Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Dynasts by Thomas Hardy

Part 10 out of 16

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.4 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

the conservatory westward, and branches into long tents on the
lawn.

On a dais at the chief table, laid with gold and silver plate, the
Prince Regent sits like a lay figure, in a state chair of crimson
and gold, with six servants at his back. He swelters in a gorgeous
uniform of scarlet and gold lace which represents him as Field
Marshal, and he is surrounded by a hundred-and-forty of his
particular friends.

Down the middle of this state-table runs a purling brook crossed
by quaint bridges, in which gold and silver fish frisk about
between banks of moss and flowers. The whole scene is lit with
wax candles in chandeliers, and in countless candelabra on the
tables.

The people at the upper tables include the Duchess of York, looking
tired from having just received as hostess most of the ladies
present, except those who have come informally, Louis XVIII. of
France, the Duchess of Angouleme, all the English Royal Dukes,
nearly all the ordinary Dukes and Duchesses; also the Lord
Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Ministers, the Lord Mayor
and Lady Mayoress, all the more fashionable of the other Peers,
Peeresses, and Members of Parliament, Generals, Admirals, and
Mayors, with their wives. The ladies of position wear, almost to
the extent of a uniform, a nodding head-dress of ostrich feathers
with diamonds, and gowns of white satin embroidered in gold or
silver, on which, owing to the heat, dribbles of wax from the
chandeliers occasionally fall.

The Guards' bands play, and attendants rush about in blue and gold
lace.]

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

The Queen, the Regent's mother, sits not here;
Wanting, too, are his sisters, I perceive;
And it is well. With the distempered King
Immured at Windsor, sore distraught or dying,
It borders nigh on indecency
In their regard, that this loud feast is kept,
A thought not strange to many, as I read,
Even of those gathered here.

SPIRIT IRONIC

My dear phantom and crony, the gloom upon their faces is due rather
to their having borrowed those diamonds at eleven per cent than to
their loyalty to a suffering monarch! But let us test the feeling.
I'll spread a report.

[He calls up the SPIRIT OF RUMOUR, who scatters whispers through
the assemblage.]

A GUEST (to his neighbour)

Have you heard this report--that the King is dead?

ANOTHER GUEST

It has just reached me from the other side. Can it be true?

THIRD GUEST

I think it probable. He has been very ill all week.

PRINCE REGENT

Dead? Then my fete is spoilt, by God!

SHERIDAN

Long live the King! (He holds up his glass and bows to the Regent.)

MARCHIONESS OF HERTFORD (the new favourite, to the Regent)

The news is more natural than the moment of it! It is too cruel to
you that it should happen now!

PRINCE REGENT

Damn me, though; can it be true? (He provisionally throws a regal
air into his countenance.)

DUCHESS OF YORK (on the Regent's left)

I hardly can believe it. This forenoon
He was reported mending.

DUCHESS OF ANGOULEME (on the Regent's right)

On this side
They are asserting that the news is false--
That Buonaparte's child, the "King of Rome,"
Is dead, and not your royal father, sire.

PRINCE REGENT

That's mighty fortunate! Had it been true,
I should have been abused by all the world--
The Queen the keenest of the chorus, too--
Though I have been postponing this pledged feast
Through days and weeks, in hopes the King would mend,
Till expectation fusted with delay.
But give a dog a bad name--or a Prince!
So, then, it is new-come King of Rome
Who has passed or ever the world has welcomed him! . . .
Call him a king--that pompous upstart's son--
Beside us scions of the ancient lines!

DUKE OF BEDFORD

I think that rumour untrue also, sir. I heard it as I drove up from
Woburn this evening, and it was contradicted then.

PRINCE REGENT

Drove up this evening, did ye, Duke. Why did you cut it so close?

DUKE OF BEDFORD

Well, it so happened that my sheep-sheering dinner was fixed for
this very day, and I couldn't put it off. So I dined with them
there at one o'clock, discussed the sheep, rushed off, drove the
two-and-forty miles, jumped into my clothes at my house here, and
reached your Royal Highness's door in no very bad time.

PRINCE REGENT

Capital, capital. But, 'pon my soul, 'twas a close shave!

[Soon the babbling and glittering company rise from supper, and
begin promenading through the rooms and tents, the REGENT setting
the example, and mixing up and talking unceremoniously with his
guests of every degree. He and the group round him disappear into
the remoter chambers; but may concentrate in the Grecian Hall,
which forms the foreground of the scene, whence a glance can be
obtained into the ball-room, now filled with dancers.

The band is playing the tune of the season, "The Regency Hornpipe,"
which is danced as a country-dance by some thirty couples; so that
by the time the top couple have danced down the figure they are
quite breathless. Two young lords talk desultorily as they survey
the scene.]

FIRST LORD

Are the rumours of the King of Rome's death confirmed?

SECOND LORD

No. But they are probably true. He was a feeble brat from the
first. I believe they had to baptize him on the day he was born.
What can one expect after such presumption--calling him the New
Messiah, and God knows what all. Ours is the only country which
did not write fulsome poems about him. "Wise English!" the Tsar
Alexander said drily when he heard it.

FIRST LORD

Ay! The affection between that Pompey and Caesar has begun to cool.
Alexander's soreness at having his sister thrown over so cavalierly
is not salved yet.

SECOND LORD

There is much beside. I'd lay a guinea there will be war between
Russia and France before another year has flown.

FIRST LORD

Prinny looks a little worried to-night.

SECOND LORD

Yes. The Queen don't like the fete being held, considering the
King's condition. She and her friends say it should have been put
off altogether. But the Princess of Wales is not troubled that way.
Though she was not asked herself she went wildly off and bought her
people new gowns to come in. Poor maladroit woman! . . . .

[Another new dance of the year is started, and another long line
of couples begin to foot it.]

That's a pretty thing they are doing now. What d'ye call it?

FIRST LORD

"Speed the Plough." It is just out. They are having it everywhere.
The next is to be one of those foreign things in three-eight time
they call Waltzes. I question if anybody is up to dancing 'em here
yet.

["Speed the Plough" is danced to its conclusion, and the band
strikes up "The Copenhagen Waltz."]

SPIRIT IRONIC

Now for the wives. They both were tearing hither,
Unless reflection sped them back again;
But dignity that nothing else may bend
Succumbs to woman's curiosity,
So deem them here. Messengers, call them nigh!

[The PRINCE REGENT, having gone the round of the other rooms, now
appears at the ball-room door, and stands looking at the dancers.
Suddenly he turns, and gazes about with a ruffled face. He sees
a tall, red-faced man near him--LORD MOIRA, one of his friends.]

PRINCE REGENT

Damned hot here, Moira. Hottest of all for me!

MOIRA

Yes, it is warm, sir. Hence I do not dance.

PRINCE REGENT

H'm. What I meant was of another order;
I spoke figuratively.

MOIRA

O indeed, sir?

PRINCE REGENT

She's here. I heard her voice. I'll swear I did!

MOIRA

Who, sir?

