Young Folks' History of England eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 195 pages of information about Young Folks' History of England.

Now, it seems the Sepoys had grown discontented with the English; and, besides that, there came out a new sort of cartridge—­that is, little parcels of powder and shot with which to load fire-arms.  The Sepoys took it into their heads that these cartridges had grease in them taken from cows, and that it was a trick on the part of the English to make them break the rules of their religion, and force them to become Christians.  In their anger they made a conspiracy together; and, in many of the places in India, they then suddenly turned upon their English officers, and shot them down on their parade ground, and then they went to the houses and killed every white woman and child they could meet with.  Some few had very wonderful escapes, and were treated kindly by native friends; and many showed great bravery and piety in their troubles.  After that the Sepoys marched away to the city of Delhi, where an old man lived who had once been king, and they set him up to be king, while every English person left in the city was murdered.

The English regiments in India made haste to come into Bengal, to try to save their country-folk who had shut themselves up in the towns or strong places, and were being besieged there by the Sepoys.  A great many were in barracks in Cawnpore.  It was not a strong place, and only had a mud wall round; but there was a native prince called the Nana Sahib, who had always seemed a friend to the officers—­had gone out hunting with them, and invited them to his house.  They thought themselves safe near him; but, to their horror, he forgot all this, and joined the Sepoys.  The cannon were turned against them, and the Sepoys watched all day the barrack yard where they were shut in, and shot everyone who went for water.  At last, after more pain and misery than we can bear to think of, they gave themselves up to the Nana, and horrible to tell, he killed them all.  The men were shot the first day, and the women and little children were then shut up in a house, where they were kept for a night.  Then the Nana heard that the English army was coming, and in his fright and rage he sent in his men, who killed everyone of them, and threw their bodies into a deep well.  The English came up the next day, and were nearly mad with grief and anger.  They could not lay hands on the Nana, but they punished all the people he employed; and they were so furious that they hardly showed any mercy to another Sepoy after that dreadful sight.

There were some more English holding out in the city of Lucknow, and they longed to go to their relief; but first Delhi, where the old king was, had to be taken; and, as it was a very strong place, it was a long time before it was conquered; but at last the gates of the city were blown up by three brave men, and the whole army made their way in.  More troops had been sent out from England to help their comrades, and they were able at last to march to Lucknow.  There, week after week, the English soldiers, men

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Young Folks' History of England from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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