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Title: Kościuszko - A Biography
Author: Gardner, Monica M. (Monica Mary), 1873-1941
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.

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by Robarts - University of Toronto/The Internet Archive



ADAM MICKIEWICZ, THE NATIONAL POET OF POLAND

(Published 1911)

*Daily News*.--"Miss Gardner's able study... Lovers of the heroic in
history will be grateful to Miss Gardner for her account of this noble
enthusiast." (Rest of review, of more than a column, analysing the
matter of the book.)

*Scotsman*.--"So little is known in this country about Polish literati
that a book which tells the moving story of the greatest among the poets
of Poland is sure of a welcome from student readers. The present
interesting volume--while it is instructive in no small measure as to
the scope and character of Mickiewicz's poetry and literary work--draws
so lively a picture of the persecutions and sufferings and of the
unconquered spirit of the poet that its human interest easily overbears
mere questions of literature. ... The work, at once discriminating and
enthusiastic, will warmly interest all sympathetic students of Slavonic
popular literature." (Rest of review analyses matter of the book.)

*Westminster Gazette*.--"Miss Gardner tells the story with excellent
insight and sympathy. ... The author's description of the four parts of
this poem gives a vivid idea of its far-reaching scope, its passionate
energy, and intensity of patriotism." (Rest of review, three-quarters of
a column, analyses matter of book.)

*Birmingham Daily Post*.--"We are very glad to see that Miss Gardner has
at last produced a well-documented and impassioned study of the life and
achievements of Mickiewicz. ... Miss Gardner has done a fine and useful
piece of work." (Rest of review, a column, analysis of matter of book,
and calling attention to the importance of work upon Poland.)

*Manchester Guardian*.--"Miss Gardner, a devoted and accomplished
student of Polish literature, has performed a considerable service in
making better known the life and work of the most famous of Polish
poets. ... His pathetic story is told in great detail and with deep
sympathy by Miss Gardner. ... Some of her prose renderings are of great
beauty--often with the wild and wayward beauty which we associate with
Chopin." (Rest of review, three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter
of book.)

*New Age*.--"A real work of love, honest and thorough." (Rest of review,
of about a column, analysis of matter of the book.)


*Cambridge Review*.--"Miss Gardner... gives us a remarkably true picture
of the relations between the poet and his country. ...Miss Gardner has
realized fully what she attempted, and indeed few countrymen of the poet
could perform the task better."

*Bulletin Polonais*.--"Une étude biographique et littéraire très
substantielle, très bien documentée, conçue très methodiquement et
écrite avec beaucoup de charme et de clarté. ... C'est à notre
connaissance le premier livre anglais qui traite avec tant d'ampleur et
tant de conscience une question d'histoire littéraire polonaise. Nous
espèrons que Mile. Gardner ne se bomera pas à ce brillant coup d'essai."

*Academy*.--"Miss Gardner has done a real service." (The rest of a very
long and sympathetic review is an analysis of the matter of the book.)

*Tablet*.--"In these days, when the reader is embarrassed by the
abundance of books that are not wanted... it is well to meet with a work
at once so necessary and so well done. ... When great poetry has waited
so long for appreciation, and a story full of interest has been left
untold, we might welcome any attempt to supply the deficiency. But in
this case the work is so admirably done that it would be welcome, though
we had other biographies or critical appreciations of the Polish poet.
This remarkable work... Apart from the purely biographical interest,
which is of a high order, there is much that throws new light on the
tragic pages of modern Polish history. ... It may be hoped that this book
will do something to awaken a new interest in the history and literature
of Poland." (Rest of review, about a column, analysis of matter.)

*Standard*.--"This is the first attempt which has been made in our
language to capture the imagination by a critical study of the fine
character and high achievements of Adam Mickiewicz. Miss Monica Gardner
writes exceedingly well--with knowledge, with sympathy, and with vision.
... The book... is a capable bit of work, and it certainly succeeds in
giving the reader a realistic and impressive picture of a man who loved
Poland with an undivided heart." (Rest of review, about three-quarters
of a column, analysis of matter.)

*Athenæum*.--"One would have been grateful for a moderate biography of
Poland's national poet; Miss Gardner's work merits a more distinguished
adjective, and therefore is doubly worthy of attention." (Rest of review
analysis of matter.)


*Glasgow Herald*.--"The intensely tragic story is set forth by Miss
Gardner with skill equal to her sympathy. ... What an inspiration
Mickiewicz was, and is, may be readily gathered from the translations
given by Miss Gardner, magnificent even as prose. ... The book is
singularly interesting as the story of a man and a nation and as giving
a vivid glimpse of a poetry almost unknown in Britain." (Rest of review,
about three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter.)

*Yorkshire Post*.--"This book of Miss Gardner's should appeal powerfully
to English readers because its subject has the provocations of novelty;
because the work is gracefully and sympathetically written, with
discerning and intimate knowledge of fact and of character, and yet
discriminating and just; and because it embodies once more the story,
especially dear to our hearts, of the struggle of a patriotic race for
freedom and national existence." (Rest of review, about three-quarters
of a column, analysis of matter.)



POLAND: A STUDY IN NATIONAL IDEALISM

(Published 1915)

*Evening Standard*.--"Miss Monica Gardner's eloquent book is a little
epic of sorrow and courage. The picture that it paints is pitiful and
splendid. ... The book must be read for itself. The author has a style
that has caught fire from its subject, and a grace and restraint that
make the book an appeal to all lovers of literature, as well as to every
generous heart." (Rest of review, three-quarters of a column, analysis
of matter.)

*Spectator*.--"Her eloquent and touching book. ... Miss Gardner gives us
an excellent account, enriched by many spirited translations, of the
principal works of these remarkable poets." (Rest of review, two columns
and a half, a laudatory analysis of matter.)

*T. P.'s Weekly*.--"The admirable historical summary in Monica Gardner's
Poland. ... The author has written a book that must be read. ... The
position of Poland is one of the important questions to be settled by
this war, and we cannot know too much of the soul of a country that,
divided among spoilers, still retained national unity." (Rest of review,
three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter.)


*Pall Mall Gazette*.--"Her well-written and brilliant book. This book
deals with more than the soul of a nation. It speaks for the spirit of a
people. ... Miss Gardner is steeped in Polish literature, and her
account of these great poets is intensely interesting. ... Her
description of Poland during the last hundred years is full of pathos
and power. There is no straining after effect; the facts are
ineffaceable; and this brief story brings out into bold relief the
sufferings, sorrows, sacrifices, struggle, and strength of the Polish
race. ... This book is an eloquent description of a great people." (Rest
of review, three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter.)

*World*.--"At present the only kind of 'War Book' that seems to us
really worth reading is that of which the conflict now going on is
rather the occasion than the cause. Such, we may say, is _Poland: a
Study in National Idealism_, by Monica M. Gardner. ... Clearly Miss
Gardner has not been hurried into producing this admirable volume by the
mere war, but only gives out in season the enlightening result of what
she long previously assimilated and made her own. This book really
reveals Poland." (Rest of review analysis of matter.)

*Outlook*.--"In this little volume a faithful and fearless picture is
given of her [Poland's] struggle for independence." (Rest of review,
about a column, analysis of matter.)

*Daily News*.--"Miss Gardner's sensitive and accomplished little study.
... Miss Gardner's extremely spirited renderings." (Rest of review,
column and a half, analysis of matter.)

*Manchester Guardian*.--"For the first time in England we are able to
read books on Poland by an author who has made a special study of that
country. To those who know not Poland this book will be a revelation."
(Rest of review analysis of matter.)

*Birmingham Daily Post*.--"We render Miss Gardner the tribute of deep
gratitude for introducing us to a noble literature." (Rest of review,
three-quarters of a column, analysis of matter.)

*The Venturer*.--"Miss Gardner has done well to give us this book. It
is not large in bulk, but it is no exaggeration to call it a great
book."

*Expository Times*.--"Let us read and follow the course of the war. Let
us read and understand what must be when the war is over. Let us read
Monica M. Gardner's delightful book on Poland. It is both literary and
historical." (Rest of review quotation from the book.)


*London Quarterly Review*.--"The book is a real contribution to the true
understanding of Polish character and Polish aspirations." (Rest of
review analysis of matter.)

*Tablet*.--"This masterly critical appreciation of a great national
literature. ... This welcome work on the tragic story of the Polish
people and on the glories of their great national literature is
singularly happy in the opportuneness of its appearance. For however
much other books may be neglected, there is naturally a great demand for
books that offer any information on matters connected with the war. In
most cases, no doubt, what is called war literature is scarcely
literature in the strict sense of the word. But here, happily, we have a
book of rare literary merit ... and it comes before us when it meets a
present need. ... Miss Gardner, in this fascinating little book on
Poland, enables English readers to understand the tragic story of the
Polish people, their unbroken spiritual unity, and their undaunted hope
in the future of their country." (Rest of review, two columns and a
half, analysis of matter.)

*Times*.--"Miss Gardner is an instructed and cultivated student of
Poland."



POLAND ("PEEPS AT MANY LANDS")

(Published 1917)

*Daily Telegraph*.--"To their popular series of travel books called
'Peeps at Many Lands' Messrs. Black have now added a volume on _Poland_,
by Monica M. Gardner. The more we know of Poland and the Polish people
the better our understanding of the causes of the war. ... The book is
as good reading as any fiction, and the most austere critic must admit
its relevance to the task of 'getting on with the war.'"

*Spectator*.--"Young people should read Miss Monica Gardner's short and
interesting book on _Poland_. ... English readers know very little about
the Poles, and this book deserves attention, for we cannot as a nation
afford any longer to neglect Poland."

*Common Cause*.--"The little volume gives a most vivid and delightful
picture of Poland as it was before the war, with its spacious steppes
and wonderful forests, and it tells of the nation's struggle for freedom
against overwhelming odds. The book deals largely with the manners and
customs of the people in modern times, which the writer makes extremely
interesting; but it tells also the main events in the history of the
unfortunate kingdom from early days."


*Globe*.--"Miss Gardner tells in a most touching way the picturesque
story of that unhappy land."

*Aberdeen Journal*.--"To the 'Peeps' series of attractive books ... has
been added this dainty volume on _Poland_ by Monica M. Gardner, well
known as the author of _Adam Mickiewicz_ and _Poland: a Study in
National Idealism_. That the war must have a vital effect on the destiny
of Poland is universally acknowledged, and now is the time to study the
characteristics of the Poles. ... The chapter devoted to Polish National
Customs is quite fascinating, and 'A Day in Cracow' presents vivid
glimpses of the chief city of 'Austrian' Poland. The vexatious character
of the rule in 'Prussian' Poland is effectively exposed. Miss Gardner
possesses a clear and pleasing style well suited to a popular and
well-timed book."

*Tablet*.--"With the fate of Poland once again in the melting-pot of a
European war, Miss Monica Gardner's sympathetic account of its people
and cities in Poland may be confidently recommended as the work of one
who knows and loves her subject. It is a work which, small as it is,
deserves the attention of readers young and old."

*Polish Review*.--"Miss Monica Gardner's little book on Poland in the
'Peeps at Many Lands' ought to be in the hands of all in this country
who want to get to the heart of Poland. The authoress both knows and
feels her subject, and her lively picturesque style ... makes her pages
interesting both to young and old."



THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND

(Published 1919)

*Spectator*.--"Miss Gardner has followed up her monograph on Mickiewicz
with an admirable companion study of Zygmunt Krasinski, the 'Unknown' or
'Anonymous' Poet of Poland, second only to Mickiewicz in genius, and, in
virtue of his personality, his strange gift of prescience, and the
romantic and tragic conditions of his life, appealing to a wider
audience than his great contemporary. He came on his father's side of an
ancient, noble, and wealthy Polish family, related to the House of
Savoy; his mother was a Radziwill. A precocious only child, he was
brought up in his father's palace in Warsaw and on his country estate at
Opinogóra. Vincent Krasinski had fought with distinction in the Polish
Legion under Napoleon; he was a commanding figure in the autonomous
Kingdom of Poland until 1828, when he was the only member of the Senate
of the Polish Diet who voted for the death-penalty at the trial of the
Poles implicated in the Decembrist rising of 1825. More than that, when
the students of the University at Warsaw deserted their lecture-rooms
_en masse_ to attend the funeral of the patriotic Bielinski in the
folio-wing year, Zygmunt Krasinski was forbidden by his father to join
them, and peremptorily ordered to go to his work. This invidious
isolation blasted Zygmunt's youth and affected his whole career. He had
to be removed from the University, was sent with a tutor to Geneva in
1829, and never saw Poland again save as a conquered province of Russia.
His father transferred his allegiance to Nicholas I, migrated to St.
Petersburg, was held in high honour by the Tsar and execrated by his
fellow-countrymen. Later on he effectually thwarted Zygmunt's desire to
join in the rising of 1830, and by his persistence forced him into a
reluctant _mariage de convenance_. Zygmunt Krasinski was undoubtedly in
a painful position, for he could not openly declare himself without
still further compromising his father's position. He hated his father's
policy, but he loved the man who had trained him to love his country,
and, above all, he feared him. It was a new and tragic variant on _odi
et amo_, which drove Zygmunt Krasinski into a strange life of
compromise, evasion, and sacrifice. To put it brutally, he was not a
fighting man; so far as action went, he feared his father more than he
loved his country, and there was a sting of truth in the bitter taunt
addressed to him by his brother-poet Slowacki: 'Thou wert afraid, son of
a noble.' He was often conscious of his weakness as when he wrote to
Henry Reeve in 1830: 'I am a fool, I am a coward, I am a wretched
being, I have the heart of a girl, I do not dare to brave a father's
curse.' But it is right to remember that he was physically a weakling,
tormented by ill-health, neurotic, and half-blind from his nineteenth
year. Torn in two by the conflict between filial duty and the desire to
serve his country, always dreading the worst for himself, never free
from the apprehension that he would end his days in Siberia, he took
refuge in anonymity as the only means of salving his conscience and
sparing his father. The curious and self-protective devices by which he
secured secrecy were sometimes more ingenious than dignified. Some of
his works were put forth under the names or initials of his friends. The
secret was most loyally kept, but others suffered. According to his
biographer, his poems were penal contraband, and many of his countrymen
were sent to Siberia for possessing them. What Krasinski sacrificed was
fame, publicity, above all peace of mind. He envied those of his
contemporaries who fought and died for their country. He was not a hero,
and he knew it. The heroes of his poems and plays were always soldiers,
men of action, and in his most original work, the extraordinary
_Undivine Comedy_, he levelled the most damaging indictment against the
self-centred egotism of the poet that has ever been penned by a man of
letters. And the bitterness of the portrait is only heightened by the
fact that it was largely inspired by self-criticism; his letters and his
life afford only too frequent justification for the recurrent comment of
the mocking spirit in the play on the melodramatic pose of the hero:
'Thou composest a drama.'

"_The Undivine Comedy_, a prose drama, though prompted by the events of
1830, makes no mention of Poland. It is a double tragedy in which the
central figure, Henryk, after wrecking his home life by his egotism,
assumes the leadership of his class, aristocratic and decadent, against
a communistic rising led by Pankracy, a Mephistopheles who is not sure
of himself. Henryk goes down in the struggle, but his conqueror falls in
the hour of triumph with the words 'Vicisti Galilaee' on his lips. The
scenes from the domestic tragedy are strangely moving: the sequel, in
which the influence of _Faust_ is obvious, is chiefly noteworthy for the
flashes of prescience in which the _Walpurgisnacht_ of brutal, revolting
humanity fore-shadows with a strange clairvoyance the outstanding
features of the democratic upheaval in Russia. But it is a drama of
hopelessness: 'the cry of despair,' as Mickiewicz called it, 'of a man
of genius who recognizes the greatness and difficulty of social
questions' without being able to solve them. _The Undivine Comedy_ is
'the drama of a perishing world': it was only in his later works that
Krasinski's belief in the ultimate resurrection of Poland emerged. In
_Iridion_, another prose drama, we have his first direct appeal to his
nation, though it is cast in the form of an allegorical romance, in
which the men and women are rather symbols than portraits. The hero is a
Greek in Rome in the time of Heliogabalus, Rome standing for Russia.
Beginning with this drama, and increasingly developed in his later
poems, is to be found Krasinski's abiding conviction that Poland's
salvation consists in the abjuring of vengeance--that the political
redemption of the world would be achieved by her sufferings, as mankind
was redeemed by the sufferings of Christ. The agony of Poland was not
regarded by him as merited for any crimes in the past. She was an
innocent victim, and the greater the wrong inflicted on her, the greater
was the chance of her ultimate victory. In what was the darkest hour of
his life, in 1846, when the Galician peasantry, incited by Austrian
propagandists, rose and massacred the Polish nobles and Austria annexed
Cracow, he wrote: 'That last span of earth torn from us by the fourth
partition has more than anything else advanced our cause. Every wound
inflicted on something holy and good becomes a far deeper wound, by the
reflection of the Divine Justice that rules history, on him who
inflicted it.' And again: 'There was never a nation in such sublime
circumstances, in such favourable conditions, who was so near, from the
cross on which she hangs, to heaven whither she must ascend.' It will be
readily understood that this panegyric of suffering, coming from a man
who had not fought for his country or suffered forfeiture of his wealth,
did not appeal to all Polish patriots. The gospel of pardon and the
acceptance of pain revolted men like Kamienski and Slowacki, who
resented the tone of the Psalms of the Future, in which Krasinski's
distrust of democratic propaganda found impassioned utterance. His
appeal to his countrymen to adopt the watchword of love and not that of
terrorism was ineffective; but the catastrophe of 1846, though it
shattered his health, did not shatter his belief that Poland's
resurrection depended on each Pole's personal purity of heart and deed.
His last national poems are prayers for goodwill. In 'Resurrecturis' his
answer to the eternal mystery of undeserved pain is that the 'quiet
might of sacrifice' was 'the only power in the world which could crush
Poland's crushing fate,' As the late Professor Morfill well said of him,
Krasinski 'always stood by the open grave of his country,' and the
somewhat cloudy mysticism in which he found his chief consolation is too
rarefied for robuster minds. Yet his hope never wholly failed: the
saying that he quoted to encourage his friend Soltan--'_speravit contra
spem_: that is a great and holy word of the sacred Scriptures'--might
stand for his motto; and a saying from one of his poems, as Miss Gardner
not unjustly contends, might well be his epitaph: 'If you would mark him
out by any sign, call him a Pole, for he loved Poland. In this love he
lived and in it died.'

"Krasinski died in Paris, where he had also been born, in 1859, only
outliving his father by three months, in which he was engaged on a
memoir, never completed, in vindication of the memory of the man who had
dominated his earthly existence. He had many devoted friends who advised
and helped him, acted as his amanuenses, and, as we have seen, shielded
him by assuming authorship of his works. In turn he was the generous
friend of all Polish patriots in distress, whatever were their politics.
Deeply susceptible from his boyhood, he was profoundly influenced by
three women: Mme. Bobrowa, to whom he dedicated his _Undivine Comedy_
and other works; the beautiful and unhappy Countess Delphina Potocka,
immortalized by her friendship with Chopin, who both before and for
several years after Krasinski's marriage was his Egeria, and to whom he
inscribed a series of love lyrics and the mystical poem 'Dawn,' in which
two exiles on the Lake of Como dream of the resurrection of their
nation. The idealistic nature of Krasinski's love for Delphina Potocka,
as compared with his infatuation for Mme. Bobrowa, is emphasized by his
latest biographer. She was his Beatrice, and the figure of the woman he
loved constantly merges in that of his eternal mistress, Poland. The
third woman was his wife, Elżbieta Branicka, whom he married
reluctantly, treated coldly for years, but came in the end to respect
and love for her goodness and forbearance, repairing his neglect in the
beautiful poems of repentance and gratitude addressed to her in the last
years of his troubled life. Miss Gardner's translations, especially
those from Krasinski's prose works, are done with spirit and no little
skill. The difficulties of the poems are greater, but she has given us
at any rate a good idea of their mystical eloquence. She has made
excellent use of the already extensive literature on the subject,
culminating in the complete edition of his works published in 1912, the
year of Krasinski's centenary. And she has drawn freely from the
remarkable letters written in French to Henry Reeve, whom he met in
Geneva in 1830--when Reeve was a romantic, enthusiastic youth 'with the
face of a beautiful girl'--and corresponded with for several years. More
than sixty years later these letters were handed over by Henry Reeve to
Krasinski's grandson, and published in Paris in 1902 with a Preface by
Dr. Kallenbach, of Lwow University, the chief authority on Krasinski."



KOŚCIUSZKO

A BIOGRAPHY



KOŚCIUSZKO

A BIOGRAPHY


BY


MONICA M. GARDNER

AUTHOR OF "ADAM MICKIEWICZ"; "POLAND; A STUDY IN NATIONAL
IDEALISM"; "THE ANONYMOUS POET OF POLAND," ETC.



LONDON: GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD.
RUSKIN HOUSE, 40 MUSEUM STREET W.C. 1
NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS



First published in 1920

(All rights reserved)



    TO

    WIESŁAWA CICHOWICZÓWNA

    I AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATE THIS
    BOOK UPON THE NATIONAL
    HERO OF HER
    COUNTRY



PREFACE

The appearance of an English biography of the Polish patriot, Tadeusz
Kościuszko, requires no justification. Kościuszko's name is prominent in
the long roll-call of Polish men and women who have shed their blood,
sacrificed their happiness, and dedicated their lives to gain the
liberation of Poland. We are now beholding what it was not given to them
to see, the fruit of the seed they sowed--the restoration of their
country to her place in the commonwealth of the world. It is therefore
only fitting that at this moment we should recall the struggle of one of
the noblest of Polish national heroes, whose newly risen country is the
ally of England and America, and whose young compatriots fought with
great gallantry by the side of British and American soldiers in the war
that has effected the deliverance of Kościuszko's nation.

    M. M. G.



CONTENTS

      Preface                               17

      Note on the Pronunciation of Names    21

CHAPTER

   I. The Youth of Kościuszko               23

  II. The Fight for American Freedom        37

 III. The Years of Peace                    53

  IV. The First Fight for Poland            71

   V. The Eve of the Rising                 87

  VI. The Rising of Kościuszko--I.          96

 VII. The Rising of Kościuszko--II.        129

VIII. The Russian Prison                   159

  IX. Exile                                173

      List of Books Consulted              204

      Index                                205



NOTE ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF
POLISH NAMES

     C==ts.

Ć, ci,==a soft English ch.

    Ch==strongly aspirated h, resembling ch in Scotch loch.

    Cz==ch, as in charm.

    Dz==j.

     J==y.

     Ł==a peculiarly Polish letter, roughly speaking to be pronounced
          between u and w.

     Ó==oo, as in mood.

    Rz==the French j, as in Jean.

Ś, si,==a slightly hissed and softened sound of sh.

     W==v.

 Ż, zi==French j.

The stress in Polish falls almost invariably on the penultimate
syllable.



KOŚCIUSZKO



CHAPTER I

THE YOUTH OF KOŚCIUSZKO

The great national uprisings of history have for the most part gone down
to time identified with the figure of a people's hero: with some
personality which may be said in a certain manner to epitomize and
symbolize the character of a race. "I and my nation are one": thus
Poland's greatest poet, Adam Mickiewicz, sums up the devotion that will
not shrink before the highest tests of sacrifice for a native country.
"My name is Million, because I love millions and for millions suffer
torment." If to this patriotism oblivious of self may be added an
unstained moral integrity, the magnetism of an extraordinary personal
charm, the glamour of a romantic setting, we have the pure type of a
national champion. Representative, therefore, in every sense is the man
with whose name is immortally associated the struggle of the Polish
nation for her life--Tadeusz Kościuszko.

Kościuszko was born on February 12, 1746, during Poland's long
stagnation under her Saxon kings. The nation was exhausted by wars
forced upon her by her alien sovereigns. Her territories were the
passage for Prussian, Russian, and Austrian armies, traversing them at
their will. With no natural boundaries to defend her, she was surrounded
by the three most powerful states in Eastern Europe who were steadily
working for her destruction. In part through her own impracticable
constitution, but in greater measure from the deliberate machinations of
her foreign enemies, whether carried on by secret intrigues or by the
armed violence of superior force, Poland's political life was at a
standstill, her parliament obstructed, her army reduced. Yet at the same
time the undercurrent of a strong movement to regeneration was striving
to make itself felt. Far-seeing men were busying themselves with
problems of reform; voices were raised in warning against the perils by
which the commonwealth was beset. New ideas were pouring in from France.
Efforts were being made by devoted individuals, often at the cost of
great personal self-sacrifice, to ameliorate the state of the peasantry,
to raise the standard of education and of culture in the country. Under
these conditions, in the last years of the independence of Poland,
passed the childhood and youth of her future liberator.

Kościuszko came of a class for which we have no precise equivalent, that
ranked as noble in a country where at that time the middle classes were
unknown, and where the ordinary gentry, so long as they had nothing to
do with trade, showed patents of nobility, irrespective of means and
standing. His father, who held a post of notary in his Lithuanian
district and who owned more than one somewhat modest estate, was
universally respected for his upright character, which, together with
his aptitude for affairs, caused his advice and assistance to be widely
sought through the countryside. Kościuszko spent his boyhood in the
tranquil, wholesome, out-of-door life of a remote spot in Lithuania. The
home was the wooden one-storied dwelling with thatched, sloping roof and
rustic veranda, in aspect resembling a sort of glorified cottage, that
long after Kościuszko's day remained the type of a Polish country house.
Kościuszko's upbringing was of the simplest and most salutary
description. There was neither show nor luxury in his home. The family
fortune had been left to his father in an embarrassed condition: his
father's care and diligence had for the time saved it. The atmosphere
that surrounded the young Kościuszko was that of domestic virtue, strict
probity. He had before his eyes the example of the devoted married life
of his parents. He went freely and intimately among the peasants on his
father's property, and thus learnt the strong love for the people that
dictated the laws he urged upon his country when he became her ruler.

Unpretending as was his father's household, its practice was the
patriarchal hospitality that marked the manners of the Poland of a
century and a half ago, as it does to-day. Friends and relations came
and went, always welcome, whether expected or unbidden. We have a
delicious letter from Kościuszko's mother, Tekla, to her husband on one
of the numerous occasions when he was away from home on business, in
which, fondly calling him "my heart, the most beloved little dear Ludwik
and benefactor of my life," she begs him to send her wine, for her house
is filled with "perpetual guests," and will he try and procure her some
fish, if there is any to be had, "because I am ashamed to have only
barley bread on my table."[1] When accommodation failed in the
overcrowded house, the men slept in the barn. In the day they hunted,
shot, rode, or went off in parties, mushroom hunting. If to the pure and
unspoiled influence of his home Kościuszko owes something at least of
the moral rectitude and devotion to duty from which he never swerved,
the country life of Lithuania, with its freedom and its strange charm,
the life that he loved above all others, has probably a good deal to say
to the simplicity of nature and the straightness of outlook that are
such strongly marked characteristics in this son of the Lithuanian
forests.

His early education was given him by his mother, a woman of remarkable
force of character and practical capacity. Left a widow with four
children under age, of whom Tadeusz was the youngest, she, with her
clear head and untiring energy, managed several farms and skilfully
conducted the highly complicated money matters of the family. Tadeusz's
home schooling ended with his father's death when the child was twelve
years old. He then attended the Jesuit college at the chief town in his
district, Brześć. He was a diligent and clever boy who loved his book
and who showed a good deal of talent for drawing. He left school with a
sound classical training and with an early developed passion for his
country. Already Timoleon was his favourite hero of antiquity because,
so he told a friend fifty years later, "he was able to restore his
nation's freedom, taking nothing for himself."

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_. Cracow, 1894; later edition, 1906
(Polish).]

In 1763 the long and dreary reign of Augustus III, the last Saxon king
of Poland, came to an end. Russian diplomacy, supported by Russian
cannon, placed Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, the lover of Catherine
II, upon the Polish throne in 1764. The year following, Kościuszko, an
unknown boy of nineteen years of age whose destiny was strangely to
collide with that of the newly elected and last sovereign of independent
Poland, was entered in the Corps of Cadets, otherwise called the Royal
School, in Warsaw. Prince Adam Czartoryski, a leading member of the
great family, so predominant then in Polish politics that it was given
the name of "The Family" _par excellence_, frequently visited Lithuania,
where he held high military command and possessed immense estates. Young
Tadeusz attracted his interest, and it was through his influence that
the boy was placed in an establishment of which he was the commandant
and which, founded by the King, who was related to the Czartoryskis, was
under immediate Royal patronage. Technically speaking, the school was
not a military academy, but the education was largely military and the
discipline was on military lines. Above all, it was a school for
patriotism.

The admission of the candidate was in the nature of a semi-chivalrous
and national function, bearing the stamp of the knightly and romantic
traditions of Poland. On the first day Kościuszko was formally presented
to the commandant, to the officers and to the brigade to which he was to
belong. He embraced his new comrades, was initiated into the regulations
and duties of the life before him and examined upon his capabilities. On
the following day he gave in his promise to observe the rules, and with
a good deal of ceremony was invested with the deep blue uniform of the
cadet. But this was merely the probation of the "novice," as the
aspirant was termed. A year's test followed, and then if judged worthy
the youth received in the chapel his final enrolment. All his colleagues
were present in full dress carrying their swords. High Mass was sung,
which the "novice" heard kneeling and unarmed. The chaplain then laid
before him his high obligation to his country; subsequently the
proceedings were adjourned to the hall or square, where the brigadier
proffered the neophyte's request for his sword. With the brigadier's
hand on his left arm, on his right that of the sub-brigadier--the
sub-brigadiers being the senior students--the candidate was put through
a string of questions, reminiscent of those administered to a
probationer taking the religious vows. One is typical: "Hast thou the
sincere resolve always to use this weapon which thou art about to
receive in defence of thy country and thy honour?" On the youth's reply,
"I have no other resolve," arms were presented, drums rolled, and the
senior officer girded the new soldier with his sword, and placed his
musket in his hand to the accompaniment of moral formulas. The young man
then made a solemn promise not to disgrace his comrades by any crime or
want of application to his duties. Led to his place in the ranks, he
presented arms, each brigade marched away, led by its brigadier, and the
day concluded with a festive evening.

The catechism that the cadet learnt by heart and repeated every Saturday
to his sub-brigadier--it was written by Adam Czartoryski--was of the
same patriotic description. Next to the love of God it placed the love
of country. "Can the cadet fear or be a coward?" was one of its
questions, with the response, "I know not how to answer, for both the
word and the thing for which it stands are unknown to me." This was no
mere ornamental flourish: for a dauntless courage is one of the most
distinctive characteristics of the Polish race, whether of its sons or
daughters. No opportunity was lost, even in the textbooks of the school,
to impress upon the students' minds that above all their lives belonged
to Poland. Let them apply themselves to history, said the foreword of an
encyclopædia that Adam Czartoryski wrote expressly for them, so that
they shall learn how to rule their own nation; to the study of law, that
they may correct the errors of those lawgivers gone before them. "You
who have found your country in this most lamentable condition must
people her with citizens ardent for her glory, the increase of her
internal strength, her reputation among foreigners, the reformation of
what is most evil in her government. May you, the new seed, change the
face of your country."

In this environment Kościuszko spent the most impressionable period of
his youth. Early portraits show us the winning, eager, mobile young face
before life moulded it into the rugged countenance of the Polish
patriot, with its stern purpose and melancholy enthusiasm, that lives as
the likeness of Tadeusz Kościuszko. Even as a cadet Kościuszko was
distinguished not merely for his ability, but still more for his dogged
perseverance and fidelity to duty. Tradition say that, determined to put
in all the study that he could, he persuaded the night watchman to wake
him on his way to light the staves at three in the morning by pulling a
cord that Kościuszko tied to his left hand. His colleagues thought that
his character in its firmness and resolution resembled that of Charles
XII of Sweden, and nicknamed him "Swede." Truth and sincerity breathed
in his every act and word. What he said he meant. What he professed he
did. The strength that was in him was tempered by that peculiar
sweetness which was native to him all his life, and which in later
manhood drew men as by magic to his banners, even as in his school-days
it won the respect and love of his young comrades. The esteem in which
his fellow-cadets held him is illustrated by the fact that on an
occasion when they were mortally offended by some slight put upon them
at a ball in the town they chose Kościuszko as their spokesman to
present their grievances to the King, who took a personal interest in
the school. Something about the youth attracted the brilliant, highly
cultured sovereign, the man who wavered according to the emotion or fear
of the moment between the standpoint of a patriot or of a traitor. After
that interview he often sent for Tadeusz; and when Kościuszko passed out
of the school as one of its head scholars or officers, he was
recommended to Stanislas Augustus as a recipient of what we should call
a State travelling scholarship.

In 1768 Kościuszko's mother died, leaving her two daughters married, the
eldest, spendthrift, and most beloved son out on his own, and Tadeusz
still a cadet. With his mother's death Kościuszko's financial troubles
began. For the greater part of his life he never knew what it was to
have a sufficiency of means. His brother held the estate and apparently
the control of the family money, that was no considerable sum and had in
latter years diminished. Public affairs, moreover, were now assuming an
aspect that threatened the very existence of Kościuszko's country.
Catherine II's minister, Repnin, with Russian armies at his back, ruled
the land. The Poles who stood forward in a last despairing attempt to
deliver their country were removed by Russian troops to exile and
Siberia. Then in 1768 rose under the Pułaski father and sons that
gallant movement to save a nation's honour that is known as the
Confederation of Bar. For four years the confederates fought in guerilla
warfare all over Poland, in forest, marsh, hamlet, against the forces of
Russia which held every town and fortress in the country. These things
were the last that Kościuszko saw of the old Republic of Poland. In the
company of his friend Orłowski, who had been one of four cadets to
receive the King's stipend, he departed from his country in 1769 or 1770
with the intention of pursuing his studies abroad.

Five years passed before Kościuszko saw his native land again. Very
little is known to us of that stage of his history. It is certain that
he studied in the school of engineering and artillery in Mézières and
conceivably in the Ecole Militaire of Paris. He took private lessons in
architecture from Perronet, and followed up his strong taste for drawing
and painting. Sketches from his hand still remain, guarded as treasures
in Polish national museums. French fortifications engaged his close
attention, and by the time he left France he had acquired the skill in
military engineering that saved a campaign in the New World and that
defended Warsaw in the Old.

It is said that Kościuszko prolonged his absence abroad rather than
return to see the enslavement of his country without being able to raise
a hand in her defence. For in 1772 Russia, Austria, and Prussia signed
an agreement to partition Poland between them, which, after a desperate
resistance on the part of the Polish Diet, was carried out in 1775.
Austria secured Galicia, Prussia a part of Great Poland and, with the
exception of Thorn and Danzig, what has since been known as "Prussian"
Poland, while to Russia fell the whole of Lithuania.

