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The princess said nothing, but suddenly her short downy lip quivered.
 
The princess said nothing, but suddenly her short downy lip quivered.
 +
Prince Andrew rose, shrugged his shoulders, and walked about the room.
 +
 +
Pierre looked over his spectacles with naive surprise, now at him and
 +
now at her, moved as if about to rise too, but changed his mind.
 +
 +
"Why should I mind Monsieur Pierre being here?" exclaimed the little
 +
princess suddenly, her pretty face all at once distorted by a tearful
 +
grimace. "I have long wanted to ask you, Andrew, why you have changed so
 +
to me? What have I done to you? You are going to the war and have no
 +
pity for me. Why is it?"
 +
 +
"Lise!" was all Prince Andrew said. But that one word expressed an
 +
entreaty, a threat, and above all conviction that she would herself
 +
regret her words. But she went on hurriedly:
 +
 +
"You treat me like an invalid or a child. I see it all! Did you behave
 +
like that six months ago?"
 +
 +
"Lise, I beg you to desist," said Prince Andrew still more emphatically.
 +
 +
Pierre, who had been growing more and more agitated as he listened to
 +
all this, rose and approached the princess. He seemed unable to bear the
 +
sight of tears and was ready to cry himself.
 +
 +
"Calm yourself, Princess! It seems so to you because... I assure you I
 +
myself have experienced... and so... because... No, excuse me! An
 +
outsider is out of place here... No, don't distress yourself... Good-
 +
bye!"
 +
 +
Prince Andrew caught him by the hand.
 +
 +
"No, wait, Pierre! The princess is too kind to wish to deprive me of the
 +
pleasure of spending the evening with you."
 +
 +
"No, he thinks only of himself," muttered the princess without
 +
restraining her angry tears.
 +
 +
"Lise!" said Prince Andrew dryly, raising his voice to the pitch which
 +
indicates that patience is exhausted.
 +
 +
Suddenly the angry, squirrel-like expression of the princess' pretty
 +
face changed into a winning and piteous look of fear. Her beautiful eyes
 +
glanced askance at her husband's face, and her own assumed the timid,
 +
deprecating expression of a dog when it rapidly but feebly wags its
 +
drooping tail.
 +
 +
"Mon Dieu, mon Dieu!" she muttered, and lifting her dress with one hand
 +
she went up to her husband and kissed him on the forehead.
 +
 +
"Good night, Lise," said he, rising and courteously kissing her hand as
 +
he would have done to a stranger.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER VIII
 +
 +
The friends were silent. Neither cared to begin talking. Pierre
 +
continually glanced at Prince Andrew; Prince Andrew rubbed his forehead
 +
with his small hand.
 +
 +
"Let us go and have supper," he said with a sigh, going to the door.
 +
 +
They entered the elegant, newly decorated, and luxurious dining room.
 +
Everything from the table napkins to the silver, china, and glass bore
 +
that imprint of newness found in the households of the newly married.
 +
Halfway through supper Prince Andrew leaned his elbows on the table and,
 +
with a look of nervous agitation such as Pierre had never before seen on
 +
his face, began to talk--as one who has long had something on his mind
 +
and suddenly determines to speak out.
 +
 +
"Never, never marry, my dear fellow! That's my advice: never marry till
 +
you can say to yourself that you have done all you are capable of, and
 +
until you have ceased to love the woman of your choice and have seen her
 +
plainly as she is, or else you will make a cruel and irrevocable
 +
mistake. Marry when you are old and good for nothing--or all that is
 +
good and noble in you will be lost. It will all be wasted on trifles.
 +
Yes! Yes! Yes! Don't look at me with such surprise. If you marry
 +
expecting anything from yourself in the future, you will feel at every
 +
step that for you all is ended, all is closed except the drawing room,
 +
where you will be ranged side by side with a court lackey and an
 +
idiot!... But what's the good?..." and he waved his arm.
 +
 +
Pierre took off his spectacles, which made his face seem different and
 +
the good-natured expression still more apparent, and gazed at his friend
 +
in amazement.
 +
 +
"My wife," continued Prince Andrew, "is an excellent woman, one of those
 +
rare women with whom a man's honor is safe; but, O God, what would I not
 +
give now to be unmarried! You are the first and only one to whom I
 +
mention this, because I like you."
 +
 +
As he said this Prince Andrew was less than ever like that Bolkonski who
 +
had lolled in Anna Pavlovna's easy chairs and with half-closed eyes had
 +
uttered French phrases between his teeth. Every muscle of his thin face
 +
was now quivering with nervous excitement; his eyes, in which the fire
 +
of life had seemed extinguished, now flashed with brilliant light. It
 +
was evident that the more lifeless he seemed at ordinary times, the more
 +
impassioned he became in these moments of almost morbid irritation.
 +
 +
"You don't understand why I say this," he continued, "but it is the
 +
whole story of life. You talk of Bonaparte and his career," said he
 +
(though Pierre had not mentioned Bonaparte), "but Bonaparte when he
 +
worked went step by step toward his goal. He was free, he had nothing
 +
but his aim to consider, and he reached it. But tie yourself up with a
 +
woman and, like a chained convict, you lose all freedom! And all you
 +
have of hope and strength merely weighs you down and torments you with
 +
regret. Drawing rooms, gossip, balls, vanity, and triviality--these are
 +
the enchanted circle I cannot escape from. I am now going to the war,
 +
the greatest war there ever was, and I know nothing and am fit for
 +
nothing. I am very amiable and have a caustic wit," continued Prince
 +
Andrew, "and at Anna Pavlovna's they listen to me. And that stupid set
 +
without whom my wife cannot exist, and those women... If you only knew
 +
what those society women are, and women in general! My father is right.
 +
Selfish, vain, stupid, trivial in everything--that's what women are when
 +
you see them in their true colors! When you meet them in society it
 +
seems as if there were something in them, but there's nothing, nothing,
 +
nothing! No, don't marry, my dear fellow; don't marry!" concluded Prince
 +
Andrew.
 +
 +
"It seems funny to me," said Pierre, "that you, you should consider
 +
yourself incapable and your life a spoiled life. You have everything
 +
before you, everything. And you..."
 +
 +
He did not finish his sentence, but his tone showed how highly he
 +
thought of his friend and how much he expected of him in the future.
 +
 +
"How can he talk like that?" thought Pierre. He considered his friend a
 +
model of perfection because Prince Andrew possessed in the highest
 +
degree just the very qualities Pierre lacked, and which might be best
 +
described as strength of will. Pierre was always astonished at Prince
 +
Andrew's calm manner of treating everybody, his extraordinary memory,
 +
his extensive reading (he had read everything, knew everything, and had
 +
an opinion about everything), but above all at his capacity for work and
 +
study. And if Pierre was often struck by Andrew's lack of capacity for
 +
philosophical meditation (to which he himself was particularly
 +
addicted), he regarded even this not as a defect but as a sign of
 +
strength.
 +
 +
Even in the best, most friendly and simplest relations of life, praise
 +
and commendation are essential, just as grease is necessary to wheels
 +
that they may run smoothly.
 +
 +
"My part is played out," said Prince Andrew. "What's the use of talking
 +
about me? Let us talk about you," he added after a silence, smiling at
 +
his reassuring thoughts.
 +
 +
That smile was immediately reflected on Pierre's face.
 +
 +
"But what is there to say about me?" said Pierre, his face relaxing into
 +
a careless, merry smile. "What am I? An illegitimate son!" He suddenly
 +
blushed crimson, and it was plain that he had made a great effort to say
 +
this. "Without a name and without means... And it really..." But he did
 +
not say what "it really" was. "For the present I am free and am all
 +
right. Only I haven't the least idea what I am to do; I wanted to
 +
consult you seriously."
 +
 +
Prince Andrew looked kindly at him, yet his glance--friendly and
 +
affectionate as it was--expressed a sense of his own superiority.
 +
 +
"I am fond of you, especially as you are the one live man among our
 +
whole set. Yes, you're all right! Choose what you will; it's all the
 +
same. You'll be all right anywhere. But look here: give up visiting
 +
those Kuragins and leading that sort of life. It suits you so badly--all
 +
this debauchery, dissipation, and the rest of it!"
 +
 +
"What would you have, my dear fellow?" answered Pierre, shrugging his
 +
shoulders. "Women, my dear fellow; women!"
 +
 +
"I don't understand it," replied Prince Andrew. "Women who are comme il
 +
faut, that's a different matter; but the Kuragins' set of women, 'women
 +
and wine' I don't understand!"
 +
 +
Pierre was staying at Prince Vasili Kuragin's and sharing the dissipated
 +
life of his son Anatole, the son whom they were planning to reform by
 +
marrying him to Prince Andrew's sister.
 +
 +
"Do you know?" said Pierre, as if suddenly struck by a happy thought,
 +
"seriously, I have long been thinking of it.... Leading such a life I
 +
can't decide or think properly about anything. One's head aches, and one
 +
spends all one's money. He asked me for tonight, but I won't go."
 +
 +
"You give me your word of honor not to go?"
 +
 +
"On my honor!"
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER IX
 +
 +
It was past one o'clock when Pierre left his friend. It was a cloudless,
 +
northern, summer night. Pierre took an open cab intending to drive
 +
straight home. But the nearer he drew to the house the more he felt the
 +
impossibility of going to sleep on such a night. It was light enough to
 +
see a long way in the deserted street and it seemed more like morning or
 +
evening than night. On the way Pierre remembered that Anatole Kuragin
 +
was expecting the usual set for cards that evening, after which there
 +
was generally a drinking bout, finishing with visits of a kind Pierre
 +
was very fond of.
 +
 +
"I should like to go to Kuragin's," thought he.
 +
 +
But he immediately recalled his promise to Prince Andrew not to go
 +
there. Then, as happens to people of weak character, he desired so
 +
passionately once more to enjoy that dissipation he was so accustomed to
 +
that he decided to go. The thought immediately occurred to him that his
 +
promise to Prince Andrew was of no account, because before he gave it he
 +
had already promised Prince Anatole to come to his gathering; "besides,"
 +
thought he, "all such 'words of honor' are conventional things with no
 +
definite meaning, especially if one considers that by tomorrow one may
 +
be dead, or something so extraordinary may happen to one that honor and
 +
dishonor will be all the same!" Pierre often indulged in reflections of
 +
this sort, nullifying all his decisions and intentions. He went to
 +
Kuragin's.
 +
 +
Reaching the large house near the Horse Guards' barracks, in which
 +
Anatole lived, Pierre entered the lighted porch, ascended the stairs,
 +
and went in at the open door. There was no one in the anteroom; empty
 +
bottles, cloaks, and overshoes were lying about; there was a smell of
 +
alcohol, and sounds of voices and shouting in the distance.
 +
 +
Cards and supper were over, but the visitors had not yet dispersed.
 +
Pierre threw off his cloak and entered the first room, in which were the
 +
remains of supper. A footman, thinking no one saw him, was drinking on
 +
the sly what was left in the glasses. From the third room came sounds of
 +
laughter, the shouting of familiar voices, the growling of a bear, and
 +
general commotion. Some eight or nine young men were crowding anxiously
 +
round an open window. Three others were romping with a young bear, one
 +
pulling him by the chain and trying to set him at the others.
 +
 +
"I bet a hundred on Stevens!" shouted one.
 +
 +
"Mind, no holding on!" cried another.
 +
 +
"I bet on Dolokhov!" cried a third. "Kuragin, you part our hands."
 +
 +
"There, leave Bruin alone; here's a bet on."
 +
 +
"At one draught, or he loses!" shouted a fourth.
 +
 +
"Jacob, bring a bottle!" shouted the host, a tall, handsome fellow who
 +
stood in the midst of the group, without a coat, and with his fine linen
 +
shirt unfastened in front. "Wait a bit, you fellows.... Here is Petya!
 +
Good man!" cried he, addressing Pierre.
 +
 +
Another voice, from a man of medium height with clear blue eyes,
 +
particularly striking among all these drunken voices by its sober ring,
 +
cried from the window: "Come here; part the bets!" This was Dolokhov, an
 +
officer of the Semenov regiment, a notorious gambler and duelist, who
 +
was living with Anatole. Pierre smiled, looking about him merrily.
 +
 +
"I don't understand. What's it all about?"
 +
 +
"Wait a bit, he is not drunk yet! A bottle here," said Anatole, taking a
 +
glass from the table he went up to Pierre.
 +
 +
"First of all you must drink!"
 +
 +
Pierre drank one glass after another, looking from under his brows at
 +
the tipsy guests who were again crowding round the window, and listening
 +
to their chatter. Anatole kept on refilling Pierre's glass while
 +
explaining that Dolokhov was betting with Stevens, an English naval
 +
officer, that he would drink a bottle of rum sitting on the outer ledge
 +
of the third floor window with his legs hanging out.
 +
 +
"Go on, you must drink it all," said Anatole, giving Pierre the last
 +
glass, "or I won't let you go!"
 +
 +
"No, I won't," said Pierre, pushing Anatole aside, and he went up to the
 +
window.
 +
 +
Dolokhov was holding the Englishman's hand and clearly and distinctly
 +
repeating the terms of the bet, addressing himself particularly to
 +
Anatole and Pierre.
 +
 +
Dolokhov was of medium height, with curly hair and light-blue eyes. He
 +
was about twenty-five. Like all infantry officers he wore no mustache,
 +
so that his mouth, the most striking feature of his face, was clearly
 +
seen. The lines of that mouth were remarkably finely curved. The middle
 +
of the upper lip formed a sharp wedge and closed firmly on the firm
 +
lower one, and something like two distinct smiles played continually
 +
round the two corners of the mouth; this, together with the resolute,
 +
insolent intelligence of his eyes, produced an effect which made it
 +
impossible not to notice his face. Dolokhov was a man of small means and
 +
no connections. Yet, though Anatole spent tens of thousands of rubles,
 +
Dolokhov lived with him and had placed himself on such a footing that
 +
all who knew them, including Anatole himself, respected him more than
 +
they did Anatole. Dolokhov could play all games and nearly always won.
 +
However much he drank, he never lost his clearheadedness. Both Kuragin
 +
and Dolokhov were at that time notorious among the rakes and scapegraces
 +
of Petersburg.
 +
 +
The bottle of rum was brought. The window frame which prevented anyone
 +
from sitting on the outer sill was being forced out by two footmen, who
 +
were evidently flurried and intimidated by the directions and shouts of
 +
the gentlemen around.
 +
 +
Anatole with his swaggering air strode up to the window. He wanted to
 +
smash something. Pushing away the footmen he tugged at the frame, but
 +
could not move it. He smashed a pane.
 +
 +
"You have a try, Hercules," said he, turning to Pierre.
 +
 +
Pierre seized the crossbeam, tugged, and wrenched the oak frame out with
 +
a crash.
 +
 +
"Take it right out, or they'll think I'm holding on," said Dolokhov.
 +
 +
"Is the Englishman bragging?... Eh? Is it all right?" said Anatole.
 +
 +
"First-rate," said Pierre, looking at Dolokhov, who with a bottle of rum
 +
in his hand was approaching the window, from which the light of the sky,
 +
the dawn merging with the afterglow of sunset, was visible.
 +
 +
Dolokhov, the bottle of rum still in his hand, jumped onto the window
 +
sill. "Listen!" cried he, standing there and addressing those in the
 +
room. All were silent.
 +
 +
"I bet fifty imperials"--he spoke French that the Englishman might
 +
understand him, but he did not speak it very well--"I bet fifty
 +
imperials... or do you wish to make it a hundred?" added he, addressing
 +
the Englishman.
 +
 +
"No, fifty," replied the latter.
 +
 +
"All right. Fifty imperials... that I will drink a whole bottle of rum
 +
without taking it from my mouth, sitting outside the window on this
 +
spot" (he stooped and pointed to the sloping ledge outside the window)
 +
"and without holding on to anything. Is that right?"
 +
 +
"Quite right," said the Englishman.
 +
 +
Anatole turned to the Englishman and taking him by one of the buttons of
 +
his coat and looking down at him--the Englishman was short--began
 +
repeating the terms of the wager to him in English.
 +
 +
"Wait!" cried Dolokhov, hammering with the bottle on the window sill to
 +
attract attention. "Wait a bit, Kuragin. Listen! If anyone else does the
 +
same, I will pay him a hundred imperials. Do you understand?"
 +
 +
The Englishman nodded, but gave no indication whether he intended to
 +
accept this challenge or not. Anatole did not release him, and though he
 +
kept nodding to show that he understood, Anatole went on translating
 +
Dolokhov's words into English. A thin young lad, an hussar of the Life
 +
Guards, who had been losing that evening, climbed on the window sill,
 +
leaned over, and looked down.
 +
 +
"Oh! Oh! Oh!" he muttered, looking down from the window at the stones of
 +
the pavement.
 +
 +
"Shut up!" cried Dolokhov, pushing him away from the window. The lad
 +
jumped awkwardly back into the room, tripping over his spurs.
 +
 +
Placing the bottle on the window sill where he could reach it easily,
 +
Dolokhov climbed carefully and slowly through the window and lowered his
 +
legs. Pressing against both sides of the window, he adjusted himself on
 +
his seat, lowered his hands, moved a little to the right and then to the
 +
left, and took up the bottle. Anatole brought two candles and placed
 +
them on the window sill, though it was already quite light. Dolokhov's
 +
back in his white shirt, and his curly head, were lit up from both
 +
sides. Everyone crowded to the window, the Englishman in front. Pierre
 +
stood smiling but silent. One man, older than the others present,
 +
suddenly pushed forward with a scared and angry look and wanted to seize
 +
hold of Dolokhov's shirt.
 +
 +
"I say, this is folly! He'll be killed," said this more sensible man.
 +
 +
Anatole stopped him.
 +
 +
"Don't touch him! You'll startle him and then he'll be killed. Eh?...
 +
What then?... Eh?"
 +
 +
Dolokhov turned round and, again holding on with both hands, arranged
 +
himself on his seat.
 +
 +
"If anyone comes meddling again," said he, emitting the words separately
 +
through his thin compressed lips, "I will throw him down there. Now
 +
then!"
 +
 +
Saying this he again turned round, dropped his hands, took the bottle
 +
and lifted it to his lips, threw back his head, and raised his free hand
 +
to balance himself. One of the footmen who had stooped to pick up some
 +
broken glass remained in that position without taking his eyes from the
 +
window and from Dolokhov's back. Anatole stood erect with staring eyes.
 +
The Englishman looked on sideways, pursing up his lips. The man who had
 +
wished to stop the affair ran to a corner of the room and threw himself
 +
on a sofa with his face to the wall. Pierre hid his face, from which a
 +
faint smile forgot to fade though his features now expressed horror and
 +
fear. All were still. Pierre took his hands from his eyes. Dolokhov
 +
still sat in the same position, only his head was thrown further back
 +
till his curly hair touched his shirt collar, and the hand holding the
 +
bottle was lifted higher and higher and trembled with the effort. The
 +
bottle was emptying perceptibly and rising still higher and his head
 +
tilting yet further back. "Why is it so long?" thought Pierre. It seemed
 +
to him that more than half an hour had elapsed. Suddenly Dolokhov made a
 +
backward movement with his spine, and his arm trembled nervously; this
 +
was sufficient to cause his whole body to slip as he sat on the sloping
 +
ledge. As he began slipping down, his head and arm wavered still more
 +
with the strain. One hand moved as if to clutch the window sill, but
 +
refrained from touching it. Pierre again covered his eyes and thought he
 +
would never open them again. Suddenly he was aware of a stir all around.
 +
He looked up: Dolokhov was standing on the window sill, with a pale but
 +
radiant face.
 +
 +
"It's empty."
 +
 +
He threw the bottle to the Englishman, who caught it neatly. Dolokhov
 +
jumped down. He smelt strongly of rum.
 +
 +
"Well done!... Fine fellow!... There's a bet for you!... Devil take
 +
you!" came from different sides.
 +
 +
The Englishman took out his purse and began counting out the money.
 +
Dolokhov stood frowning and did not speak. Pierre jumped upon the window
 +
sill.
 +
 +
"Gentlemen, who wishes to bet with me? I'll do the same thing!" he
 +
suddenly cried. "Even without a bet, there! Tell them to bring me a
 +
bottle. I'll do it.... Bring a bottle!"
 +
 +
"Let him do it, let him do it," said Dolokhov, smiling.
 +
 +
"What next? Have you gone mad?... No one would let you!... Why, you go
 +
giddy even on a staircase," exclaimed several voices.
 +
 +
"I'll drink it! Let's have a bottle of rum!" shouted Pierre, banging the
 +
table with a determined and drunken gesture and preparing to climb out
 +
of the window.
 +
 +
They seized him by his arms; but he was so strong that everyone who
 +
touched him was sent flying.
 +
 +
"No, you'll never manage him that way," said Anatole. "Wait a bit and
 +
I'll get round him.... Listen! I'll take your bet tomorrow, but now we
 +
are all going to ----'s."
 +
 +
"Come on then," cried Pierre. "Come on!... And we'll take Bruin with
 +
us."
 +
 +
And he caught the bear, took it in his arms, lifted it from the ground,
 +
and began dancing round the room with it.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER X
 +
 +
Prince Vasili kept the promise he had given to Princess Drubetskaya who
 +
had spoken to him on behalf of her only son Boris on the evening of Anna
 +
Pavlovna's soiree. The matter was mentioned to the Emperor, an exception
 +
made, and Boris transferred into the regiment of Semenov Guards with the
 +
rank of cornet. He received, however, no appointment to Kutuzov's staff
 +
despite all Anna Mikhaylovna's endeavors and entreaties. Soon after Anna
 +
Pavlovna's reception Anna Mikhaylovna returned to Moscow and went
 +
straight to her rich relations, the Rostovs, with whom she stayed when
 +
in the town and where her darling Bory, who had only just entered a
 +
regiment of the line and was being at once transferred to the Guards as
 +
a cornet, had been educated from childhood and lived for years at a
 +
time. The Guards had already left Petersburg on the tenth of August, and
 +
her son, who had remained in Moscow for his equipment, was to join them
 +
on the march to Radzivilov.
 +
 +
It was St. Natalia's day and the name day of two of the Rostovs--the
 +
mother and the youngest daughter--both named Nataly. Ever since the
 +
morning, carriages with six horses had been coming and going
 +
continually, bringing visitors to the Countess Rostova's big house on
 +
the Povarskaya, so well known to all Moscow. The countess herself and
 +
her handsome eldest daughter were in the drawing-room with the visitors
 +
who came to congratulate, and who constantly succeeded one another in
 +
relays.
 +
 +
The countess was a woman of about forty-five, with a thin Oriental type
 +
of face, evidently worn out with childbearing--she had had twelve. A
 +
languor of motion and speech, resulting from weakness, gave her a
 +
distinguished air which inspired respect. Princess Anna Mikhaylovna
 +
Drubetskaya, who as a member of the household was also seated in the
 +
drawing room, helped to receive and entertain the visitors. The young
 +
people were in one of the inner rooms, not considering it necessary to
 +
take part in receiving the visitors. The count met the guests and saw
 +
them off, inviting them all to dinner.
 +
 +
"I am very, very grateful to you, mon cher," or "ma chere"--he called
 +
everyone without exception and without the slightest variation in his
 +
tone, "my dear," whether they were above or below him in rank--"I thank
 +
you for myself and for our two dear ones whose name day we are keeping.
 +
But mind you come to dinner or I shall be offended, ma chere! On behalf
 +
of the whole family I beg you to come, mon cher!" These words he
 +
repeated to everyone without exception or variation, and with the same
 +
expression on his full, cheerful, clean-shaven face, the same firm
 +
pressure of the hand and the same quick, repeated bows. As soon as he
 +
had seen a visitor off he returned to one of those who were still in the
 +
drawing room, drew a chair toward him or her, and jauntily spreading out
 +
his legs and putting his hands on his knees with the air of a man who
 +
enjoys life and knows how to live, he swayed to and fro with dignity,
 +
offered surmises about the weather, or touched on questions of health,
 +
sometimes in Russian and sometimes in very bad but self-confident
 +
French; then again, like a man weary but unflinching in the fulfillment
 +
of duty, he rose to see some visitors off and, stroking his scanty gray
 +
hairs over his bald patch, also asked them to dinner. Sometimes on his
 +
way back from the anteroom he would pass through the conservatory and
 +
pantry into the large marble dining hall, where tables were being set
 +
out for eighty people; and looking at the footmen, who were bringing in
 +
silver and china, moving tables, and unfolding damask table linen, he
 +
would call Dmitri Vasilevich, a man of good family and the manager of
 +
all his affairs, and while looking with pleasure at the enormous table
 +
would say: "Well, Dmitri, you'll see that things are all as they should
 +
be? That's right! The great thing is the serving, that's it." And with a
 +
complacent sigh he would return to the drawing room.
 +
 +
"Marya Lvovna Karagina and her daughter!" announced the countess'
 +
gigantic footman in his bass voice, entering the drawing room. The
 +
countess reflected a moment and took a pinch from a gold snuffbox with
 +
her husband's portrait on it.
 +
 +
"I'm quite worn out by these callers. However, I'll see her and no more.
 +
She is so affected. Ask her in," she said to the footman in a sad voice,
 +
as if saying: "Very well, finish me off."
 +
 +
A tall, stout, and proud-looking woman, with a round-faced smiling
 +
daughter, entered the drawing room, their dresses rustling.
 +
 +
"Dear Countess, what an age... She has been laid up, poor child... at
 +
the Razumovski's ball... and Countess Apraksina... I was so
 +
delighted..." came the sounds of animated feminine voices, interrupting
 +
one another and mingling with the rustling of dresses and the scraping
 +
of chairs. Then one of those conversations began which last out until,
 +
at the first pause, the guests rise with a rustle of dresses and say, "I
 +
am so delighted... Mamma's health... and Countess Apraksina..." and
 +
then, again rustling, pass into the anteroom, put on cloaks or mantles,
 +
and drive away. The conversation was on the chief topic of the day: the
 +
illness of the wealthy and celebrated beau of Catherine's day, Count
 +
Bezukhov, and about his illegitimate son Pierre, the one who had behaved
 +
so improperly at Anna Pavlovna's reception.
 +
 +
"I am so sorry for the poor count," said the visitor. "He is in such bad
 +
health, and now this vexation about his son is enough to kill him!"
 +
 +
"What is that?" asked the countess as if she did not know what the
 +
visitor alluded to, though she had already heard about the cause of
 +
Count Bezukhov's distress some fifteen times.
 +
 +
"That's what comes of a modern education," exclaimed the visitor. "It
 +
seems that while he was abroad this young man was allowed to do as he
 +
liked, now in Petersburg I hear he has been doing such terrible things
 +
that he has been expelled by the police."
 +
 +
"You don't say so!" replied the countess.
 +
 +
"He chose his friends badly," interposed Anna Mikhaylovna. "Prince
 +
Vasili's son, he, and a certain Dolokhov have, it is said, been up to
 +
heaven only knows what! And they have had to suffer for it. Dolokhov has
 +
been degraded to the ranks and Bezukhov's son sent back to Moscow.
 +
Anatole Kuragin's father managed somehow to get his son's affair hushed
 +
up, but even he was ordered out of Petersburg."
 +
 +
"But what have they been up to?" asked the countess.
 +
 +
"They are regular brigands, especially Dolokhov," replied the visitor.
 +
"He is a son of Marya Ivanovna Dolokhova, such a worthy woman, but
 +
there, just fancy! Those three got hold of a bear somewhere, put it in a
 +
carriage, and set off with it to visit some actresses! The police tried
 +
to interfere, and what did the young men do? They tied a policeman and
 +
the bear back to back and put the bear into the Moyka Canal. And there
 +
was the bear swimming about with the policeman on his back!"
 +
 +
"What a nice figure the policeman must have cut, my dear!" shouted the
 +
count, dying with laughter.
 +
 +
"Oh, how dreadful! How can you laugh at it, Count?"
 +
 +
Yet the ladies themselves could not help laughing.
 +
 +
"It was all they could do to rescue the poor man," continued the
 +
visitor. "And to think it is Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov's son who
 +
amuses himself in this sensible manner! And he was said to be so well
 +
educated and clever. This is all that his foreign education has done for
 +
him! I hope that here in Moscow no one will receive him, in spite of his
 +
money. They wanted to introduce him to me, but I quite declined: I have
 +
my daughters to consider."
 +
 +
"Why do you say this young man is so rich?" asked the countess, turning
 +
away from the girls, who at once assumed an air of inattention. "His
 +
children are all illegitimate. I think Pierre also is illegitimate."
 +
 +
The visitor made a gesture with her hand.
 +
 +
"I should think he has a score of them."
 +
 +
Princess Anna Mikhaylovna intervened in the conversation, evidently
 +
wishing to show her connections and knowledge of what went on in
 +
society.
 +
 +
"The fact of the matter is," said she significantly, and also in a half
 +
whisper, "everyone knows Count Cyril's reputation.... He has lost count
 +
of his children, but this Pierre was his favorite."
 +
 +
"How handsome the old man still was only a year ago!" remarked the
 +
countess. "I have never seen a handsomer man."
 +
 +
"He is very much altered now," said Anna Mikhaylovna. "Well, as I was
 +
saying, Prince Vasili is the next heir through his wife, but the count
 +
is very fond of Pierre, looked after his education, and wrote to the
 +
Emperor about him; so that in the case of his death--and he is so ill
 +
that he may die at any moment, and Dr. Lorrain has come from Petersburg-
 +
-no one knows who will inherit his immense fortune, Pierre or Prince
 +
Vasili. Forty thousand serfs and millions of rubles! I know it all very
 +
well for Prince Vasili told me himself. Besides, Cyril Vladimirovich is
 +
my mother's second cousin. He's also my Bory's godfather," she added, as
 +
if she attached no importance at all to the fact.
 +
 +
"Prince Vasili arrived in Moscow yesterday. I hear he has come on some
 +
inspection business," remarked the visitor.
 +
 +
"Yes, but between ourselves," said the princess, "that is a pretext. The
 +
fact is he has come to see Count Cyril Vladimirovich, hearing how ill he
 +
is."
 +
 +
"But do you know, my dear, that was a capital joke," said the count; and
 +
seeing that the elder visitor was not listening, he turned to the young
 +
ladies. "I can just imagine what a funny figure that policeman cut!"
 +
 +
And as he waved his arms to impersonate the policeman, his portly form
 +
again shook with a deep ringing laugh, the laugh of one who always eats
 +
well and, in particular, drinks well. "So do come and dine with us!" he
 +
said.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XI
 +
 +
Silence ensued. The countess looked at her callers, smiling affably, but
 +
not concealing the fact that she would not be distressed if they now
 +
rose and took their leave. The visitor's daughter was already smoothing
 +
down her dress with an inquiring look at her mother, when suddenly from
 +
the next room were heard the footsteps of boys and girls running to the
 +
door and the noise of a chair falling over, and a girl of thirteen,
 +
hiding something in the folds of her short muslin frock, darted in and
 +
stopped short in the middle of the room. It was evident that she had not
 +
intended her flight to bring her so far. Behind her in the doorway
 +
appeared a student with a crimson coat collar, an officer of the Guards,
 +
a girl of fifteen, and a plump rosy-faced boy in a short jacket.
 +
 +
The count jumped up and, swaying from side to side, spread his arms wide
 +
and threw them round the little girl who had run in.
 +
 +
"Ah, here she is!" he exclaimed laughing. "My pet, whose name day it is.
 +
My dear pet!"
 +
 +
"Ma chere, there is a time for everything," said the countess with
 +
feigned severity. "You spoil her, Ilya," she added, turning to her
 +
husband.
 +
 +
"How do you do, my dear? I wish you many happy returns of your name
 +
day," said the visitor. "What a charming child," she added, addressing
 +
the mother.
 +
 +
This black-eyed, wide-mouthed girl, not pretty but full of life--with
 +
childish bare shoulders which after her run heaved and shook her bodice,
 +
with black curls tossed backward, thin bare arms, little legs in lace-
 +
frilled drawers, and feet in low slippers--was just at that charming age
 +
when a girl is no longer a child, though the child is not yet a young
 +
woman. Escaping from her father she ran to hide her flushed face in the
 +
lace of her mother's mantilla--not paying the least attention to her
 +
severe remark--and began to laugh. She laughed, and in fragmentary
 +
sentences tried to explain about a doll which she produced from the
 +
folds of her frock.
