BETA

Algiers.

The invasion of the Algerine terri-
tory by the French, is one of the most
remarkable evidences that nations are
not to be taught either common justice
or common sense by suffering. We
there see France, after five-and-twenty
years of national misery, taking the first
opportunity to rob and shed the blood
of her neighbours. She had no more
cause of war against the Algerines
than against the Antediluvians ; but
it occurred to her imbecile Govern-
ment that she wanted “ glory,” and
to her insane people that glory was to
be found in cutting the throats of
Turks and Moors, unfortunate enough
to live in a territory where she ex-
pected to find land cheap, dollars at
the sword’s point, and triumph for
nothing.
Providence, it is true, often lets
fools and villains take their way ; but
perhaps there never was an instance,
not excepting Napoleon’s own, where
the punishment of the original culprits
followed, with such distinct, complete,
and immediate vengeance on the
crime.
Within a twelvemonth, the Govern-
ment which had formed this atrocious
project was utterly extinguished ;
Charles the Tenth and his dynasty
driven from their throne, and exiled
from the land for life ; —his Ministry,
the Polignacs and their associates,
thrown into a long and severe impri-
sonmment, a fate singular among all the
changes of European cabinets, and
after narrowly escaping the scaffold,
also exiled for life ; Marmont, the
cheif military councillor of the King,
forced to fly from France, and never
daring to return ; Bourmont, the
commander of the invasion, never ven-
turing to set his foot on the French
soil since, and still a fugitive through
the world ; the invading army, of
30,000 strong, some of the finest
troops of France, long since destroyed
in Africa by the climate and the war-
fare of the Arabs, scarcely a man of
them having returned.—And after the
sacrifice of probably twice the number
of lives in a disputed possession of
nine years, they are now fighting with-
in cannon-shot of Algiers !
The war has begun in earnest. While
Abd-el-Kader lives, France will proba-
bly have to carry on a continued war,
more or less open. If he shall fall,
the spirit of other chieftains will be
formed while the animosity survives ;
and it will survive, grounded as it is
in the nature of things, in the native
repulsion between French and Maho-
metan manners, in the habitual ha-
tred of the native for the invader,
and in the strong religious antipathies
which have already-enabled the Afri-
can leader to proclaim his assault on
the French as the “ Holy War.”
Even the fullest possession of the
Algerine territory could never be of
real value to France : it has no har-
bours, and can therefore never be
a station for any thing beyond a pri-
vateer or a pirate. In the event of an
European war, it must be abandoned,
or France must consent to lock up
50,000 troops there, with the cer-
tainty that famine, the Arabs, and
perhaps an English expedition, will
perform in Algiers the second part of
the Egyptian campaign. But the
great points of criminality subsist, even
if the policy were however successful ;
and those are, that the invasion was
made absolutely without any cause but a
determination to plunder, and that the
conquest has been retained, in direct
and unquestionable defiance of the
most solemn, public, and repeated de-
clarations, that no conquest whatever
was intended, and that, as in the in-
stance of Lord Exmouth’s expedition,
the moment that satisfaction was ob-
tained, the whole armament was to be
withdrawn.
It argues a deplorable state of moral
feeling, to find that no man in France
has the honesty of heart to protest
against this iniquity ; that the legisla-
ture can find no warning voice, that
the journals are fierce in their wrath
against any idea of abandoning Al-
giers, and that all France madly seems
to regard the national crime as a na-
tional glory.

Algiers ! wild Algiers !1
There are sounds of affright2
Coming thick on thy gales,3
Sounds of battle and flight ; —4
The spurrings of horsemen ;5
With tidings of woe ;6
The signal-guns pealing7
The march of the foe ;8
And the desert horn’s howl,9
Like the wolf in his prowl ;10
For, roused from their lair,11
The Berbers are there.12
’Tis the blue depth of midnight ;13
The moon is above,14
Shedding silver in showers15
On mosque and on grove ;16
And the sense is opprest17
With the sweetness of night.18
’Tis an hour to be blest,19
All fragrance and light.20
But the sparkling of steel,21
And the cannon’s deep peal,22
And the quick-volleying gun,23
Tell that blood is begun.24
The Frenchmen are rushing25
To gate and to wall ;26
And the Moor is awake27
In his gold-tissued hall.28
He sharpens the dagger29
And loads the carbine,30
And looks to the hills31
For the morning to shine.32
And on rampart and roof33
Crowds are standing aloof ;34
And their gestures, though dumb,35
Tell— “ the Emir” is come !36
On dash the dark riders,37
The sons of the south,38
From plain and from mountain,39
Age, manhood, and youth !40
Their steeds are like wind,41
And their bodies like fire,42
That wounds cannot tame,43
That toil cannot tire.44
On they burst like a flood,45
Till the desert drinks blood,46
Thick as night-falling dew47
Allah hu ! Allah hu !48
Woe, woe to the Gaul !49
Ambition’s worst slave ;50
Must he grasp, till the world51
Is a dungeon or grave ?52
Must he envy the Arab53
His swamp and his sand ?54
Must his crown be a curse,55
And his sceptre a brand ?56
But Wrath will not sleep ;57
As he sows, he shall reap ;58
The robber shall pay59
Gore for gore, clay for clay.60
Ay, follow the Arab61
Through mountain and vale,62
He’s the eagle, and safe63
As its wing on the gale.64
Ay, scorch through the day,65
And freeze through the night,66
He’s the leopard—one bound,67
And he’s gone from your sight.68
But death’s in his tramp69
As he sweeps round your camp ;70
One charge and one roar,71
And you sleep in your gore !72
But the plague-spot has fallen73
On each and on all ;74
Where art thou, Old Bourbon ?75
Europe scoff’d at thy fall. 76
Where thy fierce “ Thirty thousand,”77
Napoleon’s old braves ?78
Like thee, they are corpses—79
Algiers gave them graves.80
Where the victor Bourmont ?81
He has follow’d thy throne ;82
On his brow the blood-stain,83
To wander, like Cain.84
Yet the plague shall not smite85
And then die with the dead ;86
The madness shall cling,87
The grave shall be fed.88
Too cursed to abandon,89
Too weak to retain,90
The legions of France91
Still shall slay and be slain.92
Abd-el-Kader, the star93
That shall blast them with war94
Thou, the land of their biers,95
Algiers ! wild Algiers !96