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ing before the fierce gale, seemed to pierce them to the bone. Then a few intervals of thawing, when the trampled route would soon grow into a miry slough.

6. From all being regularity and discipline, the rear of the grand army now began to grow into a wild crowd of tired and struggling men, using their last efforts to keep up with the forced march, and only saved from being cut to pieces by the efforts of the rear-guard. And at night men huddled together, gazing blankly at each other, and not daring to tell of the despair in the hearts.

7. Harassing attacks, and men cut off from the main bodies. Pursuit was never dreamed of, the sole object of the French generals being to make good their retreat. Men struggling through the snow, collecting it at times to try and quench the famine thirst, but only to make it more keen.

8. Food frightfully scarce—foraging vain-. and a terrible selfishness now animating men's hearts; but forward still, to the same weary death-march of their own tramp- a dread funeral-march ; for the army was melting away with a rapidity inconceivable, and men began to look with longing eyes now at the soft white inviting couch on either side.

9. They were wearied and despairing, and must rest. To the last the commands of their officers were obeyed; but there was a point when, with freezing feet, they could do no more; it was either to fall in the ranks

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and be trampled by the coming thousands behind, or to drop out to accept the sleep that Nature offered.

10. Night again : the troops still in a state of discipline, halting and going through their few poor arrangements in a strange mechanical manner, while the ever-increasing mob of the disorganised in the rear huddled together wherever a fire could be made.

11. Smolensk was reached at last, and here supplies were expected; but no—from mismanagement there was nothing for the wretched army but despair, and to press on again in the disastrous retreat. Their numbed and frozen hands could retain their weapons no longer, as, with ice clinging to their beards, they still struggled on, band after band of coming fugitives, the crowd of a disorganised army, and then the rear-guard ever battling in their defence. The road strewn with accoutrements, bodies of men, bodies of horses, guns, waggons, tumbrils, the scattered remains of the great army.

A few hours after, snow, the windingsheet of Nature, covering all.

12. Frozen marshes, vast pine-forests, howling winds, endless plains, a journey apparently without a termination. The regiments that had kept orderly now growing confused; commissariat arrangements, in spite of the efforts of the officers, at an end ; and to the most hopeful it became evident that “save yourselves must soon be the order of the day.

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13. And now came the crowning horror; for the river Berezina was reached, and with the river in their front, the Russian army in their rear, the French came to a halt—the mighty army

of half a million men reduced to fourteen thousand still in a state of discipline, and a vast, uncounted, disorganised crowd of followers. Two frail bridges were constructed, aud the wreck of the army pressed on to cross ; their foe, at the same time, vigorously attacking the rear-guard.

14. The bridges sway and creak, but men press on, for there is the sharp fusilade of musketry behind, and an occasional Russian round-shot ploughs its way through the crowd. All these thousands to cross, when there comes a sickening crash : one bridge has given way, and a vast crowd of human beings was struggling in the ice-laden waters. And all this with a dreadful slaughter in progress, the Russians charging on, driving the fugitives before them, playing upon them from their guins, and ending the order that had so far existed, by turning the retreat into one vast rout.

15. History is silent as to the numbers slain, drowned, trampled to death in the passage of the Berezina ; but she makes humanity shudder with the account of the bodies in the river frozen into one dense mass. And all these horrors succeeded by the stern silence of winter—the falling snow hurriedly hiding all, covering the heaps of slain, giving to the

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