All this Kościuszko watched from afar in helpless rage and bitterness of
soul. His peace of mind was further destroyed by his increasing
financial difficulties. Little enough of his share of his father's
fortune could have remained to him, and he was in debt. The Royal
subsidy had ceased when the treasury was ruined by reason of the
partition of Poland. Moreover, Stanislas Augustus was never a sure
source on which to rely when it came to the question of keeping a
promise or paying his dues. The greater part of Kościuszko's career is
that of a man pitted against the weight of adverse circumstance. It was
inevitable that he who threw in his lot with an unhappy country could
have no easy passage through life. In this he resembles more than one of
the national heroes of history; but unlike many another, he never
reached the desired goal. His is the tragedy of a splendid and forlorn
hope. Even apart from the story of his public service his life was
dogged by disappointment and harassing care.

Somewhere in the year 1774 he at last returned home. A youth of
twenty-eight, possessed of striking talent and freshly acquired science,
he now, with his fiery patriotism and character as resolute as ardent,
found himself in the country that he panted to serve condemned to
inaction of the most galling description. The King who had been his
patron was the tool of Catherine II and through her of Russia. Russian
soldiers and officials overran even that part of Poland which still
remained nominally independent, but of which they were virtual masters.
There was no employment open to Kościuszko. A commission in the minute
army that survived the partition was only to be had by purchase, and he
had no money forthcoming. All that he could do was to retire into the
country, while he devoted his energies to the thankless task of
disentangling the finances that the elder brother, Józef Kościuszko, was
squandering right and left in debts and dissipation. The relations
between this riotous brother and Tadeusz, himself the most frugal and
upright of youths, were so painful that the latter refused to remain in
the old home that had not yet gone, as it did later, to Józef's
creditors. He therefore in true Polish fashion took up his abode in the
houses of different kinsfolk, often staying with his married sisters,
and especially with that best beloved sister, Anna Estkowa. Between him
and her there was always the bond of a most tender and intimate
affection, to which their letters, still preserved in Polish archives,
bear eloquent testimony.

At this time occurred the first love affair of the hero, who never
married. Among the manor-houses that Kościuszko visited was that of
Józef Sosnowski. He was Kościuszko's kinsman and had been his father's
friend. Tadeusz was a constant guest at his house, giving lessons in
drawing, mathematics, and history, his favourite subjects, to the
daughters of the house by way of return for their father's hospitality.
With one of these girls, Ludwika, Kościuszko fell in love. Various
tender passages passed between them, without the knowledge of the
parents but aided and abetted by the young people of the family, in an
arbour in the garden. But another destiny was preparing for the lady.
The young and poor engineer's aspirations to her hand were not tolerated
by the father whose ambition had already led him into dealings that
throw no very creditable light on his patriotism, and that had
Kościuszko known he would certainly never have frequented his house.
Over the gaming tables Sosnowski had made a bargain with his opponent, a
palatine of the Lubomirski family, in which it was arranged that the
latter's son should marry Ludwika Sosnowska. Getting wind of the
Kościuszko romance, he privately bade the girl's mother remove her from
the scenes; and when one day Kościuszko arrived at the manor he found
the ladies gone.

The bitter affront and the disappointment to his affections were
accepted by Kościuszko with the silent dignity that belonged to his
character; but they played their part in driving him out of Poland.
Whether the story that Ludwika really fled to take refuge from the
detested marriage imposed upon her in a convent, whence she was dragged
by a ruse and forced to the bridal altar, as long afterwards she told
Kościuszko, was a romantic invention of her own or an embroidery, after
the fashion of her century, on some foundation of fact, it is impossible
to say; but it is certain that through her unhappy married life she
clung fondly to the memory of her first and young lover. So long after
the rupture as fourteen years his name was a forbidden topic between
herself and her mother, and at a critical moment in Kościuszko's career
we shall find her stepping in to use her rank and position with
Stanislas Augustus on his behalf.

With home, fortune, hopes of domestic happiness, all chance of serving
his country, gone, Kościuszko determined to seek another sphere. He left
Poland in the autumn of 1775.

Poverty constrained him to make the journey in the cheapest manner
possible. He therefore went down the Vistula in a barge, one of the
picturesque flat-bottomed craft that still ply on Poland's greatest
river--the river which flows through two of her capitals and was, it is
well said, partitioned with the land it waters from the Carpathians to
the Baltic, On his way down the river he would, observes his chief
Polish biographer, have seen for the first time, and not the last, the
evidence before his eyes that his country lay conquered as his boat
passed the Prussian cordon over waters that once were Polish. Thus he
came down to the quaint old port of Danzig, with its stately old-world
burgher palaces and heavily carved street doors, then still Poland's,
but which Prussia was only biding her time to seize in a fresh
dismemberment of Polish territory.

Dead silence surrounds the following six months of Kościuszko's life.
Every probability points to the fact that he would have gone to Paris,
where he had studied so long and where he had many friends and
interests. The envoys from America were there on the mission of
enlisting the help of France in the conflict of the States with Great
Britain. We do not know whether Kościuszko became personally acquainted
with any of them. At all events the air was full of the story of a young
country striving for her independence; and it is not surprising that
when next the figure of Kościuszko stands out clearly in the face of
history it is as a volunteer offering his sword to the United States to
fight in the cause of freedom.



CHAPTER II

THE FIGHT FOR AMERICAN FREEDOM

In the early summer of 1776 Kościuszko crossed the Atlantic on the
journey to America that was then in the likeness of a pilgrimage to a
wholly strange land. He found the country palpitating in the
birth-throes of a nation rising to her own. Not only was she carrying on
the contest with Great Britain by arms, but democratic resolutions,
appeals for freedom for all men, were being read in the churches,
proclaimed at every popular gathering. What a responsive chord all this
struck in Kościuszko's heart we know from his subsequent history.

His best documented historian ruthlessly dismisses the story that the
Pole presented himself to Washington with the one request that he might
fight for American independence, and that in reply to Washington's
query, "What can I do for you?" his terse reply was, "Try me." As a
matter of fact he applied to the Board of War, and his first employment
was in the old Quaker city of Philadelphia where, in company with
another foreign engineer, a Frenchman, he was put to work fortifying the
town against the British fleet's expected attack by the Delaware. These
fortifications of his devising still remain. They gained for him his
nomination

by Congress as engineer in the service of the States and the rank of
colonel.

After some months passed in Philadelphia, Kościuszko was taken over by
Gates for the northern army, and sent to report upon the defences of
Ticonderoga and Sugar Loaf Hill. Gates highly approved of his proposed
suggestion of building a battery upon the summit of Sugar Loaf Hill; but
at this moment Gates was relieved of his command, and Kościuszko's ideas
were set aside for those of native Americans to whom his plan was an
unheard-of innovation. The authorities soon saw their mistake. "For the
love of God let Kościuszko return here," wrote Wilkinson when sent by
the commander to inspect the work, "and as quickly as possible." But it
was then too late. The English fleet was on Lake Champlain, and
Kościuszko's design was vindicated by the British carrying it out
themselves. He, meanwhile, was fortifying Van Schaick, with the result
that the army of the States, retreating in disorder before Burgoyne,
could retire on a safe position, Kościuszko's personal privations and
discomforts were considerable. He did not so much as possess a blanket,
and had perforce to sleep with Wilkinson under his. He was then sent on
by Gates, who was again in command, to throw up fortifications in the
defence of Saratoga.

With justifiable pride the Poles point to the part played by their
national hero in the victory at Saratoga which won for America not only
the campaign, but her recognition as an independent nation from Louis
XVI. The Americans on their side freely acknowledged that Kościuszko's
work turned the scale in their favour. Gates modestly diverted the flood
of congratulations of which he was the recipient by the observation that
"the hills and woods were the great strategists which a young Polish
engineer knew how to select with skill for my camp"; and his official
report to Congress states that "Colonel Kosciuszko chose and entrenched
the position," Addressing the President of Congress at the end of the
year 1777, Washington, speaking of the crying necessity of engineers for
the army, adds: "I would take the liberty to mention that I have been
well informed that the engineer in the northern army (Kosciuszko I think
his name is) is a gentleman of science and merit."[1] The plan of the
fortifications that saved Saratoga is preserved in Kościuszko's own hand
among Gates's papers, and traces of them could as late as 1906 be still
discerned among beds of vegetables.

That winter of the war--1777-1778--was famous for its length and its
intolerable severity. The American soldiers suffered from all the
miseries of hunger and cold and insufficient pay, Kościuszko, to whom
the piercing rigour of the climate must have seemed as a familiar
visitant from his northern Lithuanian home, was on the borders of Canada
when he heard of the arrival in Trenton of a Pole, famous, as Kościuszko
himself as yet was not, in the national records of Poland--Kazimierz
Pułaski. With his father, brothers, and cousin, Pułaski had led the war
of the Bar Confederation. He alone survived his family. His father died
in prison, suspected by his confederates; his brothers fell in battle,
or in their turn breathed their last in prison. Ignorant of fear and
gaily risking all for his country, Kazimierz carried on the struggle
without them. Pursued on all sides by the Russians, he performed almost
incredible feats of doubling and unheard-of marches: leading his troops
in the Ukrainian steppes, escaping to the Carpathians, reappearing in
Great Poland, fighting on until the last doomed defence of Czenstochowa,
after which he was seen no more in Poland. In, Paris he met Benjamin
Franklin and other envoys of the States, and, like Kościuszko, he set
sail to fight for liberty in the New World.

[Footnote 1: Jared Sparks, _Writings of George Washington_. Boston,
1847.]

At Christmas time in that bitter winter Kościuszko came out on furlough
through the wild snowbound land to Trenton, impelled by desire to see
the Pole whom he knew well by repute, and by the craving to hear news of
his country from the first compatriot who had come across his path in
the New World. They had not known each other in Poland, for Kościuszko
had been a youth engaged in his studies at home and abroad while the Bar
confederates were fighting; but for the love of Poland they met as
brothers. Kościuszko stayed ten days with Pułaski and his Polish
companion, entertained, despite their poverty, in true Polish style, and
then returned to his quarters. Probably on the way to or from Trenton he
turned aside to Valley Forge to make the acquaintance of Lafayette, who
had come over to America with Pułaski, and it is possible that on this
occasion he may have met Washington. He never saw Pułaski again, for,
leading a headlong charge with the fiery impetus of the Polish knight of
old, the leader of Bar fell at Savannah in October 1779.

The question of the defence of the Hudson was now being agitated. West
Point, the so-called Gibraltar of the Hudson, was chosen for its
commanding position on the heights above the river, and the work of
fortifying it was finally conferred, over the head of the French
engineer, Radière, upon Kościuszko. "Mr. Kosciuszko," wrote McDougall,
the general now in command of the northern army, to Washington, Gates
being employed at the Board of War, "is esteemed by those who have
attended the works at West Point to have more practice than Colonel
Radière, and his manner of treating the people is more acceptable than
that of the latter; which induced General Parsons and Governor Clinton
to desire the former may be continued at West Point."[1] Washington
acceded to McDougall's request and confirmed the appointment to the
Pole, not only because he was the cleverer engineer, but especially,
adds Washington, because "you say Kosciuszko is better adapted to the
genius and temper of the people."[2] A few months later Washington
ordered Kościuszko to submit his plans to the approval of an inferior
officer. Kościuszko, who never sought distinction or pushed his own
claims, did not permit himself to resent what was, in fact, a slight;
but quietly went forward in his own thorough and painstaking manner with
the business entrusted to him.

[Footnote 1: Jared Sparks, _Writings of George Washington_.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]

Kościuszko's work at West Point was the longest and the most important
of his undertakings in the United States, and is inseparably connected
in the American mind with his name. Little is now left of his
fortifications; but the monument raised in his honour by the American
youth, with the inscription: "To the hero of two worlds" remains, a
grateful tribute to his memory. That the military students of the United
States can look back to West Point as their Alma Mater is in great
measure Kościuszko's doing. When it was first resolved to found a
training school in arms for the young men of the States, Kościuszko
urged that it should be placed at West Point, and suggested the spot
where it now stands.

Kościuszko was at West Point for two years. Here, if we do not accept
the legends and conjectures of former meetings, he met Washington for
the first time. He had two thousand five hundred workmen under him, whom
he treated with the courtesy and consideration that always distinguished
his dealings with his fellow-men, whether his equals or subordinates.
The story goes that with his own hands, assisted by his American
workmen, he built himself some sort of cottage or shanty in the hope of
one day receiving his own countrymen as his guests. One of his modern
Polish biographers often heard in his youth a song purporting to be
Kościuszko's composition, with the tradition that he had composed it to
his guitar--he played both the guitar and the violin--on the arrival of
Polish visitors.[1] The doggerel, kindly little verses, express the
hope that everything his compatriots see in his modest house will be as
agreeable to them as their company is to their host, and inform them
that he raised its walls with the purpose of welcoming them therein. It
is a fact that, true to the Pole's passion for the soil, he laid out a
little garden, still known as "Kościuszko's Garden," where he loved to
spend his leisure hours, alone with his thoughts of Poland. Times were
hard at West Point and provisions scanty. Washington himself could not
sufficiently furnish his table, and Kościuszko naturally fared worse;
but out of the pay that he could ill afford and from his own inadequate
stores the Pole constantly sent provisions to the English prisoners,
whose misery was extreme. It is said, indeed, that had it not been for
Kościuszko's succour our prisoners would have died of want. Many years
later a Pole, who collected the details of Kościuszko's American
service, fell sick of fever in Australia. An English shopkeeper took him
into his house and tended him as though he were his own--for the reason
that he was a compatriot of the man who had saved the life of the
Englishman's grandfather when the latter was a starving prisoner at West
Point.

[Footnote 1: F. Rychlicki, _Tadeusz Kościuszko and the Partition of
Poland_. Cracow, 1875 (Polish).]

The West Point episode of Kościuszko's career came to its end in the
summer of 1780, when he asked Washington to transfer him to the southern
army. The motive of the request was that, without having given
Kościuszko notice, Washington had removed a number of his workmen. The
correspondence that passed between them was courteous but dry,
Kościuszko avoiding acrimonious expressions, and simply stating that
under the present conditions he could no longer carry on the work at
West Point. The relations between the liberator of America and the
champion of Poland's freedom were, indeed, never of the nature exacted
by romance. They were confined to strict necessity, and held none of the
affection that marked the intercourse of Gates and Nathaniel Greene with
their Polish engineer. The precise reason of this is hard to fathom. It
has been ascribed to Kościuszko's intimacy with Gates, Washington's
adversary, or, again, to Kościuszko's extreme reserve--which latter
conjecture, in view of the warm and enduring friendships that the hero
of Poland won for himself in the New World, seems untenable.

Gates, now nominated to the command of the southern army, had at once
requested that Kościuszko should be sent to him. "The perfect qualities
of that Pole," he wrote to Jefferson, "are now properly appreciated at
headquarters, and may incline other personages to putting obstacles
against his joining us; but if he has once promised we can depend upon
him."

Washington gave the required permission, to which Kościuszko replied
from West Point on August 4th:

"The choice your Excellency was pleased to give me in your letter of
yesterday is very kind; and, as the completion of the works at this
place during this campaign, as circumstances are, will be impossible in
my opinion, I prefer going to the southward to continuing here. I beg
you to favour me with your orders, and a letter of recommendation to the
Board of War, as I shall pass through Philadelphia. I shall wait on your
Excellency to pay due respects in a few days."[1]

A French engineer took Kościuszko's place, and the latter had not long
left when the treachery of the new commandant of West Point, Arnold, was
disclosed by the capture of André. Before Kościuszko had time to reach
the southern army his old friend Gates was defeated at Camden, and in
consequence disgraced. Nathaniel Greene, after Washington the greatest
general of the American Revolution, was appointed his successor. While
awaiting Greene's arrival to take up his command Kościuszko was for some
time in Virginia among the planters. He thus saw the coloured slaves at
close quarters, and was brought face to face with the horrors of the
slave trade. It was probably then that, with his strong susceptibility to
every form of human suffering, he learnt that profound sympathy for the
American negro which, seventeen years later, dictated his parting
testament to the New World.

[Footnote 1: Jared Sparks, _Writings of George Washington_.]

Through the whole campaign of the Carolinas, the most brilliant and the
most hardly won of the American War, Kościuszko was present. When Greene
arrived he found himself at the head of an army that was starving. His
troops had literally not enough clothing required for the sake of
decency. He was without money, without resources. He resolved to retire
upon the unknown Pedee river. Immediately upon his arrival he sent
Kościuszko up the river with one guide to explore its reaches and to
select a suitable spot for a camp of rest, charging him with as great
celerity as he could compass. Kościuszko rapidly acquitted himself of a
task that was no easy matter in that waste of forest and marsh. In the
words of an American historian: "The surveying of the famous Kościuszko
on the Pedee and Catawba had a great influence on the further course of
the campaign." The campaign was carried on in a wild country of deep,
roaring rivers, broken by falls, and often visited by sudden floods. The
frequently impassable swamps breathed out poisonous exhalations.
Rattle-snakes and other deadly reptiles lurked by the wayside. Great
were the hardships that Kościuszko, together with the rest of the army,
endured. There were no regular supplies of food, tents and blankets ran
out, the soldiers waded waist-deep through rushing waters. Often invited
to Greene's table, where the general entertained his officers with a
kindliness and cordiality that atoned for the poor fare which was all
that he could offer them, Kościuszko was regarded with strong affection
and admiration by a man who was himself worthy of the highest esteem.
Kościuszko's office, after the survey of the river, was to build boats
for the perilous transport of the army over the treacherous and
turbulent streams of the district. Greene writes: "Kościuszko is
employed in building flat-bottomed boats to be transported with the army
if ever I shall be able to command the means of transporting them."[1]
The boats of Kościuszko's devising contributed to the saving of Greene's
army in that wonderful retreat from Cornwallis, which is among the
finest exploits of the War of Independence. Again his skill came
prominently forward when Greene triumphantly passed the Dan with
Cornwallis on his heels, and thus definitely threw off the British
pursuit. Kościuszko was then despatched to fortify Halifax, but was soon
recalled to assist in the siege of Ninety Six, a fort built with heavy
stockades originally as a post of defence against the Red Indians. The
night before the siege began Greene with Kościuszko surveyed the English
works. It was dark and rainy, and they approached the enemy so close
that they were challenged and fired at by the sentries. The mining
operations that Kościuszko directed were of an almost insuperable
difficulty, and his Virginian militiamen struck. By his persuasive and
sympathetic language Kościuszko rallied them to the work; but finally
Greene abandoned the siege.

[Footnote 1: William Johnson, _Sketches of the Life and Correspondence
of Nathaniel Greene_. Charleston, 1822.]

When the campaign changed to guerilla warfare Kościuszko fought as a
soldier, not as an engineer. At the battle of Eutaw Springs, where the
licence of the American soldiers pillaging the British camp and
murdering the prisoners lost Greene a decisive victory, we hear of
Kościuszko as making desperate attempts to restrain a carnage which
horrified his humane feelings, and personally saving the lives of fifty
Englishmen. Peace and the defeat of Great Britain were in the air, but
hostilities still dragged on, and Kościuszko fought through 1782 near
Charleston with distinction. After the gallant Laurens had fallen, his
post of managing the secret intelligence from Charleston passed to
Kościuszko. "Kosciuszko's innumerable communications," says the grandson
and biographer of Greene, "exhibit the industry and intelligence with
which he discharged that service."[1] Kościuszko possessed all the
Polish daring and love of adventure. He would sally forth to carry off
the English horses and cattle that were sent to pasture under guard,
protected by English guns from the fort. He succeeded in capturing
horses, but the cattle were too closely protected. Or, accompanied by an
American officer named Wilmot, he would cross the river to watch or
harry the English on James' Island. One of these expeditions, when
Kościuszko and his companion attacked a party of English woodcutters,
has the distinction of being the last occasion on which blood was shed
in the American War. They were surprised by an ambuscade, and Wilmot was
killed. At length Charleston fell. On December 14, 1782, the American
army entered the town in a triumphal procession, in which Kościuszko
rode with his fellow-officers, greeted by the populace with flowers and
fluttering kerchiefs and cries of "Welcome!" and "God bless you!"
Greene's wife, a sprightly lady who kept the camp alive, had joined him
outside Charleston. Her heart was set on celebrating the evacuation of
Charleston by a ball, and, although her Quaker husband playfully
complained that such things were not in his line, she had her way. The
ball-room was decorated by Kościuszko, who adorned it with festoons of
magnolia leaves and with flowers cunningly fashioned of paper.

[Footnote 1: George Washington Greene, _Life of Nathaniel Greene_. New
York, 1871.]

Peace with England was now attained. Kościuszko had fought for six years
in the American army. The testimony of the eminent soldier in whose
close companionship he had served, whose hardships he had shared, whose
warmest friendship he had won, that of Nathaniel Greene, best sums up
what the Pole had done for America and what he had been to his
brother-soldiers. "Colonel Kosciuszko belonged"--thus Greene--"to the
number of my most useful and dearest comrades in arms. I can liken to
nothing his zeal in the public service, and in the solution of important
problems nothing could have been more helpful than his judgment,
vigilance and diligence. In the execution of my recommendations in every
department of the service he was always eager, capable, in one word
impervious against every temptation to ease, unwearied by any labour,
fearless of every danger. He was greatly distinguished for his
unexampled modesty and entire unconsciousness that he had done anything
unusual. He never manifested desires or claims for himself, and never
let any opportunity pass of calling attention to and recommending the
merits of others."[1] All those who had been thrown together with him in
the war speak in much the same manner. They notice his sweetness and
uprightness of soul, his high-mindedness and delicate instincts, his
careful thought for the men under his command. Even Harry Lee ("Light
Horse Harry"), while carping at Kościuszko's talents, to the lack of
which, with no justification, he ascribes Greene's failure before Ninety
Six, renders tribute to his engaging qualities as a comrade and a man.
But Kościuszko's services did not in the first instance receive the full
recognition that might have been expected from the new Republic. He
alone of all the superior officers of the Revolution received no
promotion other than that given wholesale by Congress, and was forced to
apply personally to Washington to rectify the omission. In language not
too cordial, Washington presented his request to Congress, which
conferred upon Kościuszko the rank of brigadier-general with the
acknowledgment of its "high sense of his long, faithful and meritorious
services." The recently founded patriotic Society of the Cincinnati, of
which Washington was the first president, elected Kościuszko as an
honoured member. Its broad blue and white ribbon carrying a golden eagle
and a representation of Cincinnatus before the Roman Senate, with the
inscription: "Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam," is often to be seen
in the portraits of Kościuszko, suspended on his breast.

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]


Kościuszko was now a landowner of American soil, by virtue of the grant
by Congress of so many acres to the officers who had fought in the war.
Friendship, affluence, a tranquil life on his own property, that most
alluring of prospects to a son of a race which loves Mother Earth with
an intense attachment, lay before him in the New World. To him nothing
was worth the Poland that he had left as an obscure and disappointed
youth.

For all these years his heart had clung to the memory of his native
land. On the rocks of West Point he had walked in solitude under the
trees of his garden, and sat by the fountain which is still shown,
yearning with an exile's home-sickness for his country. At times,
probably very rarely in days of long and difficult transit and when
communications for a fighting-line were doubly uncertain, letters
crossed between Kościuszko and friends in far-off Poland. "Two years ago
I had a letter from him," wrote Adam Czartoryski in 1778, as he
requested Benjamin Franklin to ascertain what had become of the youth in
whom he had been interested; "but from that time I have heard nothing of
him."[1] Some sort of correspondence was carried on by Tadeusz with a
friend and neighbour of his in his old home, Julian Niemcewicz, the poet
and future politician, later to be Kościuszko's companion in the Rising
and his fellow-prisoner and exile. Niemcewicz, wrote the Princess
Lubomirska who had been Ludwika Sosnowska, to Kościuszko in America,
"has told me that you are alive, he gave me your letter to read, and I
in my turn hasten to tell you through Julian that in my heart I am
unalterably and till death yours."[1*]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 1*: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

This letter, the same in which the lady gives the remarkable account of
her marriage to which we have already alluded, left Kościuszko cold.
That chapter was entirely put away from him. The first and hopeless
romance of his youth had naturally enough been driven off the field by
stirring and strenuous action in a new hemisphere. Even had this not
been the case, Kościuszko was of too high a moral mould to cherish a
passion for a married woman. His relations with the other sex were
always of the most delicate, most courteous and most chivalrous; but,
admired and honoured by women as he invariably was, they in reality
enter but little in his life.

Now that the war had ended Kościuszko only waited to wind up his affairs
in America, and then he could keep away from his country no longer. He
started for Europe in July 1784, landed in France, and by way of Paris
reached Poland in the same year. From America he brought an enhanced
attraction to the democratic ideas that were gaining vogue in Europe,
and which had had a hold over him from his youth. Still more, he had
seen with his own eyes the miracle of a national struggle.

[Footnote 1: _op. cit._]

He had fought and marched side by side with ragged, starving,
undisciplined, unpaid men who had carried off the victory against a
powerful nation and a regular army. With that memory burnt into his
soul, ten years later he led a more desperate throw for a freedom to him
incomparably dearer--his country's.



CHAPTER III

THE YEARS OF PEACE

When Kościuszko returned to his native land, that great wave of a
nation's magnificent effort to save herself by internal reform, which
culminated in the Constitution of the 3rd of May, was sweeping over
Poland. Equality of civic rights, freedom of the peasant, a liberal form
of government, political and social reforms of all descriptions, were
the questions of the hour. The first Commission of Education to be
established in Europe, the precursor of our modern Ministry of
Education, that had been opened two years before Kościuszko left Poland,
and on which sat Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłontaj, both afterwards to
be closely associated with Kościuszko in his war for national
independence, was, founding schools, refounding universities, and
raising the level of education all through the country. Roads were
built, factories started, agriculture and trade given fresh impetus. A
literary and artistic revival set in, warmly encouraged by Stanislas
Augustus, who gathered painters, musicians, and poets around him in his
brilliant court. All this was done by a dismembered nation upon whose
further and complete destruction the three powers that had already
partitioned her were resolved.


Coincident with these last days of Poland's political existence that
hold the tragic glory of a setting sun is the one tranquil span of
Kościuszko's life. His sister's husband had managed his affairs so
generously and so well that his old home had been saved for him. Here
Kościuszko for four years led the retired life which was most to his
taste, that of a country farmer and landowner in a small way, his peace
only disturbed by the financial worries handed on to him by his brother.

Soldierly simplicity was the note of Kościuszko's rustic country home.
The living-room was set out with a plain old table, a few wooden seats
and an ancient store cupboard. The furniture of the small sleeping
apartment consisted of a bed and by its side a table on which lay
Kościuszko's papers and books, conspicuous among the latter being the
political writings of the great contemporary Polish reformers--Staszyc
and Kołłontaj--which to the Pole of Kościuszko's temperament were bound
to be fraught with burning interest. His coffee was served in a cup made
by his own hand; the simple dishes and plates that composed his
household stock were also his work, for the arts and crafts were always
his favourite hobbies. An old cousin looked after the housekeeping. A
coachman and manservant were the only other members of the family. There
was a garden well stocked with fruit-trees that was the delight of
Kościuszko's heart. On a hillock covered with hazels he laid out walks,
put up arbours and arranged a maze that wound so craftily among the
thicket that the visitor who entered it found no easy exit. The maze may
still be seen, together with the avenue of trees that was planted by
Kościuszko himself. His interest in his domain was unfailing. When far
away from home, in the midst of his military preoccupations, while
commanding in the Polish army, he wrote minute directions to his sister
on the importation of fresh trees, the sowing of different grains on the
farm.

Although Kościuszko was an ardent farmer, his farm brought him no great
returns; and this by reason of the sacrifices that he made to his
principles. As a Polish landowner he had many peasants working on his
property. By the legislation of that day, common to several countries
besides Poland, these peasants were to a great extent under his power,
and were compelled to the _corvée_. Such a condition of things was
intolerable to Kościuszko. The sufferings of his fellow-men, equal
rights for all, were matters that ever touched him most nearly. Many
others of his countrymen were earnestly setting their faces against this
abuse of serfdom and, even before the measure was passed by law, as far
as possible liberating the serfs on their estates. That at this time
Kościuszko entirely freed some of his peasants appears certain. It was
not then practicable to give full freedom to the remainder; but he
reduced the forced labour of all the men on his property by one-half,
and that of the women he abolished altogether. His personal loss was
considerable. He was not a rich man. His stipend from America, for one
cause or another, never reached him, and thanks to his brother his
private means were in so involved a condition that he had to summon his
sister to his help and contract various loans and debts.

This favourite sister, Anna Estkowa, lived not far, as distances go in
Poland, from Kościuszko's home. She and her husband and son were often
guests in Kościuszko's house, and he in hers. She frequently had to come
to his rescue in housekeeping emergencies, and the correspondence
between them at times takes a very playful note. "Little sister," or "My
own dear little sister," alternates with the title used by the brother
in jest: "Your right honourable ladyship." Or again he calls her by
epithets remarkable to the English ear, but which in Lithuania are terms
of close intimacy, and correspond to the rough and endearing language of
a fondly attached brother and sister in our own country. He sends her a
packet of China tea or a wagon filled with barley that was forced to
turn back on account of the bad state of the roads; while she is
requested to buy him "about four bottles of English beer: I will pay you
back when I see you." Sometimes she is treated to a friendly scolding
when she fails to fulfil Kościuszko's commissions to his liking.

"I particularly beg you to try and get [some furniture he required] from
that joiner and send it to me on the first of May, or even sooner. ...
Come and stay with me in May. I will give you something to busy yourself
with, and to keep you in health. You must send some money to Stanislas
[her son, who was staying with Kościuszko], and enjoin upon him to
manage with it, but it would be better if he always had some in store.
You are a cow: and why did you not buy more almonds in their shells, or
at least four spoons?"[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_, edited by L. Siemienski, Lwow,
1877 (Polish).]

"My Saint Anna"--thus he addresses her on another occasion: "I have sent
my carts for the chairs and sofas. ... I present my humble respects to
the _Stolnik_ [his brother-in-law], and I beg him to let himself be
persuaded to come and stay for a time with me, if only to smoke one pipe
over my hearth. I beg you both to buy me two fine cows. Good-bye,
lapwings."[1]

"Little sister of mine," he writes most tenderly after her husband's
death: "come to me, I beg you. Take a carriage to Brześć. I shall be
there on Sunday for my cure, as Müller ordered me to go there.
Otherwise I would go to you. You must let yourself be ruled by reason.
You are in bad health, I am in bad health: do you wish to drive me into
the grave by your extravagant conduct? You must watch over your health
for the sake of your children, for my sake."[2]

Kościuszko loved his retirement, and was happiest in his own cherished
garden; but he by no means led the life of a hermit, and was fond of
visiting the country houses of his friends in the sociable open-hearted
manner of his race. His frank kindliness and courtesy made him a welcome
guest; and the favourite amusement of the soldier who had gained fame in
the New World was to play "blind man's buff" and other youthful games
with the young people of the house.

One of the manors that he frequented was that of Michał Zaleski, a legal
and political functionary of some importance in Lithuania. With him and
his wife Kościuszko contracted a lasting friendship.

[Footnote 1: _op. cit_.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]

"I will begin"--so runs a letter of his to Mme. Zaleska--"first of all
by reproaching your ladyship for not having added even one word to the
letter"--presumably her husband's. "A fine way of remembering your
neighbour! So I have only got to hurry home to be forgotten by my
friends! I will forbid any more of my water to be given to you, and will
entirely prohibit my well; so you will have to drink from your own, made
badly by your husband. I lay my curse on your ladyship and will show you
no mercy; and if I should be in the church on Good Friday you would most
certainly be denied absolution for your great and heinous sins. However,
I kiss your hands, and be both of you convinced of the enduring respect
and esteem with which I desire to be your humblest servant."[1]

"Oh, would that I could obtain such a wife!" he writes to the husband.
"She is an example for thousands--how to find happiness at home with
husband and children. What month were you born in? If my birthday were
in the same month, then I too might venture to marry."[2]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

Although Kościuszko lived far from the turmoil of publicity and out of
the reach of events, his thoughts, as we know from his letters and from
rough notes that exist in his handwriting, were much taken up with the
crisis through which his country was passing. He pondered much upon the
means of her preservation. His correspondence with Michał Zaleski
insists upon the necessity for Poland of national self-consciousness and
confidence in her own destiny. Education for the masses, a citizen army
of burghers and peasants, were two of the reforms for which Kościuszko
most earnestly longed, and in which, in advance of his epoch, he saw a
remedy for crying evils. It was a moment when the attention of
thoughtful men was riveted on great national problems, for the famous
Diet was now sitting that from 1788 to 1791 was engaged in the task of
framing for Poland the enlightened Constitution that, were it not for
the armies of Prussia and Russia, would have saved her. One of its early
enactments was the remodelling of the Polish army. Kościuszko's standing
was now for the first time to be publicly recognized by the Government
of his country, and his talent impressed into her service. His old love,
the Princess Lubomirska, here reappears in his history, writing a letter
to the King, with the request that Kościuszko should be given a military
command. If to the modern reader it comes with something of a shock, as
Korzon remarks, that a woman considered her intervention needed to push
the claims of a soldier who had so greatly distinguished himself, we
must remember that Kościuszko was then scarcely known in Poland. His
service had been foreign; he belonged to a quiet country family that had
nothing to do with affairs of state. Apart from the Princess's
propaganda, of which we hear nothing further, Kościuszko's name was sent
up for recommendation to the Grand Diet, and the Lithuanian magnate who
proposed it spoke before the Diet of Kościuszko as a man "who possesses
high personal qualities, and, as he learnt to shed his blood for a
foreign country, will assuredly not grudge it to his own." Kościuszko
was present; and as he heard these words he politely rose and bowed.
Kościuszko was no frequenter of courts or lover of palaces; but his
interests obliged him to present himself to the King, who remembered him
as the promising youth to whom his favour had been given when a cadet.
The upshot of all this was that he received the commission of
major-general in the Polish army on the 1st of October, 1789.

His first command was in the country districts of Great Poland, close to
the frontiers of that part of Poland which since the first partition had
been under Prussian dominion. It was a keen disappointment to Kościuszko
that his appointment was in the army of Poland proper, the so-called
Crown army, instead of in that of his native Lithuania. That wild and
romantic land of marsh and forest which the poetry of her great singer,
Adam Mickiewicz, has made live for ever in Polish literature, casts a
spell as it were of enchantment over her born sons; and Kościuszko felt
himself a stranger among the less simple and more sophisticated men with
whom he was now thrown.

While busy training soldiers his thoughts turned often to his little
estate which he had placed in the charge of his sister.

