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Stendhal: Decorating it with the name of glory


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

French writers on war and peace

Stendhal: Dreaming of the Marshall and his glory…

Stendhal: You’ve got to learn the business before you can become a soldier

Stendhal and Byron: Military leprosy; fronts of brass and feet of clay


From De l’Amour
Translated by Philip Sidney Woolf and Cecil N. Sidney Woolf

Two friends find themselves side by side with a battery at the battle of Talavera, one as Captain in command, the other as lieutenant. A passing bullet lays the Captain low. “Good,” says the lieutenant, quite beside himself with joy, “that’s done for Francis – now I shall be Captain.” “Not so quick,” cries Francis, as he gets up. He had only been stunned by the bullet. The lieutenant, as well as the Captain, were the best fellows in the world, not a bit ill-natured, and only a little stupid; the excitement of the chase and the furious egoism which the Emperor had succeeded in awakening, by decorating it with the name of glory, made these enthusiastic worshippers of him forget their humanity.

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