Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
the Kremlin and in Posnyakovs house were closed again at once because
the actors and actresses were robbed.
Even philanthropy did not have the desired effect. The genuine as
well as the false paper money which flooded Moscow lost its value. The
French, collecting booty, cared only for gold. Not only was the
paper money valueless which Napoleon so graciously distributed to
the unfortunate, but even silver lost its value in relation to gold.
But the most amazing example of the ineffectiveness of the orders
given by the authorities at that time was Napoleons attempt to stop
the looting and re-establish discipline.
This is what the army authorities were reporting:
"Looting continues in the city despite the decrees against it. Order
is not yet restored and not a single merchant is carrying on trade
in a lawful manner. The sutlers alone venture to trade, and they
sell stolen goods."
"The neighborhood of my ward continues to be pillaged by soldiers of
the 3rd Corps who, not satisfied with taking from the unfortunate
inhabitants hiding in the cellars the little they have left, even have
the ferocity to wound them with their sabers, as I have repeatedly
"Nothing new, except that the soldiers are robbing and
"Robbery and pillaging continue. There is a band of thieves in our
district who ought to be arrested by a strong force--October 11."
"The Emperor is extremely displeased that despite the strict
orders to stop pillage, parties of marauding Guards are continually
seen returning to the Kremlin. Among the Old Guard disorder and
pillage were renewed more violently than ever yesterday evening,
last night, and today. The Emperor sees with regret that the picked
soldiers appointed to guard his person, who should set an example of
discipline, carry disobedience to such a point that they break into
the cellars and stores containing army supplies. Others have disgraced
themselves to the extent of disobeying sentinels and officers, and
have abused and beaten them."
"The Grand Marshal of the palace," wrote the governor, "complains
bitterly that in spite of repeated orders, the soldiers continue to
commit nuisances in all the courtyards and even under the very windows
of the Emperor."
That army, like a herd of cattle run wild and trampling underfoot
the provender which might have saved it from starvation, disintegrated
and perished with each additional day it remained in Moscow. But it
did not go away.
It began to run away only when suddenly seized by a panic caused
by the capture of transport trains on the Smolensk road, and by the
battle of Tarutino. The news of that battle of Tarutino,
unexpectedly received by Napoleon at a review, evoked in him a
desire to punish the Russians (Thiers says), and he issued the order
for departure which the whole army was demanding.
Fleeing from Moscow the soldiers took with them everything they
had stolen. Napoleon, too, carried away his own personal tresor, but
on seeing the baggage trains that impeded the army, he was (Thiers
says) horror-struck. And yet with his experience of war he did not
order all the superfluous vehicles to be burned, as he had done with
those of a certain marshal when approaching Moscow. He gazed at the
caleches and carriages in which soldiers were riding and remarked that
it was a very good thing, as those vehicles could be used to carry
provisions, the sick, and the wounded.
The plight of the whole army resembled that of a wounded animal which
feels it is perishing and does not know what it is doing. To study the
skillful tactics and aims of Napoleon and his army from the time it
entered Moscow till it was destroyed is like studying the dying leaps
and shudders of a mortally wounded animal. Very often a wounded
animal, hearing a rustle, rushes straight at the hunters gun, runs
forward and back again, and hastens its own end. Napoleon, under
pressure from his whole army, did the same thing. The rustle of the
battle of Tarutino frightened the beast, and it rushed forward onto
the hunters gun, reached him, turned back, and finally--like any wild
beast--ran back along the most disadvantageous and dangerous path,
where the old scent was familiar.
During the whole of that period Napoleon, who seems to us to have
been the leader of all these movements--as the figurehead of a ship
may seem to a savage to guide the vessel--acted like a child who,
holding a couple of strings inside a carriage, thinks he is driving
Early in the morning of the sixth of October Pierre went out of
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