Return to calein day main page

Return to calein day main page
return to australianstoryteller.com homepage of john Stevenson

 War and Peace

by Leo Tolstoy

CHAPTER I

 

"Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the
Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war,
if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that
Antichrist--I really believe he is Antichrist--I will have nothing more
to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful
slave,' as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I have frightened
you--sit down and tell me all the news."

It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna Pavlovna
Scherer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Marya Fedorovna. With
these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kuragin, a man of high rank and
importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception. Anna Pavlovna
had had a cough for some days. She was, as she said, suffering from la
grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, used only by the
elite.

All her invitations without exception, written in French, and delivered
by a scarlet-liveried footman that morning, ran as follows:

"If you have nothing better to do, Count (or Prince), and if the
prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too terrible,
I shall be very charmed to see you tonight between 7 and 10--Annette
Scherer."

"Heavens! what a virulent attack!" replied the prince, not in the
least disconcerted by this reception. He had just entered, wearing an
embroidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars on
his breast and a serene expression on his flat face. He spoke in that
refined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke but thought, and
with the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importance
who had grown old in society and at court. He went up to Anna Pavlovna,
kissed her hand, presenting to her his bald, scented, and shining head,
and complacently seated himself on the sofa.

"First of all, dear friend, tell me how you are. Set your friend's mind
at rest," said he without altering his tone, beneath the politeness
and affected sympathy of which indifference and even irony could be
discerned.

"Can one be well while suffering morally? Can one be calm in times like
these if one has any feeling?" said Anna Pavlovna. "You are staying the
whole evening, I hope?"

"And the fete at the English ambassador's? Today is Wednesday. I must
put in an appearance there," said the prince. "My daughter is coming for
me to take me there."

"I thought today's fete had been canceled. I confess all these
festivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome."

"If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would have been
put off," said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by force of habit
said things he did not even wish to be believed.

"Don't tease! Well, and what has been decided about Novosiltsev's
dispatch? You know everything."

"What can one say about it?" replied the prince in a cold, listless
tone. "What has been decided? They have decided that Buonaparte has
burnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours."

Prince Vasili always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating a stale
part. Anna Pavlovna Scherer on the contrary, despite her forty years,
overflowed with animation and impulsiveness. To be an enthusiast had
become her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did not
feel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint the
expectations of those who knew her. The subdued smile which, though it
did not suit her faded features, always played round her lips expressed,
as in a spoiled child, a continual consciousness of her charming defect,
which she neither wished, nor could, nor considered it necessary, to
correct.

In the midst of a conversation on political matters Anna Pavlovna burst
out:

"Oh, don't speak to me of Austria. Perhaps I don't understand things,
but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war. She is
betraying us! Russia alone must save Europe. Our gracious sovereign
recognizes his high vocation and will be true to it. That is the one
thing I have faith in! Our good and wonderful sovereign has to perform
the noblest role on earth, and he is so virtuous and noble that God will
not forsake him. He will fulfill his vocation and crush the hydra of
revolution, which has become more terrible than ever in the person of
this murderer and villain! We alone must avenge the blood of the just
one.... Whom, I ask you, can we rely on?... England with her commercial
spirit will not and cannot understand the Emperor Alexander's loftiness
of soul. She has refused to evacuate Malta. She wanted to find,
and still seeks, some secret motive in our actions. What answer did
Novosiltsev get? None. The English have not understood and cannot
understand the self-abnegation of our Emperor who wants nothing for
himself, but only desires the good of mankind. And what have they
promised? Nothing! And what little they have promised they will not
perform! Prussia has always declared that Buonaparte is invincible, and
that all Europe is powerless before him.... And I don't believe a
word that Hardenburg says, or Haugwitz either. This famous Prussian
neutrality is just a trap. I have faith only in God and the lofty
destiny of our adored monarch. He will save Europe!"

She suddenly paused, smiling at her own impetuosity.

"I think," said the prince with a smile, "that if you had been sent
instead of our dear Wintzingerode you would have captured the King of
Prussia's consent by assault. You are so eloquent. Will you give me a
cup of tea?"

"In a moment. A propos," she added, becoming calm again, "I am expecting
two very interesting men tonight, le Vicomte de Mortemart, who is
connected with the Montmorencys through the Rohans, one of the best
French families. He is one of the genuine emigres, the good ones. And
also the Abbe Morio. Do you know that profound thinker? He has been
received by the Emperor. Had you heard?"

"I shall be delighted to meet them," said the prince. "But tell me," he
added with studied carelessness as if it had only just occurred to him,
though the question he was about to ask was the chief motive of his
visit, "is it true that the Dowager Empress wants Baron Funke to be
appointed first secretary at Vienna? The baron by all accounts is a poor
creature."

Prince Vasili wished to obtain this post for his son, but others were
trying through the Dowager Empress Marya Fedorovna to secure it for the
baron.

Anna Pavlovna almost closed her eyes to indicate that neither she nor
anyone else had a right to criticize what the Empress desired or was
pleased with.

"Baron Funke has been recommended to the Dowager Empress by her sister,"
was all she said, in a dry and mournful tone.

As she named the Empress, Anna Pavlovna's face suddenly assumed an
expression of profound and sincere devotion and respect mingled with
sadness, and this occurred every time she mentioned her illustrious
patroness. She added that Her Majesty had deigned to show Baron Funke
beaucoup d'estime, and again her face clouded over with sadness.

The prince was silent and looked indifferent. But, with the womanly and
courtierlike quickness and tact habitual to her, Anna Pavlovna wished
both to rebuke him (for daring to speak he had done of a man recommended
to the Empress) and at the same time to console him, so she said:

"Now about your family. Do you know that since your daughter came
out everyone has been enraptured by her? They say she is amazingly
beautiful."

The prince bowed to signify his respect and gratitude.

"I often think," she continued after a short pause, drawing nearer to
the prince and smiling amiably at him as if to show that political
and social topics were ended and the time had come for intimate
conversation--"I often think how unfairly sometimes the joys of life are
distributed. Why has fate given you two such splendid children? I don't
speak of Anatole, your youngest. I don't like him," she added in a tone
admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows. "Two such charming
children. And really you appreciate them less than anyone, and so you
don't deserve to have them."

And she smiled her ecstatic smile.

"I can't help it," said the prince. "Lavater would have said I lack the
bump of paternity."

"Don't joke; I mean to have a serious talk with you. Do you know I am
dissatisfied with your younger son? Between ourselves" (and her face
assumed its melancholy expression), "he was mentioned at Her Majesty's
and you were pitied...."

The prince answered nothing, but she looked at him significantly,
awaiting a reply. He frowned.

"What would you have me do?" he said at last. "You know I did all a
father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools.
Hippolyte is at least a quiet fool, but Anatole is an active one. That
is the only difference between them." He said this smiling in a way more
natural and animated than usual, so that the wrinkles round his mouth
very clearly revealed something unexpectedly coarse and unpleasant.

"And why are children born to such men as you? If you were not a father
there would be nothing I could reproach you with," said Anna Pavlovna,
looking up pensively.

"I am your faithful slave and to you alone I can confess that my
children are the bane of my life. It is the cross I have to bear. That
is how I explain it to myself. It can't be helped!"

He said no more, but expressed his resignation to cruel fate by a
gesture. Anna Pavlovna meditated.

"Have you never thought of marrying your prodigal son Anatole?" she
asked. "They say old maids have a mania for matchmaking, and though I
don't feel that weakness in myself as yet, I know a little person who is
very unhappy with her father. She is a relation of yours, Princess Mary
Bolkonskaya."

Prince Vasili did not reply, though, with the quickness of memory and
perception befitting a man of the world, he indicated by a movement of
the head that he was considering this information.

"Do you know," he said at last, evidently unable to check the sad
current of his thoughts, "that Anatole is costing me forty thousand
rubles a year? And," he went on after a pause, "what will it be in five
years, if he goes on like this?" Presently he added: "That's what we
fathers have to put up with.... Is this princess of yours rich?"

"Her father is very rich and stingy. He lives in the country. He is the
well-known Prince Bolkonski who had to retire from the army under the
late Emperor, and was nicknamed 'the King of Prussia.' He is very clever
but eccentric, and a bore. The poor girl is very unhappy. She has a
brother; I think you know him, he married Lise Meinen lately. He is an
aide-de-camp of Kutuzov's and will be here tonight."

"Listen, dear Annette," said the prince, suddenly taking Anna Pavlovna's
hand and for some reason drawing it downwards. "Arrange that affair for
me and I shall always be your most devoted slave-slafe with an f, as
a village elder of mine writes in his reports. She is rich and of good
family and that's all I want."

And with the familiarity and easy grace peculiar to him, he raised the
maid of honor's hand to his lips, kissed it, and swung it to and fro as
he lay back in his armchair, looking in another direction.

"Attendez," said Anna Pavlovna, reflecting, "I'll speak to Lise, young
Bolkonski's wife, this very evening, and perhaps the thing can be
arranged. It shall be on your family's behalf that I'll start my
apprenticeship as old maid."

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II

 

Anna Pavlovna's drawing room was gradually filling. The highest
Petersburg society was assembled there: people differing widely in age
and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged.
Prince Vasili's daughter, the beautiful Helene, came to take her father
to the ambassador's entertainment; she wore a ball dress and her badge
as maid of honor. The youthful little Princess Bolkonskaya, known as la
femme la plus seduisante de Petersbourg, * was also there. She had been
married during the previous winter, and being pregnant did not go to
any large gatherings, but only to small receptions. Prince Vasili's son,
Hippolyte, had come with Mortemart, whom he introduced. The Abbe Morio
and many others had also come.

 

* The most fascinating woman in Petersburg.

 

To each new arrival Anna Pavlovna said, "You have not yet seen my aunt,"
or "You do not know my aunt?" and very gravely conducted him or her to
a little old lady, wearing large bows of ribbon in her cap, who had come
sailing in from another room as soon as the guests began to arrive;
and slowly turning her eyes from the visitor to her aunt, Anna Pavlovna
mentioned each one's name and then left them.

Each visitor performed the ceremony of greeting this old aunt whom not
one of them knew, not one of them wanted to know, and not one of them
cared about; Anna Pavlovna observed these greetings with mournful and
solemn interest and silent approval. The aunt spoke to each of them in
the same words, about their health and her own, and the health of Her
Majesty, "who, thank God, was better today." And each visitor, though
politeness prevented his showing impatience, left the old woman with a
sense of relief at having performed a vexatious duty and did not return
to her the whole evening.

The young Princess Bolkonskaya had brought some work in a
gold-embroidered velvet bag. Her pretty little upper lip, on which a
delicate dark down was just perceptible, was too short for her teeth,
but it lifted all the more sweetly, and was especially charming when she
occasionally drew it down to meet the lower lip. As is always the case
with a thoroughly attractive woman, her defect--the shortness of her
upper lip and her half-open mouth--seemed to be her own special and
peculiar form of beauty. Everyone brightened at the sight of this pretty
young woman, so soon to become a mother, so full of life and health, and
carrying her burden so lightly. Old men and dull dispirited young ones
who looked at her, after being in her company and talking to her a
little while, felt as if they too were becoming, like her, full of life
and health. All who talked to her, and at each word saw her bright smile
and the constant gleam of her white teeth, thought that they were in a
specially amiable mood that day.

The little princess went round the table with quick, short, swaying
steps, her workbag on her arm, and gaily spreading out her dress sat
down on a sofa near the silver samovar, as if all she was doing was a
pleasure to herself and to all around her. "I have brought my work,"
said she in French, displaying her bag and addressing all present.
"Mind, Annette, I hope you have not played a wicked trick on me," she
added, turning to her hostess. "You wrote that it was to be quite a
small reception, and just see how badly I am dressed." And she spread
out her arms to show her short-waisted, lace-trimmed, dainty gray dress,
girdled with a broad ribbon just below the breast.

"Soyez tranquille, Lise, you will always be prettier than anyone else,"
replied Anna Pavlovna.

"You know," said the princess in the same tone of voice and still in
French, turning to a general, "my husband is deserting me? He is going
to get himself killed. Tell me what this wretched war is for?" she
added, addressing Prince Vasili, and without waiting for an answer she
turned to speak to his daughter, the beautiful Helene.

"What a delightful woman this little princess is!" said Prince Vasili to
Anna Pavlovna.

One of the next arrivals was a stout, heavily built young man with
close-cropped hair, spectacles, the light-colored breeches fashionable
at that time, a very high ruffle, and a brown dress coat. This stout
young man was an illegitimate son of Count Bezukhov, a well-known
grandee of Catherine's time who now lay dying in Moscow. The young man
had not yet entered either the military or civil service, as he had only
just returned from abroad where he had been educated, and this was his
first appearance in society. Anna Pavlovna greeted him with the nod she
accorded to the lowest hierarchy in her drawing room. But in spite of
this lowest-grade greeting, a look of anxiety and fear, as at the sight
of something too large and unsuited to the place, came over her face
when she saw Pierre enter. Though he was certainly rather bigger than
the other men in the room, her anxiety could only have reference to
the clever though shy, but observant and natural, expression which
distinguished him from everyone else in that drawing room.

"It is very good of you, Monsieur Pierre, to come and visit a poor
invalid," said Anna Pavlovna, exchanging an alarmed glance with her aunt
as she conducted him to her.

Pierre murmured something unintelligible, and continued to look round as
if in search of something. On his way to the aunt he bowed to the little
princess with a pleased smile, as to an intimate acquaintance.

Anna Pavlovna's alarm was justified, for Pierre turned away from the
aunt without waiting to hear her speech about Her Majesty's health. Anna
Pavlovna in dismay detained him with the words: "Do you know the Abbe
Morio? He is a most interesting man."

"Yes, I have heard of his scheme for perpetual peace, and it is very
interesting but hardly feasible."

"You think so?" rejoined Anna Pavlovna in order to say something and
get away to attend to her duties as hostess. But Pierre now committed
a reverse act of impoliteness. First he had left a lady before she had
finished speaking to him, and now he continued to speak to another who
wished to get away. With his head bent, and his big feet spread apart,
he began explaining his reasons for thinking the abbe's plan chimerical.

"We will talk of it later," said Anna Pavlovna with a smile.

And having got rid of this young man who did not know how to behave, she
resumed her duties as hostess and continued to listen and watch, ready
to help at any point where the conversation might happen to flag. As
the foreman of a spinning mill, when he has set the hands to work, goes
round and notices here a spindle that has stopped or there one that
creaks or makes more noise than it should, and hastens to check the
machine or set it in proper motion, so Anna Pavlovna moved about her
drawing room, approaching now a silent, now a too-noisy group, and by a
word or slight rearrangement kept the conversational machine in steady,
proper, and regular motion. But amid these cares her anxiety about
Pierre was evident. She kept an anxious watch on him when he approached
the group round Mortemart to listen to what was being said there, and
again when he passed to another group whose center was the abbe.

Pierre had been educated abroad, and this reception at Anna Pavlovna's
was the first he had attended in Russia. He knew that all the
intellectual lights of Petersburg were gathered there and, like a child
in a toyshop, did not know which way to look, afraid of missing any
clever conversation that was to be heard. Seeing the self-confident and
refined expression on the faces of those present he was always expecting
to hear something very profound. At last he came up to Morio. Here the
conversation seemed interesting and he stood waiting for an opportunity
to express his own views, as young people are fond of doing.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III

 

Anna Pavlovna's reception was in full swing. The spindles hummed
steadily and ceaselessly on all sides. With the exception of the aunt,
beside whom sat only one elderly lady, who with her thin careworn face
was rather out of place in this brilliant society, the whole company had
settled into three groups. One, chiefly masculine, had formed round the
abbe. Another, of young people, was grouped round the beautiful Princess
Helene, Prince Vasili's daughter, and the little Princess Bolkonskaya,
very pretty and rosy, though rather too plump for her age. The third
group was gathered round Mortemart and Anna Pavlovna.

The vicomte was a nice-looking young man with soft features and polished
manners, who evidently considered himself a celebrity but out of
politeness modestly placed himself at the disposal of the circle in
which he found himself. Anna Pavlovna was obviously serving him up as a
treat to her guests. As a clever maitre d'hotel serves up as a specially
choice delicacy a piece of meat that no one who had seen it in the
kitchen would have cared to eat, so Anna Pavlovna served up to her
guests, first the vicomte and then the abbe, as peculiarly choice
morsels. The group about Mortemart immediately began discussing the
murder of the Duc d'Enghien. The vicomte said that the Duc d'Enghien had
perished by his own magnanimity, and that there were particular reasons
for Buonaparte's hatred of him.

"Ah, yes! Do tell us all about it, Vicomte," said Anna Pavlovna, with a
pleasant feeling that there was something a la Louis XV in the sound of
that sentence: "Contez nous cela, Vicomte."

The vicomte bowed and smiled courteously in token of his willingness to
comply. Anna Pavlovna arranged a group round him, inviting everyone to
listen to his tale.

"The vicomte knew the duc personally," whispered Anna Pavlovna to of
the guests. "The vicomte is a wonderful raconteur," said she to another.
"How evidently he belongs to the best society," said she to a third;
and the vicomte was served up to the company in the choicest and most
advantageous style, like a well-garnished joint of roast beef on a hot
dish.

The vicomte wished to begin his story and gave a subtle smile.

"Come over here, Helene, dear," said Anna Pavlovna to the beautiful
young princess who was sitting some way off, the center of another
group.

The princess smiled. She rose with the same unchanging smile with which
she had first entered the room--the smile of a perfectly beautiful
woman. With a slight rustle of her white dress trimmed with moss
and ivy, with a gleam of white shoulders, glossy hair, and sparkling
diamonds, she passed between the men who made way for her, not looking
at any of them but smiling on all, as if graciously allowing each the
privilege of admiring her beautiful figure and shapely shoulders,
back, and bosom--which in the fashion of those days were very much
exposed--and she seemed to bring the glamour of a ballroom with her as
she moved toward Anna Pavlovna. Helene was so lovely that not only
did she not show any trace of coquetry, but on the contrary she even
appeared shy of her unquestionable and all too victorious beauty. She
seemed to wish, but to be unable, to diminish its effect.

"How lovely!" said everyone who saw her; and the vicomte lifted his
shoulders and dropped his eyes as if startled by something extraordinary
when she took her seat opposite and beamed upon him also with her
unchanging smile.

"Madame, I doubt my ability before such an audience," said he, smilingly
inclining his head.

The princess rested her bare round arm on a little table and considered
a reply unnecessary. She smilingly waited. All the time the story was
being told she sat upright, glancing now at her beautiful round arm,
altered in shape by its pressure on the table, now at her still more
beautiful bosom, on which she readjusted a diamond necklace. From time
to time she smoothed the folds of her dress, and whenever the story
produced an effect she glanced at Anna Pavlovna, at once adopted just
the expression she saw on the maid of honor's face, and again relapsed
into her radiant smile.

The little princess had also left the tea table and followed Helene.

"Wait a moment, I'll get my work.... Now then, what are you thinking
of?" she went on, turning to Prince Hippolyte. "Fetch me my workbag."

There was a general movement as the princess, smiling and talking
merrily to everyone at once, sat down and gaily arranged herself in her
seat.

"Now I am all right," she said, and asking the vicomte to begin, she
took up her work.

Prince Hippolyte, having brought the workbag, joined the circle and
moving a chair close to hers seated himself beside her.

Le charmant Hippolyte was surprising by his extraordinary resemblance
to his beautiful sister, but yet more by the fact that in spite of
this resemblance he was exceedingly ugly. His features were like his
sister's, but while in her case everything was lit up by a joyous,
self-satisfied, youthful, and constant smile of animation, and by the
wonderful classic beauty of her figure, his face on the contrary
was dulled by imbecility and a constant expression of sullen
self-confidence, while his body was thin and weak. His eyes, nose, and
mouth all seemed puckered into a vacant, wearied grimace, and his arms
and legs always fell into unnatural positions.

"It's not going to be a ghost story?" said he, sitting down beside
the princess and hastily adjusting his lorgnette, as if without this
instrument he could not begin to speak.

"Why no, my dear fellow," said the astonished narrator, shrugging his
shoulders.

"Because I hate ghost stories," said Prince Hippolyte in a tone which
showed that he only understood the meaning of his words after he had
uttered them.

He spoke with such self-confidence that his hearers could not be sure
whether what he said was very witty or very stupid. He was dressed in
a dark-green dress coat, knee breeches of the color of cuisse de nymphe
effrayee, as he called it, shoes, and silk stockings.

The vicomte told his tale very neatly. It was an anecdote, then current,
to the effect that the Duc d'Enghien had gone secretly to Paris to visit
Mademoiselle George; that at her house he came upon Bonaparte, who also
enjoyed the famous actress' favors, and that in his presence Napoleon
happened to fall into one of the fainting fits to which he was subject,
and was thus at the duc's mercy. The latter spared him, and this
magnanimity Bonaparte subsequently repaid by death.

The story was very pretty and interesting, especially at the point
where the rivals suddenly recognized one another; and the ladies looked
agitated.

"Charming!" said Anna Pavlovna with an inquiring glance at the little
princess.

"Charming!" whispered the little princess, sticking the needle into her
work as if to testify that the interest and fascination of the story
prevented her from going on with it.

The vicomte appreciated this silent praise and smiling gratefully
prepared to continue, but just then Anna Pavlovna, who had kept a
watchful eye on the young man who so alarmed her, noticed that he was
talking too loudly and vehemently with the abbe, so she hurried to the
rescue. Pierre had managed to start a conversation with the abbe about
the balance of power, and the latter, evidently interested by the young
man's simple-minded eagerness, was explaining his pet theory. Both were
talking and listening too eagerly and too naturally, which was why Anna
Pavlovna disapproved.

"The means are... the balance of power in Europe and the rights of the
people," the abbe was saying. "It is only necessary for one powerful
nation like Russia--barbaric as she is said to be--to place herself
disinterestedly at the head of an alliance having for its object the
maintenance of the balance of power of Europe, and it would save the
world!"

"But how are you to get that balance?" Pierre was beginning.

At that moment Anna Pavlovna came up and, looking severely at Pierre,
asked the Italian how he stood Russian climate. The Italian's
face instantly changed and assumed an offensively affected, sugary
expression, evidently habitual to him when conversing with women.

"I am so enchanted by the brilliancy of the wit and culture of the
society, more especially of the feminine society, in which I have had
the honor of being received, that I have not yet had time to think of
the climate," said he.

Not letting the abbe and Pierre escape, Anna Pavlovna, the more
conveniently to keep them under observation, brought them into the
larger circle.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV

 

Just then another visitor entered the drawing room: Prince Andrew
Bolkonski, the little princess' husband. He was a very handsome young
man, of medium height, with firm, clearcut features. Everything about
him, from his weary, bored expression to his quiet, measured step,
offered a most striking contrast to his quiet, little wife. It was
evident that he not only knew everyone in the drawing room, but had
found them to be so tiresome that it wearied him to look at or listen to
them. And among all these faces that he found so tedious, none seemed
to bore him so much as that of his pretty wife. He turned away from her
with a grimace that distorted his handsome face, kissed Anna Pavlovna's
hand, and screwing up his eyes scanned the whole company.

"You are off to the war, Prince?" said Anna Pavlovna.

"General Kutuzov," said Bolkonski, speaking French and stressing the
last syllable of the general's name like a Frenchman, "has been pleased
to take me as an aide-de-camp...."

"And Lise, your wife?"

"She will go to the country."

"Are you not ashamed to deprive us of your charming wife?"

"Andre," said his wife, addressing her husband in the same coquettish
manner in which she spoke to other men, "the vicomte has been telling us
such a tale about Mademoiselle George and Buonaparte!"

Prince Andrew screwed up his eyes and turned away. Pierre, who from
the moment Prince Andrew entered the room had watched him with glad,
affectionate eyes, now came up and took his arm. Before he looked round
Prince Andrew frowned again, expressing his annoyance with whoever was
touching his arm, but when he saw Pierre's beaming face he gave him an
unexpectedly kind and pleasant smile.

"There now!... So you, too, are in the great world?" said he to Pierre.

"I knew you would be here," replied Pierre. "I will come to supper with
you. May I?" he added in a low voice so as not to disturb the vicomte
who was continuing his story.

"No, impossible!" said Prince Andrew, laughing and pressing Pierre's
hand to show that there was no need to ask the question. He wished to
say something more, but at that moment Prince Vasili and his daughter
got up to go and the two young men rose to let them pass.

"You must excuse me, dear Vicomte," said Prince Vasili to the Frenchman,
holding him down by the sleeve in a friendly way to prevent his rising.
"This unfortunate fete at the ambassador's deprives me of a pleasure,
and obliges me to interrupt you. I am very sorry to leave your
enchanting party," said he, turning to Anna Pavlovna.

His daughter, Princess Helene, passed between the chairs, lightly
holding up the folds of her dress, and the smile shone still more
radiantly on her beautiful face. Pierre gazed at her with rapturous,
almost frightened, eyes as she passed him.

"Very lovely," said Prince Andrew.

"Very," said Pierre.

In passing Prince Vasili seized Pierre's hand and said to Anna Pavlovna:
"Educate this bear for me! He has been staying with me a whole month
and this is the first time I have seen him in society. Nothing is so
necessary for a young man as the society of clever women."

Anna Pavlovna smiled and promised to take Pierre in hand. She knew his
father to be a connection of Prince Vasili's. The elderly lady who had
been sitting with the old aunt rose hurriedly and overtook Prince Vasili
in the anteroom. All the affectation of interest she had assumed had
left her kindly and tear-worn face and it now expressed only anxiety and
fear.

"How about my son Boris, Prince?" said she, hurrying after him into the
anteroom. "I can't remain any longer in Petersburg. Tell me what news I
may take back to my poor boy."

Although Prince Vasili listened reluctantly and not very politely to
the elderly lady, even betraying some impatience, she gave him an
ingratiating and appealing smile, and took his hand that he might not go
away.

"What would it cost you to say a word to the Emperor, and then he would
be transferred to the Guards at once?" said she.

"Believe me, Princess, I am ready to do all I can," answered Prince
Vasili, "but it is difficult for me to ask the Emperor. I should advise
you to appeal to Rumyantsev through Prince Golitsyn. That would be the
best way."

The elderly lady was a Princess Drubetskaya, belonging to one of the
best families in Russia, but she was poor, and having long been out of
society had lost her former influential connections. She had now come to
Petersburg to procure an appointment in the Guards for her only son.
It was, in fact, solely to meet Prince Vasili that she had obtained an
invitation to Anna Pavlovna's reception and had sat listening to the
vicomte's story. Prince Vasili's words frightened her, an embittered
look clouded her once handsome face, but only for a moment; then she
smiled again and clutched Prince Vasili's arm more tightly.

"Listen to me, Prince," said she. "I have never yet asked you for
anything and I never will again, nor have I ever reminded you of my
father's friendship for you; but now I entreat you for God's sake to
do this for my son--and I shall always regard you as a benefactor," she
added hurriedly. "No, don't be angry, but promise! I have asked Golitsyn
and he has refused. Be the kindhearted man you always were," she said,
trying to smile though tears were in her eyes.

"Papa, we shall be late," said Princess Helene, turning her beautiful
head and looking over her classically molded shoulder as she stood
waiting by the door.

Influence in society, however, is a capital which has to be economized
if it is to last. Prince Vasili knew this, and having once realized that
if he asked on behalf of all who begged of him, he would soon be unable
to ask for himself, he became chary of using his influence. But in
Princess Drubetskaya's case he felt, after her second appeal, something
like qualms of conscience. She had reminded him of what was quite true;
he had been indebted to her father for the first steps in his career.
Moreover, he could see by her manners that she was one of those
women--mostly mothers--who, having once made up their minds, will not
rest until they have gained their end, and are prepared if necessary
to go on insisting day after day and hour after hour, and even to make
scenes. This last consideration moved him.

"My dear Anna Mikhaylovna," said he with his usual familiarity and
weariness of tone, "it is almost impossible for me to do what you ask;
but to prove my devotion to you and how I respect your father's memory,
I will do the impossible--your son shall be transferred to the Guards.
Here is my hand on it. Are you satisfied?"

"My dear benefactor! This is what I expected from you--I knew your
kindness!" He turned to go.

"Wait--just a word! When he has been transferred to the Guards..." she
faltered. "You are on good terms with Michael Ilarionovich Kutuzov...
recommend Boris to him as adjutant! Then I shall be at rest, and
then..."

Prince Vasili smiled.

"No, I won't promise that. You don't know how Kutuzov is pestered since
his appointment as Commander in Chief. He told me himself that all the
Moscow ladies have conspired to give him all their sons as adjutants."

"No, but do promise! I won't let you go! My dear benefactor..."

"Papa," said his beautiful daughter in the same tone as before, "we
shall be late."

"Well, au revoir! Good-by! You hear her?"

"Then tomorrow you will speak to the Emperor?"

"Certainly; but about Kutuzov, I don't promise."

"Do promise, do promise, Vasili!" cried Anna Mikhaylovna as he went,
with the smile of a coquettish girl, which at one time probably came
naturally to her, but was now very ill-suited to her careworn face.

Apparently she had forgotten her age and by force of habit employed
all the old feminine arts. But as soon as the prince had gone her face
resumed its former cold, artificial expression. She returned to the
group where the vicomte was still talking, and again pretended to
listen, while waiting till it would be time to leave. Her task was
accomplished.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER V

 

"And what do you think of this latest comedy, the coronation at Milan?"
asked Anna Pavlovna, "and of the comedy of the people of Genoa and
Lucca laying their petitions before Monsieur Buonaparte, and Monsieur
Buonaparte sitting on a throne and granting the petitions of the
nations? Adorable! It is enough to make one's head whirl! It is as if
the whole world had gone crazy."

Prince Andrew looked Anna Pavlovna straight in the face with a sarcastic
smile.

"'Dieu me la donne, gare a qui la touche!' * They say he was very fine
when he said that," he remarked, repeating the words in Italian: "'Dio
mi l'ha dato. Guai a chi la tocchi!'"

 

* God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware!

 

"I hope this will prove the last drop that will make the glass run
over," Anna Pavlovna continued. "The sovereigns will not be able to
endure this man who is a menace to everything."

"The sovereigns? I do not speak of Russia," said the vicomte, polite but
hopeless: "The sovereigns, madame... What have they done for Louis XVII,
for the Queen, or for Madame Elizabeth? Nothing!" and he became more
animated. "And believe me, they are reaping the reward of their betrayal
of the Bourbon cause. The sovereigns! Why, they are sending ambassadors
to compliment the usurper."

And sighing disdainfully, he again changed his position.

Prince Hippolyte, who had been gazing at the vicomte for some time
through his lorgnette, suddenly turned completely round toward the
little princess, and having asked for a needle began tracing the Conde
coat of arms on the table. He explained this to her with as much gravity
as if she had asked him to do it.

"Baton de gueules, engrele de gueules d'azur--maison Conde," said he.

The princess listened, smiling.

"If Buonaparte remains on the throne of France a year longer," the
vicomte continued, with the air of a man who, in a matter with which
he is better acquainted than anyone else, does not listen to others but
follows the current of his own thoughts, "things will have gone too far.
By intrigues, violence, exile, and executions, French society--I mean
good French society--will have been forever destroyed, and then..."

He shrugged his shoulders and spread out his hands. Pierre wished to
make a remark, for the conversation interested him, but Anna Pavlovna,
who had him under observation, interrupted:

"The Emperor Alexander," said she, with the melancholy which always
accompanied any reference of hers to the Imperial family, "has declared
that he will leave it to the French people themselves to choose their
own form of government; and I believe that once free from the usurper,
the whole nation will certainly throw itself into the arms of its
rightful king," she concluded, trying to be amiable to the royalist
emigrant.

"That is doubtful," said Prince Andrew. "Monsieur le Vicomte quite
rightly supposes that matters have already gone too far. I think it will
be difficult to return to the old regime."

"From what I have heard," said Pierre, blushing and breaking into the
conversation, "almost all the aristocracy has already gone over to
Bonaparte's side."

"It is the Buonapartists who say that," replied the vicomte without
looking at Pierre. "At the present time it is difficult to know the real
state of French public opinion."

"Bonaparte has said so," remarked Prince Andrew with a sarcastic smile.

It was evident that he did not like the vicomte and was aiming his
remarks at him, though without looking at him.

"'I showed them the path to glory, but they did not follow it,'" Prince
Andrew continued after a short silence, again quoting Napoleon's words.
"'I opened my antechambers and they crowded in.' I do not know how far
he was justified in saying so."

"Not in the least," replied the vicomte. "After the murder of the
duc even the most partial ceased to regard him as a hero. If to some
people," he went on, turning to Anna Pavlovna, "he ever was a hero,
after the murder of the duc there was one martyr more in heaven and one
hero less on earth."

Before Anna Pavlovna and the others had time to smile their appreciation
of the vicomte's epigram, Pierre again broke into the conversation, and
though Anna Pavlovna felt sure he would say something inappropriate, she
was unable to stop him.

"The execution of the Duc d'Enghien," declared Monsieur Pierre, "was a
political necessity, and it seems to me that Napoleon showed greatness
of soul by not fearing to take on himself the whole responsibility of
that deed."

"Dieu! Mon Dieu!" muttered Anna Pavlovna in a terrified whisper.

"What, Monsieur Pierre... Do you consider that assassination shows
greatness of soul?" said the little princess, smiling and drawing her
work nearer to her.

"Oh! Oh!" exclaimed several voices.

"Capital!" said Prince Hippolyte in English, and began slapping his knee
with the palm of his hand.

The vicomte merely shrugged his shoulders. Pierre looked solemnly at his
audience over his spectacles and continued.

"I say so," he continued desperately, "because the Bourbons fled
from the Revolution leaving the people to anarchy, and Napoleon alone
understood the Revolution and quelled it, and so for the general good,
he could not stop short for the sake of one man's life."

"Won't you come over to the other table?" suggested Anna Pavlovna.

But Pierre continued his speech without heeding her.

"No," cried he, becoming more and more eager, "Napoleon is great because
he rose superior to the Revolution, suppressed its abuses, preserved all
that was good in it--equality of citizenship and freedom of speech and
of the press--and only for that reason did he obtain power."

"Yes, if having obtained power, without availing himself of it to commit
murder he had restored it to the rightful king, I should have called him
a great man," remarked the vicomte.

"He could not do that. The people only gave him power that he might rid
them of the Bourbons and because they saw that he was a great man. The
Revolution was a grand thing!" continued Monsieur Pierre, betraying by
this desperate and provocative proposition his extreme youth and his
wish to express all that was in his mind.

"What? Revolution and regicide a grand thing?... Well, after that... But
won't you come to this other table?" repeated Anna Pavlovna.

"Rousseau's Contrat social," said the vicomte with a tolerant smile.

"I am not speaking of regicide, I am speaking about ideas."

"Yes: ideas of robbery, murder, and regicide," again interjected an
ironical voice.

"Those were extremes, no doubt, but they are not what is most important.
What is important are the rights of man, emancipation from prejudices,
and equality of citizenship, and all these ideas Napoleon has retained
in full force."

"Liberty and equality," said the vicomte contemptuously, as if at last
deciding seriously to prove to this youth how foolish his words were,
"high-sounding words which have long been discredited. Who does not love
liberty and equality? Even our Saviour preached liberty and equality.
Have people since the Revolution become happier? On the contrary. We
wanted liberty, but Buonaparte has destroyed it."

Prince Andrew kept looking with an amused smile from Pierre to the
vicomte and from the vicomte to their hostess. In the first moment of
Pierre's outburst Anna Pavlovna, despite her social experience, was
horror-struck. But when she saw that Pierre's sacrilegious words had
not exasperated the vicomte, and had convinced herself that it was
impossible to stop him, she rallied her forces and joined the vicomte in
a vigorous attack on the orator.

"But, my dear Monsieur Pierre," said she, "how do you explain the fact
of a great man executing a duc--or even an ordinary man who--is innocent
and untried?"

"I should like," said the vicomte, "to ask how monsieur explains the
18th Brumaire; was not that an imposture? It was a swindle, and not at
all like the conduct of a great man!"

"And the prisoners he killed in Africa? That was horrible!" said the
little princess, shrugging her shoulders.

"He's a low fellow, say what you will," remarked Prince Hippolyte.

Pierre, not knowing whom to answer, looked at them all and smiled. His
smile was unlike the half-smile of other people. When he smiled,
his grave, even rather gloomy, look was instantaneously replaced by
another--a childlike, kindly, even rather silly look, which seemed to
ask forgiveness.

The vicomte who was meeting him for the first time saw clearly that
this young Jacobin was not so terrible as his words suggested. All were
silent.

"How do you expect him to answer you all at once?" said Prince Andrew.
"Besides, in the actions of a statesman one has to distinguish between
his acts as a private person, as a general, and as an emperor. So it
seems to me."

"Yes, yes, of course!" Pierre chimed in, pleased at the arrival of this
reinforcement.

"One must admit," continued Prince Andrew, "that Napoleon as a man was
great on the bridge of Arcola, and in the hospital at Jaffa where he
gave his hand to the plague-stricken; but... but there are other acts
which it is difficult to justify."

Prince Andrew, who had evidently wished to tone down the awkwardness of
Pierre's remarks, rose and made a sign to his wife that it was time to
go.

Suddenly Prince Hippolyte started up making signs to everyone to attend,
and asking them all to be seated began:

"I was told a charming Moscow story today and must treat you to it.
Excuse me, Vicomte--I must tell it in Russian or the point will be
lost...." And Prince Hippolyte began to tell his story in such Russian
as a Frenchman would speak after spending about a year in Russia.
Everyone waited, so emphatically and eagerly did he demand their
attention to his story.

"There is in Moscow a lady, une dame, and she is very stingy. She must
have two footmen behind her carriage, and very big ones. That was her
taste. And she had a lady's maid, also big. She said..."

Here Prince Hippolyte paused, evidently collecting his ideas with
difficulty.

"She said... Oh yes! She said, 'Girl,' to the maid, 'put on a livery,
get up behind the carriage, and come with me while I make some calls.'"

Here Prince Hippolyte spluttered and burst out laughing long before his
audience, which produced an effect unfavorable to the narrator. Several
persons, among them the elderly lady and Anna Pavlovna, did however
smile.

"She went. Suddenly there was a great wind. The girl lost her hat and
her long hair came down...." Here he could contain himself no longer and
went on, between gasps of laughter: "And the whole world knew...."

And so the anecdote ended. Though it was unintelligible why he had told
it, or why it had to be told in Russian, still Anna Pavlovna and the
others appreciated Prince Hippolyte's social tact in so agreeably ending
Pierre's unpleasant and unamiable outburst. After the anecdote the
conversation broke up into insignificant small talk about the last and
next balls, about theatricals, and who would meet whom, and when and
where.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI

 

Having thanked Anna Pavlovna for her charming soiree, the guests began
to take their leave.

Pierre was ungainly. Stout, about the average height, broad, with huge
red hands; he did not know, as the saying is, how to enter a drawing
room and still less how to leave one; that is, how to say something
particularly agreeable before going away. Besides this he was
absent-minded. When he rose to go, he took up instead of his own, the
general's three-cornered hat, and held it, pulling at the plume, till
the general asked him to restore it. All his absent-mindedness and
inability to enter a room and converse in it was, however, redeemed by
his kindly, simple, and modest expression. Anna Pavlovna turned toward
him and, with a Christian mildness that expressed forgiveness of his
indiscretion, nodded and said: "I hope to see you again, but I also hope
you will change your opinions, my dear Monsieur Pierre."

When she said this, he did not reply and only bowed, but again everybody
saw his smile, which said nothing, unless perhaps, "Opinions are
opinions, but you see what a capital, good-natured fellow I am." And
everyone, including Anna Pavlovna, felt this.

Prince Andrew had gone out into the hall, and, turning his shoulders
to the footman who was helping him on with his cloak, listened
indifferently to his wife's chatter with Prince Hippolyte who had also
come into the hall. Prince Hippolyte stood close to the pretty, pregnant
princess, and stared fixedly at her through his eyeglass.

"Go in, Annette, or you will catch cold," said the little princess,
taking leave of Anna Pavlovna. "It is settled," she added in a low
voice.

Anna Pavlovna had already managed to speak to Lise about the match she
contemplated between Anatole and the little princess' sister-in-law.

"I rely on you, my dear," said Anna Pavlovna, also in a low tone.
"Write to her and let me know how her father looks at the matter. Au
revoir!"--and she left the hall.

Prince Hippolyte approached the little princess and, bending his face
close to her, began to whisper something.

Two footmen, the princess' and his own, stood holding a shawl and a
cloak, waiting for the conversation to finish. They listened to
the French sentences which to them were meaningless, with an air of
understanding but not wishing to appear to do so. The princess as usual
spoke smilingly and listened with a laugh.

"I am very glad I did not go to the ambassador's," said Prince Hippolyte
"-so dull-. It has been a delightful evening, has it not? Delightful!"

"They say the ball will be very good," replied the princess, drawing up
her downy little lip. "All the pretty women in society will be there."

"Not all, for you will not be there; not all," said Prince Hippolyte
smiling joyfully; and snatching the shawl from the footman, whom he
even pushed aside, he began wrapping it round the princess. Either from
awkwardness or intentionally (no one could have said which) after the
shawl had been adjusted he kept his arm around her for a long time, as
though embracing her.

Still smiling, she gracefully moved away, turning and glancing at her
husband. Prince Andrew's eyes were closed, so weary and sleepy did he
seem.

"Are you ready?" he asked his wife, looking past her.

Prince Hippolyte hurriedly put on his cloak, which in the latest fashion
reached to his very heels, and, stumbling in it, ran out into the porch
following the princess, whom a footman was helping into the carriage.

"Princesse, au revoir," cried he, stumbling with his tongue as well as
with his feet.

The princess, picking up her dress, was taking her seat in the dark
carriage, her husband was adjusting his saber; Prince Hippolyte, under
pretense of helping, was in everyone's way.

"Allow me, sir," said Prince Andrew in Russian in a cold, disagreeable
tone to Prince Hippolyte who was blocking his path.

"I am expecting you, Pierre," said the same voice, but gently and
affectionately.

The postilion started, the carriage wheels rattled. Prince Hippolyte
laughed spasmodically as he stood in the porch waiting for the vicomte
whom he had promised to take home.

"Well, mon cher," said the vicomte, having seated himself beside
Hippolyte in the carriage, "your little princess is very nice, very nice
indeed, quite French," and he kissed the tips of his fingers. Hippolyte
burst out laughing.

"Do you know, you are a terrible chap for all your innocent airs,"
continued the vicomte. "I pity the poor husband, that little officer who
gives himself the airs of a monarch."

Hippolyte spluttered again, and amid his laughter said, "And you were
saying that the Russian ladies are not equal to the French? One has to
know how to deal with them."

 

Pierre reaching the house first went into Prince Andrew's study like
one quite at home, and from habit immediately lay down on the sofa, took
from the shelf the first book that came to his hand (it was Caesar's
Commentaries), and resting on his elbow, began reading it in the middle.

"What have you done to Mlle Scherer? She will be quite ill now," said
Prince Andrew, as he entered the study, rubbing his small white hands.

Pierre turned his whole body, making the sofa creak. He lifted his eager
face to Prince Andrew, smiled, and waved his hand.

"That abbe is very interesting but he does not see the thing in the
right light.... In my opinion perpetual peace is possible but--I do not
know how to express it... not by a balance of political power...."

It was evident that Prince Andrew was not interested in such abstract
conversation.

"One can't everywhere say all one thinks, mon cher. Well, have you
at last decided on anything? Are you going to be a guardsman or a
diplomatist?" asked Prince Andrew after a momentary silence.

Pierre sat up on the sofa, with his legs tucked under him.

"Really, I don't yet know. I don't like either the one or the other."

"But you must decide on something! Your father expects it."

Pierre at the age of ten had been sent abroad with an abbe as tutor,
and had remained away till he was twenty. When he returned to Moscow
his father dismissed the abbe and said to the young man, "Now go to
Petersburg, look round, and choose your profession. I will agree to
anything. Here is a letter to Prince Vasili, and here is money. Write to
me all about it, and I will help you in everything." Pierre had
already been choosing a career for three months, and had not decided
on anything. It was about this choice that Prince Andrew was speaking.
Pierre rubbed his forehead.

"But he must be a Freemason," said he, referring to the abbe whom he had
met that evening.

"That is all nonsense." Prince Andrew again interrupted him, "let us
talk business. Have you been to the Horse Guards?"

"No, I have not; but this is what I have been thinking and wanted to
tell you. There is a war now against Napoleon. If it were a war for
freedom I could understand it and should be the first to enter the army;
but to help England and Austria against the greatest man in the world is
not right."

Prince Andrew only shrugged his shoulders at Pierre's childish words. He
put on the air of one who finds it impossible to reply to such nonsense,
but it would in fact have been difficult to give any other answer than
the one Prince Andrew gave to this naive question.

"If no one fought except on his own conviction, there would be no wars,"
he said.

"And that would be splendid," said Pierre.

Prince Andrew smiled ironically.

"Very likely it would be splendid, but it will never come about..."

"Well, why are you going to the war?" asked Pierre.

"What for? I don't know. I must. Besides that I am going..." He paused.
"I am going because the life I am leading here does not suit me!"

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VII

 

The rustle of a woman's dress was heard in the next room. Prince Andrew
shook himself as if waking up, and his face assumed the look it had had
in Anna Pavlovna's drawing room. Pierre removed his feet from the sofa.
The princess came in. She had changed her gown for a house dress as
fresh and elegant as the other. Prince Andrew rose and politely placed a
chair for her.

"How is it," she began, as usual in French, settling down briskly and
fussily in the easy chair, "how is it Annette never got married? How
stupid you men all are not to have married her! Excuse me for saying so,
but you have no sense about women. What an argumentative fellow you are,
Monsieur Pierre!"

"And I am still arguing with your husband. I can't understand why he
wants to go to the war," replied Pierre, addressing the princess with
none of the embarrassment so commonly shown by young men in their
intercourse with young women.

The princess started. Evidently Pierre's words touched her to the quick.

"Ah, that is just what I tell him!" said she. "I don't understand it; I
don't in the least understand why men can't live without wars. How is
it that we women don't want anything of the kind, don't need it? Now
you shall judge between us. I always tell him: Here he is Uncle's
aide-de-camp, a most brilliant position. He is so well known, so much
appreciated by everyone. The other day at the Apraksins' I heard a lady
asking, 'Is that the famous Prince Andrew?' I did indeed." She laughed.
"He is so well received everywhere. He might easily become aide-de-camp
to the Emperor. You know the Emperor spoke to him most graciously.
Annette and I were speaking of how to arrange it. What do you think?"

Pierre looked at his friend and, noticing that he did not like the
conversation, gave no reply.

"When are you starting?" he asked.

"Oh, don't speak of his going, don't! I won't hear it spoken of," said
the princess in the same petulantly playful tone in which she had spoken
to Hippolyte in the drawing room and which was so plainly ill-suited
to the family circle of which Pierre was almost a member. "Today when I
remembered that all these delightful associations must be broken off...
and then you know, Andre..." (she looked significantly at her husband)
"I'm afraid, I'm afraid!" she whispered, and a shudder ran down her
back.

Her husband looked at her as if surprised to notice that someone besides
Pierre and himself was in the room, and addressed her in a tone of
frigid politeness.

"What is it you are afraid of, Lise? I don't understand," said he.

"There, what egotists men all are: all, all egotists! Just for a whim of
his own, goodness only knows why, he leaves me and locks me up alone in
the country."

"With my father and sister, remember," said Prince Andrew gently.

"Alone all the same, without my friends.... And he expects me not to be
afraid."

Her tone was now querulous and her lip drawn up, giving her not a
joyful, but an animal, squirrel-like expression. She paused as if she
felt it indecorous to speak of her pregnancy before Pierre, though the
gist of the matter lay in that.

"I still can't understand what you are afraid of," said Prince Andrew
slowly, not taking his eyes off his wife.

The princess blushed, and raised her arms with a gesture of despair.

"No, Andrew, I must say you have changed. Oh, how you have..."

"Your doctor tells you to go to bed earlier," said Prince Andrew. "You
had better go."

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-by!"

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 tete-a-tete 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-by, 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 retailing 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-by."

"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.

"Wetched business," he muttered to himself. "How much is left in the
puhse?" he asked, turning to Rostov.

"Seven new and three old imperials."

"Oh, it's wetched! Well, what are you standing there for, you sca'cwow?
Call the quahtehmasteh," he shouted to Lavrushka.

"Please, Denisov, let me lend you some: I have some, you know," said
Rostov, blushing.

"Don't like bowwowing from my own fellows, I don't," growled Denisov.

"But if you won't accept money from me like a comrade, you will offend
me. Really I have some," Rostov repeated.

"No, I tell you."

And Denisov went to the bed to get the purse from under the pillow.

"Where have you put it, Wostov?"

"Under the lower pillow."

"It's not there."

Denisov threw both pillows on the floor. The purse was not there.

"That's a miwacle."

"Wait, haven't you dropped it?" said Rostov, picking up the pillows one
at a time and shaking them.

He pulled off the quilt and shook it. The purse was not there.

"Dear me, can I have forgotten? No, I remember thinking that you kept
it under your head like a treasure," said Rostov. "I put it just here.
Where is it?" he asked, turning to Lavrushka.

"I haven't been in the room. It must be where you put it."

"But it isn't?..."

"You're always like that; you thwow a thing down anywhere and forget it.
Feel in your pockets."

"No, if I hadn't thought of it being a treasure," said Rostov, "but I
remember putting it there."

Lavrushka turned all the bedding over, looked under the bed and under
the table, searched everywhere, and stood still in the middle of the
room. Denisov silently watched Lavrushka's movements, and when the
latter threw up his arms in surprise saying it was nowhere to be found
Denisov glanced at Rostov.

"Wostov, you've not been playing schoolboy twicks..."

Rostov felt Denisov's gaze fixed on him, raised his eyes, and instantly
dropped them again. All the blood which had seemed congested somewhere
below his throat rushed to his face and eyes. He could not draw breath.

"And there hasn't been anyone in the room except the lieutenant and
yourselves. It must be here somewhere," said Lavrushka.

"Now then, you devil's puppet, look alive and hunt for it!" shouted
Denisov, suddenly, turning purple and rushing at the man with a
threatening gesture. "If the purse isn't found I'll flog you, I'll flog
you all."

Rostov, his eyes avoiding Denisov, began buttoning his coat, buckled on
his saber, and put on his cap.

"I must have that purse, I tell you," shouted Denisov, shaking his
orderly by the shoulders and knocking him against the wall.

"Denisov, let him alone, I know who has taken it," said Rostov, going
toward the door without raising his eyes. Denisov paused, thought a
moment, and, evidently understanding what Rostov hinted at, seized his
arm.

"Nonsense!" he cried, and the veins on his forehead and neck stood out
like cords. "You are mad, I tell you. I won't allow it. The purse is
here! I'll flay this scoundwel alive, and it will be found."

"I know who has taken it," repeated Rostov in an unsteady voice, and
went to the door.

"And I tell you, don't you dahe to do it!" shouted Denisov, rushing at
the cadet to restrain him.

But Rostov pulled away his arm and, with as much anger as though Denisov
were his worst enemy, firmly fixed his eyes directly on his face.

"Do you understand what you're saying?" he said in a trembling voice.
"There was no one else in the room except myself. So that if it is not
so, then..."

He could not finish, and ran out of the room.

"Ah, may the devil take you and evewybody," were the last words Rostov
heard.

Rostov went to Telyanin's quarters.

"The master is not in, he's gone to headquarters," said Telyanin's
orderly. "Has something happened?" he added, surprised at the cadet's
troubled face.

"No, nothing."

"You've only just missed him," said the orderly.

The headquarters were situated two miles away from Salzeneck, and
Rostov, without returning home, took a horse and rode there. There was
an inn in the village which the officers frequented. Rostov rode up to
it and saw Telyanin's horse at the porch.

In the second room of the inn the lieutenant was sitting over a dish of
sausages and a bottle of wine.

"Ah, you've come here too, young man!" he said, smiling and raising his
eyebrows.

"Yes," said Rostov as if it cost him a great deal to utter the word; and
he sat down at the nearest table.

Both were silent. There were two Germans and a Russian officer in the
room. No one spoke and the only sounds heard were the clatter of knives
and the munching of the lieutenant.

When Telyanin had finished his lunch he took out of his pocket a double
purse and, drawing its rings aside with his small, white, turned-up
fingers, drew out a gold imperial, and lifting his eyebrows gave it to
the waiter.

"Please be quick," he said.

The coin was a new one. Rostov rose and went up to Telyanin.

"Allow me to look at your purse," he said in a low, almost inaudible,
voice.

With shifting eyes but eyebrows still raised, Telyanin handed him the
purse.

"Yes, it's a nice purse. Yes, yes," he said, growing suddenly pale, and
added, "Look at it, young man."

Rostov took the purse in his hand, examined it and the money in it, and
looked at Telyanin. The lieutenant was looking about in his usual way
and suddenly seemed to grow very merry.

"If we get to Vienna I'll get rid of it there but in these wretched
little towns there's nowhere to spend it," said he. "Well, let me have
it, young man, I'm going."

Rostov did not speak.

"And you? Are you going to have lunch too? They feed you quite decently
here," continued Telyanin. "Now then, let me have it."

He stretched out his hand to take hold of the purse. Rostov let go of
it. Telyanin took the purse and began carelessly slipping it into the
pocket of his riding breeches, with his eyebrows lifted and his mouth
slightly open, as if to say, "Yes, yes, I am putting my purse in my
pocket and that's quite simple and is no one else's business."

"Well, young man?" he said with a sigh, and from under his lifted brows
he glanced into Rostov's eyes.

Some flash as of an electric spark shot from Telyanin's eyes to Rostov's
and back, and back again and again in an instant.

"Come here," said Rostov, catching hold of Telyanin's arm and almost
dragging him to the window. "That money is Denisov's; you took it..." he
whispered just above Telyanin's ear.

"What? What? How dare you? What?" said Telyanin.

But these words came like a piteous, despairing cry and an entreaty for
pardon. As soon as Rostov heard them, an enormous load of doubt fell
from him. He was glad, and at the same instant began to pity the
miserable man who stood before him, but the task he had begun had to be
completed.

"Heaven only knows what the people here may imagine," muttered Telyanin,
taking up his cap and moving toward a small empty room. "We must have an
explanation..."

"I know it and shall prove it," said Rostov.

"I..."

Every muscle of Telyanin's pale, terrified face began to quiver, his
eyes still shifted from side to side but with a downward look not rising
to Rostov's face, and his sobs were audible.

"Count!... Don't ruin a young fellow... here is this wretched money,
take it..." He threw it on the table. "I have an old father and
mother!..."

Rostov took the money, avoiding Telyanin's eyes, and went out of the
room without a word. But at the door he stopped and then retraced his
steps. "O God," he said with tears in his eyes, "how could you do it?"

"Count..." said Telyanin drawing nearer to him.

"Don't touch me," said Rostov, drawing back. "If you need it, take the
money," and he threw the purse to him and ran out of the inn.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER V

 

That same evening there was an animated discussion among the squadron's
officers in Denisov's quarters.

"And I tell you, Rostov, that you must apologize to the colonel!" said
a tall, grizzly-haired staff captain, with enormous mustaches and
many wrinkles on his large features, to Rostov who was crimson with
excitement.

The staff captain, Kirsten, had twice been reduced to the ranks for
affairs of honor and had twice regained his commission.

"I will allow no one to call me a liar!" cried Rostov. "He told me I
lied, and I told him he lied. And there it rests. He may keep me on
duty every day, or may place me under arrest, but no one can make me
apologize, because if he, as commander of this regiment, thinks it
beneath his dignity to give me satisfaction, then..."

"You just wait a moment, my dear fellow, and listen," interrupted the
staff captain in his deep bass, calmly stroking his long mustache. "You
tell the colonel in the presence of other officers that an officer has
stolen..."

"I'm not to blame that the conversation began in the presence of other
officers. Perhaps I ought not to have spoken before them, but I am not
a diplomatist. That's why I joined the hussars, thinking that here one
would not need finesse; and he tells me that I am lying--so let him give
me satisfaction..."

"That's all right. No one thinks you a coward, but that's not the point.
Ask Denisov whether it is not out of the question for a cadet to demand
satisfaction of his regimental commander?"

Denisov sat gloomily biting his mustache and listening to the
conversation, evidently with no wish to take part in it. He answered the
staff captain's question by a disapproving shake of his head.

"You speak to the colonel about this nasty business before other
officers," continued the staff captain, "and Bogdanich" (the colonel was
called Bogdanich) "shuts you up."

"He did not shut me up, he said I was telling an untruth."

"Well, have it so, and you talked a lot of nonsense to him and must
apologize."

"Not on any account!" exclaimed Rostov.

"I did not expect this of you," said the staff captain seriously and
severely. "You don't wish to apologize, but, man, it's not only to him
but to the whole regiment--all of us--you're to blame all round. The
case is this: you ought to have thought the matter over and taken
advice; but no, you go and blurt it all straight out before the
officers. Now what was the colonel to do? Have the officer tried and
disgrace the whole regiment? Disgrace the whole regiment because of one
scoundrel? Is that how you look at it? We don't see it like that. And
Bogdanich was a brick: he told you you were saying what was not true.
It's not pleasant, but what's to be done, my dear fellow? You landed
yourself in it. And now, when one wants to smooth the thing over, some
conceit prevents your apologizing, and you wish to make the whole
affair public. You are offended at being put on duty a bit, but why not
apologize to an old and honorable officer? Whatever Bogdanich may be,
anyway he is an honorable and brave old colonel! You're quick at taking
offense, but you don't mind disgracing the whole regiment!" The staff
captain's voice began to tremble. "You have been in the regiment next
to no time, my lad, you're here today and tomorrow you'll be appointed
adjutant somewhere and can snap your fingers when it is said 'There are
thieves among the Pavlograd officers!' But it's not all the same to us!
Am I not right, Denisov? It's not the same!"

Denisov remained silent and did not move, but occasionally looked with
his glittering black eyes at Rostov.

"You value your own pride and don't wish to apologize," continued
the staff captain, "but we old fellows, who have grown up in and, God
willing, are going to die in the regiment, we prize the honor of the
regiment, and Bogdanich knows it. Oh, we do prize it, old fellow! And
all this is not right, it's not right! You may take offense or not but I
always stick to mother truth. It's not right!"

And the staff captain rose and turned away from Rostov.

"That's twue, devil take it!" shouted Denisov, jumping up. "Now then,
Wostov, now then!"

Rostov, growing red and pale alternately, looked first at one
officer and then at the other.

"No, gentlemen, no... you mustn't think... I quite understand. You're
wrong to think that of me... I... for me... for the honor of the
regiment I'd... Ah well, I'll show that in action, and for me the honor
of the flag... Well, never mind, it's true I'm to blame, to blame all
round. Well, what else do you want?..."

"Come, that's right, Count!" cried the staff captain, turning round and
clapping Rostov on the shoulder with his big hand.

"I tell you," shouted Denisov, "he's a fine fellow."

"That's better, Count," said the staff captain, beginning to address
Rostov by his title, as if in recognition of his confession. "Go and
apologize, your excellency. Yes, go!"

"Gentlemen, I'll do anything. No one shall hear a word from me," said
Rostov in an imploring voice, "but I can't apologize, by God I can't,
do what you will! How can I go and apologize like a little boy asking
forgiveness?"

Denisov began to laugh.

"It'll be worse for you. Bogdanich is vindictive and you'll pay for your
obstinacy," said Kirsten.

"No, on my word it's not obstinacy! I can't describe the feeling. I
can't..."

"Well, it's as you like," said the staff captain. "And what has become
of that scoundrel?" he asked Denisov.

"He has weported himself sick, he's to be stwuck off the list tomowwow,"
muttered Denisov.

"It is an illness, there's no other way of explaining it," said the
staff captain.

"Illness or not, he'd better not cwoss my path. I'd kill him!" shouted
Denisov in a bloodthirsty tone.

Just then Zherkov entered the room.

"What brings you here?" cried the officers turning to the newcomer.

"We're to go into action, gentlemen! Mack has surrendered with his whole
army."

"It's not true!"

"I've seen him myself!"

"What? Saw the real Mack? With hands and feet?"

"Into action! Into action! Bring him a bottle for such news! But how did
you come here?"

"I've been sent back to the regiment all on account of that devil, Mack.
An Austrian general complained of me. I congratulated him on Mack's
arrival... What's the matter, Rostov? You look as if you'd just come out
of a hot bath."

"Oh, my dear fellow, we're in such a stew here these last two days."

The regimental adjutant came in and confirmed the news brought by
Zherkov. They were under orders to advance next day.

"We're going into action, gentlemen!"

"Well, thank God! We've been sitting here too long!"

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI

 

Kutuzov fell back toward Vienna, destroying behind him the bridges over
the rivers Inn (at Braunau) and Traun (near Linz). On October 23 the
Russian troops were crossing the river Enns. At midday the Russian
baggage train, the artillery, and columns of troops were defiling
through the town of Enns on both sides of the bridge.

It was a warm, rainy, autumnal day. The wide expanse that opened out
before the heights on which the Russian batteries stood guarding the
bridge was at times veiled by a diaphanous curtain of slanting rain, and
then, suddenly spread out in the sunlight, far-distant objects could
be clearly seen glittering as though freshly varnished. Down below,
the little town could be seen with its white, red-roofed houses, its
cathedral, and its bridge, on both sides of which streamed jostling
masses of Russian troops. At the bend of the Danube, vessels, an island,
and a castle with a park surrounded by the waters of the confluence of
the Enns and the Danube became visible, and the rocky left bank of the
Danube covered with pine forests, with a mystic background of green
treetops and bluish gorges. The turrets of a convent stood out beyond a
wild virgin pine forest, and far away on the other side of the Enns the
enemy's horse patrols could be discerned.

Among the field guns on the brow of the hill the general in command of
the rearguard stood with a staff officer, scanning the country through
his fieldglass. A little behind them Nesvitski, who had been sent to the
rearguard by the commander in chief, was sitting on the trail of a gun
carriage. A Cossack who accompanied him had handed him a knapsack and
a flask, and Nesvitski was treating some officers to pies and real
doppelkummel. The officers gladly gathered round him, some on their
knees, some squatting Turkish fashion on the wet grass.

"Yes, the Austrian prince who built that castle was no fool. It's a
fine place! Why are you not eating anything, gentlemen?" Nesvitski was
saying.

"Thank you very much, Prince," answered one of the officers, pleased to
be talking to a staff officer of such importance. "It's a lovely place!
We passed close to the park and saw two deer... and what a splendid
house!"

"Look, Prince," said another, who would have dearly liked to take
another pie but felt shy, and therefore pretended to be examining the
countryside--"See, our infantrymen have already got there. Look there
in the meadow behind the village, three of them are dragging something.
They'll ransack that castle," he remarked with evident approval.

"So they will," said Nesvitski. "No, but what I should like," added he,
munching a pie in his moist-lipped handsome mouth, "would be to slip in
over there."

He pointed with a smile to a turreted nunnery, and his eyes narrowed and
gleamed.

"That would be fine, gentlemen!"

The officers laughed.

"Just to flutter the nuns a bit. They say there are Italian girls among
them. On my word I'd give five years of my life for it!"

"They must be feeling dull, too," said one of the bolder officers,
laughing.

Meanwhile the staff officer standing in front pointed out something to
the general, who looked through his field glass.

"Yes, so it is, so it is," said the general angrily, lowering the field
glass and shrugging his shoulders, "so it is! They'll be fired on at the
crossing. And why are they dawdling there?"

On the opposite side the enemy could be seen by the naked eye, and from
their battery a milk-white cloud arose. Then came the distant report of
a shot, and our troops could be seen hurrying to the crossing.

Nesvitski rose, puffing, and went up to the general, smiling.

"Would not your excellency like a little refreshment?" he said.

"It's a bad business," said the general without answering him, "our men
have been wasting time."

"Hadn't I better ride over, your excellency?" asked Nesvitski.

"Yes, please do," answered the general, and he repeated the order that
had already once been given in detail: "and tell the hussars that
they are to cross last and to fire the bridge as I ordered; and the
inflammable material on the bridge must be reinspected."

"Very good," answered Nesvitski.

He called the Cossack with his horse, told him to put away the knapsack
and flask, and swung his heavy person easily into the saddle.

"I'll really call in on the nuns," he said to the officers who watched
him smilingly, and he rode off by the winding path down the hill.

"Now then, let's see how far it will carry, Captain. Just try!" said the
general, turning to an artillery officer. "Have a little fun to pass the
time."

"Crew, to your guns!" commanded the officer.

In a moment the men came running gaily from their campfires and began
loading.

"One!" came the command.

Number one jumped briskly aside. The gun rang out with a deafening
metallic roar, and a whistling grenade flew above the heads of our
troops below the hill and fell far short of the enemy, a little smoke
showing the spot where it burst.

The faces of officers and men brightened up at the sound. Everyone got
up and began watching the movements of our troops below, as plainly
visible as if but a stone's throw away, and the movements of the
approaching enemy farther off. At the same instant the sun came fully
out from behind the clouds, and the clear sound of the solitary shot
and the brilliance of the bright sunshine merged in a single joyous and
spirited impression.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VII

 

Two of the enemy's shots had already flown across the bridge, where
there was a crush. Halfway across stood Prince Nesvitski, who had
alighted from his horse and whose big body was jammed against the
railings. He looked back laughing to the Cossack who stood a few
steps behind him holding two horses by their bridles. Each time Prince
Nesvitski tried to move on, soldiers and carts pushed him back again and
pressed him against the railings, and all he could do was to smile.

"What a fine fellow you are, friend!" said the Cossack to a convoy
soldier with a wagon, who was pressing onto the infantrymen who were
crowded together close to his wheels and his horses. "What a fellow! You
can't wait a moment! Don't you see the general wants to pass?"

But the convoyman took no notice of the word "general" and shouted at
the soldiers who were blocking his way. "Hi there, boys! Keep to the
left! Wait a bit." But the soldiers, crowded together shoulder to
shoulder, their bayonets interlocking, moved over the bridge in a dense
mass. Looking down over the rails Prince Nesvitski saw the rapid, noisy
little waves of the Enns, which rippling and eddying round the piles of
the bridge chased each other along. Looking on the bridge he saw equally
uniform living waves of soldiers, shoulder straps, covered shakos,
knapsacks, bayonets, long muskets, and, under the shakos, faces with
broad cheekbones, sunken cheeks, and listless tired expressions, and
feet that moved through the sticky mud that covered the planks of the
bridge. Sometimes through the monotonous waves of men, like a fleck of
white foam on the waves of the Enns, an officer, in a cloak and with
a type of face different from that of the men, squeezed his way along;
sometimes like a chip of wood whirling in the river, an hussar on foot,
an orderly, or a townsman was carried through the waves of infantry; and
sometimes like a log floating down the river, an officers' or company's
baggage wagon, piled high, leather covered, and hemmed in on all sides,
moved across the bridge.

"It's as if a dam had burst," said the Cossack hopelessly. "Are there
many more of you to come?"

"A million all but one!" replied a waggish soldier in a torn coat, with
a wink, and passed on followed by another, an old man.

"If he" (he meant the enemy) "begins popping at the bridge now,"
said the old soldier dismally to a comrade, "you'll forget to scratch
yourself."

That soldier passed on, and after him came another sitting on a cart.

"Where the devil have the leg bands been shoved to?" said an orderly,
running behind the cart and fumbling in the back of it.

And he also passed on with the wagon. Then came some merry soldiers who
had evidently been drinking.

"And then, old fellow, he gives him one in the teeth with the butt end
of his gun..." a soldier whose greatcoat was well tucked up said gaily,
with a wide swing of his arm.

"Yes, the ham was just delicious..." answered another with a loud laugh.
And they, too, passed on, so that Nesvitski did not learn who had been
struck on the teeth, or what the ham had to do with it.

"Bah! How they scurry. He just sends a ball and they think they'll all
be killed," a sergeant was saying angrily and reproachfully.

"As it flies past me, Daddy, the ball I mean," said a young soldier with
an enormous mouth, hardly refraining from laughing, "I felt like dying
of fright. I did, 'pon my word, I got that frightened!" said he, as if
bragging of having been frightened.

That one also passed. Then followed a cart unlike any that had gone
before. It was a German cart with a pair of horses led by a German, and
seemed loaded with a whole houseful of effects. A fine brindled cow with
a large udder was attached to the cart behind. A woman with an unweaned
baby, an old woman, and a healthy German girl with bright red cheeks
were sitting on some feather beds. Evidently these fugitives were
allowed to pass by special permission. The eyes of all the soldiers
turned toward the women, and while the vehicle was passing at foot pace
all the soldiers' remarks related to the two young ones. Every face bore
almost the same smile, expressing unseemly thoughts about the women.

"Just see, the German sausage is making tracks, too!"

"Sell me the missis," said another soldier, addressing the German, who,
angry and frightened, strode energetically along with downcast eyes.

"See how smart she's made herself! Oh, the devils!"

"There, Fedotov, you should be quartered on them!"

"I have seen as much before now, mate!"

"Where are you going?" asked an infantry officer who was eating an
apple, also half smiling as he looked at the handsome girl.

The German closed his eyes, signifying that he did not understand.

"Take it if you like," said the officer, giving the girl an apple.

