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Napoleon's Campaign in Russia Anno 1812 by Achilles Rose

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The brutality of the guards was beyond description. First Lieutenant von
Grolman, one of the most highly educated officers of the Badensian
contingent, was thrown down the stairway because this (seriously wounded)
officer had disturbed the inspector during the latter's leisure hour.

Beating with the kantchou was nothing unusual.

A Weimaranian musician, Theuss, has described some guileful tortures
practiced on the prisoners, which are so revolting that I dare not write
them. They are given in Holzhausen's book.

In their despair the prisoners, especially the officers among them, sent
petitions to Duke Alexander of Wuerttemberg, to the Tzar, to the Grand Duke
Constantine, and to the Ladies of the Russian Court. The Tzar and his
brother Constantine came and visited the hospitals. They were struck by
what they saw, and ordered relief. Officers were permitted to walk about
the city, and many obtained quarters in private houses. Those who could not
yet leave the gloomy wards of the hospitals were better cared for.

It is touching to read Yelin's narration how the emaciated arms of those in
the hospitals were stretched out when their comrades, returning from a
promenade in the city, brought them a few apples.

As they were no longer guarded as closely as before, many succeeded in
escaping. Captain Roeder was one of them; Yelin was offered aid to flee,
but he remained because he had given his word of honor to remain.

But most of these favors came too late, only one tenth were left that could
be saved, the others had succumbed to their sufferings or died from typhus.

A pestilential odor filled Wilna. Heaps of cadavers were burnt and when
this was found to be too expensive, thrown into the Wilia. Few of the
higher officers were laid at rest in the cemetery, among them General von
Roeder who as long as he was able had tried everything in his power to
ameliorate the condition of his soldiers. Holzhausen brings the facsimile
of a letter of his, dated Wilna, December 30th., to the King of
Wuerttemberg which proves his care for his soldiers. He died on January
6th., 1813.


While the prisoners of Wilna were suffering these nameless cruelties, the
unfortunate army marched to reach the border of Russia at Kowno, the same
Kowno where the Grand Army six months before had been seen in all its
military splendor, crossing the Niemen.

They had now to march 75 miles, a three days' march to arrive there.

The conditions were about the same as those on the march from the Beresina
to Wilna. Still the same misery, frost, and hunger, scenes of murder, fire.
The description of the details would in general be a repetition, with
little variation.

The following is an account of the last days of the retreat taken from a
letter of Berthier to the Emperor.

When the army entered Wilna on December 8th., almost all the men were
chilled by cold, and despite the commands of Murat and Berthier, despite
the fact that the Russians were at the gates, both officers and soldiers
kept to their quarters and refused to march.

However, on the 10th, the march upon Kowno was begun. But the extreme cold
and the excess of snow completed the rout of the army. The final disbanding
occurred on the 10th, and 11th., only a struggling column remained,
extending along the road, strewn with corpses, setting out at daybreak to
halt at night in utter confusion. In fact, there was no army left. How
could it have subsisted with 25 degrees of cold? The onslaught, alas, was
not of the foe, but of the harshest and severest of seasons fraught with
crippling effect and untold suffering.

Berthier, as well as Murat, would have wished to remain in Kowno through
the 12th., but the disorder was extreme. Houses were pillaged and sacked,
half the town was burned down, the Niemen was being crossed at all points,
and it was impossible to stem the tide of fugitives. An escort was barely
available for the protection of the King of Naples, the generals, and the
Imperial eagles. And all amidst the cold, the intense cold, stupefying and

Four fifths of the army--or what bore the name of such, though reduced to a
mere conglomeration and bereft of fighting men--had frozen limbs; and when
Koenigsberg was reached, in a state of complete disorganisation, the
surgeons were constantly employed in amputating fingers and toes.

Dr. W. Zelle, a German military surgeon, in his book "1812" describes the
last days of the army. Kowno was occupied by a considerable force of
artillery, with two German battalions, and it contained also very large
supplies, a great deal of ammunition, provisions, clothing, and arms of
various kinds. About an hour's march from Wilna the retreating masses
encountered the hill and defile of Ponary and it was at this point where
the imperial treasure, so far conscientiously guarded by German troops from
Baden and Wuerttemberg, was lost. When the leaders of the treasure became
convinced of the impossibility to save it, the jaded horses not being able
after 15 hours' effort to climb the ice covered hill, they had the wagons
opened, the money chests broken, and the coin surrendered to the soldiers.

The sight of the gold brought new life even to the half frozen ones; they
threw away their arms and were so greedy in loading themselves down with
the mammon that many of them did not notice the approaching Cossacks until
it was too late. Friend and foe, Frenchmen and Russians pillaged the
wagons. Honor, money, and what little had remained of discipline, all was
lost at this point.

However, side by side with these outrages, noble deeds could also be
recorded. Numerous wagons with wounded officers had to be abandoned, the
horses being too weak to take another step, and many of the soldiers
disregarded everything to save these unfortunates, carrying them away on
their shoulders. An adjutant of the emperor, Count Turenne, distributed the
private treasure of the emperor among the soldiers of the Old Guard, and
not one of these faithful men kept any of the money for himself. All was
honestly returned later on, and more than 6 millions of francs reached
Danzig safely.

The retreat during these scenes and the following days, when the terrible
cold caused more victims from hour to hour, was still covered by Ney whose
iron constitution defied all hardships. From five until ten at night he
personally checked the advance of the enemy, during the night he marched,
driving all stragglers before him. From seven in the morning until ten the
rear guard rested, after which time they continued the daily fight.

His Bavarians numbered 260 on December 11th., 150 on the 17th. and on the
13th. the last 20 were taken prisoners. The corps had disappeared. The
remainder of Loison's division and the garrison of Wilna diminished in the
same manner until, finally, the rear guard consisted of only 60 men.


What was left of the army reached Kowno on the 12th, after a long, tedious
march, dying of cold and hunger. In Kowno there was an abundance of
clothes, flour, and spirits. But the unrestrained soldiers broke the
barrels, so that the spilled liquor formed a lake in the market place. The
soldiers threw themselves down and by the hundreds drank until they were
intoxicated. More than 1200 drunken men reeled through the streets, dropped
drowsily upon the icy stones or into the snow, their sleep soon passing
into death. Of the entire corps of Eugene there remained only eight or ten
officers with the prince. Only one day more (the 13th.) was the powerful
Ney able, with the two German battalions of the garrison, to check the
Cossacks, vigorously supported by the indefatigable generals, Gerard and
Wrede. Not until the 14th., at 9 o'clock at night, did he begin to retreat,
with the last of the men, after having destroyed the bridges over the Wilia
and the Niemen. Always fighting, receding but not fleeing, his person
formed the rear guard of this Grand Army which five months previous crossed
the river at this very point, now, on the 14th, consisting of only 500
foot guards, 600 horse guards, and nine cannon.

It is nobody but Ney who still represents the Grand Army, who fires the
last shot before he, the last Frenchman, crosses the bridge over the
Niemen, which is blown up behind him. If we look upon the knightly conduct
of Ney during the entire campaign we cannot but think how much greater he
was than the heroes of Homer.

This man has demonstrated to the world upon this most terrible of all
retreats that even fate is not able to subdue an imperturbable courage,
that even the greatest adversity redounds to the glory of a hero.

More than a thousand times did Ney earn in Russia the epithet, "the bravest
of the brave," and the legend which French tradition has woven around his
person is quite justified. No mortal has ever performed such deeds of
indomitable moral courage; all other heroes and exploits vanish in

Here, at the Niemen, the pursuit by the Russians came to an end for the
time being. They, too, had suffered enormously.

Not less than 18 thousand Russians were sick in Wilna; Kutusoff's army was
reduced to 35 thousand men, that of Wittgenstein from 50 thousand to 15
thousand. The entire Russian army, including the garrison of Riga, numbered
not more than 100 thousand. The winter, this terrible ally of the Russians,
exacted a high price for the assistance it had rendered them; of 10
thousand men who left the interior, well provided with all necessities,
only 1700 reached Wilna; the troops of cavalry did not number more than 20

In all the literature which I have examined I did not find a better
description of the life and the struggle of the soldiers on the retreat
than that given by General Heinrich von Brandt of his march from Zembin to
Wilna. It is a vivid picture of many details from which we derive a full
understanding of the great misery on the retreat in general.

I shall give an extensive extract in his own words:

"We arrived late at Zembin, where we found many bivouac fires. It was very
cold. Here and there around the fires were lying dead soldiers.

"After a short rest, which had given us some new strength, we continued the
march. If the stragglers arrive, we said to ourselves, we shall be lost;
therefore, let us hurry and keep ahead of them. Our little column kept well
together, but at every halt some men were missing. Toward daybreak the cold
became more severe. While it was dark yet, we met a file of gunpowder carts
carrying wounded; from a number of these vehicles we heard heart-rending
clamors of some of the wounded asking us to give them death.

"At every moment we encountered dead or dying comrades, officers and
soldiers, who were sitting on the road, exhausted from fatigue, awaiting
their end. The sun rose blood-red; the cold was frightful. We stopped near
a village where bivouac fires were burning. Around these fires were grouped
living and dead soldiers. We lodged ourselves as well as we could and took
from those who had retired from the scene of life--apparently during their
sleep--anything that could be of service to us. I for my part helped myself
to a pot in which I melted snow to make a soup from some bread crusts which
I had in my pocket. We all relished this soup.

