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War And Peace 100

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War And Peace

had not surrendered but had beaten the French. "We have orders to drive you off here, and we shall drive you off," said Dolokhov. "Only take care you and your Cossacks are not all captured!" said the French grenadier. The French onlookers and listeners laughed. "Well make you dance as we did under Suvorov...,"* said Dolokhov. *"On vous fera danser." "Qu est-ce quil chante?"* asked a Frenchman. *"Whats he singing about?" "Its ancient history," said another, guessing that it referred to a former war. "The Emperor will teach your Suvara as he has taught the others..." "Bonaparte..." began Dolokhov, but the Frenchman interrupted him. "Not Bonaparte. He is the Emperor! Sacre nom...!" cried he angrily. "The devil skin your Emperor." And Dolokhov swore at him in coarse soldiers Russian and shouldering his musket walked away. "Let us go, Ivan Lukich," he said to the captain. "Ah, thats the way to talk French," said the picket soldiers. "Now, Sidorov, you have a try!" Sidorov, turning to the French, winked, and began to jabber meaningless sounds very fast: "Kari, mala, tafa, safi, muter, Kaska," he said, trying to give an expressive intonation to his voice. "Ho! ho! ho! Ha! ha! ha! ha! Ouh! ouh!" came peals of such healthy and good-humored laughter from the soldiers that it infected the French involuntarily, so much so that the only thing left to do seemed to be to unload the muskets, explode the ammunition, and all return home as quickly as possible. But the guns remained loaded, the loopholes in blockhouses and entrenchments looked out just as menacingly, and the unlimbered cannon confronted one another as before. CHAPTER XVI Having ridden round the whole line from right flank to left, Prince Andrew made his way up to the battery from which the staff officer had told him the whole field could be seen. Here he dismounted, and stopped beside the farthest of the four unlimbered cannon. Before the guns an artillery sentry was pacing up and down; he stood at attention when the officer arrived, but at a sign resumed his measured, monotonous pacing. Behind the guns were their limbers and still farther back picket ropes and artillerymens bonfires. To the left, not far from the farthest cannon, was a small, newly constructed wattle shed from which came the sound of officers voices in eager conversation. It was true that a view over nearly the whole Russian position and the greater part of the enemys opened out from this battery. Just facing it, on the crest of the opposite hill, the village of Schon Grabern could be seen, and in three places to left and right the French troops amid the smoke of their campfires, the greater part of whom were evidently in the village itself and behind the hill. To the left from that village, amid the smoke, was something resembling a battery, but it was impossible to see it clearly with the naked eye. Our right flank was posted on a rather steep incline which dominated the French position. Our infantry were stationed there, and at the farthest point the dragoons. In the center, where Tushins battery stood and from which Prince Andrew was surveying the position, was the easiest and most direct descent and ascent to the brook separating us from Schon Grabern. On the left our troops were close to a copse, in which smoked the bonfires of our infantry who were felling wood. The French line was wider than ours, and it was plain that they could easily outflank us on both sides. Behind our position was a steep and deep dip, making it difficult for artillery and cavalry to retire. Prince Andrew took out his notebook and, leaning on the cannon, sketched a plan of the position. He made some notes on two points, intending to mention them to Bagration. His idea was, first, to concentrate all the artillery in the center, and secondly, to withdraw the cavalry to the other side of the dip. Prince Andrew, being always near the commander in chief, closely following the mass movements and general orders, and constantly studying historical accounts of battles, involuntarily pictured to himself the course of events in the forthcoming action in broad outline. He imagined only important possibilities: "If the enemy attacks the right flank," he said to himself, "the Kiev grenadiers and the Podolsk chasseurs must hold their position till reserves from the center come up. In that case the dragoons could successfully make a flank counterattack. If they attack our center we, having the center battery on this high ground, shall withdraw the left flank under its cover, and retreat to the dip

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