PRINCE REGENT

Why, the Princess of Wales. Do you think I could mistake those
beastly German Ps and Bs of hers?--She asked to come, and was
denied; but she's got here, I'll wager ye, through the chair-door
in Warwick Street, which I arranged for a few ladies whom I wished
to come privately. (He looks about again, and moves till he is by
a door which affords a peep up the grand staircase.) By God, Moira,
I see TWO figures up there who shouldn't be here--leaning over the
balustrade of the gallery!

MOIRA

Two figures, sir. Whose are they?

PRINCE REGENT

She is one. The Fitzherbert in t'other! O I am almost sure it is!
I would have welcomed her, but she bridled and said she wouldn't sit
down at my table as a plain "Mrs." to please anybody. As I had sworn
that on this occasion people should sit strictly according to their
rank, I wouldn't give way. Why the devil did she come like this?
'Pon my soul, these women will be the death o' me!

MOIRA (looking cautiously up the stairs)

I can see nothing of her, sir, nor of the Princess either. There is
a crowd of idlers up there leaning over the bannisters, and you may
have mistaken some others for them.

PRINCE REGENT

O no. They have drawn back their heads. There have been such damned
mistakes made in sending out the cards that the biggest w--- in London
might be here. She's watching Lady Hertford, that's what she's doing.
For all their indifference, both of them are as jealous as two cats
over the tom.

[Somebody whispers that a lady has fainted up-stairs.]

That's Maria, I'll swear! She's always doing it. Whenever I hear
of some lady fainting about upon the furniture at my presence, and
sending for a glass of water, I say to myself, There's Maria at it
again, by God!

SPIRIT IRONIC

Now let him hear their voices once again.

[The REGENT starts as he seems to hear from the stairs the tongues
of the two ladies growing louder and nearer, the PRINCESS pouring
reproaches into one ear, and MRS. FITZHERBERT into the other.]

PRINCE REGENT

'Od seize 'em, Moira; this will drive me mad!
If men of blood must mate with only one
Of those dear damned deluders called the Sex,
Why has Heaven teased us with the taste for change?--
God, I begin to loathe the whole curst show!
How hot it is! Get me a glass of brandy,
Or I shall swoon off too. Now let's go out,
And find some fresher air upon the lawn.

[Exit the PRINCE REGENT, with LORDS MOIRA and YARMOUTH. The band
strikes up "La Belle Catarina" and a new figure is formed.]

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Phantoms, ye strain your powers unduly here,
Making faint fancies as they were indeed
The Mighty Will's firm work.

SPIRIT IRONIC

Nay, Father, nay;
The wives prepared to hasten hitherward
Under the names of some gone down to death,
Who yet were bidden. Must they not by here?

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

There lie long leagues between a woman's word--
"She will, indeed she will!"--and acting on't.
Whether those came or no, thy antics cease,
And let the revel wear it out in peace.

[Enter SPENCER PERCEVAL the Prime Minister, a small, pale, grave-
looking man, and an Under-Secretary of State, meeting.]

UNDER-SECRETARY

Is the King of Rome really dead, and the gorgeous gold cradle wasted?

PERCEVAL

O no, he is alive and waxing strong:
That tale has been set travelling more than once.
But touching it, booms echo to our ear
Of graver import, unimpeachable.

UNDER-SECRETARY

Your speech is dark.

PERCEVAL

Well, a new war in Europe.
Before the year is out there may arise
A red campaign outscaling any seen.
Russia and France the parties to the strife--
Ay, to the death!

UNDER-SECRETARY

By Heaven, sir, do you say so?

[Enter CASTLEREAGH, a tall, handsome man with a Roman nose, who,
seeing them, approaches.]

PERCEVAL

Ha, Castlereagh. Till now I have missed you here.
This news is startling for us all, I say!

CASTLEREAGH

My mind is blank on it! Since I left office
I know no more what villainy's afoot,
Or virtue either, than an anchoret
Who mortifies the flesh in some lone cave.

PERCEVAL

Well, happily that may not last for long.
But this grave pother that's just now agog
May reach such radius in its consequence
As to outspan our lives! Yes, Bonaparte
And Alexander--late such bosom-friends--
Are closing to a mutual murder-bout
At which the lips of Europe will wax wan.
Bonaparte says the fault is not with him,
And so says Alexander. But we know
The Austrian knot began their severance,
And that the Polish question largens it.
Nothing but time is needed for the clash.
And if so be that Wellington but keep
His foot in the Peninsula awhile,
Between the pestle and the mortar-stone
Of Russia and of Spain, Napoleon's brayed.

SPIRIT OF RUMOUR (to the Spirit of the Years)

Permit me now to join them and confirm,
By what I bring from far, their forecasting?

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

I'll go. Thou knowest not greatly more than they.

[The SPIRIT OF THE YEARS enters the apartment in the shape of a
pale, hollow-eye gentleman wearing an embroidered suit. At the
same time re-enter the REGENT, LORDS MOIRA, YARMOUTH, KEITH, LADY
HERTFORD, SHERIDAN, the DUKE OF BEDFORD, with many more notables.
The band changes into the popular dance, "Down with the French,"
and the characters aforesaid look on at the dancers.]

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS (to Perceval)

Yes, sir; your text is true. In closest touch
With European courts and cabinets,
The imminence of dire and deadly war
Betwixt these east and western emperies
Is lipped by special pathways to mine ear.
You may not see the impact: ere it come
The tomb-worm may caress thee (Perceval shrinks); but believe
Before five more have joined the shotten years
Whose useless films infest the foggy Past,
Traced thick with teachings glimpsed unheedingly,
The rawest Dynast of the group concerned
Will, for the good or ill of mute mankind,
Down-topple to the dust like soldier Saul,
And Europe's mouldy-minded oligarchs
Be propped anew; while garments roll in blood
To confused noise, with burning, and fuel of fire.
Nations shall lose their noblest in the strife,
And tremble at the tidings of an hour!

[He passes into the crowd and vanishes.]

PRINCE REGENT (who has heard with parted lips)

Who the devil is he?

PERCEVAL

One in the suite of the French princes, perhaps, sir?--though his
tone was not monarchical. He seems to be a foreigner.

CASTLEREAGH

His manner was that of an old prophet, and his features had a Jewish
cast, which accounted for his Hebraic style.

PRINCE REGENT

He could not have known me, to speak so freely in my presence!

SHERIDAN

I expected to see him write on the wall, like the gentleman with the
Hand at Belshazzar's Feast.

PRINCE REGENT (recovering)

He seemed to know a damn sight more about what's going on in Europe,
sir (to Perceval), than your Government does, with all its secret
information.

PERCEVAL

He is recently over, I conjecture, your royal Highness, and brings
the latest impressions.

PRINCE REGENT

By Gad, sir, I shall have a comfortable time of it in my regency, or
reign, if what he foresees be true! But I was born for war; it is
my destiny!

