Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
deep chest tones in which she had been wont to sing, and listened
attentively to herself.
She did not know and would not have believed it, but beneath the
layer of slime that covered her soul and seemed to her impenetrable,
delicate young shoots of grass were already sprouting, which taking
root would so cover with their living verdure the grief that weighed
her down that it would soon no longer be seen or noticed. The wound
had begun to heal from within.
At the end of January Princess Mary left for Moscow, and the count
insisted on Natashas going with her to consult the doctors.
After the encounter at Vyazma, where Kutuzov had been unable to hold
back his troops in their anxiety to overwhelm and cut off the enemy
and so on, the farther movement of the fleeing French, and of the
Russians who pursued them, continued as far as Krasnoe without a
battle. The flight was so rapid that the Russian army pursuing the
French could not keep up with them; cavalry and artillery horses broke
down, and the information received of the movements of the French
was never reliable.
The men in the Russian army were so worn out by this continuous
marching at the rate of twenty-seven miles a day that they could not
go any faster.
To realize the degree of exhaustion of the Russian army it is only
necessary to grasp clearly the meaning of the fact that, while not
losing more than five thousand killed and wounded after Tarutino and
less than a hundred prisoners, the Russian army which left that
place a hundred thousand strong reached Krasnoe with only fifty
The rapidity of the Russian pursuit was just as destructive to our
army as the flight of the French was to theirs. The only difference
was that the Russian army moved voluntarily, with no such threat of
destruction as hung over the French, and that the sick Frenchmen
were left behind in enemy hands while the sick Russians left behind
were among their own people. The chief cause of the wastage of
Napoleons army was the rapidity of its movement, and a convincing
proof of this is the corresponding decrease of the Russian army.
Kutuzov as far as was in his power, instead of trying to check the
movement of the French as was desired in Petersburg and by the Russian
army generals, directed his whole activity here, as he had done at
Tarutino and Vyazma, to hastening it on while easing the movement of
But besides this, since the exhaustion and enormous diminution of
the army caused by the rapidity of the advance had become evident,
another reason for slackening the pace and delaying presented itself
to Kutuzov. The aim of the Russian army was to pursue the French.
The road the French would take was unknown, and so the closer our
troops trod on their heels the greater distance they had to cover.
Only by following at some distance could one cut across the zigzag
path of the French. All the artful maneuvers suggested by our generals
meant fresh movements of the army and a lengthening of its marches,
whereas the only reasonable aim was to shorten those marches. To
that end Kutuzovs activity was directed during the whole campaign
from Moscow to Vilna--not casually or intermittently but so
consistently that he never once deviated from it.
Kutuzov felt and knew--not by reasoning or science but with the
whole of his Russian being--what every Russian soldier felt: that
the French were beaten, that the enemy was flying and must be driven
out; but at the same time he like the soldiers realized all the
hardship of this march, the rapidity of which was unparalleled for
such a time of the year.
But to the generals, especially the foreign ones in the Russian army,
who wished to distinguish themselves, to astonish somebody, and for
some reason to capture a king or a duke--it seemed that now--when any
battle must be horrible and senseless--was the very time to fight and
conquer somebody. Kutuzov merely shrugged his shoulders when one after
another they presented projects of maneuvers to be made with those
soldiers--ill-shod, insufficiently clad, and half starved--who within
a month and without fighting a battle had dwindled to half their
number, and who at the best if the flight continued would have to go a
greater distance than they had already traversed, before they reached
This longing to distinguish themselves, to maneuver, to overthrow,
and to cut off showed itself particularly whenever the Russians
War And Peace page 647 War And Peace page 649