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قراءة كتاب Child of the Regiment

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‏اللغة: English
Child of the Regiment

Child of the Regiment

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1









Little Mary


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ot many years ago a terrible battle was fought between the soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Austrians, at a small village in Italy. The Austrians were severely beaten, and the houses of the village were set on fire by the cannon, and all burned or torn down; the poor villagers were driven from their homes, and thousands of soldiers were killed or wounded, and left to die on the ground; the Austrians tried to get away from the French, but the furious soldiers of Napoleon pursued them with their bayonets, or trampled them to death with their horses.

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In the French army was a regiment of soldiers who were called guards; they were all dressed alike, in blue coats and white pantaloons, trimmed with crimson and gold: they were terrible fellows to fight, and their enemies were very much afraid of them, or they were always in the thickest of the battle, clearing their way with the points of their bayonets. While this regiment was pursuing the Austrians, near the burning village, one of the Guards, an old man, saw a sweet little girl who could scarcely walk; her papa and mama had been driven from their homes, and her papa, who carried her in his arms, was killed by the soldiers. Mary, for that was her name, held up her little hands crying bitterly, as she lay among the killed and wounded; and the Old Guard, who was a brave but kind soldier, pitied her, and took her in his arms, and when the battle was ended, carried her to his tent, and calling his comrades together, told them of the little girl he had found; and no one knowing who she was, or who her parents were, they called her Mary, the Child of the Regiment, and agreed to take care of her as well as they could. Poor little Mary, she had no mama to undress her at night, and make her a little bed, but the good old Guard, gave her some of his supper and laid her down on some straw, for the soldiers have no other beds in their tents; and after laying his coat over her to keep her warm, and his haversack under her head, she sobbed awhile, and fell asleep to forget the scenes of that dreadful day. The next morning the old Guard awoke little Mary, and washed her face, and combed her hair as well as he could, for he had never taken care of a child in his life, and was almost afraid to touch her with his hard and rough hands, which he thought only fit to shoulder arms or charge bayonet with; and after taking some dried meat and hard bread for breakfast, he took her out to let her see the soldiers: they were delighted with Mary, and many of them ran to take her up in their arms, but she liked the Old Guard best, and wanted to be with him, for she was afraid of their glittering muskets, as she remembered how terrible they looked only the day before, when the noise of their guns, and deafening hurrahs had almost frightened her to death; but they were kind to her, and she afterwards loved them very much, for she said the