Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
paunch resting against the other which was doubled under him. He
screwed up his seeing eye to scrutinize the messenger more
carefully, as if wishing to read in his face what preoccupied his
"Tell me, tell me, friend," said he to Bolkhovitinov in his low,
aged voice, as he pulled together the shirt which gaped open on his
chest, "come nearer--nearer. What news have you brought me? Eh? That
Napoleon has left Moscow? Are you sure? Eh?"
Bolkhovitinov gave a detailed account from the beginning of all he
had been told to report.
"Speak quicker, quicker! Dont torture me!" Kutuzov interrupted him.
Bolkhovitinov told him everything and was then silent, awaiting
instructions. Toll was beginning to say something but Kutuzov
checked him. He tried to say something, but his face suddenly puckered
and wrinkled; he waved his arm at Toll and turned to the opposite side
of the room, to the corner darkened by the icons that hung there.
"O Lord, my Creator, Thou has heard our prayer..." said he in a
tremulous voice with folded hands. "Russia is saved. I thank Thee, O
Lord!" and he wept.
From the time he received this news to the end of the campaign all
Kutuzovs activity was directed toward restraining his troops, by
authority, by guile, and by entreaty, from useless attacks, maneuvers,
or encounters with the perishing enemy. Dokhturov went to
Malo-Yaroslavets, but Kutuzov lingered with the main army and gave
orders for the evacuation of Kaluga--a retreat beyond which town
seemed to him quite possible.
Everywhere Kutuzov retreated, but the enemy without waiting for
his retreat fled in the opposite direction.
Napoleons historians describe to us his skilled maneuvers at
Tarutino and Malo-Yaroslavets, and make conjectures as to what would
have happened had Napoleon been in time to penetrate into the rich
But not to speak of the fact that nothing prevented him from
advancing into those southern provinces (for the Russian army did
not bar his way), the historians forget that nothing could have
saved his army, for then already it bore within itself the germs of
inevitable ruin. How could that army--which had found abundant
supplies in Moscow and had trampled them underfoot instead of
keeping them, and on arriving at Smolensk had looted provisions
instead of storing them--how could that army recuperate in Kaluga
province, which was inhabited by Russians such as those who lived in
Moscow, and where fire had the same property of consuming what was set
That army could not recover anywhere. Since the battle of Borodino
and the pillage of Moscow it had borne within itself, as it were,
the chemical elements of dissolution.
The members of what had once been an army--Napoleon himself and
all his soldiers fled--without knowing whither, each concerned only to
make his escape as quickly as possible from this position, of the
hopelessness of which they were all more or less vaguely conscious.
So it came about that at the council at Malo-Yaroslavets, when the
generals pretending to confer together expressed various opinions, all
mouths were closed by the opinion uttered by the simple-minded soldier
Mouton who, speaking last, said what they all felt: that the one thing
needful was to get away as quickly as possible; and no one, not even
Napoleon, could say anything against that truth which they all
But though they all realized that it was necessary to get away,
there still remained a feeling of shame at admitting that they must
flee. An external shock was needed to overcome that shame, and this
shock came in due time. It was what the French called "le hourra de
The day after the council at Malo-Yaroslavets Napoleon rode out
early in the morning amid the lines of his army with his suite of
marshals and an escort, on the pretext of inspecting the army and
the scene of the previous and of the impending battle. Some Cossacks
on the prowl for booty fell in with the Emperor and very nearly
captured him. If the Cossacks did not capture Napoleon then, what
saved him was the very thing that was destroying the French army,
the booty on which the Cossacks fell. Here as at Tarutino they went
after plunder, leaving the men. Disregarding Napoleon they rushed
after the plunder and Napoleon managed to escape.
When les enfants du Don might so easily have taken the Emperor
himself in the midst of his army, it was clear that there was
nothing for it but to fly as fast as possible along the nearest,
familiar road. Napoleon with his forty-year-old stomach understood
that hint, not
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