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THE RUSSIAN ATTACK UPON AUCKLAND.

The " Kaskowiski " skit in the Southern Cross has given riss to the following in the Herald % — When the history of that Monday comes to be written on which it was announced that a Russian ironclad man-of-war entered our waters, I trust tbe historian will truthfully narrate the many noble and gallant deeds done by our brave and heroic volunteers. When the martial sounds of the bugle-call were beard summoning the fearless defenders of our hearths and homes to arms, there was a sight witnessed at |!the Albert Barracks which will never be effaced from tbe tablets of men's memories. The historian, if he be truthful and impartial, will relate how, wben the roll-call . was read out, seven meu, wbich included six officers {of the Ilth division bf the first file of the Auckland Unbeatables, answered to their names. Never before did men shake with such terrific indignation.- Indeed they shook so much that their boots wouldn't stop on tbeir feet. But what shall be said of the , remaining ninety-three of tbe Unbeatables, •which also included seventy-eight officers? Why were these lion-hearted men and officers not on the ground ready to resist the advancing tide of foemen in serried ranks? The historian will do these magnificent fellows air the justice their great bravery and daring will entitle them to. He will show how Private Smith could not possibly join in the attack because his fighting breeches were with the tailor, who was putting new stripes down the sides of them. He will relate how the chivalric ßobinson was absent on account of having to convey; the bosom of his family: to the crater of Mount YEden for cdncißalmenfc, i; leav

fork that she might bury tbe prongs of it into her heart and suffer death sooner thon dishonor or the loss of virtue, ?It:will be intimated in brief but graphic language" how Ensign Brown was prevented "Carrying his colors into the midst of the enemy, be, unhappily, that morning having been detained at home by taking pills. It was a noble apology was tbat of Corporal Funky, who would not . have it said of hira on such an occasion that he hat! deserted his mother-in-law in the hour of danger for the mare pleasure of slaughter, even in despite pf her entreaties for hira to leava ber. The reply of Color-private Noodles, when sent for by his commanding officer, was one which only a true hero could have returned. He said, "Tell old Stirrup-irons I shan't come. The fewer there are at the fight tbe more glory and gunpowder there will bo to divide among 'em, and then tbey won't have too much." Gallantly playful, too, was the answer of Corporal Shirk to a similar request. He had ordered, be said, lamb chops and tomatoes for dinner, and he wouldn't D^iss 'em for any amount of bloodshed going. The beautiful discipliue of tbe volunteers holding appointments in the Civil Service was manifested on this trying occasion in an eminent degree. They declined to a man and a gentleman to fight, on tbe ground of having received no instructions from " Heads of Departments." Tbe historian wiil relate all these matters. He will tell how the two brigades of Death and Glory Boys were absent from tbe field that it should not be said to tbeir ahamo that an overpowering force was brought oa to the ground to annihilate the enemy. He will relate in what words, burning with tbo fire of inspiration, the Captain of tho Silver Greys, who mustered four strong in ball costume, addressed his company : " Men of tha Silver Greys," he shouted in stentorian tones, "Now's the day acd now's the hour; see the front of battle lower; are you ready afc command to do your juty ?" When, reversing rifles and putting the muzzles bebiud them, thpy all said as one man, "Wo are." " Then," said their impetuous chieftain, " Threes right about rear; form ambuscade in kilts, and follow me ! " As tbe historian will doubtless relate^ after deploying into line the noble army of Silver Greys marched out to Otahuhu, thinking to decoy the enemy into an ambush, when they would be shot down while entangled among the supplejacks or grazing their shins stumbling over scoria boulders. All men, however, are not warriors. Some are great at diplomacy. When, as the historian will further relate, it was learned that the Russian enemy were upon us, there was a caucus meeting of our leading legislators, besides several of the representatives of the by-laws' committees of tbe City Council, the Inspector of Nuisances the dust contractor, and the contractor for the city watering-carts. By these ifc was thought advisable to make some effort to conciliate tbe enemy. It was known the Russians look upon melted tallow seasoned with Baltic turpentine es a great luxury. One merchant said he had got a few cases of sperm candles afc his disposal which he would be willing to dispose of at a fair advance upon cost and charges if ifc would mollify the enemy and cause the Admiral of the Kaskowhiski to leave the port. His Worship the Mayor said that if this were done he would joyfully lend tbe Russians his stock of frying-pans to cook the caudles in. The proposal was thought to be good when Captain Chapleman of the Naval Brigade was requested to go off in his war-wherry pulled by the naval cadets, w.ith a flag of truce trailing over the lee scuppers, and make the presentation. Tbe gallant and light-hearted captain, however, did not approve of the plan. He stated that if grease would conciliate the Russians be could lay his hand on any amount of ifc. His duty, however, was to fight. As for earring a flag of truce over the lee scuppers of his war- wherry, he would not | so dishonor his wife's white handkerchief which he carried in his pocket, and referring to the naval cadets being allowed to pull off to the enemy, it might be, he thought, contrary to the rules and regulations lately published by the Board of Education. What he would propose in the present emergency was to call .for public tenders for . torpedoes, and when they were accepted and the : torpedoes : ready, he would then propose ailver-" tising fof men willing to place them nlongthe Kaskowhiski, and blow her Jnto, smithereens. The historian will chronicle other matters besides those herein but remotely referred tb. When at last it came to be discovered there was no erieniy' ';to fight, the whole pf the yplunteera shed tears of bitter grief. It had /long bee%the cherished wish of their hearts, they 'said, to have an • opportunity of meeting an; enemy, if only to show thei beauty of tbeir. uniforms. •.. It was; at this juioctura when Private Smith came u p^ . and ' said r '#t had been his Yintentio^ even if he had neither stripes 'nor a seat to Jbis-jjf**^ , ; t;YY. ; ' ;: t ; ;YY r'^£?Y;.X; ;^

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NEM18730401.2.12

Bibliographic details

THE RUSSIAN ATTACK UPON AUCKLAND., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume VIII, Issue 79, 1 April 1873

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1,164

THE RUSSIAN ATTACK UPON AUCKLAND. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume VIII, Issue 79, 1 April 1873

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