The girl smiled and took it. Nesvitski like the rest of the men on the
bridge did not take his eyes off the women till they had passed. When
they had gone by, the same stream of soldiers followed, with the same
kind of talk, and at last all stopped. As often happens, the horses of
a convoy wagon became restive at the end of the bridge, and the whole
crowd had to wait.

"And why are they stopping? There's no proper order!" said the soldiers.
"Where are you shoving to? Devil take you! Can't you wait? It'll
be worse if he fires the bridge. See, here's an officer jammed in
too"--different voices were saying in the crowd, as the men looked at
one another, and all pressed toward the exit from the bridge.

Looking down at the waters of the Enns under the bridge, Nesvitski
suddenly heard a sound new to him, of something swiftly approaching...
something big, that splashed into the water.

"Just see where it carries to!" a soldier near by said sternly, looking
round at the sound.

"Encouraging us to get along quicker," said another uneasily.

The crowd moved on again. Nesvitski realized that it was a cannon ball.

"Hey, Cossack, my horse!" he said. "Now, then, you there! get out of the
way! Make way!"

With great difficulty he managed to get to his horse, and shouting
continually he moved on. The soldiers squeezed themselves to make way
for him, but again pressed on him so that they jammed his leg, and those
nearest him were not to blame for they were themselves pressed still
harder from behind.

"Nesvitski, Nesvitski! you numskull!" came a hoarse voice from behind
him.

Nesvitski looked round and saw, some fifteen paces away but separated by
the living mass of moving infantry, Vaska Denisov, red and shaggy, with
his cap on the back of his black head and a cloak hanging jauntily over
his shoulder.

"Tell these devils, these fiends, to let me pass!" shouted Denisov
evidently in a fit of rage, his coal-black eyes with their bloodshot
whites glittering and rolling as he waved his sheathed saber in a small
bare hand as red as his face.

"Ah, Vaska!" joyfully replied Nesvitski. "What's up with you?"

"The squadwon can't pass," shouted Vaska Denisov, showing his white
teeth fiercely and spurring his black thoroughbred Arab, which twitched
its ears as the bayonets touched it, and snorted, spurting white foam
from his bit, tramping the planks of the bridge with his hoofs, and
apparently ready to jump over the railings had his rider let him. "What
is this? They're like sheep! Just like sheep! Out of the way!... Let
us pass!... Stop there, you devil with the cart! I'll hack you with my
saber!" he shouted, actually drawing his saber from its scabbard and
flourishing it.

The soldiers crowded against one another with terrified faces, and
Denisov joined Nesvitski.

"How's it you're not drunk today?" said Nesvitski when the other had
ridden up to him.

"They don't even give one time to dwink!" answered Vaska Denisov. "They
keep dwagging the wegiment to and fwo all day. If they mean to fight,
let's fight. But the devil knows what this is."

"What a dandy you are today!" said Nesvitski, looking at Denisov's new
cloak and saddlecloth.

Denisov smiled, took out of his sabretache a handkerchief that diffused
a smell of perfume, and put it to Nesvitski's nose.

"Of course. I'm going into action! I've shaved, bwushed my teeth, and
scented myself."

The imposing figure of Nesvitski followed by his Cossack, and
the determination of Denisov who flourished his sword and shouted
frantically, had such an effect that they managed to squeeze through
to the farther side of the bridge and stopped the infantry. Beside the
bridge Nesvitski found the colonel to whom he had to deliver the order,
and having done this he rode back.

Having cleared the way Denisov stopped at the end of the bridge.
Carelessly holding in his stallion that was neighing and pawing the
ground, eager to rejoin its fellows, he watched his squadron draw
nearer. Then the clang of hoofs, as of several horses galloping,
resounded on the planks of the bridge, and the squadron, officers in
front and men four abreast, spread across the bridge and began to emerge
on his side of it.

The infantry who had been stopped crowded near the bridge in the
trampled mud and gazed with that particular feeling of ill-will,
estrangement, and ridicule with which troops of different arms usually
encounter one another at the clean, smart hussars who moved past them in
regular order.

"Smart lads! Only fit for a fair!" said one.

"What good are they? They're led about just for show!" remarked another.

"Don't kick up the dust, you infantry!" jested an hussar whose prancing
horse had splashed mud over some foot soldiers.

"I'd like to put you on a two days' march with a knapsack! Your fine
cords would soon get a bit rubbed," said an infantryman, wiping the mud
off his face with his sleeve. "Perched up there, you're more like a bird
than a man."

"There now, Zikin, they ought to put you on a horse. You'd look fine,"
said a corporal, chaffing a thin little soldier who bent under the
weight of his knapsack.

"Take a stick between your legs, that'll suit you for a horse!" the
hussar shouted back.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VIII

 

The last of the infantry hurriedly crossed the bridge, squeezing
together as they approached it as if passing through a funnel. At last
the baggage wagons had all crossed, the crush was less, and the last
battalion came onto the bridge. Only Denisov's squadron of hussars
remained on the farther side of the bridge facing the enemy, who could
be seen from the hill on the opposite bank but was not yet visible from
the bridge, for the horizon as seen from the valley through which the
river flowed was formed by the rising ground only half a mile away.
At the foot of the hill lay wasteland over which a few groups of our
Cossack scouts were moving. Suddenly on the road at the top of the high
ground, artillery and troops in blue uniform were seen. These were the
French. A group of Cossack scouts retired down the hill at a trot. All
the officers and men of Denisov's squadron, though they tried to talk of
other things and to look in other directions, thought only of what
was there on the hilltop, and kept constantly looking at the patches
appearing on the skyline, which they knew to be the enemy's troops. The
weather had cleared again since noon and the sun was descending brightly
upon the Danube and the dark hills around it. It was calm, and at
intervals the bugle calls and the shouts of the enemy could be heard
from the hill. There was no one now between the squadron and the enemy
except a few scattered skirmishers. An empty space of some seven hundred
yards was all that separated them. The enemy ceased firing, and that
stern, threatening, inaccessible, and intangible line which separates
two hostile armies was all the more clearly felt.

"One step beyond that boundary line which resembles the line dividing
the living from the dead lies uncertainty, suffering, and death. And
what is there? Who is there?--there beyond that field, that tree, that
roof lit up by the sun? No one knows, but one wants to know. You fear
and yet long to cross that line, and know that sooner or later it must
be crossed and you will have to find out what is there, just as you will
inevitably have to learn what lies the other side of death. But you are
strong, healthy, cheerful, and excited, and are surrounded by other such
excitedly animated and healthy men." So thinks, or at any rate feels,
anyone who comes in sight of the enemy, and that feeling gives a
particular glamour and glad keenness of impression to everything that
takes place at such moments.

On the high ground where the enemy was, the smoke of a cannon rose,
and a ball flew whistling over the heads of the hussar squadron. The
officers who had been standing together rode off to their places. The
hussars began carefully aligning their horses. Silence fell on the whole
squadron. All were looking at the enemy in front and at the squadron
commander, awaiting the word of command. A second and a third cannon
ball flew past. Evidently they were firing at the hussars, but the balls
with rapid rhythmic whistle flew over the heads of the horsemen and fell
somewhere beyond them. The hussars did not look round, but at the sound
of each shot, as at the word of command, the whole squadron with its
rows of faces so alike yet so different, holding its breath while the
ball flew past, rose in the stirrups and sank back again. The soldiers
without turning their heads glanced at one another, curious to see their
comrades' impression. Every face, from Denisov's to that of the bugler,
showed one common expression of conflict, irritation, and excitement,
around chin and mouth. The quartermaster frowned, looking at the
soldiers as if threatening to punish them. Cadet Mironov ducked every
time a ball flew past. Rostov on the left flank, mounted on his Rook--a
handsome horse despite its game leg--had the happy air of a schoolboy
called up before a large audience for an examination in which he feels
sure he will distinguish himself. He was glancing at everyone with a
clear, bright expression, as if asking them to notice how calmly he sat
under fire. But despite himself, on his face too that same indication of
something new and stern showed round the mouth.

"Who's that curtseying there? Cadet Miwonov! That's not wight! Look at
me," cried Denisov who, unable to keep still on one spot, kept turning
his horse in front of the squadron.

The black, hairy, snub-nosed face of Vaska Denisov, and his whole short
sturdy figure with the sinewy hairy hand and stumpy fingers in which
he held the hilt of his naked saber, looked just as it usually did,
especially toward evening when he had emptied his second bottle; he was
only redder than usual. With his shaggy head thrown back like birds when
they drink, pressing his spurs mercilessly into the sides of his good
horse, Bedouin, and sitting as though falling backwards in the saddle,
he galloped to the other flank of the squadron and shouted in a hoarse
voice to the men to look to their pistols. He rode up to Kirsten. The
staff captain on his broad-backed, steady mare came at a walk to meet
him. His face with its long mustache was serious as always, only his
eyes were brighter than usual.

"Well, what about it?" said he to Denisov. "It won't come to a fight.
You'll see--we shall retire."

"The devil only knows what they're about!" muttered Denisov. "Ah,
Wostov," he cried noticing the cadet's bright face, "you've got it at
last."

And he smiled approvingly, evidently pleased with the cadet. Rostov felt
perfectly happy. Just then the commander appeared on the bridge. Denisov
galloped up to him.

"Your excellency! Let us attack them! I'll dwive them off."

"Attack indeed!" said the colonel in a bored voice, puckering up his
face as if driving off a troublesome fly. "And why are you stopping
here? Don't you see the skirmishers are retreating? Lead the squadron
back."

The squadron crossed the bridge and drew out of range of fire without
having lost a single man. The second squadron that had been in the front
line followed them across and the last Cossacks quitted the farther side
of the river.

The two Pavlograd squadrons, having crossed the bridge, retired up the
hill one after the other. Their colonel, Karl Bogdanich Schubert, came
up to Denisov's squadron and rode at a footpace not far from Rostov,
without taking any notice of him although they were now meeting for the
first time since their encounter concerning Telyanin. Rostov, feeling
that he was at the front and in the power of a man toward whom he now
admitted that he had been to blame, did not lift his eyes from the
colonel's athletic back, his nape covered with light hair, and his red
neck. It seemed to Rostov that Bogdanich was only pretending not to
notice him, and that his whole aim now was to test the cadet's courage,
so he drew himself up and looked around him merrily; then it seemed to
him that Bogdanich rode so near in order to show him his courage. Next
he thought that his enemy would send the squadron on a desperate attack
just to punish him--Rostov. Then he imagined how, after the attack,
Bogdanich would come up to him as he lay wounded and would magnanimously
extend the hand of reconciliation.

The high-shouldered figure of Zherkov, familiar to the Pavlograds as he
had but recently left their regiment, rode up to the colonel. After his
dismissal from headquarters Zherkov had not remained in the regiment,
saying he was not such a fool as to slave at the front when he could
get more rewards by doing nothing on the staff, and had succeeded in
attaching himself as an orderly officer to Prince Bagration. He now came
to his former chief with an order from the commander of the rear guard.

"Colonel," he said, addressing Rostov's enemy with an air of gloomy
gravity and glancing round at his comrades, "there is an order to stop
and fire the bridge."

"An order to who?" asked the colonel morosely.

"I don't myself know 'to who,'" replied the cornet in a serious tone,
"but the prince told me to 'go and tell the colonel that the hussars
must return quickly and fire the bridge.'"

Zherkov was followed by an officer of the suite who rode up to the
colonel of hussars with the same order. After him the stout Nesvitski
came galloping up on a Cossack horse that could scarcely carry his
weight.

"How's this, Colonel?" he shouted as he approached. "I told you to fire
the bridge, and now someone has gone and blundered; they are all beside
themselves over there and one can't make anything out."

The colonel deliberately stopped the regiment and turned to Nesvitski.

"You spoke to me of inflammable material," said he, "but you said
nothing about firing it."

"But, my dear sir," said Nesvitski as he drew up, taking off his cap and
smoothing his hair wet with perspiration with his plump hand, "wasn't I
telling you to fire the bridge, when inflammable material had been put
in position?"

"I am not your 'dear sir,' Mr. Staff Officer, and you did not tell me to
burn the bridge! I know the service, and it is my habit orders strictly
to obey. You said the bridge would be burned, but who would it burn, I
could not know by the holy spirit!"

"Ah, that's always the way!" said Nesvitski with a wave of the hand.
"How did you get here?" said he, turning to Zherkov.

"On the same business. But you are damp! Let me wring you out!"

"You were saying, Mr. Staff Officer..." continued the colonel in an
offended tone.

"Colonel," interrupted the officer of the suite, "You must be quick or
the enemy will bring up his guns to use grapeshot."

The colonel looked silently at the officer of the suite, at the stout
staff officer, and at Zherkov, and he frowned.

"I will the bridge fire," he said in a solemn tone as if to announce
that in spite of all the unpleasantness he had to endure he would still
do the right thing.

Striking his horse with his long muscular legs as if it were to blame
for everything, the colonel moved forward and ordered the second
squadron, that in which Rostov was serving under Denisov, to return to
the bridge.

"There, it's just as I thought," said Rostov to himself. "He wishes to
test me!" His heart contracted and the blood rushed to his face. "Let
him see whether I am a coward!" he thought.

Again on all the bright faces of the squadron the serious expression
appeared that they had worn when under fire. Rostov watched his enemy,
the colonel, closely--to find in his face confirmation of his own
conjecture, but the colonel did not once glance at Rostov, and looked as
he always did when at the front, solemn and stern. Then came the word of
command.

"Look sharp! Look sharp!" several voices repeated around him.

Their sabers catching in the bridles and their spurs jingling, the
hussars hastily dismounted, not knowing what they were to do. The men
were crossing themselves. Rostov no longer looked at the colonel, he
had no time. He was afraid of falling behind the hussars, so much afraid
that his heart stood still. His hand trembled as he gave his horse into
an orderly's charge, and he felt the blood rush to his heart with a
thud. Denisov rode past him, leaning back and shouting something. Rostov
saw nothing but the hussars running all around him, their spurs catching
and their sabers clattering.

"Stretchers!" shouted someone behind him.

Rostov did not think what this call for stretchers meant; he ran on,
trying only to be ahead of the others; but just at the bridge, not
looking at the ground, he came on some sticky, trodden mud, stumbled,
and fell on his hands. The others outstripped him.

"At boss zides, Captain," he heard the voice of the colonel, who,
having ridden ahead, had pulled up his horse near the bridge, with a
triumphant, cheerful face.

Rostov wiping his muddy hands on his breeches looked at his enemy and
was about to run on, thinking that the farther he went to the front the
better. But Bogdanich, without looking at or recognizing Rostov, shouted
to him:

"Who's that running on the middle of the bridge? To the right! Come
back, Cadet!" he cried angrily; and turning to Denisov, who, showing off
his courage, had ridden on to the planks of the bridge:

"Why run risks, Captain? You should dismount," he said.

"Oh, every bullet has its billet," answered Vaska Denisov, turning in
his saddle.

 

Meanwhile Nesvitski, Zherkov, and the officer of the suite were standing
together out of range of the shots, watching, now the small group of
men with yellow shakos, dark-green jackets braided with cord, and blue
riding breeches, who were swarming near the bridge, and then at what was
approaching in the distance from the opposite side--the blue uniforms
and groups with horses, easily recognizable as artillery.

"Will they burn the bridge or not? Who'll get there first? Will they get
there and fire the bridge or will the French get within grapeshot range
and wipe them out?" These were the questions each man of the troops
on the high ground above the bridge involuntarily asked himself with a
sinking heart--watching the bridge and the hussars in the bright evening
light and the blue tunics advancing from the other side with their
bayonets and guns.

"Ugh. The hussars will get it hot!" said Nesvitski; "they are within
grapeshot range now."

"He shouldn't have taken so many men," said the officer of the suite.

"True enough," answered Nesvitski; "two smart fellows could have done
the job just as well."

"Ah, your excellency," put in Zherkov, his eyes fixed on the hussars,
but still with that naive air that made it impossible to know whether he
was speaking in jest or in earnest. "Ah, your excellency! How you look
at things! Send two men? And who then would give us the Vladimir medal
and ribbon? But now, even if they do get peppered, the squadron may be
recommended for honors and he may get a ribbon. Our Bogdanich knows how
things are done."

"There now!" said the officer of the suite, "that's grapeshot."

He pointed to the French guns, the limbers of which were being detached
and hurriedly removed.

On the French side, amid the groups with cannon, a cloud of smoke
appeared, then a second and a third almost simultaneously, and at the
moment when the first report was heard a fourth was seen. Then two
reports one after another, and a third.

"Oh! Oh!" groaned Nesvitski as if in fierce pain, seizing the officer of
the suite by the arm. "Look! A man has fallen! Fallen, fallen!"

"Two, I think."

"If I were Tsar I would never go to war," said Nesvitski, turning away.

The French guns were hastily reloaded. The infantry in their blue
uniforms advanced toward the bridge at a run. Smoke appeared again
but at irregular intervals, and grapeshot cracked and rattled onto the
bridge. But this time Nesvitski could not see what was happening there,
as a dense cloud of smoke arose from it. The hussars had succeeded in
setting it on fire and the French batteries were now firing at them, no
longer to hinder them but because the guns were trained and there was
someone to fire at.

The French had time to fire three rounds of grapeshot before the hussars
got back to their horses. Two were misdirected and the shot went too
high, but the last round fell in the midst of a group of hussars and
knocked three of them over.

Rostov, absorbed by his relations with Bogdanich, had paused on the
bridge not knowing what to do. There was no one to hew down (as he
had always imagined battles to himself), nor could he help to fire the
bridge because he had not brought any burning straw with him like the
other soldiers. He stood looking about him, when suddenly he heard a
rattle on the bridge as if nuts were being spilt, and the hussar nearest
to him fell against the rails with a groan. Rostov ran up to him with
the others. Again someone shouted, "Stretchers!" Four men seized the
hussar and began lifting him.

"Oooh! For Christ's sake let me alone!" cried the wounded man, but still
he was lifted and laid on the stretcher.

Nicholas Rostov turned away and, as if searching for something, gazed
into the distance, at the waters of the Danube, at the sky, and at the
sun. How beautiful the sky looked; how blue, how calm, and how deep!
How bright and glorious was the setting sun! With what soft glitter the
waters of the distant Danube shone. And fairer still were the faraway
blue mountains beyond the river, the nunnery, the mysterious gorges, and
the pine forests veiled in the mist of their summits... There was peace
and happiness... "I should wish for nothing else, nothing, if only I
were there," thought Rostov. "In myself alone and in that sunshine there
is so much happiness; but here... groans, suffering, fear, and this
uncertainty and hurry... There--they are shouting again, and again are
all running back somewhere, and I shall run with them, and it, death, is
here above me and around... Another instant and I shall never again see
the sun, this water, that gorge!..."

At that instant the sun began to hide behind the clouds, and other
stretchers came into view before Rostov. And the fear of death and of
the stretchers, and love of the sun and of life, all merged into one
feeling of sickening agitation.

"O Lord God! Thou who art in that heaven, save, forgive, and protect
me!" Rostov whispered.

The hussars ran back to the men who held their horses; their voices
sounded louder and calmer, the stretchers disappeared from sight.

"Well, fwiend? So you've smelt powdah!" shouted Vaska Denisov just above
his ear.

"It's all over; but I am a coward--yes, a coward!" thought Rostov, and
sighing deeply he took Rook, his horse, which stood resting one foot,
from the orderly and began to mount.

"Was that grapeshot?" he asked Denisov.

"Yes and no mistake!" cried Denisov. "You worked like wegular bwicks and
it's nasty work! An attack's pleasant work! Hacking away at the dogs!
But this sort of thing is the very devil, with them shooting at you like
a target."

And Denisov rode up to a group that had stopped near Rostov, composed of
the colonel, Nesvitski, Zherkov, and the officer from the suite.

"Well, it seems that no one has noticed," thought Rostov. And this was
true. No one had taken any notice, for everyone knew the sensation which
the cadet under fire for the first time had experienced.

"Here's something for you to report," said Zherkov. "See if I don't get
promoted to a sublieutenancy."

"Inform the prince that I the bridge fired!" said the colonel
triumphantly and gaily.

"And if he asks about the losses?"

"A trifle," said the colonel in his bass voice: "two hussars wounded,
and one knocked out," he added, unable to restrain a happy smile, and
pronouncing the phrase "knocked out" with ringing distinctness.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IX

 

Pursued by the French army of a hundred thousand men under the command
of Bonaparte, encountering a population that was unfriendly to it,
losing confidence in its allies, suffering from shortness of supplies,
and compelled to act under conditions of war unlike anything that had
been foreseen, the Russian army of thirty-five thousand men commanded
by Kutuzov was hurriedly retreating along the Danube, stopping where
overtaken by the enemy and fighting rearguard actions only as far as
necessary to enable it to retreat without losing its heavy equipment.
There had been actions at Lambach, Amstetten, and Melk; but despite the
courage and endurance--acknowledged even by the enemy--with which the
Russians fought, the only consequence of these actions was a yet more
rapid retreat. Austrian troops that had escaped capture at Ulm and
had joined Kutuzov at Braunau now separated from the Russian army,
and Kutuzov was left with only his own weak and exhausted forces.
The defense of Vienna was no longer to be thought of. Instead of an
offensive, the plan of which, carefully prepared in accord with the
modern science of strategics, had been handed to Kutuzov when he was in
Vienna by the Austrian Hofkriegsrath, the sole and almost unattainable
aim remaining for him was to effect a junction with the forces that were
advancing from Russia, without losing his army as Mack had done at Ulm.

On the twenty-eighth of October Kutuzov with his army crossed to the
left bank of the Danube and took up a position for the first time
with the river between himself and the main body of the French. On the
thirtieth he attacked Mortier's division, which was on the left bank,
and broke it up. In this action for the first time trophies were taken:
banners, cannon, and two enemy generals. For the first time, after a
fortnight's retreat, the Russian troops had halted and after a fight had
not only held the field but had repulsed the French. Though the troops
were ill-clad, exhausted, and had lost a third of their number in
killed, wounded, sick, and stragglers; though a number of sick and
wounded had been abandoned on the other side of the Danube with a letter
in which Kutuzov entrusted them to the humanity of the enemy; and
though the big hospitals and the houses in Krems converted into military
hospitals could no longer accommodate all the sick and wounded, yet the
stand made at Krems and the victory over Mortier raised the spirits of
the army considerably. Throughout the whole army and at headquarters
most joyful though erroneous rumors were rife of the imaginary approach
of columns from Russia, of some victory gained by the Austrians, and of
the retreat of the frightened Bonaparte.

Prince Andrew during the battle had been in attendance on the Austrian
General Schmidt, who was killed in the action. His horse had been
wounded under him and his own arm slightly grazed by a bullet. As a mark
of the commander in chief's special favor he was sent with the news of
this victory to the Austrian court, now no longer at Vienna (which was
threatened by the French) but at Brunn. Despite his apparently delicate
build Prince Andrew could endure physical fatigue far better than many
very muscular men, and on the night of the battle, having arrived at
Krems excited but not weary, with dispatches from Dokhturov to Kutuzov,
he was sent immediately with a special dispatch to Brunn. To be so sent
meant not only a reward but an important step toward promotion.

The night was dark but starry, the road showed black in the snow that
had fallen the previous day--the day of the battle. Reviewing his
impressions of the recent battle, picturing pleasantly to himself the
impression his news of a victory would create, or recalling the send-off
given him by the commander in chief and his fellow officers, Prince
Andrew was galloping along in a post chaise enjoying the feelings of a
man who has at length begun to attain a long-desired happiness. As soon
as he closed his eyes his ears seemed filled with the rattle of the
wheels and the sensation of victory. Then he began to imagine that
the Russians were running away and that he himself was killed, but he
quickly roused himself with a feeling of joy, as if learning afresh that
this was not so but that on the contrary the French had run away. He
again recalled all the details of the victory and his own calm courage
during the battle, and feeling reassured he dozed off.... The dark
starry night was followed by a bright cheerful morning. The snow was
thawing in the sunshine, the horses galloped quickly, and on both sides
of the road were forests of different kinds, fields, and villages.

At one of the post stations he overtook a convoy of Russian wounded.
The Russian officer in charge of the transport lolled back in the front
cart, shouting and scolding a soldier with coarse abuse. In each of
the long German carts six or more pale, dirty, bandaged men were being
jolted over the stony road. Some of them were talking (he heard Russian
words), others were eating bread; the more severely wounded looked
silently, with the languid interest of sick children, at the envoy
hurrying past them.

Prince Andrew told his driver to stop, and asked a soldier in what
action they had been wounded. "Day before yesterday, on the Danube,"
answered the soldier. Prince Andrew took out his purse and gave the
soldier three gold pieces.

"That's for them all," he said to the officer who came up.

"Get well soon, lads!" he continued, turning to the soldiers. "There's
plenty to do still."

"What news, sir?" asked the officer, evidently anxious to start a
conversation.

"Good news!... Go on!" he shouted to the driver, and they galloped on.

It was already quite dark when Prince Andrew rattled over the paved
streets of Brunn and found himself surrounded by high buildings, the
lights of shops, houses, and street lamps, fine carriages, and all that
atmosphere of a large and active town which is always so attractive to a
soldier after camp life. Despite his rapid journey and sleepless night,
Prince Andrew when he drove up to the palace felt even more vigorous and
alert than he had done the day before. Only his eyes gleamed feverishly
and his thoughts followed one another with extraordinary clearness and
rapidity. He again vividly recalled the details of the battle, no longer
dim, but definite and in the concise form in which he imagined himself
stating them to the Emperor Francis. He vividly imagined the casual
questions that might be put to him and the answers he would give. He
expected to be at once presented to the Emperor. At the chief entrance
to the palace, however, an official came running out to meet him, and
learning that he was a special messenger led him to another entrance.

"To the right from the corridor, Euer Hochgeboren! There you will find
the adjutant on duty," said the official. "He will conduct you to the
Minister of War."

The adjutant on duty, meeting Prince Andrew, asked him to wait, and went
in to the Minister of War. Five minutes later he returned and bowing
with particular courtesy ushered Prince Andrew before him along a
corridor to the cabinet where the Minister of War was at work. The
adjutant by his elaborate courtesy appeared to wish to ward off any
attempt at familiarity on the part of the Russian messenger.

Prince Andrew's joyous feeling was considerably weakened as he
approached the door of the minister's room. He felt offended, and
without his noticing it the feeling of offense immediately turned into
one of disdain which was quite uncalled for. His fertile mind instantly
suggested to him a point of view which gave him a right to despise the
adjutant and the minister. "Away from the smell of powder, they
probably think it easy to gain victories!" he thought. His eyes narrowed
disdainfully, he entered the room of the Minister of War with peculiarly
deliberate steps. This feeling of disdain was heightened when he saw the
minister seated at a large table reading some papers and making pencil
notes on them, and for the first two or three minutes taking no notice
of his arrival. A wax candle stood at each side of the minister's bent
bald head with its gray temples. He went on reading to the end, without
raising his eyes at the opening of the door and the sound of footsteps.

"Take this and deliver it," said he to his adjutant, handing him the
papers and still taking no notice of the special messenger.

Prince Andrew felt that either the actions of Kutuzov's army interested
the Minister of War less than any of the other matters he was
concerned with, or he wanted to give the Russian special messenger that
impression. "But that is a matter of perfect indifference to me," he
thought. The minister drew the remaining papers together, arranged them
evenly, and then raised his head. He had an intellectual and distinctive
head, but the instant he turned to Prince Andrew the firm, intelligent
expression on his face changed in a way evidently deliberate and
habitual to him. His face took on the stupid artificial smile (which
does not even attempt to hide its artificiality) of a man who is
continually receiving many petitioners one after another.

"From General Field Marshal Kutuzov?" he asked. "I hope it is good news?
There has been an encounter with Mortier? A victory? It was high time!"

He took the dispatch which was addressed to him and began to read it
with a mournful expression.

"Oh, my God! My God! Schmidt!" he exclaimed in German. "What a calamity!
What a calamity!"

Having glanced through the dispatch he laid it on the table and looked
at Prince Andrew, evidently considering something.

"Ah what a calamity! You say the affair was decisive? But Mortier is
not captured." Again he pondered. "I am very glad you have brought good
news, though Schmidt's death is a heavy price to pay for the victory.
His Majesty will no doubt wish to see you, but not today. I thank
you! You must have a rest. Be at the levee tomorrow after the parade.
However, I will let you know."

The stupid smile, which had left his face while he was speaking,
reappeared.

"Au revoir! Thank you very much. His Majesty will probably desire to see
you," he added, bowing his head.

When Prince Andrew left the palace he felt that all the interest
and happiness the victory had afforded him had been now left in the
indifferent hands of the Minister of War and the polite adjutant. The
whole tenor of his thoughts instantaneously changed; the battle seemed
the memory of a remote event long past.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER X

 

Prince Andrew stayed at Brunn with Bilibin, a Russian acquaintance of
his in the diplomatic service.

"Ah, my dear prince! I could not have a more welcome visitor," said
Bilibin as he came out to meet Prince Andrew. "Franz, put the prince's
things in my bedroom," said he to the servant who was ushering Bolkonski
in. "So you're a messenger of victory, eh? Splendid! And I am sitting
here ill, as you see."

After washing and dressing, Prince Andrew came into the diplomat's
luxurious study and sat down to the dinner prepared for him. Bilibin
settled down comfortably beside the fire.

After his journey and the campaign during which he had been deprived of
all the comforts of cleanliness and all the refinements of life, Prince
Andrew felt a pleasant sense of repose among luxurious surroundings such
as he had been accustomed to from childhood. Besides it was pleasant,
after his reception by the Austrians, to speak if not in Russian
(for they were speaking French) at least with a Russian who would, he
supposed, share the general Russian antipathy to the Austrians which was
then particularly strong.

Bilibin was a man of thirty-five, a bachelor, and of the same circle as
Prince Andrew. They had known each other previously in Petersburg, but
had become more intimate when Prince Andrew was in Vienna with Kutuzov.
Just as Prince Andrew was a young man who gave promise of rising high
in the military profession, so to an even greater extent Bilibin gave
promise of rising in his diplomatic career. He still a young man but
no longer a young diplomat, as he had entered the service at the age
of sixteen, had been in Paris and Copenhagen, and now held a rather
important post in Vienna. Both the foreign minister and our ambassador
in Vienna knew him and valued him. He was not one of those many
diplomats who are esteemed because they have certain negative qualities,
avoid doing certain things, and speak French. He was one of those,
who, liking work, knew how to do it, and despite his indolence would
sometimes spend a whole night at his writing table. He worked well
whatever the import of his work. It was not the question "What for?"
but the question "How?" that interested him. What the diplomatic matter
might be he did not care, but it gave him great pleasure to prepare a
circular, memorandum, or report, skillfully, pointedly, and elegantly.
Bilibin's services were valued not only for what he wrote, but also for
his skill in dealing and conversing with those in the highest spheres.

Bilibin liked conversation as he liked work, only when it could be made
elegantly witty. In society he always awaited an opportunity to say
something striking and took part in a conversation only when that was
possible. His conversation was always sprinkled with wittily original,
finished phrases of general interest. These sayings were prepared in the
inner laboratory of his mind in a portable form as if intentionally, so
that insignificant society people might carry them from drawing room to
drawing room. And, in fact, Bilibin's witticisms were hawked about
in the Viennese drawing rooms and often had an influence on matters
considered important.

His thin, worn, sallow face was covered with deep wrinkles, which always
looked as clean and well washed as the tips of one's fingers after a
Russian bath. The movement of these wrinkles formed the principal play
of expression on his face. Now his forehead would pucker into deep folds
and his eyebrows were lifted, then his eyebrows would descend and
deep wrinkles would crease his cheeks. His small, deep-set eyes always
twinkled and looked out straight.

"Well, now tell me about your exploits," said he.

Bolkonski, very modestly without once mentioning himself, described the
engagement and his reception by the Minister of War.

"They received me and my news as one receives a dog in a game of
skittles," said he in conclusion.

Bilibin smiled and the wrinkles on his face disappeared.

"Cependant, mon cher," he remarked, examining his nails from a distance
and puckering the skin above his left eye, "malgre la haute estime que
je professe pour the Orthodox Russian army, j'avoue que votre victoire
n'est pas des plus victorieuses." *

 

* "But my dear fellow, with all my respect for the Orthodox
Russian army, I must say that your victory was not
particularly victorious."

 

He went on talking in this way in French, uttering only those words in
Russian on which he wished to put a contemptuous emphasis.

"Come now! You with all your forces fall on the unfortunate Mortier
and his one division, and even then Mortier slips through your fingers!
Where's the victory?"

"But seriously," said Prince Andrew, "we can at any rate say without
boasting that it was a little better than at Ulm..."

"Why didn't you capture one, just one, marshal for us?"

"Because not everything happens as one expects or with the smoothness of
a parade. We had expected, as I told you, to get at their rear by seven
in the morning but had not reached it by five in the afternoon."

"And why didn't you do it at seven in the morning? You ought to have
been there at seven in the morning," returned Bilibin with a smile. "You
ought to have been there at seven in the morning."

"Why did you not succeed in impressing on Bonaparte by diplomatic
methods that he had better leave Genoa alone?" retorted Prince Andrew in
the same tone.

"I know," interrupted Bilibin, "you're thinking it's very easy to take
marshals, sitting on a sofa by the fire! That is true, but still why
didn't you capture him? So don't be surprised if not only the Minister
of War but also his Most August Majesty the Emperor and King Francis
is not much delighted by your victory. Even I, a poor secretary of the
Russian Embassy, do not feel any need in token of my joy to give my
Franz a thaler, or let him go with his Liebchen to the Prater... True,
we have no Prater here..."

He looked straight at Prince Andrew and suddenly unwrinkled his
forehead.

"It is now my turn to ask you 'why?' mon cher," said Bolkonski. "I
confess I do not understand: perhaps there are diplomatic subtleties
here beyond my feeble intelligence, but I can't make it out. Mack loses
a whole army, the Archduke Ferdinand and the Archduke Karl give no signs
of life and make blunder after blunder. Kutuzov alone at last gains a
real victory, destroying the spell of the invincibility of the French,
and the Minister of War does not even care to hear the details."

"That's just it, my dear fellow. You see it's hurrah for the Tsar, for
Russia, for the Orthodox Greek faith! All that is beautiful, but what
do we, I mean the Austrian court, care for your victories? Bring us nice
news of a victory by the Archduke Karl or Ferdinand (one archduke's as
good as another, as you know) and even if it is only over a fire brigade
of Bonaparte's, that will be another story and we'll fire off some
cannon! But this sort of thing seems done on purpose to vex us. The
Archduke Karl does nothing, the Archduke Ferdinand disgraces himself.
You abandon Vienna, give up its defense--as much as to say: 'Heaven is
with us, but heaven help you and your capital!' The one general whom we
all loved, Schmidt, you expose to a bullet, and then you congratulate
us on the victory! Admit that more irritating news than yours could not
have been conceived. It's as if it had been done on purpose, on purpose.
Besides, suppose you did gain a brilliant victory, if even the Archduke
Karl gained a victory, what effect would that have on the general course
of events? It's too late now when Vienna is occupied by the French
army!"

"What? Occupied? Vienna occupied?"

"Not only occupied, but Bonaparte is at Schonbrunn, and the count, our
dear Count Vrbna, goes to him for orders."

After the fatigues and impressions of the journey, his reception, and
especially after having dined, Bolkonski felt that he could not take in
the full significance of the words he heard.

"Count Lichtenfels was here this morning," Bilibin continued, "and
showed me a letter in which the parade of the French in Vienna was fully
described: Prince Murat et tout le tremblement... You see that your
victory is not a matter for great rejoicing and that you can't be
received as a savior."

"Really I don't care about that, I don't care at all," said Prince
Andrew, beginning to understand that his news of the battle before Krems
was really of small importance in view of such events as the fall of
Austria's capital. "How is it Vienna was taken? What of the bridge and
its celebrated bridgehead and Prince Auersperg? We heard reports that
Prince Auersperg was defending Vienna?" he said.

"Prince Auersperg is on this, on our side of the river, and is defending
us--doing it very badly, I think, but still he is defending us. But
Vienna is on the other side. No, the bridge has not yet been taken and I
hope it will not be, for it is mined and orders have been given to
blow it up. Otherwise we should long ago have been in the mountains of
Bohemia, and you and your army would have spent a bad quarter of an hour
between two fires."

"But still this does not mean that the campaign is over," said Prince
Andrew.

"Well, I think it is. The bigwigs here think so too, but they daren't
say so. It will be as I said at the beginning of the campaign, it won't
be your skirmishing at Durrenstein, or gunpowder at all, that will
decide the matter, but those who devised it," said Bilibin quoting one
of his own mots, releasing the wrinkles on his forehead, and pausing.
"The only question is what will come of the meeting between the Emperor
Alexander and the King of Prussia in Berlin? If Prussia joins the
Allies, Austria's hand will be forced and there will be war. If not
it is merely a question of settling where the preliminaries of the new
Campo Formio are to be drawn up."

"What an extraordinary genius!" Prince Andrew suddenly exclaimed,
clenching his small hand and striking the table with it, "and what luck
the man has!"

"Buonaparte?" said Bilibin inquiringly, puckering up his forehead to
indicate that he was about to say something witty. "Buonaparte?" he
repeated, accentuating the u: "I think, however, now that he lays down
laws for Austria at Schonbrunn, il faut lui faire grace de l'u! * I
shall certainly adopt an innovation and call him simply Bonaparte!"

 

* "We must let him off the u!"

 

"But joking apart," said Prince Andrew, "do you really think the
campaign is over?"

"This is what I think. Austria has been made a fool of, and she is not
used to it. She will retaliate. And she has been fooled in the first
place because her provinces have been pillaged--they say the Holy
Russian army loots terribly--her army is destroyed, her capital
taken, and all this for the beaux yeux * of His Sardinian Majesty. And
therefore--this is between ourselves--I instinctively feel that we are
being deceived, my instinct tells me of negotiations with France and
projects for peace, a secret peace concluded separately."

 

* Fine eyes.

 

"Impossible!" cried Prince Andrew. "That would be too base."

"If we live we shall see," replied Bilibin, his face again becoming
smooth as a sign that the conversation was at an end.

When Prince Andrew reached the room prepared for him and lay down in a
clean shirt on the feather bed with its warmed and fragrant pillows, he
felt that the battle of which he had brought tidings was far, far away
from him. The alliance with Prussia, Austria's treachery, Bonaparte's
new triumph, tomorrow's levee and parade, and the audience with the
Emperor Francis occupied his thoughts.

He closed his eyes, and immediately a sound of cannonading, of musketry
and the rattling of carriage wheels seemed to fill his ears, and now
again drawn out in a thin line the musketeers were descending the hill,
the French were firing, and he felt his heart palpitating as he rode
forward beside Schmidt with the bullets merrily whistling all around,
and he experienced tenfold the joy of living, as he had not done since
childhood.

He woke up...

"Yes, that all happened!" he said, and, smiling happily to himself like
a child, he fell into a deep, youthful slumber.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XI

 

Next day he woke late. Recalling his recent impressions, the first
thought that came into his mind was that today he had to be presented
to the Emperor Francis; he remembered the Minister of War, the polite
Austrian adjutant, Bilibin, and last night's conversation. Having
dressed for his attendance at court in full parade uniform, which he had
not worn for a long time, he went into Bilibin's study fresh, animated,
and handsome, with his hand bandaged. In the study were four gentlemen
of the diplomatic corps. With Prince Hippolyte Kuragin, who was a
secretary to the embassy, Bolkonski was already acquainted. Bilibin
introduced him to the others.

The gentlemen assembled at Bilibin's were young, wealthy, gay society
men, who here, as in Vienna, formed a special set which Bilibin, their
leader, called les notres. * This set, consisting almost exclusively of
diplomats, evidently had its own interests which had nothing to do with
war or politics but related to high society, to certain women, and to
the official side of the service. These gentlemen received Prince
Andrew as one of themselves, an honor they did not extend to many. From
politeness and to start conversation, they asked him a few questions
about the army and the battle, and then the talk went off into merry
jests and gossip.

 

* Ours.

 

"But the best of it was," said one, telling of the misfortune of
a fellow diplomat, "that the Chancellor told him flatly that his
appointment to London was a promotion and that he was so to regard it.
Can you fancy the figure he cut?..."

"But the worst of it, gentlemen--I am giving Kuragin away to you--is
that that man suffers, and this Don Juan, wicked fellow, is taking
advantage of it!"

Prince Hippolyte was lolling in a lounge chair with his legs over its
arm. He began to laugh.

"Tell me about that!" he said.

"Oh, you Don Juan! You serpent!" cried several voices.

"You, Bolkonski, don't know," said Bilibin turning to Prince Andrew,
"that all the atrocities of the French army (I nearly said of the
Russian army) are nothing compared to what this man has been doing among
the women!"

"La femme est la compagne de l'homme," * announced Prince Hippolyte, and
began looking through a lorgnette at his elevated legs.

 

* "Woman is man's companion."

 

Bilibin and the rest of "ours" burst out laughing in Hippolyte's face,
and Prince Andrew saw that Hippolyte, of whom--he had to admit--he had
almost been jealous on his wife's account, was the butt of this set.

"Oh, I must give you a treat," Bilibin whispered to Bolkonski. "Kuragin
is exquisite when he discusses politics--you should see his gravity!"

He sat down beside Hippolyte and wrinkling his forehead began talking
to him about politics. Prince Andrew and the others gathered round these
two.

"The Berlin cabinet cannot express a feeling of alliance," began
Hippolyte gazing round with importance at the others, "without
expressing... as in its last note... you understand... Besides, unless
His Majesty the Emperor derogates from the principle of our alliance...

"Wait, I have not finished..." he said to Prince Andrew, seizing him
by the arm, "I believe that intervention will be stronger than
nonintervention. And..." he paused. "Finally one cannot impute the
nonreceipt of our dispatch of November 18. That is how it will end." And
he released Bolkonski's arm to indicate that he had now quite finished.

"Demosthenes, I know thee by the pebble thou secretest in thy golden
mouth!" said Bilibin, and the mop of hair on his head moved with
satisfaction.

Everybody laughed, and Hippolyte louder than anyone. He was evidently
distressed, and breathed painfully, but could not restrain the wild
laughter that convulsed his usually impassive features.

"Well now, gentlemen," said Bilibin, "Bolkonski is my guest in this
house and in Brunn itself. I want to entertain him as far as I can, with
all the pleasures of life here. If we were in Vienna it would be easy,
but here, in this wretched Moravian hole, it is more difficult, and I
beg you all to help me. Brunn's attractions must be shown him. You can
undertake the theater, I society, and you, Hippolyte, of course the
women."

"We must let him see Amelie, she's exquisite!" said one of "ours,"
kissing his finger tips.

"In general we must turn this bloodthirsty soldier to more humane
interests," said Bilibin.

"I shall scarcely be able to avail myself of your hospitality,
gentlemen, it is already time for me to go," replied Prince Andrew
looking at his watch.

"Where to?"

"To the Emperor."

"Oh! Oh! Oh! Well, au revoir, Bolkonski! Au revoir, Prince! Come back
early to dinner," cried several voices. "We'll take you in hand."

"When speaking to the Emperor, try as far as you can to praise the way
that provisions are supplied and the routes indicated," said Bilibin,
accompanying him to the hall.

"I should like to speak well of them, but as far as I know the facts, I
can't," replied Bolkonski, smiling.

"Well, talk as much as you can, anyway. He has a passion for giving
audiences, but he does not like talking himself and can't do it, as you
will see."

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII

 

At the levee Prince Andrew stood among the Austrian officers as he had
been told to, and the Emperor Francis merely looked fixedly into his
face and just nodded to him with his long head. But after it was
over, the adjutant he had seen the previous day ceremoniously informed
Bolkonski that the Emperor desired to give him an audience. The Emperor
Francis received him standing in the middle of the room. Before the
conversation began Prince Andrew was struck by the fact that the Emperor
seemed confused and blushed as if not knowing what to say.

"Tell me, when did the battle begin?" he asked hurriedly.

Prince Andrew replied. Then followed other questions just as simple:
"Was Kutuzov well? When had he left Krems?" and so on. The Emperor spoke
as if his sole aim were to put a given number of questions--the answers
to these questions, as was only too evident, did not interest him.

"At what o'clock did the battle begin?" asked the Emperor.

"I cannot inform Your Majesty at what o'clock the battle began at the
front, but at Durrenstein, where I was, our attack began after five in
the afternoon," replied Bolkonski growing more animated and expecting
that he would have a chance to give a reliable account, which he had
ready in his mind, of all he knew and had seen. But the Emperor smiled
and interrupted him.

"How many miles?"

"From where to where, Your Majesty?"

"From Durrenstein to Krems."

"Three and a half miles, Your Majesty."

"The French have abandoned the left bank?"

"According to the scouts the last of them crossed on rafts during the
night."

"Is there sufficient forage in Krems?"

"Forage has not been supplied to the extent..."

The Emperor interrupted him.

"At what o'clock was General Schmidt killed?"

"At seven o'clock, I believe."

"At seven o'clock? It's very sad, very sad!"

The Emperor thanked Prince Andrew and bowed. Prince Andrew withdrew and
was immediately surrounded by courtiers on all sides. Everywhere he saw
friendly looks and heard friendly words. Yesterday's adjutant reproached
him for not having stayed at the palace, and offered him his own house.
The Minister of War came up and congratulated him on the Maria Theresa
Order of the third grade, which the Emperor was conferring on him. The
Empress' chamberlain invited him to see Her Majesty. The archduchess
also wished to see him. He did not know whom to answer, and for a few
seconds collected his thoughts. Then the Russian ambassador took him by
the shoulder, led him to the window, and began to talk to him.

Contrary to Bilibin's forecast the news he had brought was joyfully
received. A thanksgiving service was arranged, Kutuzov was awarded
the Grand Cross of Maria Theresa, and the whole army received rewards.
Bolkonski was invited everywhere, and had to spend the whole morning
calling on the principal Austrian dignitaries. Between four and five in
the afternoon, having made all his calls, he was returning to Bilibin's
house thinking out a letter to his father about the battle and his visit
to Brunn. At the door he found a vehicle half full of luggage. Franz,
Bilibin's man, was dragging a portmanteau with some difficulty out of
the front door.

Before returning to Bilibin's Prince Andrew had gone to a bookshop to
provide himself with some books for the campaign, and had spent some
time in the shop.

"What is it?" he asked.

"Oh, your excellency!" said Franz, with difficulty rolling the
portmanteau into the vehicle, "we are to move on still farther. The
scoundrel is again at our heels!"

"Eh? What?" asked Prince Andrew.

Bilibin came out to meet him. His usually calm face showed excitement.

"There now! Confess that this is delightful," said he. "This affair of
the Thabor Bridge, at Vienna.... They have crossed without striking a
blow!"

Prince Andrew could not understand.

"But where do you come from not to know what every coachman in the town
knows?"

"I come from the archduchess'. I heard nothing there."

"And you didn't see that everybody is packing up?"

"I did not... What is it all about?" inquired Prince Andrew impatiently.

"What's it all about? Why, the French have crossed the bridge that
Auersperg was defending, and the bridge was not blown up: so Murat is
now rushing along the road to Brunn and will be here in a day or two."

"What? Here? But why did they not blow up the bridge, if it was mined?"

"That is what I ask you. No one, not even Bonaparte, knows why."

Bolkonski shrugged his shoulders.

"But if the bridge is crossed it means that the army too is lost? It
will be cut off," said he.

"That's just it," answered Bilibin. "Listen! The French entered
Vienna as I told you. Very well. Next day, which was yesterday, those
gentlemen, messieurs les marechaux, * Murat, Lannes, and Belliard,
mount and ride to the bridge. (Observe that all three are Gascons.)
'Gentlemen,' says one of them, 'you know the Thabor Bridge is mined and
doubly mined and that there are menacing fortifications at its head and
an army of fifteen thousand men has been ordered to blow up the bridge
and not let us cross? But it will please our sovereign the Emperor
Napoleon if we take this bridge, so let us three go and take it!' 'Yes,
let's!' say the others. And off they go and take the bridge, cross it,
and now with their whole army are on this side of the Danube, marching
on us, you, and your lines of communication."

 

* The marshalls.

 

"Stop jesting," said Prince Andrew sadly and seriously. This news
grieved him and yet he was pleased.

As soon as he learned that the Russian army was in such a hopeless
situation it occurred to him that it was he who was destined to lead it
out of this position; that here was the Toulon that would lift him from
the ranks of obscure officers and offer him the first step to fame!
Listening to Bilibin he was already imagining how on reaching the army
he would give an opinion at the war council which would be the only one
that could save the army, and how he alone would be entrusted with the
executing of the plan.

"Stop this jesting," he said

"I am not jesting," Bilibin went on. "Nothing is truer or sadder. These
gentlemen ride onto the bridge alone and wave white handkerchiefs; they
assure the officer on duty that they, the marshals, are on their way to
negotiate with Prince Auersperg. He lets them enter the tete-de-pont. *
They spin him a thousand gasconades, saying that the war is over, that
the Emperor Francis is arranging a meeting with Bonaparte, that they
desire to see Prince Auersperg, and so on. The officer sends for
Auersperg; these gentlemen embrace the officers, crack jokes, sit on the
cannon, and meanwhile a French battalion gets to the bridge unobserved,
flings the bags of incendiary material into the water, and approaches
the tete-de-pont. At length appears the lieutenant general, our dear
Prince Auersperg von Mautern himself. 'Dearest foe! Flower of the
Austrian army, hero of the Turkish wars Hostilities are ended, we can
shake one another's hand.... The Emperor Napoleon burns with impatience
to make Prince Auersperg's acquaintance.' In a word, those gentlemen,
Gascons indeed, so bewildered him with fine words, and he is so
flattered by his rapidly established intimacy with the French marshals,
and so dazzled by the sight of Murat's mantle and ostrich plumes,
qu'il n'y voit que du feu, et oublie celui qu'il devait faire faire sur
l'ennemi!" *(2) In spite of the animation of his speech, Bilibin did not
forget to pause after this mot to give time for its due appreciation.
"The French battalion rushes to the bridgehead, spikes the guns, and the
bridge is taken! But what is best of all," he went on, his excitement
subsiding under the delightful interest of his own story, "is that the
sergeant in charge of the cannon which was to give the signal to fire
the mines and blow up the bridge, this sergeant, seeing that the French
troops were running onto the bridge, was about to fire, but Lannes
stayed his hand. The sergeant, who was evidently wiser than his general,
goes up to Auersperg and says: 'Prince, you are being deceived, here are
the French!' Murat, seeing that all is lost if the sergeant is allowed
to speak, turns to Auersperg with feigned astonishment (he is a
true Gascon) and says: 'I don't recognize the world-famous Austrian
discipline, if you allow a subordinate to address you like that!' It
was a stroke of genius. Prince Auersperg feels his dignity at stake and
orders the sergeant to be arrested. Come, you must own that this affair
of the Thabor Bridge is delightful! It is not exactly stupidity, nor
rascality...."

 

* Bridgehead.

* (2) That their fire gets into his eyes and he forgets that
he ought to be firing at the enemy.

 

"It may be treachery," said Prince Andrew, vividly imagining the gray
overcoats, wounds, the smoke of gunpowder, the sounds of firing, and the
glory that awaited him.

"Not that either. That puts the court in too bad a light," replied
Bilibin. "It's not treachery nor rascality nor stupidity: it is just
as at Ulm... it is..."--he seemed to be trying to find the right
expression. "C'est... c'est du Mack. Nous sommes mackes (It is... it
is a bit of Mack. We are Macked)," he concluded, feeling that he
had produced a good epigram, a fresh one that would be repeated. His
hitherto puckered brow became smooth as a sign of pleasure, and with a
slight smile he began to examine his nails.

"Where are you off to?" he said suddenly to Prince Andrew who had risen
and was going toward his room.

"I am going away."

"Where to?"

"To the army."

"But you meant to stay another two days?"

"But now I am off at once."

And Prince Andrew after giving directions about his departure went to
his room.

"Do you know, mon cher," said Bilibin following him, "I have been
thinking about you. Why are you going?"

And in proof of the conclusiveness of his opinion all the wrinkles
vanished from his face.

Prince Andrew looked inquiringly at him and gave no reply.

"Why are you going? I know you think it your duty to gallop back to
the army now that it is in danger. I understand that. Mon cher, it is
heroism!"

"Not at all," said Prince Andrew.

"But as you are a philosopher, be a consistent one, look at the other
side of the question and you will see that your duty, on the contrary,
is to take care of yourself. Leave it to those who are no longer fit for
anything else.... You have not been ordered to return and have not been
dismissed from here; therefore, you can stay and go with us wherever our
ill luck takes us. They say we are going to Olmutz, and Olmutz is a very
decent town. You and I will travel comfortably in my caleche."

"Do stop joking, Bilibin," cried Bolkonski.

"I am speaking sincerely as a friend! Consider! Where and why are you
going, when you might remain here? You are faced by one of two things,"
and the skin over his left temple puckered, "either you will not reach
your regiment before peace is concluded, or you will share defeat and
disgrace with Kutuzov's whole army."

And Bilibin unwrinkled his temple, feeling that the dilemma was
insoluble.

"I cannot argue about it," replied Prince Andrew coldly, but he thought:
"I am going to save the army."

"My dear fellow, you are a hero!" said Bilibin.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIII

 

That same night, having taken leave of the Minister of War, Bolkonski
set off to rejoin the army, not knowing where he would find it and
fearing to be captured by the French on the way to Krems.

In Brunn everybody attached to the court was packing up, and the heavy
baggage was already being dispatched to Olmutz. Near Hetzelsdorf Prince
Andrew struck the high road along which the Russian army was moving with
great haste and in the greatest disorder. The road was so obstructed
with carts that it was impossible to get by in a carriage. Prince Andrew
took a horse and a Cossack from a Cossack commander, and hungry and
weary, making his way past the baggage wagons, rode in search of the
commander in chief and of his own luggage. Very sinister reports of the
position of the army reached him as he went along, and the appearance of
the troops in their disorderly flight confirmed these rumors.

"Cette armee russe que l'or de l'Angleterre a transportee des extremites
de l'univers, nous allons lui faire eprouver le meme sort--(le sort de
l'armee d'Ulm)." * He remembered these words in Bonaparte's address
to his army at the beginning of the campaign, and they awoke in him
astonishment at the genius of his hero, a feeling of wounded pride,
and a hope of glory. "And should there be nothing left but to die?" he
thought. "Well, if need be, I shall do it no worse than others."

 

* "That Russian army which has been brought from the ends of
the earth by English gold, we shall cause to share the same
fate--(the fate of the army at Ulm)."

 

He looked with disdain at the endless confused mass of detachments,
carts, guns, artillery, and again baggage wagons and vehicles of all
kinds overtaking one another and blocking the muddy road, three and
sometimes four abreast. From all sides, behind and before, as far as ear
could reach, there were the rattle of wheels, the creaking of carts
and gun carriages, the tramp of horses, the crack of whips, shouts, the
urging of horses, and the swearing of soldiers, orderlies, and officers.
All along the sides of the road fallen horses were to be seen, some
flayed, some not, and broken-down carts beside which solitary soldiers
sat waiting for something, and again soldiers straggling from their
companies, crowds of whom set off to the neighboring villages, or
returned from them dragging sheep, fowls, hay, and bulging sacks. At
each ascent or descent of the road the crowds were yet denser and the
din of shouting more incessant. Soldiers floundering knee-deep in mud
pushed the guns and wagons themselves. Whips cracked, hoofs slipped,
traces broke, and lungs were strained with shouting. The officers
directing the march rode backward and forward between the carts. Their
voices were but feebly heard amid the uproar and one saw by their faces
that they despaired of the possibility of checking this disorder.

"Here is our dear Orthodox Russian army," thought Bolkonski, recalling
Bilibin's words.

Wishing to find out where the commander in chief was, he rode up to
a convoy. Directly opposite to him came a strange one-horse vehicle,
evidently rigged up by soldiers out of any available materials and
looking like something between a cart, a cabriolet, and a caleche. A
soldier was driving, and a woman enveloped in shawls sat behind the
apron under the leather hood of the vehicle. Prince Andrew rode up
and was just putting his question to a soldier when his attention
was diverted by the desperate shrieks of the woman in the vehicle. An
officer in charge of transport was beating the soldier who was driving
the woman's vehicle for trying to get ahead of others, and the strokes
of his whip fell on the apron of the equipage. The woman screamed
piercingly. Seeing Prince Andrew she leaned out from behind the apron
and, waving her thin arms from under the woolen shawl, cried:

"Mr. Aide-de-camp! Mr. Aide-de-camp!... For heaven's sake... Protect
me! What will become of us? I am the wife of the doctor of the Seventh
Chasseurs.... They won't let us pass, we are left behind and have lost
our people..."

"I'll flatten you into a pancake!" shouted the angry officer to the
soldier. "Turn back with your slut!"

"Mr. Aide-de-camp! Help me!... What does it all mean?" screamed the
doctor's wife.

"Kindly let this cart pass. Don't you see it's a woman?" said Prince
Andrew riding up to the officer.

The officer glanced at him, and without replying turned again to the
soldier. "I'll teach you to push on!... Back!"

"Let them pass, I tell you!" repeated Prince Andrew, compressing his
lips.

"And who are you?" cried the officer, turning on him with tipsy rage,
"who are you? Are you in command here? Eh? I am commander here, not
you! Go back or I'll flatten you into a pancake," repeated he. This
expression evidently pleased him.

"That was a nice snub for the little aide-de-camp," came a voice from
behind.

Prince Andrew saw that the officer was in that state of senseless,
tipsy rage when a man does not know what he is saying. He saw that his
championship of the doctor's wife in her queer trap might expose him to
what he dreaded more than anything in the world--to ridicule; but his
instinct urged him on. Before the officer finished his sentence Prince
Andrew, his face distorted with fury, rode up to him and raised his
riding whip.

"Kind...ly let--them--pass!"

The officer flourished his arm and hastily rode away.

"It's all the fault of these fellows on the staff that there's this
disorder," he muttered. "Do as you like."

Prince Andrew without lifting his eyes rode hastily away from the
doctor's wife, who was calling him her deliverer, and recalling with
a sense of disgust the minutest details of this humiliating scene he
galloped on to the village where he was told that the commander in chief
was.

On reaching the village he dismounted and went to the nearest house,
intending to rest if but for a moment, eat something, and try to sort
out the stinging and tormenting thoughts that confused his mind. "This
is a mob of scoundrels and not an army," he was thinking as he went up
to the window of the first house, when a familiar voice called him by
name.

He turned round. Nesvitski's handsome face looked out of the little
window. Nesvitski, moving his moist lips as he chewed something, and
flourishing his arm, called him to enter.

"Bolkonski! Bolkonski!... Don't you hear? Eh? Come quick..." he shouted.

Entering the house, Prince Andrew saw Nesvitski and another adjutant
having something to eat. They hastily turned round to him asking if he
had any news. On their familiar faces he read agitation and alarm. This
was particularly noticeable on Nesvitski's usually laughing countenance.

"Where is the commander in chief?" asked Bolkonski.

"Here, in that house," answered the adjutant.

"Well, is it true that it's peace and capitulation?" asked Nesvitski.

"I was going to ask you. I know nothing except that it was all I could
do to get here."

"And we, my dear boy! It's terrible! I was wrong to laugh at Mack,
we're getting it still worse," said Nesvitski. "But sit down and have
something to eat."

"You won't be able to find either your baggage or anything else now,
Prince. And God only knows where your man Peter is," said the other
adjutant.

"Where are headquarters?"

"We are to spend the night in Znaim."

"Well, I have got all I need into packs for two horses," said Nesvitski.
"They've made up splendid packs for me--fit to cross the Bohemian
mountains with. It's a bad lookout, old fellow! But what's the matter
with you? You must be ill to shiver like that," he added, noticing that
Prince Andrew winced as at an electric shock.

"It's nothing," replied Prince Andrew.

He had just remembered his recent encounter with the doctor's wife and
the convoy officer.

"What is the commander in chief doing here?" he asked.

"I can't make out at all," said Nesvitski.

"Well, all I can make out is that everything is abominable, abominable,
quite abominable!" said Prince Andrew, and he went off to the house
where the commander in chief was.

Passing by Kutuzov's carriage and the exhausted saddle horses of his
suite, with their Cossacks who were talking loudly together, Prince
Andrew entered the passage. Kutuzov himself, he was told, was in the
house with Prince Bagration and Weyrother. Weyrother was the Austrian
general who had succeeded Schmidt. In the passage little Kozlovski was
squatting on his heels in front of a clerk. The clerk, with cuffs turned
up, was hastily writing at a tub turned bottom upwards. Kozlovski's face
looked worn--he too had evidently not slept all night. He glanced at
Prince Andrew and did not even nod to him.

"Second line... have you written it?" he continued dictating to the
clerk. "The Kiev Grenadiers, Podolian..."

"One can't write so fast, your honor," said the clerk, glancing angrily
and disrespectfully at Kozlovski.

Through the door came the sounds of Kutuzov's voice, excited and
dissatisfied, interrupted by another, an unfamiliar voice. From the
sound of these voices, the inattentive way Kozlovski looked at him, the
disrespectful manner of the exhausted clerk, the fact that the clerk and
Kozlovski were squatting on the floor by a tub so near to the commander
in chief, and from the noisy laughter of the Cossacks holding the
horses near the window, Prince Andrew felt that something important and
disastrous was about to happen.

He turned to Kozlovski with urgent questions.

"Immediately, Prince," said Kozlovski. "Dispositions for Bagration."

"What about capitulation?"

"Nothing of the sort. Orders are issued for a battle."

Prince Andrew moved toward the door from whence voices were heard.
Just as he was going to open it the sounds ceased, the door opened,
and Kutuzov with his eagle nose and puffy face appeared in the doorway.
Prince Andrew stood right in front of Kutuzov but the expression of the
commander in chief's one sound eye showed him to be so preoccupied with
thoughts and anxieties as to be oblivious of his presence. He looked
straight at his adjutant's face without recognizing him.

"Well, have you finished?" said he to Kozlovski.

"One moment, your excellency."

Bagration, a gaunt middle-aged man of medium height with a firm,
impassive face of Oriental type, came out after the commander in chief.

"I have the honor to present myself," repeated Prince Andrew rather
loudly, handing Kutuzov an envelope.

"Ah, from Vienna? Very good. Later, later!"

Kutuzov went out into the porch with Bagration.

"Well, good-by, Prince," said he to Bagration. "My blessing, and may
Christ be with you in your great endeavor!"

His face suddenly softened and tears came into his eyes. With his left
hand he drew Bagration toward him, and with his right, on which he wore
a ring, he made the sign of the cross over him with a gesture evidently
habitual, offering his puffy cheek, but Bagration kissed him on the neck
instead.

"Christ be with you!" Kutuzov repeated and went toward his carriage.
"Get in with me," said he to Bolkonski.

"Your excellency, I should like to be of use here. Allow me to remain
with Prince Bagration's detachment."

"Get in," said Kutuzov, and noticing that Bolkonski still delayed, he
added: "I need good officers myself, need them myself!"

They got into the carriage and drove for a few minutes in silence.

"There is still much, much before us," he said, as if with an old man's
penetration he understood all that was passing in Bolkonski's mind. "If
a tenth part of his detachment returns I shall thank God," he added as
if speaking to himself.

Prince Andrew glanced at Kutuzov's face only a foot distant from him and
involuntarily noticed the carefully washed seams of the scar near his
temple, where an Ismail bullet had pierced his skull, and the empty eye
socket. "Yes, he has a right to speak so calmly of those men's death,"
thought Bolkonski.

"That is why I beg to be sent to that detachment," he said.

Kutuzov did not reply. He seemed to have forgotten what he had been
saying, and sat plunged in thought. Five minutes later, gently swaying
on the soft springs of the carriage, he turned to Prince Andrew.
There was not a trace of agitation on his face. With delicate irony he
questioned Prince Andrew about the details of his interview with the
Emperor, about the remarks he had heard at court concerning the Krems
affair, and about some ladies they both knew.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIV

 

On November 1 Kutuzov had received, through a spy, news that the army he
commanded was in an almost hopeless position. The spy reported that the
French, after crossing the bridge at Vienna, were advancing in immense
force upon Kutuzov's line of communication with the troops that were
arriving from Russia. If Kutuzov decided to remain at Krems, Napoleon's
army of one hundred and fifty thousand men would cut him off completely
and surround his exhausted army of forty thousand, and he would find
himself in the position of Mack at Ulm. If Kutuzov decided to abandon
the road connecting him with the troops arriving from Russia, he would
have to march with no road into unknown parts of the Bohemian mountains,
defending himself against superior forces of the enemy and abandoning
all hope of a junction with Buxhowden. If Kutuzov decided to retreat
along the road from Krems to Olmutz, to unite with the troops arriving
from Russia, he risked being forestalled on that road by the French
who had crossed the Vienna bridge, and encumbered by his baggage and
transport, having to accept battle on the march against an enemy three
times as strong, who would hem him in from two sides.

Kutuzov chose this latter course.

The French, the spy reported, having crossed the Vienna bridge, were
advancing by forced marches toward Znaim, which lay sixty-six miles off
on the line of Kutuzov's retreat. If he reached Znaim before the
French, there would be great hope of saving the army; to let the
French forestall him at Znaim meant the exposure of his whole army to a
disgrace such as that of Ulm, or to utter destruction. But to forestall
the French with his whole army was impossible. The road for the French
from Vienna to Znaim was shorter and better than the road for the
Russians from Krems to Znaim.

The night he received the news, Kutuzov sent Bagration's vanguard, four
thousand strong, to the right across the hills from the Krems-Znaim to
the Vienna-Znaim road. Bagration was to make this march without resting,
and to halt facing Vienna with Znaim to his rear, and if he succeeded
in forestalling the French he was to delay them as long as possible.
Kutuzov himself with all his transport took the road to Znaim.

Marching thirty miles that stormy night across roadless hills, with his
hungry, ill-shod soldiers, and losing a third of his men as stragglers
by the way, Bagration came out on the Vienna-Znaim road at Hollabrunn
a few hours ahead of the French who were approaching Hollabrunn from
Vienna. Kutuzov with his transport had still to march for some days
before he could reach Znaim. Hence Bagration with his four thousand
hungry, exhausted men would have to detain for days the whole enemy army
that came upon him at Hollabrunn, which was clearly impossible. But a
freak of fate made the impossible possible. The success of the trick
that had placed the Vienna bridge in the hands of the French without
a fight led Murat to try to deceive Kutuzov in a similar way. Meeting
Bagration's weak detachment on the Znaim road he supposed it to be
Kutuzov's whole army. To be able to crush it absolutely he awaited the
arrival of the rest of the troops who were on their way from Vienna,
and with this object offered a three days' truce on condition that both
armies should remain in position without moving. Murat declared that
negotiations for peace were already proceeding, and that he therefore
offered this truce to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Count Nostitz, the
Austrian general occupying the advanced posts, believed Murat's emissary
and retired, leaving Bagration's division exposed. Another emissary rode
to the Russian line to announce the peace negotiations and to offer the
Russian army the three days' truce. Bagration replied that he was not
authorized either to accept or refuse a truce and sent his adjutant to
Kutuzov to report the offer he had received.

A truce was Kutuzov's sole chance of gaining time, giving Bagration's
exhausted troops some rest, and letting the transport and heavy convoys
(whose movements were concealed from the French) advance if but one
stage nearer Znaim. The offer of a truce gave the only, and a quite
unexpected, chance of saving the army. On receiving the news he
immediately dispatched Adjutant General Wintzingerode, who was in
attendance on him, to the enemy camp. Wintzingerode was not merely
to agree to the truce but also to offer terms of capitulation, and
meanwhile Kutuzov sent his adjutants back to hasten to the utmost the
movements of the baggage trains of the entire army along the Krems-Znaim
road. Bagration's exhausted and hungry detachment, which alone covered
this movement of the transport and of the whole army, had to remain
stationary in face of an enemy eight times as strong as itself.

Kutuzov's expectations that the proposals of capitulation (which were in
no way binding) might give time for part of the transport to pass, and
also that Murat's mistake would very soon be discovered, proved
correct. As soon as Bonaparte (who was at Schonbrunn, sixteen miles from
Hollabrunn) received Murat's dispatch with the proposal of a truce and
a capitulation, he detected a ruse and wrote the following letter to
Murat:

 

Schonbrunn, 25th Brumaire, 1805,

at eight o'clock in the morning

To PRINCE MURAT,

I cannot find words to express to you my displeasure. You command only
my advance guard, and have no right to arrange an armistice without my
order. You are causing me to lose the fruits of a campaign. Break
the armistice immediately and march on the enemy. Inform him that the
general who signed that capitulation had no right to do so, and that no
one but the Emperor of Russia has that right.

If, however, the Emperor of Russia ratifies that convention, I will
ratify it; but it is only a trick. March on, destroy the Russian
army.... You are in a position to seize its baggage and artillery.

The Russian Emperor's aide-de-camp is an impostor. Officers are nothing
when they have no powers; this one had none.... The Austrians let
themselves be tricked at the crossing of the Vienna bridge, you are
letting yourself be tricked by an aide-de-camp of the Emperor.