[He draws himself up inside his uniform and stalks away. The group
dissolves, the band continuing stridently, "Down with the French,"
as dawn glimmers in. Soon the REGENT'S guests begin severally and
in groups to take leave.]

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Behold To-morrow riddles the curtains through,
And labouring life without shoulders its cross anew!

CHORUS OF THE YEARS (aerial music)

Why watch we here? Look all around
Where Europe spreads her crinkled ground,
From Osmanlee to Hekla's mound,
Look all around!

Hark at the cloud-combed Ural pines;
See how each, wailful-wise, inclines;
Mark the mist's labyrinthine lines;

Behold the tumbling Biscay Bay;
The Midland main in silent sway;
As urged to move them, so move they.

No less through regal puppet-shows
The rapt Determinator throes,
That neither good nor evil knows!

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Yet I may wake and understand
Ere Earth unshape, know all things, and
With knowledge use a painless hand,
A painless hand!

[Solitude reigns in the chambers, and the scene shuts up.]

PART THIRD

CHARACTERS

I. PHANTOM INTELLIGENCES

THE ANCIENT SPIRIT OF THE YEARS/CHORUS OF THE YEARS.

THE SPIRIT OF THE PITIES/CHORUS OF THE PITIES.

SPIRITS SINISTER AND IRONIC/CHORUSES OF SINISTER AND IRONIC SPIRITS.

THE SPIRIT OF RUMOUR/CHORUS OF RUMOURS.

THE SHADE OF THE EARTH.

SPIRIT MESSENGERS.

RECORDING ANGELS.

II. PERSONS

MEN (The names in lower case are mute figures.)

THE PRINCE REGENT.
The Royal Dukes.
THE DUKE OF RICHMOND.
The Duke of Beaufort.
CASTLEREAGH, Prime Minister.
Palmerston, War Secretary.
PONSONBY, of the Opposition.
BURDETT, of the Opposition.
WHITBREAD, of the Opposition.
Tierney, Romilly, of the Opposition
Other Members of Parliament.
TWO ATTACHES.
A DIPLOMATIST.
Ambassadors, Ministers, Peers, and other persons of Quality
and Office.

. . . . . . . . . .

WELLINGTON.
UXBRIDGE.
PICTON.
HILL.
CLINTON.
Colville.
COLE.
BERESFORD.
Pack and Kempt.
Byng.
Vivian.
W. Ponsonby, Vandeleur, Colquhoun-Grant, Maitland, Adam, and
C. Halkett.
Graham, Le Marchant, Pakenham, and Sir Stapleton Cotton.
SIR W. DE LANCEY.
FITZROY SOMERSET.
COLONELS FRASER, H. HALKETT, COLBORNE, Cameron, Hepburn, LORD
SALTOUN, C. Campbell.
SIR NEIL CAMPBELL.
Sir Alexander Gordon, BRIGDEMAN, TYLER, and other AIDES.
CAPTAIN MERCER.
Other Generals, Colonels, and Military Officers.
Couriers.

A SERGEANT OF DRAGOONS.
Another SERGEANT.
A SERGEANT of the 15th HUSSARS.
A SENTINEL. Batmen.
AN OFFICER'S SERVANT.
Other non-Commissioned Officers and Privates of the British Army.
English Forces.

. . . . . . . . . .

SIR W. GELL, Chamberlain to the Princess of Wales.
MR. LEGH, a Wessex Gentleman.
Another GENTLEMAN.
THE VICAR OF DURNOVER.
Signor Tramezzini and other members of the Opera Company.
M. Rozier, a dancer.

LONDON CITIZENS.
A RUSTIC and a YEOMAN.
A MAIL-GUARD.
TOWNSPEOPLE, Musicians, Villagers, etc.

. . . . . . . . . .

THE DUKE OF BRUNSWICK.
THE PRINCE OF ORANGE.
Count Alten.
Von Ompteda, Baring, Duplat, and other Officers of the King's-
German Legion.
Perponcher, Best, Kielmansegge, Wincke, and other Hanoverian
Officers.
Bylandt and other Officers of the Dutch-Belgian troops.
SOME HUSSARS.
King's-German, Hanoverian, Brunswick, and Dutch-Belgian Forces.

. . . . . . . . . .

BARON VAN CAPELLEN, Belgian Secretary of State.
The Dukes of Arenberg and d'Ursel.
THE MAYOR OF BRUSSELS.
CITIZENS AND IDLERS of Brussels.

. . . . . . . . . .

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.
JOSEPH BONAPARTE.
Jerome Bonaparte.
THE KING OF ROME.
Eugene de Beauharnais.
Cambaceres, Arch-Chancellor to Napoleon.
TALLEYRAND.
CAULAINCOURT.
DE BAUSSET.

. . . . . . . . . .

MURAT, King of Naples.
SOULT, Napoleon's Chief of Staff.
NEY.
DAVOUT.
MARMONT.
BERTHIER.
BERTRAND.
BESSIERES.
AUGEREAU, MACDONALD, LAURISTON, CAMBRONNE.
Oudinot, Friant, Reille, d'Erlon, Drouot, Victor, Poniatowski,
Jourdan, and other Marshals, and General and Regimental
Officers of Napoleon's Army.
RAPP, MORTIER, LARIBOISIERE.
Kellermann and Milhaud.
COLONELS FABVRIER, MARBOT, MALLET, HEYMES, and others.
French AIDES and COURIERS.
DE CANISY, Equerry to the King of Rome.
COMMANDANT LESSARD.
Another COMMANDANT.
BUSSY, an Orderly Officer.
SOLDIERS of the Imperial Guard and others.
STRAGGLERS; A MAD SOLDIER.
French Forces.

. . . . . . . . . .

HOUREAU, BOURDOIS, and Ivan, physicians.
MENEVAL, Private Secretary to Napoleon.
DE MONTROND, an emissary of Napoleon's.
Other Secretaries to Napoleon.
CONSTANT, Napoleon's Valet.
ROUSTAN, Napoleon's Mameluke.
TWO POSTILLIONS.
A TRAVELLER.
CHAMBERLAINS and Attendants.
SERVANTS at the Tuileries.
FRENCH CITIZENS and Townspeople.

. . . . . . . . . .

THE KING OF PRUSSIA.
BLUCHER.
MUFFLING, Wellington's Prussian Attache.
GNEISENAU.
Zieten.
Bulow.
Kleist, Steinmetz, Thielemann, Falkenhausen.
Other Prussian General and Regimental Officers.
A PRUSSIAN PRISONER of the French.
Prussian Forces.

. . . . . . . . . .

FRANCIS, Emperor of Austria.
METTERNICH, Chancellor and Foreign Minister.
Hardenberg.
NEIPPERG
Schwarzenberg, Kleinau, Hesse-Homburg, and other Austrian Generals.
Viennese Personages of rank and fashion.
Austrian Forces.

. . . . . . . . . .