"After an hour's rest we resumed our march and about 30 hours after our
departure we reached Plechtchenissi. During this time we had made 25 miles.
At Plechtchenissi we found, at a kind of farm, sick, wounded and dead, all
lying pell-mell. There was no room for us in the house; we were obliged to
camp outside, but great fires compensated us for the want of shelter.

"We decided to rest during part of the night. While some of the soldiers
roasted slices of horse meat and others prepared oatmeal cakes from oats
which they had found in the village, we tried to sleep. But the frightful
scenes through which we had passed kept us excited, and sleep would not

"Toward 1 o'clock in the morning we left for Molodetchno. The cold was
frightful. Our way was marked by the light of the bivouac fires which were
seen at intervals and by cadavers of men and horses lying everywhere, and
as the moon and the stars were out we could see them well. Our column
became smaller all the while, officers and men disappeared without our
noticing their departure, without our knowing where they had fallen behind;
and the cold increased constantly. When we stopped at some bivouac fire it
seemed to us as if we were among the dead; nobody stirred, only
occasionally would one or the other of those sitting around raise his head,
look upon us with glassy eyes, rest again, probably never to rise again.
What made the march during that night especially disagreeable was the icy
wind whipping our faces. Toward 8 o'clock in the morning we perceived a
church tower. That is Molodetchno, we all cried with one voice. But to our
disappointment we learned on our arrival that it was only Iliya, and that
we were only half-way to Molodetchno.

"Iliya was not completely deserted by the inhabitants, but the troops that
had passed through it before us had left almost nothing eatable in the
place. We found abode in some houses and for a while were protected from
the cold which was by no means abating. In the farm of which we took
possession we found a warm room and a good litter, which we owed to our

"It was strange that none of us could sleep; we all were in a state of
feverish excitement, and I attribute this to an indistinct fear; once
asleep we might perhaps not awake again, as we had seen it happen a
thousand times.

"The longer we remained at Iliya the more comfortable we felt, and we
decided to stay there all day and wait for news. Soup of buckwheat, a large
pot of boiled corn, some slices of roast horse meat, although all without
salt, formed a meal which we thought delicious."

Von Brandt describes how they took off their garments, or their wrappings
which served as garments, to clean and repair them; how some of his men
found leather with which they enveloped their feet. The day and the night
passed, and all had some sleep. But they had to leave.

"Some of the men refused to go; one of them when urged to come along said:
'Captain, let me die here; we all are to perish, a few days sooner or later
is of no consequence.' He was wounded, but not seriously, a bullet had
passed through his arm; it was a kind of apathy which had come over him,
and he could not be persuaded. He remained and probably died.

"We left; the cold was almost unbearable. Along the road we found bivouacs,
at which one detachment relieved the other; the succeeding surpassing the
preceding one in misery and distress. Everywhere, on the road and in the
bivouacs, the dead were lying, most of them stripped of their clothes.

"It was imperative to keep moving, for remaining too long at the bivouac
fires meant death, and dangerous was it also to remain behind, separated
from the troop. (The danger of being alone under such circumstances as
existed here has been pointed out by Beaupre.)

"We marched to Molodetchno where the great road commences and where we
expected some amelioration, and, indeed, we found it. The everlasting cold
was now the principal cause of our sufferings.

"In the village there was some kind of order; we saw many soldiers bearing
arms and of a general good appearance. The houses were not all deserted,
neither were they as overcrowded as in other places through which we had
passed. We established ourselves in some of them situated on the road to
Smorgoni, and we had reason to be satisfied with our choice. We bought
bread at an enormous price, made soup of it which tasted very good to us,
and we had plenty for all of us.

"At Molodetchno men of our division joined us and brought us the news of
the crossing of the Beresina."

von Brandt gives the description of the events at the Beresina and tells of
the historical significance of Molodetchno as the place where Napoleon
sojourned 18 hours and from where he dated the 29th. bulletin.

"We left the village on the following morning at an early hour and
continued our march on the road to Smorgoni.

"A description of this march," writes von Brandt, "would only be a
repetition of what had been said of scenes of preceding days. We were
overtaken by a snowstorm the violence of which surpassed all imagination,
fortunately this violence lasted only some hours, but on account of it our
little column became dispersed.

"One bivouac left an impression of horror to last for all my lifetime. In a
village crowded with soldiers we came to a fire which was burning quite
lively, around it were lying some dead. We were tired; it was late, and we
decided to rest there. We removed the corpses to make room for the living
and arranged ourselves the best way we could. A fence against which the
snow had drifted protected us from the north wind. Many who passed by
envied us this good place. Some stopped for a while, others tried to
establish themselves near us. Gradually the fatigue brought sleep to some
of us; the stronger ones brought wood to keep up the fire. But it snowed
constantly; after one had warmed one side of the body an effort was made to
warm the other; after one foot had been warmed the other was brought near
the flame; a complete rest was impossible. At daybreak we prepared to
depart. Thirteen men of our troop, all wounded, did not answer the roll
call. My heart pained.

[Illustration: "No fear, we soon shall follow you."]

"We had to pass in front of the fence which had given us protection against
the wind during the night. Imagine our surprise when we saw that what we
had taken for a fence was a pile of corpses which our predecessors had
heaped one upon the other. These dead were men of all countries, Frenchmen,
Swiss, Italians, Poles, Germans, as we could distinguish by their uniforms.
Most of them had their arms extended as if they had been stretching
themselves. 'Look, Captain,' said one of the soldiers, 'they stretch their
hands out to us; ah, no fear, we soon shall follow you.'

"We were soon to have another horrid sight. In a village, many houses of
which had been burnt, there were the ghastly remains of burnt corpses, and
in one building, especially, there was a large number of such infesting the
air with their stench. A repetition of scenes I had seen at Saragossa and
at Smolensk."

"At sunset we arrived at Smorgoni, and here we enjoyed great comfort. It
was the first place where we could obtain something for money. From an old
Jewess we bought bread, rice, and also a little coffee, all at reasonable
prices. It was the first cup of coffee I had had for months, and it
invigorated me very much."

"We were young, and our good humor had soon been restored to us; it made us
forget, for the time being at least, how much we had suffered, and at this
moment we did not think of the suffering yet in store for us."

"We left for Ochmiana; our march was tedious. Again we encountered a great
many dead strewn on the road; many of them had died from cold; some still
had their arms, young men, well dressed, their cloaks, shoes, and socks,
however, were taken from them. Half way to Ochmiana we took a rest at a
bivouac which had been evacuated quite recently."

"The night we passed here was fearful. I had an inflamed foot, and felt a
burning pain under the arms which caused me great difficulty in the use of
my crutches. Fortunately I found a place on which a fire had been burning,
and I was not obliged to sleep on the snow. The soldiers kept up a fire all
night, and I had a good and invigorating sleep, in consequence of which I
could take up the march on the following day, with new courage and zeal."

"Toward 11 o'clock we arrived, together with a mass of fugitives, at
Ochmiana. Before entering the city we encountered a convoy of provisions,
escorted by a young Mecklenburg officer, Lieutenant Rudloff, who some years
later served as a Prussian general. He made an attempt to defend his
sleighs, but in vain. The crowd surrounded him and his convoy and pushed in
such a manner that neither he nor his men were able to stir. The sleighs,
carrying excellent biscuits, were pillaged. I myself gathered some in the
snow, and I can well say that they saved my life until we reached Wilna."

"Arrived at Ochmiana we at once continued our march upon Miednicki."

"The city was occupied by a crowd of disbanded soldiers--marauders who had
established themselves everywhere. It was only with difficulty that we
found some sort of lodging in a kind of pavilion which was icy and had no
chimneys. However, we managed to heat it and arranged litter for 20 men.
With bread and biscuit brought from Ochmiana we prepared a good meal."

"When we crossed the Goina we numbered 50; this number had increased so
that we were at one time 70, but now our number had decreased to 29."

"We left at an early hour on the next morning. It was frightfully cold.
Half way to Miednicki we had to stop at a bivouac. On the road we saw many
cadavers." Von Brandt here describes the fatal effects of cold and his
description, though less complete, corresponds with the descriptions given
by Beaupre, von Scherer, and others. Especially revolting, he says, was the
sight of the toes of the cadavers; often there were no more soft parts. The
soldiers, first of all, took the shoes from their dead comrades, next the
cloaks; they would wear two or three or cut one to cover their feet and
their head with the pieces.

The last part of the march to Miedniki was most painful for von Brandt, on
account of the inflammation of his left foot.

He describes his stay at that place in which there were many stragglers. He
bivouaked in a garden; they had straw enough and a good fire, also biscuits
from Ochmiana, and they suffered only from the cold, 30 deg. below zero R.
(36 deg. below zero Fahrenheit.) On this occasion von Brandt speaks of the
pains, the sufferings, the condition of his comrades. One of them,
Zelinski, had not uttered a word since their departure from Smorgoni; he
had no tobacco, and this troubled him more than physical pain; another one,
Karpisz, crushed by sorrow and sufferings, was in a delirious state; in the
same condition were some of the wounded. But after all, in the midst of
their sad reflections, some of them fell asleep. Those who were well enough
took up reliefs on night watch. Every one of the group had to bear some
special great misery, and upon the whole their trials were beyond
endurance: In the open air at 30 deg. R. below zero, without sufficient
clothing, without provisions, full of vermin, exposed at any moment to the
attacks of the enemy, surrounded by a rapacious rabble, deprived of aid,
wounded, they were hardly in a condition to drag themselves along.

