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War and Peace

War and Peace


by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 1, Chapter 3 Summary

  • Meanwhile, the Russian army is split between three generals, there’s no one commander in chief, and no one is making any preparations for war.
  • While Emperor Alexander is in Poland there’s a ball in his honor.
  • On the same day Napoleon is crossing the Niemen River, Alexander is partying with his generals in a palace in the city of Vilno.
  • Helene is there.
  • Boris is also there, without his wife. Now that he’s rich, he’s not quite so obvious a striver, but he still keeps his eyes on the emperor the whole time he’s in sight.
  • Suddenly, Alexander is called away by some urgent message.
  • Boris figures out a way to sneak out into the garden after them and overhears the news about Napoleon advancing with his army.
  • Alexander is angry and takes it personally.
  • He writes a sarcastic and angry letter to Napoleon, basically calling him out for being a jerk and not letting diplomacy work. Alexander adds that now there can’t be peace until every single armed Frenchman is out of Russia.

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