Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
time they started as all
the left-flank columns had already descended.
"Plenty of time, your excellency," muttered Kutuzov in the midst
of a yawn. "Plenty of time," he repeated.
Just then at a distance behind Kutuzov was heard the sound of
regiments saluting, and this sound rapidly came nearer along the whole
extended line of the advancing Russian columns. Evidently the person
they were greeting was riding quickly. When the soldiers of the
regiment in front of which Kutuzov was standing began to shout, he
rode a little to one side and looked round with a frown. Along the
road from Pratzen galloped what looked like a squadron of horsemen
in various uniforms. Two of them rode side by side in front, at full
gallop. One in a black uniform with white plumes in his hat rode a
bobtailed chestnut horse, the other who was in a white uniform rode
a black one. These were the two Emperors followed by their suites.
Kutuzov, affecting the manners of an old soldier at the front, gave
the command "Attention!" and rode up to the Emperors with a salute.
His whole appearance and manner were suddenly transformed. He put on
the air of a subordinate who obeys without reasoning. With an
affectation of respect which evidently struck Alexander
unpleasantly, he rode up and saluted.
This unpleasant impression merely flitted over the young and happy
face of the Emperor like a cloud of haze across a clear sky and
vanished. After his illness he looked rather thinner that day than
on the field of Olmutz where Bolkonski had seen him for the first time
abroad, but there was still the same bewitching combination of majesty
and mildness in his fine gray eyes, and on his delicate lips the
same capacity for varying expression and the same prevalent appearance
of goodhearted innocent youth.
At the Olmutz review he had seemed more majestic; here he seemed
brighter and more energetic. He was slightly flushed after galloping
two miles, and reining in his horse he sighed restfully and looked
round at the faces of his suite, young and animated as his own.
Czartoryski, Novosiltsev, Prince Volkonsky, Strogonov, and the others,
all richly dressed gay young men on splendid, well-groomed, fresh,
only slightly heated horses, exchanging remarks and smiling, had
stopped behind the Emperor. The Emperor Francis, a rosy, long faced
young man, sat very erect on his handsome black horse, looking about
him in a leisurely and preoccupied manner. He beckoned to one of his
white adjutants and asked some question--"Most likely he is asking
at what oclock they started," thought Prince Andrew, watching his old
acquaintance with a smile he could not repress as he recalled his
reception at Brunn. In the Emperors suite were the picked young
orderly officers of the Guard and line regiments, Russian and
Austrian. Among them were grooms leading the Tsars beautiful relay
horses covered with embroidered cloths.
As when a window is opened a whiff of fresh air from the fields
enters a stuffy room, so a whiff of youthfulness, energy, and
confidence of success reached Kutuzovs cheerless staff with the
galloping advent of all these brilliant young men.
"Why arent you beginning, Michael Ilarionovich?" said the Emperor
Alexander hurriedly to Kutuzov, glancing courteously at the same
time at the Emperor Francis.
"I am waiting, Your Majesty," answered Kutuzov, bending forward
The Emperor, frowning slightly, bent his ear forward as if he had
not quite heard.
"Waiting, Your Majesty," repeated Kutuzov. (Prince Andrew noted that
Kutuzovs upper lip twitched unnaturally as he said the word
"waiting.") "Not all the columns have formed up yet, Your Majesty."
The Tsar heard but obviously did not like the reply; he shrugged his
rather round shoulders and glanced at Novosiltsev who was near him, as
if complaining of Kutuzov.
"You know, Michael Ilarionovich, we are not on the
Empress Field where a parade does not begin till all the troops are
assembled," said the Tsar with another glance at the Emperor
Francis, as if inviting him if not to join in at least to listen to
what he was saying. But the Emperor Francis continued to look about
him and did not listen.
"That is just why I do not begin, sire," said Kutuzov in a
resounding voice, apparently to preclude the possibility of not
being heard, and again something in his face twitched--"That is just
why I do not begin, sire, because we are not on parade and not on
the Empress Field," said clearly and distinctly.
In the Emperors suite all exchanged rapid looks that expressed
dissatisfaction and reproach. "Old though he may be, he should
War And Peace page 160 War And Peace page 162