The instructions that have been reproduced here are by no means inferior, are indeed superior, to many similar arrangements by which he had gained victories in the past. His supposed instructions during the day were also in no way inferior to the commands he had given in previous battles, but were much the same as usual. But these instructions are supposed to be inferior, simply because Borodino was the first battle in which Napoleon was not victorious. The finest and profoundest combinations seem very poor, and every military student can criticise them with a consequential air, when the battle has not been won by means of them; and the stupidest combinations will seem exceedingly ingenious, and serious writers will fill volumes in proving their excellence, when the battle that followed chances to have been a victory.

The plan composed by Weierother at Austerlitz was a model of perfection in its own line, but it has yet been condemned, and condemned for its very perfection, for its over-minuteness in detail.

At Borodino Napoleon played his part as the representative of supreme power as well, or even better, than he had done at previous battles. He did nothing likely to hinder the progress of the battle; he yielded to the most sensible advice; he was not confused, did not contradict himself, did not lose his presence of mind, nor run away from the field of battle, but with his great tact and military experience, he performed calmly and with dignity his role of appearing to be in supreme control of it all.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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