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Chapter 2

  • "He's coming!" shouted the signaler at that moment.
  • The regimental commander, flushing, ran to his horse, seized the stirrup wit_rembling hands, threw his body across the saddle, righted himself, drew hi_aber, and with a happy and resolute countenance, opening his mouth awry, prepared to shout. The regiment fluttered like a bird preening its plumage an_ecame motionless.
  • "Att-ention!" shouted the regimental commander in a soul-shaking voice whic_xpressed joy for himself, severity for the regiment, and welcome for th_pproaching chief.
  • Along the broad country road, edged on both sides by trees, came a high, ligh_lue Viennese caleche, slightly creaking on its springs and drawn by si_orses at a smart trot. Behind the caleche galloped the suite and a convoy o_roats. Beside Kutuzov sat an Austrian general, in a white uniform that looke_trange among the Russian black ones. The caleche stopped in front of th_egiment. Kutuzov and the Austrian general were talking in low voices an_utuzov smiled slightly as treading heavily he stepped down from the carriag_ust as if those two thousand men breathlessly gazing at him and th_egimental commander did not exist.
  • The word of command rang out, and again the regiment quivered, as with _ingling sound it presented arms. Then amidst a dead silence the feeble voic_f the commander in chief was heard. The regiment roared, "Health to your ex… len… len… lency!" and again all became silent. At first Kutuzov stood stil_hile the regiment moved; then he and the general in white, accompanied by th_uite, walked between the ranks.
  • From the way the regimental commander saluted the commander in chief an_evoured him with his eyes, drawing himself up obsequiously, and from the wa_e walked through the ranks behind the generals, bending forward and hardl_ble to restrain his jerky movements, and from the way he darted forward a_very word or gesture of the commander in chief, it was evident that h_erformed his duty as a subordinate with even greater zeal than his duty as _ommander. Thanks to the strictness and assiduity of its commander th_egiment, in comparison with others that had reached Braunau at the same time, was in splendid condition. There were only 217 sick and stragglers. Everythin_as in good order except the boots.
  • Kutuzov walked through the ranks, sometimes stopping to say a few friendl_ords to officers he had known in the Turkish war, sometimes also to th_oldiers. Looking at their boots he several times shook his head sadly, pointing them out to the Austrian general with an expression which seemed t_ay that he was not blaming anyone, but could not help noticing what a ba_tate of things it was. The regimental commander ran forward on each suc_ccasion, fearing to miss a single word of the commander in chief's regardin_he regiment. Behind Kutuzov, at a distance that allowed every softly spoke_ord to be heard, followed some twenty men of his suite. These gentleme_alked among themselves and sometimes laughed. Nearest of all to the commande_n chief walked a handsome adjutant. This was Prince Bolkonski. Beside him wa_is comrade Nesvitski, a tall staff officer, extremely stout, with a kindly, smiling, handsome face and moist eyes. Nesvitski could hardly keep fro_aughter provoked by a swarthy hussar officer who walked beside him. Thi_ussar, with a grave face and without a smile or a change in the expression o_is fixed eyes, watched the regimental commander's back and mimicked his ever_ovement. Each time the commander started and bent forward, the hussar starte_nd bent forward in exactly the same manner. Nesvitski laughed and nudged th_thers to make them look at the wag.
  • Kutuzov walked slowly and languidly past thousands of eyes which were startin_rom their sockets to watch their chief. On reaching the third company h_uddenly stopped. His suite, not having expected this, involuntarily cam_loser to him.
  • "Ah, Timokhin!" said he, recognizing the red-nosed captain who had bee_eprimanded on account of the blue greatcoat.
  • One would have thought it impossible for a man to stretch himself more tha_imokhin had done when he was reprimanded by the regimental commander, but no_hat the commander in chief addressed him he drew himself up to such an exten_hat it seemed he could not have sustained it had the commander in chie_ontinued to look at him, and so Kutuzov, who evidently understood his cas_nd wished him nothing but good, quickly turned away, a scarcely perceptibl_mile flitting over his scarred and puffy face.
  • "Another Ismail comrade," said he. "A brave officer! Are you satisfied wit_im?" he asked the regimental commander.
  • And the latter—unconscious that he was being reflected in the hussar office_s in a looking glass—started, moved forward, and answered: "Highly satisfied, your excellency!"
  • "We all have our weaknesses," said Kutuzov smiling and walking away from him.
  • "He used to have a predilection for Bacchus."
  • The regimental commander was afraid he might be blamed for this and did no_nswer. The hussar at that moment noticed the face of the red-nosed captai_nd his drawn-in stomach, and mimicked his expression and pose with suc_xactitude that Nesvitski could not help laughing. Kutuzov turned round. Th_fficer evidently had complete control of his face, and while Kutuzov wa_urning managed to make a grimace and then assume a most serious, deferential, and innocent expression.
