“Napoleon received Balashev in the very house in Vilna from which Alexander had dispatched him on his mission.” This is Tolstoy being funny. One man lives in a house then another man, that’s all it is. They may be, in fact, emperors, but they are just men sitting about in houses this one or that ones claims to be theirs. Yet whose house was it really? That’s what war has done, taken away someone’s home.