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him bebind, he tried to prevent their dead-although still hoping against passing, by crossing before their hope-for a false report had been horses, driving zigzag, and other spread that he had fallen on the similar manœuvres. To put an end 18th of October, when indeed he had to this, M. de Cambyse handed to escaped almost miraculously from his servant, who was on the box, a the Russian grape that swept away pistol, and a heavy whip with which three-fourths of his command; and the travellers had provided themselves although his family tried to keep the to stimulate the easy-going German report from his mother, she read it cattle. The servant stood up and only too plainly on their anxious threatened to shoot the farmer if he countenances. Those families might did not get out of the way. The truly deem themselves especially argument had its effect, and the favoured by Heaven, to whose fire. Prussian took the left of the road, but sides was restored a son or brother continued to urge his horse to its ut- who had been in that terrible cammost speed. “It was very important paign, after which Napoleon wrote, not only to precede him, but also to “ordinary men have sunk; the men prevent his following us too closely, of iron have been made prisoners; only lest, by his cries, he should raise his the men of bronze return with me." village against us. M. de Cambyse, A short but joyous season was therefore, ordered his servant to cut passed by M. Combe in France. His him across the face with the whip departure from Paris to join his re. as we drove past him. This ordergiment, then at Gray, in Franchewas so vigorously and adroitly exe- Comté, was slightly accelerated by a cuted, that the furious peasant, giddy duel, in which he killed his man. It with the blow and seeking to avoid a must be admitted that, in his younger second, mechanically pulled the left days, our French hussar was rather rein, and was upset with his cart in prompt to appeal to sword or pistol, the ditch that bordered the road. I although in this instance he could never saw a man in a more violent hardly be blamed, the victim having passion; he foamed at the mouth, and swindled him at play, and insisted, vomited a thousand imprecations; his when found out, on satisfaction, which, face, scarred by the whip, was red as he was a man of good family, and and covered with sweat; his eyes there was none but moral proof of his flashed fire. I am persuaded that, if guilt, could not, according to the he could have overtaken us, he would usages of the time, be refused. Those not have hesitated to attack us by were violent and headlong days. himself; and as he was an extremely France was a great camp, a garrison, powerful man, we should have had to where the army was everything, and kill him in order to get rid of him." its customs, morals, and ideas more The travellers relaxed not their speed or less pervaded all classes. In the until they had got through the dan- brief intervals between their camgerous village, nor, indeed, until they paigns, Napoleon's officers abandoned crossed the Rhine at Mayence, and themselves to enjoyments that were found themselves on French territory; not always of the most refined class, and even there they did but stop for and seemed to find compensation in a night's repose, and set off again at excess for past privations. At Gray, the same headlong pace-80 eager where lay the 6th and 8th regiments were they to reach Paris-with food of chasseurs, both of whose colonels in their carriage, and lavish guerdon were young, wealthy, and lavish, to the postilions. It was nine at there were frequent banquets, which night when M. Combe drove into the sometimes assumed the aspect of court of his father's house in the Rue orgies. A certain Count R. de la T., de Choiseul, and a joyful moment who had a fine estate in the neighwas it for bim-one of those inoments bourhood, and was intimate with that effaced years of suffering—when most of the officers, asked them to he once more was clasped in his take punch with him in a large apartmother's arms. From Königsberg ment of the principal hotel. The he bad written to her, but previously evening began quietly; but, after a to that she had almost believed him time, the Count, who had been urging VOL. LXXVII.—NO. CCCCLXXV.