THE EMPEROR ALEXANDER of Russia.
Nesselrode.
KUTUZOF.
Bennigsen.
Barclay de Tolly, Dokhtorof, Bagration, Platoff, Tchichagoff,
Miloradovitch, and other Russian Generals.
Rostopchin, Governor of Moscow.
SCHUVALOFF, a Commissioner.
A RUSSIAN OFFICER under Kutuzof.
Russian Forces.
Moscow Citizens.

. . . . . . . . . .

Alava, Wellington's Spanish Attache.
Spanish and Portuguese Officers.
Spanish and Portuguese Forces.
Spanish Citizens.

. . . . . . . . . .

Minor Sovereigns and Princes of Europe.
LEIPZIG CITIZENS.

WOMEN

CAROLINE, PRINCESS OF WALES.
The Duchess of York.
THE DUCHESS OF RICHMOND.
The Duchess of Beaufort.
LADY H. DARYMPLE
Lady de Lancey.
LADY CHARLOTTE CAMPBELL.
Lady Anne Hamilton.
A YOUNG LADY AND HER MOTHER.
MRS. DALBIAC, a Colonel's wife.
MRS. PRESCOTT, a Captain's wife.
Other English ladies of note and rank.
Madame Grassini and other Ladies of the Opera.
Madame Angiolini, a dancer.
VILLAGE WOMEN.
SOLDIERS' WIVES AND SWEETHEARTS.
A SOLDIER'S DAUGHTER.

. . . . . . . . . .

THE EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE.
The Empress of Austria.
MARIA CAROLINA of Naples.
Queen Hortense.
Laetitia, Madame Bonaparte.
The Princess Pauline.
THE DUCHESS OF MONTEBELLO.
THE COUNTESS OF MONTESQUIOU.
THE COUNTESS OF BRIGNOLE.
Other Ladies-in-Waiting on Marie Louise.

THE EX-EMPRESS JOSEPHINE.
LADIES-IN-WAITING on Josephine.
Another French Lady.
FRENCH MARKET-WOMEN.
A SPANISH LADY.
French and Spanish Women of pleasure.
Continental Citizens' Wives.
Camp-followers.

ACT FIRST

SCENE I

THE BANKS OF THE NIEMEN, NEAR KOWNO

[The foreground is a hillock on a broken upland, seen in evening
twilight. On the left, further back, are the dusky forests of
Wilkowsky; on the right is the vague shine of a large river.

Emerging from the wood below the eminence appears a shadowy
amorphous thing in motion, the central or Imperial column of
NAPOLEON'S Grand Army for the invasion of Russia, comprising
the corps of OUDINOT, NEY, and DAVOUT, with the Imperial Guard.
This, with the right and left columns, makes up the host of
nearly half a million, all starting on their march to Moscow.

While the rearmost regiments are arriving, NAPOLEON rides ahead
with GENERAL HAXEL and one or two others to reconnoitre the river.
NAPOLEON'S horse stumbles and throws him. He picks himself up
before he can be helped.]

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS (to Napoleon)

The portent is an ill one, Emperor;
An ancient Roman would retire thereat!

NAPOLEON

Whose voice was that, jarring upon my thought
So insolently?

HAXEL AND OTHERS

Sire, we spoke no word.

NAPOLEON

Then, whoso spake, such portents I defy!

[He remounts. When the reconnoitrers again came back to the
foreground of the scene the huge array of columns is standing
quite still, in circles of companies, the captain of each in
the middle with a paper in his hand. He reads from it a
proclamation. They quiver emotionally, like leaves stirred by
the wind. NAPOLEON and his staff reascend the hillock, and his
own words as repeated to the ranks reach his ears, while he
himself delivers the same address to those about him.

NAPOLEON

Soldiers, wild war is on the board again;
The lifetime-long alliance Russia swore
At Tilsit, for the English realm's undoing,
Is violate beyond refurbishment,
And she intractable and unashamed.
Russia is forced on by fatality:
She cries her destiny must be outwrought,
Meaning at our expense. Does she then dream
We are no more the men of Austerlitz,
With nothing left of our old featfulness?

She offers us the choice of sword or shame;
We have made that choice unhesitatingly!
Then let us forthwith stride the Niemen flood,
Let us bear war into her great gaunt land,
And spread our glory there as otherwhere,
So that a stable peace shall stultify
The evil seed-bearing that Russian wiles
Have nourished upon Europe's choked affairs
These fifty years!

[The midsummer night darkens. They all make their bivouacs
and sleep.]

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Something is tongued afar.

DISTANT VOICE IN THE WIND

The hostile hatchings of Napoleon's brain
Against our Empire, long have harassed us,
And mangled all our mild amenities.
So, since the hunger for embranglement
That gnaws this man, has left us optionless,
And haled us recklessly to horrid war,
We have promptly mustered our well-hardened hosts,
And, counting on our call to the most High,
Have forthwith set our puissance face to face
Against Napoleon's.--Ranksmen! officers!
You fend your lives, your land, your liberty.
I am with you. Heaven frowns on the aggressor.

SPIRIT IRONIC

Ha! "Liberty" is quaint, and pleases me,
Sounding from such a soil!

[Midsummer-day breaks, and the sun rises on the right, revealing
the position clearly. The eminence overlooks for miles the river
Niemen, now mirroring the morning rays. Across the river three
temporary bridges have been thrown, and towards them the French
masses streaming out of the forest descend in three columns.

They sing, shout, fling their shakos in the air and repeat words
from the proclamation, their steel and brass flashing in the sun.
They narrow their columns as they gain the three bridges, and begin
to cross--horse, foot, and artillery.

NAPOLEON has come from the tent in which he has passed the night
to the high ground in front, where he stands watching through his
glass the committal of his army to the enterprise. DAVOUT, NEY,
MURAT, OUDINOT, Generals HAXEL and EBLE, NARBONNE, and others
surround him.

It is a day of drowsing heat, and the Emperor draws a deep breath
as he shifts his weight from one puffed calf to the other. The
light cavalry, the foot, the artillery having passed, the heavy
horse now crosses, their glitter outshining the ripples on the
stream.

A messenger enters. NAPOLEON reads papers that are brought, and
frowns.]

NAPOLEON

The English heads decline to recognize
The government of Joseph, King of Spain,
As that of "the now-ruling dynast";
But only Ferdinand's!--I'll get to Moscow,
And send thence my rejoinder. France shall wage
Another fifty years of wasting war
Before a Bourbon shall remount the throne
Of restless Spain! . . . (A flash lights his eyes.)

But this long journey now just set a-trip
Is my choice way to India; and 'tis there
That I shall next bombard the British rule.
With Moscow taken, Russia prone and crushed,
To attain the Ganges is simplicity--
Auxiliaries from Tiflis backing me.
Once ripped by a French sword, the scaffolding
Of English merchant-mastership in Ind
Will fall a wreck. . . . Vast, it is true, must bulk
An Eastern scheme so planned; but I could work it. . . .
Man has, worse fortune, but scant years for war;
I am good for another five!

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Why doth he go?--
I see returning in a chattering flock
Bleached skeletons, instead of this array
Invincibly equipped.

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

I'll show you why.

