War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book X: Chapters 26–39

"Vive l'Empereur! Vive le roi de Rome! Vive l'Empereur!" came those ecstatic cries.

After breakfast Napoleon in de Beausset's presence dictated his order of the day to the army.

"Short and energetic!" he remarked when he had read over the proclamation which he had dictated straight off without corrections. It ran:

Soldiers! This is the battle you have so longed for. Victory depends on you. It is essential for us; it will give us all we need: comfortable quarters and a speedy return to our country. Behave as you did at Austerlitz, Friedland, Vitebsk, and Smolensk. Let our remotest posterity recall your achievements this day with pride. Let it be said of each of you:"He was in the great battle before Moscow!"

"Before Moscow!" repeated Napoleon, and inviting M. de Beausset, who was so fond of travel, to accompany him on his ride, he went out of the tent to where the horses stood saddled.

"Your Majesty is too kind!" replied de Beausset to the invitation to accompany the Emperor; he wanted to sleep, did not know how to ride and was afraid of doing so.

But Napoleon nodded to the traveler, and de Beausset had to mount. When Napoleon came out of the tent the shouting of the Guards before his son's portrait grew still louder. Napoleon frowned.

"Take him away!" he said, pointing with a gracefully majestic gesture to the portrait."It is too soon for him to see a field of battle."

De Beausset closed his eyes, bowed his head, and sighed deeply, to indicate how profoundly he valued and comprehended the Emperor's words.

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