“What is that?”
“The fact that you were the cause of her living alone for six months!”
THE MILITARY REVIEW
The different troops, assembled for review, were massed on the parade-ground at Vincennes, facing the tribunes.
In the centre, the artillery brigade, surrounded by two divisions of infantry, was drawn up in two straight columns, connected by regiments; each division of infantry, in double columns, was connected by brigades.
These six columns were separated by spaces varying from twenty to twenty-five metres.
In the background, the cavalry division was lined up in columns; behind that was its artillery, in the same order of formation.
At a given signal, the troops advanced five hundred metres, and, as soon as they halted, drums, clarinets and trumpets beat and sounded from all parts of the field, saluting the arrival of the military governor of Paris.
This functionary, followed by his staff, in the midst of which group glittered the brilliant Russian uniform of the aide-decamp General Leniaeff, rode slowly past the front and the flanks of the massed body, the troops facing to the left or the right as he passed.
This inspection finished, he took up his stand before the pillars at the entrance, and the march past began by battalions en masse, in the midst of the acclamations of numerous spectators who had come to witness this imposing display, well calculated to stir patriotic pride.
The enthusiasm increased; the Prerolles division marched past after its artillery, and, as always, the martial and distinguished profile of its general produced its usual effect on the public.
He rode Aida, his favorite mare, an Irish sorrel of powerful frame, with solid limbs, whose horizontal crupper and long tail indicated her race; she was one of those animals that are calm and lively at the same time, capable of going anywhere and of passing through all sorts of trials.
After its parade, the infantry, whose part in the affair was finished, retraced their steps and took up a position on the other side of the field of manoeuvres, facing the north, and in front of rising ground, in preparation for the discharge of musketry.
During this time the artillery brigade, re-formed in battle array on the parade-ground, detached six batteries, which advanced at a trot to within one hundred and fifty metres of the tribunes, where they discharged a volley. The long pieces were run rapidly to right and left, unmasking the cavalry, which, after a similar volley from its own batteries, appeared behind them in battle order, and executed a galloping march, its third line held in reserve.
A few moments later all the troops rejoined the infantry on the ground set apart for rest and for the purpose of partaking of a cold repast, consisting of potted meats, with which each man was furnished.