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War And Peace 411


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want to." The swarm of Bronnitskis and Wintzingerodes and their like still further embittered the relations between the commanders in chief, and even less unity resulted. Preparations were made to fight the French before Smolensk. A general was sent to survey the position. This general, hating Barclay, rode to visit a friend of his own, a corps commander, and, having spent the day with him, returned to Barclay and condemned, as unsuitable from every point of view, the battleground he had not seen. While disputes and intrigues were going on about the future field of battle, and while we were looking for the French--having lost touch with them--the French stumbled upon Neverovskis division and reached the walls of Smolensk. It was necessary to fight an unexpected battle at Smolensk to save our lines of communication. The battle was fought and thousands were killed on both sides. Smolensk was abandoned contrary to the wishes of the Emperor and of the whole people. But Smolensk was burned by its own inhabitants-who had been misled by their governor. And these ruined inhabitants, setting an example to other Russians, went to Moscow thinking only of their own losses but kindling hatred of the foe. Napoleon advanced farther and we retired, thus arriving at the very result which caused his destruction. CHAPTER II The day after his son had left, Prince Nicholas sent for Princess Mary to come to his study. "Well? Are you satisfied now?" said he. "Youve made me quarrel with my son! Satisfied, are you? Thats all you wanted! Satisfied?... It hurts me, it hurts. Im old and weak and this is what you wanted. Well then, gloat over it! Gloat over it!" After that Princess Mary did not see her father for a whole week. He was ill and did not leave his study. Princess Mary noticed to her surprise that during this illness the old prince not only excluded her from his room, but did not admit Mademoiselle Bourienne either. Tikhon alone attended him. At the end of the week the prince reappeared and resumed his former way of life, devoting himself with special activity to building operations and the arrangement of the gardens and completely breaking off his relations with Mademoiselle Bourienne. His looks and cold tone to his daughter seemed to say: "There, you see? You plotted against me, you lied to Prince Andrew about my relations with that Frenchwoman and made me quarrel with him, but you see I need neither her nor you!" Princess Mary spent half of every day with little Nicholas, watching his lessons, teaching him Russian and music herself, and talking to Dessalles; the rest of the day she spent over her books, with her old nurse, or with "Gods folk" who sometimes came by the back door to see her. Of the war Princess Mary thought as women do think about wars. She feared for her brother who was in it, was horrified by and amazed at the strange cruelty that impels men to kill one another, but she did not understand the significance of this war, which seemed to her like all previous wars. She did not realize the significance of this war, though Dessalles with whom she constantly conversed was passionately interested in its progress and tried to explain his own conception of it to her, and though the "Gods folk" who came to see her reported, in their own way, the rumors current among the people of an invasion by Antichrist, and though Julie (now Princess Drubetskaya), who had resumed correspondence with her, wrote patriotic letters from Moscow. "I write you in Russian, my good friend," wrote Julie in her Frenchified Russian, "because I have a detestation for all the French, and the same for their language which I cannot support to hear spoken.... We in Moscow are elated by enthusiasm for our adored Emperor. "My poor husband is enduring pains and hunger in Jewish taverns, but the news which I have inspires me yet more. "You heard probably of the heroic exploit of Raevski, embracing his two sons and saying: I will perish with them but we will not be shaken! And truly though the enemy was twice stronger than we, we were unshakable. We pass the time as we can, but in war as in war! The princesses Aline and Sophie sit whole days with me, and we, unhappy widows of live men, make beautiful conversations over our charpie, only you, my friend, are missing..." and so on. The chief reason Princess Mary did not realize the full significance of this war was that the old prince never spoke of it, did

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