crosses flashing and twinkling in the sun. But I will spare her. On the ancient monuments of barbarism and despotism I will inscribe the great words of justice and mercy … Alexander will feel that more bitterly than anything; I know him.” (It seemed to Napoleon that the chief import of what had happened lay in his personal contest with Alexander.) “From the heights of the Kremlin—yes, that’s the Kremlin, yes—I will dictate to them the laws of justice, I will teach them the meaning of true civilisation, I will make the generations of boyards to enshrine their conqueror’s name in love. I will tell the deputation that I have not sought, and do not seek, war; but I have been waging war only with the deceitful policy of their court; that I love and respect Alexander, and that in Moscow I will accept terms of peace worthy of myself and my peoples. I have no wish to take advantage of the fortune of war to humiliate their honoured Emperor. ‘Boyards,’ I will say to them, ‘I do not seek war; I seek the peace and welfare of all my subjects.’ But I know their presence will inspire me, and I shall speak to them as I always do, clearly, impressively, and greatly. But can it be true that I am in Moscow! Yes, there she is!”

“Let the boyards be brought to me,” he said, addressing his suite. A general, with a brilliant suite of adjutants, galloped off at once to fetch the boyards.

Two hours passed. Napoleon had lunched, and was again standing on the same spot on the Poklonny Hill, waiting for the deputation. His speech to the boyards had by now taken definite shape in his mind. The speech was full of dignity and of greatness, as Napoleon understood it. Napoleon was himself carried away by the magnanimity with which he intended to act in Moscow. In imagination he had already fixed the days for a “réunion dans le palais des Czars,” at which the great Russian nobles were to mingle with the courtiers of the French Emperor. In thought he had appointed a governor capable of winning the hearts of the people. Having heard that Moscow was full of religious institutions, he had mentally decided that his bounty was to be showered on these institutions. He imagined that as in Africa he had had to sit in a mosque wearing a burnous, in Moscow he must be gracious and bountiful as the Tsars. And being, like every Frenchman, unable to imagine anything moving without a reference to sa chère, sa tendre, sa pauvre mère, he decided finally to touch the Russian heart, that he would have inscribed on all these charitable foundations in large letters, “Dedicated to my beloved mother,” or simply, “Maison de ma mère,” he decided. “But am I really in Moscow? Yes, there she lies before me; but why is the deputation from the city so long in coming?” he wondered.

Meanwhile a whispered and agitated consultation was being held among his generals and marshals in the rear of the suite. The adjutants sent to bring the deputation had come back with the news that Moscow was empty, that every one had left or was leaving the city. The faces of all the suite were pale and perturbed. It was not that Moscow had been abandoned by its inhabitants (grave as that fact appeared) that alarmed them. They were in alarm at the idea of making the fact known to the Emperor; they could not see how, without putting his majesty into the terrible position, called by the French ridicule, to inform him that he had been waiting so long for the boyards in vain, that there was a drunken mob, but no one else in Moscow. Some of the suite maintained that come what may, they must anyway scrape up a deputation of some sort; others opposed this view, and asserted that the Emperor must be carefully and skilfully prepared, and then told the truth.

“We shall have to tell him all the same,” said some gentleman of the suite.… “But, gentlemen …”

The position was the more difficult as the Emperor, pondering on his magnanimous plans, was walking patiently up and down before the map of the city, shading his eyes to look from time to time along the road to Moscow, with a proud and happy smile.

“But it’s awkward …” the gentlemen-in-waiting kept repeating, shrugging their shoulders and unable to bring themselves to settle the terrible word in their minds: “le ridicule.…”

Meanwhile the Emperor, weary of waiting in vain, and with his actor’s instinct feeling that the great moment, being too long deferred, was beginning to lose its grandeur, made a sign with his hand. A solitary cannon shot gave the signal, and the invading army marched into Moscow—at the Tver, the Kaluga, and the

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