"Still an 8 hours' march to Wilna," I said to Zelinski; "Will we reach
there?" He shook his head in doubt.

One of the men, Wasilenka, a sergeant, the most courageous, the firmest of
the little column, of a robust constitution, had found at Ochmiana some
brandy and some potatoes. He said if one had not lost his head entirely,
one could have many things, but nothing can be done with the French any
more; they are not the Frenchmen of former times, a Cossack's casque upsets
them; it is a shame! And he told the great news of Napoleon's departure
from the army of which the others of von Brandt's column had yet not been
informed. Interesting as was the conversation on this event, I have to omit

The extreme cold did not allow much sleep; long before daylight they were
on their feet. It was a morning of desolation, as always.

von Brandt now describes the characteristic phenomena of the landscape; the
words are almost identical with the description Beaupre has given of the
Russian landscape in the winter of 1812.

"I could not march, the pain under my shoulders was very great. I felt as
if all at this region of my body would tear off. But I marched all the
same. Many were already on the road, all in haste to reach the supposed end
of their sufferings. They seemed to be in a race, and the cold, the
incredible cold, drove them also to march quickly. On this day there
perished more men than usual, and we passed these unfortunates without a
sign of pity, as if all human feeling had been extinguished in the souls of
us, the surviving. We marched in silence, hardly any one uttered a word;
if, however, some one spoke, it was to say how is it that I am not in your
place; besides this nothing was heard but the sighing and the groans of the

"It was perhaps 9 o'clock when we had covered half of the way and took a
short rest, after which we resumed our march and arrived before Wilna
toward 3 o'clock, having marched ten hours, exhausted beyond description.
The cold was intolerable; as I learned afterward it had reached 29 deg.
below zero Reaumur (36 deg. below zero Fahrenheit.) But imagine our
surprise when armed guards forbade us to enter the city. The order had been
given to admit only regular troops. The commanders had thought of the
excesses of Smolensk and Orscha and here at least they intended to save the
magazines from pillage. Our little column remained at the gate for a while;
we saw that whoever risked to mix with the crowd could not extricate
himself again and could neither advance nor return. It came near sunset,
the cold by no means abated but, on the contrary, augmented. Every minute
the crowd increased in number, the dying and dead mixed up with the living.
We decided to go around the city, to try to enter at some other part; after
half an hour's march we succeeded and found ourselves in the streets. They
were full of baggage, soldiers, and inhabitants. But where to turn? Where
to seek aid? By good luck we remembered that our officers passing Wilna on
their way during the spring had been well received by Mr. Malczewski, a
friend of our colonel. Nothing more natural than to go to him and ask for
asylum. But imagine our joy, our delight, when at our arrival at the house
we found our colonel himself, the quartermaster and many officers known by
us, who all were the guests of Mr. Malczewski. Even Lieutenant Gordon who
commanded our depot at Thorn was there; he had come after he had had the
news of the battle of Borodino.

"My faithful servant Maciejowski and the brave Wasilenka carried me up the
stairs and placed me in bed. I was half dead, hardly master of my senses.
Gordon gave me a shirt, my servant took charge of my garments to free them
from vermin, and after I had had some cups of hot beer with ginger in it
and was under a warm blanket, I recovered strength enough to understand
what I was told and to do what I was asked to do."

"A Jewish physician examined and dressed my wounds. He found my shoulders
very much inflamed and prescribed an ointment which had an excellent
effect. I fell into a profound sleep which was interrupted by the most
bizarre imaginary scenes; there was not one of the hideous episodes of the
last fortnight which did not pass in some form or another before my mind."

"Washed, cleaned, passably invigorated, refreshed especially by some cups
of hot beer, I was able to rise on the following morning and to assist at
the council which the colonel had called together."

Von Brandt now describes how the mass of fugitives came and pillaged the
magazines. The colonel saved a great many, supplied them with shoes,
cloaks, caps, woolen socks, and provisions, von Brandt describes the scenes
of Wilna from the time the Cossacks had entered.

"The colonel prepared to depart; at first he hesitated to take us, the
wounded, along, asking if we could stand the voyage. I said to remain would
be certain death, and with confidence I set out on the march with my men,
the number of whom was now twenty. We had sleighs and good horses.

"The night was superb. It was light like day. The stars shone more
radiantly than ever upon our misery. The cold was still severe beyond
description and more sensible to us who had nearly lost the habit to feel
it during forty-eight hours of relief.

"We had to make our way through an indescribable tangle of carriages and
wagons to reach the gate, and the road as far as we could see was also
covered with vehicles, wagons, sleighs, cannons, all mixed up. We had great
difficulties to remain together.

"After an hour's march all came to a halt; we found ourselves before a
veritable sea of men. The wagons could not be drawn over a hill on account
of the ice, and the road became hopelessly blockaded. Here it was where the
military treasure of 12 million francs was given to the soldiers."

Von Brandt describes his most wonderful adventures on the way to Kowno
which, although most interesting, add nothing to what has already been
described. I gave this foregoing part of von Brandt's narration because it
gives a most vivid picture of the life of the soldiers during the supreme
moments of the retreat from Moscow.


Beaupre was taken prisoner at the passage of the Beresina and remained in
captivity for some time. His lot as a prisoner of war was an exceptionally
good one. He tells us that prisoners when they were out of such parts of
the country as had been ravaged by the armies, received regular rations of
a very good quality, and were lodged by eight, ten, and twelve, with the
peasants. In the provincial capitals, they received furs of sheep skin, fur
bonnets, gloves, and coarse woolen stockings, a sort of dress that appeared
to them grotesque as well as novel, but which was very precious as a
protection against the cold during the winter. When arrived at the places
in which they were to pass the time of their captivity they found their lot
ameliorated, and the reception accorded to them demanded a grateful eulogy
of the hospitality exercised by the Russians.

Quite different was the experience of a very young German, Karl Schehl, a
private whose memoirs have been kept in his family, and were recently
published by one of his grand-nephews. After a battle on the retreat from
Moscow he, with many others, was taken prisoner by Cossacks, who at once
plundered the captives. Schehl was deprived of his uniform, his breeches,
his boots. He had a gold ring on his ring finger, and one of the Cossacks,
thinking it too much trouble to remove the ring in the natural way, had
already drawn his sabre to cut off the prisoner's left hand, when an
officer saw this and gave the brutal Cossack a terrible blow in the face;
he then removed the ring without hurting the boy and kept it for himself.
Another officer took Schehl's gold watch. Schehl stood then with no other
garment but a shirt, and barefoot, in the bitter cold, not daring to
approach the bivouac fire.


The Cossacks (on examining the garments of Schehl), found in one of the
pockets a B clarinette. This discovery gave them great pleasure; they
induced their captive to play for them, and he played, chilled to the bone
in his scanty costume. But now the Cossacks came to offer him garments, a
regular outfit for the Russian winter. They gave him food to eat and did
all they could to show their appreciation of the music. What a rapid change
of fortune within two hours, writes Schehl. Toward noon, riding a good
horse, with considerable money in Russian bank notes and a valuable gold
watch in his possession, all brought from Moscow, at 1 p.m. he stood
dressed in a shirt only, with his bare feet on the frozen ground, and at 2
p. m. he was admired as an artist by a large audience that gave him warm
clothes, which meant protection against the danger of freezing to death,
and a place near the fire.

During that afternoon and the following night more French soldiers of all
arms, mostly emaciated and miserable, were escorted to the camp by Russian
militia, peasants, armed with long, sharp lances. It was the night from
October 30th. to 31st., at the time of the first snowfall, with a
temperature of -12 deg. Reaumur (about 5 degrees above zero Fahrenheit). Of
the 700 prisoners, many of them deprived of their clothing, as Schehl had
been deprived, who had to camp without a fire, quite a number did not see
the next morning, and the already described snow hills indicated where
these unfortunates had reached the end of their sufferings. The commanding
officer of the Cossacks ordered the surviving prisoners to fall in line for
the march back to Moscow. The escort consisted of two Cossacks and several
hundred peasant-soldiers. Within sixteen hours the 700 had been reduced to
500. And they had to march back over the road which they had come yesterday
as companions of their emperor. The march was slow, they were hardly an
hour on the road when here and there one of the poor, half naked, starving
men fell into the snow; immediately was he pierced with the lance of one of
the peasant soldiers who shouted stopai sukinsin (forward you dog), but as
a rule the one who had fallen was no longer able to obey the brutal
command. Two Russian peasant soldiers would then take hold, one at each
leg, and drag the dying man with the head over snow and stones until he was
dead, then leave the corpse in the middle of the road. In the woods they
would practice the same cruelties as the North American Indians, tie those
who could not rise to a tree and amuse themselves by torturing the victim
to death with their lances. And, says Schehl, I could narrate still other
savageries, but they are too revolting, they are worse than those of the
savage Indians. Fortunately, Schehl himself was protected from all
molestations by the peasants by the two Cossacks of the escort. He was even
taken into the provision wagon where he could ride between bundles of hay
and straw. On the evening of the first day's march the troops camped in a
birch forest. Russian people are fond of melancholy music; Schehl played
for them adagios on his clarinette, and the Cossacks gave him the best they
had to eat. His comrades, now reduced to 400 in number, received no food
and were so terror-stricken or so feeble that only from time to time they
emitted sounds of clamor. Some would crawl into the snow and perish, while
those who kept on moving were able to prolong their miserable lives. The
second night took away 100 more, so that the number of prisoners was
reduced to less than 300 on the morning of October 31st. During the night
from October 31st. to November 1st. more than one-half of the prisoners who
had come into the camp had perished, and there were only about 100 men left
to begin the march. This mortality was frightful. Schehl thinks that the
peasants killed many during the night in order to be relieved of their
guard duty. For the Cossacks would send the superfluous guardsmen away and
retain only as many as one for every four prisoners. They saw that the
completely exhausted Frenchmen could be driven forward like a herd of sick
sheep, and hardly needed any guard. In the morning we passed a village,
writes Schehl, in which stood some houses which had not been burned. The
returned inhabitants were busy clearing away the rubbish and had built some
provisional straw huts. I sat as harmless as possible on my wagon when
suddenly a girl in one of the straw huts screamed loud Matuschka!
Matuschka! Franzusi! Franzusi Niewolni! (Mother! mother! Frenchmen! French
prisoners!), and now sprang forward a large woman, armed with a thick club
and struck me such a powerful blow on the head that I became unconscious.
When I opened my eyes again the woman struck me once more, this time on my
left shoulder and so violently that I screamed. My arm was paralyzed from
the stroke. Fortunately, one of the Cossacks came to my rescue, scolded the
woman, and chased her away.

