Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
and especially to Weyrother.
What exactitude, what minuteness, what knowledge of the locality, what
foresight for every eventuality, every possibility even to the
smallest detail! No, my dear fellow, no conditions better than our
present ones could have been devised. This combination of Austrian
precision with Russian valor--what more could be wished for?"
"So the attack is definitely resolved on?" asked Bolkonski.
"And do you know, my dear fellow, it seems to me that Bonaparte
has decidedly lost bearings, you know that a letter was received
from him today for the Emperor." Dolgorukov smiled significantly.
"Is that so? And what did he say?" inquired Bolkonski.
"What can he say? Tra-di-ri-di-ra and so on... merely to gain
time. I tell you he is in our hands, thats certain! But what was most
amusing," he continued, with a sudden, good-natured laugh, "was that
we could not think how to address the reply! If not as Consul and of
course not as Emperor, it seemed to me it should be to General
"But between not recognizing him as Emperor and calling him
General Bonaparte, there is a difference," remarked Bolkonski.
"Thats just it," interrupted Dolgorukov quickly, laughing. "You
know Bilibin--hes a very clever fellow. He suggested addressing him
as Usurper and Enemy of Mankind."
Dolgorukov laughed merrily.
"Only that?" said Bolkonski.
"All the same, it was Bilibin who found a suitable form for the
address. He is a wise and clever fellow."
"What was it?"
"To the Head of the French Government... Au chef du gouvernement
francais," said Dolgorukov, with grave satisfaction. "Good, wasnt
"Yes, but he will dislike it extremely," said Bolkonski.
"Oh yes, very much! My brother knows him, hes dined with him--the
present Emperor--more than once in Paris, and tells me he never met
a more cunning or subtle diplomatist--you know, a combination of
French adroitness and Italian play-acting! Do you know the tale
about him and Count Markov? Count Markov was the only man who knew how
to handle him. You know the story of the handkerchief? It is
And the talkative Dolgorukov, turning now to Boris, now to Prince
Andrew, told how Bonaparte wishing to test Markov, our ambassador,
purposely dropped a handkerchief in front of him and stood looking
at Markov, probably expecting Markov to pick it up for him, and how
Markov immediately dropped his own beside it and picked it up
without touching Bonapartes.
"Delightful!" said Bolkonski. "But I have come to you, Prince, as
a petitioner on behalf of this young man. You see..." but before
Prince Andrew could finish, an aide-de-camp came in to summon
Dolgorukov to the Emperor.
"Oh, what a nuisance," said Dolgorukov, getting up hurriedly and
pressing the hands of Prince Andrew and Boris. "You know I should be
very glad to do all in my power both for you and for this dear young
man." Again he pressed the hand of the latter with an expression of
good-natured, sincere, and animated levity. "But you see... another
Boris was excited by the thought of being so close to the higher
powers as he felt himself to be at that moment. He was conscious
that here he was in contact with the springs that set in motion the
enormous movements of the mass of which in his regiment he felt
himself a tiny, obedient, and insignificant atom. They followed Prince
Dolgorukov out into the corridor and met--coming out of the door of
the Emperors room by which Dolgorukov had entered--a short man in
civilian clothes with a clever face and sharply projecting jaw
which, without spoiling his face, gave him a peculiar vivacity and
shiftiness of expression. This short man nodded to Dolgorukov as to an
intimate friend and stared at Prince Andrew with cool intensity,
walking straight toward him and evidently expecting him to bow or to
step out of his way. Prince Andrew did neither: a look of animosity
appeared on his face and the other turned away and went down the
side of the corridor.
"Who was that?" asked Boris.
"He is one of the most remarkable, but to me most unpleasant of
men--the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Adam Czartoryski.... It
is such men as he who decide the fate of nations," added Bolkonski
with a sigh he could not suppress, as they passed out of the palace.
Next day, the army began its campaign, and up to the very battle
of Austerlitz, Boris was unable to see either Prince Andrew or
Dolgorukov again and remained for a while with the Ismaylov regiment.
At dawn on the sixteenth of November, Denisovs squadron, in which
Nicholas Rostov served and which was
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