Hi to the FBI. Hi to the CIA.
Dick Fucking Cheney is next in line.
A fortnight later, on June 13 , the time which we pages and cadets had so long looked for came at last. The Emperor gave us a sort of military examination in all kinds of evolutions, — during which we commanded the companies, and I paraded on a horse before the battalion, — and we were promoted to be officers.
When the parade was over, Alexander II. loudly called out, "The promoted officers to me!" and we gathered round him. He remained on horseback.
Here I saw him in a quite new light. The man who the next year appeared in the role of a bloodthirsty and vindictive suppressor of the insurrection in Poland rose now, full size, before my eyes, in the speech he addressed to us.
He began in a quiet tone. "I congratulate you: you are officers." He spoke about military duty and loyalty as they are usually spoken of on such occasions. "But if any one of you," he went on, distinctly shouting out every word, his face suddenly contorted with anger, — "but if any one of you — which God preserve you from — should under any circumstances prove disloyal to the Tsar, the throne, and the fatherland, take heed of what I say, — he will be treated with all the se-veri-ty of the laws, without the slightest com-mi-se-ra-tion!"
His voice failed; his face was peevish, full of that expression of blind rage which I saw in my childhood on the faces of landlords when they threatened their serfs "to skin them under the rods." He violently spurred his horse, and rode out of our circle. Next morning, the 14th of June, by his orders, three officers were shot at Módlin in Poland, and one soldier, Szur by name, was killed under the rods.
"Reaction, full speed backwards," I said to myself, as we made our way back to the Corps.
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