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´╗┐Title: General Gordon - Saint and Soldier
Author: Wardle, J.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "General Gordon - Saint and Soldier" ***

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GENERAL GORDON:
SAINT AND SOLDIER.


BY
J. WARDLE, C.C.,
A PERSONAL FRIEND.

NOTTINGHAM:
HENRY B. SAXTON, KING STREET.
1904.

{The Author: p6.jpg}



PREFACE.


Nothing but the greatest possible pressure from my many kind friends who
have heard my lecture on "General Gordon: Saint and Soldier," who knew of
my intimacy with him, and had seen some of the letters referred to, would
have induced me to narrate this little story of a noble life.  I am
greatly indebted to many friends, authors, and newspapers, for extracts
and incidents, etc., etc.; and to them I beg to offer my best thanks and
humble apology.  This book is issued in the hope, that, with all its
imperfections, it may inspire the young men of our times to imitate the
Christ-like spirit and example of our illustrious and noble hero, C. G.
Gordon.

J. WARDLE.

THIS BRIEF STORY
OF A
NOBLE, SAINTLY AND HEROIC LIFE,
I DEDICATE WITH MUCH AFFECTION
TO MY SON,
JOSEPH GORDON WARDLE

   "If I am asked, who is the greatest man? I answer, "the best."  And if
   I am requested to say, who is the best, I reply: "he that deserveth
   most of his fellow creatures."

--_Sir William Jones_.



INDEX.


_Chapter_ I.--Introduction--Gordon's birth, parentage and school--His
first experience of warfare in the Crimea--His display of exceptional
soldierly qualities--The storming of Sebastopol and its fall.

_Chapter_ II.--Gordon assisting to lay down frontiers in Russia, Turkey
and Armenia--Gordon in China--Burning of the Summer Palace--Chinese
rebellion and its suppression.

_Chapter_ III.--Gordon at Manchester--My experiences with him--Ragged
School work--Amongst the poor, the old, the sick--Some of his letters to
me, showing his deep solicitude for the lads.

_Chapter_ IV.--Gordon's letters--Leaflet, &c.--His work at
Gravesend--Amongst his "Kings"--His call to foreign service, and leave
taking--The public regret.

_Chapter_ V.--His first appointment as Governor General of the Soudan--His
journey to, and his arrival at Khartoum--His many difficulties--His visit
to King John of Abyssinia, and resignation.

_Chapter_ VI.--Gordon's return to Egypt and welcome by the Khedive--Home
again--A second visit to China--Soudan very unsettled--The Madhi winning
battles--Hicks Pasha's army annihilated--Gordon sent for; agrees again to
go to Khartoum.

_Chapter_ VII.--Gordon's starting for Khartoum (2nd appointment)--His
arrival and reception--Khartoum surrounded--Letter from the Madhi to
Gordon--Gordon's reply--His many and severe trials in Khartoum.

_Chapter_ VIII.--Expedition of Lord Wolseley's to relieve Gordon--Terrible
marches in the desert--Battle of Abu-Klea--Colonel Burnaby killed--Awful
scenes--The Arabs break the British Square--Victory and march to
Mettemmeh.

_Chapter_ IX.--Gordon's Boats, manned by Sir Charles Wilson, fighting up
to Khartoum--Khartoum fallen--Gordon a martyr--Mourning in all lands--Our
Queen's letter of complaint to Gladstone--Gladstone's reply and
vindication--Queen's letters to Gordon's sister--Account of the fall of
Khartoum--Acceptance by the Queen of Gordon's Bible.



CHAPTER I.


   "There is nothing purer than honesty; nothing sweeter than charity;
   nothing warmer than love; nothing richer than wisdom; nothing brighter
   than virtue; nothing more steadfast than faith."--_Bacon_.

It has been said that the most interesting study for mankind is man; and
surely one of the grandest objects for human contemplation, is a noble
character; a lofty type of a truly great and good man is humanity's
richest heritage.

The following lines by one of our greatest poets are true--

   "Lives of great men all remind us,
      We can make our lives sublime,
   And departing leave behind us,
      Footprints on the sands of time."

While places and things may have a special or peculiar charm, and indeed
may become very interesting, nothing stirs our hearts, or rouses our
enthusiasm so much as the study of a noble heroic life, such as that of
the uncrowned king, who is the subject of our story, and whose career of
unsullied splendour closed in the year 1885 in the beleaguered capital of
that dark sad land, where the White and Blue Nile blend their waters.

   "Noble he was contemning all things mean,
   His truth unquestioned and his soul severe,
   At no man's question was he e'er dismayed,
   Of no man's presence was he e'er afraid."

General Gordon was the son of a soldier who proved his gallantry on many
occasions, and who took a pride in his profession.  It was said of him
that he was greatly beloved by all who served under him.  He was
generous, genial and kind hearted, and strictly just in all his practices
and aims.  He gave to his Queen and country a long life of devoted
service.  His wife, we are told, was a woman of marked liberality;
cheerful and loving, always thoughtful of the wants of others; completely
devoid of selfishness.

The fourth son, and third soldier of this happy pair, Charles George, was
born at Woolwich in 1833.  He was trained at Taunton.  When about 15
years of age he was sent to the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, to
prepare for the army; a profession his father thought most worthy of the
Gordons.  While here at school an incident occurred which served to show
that our young hero was no ordinary student.  His tutor, with an air of
contempt, rebuked him severely for some error or failure in his lessons,
and told him sneeringly he would never make a general.  This roused the
Scotch blood of the budding soldier, and in a rage he tore the epaulettes
from his shoulders, and threw them at his tutor's feet--another proof of
the correctness of the old adage, "Never prophesy unless you know."  By
the time he reached the age of twenty-one, he had become every inch a
soldier, and when tested he proved to have all a soldier's
qualities--bravery, courage, heroism, patriotism, and fidelity,
characteristics of the best soldiers in our army.

Archibald Forbes, writing of him, says "The character of General Gordon
was unique.  As it unfolded in its curiously varied but never
contradictory aspects, you are reminded of Cromwell, of Havelock, of
Livingstone, and of Captain Hedley Viccars.  But Gordon's individuality
stood out in its incomparable blending of masterfulness and tenderness,
of strength and sweetness.  His high and noble nature was made more
chivalrous by his fervent, deep and real piety.  His absolute trust in
God guided him serenely through the greatest difficulties.  Because of
that he was not alone in the deepest solitude.  He was not depressed in
the direst extremity.  He had learned the happy art of leaning upon the
Omnipotent arm."

{Gordon, the hero: p17.jpg}

Early in 1884 a leading newspaper said of him, "General Gordon is without
doubt the finest captain of irregular forces living."  About the same
time Mr. Gladstone said of him, "General Gordon is no common man.  It is
no exaggeration to say he is a hero.  It is no exaggeration to say he is
a Christian hero."  Mr. W. E. Forster also remarked of him, "I know no
other man living for whom I have a greater admiration than General
Gordon.  He is utterly unselfish.  He is regardless of money.  He cares
nothing for fame or glory.  He cares little for life or death.  He is a
deeply religious man.  The world to come, and God's government over this,
are to him the greatest of life's realities.  True heroism has been said
to be a sacrifice of self for the benefit of others.  If this is true,
Gordon has well won the appellation, "The Hero of the Soudan."  His
soldierly qualities were first tested in the Crimea, where we find him in
1854 and 1855.  Here for the first time in his military career he was
brought face to face with all the horrors of actual war, and here for the
first time he saw friend and foe lie locked like brothers in each other's
arms.  Here he got his first baptism of fire; and here he showed the
splendid qualities which in after years made him so famous and so
beloved.  An old soldier who served under him during this terrible
campaign says "I shall never forget that remarkable figure and form,
which was an inspiration to all who knew him, and saw him on the field of
carnage and blood."

He was utterly unconcerned in the midst of dangers and death.  He would
twirl his cane and good humouredly say "Now boys, don't fear, I see no
danger."  On one occasion when engaged in the very thick of a most awful
struggle he said, "Now my boys, I'm your officer, I lead, you follow,"
and he walked literally through a shower of lead and iron with as little
concern apparently, as if he were walking across his own drawing-room;
and he came out of the conflict without a scar.

Sir E. Stanton in his dispatches home, making special reference to our
hero, says--"Young Gordon has attracted the notice of his superiors out
here, not only by his activity, but by his special aptitude for war,
developing itself amid the trenches before Sebastopol, in a personal
knowledge of the enemy's movements, such as no officer has displayed.  We
have sent him frequently right up to the Russian entrenchments to find
out what new moves they are making."  Amid all the excitement of war and
its dangers he never omitted writing to his mother; an example I hope my
readers, if boys, or girls, will studiously copy.  He loved his mother
with the passion of his great loving heart.  Soldier lads often forget
their mother's influence, their mother's prayers, and their mother's God.
Writing home to his mother he says "We are giving the Redan shells day
and night, in order to prevent the Russians from repairing it and they
repay us by sending amongst us awful missiles of death and destruction,
and it requires one to be very nimble to keep out of their way.  I have
now been thirty-four times, twenty-four hours in the trenches; that is
more than a month without any relief whatever, and I assure you it gets
very tedious.  Still one does not mind if any advance is being made."

An eye witness of this bloody work in the trenches and the storming of
the Malakof and the Redan, writes:--

   "On that terrible 8th of September, every gun and mortar that our
   people and our noble allies, the French, could bring to bear upon the
   enemy's work, was raining death and destruction upon them.  The
   stormers had all got into their places.  They consisted of about 1,000
   men of the Old Light and 2nd Division; the supports were formed up as
   closely as possible to them, and all appeared in readiness.  History
   may well say, 'the storming of a fortress is an awful task.'  There we
   stood not a word being spoken; every one seemed to be full of thought;
   many a courageous heart, that was destined to be still in death in one
   short hour, was now beating high."

   "It was about 11.15 a.m., and our heavy guns were firing in such a way
   as I have never heard before.  The batteries fired in volleys or
   salvoes as fast as they could load and fire, the balls passing a few
   feet above our heads, while the air seemed full of shell.  The enemy
   were not idle; for round shot, shell, grape and musket balls were
   bounding and whizzing all about us, and earth and stones were rattling
   about our heads like hail.  Our poor fellows fell fast, but still our
   sailors and artillery men stuck to it manfully.  We knew well that
   this could not last long, but many a brave soldier's career was cut
   short long before we advanced to the attack--strange some of our older
   hands were smoking and taking not the slightest notice of this 'dance
   of death.'  Some men were being carried past dead, and others limping
   to the rear with mangled limbs, while their life's blood was streaming
   fast away.  We looked at each other with amazement for we were now
   under a most terrible fire.  We knew well it meant death to many of
   us.  Several who had gone through the whole campaign shook hands
   saying, 'This is hot,' 'Good bye, old boy,' 'Write to the old folks
   for me if I do not return.'  This request was made by many of us.  I
   was close to one of our Generals, who stood watch in hand, when
   suddenly at 12 o'clock mid-day the French drums and bugles sounded the
   charge, and with a shout, 'Vive l'Empereur' repeated over and over
   again by some 50,000 men, a shout that was enough to strike terror
   into the enemy.  The French, headed by the Zouaves, sprang forward at
   the Malakof like a lot of cats.  On they went like a lot of bees, or
   rather like the dashing of the waves of the sea against a rock.  We
   had a splendid view of their operations, it was grand but terrible;
   the deafening shouts of the advancing hosts told us they were carrying
   all before them."

   "They were now completely enveloped in smoke and fire, but column
   after column kept advancing, pouring volley after volley into the
   breasts of the defenders.  They (the French) meant to have it, let the
   cost be what it might.  At 12.15 up went the proud flag of France,
   with a shout that drowned for a time the roar of both cannon and
   musketry.  And now came our turn.  As soon as the French were seen
   upon the Malakof our stormers sprang forward, led by Colonel
   Windham--the old Light Division consisting of 300 men of the 90th,
   about the same number of the 97th, and about 400 of the 2nd Battalion
   Rifle Brigade, and with various detachments of the 2nd and Light
   Divisions, and a number of blue jackets, carrying scaling ladders.  Our
   men advanced splendidly, with a ringing British cheer, although the
   enemy poured a terrible fire of grape, canister and musketry into
   them, which swept down whole companies at a time.  We, the supports,
   moved forward to back up our comrades.  We advanced as quickly as we
   could until we came to the foremost trench, when we leaped the
   parapet, then made a rush at the blood stained walls of the Redan.  We
   had had a clear run of over 200 yards under that murderous fire of
   grape, canister and musketry.  How any ever lived to pass that 200
   yards seemed a miracle; for our poor fellows fell one on the top of
   another; but nothing could stop us but death.  On we went shouting
   until we reached the redoubt.  The fighting inside these works was of
   the most desperate character, butt and bayonet, foot and fist; the
   enemy's guns were quickly spiked: this struggle lasted about an hour
   and a half.  It was an awful time, about 3,000 of our brave soldiers
   were slain in this short period."  Our hero Gordon, tells us that on
   the evening of this 8th of September--

   "I heard most terrific explosions, the earth seemed to be shaken to
   its very centre;--It was afterwards discovered the enemy's position
   was no longer tenable, so they had fired some 300 tons of gunpowder,
   which had blown up all their vast forts and magazines.  O! what a
   night: many of our poor fellows had been nearly buried in the
   _debris_, and burning mass: the whole of Sebastopol was in flames.  The
   Russians were leaving it helter-skelter--a complete rout, and a heavy
   but gloriously-won victory."

For his acknowledged ability, his fine heroism, and his true loyalty to
his superiors during this most trying campaign, he received the
well-earned decoration of the Legion of Honour from the French
Government, a mark of distinction very rarely conferred upon so young an
officer.

   "God gives us men, a time like that demands.
   Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
   Men whom the lusts of office cannot kill,
   Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
   Men who possess opinions and a will,
   Men who have honour, men who never lie."

We must not leave this part of our story without a brief notice of one
whose name will live in song and story, when this generation shall have
passed away.  Many noble English ladies bravely went out to nurse the
suffering soldiers; but in this noble band was one whose name remains a
synonym for kindly sympathy, tenderness and peace--Miss Florence
Nightingale.

The following lines were written in her praise--

   "Britain has welcomed home with open hand
   Her gallant soldiers to their native land;
   But one alone the Nation's thanks did shun,
   Though Europe rings with all that she hath done;
   For when will shadow on the wall e'er fail,
   To picture forth fair Florence Nightingale:
   Her deeds are blazoned on the scroll of fame,
   And England well may prize her deathless name."



CHAPTER II.


   "The greatness of a nation depends upon the men it can breed and
   rear.--_Froude_.

The war over and peace duly established, Lieutenant Gordon (for so he was
then) accompanied General Sir Lintorn Simmons to Galatz, where, as
assistant commissioner, he was engaged in fixing the new frontiers of
Russia, Turkey and Roumania.  In 1857, when his duties here were
finished, he went with the same officer to Armenia; there, in the same
capacity, he was engaged in laying down the Asiatic frontiers of Russia
and Turkey.  When this work was completed he returned home and was
quartered at Chatham, and employed for a time as Field Work Instructor
and Adjutant.  In 1860, now holding the rank of Captain, he joined the
Army in China, and was present at the surrender of Pekin; and for his
services he was promoted to the rank of Major.



THE BURNING OF THE SUMMER PALACE.


"On the eleventh of October," Gordon relates, "we were sent down in a
hurry to throw up earth works against the City; as the Chinese refused to
give up the gate we demanded their surrender before we could treat with
them.  They were also required to give up the prisoners.  You will be
sorry to hear the treatment they have suffered has been very bad.  Poor
De Norman, who was with me in Asia, is one of the victims.  It appears
they were tied so tight by the wrists that the flesh mortified, and they
died in the greatest torture.  Up to the time that elapsed before they
arrived at the Summer Palace, they were well treated, but then the ill-
treatment began.  The Emperor is supposed to have been there at the time.

But to go back to the work, the Chinese were given until twelve on the
13th, to give up the gate.  We made a lot of batteries, and everything
was ready for assault of the wall, which is a battlement, forty feet
high, but of inferior masonry; at 11.30 p.m., however, the gate was
opened, and we took possession; so our work was of no avail.  The Chinese
had then, until the 23rd, to think over our terms of treaty, and to pay
up ten thousand pounds (10,000 pounds) for each Englishman, and five
hundred pounds (500 pounds) for each native soldier who had died during
their captivity.  This they did, and the money was paid, and the treaty
signed yesterday.  I could not witness it, as all officers commanding
companies were obliged to remain in camp, owing to the ill-treatment the
prisoners experienced at the Summer Palace.  The General ordered this to
be destroyed, and stuck up proclamations to say why it was ordered.  We
accordingly went out, and after pillaging it, burned the whole
magnificent palace, and destroyed most valuable property, which could not
be replaced for millions of pounds.