 +
 +
"Do you see?... My doll... Mimi... You see..." was all Natasha managed
 +
to utter (to her everything seemed funny). She leaned against her mother
 +
and burst into such a loud, ringing fit of laughter that even the prim
 +
visitor could not help joining in.
 +
 +
"Now then, go away and take your monstrosity with you," said the mother,
 +
pushing away her daughter with pretended sternness, and turning to the
 +
visitor she added: "She is my youngest girl."
 +
 +
Natasha, raising her face for a moment from her mother's mantilla,
 +
glanced up at her through tears of laughter, and again hid her face.
 +
 +
The visitor, compelled to look on at this family scene, thought it
 +
necessary to take some part in it.
 +
 +
"Tell me, my dear," said she to Natasha, "is Mimi a relation of yours? A
 +
daughter, I suppose?"
 +
 +
Natasha did not like the visitor's tone of condescension to childish
 +
things. She did not reply, but looked at her seriously.
 +
 +
Meanwhile the younger generation: Boris, the officer, Anna Mikhaylovna's
 +
son; Nicholas, the undergraduate, the count's eldest son; Sonya, the
 +
count's fifteen-year-old niece, and little Petya, his youngest boy, had
 +
all settled down in the drawing room and were obviously trying to
 +
restrain within the bounds of decorum the excitement and mirth that
 +
shone in all their faces. Evidently in the back rooms, from which they
 +
had dashed out so impetuously, the conversation had been more amusing
 +
than the drawing-room talk of society scandals, the weather, and
 +
Countess Apraksina. Now and then they glanced at one another, hardly
 +
able to suppress their laughter.
 +
 +
The two young men, the student and the officer, friends from childhood,
 +
were of the same age and both handsome fellows, though not alike. Boris
 +
was tall and fair, and his calm and handsome face had regular, delicate
 +
features. Nicholas was short with curly hair and an open expression.
 +
Dark hairs were already showing on his upper lip, and his whole face
 +
expressed impetuosity and enthusiasm. Nicholas blushed when he entered
 +
the drawing room. He evidently tried to find something to say, but
 +
failed. Boris on the contrary at once found his footing, and related
 +
quietly and humorously how he had known that doll Mimi when she was
 +
still quite a young lady, before her nose was broken; how she had aged
 +
during the five years he had known her, and how her head had cracked
 +
right across the skull. Having said this he glanced at Natasha. She
 +
turned away from him and glanced at her younger brother, who was
 +
screwing up his eyes and shaking with suppressed laughter, and unable to
 +
control herself any longer, she jumped up and rushed from the room as
 +
fast as her nimble little feet would carry her. Boris did not laugh.
 +
 +
"You were meaning to go out, weren't you, Mamma? Do you want the
 +
carriage?" he asked his mother with a smile.
 +
 +
"Yes, yes, go and tell them to get it ready," she answered, returning
 +
his smile.
 +
 +
Boris quietly left the room and went in search of Natasha. The plump boy
 +
ran after them angrily, as if vexed that their program had been
 +
disturbed.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XII
 +
 +
The only young people remaining in the drawing room, not counting the
 +
young lady visitor and the countess' eldest daughter (who was four years
 +
older than her sister and behaved already like a grown-up person), were
 +
Nicholas and Sonya, the niece. Sonya was a slender little brunette with
 +
a tender look in her eyes which were veiled by long lashes, thick black
 +
plaits coiling twice round her head, and a tawny tint in her complexion
 +
and especially in the color of her slender but graceful and muscular
 +
arms and neck. By the grace of her movements, by the softness and
 +
flexibility of her small limbs, and by a certain coyness and reserve of
 +
manner, she reminded one of a pretty, half-grown kitten which promises
 +
to become a beautiful little cat. She evidently considered it proper to
 +
show an interest in the general conversation by smiling, but in spite of
 +
herself her eyes under their thick long lashes watched her cousin who
 +
was going to join the army, with such passionate girlish adoration that
 +
her smile could not for a single instant impose upon anyone, and it was
 +
clear that the kitten had settled down only to spring up with more
 +
energy and again play with her cousin as soon as they too could, like
 +
Natasha and Boris, escape from the drawing room.
 +
 +
"Ah yes, my dear," said the count, addressing the visitor and pointing
 +
to Nicholas, "his friend Boris has become an officer, and so for
 +
friendship's sake he is leaving the university and me, his old father,
 +
and entering the military service, my dear. And there was a place and
 +
everything waiting for him in the Archives Department! Isn't that
 +
friendship?" remarked the count in an inquiring tone.
 +
 +
"But they say that war has been declared," replied the visitor.
 +
 +
"They've been saying so a long while," said the count, "and they'll say
 +
so again and again, and that will be the end of it. My dear, there's
 +
friendship for you," he repeated. "He's joining the hussars."
 +
 +
The visitor, not knowing what to say, shook her head.
 +
 +
"It's not at all from friendship," declared Nicholas, flaring up and
 +
turning away as if from a shameful aspersion. "It is not from friendship
 +
at all; I simply feel that the army is my vocation."
 +
 +
He glanced at his cousin and the young lady visitor; and they were both
 +
regarding him with a smile of approbation.
 +
 +
"Schubert, the colonel of the Pavlograd Hussars, is dining with us
 +
today. He has been here on leave and is taking Nicholas back with him.
 +
It can't be helped!" said the count, shrugging his shoulders and
 +
speaking playfully of a matter that evidently distressed him.
 +
 +
"I have already told you, Papa," said his son, "that if you don't wish
 +
to let me go, I'll stay. But I know I am no use anywhere except in the
 +
army; I am not a diplomat or a government clerk.--I don't know how to
 +
hide what I feel." As he spoke he kept glancing with the flirtatiousness
 +
of a handsome youth at Sonya and the young lady visitor.
 +
 +
The little kitten, feasting her eyes on him, seemed ready at any moment
 +
to start her gambols again and display her kittenish nature.
 +
 +
"All right, all right!" said the old count. "He always flares up! This
 +
Buonaparte has turned all their heads; they all think of how he rose
 +
from an ensign and became Emperor. Well, well, God grant it," he added,
 +
not noticing his visitor's sarcastic smile.
 +
 +
The elders began talking about Bonaparte. Julie Karagina turned to young
 +
Rostov.
 +
 +
"What a pity you weren't at the Arkharovs' on Thursday. It was so dull
 +
without you," said she, giving him a tender smile.
 +
 +
The young man, flattered, sat down nearer to her with a coquettish
 +
smile, and engaged the smiling Julie in a confidential conversation
 +
without at all noticing that his involuntary smile had stabbed the heart
 +
of Sonya, who blushed and smiled unnaturally. In the midst of his talk
 +
he glanced round at her. She gave him a passionately angry glance, and
 +
hardly able to restrain her tears and maintain the artificial smile on
 +
her lips, she got up and left the room. All Nicholas' animation
 +
vanished. He waited for the first pause in the conversation, and then
 +
with a distressed face left the room to find Sonya.
 +
 +
"How plainly all these young people wear their hearts on their sleeves!"
 +
said Anna Mikhaylovna, pointing to Nicholas as he went out. "Cousinage--
 +
dangereux voisinage;" * she added.
 +
 +
 +
* Cousinhood is a dangerous neighborhood.
 +
 +
"Yes," said the countess when the brightness these young people had
 +
brought into the room had vanished; and as if answering a question no
 +
one had put but which was always in her mind, "and how much suffering,
 +
how much anxiety one has had to go through that we might rejoice in them
 +
now! And yet really the anxiety is greater now than the joy. One is
 +
always, always anxious! Especially just at this age, so dangerous both
 +
for girls and boys."
 +
 +
"It all depends on the bringing up," remarked the visitor.
 +
 +
"Yes, you're quite right," continued the countess. "Till now I have
 +
always, thank God, been my children's friend and had their full
 +
confidence," said she, repeating the mistake of so many parents who
 +
imagine that their children have no secrets from them. "I know I shall
 +
always be my daughters' first confidante, and that if Nicholas, with his
 +
impulsive nature, does get into mischief (a boy can't help it), he will
 +
all the same never be like those Petersburg young men."
 +
 +
"Yes, they are splendid, splendid youngsters," chimed in the count, who
 +
always solved questions that seemed to him perplexing by deciding that
 +
everything was splendid. "Just fancy: wants to be an hussar. What's one
 +
to do, my dear?"
 +
 +
"What a charming creature your younger girl is," said the visitor; "a
 +
little volcano!"
 +
 +
"Yes, a regular volcano," said the count. "Takes after me! And what a
 +
voice she has; though she's my daughter, I tell the truth when I say
 +
she'll be a singer, a second Salomoni! We have engaged an Italian to
 +
give her lessons."
 +
 +
"Isn't she too young? I have heard that it harms the voice to train it
 +
at that age."
 +
 +
"Oh no, not at all too young!" replied the count. "Why, our mothers used
 +
to be married at twelve or thirteen."
 +
 +
"And she's in love with Boris already. Just fancy!" said the countess
 +
with a gentle smile, looking at Boris and went on, evidently concerned
 +
with a thought that always occupied her: "Now you see if I were to be
 +
severe with her and to forbid it... goodness knows what they might be up
 +
to on the sly" (she meant that they would be kissing), "but as it is, I
 +
know every word she utters. She will come running to me of her own
 +
accord in the evening and tell me everything. Perhaps I spoil her, but
 +
really that seems the best plan. With her elder sister I was stricter."
 +
 +
"Yes, I was brought up quite differently," remarked the handsome elder
 +
daughter, Countess Vera, with a smile.
 +
 +
But the smile did not enhance Vera's beauty as smiles generally do; on
 +
the contrary it gave her an unnatural, and therefore unpleasant,
 +
expression. Vera was good-looking, not at all stupid, quick at learning,
 +
was well-brought up, and had a pleasant voice; what she said was true
 +
and appropriate, yet, strange to say, everyone--the visitors and
 +
countess alike--turned to look at her as if wondering why she had said
 +
it, and they all felt awkward.
 +
 +
"People are always too clever with their eldest children and try to make
 +
something exceptional of them," said the visitor.
 +
 +
"What's the good of denying it, my dear? Our dear countess was too
 +
clever with Vera," said the count. "Well, what of that? She's turned out
 +
splendidly all the same," he added, winking at Vera.
 +
 +
The guests got up and took their leave, promising to return to dinner.
 +
 +
"What manners! I thought they would never go," said the countess, when
 +
she had seen her guests out.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XIII
 +
 +
When Natasha ran out of the drawing room she only went as far as the
 +
conservatory. There she paused and stood listening to the conversation
 +
in the drawing room, waiting for Boris to come out. She was already
 +
growing impatient, and stamped her foot, ready to cry at his not coming
 +
at once, when she heard the young man's discreet steps approaching
 +
neither quickly nor slowly. At this Natasha dashed swiftly among the
 +
flower tubs and hid there.
 +
 +
Boris paused in the middle of the room, looked round, brushed a little
 +
dust from the sleeve of his uniform, and going up to a mirror examined
 +
his handsome face. Natasha, very still, peered out from her ambush,
 +
waiting to see what he would do. He stood a little while before the
 +
glass, smiled, and walked toward the other door. Natasha was about to
 +
call him but changed her mind. "Let him look for me," thought she.
 +
Hardly had Boris gone than Sonya, flushed, in tears, and muttering
 +
angrily, came in at the other door. Natasha checked her first impulse to
 +
run out to her, and remained in her hiding place, watching--as under an
 +
invisible cap--to see what went on in the world. She was experiencing a
 +
new and peculiar pleasure. Sonya, muttering to herself, kept looking
 +
round toward the drawing-room door. It opened and Nicholas came in.
 +
 +
"Sonya, what is the matter with you? How can you?" said he, running up
 +
to her.
 +
 +
"It's nothing, nothing; leave me alone!" sobbed Sonya.
 +
 +
"Ah, I know what it is."
 +
 +
"Well, if you do, so much the better, and you can go back to her!"
 +
 +
"So-o-onya! Look here! How can you torture me and yourself like that,
 +
for a mere fancy?" said Nicholas taking her hand.
 +
 +
Sonya did not pull it away, and left off crying. Natasha, not stirring
 +
and scarcely breathing, watched from her ambush with sparkling eyes.
 +
"What will happen now?" thought she.
 +
 +
"Sonya! What is anyone in the world to me? You alone are everything!"
 +
said Nicholas. "And I will prove it to you."
 +
 +
"I don't like you to talk like that."
 +
 +
"Well, then, I won't; only forgive me, Sonya!" He drew her to him and
 +
kissed her.
 +
 +
"Oh, how nice," thought Natasha; and when Sonya and Nicholas had gone
 +
out of the conservatory she followed and called Boris to her.
 +
 +
"Boris, come here," said she with a sly and significant look. "I have
 +
something to tell you. Here, here!" and she led him into the
 +
conservatory to the place among the tubs where she had been hiding.
 +
 +
Boris followed her, smiling.
 +
 +
"What is the something?" asked he.
 +
 +
She grew confused, glanced round, and, seeing the doll she had thrown
 +
down on one of the tubs, picked it up.
 +
 +
"Kiss the doll," said she.
 +
 +
Boris looked attentively and kindly at her eager face, but did not
 +
reply.
 +
 +
"Don't you want to? Well, then, come here," said she, and went further
 +
in among the plants and threw down the doll. "Closer, closer!" she
 +
whispered.
 +
 +
She caught the young officer by his cuffs, and a look of solemnity and
 +
fear appeared on her flushed face.
 +
 +
"And me? Would you like to kiss me?" she whispered almost inaudibly,
 +
glancing up at him from under her brows, smiling, and almost crying from
 +
excitement.
 +
 +
Boris blushed.
 +
 +
"How funny you are!" he said, bending down to her and blushing still
 +
more, but he waited and did nothing.
 +
 +
Suddenly she jumped up onto a tub to be higher than he, embraced him so
 +
that both her slender bare arms clasped him above his neck, and, tossing
 +
back her hair, kissed him full on the lips.
 +
 +
Then she slipped down among the flowerpots on the other side of the tubs
 +
and stood, hanging her head.
 +
 +
"Natasha," he said, "you know that I love you, but..."
 +
 +
"You are in love with me?" Natasha broke in.
 +
 +
"Yes, I am, but please don't let us do like that.... In another four
 +
years... then I will ask for your hand."
 +
 +
Natasha considered.
 +
 +
"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen," she counted on her slender
 +
little fingers. "All right! Then it's settled?"
 +
 +
A smile of joy and satisfaction lit up her eager face.
 +
 +
"Settled!" replied Boris.
 +
 +
"Forever?" said the little girl. "Till death itself?"
 +
 +
She took his arm and with a happy face went with him into the adjoining
 +
sitting room.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XIV
 +
 +
After receiving her visitors, the countess was so tired that she gave
 +
orders to admit no more, but the porter was told to be sure to invite to
 +
dinner all who came "to congratulate." The countess wished to have a
 +
tête-à-tête talk with the friend of her childhood, Princess Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna, whom she had not seen properly since she returned from
 +
Petersburg. Anna Mikhaylovna, with her tear-worn but pleasant face, drew
 +
her chair nearer to that of the countess.
 +
 +
"With you I will be quite frank," said Anna Mikhaylovna. "There are not
 +
many left of us old friends! That's why I so value your friendship."
 +
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna looked at Vera and paused. The countess pressed her
 +
friend's hand.
 +
 +
"Vera," she said to her eldest daughter who was evidently not a
 +
favorite, "how is it you have so little tact? Don't you see you are not
 +
wanted here? Go to the other girls, or..."
 +
 +
The handsome Vera smiled contemptuously but did not seem at all hurt.
 +
 +
"If you had told me sooner, Mamma, I would have gone," she replied as
 +
she rose to go to her own room.
 +
 +
But as she passed the sitting room she noticed two couples sitting, one
 +
pair at each window. She stopped and smiled scornfully. Sonya was
 +
sitting close to Nicholas who was copying out some verses for her, the
 +
first he had ever written. Boris and Natasha were at the other window
 +
and ceased talking when Vera entered. Sonya and Natasha looked at Vera
 +
with guilty, happy faces.
 +
 +
It was pleasant and touching to see these little girls in love; but
 +
apparently the sight of them roused no pleasant feeling in Vera.
 +
 +
"How often have I asked you not to take my things?" she said. "You have
 +
a room of your own," and she took the inkstand from Nicholas.
 +
 +
"In a minute, in a minute," he said, dipping his pen.
 +
 +
"You always manage to do things at the wrong time," continued Vera. "You
 +
came rushing into the drawing room so that everyone felt ashamed of
 +
you."
 +
 +
Though what she said was quite just, perhaps for that very reason no one
 +
replied, and the four simply looked at one another. She lingered in the
 +
room with the inkstand in her hand.
 +
 +
"And at your age what secrets can there be between Natasha and Boris, or
 +
between you two? It's all nonsense!"
 +
 +
"Now, Vera, what does it matter to you?" said Natasha in defense,
 +
speaking very gently.
 +
 +
She seemed that day to be more than ever kind and affectionate to
 +
everyone.
 +
 +
"Very silly," said Vera. "I am ashamed of you. Secrets indeed!"
 +
 +
"All have secrets of their own," answered Natasha, getting warmer. "We
 +
don't interfere with you and Berg."
 +
 +
"I should think not," said Vera, "because there can never be anything
 +
wrong in my behavior. But I'll just tell Mamma how you are behaving with
 +
Boris."
 +
 +
"Natalya Ilynichna behaves very well to me," remarked Boris. "I have
 +
nothing to complain of."
 +
 +
"Don't, Boris! You are such a diplomat that it is really tiresome," said
 +
Natasha in a mortified voice that trembled slightly. (She used the word
 +
"diplomat," which was just then much in vogue among the children, in the
 +
special sense they attached to it.) "Why does she bother me?" And she
 +
added, turning to Vera, "You'll never understand it, because you've
 +
never loved anyone. You have no heart! You are a Madame de Genlis and
 +
nothing more" (this nickname, bestowed on Vera by Nicholas, was
 +
considered very stinging), "and your greatest pleasure is to be
 +
unpleasant to people! Go and flirt with Berg as much as you please," she
 +
finished quickly.
 +
 +
"I shall at any rate not run after a young man before visitors..."
 +
 +
"Well, now you've done what you wanted," put in Nicholas--"said
 +
unpleasant things to everyone and upset them. Let's go to the nursery."
 +
 +
All four, like a flock of scared birds, got up and left the room.
 +
 +
"The unpleasant things were said to me," remarked Vera, "I said none to
 +
anyone."
 +
 +
"Madame de Genlis! Madame de Genlis!" shouted laughing voices through
 +
the door.
 +
 +
The handsome Vera, who produced such an irritating and unpleasant effect
 +
on everyone, smiled and, evidently unmoved by what had been said to her,
 +
went to the looking glass and arranged her hair and scarf. Looking at
 +
her own handsome face she seemed to become still colder and calmer.
 +
 +
In the drawing room the conversation was still going on.
 +
 +
"Ah, my dear," said the countess, "my life is not all roses either.
 +
Don't I know that at the rate we are living our means won't last long?
 +
It's all the Club and his easygoing nature. Even in the country do we
 +
get any rest? Theatricals, hunting, and heaven knows what besides! But
 +
don't let's talk about me; tell me how you managed everything. I often
 +
wonder at you, Annette--how at your age you can rush off alone in a
 +
carriage to Moscow, to Petersburg, to those ministers and great people,
 +
and know how to deal with them all! It's quite astonishing. How did you
 +
get things settled? I couldn't possibly do it."
 +
 +
"Ah, my love," answered Anna Mikhaylovna, "God grant you never know what
 +
it is to be left a widow without means and with a son you love to
 +
distraction! One learns many things then," she added with a certain
 +
pride. "That lawsuit taught me much. When I want to see one of those big
 +
people I write a note: 'Princess So-and-So desires an interview with So
 +
and-So,' and then I take a cab and go myself two, three, or four times--
 +
till I get what I want. I don't mind what they think of me."
 +
 +
"Well, and to whom did you apply about Bory?" asked the countess. "You
 +
see yours is already an officer in the Guards, while my Nicholas is
 +
going as a cadet. There's no one to interest himself for him. To whom
 +
did you apply?"
 +
 +
"To Prince Vasili. He was so kind. He at once agreed to everything, and
 +
put the matter before the Emperor," said Princess Anna Mikhaylovna
 +
enthusiastically, quite forgetting all the humiliation she had endured
 +
to gain her end.
 +
 +
"Has Prince Vasili aged much?" asked the countess. "I have not seen him
 +
since we acted together at the Rumyantsovs' theatricals. I expect he has
 +
forgotten me. He paid me attentions in those days," said the countess,
 +
with a smile.
 +
 +
"He is just the same as ever," replied Anna Mikhaylovna, "overflowing
 +
with amiability. His position has not turned his head at all. He said to
 +
me, 'I am sorry I can do so little for you, dear Princess. I am at your
 +
command.' Yes, he is a fine fellow and a very kind relation. But,
 +
Nataly, you know my love for my son: I would do anything for his
 +
happiness! And my affairs are in such a bad way that my position is now
 +
a terrible one," continued Anna Mikhaylovna, sadly, dropping her voice.
 +
"My wretched lawsuit takes all I have and makes no progress. Would you
 +
believe it, I have literally not a penny and don't know how to equip
 +
Boris." She took out her handkerchief and began to cry. "I need five
 +
hundred rubles, and have only one twenty-five-ruble note. I am in such a
 +
state.... My only hope now is in Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov. If
 +
he will not assist his godson--you know he is Bory's godfather--and
 +
allow him something for his maintenance, all my trouble will have been
 +
thrown away.... I shall not be able to equip him."
 +
 +
The countess' eyes filled with tears and she pondered in silence.
 +
 +
"I often think, though, perhaps it's a sin," said the princess, "that
 +
here lives Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov so rich, all alone... that
 +
tremendous fortune... and what is his life worth? It's a burden to him,
 +
and Bory's life is only just beginning...."
 +
 +
"Surely he will leave something to Boris," said the countess.
 +
 +
"Heaven only knows, my dear! These rich grandees are so selfish. Still,
 +
I will take Boris and go to see him at once, and I shall speak to him
 +
straight out. Let people think what they will of me, it's really all the
 +
same to me when my son's fate is at stake." The princess rose. "It's now
 +
two o'clock and you dine at four. There will just be time."
 +
 +
And like a practical Petersburg lady who knows how to make the most of
 +
time, Anna Mikhaylovna sent someone to call her son, and went into the
 +
anteroom with him.
 +
 +
"Good-bye, my dear," said she to the countess who saw her to the door,
 +
and added in a whisper so that her son should not hear, "Wish me good
 +
luck."
 +
 +
"Are you going to Count Cyril Vladimirovich, my dear?" said the count
 +
coming out from the dining hall into the anteroom, and he added: "If he
 +
is better, ask Pierre to dine with us. He has been to the house, you
 +
know, and danced with the children. Be sure to invite him, my dear. We
 +
will see how Taras distinguishes himself today. He says Count Orlov
 +
never gave such a dinner as ours will be!"
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XV
 +
 +
"My dear Boris," said Princess Anna Mikhaylovna to her son as Countess
 +
Rostova's carriage in which they were seated drove over the straw
 +
covered street and turned into the wide courtyard of Count Cyril
 +
Vladimirovich Bezukhov's house. "My dear Boris," said the mother,
 +
drawing her hand from beneath her old mantle and laying it timidly and
 +
tenderly on her son's arm, "be affectionate and attentive to him. Count
 +
Cyril Vladimirovich is your godfather after all, your future depends on
 +
him. Remember that, my dear, and be nice to him, as you so well know how
 +
to be."
 +
 +
"If only I knew that anything besides humiliation would come of it..."
 +
answered her son coldly. "But I have promised and will do it for your
 +
sake."
 +
 +
Although the hall porter saw someone's carriage standing at the
 +
entrance, after scrutinizing the mother and son (who without asking to
 +
be announced had passed straight through the glass porch between the
 +
rows of statues in niches) and looking significantly at the lady's old
 +
cloak, he asked whether they wanted the count or the princesses, and,
 +
hearing that they wished to see the count, said his excellency was worse
 +
today, and that his excellency was not receiving anyone.
 +
 +
"We may as well go back," said the son in French.
 +
 +
"My dear!" exclaimed his mother imploringly, again laying her hand on
 +
his arm as if that touch might soothe or rouse him.
 +
 +
Boris said no more, but looked inquiringly at his mother without taking
 +
off his cloak.
 +
 +
"My friend," said Anna Mikhaylovna in gentle tones, addressing the hall
 +
porter, "I know Count Cyril Vladimirovich is very ill... that's why I
 +
have come... I am a relation. I shall not disturb him, my friend... I
 +
only need see Prince Vasili Sergeevich: he is staying here, is he not?
 +
Please announce me."
 +
 +
The hall porter sullenly pulled a bell that rang upstairs, and turned
 +
away.
 +
 +
"Princess Drubetskaya to see Prince Vasili Sergeevich," he called to a
 +
footman dressed in knee breeches, shoes, and a swallow-tail coat, who
 +
ran downstairs and looked over from the halfway landing.
 +
 +
The mother smoothed the folds of her dyed silk dress before a large
 +
Venetian mirror in the wall, and in her trodden-down shoes briskly
 +
ascended the carpeted stairs.
 +
 +
"My dear," she said to her son, once more stimulating him by a touch,
 +
"you promised me!"
 +
 +
The son, lowering his eyes, followed her quietly.
 +
 +
They entered the large hall, from which one of the doors led to the
 +
apartments assigned to Prince Vasili.
 +
 +
Just as the mother and son, having reached the middle of the hall, were
 +
about to ask their way of an elderly footman who had sprung up as they
 +
entered, the bronze handle of one of the doors turned and Prince Vasili
 +
came out--wearing a velvet coat with a single star on his breast, as was
 +
his custom when at home--taking leave of a good-looking, dark-haired
 +
man. This was the celebrated Petersburg doctor, Lorrain.
 +
 +
"Then it is certain?" said the prince.
 +
 +
"Prince, humanum est errare, * but..." replied the doctor, swallowing
 +
his r's, and pronouncing the Latin words with a French accent.
 +
 +
 +
* To err is human.
 +
 +
"Very well, very well..."
 +
 +
Seeing Anna Mikhaylovna and her son, Prince Vasili dismissed the doctor
 +
with a bow and approached them silently and with a look of inquiry. The
 +
son noticed that an expression of profound sorrow suddenly clouded his
 +
mother's face, and he smiled slightly.
 +
 +
"Ah, Prince! In what sad circumstances we meet again! And how is our
 +
dear invalid?" said she, as though unaware of the cold offensive look
 +
fixed on her.
 +
 +
Prince Vasili stared at her and at Boris questioningly and perplexed.
 +
Boris bowed politely. Prince Vasili without acknowledging the bow turned
 +
to Anna Mikhaylovna, answering her query by a movement of the head and
 +
lips indicating very little hope for the patient.
 +
 +
"Is it possible?" exclaimed Anna Mikhaylovna. "Oh, how awful! It is
 +
terrible to think.... This is my son," she added, indicating Boris. "He
 +
wanted to thank you himself."
 +
 +
Boris bowed again politely.
 +
 +
"Believe me, Prince, a mother's heart will never forget what you have
 +
done for us."
 +
 +
"I am glad I was able to do you a service, my dear Anna Mikhaylovna,"
 +
said Prince Vasili, arranging his lace frill, and in tone and manner,
 +
here in Moscow to Anna Mikhaylovna whom he had placed under an
 +
obligation, assuming an air of much greater importance than he had done
 +
in Petersburg at Anna Scherer's reception.
 +
 +
"Try to serve well and show yourself worthy," added he, addressing Boris
 +
with severity. "I am glad.... Are you here on leave?" he went on in his
 +
usual tone of indifference.
 +
 +
"I am awaiting orders to join my new regiment, your excellency," replied
 +
Boris, betraying neither annoyance at the prince's brusque manner nor a
 +
desire to enter into conversation, but speaking so quietly and
 +
respectfully that the prince gave him a searching glance.
 +
 +
"Are you living with your mother?"
 +
 +
"I am living at Countess Rostova's," replied Boris, again adding, "your
 +
excellency."
 +
 +
"That is, with Ilya Rostov who married Nataly Shinshina," said Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna.
 +
 +
"I know, I know," answered Prince Vasili in his monotonous voice. "I
 +
never could understand how Nataly made up her mind to marry that
 +
unlicked bear! A perfectly absurd and stupid fellow, and a gambler too,
 +
I am told."
 +
 +
"But a very kind man, Prince," said Anna Mikhaylovna with a pathetic
 +
smile, as though she too knew that Count Rostov deserved this censure,
 +
but asked him not to be too hard on the poor old man. "What do the
 +
doctors say?" asked the princess after a pause, her worn face again
 +
expressing deep sorrow.
 +
 +
"They give little hope," replied the prince.
 +
 +
"And I should so like to thank Uncle once for all his kindness to me and
 +
Boris. He is his godson," she added, her tone suggesting that this fact
 +
ought to give Prince Vasili much satisfaction.
 +
 +
Prince Vasili became thoughtful and frowned. Anna Mikhaylovna saw that
 +
he was afraid of finding in her a rival for Count Bezukhov's fortune,
 +
and hastened to reassure him.
 +
 +
"If it were not for my sincere affection and devotion to Uncle," said
 +
she, uttering the word with peculiar assurance and unconcern, "I know
 +
his character: noble, upright... but you see he has no one with him
 +
except the young princesses.... They are still young...." She bent her
 +
head and continued in a whisper: "Has he performed his final duty,
 +
Prince? How priceless are those last moments! It can make things no
 +
worse, and it is absolutely necessary to prepare him if he is so ill. We
 +
women, Prince," and she smiled tenderly, "always know how to say these
 +
things. I absolutely must see him, however painful it may be for me. I
 +
am used to suffering."
 +
 +
Evidently the prince understood her, and also understood, as he had done
 +
at Anna Pavlovna's, that it would be difficult to get rid of Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna.
 +
 +
"Would not such a meeting be too trying for him, dear Anna Mikhaylovna?"
 +
said he. "Let us wait until evening. The doctors are expecting a
 +
crisis."
 +
 +
"But one cannot delay, Prince, at such a moment! Consider that the
 +
welfare of his soul is at stake. Ah, it is awful: the duties of a
 +
Christian..."
 +
 +
A door of one of the inner rooms opened and one of the princesses, the
 +
count's niece, entered with a cold, stern face. The length of her body
 +
was strikingly out of proportion to her short legs. Prince Vasili turned
 +
to her.
 +
 +
"Well, how is he?"
 +
 +
"Still the same; but what can you expect, this noise..." said the
 +
princess, looking at Anna Mikhaylovna as at a stranger.
 +
 +
"Ah, my dear, I hardly knew you," said Anna Mikhaylovna with a happy
 +
smile, ambling lightly up to the count's niece. "I have come, and am at
 +
your service to help you nurse my uncle. I imagine what you have gone
 +
through," and she sympathetically turned up her eyes.
 +
 +
The princess gave no reply and did not even smile, but left the room as
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna took off her gloves and, occupying the position she had
 +
conquered, settled down in an armchair, inviting Prince Vasili to take a
 +
seat beside her.
 +
 +
"Boris," she said to her son with a smile, "I shall go in to see the
 +
count, my uncle; but you, my dear, had better go to Pierre meanwhile and
 +
don't forget to give him the Rostovs' invitation. They ask him to
 +
dinner. I suppose he won't go?" she continued, turning to the prince.
 +
 +
"On the contrary," replied the prince, who had plainly become depressed,
 +
"I shall be only too glad if you relieve me of that young man.... Here
 +
he is, and the count has not once asked for him."
 +
 +
He shrugged his shoulders. A footman conducted Boris down one flight of
 +
stairs and up another, to Pierre's rooms.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XVI
 +
 +
Pierre, after all, had not managed to choose a career for himself in
 +
Petersburg, and had been expelled from there for riotous conduct and
 +
sent to Moscow. The story told about him at Count Rostov's was true.
 +
Pierre had taken part in tying a policeman to a bear. He had now been
 +
for some days in Moscow and was staying as usual at his father's house.
