I, for my part, begged him personally most urgently and finally wrote him, but nothing would induce him to consent.
"The picket is still on the hill, your excellency, just where it was in the evening," reported Rostov, stooping forward with his hand at the salute and unable to repress the smile of delight induced by his ride and especially by the sound of the bullets.
Nicholas guessed what his mother’s remarks were leading to and during one of these conversations induced her to speak quite frankly.
Ermolov had been to see Bennigsen a few days previously and had entreated him to use his influence with the commander in chief to induce him to take the offensive.
It was necessary that millions of men in whose hands lay the real power—the soldiers who fired, or transported provisions and guns—should consent to carry out the will of these weak individuals, and should have been induced to do so by an infinite number of diverse and complex causes.
I am sending this by Adjutant-General Prince Volkonski, to hear from you the situation of the army and the reasons that have induced you to take this melancholy decision.
The adjutants general were there because they always accompanied the Emperor, and lastly and chiefly Pfuel was there because he had drawn up the plan of campaign against Napoleon and, having induced Alexander to believe in the efficacy of that plan, was directing the whole business of the war.
At the same time that he refused the colonel’s demand he made up his mind that he must have recourse to artifice when leaving Orel, to induce the Italian officer to accept some money of which he was evidently in need.
The Russians, on the contrary, ought according to tactics to have attacked in mass, but in fact they split up into small units, because their spirit had so risen that separate individuals, without orders, dealt blows at the French without needing any compulsion to induce them to expose themselves to hardships and dangers.
That happened only when, as was the case that day, her husband returned home, or a sick child was convalescent, or when she and Countess Mary spoke of Prince Andrew (she never mentioned him to her husband, who she imagined was jealous of Prince Andrew’s memory), or on the rare occasions when something happened to induce her to sing, a practice she had quite abandoned since her marriage.
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It was the feeling that induces a volunteer recruit to spend his last penny on drink, and a drunken man to smash mirrors or glasses for no apparent reason and knowing that it will cost him all the money he possesses: the feeling which causes a man to perform actions which from an ordinary point of view are insane, to test, as it were, his personal power and strength, affirming the existence of a higher, nonhuman criterion of life.