Poor young fellows who were making their first campaign, being wounded to the death, lost courage, and wept like children crying for their mothers. The terrible picture will be forever engraven on my memory.
The Emperor urgently repeated his orders for removing the wounded quickly, then turned his horse in silence, and returned to his headquarters, the evening being now far advanced. I passed the night near him, and his sleep was much disturbed; or, rather, he did not sleep at all, and repeated over and over, restlessly turning on his pillow, “Poor Caulaincourt! What a day! What a day!”
As I have announced previously, I shall endeavor to record in this chapter some recollections of events personal to the Emperor which occurred during the journey between the frontiers of France and Prussia. How sad a contrast results, alas! as we attempt to compare our journey to Moscow with that of our return. One must have seen Napoleon at Dresden, surrounded by a court of princes and of kings, to form an idea of the highest point which human greatness can reach. There more than ever elsewhere the Emperor was affable to all; fortune smiled upon him, and none of those who enjoyed with us the spectacle of his glory could even conceive the thought that fortune could soon prove unfaithful to him and in so striking a manner. I remember, among other particulars of our stay at Dresden, a speech I heard the Emperor make to Marshal Berthier, whom he had summoned at a very early hour. When the marshal arrived, Napoleon had not yet risen, but I received orders to bring him in at once; so that while dressing the Emperor, I heard between him and his major-general a conversation of which I wish I could remember the whole, but at least I am sure of repeating correctly one thought which struck me. The Emperor said in nearly these words:—