Having returned to the regiment and told the commander the state of Denisov'_ffairs, Rostov rode to Tilsit with the letter to the Emperor.
On the thirteenth of June the French and Russian Emperors arrived in Tilsit.
Boris Drubetskoy had asked the important personage on whom he was i_ttendance, to include him in the suite appointed for the stay at Tilsit.
"I should like to see the great man," he said, alluding to Napoleon, who_itherto he, like everyone else, had always called Buonaparte.
"You are speaking of Buonaparte?" asked the general, smiling.
Boris looked at his general inquiringly and immediately saw that he was bein_ested.
"I am speaking, Prince, of the Emperor Napoleon," he replied. The genera_atted him on the shoulder, with a smile.
"You will go far," he said, and took him to Tilsit with him.
Boris was among the few present at the Niemen on the day the two Emperors met.
He saw the raft, decorated with monograms, saw Napoleon pass before the Frenc_uards on the farther bank of the river, saw the pensive face of the Empero_lexander as he sat in silence in a tavern on the bank of the Niemen awaitin_apoleon's arrival, saw both Emperors get into boats, and saw how Napoleon-
reaching the raft first—stepped quickly forward to meet Alexander and held ou_is hand to him, and how they both retired into the pavilion. Since he ha_egun to move in the highest circles Boris had made it his habit to watc_ttentively all that went on around him and to note it down. At the time o_he meeting at Tilsit he asked the names of those who had come with Napoleo_nd about the uniforms they wore, and listened attentively to words spoken b_mportant personages. At the moment the Emperors went into the pavilion h_ooked at his watch, and did not forget to look at it again when Alexande_ame out. The interview had lasted an hour and fifty-three minutes. He note_his down that same evening, among other facts he felt to be of histori_mportance. As the Emperor's suite was a very small one, it was a matter o_reat importance, for a man who valued his success in the service, to be a_ilsit on the occasion of this interview between the two Emperors, and havin_ucceeded in this, Boris felt that henceforth his position was fully assured.
He had not only become known, but people had grown accustomed to him an_ccepted him. Twice he had executed commissions to the Emperor himself, s_hat the latter knew his face, and all those at court, far from cold-
shouldering him as at first when they considered him a newcomer, would no_ave been surprised had he been absent.
Boris lodged with another adjutant, the Polish Count Zhilinski. Zhilinski, _ole brought up in Paris, was rich, and passionately fond of the French, an_lmost every day of the stay at Tilsit, French officers of the Guard and fro_rench headquarters were dining and lunching with him and Boris.
On the evening of the twenty-fourth of June, Count Zhilinski arranged a suppe_or his French friends. The guest of honor was an aide-de-camp of Napoleon's,
there were also several French officers of the Guard, and a page o_apoleon's, a young lad of an old aristocratic French family. That same day,
Rostov, profiting by the darkness to avoid being recognized in civilian dress,
came to Tilsit and went to the lodging occupied by Boris and Zhilinski.
Rostov, in common with the whole army from which he came, was far from havin_xperienced the change of feeling toward Napoleon and the French—who fro_eing foes had suddenly become friends—that had taken place at headquarter_nd in Boris. In the army, Bonaparte and the French were still regarded wit_ingled feelings of anger, contempt, and fear. Only recently, talking with on_f Platov's Cossack officers, Rostov had argued that if Napoleon were take_risoner he would be treated not as a sovereign, but as a criminal. Quit_ately, happening to meet a wounded French colonel on the road, Rostov ha_aintained with heat that peace was impossible between a legitimate sovereig_nd the criminal Bonaparte. Rostov was therefore unpleasantly struck by th_resence of French officers in Boris' lodging, dressed in uniforms he had bee_ccustomed to see from quite a different point of view from the outposts o_he flank. As soon as he noticed a French officer, who thrust his head out o_he door, that warlike feeling of hostility which he always experienced at th_ight of the enemy suddenly seized him. He stopped at the threshold and aske_n Russian whether Drubetskoy lived there. Boris, hearing a strange voice i_he anteroom, came out to meet him. An expression of annoyance showed itsel_or a moment on his face on first recognizing Rostov.
"Ah, it's you? Very glad, very glad to see you," he said, however, comin_oward him with a smile. But Rostov had noticed his first impulse.
"I've come at a bad time I think. I should not have come, but I hav_usiness," he said coldly.
"No, I only wonder how you managed to get away from your regiment. Dans u_oment je suis a vous,"[](footnotes.xml#footnote_54) he said, answerin_omeone who called him. "I see I'm intruding," Rostov repeated. The look o_nnoyance had already disappeared from Boris' face: having evidently reflecte_nd decided how to act, he very quietly took both Rostov's hands and led hi_nto the next room. His eyes, looking serenely and steadily at Rostov, seeme_o be veiled by something, as if screened by blue spectacles o_onventionality. So it seemed to Rostov. "Oh, come now! As if you could com_t a wrong time!" said Boris, and he led him into the room where the suppe_able was laid and introduced him to his guests, explaining that he was not _ivilian, but an hussar officer, and an old friend of his. "Count Zhilinski—l_omte N. N.—le Capitaine S. S.," said he, naming his guests. Rostov looke_rowningly at the Frenchmen, bowed reluctantly, and remained silent. Zhilinsk_vidently did not receive this new Russian person very willingly into hi_ircle and did not speak to Rostov. Boris did not appear to notice th_onstraint the newcomer produced and, with the same pleasant composure and th_ame veiled look in his eyes with which he had met Rostov, tried to enlive_he conversation. One of the Frenchmen, with the politeness characteristic o_is countrymen, addressed the obstinately taciturn Rostov, saying that th_atter had probably come to Tilsit to see the Emperor. "No, I came o_usiness," replied Rostov, briefly. Rostov had been out of humor from th_oment he noticed the look of dissatisfaction on Boris' face, and as alway_appens to those in a bad humor, it seemed to him that everyone regarded hi_ith aversion and that he was in everybody's way. He really was in their way,
for he alone took no part in the conversation which again became general. Th_ooks the visitors cast on him seemed to say: "And what is he sitting her_or?" He rose and went up to Boris. "Anyhow, I'm in your way," he said in _ow tone. "Come and talk over my business and I'll go away." "Oh, no, not a_ll," said Boris. "But if you are tired, come and lie down in my room and hav_ rest." "Yes, really… " They went into the little room where Boris slept.
Rostov, without sitting down, began at once, irritably (as if Boris were t_lame in some way) telling him about Denisov's affair, asking him whether,
through his general, he could and would intercede with the Emperor o_enisov's behalf and get Denisov's petition handed in. When he and Boris wer_lone, Rostov felt for the first time that he could not look Boris in the fac_ithout a sense of awkwardness. Boris, with one leg crossed over the other an_troking his left hand with the slender fingers of his right, listened t_ostov as a general listens to the report of a subordinate, now looking asid_nd now gazing straight into Rostov's eyes with the same veiled look. Eac_ime this happened Rostov felt uncomfortable and cast down his eyes. "I hav_eard of such cases and know that His Majesty is very severe in such affairs.
I think it would be best not to bring it before the Emperor, but to apply t_he commander of the corps… . But in general, I think… " "So you don't want t_o anything? Well then, say so!" Rostov almost shouted, not looking Boris i_he face. Boris smiled. "On the contrary, I will do what I can. Only _hought… " At that moment Zhilinski's voice was heard calling Boris. "Wel_hen, go, go, go… " said Rostov, and refusing supper and remaining alone i_he little room, he walked up and down for a long time, hearing th_ighthearted French conversation from the next room.