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œUt foitfttm Cwresponbtitt.…




LIFE AT NICOPOLIS, The Special Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph writing -from Nicopolis under date June 12, says :— Nicopolis is not in itself an important place. I presume that at one time it had plenty of inhabi- tants; that the village or town, or whatever you please to call the conglomeration of walls and roofs which they dignify by the name of Nicopolis, knew something of the prattle of children and the patter of their little feet; of the songs of the "Moslem and the cry of the muezzin; that some sort of business was occasionally transacted and that when Russian or Roumanian agitation was away from the place, the inhabitants were fairly comfortable and peaceful. I never knew Nicopolis in those halcyon days, never tasted of its hospitality, never learnt its com- forts. To me it was reserved to see it under very much less happy auspices, to wait till its houses were tilled with troops, till its main road had been ploughed up with wheels of artillery waggons, till its.mosques were used as magazines or hospitals, and its frontage on the river had been converted into batteries. Thus it is that the deserted village can never provoke in me such a poem as Auburn received at the hands of Gold- smith. I never had the acquaintance of its school- master—if, indeed, there ever was one here; the village pastor-in other words, the Imam—may have been loved by all or he may have been disregarded by every- body. Our business hereis ratherto wait than to labour. We are still on the tiptoe of expectation for the ivussians,_ uooteci ana spurred, so to speak, ready to spring into the saddle and to do we know not exactly what—perhaps run away-when the enemy comes. Any way, we are waiting for the troops who every now and then make some kind of appearance at the beud of the river opposite. Nor are they altogether idle, apparently. Every now and then a shell comes plump into the place, burrows in the earth, explodes, frightens a lot of men, is replied to by another, and then all is quiet. Or somebody suddenly hears the report of a distant gun. We jump up, get on our horses, ride to the bank and see puffs of white smoke jetting out from the Islas bank. Then come loud reports of guns on our side of the river, and we suppose at once that a general action has begun. Not so. The whole disturbance is occasioned by some attempt of the Russians to run up a battery opposite our position, and place thereon some heavy guns. Our men see this they know the Russians have no business there—they are equally sure that if they do not fire the Russians will come there, even though they have no right to do so, and they therefore blaze away. The fight soon becomes animated. Our men, being excellent shots, send the missiles right into where the enemy is working. Their shells come flying over our heads with a dread- ful shriek, but without doing any very great harm. As the battle continues, now and then an obus bursts near our guns, and a man, or two perhaps, may be seen limping away—or occa- sionally a soldier is seen to fall, never to walk or limp any more. The guns are served with re- doubled energy, our men keeping a sharp look-out so as to fire at the very moment they see the puff of the Russian weapons, in the hope of hitting the Muscovites field-pieces, and dismounting them. In doing this they expose themselves to a good deal of danger, as they do not hesitate to climb up the earth-work and show a good deal more than their fezzes' to the Russian gunners. Bat, happily, the enemy do not seem to be good marksmen, for the fight always ends in the same way—the Russians are compelled to retire and fire a few shets which are not answered, by way of a parting word, and then the men without a word, and certainly without a cheer, make their cigarettes and coffee, and, sitting down on the ground, are at once as quiet and as calm as if they had done nothing at all except give a very unexciting peace salute. All is still once more so we return to Nicopolis, there to combat with the myriads of fleas-"which swarm the place, and to try to write some account of the little—the very little-that is going on. Still, there is now and then a change the troops turn r these again DF the novelty 6i. that are here cha thing at all events to DreaK..uup._ .¡.. And at e vening when the sun is setting, there art the pre- parations for dinner, then the general parade, and the call of the bugler; and, lastly, the three nightly cheers for the Sultan Hamid. Thus day after day passes by, and still the enemy makes no sign. During the last few days, indeed, we have not had even the extra excitement of a gunboat fight. The Russians have, no doubt, their rafts, their pontoons, and other boats all ready somewhere, but they take very good care net to show them. They probably dislike the manner in.which we deal with their boats when we see them on the water, and hesitate before they ex- pose any more to the fire of our little monitors. I fear that some day these same little monitors will come to grief, and that torpedoes will be used against them. But at present the Turkish sailors are doing their best to preserve these valuable vessels.


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.fc.I,■——'■■"1 THE PASSAGE…



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UUstcU.uuous Jntclligiiitt.

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