Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! thundered on all sides, and one regiment after another greeted the Tsar with the strains of the march, then hurrah! then the march, and again hurrah! and hurrah! which growing stronger and fuller, blended into a deafening roar.
Before the Tsar had reached it, each regiment in its speechless immobility seemed like a lifeless body. But as soon as the Tsar was on a level with it, each regiment broke into life and noise, which joined with the roar of all the line, by which the Tsar had passed already. In the terrific, deafening uproar of those voices, between the square masses of troops, immobile as though turned to stone, moved carelessly, but symmetrically and freely, some hundreds of men on horseback, the suite, and in front of them two figuresthe Emperors. Upon these was entirely concentrated the repressed, passionate attention of all that mass of men.
The handsome, youthful Emperor Alexander, in the uniform of the Horse Guards, in a triangular hat with the base in front, attracted the greater share of attention with his pleasant face and sonorous, low voice.
Rostov was standing near the trumpeters, and with his keen eyes he recognised the Tsar from a distance and watched him approaching. When the Tsar was only twenty paces away, and Nikolay saw clearly in every detail the handsome, young, and happy face of the Emperor, he experienced a feeling of tenderness and ecstasy such as he had never known before. Everything in the Tsarevery feature, every movementseemed to him full of charm.
Halting before the Pavlograd regiment, the Tsar said something in French to the Austrian Emperor and smiled.
Seeing that smile, Rostov unconsciously began to smile himself and felt an even stronger rush of love for his Emperor. He longed to express his love for the Tsar in some way. He knew it was impossible, and he wanted to cry. The Tsar called up the colonel of the regiment and said a few words to him.
By God! what would happen to me if the Emperor were to address me! thought Rostov; I should die of happiness.
The Tsar addressed the officers, too.
All of you, gentlemen (every word sounded to Rostov like heavenly music), I thank you with all my heart.
How happy Rostov would have been if he could have died on the spot for his Emperor.
You have won the flags of St. George and will be worthy of them.
Only to die, to die for him! thought Rostov.
The Tsar said something more which Rostov did not catch, and the soldiers, straining their lungs, roared hurrah!
Rostov, too, bending over in his saddle, shouted with all his might, feeling he would like to do himself some injury by this shout, if only he could give full expression to his enthusiasm for the Tsar.
The Tsar stood for several seconds facing the hussars, as though he were hesitating.
How could the Emperor hesitate? Rostov wondered; but then, even that hesitation seemed to him majestic and enchanting, like all the Tsar did.
The Tsars hesitation lasted only an instant. The Tsars foot, in the narrow-pointed boot of the day, touched the belly of the bay English thoroughbred he was riding. The Tsars hand in its white glove gathered up the reins and he moved off, accompanied by the irregularly heaving sea of adjutants. Further and
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