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War And Peace 658


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will your excellency please be so good as to set off for Kaluga on receipt of this, and there await further commands and appointments from His Imperial Majesty." But after Bennigsens departure, the Grand Duke Tsarevich Constantine Pavlovich joined the army. He had taken part in the beginning of the campaign but had subsequently been removed from the army by Kutuzov. Now having come to the army, he informed Kutuzov of the Emperors displeasure at the poor success of our forces and the slowness of their advance. The Emperor intended to join the army personally in a few days time. The old man, experienced in court as well as in military affairs--this same Kutuzov who in August had been chosen commander in chief against the sovereigns wishes and who had removed the Grand Duke and heir--apparent from the army--who on his own authority and contrary to the Emperors will had decided on the abandonment of Moscow, now realized at once that his day was over, that his part was played, and that the power he was supposed to hold was no longer his. And he understood this not merely from the attitude of the court. He saw on the one hand that the military business in which he had played his part was ended and felt that his mission was accomplished; and at the same time he began to be conscious of the physical weariness of his aged body and of the necessity of physical rest. On the twenty-ninth of November Kutuzov entered Vilna--his "dear Vilna" as he called it. Twice during his career Kutuzov had been governor of Vilna. In that wealthy town, which had not been injured, he found old friends and associations, besides the comforts of life of which he had so long been deprived. And he suddenly turned from the cares of army and state and, as far as the passions that seethed around him allowed, immersed himself in the quiet life to which he had formerly been accustomed, as if all that was taking place and all that had still to be done in the realm of history did not concern him at all. Chichagov, one of the most zealous "cutters-off" and "breakers-up," who had first wanted to effect a diversion in Greece and then in Warsaw but never wished to go where he was sent: Chichagov, noted for the boldness with which he spoke to the Emperor, and who considered Kutuzov to be under an obligation to him because when he was sent to make peace with Turkey in 1811 independently of Kutuzov, and found that peace had already been concluded, he admitted to the Emperor that the merit of securing that peace was really Kutuzovs; this Chichagov was the first to meet Kutuzov at the castle where the latter was to stay. In undress naval uniform, with a dirk, and holding his cap under his arm, he handed Kutuzov a garrison report and the keys of the town. The contemptuously respectful attitude of the younger men to the old man in his dotage was expressed in the highest degree by the behavior of Chichagov, who knew of the accusations that were being directed against Kutuzov. When speaking to Chichagov, Kutuzov incidentally mentioned that the vehicles packed with china that had been captured from him at Borisov had been recovered and would be restored to him. "You mean to imply that I have nothing to eat out of.... On the contrary, I can supply you with everything even if you want to give dinner parties," warmly replied Chichagov, who tried by every word he spoke to prove his own rectitude and therefore imagined Kutuzov to be animated by the same desire. Kutuzov, shrugging his shoulders, replied with his subtle penetrating smile: "I meant merely to say what I said." Contrary to the Emperors wish Kutuzov detained the greater part of the army at Vilna. Those about him said that he became extraordinarily slack and physically feeble during his stay in that town. He attended to army affairs reluctantly, left everything to his generals, and while awaiting the Emperors arrival led a dissipated life. Having left Petersburg on the seventh of December with his suite--Count Tolstoy, Prince Volkonski, Arakcheev, and others--the Emperor reached Vilna on the eleventh, and in his traveling sleigh drove straight to the castle. In spite of the severe frost some hundred generals and staff officers in full parade uniform stood in front of the castle, as well as a guard of honor of the Semenov regiment. A courier who galloped to the castle in advance, in a troyka with three foam-flecked horses, shouted "Coming!"

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