Wednesday, 28 November 2007

A softie, after all.


Grenier in his book The Difficulty of Being a Dog writes how Napoleon was once surveying a battlefield from which the dead had not yet been removed. He saw a dog beside the body of its master, howling, licking the dead man’s face. Napoleon wrote about this in his memoirs. “No incident, on any of my battlefields (note the use of my battlefields!), ever produced so deep an impression on me.” declares Napoleon who was insistent that the death of millions meant nothing to him.
“ I had, without emotion, ordered battles which were to decide the fate of the army; I beheld, with a dry eye, the execution of those operations, by which numbers of my countrymen were sacrificed; and here I was upset, my feelings roused, by the mournful howling of a dog.”

9 comments:

jmb said...

Not quite a softie, Eurodog. I have a friend who adores cats. But she loathes children and is exceedingly intolerant of them.
Napoleon somehow compartmentalized his reactions to the suffering of the two different species. I hope what you infer is true but can't be sure.
Hitler loved his dog too.

Eurodog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eurodog said...

jmb,
Point taken.

Winchester whisperer said...

Apparently he had a dog as a pet on Elba and St Helena

Mopsa said...

Yes, I had a JMB moment there too. The love of the animal has to be combined with the love of the human.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Well, now I know why I always had a soft spot for Napoleon!

Flowerpot said...

What is it with men and dogs? I saw this last summer sitting outside a cafe. Two men sitting chatting, one suddenlys tarted talking about his dog being put down, how he couldnt bear to go, how much he loved ths dog etc etc - Im quite certain he never talked about his wife like that...

Anonymous said...

I found this a fascinating post, and jmb's comment too.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Anyone who doesn't love a dog doesn't know what they are missing! In my humble opinion of course.

Crystal xx