Woo-hoo! Only 100 more chapters to go!
So this section didn’t improve on the last section. We see more angry mobs. We see this Rostopchin guy upset about what’s happened to Moscow. I guess he’d heard no one would defend it, but he never actually believed it would be abandoned without a fight. It is hard to believe. I mean imagine an army attacking Washington D.C. or New York City and no one even tries to defend it. Instead the people either run or form looting mobs, and when the invading army comes the people left just let them take their things and stay in their homes. I can’t see that happening. But armies and war are also a lot different now.
Oh, and a bunch of lunatics and convicts are running around because they were released before the French came.
I’d been wondering how the fire started that burned all of Moscow, and according to Tolstoy, the fire resulted basically from carelessness. Since all of the actual citizens and property owners had left, no one was around to be careful about candles and bonfires and such, and after the occupying army started camping out and building fires to warm them, eat with, etc, things naturally caught on fire, and the fire spread because no one was left to put it out. It wasn’t malicious on the Russian or the French side. It was just a side effect.
And character-wise, we see Pierre still in Moscow, wanting to go out to try to assassinate Napoleon, but then he saves a French officer’s life and changes his mind. And the Rostovs, outside of the city, see Moscow beginning to burn.
And that’s all for this week!