NAPOLEON

 

Bonaparte's adjutant rode full gallop with this menacing letter to
Murat. Bonaparte himself, not trusting to his generals, moved with all
the Guards to the field of battle, afraid of letting a ready victim
escape, and Bagration's four thousand men merrily lighted campfires,
dried and warmed themselves, cooked their porridge for the first time
for three days, and not one of them knew or imagined what was in store
for him.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XV

 

Between three and four o'clock in the afternoon Prince Andrew, who had
persisted in his request to Kutuzov, arrived at Grunth and reported
himself to Bagration. Bonaparte's adjutant had not yet reached Murat's
detachment and the battle had not yet begun. In Bagration's detachment
no one knew anything of the general position of affairs. They talked of
peace but did not believe in its possibility; others talked of a battle
but also disbelieved in the nearness of an engagement. Bagration,
knowing Bolkonski to be a favorite and trusted adjutant, received him
with distinction and special marks of favor, explaining to him that
there would probably be an engagement that day or the next, and giving
him full liberty to remain with him during the battle or to join the
rearguard and have an eye on the order of retreat, "which is also very
important."

"However, there will hardly be an engagement today," said Bagration as
if to reassure Prince Andrew.

"If he is one of the ordinary little staff dandies sent to earn a medal
he can get his reward just as well in the rearguard, but if he wishes to
stay with me, let him... he'll be of use here if he's a brave officer,"
thought Bagration. Prince Andrew, without replying, asked the prince's
permission to ride round the position to see the disposition of the
forces, so as to know his bearings should he be sent to execute an
order. The officer on duty, a handsome, elegantly dressed man with a
diamond ring on his forefinger, who was fond of speaking French though
he spoke it badly, offered to conduct Prince Andrew.

On all sides they saw rain-soaked officers with dejected faces who
seemed to be seeking something, and soldiers dragging doors, benches,
and fencing from the village.

"There now, Prince! We can't stop those fellows," said the staff officer
pointing to the soldiers. "The officers don't keep them in hand. And
there," he pointed to a sutler's tent, "they crowd in and sit. This
morning I turned them all out and now look, it's full again. I must go
there, Prince, and scare them a bit. It won't take a moment."

"Yes, let's go in and I will get myself a roll and some cheese," said
Prince Andrew who had not yet had time to eat anything.

"Why didn't you mention it, Prince? I would have offered you something."

They dismounted and entered the tent. Several officers, with flushed and
weary faces, were sitting at the table eating and drinking.

"Now what does this mean, gentlemen?" said the staff officer, in the
reproachful tone of a man who has repeated the same thing more than
once. "You know it won't do to leave your posts like this. The prince
gave orders that no one should leave his post. Now you, Captain," and he
turned to a thin, dirty little artillery officer who without his boots
(he had given them to the canteen keeper to dry), in only his stockings,
rose when they entered, smiling not altogether comfortably.

"Well, aren't you ashamed of yourself, Captain Tushin?" he continued.
"One would think that as an artillery officer you would set a good
example, yet here you are without your boots! The alarm will be sounded
and you'll be in a pretty position without your boots!" (The staff
officer smiled.) "Kindly return to your posts, gentlemen, all of you,
all!" he added in a tone of command.

Prince Andrew smiled involuntarily as he looked at the artillery officer
Tushin, who silent and smiling, shifting from one stockinged foot to the
other, glanced inquiringly with his large, intelligent, kindly eyes from
Prince Andrew to the staff officer.

"The soldiers say it feels easier without boots," said Captain Tushin
smiling shyly in his uncomfortable position, evidently wishing to adopt
a jocular tone. But before he had finished he felt that his jest was
unacceptable and had not come off. He grew confused.

"Kindly return to your posts," said the staff officer trying to preserve
his gravity.

Prince Andrew glanced again at the artillery officer's small figure.
There was something peculiar about it, quite unsoldierly, rather comic,
but extremely attractive.

The staff officer and Prince Andrew mounted their horses and rode on.

Having ridden beyond the village, continually meeting and overtaking
soldiers and officers of various regiments, they saw on their left some
entrenchments being thrown up, the freshly dug clay of which showed up
red. Several battalions of soldiers, in their shirt sleeves despite
the cold wind, swarmed in these earthworks like a host of white ants;
spadefuls of red clay were continually being thrown up from behind the
bank by unseen hands. Prince Andrew and the officer rode up, looked at
the entrenchment, and went on again. Just behind it they came upon some
dozens of soldiers, continually replaced by others, who ran from the
entrenchment. They had to hold their noses and put their horses to a
trot to escape from the poisoned atmosphere of these latrines.

"Voila l'agrement des camps, monsieur le Prince," * said the staff
officer.

 

* "This is a pleasure one gets in camp, Prince."

 

They rode up the opposite hill. From there the French could already be
seen. Prince Andrew stopped and began examining the position.

"That's our battery," said the staff officer indicating the highest
point. "It's in charge of the queer fellow we saw without his boots. You
can see everything from there; let's go there, Prince."

"Thank you very much, I will go on alone," said Prince Andrew, wishing
to rid himself of this staff officer's company, "please don't trouble
yourself further."

The staff officer remained behind and Prince Andrew rode on alone.

The farther forward and nearer the enemy he went, the more orderly and
cheerful were the troops. The greatest disorder and depression had been
in the baggage train he had passed that morning on the Znaim road seven
miles away from the French. At Grunth also some apprehension and alarm
could be felt, but the nearer Prince Andrew came to the French lines the
more confident was the appearance of our troops. The soldiers in
their greatcoats were ranged in lines, the sergeants major and company
officers were counting the men, poking the last man in each section in
the ribs and telling him to hold his hand up. Soldiers scattered over
the whole place were dragging logs and brushwood and were building
shelters with merry chatter and laughter; around the fires sat others,
dressed and undressed, drying their shirts and leg bands or mending
boots or overcoats and crowding round the boilers and porridge cookers.
In one company dinner was ready, and the soldiers were gazing eagerly
at the steaming boiler, waiting till the sample, which a quartermaster
sergeant was carrying in a wooden bowl to an officer who sat on a log
before his shelter, had been tasted.

Another company, a lucky one for not all the companies had vodka,
crowded round a pockmarked, broad-shouldered sergeant major who, tilting
a keg, filled one after another the canteen lids held out to him. The
soldiers lifted the canteen lids to their lips with reverential faces,
emptied them, rolling the vodka in their mouths, and walked away from
the sergeant major with brightened expressions, licking their lips and
wiping them on the sleeves of their greatcoats. All their faces were
as serene as if all this were happening at home awaiting peaceful
encampment, and not within sight of the enemy before an action in
which at least half of them would be left on the field. After passing a
chasseur regiment and in the lines of the Kiev grenadiers--fine fellows
busy with similar peaceful affairs--near the shelter of the regimental
commander, higher than and different from the others, Prince Andrew came
out in front of a platoon of grenadiers before whom lay a naked man. Two
soldiers held him while two others were flourishing their switches and
striking him regularly on his bare back. The man shrieked unnaturally.
A stout major was pacing up and down the line, and regardless of the
screams kept repeating:

"It's a shame for a soldier to steal; a soldier must be honest,
honorable, and brave, but if he robs his fellows there is no honor in
him, he's a scoundrel. Go on! Go on!"

So the swishing sound of the strokes, and the desperate but unnatural
screams, continued.

"Go on, go on!" said the major.

A young officer with a bewildered and pained expression on his face
stepped away from the man and looked round inquiringly at the adjutant
as he rode by.

Prince Andrew, having reached the front line, rode along it. Our front
line and that of the enemy were far apart on the right and left flanks,
but in the center where the men with a flag of truce had passed that
morning, the lines were so near together that the men could see one
another's faces and speak to one another. Besides the soldiers who
formed the picket line on either side, there were many curious onlookers
who, jesting and laughing, stared at their strange foreign enemies.

Since early morning--despite an injunction not to approach the picket
line--the officers had been unable to keep sight-seers away. The
soldiers forming the picket line, like showmen exhibiting a curiosity,
no longer looked at the French but paid attention to the sight-seers and
grew weary waiting to be relieved. Prince Andrew halted to have a look
at the French.

"Look! Look there!" one soldier was saying to another, pointing to a
Russian musketeer who had gone up to the picket line with an officer and
was rapidly and excitedly talking to a French grenadier. "Hark to him
jabbering! Fine, isn't it? It's all the Frenchy can do to keep up with
him. There now, Sidorov!"

"Wait a bit and listen. It's fine!" answered Sidorov, who was considered
an adept at French.

The soldier to whom the laughers referred was Dolokhov. Prince Andrew
recognized him and stopped to listen to what he was saying. Dolokhov had
come from the left flank where their regiment was stationed, with his
captain.

"Now then, go on, go on!" incited the officer, bending forward and
trying not to lose a word of the speech which was incomprehensible to
him. "More, please: more! What's he saying?"

Dolokhov did not answer the captain; he had been drawn into a hot
dispute with the French grenadier. They were naturally talking about the
campaign. The Frenchman, confusing the Austrians with the Russians, was
trying to prove that the Russians had surrendered and had fled all
the way from Ulm, while Dolokhov maintained that the Russians had not
surrendered but had beaten the French.

"We have orders to drive you off here, and we shall drive you off," said
Dolokhov.

"Only take care you and your Cossacks are not all captured!" said the
French grenadier.

The French onlookers and listeners laughed.

"We'll make you dance as we did under Suvorov...," * said Dolokhov.

 

* "On vous fera danser."

 

"Qu' est-ce qu'il chante?" * asked a Frenchman.

 

* "What's he singing about?"

 

"It's ancient history," said another, guessing that it referred to a
former war. "The Emperor will teach your Suvara as he has taught the
others..."

"Bonaparte..." began Dolokhov, but the Frenchman interrupted him.

"Not Bonaparte. He is the Emperor! Sacre nom...!" cried he angrily.

"The devil skin your Emperor."

And Dolokhov swore at him in coarse soldier's Russian and shouldering
his musket walked away.

"Let us go, Ivan Lukich," he said to the captain.

"Ah, that's the way to talk French," said the picket soldiers. "Now,
Sidorov, you have a try!"

Sidorov, turning to the French, winked, and began to jabber meaningless
sounds very fast: "Kari, mala, tafa, safi, muter, Kaska," he said,
trying to give an expressive intonation to his voice.

"Ho! ho! ho! Ha! ha! ha! ha! Ouh! ouh!" came peals of such healthy and
good-humored laughter from the soldiers that it infected the French
involuntarily, so much so that the only thing left to do seemed to be
to unload the muskets, explode the ammunition, and all return home as
quickly as possible.

But the guns remained loaded, the loopholes in blockhouses and
entrenchments looked out just as menacingly, and the unlimbered cannon
confronted one another as before.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVI

 

Having ridden round the whole line from right flank to left, Prince
Andrew made his way up to the battery from which the staff officer had
told him the whole field could be seen. Here he dismounted, and stopped
beside the farthest of the four unlimbered cannon. Before the guns an
artillery sentry was pacing up and down; he stood at attention when the
officer arrived, but at a sign resumed his measured, monotonous pacing.
Behind the guns were their limbers and still farther back picket ropes
and artillerymen's bonfires. To the left, not far from the farthest
cannon, was a small, newly constructed wattle shed from which came the
sound of officers' voices in eager conversation.

It was true that a view over nearly the whole Russian position and the
greater part of the enemy's opened out from this battery. Just facing
it, on the crest of the opposite hill, the village of Schon Grabern
could be seen, and in three places to left and right the French troops
amid the smoke of their campfires, the greater part of whom were
evidently in the village itself and behind the hill. To the left from
that village, amid the smoke, was something resembling a battery, but it
was impossible to see it clearly with the naked eye. Our right flank was
posted on a rather steep incline which dominated the French position.
Our infantry were stationed there, and at the farthest point the
dragoons. In the center, where Tushin's battery stood and from which
Prince Andrew was surveying the position, was the easiest and most
direct descent and ascent to the brook separating us from Schon Grabern.
On the left our troops were close to a copse, in which smoked the
bonfires of our infantry who were felling wood. The French line was
wider than ours, and it was plain that they could easily outflank us
on both sides. Behind our position was a steep and deep dip, making it
difficult for artillery and cavalry to retire. Prince Andrew took
out his notebook and, leaning on the cannon, sketched a plan of the
position. He made some notes on two points, intending to mention them to
Bagration. His idea was, first, to concentrate all the artillery in the
center, and secondly, to withdraw the cavalry to the other side of the
dip. Prince Andrew, being always near the commander in chief, closely
following the mass movements and general orders, and constantly studying
historical accounts of battles, involuntarily pictured to himself the
course of events in the forthcoming action in broad outline. He imagined
only important possibilities: "If the enemy attacks the right flank,"
he said to himself, "the Kiev grenadiers and the Podolsk chasseurs must
hold their position till reserves from the center come up. In that case
the dragoons could successfully make a flank counterattack. If they
attack our center we, having the center battery on this high ground,
shall withdraw the left flank under its cover, and retreat to the dip by
echelons." So he reasoned.... All the time he had been beside the gun,
he had heard the voices of the officers distinctly, but as often happens
had not understood a word of what they were saying. Suddenly, however,
he was struck by a voice coming from the shed, and its tone was so
sincere that he could not but listen.

"No, friend," said a pleasant and, as it seemed to Prince Andrew, a
familiar voice, "what I say is that if it were possible to know what is
beyond death, none of us would be afraid of it. That's so, friend."

Another, a younger voice, interrupted him: "Afraid or not, you can't
escape it anyhow."

"All the same, one is afraid! Oh, you clever people," said a third manly
voice interrupting them both. "Of course you artillery men are very
wise, because you can take everything along with you--vodka and snacks."

And the owner of the manly voice, evidently an infantry officer,
laughed.

"Yes, one is afraid," continued the first speaker, he of the familiar
voice. "One is afraid of the unknown, that's what it is. Whatever we may
say about the soul going to the sky... we know there is no sky but only
an atmosphere."

The manly voice again interrupted the artillery officer.

"Well, stand us some of your herb vodka, Tushin," it said.

"Why," thought Prince Andrew, "that's the captain who stood up in
the sutler's hut without his boots." He recognized the agreeable,
philosophizing voice with pleasure.

"Some herb vodka? Certainly!" said Tushin. "But still, to conceive a
future life..."

He did not finish. Just then there was a whistle in the air; nearer and
nearer, faster and louder, louder and faster, a cannon ball, as if it
had not finished saying what was necessary, thudded into the ground near
the shed with super human force, throwing up a mass of earth. The ground
seemed to groan at the terrible impact.

And immediately Tushin, with a short pipe in the corner of his mouth and
his kind, intelligent face rather pale, rushed out of the shed followed
by the owner of the manly voice, a dashing infantry officer who hurried
off to his company, buttoning up his coat as he ran.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVII

 

Mounting his horse again Prince Andrew lingered with the battery,
looking at the puff from the gun that had sent the ball. His eyes
ran rapidly over the wide space, but he only saw that the hitherto
motionless masses of the French now swayed and that there really was
a battery to their left. The smoke above it had not yet dispersed. Two
mounted Frenchmen, probably adjutants, were galloping up the hill. A
small but distinctly visible enemy column was moving down the hill,
probably to strengthen the front line. The smoke of the first shot had
not yet dispersed before another puff appeared, followed by a report.
The battle had begun! Prince Andrew turned his horse and galloped back
to Grunth to find Prince Bagration. He heard the cannonade behind him
growing louder and more frequent. Evidently our guns had begun to reply.
From the bottom of the slope, where the parleys had taken place, came
the report of musketry.

Lemarrois had just arrived at a gallop with Bonaparte's stern letter,
and Murat, humiliated and anxious to expiate his fault, had at once
moved his forces to attack the center and outflank both the Russian
wings, hoping before evening and before the arrival of the Emperor to
crush the contemptible detachment that stood before him.

"It has begun. Here it is!" thought Prince Andrew, feeling the blood
rush to his heart. "But where and how will my Toulon present itself?"

Passing between the companies that had been eating porridge and drinking
vodka a quarter of an hour before, he saw everywhere the same rapid
movement of soldiers forming ranks and getting their muskets ready,
and on all their faces he recognized the same eagerness that filled his
heart. "It has begun! Here it is, dreadful but enjoyable!" was what the
face of each soldier and each officer seemed to say.

Before he had reached the embankments that were being thrown up, he saw,
in the light of the dull autumn evening, mounted men coming toward him.
The foremost, wearing a Cossack cloak and lambskin cap and riding a
white horse, was Prince Bagration. Prince Andrew stopped, waiting for
him to come up; Prince Bagration reined in his horse and recognizing
Prince Andrew nodded to him. He still looked ahead while Prince Andrew
told him what he had seen.

The feeling, "It has begun! Here it is!" was seen even on Prince
Bagration's hard brown face with its half-closed, dull, sleepy eyes.
Prince Andrew gazed with anxious curiosity at that impassive face
and wished he could tell what, if anything, this man was thinking and
feeling at that moment. "Is there anything at all behind that impassive
face?" Prince Andrew asked himself as he looked. Prince Bagration bent
his head in sign of agreement with what Prince Andrew told him, and
said, "Very good!" in a tone that seemed to imply that everything that
took place and was reported to him was exactly what he had foreseen.
Prince Andrew, out of breath with his rapid ride, spoke quickly.
Prince Bagration, uttering his words with an Oriental accent, spoke
particularly slowly, as if to impress the fact that there was no need to
hurry. However, he put his horse to a trot in the direction of Tushin's
battery. Prince Andrew followed with the suite. Behind Prince Bagration
rode an officer of the suite, the prince's personal adjutant, Zherkov,
an orderly officer, the staff officer on duty, riding a fine bobtailed
horse, and a civilian--an accountant who had asked permission to
be present at the battle out of curiosity. The accountant, a stout,
full-faced man, looked around him with a naive smile of satisfaction
and presented a strange appearance among the hussars, Cossacks, and
adjutants, in his camlet coat, as he jolted on his horse with a convoy
officer's saddle.

"He wants to see a battle," said Zherkov to Bolkonski, pointing to the
accountant, "but he feels a pain in the pit of his stomach already."

"Oh, leave off!" said the accountant with a beaming but rather cunning
smile, as if flattered at being made the subject of Zherkov's joke, and
purposely trying to appear stupider than he really was.

"It is very strange, mon Monsieur Prince," said the staff officer. (He
remembered that in French there is some peculiar way of addressing a
prince, but could not get it quite right.)

By this time they were all approaching Tushin's battery, and a ball
struck the ground in front of them.

"What's that that has fallen?" asked the accountant with a naive smile.

"A French pancake," answered Zherkov.

"So that's what they hit with?" asked the accountant. "How awful!"

He seemed to swell with satisfaction. He had hardly finished speaking
when they again heard an unexpectedly violent whistling which suddenly
ended with a thud into something soft... f-f-flop! and a Cossack, riding
a little to their right and behind the accountant, crashed to earth with
his horse. Zherkov and the staff officer bent over their saddles and
turned their horses away. The accountant stopped, facing the Cossack,
and examined him with attentive curiosity. The Cossack was dead, but the
horse still struggled.

Prince Bagration screwed up his eyes, looked round, and, seeing the
cause of the confusion, turned away with indifference, as if to say, "Is
it worth while noticing trifles?" He reined in his horse with the case
of a skillful rider and, slightly bending over, disengaged his saber
which had caught in his cloak. It was an old-fashioned saber of a kind
no longer in general use. Prince Andrew remembered the story of Suvorov
giving his saber to Bagration in Italy, and the recollection was
particularly pleasant at that moment. They had reached the battery at
which Prince Andrew had been when he examined the battlefield.

"Whose company?" asked Prince Bagration of an artilleryman standing by
the ammunition wagon.

He asked, "Whose company?" but he really meant, "Are you frightened
here?" and the artilleryman understood him.

"Captain Tushin's, your excellency!" shouted the red-haired, freckled
gunner in a merry voice, standing to attention.

"Yes, yes," muttered Bagration as if considering something, and he rode
past the limbers to the farthest cannon.

As he approached, a ringing shot issued from it deafening him and his
suite, and in the smoke that suddenly surrounded the gun they could see
the gunners who had seized it straining to roll it quickly back to its
former position. A huge, broad-shouldered gunner, Number One, holding
a mop, his legs far apart, sprang to the wheel; while Number Two with
a trembling hand placed a charge in the cannon's mouth. The short,
round-shouldered Captain Tushin, stumbling over the tail of the gun
carriage, moved forward and, not noticing the general, looked out
shading his eyes with his small hand.

"Lift it two lines more and it will be just right," cried he in a feeble
voice to which he tried to impart a dashing note, ill suited to his weak
figure. "Number Two!" he squeaked. "Fire, Medvedev!"

Bagration called to him, and Tushin, raising three fingers to his cap
with a bashful and awkward gesture not at all like a military salute
but like a priest's benediction, approached the general. Though Tushin's
guns had been intended to cannonade the valley, he was firing incendiary
balls at the village of Schon Grabern visible just opposite, in front of
which large masses of French were advancing.

No one had given Tushin orders where and at what to fire, but after
consulting his sergeant major, Zakharchenko, for whom he had great
respect, he had decided that it would be a good thing to set fire to the
village. "Very good!" said Bagration in reply to the officer's report,
and began deliberately to examine the whole battlefield extended before
him. The French had advanced nearest on our right. Below the height on
which the Kiev regiment was stationed, in the hollow where the rivulet
flowed, the soul-stirring rolling and crackling of musketry was heard,
and much farther to the right beyond the dragoons, the officer of the
suite pointed out to Bagration a French column that was outflanking us.
To the left the horizon bounded by the adjacent wood. Prince Bagration
ordered two battalions from the center to be sent to reinforce the right
flank. The officer of the suite ventured to remark to the prince that
if these battalions went away, the guns would remain without support.
Prince Bagration turned to the officer and with his dull eyes looked at
him in silence. It seemed to Prince Andrew that the officer's remark was
just and that really no answer could be made to it. But at that moment
an adjutant galloped up with a message from the commander of the
regiment in the hollow and news that immense masses of the French were
coming down upon them and that his regiment was in disorder and was
retreating upon the Kiev grenadiers. Prince Bagration bowed his head in
sign of assent and approval. He rode off at a walk to the right and sent
an adjutant to the dragoons with orders to attack the French. But this
adjutant returned half an hour later with the news that the commander
of the dragoons had already retreated beyond the dip in the ground, as
a heavy fire had been opened on him and he was losing men uselessly, and
so had hastened to throw some sharpshooters into the wood.

"Very good!" said Bagration.

As he was leaving the battery, firing was heard on the left also, and
as it was too far to the left flank for him to have time to go there
himself, Prince Bagration sent Zherkov to tell the general in command
(the one who had paraded his regiment before Kutuzov at Braunau) that
he must retreat as quickly as possible behind the hollow in the rear,
as the right flank would probably not be able to withstand the enemy's
attack very long. About Tushin and the battalion that had been in
support of his battery all was forgotten. Prince Andrew listened
attentively to Bagration's colloquies with the commanding officers and
the orders he gave them and, to his surprise, found that no orders were
really given, but that Prince Bagration tried to make it appear that
everything done by necessity, by accident, or by the will of subordinate
commanders was done, if not by his direct command, at least in accord
with his intentions. Prince Andrew noticed, however, that though what
happened was due to chance and was independent of the commander's will,
owing to the tact Bagration showed, his presence was very valuable.
Officers who approached him with disturbed countenances became calm;
soldiers and officers greeted him gaily, grew more cheerful in his
presence, and were evidently anxious to display their courage before
him.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVIII

 

Prince Bagration, having reached the highest point of our right flank,
began riding downhill to where the roll of musketry was heard but where
on account of the smoke nothing could be seen. The nearer they got to
the hollow the less they could see but the more they felt the nearness
of the actual battlefield. They began to meet wounded men. One with a
bleeding head and no cap was being dragged along by two soldiers who
supported him under the arms. There was a gurgle in his throat and he
was spitting blood. A bullet had evidently hit him in the throat or
mouth. Another was walking sturdily by himself but without his musket,
groaning aloud and swinging his arm which had just been hurt, while
blood from it was streaming over his greatcoat as from a bottle. He had
that moment been wounded and his face showed fear rather than suffering.
Crossing a road they descended a steep incline and saw several men
lying on the ground; they also met a crowd of soldiers some of whom were
unwounded. The soldiers were ascending the hill breathing heavily, and
despite the general's presence were talking loudly and gesticulating.
In front of them rows of gray cloaks were already visible through the
smoke, and an officer catching sight of Bagration rushed shouting after
the crowd of retreating soldiers, ordering them back. Bagration rode up
to the ranks along which shots crackled now here and now there, drowning
the sound of voices and the shouts of command. The whole air reeked with
smoke. The excited faces of the soldiers were blackened with it. Some
were using their ramrods, others putting powder on the touchpans or
taking charges from their pouches, while others were firing, though who
they were firing at could not be seen for the smoke which there was no
wind to carry away. A pleasant humming and whistling of bullets were
often heard. "What is this?" thought Prince Andrew approaching the crowd
of soldiers. "It can't be an attack, for they are not moving; it can't
be a square--for they are not drawn up for that."

The commander of the regiment, a thin, feeble-looking old man with a
pleasant smile--his eyelids drooping more than half over his old eyes,
giving him a mild expression, rode up to Bagration and welcomed him as
a host welcomes an honored guest. He reported that his regiment had
been attacked by French cavalry and that, though the attack had been
repulsed, he had lost more than half his men. He said the attack
had been repulsed, employing this military term to describe what had
occurred to his regiment, but in reality he did not himself know what
had happened during that half-hour to the troops entrusted to him, and
could not say with certainty whether the attack had been repulsed or his
regiment had been broken up. All he knew was that at the commencement
of the action balls and shells began flying all over his regiment and
hitting men and that afterwards someone had shouted "Cavalry!" and our
men had begun firing. They were still firing, not at the cavalry which
had disappeared, but at French infantry who had come into the hollow and
were firing at our men. Prince Bagration bowed his head as a sign
that this was exactly what he had desired and expected. Turning to his
adjutant he ordered him to bring down the two battalions of the Sixth
Chasseurs whom they had just passed. Prince Andrew was struck by
the changed expression on Prince Bagration's face at this moment. It
expressed the concentrated and happy resolution you see on the face of
a man who on a hot day takes a final run before plunging into the water.
The dull, sleepy expression was no longer there, nor the affectation
of profound thought. The round, steady, hawk's eyes looked before him
eagerly and rather disdainfully, not resting on anything although his
movements were still slow and measured.

The commander of the regiment turned to Prince Bagration, entreating him
to go back as it was too dangerous to remain where they were. "Please,
your excellency, for God's sake!" he kept saying, glancing for support
at an officer of the suite who turned away from him. "There, you see!"
and he drew attention to the bullets whistling, singing, and hissing
continually around them. He spoke in the tone of entreaty and reproach
that a carpenter uses to a gentleman who has picked up an ax: "We are
used to it, but you, sir, will blister your hands." He spoke as if those
bullets could not kill him, and his half-closed eyes gave still more
persuasiveness to his words. The staff officer joined in the colonel's
appeals, but Bagration did not reply; he only gave an order to
cease firing and re-form, so as to give room for the two approaching
battalions. While he was speaking, the curtain of smoke that had
concealed the hollow, driven by a rising wind, began to move from right
to left as if drawn by an invisible hand, and the hill opposite, with
the French moving about on it, opened out before them. All eyes fastened
involuntarily on this French column advancing against them and winding
down over the uneven ground. One could already see the soldiers' shaggy
caps, distinguish the officers from the men, and see the standard
flapping against its staff.

"They march splendidly," remarked someone in Bagration's suite.

The head of the column had already descended into the hollow. The clash
would take place on this side of it...

The remains of our regiment which had been in action rapidly formed up
and moved to the right; from behind it, dispersing the laggards, came
two battalions of the Sixth Chasseurs in fine order. Before they had
reached Bagration, the weighty tread of the mass of men marching in step
could be heard. On their left flank, nearest to Bagration, marched
a company commander, a fine round-faced man, with a stupid and happy
expression--the same man who had rushed out of the wattle shed. At that
moment he was clearly thinking of nothing but how dashing a fellow he
would appear as he passed the commander.

With the self-satisfaction of a man on parade, he stepped lightly with
his muscular legs as if sailing along, stretching himself to his full
height without the smallest effort, his ease contrasting with the heavy
tread of the soldiers who were keeping step with him. He carried close
to his leg a narrow unsheathed sword (small, curved, and not like a real
weapon) and looked now at the superior officers and now back at the men
without losing step, his whole powerful body turning flexibly. It was as
if all the powers of his soul were concentrated on passing the commander
in the best possible manner, and feeling that he was doing it well he
was happy. "Left... left... left..." he seemed to repeat to himself at
each alternate step; and in time to this, with stern but varied faces,
the wall of soldiers burdened with knapsacks and muskets marched in
step, and each one of these hundreds of soldiers seemed to be repeating
to himself at each alternate step, "Left... left... left..." A fat
major skirted a bush, puffing and falling out of step; a soldier who had
fallen behind, his face showing alarm at his defection, ran at a trot,
panting to catch up with his company. A cannon ball, cleaving the air,
flew over the heads of Bagration and his suite, and fell into the
column to the measure of "Left... left!" "Close up!" came the company
commander's voice in jaunty tones. The soldiers passed in a semicircle
round something where the ball had fallen, and an old trooper on the
flank, a noncommissioned officer who had stopped beside the dead men,
ran to catch up his line and, falling into step with a hop, looked back
angrily, and through the ominous silence and the regular tramp of feet
beating the ground in unison, one seemed to hear left... left... left.

"Well done, lads!" said Prince Bagration.

"Glad to do our best, your ex'len-lency!" came a confused shout from
the ranks. A morose soldier marching on the left turned his eyes on
Bagration as he shouted, with an expression that seemed to say: "We know
that ourselves!" Another, without looking round, as though fearing to
relax, shouted with his mouth wide open and passed on.

The order was given to halt and down knapsacks.

Bagration rode round the ranks that had marched past him and dismounted.
He gave the reins to a Cossack, took off and handed over his felt coat,
stretched his legs, and set his cap straight. The head of the French
column, with its officers leading, appeared from below the hill.

"Forward, with God!" said Bagration, in a resolute, sonorous voice,
turning for a moment to the front line, and slightly swinging his arms,
he went forward uneasily over the rough field with the awkward gait of
a cavalryman. Prince Andrew felt that an invisible power was leading him
forward, and experienced great happiness.

The French were already near. Prince Andrew, walking beside Bagration,
could clearly distinguish their bandoliers, red epaulets, and even their
faces. (He distinctly saw an old French officer who, with gaitered legs
and turned-out toes, climbed the hill with difficulty.) Prince Bagration
gave no further orders and silently continued to walk on in front of the
ranks. Suddenly one shot after another rang out from the French, smoke
appeared all along their uneven ranks, and musket shots sounded. Several
of our men fell, among them the round-faced officer who had marched so
gaily and complacently. But at the moment the first report was heard,
Bagration looked round and shouted, "Hurrah!"

"Hurrah--ah!--ah!" rang a long-drawn shout from our ranks, and passing
Bagration and racing one another they rushed in an irregular but joyous
and eager crowd down the hill at their disordered foe.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIX

 

The attack of the Sixth Chasseurs secured the retreat of our right
flank. In the center Tushin's forgotten battery, which had managed to
set fire to the Schon Grabern village, delayed the French advance. The
French were putting out the fire which the wind was spreading, and thus
gave us time to retreat. The retirement of the center to the other side
of the dip in the ground at the rear was hurried and noisy, but the
different companies did not get mixed. But our left--which consisted
of the Azov and Podolsk infantry and the Pavlograd hussars--was
simultaneously attacked and outflanked by superior French forces under
Lannes and was thrown into confusion. Bagration had sent Zherkov to the
general commanding that left flank with orders to retreat immediately.

Zherkov, not removing his hand from his cap, turned his horse about
and galloped off. But no sooner had he left Bagration than his courage
failed him. He was seized by panic and could not go where it was
dangerous.

Having reached the left flank, instead of going to the front where the
firing was, he began to look for the general and his staff where they
could not possibly be, and so did not deliver the order.

The command of the left flank belonged by seniority to the commander of
the regiment Kutuzov had reviewed at Braunau and in which Dolokhov was
serving as a private. But the command of the extreme left flank had been
assigned to the commander of the Pavlograd regiment in which Rostov
was serving, and a misunderstanding arose. The two commanders were much
exasperated with one another and, long after the action had begun on
the right flank and the French were already advancing, were engaged
in discussion with the sole object of offending one another. But the
regiments, both cavalry and infantry, were by no means ready for the
impending action. From privates to general they were not expecting a
battle and were engaged in peaceful occupations, the cavalry feeding the
horses and the infantry collecting wood.

"He higher iss dan I in rank," said the German colonel of the hussars,
flushing and addressing an adjutant who had ridden up, "so let him do
what he vill, but I cannot sacrifice my hussars... Bugler, sount ze
retreat!"

But haste was becoming imperative. Cannon and musketry, mingling
together, thundered on the right and in the center, while the capotes of
Lannes' sharpshooters were already seen crossing the milldam and forming
up within twice the range of a musket shot. The general in command of
the infantry went toward his horse with jerky steps, and having mounted
drew himself up very straight and tall and rode to the Pavlograd
commander. The commanders met with polite bows but with secret
malevolence in their hearts.

"Once again, Colonel," said the general, "I can't leave half my men
in the wood. I beg of you, I beg of you," he repeated, "to occupy the
position and prepare for an attack."

"I peg of you yourself not to mix in vot is not your business!" suddenly
replied the irate colonel. "If you vere in the cavalry..."

"I am not in the cavalry, Colonel, but I am a Russian general and if you
are not aware of the fact..."

"Quite avare, your excellency," suddenly shouted the colonel, touching
his horse and turning purple in the face. "Vill you be so goot to
come to ze front and see dat zis position iss no goot? I don't vish to
destroy my men for your pleasure!"

"You forget yourself, Colonel. I am not considering my own pleasure and
I won't allow it to be said!"

Taking the colonel's outburst as a challenge to his courage, the general
expanded his chest and rode, frowning, beside him to the front line, as
if their differences would be settled there amongst the bullets. They
reached the front, several bullets sped over them, and they halted in
silence. There was nothing fresh to be seen from the line, for from
where they had been before it had been evident that it was impossible
for cavalry to act among the bushes and broken ground, as well as that
the French were outflanking our left. The general and colonel looked
sternly and significantly at one another like two fighting cocks
preparing for battle, each vainly trying to detect signs of cowardice
in the other. Both passed the examination successfully. As there was
nothing to be said, and neither wished to give occasion for it to be
alleged that he had been the first to leave the range of fire, they
would have remained there for a long time testing each other's courage
had it not been that just then they heard the rattle of musketry and a
muffled shout almost behind them in the wood. The French had attacked
the men collecting wood in the copse. It was no longer possible for the
hussars to retreat with the infantry. They were cut off from the line of
retreat on the left by the French. However inconvenient the position, it
was now necessary to attack in order to cut away through for themselves.

The squadron in which Rostov was serving had scarcely time to mount
before it was halted facing the enemy. Again, as at the Enns bridge,
there was nothing between the squadron and the enemy, and again that
terrible dividing line of uncertainty and fear--resembling the line
separating the living from the dead--lay between them. All were
conscious of this unseen line, and the question whether they would cross
it or not, and how they would cross it, agitated them all.

The colonel rode to the front, angrily gave some reply to questions put
to him by the officers, and, like a man desperately insisting on having
his own way, gave an order. No one said anything definite, but the rumor
of an attack spread through the squadron. The command to form up rang
out and the sabers whizzed as they were drawn from their scabbards.
Still no one moved. The troops of the left flank, infantry and hussars
alike, felt that the commander did not himself know what to do, and this
irresolution communicated itself to the men.

"If only they would be quick!" thought Rostov, feeling that at last
the time had come to experience the joy of an attack of which he had so
often heard from his fellow hussars.

"Fo'ward, with God, lads!" rang out Denisov's voice. "At a twot
fo'ward!"

The horses' croups began to sway in the front line. Rook pulled at the
reins and started of his own accord.

Before him, on the right, Rostov saw the front lines of his hussars and
still farther ahead a dark line which he could not see distinctly but
took to be the enemy. Shots could be heard, but some way off.

"Faster!" came the word of command, and Rostov felt Rook's flanks
drooping as he broke into a gallop.

Rostov anticipated his horse's movements and became more and more
elated. He had noticed a solitary tree ahead of him. This tree had been
in the middle of the line that had seemed so terrible--and now he
had crossed that line and not only was there nothing terrible, but
everything was becoming more and more happy and animated. "Oh, how I
will slash at him!" thought Rostov, gripping the hilt of his saber.

"Hur-a-a-a-ah!" came a roar of voices. "Let anyone come my way now,"
thought Rostov driving his spurs into Rook and letting him go at a full
gallop so that he outstripped the others. Ahead, the enemy was already
visible. Suddenly something like a birch broom seemed to sweep over the
squadron. Rostov raised his saber, ready to strike, but at that instant
the trooper Nikitenko, who was galloping ahead, shot away from him, and
Rostov felt as in a dream that he continued to be carried forward
with unnatural speed but yet stayed on the same spot. From behind him
Bondarchuk, an hussar he knew, jolted against him and looked angrily at
him. Bondarchuk's horse swerved and galloped past.

"How is it I am not moving? I have fallen, I am killed!" Rostov asked
and answered at the same instant. He was alone in the middle of a field.
Instead of the moving horses and hussars' backs, he saw nothing before
him but the motionless earth and the stubble around him. There was warm
blood under his arm. "No, I am wounded and the horse is killed." Rook
tried to rise on his forelegs but fell back, pinning his rider's leg.
Blood was flowing from his head; he struggled but could not rise. Rostov
also tried to rise but fell back, his sabretache having become entangled
in the saddle. Where our men were, and where the French, he did not
know. There was no one near.

Having disentangled his leg, he rose. "Where, on which side, was now the
line that had so sharply divided the two armies?" he asked himself and
could not answer. "Can something bad have happened to me?" he wondered
as he got up: and at that moment he felt that something superfluous was
hanging on his benumbed left arm. The wrist felt as if it were not his.
He examined his hand carefully, vainly trying to find blood on it. "Ah,
here are people coming," he thought joyfully, seeing some men running
toward him. "They will help me!" In front came a man wearing a strange
shako and a blue cloak, swarthy, sunburned, and with a hooked nose. Then
came two more, and many more running behind. One of them said something
strange, not in Russian. In among the hindmost of these men wearing
similar shakos was a Russian hussar. He was being held by the arms and
his horse was being led behind him.

"It must be one of ours, a prisoner. Yes. Can it be that they will take
me too? Who are these men?" thought Rostov, scarcely believing his eyes.
"Can they be French?" He looked at the approaching Frenchmen, and though
but a moment before he had been galloping to get at them and hack them
to pieces, their proximity now seemed so awful that he could not believe
his eyes. "Who are they? Why are they running? Can they be coming at me?
And why? To kill me? Me whom everyone is so fond of?" He remembered
his mother's love for him, and his family's, and his friends', and the
enemy's intention to kill him seemed impossible. "But perhaps they may
do it!" For more than ten seconds he stood not moving from the spot or
realizing the situation. The foremost Frenchman, the one with the hooked
nose, was already so close that the expression of his face could be
seen. And the excited, alien face of that man, his bayonet hanging down,
holding his breath, and running so lightly, frightened Rostov. He seized
his pistol and, instead of firing it, flung it at the Frenchman and
ran with all his might toward the bushes. He did not now run with the
feeling of doubt and conflict with which he had trodden the Enns bridge,
but with the feeling of a hare fleeing from the hounds. One single
sentiment, that of fear for his young and happy life, possessed his
whole being. Rapidly leaping the furrows, he fled across the field with
the impetuosity he used to show at catchplay, now and then turning his
good-natured, pale, young face to look back. A shudder of terror went
through him: "No, better not look," he thought, but having reached the
bushes he glanced round once more. The French had fallen behind, and
just as he looked round the first man changed his run to a walk and,
turning, shouted something loudly to a comrade farther back. Rostov
paused. "No, there's some mistake," thought he. "They can't have wanted
to kill me." But at the same time, his left arm felt as heavy as if
a seventy-pound weight were tied to it. He could run no more. The
Frenchman also stopped and took aim. Rostov closed his eyes and stooped
down. One bullet and then another whistled past him. He mustered his
last remaining strength, took hold of his left hand with his right, and
reached the bushes. Behind these were some Russian sharpshooters.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XX

 

The infantry regiments that had been caught unawares in the outskirts
of the wood ran out of it, the different companies getting mixed, and
retreated as a disorderly crowd. One soldier, in his fear, uttered the
senseless cry, "Cut off!" that is so terrible in battle, and that word
infected the whole crowd with a feeling of panic.

"Surrounded! Cut off? We're lost!" shouted the fugitives.

The moment he heard the firing and the cry from behind, the general
realized that something dreadful had happened to his regiment, and the
thought that he, an exemplary officer of many years' service who had
never been to blame, might be held responsible at headquarters for
negligence or inefficiency so staggered him that, forgetting the
recalcitrant cavalry colonel, his own dignity as a general, and above
all quite forgetting the danger and all regard for self-preservation, he
clutched the crupper of his saddle and, spurring his horse, galloped to
the regiment under a hail of bullets which fell around, but fortunately
missed him. His one desire was to know what was happening and at any
cost correct, or remedy, the mistake if he had made one, so that he,
an exemplary officer of twenty-two years' service, who had never been
censured, should not be held to blame.

Having galloped safely through the French, he reached a field behind
the copse across which our men, regardless of orders, were running and
descending the valley. That moment of moral hesitation which decides
the fate of battles had arrived. Would this disorderly crowd of soldiers
attend to the voice of their commander, or would they, disregarding him,
continue their flight? Despite his desperate shouts that used to seem
so terrible to the soldiers, despite his furious purple countenance
distorted out of all likeness to his former self, and the flourishing of
his saber, the soldiers all continued to run, talking, firing into the
air, and disobeying orders. The moral hesitation which decided the fate
of battles was evidently culminating in a panic.

The general had a fit of coughing as a result of shouting and of the
powder smoke and stopped in despair. Everything seemed lost. But at that
moment the French who were attacking, suddenly and without any apparent
reason, ran back and disappeared from the outskirts, and Russian
sharpshooters showed themselves in the copse. It was Timokhin's company,
which alone had maintained its order in the wood and, having lain in
ambush in a ditch, now attacked the French unexpectedly. Timokhin, armed
only with a sword, had rushed at the enemy with such a desperate cry and
such mad, drunken determination that, taken by surprise, the French had
thrown down their muskets and run. Dolokhov, running beside Timokhin,
killed a Frenchman at close quarters and was the first to seize the
surrendering French officer by his collar. Our fugitives returned, the
battalions re-formed, and the French who had nearly cut our left flank
in half were for the moment repulsed. Our reserve units were able to
join up, and the fight was at an end. The regimental commander and Major
Ekonomov had stopped beside a bridge, letting the retreating companies
pass by them, when a soldier came up and took hold of the commander's
stirrup, almost leaning against him. The man was wearing a bluish coat
of broadcloth, he had no knapsack or cap, his head was bandaged, and
over his shoulder a French munition pouch was slung. He had an officer's
sword in his hand. The soldier was pale, his blue eyes looked impudently
into the commander's face, and his lips were smiling. Though the
commander was occupied in giving instructions to Major Ekonomov, he
could not help taking notice of the soldier.

"Your excellency, here are two trophies," said Dolokhov, pointing to the
French sword and pouch. "I have taken an officer prisoner. I stopped the
company." Dolokhov breathed heavily from weariness and spoke in abrupt
sentences. "The whole company can bear witness. I beg you will remember
this, your excellency!"

"All right, all right," replied the commander, and turned to Major
Ekonomov.

But Dolokhov did not go away; he untied the handkerchief around his
head, pulled it off, and showed the blood congealed on his hair.

"A bayonet wound. I remained at the front. Remember, your excellency!"

 

Tushin's battery had been forgotten and only at the very end of the
action did Prince Bagration, still hearing the cannonade in the center,
send his orderly staff officer, and later Prince Andrew also, to order
the battery to retire as quickly as possible. When the supports attached
to Tushin's battery had been moved away in the middle of the action
by someone's order, the battery had continued firing and was only not
captured by the French because the enemy could not surmise that anyone
could have the effrontery to continue firing from four quite undefended
guns. On the contrary, the energetic action of that battery led the
French to suppose that here--in the center--the main Russian forces were
concentrated. Twice they had attempted to attack this point, but on each
occasion had been driven back by grapeshot from the four isolated guns
on the hillock.

Soon after Prince Bagration had left him, Tushin had succeeded in
setting fire to Schon Grabern.

"Look at them scurrying! It's burning! Just see the smoke! Fine! Grand!
Look at the smoke, the smoke!" exclaimed the artillerymen, brightening
up.

All the guns, without waiting for orders, were being fired in the
direction of the conflagration. As if urging each other on, the soldiers
cried at each shot: "Fine! That's good! Look at it... Grand!" The fire,
fanned by the breeze, was rapidly spreading. The French columns that had
advanced beyond the village went back; but as though in revenge for this
failure, the enemy placed ten guns to the right of the village and began
firing them at Tushin's battery.

In their childlike glee, aroused by the fire and their luck in
successfully cannonading the French, our artillerymen only noticed this
battery when two balls, and then four more, fell among our guns, one
knocking over two horses and another tearing off a munition-wagon
driver's leg. Their spirits once roused were, however, not diminished,
but only changed character. The horses were replaced by others from a
reserve gun carriage, the wounded were carried away, and the four guns
were turned against the ten-gun battery. Tushin's companion officer
had been killed at the beginning of the engagement and within an hour
seventeen of the forty men of the guns' crews had been disabled, but the
artillerymen were still as merry and lively as ever. Twice they noticed
the French appearing below them, and then they fired grapeshot at them.

Little Tushin, moving feebly and awkwardly, kept telling his orderly to
"refill my pipe for that one!" and then, scattering sparks from it, ran
forward shading his eyes with his small hand to look at the French.

"Smack at 'em, lads!" he kept saying, seizing the guns by the wheels and
working the screws himself.

Amid the smoke, deafened by the incessant reports which always made him
jump, Tushin not taking his pipe from his mouth ran from gun to gun, now
aiming, now counting the charges, now giving orders about replacing dead
or wounded horses and harnessing fresh ones, and shouting in his feeble
voice, so high pitched and irresolute. His face grew more and more
animated. Only when a man was killed or wounded did he frown and turn
away from the sight, shouting angrily at the men who, as is always the
case, hesitated about lifting the injured or dead. The soldiers, for the
most part handsome fellows and, as is always the case in an artillery
company, a head and shoulders taller and twice as broad as their
officer--all looked at their commander like children in an embarrassing
situation, and the expression on his face was invariably reflected on
theirs.

Owing to the terrible uproar and the necessity for concentration and
activity, Tushin did not experience the slightest unpleasant sense of
fear, and the thought that he might be killed or badly wounded never
occurred to him. On the contrary, he became more and more elated. It
seemed to him that it was a very long time ago, almost a day, since he
had first seen the enemy and fired the first shot, and that the corner
of the field he stood on was well-known and familiar ground. Though he
thought of everything, considered everything, and did everything the
best of officers could do in his position, he was in a state akin to
feverish delirium or drunkenness.

From the deafening sounds of his own guns around him, the whistle and
thud of the enemy's cannon balls, from the flushed and perspiring faces
of the crew bustling round the guns, from the sight of the blood of men
and horses, from the little puffs of smoke on the enemy's side (always
followed by a ball flying past and striking the earth, a man, a gun, a
horse), from the sight of all these things a fantastic world of his
own had taken possession of his brain and at that moment afforded him
pleasure. The enemy's guns were in his fancy not guns but pipes from
which occasional puffs were blown by an invisible smoker.

"There... he's puffing again," muttered Tushin to himself, as a small
cloud rose from the hill and was borne in a streak to the left by the
wind.

"Now look out for the ball... we'll throw it back."

"What do you want, your honor?" asked an artilleryman, standing close
by, who heard him muttering.

"Nothing... only a shell..." he answered.

"Come along, our Matvevna!" he said to himself. "Matvevna" * was the
name his fancy gave to the farthest gun of the battery, which was large
and of an old pattern. The French swarming round their guns seemed to
him like ants. In that world, the handsome drunkard Number One of the
second gun's crew was "uncle"; Tushin looked at him more often than
at anyone else and took delight in his every movement. The sound of
musketry at the foot of the hill, now diminishing, now increasing,
seemed like someone's breathing. He listened intently to the ebb and
flow of these sounds.

 

* Daughter of Matthew.

 

"Ah! Breathing again, breathing!" he muttered to himself.

He imagined himself as an enormously tall, powerful man who was throwing
cannon balls at the French with both hands.

"Now then, Matvevna, dear old lady, don't let me down!" he was saying as
he moved from the gun, when a strange, unfamiliar voice called above his
head: "Captain Tushin! Captain!"

Tushin turned round in dismay. It was the staff officer who had turned
him out of the booth at Grunth. He was shouting in a gasping voice:

"Are you mad? You have twice been ordered to retreat, and you..."

"Why are they down on me?" thought Tushin, looking in alarm at his
superior.

"I... don't..." he muttered, holding up two fingers to his cap. "I..."

But the staff officer did not finish what he wanted to say. A cannon
ball, flying close to him, caused him to duck and bend over his horse.
He paused, and just as he was about to say something more, another ball
stopped him. He turned his horse and galloped off.

"Retire! All to retire!" he shouted from a distance.

The soldiers laughed. A moment later, an adjutant arrived with the same
order.

It was Prince Andrew. The first thing he saw on riding up to the space
where Tushin's guns were stationed was an unharnessed horse with a
broken leg, that lay screaming piteously beside the harnessed horses.
Blood was gushing from its leg as from a spring. Among the limbers lay
several dead men. One ball after another passed over as he approached
and he felt a nervous shudder run down his spine. But the mere thought
of being afraid roused him again. "I cannot be afraid," thought he, and
dismounted slowly among the guns. He delivered the order and did not
leave the battery. He decided to have the guns removed from their
positions and withdrawn in his presence. Together with Tushin, stepping
across the bodies and under a terrible fire from the French, he attended
to the removal of the guns.

"A staff officer was here a minute ago, but skipped off," said an
artilleryman to Prince Andrew. "Not like your honor!"

Prince Andrew said nothing to Tushin. They were both so busy as to seem
not to notice one another. When having limbered up the only two cannon
that remained uninjured out of the four, they began moving down the hill
(one shattered gun and one unicorn were left behind), Prince Andrew rode
up to Tushin.

"Well, till we meet again..." he said, holding out his hand to Tushin.

"Good-by, my dear fellow," said Tushin. "Dear soul! Good-by, my dear
fellow!" and for some unknown reason tears suddenly filled his eyes.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XXI

 

The wind had fallen and black clouds, merging with the powder smoke,
hung low over the field of battle on the horizon. It was growing
dark and the glow of two conflagrations was the more conspicuous. The
cannonade was dying down, but the rattle of musketry behind and on
the right sounded oftener and nearer. As soon as Tushin with his guns,
continually driving round or coming upon wounded men, was out of range
of fire and had descended into the dip, he was met by some of the staff,
among them the staff officer and Zherkov, who had been twice sent to
Tushin's battery but had never reached it. Interrupting one another,
they all gave, and transmitted, orders as to how to proceed,
reprimanding and reproaching him. Tushin gave no orders, and,
silently--fearing to speak because at every word he felt ready to weep
without knowing why--rode behind on his artillery nag. Though the orders
were to abandon the wounded, many of them dragged themselves after
troops and begged for seats on the gun carriages. The jaunty infantry
officer who just before the battle had rushed out of Tushin's wattle
shed was laid, with a bullet in his stomach, on "Matvevna's" carriage.
At the foot of the hill, a pale hussar cadet, supporting one hand with
the other, came up to Tushin and asked for a seat.

"Captain, for God's sake! I've hurt my arm," he said timidly. "For God's
sake... I can't walk. For God's sake!"

It was plain that this cadet had already repeatedly asked for a lift and
been refused. He asked in a hesitating, piteous voice.

"Tell them to give me a seat, for God's sake!"

"Give him a seat," said Tushin. "Lay a cloak for him to sit on, lad,"
he said, addressing his favorite soldier. "And where is the wounded
officer?"

"He has been set down. He died," replied someone.

"Help him up. Sit down, dear fellow, sit down! Spread out the cloak,
Antonov."

The cadet was Rostov. With one hand he supported the other; he was pale
and his jaw trembled, shivering feverishly. He was placed on "Matvevna,"
the gun from which they had removed the dead officer. The cloak they
spread under him was wet with blood which stained his breeches and arm.

"What, are you wounded, my lad?" said Tushin, approaching the gun on
which Rostov sat.

"No, it's a sprain."

"Then what is this blood on the gun carriage?" inquired Tushin.

"It was the officer, your honor, stained it," answered the artilleryman,
wiping away the blood with his coat sleeve, as if apologizing for the
state of his gun.

It was all that they could do to get the guns up the rise aided by the
infantry, and having reached the village of Gruntersdorf they halted. It
had grown so dark that one could not distinguish the uniforms ten paces
off, and the firing had begun to subside. Suddenly, near by on the
right, shouting and firing were again heard. Flashes of shot gleamed in
the darkness. This was the last French attack and was met by soldiers
who had sheltered in the village houses. They all rushed out of the
village again, but Tushin's guns could not move, and the artillerymen,
Tushin, and the cadet exchanged silent glances as they awaited their
fate. The firing died down and soldiers, talking eagerly, streamed out
of a side street.

"Not hurt, Petrov?" asked one.

"We've given it 'em hot, mate! They won't make another push now," said
another.

"You couldn't see a thing. How they shot at their own fellows! Nothing
could be seen. Pitch-dark, brother! Isn't there something to drink?"

The French had been repulsed for the last time. And again and again in
the complete darkness Tushin's guns moved forward, surrounded by the
humming infantry as by a frame.

In the darkness, it seemed as though a gloomy unseen river was flowing
always in one direction, humming with whispers and talk and the sound of
hoofs and wheels. Amid the general rumble, the groans and voices of the
wounded were more distinctly heard than any other sound in the darkness
of the night. The gloom that enveloped the army was filled with their
groans, which seemed to melt into one with the darkness of the night.
After a while the moving mass became agitated, someone rode past on a
white horse followed by his suite, and said something in passing: "What
did he say? Where to, now? Halt, is it? Did he thank us?" came eager
questions from all sides. The whole moving mass began pressing closer
together and a report spread that they were ordered to halt: evidently
those in front had halted. All remained where they were in the middle of
the muddy road.

Fires were lighted and the talk became more audible. Captain Tushin,
having given orders to his company, sent a soldier to find a dressing
station or a doctor for the cadet, and sat down by a bonfire the
soldiers had kindled on the road. Rostov, too, dragged himself to the
fire. From pain, cold, and damp, a feverish shivering shook his whole
body. Drowsiness was irresistibly mastering him, but he kept awake by
an excruciating pain in his arm, for which he could find no satisfactory
position. He kept closing his eyes and then again looking at the fire,
which seemed to him dazzlingly red, and at the feeble, round-shouldered
figure of Tushin who was sitting cross-legged like a Turk beside him.
Tushin's large, kind, intelligent eyes were fixed with sympathy and
commiseration on Rostov, who saw that Tushin with his whole heart wished
to help him but could not.

From all sides were heard the footsteps and talk of the infantry, who
were walking, driving past, and settling down all around. The sound
of voices, the tramping feet, the horses' hoofs moving in mud, the
crackling of wood fires near and afar, merged into one tremulous rumble.

It was no longer, as before, a dark, unseen river flowing through the
gloom, but a dark sea swelling and gradually subsiding after a storm.
Rostov looked at and listened listlessly to what passed before and
around him. An infantryman came to the fire, squatted on his heels, held
his hands to the blaze, and turned away his face.

"You don't mind your honor?" he asked Tushin. "I've lost my company,
your honor. I don't know where... such bad luck!"

With the soldier, an infantry officer with a bandaged cheek came up to
the bonfire, and addressing Tushin asked him to have the guns moved a
trifle to let a wagon go past. After he had gone, two soldiers rushed to
the campfire. They were quarreling and fighting desperately, each trying
to snatch from the other a boot they were both holding on to.

"You picked it up?... I dare say! You're very smart!" one of them
shouted hoarsely.

Then a thin, pale soldier, his neck bandaged with a bloodstained leg
band, came up and in angry tones asked the artillerymen for water.

"Must one die like a dog?" said he.

Tushin told them to give the man some water. Then a cheerful soldier ran
up, begging a little fire for the infantry.

"A nice little hot torch for the infantry! Good luck to you, fellow
countrymen. Thanks for the fire--we'll return it with interest," said
he, carrying away into the darkness a glowing stick.

Next came four soldiers, carrying something heavy on a cloak, and passed
by the fire. One of them stumbled.

"Who the devil has put the logs on the road?" snarled he.

"He's dead--why carry him?" said another.

"Shut up!"

And they disappeared into the darkness with their load.

"Still aching?" Tushin asked Rostov in a whisper.

"Yes."

"Your honor, you're wanted by the general. He is in the hut here," said
a gunner, coming up to Tushin.

"Coming, friend."

Tushin rose and, buttoning his greatcoat and pulling it straight, walked
away from the fire.

Not far from the artillery campfire, in a hut that had been prepared
for him, Prince Bagration sat at dinner, talking with some commanding
officers who had gathered at his quarters. The little old man with
the half-closed eyes was there greedily gnawing a mutton bone, and the
general who had served blamelessly for twenty-two years, flushed by a
glass of vodka and the dinner; and the staff officer with the signet
ring, and Zherkov, uneasily glancing at them all, and Prince Andrew,
pale, with compressed lips and feverishly glittering eyes.

In a corner of the hut stood a standard captured from the French, and
the accountant with the naive face was feeling its texture, shaking his
head in perplexity--perhaps because the banner really interested him,
perhaps because it was hard for him, hungry as he was, to look on at
a dinner where there was no place for him. In the next hut there was a
French colonel who had been taken prisoner by our dragoons. Our officers
were flocking in to look at him. Prince Bagration was thanking the
individual commanders and inquiring into details of the action and our
losses. The general whose regiment had been inspected at Braunau was
informing the prince that as soon as the action began he had withdrawn
from the wood, mustered the men who were woodcutting, and, allowing the
French to pass him, had made a bayonet charge with two battalions and
had broken up the French troops.

"When I saw, your excellency, that their first battalion was
disorganized, I stopped in the road and thought: 'I'll let them come
on and will meet them with the fire of the whole battalion'--and that's
what I did."

The general had so wished to do this and was so sorry he had not managed
to do it that it seemed to him as if it had really happened. Perhaps
it might really have been so? Could one possibly make out amid all that
confusion what did or did not happen?

"By the way, your excellency, I should inform you," he
continued--remembering Dolokhov's conversation with Kutuzov and his last
interview with the gentleman-ranker--"that Private Dolokhov, who was
reduced to the ranks, took a French officer prisoner in my presence and
particularly distinguished himself."

"I saw the Pavlograd hussars attack there, your excellency," chimed in
Zherkov, looking uneasily around. He had not seen the hussars all that
day, but had heard about them from an infantry officer. "They broke up
two squares, your excellency."

Several of those present smiled at Zherkov's words, expecting one of his
usual jokes, but noticing that what he was saying redounded to the glory
of our arms and of the day's work, they assumed a serious expression,
though many of them knew that what he was saying was a lie devoid of any
foundation. Prince Bagration turned to the old colonel:

"Gentlemen, I thank you all; all arms have behaved heroically: infantry,
cavalry, and artillery. How was it that two guns were abandoned in
the center?" he inquired, searching with his eyes for someone. (Prince
Bagration did not ask about the guns on the left flank; he knew that all
the guns there had been abandoned at the very beginning of the action.)
"I think I sent you?" he added, turning to the staff officer on duty.

"One was damaged," answered the staff officer, "and the other I can't
understand. I was there all the time giving orders and had only just
left.... It is true that it was hot there," he added, modestly.

Someone mentioned that Captain Tushin was bivouacking close to the
village and had already been sent for.

"Oh, but you were there?" said Prince Bagration, addressing Prince
Andrew.

"Of course, we only just missed one another," said the staff officer,
with a smile to Bolkonski.

"I had not the pleasure of seeing you," said Prince Andrew, coldly and
abruptly.

All were silent. Tushin appeared at the threshold and made his way
timidly from behind the backs of the generals. As he stepped past the
generals in the crowded hut, feeling embarrassed as he always was by the
sight of his superiors, he did not notice the staff of the banner and
stumbled over it. Several of those present laughed.

"How was it a gun was abandoned?" asked Bagration, frowning, not so much
at the captain as at those who were laughing, among whom Zherkov laughed
loudest.

Only now, when he was confronted by the stern authorities, did his guilt
and the disgrace of having lost two guns and yet remaining alive present
themselves to Tushin in all their horror. He had been so excited that
he had not thought about it until that moment. The officers' laughter
confused him still more. He stood before Bagration with his lower
jaw trembling and was hardly able to mutter: "I don't know... your
excellency... I had no men... your excellency."

"You might have taken some from the covering troops."

Tushin did not say that there were no covering troops, though that
was perfectly true. He was afraid of getting some other officer into
trouble, and silently fixed his eyes on Bagration as a schoolboy who has
blundered looks at an examiner.

The silence lasted some time. Prince Bagration, apparently not wishing
to be severe, found nothing to say; the others did not venture to
intervene. Prince Andrew looked at Tushin from under his brows and his
fingers twitched nervously.

"Your excellency!" Prince Andrew broke the silence with his abrupt
voice, "you were pleased to send me to Captain Tushin's battery. I went
there and found two thirds of the men and horses knocked out, two guns
smashed, and no supports at all."

Prince Bagration and Tushin looked with equal intentness at Bolkonski,
who spoke with suppressed agitation.

"And, if your excellency will allow me to express my opinion," he
continued, "we owe today's success chiefly to the action of that battery
and the heroic endurance of Captain Tushin and his company," and without
awaiting a reply, Prince Andrew rose and left the table.

Prince Bagration looked at Tushin, evidently reluctant to show distrust
in Bolkonski's emphatic opinion yet not feeling able fully to credit it,
bent his head, and told Tushin that he could go. Prince Andrew went out
with him.

"Thank you; you saved me, my dear fellow!" said Tushin.

Prince Andrew gave him a look, but said nothing and went away. He felt
sad and depressed. It was all so strange, so unlike what he had hoped.

 

"Who are they? Why are they here? What do they want? And when will all
this end?" thought Rostov, looking at the changing shadows before
him. The pain in his arm became more and more intense. Irresistible
drowsiness overpowered him, red rings danced before his eyes, and the
impression of those voices and faces and a sense of loneliness merged
with the physical pain. It was they, these soldiers--wounded and
unwounded--it was they who were crushing, weighing down, and twisting
the sinews and scorching the flesh of his sprained arm and shoulder. To
rid himself of them he closed his eyes.

For a moment he dozed, but in that short interval innumerable things
appeared to him in a dream: his mother and her large white hand, Sonya's
thin little shoulders, Natasha's eyes and laughter, Denisov with his
voice and mustache, and Telyanin and all that affair with Telyanin and
Bogdanich. That affair was the same thing as this soldier with the harsh
voice, and it was that affair and this soldier that were so agonizingly,
incessantly pulling and pressing his arm and always dragging it in one
direction. He tried to get away from them, but they would not for an
instant let his shoulder move a hair's breadth. It would not ache--it
would be well--if only they did not pull it, but it was impossible to
get rid of them.

He opened his eyes and looked up. The black canopy of night hung less
than a yard above the glow of the charcoal. Flakes of falling snow were
fluttering in that light. Tushin had not returned, the doctor had not
come. He was alone now, except for a soldier who was sitting naked at
the other side of the fire, warming his thin yellow body.

"Nobody wants me!" thought Rostov. "There is no one to help me or pity
me. Yet I was once at home, strong, happy, and loved." He sighed and,
doing so, groaned involuntarily.

"Eh, is anything hurting you?" asked the soldier, shaking his shirt out
over the fire, and not waiting for an answer he gave a grunt and added:
"What a lot of men have been crippled today--frightful!"

Rostov did not listen to the soldier. He looked at the snowflakes
fluttering above the fire and remembered a Russian winter at his warm,
bright home, his fluffy fur coat, his quickly gliding sleigh, his
healthy body, and all the affection and care of his family. "And why did
I come here?" he wondered.

Next day the French army did not renew their attack, and the remnant of
Bagration's detachment was reunited to Kutuzov's army.

 

 

 

 

BOOK THREE: 1805

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I

 

Prince Vasili was not a man who deliberately thought out his plans.
Still less did he think of injuring anyone for his own advantage. He
was merely a man of the world who had got on and to whom getting on had
become a habit. Schemes and devices for which he never rightly accounted
to himself, but which formed the whole interest of his life,
were constantly shaping themselves in his mind, arising from the
circumstances and persons he met. Of these plans he had not merely one
or two in his head but dozens, some only beginning to form themselves,
some approaching achievement, and some in course of disintegration. He
did not, for instance, say to himself: "This man now has influence, I
must gain his confidence and friendship and through him obtain a special
grant." Nor did he say to himself: "Pierre is a rich man, I must entice
him to marry my daughter and lend me the forty thousand rubles I need."
But when he came across a man of position his instinct immediately told
him that this man could be useful, and without any premeditation Prince
Vasili took the first opportunity to gain his confidence, flatter him,
become intimate with him, and finally make his request.

He had Pierre at hand in Moscow and procured for him an appointment as
Gentleman of the Bedchamber, which at that time conferred the status of
Councilor of State, and insisted on the young man accompanying him to
Petersburg and staying at his house. With apparent absent-mindedness,
yet with unhesitating assurance that he was doing the right thing,
Prince Vasili did everything to get Pierre to marry his daughter. Had he
thought out his plans beforehand he could not have been so natural and
shown such unaffected familiarity in intercourse with everybody both
above and below him in social standing. Something always drew him toward
those richer and more powerful than himself and he had rare skill in
seizing the most opportune moment for making use of people.

Pierre, on unexpectedly becoming Count Bezukhov and a rich man, felt
himself after his recent loneliness and freedom from cares so beset and
preoccupied that only in bed was he able to be by himself. He had to
sign papers, to present himself at government offices, the purpose of
which was not clear to him, to question his chief steward, to visit his
estate near Moscow, and to receive many people who formerly did not
even wish to know of his existence but would now have been offended
and grieved had he chosen not to see them. These different
people--businessmen, relations, and acquaintances alike--were all
disposed to treat the young heir in the most friendly and flattering
manner: they were all evidently firmly convinced of Pierre's noble
qualities. He was always hearing such words as: "With your remarkable
kindness," or, "With your excellent heart," "You are yourself so
honorable Count," or, "Were he as clever as you," and so on, till
he began sincerely to believe in his own exceptional kindness and
extraordinary intelligence, the more so as in the depth of his heart it
had always seemed to him that he really was very kind and intelligent.
Even people who had formerly been spiteful toward him and evidently
unfriendly now became gentle and affectionate. The angry eldest
princess, with the long waist and hair plastered down like a doll's,
had come into Pierre's room after the funeral. With drooping eyes
and frequent blushes she told him she was very sorry about their past
misunderstandings and did not now feel she had a right to ask him for
anything, except only for permission, after the blow she had received,
to remain for a few weeks longer in the house she so loved and where
she had sacrificed so much. She could not refrain from weeping at these
words. Touched that this statuesque princess could so change, Pierre
took her hand and begged her forgiveness, without knowing what for.
From that day the eldest princess quite changed toward Pierre and began
knitting a striped scarf for him.

"Do this for my sake, mon cher; after all, she had to put up with a
great deal from the deceased," said Prince Vasili to him, handing him a
deed to sign for the princess' benefit.

Prince Vasili had come to the conclusion that it was necessary to throw
this bone--a bill for thirty thousand rubles--to the poor princess that
it might not occur to her to speak of his share in the affair of the
inlaid portfolio. Pierre signed the deed and after that the princess
grew still kinder. The younger sisters also became affectionate to him,
especially the youngest, the pretty one with the mole, who often made
him feel confused by her smiles and her own confusion when meeting him.

It seemed so natural to Pierre that everyone should like him, and it
would have seemed so unnatural had anyone disliked him, that he could
not but believe in the sincerity of those around him. Besides, he had
no time to ask himself whether these people were sincere or not. He
was always busy and always felt in a state of mild and cheerful
intoxication. He felt as though he were the center of some important and
general movement; that something was constantly expected of him, that if
he did not do it he would grieve and disappoint many people, but if he
did this and that, all would be well; and he did what was demanded of
him, but still that happy result always remained in the future.

More than anyone else, Prince Vasili took possession of Pierre's affairs
and of Pierre himself in those early days. From the death of Count
Bezukhov he did not let go his hold of the lad. He had the air of a
man oppressed by business, weary and suffering, who yet would not, for
pity's sake, leave this helpless youth who, after all, was the son of
his old friend and the possessor of such enormous wealth, to the caprice
of fate and the designs of rogues. During the few days he spent in
Moscow after the death of Count Bezukhov, he would call Pierre, or go to
him himself, and tell him what ought to be done in a tone of weariness
and assurance, as if he were adding every time: "You know I am
overwhelmed with business and it is purely out of charity that I trouble
myself about you, and you also know quite well that what I propose is
the only thing possible."

"Well, my dear fellow, tomorrow we are off at last," said Prince Vasili
one day, closing his eyes and fingering Pierre's elbow, speaking as if
he were saying something which had long since been agreed upon and could
not now be altered. "We start tomorrow and I'm giving you a place in
my carriage. I am very glad. All our important business here is now
settled, and I ought to have been off long ago. Here is something I have
received from the chancellor. I asked him for you, and you have been
entered in the diplomatic corps and made a Gentleman of the Bedchamber.
The diplomatic career now lies open before you."

