The functions of Caesar's Druids we here find distributed amongst Druids, bards and poets (fili), but even in very early times the poet has usurped many of the duties of the Druid and finally supplants him with the spread of Christianity.
He addressed a letter to a person named Vussin, whom he calls fili and mi nate, but, as Vussin is not mentioned in documents in which his interests as Einhard's son would have been concerned, it is possible that he was only a young man in whom he took a special interest.
At the same time, he sent the famous bulls Salvator mundi, a sort of repetition of Clericis laicos, and Ausculta fili, which opened a new stage of the quarrel between the pope and king.
Verborum ordinem immuta, fac sic: ` Comprobfivit fili temeritas' jam nihil erit."
Learned military authorities quite seriously tell us that Kutuzov should have moved his army to the Kaluga road long before reaching Fili, and that somebody actually submitted such a proposal to him.
People accustomed to misunderstand or to forget these inevitable conditions of a commander-in-chief's actions describe to us, for instance, the position of the army at Fili and assume that the commander-in-chief could, on the first of September, quite freely decide whether to abandon Moscow or defend it; whereas, with the Russian army less than four miles from Moscow, no such question existed.
"My head, be it good or bad, must depend on itself," said he, rising from the bench, and he rode to Fili where his carriages were waiting.
Admitting the view of Barclay and others that a defensive battle at Fili was impossible, but imbued with Russian patriotism and the love of Moscow, he proposed to move troops from the right to the left flank during the night and attack the French right flank the following day.
But all this was only talk; in reality (though the Council of Fili, at which it was decided to abandon Moscow, had not yet been held) both those who went away and those who remained behind felt, though they did not show it, that Moscow would certainly be abandoned, and that they ought to get away as quickly as possible and save their belongings.
The third and most incomprehensible thing is that people studying history deliberately avoid seeing that this flank march cannot be attributed to any one man, that no one ever foresaw it, and that in reality, like the retreat from Fili, it did not suggest itself to anyone in its entirety, but resulted--moment by moment, step by step, event by event--from an endless number of most diverse circumstances and was only seen in its entirety when it had been accomplished and belonged to the past.
At the council at Fili the prevailing thought in the minds of the Russian commanders was the one naturally suggesting itself, namely, a direct retreat by the Nizhni road.