“You will be shown what is fitting,” he said, and putting the envelope in his pocket he walked out of the barn.

A minute later an adjutant of the marshal’s, Monsieur de Castre, came in and conducted Balashov to the quarters that had been assigned him.

He dined that day in the barn with the marshal, sitting down to the door laid across the tubs.

After four days spent in solitude and boredom, with a continual sense of dependence and insignificance, particularly galling after the position of power which he had hitherto occupied, after several marches with the marshal’s baggage and the French troops, who were in possession of the whole district, Balashov was brought back to Vilna, now occupied by the French, and re-entered the town by the very gate by which he had left it four days earlier.

Four days before sentinels of the Preobrazhensky regiment had been on guard before the very house to which Balashov was conducted. Now two French grenadiers were on duty before it, wearing fur caps and blue uniforms open over the breast, while an escort of hussars and Uhlans, and a brilliant suite of adjutants, pages, and generals were waiting for Napoleon to come out, forming a group round his saddle-horse at the steps and his Mameluke, Rustan. Napoleon received Balashov in the very house in Vilna from which Alexander had despatched him.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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