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[1253] king, he says: ‘I expatiate here, almost in spite of myself, because this was the first great man whose portrait was thus drawn for me at home,—a portrait after nature,—and because my admiration of him was the first symptom of my useless love of arms,—the first cause of one of the most complete delusions of my life.’ This admiration for the great king remained so lively in his mind, that even Bonaparte in his gestures seemed to him, in later days, a plagiarist.

At the military school, “the drum stifled the voices of our masters, and the mysterious voices of books seemed to us cold and pedantic. Tropes and logarithms seemed to us only steps to mount to the star of the Legion of Honor,—the fairest star of heaven to us children.

No meditation could keep long in chains heads made constantly giddy by the noise of cannon and bells for ‘the Te Deum. When one of our former comrades returned to pay us a visit in uniform, and his arm in a scarf, we blushed at our books, and threw them at the heads of our teachers. Our teachers were always reading us bulletins from the grande armee, and our cries of Vive l'empereur interrupted Tacitus and Plato. Our preceptors resembled heralds of arms, our study halls barracks, and our examinations reviews.’

Thus was he led into the army; and, he says, ‘It was only very late, that I perceived that my services were one long mistake, and that I had imported into a life altogether active, a nature altogether contemplative.’

He entered the army at the time of Napoleon's fall, and, like others, wasted life in waiting for war. For these young persons could not believe that peace and

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