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Full Online Book HomePlaysThe Dynasts: An Epic Drama Of The War With Napoleon - Part 3 - Act 1 - Scene 6. Moscow
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The Dynasts: An Epic Drama Of The War With Napoleon - Part 3 - Act 1 - Scene 6. Moscow Post by :Ibiobiz Category :Plays Author :Thomas Hardy Date :May 2012 Read :930

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The Dynasts: An Epic Drama Of The War With Napoleon - Part 3 - Act 1 - Scene 6. Moscow

PART THIRD. ACT FIRST. SCENE VI.

(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.

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PART THIRD. ACT FIRST. SCENE VII. (A hill forms the foreground, called the Hill of Salutation, near the Smolensk road.Herefrom the city appears as a splendid panorama, with its river, its gardens, and its curiously grotesque architecture of domes and spires. It is the peacock of cities to Western eyes, its roofs twinkling in the rays of the September sun, amid which the ancient citadel of the Tsars--the Kremlin--forms a centre-piece.There enter on the hill at a gallop NAPOLEON, MURAT, EUGENE, NEY, DARU, and the rest of the Imperial staff. The French advance- guard is drawn up in order of battle
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PART THIRD. ACT FIRST. SCENE V.(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
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