Not tonight, Sarah

From Adam Zamoyski’s great book on the Congress of Vienna, Rites of Peace:

“…he lectured them on the need for more men, more money and more determination. He set an example by acting as if nothing were amiss, and court life continued as usual. The receptions were as glittering and crowded as ever.

His remarkable show of confidence failed to inspire any in those around him. ‘The master was there as always, but the faces around him, the looks and the words, were no longer the same’ recorded one official…’there was something sad and tired about the very demeanour of the soldiers, and even of the courtiers…people were anxious about everything, foreseeing only misfortune..people no longer had faith in anything, all illusions had been shattered.”

(November 1813, as Napoleon’s abdication was drawing nearer)

Not that The Knife would really compare Gordon to Napoleon, as the latter did actually show leadership, courage, tactical genius, wit etc etc

The impression... strangely similar

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