"This Palace" (wrote the author of _Our Own Times_), "covered an area of
many miles.  The Palace of Adrian, at Tivoli, might have been hidden in
one of its courts.  Gardens, temples, small lodges and pagodas, groves,
grottoes, lakes, bridges, terraces, artificial hills, diversified the
vast space.  All the artistic treasures, all the curiosities,
archaeological and other, that Chinese wealth and taste, such as it was,
could bring together."  Gordon notes, "This palace, with its surrounding
buildings, over two hundred in number, covered an area eight by ten miles
in extent."  He says, "it makes one's heart burn to see such beauty
destroyed; it was as if Windsor Palace, South Kensington Museum, and
British Museum, all in one, were in flames: you can scarcely imagine the
beauty and magnificence of the things we were bound to destroy."

"These palaces were so large, and we were so pressed for time, that we
could not plunder them carefully.  Quantities of gold ornaments were
burned, considered as brass.  It was wretchedly demoralizing for an army:
everybody was wild for plunder . . .  The throne and room were lined with
ebony, carved in a wonderful manner.  There were huge mirrors of all
shapes and sizes, clocks, watches, musical boxes with puppets on them,
magnificent china of every description, heaps and heaps of silks of all
colours, coral screens, large amounts of treasures, etc.  The French have
smashed up everything in a most shameful way.  It was a scene of utter
destruction which passes my description."  This was not much in Gordon's
line.

In the following year he made a tour on horseback to the outer wall of
China at Kalgan, accompanied by Lieutenant Cardew.  A Chinese lad of the
age of fourteen, who knew a little English, acted as their servant and
interpreter, while their personal luggage was conveyed in the Chinese
carts.  In the course of this tour we are told they passed through
districts which had never before been visited by any European.  At Kalgan
the great wall was seen, with its parapet about twenty-two feet high, and
sixteen feet broad.  Both sides were solid brick, each being three times
the size of our English bricks.  Gordon writes: "It is wonderful to see
the long line of wall stretching over the hills as far as the eye can
reach."  From Kalgan they travelled westwards to Taitong; here they saw
huge caravans of camels laden with tea going towards Russia.  Here they
were forced to have the axle trees of their carts widened, for they had
come into a great part of the country where the wheels were set wider
than in the provinces whence they came.  Their carts, therefore, no
longer fitted into the deep ruts which had been worn into the terribly
bad roads.  The main object of their journey was to find out if there was
in the Inner Wall any pass besides the Tchatiaou which on that side of
the country led from the Russian territory to Pekin.  It was not until
they reached Taiyuen that they struck the road that led to Pekin or
Tientsin.

Their first bit of trouble on this somewhat venturesome tour occurred at
Taiyneu; when the bill was brought for their night's entertainment, they
found it was most exorbitant.  They saw they were likely to have trouble,
so they sent on the carts with luggage and waited at this strange
hostelry till they believed they had got well out of the way.  Then they
offered what they believed was a reasonable amount in payment of their
bill.  It was refused.  They then tried to mount their horses but the
people at the Inn stopped them.  Major Gordon hereupon drew his revolver
more for show than for use, for he allowed them to take it from him.  He
then said, "Let us go to the Mandarin's house."  To this consent was
given, and the two wide-awake English officers walked alongside their
horses.  On the way Gordon said to his companion "are you ready to
mount?"  "Yes" he replied.  So they mounted quietly, and went on with the
people.  When they reached the Mandarin's, they turned their horses and
galloped off after their carts as fast as they could, having paid what
they believed a reasonable amount for expenses.  The people yelled and
rushed after them, but it was too late.  Some distance from the place
where they had spent the night they came upon the pass over the mountains
which led down into the country, drained by the great Peiho river.  "The
descent" says Gordon, "was terrible, and the cold so intense that raw
eggs were frozen as hard as if they had been boiled half an hour."  To
add to their troubles, the carts they had sent on in front had been
attacked by robbers.  They, however, with many difficulties managed to
reach Tientsin in safety; their leave of absence had been exceeded by
about fourteen days.  In 1862 Major Gordon left for Shanghai under the
orders of Sir Charles Staveley who had been appointed to the command of
the English forces in China.  At the very time that England and France
were at war with China, a terrible and far reaching rebellion was laying
waste whole provinces.  An article in our London _Daily News_ about this
date said, "But for Gordon the whole Continent of China might have been a
scene of utter and hopeless ruin and devastation."  At the date he took
charge of the "ever victorious army," China was in a state of widespread
anarchy and confusion.

This rebellion which Gordon was here authorized to suppress was called
"The Tai-ping rebellion."  Its rise was brought about by a strange
mixture of incredulity and fanaticism, caused by some European Christian
giving away his literature.  A village demagogue named Hung-tsne-Shuen
caught the idea, after reading the papers referred to, that he was
inspired; that he was God, King, Emperor, and that he ought to rule; so,
puffed up with pride and insatiable ambition, he began raising an army;
and aimed at nothing less than the usurpation of the "Dragon Throne."
Some thought him mad; but he gathered about him some 20,000 men whom he
had influenced to believe in him as the "Second Celestial Brother," and
gave out he was a seer of visions, a prophet of vengeance and freedom; a
champion of the poor and oppressed; and many were mad enough to believe
him, and thus he raised an army which grew in strength until it reached
some hundreds of thousands strong; he then proclaimed himself the
Heavenly King, The Emperor of the great place; and then with five wangs
or warrior kings, chosen from amongst his kinsmen, he marched through
China, devastating the country, and increasing his army in his progress.

The most populous, and until now wealthy provinces were soon in his
hands.  The silk factories were silent; the Cities were falling into
utter and hopeless desolation: rebellion, war and famine, raged and
reigned supreme.  Gordon made them pause!  His marvellous power of
organizing and leading men, a power derived from an inflexible,
determined, fearless, and deeply religious temperament, influenced the
Chinese character quickly and powerfully.  His very name soon became a
terror to the banded brigands and to all evil doers.  An Englishman in
China at the time wrote home and said "The destiny of China is in the
hands of Major Gordon, and if he remains at his post the question will
soon be settled, and peace and quiet will be restored to this
unfortunate, but sorely tried country."

In all the strange and trying experiences of this Chinese Campaign Gordon
bore himself with a bravery and courage seldom equalled, we think never
surpassed.

Dr. Guthrie once said, "It is very remarkable, and highly creditable to
the loyalty and bravery of our British soldiers, that, notwithstanding
all the wars in which they have been engaged, no foreign nation to-day
flaunts a British flag as a trophy of its victory and of our defeat.  Nor
in the proud pillar raised by the great Napoleon in commemoration of his
many victories--a pillar made of the cannons taken by him in battles, is
there an ounce of metal that belongs to a British gun."  The
characteristics of the bravest of our British soldiers were pre-eminently
displayed in Gordon.  For--

   "He holds no party with unmanly fears,
   Where duty points he confidently steers:
   Faces a thousand dangers at her call,
   And trusting in his God surmounts them all."

His soldierly qualities were very often put to the test in this strange
land.  Hung, the leader of this rebellion, had become so popular and made
such marvellous progress that when Gordon had organized his ever
victorious army, Hung had captured Nanking, one of the principal cities,
and made this his capital; and here, under the very shadow of the Chinese
metropolis, he established himself in royal state.  His followers were
held together by the force of his religious tenets; they believed in him
as the Lord from Heaven, who would save the suffering minds and give them
a celestial reward.  A missionary who was in Nanking, Rev. J. L. Holmes,
gives his impressions of this warlike devotee.  "At night (he says) we
witnessed their worship.  It occurred at the beginning of their sabbath,
midnight on Friday.  The place of worship was the Chung-Wang's private
audience room.  He was himself seated in the midst of his attendants, no
females were present.  They first sang, or rather chanted; after which a
written prayer was read, then burned by an officer; then they rose and
sang again, then separated.  The Chung-wang sent for me before he left
his seat, and asked me if I understood their mode of worship.  I replied
I had just seen it for the first time.  He explained that the Tien-wang
had been to the celestial world and had seen the Great God and obtained a
revelation! &c. . . .  As the day dawned we started for the Palace of the
Tien-wang.  The procession was headed by a number of brilliantly coloured
banners, after which followed a troop of armed soldiers; then came the
Chung-wang in a large sedan, covered with yellow satin and embroidery,
and borne by eight coolies.  Music of a peculiar kind added to the scene,
as the curious sightseers lined the streets on either side, who probably
never saw such a sight before.  Reaching the "Morning Palace," we were
presented to the Tsau-wang and his son with several others including the
Tien-wang's two brothers, who were seated in a deep recess over the
entrance of which was written "Illustrious Heavenly Door."  In another
place was "Holy Heavenly Gate," from which a boy of about fourteen made
his appearance and took his place with the royal group; then they
proceeded with their religious ceremonies again: this time kneeling with
their faces to the Tien-wang's seat.  Then they sang in a standing
position.  A roast pig and the body of a goat were lying with other
articles on tables in the outer court, and a fire was kept burning on a
stone altar in the front of the Tien-wang's seat.  Afterwards, says the
missionary, I was led through a number of rooms and courts to see Chung-
wang privately.  I was brought into one of his private sitting-rooms,
where he sat clothed loosely in white silk, with a red kerchief round his
head, and a jewel in front.  He was seated in an easy chair, and fanned
by a pretty slipshod girl.  He asked me to a seat beside him and
questioned me about a map he had seen with parallel lines running each
way, said to have been made by foreigners, asked me to explain what it
was.  He also showed me a musical-box and a spy-glass, asking many
questions.  From all I could learn by my visit to this pretender there
was nothing in their religion to elevate, but everything to degrade.  With
them to rob and murder were virtuous deeds.  "Slay the imps" was their
watchword.  Gordon found in this fanatic a foe of no mean order.  But he
soon found too that courage and faith in God had done and would still
lead to victory.  In a letter home he says--"I am afraid you will be much
vexed at my having taken the command of the Sung-kiang force, and that I
am now a mandarin.  I have taken the step on consideration.  I think that
any one who contributes to putting down this rebellion fulfils a human
task, and also tends a great deal to open China to civilization.  I will
not act rashly, and I trust to be able soon to return to England; at the
same time I will remember your and my father's wishes, and endeavour to
remain as short a time as possible.  I can say that if I had not accepted
the command I believe the force would have been broken up and the
rebellion gone on in its misery for years.  I trust this will not now be
the case, and that I may soon be able to comfort you on this subject.  You
must not fret about me, I think I am doing a good service . . .  I keep
your likeness before me, and can assure you and my father that I will not
be rash, and that as soon as I can conveniently, and with due regard to
the object I have in view, I will come home."

Gordon had hardly yet realized the difficulties and dangers which beset
him.  His troops were undisciplined and largely composed of all
nationalities.  Men bent on plunder, and exceedingly numerous; about
120,000 men.  Gordon's appointment as Chief in Command of the "Ever
Victorious Army" proved to be a wise and good one for China.

Colonel Chesney thus writes:--"If General Staveley had made a mistake in
the operations he personally conducted the year before, he more than
redeemed it by the excellence of his choice of Gordon.  This strange army
was made up of French, Germans, Americans, Spaniards, some of good and
some of bad character, but in their chief they had one whose courage they
were bound to admire, and whose justice they could not help but admit.
The private plundering of vanquished towns and cities allowed under their
former chief, disappeared under the eye of a leader whose eye was as
keen, as his soul was free from the love of filthy lucre.  They, however,
learned to respect and love a general in whose kindness, valour, skill,
and justice they found cause unhesitatingly to confide; who never spared
himself personal exposure when danger was near.  In every engagement, and
these numbered more than seventy, he was to the front and led in person.
His somewhat undisciplined army, had in it many brave men; but even such
men were very reluctant at times to face these desperate odds.  Whenever
they showed signs of vacillation he would take one of the men by the arm,
and lead him into the very thick of the fight.  He always went unarmed
even when foremost in the breach.  He never saw danger.  A shower of
bullets was no more to him than a shower of hailstones; he carried one
weapon only, and that was a little cane, which won for itself the name of
"Gordon's magic wand."  On one occasion when leading a storming party his
men wavered under a most withering fire.  Gordon coolly turned round and
waving his cane, bade his men follow him.  The soldiers inspired by his
courage, followed with a tremendous rush and shout, and at once grandly
carried the position.  After the capture of one of the Cities, Gordon was
firm in not allowing them to pillage, sack and burn such places; and for
this some of his men showed a spirit of insubordination.  His artillery
men refused to fall in when ordered; nay more, they threatened to turn
upon him their guns and blow him and his officers to pieces.  This news
was conveyed to him by a written declaration.  His keen eye saw through
their scheme at a glance, and with that quiet determination which was his
peculiar strength, he summoned them into his presence and with a firmness
born of courage and faith in God, he declared that unless the ringleader
of this movement was given up, one out of every five would be shot!  At
the same time he stepped to the front and with his own hand seized one of
the most suspicious looking of the men, dragged him out, and ordered him
to be shot on the spot at once, the order was instantly carried out by an
officer.  After this he gave them half an hour to reconsider their
position at the end of which he found them ready to carry out any order
he might give.  It transpired afterwards that the man who was shot was
the ringleader in this insubordination."

When Gordon had broken the neck of this far-reaching and disastrous
rebellion, and had restored to the Emperor of China the principal cities
and towns in peace, the London _Times_ wrote of him:--"Never did a
soldier of fortune deport himself with a nicer sense of military honour,
with more gallantry against the resisting, with more mercy towards the
vanquished, with more disinterested neglect of opportunities of personal
advantage, or with more entire devotion to the objects and desires of the
Government he served, than this officer, who, after all his splendid
victories, has just laid down his sword."

Before leaving China he was offered a very large reward in cash, as it
was acknowledged on all hands he had saved the Empire more than 5,000,000
pounds sterling.  All money he refused; he, however, asked that some of
it might be given to the troops, who had served him on the whole with
great loyalty, and this was granted.  A gold medal was struck in honour
of his marvellous achievements, and this he accepted and brought home;
but it was soon missing.  He thought more of the starving poor than of
any medal; so he sold it, and sent the cash it realized to the Lancashire
Cotton Operatives, who were then literally starving.  The Imperial Decree
of China conferred upon him the rank of "Ti-tu," the very highest honour
ever conferred upon a Chinese subject.  Also the "Peacock's feather,"
"The Order of the Star," and the "Yellow Jacket."  By these he was
constituted one of the "Emperor's Body Guard."  In a letter home he says,
"I shall leave China as poor as I entered it, but with the knowledge that
through my weak instrumentality from eighty to one hundred thousand lives
have been saved.  Than this I covet no greater satisfaction."

Before he left China, as a proof of the estimation in which he was held,
a grand illuminated address was presented to him, signed by more than
sixty of the leading firms of the Empire, and by most of the bankers and
merchants of the cities of Pekin, Shanghai, and of the principal towns
throughout China.

It read thus:--"Honoured Sir,--On the eve of your departure to your
native country, we, the undersigned, mostly fellow-countrymen of your
own, but also representing other nationalities, desire to express to you
our earnest wish for a successful voyage and happy return to your friends
and the land of your birth.

"Your career during your stay amongst us has been, so far as we know,
without a parallel in the history of foreign nations with China; and we
feel that we should be alike wanting towards you and towards ourselves,
were we to pass by this opportunity without expressing our appreciation
and admiration of the line of conduct which you personally have pursued.
In a position of unequalled difficulty, and surrounded by complications
of every conceivable nature, you have succeeded in offering to the eyes
of the Chinese Empire, no less by your loyal and thoroughly disinterested
line of action than by your conspicuous gallantry and talent for
organization and command, the example of a foreign officer, serving the
government of this country, with honourable fidelity and undeviating self-
respect.

{Chinese Gordon: p45.jpg}

"Once more wishing you a prosperous voyage, and a long career of
usefulness and success."

Signed, &c.

There is truth in this as applied to Gordon:--

   "He strove not for the wealth of fame,
   From heaven the power that moved him came.
   And welcome as the mountain air,
   The voice that bid him do and dare.
   Onward he bore and battled still
   With a most firm enduring will,
   His only hope to win the prize
   Laid up for him beyond the skies."

The Emperor wished the British Minister to bring before the notice of Her
Majesty the Queen of England his appreciation of the splendid services
which Gordon had rendered.  He hoped that he would be rewarded in England
as well as in China for his heroic achievements.

A subsequent letter in the _Times_ said that Prince Kung, who was then
the Regent of China, had waited upon Sir Frederick Bruce, and said to
him, "You will be astonished to see me again, but I felt I could not
allow you to leave without coming to see you about Gordon.  We do not
know what to do.  He will not receive money from us, and we have already
given him every honour which it is in the power of the Emperor to bestow;
but as these are of little value in his eyes, I have brought you this
letter, and I ask you to give it to the Queen of England that she may
bestow on him some reward which would be more valuable in his eyes."

