Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace

BOOK FIFTEEN: 1812 - 13
11. CHAPTER XI (continued)

His health had to be bad for his place to be taken away and given to another. And in fact his health was poor.

So naturally, simply, and gradually- just as he had come from Turkey to the Treasury in Petersburg to recruit the militia, and then to the army when he was needed there- now when his part was played out, Kutuzov's place was taken by a new and necessary performer.

The war 1812, besides its national significance dear to every Russian heart, was now to assume another, a European, significance.

The movement of peoples from west to east was to be succeeded by a movement of peoples from east to west, and for this fresh war another leader was necessary, having qualities and views differing from Kutuzov's and animated by different motives.

Alexander I was as necessary for the movement of the peoples from east to west and for the refixing of national frontiers as Kutuzov had been for the salvation and glory of Russia.

Kutuzov did not understand what Europe, the balance of power, or Napoleon meant. He could not understand it. For the representative of the Russian people, after the enemy had been destroyed and Russia had been liberated and raised to the summit of her glory, there was nothing left to do as a Russian. Nothing remained for the representative of the national war but to die, and Kutuzov died.

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