During the middle ages cattle and sheep were the chief farm animals, but the intermixture of stock consequent on the common-field system was a barrier to improvement in the breed and conduced to the propagation of disease.
Another consideration which largely conduced to the disasters of the retreat was Napoleon's postponement of any movement back from Moscow to the date of October 19th, and this is known to have resulted from his conviction that the tsar would give way as he had done at Tilsit.
He knew this to be the only policy that would be supported by the Afghan nation; and although for some time a rupture with Russia seemed imminent, while the Indian government made ready for that contingency, the amir's reserved and circumspect tone in the consultations with him helped to turn the balance between peace and war, and substantially conduced towards a pacific solution.
What also conduced to Bagration's being selected as Moscow's hero was the fact that he had no connections in the city and was a stranger there.
All the well-known people of that period, from Alexander and Napoleon to Madame de Stael, Photius, Schelling, Fichte, Chateaubriand, and the rest, pass before their stern judgment seat and are acquitted or condemned according to whether they conduced to progress or to reaction.
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