Sir Frederick Bruce sent this to London with a letter of his own:--"I
enclose translation of a despatch from Prince Kung, containing the decree
published by the Emperor, acknowledging the services of Gordon and
requesting that Her Majesty's Government be pleased to recognise him.
Gordon well deserves the favours of your Majesty for the skill and
courage he has shown, his disinterestedness has elevated our national
character in the eyes of the Chinese.  Not only has he refused any
pecuniary reward, but he has spent more than his pay in contributing to
the comforts of the officers who served under him, and in assuaging the
distress of the starving population whom he relieved from the yoke of
their oppressors."

It does not appear that this letter was ever sent to the Queen, or
noticed by the Government, and so the heroic deeds of a man of whom any
nation might justly be proud, were forgotten.



CHAPTER III.


   "We are to relieve the distressed, to put the wanderer into his way,
   and to share our bread with the hungry, which is but the doing good to
   others."--SENECA.

Our hero having returned to his native land, and to settle for a little
while at the quiet town of Gravesend, refused to be lionized, and he
begged that no publication of his deeds of daring and devotion in China,
should be recorded.  His quiet life here as an engineer was not less
remarkable, though of a different kind, than life in China had been.
Here, however, he spent the energies of his spare time, to the services
of the poor.  At this juncture I was privileged to come in contact with
this remarkable man, in the great city of Manchester, where for a few
months, he was employed on some Governmental Commission.  Like his Master
Christ--he went about doing good.  My position at this time was an agent,
or scripture reader for "The Manchester City Mission."  Gordon found his
way to the office and saw the chairman of the mission, and from him got
permission to accompany one of the missioners round his district.  He
expressed his desire to go round one of the poorest districts of the
city; as it might afford him an opportunity of seeing for himself some of
the social blots and scars in our national life; also of giving some
practical help to the deserving poor.  My district was such an one as
would furnish him with the opportunities to satisfy him in that
particular, and I was therefore asked to allow Col. Gordon to accompany
me to its squalid scenes, to my Ragged School, cottage and open-air
services, and to the sick and suffering, of which I had many on my list.
This request was gladly complied with; for the first sight of the
stranger made me love and trust him.

And now the hero of so many battles fought for freedom and liberty, was
to witness scenes of warfare of a very different kind.  War, it is true,
but not where there are garments rolled in blood and victims slain; but
war with the powers of darkness, war between good and evil, truth and
error, light and darkness.  We went together into the lowest slums of the
district; walked arm in arm over the ground where misery tells its sad
and awful tale, where poverty shelters its shivering frame, and where
blasphemy howls its curse.  We found out haunts of vice and sin, terrible
in their character, and distressing in their consequences.  I found he
had not hitherto been accustomed to this kind of mission.  Once on my
entering a den of dangerous characters and lecturing them on their sinful
course and warning them in unmistakable words of the consequences, he
afterwards said: "I could not have found courage of the kind you show in
this work; yet I never was considered lacking in courage on the field of
battle.  When in the Crimea, I was sent frequently and went on hands and
knees through the fall of shells and the whizz of bullets right up to the
Russian walls to watch their movements, and I never felt afraid; I
confess I need courage to warn men of sin and its dangerous
consequences."  He met me, for a time almost daily, well supplied with
tracts, which I noticed he used as a text for a few words of advice, or
comfort, or warning as the case required, but he invariably left a silver
coin between the leaves; this I think was a proof he was sincere in his
efforts to do good.  Along Old Millgate, and around the Cathedral, at
that time, were numerous courts and alleys, obscure, often filthy, dark
and dangerous; down or up these he accompanied me; up old rickety
staircases, into old crumbling ruins of garrets he followed without
hesitation.

{C. G. Gordon: p51.jpg}

At the bedside of the dying prodigal or prostitute he would sit with
intense interest, pointing them to Him who casts out none.  In our house
to house visitation he would sit down and read of the Saviour's love,
making special reference to those that are poor in this world, assuring
them it was for the outcast and the forsaken, and the lost, that Jesus
came to die.  He would kneel down for prayer by a broken chair or the
corner of a slop-stone, or by the wash-tub, and with the simplicity of a
child, address in tender and touching petition, the Great Father of all
in Heaven, while tears chased each other down his sun-tanned face; his
great soul going out with his prayer for Heaven's blessing on the
helpless poor.

His sympathy was tender as a child's, and his beneficence as liberal as
the best of Christian's can be.  He often came and took tea with me in my
quiet home, where we had many very interesting interviews, and where we
conversed on subjects varied but mostly religious; he rarely referred to
his military achievements; when he did so it was with the greatest self
abnegation and humility.  He would say, "No honour belongs to me, I am
only the instrument God uses to accomplish his purpose."  I introduced
him to my ragged school; this to him was a most interesting scene of
work, and he volunteered to give us some of his time and service; and to
see him with 20 or 30 of these ragged lads about him was to say the
least, full of interest.  He, however, had the happy art of getting at
their heart at once; by incidents, stories and experiences, which
compelled attention and confidence.  In a very short time he won the
esteem and the love of every lad in the school.  To some of these lads he
became specially attached, and for some time after he left Manchester he
kept up with me, and with several of the lads, also with some of my
colleagues on the mission--a very interesting correspondence.  Happily, I
have preserved a good number of these letters, and they show the spirit
and motive of that noble soul, more than any poor words of mine can do.

   Letter.

   GRAVESEND,
   _June 19th_, _1869_.

   "My Dear Mr. Wardle.--My long silence has not been because I had
   forgot you and your kind reception of me; but because secular work has
   so completely taken up my time of late.  I was glad to hear of you . .
   . . and of the Dark Lane (ragged school) lads.  I often wish I could
   go down with you and see them; I often think of them.  I wish I could
   help them, but it is only by prayer that I can now benefit them.  I
   loved them very much, and look forward to the time when our weary
   march, dogged by our great foe will be ended; and we meet for ever in
   our Heavenly home.  I remember them all, Jones, Carr, &c., &c., and I
   often think of their poor young faces which must soon get deepened
   into wrinkles with sorrow and care.  Thank God we go like Israel of
   old, after a new home; we cannot find our rest here!  Day by day we
   are, little as we may think it, a day's march nearer, till someday we
   shall perhaps unexpectedly reach it."

   Good bye, my dear Mr. Wardle,
   Yours sincerely,
   C. H. GORDON.

      "Kind regards to _my_ lads."

Gordon was deeply moved by the sights of poverty and distress around him;
this was shown by the dress and appearance of the factory hands.  He was
especially struck by the clatter of the clogs--the Lancashire cotton
operative's foot gear.

To his Sister he wrote:--

   MANCHESTER,
   _September 21st_, _1867_.

   "Your heart would bleed to see the poor people, though they say there
   is no distress such as there was some time ago; they are indeed like
   sheep having no shepherd, but, thank God, though they look forlorn,
   they have a watchful and pitying eye upon them.  It does so painfully
   affect me, and I do trust will make me think less of self, and more of
   these poor people.  Little idea have the rich of other countries of
   the scenes in these parts.  It does so make me long for that great day
   when He will come and put all things straight.

   How long, O Lord, how long!

   I have but little time to write by this post, so will say no more
   about that.  I have less confidence in the flesh than ever, thank God,
   though it is a painful struggle and makes one long for the time when,
   this our earthly tabernacle, shall be dissolved; but may His will be
   done.  If there is sin and misery, there is One who over-rules all
   things for good; we must be patient.  The poor scuttlers here, male
   and female, fill me with sorrow.  They wear wooden clogs, a sort of
   sabot, and make such a noise.  Good-bye, and may God manifest Himself
   in all His power to all of you, and make you to rejoice with joy
   unspeakable.  If we think of it, the only thing which makes the
   religion of our Lord Jesus Christ differ from that of every other
   religion, or profession, is this very indwelling of God the Holy Ghost
   in our bodies; we can do nothing good; Christ says, "Without me, ye
   can do nothing."  You are dead in trespasses and sins, you are
   corpses, and must have life put in you, and that life is God Himself,
   who dwells in us, and shows us the things of Christ."

   C. G. GORDON.

Letter. No. 2.

   "My Dear Mr. Wardle,--I had a nice letter the other day from one of my
   lads, Carr, whom I hope you will look after, as well as all the rest.
   I have often thought of you all.  Keep the "Tongue of Fire," {57}
   before you, and you will have great joy.  I have thought much lately
   on the subject of God dwelling in us, and speaking through us.  We are
   only witnesses, not judges; the Gospel is:--God loves you: not--Do you
   love God.  The one is a witness, the other an inquiry which is not to
   be made by man of his fellow man, for it is impossible for man to love
   God unless he first feels and knows that God loves him.  Our fault is,
   want of Charity one towards another.  We do not go down to the poor
   lost sinner, but ask him to do what of himself he cannot do, viz.,
   come up to us.  What ought to be always floating in our proud hearts
   is:--'Who made thee to differ.'

   Kind regards to all my friends.
   Never forgotten, or to be forgotten.
   Yours truly,
   C. G. GORDON."

Letter. No. 3.

   "My Dear Mr. Wardle, I send you 'Jukes on Genesis' and on the 'Four
   Gospels.'  I have to send you his work on 'The Offerings in
   Leviticus,' and also Macintosh's 'Genesis and Exodus.'  I am sure you
   will enjoy them.  I cut Genesis up so as to lend it about; I hope you
   won't mind my having used them, and marked some papers.  I hope D.V.
   to see you Monday evening, and with kind regards.

   Believe me yours sincerely in Christ,
   C. G. GORDON."

Gordon was intensely and deeply religious; it was in him certainly "as a
well of water springing up into everlasting life."  He could talk of
nothing else, in whatever company, it was the same theme--"Christ in you
the hope of glory."  A favourite text of his was 1. John, chap. 4, ver.
15--"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth
in him, and he in God."  This he took as a text for a little homily which
he printed and circulated by thousands.  After the above head-line, in
special type, it ran thus:--"Reader!  Do you confess that Jesus is the
Son of God?  Do you believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God?
If you do then God dwells in you to-day.  Whatever you are, whatever you
have been, or have done,--and if you ask Him, 'O Lord, I believe that
Jesus is the Son of God; show me, for His sake, that Thou livest in me.'
He will make you feel His presence in your hearts, and will make you feel
perfectly happy, which you cannot be in any other way.  Many believe
sincerely that Jesus is the Son of God, but are not happy, because they
do not believe THAT which God tells them--that He lives in them both in
body and soul, transforming the whole man into the likeness of Jesus
Christ, if they confess Jesus to be His son.  Do you believe this
statement?  If you do, yet do not feel God's presence, ask Him to show
Himself to you, and He will surely do so."

After this homily, on the same tract, were the following passages of
Scripture:--

   Luke, chap. 2, v. 13.  "If ye then being evil, know how to give good
   gifts to your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give
   the Holy Spirit to them that ask."

   Rom., chap. 10, v. 9.  "If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord
   Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from
   the dead, thou shalt be saved."

   I. Cor., chap. 3, v. 16.  "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,
   and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you."

   I. Cor., chap. 6, v. 19.  "Know ye not that your body is the temple of
   the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not
   your own."

   II. Cor., chap. 6, v. 16.  "Ye are the temple of the living God; as
   God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be
   their God, and they shall be my people."

The tone and spirit of this tract, is the kernel, if I may say so, of his
deepest religious convictions.

He gave me a number of New Testaments for distribution, as he did also to
one or two others of our missioners.  The following letter accompanies
the parcel:--

   "My dear Mr. Wardle,--I have sent thirty Testaments for you and thirty
   for Mr. Fielden.  Will you kindly oblige by marking in each the
   following passages, viz.:--

   Matt. chap. 2, V. 28, 29.  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are
   heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

   "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in
   heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

   Gal. ch. 5, v., 19., 25.  "Now the works of the flesh are manifest,
   which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness,
   idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
   seditions, heresies, 21.  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,
   and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you
   in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the
   Kingdom of God."  22.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
   peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23.  Meekness,
   temperance; against such there is no law.  42.  And they that are
   Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If
   we live in the spirit, let us walk in the spirit."

   Also I John ch. 4, v. 15.  "Whosoever shall confess, etc."

He also published a little work entitled "Christ and His members; or the
in-dwelling of God, the root of faith in Christ."  One or two quotations
may be sufficient to show the nature or scope of the work, a copy now
lies before me.

"Belief or faith in Jesus being the Son of God, is the distinguishing
spiritual mark of the members of Christ's body; it is a fruit which
springs from a root, or source, from which it is sustained, and
increased.  This root is the indwelling of God the Holy Ghost in the
soul.  This indwelling gives faith or belief in the fact that even as the
sun gives light, or the fire gives warmth, and as there can be no warmth
without fire, and no light without the sun, neither can there be any
belief in Jesus, without the indwelling of God in the soul."

He wrote me from Liverpool as follows:

   "My dear Mr. Wardle, do not forget to take the Testaments on Tuesday
   night.  I always carry some with me, and always regret if I am taken
   by surprise, and have not any.

   Read and delight in "The tongue of fire," especially the first four or
   five chapters.  If a man would be the instrument of winning souls to
   his Lord, it is utterly impossible for him to do so except through and
   by the Holy Ghost.  He must be loving the praise of God, more than
   that of man.  He must be humble, mean spirited it is called by many;
   even sometimes by his friends: and he can only be mean spirited by
   living near God.  Let a man live distant from God, who is light, and
   he will not think he is so bad, but will think himself a little better
   than others, but let him live near God, and as he lives near Him he
   will feel himself worse than the worst; such is the power of the
   glorious light . . . .  Goodbye; kind regards to all.

   Yours sincerely, C. G. GORDON."

Another letter from Gravesend.

   Nov. 24, 1868.

   "My dear Mr. Wardle, I thank you for your kind note.  I send you 500
   leaflets, kindly give them to the boys and girls of Buxton.  The
   servant forgot to pay the carriage, so I send a small sum which I hope
   will cover it.  I hear now and then of the Dark Lane Ragged School,
   from Mr. James Johnson, who kindly writes now and then.  I will write
   (D.V.) again shortly.  Kind regards.

   Yours sincerely
   C. G. GORDON."

Again he writes from Gravesend.

   "My Dear Mr. Wardle, I hope you have not forgotten me, for I have not
   done so to you, but I am sure you are very busy, and hard worked . . .
   .  Will you thank Fielden for his kind note and remember me to his
   wife and brother.  Tell him I was very glad to hear of two of my boys,
   English and Hogg.

   I often would like to look in and see you and the lads at _Dark Lane_,
   {63} and all my poor old sick folk I used to visit.  Remember me to
   them all.

   I do not see my way to come down yet awhile, for we have all our leave
   stopped.  Excuse me for I have my hands full of work.  Believe me, my
   dear Mr. Wardle.

   Yours sincerely
   C. G. GORDON."



CHAPTER IV.


   "In the love of a brave and faithful man, there is always a strain of
   maternal tenderness; he gives out again those beams of protecting
   fondness, which were shed on him as he lay upon his mother's
   knee."--GEO. ELLIOTT.

A son of one of our missionaries (J. Johnson) says of Gordon "he was one
of the most unassuming and gentle men I ever met; and I well remember his
saintly conversation, as he sat at tea with us.  I also remember, (though
only a youth) being struck with his humility, especially for one of his
rank and profession.  He generally had on a well worn greyish overcoat,
the side pockets of which gaped somewhat with constant usage for into
them he would cram a large number of tracts and sally forth in company
with me or another of the missionaries, or as sometimes happened he went
alone, drop a tract here or there and speak a seasonable word.  He spoke
to me as a youth, as some of our saintly old pastors used to do to the
children of the penniless where they stayed.  He wrote me occasionally.  A
specimen I herewith append."

Letter to Mr. Johnson, junr.:

   "My dear J. . . . since we had a few words together you have not been
   out of my mind for any length of time together, and I was very glad to
   hear of you to-day from your father.  God acts in mysterious ways and
   He gave me comfort concerning you on that evening.  Trust Him with all
   thine heart.  He says (He who cannot lie) He lives in you if you
   believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  His word is truth whatever may
   be our feelings, which change as the clouds.  You are my dear friend,
   saved not on account of your feelings, but because our blessed Lord
   loved you unto death, and has washed you in His own blood . . . .  I
   will not write more than express my hope that He who has begun a good
   work may perfect it.  Yea he surely will, for He says He will perfect
   that which concerneth us--make you useful in His service.  May He
   strengthen you to fight the good fight of faith, and give you that
   crown of glory which fadeth not away; I am very sure He will.  May His
   will be done on this poor sorrowing world, for the longer we live the
   more fleeting are its glories.  Good-bye, my dear young friend.
   Believe me

   Yours sincerely
   C. G. GORDON."

Also a further letter to Mr. Johnson.  This was written during my illness
and leave of absence from duty--

   "My dear Mr. Johnson, I have received your letter with many thanks.  I
   am so much obliged for your letting me know of MY LADS, and have
   written to them a few lines.  I wish sometimes I was with you.  I like
   your quiet earnestness; there is little of that here, and I like the
   work; I have also said a few words to your son; the Holy Ghost is the
   teacher for Him, and will not leave His work till he is happy.