Notwithstanding the tone of wearied assurance with which these words
were pronounced, Pierre, who had so long been considering his career,
wished to make some suggestion. But Prince Vasili interrupted him in the
special deep cooing tone, precluding the possibility of interrupting
his speech, which he used in extreme cases when special persuasion was
needed.

"Mais, mon cher, I did this for my own sake, to satisfy my conscience,
and there is nothing to thank me for. No one has ever complained yet of
being too much loved; and besides, you are free, you could throw it
up tomorrow. But you will see everything for yourself when you get to
Petersburg. It is high time for you to get away from these terrible
recollections." Prince Vasili sighed. "Yes, yes, my boy. And my valet
can go in your carriage. Ah! I was nearly forgetting," he added. "You
know, mon cher, your father and I had some accounts to settle, so I have
received what was due from the Ryazan estate and will keep it; you won't
require it. We'll go into the accounts later."

By "what was due from the Ryazan estate" Prince Vasili meant several
thousand rubles quitrent received from Pierre's peasants, which the
prince had retained for himself.

In Petersburg, as in Moscow, Pierre found the same atmosphere of
gentleness and affection. He could not refuse the post, or rather the
rank (for he did nothing), that Prince Vasili had procured for him,
and acquaintances, invitations, and social occupations were so numerous
that, even more than in Moscow, he felt a sense of bewilderment, bustle,
and continual expectation of some good, always in front of him but never
attained.

Of his former bachelor acquaintances many were no longer in Petersburg.
The Guards had gone to the front; Dolokhov had been reduced to the
ranks; Anatole was in the army somewhere in the provinces; Prince Andrew
was abroad; so Pierre had not the opportunity to spend his nights as he
used to like to spend them, or to open his mind by intimate talks with
a friend older than himself and whom he respected. His whole time was
taken up with dinners and balls and was spent chiefly at Prince Vasili's
house in the company of the stout princess, his wife, and his beautiful
daughter Helene.

Like the others, Anna Pavlovna Scherer showed Pierre the change of
attitude toward him that had taken place in society.

Formerly in Anna Pavlovna's presence, Pierre had always felt that what
he was saying was out of place, tactless and unsuitable, that remarks
which seemed to him clever while they formed in his mind became foolish
as soon as he uttered them, while on the contrary Hippolyte's stupidest
remarks came out clever and apt. Now everything Pierre said was
charmant. Even if Anna Pavlovna did not say so, he could see that she
wished to and only refrained out of regard for his modesty.

In the beginning of the winter of 1805-6 Pierre received one of Anna
Pavlovna's usual pink notes with an invitation to which was added: "You
will find the beautiful Helene here, whom it is always delightful to
see."

When he read that sentence, Pierre felt for the first time that some
link which other people recognized had grown up between himself and
Helene, and that thought both alarmed him, as if some obligation were
being imposed on him which he could not fulfill, and pleased him as an
entertaining supposition.

Anna Pavlovna's "At Home" was like the former one, only the novelty she
offered her guests this time was not Mortemart, but a diplomatist fresh
from Berlin with the very latest details of the Emperor Alexander's
visit to Potsdam, and of how the two august friends had pledged
themselves in an indissoluble alliance to uphold the cause of justice
against the enemy of the human race. Anna Pavlovna received Pierre with
a shade of melancholy, evidently relating to the young man's recent loss
by the death of Count Bezukhov (everyone constantly considered it a
duty to assure Pierre that he was greatly afflicted by the death of the
father he had hardly known), and her melancholy was just like the august
melancholy she showed at the mention of her most august Majesty the
Empress Marya Fedorovna. Pierre felt flattered by this. Anna Pavlovna
arranged the different groups in her drawing room with her habitual
skill. The large group, in which were Prince Vasili and the generals,
had the benefit of the diplomat. Another group was at the tea table.
Pierre wished to join the former, but Anna Pavlovna--who was in the
excited condition of a commander on a battlefield to whom thousands
of new and brilliant ideas occur which there is hardly time to put in
action--seeing Pierre, touched his sleeve with her finger, saying:

"Wait a bit, I have something in view for you this evening." (She
glanced at Helene and smiled at her.) "My dear Helene, be charitable to
my poor aunt who adores you. Go and keep her company for ten minutes.
And that it will not be too dull, here is the dear count who will not
refuse to accompany you."

The beauty went to the aunt, but Anna Pavlovna detained Pierre, looking
as if she had to give some final necessary instructions.

"Isn't she exquisite?" she said to Pierre, pointing to the stately
beauty as she glided away. "And how she carries herself! For so young a
girl, such tact, such masterly perfection of manner! It comes from her
heart. Happy the man who wins her! With her the least worldly of men
would occupy a most brilliant position in society. Don't you think so? I
only wanted to know your opinion," and Anna Pavlovna let Pierre go.

Pierre, in reply, sincerely agreed with her as to Helene's perfection of
manner. If he ever thought of Helene, it was just of her beauty and her
remarkable skill in appearing silently dignified in society.

The old aunt received the two young people in her corner, but seemed
desirous of hiding her adoration for Helene and inclined rather to show
her fear of Anna Pavlovna. She looked at her niece, as if inquiring what
she was to do with these people. On leaving them, Anna Pavlovna again
touched Pierre's sleeve, saying: "I hope you won't say that it is dull
in my house again," and she glanced at Helene.

Helene smiled, with a look implying that she did not admit the
possibility of anyone seeing her without being enchanted. The aunt
coughed, swallowed, and said in French that she was very pleased to see
Helene, then she turned to Pierre with the same words of welcome and
the same look. In the middle of a dull and halting conversation, Helene
turned to Pierre with the beautiful bright smile that she gave to
everyone. Pierre was so used to that smile, and it had so little meaning
for him, that he paid no attention to it. The aunt was just speaking of
a collection of snuffboxes that had belonged to Pierre's father, Count
Bezukhov, and showed them her own box. Princess Helene asked to see the
portrait of the aunt's husband on the box lid.

"That is probably the work of Vinesse," said Pierre, mentioning a
celebrated miniaturist, and he leaned over the table to take the
snuffbox while trying to hear what was being said at the other table.

He half rose, meaning to go round, but the aunt handed him the snuffbox,
passing it across Helene's back. Helene stooped forward to make room,
and looked round with a smile. She was, as always at evening parties,
wearing a dress such as was then fashionable, cut very low at front and
back. Her bust, which had always seemed like marble to Pierre, was
so close to him that his shortsighted eyes could not but perceive the
living charm of her neck and shoulders, so near to his lips that he need
only have bent his head a little to have touched them. He was conscious
of the warmth of her body, the scent of perfume, and the creaking of her
corset as she moved. He did not see her marble beauty forming a complete
whole with her dress, but all the charm of her body only covered by her
garments. And having once seen this he could not help being aware of it,
just as we cannot renew an illusion we have once seen through.

"So you have never noticed before how beautiful I am?" Helene seemed to
say. "You had not noticed that I am a woman? Yes, I am a woman who
may belong to anyone--to you too," said her glance. And at that moment
Pierre felt that Helene not only could, but must, be his wife, and that
it could not be otherwise.

He knew this at that moment as surely as if he had been standing at the
altar with her. How and when this would be he did not know, he did not
even know if it would be a good thing (he even felt, he knew not why,
that it would be a bad thing), but he knew it would happen.

Pierre dropped his eyes, lifted them again, and wished once more to see
her as a distant beauty far removed from him, as he had seen her every
day until then, but he could no longer do it. He could not, any more
than a man who has been looking at a tuft of steppe grass through the
mist and taking it for a tree can again take it for a tree after he has
once recognized it to be a tuft of grass. She was terribly close to him.
She already had power over him, and between them there was no longer any
barrier except the barrier of his own will.

"Well, I will leave you in your little corner," came Anna Pavlovna's
voice, "I see you are all right there."

And Pierre, anxiously trying to remember whether he had done anything
reprehensible, looked round with a blush. It seemed to him that everyone
knew what had happened to him as he knew it himself.

A little later when he went up to the large circle, Anna Pavlovna said
to him: "I hear you are refitting your Petersburg house?"

This was true. The architect had told him that it was necessary, and
Pierre, without knowing why, was having his enormous Petersburg house
done up.

"That's a good thing, but don't move from Prince Vasili's. It is good to
have a friend like the prince," she said, smiling at Prince Vasili. "I
know something about that. Don't I? And you are still so young. You need
advice. Don't be angry with me for exercising an old woman's privilege."

She paused, as women always do, expecting something after they have
mentioned their age. "If you marry it will be a different thing," she
continued, uniting them both in one glance. Pierre did not look at
Helene nor she at him. But she was just as terribly close to him. He
muttered something and colored.

When he got home he could not sleep for a long time for thinking of what
had happened. What had happened? Nothing. He had merely understood that
the woman he had known as a child, of whom when her beauty was
mentioned he had said absent-mindedly: "Yes, she's good looking," he had
understood that this woman might belong to him.

"But she's stupid. I have myself said she is stupid," he thought. "There
is something nasty, something wrong, in the feeling she excites in me.
I have been told that her brother Anatole was in love with her and she
with him, that there was quite a scandal and that that's why he was sent
away. Hippolyte is her brother... Prince Vasili is her father... It's
bad...." he reflected, but while he was thinking this (the reflection
was still incomplete), he caught himself smiling and was conscious
that another line of thought had sprung up, and while thinking of her
worthlessness he was also dreaming of how she would be his wife, how she
would love him become quite different, and how all he had thought and
heard of her might be false. And he again saw her not as the daughter
of Prince Vasili, but visualized her whole body only veiled by its gray
dress. "But no! Why did this thought never occur to me before?" and
again he told himself that it was impossible, that there would be
something unnatural, and as it seemed to him dishonorable, in this
marriage. He recalled her former words and looks and the words and looks
of those who had seen them together. He recalled Anna Pavlovna's words
and looks when she spoke to him about his house, recalled thousands of
such hints from Prince Vasili and others, and was seized by terror lest
he had already, in some way, bound himself to do something that was
evidently wrong and that he ought not to do. But at the very time he was
expressing this conviction to himself, in another part of his mind her
image rose in all its womanly beauty.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II

 

In November, 1805, Prince Vasili had to go on a tour of inspection in
four different provinces. He had arranged this for himself so as to
visit his neglected estates at the same time and pick up his son Anatole
where his regiment was stationed, and take him to visit Prince Nicholas
Bolkonski in order to arrange a match for him with the daughter of that
rich old man. But before leaving home and undertaking these new affairs,
Prince Vasili had to settle matters with Pierre, who, it is true, had
latterly spent whole days at home, that is, in Prince Vasili's house
where he was staying, and had been absurd, excited, and foolish in
Helene's presence (as a lover should be), but had not yet proposed to
her.

"This is all very fine, but things must be settled," said Prince Vasili
to himself, with a sorrowful sigh, one morning, feeling that Pierre
who was under such obligations to him ("But never mind that") was not
behaving very well in this matter. "Youth, frivolity... well, God be
with him," thought he, relishing his own goodness of heart, "but it must
be brought to a head. The day after tomorrow will be Lelya's name day.
I will invite two or three people, and if he does not understand what he
ought to do then it will be my affair--yes, my affair. I am her father."

Six weeks after Anna Pavlovna's "At Home" and after the sleepless night
when he had decided that to marry Helene would be a calamity and that he
ought to avoid her and go away, Pierre, despite that decision, had not
left Prince Vasili's and felt with terror that in people's eyes he was
every day more and more connected with her, that it was impossible for
him to return to his former conception of her, that he could not break
away from her, and that though it would be a terrible thing he would
have to unite his fate with hers. He might perhaps have been able
to free himself but that Prince Vasili (who had rarely before given
receptions) now hardly let a day go by without having an evening party
at which Pierre had to be present unless he wished to spoil the general
pleasure and disappoint everyone's expectation. Prince Vasili, in the
rare moments when he was at home, would take Pierre's hand in passing
and draw it downwards, or absent-mindedly hold out his wrinkled,
clean-shaven cheek for Pierre to kiss and would say: "Till tomorrow,"
or, "Be in to dinner or I shall not see you," or, "I am staying in for
your sake," and so on. And though Prince Vasili, when he stayed in (as
he said) for Pierre's sake, hardly exchanged a couple of words with him,
Pierre felt unable to disappoint him. Every day he said to himself one
and the same thing: "It is time I understood her and made up my mind
what she really is. Was I mistaken before, or am I mistaken now? No, she
is not stupid, she is an excellent girl," he sometimes said to himself
"she never makes a mistake, never says anything stupid. She says little,
but what she does say is always clear and simple, so she is not stupid.
She never was abashed and is not abashed now, so she cannot be a bad
woman!" He had often begun to make reflections or think aloud in
her company, and she had always answered him either by a brief but
appropriate remark--showing that it did not interest her--or by a silent
look and smile which more palpably than anything else showed Pierre her
superiority. She was right in regarding all arguments as nonsense in
comparison with that smile.

She always addressed him with a radiantly confiding smile meant for him
alone, in which there was something more significant than in the general
smile that usually brightened her face. Pierre knew that everyone was
waiting for him to say a word and cross a certain line, and he knew that
sooner or later he would step across it, but an incomprehensible terror
seized him at the thought of that dreadful step. A thousand times during
that month and a half while he felt himself drawn nearer and nearer to
that dreadful abyss, Pierre said to himself: "What am I doing? I need
resolution. Can it be that I have none?"

He wished to take a decision, but felt with dismay that in this matter
he lacked that strength of will which he had known in himself and really
possessed. Pierre was one of those who are only strong when they feel
themselves quite innocent, and since that day when he was overpowered by
a feeling of desire while stooping over the snuffbox at Anna Pavlovna's,
an unacknowledged sense of the guilt of that desire paralyzed his will.

On Helene's name day, a small party of just their own people--as his
wife said--met for supper at Prince Vasili's. All these friends and
relations had been given to understand that the fate of the young girl
would be decided that evening. The visitors were seated at supper.
Princess Kuragina, a portly imposing woman who had once been handsome,
was sitting at the head of the table. On either side of her sat the
more important guests--an old general and his wife, and Anna Pavlovna
Scherer. At the other end sat the younger and less important guests, and
there too sat the members of the family, and Pierre and Helene, side by
side. Prince Vasili was not having any supper: he went round the table
in a merry mood, sitting down now by one, now by another, of the guests.
To each of them he made some careless and agreeable remark except to
Pierre and Helene, whose presence he seemed not to notice. He enlivened
the whole party. The wax candles burned brightly, the silver and crystal
gleamed, so did the ladies' toilets and the gold and silver of the
men's epaulets; servants in scarlet liveries moved round the table, the
clatter of plates, knives, and glasses mingled with the animated hum of
several conversations. At one end of the table, the old chamberlain was
heard assuring an old baroness that he loved her passionately, at which
she laughed; at the other could be heard the story of the misfortunes of
some Mary Viktorovna or other. At the center of the table, Prince Vasili
attracted everybody's attention. With a facetious smile on his face, he
was telling the ladies about last Wednesday's meeting of the Imperial
Council, at which Sergey Kuzmich Vyazmitinov, the new military governor
general of Petersburg, had received and read the then famous rescript
of the Emperor Alexander from the army to Sergey Kuzmich, in which the
Emperor said that he was receiving from all sides declarations of
the people's loyalty, that the declaration from Petersburg gave him
particular pleasure, and that he was proud to be at the head of such a
nation and would endeavor to be worthy of it. This rescript began with
the words: "Sergey Kuzmich, From all sides reports reach me," etc.

"Well, and so he never got farther than: 'Sergey Kuzmich'?" asked one of
the ladies.

"Exactly, not a hair's breadth farther," answered Prince Vasili,
laughing, "'Sergey Kuzmich... From all sides... From all sides... Sergey
Kuzmich...' Poor Vyazmitinov could not get any farther! He began the
rescript again and again, but as soon as he uttered 'Sergey' he sobbed,
'Kuz-mi-ch,' tears, and 'From all sides' was smothered in sobs and he
could get no farther. And again his handkerchief, and again: 'Sergey
Kuzmich, From all sides,'... and tears, till at last somebody else was
asked to read it."

"Kuzmich... From all sides... and then tears," someone repeated
laughing.

"Don't be unkind," cried Anna Pavlovna from her end of the table holding
up a threatening finger. "He is such a worthy and excellent man, our
dear Vyazmitinov...."

Everybody laughed a great deal. At the head of the table, where the
honored guests sat, everyone seemed to be in high spirits and under the
influence of a variety of exciting sensations. Only Pierre and
Helene sat silently side by side almost at the bottom of the table, a
suppressed smile brightening both their faces, a smile that had nothing
to do with Sergey Kuzmich--a smile of bashfulness at their own feelings.
But much as all the rest laughed, talked, and joked, much as they
enjoyed their Rhine wine, saute, and ices, and however they avoided
looking at the young couple, and heedless and unobservant as they seemed
of them, one could feel by the occasional glances they gave that the
story about Sergey Kuzmich, the laughter, and the food were all a
pretense, and that the whole attention of that company was directed
to--Pierre and Helene. Prince Vasili mimicked the sobbing of Sergey
Kuzmich and at the same time his eyes glanced toward his daughter, and
while he laughed the expression on his face clearly said: "Yes... it's
getting on, it will all be settled today." Anna Pavlovna threatened
him on behalf of "our dear Vyazmitinov," and in her eyes, which, for an
instant, glanced at Pierre, Prince Vasili read a congratulation on his
future son-in-law and on his daughter's happiness. The old princess
sighed sadly as she offered some wine to the old lady next to her and
glanced angrily at her daughter, and her sigh seemed to say: "Yes,
there's nothing left for you and me but to sip sweet wine, my dear,
now that the time has come for these young ones to be thus boldly,
provocatively happy." "And what nonsense all this is that I am saying!"
thought a diplomatist, glancing at the happy faces of the lovers.
"That's happiness!"

Into the insignificant, trifling, and artificial interests uniting that
society had entered the simple feeling of the attraction of a healthy
and handsome young man and woman for one another. And this human feeling
dominated everything else and soared above all their affected chatter.
Jests fell flat, news was not interesting, and the animation was
evidently forced. Not only the guests but even the footmen waiting at
table seemed to feel this, and they forgot their duties as they looked
at the beautiful Helene with her radiant face and at the red, broad, and
happy though uneasy face of Pierre. It seemed as if the very light of
the candles was focused on those two happy faces alone.

Pierre felt that he was the center of it all, and this both pleased and
embarrassed him. He was like a man entirely absorbed in some occupation.
He did not see, hear, or understand anything clearly. Only now and
then detached ideas and impressions from the world of reality shot
unexpectedly through his mind.

"So it is all finished!" he thought. "And how has it all happened? How
quickly! Now I know that not because of her alone, nor of myself alone,
but because of everyone, it must inevitably come about. They are all
expecting it, they are so sure that it will happen that I cannot, I
cannot, disappoint them. But how will it be? I do not know, but it will
certainly happen!" thought Pierre, glancing at those dazzling shoulders
close to his eyes.

Or he would suddenly feel ashamed of he knew not what. He felt it
awkward to attract everyone's attention and to be considered a lucky man
and, with his plain face, to be looked on as a sort of Paris possessed
of a Helen. "But no doubt it always is and must be so!" he consoled
himself. "And besides, what have I done to bring it about? How did
it begin? I traveled from Moscow with Prince Vasili. Then there was
nothing. So why should I not stay at his house? Then I played cards with
her and picked up her reticule and drove out with her. How did it begin,
when did it all come about?" And here he was sitting by her side as her
betrothed, seeing, hearing, feeling her nearness, her breathing, her
movements, her beauty. Then it would suddenly seem to him that it was
not she but he was so unusually beautiful, and that that was why they
all looked so at him, and flattered by this general admiration he would
expand his chest, raise his head, and rejoice at his good fortune.
Suddenly he heard a familiar voice repeating something to him a second
time. But Pierre was so absorbed that he did not understand what was
said.

"I am asking you when you last heard from Bolkonski," repeated Prince
Vasili a third time. "How absent-minded you are, my dear fellow."

Prince Vasili smiled, and Pierre noticed that everyone was smiling at
him and Helene. "Well, what of it, if you all know it?" thought Pierre.
"What of it? It's the truth!" and he himself smiled his gentle childlike
smile, and Helene smiled too.

"When did you get the letter? Was it from Olmutz?" repeated Prince
Vasili, who pretended to want to know this in order to settle a dispute.

"How can one talk or think of such trifles?" thought Pierre.

"Yes, from Olmutz," he answered, with a sigh.

After supper Pierre with his partner followed the others into the
drawing room. The guests began to disperse, some without taking leave
of Helene. Some, as if unwilling to distract her from an important
occupation, came up to her for a moment and made haste to go away,
refusing to let her see them off. The diplomatist preserved a mournful
silence as he left the drawing room. He pictured the vanity of his
diplomatic career in comparison with Pierre's happiness. The old general
grumbled at his wife when she asked how his leg was. "Oh, the old fool,"
he thought. "That Princess Helene will be beautiful still when she's
fifty."

"I think I may congratulate you," whispered Anna Pavlovna to the old
princess, kissing her soundly. "If I hadn't this headache I'd have
stayed longer."

The old princess did not reply, she was tormented by jealousy of her
daughter's happiness.

While the guests were taking their leave Pierre remained for a long time
alone with Helene in the little drawing room where they were sitting.
He had often before, during the last six weeks, remained alone with her,
but had never spoken to her of love. Now he felt that it was inevitable,
but he could not make up his mind to take the final step. He felt
ashamed; he felt that he was occupying someone else's place here beside
Helene. "This happiness is not for you," some inner voice whispered to
him. "This happiness is for those who have not in them what there is in
you."

But, as he had to say something, he began by asking her whether she was
satisfied with the party. She replied in her usual simple manner that
this name day of hers had been one of the pleasantest she had ever had.

Some of the nearest relatives had not yet left. They were sitting in
the large drawing room. Prince Vasili came up to Pierre with languid
footsteps. Pierre rose and said it was getting late. Prince Vasili gave
him a look of stern inquiry, as though what Pierre had just said was
so strange that one could not take it in. But then the expression of
severity changed, and he drew Pierre's hand downwards, made him sit
down, and smiled affectionately.

"Well, Lelya?" he asked, turning instantly to his daughter and
addressing her with the careless tone of habitual tenderness natural to
parents who have petted their children from babyhood, but which Prince
Vasili had only acquired by imitating other parents.

And he again turned to Pierre.

"Sergey Kuzmich--From all sides-" he said, unbuttoning the top button of
his waistcoat.

Pierre smiled, but his smile showed that he knew it was not the story
about Sergey Kuzmich that interested Prince Vasili just then, and Prince
Vasili saw that Pierre knew this. He suddenly muttered something and
went away. It seemed to Pierre that even the prince was disconcerted.
The sight of the discomposure of that old man of the world touched
Pierre: he looked at Helene and she too seemed disconcerted, and her
look seemed to say: "Well, it is your own fault."

"The step must be taken but I cannot, I cannot!" thought Pierre, and he
again began speaking about indifferent matters, about Sergey Kuzmich,
asking what the point of the story was as he had not heard it properly.
Helene answered with a smile that she too had missed it.

When Prince Vasili returned to the drawing room, the princess, his wife,
was talking in low tones to the elderly lady about Pierre.

"Of course, it is a very brilliant match, but happiness, my dear..."

"Marriages are made in heaven," replied the elderly lady.

Prince Vasili passed by, seeming not to hear the ladies, and sat down on
a sofa in a far corner of the room. He closed his eyes and seemed to be
dozing. His head sank forward and then he roused himself.

"Aline," he said to his wife, "go and see what they are about."

The princess went up to the door, passed by it with a dignified and
indifferent air, and glanced into the little drawing room. Pierre and
Helene still sat talking just as before.

"Still the same," she said to her husband.

Prince Vasili frowned, twisting his mouth, his cheeks quivered and his
face assumed the coarse, unpleasant expression peculiar to him. Shaking
himself, he rose, threw back his head, and with resolute steps went
past the ladies into the little drawing room. With quick steps he went
joyfully up to Pierre. His face was so unusually triumphant that Pierre
rose in alarm on seeing it.

"Thank God!" said Prince Vasili. "My wife has told me everything!" (He
put one arm around Pierre and the other around his daughter.)--"My dear
boy... Lelya... I am very pleased." (His voice trembled.) "I loved your
father... and she will make you a good wife... God bless you!..."

He embraced his daughter, and then again Pierre, and kissed him with his
malodorous mouth. Tears actually moistened his cheeks.

"Princess, come here!" he shouted.

The old princess came in and also wept. The elderly lady was using
her handkerchief too. Pierre was kissed, and he kissed the beautiful
Helene's hand several times. After a while they were left alone again.

"All this had to be and could not be otherwise," thought Pierre, "so
it is useless to ask whether it is good or bad. It is good because it's
definite and one is rid of the old tormenting doubt." Pierre held the
hand of his betrothed in silence, looking at her beautiful bosom as it
rose and fell.

"Helene!" he said aloud and paused.

"Something special is always said in such cases," he thought, but could
not remember what it was that people say. He looked at her face. She
drew nearer to him. Her face flushed.

"Oh, take those off... those..." she said, pointing to his spectacles.

Pierre took them off, and his eyes, besides the strange look eyes have
from which spectacles have just been removed, had also a frightened and
inquiring look. He was about to stoop over her hand and kiss it, but
with a rapid, almost brutal movement of her head, she intercepted his
lips and met them with her own. Her face struck Pierre, by its altered,
unpleasantly excited expression.

"It is too late now, it's done; besides I love her," thought Pierre.

"Je vous aime!" * he said, remembering what has to be said at such
moments: but his words sounded so weak that he felt ashamed of himself.

 

* "I love you."

 

Six weeks later he was married, and settled in Count Bezukhov's large,
newly furnished Petersburg house, the happy possessor, as people said,
of a wife who was a celebrated beauty and of millions of money.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III

 

Old Prince Nicholas Bolkonski received a letter from Prince Vasili in
November, 1805, announcing that he and his son would be paying him a
visit. "I am starting on a journey of inspection, and of course I shall
think nothing of an extra seventy miles to come and see you at the same
time, my honored benefactor," wrote Prince Vasili. "My son Anatole is
accompanying me on his way to the army, so I hope you will allow him
personally to express the deep respect that, emulating his father, he
feels for you."

"It seems that there will be no need to bring Mary out, suitors are
coming to us of their own accord," incautiously remarked the little
princess on hearing the news.

Prince Nicholas frowned, but said nothing.

A fortnight after the letter Prince Vasili's servants came one evening
in advance of him, and he and his son arrived next day.

Old Bolkonski had always had a poor opinion of Prince Vasili's
character, but more so recently, since in the new reigns of Paul and
Alexander Prince Vasili had risen to high position and honors. And now,
from the hints contained in his letter and given by the little princess,
he saw which way the wind was blowing, and his low opinion changed into
a feeling of contemptuous ill will. He snorted whenever he mentioned
him. On the day of Prince Vasili's arrival, Prince Bolkonski was
particularly discontented and out of temper. Whether he was in a bad
temper because Prince Vasili was coming, or whether his being in a bad
temper made him specially annoyed at Prince Vasili's visit, he was in a
bad temper, and in the morning Tikhon had already advised the architect
not to go to the prince with his report.

"Do you hear how he's walking?" said Tikhon, drawing the architect's
attention to the sound of the prince's footsteps. "Stepping flat on his
heels--we know what that means...."

However, at nine o'clock the prince, in his velvet coat with a sable
collar and cap, went out for his usual walk. It had snowed the day
before and the path to the hothouse, along which the prince was in the
habit of walking, had been swept: the marks of the broom were still
visible in the snow and a shovel had been left sticking in one of the
soft snowbanks that bordered both sides of the path. The prince went
through the conservatories, the serfs' quarters, and the outbuildings,
frowning and silent.

"Can a sleigh pass?" he asked his overseer, a venerable man, resembling
his master in manners and looks, who was accompanying him back to the
house.

"The snow is deep. I am having the avenue swept, your honor."

The prince bowed his head and went up to the porch. "God be thanked,"
thought the overseer, "the storm has blown over!"

"It would have been hard to drive up, your honor," he added. "I heard,
your honor, that a minister is coming to visit your honor."

The prince turned round to the overseer and fixed his eyes on him,
frowning.

"What? A minister? What minister? Who gave orders?" he said in his
shrill, harsh voice. "The road is not swept for the princess my
daughter, but for a minister! For me, there are no ministers!"

"Your honor, I thought..."

"You thought!" shouted the prince, his words coming more and more
rapidly and indistinctly. "You thought!... Rascals! Blackguards!... I'll
teach you to think!" and lifting his stick he swung it and would have
hit Alpatych, the overseer, had not the latter instinctively avoided the
blow. "Thought... Blackguards..." shouted the prince rapidly.

But although Alpatych, frightened at his own temerity in avoiding the
stroke, came up to the prince, bowing his bald head resignedly before
him, or perhaps for that very reason, the prince, though he continued to
shout: "Blackguards!... Throw the snow back on the road!" did not lift
his stick again but hurried into the house.

Before dinner, Princess Mary and Mademoiselle Bourienne, who knew
that the prince was in a bad humor, stood awaiting him; Mademoiselle
Bourienne with a radiant face that said: "I know nothing, I am the same
as usual," and Princess Mary pale, frightened, and with downcast eyes.
What she found hardest to bear was to know that on such occasions she
ought to behave like Mademoiselle Bourienne, but could not. She thought:
"If I seem not to notice he will think that I do not sympathize with
him; if I seem sad and out of spirits myself, he will say (as he has
done before) that I'm in the dumps."

The prince looked at his daughter's frightened face and snorted.

"Fool... or dummy!" he muttered.

"And the other one is not here. They've been telling tales," he
thought--referring to the little princess who was not in the dining
room.

"Where is the princess?" he asked. "Hiding?"

"She is not very well," answered Mademoiselle Bourienne with a bright
smile, "so she won't come down. It is natural in her state."

"Hm! Hm!" muttered the prince, sitting down.

His plate seemed to him not quite clean, and pointing to a spot he
flung it away. Tikhon caught it and handed it to a footman. The little
princess was not unwell, but had such an overpowering fear of the prince
that, hearing he was in a bad humor, she had decided not to appear.

"I am afraid for the baby," she said to Mademoiselle Bourienne: "Heaven
knows what a fright might do."

In general at Bald Hills the little princess lived in constant fear, and
with a sense of antipathy to the old prince which she did not
realize because the fear was so much the stronger feeling. The prince
reciprocated this antipathy, but it was overpowered by his contempt
for her. When the little princess had grown accustomed to life at Bald
Hills, she took a special fancy to Mademoiselle Bourienne, spent whole
days with her, asked her to sleep in her room, and often talked with her
about the old prince and criticized him.

"So we are to have visitors, mon prince?" remarked Mademoiselle
Bourienne, unfolding her white napkin with her rosy fingers. "His
Excellency Prince Vasili Kuragin and his son, I understand?" she said
inquiringly.

"Hm!--his excellency is a puppy.... I got him his appointment in the
service," said the prince disdainfully. "Why his son is coming I don't
understand. Perhaps Princess Elizabeth and Princess Mary know. I don't
want him." (He looked at his blushing daughter.) "Are you unwell today?
Eh? Afraid of the 'minister' as that idiot Alpatych called him this
morning?"

"No, mon pere."

Though Mademoiselle Bourienne had been so unsuccessful in her choice
of a subject, she did not stop talking, but chattered about the
conservatories and the beauty of a flower that had just opened, and
after the soup the prince became more genial.

After dinner, he went to see his daughter-in-law. The little princess
was sitting at a small table, chattering with Masha, her maid. She grew
pale on seeing her father-in-law.

She was much altered. She was now plain rather than pretty. Her cheeks
had sunk, her lip was drawn up, and her eyes drawn down.

"Yes, I feel a kind of oppression," she said in reply to the prince's
question as to how she felt.

"Do you want anything?"

"No, merci, mon pere."

"Well, all right, all right."

He left the room and went to the waiting room where Alpatych stood with
bowed head.

"Has the snow been shoveled back?"

"Yes, your excellency. Forgive me for heaven's sake... It was only my
stupidity."

"All right, all right," interrupted the prince, and laughing his
unnatural way, he stretched out his hand for Alpatych to kiss, and then
proceeded to his study.

Prince Vasili arrived that evening. He was met in the avenue by coachmen
and footmen, who, with loud shouts, dragged his sleighs up to one of the
lodges over the road purposely laden with snow.

Prince Vasili and Anatole had separate rooms assigned to them.

Anatole, having taken off his overcoat, sat with arms akimbo before a
table on a corner of which he smilingly and absent-mindedly fixed his
large and handsome eyes. He regarded his whole life as a continual round
of amusement which someone for some reason had to provide for him.
And he looked on this visit to a churlish old man and a rich and ugly
heiress in the same way. All this might, he thought, turn out very well
and amusingly. "And why not marry her if she really has so much money?
That never does any harm," thought Anatole.

He shaved and scented himself with the care and elegance which had
become habitual to him and, his handsome head held high, entered his
father's room with the good-humored and victorious air natural to him.
Prince Vasili's two valets were busy dressing him, and he looked round
with much animation and cheerfully nodded to his son as the latter
entered, as if to say: "Yes, that's how I want you to look."

"I say, Father, joking apart, is she very hideous?" Anatole asked, as if
continuing a conversation the subject of which had often been mentioned
during the journey.

"Enough! What nonsense! Above all, try to be respectful and cautious
with the old prince."

"If he starts a row I'll go away," said Prince Anatole. "I can't bear
those old men! Eh?"

"Remember, for you everything depends on this."

In the meantime, not only was it known in the maidservants' rooms that
the minister and his son had arrived, but the appearance of both had
been minutely described. Princess Mary was sitting alone in her room,
vainly trying to master her agitation.

"Why did they write, why did Lise tell me about it? It can never
happen!" she said, looking at herself in the glass. "How shall I enter
the drawing room? Even if I like him I can't now be myself with him."
The mere thought of her father's look filled her with terror. The little
princess and Mademoiselle Bourienne had already received from Masha,
the lady's maid, the necessary report of how handsome the minister's son
was, with his rosy cheeks and dark eyebrows, and with what difficulty
the father had dragged his legs upstairs while the son had followed him
like an eagle, three steps at a time. Having received this information,
the little princess and Mademoiselle Bourienne, whose chattering voices
had reached her from the corridor, went into Princess Mary's room.

"You know they've come, Marie?" said the little princess, waddling in,
and sinking heavily into an armchair.

She was no longer in the loose gown she generally wore in the morning,
but had on one of her best dresses. Her hair was carefully done and her
face was animated, which, however, did not conceal its sunken and faded
outlines. Dressed as she used to be in Petersburg society, it was still
more noticeable how much plainer she had become. Some unobtrusive touch
had been added to Mademoiselle Bourienne's toilet which rendered her
fresh and pretty face yet more attractive.

"What! Are you going to remain as you are, dear princess?" she began.
"They'll be announcing that the gentlemen are in the drawing room and we
shall have to go down, and you have not smartened yourself up at all!"

The little princess got up, rang for the maid, and hurriedly and merrily
began to devise and carry out a plan of how Princess Mary should be
dressed. Princess Mary's self-esteem was wounded by the fact that
the arrival of a suitor agitated her, and still more so by both her
companions' not having the least conception that it could be otherwise.
To tell them that she felt ashamed for herself and for them would be to
betray her agitation, while to decline their offers to dress her would
prolong their banter and insistence. She flushed, her beautiful eyes
grew dim, red blotches came on her face, and it took on the unattractive
martyrlike expression it so often wore, as she submitted herself to
Mademoiselle Bourienne and Lise. Both these women quite sincerely tried
to make her look pretty. She was so plain that neither of them could
think of her as a rival, so they began dressing her with perfect
sincerity, and with the naive and firm conviction women have that dress
can make a face pretty.

"No really, my dear, this dress is not pretty," said Lise, looking
sideways at Princess Mary from a little distance. "You have a maroon
dress, have it fetched. Really! You know the fate of your whole life may
be at stake. But this one is too light, it's not becoming!"

It was not the dress, but the face and whole figure of Princess Mary
that was not pretty, but neither Mademoiselle Bourienne nor the little
princess felt this; they still thought that if a blue ribbon were placed
in the hair, the hair combed up, and the blue scarf arranged lower on
the best maroon dress, and so on, all would be well. They forgot that
the frightened face and the figure could not be altered, and that
however they might change the setting and adornment of that face, it
would still remain piteous and plain. After two or three changes to
which Princess Mary meekly submitted, just as her hair had been arranged
on the top of her head (a style that quite altered and spoiled her
looks) and she had put on a maroon dress with a pale-blue scarf, the
little princess walked twice round her, now adjusting a fold of the
dress with her little hand, now arranging the scarf and looking at her
with her head bent first on one side and then on the other.

"No, it will not do," she said decidedly, clasping her hands. "No, Mary,
really this dress does not suit you. I prefer you in your little gray
everyday dress. Now please, do it for my sake. Katie," she said to the
maid, "bring the princess her gray dress, and you'll see, Mademoiselle
Bourienne, how I shall arrange it," she added, smiling with a foretaste
of artistic pleasure.

But when Katie brought the required dress, Princess Mary remained
sitting motionless before the glass, looking at her face, and saw in the
mirror her eyes full of tears and her mouth quivering, ready to burst
into sobs.

"Come, dear princess," said Mademoiselle Bourienne, "just one more
little effort."

The little princess, taking the dress from the maid, came up to Princess
Mary.

"Well, now we'll arrange something quite simple and becoming," she said.

The three voices, hers, Mademoiselle Bourienne's, and Katie's, who was
laughing at something, mingled in a merry sound, like the chirping of
birds.

"No, leave me alone," said Princess Mary.

Her voice sounded so serious and so sad that the chirping of the birds
was silenced at once. They looked at the beautiful, large, thoughtful
eyes full of tears and of thoughts, gazing shiningly and imploringly at
them, and understood that it was useless and even cruel to insist.

"At least, change your coiffure," said the little princess. "Didn't I
tell you," she went on, turning reproachfully to Mademoiselle Bourienne,
"Mary's is a face which such a coiffure does not suit in the least. Not
in the least! Please change it."

"Leave me alone, please leave me alone! It is all quite the same to me,"
answered a voice struggling with tears.

Mademoiselle Bourienne and the little princess had to own to themselves
that Princess Mary in this guise looked very plain, worse than usual,
but it was too late. She was looking at them with an expression they
both knew, an expression thoughtful and sad. This expression in Princess
Mary did not frighten them (she never inspired fear in anyone), but they
knew that when it appeared on her face, she became mute and was not to
be shaken in her determination.

"You will change it, won't you?" said Lise. And as Princess Mary gave no
answer, she left the room.

Princess Mary was left alone. She did not comply with Lise's request,
she not only left her hair as it was, but did not even look in her
glass. Letting her arms fall helplessly, she sat with downcast eyes and
pondered. A husband, a man, a strong dominant and strangely attractive
being rose in her imagination, and carried her into a totally different
happy world of his own. She fancied a child, her own--such as she had
seen the day before in the arms of her nurse's daughter--at her own
breast, the husband standing by and gazing tenderly at her and the
child. "But no, it is impossible, I am too ugly," she thought.

"Please come to tea. The prince will be out in a moment," came the
maid's voice at the door.

She roused herself, and felt appalled at what she had been thinking, and
before going down she went into the room where the icons hung and, her
eyes fixed on the dark face of a large icon of the Saviour lit by a
lamp, she stood before it with folded hands for a few moments. A painful
doubt filled her soul. Could the joy of love, of earthly love for a
man, be for her? In her thoughts of marriage Princess Mary dreamed of
happiness and of children, but her strongest, most deeply hidden longing
was for earthly love. The more she tried to hide this feeling from
others and even from herself, the stronger it grew. "O God," she said,
"how am I to stifle in my heart these temptations of the devil? How am I
to renounce forever these vile fancies, so as peacefully to fulfill
Thy will?" And scarcely had she put that question than God gave her the
answer in her own heart. "Desire nothing for thyself, seek nothing, be
not anxious or envious. Man's future and thy own fate must remain hidden
from thee, but live so that thou mayest be ready for anything. If it be
God's will to prove thee in the duties of marriage, be ready to fulfill
His will." With this consoling thought (but yet with a hope for the
fulfillment of her forbidden earthly longing) Princess Mary sighed,
and having crossed herself went down, thinking neither of her gown and
coiffure nor of how she would go in nor of what she would say. What
could all that matter in comparison with the will of God, without Whose
care not a hair of man's head can fall?

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV

 

When Princess Mary came down, Prince Vasili and his son were already
in the drawing room, talking to the little princess and Mademoiselle
Bourienne. When she entered with her heavy step, treading on her heels,
the gentlemen and Mademoiselle Bourienne rose and the little princess,
indicating her to the gentlemen, said: "Voila Marie!" Princess Mary saw
them all and saw them in detail. She saw Prince Vasili's face, serious
for an instant at the sight of her, but immediately smiling again, and
the little princess curiously noting the impression "Marie" produced on
the visitors. And she saw Mademoiselle Bourienne, with her ribbon and
pretty face, and her unusually animated look which was fixed on him,
but him she could not see, she only saw something large, brilliant,
and handsome moving toward her as she entered the room. Prince Vasili
approached first, and she kissed the bold forehead that bent over her
hand and answered his question by saying that, on the contrary, she
remembered him quite well. Then Anatole came up to her. She still could
not see him. She only felt a soft hand taking hers firmly, and she
touched with her lips a white forehead, over which was beautiful
light-brown hair smelling of pomade. When she looked up at him she was
struck by his beauty. Anatole stood with his right thumb under a button
of his uniform, his chest expanded and his back drawn in, slightly
swinging one foot, and, with his head a little bent, looked with beaming
face at the princess without speaking and evidently not thinking about
her at all. Anatole was not quick-witted, nor ready or eloquent in
conversation, but he had the faculty, so invaluable in society, of
composure and imperturbable self-possession. If a man lacking in
self-confidence remains dumb on a first introduction and betrays a
consciousness of the impropriety of such silence and an anxiety to find
something to say, the effect is bad. But Anatole was dumb, swung his
foot, and smilingly examined the princess' hair. It was evident that he
could be silent in this way for a very long time. "If anyone finds this
silence inconvenient, let him talk, but I don't want to," he seemed to
say. Besides this, in his behavior to women Anatole had a manner
which particularly inspires in them curiosity, awe, and even love--a
supercilious consciousness of his own superiority. It was as if he said
to them: "I know you, I know you, but why should I bother about you?
You'd be only too glad, of course." Perhaps he did not really think this
when he met women--even probably he did not, for in general he thought
very little--but his looks and manner gave that impression. The princess
felt this, and as if wishing to show him that she did not even dare
expect to interest him, she turned to his father. The conversation was
general and animated, thanks to Princess Lise's voice and little downy
lip that lifted over her white teeth. She met Prince Vasili with that
playful manner often employed by lively chatty people, and consisting
in the assumption that between the person they so address and themselves
there are some semi-private, long-established jokes and amusing
reminiscences, though no such reminiscences really exist--just as none
existed in this case. Prince Vasili readily adopted her tone and the
little princess also drew Anatole, whom she hardly knew, into these
amusing recollections of things that had never occurred. Mademoiselle
Bourienne also shared them and even Princess Mary felt herself
pleasantly made to share in these merry reminiscences.

"Here at least we shall have the benefit of your company all to
ourselves, dear prince," said the little princess (of course, in French)
to Prince Vasili. "It's not as at Annette's * receptions where you
always ran away; you remember cette chere Annette!"

 

* Anna Pavlovna.

 

"Ah, but you won't talk politics to me like Annette!"

"And our little tea table?"

"Oh, yes!"

"Why is it you were never at Annette's?" the little princess asked
Anatole. "Ah, I know, I know," she said with a sly glance, "your brother
Hippolyte told me about your goings on. Oh!" and she shook her finger at
him, "I have even heard of your doings in Paris!"

"And didn't Hippolyte tell you?" asked Prince Vasili, turning to his son
and seizing the little princess' arm as if she would have run away and
he had just managed to catch her, "didn't he tell you how he himself was
pining for the dear princess, and how she showed him the door? Oh, she
is a pearl among women, Princess," he added, turning to Princess Mary.

When Paris was mentioned, Mademoiselle Bourienne for her part seized the
opportunity of joining in the general current of recollections.

She took the liberty of inquiring whether it was long since Anatole
had left Paris and how he had liked that city. Anatole answered the
Frenchwoman very readily and, looking at her with a smile, talked to her
about her native land. When he saw the pretty little Bourienne, Anatole
came to the conclusion that he would not find Bald Hills dull either.
"Not at all bad!" he thought, examining her, "not at all bad, that
little companion! I hope she will bring her along with her when we're
married, la petite est gentille." *

 

* The little one is charming.

 

The old prince dressed leisurely in his study, frowning and considering
what he was to do. The coming of these visitors annoyed him. "What are
Prince Vasili and that son of his to me? Prince Vasili is a shallow
braggart and his son, no doubt, is a fine specimen," he grumbled to
himself. What angered him was that the coming of these visitors revived
in his mind an unsettled question he always tried to stifle, one about
which he always deceived himself. The question was whether he could ever
bring himself to part from his daughter and give her to a husband. The
prince never directly asked himself that question, knowing beforehand
that he would have to answer it justly, and justice clashed not only
with his feelings but with the very possibility of life. Life without
Princess Mary, little as he seemed to value her, was unthinkable to
him. "And why should she marry?" he thought. "To be unhappy for certain.
There's Lise, married to Andrew--a better husband one would think could
hardly be found nowadays--but is she contented with her lot? And who
would marry Marie for love? Plain and awkward! They'll take her for her
connections and wealth. Are there no women living unmarried, and even
the happier for it?" So thought Prince Bolkonski while dressing, and
yet the question he was always putting off demanded an immediate
answer. Prince Vasili had brought his son with the evident intention of
proposing, and today or tomorrow he would probably ask for an answer.
His birth and position in society were not bad. "Well, I've nothing
against it," the prince said to himself, "but he must be worthy of her.
And that is what we shall see."

"That is what we shall see! That is what we shall see!" he added aloud.

He entered the drawing room with his usual alert step, glancing rapidly
round the company. He noticed the change in the little princess' dress,
Mademoiselle Bourienne's ribbon, Princess Mary's unbecoming coiffure,
Mademoiselle Bourienne's and Anatole's smiles, and the loneliness of his
daughter amid the general conversation. "Got herself up like a fool!"
he thought, looking irritably at her. "She is shameless, and he ignores
her!"

He went straight up to Prince Vasili.

"Well! How d'ye do? How d'ye do? Glad to see you!"

"Friendship laughs at distance," began Prince Vasili in his usual rapid,
self-confident, familiar tone. "Here is my second son; please love and
befriend him."

Prince Bolkonski surveyed Anatole.

"Fine young fellow! Fine young fellow!" he said. "Well, come and kiss
me," and he offered his cheek.

Anatole kissed the old man, and looked at him with curiosity and perfect
composure, waiting for a display of the eccentricities his father had
told him to expect.

Prince Bolkonski sat down in his usual place in the corner of the sofa
and, drawing up an armchair for Prince Vasili, pointed to it and began
questioning him about political affairs and news. He seemed to listen
attentively to what Prince Vasili said, but kept glancing at Princess
Mary.

"And so they are writing from Potsdam already?" he said, repeating
Prince Vasili's last words. Then rising, he suddenly went up to his
daughter.

"Is it for visitors you've got yourself up like that, eh?" said he.
"Fine, very fine! You have done up your hair in this new way for the
visitors, and before the visitors I tell you that in future you are
never to dare to change your way of dress without my consent."

"It was my fault, mon pere," interceded the little princess, with a
blush.

"You must do as you please," said Prince Bolkonski, bowing to his
daughter-in-law, "but she need not make a fool of herself, she's plain
enough as it is."

And he sat down again, paying no more attention to his daughter, who was
reduced to tears.

"On the contrary, that coiffure suits the princess very well," said
Prince Vasili.

"Now you, young prince, what's your name?" said Prince Bolkonski,
turning to Anatole, "come here, let us talk and get acquainted."

"Now the fun begins," thought Anatole, sitting down with a smile beside
the old prince.

"Well, my dear boy, I hear you've been educated abroad, not taught to
read and write by the deacon, like your father and me. Now tell me,
my dear boy, are you serving in the Horse Guards?" asked the old man,
scrutinizing Anatole closely and intently.

"No, I have been transferred to the line," said Anatole, hardly able to
restrain his laughter.

"Ah! That's a good thing. So, my dear boy, you wish to serve the Tsar
and the country? It is wartime. Such a fine fellow must serve. Well, are
you off to the front?"

"No, Prince, our regiment has gone to the front, but I am attached...
what is it I am attached to, Papa?" said Anatole, turning to his father
with a laugh.

"A splendid soldier, splendid! 'What am I attached to!' Ha, ha, ha!"
laughed Prince Bolkonski, and Anatole laughed still louder. Suddenly
Prince Bolkonski frowned.

"You may go," he said to Anatole.

Anatole returned smiling to the ladies.

"And so you've had him educated abroad, Prince Vasili, haven't you?"
said the old prince to Prince Vasili.

"I have done my best for him, and I can assure you the education there
is much better than ours."

"Yes, everything is different nowadays, everything is changed. The lad's
a fine fellow, a fine fellow! Well, come with me now." He took Prince
Vasili's arm and led him to his study. As soon as they were alone
together, Prince Vasili announced his hopes and wishes to the old
prince.

"Well, do you think I shall prevent her, that I can't part from her?"
said the old prince angrily. "What an idea! I'm ready for it tomorrow!
Only let me tell you, I want to know my son-in-law better. You know
my principles--everything aboveboard? I will ask her tomorrow in your
presence; if she is willing, then he can stay on. He can stay and I'll
see." The old prince snorted. "Let her marry, it's all the same to me!"
he screamed in the same piercing tone as when parting from his son.

"I will tell you frankly," said Prince Vasili in the tone of a crafty
man convinced of the futility of being cunning with so keen-sighted
companion. "You know, you see right through people. Anatole is no
genius, but he is an honest, goodhearted lad; an excellent son or
kinsman."

"All right, all right, we'll see!"

As always happens when women lead lonely lives for any length of time
without male society, on Anatole's appearance all the three women of
Prince Bolkonski's household felt that their life had not been real
till then. Their powers of reasoning, feeling, and observing immediately
increased tenfold, and their life, which seemed to have been passed in
darkness, was suddenly lit up by a new brightness, full of significance.

Princess Mary grew quite unconscious of her face and coiffure. The
handsome open face of the man who might perhaps be her husband absorbed
all her attention. He seemed to her kind, brave, determined, manly, and
magnanimous. She felt convinced of that. Thousands of dreams of a future
family life continually rose in her imagination. She drove them away and
tried to conceal them.

"But am I not too cold with him?" thought the princess. "I try to be
reserved because in the depth of my soul I feel too near to him already,
but then he cannot know what I think of him and may imagine that I do
not like him."

And Princess Mary tried, but could not manage, to be cordial to her new
guest. "Poor girl, she's devilish ugly!" thought Anatole.

Mademoiselle Bourienne, also roused to great excitement by Anatole's
arrival, thought in another way. Of course, she, a handsome young woman
without any definite position, without relations or even a country, did
not intend to devote her life to serving Prince Bolkonski, to reading
aloud to him and being friends with Princess Mary. Mademoiselle
Bourienne had long been waiting for a Russian prince who, able to
appreciate at a glance her superiority to the plain, badly dressed,
ungainly Russian princesses, would fall in love with her and carry her
off; and here at last was a Russian prince. Mademoiselle Bourienne knew
a story, heard from her aunt but finished in her own way, which she
liked to repeat to herself. It was the story of a girl who had been
seduced, and to whom her poor mother (sa pauvre mere) appeared, and
reproached her for yielding to a man without being married. Mademoiselle
Bourienne was often touched to tears as in imagination she told this
story to him, her seducer. And now he, a real Russian prince, had
appeared. He would carry her away and then sa pauvre mere would appear
and he would marry her. So her future shaped itself in Mademoiselle
Bourienne's head at the very time she was talking to Anatole about
Paris. It was not calculation that guided her (she did not even for a
moment consider what she should do), but all this had long been familiar
to her, and now that Anatole had appeared it just grouped itself around
him and she wished and tried to please him as much as possible.

The little princess, like an old war horse that hears the trumpet,
unconsciously and quite forgetting her condition, prepared for the
familiar gallop of coquetry, without any ulterior motive or any
struggle, but with naive and lighthearted gaiety.

Although in female society Anatole usually assumed the role of a man
tired of being run after by women, his vanity was flattered by the
spectacle of his power over these three women. Besides that, he was
beginning to feel for the pretty and provocative Mademoiselle Bourienne
that passionate animal feeling which was apt to master him with great
suddenness and prompt him to the coarsest and most reckless actions.

After tea, the company went into the sitting room and Princess Mary was
asked to play on the clavichord. Anatole, laughing and in high spirits,
came and leaned on his elbows, facing her and beside Mademoiselle
Bourienne. Princess Mary felt his look with a painfully joyous emotion.
Her favorite sonata bore her into a most intimately poetic world and the
look she felt upon her made that world still more poetic. But Anatole's
expression, though his eyes were fixed on her, referred not to her but
to the movements of Mademoiselle Bourienne's little foot, which he was
then touching with his own under the clavichord. Mademoiselle Bourienne
was also looking at Princess Mary, and in her lovely eyes there was a
look of fearful joy and hope that was also new to the princess.

"How she loves me!" thought Princess Mary. "How happy I am now, and how
happy I may be with such a friend and such a husband! Husband? Can it
be possible?" she thought, not daring to look at his face, but still
feeling his eyes gazing at her.

In the evening, after supper, when all were about to retire, Anatole
kissed Princess Mary's hand. She did not know how she found the courage,
but she looked straight into his handsome face as it came near to her
shortsighted eyes. Turning from Princess Mary he went up and kissed
Mademoiselle Bourienne's hand. (This was not etiquette, but then he did
everything so simply and with such assurance!) Mademoiselle Bourienne
flushed, and gave the princess a frightened look.

"What delicacy!" thought the princess. "Is it possible that Amelie"
(Mademoiselle Bourienne) "thinks I could be jealous of her, and not
value her pure affection and devotion to me?" She went up to her and
kissed her warmly. Anatole went up to kiss the little princess' hand.

"No! No! No! When your father writes to tell me that you are behaving
well I will give you my hand to kiss. Not till then!" she said. And
smilingly raising a finger at him, she left the room.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER V

 

They all separated, but, except Anatole who fell asleep as soon as he
got into bed, all kept awake a long time that night.

"Is he really to be my husband, this stranger who is so kind--yes, kind,
that is the chief thing," thought Princess Mary; and fear, which she had
seldom experienced, came upon her. She feared to look round, it seemed
to her that someone was there standing behind the screen in the dark
corner. And this someone was he--the devil--and he was also this man
with the white forehead, black eyebrows, and red lips.

She rang for her maid and asked her to sleep in her room.

Mademoiselle Bourienne walked up and down the conservatory for a long
time that evening, vainly expecting someone, now smiling at someone, now
working herself up to tears with the imaginary words of her pauvre mere
rebuking her for her fall.

The little princess grumbled to her maid that her bed was badly made.
She could not lie either on her face or on her side. Every position was
awkward and uncomfortable, and her burden oppressed her now more than
ever because Anatole's presence had vividly recalled to her the time
when she was not like that and when everything was light and gay. She
sat in an armchair in her dressing jacket and nightcap and Katie, sleepy
and disheveled, beat and turned the heavy feather bed for the third
time, muttering to herself.

"I told you it was all lumps and holes!" the little princess repeated.
"I should be glad enough to fall asleep, so it's not my fault!" and her
voice quivered like that of a child about to cry.

The old prince did not sleep either. Tikhon, half asleep, heard him
pacing angrily about and snorting. The old prince felt as though he
had been insulted through his daughter. The insult was the more pointed
because it concerned not himself but another, his daughter, whom he
loved more than himself. He kept telling himself that he would consider
the whole matter and decide what was right and how he should act, but
instead of that he only excited himself more and more.

"The first man that turns up--she forgets her father and everything
else, runs upstairs and does up her hair and wags her tail and is unlike
herself! Glad to throw her father over! And she knew I should notice
it. Fr... fr... fr! And don't I see that that idiot had eyes only for
Bourienne--I shall have to get rid of her. And how is it she has not
pride enough to see it? If she has no pride for herself she might at
least have some for my sake! She must be shown that the blockhead thinks
nothing of her and looks only at Bourienne. No, she has no pride... but
I'll let her see...."

The old prince knew that if he told his daughter she was making a
mistake and that Anatole meant to flirt with Mademoiselle Bourienne,
Princess Mary's self-esteem would be wounded and his point (not to
be parted from her) would be gained, so pacifying himself with this
thought, he called Tikhon and began to undress.

"What devil brought them here?" thought he, while Tikhon was putting the
nightshirt over his dried-up old body and gray-haired chest. "I never
invited them. They came to disturb my life--and there is not much of it
left."

"Devil take 'em!" he muttered, while his head was still covered by the
shirt.

Tikhon knew his master's habit of sometimes thinking aloud, and
therefore met with unaltered looks the angrily inquisitive expression of
the face that emerged from the shirt.

"Gone to bed?" asked the prince.

Tikhon, like all good valets, instinctively knew the direction of his
master's thoughts. He guessed that the question referred to Prince
Vasili and his son.

"They have gone to bed and put out their lights, your excellency."

"No good... no good..." said the prince rapidly, and thrusting his feet
into his slippers and his arms into the sleeves of his dressing gown, he
went to the couch on which he slept.

Though no words had passed between Anatole and Mademoiselle Bourienne,
they quite understood one another as to the first part of their romance,
up to the appearance of the pauvre mere; they understood that they had
much to say to one another in private and so they had been seeking an
opportunity since morning to meet one another alone. When Princess Mary
went to her father's room at the usual hour, Mademoiselle Bourienne and
Anatole met in the conservatory.

Princess Mary went to the door of the study with special trepidation.
It seemed to her that not only did everybody know that her fate would be
decided that day, but that they also knew what she thought about it.
She read this in Tikhon's face and in that of Prince Vasili's valet, who
made her a low bow when she met him in the corridor carrying hot water.

The old prince was very affectionate and careful in his treatment of
his daughter that morning. Princess Mary well knew this painstaking
expression of her father's. His face wore that expression when his
dry hands clenched with vexation at her not understanding a sum in
arithmetic, when rising from his chair he would walk away from her,
repeating in a low voice the same words several times over.

He came to the point at once, treating her ceremoniously.

"I have had a proposition made me concerning you," he said with an
unnatural smile. "I expect you have guessed that Prince Vasili has not
come and brought his pupil with him" (for some reason Prince Bolkonski
referred to Anatole as a "pupil") "for the sake of my beautiful eyes.
Last night a proposition was made me on your account and, as you know my
principles, I refer it to you."

"How am I to understand you, mon pere?" said the princess, growing pale
and then blushing.

"How understand me!" cried her father angrily. "Prince Vasili finds you
to his taste as a daughter-in-law and makes a proposal to you on his
pupil's behalf. That's how it's to be understood! 'How understand
it'!... And I ask you!"

"I do not know what you think, Father," whispered the princess.

"I? I? What of me? Leave me out of the question. I'm not going to get
married. What about you? That's what I want to know."

The princess saw that her father regarded the matter with disapproval,
but at that moment the thought occurred to her that her fate would be
decided now or never. She lowered her eyes so as not to see the gaze
under which she felt that she could not think, but would only be able to
submit from habit, and she said: "I wish only to do your will, but if
I had to express my own desire..." She had no time to finish. The old
prince interrupted her.

"That's admirable!" he shouted. "He will take you with your dowry and
take Mademoiselle Bourienne into the bargain. She'll be the wife, while
you..."

The prince stopped. He saw the effect these words had produced on his
daughter. She lowered her head and was ready to burst into tears.

"Now then, now then, I'm only joking!" he said. "Remember this,
Princess, I hold to the principle that a maiden has a full right to
choose. I give you freedom. Only remember that your life's happiness
depends on your decision. Never mind me!"

"But I do not know, Father!"

"There's no need to talk! He receives his orders and will marry you or
anybody; but you are free to choose.... Go to your room, think it over,
and come back in an hour and tell me in his presence: yes or no. I know
you will pray over it. Well, pray if you like, but you had better think
it over. Go! Yes or no, yes or no, yes or no!" he still shouted when the
princess, as if lost in a fog, had already staggered out of the study.

Her fate was decided and happily decided. But what her father had said
about Mademoiselle Bourienne was dreadful. It was untrue to be sure, but
still it was terrible, and she could not help thinking of it. She was
going straight on through the conservatory, neither seeing nor hearing
anything, when suddenly the well-known whispering of Mademoiselle
Bourienne aroused her. She raised her eyes, and two steps away saw
Anatole embracing the Frenchwoman and whispering something to her. With
a horrified expression on his handsome face, Anatole looked at Princess
Mary, but did not at once take his arm from the waist of Mademoiselle
Bourienne who had not yet seen her.

"Who's that? Why? Wait a moment!" Anatole's face seemed to say. Princess
Mary looked at them in silence. She could not understand it. At last
Mademoiselle Bourienne gave a scream and ran away. Anatole bowed to
Princess Mary with a gay smile, as if inviting her to join in a laugh at
this strange incident, and then shrugging his shoulders went to the door
that led to his own apartments.

An hour later, Tikhon came to call Princess Mary to the old prince;
he added that Prince Vasili was also there. When Tikhon came to her
Princess Mary was sitting on the sofa in her room, holding the weeping
Mademoiselle Bourienne in her arms and gently stroking her hair. The
princess' beautiful eyes with all their former calm radiance were
looking with tender affection and pity at Mademoiselle Bourienne's
pretty face.

"No, Princess, I have lost your affection forever!" said Mademoiselle
Bourienne.

"Why? I love you more than ever," said Princess Mary, "and I will try to
do all I can for your happiness."

"But you despise me. You who are so pure can never understand being so
carried away by passion. Oh, only my poor mother..."

"I quite understand," answered Princess Mary, with a sad smile. "Calm
yourself, my dear. I will go to my father," she said, and went out.

Prince Vasili, with one leg thrown high over the other and a snuffbox in
his hand, was sitting there with a smile of deep emotion on his face,
as if stirred to his heart's core and himself regretting and laughing
at his own sensibility, when Princess Mary entered. He hurriedly took a
pinch of snuff.

"Ah, my dear, my dear!" he began, rising and taking her by both hands.
Then, sighing, he added: "My son's fate is in your hands. Decide, my
dear, good, gentle Marie, whom I have always loved as a daughter!"

He drew back and a real tear appeared in his eye.

"Fr... fr..." snorted Prince Bolkonski. "The prince is making a
proposition to you in his pupil's--I mean, his son's--name. Do you
wish or not to be Prince Anatole Kuragin's wife? Reply: yes or no," he
shouted, "and then I shall reserve the right to state my opinion also.
Yes, my opinion, and only my opinion," added Prince Bolkonski, turning
to Prince Vasili and answering his imploring look. "Yes, or no?"

"My desire is never to leave you, Father, never to separate my life
from yours. I don't wish to marry," she answered positively, glancing at
Prince Vasili and at her father with her beautiful eyes.

"Humbug! Nonsense! Humbug, humbug, humbug!" cried Prince Bolkonski,
frowning and taking his daughter's hand; he did not kiss her, but only
bending his forehead to hers just touched it, and pressed her hand so
that she winced and uttered a cry.

Prince Vasili rose.

"My dear, I must tell you that this is a moment I shall never, never
forget. But, my dear, will you not give us a little hope of touching
this heart, so kind and generous? Say 'perhaps'... The future is so
long. Say 'perhaps.'"

"Prince, what I have said is all there is in my heart. I thank you for
the honor, but I shall never be your son's wife."

"Well, so that's finished, my dear fellow! I am very glad to have seen
you. Very glad! Go back to your rooms, Princess. Go!" said the old
prince. "Very, very glad to have seen you," repeated he, embracing
Prince Vasili.

"My vocation is a different one," thought Princess Mary. "My vocation
is to be happy with another kind of happiness, the happiness of love
and self-sacrifice. And cost what it may, I will arrange poor Amelie's
happiness, she loves him so passionately, and so passionately repents. I
will do all I can to arrange the match between them. If he is not rich I
will give her the means; I will ask my father and Andrew. I shall be so
happy when she is his wife. She is so unfortunate, a stranger, alone,
helpless! And, oh God, how passionately she must love him if she could
so far forget herself! Perhaps I might have done the same!..." thought
Princess Mary.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI

 

It was long since the Rostovs had news of Nicholas. Not till
midwinter was the count at last handed a letter addressed in his son's
handwriting. On receiving it, he ran on tiptoe to his study in alarm and
haste, trying to escape notice, closed the door, and began to read the
letter.

Anna Mikhaylovna, who always knew everything that passed in the house,
on hearing of the arrival of the letter went softly into the room and
found the count with it in his hand, sobbing and laughing at the same
time.

Anna Mikhaylovna, though her circumstances had improved, was still
living with the Rostovs.

"My dear friend?" said she, in a tone of pathetic inquiry, prepared to
sympathize in any way.

The count sobbed yet more.

"Nikolenka... a letter... wa... a... s... wounded... my darling boy...
the countess... promoted to be an officer... thank God... How tell the
little countess!"

Anna Mikhaylovna sat down beside him, with her own handkerchief wiped
the tears from his eyes and from the letter, then having dried her
own eyes she comforted the count, and decided that at dinner and till
teatime she would prepare the countess, and after tea, with God's help,
would inform her.

At dinner Anna Mikhaylovna talked the whole time about the war news and
about Nikolenka, twice asked when the last letter had been received from
him, though she knew that already, and remarked that they might very
likely be getting a letter from him that day. Each time that these hints
began to make the countess anxious and she glanced uneasily at the
count and at Anna Mikhaylovna, the latter very adroitly turned the
conversation to insignificant matters. Natasha, who, of the whole
family, was the most gifted with a capacity to feel any shades of
intonation, look, and expression, pricked up her ears from the beginning
of the meal and was certain that there was some secret between her
father and Anna Mikhaylovna, that it had something to do with her
brother, and that Anna Mikhaylovna was preparing them for it. Bold as
she was, Natasha, who knew how sensitive her mother was to anything
relating to Nikolenka, did not venture to ask any questions at dinner,
but she was too excited to eat anything and kept wriggling about on her
chair regardless of her governess' remarks. After dinner, she rushed
head long after Anna Mikhaylovna and, dashing at her, flung herself on
her neck as soon as she overtook her in the sitting room.

"Auntie, darling, do tell me what it is!"

"Nothing, my dear."

"No, dearest, sweet one, honey, I won't give up--I know you know
something."

Anna Mikhaylovna shook her head.

"You are a little slyboots," she said.

"A letter from Nikolenka! I'm sure of it!" exclaimed Natasha, reading
confirmation in Anna Mikhaylovna's face.

"But for God's sake, be careful, you know how it may affect your mamma."

"I will, I will, only tell me! You won't? Then I will go and tell at
once."

Anna Mikhaylovna, in a few words, told her the contents of the letter,
on condition that she should tell no one.

"No, on my true word of honor," said Natasha, crossing herself, "I won't
tell anyone!" and she ran off at once to Sonya.

"Nikolenka... wounded... a letter," she announced in gleeful triumph.

"Nicholas!" was all Sonya said, instantly turning white.

Natasha, seeing the impression the news of her brother's wound produced
on Sonya, felt for the first time the sorrowful side of the news.

She rushed to Sonya, hugged her, and began to cry.

"A little wound, but he has been made an officer; he is well now, he
wrote himself," said she through her tears.

"There now! It's true that all you women are crybabies," remarked Petya,
pacing the room with large, resolute strides. "Now I'm very glad, very
glad indeed, that my brother has distinguished himself so. You are all
blubberers and understand nothing."

Natasha smiled through her tears.

"You haven't read the letter?" asked Sonya.

"No, but she said that it was all over and that he's now an officer."

"Thank God!" said Sonya, crossing herself. "But perhaps she deceived
you. Let us go to Mamma."

Petya paced the room in silence for a time.

"If I'd been in Nikolenka's place I would have killed even more of those
Frenchmen," he said. "What nasty brutes they are! I'd have killed so
many that there'd have been a heap of them."

"Hold your tongue, Petya, what a goose you are!"

"I'm not a goose, but they are who cry about trifles," said Petya.

"Do you remember him?" Natasha suddenly asked, after a moment's silence.

Sonya smiled.

"Do I remember Nicholas?"

"No, Sonya, but do you remember so that you remember him perfectly,
remember everything?" said Natasha, with an expressive gesture,
evidently wishing to give her words a very definite meaning. "I remember
Nikolenka too, I remember him well," she said. "But I don't remember
Boris. I don't remember him a bit."

"What! You don't remember Boris?" asked Sonya in surprise.

"It's not that I don't remember--I know what he is like, but not as I
remember Nikolenka. Him--I just shut my eyes and remember, but Boris...
No!" (She shut her eyes.) "No! there's nothing at all."

"Oh, Natasha!" said Sonya, looking ecstatically and earnestly at her
friend as if she did not consider her worthy to hear what she meant to
say and as if she were saying it to someone else, with whom joking was
out of the question, "I am in love with your brother once for all and,
whatever may happen to him or to me, shall never cease to love him as
long as I live."

