Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
The French, not being farther pursued, began to recover
themselves: they formed into detachments and began firing.
Orlov-Denisov, still waiting for the other columns to arrive, advanced
Meantime, according to the dispositions which said that "the First
Column will march" and so on, the infantry of the belated columns,
commanded by Bennigsen and directed by Toll, had started in due
order and, as always happens, had got somewhere, but not to their
appointed places. As always happens the men, starting cheerfully,
began to halt; murmurs were heard, there was a sense of confusion, and
finally a backward movement. Adjutants and generals galloped about,
shouted, grew angry, quarreled, said they had come quite wrong and
were late, gave vent to a little abuse, and at last gave it all up and
went forward, simply to get somewhere. "We shall get somewhere or
other!" And they did indeed get somewhere, though not to their right
places; a few eventually even got to their right place, but too late
to be of any use and only in time to be fired at. Toll, who in this
battle played the part of Weyrother at Austerlitz, galloped
assiduously from place to place, finding everything upside down
everywhere. Thus he stumbled on Bagovuts corps in a wood when it
was already broad daylight, though the corps should long before have
joined Orlov-Denisov. Excited and vexed by the failure and supposing
that someone must be responsible for it, Toll galloped up to the
commander of the corps and began upbraiding him severely, saying
that he ought to be shot. General Bagovut, a fighting old soldier of
placid temperament, being also upset by all the delay, confusion,
and cross-purposes, fell into a rage to everybodys surprise and quite
contrary to his usual character and said disagreeable things to Toll.
"I prefer not to take lessons from anyone, but I can die with my men
as well as anybody," he said, and advanced with a single division.
Coming out onto a field under the enemys fire, this brave general
went straight ahead, leading his men under fire, without considering
in his agitation whether going into action now, with a single
division, would be of any use or no. Danger, cannon balls, and bullets
were just what he needed in his angry mood. One of the first bullets
killed him, and other bullets killed many of his men. And his division
remained under fire for some time quite uselessly.
Meanwhile another column was to have attacked the French from the
front, but Kutuzov accompanied that column. He well knew that
nothing but confusion would come of this battle undertaken against his
will, and as far as was in his power held the troops back. He did
He rode silently on his small gray horse, indolently answering
suggestions that they should attack.
"The word attack is always on your tongue, but you dont see that we
are unable to execute complicated maneuvers," said he to
Miloradovich who asked permission to advance.
"We couldnt take Murat prisoner this morning or get to the place in
time, and nothing can be done now!" he replied to someone else.
When Kutuzov was informed that at the French rear--where according
to the reports of the Cossacks there had previously been nobody--there
were now two battalions of Poles, he gave a sidelong glance at Ermolov
who was behind him and to whom he had not spoken since the previous
"You see! They are asking to attack and making plans of all kinds,
but as soon as one gets to business nothing is ready, and the enemy,
forewarned, takes measures accordingly."
Ermolov screwed up his eyes and smiled faintly on hearing these
words. He understood that for him the storm had blown over, and that
Kutuzov would content himself with that hint.
"Hes having a little fun at my expense," said Ermolov softly,
nudging with his knee Raevski who was at his side.
Soon after this, Ermolov moved up to Kutuzov and respectfully
"It is not too late yet, your Highness--the enemy has not gone
away--if you were to order an attack! If not, the Guards will not so
much as see a little smoke."
Kutuzov did not reply, but when they reported to him that Murats
troops were in retreat he ordered an advance, though at every
hundred paces he halted for three quarters of an hour.
The whole battle consisted in what Orlov-Denisovs Cossacks had
done: the rest of the army merely lost some hundreds of men uselessly.
In consequence of this battle Kutuzov received a diamond decoration,
and Bennigsen some
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