"See that the Dutch cheeses are made," he writes to her. "Please put in
the grafts given me by Laskowski, and in those places where the former
ones have not taken. To-morrow sow barley, oats. Plant small birches in
the walk immediately behind the building."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

"Why on earth don't you write to me?" he says, reading her a fraternal
lecture. "Are you ill? Your health is bad. Take care of yourself; do not
do anything that might trouble you. Say the same as I do, that there are
people worse off than I, who would like to be in my place. Providence
will cheer us, and can give us opportunities and happiness beyond our
expectations. I always commend myself to the Most High and submit myself
to His will. Do you do this, in this way calm yourself, and so be happy.
Here is a moral for you, which take to the letter. For Heaven's sake get
me some trees somehow. Let the buds have sap, not like they are at the
Princess's. Goodbye. Love me as I do you with all our souls."[1]

In the course of his duties Kościuszko had constantly to make journeys
to Warsaw on business. When there he entered into close relations with
those noblest of Poland's patriots and reformers, Ignacy Potocki and
Hugo Kołłontaj, both holding office under the Crown and employed in
drawing up the reforms that the Great Diet was passing. Here too
Kościuszko often saw his already friend, Niemcewicz, who was bringing
out patriotic plays and taking an active part among the enlightened
political party. The high esteem in which Kościuszko was held, not
merely by those who loved him personally but by men who only knew of him
by repute, may be illustrated by a letter addressed to him, not then,
but later, by Kołłontaj, in which the latter tells Kościuszko that words
are not needed to express how much he prizes the friendship of one "whom
I loved, honoured and admired before fate granted me to know you in
person."[2]

[Footnote 1: _op. cit_.]

[Footnote 2: _Letters of Hugo Kołłontaj_. Poznań, 1872 (Polish).]

In 1790 Prussia concluded a defensive and offensive alliance with
Poland, which, as the sequel shows, she was prepared to break at the
psychological moment, in order to secure Polish help in the probable
Prussian war against an Austrian-Russian coalition. Poland began to make
ready for the field. Kościuszko was sent southwards, to Lublin, where he
remained for the summer months. His employment was to train the recruits
for approaching active service. Against the difficulties always to beset
him throughout his career of lack of ammunition and want of funds, he
devoted himself to his task with the energy and foresight that were
customary with him. He was ordered in September to move to Podolia, on
the frontiers of which the Russians were massing. He stayed in that
district for many months until the July of 1791.

There the commandant of Kamieniec was no other than his old comrade and
friend, Orłowski.

"Truly beloved friend," wrote Orłowski to Kościuszko during the winter
of 1790, chaffing him on the untiring activity that he displayed at his
post: "I hear from everybody that you don't sit still in any place for a
couple of hours, and that you only roam about like a Tartar, not
settling anywhere. However, I approve of that. It is evident that you
mean to maintain your regiment in the discipline and regularity of
military service. I foresee yet another cause for your roaming about the
world, which you divulged in my presence. You write to me for a little
wife, if I can find one here for you."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

For, as is clear from various expressions in Kościuszko's letters, the
soldier, who was no longer young, was yearning for domestic happiness.
And now, in the turmoil of warlike preparations, he fell in love with a
girl of eighteen, Tekla Żurowska, the daughter of a noble, and heiress
to his estates. The courtship between the general bordering on middle
age--he was then forty-five--and this child in her teens has given us
Kościuszko's love-letters that are among the most charming productions
of his pen, for their tenderness and their half-playful chivalry,
characteristic not only of Poland's national hero, but in themselves
typically Polish. The couple met for the first time at a ball in a
country manor-house. We can visualize the picturesque spectacle of the
ballroom, brilliant with the gorgeous national costumes of the guests,
both men and ladies; the rugged and simple soldier in his Polish
uniform, courteously handing to the many figured Mazur or the stately
Polonaise the slim girlish form sporting her tight sleeveless little
coat with military facings and rich fur edgings and sleeve-like
streamers drooping from the shoulders, with her hair dressed in two long
plaits sweeping to her skirts. The girl's family was staying in the town
that was Kościuszko's head-quarters, and so near Kościuszko's rooms that
the lovers could watch each other from their windows. Seeing one of
Kościuszko's officers leave his general's house in haste, Tekla, with
the assurance, to use no harsher term, of her years, wrote a rebuke to
her lover for getting rid of his subordinates with greater speed than
was seemly. Kościuszko replied by informing her what the business had
been between himself and the soldier in question: "but I greeted him
beautifully and politely, and if he went away quickly it was certainly
because he saw a great many unfinished papers before me."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

There was another Tekla on the scenes, Tekla Orlewska, a cousin of the
first Tekla, whose friendship and sympathy were freely given, both to
Kościuszko and the girl he loved. "To the two Teklas" Kościuszko pens
this letter.

"For the notebook sent me "--this to Tekla Żurowska--"I thank thee very
much, although it is somewhat undurable, not suitable for use. 'Twas a
pity for little hands to labour at such a passing thing: a pity to wear
eyes out over so small a form of writing which it must overstrain the
eyes to read: it would have been better instead to have written more. I
know not to whom I must write, whether to the first little Tekla or to
the second; but what I do know is that I love the first and am the
greatest friend to the second. Both reproach me for somewhat of which I
do not find myself guilty. To the first I had no opportunity of writing,
and now I am sending my answer by Kniaziewicz"--the future famous
soldier of the Napoleonic legions: "but should he not come I have no one
by whom to write, for I do not know which of my friends visits you. The
second ought to reproach herself because she forgot so good a friend,
and because with so many opportunities she told me nothing about either
the first friend or about herself. They tell me that Orlewska has looked
with favour upon a certain person, and that he has wounded her heart
with love. Little Tekla, when thou writest send me at the same time one
of the coral beads from thy neck. May Providence enfold thee in the
cloak of perfect happiness, and be thou always convinced of my
steadfastness, friendship, esteem, respect."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

But although Tekla's mother warmly encouraged Kościuszko's cause, her
father looked askance at his daughter's suitor: either on account of the
disparity of age between them, or, which seems more probable, for the
reason that Kościuszko possessed neither large estates nor a great
family name. On one occasion Kościuszko, not finding himself pressed to
make a longer stay under the Żurowski roof, took an early departure,
telling Tekla that:

"It is always a bad thing for the uninvited to stay on. Through my
natural delicacy I understood that I was one too many. I had to go,
albeit with sorrow. I will now ask you where you are going to-morrow. If
I could find a good excuse I would go there too. ... May Heaven bless
the mother and daughter, and may it also send down upon the father, even
though he is unfriendly to me, bountiful riches of health. ... I kiss
your little feet, and when you are dining with an Englishman and
Frenchman forget not the Pole who wishes you well."[1]

[Footnote 1: _op. cit_.]

"Captains P. and P. told me," he says later, "that I was the cause of
your shedding tears. That such precious drops from lovely springs should
be shed through suspicion of me causes the greatest anguish to my heart.
Therefore I kneel and kiss your little hands until I win your pardon.
But think not that I ever had any idea of casting an aspersion on you.
It was only the result of my native frankness. I never have failed to
relate to a friendly person what I see, think, and hear. Now I will
correct myself. Never henceforth will I practise my frankness on you:
even my thoughts shall be restrained."[1]

But at times he attempted to keep the young lady in some sort of
discipline.

"Going to dine two miles off"--the Polish mile, be it observed, is more
than three times the length of ours--"is a very bad thing," not for
herself, he hastens to add: "four miles for your delicate mother are too
much, and I am afraid lest she should feel it. As for you, if it were
eight, all the better. The more you exert yourself the better your
health will be. Jump, laugh, run, but don't sleep after dinner; and if
you cannot go out, at least walk in the hall, play or read."[2]

Again: "Please write more clearly, for I lose half of the pleasure; or
if you will write in pencil, wet it in water, then the letters will not
be rubbed out."[3]

On her side the lady imposed orders upon her lover with which he, not
very willingly, complied.

"I have acted according to thy command," he writes, "and will not go to
the christening, although it was disagreeable to me to refuse. I have no
choice, because thou only art the mistress of my heart. Do whatever
seems to thee best. To behold thee happy is my prayer to God." He tells
her that he sees her father prowling about the windows of his own house
and looking suspiciously in the direction of Kościuszko's, but: "I will
do as thou desirest, and will behave most politely, and if he says
anything against my opinions I will gnaw out my tongue, but will answer
nothing back."[4]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid_.]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid_.]

The ill-founded rumour that in Kościuszko's youth he had intended to run
off with Ludwika Sosnowska had got to the ears of Tekla's father.
Certain enemies of Kościuszko's did their best to slander him yet
further. The result was a scene of the sort more familiar a hundred and
odd years ago than now: a girl throwing herself weeping at the feet of
an enraged parent, the wrath of the father dissolving into tears, but
his determination remaining implacable. The history of it was duly
handed on to the absent Kościuszko, whose comment was as follows:

"I return thee, but bathed with tears, thy goodnight." He charges Tekla
not to let her mother, who regarded Kościuszko with sincere affection,
fret herself sick over what had happened. "Embrace her as fondly as she
loves thee. ... Amuse and distract her so that her thoughts may incline
her to sleep." He complains that Tekla does not tell him how she herself
has weathered the storm: that he knows nothing of what is happening in
her home. "I should be glad to be even in thy heart and enfold thee all
within my heart. Each moment makes me uneasy for thee. ... As for me ...
all my mind is confused. There is bitterness in my heart, and I feel
fever tearing my inmost being. Go to bed, and sleep with pleasant
thoughts, seeing thy mother better. ... I commend thee to that
Providence who is beneficent to us all. Once more I embrace thee. I am
going away, but in thought I am always present by thy side."[1]

To Tekla's mother he wrote:

[Footnote 1: _Ibid_.]

"I cannot, God knows, I cannot keep silence or

send letters, for what I have heard and read has struck me like a
thunderbolt. You do not bid me write again, my little mother"--here he
uses one of the caressing untranslatable Polish diminutives. "I see that
you have been prevailed upon by his [her husband's] persuasions. I see
that I shall be parted from her for ever. ... I will always act
according to the bidding of the mother who is mine and the mother of her
who will always be in my heart. I will write no more and will not visit
at her house, that the sight of her shall not be as poison to me. ...
However, may the all High Providence bless you; and now I can write no
more."[1]

He then went off to manoeuvres. But the lovers had by no means given up
hope. They continued their correspondence, and Kościuszko, at Tekla's
suggestion and subject to her approval, sent her a letter which he had
drawn up for her father with a formal request for her hand.

The father returned an unmitigated refusal, repeating the absurd charge
that Kościuszko had intended to abduct his daughter. To this Kościuszko
replied with dignity and respect, ending with the words:

"If I cannot gain for myself your favour, if I do not win for myself the
hope of gaining her I love, if I do not receive the title so honourable
for me of your son and am not to be made happy, at least I look for the
approbation of an honest man."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]

Żurowski's answer was to remove his family to his Galician estate.
Kościuszko wrote joint letters to the mother, whom he still fondly terms
his "little mother," and to the daughter, assuring the former that his
reply to her husband had been:

"... most mild because he is your husband and the father of my little
Tekla; but I now see no chance after such a letter [the father's], at
the very memory of which my blood boils. But I thank you for your
kindness to me, which will be held in my undying remembrance. Your
character, your rare attachment to your daughter, will be an example to
all. ... May you live long and happily, and you will find your reward
when you wish to take it. My God! what a horrible idea that I should
have done violence to a law of nature, and in spite of the father have
carried off from his house my beloved! And thou, the life of my heart,
who wert to have been the sweetness of all my life, little Tekla,
forgive me for not finding fitting words at this moment, but, weeping, I
bow my head to kiss thy little feet with affection that shall endure for
ever. Do not exalt me in thy thoughts, but tread down all the proofs of
my friendship and drown in thy memory my love for thee."[1]

"I will always be with you both"--this to Tekla's mother, bidding her
good-bye in language of unshaken affection: "although not present, yet
in heart and thought."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Ibid_.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]

Korzon notices that at the moment of Kościuszko's rebuff at the hands of
his Tekla's father, who was after all nobody more than an ordinary
landowner, the rejected suitor had several thousand soldiers under his
command, and in days when wild and lawless acts were not unknown, and
not difficult of execution in a country where conditions were unsettled
and communications long, it would have been easy enough for him to have
carried his way by sheer force. But outrage and violence against
another's rights, defiance of law and honour, were foreign to
Kościuszko's whole trend of character. Here, then, love passes out of
Kościuszko's life, whose only passion henceforth will be that of
devotion to his country. Five years later Tekla married Kniaziewicz, the
friend of Kościuszko who, with him, was to be sung in the most famous of
Poland's poems, the _Pan Tadeusz_ of Adam Mickiewicz.



CHAPTER IV

THE FIRST FIGHT FOR POLAND

In 1791, amidst an outburst of national rejoicing, was passed the Polish
Constitution of the 3rd of May. Polish music and song have commemorated
the day--to this hour the Polish nation dedicates each recurrent
anniversary to its memory--when Poland triumphantly burst the shackles
that were sapping her life and stood forth in the van of European states
with a legislation that evoked the admiration of Burke, Walpole, and the
foremost thinkers of the age. The old abuses were swept away. A
constitutional and hereditary monarchy was established. Burghers were
granted equal civic rights with the nobility, the condition of the
peasants was ameliorated. Freedom was proclaimed to all who set foot
upon the soil of Poland.

New life now lay before the transfigured Polish state. But an internally
strong and politically reformed Poland would have dealt the death-blow
to Russia's designs of conquest. Catherine II's policy was therefore to
force back internal anarchy upon the nation that had abjured it, and to
prevent the new Constitution from being carried into effect. She had in
her hand a minority of Polish nobles who had no mind to part with their
inordinate privileges that the new laws had abolished, and who regarded
a liberal constitution with distrust and disfavour. At the Empress's
instigation the chief of the malcontents, Felix Potocki, Xavery
Branicki, and Severin Rzewuski, went to Petersburg to lay their
grievances before her. Out of this handful of Polish traitors
Catherine formed a confederation, supported by Russia; and in the
spring of 1792 she formally declared war upon Poland. Such is the tragic
story of the Confederation of Targowica, the name that has gone down to
odium in the history of Poland, its members held as traitors by Polish
posterity and by the majority of their contemporaries.

While events were thus hurrying on in his country Kościuszko, himself
ready to strain every nerve in her cause, wrote in the April of 1792 to
Michał Zaleski:

"Having heard that you are staying in the Brześć palatinate and are my
near neighbour, and always my partisan and friend, I cannot refrain from
sending you the expression of esteem which is due to you, as well as one
of astonishment that you have sacrificed this time to domestic
tranquillity and to your own happiness, living with the lady admired by
all and most especially beloved by me for her character and most
beautiful soul, and that you have abandoned your country, to which you
could have been of great assistance. This is the time when even where
there is diversity of opinions there ought to be one unity of aim for
her happiness, for leading her to importance in Europe, to internally
good government. I well know and am convinced of your character, heart
and patriotism; but, as your talents, judgment, wit, and general
knowledge of law are well known, so I should wish that you would be of
assistance to your country. It is a sure fact that every citizen, even
the most unimportant and least instructed, can contribute to the
universal good, but he to whom the Almighty has given understanding of
affairs greater than that of others sins when he ceases to be active. We
must all unite in one aim: to release our land from the domination of
foreigners, from the abasement and destruction of the very name of Pole.
On ourselves depends the amendment of the government, on our morals; and
if we are base, covetous, interested, careless of our country, it is
just that we shall have chains on our necks, and we shall be worthy of
them."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Through the spring of 1792 Kościuszko was preparing the division of the
army under his command for the war with Russia. His were still the
heart-burnings that he was to experience whenever he was at the head of
men, those of a commander who had neither sufficient soldiers,
ammunition, nor provisions. On the 21st of May the King delivered a
stirring speech to the Diet. "You behold deeds," he said, alluding to
the Confederation of Targowica, "that aim at the destruction of the
authority and existence of the present Diet and of the restoration of
our entire independence. You behold the open support of those
compatriots who are committing violence against the welfare and will of
our country. You behold, therefore, the indispensable necessity that we
should adopt as best we can every measure to defend and save our
country. Whatever, honourable Estates, you resolve I will not only
accede to, but I hereby declare that I will take my place in person
wheresoever my presence shall be called for." Probably those of his
audience who knew the King best took his words at their true value.

On May 22nd the Russian army crossed the frontier. Poland appealed to
the terms of her treaty with Prussia, and requested the Prussian state
to come to her assistance. Prussia threw off the mask and disavowed her
treaty obligations; and the Poles were left to their own resources.
Their numbers equalled, according to Kościuszko's computation, one
single column of the Russian army. An empty treasury, an empty arsenal,
were behind them; they were pitted against seasoned soldiers, trained in
successful war; but the fire of patriotism ran high through their ranks.
Many of the nobles, following the old traditions of Polish history,
raised regiments in their own provinces, armed them at their own cost,
and in person led them to the field. The commander-in-chief was young
Józef Poniatowski, the nephew of the King. He was to become one of the
most popular of Poland's heroes, as the brilliant leader of a Polish
army during the Napoleonic wars; but at this moment he was a youth of
twenty-eight, whose military knowledge was wholly negligible, and who
owed his high position to his family connections. The only Polish
general who had practical experience of war was Kościuszko; and with
him, for all Poniatowski's devoted service of his country, rests the
chief fame of the Ukraine campaign.

The story of that three months' campaign is one of a gallant struggle of
a little army, now winning, now losing, inflicting heavy loss upon a
superior enemy, but gradually driven back by overwhelming numbers
through Volhynia and Podoha. During all these weeks of desperate
fighting Kościuszko figures as the man whose bravery and skill again and
again saved the critical moment. In his dispatches to the King, whose
arrival in the Polish camp was daily looked for, and who never came,
Poniatowski praises Kościuszko as "doing great service, not only by his
courage, but also by his singular prudence." At Włodzimierz, when the
Polish army was in the utmost danger of annihilation, Kościuszko thrust
back the attack of "the whole Russian army"--the quotation is his--with
heavy; loss to the Russians and little to the Poles. It was, thus
Poniatowski declares in his report to the King, thanks "to the good and
circumspect dispositions of General Kościuszko that our retreat was
continued in unbroken order." The subsequent safe passage of the army
over the river is again ascribed to Kościuszko. And so we arrive at the
famous day of Dubienka, fought on the banks of the Bug between the
marshes of Polesie and Galicia, which covered Kościuszko's name with
glory, and which by tragic paradox saw the end of that stage of his
nation's hope for freedom.

Kościuszko has left a manuscript account, written in the nature of a
rough sketch, of the Ukraine campaign.[1] It passed into the keeping of
Stanislas Potocki, one of the great pioneers of educational reform in
Poland, not to be confounded with his ill-famed namesake, Felix Potocki.
In it Kościuszko gives with brevity and characteristic modesty the
account of the battle: how, with Poniatowski too far off to render
assistance, and the safety of the whole Polish army depending upon
Kościuszko, "left to himself," to cite his own words--he invariably
employs the third person--he threw up defences and prepared for the
Russian attack. Through the day of July 18th he stood with five thousand
Poles and eight cannon against a Russian army of twenty thousand
soldiers and forty cannon, repelling the enemy with sanguinary loss to
the latter. One of his officers who fought by his side told afterwards
how he had seen Kościuszko in the hottest fire calm and collected as
though taking a stroll. The battle that has been called the Polish
Thermopylæ only closed when towards evening the Russian commander,
Kachowski, violated neutral territory and fell upon the Poles from the
side of Galicia, so that, hopelessly outnumbered, they were compelled to
retreat. The retreat through the forest on a pitch-dark night was led by
Kościuszko, says an eyewitness, "with the utmost coolness and in the
greatest order," directing an incessant fire on the pursuing Russians
that told heavily upon them. Kniaziewicz, whom we last saw in a less
stern moment of Kościuszko's life, here played a gallant part.

[Footnote 1: Printed in Edward Raczynski's _Pictures of Poles and of
Poland in the Eighteenth Century_. Poznań, 1841 (Polish).]


It has been pointed out that the honours of the day fell, not to the
winner of the field of Dubienka, but to the vanquished: to Kościuszko,
not to the Russian general, Kachowski. Pole and Russian alike speak of
the high military talent that Kościuszko displayed, no less than of the
valour that fought on, refusing defeat till hope was no more. The
immediate result so far as Kościuszko was personally concerned was the
acknowledgment of his services by the King in the shape of promotion and
the nomination he greatly desired to the command of one of the chief
regiments in the Polish army, with all the affluence that these rewards
bestowed upon a man who had never hitherto enjoyed wealth. His fame,
too, travelled beyond the confines of his country, and the Legislative
Assembly in Paris conferred upon him the title of Citizen of France.

But the battle of Dubienka was not a week old, and the army was eager
for fresh action, when the King gave in his adherence to the
Confederation of Targowica; in other words, sold himself and his nation
to Russia. The echoes of his speech to the Diet, calling upon the nation
to fight till death, vowing that he was ready to make the sacrifice of
his own life should his country need it, were still in the ears of those
who had heard it. The army had waited in vain for him to place himself
at its head; then Catherine II threatened him, and as usual he dared not
disobey. "Yielding to the desire of the Empress," he told his subjects,
"and to the necessities of the country," he condemned the proceedings of
the long Diet in which he had recognized the salvation of Poland at that
one great moment of his life when he had thrown in his lot with the
noble party of patriotic reform; and now, as the mouthpiece of Catherine
II, he pronounced the nation's only safety to be with the promoters of
Targowica. The most favourable view of Stanislas Augustus's conduct has
little more to urge in his favour than that he was neither a fool nor a
hero, saw no hope of success in the national movement, and preferred to
throw in his lot with the other side. It was on the 23rd of July that
the King signed the Confederation of Targowica. The news fell as the
sentence of death upon the Polish camp that was palpitating with
patriotic ardour. In the presence of all his officers Poniatowski wrote
to the King as plainly as he dared: "News is here going through the
camp which surely must be spread by ill-disposed men who wish evil to
Your Majesty, as though Your Majesty would treat with the betrayers of
our country. The degradation of cringing to the betrayers of our country
would be our grave."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

The army, was, however, bidden by the King to lay down arms, and was
recalled to Warsaw. "It is impossible to express the grief, despair, and
anger of the army against the King," wrote Kościuszko several months
later as he collected his memories of the campaign in the manuscript
notes referred to above. "The Prince-General himself gave proof of the
greatest attachment to the country. All recognized the King's bad will,
since there was still the possibility of defeating the Russian army."
Kościuszko was present at one of the conferences held after the arrival
of the Royal mandate between the Polish commander and Kachowski; and he
could not restrain tears of wrath as he took stock of the Russian
officers whom he was convinced that, were it not for treachery at
headquarters, Poland could have overcome. Honour forbade the Polish
officers to retain their commissions any longer in a service that was no
more national, but that was in the domination of Russia and of those who
were playing into her hands. On the march back to Warsaw, Poniatowski
sent in his resignation to the King, and on another page of The same
document Kościuszko--followed by hundreds of others--in a few laconic
words laid down his tardily and hardly won command.

    "Since," his note runs, "the change in the national conditions are
    contrary to my original oath and internal convictions, I have the
    honour to request Your Royal Majesty for the favour of signing my
    resignation.

        "Tadeusz Kościuszko."

"We have sent our notes to the King," writes Kościuszko to his warm
friend, Adam Czartoryski's wife, to whom he poured out the wounds of his
heart, bleeding at the sight of the terrible danger under which his
country was being submerged, "requesting for our resignations, and for
this reason, that in time we may not be drawn into an oath against our
convictions, that we may not be colleagues of those three [Branicki,
Felix Potocki, and Rzewuski], and for fear that the King, if we
requested later on for our resignations, will by that time not have the
power to grant them to us. Therefore, we wish to secure ourselves,
declaring to the King that if there is nothing against the country in
these negotiations [with Russia], and if those personages will not be in
the army, then we will serve, and withdraw our resignations. I expect to
be in Warsaw this week, where I shall assuredly find out something more
certain about this change. Oh, my God! why wilt Thou not give us the
means of rooting out the brood of the adversaries of the nation's
happiness? I feel unceasing wrath against them. Day and night that one
thought is forced upon me, and I shudder at the recollection of what end
may befall our country."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

He reached Warsaw, and was summoned by the King to an audience. Then a
dramatic scene took place. The plain, reserved soldier, the Puritan
patriot as a Polish historian calls him, was confronted with the monarch
who was a trained orator, to whom elegance of dress and manner were a
study of moment, whose handsome face and captivating address had won him
the favour--a fatal gift for Poland--of the Semiramis of the North.
Against every cajolement of one who was an adept in the arts of
blandishment, promise and flattery, Kościuszko had but one argument:
that of the straight-forward devotion that saw his country outraged, and
that would accept no compromise where duty to that country and to his
own honour were concerned. In his boyhood Kościuszko had been in marked
manner dependent on the King's favour. Now--as at a later crisis in
their mutual relations--it is clear that, however outspoken his language
to his sovereign, Kościuszko never forgot a subject's respect. Let him
tell what passed in his own words:

"The King strongly urged me, sought to persuade, to convince me, finally
sent me ladies known as being in relations with him, if only we would
not abandon him and would not insist on our resignations. I always gave
him the same answer, shattering all his arguments, so that he was often
embarrassed what to answer me. At last with tears I told him that we had
deserved some consideration, fighting for our country, for the state,
for Your Royal Majesty, and that we will never act against our
convictions and honour. No one has yet chosen publicly to proclaim those
scoundrels as infamous traitors. I alone have said this openly in the
presence of the King, to which he answered: 'Leave them to their
shame.'"[1]

[Footnote 1: _Op. cit_.]

Kościuszko thus remained master of the situation. Stanislas Augustus was
silenced before an integrity that would not bend before him. On August
17th the Russian army entered Warsaw as conquerors. The King was
virtually a prisoner, for whom neither side felt compassion or respect,
in the hands of Russia. By a rescript of Catherine II the Polish army
was drafted into small divisions and scattered through the country, thus
rendered powerless. The reforms of the Constitution were set aside.
Russia ruled the country behind her puppets, the leaders of Targowica.
The second partition was only a question of time.

Radom was designated to Kościuszko as his head-quarters; but his
determination to serve no more under the betrayers of his country held
firm. He remained two months longer in Warsaw in the seclusion of an
abandonment of grief, choosing to stay within walls rather than see the
streets of the capital of Poland under the Russian heel. The last piece
of business with which he concerned himself in the official capacity he
was surrendering for honour's sake was to recommend to the King's notice
several officers, including Kniaziewicz, for their gallantry in the late
war. Amidst his heavy anxieties he made time to write to a friend, whose
name we do not know, but who, to judge from the letter's closing
words--"I bid you farewell, embracing you a thousand times with the most
tender affection for ever"--was one very dear to Kościuszko, begging him
to relieve the necessities of some individual whose position in Warsaw
without means had aroused the writer's pity.[1]

"Watering my native soil with my tears,"--thus he writes to Felix
Potocki, in an outburst of the patriotic indignation that even his
enemies respected--"I am going to the New World, to my second country to
which I have acquired a right by fighting for her independence. Once
there, I shall beseech Providence for a stable, free, and good
government in Poland, for the independence of our nation, for virtuous,
enlightened, and free inhabitants therein."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Op. Cit_.]

He fell sick for sorrow at the thought of his nation's future. From his
bed of convalescence in the famous Blue Palace of the Czartoryskis in
Warsaw he wrote to Michał Zaleski, acquainting him with his intention to
repair as soon as the fever left him to Galicia, thence:

"... possibly to Switzerland or England, whence I shall watch the course
of events in our country. If they make for the happiness of the country,
I shall return; if not, I shall move on further. I I shall enter no
foreign service, and if I am forced to it by my poverty then I shall
enter a service where there is a free state--but with an unchanging
attachment to my country which I might serve no longer, as I saw nothing
to convince me of the amelioration of the government or that gave any
hope for the future happiness of our country in the measures at present
taken"--meaning, of course, under the rule of the Confederation of
Targowica. "I would not enter into undertakings of which the end is
unknown: I feared lest, if only indirectly, they should contribute to
the unhappiness of the nation. I do not doubt that there are men even
among the Targowicians who are trying to serve their country, but I know
not if they can, and if they are in the way of doing it. With my whole
heart and soul I long that some one experienced in affairs could
enlighten me, for I am in the darkness of night."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Ibid_.]

Told in the light of subsequent events, from standing ground removed
from the passion and confusion of a present strife, with, moreover, the
diplomatic intrigues of Russia and Prussia laid open before our eyes by
modern research, the issues of this period of Poland's history are
intelligible enough; but to the combatants in the arena the line was not
so defined. Some among the Poles of the period, even including men of no
mean capacity, wavered as to whether Catherine II were not genuinely
prepared to guarantee a free Poland under Russian protection. The
leaders of Targowica have been branded with the name of traitors, and
justly; but it seems as though they proceeded rather as hotheaded and
unpatriotic malcontents than with the deliberate intention of betraying
their country. Kościuszko was ill-versed, either by nature, training, or
inclination in the art of politics; but through this tangled web of
perplexity and uncertainty, when present and future were equally
enveloped in obscurity, his singleness of aim supplied him with the
unerring instinct with which through the whole of his life he met and
unmasked the pitfalls that were spread before the unhappiest and the
most cruelly betrayed of nations. Under the dictates of this pure
patriotism he directed himself unfalteringly through the most difficult
and involved hours of his nation's history, allowing neither friendship,
tradition, nor personal advantage to obscure for one moment the great
object he had at stake--his country's good. He now laid down high rank,
parted with fortune upon which his hand had barely had time to close,
and prepared to face an uncertain future in a foreign land. On the eve
of his departure from Poland he wrote to Princess Czartoryska:

"I was faithful to my country; I fought for her and would have offered
myself a hundred times to death for her. Now it seems as if the end of
my services for her is at hand; perhaps this uniform which I am wearing
will be the badge of shame. I will cast it off betimes, and lay my sword
in the grave till future better times. ... I will once more bid farewell
to you. Princess, whom all adore for your virtues and devotion. I kiss
the hands which have often dried tears shed for our country."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Before leaving his native land, as far as he knew for ever, he sent,
together with his farewell to the sister whom he never saw again, his
last disposition of the home to which his heart clung with deep
affection, and which was to be his no more.

"Permit me, my sister, to embrace you, and because this may be the last
time I shall be given that happiness I desire that you should know my
will, that I bequeath to you my estate of Siechnowicze, and that you
have the right to bequeath it either to one of your sons or to any one,
but under one condition: that Susanna and Faustin shall be kept in every
comfort until their death; that the peasants from every house in the
whole estate shall not do more than two days of forced labour for the
men, and for the women none at all. If it were another country where the
government could ensure my will, I would free them entirely; but in this
country we must do what we are certain of being able to do to relieve
humanity in any way, and always remember that by nature we are all
equals, that riches and education constitute the only difference; that
we aught to have consideration for the poor and instruct ignorance, thus
bringing about good morals. I am sending you my signature so that you
can act legally according to my wish, so that later no disputes shall
arise against you or your sons. Farewell! I embrace you with the
tenderest heart.

"Embrace Susanna for me," he adds in a postscript. "Thank her for the
friendship she has shown me. Remember me to Faustin and to your son
Stanislas. Let him give his children a good republican education with
the virtues of justice, honesty, and honour."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Op. Cit_.]

The letter has come down to us with its small clear handwriting, a few
words in the postscript erased with the scrupulous neatness of the whole
document. We can best realize how near the condition of the peasants lay
to Kościuszko's heart when we reflect that it filled his parting
communication to his sister, written at the moment when, full of sorrow
and anxiety, he was going into the unknown road of exile. He left Poland
in the early days of October, having won, says Korzon, the esteem of
friend and foe alike. Before crossing the frontier into what was Polish
soil, but since Austria had taken possession of it at the first
partition was politically recognized as Poland no longer, he unbuckled
his sword and, lifting his hands to heaven, prayed that he might be
given once again to draw it in the defence of his dearly loved land.



CHAPTER V

THE EVE OF THE RISING

In Galicia, Kościuszko was welcomed by a crowd of sympathizers. The
Czartoryskis, then residing on their Galician estates, showed him such
marked proofs of their admiration that it was even said, without
foundation, that Princess Czartoryska destined Kościuszko for the
husband of one of the princesses. A married daughter drew his portrait,
inscribing it, after the taste of the epoch, with the words: "Tadeusz
Kościuszko, good, valiant, but unhappy." On his feast-day, October 28th,
the ladies of the family presented him with a wreath woven of leaves
from an oak planted by the Polish hero with whose name Kościuszko's is
often coupled: Jan Sobieski, the deliverer of Christendom. At the
banquet held on this occasion was present, not only Kościuszko's friend,
Orłowski, like him banished and for the same reason, but a young son of
the house who had fought in the recent Russo-Polish war, Adam
Czartoryski, soon to be removed by Catherine II's orders as a hostage to
the Russian court, and who in later life was one of the principal and
noblest figures in Polish politics of the nineteenth century. We shall
see his path again touching Kościuszko's at a critical juncture in the
history of their nation.

The bitterness of an exile's wanderings, so familiar to the generations
of Poles that followed through the unhappy years of the succeeding
century, was now to be tasted by Poland's national hero. The Austrian
Government took alarm at the evidences of popularity that were showered
upon him. The Russian Government would not have his presence near the
Polish frontiers, and the Russian sentries received orders to be on the
look-out not to permit him to enter any Polish town. Legends ran through
the ranks of the superstitious Muscovite soldiery that Kościuszko had,
notwithstanding, come up to the sentries, and when fired upon had
changed himself into the form of a cat. Such tales apart, on December
5th he was given notice by the Austrian authorities to quit the country
within twelve hours.

"I am grieved to leave beloved Poland, my friends and so many hearts
that were good to me," sadly writes Kościuszko. Spies and secret agents
were watching the posts; so he and his fellow-Poles protected themselves
and their correspondence by various precautions, fictitious names,
confidential messengers. "Bieda"--misfortune--was the pseudonym by which
Kościuszko, his heart heavy with foreboding for his country and grief at
her loss, signed himself, and wished to be known, as he set out for a
foreign land. Cracow lay in the route that as a fugitive from the
Austrian Government he was obliged to choose. He tarried a few days in
the beautiful old city that is the sepulchre of Poland's kings, and
where he was after death to lie in the last resting-place of those whom
his nation most honours. Thence he journeyed to Leipzig.

In Leipzig were the men of the nation whose minds and aims were in the
closest sympathy with his. Kołłontaj, Ignacy and Stanislas Potocki, and
the band of Poles who had been responsible for the drawing up of the
Constitution of the 3rd of May, had gathered together in the Saxon city
out of reach of Russian vengeance, where they could best concert
measures for saving Poland. In January 1793 the news reached them that
Prussia, whose attitude in regard to scraps of paper is no recent
development, had helped herself to that portion of Great Poland which
had escaped her at the first partition, and to Thorn and Danzig, which
she had so long coveted, while Russia took the southern provinces of
Poland and part of Lithuania.

But the camp of Polish patriots in Leipzig would not give Poland up for
lost. "She will not remain without assistance and means to save her,"
wrote Kołłontaj. "Let them do what they will; they will not bring about
her destruction." "Kościuszko is now in Paris"--this was early in 1793.
"He is going to England and Sweden." As a matter of fact he went to
neither at that time. "That upright man is very useful to his
country."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Hugo Kołłontaj_.]

