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War And Peace 171

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War And Peace

and uttered a weak, sickly groan which aroused his own pity. "Ah! He is alive," said Napoleon. "Lift this young man up and carry him to the dressing station." Having said this, Napoleon rode on to meet Marshal Lannes, who, hat in hand, rode up smiling to the Emperor to congratulate him on the victory. Prince Andrew remembered nothing more: he lost consciousness from the terrible pain of being lifted onto the stretcher, the jolting while being moved, and the probing of his wound at the dressing station. He did not regain consciousness till late in the day, when with other wounded and captured Russian officers he was carried to the hospital. During this transfer he felt a little stronger and was able to look about him and even speak. The first words he heard on coming to his senses were those of a French convoy officer, who said rapidly: "We must halt here: the Emperor will pass here immediately; it will please him to see these gentlemen prisoners." "There are so many prisoners today, nearly the whole Russian army, that he is probably tired of them," said another officer. "All the same! They say this one is the commander of all the Emperor Alexanders Guards," said the first one, indicating a Russian officer in the white uniform of the Horse Guards. Bolkonski recognized Prince Repnin whom he had met in Petersburg society. Beside him stood a lad of nineteen, also a wounded officer of the Horse Guards. Bonaparte, having come up at a gallop, stopped his horse. "Which is the senior?" he asked, on seeing the prisoners. They named the colonel, Prince Repnin. "You are the commander of the Emperor Alexanders regiment of Horse Guards?" asked Napoleon. "I commanded a squadron," replied Repnin. "Your regiment fulfilled its duty honorably," said Napoleon. "The praise of a great commander is a soldiers highest reward," said Repnin. "I bestow it with pleasure," said Napoleon. "And who is that young man beside you?" Prince Repnin named Lieutenant Sukhtelen. After looking at him Napoleon smiled. "Hes very young to come to meddle with us." "Youth is no hindrance to courage," muttered Sukhtelen in a failing voice. "A splendid reply!" said Napoleon. "Young man, you will go far!" Prince Andrew, who had also been brought forward before the Emperors eyes to complete the show of prisoners, could not fail to attract his attention. Napoleon apparently remembered seeing him on the battlefield and, addressing him, again used the epithet "young man" that was connected in his memory with Prince Andrew. "Well, and you, young man," said he. "How do you feel, mon brave?" Though five minutes before, Prince Andrew had been able to say a few words to the soldiers who were carrying him, now with his eyes fixed straight on Napoleon, he was silent.... So insignificant at that moment seemed to him all the interests that engrossed Napoleon, so mean did his hero himself with his paltry vanity and joy in victory appear, compared to the lofty, equitable, and kindly sky which he had seen and understood, that he could not answer him. Everything seemed so futile and insignificant in comparison with the stern and solemn train of thought that weakness from loss of blood, suffering, and the nearness of death aroused in him. Looking into Napoleons eyes Prince Andrew thought of the insignificance of greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one alive could understand or explain. The Emperor without waiting for an answer turned away and said to one of the officers as he went: "Have these gentlemen attended to and taken to my bivouac; let my doctor, Larrey, examine their wounds. Au revoir, Prince Repnin!" and he spurred his horse and galloped away. His face shone with self-satisfaction and pleasure. The soldiers who had carried Prince Andrew had noticed and taken the little gold icon Princess Mary had hung round her brothers neck, but seeing the favor the Emperor showed the prisoners, they now hastened to return the holy image. Prince Andrew did not see how and by whom it was replaced, but the little icon with its thin gold chain suddenly appeared upon his chest outside his uniform. "It would be good," thought Prince Andrew, glancing at the icon his sister had hung round his neck with such emotion and reverence, "it would be good if everything were as clear and simple as it seems to Mary. How good it would be to know where to seek for help in this life, and what to expect after it beyond the grave! How happy and calm I should

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