   I hope Mr. Wardle is improving in health.  "And he shall sit as a
   refiner and purifier of silver."  Silver is spoilt if heated too much,
   therefore the refiner sits watching; until it is purified when the
   refiner sees his image reflected in its surface; so with us, our Lord
   will see that we are not too much heated, only just enough to reflect
   His image.  Will you thank Mr. Fielden for his kind letter, I quite
   feel for his trials in that district, but he has a fellow helper and
   worker in his kind Lord who feels for him and will support him through
   all.  Give my kind regard to Spence, your wife and son, and to all my
   friends.

   And believe me my dear Mr. Johnson,

   Yours sincerely,
   C. G. GORDON."

Mr. Johnson writes:--

   "One evening after I had been observing his patient endurance and
   perseverance with one of the reckless, insolent lads as we left the
   school, I, in a quiet pleasant way remarked "I fear Colonel, your
   Christian work in Dark Lane Ragged School will never get the fame and
   applause from this world that your military achievements in China have
   lately secured for you."

   "My dear Sir," he replied "If I can but be the means in the hands of
   God of leading any of these precious sons to Jesus, I must place that
   amongst the most glorious trophies of my life, and to hear the Master
   at last say 'Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these,
   ye have done it unto Me,' will be to me a resplendent undying glory
   when so many of earth's fleeting honours have tarnished."

   "It is impossible (says Lord Blatchford about General Gordon) to
   imagine a man more completely in the presence of God, or more
   absolutely careless of his own distinction, comfort, wealth or life.  A
   man unreservedly devoted to the cause of the oppressed.  One bows
   before him as before a man of a superior order of things."  Mr.
   Boulger says, "There will never be another Gordon."  Sir William
   Butler said of him, "He was unselfish as Sydney; of courage, dauntless
   as Wolfe; of honour, stainless as Outram; of sympathy, wide-reaching
   as Drummond; of honesty, straightforward as Napier; of faith, as
   steadfast as Moore."

We believe Gordon answered to all these encomiums and well deserved them.

Edgmont Hake, writing of him says:--"He lived wholly for others; his home
at Gravesend was school, hospital, church, and almshouse all in one.  His
work more like that of a Home missionary than of a military officer.  The
troubles of all interested him alike, but he had a warm corner in his
heart for lads."  This will be seen from letters produced.  Many of the
lads he rescued from the slums and gutters; he cleaned them, clothed
them, fed them, and gave them shelter and home, sometimes for weeks and
even longer.  He taught in the evenings lessons suitable to their
conditions; not forgetting the moral and spiritual side of his work.  And
he did this work without fee or reward, and he did it with all his heart.
He was as enthusiastic about this duty as he was about his military
duties.  He called these lads "_His kings_."

Leigh Hunt's ideal of a king describes very closely Gordon's ideal:--

   "'Tis not the wealth that makes a king
   Nor the purple colouring,
   Nor a brow that's bound with gold,
   Nor gate on mighty hinges rolled;
   That king is he who void of fear,
   Can look abroad with bosom clear,
   Who can tread ambition down,
   Nor be swayed by smile nor frown,
   Nor for all the treasure cares,
   That mine conceals or harvest wears,
   Or that golden sands deliver,
   Bosomed on a glassy river,
   Safe with wisdom for his crown,
   He looks on all things calmly down,
   He has no fear of earthly thing,
   This is it that makes a king,
   And all of us who e'er we be
   May carve us out such royalty."

On one occasion a lad in the employ of a Gravesend tradesman was
discovered to have been pilfering on a somewhat serious scale.  When the
fact was proved beyond question, the master declared he would have the
boy punished by imprisonment.  The mother of the boy, hearing of this sad
affair, was almost broken-hearted, and at her wit's end.  Someone who had
heard of Gordon's love for lads, also his intense desire to help all in
trouble, suggested that she should see him and explain her case.  So,
with all a mother's earnestness, she went at once to Gordon and told him
the whole story, and begged with tears for his sympathy and help.  After
hearing the story his heart was touched, he could not refuse a mother's
appeal.  When a mother pleads, there is power and pathos difficult for
any to withstand, much less Gordon.  So he went to the lad's late
employer, and after considerable argument, the master undertook not to
prosecute, but only on condition that Gordon would personally undertake
to look after the lad himself, for one year at least.  This Gordon
promised, and he took the boy to his own home, sent him to a good school
at his own expense for the year; then he got him a good situation on
board one of Her Majesty's vessels.  That lad became a man of honour and
respectability, secured good situations, won for himself a good
character, and the mother and the sailor boy in their heart often blessed
Gordon, who saved the boy from prison, ruin and disgrace, and the mother
from a broken heart.  His rescue work amongst boys was work he loved
supremely, in it he found his highest joys.  His pleasures were not
secured where many seek them, viz., at the theatre, at the
gambling-house, at the racecourse, at the public-house, or in
accumulating wealth, or in winning renown and glory--these were nothing
to Gordon.  To save a fallen lad, was to him the highest gratification;
in this work he was very successful.

Many a rescued lad was he able to restore to his home and to society, and
to the world.  For many of these lads he was able to secure situations on
board ship.  To show his interest in them when away he had a large map on
his study wall, in this map were pins in very many places.  These, he
told a visitor, showed the position of the ships on which his lads were
located; and he moved the pins as the ships moved and prayed for each boy
from day to day.  The workhouse and the infirmary were places he used to
visit, and his visits were remembered by the inmates, as all the fruits
and flowers he could grow were given to these places and to the sick and
poor whom he visited.  Very often the dying sent for him in preference to
a clergyman, and he was, if at home, always ready; no matter what the
weather or what the distance.  His works were essentially works of
charity, and these were not done to be seen of men.  He was one of the
humblest men I ever met.  He would not occupy the chair at a meeting or
even go on to the platform.  Once I remember he addressed a gathering
after tea of those who had been rescued and who were likely to be useful
to others, but he would not be lionised or praised.  He would say, "No; I
am but the instrument: the praise belongs to God."  His spirit was the
fruitful cause of all the work he did.

   "Give me that lowest place,
   Not that I dare ask for that lowest place.
   But Thou hast died that I might share
   Thy glory by Thy side.
   Give me that lowest place, or if for me
   That lowest place too high
   Make one more low, where I may sit
   And see my God; and love Thee so."

He recognised "that pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is
this, to visit the fatherless, and the widows in their affliction, and to
keep unspotted from the world."  This kindled his enthusiasm, influenced
his chivalrous character, and we think had largely to do with his
success.  To know him was to know a Christian, a Christlike man--God's
man.

With Job (ch. 29, verses 11, 12, etc.) he could say truly--

   "When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; when the eye saw me, it
   gave witness to me.  Because I delivered the poor that cried and the
   fatherless, and him that had none to help him.  The blessing of him
   that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart
   to sing for joy.  I was eyes to the blind and feet was I to the lame.
   I was a father to the poor, and the cause which I knew not I searched
   out."

He could truly say

   "I live for those that love me:
   For those that know me true;
   For the heaven that smiles above me
   And waits my coming too.
   For the cause that needs assistance,
   For the wrong that needs resistance.
   For the future in the distance,
   And for the good that I can do."

Upon his removal from Gravesend in 1873 a local newspaper writing of his
removal, and deploring his loss, said--"Our readers will hear with regret
of the departure of Colonel Gordon from the town, in which he has resided
for six years; gaining a name for the most exquisite charity that will
long be remembered.  Nor will he be less missed than remembered, for in
the lowest walks of life he has been so unwearied in well-doing that his
departure will be felt as a terrible calamity.  His charity was essential
charity, having its root in deep philanthropic feeling and goodness, and
always shunning the light of publicity."  Many were the friends who
grieved over his departure from Gravesend, for they ne'er would look upon
his like again.



CHAPTER V.


   "If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb e'er he dies, he shall
   live no longer in monuments than the bell rings and his widow
   weeps."--SHAKESPEARE.

A new chapter now opens in our story of Gordon.  Sir Samuel Baker had
resigned the honoured position of Governor General of the Soudan.  Gordon
was selected as the man who, of all others, was most suitable for such an
appointment.  Our Government acquiesced in the Khedive's offer of this
post to Gordon, so he accepted the responsible position.

The Khedive offered him, it is stated, a salary 10,000 pounds per annum;
this, however, he refused to accept.  He said "Your Majesty I cannot
accept it, as I should look upon it as the life's blood wrung out of
those poor people over whom you wish me to rule."  "Name your own terms
then," said the Khedive.  "Well," replied Gordon, "2,000 pounds per annum
I think will keep body and soul together, what should I require more than
this for."  About the close of the year 1873 he left his country and
loved ones behind him, for that lone sad land, with its ancient history.
We think Gordon played such a part that his name will be honourably
associated with Egypt, and remembered from generation to generation.

I am indebted to the author of _Gordon in Central Africa_ for the
following abstract of the Khedive's final instructions to Col. Gordon,
dated Feb. 16th, 1874.

   "The province which Colonel Gordon has undertaken to organise and to
   govern is but little known.  Up to the last few years, it had been in
   the hands of adventurers who had thought of nothing but their own
   lawless gains, and who had traded in ivory and slaves.  They
   established factories and governed them with armed men.  The
   neighbouring tribes were forced to traffic with them whether they
   liked it or not.  The Egyptian Government, in the hope of putting an
   end to this inhuman trade had taken the factories into their own
   hands, paying the owners an indemnification.

   Some of these men, nevertheless, had been still allowed to carry on
   trade in the district, under a promise that they would not deal in
   slaves.  They had been placed under the control of the Governor of the
   Soudan.  His authority, however, had scarcely been able to make itself
   felt in these remote countries.  The Khedive had resolved therefore to
   form them into a separate government, and to claim as a monopoly of
   the State, the whole of the trade with the outside world.  There was
   no other way of putting an end to the slave trade which at present was
   carried on by force of arms in defiance of law.  When once brigandage
   had become a thing of the past, and when once a breach had been made
   in the lawless customs of long ages, then trade might be made free to
   all.  If the men who had been in the pay of adventurers were willing
   to enter the service of the Government, Col. Gordon was to make all
   the use of them he could.  If on the other hand they attempted to
   follow their old course of life, whether openly or secretly, he was to
   put in force against them to the utmost severity of martial law.  Such
   men as these must find in the Governor neither indulgence, nor mercy.
   The lesson must be made clear even in those remote parts that a mere
   difference of colour does not turn men into wares, and that life and
   liberty are sacred things."

Another object of the new Governor should be to establish a line of posts
through all his provinces, so that from one end to the other they might
be brought into direct communication with Khartoum.  Those posts should
follow, as far as was possible, the line of the Nile; but for a distance
of seventy miles the navigation of that river was hindered by rapids.  He
was to search out the best way of overcoming this hindrance, and to make
a report thereon to the Khedive.

In dealing with the _Chieftains_ of the tribes which dwelt on the shores
of the lakes, the Governor was above all to try to win their confidence.
He must respect their territory, and conciliate them by presents, and
whatever influence he gains over them, he must use in the endeavour to
persuade them to put an end to the wars, which they so often make on each
other in the hope of carrying off slaves.  Much tact would be needed, for
should he succeed in stopping the slave trade, while wars were still
waged among the chiefs, it might well come to pass that, for want of a
market, the prisoners would, in such a case, be slaughtered.  Should he
find it needful to exercise a real control over any of these tribes, it
will be better to leave to the chieftains the direct government.  Their
obedience must be secured by making them dread his power.

He made the journey to Khartoum without any mishap or serious difficulty,
reaching there in May, 1874, and was installed in office on the fifth.  A
royal salute from the government house guns was fired in honour of this
event; the new Governor-General was, of course, expected to make a
speech, after the order of his predecessors.  But all he said was, "With
the help of God I will hold the balance level."  This was received with
the greatest enthusiasm, for it evidently pleased the people more than if
he had addressed them for an hour.  His attention was soon directed
towards the poverty-stricken and helpless people all around him.  He
caused special enquiries to be made; then he began to distribute his
gifts of charity to all who he believed were really in need; and in three
days he had given away one thousand pounds of his first year's salary.  He
had not been long in the Soudan before he realized the tremendous
responsibilities he had assumed; and with all his strength of character,
and his trust in his Almighty, ever-present Friend, it is not to be
wondered at that when alone in the trackless desert, with the results of
ages of wrong-doing before him, this man of heroic action and indomitable
spirit sometimes gave way to depression and murmuring; although this was
exceedingly rare.  If we remember what he had already done and suffered
for down-trodden humanity.  And that now he was doing heroic work for the
true hero's wages--the love of Christ, and the good of his fellow-men.  He
was labouring not for himself, but as the hand of God in providence, in
the faith that his work was of God's own appointing.  The wonder is that
in the face of perils so dangerous, work so difficult, and sufferings so
intense, that his spirit was not completely crushed and broken.  We must
bear in mind, his work there was to secure peace to a country that
appeared to be bent on war; to suppress slavery amongst a people to whom
it was a second nature, and to whom the trade in human flesh was life,
and honour, and fortune.  To make and discipline an army out of the
rawest recruits ever put in the field, to develop and grow a flourishing
trade, and to obtain a fair revenue, amid the wildest anarchy in the
world; the immensity of the undertaking, the infinity of detail involved
in a single step toward this end, the countless odds to be faced; the
many pests, the deadly climate, the nightly and daily alternations of
overpowering heat, and of bitter cold, to be endured and overcome; the
environment of bestial savagery, and ruthless fanaticism;--all these
contributed to make the achievement unique in human history.  He was face
to face with evil in its worst form, and saw it in all its appalling
effects upon the nation and its people.  He seemed to have everything
against him, and to be utterly alone.  There stood in front of him the
grim ruined land.  He faced it, however, as a saint and soldier should
do; he stood for right, truth, and for God.

{Gordon on his favourite camel: p81.jpg}

   "He would dare to do right.  Dare to be true
   He had a work that no other could do;
   He would do it so wisely, so bravely, so well,
   That angels might hasten the story to tell."

After some time he writes:--

   "How the Khedive is towards me I don't know, but thank God he prevents
   me caring for any one's favour or disfavour.  I honestly say I do not
   know anyone who would endure the exile and worries of my position out
   here.  Some might fear if they were dismissed, that the world would
   talk.  Thank God! I am screened from that fear.  I know that I have
   done my best, as far as my intellect would allow me, for the Khedive,
   and have tried to be just to all."

On contemplating retirement, he writes:--

   "Now imagine what I lose by coming back, if God so wills it; a life in
   a tent, with a cold humid air at night, to which if, from the heat of
   the tent you expose yourself, you will suffer for it, either in liver
   or elsewhere.  The most ordinary fare.  _Most_ ordinary I can assure
   you; no vegetables, dry biscuits, a few bits of broiled meat, and some
   dry macaroni, boiled in water and sugar.  I forgot some soup; up at
   dawn and to bed between eight and nine p.m.  No books but one, and
   that not often read for long, for I cannot sit down for a study of
   those mysteries.  All day long, worrying about writing orders, to be
   obeyed by others in the degree as they are near or distant from me:
   obliged to think of the veriest trifle, even to the knocking off the
   white ants from the stores, etc.--that is one's life; and, speaking
   materially, for what gain?  At the end of two years, say 2,000 pounds.
   At the end of three say 3,500 pounds at the outside.  The gain to be
   called 'His Excellency,' and this money.  Yet his poor 'Excellency'
   has to slave more than any individual; to pull ropes, to mend this;
   make a cover to that (just finished a capital cover to the duck Gun).
   I often say, 'drop the excellency, and do this instead.'"

Again he writes:--

   "This country would soon cure a man of his ambition, I think, and make
   him content with his lot.  The intense heat, and other stagnation
   except you have some disagreeable incident, would tame the most
   enthusiastic; a thin, miserable tent under which you sit, with the
   perspiration pouring off you.  A month of this life, and you would be
   dissatisfied with your lot."

Gordon had kept up some very interesting correspondence with an old
friend in China; an old officer in Gordon's "Ever victorious Army," Li
Hung Chang.  While Gordon is feeling unwell, and disposed to send his
resignation to the Khedive--he writes in his journal:--

   July 21st, 1879.

   "I shall (D.V.) leave for Cairo in ten days, and I hope to see you
   soon; but I may have to go to Johannis before I go to Cairo.  I am a
   wreck, like the portion of the 'Victory' towed into Gibraltar after
   Trafalgar; but God has enabled me, or rather has used me, to do what I
   wished to do--that is, break down the slave trade.  "Those that honour
   me I will honour."  May I be ground to dust, if He will glorify
   Himself in me; but give me a humble heart, for then he dwells there in
   comfort.  I wrote you a letter about my illness and tore it up.  Thank
   God, I am pretty well now, but I have passed the grave once lately,
   and never thought to see Khartoum.  The new Khedive is more civil, but
   I no longer distress myself with such things.  God is the sole ruler,
   and I try to walk sincerely before Him."

