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War And Peace 145


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even the term "dispositions." "Well, my dear fellow, so you still want to be an adjutant? I have been thinking about you." "Yes, I was thinking"--for some reason Boris could not help blushing--"of asking the commander in chief. He has had a letter from Prince Kuragin about me. I only wanted to ask because I fear the Guards wont be in action," he added as if in apology. "All right, all right. Well talk it over," replied Prince Andrew. "Only let me report this gentlemans business, and I shall be at your disposal." While Prince Andrew went to report about the purple-faced general, that gentleman--evidently not sharing Boris conception of the advantages of the unwritten code of subordination--looked so fixedly at the presumptuous lieutenant who had prevented his finishing what he had to say to the adjutant that Boris felt uncomfortable. He turned away and waited impatiently for Prince Andrews return from the commander in chiefs room. "You see, my dear fellow, I have been thinking about you," said Prince Andrew when they had gone into the large room where the clavichord was. "Its no use your going to the commander in chief. He would say a lot of pleasant things, ask you to dinner" ("That would not be bad as regards the unwritten code," thought Boris), "but nothing more would come of it. There will soon be a battalion of us aides-de-camp and adjutants! But this is what well do: I have a good friend, an adjutant general and an excellent fellow, Prince Dolgorukov; and though you may not know it, the fact is that now Kutuzov with his staff and all of us count for nothing. Everything is now centered round the Emperor. So we will go to Dolgorukov; I have to go there anyhow and I have already spoken to him about you. We shall see whether he cannot attach you to himself or find a place for you somewhere nearer the sun." Prince Andrew always became specially keen when he had to guide a young man and help him to worldly success. Under cover of obtaining help of this kind for another, which from pride he would never accept for himself, he kept in touch with the circle which confers success and which attracted him. He very readily took up Boris cause and went with him to Dolgorukov. It was late in the evening when they entered the palace at Olmutz occupied by the Emperors and their retinues. That same day a council of war had been held in which all the members of the Hofkriegsrath and both Emperors took part. At that council, contrary to the views of the old generals Kutuzov and Prince Schwartzenberg, it had been decided to advance immediately and give battle to Bonaparte. The council of war was just over when Prince Andrew accompanied by Boris arrived at the palace to find Dolgorukov. Everyone at headquarters was still under the spell of the days council, at which the party of the young had triumphed. The voices of those who counseled delay and advised waiting for something else before advancing had been so completely silenced and their arguments confuted by such conclusive evidence of the advantages of attacking that what had been discussed at the council--the coming battle and the victory that would certainly result from it--no longer seemed to be in the future but in the past. All the advantages were on our side. Our enormous forces, undoubtedly superior to Napoleons, were concentrated in one place, the troops inspired by the Emperors presence were eager for action. The strategic position where the operations would take place was familiar in all its details to the Austrian General Weyrother: a lucky accident had ordained that the Austrian army should maneuver the previous year on the very fields where the French had now to be fought; the adjacent locality was known and shown in every detail on the maps, and Bonaparte, evidently weakened, was undertaking nothing. Dolgorukov, one of the warmest advocates of an attack, had just returned from the council, tired and exhausted but eager and proud of the victory that had been gained. Prince Andrew introduced his protege, but Prince Dolgorukov politely and firmly pressing his hand said nothing to Boris and, evidently unable to suppress the thoughts which were uppermost in his mind at that moment, addressed Prince Andrew in French. "Ah, my dear fellow, what a battle we have gained! God grant that the one that will result from it will be as victorious! However, dear fellow," he said abruptly and eagerly, "I must confess to having been unjust to the Austrians

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