 +
Though he expected that the story of his escapade would be already known
 +
in Moscow and that the ladies about his father--who were never favorably
 +
disposed toward him--would have used it to turn the count against him,
 +
he nevertheless on the day of his arrival went to his father's part of
 +
the house. Entering the drawing room, where the princesses spent most of
 +
their time, he greeted the ladies, two of whom were sitting at
 +
embroidery frames while a third read aloud. It was the eldest who was
 +
reading--the one who had met Anna Mikhaylovna. The two younger ones were
 +
embroidering: both were rosy and pretty and they differed only in that
 +
one had a little mole on her lip which made her much prettier. Pierre
 +
was received as if he were a corpse or a leper. The eldest princess
 +
paused in her reading and silently stared at him with frightened eyes;
 +
the second assumed precisely the same expression; while the youngest,
 +
the one with the mole, who was of a cheerful and lively disposition,
 +
bent over her frame to hide a smile probably evoked by the amusing scene
 +
she foresaw. She drew her wool down through the canvas and, scarcely
 +
able to refrain from laughing, stooped as if trying to make out the
 +
pattern.
 +
 +
"How do you do, cousin?" said Pierre. "You don't recognize me?"
 +
 +
"I recognize you only too well, too well."
 +
 +
"How is the count? Can I see him?" asked Pierre, awkwardly as usual, but
 +
unabashed.
 +
 +
"The count is suffering physically and mentally, and apparently you have
 +
done your best to increase his mental sufferings."
 +
 +
"Can I see the count?" Pierre again asked.
 +
 +
"Hm.... If you wish to kill him, to kill him outright, you can see
 +
him... Olga, go and see whether Uncle's beef tea is ready--it is almost
 +
time," she added, giving Pierre to understand that they were busy, and
 +
busy making his father comfortable, while evidently he, Pierre, was only
 +
busy causing him annoyance.
 +
 +
Olga went out. Pierre stood looking at the sisters; then he bowed and
 +
said: "Then I will go to my rooms. You will let me know when I can see
 +
him."
 +
 +
And he left the room, followed by the low but ringing laughter of the
 +
sister with the mole.
 +
 +
Next day Prince Vasili had arrived and settled in the count's house. He
 +
sent for Pierre and said to him: "My dear fellow, if you are going to
 +
behave here as you did in Petersburg, you will end very badly; that is
 +
all I have to say to you. The count is very, very ill, and you must not
 +
see him at all."
 +
 +
Since then Pierre had not been disturbed and had spent the whole time in
 +
his rooms upstairs.
 +
 +
When Boris appeared at his door Pierre was pacing up and down his room,
 +
stopping occasionally at a corner to make menacing gestures at the wall,
 +
as if running a sword through an invisible foe, and glaring savagely
 +
over his spectacles, and then again resuming his walk, muttering
 +
indistinct words, shrugging his shoulders and gesticulating.
 +
 +
"England is done for," said he, scowling and pointing his finger at
 +
someone unseen. "Mr. Pitt, as a traitor to the nation and to the rights
 +
of man, is sentenced to..." But before Pierre--who at that moment
 +
imagined himself to be Napoleon in person and to have just effected the
 +
dangerous crossing of the Straits of Dover and captured London--could
 +
pronounce Pitt's sentence, he saw a well-built and handsome young
 +
officer entering his room. Pierre paused. He had left Moscow when Boris
 +
was a boy of fourteen, and had quite forgotten him, but in his usual
 +
impulsive and hearty way he took Boris by the hand with a friendly
 +
smile.
 +
 +
"Do you remember me?" asked Boris quietly with a pleasant smile. "I have
 +
come with my mother to see the count, but it seems he is not well."
 +
 +
"Yes, it seems he is ill. People are always disturbing him," answered
 +
Pierre, trying to remember who this young man was.
 +
 +
Boris felt that Pierre did not recognize him but did not consider it
 +
necessary to introduce himself, and without experiencing the least
 +
embarrassment looked Pierre straight in the face.
 +
 +
"Count Rostov asks you to come to dinner today," said he, after a
 +
considerable pause which made Pierre feel uncomfortable.
 +
 +
"Ah, Count Rostov!" exclaimed Pierre joyfully. "Then you are his son,
 +
Ilya? Only fancy, I didn't know you at first. Do you remember how we
 +
went to the Sparrow Hills with Madame Jacquot?... It's such an age..."
 +
 +
"You are mistaken," said Boris deliberately, with a bold and slightly
 +
sarcastic smile. "I am Boris, son of Princess Anna Mikhaylovna
 +
Drubetskaya. Rostov, the father, is Ilya, and his son is Nicholas. I
 +
never knew any Madame Jacquot."
 +
 +
Pierre shook his head and arms as if attacked by mosquitoes or bees.
 +
 +
"Oh dear, what am I thinking about? I've mixed everything up. One has so
 +
many relatives in Moscow! So you are Boris? Of course. Well, now we know
 +
where we are. And what do you think of the Boulogne expedition? The
 +
English will come off badly, you know, if Napoleon gets across the
 +
Channel. I think the expedition is quite feasible. If only Villeneuve
 +
doesn't make a mess of things!"
 +
 +
Boris knew nothing about the Boulogne expedition; he did not read the
 +
papers and it was the first time he had heard Villeneuve's name.
 +
 +
"We here in Moscow are more occupied with dinner parties and scandal
 +
than with politics," said he in his quiet ironical tone. "I know nothing
 +
about it and have not thought about it. Moscow is chiefly busy with
 +
gossip," he continued. "Just now they are talking about you and your
 +
father."
 +
 +
Pierre smiled in his good-natured way as if afraid for his companion's
 +
sake that the latter might say something he would afterwards regret. But
 +
Boris spoke distinctly, clearly, and dryly, looking straight into
 +
Pierre's eyes.
 +
 +
"Moscow has nothing else to do but gossip," Boris went on. "Everybody is
 +
wondering to whom the count will leave his fortune, though he may
 +
perhaps outlive us all, as I sincerely hope he will..."
 +
 +
"Yes, it is all very horrid," interrupted Pierre, "very horrid."
 +
 +
Pierre was still afraid that this officer might inadvertently say
 +
something disconcerting to himself.
 +
 +
"And it must seem to you," said Boris flushing slightly, but not
 +
changing his tone or attitude, "it must seem to you that everyone is
 +
trying to get something out of the rich man?"
 +
 +
"So it does," thought Pierre.
 +
 +
"But I just wish to say, to avoid misunderstandings, that you are quite
 +
mistaken if you reckon me or my mother among such people. We are very
 +
poor, but for my own part at any rate, for the very reason that your
 +
father is rich, I don't regard myself as a relation of his, and neither
 +
I nor my mother would ever ask or take anything from him."
 +
 +
For a long time Pierre could not understand, but when he did, he jumped
 +
up from the sofa, seized Boris under the elbow in his quick, clumsy way,
 +
and, blushing far more than Boris, began to speak with a feeling of
 +
mingled shame and vexation.
 +
 +
"Well, this is strange! Do you suppose I... who could think?... I know
 +
very well..."
 +
 +
But Boris again interrupted him.
 +
 +
"I am glad I have spoken out fully. Perhaps you did not like it? You
 +
must excuse me," said he, putting Pierre at ease instead of being put at
 +
ease by him, "but I hope I have not offended you. I always make it a
 +
rule to speak out... Well, what answer am I to take? Will you come to
 +
dinner at the Rostovs'?"
 +
 +
And Boris, having apparently relieved himself of an onerous duty and
 +
extricated himself from an awkward situation and placed another in it,
 +
became quite pleasant again.
 +
 +
"No, but I say," said Pierre, calming down, "you are a wonderful fellow!
 +
What you have just said is good, very good. Of course you don't know me.
 +
We have not met for such a long time... not since we were children. You
 +
might think that I... I understand, quite understand. I could not have
 +
done it myself, I should not have had the courage, but it's splendid. I
 +
am very glad to have made your acquaintance. It's queer," he added after
 +
a pause, "that you should have suspected me!" He began to laugh. "Well,
 +
what of it! I hope we'll get better acquainted," and he pressed Boris'
 +
hand. "Do you know, I have not once been in to see the count. He has not
 +
sent for me.... I am sorry for him as a man, but what can one do?"
 +
 +
"And so you think Napoleon will manage to get an army across?" asked
 +
Boris with a smile.
 +
 +
Pierre saw that Boris wished to change the subject, and being of the
 +
same mind he began explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the
 +
Boulogne expedition.
 +
 +
A footman came in to summon Boris--the princess was going. Pierre, in
 +
order to make Boris' better acquaintance, promised to come to dinner,
 +
and warmly pressing his hand looked affectionately over his spectacles
 +
into Boris' eyes. After he had gone Pierre continued pacing up and down
 +
the room for a long time, no longer piercing an imaginary foe with his
 +
imaginary sword, but smiling at the remembrance of that pleasant,
 +
intelligent, and resolute young man.
 +
 +
As often happens in early youth, especially to one who leads a lonely
 +
life, he felt an unaccountable tenderness for this young man and made up
 +
his mind that they would be friends.
 +
 +
Prince Vasili saw the princess off. She held a handkerchief to her eyes
 +
and her face was tearful.
 +
 +
"It is dreadful, dreadful!" she was saying, "but cost me what it may I
 +
shall do my duty. I will come and spend the night. He must not be left
 +
like this. Every moment is precious. I can't think why his nieces put it
 +
off. Perhaps God will help me to find a way to prepare him!... Adieu,
 +
Prince! May God support you..."
 +
 +
"Adieu, ma bonne," answered Prince Vasili turning away from her.
 +
 +
"Oh, he is in a dreadful state," said the mother to her son when they
 +
were in the carriage. "He hardly recognizes anybody."
 +
 +
"I don't understand, Mamma--what is his attitude to Pierre?" asked the
 +
son.
 +
 +
"The will will show that, my dear; our fate also depends on it."
 +
 +
"But why do you expect that he will leave us anything?"
 +
 +
"Ah, my dear! He is so rich, and we are so poor!"
 +
 +
"Well, that is hardly a sufficient reason, Mamma..."
 +
 +
"Oh, Heaven! How ill he is!" exclaimed the mother.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XVII
 +
 +
After Anna Mikhaylovna had driven off with her son to visit Count Cyril
 +
Vladimirovich Bezukhov, Countess Rostova sat for a long time all alone
 +
applying her handkerchief to her eyes. At last she rang.
 +
 +
"What is the matter with you, my dear?" she said crossly to the maid who
 +
kept her waiting some minutes. "Don't you wish to serve me? Then I'll
 +
find you another place."
 +
 +
The countess was upset by her friend's sorrow and humiliating poverty,
 +
and was therefore out of sorts, a state of mind which with her always
 +
found expression in calling her maid "my dear" and speaking to her with
 +
exaggerated politeness.
 +
 +
"I am very sorry, ma'am," answered the maid.
 +
 +
"Ask the count to come to me."
 +
 +
The count came waddling in to see his wife with a rather guilty look as
 +
usual.
 +
 +
"Well, little countess? What a saute of game au madere we are to have,
 +
my dear! I tasted it. The thousand rubles I paid for Taras were not ill-
 +
spent. He is worth it!"
 +
 +
He sat down by his wife, his elbows on his knees and his hands ruffling
 +
his gray hair.
 +
 +
"What are your commands, little countess?"
 +
 +
"You see, my dear... What's that mess?" she said, pointing to his
 +
waistcoat. "It's the saute, most likely," she added with a smile. "Well,
 +
you see, Count, I want some money."
 +
 +
Her face became sad.
 +
 +
"Oh, little countess!"... and the count began bustling to get out his
 +
pocketbook.
 +
 +
"I want a great deal, Count! I want five hundred rubles," and taking out
 +
her cambric handkerchief she began wiping her husband's waistcoat.
 +
 +
"Yes, immediately, immediately! Hey, who's there?" he called out in a
 +
tone only used by persons who are certain that those they call will rush
 +
to obey the summons. "Send Dmitri to me!"
 +
 +
Dmitri, a man of good family who had been brought up in the count's
 +
house and now managed all his affairs, stepped softly into the room.
 +
 +
"This is what I want, my dear fellow," said the count to the deferential
 +
young man who had entered. "Bring me..." he reflected a moment, "yes,
 +
bring me seven hundred rubles, yes! But mind, don't bring me such
 +
tattered and dirty notes as last time, but nice clean ones for the
 +
countess."
 +
 +
"Yes, Dmitri, clean ones, please," said the countess, sighing deeply.
 +
 +
"When would you like them, your excellency?" asked Dmitri. "Allow me to
 +
inform you... But, don't be uneasy," he added, noticing that the count
 +
was beginning to breathe heavily and quickly which was always a sign of
 +
approaching anger. "I was forgetting... Do you wish it brought at once?"
 +
 +
"Yes, yes; just so! Bring it. Give it to the countess."
 +
 +
"What a treasure that Dmitri is," added the count with a smile when the
 +
young man had departed. "There is never any 'impossible' with him.
 +
That's a thing I hate! Everything is possible."
 +
 +
"Ah, money, Count, money! How much sorrow it causes in the world," said
 +
the countess. "But I am in great need of this sum."
 +
 +
"You, my little countess, are a notorious spendthrift," said the count,
 +
and having kissed his wife's hand he went back to his study.
 +
 +
When Anna Mikhaylovna returned from Count Bezukhov's the money, all in
 +
clean notes, was lying ready under a handkerchief on the countess'
 +
little table, and Anna Mikhaylovna noticed that something was agitating
 +
her.
 +
 +
"Well, my dear?" asked the countess.
 +
 +
"Oh, what a terrible state he is in! One would not know him, he is so
 +
ill! I was only there a few moments and hardly said a word..."
 +
 +
"Annette, for heaven's sake don't refuse me," the countess began, with a
 +
blush that looked very strange on her thin, dignified, elderly face, and
 +
she took the money from under the handkerchief.
 +
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna instantly guessed her intention and stooped to be ready
 +
to embrace the countess at the appropriate moment.
 +
 +
"This is for Boris from me, for his outfit."
 +
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna was already embracing her and weeping. The countess
 +
wept too. They wept because they were friends, and because they were
 +
kindhearted, and because they--friends from childhood--had to think
 +
about such a base thing as money, and because their youth was over....
 +
But those tears were pleasant to them both.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XVIII
 +
 +
Countess Rostova, with her daughters and a large number of guests, was
 +
already seated in the drawing room. The count took the gentlemen into
 +
his study and showed them his choice collection of Turkish pipes. From
 +
time to time he went out to ask: "Hasn't she come yet?" They were
 +
expecting Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimova, known in society as le terrible
 +
dragon, a lady distinguished not for wealth or rank, but for common
 +
sense and frank plainness of speech. Marya Dmitrievna was known to the
 +
Imperial family as well as to all Moscow and Petersburg, and both cities
 +
wondered at her, laughed privately at her rudenesses, and told good
 +
stories about her, while none the less all without exception respected
 +
and feared her.
 +
 +
In the count's room, which was full of tobacco smoke, they talked of war
 +
that had been announced in a manifesto, and about the recruiting. None
 +
of them had yet seen the manifesto, but they all knew it had appeared.
 +
The count sat on the sofa between two guests who were smoking and
 +
talking. He neither smoked nor talked, but bending his head first to one
 +
side and then to the other watched the smokers with evident pleasure and
 +
listened to the conversation of his two neighbors, whom he egged on
 +
against each other.
 +
 +
One of them was a sallow, clean-shaven civilian with a thin and wrinkled
 +
face, already growing old, though he was dressed like a most fashionable
 +
young man. He sat with his legs up on the sofa as if quite at home and,
 +
having stuck an amber mouthpiece far into his mouth, was inhaling the
 +
smoke spasmodically and screwing up his eyes. This was an old bachelor,
 +
Shinshin, a cousin of the countess', a man with "a sharp tongue" as they
 +
said in Moscow society. He seemed to be condescending to his companion.
 +
The latter, a fresh, rosy officer of the Guards, irreproachably washed,
 +
brushed, and buttoned, held his pipe in the middle of his mouth and with
 +
red lips gently inhaled the smoke, letting it escape from his handsome
 +
mouth in rings. This was Lieutenant Berg, an officer in the Semenov
 +
regiment with whom Boris was to travel to join the army, and about whom
 +
Natasha had teased her elder sister Vera, speaking of Berg as her
 +
"intended." The count sat between them and listened attentively. His
 +
favorite occupation when not playing boston, a card game he was very
 +
fond of, was that of listener, especially when he succeeded in setting
 +
two loquacious talkers at one another.
 +
 +
"Well, then, old chap, mon tres honorable Alphonse Karlovich," said
 +
Shinshin, laughing ironically and mixing the most ordinary Russian
 +
expressions with the choicest French phrases--which was a peculiarity of
 +
his speech. "Vous comptez vous faire des rentes sur l'etat; * you want
 +
to make something out of your company?"
 +
 +
 +
* You expect to make an income out of the government.
 +
 +
"No, Peter Nikolaevich; I only want to show that in the cavalry the
 +
advantages are far less than in the infantry. Just consider my own
 +
position now, Peter Nikolaevich..."
 +
 +
Berg always spoke quietly, politely, and with great precision. His
 +
conversation always related entirely to himself; he would remain calm
 +
and silent when the talk related to any topic that had no direct bearing
 +
on himself. He could remain silent for hours without being at all put
 +
out of countenance himself or making others uncomfortable, but as soon
 +
as the conversation concerned himself he would begin to talk
 +
circumstantially and with evident satisfaction.
 +
 +
"Consider my position, Peter Nikolaevich. Were I in the cavalry I should
 +
get not more than two hundred rubles every four months, even with the
 +
rank of lieutenant; but as it is I receive two hundred and thirty," said
 +
he, looking at Shinshin and the count with a joyful, pleasant smile, as
 +
if it were obvious to him that his success must always be the chief
 +
desire of everyone else.
 +
 +
"Besides that, Peter Nikolaevich, by exchanging into the Guards I shall
 +
be in a more prominent position," continued Berg, "and vacancies occur
 +
much more frequently in the Foot Guards. Then just think what can be
 +
done with two hundred and thirty rubles! I even manage to put a little
 +
aside and to send something to my father," he went on, emitting a smoke
 +
ring.
 +
 +
"La balance y est... * A German knows how to skin a flint, as the
 +
proverb says," remarked Shinshin, moving his pipe to the other side of
 +
his mouth and winking at the count.
 +
 +
 +
* So that squares matters.
 +
 +
The count burst out laughing. The other guests seeing that Shinshin was
 +
talking came up to listen. Berg, oblivious of irony or indifference,
 +
continued to explain how by exchanging into the Guards he had already
 +
gained a step on his old comrades of the Cadet Corps; how in wartime the
 +
company commander might get killed and he, as senior in the company,
 +
might easily succeed to the post; how popular he was with everyone in
 +
the regiment, and how satisfied his father was with him. Berg evidently
 +
enjoyed narrating all this, and did not seem to suspect that others,
 +
too, might have their own interests. But all he said was so prettily
 +
sedate, and the naivete of his youthful egotism was so obvious, that he
 +
disarmed his hearers.
 +
 +
"Well, my boy, you'll get along wherever you go--foot or horse--that
 +
I'll warrant," said Shinshin, patting him on the shoulder and taking his
 +
feet off the sofa.
 +
 +
Berg smiled joyously. The count, by his guests, went into the drawing
 +
room.
 +
 +
It was just the moment before a big dinner when the assembled guests,
 +
expecting the summons to zakuska, * avoid engaging in any long
 +
conversation but think it necessary to move about and talk, in order to
 +
show that they are not at all impatient for their food. The host and
 +
hostess look toward the door, and now and then glance at one another,
 +
and the visitors try to guess from these glances who, or what, they are
 +
waiting for--some important relation who has not yet arrived, or a dish
 +
that is not yet ready.
 +
 +
 +
* Hors d'oeuvres.
 +
 +
Pierre had come just at dinnertime and was sitting awkwardly in the
 +
middle of the drawing room on the first chair he had come across,
 +
blocking the way for everyone. The countess tried to make him talk, but
 +
he went on naively looking around through his spectacles as if in search
 +
of somebody and answered all her questions in monosyllables. He was in
 +
the way and was the only one who did not notice the fact. Most of the
 +
guests, knowing of the affair with the bear, looked with curiosity at
 +
this big, stout, quiet man, wondering how such a clumsy, modest fellow
 +
could have played such a prank on a policeman.
 +
 +
"You have only lately arrived?" the countess asked him.
 +
 +
"Oui, madame," replied he, looking around him.
 +
 +
"You have not yet seen my husband?"
 +
 +
"Non, madame." He smiled quite inappropriately.
 +
 +
"You have been in Paris recently, I believe? I suppose it's very
 +
interesting."
 +
 +
"Very interesting."
 +
 +
The countess exchanged glances with Anna Mikhaylovna. The latter
 +
understood that she was being asked to entertain this young man, and
 +
sitting down beside him she began to speak about his father; but he
 +
answered her, as he had the countess, only in monosyllables. The other
 +
guests were all conversing with one another. "The Razumovskis... It was
 +
charming... You are very kind... Countess Apraksina..." was heard on all
 +
sides. The countess rose and went into the ballroom.
 +
 +
"Marya Dmitrievna?" came her voice from there.
 +
 +
"Herself," came the answer in a rough voice, and Marya Dmitrievna
 +
entered the room.
 +
 +
All the unmarried ladies and even the married ones except the very
 +
oldest rose. Marya Dmitrievna paused at the door. Tall and stout,
 +
holding high her fifty-year-old head with its gray curls, she stood
 +
surveying the guests, and leisurely arranged her wide sleeves as if
 +
rolling them up. Marya Dmitrievna always spoke in Russian.
 +
 +
"Health and happiness to her whose name day we are keeping and to her
 +
children," she said, in her loud, full-toned voice which drowned all
 +
others. "Well, you old sinner," she went on, turning to the count who
 +
was kissing her hand, "you're feeling dull in Moscow, I daresay? Nowhere
 +
to hunt with your dogs? But what is to be done, old man? Just see how
 +
these nestlings are growing up," and she pointed to the girls. "You must
 +
look for husbands for them whether you like it or not...."
 +
 +
"Well," said she, "how's my Cossack?" (Marya Dmitrievna always called
 +
Natasha a Cossack) and she stroked the child's arm as she came up
 +
fearless and gay to kiss her hand. "I know she's a scamp of a girl, but
 +
I like her."
 +
 +
She took a pair of pear-shaped ruby earrings from her huge reticule and,
 +
having given them to the rosy Natasha, who beamed with the pleasure of
 +
her saint's-day fete, turned away at once and addressed herself to
 +
Pierre.
 +
 +
"Eh, eh, friend! Come here a bit," said she, assuming a soft high tone
 +
of voice. "Come here, my friend..." and she ominously tucked up her
 +
sleeves still higher. Pierre approached, looking at her in a childlike
 +
way through his spectacles.
 +
 +
"Come nearer, come nearer, friend! I used to be the only one to tell
 +
your father the truth when he was in favor, and in your case it's my
 +
evident duty." She paused. All were silent, expectant of what was to
 +
follow, for this was clearly only a prelude.
 +
 +
"A fine lad! My word! A fine lad!... His father lies on his deathbed and
 +
he amuses himself setting a policeman astride a bear! For shame, sir,
 +
for shame! It would be better if you went to the war."
 +
 +
She turned away and gave her hand to the count, who could hardly keep
 +
from laughing.
 +
 +
"Well, I suppose it is time we were at table?" said Marya Dmitrievna.
 +
 +
The count went in first with Marya Dmitrievna, the countess followed on
 +
the arm of a colonel of hussars, a man of importance to them because
 +
Nicholas was to go with him to the regiment; then came Anna Mikhaylovna
 +
with Shinshin. Berg gave his arm to Vera. The smiling Julie Karagina
 +
went in with Nicholas. After them other couples followed, filling the
 +
whole dining hall, and last of all the children, tutors, and governesses
 +
followed singly. The footmen began moving about, chairs scraped, the
 +
band struck up in the gallery, and the guests settled down in their
 +
places. Then the strains of the count's household band were replaced by
 +
the clatter of knives and forks, the voices of visitors, and the soft
 +
steps of the footmen. At one end of the table sat the countess with
 +
Marya Dmitrievna on her right and Anna Mikhaylovna on her left, the
 +
other lady visitors were farther down. At the other end sat the count,
 +
with the hussar colonel on his left and Shinshin and the other male
 +
visitors on his right. Midway down the long table on one side sat the
 +
grownup young people: Vera beside Berg, and Pierre beside Boris; and on
 +
the other side, the children, tutors, and governesses. From behind the
 +
crystal decanters and fruit vases, the count kept glancing at his wife
 +
and her tall cap with its light-blue ribbons, and busily filled his
 +
neighbors' glasses, not neglecting his own. The countess in turn,
 +
without omitting her duties as hostess, threw significant glances from
 +
behind the pineapples at her husband whose face and bald head seemed by
 +
their redness to contrast more than usual with his gray hair. At the
 +
ladies' end an even chatter of voices was heard all the time, at the
 +
men's end the voices sounded louder and louder, especially that of the
 +
colonel of hussars who, growing more and more flushed, ate and drank so
 +
much that the count held him up as a pattern to the other guests. Berg
 +
with tender smiles was saying to Vera that love is not an earthly but a
 +
heavenly feeling. Boris was telling his new friend Pierre who the guests
 +
were and exchanging glances with Natasha, who was sitting opposite.
 +
Pierre spoke little but examined the new faces, and ate a great deal. Of
 +
the two soups he chose turtle with savory patties and went on to the
 +
game without omitting a single dish or one of the wines. These latter
 +
the butler thrust mysteriously forward, wrapped in a napkin, from behind
 +
the next man's shoulders and whispered: "Dry Madeira"... "Hungarian"...
 +
or "Rhine wine" as the case might be. Of the four crystal glasses
 +
engraved with the count's monogram that stood before his plate, Pierre
 +
held out one at random and drank with enjoyment, gazing with ever-
 +
increasing amiability at the other guests. Natasha, who sat opposite,
 +
was looking at Boris as girls of thirteen look at the boy they are in
 +
love with and have just kissed for the first time. Sometimes that same
 +
look fell on Pierre, and that funny lively little girl's look made him
 +
inclined to laugh without knowing why.
 +
 +
Nicholas sat at some distance from Sonya, beside Julie Karagina, to whom
 +
he was again talking with the same involuntary smile. Sonya wore a
 +
company smile but was evidently tormented by jealousy; now she turned
 +
pale, now blushed and strained every nerve to overhear what Nicholas and
 +
Julie were saying to one another. The governess kept looking round
 +
uneasily as if preparing to resent any slight that might be put upon the
 +
children. The German tutor was trying to remember all the dishes, wines,
 +
and kinds of dessert, in order to send a full description of the dinner
 +
to his people in Germany; and he felt greatly offended when the butler
 +
with a bottle wrapped in a napkin passed him by. He frowned, trying to
 +
appear as if he did not want any of that wine, but was mortified because
 +
no one would understand that it was not to quench his thirst or from
 +
greediness that he wanted it, but simply from a conscientious desire for
 +
knowledge.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XIX
 +
 +
At the men's end of the table the talk grew more and more animated. The
 +
colonel told them that the declaration of war had already appeared in
 +
Petersburg and that a copy, which he had himself seen, had that day been
 +
forwarded by courier to the commander-in-chief.
 +
 +
"And why the deuce are we going to fight Bonaparte?" remarked Shinshin.
 +
"He has stopped Austria's cackle and I fear it will be our turn next."
 +
 +
The colonel was a stout, tall, plethoric German, evidently devoted to
 +
the service and patriotically Russian. He resented Shinshin's remark.
 +
 +
"It is for the reasson, my goot sir," said he, speaking with a German
 +
accent, "for the reasson zat ze Emperor knows zat. He declares in ze
 +
manifessto zat he cannot fiew wiz indifference ze danger vreatening
 +
Russia and zat ze safety and dignity of ze Empire as vell as ze sanctity
 +
of its alliances..." he spoke this last word with particular emphasis as
 +
if in it lay the gist of the matter.
 +
 +
Then with the unerring official memory that characterized him he
 +
repeated from the opening words of the manifesto:
 +
 +
... and the wish, which constitutes the Emperor's sole and absolute aim-
 +
-to establish peace in Europe on firm foundations--has now decided him
 +
to despatch part of the army abroad and to create a new condition for
 +
the attainment of that purpose.
 +
 +
"Zat, my dear sir, is vy..." he concluded, drinking a tumbler of wine
 +
with dignity and looking to the count for approval.
 +
 +
"Connaissez-vous le Proverbe: * 'Jerome, Jerome, do not roam, but turn
 +
spindles at home!'?" said Shinshin, puckering his brows and smiling.
 +
"Cela nous convient a merveille.*(2) Suvorov now--he knew what he was
 +
about; yet they beat him a plate couture,*(3) and where are we to find
 +
Suvorovs now? Je vous demande un peu,"*(4) said he, continually changing
 +
from French to Russian.
 +
 +
 +
*Do you know the proverb?
 +
 +
*(2) That suits us down to the ground.
 +
 +
*(3) Hollow.
 +
 +
*(4) I just ask you that.
 +
 +
"Ve must vight to the last tr-r-op of our plood!" said the colonel,
 +
thumping the table; "and ve must tie for our Emperor, and zen all vill
 +
pe vell. And ve must discuss it as little as po-o-ossible"... he dwelt
 +
particularly on the word possible... "as po-o-ossible," he ended, again
 +
turning to the count. "Zat is how ve old hussars look at it, and zere's
 +
an end of it! And how do you, a young man and a young hussar, how do you
 +
judge of it?" he added, addressing Nicholas, who when he heard that the
 +
war was being discussed had turned from his partner with eyes and ears
 +
intent on the colonel.
 +
 +
"I am quite of your opinion," replied Nicholas, flaming up, turning his
 +
plate round and moving his wineglasses about with as much decision and
 +
desperation as though he were at that moment facing some great danger.
 +
"I am convinced that we Russians must die or conquer," he concluded,
 +
conscious--as were others--after the words were uttered that his remarks
 +
were too enthusiastic and emphatic for the occasion and were therefore
 +
awkward.
 +
 +
"What you said just now was splendid!" said his partner Julie.
 +
 +
Sonya trembled all over and blushed to her ears and behind them and down
 +
to her neck and shoulders while Nicholas was speaking.
 +
 +
Pierre listened to the colonel's speech and nodded approvingly.
 +
 +
"That's fine," said he.
 +
 +
"The young man's a real hussar!" shouted the colonel, again thumping the
 +
table.
 +
 +
"What are you making such a noise about over there?" Marya Dmitrievna's
 +
deep voice suddenly inquired from the other end of the table. "What are
 +
you thumping the table for?" she demanded of the hussar, "and why are
 +
you exciting yourself? Do you think the French are here?"
 +
 +
"I am speaking ze truce," replied the hussar with a smile.
 +
 +
"It's all about the war," the count shouted down the table. "You know my
 +
son's going, Marya Dmitrievna? My son is going."
 +
 +
"I have four sons in the army but still I don't fret. It is all in God's
 +
hands. You may die in your bed or God may spare you in a battle,"
 +
replied Marya Dmitrievna's deep voice, which easily carried the whole
 +
length of the table.
 +
 +
"That's true!"
 +
 +
Once more the conversations concentrated, the ladies' at the one end and
 +
the men's at the other.
 +
 +
"You won't ask," Natasha's little brother was saying; "I know you won't
 +
ask!"
 +
 +
"I will," replied Natasha.
 +
 +
Her face suddenly flushed with reckless and joyous resolution. She half
 +
rose, by a glance inviting Pierre, who sat opposite, to listen to what
 +
was coming, and turning to her mother:
 +
 +
"Mamma!" rang out the clear contralto notes of her childish voice,
 +
audible the whole length of the table.
 +
 +
"What is it?" asked the countess, startled; but seeing by her daughter's
 +
face that it was only mischief, she shook a finger at her sternly with a
 +
threatening and forbidding movement of her head.
 +
 +
The conversation was hushed.
 +
 +
"Mamma! What sweets are we going to have?" and Natasha's voice sounded
 +
still more firm and resolute.
 +
 +
The countess tried to frown, but could not. Marya Dmitrievna shook her
 +
fat finger.
 +
 +
"Cossack!" she said threateningly.
 +
 +
Most of the guests, uncertain how to regard this sally, looked at the
 +
elders.
 +
 +
"You had better take care!" said the countess.