[The unnatural light before seen usurps that of the sun, bringing
into view, like breezes made visible, the films or brain-tissues of
the Immanent Will, that pervade all things, ramifying through the
whole army, NAPOLEON included, and moving them to Its inexplicable
artistries.]

NAPOLEON (with sudden despondency)

That which has worked will work!--Since Lodi Bridge
The force I then felt move me moves me on
Whether I will or no; and oftentimes
Against my better mind. . . . Why am I here?
--By laws imposed on me inexorably!
History makes use of me to weave her web
To her long while aforetime-figured mesh
And contemplated charactery: no more.
Well, war's my trade; and whencesoever springs
This one in hand, they'll label it with my name!

[The natural light returns and the anatomy of the Will disappears.
NAPOLEON mounts his horse and descends in the rear of his host to
the banks of the Niemen. His face puts on a saturnine humour, and
he hums an air.]

Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine;
Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre,
Ne sait quand reviendra!

[Exeunt NAPOLEON and his staff.]

SPIRIT SINISTER

It is kind of his Imperial Majesty to give me a lead. (Sings.)

Monsieur d'Malbrough est mort,
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine;
Monsieur d'Malbrough est mort,
Est mort et enterre!

[Anon the figure of NAPOLEON, diminished to the aspect of a doll,
reappears in front of his suite on the plain below. He rides
across the swaying bridge. Since the morning the sky has grown
overcast, and its blackness seems now to envelope the retreating
array on the other side of the stream. The storm bursts with
thunder and lightning, the river turns leaden, and the scene is
blotted out by the torrents of rain.]

SCENE II

THE FORD OF SANTA MARTA, SALAMANCA

[We are in Spain, on a July night of the same summer, the air being
hot and heavy. In the darkness the ripple of the river Tormes can
be heard over the ford, which is near the foreground of the scene.

Against the gloomy north sky to the left, lightnings flash
revealing rugged heights in that quarter. From the heights comes
to the ear the tramp of soldiery, broke and irregular, as by
obstacles in their descent; as yet they are some distance off.
On heights to the right hand, on the other side of the river,
glimmer the bivouac fires of the French under MARMONT. The
lightning quickens, with rolls of thunder, and a few large drops
of rain fall.

A sentinel stands close to the ford, and beyond him is the ford-
house, a shed open towards the roadway and the spectator. It is
lit by a single lantern, and occupied by some half-dozen English
dragoons with a sergeant and corporal, who form part of a mounted
patrol, their horses being picketed at the entrance. They are
seated on a bench, and appear to be waiting with some deep intent,
speaking in murmurs only.

The thunderstorm increases till it drowns the noise of the ford
and of the descending battalions, making them seem further off
than before. The sentinel is about to retreat to the shed when
he discerns two female figures in the gloom. Enter MRS. DALBIAC
and MRS. PRESCOTT, English officers wives.]

SENTINEL

Where there's war there's women, and where there's women there's
trouble! (Aloud) Who goes there?

MRS. DALBIAC

We must reveal who we are, I fear (to her companion). Friends!
(to sentinel).

SENTINEL

Advance and give the countersign.

MRS. DALBIAC

Oh, but we can't!

SENTINEL

Consequent which, you must retreat. By Lord Wellington's strict
regulations, women of loose character are to be excluded from the
lines for moral reasons, namely, that they are often employed by
the enemy as spies.

MRS. PRESCOTT

Dear good soldier, we are English ladies benighted, having mistaken
our way back to Salamanca, and we want shelter from the storm.

MRS. DALBIAC

If it is necessary I will say who we are.--I am Mrs. Dalbiac, wife
of the Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fourth Light Dragoons, and this
lady is the wife of Captain Prescott of the Seventh Fusileers. We
went out to Christoval to look for our husbands, but found the army
had moved.

SENTINEL (incredulously)

"Wives!" Oh, not to-day! I have heard such titles of courtesy
afore; but they never shake me. "W" begins other female words than
"wives!"--You'll have trouble, good dames, to get into Salamanca
to-night. You'll be challenged all the way down, and shot without
clergy if you can't give the countersign.

MRS. PRESCOTT

Then surely you'll tell us what it is, good kind man!

SENTINEL

Well--have ye earned enough to pay for knowing? Government wage is
poor pickings for watching here in the rain. How much can ye stand?

MRS. DALBIAC

Half-a-dozen pesetas.

SENTINEL

Very well, my dear. I was always tender-hearted. Come along.
(They advance and hand the money.) The pass to-night is "Melchester
Steeple." That will take you into the town when the weather clears.
You won't have to cross the ford. You can get temporary shelter in
the shed there.

[As the ladies move towards the shed the tramp of the infantry
draws near the ford, which the downfall has made to purl more
boisterously. The twain enter the shed, and the dragoons look
up inquiringly.]

MRS. DALBIAC (to dragoons)

The French are luckier than you are, men. You'll have a wet advance
across this ford, but they have a dry retreat by the bridge at Alba.

SERGEANT OF PATROL (starting from a doze)

The moustachies a dry retreat? Not they, my dear. A Spanish
garrison is in the castle that commands the bridge at Alba.

MRS. DALBIAC

A peasant told us, if we understood rightly, that he saw the Spanish
withdraw, and the enemy place a garrison there themselves.

[The sergeant hastily calls up two troopers, who mount and ride off
with the intelligence.]

SERGEANT

You've done us a good turn, it is true, darlin'. Not that Lord
Wellington will believe it when he gets the news. . . . Why, if my
eyes don't deceive me, ma'am, that's Colonel Dalbiac's lady!

MRS. DALBIAC

Yes, sergeant. I am over here with him, as you have heard, no doubt,
and lodging in Salamanca. We lost our way, and got caught in the
storm, and want shelter awhile.

SERGEANT

Certainly, ma'am. I'll give you an escort back as soon as the
division has crossed and the weather clears.

MRS. PRESCOTT (anxiously)

Have you heard, sergeant, if there's to be a battle to-morrow?

SERGEANT

Yes, ma'am. Everything shows it.

MRS. DAlBIAC (to MRS. PRESCOTT)

Our news would have passed us in. We have wasted six pesetas.

MRS. PRESCOTT (mournfully)

I don't mind that so much as that I have brought the children from
Ireland. This coming battle frightens me!

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

This is her prescient pang of widowhood.
Ere Salamanca clang to-morrow's close
She'll find her consort stiff among the slain!

[The infantry regiments now reach the ford. The storm increases
in strength, the stream flows more furiously; yet the columns of
foot enter it and begin crossing. The lightning is continuous;
the faint lantern in the ford-house is paled by the sheets of
fire without, which flap round the bayonets of the crossing men
and reflect upon the foaming torrent.]

CHORUS OF THE PITIES (aerial music)

The skies fling flame on this ancient land!
And drenched and drowned is the burnt blown sand
That spreads its mantle of yellow-grey
Round old Salmantica to-day;
While marching men come, band on band,
Who read not as a reprimand
To mortal moils that, as 'twere planned
In mockery of their mimic fray,
The skies fling flame.

