Page:Taras Bulba. A Tale of the Cossacks. 1916.djvu/281

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TARAS BULBA

the gradual course of the campaign. All that is set down in the Chronicles of old. Every one knows what an army raised on Russian soil for the Faith is like. There is no power stronger than faith. It is menacing and invincible as a rock not made by human hands, amid the stormy, ever-changing sea. From the very heart of the depths of the sea it lifts its impregnable walls to heaven, all built of a single, compact stone. It is visible from every side, and looks the waves straight in the eye as they roll past. And woe to the vessel which is dashed against it! The rigging flies into splinters, everything in it sinks and is crushed into dust, and the startled air reverberates with the cries of the drowning.

The pages of the Chronicles contain a minute description of how the Polish garrisons fled from the liberated towns; how the unscrupulous Jewish revenue-farmers were hung; how weak was the royal Hetman, Nikolai Pototzky, with his numerous army against this invincible force; how, broken, pursued, he drowned the best part of his army in a small stream; how the fierce kazák regiments besieged him in the small town of Polon; and, how, driven to extremities, the Polish Hetman promised, under oath, full satisfaction for everything, in the name of his King and the government officials, and the restitution of all their former rights and