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War and Peace

War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace Volume 3, Part 3, Chapter 19 Summary

  • Napoleon is checking out the view of Moscow from a nearby hill on the morning of September 2.
  • Good weather, good mood, good times.
  • He’s trying to say something meaningful to his staff about how grand the city looks and how important the moment is. He’s looking his most imperial, because any moment now he’s assuming a delegation from the city will be coming to see him.
  • Already he’s making benevolent plans: no looting or pillaging the city. Instead he’s going to show the Russians how civilized French rule is going to be and how awesome it will be to be part of the huge Napoleonic empire.
  • He continues to fantasize: he appoints a great new governor, the people love him, and he’s going to donate heavily to all the charitable institutions.
  • Meanwhile, though...where is that pesky Russian delegation? Are they coming or what?
  • Well, no, they’re not. Because there isn’t one. All Napoleon's officers know this already; they just don’t know how to break the news.
  • Finally, he shrugs out a “meh” and decides to make his way down to the city gates.

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