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The colonel called upon Sergeant Wyatt to come forward. Julian did so, saluted, and stood to attention, while the marshal dismounted and pinned to his breast the insignia of the order, while the regiment saluted, and, as Julian returned to his place in the ranks, burst into a hearty cheer. As soon as the marshal had ridden off, and the regiment fell out, the officers gathered round Julian and congratulated him upon the honour he had received, and, at the same time, thanked him heartily for the credit that the regiment had gained, through his means, while the enthusiasm of the soldiers knew no bounds. A word of praise from the Emperor was the distinction that French soldiers and French regiments most coveted, and to have been named, not only by their marshal in his orders, but by the Emperor in a general order to the army, was an honour that filled every heart with pride.

"They have been terrible. As yet we scarcely know how great; but I imagine that they will be found to have been no less than that of the enemy. We hear that, in the pursuit, and without having taken any part in the actual fighting after Krasnoi, Kutusow's army alone has lost nearly 100,000 men from cold and fatigue; while, of the central army of Napoleon, but four hundred infantry and six hundred cavalry repassed the Niemen with their arms and standards. The other Russian divisions suffered as severely as those with Kutusow. The Emperor has himself gone to Wilna to endeavour to alleviate the sufferings of the sick and wounded, with which the city is crammed. Wide as will be the mourning in France, it will be no less so in Russia. Now, the first thing to do is to provide you with suitable garments. This I will put in hand immediately; but, until they can be procured, you must content yourself with some of mine, though, as you are some four inches taller than I am and far wider, they will suit you but poorly. However, I have an ample store of dressing-gowns and wraps, and you must remain indoors a prisoner until you are properly fitted out. By the way, I had an interview with the two honest men who came with you before I returned to you, and have arranged their business fully to their satisfaction. The Papa will be able to build himself a new church, and the villagers to repair all the losses they have suffered in the campaign.

The two magistrates put their heads together for a short time. Then the chairman said: "The bench is of opinion that the charge of attempted murder is altogether without foundation, and that of abusive language and the use of threats should never have been brought, seeing that they were the result of what we cannot but consider the very ill-judged and improper conduct of the plaintiff. You are therefore discharged, Mr. Wyatt; but my colleague and myself cannot but again express a hope that this and the preceding charge may prove a lesson to you to avoid taking part, even as a spectator, in such breeches of the law as those which led to this very regrettable occurrence."

CHAPTER VI

The Argo arrived at Constantinople at the end of June, and they found that the treaty of peace between Turkey and Russia had been already arranged. A month was spent in vexatious delays, which were the more irritating as it was known that Napoleon had arrived at the frontier, and was on the point of crossing the Niemen, if he had not already done so. At last the British ambassador succeeded in overcoming the inertness of the Porte; on the 14th of July the treaty was finally ratified, and on the 27th Sir Robert Wilson was sent by our ambassador to Shumla to arrange details with the Grand Vizier. Thence he went to the Congress at Bucharest, which was the headquarters of the Russian Admiral, Tchichagow, who commanded their army of the Danube.