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Equality in Danger

Anecdotes Home




The French General, Cherin, was once conducting a
detachment through a very difficult defile. He exhorted his soldiers to
endure patiently the fatigues of the march. "It is easy for you to talk,"
said one of the soldiers near him; "you who are mounted on a fine
horse--but we poor devils!"--On hearing these words, Cherin dismounted, and
quickly proposed to the discontented soldier to take his place. The latter
did so; but scarcely had he mounted, when a shot from the adjoining
heights struck and killed him. "You see," says Cherin, addressing his
troops, "that the most elevated place is not the least dangerous." After
which he remounted his horse, and continued the march.


Marshal Suwarrow in his march to the attack of Ockzakow, proceeded with
such rapidity at the head of his advanced guard, that his men began to
murmur at the fatigues they endured. The Marshal, apprized of this
circumstance, after a long day's march, drew his men up in a hollow square,
and addressing them, said, "that his legs had that day discovered some
symptoms of mutiny, as they refused to second the impulses of his mind,
which urged him forward to the attack of the enemy's fortress." He then
ordered his boots to be taken off, and some of the drummers to advance with
their cats, and flog his legs, which ceremony was continued till they bled
considerably. He put on his boots again very coolly, expressing a hope that
his legs would in future better know how to discharge their duty. The
soldiers after that marched on without a murmur, struck at once with the
magnanimity of their commander, and the ingenuity of his device to remind
them of their duty.





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