Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
of the hopes he
placed on the Moscow nobility. He was answered by a voice which
informed him of the resolution just arrived at.
"Gentlemen!" said the Emperor with a quivering voice.
There was a rustling among the crowd and it again subsided, so
that Pierre distinctly heard the pleasantly human voice of the Emperor
saying with emotion:
"I never doubted the devotion of the Russian nobles, but today it
has surpassed my expectations. I thank you in the name of the
Fatherland! Gentlemen, let us act! Time is most precious..."
The Emperor ceased speaking, the crowd began pressing round him, and
rapturous exclamations were heard from all sides.
"Yes, most precious... a royal word," said Count Rostov, with a sob.
He stood at the back, and, though he had heard hardly anything,
understood everything in his own way.
From the hall of the nobility the Emperor went to that of the
merchants. There he remained about ten minutes. Pierre was among those
who saw him come out from the merchants hall with tears of emotion in
his eyes. As became known later, he had scarcely begun to address
the merchants before tears gushed from his eyes and he concluded in
a trembling voice. When Pierre saw the Emperor he was coming out
accompanied by two merchants, one of whom Pierre knew, a fat
otkupshchik. The other was the mayor, a man with a thin sallow face
and narrow beard. Both were weeping. Tears filled the thin mans eyes,
and the fat otkupshchik sobbed outright like a child and kept
"Our lives and property--take them, Your Majesty!"
Pierres one feeling at the moment was a desire to show that he was
ready to go all lengths and was prepared to sacrifice everything. He
now felt ashamed of his speech with its constitutional tendency and
sought an opportunity of effacing it. Having heard that Count Mamonov
was furnishing a regiment, Bezukhov at once informed Rostopchin that
he would give a thousand men and their maintenance.
Old Rostov could not tell his wife of what had passed without tears,
and at once consented to Petyas request and went himself to enter his
Next day the Emperor left Moscow. The assembled nobles all took
off their uniforms and settled down again in their homes and clubs,
and not without some groans gave orders to their stewards about the
enrollment, feeling amazed themselves at what they had done.
BOOK TEN: 1812
Napoleon began the war with Russia because he could not resist going
to Dresden, could not help having his head turned by the homage he
received, could not help donning a Polish uniform and yielding to
the stimulating influence of a June morning, and could not refrain
from bursts of anger in the presence of Kurakin and then of Balashev.
Alexander refused negotiations because he felt himself to be
personally insulted. Barclay de Tolly tried to command the army in the
best way, because he wished to fulfill his duty and earn fame as a
great commander. Rostov charged the French because he could not
restrain his wish for a gallop across a level field; and in the same
way the innumerable people who took part in the war acted in accord
with their personal characteristics, habits, circumstances, and
aims. They were moved by fear or vanity, rejoiced or were indignant,
reasoned, imagining that they knew what they were doing and did it
of their own free will, but they all were involuntary tools of
history, carrying on a work concealed from them but comprehensible
to us. Such is the inevitable fate of men of action, and the higher
they stand in the social hierarchy the less are they free.
The actors of 1812 have long since left the stage, their personal
interests have vanished leaving no trace, and nothing remains of
that time but its historic results.
Providence compelled all these men, striving to attain personal
aims, to further the accomplishment of a stupendous result no one of
them at all expected--neither Napoleon, nor Alexander, nor still
less any of those who did the actual fighting.
The cause of the destruction of the French army in 1812 is clear
to us now. No one will deny that that cause was, on the one hand,
its advance into the heart of Russia late in the season without any
preparation for a winter campaign and, on the other, the character
given to the war by the burning of Russian towns and the hatred of the
foe this aroused among the Russian people. But no one at the time
foresaw (what now seems so
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