  • The third company was the last, and Kutuzov pondered, apparently trying t_ecollect something. Prince Andrew stepped forward from among the suite an_aid in French:
  • "You told me to remind you of the officer Dolokhov, reduced to the ranks i_his regiment."
  • "Where is Dolokhov?" asked Kutuzov.
  • Dolokhov, who had already changed into a soldier's gray greatcoat, did no_ait to be called. The shapely figure of the fair-haired soldier, with hi_lear blue eyes, stepped forward from the ranks, went up to the commander i_hief, and presented arms.
  • "Have you a complaint to make?" Kutuzov asked with a slight frown.
  • "This is Dolokhov," said Prince Andrew.
  • "Ah!" said Kutuzov. "I hope this will be a lesson to you. Do your duty. Th_mperor is gracious, and I shan't forget you if you deserve well."
  • The clear blue eyes looked at the commander in chief just as boldly as the_ad looked at the regimental commander, seeming by their expression to tea_pen the veil of convention that separates a commander in chief so widely fro_ private.
  • "One thing I ask of your excellency," Dolokhov said in his firm, ringing, deliberate voice. "I ask an opportunity to atone for my fault and prove m_evotion to His Majesty the Emperor and to Russia!"
  • Kutuzov turned away. The same smile of the eyes with which he had turned fro_aptain Timokhin again flitted over his face. He turned away with a grimace a_f to say that everything Dolokhov had said to him and everything he could sa_ad long been known to him, that he was weary of it and it was not at all wha_e wanted. He turned away and went to the carriage.
  • The regiment broke up into companies, which went to their appointed quarter_ear Braunau, where they hoped to receive boots and clothes and to rest afte_heir hard marches.
  • "You won't bear me a grudge, Prokhor Ignatych?" said the regimental commander, overtaking the third company on its way to its quarters and riding up t_aptain Timokhin who was walking in front. (The regimental commander's fac_ow that the inspection was happily over beamed with irrepressible delight.)
  • "It's in the Emperor's service… it can't be helped… one is sometimes a bi_asty on parade… I am the first to apologize, you know me!… He was ver_leased!" And he held out his hand to the captain.
  • "Don't mention it, General, as if I'd be so bold!" replied the captain, hi_ose growing redder as he gave a smile which showed where two front teeth wer_issing that had been knocked out by the butt end of a gun at Ismail.
  • "And tell Mr. Dolokhov that I won't forget him—he may be quite easy. And tel_e, please—I've been meaning to ask—how is to ask- how is he behaving himself, and in general… "
  • "As far as the service goes he is quite punctilious, your excellency; but hi_haracter… " said Timokhin.
  • "And what about his character?" asked the regimental commander.
  • "It's different on different days," answered the captain. "One day he i_ensible, well educated, and good-natured, and the next he's a wild beast… .
  • In Poland, if you please, he nearly killed a Jew."
  • "Oh, well, well!" remarked the regimental commander. "Still, one must hav_ity on a young man in misfortune. You know he has important connections… Well, then, you just… "
  • "I will, your excellency," said Timokhin, showing by his smile that h_nderstood his commander's wish.
  • "Well, of course, of course!"
  • The regimental commander sought out Dolokhov in the ranks and, reining in hi_orse, said to him:
  • "After the next affair… epaulettes."
  • Dolokhov looked round but did not say anything, nor did the mocking smile o_is lips change.
  • "Well, that's all right," continued the regimental commander. "A cup of vodk_or the men from me," he added so that the soldiers could hear. "I thank yo_ll! God be praised!" and he rode past that company and overtook the next one.
  • "Well, he's really a good fellow, one can serve under him," said Timokhin t_he subaltern beside him.
  • "In a word, a hearty one… " said the subaltern, laughing (the
  • regimental commander was nicknamed King of Hearts).
  • The cheerful mood of their officers after the inspection infected th_oldiers. The company marched on gaily. The soldiers' voices could be heard o_very side.
  • "And they said Kutuzov was blind of one eye?"
  • "And so he is! Quite blind!"
  • "No, friend, he is sharper-eyed than you are. Boots and leg bands… he notice_verything… "
  • "When he looked at my feet, friend… well, thinks I… "
  • "And that other one with him, the Austrian, looked as if he were smeared wit_halk—as white as flour! I suppose they polish him up as they do the guns."
  • "I say, Fedeshon!… Did he say when the battles are to begin? You were nea_im. Everybody said that Buonaparte himself was at Braunau."
  • "Buonaparte himself!… Just listen to the fool, what he doesn't know! Th_russians are up in arms now. The Austrians, you see, are putting them down.
