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War And Peace 88


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on his face disappeared. "Cependant, mon cher," he remarked, examining his nails from a distance and puckering the skin above his left eye, "malgre la haute estime que je professe pour the Orthodox Russian army, javoue que votre victoire nest pas des plus victorieuses."* *"But my dear fellow, with all my respect for the Orthodox Russian army, I must say that your victory was not particularly victorious." He went on talking in this way in French, uttering only those words in Russian on which he wished to put a contemptuous emphasis. "Come now! You with all your forces fall on the unfortunate Mortier and his one division, and even then Mortier slips through your fingers! Wheres the victory?" "But seriously," said Prince Andrew, "we can at any rate say without boasting that it was a little better than at Ulm..." "Why didnt you capture one, just one, marshal for us?" "Because not everything happens as one expects or with the smoothness of a parade. We had expected, as I told you, to get at their rear by seven in the morning but had not reached it by five in the afternoon." "And why didnt you do it at seven in the morning? You ought to have been there at seven in the morning," returned Bilibin with a smile. "You ought to have been there at seven in the morning." "Why did you not succeed in impressing on Bonaparte by diplomatic methods that he had better leave Genoa alone?" retorted Prince Andrew in the same tone. "I know," interrupted Bilibin, "youre thinking its very easy to take marshals, sitting on a sofa by the fire! That is true, but still why didnt you capture him? So dont be surprised if not only the Minister of War but also his Most August Majesty the Emperor and King Francis is not much delighted by your victory. Even I, a poor secretary of the Russian Embassy, do not feel any need in token of my joy to give my Franz a thaler, or let him go with his Liebchen to the Prater... True, we have no Prater here..." He looked straight at Prince Andrew and suddenly unwrinkled his forehead. "It is now my turn to ask you why? mon cher," said Bolkonski. "I confess I do not understand: perhaps there are diplomatic subtleties here beyond my feeble intelligence, but I cant make it out. Mack loses a whole army, the Archduke Ferdinand and the Archduke Karl give no signs of life and make blunder after blunder. Kutuzov alone at last gains a real victory, destroying the spell of the invincibility of the French, and the Minister of War does not even care to hear the details." "Thats just it, my dear fellow. You see its hurrah for the Tsar, for Russia, for the Orthodox Greek faith! All that is beautiful, but what do we, I mean the Austrian court, care for your victories? Bring us nice news of a victory by the Archduke Karl or Ferdinand (one archdukes as good as another, as you know) and even if it is only over a fire brigade of Bonapartes, that will be another story and well fire off some cannon! But this sort of thing seems done on purpose to vex us. The Archduke Karl does nothing, the Archduke Ferdinand disgraces himself. You abandon Vienna, give up its defense--as much as to say: Heaven is with us, but heaven help you and your capital! The one general whom we all loved, Schmidt, you expose to a bullet, and then you congratulate us on the victory! Admit that more irritating news than yours could not have been conceived. Its as if it had been done on purpose, on purpose. Besides, suppose you did gain a brilliant victory, if even the Archduke Karl gained a victory, what effect would that have on the general course of events? Its too late now when Vienna is occupied by the French army!" "What? Occupied? Vienna occupied?" "Not only occupied, but Bonaparte is at Schonbrunn, and the count, our dear Count Vrbna, goes to him for orders." After the fatigues and impressions of the journey, his reception, and especially after having dined, Bolkonski felt that he could not take in the full significance of the words he heard. "Count Lichtenfels was here this morning," Bilibin continued, "and showed me a letter in which the parade of the French in Vienna was fully described: Prince Murat et tout le tremblement... You see that your victory is not a matter for great rejoicing and that you cant be received as a savior." "Really I dont

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