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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 19
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War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 19 Post by :asianbrain Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :2147

Click below to download : War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 19 (Format : PDF)

War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 19

Having returned to the regiment and told the commander the state
of Denisov's affairs, Rostov rode to Tilsit with the letter to the
Emperor.

On the thirteenth of June the French and Russian Emperors arrived in
Tilsit. Boris Drubetskoy had asked the important personage on whom
he was in attendance, to include him in the suite appointed for the
stay at Tilsit.

"I should like to see the great man," he said, alluding to Napoleon,
whom hitherto he, like everyone else, had always called Buonaparte.

"You are speaking of Buonaparte?" asked the general, smiling.

Boris looked at his general inquiringly and immediately saw that
he was being tested.

"I am speaking, Prince, of the Emperor Napoleon," he replied. The
general patted him on the shoulder, with a smile.

"You will go far," he said, and took him to Tilsit with him.

Boris was among the few present at the Niemen on the day the two
Emperors met. He saw the raft, decorated with monograms, saw
Napoleon pass before the French Guards on the farther bank of the
river, saw the pensive face of the Emperor Alexander as he sat in
silence in a tavern on the bank of the Niemen awaiting Napoleon's
arrival, saw both Emperors get into boats, and saw how Napoleon-
reaching the raft first- stepped quickly forward to meet Alexander and
held out his hand to him, and how they both retired into the pavilion.
Since he had begun to move in the highest circles Boris had made it
his habit to watch attentively all that went on around him and to note
it down. At the time of the meeting at Tilsit he asked the names of
those who had come with Napoleon and about the uniforms they wore, and
listened attentively to words spoken by important personages. At the
moment the Emperors went into the pavilion he looked at his watch, and
did not forget to look at it again when Alexander came out. The
interview had lasted an hour and fifty-three minutes. He noted this
down that same evening, among other facts he felt to be of historic
importance. As the Emperor's suite was a very small one, it was a
matter of great importance, for a man who valued his success in the
service, to be at Tilsit on the occasion of this interview between the
two Emperors, and having succeeded in this, Boris felt that henceforth
his position was fully assured. He had not only become known, but
people had grown accustomed to him and accepted him. Twice he had
executed commissions to the Emperor himself, so that the latter knew
his face, and all those at court, far from cold-shouldering him as
at first when they considered him a newcomer, would now have been
surprised had he been absent.

Boris lodged with another adjutant, the Polish Count Zhilinski.
Zhilinski, a Pole brought up in Paris, was rich, and passionately fond
of the French, and almost every day of the stay at Tilsit, French
officers of the Guard and from French headquarters were dining and
lunching with him and Boris.

On the evening of the twenty-fourth of June, Count Zhilinski
arranged a supper for his French friends. The guest of honor was an
aide-de-camp of Napoleon's, there were also several French officers of
the Guard, and a page of Napoleon's, a young lad of an old
aristocratic French family. That same day, Rostov, profiting by the
darkness to avoid being recognized in civilian dress. came to Tilsit
and went to the lodging occupied by Boris and Zhilinski.

Rostov, in common with the whole army from which he came, was far
from having experienced the change of feeling toward Napoleon and
the French- who from being foes had suddenly become friends- that
had taken place at headquarters and in Boris. In the army, Bonaparte
and the French were still regarded with mingled feelings of anger,
contempt, and fear. Only recently, talking with one of Platov's
Cossack officers, Rostov had argued that if Napoleon were taken
prisoner he would be treated not as a sovereign, but as a criminal.
Quite lately, happening to meet a wounded French colonel on the
road, Rostov had maintained with heat that peace was impossible
between a legitimate sovereign and the criminal Bonaparte. Rostov
was therefore unpleasantly struck by the presence of French officers
in Boris' lodging, dressed in uniforms he had been accustomed to see
from quite a different point of view from the outposts of the flank.
As soon as he noticed a French officer, who thrust his head out of the
door, that warlike feeling of hostility which he always experienced at
the sight of the enemy suddenly seized him. He stopped at the
threshold and asked in Russian whether Drubetskoy lived there.
Boris, hearing a strange voice in the anteroom, came out to meet
him. An expression of annoyance showed itself for a moment on his face
on first recognizing Rostov.

"Ah, it's you? Very glad, very glad to see you," he said, however,
coming toward him with a smile. But Rostov had noticed his first
impulse.

"I've come at a bad time I think. I should not have come, but I have
business," he said coldly.