The letter from Li Hung Chang was to him a source of great satisfaction
and pleasure, as it showed his example had affected for good this eastern
ambassador, who visited this country only a very few years ago.

The letter ran thus:--

   TIENTSIN,
   _March 22nd_, _1879_.

   "To His Excellency Colonel C. G. Gordon,
   Khartoum, Egypt.

   "Dear Sir.--I am instructed by his Excellency the Grand Secretary, Li,
   to answer your esteemed favour, dated the 27th October, 1878, from
   Khartoum, which was duly received.  I am right glad to hear from you.
   It is now fourteen years since we parted from each other.  Although I
   have not written to you, I often speak of you, and remember you with
   very great interest.  The benefit you have conferred on China does not
   appear with your person, but is felt throughout the regions in which
   you played so important and active a part.  All those people bless you
   for the blessings of peace and prosperity which they now enjoy.

   Your achievements in Egypt are well known throughout the civilized
   world.  I see often in the papers of your noble works on the Upper
   Nile.  You are a man of ample resources, with which you suit yourself
   to any emergency.  My hope is that you may long be spared to improve
   the conditions of the people amongst whom your lot is cast.  I am
   striving hard to advance my people to a higher state of development,
   and to unite both this and all other nations within the 'Four seas'
   under one common brotherhood.

   I wish you all manner of happiness and prosperity.  With my highest
   regards,

   I remain,
   Yours truly,
   LI HUNG CHANG."

In all, and through all these various trying vicissitudes he remained
true to his innate religious convictions, and looked upon it all as the
filling in of a plan, which was divine.  His hours for prayer were
maintained with as great a regularity as were those of another eastern
official servant, Daniel, who "three times a day kneeled on his knees and
prayed and gave thanks to God."  Gordon, when at prayer, placed outside
his tent a white handkerchief, this was the sign the Governor was at his
devotions, and no servant or messenger must disturb him.  He kept closely
in touch with God, so to speak.  His outer life might be ruffled by
storms and tempests, but within he had the perfect peace.

While Gordon was hoping to get away from the trying climate and yet more
trying circumstances around him, a message (not unexpected) reached him,
giving him instructions to proceed to Abyssinia, and see if he could
settle the dispute or misunderstanding that had arisen between Johannis
the King and the Khedive.  He proceeded on that very risky mission as he
states in his letters; the journey was "indescribable in its solitary
grandeur.  These interminable deserts, and arid mountain passes fill the
heart with far different thoughts than civilized lands do."  With few
attendants, he writes:--"We are still slowly crawling over the world's
crust.  Reaching the dominions of the King of Abyssinia, we camped near
Ras Alonla, and the priests used to gather at 3 a.m. in knots of two and
three and chant for an hour in a wild melodious manner the Psalms of
David.  Awakened at this unearthly hour no one could help being
impressed.  Some of them had children who chanted."  Again he writes:--"We
have just passed a famous convent.  The great high priest, who only comes
out to meet the King, and who is supposed to be the King's right hand in
religious questions, came out to meet us.  I had some splendid silk
brocade, which I gave him.  He held a gold cross in his hand, and spoke
of the love of Christ.  He seemed to be a deeply religious man."

Father Soho says of Abyssinia:--

   "No country in the world is so full of churches, monasteries, and
   ecclesiastics, as Abyssinia.  It is hardly possible to sing in one
   church, or monastery, without being heard in another, and perhaps by
   several.  They sing the Psalms of David, of which they have a very
   exact translation in their own language.  They begin their concert by
   stamping their feet on the ground, and playing gently on their
   instruments; but when have become warm by degrees, they leave off
   drumming, and fall to leaping, dancing, shouting and clapping hands,
   till their is neither tune nor pause, but rather a religious riot.  For
   this manner of religious worship, they quote the Psalm--"O clap your
   hands, all ye nations."  Gordon says, "I could not but like this poor
   simple-minded peasantry."

Again he writes:--

   "We are about a days march from the river Taczzi, which joins the Nile
   at Berber.  Nearing the Palace, if so I may call it, I was met by the
   King's body guard.  I was of course wearing the Crest and Field
   Marshal's uniform; the soldiers were sitting on their heels and never
   got up.  Passing through them I found my mule so tired that I got down
   and walked.  On arrival at the Palace, I was admitted to the King, who
   sat upon a raised dais, with the Itage, or Chief Priest on the ground
   at his left hand.  Then guns were fired, and the King said, "That is
   in your honour, and you can retire," which I did, to see him again
   shortly.  Again Gordon visited the Royal personage, and was granted
   permission to present his case, but Gordon considered himself unduly
   humbled as he was ordered to stand afar off; a stool at length was
   placed for him to sit upon.  This humble position Gordon would at
   other times have accepted and tolerated, but not here and now; he must
   show his dignity as the representative of a Foreign, powerful monarch;
   he seized the stool and carried it up to near where the King sat, and
   placed it by his side, saying, "Though in your hands I may be a
   prisoner, I am a man as much as you are, and can only meet you as an
   equal."    His sable Majesty was greatly annoyed at Gordon's audacious
   conduct, and remarking said, "Gordon Pasha don't you know I am the
   King, and could kill you if I wished."  "I am perfectly aware of
   that," said Gordon, "Do so at once if it is your Royal pleasure, I am
   ready."  "What," said the King, "Ready to be killed?"  "Certainly,"
   said Gordon, "I am always ready to die, and so far from fearing you
   putting me to death, you would confer a favour on me by so doing, for
   you would be doing for me that which I am precluded by my religious
   convictions from doing for myself.  You would relieve me from all the
   troubles the future may have in store for me."  "Then my power has no
   terror for you, Gordon!"  "None whatever," he replied.  So Gordon
   proved more than a match for this half-civilized Abyssinian King.  His
   visit, however, could not be considered successful as his Majesty was
   unreasonable in all his demands, and so put out of the power of Gordon
   to reach any settlement.  So he left the King without effecting what
   he came to do.  How to get away now was to him a source of anxiety.  As
   he surmised, they were not likely to allow him to carry back the
   valuables he had in his possession.  It required all his tact and wit
   and discretion in this perilous position.  He, however, at the cost of
   about 1,400 pounds in bribes and gifts, managed to get away.  Then he
   had to find his way back alone.  This was a severe ordeal.  Over
   mountains covered with snow, and through defiles of rocky places, now
   meeting with wild hordes of the dog-faced baboons, then with the
   uncivilized tribes of the human species none the less dangerous.  He,
   however, by the care of an ever watchful Providence, had escaped
   serious harm and reached Khartoum in safety."



CHAPTER VI.


   "There is no death, what seems so is transition.
   This life of mortal breath is but the suburb of the life Elysian,
         Whose portals we call Death."--LONGFELLOW.

Gordon had felt for some time uneasy in his position, as the under
officials looked upon him as a religious fanatic, and too strict to
govern; they tried to annoy him, and they succeeded: so he sent in his
resignation to the Khedive, and as soon as he could conveniently, he
turned his face homeward.

First of course he visited the Khedive, and he received from him a
princely welcome, being addressed by him in these words: "I am glad to
see you Gordon Pasha again amongst us, and have great pleasure in once
more personally acknowledging the loyalty with which you always served my
country, and my government.  I should very much like you to remain in my
service, but if you must retire from us, as you say you must, then I am
reluctantly compelled to accept your resignation.  I regret, my dear
Gordon, to lose so valued a counsellor and friend, and the hearty
co-operation of so useful a servant: and in parting from you, I desire to
express my sincere thanks to you; assuring you that my remembrance of you
and of your services to this country will never be forgotten."

Gordon was greatly in need of the rest he now seemed to have secured by
his resignation.  His over sensitive nature could not have borne up much
longer; a frame of iron must have gone under in such circumstances; for
on his own individual shoulders he carried each man's burden, causing him
days of anxiety and nights of unrest.  At Alexandria he was examined by
Dr. MacKie the surgeon to the British Consulate, who certified that he
was "suffering from symptoms of nervous exhaustion.  I have recommended
him (the Dr. adds) to retire for several months for complete rest, and
quiet--and that he may be able to enjoy fresh and wholesome food, as I
consider much of this illness is the result of continued bodily fatigue,
anxiety and indigestible food.  I have strongly insisted on his
abstaining from all exciting work--especially such as implies business or
political excitement."  Splendid advice, but would Gordon follow it?
Could his active life be suppressed even for so short a time?  None find
it harder to rest than those who need it most.  Gordon had often thought
of what pleasure in rest he would find when his retirement was an
accomplished fact.  He would lie in bed until dinner.  He would take
short walks after dinner.  He would undertake no long journeys, either
driving or by railway.  He would not be tempted to go to dinner parties.
He would really have a quiet time; it was, however, only for a short
period.

The private secretaryship to Lord Ripon was vacant, and it was offered to
Gordon; he accepted it, but on landing at Bombay he found the position
would not be to his liking.  He says of Lord Ripon, "we parted perfect
friends."  After Gordon left Egypt someone there wrote to our press
saying, "The name of Gordon whenever and wherever mentioned sends a
thrill of admiration and love throughout the vast Soudan territory.  For
a hand so strong, yet withal so beneficent, has never before ruled the
peoples of this unhappy country."  Gordon left the Soudan peaceful,
prosperous and happy, comparatively.  After his resignation of the
position of private secretary to Lord Ripon, he was invited to visit
China again by Mr. Hart, Chinese Commissioner of Customs at Pekin, who
said to Gordon, "I am directed to invite you here (that is to say China).
Please come and see for yourself.  This opportunity for doing really
useful work on a large scale ought not to be lost: work, position,
conditions can all be arranged with yourself here to your satisfaction.
Do take six months leave and come."  It was characteristic of Gordon that
he replied as follows:--"Inform Hart, Gordon will leave for Shanghai
first opportunity; as for the conditions, Gordon is indifferent."

He applied to our Government for leave of absence on the grounds that he
was invited to go to China.  They asked him to state more particularly
what for, and what position he was intending to fill.  "I am ignorant"
was his reply.  This was not considered satisfactory and leave was
refused.  He, however, sent his resignation to the War Office, and
proceeded to China.  Reaching the flowery land, once more he proceeded
from Shanghai to Tientsin and there he had an interview with his old
friend and companion in arms, Li Hung Chang.  From him he learned the
condition in which national and political matters stood.  His stay in
China was not very prolonged, but his influence was felt in the Councils
of the Empire; and when he left he knew that peace prevailed, and that
the war between Russia and China had been averted.  In the meantime
things in the Soudan began to give trouble, the cloud on the horizon
gathered in blackness.  Almost immediately Gordon left the Soudan the
Turkish Pashas began their plundering, robbing and ill-treating the poor
Soudanese so much that we cannot wonder at the rising of the natives in
favour of the Madhi, for the latter was promising them deliverance from
this cruel oppression.  The rule of the Pashas and Bashi-Ba-Zoucks, the
Duke of Argyle declared to be "cruel, intolerant, and unbearable."

Colonel Stewart, in his report, stated that "he believed not one half of
the taxes wrung from these poor people ever found their money go into the
treasury of the Khedive."  They were taxed and levied so unjustly and
unmercifully that whole districts were reduced to absolute destitution.
The general rising of the natives against this dire oppression, threw
them into the arms of the Madhi.  He very soon had a most powerful
following, and he quickly mobilized an army that in 1882 was believed to
number not less than 200,000 fighting men.  In July of that year this
boastful usurper pushed his forces into conflict with the Egyptians, when
the latter were worsted with terrible loss.  About 6,000 of their bravest
men were either killed in battle or left wounded on the field and the
remainder were routed.  Shortly after another great battle followed.  This
also went in favour of the usurper, and a loss of 10,000 men inflicted.
One engagement followed another and all went to show that the Madhi had
won the sympathy and support of the masses of the people, and it appeared
likely he would soon have undisputed sway over the entire Soudan.  Still
another effort was to be made to hurl back this powerful and persistent
foe.  Hicks Pasha, "a brave leader," "a noble general," with an army of
10,000 men, with 6,000 camels, a large number of pack horses and mules,
was sent to arrest the advance of this desperate foe.  For some time no
news reached us, as he was shut out from all means of communication with
the outer world.  At length the appalling news came, not only of his
defeat, but of his utter destruction.  One man only was known to have
escaped to tell the tale.  He states, "We were led by a treacherous guide
into a mountain pass or defile, and there shut in by rocks; we were
confronted and surrounded by probably 100,000 of the enemy.  For three
days and nights the battle raged; the few British officers fought like
lions against these overwhelming odds, until, so completely cut up by
sword, bullet and spear, that he feared he was the only man who managed
to escape."  This large army was literally annihilated--1,200 officers
perished in this one battle.  The Madhi took 17,000 Remington rifles, 7
Krupp guns, 6 Nordenfelts, 29 brass mounted cannon, and a very large
amount of ammunition.  So that he appeared to be master of the situation.
"What next for the Soudan?" was being everywhere asked in Egypt and in
the Soudan.  "Oh that Gordon was here," was the cry of many of the poor
down-trodden Soudanese.  They believed him to be the only man who could
bring peace to their desolate and unhappy country.

Gordon was at that time taking a quiet rest near Jaffa, in the Holy Land,
and making investigations into places specially spoken of in the
Scriptures.  He thought he could locate the place where Samuel took Agag
and hewed him to pieces.  Also the well, called "Jacob's Well," and other
places of interest.  It is said at this juncture, things in the Soudan
had become hopeless.  A gentleman sent to one of the papers at Cairo the
following message: "Would to God that an angel would stand at the elbow
of Lord Granville in London, and say, And now send men to Joppa, and call
for one Gordon, and he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do."  Strange
to say, about this time, Gordon was sent for to London, where he had
interviews with Lord Hartington, Secretary of State for War, Lord
Granville, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lord Northbrook, First Lord of
the Admiralty, and Sir Charles Dilke, President of the Local Government
Board, at the War Office, and in a very short space of time, the
question, which was destined to have far reaching results, was settled,
and Gordon declared his willingness to go to Khartoum at the earliest
possible date.  Indeed he said, "At once," and to go alone.

Something like the following conversation is said to have taken place
between Gordon and one of his very intimate friends: "Well, General, have
you got your kit ready?"  His reply was, "I have got what I always have:
this hat is good enough, so are these clothes, my boots I think are
strong enough."  "And how are you off for cash?"  "Ah! I was nearly
forgetting that.  I had to borrow 25 pounds from the King of the Belgians
to bring me home from Palestine; this I must repay, and I shall of course
need a little more for common daily use."  "How much do you think, two or
three thousand pounds?"  "Oh dear no!  One hundred pounds apiece for
myself and Stewart, will be enough; what on earth should we want so much
money for."  And so the gallant general, with his faithful companion--the
late lamented Colonel Stewart, started.

We are told they were accompanied to Charing Cross railway station by H.
R. H. the Duke of Cambridge, who took their tickets for them; also by
Lord Wolseley (who would insist on carrying Gordon's portmanteau),
Colonel Brackenbury, and Lord Hartington's private secretary, who bade
them good-bye, and God speed on their mission, from which they were never
to return.  We think history will never record a more heroic example of
patriotism, than that of this God-fearing officer, riding forth upon his
swift footed camel, with only one English friend and companion, the
Colonel Stewart, and a few Arab attendants, to confront and settle the
wild and barbarous hordes of the Madhi.

One of our papers published the following appropriate lines:--

   "Not with an army at command,
   Not fenced about with guns and swords,
   But trusting to their single hands,
   Amid a host of savage hordes,
   The hero Gordon wends in haste,
   Across the desert's arid waste,
   Beset with perils lies his way,
   Yet fear he knows not: Nelson like,
   His life would be an easy prey,
   If but the Arab dare to strike.
   But over him there hangs a spell,
   The Soudan people know full well:
   Oft he had taught the Eastern mind
   The grace of noble-hearted deeds;
   Oft cast abuses to the wind,
   And succoured men in direst needs;
   Nor shall the charm that all allow
   Is grandly his, forsake him now:
   Oh! should the power of his name
   Bend the false prophet to its thrall
   And make him deem the hero came,
   To pay him just a friendly call,
   The ruthless carnage soon might cease,
   And Egypt be again at peace."

The subject of Gordon's mission came up several times in the British
House of Commons as might be expected.  Sir Stafford Northcote on one
occasion said--"There is one point upon which all our minds are fixed--I
mean the mission of General Gordon.  On that point I was anxious to say
little or nothing.  General Gordon is now engaged in an attempt of the
most gallant and dangerous kind.  No one can speak with too much
admiration of his courage and self-devotion: no one can fail, in this
country to sympathise with him, and earnestly desire his safety and
success."

Reaching Cairo, Gordon received his plans and instructions from the
Khedive, and here we think arose some of the complications and
misunderstandings as to his actual position.  Was he in the employ of the
Khedive, or was he still responsible to the Home Government?  The Khedive
expressed himself to Gordon in a letter dated Jan. 26, 1884.

