Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
comprehensible--it was what any one of them might
have said and therefore was what an ukase emanating from the highest
authority should not say.
They all stood despondent and silent. The tall youth moved his
lips and swayed from side to side.
"We should ask him... thats he himself?"... "Yes, ask him
indeed!... Why not? Hell explain"... voices in the rear of the
crowd were suddenly heard saying, and the general attention turned
to the police superintendents trap which drove into the square
attended by two mounted dragoons.
The superintendent of police, who had gone that morning by Count
Rostopchins orders to burn the barges and had in connection with that
matter acquired a large sum of money which was at that moment in his
pocket, on seeing a crowd bearing down upon him told his coachman to
"What people are these?" he shouted to the men, who were moving
singly and timidly in the direction of his trap.
"What people are these?" he shouted again, receiving no answer.
"Your honor..." replied the shopman in the frieze coat, "your honor,
in accord with the proclamation of his highest excellency the count,
they desire to serve, not sparing their lives, and it is not any
kind of riot, but as his highest excellence said..."
"The count has not left, he is here, and an order will be issued
concerning you," said the superintendent of police. "Go on!" he
ordered his coachman.
The crowd halted, pressing around those who had heard what the
superintendent had said, and looking at the departing trap.
The superintendent of police turned round at that moment with a
scared look, said something to his coachman, and his horses
increased their speed.
"Its a fraud, lads! Lead the way to him, himself!" shouted the tall
youth. "Dont let him go, lads! Let him answer us! Keep him!"
shouted different people and the people dashed in pursuit of the trap.
Following the superintendent of police and talking loudly the
crowd went in the direction of the Lubyanka Street.
"There now, the gentry and merchants have gone away and left us to
perish. Do they think were dogs?" voices in the crowd were heard
saying more and more frequently.
On the evening of the first of September, after his interview with
Kutuzov, Count Rostopchin had returned to Moscow mortified and
offended because he had not been invited to attend the council of war,
and because Kutuzov had paid no attention to his offer to take part in
the defense of the city; amazed also at the novel outlook revealed
to him at the camp, which treated the tranquillity of the capital
and its patriotic fervor as not merely secondary but quite
irrelevant and unimportant matters. Distressed, offended, and
surprised by all this, Rostopchin had returned to Moscow. After supper
he lay down on a sofa without undressing, and was awakened soon
after midnight by a courier bringing him a letter from Kutuzov. This
letter requested the count to send police officers to guide the troops
through the town, as the army was retreating to the Ryazan road beyond
Moscow. This was not news to Rostopchin. He had known that Moscow
would be abandoned not merely since his interview the previous day
with Kutuzov on the Poklonny Hill but ever since the battle of
Borodino, for all the generals who came to Moscow after that battle
had said unanimously that it was impossible to fight another battle,
and since then the government property had been removed every night,
and half the inhabitants had left the city with Rostopchins own
permission. Yet all the same this information astonished and irritated
the count, coming as it did in the form of a simple note with an order
from Kutuzov, and received at night, breaking in on his beauty sleep.
When later on in his memoirs Count Rostopchin explained his
actions at this time, he repeatedly says that he was then actuated
by two important considerations: to maintain tranquillity in Moscow
and expedite the departure of the inhabitants. If one accepts this
twofold aim all Rostopchins actions appear irreproachable. "Why
were the holy relics, the arms, ammunition, gunpowder, and stores of
corn not removed? Why were thousands of inhabitants deceived into
believing that Moscow would not be given up--and thereby ruined?"
"To preserve the tranquillity of the city," explains Count Rostopchin.
"Why were bundles of useless papers from the government offices, and
Leppichs balloon and other articles removed?" "To leave the town
empty," explains Count Rostopchin. One need only admit that public
tranquillity is in danger and any action finds a justification.
All the horrors of
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