War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book III: Chapters 9–19

"If we fought before," he said,"not letting the French pass, as at Schon Grabern, what shall we not do now when he is at the front? We will all die for him gladly! Is it not so, gentlemen? Perhaps I am not saying it right, I have drunk a good deal — but that is how I feel, and so do you too! To the health of Alexander the First! Hurrah!"

"Hurrah!" rang the enthusiastic voices of the officers.

And the old cavalry captain, Kirsten, shouted enthusiastically and no less sincerely than the twenty-year-old Rostov.

When the officers had emptied and smashed their glasses, Kirsten filled others and, in shirt sleeves and breeches, went glass in hand to the soldiers' bonfires and with his long gray mustache, his white chest showing under his open shirt, he stood in a majestic pose in the light of the campfire, waving his uplifted arm.

"Lads! here's to our Sovereign, the Emperor, and victory over our enemies! Hurrah!" he exclaimed in his dashing, old, hussar's baritone.

The hussars crowded round and responded heartily with loud shouts.

Late that night, when all had separated, Denisov with his short hand patted his favorite, Rostov, on the shoulder.

"As there's no one to fall in love with on campaign, he's fallen in love with the Tsar," he said.

"Denisov, don't make fun of it!" cried Rostov."It is such a lofty, beautiful feeling, such a . . ."

"I believe it, I believe it, fwiend, and I share and appwove . . ."

"No, you don't understand!"

And Rostov got up and went wandering among the campfires, dreaming of what happiness it would be to die — not in saving the Emperor's life (he did not even dare to dream of that), but simply to die before his eyes. He really was in love with the Tsar and the glory of the Russian arms and the hope of future triumph. And he was not the only man to experience that feeling during those memorable days preceding the battle of Austerlitz: nine tenths of the men in the Russian army were then in love, though less ecstatically, with their Tsar and the glory of the Russian arms.

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