Imatges de pÓgina
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mated by the appearance of such a reinforcement, was now all on foot; and there being consequently enough to defend the breach, I proposed to the Pasha to get rid of the object of his jealousy, by opening his gates to let them make a sally, and take the assailants in flank: he readily complied, and I gave directions to the colonel to get possession of the enemy's third parallel or nearest trench, and there fortify himself by shifting the parapet outwards. This order being clearly understood, the gates were opened, and the Turks rushed out; but they were not equal to such a movement, and were driven back to the town with loss. Mr. Bray, however, as usual, protected the town-gate efficaciously with grape from the sixty-eight pounders. The sortie had this good effect, that it obliged the enemy to expose themselves above their parapets, so that our flanking fires brought down numbers of them, and drew their force from the breach, so that the small number remaining on the lodgment were killed or dispersed by our few remaining hand grenades thrown by Mr. Savage, midshipman of the Theseus. The enemy began a new breach by an incessant fire

* Mr. Bray was carpenter of the Tigre, and appears to have been a very superior man in every respect to the nerality of warrant officers.

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directed to the southward of the lodgment, every shot knocking down whole sheets of a wall, much less solid than that of the tower, on which they had expended so much time and ammunition. The group of generals and aides-de-camp, which the shells from the sixty-eight pounders had frequently dispersed, was now re-assembled on Richard Cour de Lion's Mount. Bonaparte was distinguishable in the centre of a semi-circle: his gesticulations indicated a renewal of attack, and his despatching an aide-de-camp showed that he waited only for a reinforcement. I

I gave directions for Hassan Bey's ships to take their station in the shoal water to the southward, and made the Tigre's signal to weigh, and join the Theseus to the northward. - A little before sunset, a massive column appeared advancing to the breach with a solemn step. The Pasha's idea was not to defend the breach this time, but rather to let a certain number of the enemy in, and then close with them according to the Turkish mode

The column thus mounted the breach unmolested, and descended from the rampart into the Pasha's garden, wifere, in a very few minutes, the bravest and most advanced among them lay headless corpses; the sabre, with the addition of a dagger in the other hand, proving more than a match for the bayonet. The rest

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retreated precipitately; and the commanding officer, who was seen manfully encouraging his men to mount the breach, and who we had since learnt to be General Lannes, was carried off, wounded by a musket-shot. General Rombaud was killed. Much confusion arose in the town from the actual entry of the enemy, it having been impossible, nay impolitic, to give previous information to every body of the mode of defence adopted, lest the enemy should come to a knowledge of it by means of their numerous emissaries.

“ The English uniform, which had served as a rallying point for the old garrison, wherever it appeared, was now in the dusk mistaken for French, the newly-arrived Turks not distinguishing between one hat and another in the crowd, and thus many a severe blow of a sabre was parried by our officers, among which Colonel Douglas, * Mr. Ives, and Mr. Jones, had nearly lost their lives, as they were forcing their way through a torrent of fugitives. Calm was restored by the Pasha's exertions, aided by Mr. Trotte, just arrived with Hassan Bey; and thus the contest of twenty-five hours ended, both parties being so fatigued as to be unable to move.

Bonaparte will, no doubt, renew the attack, * The late Sir John Douglas, of the Royal Marines.

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the breach being, as above described, perfectly practicable for fifty men abreast; indeed the town is not, nor ever has been defensible, according to the rules of art, but according to every other rule it must and shall be defended : not that it is in itself worth defending, but we feel that it is by this breach Bonaparte means to march to farther conquests. It is on the issue of this conflict that depends the opinion of the multitude of spectators on the surrounding hills, who wait only to see how it ends, to join the victors; and with such a reinforcement for the execution of his known projects, Constantinople, and even Vienna, must feel the shock.

“ Be assured, my lord, the magnitude of our obligations does but increase the energy of our efforts in the attempt to discharge our duty; and though we may, and probably shall be overpowered, I can venture to say that the French army will be so much farther weakened before it prevails, as to be little able to profit by its dearbought victory. "I have the honour to be, &c.

“ W. SIDNEY SMITH. “ Rear-Admiral Lord Nelson."

This despatch is exceedingly well written, and is made singularly graceful by the air of modesty which pervades it. Sir Sidney well understood the nature of the contest, and that to the moral effect of victory or defeat, the loss or the salvation of the miserable heap of ruins called Acre was but as dust in the balance.

Already had the Syrians been so prepossessed with the irresistibility of the French forces—an idea by no means preposterous when the invariable success of these invaders was considered that all efforts of resistance had been paralysed. Had it not been for the stimulating influence of British courage, Bonaparte would have met with no opposition, and he and his generals, there is every reason to suppose, would have been wholly unimpeded in whatever plans of conquest, personal aggrandisement, or political vengeance, they might have concerted.

This British opposition in defence of Acre fell with peculiar and exasperating force upon the commander-in-chief of the republican army. This was displayed by the increased irritability of his temper; and, in the fervour of this very natural vexation, he called for the most cruel sacrifices on the part of his brave followers, and evinced a determination to extend them to the utmost limits of human endurance. We are no depreciators of the extraordinary genius of Bonaparte, nor do we think that, placed in the

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