Page 1058. " Love hinders death. Love is life. "
Tolstoy in his study
Public DomainTolstoy in his study

 After his great crisis and conversion in 1878, Tolstoy came to believe that lovewas the most important value by which people should live their lives. Moments like this, however, show that the seed of this idea was within him for far longer.

His belief in the importance of love led to a theory of nonviolence which in turn had an enormous impact on Mahatma Gandhi, whose idea of Satyagraha (non-violent protest) was inspired by his reading of Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God is Within You. Gandhi and Tolstoy exchanged letters during the last year of Tolstoy's life.

Page 1063. " the so-called flank march across the Krasnaya Pakhra river "
 After the loss of Moscow the Russian army were still locked in a defensive game of hide-and-seek with the French, who sought to engage them in a final, decisive battle. The Russian rear guard under General Miloradovich were sent to fend off the French whilst the rest of the army withdrew in safety. Murat attacked Miloradovich's forcing, making him retreat to the Krasnaya Pakhra river, and nearly capturing the general in his headquarters. However, two days later Miloradovich counterattacked, enabling Kutuzov to withdraw the rest of the army still further.
Page 1063. " If Murat had not lost sight of the Russians? "

 At the time of the invasion of Moscow Miloradovich negotiated with Murat to ensure the safe retreat of two Russian regiments that were in danger of being trapped by the French army. Murat's general Sebastiani pulled his cavalry back in order to let them escape to the south, but Murat then lost contact with Miloradovich's rear guard, allowing the Russians to make a sudden turn to the west whilst fooling Murat into chasing them towards the south-east. Through these actions Kutuzov's army was well placed, come the French retreat from Moscow, to force Napoleon's army to withdraw along the same route they had recently advanced, which was largely devastated, rather than moving to other roads that would have refreshed their provisions.

Page 1064. " the broad river Oka, which cannot be crossed early in winter "

 It took Napoleon five weeks to decide what to do after the invasion of Moscow did not prove to be the decisive blow he thought it would be. By the time the Grand Army was on the move again in mid-October, the Russian winter was underway. The weather was not wholly responsible for the disastrous nature of Napoleon's retreat, as is often said, but it certainly exacerbated the woes of the poorly supplied, depleted army.

Strangely enough, the French Army was clad in British-made greatcoats. Napoleon ordered a million woollen greatcoats from a company in West Riding, Yorkshire, which provided a tremendous, if somewhat treacherous, boost to the economy at a time when Britain was fighting both against Napoleon and against America.

Page 1066. " easy successes gained by peasants and guerillas "

 As the French retreated they were harassed by smalls groups of Russian guerillas, either working independently or under orders from Kutuzov's army, which aimed to force the Grand Army back down the same burnt-out route through which they had already passed. Reacting to the invasion of their motherland, groups of Russian peasants and independent-minded mounted Cossacks spontaneously formed into disparate, disorganised groups that were nevertheless an effective means of undermining the French army.

Page 1070. " the sound of a torban "

A torban is a rare Ukrainian lute that seems to have descended from the theorbo during  the eighteenth century. The word 'torban' was often misapplied to mean any form of lute, but a true torban is strung with additional treble strings. Its complex and expensive construction and difficulty in playing reduced the torban's appeal, turning it into an instrument of the gentry, to whom it appealed as a status symbol.