Natasha looked at Sonya with wondering and inquisitive eyes, and said
nothing. She felt that Sonya was speaking the truth, that there was such
love as Sonya was speaking of. But Natasha had not yet felt anything
like it. She believed it could be, but did not understand it.

"Shall you write to him?" she asked.

Sonya became thoughtful. The question of how to write to Nicholas, and
whether she ought to write, tormented her. Now that he was already an
officer and a wounded hero, would it be right to remind him of herself
and, as it might seem, of the obligations to her he had taken on
himself?

"I don't know. I think if he writes, I will write too," she said,
blushing.

"And you won't feel ashamed to write to him?"

Sonya smiled.

"No."

"And I should be ashamed to write to Boris. I'm not going to."

"Why should you be ashamed?"

"Well, I don't know. It's awkward and would make me ashamed."

"And I know why she'd be ashamed," said Petya, offended by Natasha's
previous remark. "It's because she was in love with that fat one in
spectacles" (that was how Petya described his namesake, the new Count
Bezukhov) "and now she's in love with that singer" (he meant Natasha's
Italian singing master), "that's why she's ashamed!"

"Petya, you're a stupid!" said Natasha.

"Not more stupid than you, madam," said the nine-year-old Petya, with
the air of an old brigadier.

The countess had been prepared by Anna Mikhaylovna's hints at dinner.
On retiring to her own room, she sat in an armchair, her eyes fixed on a
miniature portrait of her son on the lid of a snuffbox, while the tears
kept coming into her eyes. Anna Mikhaylovna, with the letter, came on
tiptoe to the countess' door and paused.

"Don't come in," she said to the old count who was following her. "Come
later." And she went in, closing the door behind her.

The count put his ear to the keyhole and listened.

At first he heard the sound of indifferent voices, then Anna
Mikhaylovna's voice alone in a long speech, then a cry, then silence,
then both voices together with glad intonations, and then footsteps.
Anna Mikhaylovna opened the door. Her face wore the proud expression of
a surgeon who has just performed a difficult operation and admits the
public to appreciate his skill.

"It is done!" she said to the count, pointing triumphantly to the
countess, who sat holding in one hand the snuffbox with its portrait and
in the other the letter, and pressing them alternately to her lips.

When she saw the count, she stretched out her arms to him, embraced his
bald head, over which she again looked at the letter and the portrait,
and in order to press them again to her lips, she slightly pushed away
the bald head. Vera, Natasha, Sonya, and Petya now entered the room,
and the reading of the letter began. After a brief description of
the campaign and the two battles in which he had taken part, and his
promotion, Nicholas said that he kissed his father's and mother's hands
asking for their blessing, and that he kissed Vera, Natasha, and Petya.
Besides that, he sent greetings to Monsieur Schelling, Madame Schoss,
and his old nurse, and asked them to kiss for him "dear Sonya, whom he
loved and thought of just the same as ever." When she heard this Sonya
blushed so that tears came into her eyes and, unable to bear the looks
turned upon her, ran away into the dancing hall, whirled round it at
full speed with her dress puffed out like a balloon, and, flushed and
smiling, plumped down on the floor. The countess was crying.

"Why are you crying, Mamma?" asked Vera. "From all he says one should be
glad and not cry."

This was quite true, but the count, the countess, and Natasha looked
at her reproachfully. "And who is it she takes after?" thought the
countess.

Nicholas' letter was read over hundreds of times, and those who were
considered worthy to hear it had to come to the countess, for she
did not let it out of her hands. The tutors came, and the nurses, and
Dmitri, and several acquaintances, and the countess reread the letter
each time with fresh pleasure and each time discovered in it fresh
proofs of Nikolenka's virtues. How strange, how extraordinary, how
joyful it seemed, that her son, the scarcely perceptible motion of whose
tiny limbs she had felt twenty years ago within her, that son about whom
she used to have quarrels with the too indulgent count, that son who had
first learned to say "pear" and then "granny," that this son should now
be away in a foreign land amid strange surroundings, a manly warrior
doing some kind of man's work of his own, without help or guidance.
The universal experience of ages, showing that children do grow
imperceptibly from the cradle to manhood, did not exist for the
countess. Her son's growth toward manhood, at each of its stages,
had seemed as extraordinary to her as if there had never existed the
millions of human beings who grew up in the same way. As twenty
years before, it seemed impossible that the little creature who lived
somewhere under her heart would ever cry, suck her breast, and begin to
speak, so now she could not believe that that little creature could be
this strong, brave man, this model son and officer that, judging by this
letter, he now was.

"What a style! How charmingly he describes!" said she, reading the
descriptive part of the letter. "And what a soul! Not a word about
himself.... Not a word! About some Denisov or other, though he himself,
I dare say, is braver than any of them. He says nothing about his
sufferings. What a heart! How like him it is! And how he has remembered
everybody! Not forgetting anyone. I always said when he was only so
high--I always said...."

For more than a week preparations were being made, rough drafts of
letters to Nicholas from all the household were written and copied out,
while under the supervision of the countess and the solicitude of the
count, money and all things necessary for the uniform and equipment
of the newly commissioned officer were collected. Anna Mikhaylovna,
practical woman that she was, had even managed by favor with army
authorities to secure advantageous means of communication for herself
and her son. She had opportunities of sending her letters to the Grand
Duke Constantine Pavlovich, who commanded the Guards. The Rostovs
supposed that The Russian Guards, Abroad, was quite a definite address,
and that if a letter reached the Grand Duke in command of the Guards
there was no reason why it should not reach the Pavlograd regiment,
which was presumably somewhere in the same neighborhood. And so it was
decided to send the letters and money by the Grand Duke's courier to
Boris and Boris was to forward them to Nicholas. The letters were
from the old count, the countess, Petya, Vera, Natasha, and Sonya, and
finally there were six thousand rubles for his outfit and various other
things the old count sent to his son.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VII

 

On the twelfth of November, Kutuzov's active army, in camp before
Olmutz, was preparing to be reviewed next day by the two Emperors--the
Russian and the Austrian. The Guards, just arrived from Russia, spent
the night ten miles from Olmutz and next morning were to come straight
to the review, reaching the field at Olmutz by ten o'clock.

That day Nicholas Rostov received a letter from Boris, telling him that
the Ismaylov regiment was quartered for the night ten miles from Olmutz
and that he wanted to see him as he had a letter and money for him.
Rostov was particularly in need of money now that the troops, after
their active service, were stationed near Olmutz and the camp swarmed
with well-provisioned sutlers and Austrian Jews offering all sorts
of tempting wares. The Pavlograds held feast after feast, celebrating
awards they had received for the campaign, and made expeditions to
Olmutz to visit a certain Caroline the Hungarian, who had recently
opened a restaurant there with girls as waitresses. Rostov, who had
just celebrated his promotion to a cornetcy and bought Denisov's horse,
Bedouin, was in debt all round, to his comrades and the sutlers. On
receiving Boris' letter he rode with a fellow officer to Olmutz, dined
there, drank a bottle of wine, and then set off alone to the Guards'
camp to find his old playmate. Rostov had not yet had time to get his
uniform. He had on a shabby cadet jacket, decorated with a soldier's
cross, equally shabby cadet's riding breeches lined with worn leather,
and an officer's saber with a sword knot. The Don horse he was riding
was one he had bought from a Cossack during the campaign, and he wore a
crumpled hussar cap stuck jauntily back on one side of his head. As he
rode up to the camp he thought how he would impress Boris and all his
comrades of the Guards by his appearance--that of a fighting hussar who
had been under fire.

The Guards had made their whole march as if on a pleasure trip, parading
their cleanliness and discipline. They had come by easy stages, their
knapsacks conveyed on carts, and the Austrian authorities had provided
excellent dinners for the officers at every halting place. The regiments
had entered and left the town with their bands playing, and by the Grand
Duke's orders the men had marched all the way in step (a practice on
which the Guards prided themselves), the officers on foot and at their
proper posts. Boris had been quartered, and had marched all the way,
with Berg who was already in command of a company. Berg, who had
obtained his captaincy during the campaign, had gained the confidence of
his superiors by his promptitude and accuracy and had arranged his money
matters very satisfactorily. Boris, during the campaign, had made the
acquaintance of many persons who might prove useful to him, and by
a letter of recommendation he had brought from Pierre had become
acquainted with Prince Andrew Bolkonski, through whom he hoped to obtain
a post on the commander in chief's staff. Berg and Boris, having rested
after yesterday's march, were sitting, clean and neatly dressed, at a
round table in the clean quarters allotted to them, playing chess.
Berg held a smoking pipe between his knees. Boris, in the accurate way
characteristic of him, was building a little pyramid of chessmen with
his delicate white fingers while awaiting Berg's move, and watched his
opponent's face, evidently thinking about the game as he always thought
only of whatever he was engaged on.

"Well, how are you going to get out of that?" he remarked.

"We'll try to," replied Berg, touching a pawn and then removing his
hand.

At that moment the door opened.

"Here he is at last!" shouted Rostov. "And Berg too! Oh, you
petisenfans, allay cushay dormir!" he exclaimed, imitating his Russian
nurse's French, at which he and Boris used to laugh long ago.

"Dear me, how you have changed!"

Boris rose to meet Rostov, but in doing so did not omit to steady and
replace some chessmen that were falling. He was about to embrace his
friend, but Nicholas avoided him. With that peculiar feeling of youth,
that dread of beaten tracks, and wish to express itself in a manner
different from that of its elders which is often insincere, Nicholas
wished to do something special on meeting his friend. He wanted to pinch
him, push him, do anything but kiss him--a thing everybody did. But
notwithstanding this, Boris embraced him in a quiet, friendly way and
kissed him three times.

They had not met for nearly half a year and, being at the age when young
men take their first steps on life's road, each saw immense changes in
the other, quite a new reflection of the society in which they had taken
those first steps. Both had changed greatly since they last met and both
were in a hurry to show the changes that had taken place in them.

"Oh, you damned dandies! Clean and fresh as if you'd been to a fete,
not like us sinners of the line," cried Rostov, with martial swagger
and with baritone notes in his voice, new to Boris, pointing to his own
mud-bespattered breeches. The German landlady, hearing Rostov's loud
voice, popped her head in at the door.

"Eh, is she pretty?" he asked with a wink.

"Why do you shout so? You'll frighten them!" said Boris. "I did not
expect you today," he added. "I only sent you the note yesterday by
Bolkonski--an adjutant of Kutuzov's, who's a friend of mine. I did not
think he would get it to you so quickly.... Well, how are you? Been
under fire already?" asked Boris.

Without answering, Rostov shook the soldier's Cross of St. George
fastened to the cording of his uniform and, indicating a bandaged arm,
glanced at Berg with a smile.

"As you see," he said.

"Indeed? Yes, yes!" said Boris, with a smile. "And we too have had a
splendid march. You know, of course, that His Imperial Highness rode
with our regiment all the time, so that we had every comfort and every
advantage. What receptions we had in Poland! What dinners and balls!
I can't tell you. And the Tsarevich was very gracious to all our
officers."

And the two friends told each other of their doings, the one of his
hussar revels and life in the fighting line, the other of the pleasures
and advantages of service under members of the Imperial family.

"Oh, you Guards!" said Rostov. "I say, send for some wine."

Boris made a grimace.

"If you really want it," said he.

He went to his bed, drew a purse from under the clean pillow, and sent
for wine.

"Yes, and I have some money and a letter to give you," he added.

Rostov took the letter and, throwing the money on the sofa, put both
arms on the table and began to read. After reading a few lines, he
glanced angrily at Berg, then, meeting his eyes, hid his face behind the
letter.

"Well, they've sent you a tidy sum," said Berg, eying the heavy purse
that sank into the sofa. "As for us, Count, we get along on our pay. I
can tell you for myself..."

"I say, Berg, my dear fellow," said Rostov, "when you get a letter from
home and meet one of your own people whom you want to talk everything
over with, and I happen to be there, I'll go at once, to be out of
your way! Do go somewhere, anywhere... to the devil!" he exclaimed, and
immediately seizing him by the shoulder and looking amiably into his
face, evidently wishing to soften the rudeness of his words, he added,
"Don't be hurt, my dear fellow; you know I speak from my heart as to an
old acquaintance."

"Oh, don't mention it, Count! I quite understand," said Berg, getting up
and speaking in a muffled and guttural voice.

"Go across to our hosts: they invited you," added Boris.

Berg put on the cleanest of coats, without a spot or speck of dust,
stood before a looking glass and brushed the hair on his temples
upwards, in the way affected by the Emperor Alexander, and, having
assured himself from the way Rostov looked at it that his coat had been
noticed, left the room with a pleasant smile.

"Oh dear, what a beast I am!" muttered Rostov, as he read the letter.

"Why?"

"Oh, what a pig I am, not to have written and to have given them such
a fright! Oh, what a pig I am!" he repeated, flushing suddenly. "Well,
have you sent Gabriel for some wine? All right let's have some!"

In the letter from his parents was enclosed a letter of recommendation
to Bagration which the old countess at Anna Mikhaylovna's advice had
obtained through an acquaintance and sent to her son, asking him to take
it to its destination and make use of it.

"What nonsense! Much I need it!" said Rostov, throwing the letter under
the table.

"Why have you thrown that away?" asked Boris.

"It is some letter of recommendation... what the devil do I want it
for!"

"Why 'What the devil'?" said Boris, picking it up and reading the
address. "This letter would be of great use to you."

"I want nothing, and I won't be anyone's adjutant."

"Why not?" inquired Boris.

"It's a lackey's job!"

"You are still the same dreamer, I see," remarked Boris, shaking his
head.

"And you're still the same diplomatist! But that's not the point...
Come, how are you?" asked Rostov.

"Well, as you see. So far everything's all right, but I confess I should
much like to be an adjutant and not remain at the front."

"Why?"

"Because when once a man starts on military service, he should try to
make as successful a career of it as possible."

"Oh, that's it!" said Rostov, evidently thinking of something else.

He looked intently and inquiringly into his friend's eyes, evidently
trying in vain to find the answer to some question.

Old Gabriel brought in the wine.

"Shouldn't we now send for Berg?" asked Boris. "He would drink with you.
I can't."

"Well, send for him... and how do you get on with that German?" asked
Rostov, with a contemptuous smile.

"He is a very, very nice, honest, and pleasant fellow," answered Boris.

Again Rostov looked intently into Boris' eyes and sighed. Berg returned,
and over the bottle of wine conversation between the three officers
became animated. The Guardsmen told Rostov of their march and how they
had been made much of in Russia, Poland, and abroad. They spoke of the
sayings and doings of their commander, the Grand Duke, and told stories
of his kindness and irascibility. Berg, as usual, kept silent when the
subject did not relate to himself, but in connection with the stories
of the Grand Duke's quick temper he related with gusto how in Galicia he
had managed to deal with the Grand Duke when the latter made a tour of
the regiments and was annoyed at the irregularity of a movement. With a
pleasant smile Berg related how the Grand Duke had ridden up to him in
a violent passion, shouting: "Arnauts!" ("Arnauts" was the Tsarevich's
favorite expression when he was in a rage) and called for the company
commander.

"Would you believe it, Count, I was not at all alarmed, because I knew
I was right. Without boasting, you know, I may say that I know the Army
Orders by heart and know the Regulations as well as I do the Lord's
Prayer. So, Count, there never is any negligence in my company, and so
my conscience was at ease. I came forward...." (Berg stood up and showed
how he presented himself, with his hand to his cap, and really it
would have been difficult for a face to express greater respect and
self-complacency than his did.) "Well, he stormed at me, as the saying
is, stormed and stormed and stormed! It was not a matter of life but
rather of death, as the saying is. 'Albanians!' and 'devils!' and 'To
Siberia!'" said Berg with a sagacious smile. "I knew I was in the right
so I kept silent; was not that best, Count?... 'Hey, are you dumb?' he
shouted. Still I remained silent. And what do you think, Count? The
next day it was not even mentioned in the Orders of the Day. That's what
keeping one's head means. That's the way, Count," said Berg, lighting
his pipe and emitting rings of smoke.

"Yes, that was fine," said Rostov, smiling.

But Boris noticed that he was preparing to make fun of Berg, and
skillfully changed the subject. He asked him to tell them how and where
he got his wound. This pleased Rostov and he began talking about it, and
as he went on became more and more animated. He told them of his Schon
Grabern affair, just as those who have taken part in a battle generally
do describe it, that is, as they would like it to have been, as they
have heard it described by others, and as sounds well, but not at all as
it really was. Rostov was a truthful young man and would on no
account have told a deliberate lie. He began his story meaning to tell
everything just as it happened, but imperceptibly, involuntarily, and
inevitably he lapsed into falsehood. If he had told the truth to his
hearers--who like himself had often heard stories of attacks and had
formed a definite idea of what an attack was and were expecting to hear
just such a story--they would either not have believed him or, still
worse, would have thought that Rostov was himself to blame since what
generally happens to the narrators of cavalry attacks had not happened
to him. He could not tell them simply that everyone went at a trot and
that he fell off his horse and sprained his arm and then ran as hard as
he could from a Frenchman into the wood. Besides, to tell everything as
it really happened, it would have been necessary to make an effort of
will to tell only what happened. It is very difficult to tell the truth,
and young people are rarely capable of it. His hearers expected a story
of how beside himself and all aflame with excitement, he had flown like
a storm at the square, cut his way in, slashed right and left, how his
saber had tasted flesh and he had fallen exhausted, and so on. And so he
told them all that.

In the middle of his story, just as he was saying: "You cannot imagine
what a strange frenzy one experiences during an attack," Prince Andrew,
whom Boris was expecting, entered the room. Prince Andrew, who liked
to help young men, was flattered by being asked for his assistance and
being well disposed toward Boris, who had managed to please him the day
before, he wished to do what the young man wanted. Having been sent with
papers from Kutuzov to the Tsarevich, he looked in on Boris, hoping to
find him alone. When he came in and saw an hussar of the line recounting
his military exploits (Prince Andrew could not endure that sort of man),
he gave Boris a pleasant smile, frowned as with half-closed eyes he
looked at Rostov, bowed slightly and wearily, and sat down languidly
on the sofa: he felt it unpleasant to have dropped in on bad company.
Rostov flushed up on noticing this, but he did not care, this was a mere
stranger. Glancing, however, at Boris, he saw that he too seemed ashamed
of the hussar of the line.

In spite of Prince Andrew's disagreeable, ironical tone, in spite of
the contempt with which Rostov, from his fighting army point of view,
regarded all these little adjutants on the staff of whom the newcomer
was evidently one, Rostov felt confused, blushed, and became silent.
Boris inquired what news there might be on the staff, and what, without
indiscretion, one might ask about our plans.

"We shall probably advance," replied Bolkonski, evidently reluctant to
say more in the presence of a stranger.

Berg took the opportunity to ask, with great politeness, whether, as was
rumored, the allowance of forage money to captains of companies would be
doubled. To this Prince Andrew answered with a smile that he could
give no opinion on such an important government order, and Berg laughed
gaily.

"As to your business," Prince Andrew continued, addressing Boris, "we
will talk of it later" (and he looked round at Rostov). "Come to me
after the review and we will do what is possible."

And, having glanced round the room, Prince Andrew turned to Rostov,
whose state of unconquerable childish embarrassment now changing to
anger he did not condescend to notice, and said: "I think you were
talking of the Schon Grabern affair? Were you there?"

"I was there," said Rostov angrily, as if intending to insult the
aide-de-camp.

Bolkonski noticed the hussar's state of mind, and it amused him. With a
slightly contemptuous smile, he said: "Yes, there are many stories now
told about that affair!"

"Yes, stories!" repeated Rostov loudly, looking with eyes suddenly grown
furious, now at Boris, now at Bolkonski. "Yes, many stories! But our
stories are the stories of men who have been under the enemy's fire! Our
stories have some weight, not like the stories of those fellows on the
staff who get rewards without doing anything!"

"Of whom you imagine me to be one?" said Prince Andrew, with a quiet and
particularly amiable smile.

A strange feeling of exasperation and yet of respect for this man's
self-possession mingled at that moment in Rostov's soul.

"I am not talking about you," he said, "I don't know you and, frankly, I
don't want to. I am speaking of the staff in general."

"And I will tell you this," Prince Andrew interrupted in a tone of quiet
authority, "you wish to insult me, and I am ready to agree with you that
it would be very easy to do so if you haven't sufficient self-respect,
but admit that the time and place are very badly chosen. In a day or two
we shall all have to take part in a greater and more serious duel, and
besides, Drubetskoy, who says he is an old friend of yours, is not at
all to blame that my face has the misfortune to displease you. However,"
he added rising, "you know my name and where to find me, but don't
forget that I do not regard either myself or you as having been at all
insulted, and as a man older than you, my advice is to let the matter
drop. Well then, on Friday after the review I shall expect you,
Drubetskoy. Au revoir!" exclaimed Prince Andrew, and with a bow to them
both he went out.

Only when Prince Andrew was gone did Rostov think of what he ought to
have said. And he was still more angry at having omitted to say it. He
ordered his horse at once and, coldly taking leave of Boris, rode
home. Should he go to headquarters next day and challenge that affected
adjutant, or really let the matter drop, was the question that worried
him all the way. He thought angrily of the pleasure he would have at
seeing the fright of that small and frail but proud man when covered by
his pistol, and then he felt with surprise that of all the men he knew
there was none he would so much like to have for a friend as that very
adjutant whom he so hated.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VIII

 

The day after Rostov had been to see Boris, a review was held of the
Austrian and Russian troops, both those freshly arrived from Russia
and those who had been campaigning under Kutuzov. The two Emperors, the
Russian with his heir the Tsarevich, and the Austrian with the Archduke,
inspected the allied army of eighty thousand men.

From early morning the smart clean troops were on the move, forming up
on the field before the fortress. Now thousands of feet and bayonets
moved and halted at the officers' command, turned with banners flying,
formed up at intervals, and wheeled round other similar masses of
infantry in different uniforms; now was heard the rhythmic beat of
hoofs and the jingling of showy cavalry in blue, red, and green braided
uniforms, with smartly dressed bandsmen in front mounted on black, roan,
or gray horses; then again, spreading out with the brazen clatter of the
polished shining cannon that quivered on the gun carriages and with
the smell of linstocks, came the artillery which crawled between the
infantry and cavalry and took up its appointed position. Not only the
generals in full parade uniforms, with their thin or thick waists drawn
in to the utmost, their red necks squeezed into their stiff collars, and
wearing scarves and all their decorations, not only the elegant, pomaded
officers, but every soldier with his freshly washed and shaven face and
his weapons clean and polished to the utmost, and every horse groomed
till its coat shone like satin and every hair of its wetted mane lay
smooth--felt that no small matter was happening, but an important and
solemn affair. Every general and every soldier was conscious of his own
insignificance, aware of being but a drop in that ocean of men, and
yet at the same time was conscious of his strength as a part of that
enormous whole.

From early morning strenuous activities and efforts had begun and by ten
o'clock all had been brought into due order. The ranks were drawn up on
the vast field. The whole army was extended in three lines: the cavalry
in front, behind it the artillery, and behind that again the infantry.

A space like a street was left between each two lines of troops. The
three parts of that army were sharply distinguished: Kutuzov's fighting
army (with the Pavlograds on the right flank of the front); those
recently arrived from Russia, both Guards and regiments of the line;
and the Austrian troops. But they all stood in the same lines, under one
command, and in a like order.

Like wind over leaves ran an excited whisper: "They're coming! They're
coming!" Alarmed voices were heard, and a stir of final preparation
swept over all the troops.

From the direction of Olmutz in front of them, a group was seen
approaching. And at that moment, though the day was still, a light gust
of wind blowing over the army slightly stirred the streamers on the
lances and the unfolded standards fluttered against their staffs. It
looked as if by that slight motion the army itself was expressing its
joy at the approach of the Emperors. One voice was heard shouting: "Eyes
front!" Then, like the crowing of cocks at sunrise, this was repeated by
others from various sides and all became silent.

In the deathlike stillness only the tramp of horses was heard. This
was the Emperors' suites. The Emperors rode up to the flank, and the
trumpets of the first cavalry regiment played the general march. It
seemed as though not the trumpeters were playing, but as if the army
itself, rejoicing at the Emperors' approach, had naturally burst into
music. Amid these sounds, only the youthful kindly voice of the Emperor
Alexander was clearly heard. He gave the words of greeting, and the
first regiment roared "Hurrah!" so deafeningly, continuously, and
joyfully that the men themselves were awed by their multitude and the
immensity of the power they constituted.

Rostov, standing in the front lines of Kutuzov's army which the Tsar
approached first, experienced the same feeling as every other man in
that army: a feeling of self-forgetfulness, a proud consciousness of
might, and a passionate attraction to him who was the cause of this
triumph.

He felt that at a single word from that man all this vast mass (and he
himself an insignificant atom in it) would go through fire and water,
commit crime, die, or perform deeds of highest heroism, and so he could
not but tremble and his heart stand still at the imminence of that word.

"Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!" thundered from all sides, one regiment after
another greeting the Tsar with the strains of the march, and then
"Hurrah!"... Then the general march, and again "Hurrah! Hurrah!" growing
ever stronger and fuller and merging into a deafening roar.

Till the Tsar reached it, each regiment in its silence and immobility
seemed like a lifeless body, but as soon as he came up it became alive,
its thunder joining the roar of the whole line along which he had
already passed. Through the terrible and deafening roar of those voices,
amid the square masses of troops standing motionless as if turned to
stone, hundreds of riders composing the suites moved carelessly but
symmetrically and above all freely, and in front of them two men--the
Emperors. Upon them the undivided, tensely passionate attention of that
whole mass of men was concentrated.

The handsome young Emperor Alexander, in the uniform of the Horse
Guards, wearing a cocked hat with its peaks front and back, with his
pleasant face and resonant though not loud voice, attracted everyone's
attention.

Rostov was not far from the trumpeters, and with his keen sight had
recognized the Tsar and watched his approach. When he was within twenty
paces, and Nicholas could clearly distinguish every detail of his
handsome, happy young face, he experienced a feeling tenderness and
ecstasy such as he had never before known. Every trait and every
movement of the Tsar's seemed to him enchanting.

Stopping in front of the Pavlograds, the Tsar said something in French
to the Austrian Emperor and smiled.

Seeing that smile, Rostov involuntarily smiled himself and felt a still
stronger flow of love for his sovereign. He longed to show that love in
some way and knowing that this was impossible was ready to cry. The Tsar
called the colonel of the regiment and said a few words to him.

"Oh God, what would happen to me if the Emperor spoke to me?" thought
Rostov. "I should die of happiness!"

The Tsar addressed the officers also: "I thank you all, gentlemen, I
thank you with my whole heart." To Rostov every word sounded like a
voice from heaven. How gladly would he have died at once for his Tsar!

"You have earned the St. George's standards and will be worthy of them."

"Oh, to die, to die for him," thought Rostov.

The Tsar said something more which Rostov did not hear, and the
soldiers, straining their lungs, shouted "Hurrah!"

Rostov too, bending over his saddle, shouted "Hurrah!" with all his
might, feeling that he would like to injure himself by that shout, if
only to express his rapture fully.

The Tsar stopped a few minutes in front of the hussars as if undecided.

"How can the Emperor be undecided?" thought Rostov, but then even this
indecision appeared to him majestic and enchanting, like everything else
the Tsar did.

That hesitation lasted only an instant. The Tsar's foot, in the narrow
pointed boot then fashionable, touched the groin of the bobtailed bay
mare he rode, his hand in a white glove gathered up the reins, and he
moved off accompanied by an irregularly swaying sea of aides-de-camp.
Farther and farther he rode away, stopping at other regiments, till at
last only his white plumes were visible to Rostov from amid the suites
that surrounded the Emperors.

Among the gentlemen of the suite, Rostov noticed Bolkonski, sitting
his horse indolently and carelessly. Rostov recalled their quarrel of
yesterday and the question presented itself whether he ought or ought
not to challenge Bolkonski. "Of course not!" he now thought. "Is it
worth thinking or speaking of it at such a moment? At a time of such
love, such rapture, and such self-sacrifice, what do any of our quarrels
and affronts matter? I love and forgive everybody now."

When the Emperor had passed nearly all the regiments, the troops began
a ceremonial march past him, and Rostov on Bedouin, recently purchased
from Denisov, rode past too, at the rear of his squadron--that is, alone
and in full view of the Emperor.

Before he reached him, Rostov, who was a splendid horseman, spurred
Bedouin twice and successfully put him to the showy trot in which the
animal went when excited. Bending his foaming muzzle to his chest, his
tail extended, Bedouin, as if also conscious of the Emperor's eye
upon him, passed splendidly, lifting his feet with a high and graceful
action, as if flying through the air without touching the ground.

Rostov himself, his legs well back and his stomach drawn in and feeling
himself one with his horse, rode past the Emperor with a frowning but
blissful face "like a vewy devil," as Denisov expressed it.

"Fine fellows, the Pavlograds!" remarked the Emperor.

"My God, how happy I should be if he ordered me to leap into the fire
this instant!" thought Rostov.

When the review was over, the newly arrived officers, and also
Kutuzov's, collected in groups and began to talk about the awards, about
the Austrians and their uniforms, about their lines, about Bonaparte,
and how badly the latter would fare now, especially if the Essen corps
arrived and Prussia took our side.

But the talk in every group was chiefly about the Emperor Alexander. His
every word and movement was described with ecstasy.

They all had but one wish: to advance as soon as possible against the
enemy under the Emperor's command. Commanded by the Emperor himself
they could not fail to vanquish anyone, be it whom it might: so thought
Rostov and most of the officers after the review.

All were then more confident of victory than the winning of two battles
would have made them.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IX

 

The day after the review, Boris, in his best uniform and with his
comrade Berg's best wishes for success, rode to Olmutz to see Bolkonski,
wishing to profit by his friendliness and obtain for himself the best
post he could--preferably that of adjutant to some important personage,
a position in the army which seemed to him most attractive. "It is all
very well for Rostov, whose father sends him ten thousand rubles at a
time, to talk about not wishing to cringe to anybody and not be anyone's
lackey, but I who have nothing but my brains have to make a career
and must not miss opportunities, but must avail myself of them!" he
reflected.

He did not find Prince Andrew in Olmutz that day, but the appearance of
the town where the headquarters and the diplomatic corps were stationed
and the two Emperors were living with their suites, households, and
courts only strengthened his desire to belong to that higher world.

He knew no one, and despite his smart Guardsman's uniform, all these
exalted personages passing in the streets in their elegant carriages
with their plumes, ribbons, and medals, both courtiers and military
men, seemed so immeasurably above him, an insignificant officer of the
Guards, that they not only did not wish to, but simply could not, be
aware of his existence. At the quarters of the commander in chief,
Kutuzov, where he inquired for Bolkonski, all the adjutants and even the
orderlies looked at him as if they wished to impress on him that a great
many officers like him were always coming there and that everybody was
heartily sick of them. In spite of this, or rather because of it, next
day, November 15, after dinner he again went to Olmutz and, entering the
house occupied by Kutuzov, asked for Bolkonski. Prince Andrew was in and
Boris was shown into a large hall probably formerly used for dancing,
but in which five beds now stood, and furniture of various kinds: a
table, chairs, and a clavichord. One adjutant, nearest the door, was
sitting at the table in a Persian dressing gown, writing. Another,
the red, stout Nesvitski, lay on a bed with his arms under his head,
laughing with an officer who had sat down beside him. A third was
playing a Viennese waltz on the clavichord, while a fourth, lying on
the clavichord, sang the tune. Bolkonski was not there. None of these
gentlemen changed his position on seeing Boris. The one who was writing
and whom Boris addressed turned round crossly and told him Bolkonski
was on duty and that he should go through the door on the left into the
reception room if he wished to see him. Boris thanked him and went to
the reception room, where he found some ten officers and generals.

When he entered, Prince Andrew, his eyes drooping contemptuously (with
that peculiar expression of polite weariness which plainly says, "If it
were not my duty I would not talk to you for a moment"), was listening
to an old Russian general with decorations, who stood very erect, almost
on tiptoe, with a soldier's obsequious expression on his purple face,
reporting something.

"Very well, then, be so good as to wait," said Prince Andrew to the
general, in Russian, speaking with the French intonation he affected
when he wished to speak contemptuously, and noticing Boris, Prince
Andrew, paying no more heed to the general who ran after him imploring
him to hear something more, nodded and turned to him with a cheerful
smile.

At that moment Boris clearly realized what he had before surmised, that
in the army, besides the subordination and discipline prescribed in the
military code, which he and the others knew in the regiment, there was
another, more important, subordination, which made this tight-laced,
purple-faced general wait respectfully while Captain Prince Andrew, for
his own pleasure, chose to chat with Lieutenant Drubetskoy. More than
ever was Boris resolved to serve in future not according to the written
code, but under this unwritten law. He felt now that merely by having
been recommended to Prince Andrew he had already risen above the general
who at the front had the power to annihilate him, a lieutenant of the
Guards. Prince Andrew came up to him and took his hand.

"I am very sorry you did not find me in yesterday. I was fussing about
with Germans all day. We went with Weyrother to survey the dispositions.
When Germans start being accurate, there's no end to it!"

Boris smiled, as if he understood what Prince Andrew was alluding to
as something generally known. But it was the first time he had heard
Weyrother's name, or even the term "dispositions."

"Well, my dear fellow, so you still want to be an adjutant? I have been
thinking about you."

"Yes, I was thinking"--for some reason Boris could not help
blushing--"of asking the commander in chief. He has had a letter from
Prince Kuragin about me. I only wanted to ask because I fear the Guards
won't be in action," he added as if in apology.

"All right, all right. We'll talk it over," replied Prince Andrew.
"Only let me report this gentleman's business, and I shall be at your
disposal."

While Prince Andrew went to report about the purple-faced general, that
gentleman--evidently not sharing Boris' conception of the advantages
of the unwritten code of subordination--looked so fixedly at the
presumptuous lieutenant who had prevented his finishing what he had to
say to the adjutant that Boris felt uncomfortable. He turned away and
waited impatiently for Prince Andrew's return from the commander in
chief's room.

"You see, my dear fellow, I have been thinking about you," said Prince
Andrew when they had gone into the large room where the clavichord was.
"It's no use your going to the commander in chief. He would say a lot of
pleasant things, ask you to dinner" ("That would not be bad as regards
the unwritten code," thought Boris), "but nothing more would come of it.
There will soon be a battalion of us aides-de-camp and adjutants! But
this is what we'll do: I have a good friend, an adjutant general and an
excellent fellow, Prince Dolgorukov; and though you may not know it, the
fact is that now Kutuzov with his staff and all of us count for
nothing. Everything is now centered round the Emperor. So we will go to
Dolgorukov; I have to go there anyhow and I have already spoken to him
about you. We shall see whether he cannot attach you to himself or find
a place for you somewhere nearer the sun."

Prince Andrew always became specially keen when he had to guide a young
man and help him to worldly success. Under cover of obtaining help
of this kind for another, which from pride he would never accept for
himself, he kept in touch with the circle which confers success and
which attracted him. He very readily took up Boris' cause and went with
him to Dolgorukov.

It was late in the evening when they entered the palace at Olmutz
occupied by the Emperors and their retinues.

That same day a council of war had been held in which all the members of
the Hofkriegsrath and both Emperors took part. At that council, contrary
to the views of the old generals Kutuzov and Prince Schwartzenberg, it
had been decided to advance immediately and give battle to Bonaparte.
The council of war was just over when Prince Andrew accompanied by Boris
arrived at the palace to find Dolgorukov. Everyone at headquarters was
still under the spell of the day's council, at which the party of the
young had triumphed. The voices of those who counseled delay and advised
waiting for something else before advancing had been so completely
silenced and their arguments confuted by such conclusive evidence of the
advantages of attacking that what had been discussed at the council--the
coming battle and the victory that would certainly result from it--no
longer seemed to be in the future but in the past. All the advantages
were on our side. Our enormous forces, undoubtedly superior to
Napoleon's, were concentrated in one place, the troops inspired by the
Emperors' presence were eager for action. The strategic position where
the operations would take place was familiar in all its details to
the Austrian General Weyrother: a lucky accident had ordained that the
Austrian army should maneuver the previous year on the very fields where
the French had now to be fought; the adjacent locality was known and
shown in every detail on the maps, and Bonaparte, evidently weakened,
was undertaking nothing.

Dolgorukov, one of the warmest advocates of an attack, had just returned
from the council, tired and exhausted but eager and proud of the victory
that had been gained. Prince Andrew introduced his protege, but Prince
Dolgorukov politely and firmly pressing his hand said nothing to Boris
and, evidently unable to suppress the thoughts which were uppermost in
his mind at that moment, addressed Prince Andrew in French.

"Ah, my dear fellow, what a battle we have gained! God grant that
the one that will result from it will be as victorious! However, dear
fellow," he said abruptly and eagerly, "I must confess to having been
unjust to the Austrians and especially to Weyrother. What exactitude,
what minuteness, what knowledge of the locality, what foresight for
every eventuality, every possibility even to the smallest detail! No, my
dear fellow, no conditions better than our present ones could have been
devised. This combination of Austrian precision with Russian valor--what
more could be wished for?"

"So the attack is definitely resolved on?" asked Bolkonski.

"And do you know, my dear fellow, it seems to me that Bonaparte has
decidedly lost bearings, you know that a letter was received from him
today for the Emperor." Dolgorukov smiled significantly.

"Is that so? And what did he say?" inquired Bolkonski.

"What can he say? Tra-di-ri-di-ra and so on... merely to gain time. I
tell you he is in our hands, that's certain! But what was most amusing,"
he continued, with a sudden, good-natured laugh, "was that we could not
think how to address the reply! If not as 'Consul' and of course not as
'Emperor,' it seemed to me it should be to 'General Bonaparte.'"

"But between not recognizing him as Emperor and calling him General
Bonaparte, there is a difference," remarked Bolkonski.

"That's just it," interrupted Dolgorukov quickly, laughing. "You know
Bilibin--he's a very clever fellow. He suggested addressing him as
'Usurper and Enemy of Mankind.'"

Dolgorukov laughed merrily.

"Only that?" said Bolkonski.

"All the same, it was Bilibin who found a suitable form for the address.
He is a wise and clever fellow."

"What was it?"

"To the Head of the French Government... Au chef du gouvernement
francais," said Dolgorukov, with grave satisfaction. "Good, wasn't it?"

"Yes, but he will dislike it extremely," said Bolkonski.

"Oh yes, very much! My brother knows him, he's dined with him--the
present Emperor--more than once in Paris, and tells me he never met a
more cunning or subtle diplomatist--you know, a combination of French
adroitness and Italian play-acting! Do you know the tale about him and
Count Markov? Count Markov was the only man who knew how to handle him.
You know the story of the handkerchief? It is delightful!"

And the talkative Dolgorukov, turning now to Boris, now to Prince
Andrew, told how Bonaparte wishing to test Markov, our ambassador,
purposely dropped a handkerchief in front of him and stood looking at
Markov, probably expecting Markov to pick it up for him, and how Markov
immediately dropped his own beside it and picked it up without touching
Bonaparte's.

"Delightful!" said Bolkonski. "But I have come to you, Prince, as a
petitioner on behalf of this young man. You see..." but before Prince
Andrew could finish, an aide-de-camp came in to summon Dolgorukov to the
Emperor.

"Oh, what a nuisance," said Dolgorukov, getting up hurriedly and
pressing the hands of Prince Andrew and Boris. "You know I should be
very glad to do all in my power both for you and for this dear young
man." Again he pressed the hand of the latter with an expression of
good-natured, sincere, and animated levity. "But you see... another
time!"

Boris was excited by the thought of being so close to the higher powers
as he felt himself to be at that moment. He was conscious that here
he was in contact with the springs that set in motion the enormous
movements of the mass of which in his regiment he felt himself a tiny,
obedient, and insignificant atom. They followed Prince Dolgorukov out
into the corridor and met--coming out of the door of the Emperor's room
by which Dolgorukov had entered--a short man in civilian clothes with a
clever face and sharply projecting jaw which, without spoiling his face,
gave him a peculiar vivacity and shiftiness of expression. This short
man nodded to Dolgorukov as to an intimate friend and stared at Prince
Andrew with cool intensity, walking straight toward him and evidently
expecting him to bow or to step out of his way. Prince Andrew did
neither: a look of animosity appeared on his face and the other turned
away and went down the side of the corridor.

"Who was that?" asked Boris.

"He is one of the most remarkable, but to me most unpleasant of men--the
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Adam Czartoryski.... It is such men
as he who decide the fate of nations," added Bolkonski with a sigh he
could not suppress, as they passed out of the palace.

Next day, the army began its campaign, and up to the very battle of
Austerlitz, Boris was unable to see either Prince Andrew or Dolgorukov
again and remained for a while with the Ismaylov regiment.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER X

 

At dawn on the sixteenth of November, Denisov's squadron, in which
Nicholas Rostov served and which was in Prince Bagration's detachment,
moved from the place where it had spent the night, advancing into action
as arranged, and after going behind other columns for about two thirds
of a mile was stopped on the highroad. Rostov saw the Cossacks and then
the first and second squadrons of hussars and infantry battalions
and artillery pass by and go forward and then Generals Bagration and
Dolgorukov ride past with their adjutants. All the fear before action
which he had experienced as previously, all the inner struggle to
conquer that fear, all his dreams of distinguishing himself as a true
hussar in this battle, had been wasted. Their squadron remained in
reserve and Nicholas Rostov spent that day in a dull and wretched mood.
At nine in the morning, he heard firing in front and shouts of hurrah,
and saw wounded being brought back (there were not many of them), and
at last he saw how a whole detachment of French cavalry was brought in,
convoyed by a sotnya of Cossacks. Evidently the affair was over and,
though not big, had been a successful engagement. The men and officers
returning spoke of a brilliant victory, of the occupation of the town of
Wischau and the capture of a whole French squadron. The day was bright
and sunny after a sharp night frost, and the cheerful glitter of that
autumn day was in keeping with the news of victory which was conveyed,
not only by the tales of those who had taken part in it, but also by
the joyful expression on the faces of soldiers, officers, generals, and
adjutants, as they passed Rostov going or coming. And Nicholas, who had
vainly suffered all the dread that precedes a battle and had spent that
happy day in inactivity, was all the more depressed.

"Come here, Wostov. Let's dwink to dwown our gwief!" shouted Denisov,
who had settled down by the roadside with a flask and some food.

The officers gathered round Denisov's canteen, eating and talking.

"There! They are bringing another!" cried one of the officers,
indicating a captive French dragoon who was being brought in on foot by
two Cossacks.

One of them was leading by the bridle a fine large French horse he had
taken from the prisoner.

"Sell us that horse!" Denisov called out to the Cossacks.

"If you like, your honor!"

The officers got up and stood round the Cossacks and their prisoner.
The French dragoon was a young Alsatian who spoke French with a German
accent. He was breathless with agitation, his face was red, and when
he heard some French spoken he at once began speaking to the officers,
addressing first one, then another. He said he would not have been
taken, it was not his fault but the corporal's who had sent him to seize
some horsecloths, though he had told him the Russians were there. And at
every word he added: "But don't hurt my little horse!" and stroked the
animal. It was plain that he did not quite grasp where he was. Now
he excused himself for having been taken prisoner and now, imagining
himself before his own officers, insisted on his soldierly discipline
and zeal in the service. He brought with him into our rearguard all the
freshness of atmosphere of the French army, which was so alien to us.

The Cossacks sold the horse for two gold pieces, and Rostov, being the
richest of the officers now that he had received his money, bought it.

"But don't hurt my little horse!" said the Alsatian good-naturedly to
Rostov when the animal was handed over to the hussar.

Rostov smilingly reassured the dragoon and gave him money.

"Alley! Alley!" said the Cossack, touching the prisoner's arm to make
him go on.

"The Emperor! The Emperor!" was suddenly heard among the hussars.

All began to run and bustle, and Rostov saw coming up the road behind
him several riders with white plumes in their hats. In a moment everyone
was in his place, waiting.

Rostov did not know or remember how he ran to his place and mounted.
Instantly his regret at not having been in action and his dejected mood
amid people of whom he was weary had gone, instantly every thought of
himself had vanished. He was filled with happiness at his nearness to
the Emperor. He felt that this nearness by itself made up to him for the
day he had lost. He was happy as a lover when the longed-for moment of
meeting arrives. Not daring to look round and without looking round, he
was ecstatically conscious of his approach. He felt it not only from the
sound of the hoofs of the approaching cavalcade, but because as he drew
near everything grew brighter, more joyful, more significant, and more
festive around him. Nearer and nearer to Rostov came that sun shedding
beams of mild and majestic light around, and already he felt himself
enveloped in those beams, he heard his voice, that kindly, calm, and
majestic voice that was yet so simple! And as if in accord with
Rostov's feeling, there was a deathly stillness amid which was heard the
Emperor's voice.

"The Pavlograd hussars?" he inquired.

"The reserves, sire!" replied a voice, a very human one compared to that
which had said: "The Pavlograd hussars?"

The Emperor drew level with Rostov and halted. Alexander's face was
even more beautiful than it had been three days before at the review. It
shone with such gaiety and youth, such innocent youth, that it suggested
the liveliness of a fourteen-year-old boy, and yet it was the face
of the majestic Emperor. Casually, while surveying the squadron, the
Emperor's eyes met Rostov's and rested on them for not more than two
seconds. Whether or no the Emperor understood what was going on in
Rostov's soul (it seemed to Rostov that he understood everything), at
any rate his light-blue eyes gazed for about two seconds into Rostov's
face. A gentle, mild light poured from them. Then all at once he
raised his eyebrows, abruptly touched his horse with his left foot, and
galloped on.

The younger Emperor could not restrain his wish to be present at the
battle and, in spite of the remonstrances of his courtiers, at twelve
o'clock left the third column with which he had been and galloped toward
the vanguard. Before he came up with the hussars, several adjutants met
him with news of the successful result of the action.

This battle, which consisted in the capture of a French squadron, was
represented as a brilliant victory over the French, and so the
Emperor and the whole army, especially while the smoke hung over
the battlefield, believed that the French had been defeated and were
retreating against their will. A few minutes after the Emperor had
passed, the Pavlograd division was ordered to advance. In Wischau
itself, a petty German town, Rostov saw the Emperor again. In the
market place, where there had been some rather heavy firing before the
Emperor's arrival, lay several killed and wounded soldiers whom there
had not been time to move. The Emperor, surrounded by his suite
of officers and courtiers, was riding a bobtailed chestnut mare, a
different one from that which he had ridden at the review, and bending
to one side he gracefully held a gold lorgnette to his eyes and looked
at a soldier who lay prone, with blood on his uncovered head. The
wounded soldier was so dirty, coarse, and revolting that his proximity
to the Emperor shocked Rostov. Rostov saw how the Emperor's rather round
shoulders shuddered as if a cold shiver had run down them, how his left
foot began convulsively tapping the horse's side with the spur, and how
the well-trained horse looked round unconcerned and did not stir. An
adjutant, dismounting, lifted the soldier under the arms to place him on
a stretcher that had been brought. The soldier groaned.

"Gently, gently! Can't you do it more gently?" said the Emperor
apparently suffering more than the dying soldier, and he rode away.

Rostov saw tears filling the Emperor's eyes and heard him, as he was
riding away, say to Czartoryski: "What a terrible thing war is: what a
terrible thing! Quelle terrible chose que la guerre!"

The troops of the vanguard were stationed before Wischau, within sight
of the enemy's lines, which all day long had yielded ground to us at
the least firing. The Emperor's gratitude was announced to the vanguard,
rewards were promised, and the men received a double ration of vodka.
The campfires crackled and the soldiers' songs resounded even more
merrily than on the previous night. Denisov celebrated his promotion to
the rank of major, and Rostov, who had already drunk enough, at the end
of the feast proposed the Emperor's health. "Not 'our Sovereign, the
Emperor,' as they say at official dinners," said he, "but the health of
our Sovereign, that good, enchanting, and great man! Let us drink to his
health and to the certain defeat of the French!"

"If we fought before," he said, "not letting the French pass, as at
Schon Grabern, what shall we not do now when he is at the front? We will
all die for him gladly! Is it not so, gentlemen? Perhaps I am not saying
it right, I have drunk a good deal--but that is how I feel, and so do
you too! To the health of Alexander the First! Hurrah!"

"Hurrah!" rang the enthusiastic voices of the officers.

And the old cavalry captain, Kirsten, shouted enthusiastically and no
less sincerely than the twenty-year-old Rostov.

When the officers had emptied and smashed their glasses, Kirsten filled
others and, in shirt sleeves and breeches, went glass in hand to the
soldiers' bonfires and with his long gray mustache, his white chest
showing under his open shirt, he stood in a majestic pose in the light
of the campfire, waving his uplifted arm.

"Lads! here's to our Sovereign, the Emperor, and victory over our
enemies! Hurrah!" he exclaimed in his dashing, old, hussar's baritone.

The hussars crowded round and responded heartily with loud shouts.

Late that night, when all had separated, Denisov with his short hand
patted his favorite, Rostov, on the shoulder.

"As there's no one to fall in love with on campaign, he's fallen in love
with the Tsar," he said.

"Denisov, don't make fun of it!" cried Rostov. "It is such a lofty,
beautiful feeling, such a..."

"I believe it, I believe it, fwiend, and I share and appwove..."

"No, you don't understand!"

And Rostov got up and went wandering among the campfires, dreaming of
what happiness it would be to die--not in saving the Emperor's life (he
did not even dare to dream of that), but simply to die before his eyes.
He really was in love with the Tsar and the glory of the Russian
arms and the hope of future triumph. And he was not the only man to
experience that feeling during those memorable days preceding the battle
of Austerlitz: nine tenths of the men in the Russian army were then in
love, though less ecstatically, with their Tsar and the glory of the
Russian arms.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XI

 

The next day the Emperor stopped at Wischau, and Villier, his physician,
was repeatedly summoned to see him. At headquarters and among the troops
near by the news spread that the Emperor was unwell. He ate nothing and
had slept badly that night, those around him reported. The cause of this
indisposition was the strong impression made on his sensitive mind by
the sight of the killed and wounded.

At daybreak on the seventeenth, a French officer who had come with
a flag of truce, demanding an audience with the Russian Emperor, was
brought into Wischau from our outposts. This officer was Savary. The
Emperor had only just fallen asleep and so Savary had to wait. At midday
he was admitted to the Emperor, and an hour later he rode off with
Prince Dolgorukov to the advanced post of the French army.

It was rumored that Savary had been sent to propose to Alexander
a meeting with Napoleon. To the joy and pride of the whole army, a
personal interview was refused, and instead of the Sovereign, Prince
Dolgorukov, the victor at Wischau, was sent with Savary to negotiate
with Napoleon if, contrary to expectations, these negotiations were
actuated by a real desire for peace.

Toward evening Dolgorukov came back, went straight to the Tsar, and
remained alone with him for a long time.

On the eighteenth and nineteenth of November, the army advanced two
days' march and the enemy's outposts after a brief interchange of shots
retreated. In the highest army circles from midday on the nineteenth, a
great, excitedly bustling activity began which lasted till the morning
of the twentieth, when the memorable battle of Austerlitz was fought.

Till midday on the nineteenth, the activity--the eager talk, running
to and fro, and dispatching of adjutants--was confined to the Emperor's
headquarters. But on the afternoon of that day, this activity reached
Kutuzov's headquarters and the staffs of the commanders of columns. By
evening, the adjutants had spread it to all ends and parts of the army,
and in the night from the nineteenth to the twentieth, the whole eighty
thousand allied troops rose from their bivouacs to the hum of voices,
and the army swayed and started in one enormous mass six miles long.

The concentrated activity which had begun at the Emperor's headquarters
in the morning and had started the whole movement that followed was like
the first movement of the main wheel of a large tower clock. One wheel
slowly moved, another was set in motion, and a third, and wheels began
to revolve faster and faster, levers and cogwheels to work, chimes to
play, figures to pop out, and the hands to advance with regular motion
as a result of all that activity.

Just as in the mechanism of a clock, so in the mechanism of the military
machine, an impulse once given leads to the final result; and just as
indifferently quiescent till the moment when motion is transmitted
to them are the parts of the mechanism which the impulse has not yet
reached. Wheels creak on their axles as the cogs engage one another and
the revolving pulleys whirr with the rapidity of their movement, but a
neighboring wheel is as quiet and motionless as though it were prepared
to remain so for a hundred years; but the moment comes when the lever
catches it and obeying the impulse that wheel begins to creak and joins
in the common motion the result and aim of which are beyond its ken.

Just as in a clock, the result of the complicated motion of innumerable
wheels and pulleys is merely a slow and regular movement of the
hands which show the time, so the result of all the complicated human
activities of 160,000 Russians and French--all their passions, desires,
remorse, humiliations, sufferings, outbursts of pride, fear, and
enthusiasm--was only the loss of the battle of Austerlitz, the so-called
battle of the three Emperors--that is to say, a slow movement of the
hand on the dial of human history.

Prince Andrew was on duty that day and in constant attendance on the
commander in chief.

At six in the evening, Kutuzov went to the Emperor's headquarters and
after staying but a short time with the Tsar went to see the grand
marshal of the court, Count Tolstoy.

Bolkonski took the opportunity to go in to get some details of the
coming action from Dolgorukov. He felt that Kutuzov was upset and
dissatisfied about something and that at headquarters they were
dissatisfied with him, and also that at the Emperor's headquarters
everyone adopted toward him the tone of men who know something others do
not know: he therefore wished to speak to Dolgorukov.

"Well, how d'you do, my dear fellow?" said Dolgorukov, who was sitting
at tea with Bilibin. "The fete is for tomorrow. How is your old fellow?
Out of sorts?"

"I won't say he is out of sorts, but I fancy he would like to be heard."

"But they heard him at the council of war and will hear him when he
talks sense, but to temporize and wait for something now when Bonaparte
fears nothing so much as a general battle is impossible."

"Yes, you have seen him?" said Prince Andrew. "Well, what is Bonaparte
like? How did he impress you?"

"Yes, I saw him, and am convinced that he fears nothing so much as a
general engagement," repeated Dolgorukov, evidently prizing this general
conclusion which he had arrived at from his interview with Napoleon.
"If he weren't afraid of a battle why did he ask for that interview? Why
negotiate, and above all why retreat, when to retreat is so contrary
to his method of conducting war? Believe me, he is afraid, afraid of a
general battle. His hour has come! Mark my words!"

"But tell me, what is he like, eh?" said Prince Andrew again.

"He is a man in a gray overcoat, very anxious that I should call him
'Your Majesty,' but who, to his chagrin, got no title from me! That's
the sort of man he is, and nothing more," replied Dolgorukov, looking
round at Bilibin with a smile.

"Despite my great respect for old Kutuzov," he continued, "we should be
a nice set of fellows if we were to wait about and so give him a chance
to escape, or to trick us, now that we certainly have him in our hands!
No, we mustn't forget Suvorov and his rule--not to put yourself in a
position to be attacked, but yourself to attack. Believe me in war the
energy of young men often shows the way better than all the experience
of old Cunctators."

"But in what position are we going to attack him? I have been at the
outposts today and it is impossible to say where his chief forces are
situated," said Prince Andrew.

He wished to explain to Dolgorukov a plan of attack he had himself
formed.

"Oh, that is all the same," Dolgorukov said quickly, and getting up he
spread a map on the table. "All eventualities have been foreseen. If he
is standing before Brunn..."

And Prince Dolgorukov rapidly but indistinctly explained Weyrother's
plan of a flanking movement.

Prince Andrew began to reply and to state his own plan, which might have
been as good as Weyrother's, but for the disadvantage that Weyrother's
had already been approved. As soon as Prince Andrew began to demonstrate
the defects of the latter and the merits of his own plan, Prince
Dolgorukov ceased to listen to him and gazed absent-mindedly not at the
map, but at Prince Andrew's face.

"There will be a council of war at Kutuzov's tonight, though; you can
say all this there," remarked Dolgorukov.

"I will do so," said Prince Andrew, moving away from the map.

"Whatever are you bothering about, gentlemen?" said Bilibin, who, till
then, had listened with an amused smile to their conversation and now
was evidently ready with a joke. "Whether tomorrow brings victory or
defeat, the glory of our Russian arms is secure. Except your Kutuzov,
there is not a single Russian in command of a column! The commanders
are: Herr General Wimpfen, le Comte de Langeron, le Prince de
Lichtenstein, le Prince, de Hohenlohe, and finally Prishprish, and so on
like all those Polish names."

"Be quiet, backbiter!" said Dolgorukov. "It is not true; there are now
two Russians, Miloradovich, and Dokhturov, and there would be a third,
Count Arakcheev, if his nerves were not too weak."

"However, I think General Kutuzov has come out," said Prince Andrew. "I
wish you good luck and success, gentlemen!" he added and went out after
shaking hands with Dolgorukov and Bilibin.

On the way home, Prince Andrew could not refrain from asking Kutuzov,
who was sitting silently beside him, what he thought of tomorrow's
battle.

Kutuzov looked sternly at his adjutant and, after a pause, replied: "I
think the battle will be lost, and so I told Count Tolstoy and asked
him to tell the Emperor. What do you think he replied? 'But, my dear
general, I am engaged with rice and cutlets, look after military matters
yourself!' Yes... That was the answer I got!"

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII

 

Shortly after nine o'clock that evening, Weyrother drove with his plans
to Kutuzov's quarters where the council of war was to be held. All the
commanders of columns were summoned to the commander in chief's and with
the exception of Prince Bagration, who declined to come, were all there
at the appointed time.

Weyrother, who was in full control of the proposed battle, by his
eagerness and briskness presented a marked contrast to the dissatisfied
and drowsy Kutuzov, who reluctantly played the part of chairman and
president of the council of war. Weyrother evidently felt himself to be
at the head of a movement that had already become unrestrainable. He was
like a horse running downhill harnessed to a heavy cart. Whether he was
pulling it or being pushed by it he did not know, but rushed along at
headlong speed with no time to consider what this movement might lead
to. Weyrother had been twice that evening to the enemy's picket line to
reconnoiter personally, and twice to the Emperors, Russian and Austrian,
to report and explain, and to his headquarters where he had dictated
the dispositions in German, and now, much exhausted, he arrived at
Kutuzov's.

He was evidently so busy that he even forgot to be polite to the
commander in chief. He interrupted him, talked rapidly and indistinctly,
without looking at the man he was addressing, and did not reply to
questions put to him. He was bespattered with mud and had a pitiful,
weary, and distracted air, though at the same time he was haughty and
self-confident.

Kutuzov was occupying a nobleman's castle of modest dimensions near
Ostralitz. In the large drawing room which had become the commander in
chief's office were gathered Kutuzov himself, Weyrother, and the members
of the council of war. They were drinking tea, and only awaited Prince
Bagration to begin the council. At last Bagration's orderly came with
the news that the prince could not attend. Prince Andrew came in
to inform the commander in chief of this and, availing himself of
permission previously given him by Kutuzov to be present at the council,
he remained in the room.

"Since Prince Bagration is not coming, we may begin," said Weyrother,
hurriedly rising from his seat and going up to the table on which an
enormous map of the environs of Brunn was spread out.

Kutuzov, with his uniform unbuttoned so that his fat neck bulged over
his collar as if escaping, was sitting almost asleep in a low chair,
with his podgy old hands resting symmetrically on its arms. At the sound
of Weyrother's voice, he opened his one eye with an effort.

"Yes, yes, if you please! It is already late," said he, and nodding his
head he let it droop and again closed his eye.

If at first the members of the council thought that Kutuzov was
pretending to sleep, the sounds his nose emitted during the reading that
followed proved that the commander in chief at that moment was absorbed
by a far more serious matter than a desire to show his contempt for
the dispositions or anything else--he was engaged in satisfying the
irresistible human need for sleep. He really was asleep. Weyrother, with
the gesture of a man too busy to lose a moment, glanced at Kutuzov and,
having convinced himself that he was asleep, took up a paper and in
a loud, monotonous voice began to read out the dispositions for the
impending battle, under a heading which he also read out:

"Dispositions for an attack on the enemy position behind Kobelnitz and
Sokolnitz, November 30, 1805."

The dispositions were very complicated and difficult. They began as
follows:

"As the enemy's left wing rests on wooded hills and his right extends
along Kobelnitz and Sokolnitz behind the ponds that are there, while we,
on the other hand, with our left wing by far outflank his right, it is
advantageous to attack the enemy's latter wing especially if we occupy
the villages of Sokolnitz and Kobelnitz, whereby we can both fall on
his flank and pursue him over the plain between Schlappanitz and the
Thuerassa forest, avoiding the defiles of Schlappanitz and Bellowitz
which cover the enemy's front. For this object it is necessary that...
The first column marches... The second column marches... The third
column marches..." and so on, read Weyrother.

The generals seemed to listen reluctantly to the difficult dispositions.
The tall, fair-haired General Buxhowden stood, leaning his back against
the wall, his eyes fixed on a burning candle, and seemed not to listen
or even to wish to be thought to listen. Exactly opposite Weyrother,
with his glistening wide-open eyes fixed upon him and his mustache
twisted upwards, sat the ruddy Miloradovich in a military pose, his
elbows turned outwards, his hands on his knees, and his shoulders
raised. He remained stubbornly silent, gazing at Weyrother's face, and
only turned away his eyes when the Austrian chief of staff finished
reading. Then Miloradovich looked round significantly at the other
generals. But one could not tell from that significant look whether he
agreed or disagreed and was satisfied or not with the arrangements. Next
to Weyrother sat Count Langeron who, with a subtle smile that never left
his typically southern French face during the whole time of the reading,
gazed at his delicate fingers which rapidly twirled by its corners
a gold snuffbox on which was a portrait. In the middle of one of the
longest sentences, he stopped the rotary motion of the snuffbox, raised
his head, and with inimical politeness lurking in the corners of his
thin lips interrupted Weyrother, wishing to say something. But the
Austrian general, continuing to read, frowned angrily and jerked his
elbows, as if to say: "You can tell me your views later, but now be so
good as to look at the map and listen." Langeron lifted his eyes with an
expression of perplexity, turned round to Miloradovich as if seeking an
explanation, but meeting the latter's impressive but meaningless gaze
drooped his eyes sadly and again took to twirling his snuffbox.

"A geography lesson!" he muttered as if to himself, but loud enough to
be heard.

Przebyszewski, with respectful but dignified politeness, held his
hand to his ear toward Weyrother, with the air of a man absorbed in
attention. Dohkturov, a little man, sat opposite Weyrother, with
an assiduous and modest mien, and stooping over the outspread map
conscientiously studied the dispositions and the unfamiliar locality. He
asked Weyrother several times to repeat words he had not clearly heard
and the difficult names of villages. Weyrother complied and Dohkturov
noted them down.

When the reading which lasted more than an hour was over, Langeron again
brought his snuffbox to rest and, without looking at Weyrother or at
anyone in particular, began to say how difficult it was to carry out
such a plan in which the enemy's position was assumed to be known,
whereas it was perhaps not known, since the enemy was in movement.
Langeron's objections were valid but it was obvious that their chief
aim was to show General Weyrother--who had read his dispositions with as
much self-confidence as if he were addressing school children--that he
had to do, not with fools, but with men who could teach him something in
military matters.

When the monotonous sound of Weyrother's voice ceased, Kutuzov opened
his eye as a miller wakes up when the soporific drone of the mill wheel
is interrupted. He listened to what Langeron said, as if remarking, "So
you are still at that silly business!" quickly closed his eye again, and
let his head sink still lower.

Langeron, trying as virulently as possible to sting Weyrother's vanity
as author of the military plan, argued that Bonaparte might easily
attack instead of being attacked, and so render the whole of this
plan perfectly worthless. Weyrother met all objections with a firm and
contemptuous smile, evidently prepared beforehand to meet all objections
be they what they might.

"If he could attack us, he would have done so today," said he.

"So you think he is powerless?" said Langeron.

"He has forty thousand men at most," replied Weyrother, with the smile
of a doctor to whom an old wife wishes to explain the treatment of a
case.

"In that case he is inviting his doom by awaiting our attack," said
Langeron, with a subtly ironical smile, again glancing round for support
to Miloradovich who was near him.

But Miloradovich was at that moment evidently thinking of anything
rather than of what the generals were disputing about.

"Ma foi!" said he, "tomorrow we shall see all that on the battlefield."

Weyrother again gave that smile which seemed to say that to him it was
strange and ridiculous to meet objections from Russian generals and to
have to prove to them what he had not merely convinced himself of, but
had also convinced the sovereign Emperors of.

"The enemy has quenched his fires and a continual noise is heard from
his camp," said he. "What does that mean? Either he is retreating, which
is the only thing we need fear, or he is changing his position." (He
smiled ironically.) "But even if he also took up a position in the
Thuerassa, he merely saves us a great deal of trouble and all our
arrangements to the minutest detail remain the same."

"How is that?..." began Prince Andrew, who had for long been waiting an
opportunity to express his doubts.

Kutuzov here woke up, coughed heavily, and looked round at the generals.

"Gentlemen, the dispositions for tomorrow--or rather for today, for it
is past midnight--cannot now be altered," said he. "You have heard them,
and we shall all do our duty. But before a battle, there is nothing more
important..." he paused, "than to have a good sleep."

He moved as if to rise. The generals bowed and retired. It was past
midnight. Prince Andrew went out.

 

The council of war, at which Prince Andrew had not been able to
express his opinion as he had hoped to, left on him a vague and uneasy
impression. Whether Dolgorukov and Weyrother, or Kutuzov, Langeron, and
the others who did not approve of the plan of attack, were right--he did
not know. "But was it really not possible for Kutuzov to state his views
plainly to the Emperor? Is it possible that on account of court and
personal considerations tens of thousands of lives, and my life, my
life," he thought, "must be risked?"

"Yes, it is very likely that I shall be killed tomorrow," he thought.
And suddenly, at this thought of death, a whole series of most distant,
most intimate, memories rose in his imagination: he remembered his last
parting from his father and his wife; he remembered the days when he
first loved her. He thought of her pregnancy and felt sorry for her and
for himself, and in a nervously emotional and softened mood he went out
of the hut in which he was billeted with Nesvitski and began to walk up
and down before it.

The night was foggy and through the fog the moonlight gleamed
mysteriously. "Yes, tomorrow, tomorrow!" he thought. "Tomorrow
everything may be over for me! All these memories will be no more, none
of them will have any meaning for me. Tomorrow perhaps, even certainly,
I have a presentiment that for the first time I shall have to show all I
can do." And his fancy pictured the battle, its loss, the concentration
of fighting at one point, and the hesitation of all the commanders. And
then that happy moment, that Toulon for which he had so long waited,
presents itself to him at last. He firmly and clearly expresses his
opinion to Kutuzov, to Weyrother, and to the Emperors. All are struck by
the justness of his views, but no one undertakes to carry them out, so
he takes a regiment, a division-stipulates that no one is to interfere
with his arrangements--leads his division to the decisive point, and
gains the victory alone. "But death and suffering?" suggested another
voice. Prince Andrew, however, did not answer that voice and went on
dreaming of his triumphs. The dispositions for the next battle are
planned by him alone. Nominally he is only an adjutant on Kutuzov's
staff, but he does everything alone. The next battle is won by him
alone. Kutuzov is removed and he is appointed... "Well and then?" asked
the other voice. "If before that you are not ten times wounded, killed,
or betrayed, well... what then?..." "Well then," Prince Andrew answered
himself, "I don't know what will happen and don't want to know, and
can't, but if I want this--want glory, want to be known to men, want to
be loved by them, it is not my fault that I want it and want nothing
but that and live only for that. Yes, for that alone! I shall never
tell anyone, but, oh God! what am I to do if I love nothing but fame
and men's esteem? Death, wounds, the loss of family--I fear nothing. And
precious and dear as many persons are to me--father, sister, wife--those
dearest to me--yet dreadful and unnatural as it seems, I would give them
all at once for a moment of glory, of triumph over men, of love from men
I don't know and never shall know, for the love of these men here," he
thought, as he listened to voices in Kutuzov's courtyard. The voices
were those of the orderlies who were packing up; one voice, probably a
coachman's, was teasing Kutuzov's old cook whom Prince Andrew knew, and
who was called Tit. He was saying, "Tit, I say, Tit!"

"Well?" returned the old man.

"Go, Tit, thresh a bit!" said the wag.

"Oh, go to the devil!" called out a voice, drowned by the laughter of
the orderlies and servants.

"All the same, I love and value nothing but triumph over them all, I
value this mystic power and glory that is floating here above me in this
mist!"

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIII

 

That same night, Rostov was with a platoon on skirmishing duty in front
of Bagration's detachment. His hussars were placed along the line
in couples and he himself rode along the line trying to master the
sleepiness that kept coming over him. An enormous space, with our army's
campfires dimly glowing in the fog, could be seen behind him; in front
of him was misty darkness. Rostov could see nothing, peer as he would
into that foggy distance: now something gleamed gray, now there was
something black, now little lights seemed to glimmer where the enemy
ought to be, now he fancied it was only something in his own eyes.
His eyes kept closing, and in his fancy appeared--now the Emperor, now
Denisov, and now Moscow memories--and he again hurriedly opened his eyes
and saw close before him the head and ears of the horse he was riding,
and sometimes, when he came within six paces of them, the black figures
of hussars, but in the distance was still the same misty darkness. "Why
not?... It might easily happen," thought Rostov, "that the Emperor will
meet me and give me an order as he would to any other officer; he'll
say: 'Go and find out what's there.' There are many stories of his
getting to know an officer in just such a chance way and attaching him
to himself! What if he gave me a place near him? Oh, how I would guard
him, how I would tell him the truth, how I would unmask his deceivers!"
And in order to realize vividly his love devotion to the sovereign,
Rostov pictured to himself an enemy or a deceitful German, whom he would
not only kill with pleasure but whom he would slap in the face before
the Emperor. Suddenly a distant shout aroused him. He started and opened
his eyes.