his guests to drink, and setting them Emperor. But no harm bad been done the example, exclaimed, “How now, to any one; the sole sufferer was the gentlemen ! have I got together a Count's purse, and the Emperor only party of dragoon officers, or a party laughed at the peace pastimes of his of women? There is nothing broken trusty followers. Doubtless he did yet!” At that period the absurd not care to spub them in quarters, fashion prevailed of universal smash for he knew he should soon want their after every military dinner or merry best exertions in the field. The hour making. * M. de la T. had no sooner of action was at hand. The officers spoken than he dashed his glass upon of the 8th Chasseurs moved off, one the table. This was the signal for after the other, to Germany, with an infernal riot. Vermot took a glass detachments of recruits. M. Combe, and hurled it against a large mirror, who was now captain and adjutantwhich it shivered. Two porcelain major, marched with his colonel to jars, with their shades, met the same join the regiment in its cantonments fate; the table was upset by a violent in Saxony. kick, and glasses, punch-bowl, candle- The six weeks that followed the sticks, and plates of pastry, were battles of Lützen and Bautzen (indashed to pieces on the floor; the fantry actions, in which the French lights went out, and the row was at cavalry, not yet reorganised, was its height. The good people of Gray hardly employed) were passed by thought that a mortal combat was M. Combe at Dresden, whither Nagoing on, and assembled in the street poleon had transported the principal under the windows, which we opened actors of the Théatre Français, for to throw out everything that came the amusement of his ally, the King to hand. In less than a quarter of an of Saxony. Colonel de Périgord, M. hour, nothing remained in the room Combe, the brave and unfortunate but the four walls, and those were Labédoyère, and some other officers, damaged. Two beds, with curtains organised a picnic at a delightful and canopy, chairs, tables, chest of country-house that had been lent to drawers, &c., formed a vast heap of them, about three leagues from Dresruins, which rose almost to the first den, and invited Mesdemoiselles Mars, floor. When nothing remained, M. Bourgoing, Mézerai, and some other de La T. called for silence. • Well French actresses. When returning done!' he said ; but since there is into town at nigbt, the carriage of nothing left to throw out, we must Mlle. Mars was upset, and the great throw ourselves out. He had his actress received so violent a blow on foot on the window-sill, to set the one of her beautiful eyes, that it was example, when we forcibly held him as completely blacked as if by a prizeback. He then got furious, and de- fighter's fist. This was a dreadful clared that all were cowards who did business, for she had to perform the not go down into the street with him.” next day, and there the excuses which As it was clear that nothing else would have passed muster at Paris would satisfy this mad Amphytrion, could not be bazarded. Napoleon, a cord was procured, by which he de considering perhaps that his company scended, followed by all his guests. of actors came under the denominaThey then made a sort of litter of tion of camp-followers, and were, part of the broken beds, placed him therefore, amenable to martial law, upon it, and carried him in triumph tolerated no disobedience. They must through the town, to the sound of perform, or go to prison. So the first rough music, played upon all the pots of French actresses was fain to do and kettles in the hotel, whilst the what is at the present day sometimes Count harangued the mob in the most done by rollicking 'prentices, who fear burlesque manner. Next day came to exbibit to their master the disthe bill to pay. It amounted to more coloured optic, betraying a midnight than a hundred napoleons. The brawl. She painted her eye. The authorities of Gray thought it not white was laid on thick ; she distriright that public tranquillity should buted her rouge so skilfully, and so be disturbed in this manner, and carefully traced the blue veins of her made a circumstantial report to the temple, that, when she came on the
stage, none could detect the disfigure- sent at the affair of Gorlitz, which was ment of her charming face, and those the converse of that of Mohiloff in the who had seen her in the morning dis. Russian campaign. The Prussians, believed their eyes. The Emperor in force on the left bank of a branch heard of the fall and its consequences, of the Elbe, cut the bridge, and disand was greatly pleased by the zeal played a numerous artillery, which and willingness of Mademoiselle Mars. swept off the French by platoons. MuDuring the stay of the imperial head- rat, several of whose staff were killed quarters at Dresden, another cele- around him, sent word to General brated actress passed through that Chastel to charge and take the guns. capital. One night a carriage-and- But this was impossible, unless with four drove into the yard of the hotel winged horses, for the wide stream ran where M. Combe and some of his deep between high steep banks, and, comrades were assembled. A re- after suffering greatly, the French markably beautiful woman, wrapped army had to retreat. It was the in the richest furs, alighted from it, commencement of its disasters. After and soon it was known that this was the artillery action of Zittau, in one Mademoiselle Georges, returning from of the gorges of the Riesengebirge Russia, laden with the gifts of the where more than a hundred and Emperor Alexander. Colonel de twenty pieces of artillery thundered Périgord knew her, and went to call at each other from opposite heights, upon her, and she showed him the the bullets crossing and clashing in treasures for which she was indebted the air above the heads of the French to the prodigality of the Muscovite. cavalry, drawn up in the depths of The Count, although accustomed to the ravine — three regiments of light wealth and to luxury of all kinds, dragoons, including the 8th Chasseurs, was quite astonished. He spoke of a were thrown forward to the neighscent-bottle, amongst other things, bourhood of the pretty little town of formed of a hollowed diamond, and Milberg, on the banks of the Elbe. worth more than 300,000 francs. Here this brigade was six leagues