 +
 +
"Mamma! What sweets are we going to have?" Natasha again cried boldly,
 +
with saucy gaiety, confident that her prank would be taken in good part.
 +
 +
Sonya and fat little Petya doubled up with laughter.
 +
 +
"You see! I have asked," whispered Natasha to her little brother and to
 +
Pierre, glancing at him again.
 +
 +
"Ice pudding, but you won't get any," said Marya Dmitrievna.
 +
 +
Natasha saw there was nothing to be afraid of and so she braved even
 +
Marya Dmitrievna.
 +
 +
"Marya Dmitrievna! What kind of ice pudding? I don't like ice cream."
 +
 +
"Carrot ices."
 +
 +
"No! What kind, Marya Dmitrievna? What kind?" she almost screamed; "I
 +
want to know!"
 +
 +
Marya Dmitrievna and the countess burst out laughing, and all the guests
 +
joined in. Everyone laughed, not at Marya Dmitrievna's answer but at the
 +
incredible boldness and smartness of this little girl who had dared to
 +
treat Marya Dmitrievna in this fashion.
 +
 +
Natasha only desisted when she had been told that there would be
 +
pineapple ice. Before the ices, champagne was served round. The band
 +
again struck up, the count and countess kissed, and the guests, leaving
 +
their seats, went up to "congratulate" the countess, and reached across
 +
the table to clink glasses with the count, with the children, and with
 +
one another. Again the footmen rushed about, chairs scraped, and in the
 +
same order in which they had entered but with redder faces, the guests
 +
returned to the drawing room and to the count's study.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XX
 +
 +
The card tables were drawn out, sets made up for boston, and the count's
 +
visitors settled themselves, some in the two drawing rooms, some in the
 +
sitting room, some in the library.
 +
 +
The count, holding his cards fanwise, kept himself with difficulty from
 +
dropping into his usual after-dinner nap, and laughed at everything. The
 +
young people, at the countess' instigation, gathered round the
 +
clavichord and harp. Julie by general request played first. After she
 +
had played a little air with variations on the harp, she joined the
 +
other young ladies in begging Natasha and Nicholas, who were noted for
 +
their musical talent, to sing something. Natasha, who was treated as
 +
though she were grown up, was evidently very proud of this but at the
 +
same time felt shy.
 +
 +
"What shall we sing?" she said.
 +
 +
"'The Brook,'" suggested Nicholas.
 +
 +
"Well, then, let's be quick. Boris, come here," said Natasha. "But where
 +
is Sonya?"
 +
 +
She looked round and seeing that her friend was not in the room ran to
 +
look for her.
 +
 +
Running into Sonya's room and not finding her there, Natasha ran to the
 +
nursery, but Sonya was not there either. Natasha concluded that she must
 +
be on the chest in the passage. The chest in the passage was the place
 +
of mourning for the younger female generation in the Rostov household.
 +
And there in fact was Sonya lying face downward on Nurse's dirty feather
 +
bed on the top of the chest, crumpling her gauzy pink dress under her,
 +
hiding her face with her slender fingers, and sobbing so convulsively
 +
that her bare little shoulders shook. Natasha's face, which had been so
 +
radiantly happy all that saint's day, suddenly changed: her eyes became
 +
fixed, and then a shiver passed down her broad neck and the corners of
 +
her mouth drooped.
 +
 +
"Sonya! What is it? What is the matter?... Oo... Oo... Oo...!" And
 +
Natasha's large mouth widened, making her look quite ugly, and she began
 +
to wail like a baby without knowing why, except that Sonya was crying.
 +
Sonya tried to lift her head to answer but could not, and hid her face
 +
still deeper in the bed. Natasha wept, sitting on the blue-striped
 +
feather bed and hugging her friend. With an effort Sonya sat up and
 +
began wiping her eyes and explaining.
 +
 +
"Nicholas is going away in a week's time, his... papers... have come...
 +
he told me himself... but still I should not cry," and she showed a
 +
paper she held in her hand--with the verses Nicholas had written,
 +
"still, I should not cry, but you can't... no one can understand... what
 +
a soul he has!"
 +
 +
And she began to cry again because he had such a noble soul.
 +
 +
"It's all very well for you... I am not envious... I love you and Boris
 +
also," she went on, gaining a little strength; "he is nice... there are
 +
no difficulties in your way.... But Nicholas is my cousin... one would
 +
have to... the Metropolitan himself... and even then it can't be done.
 +
And besides, if she tells Mamma" (Sonya looked upon the countess as her
 +
mother and called her so) "that I am spoiling Nicholas' career and am
 +
heartless and ungrateful, while truly... God is my witness," and she
 +
made the sign of the cross, "I love her so much, and all of you, only
 +
Vera... And what for? What have I done to her? I am so grateful to you
 +
that I would willingly sacrifice everything, only I have nothing...."
 +
 +
Sonya could not continue, and again hid her face in her hands and in the
 +
feather bed. Natasha began consoling her, but her face showed that she
 +
understood all the gravity of her friend's trouble.
 +
 +
"Sonya," she suddenly exclaimed, as if she had guessed the true reason
 +
of her friend's sorrow, "I'm sure Vera has said something to you since
 +
dinner? Hasn't she?"
 +
 +
"Yes, these verses Nicholas wrote himself and I copied some others, and
 +
she found them on my table and said she'd show them to Mamma, and that I
 +
was ungrateful, and that Mamma would never allow him to marry me, but
 +
that he'll marry Julie. You see how he's been with her all day...
 +
Natasha, what have I done to deserve it?..."
 +
 +
And again she began to sob, more bitterly than before. Natasha lifted
 +
her up, hugged her, and, smiling through her tears, began comforting
 +
her.
 +
 +
"Sonya, don't believe her, darling! Don't believe her! Do you remember
 +
how we and Nicholas, all three of us, talked in the sitting room after
 +
supper? Why, we settled how everything was to be. I don't quite remember
 +
how, but don't you remember that it could all be arranged and how nice
 +
it all was? There's Uncle Shinshin's brother has married his first
 +
cousin. And we are only second cousins, you know. And Boris says it is
 +
quite possible. You know I have told him all about it. And he is so
 +
clever and so good!" said Natasha. "Don't you cry, Sonya, dear love,
 +
darling Sonya!" and she kissed her and laughed. "Vera's spiteful; never
 +
mind her! And all will come right and she won't say anything to Mamma.
 +
Nicholas will tell her himself, and he doesn't care at all for Julie."
 +
 +
Natasha kissed her on the hair.
 +
 +
Sonya sat up. The little kitten brightened, its eyes shone, and it
 +
seemed ready to lift its tail, jump down on its soft paws, and begin
 +
playing with the ball of worsted as a kitten should.
 +
 +
"Do you think so?... Really? Truly?" she said, quickly smoothing her
 +
frock and hair.
 +
 +
"Really, truly!" answered Natasha, pushing in a crisp lock that had
 +
strayed from under her friend's plaits.
 +
 +
Both laughed.
 +
 +
"Well, let's go and sing 'The Brook.'"
 +
 +
"Come along!"
 +
 +
"Do you know, that fat Pierre who sat opposite me is so funny!" said
 +
Natasha, stopping suddenly. "I feel so happy!"
 +
 +
And she set off at a run along the passage.
 +
 +
Sonya, shaking off some down which clung to her and tucking away the
 +
verses in the bosom of her dress close to her bony little chest, ran
 +
after Natasha down the passage into the sitting room with flushed face
 +
and light, joyous steps. At the visitors' request the young people sang
 +
the quartette, "The Brook," with which everyone was delighted. Then
 +
Nicholas sang a song he had just learned:
 +
 +
 +
At nighttime in the moon's fair glow How sweet, as fancies wander free,
 +
To feel that in this world there's one Who still is thinking but of
 +
thee!
 +
 +
That while her fingers touch the harp Wafting sweet music o'er the lea,
 +
It is for thee thus swells her heart, Sighing its message out to thee...
 +
 +
A day or two, then bliss unspoilt, But oh! till then I cannot live!...
 +
 +
He had not finished the last verse before the young people began to get
 +
ready to dance in the large hall, and the sound of the feet and the
 +
coughing of the musicians were heard from the gallery.
 +
 +
Pierre was sitting in the drawing-room where Shinshin had engaged him,
 +
as a man recently returned from abroad, in a political conversation in
 +
which several others joined but which bored Pierre. When the music began
 +
Natasha came in and walking straight up to Pierre said, laughing and
 +
blushing:
 +
 +
"Mamma told me to ask you to join the dancers."
 +
 +
"I am afraid of mixing the figures," Pierre replied; "but if you will be
 +
my teacher..." And lowering his big arm he offered it to the slender
 +
little girl.
 +
 +
While the couples were arranging themselves and the musicians tuning up,
 +
Pierre sat down with his little partner. Natasha was perfectly happy;
 +
she was dancing with a grown-up man, who had been abroad. She was
 +
sitting in a conspicuous place and talking to him like a grown-up lady.
 +
She had a fan in her hand that one of the ladies had given her to hold.
 +
Assuming quite the pose of a society woman (heaven knows when and where
 +
she had learned it) she talked with her partner, fanning herself and
 +
smiling over the fan.
 +
 +
"Dear, dear! Just look at her!" exclaimed the countess as she crossed
 +
the ballroom, pointing to Natasha.
 +
 +
Natasha blushed and laughed.
 +
 +
"Well, really, Mamma! Why should you? What is there to be surprised at?"
 +
 +
In the midst of the third ecossaise there was a clatter of chairs being
 +
pushed back in the sitting room where the count and Marya Dmitrievna had
 +
been playing cards with the majority of the more distinguished and older
 +
visitors. They now, stretching themselves after sitting so long, and
 +
replacing their purses and pocketbooks, entered the ballroom. First came
 +
Marya Dmitrievna and the count, both with merry countenances. The count,
 +
with playful ceremony somewhat in ballet style, offered his bent arm to
 +
Marya Dmitrievna. He drew himself up, a smile of debonair gallantry lit
 +
up his face and as soon as the last figure of the ecossaise was ended,
 +
he clapped his hands to the musicians and shouted up to their gallery,
 +
addressing the first violin:
 +
 +
"Semen! Do you know the Daniel Cooper?"
 +
 +
This was the count's favorite dance, which he had danced in his youth.
 +
(Strictly speaking, Daniel Cooper was one figure of the anglaise.)
 +
 +
"Look at Papa!" shouted Natasha to the whole company, and quite
 +
forgetting that she was dancing with a grown-up partner she bent her
 +
curly head to her knees and made the whole room ring with her laughter.
 +
 +
And indeed everybody in the room looked with a smile of pleasure at the
 +
jovial old gentleman, who standing beside his tall and stout partner,
 +
Marya Dmitrievna, curved his arms, beat time, straightened his
 +
shoulders, turned out his toes, tapped gently with his foot, and, by a
 +
smile that broadened his round face more and more, prepared the
 +
onlookers for what was to follow. As soon as the provocatively gay
 +
strains of Daniel Cooper (somewhat resembling those of a merry peasant
 +
dance) began to sound, all the doorways of the ballroom were suddenly
 +
filled by the domestic serfs--the men on one side and the women on the
 +
other--who with beaming faces had come to see their master making merry.
 +
 +
"Just look at the master! A regular eagle he is!" loudly remarked the
 +
nurse, as she stood in one of the doorways.
 +
 +
The count danced well and knew it. But his partner could not and did not
 +
want to dance well. Her enormous figure stood erect, her powerful arms
 +
hanging down (she had handed her reticule to the countess), and only her
 +
stern but handsome face really joined in the dance. What was expressed
 +
by the whole of the count's plump figure, in Marya Dmitrievna found
 +
expression only in her more and more beaming face and quivering nose.
 +
But if the count, getting more and more into the swing of it, charmed
 +
the spectators by the unexpectedness of his adroit maneuvers and the
 +
agility with which he capered about on his light feet, Marya Dmitrievna
 +
produced no less impression by slight exertions--the least effort to
 +
move her shoulders or bend her arms when turning, or stamp her foot--
 +
which everyone appreciated in view of her size and habitual severity.
 +
The dance grew livelier and livelier. The other couples could not
 +
attract a moment's attention to their own evolutions and did not even
 +
try to do so. All were watching the count and Marya Dmitrievna. Natasha
 +
kept pulling everyone by sleeve or dress, urging them to "look at Papa!"
 +
though as it was they never took their eyes off the couple. In the
 +
intervals of the dance the count, breathing deeply, waved and shouted to
 +
the musicians to play faster. Faster, faster, and faster; lightly, more
 +
lightly, and yet more lightly whirled the count, flying round Marya
 +
Dmitrievna, now on his toes, now on his heels; until, turning his
 +
partner round to her seat, he executed the final pas, raising his soft
 +
foot backwards, bowing his perspiring head, smiling and making a wide
 +
sweep with his arm, amid a thunder of applause and laughter led by
 +
Natasha. Both partners stood still, breathing heavily and wiping their
 +
faces with their cambric handkerchiefs.
 +
 +
"That's how we used to dance in our time, ma chere," said the count.
 +
 +
"That was a Daniel Cooper!" exclaimed Marya Dmitrievna, tucking up her
 +
sleeves and puffing heavily.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXI
 +
 +
While in the Rostovs' ballroom the sixth anglaise was being danced, to a
 +
tune in which the weary musicians blundered, and while tired footmen and
 +
cooks were getting the supper, Count Bezukhov had a sixth stroke. The
 +
doctors pronounced recovery impossible. After a mute confession,
 +
communion was administered to the dying man, preparations made for the
 +
sacrament of unction, and in his house there was the bustle and thrill
 +
of suspense usual at such moments. Outside the house, beyond the gates,
 +
a group of undertakers, who hid whenever a carriage drove up, waited in
 +
expectation of an important order for an expensive funeral. The Military
 +
Governor of Moscow, who had been assiduous in sending aides-de-camp to
 +
inquire after the count's health, came himself that evening to bid a
 +
last farewell to the celebrated grandee of Catherine's court, Count
 +
Bezukhov.
 +
 +
The magnificent reception room was crowded. Everyone stood up
 +
respectfully when the Military Governor, having stayed about half an
 +
hour alone with the dying man, passed out, slightly acknowledging their
 +
bows and trying to escape as quickly as possible from the glances fixed
 +
on him by the doctors, clergy, and relatives of the family. Prince
 +
Vasili, who had grown thinner and paler during the last few days,
 +
escorted him to the door, repeating something to him several times in
 +
low tones.
 +
 +
When the Military Governor had gone, Prince Vasili sat down all alone on
 +
a chair in the ballroom, crossing one leg high over the other, leaning
 +
his elbow on his knee and covering his face with his hand. After sitting
 +
so for a while he rose, and, looking about him with frightened eyes,
 +
went with unusually hurried steps down the long corridor leading to the
 +
back of the house, to the room of the eldest princess.
 +
 +
Those who were in the dimly lit reception room spoke in nervous
 +
whispers, and, whenever anyone went into or came from the dying man's
 +
room, grew silent and gazed with eyes full of curiosity or expectancy at
 +
his door, which creaked slightly when opened.
 +
 +
"The limits of human life... are fixed and may not be o'erpassed," said
 +
an old priest to a lady who had taken a seat beside him and was
 +
listening naively to his words.
 +
 +
"I wonder, is it not too late to administer unction?" asked the lady,
 +
adding the priest's clerical title, as if she had no opinion of her own
 +
on the subject.
 +
 +
"Ah, madam, it is a great sacrament," replied the priest, passing his
 +
hand over the thin grizzled strands of hair combed back across his bald
 +
head.
 +
 +
"Who was that? The Military Governor himself?" was being asked at the
 +
other side of the room. "How young-looking he is!"
 +
 +
"Yes, and he is over sixty. I hear the count no longer recognizes
 +
anyone. They wished to administer the sacrament of unction."
 +
 +
"I knew someone who received that sacrament seven times."
 +
 +
The second princess had just come from the sickroom with her eyes red
 +
from weeping and sat down beside Dr. Lorrain, who was sitting in a
 +
graceful pose under a portrait of Catherine, leaning his elbow on a
 +
table.
 +
 +
"Beautiful," said the doctor in answer to a remark about the weather.
 +
"The weather is beautiful, Princess; and besides, in Moscow one feels as
 +
if one were in the country."
 +
 +
"Yes, indeed," replied the princess with a sigh. "So he may have
 +
something to drink?"
 +
 +
Lorrain considered.
 +
 +
"Has he taken his medicine?"
 +
 +
"Yes."
 +
 +
The doctor glanced at his watch.
 +
 +
"Take a glass of boiled water and put a pinch of cream of tartar," and
 +
he indicated with his delicate fingers what he meant by a pinch.
 +
 +
"Dere has neffer been a gase," a German doctor was saying to an aide-de-
 +
camp, "dat one liffs after de sird stroke."
 +
 +
"And what a well-preserved man he was!" remarked the aide-de-camp. "And
 +
who will inherit his wealth?" he added in a whisper.
 +
 +
"It von't go begging," replied the German with a smile.
 +
 +
Everyone again looked toward the door, which creaked as the second
 +
princess went in with the drink she had prepared according to Lorrain's
 +
instructions. The German doctor went up to Lorrain.
 +
 +
"Do you think he can last till morning?" asked the German, addressing
 +
Lorrain in French which he pronounced badly.
 +
 +
Lorrain, pursing up his lips, waved a severely negative finger before
 +
his nose.
 +
 +
"Tonight, not later," said he in a low voice, and he moved away with a
 +
decorous smile of self-satisfaction at being able clearly to understand
 +
and state the patient's condition.
 +
 +
Meanwhile Prince Vasili had opened the door into the princess' room.
 +
 +
In this room it was almost dark; only two tiny lamps were burning before
 +
the icons and there was a pleasant scent of flowers and burnt pastilles.
 +
The room was crowded with small pieces of furniture, whatnots,
 +
cupboards, and little tables. The quilt of a high, white feather bed was
 +
just visible behind a screen. A small dog began to bark.
 +
 +
"Ah, is it you, cousin?"
 +
 +
She rose and smoothed her hair, which was as usual so extremely smooth
 +
that it seemed to be made of one piece with her head and covered with
 +
varnish.
 +
 +
"Has anything happened?" she asked. "I am so terrified."
 +
 +
"No, there is no change. I only came to have a talk about business,
 +
Catiche," * muttered the prince, seating himself wearily on the chair
 +
she had just vacated. "You have made the place warm, I must say," he
 +
remarked. "Well, sit down: let's have a talk."
 +
 +
 +
*Catherine.
 +
 +
"I thought perhaps something had happened," she said with her unchanging
 +
stonily severe expression; and, sitting down opposite the prince, she
 +
prepared to listen.
 +
 +
"I wished to get a nap, mon cousin, but I can't."
 +
 +
"Well, my dear?" said Prince Vasili, taking her hand and bending it
 +
downwards as was his habit.
 +
 +
It was plain that this "well?" referred to much that they both
 +
understood without naming.
 +
 +
The princess, who had a straight, rigid body, abnormally long for her
 +
legs, looked directly at Prince Vasili with no sign of emotion in her
 +
prominent gray eyes. Then she shook her head and glanced up at the icons
 +
with a sigh. This might have been taken as an expression of sorrow and
 +
devotion, or of weariness and hope of resting before long. Prince Vasili
 +
understood it as an expression of weariness.
 +
 +
"And I?" he said; "do you think it is easier for me? I am as worn out as
 +
a post horse, but still I must have a talk with you, Catiche, a very
 +
serious talk."
 +
 +
Prince Vasili said no more and his cheeks began to twitch nervously, now
 +
on one side, now on the other, giving his face an unpleasant expression
 +
which was never to be seen on it in a drawing room. His eyes too seemed
 +
strange; at one moment they looked impudently sly and at the next
 +
glanced round in alarm.
 +
 +
The princess, holding her little dog on her lap with her thin bony
 +
hands, looked attentively into Prince Vasili's eyes evidently resolved
 +
not to be the first to break silence, if she had to wait till morning.
 +
 +
"Well, you see, my dear princess and cousin, Catherine Semenovna,"
 +
continued Prince Vasili, returning to his theme, apparently not without
 +
an inner struggle; "at such a moment as this one must think of
 +
everything. One must think of the future, of all of you... I love you
 +
all, like children of my own, as you know."
 +
 +
The princess continued to look at him without moving, and with the same
 +
dull expression.
 +
 +
"And then of course my family has also to be considered," Prince Vasili
 +
went on, testily pushing away a little table without looking at her.
 +
"You know, Catiche, that we--you three sisters, Mamontov, and my wife--
 +
are the count's only direct heirs. I know, I know how hard it is for you
 +
to talk or think of such matters. It is no easier for me; but, my dear,
 +
I am getting on for sixty and must be prepared for anything. Do you know
 +
I have sent for Pierre? The count," pointing to his portrait,
 +
"definitely demanded that he should be called."
 +
 +
Prince Vasili looked questioningly at the princess, but could not make
 +
out whether she was considering what he had just said or whether she was
 +
simply looking at him.
 +
 +
"There is one thing I constantly pray God to grant, mon cousin," she
 +
replied, "and it is that He would be merciful to him and would allow his
 +
noble soul peacefully to leave this..."
 +
 +
"Yes, yes, of course," interrupted Prince Vasili impatiently, rubbing
 +
his bald head and angrily pulling back toward him the little table that
 +
he had pushed away. "But... in short, the fact is... you know yourself
 +
that last winter the count made a will by which he left all his
 +
property, not to us his direct heirs, but to Pierre."
 +
 +
"He has made wills enough!" quietly remarked the princess. "But he
 +
cannot leave the estate to Pierre. Pierre is illegitimate."
 +
 +
"But, my dear," said Prince Vasili suddenly, clutching the little table
 +
and becoming more animated and talking more rapidly: "what if a letter
 +
has been written to the Emperor in which the count asks for Pierre's
 +
legitimation? Do you understand that in consideration of the count's
 +
services, his request would be granted?..."
 +
 +
The princess smiled as people do who think they know more about the
 +
subject under discussion than those they are talking with.
 +
 +
"I can tell you more," continued Prince Vasili, seizing her hand, "that
 +
letter was written, though it was not sent, and the Emperor knew of it.
 +
The only question is, has it been destroyed or not? If not, then as soon
 +
as all is over," and Prince Vasili sighed to intimate what he meant by
 +
the words all is over, "and the count's papers are opened, the will and
 +
letter will be delivered to the Emperor, and the petition will certainly
 +
be granted. Pierre will get everything as the legitimate son."
 +
 +
"And our share?" asked the princess smiling ironically, as if anything
 +
might happen, only not that.
 +
 +
"But, my poor Catiche, it is as clear as daylight! He will then be the
 +
legal heir to everything and you won't get anything. You must know, my
 +
dear, whether the will and letter were written, and whether they have
 +
been destroyed or not. And if they have somehow been overlooked, you
 +
ought to know where they are, and must find them, because..."
 +
 +
"What next?" the princess interrupted, smiling sardonically and not
 +
changing the expression of her eyes. "I am a woman, and you think we are
 +
all stupid; but I know this: an illegitimate son cannot inherit... un
 +
batard!" * she added, as if supposing that this translation of the word
 +
would effectively prove to Prince Vasili the invalidity of his
 +
contention.
 +
 +
 +
* A bastard.
 +
 +
"Well, really, Catiche! Can't you understand! You are so intelligent,
 +
how is it you don't see that if the count has written a letter to the
 +
Emperor begging him to recognize Pierre as legitimate, it follows that
 +
Pierre will not be Pierre but will become Count Bezukhov, and will then
 +
inherit everything under the will? And if the will and letter are not
 +
destroyed, then you will have nothing but the consolation of having been
 +
dutiful et tout ce qui s'ensuit! * That's certain."
 +
 +
 +
* And all that follows therefrom.
 +
 +
"I know the will was made, but I also know that it is invalid; and you,
 +
mon cousin, seem to consider me a perfect fool," said the princess with
 +
the expression women assume when they suppose they are saying something
 +
witty and stinging.
 +
 +
"My dear Princess Catherine Semenovna," began Prince Vasili impatiently,
 +
"I came here not to wrangle with you, but to talk about your interests
 +
as with a kinswoman, a good, kind, true relation. And I tell you for the
 +
tenth time that if the letter to the Emperor and the will in Pierre's
 +
favor are among the count's papers, then, my dear girl, you and your
 +
sisters are not heiresses! If you don't believe me, then believe an
 +
expert. I have just been talking to Dmitri Onufrich" (the family
 +
solicitor) "and he says the same."
 +
 +
At this a sudden change evidently took place in the princess' ideas; her
 +
thin lips grew white, though her eyes did not change, and her voice when
 +
she began to speak passed through such transitions as she herself
 +
evidently did not expect.
 +
 +
"That would be a fine thing!" said she. "I never wanted anything and I
 +
don't now."
 +
 +
She pushed the little dog off her lap and smoothed her dress.
 +
 +
"And this is gratitude--this is recognition for those who have
 +
sacrificed everything for his sake!" she cried. "It's splendid! Fine! I
 +
don't want anything, Prince."
 +
 +
"Yes, but you are not the only one. There are your sisters..." replied
 +
Prince Vasili.
 +
 +
But the princess did not listen to him.
 +
 +
"Yes, I knew it long ago but had forgotten. I knew that I could expect
 +
nothing but meanness, deceit, envy, intrigue, and ingratitude--the
 +
blackest ingratitude--in this house..."
 +
 +
"Do you or do you not know where that will is?" insisted Prince Vasili,
 +
his cheeks twitching more than ever.
 +
 +
"Yes, I was a fool! I still believed in people, loved them, and
 +
sacrificed myself. But only the base, the vile succeed! I know who has
 +
been intriguing!"
 +
 +
The princess wished to rise, but the prince held her by the hand. She
 +
had the air of one who has suddenly lost faith in the whole human race.
 +
She gave her companion an angry glance.
 +
 +
"There is still time, my dear. You must remember, Catiche, that it was
 +
all done casually in a moment of anger, of illness, and was afterwards
 +
forgotten. Our duty, my dear, is to rectify his mistake, to ease his
 +
last moments by not letting him commit this injustice, and not to let
 +
him die feeling that he is rendering unhappy those who..."
 +
 +
"Who sacrificed everything for him," chimed in the princess, who would
 +
again have risen had not the prince still held her fast, "though he
 +
never could appreciate it. No, mon cousin," she added with a sigh, "I
 +
shall always remember that in this world one must expect no reward, that
 +
in this world there is neither honor nor justice. In this world one has
 +
to be cunning and cruel."
 +
 +
"Now come, come! Be reasonable. I know your excellent heart."
 +
 +
"No, I have a wicked heart."
 +
 +
"I know your heart," repeated the prince. "I value your friendship and
 +
wish you to have as good an opinion of me. Don't upset yourself, and let
 +
us talk sensibly while there is still time, be it a day or be it but an
 +
hour.... Tell me all you know about the will, and above all where it is.
 +
You must know. We will take it at once and show it to the count. He has,
 +
no doubt, forgotten it and will wish to destroy it. You understand that
 +
my sole desire is conscientiously to carry out his wishes; that is my
 +
only reason for being here. I came simply to help him and you."
 +
 +
"Now I see it all! I know who has been intriguing--I know!" cried the
 +
princess.
 +
 +
"That's not the point, my dear."
 +
 +
"It's that protege of yours, that sweet Princess Drubetskaya, that Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna whom I would not take for a housemaid... the infamous, vile
 +
woman!"
 +
 +
"Do not let us lose any time..."
 +
 +
"Ah, don't talk to me! Last winter she wheedled herself in here and told
 +
the count such vile, disgraceful things about us, especially about
 +
Sophie--I can't repeat them--that it made the count quite ill and he
 +
would not see us for a whole fortnight. I know it was then he wrote this
 +
vile, infamous paper, but I thought the thing was invalid."
 +
 +
"We've got to it at last--why did you not tell me about it sooner?"
 +
 +
"It's in the inlaid portfolio that he keeps under his pillow," said the
 +
princess, ignoring his question. "Now I know! Yes; if I have a sin, a
 +
great sin, it is hatred of that vile woman!" almost shrieked the
 +
princess, now quite changed. "And what does she come worming herself in
 +
here for? But I will give her a piece of my mind. The time will come!"
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXII
 +
 +
While these conversations were going on in the reception room and the
 +
princess' room, a carriage containing Pierre (who had been sent for) and
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna (who found it necessary to accompany him) was driving
 +
into the court of Count Bezukhov's house. As the wheels rolled softly
 +
over the straw beneath the windows, Anna Mikhaylovna, having turned with
 +
words of comfort to her companion, realized that he was asleep in his
 +
corner and woke him up. Rousing himself, Pierre followed Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna out of the carriage, and only then began to think of the
 +
interview with his dying father which awaited him. He noticed that they
 +
had not come to the front entrance but to the back door. While he was
 +
getting down from the carriage steps two men, who looked like
 +
tradespeople, ran hurriedly from the entrance and hid in the shadow of
 +
the wall. Pausing for a moment, Pierre noticed several other men of the
 +
same kind hiding in the shadow of the house on both sides. But neither
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna nor the footman nor the coachman, who could not help
 +
seeing these people, took any notice of them. "It seems to be all
 +
right," Pierre concluded, and followed Anna Mikhaylovna. She hurriedly
 +
ascended the narrow dimly lit stone staircase, calling to Pierre, who
 +
was lagging behind, to follow. Though he did not see why it was
 +
necessary for him to go to the count at all, still less why he had to go
 +
by the back stairs, yet judging by Anna Mikhaylovna's air of assurance
 +
and haste, Pierre concluded that it was all absolutely necessary.
 +
Halfway up the stairs they were almost knocked over by some men who,
 +
carrying pails, came running downstairs, their boots clattering. These
 +
men pressed close to the wall to let Pierre and Anna Mikhaylovna pass
 +
and did not evince the least surprise at seeing them there.
 +
 +
"Is this the way to the princesses' apartments?" asked Anna Mikhaylovna
 +
of one of them.
 +
 +
"Yes," replied a footman in a bold loud voice, as if anything were now
 +
permissible; "the door to the left, ma'am."
 +
 +
"Perhaps the count did not ask for me," said Pierre when he reached the
 +
landing. "I'd better go to my own room."
 +
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna paused and waited for him to come up.
 +
 +
"Ah, my friend!" she said, touching his arm as she had done her son's
 +
when speaking to him that afternoon, "believe me I suffer no less than
 +
you do, but be a man!"
 +
 +
"But really, hadn't I better go away?" he asked, looking kindly at her
 +
over his spectacles.
 +
 +
"Ah, my dear friend! Forget the wrongs that may have been done you.
 +
Think that he is your father... perhaps in the agony of death." She
 +
sighed. "I have loved you like a son from the first. Trust yourself to
 +
me, Pierre. I shall not forget your interests."
 +
 +
Pierre did not understand a word, but the conviction that all this had
 +
to be grew stronger, and he meekly followed Anna Mikhaylovna who was
 +
already opening a door.
 +
 +
This door led into a back anteroom. An old man, a servant of the
 +
princesses, sat in a corner knitting a stocking. Pierre had never been
 +
in this part of the house and did not even know of the existence of
 +
these rooms. Anna Mikhaylovna, addressing a maid who was hurrying past
 +
with a decanter on a tray as "my dear" and "my sweet," asked about the
 +
princess' health and then led Pierre along a stone passage. The first
 +
door on the left led into the princesses' apartments. The maid with the
 +
decanter in her haste had not closed the door (everything in the house
 +
was done in haste at that time), and Pierre and Anna Mikhaylovna in
 +
passing instinctively glanced into the room, where Prince Vasili and the
 +
eldest princess were sitting close together talking. Seeing them pass,
 +
Prince Vasili drew back with obvious impatience, while the princess
 +
jumped up and with a gesture of desperation slammed the door with all
 +
her might.
 +
 +
This action was so unlike her usual composure and the fear depicted on
 +
Prince Vasili's face so out of keeping with his dignity that Pierre
 +
stopped and glanced inquiringly over his spectacles at his guide. Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna evinced no surprise, she only smiled faintly and sighed, as
 +
if to say that this was no more than she had expected.
 +
 +
"Be a man, my friend. I will look after your interests," said she in
 +
reply to his look, and went still faster along the passage.
