Each time that these hints began to make the countess anxious and she glanced uneasily at the count and at Anna Mikhaylovna, the latter very adroitly turned the conversation to insignificant matters.
My brother knows him, he’s dined with him—the present Emperor—more than once in Paris, and tells me he never met a more cunning or subtle diplomatist—you know, a combination of French adroitness and Italian play-acting!
"Be quite easy," he continued playfully, as he adroitly took the gold coin in his palm.
With courtly adroitness de Beausset half turned and without turning his back to the Emperor retired two steps, twitching off the cloth at the same time, and said: "A present to Your Majesty from the Empress."
He felt young, bright, adroit, and resolute.
But if the count, getting more and more into the swing of it, charmed the spectators by the unexpectedness of his adroit maneuvers and the agility with which he capered about on his light feet, Marya Dmitrievna produced no less impression by slight exertions—the least effort to move her shoulders or bend her arms when turning, or stamp her foot—which everyone appreciated in view of her size and habitual severity.
Consequently, it would only have been necessary for Metternich, Rumyantsev, or Talleyrand, between a levee and an evening party, to have taken proper pains and written a more adroit note, or for Napoleon to have written to Alexander: "My respected Brother, I consent to restore the duchy to the Duke of Oldenburg"—and there would have been no war.
Fourthly, it would have been senseless to wish to take captive the Emperor, kings, and dukes—whose capture would have been in the highest degree embarrassing for the Russians, as the most adroit diplomatists of the time (Joseph de Maistre and others) recognized.
…to the nonobservance of the rules, in spite of the fact that to some highly placed Russians it seemed rather disgraceful to fight with a cudgel and they wanted to assume a pose en quarte or en tierce according to all the rules, and to make an adroit thrust en prime, and so on—the cudgel of the people’s war was lifted with all its menacing and majestic strength, and without consulting anyone’s tastes or rules and regardless of anything else, it rose and fell with stupid simplicity, but…
Just then Boris, with his courtierlike adroitness, stepped up to Pierre’s side near Kutuzov and in a most natural manner, without raising his voice, said to Pierre, as though continuing an interrupted conversation: "The militia have put on clean white shirts to be ready to die.