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War And Peace 148


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felt it not only from the sound of the hoofs of the approaching cavalcade, but because as he drew near everything grew brighter, more joyful, more significant, and more festive around him. Nearer and nearer to Rostov came that sun shedding beams of mild and majestic light around, and already he felt himself enveloped in those beams, he heard his voice, that kindly, calm, and majestic voice that was yet so simple! And as if in accord with Rostovs feeling, there was a deathly stillness amid which was heard the Emperors voice. "The Pavlograd hussars?" he inquired. "The reserves, sire!" replied a voice, a very human one compared to that which had said: "The Pavlograd hussars?" The Emperor drew level with Rostov and halted. Alexanders face was even more beautiful than it had been three days before at the review. It shone with such gaiety and youth, such innocent youth, that it suggested the liveliness of a fourteen-year-old boy, and yet it was the face of the majestic Emperor. Casually, while surveying the squadron, the Emperors eyes met Rostovs and rested on them for not more than two seconds. Whether or no the Emperor understood what was going on in Rostovs soul (it seemed to Rostov that he understood everything), at any rate his light-blue eyes gazed for about two seconds into Rostovs face. A gentle, mild light poured from them. Then all at once he raised his eyebrows, abruptly touched his horse with his left foot, and galloped on. The younger Emperor could not restrain his wish to be present at the battle and, in spite of the remonstrances of his courtiers, at twelve oclock left the third column with which he had been and galloped toward the vanguard. Before he came up with the hussars, several adjutants met him with news of the successful result of the action. This battle, which consisted in the capture of a French squadron, was represented as a brilliant victory over the French, and so the Emperor and the whole army, especially while the smoke hung over the battlefield, believed that the French had been defeated and were retreating against their will. A few minutes after the Emperor had passed, the Pavlograd division was ordered to advance. In Wischau itself, a petty German town, Rostov saw the Emperor again. In the market place, where there had been some rather heavy firing before the Emperors arrival, lay several killed and wounded soldiers whom there had not been time to move. The Emperor, surrounded by his suite of officers and courtiers, was riding a bobtailed chestnut mare, a different one from that which he had ridden at the review, and bending to one side he gracefully held a gold lorgnette to his eyes and looked at a soldier who lay prone, with blood on his uncovered head. The wounded soldier was so dirty, coarse, and revolting that his proximity to the Emperor shocked Rostov. Rostov saw how the Emperors rather round shoulders shuddered as if a cold shiver had run down them, how his left foot began convulsively tapping the horses side with the spur, and how the well-trained horse looked round unconcerned and did not stir. An adjutant, dismounting, lifted the soldier under the arms to place him on a stretcher that had been brought. The soldier groaned. "Gently, gently! Cant you do it more gently?" said the Emperor apparently suffering more than the dying soldier, and he rode away. Rostov saw tears filling the Emperors eyes and heard him, as he was riding away, say to Czartoryski: "What a terrible thing war is: what a terrible thing! Quelle terrible chose que la guerre!" The troops of the vanguard were stationed before Wischau, within sight of the enemys lines, which all day long had yielded ground to us at the least firing. The Emperors gratitude was announced to the vanguard, rewards were promised, and the men received a double ration of vodka. The campfires crackled and the soldiers songs resounded even more merrily than on the previous night. Denisov celebrated his promotion to the rank of major, and Rostov, who had already drunk enough, at the end of the feast proposed the Emperors health. "Not our Sovereign, the Emperor, as they say at official dinners," said he, "but the health of our Sovereign, that good, enchanting, and great man! Let us drink to his health and to the certain defeat of the French!" "If we fought before," he said, "not letting the French pass, as at Schon Grabern, what shall we not do now when he is at the front? We will all die for

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