 +
 +
Pierre could not make out what it was all about, and still less what
 +
"watching over his interests" meant, but he decided that all these
 +
things had to be. From the passage they went into a large, dimly lit
 +
room adjoining the count's reception room. It was one of those sumptuous
 +
but cold apartments known to Pierre only from the front approach, but
 +
even in this room there now stood an empty bath, and water had been
 +
spilled on the carpet. They were met by a deacon with a censer and by a
 +
servant who passed out on tiptoe without heeding them. They went into
 +
the reception room familiar to Pierre, with two Italian windows opening
 +
into the conservatory, with its large bust and full length portrait of
 +
Catherine the Great. The same people were still sitting here in almost
 +
the same positions as before, whispering to one another. All became
 +
silent and turned to look at the pale tear-worn Anna Mikhaylovna as she
 +
entered, and at the big stout figure of Pierre who, hanging his head,
 +
meekly followed her.
 +
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna's face expressed a consciousness that the decisive
 +
moment had arrived. With the air of a practical Petersburg lady she now,
 +
keeping Pierre close beside her, entered the room even more boldly than
 +
that afternoon. She felt that as she brought with her the person the
 +
dying man wished to see, her own admission was assured. Casting a rapid
 +
glance at all those in the room and noticing the count's confessor
 +
there, she glided up to him with a sort of amble, not exactly bowing yet
 +
seeming to grow suddenly smaller, and respectfully received the blessing
 +
first of one and then of another priest.
 +
 +
"God be thanked that you are in time," said she to one of the priests;
 +
"all we relatives have been in such anxiety. This young man is the
 +
count's son," she added more softly. "What a terrible moment!"
 +
 +
Having said this she went up to the doctor.
 +
 +
"Dear doctor," said she, "this young man is the count's son. Is there
 +
any hope?"
 +
 +
The doctor cast a rapid glance upwards and silently shrugged his
 +
shoulders. Anna Mikhaylovna with just the same movement raised her
 +
shoulders and eyes, almost closing the latter, sighed, and moved away
 +
from the doctor to Pierre. To him, in a particularly respectful and
 +
tenderly sad voice, she said:
 +
 +
"Trust in His mercy!" and pointing out a small sofa for him to sit and
 +
wait for her, she went silently toward the door that everyone was
 +
watching and it creaked very slightly as she disappeared behind it.
 +
 +
Pierre, having made up his mind to obey his monitress implicitly, moved
 +
toward the sofa she had indicated. As soon as Anna Mikhaylovna had
 +
disappeared he noticed that the eyes of all in the room turned to him
 +
with something more than curiosity and sympathy. He noticed that they
 +
whispered to one another, casting significant looks at him with a kind
 +
of awe and even servility. A deference such as he had never before
 +
received was shown him. A strange lady, the one who had been talking to
 +
the priests, rose and offered him her seat; an aide-de-camp picked up
 +
and returned a glove Pierre had dropped; the doctors became respectfully
 +
silent as he passed by, and moved to make way for him. At first Pierre
 +
wished to take another seat so as not to trouble the lady, and also to
 +
pick up the glove himself and to pass round the doctors who were not
 +
even in his way; but all at once he felt that this would not do, and
 +
that tonight he was a person obliged to perform some sort of awful rite
 +
which everyone expected of him, and that he was therefore bound to
 +
accept their services. He took the glove in silence from the aide-de-
 +
camp, and sat down in the lady's chair, placing his huge hands
 +
symmetrically on his knees in the naive attitude of an Egyptian statue,
 +
and decided in his own mind that all was as it should be, and that in
 +
order not to lose his head and do foolish things he must not act on his
 +
own ideas tonight, but must yield himself up entirely to the will of
 +
those who were guiding him.
 +
 +
Not two minutes had passed before Prince Vasili with head erect
 +
majestically entered the room. He was wearing his long coat with three
 +
stars on his breast. He seemed to have grown thinner since the morning;
 +
his eyes seemed larger than usual when he glanced round and noticed
 +
Pierre. He went up to him, took his hand (a thing he never used to do),
 +
and drew it downwards as if wishing to ascertain whether it was firmly
 +
fixed on.
 +
 +
"Courage, courage, my friend! He has asked to see you. That is well!"
 +
and he turned to go.
 +
 +
But Pierre thought it necessary to ask: "How is..." and hesitated, not
 +
knowing whether it would be proper to call the dying man "the count,"
 +
yet ashamed to call him "father."
 +
 +
"He had another stroke about half an hour ago. Courage, my friend..."
 +
 +
Pierre's mind was in such a confused state that the word "stroke"
 +
suggested to him a blow from something. He looked at Prince Vasili in
 +
perplexity, and only later grasped that a stroke was an attack of
 +
illness. Prince Vasili said something to Lorrain in passing and went
 +
through the door on tiptoe. He could not walk well on tiptoe and his
 +
whole body jerked at each step. The eldest princess followed him, and
 +
the priests and deacons and some servants also went in at the door.
 +
Through that door was heard a noise of things being moved about, and at
 +
last Anna Mikhaylovna, still with the same expression, pale but resolute
 +
in the discharge of duty, ran out and touching Pierre lightly on the arm
 +
said:
 +
 +
"The divine mercy is inexhaustible! Unction is about to be administered.
 +
Come."
 +
 +
Pierre went in at the door, stepping on the soft carpet, and noticed
 +
that the strange lady, the aide-de-camp, and some of the servants, all
 +
followed him in, as if there were now no further need for permission to
 +
enter that room.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXIII
 +
 +
Pierre well knew this large room divided by columns and an arch, its
 +
walls hung round with Persian carpets. The part of the room behind the
 +
columns, with a high silk-curtained mahogany bedstead on one side and on
 +
the other an immense case containing icons, was brightly illuminated
 +
with red light like a Russian church during evening service. Under the
 +
gleaming icons stood a long invalid chair, and in that chair on snowy-
 +
white smooth pillows, evidently freshly changed, Pierre saw--covered to
 +
the waist by a bright green quilt--the familiar, majestic figure of his
 +
father, Count Bezukhov, with that gray mane of hair above his broad
 +
forehead which reminded one of a lion, and the deep characteristically
 +
noble wrinkles of his handsome, ruddy face. He lay just under the icons;
 +
his large thick hands outside the quilt. Into the right hand, which was
 +
lying palm downwards, a wax taper had been thrust between forefinger and
 +
thumb, and an old servant, bending over from behind the chair, held it
 +
in position. By the chair stood the priests, their long hair falling
 +
over their magnificent glittering vestments, with lighted tapers in
 +
their hands, slowly and solemnly conducting the service. A little behind
 +
them stood the two younger princesses holding handkerchiefs to their
 +
eyes, and just in front of them their eldest sister, Catiche, with a
 +
vicious and determined look steadily fixed on the icons, as though
 +
declaring to all that she could not answer for herself should she glance
 +
round. Anna Mikhaylovna, with a meek, sorrowful, and all-forgiving
 +
expression on her face, stood by the door near the strange lady. Prince
 +
Vasili in front of the door, near the invalid chair, a wax taper in his
 +
left hand, was leaning his left arm on the carved back of a velvet chair
 +
he had turned round for the purpose, and was crossing himself with his
 +
right hand, turning his eyes upward each time he touched his forehead.
 +
His face wore a calm look of piety and resignation to the will of God.
 +
"If you do not understand these sentiments," he seemed to be saying, "so
 +
much the worse for you!"
 +
 +
Behind him stood the aide-de-camp, the doctors, and the menservants; the
 +
men and women had separated as in church. All were silently crossing
 +
themselves, and the reading of the church service, the subdued chanting
 +
of deep bass voices, and in the intervals sighs and the shuffling of
 +
feet were the only sounds that could be heard. Anna Mikhaylovna, with an
 +
air of importance that showed that she felt she quite knew what she was
 +
about, went across the room to where Pierre was standing and gave him a
 +
taper. He lit it and, distracted by observing those around him, began
 +
crossing himself with the hand that held the taper.
 +
 +
Sophie, the rosy, laughter-loving, youngest princess with the mole,
 +
watched him. She smiled, hid her face in her handkerchief, and remained
 +
with it hidden for awhile; then looking up and seeing Pierre she again
 +
began to laugh. She evidently felt unable to look at him without
 +
laughing, but could not resist looking at him: so to be out of
 +
temptation she slipped quietly behind one of the columns. In the midst
 +
of the service the voices of the priests suddenly ceased, they whispered
 +
to one another, and the old servant who was holding the count's hand got
 +
up and said something to the ladies. Anna Mikhaylovna stepped forward
 +
and, stooping over the dying man, beckoned to Lorrain from behind her
 +
back. The French doctor held no taper; he was leaning against one of the
 +
columns in a respectful attitude implying that he, a foreigner, in spite
 +
of all differences of faith, understood the full importance of the rite
 +
now being performed and even approved of it. He now approached the sick
 +
man with the noiseless step of one in full vigor of life, with his
 +
delicate white fingers raised from the green quilt the hand that was
 +
free, and turning sideways felt the pulse and reflected a moment. The
 +
sick man was given something to drink, there was a stir around him, then
 +
the people resumed their places and the service continued. During this
 +
interval Pierre noticed that Prince Vasili left the chair on which he
 +
had been leaning, and--with an air which intimated that he knew what he
 +
was about and if others did not understand him it was so much the worse
 +
for them--did not go up to the dying man, but passed by him, joined the
 +
eldest princess, and moved with her to the side of the room where stood
 +
the high bedstead with its silken hangings. On leaving the bed both
 +
Prince Vasili and the princess passed out by a back door, but returned
 +
to their places one after the other before the service was concluded.
 +
Pierre paid no more attention to this occurrence than to the rest of
 +
what went on, having made up his mind once for all that what he saw
 +
happening around him that evening was in some way essential.
 +
 +
The chanting of the service ceased, and the voice of the priest was
 +
heard respectfully congratulating the dying man on having received the
 +
sacrament. The dying man lay as lifeless and immovable as before. Around
 +
him everyone began to stir: steps were audible and whispers, among which
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna's was the most distinct.
 +
 +
Pierre heard her say:
 +
 +
"Certainly he must be moved onto the bed; here it will be impossible..."
 +
 +
The sick man was so surrounded by doctors, princesses, and servants that
 +
Pierre could no longer see the reddish-yellow face with its gray mane--
 +
which, though he saw other faces as well, he had not lost sight of for a
 +
single moment during the whole service. He judged by the cautious
 +
movements of those who crowded round the invalid chair that they had
 +
lifted the dying man and were moving him.
 +
 +
"Catch hold of my arm or you'll drop him!" he heard one of the servants
 +
say in a frightened whisper. "Catch hold from underneath. Here!"
 +
exclaimed different voices; and the heavy breathing of the bearers and
 +
the shuffling of their feet grew more hurried, as if the weight they
 +
were carrying were too much for them.
 +
 +
As the bearers, among whom was Anna Mikhaylovna, passed the young man he
 +
caught a momentary glimpse between their heads and backs of the dying
 +
man's high, stout, uncovered chest and powerful shoulders, raised by
 +
those who were holding him under the armpits, and of his gray, curly,
 +
leonine head. This head, with its remarkably broad brow and cheekbones,
 +
its handsome, sensual mouth, and its cold, majestic expression, was not
 +
disfigured by the approach of death. It was the same as Pierre
 +
remembered it three months before, when the count had sent him to
 +
Petersburg. But now this head was swaying helplessly with the uneven
 +
movements of the bearers, and the cold listless gaze fixed itself upon
 +
nothing.
 +
 +
After a few minutes' bustle beside the high bedstead, those who had
 +
carried the sick man dispersed. Anna Mikhaylovna touched Pierre's hand
 +
and said, "Come." Pierre went with her to the bed on which the sick man
 +
had been laid in a stately pose in keeping with the ceremony just
 +
completed. He lay with his head propped high on the pillows. His hands
 +
were symmetrically placed on the green silk quilt, the palms downward.
 +
When Pierre came up the count was gazing straight at him, but with a
 +
look the significance of which could not be understood by mortal man.
 +
Either this look meant nothing but that as long as one has eyes they
 +
must look somewhere, or it meant too much. Pierre hesitated, not knowing
 +
what to do, and glanced inquiringly at his guide. Anna Mikhaylovna made
 +
a hurried sign with her eyes, glancing at the sick man's hand and moving
 +
her lips as if to send it a kiss. Pierre, carefully stretching his neck
 +
so as not to touch the quilt, followed her suggestion and pressed his
 +
lips to the large boned, fleshy hand. Neither the hand nor a single
 +
muscle of the count's face stirred. Once more Pierre looked
 +
questioningly at Anna Mikhaylovna to see what he was to do next. Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna with her eyes indicated a chair that stood beside the bed.
 +
Pierre obediently sat down, his eyes asking if he were doing right. Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna nodded approvingly. Again Pierre fell into the naively
 +
symmetrical pose of an Egyptian statue, evidently distressed that his
 +
stout and clumsy body took up so much room and doing his utmost to look
 +
as small as possible. He looked at the count, who still gazed at the
 +
spot where Pierre's face had been before he sat down. Anna Mikhaylovna
 +
indicated by her attitude her consciousness of the pathetic importance
 +
of these last moments of meeting between the father and son. This lasted
 +
about two minutes, which to Pierre seemed an hour. Suddenly the broad
 +
muscles and lines of the count's face began to twitch. The twitching
 +
increased, the handsome mouth was drawn to one side (only now did Pierre
 +
realize how near death his father was), and from that distorted mouth
 +
issued an indistinct, hoarse sound. Anna Mikhaylovna looked attentively
 +
at the sick man's eyes, trying to guess what he wanted; she pointed
 +
first to Pierre, then to some drink, then named Prince Vasili in an
 +
inquiring whisper, then pointed to the quilt. The eyes and face of the
 +
sick man showed impatience. He made an effort to look at the servant who
 +
stood constantly at the head of the bed.
 +
 +
"Wants to turn on the other side," whispered the servant, and got up to
 +
turn the count's heavy body toward the wall.
 +
 +
Pierre rose to help him.
 +
 +
While the count was being turned over, one of his arms fell back
 +
helplessly and he made a fruitless effort to pull it forward. Whether he
 +
noticed the look of terror with which Pierre regarded that lifeless arm,
 +
or whether some other thought flitted across his dying brain, at any
 +
rate he glanced at the refractory arm, at Pierre's terror-stricken face,
 +
and again at the arm, and on his face a feeble, piteous smile appeared,
 +
quite out of keeping with his features, that seemed to deride his own
 +
helplessness. At sight of this smile Pierre felt an unexpected quivering
 +
in his breast and a tickling in his nose, and tears dimmed his eyes. The
 +
sick man was turned on to his side with his face to the wall. He sighed.
 +
 +
"He is dozing," said Anna Mikhaylovna, observing that one of the
 +
princesses was coming to take her turn at watching. "Let us go."
 +
 +
Pierre went out.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXIV
 +
 +
There was now no one in the reception room except Prince Vasili and the
 +
eldest princess, who were sitting under the portrait of Catherine the
 +
Great and talking eagerly. As soon as they saw Pierre and his companion
 +
they became silent, and Pierre thought he saw the princess hide
 +
something as she whispered:
 +
 +
"I can't bear the sight of that woman."
 +
 +
"Catiche has had tea served in the small drawing room," said Prince
 +
Vasili to Anna Mikhaylovna. "Go and take something, my poor Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna, or you will not hold out."
 +
 +
To Pierre he said nothing, merely giving his arm a sympathetic squeeze
 +
below the shoulder. Pierre went with Anna Mikhaylovna into the small
 +
drawing room.
 +
 +
"There is nothing so refreshing after a sleepless night as a cup of this
 +
delicious Russian tea," Lorrain was saying with an air of restrained
 +
animation as he stood sipping tea from a delicate Chinese handleless cup
 +
before a table on which tea and a cold supper were laid in the small
 +
circular room. Around the table all who were at Count Bezukhov's house
 +
that night had gathered to fortify themselves. Pierre well remembered
 +
this small circular drawing room with its mirrors and little tables.
 +
During balls given at the house Pierre, who did not know how to dance,
 +
had liked sitting in this room to watch the ladies who, as they passed
 +
through in their ball dresses with diamonds and pearls on their bare
 +
shoulders, looked at themselves in the brilliantly lighted mirrors which
 +
repeated their reflections several times. Now this same room was dimly
 +
lighted by two candles. On one small table tea things and supper dishes
 +
stood in disorder, and in the middle of the night a motley throng of
 +
people sat there, not merrymaking, but somberly whispering, and
 +
betraying by every word and movement that they none of them forgot what
 +
was happening and what was about to happen in the bedroom. Pierre did
 +
not eat anything though he would very much have liked to. He looked
 +
inquiringly at his monitress and saw that she was again going on tiptoe
 +
to the reception room where they had left Prince Vasili and the eldest
 +
princess. Pierre concluded that this also was essential, and after a
 +
short interval followed her. Anna Mikhaylovna was standing beside the
 +
princess, and they were both speaking in excited whispers.
 +
 +
"Permit me, Princess, to know what is necessary and what is not
 +
necessary," said the younger of the two speakers, evidently in the same
 +
state of excitement as when she had slammed the door of her room.
 +
 +
"But, my dear princess," answered Anna Mikhaylovna blandly but
 +
impressively, blocking the way to the bedroom and preventing the other
 +
from passing, "won't this be too much for poor Uncle at a moment when he
 +
needs repose? Worldly conversation at a moment when his soul is already
 +
prepared..."
 +
 +
Prince Vasili was seated in an easy chair in his familiar attitude, with
 +
one leg crossed high above the other. His cheeks, which were so flabby
 +
that they looked heavier below, were twitching violently; but he wore
 +
the air of a man little concerned in what the two ladies were saying.
 +
 +
"Come, my dear Anna Mikhaylovna, let Catiche do as she pleases. You know
 +
how fond the count is of her."
 +
 +
"I don't even know what is in this paper," said the younger of the two
 +
ladies, addressing Prince Vasili and pointing to an inlaid portfolio she
 +
held in her hand. "All I know is that his real will is in his writing
 +
table, and this is a paper he has forgotten...."
 +
 +
She tried to pass Anna Mikhaylovna, but the latter sprang so as to bar
 +
her path.
 +
 +
"I know, my dear, kind princess," said Anna Mikhaylovna, seizing the
 +
portfolio so firmly that it was plain she would not let go easily. "Dear
 +
princess, I beg and implore you, have some pity on him! Je vous en
 +
conjure..."
 +
 +
The princess did not reply. Their efforts in the struggle for the
 +
portfolio were the only sounds audible, but it was evident that if the
 +
princess did speak, her words would not be flattering to Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna. Though the latter held on tenaciously, her voice lost none
 +
of its honeyed firmness and softness.
 +
 +
"Pierre, my dear, come here. I think he will not be out of place in a
 +
family consultation; is it not so, Prince?"
 +
 +
"Why don't you speak, cousin?" suddenly shrieked the princess so loud
 +
that those in the drawing room heard her and were startled. "Why do you
 +
remain silent when heaven knows who permits herself to interfere, making
 +
a scene on the very threshold of a dying man's room? Intriguer!" she
 +
hissed viciously, and tugged with all her might at the portfolio.
 +
 +
But Anna Mikhaylovna went forward a step or two to keep her hold on the
 +
portfolio, and changed her grip.
 +
 +
Prince Vasili rose. "Oh!" said he with reproach and surprise, "this is
 +
absurd! Come, let go I tell you."
 +
 +
The princess let go.
 +
 +
"And you too!"
 +
 +
But Anna Mikhaylovna did not obey him.
 +
 +
"Let go, I tell you! I will take the responsibility. I myself will go
 +
and ask him, I!... does that satisfy you?"
 +
 +
"But, Prince," said Anna Mikhaylovna, "after such a solemn sacrament,
 +
allow him a moment's peace! Here, Pierre, tell them your opinion," said
 +
she, turning to the young man who, having come quite close, was gazing
 +
with astonishment at the angry face of the princess which had lost all
 +
dignity, and at the twitching cheeks of Prince Vasili.
 +
 +
"Remember that you will answer for the consequences," said Prince Vasili
 +
severely. "You don't know what you are doing."
 +
 +
"Vile woman!" shouted the princess, darting unexpectedly at Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna and snatching the portfolio from her.
 +
 +
Prince Vasili bent his head and spread out his hands.
 +
 +
At this moment that terrible door, which Pierre had watched so long and
 +
which had always opened so quietly, burst noisily open and banged
 +
against the wall, and the second of the three sisters rushed out
 +
wringing her hands.
 +
 +
"What are you doing!" she cried vehemently. "He is dying and you leave
 +
me alone with him!"
 +
 +
Her sister dropped the portfolio. Anna Mikhaylovna, stooping, quickly
 +
caught up the object of contention and ran into the bedroom. The eldest
 +
princess and Prince Vasili, recovering themselves, followed her. A few
 +
minutes later the eldest sister came out with a pale hard face, again
 +
biting her underlip. At sight of Pierre her expression showed an
 +
irrepressible hatred.
 +
 +
"Yes, now you may be glad!" said she; "this is what you have been
 +
waiting for." And bursting into tears she hid her face in her
 +
handkerchief and rushed from the room.
 +
 +
Prince Vasili came next. He staggered to the sofa on which Pierre was
 +
sitting and dropped onto it, covering his face with his hand. Pierre
 +
noticed that he was pale and that his jaw quivered and shook as if in an
 +
ague.
 +
 +
"Ah, my friend!" said he, taking Pierre by the elbow; and there was in
 +
his voice a sincerity and weakness Pierre had never observed in it
 +
before. "How often we sin, how much we deceive, and all for what? I am
 +
near sixty, dear friend... I too... All will end in death, all! Death is
 +
awful..." and he burst into tears.
 +
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna came out last. She approached Pierre with slow, quiet
 +
steps.
 +
 +
"Pierre!" she said.
 +
 +
Pierre gave her an inquiring look. She kissed the young man on his
 +
forehead, wetting him with her tears. Then after a pause she said:
 +
 +
"He is no more...."
 +
 +
Pierre looked at her over his spectacles.
 +
 +
"Come, I will go with you. Try to weep, nothing gives such relief as
 +
tears."
 +
 +
She led him into the dark drawing room and Pierre was glad no one could
 +
see his face. Anna Mikhaylovna left him, and when she returned he was
 +
fast asleep with his head on his arm.
 +
 +
In the morning Anna Mikhaylovna said to Pierre:
 +
 +
"Yes, my dear, this is a great loss for us all, not to speak of you. But
 +
God will support you: you are young, and are now, I hope, in command of
 +
an immense fortune. The will has not yet been opened. I know you well
 +
enough to be sure that this will not turn your head, but it imposes
 +
duties on you, and you must be a man."
 +
 +
Pierre was silent.
 +
 +
"Perhaps later on I may tell you, my dear boy, that if I had not been
 +
there, God only knows what would have happened! You know, Uncle promised
 +
me only the day before yesterday not to forget Boris. But he had no
 +
time. I hope, my dear friend, you will carry out your father's wish?"
 +
 +
Pierre understood nothing of all this and coloring shyly looked in
 +
silence at Princess Anna Mikhaylovna. After her talk with Pierre, Anna
 +
Mikhaylovna returned to the Rostovs' and went to bed. On waking in the
 +
morning she told the Rostovs and all her acquaintances the details of
 +
Count Bezukhov's death. She said the count had died as she would herself
 +
wish to die, that his end was not only touching but edifying. As to the
 +
last meeting between father and son, it was so touching that she could
 +
not think of it without tears, and did not know which had behaved better
 +
during those awful moments--the father who so remembered everything and
 +
everybody at last and had spoken such pathetic words to the son, or
 +
Pierre, whom it had been pitiful to see, so stricken was he with grief,
 +
though he tried hard to hide it in order not to sadden his dying father.
 +
"It is painful, but it does one good. It uplifts the soul to see such
 +
men as the old count and his worthy son," said she. Of the behavior of
 +
the eldest princess and Prince Vasili she spoke disapprovingly, but in
 +
whispers and as a great secret.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXV
 +
 +
At Bald Hills, Prince Nicholas Andreevich Bolkonski's estate, the
 +
arrival of young Prince Andrew and his wife was daily expected, but this
 +
expectation did not upset the regular routine of life in the old
 +
prince's household. General in Chief Prince Nicholas Andreevich
 +
(nicknamed in society, "the King of Prussia") ever since the Emperor
 +
Paul had exiled him to his country estate had lived there continuously
 +
with his daughter, Princess Mary, and her companion, Mademoiselle
 +
Bourienne. Though in the new reign he was free to return to the
 +
capitals, he still continued to live in the country, remarking that
 +
anyone who wanted to see him could come the hundred miles from Moscow to
 +
Bald Hills, while he himself needed no one and nothing. He used to say
 +
that there are only two sources of human vice--idleness and
 +
superstition, and only two virtues--activity and intelligence. He
 +
himself undertook his daughter's education, and to develop these two
 +
cardinal virtues in her gave her lessons in algebra and geometry till
 +
she was twenty, and arranged her life so that her whole time was
 +
occupied. He was himself always occupied: writing his memoirs, solving
 +
problems in higher mathematics, turning snuffboxes on a lathe, working
 +
in the garden, or superintending the building that was always going on
 +
at his estate. As regularity is a prime condition facilitating activity,
 +
regularity in his household was carried to the highest point of
 +
exactitude. He always came to table under precisely the same conditions,
 +
and not only at the same hour but at the same minute. With those about
 +
him, from his daughter to his serfs, the prince was sharp and invariably
 +
exacting, so that without being a hardhearted man he inspired such fear
 +
and respect as few hardhearted men would have aroused. Although he was
 +
in retirement and had now no influence in political affairs, every high
 +
official appointed to the province in which the prince's estate lay
 +
considered it his duty to visit him and waited in the lofty antechamber
 +
just as the architect, gardener, or Princess Mary did, till the prince
 +
appeared punctually to the appointed hour. Everyone sitting in this
 +
antechamber experienced the same feeling of respect and even fear when
 +
the enormously high study door opened and showed the figure of a rather
 +
small old man, with powdered wig, small withered hands, and bushy gray
 +
eyebrows which, when he frowned, sometimes hid the gleam of his shrewd,
 +
youthfully glittering eyes.
 +
 +
On the morning of the day that the young couple were to arrive, Princess
 +
Mary entered the antechamber as usual at the time appointed for the
 +
morning greeting, crossing herself with trepidation and repeating a
 +
silent prayer. Every morning she came in like that, and every morning
 +
prayed that the daily interview might pass off well.
 +
 +
An old powdered manservant who was sitting in the antechamber rose
 +
quietly and said in a whisper: "Please walk in."
 +
 +
Through the door came the regular hum of a lathe. The princess timidly
 +
opened the door which moved noiselessly and easily. She paused at the
 +
entrance. The prince was working at the lathe and after glancing round
 +
continued his work.
 +
 +
The enormous study was full of things evidently in constant use. The
 +
large table covered with books and plans, the tall glass-fronted
 +
bookcases with keys in the locks, the high desk for writing while
 +
standing up, on which lay an open exercise book, and the lathe with
 +
tools laid ready to hand and shavings scattered around--all indicated
 +
continuous, varied, and orderly activity. The motion of the small foot
 +
shod in a Tartar boot embroidered with silver, and the firm pressure of
 +
the lean sinewy hand, showed that the prince still possessed the
 +
tenacious endurance and vigor of hardy old age. After a few more turns
 +
of the lathe he removed his foot from the pedal, wiped his chisel,
 +
dropped it into a leather pouch attached to the lathe, and, approaching
 +
the table, summoned his daughter. He never gave his children a blessing,
 +
so he simply held out his bristly cheek (as yet unshaven) and, regarding
 +
her tenderly and attentively, said severely:
 +
 +
"Quite well? All right then, sit down." He took the exercise book
 +
containing lessons in geometry written by himself and drew up a chair
 +
with his foot.
 +
 +
"For tomorrow!" said he, quickly finding the page and making a scratch
 +
from one paragraph to another with his hard nail.
 +
 +
The princess bent over the exercise book on the table.
 +
 +
"Wait a bit, here's a letter for you," said the old man suddenly, taking
 +
a letter addressed in a woman's hand from a bag hanging above the table,
 +
onto which he threw it.
 +
 +
At the sight of the letter red patches showed themselves on the
 +
princess' face. She took it quickly and bent her head over it.
 +
 +
"From Heloise?" asked the prince with a cold smile that showed his still
 +
sound, yellowish teeth.
 +
 +
"Yes, it's from Julie," replied the princess with a timid glance and a
 +
timid smile.
 +
 +
"I'll let two more letters pass, but the third I'll read," said the
 +
prince sternly; "I'm afraid you write much nonsense. I'll read the
 +
third!"
 +
 +
"Read this if you like, Father," said the princess, blushing still more
 +
and holding out the letter.
 +
 +
"The third, I said the third!" cried the prince abruptly, pushing the
 +
letter away, and leaning his elbows on the table he drew toward him the
 +
exercise book containing geometrical figures.
 +
 +
"Well, madam," he began, stooping over the book close to his daughter
 +
and placing an arm on the back of the chair on which she sat, so that
 +
she felt herself surrounded on all sides by the acrid scent of old age
 +
and tobacco, which she had known so long. "Now, madam, these triangles
 +
are equal; please note that the angle ABC..."
 +
 +
The princess looked in a scared way at her father's eyes glittering
 +
close to her; the red patches on her face came and went, and it was
 +
plain that she understood nothing and was so frightened that her fear
 +
would prevent her understanding any of her father's further
 +
explanations, however clear they might be. Whether it was the teacher's
 +
fault or the pupil's, this same thing happened every day: the princess'
 +
eyes grew dim, she could not see and could not hear anything, but was
 +
only conscious of her stern father's withered face close to her, of his
 +
breath and the smell of him, and could think only of how to get away
 +
quickly to her own room to make out the problem in peace. The old man
 +
was beside himself: moved the chair on which he was sitting noisily
 +
backward and forward, made efforts to control himself and not become
 +
vehement, but almost always did become vehement, scolded, and sometimes
 +
flung the exercise book away.
 +
 +
The princess gave a wrong answer.
 +
 +
"Well now, isn't she a fool!" shouted the prince, pushing the book aside
 +
and turning sharply away; but rising immediately, he paced up and down,
 +
lightly touched his daughter's hair and sat down again.
 +
 +
He drew up his chair, and continued to explain.
 +
 +
"This won't do, Princess; it won't do," said he, when Princess Mary,
 +
having taken and closed the exercise book with the next day's lesson,
 +
was about to leave: "Mathematics are most important, madam! I don't want
 +
to have you like our silly ladies. Get used to it and you'll like it,"
 +
and he patted her cheek. "It will drive all the nonsense out of your
 +
head."
 +
 +
She turned to go, but he stopped her with a gesture and took an uncut
 +
book from the high desk.
 +
 +
"Here is some sort of Key to the Mysteries that your Heloise has sent
 +
you. Religious! I don't interfere with anyone's belief... I have looked
 +
at it. Take it. Well, now go. Go."
 +
 +
He patted her on the shoulder and himself closed the door after her.
 +
 +
Princess Mary went back to her room with the sad, scared expression that
 +
rarely left her and which made her plain, sickly face yet plainer. She
 +
sat down at her writing table, on which stood miniature portraits and
 +
which was littered with books and papers. The princess was as untidy as
 +
her father was tidy. She put down the geometry book and eagerly broke
 +
the seal of her letter. It was from her most intimate friend from
 +
childhood; that same Julie Karagina who had been at the Rostovs' name-
 +
day party.
 +
 +
Julie wrote in French:
 +
 +
Dear and precious Friend, How terrible and frightful a thing is
 +
separation! Though I tell myself that half my life and half my happiness
 +
are wrapped up in you, and that in spite of the distance separating us
 +
our hearts are united by indissoluble bonds, my heart rebels against
 +
fate and in spite of the pleasures and distractions around me I cannot
 +
overcome a certain secret sorrow that has been in my heart ever since we
 +
parted. Why are we not together as we were last summer, in your big
 +
study, on the blue sofa, the confidential sofa? Why cannot I now, as
 +
three months ago, draw fresh moral strength from your look, so gentle,
 +
calm, and penetrating, a look I loved so well and seem to see before me
 +
as I write?
