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incessant cold, derogated in aught from their national fame. From the first struggle on leaving the entrenched camp at Caubul, unto the final catastrophe at Gundamuk, the Afghans were cautious of meeting our fellow-countrymen at close quarters. When they tried the experiment, led by the alluring satisfaction of revelling in Feringhee gore, they found that, although heart-broken and disorganized, the Briton was ever ready to die facing his enemy. Peace to the manes of those maligned and hapless warriors, whose bones are bleaching on every height and valley of that rugged desolation (fit scene for such a catastrophe) which disfigures the face of the country, from the gates of the Bala Hissar to the walls of Jellalabad ! And, peace to the ashes of the worthy and amiable Elphinstone! It rested not with him that, suffering under bodily weakness and worn by mental anxieties in his arduous command, he should have lived to end his honourable days in an enemy's camp. The soldier has no choice but to obey the authority which places him in command, and those authorities are answerable to their countrymen for the selection.
SALE'S DEVOTED BAND.
But the British power fell not with her general and his army. Kandahar was held with security in the iron grasp of Nott.* The little garrison of Khelat-i-Ghilzie held resolutely their post against the repeated and determined attacks of their blood-thirsty foe; and the haughty Akbar, with the bravest of his mountain tribes, was checked in his murderous career under the walls of Jellalabad. The “illustrious garrison" maintained their isolated post against cold, starvation, the overwhelming mass of vaunting Afghans, and against the convulsions of nature when an earthquake cast down their fortifications and left no artificial barrier, beyond their weapons, between the hordes of Afghanistan and Sale's devoted band.
Vain were the efforts made by the Native Infantry Brigade, from Peshawur, to force the passage of the Khyber, for the spirit of those savage mountaineers was roused; every hill was watched with untiring vigilance, and the two
* Ghuzni, with its garrison, under command of Colonel Palmer, fell into the enemy's hands.
THE AVENGING ARMY.
regiments which penetrated to Ali Musjid had little cause to congratulate themselves on their undertaking At length, the “avenging army,” under the guidance of General Pollock, having traversed the Punjaub with rapid strides, arrived at the gorge of the Khyber, and joyfully received the tidings of Jellalabad being still in the hands of Sale.
Resting awhile to give breath to his soldiers, and to see his army properly equipped, the gallant general (armed with full discretionary power from the noble and sagacious Ellenborough, whose strong arm now guided the helm of India) prepared to advance. From every village and fastness of the gloomy Khyber the gathering call had gone forth, and the ready mountaineers hastened to the defence of their hereditary defiles; but their haste was of no avail, for the Britons were advancing to save their gallant countrymen, to retaliate on the authors of the Caubul atrocities, and to rescue their countrywomen from captivity. Advancing, with his main body in the jaws of the defile, whilst his two wings spread over the flanking mountains, General Pollock drove the reluctant Khyberees
GARRISON OF JELLALABAD.
from hill and sungah* of their mountain chain, and, with a trifling loss, stood inside the barriers of Afghanistan, and within a few marches of Jellalabad; but Sale's daring band of warriors had provided for their own safety. Their bastions had sunk into dust before the earthquake, which rolled from the mountains of the Indian Caucasus across the Punjaub and into the heart of India ; but, undaunted in heart and resolution, the garrison of Jellalabad opposed their breasts to the enemy, whilst the workmen repaired the damages: and let Akbar Khan (the treacherous and cold blooded assassin) and the remnant of his twenty thousand companions in arms, bear witness to the unimpaired energy and courage of the garrison of Jellalabad, Heedless of the approaching reinforcements from India, they sallied, scarce two thousand in number, from the gates of their fortress, piercing the centre of the Afghan hosts, where the flashing sabre and deadly bayonet inflicted a partial retribution on their enemies, still reeking with the blood of the Caubul Tragedy.
* The sungah is a stockade of loose stones, thrown up on the hill-side, or crest.
That victory was purchased with the life of the heroic Dennie.* But where, save on the battlefield, should the soldier hope to fall, and when can the dart of death be more welcome to the warrior's breast than when, falling in the arms of victory, he feels the immortal laurel wreath rest lightly on his brow? Maligned by those who were jealous of his fame and acquirements, he fell in the vigour of manhood, and we may sadly concur with the panegyrist of Moore, in exclaiming
“ Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
I can neither envy nor estimate the feelings which must have occupied the hearts of his invidious traducers, (and one especially, high in rank and authority, though ennobled only by name,) when the deeds and fate of the talented and lionhearted Dennie wrung from the senate of England, after his death, that well-merited tribute
* Colonel Dennie, of H. M. 13th Light Infantry, was killed by a matchlock ball from a fort which he stormed when this sally was made.