Boris smiled, as though he understood, as a matter of common knowledge, what Prince Andrey was referring to. But it was the first time he had heard the name of Weierother, or even the word “disposition” used in that sense.

“Well, my dear boy, you still want an adjutant’s post? I have been thinking about you since I saw you.”

“Yes,” said Boris, involuntarily flushing for some reason, “I was thinking of asking the commander-in- chief; he has had a letter about me from Prince Kuragin; and I wanted to ask him simply because,” he added, as though excusing himself, “I am afraid the guards won’t be in action.”

“Very good, very good! we will talk it over later,” said Prince Andrey, “only let me report on this gentleman’s business and I am at your disposal.” While Prince Andrey was away reporting to the commander-in- chief on the business of the purple-faced general, that general, who apparently did not share Boris’s views as to the superior advantages of the unwritten code, glared at the insolent lieutenant, who had hindered his having his say out, so that Boris began to be uncomfortable. He turned away and waited with impatience for Prince Andrey to come out of the commander-in-chief’s room.

“Well, my dear fellow, I have been thinking about you,” said Prince Andrey, when they had gone into the big room with the clavichord in it. “It’s no use your going to the commander-in-chief; he will say a lot of polite things to you, will ask you to dine with him” (“that wouldn’t come amiss in the service of that unwritten code,” thought Boris), “but nothing more would come of it; we shall soon have a complete battalion of adjutants and orderly officers. But I tell you what we will do: I have a friend, a general adjutant and an excellent fellow, Prince Dolgorukov. And though you may not be aware of it, the fact is that Kutuzov and his staff and all of us are just now of no account at all. Everything now is concentrated about the Emperor, so we’ll go together to Dolgorukov. I have to go to see him, and I have already spoken of you to him. So we can see whether he may not think it possible to find a post for you on his staff, or somewhere there nearer to the sun.”

Prince Andrey was always particularly keen over guiding a young man and helping him to attain worldly success. Under cover of this help for another, which he would never have accepted for himself, he was brought into the circle which bestowed success, and which attracted him. He very readily took up Boris’s cause, and went with him to Prince Dolgorukov.

It was late in the evening as they entered the palace at Olmütz, occupied by the Emperors and their retinues.

There had been on that same day a council of war, at which all the members of the Hofkriegsrath and the two Emperors had been present. At the council it had been decided, contrary to the advice of the elder generals, Kutuzov and Prince Schwarzenberg, to advance at once and to fight a general engagement with Bonaparte. The council of war was only just over when Prince Andrey, accompanied by Boris, went into the palace in search of Prince Dolgorukov. Every one at headquarters was still under the spell of the victory gained that day by the younger party at the council of war. The voices of those who urged delay, and counselled waiting for something and not advancing, had been so unanimously drowned and their arguments had been confuted by such indubitable proofs of the advantages of advancing, that what had been discussed at the council, the future battle and the victory certain to follow it, seemed no longer future but past. All the advantages were on our side. Our immense forces, undoubtedly superior to those of Napoleon, were concentrated in one place; the troops were encouraged by the presence of the two Emperors, and were eager for battle. The strategic position on which they were to act was to the minutest detail known to the Austrian general Weierother, who was at the head of the troops (as a lucky chance would have it, the Austrian troops had chosen for their manœuvres the very fields in which they had now to fight the French). Every detail of the surrounding neighbourhood was known and put down on maps, while Bonaparte, apparently growing feebler, was taking no measures.

Dolgorukov, who had been one of the warmest advocates of attack, had just come back from the council, weary, exhausted, but eager and proud of the victory he had gained. Prince Andrey presented the officer for whom he was asking his influence, but Prince Dolgorukov, though he shook hands politely and warmly,

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