The square was again heavily attacked, but the Arabs could not get to close quarters and in the evening a bivouac was formed on the Nile.
It seems scarcely to know fear, obtruding itself on the notice of any traveller who invades its haunts, and, should he halt, making itself at once a denizen of his bivouac. In confinement it speedily becomes friendly, but suitable food for it is not easily found.
In the field, armies lived as a rule in camp (q.v.), and when the provision of canvas shelter was impossible in bivouac. At the present time, however, it is unusual, in Europe at any rate, for troops on active service to hamper themselves with the enormous trains of tent wagons that would be required, and cantonments or bivouacs, or a combination of the two have therefore taken the place, in modern warfare, of the old long rectilinear lines of tents that marked the restingplace and generally, too, the order of battle of an 18th-century army.
The troops nearest the enemy, however, which have to be maintained in a state of constant readiness for battle, cannot as a rule afford the time either for dispersing into quarters or for rallying on an alarm, and in western Europe at any rate they are required to bivouac. In India, the term "cantonment" means more generally a military station or standing camp. The troops live, not in private houses, but in barracks, huts, forts or occasionally camps.
At that moment Napoleon was in the midst of his troops, thousands of whom had made their bivouac-straw into torches in his honour.
The Emperor without waiting for an answer turned away and said to one of the officers as he went: Have these gentlemen attended to and taken to my bivouac; let my doctor, Larrey, examine their wounds.
The huge, endless bivouac that had previously resounded with the crackling of campfires and the voices of many men had grown quiet, the red campfires were growing paler and dying down.
He seemed unaware of the vital importance of the moment, crouched shivering over a bivouac fire, and finally rode back to Dresden, leaving no specific orders for the further pursuit.
By evening it was expected that the whole would have crossed the Sambre, and would bivouac between the sundered allies.
Denisov himself intended going with the esaul and Petya to the edge of the forest where it reached out to Shamshevo, to have a look at the part of the French bivouac they were to attack next day.