Napoleon is of two minds about bodies today. On the one hand he’s rather humble about the treatment of his own body. Conversely, he seems to believe he can influence, with the utmost precision, the hundreds of thousands of bodies of his army.
Concerning his own body he takes a rather stoic and, perhaps, Tolstoyan view of things. He’s got a little cold and the medicine he’s been prescribed, lozenges, don’t seem to be working. He raps to one of his generals that the body will do what it will do and no medicine is necessary. The body is a machine for living, he says. It will take care of itself.
He cannot apply this humble wisdom to the larger body of his military. He spends a sleepless night before battle making sure everything has been attended to. He ensures the troops have been fed the proper amount of rice, as if rice consumption, will be the deciding factor in a complex battle. This is a woefully prideful conceit on his part. I think Tolstoy would agree that it would probably be more realistic for Napoleon to reverse his treatment of bodies. It’s probably more likely that the individual exercises more power over his own body than over those hundreds of thousands of bodies on the battlefield.
Hide away thy proud and inflated air; whatever an inferior fears at thy hands, thy superior, acting as thy master, threatens thee. Every kingdom must yield to one of greater power, and the man thou seest proud and tyrannical at the early part of the day, may be seen at night subdued and laid low. Let no man crow too much in his prosperity, let no one give way too much in his adversity, let him take things as they occur, thankfully. Clotho forbids by virtue of her calling, anything to stand still; she is constantly rotating the fate of every mortal. No one has ever yet found the Gods so propitious that he can with certainty promise himself anything as for tomorrow. The God that rules all things, from his rapidly rotating wheel, rolls forth our destinies exactly as they are pre-ordered!