wounded, a dozen or fifteen bodies to every three acres. The wounded were crawling two or three together, and their shrieks and groans had a painful and sometimes affected sound, it seemed to Rostov. Rostov put his horse to a trot to avoid the sight of all those suffering people, and he felt afraid. He was afraid of losing not his life, but his pluck, which he needed so much, which he knew would not stand the sight of those luckless wretches. The French had ceased firing at this field that was dotted over with dead and wounded, because there seemed no one living upon it, but seeing an adjutant trotting across it, they turned a cannon upon him and shot off several cannon balls. The sense of those whizzing, fearful sounds, and of the dead bodies all round him melted into a single impression of horror and pity for himself in Rostov’s heart. He thought of his mother’s last letter. “What would she be feeling now,” he thought, “if she could see me here now on this field with cannons aimed at me?”

In the village of Gostieradeck there were Russian troops, in some confusion indeed, but in far better discipline, who had come from the field of battle. Here they were out of range of the French cannons, and the sounds of firing seemed far away. Here every one saw clearly that the battle was lost, and all were talking of it. No one to whom Rostov applied could tell him where was the Tsar, or where was Kutuzov. Some said that the rumour of the Tsar’s wound was correct, others said not, and explained this widely spread false report by the fact that the Ober-Hofmarschall Tolstoy, who had come out with others of the Emperor’s suite to the field of battle, had been seen pale and terrified driving back at full gallop in the Tsar’s carriage. One officer told Rostov that, behind the village to the left, he had seen some one from headquarters, and Rostov rode off in that direction, with no hope now of finding any one, but simply to satisfy his conscience. After going about two miles and passing the last of the Russian troops, Rostov saw, near a kitchen-garden enclosed by a ditch, two horsemen standing facing the ditch. One with a white plume in his hat seemed somehow a familiar figure to Rostov, the other, a stranger on a splendid chestnut horse (the horse Rostov fancied he had seen before) rode up to the ditch, put spurs to his horse, and lightly leaped over the ditch into the garden. A little earth from the bank crumbled off under his horse’s hind hoofs. Turning the horse sharply, he leaped the ditch again and deferentially addressed the horseman in the white plume, apparently urging him to do the same. The rider, whose figure seemed familiar to Rostov had somehow riveted his attention, made a gesture of refusal with his head and his hand, and in that gesture Rostov instantly recognised his lamented, his idolised sovereign.

“But it can’t be he, alone, in the middle of this empty field,” thought Rostov. At that moment Alexander turned his head and Rostov saw the beloved features so vividly imprinted on his memory. The Tsar was pale, his cheeks looked sunken, and his eyes hollow, but the charm, the mildness of his face was only the more striking. Rostov felt happy in the certainty that the report of the Emperor’s wound was false. He was happy that he was seeing him. He knew that he might, that he ought, indeed, to go straight to him and to give him the message he had been commanded to give by Dolgorukov.

But, as a youth in love trembles and turns faint and dares not utter what he has spent nights in dreaming of, and looks about in terror, seeking aid or a chance of delay or flight, when the moment he has longed for comes and he stands alone at her side, so Rostov, now when he was attaining what he had longed for beyond everything in the world, did not know how to approach the Emperor, and thousands of reasons why it was unsuitable, unseemly, and impossible came into his mind.

“What! it’s as though I were glad to take advantage of his being alone and despondent. It may be disagreeable and painful to him, perhaps, to see an unknown face at such a moment of sadness; besides, what can I say to him now, when at the mere sight of him my heart is throbbing and leaping into my mouth?” Not one of the innumerable speeches he had addressed to the Tsar in his imagination recurred to his mind now. These speeches for the most part were appropriate to quite other circumstances; they had been uttered for the most part at moments of victory and triumph, and principally on his deathbed when, as he lay dying of his wounds, the Emperor thanked him for his heroic exploits, and he gave expression as he died to the love he had proved in deeds. “And then, how am I to ask the Emperor for his instructions to the right flank when it’s four o’clock in the afternoon and the battle is lost? No, certainly I ought not to ride up to him, I ought not to break in on his sorrow. Better die a thousand deaths than that he should

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