Sample G50 from Curtis Carroll Davis, The King's Chevalier: A Biography of Lewis Littlepage. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., A Subsidiary of Howard W. Sams & Co., Inc., 1961. Pp. 192-196. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,032 words 162 (8.0%) quotes 1 symbolG50

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Curtis Carroll Davis, The King's Chevalier: A Biography of Lewis Littlepage. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., A Subsidiary of Howard W. Sams & Co., Inc., 1961. Pp. 192-196.

Typographical Errors: far [for for] [0620] baragining [1630]year's [for years] [0580]

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As he had done on his first Imperial sortie a year and a half before , Lewis trekked southeast through Red Russia to Kamieniec . Thence he pushed farther south than he had ever been before into Podolia and Nogay Tartary or the Yedisan . There , along the east bank of the Southern Bug , opposite the hamlet of Zhitzhakli a few miles north of the Black Sea , he arrived at General Headquarters of the Russian Army . By June 19 , 1788 , he had presented himself to its Commander in Chief , the Governor of the Southern Provinces , the Director of the War College -- The Prince .

Catherine's first war against the Grand Turk had ended in 1774 with a peace treaty quite favorable to her . By 1783 her legions had managed to annex the Crimea amid scenes of wanton cruelty and now , in this second combat with the Crescent , were aiming at suzerainty over all of the Black Sea's northern shoreline .

Through most of 1787 operations on both sides had been lackadaisical ; ; those of 1788 were going to prove decisive , though many of their details are obscure . To consolidate what her Navy had won , the Czarina was fortunate that , for the first time in Russian history , her land forces enjoyed absolute unity of command under her favorite Giaour . Potemkin was directing this conflict on three fronts : in the Caucasus ; ; along the Danube and among the Carpathians , in alliance with the Emperor Joseph's armies ; ; and in the misty marshlands and shallow coastal waters of Nogay Tartary and Taurida , including the Crimean peninsula . Here the war would flame to its focus , and here Lewis Littlepage had come .

Potemkin's Army of Ekaterinoslav , totaling , it was claimed , 40,000 regular troops and 6,000 irregulars of the Cossack Corps , had invested Islam's principal stronghold on the north shore of the Black Sea , the fortress town of Oczakov , and was preparing to test the Turk by land and sea . During a sojourn of slightly more than three months Chamberlain Littlepage could see action on both elements .

As his second in command The Prince had Marshal Repnin , one-time Ambassador to Poland . Repnin , who had a rather narrow face , longish nose , high forehead , and arching brows , looked like a quizzical Mephistopheles . Some people thought he lacked both ability and character , but most agreed that he was noble in appearance and , for a Russian , humane . The Marshal came to know Littlepage quite well . At General Headquarters the newcomer in turn got to know others . There was the Neapolitan , Ribas , a capable conniver whose father had been a blacksmith but who had fawned his way up the ladder of Catherine's and Potemkin's favor till he was now a brigadier ( and would one day be the daggerman designated to do in Czar Paul 1 , , after traveling all the way to Naples to procure just the right stiletto ) .

Then there were the distinguished foreign volunteers . Representing the Emperor were the Prince De Ligne , still as impetuous as a youth of twenty ; ; and General the Count Pallavicini , founder of the Austrian branch of that celebrated Italian house , a courtier Littlepage could have met at Madrid in December , 1780 . From Milan came the young Chevalier De Litta , an officer in the service of Malta . Out of Saxony rode the Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg , one of the Czarina's cousins and a lieutenant general in her armies , a frank , sensitive , popular soldier whose kindnesses Littlepage would `` always recall with the sincerest gratitude '' .

Though Catherine was vexed at the number of French officers streaming to the Turkish standard , there were several under her own , such as the Prince De Nassau ; ; the energetic Parisian , Roger De Damas , three year's Littlepage's junior , to whom Nassau had taken a liking ; ; and the artillerist , Colonel Prevost , whom the Count De Segur had persuaded to lend his technical skills to Nassau . England contributed a young subaltern named Newton and the naval architect Samuel Bentham , brother to the economist , who for his colonel's commission was proving a godsend to the Russian fleet . From America were the Messrs. Littlepage and Jones .

Lewis had expected to report at once to Jones's and Nassau's naval command post . On arrival at headquarters he had , however -- in King Stanislas' words to Glayre -- `` found such favor with Pe Potemkin that he made him his aide-de-camp and up to now does not want him to go join Paul Jones . '' So of course he stayed put . Having done so , he began to experience all the frustrations of others who attempted to get along with Serenissimus and do a job at the same time .

The Prince's perceptions were quick and his energy monstrous , but these qualities were sapped by an Oriental lethargy and a policy of letting nothing interfere with personal passions . At headquarters -- sufficiently far from the firing line to make you forget occasionally that you were in a war -- Lewis found that the Commander in Chief's only desk was his knees ( and his only comb , his fingers ) . An entire theater had been set up for his diversion , with a 200-man Italian orchestra under the well-known Sarti . In the great one's personal quarters , a portable house , almost every evening saw an elegant banquet or reception . Lewis could let his eye caress The Prince's divan , covered with a rose-pink and silver Turkish cloth , or admire the lovely tapis , interwoven with gold , that spread across the floor . Filigreed perfume boxes exuded the aromas of Araby . Around the billiard tables were always at least a couple of dozen beribboned generals . At dinner the courses were carried in by tall cuirassiers in red capes and black fur caps topped with tufts of feathers , marching in pairs like guards from a stage tragedy .

