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getting his army, the artillery, and part of the train over by daybreak. The attack was a most brilliant and daring one. The Turks advanced as far as they could under cover of their waggons, while the Russians poured in a terrible fire on them from their Berdan breechloaders, scarcely less destructive than the Peabody, and opened on the advancing line with shell and shrapnel. The Turks then did a splendid deed of bravery, only equalled by Skobeleff's capture of the two famous redoubts. Probably finding their cover beginning to fail them, owing to the cattle being killed or getting frightened and running away, they dashed forward with a shout upon the line of trenches held by the Sibrersky or Siberian Regiment, swept over them like a tornado, poured into their battery, bayoneted the artillerymen, officers and men, who, with desperate heroism, stood to their pieces to nearly a man, and seized the whole battery. The Sibrersky Regiment had been overthrown and nearly annihilated. The Turks had broken the first circle that held them in. Had they gone on they would have found two more; but they did not have time to go on. The Russians rallied almost immediately.

"General Strukoff, of the Emperor's staff, brought up the first brigade of grenadiers, who, led by their general, flung themselves on the Turks with fury. A hand-to-hand fight ensued, man to man, bayonet to bayonet, which is said to have lasted several minutes, for the Turks clung to the captured guns with dogged obstinacy. They seem to have forgotten in the fury of the battle that they had come out to escape from Plevna, and not to take and hold a battery, and they held on to the guns with almost the same desperation which the Russian dead around them had shown a few minutes before. Nearly all the Turks in the battle were killed. Those in the flanking trenches open to the Russian fire had of course very little shelter, and were soon overpowered, and began a retreat which, under the murderous fire sent after them, instantly became a flight.

"For four hours the storm of lead swept on, as one hundred guns sent forth flame, and smoke, and iron. During all this time we were in momentary expectation of seeing one side or the other rush to the charge. We could hardly yet realise that this was to be the last fight we should ever see around Plevna, and that when the guns ceased firing it was the last time we should hear them here.

"About twelve o'clock the firing began to diminish on both sides, as if by mutual agreement. Then it stopped entirely. The rolling crash of the infantry and the deep-toned bellowing of the artillery were heard no more. The smoke lifted, and there was silence--a silence that will not be broken here for many a long year, perhaps never again, by the sound of battle. The firing had not ceased more than half an hour when a white flag was seen waving from the road leading around the cliffs beyond the bridge. Plevna had fallen, and Osman Pasha was going to surrender.

Several of the Russian armies of invasion had been placed in jeopardy from deficient numbers and incompetent generals, but now, by the fall of Plevna, 100,000 men were set at liberty for offensive purposes. Besides these, large reinforcements had been brought into the field, and in the latter policy of the Russian wardirection, talent, not favouritism, placed officers in important commands. The Russians having, in fact, completely recovered from the critical position in which their own shortcomings and the successes of the Turks at Plevna in July and September had placed them, were now prepared to prosecute their onward march.

In Armenia the regular siege of Erzeroum had begun about the middle of December. It had not yet shared the fate of Kars, but this was, perhaps, more due to a Siberian severity of the winter than to any very hopeful resistance on the part of the Turks.

In Europe they were abandoning the Quadrilateral, and withdrawing troops from positions they could no longer hope to hold. In fact, while the military power of Russia had been steadily advancing, by raising the decimated corps to their full strength, and by fresh levies, that of Turkey had rapidly declined, and was practically exhausted. They might still successfully defend strong positions, but for them all offensive movements were at an end. The Russian losses had, by Christmas Day, reached a total of 80,435 men, but the losses of the Turks must have been much greater, and 80,000 of their soldiers were prisoners in the hands of the Russians.

Under these circumstances the Porte addressed a Circular Note to the European Powers, and signataries of 1871, defining the situation and inviting mediation. After referring to the origin of the war it said :-"The Imperial Government is conscious of having done nothing to provoke war; it has done everything to avoid it; it has vainly sought to discover Russia's motives in her aggressive campaign. The Porte has shown its desire for improvement by reorganising its judicial system, by devising reforms without distinction of race or religion, according to the Constitution, which has everywhere been well received. . . The state of war

simply retards such reforms and is disastrous to the country generally, destroying agricultural interests, killing industry, and ruining financial reorganisations. Independently of these arrangements for reform, what reason can there be for continuing the war? Russia has declared she is not animated by a spirit of conquest. The military honour of both sides must be abundantly satisfied. What object can there be in prolonging a contest ruinous to both countries? The moment has arrived for the belligerent Powers to accept peace without affecting their dignity. Europe might now usefully interpose her good offices, since the Porte is ready to come to terms. The country is not at the end of its resources, and is still prepared to fight in its own defence; it is ready, moreover, to sacrifice all for the independence and integ

rity of the fatherland. But the Porte is desirous to stop the further effusion of blood, and therefore appeals to the feelings of justice which must animate the Great Powers, hoping they will receive these overtures favourably."

