Alexander had a high opinion of his personal qualities. Armfeldt was a bitter enemy of Napoleon, and had self-confidence, which never failed to have influence with Alexander. Paulucci was there because he was bold and decided in his utterances. The generals on the staff were there because they were always where the Emperor was; and the last and principal figure, Pfuhl, was there because he had created a plan of warfare against Napoleon, and having made Alexander believe in the consistency of this plan, was now conducting the plan of the whole campaign. Pfuhl was accompanied by Woltzogen, who put Pfuhl’s ideas into a more easily comprehensible form than could be done by Pfuhl himself, who was a rigid theorist, with an implicit faith in his own views, and an absolute contempt for everything else.

The above-mentioned were the most prominent personages about the Tsar, and among them the foreigners were in the ascendant, and were every day making new and startling suggestions with the audacity characteristic of men who are acting in a sphere not their own. But, besides those, there were many more persons of secondary importance, who were with the army because their principals were there.

In this vast, brilliant, haughty, and uneasy world, among all these conflicting voices, Prince Andrey detected the following sharply opposed parties and differences of opinion.

The first party consisted of Pfuhl and his followers; military theorists, who believe in a science of war, having its invariable laws—laws of oblique movements, out-flanking, etc. Pfuhl and his adherents demanded that the army should retreat into the heart of the country in accordance with the exact principles laid down by their theory of war, and in every departure from this theory they saw nothing but barbarism, ignorance, or evil intention. To this party belonged Woltzogen, Wintzengerode, and others—principally Germans.

The second party was in direct opposition to the first. As is always the case where there is one extreme opinion, representatives had come forward of the opposite extreme. This party had urged an advance from Vilna into Poland regardless of all previous plans. This party, while advocating bold action, consisted of the representatives of nationalism, which made them even more one-sided in their views. They were Russians: Bagration, Yermolov, who was just beginning to make his mark, and some others. Yermolov’s well-known joke was much quoted at the time—a supposed petition to the Tsar for promotion to be a “German.” The members of this party, recalling Suvorov, maintained that what was wanted was not reasoning and sticking pins into maps, but fighting, beating the enemy, preventing the enemy from getting into Russia, and keeping up the spirits of the army.

To the third party, in which the Tsar was disposed to place most confidence, belonged the courtiers, who tried to effect a compromise between the two contending sides. The members of this party—to which Araktcheev belonged—were mostly not military men, and they spoke and reasoned as men usually do who have no convictions, but wish to pass for having them. They admitted that a war with such a genius as Bonaparte (they called him Bonaparte again now) did undoubtedly call for the profoundest tactical considerations and thorough scientific knowledge, and that on that side Pfuhl was a genius. But, at the same time, they acknowledged that it could not be denied that theorists were often one-sided, and so one should not put implicit confidence in them, but should listen too to what Pfuhl’s opponents urged, and also to the views of practical men who had experience, and should take a middle course. They advocated maintaining the camp at Drissa on Pfuhl’s plan, but altering his disposition of the other two armies. Though by this course of action neither aim could be attained, this seemed to the party of compromise the best line to adopt.

Of the fourth section of opinions, the most prominent representative was the Grand Duke, and heir- apparent, who could not get over his rude awakening at Austerlitz. He had ridden out at the head of his guards in helmet and cuirass as though to a review, expecting gallantly to rout the French, and finding himself unexpectedly just in the line of the enemy’s fire, had with difficulty escaped in the general disorder. The members of this party had at once the merit and the defect of sincerity in their convictions. They feared Napoleon; they saw his strength and their own weakness, and frankly admitted it. They said: “Nothing but a huge disgrace and ruin can come of the war! We have abandoned Vilna, and abandoned Vitebsk,

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