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and overcome with heat, threw off all vielkieh,) fought on the 30th of March, unsurpassed in the annals of warfare for proved that the hopes the nation reposed its bloodshed and the bravery of a free in the talents of Skrzynecki were well people. Twenty thousand Russians and grounded. All the details of the action five thousand Poles strewed the earth, a were arranged by the Commander-in-chief terrible holocaust to freedom. The fight himself: the result of which was, that the was so close that there was not a single enemy lost, in dead, wounded and prison. general or staff officer who had not his ers, about 10,000 men and 22 cannon. horse killed or wounded under him. The Poles suffered only the loss, in killed More than a tenth part of the army were and wounded, of about five hundred. slightly wounded, though not disabled It is not our design to enter into from service, and two-thirds, at least, of a particular account of all the battles the officers, and probably the same pro- that were fought, but simply to state the portion of the soldiers, had their clothes result of them. In the spring the Lithupierced with balls.
anians arose, and though few in numThis battle first brought the merits of bers and badly equipped, fought successJohn Skrzynecki (Skrjin-ets-kie) into fully against a superior force of veteran view. Prince Radziwil took his respon- troops. A band of two hundred boldly şible trust upon condition that he should advanced against an army of five thou. be allowed to resign it, as soon as the sand men, supported by twelve cannon field of action should discover a genius and defended by the walled city of Wil. equal to the task. The Prince resigned na, and overthrew them. his office of commander-in-chief, and General Dwernicki (Dver-nits-kie,) General Skrzynecki, on the 27th of Feb- with his corps, in the south of Poland, ruary, was appointed by the Diet in his performed prodigies of valor, and the place. The success of the battle and the cause of independence went gloriously choice of this General filled the nation on. Up to the battle of Iganie, which with the highest joy. The youth from took place on the 9th of April, tifteen all quarters of Poland flocked to join the great battles were fought, in which the national standard, and the people were enemy lost nearly fifty thousand men, flushed with the hope of success. Many without winning a single one,
All this laid their fortunes on the altar of their time, the Polish army consisted of nearly country, and ran to sacrifice their lives. fifty thousand men, with a hundred and
The following anecdote will show how forty cannon, while the enemy had been much General Skrzynecki was beloved reinforced with forty thousand fresh by the army. While inspecting the 7th troops. regiment of infantry, he noticed a soldier The first and only defeat in the whole who, having not yet entirely recovered war that the Poles suffered, was that of from his wounds, had his head bandaged. Kazimierz, in the early part of April, “ My dear comrade,” said he to the sol- where, after hard fighting against thrice dier, “why have you left the hospital in their own number, the small corps of the such a state ? You had better return im- intrepid General Sierawski (Sieh-ravmediately.” The soldier answered, “Gen- skie) were compelled to abandon their eral, I have heard of your courage and position, though they retired in perfect your achievements, and how much you order. Still, this defeat deranged the plans are beloved by the nation, and I could of the Commander-in-chief, and thus had not refuse myself the satisfaction of be an unfortunate effect upon the final issue ing present at the first fire under your of the war. command; and in which I hope the Polish The battle of Ostrolenka, on the 26th army will be victorious.” Skrzynecki, of May, 1831, one of the fiercest which embracing the wounded patriot, exclaim- took place, showed that the Polish arm ed, “ With such soldiers to command, I was yet strong. The two armies were need have no fear that I shall fail to sup- led by their generalissimoes in person; port the honor of my country!"
