Inscrit le: 06 Avr 2016
|Posté le: Lun 3 Juil - 14:04 (2017) Sujet du message: KOSCIUSZKO By MONIKA M GARDNER A Biography
In this environment Kosciuszko 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 Kosciuszko. Even as a cadet Kosciuszko 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 Kosciuszko 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 Kosciuszko 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 Kosciuszko 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 Kosciuszko'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 Kosciuszko'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 Kosciuszko'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 Kosciuszko 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 Kosciuszko 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.
bound: 114 pages
publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 16, 2017)
isbn: 1545375410, 978-1545375419,
weight: 8.3 ounces (