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As of 2012, it had 3.3 million listeners each week, on about 660 stations. On June 8, 2012, the brothers announced that they would no longer broadcast new episodes as of October. Executive producer Doug Berman said the best material from 25 years of past shows would be used to put together "repurposed" shows for NPR to broadcast. Berman estimated the archives contain enough for eight years' worth of material before anything would have to be repeated. Ray Magliozzi, however, would occasionally record new taglines and sponsor announcements that were aired at the end of the show.
One of my best friends, and that friendship has been proved in war andpeace, at home and abroad, is a Bank! The Bank is like Mercy in moreways than one, but particularly in that it is twice blessed; it isblessed in what it receives, I hope, and in what it gives, I know.From the standpoint of the depositor sometimes it is better to receivethan to give. It has been so in my case and I have been able topersuade the Bank to that way of thinking.
However Napoleon's genius cannot be denied any more than his failure.In this book I have sought to show him at his best and also almost athis worst. For sheer brilliance, military and mental, the campaigningin France in 1814 could not be surpassed. He is there with his rawrecruits, his beardless boys, his old guard, his tactical andstrategical ability, his furious energy, his headlong celerity and hismarvelous power of inspiration; just as he was in Italy when herevolutionized the art of war and electrified the world. Many of thesequalities are in evidence in the days before Waterloo, but during theactual battle upon which his fate and the fate of the world turned, thetired, broken, ill man is drowsily nodding before a farmhouse by theroad, while Ney, whose superb and headlong courage was not accompaniedby any corresponding military ability, wrecks the last grand army.
"Besides," said the Emperor gloomily, "it is already too late. I havereserved the best for the last," he said with grim irony. "The courierwho has just departed is from Caulaincourt." He lifted the lastdispatch, which he had torn open a moment or two since. He shook it inthe air, crushed it in his hand, laughed, and those who heard him laughshuddered.
"Gentlemen," said Berthier despairingly to the other officers, "weshall never persuade him. You had better repair to your commands.Some of you must have something to eat. Divide what you have with theless fortunate divisions. Arm and equip the best men. There is asmall supply at Nogent, I am told. The others must wait."
The supply of regimental officers was utterly inadequate to the demand.The bravest and the best are usually the first to fall; the boldest andmost venturesome the most liable to capture. Perhaps, if the Emperorhad broken up his guard and distributed the veterans among the rawtroops, the effect might have been better, but in that case he wouldhave destroyed his main reliance in his army. No, it was better tokeep the guard together at all hazards. It had already been drawnheavily upon for officers for other corps.
War was popularly supposed to be a thing of dashing adventure, ofvictory, and plunder. It had been all that before. Experience hadthrust them all unprepared face to face with the naked reality ofdefeat, disease, weary marches over awful roads in freezing cold, indrifting snow, or in sodden mire. They had no guns, they had littlefood, thank God, there was some clothing, such as it was, but even thebest uniforms were not calculated to stand such strains as had beenimposed upon these.
With that comprehensive eye which made him the master of battlefieldsand nations he had forseen everything. Soldiers were coming fromSpain. He had given instructions to magnify their number and theirstrength. He shrewdly surmised that their appearance on the left flankwould cause the cautious Schwarzenberg to pause, to withdraw hisflankers, to mass to meet them. There would be a halt in the advance.The allies still feared the Emperor. Although much of his prestige wasgone, they never made little of Napoleon. He intended to leave some ofthe best troops to confront Schwarzenberg between Nogent and Montereau,under Victor and Oudinot, hard fighters both, with instructions not toengage in any decisive battle, not to allow themselves to be trappedinto that, but to stand on the defensive, to hold the River Seine, toretreat foot by foot, if pressed, to take advantage of every cover, tohold the enemy in check, to contest every foot of the way, to assume astrength which they did not have.
