Quotation from the novel of the Russian writer Tolstoy Leo Nikolayevich (1828 – 1910) “War and Peace” (1863 – 1869 gg.), Volume 3, Part II, XXV. These words are spoken by Andrei Bolkonsky to Pierre Bezukhov on the eve of the battle of Borodino:
“Do not take the prisoners,” continued Prince Andrew, “this one would change the entire war and make it less cruel.” We played the war, that’s bad, we are magnanimous and the like. “This generosity and sensitivity are like generosity and sensitivity mistress, with whom she becomes faint when she sees the calf being killed, she is so kind that she can not see the blood, but she eats this calf with sauce with appetite.
We are talking about the rights of war, about chivalry, about parliaments, to spare unhappy people, and so on. All the nonsense. I saw in 1805 knighthood, parliaments: we were deceived, we cheated. Robbing other people’s houses, making fake bank notes,
and worst of all, they are killing my children, my father, and talking about the rules of war and magnanimity to enemies. Do not take prisoners, but kill and go to death! Who has come to this as much as I, by the same suffering.
Prince Andrew, who thought that he did not care whether they took or did not take Moscow the way Smolensk had taken, suddenly stopped in his speech from an unexpected convulsion that grabbed him by the throat. He walked several times silently, but his tanza glittered feverishly, and his lips quivered when he again began to say:
“If there were no generosity in the war, we would go only when it is worth it to go to certain death, as now. Then there would be no war for the fact that Pavel Ivanych offended Mikhail Ivanovich. And if war is like now, so is war. And then the intensity of the troops would not be the same as now. Then all these Westphalians and Hessians, led by Napoleon, would not go after him to Russia, and we would not go to Austria and Prussia, without knowing why. War is not courtesy, but the most ugly thing in life, and one must understand this and not play in war.
must take this terrible necessity seriously and seriously. Everything in this: throw away lies, and war is so war, not a toy. And then the war is the favorite entertainment of idle and frivolous people. The military class is the most honorable. And what is war, what is needed for success in military affairs, what morals of the military society? The purpose of the war is murder, weapons of war – espionage, treason and encouragement, the ruin of the inhabitants, robbing them or stealing for the army’s food; deceit and lies, called military tricks; the mores of the military class – the lack of freedom, that is, discipline, idleness, ignorance, cruelty, depravity, drunkenness. And despite this – this is the highest estate, revered by all. All the kings, except the Chinese, wear a military uniform, and those who killed the people more give a greater reward.
They will converge, as tomorrow, to kill each other, kill, tens of thousands of people will perkalechat, and then there will be thankful prayer services for the fact that many people have been beaten (the number is still added), and proclaim victory, believing that the more people are beaten, the more merit. How does God look from there and listen to them! – in a thin, squeaky voice, Prince Andrew shouted. “Ah, my soul, it has been hard for me to live lately. I see that I began to understand too much. But it is not good for a person to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Well, not for long! he added. “But you’re asleep, and I’m a pen, go to Gorki,” suddenly Prince Andrew said.