On the evening of November 1st., the troops came to a village through which
no soldiers had passed, which had not been disturbed by the war. Of the
prisoners only 60 remained alive, and these were lodged in the houses.

Schehl describes the interior of the houses of Russian peasants as well as
the customs of the Russian peasants, which description is highly
interesting, and I shall give a brief abstract of it.

The houses are all frame buildings with a thatched roof, erected upon a
foundation of large unhewn stones, the interstices of which are filled with
clay, and built in an oblong shape, of strong, round pine logs placed one
on top of the other. Each layer is stuffed with moss, and the ends of the
logs are interlocking. The buildings consist of one story only, with a very
small, unvaulted cellar.

Usually there are only two rooms in these houses, and wealthy peasants use
both of them for their personal requirements; the poorer classes, on the
other hand, use only one of the rooms for themselves, and the other for
their horses, cows, and pigs.

The most prominent part of the interior arrangement of these rooms is the
oven, covering about six feet square, with a brick chimney in the houses of
the wealthy, but without chimney in those of the poor, so that the smoke
must pass through the door giving a varnished appearance to the entire
ceiling over the door.

There are no chairs in the rooms; during the day broad benches along the
walls and oven are used instead. At night, the members of the household lie
down to sleep on these benches, using any convenient piece of clothing for
a pillow. It seems the Russian peasant of one hundred years ago considered
beds a luxury.

Every one of these houses, those of the rich as well as those of the poor,
contains in the easterly corner of the sitting room a cabinet with more or
less costly sacred images.

On entering the room the newcomer immediately turns his face toward the
cabinet, crossing himself three times in the Greek fashion, simultaneously
inclining his head, and not until this act of devotion has been performed
does he address individually every one present. In greeting, the family
name is never mentioned, only the first name, to which is added: Son of so
and so (likewise the first name only), but the inclination of the
head--pagoda like--is never omitted.

All the members of the household say their very simple prayers in front of
the cabinet; at least, I never heard them say anything else but _Gospodin
pomilui_ (O Lord, have mercy upon us); but such a prayer is very fatiguing
for old and feeble persons because _Gospodin pomilui_ is repeated at least
24 times, and every repetition is accompanied with a genuflection and a
prostration, naturally entailing a great deal of hardship owing to the
continued exertion of the entire body.

In addition to the sacred cabinet, the oven, and the benches, every one of
the rooms contains another loose bench about six feet long, a table of the
same length, and the kvass barrel which is indispensable to every Russian.

This cask is a wooden vat of about 50 to 60 gallons capacity, standing
upright, the bottom of which is covered with a little rye flour and wheat
bran--the poor use chaff of rye--upon which hot water is poured. The water
becomes acidulated in about 24 hours and tastes like water mixed with
vinegar. A little clean rye straw is placed inside of the vat, in front of
the bunghole, allowing the kvass to run fairly clear into the wooden cup.
When the vat is three-quarters empty more water is added; this must be done
very often, as the kvass barrel with its single drinking cup--placed always
on top of the barrel--is regarded as common property. Every member of the
household and every stranger draws and drinks from it to their heart's
content, without ever asking permission of the owner of the house. Kvass
is a very refreshing summer drink, especially in the houses of wealthy
peasants who need not be particular with their rye flour and who frequently
renew the original ingredients of the concoction.

The peasant soldiers took the most comfortable places; for Schehl and his
nine comrades, who were lodged with him in one of the houses, straw was
given to make a bed on the floor, but most of the nine syntrophoi were so
sick and feeble that they could not make their couch, and six could not
even eat the pound of bread which every one had received; they hid the
remaining bread under the rags which represented their garments. Schehl,
although he could not raise his left arm, helped the sick, notwithstanding
the pain he suffered, to spread the straw on the floor. On the morning of
the 2d. of November the sick, who had not been able to eat all their bread,
were dead. Schehl, while the surviving ones were still asleep, took the
bread which he found on the corpses, to hide it in his sheepskin coat. This
inheritance was to be the means of saving his life; without it he would
have starved to death while a prisoner in Moscow.

They left this village with now only 29 prisoners and arrived on
the same evening, reduced to 11 in number, in Moscow, where they
were locked up in one of the houses, together with many other prisoners. Of
the 700 fellow prisoners of Schehl 689 had died during the four days and
four nights of hunger, cold, and most barbaric cruelties. If the prisoners
had hoped to be saved from further cruelties while in Moscow they were
bitterly disappointed. First of all, their guards took from them all they
themselves could use, and on this occasion Schehl lost his clarinette which
he considered as his life saver. Fortunately, they did not take from him
the six pieces of bread. After having been searched the prisoners were
driven into a room which was already filled with sick or dying, lying on
the floor with very little and bad straw under them. The newcomers had
difficulties to find room for themselves among these other unfortunates.
The guards brought a pail of fresh water but nothing to eat. In a room with
two windows, which faced the inner court-yard, were locked up over 30
prisoners, and all the other rooms in the building were filled in the same
way. During the night from November 2d. to November 3d. several of Schehl's
companions died and were thrown through the window into the court yard,
after the jailors had taken from the corpses whatever they could use.
Similar acts were performed in the other rooms, and it gave the survivors a
little more room to stretch their limbs. This frightful condition lasted
six days and six nights, during which time no food was given to them. The
corpses in the yard were piled up so high that the pile reached up to the
windows. It was 48 hours since Schehl had eaten the last of the six pieces
of bread, and he was so tortured by hunger that he lost all courage, when
at 10 o'clock in the forenoon a Russian officer entered and in German
ordered the prisoners to get ready within an hour for roll call in the
court yard, because the interimistic commanding officer of Moscow, Colonel
Orlowski, was to review them. Immediately before this took place, the
prisoners had held a counsel among themselves whether it would be wise to
offer themselves for Russian military service in order to escape the
imminent danger of starving to death. When that officer so unexpectedly had
entered, Schehl, although the youngest--he was only 15 years of age--but
relatively the strongest, because he was the last of them who had had a
little to eat, rose with difficulty from his straw bed and made the offer,
saying that they were at present very weak and sick from hunger, but that
they would soon regain their strength if they were given something to eat.
The officer in a sarcastic and rough manner replied: "His Majesty our
glorious Emperor, Alexander, has soldiers enough and does not need you
dogs." He turned and left the room, leaving the unfortunates in a state of
despair. Toward 11 o'clock he returned, ordering the prisoners to descend
the stairs and fall in line in the court yard. All crawled from their
rooms, 80 in number, and stood at attention before the colonel, who was a
very handsome and strong man, six foot tall, with expressive and benevolent
features. The youth of Schehl made an impression on him, and he asked in
German: "My little fellow, are you already a soldier?"

S. At your service, colonel.

C. How old are you?

S. Fifteen years, colonel.

C. How is it possible that you at your young age came into service?

S. Only my passion for horses induced me to volunteer my services in the
most beautiful regiment of France, as trumpeter.

C. Can you ride horseback and take care of horses?

S. At your service, colonel!

C. Where are the many prisoners who have been brought here, according to
reports there should be 800.

S. What you see here, colonel, is the sad remainder of those 800 men. The
others have died.

C. Is there an epidemic disease in this house?

S. Pardon me, colonel, but those comrades of mine have all died from
starvation; for during the six days we are here we received no food.

C. What you say, little fellow, cannot be true, for I have ordered to give
you the prescribed rations of bread, meat, and brandy, the same as are
given to the Russian soldiers, and this has been the will of the Czar.

S. Excuse me, colonel, I have told the truth, and if you will take the
pains to walk into the rear yard you will see the corpses.

