This chapter, which reads more like an episode out of a history book, talks of Napoleon crossing the river Niemen, with his Polish soldiers.  The horrific story of the Polish soldiers, all keen to do their heroic swim, so they can look good in front of Napoleon, to me, only backs up the influence that one man can, in fact, have on the lives of others.

But anyway . . .

You can also read it from the point of view that it’s quite a ruthless army that is heading to take over Moscow, and that things are going to be a lot more desperate than they were six years ago . . .

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2 thoughts on “One-Year War and Peace 9.2 – A New-Found Intensity

  1. It was certainly a harrowing scene, the Polish uhlans drowning before the Emperor who saw them as nothing more than a distraction. And while it’s certainly an example of the influence Napoleon has over these men, it is, in a rather ironic way, also an examle of the influence that have over him – he has become nonchalant to their hysterical adoration not because it means nothing to him but rather, I would think, because it has become almost his daily bread – a thing he takes for granted, even though it’s what keeps him going. He just expects it to be there. And, in any event, all of Napoleon’s power and strategy would be nothing without these men, literally prepared to die for him. So I guess it does kind of illustrate what Tolstoy argued in the last chapter – that it is not one thing, but a confluence of a zillion things – that drives things forward.

  2. I added 10 characters from this chapter . . . dunno’ if they were ‘repeats’ or not – if I find it to be so, I’ll just subtract.

    I now have a total of 688!

    Follow my link to see how my list looks now – a bit messy, but coming along.

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