April passed without any movement. The troops became impatient, and even the veterans, whose confidence in Napoleon was implicit, shook their heads.
There was again a buzz of laughter, mingled with exclamations of "So you are," "He wasn't far wrong;" upon which Colonel Chalmers directed the constable to turn all the offending parties out of court. Some fishermen nearest to the door were hustled out.
As soon as they were near enough to the gates for their figures to be made out, there was a sudden movement among the men. Several took off their caps and waved them, while others threw them into the air.
There was again a murmur of applause in court, which was instantly arrested when Mr. Probert held up his hand deprecatingly. "Thank you, Captain Downes," he went on. "Now we come to the question of the quarrel that gave rise to this affair. Mr. Faulkner has not thought fit to ask you any questions about it. Were you standing close enough to hear what passed?"下载
"I cannot blame you, Mr. Wyatt. Yours is a singular and most unfortunate story, and it seems to me that, had I been in your place, I should have acted precisely the same, and should have been glad to take service under any flag rather than have remained to rot in a prison. Certainly you had a thousand times better excuse than had the Austrians and Prussians, who, after having been our allies, entered upon this savage war of invasion without a shadow of excuse, save that it was the will of Napoleon. However, I think that it will be as well, in order to save any necessity for explanation, that I should introduce you to my friends as an English gentleman who has come to me with the warmest recommendations, and whom I am most anxious to serve in any way. This is not a time when men concern themselves in any way with the private affairs of others. There is not a family in Russia, high or low, who has not lost one or more members in this terrible struggle. Publicly, and as a nation, we rejoice at our deliverance, and at the destruction of our enemies. Privately, we mourn our losses.
The battle lasted all day, the loss on either side being between four and five thousand. Tormanssow held his position, but retired under cover of night. On the 3rd of August the armies of Barclay and Bagration at last succeeded in effecting a junction at Smolensk, and towards that town the French corps moved from various quarters, until 250,000 men were assembled near it, and on the 15th of August, Murat and Ney arrived within nine miles of the place.
Innumerable were the appeals made to him daily to end their sufferings with a pistol-ball; and, although he could not bring himself to give them the relief they craved, on several occasions, when he saw that the case was altogether beyond hope, and that but a few hours of mortal agony remained, he yielded to their entreaties, handed them one of his pistols, and walked a few paces away, until the sharp report told him that their sufferings were over.