The colonel went and convinced himself of the correctness of my statement.
He returned in the greatest anger, addressed some officer in Russian, gave
some orders and went along the front to hear Schehl's report confirmed by
several other prisoners. The officer who had received orders returned,
accompanied by six Uhlans, each of the latter with hazelnut sticks. Now the
jailors were called and had to deliver everything which they had taken from
their prisoners; unfortunately, Schehl's clarinette was not among the
articles that were returned. And now Schehl witnessed the most severe
punishment executed on the jailors. They had to remove their coats and were
whipped with such cannibal cruelty that bloody pieces of flesh were torn
off their backs, and some had to be carried from the place. They deserved
severe punishment, for they had sold all the food which during six days had
been delivered to them for 800 men.

The surviving prisoners were now treated well, the colonel took Schehl with
him to do service in his castle.

The case of Karl Schehl is a typical one.

Holzhausen has collected a great many similar ones from family papers,
which never before had been published. All the writers of these papers
speak, exactly like Schehl, in plain, truthful language, and the best
proof of their veracity is that all, independent of each other, tell the
same story of savage cruelty and of robbery. All, in narrating their
experiences, do not omit any detail, all give dates and localities which
they had retained exactly from those fearful days which had left the most
vivid impressions. There is much repetition in these narrations, for all
had experienced the same.

All tell that the Cossacks were the first to rob the prisoners. These
irregular soldiers received no pay and considered it their right to
compensate themselves for the hardships of the campaign by means of

Besides the tales collected by Holzhausen I can refer to many other
writers, Frenchmen, the Englishman Wilson, and even Russians among them,
but the material is so voluminous that I shall confine myself to select
only what concerned physicians who were taken prisoners.

The Bavarian Sanitary Corps, captured at Polotsk, after having been
mercilessly robbed by Cossacks, was brought before a Russian General,
who did not even take notice of them. It was only after Russian
physicians interfered in their behalf that they obtained a hearing of
their grievances.

Prisoners tell touching stories how they were saved by German physicians,
in most instances from typhus. In almost all larger Russian cities there
were German physicians, and this was a blessing to many of the prisoners.
Holzhausen gives the names of several of the sick and the names of the
physicians who spared no pains in attending to the sufferers.

In the course of time and with the change of circumstances the lot of the
prisoners in general was ameliorated, and in many instances their life
became comfortable. Many found employment as farm hands or at some trade,
as teachers of languages, but the principal occupation at which they
succeeded was the practice of medicine. Whether they were competent
physicians or only dilettantes they all gained the confidence of the
Russian peasantry. In a land in which physicians are scarce the followers
of Aesculap are highly appreciated.

When a Russian peasant had overloaded his stomach and some harmless mixture
or decoction given him by some of the pseudo physicians had had a good
effect--post hoc ergo propter hoc--the medicine man who had come from far
away was highly praised and highly recommended.

Lieutenant Furtenbach treated with so-called sympathetic remedies and had a
success which surprised nobody more than himself.

Real physicians were appreciated by the educated and influential Russians
and secured a more lucrative practice within weeks than they had been able
to secure after years at home. Dr. Roos, of whom I have already spoken,
having been taken prisoner near the Beresina, became physician to the
hospitals of Borisow and Schitzkow and soon had the greatest private
practice of any physician in the vicinity; he afterward was called to the
large hospitals in St. Petersburg, and was awarded highest honors by the
Russian government.

More remarkable was the career of Adjutant Braun which has been told by his
friend, Lieutenant Peppler, who acted as his assistant.

Braun had studied medicine for a while, but exchanged sound and lancet for
the musket. As prisoner of war, at the urgent request of his friend
Peppler, he utilized his unfinished studies. Venaesection was very popular
in Russia, he secured a lancet, a German tailor made rollers for him, and
soon he shed much Russian blood. The greatest triumph, however, of the two
Aesculapians was Braun's successful operation for cataract which he
performed on a police officer, his instrument being a rusty needle. The
description of the operating scene during which the assistant Peppler
trembled from excitement is highly dramatic. Braun became the favorite of
the populace and everybody regretted that he left when he was free.


Among the old publications referring to the medical history of Napoleon's
campaign in Russia I found one of a Prussian army physician, Dr. Krantz,
published in the year 1817 with the following title: Bemerkungen ueber den
Gang der Krankheiten welche in der koniglich preussischen Armee vom
Ausbruch des Krieges im Jahre 1812 bis zu Ende des Waffenstillstandes (im
Aug.) 1813 geherrscht haben. (Remarks on the course of the Diseases which
have reigned in the Royal Prussian Army from the Beginning of the War in
the Year 1812 until the End of the Armistice [in August] 1813). From this
I shall give the following extract:

It is well known that the soldiers constituting the wreck of the Grand Army
wherever they passed on their way from Russia through Germany spread ruin;
their presence brought death to thousands of peaceful citizens. Even those
who were apparently well carried the germs of disease with them, for we
found whole families, says Krantz, in whose dwelling soldiers, showing no
signs of disease, had stayed over night, stricken down with typhus. The
Prussian soldiers of York's corps had not been with the Grand Army in
Moscow, and there was no typhus among them until they followed the French
on their road of retreat from Russia. From this moment on, however, the
disease spread with the greatest rapidity in the whole Prussian army corps,
and this spreading took place with a certain uniformity among the different
divisions. On account of the overflowing of the rivers, the men had to
march closely together on the road, at least until they passed the Vistula
near Dirschau, Moeve, and Marienwerder. Of the rapid extent of the
infection we can form an idea when we learn the following facts: In the
first East Prussian regiment of infantry, when it came to the Vistula,
there was not a single case of typhus, while after a march of 14 miles on
the highway which the French had passed before them there were 15 to 20 men
sick in every company, every tenth or even every seventh man. In those
divisions which had been exposed to infection while in former cantonments,
the cases were much more numerous, 20 to 30 in every company.

Simultaneously with typhus there appeared the first cases of an epidemic
ophthalmy. Although the eye affection was not as general as the typhus--it
occurred only in some of the divisions, and then at the outset not so
severely as later on--both evils were evidently related to each other by a
common causal nexus. They appeared simultaneously under similar
circumstances, but never attacked simultaneously the same individual.
Whoever had ophthalmy was immune against typhus and vice versa, and this
immunity furnished by one against the other evil lasted a long period of
time. Both diseases were very often cured on the march. We found confirmed,
says Krantz, what had been asserted a long time before by experienced
physicians, that cold air had the most beneficial effect during the
inflammatory stage of contagious typhus. For this reason the soldiers who
presented the first well-known symptoms of typhus infection: headache,
nausea, vertigo, etc., were separated from their healthy comrades and
entrusted to medical care, and this consisted, except in the case of
extraordinarily grave symptoms, in dressing the patient with warm clothing
and placing him for the march on a wagon where he was covered all over with
straw. The wagon was driven fast, to follow the corps, but halted
frequently on the way at houses where tea (Infusum Chamomillae, species
aromaticarum, etc.) with or without wine or spiritus sulphuricus aetherius
were prepared; of this drink the patient was given a few cupfuls to warm
him. As a precaution against frost, which proved to be a very wise one,
hands and feet were wrapped in rags soaked in spiritus vini camphoratus.
For quarters at night isolated houses were selected for their reception--a
precaution taught by sad experience--and surgeons or couriers who had come
there in advance had made the best preparations possible. All the hospitals
between the Vistula and Berlin, constantly overfilled, were thoroughly
infected, and thus transformed into regular pest-houses exhaling perdition
to every one who entered, the physicians and attendants included. On the
other hand, most of the patients who were treated on the march recovered.
Of 31 cases of typhus of the 2d. battalion of the infantry guards
transported from Tilsit to Tuchel, only one died, while the remaining 30
regained their health completely, a statistical result as favorable as has
hardly ever happened in the best regulated hospital and which is the more
surprising on account of the severe form of the disease at that time. An
equally favorable result was obtained in the first East Prussian regiment
of infantry on the march from the Vistula to the Spree.

There was not a single death on the march; of 330 patients 300 recovered,
30 were sent into hospitals of Elbing, Maerkisch Friedland, Conitz, and
Berlin, and the same excellent results were reported from other divisions
of the corps where the same method had been followed.

A most remarkable observation among the immense number of patients was that
they seldom presented a stage of convalescence. Three days after they had
been free from fever for 24 hours they were fit, without baggage, for a
half or even a whole day's march. If the recovery had not been such a
speedy one, says Krantz, how could all the wagons have been secured in that
part of the country devastated by war for the transportation of the many
hundreds of sick.

At the beginning of the sickness a vomitium of ipecacuanha and tartarus
stibiatus was administered (though on the march no real medical treatment
was attempted); later on aether vitrioli with tinctura valerianae, tinctura
aromatica and finally tinctura chinae composita aurantiorum with good wine,
etc., were given. It is interesting to read Krantz's statement of how much
some physicians were surprised who had been accustomed to treat their
patients in hospitals according to the principles of that period, which
consisted in the exclusion of fresh air and the hourly administration of
medicine. The mortality of those treated on the march in the manner
described was never more than 2 to 3 per cent.

As already mentioned, an epidemic ophthalmy spread simultaneously with
typhus among a large number of the troops returning from Courland,
especially among those who formed the rear guard, in which was the first
East Prussian regiment to which Krantz was attached.

In a far greater proportion the men of the two Prussian cavalry regiments
and artillery batteries which Napoleon had taken with him to Moscow, that
is into ruin, succumbed to the morbid potencies which acted upon them from
all sides.