On December 13 the second session of the Turkish Parliament was opened in the Grand Hall of the Imperial Palace. The Sultan said:"I am happy to see around me the representatives of the nation. You know that we have had to defend ourselves in a war declared against us by Russia, and which is still going on. You know that our subjects in the Herzegovina, who enjoyed the privileges of equality and national protection, have entered upon a course of rebellion, and you are also aware of the unjustifiable declaration of war directed against us by the Danubian Principalities. All these events have increased our difficulties in carrying on the war, but no resource has been spared in making a bold front against them. I again appeal to the co-operation and patriotism of my subjects in order to protect, with me, our legitimate rights. The formation of a National Guard, and the readiness of the Christian population to respond to my appeal for their participation in the defence of the country, will be reckoned among the happy events of my reign. It is only natural that non-Mussulmans enjoying equal constitutional rights with their fellow-citizens should be allowed to share the glorious duty of military service, and they will be able to aspire to all ranks in the army. We bitterly regret that war should have delayed the complete application of the Constitution, which is based upon the equality of my subjects, the diffusion of progress and existing civilisation, the application of financial reforms, and consequently the execution of our engagements, the new distribution of the taxes in accordance with politico-economical rules, the carrying out of reforms of the magistrature conformably with the requirements of the age, the reforms of the Vacouf, of the agrarian laws, and the civil and police administration. The war having exceeded all ordinary bounds, many inoffensive inhabitants, including women and children, who are not amenable to martial law, have been the victims of cruel treatment deserving the reprobation of humanity. I hope that the future will not prevent the truth from being made manifest. The laws passed by you last session, with regard to the municipalities of the capital and provinces, and the standing orders of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, have been carried out. We recommend to your attention the Bills prepared by the Council of State respecting civil procedure, the general elections, the powers of the Ministry, the more complete organisation of the provinces, the press regulations, taxation, and the state of siege. We point out that our non-abandonment of internal reforms at a time when we are engaged in war is a material proof of the sincerity of our intention to progress. Inasmuch as the Constitution gives you the right of free deliberation upon questions of policy, of government, and of local interest, we deem it superfluous to give you any further encouragement.

Our relations with friendly Powers continue on an amicable footing. May God bless our efforts!"

With reference to the atrocities that have, more or less, marked the progress of this cruel and desolating war, and about which so many charges and counter-charges have been made, the whole truth is not yet probably known.

There can be no doubt, however, but that the Turkish armies are accompanied by swarms of Asiatic barbarians, whose main objects are plunder and the gratification of their fiendish instincts by every kind of foul and cruel deed; and so every description of horror invariably follows in the wake of Turkish victories. These atrocities, if not perpetrated by the regular Turkish troops, seem to be sanctioned by them, and even by the Turkish Government, as part and parcel of their system of terrorism and revenge.

The Russian army has its Cossacks, whose propensities are probably much the same as those of the Turkish irregulars; but in the Russian army, according to Englishmen and men of other nations whose testimony is above suspicion, atrocities are held in abhorrence, and are, as far as practicable, put down with a strong hand by the Russian officers. On the Russian side such atrocities as have occurred were perpetrated chiefly, if not exclusively, by the Bulgarians. They have been degraded by slavery, and are very much what the Turks have made them, and the best thing about them seems to be that while debarred from all civil rights, they have not been content with a mere material prosperity. While their lives, their property, and their honour were at the mercy of the ruling caste, they refused to sit down contentedly and sell their birthright for a mess of pottage.



Germany: Military Anniversary-Opening of the Prussian Diet-Financial Statements-The Krupp gun- Elections for the German Parliament-Catholic Divisions -Opening of the German Parliament-Speech from the Throne -Prince Bismarck's Speeches-M. Besançon's Speech-Anniversary of the Emperor's Birthday-The Chancellor Crisis-The Emperor's Visit to Alsace-Lorraine-Old Catholic SynodGrowth of Socialism-The Autumn Manoeuvres-The "Kaiser Week" at Düsseldorf-Population and Religious Statistics -Opening of the Prussian Diet, Oct. 21 -Speech from the Throne-Budget-Debate upon Municipal Reform -Ministerial Explanations-Loan Bill-The Emperor's Visit to Silesia-Death of F.-M. Count Wrangel-His Funeral-Death of General Cannstein-Debate on Worship and Education-A Second Chancellor Crisis-Dr. Petri's Speech-Germany as a Naval Power. Austria: Austria's Policy on the Eastern Question-Feeling amongst the PeopleThe Magyars-The People of the South-West-Demonstrations and AddressesKossuth on the Eastern Question-Statements of the Ministers-Presidents-Position and Policy of Austro-Hungary-Public Feeling-Austria decides on Mobilisation -Meeting of the Emperors-Herr Tisza on Austria's Eastern Policy-Status of the Old Catholics-Financial Position of Hungary-Count Andrassy on Austria's Eastern Policy-Debate on Foreign Affairs.

THE year 1877 presented us with a great military drama, in which scenes full of thrilling incidents passed before us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but always exhibiting a ghastly spectacle of mangled humanity, fiendish cruelty, rapine, and lust, until war-and especially a war of races and creeds--stood revealed in all its horror and repulsiveness. In this war, however, and in the great Constitutional struggle in France, the interest of the year centred. The other countries of Europe offered but scant materials for political or domestic history.

The great statesman who was the organiser and reviver of the German Empire, although he sought retirement, and professed to withdraw from an active and ostensible guidance of the constitutional machinery of the State, still remained the ruling spirit and master of its destinies.

In Germany the year 1877 opened auspiciously with festivities and congratulations. The first day of January was the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of the Emperor William's military career; and to commemorate it his Majesty held a reception of the officers of the German army.

The Crown Prince addressed the aged Monarch in a speech of almost Eastern flattery, in which he spoke of him as the type of all soldierly virtues, and the creator of the military organisation which had consolidated Prussia and raised Germany to her former greatness. It was not only the people of Prussia, as formerly, who congratulated him and the army of Prussia, but it was the army and the united races of Germany that brought him homage as a victorious general and the restorer of Germany. Retrospect would carry them back to times of disaster, but it likewise brought to their memory the deeds by which this disaster had been

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