Kutuzov's expectations that the proposals of capitulation (which were in no way binding) might give time for part of the transport to pass, and also that Murat's mistake would very soon be discovered, proved correct.
If a spinner is pressed by a shipper to make quotations with refusal for two or three days to give time for business to be settled by cable, it is evidently not impossible for the spinner to shift the risk involved by getting in turn from his broker refusal quotations for cotton.
To give time for further collection of funds and deliberation, the property was re-let for five years to the original purchaser.
It was therefore put off first of all until 9 A.M., and later until 11.30, to permit the sodden ground to dry sufficiently for the mounted arms to manoeuvre freely and give time to the French army to close up. During the night the emperor had received a report from Marshal Grouchy, dated Gembloux, 10 P.M., 17th, which stated that the Prussians were retiring in two columns towards Wavre and Perwez.
He had to delay the French advance for 24 hours and give time for Blucher's concentration, at the same time retaining his own freedom of manoeuvre, and this in spite of the great length of the summer day, the short distance that he lay 'in front of Fleurus, the tremendous numerical superiority of the French and Napoleon's personal presence at their head.