"Excellency,--You are aware that the object of your arrival here, and of
your mission to the Soudan is to carry into execution the evacuation of
those territories, and to withdraw our troops, civil officials, and such
of the inhabitants, together with their belongings, as may wish to leave
for Egypt.  We trust that your Excellency will adopt the most effective
measures for the accomplishment of your mission in this respect, and
that, after completing the evacuation, you will take the necessary steps
for establishing an organized Government in the different provinces of
the Soudan, for the maintenance of order, and the cessation of disasters,
and incitement to revolt.  We have full confidence in your tried
abilities and tact, and are convinced that you will accomplish your
mission according to your desire."

This was hardly in harmony with a telegram from Lord Granville who said
that "_undertaking military expeditions was beyond the scope of the
Commission he held_, _and at variance with the pacific policy which was
the purpose of his mission to the Soudan_."  Between the Khedive's
instructions and commission to Gordon, and his holding commission as an
officer of the Crown, Gordon was in a very difficult position, and those
who have blamed Mr. Gladstone, for what they may have been pleased to
call "desertion of Gordon," should acquaint themselves with all the
circumstances of the case before doing so, and when all is known, such
blame will be withheld.

Gordon, without lingering in Cairo, hastened to cross the desert and get
to Khartoum as quickly as possible.  Thus our hero went forth with a
gallantry never surpassed, if ever equalled.  He rode his camel across
that land of storm and drought, trusting only in Him, who had so often
"covered his defenceless head, beneath the shadow of His wing."



CHAPTER VII.


   "Not all who seem to fail have failed indeed,
   Not all who fail have therefore worked in vain;
   There is no failure for the good and wise;
   What though the seed should fall by the way-side,
   And the birds snatch it; yet the birds are fed,
   Or they may bear it far across the tide
   To give rich harvests after thou art dead."

   KINGSLEY.

Sir E. Baring wired to Lord Granville, "The interview between Gordon and
the Khedive was very satisfactory."  Again--"Gordon leaves Cairo in good
spirits."

His arrival at Khartoum, it is stated, was marked by wonderful
demonstrations of welcome by the people; thousands of them pressing
towards him to kiss his feet: calling him the "Sultan of the Soudan."  His
first speech was received with the wildest enthusiasm.  He said, "I come
not with soldiers but with God on my side, to redress the wrongs of the
Soudan."  The day after he held a levee at the palace, when vast
multitudes thronged around him, kissing the ground on which he walked,
calling him "Father," "Sultan," "Saviour."  He appreciated highly their
apparent loyalty and devotion, and he had offices opened at once where
everyone who had a grievance might bring it, have it heard and judged.

The Government books recording the outstanding debts of the over-taxed
people, _were publicly burned in the presence of thousands of onlookers;
the kourbasher_, _whips_, _and implements of torture were thrown down
upon the blazing pile_: thus the evidence of debts, and the emblems of
oppression perished together in the presence of an almost frenzied
people!  Next Gordon visited the prisons; there he found dreadful dens of
misery; over two hundred poor starving emaciated beings were confined
therein; some bound with chains: some mere boys, some old men and women.
Many of them were there simply on suspicion, and had never had a hearing.
The cases were quickly and carefully enquired into, and before sunset
that day, most of the unhappy wretches had their chains struck off and
their freedom given them.

For many days, the markets and shops, and bazaars were finely
illuminated; and the rejoicing for Gordon's presence and deeds was
general and universal.  Alas, however, the cloud which had so long hung
over the Soudan began to thicken.  The Madhi was not to be cheated of
what he thought his rightful authority and dominion.  The following
letter recorded in Gordon's journal was received by him from the Madhi:--

   "In the name of God the merciful and compassionate;
   Praise be to God, the bountiful ruler, and blessing
   on our Lord Mahomet and peace.  From the servant who
   trusts in God--Mahomet, the son of Abdallah.

   To Gordon Pasha of Khartoum,--May God guide him into the path of
   virtue, Amen!  Know that your small steamer, named 'Abbas' which you
   sent with the intention of forwarding your news to Cairo, by the way
   of Dongola, the persons sent being your representative, Stewart Pasha,
   and the two Consuls, French and English, with other persons, has been
   captured by the will of God.  Those who believed in us as the Madhi
   and surrendered, have been delivered; and those who did not have been
   destroyed.  As your representative afore-named, with the Consuls and
   the rest--whose souls God has condemned to the fire and to eternal
   misery: That steamer and all that was in it have fallen a prey to the
   Moslems, and we have taken knowledge of all the letters and telegrams
   which were in it, in Arabic and in Frankish (languages) and of the
   maps, which were opened to us (translated) by those on whom God has
   bestowed his gifts, and has enlightened their hearts with faith, and
   the benefits of willing submission.  Also we have found therein the
   letters sent from you to the Mudir of Dongola, with the letters, &c.,
   accompanying to be forwarded to Egypt and to European countries.  All
   have been seized, and the contents are known.  It should all have been
   returned to you, not being wanted here; but as it was originally sent
   from you, and is known to you, we prefer to send you part of the
   contents, and mention the property therein, so that you may be
   certified: and in order that the truth may make a lasting impression
   on my mind--in the hope that God may guide thee to the faith of Islam,
   and to surrender to him and to us, that so you and they may obtain
   everlasting good and happiness.  Now, first among the documents seized
   is the cipher dated September 22, 1884, 'to the Mudir of Dongola.' . .
   .  On the back of which is your telegram to the Khedive of Egypt . . .
   We have also taken knowledge of your journal (daily record) of the
   provision in the granary . . .  Also your letters written in European
   all about the size of Khartoum; and all about the arranging of the
   steamers, with the number of troops in them and their arms, and the
   cannon, and about the movements of the troops, and the defeat of your
   people, and your request for reinforcements, even if only a single
   regiment, and all about how your agent Cuzzi turned Moslem.  Also many
   letters which had come to you from your lieutenants and what they
   contained of advice, also stating the number of Europeans at Khartoum
   . . . .  Also the diary (registry) of the arms, ammunition, guns and
   soldiers . . . .  We have also noted the telegrams of the officials
   and of the presidents of Courts, and of the Kadi and the Muftis, and
   Ulema, numbering 34, sent to the Mohurdar of the Khedive in Egypt,
   dated Aug. 28th, 1884, in which they ask for succour from the Egyptian
   Government . . .  Also your cipher telegrams to the Mohurdar of the
   Khedive in which you explain that on your arrival at Khartoum the
   impossibility had become clear to you of withdrawing the troops and
   the employes, and sending them to Egypt, on account of the rebellions
   in the country, and on the closing of the roads; for which reason you
   ask for reinforcements which did not come . . .  Also about your
   coming to Khartoum with seven men after the annihilation of Hicks'
   army; and your requesting a telegram to be sent to you in Arabic, in
   plain language, about the Soudan to show to the people of Khartoum--as
   the telegrams in European cipher do not explain enough . . .  Also
   your letter to the Khedive of Egypt, without date, in which you ask to
   have English soldiers sent . . .  And your letter to the President of
   the Council and the English Minister at Cairo, in which you speak of
   your appointing three steamers to go and inquire as to the state of
   Sennaar, and that you will send soldiers to Berber by the steamers to
   recapture it, sending with them Stewart and the Consuls, whom the Most
   High God has destroyed.  Also we have seen the two seals engraved with
   our name to imitate our seals . . . .  Tricks in making ciphers, and
   using so many languages, are of no avail.  From the Most High God, to
   whom be praise, no secrets can be hidden.  As to your expecting
   reinforcements, reliance for succour on others than God, that will
   bring you nothing but destruction, and cause you to fall into utmost
   danger in this world and the next.  For God Most High has dispersed
   sedition through our manifestation, and has vanquished the wicked and
   obstinate people, and has guided those who have understanding in the
   way of righteousness.  And there is no refuge but in God, and in
   obedience to His command, and that of His prophet and of His Madhi.  No
   doubt you have heard what has happened to your brethren from whom you
   expected help, at Suakin and elsewhere, whom God has destroyed, and
   dispersed and abandoned.  Notwithstanding all this, as we have arrived
   at a days journey from Omdurman and are coming please God, to your
   place, if you return to the most High God and become a Moslem and
   surrender to His Order and that of His prophet, and believe in us as
   the Madhi, send us a message from thee, and from those with thee,
   after laying down your arms and giving up the thought of fighting, so
   that I may send you one with safe conduct, by which you will obtain
   assurance of benefits of the blessings of this world and the next.
   Otherwise, and if you do not act thus, you will have to encounter war
   from God and His prophet.  And know that the Most High God is mighty
   for thy destruction, as He has destroyed others before thee, who were
   much stronger than thee, and more numerous.  And you, and your
   children and your property, will be for a prey to the monsters, and
   you will repent when repentance will not avail . . .  And there is no
   succourer or strength but in God, and peace be upon those who have
   followed the Madhi.  (_Guidance_.)

   POSTSCRIPT.--"In one of your cipher-telegrams sent to Bahkri and
   seized, you mention that the troops present in Bahr Gazelle and the
   Equator and elsewhere number 30,000 soldiers whom you cannot leave
   behind, even though you should die.  And know that Bahr Gazelle and
   the Equator are both of them under our power and both have followed us
   as Madhi, and that they and their chiefs and all their officers are
   now among the auxiliaries of the Madhi.  And they have joined our
   lieutenants in that part, and letters from them are constantly coming
   and going without hinderence or diminution of numbers. . . .  By this
   thou wilt see and understand that it is not under thy command as thou
   thinkest.  And for thy better information and our compassion for thee
   we have added this postscript.

   (_Seal_.)

   There is no God but Allah.
   Mahomet is the prophet Allah.
   Mahomet the Madhi, son of Abd Allah."

   Year 1292.

Gordon's reply was just what we should expect from an officer of his
temperament and experience.  It is true things looked anything but
cheering and our hero needed all his force of character and confidence in
the God of Israel.  This he had and kept brightly burning.  To the Madhi
he replied--

   "Sheikh Mahomed Achmed has sent us a letter to inform us that Lupton
   Bey, Mudir of 'Bahr Gazelle' has surrendered to him, and that the
   small steamer in which was Stewart Pasha, has been captured by him,
   together with what was therein.  But to me it is all one whether
   Lupton Bey has surrendered or has not surrendered.  And whether he has
   captured twenty thousand steamers like the 'Abbas' or twenty thousand
   officers like Stuart Pasha or not; it is all one to me.  I am here
   like iron, and hope to see the newly arrived English; and if Mahomed
   Achmed says that the English die, it is all the same to me.  And you
   must take a copy of this and give it to the messenger from Slatin, and
   send him out early in the morning, that he may go to him.  It is
   impossible for me to have any more words with Mahomed Achmed, only
   lead; and if Mahomed Achmed is willing to fight he had better, instead
   of going to Omdurman, go to the white hill by the moat."

   (Signed) C. G. GORDON.

Gordon, though borne up by a sense of the Divine presence, yet he
occasionally at least, felt as if he was leading a forlorn hope.  We know
not, nor can we ever know all the deeds of heroism he did for that down
trodden people.

   "A life long year unsuccoured and alone
   He stemmed the fury of fanatic strife,
   Till all lands claimed the hero as their own,
   And wondering would he there lay down his life."

It is a mystery, and one that will never be solved, how he supported his
vast family in Khartoum; for food had to be distributed to each
individual member for months.  It is also a sad but remarkable fact, that
through the last ten months he had to depend upon the most unreliable and
worthless of troops.  And for four of those weary months, he had been
without the cheering presence of his companion in arms, Colonel Stewart.
Yet he held out bravely, courageously, and in hope of English help.  At
this juncture a poetess wrote--

   "A message from one who went in haste
   Came flashing across the sea,
   It told not of weakness, but trust in God,
   When it asked us--pray for me.
   And since from Churches, and English homes,
   In the day or the twilight dim,
   A chorus of prayers went up to God--
   Bless and take care of him:
   A lonely man to those strange far lands,
   He has gone with a word of peace;
   And a million hearts are questioning
   With a pain that cannot cease:
   Is Gordon safe?  Is there news of him?
   What will the tidings be?
   There is little to do but trust and wait;
   Yet utterly safe is he.
   Was he not safe when the Chinese shots,
   Were flying about his head,
   When trouble thickened with every day,
   And he was sore bestead;
   Was he not safe in his dreary rides,
   Over the desert sands;
   Safe with the Abyssinian King;
   Safe with the robber bands;
   We know not the dangers around him now,
   But this we surely know--
   He has with him in his hour of need,
   His Protector of long ago;
   He is not alone, but a Friend is by
   Who answers to every need;
   God is his refuge and strength at hand,
   Gordon is safe indeed:
   Safe in living, in dying safe, where is the need of pain;
   We may pray--God give the hero long life,
   But death would be infinite gain.



CHAPTER VIII.


   "There is a better thing on earth than wealth, a better thing than
   life itself, and that is to have done something before you die, for
   which good men may honour you, and God your Father smile upon your
   work."

   --GEO. MACDONALD.

The last Arab messenger that came from Khartoum before it fell, said,
"Gordon goes every morning at sunrise to the top of his Palace wall, and
with his large field glass, sweeps the horizon as far as possible, and
notes as clearly as may be the position of the Madhi's forces, which now
surrounded the City.  As night falls, he visits the men at their various
stations, to give them advice, or encouragement, as the case might be
deemed necessary.  In the daytime he studies his maps and reads his
Bible, and a work on "Holy living," by Thomas a Kempis, and preserves
such a faith in God as inspired all around him with a courage akin to his
own.

   "He held the city, he so long
   Faithful mid falterers, mid much weakness strong,
   Upon those ramparts now he fought, he planned,
   That Citadel was by one true man well manned."

A letter from Kitchener reached Gordon, which raised his hopes and
considerably brightened his prospects for the time being.  It ran thus:--

   "Dear General Gordon.--Mr. Edgerton has asked me to send you the
   following:--'August 30th.  Tell Gordon steamers are being passed over
   the Second Cataracts, and that we wish to be informed through Dongola
   exactly when he expects to be in difficulties as to provision and
   ammunition.'  Message ends--"Lord Wolseley is coming out to command;
   the 35th regiment is now being sent from Halfa to Dongola.  Sir E.
   Wood is at Halfa, General Earle, Dormer, Buller, and Freemantle are
   coming up the Nile with troops.  I think an expedition will be sent
   across from here to Khartoum, while another goes with steamers to
   Berber.  A few words about what you wish to be done would be
   acceptable."

{Gordon's last slumber: p118.jpg}

In Gordon's journal he says:--"My view is this as to the operations of
British forces.  I will put three steamers each with two guns on them,
and an armed force of infantry at the disposal of any British authority;
will send these steamers to either Methemma opposite Shendy, or to the
cataract below Berber to meet there any British force which may come
across country to the Nile. . . .  I cannot too much impress upon you
that this expedition will not encounter any enemy worth the name in a
European sense of the word; the struggle is with the climate and
destitution of the country.  It is one of time and patience, and of small
parties of determined men backed by native allies, which are to be got by
policy and money. . . .  It is the country of the irregular, not of the
regular.  If you move in mass you will find no end of difficulties;
whereas if you let detached parties dash out here and there, you will
spread dismay in the Arab camps.  The time to attack is the dawn, or
rather before it, but sixty men would put the Arabs to flight just before
dawn, while one thousand would not accomplish in daylight.  The reason is
that the strength of the Arabs is in their horsemen, who do not dare to
act in the dark.  I do hope that you will not drag on the artillery, it
will only cause delay and do no good."

To his sister he writes:--

   _November 5th_, _1884_.

   "Your kind letter, August 7th, came yesterday.  We have the Madhi
   close to us, but the Arabs are very quiet. . . . .  Terrible news--I
   hear the steamer I sent down with Stewart, Power, and Herbin (French
   Consul) has been captured and all are killed.  I cannot understand
   it--whether an act of treachery by someone, or struck on a rock, it is
   to me unaccountable, for she was well armed and had a gun with her; if
   she is lost, so is the journal of events from Jan. 3rd, 1884, to Sept.
   10th, 1884.  A huge volume illustrated and full of interest.  I have
   put my steamers at Metemma to wait for the troops.  I am very well but
   very gray, with the continual strain upon my nerves.  I have been
   putting the Sheikh-el-Islam and Cadi in prison; they were suspected of
   writing to the Madhi.  I let them out yesterday.  I am very grieved
   for the relatives of Stewart, Power, and Herbin."

Again he writes:--

   _Dec. 14th_, _1884_.

   "This may be the last letter you will receive from me, for we are on
   our last legs, owing to the delay of the expedition.  However, God
   rules all, and I know He will rule to His glory and our welfare.  I
   fear that, owing to circumstances, my affairs pecuniarily are not over
   bright.

   Your affectionate brother,
   C. G. GORDON."

   P.S.--"I am very happy, thank God, and, like Lawrence, 'I have tried
   to do my duty.'"