but while Diebitsch was borne about in Every step that the new Commander an easy carriage, Skrzynecki fought on in-chief took was marked by energy; the foot with bayonet in hand, together with organization of the army went on rapidly; General Pac (Pats). It was a sultry the fortification of Warsaw, also, was day, and made still more so by the clouds prosecuted with vigor; and victory every- of smoke that curtained in the hosts; and where perched on the Polish standard. after struggling heroically for several The baitle of Demby-Wielkie (Demby. hours, the Poles, panting from exhaustion
their accoutrements and superfluous cloth- stated to the committee under an oath of ing, and seizing the naked bayonet, bore secrecy, that the French and English down with their terrible front on the cabinets gave him assurances of being inRussian lines. Then commenced one of terested in the Polish cause, and that in those desperate hand-to-hand fights, so two months everything would be settled in fearful to witness. On one side were its favor-time alone was necessary, and patriotic devotion and the enthusiasm of that he should not risk a battle. The a noble cause on the other overwhelm- Poles were yet able to fight, and could ing numbers and the discipline of veteran beat the enemy, had it not been for this troops; and when they closed with the wily diplomacy. Russia duped both the bayonet the struggle became terrific. The French and the English cabinets by fair clatter of steel was heard above the roar promises, or they both must be considerof cannon, as with their flashing eyes ed as villainous accomplices in a conbent in wrath on the enemy, and their spiracy against Poland. At the same measured tread shaking the ground over time the Diet deposed Skrzynecki and which they passed, those determined nominated, pro tempore, in his place Poles pressed steadily on. Nothing could General Dembinski, who had returned withstand their shock-over artillery, covered with laurels from an expedition infantry and all, they swept like the in- into Lithuania. This General, for a disrolling tide of the sea, and the bloody tance of several hundred miles, (from the field was won. Nine thousand Russians, gulf of Riga to Warsaw,) and for twenty covered with blood and dust, and tram- days, cut his way through the enemy, pled to the earth, marked their terrible steadily continuing his march, though path over the field; and there also were surrounded by a superior force and conscattered three thousand Polish martyrs stantly exposed to their murderous fire, among whom were numbered the gallant and arrived at Warsaw early in August, Generals Kicki (Kitskie) and Kaminski just at the time of this awful crisis in the (Kham-inskie). It was at this battle that fortunes of Poland, and was soon after General Bem, at the head of his park of nominated Commander-in-chief. artillery, displayed his genius and won General Krukowiecki (Kroo-kov-yetsan immortal name. After the battle, kie) was chosen President of the Gov. Diebitsch withdrew with his army to: ernment, but with the powers of a Dictawards the Prussian frontier, where he re tor. This was the most unfortunate step ceived supplies from Prussia, and where that the Diet took. This base man behe lay inactive till death overtook him trayed his trust; he played into the hands on the 10th of June.
of the enemy, and was not detected till it The disarming of the corps of General was too late to counteract his intrigues, Dwernicki (Dver-nitskie) by the Aus- for the enemy was at the gates of War. trians, the misconduct of the Generals saw. By his artifices, he tried to induce Gielgud and Chlapowski (Klap-ovskie) the Diet to sign the capitulation, but it in Lithuania, who entered Russia with refused to the last. their forces, and the discovery of a Rus On the 6th of September, at eight in sian conspiracy, in which General Ian- the morning, the enemy advanced to kowski (Yan-kov-skie) was implicated, storm the city. Prior to this, Krukow. damped the hopes of the Poles, and in iecki weakened the garrison by sending the frenzy of despair they even suspected away 20,000 troops. At 10 in the morntheir beloved Skrzyneckiand Czartoryski. ing, the Diet assembled and continued
Aster Count Paskievitch succeeded Die- their deliberations amidst the roar of canbitsch in the command, under the protec. non. tion of the Prussian frontier, he crossed The garrison, in spite of the traitor the Vistula and encamped on its left Krukowiecki, bravely defended the city. bank, and soon was within a few hours' On the following morning (the 7th) Pasmarch of Warsaw. This alarmed the kievitch summoned the place to surrennation. The people and the army, who der ; but receiving cannon balls for his were kept inactive, were exasperated, answer, he pressed forward. Until eleven and many persons fell the victims of their o'clock at night, the horrors of battle consuspicion.
tinued to rage. Emboldened by the A committee was appointed by the Diet nearer approach of the enemy, the Gento inquire into the conduct of the Com. eralissimo atttempted to coerce the aumander-in-chief, who was found inno. thorities into a surrender, and endeavored cent. His reasons for inactivity were, as to com pel Count Ostrowski (Os-trov-skie)
as Marshal of the Diet, to sign the capi. solemn promises of good treatment, they tulation. “ You may murder me,” an were fired upon and brutally massacred swered the noble Marshal with indig. by these civilized barbarians ! They nation, “ but as I have no Russian blood even resorted to starvation to induce the in my veins, I will never sign this capi- Polish soldiers to return to the tender tulation.” Now Krukowiecki's conduct mercies of Russia ; and they actually, by was intelligible; he was deposed, and force and persuasion, after they separated Bonaventura Niemojowski (Nieh-mau- the officers from the troops, drove the yov-skie) succeeded him as President of latter into Russian dominions, where the National Government.
