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War And Peace 448


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for it. The one thing that recalled the patriotic fervor everyone had displayed during the Emperors stay was the call for contributions of men and money, a necessity that as soon as the promises had been made assumed a legal, official form and became unavoidable. With the enemys approach to Moscow, the Moscovites view of their situation did not grow more serious but on the contrary became even more frivolous, as always happens with people who see a great danger approaching. At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal power in the human soul: one very reasonably tells a man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of escaping it; the other, still more reasonably, says that it is too depressing and painful to think of the danger, since it is not in mans power to foresee everything and avert the general course of events, and it is therefore better to disregard what is painful till it comes, and to think about what is pleasant. In solitude a man generally listens to the first voice, but in society to the second. So it was now with the inhabitants of Moscow. It was long since people had been as gay in Moscow as that year. Rostopchins broadsheets, headed by woodcuts of a drink shop, a potman, and a Moscow burgher called Karpushka Chigirin, "who--having been a militiaman and having had rather too much at the pub--heard that Napoleon wished to come to Moscow, grew angry, abused the French in very bad language, came out of the drink shop, and, under the sign of the eagle, began to address the assembled people," were read and discussed, together with the latest of Vasili Lvovich Pushkins bouts rimes. In the corner room at the Club, members gathered to read these broadsheets, and some liked the way Karpushka jeered at the French, saying: "They will swell up with Russian cabbage, burst with our buckwheat porridge, and choke themselves with cabbage soup. They are all dwarfs and one peasant woman will toss three of them with a hayfork." Others did not like that tone and said it was stupid and vulgar. It was said that Rostopchin had expelled all Frenchmen and even all foreigners from Moscow, and that there had been some spies and agents of Napoleon among them; but this was told chiefly to introduce Rostopchins witty remark on that occasion. The foreigners were deported to Nizhni by boat, and Rostopchin had said to them in French: "Rentrez en vousmemes; entrez dans la barque, et nen faites pas une barque de Charon."* There was talk of all the government offices having been already removed from Moscow, and to this Shinshins witticism was added--that for that alone Moscow ought to be grateful to Napoleon. It was said that Mamonovs regiment would cost him eight hundred thousand rubles, and that Bezukhov had spent even more on his, but that the best thing about Bezukhovs action was that he himself was going to don a uniform and ride at the head of his regiment without charging anything for the show. *"Think it over; get into the barque, and take care not to make it a barque of Charon." "You dont spare anyone," said Julie Drubetskaya as she collected and pressed together a bunch of raveled lint with her thin, beringed fingers. Julie was preparing to leave Moscow next day and was giving a farewell soiree. "Bezukhov est ridicule, but he is so kind and good-natured. What pleasure is there to be so caustique?" "A forfeit!" cried a young man in militia uniform whom Julie called "mon chevalier," and who was going with her to Nizhni. In Julies set, as in many other circles in Moscow, it had been agreed that they would speak nothing but Russian and that those who made a slip and spoke French should pay fines to the Committee of Voluntary Contributions. "Another forfeit for a Gallicism," said a Russian writer who was present. "What pleasure is there to be is not Russian!" "You spare no one," continued Julie to the young man without heeding the authors remark. "For caustique--I am guilty and will pay, and I am prepared to pay again for the pleasure of telling you the truth. For Gallicisms I wont be responsible," she remarked, turning to the author: "I have neither the money nor the time, like Prince Galitsyn, to engage a master to teach me Russian!" "Ah, here he is!" she added. "Quand on... No, no," she said to the militia officer, "you wont catch me. Speak of the sun and you see

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