On March 17th., 1813, York's corps entered Berlin, and from this time on
contagious typhus disappeared almost completely in this army division. It
is true that occasionally a soldier was attacked, but the number of these
was insignificant, and the character of the sickness was mild. Other
internal diseases were also infrequent among these troops during that time.
Epidemic ophthalmy, however, was very prevalent in the East Prussian
regiment of infantry. From February, 1813, until the day of the battle of
Leipzig, 700 men were treated for this disease. The character of this
ophthalmy was mild, and under treatment the patients completely recovered
within a few days (nine days at most) without any destructive lesion
remaining. Quite different from this form was a severe ophthalmy which
appeared in the army toward the end of the year 1813, and also during the
years 1814 and 1815.


Out of the enemy's country, on their way home, the soldiers had by no means
reached the limit of their sufferings. Instead of being able now to take
the much longed for and so much needed rest they were compelled to keep on
marching in order to reach the meeting places designated to them, the
principal one of which was Koenigsberg.

Before entering Prussia they had to pass through a district which was
inhabited by Lithuanians who had suffered very much from the army passing
on the march to Moscow, and who now took revenge on the retreating

Most happy were the Germans of the army breathing again the air of their
native country, and they could not restrain their feelings when they found
themselves in clean dwellings.

Their first occupation was to restore themselves in regard to cleanliness,
to free their faces from a thick covering of dirt intensified by smoke
which could be compared with a mask. All these unfortunate men wore this
mask, but, as they said while in Moscow, without any desire to dance.
Especially the better educated ones among them felt ashamed to present
themselves in this condition in which they had dragged themselves through
Russia and Poland.

On December 16th, von Borcke and his General, von Ochs, came to Schirwind,
for the first time again in a Prussian city. Quarters were assigned to them
in one of the best houses, the house of the widow of a Prussian officer.
The lady, on seeing the two entering the house, was astonished to learn
that they were a general with his adjutant, and that they should be her
guests. Nothing about them indicated their rank, they were wrapped in
sheepskins and rags full of dirt, blackened by the smoke from the camp
fires, with long beards, frozen hands and feet.

On January 2nd., 1813, these two officers arrived at Thorn. They considered
themselves saved from the great catastrophe, when there, like in all places
to which the wrecks of the grand army had come, typhus broke out. General
von Ochs was stricken down with this disease, and his condition did not
warrant any hopes for recovery. His son, however, who had gone through the
whole retreat wounded and sick with typhus, whom the general and his
adjutant had brought from Borodino in a wagon under incredible
difficulties, had recovered and was able to nurse his father.

And General von Ochs came home with his Adjutant, von Borcke, on February
20th., 1813.

Good people took pains to give their guests an opportunity to clean
themselves thoroughly; the well-to-do had their servants attend to this
process; in houses of the working class man and wife would give a helping

Sergeant Schoebel, together with a comrade, was quartered in the house of
an honest tailor who, seeing how the soldiers were covered with lice, made
them undress and, while the wife boiled the undergarments, the tailor
ironed the outer clothing with a hot iron.

Generous people tried to ameliorate in every manner possible the need which
presented itself in such a pitiful form.

Lieutenant Schauroth was sitting in despair at a table in an inn when one
nobleman pressed a double Louisd'or into his hand and another placed his
sleigh at the lieutenant's disposal to continue his journey.

In Tapiau a carpenter's helper, himself a very poor man, begged among his
friends to obtain a suit of clothes for Sergeant Steinmueller, whom he had
never known before.

But cases of this kind were the exception; in general the Prussian
peasants remembered the many excesses which, notwithstanding Napoleon's
strict orders, the soldiers had committed on their march through East
Prussia; they remembered the requisitions, they felt the plight of Prussia
since the battle of Jena, and they revenged themselves on the French
especially, but even the Germans of Napoleon's soldiers had to suffer from
the infuriated, pitiless peasantry. Holzhausen describes scenes which were
not less atrocious than those enacted by Russian peasants.

And those who were treated kindly had the most serious difficulties: the
sudden change from misery to regular life caused many serious disorders of
the organs of digestion, ennervation and circulation. All who have been in
the field during our civil war know how long it took before they were able
again to sleep in a bed. The Napoleonic soldiery describe how the warmth of
the bed brought on the most frightful mental pictures; they saw burnt,
frozen, and mutilated comrades and had to try to find rest on the floor,
their nervous and their circulatory systems were excited to an intolerable
degree. After eating they vomited, and only gradually the ruined stomach
became accustomed again, first, to thin soups and, later on, to a more
substantial diet.

How much they had suffered manifested itself in many ways after the thick
crust had been removed from their body and, above all, after what had taken
the place of shoes had been taken off. When Sergeant Toenges removed the
rags from his feet the flesh of both big toes came off. Captain
Gravenreuth's boots had been penetrated by matter and ichor. Painful
operations had to be performed to separate gangraenous parts. In
Marienwerder Hochberg found all the attendants of Marshal Victor on the
floor while a surgeon was amputating their limbs.

But these were comparatively minor affairs, amputated limbs played no roll
when hundreds of thousands of mutilated corpses rested on the fields of

An enemy more vicious than the one that had decimated the beautiful army
was lying in wait for the last remainder which tried to rally again.

It was the typhus that on the road from Moscow all through Germany and
through France did its destructive work.

This disease had been observed, as Dr. Geissler reports, first in Moscow,
ravaged most terribly in Wilna and held a second great harvest in
Koenigsberg, where the first troops arrived on December 20th.

One-half of those who had been attacked succumbed, although the hospitals
of Koenigsberg were ideal ones compared with those of Wilna.

Geissler and his colleague had to work beyond description to ameliorate and
to console; help was impossible in the majority of cases.

The physicians of Koenigsberg were not as lucky as Dr. Krantz, whose
patients were in the open air instead of being confined in a hospital.

It is heartrending to read how so many who had withstood so much, escaped
so many dangers, had to die now. One of these was General Eble, the hero of
the Beresina.


BEAUPRE, MORICHEAU. A Treatise on the Effects and Properties of Cold with a
Sketch, Historical and Medical, of the Russian Campaign. Translated by John
Clendining with Appendix xviii, 375 pp., 8 vo. Edinburgh, Maclachnan and
Stewart 1826.

BLEIBTREU, CARL. Die Grosse Armee. Zu ihrer Jahrhundertfeier. 3. Band.
Smolensk--Moskau--Beresina. Stuttgart, 1908.

----, Marschalle, Generale. Soldaten, Napoleon's I. Berlin (without date).

VON BORCKE, JOHANN. Kriegerleben 1806-1815. Berlin, 1888.

BONOUST, MARTIN. Considerations generales sur la congelation pendant
l'ivresse, observee en Russie en 1812. Paris, 1817.

BRANDT. Aus dem Leben des Generals Heinrich von Brandt. Berlin, 1870.

CARPON, CHIRURGIEN. Majeur de la Grande Armee, Les Morts de Wilna. La
France Medicale, 1902, pp. 457-63.

CHUQUET, ARTHUR. 1812 La Guerre de Russie. 3 vols. Paris, 1912.

EBSTEIN, DR. WILHELM. Geh. Medizinalrat und Professor der Medizin an der
Universitat Goettingen, Die Krankheiten im Feldzuge gegen Russland (1812).
Eine geschichtlich-medizinische Studie. Stuttgart, 1902.

GOURGAUD, GENERAL G. DE. Napoleons Gedanken und Erinnerungen, St. Helena,
1815-1818, Nach dem 1898 veroffentlichten Tagebuch deutsch bearbeitet von
Heinrich Conrad. 7. Aus. Stuttgart, 1901. Illustrated.

HOLZHAUSEN, PAUL. Die Deutschen in Russland, 1812. Leben und Leiden auf der
Moskauer Heerfahrt. 2 vols. Berlin, 1912.

KERCKHOVE, J. R. DE. Chirurgien-en-Chef des Hopitaux militairs, Histoire
des maladies observees a la grande Armee francaise pendant les campagnes
de Russie en 1812. 2 vols. l'Allemagne en 1813. Anvers, 1836.

KIELLAND. ALEXANDER L. Rings um Napoleon. Uebersetzt von Dr. Friedrich
Leskien und Marie Leskien-Lie. 3 Auflage. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1907.

KRANTZ, DR. Bemerkungen uber den Gang der Krankheiten welche in der Konigl.
preuss. Armee vom Ausbruche des Krieges im Jahr 1812 bis zu Ende des
Waffenstillstandes (im Aug.) 1813 geherrscht haben. Magazin f. d. ges.
Heilkunde. Berlin, 1817.

LOSSBERG, GENERALLIEUTENANT VON. Briefe in die Heimath. Geschrieben wahrend
des Feldzugs 1812 in Russland. Leipzig, 1848.

DE MAZADE, CH. LE COMTE ROSTOPCHINE. Revue des Deux Mondes, Sept. 15, 1863.

RAMBAUD, ALF. La Grande Armee a Moscou d'apres les recits russes. Revue des
Deux Mondes, July 1, 1873.

SCHEHL, KARL. Mit der grossen Armee 1812 von Krefeld nach Moskau.
Erlebnisse des niederrheinischen Veteranen Karl Schehl. Herausgegeben von
Seinem Grossneffen Ferd, Schehl, Krefeld. Dusseldorf, 1912.