they were impressed into service, and The city was found on fire in several sent into Caucasian deserts. After the places, and to save it, the capitulation Poles were disarmed all the arms were was signed, by which the Polish troops given up to Russia by the Prussian au. were to evacuate Warsaw. The army, thorities. Such was the fate of this accompanied by the authorities and the corps. principal families, then left the city for General Rozycki (Ro-zits-kie), at the Modlin. The Russians, having lost head of his corps, retreated figbting into 25,000 men before the walls, entered the Cracow territory, and so did General Warsaw without the confidence of con- Romarino, where they both were dis. querors, while the Poles left it full of armed by the Austrians, and sent into the hope soon to drive them out—the mili- interior of their dominions. This haptary bands playing as they went the na- pened towards the end of September. tional air, “ Poland is not yet lost!” Thus, more than 50,000 men, with arms Krukowiecki, who remained to welcome in their hands, were constrained to the enemy, received the proper reward abandon the Polish territory. The forfor his services-he was sent into Siberia. tress of Zamosc (Zam-ostz) held out to
The head-quarters were established in the last, but it had to submit in the latter Modlin, and General Rybinski (Rib-ins- part of October ;-and, skie) was nominated general-in-chief. The unfortunate course that the cause of “So all this gallant blood has gushed in vain! the Polish nation took from this time, is And Poland, by the Northern Condor's beak rather unaccountable. True, the capitu- And talons torn, lies prostrated again. lation of Warsaw enervated the moral 0 British patriots, that were wont courage of the nation; the faith in suc speak cess was shaken, but yet there was lack Once loudly on this theme, now hushed or neither of numbers nor of stout hearts.
meek! General Rybinski, at the head of O heartless men of Europe-Goth and
Gaul ! 20,000 men, fought 40,000 Russians while retreating towards the Prussian Cold—adder-deaf to Poland's dying shriek!
That saw the world's last land of heroes frontier, and there met by 20,000 Prus
fallsians, saw himself obliged to surrender The brand of burning shame is on you his arms into the hands of that perfidious all-all-all !" power. When thus disarmed, and after
A GENIUS is expected by many, per- wild and melancholy in appearance; haps most of the world, to look and act strange and careless in dress; painfully very differently from the rest of mankind. awkward in his movements; eccentric in Indeed, unless a man of great talent be all his habits of life; at times childishly remarkably large or small, or have such simple, at others absurdly assuming in a physiognomy as was never before seen manner; distrustful of kindness, but inor heard of, or behave in such a manner tolerant of neglect; himself revering noas would make his company intolerable, thing, yet claiming all deference to himunless he were that much talked of but self; believing the enemies whom he rarely recognized thing—a genius-his despised, when they maligned the friends hope of appreciation by the mass, in his whom he respected; living in want and own day and generation, would be, in pleading penury when possessed of the most cases, vain. The eccentricities means of comfort; affecting and seeming of genius, as they are called, are so at times to despise rank and wealth, and looked upon as a necessary attendant, if yet eagerly seeking the notice of the not an essential part of it, as to be con one, and possession of the other; it sidered an unfailing index of its existence. seems only necessary that he should be So, but with more reason, miners tell a musician, and deal, to fill up the meathe presence of rich iron beds by the dis sure of strangeness and inconsistency in coloration and fetid odor of the water his character. No one, who has underspringing from the soil.
stood and properly felt his music, can be That some men of genius have been for a moment dissatisfied with his por. peculiar in person and eccentric in man- trait. The massy forehead and ponderner, there is no doubt; but there is as ous brow, the flood of wild, disheveled little doubt that their peculiarities and hair, the gloomy eye, gazing intensely eccentricities have been greatly exag- into vacancy, and the strongly marked gerated by their Boswells, and again as mouth, where determination and scorn, Jittle, that of men of genius, there have wit and melancholy, seem striving for been comparatively few, very few, dis- the mastery, are fair exponents of the tinguished for eccentricity or personal man and his works. peculiarity. Personal beauty of a high Schindler, his incompetent biographer, order is the only external characteristic says of him, that he possessed 100 much which appears to belong to them as a genuine religious feeling to believe that class. The general belief on the subject Nature had created him to be a model seems naturally accounted for by the fact, for future ages, as many would have perthat the peculiar habits of men of mark suaded him ; speaks of him as living in are as apt “ monstrari digito" as their another world, though existing in this; persons, and that which would be un- compares him to a child, to whom every heeded or frowned down in others, is external influence gives a new impulse, sought out and tolerated, if not admired, and who turns a willing ear to flattery, in them. Most men paint for themselves because incapable of estimating the moan ideal head of the great creative minds tive of the fatierer. “Beethoven,” says with whose works they are familiar, he, “well knew and always respected and, doing so in conformity with the no- the motto, Palmam qui meruit ferat. His tions of which we have just spoken, most upright, impartial mind led him to bestow are disappointed on meeting with the por- the most unequivocal approbation on traits of those whom they have thus de- foreign talent. He always bore in mind picted to themselves.
