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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Ivan Turgenyev was just entering upon his career



[Sidenote: Gervinus]

[Sidenote: Forecasts of German union]

Germany about this same time lost her great Oriental scholar, F.W. Genesius. Bunsen invented his carbon battery. Gervinus, the banished Hanoverian professor, brought out his History of German Literature, which ended with a stirring appeal for political unity. The same ideal, in a measure, was voiced during the ceremonies commemorating the resumption of work on the great Cathedral of Cologne. King Frederick William IV. of Prussia, fresh from the riots of Berlin, declared: "The spirit that builds this cathedral is the same that has broken our chains, and the disgrace of foreign domination over this German river--it is the spirit of German strength and unity." Even Archduke John, the uncle of the Emperor of Austria, proposed this toast: "No Austria, no Prussia; but a great united Germany--firm-rooted as her mountains."

[Sidenote: Reforms in Russia]

[Sidenote: Gogol]

[Sidenote: Turgenyev]

In Russia, a concession to modern ideas was made by Czar Nicholas, in his ukase of April 14, permitting the great landholders to liberate their serfs. Another imperial ukase deprived the Roman as well as the Greek clergy of all church lands upon condemnation proceedings and money payments by

the government. Russian literature, notwithstanding the strict censorship, flourished during this period. A new source of poetry was discovered by Koltsov in the Slavic folk songs. Griboyodov's new comedy, "Gore Ot Ouma" (Too Clever by Half), had already become one of the stock pieces. The success of this play was rivalled by Gogol's comedy, "The Revisor." In 1842, this same writer brought out his celebrated romance, "Dead Souls." Ivan Turgenyev was just entering upon his career.

Toward the close of the year new troubles broke out in Spain. In November, a popular insurrection at Barcelona was joined by the National Guards. Following upon a bitter fight in the streets of the city, on November 15, the Guards retired into the citadel, where they held their ground. After one month's stubborn resistance there, they were subjected to such heavy artillery fire that they were glad to surrender to Espartero's government forces on Christmas Eve.


[Sidenote: Napier's desert march]

To carry on the British war with Afghanistan it was necessary to pass troops through Scinde. The Ameers remonstrated. Emaun-Ghur, in the Desert of Beluchistan, was a stronghold where the Ameers could gather a numerous army unobserved by the English. Sir Charles Napier determined to strike for this point with a small force, capable of speedily traversing the desert. On the night of January 5, he commenced his perilous adventure. With 360 Irish soldiers on camels, with 200 of the irregular cavalry, with ten camels laden with provisions, and with eighty carrying water, he set forth.

[Sidenote: Emaun-Ghur reduced]

[Sidenote: Battle of Meanee]

When the fortress, which no European eye had before seen, was reached, it was found deserted. Immense stores of ammunition had been left behind. Napier mined Emaun-Ghur in twenty-four places, and blew up all the mighty walls of its square tower. After great privations on the march back, Napier and his men rejoined the main army on the 23d near Hyderabad. The Duke of Wellington said that the march to Emaun-Ghur was one of the most arduous military feats of which he knew. On February 12, the Ameers at Hyderabad, who, according to the British Resident himself, had been "cruelly wronged," came to terms. On the day after their apparent submission the British Resident, Major Outram, was attacked by the infuriated Beluchees. With a hundred followers he barely succeeded in fighting his way through to two British war steamers lying in the river. Napier, with his 2,600 men, now moved against the Beluchee army, numbering nearly 10,000. On February 17, the day of the battle of Meanee, Napier wrote in his journal: "It is my first battle as a commander. It may be my last. At sixty it makes little difference what my feelings are. It shall be do or die." It proved an all-day fight. Most of the white officers fell. In the end, Napier closed the doubtful struggle by a decisive cavalry charge. The Sepoy horsemen charged through the Beluchee army and stormed the batteries on the ridge of the hill of Meanee.

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