  • When they've been put down, the war with Buonaparte will begin. And he say_uonaparte is in Braunau! Shows you're a fool. You'd better listen mor_arefully!"
  • "What devils these quartermasters are! See, the fifth company is turning int_he village already… they will have their buckwheat cooked before we reach ou_uarters."
  • "Give me a biscuit, you devil!"
  • "And did you give me tobacco yesterday? That's just it, friend! Ah, well, never mind, here you are."
  • "They might call a halt here or we'll have to do another four miles withou_ating."
  • "Wasn't it fine when those Germans gave us lifts! You just sit still and ar_rawn along."
  • "And here, friend, the people are quite beggarly. There they all seemed to b_oles—all under the Russian crown—but here they're all regular Germans."
  • "Singers to the front " came the captain's order.
  • And from the different ranks some twenty men ran to the front. A drummer, their leader, turned round facing the singers, and flourishing his arm, bega_ long-drawn-out soldiers' song, commencing with the words: "Morning dawned, the sun was rising," and concluding: "On then, brothers, on to glory, led b_ather Kamenski." This song had been composed in the Turkish campaign and no_eing sung in Austria, the only change being that the words "Father Kamenski"
  • were replaced by "Father Kutuzov."
  • Having jerked out these last words as soldiers do and waved his arms as i_linging something to the ground, the drummer—a lean, handsome soldier o_orty—looked sternly at the singers and screwed up his eyes. Then havin_atisfied himself that all eyes were fixed on him, he raised both arms as i_arefully lifting some invisible but precious object above his head and, holding it there for some seconds, suddenly flung it down and began:
  • "Oh, my bower, oh, my bower… !"
  • "Oh, my bower new… !" chimed in twenty voices, and the castanet player, i_pite of the burden of his equipment, rushed out to the front and, walkin_ackwards before the company, jerked his shoulders and flourished hi_astanets as if threatening someone. The soldiers, swinging their arms an_eeping time spontaneously, marched with long steps. Behind the company th_ound of wheels, the creaking of springs, and the tramp of horses' hoofs wer_eard. Kutuzov and his suite were returning to the town. The commander i_hief made a sign that the men should continue to march at ease, and he an_ll his suite showed pleasure at the sound of the singing and the sight of th_ancing soldier and the gay and smartly marching men. In the second file fro_he right flank, beside which the carriage passed the company, a blue-eye_oldier involuntarily attracted notice. It was Dolokhov marching wit_articular grace and boldness in time to the song and looking at those drivin_ast as if he pitied all who were not at that moment marching with th_ompany. The hussar cornet of Kutuzov's suite who had mimicked the regimenta_ommander, fell back from the carriage and rode up to Dolokhov.
  • Hussar cornet Zherkov had at one time, in Petersburg, belonged to the wild se_ed by Dolokhov. Zherkov had met Dolokhov abroad as a private and had not see_it to recognize him. But now that Kutuzov had spoken to the gentleman ranker, he addressed him with the cordiality of an old friend.
  • "My dear fellow, how are you?" said he through the singing, making his hors_eep pace with the company.
  • "How am I?" Dolokhov answered coldly. "I am as you see."
  • The lively song gave a special flavor to the tone of free and easy gaiety wit_hich Zherkov spoke, and to the intentional coldness of Dolokhov's reply.
  • "And how do you get on with the officers?" inquired Zherkov.
  • "All right. They are good fellows. And how have you wriggled onto the staff?"
  • "I was attached; I'm on duty."
  • Both were silent.
  • "She let the hawk fly upward from her wide right sleeve," went the song, arousing an involuntary sensation of courage and cheerfulness. Thei_onversation would probably have been different but for the effect of tha_ong.
  • "Is it true that Austrians have been beaten?" asked Dolokhov.
  • "The devil only knows! They say so."
  • "I'm glad," answered Dolokhov briefly and clearly, as the song demanded.
  • "I say, come round some evening and we'll have a game of faro!" said Zherkov.
  • "Why, have you too much money?"
  • "Do come."
  • "I can't. I've sworn not to. I won't drink and won't play till I ge_einstated."
  • "Well, that's only till the first engagement."
  • "We shall see."
  • They were again silent.
  • "Come if you need anything. One can at least be of use on the staff… "
  • Dolokhov smiled. "Don't trouble. If I want anything, I won't beg- I'll tak_t!"
  • "Well, never mind; I only… "
  • "And I only… "
  • "Good-by."
  • "Good health… "
  • "It's a long, long way.
  • To my native land… "
  • Zherkov touched his horse with the spurs; it pranced excitedly from foot t_oot uncertain with which to start, then settled down, galloped past th_ompany, and overtook the carriage, still keeping time to the song.