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: The only important battle is the last.
: [about retreating from Moscow
] Russia's ancient and sacred capitol? Allow me to tell you, Your Excellency, that that question has no meaning for a Russian! Such a question cannot be put! It's senseless! The question I've asked you and these gentlemen to meet and discuss is a military one! The question is of saving Russia! Is it better to give up Moscow without a battle or, by accepting battle, lose the army as well as Moscow? Well, gentlemen, I see I am the one who has to pay for the broken crockery. Gentlemen, I've heard your views. Some of you will not agree with me, but I , by the authority entrusted to me by my sovereign and my country... order a retreat.
: [to himself
] Time and patience. Patience and time. The Grand Army is wounded, but is it mortally wounded? An apple should not be plucked while it's green. Patience and time.