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War And Peace 150


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the hands to advance with regular motion as a result of all that activity. Just as in the mechanism of a clock, so in the mechanism of the military machine, an impulse once given leads to the final result; and just as indifferently quiescent till the moment when motion is transmitted to them are the parts of the mechanism which the impulse has not yet reached. Wheels creak on their axles as the cogs engage one another and the revolving pulleys whirr with the rapidity of their movement, but a neighboring wheel is as quiet and motionless as though it were prepared to remain so for a hundred years; but the moment comes when the lever catches it and obeying the impulse that wheel begins to creak and joins in the common motion the result and aim of which are beyond its ken. Just as in a clock, the result of the complicated motion of innumerable wheels and pulleys is merely a slow and regular movement of the hands which show the time, so the result of all the complicated human activities of 160,000 Russians and French--all their passions, desires, remorse, humiliations, sufferings, outbursts of pride, fear, and enthusiasm--was only the loss of the battle of Austerlitz, the so-called battle of the three Emperors--that is to say, a slow movement of the hand on the dial of human history. Prince Andrew was on duty that day and in constant attendance on the commander in chief. At six in the evening, Kutuzov went to the Emperors headquarters and after staying but a short time with the Tsar went to see the grand marshal of the court, Count Tolstoy. Bolkonski took the opportunity to go in to get some details of the coming action from Dolgorukov. He felt that Kutuzov was upset and dissatisfied about something and that at headquarters they were dissatisfied with him, and also that at the Emperors headquarters everyone adopted toward him the tone of men who know something others do not know: he therefore wished to speak to Dolgorukov. "Well, how dyou do, my dear fellow?" said Dolgorukov, who was sitting at tea with Bilibin. "The fete is for tomorrow. How is your old fellow? Out of sorts?" "I wont say he is out of sorts, but I fancy he would like to be heard." "But they heard him at the council of war and will hear him when he talks sense, but to temporize and wait for something now when Bonaparte fears nothing so much as a general battle is impossible." "Yes, you have seen him?" said Prince Andrew. "Well, what is Bonaparte like? How did he impress you?" "Yes, I saw him, and am convinced that he fears nothing so much as a general engagement," repeated Dolgorukov, evidently prizing this general conclusion which he had arrived at from his interview with Napoleon. "If he werent afraid of a battle why did he ask for that interview? Why negotiate, and above all why retreat, when to retreat is so contrary to his method of conducting war? Believe me, he is afraid, afraid of a general battle. His hour has come! Mark my words!" "But tell me, what is he like, eh?" said Prince Andrew again. "He is a man in a gray overcoat, very anxious that I should call him Your Majesty, but who, to his chagrin, got no title from me! Thats the sort of man he is, and nothing more," replied Dolgorukov, looking round at Bilibin with a smile. "Despite my great respect for old Kutuzov," he continued, "we should be a nice set of fellows if we were to wait about and so give him a chance to escape, or to trick us, now that we certainly have him in our hands! No, we mustnt forget Suvorov and his rule--not to put yourself in a position to be attacked, but yourself to attack. Believe me in war the energy of young men often shows the way better than all the experience of old Cunctators." "But in what position are we going to attack him? I have been at the outposts today and it is impossible to say where his chief forces are situated," said Prince Andrew. He wished to explain to Dolgorukov a plan of attack he had himself formed. "Oh, that is all the same," Dolgorukov said quickly, and getting up he spread a map on the table. "All eventualities have been foreseen. If he is standing before Brunn..." And Prince Dolgorukov rapidly but indistinctly explained Weyrothers plan of a flanking movement. Prince Andrew began to reply and to state his own plan,

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