Browsing Revolt Library By Tag : regiment

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In Petersburg in the eighteen-forties a surprising event occurred. An officer of the Cuirassier Life Guards, a handsome prince who everyone predicted would become aide-de-camp to the Emperor Nicholas I. and have a brilliant career, left the service, broke off his engagement to a beautiful maid of honor, a favorite of the Empress’s, gave his small estate to his sister, and retired to a monastery to become a monk. This event appeared extraordinary and inexplicable to those who did not know his inner motives, but for Prince Stepan Kasatsky himself it all occurred so naturally that he could not imagine how he could have acted otherwise. His father, a retired colonel of the Guards, had died when Stepan was twelve, and sorry as his mother was to part from her son, she entered him at the Military College as her deceased husband had intended.

The vast, dark, lofty hall, lighted only by the four or five candles, which the doctors were carrying about to inspect the wounded, was literally full. The stretcher-bearers brought in the wounded, ranged them one beside another on the floor, which was already so crowded that the unfortunate wretches hustled each other and sprinkled each other with their blood, and then went forth for more. The pools of blood which were visible on the unoccupied places, the hot breaths of several hundred men, and the steam which rose from those who were toiling with the stretchers produced a peculiar, thick, heavy, offensive atmosphere, in which the candles burned dimly in the different parts of the room. The dull murmur of diverse groans, sighs, death-rattles, broken now and again by a shriek, was borne throughout the apartment. Sisters of charity, with tranquil faces, and with an expression not of empty, feminine, tearfully sickly compassion, but of active, practical sympathy,...

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