DE SCHERER, JOANNES. Historia morborum, qui in expeditione contra Russian
anno MDCCCXII facta legiones Wuerttembergica invaserunt, praesertim eorem,
qui frigore orti sunt. Inaugural Dissertation. Tuebingen, 1820.

THIERS, A. Histoire du Consulat et de l'Empire.

VON YELIN. In Russland 1812. Aus dem Tagebuch des wurttembergischen
Offiziers von Yelin. Munchen, 1911. Illustrated.

ZELLE, DR. W. Stabsarzt A. D., Kreisarzt, 1812. Das Voelkerdrama in
Russland. 2. Auf. (Without date.)


Alcoholic Beverages
Alexander the Great

Basilius Monastery
Borcke, von
Brandt, von

Cesarian Insanity
Charles XII
Crossing the Niemen

Description of diseases 100 Years Ago



Grolmann, von

Happrecht, von
Hochberg, von



Kalkreuter, von
Keller, von
Kerner, von
Kohlreuter, von

Leppich's Airship
Lossberg, von

Murat at Thorn

Ochs, von

Prisoners of War
Retreat from Moscow
Roos, de

Scherer, von
Schmetter, von
Soden, von

Thiers, Tilsit

Victor, Vop

Wrede, von





3 Dr. H.J. Achard, Ravenswood, Chicago.
1 Dr. Fred. H. Albee, 125 W. 58th Street, N.Y. City.
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1 Mr. E. Bilhuber, 45 John Street, N.Y. City.
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10 Hon. D.N. Botassi, Consul General of Greece, N.Y. City,
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Panama Canal Zone.
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5 Messrs. Lekas and Drivas, 17 Roosevelt Street, N.Y. City.
5 Messrs. Lemcke and Buechner, 30 W. 27th Street, N.Y. City.
3 Dr. B. Leonardos, Director Museum of Inscriptions,
Athens, Greece.
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2 Dr. Wm. Mabon, Wards Island, N.Y. City.
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5 Rev. Isidore Meister, S.L.D., Marmaraneck, N.Y.
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2 Mr. George Merck, Llewellyn Park, West Orange, N.J.
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2 Mr. Epominondas Minekakis, 366 Sixth Avenue, N.Y. City,
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1 Dr. R. S. Porter, Captain Med. Corps, U. S. A., Fort Wm. H. Seward,
1 Dr. M. Rabinowitz, 1261 Madison Avenue, N. Y. City.

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2 Rev. Thos. W. Wallace, 921 Morris Avenue, N. Y. City.
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1 Dr. Frederick N. Wilson, 40 E. 41st Street, N. Y. City.
1 Dr. Fred. Wise, 828 Lexington Avenue, N. Y. City.
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1 Dr. John D. Riley, 200 E. Mahonoy Ave., Mahonoy City, P. I.
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Translated from the German by ACHILLES ROSE, M.D., New York.

This volume embraces Rosenbach's discussion on the clinico-bacteriologic
and hygienic problems based on original investigations. They represent a
contest against the overgrowth of bacteriology, principally against the
overzealous enthusiasm of orthodox bacteriologists.

PARTIAL CONTENTS--Significance of Animal Experiments for Pathology and
Therapy, The Doctrine of Efficacy of Specifics, Disinfection in the Test
Tube and in the Living Body, Should Drinking Water and Milk be Sterilized?
In How Far Has Bacteriology Advanced Diagnosis and Cleared Up Aetiology?
The Mutations of Therapeutic Methods; Stimulation, Reaction,
Predisposition; Bacterial Aetiology of Pleurisy; The Significance of Sea
Sickness; Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Phthisis; Constitution and Therapy;
Care of the Mouth in the Sick; Some Remarks on Influenza; The Koch Method;
The Cholera Question; Infection; Orotherapy; Undulations of Epidemics.

_The Post Graduate_, New York: "It is a rich storehouse for every physician
and will give much food for thought."

12mo, Cloth. 455 Pages. $1.50, net; By Mail, $1.66.



It sets forth facts about the healing qualities of carbonic acid gas which
were known centuries ago and then passed into disuse until they had become
unjustly forgotten.

THE CONTENTS--The Physiology and Chemistry of Respiration; History of the
Use of Carbonic Acid in Therapeutics; Inflation of the Large Intestine with
Carbonic-acid Gas for Diagnostic Purposes; The Therapeutic Effect of
Carbonic-acid Gas in Chloriasis, Asthma, and Emphysema of the Lungs, in the
Treatment of Dysentry and Membranous Enteritis and Colic, Whooping-cough,
Gynecological Affections; The Effects of Carbonic-acid Baths on the
Circulation; Rectal Fistula Promptly, Completely, and Permanently Cured by
Means of Carbonic-acid Applications; Carbonic-acid in Chronic Suppurative
Otitis and Dacryocystitis; Carbonicacid Applications in Rhinitis.

"From this little volume the practitioner can derive much valuable
information, while the physiologist will find a point of departure for new
investigations."--The Post-Graduate, New York. Illustrated. 12mo. Cloth,
268 Pages. $1.00, net; By Mail, $1.10.


Atonia Gastrica, by which term is understood abdominal relaxation and
ptosis of viscera, is a subject of vast importance, as has been proved by
the avalanche of literature it has caused during the last decade. The
relation of some ailments to abdominal relaxation has only been recognized
since the author's method of abdominal strapping has been adopted and
extensively practiced. This book gives in attractive form all we know in
regard to aetiology; it describes and treats on the significance of the
plaster strapping as the most rational therapeutic measure. The
illustrations given with the description will prove of much practical value
to those who wish to give the method a trial, but who have not had the
opportunity to see the Rose belt applied.

12mo. Cloth. Price, $1.00, net.

FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY, Publishers, 44-60 East Twenty-third Street, New


BY DR. ACHILLES ROSE, Honorary Member of the Medical Society of Athens.
Member of the Committee on Nomenclature of the Medical Society of Athens.

G. E. STECHERT & COMPANY, 151-155 West 25th Street, New York. Price, $1.00.

Dr. James P. Warbasse of Brooklyn, N. Y., wrote concerning this book: "I am
much in sympathy with your efforts to secure more uniformity and
correctness in our medical words. While you may not be wholly satisfied
with the results which you are able to secure or with the reception which
your work has received at the hands of your colleagues, still it is
continually bearing fruit. The campaign which you have carried on has
awakened a general and widespread interest in the matter, and is bound to
accomplish great good. I have read with much interest your correspondence
with the Academy of Medicine. It shows an admirable persistent enthusiasm
on one hand and a successful postponing diplomacy on the other."

"For the work done by you, your name will be praised by generations."

In order to understand the onomatology question in medicine as it stands at
present one has to read this book.


G. E. STECHERT & CO., 151-155 West 25th Street. Price, $1.00.


PREFACE.--A Political Retrospect on Greece.--The Hostility of the Great
European Powers towards Greece Since the Establishment of the Greek
Kingdom.--Pacifico Affair and Lord Palmerston.--Cretan Insurrections.
--Latest War.--Greece's Future

CHAPTER I.--An Historical Sketch of Greek.--Relation of the Greek of To-day
to the Greek of the Attic Orators.--Exposure of many Erroneous Views
which have been Prevailing until Recently

CHAPTER II.--Proper Pronounciation of Greek.--The Only True Historical
Pronounciation is the One of the Greeks of To-day; the Erasmian is
Arbitrary, Unscientific, is a Monstrosity

CHAPTER III.--The Byzantines.--Misrepresentations in Regard to Byzantine
History.--Our Gratitude due to the Byzantine Empire

CHAPTER IV.--The Greeks under Turkish Bondage.--The Misery into which the
Greek World was Thrown during the Centuries of Turkish Bondage, the
Wonderful Rising of the Greek People from the Lethargy caused by Slavery,
and their Spiritual and Political Resurrection

CHAPTER V.--The Greek War of Independence, and the European Powers.--The
most Incomprehensible Wrongs Done to the Heroic Greek Race by the Powers
while it was Struggling for Liberty after Long Centuries of Terrific
Vicissitudes, under Circumstances which Presented More Difficulties than
any Other Nation had Encountered.--Philhellenism

CHAPTER VI.--The Kingdom of Greece before the War of 1897.--Continuation of
the Hostility towards the Greeks Since a Part, Part Only of the Nation was
Set Free

CHAPTER VII.--Greek as the International Language of Physicians and
Scholars in General.--The Necessity of Introducing Better Methods of
Teaching Greek in Schools in Order that Greek may become the International
Language of Scholars

EPILOGUE.--Calumniations Against the Greeks of To-day and the Refutation of


His GRACE, ARCHBISHOP CORRIGAN, New York, wrote the day after having
received the book: "Dear Doctor, Many thanks for your great courtesy in
sending me a copy of your charming work, 'Christian Greece and Living
Greek.' I have already begun its perusal, the chapter on the proper
'Pronunciation of Greek' naturally inviting and claiming immediate
attention. I think you laugh Erasmus out of court. Now I must begin, if
leisure be ever afforded me, to dip into Greek again, to learn to pronounce
your noble language correctly. Congratulating you on your success, and with
best wishes, I am, dear Doctor,

"Very faithfully yours,



S. STANHOPE ORRIS, Professor of Greek in Princeton University, who was
Director of the American School at Athens from 1888 to 1889, who kindly
revised the manuscript, wrote:

"I think that the impression which the manuscript has made on my mind will
be made on the minds of all who read your book--that it is the production
of an able, laborious, enthusiastic, scholarly man, who deserves the
gratitude and admiration of all who labor to perpetuate an interest in the
language, literature, and history of Greece."