Since sad Coruna's desperate stand
Horrors unsummed, with heavy hand,
Have smitten such as these! But they
Still headily pursue their way,
Though flood and foe confront them, and
The skies fling flame.

[The whole of the English division gets across by degrees, and
their invisible tramp is heard ascending the opposite heights as
the lightnings dwindle and the spectacle disappears.]

SCENE III

THE FIELD OF SALAMANCA

[The battlefield--an undulating and sandy expanse--is lying
under the sultry sun of a July afternoon. In the immediate
left foreground rises boldly a detached dome-like hill known
as the Lesser Arapeile, now held by English troops. Further
back, and more to the right, rises another and larger hill of
the kind--the Greater Arapeile; this is crowned with French
artillery in loud action, and the French marshal, MARMONT, Duke
of RAGUSA, stands there. Further to the right, in the same
plane, stretch the divisions of the French army. Still further
to the right, in the distance, on the Ciudad Rodrigo highway, a
cloud of dust denotes the English baggage-train seeking security
in that direction. The city of Salamanca itself, and the river
Tormes on which it stands, are behind the back of the spectator.

On the summit of the lesser hill, close at hand, WELLINGTON, glass
at eye, watches the French division under THOMIERE, which has become
separated from the centre of the French army. Round and near him
are aides and other officers, in animated conjecture on MARMONT'S
intent, which appears to be a move on the Ciudad Rodrigo road
aforesaid, under the impression that the English are about to
retreat that way.

The English commander descends from where he was standing to a nook
under a wall, where a meal is roughly laid out. Some of his staff
are already eating there. WELLINGTON takes a few mouthfuls without
sitting down, walks back again, and looks through his glass at the
battle as before. Balls from the French artillery fall around.
Enter his aide-de-camp, FITZROY SOMERSET.]

FITZROY SOMERSET (hurriedly)

The French make movements of grave consequence--
Extending to the left in mass, my lord.

WELLINGTON

I have just perceived as much; but not the cause.
(He regards longer.)
Marmont's good genius is deserting him!

[Shutting up his glass with a snap, WELLINGTON calls several aides
and despatches them down the hill. He goes back behind the wall
and takes some more mouthfuls.]

By God, Fitzroy, if we shan't do it now!
(to SOMERSET).
Mon cher Alava, Marmont est perdu!
(to his SPANISH ATTACHE).

FITZROY SOMERSET

Thinking we mean to attack on him,
He schemes to swoop on our retreating-line.

WELLINGTON

Ay; and to cloak it by this cannonade.
With that in eye he has bundled leftwardly
Thomiere's division; mindless that thereby
His wing and centre's mutual maintenance
Has gone, and left a yawning vacancy.
So be it. Good. His laxness is our luck!

[As a result of the orders sent off by the aides, several British
divisions advance across the French front on the Greater Arapeile
and elsewhere. The French shower bullets into them; but an English
brigade under PACK assails the nearer French on the Arapeile, now
beginning to cannonade the English in the hollows beneath.

Light breezes blow toward the French, and they get in their faces
the dust-clouds and smoke from the masses of English in motion, and
a powerful sun in their eyes.

MARMONT and his staff are sitting on the top of the Greater Arapeile
only half a cannon-shot from WELLINGTON on the Lesser; and, like
WELLINGTON, he is gazing through his glass.

SPIRIT OF RUMOUR

Appearing to behold the full-mapped mind
Of his opponent, Marmont arrows forth
Aide after aide towards the forest's rim,
To spirit on his troops emerging thence,
And prop the lone division Thomiere,
For whose recall his voice has rung in vain.
Wellington mounts and seeks out Pakenham,
Who pushes to the arena from the right,
And, spurting to the left of Marmont's line,
Shakes Thomiere with lunges leonine.

When the manoeuvre's meaning hits his sense,
Marmont hies hotly to the imperilled place,
Where see him fall, sore smitten.--Bonnet rides
And dons the burden of the chief command,
Marking dismayed the Thomiere column there
Shut up by Pakenham like bellows-folds
Against the English Fourth and Fifth hard by;
And while thus crushed, Dragoon-Guards and Dragoons,
Under Le Marchant's hands (of Guernsey he),
Are launched upon them by Sir Stapleton,
And their scathed files are double-scathed anon.

Cotton falls wounded. Pakenham's bayoneteers
Shape for the charge from column into rank;
And Thomiere finds death thereat point-blank!

SEMICHORUS I OF THE PITIES (aerial music)

In fogs of dust the cavalries hoof the ground;
Their prancing squadrons shake the hills around:
Le Marchant's heavies bear with ominous bound
Against their opposites!

SEMICHORUS II

A bullet crying along the cloven air
Gouges Le Marchant's groin and rankles there;
In Death's white sleep he soon joins Thomiere,
And all he has fought for, quits!

[In the meantime the battle has become concentrated in the middle
hollow, and WELLINGTON descends thither from the English Arapeile.

The fight grows fiercer. COLE and LEITH now fall wounded; then
BERESFORD, who directs the Portuguese, is struck down and borne
away. On the French side fall BONNET who succeeded MARMONT in
command, MANNE, CLAUSEL, and FEREY, the last hit mortally.

Their disordered main body retreats into the forest and disappears;
and just as darkness sets in, the English stand alone on the crest,
the distant plain being lighted only by musket-flashes from the
vanquishing enemy. In the close foreground vague figures on
horseback are audible in the gloom.

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

I thought they looked as they'd be scurrying soon!

VOICE OF AN AIDE

Foy bears into the wood in middling trim;
Maucune strikes out for Alba-Castle bridge.

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

Speed the pursuit, then, towards the Huerta ford;
Their only scantling of escape lies there;
The river coops them semicircle-wise,
And we shall have them like a swathe of grass
Within a sickle's curve!

VOICE OF AIDE

Too late, my lord.
They are crossing by the aforesaid bridge at Alba.

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

Impossible. The guns of Carlos rake it
Sheer from the castle walls.

VOICE OF AIDE

Tidings have sped
Just now therefrom, to this undreamed effect:
That Carlos has withdrawn the garrison:
The French command the Alba bridge themselves!

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

Blast him, he's disobeyed his orders, then!
How happened this? How long has it been known?

VOICE OF AIDE

Some ladies some few hours have rumoured it,
But unbelieved.

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

Well, what's done can't be undone. . . .
By God, though, they've just saved themselves thereby
From capture to a man!

VOICE OF A GENERAL

We've not struck ill,
Despite this slip, my lord. . . . And have you heard
That Colonel Dalbiac's wife rode in the charge
Behind her spouse to-day?

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

Did she though: did she!
Why that must be Susanna, whom I know--
A Wessex woman, blithe, and somewhat fair. . . .
Not but great irregularities
Arise from such exploits.--And was it she
I noticed wandering to and fro below here,
Just as the French retired?