It was to France, which had won Kościuszko's heart in his youth, and
whose help he had seen given to America in the latter's struggle for her
freedom, that he now made his way to beg a young Republic's assistance
for his country. He was not a diplomat himself; but Kołłontaj and Ignacy
Potocki were behind him with their instructions. Fortune never favoured
Kościuszko. He arrived in Paris shortly before the execution of Louis
XVI. He may even have been in the crowd around the scaffold, the witness
of a scene that, however strong his popular sympathies, would have
inspired a man of his stamp with nothing but horror and condemnation.
The European coalition was formed against France: and Poland was
forgotten. The second partition by which Russia and Prussia secured the
booty that they had, as we have seen, a few months previously arrogated
to themselves, was effected in a Europe convulsed with war, that little
noticed and scarcely protested against the dismemberment of a European
state and the aggrandizement of two others, with its fatal consequence
of Prussia's rise to power. The tale of the scene in the Diet of Grodno,
convoked under the compulsion of the Russian armies to ratify the
partition, is well known: how the few deputies who consented to attend
sat with Russian cannon turned upon them, while Russian troops barred
all the exits of the hall and carried off by night to Siberia those
members who protested against the overthrow of their nation: how the
group of Poles, deprived of all other means of defending their country,
opposed an absolute silence to every proposal of their enemies, till the
deed was signed that left only a shred of territory, in its turn doomed
to fresh destruction, to the Republic of Poland.

From Lebrun, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kościuszko
succeeded in winning the promise of financial assistance in the war for
Polish independence that the national party was projecting; but shortly
after his interview with Kościuszko Lebrun lost liberty and office. With
Danton Kościuszko would have nothing to do, and in the sanguinary scenes
of the Terror all public traces of the Pole are lost. It is certain that
he had no dealings with Robespierre or with any of the men who then sat
in the French revolutionary tribunals. How strongly he abhorred their
manner of revolution is proved not only from expressions he let drop
during his own dictatorship, but still more by his mode of proceeding
when he himself was responsible for a new government of state. He was a
democrat always; but in the best sense of the word.

Seeing that there was no prospect of gaining anything for Poland from
France, Kościuszko remained in seclusion during his further stay in
Paris, writing in the blood-stained city the record to which we have
already alluded of the national war in which he had lately fought. In
this work he freely criticizes all the errors on the part of its leaders
which he had seen, and in vain pointed out to Poniatowski, during its
course; but nothing could shake his conviction that the Polish cause
could have triumphed. "If," he writes, "the whole army had been
assembled beyond the Vistula with volunteers and burghers from the
cities of Warsaw and Cracow, it would have risen to sixty thousand, and
with a king at its head, fighting for its country and independence, what
power, I ask, could have conquered it? "He refers to the sights he had
beheld in the American War as a proof of what soldiers could do without
pay, if animated by enthusiasm for a sacred cause. That patriotic fire,
says he, burned as brightly in his own country: the Polish soldier, the
Polish citizen, were equally ready to sacrifice all. "The spirit was
everywhere, but no use was made of their enthusiasm and patriotism. ...
The weakness of the King without military genius, without character or
love of his country, has now plunged our country, perhaps for ever, into
anarchy and subjection to Muscovy."[1]

[Footnote 1: MS. of Kościuszko in _Pictures of Poles and of Poland in
the Eighteenth Century_, by Edward Raczynski.]

Thus wrote Kościuszko in the day when a peasant soldiery was unknown in
Poland; and a few months later he was leading his regiments of reapers
and boatmen to the national Rising.

There was nothing more for him to do in Paris. His intended attempt in
England was given up, for Kołłontaj received a broad hint from the
British representative in Saxony that Kościuszko's presence would be
both unwelcome to George III and profitless to the Polish cause.
Kościuszko may then have gone on from France to Brussels, but in the
summer of 1793 he was back in Leipzig in close consultation with Ignacy
Potocki.

The condition of Poland was by now lamentable. Her position was that of
a nation at the mercy of a foreign army, ravaged by war, although she
was not at war. Russians garrisoned every town. Russian soldiers were
systematically pillaging and devastating the country districts,
terrorizing village and town alike. Poles were arrested in their own
houses at the will of their Russian conquerors, and despatched to
Siberia. Hidden confederations, especially among the Polish youth, were
being carried on all over Poland, preparing to rise in defence of the
national freedom. In the teeth of the Russian garrison and of Catherine
II's plenipotentiary, Igelstrom, Warsaw sent secret emissaries to the
scattered remnants of the Polish army; and in the conferences that were
held at dead of night the choice of the nation fell upon Kościuszko as
the leader above all others who should avenge the national dishonour and
wrest back at the point of the sword the independence of Poland. In the
beginning of September 1793 two Polish delegates carried the proposal to
him where he still remained in Leipzig.

The great moment in the life of Tadeusz Kościuszko had now arrived. His
fiery and enthusiastic soul leapt to its call; but with none of the
headlong precipitance that would have been its ruin. Kościuszko was too
great a patriot to disdain wariness and cool calculation. He never
stirred without seeing each step clearly mapped out before him. He took
his counsels with Potocki and his other Polish intimates in Saxony; then
formulated his plan of the Rising. Each district of Poland and Lithuania
was to be under the command of some citizen who would undertake secretly
to beat up the inhabitants to arms. The people could choose their own
officers according to the general wish. Special insistence was laid on
the duties of calling the peasants to fight side by side with the
landowners. The Polish peasant had hitherto been counted incapable of
bearing arms: Kościuszko overrode this ancient prejudice with results
that have given one of the finest pages to the history of Poland.

He then went alone with his confidant, Zajonczek, to the Polish
frontiers to collect information. He sent round messengers to the
different provinces of Poland and Lithuania carrying his letters and
full instructions, while Zajonczek, under a false name, was despatched
to Warsaw. The report the latter gave to Kościuszko on his return was
not satisfactory.

Matters were not as yet ripe for the undertaking. Financial means in the
widespread ruin that had come upon Poland through the overrunning of her
territories by a hostile soldiery were lacking, in spite of the private
generosity of such a donor as the Warsaw banker, Kapostas. The
difficulties of getting together a fighting force when Russian soldiers,
closely supervising every movement of the Poles, occupied the country
and the Polish divisions had been purposely drafted to great distances
from each other by the Empress, were almost insuperable. The peasant
rising upon which Kościuszko had built his best hopes was unprepared.
But two elements remained that should, as pointed out by Zajonczek,
consolidate and ensure a great national Rising: universal detestation of
the Russian and limitless confidence in the chosen national leader.
Kościuszko deemed it advisable to wait. "It is impossible," he said
after receiving Zajonczek's report, "to build on such frail foundations;
for it would be a sad thing to begin lightly and without consideration,
only to fall." He himself, recognizable as he was through all Poland,
was too well known to act as a secret propagandist in his own country;
so in order to throw dust in the eyes of Russia and Prussia he retired
to Italy for some months. In Florence he found Niemcewicz. Niemcewicz
tells how one night as he sat reading by his lamp the door burst open,
the Polish greeting, "Praised be Jesus Christ," rang on the exile's ear,
and a former colleague of the poet's hurried in with the simple words:
"I have come for Kościuszko."[1] But the last act was played out in
Dresden, that for long after Kościuszko's day remained a stronghold of
Polish emigration. While Kościuszko was taking final deliberation there
with Kołłontaj and Ignacy Potocki, two Poles came straight from Poland,
and on their knees besought Kościuszko to give the word. The moment was
now or never. Placards were being fastened mysteriously on the walls of
Warsaw, calling to the Poles to rise. Patriotic writings were scattered
broadcast, patriotic articles printed, in spite of the rigorous Russian
censorship, in the Polish papers. Plays were acted in the theatre whose
double meaning, uncomprehended by the Russians who sat in crowds in the
audience, were fiery appeals to Polish patriotism. The streets of
Warsaw, all Poland and Lithuania, were seething with agitation and
secret hope. The suspicions of Igelstrom were aroused. He resolved to
take over the arsenal in Warsaw and to disarm and demobilize the Polish
army. In this dilemma Kościuszko was compelled to throw his all on one
card or to fail. He therefore decided on the war; and in March 1794 he
re-entered Poland as the champion of her freedom.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _Recollections of My Times_, Paris, 1848
(Polish).]



CHAPTER VI

THE RISING OF KOŚCIUSZKO

A barn in the vicinity of the city has long been shown as the place
where Kościuszko slept the night before he entered Cracow. The Polish
general, Madalinski, who by a ruse had evaded the Russian order to
disarm, was the first to rise. At the head of his small force, followed
by a hot Russian pursuit, he triumphantly led his soldiers down towards
Cracow. At the news of his approach the Russian garrison evacuated the
town, and Kościuszko entered its walls a few hours after the last
Russian soldier had left it, at midday on March 23 1794. It had been
intended to convene the meeting of the citizens at the town hall on that
same day; but the Act of the proclamation of the Rising proved to be so
erroneously printed that it could not be published, mainly because
Kościuszko was not an adept at putting his ideas into writing, and the
numerous corrections were too much for the printers. The night was spent
by Kościuszko in rewriting the manifesto which was to travel all over
Poland, which was to be proclaimed from the walls and pulpits of Polish
town and village, and despatched to the governments of Europe. The room
yet remains where he passed those hours in the house of General Wodzicki
who, when commanded by Russia to disband his regiments, had at
Kościuszko's instigation secretly kept them together, paying them out of
his own pocket, in readiness for the Rising.

The morning of March 24th dawned With Wodzicki and several other
soldiers, Kościuszko assisted at a low Mass in the Capuchin church,
where the officiating priest blessed the leader's sword. "God grant me
to conquer or die," were Kościuszko's words, as he received the weapon
from the monk's hand. At ten o'clock he quietly walked to the town hall.
From all quarters of the city dense throngs had poured into the
marketplace, and pressed outside the town hall, overflowing on to its
steps, surging into its rooms. In front of his soldiers Kościuszko stood
before the crowds on the stone now marked by a memorial tablet, upon
which on each anniversary of March 24th the Poles lay wreaths. That day,
that scene, remain engraved for ever among the greatest of Poland's
memories. As far as Kościuszko's gaze rested he saw his countrymen and
countrywomen with eyes turned to him as to the deliverer of themselves
and of their country, palpitating for the moment that he was about to
announce, many of them wearing his portrait and carrying banners with
the inscriptions: "Freedom or Death," "For our rights and liberty," "For
Cracow and our country," or "Vivat Kościuszko." The drums were rolled,
and in the midst of a dead silence the army took the oath of the Rising.

"I, N. N., swear that I will be faithful to the Polish nation, and
obedient to Tadeusz Kościuszko, the Commander-in-Chief, who has been
summoned by this nation to the defence of the freedom, liberties, and
independence of our country. So help me God and the innocent Passion of
His Son."

Then Kościuszko himself stepped forward. With bared head, his eyes
lifted to heaven and his hands resting on his sword, standing in plain
civilian garb before his people, surrounded by no pomp or retinue, in
the simplicity that was natural to him, the new dictator of Poland in
his turn took his oath:

"I, Tadeusz Kościuszko, swear in the sight of God to the whole Polish
nation that I will use the power entrusted to me for the personal
oppression of none, but will only use it for the defence of the
integrity of the boundaries, the regaining of the independence of the
nation, and the solid establishment of universal freedom. So help me God
and the innocent Passion of His Son."

He then went inside the town hall. There he was greeted by cries of
"Long live Kościuszko ! Long live the defender of our country! "When
silence was restored he delivered a speech, the exact terms of which are
not accurately recorded; but it is known that he demanded of every class
in the country to rally to the national banner--nobles, burghers,
priests, peasants, Jews--and that he placed himself at the disposal of
his people without requiring of them any oath, for, said he, both he and
they were united in one common interest. Then he ordered the formal Act
of the Rising to be read. It was received with an outburst of applause,
and the clamour of rejoicing rang to the skies.

This Act was in part grafted on Kościuszko's personal observation of the
American Declaration of Independence, but only in part. Kościuszko's own
intensely Polish soul speaks through the document--the anguish of a Pole
at the sight of his country's wrongs, the cry of a desperate but
undespairing patriotism, the breathing of the spirit that should bring
new life.

"The present condition of unhappy Poland is known to the world"--so the
Act opens. "The iniquity of two neighbouring Powers and the crimes of
traitors to the country have plunged her into this abyss. Resolved upon
the destruction of the Polish name, Catherine II, in agreement with the
perjured Frederick William, has filled up the measure of her crimes."

The treatment of Poland at the hands of Russia and Prussia is then
recapitulated in accents of the burning indignation that such a recital
would necessarily evoke. Of Austria Kościuszko makes no mention, for the
reason that he believed, erroneously, as he was to learn by bitter
experience, that her sympathies could be enlisted for the national
movement.

"Overwhelmed with this weight of misfortune, injured more by treachery
than by the power of the weapons of the enemies ... having lost our
country and with her the enjoyment of the most sacred rights of freedom,
of safety, of ownership, alike of our persons and of our property,
deceived and played upon by some states, abandoned by others, we, Poles,
citizens, inhabitants of the palatinate of Cracow, consecrating to our
country our lives as the only possession which tyranny has not yet torn
from us, are about to take those last and violent measures which
patriotic despair dictates to us. Having, therefore, the unbroken
determination to die and find a grave in the ruins of our own country or
to deliver our native land from the depredations of tyranny and a
shameful yoke, we declare in the sight of God, in the sight of the whole
human race, and especially before you, O nations, by whom liberty is
more highly prized than all other possessions in the world, that,
employing the undenied right of resistance to tyranny and armed
oppression, we all, in one national, civic and brotherly spirit, unite
our strength in one; and, persuaded that the happy result of our great
undertaking depends chiefly on the strictest union between us all, we
renounce all prejudices and opinions which hitherto have divided or
might divide the citizens, the inhabitants of one land and the sons of
one country, and we all promise each other to be sparing of no sacrifice
and means which only the holy love of liberty can provide to men rising
in despair in her defence.

"The deliverance of Poland from the foreign soldier, the restoration and
safeguarding of the integrity of her boundaries, the extirpation of all
oppression and usurpation, whether foreign or domestic, the firm
foundation of national freedom and of the independence of the
Republic:--such is the holy aim of our Rising."

To ensure its success and the safety of the country Kościuszko was
elected as Poland's military leader and her civil head, with the
direction that he should nominate a National Council to be under his
supreme authority. The proclamation then enters into the details of his
functions and those of the Council. He alone was responsible for the
military conduct of the war. Its financial management, the levy of taxes
for its support, internal order and the administration of justice, were
under the jurisdiction of the Council, to which was entrusted the task
of endeavouring to gain foreign help and of "directing public opinion
and diffusing the national spirit so that Country and Liberty may be the
signal to all the inhabitants of Polish soil for the greatest
sacrifices." All those who should act in any way against the Rising were
to be punished by death. Emphasis was laid on the fact that the
government was provisional, to rule only until the enemy should be
finally driven out of Poland, and that it held no power of making a
fresh constitution. "Any such act will be considered by us as a
usurpation of the national sovereignty, similar to that against which at
the sacrifice of our lives we are now rising." The head of the
government and the National Council were bound by the terms of the Act
"to instruct the nation by frequent proclamations on the true state of
its affairs, neither concealing nor softening the most unfortunate
events. Our despair is full, and the love of our country unbounded. The
heaviest misfortunes, the mightiest difficulties, will not succeed in
weakening and breaking the virtue of the nation and the courage of her
citizens.

"We all mutually promise one another and the whole Polish nation
steadfastness in the enterprise, fidelity to its principles, submission
to the national rulers specified and described in this Act of our
Rising. We conjure the commander of the armed forces and the Supreme
Council for the love of their country to use every means for the
liberation of the nation and the preservation of her soil. Laying in
their hands the disposal of our persons and property for such time as
the war of freedom against despotism, of justice against oppression and
tyranny, shall last, we desire that they always have present this
great truth: that the preservation of a people is the highest law."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Act of the Rising_. T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

For the first time in Poland--and it would have been an equal novelty in
most other countries of the period--nobles and peasants side by side
signed their adhesion to the Act among thousands of signatures. The levy
of the military forces, the arrangements for the taxation and the
necessary business of the Rising, were at once set on foot, and
Kościuszko spent the rest of March 24th in these affairs and in his
heavy correspondence. On the same day he sent out four more special
addresses, one to the Polish and Lithuanian armies, a second to the
citizens of the nation, a third to the Polish clergy, and a fourth to
the women of Poland.

In the manifestos that Kościuszko issued all through the course of the
Rising there is not only the note of the trumpet-call, bidding the
people grapple with a task that their leader promises them will be no
easy one; there is something more--a hint of the things that are beyond,
an undercurrent of the Polish spirituality that confer upon these
national proclamations their peculiarly Polish quality, emanating as
they do from the pen of a patriot, whose character is typically and
entirely Polish.

Kościuszko appeals always to the ideal, to the secret and sacred faiths
of men's hearts; but with that strong practical sense with which his
enthusiasm was tempered and ennobled.

"Each of us has often sworn to be faithful to our mother country"--thus
runs his manifesto to the Polish and Lithuanian armies. "Let us keep
this faith with her once more, now when the oppressors, not satisfied
with the dismemberment of our soil, would tear our weapons from us, and
expose us unarmed to the last misery and scorn. Let us turn those
weapons against the breasts of our enemies, let us raise our country out
of slavery, let us restore the sanctity of the name of Pole,
independence to the nation, and let us merit the gratitude of our native
land and the glory dear to a soldier.

"Summoned by you I stand, comrades, at your head. I have given my life
to you; your valour and patriotism are the surety for the happiness of
our beloved country. ... Let us unite more strongly, let us unite the
hearts, hands, and endeavours of the inhabitants of the whole land.
Treachery thrust our weapon from our hands; let virtue raise again that
weapon, and then shall perish that disgraceful yoke under which we
groan.

"Comrades, can you endure that a foreign oppressor should disperse you
with shame and ignominy carry off honest men, usurp our arsenals, and
harass the remainder of our unhappy fellow-countrymen at will? No,
comrades, come with me; glory and the sweet consolation of being the
saviours of your country await you. I give you my word that my zeal will
endeavour to equal yours. ...

"To the nation and to the country alone do you owe fidelity. She calls
upon us to defend her. In her name I send you my commands. With you,
beloved comrades, I take for our watchword: Death or Victory! I trust in
you and in the nation which has resolved to die rather than longer groan
in shameful slavery,"[1]

[Footnote 1: March 24, 1794. Given in _Letters of Kościuszko_, ed. L.
Siemienski.]

To the citizens he wrote:

"Fellow-citizens! Summoned so often by you to save our beloved country,
I stand by your will at your head, but I shall not be able to break the
outraging yoke of slavery if I do not receive the speediest and the most
courageous support from you. Aid me then with your whole strength, and
hasten to the banner of our country. One zeal in one interest ought to
take possession of the hearts of all. Sacrifice to the country a part of
your possessions which hitherto have not been yours, but the spoils of a
despot's soldiers."

He begs them to give men, weapons, horses, linen, provisions, to the
national army, and then proceeds:

"The last moment is now here, when despair in the midst of shame and
infamy lays a weapon in our hands. Only in the contempt of death is the
hope of the bettering of our fate and that of the future generations.
... The first step to the casting off of slavery is the risk taken to
become free. The first step to victory is to know your own strength. ...
Citizens! I expect all from your zeal, that you will with your whole
hearts join the holy league which neither foreign intrigue nor the
desire for rule, but only the love of freedom, has created. Whoso is not
with us is against us. ... I have sworn to the nation that. I will use
the power entrusted to me for the private oppression of none, but I here
declare that whoever acts against our league shall be delivered over as
a traitor and an enemy of the country to the criminal tribunal
established by the Act of the nation. We have already sinned too much by
forbearance, and mainly by reason of that policy public crime has
scarcely ever been punished."[1]

[Footnote 1: March 24, 1794. _Op. cit_.]

The man who wrote thus was the strictest of military disciplinarians,
and yet he detested bloodshed and openly condemned all revolutionary
excess. At a later moment in the war the friend who shared his tent
tells how Kościuszko struggled with himself through a sleepless night in
the doubt as to whether he had done well to condemn a certain traitor to
the capital punishment which he could never willingly bring himself to
inflict.

The manifesto to the clergy is on the ordinary lines. In that to the
women of Poland the ever-courteous and chivalrous Kościuszko speaks in
the following terms:

"Ornament of the human race, fair sex! I truly suffer at the sight of
your anxiety for the fate of the daring resolution which the Poles are
taking for the liberation of our country. Your tears which that anxiety
draws forth from tender hearts penetrate the heart of your compatriot
who is consecrating himself to the common happiness. Permit me,
fellow-citizenesses, to give you my idea, in which may be found the
gratification of your tenderness and the gratification of the public
necessity. Such is the lot of oppressed humanity that it cannot keep its
rights or regain them otherwise than by offerings painful and costly to
sensitive hearts, sacrificing themselves entirely for the cause of
freedom.

"Your brothers, your sons, your husbands, are arming for war. Our blood
is to make your happiness secure. Women! let your efforts stanch its
shedding. I beg you for the love of humanity to make lint and bandages
for the wounded. That offering from fair hands will relieve the
sufferings of the wounded and spur on courage itself."[1]

[Footnote 1: Cf. K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's
Insurrection_. Vienna, 1909 (Polish).]

Kościuszko's appeals to the nation soon found their response. Recruits
flocked to the army, and money, weapons, clothing, gifts of all
descriptions came pouring in. Polish ladies brought their jewels to the
commander or sold them for the public fund; men and women cheerfully
parted with their dearest treasures. The inventories range from such
contributions as four horses with a month's fodder from a priest, "five
thousand scythes" given by a single individual, couples of oxen, guns
and pistols, to bundles of lint, old handkerchiefs, and what was
probably the most valued possession of its owner, set down in the list
of donations as "the gold watch of a certain citizen for having
distinguished himself at Kozubow," where on March 25th one of the Polish
detachments had engaged the Russians.

In the course of these patriotic presentations there occurred an episode
that stands out among the many picturesque incidents in the romantic
story of Kościuszko's Rising. Three Polish boatmen came to the town hall
to offer Kościuszko twenty of their primitive flat-bottomed barges.
Hearing of their arrival, Kościuszko pushed his way through the crowds
thronging the building, till he reached the ante-room where stood the
peasants in their rough sheepskin coats and mud-stained top-boots, "Come
near me, Wojciech Sroki, Tomasz Brandys, and Jan Grzywa," he cried,
"that I may thank you for your offering. I regret that I cannot now
satisfy the wish of your hearts [by using the barges]; but, God helping
and as the war goes on, then will our country make use of your gift."
The peasants were not to be baulked of their desire to give their all to
Poland. The spokesman of the trio, followed by his comrades, shook into
his sheepskin cap the little sum of money that they had managed to
scrape together and, smiling, handed it to Kościuszko, apologizing in
his homely dialect for the poorly stuffed cap. Kościuszko flung the cap
to an officer who stood by his side, crying, "I must have my hands free
to press you, my beloved friends, to my heart." Drawn by that personal
fascination which, united to the patriot's fire, invariably captivated
all those who came into contact with Kościuszko, the simple boatmen fell
on their knees before him, kissing his hands and feet.

Kościuszko remained in Cracow until the jest of April , overwhelmed from
six in the morning till far into the night by the affairs of the Rising,
collecting his army, sending broadcast secret letters hidden in
pincushions or otherwise concealed by the officers to whom they were
entrusted, directing the supremely important task of concentrating the
scattered Polish regiments that were with varying success fighting their
way towards him. He was working against time with the Russians forming
up against his scanty numbers. "For the love of our country make haste,"
is his ever-recurrent cry in his directions to his subordinates. On the
1st of April he left Cracow at the head of his small army, prepared to
take the field against the enemy who was about to attack Madalinski. At
his camp outside Cracow his long-cherished desire was fulfilled; bands
of peasants, some two thousand strong, marched in, armed "with their
pikes and the scythes that won them the name, famous in Polish annals,
of the "Reapers of Death." Mountaineers, too, came down in their
brilliantly coloured garb from the Polish Carpathians. To all these men
from the fields and the hills Kościuszko became not only an adored
chief, but an equally beloved brother in arms.

On the day following the advent of the peasants, on the 4th of April,
was fought the famous battle of Racławice.

Kościuszko was no invincible hero of legend. His military talent was
undoubted, but not superlative and not infallible; yet Racławice was the
triumph of a great idea, the victory, under the strength of the ideal,
of a few against many. It lives as one of those moments in a nation's
history that will only die with the nation that inspired it. The
peasants turned the tide of the hotly fought battle. "Peasants, take
those cannon for me. God and our country!" was Kościuszko's cry of
thunder. Urging each other on by the homely names they were wont to call
across their native fields, the peasants swept like a hurricane upon the
Russian battery, carrying all before them with their deadly scythes,
while Kościuszko rode headlong at their side. They captured eleven
cannon, and cut the Russian ranks to pieces. Even in our own days the
plough has turned up the bones of those who fell in the fight, and
graves yet mark the battle lines. In the camp that night Kościuszko,
with bared head, thanked the army in the name of Poland for its valour,
ending his address with the cry, "Vivat the nation! Vivat Liberty!"
taken up by the soldiers with the acclamation. "Vivat Kościuszko!"
Kościuszko then publicly conferred upon the peasant Bartos, who had been
the first to reach the Russian battery--he perished at
Szczekociny--promotion and nobility with the name of Głowacki. Before
all the army he flung off his uniform and donned, as a sign of honour to
his peasant soldiers, their dress, the _sukman_, which he henceforth
always wore--the long loose coat held with a broad girdle and reaching
below the knee.

"The sacred watchword of nation and of freedom," wrote Kościuszko in his
report of the battle to the Polish nation, "moved the soul and valour of
the soldier fighting for the fate of his country and for her freedom."
He commends the heroism of the young volunteers in their baptism of
fire. He singles out his generals, Madalinski and Zajonczek, for praise.
Characteristically he breathes no hint of his own achievements.

"Nation!" he concludes. "Feel at last thy strength; put it wholly forth.
Set thy will on being free and independent. By unity and courage thou
shalt reach this honoured end. Prepare thy soul for victories and
defeats. In both of them the spirit of true patriotism should maintain
its strength and energy. All that remains to me is to praise thy Rising
and to serve thee, so long as Heaven permits me to live."[1]

[Footnote 1: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]

The Polish army was badly broken at Racławice, and Kościuszko's
immediate affair was its reorganization; but the moral effect of the
victory was enormous. Polish nobles opened their private armouries and
brought out the family weapons. Labourers armed themselves with spades
and shovels. Women fought with pikes. The name of Kościuszko was alone
enough by now to gather men to his side. "Kościuszko! Freedom! Our
country!" became the morning and the evening greeting between private
persons.

After the battle of Racławice, Kościuszko at once issued further calls
to arms, especially urging the enrolment of the peasants. This measure
was to be effected, so Kościuszko insisted, with the greatest
consideration for the feelings of the peasants, all violence being
scrupulously avoided, while the land-owners were requested to care for
the families of the breadwinners during their absence at the war. The
general levy of the nation was proclaimed. In every town and village at
the sound of the alarm bell the inhabitants were to rally to the public
meeting-place with scythes, pikes or axes, and place themselves at the
disposition of the appointed leaders. Thus did Kościuszko endeavour to
realize his favourite project of an army of the people.

Unable for lack of soldiers to follow up his victory, Kościuszko
remained in camp, training his soldiers, sending summonses to the
various provinces to rise, and seeing to the internal affairs of
government. The oaks still stand under which the Polish leader sat in
sight of the towers of Cracow, as he cast his plans for the salvation of
Poland. The spot is marked by a grave where lie the remains of soldiers
who died at Racławice; and on one of the trees a Polish officer cut a
cross, still visible in recent years.

Kościuszko's character held in marked measure that most engaging quality
of his nation, what we may term the Polish sweetness but it never
degenerated into softness. His severity to those who held back when
their country required them was inexorable.

"I cannot think of the inactivity of the citizens of Sandomierz without
emotions of deep pain," he writes to that province, which showed no
great readiness to join the Rising. "So the love of your country has to
content itself with enthusiasm without deed, with fruitless desires,
with the sufferings of a weakness which cannot take a bold step! Believe
me, the first one among you who proclaims the watchword of the
deliverance of our country, and courageously gives the example of
himself, will experience how easy it is to awaken in men courage and
determination when an aim deserving of respect and instigations to
virtue only are placed before them. Compatriots! This is not now the
time to guard formalities and to approach the work of the national
Rising with a lagging step. To arms, Poles, to arms! God has already
blessed the Polish weapons, and His powerful Providence has manifested
in what manner this country must be freed from the enemy, how to be free
and independent depends only on our will. Unite, then, all your efforts
to a universal arming. Who is not with us is against us. I have believed
that no Pole will be in that case. If that hope deceives me, and there
are found men who would basely deny their country, the country will
disown them and will give them over to the national vengeance, to their
own shame and severe responsibility."[1]

This language ran like a fiery arrow through the province: it rose. On
all sides the country rose. Kościuszko's envoy carried to one of the
Polish officers in Warsaw the terse message: "You have a heart and
virtue. Stand at the head of the work. The country will perish by delay.
Begin, and you will not repent it. T. Kościuszko."[2] By the time this
letter reached its destination Warsaw had already risen."

[Footnote 1: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]

[Footnote 2: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

For weeks the preparation for the Rising in Warsaw had been stealthily
carried forward. Igelstrom had conceived the plan of surrounding the
churches by Russian soldiers on Holy Saturday, disarming what was left
of the Polish army in the town, and taking over the arsenal. The secret
was let out too soon by a drunken Russian officer, and the Polish
patriots, headed by the shoemaker Kilinski, gave the signal. Two
thousand, three hundred and forty Poles flew to arms against nine
thousand Russian soldiers. Then ensued the terrible street fighting, in
which Kilinski was seen at every spot where the fire was hottest. Each
span of earth, in the graphic phrase of a Polish historian, became a
battlefield.[3] Through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday the city was lit
up by conflagrations, while its pavements streamed with blood. When the
morning of Holy Saturday broke the Russians were out of the capital of
Poland, and all the Easter bells in Warsaw were crashing forth peals of
joy. Stanislas Augustus, who a few weeks earlier had at Igelstrom's
bidding publicly proclaimed Kościuszko to be a rebel and an outlaw, now
went over to the winning side. On Easter Sunday the cathedral rang to
the strains of the _Te Deum_, at which the King assisted, and on the
same day the citizens of Warsaw signed the Act of the Rising and the
oath of allegiance to Kościuszko. The news was brought into Kościuszko's
camp in hot haste by an officer from Warsaw. It was in the evening.
Drums beat, the camp re-echoed with song, and on the following morning a
solemn Mass of thanksgiving was celebrated. No salvos were fired, in
order to spare the powder. "Henceforth," joyfully cried Kościuszko in a
manifesto to his country, "the gratitude of the nation will join their
names"--those of Mokronowski and Zakrzewski, the President of Warsaw,
who had been mainly responsible for the city's deliverance--"with the
love of country itself. Nation! These are the glorious deeds of thy
Rising; but," adds Kościuszko, whose foresight and sober judgment were
never carried away by success, "remember this truth that thou hast done
nothing so long as there is left anything still to be done."[1]

[Footnote 3: A. Chołoniewski, _Tadeusz Kościuszko_. Lwów, 1902
(Polish).]

[Footnote 1: _Kościuszko_. Periodical Publication, 1893-6. Cracow
(Polish).]

Three days after Warsaw was freed, Wilno, with a handful of soldiers
rising in the night, drove out the Russian garrison, and the Russian
army retreated through Lithuania, marking their way by atrocities which
were but a foretaste of what awaited in no distant future that most
unhappy land.

"The powerful God," says the pronunciamento of the Provisional Deputy
Council of Wilno--"delivering the Polish nation from the cruel yoke
of slavery has, O citizens of Lithuania, sent Tadeusz Kościuszko, our
fellow-countryman, to the holy soil to fulfil His will. By reason of the
valour of that man whose very dust your posterity will honour and
revere, the liberties of the Poles have been born again. At the name
alone of that knightly man the Polish land has taken another form,
another spirit has begun to govern the heart of the dweller in an
oppressed country. ... To him we owe our country! To him we owe the
uplifting of ourselves, to his virtue, to his zeal and to his
courage."[1]

[Footnote 1: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]

The burden that rested on the shoulders of Kościuszko was one that would
have seemed beyond the mastery of one man. He had to raise an army, find
money, ammunition, horses, provisions. He had to initiate and organize
the Rising in every province, bearing in mind and appealing to the
distinctive individualities of each, dealing in his instructions not
merely with the transcendentally difficult material matters of the
Rising, but with involved moral questions. He was the military chief,
responsible for the whole plan of action of a war for national
existence. He was the civil chief, chosen to rule the nation when the
most skilful steering of the ship of state was requisite--when the
government of the country, owing to dismemberment, foreign intrigues,
foreign invasion, internal disunion, was in a condition of chaos. The
soundest political acumen, the most unerring tact, was exacted of him.
He must needs adopt whatever political measures he deemed necessary, no
matter how hard of execution: many of these were innovations that he
daringly carried out against every prejudice and tradition, because it
was the innermost conviction of his soul that they would save his
nation. No doubt Kościuszko's great talent for organization and
application, and the robust strength of his character, would, in part at
least, have borne him through his herculean task; but it was in the
power of the idea that we must find the key to his whole leadership of
the struggle for his nation which in the history of that nation bears
his name. Where Poland was concerned obstacles were not allowed to
exist--or rather, were there merely to be overcome. Personal desires,
individual frictions, all must go down before the only object that
counted.

"Only the one necessity," he writes to Mokronowski, reassuring the
General in brotherly and sympathetic style as to some unpleasantness
that the latter was anticipating--for, with all his devotion to the
common end, Kościuszko never failed to take to his heart the private
griefs, even the trifling interests, of those around him--"the one
consideration of the country in danger has caused me to expect that,
putting aside all personal vexations, you will sacrifice yourself
entirely to the universal good. ... Not I, but our country, beseeches
and conjures you to do this. Surely at her voice all delays, all
considerations, should perish."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

Impressing upon a young prince of the Sapieha family, at the outset of
the Rising, that he "must not lose even a minute of time ... although,"
Kościuszko says, "the forces be weak, a beginning must be made, and
those forces will increase of themselves in the defence of the country.
I began with one battalion, and in a few days I had collected an army.
Let the gentry go out on horseback, and the people with scythes and
pikes." Let the officers who had been trained to a different service
abroad put aside preconceived ideas, and fight in the methods demanded
of a popular army.[1]

Or, far on towards the end of the Rising, Kościuszko, calling upon the
citizens of Volhynia to rise for the Poland from which they had been
torn away, speaks thus: "You have no army in your own land, but you have
men, and those men will soon become an army." He tells them that the
Poles who rose in Great Poland were not deterred by the differences of
religious belief between them. "These hinder not at all the love of
country and of freedom. Let each honour God according to his
faith"--Kościuszko himself was a devout Catholic--"and there is no faith
that would forbid a man to be free."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_. April 14, May 12.]