"Where am I? Oh yes, in the skirmishing line... pass and
watchword--shaft, Olmutz. What a nuisance that our squadron will be in
reserve tomorrow," he thought. "I'll ask leave to go to the front, this
may be my only chance of seeing the Emperor. It won't be long now before
I am off duty. I'll take another turn and when I get back I'll go to the
general and ask him." He readjusted himself in the saddle and touched up
his horse to ride once more round his hussars. It seemed to him that it
was getting lighter. To the left he saw a sloping descent lit up, and
facing it a black knoll that seemed as steep as a wall. On this knoll
there was a white patch that Rostov could not at all make out: was it
a glade in the wood lit up by the moon, or some unmelted snow, or some
white houses? He even thought something moved on that white spot. "I
expect it's snow... that spot... a spot--une tache," he thought. "There
now... it's not a tache... Natasha... sister, black eyes... Na...
tasha... (Won't she be surprised when I tell her how I've seen the
Emperor?) Natasha... take my sabretache..."--"Keep to the right, your
honor, there are bushes here," came the voice of an hussar, past whom
Rostov was riding in the act of falling asleep. Rostov lifted his
head that had sunk almost to his horse's mane and pulled up beside
the hussar. He was succumbing to irresistible, youthful, childish
drowsiness. "But what was I thinking? I mustn't forget. How shall
I speak to the Emperor? No, that's not it--that's tomorrow. Oh yes!
Natasha... sabretache... saber them... Whom? The hussars... Ah, the
hussars with mustaches. Along the Tverskaya Street rode the hussar with
mustaches... I thought about him too, just opposite Guryev's house...
Old Guryev.... Oh, but Denisov's a fine fellow. But that's all nonsense.
The chief thing is that the Emperor is here. How he looked at me and
wished to say something, but dared not.... No, it was I who dared not.
But that's nonsense, the chief thing is not to forget the important
thing I was thinking of. Yes, Na-tasha, sabretache, oh, yes, yes! That's
right!" And his head once more sank to his horse's neck. All at once it
seemed to him that he was being fired at. "What? What? What?... Cut them
down! What?..." said Rostov, waking up. At the moment he opened his eyes
he heard in front of him, where the enemy was, the long-drawn shouts
of thousands of voices. His horse and the horse of the hussar near him
pricked their ears at these shouts. Over there, where the shouting came
from, a fire flared up and went out again, then another, and all along
the French line on the hill fires flared up and the shouting grew louder
and louder. Rostov could hear the sound of French words but could not
distinguish them. The din of many voices was too great; all he could
hear was: "ahahah!" and "rrrr!"

"What's that? What do you make of it?" said Rostov to the hussar beside
him. "That must be the enemy's camp!"

The hussar did not reply.

"Why, don't you hear it?" Rostov asked again, after waiting for a reply.

"Who can tell, your honor?" replied the hussar reluctantly.

"From the direction, it must be the enemy," repeated Rostov.

"It may be he or it may be nothing," muttered the hussar. "It's dark...
Steady!" he cried to his fidgeting horse.

Rostov's horse was also getting restive: it pawed the frozen ground,
pricking its ears at the noise and looking at the lights. The shouting
grew still louder and merged into a general roar that only an army
of several thousand men could produce. The lights spread farther and
farther, probably along the line of the French camp. Rostov no longer
wanted to sleep. The gay triumphant shouting of the enemy army had a
stimulating effect on him. "Vive l'Empereur! L'Empereur!" he now heard
distinctly.

"They can't be far off, probably just beyond the stream," he said to the
hussar beside him.

The hussar only sighed without replying and coughed angrily. The sound
of horse's hoofs approaching at a trot along the line of hussars was
heard, and out of the foggy darkness the figure of a sergeant of hussars
suddenly appeared, looming huge as an elephant.

"Your honor, the generals!" said the sergeant, riding up to Rostov.

Rostov, still looking round toward the fires and the shouts, rode with
the sergeant to meet some mounted men who were riding along the line.
One was on a white horse. Prince Bagration and Prince Dolgorukov with
their adjutants had come to witness the curious phenomenon of the lights
and shouts in the enemy's camp. Rostov rode up to Bagration, reported to
him, and then joined the adjutants listening to what the generals were
saying.

"Believe me," said Prince Dolgorukov, addressing Bagration, "it is
nothing but a trick! He has retreated and ordered the rearguard to
kindle fires and make a noise to deceive us."

"Hardly," said Bagration. "I saw them this evening on that knoll; if
they had retreated they would have withdrawn from that too.... Officer!"
said Bagration to Rostov, "are the enemy's skirmishers still there?"

"They were there this evening, but now I don't know, your excellency.
Shall I go with some of my hussars to see?" replied Rostov.

Bagration stopped and, before replying, tried to see Rostov's face in
the mist.

"Well, go and see," he said, after a pause.

"Yes, sir."

Rostov spurred his horse, called to Sergeant Fedchenko and two other
hussars, told them to follow him, and trotted downhill in the direction
from which the shouting came. He felt both frightened and pleased to be
riding alone with three hussars into that mysterious and dangerous misty
distance where no one had been before him. Bagration called to him from
the hill not to go beyond the stream, but Rostov pretended not to hear
him and did not stop but rode on and on, continually mistaking bushes
for trees and gullies for men and continually discovering his mistakes.
Having descended the hill at a trot, he no longer saw either our own or
the enemy's fires, but heard the shouting of the French more loudly and
distinctly. In the valley he saw before him something like a river, but
when he reached it he found it was a road. Having come out onto the road
he reined in his horse, hesitating whether to ride along it or cross it
and ride over the black field up the hillside. To keep to the road which
gleamed white in the mist would have been safer because it would be
easier to see people coming along it. "Follow me!" said he, crossed the
road, and began riding up the hill at a gallop toward the point where
the French pickets had been standing that evening.

"Your honor, there he is!" cried one of the hussars behind him. And
before Rostov had time to make out what the black thing was that had
suddenly appeared in the fog, there was a flash, followed by a report,
and a bullet whizzing high up in the mist with a plaintive sound passed
out of hearing. Another musket missed fire but flashed in the pan.
Rostov turned his horse and galloped back. Four more reports followed
at intervals, and the bullets passed somewhere in the fog singing in
different tones. Rostov reined in his horse, whose spirits had risen,
like his own, at the firing, and went back at a footpace. "Well, some
more! Some more!" a merry voice was saying in his soul. But no more
shots came.

Only when approaching Bagration did Rostov let his horse gallop again,
and with his hand at the salute rode up to the general.

Dolgorukov was still insisting that the French had retreated and had
only lit fires to deceive us.

"What does that prove?" he was saying as Rostov rode up. "They might
retreat and leave the pickets."

"It's plain that they have not all gone yet, Prince," said Bagration.
"Wait till tomorrow morning, we'll find out everything tomorrow."

"The picket is still on the hill, your excellency, just where it was
in the evening," reported Rostov, stooping forward with his hand at the
salute and unable to repress the smile of delight induced by his ride
and especially by the sound of the bullets.

"Very good, very good," said Bagration. "Thank you, officer."

"Your excellency," said Rostov, "may I ask a favor?"

"What is it?"

"Tomorrow our squadron is to be in reserve. May I ask to be attached to
the first squadron?"

"What's your name?"

"Count Rostov."

"Oh, very well, you may stay in attendance on me."

"Count Ilya Rostov's son?" asked Dolgorukov.

But Rostov did not reply.

"Then I may reckon on it, your excellency?"

"I will give the order."

"Tomorrow very likely I may be sent with some message to the Emperor,"
thought Rostov.

"Thank God!"

 

The fires and shouting in the enemy's army were occasioned by the fact
that while Napoleon's proclamation was being read to the troops the
Emperor himself rode round his bivouacs. The soldiers, on seeing him,
lit wisps of straw and ran after him, shouting, "Vive l'Empereur!"
Napoleon's proclamation was as follows:

 

Soldiers! The Russian army is advancing against you to avenge the
Austrian army of Ulm. They are the same battalions you broke at
Hollabrunn and have pursued ever since to this place. The position we
occupy is a strong one, and while they are marching to go round me on
the right they will expose a flank to me. Soldiers! I will myself direct
your battalions. I will keep out of fire if you with your habitual valor
carry disorder and confusion into the enemy's ranks, but should victory
be in doubt, even for a moment, you will see your Emperor exposing
himself to the first blows of the enemy, for there must be no doubt of
victory, especially on this day when what is at stake is the honor of
the French infantry, so necessary to the honor of our nation.

Do not break your ranks on the plea of removing the wounded! Let every
man be fully imbued with the thought that we must defeat these hirelings
of England, inspired by such hatred of our nation! This victory will
conclude our campaign and we can return to winter quarters, where fresh
French troops who are being raised in France will join us, and the peace
I shall conclude will be worthy of my people, of you, and of myself.

NAPOLEON

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIV

 

At five in the morning it was still quite dark. The troops of the
center, the reserves, and Bagration's right flank had not yet moved, but
on the left flank the columns of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, which
were to be the first to descend the heights to attack the French right
flank and drive it into the Bohemian mountains according to plan, were
already up and astir. The smoke of the campfires, into which they were
throwing everything superfluous, made the eyes smart. It was cold and
dark. The officers were hurriedly drinking tea and breakfasting, the
soldiers, munching biscuit and beating a tattoo with their feet to
warm themselves, gathering round the fires throwing into the flames the
remains of sheds, chairs, tables, wheels, tubs, and everything that they
did not want or could not carry away with them. Austrian column guides
were moving in and out among the Russian troops and served as heralds
of the advance. As soon as an Austrian officer showed himself near a
commanding officer's quarters, the regiment began to move: the soldiers
ran from the fires, thrust their pipes into their boots, their bags
into the carts, got their muskets ready, and formed rank. The officers
buttoned up their coats, buckled on their swords and pouches, and moved
along the ranks shouting. The train drivers and orderlies harnessed and
packed the wagons and tied on the loads. The adjutants and battalion
and regimental commanders mounted, crossed themselves, gave final
instructions, orders, and commissions to the baggage men who remained
behind, and the monotonous tramp of thousands of feet resounded. The
column moved forward without knowing where and unable, from the masses
around them, the smoke and the increasing fog, to see either the place
they were leaving or that to which they were going.

A soldier on the march is hemmed in and borne along by his regiment as
much as a sailor is by his ship. However far he has walked, whatever
strange, unknown, and dangerous places he reaches, just as a sailor is
always surrounded by the same decks, masts, and rigging of his ship, so
the soldier always has around him the same comrades, the same ranks,
the same sergeant major Ivan Mitrich, the same company dog Jack, and the
same commanders. The sailor rarely cares to know the latitude in which
his ship is sailing, but on the day of battle--heaven knows how and
whence--a stern note of which all are conscious sounds in the moral
atmosphere of an army, announcing the approach of something decisive
and solemn, and awakening in the men an unusual curiosity. On the day of
battle the soldiers excitedly try to get beyond the interests of their
regiment, they listen intently, look about, and eagerly ask concerning
what is going on around them.

The fog had grown so dense that though it was growing light they could
not see ten paces ahead. Bushes looked like gigantic trees and level
ground like cliffs and slopes. Anywhere, on any side, one might
encounter an enemy invisible ten paces off. But the columns advanced
for a long time, always in the same fog, descending and ascending hills,
avoiding gardens and enclosures, going over new and unknown ground, and
nowhere encountering the enemy. On the contrary, the soldiers became
aware that in front, behind, and on all sides, other Russian columns
were moving in the same direction. Every soldier felt glad to know that
to the unknown place where he was going, many more of our men were going
too.

"There now, the Kurskies have also gone past," was being said in the
ranks.

"It's wonderful what a lot of our troops have gathered, lads! Last
night I looked at the campfires and there was no end of them. A regular
Moscow!"

Though none of the column commanders rode up to the ranks or talked to
the men (the commanders, as we saw at the council of war, were out of
humor and dissatisfied with the affair, and so did not exert themselves
to cheer the men but merely carried out the orders), yet the troops
marched gaily, as they always do when going into action, especially to
an attack. But when they had marched for about an hour in the dense fog,
the greater part of the men had to halt and an unpleasant consciousness
of some dislocation and blunder spread through the ranks. How such
a consciousness is communicated is very difficult to define, but it
certainly is communicated very surely, and flows rapidly, imperceptibly,
and irrepressibly, as water does in a creek. Had the Russian army been
alone without any allies, it might perhaps have been a long time before
this consciousness of mismanagement became a general conviction, but as
it was, the disorder was readily and naturally attributed to the stupid
Germans, and everyone was convinced that a dangerous muddle had been
occasioned by the sausage eaters.

"Why have we stopped? Is the way blocked? Or have we already come up
against the French?"

"No, one can't hear them. They'd be firing if we had."

"They were in a hurry enough to start us, and now here we stand in
the middle of a field without rhyme or reason. It's all those damned
Germans' muddling! What stupid devils!"

"Yes, I'd send them on in front, but no fear, they're crowding up
behind. And now here we stand hungry."

"I say, shall we soon be clear? They say the cavalry are blocking the
way," said an officer.

"Ah, those damned Germans! They don't know their own country!" said
another.

"What division are you?" shouted an adjutant, riding up.

"The Eighteenth."

"Then why are you here? You should have gone on long ago, now you won't
get there till evening."

"What stupid orders! They don't themselves know what they are doing!"
said the officer and rode off.

Then a general rode past shouting something angrily, not in Russian.

"Tafa-lafa! But what he's jabbering no one can make out," said a
soldier, mimicking the general who had ridden away. "I'd shoot them, the
scoundrels!"

"We were ordered to be at the place before nine, but we haven't got
halfway. Fine orders!" was being repeated on different sides.

And the feeling of energy with which the troops had started began to
turn into vexation and anger at the stupid arrangements and at the
Germans.

The cause of the confusion was that while the Austrian cavalry was
moving toward our left flank, the higher command found that our center
was too far separated from our right flank and the cavalry were all
ordered to turn back to the right. Several thousand cavalry crossed in
front of the infantry, who had to wait.

At the front an altercation occurred between an Austrian guide and a
Russian general. The general shouted a demand that the cavalry should be
halted, the Austrian argued that not he, but the higher command, was to
blame. The troops meanwhile stood growing listless and dispirited. After
an hour's delay they at last moved on, descending the hill. The fog that
was dispersing on the hill lay still more densely below, where they were
descending. In front in the fog a shot was heard and then another, at
first irregularly at varying intervals--trata... tat--and then more and
more regularly and rapidly, and the action at the Goldbach Stream began.

Not expecting to come on the enemy down by the stream, and having
stumbled on him in the fog, hearing no encouraging word from their
commanders, and with a consciousness of being too late spreading through
the ranks, and above all being unable to see anything in front or around
them in the thick fog, the Russians exchanged shots with the enemy
lazily and advanced and again halted, receiving no timely orders from
the officers or adjutants who wandered about in the fog in those unknown
surroundings unable to find their own regiments. In this way the action
began for the first, second, and third columns, which had gone down
into the valley. The fourth column, with which Kutuzov was, stood on the
Pratzen Heights.

Below, where the fight was beginning, there was still thick fog; on the
higher ground it was clearing, but nothing could be seen of what was
going on in front. Whether all the enemy forces were, as we supposed,
six miles away, or whether they were near by in that sea of mist, no one
knew till after eight o'clock.

It was nine o'clock in the morning. The fog lay unbroken like a sea down
below, but higher up at the village of Schlappanitz where Napoleon stood
with his marshals around him, it was quite light. Above him was a clear
blue sky, and the sun's vast orb quivered like a huge hollow, crimson
float on the surface of that milky sea of mist. The whole French army,
and even Napoleon himself with his staff, were not on the far side of
the streams and hollows of Sokolnitz and Schlappanitz beyond which we
intended to take up our position and begin the action, but were on this
side, so close to our own forces that Napoleon with the naked eye could
distinguish a mounted man from one on foot. Napoleon, in the blue cloak
which he had worn on his Italian campaign, sat on his small gray Arab
horse a little in front of his marshals. He gazed silently at the hills
which seemed to rise out of the sea of mist and on which the Russian
troops were moving in the distance, and he listened to the sounds of
firing in the valley. Not a single muscle of his face--which in those
days was still thin--moved. His gleaming eyes were fixed intently on one
spot. His predictions were being justified. Part of the Russian force
had already descended into the valley toward the ponds and lakes and
part were leaving these Pratzen Heights which he intended to attack
and regarded as the key to the position. He saw over the mist that in
a hollow between two hills near the village of Pratzen, the Russian
columns, their bayonets glittering, were moving continuously in one
direction toward the valley and disappearing one after another into
the mist. From information he had received the evening before, from the
sound of wheels and footsteps heard by the outposts during the night,
by the disorderly movement of the Russian columns, and from all
indications, he saw clearly that the allies believed him to be far away
in front of them, and that the columns moving near Pratzen constituted
the center of the Russian army, and that that center was already
sufficiently weakened to be successfully attacked. But still he did not
begin the engagement.

Today was a great day for him--the anniversary of his coronation. Before
dawn he had slept for a few hours, and refreshed, vigorous, and in good
spirits, he mounted his horse and rode out into the field in that happy
mood in which everything seems possible and everything succeeds. He sat
motionless, looking at the heights visible above the mist, and his cold
face wore that special look of confident, self-complacent happiness that
one sees on the face of a boy happily in love. The marshals stood
behind him not venturing to distract his attention. He looked now at the
Pratzen Heights, now at the sun floating up out of the mist.

When the sun had entirely emerged from the fog, and fields and mist were
aglow with dazzling light--as if he had only awaited this to begin the
action--he drew the glove from his shapely white hand, made a sign
with it to the marshals, and ordered the action to begin. The marshals,
accompanied by adjutants, galloped off in different directions, and
a few minutes later the chief forces of the French army moved rapidly
toward those Pratzen Heights which were being more and more denuded by
Russian troops moving down the valley to their left.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XV

 

At eight o'clock Kutuzov rode to Pratzen at the head of the fourth
column, Miloradovich's, the one that was to take the place of
Przebyszewski's and Langeron's columns which had already gone down into
the valley. He greeted the men of the foremost regiment and gave them
the order to march, thereby indicating that he intended to lead that
column himself. When he had reached the village of Pratzen he halted.
Prince Andrew was behind, among the immense number forming the commander
in chief's suite. He was in a state of suppressed excitement and
irritation, though controlledly calm as a man is at the approach of a
long-awaited moment. He was firmly convinced that this was the day of
his Toulon, or his bridge of Arcola. How it would come about he did not
know, but he felt sure it would do so. The locality and the position of
our troops were known to him as far as they could be known to anyone
in our army. His own strategic plan, which obviously could not now be
carried out, was forgotten. Now, entering into Weyrother's plan, Prince
Andrew considered possible contingencies and formed new projects such as
might call for his rapidity of perception and decision.

To the left down below in the mist, the musketry fire of unseen forces
could be heard. It was there Prince Andrew thought the fight would
concentrate. "There we shall encounter difficulties, and there," thought
he, "I shall be sent with a brigade or division, and there, standard in
hand, I shall go forward and break whatever is in front of me."

He could not look calmly at the standards of the passing battalions.
Seeing them he kept thinking, "That may be the very standard with which
I shall lead the army."

In the morning all that was left of the night mist on the heights was
a hoar frost now turning to dew, but in the valleys it still lay like a
milk-white sea. Nothing was visible in the valley to the left into which
our troops had descended and from whence came the sounds of firing.
Above the heights was the dark clear sky, and to the right the vast orb
of the sun. In front, far off on the farther shore of that sea of mist,
some wooded hills were discernible, and it was there the enemy probably
was, for something could be descried. On the right the Guards were
entering the misty region with a sound of hoofs and wheels and now and
then a gleam of bayonets; to the left beyond the village similar masses
of cavalry came up and disappeared in the sea of mist. In front and
behind moved infantry. The commander in chief was standing at the end of
the village letting the troops pass by him. That morning Kutuzov seemed
worn and irritable. The infantry passing before him came to a halt
without any command being given, apparently obstructed by something in
front.

"Do order them to form into battalion columns and go round the village!"
he said angrily to a general who had ridden up. "Don't you understand,
your excellency, my dear sir, that you must not defile through narrow
village streets when we are marching against the enemy?"

"I intended to re-form them beyond the village, your excellency,"
answered the general.

Kutuzov laughed bitterly.

"You'll make a fine thing of it, deploying in sight of the enemy! Very
fine!"

"The enemy is still far away, your excellency. According to the
dispositions..."

"The dispositions!" exclaimed Kutuzov bitterly. "Who told you that?...
Kindly do as you are ordered."

"Yes, sir."

"My dear fellow," Nesvitski whispered to Prince Andrew, "the old man is
as surly as a dog."

An Austrian officer in a white uniform with green plumes in his hat
galloped up to Kutuzov and asked in the Emperor's name had the fourth
column advanced into action.

Kutuzov turned round without answering and his eye happened to fall upon
Prince Andrew, who was beside him. Seeing him, Kutuzov's malevolent and
caustic expression softened, as if admitting that what was being done
was not his adjutant's fault, and still not answering the Austrian
adjutant, he addressed Bolkonski.

"Go, my dear fellow, and see whether the third division has passed the
village. Tell it to stop and await my orders."

Hardly had Prince Andrew started than he stopped him.

"And ask whether sharpshooters have been posted," he added. "What are
they doing? What are they doing?" he murmured to himself, still not
replying to the Austrian.

Prince Andrew galloped off to execute the order.

Overtaking the battalions that continued to advance, he stopped
the third division and convinced himself that there really were no
sharpshooters in front of our columns. The colonel at the head of the
regiment was much surprised at the commander in chief's order to throw
out skirmishers. He had felt perfectly sure that there were other troops
in front of him and that the enemy must be at least six miles away.
There was really nothing to be seen in front except a barren descent
hidden by dense mist. Having given orders in the commander in chief's
name to rectify this omission, Prince Andrew galloped back. Kutuzov
still in the same place, his stout body resting heavily in the saddle
with the lassitude of age, sat yawning wearily with closed eyes. The
troops were no longer moving, but stood with the butts of their muskets
on the ground.

"All right, all right!" he said to Prince Andrew, and turned to a
general who, watch in hand, was saying it was time they started as all
the left-flank columns had already descended.

"Plenty of time, your excellency," muttered Kutuzov in the midst of a
yawn. "Plenty of time," he repeated.

Just then at a distance behind Kutuzov was heard the sound of regiments
saluting, and this sound rapidly came nearer along the whole extended
line of the advancing Russian columns. Evidently the person they were
greeting was riding quickly. When the soldiers of the regiment in front
of which Kutuzov was standing began to shout, he rode a little to one
side and looked round with a frown. Along the road from Pratzen galloped
what looked like a squadron of horsemen in various uniforms. Two of them
rode side by side in front, at full gallop. One in a black uniform with
white plumes in his hat rode a bobtailed chestnut horse, the other who
was in a white uniform rode a black one. These were the two Emperors
followed by their suites. Kutuzov, affecting the manners of an old
soldier at the front, gave the command "Attention!" and rode up to the
Emperors with a salute. His whole appearance and manner were suddenly
transformed. He put on the air of a subordinate who obeys without
reasoning. With an affectation of respect which evidently struck
Alexander unpleasantly, he rode up and saluted.

This unpleasant impression merely flitted over the young and happy face
of the Emperor like a cloud of haze across a clear sky and vanished.
After his illness he looked rather thinner that day than on the field of
Olmutz where Bolkonski had seen him for the first time abroad, but there
was still the same bewitching combination of majesty and mildness in his
fine gray eyes, and on his delicate lips the same capacity for varying
expression and the same prevalent appearance of goodhearted innocent
youth.

At the Olmutz review he had seemed more majestic; here he seemed
brighter and more energetic. He was slightly flushed after galloping two
miles, and reining in his horse he sighed restfully and looked round
at the faces of his suite, young and animated as his own. Czartoryski,
Novosiltsev, Prince Volkonsky, Strogonov, and the others, all richly
dressed gay young men on splendid, well-groomed, fresh, only slightly
heated horses, exchanging remarks and smiling, had stopped behind the
Emperor. The Emperor Francis, a rosy, long faced young man, sat very
erect on his handsome black horse, looking about him in a leisurely and
preoccupied manner. He beckoned to one of his white adjutants and asked
some question--"Most likely he is asking at what o'clock they started,"
thought Prince Andrew, watching his old acquaintance with a smile
he could not repress as he recalled his reception at Brunn. In the
Emperors' suite were the picked young orderly officers of the Guard and
line regiments, Russian and Austrian. Among them were grooms leading the
Tsar's beautiful relay horses covered with embroidered cloths.

As when a window is opened a whiff of fresh air from the fields enters
a stuffy room, so a whiff of youthfulness, energy, and confidence of
success reached Kutuzov's cheerless staff with the galloping advent of
all these brilliant young men.

"Why aren't you beginning, Michael Ilarionovich?" said the Emperor
Alexander hurriedly to Kutuzov, glancing courteously at the same time at
the Emperor Francis.

"I am waiting, Your Majesty," answered Kutuzov, bending forward
respectfully.

The Emperor, frowning slightly, bent his ear forward as if he had not
quite heard.

"Waiting, Your Majesty," repeated Kutuzov. (Prince Andrew noted that
Kutuzov's upper lip twitched unnaturally as he said the word "waiting.")
"Not all the columns have formed up yet, Your Majesty."

The Tsar heard but obviously did not like the reply; he shrugged his
rather round shoulders and glanced at Novosiltsev who was near him, as
if complaining of Kutuzov.

"You know, Michael Ilarionovich, we are not on the Empress' Field where
a parade does not begin till all the troops are assembled," said the
Tsar with another glance at the Emperor Francis, as if inviting him if
not to join in at least to listen to what he was saying. But the Emperor
Francis continued to look about him and did not listen.

"That is just why I do not begin, sire," said Kutuzov in a resounding
voice, apparently to preclude the possibility of not being heard, and
again something in his face twitched--"That is just why I do not begin,
sire, because we are not on parade and not on the Empress' Field," said
clearly and distinctly.

In the Emperor's suite all exchanged rapid looks that expressed
dissatisfaction and reproach. "Old though he may be, he should not, he
certainly should not, speak like that," their glances seemed to say.

The Tsar looked intently and observantly into Kutuzov's eye waiting to
hear whether he would say anything more. But Kutuzov, with respectfully
bowed head, seemed also to be waiting. The silence lasted for about a
minute.

"However, if you command it, Your Majesty," said Kutuzov, lifting his
head and again assuming his former tone of a dull, unreasoning, but
submissive general.

He touched his horse and having called Miloradovich, the commander of
the column, gave him the order to advance.

The troops again began to move, and two battalions of the Novgorod and
one of the Apsheron regiment went forward past the Emperor.

As this Apsheron battalion marched by, the red-faced Miloradovich,
without his greatcoat, with his Orders on his breast and an enormous
tuft of plumes in his cocked hat worn on one side with its corners front
and back, galloped strenuously forward, and with a dashing salute reined
in his horse before the Emperor.

"God be with you, general!" said the Emperor.

"Ma foi, sire, nous ferons ce qui sera dans notre possibilite, sire,"
* he answered gaily, raising nevertheless ironic smiles among the
gentlemen of the Tsar's suite by his poor French.

 

* "Indeed, Sire, we shall do everything it is possible to
do, Sire."

 

Miloradovich wheeled his horse sharply and stationed himself a little
behind the Emperor. The Apsheron men, excited by the Tsar's presence,
passed in step before the Emperors and their suites at a bold, brisk
pace.

"Lads!" shouted Miloradovich in a loud, self-confident, and cheery
voice, obviously so elated by the sound of firing, by the prospect
of battle, and by the sight of the gallant Apsherons, his comrades in
Suvorov's time, now passing so gallantly before the Emperors, that
he forgot the sovereigns' presence. "Lads, it's not the first village
you've had to take," cried he.

"Glad to do our best!" shouted the soldiers.

The Emperor's horse started at the sudden cry. This horse that had
carried the sovereign at reviews in Russia bore him also here on the
field of Austerlitz, enduring the heedless blows of his left foot and
pricking its ears at the sound of shots just as it had done on the
Empress' Field, not understanding the significance of the firing, nor
of the nearness of the Emperor Francis' black cob, nor of all that was
being said, thought, and felt that day by its rider.

The Emperor turned with a smile to one of his followers and made a
remark to him, pointing to the gallant Apsherons.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVI

 

Kutuzov accompanied by his adjutants rode at a walking pace behind the
carabineers.

When he had gone less than half a mile in the rear of the column he
stopped at a solitary, deserted house that had probably once been an
inn, where two roads parted. Both of them led downhill and troops were
marching along both.

The fog had begun to clear and enemy troops were already dimly visible
about a mile and a half off on the opposite heights. Down below, on
the left, the firing became more distinct. Kutuzov had stopped and was
speaking to an Austrian general. Prince Andrew, who was a little behind
looking at them, turned to an adjutant to ask him for a field glass.

"Look, look!" said this adjutant, looking not at the troops in the
distance, but down the hill before him. "It's the French!"

The two generals and the adjutant took hold of the field glass, trying
to snatch it from one another. The expression on all their faces
suddenly changed to one of horror. The French were supposed to be a
mile and a half away, but had suddenly and unexpectedly appeared just in
front of us.

"It's the enemy?... No!... Yes, see it is!... for certain.... But how is
that?" said different voices.

With the naked eye Prince Andrew saw below them to the right, not more
than five hundred paces from where Kutuzov was standing, a dense French
column coming up to meet the Apsherons.

"Here it is! The decisive moment has arrived. My turn has come," thought
Prince Andrew, and striking his horse he rode up to Kutuzov.

"The Apsherons must be stopped, your excellency," cried he. But at that
very instant a cloud of smoke spread all round, firing was heard quite
close at hand, and a voice of naive terror barely two steps from Prince
Andrew shouted, "Brothers! All's lost!" And at this as if at a command,
everyone began to run.

Confused and ever-increasing crowds were running back to where five
minutes before the troops had passed the Emperors. Not only would it
have been difficult to stop that crowd, it was even impossible not to
be carried back with it oneself. Bolkonski only tried not to lose touch
with it, and looked around bewildered and unable to grasp what was
happening in front of him. Nesvitski with an angry face, red and unlike
himself, was shouting to Kutuzov that if he did not ride away at once
he would certainly be taken prisoner. Kutuzov remained in the same place
and without answering drew out a handkerchief. Blood was flowing from
his cheek. Prince Andrew forced his way to him.

"You are wounded?" he asked, hardly able to master the trembling of his
lower jaw.

"The wound is not here, it is there!" said Kutuzov, pressing the
handkerchief to his wounded cheek and pointing to the fleeing soldiers.
"Stop them!" he shouted, and at the same moment, probably realizing that
it was impossible to stop them, spurred his horse and rode to the right.

A fresh wave of the flying mob caught him and bore him back with it.

The troops were running in such a dense mass that once surrounded by
them it was difficult to get out again. One was shouting, "Get on! Why
are you hindering us?" Another in the same place turned round and fired
in the air; a third was striking the horse Kutuzov himself rode. Having
by a great effort got away to the left from that flood of men, Kutuzov,
with his suite diminished by more than half, rode toward a sound of
artillery fire near by. Having forced his way out of the crowd of
fugitives, Prince Andrew, trying to keep near Kutuzov, saw on the slope
of the hill amid the smoke a Russian battery that was still firing and
Frenchmen running toward it. Higher up stood some Russian infantry,
neither moving forward to protect the battery nor backward with the
fleeing crowd. A mounted general separated himself from the infantry and
approached Kutuzov. Of Kutuzov's suite only four remained. They were all
pale and exchanged looks in silence.

"Stop those wretches!" gasped Kutuzov to the regimental commander,
pointing to the flying soldiers; but at that instant, as if to punish
him for those words, bullets flew hissing across the regiment and across
Kutuzov's suite like a flock of little birds.

The French had attacked the battery and, seeing Kutuzov, were firing
at him. After this volley the regimental commander clutched at his leg;
several soldiers fell, and a second lieutenant who was holding the
flag let it fall from his hands. It swayed and fell, but caught on the
muskets of the nearest soldiers. The soldiers started firing without
orders.

"Oh! Oh! Oh!" groaned Kutuzov despairingly and looked around....
"Bolkonski!" he whispered, his voice trembling from a consciousness
of the feebleness of age, "Bolkonski!" he whispered, pointing to the
disordered battalion and at the enemy, "what's that?"

But before he had finished speaking, Prince Andrew, feeling tears of
shame and anger choking him, had already leapt from his horse and run to
the standard.

"Forward, lads!" he shouted in a voice piercing as a child's.

"Here it is!" thought he, seizing the staff of the standard and hearing
with pleasure the whistle of bullets evidently aimed at him. Several
soldiers fell.

"Hurrah!" shouted Prince Andrew, and, scarcely able to hold up the heavy
standard, he ran forward with full confidence that the whole battalion
would follow him.

And really he only ran a few steps alone. One soldier moved and then
another and soon the whole battalion ran forward shouting "Hurrah!" and
overtook him. A sergeant of the battalion ran up and took the flag
that was swaying from its weight in Prince Andrew's hands, but he
was immediately killed. Prince Andrew again seized the standard and,
dragging it by the staff, ran on with the battalion. In front he saw our
artillerymen, some of whom were fighting, while others, having abandoned
their guns, were running toward him. He also saw French infantry
soldiers who were seizing the artillery horses and turning the guns
round. Prince Andrew and the battalion were already within twenty paces
of the cannon. He heard the whistle of bullets above him unceasingly and
to right and left of him soldiers continually groaned and dropped. But
he did not look at them: he looked only at what was going on in front
of him--at the battery. He now saw clearly the figure of a red-haired
gunner with his shako knocked awry, pulling one end of a mop while
a French soldier tugged at the other. He could distinctly see the
distraught yet angry expression on the faces of these two men, who
evidently did not realize what they were doing.

"What are they about?" thought Prince Andrew as he gazed at them. "Why
doesn't the red-haired gunner run away as he is unarmed? Why doesn't the
Frenchman stab him? He will not get away before the Frenchman remembers
his bayonet and stabs him...."

And really another French soldier, trailing his musket, ran up to
the struggling men, and the fate of the red-haired gunner, who had
triumphantly secured the mop and still did not realize what awaited him,
was about to be decided. But Prince Andrew did not see how it ended. It
seemed to him as though one of the soldiers near him hit him on the head
with the full swing of a bludgeon. It hurt a little, but the worst of
it was that the pain distracted him and prevented his seeing what he had
been looking at.

"What's this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way," thought he, and
fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle of
the Frenchmen with the gunners ended, whether the red-haired gunner had
been killed or not and whether the cannon had been captured or saved.
But he saw nothing. Above him there was now nothing but the sky--the
lofty sky, not clear yet still immeasurably lofty, with gray clouds
gliding slowly across it. "How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not at all
as I ran," thought Prince Andrew--"not as we ran, shouting and fighting,
not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened and angry
faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds glide
across that lofty infinite sky! How was it I did not see that lofty sky
before? And how happy I am to have found it at last! Yes! All is vanity,
all falsehood, except that infinite sky. There is nothing, nothing, but
that. But even it does not exist, there is nothing but quiet and peace.
Thank God!..."

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVII

 

On our right flank commanded by Bagration, at nine o'clock the battle
had not yet begun. Not wishing to agree to Dolgorukov's demand to
commence the action, and wishing to avert responsibility from himself,
Prince Bagration proposed to Dolgorukov to send to inquire of the
commander in chief. Bagration knew that as the distance between the two
flanks was more than six miles, even if the messenger were not killed
(which he very likely would be), and found the commander in chief
(which would be very difficult), he would not be able to get back before
evening.

Bagration cast his large, expressionless, sleepy eyes round his suite,
and the boyish face Rostov, breathless with excitement and hope, was the
first to catch his eye. He sent him.

"And if I should meet His Majesty before I meet the commander in chief,
your excellency?" said Rostov, with his hand to his cap.

"You can give the message to His Majesty," said Dolgorukov, hurriedly
interrupting Bagration.

On being relieved from picket duty Rostov had managed to get a few
hours' sleep before morning and felt cheerful, bold, and resolute, with
elasticity of movement, faith in his good fortune, and generally in that
state of mind which makes everything seem possible, pleasant, and easy.

All his wishes were being fulfilled that morning: there was to be a
general engagement in which he was taking part, more than that, he was
orderly to the bravest general, and still more, he was going with a
message to Kutuzov, perhaps even to the sovereign himself. The morning
was bright, he had a good horse under him, and his heart was full of
joy and happiness. On receiving the order he gave his horse the rein and
galloped along the line. At first he rode along the line of Bagration's
troops, which had not yet advanced into action but were standing
motionless; then he came to the region occupied by Uvarov's cavalry
and here he noticed a stir and signs of preparation for battle; having
passed Uvarov's cavalry he clearly heard the sound of cannon and
musketry ahead of him. The firing grew louder and louder.

In the fresh morning air were now heard, not two or three musket shots
at irregular intervals as before, followed by one or two cannon shots,
but a roll of volleys of musketry from the slopes of the hill before
Pratzen, interrupted by such frequent reports of cannon that sometimes
several of them were not separated from one another but merged into a
general roar.

He could see puffs of musketry smoke that seemed to chase one another
down the hillsides, and clouds of cannon smoke rolling, spreading,
and mingling with one another. He could also, by the gleam of bayonets
visible through the smoke, make out moving masses of infantry and narrow
lines of artillery with green caissons.

Rostov stopped his horse for a moment on a hillock to see what was going
on, but strain his attention as he would he could not understand or make
out anything of what was happening: there in the smoke men of some sort
were moving about, in front and behind moved lines of troops; but why,
whither, and who they were, it was impossible to make out. These sights
and sounds had no depressing or intimidating effect on him; on the
contrary, they stimulated his energy and determination.

"Go on! Go on! Give it them!" he mentally exclaimed at these sounds,
and again proceeded to gallop along the line, penetrating farther and
farther into the region where the army was already in action.

"How it will be there I don't know, but all will be well!" thought
Rostov.

After passing some Austrian troops he noticed that the next part of the
line (the Guards) was already in action.

"So much the better! I shall see it close," he thought.

He was riding almost along the front line. A handful of men came
galloping toward him. They were our Uhlans who with disordered
ranks were returning from the attack. Rostov got out of their way,
involuntarily noticed that one of them was bleeding, and galloped on.

"That is no business of mine," he thought. He had not ridden many
hundred yards after that before he saw to his left, across the whole
width of the field, an enormous mass of cavalry in brilliant white
uniforms, mounted on black horses, trotting straight toward him and
across his path. Rostov put his horse to full gallop to get out of the
way of these men, and he would have got clear had they continued at the
same speed, but they kept increasing their pace, so that some of the
horses were already galloping. Rostov heard the thud of their hoofs and
the jingle of their weapons and saw their horses, their figures, and
even their faces, more and more distinctly. They were our Horse Guards,
advancing to attack the French cavalry that was coming to meet them.

The Horse Guards were galloping, but still holding in their horses.
Rostov could already see their faces and heard the command: "Charge!"
shouted by an officer who was urging his thoroughbred to full speed.
Rostov, fearing to be crushed or swept into the attack on the French,
galloped along the front as hard as his horse could go, but still was
not in time to avoid them.

The last of the Horse Guards, a huge pockmarked fellow, frowned angrily
on seeing Rostov before him, with whom he would inevitably collide.
This Guardsman would certainly have bowled Rostov and his Bedouin over
(Rostov felt himself quite tiny and weak compared to these gigantic men
and horses) had it not occurred to Rostov to flourish his whip before
the eyes of the Guardsman's horse. The heavy black horse, sixteen hands
high, shied, throwing back its ears; but the pockmarked Guardsman drove
his huge spurs in violently, and the horse, flourishing its tail and
extending its neck, galloped on yet faster. Hardly had the Horse Guards
passed Rostov before he heard them shout, "Hurrah!" and looking back saw
that their foremost ranks were mixed up with some foreign cavalry
with red epaulets, probably French. He could see nothing more, for
immediately afterwards cannon began firing from somewhere and smoke
enveloped everything.

At that moment, as the Horse Guards, having passed him, disappeared in
the smoke, Rostov hesitated whether to gallop after them or to go where
he was sent. This was the brilliant charge of the Horse Guards that
amazed the French themselves. Rostov was horrified to hear later that
of all that mass of huge and handsome men, of all those brilliant,
rich youths, officers and cadets, who had galloped past him on their
thousand-ruble horses, only eighteen were left after the charge.

"Why should I envy them? My chance is not lost, and maybe I shall see
the Emperor immediately!" thought Rostov and galloped on.

When he came level with the Foot Guards he noticed that about them and
around them cannon balls were flying, of which he was aware not so
much because he heard their sound as because he saw uneasiness on
the soldiers' faces and unnatural warlike solemnity on those of the
officers.

Passing behind one of the lines of a regiment of Foot Guards he heard a
voice calling him by name.

"Rostov!"

"What?" he answered, not recognizing Boris.

"I say, we've been in the front line! Our regiment attacked!" said Boris
with the happy smile seen on the faces of young men who have been under
fire for the first time.

Rostov stopped.

"Have you?" he said. "Well, how did it go?"

"We drove them back!" said Boris with animation, growing talkative. "Can
you imagine it?" and he began describing how the Guards, having taken
up their position and seeing troops before them, thought they were
Austrians, and all at once discovered from the cannon balls discharged
by those troops that they were themselves in the front line and had
unexpectedly to go into action. Rostov without hearing Boris to the end
spurred his horse.

"Where are you off to?" asked Boris.

"With a message to His Majesty."

"There he is!" said Boris, thinking Rostov had said "His Highness,"
and pointing to the Grand Duke who with his high shoulders and frowning
brows stood a hundred paces away from them in his helmet and Horse
Guards' jacket, shouting something to a pale, white uniformed Austrian
officer.

"But that's the Grand Duke, and I want the commander in chief or the
Emperor," said Rostov, and was about to spur his horse.

"Count! Count!" shouted Berg who ran up from the other side as eager
as Boris. "Count! I am wounded in my right hand" (and he showed his
bleeding hand with a handkerchief tied round it) "and I remained at the
front. I held my sword in my left hand, Count. All our family--the von
Bergs--have been knights!"

He said something more, but Rostov did not wait to hear it and rode
away.

Having passed the Guards and traversed an empty space, Rostov, to avoid
again getting in front of the first line as he had done when the Horse
Guards charged, followed the line of reserves, going far round the place
where the hottest musket fire and cannonade were heard. Suddenly he
heard musket fire quite close in front of him and behind our troops,
where he could never have expected the enemy to be.

"What can it be?" he thought. "The enemy in the rear of our army?
Impossible!" And suddenly he was seized by a panic of fear for himself
and for the issue of the whole battle. "But be that what it may,"
he reflected, "there is no riding round it now. I must look for the
commander in chief here, and if all is lost it is for me to perish with
the rest."

The foreboding of evil that had suddenly come over Rostov was more and
more confirmed the farther he rode into the region behind the village of
Pratzen, which was full of troops of all kinds.

"What does it mean? What is it? Whom are they firing at? Who is firing?"
Rostov kept asking as he came up to Russian and Austrian soldiers
running in confused crowds across his path.

"The devil knows! They've killed everybody! It's all up now!" he
was told in Russian, German, and Czech by the crowd of fugitives who
understood what was happening as little as he did.

"Kill the Germans!" shouted one.

"May the devil take them--the traitors!"

"Zum Henker diese Russen!" * muttered a German.

 

* "Hang these Russians!"

 

Several wounded men passed along the road, and words of abuse, screams,
and groans mingled in a general hubbub, then the firing died down.
Rostov learned later that Russian and Austrian soldiers had been firing
at one another.

"My God! What does it all mean?" thought he. "And here, where at any
moment the Emperor may see them.... But no, these must be only a handful
of scoundrels. It will soon be over, it can't be that, it can't be! Only
to get past them quicker, quicker!"

The idea of defeat and flight could not enter Rostov's head. Though he
saw French cannon and French troops on the Pratzen Heights just where he
had been ordered to look for the commander in chief, he could not, did
not wish to, believe that.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVIII

 

Rostov had been ordered to look for Kutuzov and the Emperor near the
village of Pratzen. But neither they nor a single commanding officer
were there, only disorganized crowds of troops of various kinds. He
urged on his already weary horse to get quickly past these crowds, but
the farther he went the more disorganized they were. The highroad on
which he had come out was thronged with caleches, carriages of all
sorts, and Russian and Austrian soldiers of all arms, some wounded and
some not. This whole mass droned and jostled in confusion under the
dismal influence of cannon balls flying from the French batteries
stationed on the Pratzen Heights.

"Where is the Emperor? Where is Kutuzov?" Rostov kept asking everyone he
could stop, but got no answer from anyone.

At last seizing a soldier by his collar he forced him to answer.

"Eh, brother! They've all bolted long ago!" said the soldier, laughing
for some reason and shaking himself free.

Having left that soldier who was evidently drunk, Rostov stopped the
horse of a batman or groom of some important personage and began to
question him. The man announced that the Tsar had been driven in a
carriage at full speed about an hour before along that very road and
that he was dangerously wounded.

"It can't be!" said Rostov. "It must have been someone else."

"I saw him myself," replied the man with a self-confident smile of
derision. "I ought to know the Emperor by now, after the times I've seen
him in Petersburg. I saw him just as I see you.... There he sat in the
carriage as pale as anything. How they made the four black horses fly!
Gracious me, they did rattle past! It's time I knew the Imperial horses
and Ilya Ivanych. I don't think Ilya drives anyone except the Tsar!"

Rostov let go of the horse and was about to ride on, when a wounded
officer passing by addressed him:

"Who is it you want?" he asked. "The commander in chief? He was killed
by a cannon ball--struck in the breast before our regiment."

"Not killed--wounded!" another officer corrected him.

"Who? Kutuzov?" asked Rostov.

"Not Kutuzov, but what's his name--well, never mind... there are not
many left alive. Go that way, to that village, all the commanders are
there," said the officer, pointing to the village of Hosjeradek, and he
walked on.

Rostov rode on at a footpace not knowing why or to whom he was now
going. The Emperor was wounded, the battle lost. It was impossible to
doubt it now. Rostov rode in the direction pointed out to him, in which
he saw turrets and a church. What need to hurry? What was he now to say
to the Tsar or to Kutuzov, even if they were alive and unwounded?

"Take this road, your honor, that way you will be killed at once!" a
soldier shouted to him. "They'd kill you there!"

"Oh, what are you talking about?" said another. "Where is he to go? That
way is nearer."

Rostov considered, and then went in the direction where they said he
would be killed.

"It's all the same now. If the Emperor is wounded, am I to try to save
myself?" he thought. He rode on to the region where the greatest number
of men had perished in fleeing from Pratzen. The French had not yet
occupied that region, and the Russians--the uninjured and slightly
wounded--had left it long ago. All about the field, like heaps of manure
on well-kept plowland, lay from ten to fifteen dead and wounded to each
couple of acres. The wounded crept together in twos and threes and one
could hear their distressing screams and groans, sometimes feigned--or
so it seemed to Rostov. He put his horse to a trot to avoid seeing all
these suffering men, and he felt afraid--afraid not for his life, but
for the courage he needed and which he knew would not stand the sight of
these unfortunates.

The French, who had ceased firing at this field strewn with dead and
wounded where there was no one left to fire at, on seeing an adjutant
riding over it trained a gun on him and fired several shots. The
sensation of those terrible whistling sounds and of the corpses around
him merged in Rostov's mind into a single feeling of terror and pity for
himself. He remembered his mother's last letter. "What would she feel,"
thought he, "if she saw me here now on this field with the cannon aimed
at me?"

In the village of Hosjeradek there were Russian troops retiring from
the field of battle, who though still in some confusion were less
disordered. The French cannon did not reach there and the musketry fire
sounded far away. Here everyone clearly saw and said that the battle
was lost. No one whom Rostov asked could tell him where the Emperor
or Kutuzov was. Some said the report that the Emperor was wounded was
correct, others that it was not, and explained the false rumor that had
spread by the fact that the Emperor's carriage had really galloped from
the field of battle with the pale and terrified Ober-Hofmarschal Count
Tolstoy, who had ridden out to the battlefield with others in the
Emperor's suite. One officer told Rostov that he had seen someone from
headquarters behind the village to the left, and thither Rostov rode,
not hoping to find anyone but merely to ease his conscience. When he had
ridden about two miles and had passed the last of the Russian troops, he
saw, near a kitchen garden with a ditch round it, two men on horseback
facing the ditch. One with a white plume in his hat seemed familiar to
Rostov; the other on a beautiful chestnut horse (which Rostov fancied he
had seen before) rode up to the ditch, struck his horse with his spurs,
and giving it the rein leaped lightly over. Only a little earth crumbled
from the bank under the horse's hind hoofs. Turning the horse sharply,
he again jumped the ditch, and deferentially addressed the horseman with
the white plumes, evidently suggesting that he should do the same. The
rider, whose figure seemed familiar to Rostov and involuntarily riveted
his attention, made a gesture of refusal with his head and hand and
by that gesture Rostov instantly recognized his lamented and adored
monarch.

"But it can't be he, alone in the midst of this empty field!" thought
Rostov. At that moment Alexander turned his head and Rostov saw the
beloved features that were so deeply engraved on his memory. The Emperor
was pale, his cheeks sunken and his eyes hollow, but the charm, the
mildness of his features, was all the greater. Rostov was happy in the
assurance that the rumors about the Emperor being wounded were false. He
was happy to be seeing him. He knew that he might and even ought to
go straight to him and give the message Dolgorukov had ordered him to
deliver.

But as a youth in love trembles, is unnerved, and dares not utter the
thoughts he has dreamed of for nights, but looks around for help or a
chance of delay and flight when the longed-for moment comes and he is
alone with her, so Rostov, now that he had attained what he had longed
for more than anything else in the world, did not know how to approach
the Emperor, and a thousand reasons occurred to him why it would be
inconvenient, unseemly, and impossible to do so.

"What! It is as if I were glad of a chance to take advantage of his
being alone and despondent! A strange face may seem unpleasant or
painful to him at this moment of sorrow; besides, what can I say to him
now, when my heart fails me and my mouth feels dry at the mere sight of
him?" Not one of the innumerable speeches addressed to the Emperor that
he had composed in his imagination could he now recall. Those speeches
were intended for quite other conditions, they were for the most part
to be spoken at a moment of victory and triumph, generally when he was
dying of wounds and the sovereign had thanked him for heroic deeds, and
while dying he expressed the love his actions had proved.

"Besides how can I ask the Emperor for his instructions for the right
flank now that it is nearly four o'clock and the battle is lost?
No, certainly I must not approach him, I must not intrude on his
reflections. Better die a thousand times than risk receiving an unkind
look or bad opinion from him," Rostov decided; and sorrowfully and with
a heart full despair he rode away, continually looking back at the Tsar,
who still remained in the same attitude of indecision.

While Rostov was thus arguing with himself and riding sadly away,
Captain von Toll chanced to ride to the same spot, and seeing the
Emperor at once rode up to him, offered his services, and assisted him
to cross the ditch on foot. The Emperor, wishing to rest and feeling
unwell, sat down under an apple tree and von Toll remained beside him.
Rostov from a distance saw with envy and remorse how von Toll spoke
long and warmly to the Emperor and how the Emperor, evidently weeping,
covered his eyes with his hand and pressed von Toll's hand.

"And I might have been in his place!" thought Rostov, and hardly
restraining his tears of pity for the Emperor, he rode on in utter
despair, not knowing where to or why he was now riding.

His despair was all the greater from feeling that his own weakness was
the cause of his grief.

He might... not only might but should, have gone up to the sovereign. It
was a unique chance to show his devotion to the Emperor and he had not
made use of it.... "What have I done?" thought he. And he turned round
and galloped back to the place where he had seen the Emperor, but there
was no one beyond the ditch now. Only some carts and carriages were
passing by. From one of the drivers he learned that Kutuzov's staff were
not far off, in the village the vehicles were going to. Rostov
followed them. In front of him walked Kutuzov's groom leading horses
in horsecloths. Then came a cart, and behind that walked an old,
bandy-legged domestic serf in a peaked cap and sheepskin coat.

"Tit! I say, Tit!" said the groom.

"What?" answered the old man absent-mindedly.

"Go, Tit! Thresh a bit!"

"Oh, you fool!" said the old man, spitting angrily. Some time passed in
silence, and then the same joke was repeated.

 

Before five in the evening the battle had been lost at all points. More
than a hundred cannon were already in the hands of the French.

Przebyszewski and his corps had laid down their arms. Other columns
after losing half their men were retreating in disorderly confused
masses.

The remains of Langeron's and Dokhturov's mingled forces were crowding
around the dams and banks of the ponds near the village of Augesd.

After five o'clock it was only at the Augesd Dam that a hot cannonade
(delivered by the French alone) was still to be heard from numerous
batteries ranged on the slopes of the Pratzen Heights, directed at our
retreating forces.

In the rearguard, Dokhturov and others rallying some battalions kept up
a musketry fire at the French cavalry that was pursuing our troops. It
was growing dusk. On the narrow Augesd Dam where for so many years the
old miller had been accustomed to sit in his tasseled cap peacefully
angling, while his grandson, with shirt sleeves rolled up, handled the
floundering silvery fish in the watering can, on that dam over which for
so many years Moravians in shaggy caps and blue jackets had peacefully
driven their two-horse carts loaded with wheat and had returned dusty
with flour whitening their carts--on that narrow dam amid the wagons and
the cannon, under the horses' hoofs and between the wagon wheels, men
disfigured by fear of death now crowded together, crushing one another,
dying, stepping over the dying and killing one another, only to move on
a few steps and be killed themselves in the same way.

Every ten seconds a cannon ball flew compressing the air around, or
a shell burst in the midst of that dense throng, killing some and
splashing with blood those near them.

Dolokhov--now an officer--wounded in the arm, and on foot, with the
regimental commander on horseback and some ten men of his company,
represented all that was left of that whole regiment. Impelled by the
crowd, they had got wedged in at the approach to the dam and, jammed in
on all sides, had stopped because a horse in front had fallen under a
cannon and the crowd were dragging it out. A cannon ball killed someone
behind them, another fell in front and splashed Dolokhov with blood.
The crowd, pushing forward desperately, squeezed together, moved a few
steps, and again stopped.

"Move on a hundred yards and we are certainly saved, remain here another
two minutes and it is certain death," thought each one.

Dolokhov who was in the midst of the crowd forced his way to the edge of
the dam, throwing two soldiers off their feet, and ran onto the slippery
ice that covered the millpool.

"Turn this way!" he shouted, jumping over the ice which creaked under
him; "turn this way!" he shouted to those with the gun. "It bears!..."

The ice bore him but it swayed and creaked, and it was plain that it
would give way not only under a cannon or a crowd, but very soon even
under his weight alone. The men looked at him and pressed to the
bank, hesitating to step onto the ice. The general on horseback at the
entrance to the dam raised his hand and opened his mouth to address
Dolokhov. Suddenly a cannon ball hissed so low above the crowd that
everyone ducked. It flopped into something moist, and the general fell
from his horse in a pool of blood. Nobody gave him a look or thought of
raising him.

"Get onto the ice, over the ice! Go on! Turn! Don't you hear? Go on!"
innumerable voices suddenly shouted after the ball had struck the
general, the men themselves not knowing what, or why, they were
shouting.

One of the hindmost guns that was going onto the dam turned off onto the
ice. Crowds of soldiers from the dam began running onto the frozen pond.
The ice gave way under one of the foremost soldiers, and one leg slipped
into the water. He tried to right himself but fell in up to his waist.
The nearest soldiers shrank back, the gun driver stopped his horse, but
from behind still came the shouts: "Onto the ice, why do you stop? Go
on! Go on!" And cries of horror were heard in the crowd. The soldiers
near the gun waved their arms and beat the horses to make them turn and
move on. The horses moved off the bank. The ice, that had held under
those on foot, collapsed in a great mass, and some forty men who were on
it dashed, some forward and some back, drowning one another.

Still the cannon balls continued regularly to whistle and flop onto the
ice and into the water and oftenest of all among the crowd that covered
the dam, the pond, and the bank.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIX

 

On the Pratzen Heights, where he had fallen with the flagstaff in his
hand, lay Prince Andrew Bolkonski bleeding profusely and unconsciously
uttering a gentle, piteous, and childlike moan.

Toward evening he ceased moaning and became quite still. He did not know
how long his unconsciousness lasted. Suddenly he again felt that he was
alive and suffering from a burning, lacerating pain in his head.

"Where is it, that lofty sky that I did not know till now, but saw
today?" was his first thought. "And I did not know this suffering
either," he thought. "Yes, I did not know anything, anything at all till
now. But where am I?"

He listened and heard the sound of approaching horses, and voices
speaking French. He opened his eyes. Above him again was the same lofty
sky with clouds that had risen and were floating still higher, and
between them gleamed blue infinity. He did not turn his head and did not
see those who, judging by the sound of hoofs and voices, had ridden up
and stopped near him.

It was Napoleon accompanied by two aides-de-camp. Bonaparte riding
over the battlefield had given final orders to strengthen the batteries
firing at the Augesd Dam and was looking at the killed and wounded left
on the field.

"Fine men!" remarked Napoleon, looking at a dead Russian grenadier,
who, with his face buried in the ground and a blackened nape, lay on his
stomach with an already stiffened arm flung wide.

"The ammunition for the guns in position is exhausted, Your Majesty,"
said an adjutant who had come from the batteries that were firing at
Augesd.

"Have some brought from the reserve," said Napoleon, and having gone on
a few steps he stopped before Prince Andrew, who lay on his back with
the flagstaff that had been dropped beside him. (The flag had already
been taken by the French as a trophy.)

"That's a fine death!" said Napoleon as he gazed at Bolkonski.

Prince Andrew understood that this was said of him and that it was
Napoleon who said it. He heard the speaker addressed as Sire. But he
heard the words as he might have heard the buzzing of a fly. Not only
did they not interest him, but he took no notice of them and at once
forgot them. His head was burning, he felt himself bleeding to death,
and he saw above him the remote, lofty, and everlasting sky. He knew it
was Napoleon--his hero--but at that moment Napoleon seemed to him such a
small, insignificant creature compared with what was passing now between
himself and that lofty infinite sky with the clouds flying over it. At
that moment it meant nothing to him who might be standing over him, or
what was said of him; he was only glad that people were standing near
him and only wished that they would help him and bring him back to
life, which seemed to him so beautiful now that he had today learned to
understand it so differently. He collected all his strength, to stir and
utter a sound. He feebly moved his leg and uttered a weak, sickly groan
which aroused his own pity.

"Ah! He is alive," said Napoleon. "Lift this young man up and carry him
to the dressing station."

Having said this, Napoleon rode on to meet Marshal Lannes, who, hat in
hand, rode up smiling to the Emperor to congratulate him on the victory.

Prince Andrew remembered nothing more: he lost consciousness from the
terrible pain of being lifted onto the stretcher, the jolting while
being moved, and the probing of his wound at the dressing station.
He did not regain consciousness till late in the day, when with other
wounded and captured Russian officers he was carried to the hospital.
During this transfer he felt a little stronger and was able to look
about him and even speak.

The first words he heard on coming to his senses were those of a French
convoy officer, who said rapidly: "We must halt here: the Emperor
will pass here immediately; it will please him to see these gentlemen
prisoners."

"There are so many prisoners today, nearly the whole Russian army, that
he is probably tired of them," said another officer.

"All the same! They say this one is the commander of all the Emperor
Alexander's Guards," said the first one, indicating a Russian officer in
the white uniform of the Horse Guards.

Bolkonski recognized Prince Repnin whom he had met in Petersburg
society. Beside him stood a lad of nineteen, also a wounded officer of
the Horse Guards.

Bonaparte, having come up at a gallop, stopped his horse.

"Which is the senior?" he asked, on seeing the prisoners.

They named the colonel, Prince Repnin.

"You are the commander of the Emperor Alexander's regiment of Horse
Guards?" asked Napoleon.

"I commanded a squadron," replied Repnin.

"Your regiment fulfilled its duty honorably," said Napoleon.

"The praise of a great commander is a soldier's highest reward," said
Repnin.

"I bestow it with pleasure," said Napoleon. "And who is that young man
beside you?"

Prince Repnin named Lieutenant Sukhtelen.

After looking at him Napoleon smiled.

"He's very young to come to meddle with us."

"Youth is no hindrance to courage," muttered Sukhtelen in a failing
voice.

"A splendid reply!" said Napoleon. "Young man, you will go far!"

Prince Andrew, who had also been brought forward before the Emperor's
eyes to complete the show of prisoners, could not fail to attract his
attention. Napoleon apparently remembered seeing him on the battlefield
and, addressing him, again used the epithet "young man" that was
connected in his memory with Prince Andrew.

"Well, and you, young man," said he. "How do you feel, mon brave?"

Though five minutes before, Prince Andrew had been able to say a few
words to the soldiers who were carrying him, now with his eyes fixed
straight on Napoleon, he was silent.... So insignificant at that moment
seemed to him all the interests that engrossed Napoleon, so mean did his
hero himself with his paltry vanity and joy in victory appear,
compared to the lofty, equitable, and kindly sky which he had seen and
understood, that he could not answer him.

Everything seemed so futile and insignificant in comparison with the
stern and solemn train of thought that weakness from loss of blood,
suffering, and the nearness of death aroused in him. Looking into
Napoleon's eyes Prince Andrew thought of the insignificance of
greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and
the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one
alive could understand or explain.

The Emperor without waiting for an answer turned away and said to one of
the officers as he went: "Have these gentlemen attended to and taken
to my bivouac; let my doctor, Larrey, examine their wounds. Au revoir,
Prince Repnin!" and he spurred his horse and galloped away.

His face shone with self-satisfaction and pleasure.

The soldiers who had carried Prince Andrew had noticed and taken the
little gold icon Princess Mary had hung round her brother's neck, but
seeing the favor the Emperor showed the prisoners, they now hastened to
return the holy image.

Prince Andrew did not see how and by whom it was replaced, but the
little icon with its thin gold chain suddenly appeared upon his chest
outside his uniform.

"It would be good," thought Prince Andrew, glancing at the icon his
sister had hung round his neck with such emotion and reverence, "it
would be good if everything were as clear and simple as it seems to
Mary. How good it would be to know where to seek for help in this life,
and what to expect after it beyond the grave! How happy and calm I
should be if I could now say: 'Lord, have mercy on me!'... But to whom
should I say that? Either to a Power indefinable, incomprehensible,
which I not only cannot address but which I cannot even express in
words--the Great All or Nothing-" said he to himself, "or to that God
who has been sewn into this amulet by Mary! There is nothing certain,
nothing at all except the unimportance of everything I understand, and
the greatness of something incomprehensible but all-important."

The stretchers moved on. At every jolt he again felt unendurable pain;
his feverishness increased and he grew delirious. Visions of his father,
wife, sister, and future son, and the tenderness he had felt the night
before the battle, the figure of the insignificant little Napoleon, and
above all this the lofty sky, formed the chief subjects of his delirious
fancies.

The quiet home life and peaceful happiness of Bald Hills presented
itself to him. He was already enjoying that happiness when that
little Napoleon had suddenly appeared with his unsympathizing look of
shortsighted delight at the misery of others, and doubts and torments
had followed, and only the heavens promised peace. Toward morning
all these dreams melted and merged into the chaos and darkness of
unconciousness and oblivion which in the opinion of Napoleon's doctor,
Larrey, was much more likely to end in death than in convalescence.

"He is a nervous, bilious subject," said Larrey, "and will not recover."

And Prince Andrew, with others fatally wounded, was left to the care of
the inhabitants of the district.

 

 

 

 

BOOK FOUR: 1806

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I

 

Early in the year 1806 Nicholas Rostov returned home on leave. Denisov
was going home to Voronezh and Rostov persuaded him to travel with him
as far as Moscow and to stay with him there. Meeting a comrade at the
last post station but one before Moscow, Denisov had drunk three bottles
of wine with him and, despite the jolting ruts across the snow-covered
road, did not once wake up on the way to Moscow, but lay at the bottom
of the sleigh beside Rostov, who grew more and more impatient the nearer
they got to Moscow.

"How much longer? How much longer? Oh, these insufferable streets,
shops, bakers' signboards, street lamps, and sleighs!" thought Rostov,
when their leave permits had been passed at the town gate and they had
entered Moscow.

"Denisov! We're here! He's asleep," he added, leaning forward with his
whole body as if in that position he hoped to hasten the speed of the
sleigh.

Denisov gave no answer.

"There's the corner at the crossroads, where the cabman, Zakhar, has his
stand, and there's Zakhar himself and still the same horse! And here's
the little shop where we used to buy gingerbread! Can't you hurry up?
Now then!"

"Which house is it?" asked the driver.

"Why, that one, right at the end, the big one. Don't you see? That's our
house," said Rostov. "Of course, it's our house! Denisov, Denisov! We're
almost there!"

Denisov raised his head, coughed, and made no answer.

"Dmitri," said Rostov to his valet on the box, "those lights are in our
house, aren't they?"

"Yes, sir, and there's a light in your father's study."

"Then they've not gone to bed yet? What do you think? Mind now,
don't forget to put out my new coat," added Rostov, fingering his new
mustache. "Now then, get on," he shouted to the driver. "Do wake up,
Vaska!" he went on, turning to Denisov, whose head was again nodding.
"Come, get on! You shall have three rubles for vodka--get on!" Rostov
shouted, when the sleigh was only three houses from his door. It seemed
to him the horses were not moving at all. At last the sleigh bore to the
right, drew up at an entrance, and Rostov saw overhead the old familiar
cornice with a bit of plaster broken off, the porch, and the post by the
side of the pavement. He sprang out before the sleigh stopped, and ran
into the hall. The house stood cold and silent, as if quite regardless
of who had come to it. There was no one in the hall. "Oh God! Is
everyone all right?" he thought, stopping for a moment with a sinking
heart, and then immediately starting to run along the hall and up the
warped steps of the familiar staircase. The well-known old door handle,
which always angered the countess when it was not properly cleaned,
turned as loosely as ever. A solitary tallow candle burned in the
anteroom.

Old Michael was asleep on the chest. Prokofy, the footman, who was so
strong that he could lift the back of the carriage from behind, sat
plaiting slippers out of cloth selvedges. He looked up at the opening
door and his expression of sleepy indifference suddenly changed to one
of delighted amazement.

"Gracious heavens! The young count!" he cried, recognizing his
young master. "Can it be? My treasure!" and Prokofy, trembling with
excitement, rushed toward the drawing-room door, probably in order to
announce him, but, changing his mind, came back and stooped to kiss the
young man's shoulder.

"All well?" asked Rostov, drawing away his arm.

"Yes, God be thanked! Yes! They've just finished supper. Let me have a
look at you, your excellency."

"Is everything quite all right?"

"The Lord be thanked, yes!"

Rostov, who had completely forgotten Denisov, not wishing anyone to
forestall him, threw off his fur coat and ran on tiptoe through the
large dark ballroom. All was the same: there were the same old card
tables and the same chandelier with a cover over it; but someone had
already seen the young master, and, before he had reached the drawing
room, something flew out from a side door like a tornado and began
hugging and kissing him. Another and yet another creature of the same
kind sprang from a second door and a third; more hugging, more kissing,
more outcries, and tears of joy. He could not distinguish which was
Papa, which Natasha, and which Petya. Everyone shouted, talked, and
kissed him at the same time. Only his mother was not there, he noticed
that.

"And I did not know... Nicholas... My darling!..."

"Here he is... our own... Kolya, * dear fellow... How he has changed!...
Where are the candles?... Tea!..."

 

* Nicholas.

 

"And me, kiss me!"

"Dearest... and me!"

Sonya, Natasha, Petya, Anna Mikhaylovna, Vera, and the old count were
all hugging him, and the serfs, men and maids, flocked into the room,
exclaiming and oh-ing and ah-ing.

Petya, clinging to his legs, kept shouting, "And me too!"

Natasha, after she had pulled him down toward her and covered his face
with kisses, holding him tight by the skirt of his coat, sprang away and
pranced up and down in one place like a goat and shrieked piercingly.

All around were loving eyes glistening with tears of joy, and all around
were lips seeking a kiss.

Sonya too, all rosy red, clung to his arm and, radiant with bliss,
looked eagerly toward his eyes, waiting for the look for which she
longed. Sonya now was sixteen and she was very pretty, especially at
this moment of happy, rapturous excitement. She gazed at him, not taking
her eyes off him, and smiling and holding her breath. He gave her a
grateful look, but was still expectant and looking for someone. The old
countess had not yet come. But now steps were heard at the door, steps
so rapid that they could hardly be his mother's.

Yet it was she, dressed in a new gown which he did not know, made since
he had left. All the others let him go, and he ran to her. When they
met, she fell on his breast, sobbing. She could not lift her face, but
only pressed it to the cold braiding of his hussar's jacket. Denisov,
who had come into the room unnoticed by anyone, stood there and wiped
his eyes at the sight.

