Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
troubled, and that he should suffer because she was a bad and
faithless wife. "Yes, time will pass; time, which arranges all
things, and the old relations will be reestablished," Alexey
Alexandrovitch told himself; "so far reestablished, that is, that
I shall not be sensible of a break in the continuity of my life.
She is bound to be unhappy, but I am not to blame, and so I
cannot be unhappy."
As he neared Petersburg, Alexey Alexandrovitch not only adhered
entirely to his decision, but was even composing in his head the
letter he would write to his wife. Going into the porters room,
Alexey Alexandrovitch glanced at the letters and papers brought
from his office, and directed that they should be brought to him
in his study.
"The horses can be taken out and I will see no one," he said in
answer to the porter, with a certain pleasure, indicative of his
agreeable frame of mind, emphasizing the words, "see no one."
In his study Alexey Alexandrovitch walked up and down twice, and
stopped at an immense writing-table, on which six candles had
already been lighted by the valet who had preceded him. He
cracked his knuckles and sat down, sorting out his writing
appurtenances. Putting his elbows on the table, he bent his head
on one side, thought a minute, and began to write, without
pausing for a second. He wrote without using any form of address
to her, and wrote in French, making use of the plural "_vous_,"
which has not the same note of coldness as the corresponding
"At our last conversation, I notified you of my intention to
communicate to you my decision in regard to the subject of that
conversation. Having carefully considered everything, I am
writing now with the object of fulfilling that promise. My
decision is as follows. Whatever your conduct may have been, I
do not consider myself justified in breaking the ties in which we
are bound by a Higher Power. The family cannot be broken up by a
whim, a caprice, or even by the sin of one of the partners in the
marriage, and our life must go on as it has done in the past.
This is essential for me, for you, and for our son. I am fully
persuaded that you have repented and do repent of what has called
forth the present letter, and that you will cooperate with me in
eradicating the cause of our estrangement, and forgetting the
past. In the contrary event, you can conjecture what awaits you
and your son. All this I hope to discuss more in detail in a
personal interview. As the season is drawing to a close, I
would beg you to return to Petersburg as quickly as possible, not
later than Tuesday. All necessary preparations shall be made for
your arrival here. I beg you to note that I attach particular
significance to compliance with this request.
"P.S.--I enclose the money which may be needed for your
He read the letter through and felt pleased with it, and
especially that he had remembered to enclose money: there was
not a harsh word, not a reproach in it, nor was there undue
indulgence. Most of all, it was a golden bridge for return.
Folding the letter and smoothing it with a massive ivory knife,
and putting it in an envelope with the money, he rang the bell
with the gratification it always afforded him to use the
well arranged appointments of his writing-table.
"Give this to the courier to be delivered to Anna Arkadyevna
tomorrow at the summer villa," he said, getting up.
"Certainly, your excellency; tea to be served in the study?"
Alexey Alexandrovitch ordered tea to be brought to the study, and
playing with the massive paper-knife, he moved to his easy chair,
near which there had been placed ready for him a lamp and the
French work on Egyptian hieroglyphics that he had begun. Over
the easy chair there hung in a gold frame an oval portrait of
Anna, a fine painting by a celebrated artist. Alexey
Alexandrovitch glanced at it. The unfathomable eyes gazed
ironically and insolently at him. Insufferably insolent and
challenging was the effect in Alexey Alexandrovitchs eyes of the
black lace about the head, admirably touched in by the painter,
the black hair and handsome white hand with one finger lifted,
covered with rings. After looking at the portrait for a minute,
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