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War And Peace 58

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War And Peace

how to escape?" "Who told you that? Who?" cried the prince. "Suvorov!" And he jerked away his plate, which Tikhon briskly caught. "Suvorov!... Consider, Prince Andrew. Two... Frederick and Suvorov; Moreau!... Moreau would have been a prisoner if Suvorov had had a free hand; but he had the Hofs-kriegs-wurst-schnapps-Rath on his hands. It would have puzzled the devil himself! When you get there youll find out what those Hofs-kriegs-wurst-Raths are! Suvorov couldnt manage them so what chance has Michael Kutuzov? No, my dear boy," he continued, "you and your generals wont get on against Buonaparte; youll have to call in the French, so that birds of a feather may fight together. The German, Pahlen, has been sent to New York in America, to fetch the Frenchman, Moreau," he said, alluding to the invitation made that year to Moreau to enter the Russian service.... "Wonderful!... Were the Potemkins, Suvorovs, and Orlovs Germans? No, lad, either you fellows have all lost your wits, or I have outlived mine. May God help you, but well see what will happen. Buonaparte has become a great commander among them! Hm!..." "I dont at all say that all the plans are good," said Prince Andrew, "I am only surprised at your opinion of Bonaparte. You may laugh as much as you like, but all the same Bonaparte is a great general!" "Michael Ivanovich!" cried the old prince to the architect who, busy with his roast meat, hoped he had been forgotten: "Didnt I tell you Buonaparte was a great tactician? Here, he says the same thing." "To be sure, your excellency," replied the architect. The prince again laughed his frigid laugh. "Buonaparte was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He has got splendid soldiers. Besides he began by attacking Germans. And only idlers have failed to beat the Germans. Since the world began everybody has beaten the Germans. They beat no one--except one another. He made his reputation fighting them." And the prince began explaining all the blunders which, according to him, Bonaparte had made in his campaigns and even in politics. His son made no rejoinder, but it was evident that whatever arguments were presented he was as little able as his father to change his opinion. He listened, refraining from a reply, and involuntarily wondered how this old man, living alone in the country for so many years, could know and discuss so minutely and acutely all the recent European military and political events. "You think Im an old man and dont understand the present state of affairs?" concluded his father. "But it troubles me. I dont sleep at night. Come now, where has this great commander of yours shown his skill?" he concluded. "That would take too long to tell," answered the son. "Well, then go to your Buonaparte! Mademoiselle Bourienne, heres another admirer of that powder-monkey emperor of yours," he exclaimed in excellent French. "You know, Prince, I am not a Bonapartist!" "Dieu sait quand reviendra..." hummed the prince out of tune and, with a laugh still more so, he quitted the table. The little princess during the whole discussion and the rest of the dinner sat silent, glancing with a frightened look now at her father-in-law and now at Princess Mary. When they left the table she took her sister-in-laws arm and drew her into another room. "What a clever man your father is," said she; "perhaps that is why I am afraid of him." "Oh, he is so kind!" answered Princess Mary. CHAPTER XXVIII Prince Andrew was to leave next evening. The old prince, not altering his routine, retired as usual after dinner. The little princess was in her sister-in-laws room. Prince Andrew in a traveling coat without epaulettes had been packing with his valet in the rooms assigned to him. After inspecting the carriage himself and seeing the trunks put in, he ordered the horses to be harnessed. Only those things he always kept with him remained in his room; a small box, a large canteen fitted with silver plate, two Turkish pistols and a saber--a present from his father who had brought it from the siege of Ochakov. All these traveling effects of Prince Andrews were in very good order: new, clean, and in cloth covers carefully tied with tapes. When starting on a journey or changing their mode of life, men capable of reflection are generally in a serious frame of mind. At such moments one reviews the past and plans for the future. Prince Andrews face looked very thoughtful and tender. With his hands behind him he paced briskly from corner to corner of the room, looking straight before him

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