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sion. There was, though as yet unknown to the French, a magazine of powder in the Kremlin ; besides that, a park of artillery, with its ammunition, was drawn up under the Emperor's window.
Morning came, and with it a dreadful scene. During the whole night the metropolis had glared with an untimely and unnatural light. It was covered with a thick and suffocating atmosphere of almost palpable smoke. The flames defied the efforts of the French soldiery; and it is said that the fountains of the city had been rendered inaccessible, the water-pipes cut, and the fire-engines destroyed or carried off.
Then came the report of fireballs having been found burning in deserted houses; of men and women that, like demons, had been seen openly spreading flames, and who were said to be furnished with combustibles for rendering their dreadful work more secure. Several wretches against whom such acts had been charged were seized upon, and, probably without much inquiry, were shot on
While it was almost impossible to keep the roof of the Kremlin clear of the burning brands which the wind showered down, Napoleon watched from the windows the course of the fire which devoured his fair conquest, and the exclamation burst from him, « These are indeed Scythians !”
The equinoctial gales rose higher and higher upon the third night, and extended the flames, with which there was no longer any human power of contending. At the dead hour of midnight the Kremlin itself was found to be on fire. A soldier of the Russian police, charged with being the incendiary, was turned over to the summary vengeance of the Imperial Guard.
Bonaparte was then, at length, persuaded by the entreaties of all around him to relinquish his quarters in the Kremlin, to which, as the visible mark of his conquest, he had seemed to cling with the tenacity of a lion holding a fragment of his prey. He encountered both difficulty and danger in retiring from the palace; and before he could gain the city gate he had to traverse, with his suite, streets arched with fire, and in which the very air they breathed was suffocating.
At length he gained the open country, and took up his abode in a palace of the Czar's called Petrowsky, about a French league from the city. As he looked back on the fire, which, under the influence of the autumnal wind, swelled and surged round the Kremlin like an infernal ocean around a sable Pandemonium, he could not suppress the ominous expression, “ This bodes us great misfortune!”
The fire continued to triumph unopposed, and consumed in a few days what had cost centuries to raise. “Palaces and temples,” says a Russian author, “monuments of art and miracles of luxury, the remains of ages which had passed away and those which had been the creation of yesterday, the tombs of ancestors and the nursery-cradles of the present generation, were indiscriminately destroyed. Nothing was left of Moscow save the remembrance of the city, and the deep resolution to avenge its fall!”
The fire raged till the 19th with unabated violence, and then began to slacken for want of fuel. Four fifths of this great city were laid in ruins.
IV. - YE MARINERS OF ENGLAND.
THOMAS CAMPBELL was born in Glasgow, July 27, 1777, and died in Boulogne, France, June 15, 1844.
His first poem,
“The Pleasures of Hope," was published in 1799, and was universally read and admired. His “Gertrude of Wyoming" was published in 1809, and was received with equal favor. It contains passages of great descriptive beauty, and the concluding portions are full of pathos; but the story moves languidly, and there is a want of truth in the costume, and of probability in the incidents. His genius is seen to greater advantage in his shorter poems, such as “O'Connor's Child,” “Lochiel's Warning," Hohenlinden,” “The Battle of tho Baltic,” and “Ye Mariners of England.” These are matchless poems, with a ring and power that stir the blood, and at the same time a magic of expression which fastens the words forever to the memory.
The spirits of your
ANN SOPHIA STEPHENS was born in Derby, Connecticut, in 1813. Her maiden name was Winterbotham. She married in 1832, and moved to Portland, Maine, where she edited “The Portland Magazine” and “The Portland Sketch-Book.” In 1837 she removed to New York City, and has since been a frequent and popular contributor to the periodical literature of the country. She has published several separate works, the best known of which is a novel called “Fashion and Famine." An edition of her works was published in 1869 - 70, in fourteen volumes.
HENCE come those shrieks, so wild and shrill
That cut, like blades of steel, the air,
Again they come, as if a heart
Whence came they? from yon temple, where
What hand is that, whose icy press
the altar there.
With pallid lip and stony brow,