VOICE OF ANOTHER OFFICER

Ah no, my lord.
That was the wife of Prescott of the Seventh,
Hoping beneath the heel of hopelessness,
As these young women will!--Just about sunset
She found him lying dead and bloody there,
And in the dusk we bore them both away.(18)

VOICE OF WELLINGTON

Well, I'm damned sorry for her. Though I wish
The women-folk would keep them to the rear:
Much awkwardness attends their pottering round!

[The talking shapes disappear, and as the features of the field
grow undistinguishable the comparative quiet is broken by gay
notes from guitars and castanets in the direction of the city,
and other sounds of popular rejoicing at Wellington's victory.
People come dancing out from the town, and the merry-making
continues till midnight, when it ceases, and darkness and silence
prevail everywhere.]

SEMICHORUS I OF THE YEARS (aerial music)

What are Space and Time? A fancy!--
Lo, by Vision's necromancy
Muscovy will now unroll;
Where for cork and olive-tree
Starveling firs and birches be.

SEMICHORUS II

Though such features lie afar
From events Peninsular,
These, amid their dust and thunder,
Form with those, as scarce asunder,
Parts of one compacted whole.

CHORUS

Marmont's aide, then, like a swallow
Let us follow, follow, follow,
Over hill and over hollow,
Past the plains of Teute and Pole!

[There is semblance of a sound in the darkness as of a rushing
through the air.]

SCENE IV

THE FIELD OF BORODINO

[Borodino, seventy miles west of Moscow, is revealed in a bird's-
eye view from a point above the position of the French Grand Army,
advancing on the Russian capital.

We are looking east, towards Moscow and the army of Russia, which
bars the way thither. The sun of latter summer, sinking behind
our backs, floods the whole prospect, which is mostly wild,
uncultivated land with patches of birch-trees. NAPOLEON'S army
has just arrived on the scene, and is making its bivouac for the
night, some of the later regiments not having yet come up. A
dropping fire of musketry from skirmishers ahead keeps snapping
through the air. The Emperor's tent stands in a ravine in the
foreground amid the squares of the Old Guard. Aides and other
officers are chatting outside.

Enter NAPOLEON, who dismounts, speaks to some of his suite, and
disappears inside his tent. An interval follows, during which the
sun dips.

Enter COLONEL FABVRIER, aide-de-camp of MARMONT, just arrived from
Spain. An officer-in-waiting goes into NAPOLEON'S tent to announce
FABVRIER, the Colonel meanwhile talking to those outside.]

AN AIDE

Important tidings thence, I make no doubt?

FABVRIER

Marmont repulsed on Salamanca field,
And well-nigh slain, is the best tale I bring!

[A silence. A coughing heard in NAPOLEON'S tent.]

Whose rheumy throat distracts the quiet so?

AIDE

The Emperor's. He is thus the livelong day.

[COLONEL FABVRIER is shown into the tent. An interval. Then the
husky accents of NAPOLEON within, growing louder and louder.]

VOICE OF NAPOLEON

If Marmont--so I gather from these lines--
Had let the English and the Spanish be,
They would have bent from Salamanca back,
Offering no battle, to our profiting!
We should have been delivered this disaster,
Whose bruit will harm us more than aught besides
That has befallen in Spain!

VOICE OF FABVRIER

I fear so, sire.

VOICE OF NAPOLEON

He forced a conflict, to cull laurel crowns
Before King Joseph should arrive to share them!

VOICE OF FABVRIER

The army's ardour for your Majesty,
Its courage, its devotion to your cause,
Cover a myriad of the Marshal's sins.

VOICE OF NAPOLEON

Why gave he battle without biddance, pray,
From the supreme commander? Here's the crime
Of insubordination, root of woes! . . .
The time well chosen, and the battle won,
The English succours there had sidled off,
And their annoy in the Peninsula
Embarrassed us no more. Behoves it me,
Some day, to face this Wellington myself!
Marmont too plainly is no match for him. . . .
Thus he goes on: "To have preserved command
I would with joy have changed this early wound
For foulest mortal stroke at fall of day.
One baleful moment damnified the fruit
Of six weeks' wise strategics, whose result
Had loomed so certain!"--(Satirically) Well, we've but his word
As to their wisdom! To define them thus
Would not have struck me but for his good prompting! . . .
No matter: On Moskowa's banks to-morrow
I'll mend his faults upon the Arapeile.
I'll see how I can treat this Russian horde
Which English gold has brought together here
From the four corners of the universe. . . .
Adieu. You'd best go now and take some rest.

[FABVRIER reappears from the tent and goes. Enter DE BAUSSET.]

DE BAUSSET

The box that came--has it been taken in?

AN OFFICER

Yes, General 'Tis laid behind a screen
In the outer tent. As yet his Majesty
Has not been told of it.

[DE BAUSSET goes into the tent. After an interval of murmured
talk an exclamation bursts from the EMPEROR. In a few minutes he
appears at the tent door, a valet following him bearing a picture.
The EMPEROR'S face shows traces of emotion.]

NAPOLEON

Bring out a chair for me to poise it on.

[Re-enter DE BAUSSET from the tent with a chair.]

They all shall see it. Yes, my soldier-sons
Must gaze upon this son of mine own house
In art's presentment! It will cheer their hearts.
That's a good light--just so.

[He is assisted by DE BAUSSET to set up the picture in the chair.
It is a portrait of the young King of Rome playing at cup-and-ball
being represented as the globe. The officers standing near are
attracted round, and then the officers and soldiers further back
begin running up, till there is a great crowd.]

Let them walk past,
So that they see him all. The Old Guard first.

[The Old Guard is summoned, and marches past surveying the picture;
then other regiments.]

SOLDIERS

The Emperor and the King of Rome for ever!

[When they have marched past and withdrawn, and DE BAUSSET has
taken away the picture, NAPOLEON prepares to re-enter his tent.
But his attention is attracted to the Russians. He regards them
through his glass. Enter BESSIERES and RAPP.]

NAPOLEON

What slow, weird ambulation do I mark,
Rippling the Russian host?

BESSIERES

A progress, sire,
Of all their clergy, vestmented, who bear
An image, said to work strange miracles.

[NAPOLEON watches. The Russian ecclesiastics pass through the
regiments, which are under arms, bearing the icon and other
religious insignia. The Russian soldiers kneel before it.]

NAPOLEON

Ay! Not content to stand on their own strength,
They try to hire the enginry of Heaven.
I am no theologian, but I laugh
That men can be so grossly logicless,
When war, defensive or aggressive either,
Is in its essence pagan, and opposed
To the whole gist of Christianity!

BESSIERES

'Tis to fanaticize their courage, sire.

NAPOLEON

Better they'd wake up old Kutuzof.--Rapp,
What think you of to-morrow?

RAPP

Victory;
But, sire, a bloody one!

NAPOLEON

So I foresee.

[The scene darkens, and the fires of the bivouacs shine up ruddily,
those of the French near at hand, those of the Russians in a long
line across the mid-distance, and throwing a flapping glare into
the heavens. As the night grows stiller the ballad-singing and
laughter from the French mixes with a slow singing of psalms from
their adversaries.

