Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 387 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

The Roumanians were unable to capture the second redoubt, but they managed not only to hold their advanced position before Plevna, but to give material assistance elsewhere in turning the siege into an investment.  On November 21 they captured Rahova, on the Danube, which greatly facilitated operations against the doomed fortress and aided to make the works of the allies impregnable.  In the closing incidents of the investment of Plevna the Roumanians took little or no part in consequence of the position which they occupied.  On the morning of December 10, Osman Pasha made his brave but unsuccessful attempt to break through the Russian lines, a struggle in which both sides performed prodigies of valour.  One whole Russian regiment was annihilated in the effort to check the enemy, whose general was himself wounded; and after having kept the Russo-Roumanian army at bay with an inferior force for more than four months, he was at length obliged to surrender with his whole army.  Here is a glimpse of the final scene, as the wounded hero met his conquerors:—­

’The Grand Duke rode up to the carriage, and for some seconds the two chiefs gazed into each other’s faces without the utterance of a word.  Then the Grand Duke stretched out his hand and shook the hand of Osman Pasha heartily and said:  “I compliment you on your defence of Plevna; it is one of the most splendid military feats in history.”  Osman Pasha smiled sadly, rose painfully to his feet in spite of his wound, said something which I could not hear, and then reseated himself.  The Russian officers all cried “Bravo! bravo!” repeatedly, and all saluted respectfully.  There was not one among them who did not gaze on the hero of Plevna with the greatest admiration and sympathy.  Prince Charles, who had arrived, rode up, and repeated unwittingly almost every word of the Grand Duke, and likewise shook hands.  Osman Pasha again rose and bowed, this time in grim silence.’[192]

[Footnote 186:  Ibid. p. 444.]

[Footnote 187:  Daily War Correspondence, vol. i. p. 485.]

[Footnote 188:  Ibid. p. 487.]

[Footnote 189:  Daily News War Correspondence, vol. i. p. 491.]

[Footnote 190:  Ibid. p. 495.]

[Footnote 191:  Ibid. p. 496.]

[Footnote 192:  Daily News Correspondence, vol. ii. p. 153.]


How easy it is to be magnanimous to a fallen foe; how difficult, with some people, to be honourable in their dealings with an ally, especially if he has been successful where they failed!  The first is a claim of superiority, and the higher the meed of praise awarded by us to the vanquished the greater appears our victory; but the less we admit to be due to our comrade in arms, the greater credit is left for ourselves.  And yet what will be the judgment of posterity upon the conduct of Russia towards her

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Roumania Past and Present from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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