"Vasili Denisov, your son's friend," he said, introducing himself to the
count, who was looking inquiringly at him.

"You are most welcome! I know, I know," said the count, kissing and
embracing Denisov. "Nicholas wrote us... Natasha, Vera, look! Here is
Denisov!"

The same happy, rapturous faces turned to the shaggy figure of Denisov.

"Darling Denisov!" screamed Natasha, beside herself with rapture,
springing to him, putting her arms round him, and kissing him. This
escapade made everybody feel confused. Denisov blushed too, but smiled
and, taking Natasha's hand, kissed it.

Denisov was shown to the room prepared for him, and the Rostovs all
gathered round Nicholas in the sitting room.

The old countess, not letting go of his hand and kissing it every
moment, sat beside him: the rest, crowding round him, watched every
movement, word, or look of his, never taking their blissfully adoring
eyes off him. His brother and sisters struggled for the places nearest
to him and disputed with one another who should bring him his tea,
handkerchief, and pipe.

Rostov was very happy in the love they showed him; but the first
moment of meeting had been so beatific that his present joy seemed
insufficient, and he kept expecting something more, more and yet more.

Next morning, after the fatigues of their journey, the travelers slept
till ten o'clock.

In the room next their bedroom there was a confusion of sabers,
satchels, sabretaches, open portmanteaus, and dirty boots. Two freshly
cleaned pairs with spurs had just been placed by the wall. The servants
were bringing in jugs and basins, hot water for shaving, and their
well-brushed clothes. There was a masculine odor and a smell of tobacco.

"Hallo, Gwiska--my pipe!" came Vasili Denisov's husky voice. "Wostov,
get up!"

Rostov, rubbing his eyes that seemed glued together, raised his
disheveled head from the hot pillow.

"Why, is it late?"

"Late! It's nearly ten o'clock," answered Natasha's voice. A rustle of
starched petticoats and the whispering and laughter of girls' voices
came from the adjoining room. The door was opened a crack and there was
a glimpse of something blue, of ribbons, black hair, and merry faces.
It was Natasha, Sonya, and Petya, who had come to see whether they were
getting up.

"Nicholas! Get up!" Natasha's voice was again heard at the door.

"Directly!"

Meanwhile, Petya, having found and seized the sabers in the outer room,
with the delight boys feel at the sight of a military elder brother, and
forgetting that it was unbecoming for the girls to see men undressed,
opened the bedroom door.

"Is this your saber?" he shouted.

The girls sprang aside. Denisov hid his hairy legs under the blanket,
looking with a scared face at his comrade for help. The door, having let
Petya in, closed again. A sound of laughter came from behind it.

"Nicholas! Come out in your dressing gown!" said Natasha's voice.

"Is this your saber?" asked Petya. "Or is it yours?" he said, addressing
the black-mustached Denisov with servile deference.

Rostov hurriedly put something on his feet, drew on his dressing gown,
and went out. Natasha had put on one spurred boot and was just getting
her foot into the other. Sonya, when he came in, was twirling round and
was about to expand her dresses into a balloon and sit down. They were
dressed alike, in new pale-blue frocks, and were both fresh, rosy, and
bright. Sonya ran away, but Natasha, taking her brother's arm, led him
into the sitting room, where they began talking. They hardly gave one
another time to ask questions and give replies concerning a thousand
little matters which could not interest anyone but themselves. Natasha
laughed at every word he said or that she said herself, not because what
they were saying was amusing, but because she felt happy and was unable
to control her joy which expressed itself by laughter.

"Oh, how nice, how splendid!" she said to everything.

Rostov felt that, under the influence of the warm rays of love, that
childlike smile which had not once appeared on his face since he left
home now for the first time after eighteen months again brightened his
soul and his face.

"No, but listen," she said, "now you are quite a man, aren't you? I'm
awfully glad you're my brother." She touched his mustache. "I want to
know what you men are like. Are you the same as we? No?"

"Why did Sonya run away?" asked Rostov.

"Ah, yes! That's a whole long story! How are you going to speak to
her--thou or you?"

"As may happen," said Rostov.

"No, call her you, please! I'll tell you all about it some other time.
No, I'll tell you now. You know Sonya's my dearest friend. Such a friend
that I burned my arm for her sake. Look here!"

She pulled up her muslin sleeve and showed him a red scar on her long,
slender, delicate arm, high above the elbow on that part that is covered
even by a ball dress.

"I burned this to prove my love for her. I just heated a ruler in the
fire and pressed it there!"

Sitting on the sofa with the little cushions on its arms, in what used
to be his old schoolroom, and looking into Natasha's wildly bright eyes,
Rostov re-entered that world of home and childhood which had no meaning
for anyone else, but gave him some of the best joys of his life; and the
burning of an arm with a ruler as a proof of love did not seem to him
senseless, he understood and was not surprised at it.

"Well, and is that all?" he asked.

"We are such friends, such friends! All that ruler business was just
nonsense, but we are friends forever. She, if she loves anyone, does it
for life, but I don't understand that, I forget quickly."

"Well, what then?"

"Well, she loves me and you like that."

Natasha suddenly flushed.

"Why, you remember before you went away?... Well, she says you are to
forget all that.... She says: 'I shall love him always, but let him be
free.' Isn't that lovely and noble! Yes, very noble? Isn't it?" asked
Natasha, so seriously and excitedly that it was evident that what she
was now saying she had talked of before, with tears.

Rostov became thoughtful.

"I never go back on my word," he said. "Besides, Sonya is so charming
that only a fool would renounce such happiness."

"No, no!" cried Natasha, "she and I have already talked it over. We knew
you'd say so. But it won't do, because you see, if you say that--if you
consider yourself bound by your promise--it will seem as if she had not
meant it seriously. It makes it as if you were marrying her because you
must, and that wouldn't do at all."

Rostov saw that it had been well considered by them. Sonya had already
struck him by her beauty on the preceding day. Today, when he had caught
a glimpse of her, she seemed still more lovely. She was a charming girl
of sixteen, evidently passionately in love with him (he did not doubt
that for an instant). Why should he not love her now, and even marry
her, Rostov thought, but just now there were so many other pleasures
and interests before him! "Yes, they have taken a wise decision," he
thought, "I must remain free."

"Well then, that's excellent," said he. "We'll talk it over later on.
Oh, how glad I am to have you!"

"Well, and are you still true to Boris?" he continued.

"Oh, what nonsense!" cried Natasha, laughing. "I don't think about him
or anyone else, and I don't want anything of the kind."

"Dear me! Then what are you up to now?"

"Now?" repeated Natasha, and a happy smile lit up her face. "Have you
seen Duport?"

"No."

"Not seen Duport--the famous dancer? Well then, you won't understand.
That's what I'm up to."

Curving her arms, Natasha held out her skirts as dancers do, ran back
a few steps, turned, cut a caper, brought her little feet sharply
together, and made some steps on the very tips of her toes.

"See, I'm standing! See!" she said, but could not maintain herself on
her toes any longer. "So that's what I'm up to! I'll never marry anyone,
but will be a dancer. Only don't tell anyone."

Rostov laughed so loud and merrily that Denisov, in his bedroom, felt
envious and Natasha could not help joining in.

"No, but don't you think it's nice?" she kept repeating.

"Nice! And so you no longer wish to marry Boris?"

Natasha flared up. "I don't want to marry anyone. And I'll tell him so
when I see him!"

"Dear me!" said Rostov.

"But that's all rubbish," Natasha chattered on. "And is Denisov nice?"
she asked.

"Yes, indeed!"

"Oh, well then, good-by: go and dress. Is he very terrible, Denisov?"

"Why terrible?" asked Nicholas. "No, Vaska is a splendid fellow."

"You call him Vaska? That's funny! And is he very nice?"

"Very."

"Well then, be quick. We'll all have breakfast together."

And Natasha rose and went out of the room on tiptoe, like a ballet
dancer, but smiling as only happy girls of fifteen can smile. When
Rostov met Sonya in the drawing room, he reddened. He did not know how
to behave with her. The evening before, in the first happy moment of
meeting, they had kissed each other, but today they felt it could not
be done; he felt that everybody, including his mother and sisters, was
looking inquiringly at him and watching to see how he would behave with
her. He kissed her hand and addressed her not as thou but as you--Sonya.
But their eyes met and said thou, and exchanged tender kisses. Her looks
asked him to forgive her for having dared, by Natasha's intermediacy, to
remind him of his promise, and then thanked him for his love. His looks
thanked her for offering him his freedom and told her that one way or
another he would never cease to love her, for that would be impossible.

"How strange it is," said Vera, selecting a moment when all were silent,
"that Sonya and Nicholas now say you to one another and meet like
strangers."

Vera's remark was correct, as her remarks always were, but, like most of
her observations, it made everyone feel uncomfortable, not only Sonya,
Nicholas, and Natasha, but even the old countess, who--dreading
this love affair which might hinder Nicholas from making a brilliant
match--blushed like a girl.

Denisov, to Rostov's surprise, appeared in the drawing room with pomaded
hair, perfumed, and in a new uniform, looking just as smart as he made
himself when going into battle, and he was more amiable to the ladies
and gentlemen than Rostov had ever expected to see him.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II

 

On his return to Moscow from the army, Nicholas Rostov was welcomed
by his home circle as the best of sons, a hero, and their darling
Nikolenka; by his relations as a charming, attractive, and polite young
man; by his acquaintances as a handsome lieutenant of hussars, a good
dancer, and one of the best matches in the city.

The Rostovs knew everybody in Moscow. The old count had money enough
that year, as all his estates had been remortgaged, and so Nicholas,
acquiring a trotter of his own, very stylish riding breeches of the
latest cut, such as no one else yet had in Moscow, and boots of the
latest fashion, with extremely pointed toes and small silver spurs,
passed his time very gaily. After a short period of adapting himself
to the old conditions of life, Nicholas found it very pleasant to be
at home again. He felt that he had grown up and matured very much. His
despair at failing in a Scripture examination, his borrowing money from
Gavril to pay a sleigh driver, his kissing Sonya on the sly--he now
recalled all this as childishness he had left immeasurably behind.
Now he was a lieutenant of hussars, in a jacket laced with silver, and
wearing the Cross of St. George, awarded to soldiers for bravery in
action, and in the company of well-known, elderly, and respected racing
men was training a trotter of his own for a race. He knew a lady on one
of the boulevards whom he visited of an evening. He led the mazurka at
the Arkharovs' ball, talked about the war with Field Marshal Kamenski,
visited the English Club, and was on intimate terms with a colonel of
forty to whom Denisov had introduced him.

His passion for the Emperor had cooled somewhat in Moscow. But still, as
he did not see him and had no opportunity of seeing him, he often spoke
about him and about his love for him, letting it be understood that he
had not told all and that there was something in his feelings for the
Emperor not everyone could understand, and with his whole soul he shared
the adoration then common in Moscow for the Emperor, who was spoken of
as the "angel incarnate."

During Rostov's short stay in Moscow, before rejoining the army, he did
not draw closer to Sonya, but rather drifted away from her. She was very
pretty and sweet, and evidently deeply in love with him, but he was at
the period of youth when there seems so much to do that there is no time
for that sort of thing and a young man fears to bind himself and prizes
his freedom which he needs for so many other things. When he thought of
Sonya, during this stay in Moscow, he said to himself, "Ah, there will
be, and there are, many more such girls somewhere whom I do not yet
know. There will be time enough to think about love when I want to, but
now I have no time." Besides, it seemed to him that the society of women
was rather derogatory to his manhood. He went to balls and into ladies'
society with an affectation of doing so against his will. The races, the
English Club, sprees with Denisov, and visits to a certain house--that
was another matter and quite the thing for a dashing young hussar!

At the beginning of March, old Count Ilya Rostov was very busy arranging
a dinner in honor of Prince Bagration at the English Club.

The count walked up and down the hall in his dressing gown, giving
orders to the club steward and to the famous Feoktist, the Club's head
cook, about asparagus, fresh cucumbers, strawberries, veal, and fish
for this dinner. The count had been a member and on the committee of
the Club from the day it was founded. To him the Club entrusted the
arrangement of the festival in honor of Bagration, for few men knew so
well how to arrange a feast on an open-handed, hospitable scale, and
still fewer men would be so well able and willing to make up out of
their own resources what might be needed for the success of the fete.
The club cook and the steward listened to the count's orders with
pleased faces, for they knew that under no other management could they
so easily extract a good profit for themselves from a dinner costing
several thousand rubles.

"Well then, mind and have cocks' comb in the turtle soup, you know!"

"Shall we have three cold dishes then?" asked the cook.

The count considered.

"We can't have less--yes, three... the mayonnaise, that's one," said he,
bending down a finger.

"Then am I to order those large sterlets?" asked the steward.

"Yes, it can't be helped if they won't take less. Ah, dear me! I was
forgetting. We must have another entree. Ah, goodness gracious!" he
clutched at his head. "Who is going to get me the flowers? Dmitri! Eh,
Dmitri! Gallop off to our Moscow estate," he said to the factotum who
appeared at his call. "Hurry off and tell Maksim, the gardener, to set
the serfs to work. Say that everything out of the hothouses must be
brought here well wrapped up in felt. I must have two hundred pots here
on Friday."

Having given several more orders, he was about to go to his "little
countess" to have a rest, but remembering something else of importance,
he returned again, called back the cook and the club steward, and again
began giving orders. A light footstep and the clinking of spurs were
heard at the door, and the young count, handsome, rosy, with a dark
little mustache, evidently rested and made sleeker by his easy life in
Moscow, entered the room.

"Ah, my boy, my head's in a whirl!" said the old man with a smile, as if
he felt a little confused before his son. "Now, if you would only help
a bit! I must have singers too. I shall have my own orchestra, but
shouldn't we get the gypsy singers as well? You military men like that
sort of thing."

"Really, Papa, I believe Prince Bagration worried himself less before
the battle of Schon Grabern than you do now," said his son with a smile.

The old count pretended to be angry.

"Yes, you talk, but try it yourself!"

And the count turned to the cook, who, with a shrewd and respectful
expression, looked observantly and sympathetically at the father and
son.

"What have the young people come to nowadays, eh, Feoktist?" said he.
"Laughing at us old fellows!"

"That's so, your excellency, all they have to do is to eat a good
dinner, but providing it and serving it all up, that's not their
business!"

"That's it, that's it!" exclaimed the count, and gaily seizing his son
by both hands, he cried, "Now I've got you, so take the sleigh and pair
at once, and go to Bezukhov's, and tell him 'Count Ilya has sent you
to ask for strawberries and fresh pineapples.' We can't get them from
anyone else. He's not there himself, so you'll have to go in and ask the
princesses; and from there go on to the Rasgulyay--the coachman Ipatka
knows--and look up the gypsy Ilyushka, the one who danced at Count
Orlov's, you remember, in a white Cossack coat, and bring him along to
me."

"And am I to bring the gypsy girls along with him?" asked Nicholas,
laughing. "Dear, dear!..."

At that moment, with noiseless footsteps and with the businesslike,
preoccupied, yet meekly Christian look which never left her face, Anna
Mikhaylovna entered the hall. Though she came upon the count in his
dressing gown every day, he invariably became confused and begged her to
excuse his costume.

"No matter at all, my dear count," she said, meekly closing her eyes.
"But I'll go to Bezukhov's myself. Pierre has arrived, and now we shall
get anything we want from his hothouses. I have to see him in any case.
He has forwarded me a letter from Boris. Thank God, Boris is now on the
staff."

The count was delighted at Anna Mikhaylovna's taking upon herself one of
his commissions and ordered the small closed carriage for her.

"Tell Bezukhov to come. I'll put his name down. Is his wife with him?"
he asked.

Anna Mikhaylovna turned up her eyes, and profound sadness was depicted
on her face.

"Ah, my dear friend, he is very unfortunate," she said. "If what we hear
is true, it is dreadful. How little we dreamed of such a thing when we
were rejoicing at his happiness! And such a lofty angelic soul as young
Bezukhov! Yes, I pity him from my heart, and shall try to give him what
consolation I can."

"Wh-what is the matter?" asked both the young and old Rostov.

Anna Mikhaylovna sighed deeply.

"Dolokhov, Mary Ivanovna's son," she said in a mysterious whisper, "has
compromised her completely, they say. Pierre took him up, invited him to
his house in Petersburg, and now... she has come here and that daredevil
after her!" said Anna Mikhaylovna, wishing to show her sympathy for
Pierre, but by involuntary intonations and a half smile betraying her
sympathy for the "daredevil," as she called Dolokhov. "They say Pierre
is quite broken by his misfortune."

"Dear, dear! But still tell him to come to the Club--it will all blow
over. It will be a tremendous banquet."

Next day, the third of March, soon after one o'clock, two hundred and
fifty members of the English Club and fifty guests were awaiting the
guest of honor and hero of the Austrian campaign, Prince Bagration, to
dinner.

On the first arrival of the news of the battle of Austerlitz, Moscow had
been bewildered. At that time, the Russians were so used to victories
that on receiving news of the defeat some would simply not believe it,
while others sought some extraordinary explanation of so strange an
event. In the English Club, where all who were distinguished, important,
and well informed foregathered when the news began to arrive in
December, nothing was said about the war and the last battle, as
though all were in a conspiracy of silence. The men who set the tone in
conversation--Count Rostopchin, Prince Yuri Dolgorukov, Valuev, Count
Markov, and Prince Vyazemski--did not show themselves at the Club, but
met in private houses in intimate circles, and the Moscovites who took
their opinions from others--Ilya Rostov among them--remained for a
while without any definite opinion on the subject of the war and without
leaders. The Moscovites felt that something was wrong and that to
discuss the bad news was difficult, and so it was best to be silent.
But after a while, just as a jury comes out of its room, the bigwigs
who guided the Club's opinion reappeared, and everybody began speaking
clearly and definitely. Reasons were found for the incredible,
unheard-of, and impossible event of a Russian defeat, everything became
clear, and in all corners of Moscow the same things began to be
said. These reasons were the treachery of the Austrians, a defective
commissariat, the treachery of the Pole Przebyszewski and of the
Frenchman Langeron, Kutuzov's incapacity, and (it was whispered) the
youth and inexperience of the sovereign, who had trusted worthless and
insignificant people. But the army, the Russian army, everyone declared,
was extraordinary and had achieved miracles of valor. The soldiers,
officers, and generals were heroes. But the hero of heroes was Prince
Bagration, distinguished by his Schon Grabern affair and by the retreat
from Austerlitz, where he alone had withdrawn his column unbroken and
had all day beaten back an enemy force twice as numerous as his own.
What also conduced to Bagration's being selected as Moscow's hero was
the fact that he had no connections in the city and was a stranger
there. In his person, honor was shown to a simple fighting Russian
soldier without connections and intrigues, and to one who was associated
by memories of the Italian campaign with the name of Suvorov.
Moreover, paying such honor to Bagration was the best way of expressing
disapproval and dislike of Kutuzov.

"Had there been no Bagration, it would have been necessary to invent
him," said the wit Shinshin, parodying the words of Voltaire. Kutuzov
no one spoke of, except some who abused him in whispers, calling him a
court weathercock and an old satyr.

All Moscow repeated Prince Dolgorukov's saying: "If you go on modeling
and modeling you must get smeared with clay," suggesting consolation
for our defeat by the memory of former victories; and the words of
Rostopchin, that French soldiers have to be incited to battle by
highfalutin words, and Germans by logical arguments to show them that it
is more dangerous to run away than to advance, but that Russian soldiers
only need to be restrained and held back! On all sides, new and fresh
anecdotes were heard of individual examples of heroism shown by our
officers and men at Austerlitz. One had saved a standard, another had
killed five Frenchmen, a third had loaded five cannon singlehanded. Berg
was mentioned, by those who did not know him, as having, when wounded
in the right hand, taken his sword in the left, and gone forward. Of
Bolkonski, nothing was said, and only those who knew him intimately
regretted that he had died so young, leaving a pregnant wife with his
eccentric father.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III

 

On that third of March, all the rooms in the English Club were filled
with a hum of conversation, like the hum of bees swarming in springtime.
The members and guests of the Club wandered hither and thither, sat,
stood, met, and separated, some in uniform and some in evening dress,
and a few here and there with powdered hair and in Russian kaftans.
Powdered footmen, in livery with buckled shoes and smart stockings,
stood at every door anxiously noting visitors' every movement in order
to offer their services. Most of those present were elderly, respected
men with broad, self-confident faces, fat fingers, and resolute gestures
and voices. This class of guests and members sat in certain habitual
places and met in certain habitual groups. A minority of those present
were casual guests--chiefly young men, among whom were Denisov, Rostov,
and Dolokhov--who was now again an officer in the Semenov regiment. The
faces of these young people, especially those who were military men,
bore that expression of condescending respect for their elders which
seems to say to the older generation, "We are prepared to respect and
honor you, but all the same remember that the future belongs to us."

Nesvitski was there as an old member of the Club. Pierre, who at his
wife's command had let his hair grow and abandoned his spectacles, went
about the rooms fashionably dressed but looking sad and dull. Here, as
elsewhere, he was surrounded by an atmosphere of subservience to his
wealth, and being in the habit of lording it over these people, he
treated them with absent-minded contempt.

By his age he should have belonged to the younger men, but by his wealth
and connections he belonged to the groups old and honored guests, and
so he went from one group to another. Some of the most important old men
were the center of groups which even strangers approached respectfully
to hear the voices of well-known men. The largest circles formed round
Count Rostopchin, Valuev, and Naryshkin. Rostopchin was describing how
the Russians had been overwhelmed by flying Austrians and had had to
force their way through them with bayonets.

Valuev was confidentially telling that Uvarov had been sent from
Petersburg to ascertain what Moscow was thinking about Austerlitz.

In the third circle, Naryshkin was speaking of the meeting of the
Austrian Council of War at which Suvorov crowed like a cock in reply to
the nonsense talked by the Austrian generals. Shinshin, standing close
by, tried to make a joke, saying that Kutuzov had evidently failed to
learn from Suvorov even so simple a thing as the art of crowing like a
cock, but the elder members glanced severely at the wit, making him
feel that in that place and on that day, it was improper to speak so of
Kutuzov.

Count Ilya Rostov, hurried and preoccupied, went about in his soft boots
between the dining and drawing rooms, hastily greeting the important and
unimportant, all of whom he knew, as if they were all equals, while his
eyes occasionally sought out his fine well-set-up young son, resting
on him and winking joyfully at him. Young Rostov stood at a window with
Dolokhov, whose acquaintance he had lately made and highly valued. The
old count came up to them and pressed Dolokhov's hand.

"Please come and visit us... you know my brave boy... been together out
there... both playing the hero... Ah, Vasili Ignatovich... How d'ye do,
old fellow?" he said, turning to an old man who was passing, but before
he had finished his greeting there was a general stir, and a footman who
had run in announced, with a frightened face: "He's arrived!"

Bells rang, the stewards rushed forward, and--like rye shaken together
in a shovel--the guests who had been scattered about in different rooms
came together and crowded in the large drawing room by the door of the
ballroom.

Bagration appeared in the doorway of the anteroom without hat or sword,
which, in accord with the Club custom, he had given up to the hall
porter. He had no lambskin cap on his head, nor had he a loaded whip
over his shoulder, as when Rostov had seen him on the eve of the battle
of Austerlitz, but wore a tight new uniform with Russian and foreign
Orders, and the Star of St. George on his left breast. Evidently just
before coming to the dinner he had had his hair and whiskers trimmed,
which changed his appearance for the worse. There was something naively
festive in his air, which, in conjunction with his firm and virile
features, gave him a rather comical expression. Bekleshev and Theodore
Uvarov, who had arrived with him, paused at the doorway to allow him,
as the guest of honor, to enter first. Bagration was embarrassed, not
wishing to avail himself of their courtesy, and this caused some delay
at the doors, but after all he did at last enter first. He walked shyly
and awkwardly over the parquet floor of the reception room, not knowing
what to do with his hands; he was more accustomed to walk over a plowed
field under fire, as he had done at the head of the Kursk regiment at
Schon Grabern--and he would have found that easier. The committeemen
met him at the first door and, expressing their delight at seeing such a
highly honored guest, took possession of him as it were, without waiting
for his reply, surrounded him, and led him to the drawing room. It was
at first impossible to enter the drawing-room door for the crowd of
members and guests jostling one another and trying to get a good look at
Bagration over each other's shoulders, as if he were some rare animal.
Count Ilya Rostov, laughing and repeating the words, "Make way, dear
boy! Make way, make way!" pushed through the crowd more energetically
than anyone, led the guests into the drawing room, and seated them on
the center sofa. The bigwigs, the most respected members of the Club,
beset the new arrivals. Count Ilya, again thrusting his way through the
crowd, went out of the drawing room and reappeared a minute later with
another committeeman, carrying a large silver salver which he presented
to Prince Bagration. On the salver lay some verses composed and printed
in the hero's honor. Bagration, on seeing the salver, glanced around
in dismay, as though seeking help. But all eyes demanded that he should
submit. Feeling himself in their power, he resolutely took the salver
with both hands and looked sternly and reproachfully at the count who
had presented it to him. Someone obligingly took the dish from Bagration
(or he would, it seemed, have held it till evening and have gone in to
dinner with it) and drew his attention to the verses.

"Well, I will read them, then!" Bagration seemed to say, and, fixing
his weary eyes on the paper, began to read them with a fixed and serious
expression. But the author himself took the verses and began reading
them aloud. Bagration bowed his head and listened:

Bring glory then to Alexander's reign
And on the throne our Titus shield.
A dreaded foe be thou, kindhearted as a man,
A Rhipheus at home, a Caesar in the field!
E'en fortunate Napoleon
Knows by experience, now, Bagration,
And dare not Herculean Russians trouble...

But before he had finished reading, a stentorian major-domo announced
that dinner was ready! The door opened, and from the dining room came
the resounding strains of the polonaise:

Conquest's joyful thunder waken,
Triumph, valiant Russians, now!...

and Count Rostov, glancing angrily at the author who went on reading his
verses, bowed to Bagration. Everyone rose, feeling that dinner was more
important than verses, and Bagration, again preceding all the rest,
went in to dinner. He was seated in the place of honor between two
Alexanders--Bekleshev and Naryshkin--which was a significant allusion to
the name of the sovereign. Three hundred persons took their seats in the
dining room, according to their rank and importance: the more important
nearer to the honored guest, as naturally as water flows deepest where
the land lies lowest.

Just before dinner, Count Ilya Rostov presented his son to Bagration,
who recognized him and said a few words to him, disjointed and awkward,
as were all the words he spoke that day, and Count Ilya looked joyfully
and proudly around while Bagration spoke to his son.

Nicholas Rostov, with Denisov and his new acquaintance, Dolokhov, sat
almost at the middle of the table. Facing them sat Pierre, beside Prince
Nesvitski. Count Ilya Rostov with the other members of the committee sat
facing Bagration and, as the very personification of Moscow hospitality,
did the honors to the prince.

His efforts had not been in vain. The dinner, both the Lenten and the
other fare, was splendid, yet he could not feel quite at ease till the
end of the meal. He winked at the butler, whispered directions to the
footmen, and awaited each expected dish with some anxiety. Everything
was excellent. With the second course, a gigantic sterlet (at sight of
which Ilya Rostov blushed with self-conscious pleasure), the footmen
began popping corks and filling the champagne glasses. After the fish,
which made a certain sensation, the count exchanged glances with the
other committeemen. "There will be many toasts, it's time to begin," he
whispered, and taking up his glass, he rose. All were silent, waiting
for what he would say.

"To the health of our Sovereign, the Emperor!" he cried, and at the same
moment his kindly eyes grew moist with tears of joy and enthusiasm. The
band immediately struck up "Conquest's joyful thunder waken..." All rose
and cried "Hurrah!" Bagration also rose and shouted "Hurrah!" in exactly
the same voice in which he had shouted it on the field at Schon Grabern.
Young Rostov's ecstatic voice could be heard above the three hundred
others. He nearly wept. "To the health of our Sovereign, the Emperor!"
he roared, "Hurrah!" and emptying his glass at one gulp he dashed it to
the floor. Many followed his example, and the loud shouting continued
for a long time. When the voices subsided, the footmen cleared away the
broken glass and everybody sat down again, smiling at the noise they had
made and exchanging remarks. The old count rose once more, glanced at a
note lying beside his plate, and proposed a toast, "To the health of the
hero of our last campaign, Prince Peter Ivanovich Bagration!" and again
his blue eyes grew moist. "Hurrah!" cried the three hundred voices
again, but instead of the band a choir began singing a cantata composed
by Paul Ivanovich Kutuzov:

Russians! O'er all barriers on!
Courage conquest guarantees;
Have we not Bagration?
He brings foe men to their knees,... etc.

 

As soon as the singing was over, another and another toast was proposed
and Count Ilya Rostov became more and more moved, more glass was
smashed, and the shouting grew louder. They drank to Bekleshev,
Naryshkin, Uvarov, Dolgorukov, Apraksin, Valuev, to the committee, to
all the Club members and to all the Club guests, and finally to Count
Ilya Rostov separately, as the organizer of the banquet. At that
toast, the count took out his handkerchief and, covering his face, wept
outright.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV

 

Pierre sat opposite Dolokhov and Nicholas Rostov. As usual, he ate and
drank much, and eagerly. But those who knew him intimately noticed that
some great change had come over him that day. He was silent all through
dinner and looked about, blinking and scowling, or, with fixed eyes and
a look of complete absent-mindedness, kept rubbing the bridge of his
nose. His face was depressed and gloomy. He seemed to see and hear
nothing of what was going on around him and to be absorbed by some
depressing and unsolved problem.

The unsolved problem that tormented him was caused by hints given by the
princess, his cousin, at Moscow, concerning Dolokhov's intimacy with his
wife, and by an anonymous letter he had received that morning, which in
the mean jocular way common to anonymous letters said that he saw badly
through his spectacles, but that his wife's connection with Dolokhov was
a secret to no one but himself. Pierre absolutely disbelieved both the
princess' hints and the letter, but he feared now to look at Dolokhov,
who was sitting opposite him. Every time he chanced to meet Dolokhov's
handsome insolent eyes, Pierre felt something terrible and monstrous
rising in his soul and turned quickly away. Involuntarily recalling his
wife's past and her relations with Dolokhov, Pierre saw clearly that
what was said in the letter might be true, or might at least seem to be
true had it not referred to his wife. He involuntarily remembered
how Dolokhov, who had fully recovered his former position after the
campaign, had returned to Petersburg and come to him. Availing himself
of his friendly relations with Pierre as a boon companion, Dolokhov
had come straight to his house, and Pierre had put him up and lent him
money. Pierre recalled how Helene had smilingly expressed disapproval of
Dolokhov's living at their house, and how cynically Dolokhov had praised
his wife's beauty to him and from that time till they came to Moscow had
not left them for a day.

"Yes, he is very handsome," thought Pierre, "and I know him. It would be
particularly pleasant to him to dishonor my name and ridicule me, just
because I have exerted myself on his behalf, befriended him, and helped
him. I know and understand what a spice that would add to the pleasure
of deceiving me, if it really were true. Yes, if it were true, but I
do not believe it. I have no right to, and can't, believe it." He
remembered the expression Dolokhov's face assumed in his moments of
cruelty, as when tying the policeman to the bear and dropping them into
the water, or when he challenged a man to a duel without any reason,
or shot a post-boy's horse with a pistol. That expression was often
on Dolokhov's face when looking at him. "Yes, he is a bully," thought
Pierre, "to kill a man means nothing to him. It must seem to him that
everyone is afraid of him, and that must please him. He must think that
I, too, am afraid of him--and in fact I am afraid of him," he thought,
and again he felt something terrible and monstrous rising in his soul.
Dolokhov, Denisov, and Rostov were now sitting opposite Pierre and
seemed very gay. Rostov was talking merrily to his two friends, one of
whom was a dashing hussar and the other a notorious duelist and
rake, and every now and then he glanced ironically at Pierre, whose
preoccupied, absent-minded, and massive figure was a very noticeable one
at the dinner. Rostov looked inimically at Pierre, first because Pierre
appeared to his hussar eyes as a rich civilian, the husband of a
beauty, and in a word--an old woman; and secondly because Pierre in his
preoccupation and absent-mindedness had not recognized Rostov and had
not responded to his greeting. When the Emperor's health was drunk,
Pierre, lost in thought, did not rise or lift his glass.

"What are you about?" shouted Rostov, looking at him in an ecstasy of
exasperation. "Don't you hear it's His Majesty the Emperor's health?"

Pierre sighed, rose submissively, emptied his glass, and, waiting till
all were seated again, turned with his kindly smile to Rostov.

"Why, I didn't recognize you!" he said. But Rostov was otherwise
engaged; he was shouting "Hurrah!"

"Why don't you renew the acquaintance?" said Dolokhov to Rostov.

"Confound him, he's a fool!" said Rostov.

"One should make up to the husbands of pretty women," said Denisov.

Pierre did not catch what they were saying, but knew they were talking
about him. He reddened and turned away.

"Well, now to the health of handsome women!" said Dolokhov, and with
a serious expression, but with a smile lurking at the corners of his
mouth, he turned with his glass to Pierre.

"Here's to the health of lovely women, Peterkin--and their lovers!" he
added.

Pierre, with downcast eyes, drank out of his glass without looking at
Dolokhov or answering him. The footman, who was distributing leaflets
with Kutuzov's cantata, laid one before Pierre as one of the principal
guests. He was just going to take it when Dolokhov, leaning across,
snatched it from his hand and began reading it. Pierre looked at
Dolokhov and his eyes dropped, the something terrible and monstrous that
had tormented him all dinnertime rose and took possession of him. He
leaned his whole massive body across the table.

"How dare you take it?" he shouted.

Hearing that cry and seeing to whom it was addressed, Nesvitski and the
neighbor on his right quickly turned in alarm to Bezukhov.

"Don't! Don't! What are you about?" whispered their frightened voices.

Dolokhov looked at Pierre with clear, mirthful, cruel eyes, and that
smile of his which seemed to say, "Ah! This is what I like!"

"You shan't have it!" he said distinctly.

Pale, with quivering lips, Pierre snatched the copy.

"You...! you... scoundrel! I challenge you!" he ejaculated, and, pushing
back his chair, he rose from the table.

At the very instant he did this and uttered those words, Pierre felt
that the question of his wife's guilt which had been tormenting him the
whole day was finally and indubitably answered in the affirmative. He
hated her and was forever sundered from her. Despite Denisov's request
that he would take no part in the matter, Rostov agreed to be Dolokhov's
second, and after dinner he discussed the arrangements for the duel with
Nesvitski, Bezukhov's second. Pierre went home, but Rostov with Dolokhov
and Denisov stayed on at the Club till late, listening to the gypsies
and other singers.

"Well then, till tomorrow at Sokolniki," said Dolokhov, as he took leave
of Rostov in the Club porch.

"And do you feel quite calm?" Rostov asked.

Dolokhov paused.

"Well, you see, I'll tell you the whole secret of dueling in two
words. If you are going to fight a duel, and you make a will and write
affectionate letters to your parents, and if you think you may be
killed, you are a fool and are lost for certain. But go with the firm
intention of killing your man as quickly and surely as possible, and
then all will be right, as our bear huntsman at Kostroma used to tell
me. 'Everyone fears a bear,' he says, 'but when you see one your fear's
all gone, and your only thought is not to let him get away!' And that's
how it is with me. A demain, mon cher." *

 

* Till tomorrow, my dear fellow.

 

Next day, at eight in the morning, Pierre and Nesvitski drove to the
Sokolniki forest and found Dolokhov, Denisov, and Rostov already there.
Pierre had the air of a man preoccupied with considerations which had no
connection with the matter in hand. His haggard face was yellow. He had
evidently not slept that night. He looked about distractedly and screwed
up his eyes as if dazzled by the sun. He was entirely absorbed by two
considerations: his wife's guilt, of which after his sleepless night he
had not the slightest doubt, and the guiltlessness of Dolokhov, who had
no reason to preserve the honor of a man who was nothing to him.... "I
should perhaps have done the same thing in his place," thought Pierre.
"It's even certain that I should have done the same, then why this duel,
this murder? Either I shall kill him, or he will hit me in the head,
or elbow, or knee. Can't I go away from here, run away, bury myself
somewhere?" passed through his mind. But just at moments when such
thoughts occurred to him, he would ask in a particularly calm and
absent-minded way, which inspired the respect of the onlookers, "Will it
be long? Are things ready?"

When all was ready, the sabers stuck in the snow to mark the barriers,
and the pistols loaded, Nesvitski went up to Pierre.

"I should not be doing my duty, Count," he said in timid tones, "and
should not justify your confidence and the honor you have done me in
choosing me for your second, if at this grave, this very grave, moment I
did not tell you the whole truth. I think there is no sufficient ground
for this affair, or for blood to be shed over it.... You were not right,
not quite in the right, you were impetuous..."

"Oh yes, it is horribly stupid," said Pierre.

"Then allow me to express your regrets, and I am sure your opponent
will accept them," said Nesvitski (who like the others concerned in the
affair, and like everyone in similar cases, did not yet believe that the
affair had come to an actual duel). "You know, Count, it is much more
honorable to admit one's mistake than to let matters become irreparable.
There was no insult on either side. Allow me to convey...."

"No! What is there to talk about?" said Pierre. "It's all the same....
Is everything ready?" he added. "Only tell me where to go and where to
shoot," he said with an unnaturally gentle smile.

He took the pistol in his hand and began asking about the working of the
trigger, as he had not before held a pistol in his hand--a fact that he
did not wish to confess.

"Oh yes, like that, I know, I only forgot," said he.

"No apologies, none whatever," said Dolokhov to Denisov (who on his
side had been attempting a reconciliation), and he also went up to the
appointed place.

The spot chosen for the duel was some eighty paces from the road,
where the sleighs had been left, in a small clearing in the pine forest
covered with melting snow, the frost having begun to break up during the
last few days. The antagonists stood forty paces apart at the farther
edge of the clearing. The seconds, measuring the paces, left tracks in
the deep wet snow between the place where they had been standing and
Nesvitski's and Dolokhov's sabers, which were stuck into the ground
ten paces apart to mark the barrier. It was thawing and misty; at forty
paces' distance nothing could be seen. For three minutes all had been
ready, but they still delayed and all were silent.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER V

 

"Well begin!" said Dolokhov.

"All right," said Pierre, still smiling in the same way. A feeling of
dread was in the air. It was evident that the affair so lightly begun
could no longer be averted but was taking its course independently of
men's will.

Denisov first went to the barrier and announced: "As the adve'sawies
have wefused a weconciliation, please pwoceed. Take your pistols, and at
the word thwee begin to advance.

"O-ne! T-wo! Thwee!" he shouted angrily and stepped aside.

The combatants advanced along the trodden tracks, nearer and nearer to
one another, beginning to see one another through the mist. They had the
right to fire when they liked as they approached the barrier. Dolokhov
walked slowly without raising his pistol, looking intently with his
bright, sparkling blue eyes into his antagonist's face. His mouth wore
its usual semblance of a smile.

"So I can fire when I like!" said Pierre, and at the word "three," he
went quickly forward, missing the trodden path and stepping into
the deep snow. He held the pistol in his right hand at arm's length,
apparently afraid of shooting himself with it. His left hand he held
carefully back, because he wished to support his right hand with it and
knew he must not do so. Having advanced six paces and strayed off
the track into the snow, Pierre looked down at his feet, then quickly
glanced at Dolokhov and, bending his finger as he had been shown, fired.
Not at all expecting so loud a report, Pierre shuddered at the sound and
then, smiling at his own sensations, stood still. The smoke, rendered
denser by the mist, prevented him from seeing anything for an instant,
but there was no second report as he had expected. He only heard
Dolokhov's hurried steps, and his figure came in view through the smoke.
He was pressing one hand to his left side, while the other clutched
his drooping pistol. His face was pale. Rostov ran toward him and said
something.

"No-o-o!" muttered Dolokhov through his teeth, "no, it's not over." And
after stumbling a few staggering steps right up to the saber, he sank
on the snow beside it. His left hand was bloody; he wiped it on his
coat and supported himself with it. His frowning face was pallid and
quivered.

"Plea..." began Dolokhov, but could not at first pronounce the word.

"Please," he uttered with an effort.

Pierre, hardly restraining his sobs, began running toward Dolokhov and
was about to cross the space between the barriers, when Dolokhov cried:

"To your barrier!" and Pierre, grasping what was meant, stopped by his
saber. Only ten paces divided them. Dolokhov lowered his head to the
snow, greedily bit at it, again raised his head, adjusted himself, drew
in his legs and sat up, seeking a firm center of gravity. He sucked and
swallowed the cold snow, his lips quivered but his eyes, still smiling,
glittered with effort and exasperation as he mustered his remaining
strength. He raised his pistol and aimed.

"Sideways! Cover yourself with your pistol!" ejaculated Nesvitski.

"Cover yourself!" even Denisov cried to his adversary.

Pierre, with a gentle smile of pity and remorse, his arms and legs
helplessly spread out, stood with his broad chest directly facing
Dolokhov looked sorrowfully at him. Denisov, Rostov, and Nesvitski
closed their eyes. At the same instant they heard a report and
Dolokhov's angry cry.

"Missed!" shouted Dolokhov, and he lay helplessly, face downwards on the
snow.

Pierre clutched his temples, and turning round went into the forest,
trampling through the deep snow, and muttering incoherent words:

"Folly... folly! Death... lies..." he repeated, puckering his face.

Nesvitski stopped him and took him home.

Rostov and Denisov drove away with the wounded Dolokhov.

The latter lay silent in the sleigh with closed eyes and did not answer
a word to the questions addressed to him. But on entering Moscow he
suddenly came to and, lifting his head with an effort, took Rostov, who
was sitting beside him, by the hand. Rostov was struck by the totally
altered and unexpectedly rapturous and tender expression on Dolokhov's
face.

"Well? How do you feel?" he asked.

"Bad! But it's not that, my friend-" said Dolokhov with a gasping voice.
"Where are we? In Moscow, I know. I don't matter, but I have killed her,
killed... She won't get over it! She won't survive...."

"Who?" asked Rostov.

"My mother! My mother, my angel, my adored angel mother," and Dolokhov
pressed Rostov's hand and burst into tears.

When he had become a little quieter, he explained to Rostov that he was
living with his mother, who, if she saw him dying, would not survive it.
He implored Rostov to go on and prepare her.

Rostov went on ahead to do what was asked, and to his great surprise
learned that Dolokhov the brawler, Dolokhov the bully, lived in Moscow
with an old mother and a hunchback sister, and was the most affectionate
of sons and brothers.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VI

 

Pierre had of late rarely seen his wife alone. Both in Petersburg and in
Moscow their house was always full of visitors. The night after the
duel he did not go to his bedroom but, as he often did, remained in his
father's room, that huge room in which Count Bezukhov had died.

He lay down on the sofa meaning to fall asleep and forget all that
had happened to him, but could not do so. Such a storm of feelings,
thoughts, and memories suddenly arose within him that he could not fall
asleep, nor even remain in one place, but had to jump up and pace the
room with rapid steps. Now he seemed to see her in the early days of
their marriage, with bare shoulders and a languid, passionate look on
her face, and then immediately he saw beside her Dolokhov's handsome,
insolent, hard, and mocking face as he had seen it at the banquet, and
then that same face pale, quivering, and suffering, as it had been when
he reeled and sank on the snow.

"What has happened?" he asked himself. "I have killed her lover, yes,
killed my wife's lover. Yes, that was it! And why? How did I come to do
it?"--"Because you married her," answered an inner voice.

"But in what was I to blame?" he asked. "In marrying her without loving
her; in deceiving yourself and her." And he vividly recalled that moment
after supper at Prince Vasili's, when he spoke those words he had found
so difficult to utter: "I love you." "It all comes from that! Even then
I felt it," he thought. "I felt then that it was not so, that I had no
right to do it. And so it turns out."

He remembered his honeymoon and blushed at the recollection.
Particularly vivid, humiliating, and shameful was the recollection of
how one day soon after his marriage he came out of the bedroom into his
study a little before noon in his silk dressing gown and found his head
steward there, who, bowing respectfully, looked into his face and at
his dressing gown and smiled slightly, as if expressing respectful
understanding of his employer's happiness.

"But how often I have felt proud of her, proud of her majestic beauty
and social tact," thought he; "been proud of my house, in which she
received all Petersburg, proud of her unapproachability and beauty. So
this is what I was proud of! I then thought that I did not understand
her. How often when considering her character I have told myself that
I was to blame for not understanding her, for not understanding that
constant composure and complacency and lack of all interests or desires,
and the whole secret lies in the terrible truth that she is a depraved
woman. Now I have spoken that terrible word to myself all has become
clear.

"Anatole used to come to borrow money from her and used to kiss her
naked shoulders. She did not give him the money, but let herself be
kissed. Her father in jest tried to rouse her jealousy, and she replied
with a calm smile that she was not so stupid as to be jealous: 'Let him
do what he pleases,' she used to say of me. One day I asked her if she
felt any symptoms of pregnancy. She laughed contemptuously and said she
was not a fool to want to have children, and that she was not going to
have any children by me."

Then he recalled the coarseness and bluntness of her thoughts and the
vulgarity of the expressions that were natural to her, though she had
been brought up in the most aristocratic circles.

"I'm not such a fool.... Just you try it on.... Allez-vous promener," *
she used to say. Often seeing the success she had with young and old men
and women Pierre could not understand why he did not love her.

 

* "You clear out of this."

 

"Yes, I never loved her," said he to himself; "I knew she was a depraved
woman," he repeated, "but dared not admit it to myself. And now there's
Dolokhov sitting in the snow with a forced smile and perhaps dying,
while meeting my remorse with some forced bravado!"

Pierre was one of those people who, in spite of an appearance of what
is called weak character, do not seek a confidant in their troubles. He
digested his sufferings alone.

"It is all, all her fault," he said to himself; "but what of that? Why
did I bind myself to her? Why did I say 'Je vous aime' * to her, which
was a lie, and worse than a lie? I am guilty and must endure... what?
A slur on my name? A misfortune for life? Oh, that's nonsense," he
thought. "The slur on my name and honor--that's all apart from myself."

 

* I love you.

 

"Louis XVI was executed because they said he was dishonorable and a
criminal," came into Pierre's head, "and from their point of view they
were right, as were those too who canonized him and died a martyr's
death for his sake. Then Robespierre was beheaded for being a despot.
Who is right and who is wrong? No one! But if you are alive--live:
tomorrow you'll die as I might have died an hour ago. And is it worth
tormenting oneself, when one has only a moment of life in comparison
with eternity?"

But at the moment when he imagined himself calmed by such reflections,
she suddenly came into his mind as she was at the moments when he had
most strongly expressed his insincere love for her, and he felt the
blood rush to his heart and had again to get up and move about and break
and tear whatever came to his hand. "Why did I tell her that 'Je vous
aime'?" he kept repeating to himself. And when he had said it for the
tenth time, Molibre's words: "Mais que diable alloit-il faire dans cette
galere?" occurred to him, and he began to laugh at himself.

In the night he called his valet and told him to pack up to go to
Petersburg. He could not imagine how he could speak to her now. He
resolved to go away next day and leave a letter informing her of his
intention to part from her forever.

Next morning when the valet came into the room with his coffee, Pierre
was lying asleep on the ottoman with an open book in his hand.

He woke up and looked round for a while with a startled expression,
unable to realize where he was.

"The countess told me to inquire whether your excellency was at home,"
said the valet.

But before Pierre could decide what answer he would send, the countess
herself in a white satin dressing gown embroidered with silver and with
simply dressed hair (two immense plaits twice round her lovely head like
a coronet) entered the room, calm and majestic, except that there was
a wrathful wrinkle on her rather prominent marble brow. With her
imperturbable calm she did not begin to speak in front of the valet.
She knew of the duel and had come to speak about it. She waited till the
valet had set down the coffee things and left the room. Pierre looked
at her timidly over his spectacles, and like a hare surrounded by hounds
who lays back her ears and continues to crouch motionless before her
enemies, he tried to continue reading. But feeling this to be senseless
and impossible, he again glanced timidly at her. She did not sit down
but looked at him with a contemptuous smile, waiting for the valet to
go.

"Well, what's this now? What have you been up to now, I should like to
know?" she asked sternly.

"I? What have I...?" stammered Pierre.

"So it seems you're a hero, eh? Come now, what was this duel about? What
is it meant to prove? What? I ask you."

Pierre turned over heavily on the ottoman and opened his mouth, but
could not reply.

"If you won't answer, I'll tell you..." Helene went on. "You believe
everything you're told. You were told..." Helene laughed, "that Dolokhov
was my lover," she said in French with her coarse plainness of speech,
uttering the word amant as casually as any other word, "and you believed
it! Well, what have you proved? What does this duel prove? That you're
a fool, que vous etes un sot, but everybody knew that. What will be the
result? That I shall be the laughingstock of all Moscow, that everyone
will say that you, drunk and not knowing what you were about, challenged
a man you are jealous of without cause." Helene raised her voice and
became more and more excited, "A man who's a better man than you in
every way..."

"Hm... Hm...!" growled Pierre, frowning without looking at her, and not
moving a muscle.

"And how could you believe he was my lover? Why? Because I like his
company? If you were cleverer and more agreeable, I should prefer
yours."

"Don't speak to me... I beg you," muttered Pierre hoarsely.

"Why shouldn't I speak? I can speak as I like, and I tell you plainly
that there are not many wives with husbands such as you who would not
have taken lovers (des amants), but I have not done so," said she.

Pierre wished to say something, looked at her with eyes whose strange
expression she did not understand, and lay down again. He was suffering
physically at that moment, there was a weight on his chest and he could
not breathe. He knew that he must do something to put an end to this
suffering, but what he wanted to do was too terrible.

"We had better separate," he muttered in a broken voice.

"Separate? Very well, but only if you give me a fortune," said Helene.
"Separate! That's a thing to frighten me with!"

Pierre leaped up from the sofa and rushed staggering toward her.

"I'll kill you!" he shouted, and seizing the marble top of a table
with a strength he had never before felt, he made a step toward her
brandishing the slab.

Helene's face became terrible, she shrieked and sprang aside. His
father's nature showed itself in Pierre. He felt the fascination and
delight of frenzy. He flung down the slab, broke it, and swooping down
on her with outstretched hands shouted, "Get out!" in such a terrible
voice that the whole house heard it with horror. God knows what he would
have done at that moment had Helene not fled from the room.

 

A week later Pierre gave his wife full power to control all his estates
in Great Russia, which formed the larger part of his property, and left
for Petersburg alone.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VII

 

Two months had elapsed since the news of the battle of Austerlitz and
the loss of Prince Andrew had reached Bald Hills, and in spite of the
letters sent through the embassy and all the searches made, his body had
not been found nor was he on the list of prisoners. What was worst of
all for his relations was the fact that there was still a possibility of
his having been picked up on the battlefield by the people of the
place and that he might now be lying, recovering or dying, alone among
strangers and unable to send news of himself. The gazettes from which
the old prince first heard of the defeat at Austerlitz stated, as usual
very briefly and vaguely, that after brilliant engagements the Russians
had had to retreat and had made their withdrawal in perfect order. The
old prince understood from this official report that our army had been
defeated. A week after the gazette report of the battle of Austerlitz
came a letter from Kutuzov informing the prince of the fate that had
befallen his son.

"Your son," wrote Kutuzov, "fell before my eyes, a standard in his hand
and at the head of a regiment--he fell as a hero, worthy of his father
and his fatherland. To the great regret of myself and of the whole army
it is still uncertain whether he is alive or not. I comfort myself and
you with the hope that your son is alive, for otherwise he would have
been mentioned among the officers found on the field of battle, a list
of whom has been sent me under flag of truce."

After receiving this news late in the evening, when he was alone in his
study, the old prince went for his walk as usual next morning, but he
was silent with his steward, the gardener, and the architect, and though
he looked very grim he said nothing to anyone.

When Princess Mary went to him at the usual hour he was working at his
lathe and, as usual, did not look round at her.

"Ah, Princess Mary!" he said suddenly in an unnatural voice, throwing
down his chisel. (The wheel continued to revolve by its own impetus,
and Princess Mary long remembered the dying creak of that wheel, which
merged in her memory with what followed.)

She approached him, saw his face, and something gave way within her.
Her eyes grew dim. By the expression of her father's face, not sad, not
crushed, but angry and working unnaturally, she saw that hanging over
her and about to crush her was some terrible misfortune, the worst
in life, one she had not yet experienced, irreparable and
incomprehensible--the death of one she loved.

"Father! Andrew!"--said the ungraceful, awkward princess with such an
indescribable charm of sorrow and self-forgetfulness that her father
could not bear her look but turned away with a sob.

"Bad news! He's not among the prisoners nor among the killed! Kutuzov
writes..." and he screamed as piercingly as if he wished to drive the
princess away by that scream... "Killed!"

The princess did not fall down or faint. She was already pale, but on
hearing these words her face changed and something brightened in her
beautiful, radiant eyes. It was as if joy--a supreme joy apart from the
joys and sorrows of this world--overflowed the great grief within her.
She forgot all fear of her father, went up to him, took his hand, and
drawing him down put her arm round his thin, scraggy neck.

"Father," she said, "do not turn away from me, let us weep together."

"Scoundrels! Blackguards!" shrieked the old man, turning his face away
from her. "Destroying the army, destroying the men! And why? Go, go and
tell Lise."

The princess sank helplessly into an armchair beside her father and
wept. She saw her brother now as he had been at the moment when he took
leave of her and of Lise, his look tender yet proud. She saw him tender
and amused as he was when he put on the little icon. "Did he believe?
Had he repented of his unbelief? Was he now there? There in the realms
of eternal peace and blessedness?" she thought.

"Father, tell me how it happened," she asked through her tears.

"Go! Go! Killed in battle, where the best of Russian men and Russia's
glory were led to destruction. Go, Princess Mary. Go and tell Lise. I
will follow."

When Princess Mary returned from her father, the little princess sat
working and looked up with that curious expression of inner, happy calm
peculiar to pregnant women. It was evident that her eyes did not see
Princess Mary but were looking within... into herself... at something
joyful and mysterious taking place within her.

"Mary," she said, moving away from the embroidery frame and lying back,
"give me your hand." She took her sister-in-law's hand and held it below
her waist.

Her eyes were smiling expectantly, her downy lip rose and remained
lifted in childlike happiness.

Princess Mary knelt down before her and hid her face in the folds of her
sister-in-law's dress.

"There, there! Do you feel it? I feel so strange. And do you know, Mary,
I am going to love him very much," said Lise, looking with bright and
happy eyes at her sister-in-law.

Princess Mary could not lift her head, she was weeping.

"What is the matter, Mary?"

"Nothing... only I feel sad... sad about Andrew," she said, wiping away
her tears on her sister-in-law's knee.

Several times in the course of the morning Princess Mary began trying to
prepare her sister-in-law, and every time began to cry. Unobservant as
was the little princess, these tears, the cause of which she did not
understand, agitated her. She said nothing but looked about uneasily as
if in search of something. Before dinner the old prince, of whom she was
always afraid, came into her room with a peculiarly restless and malign
expression and went out again without saying a word. She looked at
Princess Mary, then sat thinking for a while with that expression of
attention to something within her that is only seen in pregnant women,
and suddenly began to cry.

"Has anything come from Andrew?" she asked.

"No, you know it's too soon for news. But my father is anxious and I
feel afraid."

"So there's nothing?"

"Nothing," answered Princess Mary, looking firmly with her radiant eyes
at her sister-in-law.

She had determined not to tell her and persuaded her father to hide the
terrible news from her till after her confinement, which was expected
within a few days. Princess Mary and the old prince each bore and hid
their grief in their own way. The old prince would not cherish any hope:
he made up his mind that Prince Andrew had been killed, and though he
sent an official to Austria to seek for traces of his son, he ordered a
monument from Moscow which he intended to erect in his own garden to his
memory, and he told everybody that his son had been killed. He tried not
to change his former way of life, but his strength failed him. He walked
less, ate less, slept less, and became weaker every day. Princess Mary
hoped. She prayed for her brother as living and was always awaiting news
of his return.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER VIII

 

"Dearest," said the little princess after breakfast on the morning of
the nineteenth March, and her downy little lip rose from old habit, but
as sorrow was manifest in every smile, the sound of every word, and even
every footstep in that house since the terrible news had come, so now
the smile of the little princess--influenced by the general mood though
without knowing its cause--was such as to remind one still more of the
general sorrow.

"Dearest, I'm afraid this morning's fruschtique *--as Foka the cook
calls it--has disagreed with me."

 

* Fruhstuck: breakfast.

 

"What is the matter with you, my darling? You look pale. Oh, you
are very pale!" said Princess Mary in alarm, running with her soft,
ponderous steps up to her sister-in-law.

"Your excellency, should not Mary Bogdanovna be sent for?" said one
of the maids who was present. (Mary Bogdanovna was a midwife from the
neighboring town, who had been at Bald Hills for the last fortnight.)

"Oh yes," assented Princess Mary, "perhaps that's it. I'll go. Courage,
my angel." She kissed Lise and was about to leave the room.

"Oh, no, no!" And besides the pallor and the physical suffering on the
little princess' face, an expression of childish fear of inevitable pain
showed itself.

"No, it's only indigestion?... Say it's only indigestion, say so,
Mary! Say..." And the little princess began to cry capriciously like
a suffering child and to wring her little hands even with some
affectation. Princess Mary ran out of the room to fetch Mary Bogdanovna.

"Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu! Oh!" she heard as she left the room.

The midwife was already on her way to meet her, rubbing her small, plump
white hands with an air of calm importance.

"Mary Bogdanovna, I think it's beginning!" said Princess Mary looking at
the midwife with wide-open eyes of alarm.

"Well, the Lord be thanked, Princess," said Mary Bogdanovna, not
hastening her steps. "You young ladies should not know anything about
it."

"But how is it the doctor from Moscow is not here yet?" said the
princess. (In accordance with Lise's and Prince Andrew's wishes they had
sent in good time to Moscow for a doctor and were expecting him at any
moment.)

"No matter, Princess, don't be alarmed," said Mary Bogdanovna. "We'll
manage very well without a doctor."

Five minutes later Princess Mary from her room heard something heavy
being carried by. She looked out. The men servants were carrying the
large leather sofa from Prince Andrew's study into the bedroom. On their
faces was a quiet and solemn look.

Princess Mary sat alone in her room listening to the sounds in the
house, now and then opening her door when someone passed and watching
what was going on in the passage. Some women passing with quiet steps in
and out of the bedroom glanced at the princess and turned away. She did
not venture to ask any questions, and shut the door again, now sitting
down in her easy chair, now taking her prayer book, now kneeling before
the icon stand. To her surprise and distress she found that her prayers
did not calm her excitement. Suddenly her door opened softly and her old
nurse, Praskovya Savishna, who hardly ever came to that room as the old
prince had forbidden it, appeared on the threshold with a shawl round
her head.

"I've come to sit with you a bit, Masha," said the nurse, "and here
I've brought the prince's wedding candles to light before his saint, my
angel," she said with a sigh.

"Oh, nurse, I'm so glad!"

"God is merciful, birdie."

The nurse lit the gilt candles before the icons and sat down by the door
with her knitting. Princess Mary took a book and began reading. Only
when footsteps or voices were heard did they look at one another, the
princess anxious and inquiring, the nurse encouraging. Everyone in the
house was dominated by the same feeling that Princess Mary experienced
as she sat in her room. But owing to the superstition that the fewer
the people who know of it the less a woman in travail suffers, everyone
tried to pretend not to know; no one spoke of it, but apart from the
ordinary staid and respectful good manners habitual in the prince's
household, a common anxiety, a softening of the heart, and a
consciousness that something great and mysterious was being accomplished
at that moment made itself felt.

There was no laughter in the maids' large hall. In the men servants'
hall all sat waiting, silently and alert. In the outlying serfs'
quarters torches and candles were burning and no one slept. The old
prince, stepping on his heels, paced up and down his study and sent
Tikhon to ask Mary Bogdanovna what news.--"Say only that 'the prince
told me to ask,' and come and tell me her answer."

"Inform the prince that labor has begun," said Mary Bogdanovna, giving
the messenger a significant look.

Tikhon went and told the prince.

"Very good!" said the prince closing the door behind him, and Tikhon did
not hear the slightest sound from the study after that.

After a while he re-entered it as if to snuff the candles, and, seeing
the prince was lying on the sofa, looked at him, noticed his perturbed
face, shook his head, and going up to him silently kissed him on the
shoulder and left the room without snuffing the candles or saying why he
had entered. The most solemn mystery in the world continued its course.
Evening passed, night came, and the feeling of suspense and softening of
heart in the presence of the unfathomable did not lessen but increased.
No one slept.

It was one of those March nights when winter seems to wish to resume its
sway and scatters its last snows and storms with desperate fury. A relay
of horses had been sent up the highroad to meet the German doctor from
Moscow who was expected every moment, and men on horseback with lanterns
were sent to the crossroads to guide him over the country road with its
hollows and snow-covered pools of water.

Princess Mary had long since put aside her book: she sat silent, her
luminous eyes fixed on her nurse's wrinkled face (every line of which
she knew so well), on the lock of gray hair that escaped from under the
kerchief, and the loose skin that hung under her chin.

Nurse Savishna, knitting in hand, was telling in low tones, scarcely
hearing or understanding her own words, what she had told hundreds of
times before: how the late princess had given birth to Princess Mary
in Kishenev with only a Moldavian peasant woman to help instead of a
midwife.

"God is merciful, doctors are never needed," she said.

Suddenly a gust of wind beat violently against the casement of the
window, from which the double frame had been removed (by order of the
prince, one window frame was removed in each room as soon as the larks
returned), and, forcing open a loosely closed latch, set the damask
curtain flapping and blew out the candle with its chill, snowy draft.
Princess Mary shuddered; her nurse, putting down the stocking she was
knitting, went to the window and leaning out tried to catch the open
casement. The cold wind flapped the ends of her kerchief and her loose
locks of gray hair.

"Princess, my dear, there's someone driving up the avenue!" she said,
holding the casement and not closing it. "With lanterns. Most likely the
doctor."

"Oh, my God! thank God!" said Princess Mary. "I must go and meet him, he
does not know Russian."

Princess Mary threw a shawl over her head and ran to meet the newcomer.
As she was crossing the anteroom she saw through the window a carriage
with lanterns, standing at the entrance. She went out on the stairs. On
a banister post stood a tallow candle which guttered in the draft. On
the landing below, Philip, the footman, stood looking scared and holding
another candle. Still lower, beyond the turn of the staircase, one
could hear the footstep of someone in thick felt boots, and a voice that
seemed familiar to Princess Mary was saying something.

"Thank God!" said the voice. "And Father?"

"Gone to bed," replied the voice of Demyan the house steward, who was
downstairs.

Then the voice said something more, Demyan replied, and the steps in the
felt boots approached the unseen bend of the staircase more rapidly.

"It's Andrew!" thought Princess Mary. "No it can't be, that would be too
extraordinary," and at the very moment she thought this, the face and
figure of Prince Andrew, in a fur cloak the deep collar of which covered
with snow, appeared on the landing where the footman stood with the
candle. Yes, it was he, pale, thin, with a changed and strangely
softened but agitated expression on his face. He came up the stairs and
embraced his sister.

"You did not get my letter?" he asked, and not waiting for a
reply--which he would not have received, for the princess was unable to
speak--he turned back, rapidly mounted the stairs again with the doctor
who had entered the hall after him (they had met at the last post
station), and again embraced his sister.

"What a strange fate, Masha darling!" And having taken off his cloak and
felt boots, he went to the little princess' apartment.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IX

 

The little princess lay supported by pillows, with a white cap on her
head (the pains had just left her). Strands of her black hair lay round
her inflamed and perspiring cheeks, her charming rosy mouth with its
downy lip was open and she was smiling joyfully. Prince Andrew entered
and paused facing her at the foot of the sofa on which she was lying.
Her glittering eyes, filled with childlike fear and excitement, rested
on him without changing their expression. "I love you all and have done
no harm to anyone; why must I suffer so? Help me!" her look seemed to
say. She saw her husband, but did not realize the significance of his
appearance before her now. Prince Andrew went round the sofa and kissed
her forehead.

"My darling!" he said--a word he had never used to her before. "God is
merciful...."

She looked at him inquiringly and with childlike reproach.

"I expected help from you and I get none, none from you either!" said
her eyes. She was not surprised at his having come; she did not realize
that he had come. His coming had nothing to do with her sufferings or
with their relief. The pangs began again and Mary Bogdanovna advised
Prince Andrew to leave the room.

The doctor entered. Prince Andrew went out and, meeting Princess Mary,
again joined her. They began talking in whispers, but their talk broke
off at every moment. They waited and listened.

"Go, dear," said Princess Mary.

Prince Andrew went again to his wife and sat waiting in the room next
to hers. A woman came from the bedroom with a frightened face and became
confused when she saw Prince Andrew. He covered his face with his hands
and remained so for some minutes. Piteous, helpless, animal moans came
through the door. Prince Andrew got up, went to the door, and tried to
open it. Someone was holding it shut.

"You can't come in! You can't!" said a terrified voice from within.

He began pacing the room. The screaming ceased, and a few more seconds
went by. Then suddenly a terrible shriek--it could not be hers, she
could not scream like that--came from the bedroom. Prince Andrew ran to
the door; the scream ceased and he heard the wail of an infant.

"What have they taken a baby in there for?" thought Prince Andrew in the
first second. "A baby? What baby...? Why is there a baby there? Or is
the baby born?"

Then suddenly he realized the joyful significance of that wail; tears
choked him, and leaning his elbows on the window sill be began to cry,
sobbing like a child. The door opened. The doctor with his shirt sleeves
tucked up, without a coat, pale and with a trembling jaw, came out
of the room. Prince Andrew turned to him, but the doctor gave him a
bewildered look and passed by without a word. A woman rushed out and
seeing Prince Andrew stopped, hesitating on the threshold. He went into
his wife's room. She was lying dead, in the same position he had seen
her in five minutes before and, despite the fixed eyes and the pallor of
the cheeks, the same expression was on her charming childlike face with
its upper lip covered with tiny black hair.

"I love you all, and have done no harm to anyone; and what have you done
to me?"--said her charming, pathetic, dead face.

In a corner of the room something red and tiny gave a grunt and squealed
in Mary Bogdanovna's trembling white hands.

 

Two hours later Prince Andrew, stepping softly, went into his father's
room. The old man already knew everything. He was standing close to
the door and as soon as it opened his rough old arms closed like a vise
round his son's neck, and without a word he began to sob like a child.

 

Three days later the little princess was buried, and Prince Andrew went
up the steps to where the coffin stood, to give her the farewell kiss.
And there in the coffin was the same face, though with closed eyes. "Ah,
what have you done to me?" it still seemed to say, and Prince Andrew
felt that something gave way in his soul and that he was guilty of a sin
he could neither remedy nor forget. He could not weep. The old man too
came up and kissed the waxen little hands that lay quietly crossed one
on the other on her breast, and to him, too, her face seemed to say:
"Ah, what have you done to me, and why?" And at the sight the old man
turned angrily away.

 

Another five days passed, and then the young Prince Nicholas Andreevich
was baptized. The wet nurse supported the coverlet with her chin,
while the priest with a goose feather anointed the boy's little red and
wrinkled soles and palms.

His grandfather, who was his godfather, trembling and afraid of dropping
him, carried the infant round the battered tin font and handed him over
to the godmother, Princess Mary. Prince Andrew sat in another room,
faint with fear lest the baby should be drowned in the font, and awaited
the termination of the ceremony. He looked up joyfully at the baby when
the nurse brought it to him and nodded approval when she told him that
the wax with the baby's hair had not sunk in the font but had floated.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER X

 

Rostov's share in Dolokhov's duel with Bezukhov was hushed up by the
efforts of the old count, and instead of being degraded to the ranks
as he expected he was appointed an adjutant to the governor general of
Moscow. As a result he could not go to the country with the rest of the
family, but was kept all summer in Moscow by his new duties. Dolokhov
recovered, and Rostov became very friendly with him during his
convalescence. Dolokhov lay ill at his mother's who loved him
passionately and tenderly, and old Mary Ivanovna, who had grown fond of
Rostov for his friendship to her Fedya, often talked to him about her
son.

"Yes, Count," she would say, "he is too noble and pure-souled for
our present, depraved world. No one now loves virtue; it seems like
a reproach to everyone. Now tell me, Count, was it right, was it
honorable, of Bezukhov? And Fedya, with his noble spirit, loved him and
even now never says a word against him. Those pranks in Petersburg when
they played some tricks on a policeman, didn't they do it together?
And there! Bezukhov got off scotfree, while Fedya had to bear the whole
burden on his shoulders. Fancy what he had to go through! It's true he
has been reinstated, but how could they fail to do that? I think there
were not many such gallant sons of the fatherland out there as he. And
now--this duel! Have these people no feeling, or honor? Knowing him to
be an only son, to challenge him and shoot so straight! It's well
God had mercy on us. And what was it for? Who doesn't have intrigues
nowadays? Why, if he was so jealous, as I see things he should have
shown it sooner, but he lets it go on for months. And then to call him
out, reckoning on Fedya not fighting because he owed him money! What
baseness! What meanness! I know you understand Fedya, my dear count;
that, believe me, is why I am so fond of you. Few people do understand
him. He is such a lofty, heavenly soul!"

Dolokhov himself during his convalescence spoke to Rostov in a way no
one would have expected of him.

