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    Their cannon was both inferior and worse served than that of the English; and when, at one o'clock, the duke began to play on their ranks with his artillery, he made dreadful havoc amongst them. Several times the Highlanders endeavoured to make one of their impetuous rushes, running forward with loud cries, brandishing their swords and firing their pistols; but the steady fire of the English cannon mowed them down and beat them off. Seeing, however, a more determined appearance of a rush, Colonel Belford began to charge with grape shot. This repelled them for a time; but at length, after an hour's cannonade, the Macintoshes succeeded in reaching the first line of the English. Firing their muskets, and then flinging them down, they burst, sword in hand, on Burrel's regiment, and cut their way through it. The second line, however, consisting of Sempill's regiment, received them with a murderous fire. Cumberland had ordered the first rank to kneel down, the second to lean forward, and the third to fire over their heads. By this means, such a terrible triple volley was given them as destroyed them almost en masse. Those left alive, however, with all their ancient fury, continued to hew at[107] Sempill's regiment; but Cumberland had ordered his men not to charge with their bayonets straight before them, but each to thrust at the man fronting his right-hand man. By this means his adversary's target covered him where he was open to the left, and his adversary's right was open to him. This new man?uvre greatly surprised the Highlanders, and made fearful havoc of them. From four to five hundred of them fell between the two lines of the English army. Whilst the Macintoshes were thus immolating themselves on the English bayonets, the Macdonalds on their left stood in sullen inaction, thus abandoning their duty and their unfortunate countrymen from resentment at their post of honour on the right having been denied them. At length, ashamed of their own conduct, they discharged their muskets, and drew their broadswords for a rush; but the Macintoshes were now flying, and the grape-shot and musket-shot came so thickly in their faces, that they, too, turned and gave way. Whilst Charles stood, watching the rout of his army to the right, he called frantically to those who fled wildly by to stand and renew the fight. At this moment Lord Elcho spurred up to him, and urged him to put himself at the head of the yet unbroken left, and make a desperate charge to retrieve the fortune of the day; but the officers around him declared that such a charge was hopeless, and could only lead the men to certain slaughter, and prevent the chance of collecting the scattered troops for a future effort. Though he did not attempt to resist the victorious enemy, which was now hopeless, he seems to have lingered, as if confounded, on the spot, till O'Sullivan and Sheridan, each seizing a rein of his bridle, forced him from the field.
    The fire raged with unabated fury from the 14th till the 19thfive days. Then the city lay a heap of burning ashes. All the wealth which was left behind was burnt or melted down. But there could be no stay at Moscow, for all their provisions had to be brought from distant districts by water carriage in summer, and on sledges in winter. But, as the Russian population had fled, the Russians were only too glad to starve out the French. Not a single article of food came near the place. Alexander returned no answer to Buonaparte's letter. The pledge which he might have made some concessions to redeem had been destroyed by his own orders, and Buonaparte had now nothing to offer worthy of his attention. He and his army were awaiting the attack of the wintry elements to join them in the extermination of the invaders. Buonaparte dispatched General Lauriston to Alexander with fresh offers; but Alexander refused to see him, and turned him over to Kutusoff, who flattered him with hopes and professions of desire for peace, in order to put off the time, for every day nearer to winter was a[48] day gained of incalculable importance. But he said that he must send Napoleon's letter to St. Petersburg, to the Czar, and await his reply. This was on the 6th of October, and the reply could not be received before the 26th; there was nothing for it but to wait, and Lauriston waiteda fatal delay for the French!
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