* "Forty thousand men massacred and the army of our allies destroyed, and you find that a cause for jesting!"
Along that line of thought such a deduction is indubitable, as indubitable as the deduction Voltaire made in jest (without knowing what he was jesting at) when he saw that the Massacre of St. Bartholomew was due to Charles IX’s stomach being deranged.
Despite all Kutuzov’s efforts to avoid that ruinous encounter and to preserve his troops, the massacre of the broken mob of French soldiers by worn-out Russians continued at Krasnoe for three days.
We learn that Luther had a hot temper and said such and such things; we learn that Rousseau was suspicious and wrote such and such books; but we do not learn why after the Reformation the peoples massacred one another, nor why during the French Revolution they guillotined one another.
Strange as at first glance it may seem to suppose that the Massacre of St. Bartholomew was not due to Charles IX’s will, though he gave the order for it and thought it was done as a result of that order; and strange as it may seem to suppose that the slaughter of eighty thousand men at Borodino was not due to Napoleon’s will, though he ordered the commencement and conduct of the battle and thought it was done because he ordered it; strange as these suppositions appear, yet human…
Quarante mille hommes massacres et l’armee de nos allies detruite, et vous trouvez la le mot pour rire," * he said, as if strengthening his views by this French sentence.