BOOK ELEVEN: 1812
19. CHAPTER XIX
"He will have to be told, all the same," said some gentlemen of
the suite. "But, gentlemen..."
The position was the more awkward because the Emperor, meditating
upon his magnanimous plans, was pacing patiently up and down before
the outspread map, occasionally glancing along the road to Moscow from
under his lifted hand with a bright and proud smile.
"But it's impossible..." declared the gentlemen of the suite,
shrugging their shoulders but not venturing to utter the implied word-
At last the Emperor, tired of futile expectation, his actor's
instinct suggesting to him that the sublime moment having been too
long drawn out was beginning to lose its sublimity, gave a sign with
his hand. A single report of a signaling gun followed, and the troops,
who were already spread out on different sides of Moscow, moved into
the city through Tver, Kaluga, and Dorogomilov gates. Faster and
faster, vying with one another, they moved at the double or at a trot,
vanishing amid the clouds of dust they raised and making the air
ring with a deafening roar of mingling shouts.
Drawn on by the movement of his troops Napoleon rode with them as
far as the Dorogomilov gate, but there again stopped and,
dismounting from his horse, paced for a long time by the
Kammer-Kollezski rampart, awaiting the deputation.