"I know people consider me a bad man!" he said. "Let them! I don't care
a straw about anyone but those I love; but those I love, I love so that
I would give my life for them, and the others I'd throttle if they
stood in my way. I have an adored, a priceless mother, and two or three
friends--you among them--and as for the rest I only care about them
in so far as they are harmful or useful. And most of them are harmful,
especially the women. Yes, dear boy," he continued, "I have met loving,
noble, high-minded men, but I have not yet met any women--countesses
or cooks--who were not venal. I have not yet met that divine purity and
devotion I look for in women. If I found such a one I'd give my life for
her! But those!..." and he made a gesture of contempt. "And believe me,
if I still value my life it is only because I still hope to meet such
a divine creature, who will regenerate, purify, and elevate me. But you
don't understand it."

"Oh, yes, I quite understand," answered Rostov, who was under his new
friend's influence.

In the autumn the Rostovs returned to Moscow. Early in the winter
Denisov also came back and stayed with them. The first half of the
winter of 1806, which Nicholas Rostov spent in Moscow, was one of the
happiest, merriest times for him and the whole family. Nicholas brought
many young men to his parents' house. Vera was a handsome girl of
twenty; Sonya a girl of sixteen with all the charm of an opening flower;
Natasha, half grown up and half child, was now childishly amusing, now
girlishly enchanting.

At that time in the Rostovs' house there prevailed an amorous atmosphere
characteristic of homes where there are very young and very
charming girls. Every young man who came to the house--seeing those
impressionable, smiling young faces (smiling probably at their own
happiness), feeling the eager bustle around him, and hearing the fitful
bursts of song and music and the inconsequent but friendly prattle of
young girls ready for anything and full of hope--experienced the
same feeling; sharing with the young folk of the Rostovs' household a
readiness to fall in love and an expectation of happiness.

Among the young men introduced by Rostov one of the first was Dolokhov,
whom everyone in the house liked except Natasha. She almost quarreled
with her brother about him. She insisted that he was a bad man, and
that in the duel with Bezukhov, Pierre was right and Dolokhov wrong, and
further that he was disagreeable and unnatural.

"There's nothing for me to understand," she cried out with resolute
self-will, "he is wicked and heartless. There now, I like your Denisov
though he is a rake and all that, still I like him; so you see I do
understand. I don't know how to put it... with this one everything is
calculated, and I don't like that. But Denisov..."

"Oh, Denisov is quite different," replied Nicholas, implying that even
Denisov was nothing compared to Dolokhov--"you must understand what a
soul there is in Dolokhov, you should see him with his mother. What a
heart!"

"Well, I don't know about that, but I am uncomfortable with him. And do
you know he has fallen in love with Sonya?"

"What nonsense..."

"I'm certain of it; you'll see."

Natasha's prediction proved true. Dolokhov, who did not usually care
for the society of ladies, began to come often to the house, and the
question for whose sake he came (though no one spoke of it) was soon
settled. He came because of Sonya. And Sonya, though she would never
have dared to say so, knew it and blushed scarlet every time Dolokhov
appeared.

Dolokhov often dined at the Rostovs', never missed a performance at
which they were present, and went to Iogel's balls for young people
which the Rostovs always attended. He was pointedly attentive to Sonya
and looked at her in such a way that not only could she not bear his
glances without coloring, but even the old countess and Natasha blushed
when they saw his looks.

It was evident that this strange, strong man was under the irresistible
influence of the dark, graceful girl who loved another.

Rostov noticed something new in Dolokhov's relations with Sonya, but
he did not explain to himself what these new relations were. "They're
always in love with someone," he thought of Sonya and Natasha. But he
was not as much at ease with Sonya and Dolokhov as before and was less
frequently at home.

In the autumn of 1806 everybody had again begun talking of the war with
Napoleon with even greater warmth than the year before. Orders were
given to raise recruits, ten men in every thousand for the regular army,
and besides this, nine men in every thousand for the militia. Everywhere
Bonaparte was anathematized and in Moscow nothing but the coming war
was talked of. For the Rostov family the whole interest of these
preparations for war lay in the fact that Nicholas would not hear of
remaining in Moscow, and only awaited the termination of Denisov's
furlough after Christmas to return with him to their regiment. His
approaching departure did not prevent his amusing himself, but rather
gave zest to his pleasures. He spent the greater part of his time away
from home, at dinners, parties, and balls.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XI

 

On the third day after Christmas Nicholas dined at home, a thing he had
rarely done of late. It was a grand farewell dinner, as he and Denisov
were leaving to join their regiment after Epiphany. About twenty people
were present, including Dolokhov and Denisov.

Never had love been so much in the air, and never had the amorous
atmosphere made itself so strongly felt in the Rostovs' house as at this
holiday time. "Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That
is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing
we are interested in here," said the spirit of the place.

Nicholas, having as usual exhausted two pairs of horses, without
visiting all the places he meant to go to and where he had been invited,
returned home just before dinner. As soon as he entered he noticed and
felt the tension of the amorous air in the house, and also noticed a
curious embarrassment among some of those present. Sonya, Dolokhov,
and the old countess were especially disturbed, and to a lesser degree
Natasha. Nicholas understood that something must have happened between
Sonya and Dolokhov before dinner, and with the kindly sensitiveness
natural to him was very gentle and wary with them both at dinner. On
that same evening there was to be one of the balls that Iogel (the
dancing master) gave for his pupils during the holidays.

"Nicholas, will you come to Iogel's? Please do!" said Natasha. "He asked
you, and Vasili Dmitrich * is also going."

 

* Denisov.

 

"Where would I not go at the countess' command!" said Denisov, who at
the Rostovs' had jocularly assumed the role of Natasha's knight. "I'm
even weady to dance the pas de chale."

"If I have time," answered Nicholas. "But I promised the Arkharovs; they
have a party."

"And you?" he asked Dolokhov, but as soon as he had asked the question
he noticed that it should not have been put.

"Perhaps," coldly and angrily replied Dolokhov, glancing at Sonya, and,
scowling, he gave Nicholas just such a look as he had given Pierre at
the Club dinner.

"There is something up," thought Nicholas, and he was further confirmed
in this conclusion by the fact that Dolokhov left immediately after
dinner. He called Natasha and asked her what was the matter.

"And I was looking for you," said Natasha running out to him. "I told
you, but you would not believe it," she said triumphantly. "He has
proposed to Sonya!"

Little as Nicholas had occupied himself with Sonya of late, something
seemed to give way within him at this news. Dolokhov was a suitable and
in some respects a brilliant match for the dowerless, orphan girl. From
the point of view of the old countess and of society it was out of the
question for her to refuse him. And therefore Nicholas' first feeling
on hearing the news was one of anger with Sonya.... He tried to say,
"That's capital; of course she'll forget her childish promises and
accept the offer," but before he had time to say it Natasha began again.

"And fancy! she refused him quite definitely!" adding, after a pause,
"she told him she loved another."

"Yes, my Sonya could not have done otherwise!" thought Nicholas.

"Much as Mamma pressed her, she refused, and I know she won't change
once she has said..."

"And Mamma pressed her!" said Nicholas reproachfully.

"Yes," said Natasha. "Do you know, Nicholas--don't be angry--but I know
you will not marry her. I know, heaven knows how, but I know for certain
that you won't marry her."

"Now you don't know that at all!" said Nicholas. "But I must talk to
her. What a darling Sonya is!" he added with a smile.

"Ah, she is indeed a darling! I'll send her to you."

And Natasha kissed her brother and ran away.

A minute later Sonya came in with a frightened, guilty, and scared look.
Nicholas went up to her and kissed her hand. This was the first time
since his return that they had talked alone and about their love.

"Sophie," he began, timidly at first and then more and more boldly,
"if you wish to refuse one who is not only a brilliant and advantageous
match but a splendid, noble fellow... he is my friend..."

Sonya interrupted him.

"I have already refused," she said hurriedly.

"If you are refusing for my sake, I am afraid that I..."

Sonya again interrupted. She gave him an imploring, frightened look.

"Nicholas, don't tell me that!" she said.

"No, but I must. It may be arrogant of me, but still it is best to say
it. If you refuse him on my account, I must tell you the whole truth. I
love you, and I think I love you more than anyone else...."

"That is enough for me," said Sonya, blushing.

"No, but I have been in love a thousand times and shall fall in
love again, though for no one have I such a feeling of friendship,
confidence, and love as I have for you. Then I am young. Mamma does
not wish it. In a word, I make no promise. And I beg you to consider
Dolokhov's offer," he said, articulating his friend's name with
difficulty.

"Don't say that to me! I want nothing. I love you as a brother and
always shall, and I want nothing more."

"You are an angel: I am not worthy of you, but I am afraid of misleading
you."

And Nicholas again kissed her hand.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XII

 

Iogel's were the most enjoyable balls in Moscow. So said the mothers as
they watched their young people executing their newly learned steps, and
so said the youths and maidens themselves as they danced till they were
ready to drop, and so said the grown-up young men and women who came to
these balls with an air of condescension and found them most enjoyable.
That year two marriages had come of these balls. The two pretty young
Princesses Gorchakov met suitors there and were married and so further
increased the fame of these dances. What distinguished them from others
was the absence of host or hostess and the presence of the good-natured
Iogel, flying about like a feather and bowing according to the rules of
his art, as he collected the tickets from all his visitors. There was
the fact that only those came who wished to dance and amuse themselves
as girls of thirteen and fourteen do who are wearing long dresses for
the first time. With scarcely any exceptions they all were, or seemed to
be, pretty--so rapturous were their smiles and so sparkling their eyes.
Sometimes the best of the pupils, of whom Natasha, who was exceptionally
graceful, was first, even danced the pas de chale, but at this last ball
only the ecossaise, the anglaise, and the mazurka, which was just coming
into fashion, were danced. Iogel had taken a ballroom in Bezukhov's
house, and the ball, as everyone said, was a great success. There were
many pretty girls and the Rostov girls were among the prettiest. They
were both particularly happy and gay. That evening, proud of Dolokhov's
proposal, her refusal, and her explanation with Nicholas, Sonya twirled
about before she left home so that the maid could hardly get her hair
plaited, and she was transparently radiant with impulsive joy.

Natasha no less proud of her first long dress and of being at a real
ball was even happier. They were both dressed in white muslin with pink
ribbons.

Natasha fell in love the very moment she entered the ballroom. She
was not in love with anyone in particular, but with everyone. Whatever
person she happened to look at she was in love with for that moment.

"Oh, how delightful it is!" she kept saying, running up to Sonya.

Nicholas and Denisov were walking up and down, looking with kindly
patronage at the dancers.

"How sweet she is--she will be a weal beauty!" said Denisov.

"Who?"

"Countess Natasha," answered Denisov.

"And how she dances! What gwace!" he said again after a pause.

"Who are you talking about?"

"About your sister," ejaculated Denisov testily.

Rostov smiled.

"My dear count, you were one of my best pupils--you must dance," said
little Iogel coming up to Nicholas. "Look how many charming young
ladies-" He turned with the same request to Denisov who was also a
former pupil of his.

"No, my dear fellow, I'll be a wallflower," said Denisov. "Don't you
wecollect what bad use I made of your lessons?"

"Oh no!" said Iogel, hastening to reassure him. "You were only
inattentive, but you had talent--oh yes, you had talent!"

The band struck up the newly introduced mazurka. Nicholas could not
refuse Iogel and asked Sonya to dance. Denisov sat down by the old
ladies and, leaning on his saber and beating time with his foot, told
them something funny and kept them amused, while he watched the young
people dancing, Iogel with Natasha, his pride and his best pupil, were
the first couple. Noiselessly, skillfully stepping with his little feet
in low shoes, Iogel flew first across the hall with Natasha, who, though
shy, went on carefully executing her steps. Denisov did not take
his eyes off her and beat time with his saber in a way that clearly
indicated that if he was not dancing it was because he would not and not
because he could not. In the middle of a figure he beckoned to Rostov
who was passing:

"This is not at all the thing," he said. "What sort of Polish mazuwka is
this? But she does dance splendidly."

Knowing that Denisov had a reputation even in Poland for the masterly
way in which he danced the mazurka, Nicholas ran up to Natasha:

"Go and choose Denisov. He is a real dancer, a wonder!" he said.

When it came to Natasha's turn to choose a partner, she rose and,
tripping rapidly across in her little shoes trimmed with bows, ran
timidly to the corner where Denisov sat. She saw that everybody was
looking at her and waiting. Nicholas saw that Denisov was refusing
though he smiled delightedly. He ran up to them.

"Please, Vasili Dmitrich," Natasha was saying, "do come!"

"Oh no, let me off, Countess," Denisov replied.

"Now then, Vaska," said Nicholas.

"They coax me as if I were Vaska the cat!" said Denisov jokingly.

"I'll sing for you a whole evening," said Natasha.

"Oh, the faiwy! She can do anything with me!" said Denisov, and he
unhooked his saber. He came out from behind the chairs, clasped his
partner's hand firmly, threw back his head, and advanced his foot,
waiting for the beat. Only on horse back and in the mazurka was
Denisov's short stature not noticeable and he looked the fine fellow he
felt himself to be. At the right beat of the music he looked sideways at
his partner with a merry and triumphant air, suddenly stamped with one
foot, bounded from the floor like a ball, and flew round the room taking
his partner with him. He glided silently on one foot half across the
room, and seeming not to notice the chairs was dashing straight at them,
when suddenly, clinking his spurs and spreading out his legs, he stopped
short on his heels, stood so a second, stamped on the spot clanking his
spurs, whirled rapidly round, and, striking his left heel against his
right, flew round again in a circle. Natasha guessed what he meant to
do, and abandoning herself to him followed his lead hardly knowing how.
First he spun her round, holding her now with his left, now with his
right hand, then falling on one knee he twirled her round him, and again
jumping up, dashed so impetuously forward that it seemed as if he would
rush through the whole suite of rooms without drawing breath, and then
he suddenly stopped and performed some new and unexpected steps. When at
last, smartly whirling his partner round in front of her chair, he drew
up with a click of his spurs and bowed to her, Natasha did not even make
him a curtsy. She fixed her eyes on him in amazement, smiling as if she
did not recognize him.

"What does this mean?" she brought out.

Although Iogel did not acknowledge this to be the real mazurka, everyone
was delighted with Denisov's skill, he was asked again and again as a
partner, and the old men began smilingly to talk about Poland and the
good old days. Denisov, flushed after the mazurka and mopping himself
with his handkerchief, sat down by Natasha and did not leave her for the
rest of the evening.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIII

 

For two days after that Rostov did not see Dolokhov at his own or at
Dolokhov's home: on the third day he received a note from him:

 

As I do not intend to be at your house again for reasons you know
of, and am going to rejoin my regiment, I am giving a farewell supper
tonight to my friends--come to the English Hotel.

 

About ten o'clock Rostov went to the English Hotel straight from the
theater, where he had been with his family and Denisov. He was at once
shown to the best room, which Dolokhov had taken for that evening. Some
twenty men were gathered round a table at which Dolokhov sat between
two candles. On the table was a pile of gold and paper money, and he was
keeping the bank. Rostov had not seen him since his proposal and Sonya's
refusal and felt uncomfortable at the thought of how they would meet.

Dolokhov's clear, cold glance met Rostov as soon as he entered the door,
as though he had long expected him.

"It's a long time since we met," he said. "Thanks for coming. I'll just
finish dealing, and then Ilyushka will come with his chorus."

"I called once or twice at your house," said Rostov, reddening.

Dolokhov made no reply.

"You may punt," he said.

Rostov recalled at that moment a strange conversation he had once had
with Dolokhov. "None but fools trust to luck in play," Dolokhov had then
said.

"Or are you afraid to play with me?" Dolokhov now asked as if guessing
Rostov's thought.

Beneath his smile Rostov saw in him the mood he had shown at the Club
dinner and at other times, when as if tired of everyday life he had felt
a need to escape from it by some strange, and usually cruel, action.

Rostov felt ill at ease. He tried, but failed, to find some joke
with which to reply to Dolokhov's words. But before he had thought
of anything, Dolokhov, looking straight in his face, said slowly and
deliberately so that everyone could hear:

"Do you remember we had a talk about cards... 'He's a fool who trusts to
luck, one should make certain,' and I want to try."

"To try his luck or the certainty?" Rostov asked himself.

"Well, you'd better not play," Dolokhov added, and springing a new pack
of cards said: "Bank, gentlemen!"

Moving the money forward he prepared to deal. Rostov sat down by his
side and at first did not play. Dolokhov kept glancing at him.

"Why don't you play?" he asked.

And strange to say Nicholas felt that he could not help taking up a
card, putting a small stake on it, and beginning to play.

"I have no money with me," he said.

"I'll trust you."

Rostov staked five rubles on a card and lost, staked again, and again
lost. Dolokhov "killed," that is, beat, ten cards of Rostov's running.

"Gentlemen," said Dolokhov after he had dealt for some time. "Please
place your money on the cards or I may get muddled in the reckoning."

One of the players said he hoped he might be trusted.

"Yes, you might, but I am afraid of getting the accounts mixed. So I
ask you to put the money on your cards," replied Dolokhov. "Don't stint
yourself, we'll settle afterwards," he added, turning to Rostov.

The game continued; a waiter kept handing round champagne.

All Rostov's cards were beaten and he had eight hundred rubles scored
up against him. He wrote "800 rubles" on a card, but while the waiter
filled his glass he changed his mind and altered it to his usual stake
of twenty rubles.

"Leave it," said Dolokhov, though he did not seem to be even looking at
Rostov, "you'll win it back all the sooner. I lose to the others but win
from you. Or are you afraid of me?" he asked again.

Rostov submitted. He let the eight hundred remain and laid down a seven
of hearts with a torn corner, which he had picked up from the floor. He
well remembered that seven afterwards. He laid down the seven of hearts,
on which with a broken bit of chalk he had written "800 rubles" in clear
upright figures; he emptied the glass of warm champagne that was handed
him, smiled at Dolokhov's words, and with a sinking heart, waiting for
a seven to turn up, gazed at Dolokhov's hands which held the pack. Much
depended on Rostov's winning or losing on that seven of hearts. On the
previous Sunday the old count had given his son two thousand rubles,
and though he always disliked speaking of money difficulties had told
Nicholas that this was all he could let him have till May, and asked him
to be more economical this time. Nicholas had replied that it would be
more than enough for him and that he gave his word of honor not to take
anything more till the spring. Now only twelve hundred rubles was left
of that money, so that this seven of hearts meant for him not only the
loss of sixteen hundred rubles, but the necessity of going back on his
word. With a sinking heart he watched Dolokhov's hands and thought,
"Now then, make haste and let me have this card and I'll take my cap
and drive home to supper with Denisov, Natasha, and Sonya, and will
certainly never touch a card again." At that moment his home life,
jokes with Petya, talks with Sonya, duets with Natasha, piquet with his
father, and even his comfortable bed in the house on the Povarskaya rose
before him with such vividness, clearness, and charm that it seemed as
if it were all a lost and unappreciated bliss, long past. He could not
conceive that a stupid chance, letting the seven be dealt to the right
rather than to the left, might deprive him of all this happiness, newly
appreciated and newly illumined, and plunge him into the depths of
unknown and undefined misery. That could not be, yet he awaited with
a sinking heart the movement of Dolokhov's hands. Those broad, reddish
hands, with hairy wrists visible from under the shirt cuffs, laid down
the pack and took up a glass and a pipe that were handed him.

"So you are not afraid to play with me?" repeated Dolokhov, and as if
about to tell a good story he put down the cards, leaned back in his
chair, and began deliberately with a smile:

"Yes, gentlemen, I've been told there's a rumor going about Moscow that
I'm a sharper, so I advise you to be careful."

"Come now, deal!" exclaimed Rostov.

"Oh, those Moscow gossips!" said Dolokhov, and he took up the cards with
a smile.

"Aah!" Rostov almost screamed lifting both hands to his head. The seven
he needed was lying uppermost, the first card in the pack. He had lost
more than he could pay.

"Still, don't ruin yourself!" said Dolokhov with a side glance at Rostov
as he continued to deal.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XIV

 

An hour and a half later most of the players were but little interested
in their own play.

The whole interest was concentrated on Rostov. Instead of sixteen
hundred rubles he had a long column of figures scored against him,
which he had reckoned up to ten thousand, but that now, as he vaguely
supposed, must have risen to fifteen thousand. In reality it already
exceeded twenty thousand rubles. Dolokhov was no longer listening to
stories or telling them, but followed every movement of Rostov's hands
and occasionally ran his eyes over the score against him. He had decided
to play until that score reached forty-three thousand. He had fixed on
that number because forty-three was the sum of his and Sonya's joint
ages. Rostov, leaning his head on both hands, sat at the table which
was scrawled over with figures, wet with spilled wine, and littered
with cards. One tormenting impression did not leave him: that those
broad-boned reddish hands with hairy wrists visible from under the shirt
sleeves, those hands which he loved and hated, held him in their power.

"Six hundred rubles, ace, a corner, a nine... winning it back's
impossible... Oh, how pleasant it was at home!... The knave, double
or quits... it can't be!... And why is he doing this to me?" Rostov
pondered. Sometimes he staked a large sum, but Dolokhov refused to
accept it and fixed the stake himself. Nicholas submitted to him, and at
one moment prayed to God as he had done on the battlefield at the bridge
over the Enns, and then guessed that the card that came first to hand
from the crumpled heap under the table would save him, now counted the
cords on his coat and took a card with that number and tried staking the
total of his losses on it, then he looked round for aid from the other
players, or peered at the now cold face of Dolokhov and tried to read
what was passing in his mind.

"He knows of course what this loss means to me. He can't want my ruin.
Wasn't he my friend? Wasn't I fond of him? But it's not his fault.
What's he to do if he has such luck?... And it's not my fault either,"
he thought to himself, "I have done nothing wrong. Have I killed anyone,
or insulted or wished harm to anyone? Why such a terrible misfortune?
And when did it begin? Such a little while ago I came to this table with
the thought of winning a hundred rubles to buy that casket for Mamma's
name day and then going home. I was so happy, so free, so lighthearted!
And I did not realize how happy I was! When did that end and when did
this new, terrible state of things begin? What marked the change? I sat
all the time in this same place at this table, chose and placed cards,
and watched those broad-boned agile hands in the same way. When did it
happen and what has happened? I am well and strong and still the same
and in the same place. No, it can't be! Surely it will all end in
nothing!"

He was flushed and bathed in perspiration, though the room was not hot.
His face was terrible and piteous to see, especially from its helpless
efforts to seem calm.

The score against him reached the fateful sum of forty-three thousand.
Rostov had just prepared a card, by bending the corner of which he meant
to double the three thousand just put down to his score, when Dolokhov,
slamming down the pack of cards, put it aside and began rapidly adding
up the total of Rostov's debt, breaking the chalk as he marked the
figures in his clear, bold hand.

"Supper, it's time for supper! And here are the gypsies!"

Some swarthy men and women were really entering from the cold outside
and saying something in their gypsy accents. Nicholas understood that it
was all over; but he said in an indifferent tone:

"Well, won't you go on? I had a splendid card all ready," as if it were
the fun of the game which interested him most.

"It's all up! I'm lost!" thought he. "Now a bullet through my
brain--that's all that's left me!" And at the same time he said in a
cheerful voice:

"Come now, just this one more little card!"

"All right!" said Dolokhov, having finished the addition. "All right!
Twenty-one rubles," he said, pointing to the figure twenty-one by which
the total exceeded the round sum of forty-three thousand; and taking up
a pack he prepared to deal. Rostov submissively unbent the corner of his
card and, instead of the six thousand he had intended, carefully wrote
twenty-one.

"It's all the same to me," he said. "I only want to see whether you will
let me win this ten, or beat it."

Dolokhov began to deal seriously. Oh, how Rostov detested at that moment
those hands with their short reddish fingers and hairy wrists, which
held him in their power.... The ten fell to him.

"You owe forty-three thousand, Count," said Dolokhov, and stretching
himself he rose from the table. "One does get tired sitting so long," he
added.

"Yes, I'm tired too," said Rostov.

Dolokhov cut him short, as if to remind him that it was not for him to
jest.

"When am I to receive the money, Count?"

Rostov, flushing, drew Dolokhov into the next room.

"I cannot pay it all immediately. Will you take an I.O.U.?" he said.

"I say, Rostov," said Dolokhov clearly, smiling and looking Nicholas
straight in the eyes, "you know the saying, 'Lucky in love, unlucky at
cards.' Your cousin is in love with you, I know."

"Oh, it's terrible to feel oneself so in this man's power," thought
Rostov. He knew what a shock he would inflict on his father and mother
by the news of this loss, he knew what a relief it would be to escape
it all, and felt that Dolokhov knew that he could save him from all this
shame and sorrow, but wanted now to play with him as a cat does with a
mouse.

"Your cousin..." Dolokhov started to say, but Nicholas interrupted him.

"My cousin has nothing to do with this and it's not necessary to mention
her!" he exclaimed fiercely.

"Then when am I to have it?"

"Tomorrow," replied Rostov and left the room.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XV

 

To say "tomorrow" and keep up a dignified tone was not difficult, but to
go home alone, see his sisters, brother, mother, and father, confess
and ask for money he had no right to after giving his word of honor, was
terrible.

At home, they had not yet gone to bed. The young people, after returning
from the theater, had had supper and were grouped round the clavichord.
As soon as Nicholas entered, he was enfolded in that poetic atmosphere
of love which pervaded the Rostov household that winter and, now after
Dolokhov's proposal and Iogel's ball, seemed to have grown thicker
round Sonya and Natasha as the air does before a thunderstorm. Sonya and
Natasha, in the light-blue dresses they had worn at the theater, looking
pretty and conscious of it, were standing by the clavichord, happy and
smiling. Vera was playing chess with Shinshin in the drawing room. The
old countess, waiting for the return of her husband and son, sat playing
patience with the old gentlewoman who lived in their house. Denisov,
with sparkling eyes and ruffled hair, sat at the clavichord striking
chords with his short fingers, his legs thrown back and his eyes rolling
as he sang, with his small, husky, but true voice, some verses called
"Enchantress," which he had composed, and to which he was trying to fit
music:

Enchantress, say, to my forsaken lyre
What magic power is this recalls me still?
What spark has set my inmost soul on fire,
What is this bliss that makes my fingers thrill?

He was singing in passionate tones, gazing with his sparkling
black-agate eyes at the frightened and happy Natasha.

"Splendid! Excellent!" exclaimed Natasha. "Another verse," she said,
without noticing Nicholas.

"Everything's still the same with them," thought Nicholas, glancing into
the drawing room, where he saw Vera and his mother with the old lady.

"Ah, and here's Nicholas!" cried Natasha, running up to him.

"Is Papa at home?" he asked.

"I am so glad you've come!" said Natasha, without answering him. "We are
enjoying ourselves! Vasili Dmitrich is staying a day longer for my sake!
Did you know?"

"No, Papa is not back yet," said Sonya.

"Nicholas, have you come? Come here, dear!" called the old countess from
the drawing room.

Nicholas went to her, kissed her hand, and sitting down silently at her
table began to watch her hands arranging the cards. From the dancing
room, they still heard the laughter and merry voices trying to persuade
Natasha to sing.

"All wight! All wight!" shouted Denisov. "It's no good making excuses
now! It's your turn to sing the ba'cawolla--I entweat you!"

The countess glanced at her silent son.

"What is the matter?" she asked.

"Oh, nothing," said he, as if weary of being continually asked the same
question. "Will Papa be back soon?"

"I expect so."

"Everything's the same with them. They know nothing about it! Where am I
to go?" thought Nicholas, and went again into the dancing room where the
clavichord stood.

Sonya was sitting at the clavichord, playing the prelude to Denisov's
favorite barcarolle. Natasha was preparing to sing. Denisov was looking
at her with enraptured eyes.

Nicholas began pacing up and down the room.

"Why do they want to make her sing? How can she sing? There's nothing to
be happy about!" thought he.

Sonya struck the first chord of the prelude.

"My God, I'm a ruined and dishonored man! A bullet through my brain is
the only thing left me--not singing!" his thoughts ran on. "Go away? But
where to? It's one--let them sing!"

He continued to pace the room, looking gloomily at Denisov and the girls
and avoiding their eyes.

"Nikolenka, what is the matter?" Sonya's eyes fixed on him seemed to
ask. She noticed at once that something had happened to him.

Nicholas turned away from her. Natasha too, with her quick instinct, had
instantly noticed her brother's condition. But, though she noticed it,
she was herself in such high spirits at that moment, so far from sorrow,
sadness, or self-reproach, that she purposely deceived herself as
young people often do. "No, I am too happy now to spoil my enjoyment by
sympathy with anyone's sorrow," she felt, and she said to herself: "No,
I must be mistaken, he must be feeling happy, just as I am."

"Now, Sonya!" she said, going to the very middle of the room, where she
considered the resonance was best.

Having lifted her head and let her arms droop lifelessly, as ballet
dancers do, Natasha, rising energetically from her heels to her toes,
stepped to the middle of the room and stood still.

"Yes, that's me!" she seemed to say, answering the rapt gaze with which
Denisov followed her.

"And what is she so pleased about?" thought Nicholas, looking at his
sister. "Why isn't she dull and ashamed?"

Natasha took the first note, her throat swelled, her chest rose,
her eyes became serious. At that moment she was oblivious of her
surroundings, and from her smiling lips flowed sounds which anyone may
produce at the same intervals and hold for the same time, but which
leave you cold a thousand times and the thousand and first time thrill
you and make you weep.

Natasha, that winter, had for the first time begun to sing seriously,
mainly because Denisov so delighted in her singing. She no longer sang
as a child, there was no longer in her singing that comical, childish,
painstaking effect that had been in it before; but she did not yet sing
well, as all the connoisseurs who heard her said: "It is not trained,
but it is a beautiful voice that must be trained." Only they generally
said this some time after she had finished singing. While that untrained
voice, with its incorrect breathing and labored transitions, was
sounding, even the connoisseurs said nothing, but only delighted in
it and wished to hear it again. In her voice there was a virginal
freshness, an unconsciousness of her own powers, and an as yet untrained
velvety softness, which so mingled with her lack of art in singing that
it seemed as if nothing in that voice could be altered without spoiling
it.

"What is this?" thought Nicholas, listening to her with widely opened
eyes. "What has happened to her? How she is singing today!" And suddenly
the whole world centered for him on anticipation of the next note, the
next phrase, and everything in the world was divided into three beats:
"Oh mio crudele affetto."... One, two, three... one, two, three...
One... "Oh mio crudele affetto."... One, two, three... One. "Oh, this
senseless life of ours!" thought Nicholas. "All this misery, and money,
and Dolokhov, and anger, and honor--it's all nonsense... but this is
real.... Now then, Natasha, now then, dearest! Now then, darling! How
will she take that si? She's taken it! Thank God!" And without noticing
that he was singing, to strengthen the si he sung a second, a third
below the high note. "Ah, God! How fine! Did I really take it? How
fortunate!" he thought.

Oh, how that chord vibrated, and how moved was something that was finest
in Rostov's soul! And this something was apart from everything else
in the world and above everything in the world. "What were losses, and
Dolokhov, and words of honor?... All nonsense! One might kill and rob
and yet be happy..."

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XVI

 

It was long since Rostov had felt such enjoyment from music as he did
that day. But no sooner had Natasha finished her barcarolle than
reality again presented itself. He got up without saying a word and went
downstairs to his own room. A quarter of an hour later the old count
came in from his Club, cheerful and contented. Nicholas, hearing him
drive up, went to meet him.

"Well--had a good time?" said the old count, smiling gaily and proudly
at his son.

Nicholas tried to say "Yes," but could not: and he nearly burst into
sobs. The count was lighting his pipe and did not notice his son's
condition.

"Ah, it can't be avoided!" thought Nicholas, for the first and last
time. And suddenly, in the most casual tone, which made him feel ashamed
of himself, he said, as if merely asking his father to let him have the
carriage to drive to town:

"Papa, I have come on a matter of business. I was nearly forgetting. I
need some money."

"Dear me!" said his father, who was in a specially good humor. "I told
you it would not be enough. How much?"

"Very much," said Nicholas flushing, and with a stupid careless smile,
for which he was long unable to forgive himself, "I have lost a little,
I mean a good deal, a great deal--forty three thousand."

"What! To whom?... Nonsense!" cried the count, suddenly reddening with
an apoplectic flush over neck and nape as old people do.

"I promised to pay tomorrow," said Nicholas.

"Well!..." said the old count, spreading out his arms and sinking
helplessly on the sofa.

"It can't be helped It happens to everyone!" said the son, with a
bold, free, and easy tone, while in his soul he regarded himself as a
worthless scoundrel whose whole life could not atone for his crime. He
longed to kiss his father's hands and kneel to beg his forgiveness, but
said, in a careless and even rude voice, that it happens to everyone!

The old count cast down his eyes on hearing his son's words and began
bustlingly searching for something.

"Yes, yes," he muttered, "it will be difficult, I fear, difficult to
raise... happens to everybody! Yes, who has not done it?"

And with a furtive glance at his son's face, the count went out of the
room.... Nicholas had been prepared for resistance, but had not at all
expected this.

"Papa! Pa-pa!" he called after him, sobbing, "forgive me!" And seizing
his father's hand, he pressed it to his lips and burst into tears.

While father and son were having their explanation, the mother and
daughter were having one not less important. Natasha came running to her
mother, quite excited.

"Mamma!... Mamma!... He has made me..."

"Made what?"

"Made, made me an offer, Mamma! Mamma!" she exclaimed.

The countess did not believe her ears. Denisov had proposed. To whom? To
this chit of a girl, Natasha, who not so long ago was playing with dolls
and who was still having lessons.

"Don't, Natasha! What nonsense!" she said, hoping it was a joke.

"Nonsense, indeed! I am telling you the fact," said Natasha indignantly.
"I come to ask you what to do, and you call it 'nonsense!'"

The countess shrugged her shoulders.

"If it is true that Monsieur Denisov has made you a proposal, tell him
he is a fool, that's all!"

"No, he's not a fool!" replied Natasha indignantly and seriously.

"Well then, what do you want? You're all in love nowadays. Well, if you
are in love, marry him!" said the countess, with a laugh of annoyance.
"Good luck to you!"

"No, Mamma, I'm not in love with him, I suppose I'm not in love with
him."

"Well then, tell him so."

"Mamma, are you cross? Don't be cross, dear! Is it my fault?"

"No, but what is it, my dear? Do you want me to go and tell him?" said
the countess smiling.

"No, I will do it myself, only tell me what to say. It's all very well
for you," said Natasha, with a responsive smile. "You should have
seen how he said it! I know he did not mean to say it, but it came out
accidently."

"Well, all the same, you must refuse him."

"No, I mustn't. I am so sorry for him! He's so nice."

"Well then, accept his offer. It's high time for you to be married,"
answered the countess sharply and sarcastically.

"No, Mamma, but I'm so sorry for him. I don't know how I'm to say it."

"And there's nothing for you to say. I shall speak to him myself," said
the countess, indignant that they should have dared to treat this little
Natasha as grown up.

"No, not on any account! I will tell him myself, and you'll listen at
the door," and Natasha ran across the drawing room to the dancing hall,
where Denisov was sitting on the same chair by the clavichord with his
face in his hands.

He jumped up at the sound of her light step.

"Nataly," he said, moving with rapid steps toward her, "decide my fate.
It is in your hands."

"Vasili Dmitrich, I'm so sorry for you!... No, but you are so nice...
but it won't do...not that... but as a friend, I shall always love you."

Denisov bent over her hand and she heard strange sounds she did not
understand. She kissed his rough curly black head. At this instant, they
heard the quick rustle of the countess' dress. She came up to them.

"Vasili Dmitrich, I thank you for the honor," she said, with an
embarrassed voice, though it sounded severe to Denisov--"but my daughter
is so young, and I thought that, as my son's friend, you would have
addressed yourself first to me. In that case you would not have obliged
me to give this refusal."

"Countess..." said Denisov, with downcast eyes and a guilty face. He
tried to say more, but faltered.

Natasha could not remain calm, seeing him in such a plight. She began to
sob aloud.

"Countess, I have done w'ong," Denisov went on in an unsteady voice,
"but believe me, I so adore your daughter and all your family that I
would give my life twice over..." He looked at the countess, and seeing
her severe face said: "Well, good-by, Countess," and kissing her
hand, he left the room with quick resolute strides, without looking at
Natasha.

 

Next day Rostov saw Denisov off. He did not wish to stay another day in
Moscow. All Denisov's Moscow friends gave him a farewell entertainment
at the gypsies', with the result that he had no recollection of how he
was put in the sleigh or of the first three stages of his journey.

After Denisov's departure, Rostov spent another fortnight in Moscow,
without going out of the house, waiting for the money his father could
not at once raise, and he spent most of his time in the girls' room.

Sonya was more tender and devoted to him than ever. It was as if she
wanted to show him that his losses were an achievement that made her
love him all the more, but Nicholas now considered himself unworthy of
her.

He filled the girls' albums with verses and music, and having at last
sent Dolokhov the whole forty-three thousand rubles and received his
receipt, he left at the end of November, without taking leave of any of
his acquaintances, to overtake his regiment which was already in Poland.

 

 

 

 

BOOK FIVE: 1806 - 07

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER I

 

After his interview with his wife Pierre left for Petersburg. At the
Torzhok post station, either there were no horses or the postmaster
would not supply them. Pierre was obliged to wait. Without undressing,
he lay down on the leather sofa in front of a round table, put his big
feet in their overboots on the table, and began to reflect.

"Will you have the portmanteaus brought in? And a bed got ready, and
tea?" asked his valet.

Pierre gave no answer, for he neither heard nor saw anything. He had
begun to think of the last station and was still pondering on the same
question--one so important that he took no notice of what went on around
him. Not only was he indifferent as to whether he got to Petersburg
earlier or later, or whether he secured accommodation at this station,
but compared to the thoughts that now occupied him it was a matter of
indifference whether he remained there for a few hours or for the rest
of his life.

The postmaster, his wife, the valet, and a peasant woman selling Torzhok
embroidery came into the room offering their services. Without changing
his careless attitude, Pierre looked at them over his spectacles unable
to understand what they wanted or how they could go on living without
having solved the problems that so absorbed him. He had been engrossed
by the same thoughts ever since the day he returned from Sokolniki after
the duel and had spent that first agonizing, sleepless night. But now,
in the solitude of the journey, they seized him with special force. No
matter what he thought about, he always returned to these same questions
which he could not solve and yet could not cease to ask himself. It was
as if the thread of the chief screw which held his life together were
stripped, so that the screw could not get in or out, but went on turning
uselessly in the same place.

The postmaster came in and began obsequiously to beg his excellency to
wait only two hours, when, come what might, he would let his excellency
have the courier horses. It was plain that he was lying and only wanted
to get more money from the traveler.

"Is this good or bad?" Pierre asked himself. "It is good for me, bad
for another traveler, and for himself it's unavoidable, because he needs
money for food; the man said an officer had once given him a thrashing
for letting a private traveler have the courier horses. But the officer
thrashed him because he had to get on as quickly as possible. And I,"
continued Pierre, "shot Dolokhov because I considered myself injured,
and Louis XVI was executed because they considered him a criminal, and
a year later they executed those who executed him--also for some reason.
What is bad? What is good? What should one love and what hate? What does
one live for? And what am I? What is life, and what is death? What power
governs all?"

There was no answer to any of these questions, except one, and that not
a logical answer and not at all a reply to them. The answer was: "You'll
die and all will end. You'll die and know all, or cease asking." But
dying was also dreadful.

The Torzhok peddler woman, in a whining voice, went on offering her
wares, especially a pair of goatskin slippers. "I have hundreds of
rubles I don't know what to do with, and she stands in her tattered
cloak looking timidly at me," he thought. "And what does she want the
money for? As if that money could add a hair's breadth to happiness or
peace of mind. Can anything in the world make her or me less a prey
to evil and death?--death which ends all and must come today or
tomorrow--at any rate, in an instant as compared with eternity." And
again he twisted the screw with the stripped thread, and again it turned
uselessly in the same place.

His servant handed him a half-cut novel, in the form of letters, by
Madame de Souza. He began reading about the sufferings and virtuous
struggles of a certain Emilie de Mansfeld. "And why did she resist her
seducer when she loved him?" he thought. "God could not have put into
her heart an impulse that was against His will. My wife--as she once
was--did not struggle, and perhaps she was right. Nothing has been found
out, nothing discovered," Pierre again said to himself. "All we can know
is that we know nothing. And that's the height of human wisdom."

Everything within and around him seemed confused, senseless, and
repellent. Yet in this very repugnance to all his circumstances Pierre
found a kind of tantalizing satisfaction.

"I make bold to ask your excellency to move a little for this
gentleman," said the postmaster, entering the room followed by another
traveler, also detained for lack of horses.

The newcomer was a short, large-boned, yellow-faced, wrinkled old
man, with gray bushy eyebrows overhanging bright eyes of an indefinite
grayish color.

Pierre took his feet off the table, stood up, and lay down on a bed that
had been got ready for him, glancing now and then at the newcomer, who,
with a gloomy and tired face, was wearily taking off his wraps with the
aid of his servant, and not looking at Pierre. With a pair of felt boots
on his thin bony legs, and keeping on a worn, nankeen-covered, sheepskin
coat, the traveler sat down on the sofa, leaned back his big head with
its broad temples and close-cropped hair, and looked at Bezukhov. The
stern, shrewd, and penetrating expression of that look struck Pierre. He
felt a wish to speak to the stranger, but by the time he had made up his
mind to ask him a question about the roads, the traveler had closed his
eyes. His shriveled old hands were folded and on the finger of one of
them Pierre noticed a large cast iron ring with a seal representing a
death's head. The stranger sat without stirring, either resting or, as
it seemed to Pierre, sunk in profound and calm meditation. His servant
was also a yellow, wrinkled old man, without beard or mustache,
evidently not because he was shaven but because they had never grown.
This active old servant was unpacking the traveler's canteen and
preparing tea. He brought in a boiling samovar. When everything was
ready, the stranger opened his eyes, moved to the table, filled a
tumbler with tea for himself and one for the beardless old man to whom
he passed it. Pierre began to feel a sense of uneasiness, and the
need, even the inevitability, of entering into conversation with this
stranger.

The servant brought back his tumbler turned upside down, * with an
unfinished bit of nibbled sugar, and asked if anything more would be
wanted.

 

* To indicate he did not want more tea.

 

"No. Give me the book," said the stranger.

The servant handed him a book which Pierre took to be a devotional work,
and the traveler became absorbed in it. Pierre looked at him. All at
once the stranger closed the book, putting in a marker, and again,
leaning with his arms on the back of the sofa, sat in his former
position with his eyes shut. Pierre looked at him and had not time
to turn away when the old man, opening his eyes, fixed his steady and
severe gaze straight on Pierre's face.

Pierre felt confused and wished to avoid that look, but the bright old
eyes attracted him irresistibly.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER II

 

"I have the pleasure of addressing Count Bezukhov, if I am not
mistaken," said the stranger in a deliberate and loud voice.

Pierre looked silently and inquiringly at him over his spectacles.

"I have heard of you, my dear sir," continued the stranger, "and of your
misfortune." He seemed to emphasize the last word, as if to say--"Yes,
misfortune! Call it what you please, I know that what happened to you in
Moscow was a misfortune."--"I regret it very much, my dear sir."

Pierre flushed and, hurriedly putting his legs down from the bed, bent
forward toward the old man with a forced and timid smile.

"I have not referred to this out of curiosity, my dear sir, but for
greater reasons."

He paused, his gaze still on Pierre, and moved aside on the sofa by way
of inviting the other to take a seat beside him. Pierre felt reluctant
to enter into conversation with this old man, but, submitting to him
involuntarily, came up and sat down beside him.

"You are unhappy, my dear sir," the stranger continued. "You are young
and I am old. I should like to help you as far as lies in my power."

"Oh, yes!" said Pierre, with a forced smile. "I am very grateful to you.
Where are you traveling from?"

The stranger's face was not genial, it was even cold and severe, but
in spite of this, both the face and words of his new acquaintance were
irresistibly attractive to Pierre.

"But if for reason you don't feel inclined to talk to me," said the old
man, "say so, my dear sir." And he suddenly smiled, in an unexpected and
tenderly paternal way.

"Oh no, not at all! On the contrary, I am very glad to make your
acquaintance," said Pierre. And again, glancing at the stranger's hands,
he looked more closely at the ring, with its skull--a Masonic sign.

"Allow me to ask," he said, "are you a Mason?"

"Yes, I belong to the Brotherhood of the Freemasons," said the stranger,
looking deeper and deeper into Pierre's eyes. "And in their name and my
own I hold out a brotherly hand to you."

"I am afraid," said Pierre, smiling, and wavering between the confidence
the personality of the Freemason inspired in him and his own habit
of ridiculing the Masonic beliefs--"I am afraid I am very far from
understanding--how am I to put it?--I am afraid my way of looking at the
world is so opposed to yours that we shall not understand one another."

"I know your outlook," said the Mason, "and the view of life you
mention, and which you think is the result of your own mental efforts,
is the one held by the majority of people, and is the invariable fruit
of pride, indolence, and ignorance. Forgive me, my dear sir, but if I
had not known it I should not have addressed you. Your view of life is a
regrettable delusion."

"Just as I may suppose you to be deluded," said Pierre, with a faint
smile.

"I should never dare to say that I know the truth," said the Mason,
whose words struck Pierre more and more by their precision and firmness.
"No one can attain to truth by himself. Only by laying stone on stone
with the cooperation of all, by the millions of generations from our
forefather Adam to our own times, is that temple reared which is to be a
worthy dwelling place of the Great God," he added, and closed his eyes.

"I ought to tell you that I do not believe... do not believe in God,"
said Pierre, regretfully and with an effort, feeling it essential to
speak the whole truth.

The Mason looked intently at Pierre and smiled as a rich man with
millions in hand might smile at a poor fellow who told him that he, poor
man, had not the five rubles that would make him happy.

"Yes, you do not know Him, my dear sir," said the Mason. "You cannot
know Him. You do not know Him and that is why you are unhappy."

"Yes, yes, I am unhappy," assented Pierre. "But what am I to do?"

"You know Him not, my dear sir, and so you are very unhappy. You do not
know Him, but He is here, He is in me, He is in my words, He is in thee,
and even in those blasphemous words thou hast just uttered!" pronounced
the Mason in a stern and tremulous voice.

He paused and sighed, evidently trying to calm himself.

"If He were not," he said quietly, "you and I would not be speaking
of Him, my dear sir. Of what, of whom, are we speaking? Whom hast thou
denied?" he suddenly asked with exulting austerity and authority in
his voice. "Who invented Him, if He did not exist? Whence came thy
conception of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being? didst
thou, and why did the whole world, conceive the idea of the existence
of such an incomprehensible Being, a Being all-powerful, eternal, and
infinite in all His attributes?..."

He stopped and remained silent for a long time.

Pierre could not and did not wish to break this silence.

"He exists, but to understand Him is hard," the Mason began again,
looking not at Pierre but straight before him, and turning the leaves
of his book with his old hands which from excitement he could not keep
still. "If it were a man whose existence thou didst doubt I could bring
him to thee, could take him by the hand and show him to thee. But how
can I, an insignificant mortal, show His omnipotence, His infinity, and
all His mercy to one who is blind, or who shuts his eyes that he may not
see or understand Him and may not see or understand his own vileness and
sinfulness?" He paused again. "Who art thou? Thou dreamest that thou art
wise because thou couldst utter those blasphemous words," he went
on, with a somber and scornful smile. "And thou art more foolish and
unreasonable than a little child, who, playing with the parts of a
skillfully made watch, dares to say that, as he does not understand
its use, he does not believe in the master who made it. To know Him is
hard.... For ages, from our forefather Adam to our own day, we labor to
attain that knowledge and are still infinitely far from our aim; but
in our lack of understanding we see only our weakness and His
greatness...."

Pierre listened with swelling heart, gazing into the Mason's face with
shining eyes, not interrupting or questioning him, but believing with
his whole soul what the stranger said. Whether he accepted the wise
reasoning contained in the Mason's words, or believed as a child
believes, in the speaker's tone of conviction and earnestness, or the
tremor of the speaker's voice--which sometimes almost broke--or those
brilliant aged eyes grown old in this conviction, or the calm firmness
and certainty of his vocation, which radiated from his whole being (and
which struck Pierre especially by contrast with his own dejection and
hopelessness)--at any rate, Pierre longed with his whole soul to believe
and he did believe, and felt a joyful sense of comfort, regeneration,
and return to life.

"He is not to be apprehended by reason, but by life," said the Mason.

"I do not understand," said Pierre, feeling with dismay doubts
reawakening. He was afraid of any want of clearness, any weakness, in
the Mason's arguments; he dreaded not to be able to believe in him.
"I don't understand," he said, "how it is that the mind of man cannot
attain the knowledge of which you speak."

The Mason smiled with his gentle fatherly smile.

"The highest wisdom and truth are like the purest liquid we may wish to
imbibe," he said. "Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure vessel
and judge of its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself can I
retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive."

"Yes, yes, that is so," said Pierre joyfully.

"The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those worldly
sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into which
intellectual knowledge is divided. The highest wisdom is one. The
highest wisdom has but one science--the science of the whole--the
science explaining the whole creation and man's place in it. To receive
that science it is necessary to purify and renew one's inner self, and
so before one can know, it is necessary to believe and to perfect one's
self. And to attain this end, we have the light called conscience that
God has implanted in our souls."

"Yes, yes," assented Pierre.

"Look then at thy inner self with the eyes of the spirit, and ask
thyself whether thou art content with thyself. What hast thou attained
relying on reason only? What art thou? You are young, you are rich, you
are clever, you are well educated. And what have you done with all these
good gifts? Are you content with yourself and with your life?"

"No, I hate my life," Pierre muttered, wincing.

"Thou hatest it. Then change it, purify thyself; and as thou art
purified, thou wilt gain wisdom. Look at your life, my dear sir.
How have you spent it? In riotous orgies and debauchery, receiving
everything from society and giving nothing in return. You have become
the possessor of wealth. How have you used it? What have you done
for your neighbor? Have you ever thought of your tens of thousands
of slaves? Have you helped them physically and morally? No! You have
profited by their toil to lead a profligate life. That is what you have
done. Have you chosen a post in which you might be of service to your
neighbor? No! You have spent your life in idleness. Then you married,
my dear sir--took on yourself responsibility for the guidance of a young
woman; and what have you done? You have not helped her to find the way
of truth, my dear sir, but have thrust her into an abyss of deceit and
misery. A man offended you and you shot him, and you say you do not know
God and hate your life. There is nothing strange in that, my dear sir!"

After these words, the Mason, as if tired by his long discourse, again
leaned his arms on the back of the sofa and closed his eyes. Pierre
looked at that aged, stern, motionless, almost lifeless face and moved
his lips without uttering a sound. He wished to say, "Yes, a vile, idle,
vicious life!" but dared not break the silence.

The Mason cleared his throat huskily, as old men do, and called his
servant.

"How about the horses?" he asked, without looking at Pierre.

"The exchange horses have just come," answered the servant. "Will you
not rest here?"

"No, tell them to harness."

"Can he really be going away leaving me alone without having told me
all, and without promising to help me?" thought Pierre, rising with
downcast head; and he began to pace the room, glancing occasionally at
the Mason. "Yes, I never thought of it, but I have led a contemptible
and profligate life, though I did not like it and did not want to,"
thought Pierre. "But this man knows the truth and, if he wished to,
could disclose it to me."

Pierre wished to say this to the Mason, but did not dare to. The
traveler, having packed his things with his practiced hands, began
fastening his coat. When he had finished, he turned to Bezukhov, and
said in a tone of indifferent politeness:

"Where are you going to now, my dear sir?"

"I?... I'm going to Petersburg," answered Pierre, in a childlike,
hesitating voice. "I thank you. I agree with all you have said. But do
not suppose me to be so bad. With my whole soul I wish to be what you
would have me be, but I have never had help from anyone.... But it is
I, above all, who am to blame for everything. Help me, teach me, and
perhaps I may..."

Pierre could not go on. He gulped and turned away.

The Mason remained silent for a long time, evidently considering.

"Help comes from God alone," he said, "but such measure of help as
our Order can bestow it will render you, my dear sir. You are going to
Petersburg. Hand this to Count Willarski" (he took out his notebook and
wrote a few words on a large sheet of paper folded in four). "Allow me
to give you a piece of advice. When you reach the capital, first of all
devote some time to solitude and self-examination and do not resume your
former way of life. And now I wish you a good journey, my dear sir," he
added, seeing that his servant had entered... "and success."

The traveler was Joseph Alexeevich Bazdeev, as Pierre saw from the
postmaster's book. Bazdeev had been one of the best-known Freemasons and
Martinists, even in Novikov's time. For a long while after he had gone,
Pierre did not go to bed or order horses but paced up and down the room,
pondering over his vicious past, and with a rapturous sense of beginning
anew pictured to himself the blissful, irreproachable, virtuous future
that seemed to him so easy. It seemed to him that he had been vicious
only because he had somehow forgotten how good it is to be virtuous. Not
a trace of his former doubts remained in his soul. He firmly believed
in the possibility of the brotherhood of men united in the aim
of supporting one another in the path of virtue, and that is how
Freemasonry presented itself to him.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER III

 

On reaching Petersburg Pierre did not let anyone know of his arrival, he
went nowhere and spent whole days in reading Thomas a Kempis, whose book
had been sent him by someone unknown. One thing he continually realized
as he read that book: the joy, hitherto unknown to him, of believing
in the possibility of attaining perfection, and in the possibility of
active brotherly love among men, which Joseph Alexeevich had revealed to
him. A week after his arrival, the young Polish count, Willarski, whom
Pierre had known slightly in Petersburg society, came into his room
one evening in the official and ceremonious manner in which Dolokhov's
second had called on him, and, having closed the door behind him and
satisfied himself that there was nobody else in the room, addressed
Pierre.

"I have come to you with a message and an offer, Count," he said without
sitting down. "A person of very high standing in our Brotherhood has
made application for you to be received into our Order before the usual
term and has proposed to me to be your sponsor. I consider it a
sacred duty to fulfill that person's wishes. Do you wish to enter the
Brotherhood of Freemasons under my sponsorship?"

The cold, austere tone of this man, whom he had almost always before met
at balls, amiably smiling in the society of the most brilliant women,
surprised Pierre.

"Yes, I do wish it," said he.

Willarski bowed his head.

"One more question, Count," he said, "which I beg you to answer in
all sincerity--not as a future Mason but as an honest man: have you
renounced your former convictions--do you believe in God?"

Pierre considered.

"Yes... yes, I believe in God," he said.

"In that case..." began Willarski, but Pierre interrupted him.

"Yes, I do believe in God," he repeated.

"In that case we can go," said Willarski. "My carriage is at your
service."

Willarski was silent throughout the drive. To Pierre's inquiries as to
what he must do and how he should answer, Willarski only replied that
brothers more worthy than he would test him and that Pierre had only to
tell the truth.

Having entered the courtyard of a large house where the Lodge had its
headquarters, and having ascended a dark staircase, they entered a small
well-lit anteroom where they took off their cloaks without the aid of
a servant. From there they passed into another room. A man in strange
attire appeared at the door. Willarski, stepping toward him, said
something to him in French in an undertone and then went up to a small
wardrobe in which Pierre noticed garments such as he had never seen
before. Having taken a kerchief from the cupboard, Willarski bound
Pierre's eyes with it and tied it in a knot behind, catching some hairs
painfully in the knot. Then he drew his face down, kissed him, and
taking him by the hand led him forward. The hairs tied in the knot hurt
Pierre and there were lines of pain on his face and a shamefaced smile.
His huge figure, with arms hanging down and with a puckered, though
smiling face, moved after Willarski with uncertain, timid steps.

Having led him about ten paces, Willarski stopped.

"Whatever happens to you," he said, "you must bear it all manfully
if you have firmly resolved to join our Brotherhood." (Pierre nodded
affirmatively.) "When you hear a knock at the door, you will uncover
your eyes," added Willarski. "I wish you courage and success," and,
pressing Pierre's hand, he went out.

Left alone, Pierre went on smiling in the same way. Once or twice he
shrugged his and raised his hand to the kerchief, as if wishing to take
it off, but let it drop again. The five minutes spent with his eyes
bandaged seemed to him an hour. His arms felt numb, his legs almost gave
way, it seemed to him that he was tired out. He experienced a variety of
most complex sensations. He felt afraid of what would happen to him and
still more afraid of showing his fear. He felt curious to know what was
going to happen and what would be revealed to him; but most of all, he
felt joyful that the moment had come when he would at last start on that
path of regeneration and on the actively virtuous life of which he had
been dreaming since he met Joseph Alexeevich. Loud knocks were heard at
the door. Pierre took the bandage off his eyes and glanced around him.
The room was in black darkness, only a small lamp was burning inside
something white. Pierre went nearer and saw that the lamp stood on a
black table on which lay an open book. The book was the Gospel, and the
white thing with the lamp inside was a human skull with its cavities and
teeth. After reading the first words of the Gospel: "In the beginning
was the Word and the Word was with God," Pierre went round the table and
saw a large open box filled with something. It was a coffin with bones
inside. He was not at all surprised by what he saw. Hoping to enter on
an entirely new life quite unlike the old one, he expected everything
to be unusual, even more unusual than what he was seeing. A skull, a
coffin, the Gospel--it seemed to him that he had expected all this and
even more. Trying to stimulate his emotions he looked around. "God,
death, love, the brotherhood of man," he kept saying to himself,
associating these words with vague yet joyful ideas. The door opened and
someone came in.

By the dim light, to which Pierre had already become accustomed, he
saw rather short man. Having evidently come from the light into the
darkness, the man paused, then moved with cautious steps toward the
table and placed on it his small leather-gloved hands.

This short man had on a white leather apron which covered his chest and
part of his legs; he had on a kind of necklace above which rose a high
white ruffle, outlining his rather long face which was lit up from
below.

"For what have you come hither?" asked the newcomer, turning in Pierre's
direction at a slight rustle made by the latter. "Why have you, who do
not believe in the truth of the light and who have not seen the light,
come here? What do you seek from us? Wisdom, virtue, enlightenment?"

At the moment the door opened and the stranger came in, Pierre felt a
sense of awe and veneration such as he had experienced in his boyhood at
confession; he felt himself in the presence of one socially a complete
stranger, yet nearer to him through the brotherhood of man. With bated
breath and beating heart he moved toward the Rhetor (by which name the
brother who prepared a seeker for entrance into the Brotherhood was
known). Drawing nearer, he recognized in the Rhetor a man he knew,
Smolyaninov, and it mortified him to think that the newcomer was an
acquaintance--he wished him simply a brother and a virtuous instructor.
For a long time he could not utter a word, so that the Rhetor had to
repeat his question.

"Yes... I... I... desire regeneration," Pierre uttered with difficulty.

"Very well," said Smolyaninov, and went on at once: "Have you any idea
of the means by which our holy Order will help you to reach your aim?"
said he quietly and quickly.

"I... hope... for guidance... help... in regeneration," said Pierre,
with a trembling voice and some difficulty in utterance due to his
excitement and to being unaccustomed to speak of abstract matters in
Russian.

"What is your conception of Freemasonry?"

"I imagine that Freemasonry is the fraternity and equality of men who
have virtuous aims," said Pierre, feeling ashamed of the inadequacy of
his words for the solemnity of the moment, as he spoke. "I imagine..."

"Good!" said the Rhetor quickly, apparently satisfied with this answer.
"Have you sought for means of attaining your aim in religion?"

"No, I considered it erroneous and did not follow it," said Pierre,
so softly that the Rhetor did not hear him and asked him what he was
saying. "I have been an atheist," answered Pierre.

"You are seeking for truth in order to follow its laws in your life,
therefore you seek wisdom and virtue. Is that not so?" said the Rhetor,
after a moment's pause.

"Yes, yes," assented Pierre.

The Rhetor cleared his throat, crossed his gloved hands on his breast,
and began to speak.

"Now I must disclose to you the chief aim of our Order," he said, "and
if this aim coincides with yours, you may enter our Brotherhood with
profit. The first and chief object of our Order, the foundation on which
it rests and which no human power can destroy, is the preservation and
handing on to posterity of a certain important mystery... which has come
down to us from the remotest ages, even from the first man--a mystery on
which perhaps the fate of mankind depends. But since this mystery is of
such a nature that nobody can know or use it unless he be prepared by
long and diligent self-purification, not everyone can hope to attain it
quickly. Hence we have a secondary aim, that of preparing our members as
much as possible to reform their hearts, to purify and enlighten their
minds, by means handed on to us by tradition from those who have striven
to attain this mystery, and thereby to render them capable of receiving
it.

"By purifying and regenerating our members we try, thirdly, to improve
the whole human race, offering it in our members an example of piety
and virtue, and thereby try with all our might to combat the evil which
sways the world. Think this over and I will come to you again."

"To combat the evil which sways the world..." Pierre repeated, and a
mental image of his future activity in this direction rose in his mind.
He imagined men such as he had himself been a fortnight ago, and he
addressed an edifying exhortation to them. He imagined to himself
vicious and unfortunate people whom he would assist by word and deed,
imagined oppressors whose victims he would rescue. Of the three
objects mentioned by the Rhetor, this last, that of improving mankind,
especially appealed to Pierre. The important mystery mentioned by the
Rhetor, though it aroused his curiosity, did not seem to him essential,
and the second aim, that of purifying and regenerating himself, did not
much interest him because at that moment he felt with delight that he
was already perfectly cured of his former faults and was ready for all
that was good.

Half an hour later, the Rhetor returned to inform the seeker of the
seven virtues, corresponding to the seven steps of Solomon's temple,
which every Freemason should cultivate in himself. These virtues were:
1. Discretion, the keeping of the secrets of the Order. 2. Obedience to
those of higher ranks in the Order. 3. Morality. 4. Love of mankind.
5. Courage. 6. Generosity. 7. The love of death.

"In the seventh place, try, by the frequent thought of death," the
Rhetor said, "to bring yourself to regard it not as a dreaded foe, but
as a friend that frees the soul grown weary in the labors of virtue
from this distressful life, and leads it to its place of recompense and
peace."

"Yes, that must be so," thought Pierre, when after these words the
Rhetor went away, leaving him to solitary meditation. "It must be so,
but I am still so weak that I love my life, the meaning of which is only
now gradually opening before me." But five of the other virtues which
Pierre recalled, counting them on his fingers, he felt already in his
soul: courage, generosity, morality, love of mankind, and especially
obedience--which did not even seem to him a virtue, but a joy. (He now
felt so glad to be free from his own lawlessness and to submit his will
to those who knew the indubitable truth.) He forgot what the seventh
virtue was and could not recall it.

The third time the Rhetor came back more quickly and asked Pierre
whether he was still firm in his intention and determined to submit to
all that would be required of him.

"I am ready for everything," said Pierre.

"I must also inform you," said the Rhetor, "that our Order delivers its
teaching not in words only but also by other means, which may perhaps
have a stronger effect on the sincere seeker after wisdom and virtue
than mere words. This chamber with what you see therein should already
have suggested to your heart, if it is sincere, more than words could
do. You will perhaps also see in your further initiation a like
method of enlightenment. Our Order imitates the ancient societies that
explained their teaching by hieroglyphics. A hieroglyph," said the
Rhetor, "is an emblem of something not cognizable by the senses but
which possesses qualities resembling those of the symbol."

Pierre knew very well what a hieroglyph was, but dared not speak. He
listened to the Rhetor in silence, feeling from all he said that his
ordeal was about to begin.

"If you are resolved, I must begin your initiation," said the Rhetor
coming closer to Pierre. "In token of generosity I ask you to give me
all your valuables."

"But I have nothing here," replied Pierre, supposing that he was asked
to give up all he possessed.

"What you have with you: watch, money, rings...."

Pierre quickly took out his purse and watch, but could not manage for
some time to get the wedding ring off his fat finger. When that had been
done, the Rhetor said:

"In token of obedience, I ask you to undress."

Pierre took off his coat, waistcoat, and left boot according to the
Rhetor's instructions. The Mason drew the shirt back from Pierre's left
breast, and stooping down pulled up the left leg of his trousers to
above the knee. Pierre hurriedly began taking off his right boot also
and was going to tuck up the other trouser leg to save this stranger the
trouble, but the Mason told him that was not necessary and gave him
a slipper for his left foot. With a childlike smile of embarrassment,
doubt, and self-derision, which appeared on his face against his will,
Pierre stood with his arms hanging down and legs apart, before his
brother Rhetor, and awaited his further commands.

"And now, in token of candor, I ask you to reveal to me your chief
passion," said the latter.

"My passion! I have had so many," replied Pierre.

"That passion which more than all others caused you to waver on the path
of virtue," said the Mason.

Pierre paused, seeking a reply.

"Wine? Gluttony? Idleness? Laziness? Irritability? Anger? Women?" He
went over his vices in his mind, not knowing to which of them to give
the pre-eminence.

"Women," he said in a low, scarcely audible voice.

The Mason did not move and for a long time said nothing after this
answer. At last he moved up to Pierre and, taking the kerchief that lay
on the table, again bound his eyes.

"For the last time I say to you--turn all your attention upon yourself,
put a bridle on your senses, and seek blessedness, not in passion but
in your own heart. The source of blessedness is not without us but
within...."

Pierre had already long been feeling in himself that refreshing source
of blessedness which now flooded his heart with glad emotion.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER IV

 

Soon after this there came into the dark chamber to fetch Pierre, not
the Rhetor but Pierre's sponsor, Willarski, whom he recognized by his
voice. To fresh questions as to the firmness of his resolution Pierre
replied: "Yes, yes, I agree," and with a beaming, childlike smile, his
fat chest uncovered, stepping unevenly and timidly in one slippered and
one booted foot, he advanced, while Willarski held a sword to his
bare chest. He was conducted from that room along passages that turned
backwards and forwards and was at last brought to the doors of the
Lodge. Willarski coughed, he was answered by the Masonic knock with
mallets, the doors opened before them. A bass voice (Pierre was still
blindfolded) questioned him as to who he was, when and where he was
born, and so on. Then he was again led somewhere still blindfolded,
and as they went along he was told allegories of the toils of his
pilgrimage, of holy friendship, of the Eternal Architect of the
universe, and of the courage with which he should endure toils and
dangers. During these wanderings, Pierre noticed that he was spoken of
now as the "Seeker," now as the "Sufferer," and now as the "Postulant,"
to the accompaniment of various knockings with mallets and swords. As he
was being led up to some object he noticed a hesitation and uncertainty
among his conductors. He heard those around him disputing in whispers
and one of them insisting that he should be led along a certain carpet.
After that they took his right hand, placed it on something, and told
him to hold a pair of compasses to his left breast with the other hand
and to repeat after someone who read aloud an oath of fidelity to the
laws of the Order. The candles were then extinguished and some spirit
lighted, as Pierre knew by the smell, and he was told that he would now
see the lesser light. The bandage was taken off his eyes and, by the
faint light of the burning spirit, Pierre, as in a dream, saw several
men standing before him, wearing aprons like the Rhetor's and holding
swords in their hands pointed at his breast. Among them stood a man
whose white shirt was stained with blood. On seeing this, Pierre moved
forward with his breast toward the swords, meaning them to pierce it.
But the swords were drawn back from him and he was at once blindfolded
again.

"Now thou hast seen the lesser light," uttered a voice. Then the candles
were relit and he was told that he would see the full light; the bandage
was again removed and more than ten voices said together: "Sic transit
gloria mundi."

Pierre gradually began to recover himself and looked about at the room
and at the people in it. Round a long table covered with black sat some
twelve men in garments like those he had already seen. Some of them
Pierre had met in Petersburg society. In the President's chair sat a
young man he did not know, with a peculiar cross hanging from his neck.
On his right sat the Italian abbe whom Pierre had met at Anna Pavlovna's
two years before. There were also present a very distinguished dignitary
and a Swiss who had formerly been tutor at the Kuragins'. All maintained
a solemn silence, listening to the words of the President, who held a
mallet in his hand. Let into the wall was a star-shaped light. At one
side of the table was a small carpet with various figures worked upon
it, at the other was something resembling an altar on which lay a
Testament and a skull. Round it stood seven large candlesticks like
those used in churches. Two of the brothers led Pierre up to the altar,
placed his feet at right angles, and bade him lie down, saying that he
must prostrate himself at the Gates of the Temple.

"He must first receive the trowel," whispered one of the brothers.

"Oh, hush, please!" said another.

Pierre, perplexed, looked round with his shortsighted eyes without
obeying, and suddenly doubts arose in his mind. "Where am I? What am
I doing? Aren't they laughing at me? Shan't I be ashamed to remember
this?" But these doubts only lasted a moment. Pierre glanced at the
serious faces of those around, remembered all he had already gone
through, and realized that he could not stop halfway. He was aghast
at his hesitation and, trying to arouse his former devotional feeling,
prostrated himself before the Gates of the Temple. And really, the
feeling of devotion returned to him even more strongly than before. When
he had lain there some time, he was told to get up, and a white leather
apron, such as the others wore, was put on him: he was given a trowel
and three pairs of gloves, and then the Grand Master addressed him. He
told him that he should try to do nothing to stain the whiteness of that
apron, which symbolized strength and purity; then of the unexplained
trowel, he told him to toil with it to cleanse his own heart from vice,
and indulgently to smooth with it the heart of his neighbor. As to the
first pair of gloves,