Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh you scoundrel!


The Colonel immediately raised his cane and,
shaking it at the soldier, called out, "Oh you scoundrel!"

The above illustration is taken from the article on Abercromby Expedition to Egypt in 1801 and describes an incident where a French skirmisher made so bold as to fire on a British officer shortly after alighting from his landing craft.

One of the other aspects of the article that really appeals to me is that the author makes every effort to sound like an objective and disinterested historian during the opening section, but as soon as bayonets cross he begins to lose the run of himself. No longer does he state that the French artillery opened fire on the British infantry as they reached the shingle or that the French cavalry attempted a charge before the Guards could form square, it's "...the French artillery began to fire on our line, " and "our lads began to fall and we strove forward through the fire and cleared the breastwork with the bayonet." I can see him getting excited and blotting his manuscript as the prose rushes on.

I'm utterly charmed.

1 comment:

  1. Completely unrelated, Conrad, but a book I know you'd enjoy is The Ascent of Rumm Doodle". It's an absolute hoot and right up (down?) your street.