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gesture of a man wishing to say something, but Napoleon always interrupted him. To the alleged insanity of the Swedes, Balashev wished to reply that when Russia is on her side Sweden is practically an island: but Napoleon gave an angry exclamation to drown his voice. Napoleon was in that state of irritability in which a man has to talk, talk, and talk, merely to convince himself that he is in the right. Balashev began to feel uncomfortable: as envoy he feared to demean his dignity and felt the necessity of replying; but, as a man, he shrank before the transport of groundless wrath that had evidently seized Napoleon. He knew that none of the words now uttered by Napoleon had any significance, and that Napoleon himself would be ashamed of them when he came to his senses. Balashev stood with downcast eyes, looking at the movements of Napoleons stout legs and trying to avoid meeting his eyes. "But what do I care about your allies?" said Napoleon. "I have allies--the Poles. There are eighty thousand of them and they fight like lions. And there will be two hundred thousand of them." And probably still more perturbed by the fact that he had uttered this obvious falsehood, and that Balashev still stood silently before him in the same attitude of submission to fate, Napoleon abruptly turned round, drew close to Balashevs face, and, gesticulating rapidly and energetically with his white hands, almost shouted: "Know that if you stir up Prussia against me, Ill wipe it off the map of Europe!" he declared, his face pale and distorted by anger, and he struck one of his small hands energetically with the other. "Yes, I will throw you back beyond the Dvina and beyond the Dnieper, and will re-erect against you that barrier which it was criminal and blind of Europe to allow to be destroyed. Yes, that is what will happen to you. That is what you have gained by alienating me!" And he walked silently several times up and down the room, his fat shoulders twitching. He put his snuffbox into his waistcoat pocket, took it out again, lifted it several times to his nose, and stopped in front of Balashev. He paused, looked ironically straight into Balashevs eyes, and said in a quiet voice: "And yet what a splendid reign your master might have had!" Balashev, feeling it incumbent on him to reply, said that from the Russian side things did not appear in so gloomy a light. Napoleon was silent, still looking derisively at him and evidently not listening to him. Balashev said that in Russia the best results were expected from the war. Napoleon nodded condescendingly, as if to say, "I know its your duty to say that, but you dont believe it yourself. I have convinced you." When Balashev had ended, Napoleon again took out his snuffbox, sniffed at it, and stamped his foot twice on the floor as a signal. The door opened, a gentleman-in-waiting, bending respectfully, handed the Emperor his hat and gloves; another brought him a pocket handkerchief. Napoleon, without giving them a glance, turned to Balashev: "Assure the Emperor Alexander from me," said he, taking his hat, "that I am as devoted to him as before: I know him thoroughly and very highly esteem his lofty qualities. I will detain you no longer, General; you shall receive my letter to the Emperor." And Napoleon went quickly to the door. Everyone in the reception room rushed forward and descended the staircase. CHAPTER VII After all that Napoleon had said to him--those bursts of anger and the last dryly spoken words: "I will detain you no longer, General; you shall receive my letter," Balashev felt convinced that Napoleon would not wish to see him, and would even avoid another meeting with him--an insulted envoy--especially as he had witnessed his unseemly anger. But, to his surprise, Balashev received, through Duroc, an invitation to dine with the Emperor that day. Bessieres, Caulaincourt, and Berthier were present at that dinner. Napoleon met Balashev cheerfully and amiably. He not only showed no sign of constraint or self-reproach on account of his outburst that morning, but, on the contrary, tried to reassure Balashev. It was evident that he had long been convinced that it was impossible for him to make a mistake, and that in his perception whatever he did was right, not because it harmonized with any idea of right and wrong, but because he did it. The Emperor was in very good spirits after his ride through Vilna, where crowds of people had rapturously greeted and followed him. From all the windows

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