Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
do something else. But receiving no orders, he remained for
some time in that rigid position.
The Emperors remounted and rode away. The Preobrazhensk battalion,
breaking rank, mingled with the French Guards and sat down at the
tables prepared for them.
Lazarev sat in the place of honor. Russian and French officers
embraced him, congratulated him, and pressed his hands. Crowds of
officers and civilians drew near merely to see him. A rumble of
Russian and French voices and laughter filled the air round the tables
in the square. Two officers with flushed faces, looking cheerful and
happy, passed by Rostov.
"What dyou think of the treat? All on silver plate," one of them
was saying. "Have you seen Lazarev?"
"Tomorrow, I hear, the Preobrazhenskis will give them a dinner."
"Yes, but what luck for Lazarev! Twelve hundred francs pension
"Heres a cap, lads!" shouted a Preobrazhensk soldier, donning a
shaggy French cap.
"Its a fine thing! First-rate!"
"Have you heard the password?" asked one Guards officer of another.
"The day before yesterday it was Napoleon, France, bravoure;
yesterday, Alexandre, Russie, grandeur. One day our Emperor gives it
and next day Napoleon. Tomorrow our Emperor will send a St. Georges
Cross to the bravest of the French Guards. It has to be done. He
must respond in kind."
Boris, too, with his friend Zhilinski, came to see the Preobrazhensk
banquet. On his way back, he noticed Rostov standing by the corner
of a house.
"Rostov! How dyou do? We missed one another," he said, and could
not refrain from asking what was the matter, so strangely dismal and
troubled was Rostovs face.
"Nothing, nothing," replied Rostov.
"Youll call round?"
"Yes, I will."
Rostov stood at that corner for a long time, watching the feast from
a distance. In his mind, a painful process was going on
which he could not bring to a conclusion. Terrible doubts rose in
his soul. Now he remembered Denisov with his changed expression, his
submission, and the whole hospital, with arms and legs torn off and
its dirt and disease. So vividly did he recall that hospital stench of
dead flesh that he looked round to see where the smell came from. Next
he thought of that self-satisfied Bonaparte, with his small white
hand, who was now an Emperor, liked and respected by Alexander. Then
why those severed arms and legs and those dead men?... Then again he
thought of Lazarev rewarded and Denisov punished and unpardoned. He
caught himself harboring such strange thoughts that he was frightened.
The smell of the food the Preobrazhenskis were eating and a sense of
hunger recalled him from these reflections; he had to get something to
eat before going away. He went to a hotel he had noticed that morning.
There he found so many people, among them officers who, like
himself, had come in civilian clothes, that he had difficulty in
getting a dinner. Two officers of his own division joined him. The
conversation naturally turned on the peace. The officers, his
comrades, like most of the army, were dissatisfied with the peace
concluded after the battle of Friedland. They said that had we held
out a little longer Napoleon would have been done for, as his troops
had neither provisions nor ammunition. Nicholas ate and drank (chiefly
the latter) in silence. He finished a couple of bottles of wine by
himself. The process in his mind went on tormenting him without
reaching a conclusion. He feared to give way to his thoughts, yet
could not get rid of them. Suddenly, on one of the officers saying
that it was humiliating to look at the French, Rostov began shouting
with uncalled-for wrath, and therefore much to the surprise of the
"How can you judge whats best?" he cried, the blood suddenly rushing
to his face. "How can you judge the Emperors actions? What right have
we to argue? We cannot comprehend either the Emperors aims or his
"But I never said a word about the Emperor!" said the officer,
justifying himself, and unable to understand Rostovs outburst, except
on the supposition that he was drunk.
But Rostov did not listen to him.
"We are not diplomatic officials, we are soldiers and nothing more,"
he went on. "If we are ordered to die, we must die. If were punished,
it means that we have deserved it, its not for us to judge. If the
Emperor pleases to recognize Bonaparte as Emperor and to conclude an
alliance with him, it means that that is the right thing to do. If
once we begin judging and arguing about everything, nothing sacred
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