Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
Chernyshev introduced him to Pfuel, remarking that Prince
Andrew was just back from Turkey where the war had terminated so
fortunately. Pfuel barely glanced--not so much at Prince Andrew as
past him--and said, with a laugh: "That must have been a fine tactical
war"; and, laughing contemptuously, went on into the room from which
the sound of voices was heard.
Pfuel, always inclined to be irritably sarcastic, was particularly
disturbed that day, evidently by the fact that they had dared to inspect
and criticize his camp in his absence. From this short interview with
Pfuel, Prince Andrew, thanks to his Austerlitz experiences, was able to
form a clear conception of the man. Pfuel was one of those hopelessly and
immutably self-confident men, self-confident to the point of martyrdom as
only Germans are, because only Germans are self-confident on the basis of
an abstract notion--science, that is, the supposed knowledge of absolute
truth. A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally,
both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women. An
Englishman is self-assured, as being a citizen of the best-organized state
in the world, and therefore as an Englishman always knows what he should
do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct. An
Italian is self-assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself
and other people. A Russian is self-assured just because he knows nothing
and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe that
anything can be known. The Germans self-assurance is worst of all,
stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he
knows the truth--science--which he himself has invented but which is for
him the absolute truth.
Pfuel was evidently of that sort. He had a science--the theory of
oblique movements deduced by him from the history of Frederick the
Greats wars, and all he came across in the history of more recent
warfare seemed to him absurd and barbarous--monstrous collisions in
which so many blunders were committed by both sides that these wars
could not be called wars, they did not accord with the theory, and
therefore could not serve as material for science.
In 1806 Pfuel had been one of those responsible, for the plan of
campaign that ended in Jena and Auerstadt, but he did not see the
least proof of the fallibility of his theory in the disasters of
that war. On the contrary, the deviations made from his theory were,
in his opinion, the sole cause of the whole disaster, and with
characteristically gleeful sarcasm he would remark, "There, I said the
whole affair would go to the devil!" Pfuel was one of those
theoreticians who so love their theory that they lose sight of the
theorys object--its practical application. His love of theory made
him hate everything practical, and he would not listen to it. He was
even pleased by failures, for failures resulting from deviations in
practice from the theory only proved to him the accuracy of his
He said a few words to Prince Andrew and Chernyshev about the
present war, with the air of a man who knows beforehand that all
will go wrong, and who is not displeased that it should be so. The
unbrushed tufts of hair sticking up behind and the hastily brushed
hair on his temples expressed this most eloquently.
He passed into the next room, and the deep, querulous sounds of
his voice were at once heard from there.
Prince Andrews eyes were still following Pfuel out of the room when
Count Bennigsen entered hurriedly, and nodding to Bolkonski, but not
pausing, went into the study, giving instructions to his adjutant as
he went. The Emperor was following him, and Bennigsen had hastened
on to make some preparations and to be ready to receive the sovereign.
Chernyshev and Prince Andrew went out into the porch, where the
Emperor, who looked fatigued, was dismounting. Marquis Paulucci was
talking to him with particular warmth and the Emperor, with his head
bent to the left, was listening with a dissatisfied air. The Emperor
moved forward evidently wishing to end the conversation, but the
flushed and excited Italian, oblivious of decorum, followed him and
continued to speak.
"And as for the man who advised forming this camp--the Drissa camp,"
said Paulucci, as the Emperor mounted the steps and noticing Prince
Andrew scanned his unfamiliar face, "as to that person, sire..."
continued Paulucci, desperately, apparently unable to restrain
himself, "the man who advised the Drissa camp--I see no alternative
but the lunatic asylum or the gallows!"
Without heeding the end of
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