"No, I only wonder how you managed to get away from your regiment.
Dans un moment je suis a vous,"* he said, answering someone who called
him.


*"In a minute I shall be at your disposal."


"I see I'm intruding," Rostov repeated.

The look of annoyance had already disappeared from Boris' face:
having evidently reflected and decided how to act, he very quietly
took both Rostov's hands and led him into the next room. His eyes,
looking serenely and steadily at Rostov, seemed to be veiled by
something, as if screened by blue spectacles of conventionality. So it
seemed to Rostov.

"Oh, come now! As if you could come at a wrong time!" said Boris,
and he led him into the room where the supper table was laid and
introduced him to his guests, explaining that he was not a civilian,
but an hussar officer, and an old friend of his.

"Count Zhilinski- le Comte N. N.- le Capitaine S. S.," said he,
naming his guests. Rostov looked frowningly at the Frenchmen, bowed
reluctantly, and remained silent.

Zhilinski evidently did not receive this new Russian person very
willingly into his circle and did not speak to Rostov. Boris did not
appear to notice the constraint the newcomer produced and, with the
same pleasant composure and the same veiled look in his eyes with
which he had met Rostov, tried to enliven the conversation. One of the
Frenchmen, with the politeness characteristic of his countrymen,
addressed the obstinately taciturn Rostov, saying that the latter
had probably come to Tilsit to see the Emperor.

"No, I came on business," replied Rostov, briefly.

Rostov had been out of humor from the moment he noticed the look
of dissatisfaction on Boris' face, and as always happens to those in a
bad humor, it seemed to him that everyone regarded him with aversion
and that he was in everybody's way. He really was in their way, for he
alone took no part in the conversation which again became general. The
looks the visitors cast on him seemed to say: "And what is he
sitting here for?" He rose and went up to Boris.

"Anyhow, I'm in your way," he said in a low tone. "Come and talk
over my business and I'll go away."

"Oh, no, not at all," said Boris. "But if you are tired, come and
lie down in my room and have a rest."

"Yes, really..."

They went into the little room where Boris slept. Rostov, without
sitting down, began at once, irritably (as if Boris were to blame in
some way) telling him about Denisov's affair, asking him whether,
through his general, he could and would intercede with the Emperor
on Denisov's behalf and get Denisov's petition handed in. When he
and Boris were alone, Rostov felt for the first time that he could not
look Boris in the face without a sense of awkwardness. Boris, with one
leg crossed over the other and stroking his left hand with the slender
fingers of his right, listened to Rostov as a general listens to the
report of a subordinate, now looking aside and now gazing straight
into Rostov's eyes with the same veiled look. Each time this
happened Rostov felt uncomfortable and cast down his eyes.

"I have heard of such cases and know that His Majesty is very severe
in such affairs. I think it would be best not to bring it before the
Emperor, but to apply to the commander of the corps.... But in
general, I think..."

"So you don't want to do anything? Well then, say so!" Rostov almost
shouted, not looking Boris in the face.

Boris smiled.

"On the contrary, I will do what I can. Only I thought..."

At that moment Zhilinski's voice was heard calling Boris.

"Well then, go, go, go..." said Rostov, and refusing supper and
remaining alone in the little room, he walked up and down for a long
time, hearing the lighthearted French conversation from the next room.

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War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 20
Rostov had come to Tilsit the day least suitable for a petition onDenisov's behalf. He could not himself go to the general in attendanceas he was in mufti and had come to Tilsit without permission to do so,and Boris, even had he wished to, could not have done so on thefollowing day. On that day, June 27, the preliminaries of peace weresigned. The Emperors exchanged decorations: Alexander received theCross of the Legion of Honor and Napoleon the Order of St. Andrew ofthe First Degree, and a dinner had been arranged for the evening,given by a battalion of the French Guards to
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War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 18 War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 18

War And Peace - Book Five : 1806-07 - Chapter 18
Going along the corridor, the assistant led Rostov to theofficers' wards, consisting of three rooms, the doors of which stoodopen. There were beds in these rooms and the sick and wounded officerswere lying or sitting on them. Some were walking about the rooms inhospital dressing gowns. The first person Rostov met in theofficers' ward was a thin little man with one arm, who was walkingabout the first room in a nightcap and hospital dressing gown, witha pipe between his teeth. Rostov looked at him, trying to rememberwhere he had seen him before."See where we've met again!" said the little man. "Tushin,
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