At that moment, as the Horse Guards, having passed him, disappeared in the smoke, Rostov hesitated whether to gallop after them or to go where he was sent.

This was the brilliant charge of the Horse Guards that amazed the French themselves.

Rostov was horrified to hear later that of all that mass of huge and handsome men, of all those brilliant, rich youths, officers and cadets, who had galloped past him on their thousand-ruble horses, only eighteen were left after the charge.

"Why should I envy them? My chance is not lost, and maybe I shall see the Emperor immediately!" thought Rostov and galloped on.

When he came level with the Foot Guards he noticed that about them and around them cannon balls were flying, of which he was aware not so much because he heard their sound as because he saw uneasiness on the soldiers' faces and unnatural warlike solemnity on those of the officers.

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