Zou- fare has produced a body of irresistible aves, thundering forth the Marseillaise; regular soldiers, and border combats have turning the pursuers into pursued, they given rise to the most rigid discipline in covered the retreat of their associates to the world. the farm of Mouzaïa, where the army ral- The post of Dely Ibrahim was assigned lied and proceeded without further loss to the Zouaves. At this place they were to Algiers. This retreat, and its attend- obliged to work laboriously, making for ant circumstances, made the Zouaves, be- themselves whatever was needed; whethfore regarded, if not with contempt, at er as masons, ditchers, blacksmiths, carleast with dislike, free of the camp. penters, or farmers, — whatever business
But now the losses sustained by the two was to be performed, they were, or learnbattalions began to be seriously felt,-fored to be, sufficient for it. No idlers in the growing hostility of the Arabs ren- that camp, — each must earn his daily dered it difficult to recruit from native bread. What time was not devoted to sources; and an ordinance of the king, labor was given to the practice of arms dated March 7, 1833, united the two bat- and the acquisition of instruction in all talions into one, consisting of ten compa- departments of military science; so that nies, eight of which were to be exclusive- many a soldier was there fitted for the ly European, and two to be not exclu- position he afterwards acquired, of offisively Algerine,- it being required that cer, colonel, or general. To fence with in each native company there should be the mounted bayonet, to wrestle, to leap, at least twelve Frenchmen. Duvivier to climb, to run for miles, to swim, to was called to Bougie ; Maumet was com- make and to destroy temporary bridges, pelled by his wounds to return to Paris; to throw up earth-walls, to carry great Captain Lamoricière was, therefore, ap- weights, to do, in short, what Indians pointed chief of the united battalion, hav- learn to do, and much that they do not ing given proof of his capacity in every learn, — these served as the relaxations way, — whether as soldier, linguist, or ne- of the unwearied Zouaves. To vary the gotiator,— being a wise and prudent man.
* Annales Algériennes, Tom. ii. p. 72. It is to the training the Zouaves received
† Conquête d'Alger. Par A. Nettement. p. under this remarkable man that much of 546.
monotony of such a life, there was enough into Oran. Here they added fresh lauadventure to be found for the seeking, — rels to those already acquired. In the now an incursion into the Sahel, or in- expedition of Mascara, where they fought to the plains of Mitidja, or a wild foray under the eye of the Duke of Orléans, through the northern gorges of the Atlas. they covered themselves with glory; inDay by day progress appeared ; they somuch that on his return to Paris he learned to march rapidly and long, to procured a decree, 1835, constituting the sustain the extremes of hunger, thirst, First Regiment of Zouaves, of two batand weather, and to maneuvre with in- talions, of six companies each, and, should telligent precision ; diligently fitting them- occasion justify the measure, of ten comselves, in industry, discipline, and war- panies. Lamoricière continued in comlike education, for the position they had mand. to fill. Their costume and equipment In 1836 the Zouaves again took the were brought near perfection ; they wore hill of Mouzaïa. This time they razed its the Turkish dress, slightly modified, -a fortifications even with the ground, and dress perfectly suited to the changes of returned to Algiers, where they remained that climate, and without which their during General Clausel's first and unformovements would have been cramped tunate expedition into Constantine, the and constrained. Only the officers re- eastern province of French Africa. In tained the uniform of the hussars, which 1837 the second expedition was made, is rich and easy to wear. The cost of a and in this the Zouaves took part. One suitable Turkish uniform would have been of the divisions of the army was under too heavy for them, besides that the dress the command of the Duke of Némours. of a Turk of rank is somewhat ridiculous. In this division were the Zouaves under Certain officers on the march used, how- Lamoricière, who here showed themselves ever, to wear the fez, or, as the Arabs worthy of their renown. Fighting by the called it, the chechia. Lamoricière was side of the most excellent soldiers in the known in Algeria as Bou Chechia, or regular army, they proved themselves Papa with the Cap, - as he was known bravest where all were brave. They later in Oran as Bou Araoua, Papa with were placed at the head of the first colthe Stick One finds, however, nothing umn of attack. Lamoricière was the first of Orientalism in the regulations of this officer on the breach, and carried all bebody of troops ; not the least negligence fore him. The soldiers whom he had or slovenliness is allowed in the most tri- trained supported him nobly; but when fling detail. In fine, the care, and that they had won the day, they found that descending to note the smallest minutiæ, many companies were decimated, some which brought this race of soldiers to nearly annihilated; numbers of their ofsuch a pitch of perfection, leaving them ficers were dead in the breach. “Those their gayety and sprightliness, and, not- who are not mortally wounded rejoice at withstanding the rigidness of the disci- this great success,” said an officer to the pline, giving solidity and precision to ir- Duke ; and it was a significant senregular troops, was rewarded by success tence.* unparalleled in history. It was the best To form some notion of those troops, practical school for soldiers and officers; among whom the Zouaves showed themand many of the best generals in the selves like the gods in the war of Troy, French army began their military career one anecdote will suffice, chosen from in the wild guerrilla combats or the pa- many which prove the valor of the artient camp-life of this band of heroes. my generally. The rear-guard at Man
Nearly two years had passed away in sourah was under the command of Chanthis training, when Marshal Clausel re- garnier; it was reduced to three hunturned to Africa, and led the Zouaves, * Verbal report of Colonel Combes to the whose fitness for the service he well knew, Duke of Némours, - conclusion.