Meanwhile, Gordon is thus hemmed in.  General Wolseley and his noble band
are on their way to his relief.  Many and peculiar are the difficulties
of both climate, country, and foes; yet they face them like brave, true
Englishmen.  The journey from Cairo to Ambukol, a distance of more than
one thousand miles, had been traversed without serious opposition.  From
here, however, as they near Khartoum, now about two hundred and fifty
miles, taking the nearest desert route.  Lord Wolseley seems here to halt
and hesitate, whether it is best to go by the Nile, which, as shown on a
map, takes a bend, forming the shape of a letter 'S' nearly; or whether
to take the shortest cut and risk the opposition that may be expected.  He
eventually decides that the Camel Corps and a portion of the Infantry
shall take the short cut; the desert route to Metemmeh: the rest to go by
the Nile.  It is evidently Wolseley's wish to punish the tribes who
murdered Stewart, and his companions; so he orders the South
Staffordshire, 38th, and the Royal Sussex, 35th, and the Black Watch,
42nd, to advance to Abu Hamed, which lies at the northern bend of the
'S,' which the Nile makes between Dongola and Metemmeh.

The Camel Corps are ordered to make a dash across the desert to the same
place.  Little did our force dream of the difficulties, dangers and
deaths that lay before them as they entered upon that desert march.  We
only indicate some of them.  On their march we are told that having
nearly reached Abu Klea "we were turning into our zareba, when it was
noticed that a group of some two hundred Arabs were on the hills, not far
from us.  Two shells were sent amongst them, which caused them to retire,
but we soon found their sharpshooters had crept to within 1,200 yards of
our right flank.  Also they began to drop bullets into our midst, which
were annoying and destructive.  Half a company of Mounted Infantry were
told off to drive them away.  All officers were to see that the men were
at their posts, with bayonets fixed, ready to jump to their feet at the
very first alarm.  With their overcoats on and their blankets wrapped
around them, men lay down on that memorable night.  All lights put out,
all talking and smoking strictly prohibited.  A deadly stillness,
disturbed only by the whizzing or thud of the shot from the enemy's guns.
Colonel Burnaby, who had managed somehow to find a place in the
Expedition, expressed his great delight in having arrived in time to
engage in what he now saw to be the prospect of a terrible struggle.

He stated, "that he had arrived at that time of life when the two things
that interested him most were war and politics; and was just as happy in
the desert fighting the Arabs, as he was at home slating an unworthy
politician.  Here, however, he was, and must face the conflict."  January,
16th, 1885.  About 10 p.m.  The sentries came rushing into the lines.  The
officers called out, "stand to your arms men."  The alarm, however, was
false--only a feint on the part of the enemy.  Still (says the writer),
they kept harassing us by a continual dropping of shot from their long
rangers.  About 7.30 a.m., General Stewart prepared to send out an
attacking column, with the object of driving them from the wells, which
were now only four or five miles distant.  The troops marched out--Mounted
Infantry, Royal Artillery with three guns, Guards (this was the Front
Face); Right Face--Guards, Royal Sussex; Left Face--Mounted Infantry,
Heavy Cavalry Regiment.  The 19th Hussars, under Colonel Barrow,
numbering 90 sabres, were sent to left flank to advance along the spur of
land on the north of the wady.  Their duty was to move forward on a line
paralleled with the Square, and prevent the enemy on our left from
gaining the high ground across the little wady.  A squadron of the 19th,
thirty sabres strong, followed the Square, marching by the front right to
assist the skirmishers.  The Heavies were in charge of Colonel Talbot;
the Guards by Colonel Boscowen; the Mounted Infantry by Major Barrow; the
Naval Brigade by Lord Charles Beresford; the Royal Sussex by Major
Sunderland; the Royal Artillery by Captain Norton; and the Royal
Engineers by Major Dorwood.  So they marched slowly forward.  The
progress was like that of some ponderous machine, slow, regular, compact,
despite the hail of bullets that came from front, left and right, and
ultimately from the rear.  Some ten or twelve thousand Arabs it was seen
had surrounded the Zareba.  There was no retreat; it was "do or die!"
About 9.50 a.m., about 5000 of the enemy were seen on the opposite side
of the square, 400 or 500 yards distant, and seemed as if they would make
a dash for our square.  Dervishes on horseback, and some on foot,
marshalled them, standing a few paces in front of the frantic host.  With
banners fluttering, tom-toms clamouring, and shouts of Allah, they began
to move towards our square.  The skirmisher's fire seemed to have no
effect; though a few of them fell, they ultimately made a run towards us
like the roll of a black surf.  Lord Charles Beresford's superintendence
was moved to the left face, rear corner, to be brought into action; for
here they seemed to press the attack.  Unhappily, before many rounds had
been fired, the cartridges stuck and the weapon was useless.  Still down
came the Arab wave.  One terrible rush of swordsmen and spearmen--scarcely
any carrying guns--their rifle fire had practically ceased.  In wild
excitement, their white teeth glistening and the sheen of their
brandished weapons flashing like thousands of mirrors; onward they came
against us."

The writer says:--"A volley of shot was sent into them at 150 yards; at
least one hundred Arabs fell, and their force wavered, as a man stops to
get his breath; but the forces behind them came leaping over their
falling brethren, and came charging straight into our ranks.  I was at
that instant inside the square, when I noticed our men shuffling
backwards.  Some say Colonel Burnaby issued an order for the men to fall
back, but I did not hear it.  Burnaby rode out apparently to assist our
skirmishers, who were running in, hard pressed: all but one succeeding in
getting inside the square: Burnaby went, sword in hand, on his borrowed
nag, for his own had been shot under him that morning--he put himself in
the way of a Sheik who was charging down on horseback.  Ere the Arab
closed with him a bullet from some in our ranks brought the Sheik
headlong to the ground.  The enemy's spearmen were close behind, and one
of them clashed at Colonel Burnaby, pointing the long blade of his spear
at his throat.  Burnaby leant forward in his saddle and parried the
Moslem's thrusts; but the length of the weapon (8 feet or more) made it
difficult to deal a blow as desired.  Once or twice the Colonel managed
to touch him.  This only made him the more alert.  Burnaby fenced
smartly, just as if he was playing in an assault-at-arms, and there was a
smile on his features as he drove off the man's awkward points.  With
that lightning instinct which I have seen the desert warrior display in
battle, whilst coming to another's aid, an Arab who had been pursuing a
soldier, passed five paces to Burnaby's right and rear, and, turning with
a sudden spring, this second Arab ran his spear point into the Colonel's
right shoulder!  It was but a slight wound, enough though to cause
Burnaby to twist round in his saddle to defend himself from this
unexpected attack.  One of our soldiers saw the situation, and ran and
drove his sword bayonet through this second assailant.  As the soldier
withdrew his steel the ferocious Arab wriggled round and tried to reach
him.  This he could not do, for he reeled and fell over.  Brief as was
Burnaby's glance at this second assailant, it was long enough for the
first Arab to deliver his spear-point thrust full in the brave officer's
throat.  The blow brought Burnaby out of his saddle; but it required some
seconds before he let go of the bridle-reins, and tumbled upon the
ground.  Half-a-dozen Arabs were now about him.  With the blood gushing
in streams from his gashed throat the dauntless Burnaby leaped to his
feet, sword in hand, and slashed at the ferocious group.  They were the
wild shrieks of a proud man dying hard, and he was quickly overborne, and
left helpless and dying!  The heroic soldier who sprang to his rescue,
was, I fear, also slain in the melee, for though I watched for him, I
never saw him get back to his place in the ranks.                 But the
square had been broken.  The Arabs were driving their spears at our men's
breasts.  Happily, however, the enemy's ranks had been badly decimated by
our bullets; yet they fought desperately, until bullet or bayonet stopped
their career.  Then from another quarter came a great onrush with spears
poised and swords uplifted straight into our rear corner, the Arab horse
struck like a tempest.  The Heavies were thrown into confusion, for the
enemy were right among them, killing and wounding with demoniacal fury.
General Stewart himself rode into their midst to assist, but his horse
was killed under him, and he was saved from the Arab spearmen with great
difficulty: Lord Airlie received two slight spear wounds, and so did Lord
C. Beresford.  The Dervishes made terrible havoc for a few minutes.  It
was an awful scene, for many of the wounded and dying perished by the
hands of the merciless Arabs, infuriated by their Sheiks, whose wild
hoarse cries rent the air, whilst the black spearmen ran hither and
thither thirsting for blood.  Lord St. Vincent had a most providential
escape.  So great was the peril that the officers in the Guards and
Mounted Infantry placed their men back to back to make one last effort to
save the situation.  "To me," says the writer, who was outside on the
right face: "they appeared to spin round a large mound like a whirlpool
of human beings."

Soon the enemy showed signs of wavering, for the fire of our English lads
was fierce and withering.  A young officer rallied a number of men on the
rear; and these delivered a most telling fire into the enemy's ranks; the
strained tension of the situation had been most severe, when at last the
Arabs, two or three at first, then twenties and fifties, trotted off the
field and in a very few minutes there was not an enemy to be seen.  With
cheer upon cheer, shouting until we were hoarse, we celebrated this
dearly won victory.  "Thus ended one of several terrible conflicts the
men of the Expedition had to go through on their way to the beleaguered
city."  These lines of poetry, were written shortly after the news of
this fierce engagement reached England:--

   "They were gathered on the desert,
   Like pebbles on the shore,
   And they rushed upon the Christian
   With a shout like cannon's roar;
   Like the dashing of the torrent,
   Like the sweeping of the storm,
   Like the raging of the tempest,
   Came down the dusky swarm.
   From the scant and struggling brush-wood,
   From the waste of burning sand,
   Sped the warriors of the desert,
   Like the locusts of the land:
   They would crush the bold invader,
   Who had dared to cross their path;
   They were fighting for their prophet,
   In the might of Islam's wrath,
   They were savage in their fury,
   They were lordly in their pride;
   There was glory for the victor,
   And heaven for him who died.
   They were mustered close together,
   That small devoted band;
   They knew the strife that day would rage
   In combat hand to hand.
   And wild and weird the battle-cry
   Was sounding through the air,
   As the foe sprang from his ambush,
   Like the tiger from his lair.
   They knew the distant flashing
   Of the bright Arabian spear,
   As, spurring madly onward,
   They saw the host appear
   In numbers overwhelming,
   In numbers ten to one;
   They knew the conflict must be waged
   Beneath the scorching sun;
   They knew the British soldiers grave
   Might lie beneath their feet;
   But they never knew dishonour,
   And they would not know defeat.
   And swifter, ever swifter
   Swept on the savage horde,
   And from the serried British ranks
   A murderous fire was poured;
   And like the leaves in autumn
   Fell Arab warriors slain,
   And like the leaves in spring-time
   They seemed to live again.
   Midst the rattle of the bullets,
   Midst the flashing of the steel,
   They pressed to the encounter
   With fierce fanatic zeal.
   One moment swayed the phalanx,
   One moment and no more;
   Then British valour stemmed the tide,
   As oft in days of yore.
   At length the foe was vanquished,
   And at length the field was won,
   For the longest day had ended,
   And the fiercest course was run.
   Ye smiling plains of Albion!
   Ye mountains of the north!
   Now up and greet your heroes with
   The honours they are worth.
   Then pause and let a nation's tears
   Fall gently on the sod
   Where thy gallant sons are sleeping,
   Whose souls are with their God."

Mr. Burleigh tells us that "History records no military events of a more
stirring character, or situation more thrilling and dramatic than those
through which Sir Herbert Stewart's flying column passed on this dreadful
march.  Through those terrible struggles with the followers of the Madhi,
many a brave soldier fell and his body lies in the grave of the African
desert.  It did, however, seem as if through all the difficulties of the
relieving forces, that Lord Wolseley would soon give the gallant defender
of Khartoum succour and relief.  The splendid victories won at Abu Klea
Wells, and other places, and their march to join the Nile forces, clearly
showed that they were terribly in earnest, and that they had the true
British sympathetic heart.

Finding some of Gordon's steamers on the Nile, it was their first impulse
to man them and force their way up to Khartoum at once.  This was on
January 21st, 1885.  The General in Command learned that the steamers
needed some repairs, and he (Sir Charles Wilson) deemed it necessary for
the safety of his troops to make a reconnaissance down the river towards
Berber before starting up to Khartoum.  He took the steamers, which,
though small as the Thames pleasure boats, had been made bullet-proof by
the ingenuity and industry of the hero in distress; and with a small
British force and two hundred and forty Soudanese (they also had in tow a
nugger laden with dhura), they proceeded towards Berber some distance,
and then, returning for their important work of relief, they pressed on
to Khartoum in the face of the greatest dangers from the numerous
fanatical Arabs, until they could see the city, and found to their horror
and disappointment that Gordon's flag was torn down.  The city had
surrendered to the forces of the Madhi, and it could be seen to swarm
with his followers!  Treachery had been at work, as Gordon feared; and
the brave defender of Khartoum sealed his fidelity with his own blood.  We
never doubted but he would "die at his post."

The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone was on a visit to Holker Hall to see the
Duke of Devonshire, when the sad tale was told of Gordon's betrayal and
death.  To add to the grief, the Queen, whose inmost soul had been
stirred by the terrible news, sent to Mr. Gladstone and Lord Hartington a
telegram couched in terms of anger and of blame, and this, not in cypher
as was her wont, but plain and open.

Mr. Gladstone addressed to Her Majesty by return, in the most courteous
manner possible, what may be considered a vindication of his actions in
the matter and also that of his Cabinet:--

   "To the Queen,--

   "Mr. Gladstone has had the honour this day to receive your Majesty's
   telegram, _en clair_, relating to the deplorable intelligence received
   this day from Lord Wolseley, and stating that it is too fearful to
   consider that the fall of Khartoum might have been prevented and many
   precious lives saved by earlier action.  Mr. Gladstone does not
   presume to estimate the means of judgment possessed by your Majesty,
   but so far as his information and recollection at the moment go, he is
   not altogether able to follow the conclusion which your Majesty has
   been pleased thus to announce.  Mr. Gladstone is under the impression
   that Lord Wolseley's force might have been sufficiently advanced to
   save Khartoum, had not a large portion of it been detached by a
   circuitous route along the river, upon the express application of
   General Gordon, to occupy Berber on the way to the final destination.
   He speaks, however, with submission on a point of this kind.  There
   is, indeed, in some quarters, a belief that the river route ought to
   have been chosen at an earlier period, and had the navigation of the
   Nile, in its upper region, been as well known as that of the Thames,
   this might have been a just ground of reproach.  But when, on the
   first symptoms that the position of General Gordon in Khartoum was not
   secure, your Majesty's advisers at once sought from the most competent
   persons the best information they could obtain respecting the Nile
   route, the balance of testimony and authority was decidedly against
   it, and the idea of the Suakin and Berber route, with all its
   formidable difficulties, was entertained in preference; nor was it
   till a much later period that the weight of opinion and information
   warranted the definite choice of the Nile route.  Your Majesty's
   Ministers were well aware that climate and distance were far more
   formidable than the sword of the enemy, and they deemed it right,
   while providing adequate military means, never to lose from view what
   might have proved to be the destruction of the gallant army in the
   Soudan.  It is probable that abundant wrath and indignation will on
   this occasion be poured out upon them.  Nor will they complain if so
   it should be; but a partial consolation may be found on reflecting
   that neither aggressive policy, nor military disaster, nor any gross
   error in the application of means to ends, has marked this series of
   difficult proceedings, which, indeed, have greatly redounded to the
   honour of your Majesty's forces of all ranks and arms.  In these
   remarks, which Mr. Gladstone submits with his humble devotion, he has
   taken it for granted that Khartoum has fallen through the exhaustion
   of its means of defence.  But your Majesty may observe from the
   telegram that this is uncertain.  Both the correspondent's account and
   that of Major Wortley refer to the delivery of the town by treachery,
   a contingency which on some previous occasions General Gordon has
   treated as far from improbable; and which, if the notice existed, was
   likely to operate quite independently of the particular time at which
   a relieving force might arrive.  The presence of the enemy in force
   would naturally suggest the occasion or perhaps even the apprehension
   of the approach of the British army.  In pointing to these
   considerations, Mr. Gladstone is far from assuming that they are
   conclusive upon the whole case; in dealing with which the government
   has hardly ever at any of its stages been furnished sufficiently with
   those means of judgment which rational men usually require.  It may be
   that, on a retrospect, many errors will appear to have been committed.
   There are many reproaches, from the most opposite quarters, to which
   it might be difficult to supply a conclusive answer.  Among them, and
   perhaps amongst the most difficult, as far as Mr. Gladstone can judge,
   would be the reproach of those who might argue that our proper
   business was the protection of Egypt, that it never was in military
   danger from the Madhi, and that the most prudent course would have
   been to provide it with adequate frontier defences, and to assume no
   responsibility for the lands beyond the desert."

   "Heroes have fought, and warriors bled,
   For home, and love, and glory;
   Your life and mine will soon be sped,
   Then what will be the story?"

   --J. RUSHTON.