In the gardens by Dresden, in the from the French army; behind it was memorable action in which that great a plain about three leagues long, soldier, Moreau, met his death, M. bounded by a dense forest, in the Combe had a fine opportunity of resum- centre of which was a vast swamp, ing his favourite occupation of sabre- traversed by a narrow bridge, built thrusting. The Austrians did their upon piles. The position was manibest, but the heavy rains prevented festly perilous in the extreme, and their obeying the great military com- did small honour to the judgment of mandment to keep their powder dry, Murat, who had sent the cavalry and their fire was consequently weak, there, and who seemed to have forwhen, at three in the afternoon, Ge- gotten them, for, during six days, peral Chastel's division of cavalry, they heard nothing of him. Then which had left Dresden, and was now occurred what might have been exbrought back there by a forced march pected. A Prussian division, comof fifteen leagues, reached the field as posed of infantry and artillery, and wet as if they had passed through a having a strong body of Cossacks river. The horses sank deep into the attached to it, maneuvred so as to heavy ground, and their speed was not cut off the retreat of the French, all that could be desired; but never- occupying the defile in their rear, and theless the squares were broken, re- surrounding them in such a way that, maining partly formed, M. Combe in order to front the enemy, they says-80 great was the carnage-by had their backs towards the Elbe. the bodies of the slain. The Austrian At daybreak on the 16th of Septemarmy retired in the direction of ber, they were vigorously attacked. Bohemia; the French retrograded During the whole of the morning towards Gorlitz, and, at the combat they made head against the foe, reof Goldberg, M. Combe received a tiring in perfect order by an echelon bayonet wound in the thigh, which movement, in the midst of an innudid not, however, prevent his re- merable crowd of Cossacks. M. maining in the saddle, and being pre- Combe was well mounted, but be fought as a skirmisher, and fatigued the sheep he protects, he hastily his charger uselessly. He had a rifle tightened his girths and remounted. pistol in his holster, which he had The two Frenchmen then rode off brought from Paris, and, being an together, the Cossacks not daring to excellent shot, he made very pretty attack them. Unfortunately, M. practice on the Cossacks. But the Combe sent the sergeant to look for raw soldiers that had replaced the bis colonel; and as soon as the Cosveterans wbo had fallen in Russia, sacks saw him alone, they fell upon were not accustomed to fight Cos- him, and hurled him from his horse sacks. The hideous countenances with a lance - thrust in the left and ferocious cries of those savage shoulder. On foot, with sword and warriors were not without their effect pistol, he continued his obstinate deupon the nerves of young recruits fence. The Cossacks might easily whom there had been no time to train have shot him, but (as he afterwards properly, and who consequently lack- learned) they had positive orders to ed confidence in their arms and make prisoners when possible, and horses. Just as one of the regiments they could have no doubt of capturwas going about, to continue its re- ing a dismounted man in the open treat, the boldest of the Cossacks plain. They were destined, however, dashed into the intervals and spread to pay dear for their prize. The confusion in its ranks. The route brave sergeant, returning from a was instantaneous and complete, and fruitless search for Count de Périgord, the plain was covered with unresist. again attacked them, killed three or ingfugitives, whom the Cossacks four with thrusts of his sabre, and atlanced at their leisure. M. Combe tacked the others with such audacity was riding towards the forest, in that they all fled before him. “Take company with General Chastel, when hold of my horse's tail, captain,” be a sergeant of his regiment told him then said, " and I will drag you to that Colonel de Périgord was dis the forest, where the Cossacks canmounted and a prisoner. At this not catch you." The forest was so terrible news, he instantly turned his near, that it seemed possible enough horse and rode across the plain, to to escape in this way. His sabre rescue his chief or share his fate. hanging from his wrist, M. Combe But his horse was exhausted, and no seized, with both hands, the horse's spurring could get bim to speed. long tail ; whereupon the horse, with Captain Combe was quickly sur- the instinct of self-defence, kicked him rounded by Cossacks. He parried & in the breast, and laid him senseless lance-thrust, and threw himself on in the dust. When he recovered bis one side to avoid another, but in so senses he was a prisoner. The Cosdoing his whole weight was on one sacks plundered him of his watch and stirrap, his saddle turned, and he fell money, but left him his epaulettes and under his horse. In an