[Footnote 2: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]

One of the earliest measures that Kościuszko inaugurated as the head of
the provisional government of his nation was in relation to the object
only less dear to him than the liberation of Poland: that of the serfs.
With time the Polish peasant had sunk to the level of those in
neighbouring countries, although the condition of the serf in Poland was
never as deplorable as, for instance, that which obtained in Russia.
France had only just effected the relief of her lower classes--and this
by an orgy of revolt and ferocity. Kościuszko now came forward with his
reforms. The forced labour of the peasant who could not bear arms was
reduced to less than a half of his former obligation, and for those who
could take part in the national war, abolished. The peasant was now to
enjoy the full personal protection of the law, and "the right of
locomotion when he chose. Possession of his own land was assured to him,
and heavy penalties were inflicted upon the landlords should they be
guilty of any acts of oppression. The local authorities were bidden to
see that the farms of those who joined Kościuszko's army should be
tended during their military service, and that the soil, "the source of
our riches," should not fall into neglect. The people were exhorted, in
the spirit, always inculcated by Kościuszko, of mutual good-feeling and
a common love for Poland, to show their gratitude for the new benefits
bestowed upon them by loyalty to the squires, and by diligence in "work,
in husbandry, in the defence of the country." The dictator then ordered
the clergy of both the Latin and Greek rites to read these decrees from
the pulpit for the course of four Sundays, and directed the local
commissions to send emissaries proclaiming them to the peasants in every
parish and hamlet. Thus Kościuszko took up the work that the
Constitution of the 3rd of May had more vaguely initiated, and that had
been terminated by Russian and Prussian interference. He could not at
this juncture push his reforms further. Had he brought in a total
reversal of hitherto existing conditions while a national insurrection
of which the issues were uncertain was proceeding, the confusion
engendered would have gone far to defeat the very object it was his
desire to bring about.

Kościuszko promulgated these acts from camp on May 7, 1794. About the
same time he issued a mandate, requesting the churches and convents to
contribute all the church silver that was not positively indispensable
in the Divine service to the national treasury. Fresh coinage was
stamped, with on the one side the device of the old Polish Republic, on
the other that new and sacred formula: "The Liberty, Integrity and
Independence of the Republic, 1794." The term "Republic" as applied to
Poland was, of course, no subversive title, such being the time-honoured
name by which the Polish state had been known through its history.

To Kościuszko the war was a holy one. Its object was, together with the
restoration of national independence, that of conferring happiness and
freedom on every class, religion, and individual in the country. Take,
for example, Kościuszko's manifesto to the citizens of the district of
Brześć, directing that the religion of the Ruthenes of the
Greek-Oriental rite should be respected: words that in the light of the
subsequent history of a people who have been, with fatal results, the
victims first of Russian, and then of German, intrigue, read with a
startling significance.

"In this wise attach a people, deceived by the fanaticism of Russia, to
our country. They will be more devoted to their fellow-countrymen when
they see that the latter treat with them like brothers ... and that they
open to them the entrance, as to common fellow-citizens, to the highest
offices. Assure all the Oriental Greeks in my name that they shall have
in common with us every liberty which freedom gives men to enjoy, and
that their episcopate with all its authority according to the laws of
the Constitutional Diet shall be restored to them. Let them use all the
influence they may have on the people of their religion to convince them
that we, who are fighting for liberty, desire to make all the
inhabitants of our land happy."[1]

He wrote to the clergy of the Ruthenian Greek Orthodox rite, laying
emphasis on the persecution that their faith had suffered from Russia
and on the liberty that Poland promised them. "Fear not that the
difference of opinion and rite will hinder our loving you as brothers
and fellow-countrymen. ... Let Poland recognize in your devotion her
faithful sons. Thus you have the road open before you to your happiness
and that of your descendants."[2]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Op. cit_.]


Following all these enactments of Kościuszko's there ensued a curious
interchange of communications between him and the King of Poland.
Stanislas Augustus, under the apprehension that he was to follow Louis
XVI to the scaffold, wrote to Kościuszko, placing the continuance of
such shreds of Royal power as he possessed at the dictator's
arbitration. Once again Kościuszko was called to measure swords with his
King and sometime patron. This time it was Kościuszko who was in the
commanding position. His sovereign was more or less at his mercy. What
his opinion of the man was is clear from the scathing indictment which
his sense of outrage at the betrayal of his country tore from his lips
as he wrote the history of the Ukraine campaign that Stanislas Augustus
had brought to ruin. Yet this was how he answered, at the moment when
his power was supreme, in a letter dated May 20, 1794:


"My Lord King,

"Just when I was engrossed in the midst of so many other labours with
the drawing up of the organization of the Supreme Council, I received a
communication from Your Royal Majesty under the date of the 5th instant.
Having read therein that Your Royal Majesty only desires authority and
importance when and inasmuch as I decide this with the nation, as
regards my opinion, I frankly confess that, entertaining a loyal respect
for the throne, I hold the person of Your Royal Majesty excepted from
the power conferred upon me of nominating personages to the Supreme
Council. As to the nation, the conduct of Your Royal Majesty in the
course of the present Rising, the restored public confidence in Your
Royal Majesty that was weakened by the Confederation of Targowica, the
constancy with which Your Royal Majesty declares that, albeit at the
cost of great personal misfortune, you will not forsake the country and
nation, will contribute, I doubt not, to the securing for Your Royal
Majesty of the authority in the Diet that will be most agreeable to the
welfare of the country. I have written separately to the Supreme Council
upon the duty of imparting to Your Royal Majesty an account of its chief
actions, and this in the conviction that Your Royal Majesty will not
only be a source of enlightenment to it, but of assistance inasmuch as
circumstances permit. Likewise the needs of Your Royal Majesty which you
mention at the end of your letter I have recommended to the attention
and care of the Supreme Council. Thanking Your Royal Majesty for your
good wishes concerning my person, I declare that the prosperity of Your
Royal Majesty is not separated in my heart and mind from the prosperity
of the country, and I assure Your Royal Majesty of my deep respect."[1]

Until the month of May Kościuszko had been governing single-handed. He
had drawn up the decrees that were of such moment to his country in the
primitive conditions of a camp in a soldier's tent, with the
collaboration of only his council of three friends, Kołłontaj, Ignacy
Potocki, and Wejssenhof. Throughout his sole dictatorship he had
combined a scrupulous respect for existing laws with a firm declaration
of those reforms which must be carried out without delay, if Poland were
to win in her struggle for freedom. No trace of Jacobinism is to be met
with in Kościuszko's government. Defending himself with a hint of
wounded feeling against some reproach apparently addressed to him by his
old friend, Princess Czartoryska:

"How far you are as yet from knowing my heart!" he answers. "How you
wrong my feelings and manner of thinking, and how little you credit me
with foresight and attachment to our country, if I could avail myself of
such impossible and such injurious measures! My decrees and actions up
to now might convince you. Men may blacken me and our Rising, but God
sees that we are not beginning a French revolution. My desire is to
destro the enemy. I am making some temporary dispositions, and I leave
the framing of laws to the nation."[2]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Op. cit_.]

The whole country was now rallying round Kościuszko. Polish magnates,
whose ancestors had been heads of armies in the old chivalrous days of
the Republic of Poland, who had themselves led soldiers in the field,
came to him, begging to serve in the lowest ranks if so be they might
serve under him. The King's nephew, Prince Józef Poniatowski, under
whose command two years ago Kościuszko had fought as a subordinate
officer, now placed himself unreservedly at Kościuszko's disposal. The
King, the nation, were in Kościuszko's hands. Yet he remained always the
simple Lithuanian soldier, who wore the garb of the peasants, who lived
familiarly with the peasants in his army, treating them as his brothers.
His letters to his officers are couched in the affectionate and intimate
terms of an equal friendship, reading as though from comrade to comrade.
"Dear comrade," is, in fact, the title by which he addresses them when
giving them his instructions. Instead of orders and decorations, of
which he had none at his disposal, he offered them snuff-boxes, watches,
rings--"I have sent you a ring of cat's-eyes that at night it may light
you on your journey," he writes to Mokronowski--or trifles made by the
hands of Polish ladies, accompanied with a few graceful words spoken
from the heart that gave the gift its value. He is ever eager to bring
to public notice the name of any Pole who had done well by the country;
always silent on his own deeds, turning off the praises and thanks of
his people to the whole nation or to individuals. The style of his
commands bears an invariable hallmark of simplicity. "I conjure and
entreat you for the love of our country," is their usual wording. One
word, indeed, rings with unwearied reiteration through Kościuszko's
public manifestos, in his private correspondence: the love of country:
It is not he who cries to the sons of Poland to save her; it is Poland
herself, and he voices her call, of which he considered himself but the
mouthpiece, with a touch of personal warmth for those to whom he spoke,
which they requited with a passionate love.

"Dear comrade," he writes in the first weeks of war to one of his
deputies, "those who have begun the Rising are in this determination:
either to die for our country or to deliver her from oppression and
slavery. I am certain that to your soul, your courage, I need say no
more. Poland will certainly touch your sensitive heart, dear
comrade."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

The same tone is conspicuous in Kościuszko's many proclamations to the
nation. In these, too, he addresses the people of whose destinies he was
the ruler, who were under his obedience, as his "dear comrades," his
"fellow-citizens," his "brothers." He regarded himself in no other light
than that of: the servant of his country, equally ready to command or to
resign his authority, according as her interests demanded. Lust of power
and personal ambition were unknown to him. He was, if we may use the
expression, out for one object: to save his country; and any interest of
his own was in his scheme nonexistent. "Let no man who prizes virtue,"
he wrote, "desire power. They have laid it in my hands at this critical
moment. I know not if I have merited this confidence, but I do know that
for me this power is only a weapon for the effectual defence of my
country, and I confess that I long for its termination as sincerely as
for the salvation of the nation."[1] He yearned not for the sword, but
for peace and the "little garden" of his dreams, as he tells a friend.
Given that temper of his mind and the inherent nobility of his nature,
and we have the explanation how it is that not one unworthy deed, not a
single moral stain, disfigures the seven months that Kościuszko stood at
the head of the Polish state, beset though he was by internal and
external problems under which a man of less purity of aim and
single-heartedness than his might well have swerved.

But for all his native modesty Kościuszko was too conscious of his
obligation to his country to brook any infringement of the power he
held. Writing a sharp rebuke to "the whole principality of Lithuania and
especially to the Provisional Council of Wilno," which he had reason to
believe was arrogating to itself his functions, he declares that he
would be "unworthy of the trust" that his nation had confided to him if
he did not "know how to use and maintain" his authority.[2] A little
later, desirous to mitigate this sternness with the suavity more
congenial to him, he spoke to his native district in a different key.

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]

"The last moment of Poland, her supreme cause, salvation or eternal ruin
and shame, personal freedom and national independence, or a terrible
slavery and the groaning of millions of men ... the destruction of the
Polish name, or her glorious place in the ranks of nations: these are
the considerations that must take hold of the Polish nation, of you,
citizens of Lithuania. ... Poles, now is the moment for the amendment of
eternal errors. Now is the time to be worthy of your ancestors, to
forget yourselves in order to save the country, to stifle in yourselves
the base voice of personal interest in order to serve the public. Now
must you draw forth your last strength, your last means, to give freedom
to your land. ... Let us know how to die! And what is earthly life? A
transitory and passing shadow, subject to a thousand accidents. What
Pole can live, if he must live in the state in which till now, with his
compatriots, he has been compelled to live? ... Oh, fellow-countrymen!
If you spare your lives, it is that you should be wretched slaves; if
you spare your possessions, it is that they should be the spoils of the
invaders. Who can be so deprived of reason or so fearful, as to doubt
that we shall surely conquer, if we all manfully desire to conquer?

"Lithuania! My fellow-countrymen and compatriots! I was born on your
soil, and in the midst of righteous zeal for my country more especial
affection is called forth in me for those among whom I began life. ...
Look at the rest of the nation of which you are a part. Look at those
volunteers, already assembling in each province of all the Crown,
seeking out the enemy, leaving homes and families for a beloved country,
inflamed with the watchword of those fighting for the nation: Death or
Victory! Once again, I say, we shall conquer! Earlier or later the
powerful God humbles the pride of the invaders, and aids persecuted
nations, faithful to Him and faithful to the virtue of patriotism."[1]

[Footnote 1: K. Bartoszewicz, _Op. cit. Kościuszko_. Periodical
Publication.]

The moment had now arrived--in the May of 1794--to regularize the Rising
and to establish the temporary government on a stable and more
conventional basis. Kościuszko explained himself fully in his
proclamation of May 21st to the "citizens of Poland and Lithuania":

"It has pleased you, citizens, to give me the highest proof of
confidence, for you have not only laid your whole armed strength and the
use thereof in my hands, but in addition, in the period of the Rising,
not deeming yourselves to be in the condition to make a well-ordered
choice of members for the Supreme National Council, you confided that
choice to me. The greater the universal confidence in me that I behold,
the more solicitous I am to respond to it agreeably to your wishes and
to the necessities of the nation.

"I kept to that consideration in the nomination of members of the
Council. I desired to make the same choice that you yourselves would
have made. So I looked for citizens who were worthy of the public trust:
I considered who in private and public life had maintained the
obligations of unstained virtue, who were steadfastly attached to the
Rights of the Nation and the Rights of the People, who at the time of
the nation's misfortunes, when foreign oppression and domestic crime
drove at their will the fate of the country, had most suffered for their
patriotism and their merits. It was such men whom for the most part I
summoned to the National Council, joining to them persons honoured for
their knowledge and virtue, and adding to them deputies capable of
assisting them in their onerous obligations."

He then says that the reason he did not nominate the Council earlier was
because he was awaiting the whole nation's confirmation of the Act of
the Rising that had been proclaimed in Cracow, and thus "during the
first and violent necessities" of the Rising he was driven to issue
manifestos and ordinances on his own responsibility.

"With joy I see the time approaching when nothing shall be able to
justify me for the smallest infringement of the limits you placed to my
power. I respect them because they are just, because they emanate from
your will, which is the most sacred law for me. I hope that not only
now, but when--God grant it!--having delivered our country from her
enemies, I cast my sword under the feet of the nation, no one shall
accuse me of their transgression."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Public morality did not satisfy Kościuszko in his choice of the men who
were to rule the country. He would have none to shape her laws and
destinies whose personal morals were lax. "What do you want, Prince?"
were the dry words with which he greeted Józef Poniatowski, when the gay
officer came into his camp to offer his sword to the Rising; and it is
said that this ungracious reception, widely different from Kościuszko's
usual address, was due to the fact that he, whose own private life was
blameless, was of too Puritan a temper to be able to overlook certain
notorious aspects of Poniatowski's character.

Still in May Kościuszko sent Kołłontaj and Ignacy Potocki to Warsaw, and
the National Council assumed there its legal functions. Among its
members sat not only Kołłontaj, Potocki, and those who had taken part in
the old Polish Diet, former ministers of state and high officers, two
representatives of the clergy of the Latin and Greek rites, but the
banker Kapostas, who had been the originator of the secret confederation
that had prepared the Rising in Warsaw and who had only narrowly escaped
Russian imprisonment, and the shoemaker Kilinski. Thus for the first
time in Polish history artisans and burghers were included in the
national governing body. The assembly was animated by that new spirit of
democracy in its noblest form in which Kościuszko himself was steeped.
It carried forward the task that the Constitution of the 3rd of May had
begun and had been forced by Poland's conquerors to abandon. Its
presidency passed by rotation to each member, who called each other
"citizen," and who were all, without distinction of rank and class,
treated as equals. They organized the Ministry into the ordinary
departments, and entered into relations with foreign powers, among which
England, Sweden, and Austria--the latter soon to change her
face--acknowledged them as the lawful government of state.

Having thus lightened the burden of civil rule by securing effective
colleagues, Kościuszko, although he did not cease to be the chief
dictator of the nation, could now more freely devote himself to the
immediate object of the Rising.



CHAPTER VII

THE RISING OF KOŚCIUSZKO

II

We have reached the month of May, 1794. Kościuszko and the Russian army
under Denisov were now at close grips, Denisov repeatedly attacking,
Kościuszko beating him off. Communications with Warsaw and all the
country were impeded. Provisions were almost impossible to procure.
Kościuszko's men went half starved. Burning villages, set on fire by
Denisov's soldiers, a countryside laid waste, were the sight the Poles
beheld each day, while the homeless peasants crowded into Kościuszko's
camp to tell him their piteous stories. Then Denisov retreated so
swiftly towards the Prussian frontier that Kościuszko, either through
the enemy's rapidity, or because he was detained by the civil affairs of
the government with which his hands were just then full, and by the no
less arduous task of organizing the war in the provinces, was not able
to overtake him. At this moment the Rising promised well. The Polish
regiments, escaping from Russian garrisons, augmented the number of the
army that, against unheard-of difficulties--short of money, short of all
military requisites--Kościuszko had by the end of May gathered together.
From Kiev, under the very eyes of the Russian troops in the town.
Kopeć--who for his share in the national war later underwent exile in
the penal settlements of Kamchatka--led a band of Polish soldiers to
Kościuszko's Rising. They had already been in communication with the
Poles who were preparing the Rising in Warsaw, when the news of the
outbreak of the insurrection reached them. Catherine II at once resolved
to disarm them and send them to the Crimea. Kopeć was despatched by the
Russian authorities to convey to the Polish soldiers flattering promises
from the Empress of pay and rewards. He seized the opportunity for a
different purpose, took the oath of the Rising from his compatriots and
succeeded in leading them out of Kiev. Halting on the way at Uszomierz,
he repaired in the middle of the night to the Carmelite convent, to beg
the blessing of the old monk, Marek, who had preached with the fire of a
Bernard the Bar war, and around whose white-robed figure among the
patriots fighting for freedom tales of miracle had gathered. Rising from
his bed of sickness, the old man went out with Kopeć, crucifix in hand,
to the Polish soldiers, and gave them his blessing, adding the words:
"Go in the name of God and you shall pass through." Eluding the strong
Russian forces that were on all sides, they effected their escape, and,
singing the ancient battle hymn of Poland, marched to the banners of
Kościuszko.

We have seen that Kościuszko held the war as a sacred crusade. He
enforced rigid discipline. Licence was unknown in his camp, where the
atmosphere, so eyewitnesses have recorded, was that of gaiety and ardour
tempered by a grave enthusiasm.

"There is here," writes the envoy whom Kościuszko was sending to Vienna
and whom he had summoned to the camp to receive his instructions,
"neither braggadocio nor excess. A deep silence reigns, great order,
great subordination and discipline. The enthusiasm for Kościuszko's
person in the camp and in the nation is beyond credence. He is a simple
man, and is one most modest in conversation, manners, dress. He unites
with the greatest resolution and enthusiasm for the undertaken cause
much sang-froid and judgment. It seems as though in all that he is doing
there is nothing temerarious except the enterprise itself. In practical
details he leaves nothing to chance: everything is thought out and
combined. His may not be a transcendental mind, or one sufficiently
elastic for politics. His native good sense is enough for him to
estimate affairs correctly and to make the best choice at the first
glance. Only love of his country animates him. No other passion has
dominion over him."[1]

[Page 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

The name of Kościuszko is linked, not with victory but with a defeat
more noble than material triumph. The watchword he had chosen for the
Rising, "Death or Victory," was no empty rhetoric; it was stern reality.
The spring of 1794 saw the insurrection opening in its brilliant
promise. From May the success of an enterprise that could have won
through with foreign help, and not without it, declined Kościuszko had
now to reckon not only with Russia Prussia was about to send in her
regiments of iron against the little Polish army, of which more than
half were raw peasants bearing scythes and pikes, and which was thus
hemmed in by the armed legions of two of the most powerful states in
Europe.

On the 6th of June Kościuszko reached Szczekociny. It was among the
marshes there that the Polish army met the fiercest shock of arms it had
yet experienced in the course of the Rising. "The enemy," wrote
Kościuszko in his report, "stood all night under arms. We awaited the
dawn with the sweetest hope of victory." These hopes were founded on the
precedent of Racławice and on the battles in which Kościuszko had fought
in the United States, where he had seen British regulars routed by the
American farmers. But as hostilities were about to begin with the
morning, Wodzicki, examining the proceedings through his field-glasses,
expressed his amazement at the masses moving against the Polish army.
"Surely my eyes deceive me, for I recognize the Prussians," he said to a
Polish officer at his side. It was too true. In the night the Prussian
army had come up under Frederick William II. "We saw," says Kościuszko
"that it was not only with the Russians we had to deal, for the right
wing of the enemy was composed of the Prussian army." The Poles fought
with desperate valour. Kościuszko himself records the name of a Polish
sergeant who, "when both of his legs were carried off by a cannon-ball,
still cried out to his men, "Brothers, defend your country! Defend her
boldly. You will conquer!"[1] The charges of the Polish reapers went far
to turn the tide of victory; but the overwhelming numbers of Prussian
soldiers, and of scientific machines of war in a ratio of three to
Kościuszko's one, carried the day against the Poles. Kościuszko's horse
was shot under him, and himself slightly wounded. Only two of his
generals emerged from the battle unscathed. The rest were either killed,
including the gallant Wodzicki and another who, like him, had been one
of the earliest promoters of the Rising, and the others wounded,
Poninski redeeming by his blood a father's infamy.

[Footnote 1: _Kościuszko_. Periodical Publication.]

There was no choice left open to Kościuszko, if he would save an army
composed for the most part of inexperienced volunteers, but to order a
retreat. This retreat was carried out in perfect order. The field was
strewn with Polish dead, whom, after the withdrawal of the Prussians,
the villagers piously buried in their parish church. There, too, on the
battlefield, lay so many corpses of Prussian soldiers that Frederick
William expressed the hope that he would gain few more such costly
victories. It was at the close of this disastrous defeat that Kościuszko
for a moment gave way to despair. An officer of his--Sanguszko--met him
wandering stupefied over the battlefield when the day was lost. "I wish
to be killed," was all Sanguszko heard him say. Sanguszko only saved his
general's life by gripping him by the arm and forcing him within the
turnpike of a village hard by, where the shattered Polish ranks had
taken refuge. This was, however, but a momentary faltering of
Kościuszko's soul. On the morrow of the battle he was once more sending
his country summonses to a renewed courage and calling up a fresh
general levy.

The proivisional government of Poland was the while negotiating with
France and Austria. It was hoped that France would support the Rising
financially, and persuade Turkey with French encouragement to declare
war on Russia. France, preoccupied with internal revolution, had no
thought to spare for Polish affairs, and her assistance was never
gained. Nor had the Poles' overtures to Austria any happy result. The
Austrian Government gave secret orders to arrest Kościuszko and
Madalinski if they crossed the frontier, and the Austrian regiments
received instructions to attack any Polish insurgents who should pass
over into Galicia, providing that the Austrians were superior in number.
The favourable answer obtained through a French intermediary from the
Porte arrived after Kościuszko was in a Russian prison. By the irony of
fate he never heard it, and it was only divulged thirty years after his
death. Thus every diplomatic means failed the patriot, who was no match
for the machinations of the European statecraft which has borne its
lamentable fruits in the recent cataclysm we have all witnessed. He was
thrown on the resources with which he was more familiar: those of an
ennobling idea and of the exactions of self-devotion in its cause.
Immediately after his eyes had been opened at Szczekociny to the new
peril that had burst upon his country he sent out another order, bidding
his commanders to "go over the Prussian and Russian boundaries" into the
provinces that were lawfully Poland's but which had been filched from
her at the partitions, "and proclaiming there the freedom and the rising
of the Poles, summon the peasants oppressed and ground down with slavery
to join us and universally arm against the usurpers and their
oppression:" to do the same in Russia proper and Prussia, to all "who
are desirous of returning to the sweet liberties of their own country or
desirous to obtain a free country."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

A peasant war could at the moment be only a chimera, impossible of
realization. Does this manifesto prove that Kościuszko, in a most
perilous situation, abandoned by Europe, was pushed to a measure that he
himself knew was a desperate hope? Or was it the generous prompting of a
great dream that beats down, that refuses to be disconcerted by the
obstacles that stand before it--that in its failure we call visionary,
but in its success the reform for which the world has waited? Be that as
it may, the proclamation was not without its response. The Supreme
Council modified its wording, and sent it into Great Poland--the
so-called "Prussian" Poland--with the result that the Poles there took
up arms.

A lion striving in the toils:--such is the simile by which a Polish
historian describes the position of Kościuszko. Not one word or sign of
sympathy for his nation in her gallant struggle for life reached him
from any quarter outside his country. Nor was he beset only by external
obstacles. Difficulties inside the state added to his cares. In answer
to the complaint of a deputation from Warsaw, dissatisfied with the
composition of the Supreme Council, he wrote from his tent, begging the
people of the city, his "brothers and fellow-citizens," to remember that
he, whom their delegates "saw," as he expresses it, "serving you and the
country in the sweat of my brow," had only the happiness of the sons of
Poland at heart. May, says he, his "vow made before God and the world
calm all the anxieties of each citizen and defend them from irregular
steps against the established Council. ... My answer is short: let us
first drive out the enemy, and then we will lay down the unchangeable
foundations of our happiness."[1]

Sincerity was the groundwork of Kościuszko's dealings with his people.
The greater the reverses which the cause of Poland encountered, the
greater must be the courage with which to conquer them. Defeat must be
regarded merely as the incentive to victory. Thus, a few days after the
battle of Szczekociny, giving the nation a full report of the battle, in
which he mitigated none of his losses, he ended with these words:

"Nation! This is the first test of the stability of thy spirit, the
first day of thy Rising in which it is free to thee to be sad, but not
to be dismayed. Those guilty of thy defeat will amend it at the first
opportunity, and they who have never deceived thee as to their courage
thirst to avenge thy misfortune of a moment. Wouldest thou be worthy of
liberty and self-government if thou knowest not how to endure the
vicissitudes of fate? Nation! Thy soil shall be free. Only let thy
spirit be high above all."[2]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]


He then marched in haste towards Warsaw, whose safety was threatened. On
the way tidings of a great disaster were brought to him--that of the
capitulation of Cracow to the Prussians by its Polish commander, the
national honour only redeemed by the gallant attempt of the Cracow
burghers led by a book-keeper to defend the castle, to whom the Prussian
general gave the honours of war as they marched out. The knowledge that
the Prussians were in possession of the ancient capital of Poland, the
most beloved of Polish cities, which had rung with the first vows of the
national uprising, must have been bitter beyond expression to Kościuszko
and to all Poland; but again he would permit neither himself nor his
nation to meet this blow with anything but unshaken fortitude.

"We have sustained a loss "--thus his manifesto: "but I ask of
courageous and stable souls, ought this to make us fear? Can the loss of
one town bid us despair of the fate of the whole commonwealth? The first
virtue of a free man is not to despair of the fate of his country." He
speaks of Athens and the Persians, Rome after Cannae, France driving the
English out of their country, and the heroes of his own nation who had
repulsed Sweden, Turkey, Russia, and the Tartars. "Other men of courage
and of virtue have not doubted. Instead of breaking into profitless
lamentations they flew to arms, and delivered the country from the
invasions of their enemies. ... I have told you, citizens, what my duty
bade me tell you in the conditions of to-day: beware of indirect and
alarmist impressions, beware of those who spread them. Trust in the
valour of our armies and the fidelity of their leaders. ... Let not
Europe say: 'The Pole is swift to enthusiasm, swifter to
discouragement.' Rather let the nations say: 'The Poles are valiant in
resolution, unterrified in disaster, constant in fulfilment.'"[1]

[Footnote 1: _op. cit_.]

As if to prove the truth of his words, good news poured in from
Lithuania, Samogitia, Courland. Bands of peasants were fighting in
Lithuania. The Rising was general in Samogitia. Courland remembered that
in the past she had been a member of the Polish Commonwealth, and her
citizens gave in their act of adhesion to the Polish Rising.

Taking advantage of Frederick William's incapacity of profiting by his
victory at Szczekociny, Kościuszko pushed rapidly on to Warsaw. By a
series of skilful manœuvres, in the last days of June he arrived outside
the city, and prepared to defend her at all costs.

Events then occurred in Warsaw of a nature to arouse his strong
condemnation. Hearing of the loss of Cracow at the hand of a traitor,
the Warsaw populace, with the memory of Targowica, many of whose
confederates were still in their midst, staring them in the face,
dragged out from the prisons certain Poles who had either been guilty or
who were suspected of treason, and executed them then and there.
Kościuszko was in camp in the neighbourhood of Warsaw. Any form of
terrorism was abhorrent both to his private and national conscience. So
deeply did he take to heart this outbreak of popular fury that one of
his Lithuanian commanders, Prince Michał Oginski, who visited him at
that time, heard him declare that he would have preferred the loss of
two battles as being less prejudicial to the Polish cause. As the head
of the national government, he at once addressed the following letter to
the city of Warsaw:--

"While all my labours and efforts are strained to the expulsion of the
enemy, the news has reached me that an enemy more terrible than a
foreign army is threatening us and tearing our vitals asunder. What
happened in Warsaw yesterday has filled my heart with bitterness and
sadness. The wish to punish delinquents was well, but why were they
punished without the sentence of a tribunal? Why have you outraged the
authority and sanctity of the laws? Is that the act of a people which
has raised its sword and conquered foreign invaders in order to restore
a well-ordered liberty and the rule of law, and the tranquil happiness
that flow therefrom?"

Warning them in impassioned accents that such conduct was the surest
means of playing into the hands of the enemy whose desire was to promote
public confusion and thus impede the national work:

"As soon as the turn of war permits me to absent myself for a moment
from the duties entrusted to me, I shall be among you. Perhaps the sight
of a soldier who daily risks his life for you will be agreeable to you;
but I would that no sadness imprinted on my countenance shall mar that
moment. I would that our joy shall then be full, both yours and mine. I
would that the sight of me shall remind you that the defence of freedom
and of our country should only knit and unite us together, that only in
unity can we be strong, that by justice, not by violence, shall we be
safe at home and respected in the world. Citizens! I conjure you for the
sake of the nation and of yourselves wipe out a moment of madness by
unison, by courage against the common enemies and by a henceforth
constant respect of the laws and of those who are appointed in the name
of the law. Know this, that he who refuses to be submissive to the law
is not worthy of freedom."

He blames the Council of State for not having brought the prisoners to
trial before, and bids this be done immediately.

"And thus fulfilling what public justice exacts, I from henceforth most
severely forbid the people, for their welfare and salvation, all lawless
riots, violence against the prisoners, laying hands on individuals, and
punishing them by death. Whoso does not betake himself to the government
by the proper way is a rebel, a disturber of the public peace, and as
such must be punished. You whose ardent courage is fain to take action
for the country, employ it against the enemies, come to my camp; we will
receive you here as brothers."[1]

Many responded to this call, Kilinski, the shoemaker, with the cap of
liberty planted rakishly on his head, as we may see him in his
portraits, went to Kościuszko with the proposal that he should "catch"
the lower classes of the town. Kościuszko gave his hearty consent, and a
regiment of these was formed with Kilinski as their colonel. Kościuszko
was always singularly happy in his dealings with men and with the
extraordinarily involved and delicate situations in which the domestic
affairs of his country at this difficult period of her history placed
him. His tact and common sense saved the situation. The guilty were
punished. Order was restored.

The Russian and Prussian armies were advancing to invest Warsaw. At
Kościuszko's bidding the President of the town, Zakrzewski, whom
Kościuszko addresses as his "beloved" Zakrzewski, had already in
stirring language summoned the citizens to take their share in Warsaw's
defence.

[Footnote 1: K. Bartoszewicz, _History of Kościuszko's Insurrection_.]

"Old men and young men, mothers and children, masters and servants,
convents and confraternities, and all, in whatsoever you have of
strength and health, present yourselves on the ramparts of the city with
spades, shovels, barrows, baskets. You who are rich forget your
comforts. You who are highborn forget your rank. Stand with the poor and
hard-working citizens so that you who have drawn life from one soil
shall on one soil taste the fruits of your safety, liberties, and
possessions."[1]

[Footnote 1: A. Chołoniewski, _Tadeusz Kościuszko_.]

Crowds toiled on the ramparts, singing over their spades the song then
sung throughout Poland, calling the Pole to the labour without which he
would be torn from his brothers, "a prisoner on his own soil." The sons
of noble families enrolled themselves in Kilinski's burgher regiment,
eager to serve under his command. On the 13th of July the Russian and
Prussian armies, the King of Prussia being present with the latter, were
seen from the walls of Warsaw. The alarm was given and the cannon fired
from the castle. The citizens took up their places in the entrenchments
with an order and a precision that won high praise from Kościuszko as he
went his round of inspection. With undisturbed equanimity Kościuszko
prepared with his body of 26,000 men, of whom 16,000 were regulars, the
rest peasants armed with scythes, to defend Warsaw against 41,000
Russians and Prussians and 235 cannon. Despite the labour of the
townsfolk, the defences of the city were weak and incomplete when the
enemy first appeared; but during the fortnight while the hostile armies
lay encamped before Warsaw, waiting for their heavy cannon, Kościuszko,
by dint of his great gift of organization, put the fortifications into
strong working order.

"His creative power," said of him one of his adversaries, a Prussian
officer, who took part in the siege, "is worthy of admiration, since he
alone, in the midst of creating an army, fought with it against the two
best armies of Europe, having neither their stores nor their discipline.
What would he not have shown himself at the head of a good army, since
he did so much with peasants who knew nothing? Equally great in
character, in devotion, in love of his country, he lived exclusively for
her freedom and independence."[1]

[Footnote 1: A. Chołoniewski, _Tadeusz Kościuszko_.]

The story would be long to tell, of how the Poles, peasants, burghers
and soldiers alike, with the inheritance of the fighting blood that runs
in the veins of every son of Poland, with the fire of patriotism and of
measureless devotion to the chief who led them, fought day after day the
besieging army till it was beaten. The diary of the siege is the daily
record of deeds of gallantry, of steadfastness, of a few carrying off
the honours against many. Nor is there wanting a touch of that wild and
romantic spirit of knightly adventure which runs all through the history
of a country that for centuries defended Christendom against Turk and
Tartar. Thus we find a Polish officer, Kamienski, who had already
crowned himself with glory at Szczekociny, choosing to celebrate his
name-day by inviting his friends to come with him and stir up the
Russians, hitherto entirely passive in the operations of the siege.
This, so to speak, birthday party was swelled by a band of eager Polish
youths and by General Madalinski, who hastened to offer himself as a
volunteer. They attacked a Russian battery, spiked the cannon and cut
the gunners to pieces. Again and again Dombrowski, who was later to lead
the Polish Napoleonic legions, and whose name stands at the head of the
famous patriotic song so beloved of Poland, would at Kościuszko's
laconic order, "Harass the enemy," sally forth on some daring
expedition. Or we hear of a sixteen hours' battle, the Poles, under a
terrific fire, successfully driving the Prussians from height to height,
Kościuszko himself commanding Kilinski's burgher regiment. No shirkers
were to be found in Warsaw. Under the fearful Prussian bombardment the
citizens coolly put out the fires, and the children ran into the streets
to pick up the spent balls and take them to the arsenal, receiving a few
pence for each one that they brought in. Once as Kościuszko and
Niemcewicz stood on the ramparts with cannon-balls pattering about them,
Niemcewicz heard a voice shouting into his ear through the din: "You are
coming to supper with me, aren't you?"[1] The host who had the presence
of mind to arrange a party under these circumstances was the President
of Warsaw.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _Recollections of My Times_.]

