War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace Volume 4, Part 2, Chapter 10 Summary
- Does Napoleon's work? Um, no.
- Murat can’t find Kutuzov.
- The messengers never even get to Alexander.
- All of Moscow burns down.
- Looting and pillaging goes on without stop.
- Whoever tried to deliver the proclamations to the peasants hiding in the woods was captured and killed.
- The theaters immediately failed because the actors and actresses were harassed and robbed.
- There is theft, fighting, robbery, and rape everywhere.
- After all that, the French army is suddenly gripped by fear after the battle at Tarutino, and they flee Moscow.
- But first they load up with stolen goods and loot and are as heavily weighed down with stuff as they could possibly be.
- Does Napoleon tell them to leave all this stuff behind? No, he just figures it’ll be fine.
- To sum up, with some awesome mockery on Tolstoy’s part: “During the whole of that period Napoleon, who seems to us to have been the leader of all these movements – as the figurehead of a ship may seem to a savage to guide the vessel – acted like a child who, holding a couple of straps tied inside a carriage, thinks that he is driving it” (188.8.131.52). Oh snap!