The agonizing suspense in which our nation had been kept for weeks, was
now at an end, and we learned the worst.  The news fell like a
thunderbolt upon our country!  Within forty-eight hours of the time when
Gordon would have heard the triumph ranting of English cheers, and once
more clasped the faithful hands of British brother soldiers; treachery
had done its worst.  Thus ended this unique life's drama of one of the
noblest hearts that ever beat in soldier's bosom, and one of the truest
to his Queen, to his country, and to his God.  The heart that had caused
him to share his home with the homeless, and his bread with the hungry,
that had led him to kneel in prayer by the dying; the heart that had so
often throbbed for the misery of slavery, and the slave trade, as to risk
his life as of no value to stop that cursed practice and traffic; that
heart was pierced by the treacherous hands (in all probability) of the
very man Gordon had made the greatest sacrifice to save.  Such terrible
news threw our land into universal mourning, and thousands wept for the
hero that would never return.

The military correspondent of the "Daily News" at Dongola, writes: "Two
men arrived here yesterday, April 11th, 1885, whose story throws some
light on the capture of Khartoum.  They were soldiers in Gordon's army,
taken at the time and sold as slaves, but who ultimately escaped.  Their
names are Said Abdullah and Jacoob Mahomet.  I will let them tell their
own history."  "After stating they were first taken at Omdurman,
subsequently to the capture of Khartoum; were then stolen by arabs and
sold to two Kabbabish merchants, and afterwards escaped from Aboudom to
Debbah, from which place they had reached Dongola; they went on to relate
the doings of Farig Pasha previously to the taking of Khartoum.  I have
given you some account of the story by telegraph, and it has been partly
made familiar substantially through other channels.  They continued:
"That night Khartoum was delivered into the hands of the rebels.  It fell
through the treachery of the accursed Farig Pasha, the Circassian, who
opened the gate.  May he never reach Paradise!  May Shaytan take
possession of his soul!  But it was Kismet.  The gate was called Bouri';
it was on the Blue Nile.  We were on guard near, but did not see what was
going on.  We were attacked and fought desperately at the gate.  Twelve
of our staff were killed, and twenty-two of us retreated to a high room,
where we were taken prisoners, and now came the ending.  The red Flag
with the crescent was destined no more to wave over the Palace; nor would
the strains of the hymns of His Excellency be heard any more at eventide
in Khartoum.  Blood was to flow in her streets, in her dwellings, in her
very mosque, and on the Kenniseh of the Narsira.  A cry arose, "To the
Palace! to the Palace!"  A wild and furious band rushed towards it, but
they were resisted by the black troops, who fought desperately.  They
knew there was no mercy for them, and that even were their lives spared,
they would be enslaved, and the state of the slave, the perpetual bondage
with hard taskmasters, is worse than death.  Slaves are not treated well,
as you think; heavy chains are round their ankles and middle, and they
are lashed for the least offence until blood flows.  We had fought for
the Christian Pasha and for the Turks, and we knew that we should receive
no mercy.  The house was set on fire: the fight raged and the slaughter
continued till the streets were slippery with blood.  The rebels rushed
onward to the Palace.  We saw a mass rolling to and fro, but did not see
Gordon Pasha killed.  He met his fate, we believe, as he was leaving the
Palace, near the large tree which stands on the esplanade.  The Palace is
not a stone's throw, or at any rate a gun shot distance from the Austrian
Consul's house.  He was going in that direction, to the magazine on the
Kenniseh, a long way off.  We did not hear what became of his body, nor
did we hear that his head was cut off; but we saw the head of the traitor
Farig Pasha, who met with his deserts.  We have heard it was the blacks
that ran away; and that the Egyptian soldiers fought well; that is not
true, they were craven.  Had it not been for them, in spite of the
treachery of many within the town, the Arabs would not have got in, for
we watched the traitors.  And now fearful scenes took place in every
house and building, in the large Market Place, in the small bazaars; men
were slain crying for mercy, but mercy was not in the hearts of those
savage enemies.  Women and children were robbed of their jewels of
silver, of their bracelets, necklaces of precious stones, and carried off
to be sold to the Bishareen merchants as slaves.  Yes, and white women
too, mother and daughter alike were carried off from their homes of
comfort.  Wives and children of Egyptian merchants, formerly rich, owning
ships and mills; these were sold afterwards, some for 340 thaleries or
more, some for 25, according to age and good looks.  And the poor black
women already slaves, and their children, 70 or 80 thaleries.  Their
husbands and masters were slain before their eyes . . . . this fighting
and spilling of blood continued till noon, till the sun rode high in the
sky.  There was riot, wrangling, hubbub and cursing, till the hour of
evening prayer.  But the Muezzin was not called, neither were any prayers
offered up at the Moslem Mosque on that dark day in the annals of
Khartoum.  Meanwhile the screeching devils bespattered with gore,
swarming about in droves and bands, found very little plunder, so were
disappointed, and sought out Farig Pasha, and found him with the
Dervishes.  'Where is the hidden treasure?' they at once demanded of him.
'We know that you are acquainted with the hiding place.  Where is the
money and riches of the city and its merchants?  We know that those who
left Khartoum did not take away their valuables, and you know where it is
hid.'  The Dervishes seeing the tumult questioned him sharply, and
addressed him thus: "The long expected one our Lord, desires to know
where the English Pasha hid his wealth.  We know he was very rich, and
every day paid large sums of money; that has not been concealed from our
Lord.  Now therefore let us know that we may bear him word where all the
money is hidden.  Let him be bound in the inner chamber and examined; and
the gates closed against the Arabs."  Farig was then questioned, but he
"swore by Allah and by the souls of his fathers back to three
generations, that Gordon had no money, and that he knew of no hidden
treasure."  "You lie (cried the Dervishes); you wish after a while to
come and dig it out yourself.  Listen to what we are going to say to you.
We are sure you know where the money is hidden.  We are not careful of
your life, for you have betrayed the man whose salt you had eaten; you
have been the servant of the infidel, and you have betrayed even him.
Unless you unfold this secret of the buried treasure, you will surely
die."  Farig with proud bearing said, "I care not for your threats.  I
have told you the truth, Allah knows.  There is no money, neither is
there treasure.  You are fools to suppose there is.  I have done a great
deed, I have delivered to your lord and master (the Madhi), the city
which you never could have taken without my help.  I tell you again there
is no treasure, and you will rue the day if you kill me."

One of the Dervishes then stepped forward and struck him, bound as he
was, in the mouth; then another rushed at him with his two-edged sword,
struck him behind the neck so that with this one blow his head fell from
his shoulders; (so perished the arch traitor); may his soul be afflicted!
But as for Gordon Pasha the magnanimous, may his soul have peace!"  The
story of these men may, or may not be true, but it seems on the face of
it trustworthy.

It is, however, out of harmony with the description given of Gordon's
death by Slatin Pasha, who was taken a prisoner at the time of the fall
of Khartoum, and had been kept for eleven years in captivity, but
eventually made his escape.  He was in attendance at the International
Geographical Congress held at the Imperial Institute, and devoted to
African affairs, when he told the story of his escape from Khartoum.  He
says "The City of Khartoum fell on the 16th Jan., 1885, and Gordon was
killed on the highest step of the staircase of his Palace.  His head was
cut off and exhibited to Slatin whilst the latter was in chains, with
expressions of derision and contempt."

We have no doubt now as to the fact that Gordon Pasha, the illustrious,
the saintly, the brave defender, died doing his duty.  In all civilized
lands there are still men who tell of Gordon Pasha's unbounded
benevolence; of his mighty faith, of his heroism and self-sacrifice, and
they mourn with us the loss of one of the most saintly souls our world
has ever known.

   "Warrior of God, man's friend, not laid below,
      But somewhere dead far in the waste Soudan,
   Thou livest in all hearts, for all men know
      This earth hath borne no simpler, nobler man."

   TENNYSON.

A most interesting and exquisitely touching letter was forwarded to the
bereaved and stricken sister of our hero from the Khedive of Egypt,
written from

   "ABDUI PALACE,
   "CAIRO,
   "FEB. 24, 1885.

   "MADAM,--

   "Altho' I do not wish to intrude upon the great sorrow which has
   fallen upon you in the death of your distinguished brother, the late
   General Gordon Pasha, yet as Egypt and myself have so much reason to
   deplore his loss, I desire to convey to you my heart-felt sympathy in
   the terrible bereavement it has been God's will you should suffer.  I
   cannot find words to express to you the respect and admiration with
   which your brother's simple faith and heroic courage have inspired me:
   the whole world resounds with the name of the Englishman whose
   chivalrous nature afforded it for many years its brightest and most
   powerful example,--an example which I believe will influence thousands
   of persons for good through all time.  To a man of Gordon's character
   the disappointment of hopes he deemed so near fruition, and the sudden
   manner of his death were of little importance.  In his own words, he
   left weariness for perfect rest.  Our mourning for him is true and
   real; as is also our loss, but we have a sure hope that a life and
   death such as his are not extinguished by what we call death.  I beg
   to renew to you, Madam, the assurance of my sincere sympathy and
   respectful condolence.

"MEHEMIT TEWFIK."

Also from the Queen, a letter full of womanly and queenly sympathy is
here recorded from _The Daily News_:

   "DEAR MISS GORDON,--How shall I write to you, or how shall I attempt
   to express what I feel?  To think of your dear, noble, heroic brother,
   who served his country and his Queen so truly, so heroically, with a
   self-sacrifice so edifying to the world, not having been rescued: that
   the promises of support were not fulfilled--which I so frequently and
   constantly pressed on those who asked him to go--is to me grief
   inexpressible: indeed it has made me ill.  My heart bleeds for you,
   his sister, who have gone through so many anxieties on his account,
   and who loved the dear brother as he deserved to be.  You are all so
   good and trustful, and have such strong faith, that you will be
   sustained even now, when real absolute evidence of your brother's
   death does not exist--but I fear there cannot be much doubt of it.
   Some day I hope to see you again to tell you all I cannot express.  My
   daughter Beatrice, who has felt quite as I do, wishes me to express
   her deepest sympathy with you.  I hear so many expressions of sorrow
   from abroad; from my eldest daughter The Crown Princess, and from my
   cousin the King of the Belgians--the very warmest.  Would you express
   to your other sister, and your elder brother my true sympathy, and
   what I do so keenly feel, the stain left upon England for your dear
   brother's cruel, though heroic fate!  Ever, dear Miss Gordon, yours
   sincerely and sympathizingly,

   V.R.I."

A second letter from Her Majesty the Queen to acknowledge Miss Gordon's
gift of her brother's Bible.  The very Bible he used when with me in
Manchester.  His companion at Gravesend, and during his sojourn in the
Soudan (first time).  "It was so worn out (says Miss Gordon) that he gave
it to me.  Hearing that the Queen would like to see it, I forwarded it to
Windsor Castle."  And this Bible is now placed in an enamel and crystal
case called "The St. George's Casket," where it now lies open on a white
satin cushion, with a marble bust of General Gordon on a pedestal beside
it.

Her Majesty writes:--

   "WINDSOR CASTLE,
   "MARCH 16TH, 1885.

   "DEAR MISS GORDON,--It is most kind and good of you to give me this
   precious Bible, and I only hope that you are not depriving yourself
   and family of such a treasure, if you have no other.  May I ask you,
   during how many years your dear, heroic brother had it with him?  I
   shall have a case made for it with an inscription, and place it in the
   library here, with your letter and the touching extract from his last
   to you.  I have ordered, as you know, a Marble Bust of your Dear
   Brother to be placed in the corridor here, where so many busts and
   pictures of our greatest Generals, and Statesmen are, and hope that
   you will see it before it is finished, to give your opinion as to the
   likeness.--Believe me always yours very sincerely,

   "VICTORIA R.I."

A most touching and I think true epitaph has been written in Greek and
translated by Professor Jebb, of the University of Glasgow touching the
death of General Gordon:--

   "Leaving a perpetual remembrance, thou art gone; in thy death thou
   wert even such as in thy life; wealth to the poor, hope to the
   desponding, support to the weak.  Thou couldst meet desperate troubles
   with a spirit that knew not despair, and breathe might into the
   trembling.  The Lord of China owes thee thanks for thy benefits; the
   throne of his ancient kingdom hath not been cast down.  And where the
   Nile unites the divided strength of his streams, a city saw thee long-
   suffering.  A multitude dwelt therein, but thine alone was the valour
   that guarded it through all that year, when by day and by night thou
   didst keep watch against the host of the Arabians, who went around it
   to devour it, with spears thirsting for blood.  Thy death was not
   wrought by the God of war, but by the frailties of thy friends.  For
   thy country and for all men God blessed the work of thy hand.  Hail,
   stainless warrior! hail, thrice victorious hero!  Thou livest and
   shalt teach aftertimes to reverence the council of the Everlasting
   Father."

Should he have been spared to return to our land--

   "We had the laurels ready
   That patient brow to crown,
   But the traitors steel was swift and sharp
   To strike our honours down.
   God His own victor crowneth,
   He counts not gain nor loss,
   For the dauntless heart that battles
   'Neath the shadow of the Cross.
   Rest for the gallant soldier,
   Where'er he lieth low,
   His rest is still and deep to-day,
   'Mid clash of friend and foe.
   He stands amid the light he loved,
   Whence all the clouds depart,
   But there's a gap within our ranks,
   And a void within our hearts."

Great men are usually measured by their character, not by their
successes; but measured by either standard Gordon must be considered a
_great_ man.  In him were incarnated all the highest characteristics of
the heroes of our land, and other lands, and of the illustrious servants
of God in all ages.  His life was swayed by a noble purpose, and by this
he was borne onward and upward in a career of noble doing and daring.  He
had courage of the very highest quality, and by this he carved his way
into the very front rank of our heroes, and won remarkable distinctions
in life's fiercest battles.  His crowning characteristics were, I think,
his genuineness, and unfailing trust in God.  These, especially the
latter, were the inspiration of his life; and these alone offer the
truest explanation of his heroic deeds.  Even in Spain his name had a
fragrance that was attractive and beautiful.  One of the papers _The El
Dia_, of Madrid, wrote: "Where even the greatest events which occur
abroad hardly attract the attention of the general public, the daring
enterprises of General Gordon had excited the greatest interest.  This
was partly because of the immense importance of the drama which was being
played in the Soudan, and because of the extraordinary development of the
drama; but it was chiefly due to the sympathy of the people with the
heroic champion of light and civilization; for his spotless honesty; for
his valour, tried times without number; for his British tenacity; for his
faith in his religion and country; for his keen insight; for his heroic
unselfishness, and for all his other fine qualities.  Gordon has become
recognised in Spain as an original character, grand and complete, whom
future generations will idealize, and whom history will call by the name
of genius."

But Gordon, the great soldier and loveable Saint is dead; and he himself
could wish no nobler ending of an unselfish life, after such a life of
adventure, of heroism, and of humble trust in God.

A combination of strange, rare qualities helped to make him one of the
most remarkable men our country has ever seen.  As a Christian of rarest
purity and consecration, and as a hero whose fame has filled two
hemispheres, "His name shall be had in everlasting remembrance."  He has
added new chapters to the glorious stories of British pluck and heroism,
and has left a name to which our young men will look back upon with
pride; and the best of us will reverence, so long as truth, faith, self-
devotion, and lofty sense of duty stir the admiration of men who are
worthy to be called his fellow-countrymen.  Our British nation thrills
with a proud joy as it reflects upon the splendid achievements of that
stainless life, now crowned with the laurels of martyrdom, and of an
Empire's love.

The memorial in St. Paul's Cathedral most beautifully sets forth the
leading traits in his character:--

   "Major General Charles George Gordon, C.B., who at all times and
   everywhere, gave his strength to the weak, his substance to the poor,
   his sympathy to the suffering, his heart to God.

   "Born at Woolwich, 28th Jan., 1838.

   "Slain at Khartoum, 26th Jan., 1885.

   "He saved an Empire by his warlike genius, he ruled vast provinces
   with justice, wisdom, power.  And lastly, obedient to his Sovereign's
   command, he died in the heroic attempt to save men, women and children
   from imminent and deadly peril.  'Greater love hath no man than this,
   that a man lay down his life for his friends.'--St. John, xv. ch., v.
   13.

{The Memorial in St. Paul's Cathedral: p155.jpg}

   "This monument is erected by his only surviving brother, whose eldest
   son also perished in the service of his country, as Midshipman in
   H.M.S. 'Captain,' and is commemorated with others in the adjoining
   recess."

      "Gordon! thou lost ideal of our time,
   While men believe not, and belief grows pale,
   Before the daring doubters that assail;
   We need thy child-like faith, thy gaze sublime,
      That pierced the nearer gloom,
      And still onward strode
   Through death and darkness, seeing only God."

   "Servant of Christ, well done,
      Praise be thy new employ;
   And while eternal ages run,
      Rest in thy Saviour's joy."

FINIS.



Footnotes.


{57}  A work by the Rev. Wm. Arthur, which Gordon presented to me.

{63}  The name of our Ragged School.





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