that a Mozart had preceded him, and that There has probably never lived a more another might follow him. He ever chermarked exception to these observations, ished high expectations of the future, for one who, in his mode, life and personal he fervently believed in the omnipotence appearance, more completely satisfied the of the Creator, and the inexhaustibility of general requirements as to men of ge- Nature.” And then breaking out into nius—than Ludwig von Beethoven, the the superlative of eulogy, he says: “Oh! deaf composer of Bonn. Short in stature; how great was Beethoven as a man !
Whoever learned to know him on that and man, and the biographer who gilds side, and was capable of comprehending the vices of his subject by the glory of and judging, not only of his mighty his works, is guilty as false himself to genius, but also of his noble heart, will the trust he has received, and as an ennot fail to place the moral man, if not courager of those who follow him to above the great composer, at least on the make their talent an excuse to them. same level with him.”
selves for the sins whose guilt it really A very strange appreciation of Beetho- deepens. ven's character this, even taking the very From these remarks it must by no partial and prejudiced biography which means be gathered that Beethoven was a Schindler himself has produced, as giv. man of vicious life. Far from it. Ining the true points of that character. deed, had he been guilty of great crimes, Dazzled by the halo of glory with which urged on thereto by strong passions; he justly circles the head of the com had he been the wayward thing which poser, his biographer is blind to the genius sometimes is, his failings could distorted features of the man, drawn have been passed by in that charity by his own unconscious and unwilling which beareth all things, believeth all hand.
things, and hopeth all things. But this In considering the compositions of any was not the case. It is from the tone of mighty master, if we meet that which is his whole life and character, that we endissonant to our ears and incomprehensi- ter our objection to the eulogy of his ble to our minds, we may bow in sub- biographer. No; Beethoven mission to the greatness of his genius, mighty genius, but not a noble heart; a believing the fault in ourselves, and feel he was a great composer, but not a great ing that which is chaotic confusion to us, man; for his mind lacked integrity, and is clear and regular to him. For not all, his heart charity. Self was the inspiraeven of the cultivated, have that natural tion of the one, and the idol of the other. organization which necessitates the sus Shut out during the whole of his life ceptibility requisite to the perfect appre- from that rude contact with the world, ciation of the most elevated creations of which destroys the freshness, the purity, art. And if it be true that, “in art the and the confidence of youth, but which it great is not for all,” still more is it true is one of the highest attributes of genius to that “all are not for the great.” For, preserve through life in unfading integthough in the loftiest creations of the rity, he seems to have been always disgreatest minds, there is a simplicity trustful of those around him, always which makes them felt, even if not com- selfish, always egotistical, and never to prehended, by the lowliest minds; and have had the least consideration for the though this very simplicity is one strong feelings of others. proof of their greatness, still there are Beethoven was born at Bonn, in the some of their productions which are only year 1770, and passed his life in that city for the cultivated and refined—some ora and in Vienna, where he composed all his cles uttered in a tongue known only to great works, and where he died. His muthe initiated, because only to the initiated sical education he received from Haydn, are they addressed; and it may be, some Mozart, Albrechtsberger and Salieri. uttered only for their fellow-prophets, and That is, he was the pupil of each one of comprehensible only by them. This is these for some time, for he was too selfeminently the case with the works of willed to learn anything of anybody, and Beethoven. He is not always lucid, and this trait of his character was evident, though we should recollect that he is not only in music, but in all the affairs of great, not by reason of, but rather in spite life. He yielded nothing, either upon of, his occasional want of clearness, yet persuasion, reason or compulsion. His there is no composer, save perhaps Han- whole life as an artist and a man seems del, who requires to be read and heard to have been the assertion of his own indiwith such implicit faith, and such distrustviduality, the enforcement of his own will of self. But though the works of a great and caprice. Wegeler, who knew Haydn, author
may be regarded in this all trust- Albrechtsberger and Mozart, remarks ful light, his life cannot claim the same that “ each said Beethoven had always immunity; still less should his vices or been so obstinate and self-willed, that his failings be considered as necessary his own hard experience often had to adjuncts to his genius. The possession teach him those things, the study of of genius adds to, not diminishes, the which he would not hear of;" and Beetaccountability of its possessor to God hoven himself said-when Haydn, proud