 +
 +
Having read thus far, Princess Mary sighed and glanced into the mirror
 +
which stood on her right. It reflected a weak, ungraceful figure and
 +
thin face. Her eyes, always sad, now looked with particular hopelessness
 +
at her reflection in the glass. "She flatters me," thought the princess,
 +
turning away and continuing to read. But Julie did not flatter her
 +
friend, the princess' eyes--large, deep and luminous (it seemed as if at
 +
times there radiated from them shafts of warm light)--were so beautiful
 +
that very often in spite of the plainness of her face they gave her an
 +
attraction more powerful than that of beauty. But the princess never saw
 +
the beautiful expression of her own eyes--the look they had when she was
 +
not thinking of herself. As with everyone, her face assumed a forced
 +
unnatural expression as soon as she looked in a glass. She went on
 +
reading:
 +
 +
All Moscow talks of nothing but war. One of my two brothers is already
 +
abroad, the other is with the Guards, who are starting on their march to
 +
the frontier. Our dear Emperor has left Petersburg and it is thought
 +
intends to expose his precious person to the chances of war. God grant
 +
that the Corsican monster who is destroying the peace of Europe may be
 +
overthrown by the angel whom it has pleased the Almighty, in His
 +
goodness, to give us as sovereign! To say nothing of my brothers, this
 +
war has deprived me of one of the associations nearest my heart. I mean
 +
young Nicholas Rostov, who with his enthusiasm could not bear to remain
 +
inactive and has left the university to join the army. I will confess to
 +
you, dear Mary, that in spite of his extreme youth his departure for the
 +
army was a great grief to me. This young man, of whom I spoke to you
 +
last summer, is so noble-minded and full of that real youthfulness which
 +
one seldom finds nowadays among our old men of twenty and, particularly,
 +
he is so frank and has so much heart. He is so pure and poetic that my
 +
relations with him, transient as they were, have been one of the
 +
sweetest comforts to my poor heart, which has already suffered so much.
 +
Someday I will tell you about our parting and all that was said then.
 +
That is still too fresh. Ah, dear friend, you are happy not to know
 +
these poignant joys and sorrows. You are fortunate, for the latter are
 +
generally the stronger! I know very well that Count Nicholas is too
 +
young ever to be more to me than a friend, but this sweet friendship,
 +
this poetic and pure intimacy, were what my heart needed. But enough of
 +
this! The chief news, about which all Moscow gossips, is the death of
 +
old Count Bezukhov, and his inheritance. Fancy! The three princesses
 +
have received very little, Prince Vasili nothing, and it is Monsieur
 +
Pierre who has inherited all the property and has besides been
 +
recognized as legitimate; so that he is now Count Bezukhov and possessor
 +
of the finest fortune in Russia. It is rumored that Prince Vasili played
 +
a very despicable part in this affair and that he returned to Petersburg
 +
quite crestfallen.
 +
 +
I confess I understand very little about all these matters of wills and
 +
inheritance; but I do know that since this young man, whom we all used
 +
to know as plain Monsieur Pierre, has become Count Bezukhov and the
 +
owner of one of the largest fortunes in Russia, I am much amused to
 +
watch the change in the tone and manners of the mammas burdened by
 +
marriageable daughters, and of the young ladies themselves, toward him,
 +
though, between you and me, he always seemed to me a poor sort of
 +
fellow. As for the past two years people have amused themselves by
 +
finding husbands for me (most of whom I don't even know), the
 +
matchmaking chronicles of Moscow now speak of me as the future Countess
 +
Bezukhova. But you will understand that I have no desire for the post. A
 +
propos of marriages: do you know that a while ago that universal auntie
 +
Anna Mikhaylovna told me, under the seal of strict secrecy, of a plan of
 +
marriage for you. It is neither more nor less than with Prince Vasili's
 +
son Anatole, whom they wish to reform by marrying him to someone rich
 +
and distinguee, and it is on you that his relations' choice has fallen.
 +
I don't know what you will think of it, but I consider it my duty to let
 +
you know of it. He is said to be very handsome and a terrible
 +
scapegrace. That is all I have been able to find out about him.
 +
 +
But enough of gossip. I am at the end of my second sheet of paper, and
 +
Mamma has sent for me to go and dine at the Apraksins'. Read the
 +
mystical book I am sending you; it has an enormous success here. Though
 +
there are things in it difficult for the feeble human mind to grasp, it
 +
is an admirable book which calms and elevates the soul. Adieu! Give my
 +
respects to monsieur your father and my compliments to Mademoiselle
 +
Bourienne. I embrace you as I love you.
 +
 +
JULIE
 +
 +
P.S. Let me have news of your brother and his charming little wife.
 +
 +
The princess pondered awhile with a thoughtful smile and her luminous
 +
eyes lit up so that her face was entirely transformed. Then she suddenly
 +
rose and with her heavy tread went up to the table. She took a sheet of
 +
paper and her hand moved rapidly over it. This is the reply she wrote,
 +
also in French:
 +
 +
Dear and precious Friend, Your letter of the 13th has given me great
 +
delight. So you still love me, my romantic Julie? Separation, of which
 +
you say so much that is bad, does not seem to have had its usual effect
 +
on you. You complain of our separation. What then should I say, if I
 +
dared complain, I who am deprived of all who are dear to me? Ah, if we
 +
had not religion to console us life would be very sad. Why do you
 +
suppose that I should look severely on your affection for that young
 +
man? On such matters I am only severe with myself. I understand such
 +
feelings in others, and if never having felt them I cannot approve of
 +
them, neither do I condemn them. Only it seems to me that Christian
 +
love, love of one's neighbor, love of one's enemy, is worthier, sweeter,
 +
and better than the feelings which the beautiful eyes of a young man can
 +
inspire in a romantic and loving young girl like yourself.
 +
 +
The news of Count Bezukhov's death reached us before your letter and my
 +
father was much affected by it. He says the count was the last
 +
representative but one of the great century, and that it is his own turn
 +
now, but that he will do all he can to let his turn come as late as
 +
possible. God preserve us from that terrible misfortune!
 +
 +
I cannot agree with you about Pierre, whom I knew as a child. He always
 +
seemed to me to have an excellent heart, and that is the quality I value
 +
most in people. As to his inheritance and the part played by Prince
 +
Vasili, it is very sad for both. Ah, my dear friend, our divine
 +
Saviour's words, that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of
 +
a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, are terribly
 +
true. I pity Prince Vasili but am still more sorry for Pierre. So young,
 +
and burdened with such riches--to what temptations he will be exposed!
 +
If I were asked what I desire most on earth, it would be to be poorer
 +
than the poorest beggar. A thousand thanks, dear friend, for the volume
 +
you have sent me and which has such success in Moscow. Yet since you
 +
tell me that among some good things it contains others which our weak
 +
human understanding cannot grasp, it seems to me rather useless to spend
 +
time in reading what is unintelligible and can therefore bear no fruit.
 +
I never could understand the fondness some people have for confusing
 +
their minds by dwelling on mystical books that merely awaken their
 +
doubts and excite their imagination, giving them a bent for exaggeration
 +
quite contrary to Christian simplicity. Let us rather read the Epistles
 +
and Gospels. Let us not seek to penetrate what mysteries they contain;
 +
for how can we, miserable sinners that we are, know the terrible and
 +
holy secrets of Providence while we remain in this flesh which forms an
 +
impenetrable veil between us and the Eternal? Let us rather confine
 +
ourselves to studying those sublime rules which our divine Saviour has
 +
left for our guidance here below. Let us try to conform to them and
 +
follow them, and let us be persuaded that the less we let our feeble
 +
human minds roam, the better we shall please God, who rejects all
 +
knowledge that does not come from Him; and the less we seek to fathom
 +
what He has been pleased to conceal from us, the sooner will He
 +
vouchsafe its revelation to us through His divine Spirit.
 +
 +
My father has not spoken to me of a suitor, but has only told me that he
 +
has received a letter and is expecting a visit from Prince Vasili. In
 +
regard to this project of marriage for me, I will tell you, dear sweet
 +
friend, that I look on marriage as a divine institution to which we must
 +
conform. However painful it may be to me, should the Almighty lay the
 +
duties of wife and mother upon me I shall try to perform them as
 +
faithfully as I can, without disquieting myself by examining my feelings
 +
toward him whom He may give me for husband.
 +
 +
I have had a letter from my brother, who announces his speedy arrival at
 +
Bald Hills with his wife. This pleasure will be but a brief one,
 +
however, for he will leave us again to take part in this unhappy war
 +
into which we have been drawn, God knows how or why. Not only where you
 +
are--at the heart of affairs and of the world--is the talk all of war,
 +
even here amid fieldwork and the calm of nature--which townsfolk
 +
consider characteristic of the country--rumors of war are heard and
 +
painfully felt. My father talks of nothing but marches and
 +
countermarches, things of which I understand nothing; and the day before
 +
yesterday during my daily walk through the village I witnessed a
 +
heartrending scene.... It was a convoy of conscripts enrolled from our
 +
people and starting to join the army. You should have seen the state of
 +
the mothers, wives, and children of the men who were going and should
 +
have heard the sobs. It seems as though mankind has forgotten the laws
 +
of its divine Saviour, Who preached love and forgiveness of injuries--
 +
and that men attribute the greatest merit to skill in killing one
 +
another.
 +
 +
Adieu, dear and kind friend; may our divine Saviour and His most Holy
 +
Mother keep you in their holy and all-powerful care!
 +
 +
MARY
 +
 +
"Ah, you are sending off a letter, Princess? I have already dispatched
 +
mine. I have written to my poor mother," said the smiling Mademoiselle
 +
Bourienne rapidly, in her pleasant mellow tones and with guttural r's.
 +
She brought into Princess Mary's strenuous, mournful, and gloomy world a
 +
quite different atmosphere, careless, lighthearted, and self-satisfied.
 +
 +
"Princess, I must warn you," she added, lowering her voice and evidently
 +
listening to herself with pleasure, and speaking with exaggerated
 +
grasseyement, "the prince has been scolding Michael Ivanovich. He is in
 +
a very bad humor, very morose. Be prepared."
 +
 +
"Ah, dear friend," replied Princess Mary, "I have asked you never to
 +
warn me of the humor my father is in. I do not allow myself to judge him
 +
and would not have others do so."
 +
 +
The princess glanced at her watch and, seeing that she was five minutes
 +
late in starting her practice on the clavichord, went into the sitting
 +
room with a look of alarm. Between twelve and two o'clock, as the day
 +
was mapped out, the prince rested and the princess played the
 +
clavichord.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXVI
 +
 +
The gray-haired valet was sitting drowsily listening to the snoring of
 +
the prince, who was in his large study. From the far side of the house
 +
through the closed doors came the sound of difficult passages--twenty
 +
times repeated--of a sonata by Dussek.
 +
 +
Just then a closed carriage and another with a hood drove up to the
 +
porch. Prince Andrew got out of the carriage, helped his little wife to
 +
alight, and let her pass into the house before him. Old Tikhon, wearing
 +
a wig, put his head out of the door of the antechamber, reported in a
 +
whisper that the prince was sleeping, and hastily closed the door.
 +
Tikhon knew that neither the son's arrival nor any other unusual event
 +
must be allowed to disturb the appointed order of the day. Prince Andrew
 +
apparently knew this as well as Tikhon; he looked at his watch as if to
 +
ascertain whether his father's habits had changed since he was at home
 +
last, and, having assured himself that they had not, he turned to his
 +
wife.
 +
 +
"He will get up in twenty minutes. Let us go across to Mary's room," he
 +
said.
 +
 +
The little princess had grown stouter during this time, but her eyes and
 +
her short, downy, smiling lip lifted when she began to speak just as
 +
merrily and prettily as ever.
 +
 +
"Why, this is a palace!" she said to her husband, looking around with
 +
the expression with which people compliment their host at a ball. "Let's
 +
come, quick, quick!" And with a glance round, she smiled at Tikhon, at
 +
her husband, and at the footman who accompanied them.
 +
 +
"Is that Mary practicing? Let's go quietly and take her by surprise."
 +
 +
Prince Andrew followed her with a courteous but sad expression.
 +
 +
"You've grown older, Tikhon," he said in passing to the old man, who
 +
kissed his hand.
 +
 +
Before they reached the room from which the sounds of the clavichord
 +
came, the pretty, fair haired Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle Bourienne,
 +
rushed out apparently beside herself with delight.
 +
 +
"Ah! what joy for the princess!" exclaimed she: "At last! I must let her
 +
know."
 +
 +
"No, no, please not... You are Mademoiselle Bourienne," said the little
 +
princess, kissing her. "I know you already through my sister-in-law's
 +
friendship for you. She was not expecting us?"
 +
 +
They went up to the door of the sitting room from which came the sound
 +
of the oft-repeated passage of the sonata. Prince Andrew stopped and
 +
made a grimace, as if expecting something unpleasant.
 +
 +
The little princess entered the room. The passage broke off in the
 +
middle, a cry was heard, then Princess Mary's heavy tread and the sound
 +
of kissing. When Prince Andrew went in the two princesses, who had only
 +
met once before for a short time at his wedding, were in each other's
 +
arms warmly pressing their lips to whatever place they happened to
 +
touch. Mademoiselle Bourienne stood near them pressing her hand to her
 +
heart, with a beatific smile and obviously equally ready to cry or to
 +
laugh. Prince Andrew shrugged his shoulders and frowned, as lovers of
 +
music do when they hear a false note. The two women let go of one
 +
another, and then, as if afraid of being too late, seized each other's
 +
hands, kissing them and pulling them away, and again began kissing each
 +
other on the face, and then to Prince Andrew's surprise both began to
 +
cry and kissed again. Mademoiselle Bourienne also began to cry. Prince
 +
Andrew evidently felt ill at ease, but to the two women it seemed quite
 +
natural that they should cry, and apparently it never entered their
 +
heads that it could have been otherwise at this meeting.
 +
 +
"Ah! my dear!... Ah! Mary!" they suddenly exclaimed, and then laughed.
 +
"I dreamed last night..."--"You were not expecting us?..." "Ah! Mary,
 +
you have got thinner?..." "And you have grown stouter!..."
 +
 +
"I knew the princess at once," put in Mademoiselle Bourienne.
 +
 +
"And I had no idea!..." exclaimed Princess Mary. "Ah, Andrew, I did not
 +
see you."
 +
 +
Prince Andrew and his sister, hand in hand, kissed one another, and he
 +
told her she was still the same crybaby as ever. Princess Mary had
 +
turned toward her brother, and through her tears the loving, warm,
 +
gentle look of her large luminous eyes, very beautiful at that moment,
 +
rested on Prince Andrew's face.
 +
 +
The little princess talked incessantly, her short, downy upper lip
 +
continually and rapidly touching her rosy nether lip when necessary and
 +
drawing up again next moment when her face broke into a smile of
 +
glittering teeth and sparkling eyes. She told of an accident they had
 +
had on the Spasski Hill which might have been serious for her in her
 +
condition, and immediately after that informed them that she had left
 +
all her clothes in Petersburg and that heaven knew what she would have
 +
to dress in here; and that Andrew had quite changed, and that Kitty
 +
Odyntsova had married an old man, and that there was a suitor for Mary,
 +
a real one, but that they would talk of that later. Princess Mary was
 +
still looking silently at her brother and her beautiful eyes were full
 +
of love and sadness. It was plain that she was following a train of
 +
thought independent of her sister-in-law's words. In the midst of a
 +
description of the last Petersburg fete she addressed her brother:
 +
 +
"So you are really going to the war, Andrew?" she said sighing.
 +
 +
Lise sighed too.
 +
 +
"Yes, and even tomorrow," replied her brother.
 +
 +
"He is leaving me here, God knows why, when he might have had
 +
promotion..."
 +
 +
Princess Mary did not listen to the end, but continuing her train of
 +
thought turned to her sister-in-law with a tender glance at her figure.
 +
 +
"Is it certain?" she said.
 +
 +
The face of the little princess changed. She sighed and said: "Yes,
 +
quite certain. Ah! it is very dreadful..."
 +
 +
Her lip descended. She brought her face close to her sister-in-law's and
 +
unexpectedly again began to cry.
 +
 +
"She needs rest," said Prince Andrew with a frown. "Don't you, Lise?
 +
Take her to your room and I'll go to Father. How is he? Just the same?"
 +
 +
"Yes, just the same. Though I don't know what your opinion will be,"
 +
answered the princess joyfully.
 +
 +
"And are the hours the same? And the walks in the avenues? And the
 +
lathe?" asked Prince Andrew with a scarcely perceptible smile which
 +
showed that, in spite of all his love and respect for his father, he was
 +
aware of his weaknesses.
 +
 +
"The hours are the same, and the lathe, and also the mathematics and my
 +
geometry lessons," said Princess Mary gleefully, as if her lessons in
 +
geometry were among the greatest delights of her life.
 +
 +
When the twenty minutes had elapsed and the time had come for the old
 +
prince to get up, Tikhon came to call the young prince to his father.
 +
The old man made a departure from his usual routine in honor of his
 +
son's arrival: he gave orders to admit him to his apartments while he
 +
dressed for dinner. The old prince always dressed in old-fashioned
 +
style, wearing an antique coat and powdered hair; and when Prince Andrew
 +
entered his father's dressing room (not with the contemptuous look and
 +
manner he wore in drawing rooms, but with the animated face with which
 +
he talked to Pierre), the old man was sitting on a large leather-covered
 +
chair, wrapped in a powdering mantle, entrusting his head to Tikhon.
 +
 +
"Ah! here's the warrior! Wants to vanquish Buonaparte?" said the old
 +
man, shaking his powdered head as much as the tail, which Tikhon was
 +
holding fast to plait, would allow.
 +
 +
"You at least must tackle him properly, or else if he goes on like this
 +
he'll soon have us, too, for his subjects! How are you?" And he held out
 +
his cheek.
 +
 +
The old man was in a good temper after his nap before dinner. (He used
 +
to say that a nap "after dinner was silver--before dinner, golden.") He
 +
cast happy, sidelong glances at his son from under his thick, bushy
 +
eyebrows. Prince Andrew went up and kissed his father on the spot
 +
indicated to him. He made no reply on his father's favorite topic--
 +
making fun of the military men of the day, and more particularly of
 +
Bonaparte.
 +
 +
"Yes, Father, I have come to you and brought my wife who is pregnant,"
 +
said Prince Andrew, following every movement of his father's face with
 +
an eager and respectful look. "How is your health?"
 +
 +
"Only fools and rakes fall ill, my boy. You know me: I am busy from
 +
morning till night and abstemious, so of course I am well."
 +
 +
"Thank God," said his son smiling.
 +
 +
"God has nothing to do with it! Well, go on," he continued, returning to
 +
his hobby; "tell me how the Germans have taught you to fight Bonaparte
 +
by this new science you call 'strategy.'"
 +
 +
Prince Andrew smiled.
 +
 +
"Give me time to collect my wits, Father," said he, with a smile that
 +
showed that his father's foibles did not prevent his son from loving and
 +
honoring him. "Why, I have not yet had time to settle down!"
 +
 +
"Nonsense, nonsense!" cried the old man, shaking his pigtail to see
 +
whether it was firmly plaited, and grasping his by the hand. "The house
 +
for your wife is ready. Princess Mary will take her there and show her
 +
over, and they'll talk nineteen to the dozen. That's their woman's way!
 +
I am glad to have her. Sit down and talk. About Mikhelson's army I
 +
understand--Tolstoy's too... a simultaneous expedition.... But what's
 +
the southern army to do? Prussia is neutral... I know that. What about
 +
Austria?" said he, rising from his chair and pacing up and down the room
 +
followed by Tikhon, who ran after him, handing him different articles of
 +
clothing. "What of Sweden? How will they cross Pomerania?"
 +
 +
Prince Andrew, seeing that his father insisted, began--at first
 +
reluctantly, but gradually with more and more animation, and from habit
 +
changing unconsciously from Russian to French as he went on--to explain
 +
the plan of operation for the coming campaign. He explained how an army,
 +
ninety thousand strong, was to threaten Prussia so as to bring her out
 +
of her neutrality and draw her into the war; how part of that army was
 +
to join some Swedish forces at Stralsund; how two hundred and twenty
 +
thousand Austrians, with a hundred thousand Russians, were to operate in
 +
Italy and on the Rhine; how fifty thousand Russians and as many English
 +
were to land at Naples, and how a total force of five hundred thousand
 +
men was to attack the French from different sides. The old prince did
 +
not evince the least interest during this explanation, but as if he were
 +
not listening to it continued to dress while walking about, and three
 +
times unexpectedly interrupted. Once he stopped it by shouting: "The
 +
white one, the white one!"
 +
 +
This meant that Tikhon was not handing him the waistcoat he wanted.
 +
Another time he interrupted, saying:
 +
 +
"And will she soon be confined?" and shaking his head reproachfully
 +
said: "That's bad! Go on, go on."
 +
 +
The third interruption came when Prince Andrew was finishing his
 +
description. The old man began to sing, in the cracked voice of old age:
 +
"Malbrook s'en va-t-en guerre. Dieu sait quand reviendra." *
 +
 +
 +
* "Marlborough is going to the wars; God knows when he'll return."
 +
 +
His son only smiled.
 +
 +
"I don't say it's a plan I approve of," said the son; "I am only telling
 +
you what it is. Napoleon has also formed his plan by now, not worse than
 +
this one."
 +
 +
"Well, you've told me nothing new," and the old man repeated,
 +
meditatively and rapidly:
 +
 +
"Dieu sait quand reviendra. Go to the dining room."
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXVII
 +
 +
At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the
 +
dining room where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, and Mademoiselle
 +
Bourienne were already awaiting him together with his architect, who by
 +
a strange caprice of his employer's was admitted to table though the
 +
position of that insignificant individual was such as could certainly
 +
not have caused him to expect that honor. The prince, who generally kept
 +
very strictly to social distinctions and rarely admitted even important
 +
government officials to his table, had unexpectedly selected Michael
 +
Ivanovich (who always went into a corner to blow his nose on his checked
 +
handkerchief) to illustrate the theory that all men are equals, and had
 +
more than once impressed on his daughter that Michael Ivanovich was "not
 +
a whit worse than you or I." At dinner the prince usually spoke to the
 +
taciturn Michael Ivanovich more often than to anyone else.
 +
 +
In the dining room, which like all the rooms in the house was
 +
exceedingly lofty, the members of the household and the footmen--one
 +
behind each chair--stood waiting for the prince to enter. The head
 +
butler, napkin on arm, was scanning the setting of the table, making
 +
signs to the footmen, and anxiously glancing from the clock to the door
 +
by which the prince was to enter. Prince Andrew was looking at a large
 +
gilt frame, new to him, containing the genealogical tree of the Princes
 +
Bolkonski, opposite which hung another such frame with a badly painted
 +
portrait (evidently by the hand of the artist belonging to the estate)
 +
of a ruling prince, in a crown--an alleged descendant of Rurik and
 +
ancestor of the Bolkonskis. Prince Andrew, looking again at that
 +
genealogical tree, shook his head, laughing as a man laughs who looks at
 +
a portrait so characteristic of the original as to be amusing.
 +
 +
"How thoroughly like him that is!" he said to Princess Mary, who had
 +
come up to him.
 +
 +
Princess Mary looked at her brother in surprise. She did not understand
 +
what he was laughing at. Everything her father did inspired her with
 +
reverence and was beyond question.
 +
 +
"Everyone has his Achilles' heel," continued Prince Andrew. "Fancy, with
 +
his powerful mind, indulging in such nonsense!"
 +
 +
Princess Mary could not understand the boldness of her brother's
 +
criticism and was about to reply, when the expected footsteps were heard
 +
coming from the study. The prince walked in quickly and jauntily as was
 +
his wont, as if intentionally contrasting the briskness of his manners
 +
with the strict formality of his house. At that moment the great clock
 +
struck two and another with a shrill tone joined in from the drawing
 +
room. The prince stood still; his lively glittering eyes from under
 +
their thick, bushy eyebrows sternly scanned all present and rested on
 +
the little princess. She felt, as courtiers do when the Tsar enters, the
 +
sensation of fear and respect which the old man inspired in all around
 +
him. He stroked her hair and then patted her awkwardly on the back of
 +
her neck.
 +
 +
"I'm glad, glad, to see you," he said, looking attentively into her
 +
eyes, and then quickly went to his place and sat down. "Sit down, sit
 +
down! Sit down, Michael Ianovich!"
 +
 +
He indicated a place beside him to his daughter-in-law. A footman moved
 +
the chair for her.
 +
 +
"Ho, ho!" said the old man, casting his eyes on her rounded figure.
 +
"You've been in a hurry. That's bad!"
 +
 +
He laughed in his usual dry, cold, unpleasant way, with his lips only
 +
and not with his eyes.
 +
 +
"You must walk, walk as much as possible, as much as possible," he said.
 +
 +
The little princess did not, or did not wish to, hear his words. She was
 +
silent and seemed confused. The prince asked her about her father, and
 +
she began to smile and talk. He asked about mutual acquaintances, and
 +
she became still more animated and chattered away giving him greetings
 +
from various people and retelling the town gossip.
 +
 +
"Countess Apraksina, poor thing, has lost her husband and she has cried
 +
her eyes out," she said, growing more and more lively.
 +
 +
As she became animated the prince looked at her more and more sternly,
 +
and suddenly, as if he had studied her sufficiently and had formed a
 +
definite idea of her, he turned away and addressed Michael Ivanovich.
 +
 +
"Well, Michael Ivanovich, our Bonaparte will be having a bad time of it.
 +
Prince Andrew" (he always spoke thus of his son) "has been telling me
 +
what forces are being collected against him! While you and I never
 +
thought much of him."
 +
 +
Michael Ivanovich did not at all know when "you and I" had said such
 +
things about Bonaparte, but understanding that he was wanted as a peg on
 +
which to hang the prince's favorite topic, he looked inquiringly at the
 +
young prince, wondering what would follow.
 +
 +
"He is a great tactician!" said the prince to his son, pointing to the
 +
architect.
 +
 +
And the conversation again turned on the war, on Bonaparte, and the
 +
generals and statesmen of the day. The old prince seemed convinced not
 +
only that all the men of the day were mere babies who did not know the A
 +
B C of war or of politics, and that Bonaparte was an insignificant
 +
little Frenchy, successful only because there were no longer any
 +
Potemkins or Suvorovs left to oppose him; but he was also convinced that
 +
there were no political difficulties in Europe and no real war, but only
 +
a sort of puppet show at which the men of the day were playing,
 +
pretending to do something real. Prince Andrew gaily bore with his
 +
father's ridicule of the new men, and drew him on and listened to him
 +
with evident pleasure.
 +
 +
"The past always seems good," said he, "but did not Suvorov himself fall
 +
into a trap Moreau set him, and from which he did not know how to
 +
escape?"
 +
 +
"Who told you that? Who?" cried the prince. "Suvorov!" And he jerked
 +
away his plate, which Tikhon briskly caught. "Suvorov!... Consider,
 +
Prince Andrew. Two... Frederick and Suvorov; Moreau!... Moreau would
 +
have been a prisoner if Suvorov had had a free hand; but he had the
 +
Hofs-kriegs-wurst-schnapps-Rath on his hands. It would have puzzled the
 +
devil himself! When you get there you'll find out what those Hofs-
 +
kriegs-wurst-Raths are! Suvorov couldn't manage them so what chance has
 +
Michael Kutuzov? No, my dear boy," he continued, "you and your generals
 +
won't get on against Buonaparte; you'll have to call in the French, so
 +
that birds of a feather may fight together. The German, Pahlen, has been
 +
sent to New York in America, to fetch the Frenchman, Moreau," he said,
 +
alluding to the invitation made that year to Moreau to enter the Russian
 +
service.... "Wonderful!... Were the Potemkins, Suvorovs, and Orlovs
 +
Germans? No, lad, either you fellows have all lost your wits, or I have
 +
outlived mine. May God help you, but we'll see what will happen.
 +
Buonaparte has become a great commander among them! Hm!..."
 +
 +
"I don't at all say that all the plans are good," said Prince Andrew, "I
 +
am only surprised at your opinion of Bonaparte. You may laugh as much as
 +
you like, but all the same Bonaparte is a great general!"
 +
 +
"Michael Ivanovich!" cried the old prince to the architect who, busy
 +
with his roast meat, hoped he had been forgotten: "Didn't I tell you
 +
Buonaparte was a great tactician? Here, he says the same thing."
 +
 +
"To be sure, your excellency," replied the architect.
 +
 +
The prince again laughed his frigid laugh.
 +
 +
"Buonaparte was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He has got
 +
splendid soldiers. Besides he began by attacking Germans. And only
 +
idlers have failed to beat the Germans. Since the world began everybody
 +
has beaten the Germans. They beat no one--except one another. He made
 +
his reputation fighting them."
 +
 +
And the prince began explaining all the blunders which, according to
 +
him, Bonaparte had made in his campaigns and even in politics. His son
 +
made no rejoinder, but it was evident that whatever arguments were
 +
presented he was as little able as his father to change his opinion. He
 +
listened, refraining from a reply, and involuntarily wondered how this
 +
old man, living alone in the country for so many years, could know and
 +
discuss so minutely and acutely all the recent European military and
 +
political events.
 +
 +
"You think I'm an old man and don't understand the present state of
 +
affairs?" concluded his father. "But it troubles me. I don't sleep at
 +
night. Come now, where has this great commander of yours shown his
 +
skill?" he concluded.
 +
 +
"That would take too long to tell," answered the son.
 +
 +
"Well, then go to your Buonaparte! Mademoiselle Bourienne, here's
 +
another admirer of that powder-monkey emperor of yours," he exclaimed in
 +
excellent French.
 +
 +
"You know, Prince, I am not a Bonapartist!"
 +
 +
"Dieu sait quand reviendra..." hummed the prince out of tune and, with a
 +
laugh still more so, he quitted the table.
 +
 +
The little princess during the whole discussion and the rest of the
 +
dinner sat silent, glancing with a frightened look now at her father-in-
 +
law and now at Princess Mary. When they left the table she took her
 +
sister-in-law's arm and drew her into another room.
 +
 +
"What a clever man your father is," said she; "perhaps that is why I am
 +
afraid of him."
 +
 +
"Oh, he is so kind!" answered Princess Mary.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER XXVIII
 +
 +
Prince Andrew was to leave next evening. The old prince, not altering
 +
his routine, retired as usual after dinner. The little princess was in
 +
her sister-in-law's room. Prince Andrew in a traveling coat without
 +
epaulettes had been packing with his valet in the rooms assigned to him.
 +
After inspecting the carriage himself and seeing the trunks put in, he
 +
ordered the horses to be harnessed. Only those things he always kept
 +
with him remained in his room; a small box, a large canteen fitted with
 +
silver plate, two Turkish pistols and a saber--a present from his father
 +
who had brought it from the siege of Ochakov. All these traveling
 +
effects of Prince Andrew's were in very good order: new, clean, and in
 +
cloth covers carefully tied with tapes.
 +
 +
When starting on a journey or changing their mode of life, men capable
 +
of reflection are generally in a serious frame of mind. At such moments
 +
one reviews the past and plans for the future. Prince Andrew's face
 +
looked very thoughtful and tender. With his hands behind him he paced
 +
briskly from corner to corner of the room, looking straight before him
 +
and thoughtfully shaking his head. Did he fear going to the war, or was
 +
he sad at leaving his wife?--perhaps both, but evidently he did not wish
 +
to be seen in that mood, for hearing footsteps in the passage he
 +
hurriedly unclasped his hands, stopped at a table as if tying the cover
 +
of the small box, and assumed his usual tranquil and impenetrable
 +
expression. It was the heavy tread of Princess Mary that he heard.
 +
 +
"I hear you have given orders to harness," she cried, panting (she had
 +
apparently been running), "and I did so wish to have another talk with
 +
you alone! God knows how long we may again be parted. You are not angry
 +
with me for coming? You have changed so, Andrusha," she added, as if to
 +
explain such a question.
 +
 +
She smiled as she uttered his pet name, "Andrusha." It was obviously
 +
strange to her to think that this stern handsome man should be Andrusha-
 +
-the slender mischievous boy who had been her playfellow in childhood.
 +
 +
"And where is Lise?" he asked, answering her question only by a smile.
 +
 +
"She was so tired that she has fallen asleep on the sofa in my room. Oh,
 +
Andrew! What a treasure of a wife you have," said she, sitting down on
 +
the sofa, facing her brother. "She is quite a child: such a dear, merry
 +
child. I have grown so fond of her."
 +
 +
Prince Andrew was silent, but the princess noticed the ironical and
 +
contemptuous look that showed itself on his face.
