Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
was in amicable relations with the
highest dignitaries of all the churches and sects.
Varenka lived with her all the while abroad, and everyone who
knew Madame Stahl knew and liked Mademoiselle Varenka, as
everyone called her.
Having learned all these facts, the princess found nothing to
object to in her daughters intimacy with Varenka, more
especially as Varenkas breeding and education were of the
best--she spoke French and English extremely well--and what was
of the most weight, brought a message from Madame Stahl
expressing her regret that she was prevented by her ill health
from making the acquaintance of the princess.
After getting to know Varenka, Kitty became more and more
fascinated by her friend, and every day she discovered new
virtues in her.
The princess, hearing that Varenka had a good voice, asked her to
come and sing to them in the evening.
"Kitty plays, and we have a piano; not a good one, its true, but
you will give us so much pleasure," said the princess with her
affected smile, which Kitty disliked particularly just then,
because she noticed that Varenka had no inclination to sing.
Varenka came, however, in the evening and brought a roll of music
with her. The princess had invited Marya Yevgenyevna and her
daughter and the colonel.
Varenka seemed quite unaffected by there being persons present
she did not know, and she went directly to the piano. She could
not accompany herself, but she could sing music at sight very
well. Kitty, who played well, accompanied her.
"You have an extraordinary talent," the princess said to her
after Varenka had sung the first song extremely well.
Marya Yevgenyevna and her daughter expressed their thanks and
"Look," said the colonel, looking out of the window, "what an
audience has collected to listen to you." There actually was
quite a considerable crowd under the windows.
"I am very glad it gives you pleasure," Varenka answered simply.
Kitty looked with pride at her friend. She was enchanted by her
talent, and her voice, and her face, but most of all by her
manner, by the way Varenka obviously thought nothing of her
singing and was quite unmoved by their praises. She seemed only
to be asking: "Am I to sing again, or is that enough?"
"If it had been I," thought Kitty, "how proud I should have been!
How delighted I should have been to see that crowd under the
windows! But shes utterly unmoved by it. Her only motive is to
avoid refusing and to please mamma. What is there in her? What
is it gives her the power to look down on everything, to be calm
independently of everything? How I should like to know it and to
learn it of her!" thought Kitty, gazing into her serene face.
The princess asked Varenka to sing again, and Varenka sang
another song, also smoothly, distinctly, and well, standing erect
at the piano and beating time on it with her thin, dark-skinned
The next song in the book was an Italian one. Kitty played the
opening bars, and looked round at Varenka.
"Lets skip that," said Varenka, flushing a little. Kitty let
her eyes rest on Varenkas face, with a look of dismay and
"Very well, the next one," she said hurriedly, turning over the
pages, and at once feeling that there was something connected
with the song.
"No," answered Varenka with a smile, laying her hand on the
music, "no, lets have that one." And she sang it just as
quietly, as coolly, and as well as the others.
When she had finished, they all thanked her again, and went off
to tea. Kitty and Varenka went out into the little garden that
adjoined the house.
"Am I right, that you have some reminiscences connected with
that song?" said Kitty. "Dont tell me," she added hastily,
"only say if Im right."
"No, why not? Ill tell you simply," said Varenka, and, without
waiting for a reply, she went on: "Yes, it brings up memories,
once painful ones. I cared for someone once, and I used to sing
him that song."
Kitty with big, wide-open eyes gazed silently, sympathetically at
"I cared for him, and he cared for me; but his mother did not
wish it, and he married another girl. Hes living now not far
from us, and I see him sometimes. You didnt think I had a
love story too," she said, and there was a faint gleam in her
handsome face of that fire which Kitty felt must
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