« AnteriorContinuar »
The Old Letter,
ART MISCELLANY, 141-143; 271-272; 527-528.
SCIENCE MISCELLANY, 137-141; 269-271; 398-
Song for the New Year,
[The French and English histories of this im war. Many soldiers and sailors of all portant war have been before the world for a considerable time, and so essentially differing in many dividual act of heroism might be singled
ranks did their devoir bravely; many inparticulars as to call for an umpire to reconcile condicting authorities. General Todleben's masterly out for unqualified praise. There was work, therefore-a clear and able review of which no lack of zeal, courage, or devotedness we here present to our readers—will be welcomed in either of the armies engaged, nor in by all students of history who wish to arrive at their chiefs; but (blunders apart) they the truth. It will be seen that the Russian version quite often differs from Mr. Kinglake's history, proceeded regularly and systematically, and sides with the French view.—Ed. Eclectic.) without one original conception, with
out one flash of light; whilst TodleIt is an old maxim, that occasions ben, with his combinations of earthworks, make men, yet it is an indisputable fact changed the entire face of things at the that the Crimean War produced only one very crisis of the enterprise. And this mau of genius, founded only one high and he did, after a calm survey and careful darable reputation, and added only one calculation of the respective means and inrention or discovery of magnitude to resources of the assailants and the assailour preexisting knowledge of the art of ed. It is both fitting and fortunate, there
fore, that he should be selected by the Déjense de Sibastopol. Ouvrage Rédigé sous Russians to write or edit their version la Direction du Lieutenant General Todleben, Aide of the events which the cultivated world de-Camp Général de S. M. I Empereur. Tome I.
, have hitherto been obliged to learn alPremière Partie. Tome II., Seconde Partie. Quarto, pp. 720. Saint Pétersbourg: Imprime- most exclusively from French and Engrie N. Phieblin et Cie. 1863.
lish histories; histories differing so essenNEW SERIES—VOL. I., No. 1.
tially, that a mediator of authority will point of view; a course of proceeding be gladly welcomed by readers of all which we are led to adopt, as well by countries who are not uiterly indifferent the preëxisting lack of information from about the truth.*
Russian sources, as by the form and Questions of conflicting evidence exer- character of the book under review. The cise a kind of fascination on the mind, promised English version seems to be ininspiring a lively interest quite independ- definitely postponed ; and the circulation ently of their inherent importance; and of the French edition now before us as the controversies raised by M. Bazan- (price, when completed, from fourteen to court and Mr. Kinglake largely affect sixteen guineas) will certainly be confined both national rivalries and personal char. to a small and select class. * acter, it would be passing strange if It will be remembered that all public either Frenchmen and Englishmen, so documents bearing on the subject have recently engaged in animated competi- been placed at the disposal of the editor; tion, bad suddenly become cold to the that he has been allowed to select his resulting glory or shame. Was the bat. assistants from the army list; and that tle of the Alma decided by the British the whole expenses of the work are deadvance against the Russian right and frayed from the imperial treasury. It is centre, or by the turning movement of therefore, to all intents and purposes, an the French ? Was it the British or the official publication, as was M. de BazanFrench commander who shrank from court's; and this we conceive to be a carrying out the expedition as a coup de most material deduction from its authormain? Which of them hesitated to ity. Giving General Todleben full credit attack the Northern Forts on the land for independence of spirit, love of truth, side ? Who suggested or urged the flank and the best intentions, he is still the march? Who declined the proposal for organ of an autocrat; he is writing (so an assault when the formidable Nalakoff to speak) in the fetters of authority; he was an easily accessible and half-fortified is safe from domestic criticism ; and untower? Who bore the brunt of those less his narrative had been approved by terrible morning hours at Inkermann ? his imperial employer, it would have been And who, all things considered, contrib- suppressed. There have arisen obvious uted most to the final triumph of the causes whilst the work was in progress Allies? We are not going to reöpen or for giving it a tone not disagreeable to reärgue any of these questions, although the French; and national vanity might we may inadvertently throw light upon coöperate with policy to confirm the them as we proceed. We propose to ciaims to superior prowess put forth by place ourselves as nearly as we can in the or on behalf of our allies. If at Alma or position of the Russians, and describe the Inkermann they took an equal sbare with main features of the siege from their the British in the fight, so much the
more glory would accrue to the van*“ Francis Todleben, whose name was to be quisbed, whom (it would thus be made at the commencement of his military career when to appear) nothing less than a series of the Eastern war broke out, It is to this war, combined efforts by the opposing armies and the inexhaustible genius he displayed in his could bear back. We never yet met obstinate defence of Sebastopol, that he owes the with a French account of Waterloo in elevated rank he now holds.
which the Prussians did not figure as “Son of a merchant of Mittau, Todleben was born on the 25th May, 1818. After having com
the real victors; and if we are to put pleted his studies in the schools of Riga, he was faith in M. Thiers, the Spaniards in the admitted into the College of Engineers at St. Petersburg. At the beginning of the war, he * The maps and plans (eighteen in number) are was only second captain of engineers: he distin. on the largest and most expensive scale, but they guished himself under the orders of General are neither so manageable nor so clear as those Childers, and was then sent to the Crimea. In prepared by the Topographical Depot to accomless than a year he passed successively through pany the English Journal of Engineers' Operations the grades of captain, commandant, lieutenant- before Sebastopol. There is a corresponding colonel, adjutant-colonel, marshal de camp, and French work, entitled Journal des Op'rations du adjutant-general, and received from his sovereign Génie, publié avec l' Autorisation du Ministre de la the highest marks of esteem and consideration." Guerre. Par Le Général Niel. Avec un altas -Bazancourt, vol. ii. p. 8. He is uniformly in folio de 15 planches. Paris : Libraire Mili. named Lieutenant-Colonel in his book.