Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
paternal intentions of His Majesty the Emperor and King and to
co-operate with him for the public welfare! Lay your respect and
confidence at his feet and do not delay to unite with us!
With the object of raising the spirits of the troops and of the
people, reviews were constantly held and rewards distributed. The
Emperor rode through the streets to comfort the inhabitants, and,
despite his preoccupation with state affairs, himself visited the
theaters that were established by his order.
In regard to philanthropy, the greatest virtue of crowned heads,
Napoleon also did all in his power. He caused the words Maison de ma
Mere to be inscribed on the charitable institutions, thereby combining
tender filial affection with the majestic benevolence of a monarch. He
visited the Foundling Hospital and, allowing the orphans saved by
him to kiss his white hands, graciously conversed with Tutolmin. Then,
as Thiers eloquently recounts, he ordered his soldiers to be paid in
forged Russian money which he had prepared: "Raising the use of
these means by an act worthy of himself and of the French army, he let
relief be distributed to those who had been burned out. But as food
was too precious to be given to foreigners, who were for the most part
enemies, Napoleon preferred to supply them with money with which to
purchase food from outside, and had paper rubles distributed to them."
With reference to army discipline, orders were continually being
issued to inflict severe punishment for the nonperformance of military
duties and to suppress robbery.
But strange to say, all these measures, efforts, and plans--which
were not at all worse than others issued in similar circumstances--did
not affect the essence of the matter but, like the hands of a clock
detached from the mechanism, swung about in an arbitrary and aimless
way without engaging the cogwheels.
With reference to the military side--the plan of campaign--that work
of genius of which Thiers remarks that, "His genius never devised
anything more profound, more skillful, or more admirable," and enters
into a polemic with M. Fain to prove that this work of genius must be
referred not to the fourth but to the fifteenth of October--that plan
never was or could be executed, for it was quite out of touch with the
facts of the case. The fortifying of the Kremlin, for which la Mosquee
(as Napoleon termed the church of Basil the Beatified) was to have
been razed to the ground, proved quite useless. The mining of the
Kremlin only helped toward fulfilling Napoleons wish that it should
be blown up when he left Moscow--as a child wants the floor on which
he has hurt himself to be beaten. The pursuit of the Russian army,
about which Napoleon was so concerned, produced an unheard-of result.
The French generals lost touch with the Russian army of sixty thousand
men, and according to Thiers it was only eventually found, like a lost
pin, by the skill--and apparently the genius--of Murat.
With reference to diplomacy, all Napoleons arguments as to his
magnanimity and justice, both to Tutolmin and to Yakovlev (whose chief
concern was to obtain a greatcoat and a conveyance), proved useless;
Alexander did not receive these envoys and did not reply to their
With regard to legal matters, after the execution of the supposed
incendiaries the rest of Moscow burned down.
With regard to administrative matters, the establishment of a
municipality did not stop the robberies and was only of use to certain
people who formed part of that municipality and under pretext of
preserving order looted Moscow or saved their own property from
With regard to religion, as to which in Egypt matters had so
easily been settled by Napoleons visit to a mosque, no results were
achieved. Two or three priests who were found in Moscow did try to
carry out Napoleons wish, but one of them was slapped in the face
by a French soldier while conducting service, and a French official
reported of another that: "The priest whom I found and invited to
say Mass cleaned and locked up the church. That night the doors were
again broken open, the padlocks smashed, the books mutilated, and
other disorders perpetrated."
With reference to commerce, the proclamation to industrious
workmen and to peasants evoked no response. There were no
industrious workmen, and the peasants caught the commissaries who
ventured too far out of town with the proclamation and killed them.
As to the theaters for the entertainment of the people and the
troops, these did not meet with success either. The theaters set up
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