Among the visitors arriving every now and then there were , of course , women . For if Serenissimus made the sign of the Cross with his right hand , and meant it , with his left he beckoned lewdly to any lady who happened to catch his eye . Usually Lewis would find at headquarters one or more of The Prince's various nieces .

Right now he found Sophie De Witt , that magnificent young matron he had spotted at Kamieniec four years ago . The Prince took her with him on every tour around the area , and it was rumored he was utilizing her knowledge of Constantinople as part of his espionage network . One evening he passed around the banquet table a crystal cup full of diamonds , requesting every female guest to select one as a souvenir . When a lady chanced to soil a pair of evening slippers , Brigadier Bauer was dispatched to Paris for replacements .

But if The Prince fancied women and was fascinated by foreigners , he could be haughtiness personified to his subordinates . He had collared one of his generals in public . His coat trimmed in sable , diamond stars of the Orders of Saints Andrew or George agleam , he was often prone to sit sulkily , eye downcast , in a Scheherazade trance . When this happened , everything stopped . As Littlepage noted : `` A complete picture of Prince Potemkin may be had in his 1788 operations . He stays inactive for half the summer in front of Oczakov , a quite second-rate spot , begins to besiege it formally only during the autumn rains , and finally carries it by assault in the heart of winter . There's a man who never goes by the ordinary road but still arrives at his goal , who gratuitously gets himself into difficulty in order to get out of it with eclat , in a word a man who creates monsters for himself in order to appear a Hercules in destroying them '' .

To help him do so The Prince had conferred control of his land forces on a soldier who was different from him in almost every respect save one : both were eccentrics of the purest ray serene .

Alexander Vasilievitch Suvorov , now in his fifty-ninth year ( ten years Potemkin's senior ) , was a thin , worn-faced person of less than medium height who looked like a professor of botany . He had a small mouth with deep furrows on either side , a large flat nose , and penetrating blue eyes . His gray hair was thin , his face beginning to attract a swarm of wrinkles . He was ugly . But Suvorov's face was also a theater of vivacity , and his tough , stooping little frame was briskness embodied . Like all Russians he was an emotional man , and in him the emotions warred . Kind by nature , he never refused charity to a beggar or help to anyone who asked him for it ( as Lewis would one day discover ) . But he was perpetually engaged in a battle to command his own temper .

When Littlepage was introduced , if the General behaved as usual , the newcomer faced a staccato salvo of queries : origin ? ? Age ? ? Mission ? ? Current status ? ? Woe betide the interviewee if he answered vaguely . Suvorov's contempt for don't-know's was proverbial ; ; better to give an asinine answer than none at all . Despising luxuries of any sort for a soldier , he slept on a pile of hay with his cloak as blanket . He rose at 4:00 A.M. the year round and was apt to stride through camp crowing like a cock to wake his men . His breakfast was tea ; ; his dinner fell anywhere from nine to noon ; ; his supper was nothing . He hadn't worn a watch or carried pocket money for years because he disliked both , but highest among his hates were looking glasses : he had snatched one from an officer's grasp and smashed it to smithereens . He kept several pet birds and liked cats well enough that if one crept by , he would mew at it in friendly fashion . Passing dogs were greeted with a cordial bark .

Yet General Suvorov -- who had never forgotten hearing his adored Czarina declare that all truly great men had oddities -- was mad only north , northwest . He had come to learn that a reputation for peculiarity allowed mere field officers a certain leeway at Court ; ; in camp he knew it won you the affection of your men . He had accordingly cultivated eccentricity to the point of second nature . Underneath , he remained one of the best-educated Russians of his day . He dabbled in verse , could get along well among most of the European languages , and was fluent in French and German . He had also mastered the Cossack tongue .

For those little men with the short whiskers , shaven polls , and top knots Suvorov reserved a special esteem . Potemkin -- as King Stanislas knew , and presently informed Littlepage -- looked on the Cossacks as geopolitical tools . To Serenissimus such tribes as the Cossacks of the Don or those ex-bandits the Zaporogian Cossacks ( in whose islands along the lower Dnieper the Polish novelist Sienkiewicz would one day place With Fire And Sword ) were just elements for enforced resettlement in , say , Bessarabia , where , as `` the faithful of the Black Sea borders '' , he could use their presence as bargaining points in the Czarina's territorial claims against Turkey . Suvorov saw in these scimitar-wielding skirmishers not demographic units but military men of a high potential . He knew how to channel their exuberant disorderliness so as to transform them from mere plunderers into A-1 guerrilla fighters . He always kept a few on his personal staff . He often donned their tribal costumes , such as the one featuring a tall , black sheepskin hat from the top of which dangled a little red bag ornamented by a chain of worsted lace and tassels ; ; broad red stripes down the trouser leg ; ; broader leather belt round the waist , holding cartridges and light sabre . Suvorov played parent not just to his Cossacks but to all his troops . It was probably at this period that Littlepage got his first good look at the ordinary Russian soldier .

These illiterate boors conscripted from villages all across the Czarina's empire had , Suvorov may have told Lewis , just two things a commander could count on : physical fitness and personal courage . When their levies came shambling into camp , they were all elbows , hair , and beard . They emerged as interchangeable cogs in a faulty but formidable machine : shaved nearly naked , hair queued , greatcoated , jackbooted , and best of all -- in the opinion of the British professional , Major Semple-Lisle -- `` their minds are not estranged from the paths of obedience by those smatterings of knowledge which only serve to lead to insubordination and mutiny '' .