The two multitudes lie down to sleep, and all is quiet but for
the sputtering of the green wood fires, which, now that the human
tongues are still, seem to hold a conversation of their own.]

SCENE V

THE SAME

[The prospect lightens with dawn, and the sun rises red. The
spacious field of battle is now distinct, its ruggedness being
bisected by the great road from Smolensk to Moscow, which runs
centrally from beneath the spectator to the furthest horizon.
The field is also crossed by the stream Kalotcha, flowing from
the right-centre foreground to the left-centre background, thus
forming an "X" with the road aforesaid, intersecting it in mid-
distance at the village of Borodino.

Behind this village the Russians have taken their stand in close
masses. So stand also the French, who have in their centre the
Shevardino redoubt beyond the Kalotcha. Here NAPOLEON, in his
usual glue-grey uniform, white waistcoat, and white leather
breeches, chooses his position with BERTHIER and other officers
of his suite.]

DUMB SHOW

It is six o'clock, and the firing of a single cannon on the French
side proclaims that the battle is beginning. There is a roll of
drums, and the right-centre masses, glittering in the level shine,
advance under NEY and DAVOUT and throw themselves on the Russians,
here defended by redoubts.

The French enter the redoubts, whereupon a slim, small man, GENERAL
BAGRATION, brings across a division from the Russian right and expels
them resolutely.

Semenovskoye is a commanding height opposite the right of the French,
and held by the Russians. Cannon and columns, infantry and cavalry,
assault it by tens of thousands, but cannot take it.

Aides gallop through the screeching shot and haze of smoke and dust
between NAPOLEON and his various marshals. The Emperor walks about,
looks through his glass, goes to a camp-stool, on which he sits down,
and drinks glasses of spirits and hot water to relieve his still
violent cold, as may be discovered from his red eyes, raw nose,
rheumatic manner when he moves, and thick voice in giving orders.

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

So he fulfils the inhuman antickings
He thinks imposed upon him. . . . What says he?

SPIRIT OF RUMOUR

He says it is the sun of Austerlitz!

The Russians, so far from being driven out of their redoubts,
issue from them towards the French. But they have to retreat,
BAGRATION and his Chief of Staff being wounded. NAPOLEON sips
his grog hopefully, and orders a still stronger attack on the
great redoubt in the centre.

It is carried out. The redoubt becomes the scene of a huge
massacre. In other parts of the field also the action almost
ceases to be a battle, and takes the form of wholesale butchery
by the thousand, now advantaging one side, now the other.

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Thus do the mindless minions of the spell
In mechanized enchantment sway and show
A Will that wills above the will of each,
Yet but the will of all conjunctively;
A fabric of excitement, web of rage,
That permeates as one stuff the weltering whole.

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

The ugly horror grossly regnant here
Wakes even the drowsed half-drunken Dictator
To all its vain uncouthness!

SPIRIT OF RUMOUR

Murat cries
That on this much-anticipated day
Napoleon's genius flags inoperative.

The firing from the top of the redoubt has ceased. The French have
got inside. The Russians retreat upon their rear, and fortify
themselves on the heights there. PONIATOWSKI furiously attacks them.
But the French are worn out, and fall back to their station before
the battle. So the combat dies resultlessly away. The sun sets, and
the opposed and exhausted hosts sink to lethargic repose. NAPOLEON
enters his tent in the midst of his lieutenants, and night descends.

SHADE OF THE EARTH

The fumes of nitre and the reek of gore
Make my airs foul and fulsome unto me!

SPIRIT IRONIC

The natural nausea of a nurse, dear Dame.

SPIRIT OF RUMOUR

Strange: even within that tent no notes of joy
Throb as at Austerlitz! (signifying Napoleon's tent).

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

But mark that roar--
A mash of men's crazed cries entreating mates
To run them through and end their agony;
Boys calling on their mothers, veterans
Blaspheming God and man. Those shady shapes
Are horses, maimed in myriads, tearing round
In maddening pangs, the harnessings they wear
Clanking discordant jingles as they tear!

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

It is enough. Let now the scene be closed.

The night thickens.

SCENE VI

MOSCOW

[The foreground is an open place amid the ancient irregular streets
of the city, which disclose a jumble of architectural styles, the
Asiatic prevailing over the European. A huge triangular white-
walled fortress rises above the churches and coloured domes on a
hill in the background, the central feature of which is a lofty
tower with a gilded cupola, the Ivan Tower. Beneath the battlements
of this fortress the Moskva River flows.

An unwonted rumbling of wheels proceeds from the cobble-stoned
streets, accompanied by an incessant cracking of whips.]

DUMB SHOW

Travelling carriages, teams, and waggons, laden with pictures,
carpets, glass, silver, china, and fashionable attire, are rolling
out of the city, followed by foot-passengers in streams, who carry
their most precious possessions on their shoulders. Others bear
their sick relatives, caring nothing for their goods, and mothers
go laden with their infants. Others drive their cows, sheep, and
goats, causing much obstruction. Some of the populace, however,
appear apathetic and bewildered, and stand in groups asking questions.

A thin man with piercing eyes gallops about and gives stern orders.

SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Whose is the form seen ramping restlessly,
Geared as a general, keen-eyed as a kite,
Mid this mad current of close-filed confusion;
High-ordering, smartening progress in the slow,
And goading those by their own thoughts o'er-goaded;
Whose emissaries knock at every door
In rhythmal rote, and groan the great events
The hour is pregnant with?

SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Rostopchin he,
The city governor, whose name will ring
Far down the forward years uncannily!

SPIRIT OF RUMOUR

His arts are strange, and strangely do they move him:--
To store the stews with stuffs inflammable,
To bid that pumps be wrecked, captives enlarged
And primed with brands for burning, are the intents
His warnings to the citizens outshade!

When the bulk of the populace has passed out eastwardly the Russian
army retreating from Borodino also passes through the city into the
country beyond without a halt. They mostly move in solemn silence,
though many soldiers rush from their ranks and load themselves with
spoil.

When they are got together again and have marched out, there goes by
on his horse a strange scarred old man with a foxy look, a swollen
neck and head and a hunched figure. He is KUTUZOF, surrounded by
his lieutenants. Away in the distance by other streets and bridges
with other divisions pass in like manner GENERALS BENNIGSEN, BARCLAY
DE TOLLY, DOKHTOROF, the mortally wounded BAGRATION in a carriage, and
other generals, all in melancholy procession one way, like autumnal
birds of passage. Then the rear-guard passes under MILORADOVITCH.

Next comes a procession of another kind.

A long string of carts with wounded men is seen, which trails out of
the city behind the army. Their clothing is soiled with dried blood,
and the bandages that enwrap them are caked with it.

The greater part of this migrant multitude takes the high road to
Vladimir.

SCENE VII

THE SAME. OUTSIDE THE CITY

[A hill forms the foreground, called the Hill of Salutation, near
the Smolensk road.

Book of the day: