Part 21 out of 34
Princess Mary, with the paper in her hand, rose from the window
and with a pale face went out of the room and into what had been
Prince Andrew's study.
"Dunyasha, send Alpatych, or Dronushka, or somebody to me!" she
said, "and tell Mademoiselle Bourienne not to come to me," she
added, hearing Mademoiselle Bourienne's voice. "We must go at once, at
once!" she said, appalled at the thought of being left in the hands of
"If Prince Andrew heard that I was in the power of the French!
That I, the daughter of Prince Nicholas Bolkonski, asked General
Rameau for protection and accepted his favor!" This idea horrified
her, made her shudder, blush, and feel such a rush of anger and
pride as she had never experienced before. All that was distressing,
and especially all that was humiliating, in her position rose
vividly to her mind. "They, the French, would settle in this house: M.
le General Rameau would occupy Prince Andrew's study and amuse himself
by looking through and reading his letters and papers. Mademoiselle
Bourienne would do the honors of Bogucharovo for him. I should be
given a small room as a favor, the soldiers would violate my
father's newly dug grave to steal his crosses and stars, they would
tell me of their victories over the Russians, and would pretend to
sympathize with my sorrow..." thought Princess Mary, not thinking
her own thoughts but feeling bound to think like her father and her
brother. For herself she did not care where she remained or what
happened to her, but she felt herself the representative of her dead
father and of Prince Andrew. Involuntarily she thought their
thoughts and felt their feelings. What they would have said and what
they would have done she felt bound to say and do. She went into
Prince Andrew's study, trying to enter completely into his ideas,
and considered her position.
The demands of life, which had seemed to her annihilated by her
father's death, all at once rose before her with a new, previously
unknown force and took possession of her.
Agitated and flushed she paced the room, sending now for Michael
Ivanovich and now for Tikhon or Dron. Dunyasha, the nurse, and the
other maids could not say in how far Mademoiselle Bourienne's
statement was correct. Alpatych was not at home, he had gone to the
police. Neither could the architect Michael Ivanovich, who on being
sent for came in with sleepy eyes, tell Princess Mary anything. With
just the same smile of agreement with which for fifteen years he had
been accustomed to answer the old prince without expressing views of
his own, he now replied to Princess Mary, so that nothing definite
could be got from his answers. The old valet Tikhon, with sunken,
emaciated face that bore the stamp of inconsolable grief, replied:
"Yes, Princess" to all Princess Mary's questions and hardly
refrained from sobbing as he looked at her.
At length Dron, the village Elder, entered the room and with a
deep bow to Princess Mary came to a halt by the doorpost.
Princess Mary walked up and down the room and stopped in front of
"Dronushka," she said, regarding as a sure friend this Dronushka who
always used to bring a special kind of gingerbread from his visit to
the fair at Vyazma every year and smilingly offer it to her,
"Dronushka, now since our misfortune..." she began, but could not go
"We are all in God's hands," said he, with a sigh.
They were silent for a while.
"Dronushka, Alpatych has gone off somewhere and I have no one to
turn to. Is true, as they tell me, that I can't even go away?"
"Why shouldn't you go away, your excellency? You can go," said Dron.
"I was told it would be dangerous because of the enemy. Dear friend,
I can do nothing. I understand nothing. I have nobody! I want to go
away tonight or early tomorrow morning."
Dron paused. He looked askance at Princess Mary and said: "There are
no horses; I told Yakov Alpatych so."
"Why are there none?" asked the princess.
"It's all God's scourge," said Dron. "What horses we had have been
taken for the army or have died- this is such a year! It's not a
case of feeding horses- we may die of hunger ourselves! As it is, some
go three days without eating. We've nothing, we've been ruined."
Princess Mary listened attentively to what he told her.
"The peasants are ruined? They have no bread?" she asked.
"They're dying of hunger," said Dron. "It's not a case of carting."
"But why didn't you tell me, Dronushka? Isn't it possible to help
them? I'll do all I can...."
To Princess Mary it was strange that now, at a moment when such
sorrow was filling her soul, there could be rich people and poor,
and the rich could refrain from helping the poor. She had heard
vaguely that there was such a thing as "landlord's corn" which was
sometimes given to the peasants. She also knew that neither her father
nor her brother would refuse to help the peasants in need, she only
feared to make some mistake in speaking about the distribution of
the grain she wished to give. She was glad such cares presented
themselves, enabling her without scruple to forget her own grief.
She began asking Dron about the peasants' needs and what there was
in Bogucharovo that belonged to the landlord.
"But we have grain belonging to my brother?" she said.
"The landlord's grain is all safe," replied Dron proudly. "Our
prince did not order it to be sold."
"Give it to the peasants, let them have all they need; I give you
leave in my brother's name," said she.
Dron made no answer but sighed deeply.
"Give them that corn if there is enough of it. Distribute it all.
I give this order in my brother's name; and tell them that what is
ours is theirs. We do not grudge them anything. Tell them so."
" Dron looked intently at the princess while she was speaking.
"Discharge me, little mother, for God's sake! Order the keys to be
taken from me," said he. "I have served twenty-three years and have
done no wrong. Discharge me, for God's sake!"
Princess Mary did not understand what he wanted of her or why he was
asking to be discharged. She replied that she had never doubted his
devotion and that she was ready to do anything for him and for the
An hour later Dunyasha came to tell the princess that Dron had come,
and all the peasants had assembled at the barn by the princess'
order and wished to have word with their mistress.
"But I never told them to come," said Princess Mary. "I only told
Dron to let them have the grain."
"Only, for God's sake, Princess dear, have them sent away and
don't go out to them. It's all a trick," said Dunyasha, "and when
Yakov Alpatych returns let us get away... and please don't..."
"What is a trick?" asked Princess Mary in surprise.
"I know it is, only listen to me for God's sake! Ask nurse too. They
say they don't agree to leave Bogucharovo as you ordered."
"You're making some mistake. I never ordered them to go away,"
said Princess Mary. "Call Dronushka."
Dron came and confirmed Dunyasha's words; the peasants had come by
the princess' order.
"But I never sent for them," declared the princess. "You must have
given my message wrong. I only said that you were to give them the
Dron only sighed in reply.
"If you order it they will go away," said he.
"No, no. I'll go out to them," said Princess Mary, and in spite of
the nurse's and Dunyasha's protests she went out into the porch; Dron,
Dunyasha, the nurse, and Michael Ivanovich following her.
"They probably think I am offering them the grain to bribe them to
remain here, while I myself go away leaving them to the mercy of the
French," thought Princess Mary. "I will offer them monthly rations and
housing at our Moscow estate. I am sure Andrew would do even more in
my place," she thought as she went out in the twilight toward the
crowd standing on the pasture by the barn.
The men crowded closer together, stirred, and rapidly took off their
hats. Princess Mary lowered her eyes and, tripping over her skirt,
came close up to them. So many different eyes, old and young, were
fixed on her, and there were so many different faces, that she could
not distinguish any of them and, feeling that she must speak to them
all at once, did not know how to do it. But again the sense that she
represented her father and her brother gave her courage, and she
boldly began her speech.
"I am very glad you have come," she said without raising her eyes,
and feeling her heart beating quickly and violently. "Dronushka
tells me that the war has ruined you. That is our common misfortune,
and I shall grudge nothing to help you. I am myself going away because
it is dangerous here... the enemy is near... because... I am giving
you everything, my friends, and I beg you to take everything, all
our grain, so that you may not suffer want! And if you have been
told that I am giving you the grain to keep you here- that is not
true. On the contrary, I ask you to go with all your belongings to our
estate near Moscow, and I promise you I will see to it that there
you shall want for nothing. You shall be given food and lodging."
The princess stopped. Sighs were the only sound heard in the crowd.
"I am not doing this on my own account," she continued, "I do it
in the name of my dead father, who was a good master to you, and of my
brother and his son."
Again she paused. No one broke the silence.
"Ours is a common misfortune and we will share it together. All that
is mine is yours," she concluded, scanning the faces before her.
All eyes were gazing at her with one and the same expression. She
could not fathom whether it was curiosity, devotion, gratitude, or
apprehension and distrust- but the expression on all the faces was
"We are all very thankful for your bounty, but it won't do for us to
take the landlord's grain," said a voice at the back of the crowd.
"But why not?" asked the princess.
No one replied and Princess Mary, looking round at the crowd,
found that every eye she met now was immediately dropped.
"But why don't you want to take it?" she asked again.
No one answered.
The silence began to oppress the princess and she tried to catch
"Why don't you speak?" she inquired of a very old man who stood just
in front of her leaning on his stick. "If you think something more
is wanted, tell me! I will do anything," said she, catching his eye.
But as if this angered him, he bent his head quite low and muttered:
"Why should we agree? We don't want the grain."
"Why should we give up everything? We don't agree. Don't agree....
We are sorry for you, but we're not willing. Go away yourself,
alone..." came from various sides of the crowd.
And again all the faces in that crowd bore an identical
expression, though now it was certainly not an expression of curiosity
or gratitude, but of angry resolve.
"But you can't have understood me," said Princess Mary with a sad
smile. "Why don't you want to go? I promise to house and feed you,
while here the enemy would ruin you..."
But her voice was drowned by the voices of the crowd.
"We're not willing. Let them ruin us! We won't take your grain. We
Again Princess Mary tried to catch someone's eye, but not a single
eye in the crowd was turned to her; evidently they were all trying
to avoid her look. She felt strange and awkward.
"Oh yes, an artful tale! Follow her into slavery! Pull down your
houses and go into bondage! I dare say! 'I'll give you grain, indeed!'
she says," voices in the crowd were heard saying.
With drooping head Princess Mary left the crowd and went back to the
house. Having repeated her order to Dron to have horses ready for
her departure next morning, she went to her room and remained alone
with her own thoughts.
For a long time that night Princess Mary sat by the open window of
her room hearing the sound of the peasants' voices that reached her
from the village, but it was not of them she was thinking. She felt
that she could not understand them however much she might think
about them. She thought only of one thing, her sorrow, which, after
the break caused by cares for the present, seemed already to belong to
the past. Now she could remember it and weep or pray.
After sunset the wind had dropped. The night was calm and fresh.
Toward midnight the voices began to subside, a cock crowed, the full
moon began to show from behind the lime trees, a fresh white dewy mist
began to rise, and stillness reigned over the village and the house.
Pictures of the near past- her father's illness and last moments-
rose one after another to her memory. With mournful pleasure she now
lingered over these images, repelling with horror only the last one,
the picture of his death, which she felt she could not contemplate
even in imagination at this still and mystic hour of night. And
these pictures presented themselves to her so clearly and in such
detail that they seemed now present, now past, and now future.
She vividly recalled the moment when he had his first stroke and was
being dragged along by his armpits through the garden at Bald Hills,
muttering something with his helpless tongue, twitching his gray
eyebrows and looking uneasily and timidly at her.
"Even then he wanted to tell me what he told me the day he died,"
she thought. "He had always thought what he said then." And she
recalled in all its detail the night at Bald Hills before he had the
last stroke, when with a foreboding of disaster she had remained at
home against his will. She had not slept and had stolen downstairs
on tiptoe, and going to the door of the conservatory where he slept
that night had listened at the door. In a suffering and weary voice he
was saying something to Tikhon, speaking of the Crimea and its warm
nights and of the Empress. Evidently he had wanted to talk. "And why
didn't he call me? Why didn't he let me be there instead of Tikhon?"
Princess Mary had thought and thought again now. "Now he will never
tell anyone what he had in his soul. Never will that moment return for
him or for me when he might have said all he longed to say, and not
Tikhon but I might have heard and understood him. Why didn't I enter
the room?" she thought. "Perhaps he would then have said to me what he
said the day he died. While talking to Tikhon he asked about me twice.
He wanted to see me, and I was standing close by, outside the door. It
was sad and painful for him to talk to Tikhon who did not understand
him. I remember how he began speaking to him about Lise as if she were
alive- he had forgotten she was dead- and Tikhon reminded him that she
was no more, and he shouted, 'Fool!' He was greatly depressed. From
behind the door I heard how he lay down on his bed groaning and loudly
exclaimed, 'My God!' Why didn't I go in then? What could he have
done to me? What could I have lost? And perhaps he would then have
been comforted and would have said that word to me." And Princess Mary
uttered aloud the caressing word he had said to her on the day of
his death. "Dear-est!" she repeated, and began sobbing, with tears
that relieved her soul. She now saw his face before her. And not the
face she had known ever since she could remember and had always seen
at a distance, but the timid, feeble face she had seen for the first
time quite closely, with all its wrinkles and details, when she
stooped near to his mouth to catch what he said.
"Dear-est!" she repeated again.
"What was he thinking when he uttered that word? What is he thinking
now?" This question suddenly presented itself to her, and in answer
she saw him before her with the expression that was on his face as
he lay in his coffin with his chin bound up with a white handkerchief.
And the horror that had seized her when she touched him and
convinced herself that that was not he, but something mysterious and
horrible, seized her again. She tried to think of something else and
to pray, but could do neither. With wide-open eyes she gazed at the
moonlight and the shadows, expecting every moment to see his dead
face, and she felt that the silence brooding over the house and within
it held her fast.
"Dunyasha," she whispered. "Dunyasha!" she screamed wildly, and
tearing herself out of this silence she ran to the servants'
quarters to meet her old nurse and the maidservants who came running
On the seventeenth of August Rostov and Ilyin, accompanied by
Lavrushka who had just returned from captivity and by an hussar
orderly, left their quarters at Yankovo, ten miles from Bogucharovo,
and went for a ride- to try a new horse Ilyin had bought and to find
out whether there was any hay to be had in the villages.
For the last three days Bogucharovo had lain between the two hostile
armies, so that it was as easy for the Russian rearguard to get to
it as for the French vanguard; Rostov, as a careful squadron
commander, wished to take such provisions as remained at Bogucharovo
before the French could get them.
Rostov and Ilyin were in the merriest of moods. On the way to
Bogucharovo, a princely estate with a dwelling house and farm where
they hoped to find many domestic serfs and pretty girls, they
questioned Lavrushka about Napoleon and laughed at his stories, and
raced one another to try Ilyin's horse.
Rostov had no idea that the village he was entering was the property
of that very Bolkonski who had been engaged to his sister.
Rostov and Ilyin gave rein to their horses for a last race along the
incline before reaching Bogucharovo, and Rostov, outstripping Ilyin,
was the first to gallop into the village street.
"You're first!" cried Ilyin, flushed.
"Yes, always first both on the grassland and here," answered Rostov,
stroking his heated Donets horse.
"And I'd have won on my Frenchy, your excellency," said Lavrushka
from behind, alluding to his shabby cart horse, "only I didn't wish to
They rode at a footpace to the barn, where a large crowd of peasants
Some of the men bared their heads, others stared at the new arrivals
without doffing their caps. Two tall old peasants with wrinkled
faces and scanty beards emerged from the tavern, smiling,
staggering, and singing some incoherent song, and approached the
"Fine fellows!" said Rostov laughing. "Is there any hay here?"
"And how like one another," said Ilyin.
"A mo-o-st me-r-r-y co-o-m-pa...!" sang one of the peasants with a
One of the men came out of the crowd and went up to Rostov.
"Who do you belong to?" he asked.
"The French," replied Ilyin jestingly, "and here is Napoleon
himself"- and he pointed to Lavrushka.
"Then you are Russians?" the peasant asked again.
"And is there a large force of you here?" said another, a short man,
"Very large," answered Rostov. "But why have you collected here?" he
added. "Is it a holiday?"
"The old men have met to talk over the business of the commune,"
replied the peasant, moving away.
At that moment, on the road leading from the big house, two women
and a man in a white hat were seen coming toward the officers.
"The one in pink is mine, so keep off!" said Ilyin on seeing
Dunyasha running resolutely toward him.
"She'll be ours!" said Lavrushka to Ilyin, winking.
"What do you want, my pretty?" said Ilyin with a smile.
"The princess ordered me to ask your regiment and your name."
"This is Count Rostov, squadron commander, and I am your humble
"Co-o-om-pa-ny!" roared the tipsy peasant with a beatific smile as
he looked at Ilyin talking to the girl. Following Dunyasha, Alpatych
advanced to Rostov, having bared his head while still at a distance.
"May I make bold to trouble your honor?" said he respectfully, but
with a shade of contempt for the youthfulness of this officer and with
a hand thrust into his bosom. "My mistress, daughter of General in
Chief Prince Nicholas Bolkonski who died on the fifteenth of this
month, finding herself in difficulties owing to the boorishness of
these people"- he pointed to the peasants- "asks you to come up to the
house.... Won't you, please, ride on a little farther," said
Alpatych with a melancholy smile, "as it is not convenient in the
presence of...?" He pointed to the two peasants who kept as close to
him as horseflies to a horse.
"Ah!... Alpatych... Ah, Yakov Alpatych... Grand! Forgive us for
Christ's sake, eh?" said the peasants, smiling joyfully at him.
Rostov looked at the tipsy peasants and smiled.
"Or perhaps they amuse your honor?" remarked Alpatych with a staid
air, as he pointed at the old men with his free hand.
"No, there's not much to be amused at here," said Rostov, and rode
on a little way. "What's the matter?" he asked.
"I make bold to inform your honor that the rude peasants here
don't wish to let the mistress leave the estate, and threaten to
unharness her horses, so that though everything has been packed up
since morning, her excellency cannot get away."
"Impossible!" exclaimed Rostov.
"I have the honor to report to you the actual truth," said Alpatych.
Rostov dismounted, gave his horse to the orderly, and followed
Alpatych to the house, questioning him as to the state of affairs.
It appeared that the princess' offer of corn to the peasants the
previous day, and her talk with Dron and at the meeting, had
actually had so bad an effect that Dron had finally given up the
keys and joined the peasants and had not appeared when Alpatych sent
for him; and that in the morning when the princess gave orders to
harness for her journey, the peasants had come in a large crowd to the
barn and sent word that they would not let her leave the village: that
there was an order not to move, and that they would unharness the
horses. Alpatych had gone out to admonish them, but was told (it was
chiefly Karp who did the talking, Dron not showing himself in the
crowd) that they could not let the princess go, that there was an
order to the contrary, but that if she stayed they would serve her
as before and obey her in everything.
At the moment when Rostov and Ilyin were galloping along the road,
Princess Mary, despite the dissuasions of Alpatych, her nurse, and the
maids, had given orders to harness and intended to start, but when the
cavalrymen were espied they were taken for Frenchmen, the coachman ran
away, and the women in the house began to wail.
"Father! Benefactor! God has sent you!" exclaimed deeply moved
voices as Rostov passed through the anteroom.
Princess Mary was sitting helpless and bewildered in the large
sitting room, when Rostov was shown in. She could not grasp who he was
and why he had come, or what was happening to her. When she saw his
Russian face, and by his walk and the first words he uttered
recognized him as a man of her own class, she glanced at him with
her deep radiant look and began speaking in a voice that faltered
and trembled with emotion. This meeting immediately struck Rostov as a
romantic event. "A helpless girl overwhelmed with grief, left to the
mercy of coarse, rioting peasants! And what a strange fate sent me
here! What gentleness and nobility there are in her features and
expression!" thought he as he looked at her and listened to her
When she began to tell him that all this had happened the day
after her father's funeral, her voiced trembled. She turned away,
and then, as if fearing he might take her words as meant to move him
to pity, looked at him with an apprehensive glance of inquiry. There
were tears in Rostov's eyes. Princess Mary noticed this and glanced
gratefully at him with that radiant look which caused the plainness of
her face to be forgotten.
"I cannot express, Princess, how glad I am that I happened to ride
here and am able to show my readiness to serve you," said Rostov,
rising. "Go when you please, and I give you my word of honor that no
one shall dare to cause you annoyance if only you will allow me to act
as your escort." And bowing respectfully, as if to a lady of royal
blood, he moved toward the door.
Rostov's deferential tone seemed to indicate that though he would
consider himself happy to be acquainted with her, he did not wish to
take advantage of her misfortunes to intrude upon her.
Princess Mary understood this and appreciated his delicacy.
"I am very, very grateful to you," she said in French, "but I hope
it was all a misunderstanding and that no one is to blame for it." She
suddenly began to cry.
"Excuse me!" she said.
Rostov, knitting his brows, left the room with another low bow.
Well, is she pretty? Ah, friend- my pink one is delicious; her
name is Dunyasha...."
But on glancing at Rostov's face Ilyin stopped short. He saw that
his hero and commander was following quite a different train of
Rostov glanced angrily at Ilyin and without replying strode off with
rapid steps to the village.
"I'll show them; I'll give it to them, the brigands!" said he to
Alpatych at a gliding trot, only just managing not to run, kept up
with him with difficulty.
"What decision have you been pleased to come to?" said he.
Rostov stopped and, clenching his fists, suddenly and sternly turned
"Decision? What decision? Old dotard!..." cried he. "What have you
been about? Eh? The peasants are rioting, and you can't manage them?
You're a traitor youself! I know you. I'll flay you all alive!..." And
as if afraid of wasting his store of anger, he left Alpatych and
went rapidly forward. Alpatych, mastering his offended feelings,
kept pace with Rostov at a gliding gait and continued to impart his
views. He said the peasants were obdurate and that at the present
moment it would be imprudent to "overresist" them without an armed
force, and would it not be better first to send for the military?
"I'll give them armed force... I'll 'overresist' them!" uttered
Rostov meaninglessly, breathless with irrational animal fury and the
need to vent it.
Without considering what he would do he moved unconciously with
quick, resolute steps toward the crowd. And the nearer he drew to it
the more Alpatych felt that this unreasonable action might produce
good results. The peasants in the crowd were similarly impressed
when they saw Rostov's rapid, firm steps and resolute, frowning face.
After the hussars had come to the village and Rostov had gone to see
the princess, a certain confusion and dissension had arisen among
the crowd. Some of the peasants said that these new arrivals were
Russians and might take it amiss that the mistress was being detained.
Dron was of this opinion, but as soon as he expressed it Karp and
others attacked their ex-Elder.
"How many years have you been fattening on the commune?" Karp
shouted at him. "It's all one to you! You'll dig up your pot of
money and take it away with you.... What does it matter to you whether
our homes are ruined or not?"
"We've been told to keep order, and that no one is to leave their
homes or take away a single grain, and that's all about it!" cried
"It was your son's turn to be conscripted, but no fear! You
begrudged your lump of a son," a little old man suddenly began
attacking Dron- "and so they took my Vanka to be shaved for a soldier!
But we all have to die."
"To be sure, we all have to die. I'm not against the commune,"
"That's it- not against it! You've filled your belly...."
The two tall peasants had their say. As soon as Rostov, followed
by Ilyin, Lavrushka, and Alpatych, came up to the crowd, Karp,
thrusting his fingers into his belt and smiling a little, walked to
the front. Dron on the contrary retired to the rear and the crowd drew
"Who is your Elder here? Hey?" shouted Rostov, coming up to the
crowd with quick steps.
"The Elder? What do you want with him?..." asked Karp.
But before the words were well out of his mouth, his cap flew off
and a fierce blow jerked his head to one side.
"Caps off, traitors!" shouted Rostov in a wrathful voice. "Where's
the Elder?" he cried furiously.
"The Elder.... He wants the Elder!... Dron Zakharych, you!" meek and
flustered voices here and there were heard calling and caps began to
come off their heads.
"We don't riot, we're following the orders," declared Karp, and at
that moment several voices began speaking together.
"It's as the old men have decided- there's too many of you giving
"Arguing? Mutiny!... Brigands! Traitors!" cried Rostov unmeaningly
in a voice not his own, gripping Karp by the collar. "Bind him, bind
him!" he shouted, though there was no one to bind him but Lavrushka
Lavrushka, however, ran up to Karp and seized him by the arms from
"Shall I call up our men from beyond the hill?" he called out.
Alpatych turned to the peasants and ordered two of them by name to
come and bind Karp. The men obediently came out of the crowd and began
taking off their belts.
"Where's the Elder?" demanded Rostov in a loud voice.
With a pale and frowning face Dron stepped out of the crowd.
"Are you the Elder? Bind him, Lavrushka!" shouted Rostov, as if that
order, too, could not possibly meet with any opposition.
And in fact two more peasants began binding Dron, who took off his
own belt and handed it to them, as if to aid them.
"And you all listen to me!" said Rostov to the peasants. "Be off
to your houses at once, and don't let one of your voices be heard!"
"Why, we've not done any harm! We did it just out of foolishness.
It's all nonsense... I said then that it was not in order," voices
were heard bickering with one another.
"There! What did I say?" said Alpatych, coming into his own again.
"It's wrong, lads!"
"All our stupidity, Yakov Alpatych," came the answers, and the
crowd began at once to disperse through the village.
The two bound men were led off to the master's house. The two
drunken peasants followed them.
"Aye, when I look at you!..." said one of them to Karp.
"How can one talk to the masters like that? What were you thinking
of, you fool?" added the other- "A real fool!"
Two hours later the carts were standing in the courtyard of the
Bogucharovo house. The peasants were briskly carrying out the
proprietor's goods and packing them on the carts, and Dron,
liberated at Princess Mary's wish from the cupboard where he had
been confined, was standing in the yard directing the men.
"Don't put it in so carelessly," said one of the peasants, a man
with a round smiling face, taking a casket from a housemaid. "You know
it has cost money! How can you chuck it in like that or shove it under
the cord where it'll get rubbed? I don't like that way of doing
things. Let it all be done properly, according to rule. Look here, put
it under the bast matting and cover it with hay- that's the way!"
"Eh, books, books!" said another peasant, bringing out Prince
Andrew's library cupboards. "Don't catch up against it! It's heavy,
lads- solid books."
"Yes, they worked all day and didn't play!" remarked the tall,
round-faced peasant gravely, pointing with a significant wink at the
dictionaries that were on the top.
Unwilling to obtrude himself on the princess, Rostov did not go back
to the house but remained in the village awaiting her departure.
When her carriage drove out of the house, he mounted and accompanied
her eight miles from Bogucharovo to where the road was occupied by our
troops. At the inn at Yankovo he respectfully took leave of her, for
the first time permitting himself to kiss her hand.
"How can you speak so!" he blushingly replied to Princess Mary's
expressions of gratitude for her deliverance, as she termed what had
occurred. "Any police officer would have done as much! If we had had
only peasants to fight, we should not have let the enemy come so far,"
said he with a sense of shame and wishing to change the subject. "I am
only happy to have had the opportunity of making your acquaintance.
Good-by, Princess. I wish you happiness and consolation and hope to
meet you again in happier circumstances. If you don't want to make
me blush, please don't thank me!"
But the princess, if she did not again thank him in words, thanked
him with the whole expression of her face, radiant with gratitude
and tenderness. She could not believe that there was nothing to
thank him for. On the contrary, it seemed to her certain that had he
not been there she would have perished at the hands of the mutineers
and of the French, and that he had exposed himself to terrible and
obvious danger to save her, and even more certain was it that he was a
man of lofty and noble soul, able to understand her position and her
sorrow. His kind, honest eyes, with the tears rising in them when
she herself had begun to cry as she spoke of her loss, did leave her
When she had taken leave of him and remained alone she suddenly felt
her eyes filling with tears, and then not for the first time the
strange question presented itself to her: did she love him?
On the rest of the way to Moscow, though the princess' position
was not a cheerful one, Dunyasha, who went with her in the carriage,
more than once noticed that her mistress leaned out of the window
and smiled at something with an expression of mingled joy and sorrow.
"Well, supposing I do love him?" thought Princess Mary.
Ashamed as she was of acknowledging to herself that she had fallen
in love with a man who would perhaps never love her, she comforted
herself with the thought that no one would ever know it and that she
would not be to blame if, without ever speaking of it to anyone, she
continued to the end of her life to love the man with whom she had
fallen in love for the first and last time in her life.
Sometimes when she recalled his looks, his sympathy, and his
words, happiness did not appear impossible to her. It was at those
moments that Dunyasha noticed her smiling as she looked out of the
"Was it not fate that brought him to Bogucharovo, and at that very
moment?" thought Princess Mary. "And that caused his sister to
refuse my brother?" And in all this Princess Mary saw the hand of
The impression the princess made on Rostov was a very agreeable one.
To remember her gave him pleasure, and when his comrades, hearing of
his adventure at Bogucharovo, rallied him on having gone to look for
hay and having picked up one of the wealthiest heiresses in Russia, he
grew angry. It made him angry just because the idea of marrying the
gentle Princess Mary, who was attractive to him and had an enormous
fortune, had against his will more than once entered his head. For
himself personally Nicholas could not wish for a better wife: by
marrying her he would make the countess his mother happy, would be
able to put his father's affairs in order, and would even- he felt it-
ensure Princess Mary's happiness.
But Sonya? And his plighted word? That was why Rostov grew angry
when he was rallied about Princess Bolkonskaya.
On receiving command of the armies Kutuzov remembered Prince
Andrew and sent an order for him to report at headquarters.
Prince Andrew arrived at Tsarevo-Zaymishche on the very day and at
the very hour that Kutuzov was reviewing the troops for the first
time. He stopped in the village at the priest's house in front of
which stood the commander in chief's carriage, and he sat down on
the bench at the gate awaiting his Serene Highness, as everyone now
called Kutuzov. From the field beyond the village came now sounds of
regimental music and now the roar of many voices shouting "Hurrah!" to
the new commander in chief. Two orderlies, a courier and a major-domo,
stood near by, some ten paces from Prince Andrew, availing
themselves of Kutuzov's absence and of the fine weather. A short,
swarthy lieutenant colonel of hussars with thick mustaches and
whiskers rode up to the gate and, glancing at Prince Andrew,
inquired whether his Serene Highness was putting up there and
whether he would soon be back.
Prince Andrew replied that he was not on his Serene Highness'
staff but was himself a new arrival. The lieutenant colonel turned
to a smart orderly, who, with the peculiar contempt with which a
commander in chief's orderly speaks to officers, replied:
"What? His Serene Highness? I expect he'll be here soon. What do you
The lieutenant colonel of hussars smiled beneath his mustache at the
orderly's tone, dismounted, gave his horse to a dispatch runner, and
approached Bolkonski with a slight bow. Bolkonski made room for him on
the bench and the lieutenant colonel sat down beside him.
"You're also waiting for the commander in chief?" said he. "They say
he weceives evewyone, thank God!... It's awful with those sausage
eaters! Ermolov had weason to ask to be pwomoted to be a German! Now
p'waps Wussians will get a look in. As it was, devil only knows what
was happening. We kept wetweating and wetweating. Did you take part in
the campaign?" he asked.
"I had the pleasure," replied Prince Andrew, "not only of taking
part in the retreat but of losing in that retreat all I held dear- not
to mention the estate and home of my birth- my father, who died of
grief. I belong to the province of Smolensk."
"Ah? You're Pwince Bolkonski? Vewy glad to make your acquaintance!
I'm Lieutenant Colonel Denisov, better known as 'Vaska,'" said
Denisov, pressing Prince Andrew's hand and looking into his face
with a particularly kindly attention. "Yes, I heard," said he
sympathetically, and after a short pause added: "Yes, it's Scythian
warfare. It's all vewy well- only not for those who get it in the
neck. So you are Pwince Andwew Bolkonski?" He swayed his head. "Vewy
pleased, Pwince, to make your acquaintance!" he repeated again,
smiling sadly, and he again pressed Prince Andrew's hand.
Prince Andrew knew Denisov from what Natasha had told him of her
first suitor. This memory carried him sadly and sweetly back to
those painful feelings of which he had not thought lately, but which
still found place in his soul. Of late he had received so many new and
very serious impressions- such as the retreat from Smolensk, his visit
to Bald Hills, and the recent news of his father's death- and had
experienced so many emotions, that for a long time past those memories
had not entered his mind, and now that they did, they did not act on
him with nearly their former strength. For Denisov, too, the
memories awakened by the name of Bolkonski belonged to a distant,
romantic past, when after supper and after Natasha's singing he had
proposed to a little girl of fifteen without realizing what he was
doing. He smiled at the recollection of that time and of his love
for Natasha, and passed at once to what now interested him
passionately and exclusively. This was a plan of campaign he had
devised while serving at the outposts during the retreat. He had
proposed that plan to Barclay de Tolly and now wished to propose it to
Kutuzov. The plan was based on the fact that the French line of
operation was too extended, and it proposed that instead of, or
concurrently with, action on the front to bar the advance of the
French, we should attack their line of communication. He began
explaining his plan to Prince Andrew.
"They can't hold all that line. It's impossible. I will undertake to
bweak thwough. Give me five hundwed men and I will bweak the line,
that's certain! There's only one way- guewilla warfare!"
Denisov rose and began gesticulating as he explained his plan to
Bolkonski. In the midst of his explanation shouts were heard from
the army, growing more incoherent and more diffused, mingling with
music and songs and coming from the field where the review was held.
Sounds of hoofs and shouts were nearing the village.
"He's coming! He's coming!" shouted a Cossack standing at the gate.
Bolkonski and Denisov moved to the gate, at which a knot of soldiers
(a guard of honor) was standing, and they saw Kutuzov coming down
the street mounted on a rather small sorrel horse. A huge suite of
generals rode behind him. Barclay was riding almost beside him, and
a crowd of officers ran after and around them shouting, "Hurrah!"
His adjutants galloped into the yard before him. Kutuzov was
impatiently urging on his horse, which ambled smoothly under his
weight, and he raised his hand to his white Horse Guard's cap with a
red band and no peak, nodding his head continually. When he came up to
the guard of honor, a fine set of Grenadiers mostly wearing
decorations, who were giving him the salute, he looked at them
silently and attentively for nearly a minute with the steady gaze of a
commander and then turned to the crowd of generals and officers
surrounding him. Suddenly his face assumed a subtle expression, he
shrugged his shoulders with an air of perplexity.
"And with such fine fellows to retreat and retreat! Well, good-by,
General," he added, and rode into the yard past Prince Andrew and
"Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!" shouted those behind him.
Since Prince Andrew had last seen him Kutuzov had grown still more
corpulent, flaccid, and fat. But the bleached eyeball, the scar, and
the familiar weariness of his expression were still the same. He was
wearing the white Horse Guard's cap and a military overcoat with a
whip hanging over his shoulder by a thin strap. He sat heavily and
swayed limply on his brisk little horse.
"Whew... whew... whew!" he whistled just audibly as he rode into the
yard. His face expressed the relief of relaxed strain felt by a man
who means to rest after a ceremony. He drew his left foot out of the
stirrup and, lurching with his whole body and puckering his face
with the effort, raised it with difficulty onto the saddle, leaned
on his knee, groaned, and slipped down into the arms of the Cossacks
and adjutants who stood ready to assist him.
He pulled himself together, looked round, screwing up his eyes,
glanced at Prince Andrew, and, evidently not recognizing him, moved
with his waddling gait to the porch. "Whew... whew... whew!" he
whistled, and again glanced at Prince Andrew. As often occurs with old
men, it was only after some seconds that the impression produced by
Prince Andrew's face linked itself up with Kutuzov's remembrance of
"Ah, how do you do, my dear prince? How do you do, my dear boy? Come
along..." said he, glancing wearily round, and he stepped onto the
porch which creaked under his weight.
He unbuttoned his coat and sat down on a bench in the porch.
"And how's your father?"
"I received news of his death, yesterday," replied Prince Andrew
Kutuzov looked at him with eyes wide open with dismay and then
took off his cap and crossed himself:
"May the kingdom of Heaven be his! God's will be done to us all!" He
sighed deeply, his whole chest heaving, and was silent for a while. "I
loved him and respected him, and sympathize with you with all my
He embraced Prince Andrew, pressing him to his fat breast, and for
some time did not let him go. When he released him Prince Andrew saw
that Kutuzov's flabby lips were trembling and that tears were in his
eyes. He sighed and pressed on the bench with both hands to raise
"Come! Come with me, we'll have a talk," said he.
But at that moment Denisov, no more intimidated by his superiors
than by the enemy, came with jingling spurs up the steps of the porch,
despite the angry whispers of the adjutants who tried to stop him.
Kutuzov, his hands still pressed on the seat, glanced at him glumly.
Denisov, having given his name, announced that he had to communicate
to his Serene Highness a matter of great importance for their
country's welfare. Kutuzov looked wearily at him and, lifting his
hands with a gesture of annoyance, folded them across his stomach,
repeating the words: "For our country's welfare? Well, what is it?
Speak!" Denisov blushed like a girl (it was strange to see the color
rise in that shaggy, bibulous, time-worn face) and boldly began to
expound his plan of cutting the enemy's lines of communication between
Smolensk and Vyazma. Denisov came from those parts and knew the
country well. His plan seemed decidedly a good one, especially from
the strength of conviction with which he spoke. Kutuzov looked down at
his own legs, occasionally glancing at the door of the adjoining hut
as if expecting something unpleasant to emerge from it. And from
that hut, while Denisov was speaking, a general with a portfolio under
his arm really did appear.
"What?" said Kutuzov, in the midst of Denisov's explanations, "are
you ready so soon?"
"Ready, your Serene Highness," replied the general.
Kutuzov swayed his head, as much as to say: "How is one man to
deal with it all?" and again listened to Denisov.
"I give my word of honor as a Wussian officer," said Denisov,
"that I can bweak Napoleon's line of communication!"
"What relation are you to Intendant General Kiril Andreevich
Denisov?" asked Kutuzov, interrupting him.
"He is my uncle, your Sewene Highness."
"Ah, we were friends," said Kutuzov cheerfully. "All right, all
right, friend, stay here at the staff and tomorrow we'll have a talk."
With a nod to Denisov he turned away and put out his hand for the
papers Konovnitsyn had brought him.
"Would not your Serene Highness like to come inside?" said the
general on duty in a discontented voice, "the plans must be examined
and several papers have to be signed."
An adjutant came out and announced that everything was in
readiness within. But Kutuzov evidently did not wish to enter that
room till he was disengaged. He made a grimace...
"No, tell them to bring a small table out here, my dear boy. I'll
look at them here," said he. "Don't go away," he added, turning to
Prince Andrew, who remained in the porch and listened to the general's
While this was being given, Prince Andrew heard the whisper of a
woman's voice and the rustle of a silk dress behind the door.
Several times on glancing that way he noticed behind that door a
plump, rosy, handsome woman in a pink dress with a lilac silk kerchief
on her head, holding a dish and evidently awaiting the entrance of the
commander in chief. Kutiizov's adjutant whispered to Prince Andrew
that this was the wife of the priest whose home it was, and that she
intended to offer his Serene Highness bread and salt. "Her husband has
welcomed his Serene Highness with the cross at the church, and she
intends to welcome him in the house.... She's very pretty," added
the adjutant with a smile. At those words Kutuzov looked round. He was
listening to the general's report- which consisted chiefly of a
criticism of the position at Tsarevo-Zaymishche- as he had listened to
Denisov, and seven years previously had listened to the discussion
at the Austerlitz council of war. He evidently listened only because
he had ears which, though there was a piece of tow in one of them,
could not help hearing; but it was evident that nothing the general
could say would surprise or even interest him, that he knew all that
would be said beforehand, and heard it all only because he had to,
as one has to listen to the chanting of a service of prayer. All
that Denisov had said was clever and to the point. What the general
was saying was even more clever and to the point, but it was evident
that Kutuzov despised knowledge and cleverness, and knew of
something else that would decide the matter- something independent
of cleverness and knowledge. Prince Andrew watched the commander
in chief's face attentively, and the only expression he could see
there was one of boredom, curiosity as to the meaning of the
feminine whispering behind the door, and a desire to observe
propriety. It was evident that Kutuzov despised cleverness and
learning and even the patriotic feeling shown by Denisov, but despised
them not because of his own intellect, feelings, or knowledge- he
did not try to display any of these- but because of something else. He
despised them because of his old age and experience of life. The
only instruction Kutuzov gave of his own accord during that report
referred to looting by the Russian troops. At the end of the report
the general put before him for signature a paper relating to the
recovery of payment from army commanders for green oats mown down by
the soldiers, when landowners lodged petitions for compensation.
After hearing the matter, Kutuzov smacked his lips together and
shook his head.
"Into the stove... into the fire with it! I tell you once for all,
my dear fellow," said he, "into the fire with all such things! Let
them cut the crops and burn wood to their hearts' content. I don't
order it or allow it, but I don't exact compensation either. One can't
get on without it. 'When wood is chopped the chips will fly.'" He
looked at the paper again. "Oh, this German precision!" he muttered,
shaking his head.
"Well, that's all!" said Kutuzov as he signed the last of the
documents, and rising heavily and smoothing out the folds in his fat
white neck he moved toward the door with a more cheerful expression.
The priest's wife, flushing rosy red, caught up the dish she had
after all not managed to present at the right moment, though she had
so long been preparing for it, and with a low bow offered it to
He screwed up his eyes, smiled, lifted her chin with his hand, and
"Ah, what a beauty! Thank you, sweetheart!"
He took some gold pieces from his trouser pocket and put them on the
dish for her. "Well, my dear, and how are we getting on?" he asked,
moving to the door of the room assigned to him. The priest's wife
smiled, and with dimples in her rosy cheeks followed him into the
room. The adjutant came out to the porch and asked Prince Andrew to
lunch with him. Half an hour later Prince Andrew was again called to
Kutuzov. He found him reclining in an armchair, still in the same
unbuttoned overcoat. He had in his hand a French book which he
closed as Prince Andrew entered, marking the place with a knife.
Prince Andrew saw by the cover that it was Les Chevaliers du Cygne
by Madame de Genlis.
"Well, sit down, sit down here. Let's have a talk," said Kutuzov.
"It's sad, very sad. But remember, my dear fellow, that I am a
father to you, a second father...."
Prince Andrew told Kutuzov all he knew of his father's death, and
what he had seen at Bald Hills when he passed through it.
"What... what they have brought us to!" Kutuzov suddenly cried in an
agitated voice, evidently picturing vividly to himself from Prince
Andrew's story the condition Russia was in. "But give me time, give me
time!" he said with a grim look, evidently not wishing to continue
this agitating conversation, and added: "I sent for you to keep you
"I thank your Serene Highness, but I fear I am no longer fit for the
staff," replied Prince Andrew with a smile which Kutuzov noticed.
Kutuzov glanced inquiringly at him.
"But above all," added Prince Andrew, "I have grown used to my
regiment, am fond of the officers, and I fancy the men also like me. I
should be sorry to leave the regiment. If I decline the honor of being
with you, believe me..."
A shrewd, kindly, yet subtly derisive expression lit up Kutuzov's
podgy face. He cut Bolkonski short.
"I am sorry, for I need you. But you're right, you're right! It's
not here that men are needed. Advisers are always plentiful, but men
are not. The regiments would not be what they are if the would-be
advisers served there as you do. I remember you at Austerlitz.... I
remember, yes, I remember you with the standard!" said Kutuzov, and
a flush of pleasure suffused Prince Andrew's face at this
Taking his hand and drawing him downwards, Kutuzov offered his cheek
to be kissed, and again Prince Andrew noticed tears in the old man's
eyes. Though Prince Andrew knew that Kutuzov's tears came easily,
and that he was particularly tender to and considerate of him from a
wish to show sympathy with his loss, yet this reminder of Austerlitz
was both pleasant and flattering to him.
"Go your way and God be with you. I know your path is the path of
honor!" He paused. "I missed you at Bucharest, but I needed someone to
send." And changing the subject, Kutuzov began to speak of the Turkish
war and the peace that had been concluded. "Yes, I have been much
blamed," he said, "both for that war and the peace... but everything
came at the right time. Tout vient a point a celui qui sait attendre.*
And there were as many advisers there as here..." he went on,
returning to the subject of "advisers" which evidently occupied him.
"Ah, those advisers!" said he. "If we had listened to them all we
should not have made peace with Turkey and should not have been
through with that war. Everything in haste, but more haste, less
speed. Kamenski would have been lost if he had not died. He stormed
fortresses with thirty thousand men. It is not difficult to capture
a fortress but it is difficult to win a campaign. For that, storming
and attacking but patience and time are wanted. Kamenski sent soldiers
to Rustchuk, but I only employed these two things and took more
fortresses than Kamenski and made the but eat horseflesh!" He swayed
his head. "And the French shall too, believe me," he went on,
growing warmer and beating his chest, "I'll make them eat horseflesh!"
And tears again dimmed his eyes.
*"Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait."
"But shan't we have to accept battle?" remarked Prince Andrew.
"We shall if everybody wants it; it can't be helped.... But
believe me, my dear boy, there is nothing stronger than those two:
patience and time, they will do it all. But the advisers n'entendent
pas de cette oreille, voila le mal.* Some want a thing- others
don't. What's one to do?" he asked, evidently expecting an answer.
"Well, what do you want us to do?" he repeated and his eye shone
with a deep, shrewd look. "I'll tell you what to do," he continued, as
Prince Andrew still did not reply: "I will tell you what to do, and
what I do. Dans le doute, mon cher," he paused, "abstiens-toi"*- he
articulated the French proverb deliberately.
*"Don't see it that way, that's the trouble."
* "When in doubt, my dear fellow, do nothing."
"Well, good-by, my dear fellow; remember that with all my heart I
share your sorrow, and that for you I am not a Serene Highness, nor
a prince, nor a commander in chief, but a father! If you want anything
come straight to me. Good-by, my dear boy."
Again he embraced and kissed Prince Andrew, but before the latter
had left the room Kutuzov gave a sigh of relief and went on with his
unfinished novel, Les Chevaliers du Cygne by Madame de Genlis.
Prince Andrew could not have explained how or why it was, but
after that interview with Kutuzov he went back to his regiment
reassured as to the general course of affairs and as to the man to
whom it had been entrusted. The more he realized the absence of all
personal motive in that old man- in whom there seemed to remain only
the habit of passions, and in place of an intellect (grouping events
and drawing conclusions) only the capacity calmly to contemplate the
course of events- the more reassured he was that everything would be
as it should. "He will not bring in any plan of his own. He will not
devise or undertake anything," thought Prince Andrew, "but he will
hear everything, remember everything, and put everything in its place.
He will not hinder anything useful nor allow anything harmful. He
understands that there is something stronger and more important than
his own will- the inevitable course of events, and he can see them and
grasp their significance, and seeing that significance can refrain
from meddling and renounce his personal wish directed to something
else. And above all," thought Prince Andrew, "one believes in him
because he's Russian, despite the novel by Genlis and the French
proverbs, and because his voice shook when he said: 'What they have
brought us to!' and had a sob in it when he said he would 'make them
On such feelings, more or less dimly shared by all, the unanimity
and general approval were founded with which, despite court
influences, the popular choice of Kutuzov as commander in chief was
After the Emperor had left Moscow, life flowed on there in its usual
course, and its course was so very usual that it was difficult to
remember the recent days of patriotic elation and ardor, hard to
believe that Russia was really in danger and that the members of the
English Club were also sons of the Fatherland ready to sacrifice
everything for it. The one thing that recalled the patriotic fervor
everyone had displayed during the Emperor's stay was the call for
contributions of men and money, a necessity that as soon as the
promises had been made assumed a legal, official form and became
With the enemy's approach to Moscow, the Moscovites' view of their
situation did not grow more serious but on the contrary became even
more frivolous, as always happens with people who see a great danger
approaching. At the approach of danger there are always two voices
that speak with equal power in the human soul: one very reasonably
tells a man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of
escaping it; the other, still more reasonably, says that it is too
depressing and painful to think of the danger, since it is not in
man's power to foresee everything and avert the general course of
events, and it is therefore better to disregard what is painful till
it comes, and to think about what is pleasant. In solitude a man
generally listens to the first voice, but in society to the second. So
it was now with the inhabitants of Moscow. It was long since people
had been as gay in Moscow as that year.
Rostopchin's broadsheets, headed by woodcuts of a drink shop, a
potman, and a Moscow burgher called Karpushka Chigirin, "who- having
been a militiaman and having had rather too much at the pub- heard
that Napoleon wished to come to Moscow, grew angry, abused the
French in very bad language, came out of the drink shop, and, under
the sign of the eagle, began to address the assembled people," were
read and discussed, together with the latest of Vasili Lvovich
Pushkin's bouts rimes.
In the corner room at the Club, members gathered to read these
broadsheets, and some liked the way Karpushka jeered at the French,
saying: "They will swell up with Russian cabbage, burst with our
buckwheat porridge, and choke themselves with cabbage soup. They are
all dwarfs and one peasant woman will toss three of them with a
hayfork." Others did not like that tone and said it was stupid and
vulgar. It was said that Rostopchin had expelled all Frenchmen and
even all foreigners from Moscow, and that there had been some spies
and agents of Napoleon among them; but this was told chiefly to
introduce Rostopchin's witty remark on that occasion. The foreigners
were deported to Nizhni by boat, and Rostopchin had said to them in
French: "Rentrez en vousmemes; entrez dans la barque, et n'en faites
pas une barque de Charon."* There was talk of all the government
offices having been already removed from Moscow, and to this
Shinshin's witticism was added- that for that alone Moscow ought to be
grateful to Napoleon. It was said that Mamonov's regiment would cost
him eight hundred thousand rubles, and that Bezukhov had spent even
more on his, but that the best thing about Bezukhov's action was
that he himself was going to don a uniform and ride at the head of his
regiment without charging anything for the show.
*"Think it over; get into the barque, and take care not to make it a
barque of Charon."
"You don't spare anyone," said Julie Drubetskaya as she collected
and pressed together a bunch of raveled lint with her thin, beringed
Julie was preparing to leave Moscow next day and was giving a
"Bezukhov est ridicule, but he is so kind and good-natured. What
pleasure is there to be so caustique?"
"A forfeit!" cried a young man in militia uniform whom Julie
called "mon chevalier," and who was going with her to Nizhni.
In Julie's set, as in many other circles in Moscow, it had been
agreed that they would speak nothing but Russian and that those who
made a slip and spoke French should pay fines to the Committee of
"Another forfeit for a Gallicism," said a Russian writer who was
present. "'What pleasure is there to be' is not Russian!"
"You spare no one," continued Julie to the young man without heeding
the author's remark.
"For caustique- I am guilty and will pay, and I am prepared to pay
again for the pleasure of telling you the truth. For Gallicisms I
won't be responsible," she remarked, turning to the author: "I have
neither the money nor the time, like Prince Galitsyn, to engage a
master to teach me Russian!"
"Ah, here he is!" she added. "Quand on... No, no," she said to the
militia officer, "you won't catch me. Speak of the sun and you see its
rays!" and she smiled amiably at Pierre. "We were just talking of
you," she said with the facility in lying natural to a society
woman. "We were saying that your regiment would be sure to be better
"Oh, don't talk to me of my regiment," replied Pierre, kissing his
hostess' hand and taking a seat beside her. "I am so sick of it."
"You will, of course, command it yourself?" said Julie, directing
a sly, sarcastic glance toward the militia officer.
The latter in Pierre's presence had ceased to be caustic, and his
face expressed perplexity as to what Julie's smile might mean. In
spite of his absent-mindedness and good nature, Pierre's personality
immediately checked any attempt to ridicule him to his face.
"No," said Pierre, with a laughing glance at his big, stout body. "I
should make too good a target for the French, besides I am afraid I
should hardly be able to climb onto a horse."
Among those whom Julie's guests happened to choose to gossip about
were the Rostovs.
"I hear that their affairs are in a very bad way," said Julie.
"And he is so unreasonable, the count himself I mean. The
Razumovskis wanted to buy his house and his estate near Moscow, but it
drags on and on. He asks too much."
"No, I think the sale will come off in a few days," said someone.
"Though it is madness to buy anything in Moscow now."
"Why?" asked Julie. "You don't think Moscow is in danger?"
"Then why are you leaving?"
"I? What a question! I am going because... well, because everyone is
going: and besides- I am not Joan of Arc or an Amazon."
"Well, of course, of course! Let me have some more strips of linen."
"If he manages the business properly he will be able to pay off
all his debts," said the militia officer, speaking of Rostov.
"A kindly old man but not up to much. And why do they stay on so
long in Moscow? They meant to leave for the country long ago.
Natalie is quite well again now, isn't she?" Julie asked Pierre with a
"They are waiting for their younger son," Pierre replied. "He joined
Obolenski's Cossacks and went to Belaya Tserkov where the regiment
is being formed. But now they have had him transferred to my
regiment and are expecting him every day. The count wanted to leave
long ago, but the countess won't on any account leave Moscow till
her son returns."
"I met them the day before yesterday at the Arkharovs'. Natalie
has recovered her looks and is brighter. She sang a song. How easily
some people get over everything!"
"Get over what?" inquired Pierre, looking displeased.
"You know, Count, such knights as you are only found in Madame de
"What knights? What do you mean?" demanded Pierre, blushing.
"Oh, come, my dear count! C'est la fable de tout Moscou. Je vous
admire, ma parole d'honneur!"*
*"It is the talk of all Moscow. My word, I admire you!"
"Forfeit, forfeit!" cried the militia officer.
"All right, one can't talk- how tiresome!"
"What is 'the talk of all Moscow'?" Pierre asked angrily, rising
to his feet.
"Come now, Count, you know!"
"I don't know anything about it," said Pierre.
"I know you were friendly with Natalie, and so... but I was always
more friendly with Vera- that dear Vera."
"No, madame!" Pierre continued in a tone of displeasure, "I have not
taken on myself the role of Natalie Rostova's knight at all, and
have not been their house for nearly a month. But I cannot
understand the cruelty..."
"Qui s'excuse s'accuse,"* said Julie, smiling and waving the lint
triumphantly, and to have the last word she promptly changed the
subject. "Do you know what I heard today? Poor Mary Bolkonskaya
arrived in Moscow yesterday. Do you know that she has lost her
*"Who excuses himself, accuses himself."
"Really? Where is she? I should like very much to see her," said
"I spent the evening with her yesterday. She is going to their
estate near Moscow either today or tomorrow morning, with her nephew."
"Well, and how is she?" asked Pierre.
"She is well, but sad. But do you know who rescued her? It is
quite a romance. Nicholas Rostov! She was surrounded, and they
wanted to kill her and had wounded some of her people. He rushed in
and saved her...."
"Another romance," said the militia officer. "Really, this general
flight has been arranged to get all the old maids married off. Catiche
is one and Princess Bolkonskaya another."
"Do you know, I really believe she is un petit peu amoureuse du
*"A little bit in love with the young man."
"Forfeit, forfeit, forfeit!"
"But how could one say that in Russian?"
When Pierre returned home he was handed two of Rostopchin's
broadsheets that had been brought that day.
The first declared that the report that Count Rostopchin had
forbidden people to leave Moscow was false; on the contrary he was
glad that ladies and tradesmen's wives were leaving the city. "There
will be less panic and less gossip," ran the broadsheet "but I will
stake my life on it that that will not enter Moscow." These words
showed Pierre clearly for the first time that the French would enter
Moscow. The second broadsheet stated that our headquarters were at
Vyazma, that Count Wittgenstein had defeated the French, but that as
many of the inhabitants of Moscow wished to be armed, weapons were
ready for them at the arsenal: sabers, pistols, and muskets which
could be had at a low price. The tone of the proclamation was not as
jocose as in the former Chigirin talks. Pierre pondered over these
broadsheets. Evidently the terrible stormcloud he had desired with the
whole strength of his soul but which yet aroused involuntary horror in
him was drawing near.
"Shall I join the army and enter the service, or wait?" he asked
himself for the hundredth time. He took a pack of cards that lay on
the table and began to lay them out for a game of patience.
"If this patience comes out," he said to himself after shuffling the
cards, holding them in his hand, and lifting his head, "if it comes
out, it means... what does it mean?"
He had not decided what it should mean when he heard the voice of
the eldest princess at the door asking whether she might come in.
"Then it will mean that I must go to the army," said Pierre to
himself. "Come in, come in!" he added to the princess.
Only the eldest princess, the one with the stony face and long
waist, was still living in Pierre's house. The two younger ones had
"Excuse my coming to you, cousin," she said in a reproachful and
agitated voice. "You know some decision must be come to. What is going
to happen? Everyone has left Moscow and the people are rioting. How is
it that we are staying on?"
"On the contrary, things seem satisfactory, ma cousine," said Pierre
in the bantering tone he habitually adopted toward her, always feeling
uncomfortable in the role of her benefactor.
"Satisfactory, indeed! Very satisfactory! Barbara Ivanovna told me
today how our troops are distinguishing themselves. It certainly
does them credit! And the people too are quite mutinous- they no
longer obey, even my maid has taken to being rude. At this rate they
will soon begin beating us. One can't walk in the streets. But,
above all, the French will be here any day now, so what are we waiting
for? I ask just one thing of you, cousin," she went on, "arrange for
me to be taken to Petersburg. Whatever I may be, I can't live under
"Oh, come, ma cousine! Where do you get your information from? On
"I won't submit to your Napoleon! Others may if they please.... If
you don't want to do this..."
"But I will, I'll give the order at once."
The princess was apparently vexed at not having anyone to be angry
with. Muttering to herself, she sat down on a chair.
"But you have been misinformed," said Pierre. "Everything is quiet
in the city and there is not the slightest danger. See! I've just been
reading..." He showed her the broadsheet. "Count Rostopchin writes
that he will stake his life on it that the enemy will not enter
"Oh, that count of yours!" said the princess malevolently. "He is
a hypocrite, a rascal who has himself roused the people to riot.
Didn't he write in those idiotic broadsheets that anyone, 'whoever
it might be, should be dragged to the lockup by his hair'? (How
silly!) 'And honor and glory to whoever captures him,' he says. This
is what his cajolery has brought us to! Barbara Ivanovna told me the
mob near killed her because she said something in French."
"Oh, but it's so... You take everything so to heart," said Pierre,
and began laying out his cards for patience.
Although that patience did come out, Pierre did not join the army,
but remained in deserted Moscow ever in the same state of agitation,
irresolution, and alarm, yet at the same time joyfully expecting
Next day toward evening the princess set off, and Pierre's head
steward came to inform him that the money needed for the equipment
of his regiment could not be found without selling one of the estates.
In general the head steward made out to Pierre that his project of
raising a regiment would ruin him. Pierre listened to him, scarcely
able to repress a smile.
"Well then, sell it," said he. "What's to be done? I can't draw back
The worse everything became, especially his own affairs, the
better was Pierre pleased and the more evident was it that the
catastrophe he expected was approaching. Hardly anyone he knew was
left in town. Julie had gone, and so had Princess Mary. Of his
intimate friends only the Rostovs remained, but he did not go to see
To distract his thoughts he drove that day to the village of
Vorontsovo to see the great balloon Leppich was constructing to
destroy the foe, and a trial balloon that was to go up next day. The
balloon was not yet ready, but Pierre learned that it was being
constructed by the Emperor's desire. The Emperor had written to
Count Rostopchin as follows:
As soon as Leppich is ready, get together a crew of reliable and
intelligent men for his car and send a courier to General Kutuzov to
let him know. I have informed him of the matter.
Please impress upon Leppich to be very careful where he descends for
the first time, that he may not make a mistake and fall into the
enemy's hands. It is essential for him to combine his movements with
those of the commander in chief.
On his way home from Vorontsovo, as he was passing the Bolotnoe
Place Pierre, seeing a large crowd round the Lobnoe Place, stopped and
got out of his trap. A French cook accused of being a spy was being
flogged. The flogging was only just over, and the executioner was
releasing from the flogging bench a stout man with red whiskers, in
blue stockings and a green jacket, who was moaning piteously.
Another criminal, thin and pale, stood near. Judging by their faces
they were both Frenchmen. With a frightened and suffering look
resembling that on the thin Frenchman's face, Pierre pushed his way in
through the crowd.
"What is it? Who is it? What is it for?" he kept asking.
But the attention of the crowd- officials, burghers, shopkeepers,
peasants, and women in cloaks and in pelisses- was so eagerly centered
on what was passing in Lobnoe Place that no one answered him. The
stout man rose, frowned, shrugged his shoulders, and evidently
trying to appear firm began to pull on his jacket without looking
about him, but suddenly his lips trembled and he began to cry, in
the way full-blooded grown-up men cry, though angry with himself for
doing so. In the crowd people began talking loudly, to stifle their
feelings of pity as it seemed to Pierre.
"He's cook to some prince."
"Eh, mounseer, Russian sauce seems to be sour to a Frenchman... sets
his teeth on edge!" said a wrinkled clerk who was standing behind
Pierre, when the Frenchman began to cry.
The clerk glanced round, evidently hoping that his joke would be
appreciated. Some people began to laugh, others continued to watch
in dismay the executioner who was undressing the other man.
Pierre choked, his face puckered, and he turned hastily away, went
back to his trap muttering something to himself as he went, and took
his seat. As they drove along he shuddered and exclaimed several times
so audibly that the coachman asked him:
"What is your pleasure?"
"Where are you going?" shouted Pierre to the man, who was driving to
"To the Governor's, as you ordered," answered the coachman.
"Fool! Idiot!" shouted Pierre, abusing his coachman- a thing he
rarely did. "Home, I told you! And drive faster, blockhead!" "I must
get away this very day," he murmured to himself.
At the sight of the tortured Frenchman and the crowd surrounding the
Lobnoe Place, Pierre had so definitely made up his mind that he
could no longer remain in Moscow and would leave for the army that
very day that it seemed to him that either he had told the coachman
this or that the man ought to have known it for himself.
On reaching home Pierre gave orders to Evstafey- his head coachman
who knew everything, could do anything, and was known to all Moscow-
that he would leave that night for the army at Mozhaysk, and that
his saddle horses should be sent there. This could not all be arranged
that day, so on Evstafey's representation Pierre had to put off his
departure till next day to allow time for the relay horses to be
sent on in advance.
On the twenty-fourth the weather cleared up after a spell of rain,
and after dinner Pierre left Moscow. When changing horses that night
in Perkhushkovo, he learned that there had been a great battle that
evening. (This was the battle of Shevardino.) He was told that there
in Perkhushkovo the earth trembled from the firing, but nobody could
answer his questions as to who had won. At dawn next day Pierre was
Every house in Mozhaysk had soldiers quartered in it, and at the
hostel where Pierre was met by his groom and coachman there was no
room to be had. It was full of officers.
Everywhere in Mozhaysk and beyond it, troops were stationed or on
the march. Cossacks, foot and horse soldiers, wagons, caissons, and
cannon were everywhere. Pierre pushed forward as fast as he could, and
the farther he left Moscow behind and the deeper he plunged into
that sea of troops the more was he overcome by restless agitation
and a new and joyful feeling he had not experienced before. It was a
feeling akin to what he had felt at the Sloboda Palace during the
Emperor's visit- a sense of the necessity of undertaking something and
sacrificing something. He now experienced a glad consciousness that
everything that constitutes men's happiness- the comforts of life,
wealth, even life itself- is rubbish it is pleasant to throw away,
compared with something... With what? Pierre could not say, and he did
not try to determine for whom and for what he felt such particular
delight in sacrificing everything. He was not occupied with the
question of what to sacrifice for; the fact of sacrificing in itself
afforded him a new and joyous sensation.
On the twenty-fourth of August the battle of the Shevardino
Redoubt was fought, on the twenty-fifth not a shot was fired by either
side, and on the twenty-sixth the battle of Borodino itself took
Why and how were the battles of Shevardino and Borodino given and
accepted? Why was the battle of Borodino fought? There was not the
least sense in it for either the French or the Russians. Its immediate
result for the Russians was, and was bound to be, that we were brought
nearer to the destruction of Moscow- which we feared more than
anything in the world; and for the French its immediate result was
that they were brought nearer to the destruction of their whole
army- which they feared more than anything in the world. What the
result must be was quite obvious, and yet Napoleon offered and Kutuzov
accepted that battle.
If the commanders had been guided by reason, it would seem that it
must have been obvious to Napoleon that by advancing thirteen
hundred miles and giving battle with a probability of losing a quarter
of his army, he was advancing to certain destruction, and it must have
been equally clear to Kutuzov that by accepting battle and risking the
loss of a quarter of his army he would certainly lose Moscow. For
Kutuzov this was mathematically clear, as it is that if when playing
draughts I have one man less and go on exchanging, I shall certainly
lose, and therefore should not exchange. When my opponent has
sixteen men and I have fourteen, I am only one eighth weaker than
he, but when I have exchanged thirteen more men he will be three times
as strong as I am.
Before the battle of Borodino our strength in proportion to the
French was about as five to six, but after that battle it was little
more than one to two: previously we had a hundred thousand against a
hundred and twenty thousand; afterwards little more than fifty
thousand against a hundred thousand. Yet the shrewd and experienced
Kutuzov accepted the battle, while Napoleon, who was said to be a
commander of genius, gave it, losing a quarter of his army and
lengthening his lines of communication still more. If it is said
that he expected to end the campaign by occupying Moscow as he had
ended a previous campaign by occupying Vienna, there is much
evidence to the contrary. Napoleon's historians themselves tell us
that from Smolensk onwards he wished to stop, knew the danger of his
extended position, and knew that the occupation of Moscow would not be
the end of the campaign, for he had seen at Smolensk the state in
which Russian towns were left to him, and had not received a single
reply to his repeated announcements of his wish to negotiate.
In giving and accepting battle at Borodino, Kutuzov acted
involuntarily and irrationally. But later on, to fit what had
occurred, the historians provided cunningly devised evidence of the
foresight and genius the generals who, of all the blind tools of
history were the most enslaved and involuntary.
The ancients have left us model heroic poems in which the heroes
furnish the whole interest of the story, and we are still unable to
accustom ourselves to the fact that for our epoch histories of that
kind are meaningless.
On the other question, how the battle of Borodino and the
preceding battle of Shevardino were fought, there also exists a
definite and well-known, but quite false, conception. All the
historians describe the affair as follows:
The Russian army, they say, in its retreat from Smolensk sought
out for itself the best position for a general engagement and found
such a position at Borodino.
The Russians, they say, fortified this position in advance on the
left of the highroad (from Moscow to Smolensk) and almost at a right
angle to it, from Borodino to Utitsa, at the very place where the
battle was fought.
In front of this position, they say, a fortified outpost was set
up on the Shevardino mound to observe the enemy. On the twenty-fourth,
we are told, Napoleon attacked this advanced post and took it, and, on
the twenty-sixth, attacked the whole Russian army, which was in
position on the field of Borodino.
So the histories say, and it is all quite wrong, as anyone who cares
to look into the matter can easily convince himself.
The Russians did not seek out the best position but, on the
contrary, during the retreat passed many positions better than
Borodino. They did not stop at any one of these positions because
Kutuzov did not wish to occupy a position he had not himself chosen,
because the popular demand for a battle had not yet expressed itself
strongly enough, and because Miloradovich had not yet arrived with the
militia, and for many other reasons. The fact is that other
positions they had passed were stronger, and that the position at
Borodino (the one where the battle was fought), far from being strong,
was no more a position than any other spot one might find in the
Russian Empire by sticking a pin into the map at hazard.
Not only did the Russians not fortify the position on the field of
Borodino to the left of, and at a right angle to, the highroad (that
is, the position on which the battle took place), but never till the
twenty-fifth of August, 1812, did they think that a battle might be
fought there. This was shown first by the fact that there were no
entrenchments there by the twenty fifth and that those begun on the
twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth were not completed, and secondly, by the
position of the Shevardino Redoubt. That redoubt was quite senseless
in front of the position where the battle was accepted. Why was it
more strongly fortified than any other post? And why were all
efforts exhausted and six thousand men sacrificed to defend it till
late at night on the twenty-fourth? A Cossack patrol would have
sufficed to observe the enemy. Thirdly, as proof that the position
on which the battle was fought had not been foreseen and that the
Shevardino Redoubt was not an advanced post of that position, we
have the fact that up to the twenty-fifth, Barclay de Tolly and
Bagration were convinced that the Shevardino Redoubt was the left
flank of the position, and that Kutuzov himself in his report, written
in hot haste after the battle, speaks of the Shevardino Redoubt as the
left flank of the position. It was much later, when reports on the
battle of Borodino were written at leisure, that the incorrect and
extraordinary statement was invented (probably to justify the mistakes
of a commander in chief who had to be represented as infallible)
that the Shevardino Redoubt was an advanced post- whereas in reality
it was simply a fortified point on the left flank- and that the battle
of Borodino was fought by us on an entrenched position previously
selected, where as it was fought on a quite unexpected spot which
was almost unentrenched.
The case was evidently this: a position was selected along the river
Kolocha- which crosses the highroad not at a right angle but at an
acute angle- so that the left flank was at Shevardino, the right flank
near the village of Novoe, and the center at Borodino at the
confluence of the rivers Kolocha and Voyna.
To anyone who looks at the field of Borodino without thinking of how
the battle was actually fought, this position, protected by the
river Kolocha, presents itself as obvious for an army whose object was
to prevent an enemy from advancing along the Smolensk road to Moscow.
Napoleon, riding to Valuevo on the twenty-fourth, did not see (as
the history books say he did) the position of the Russians from Utitsa
to Borodino (he could not have seen that position because it did not
exist), nor did he see an advanced post of the Russian army, but while
pursuing the Russian rearguard he came upon the left flank of the
Russian position- at the Shevardino Redoubt- and unexpectedly for
the Russians moved his army across the Kolocha. And the Russians,
not having time to begin a general engagement, withdrew their left
wing from the position they had intended to occupy and took up a new
position which had not been foreseen and was not fortified. By
crossing to the other side of the Kolocha to the left of the highroad,
Napoleon shifted the whole forthcoming battle from right to left
(looking from the Russian side) and transferred it to the plain
between Utitsa, Semenovsk, and Borodino- a plain no more
advantageous as a position than any other plain in Russia- and there
the whole battle of the twenty-sixth of August took place.
Had Napoleon not ridden out on the evening of the twenty-fourth to
the Kolocha, and had he not then ordered an immediate attack on the
redoubt but had begun the attack next morning, no one would have
doubted that the Shevardino Redoubt was the left flank of our and
the battle would have taken place where we expected it. In that case
we should probably have defended the Shevardino Redoubt- our left
flank- still more obstinately. We should have attacked Napoleon in the
center or on the right, and the engagement would have taken place on
the twenty-fifth, in the position we intended and had fortified. But
as the attack on our left flank took place in the evening after the
retreat of our rear guard (that is, immediately after the fight at
Gridneva), and as the Russian commanders did not wish, or were not
in time, to begin a general engagement then on the evening of the
twenty-fourth, the first and chief action of the battle of Borodino
was already lost on the twenty-fourth, and obviously led to the loss
of the one fought on the twenty-sixth.
After the loss of the Shevardino Redoubt, we found ourselves on
the morning of the twenty-fifth without a position for our left flank,
and were forced to bend it back and hastily entrench it where it
chanced to be.
Not only was the Russian army on the twenty-sixth defended by
weak, unfinished entrenchments, but the disadvantage of that
position was increased by the fact that the Russian commanders- not
having fully realized what had happened, namely the loss of our
position on the left flank and the shifting of the whole field of
the forthcoming battle from right to left- maintained their extended
position from the village of Novoe to Utitsa, and consequently had
to move their forces from right to left during the battle. So it
happened that throughout the whole battle the Russians opposed the
entire French army launched against our left flank with but half as
many men. (Poniatowski's action against Utitsa, and Uvarov's on the
right flank against the French, were actions distinct from the main
course of the battle.) So the battle of Borodino did not take place at
all as (in an effort to conceal our commanders' mistakes even at the
cost of diminishing the glory due to the Russian army and people) it
has been described. The battle of Borodino was not fought on a
chosen and entrenched position with forces only slightly weaker than
those of the enemy, but, as a result of the loss of the Shevardino
Redoubt, the Russians fought the battle of Borodino on an open and
almost unentrenched position, with forces only half as numerous as the
French; that is to say, under conditions in which it was not merely
unthinkable to fight for ten hours and secure an indecisive result,
but unthinkable to keep an army even from complete disintegration
On the morning of the twenty-fifth Pierre was leaving Mozhaysk. At
the descent of the high steep hill, down which a winding road led
out of the town past the cathedral on the right, where a service was
being held and the bells were ringing, Pierre got out of his vehicle
and proceeded on foot. Behind him a cavalry regiment was coming down
the hill preceded by its singers. Coming up toward him was a train
of carts carrying men who had been wounded in the engagement the day
before. The peasant drivers, shouting and lashing their horses, kept
crossing from side to side. The carts, in each of which three or
four wounded soldiers were lying or sitting, jolted over the stones
that had been thrown on the steep incline to make it something like
a road. The wounded, bandaged with rags, with pale cheeks,
compressed lips, and knitted brows, held on to the sides of the
carts as they were jolted against one another. Almost all of them
stared with naive, childlike curiosity at Pierre's white hat and green
Pierre's coachman shouted angrily at the convoy of wounded to keep
to one side of the road. The cavalry regiment, as it descended the
hill with its singers, surrounded Pierre's carriage and blocked the
road. Pierre stopped, being pressed against the side of the cutting in
which the road ran. The sunshine from behind the hill did not
penetrate into the cutting and there it was cold and damp, but above
Pierre's head was the bright August sunshine and the bells sounded
merrily. One of the carts with wounded stopped by the side of the road
close to Pierre. The driver in his bast shoes ran panting up to it,
placed a stone under one of its tireless hind wheels, and began
arranging the breech-band on his little horse.
One of the wounded, an old soldier with a bandaged arm who was
following the cart on foot, caught hold of it with his sound hand
and turned to look at Pierre.
"I say, fellow countryman! Will they set us down here or take us
on to Moscow?" he asked.
Pierre was so deep in thought that he did not hear the question.
He was looking now at the cavalry regiment that had met the convoy
of wounded, now at the cart by which he was standing, in which two
wounded men were sitting and one was lying. One of those sitting up in
the cart had probably been wounded in the cheek. His whole head was
wrapped in rags and one cheek was swollen to the size of a baby's
head. His nose and mouth were twisted to one side. This soldier was
looking at the cathedral and crossing himself. Another, a young lad, a
fair-haired recruit as white as though there was no blood in his
thin face, looked at Pierre kindly, with a fixed smile. The third
lay prone so that his face was not visible. The cavalry singers were
passing close by:
Ah lost, quite lost... is my head so keen,
Living in a foreign land.
they sang their soldiers' dance song.
As if responding to them but with a different sort of merriment, the
metallic sound of the bells reverberated high above and the hot rays
of the sun bathed the top of the opposite slope with yet another
sort of merriment. But beneath the slope, by the cart with the wounded
near the panting little nag where Pierre stood, it was damp, somber,
The soldier with the swollen cheek looked angrily at the cavalry
"Oh, the coxcombs!" he muttered reproachfully.
"It's not the soldiers only, but I've seen peasants today, too....
The peasants- even they have to go," said the soldier behind the cart,
addressing Pierre with a sad smile. "No distinctions made nowadays....
They want the whole nation to fall on them- in a word, it's Moscow!
They want to make an end of it."
In spite of the obscurity of the soldier's words Pierre understood
what he wanted to say and nodded approval.
The road was clear again; Pierre descended the hill and drove on.
He kept looking to either side of the road for familiar faces, but
only saw everywhere the unfamiliar faces of various military men of
different branches of the service, who all looked with astonishment at
his white hat and green tail coat.
Having gone nearly three miles he at last met an acquaintance and
eagerly addressed him. This was one of the head army doctors. He was
driving toward Pierre in a covered gig, sitting beside a young
surgeon, and on recognizing Pierre he told the Cossack who occupied
the driver's seat to pull up.
"Count! Your excellency, how come you to be here?" asked the doctor.
"Well, you know, I wanted to see..."
"Yes, yes, there will be something to see...."
Pierre got out and talked to the doctor, explaining his intention of
taking part in a battle.
The doctor advised him to apply direct to Kutuzov.
"Why should you be God knows where out of sight, during the battle?"
he said, exchanging glances with his young companion. "Anyhow his
Serene Highness knows you and will receive you graciously. That's what
you must do."
The doctor seemed tired and in a hurry.
"You think so?... Ah, I also wanted to ask you where our position is
exactly?" said Pierre.
"The position?" repeated the doctor. "Well, that's not my line.
Drive past Tatarinova, a lot of digging is going on there. Go up the
hillock and you'll see."
"Can one see from there?... If you would..."
But the doctor interrupted him and moved toward his gig.
"I would go with you but on my honor I'm up to here"- and he pointed
to his throat. "I'm galloping to the commander of the corps. How do