 +
 +
"One must be indulgent to little weaknesses; who is free from them,
 +
Andrew? Don't forget that she has grown up and been educated in society,
 +
and so her position now is not a rosy one. We should enter into
 +
everyone's situation. Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. * Think
 +
what it must be for her, poor thing, after what she has been used to, to
 +
be parted from her husband and be left alone in the country, in her
 +
condition! It's very hard."
 +
 +
 +
* To understand all is to forgive all.
 +
 +
Prince Andrew smiled as he looked at his sister, as we smile at those we
 +
think we thoroughly understand.
 +
 +
"You live in the country and don't think the life terrible," he replied.
 +
 +
"I... that's different. Why speak of me? I don't want any other life,
 +
and can't, for I know no other. But think, Andrew: for a young society
 +
woman to be buried in the country during the best years of her life, all
 +
alone--for Papa is always busy, and I... well, you know what poor
 +
resources I have for entertaining a woman used to the best society.
 +
There is only Mademoiselle Bourienne...."
 +
 +
"I don't like your Mademoiselle Bourienne at all," said Prince Andrew.
 +
 +
"No? She is very nice and kind and, above all, she's much to be pitied.
 +
She has no one, no one. To tell the truth, I don't need her, and she's
 +
even in my way. You know I always was a savage, and now am even more so.
 +
I like being alone.... Father likes her very much. She and Michael
 +
Ivanovich are the two people to whom he is always gentle and kind,
 +
because he has been a benefactor to them both. As Sterne says: 'We don't
 +
love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we
 +
have done them.' Father took her when she was homeless after losing her
 +
own father. She is very good-natured, and my father likes her way of
 +
reading. She reads to him in the evenings and reads splendidly."
 +
 +
"To be quite frank, Mary, I expect Father's character sometimes makes
 +
things trying for you, doesn't it?" Prince Andrew asked suddenly.
 +
 +
Princess Mary was first surprised and then aghast at this question.
 +
 +
"For me? For me?... Trying for me!..." said she.
 +
 +
"He always was rather harsh; and now I should think he's getting very
 +
trying," said Prince Andrew, apparently speaking lightly of their father
 +
in order to puzzle or test his sister.
 +
 +
"You are good in every way, Andrew, but you have a kind of intellectual
 +
pride," said the princess, following the train of her own thoughts
 +
rather than the trend of the conversation--"and that's a great sin. How
 +
can one judge Father? But even if one might, what feeling except
 +
veneration could such a man as my father evoke? And I am so contented
 +
and happy with him. I only wish you were all as happy as I am."
 +
 +
Her brother shook his head incredulously.
 +
 +
"The only thing that is hard for me... I will tell you the truth,
 +
Andrew... is Father's way of treating religious subjects. I don't
 +
understand how a man of his immense intellect can fail to see what is as
 +
clear as day, and can go so far astray. That is the only thing that
 +
makes me unhappy. But even in this I can see lately a shade of
 +
improvement. His satire has been less bitter of late, and there was a
 +
monk he received and had a long talk with."
 +
 +
"Ah! my dear, I am afraid you and your monk are wasting your powder,"
 +
said Prince Andrew banteringly yet tenderly.
 +
 +
"Ah! mon ami, I only pray, and hope that God will hear me. Andrew..."
 +
she said timidly after a moment's silence, "I have a great favor to ask
 +
of you."
 +
 +
"What is it, dear?"
 +
 +
"No--promise that you will not refuse! It will give you no trouble and
 +
is nothing unworthy of you, but it will comfort me. Promise,
 +
Andrusha!..." said she, putting her hand in her reticule but not yet
 +
taking out what she was holding inside it, as if what she held were the
 +
subject of her request and must not be shown before the request was
 +
granted.
 +
 +
She looked timidly at her brother.
 +
 +
"Even if it were a great deal of trouble..." answered Prince Andrew, as
 +
if guessing what it was about.
 +
 +
"Think what you please! I know you are just like Father. Think as you
 +
please, but do this for my sake! Please do! Father's father, our
 +
grandfather, wore it in all his wars." (She still did not take out what
 +
she was holding in her reticule.) "So you promise?"
 +
 +
"Of course. What is it?"
 +
 +
"Andrew, I bless you with this icon and you must promise me you will
 +
never take it off. Do you promise?"
 +
 +
"If it does not weigh a hundredweight and won't break my neck... To
 +
please you..." said Prince Andrew. But immediately, noticing the pained
 +
expression his joke had brought to his sister's face, he repented and
 +
added: "I am glad; really, dear, I am very glad."
 +
 +
"Against your will He will save and have mercy on you and bring you to
 +
Himself, for in Him alone is truth and peace," said she in a voice
 +
trembling with emotion, solemnly holding up in both hands before her
 +
brother a small, oval, antique, dark-faced icon of the Saviour in a gold
 +
setting, on a finely wrought silver chain.
 +
 +
She crossed herself, kissed the icon, and handed it to Andrew.
 +
 +
"Please, Andrew, for my sake!..."
 +
 +
Rays of gentle light shone from her large, timid eyes. Those eyes lit up
 +
the whole of her thin, sickly face and made it beautiful. Her brother
 +
would have taken the icon, but she stopped him. Andrew understood,
 +
crossed himself and kissed the icon. There was a look of tenderness, for
 +
he was touched, but also a gleam of irony on his face.
 +
 +
"Thank you, my dear." She kissed him on the forehead and sat down again
 +
on the sofa. They were silent for a while.
 +
 +
"As I was saying to you, Andrew, be kind and generous as you always used
 +
to be. Don't judge Lise harshly," she began. "She is so sweet, so good-
 +
natured, and her position now is a very hard one."
 +
 +
"I do not think I have complained of my wife to you, Masha, or blamed
 +
her. Why do you say all this to me?"
 +
 +
Red patches appeared on Princess Mary's face and she was silent as if
 +
she felt guilty.
 +
 +
"I have said nothing to you, but you have already been talked to. And I
 +
am sorry for that," he went on.
 +
 +
The patches grew deeper on her forehead, neck, and cheeks. She tried to
 +
say something but could not. Her brother had guessed right: the little
 +
princess had been crying after dinner and had spoken of her forebodings
 +
about her confinement, and how she dreaded it, and had complained of her
 +
fate, her father-in-law, and her husband. After crying she had fallen
 +
asleep. Prince Andrew felt sorry for his sister.
 +
 +
"Know this, Masha: I can't reproach, have not reproached, and never
 +
shall reproach my wife with anything, and I cannot reproach myself with
 +
anything in regard to her; and that always will be so in whatever
 +
circumstances I may be placed. But if you want to know the truth... if
 +
you want to know whether I am happy? No! Is she happy? No! But why this
 +
is so I don't know..."
 +
 +
As he said this he rose, went to his sister, and, stooping, kissed her
 +
forehead. His fine eyes lit up with a thoughtful, kindly, and
 +
unaccustomed brightness, but he was looking not at his sister but over
 +
her head toward the darkness of the open doorway.
 +
 +
"Let us go to her, I must say good-by. Or--go and wake and I'll come in
 +
a moment. Petrushka!" he called to his valet: "Come here, take these
 +
away. Put this on the seat and this to the right."
 +
 +
Princess Mary rose and moved to the door, then stopped and said:
 +
"Andrew, if you had faith you would have turned to God and asked Him to
 +
give you the love you do not feel, and your prayer would have been
 +
answered."
 +
 +
"Well, may be!" said Prince Andrew. "Go, Masha; I'll come immediately."
 +
 +
On the way to his sister's room, in the passage which connected one wing
 +
with the other, Prince Andrew met Mademoiselle Bourienne smiling
 +
sweetly. It was the third time that day that, with an ecstatic and
 +
artless smile, she had met him in secluded passages.
 +
 +
"Oh! I thought you were in your room," she said, for some reason
 +
blushing and dropping her eyes.
 +
 +
Prince Andrew looked sternly at her and an expression of anger suddenly
 +
came over his face. He said nothing to her but looked at her forehead
 +
and hair, without looking at her eyes, with such contempt that the
 +
Frenchwoman blushed and went away without a word. When he reached his
 +
sister's room his wife was already awake and her merry voice, hurrying
 +
one word after another, came through the open door. She was speaking as
 +
usual in French, and as if after long self-restraint she wished to make
 +
up for lost time.
 +
 +
"No, but imagine the old Countess Zubova, with false curls and her mouth
 +
full of false teeth, as if she were trying to cheat old age.... Ha, ha,
 +
ha! Mary!"
 +
 +
This very sentence about Countess Zubova and this same laugh Prince
 +
Andrew had already heard from his wife in the presence of others some
 +
five times. He entered the room softly. The little princess, plump and
 +
rosy, was sitting in an easy chair with her work in her hands, talking
 +
incessantly, repeating Petersburg reminiscences and even phrases. Prince
 +
Andrew came up, stroked her hair, and asked if she felt rested after
 +
their journey. She answered him and continued her chatter.
 +
 +
The coach with six horses was waiting at the porch. It was an autumn
 +
night, so dark that the coachman could not see the carriage pole.
 +
Servants with lanterns were bustling about in the porch. The immense
 +
house was brilliant with lights shining through its lofty windows. The
 +
domestic serfs were crowding in the hall, waiting to bid good-by to the
 +
young prince. The members of the household were all gathered in the
 +
reception hall: Michael Ivanovich, Mademoiselle Bourienne, Princess
 +
Mary, and the little princess. Prince Andrew had been called to his
 +
father's study as the latter wished to say good-by to him alone. All
 +
were waiting for them to come out.
 +
 +
When Prince Andrew entered the study the old man in his old-age
 +
spectacles and white dressing gown, in which he received no one but his
 +
son, sat at the table writing. He glanced round.
 +
 +
"Going?" And he went on writing.
 +
 +
"I've come to say good-by."
 +
 +
"Kiss me here," and he touched his cheek: "Thanks, thanks!"
 +
 +
"What do you thank me for?"
 +
 +
"For not dilly-dallying and not hanging to a woman's apron strings. The
 +
Service before everything. Thanks, thanks!" And he went on writing, so
 +
that his quill spluttered and squeaked. "If you have anything to say,
 +
say it. These two things can be done together," he added.
 +
 +
"About my wife... I am ashamed as it is to leave her on your hands..."
 +
 +
"Why talk nonsense? Say what you want."
 +
 +
"When her confinement is due, send to Moscow for an accoucheur.... Let
 +
him be here...."
 +
 +
The old prince stopped writing and, as if not understanding, fixed his
 +
stern eyes on his son.
 +
 +
"I know that no one can help if nature does not do her work," said
 +
Prince Andrew, evidently confused. "I know that out of a million cases
 +
only one goes wrong, but it is her fancy and mine. They have been
 +
telling her things. She has had a dream and is frightened."
 +
 +
"Hm... Hm..." muttered the old prince to himself, finishing what he was
 +
writing. "I'll do it."
 +
 +
He signed with a flourish and suddenly turning to his son began to
 +
laugh.
 +
 +
"It's a bad business, eh?"
 +
 +
"What is bad, Father?"
 +
 +
"The wife!" said the old prince, briefly and significantly.
 +
 +
"I don't understand!" said Prince Andrew.
 +
 +
"No, it can't be helped, lad," said the prince. "They're all like that;
 +
one can't unmarry. Don't be afraid; I won't tell anyone, but you know it
 +
yourself."
 +
 +
He seized his son by the hand with small bony fingers, shook it, looked
 +
straight into his son's face with keen eyes which seemed to see through
 +
him, and again laughed his frigid laugh.
 +
 +
The son sighed, thus admitting that his father had understood him. The
 +
old man continued to fold and seal his letter, snatching up and throwing
 +
down the wax, the seal, and the paper, with his accustomed rapidity.
 +
 +
"What's to be done? She's pretty! I will do everything. Make your mind
 +
easy," said he in abrupt sentences while sealing his letter.
 +
 +
Andrew did not speak; he was both pleased and displeased that his father
 +
understood him. The old man got up and gave the letter to his son.
 +
 +
"Listen!" said he; "don't worry about your wife: what can be done shall
 +
be. Now listen! Give this letter to Michael Ilarionovich. * I have
 +
written that he should make use of you in proper places and not keep you
 +
long as an adjutant: a bad position! Tell him I remember and like him.
 +
Write and tell me how he receives you. If he is all right--serve him.
 +
Nicholas Bolkonski's son need not serve under anyone if he is in
 +
disfavor. Now come here."
 +
 +
 +
*Kutuzov.
 +
 +
He spoke so rapidly that he did not finish half his words, but his son
 +
was accustomed to understand him. He led him to the desk, raised the
 +
lid, drew out a drawer, and took out an exercise book filled with his
 +
bold, tall, close handwriting.
 +
 +
"I shall probably die before you. So remember, these are my memoirs;
 +
hand them to the Emperor after my death. Now here is a Lombard bond and
 +
a letter; it is a premium for the man who writes a history of Suvorov's
 +
wars. Send it to the Academy. Here are some jottings for you to read
 +
when I am gone. You will find them useful."
 +
 +
Andrew did not tell his father that he would no doubt live a long time
 +
yet. He felt that he must not say it.
 +
 +
"I will do it all, Father," he said.
 +
 +
"Well, now, good-by!" He gave his son his hand to kiss, and embraced
 +
him. "Remember this, Prince Andrew, if they kill you it will hurt me,
 +
your old father..." he paused unexpectedly, and then in a querulous
 +
voice suddenly shrieked: "but if I hear that you have not behaved like a
 +
son of Nicholas Bolkonski, I shall be ashamed!"
 +
 +
"You need not have said that to me, Father," said the son with a smile.
 +
 +
The old man was silent.
 +
 +
"I also wanted to ask you," continued Prince Andrew, "if I'm killed and
 +
if I have a son, do not let him be taken away from you--as I said
 +
yesterday... let him grow up with you.... Please."
 +
 +
"Not let the wife have him?" said the old man, and laughed.
 +
 +
They stood silent, facing one another. The old man's sharp eyes were
 +
fixed straight on his son's. Something twitched in the lower part of the
 +
old prince's face.
 +
 +
"We've said good-by. Go!" he suddenly shouted in a loud, angry voice,
 +
opening his door.
 +
 +
"What is it? What?" asked both princesses when they saw for a moment at
 +
the door Prince Andrew and the figure of the old man in a white dressing
 +
gown, spectacled and wigless, shouting in an angry voice.
 +
 +
Prince Andrew sighed and made no reply.
 +
 +
"Well!" he said, turning to his wife.
 +
 +
And this "Well!" sounded coldly ironic, as if he were saying,: "Now go
 +
through your performance."
 +
 +
"Andrew, already!" said the little princess, turning pale and looking
 +
with dismay at her husband.
 +
 +
He embraced her. She screamed and fell unconscious on his shoulder.
 +
 +
He cautiously released the shoulder she leaned on, looked into her face,
 +
and carefully placed her in an easy chair.
 +
 +
"Adieu, Mary," said he gently to his sister, taking her by the hand and
 +
kissing her, and then he left the room with rapid steps.
 +
 +
The little princess lay in the armchair, Mademoiselle Bourienne chafing
 +
her temples. Princess Mary, supporting her sister-in-law, still looked
 +
with her beautiful eyes full of tears at the door through which Prince
 +
Andrew had gone and made the sign of the cross in his direction. From
 +
the study, like pistol shots, came the frequent sound of the old man
 +
angrily blowing his nose. Hardly had Prince Andrew gone when the study
 +
door opened quickly and the stern figure of the old man in the white
 +
dressing gown looked out.
 +
 +
"Gone? That's all right!" said he; and looking angrily at the
 +
unconscious little princess, he shook his head reprovingly and slammed
 +
the door.
 +
 +
BOOK TWO: 1805
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER I
 +
 +
In October, 1805, a Russian army was occupying the villages and towns of
 +
the Archduchy of Austria, and yet other regiments freshly arriving from
 +
Russia were settling near the fortress of Braunau and burdening the
 +
inhabitants on whom they were quartered. Braunau was the headquarters of
 +
the commander-in-chief, Kutuzov.
 +
 +
On October 11, 1805, one of the infantry regiments that had just reached
 +
Braunau had halted half a mile from the town, waiting to be inspected by
 +
the commander-in-chief. Despite the un-Russian appearance of the
 +
locality and surroundings--fruit gardens, stone fences, tiled roofs, and
 +
hills in the distance--and despite the fact that the inhabitants (who
 +
gazed with curiosity at the soldiers) were not Russians, the regiment
 +
had just the appearance of any Russian regiment preparing for an
 +
inspection anywhere in the heart of Russia.
 +
 +
On the evening of the last day's march an order had been received that
 +
the commander-in-chief would inspect the regiment on the march. Though
 +
the words of the order were not clear to the regimental commander, and
 +
the question arose whether the troops were to be in marching order or
 +
not, it was decided at a consultation between the battalion commanders
 +
to present the regiment in parade order, on the principle that it is
 +
always better to "bow too low than not bow low enough." So the soldiers,
 +
after a twenty-mile march, were kept mending and cleaning all night long
 +
without closing their eyes, while the adjutants and company commanders
 +
calculated and reckoned, and by morning the regiment--instead of the
 +
straggling, disorderly crowd it had been on its last march the day
 +
before--presented a well-ordered array of two thousand men each of whom
 +
knew his place and his duty, had every button and every strap in place,
 +
and shone with cleanliness. And not only externally was all in order,
 +
but had it pleased the commander-in-chief to look under the uniforms he
 +
would have found on every man a clean shirt, and in every knapsack the
 +
appointed number of articles, "awl, soap, and all," as the soldiers say.
 +
There was only one circumstance concerning which no one could be at
 +
ease. It was the state of the soldiers' boots. More than half the men's
 +
boots were in holes. But this defect was not due to any fault of the
 +
regimental commander, for in spite of repeated demands boots had not
 +
been issued by the Austrian commissariat, and the regiment had marched
 +
some seven hundred miles.
 +
 +
The commander of the regiment was an elderly, choleric, stout, and
 +
thick-set general with grizzled eyebrows and whiskers, and wider from
 +
chest to back than across the shoulders. He had on a brand-new uniform
 +
showing the creases where it had been folded and thick gold epaulettes
 +
which seemed to stand rather than lie down on his massive shoulders. He
 +
had the air of a man happily performing one of the most solemn duties of
 +
his life. He walked about in front of the line and at every step pulled
 +
himself up, slightly arching his back. It was plain that the commander
 +
admired his regiment, rejoiced in it, and that his whole mind was
 +
engrossed by it, yet his strut seemed to indicate that, besides military
 +
matters, social interests and the fair sex occupied no small part of his
 +
thoughts.
 +
 +
"Well, Michael Mitrich, sir?" he said, addressing one of the battalion
 +
commanders who smilingly pressed forward (it was plain that they both
 +
felt happy). "We had our hands full last night. However, I think the
 +
regiment is not a bad one, eh?"
 +
 +
The battalion commander perceived the jovial irony and laughed.
 +
 +
"It would not be turned off the field even on the Tsaritsin Meadow."
 +
 +
"What?" asked the commander.
 +
 +
At that moment, on the road from the town on which signalers had been
 +
posted, two men appeared on horse back. They were an aide-de-camp
 +
followed by a Cossack.
 +
 +
The aide-de-camp was sent to confirm the order which had not been
 +
clearly worded the day before, namely, that the commander-in-chief
 +
wished to see the regiment just in the state in which it had been on the
 +
march: in their greatcoats, and packs, and without any preparation
 +
whatever.
 +
 +
A member of the Hofkriegsrath from Vienna had come to Kutuzov the day
 +
before with proposals and demands for him to join up with the army of
 +
the Archduke Ferdinand and Mack, and Kutuzov, not considering this
 +
junction advisable, meant, among other arguments in support of his view,
 +
to show the Austrian general the wretched state in which the troops
 +
arrived from Russia. With this object he intended to meet the regiment;
 +
so the worse the condition it was in, the better pleased the commander-
 +
in-chief would be. Though the aide-de-camp did not know these
 +
circumstances, he nevertheless delivered the definite order that the men
 +
should be in their greatcoats and in marching order, and that the
 +
commander-in-chief would otherwise be dissatisfied. On hearing this the
 +
regimental commander hung his head, silently shrugged his shoulders, and
 +
spread out his arms with a choleric gesture.
 +
 +
"A fine mess we've made of it!" he remarked.
 +
 +
"There now! Didn't I tell you, Michael Mitrich, that if it was said 'on
 +
the march' it meant in greatcoats?" said he reproachfully to the
 +
battalion commander. "Oh, my God!" he added, stepping resolutely
 +
forward. "Company commanders!" he shouted in a voice accustomed to
 +
command. "Sergeants major!... How soon will he be here?" he asked the
 +
aide-de-camp with a respectful politeness evidently relating to the
 +
personage he was referring to.
 +
 +
"In an hour's time, I should say."
 +
 +
"Shall we have time to change clothes?"
 +
 +
"I don't know, General...."
 +
 +
The regimental commander, going up to the line himself, ordered the
 +
soldiers to change into their greatcoats. The company commanders ran off
 +
to their companies, the sergeants major began bustling (the greatcoats
 +
were not in very good condition), and instantly the squares that had up
 +
to then been in regular order and silent began to sway and stretch and
 +
hum with voices. On all sides soldiers were running to and fro, throwing
 +
up their knapsacks with a jerk of their shoulders and pulling the straps
 +
over their heads, unstrapping their overcoats and drawing the sleeves on
 +
with upraised arms.
 +
 +
In half an hour all was again in order, only the squares had become gray
 +
instead of black. The regimental commander walked with his jerky steps
 +
to the front of the regiment and examined it from a distance.
 +
 +
"Whatever is this? This!" he shouted and stood still. "Commander of the
 +
third company!"
 +
 +
"Commander of the third company wanted by the general!... commander to
 +
the general... third company to the commander." The words passed along
 +
the lines and an adjutant ran to look for the missing officer.
 +
 +
When the eager but misrepeated words had reached their destination in a
 +
cry of: "The general to the third company," the missing officer appeared
 +
from behind his company and, though he was a middle-aged man and not in
 +
the habit of running, trotted awkwardly stumbling on his toes toward the
 +
general. The captain's face showed the uneasiness of a schoolboy who is
 +
told to repeat a lesson he has not learned. Spots appeared on his nose,
 +
the redness of which was evidently due to intemperance, and his mouth
 +
twitched nervously. The general looked the captain up and down as he
 +
came up panting, slackening his pace as he approached.
 +
 +
"You will soon be dressing your men in petticoats! What is this?"
 +
shouted the regimental commander, thrusting forward his jaw and pointing
 +
at a soldier in the ranks of the third company in a greatcoat of bluish
 +
cloth, which contrasted with the others. "What have you been after? The
 +
commander in chief is expected and you leave your place? Eh? I'll teach
 +
you to dress the men in fancy coats for a parade.... Eh...?"
 +
 +
The commander of the company, with his eyes fixed on his superior,
 +
pressed two fingers more and more rigidly to his cap, as if in this
 +
pressure lay his only hope of salvation.
 +
 +
"Well, why don't you speak? Whom have you got there dressed up as a
 +
Hungarian?" said the commander with an austere gibe.
 +
 +
"Your excellency..."
 +
 +
"Well, your excellency, what? Your excellency! But what about your
 +
excellency?... nobody knows."
 +
 +
"Your excellency, it's the officer Dolokhov, who has been reduced to the
 +
ranks," said the captain softly.
 +
 +
"Well? Has he been degraded into a field marshal, or into a soldier? If
 +
a soldier, he should be dressed in regulation uniform like the others."
 +
 +
"Your excellency, you gave him leave yourself, on the march."
 +
 +
"Gave him leave? Leave? That's just like you young men," said the
 +
regimental commander cooling down a little. "Leave indeed.... One says a
 +
word to you and you... What?" he added with renewed irritation, "I beg
 +
you to dress your men decently."
 +
 +
And the commander, turning to look at the adjutant, directed his jerky
 +
steps down the line. He was evidently pleased at his own display of
 +
anger and walking up to the regiment wished to find a further excuse for
 +
wrath. Having snapped at an officer for an unpolished badge, at another
 +
because his line was not straight, he reached the third company.
 +
 +
"H-o-o-w are you standing? Where's your leg? Your leg?" shouted the
 +
commander with a tone of suffering in his voice, while there were still
 +
five men between him and Dolokhov with his bluish-gray uniform.
 +
 +
Dolokhov slowly straightened his bent knee, looking straight with his
 +
clear, insolent eyes in the general's face.
 +
 +
"Why a blue coat? Off with it... Sergeant major! Change his coat... the
 +
ras..." he did not finish.
 +
 +
"General, I must obey orders, but I am not bound to endure..." Dolokhov
 +
hurriedly interrupted.
 +
 +
"No talking in the ranks!... No talking, no talking!"
 +
 +
"Not bound to endure insults," Dolokhov concluded in loud, ringing
 +
tones.
 +
 +
The eyes of the general and the soldier met. The general became silent,
 +
angrily pulling down his tight scarf.
 +
 +
"I request you to have the goodness to change your coat," he said as he
 +
turned away.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER II
 +
 +
"He's coming!" shouted the signaler at that moment.
 +
 +
The regimental commander, flushing, ran to his horse, seized the stirrup
 +
with trembling hands, threw his body across the saddle, righted himself,
 +
drew his saber, and with a happy and resolute countenance, opening his
 +
mouth awry, prepared to shout. The regiment fluttered like a bird
 +
preening its plumage and became motionless.
 +
 +
"Att-ention!" shouted the regimental commander in a soul-shaking voice
 +
which expressed joy for himself, severity for the regiment, and welcome
 +
for the approaching chief.
 +
 +
Along the broad country road, edged on both sides by trees, came a high,
 +
light blue Viennese caleche, slightly creaking on its springs and drawn
 +
by six horses at a smart trot. Behind the caleche galloped the suite and
 +
a convoy of Croats. Beside Kutuzov sat an Austrian general, in a white
 +
uniform that looked strange among the Russian black ones. The caleche
 +
stopped in front of the regiment. Kutuzov and the Austrian general were
 +
talking in low voices and Kutuzov smiled slightly as treading heavily he
 +
stepped down from the carriage just as if those two thousand men
 +
breathlessly gazing at him and the regimental commander did not exist.
 +
 +
The word of command rang out, and again the regiment quivered, as with a
 +
jingling sound it presented arms. Then amidst a dead silence the feeble
 +
voice of the commander-in-chief was heard. The regiment roared, "Health
 +
to your ex... len... len... lency!" and again all became silent. At
 +
first Kutuzov stood still while the regiment moved; then he and the
 +
general in white, accompanied by the suite, walked between the ranks.
 +
 +
From the way the regimental commander saluted the commander-in-chief and
 +
devoured him with his eyes, drawing himself up obsequiously, and from
 +
the way he walked through the ranks behind the generals, bending forward
 +
and hardly able to restrain his jerky movements, and from the way he
 +
darted forward at every word or gesture of the commander-in-chief, it
 +
was evident that he performed his duty as a subordinate with even
 +
greater zeal than his duty as a commander. Thanks to the strictness and
 +
assiduity of its commander the regiment, in comparison with others that
 +
had reached Braunau at the same time, was in splendid condition. There
 +
were only 217 sick and stragglers. Everything was in good order except
 +
the boots.
 +
 +
Kutuzov walked through the ranks, sometimes stopping to say a few
 +
friendly words to officers he had known in the Turkish war, sometimes
 +
also to the soldiers. Looking at their boots he several times shook his
 +
head sadly, pointing them out to the Austrian general with an expression
 +
which seemed to say that he was not blaming anyone, but could not help
 +
noticing what a bad state of things it was. The regimental commander ran
 +
forward on each such occasion, fearing to miss a single word of the
 +
commander-in-chief's regarding the regiment. Behind Kutuzov, at a
 +
distance that allowed every softly spoken word to be heard, followed
 +
some twenty men of his suite. These gentlemen talked among themselves
 +
and sometimes laughed. Nearest of all to the commander-in-chief walked a
 +
handsome adjutant. This was Prince Bolkonski. Beside him was his comrade
 +
Nesvitski, a tall staff officer, extremely stout, with a kindly,
 +
smiling, handsome face and moist eyes. Nesvitski could hardly keep from
 +
laughter provoked by a swarthy hussar officer who walked beside him.
 +
This hussar, with a grave face and without a smile or a change in the
 +
expression of his fixed eyes, watched the regimental commander's back
 +
and mimicked his every movement. Each time the commander started and
 +
bent forward, the hussar started and bent forward in exactly the same
 +
manner. Nesvitski laughed and nudged the others to make them look at the
 +
wag.
 +
 +
Kutuzov walked slowly and languidly past thousands of eyes which were
 +
starting from their sockets to watch their chief. On reaching the third
 +
company he suddenly stopped. His suite, not having expected this,
 +
involuntarily came closer to him.
 +
 +
"Ah, Timokhin!" said he, recognizing the red-nosed captain who had been
 +
reprimanded on account of the blue greatcoat.
 +
 +
One would have thought it impossible for a man to stretch himself more
 +
than Timokhin had done when he was reprimanded by the regimental
 +
commander, but now that the commander-in-chief addressed him he drew
 +
himself up to such an extent that it seemed he could not have sustained
 +
it had the commander-in-chief continued to look at him, and so Kutuzov,
 +
who evidently understood his case and wished him nothing but good,
 +
quickly turned away, a scarcely perceptible smile flitting over his
 +
scarred and puffy face.
 +
 +
"Another Ismail comrade," said he. "A brave officer! Are you satisfied
 +
with him?" he asked the regimental commander.
 +
 +
And the latter--unconscious that he was being reflected in the hussar
 +
officer as in a looking glass--started, moved forward, and answered:
 +
"Highly satisfied, your excellency!"
 +
 +
"We all have our weaknesses," said Kutuzov smiling and walking away from
 +
him. "He used to have a predilection for Bacchus."
 +
 +
The regimental commander was afraid he might be blamed for this and did
 +
not answer. The hussar at that moment noticed the face of the red-nosed
 +
captain and his drawn-in stomach, and mimicked his expression and pose
 +
with such exactitude that Nesvitski could not help laughing. Kutuzov
 +
turned round. The officer evidently had complete control of his face,
 +
and while Kutuzov was turning managed to make a grimace and then assume
 +
a most serious, deferential, and innocent expression.
 +
 +
The third company was the last, and Kutuzov pondered, apparently trying
 +
to recollect something. Prince Andrew stepped forward from among the
 +
suite and said in French:
 +
 +
"You told me to remind you of the officer Dolokhov, reduced to the ranks
 +
in this regiment."
 +
 +
"Where is Dolokhov?" asked Kutuzov.
 +
 +
Dolokhov, who had already changed into a soldier's gray greatcoat, did
 +
not wait to be called. The shapely figure of the fair-haired soldier,
 +
with his clear blue eyes, stepped forward from the ranks, went up to the
 +
commander in chief, and presented arms.
 +
 +
"Have you a complaint to make?" Kutuzov asked with a slight frown.
 +
 +
"This is Dolokhov," said Prince Andrew.
 +
 +
"Ah!" said Kutuzov. "I hope this will be a lesson to you. Do your duty.
 +
The Emperor is gracious, and I shan't forget you if you deserve well."
 +
 +
The clear blue eyes looked at the commander-in-chief just as boldly as
 +
they had looked at the regimental commander, seeming by their expression
 +
to tear open the veil of convention that separates a commander-in-chief
 +
so widely from a private.
 +
 +
"One thing I ask of your excellency," Dolokhov said in his firm,
 +
ringing, deliberate voice. "I ask an opportunity to atone for my fault
 +
and prove my devotion to His Majesty the Emperor and to Russia!"
 +
 +
Kutuzov turned away. The same smile of the eyes with which he had turned
 +
from Captain Timokhin again flitted over his face. He turned away with a
 +
grimace as if to say that everything Dolokhov had said to him and
 +
everything he could say had long been known to him, that he was weary of
 +
it and it was not at all what he wanted. He turned away and went to the
 +
carriage.
 +
 +
The regiment broke up into companies, which went to their appointed
 +
quarters near Braunau, where they hoped to receive boots and clothes and
 +
to rest after their hard marches.