Again, after having received the book, the same Philhellene writes to the
author: "Professor Cameron, my colleague, who has glanced at the book,
pronounces it eloquent, as I also do, and unites with me in ordering a copy
for our University Library."

HON. EBEN ALEXANDER, former United States Minister to Greece, Professor of
Greek, North Carolina University: "My dear Dr. Rose, The five copies have
been received, and I enclose check in payment.... I am greatly pleased
with the book. It shows everywhere the fruit of your far-reaching studies,
and your own enthusiastic interest has enabled you to state the facts
in a strongly interesting way. I hope that it will meet with favor. I
wonder whether you have sent a copy to the King? He would like to see it,
I know.... I am sincerely your friend."

WILLIAM F. SWAHLER, Professor of Greek, De Pauw University, Greencastle,
Ind., writes: "I received the book today in fine order, and am much pleased
so far as I have had time to peruse the same."

THOMAS CARTER, Professor of Greek and Latin, Centenary College, Jackson,
La., writes: "Am highly delighted with Dr. Rose's work; have not had the
time to read it all yet, but from what I have been able to get over, am
more than ever convinced of his accurate learning, his profound
scholarship, and his devoted enthusiasm for his beloved Hellas."

A. V. WILLIAMS JACKSON, Professor of Oriental Languages, Columbia
University, New York: "The welcome volume arrived this morning and is
cordially appreciated. This note is to express my thanks and to extend best
wishes for continued success."

MR. JOHN C. PALMARIS, of Chicago: "[Greek: Eugnomonon Eggaen]. Dr.
Achilles Rose. Dear Sir, Allow me to express my thanks from the bottom of
my heart as a Greek for your sincere love for my beloved country 'Hellas,'
and to congratulate you for your noble philological and precious work,
'Christian Greece and Living Greek,' with the true Gnomikon. 'It is
shameful to defame Greece continually.' I received to-day the three copies
for me and one for my brother-in-law (Prince Rodokanakis), which I
despatched immediately to Syra."

DR. A. F. CURRIER, New York: "Dear Dr. Rose, I received your book with
great pleasure. It is very attractively made up, and I am looking forward
to the pleasure of reading it. As I get older I am astonished at the charm
with which memory recalls history, myth, and poetry in the study of the
classics long ago. With sincerest wishes for your success, believe me
yours, Philhellenically."

C. EVERETT CONANT, Professor of Greek and Latin, Lincoln University,
Lincoln, III.: "I wish personally to thank you for the effort you are
making to set before us Americans the true status of the modern Greek
language in its relation with the classic speech of Pericles' day. With
best wishes for the success of your laudable undertaking, I am cordially

MR. H. E. S. SLAGENHAUP, Taneytown, Md.: "Dr. Achilles Rose. Dear Sir, Your
book, 'Christian Greece and Living Greek,' reached me this morning.
Although it arrived only this morning I have already read the greater part
of it. It is a work for which every Philhellene must feel truly grateful to
you. Not only do I admire the care, the industry, and the scholarly
research which are evident on every page of this valuable exposition of
Hellenism and Philhellenism, but I most heartily indorse every sentiment
expressed in it. I rejoice that such a book has appeared; I hope it may
have a wide influence favorable to the just cause of Hellas; and I pledge
myself to render whatever assistance may lie in my power in the furtherance
of that cause. The disasters of the past year have in no wise shaken my
faith in the Hellenic race; on the contrary, they have increased my
admiration for the brave people who undertook a war against such odds in
behalf of their oppressed brethren; and I believe that the cause which
sustained such regrettable defeats on the plains of Thessaly last year will
eventually triumph in spite of opposition."

FRANKLIN B. STEPHENSON, M. D., Surgeon United States Navy. "United States
Marine Corps Recruiting Office, Boston: My dear Doctor, Permit me to write
you of my pleasure and satisfaction in reading your excellent book on
Christian Greece and Greek; and to express my appreciation of the clear and
vivid manner in which you have portrayed the life and work of the Hellenes,
who have done so much in preserving and transmitting to us the learning in
science and art of the ancient world.... Your reference to the eminent
professor of Greek who said that there was 'no literature in modern Greek
worthy of the name,' reminds me of the remark of a man,
prominent in financial and social circles, who told me that there was
nothing in Russian to make it worth while studying the language [Dr.
Stephenson is a well-known linguist--mastering eight languages, Russian
among them]. I wish you all success in the work of letting the light of
truth, as to Greek, shine in the minds of those who do not know their own

MORTIMER LAMSON EARLE, Professor Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., who
mastered so well the living Greek language that Greeks of education
pronounce their admiration of his elegant style, saying that it is most
wonderful how well a foreigner writes their own language: "The book has
been duly received, but I have not as yet had time to read all of it.
However, I have read enough to know that, though I differ with you in many
details, I am heartily in accord with you in earnestly supporting the cause
of a people and language to which I am sincerely attached. I am glad that
you speak so highly in praise of the Klephtic songs. I hope that your book
may do much good."

LOUIS F. ANDERSON, Professor of Greek, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.:
"From my rapid inspection I regard it as superior even to my
anticipations. I trust that it will have an extensive sale and
corresponding influence. It is the book needed just now. I hope to write
more in the future."

MR. C. MEHLTRETTER, New York: "After due reading of your book I feel it my
duty to congratulate you on same. True, you may have received so many
congratulatory notes that the layman's opinion will be of little value.
Nevertheless, I can assure you the perusal of your book caused me more
pleasure and instruction than any other I heretofore read on the subject. I
assure you it will find a prominent place in my library, and any time in
future you should again write on _any subject_ consider me one of your

WILLIAM J. SEELYE, Professor of Greek, University of Wooster, Ohio: "Dr.
Rose's book received yesterday. I have already read enough to see that the
author is not only full of his subject, but treats it with judicial mind."

JOSEPH COLLINS, M.D., Professor Post-Graduate School of Medicine, New York:
"The chapters of your book that I have read have been entertaining and

ISAAC A. PARKER, Professor of Greek and Latin, Lombard University,
Galesburg, Ill.: "I wish to say to Dr. Rose that, although I have yet had
time only to glance hastily at the book, the few sentences which I have
read have interested me very much, and it will give me much pleasure to
give it a careful perusal, as I see that it contains much valuable
information. The thanks of those interested in Greece and Greek literature
are due to Dr. Rose for giving them this book. Praise is due to the printer
for his excellent work."

CHARLES R. PEPPER, Professor Central University, Richmond, Ky.: "Your book,
'Christian Greece and Living Greek,' came duly to hand. I am much pleased
with it. I hope the interest of the Philhellenes in the United States may
be quickened to a livelier degree in Greece and Greek affairs, and that
your book may accomplish a good work in putting before the people generally
the claims of Hellas to the gratitude, love, and admiration of the
civilized world."

[_From the Troy Daily Times_, Feb. 7, 1898.]

"Christian Greece and Living Greek," by Dr. Achilles Rose. In view of the
Hellenic defeat in the war with Turkey a year ago the future of Greece to
many minds is rather vague and clouded. This idea is due to lack of
knowledge of Greece history and character. Were Americans more familiar
with the character of the Hellenes and their traditions none would doubt
that the descendants of those great figures of the heroic age have a
mission before them and that this mission will be accomplished in spite of
Turkish bullets and the selfishness of the other European powers. Dr. Rose
in this volume offers a clear presentation of the condition of Greece at
the present time. His work deals not only with the nation, but with the
language, and the history of each is traced from its earliest beginnings
down to the present time. The reading of this book will afford a much
clearer understanding of the causes leading to the war of 1897 than is
generally possessed. Of especial interest is an introduction written by one
of the best known Greeks now resident in this country, who reviews the
causes leading to the great war, and clearly shows the shamefulness of the
course pursued by the great European powers in leaving Hellas to her fate.
Some of the statements made are significant, notably the following:
"If Greece has sinned, it was on the side of compassion for her oppressed
children and coreligionists. She is bleeding from every pore of her
mutilated body, but there is a Nemesis which sooner or later will overtake
those who rejoice now at her defeat and humiliation." New York: Peri
Hellados Publishing Office.

From REV. HENRY A. BUTTZ, Dean Theological Seminary, Madison, N.J.: "My
dear Sir, I have read with interest your book 'Christian Greece and Living
Greek,' and have found it full of valuable suggestion. It discusses many
points of great interest, giving a more correct view of the true condition
of the Greece of to-day and of its relation to its glorious past. I am
especially pleased with your forcible putting of the importance of adopting
the modern Greek pronunciation in our study of the Greek language. I wish
your book a wide circulation."

F. A. PACKARD, M.D., Kearney, Neb.: "Dear Sir and Doctor, Your book on
'Christian Greece and Living Greek' received. I must say it is a grand work
and I prize it highly and consider it a valuable addition to my library.
Wishing you success, etc."

A. JACOBI, M.D., Professor Columbia University: "Dear Dr. Rose, The perusal
of your book has been a source of much pleasure to me. If Hellas has as

Book of the day: