In 1 434 he received a gift from Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, for his military services, but on the conclusion of the peace of Arras in the next year he abandoned soldiering for diplomacy.
This hatred was confirmed by the sufferings of his country and family in the terrible years after 1806, and his first experience of active soldiering was in the campaigns that ended in the occupation of Paris by the Allies in 1814.
Interested as he was in soldiering, his eager temperament impelled him still more to adventure in politics and letters.
To the disappointment of his father, in whom the military instinct was ever predominant, he showed no love of soldiering, and gave evidence of a kindliness of disposition and a tender-heartedness which were considered out of place in one destined to become a military autocrat.
In 1900 he published his reminiscences under the title of Soldiering in Canada.