Even those who will not allow that Kościuszko was a military commander of
the first capacity acknowledge that the defence of Warsaw was a
magnificent feat. He was its life and soul. Organizing, encouraging,
seeing into the closest details, the somewhat small but strongly built
figure of the commander, clad in the peasant _sukman_ worn, after his
example, by all his staff, including the "citizen General Poniatowski,"
was to be met with at every turn, his face lit up by that fire of
enthusiasm and consecration to a great cause that confers upon its rough
lineaments their strange nobility. From the 13th of July till the 6th of
September, when the enemy abandoned the siege, Kościuszko never once
took off his clothes, merely flinging himself on a little heap of straw
in his tent on his return from his rounds to catch what sleep he could.
His very presence inspired soldiers and civilians alike to redoubled
ardour. The sweetness of his smile, the gentle and kindly word of the
leader who yet knew how to be obeyed and who was famed for his courage
in the field, left a memory for life with all who saw him. Passionate
admiration, the undying love of men's hearts, were his. "Death or
Victory is Kościuszko's watchword, therefore it is ours," said a Polish
officer who served under him. "Father Tadeusz" was the name by which his
soldiers called him. Invariably he spent some part of his day among his
beloved peasants, and daily he recited with them public prayers. Often
at night he and they together went up to the teeth of the Russian
batteries on expeditions to spike the cannon. His inseparable companion,
Niemcewicz, who slept with him in his tent till the-end came, describes
how the silence of these nights was broken hideously by the wild, shrill
cry of the reapers, by the sudden roar of the cannon and crack of
gunfire, by the groans of the wounded.

The defence of Warsaw was but half of the task that fell to Kościuszko.
The minutest particulars were dealt with by him personally. He wrote
letter after letter, commandeering everything in the country for the
national cause: requisitioning linen from the churches to clothe his
soldiers, who in the beginning of the siege were half naked, sending out
his directions to the leaders of the Rising in the provinces, issuing
proclamations, maintaining an enormous correspondence on affairs--it is
said that the number of letters from his pen or signed by him at this
time is almost incredible--giving audiences, and conducting the civil
government of Poland.

Early in August the Prussian general, in a letter to Orłowski,
Kościuszko's old friend, whom he had made commandant of Warsaw, summoned
the city to surrender, while the King of Prussia addressed himself in
similar language to Stanislas Augustus, whose part in the historical
drama of the siege was that of an inert spectator. Kościuszko drily
replied, "Warsaw is not in the necessity to be compelled to surrender."
The Polish King replied, not drily, to the same effect. The fortunes of
the Rising in the rest of the country were fluctuating, and in
Lithuania, where Wilno fell, hopeless. In the beginning of September
exultation ran through Warsaw at the news that every province of Great
Poland had risen against their Prussian conquerors. Kościuszko
characteristically took up the general joy as the text of a manifesto to
the citizens of Warsaw, warning them that Prussia would, in the strength
of desperation, redouble her efforts against them, and urging them to a
dogged resistance. On the 4th of September, shortly after the Poles had
by a most gallant attack carried off a signal triumph, when Warsaw was
preparing for a fresh and violent bombardment, Kościuszko wrote in haste
to the President: "Beloved Zakrzewski, to-day, before daybreak, we shall
certainly be attacked, and therefore I beg and conjure you for the love
of our country that half of the citizens shall go to-day into the line,
and that if they attack all shall go out."[1]

The attack did not take place; and on the 6th of September the Prussians
retired from Warsaw. During the whole course of the siege, with the
exception of one post they had taken in its earliest stage, they had
gained not one inch against the Poles defending their city with smaller
numbers and inferior ammunition. The Russians retreated with the
Prussians. They had remained almost immovable during the siege. Neither
of these two collaborators in the destruction of Poland were on the best
terms with each other, and Catherine II had no mind to share with
Prussia the distinction, and still less the profits, of bringing Warsaw
to its knees. Austria, although she was by way of being at war with
Kościuszko, had held aloof from the siege, unwilling to commit herself,
but determined on coming in for the spoils when the Rising should be
crushed out.

Kościuszko then tasted one of the greatest triumphs of his life: the
armies of the enemy were no more seen round the city he had saved.

"By your assiduity, your valour," the National Council wrote to him,
"you have curbed the pride and power of that foe who, after pressing
upon us so threateningly, has been forced to retreat with shame upon his
covetous intentions. The Council knows only too well the magnitude of
the labours which you brought to the defence of this city, and therefore
cannot but make known to you that most lively gratitude and esteem with
which all this city is penetrated. "[2]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Op. cit_.]


Further, it expressed the wish that Kościuszko should show himself to a
grateful people in some solemn function.

To this Kościuszko politely replied, declining to take any share in a
public honour which it was against every dictate of his nature to
accept.

"I have read with the greatest gratitude and emotion the flattering
expressions of the Supreme National Council. I rejoice equally with
every good citizen at the liberation of the city from the enemy armies.
I ascribe this to nothing else but to Providence, to the valour of the
Polish soldiers, to the zeal and courage of the citizens of Warsaw, to
the diligence of the government. I place myself entirely at the
disposition of the Supreme National Council: in what manner and when do
you wish the celebration to take place? My occupations will not permit
me the pleasure of being with you. I venture to trust that the God who
has delivered the capital will deliver our country likewise. Then, as a
citizen, not as a bearer of office, will I offer my thanks to God and
share with every one the universal joy."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Op. cit_.]

He stayed in his camp and, in order to avoid an ovation, did not enter
Warsaw. No public triumph was celebrated, but Masses of thanksgiving
were sung in every church of the city.

Although he was the ruler of the state, Kościuszko lived in the utmost
simplicity. He had refused the palace that was offered to him, and took
up his quarters in a tent. When receiving guests his modest meal was
spread under a tree. Asked by Oginski why he drank no Burgundy, his
reply was that Oginski, being a great magnate, might permit himself such
luxuries, "but not the commander who is now living at the expense of an
oppressed commonwealth." When taken unawares by a royal chamberlain he
was discovered blowing up his own fire, preparing some frugal dish.

In the first flush of joy at the liberation of Warsaw, he wrote to
Mokronowski:

"Warsaw is delivered. There are no longer either Muscovites or Prussians
here: we will go and seek them out. Go, my friend, and seek them out,
and deliver Lithuania from the invaders."[1]

But Kościuszko's steadiness of outlook was not for an instant relaxed by
the signal success he had won. Untiring vigilance and redoubled activity
were his order of the day, both for himself and his fellow-Poles. The
short breathing-space that followed the retirement of the enemy was
devoted by him to the pressing internal concerns of the nation, taxation
and so forth. He was determined on perfect freedom for all classes and
all religions in Poland. He ordered the erection of new Orthodox places
of worship for the members of the Eastern Church. He enrolled a Jewish
legion to fight in Poland's army, and commanded that this regiment
should be equipped and treated on equal terms with the Polish soldiers
of the Republic. In a transport of gratitude the Jewish leaders called
upon their fellow-believers to rise for Poland in confidence of victory
under "our protector, Tadeusz Kościuszko," who "is without doubt the
emissary of the eternal and Most High God."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: K. Falkenstein, _Tadeusz Kościuszko_. Wrocław, 1831
(Polish).]

Kościuszko was a generous enemy. His Russian captives he treated with a
courtesy and kindness that were ill repaid during his own march into
Russia as a prisoner in Russian hands. He directed that services in
their own language and faith should be held for the Prussian prisoners.
A letter of his remains that he wrote to the Lutheran minister of the
evangelical church in Warsaw, expressing his gratitude that this
clergyman's pulpit had been a centre of patriotism, at a time "when
nations who love freedom must win the right to their existence by
streams of blood," and telling the pastor that he has issued orders for
the Prussian prisoners to be taken to church in the "conviction that you
will not refuse them your fatherly teaching."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Tygodnik Illustrowany_. Warsaw, 1881 (Polish).]

This letter and the snuff-box that accompanied it were preserved as
relics in the pastor's family.

The Bohemian and Hungarian prisoners were by Kościuszko's command
released, "in memory of the bond that united the Hungarians and Czechs,
when free countries, with the Polish nation." We have lived to see the
descendants of that Hungarian generation spreading untold atrocities
through Polish towns and villages as the tool of Prussia in the recent
war.

The triumph over the Prussians was but a temporary respite. The Prussian
army returned to the investment of Warsaw, at some distance from the
town itself. The ambassador of the King of Prussia was treating in
Petersburg with Catherine II for the third partition of Poland. She on
her side sent Suvorov with a new and powerful army against the Poles.
The Austrians were already in the country. Kościuszko, fighting for life
against Russia and Prussia, had no army to send against the third of his
foes. His generals were engaging the enemy in different parts of Poland,
at times with success, as notably Dombrowski in Great Poland, where
events continued to be the one gleam of hope in these last days of the
Rising, but again with terrible defeats, such as Sierakowski experienced
by the army of Suvorov, near Kościuszko's old home. Kościuszko deceived
himself with no illusions: but neither fear nor despair found an entry
into his soul. "He did not lose heart," writes one who never left him.
"He turned and defended himself on all sides."[1] Wherever his presence
was most urgently needed, thither he repaired. Accompanied only by
Niemcewicz he rode at full speed into Lithuania to rally the spirits of
Mokronowski's corps, depressed by defeat. He returned at the same
breakneck pace, miraculously, says his companion, escaping capture by
the Cossacks who were swarming over the country. On this occasion,
Princess Oginska, at whose house the travellers took a hasty dinner,
pushing on immediately afterwards, gave Kościuszko a beautiful
turquoise, set with diamonds. It was to be among the Russian spoils at
Maciejowice.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _Op. cit_.]

The proclamation that Kościuszko addressed to the Lithuanian soldiers,
found later in his handwriting among his letters, bears its own
testimony to the soul of the leader who, in the face of strong armies
marching upon his doomed nation, would give no entrance to despair or
discouragement. Expressing the joy he experienced at being among the
soldiers of Lithuania, on whose soil he was born:

"My brothers and comrades! If till now the results of your toil and
struggles have not entirely corresponded to the courage and intrepidity
of a free nation, I ascribe this, not to the superior valour of our
enemies (for what could there be more valiant than a Polish army?); but
I ascribe it to a want of confidence in our own strength and courage, to
that false and unfortunate idea of the enemy's power which some fatality
has sown among your troops. Soldiers valiant and free! Beware of those
erroneous conceptions that wrong you; thrust them from your hearts; they
are unworthy of Poles. ... A few thousand of your ancestors were able to
subdue the whole Muscovite state, to carry into bondage her Tsars and
dictate to her rulers, and you, the descendants of those same Poles,
can, wrestling for freedom and country, fighting for your homes,
families and friends, doubt ... if you will conquer. ... Remember, I
repeat, that on our united courage and steadfastness the country must
depend for her safety, you for your freedom and happiness."

He threatens with the utmost rigour of martial law any who shall attempt
to undermine the spirit of the army by representing the difficulty of
opposing the enemy, or similar offences.

"It were a disgrace to any man to run away, but for the free man it were
a disgrace even to think of flight."

"I have spoken to the cowards who, God grant, will never be found among
you. Now do I speak to you, valiant soldiers, who have fulfilled the
duties of courageous soldiers and virtuous citizens, who have driven the
enemies even to the shores of the sea. ... I speak to those who have in
so many different battles spread wide the glory of the Polish name.
Accept through me the most ardent gratitude of the nation."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

In the same month, towards the end of September, he sent his country
what proved to be his last message, still from his tent outside Warsaw.

"Freedom, that gift beyond estimate for man on earth, is given by God
only to those nations which by their perseverance, courage, and
constancy in all untoward events, are worthy of its possession. This
truth is taught us by free nations which after long struggle full of
labours, after protracted sufferings manfully borne, now enjoy the happy
fruits of their courage and perseverance.

"Poles! You who love your country and liberty equally with the valorous
nations of the south, you who have been compelled to suffer far more
than others oppression and disdain; Poles, who, penetrated with the love
of honour and of virtue, can endure no longer the contempt and
destruction of the Polish name, who have so courageously risen against
despotism and oppression, I conjure you grow not cold; do not cease in
your ardour and in your constancy."

He tells them he knows only too well that in a war with the invaders
their possessions are exposed to the danger of loss; "but in this
perilous moment for the nation we must sacrifice all for her and,
desirous to taste of lasting happiness, we must not shrink from
measures, however bitter, to ensure it to ourselves. Never forget that
these sufferings (if we may call such sacrifices for our country by that
name!) are only passing, and that contrariwise the freedom and
independence of our land prepare for you uninterrupted days of
happiness."[1]

[Footnote 1: K. Falkenstein, _Tadeusz Kościuszko_.]

These were the numbered days of Kościuszko's Rising. A Russian army of
highly trained troops under the able command of Suvorov was marching on
Warsaw. To prevent Suvorov's juncture with the forces of the Russian
general, Fersen, Kościuszko prepared to leave Warsaw and give Fersen
battle. Beset from every quarter, he had been compelled to divide his
army in order to grapple with the powerful armies against him.
Sierakowski had, as we have seen, been defeated. There was not a moment
to be lost. On the 5th of October Kościuszko confided to Niemcewicz that
by daybreak on the following morning he intended to set out to take
command of Sierakowski's detachment. He spent the evening in the house
of Zakrzewski, for the last time among his dearest and most faithful
collaborators, Ignacy Potocki, Kołłontaj, and others. The next morning
by dawn he was off with Niemcewicz. They galloped over the bridge at
Praga. A month later that bridge was to run red with the blood of Polish
women and children; its broken pillars were to ring with the agonizing
cries of helpless fugitives as they fled from Suvorov's soldiers only to
find death in the river below. The life of Poland depending on his
speed, for Fersen at the head of twenty thousand men was nearing both
Warsaw and Suvorov, Kościuszko, with his companion, rode at hot haste.
They only paused to change horses, remounting the miserable steeds of
the peasants, sorry beasts with string for bridle and bit, and saddles
without girths; but none others were to be found in a land laid waste by
the Cossacks and by the marches of armed men. At four in the afternoon
Kościuszko rode into Sierakowski's camp, where he at once held a council
of war. The army under his command moved on October 7th, The day was
fair, glowing with the lights of the Polish autumn. The soldiers were
gay of heart, and sang as they marched through villages ruined by the
Cossacks--to defeat. They halted at one of these villages where the
Russians had been before them. The staff spent the night in the house of
the squire. The furniture had been hacked to pieces by the Cossacks,
books, utensils, all destroyed. That evening a courier rode in to convey
to Kościuszko the intelligence that Dombrowski had won a victory over
the Prussians at Bydgoszcz--rechristened by Prussia, Bromberg--and had
taken the town. It was Kościuszko's last hour of joy. He published the
news through the camp, amidst the soldiers' acclamations, bidding them
equal Dombrowski's prowess with their own. With an old friend of his
Niemcewicz walked in the courtyard of the house where the staff was
quartered. A flock of ravens wheeled above them. "Do you remember your
Titus Livy?" asked Niemcewicz's companion. "Those ravens are on our
right. It is a bad sign." "It might be so for the Romans," replied the
poet, "but not for us. You will see that though it seems difficult we
shall smash the Muscovites." "I think so too," answered the other.[1] In
this spirit the Polish soldiers advanced to the fatal field of
Maciejowice. Tents they had none. Fires were lit, around which they
stood or sat, arms in hand.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _Notes sur ma Captivité à
Saint-Pétersbourg_.]

On the 8th of October rain poured, and the wearied soldiers rested. On
the 9th the army went forward. Again over that last march the strange
beauty of a Polish autumn shed a parting melancholy glory. The way led
through forests flaming with the red, gold, and amber with which the
fall of the year paints the woods of Poland. At four o'clock the forest
was left behind, and the army emerged near the village of Maciejowice.
Kościuszko, taking Niemcewicz and a few lancers, pushed on to
reconnoitre the position. A scene of terrible splendour met the gaze of
the doomed leader. The Vistula stretched before him, reddening in the
sunset, and as far as the eye could reach lay on its shores the Russian
army, their weapons flashing to the sinking sun. The hum of multitudes
of men, the neighing of horses, the discordant clamours of a camp,
filled the air. Advancing, Kościuszko with his little troop had a
skirmish with the Cossacks. The general and Niemcewicz were twice
surrounded, and narrowly escaped with their lives. Then with the evening
the Polish army came up, and hostilities ceased.

The village of Maciejowice stood in a hollow outside a wood among
marshes. The night quarters of the staff were in the manor-house
belonging to the Zamojski family. It, too, had been ravaged by Russian
soldiers, the family portraits in a great hall on the first floor
slashed by Cossack sabres, the contents of the library wantonly
destroyed. No foreboding seemed to have hung over the Polish officers as
they sat at supper. They were in high spirits, and peals of laughter
greeted the quaint scraps that Niemcewicz read out from a handful of old
Polish newspapers he had hit upon intact in a chest. Shortly after
supper Kościuszko lay down for a few hours' sleep; at midnight he rose
and dictated to Niemcewicz his instructions for the day. Before sunrise
the Russians were moving to the attack, and Kościuszko was on his horse.
Impelled by necessity, he gave orders to fire a village that lay in the
line of the Russian advance. The lamentations of the women and children
as they fled into the woods from the flames that were destroying their
all, the wild cries of frightened birds and beasts, the volumes of smoke
rising over ruined homes, combined to make up a scene of horror,
unforgettable by those who witnessed it, and that must have wrung a
heart such as Kościuszko's. Under a steady Polish fire the Russian
soldiers and cannon, advancing through mud and marsh, sank at every
step. For three hours the Poles kept the enemy at bay, standing steadily
against his terrific fire with artillery that was no match for his. The
Polish staff were covered with branches that the Russian balls sent
crashing from the trees. Kościuszko himself fired the cannon with an
accuracy of aim under which the Russians wavered. It appeared as though
they were about to retreat. But the enemy's superiority of numbers, the
strength of his artillery, began to tell, and his heavy fire sowed death
among the Polish ranks. A shell burst between Kościuszko, his
aide-de-camp, Fiszer, and Niemcewicz, but left them unharmed. What
Niemcewicz, who lived through it, describes as a hailstorm of bullets,
grapeshot and shells, poured down upon the Polish lines. How any came
out alive to tell the tale was to him a marvel. The dead lay in heaps.
Not a Pole stirred from his post under this rain of fire. Each fell
where he stood. Every artillery horse was by now killed or mutilated.
Then at that moment--it was past midday--the Polish cannon were silent:
the ammunition had run out. Riding madly through the Polish ranks,
Kościuszko shouted to his soldiers to fight on, to keep up heart,
Poninski with fresh supplies was coming up. He did not come, and the
rumour of treachery, never, however, proved, gathered about a name that
was already of ill repute to a Polish ear. Galled by standing motionless
without ammunition, a Polish battalion rashly charged, and the Russians
broke through the Polish line. Niemcewicz, rushing up to repulse them at
the head of a Lithuanian squadron, was wounded, captured by the
Russians, and his men dispersed. Another faithful friend of Kościuszko,
Kopeć, struggling to cut a way through for his general, and thrice
wounded, was in his turn taken prisoner. The little Polish army was now
encircled on all sides by the Russians, attacking in their whole
strength. Then ensued a fearful bayonet charge in which the Poles were
mowed down like corn before the sickles, each soldier falling at his
post, yielding not to the enemy of their country, but only to death. The
battalion of Działynski--he who had been among the most ardent
propagators of the Rising in its beginning--died to the last man. One
who passed over the battlefield before the close of day shuddered at the
sight of those serried rows of the dead, testifying by the order in
which they lay to the unbroken discipline in which they had died. Of
that battlefield, such is the phrase, "the enemy only remained master by
treading over the ranks of the corpses of our soldiers, still occupying
after death the same place they had occupied in the battle."[1] Without
hope of victory the Polish riflemen fired till their last cartridge was
spent. With the Russians on all sides of them the gunners, standing at
the cannons, had worked till the end. A final desperate effort was made
by Kościuszko to form up a front with a small band of his soldiers. His
third horse was killed beneath him. He mounted another, when a wave of
Russian cavalry swept in upon the broken remains of the Polish army, and
all was over. Fighting in a hand-to-hand struggle in a marsh, Kościuszko
fell, covered with wounds, unconscious, and was taken prisoner by three
young Russian ensigns. Only two thousand of the Poles who had fought at
Maciejowice returned to Warsaw from that tragic and heroic field.
Conducted to the manor where a few hours before he had slept by the side
of Kościuszko, Niemcewicz found there Kościuszko's devoted officers,
Sierakowski, Kniaziewicz, who had commanded the left wing at the battle.
Kopeć and Fiszer--all prisoners of war. The last drop was added to their
cup of bitterness when they heard that nothing was known of the fate of
their beloved leader, save the report that he was slain.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _Notes sur ma Captivité à Saint-Pétersbourg_.]



CHAPTER VIII

THE RUSSIAN PRISON

Late in the afternoon of that ill-fated day a stretcher, roughly and
hastily put together, was carried by Russian soldiers into the courtyard
of the manor. The prisoners saw that on it lay the scarcely breathing
form of Kościuszko. His body and head were covered with blood. He was
insensible and apparently at the point of death. The dead silence as he
was carried in was only broken by the sobs of his Polish officers. The
surgeon dressed his wounds, and he was then taken to a large hall and
left to the companionship of Niemcewicz, with Russian grenadiers posted
inside each door. In the evening the hall was required by Fersen for
dinner and his council of war, and Kościuszko, still unconscious, was
transferred, Niemcewicz following him, to a room over the cellar.

Towards the end of the battle the fiercest contest had raged around the
Zamojski manor. At the last a hundred Polish soldiers had in the
desperation of extremity defended the house, and fought it out till no
round of ammunition remained to them. The Russians then burst in, and
despatched at the point of the bayonet every Pole in every room of the
building, including the cellar, where the only survivors of the heroic
band took up their final stand. The bloodshed stopped when each man of
them was dead or dying, and not before. The moans of those lying in
their last agony in this cellar of death were, when the laughter and
merrymaking of the Russian officers died away with the course of the
hours, the only sound that Niemcewicz heard, as by the couch of his
passionately loved and apparently dying leader he lay through the bitter
cold of the October night, weeping not only for a dear friend, but for
his country. At sunrise Kościuszko spoke, as if waking from a trance.
Seeing Niemcewicz, with his arm bandaged, beside him, he asked why his
friend was wounded, and where they were. "Alas! we are prisoners of
Russia," said Niemcewicz. "I am with you, and will never leave you,"[1]
Tears rose to Kościuszko's eyes, as he made reply that such a friend was
a consolation in misfortune. The entrance of Russian officers, deputed
to keep guard over them, interrupted the conversation. They were watched
each moment, and their words and actions reported. Later on Fersen came
in and addressed Kościuszko courteously, speaking in German, which
Niemcewicz--for Kościuszko knew neither German nor Russian--interpreted.
At midday a deafening discharge of musketry and cannon smote painfully
upon the prisoners' ears: it was the salvo of joy for the Russian
victory.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _Notes sur ma Captivité à
Saint-Pétersbourg_.]

On the 13th of October the Russian army marched, and Kościuszko and his
fellow-Poles began their long, sad journey to a Russian prison.
Kościuszko travelled in a small carriage with a surgeon, Niemcewicz and
the Polish generals in a separate conveyance, while the rest of the
prisoners went on foot. Detachments of Russian cavalry rode in front and
behind. An immense train of wagons, filled with the loot carried off
from Polish homes, Polish cannon captured on the field, a car bearing
the Polish flags with their national device of eagles, embroidered
heavily with silver, added the final drop of bitterness to the lot of
the defeated sons of a proud and gallant race. On the halt held the
following day messengers came up from Warsaw, bringing Kościuszko his
personal effects and a letter from the National Council, conveying
expressions of the highest eulogy and deep sympathy, with a present of
four thousand ducats, of which Kościuszko gave half to his
fellow-prisoners.

The scene in Warsaw when the news of Kościuszko's captivity reached it
was, writes a Pole who was then in the town, the saddest sight he ever
saw.[1] In every public place, in every class of society, in every home,
the one refrain, broken by sobs, was: "Kościuszko is no more." The
leader was gone; but the men and women who were met wandering, weeping,
in the streets, wringing their hands and mourning for the man they and
the country had lost together, had no thought of giving up the struggle
for their nation.

[Footnote 1: M. Oginski, _Memoires_. Paris, 1826.]

"Neither the duty of a citizen nor thy example permits us to despair for
our country," wrote the National Council to Kościuszko. The war was
carried on, and the citizens of Warsaw went in their thousands to the
ramparts, as in Kościuszko's time, to hold the town against Suvorov's
siege.

Together with their dispatches to Kościuszko, the National Council sent
a letter to Fersen, offering to give up all their Russian prisoners in
exchange for Kościuszko alone. The Russian general refused. Two days
later Fersen received orders to join Suvorov, and the prisoners with a
large detachment of Russian troops under Krushtzov were sent on into
Russia by an immensely roundabout route.

The first part of the march led through Polish territory. The Polish
prisoners watched, powerless, the ravages committed on their unhappy
country by the army with which they travelled. The contents of mansion,
shop, hut, were alike stolen. Even children's toys swelled the booty.
Although the wound on Kościuszko's head began to improve, he had lost
the use of his legs and could not move without being carried; yet a
Russian guard watched him incessantly. The rumour had gone round the
Polish countryside that he had escaped from Maciejowice, and that the
Russians had some feigned captive in his place. In their halts Krushtzov
therefore insisted on the Polish proprietor of the villages, or the
chief inhabitants of the towns, where the procession passed the night,
presenting themselves in Kościuszko's room to see with their own eyes
that he was in truth the prisoner of Russia. In strong indignation at
this insult to Kościuszko, Niemcewicz writes, with excusable bitterness,
that hitherto men had been known to make a show of wild beasts; now
"wild beasts showed off the man."[1] At these interviews no free speech
was possible between the fellow-Poles, as the guards were always
present. They could only exchange the sympathy of sorrowing looks and
equally sad, but guarded, words.

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _op. cit_.]

So long as the army marched through Poland, Kościuszko had the mournful
satisfaction of receiving here and there on the road some last token of
recognition and honour from his compatriots. At one spot where the
Russian officers quartered themselves on the castle of the Sanguszkos,
while Kościuszko and his companions were lodged in the wretched village
inn, the Princess, unable to show her compassion in any other way,
provided the Poles with all their meals, prepared by her _chef_. Another
Polish princess, whose mansion was twenty miles distant, and who was no
other than Ludwika Lubomirska, sent over her young son with clothes and
books for the prisoners. They were still in this village when a courier
arrived, bearing the news of the fall of Warsaw, and of the massacre of
Praga which has gained for the name of Suvorov its eternal infamy in the
history of Poland. Thirteen thousand of the civilian inhabitants of
Warsaw, men, women, and children, were put to the sword, immolated in
the flames, or drowned in the Vistula as they fled over a broken bridge
before the fury of the Russian soldiers. Thus ended the Rising of
Kościuszko. If under one aspect it closed in failure, on the other side
it had proved to the admiration and belated sympathy of all Europe how
Poles could fight for freedom. Moreover, it laid the foundation for
those later Polish insurrections in the cause of liberty which, no less
heroic than the Rising of Kościuszko, and with a sequel as tragic, are
honoured among the world's splendid outbursts of nationalism.

Following close on this blow came painful partings between Kościuszko
and his devoted comrades, Kniaziewicz, Kopeć, and the remaining Polish
officers. Kościuszko, with Niemcewicz and Fiszer, were separated from
the main army, and sent on under the escort of a small body of Russian
officers and soldiers. With hearts torn by grief they said farewell to
their friends, never expecting to see them again. Haunted by the thought
of the unknown fate before them and by the terrible news from their
country, they set out through a snowstorm that blotted out all
discernible objects, the horses sinking into the snow which clogged the
carriage wheels at every turn. Rigorously guarded, each word of their
conversation noted and handed on to the commander, the prisoners were
conveyed in as great secrecy as possible, and were not allowed to halt
at any large town. At Czernihov two Cossack officers brought them a tray
of fine apples, telling them--they spoke in Polish--that Polish blood
flowed in their veins and that they deeply deplored the lot of the
captives. More they were about to add when the Russian guard drove them
off. Traversing White Ruthenia, a country that had so lately been
Poland's, the people watched them pass, not in curiosity, but rather
with looks of interest and compassion. As they changed horses before a
posting-house in Mohylev a tall, thin old peasant, in Polish costume,
was observed by the prisoners among the groups that pressed around them
to be gazing at them with eyes filled with pity, till at last, unable to
contain himself longer, he broke his way through to them, weeping, only
to be thrust aside by the Russian officer in charge. At Witebsk, again,
a band of recruits in the Russian army respectfully uncovered their
heads as Kościuszko passed, and he knew that they were Poles. These
little incidents cast their transitory gleam over the journey north, as
the party pushed on to Petersburg, across the desolate snow-covered
plains of Russia, through the piercing cold of the Russian winter. At
night the fires of the aurora borealis threw a strange, blood-red light
over the white, unending country. The gloomy silence that held all
nature in its grip was only broken by an occasional crash of a bough
under the weight of snow in the great forests through which the party
passed, or by the wild, sad music of the Russian songs with which the
postilions beguiled the night hours of their journey. Such was the
accompaniment to Kościuszko's forebodings for his future and that of his
fellow-captives, and to his greater anguish over the fate of his nation.

Petersburg was reached on the 10th of December. The prisoners were
hurried at night through side streets, and then put into boats and taken
by mysterious waterways into the heart of the Peter-Paul fortress. Here
they were separated, Niemcewicz and Fiszer led to a large hall, and
Kościuszko conducted to another room. That was the last they saw of each
other for two years. On the morning after his first night of solitary
confinement Niemcewicz was brought coffee in a cup that he recognized as
Kościuszko's property. This alone told him that Kościuszko was not far
off; and cheered by that thought he was able, says he, "to resign
himself to everything."[1]

[Footnote 1: J. Niemcewicz, _op. cit_.]

The narrative of Niemcewicz, to which we owe the story of each step of
the journey into Russia, can now, beyond a vague report that the poet
from time to time gleaned from his jailors, tell us next to nothing more
of Kościuszko in a Russian prison. Detailed information from other
sources is wanting, and we have only a few certain facts to go upon. For
the first few months of his imprisonment, Kościuszko was Kept in the
fortress as a rebel, not as a vanquished enemy. "Rebel" was the term by
which he was officially styled. Before December was out, he was
subjected to the usual ordeal of the Russian prison: the inquisition. A
paper was handed in to him, with a long string of questions, which he
was ordered to answer in his own handwriting, on the relations of the
Rising with foreign powers, the sources of its finances, and so on. It
also contained a close catechetical scrutiny upon the conversations he
had held with specified persons at such and such a date, and on the ins
and outs of different incidents during the insurrection, that was a
severe tax on the memory of a wounded man. All that is positively known
of the inquisition are the questions and Kościuszko's replies. What lay
beneath it--what were the means of moral torture wielded by those who
conducted the inquiry, the pitfalls spread for a prisoner who lay
helpless, racked by pain from the wound in his head; what was the
ingenuity employed to wrest his answers from him, whether he willed or
no, are equally well known, says Kościuszko's historian, Korzon, who had
himself more than sixty years later languished in a Russian dungeon, to
those acquainted with the methods of the Russian political prison. That
Kościuszko, being at the mercy of the enemy who interrogated him, spoke
as openly as he did regarding the measures that he was prepared to take
with France and Turkey against Russia, is eloquent, says the same
historian, of the force of his character land of his conquest over
physical infirmity.[1] His answers are short and pithily clear. He
speaks the truth, says another Pole, or he does not speak at all.[1*]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 1*: _Op. cit_.]

His high qualities began to gain upon his conquerors. At the outset
Catherine II in her correspondence speaks contemptuously of him as "a
fool in all the meaning of that word"; but presently her language
changes to a more complimentary, if still patronizing, tone, and after
some months she had him removed from the fortress and conveyed to the
Orlov palace, as a place more suited to his physically shattered
condition. He was allowed to be carried into the garden and to take
drives in the town under guard. He was provided with a good table, from
which he daily sent meals to the Polish prisoners in the fortress.
Always deft with his fingers, he whiled away the hours by working at a
turning-lathe. A wooden sugar-basin that he made during his imprisonment
is now in the Polish Museum at Rapperswil, Switzerland.

All this time he lay sick and crippled. The wounds he had carried from
Maciejowice, unskilfully tended by the Russian surgeons, remained
unhealed: grief of mind for his country did the rest. An English doctor
named Rogerson attended him. He wrote: "The physical and mental forces
of that upright man are nearly exhausted, as the result of long
sufferings. I am losing hopes of curing him. He has suffered so much in
body and soul that his organism is entirely destroyed."[2]

[Footnote 2: _op. cit_.]

Two years passed thus. In the November of 1796 there was an unusual stir
in the fortress, which to the Poles immured there could mean only one
thing: the death of their arch-enemy, Catherine II. After a few days the
suspicion was confirmed. The Empress was scarcely in her coffin before
the son she had hated, now Paul I, entered Kościuszko's prison,
accompanied by his retinue and by the Tsarewitch, Alexander, on whom for
a transitory moment the fondest hopes of Poland were to rest, and whose
friendship with a son of the house of Czartoryski is one of the romances
of history. The Tsarewitch embraced Kościuszko, and his father uttered
the words: "I have come to restore your liberty." The shock was so
overwhelming that the prisoner could not answer. The Tsar seated himself
by Kościuszko's side: and then ensued this remarkable colloquy between
the Tsar of all the Russias and the hero of Polish freedom, which is
known to us more or less textually from a Russian member of the court
who was present, and also from the accounts of the Polish prisoners, who
eagerly picked up its details which Niemcewicz collected and recorded.

"I always pitied your fate," said the Tsar, who, in the earlier days of
his reign, through the wild eccentricity that was more correctly
speaking madness, was not devoid of generous instincts; "but during my
mother's rule I could do nothing to help you. But I have now taken it as
the first duty of my sovereignty to confer freedom upon you. You are
therefore free."

Kościuszko bowed and, after expressing his thanks, replied:

"Sire, I have never grieved for my own fate, but I shall never cease to
grieve over the fate of my country."

"Forget your country," said Paul. "The same lot has befallen her as so
many other states of which only the memory has remained in history; and
in that history you will always be gloriously remembered."

"Would rather that I should be forgotten," was Kościuszko's reply, "and
my country remain free. Certainly many states have fallen, but there is
no example like the fall of Poland. ... It was in the very moment of her
uprising, just when she was desirous to attain liberty of rule,
precisely when she showed the greatest energy and patriotism, that
Poland fell."

"But confess," went on the Tsar, "that this freedom of yours did not
agree with the interests of the neighbouring states, and that your
countrymen themselves served as the instrument of the destruction of
their country."

