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The Prussian Terror   By: (1802-1870)

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First Page:

THE PRUSSIAN TERROR

BY

ALEXANDRE DUMAS

A FIRST TRANSLATION FROM THE FRENCH

BY

R.S. GARNETT

WITH AN INTRODUCTION

LONDON: STANLEY PAUL & CO

PHILADELPHIA: DAVID MCKAY COMPANY

1916

[Illustration: ALEXANDRE DUMAS.]

"L'ennemi, c'est le Prussien"

GAMBETTA.

CONTENTS

TRANSLATOR'S INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER I. BERLIN II. THE HOUSE OF HOHENZOLLERN III. COUNT VON BISMARCK IV. IN WHICH BISMARCK EMERGES FROM AN IMPOSSIBLE POSITION V. A SPORTSMAN AND A SPANIEL VI. BENEDICT TURPIN VII. KAULBACH'S STUDIO VIII. THE CHALLENGE IX. THE TWO DUELS X. WHAT WAS WRITTEN IN A KING'S HAND XI. BARON FREDERIC VON BÜLOW XII. HELEN XIII. COUNT KARL VON FREYBERG XIV. THE GRANDMOTHER XV. FRANKFORT ON MAIN XVI. THE DEPARTURE XVII. AUSTRIANS AND PRUSSIANS XVIII. THE DECLARATION OF WAR XIX. THE BATTLE OF LANGENSALZA XX. IN WHICH BENEDICT'S PREDICTION CONTINUES TO BE FULFILLED XXI. WHAT PASSED AT FRANKFURT BETWEEN THE BATTLES OF LANGENSALZA AND SADOWA XXII. THE FREE MEAL XXIII. THE BATTLE OF ASCHAFFENBURG XXIV. THE EXECUTOR XXV. FRISK XXVI. THE WOUNDED MAN XXVII. THE PRUSSIANS AT FRANKFORT XXVIII. GENERAL MANTEUFFEL'S THREATS XXIX. GENERAL STURM XXX. THE BREAKING OF THE STORM XXXI. THE BURGOMASTER XXXII. QUEEN AUGUSTA XXXIII. THE TWO PROCESSIONS XXXIV. THE TRANSFUSION OF BLOOD XXXV. THE MARRIAGE IN EXTREMIS XXXVI. "WAIT AND SEE" CONCLUSION EPILOGUE

INTRODUCTION

"The enemy passed beneath our window and then out of view. A moment afterwards we heard the sound as it were of a hurricane; the house trembled to the gallop of horses. At the end of the street the enemy had been charged by our cavalry; and, not knowing our small numbers, they were returning at full speed hotly pursued by our men. Pell mell they all passed by a whirlwind of smoke and noise. Our soldiers fired and slashed away, the enemy on their side fired as they fled. Two or three bullets struck the house, one of them shattering a bar of the window shutter through which I was looking on. The spectacle was at once magnificent and terrible. Pursued too closely the enemy had decided to face about, and there, twenty paces from us, was going on a combat life for life. I saw five or six of the enemy fall, and two or three of our men. Then, defeated after a ten minutes' struggle, the enemy trusted themselves again to the swiftness of their horses, and cleared off at full gallop. The pursuit recommenced, the whirlwind resumed its course, leaving, before it disappeared, three or four men strewn on the pavement. Suddenly we heard the drum beating to the charge. It was our hundred infantry soldiers who were coming up in their turn. They marched with fixed bayonets and disappeared at the bend of the road. Five minutes later we heard a sharp platoon firing. Then we saw our hussars reappearing, driven by five or six hundred cavalry; they reappeared the pursued, as they had started the pursuers. Amid this second tempest of men it was impossible to see or distinguish anything; only, when it was past, three or four dead bodies more lay stretched on the ground."

The boy who saw these scenes, to record them in his Memoirs many years later, was living with his mother at Villers Cotterets, on the Soissons road in the Aisne, where fierce fighting between our little army and our allies the French on the one hand, and the Germans on the other, is taking place as these lines are being written. The time was 1814. Napoleon had retreated from Moscow and had lost the battle of Leipzig, and the Russians, Prussians, and Austrians in alliance were gradually closing in on France. All confidence in Napoleon's star had disappeared. Every hour was bringing the roar of cannon nearer to Paris: in a few days the Allies were to enter it and Napoleon to sign the decree of abdication and leave for Elba... Continue reading book >>




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