 +
 +
"You won't bear me a grudge, Prokhor Ignatych?" said the regimental
 +
commander, overtaking the third company on its way to its quarters and
 +
riding up to Captain Timokhin who was walking in front. (The regimental
 +
commander's face now that the inspection was happily over beamed with
 +
irrepressible delight.) "It's in the Emperor's service... it can't be
 +
helped... one is sometimes a bit hasty on parade... I am the first to
 +
apologize, you know me!... He was very pleased!" And he held out his
 +
hand to the captain.
 +
 +
"Don't mention it, General, as if I'd be so bold!" replied the captain,
 +
his nose growing redder as he gave a smile which showed where two front
 +
teeth were missing that had been knocked out by the butt end of a gun at
 +
Ismail.
 +
 +
"And tell Mr. Dolokhov that I won't forget him--he may be quite easy.
 +
And tell me, please--I've been meaning to ask--how is he behaving
 +
himself, and in general..."
 +
 +
"As far as the service goes he is quite punctilious, your excellency;
 +
but his character..." said Timokhin.
 +
 +
"And what about his character?" asked the regimental commander.
 +
 +
"It's different on different days," answered the captain. "One day he is
 +
sensible, well educated, and good-natured, and the next he's a wild
 +
beast.... In Poland, if you please, he nearly killed a Jew."
 +
 +
"Oh, well, well!" remarked the regimental commander. "Still, one must
 +
have pity on a young man in misfortune. You know he has important
 +
connections... Well, then, you just..."
 +
 +
"I will, your excellency," said Timokhin, showing by his smile that he
 +
understood his commander's wish.
 +
 +
"Well, of course, of course!"
 +
 +
The regimental commander sought out Dolokhov in the ranks and, reining
 +
in his horse, said to him:
 +
 +
"After the next affair... epaulettes."
 +
 +
Dolokhov looked round but did not say anything, nor did the mocking
 +
smile on his lips change.
 +
 +
"Well, that's all right," continued the regimental commander. "A cup of
 +
vodka for the men from me," he added so that the soldiers could hear. "I
 +
thank you all! God be praised!" and he rode past that company and
 +
overtook the next one.
 +
 +
"Well, he's really a good fellow, one can serve under him," said
 +
Timokhin to the subaltern beside him.
 +
 +
"In a word, a hearty one..." said the subaltern, laughing (the
 +
regimental commander was nicknamed King of Hearts).
 +
 +
The cheerful mood of their officers after the inspection infected the
 +
soldiers. The company marched on gaily. The soldiers' voices could be
 +
heard on every side.
 +
 +
"And they said Kutuzov was blind of one eye?"
 +
 +
"And so he is! Quite blind!"
 +
 +
"No, friend, he is sharper-eyed than you are. Boots and leg bands... he
 +
noticed everything..."
 +
 +
"When he looked at my feet, friend... well, thinks I..."
 +
 +
"And that other one with him, the Austrian, looked as if he were smeared
 +
with chalk--as white as flour! I suppose they polish him up as they do
 +
the guns."
 +
 +
"I say, Fedeshon!... Did he say when the battles are to begin? You were
 +
near him. Everybody said that Buonaparte himself was at Braunau."
 +
 +
"Buonaparte himself!... Just listen to the fool, what he doesn't know!
 +
The Prussians are up in arms now. The Austrians, you see, are putting
 +
them down. When they've been put down, the war with Buonaparte will
 +
begin. And he says Buonaparte is in Braunau! Shows you're a fool. You'd
 +
better listen more carefully!"
 +
 +
"What devils these quartermasters are! See, the fifth company is turning
 +
into the village already... they will have their buckwheat cooked before
 +
we reach our quarters."
 +
 +
"Give me a biscuit, you devil!"
 +
 +
"And did you give me tobacco yesterday? That's just it, friend! Ah,
 +
well, never mind, here you are."
 +
 +
"They might call a halt here or we'll have to do another four miles
 +
without eating."
 +
 +
"Wasn't it fine when those Germans gave us lifts! You just sit still and
 +
are drawn along."
 +
 +
"And here, friend, the people are quite beggarly. There they all seemed
 +
to be Poles--all under the Russian crown--but here they're all regular
 +
Germans."
 +
 +
"Singers to the front" came the captain's order.
 +
 +
And from the different ranks some twenty men ran to the front. A
 +
drummer, their leader, turned round facing the singers, and flourishing
 +
his arm, began a long-drawn-out soldiers' song, commencing with the
 +
words: "Morning dawned, the sun was rising," and concluding: "On then,
 +
brothers, on to glory, led by Father Kamenski." This song had been
 +
composed in the Turkish campaign and now being sung in Austria, the only
 +
change being that the words "Father Kamenski" were replaced by "Father
 +
Kutuzov."
 +
 +
Having jerked out these last words as soldiers do and waved his arms as
 +
if flinging something to the ground, the drummer--a lean, handsome
 +
soldier of forty--looked sternly at the singers and screwed up his eyes.
 +
Then having satisfied himself that all eyes were fixed on him, he raised
 +
both arms as if carefully lifting some invisible but precious object
 +
above his head and, holding it there for some seconds, suddenly flung it
 +
down and began:
 +
 +
"Oh, my bower, oh, my bower...!"
 +
 +
"Oh, my bower new...!" chimed in twenty voices, and the castanet player,
 +
in spite of the burden of his equipment, rushed out to the front and,
 +
walking backwards before the company, jerked his shoulders and
 +
flourished his castanets as if threatening someone. The soldiers,
 +
swinging their arms and keeping time spontaneously, marched with long
 +
steps. Behind the company the sound of wheels, the creaking of springs,
 +
and the tramp of horses' hoofs were heard. Kutuzov and his suite were
 +
returning to the town. The commander-in-chief made a sign that the men
 +
should continue to march at ease, and he and all his suite showed
 +
pleasure at the sound of the singing and the sight of the dancing
 +
soldier and the gay and smartly marching men. In the second file from
 +
the right flank, beside which the carriage passed the company, a blue-
 +
eyed soldier involuntarily attracted notice. It was Dolokhov marching
 +
with particular grace and boldness in time to the song and looking at
 +
those driving past as if he pitied all who were not at that moment
 +
marching with the company. The hussar cornet of Kutuzov's suite who had
 +
mimicked the regimental commander, fell back from the carriage and rode
 +
up to Dolokhov.
 +
 +
Hussar cornet Zherkov had at one time, in Petersburg, belonged to the
 +
wild set led by Dolokhov. Zherkov had met Dolokhov abroad as a private
 +
and had not seen fit to recognize him. But now that Kutuzov had spoken
 +
to the gentleman ranker, he addressed him with the cordiality of an old
 +
friend.
 +
 +
"My dear fellow, how are you?" said he through the singing, making his
 +
horse keep pace with the company.
 +
 +
"How am I?" Dolokhov answered coldly. "I am as you see."
 +
 +
The lively song gave a special flavor to the tone of free and easy
 +
gaiety with which Zherkov spoke, and to the intentional coldness of
 +
Dolokhov's reply.
 +
 +
"And how do you get on with the officers?" inquired Zherkov.
 +
 +
"All right. They are good fellows. And how have you wriggled onto the
 +
staff?"
 +
 +
"I was attached; I'm on duty."
 +
 +
Both were silent.
 +
 +
"She let the hawk fly upward from her wide right sleeve," went the song,
 +
arousing an involuntary sensation of courage and cheerfulness. Their
 +
conversation would probably have been different but for the effect of
 +
that song.
 +
 +
"Is it true that Austrians have been beaten?" asked Dolokhov.
 +
 +
"The devil only knows! They say so."
 +
 +
"I'm glad," answered Dolokhov briefly and clearly, as the song demanded.
 +
 +
"I say, come round some evening and we'll have a game of faro!" said
 +
Zherkov.
 +
 +
"Why, have you too much money?"
 +
 +
"Do come."
 +
 +
"I can't. I've sworn not to. I won't drink and won't play till I get
 +
reinstated."
 +
 +
"Well, that's only till the first engagement."
 +
 +
"We shall see."
 +
 +
They were again silent.
 +
 +
"Come if you need anything. One can at least be of use on the staff..."
 +
 +
Dolokhov smiled. "Don't trouble. If I want anything, I won't beg--I'll
 +
take it!"
 +
 +
"Well, never mind; I only..."
 +
 +
"And I only..."
 +
 +
"Good-bye."
 +
 +
"Good health..."
 +
 +
 +
"It's a long, long way. To my native land..."
 +
 +
Zherkov touched his horse with the spurs; it pranced excitedly from foot
 +
to foot uncertain with which to start, then settled down, galloped past
 +
the company, and overtook the carriage, still keeping time to the song.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER III
 +
 +
On returning from the review, Kutuzov took the Austrian general into his
 +
private room and, calling his adjutant, asked for some papers relating
 +
to the condition of the troops on their arrival, and the letters that
 +
had come from the Archduke Ferdinand, who was in command of the advanced
 +
army. Prince Andrew Bolkonski came into the room with the required
 +
papers. Kutuzov and the Austrian member of the Hofkriegsrath were
 +
sitting at the table on which a plan was spread out.
 +
 +
"Ah!..." said Kutuzov glancing at Bolkonski as if by this exclamation he
 +
was asking the adjutant to wait, and he went on with the conversation in
 +
French.
 +
 +
"All I can say, General," said he with a pleasant elegance of expression
 +
and intonation that obliged one to listen to each deliberately spoken
 +
word. It was evident that Kutuzov himself listened with pleasure to his
 +
own voice. "All I can say, General, is that if the matter depended on my
 +
personal wishes, the will of His Majesty the Emperor Francis would have
 +
been fulfilled long ago. I should long ago have joined the archduke. And
 +
believe me on my honour that to me personally it would be a pleasure to
 +
hand over the supreme command of the army into the hands of a better
 +
informed and more skillful general--of whom Austria has so many--and to
 +
lay down all this heavy responsibility. But circumstances are sometimes
 +
too strong for us, General."
 +
 +
And Kutuzov smiled in a way that seemed to say, "You are quite at
 +
liberty not to believe me and I don't even care whether you do or not,
 +
but you have no grounds for telling me so. And that is the whole point."
 +
 +
The Austrian general looked dissatisfied, but had no option but to reply
 +
in the same tone.
 +
 +
"On the contrary," he said, in a querulous and angry tone that
 +
contrasted with his flattering words, "on the contrary, your
 +
excellency's participation in the common action is highly valued by His
 +
Majesty; but we think the present delay is depriving the splendid
 +
Russian troops and their commander of the laurels they have been
 +
accustomed to win in their battles," he concluded his evidently
 +
prearranged sentence.
 +
 +
Kutuzov bowed with the same smile.
 +
 +
"But that is my conviction, and judging by the last letter with which
 +
His Highness the Archduke Ferdinand has honored me, I imagine that the
 +
Austrian troops, under the direction of so skillful a leader as General
 +
Mack, have by now already gained a decisive victory and no longer need
 +
our aid," said Kutuzov.
 +
 +
The general frowned. Though there was no definite news of an Austrian
 +
defeat, there were many circumstances confirming the unfavorable rumors
 +
that were afloat, and so Kutuzov's suggestion of an Austrian victory
 +
sounded much like irony. But Kutuzov went on blandly smiling with the
 +
same expression, which seemed to say that he had a right to suppose so.
 +
And, in fact, the last letter he had received from Mack's army informed
 +
him of a victory and stated strategically the position of the army was
 +
very favorable.
 +
 +
"Give me that letter," said Kutuzov turning to Prince Andrew. "Please
 +
have a look at it"--and Kutuzov with an ironical smile about the corners
 +
of his mouth read to the Austrian general the following passage, in
 +
German, from the Archduke Ferdinand's letter:
 +
 +
We have fully concentrated forces of nearly seventy thousand men with
 +
which to attack and defeat the enemy should he cross the Lech. Also, as
 +
we are masters of Ulm, we cannot be deprived of the advantage of
 +
commanding both sides of the Danube, so that should the enemy not cross
 +
the Lech, we can cross the Danube, throw ourselves on his line of
 +
communications, recross the river lower down, and frustrate his
 +
intention should he try to direct his whole force against our faithful
 +
ally. We shall therefore confidently await the moment when the Imperial
 +
Russian army will be fully equipped, and shall then, in conjunction with
 +
it, easily find a way to prepare for the enemy the fate he deserves.
 +
 +
Kutuzov sighed deeply on finishing this paragraph and looked at the
 +
member of the Hofkriegsrath mildly and attentively.
 +
 +
"But you know the wise maxim your excellency, advising one to expect the
 +
worst," said the Austrian general, evidently wishing to have done with
 +
jests and to come to business. He involuntarily looked round at the
 +
aide-de-camp.
 +
 +
"Excuse me, General," interrupted Kutuzov, also turning to Prince
 +
Andrew. "Look here, my dear fellow, get from Kozlovski all the reports
 +
from our scouts. Here are two letters from Count Nostitz and here is one
 +
from His Highness the Archduke Ferdinand and here are these," he said,
 +
handing him several papers, "make a neat memorandum in French out of all
 +
this, showing all the news we have had of the movements of the Austrian
 +
army, and then give it to his excellency."
 +
 +
Prince Andrew bowed his head in token of having understood from the
 +
first not only what had been said but also what Kutuzov would have liked
 +
to tell him. He gathered up the papers and with a bow to both, stepped
 +
softly over the carpet and went out into the waiting room.
 +
 +
Though not much time had passed since Prince Andrew had left Russia, he
 +
had changed greatly during that period. In the expression of his face,
 +
in his movements, in his walk, scarcely a trace was left of his former
 +
affected languor and indolence. He now looked like a man who has time to
 +
think of the impression he makes on others, but is occupied with
 +
agreeable and interesting work. His face expressed more satisfaction
 +
with himself and those around him, his smile and glance were brighter
 +
and more attractive.
 +
 +
Kutuzov, whom he had overtaken in Poland, had received him very kindly,
 +
promised not to forget him, distinguished him above the other adjutants,
 +
and had taken him to Vienna and given him the more serious commissions.
 +
From Vienna Kutuzov wrote to his old comrade, Prince Andrew's father.
 +
 +
Your son bids fair to become an officer distinguished by his industry,
 +
firmness, and expedition. I consider myself fortunate to have such a
 +
subordinate by me.
 +
 +
On Kutuzov's staff, among his fellow officers and in the army generally,
 +
Prince Andrew had, as he had had in Petersburg society, two quite
 +
opposite reputations. Some, a minority, acknowledged him to be different
 +
from themselves and from everyone else, expected great things of him,
 +
listened to him, admired, and imitated him, and with them Prince Andrew
 +
was natural and pleasant. Others, the majority, disliked him and
 +
considered him conceited, cold, and disagreeable. But among these people
 +
Prince Andrew knew how to take his stand so that they respected and even
 +
feared him.
 +
 +
Coming out of Kutuzov's room into the waiting room with the papers in
 +
his hand Prince Andrew came up to his comrade, the aide-de-camp on duty,
 +
Kozlovski, who was sitting at the window with a book.
 +
 +
"Well, Prince?" asked Kozlovski.
 +
 +
"I am ordered to write a memorandum explaining why we are not
 +
advancing."
 +
 +
"And why is it?"
 +
 +
Prince Andrew shrugged his shoulders.
 +
 +
"Any news from Mack?"
 +
 +
"No."
 +
 +
"If it were true that he has been beaten, news would have come."
 +
 +
"Probably," said Prince Andrew moving toward the outer door.
 +
 +
But at that instant a tall Austrian general in a greatcoat, with the
 +
order of Maria Theresa on his neck and a black bandage round his head,
 +
who had evidently just arrived, entered quickly, slamming the door.
 +
Prince Andrew stopped short.
 +
 +
"Commander in Chief Kutuzov?" said the newly arrived general speaking
 +
quickly with a harsh German accent, looking to both sides and advancing
 +
straight toward the inner door.
 +
 +
"The commander-in-chief is engaged," said Kozlovski, going hurriedly up
 +
to the unknown general and blocking his way to the door. "Whom shall I
 +
announce?"
 +
 +
The unknown general looked disdainfully down at Kozlovski, who was
 +
rather short, as if surprised that anyone should not know him.
 +
 +
"The commander-in-chief is engaged," repeated Kozlovski calmly.
 +
 +
The general's face clouded, his lips quivered and trembled. He took out
 +
a notebook, hurriedly scribbled something in pencil, tore out the leaf,
 +
gave it to Kozlovski, stepped quickly to the window, and threw himself
 +
into a chair, gazing at those in the room as if asking, "Why do they
 +
look at me?" Then he lifted his head, stretched his neck as if he
 +
intended to say something, but immediately, with affected indifference,
 +
began to hum to himself, producing a queer sound which immediately broke
 +
off. The door of the private room opened and Kutuzov appeared in the
 +
doorway. The general with the bandaged head bent forward as though
 +
running away from some danger, and, making long, quick strides with his
 +
thin legs, went up to Kutuzov.
 +
 +
"Vous voyez le malheureux Mack," he uttered in a broken voice.
 +
 +
Kutuzov's face as he stood in the open doorway remained perfectly
 +
immobile for a few moments. Then wrinkles ran over his face like a wave
 +
and his forehead became smooth again, he bowed his head respectfully,
 +
closed his eyes, silently let Mack enter his room before him, and closed
 +
the door himself behind him.
 +
 +
The report which had been circulated that the Austrians had been beaten
 +
and that the whole army had surrendered at Ulm proved to be correct.
 +
Within half an hour adjutants had been sent in various directions with
 +
orders which showed that the Russian troops, who had hitherto been
 +
inactive, would also soon have to meet the enemy.
 +
 +
Prince Andrew was one of those rare staff officers whose chief interest
 +
lay in the general progress of the war. When he saw Mack and heard the
 +
details of his disaster he understood that half the campaign was lost,
 +
understood all the difficulties of the Russian army's position, and
 +
vividly imagined what awaited it and the part he would have to play.
 +
Involuntarily he felt a joyful agitation at the thought of the
 +
humiliation of arrogant Austria and that in a week's time he might,
 +
perhaps, see and take part in the first Russian encounter with the
 +
French since Suvorov met them. He feared that Bonaparte's genius might
 +
outweigh all the courage of the Russian troops, and at the same time
 +
could not admit the idea of his hero being disgraced.
 +
 +
Excited and irritated by these thoughts Prince Andrew went toward his
 +
room to write to his father, to whom he wrote every day. In the corridor
 +
he met Nesvitski, with whom he shared a room, and the wag Zherkov; they
 +
were as usual laughing.
 +
 +
"Why are you so glum?" asked Nesvitski noticing Prince Andrew's pale
 +
face and glittering eyes.
 +
 +
"There's nothing to be gay about," answered Bolkonski.
 +
 +
Just as Prince Andrew met Nesvitski and Zherkov, there came toward them
 +
from the other end of the corridor, Strauch, an Austrian general who on
 +
Kutuzov's staff in charge of the provisioning of the Russian army, and
 +
the member of the Hofkriegsrath who had arrived the previous evening.
 +
There was room enough in the wide corridor for the generals to pass the
 +
three officers quite easily, but Zherkov, pushing Nesvitski aside with
 +
his arm, said in a breathless voice,
 +
 +
"They're coming!... they're coming!... Stand aside, make way, please
 +
make way!"
 +
 +
The generals were passing by, looking as if they wished to avoid
 +
embarrassing attentions. On the face of the wag Zherkov there suddenly
 +
appeared a stupid smile of glee which he seemed unable to suppress.
 +
 +
"Your excellency," said he in German, stepping forward and addressing
 +
the Austrian general, "I have the honor to congratulate you."
 +
 +
He bowed his head and scraped first with one foot and then with the
 +
other, awkwardly, like a child at a dancing lesson.
 +
 +
The member of the Hofkriegsrath looked at him severely but, seeing the
 +
seriousness of his stupid smile, could not but give him a moment's
 +
attention. He screwed up his eyes showing that he was listening.
 +
 +
"I have the honor to congratulate you. General Mack has arrived, quite
 +
well, only a little bruised just here," he added, pointing with a
 +
beaming smile to his head.
 +
 +
The general frowned, turned away, and went on.
 +
 +
"Gott, wie naiv!" * said he angrily, after he had gone a few steps.
 +
 +
 +
* "Good God, what simplicity!"
 +
 +
Nesvitski with a laugh threw his arms round Prince Andrew, but
 +
Bolkonski, turning still paler, pushed him away with an angry look and
 +
turned to Zherkov. The nervous irritation aroused by the appearance of
 +
Mack, the news of his defeat, and the thought of what lay before the
 +
Russian army found vent in anger at Zherkov's untimely jest.
 +
 +
"If you, sir, choose to make a buffoon of yourself," he said sharply,
 +
with a slight trembling of the lower jaw, "I can't prevent your doing
 +
so; but I warn you that if you dare to play the fool in my presence, I
 +
will teach you to behave yourself."
 +
 +
Nesvitski and Zherkov were so surprised by this outburst that they gazed
 +
at Bolkonski silently with wide-open eyes.
 +
 +
"What's the matter? I only congratulated them," said Zherkov.
 +
 +
"I am not jesting with you; please be silent!" cried Bolkonski, and
 +
taking Nesvitski's arm he left Zherkov, who did not know what to say.
 +
 +
"Come, what's the matter, old fellow?" said Nesvitski trying to soothe
 +
him.
 +
 +
"What's the matter?" exclaimed Prince Andrew standing still in his
 +
excitement. "Don't you understand that either we are officers serving
 +
our Tsar and our country, rejoicing in the successes and grieving at the
 +
misfortunes of our common cause, or we are merely lackeys who care
 +
nothing for their master's business. Quarante mille hommes massacres et
 +
l'armee de nos allies detruite, et vous trouvez la le mot pour rire," *
 +
he said, as if strengthening his views by this French sentence. "C'est
 +
bien pour un garcon de rien comme cet individu dont vous avez fait un
 +
ami, mais pas pour vous, pas pour vous. *(2) Only a hobbledehoy could
 +
amuse himself in this way," he added in Russian--but pronouncing the
 +
word with a French accent--having noticed that Zherkov could still hear
 +
him.
 +
 +
 +
* "Forty thousand men massacred and the army of our allies destroyed,
 +
and you find that a cause for jesting!"
 +
 +
* (2) "It is all very well for that good-for-nothing fellow of whom you
 +
have made a friend, but not for you, not for you."
 +
 +
He waited a moment to see whether the cornet would answer, but he turned
 +
and went out of the corridor.
 +
 +
 +
 +
 +
CHAPTER IV
 +
 +
The Pavlograd Hussars were stationed two miles from Braunau. The
 +
squadron in which Nicholas Rostov served as a cadet was quartered in the
 +
German village of Salzeneck. The best quarters in the village were
 +
assigned to cavalry-captain Denisov, the squadron commander, known
 +
throughout the whole cavalry division as Vaska Denisov. Cadet Rostov,
 +
ever since he had overtaken the regiment in Poland, had lived with the
 +
squadron commander.
 +
 +
On October 11, the day when all was astir at headquarters over the news
 +
of Mack's defeat, the camp life of the officers of this squadron was
 +
proceeding as usual. Denisov, who had been losing at cards all night,
 +
had not yet come home when Rostov rode back early in the morning from a
 +
foraging expedition. Rostov in his cadet uniform, with a jerk to his
 +
horse, rode up to the porch, swung his leg over the saddle with a supple
 +
youthful movement, stood for a moment in the stirrup as if loathe to
 +
part from his horse, and at last sprang down and called to his orderly.
 +
 +
"Ah, Bondarenko, dear friend!" said he to the hussar who rushed up
 +
headlong to the horse. "Walk him up and down, my dear fellow," he
 +
continued, with that gay brotherly cordiality which goodhearted young
 +
people show to everyone when they are happy.
 +
 +
"Yes, your excellency," answered the Ukrainian gaily, tossing his head.
 +
 +
"Mind, walk him up and down well!"
 +
 +
Another hussar also rushed toward the horse, but Bondarenko had already
 +
thrown the reins of the snaffle bridle over the horse's head. It was
 +
evident that the cadet was liberal with his tips and that it paid to
 +
serve him. Rostov patted the horse's neck and then his flank, and
 +
lingered for a moment.
 +
 +
"Splendid! What a horse he will be!" he thought with a smile, and
 +
holding up his saber, his spurs jingling, he ran up the steps of the
 +
porch. His landlord, who in a waistcoat and a pointed cap, pitchfork in
 +
hand, was clearing manure from the cowhouse, looked out, and his face
 +
immediately brightened on seeing Rostov. "Schon gut Morgen! Schon gut
 +
Morgen!" * he said winking with a merry smile, evidently pleased to
 +
greet the young man.
 +
 +
 +
* "A very good morning! A very good morning!"
 +
 +
"Schon fleissig?" * said Rostov with the same gay brotherly smile which
 +
did not leave his eager face. "Hoch Oestreicher! Hoch Russen! Kaiser
 +
Alexander hoch!" *(2) said he, quoting words often repeated by the
 +
German landlord.
 +
 +
 +
* "Busy already?"
 +
 +
* (2) "Hurrah for the Austrians! Hurrah for the Russians! Hurrah for
 +
Emperor Alexander!"
 +
 +
The German laughed, came out of the cowshed, pulled off his cap, and
 +
waving it above his head cried:
 +
 +
"Und die ganze Welt hoch!" *
 +
 +
 +
* "And hurrah for the whole world!"
 +
 +
Rostov waved his cap above his head like the German and cried laughing,
 +
"Und vivat die ganze Welt!" Though neither the German cleaning his
 +
cowshed nor Rostov back with his platoon from foraging for hay had any
 +
reason for rejoicing, they looked at each other with joyful delight and
 +
brotherly love, wagged their heads in token of their mutual affection,
 +
and parted smiling, the German returning to his cowshed and Rostov going
 +
to the cottage he occupied with Denisov.
 +
 +
"What about your master?" he asked Lavrushka, Denisov's orderly, whom
 +
all the regiment knew for a rogue.
 +
 +
"Hasn't been in since the evening. Must have been losing," answered
 +
Lavrushka. "I know by now, if he wins he comes back early to brag about
 +
it, but if he stays out till morning it means he's lost and will come
 +
back in a rage. Will you have coffee?"
 +
 +
"Yes, bring some."
 +
 +
Ten minutes later Lavrushka brought the coffee. "He's coming!" said he.
 +
"Now for trouble!" Rostov looked out of the window and saw Denisov
 +
coming home. Denisov was a small man with a red face, sparkling black
 +
eyes, and black tousled mustache and hair. He wore an unfastened cloak,
 +
wide breeches hanging down in creases, and a crumpled shako on the back
 +
of his head. He came up to the porch gloomily, hanging his head.
 +
 +
"Lavwuska!" he shouted loudly and angrily, "take it off, blockhead!"
 +
 +
"Well, I am taking it off," replied Lavrushka's voice.
 +
 +
"Ah, you're up already," said Denisov, entering the room.
 +
 +
"Long ago," answered Rostov, "I have already been for the hay, and have
 +
seen Fraulein Mathilde."
 +
 +
"Weally! And I've been losing, bwother. I lost yesterday like a damned
 +
fool!" cried Denisov, not pronouncing his r's. "Such ill luck! Such ill
 +
luck. As soon as you left, it began and went on. Hullo there! Tea!"
 +
 +
Puckering up his face though smiling, and showing his short strong
 +
teeth, he began with stubby fingers of both hands to ruffle up his thick
 +
tangled black hair.
 +
 +
"And what devil made me go to that wat?" (an officer nicknamed "the
 +
rat") he said, rubbing his forehead and whole face with both hands.
 +
"Just fancy, he didn't let me win a single cahd, not one cahd."
 +
 +
He took the lighted pipe that was offered to him, gripped it in his
 +
fist, and tapped it on the floor, making the sparks fly, while he
 +
continued to shout.
 +
 +
"He lets one win the singles and collahs it as soon as one doubles it;
 +
gives the singles and snatches the doubles!"
 +
 +
He scattered the burning tobacco, smashed the pipe, and threw it away.
 +
Then he remained silent for a while, and all at once looked cheerfully
 +
with his glittering, black eyes at Rostov.
 +
 +
"If at least we had some women here; but there's nothing foh one to do
 +
but dwink. If we could only get to fighting soon. Hullo, who's there?"
 +
he said, turning to the door as he heard a tread of heavy boots and the
 +
clinking of spurs that came to a stop, and a respectful cough.
 +
 +
"The squadron quartermaster!" said Lavrushka.
 +
 +
Denisov's face puckered still more.
 +
 +
"Wetched!" he muttered, throwing down a purse with some gold in it.
 +
"Wostov, deah fellow, just see how much there is left and shove the
 +
purse undah the pillow," he said, and went out to the quartermaster.
 +
 +
Rostov took the money and, mechanically arranging the old and new coins
 +
in separate piles, began counting them.
 +
 +
"Ah! Telyanin! How d'ye do? They plucked me last night," came Denisov's
 +
voice from the next room.
 +
 +
"Where? At Bykov's, at the rat's... I knew it," replied a piping voice,
 +
and Lieutenant Telyanin, a small officer of the same squadron, entered
 +
the room.
 +
 +
Rostov thrust the purse under the pillow and shook the damp little hand
 +
which was offered him. Telyanin for some reason had been transferred
 +
from the Guards just before this campaign. He behaved very well in the
 +
regiment but was not liked; Rostov especially detested him and was
 +
unable to overcome or conceal his groundless antipathy to the man.
 +
 +
"Well, young cavalryman, how is my Rook behaving?" he asked. (Rook was a
 +
young horse Telyanin had sold to Rostov.)
 +
 +
The lieutenant never looked the man he was speaking to straight in the
 +
face; his eyes continually wandered from one object to another.
 +
 +
"I saw you riding this morning..." he added.
 +
 +
"Oh, he's all right, a good horse," answered Rostov, though the horse
 +
for which he had paid seven hundred rubbles was not worth half that sum.
 +
"He's begun to go a little lame on the left foreleg," he added.
 +
 +
"The hoof's cracked! That's nothing. I'll teach you what to do and show
 +
you what kind of rivet to use."
 +
 +
"Yes, please do," said Rostov.
 +
 +
"I'll show you, I'll show you! It's not a secret. And it's a horse
 +
you'll thank me for."
 +
 +
"Then I'll have it brought round," said Rostov wishing to avoid
 +
Telyanin, and he went out to give the order.
 +
 +
In the passage Denisov, with a pipe, was squatting on the threshold
 +
facing the quartermaster who was reporting to him. On seeing Rostov,
 +
Denisov screwed up his face and pointing over his shoulder with his
 +
thumb to the room where Telyanin was sitting, he frowned and gave a
 +
shudder of disgust.
 +
 +
"Ugh! I don't like that fellow," he said, regardless of the
 +
quartermaster's presence.
 +
 +
Rostov shrugged his shoulders as much as to say: "Nor do I, but what's
 +
one to do?" and, having given his order, he returned to Telyanin.
 +
 +
Telyanin was sitting in the same indolent pose in which Rostov had left
 +
him, rubbing his small white hands.
 +
 +
"Well there certainly are disgusting people," thought Rostov as he
 +
entered.
 +
 +
"Have you told them to bring the horse?" asked Telyanin, getting up and
 +
looking carelessly about him.
 +
 +
"I have."
 +
 +
"Let us go ourselves. I only came round to ask Denisov about yesterday's
 +
order. Have you got it, Denisov?"
 +
 +
"Not yet. But where are you off to?"
 +
 +
"I want to teach this young man how to shoe a horse," said Telyanin.
 +
 +
They went through the porch and into the stable. The lieutenant
 +
explained how to rivet the hoof and went away to his own quarters.
 +
 +
When Rostov went back there was a bottle of vodka and a sausage on the
 +
table. Denisov was sitting there scratching with his pen on a sheet of
 +
paper. He looked gloomily in Rostov's face and said: "I am witing to
 +
her."
 +
 +
He leaned his elbows on the table with his pen in his hand and,
 +
evidently glad of a chance to say quicker in words what he wanted to
 +
write, told Rostov the contents of his letter.
 +
 +
"You see, my fwiend," he said, "we sleep when we don't love. We are
 +
childwen of the dust... but one falls in love and one is a God, one is
 +
pua' as on the first day of cweation... Who's that now? Send him to the
 +
devil, I'm busy!" he shouted to Lavrushka, who went up to him not in the
 +
least abashed.
 +
 +
"Who should it be? You yourself told him to come. It's the quartermaster
 +
for the money."
 +
 +
Denisov frowned and was about to shout some reply but stopped.
 +
 +