The best officers of the detachment were prisoners in the chteau. Thesubordinate who had been entrusted with the pursuit was young andinexperienced; the Cossack commander was a mere raider. Theythemselves belonged to the cavalry. They decided, after inspecting thewhole building carefully as nearly as they dared in view of theconstant threat of discharge, that they would have to wait untilmorning, unless something occurred to them or some chance favored them.They trusted that at daylight they would have no difficulty ineffecting an entrance somewhere. A total of three men dead and onewounded, to say nothing of the sentries and officers, had adiscouraging effect on night work. They did not dream that there wasan enemy, a French soldier, that is, nearer than Troyes. They supposedthat the castle had been seized by some of the enraged country peoplewho had escaped the Cossacks and that they could easily deal with themin the morning.
"With my right arm I swam as best I could. There was a horse nearbywhich had lost his rider. I grasped the saddle horn. Somehow Imanaged to reach the shore with the Eagle. I clambered up the bank,slippery with water and with blood, mademoiselle. The Russians werefiring at us from the town. A bullet struck me."
"It was forgot until a few days since. When I recovered I rejoined theregiment. To take the duty of an officer suddenly ill I happened to bestationed on service near the Emperor at Nogent. When others wereurging him to make terms, I, though a young soldier, ventured toexpress myself to the contrary."
"What regiment is that?" he had asked Marteau, who was riding at hisheels in the midst of the fugitives, and doing his best to second theEmperor's frantic efforts to restore order and bring the men to a stand.
"The King's paymasters are a long time in coming. We are left to makeshift as best we can. But I am not yet penniless," returned the oldMajor. He threw a purse on the table. "You will be my guest. Withthese you can get proper clothes and uniform."
In the quarters of Major Lestoype was a spacious and lofty hall.Thither the new arrivals were conducted. There was an air of greatsecrecy about their movements. The occasion was evidently felt to be asolemn one by all. Major Lestoype was not yet present. As they threwoff their cloaks it was seen that they were soldiers of the Fifthregiment of the line, to continue to give it the familiar title. Eachone was arrayed in his best parade uniform. They were of every rankbelow that of Major, and included among them were severalnon-commissioned officers and a few private soldiers of reputation andstanding. The men were of all ages too, although the non-commissionedofficers and privates were, in every instance, veterans. These laststood in a little group by themselves, although there was no attempt onthe part of the officers to emphasize any difference in rank on such anoccasion.
The plain people of France were more or less apathetic toward Emperoror King. France had been drained of its best for so long that itcraved rest and peace and time to recuperate above everything else. Ithad been sated with glory and was alike indifferent to victory ordefeat. But the army was a seething mass of discontent. It hadnothing to gain by the continuance of present conditions and everythingto lose. It was a body of soldiers-of-fortune held in controltemporarily by circumstances but ready to break the leash and respondinstantly to the call of the greatest soldier-of-fortune of all.
"That is well. You will live to thank me and bless me. I havefancied, of late, that your heart had been allowed to decline a littleto this Marteau. Oh, he is a brave man and true, I know. I take nostock in his confession of theft or assault upon you. Why, I wouldhave cut him down where he stood, or have him kill me if I believedthat! But he is of another race, another blood. The Eagle does notstoop to the barnyard fowl. The heart of a woman is a strange thing.It leads her in strange ways if she follows its impulses. Thank Godthere are men who can and will direct and control those impulses. Puthim out of your mind. It is best. To-morrow he will be a dead man.At any rate, I am rather glad of that," said the Marquis, halfreflectively, knowing what trouble he might have made if he were to beallowed to live on. It was cold-blooded, but he could sacrificeMarteau for his niece's happiness, and find abundant justification inthe annals of his house, where he could read of many Marteaux who hadbeen sacrificed or had sacrificed themselves for the d'Aumeniers.
"Good. You have one half-hour, my child. God grant that you may serveFrance and induce this wretched prisoner to give up the Eagle. Yourimpulse of mercy does you credit," he said adroitly, making the best ofthe situation for St. Laurent's benefit. "Now you may go." 350c69d7ab