should be in Turkey now. We should not have made peace, and the war would never have been over. Always in haste, and more haste, worse speed. Kamensky would have come to grief there, if he hadn’t died. He went storming fortresses with thirty thousand men. It’s easy enough to take fortresses, but it’s hard to finish off a campaign successfully. Storms and attacks are not what’s wanted, but time and patience. Kamensky sent his soldiers to attack Rustchuk, but I trusted to them alone—time and patience—and I took more fortresses than Kamensky, and made the Turks eat horseflesh!” He shook his head. “And the French shall, too. Take my word for it,” cried Kutuzov, growing warmer and slapping himself on the chest, “I’ll make them eat horseflesh!” And again his eye was dim with tears.

“We shall have to give battle, though, shan’t we?” said Prince Andrey.

“We must, if every one wants to; there is no help for it.… But, mark my words, my dear boy! The strongest of all warriors are these two—time and patience. They do it all, and our wise counsellors n’entendent pas de cette oreille, voilà le mal. Some say ay, and some say no. What’s one to do?” he asked, evidently expecting a reply. “Come, what would you have me do?” he repeated, and his eyes twinkled with a profound, shrewd expression. “I’ll tell you what to do,” he said, since Prince Andrey still did not answer. “I’ll tell you what to do, and what I do. Dans le doute, mon cher”—he paused—“abstiens-toi.” He articulated deliberately the French saying.

“Well, good-bye, my dear. Remember, with all my heart, I feel for your sorrow, and that for you I’m not his highness, nor prince, nor commander-in-chief, but simply a father to you. If you want anything, come straight to me. Good-bye, my dear boy!” Again he embraced and kissed him.

And before Prince Andrey had closed the door, Kutuzov settled himself comfortably with a sigh, and renewed the unfinished novel of Madame Genlis, Les Chevaliers du Cygne.

How, and why it was, Prince Andrey could not explain, but after this interview with Kutuzov, he went back to his regiment feeling reassured as to the future course of the war, and as to the man to whom its guidance was intrusted. The more clearly he perceived the absence of everything personal in the old leader, who seemed to have nothing left of his own but habits of passions, and instead of an intellect grasping events and making plans, had only the capacity for the calm contemplation of the course of events, the more confident he felt that all would be as it should be. “He will put in nothing of himself. He will contrive nothing, will undertake nothing,” thought Prince Andrey; “but he will hear everything, will think of everything, will put everything in its place, will not hinder anything that could be of use, and will not allow anything that could do harm. He knows that there is something stronger and more important than his will—that is the inevitable march of events, and he can see them, can grasp their significance, and, seeing their significance, can abstain from meddling, from following his own will, and aiming at something else. And the chief reason,” thought Prince Andrey, “why one believes in him is that he’s Russian, in spite of Madame Genlis’s novel and the French proverbs, that his voice shook when he said, ‘What we have been brought to!’ and that he choked when he said ‘he would make them eat horseflesh!’ ”

It was this feeling, more or less consciously shared by all, that determined the unanimous approval given to the appointment of Kutuzov to the chief command, in accordance with national sentiment, and in opposition to the intrigues at court.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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