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Memoirs of Constant, First Valet de Chambre of the Emperor, on the Private Life of Napoleon, His Family and His Court, Vol. 4
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Excerpt from Memoirs of Constant, First Valet De Chambre of the Emperor, on the Private Life of Napoleon, His Family and His Court, Vol. 4: Translated But when the rear portion of the army began to defile before them, another impression was produced. A great confusion ensued. All those in the Marshal's army who recognized any of their companions left their ranks and ran toward them, ofiering bread and clothes; they were frightened by the voracity with which these matches ate; many embraced each other weeping. One of the brave and kindly oficers of the Marshal took ofi his own uniform to give it to a poor soldier whose ragged garments exposed him naked to the cold, putting on his own back a tattered old infantry coat, because he was more capable of resisting the rigors of the weather. If excessive misery withers the soul, on the other hand it some times expands it to the highest point, as one may see. Many of the most wretched blew their brains out in despair. In that act, the last which nature indicates to put an end to wretchedness, there was a resigna tion and coolness that made one shudder. Those who thus assailed their own lives were not seeking death so much as a term to insupportable sufierings, and in this disastrous campaign I saw what vanities are physical force and human courage where that moral force which is born of a determined will is non-existent. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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