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    "The best shot I ever heard tell of was Major Rathmines. He could hit a penny thrown up into the air nineteen times out of twenty."
    As the army approached the Berezina, scarce a hundred men of the Grenadiers of the Rhone still hung together, and these were so feeble that they staggered rather than marched along. Rations had ceased to be issued, and the troops depended solely upon the flesh of the horses of the waggons conveying the military chests, treasure, and artillery, and from what they could gather in the deserted villages. So desperate were they now that even the fear of falling into the hands of the peasants was insufficient to deter them from turning off, whenever a village appeared in sight, in the hope of finding food, or, if that failed, at least a few hours' shelter. Not one of them was in such good condition as Julian, who had been sustained not only by his naturally high spirits, but by the prattle of the child, and by the added warmth of her sleeping close to him at night.


    1."We will go into the wood; that will take us a comparatively short time, and there is no saying how far the other may lead us. But, before we do so, I will call up my two men, take them over the ground, and show them the discoveries we have made. It is as well to have as many witnesses as possible."
    2.In such a struggle as this, when men's passions are once involved, death loses its terror; thickly as comrades may fall around, those who are still erect heed not the gaps, but with eyes fixed on the enemy in front of him, with lips set tightly together, with head bent somewhat down as men who struggle through a storm of rain, each man presses on until a shot strikes him, or he reaches the goal he aims at. At such a time the fire slackens, for each man strives to decide the struggle, with bayonet or clubbed musket. Four times did Julian's regiment climb the side of the ravine in front of the redoubts, four times were they hurled back again with ever-decreasing numbers, and when at last they found themselves, as the fire slackened, masters of the position, the men looked at each other as if waking from some terrible dream, filled with surprise that they were still alive and breathing, and faint and trembling, now that the exertion was over and the tremendous strain relaxed. When they had time to look round, they saw that but one-fourth of those who had, some hours before, advanced to the attack of the redoubt of Chewardino remained. The ground around the little earthworks was piled thickly with dead Frenchmen and Russians, and ploughed up by the iron storm that had for eight hours swept across it. Dismounted guns, ammunition boxes, muskets, and accoutrements were scattered everywhere. Even the veterans of a hundred battles had never witnessed such a scene, had never gone through so prolonged and terrible a struggle. Men were differently affected, some shook a comrade's hand with silent pressure, some stood gazing sternly and fixedly at the lines where the enemy still stood unconquered, and tears fell down many a bronzed and battle-worn face; some sobbed like children, exhausted by their emotions rather than their labours.
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