"Excuse me, Your Imperial Majesty, from further explanations on that
point, for I can neither think nor speak without strong feeling about my
country's fall."

"You do not offend me," graciously replied Paul; "but on the contrary I
esteem you the more, for it is the first time that I have spoken to a
citizen whom I recognize as really loving his country. If at least the
greater part of the Poles thought as you do, Poland might still exist."

"Sire," said Kościuszko, with deep emotion, "that greater part was
certainly there. If only Your Imperial Majesty could have been the
eyewitness of that virtue, that patriotism, of which they gave no common
proofs in the last Rising! I know how men tried to give Your Imperial
Majesty the falsest and worst ideas about our nation, because they
represented them in the eyes of the whole world as a horde of noisy
ruffians, intolerant of rule and law, and therefore unworthy of
existence. Virtuous and universal zeal only for the bettering of the
country's lot, for freedom from oppression and disorder, was called
sedition; the best desires of good citizenship were accounted as a
crime, and as the result of a brawling Jacobinism: finally, not only
against all justice, but against the true interests of Russia, the
destruction of the unhappy country by the complete dismemberment of her
territory was given out as the most salutary counsel. How many outrages,
perilous for the lot of every state, have resulted from it!" said he, in
words of which we all too clearly have seen the truth to-day. "How many
fearful consequences, what universal misery for its victims!"

"See what fire!" said the Tsar, turning to his officers.

"Pardon me, Sire," said Kościuszko. "Perhaps I was carried too
far--perhaps;" he hesitated.

But no, the Tsar hastened to reassure him, he had given the monarch food
for thought, he had spoken to his heart. Kościuszko must ask for every
comfort he required till he left Petersburg, and must trust Paul "as a
friend."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

This was the first of more than one interview between Kościuszko and the
Tsar. At the second Kościuszko begged for the release of all the Polish
prisoners of the Rising scattered in Russia and Siberia. He and his
comrades were now permitted to visit each other. Niemcewicz has recorded
his painful impression as he saw his friend for the first time since
they had entered the prison together, lying with bandaged head and
crippled limb, with ravaged nerves, speaking faintly and making signs to
warn Niemcewicz when the latter raised his voice that spies were
listening at the door.

But Paul's pardon was not unconditional. Before granting a general
amnesty he required of Kościuszko and the leading Polish prisoners an
oath of allegiance to himself and his successors. Thus Kościuszko was
called upon to face the bitterest sacrifice that even he had yet had to
confront. On him depended whether the prison gates should be opened to
twelve thousand fellow-Poles. At the cost of the most sacred feelings of
his heart, after private consultations with Ignacy Potocki, who was
among the prisoners in the fortress, and with whom he agreed that there
was no alternative but to submit, Kościuszko accepted the intolerable
condition laid upon him, and took the oath. Upon the agony of that
internal conflict he, with his accustomed reticence, remained silent.
That there was some external pressure of a most harassing description on
the part of the Russian ministers which tore the oath from his lips is
proved by his own words in his letter to the Tsar two years later.

His intention was now to go to America, by Sweden and England. Rogerson,
whose strong esteem he had gained, wrote to his friend, the Russian
ambassador in London, begging him for the sake of their friendship to do
all that he could for Kościuszko, and entering into minute
recommendations to ensure the latter's well-being in England. Kościuszko
had aroused a like admiration in the imperial family. At the farewell
audience in the Winter Palace he was received with a pomp detestable to
his every instinct, and carried in Catherine's wheel chair into the
Tsar's private room. The Tsar loaded him with gifts, including a
carriage especially adapted to the recumbent position in which he was
forced to travel. The Tsaritsa chose to give him a costly turning-lathe
and a set of cameos, while he offered her a snuff-box of his own making,
which she held in her hand during her coronation, showing it with pride
to Rogerson as a gift which, said she, "puts me in mind of a highly
instructive moral."[1] These presents from the Russian court were
intensely galling to Kościuszko's feelings. He refused as many as he
could. The rest that he accepted under compulsion he got rid of as soon
as possible. His return present to the Tsaritsa was an act of courtesy,
characteristic of Kościuszko's chivalry to women; but he received with a
marked coldness the advances of the Tsar, showered upon him in the
moment's caprice, as was the manner of Paul I.[2] On the 19th of
December, 1796, he turned his back upon Russia for ever and, accompanied
by Niemcewicz, departed for Sweden.

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid_.]



CHAPTER IX

EXILE

The great and romantic chapter of Kościuszko's history is now closed.
Twenty more years of life remained to him. Those years were passed in
exile. He never again saw his country.

The third partition of Poland was carried out by Russia, Austria, and
Prussia in 1795, while the man who had offered his life and liberty to
avert it lay in a Russian prison. Not even the span of Poland's soil
which Kościuszko and his soldiers had watered with their blood was left
to her. To that extinction of an independent state, lying between Russia
and the Central Powers, barring the progress of Prussia to the Baltic
and the East, the most far-seeing politicians ascribe the world-war that
has been so recently devastating the world.

It was therefore in bitter grief of heart that Kościuszko set out for
Sweden. Besides Niemcewicz, he had with him a young Polish officer,
named Libiszewski, who had eagerly offered himself to serve Kościuszko
in any capacity till he reached the United States. He carried Kościuszko
to carriage or couch, and distracted his sadness by his admirable
playing on the horn and by his sweet singing. He died still young--of
fever in Cuba.

In the short northern day of four hours the party made a long and
tedious journey, impeded by the bitter weather, through the pine forests
of Finland. The country was buried in snow, and so rough was the
travelling that the three Poles had to pass a night in the common hall
of the inn, with pigs as their sleeping companions. Kościuszko's fame
had spread all over Europe. Sweden held herself proud that he was her
guest, greeting him as "one of the greatest men of our century." At
Stockholm the notables of the city crowded to pay their respects--on
foot, in order not to disturb the invalid with the sound of carriages
and horses. He was not, however, very accessible. By temperament he
shrank from either publicity or fame; and in his state of physical and
mental suffering he had no heart for the honours showered upon him. He
systematically discouraged the forerunners of the modern interviewers
who were eager for "copy," and as far as he could he kept to himself,
his relaxations being his own drawing, and the music of which he was
always passionately fond, and with which his Swedish admirers were
careful to provide him. A Swedish writer, who was staying in the same
hotel, desired to visit him, but dared not do so, partly for fear of
intruding upon him, and partly because he owned that he could not keep
from tears at the sight of the Polish patriot, so deeply had
Kościuszko's history affected the public of those days. Finally, he made
the plunge, and asked Kościuszko's permission for a young Swedish
painter to take his portrait. Kościuszko courteously refused; but an
engraver surreptitiously took notes of his features, and reproduced them
in a likeness that travelled all over Sweden, depicting him, as our own
Cosway did afterwards, reclining, "his face," says the Swedish
description, "expressing the sufferings of his soul over his country's
fate."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

From Stockholm Kościuszko passed on to Goteborg to await a ship for
England. Here too the inhabitants vied with each other to do him honour,
and arranged amateur concerts for him in his rooms. On the 16th of May
the Poles embarked. After three weeks' passage in a small merchant
vessel, they landed at Gravesend, and thence reached London.
"Kościuszko, the hero of freedom, is here," announced the Gentleman's
Magazine; and indeed the English papers were full of him. He stayed in
Leicester Square. The whole of London made haste to visit him. The
leading politicians, including Fox, men of letters, among whom we find
Sheridan, the beauties of the day and the rulers of fashion, all alike
thronged his rooms. To Walter Savage Landor, then a mere youth, the
sight of Kościuszko awoke the sympathy for Poland that he never lost, to
which English literature owes one of his Imaginary Conversations. More
than half a century later he looked back to the moment in which he spoke
to Kościuszko as the happiest of his life. The Whig Club presented
Kościuszko with a sword of honour. The beautiful Duchess of Devonshire
pressed upon him a costly ring, which went the way of most of the gifts
that Kościuszko received: he gave them away to friends. All such tokens
of admiration had never counted for anything in Kościuszko's life, and
now they were the merest baubles to a man who had seen his country fall.
In the portrait that, against his wish and without his knowledge, Cosway
painted, said by Niemcewicz to resemble him as none other, we see him,
lying with bandaged head in an attitude of deep and sorrowful musing.
The face, the whole attitude, are those of one absorbed by an
overmastering grief that filled his soul to the exclusion of all else.
The fine portrait has found its way to Kościuszko's native land, and is
now in Warsaw. The English doctor recommended by Rogerson attended
Kościuszko assiduously, and the Russian ambassador's kindness was so
unfailing that Kościuszko, sending him his farewells as he left England,
wrote: "If ever I recover part of my health it will be sweet to me to
remember that it is to your attentions, to the interest that you took in
me, that I shall owe it."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Bristol was at that time the English port of sailings for America. It was
there that after a fortnight's stay in London Kościuszko betook himself,
passing a night in Bath on the way. He found in Bristol old friends of
his American days. He was the guest of one of them, now the United
States consul, as long as he stayed in the town. A guard of honour
received him, long processions of the townsfolk flocked to catch a
glimpse of him, a military band played every evening before the
consulate, and the city gave him a handsome silver service. An
Englishman who visited him in Bristol records the impression that
Kościuszko made on all who saw him, of one whose whole being breathed
devotion to his country. The same witness speaks of a soul unbroken by
misfortune, by wounds, poverty, and exile; of an eagle glance, of talk
full of wit and wisdom.

The course down the Avon to the point where Kościuszko's ship lay at
anchor was a triumphal progress. He was accompanied by English officers
in full dress, by the American consul and a host of well-wishers. All
heads were bared as he was carried on board. The whole length of the
river handkerchiefs were waved from the banks. Farewells resounded from
every rock and promontory, where spectators had crowded to see the last
of the Polish hero. Boats shot out from the private dwellings on the
waterside, laden with flowers and fruits for the departing guest. Not a
few men and women boarded the ship and accompanied Kościuszko for some
distance before they could bring themselves to part with him.

For nearly two months Kościuszko and his Polish companions tossed on the
Atlantic, running on one occasion a near chance of shipwreck.
Philadelphia was their destination. Once in America, Kościuszko trod
soil familiar and dear to him. "I look upon America," he said, replying
in French to the deputation of Philadelphia's citizens who came on board
to welcome him, "as my second country, and I feel myself too happy when
I return to her." The cannon from the fort and a storm of cheering
greeted him as he landed, and amidst cries of "Long live Kościuszko!"
the citizens drew his carriage to his lodging.

Washington had just ceased to be President. His successor, Adams, wrote
congratulating Kościuszko on his arrival, "after the glorious efforts
you have made on a greater theatre."[1] Washington wrote also:" Having
just been informed of your safe arrival in America, I was on the point
of writing to you a congratulatory letter on the occasion, welcoming you
to the land whose liberties you have been so instrumental in
establishing, when I received your favour of the 23rd. [A letter of
Kościuszko's with a packet he had been requested to convey to
Washington.] ... I beg you to be assured that no one has a higher
respect and veneration for your character than I have; and no one more
sincerely wished, during your arduous struggle in the cause of liberty
and your country, that it might be crowned with success. But the ways of
Providence are inscrutable, and mortals must submit. I pray you to
believe that at all times and under any circumstances it would make me
happy to see you at my last retreat, from which I never expect to be
more than twenty miles again."[1*]

[Footnote 1: _Op. cit_.]

[Footnote 1*: _Writings of George Washington_, ed. Jared Sparks.]

The story of the meeting between Washington and Kościuszko, of
Kościuszko's words, "Father, do you recognize your son?" is a myth. They
met neither in Philadelphia nor elsewhere. The above letter is the last
indication of any intercourse between them. Washington at this period
was regarded with no favour by the democracy. Kościuszko's sympathies
were with the latter and with Jefferson, and he never accepted the
invitation to Washington's home in Mount Vernon.

Yellow fever breaking out in Philadelphia, Kościuszko went for a time
elsewhere: first to New York, to the beautiful house of his old friend
and commander, Gates, later to New Brunswick, where he stayed with
another friend of the past. General White, in a family circle that
attracted his warm regard. He was still confined to his sofa, and amused
himself by his favourite pastime of drawing and painting, tended by the
ladies of the house with a solicitude which drew from him after he had
gone back to Philadelphia a charming "hospitable roof" letter. I have
been unable to see the original English in which Kościuszko wrote this
letter, which is given in a privately printed American memoir. I am
therefore obliged to translate it from the Polish version, which is in
its turn a translation into Polish from Kościuszko's English. We
therefore lose the flavour of Kościuszko's not wholly correct
manipulation of our language:--

"Madam,

"I cannot rest till I obtain your forgiveness in all its fulness for the
trouble I gave you during my stay in your house. ... Perhaps I was the
cause of depriving you of amusements more suited to your liking and
pleasure, than busying yourself with me. You never went out to pay
visits. You were kind enough to ask me daily what I liked, what I did
not like: all my desires were carried out; all my wishes were
anticipated, to gratify me and to make my stay agreeable. Let me receive
an answer from you, forgiving me, I beg Eliza [her daughter] to
intercede for me. I owe you too great a debt to be able to express it in
words adequate to my obligation and my gratitude. Let this suffice, that
I shall never forget it, and that its memory will never be extinguished
for even one moment in my heart."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

He gave these ladies some of the splendid presents he had received from
the Russian Tsar: magnificent furs, a necklace of Siberian corals, and
to White himself the Duchess of Devonshire's ring. His memory went down
through the family, and Mrs. White's grandson often heard his
grandmother tell of her Polish guest, and how she held no other man his
equal--with the patriotic exception of Washington! White was a valuable
auxiliary to Kościuszko in a somewhat intricate piece of business. To
live on the gift of money which Paul I had given him was an odious
position that Kościuszko would not tolerate. It was his intention to
return it, and to claim from Congress the arrears of the stipend owing
to him from 1788, and that through some mischance had never reached him.
With White's assistance a portion of the American sum was handed over to
him; but the return of the Tsar's present was not so easy. Niemcewicz
pointed out that such a proceeding would infallibly rouse the revenge of
the Tsar upon the Poles in his dominions. This decision was against
Kościuszko's personal feeling on the matter. He bided his time, and, as
we shall see, at a more propitious moment took his own counsel. A bevy
of visitors and admirers again surrounded Kościuszko in Philadelphia.
Among them were the future Louis Philippe, with the Princes de
Montpensier and Beaujolais. They called themselves citizens of France,
and sported the tricolour. They often spent the evening with Kościuszko,
and on their farewell visit Kościuszko gave the younger prince a pair of
fur boots. But the man with whom Kościuszko was on the closest and
warmest terms of intimacy was Thomas Jefferson. The pastel portrait that
Kościuszko painted of this dear friend is preserved among Poland's
national relics. "He," wrote Jefferson to Gates, "is the purest son of
liberty among you all that I have ever known, the kind of liberty which
extends to all, not only to the rich."[1] To Jefferson Kościuszko
confided the testament of his American property, which he had been
granted from Congress on the close of the War of Independence, and which
lay in Ohio on the site of the present city of Columbus; to Jefferson,
again, was entrusted the conduct of Kościuszko's secret departure from
the States in 1798.

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Some time in the March of that year a packet of letters from Europe was
handed to Kościuszko. His emotion on reading the contents was so strong
that, despite his crippled condition, he sprang from his couch and
staggered without a helping hand to the middle of the room. "I must
return at once to Europe," he said to General White, with no further
explanation. Jefferson procured him a passport to France under a false
name, and then with only Jefferson's knowledge, with no word either to
Niemcewicz or to his servant, for both of whom he left a roll of money
in a drawer in his cupboard, he sailed for France. Before he embarked he
wrote out the will that he sent to Jefferson in which, more than half a
century before the war of North and South, the Polish patriot pleaded
for the emancipation of the negro slaves.

"I, Thaddeus Kościuszko"--the text is the original English--"being just
in my departure from America, do hereby declare and direct that should I
make no other testamentary disposition of my property in the United
States thereby authorize my friend Thomas Jefferson to employ the whole
thereof in purchasing negroes from among his own as any others and giving
them liberty in my name, in giving them an education in trades or
otherwise, and in haying them instructed for their new condition in the
duties of morality which may make them good neighbours, good fathers or
mothers, husbands or wives, and in their duties as citizens, teaching
them to be defenders of their liberty and country and of the good order
of society and in whatsoever may make them happy and useful, and I make
the said Thomas Jefferson my executor of this.

        "T. Kościuszko.

            "5th day of May, 1798."

There seems to have been some difficulty in the way of putting the
bequest into effect, perhaps, suggests Korzon, on account of Jefferson's
advanced years by the time that the testator was dead. It was never
carried out; but in 1826 the legacy went to found the coloured school at
Newark, the first educational institute for negroes to be opened in the
United States, and which bore Kościuszko's name.

The secret of his movements is easily deciphered in a man of
Kościuszko's stamp. It was the call of his country that drew him back to
Europe.

For we have reached that period of Polish history which belongs to the
Polish legions: the moment of brilliance and of glory when; led by the
Polish flags, Polish soldiers in the armies of Napoleon shed their blood
on every battlefield of Europe. In the hope of regaining from Napoleon
the freedom of their country, the former soldiers of the Republic, no
less than the rising young Polish manhood, panting with passionate
patriotism and with the warlike instinct of their race, enrolled
themselves in the French army. "Poland has not perished while we live,"
was the song, the March of Dombrowski, with which they went to battle,
and which to this day forbidden though it has been by their oppressors,
we may hear Poles sing at national gatherings. The leader of the legions
was the gallant Dombrowski. "Fellow-citizens! Poles!" cried he in his
manifesto to his nation in language strangely prophetic of the hour that
is scarcely past, when we have seen a Polish army in Polish uniform
fighting for liberty by the side of the Allies in the European War:
"Hope is rising! France is conquering. The battalions are forming.
Comrades, join us! Fling away the weapons which you have been compelled
to bear. Let us fight for the common cause of all the nations, for
freedom."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

In these early days Napoleon's betrayal of Poland was a tale still
untold; but to the end the Poles fought by his side with a hope in him
that only died with his fall, with a love and loyalty to his person that
survived it.

Such was the news that travelled across the Atlantic to Kościuszko with
dispatches that informed him that his two nephews, sons of his sister
Anna, who had borne arms in the Rising, had been sent in the name of
Kościuszko by their mother to Bonaparte with the prayer that they might
serve in his ranks. By the end of June, 1798, Kościuszko was in France,
in Bayonne.

The accustomed acclamations greeted him there. Some _fête-champêtre_ was
arranged at which Kościuszko, the guest of honour, watched peasants
laying their ploughs at the feet of soldiers, in exchange for the
weapons of war. "It would have been thus in Poland," he was heard to
murmur to himself, "if fate had not betrayed us."

In Paris he heard sympathy with himself and the Polish cause expressed
on all sides. Public toasts to the defender of the nation who was
pouring her blood like water in the cause of France were the order of
the hour. Kościuszko was moved to tears as he listened to the utterance
of these good wishes for his country's liberation. His first task was to
confer with the various foreign ambassadors and with Dombrowski's
adjutant, Dombrowski being in Italy. He then definitely broke the bond
between himself and Paul I. He returned the money received from the Tsar
with the following letter:--

"I am profiting by the first moment of liberty which I am enjoying under
the fostering laws of the greatest and noblest of nations to send you
back a gift, to the acceptance of which I was forced by the
manifestations of your benevolence and the merciless proceedings of your
ministers. If I agreed to accept it, let Your Majesty ascribe this only
to the unconquerable strength of the attachment which I bear to my
compatriots, the companions of my misfortunes, as well as to my hopes of
still serving my country. It seemed to me that my unhappy condition
moved your heart, but your ministers and their satellites did not
proceed with me according to your wishes. Therefore, since they have
dared to ascribe to my free resolution an act to which they forced me, I
will disclose their violence and perfidy before you and before all men
who know the worth of honour, and may they only be answerable before
you, Sire, for the proclamation of their unworthy conduct."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

At the same time that Kościuszko forwarded this letter to the Tsar he
published it in two French papers. The Tsar's reply was to return the
sum through the Russian ambassador in Vienna, with the remark that he
would "accept nothing from traitors." It lay untouched in an English
bank till Kościuszko's death.

Even before the repudiation of Kościuszko's oath reached Petersburg the
fact of his arrival in France had roused the wrath of Paul's envoy in
Berlin, who deliberated with the Prussian ministers how to impede "the
criminal intentions of the chief perpetrator and instigator of the
revolution in Poland." Kościuszko's instant arrest was decreed, should
he ever be seen within the boundaries of Russia's domination, and any
one who entered into relations with him there was branded as a traitor.
Austria and Prussia followed suit. Thus was Kościuszko's return to his
own country barred before him.

Closely watched by Russian and Prussian spies, who communicated, often
erroneously, to their respective governments the movements of "that
adventurer," as one of them styles him, Kościuszko had his headquarters
in Paris. He was there when Kniaziewicz, fresh from the triumphs of the
legions in Italy, brought him, in the name of Poland, Sobieski's sword.
It had been preserved at Loreto, whither the deliverer of Vienna had
sent it more than a century ago, after his triumph over the Turks. The
newly founded Republic of Rome presented it to the officers of the
Polish legions in 1798, who destined it for Kościuszko. "God grant,"
said Kościuszko, in his letter of acknowledgment to his fellow-Poles,
"that we may lay down our swords together with the sword of Sobieski in
the temple of peace, having won freedom and universal happiness for our
compatriots."[1]

For a while Kościuszko, continuously corresponding with the French
government, acted more or less as the head of the legions. But when in
October, 1799, the government officially offered him the leadership of
the legions, he refused, for the reason that he saw no sign that France
was prepared to recognize their distinct entity as a Polish national
army, and because he suspected Bonaparte would use them merely as French
regiments--a "corps of mercenaries," as the Polish patriot bitterly
exclaims--for his own ends. He had written--September, 1799--to the
Directory, eloquently reminding France that the Polish legions were
founded to fight for the independence of Poland, and that in the hope of
freedom the Poles had gladly fought "enemies who were, besides their
own, the enemies of freedom," but that their dearest hopes had already
been deceived. "These considerations impel me to beg you to show us some
ray of hope regarding the restoration of independence to our
country."[2] He required guarantees from Bonaparte, and these he never
received.

[Footnote 1: _Letters of Kościuszko_.]

[Footnote 2: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Young Bonaparte and the Pole met for the first time on the former's
return from his brilliant Egyptian campaign, when he called on
Kościuszko, Kniaziewicz being also in the room. The interview was brief
and courteous. "I greatly wished," said Napoleon, "to make the
acquaintance of the hero of the North." "And I," replied Kościuszko, "am
happy to see the conqueror of Europe and the hero of the East." At a
subsequent official banquet at which Kościuszko was present, some
instinct warned him of the course Napoleon's ambition was to take. "Be
on your guard against that young man," he said on that occasion to
certain members of the French government; and a few days later Napoleon
proclaimed himself First Consul. From that time Kościuszko began to
withdraw from relations with French officialdom, and to concern himself
only with the private matters of the Polish legions, not with their
public affairs. Lebrun reproached him for showing his face no more among
the high officers of state. "You are now all so grand," replied the son
of the simple, far-distant Lithuanian home, "that I in my modest garb am
not worthy to go among you." In 1801 came the Treaty of Lunéville with
Napoleon's bitter deception of Poland's hopes. Rage and despair filled
the Polish legions. Numbers of their soldiers tendered their
resignations. Others remained in the French army, and were sent by
Napoleon, to rid himself of them, said his enemies, on the disastrous
expedition to San Domingo. Done to death by yellow fever, by the arms of
the natives and the horrible onslaughts of the negroes' savage dogs,
four hundred alone survived to return.

Henceforth Kościuszko would have nothing further to say to Bonaparte.
Before a large audience at a gathering in the house of Lebrun the latter
called out to Kościuszko: "Do you know, General, that the First Consul
has been speaking about you?" "I never speak about him," Kościuszko
answered curtly, and he visited Lebrun no more. The anguish of this
fresh wrong to his nation went far to break him. He again suffered
intensely from the wound in his head, and old age seemed suddenly to
come upon him. Many of the Polish soldiers who had left the legions were
homeless and penniless. These Kościuszko took pains to recommend to his
old friend Jefferson, now President of the United States. "God bless
you"--so Jefferson ends his reply--"and preserve you still for a season
of usefulness to your country."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Memoirs, Correspondence and Miscellanies of Thomas
Jefferson_, ed. Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Charlottesville, 1829.]

Kościuszko's intercourse with his American friends did not slacken. At
the request of one of them he wrote a treatise in French on artillery
that, translated in the United States into English, became a textbook at
West Point.

About this time Kościuszko came across a Swiss family whose name will
ever sound gratefully to the Polish ear as the friends under whose roof
he found the domestic hearth that gladdened his declining years. The
Republican sympathies of the Zeltner brothers, one of whom was the
diplomatic representative of Switzerland in France, first attracted
Kościuszko to them. Their relations soon grew intimate; and Kościuszko's
first visit in their house, his sojourn with them in the country at
Berville, near Fontainebleau, that reminded him of the Poland he had
lost for ever, were the beginning of a common household that only death
severed.

Napoleon became emperor. He crushed Prussia at Jena, from Berlin
summoned the Poles in "Prussian" Poland to rise, and sent his minister,
Fouché, to Kościuszko, as the leader whose name every Pole would follow,
to engage him to place himself at their head. Kościuszko received these
proposals with the caution of a long and bitter experience. Would
Napoleon, he asked, openly state what he intended to do for Poland?
Fouché put him off with vague promises of the nature that the Poles had
already heard, and of which the Treaty of Lunéville had taught them the
worth, coupled with threats of Napoleon's personal vengeance on
Kościuszko if he opposed the Emperor's desire. "The Emperor," answered
Kościuszko, "can dispose of me according to his will, but I doubt if in
that case my nation would render him any service. But in the event of
mutual, reciprocal services my nation, as well as I, will be ready to
serve him. May Providence forbid," he added solemnly, "that your
powerful and august monarch shall have cause to regret that he despised
our goodwill."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

But the tide of Napoleonic worship ran too high not to carry all before
it. Kościuszko's was the one dissentient voice. Before the interview
with Fouché had taken place, Wybicki and Dombrowski, unable to conceive
that Kościuszko would take a different line, had given their swords to
the Emperor. Józef Poniatowski did likewise. In November, 1808, Napoleon
entered Poznań (Posen). In the same month the French armies were in
Warsaw, and the Poles, in raptures of rejoicing, were hailing Napoleon
as the liberator of their nation. Fouché, already cognizant of
Kościuszko's attitude, issued a bogus manifesto, purporting to be from
Kościuszko, summoning his countrymen to Napoleon's flag. But Kościuszko
himself only consented to repair to Warsaw, and throw his weight into
the balance for Napoleon, if the Emperor would sign in writing and
publicly proclaim his promise to restore Poland under the following
three conditions:--

(1) That the form of Poland's government should be that of the English
constitution;

(2) That the peasants should be liberated and possess their own land;
and

(3) That the old boundaries of Poland should be reinstated.

He wrote to this effect to Fouché, and privately told a Polish friend
that if the Emperor consented to these conditions he would fall at his
feet and swear to the gratitude of the whole nation.[1] The reply given
by Napoleon to Fouché was that he attached "no importance to Kościuszko.
His conduct proves that he is only a fool."[2]

[Footnote 1: General Paszkowski, _History of Tadeusz Kościuszko_.
Cracow, 1872 (Polish).]

[Footnote 2: Napoleon I, _Correspondance_. Paris, 1863.]

Active service for Poland was thus closed to Kościuszko. Anxious to
leave a Napoleon-ridden France, he requested permission to retire to
Switzerland. It was refused, and he had nothing for it but to remain in
his French country retreat, under police supervision. He stayed there
for the five years that Napoleon's conquests shook the world, condemning
with his whole soul the spread of an empire on ruin and bloodshed,
occupying himself with his favourite hobbies of gardening and
handicrafts, working at his turning and making wooden clogs. The family
with whom he lived was as his own. His name was given to the three
children who were born since his residence under its roof: the only one
of them who survived infancy--Taddea Emilia--became the beloved child of
Kościuszko's old age. The eldest son learnt from him love for Poland and
fought in the Polish Rising of 1830.

The story of the Russian campaign of 1812, with the passion of hope that
it evoked in the Polish nation and its extinction in the steppes of
Russia, need not be repeated here. In March, 1814, the allied armies and
the monarchs of Russia and Prussia entered Paris.

Alexander I, the youth who had visited Kościuszko in prison, was now
Tsar of Russia. In the days when Alexander was a neglected heir at the
court of Catherine II young Adam Czartoryski was a hostage at the same
court, concealing his yearning for his country and loathing for his
surroundings under the icy reserve that was his only defence. One day
Alexander drew the young prince aside in the palace gardens, told him
that he had long observed him with sympathy and esteem, and that it was
his intention when he succeeded to the throne to restore Poland. This
was the beginning of that strange friendship which led to a Pole
directing the foreign policy of Russia in the years preceding the
Congress of Vienna, and ended in Alexander's betrayal of Czartoryski's
nation.

But in the spring of 1814 Alexander was still of liberal and generous
tendencies. That Kościuszko must have left a strong impression on his
memory is evident; for on entering Paris he performed the graceful act
of charging the Polish officers about him with courteous messages for
the patriot of Poland. Kościuszko never lost an opportunity of
furthering the cause to which his life was devoted. He at once wrote to
the Tsar, venturing, so he said, from his "remote corner" of the world
to lay three requests before him. The first was that Alexander should
proclaim a general amnesty for the Poles in his dominions and that the
Polish peasants, dispersed in foreign countries, should be considered
not serfs, but free men, on their return to Poland; the second, that
Alexander should proclaim himself king of a free Poland, to be ruled by
a constitution on the pattern of England's, and that schools for the
peasantry should be opened at the cost of the state as the certain means
of ensuring to them their liberty. "If," he added, "my requests are
granted, I will come in person, although sick, to cast myself at the
feet of Your Imperial Majesty to thank you and to render you homage as
to my sovereign. If my feeble talents can still be good for anything, I
will immediately set out to rejoin my fellow-citizens so as to serve my
country and my sovereign honourably and faithfully."[1]

[Footnote 1: d'Angeberg, _Recueil des Traités, Conventions et Actes
Diplomatiques concernant la Pologne, 1762-1862_. Paris, 1862.]

He then asks a private favour--not for himself: that Zeltner, who had a
large family to support and whom Kościuszko was too poor to help, might
be given some post in the new French government, or in Poland.

He received no answer; and so came into Paris and obtained an audience.
Alexander greeted him as an honoured friend, and bade him be assured of
his good intentions towards Poland. A stream of visits and receptions
then set in, at which Kościuszko was the recipient of public marks of
esteem, not only from the Tsar, but from his brother, the Grand Duke
Constantine, whose ill-omened name was later to win for itself the
execration of the Polish nation. But Kościuszko was too far-sighted to
content himself with promises. He asked for a written statement of what
his country might expect from the Tsar. Alexander answered, on the 3rd
of May, 1814:

"Your dearest wishes will be accomplished. With the aid of the Almighty
I hope to bring about the resurrection of the valiant and admirable
nation to which you belong. I have taken upon myself this solemn
obligation. ... Only political circumstances have placed obstacles
against the execution of my intentions. Those obstacles no longer exist,
... Yet a little more time and prudence, and the Poles shall regain
their country, their name, and I shall have the pleasure of convincing
them that, forgetting the past, the man whom they held for their enemy
is the man who shall fulfil their desires."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Op. cit_.]

Further personal interviews followed between Kościuszko and the Tsar.
Later, Kościuszko called upon these as his witness when, at the Congress
of Vienna, Alexander went back upon his given word. The question of
Poland was now to come up in the European Congress, as one of the most
pressing problems of the stability of Europe. Alexander I's intention
was to found a kingdom of Poland of which he should be crowned king.
Adam Czartoryski, Alexander's Minister for Foreign Affairs, requested
Kościuszko to repair to Vienna and deliberate with himself and the Tsar
upon the matter. Napoleon was back from Elba and marching on Paris, and
to ensure the possibility of prosecuting a journey under the
complications of the hour Kościuszko was advised to have his passport
made out under some name not his own. He chose that of "Pole."

With considerable difficulty, constantly turned back by police
authorities, forbidden entrance by the Bavarian frontier, sent about
from pillar to post, the white-haired, frail old soldier at last reached
the Tsar's headquarters at Braunau. The Tsar and he conferred for a
quarter of an hour. Kościuszko derived small satisfaction from the
interview, and immediately proceeded to visit Czartoryski in Vienna.
Czartoryski had nothing good to tell. The wrangling over the Polish
question at the Congress, the mutual suspicions and jealousies of every
power represented, nearly brought about another war. In May, 1815,
Russia, Austria, and Prussia signed an agreement for a renewed division
of Poland between them. An autonomous Kingdom of Poland was, it is true,
to be formed, with the Tsar as king, but only out of a small part of
Poland. As regards the remaining Polish provinces that remained under
Russia's rule, they were severed from the Kingdom and incorporated with
Russia.

Kościuszko heard these things. Under the shock of his apprehensions he
wrote to the Tsar, pleading in the strongest language at his command,
that penetrates through the diplomatic wording he was compelled to use,
against the separation of lands that were Polish from the mother
country, the mutilated Kingdom of Poland.

After expressing his gratitude for what the Tsar was prepared to do in
the foundation of the new Kingdom of Poland, he proceeds:

"One only anxiety troubles my soul and my joy.

Sire, I was born a Lithuanian, and I have only a few years to live.
Nevertheless, the veil of the future still covers the destiny of my
native land and of so many other provinces of my country. I do not
forget the magnanimous promises that Your Majesty has deigned to make me
by word of mouth in this matter, as well as to several of my compatriots
... but my soul, intimidated by such long misfortunes, needs to be
reassured again." He is prepared faithfully to serve Alexander: let the
writer descend to the tomb in "the consoling certainty that all your
Polish subjects will be called to bless your benefits."[1]

[Footnote 1: d'Angeberg, _Recueil des Traités, Conventions et Actes
Diplomatiques concernant la Pologne_.]

In vain he waited for an answer. Then, openly, as to the Tsar he could
not write, he wrote to Czartoryski:

"My Dear Prince,

"You are certainly convinced that to serve my country efficaciously is
my chief object. The refusal of the Tsar to answer my last letter
removes from me the possibility of being of service to her. I have
consecrated my life to the greater part of the nation, when to the whole
it was not possible, but not to that small part to which is given the
pompous name of the Kingdom of Poland. We should give grateful thanks to
the Tsar for the resuscitation of the lost Polish name, but a name alone
does not constitute a nation. ... I see no guarantee of the promise of
the Tsar made to me and many others of the restoration of our country
from the Dnieper to the Dzwiha, the old boundaries of the Kingdom of
Poland, except only in our desires." [That restoration alone, says
Kościuszko, can establish sound and friendly relations between Poland
and Russia. If a free and distinct constitution of such a kingdom be
conferred upon Poland, the Poles might enjoy happiness.] "But as things
go now, and from the very beginning, Russians hold together with ours
the first places in the government. That certainly cannot inspire Poles
with any great confidence. On the contrary, with dread each of us will
form the conclusion that the Polish name will in time be held in
contempt, and that the Russians will treat us as their conquered
subjects, for such a scanty handful of a population will never be able
to defend itself against the intrigues, the preponderance and the
violence of the Russians. And can we keep silence on those brothers of
ours remaining under the Russian government?" [Lithuania and Ruthenia.]
"Our hearts shudder and suffer that they are not united to the
others."[1]

[Footnote 1: T. Korzon, _Kościuszko_.]

