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War And Peace 467


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bedroom and was finishing his toilet. Slightly snorting and grunting, he presented now his back and now his plump hairy chest to the brush with which his valet was rubbing him down. Another valet, with his finger over the mouth of a bottle, was sprinkling Eau de Cologne on the Emperors pampered body with an expression which seemed to say that he alone knew where and how much Eau de Cologne should be sprinkled. Napoleons short hair was wet and matted on the forehead, but his face, though puffy and yellow, expressed physical satisfaction. "Go on, harder, go on!" he muttered to the valet who was rubbing him, slightly twitching and grunting. An aide-de-camp, who had entered the bedroom to report to the Emperor the number of prisoners taken in yesterdays action, was standing by the door after delivering his message, awaiting permission to withdraw. Napoleon, frowning, looked at him from under his brows. "No prisoners!" said he, repeating the aide-de-camps words. "They are forcing us to exterminate them. So much the worse for the Russian army.... Go on... harder, harder!" he muttered, hunching his back and presenting his fat shoulders. "All right. Let Monsieur de Beausset enter, and Fabvier too," he said, nodding to the aide-de-camp. "Yes, sire," and the aide-de-camp disappeared through the door of the tent. Two valets rapidly dressed His Majesty, and wearing the blue uniform of the Guards he went with firm quick steps to the reception room. De Beaussets hands meanwhile were busily engaged arranging the present he had brought from the Empress, on two chairs directly in front of the entrance. But Napoleon had dressed and come out with such unexpected rapidity that he had not time to finish arranging the surprise. Napoleon noticed at once what they were about and guessed that they were not ready. He did not wish to deprive them of the pleasure of giving him a surprise, so he pretended not to see de Beausset and called Fabvier to him, listening silently and with a stern frown to what Fabvier told him of the heroism and devotion of his troops fighting at Salamanca, at the other end of Europe, with but one thought--to be worthy of their Emperor--and but one fear--to fail to please him. The result of that battle had been deplorable. Napoleon made ironic remarks during Fabviers account, as if he had not expected that matters could go otherwise in his absence. "I must make up for that in Moscow," said Napoleon. "Ill see you later," he added, and summoned de Beausset, who by that time had prepared the surprise, having placed something on the chairs and covered it with a cloth. De Beausset bowed low, with that courtly French bow which only the old retainers of the Bourbons knew how to make, and approached him, presenting an envelope. Napoleon turned to him gaily and pulled his ear. "You have hurried here. I am very glad. Well, what is Paris saying?" he asked, suddenly changing his former stern expression for a most cordial tone. "Sire, all Paris regrets your absence," replied de Beausset as was proper. But though Napoleon knew that de Beausset had to say something of this kind, and though in his lucid moments he knew it was untrue, he was pleased to hear it from him. Again he honored him by touching his ear. "I am very sorry to have made you travel so far," said he. "Sire, I expected nothing less than to find you at the gates of Moscow," replied de Beausset. Napoleon smiled and, lifting his head absent-mindedly, glanced to the right. An aide-de-camp approached with gliding steps and offered him a gold snuffbox, which he took. "Yes, it has happened luckily for you," he said, raising the open snuffbox to his nose. "You are fond of travel, and in three days you will see Moscow. You surely did not expect to see that Asiatic capital. You will have a pleasant journey." De Beausset bowed gratefully at this regard for his taste for travel (of which he had not till then been aware). "Ha, whats this?" asked Napoleon, noticing that all the courtiers were looking at something concealed under a cloth. With courtly adroitness de Beausset half turned and without turning his back to the Emperor retired two steps, twitching off the cloth at the same time, and said: "A present to Your Majesty from the Empress." It was a portrait, painted in bright colors by Gerard, of the son borne to Napoleon by the daughter of the Emperor of Austria, the boy whom for some reason everyone called "The King of Rome." A very pretty curly-headed boy

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