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Leaves from the Journal
News of the Fall, of Sevastopol 10 Sept. 1853


September 10, 1855.

Mama, and her lady and gentleman, to dinner.

All were in constant expectation of more telegraphic despatches. At half-past ten o’clock two arrived, one for me, and one for Lord Granville. I began reading mine, which was from Lord Clarendon, with details from Marshal Pelissier of the further destruction of the Russian ships; and Lord Granville said, “I have still better news" on which he read, from General Simpson, Sevastopol is in the hands of the Allies.” God be praised for it! Our delight was great; but we could hardly believe the good news, and from having so long, so anxiously expected it, one could not realize the actual fact.

Albert said they should go at once and light the bonfire which had been prepared when the false report of the fall of the town arrived last year, and had remained ever since, waiting to be lit. On the 5th of November, the day of the battle of Inkermarin, the wind upset it, strange to say; and now again, most strangely, it only seemed to wait for our return to be lit.

The new house seems to be lucky, indeed; for, from the first moment of our arrival, we have had good news. In a few minutes, Albert and all the gentlemen, in every species of attire, sallied forth, followed by all the servants, and gradually by all the population of the village — keepers, gillies, workmen — up to the top of the cairn. We waited, and saw them light the bonfire; accompanied by general cheering. It blazed forth brilliantly, and we could see the numerous figures surrounding it, some dancing, all shouting; — Ross playing his pipes, and Grant and Macdonald firing off guns continually; while poor old Francois d’Albertanconf lighted a number of squibs below, the greater part of which would not go off. About three-quarters of an hour after, Albert came down, and said the scene had been wild and exciting beyond everything. The people had been drinking healths in whisky, and were in great ecstasy. The whole house seemed in a wonderful state of excitement. The boys were with difficulty awakened, and when at last this was the case, they begged leave to go up to the top of the cairn.

We remained till a quarter to twelve; and, just as I was undressing, all the people came down under the windows, the pipes playing, the people singing, firing off guns, and cheering — first for me, then for Albert, the Emperor of the French, and the “downfall of Sevastopol.”


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