instant he cross, which he had offered to them, was on his feet, defending himself rather than have them torn from his with his sabre. The Cossacks of- shoulders and breast. They gave him fered him quarter, but he refused, and to understand by signs that they were fought desperately. Suddenly they forbidden to take those insignia. One dispersed and left him ; the cause of them could not resist the temptabeing the sudden onset of a sergeant tion of appropriating the captain's of the 8th Chasseurs, who, admirably boots, but as these would not admit mounted, and using his sword with of the insertion of his Calmuck hoof, incredible strength and skill, offered he threw them away, amidst the M. Combe the little black horse of a laughter of his companions, and M. Cossack he had just killed. “Mount Combe got them back again. The this horse, Captain," he said, “it Cossacks caught a horse for their priwill save you." M. Combe should soner, who was suffering from the have done as he was told, but he wound in his shoulder, and still more could pot make up his mind to aban- from the kick in his chest, and the don his favourite charger; and, whilst party moved in the direction of MilSergeant Alexander kept turning berg. On the way they were joined about him like a shepherd's dog round by other Cossacks; and one of these, on beholding the French officer, got de Périgord in their behalf. After into a terrible passion, and would have the battle of Leipzic, Bernadotte went struck him with his fist, but for the to Lubeck, and invited M. de Périgord interference of the escort. An ani- to go and see him. There the colonel mated discussion then began, evidently obtained permission, for himself and relating to the prisoner; and the ges- his two subordinates, to return to tures of the new-comer explained to France on parole. As far as Rheims M. Combe the cause of his fury. He they journeyed without impediment, understood that the savage recognised but there were the advanced posts of him as having that morning killed a Russian corps d'armée, commanded with his pistol several of their com- by General Winzingerode, who refused rades; and he insisted so vehemently to allow them to proceed, alleging on vengeance that the escort at last strategical operations and his responyielded, and allowed him to take the sibility as reasons for not allowing bridle of the prisoner's horse, and lead French prisoners to traverse his lines. him towards the forest. Wounded, It was just then that the French army disarmed, and incapable of defence, turned upon its pursuers, and drove M. Combe gave himself up for lost. them some way back, taking possesIt was clear that he was about to be sion of Rheims. But the two prisoners massacred in cold blood by this wild (Pascal had left them) had already beast. But if, as Colonel Combe been sent to Laon, before which place complains, he has not been fortunate the French troops soon arrived. in respect of promotion since the peace, Hoping that they would quickly enter he was certainly very lucky during the it, Captain Combe and his colonel war in his escapes from death. He concealed themselves in the house of was presently met by a Cossack officer, a friendly and courageous notary, in who spoke German, and who, on order to avoid being again sent to the learning his rank, rescued him from his Russian rear. But Laon, strongly intended murderer, and sent him into situated on a hill, and highly defensible, Milberg, where, at the quarters of the proved an insurmountable obstacle to general commanding, he found his the French, who had not time for a colonel and ten officers of his regiment, regular investment. Their attempted almost all wounded.
coup-de-main failed, and they again The next day the prisoners were retired, unpursued by the garrison, marched off to Berlin, the wounded in which dared not risk a sortie. Then carts, the others on foot. At night the two prisoners on parole were they were shut up in a church or barn, missed : search was made for them at like a flock of sheep, their ration being the hotel, in whose stable still stood a piece of black bread and a mess of the colonel's travelling-carriage, and boiled potatoes. Everywhere they then they were sought for in the houses were assailed by the invectives and of the iohabitants. In an attic of the threats of the populace, from whose notary's house, used as a store-room, violence their escort bad often diffi- was a row of huge casks, containing culty in protecting them. On enter- flour, corn, dried vegetables, and otber ing Berlin they were pelted with mud provisions. To two of these casks and stones. They were the first false bottoms were put, above which French prisoners, and the Prussian were piled empty sacks, and there the government exhibited them with pride. French officers lay perfectly concealed Meanwhile Colonel de Périgord bad when a party of soldiers came the next written to Bernadotte, whom he knew, day to search for them. They visited and an order came that he should be this granary, and the potary's daughallowed to remain at Berlin. The ter, with admirable coolness and comother prisoners, after a day's halt in mand of countenance, accompanied the capital of Prussia, were sent north. them, and uncovered the casks, one They had got as far as Marienwerder, after the other, to show their contents. suffering many vexatious privations A second search took place during the and fatigues, when M. Combe and the fortnight the fugitives passed in that other adjutant-major of the regiment, house, but it was much less minute Pascal, were sent back to Berlin, in than the first. Meanwhile the French consequence of the exertions of Count army was being concentrated on Paris,