Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
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
"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
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
"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.
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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