Again Kościuszko's unerring single-mindedness and high patriotism had
pierced through all illusions and foretold the truth. His words were
literally verified. Fifteen years later Europe saw his nation driven
into an armed conflict for the rights that had been promised to her by
Alexander, that were trampled upon by him and his successor, and the
man, to whom the above warning was addressed, outlawed by the Russian
Government for the part he played in the insurrection.

Kościuszko also wrote to Lord Grey to the same effect. Grey replied:

"To that first violation of the sacred principles of general liberty
which was effected in the partition of 1772, and those that followed in
1793 and 1795, we must refer all the dangers to which the whole of
Europe has been subsequently exposed. ... No real safeguard can exist
against the return of these dangers, if Poland remains excluded from the
benefits of a general deliverance, which, to be perfect, must be
guaranteed by the solemn recognition of her rights and independence. If
the powers who sought to profit by injustice and who, in the sequence,
have suffered so much because of it, could learn the true lesson of
experience, they would see that their mutual safety and tranquility
would be best preserved by reestablishing among them, as a genuinely
independent state, the country that a false policy has so cruelly
oppressed." (Portman Square, London, July I, 1814.)[1]

[Footnote 1: d'Angeberg, _Recueil des Traités_.]

This was written a hundred years ago, and the Nemesis of history is
still with us. The Congress of Vienna was a fresh partition of Poland.

If, so Kościuszko wrote to Alexander, he could have returned "as a Pole
to his country," he would have done so. As it was, he refused to return
to what he knew was treachery and deception. With the aspect of a man
who had suffered shipwreck, he left Vienna, and retired for good and all
from public life.

He was now sixty-nine, with his health, that he had never regained since
he was wounded at Maciejowice, broken. All that he asked was to spend
his declining years in free Switzerland with a little house and garden
of his own. When it came to the point he took up his abode with the
devoted Zeltners in Soleure, and his last days passed in peace among
them. He prepared his morning coffee himself in his room, upon the walls
of which hung a picture painted in sepia after his own indications of
that glorious memory of his life--the battle of Racławice. He dined at
the family table, and enjoyed his evening rubber of whist with the
Zeltners, the family doctor, and a Swiss friend. Every hour was
regularly employed. In the mornings he always wrote: what, we do not
know, for he left orders to his executors to destroy his papers, and
unfortunately was too well obeyed. In the afternoons he walked or rode
out, generally on errands of mercy. The little girl of the house was his
beloved and constant companion; and we have a pretty picture of the
veteran hero of Poland teaching this child history, mathematics, and
above all, drawing. His delight was to give children's parties for her
amusement, at which he led the games and dances and told stories. He was
the most popular of playmates. His appearance in the roads was the
signal for an onslaught of his child friends with gifts of flowers,
while he never failed to rifle his pockets of the sweets with which he
had stuffed them for the purpose. He loved not only children, but all
young people. The young men and girls of the neighbourhood looked upon
him as a father, and went freely to him for sympathy and advice.

Kościuszko's means were slender, and his tastes remained always simple.
An old blue suit of well-patched clothes sufficed for him; but he must
needs have a rose or violet in his buttonhole, with which the ladies of
Soleure took care to keep him supplied.

The money he should have spent in furbishing up his own person went in
charity and in providing Emilia with articles of dress, for the family,
chiefly through the father's improvidence, was badly off. He was known
by the poor for many a mile around as their angel visitant. Outside his
doors gathered daily an army of beggars, certain of their regular dole.
Kościuszko's rides were slow, not only on account of his wounded leg,
but because his horse stopped instinctively whenever a beggar was
sighted, in the consciousness that his master never passed one by
without giving alms. He was a familiar visitor in the peasants'
cottages. Here he would sit among the homely folk, encouraging them to
tell him the tale of their troubles, pinching himself if only he could
succour their distress. He would explain to his domestic circle long and
unaccountable absences in wild wintry weather by the excuse that he had
been visiting friends. The friends were peasants, sick and burdened with
family cares, to whom the old man day after day carried through the snow
the money they required, as the stranger benefactor who would not allow
his name to be told.

Into this quiet routine broke the advent of distinguished men and women
of every nation, eager to pay their homage to a man whose life and
character had so deeply impressed Europe. An uncertain tradition has it
that Ludwika Lubomirska visited him, and that in his old age the two
former lovers talked together once more. Correspondence from known and
unknown friends poured in upon him. Among these was the Princess of
Carignano, the mother of Carlo Alberto, herself the daughter of a Polish
mother, Franciszka Krasinska, through whom the blood of Poland flows in
the veins of the present Royal House of Italy. Nor was England left out.
A book, now forgotten, but largely read in a past generation, in which
Kościuszko's exploits figure, Jane Porter's Thaddeus of Warsaw, was sent
to Kościuszko by its author. Jane Porter had heard her brother's
description of the Polish hero, to whom he had spoken when Kościuszko
was in London. She had seen the Cosway portrait. In his letter of thanks
Kościuszko told her jestingly that he was glad that all her eulogies of
him were "in a romance, because no one will believe them." Either from
him or from a friend of his she received a gold ring or, as some say, a
medal, with a representation of himself engraved upon it.

Through these last years Kościuszko's heart ever clung fondly to his own
land and language. On the French letters he received his hand, as he
read, was wont to trace Polish proverbs, Polish turns of phrase. Tears
were seen to rise to his eyes as, gazing at the beautiful panorama from
a favourite spot of his in the Jura, a French friend recited Arnault's
elegy on the homeless and wandering leaf, torn from the parent oak, in
which the Pole read the story of his own exile. Education of the lower
classes, for which he had already made so strong a stand, continued to
be one of the matters in which he most keenly interested himself. During
his stay in Vienna he had drawn up a memorandum on the subject for those
responsible for the department in the Kingdom of Poland then forming.
One of his last expeditions before his death was to a great Swiss
educational establishment where Pestalozzi's system had been
inaugurated, and where Kościuszko spent two days among the pupils,
watching its working with the idea of its application to Polish
requirements.

So his days went by till his quiet death. His death was as simple as had
been his life. He put his worldly affairs in order, bequeathing the
money of Paul I that he had never touched and that he would not affront
Alexander I, with whom his relations were always friendly, by returning,
to a Polish friend who had fought under him in the Rising and to Emilia
Zeltner. The remainder of all that he had to give went to other members
of the Zeltner family and to the poor. He directed that his body should
be carried by the poor to the grave, that his own sword should be laid
in his coffin and the sword of Sobieski given back to the Polish nation.
Then, with a last look of love bent upon the child Emilia, who knelt at
the foot of his bed, Tadeusz Kościuszko, the greatest and the most
beloved of Poland's heroes, gently breathed his last on the evening of
October 15, 1817.

His body now rests in the Wawel in Cracow, where lie Poland's kings and
her most honoured dead; his heart in the Polish Museum in Rapperswil,
Switzerland, among the national treasures that have been placed in a
foreign land to preserve them against spoliation by Poland's conquerors.
To his memory three years after his death his nation raised a monument,
perhaps unique of its kind. Outside Cracow towers the Kościuszko hill,
fashioned by the hands of Polish men, women, and children, all bringing
earth in shovel and barrow, to lay over dust, carried thither with no
little difficulty, from the battlefields where Kościuszko had fought for
Poland. That act is typical. To this day the name of Tadeusz Kościuszko
lives in the hearts of the Polish people, not only as the object of
their profound and passionate love, but as the symbol of their dearest
national aspirations. He has given his name to the greatest poem in the
Polish language that is read wherever the Polish tongue has been carried
by the exiled sons of Poland. His pictures, his relics, are venerated as
with the devotion paid to a patron saint. Legend, folk-song, national
music have gathered about his name: and after Warsaw had risen for her
freedom on the November night of 1830 it was to the strains of the
_Polonaise of Kościuszko_ that the Poles danced in a
never-to-be-forgotten scene of patriotic exultation.

A Prussian fiction has attributed to Kościuszko as he fell on the field
of Maciejowice the phrase _Finis Poloniæ_. In a letter to Count
Ségur, Kościuszko indignantly denied that he had uttered a sentiment
which is the last ever to be heard on Polish lips or harboured in the
heart of a Pole; and with his words, to which the Poles themselves have
borne the most convincing testimony by the preservation of their
nationality unimpaired through tragedy almost inconceivable, through
nearly a hundred and fifty years of unremitting persecution, I close
this book on the noblest of Polish patriots.

"When," so Kościuszko writes to Segur, "the Polish nation called me to
defend the integrity, the independence, the dignity, the glory and the
liberty of the country, she knew well that I was not the last Pole, and
that with my death on the battlefield or elsewhere Poland could not,
must not end. All that the Poles have done since then in the glorious
Polish legions and all that they will still do in the future to gain
their country back, sufficiently proves that albeit we, the devoted
soldiers of that country, are mortal, Poland is immortal."[1]

[Footnote 1: d'Angeberg, _Recueil des Traités_.]



CHIEF WORKS CONSULTED

d'Angeberg. _Recueil des Traités, Conventions et Actes Diplomatiques
concernant la Pologne_, 1762-1862. Paris, 1862.

Askenazy, Szymon, _Kiążę Józef Poniatowski_. Cracow, 1905.

Bartoszewicz, K. _Dzieje Insurekcji Kościuszkowskiej_. Vienna, 1909.

Baudouin de Courtenay, R. _Nowe Materyały do Dziejow Kościuszki_.
Cracow, 1889.

Cambridge Modern History, VIII. _The Extinction of Poland_, by Professor
Richard Lodge.

Chodźko, L. _Żywote Narodowe. Usque ad Finem_. Paris, 1859.

Chołoniewski, A. _Tadeusz Kościuszko_. Lwów, 1902.

Dyboski, Roman. _Powstanie Kościuszki w Powieści Angielskiej_. Cracow,
1908.

Eversley, Lord. _The Partitions of Poland_. 1915.

Falkenstein, K. _Tadeusz Kościuszko_. Wrocław, 1831.

Grappin, H. _Histoire de Pologne_. Paris.

Greene, George Washington. _Life of Nathaniel Greene_. New York, 1871.

Jefferson, _Thomas. Memoirs, Correspondence and Miscellanies_. Ed. by
Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Charlottesville, 1829.

Johnson, William. _Sketches of the Life and Correspondence of Nathaniel
Greene_. Charleston, 1822.

Kołłątaj, Hugo. _Listy_. Poznań, 1872.

Korzon, T. _Kościuszko_. Cracow, 1894, and later edition, 1906.

_Kościuszko_. Periodical Publication. Cracow, 1893-96.

Kościuszko, T. _Listy_. Ed. by L. Siemieński. Lwow, 1877.

Kunasiewicz, S. _T. Kościuszko w Ameryce_. Lwow, 1876.

Mickiewicz, Adam. _Histoire Populaire de Pologne_. Paris, 1867.

Napoleon I. _Correspondance_. Paris, 1863.

Niemcewicz, J. _Notes sur ma Captivité à Pétersbourg_. Paris, 1843.

Niemcewicz, J. _Pamiętniki Czasów Moich_. Paris, 1848.

Ogiński, M. _Mémoires_. Paris, 1826.

Paszkowski, F. _Dzieje Tadeusza Kościuszki_. Cracow, 1872.

_Powstanie T. Kościuszki z Pism Autentycznych Sekretnych_. Poznań, 1846.

Raczyński, E. _Obraz Polaków i Polski w XVIII wieku_. Poznań, 1841.

Rychlicki, F. _Tadeusz Kościuszko i Rozbiór Polski_. Cracow, 1875.

Szujski, Józef. _Dzieje Polski_. Lwów, 1866.

Tarnowski, St. _Nasze Dzieje w XIX wieku_. Cracow, 1901.

_Tygodnik Illustrowany_. Warsaw, 1881. _Pamiętnik J. Soroki_; and for
Kościuszko's letter to Karl Schmid.

Washington, George. _Writings_. Ed. by Jared Sparks. New York, 1847.



INDEX

Adams, President of United States, 177

Alexander, I, of Russia,
  visits Kościuszko in prison, 168, 191;
  friendship with Czartoryski, 168, 191;
  relations with Poland, 168, 191-6;
  enters Paris in 1814, 191;
  Kościuszko's efforts for Poland with, 191-5, 197;
  promise to Kościuszko, 193; 201

André, 44

Arnault, 200

Arnold, 44

Augustus, III, king of Poland, 26, 27

Bar, Confederation of, 31, 39, 40, 130

Bartos, Wojtek, _see_ Glowacki

Beaujolais, de, 180

Brandys, Tomasz, 106, 107

Branicki, X,, 71, 72, 79, 81, 83

Burgoyne, 38

Burke, Edmund, 71

Carignano, princess di, Maria, 199

Carlo Alberto, 199

Catherine, II, of Russia,
  relations with Stanislas Augustus, 27, 33, 77, 80;
  intrigues in Poland, 31, 71, 72, 77, 81, 83. 87, 94; 92; 99; 130;
  attitude to Prussia at siege of Warsaw, 146;
  treats with Prussia for third partition, 149;
  sends Suvorov to Poland. _ib_.;
  relations with Kościuszko, 167;
  death, 168; 172; 191

Charles, XII, of Sweden, 30

Clinton, 41

Constantine, Grand Duke, 192, 193

Constitution of the Third of May, 53, 59. 71, 72, 81, 89, 117, 128

Cornwallis, 46

Cosway,
  portrait of Kościuszko, 175, 176, 200

Czartoryska, Princess,
  Kościuszko's letters to, 79-81, 84, 121; 87

Czartoryski, Prince Adam,
  relations with Kościuszko, 27, 50;
  relations with School of Cadets, 27-29

Czartoryski, Prince Adam,
  meets Kościuszko in youth, 87;
  hostage in Catherine II's court, 87, 191;
  friendship with Alexander I, 168, 191;
  Russia's foreign minister of affairs, 191, 193;
  interview with Kościuszko, 194;
  Kościuszko's letter to, 195, 196;
  outlawed for share in Rising of 1830, 196

Danton, 90

Denisov, 129

Devonshire, Duchess of, 175, 180

Dombrowski,
  leader of Polish legions, 143, 183, 189;
  _the March of_, 143, 183;
  at siege of Warsaw, 143;
  successes in Great Poland, 150;
  takes Bydgoszcz, 154;
  manifesto to Poles, 183; 184

Działynski, 157

Estko, Stanislas, 56, 85, 183

Estkowa, Anna, 30;
  affection between Kościuszko and, 33, 56; 54; 55;
  Kościuszko's letters to, 56, 57, 60, 61;
  Kościuszko's farewell letter to, 84. 85; 183

Fersen, Kościuszko marches against, 153;
  Kościuszko's captor, 159-162

Fiszer, 156, 158-165

Fouché, treats for Napoleon with Kościuszko, 188-190

Fox, 175

Franklin, Benjamin, 40, 50

Frederick William, II, of Prussia, 99;
  at Szczekociny, 132, 133; 138;
  at siege of Warsaw, 141;
  summons Stanislas Augustus to surrender, 145;
  treats with Catherine II for the third partition, 149

Gates,
  relations with Kościuszko, 38, 39. 43. 44. 178;
  at Saratoga, 38, 39; 41;
  defeat Camden, 45; 181

George III, 92

Głowacki, Wojciech, 109

Greene, Mrs., 48

Greene, Nathaniel,
  relations with Kościuszko, 43-46;
  leads war in Carolina; 45-9,
  on Kościuszko, 48, 49

Grey, Lord,
  Kościuszko addresses him on restoration of Poland, 196;
  his answer, 196, 197

Grzywa, Jan, 106, 107

Igelstrom, 92, 95, 112, 113

Jefferson, Thomas, 44;
  Kościuszko's friendship with, 178, 180, 181, 188;
  Kościuszko's portrait of, 180;
  on Kościuszko, 181;
  executor of Kościuszko's legacy to the negroes, 181, 182

Kachowski, 76, 78

Kamienski, 142, 143

Kapostas, 94, 128

Kilinski,
  takes part in Rising, 112, 140, 141, 143;
  on Polish National Council, 128

Kniaziewicz,
  in Polish legions, 64, 185;
  in _Pan Tadeusz_, 70;
  at Dubienka, 76; 81;
  at Maciejowice, 158;
  prisoner of war, 158-164; 185; 186

Kołłontaj, Hugo,
  member of Commission of Education, 53;
  collaboration in Rising, 53, 89, 92. 95, 121;
  as political reformer, 54, 61;
  friendship with Kościuszko, 61, 153;
  on Kościuszko, 89;
  member of National Council, 127

Kopeć,
  leads soldiers to Rising, 130;
  at Maciejowice, 157;
  prisoner of war, 157-164

Korzon, T., 35, 37. 59, 69, 85, 86, 135, 166

Kościuszko, Józef, 30, 31, 33, 54, 55

Kościuszko, Ludwik,
  position of, 24;
  character and household, 24, 25; 26; 32; 34

Kościuszko, Tadeusz,
  type of national champion, 23;
  character, 23, 26, 29, 30, 33, 34, 41, 42, 45, 47, 49,
    51, 57, 62, 70, 80, 83, 93, 102, 105, 107, 111, 115,
    122-124, 127, 131, 134, 138, 147, 148, 174, 175. 196;
  birth, 23;
  early life, 24-6;
  efforts for the serfs, 25, 55, 85, 116, 117, 190, 192;
  patriotism, 26, 32, 33. 43. 50. 58. 70. 83, 84, 93, 115,
    122, 123, 144, 167, 175, 176, 182, 188, 191, 196, 200;
  relations with Adam Czartoryski, 27, 50;
  life as cadet, 27-30;
  relations with Stanislas Augustus, 27, 30-33, 35, 59, 60,
    76, 79-81, 113, 119, 122;
  his appearance, 29, 144;
  financial difficulties, 30-33, 54, 55;
  studies in France, 31, 32, 35;
  in American War of Independence, 31, 32, 36-52, 57, 59, 82, 91, 132;
  returns to Poland in 1774, 32, 33;
  affection for Anna Estkowa, 33, 56;
  Ludwika Sosnowska (Lubomirska) and, 33-35. 51, 59, 163, 199;
  leaves Poland in 1775, 35;
  in Paris, 35, 36;
  relations with Washington, 37, 39-44, 49, 177, 178;
  relations with Gates, 38, 39, 43, 44, 178;
  meeting with Pułaski, 39, 40;
  relations with Greene, 43-46;
  sympathy for negroes, 45;
  Greene on, 48, 49;
  American testimonies to, 49;
  American honours for, 49, 50;
  friendship with Niemcewicz, 50, 51, 61, 105, 144, 160, 165, 170;
  leaves America, 51;
  democratic sympathies, 51, 58, 59, 90, 91, 128, 178;
  returns to Poland from America, 53;
  life in the country, 54-8;
  letters to Anna Estkowa, 56, 57, 60, 61, 84, 85;
  friendship with Zaleskis, 57;
  letter to Michał Zaleski's wife, 57, 58;
  letters to Michał Zaleski, 58, 72, 73, 82, 83;
  his ideas on peasant army, 58, 91-4, 108, 110, 116;
  command in Polish army, 59-62, 73;
  friendship with Ignacy Potocki and Kołłontaj, 61, 153;
  Orlowski's letter to, 62;
  love for Tekla Żurowska, 62-70;
  letters to Tekla Żurowska, 63-7, 69;
  in _Pan Tadeusz_, 70;
  part in Ukraine campaign, 74-6, 78;
  his MS. on Ukraine campaign, 75. 76, 78, 91, 92, 119;
  honours after Dubienka, 76, 77;
  resigns command, 79-81, 84;
  letters to Princess Czartoryska, 79-81, 84, 121;
  audience with King, 80, 81;
  last days in Warsaw, 81, 82;
  letter to Felix Potocki, 82;
  bequeathal of estate, 84, 85;
  goes into exile, 85, 86;
  in Galicia, 87, 88;
  friendship of Czartoryskis for, 87;
  in Leipzig, 88, 89;
  Kołłontaj on, 89;
  in Paris during Revolution, 89-92;
  relations with Lebrun, 90, 187;
  characteristics of his government of Poland, 91, 114,
    115, 121, 124;
  returns to Leipzig, 92;
  chosen as national leader, 92, 93;
  preparations for Rising, 93, 94;
  in Italy, 94;
  in Dresden, 95;
  enters Poland as liberator, 95;
  enters Cracow, 96;
  his Act of the Rising, 96-102, 127;
  opens Rising in Cracow, 97, 98;
  made dictator, 100;
  character of his manifestos, 102, 123;
  manifesto to the Polish and Lithuanian armies, 103-5;
  to the clergy, 105;
  to women, 105, 106;
  receives offering of boatmen, 106, 107;
  organizes Rising, 107;
  his victory at Racławice, 108, 109, 132, 198;
  relations with peasant soldiers, 108, 109, 122, 144;
  his report on Racławice, 109;
  organizes Rising after Racławice, 110;
  enthusiasm for him, 110, 121-3, 144;
  manifesto to Sandomierz, 111, 112;
  appeal to Warsaw, 112;
  manifesto on Rising of Warsaw, 113;
  Provisional Council of Wilno on, 113, 114;
  difficulties of his task, 114, 115;
  letters to Mokronowski, 115, 122, 148;
  to prince Sapieha, 115, 116;
  manifesto to Volhymia, 116;
  mandate to churches, 118;
  conception of the war, 118, 130;
  manifesto regarding Ruthenes, 118, 119;
  to Ruthenian clergy, 119;
  letter to King, 120, 121;
  relations with his officers, 122, 123;
  manifesto to Lithuania, 124, 125;
  manifesto on his government of state, 126, 127;
  regularizes civil government, 127, 128;
  reception of Poniatowski, 127;
  against Denisov, 129;
  description of his camp and person, 130, 131; 131;
  defeat at Szczekociny, 132-4;
  Austria orders arrest of, 134;
  summons to peasant war, 134, 135;
  his desperate position, 135;
  letter to citizens of Warsaw, 135, 136;
  manifesto after Szczekociny, 136;
  march to Warsaw, 136, 138;
  manifesto on loss of Cracow, 137;
  letter to Warsaw on street murders, 138-140;
  tact in dealing with men and affairs, 140;
  his defence of Warsaw, 141-6;
  conduct of affairs from Warsaw, 144, 145;
  attitude on Rising in Great Poland, 145;
  letter to Zakrzewski, 145, 146;
  letter of National Council to, 146, 147;
  reply to National Council, 147;
  religious tolerance, 148;
  conduct to Jews, _ib_.;
  and to prisoners of war, 148, 149;
  position after deliverance of Warsaw, 149, 150;
  journey to Lithuania, 150;
  manifesto to Lithuanian army, 150-152;
  his last manifesto, 152, 153;
  last night in Warsaw, 153;
  ride from Warsaw to Sierakowski's camp, 153, 154;
  last march, 154. 155;
  attitude on Dombrowski's victory, 154;
  on eve of Maciejowice, 155, 156;
  at Maciejowice, 156-158, 197, 202;
  wounded and taken prisoner, 158;
  prisoner in the Zamojski manor, 159, 160;
  journey to Russia, 160-165;
  message and gift from National Council to, 161;
  grief in Warsaw for, 161;
  Warsaw offers to exchange Russian prisoners for, 161, 162;
  Niemcewicz on indignity shown to, 162;
  failure and moral effect of his Rising, 163;
  imprisonment in Petersburg, 165-168, 170, 171, 173;
  subjected to inquisition, 166, 167;
  relations with Catherine II, 167;
  Rogerson on, 167;
  visited by Paul I in prison and freed, 168;
  visited by Alexander I in prison, 168, 191;
  colloquy with Paul, 168-170;
  subsequent interviews with Tsar, 170;
  interview with Niemcewicz, 170, 171;
  takes oath of allegiance, 171;
  farewell audience with Imperial family, 171, 172;
  leaves Russia, 172;
  journey through Finland, 173, 174;
  in Sweden, 174, 175;
  Swedish portrait of, 174, 175;
  Cosway's portrait of, 175, 176, 200;
  leaves Sweden for England, 175;
  life in London, 175, 176;
  effect on Savage Landor, 175;
  letter to Russian ambassador, 176;
  in Bath and Bristol, _ib_.;
  departure from Bristol, 176, 177;
  journey to United States, 177;
  in Philadelphia, 177, 178;
  Adams' letter to, 177;
  friendship with Jefferson, 178, 180, 181, 188;
  friendship with White family, 178-180;
  letter to Mrs. White, 179;
  returns to Philadelphia, 179;
  Paul I's gift of money to, 180, 184, 185, 201;
  financial dealings with Congress, 180;
  visited by Orleans princes, 180;
  his portrait of Jefferson, _ib_.;
  Jefferson on, 181;
  returns to Europe, 181-183;
  will for the negroes, 181, 182;
  nephews join legions, 183;
  honours paid him in Bayonne, 183, 184;
  in Paris, 184, 185;
  repudiates oath to Paul I, 184, 185;
  measures taken by partitioning powers against, 185;
  presented with Sobieski's sword, 185, 186;
  relations with legions, 186, 187;
  relations with Napoleon I, 186-190;
  withdraws from relations with French government, 187;
  furthers interests of disbanded legionaries, 188;
  his textbook on artillery, _ib_.;
  friendship with Zeltners, 188, 190-192, 198, 199, 201;
  his conditions for Poland's restoration, 190, 192;
  life in France until Napoleon's fall, 190, 191;
  Emilia Zeltner and, 190, 191, 198, 199, 201;
  relations with Alexander I, 191, 201;
  pleads for Poland with Alexander, 191-195, 197;
  promise of Alexander to, 193;
  sent for by Czartoryski, 193;
  journey to Austria, 193, 194;
  interview with Czartoryski, 194;
  letter to Czartoryski, 195, 196;
  fulfilment of his predictions regarding Poland, 196;
  writes to Grey, _ib_.;
  Grey's answer to, 196, 197;
  retires from public life, 197;
  last years, 197-201;
  love of children and youth, 198;
  love of poor, 198, 199, 201;
  corresponds with Princess di Carignano, 199, 200;
  correspondence with Jane Porter, 200;
  interest in education, 200, 201;
  death, 201;
  last resting place, _ib_.;
  the hill of, 201, 202;
  Polish cult of, 202;
  his refutation of _Finis Poloniæ_, 202, 203.

Kościuszko, Tekla,
  relations with husband, 25;
  character, 26;
  death, 30

Krasinska, Franciszka, 200

Krushtzov, 162

Lafayette,
  acquaintance with Kościuszko and Pulaski, 40

Landor, Walter Savage, Kościuszko and, 175

Laurens, 47

Lebrun, relations with Kościuszko, 90, 187

Lee, Harry, on Kościuszko, 49

Libiszewsld, 173-175, 177

Louis Philippe, visits Kościuszko, 180

Louis XVI,
  recognizes United States, 38;
  execution, 89, 90, 119

Lubomirska, Ludwika, and Kościuszko, 33-35. 51. 59. 163, 199

Madalinski, 96, 108, 109, 134, 142, 143

Marek. Father, 130

Marie, Empress of Russia, 172

McDougall, on Kościuszko, 41

Mickiewicz, Adam,
  on patriotism, 23;
  his poetry, 60;
  his _Pan Tadeusz_, 70, 202

Mokronowski,
  in Rising, 113, 150;
  Kościuszko's letters to, 115, 122, 148

Montpensier, de, 180

Napoleon I,
  Polish legions and, 182, 183, 186, 187. 189;
  betrays Poland, 183, 187;
  enthusiasm of Poles for, 183, 189;
  relations with Kościuszko, 186-190;
  becomes first consul, 187;
  becomes emperor, 188;
  victory at Jena, _ib_.;
  summons Poles to banner, 188, 189;
  on Kościuszko, 190;
  his victories, _ib_.;
  marches on Paris, 193.

Nicholas, I, of Russia, 196

Niemcewicz, Julian,
  friendship with Kościuszko, 50, 51, 61, 105, 144, 160, 165, 170;
  patriot and poet, 51, 61;
  in Florence, 94;
  Kościuszko's companion in Rising, 105, 143, 144, 150, 153-156;
  at Maciejowice, 156, 157;
  description of battle, 156-8;
  taken prisoner, 157, 158;
  Kościuszko's companion as prisoner of war, 159-165;
  on indignity paid to Kościuszko, 162;
  imprisonment in Petersburg, 165, 167; 168;
  interview with Kościuszko, 170, 171;
  leaves Russia, 172, 173;
  journey through Finland, 174;
  journey to England, 175; 176;
  journey to United States, 177; 180; 181

Oginska, Princess, 150

Oginski, Michal, Prince, 138, 147, 161

Orlewska, Tekla, 64

Orłowski, 31, 62, 87, 145

Parsons, 41

Paszkowski, 190, 201

Paul, I, of Russia,
  visits Kościuszko in prison and frees him, 168;
  colloquy with Kościuszko, 168-170;
  subsequent interviews with Kościuszko, 170;
  exacts oath of allegiance from Kościuszko, 171;
  farewell audience with Kościuszko, 172; 179;
  gift of money to Kościuszko, 180, 184, 185, 201;
  Kościuszko repudiates oath to, 184, 185

Perronet, 31

Pestalozzi, 200

Poniatowski, Józef,
  Polish leader in Napoleonic wars, 74, 189;
  in Ukraine campaign, 74-6, 78, 91;
  in Rising, 122, 127; 143;
  Kościuszko's reception of, 127

Poniatowski, Stanislas Augustus, _see_ S.

Poninski, 133, 157

Porter, Jane, 200

Potocki, Felix, 71, 72, 75, 79, 81;
  Kościuszko's letter to, 82; 83

Potocki, Ignacy,
  member of Commission of Education, 53;
  collaboration in Rising, 53. 89, 92, 93, 95, 121;
  friendship with Kościuszko, 61, 153;
  patriotic reformer, 61, 89;
  member of National Council, 127;
  consulted by Kościuszko regarding oath, 171

Potocki, Stanislas, 75

Pułaski, Kazimierz, 31, 39, 40

Radière, 41

Repnin, 31

Robespierre, 91

Rogerson, on Kościuszko, 167; 171, 172, 176

Rzewuski, Severin, 71, 72, 79, 81, 83

Sanguszko, Eustachy, 133

Sanguszko, Princess, 163

Sapieha, Franciszek, 115, 116

Ségur, 202

Sheridan, 175

Sierakowski, 150, 153, 154, 158-164

Sobieski, Jan, 87, 185, 186, 201

Sosnowska, Ludwika, _see_ Lubomirska

Sosnowski, Józef, 33, 34

Sroki, Wojciech, 106, 107

Stanislas, Augustus,
  succeeds to throne of Poland, 27;
  relations with Catherine II, 27, 33, 77, 80;
  relations with Kościuszko, 27, 30-33, 35, 59, 60, 76,
    79-81, 113, 119, 122;
  character, 30, 32, 80;
  patron of art and letters, 53;
  speech to Diet, 73, 74;
  conduct in Ukraine campaign, 75;
  adheres to Targowica, 77, 78;
  Kościuszko on, 78, 91, 92; 81;
  adheres to Rising, 112, 113;
  Kościuszko's letter to, 120, 121;
  in siege of Warsaw, 145

Staszyc, 54

Suvorov,
  marches against Kościuszko, 149, 153;
  beats Sierakowski, 150;
  his massacre at Praga, 153, 163;
  his siege of Warsaw, 161

Targowica, Confederation of, 72, 73, 77. 78. 81-83, 120, 138

Walpole, Horace, 71

Washington, George,
  relations with Kościuszko, 37, 39-44, 49, 177, 178; 43; 45;
    50; 180

Wejssenhof, 121

White, Eliza, 179

White, General, 178, 180, 181

White, Mrs., 179, 180

Wilkinson, 38

Wilmot, 47, 48

Wodzicki, 97, 132, 133

Wybicki, 189

Zajonczek, 93, 94, log

Zakrzewski, 113;
  summons to citizens of Warsaw, 140, 141; 143;
  letter of Kościuszko to, 145, 146;
  Kościuszko's last evening with, 153

Zaleski, Michal,
  Kościuszko's friendship for, 57;
  Kościuszko's letter to his wife, 57, 58;
  Kościuszko's letters to, 58, 72, 73, 82, 83

Zeltner, Emilia, and Kościuszko, 190, 191, 198, 199, 201

Zeltner, family of, 188, 190-192, 198, 199, 201.

Zurowska, Tekla,
  Kościuszko's love for, 62-70;
  Kościuszko's letters to, 63-67, 69;
  marries Kniaziewicz, 70



Printed in Great Britain by
UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED, THE GRESHAM PRESS, WOKING AND LONDON



Poland and the Minority Races

By ARTHUR L. GOODHART, M.A.

Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge,
lately Captain U.S. Army

_Demy 8vo_. _About 10s. 6d. net_.

A description of life in Poland by the counsel of the American Peace
Mission to Poland. Emphasis is placed on the relation between the Poles
and the Jewish, Lithuanian, Russian and German racial minorities.

The book includes sketches of President Pilsudski, Prime Minister
Paderewski, the capture of Minsk from the Bolsheviks and the Jewish
pogrom which followed, the Polish Diet in session, the political
parties, the battlefields of the Great War, and the rabbinical schools.

The Forerunners

By ROMAIN ROLLAND

Translated by EDEN and CEDAR PAUL

_Demy 8vo._. _8s. 6d. net_.

In 1916 we had the pleasure of publishing "Above the Battle," a work by
the author of "Jean Christophe," which immediately acquired a world-wide
reputation. "The Forerunners" is a sequel to "Above the Battle." The
precursors of whom Rolland writes are those of kindred spirit to the
persons to whom the book is dedicated. It is published "in memory of the
martyrs of the new faith in the human international, the victims of
bloodthirsty stupidity and of murderous falsehood, the liberators of the
men who killed them."

The World after the War

By CHARLES RODEN and DOROTHY
FRANCES BUXTON

_Demy 8vo_. _7s. 6d. net. Post free 8s. net_.

A vivid picture of the net effects of the War, and of Allied policy
since the War, especially upon the lives of the common people in all
lands. Enough detail is included to give the sense of poignant human
realities; but the situation is grasped as a whole and drawn in broad
and distinct outline--the "Balkanization" of Europe; the new Balance of
Power; the economic chaos; the responsibility of the Allied statesmen;
the inner meaning of Bolshevism, and of the war against Bolshevism;
finally, the elements of hope and recovery, and the possibility of a
great religious revival.



LONDON : GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LIMITED
RUSKIN HOUSE, 40 MUSEUM STREET, W.C. 1





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