Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
This was not a mere guess; her connection with the child was
still so close, that she could gauge by the flow of her milk his
need of food, and knew for certain he was hungry.
She knew he was crying before she reached the nursery. And he
was indeed crying. She heard him and hastened. But the faster
she went, the louder he screamed. It was a fine healthy scream,
hungry and impatient.
"Has he been screaming long, nurse, very long?" said Kitty
hurriedly, seating herself on a chair, and preparing to give the
baby the breast. "But give me him quickly. Oh, nurse, how
tiresome you are! There, tie the cap afterwards, do!"
The babys greedy scream was passing into sobs.
"But you cant manage so, maam," said Agafea Mihalovna, who was
almost always to be found in the nursery. "He must be put
straight. A-oo! a-oo!" she chanted over him, paying no attention
to the mother.
The nurse brought the baby to his mother. Agafea Mihalovna
followed him with a face dissolving with tenderness.
"He knows me, he knows me. In Gods faith, Katerina
Alexandrovna, maam, he knew me!" Agafea Mihalovna cried above
the babys screams.
But Kitty did not hear her words. Her impatience kept growing,
like the babys.
Their impatience hindered things for a while. The baby could not
get hold of the breast right, and was furious.
At last, after despairing, breathless screaming, and vain
sucking, things went right, and mother and child felt
simultaneously soothed, and both subsided into calm.
"But poor darling, hes all in perspiration!" said Kitty in a
whisper, touching the baby.
"What makes you think he knows you?" she added, with a sidelong
glance at the babys eyes, that peered roguishly, as she fancied,
from under his cap, at his rhythmically puffing cheeks, and the
little red-palmed hand he was waving.
"Impossible! If he knew anyone, he would have known me," said
Kitty, in response to Agafea Mihalovnas statement, and she
She smiled because, though she said he could not know her, in her
heart she was sure that he knew not merely Agafea Mihalovna, but
that he knew and understood everything, and knew and understood a
great deal too that no one else knew, and that she, his mother,
had learned and come to understand only through him. To Agafea
Mihalovna, to the nurse, to his grandfather, to his father even,
Mitya was a living being, requiring only material care, but for
his mother he had long been a mortal being, with whom there had
been a whole series of spiritual relations already.
"When he wakes up, please God, you shall see for yourself. Then
when I do like this, he simply beams on me, the darling! Simply
beams like a sunny day!" said Agafea Mihalovna.
"Well, well; then we shall see," whispered Kitty. "But now go
away, hes going to sleep."
Agafea Mihalovna went out on tiptoe; the nurse let down the
blind, chased a fly out from under the muslin canopy of the crib,
and a bumblebee struggling on the window-frame, and sat down
waving a faded branch of birch over the mother and the baby.
"How hot it is! if God would send a drop of rain," she said.
"Yes, yes, sh--sh--sh--" was all Kitty answered, rocking a
little, and tenderly squeezing the plump little arm, with rolls
of fat at the wrist, which Mitya still waved feebly as he opened
and shut his eyes. That hand worried Kitty; she longed to kiss
the little hand, but was afraid to for fear of waking the baby.
At last the little hand ceased waving, and the eyes closed. Only
from time to time, as he went on sucking, the baby raised his
long, curly eyelashes and peeped at his mother with wet eyes,
that looked black in the twilight. The nurse had left off
fanning, and was dozing. From above came the peals of the old
princes voice, and the chuckle of Katavasov.
"They have got into talk without me," thought Kitty, "but still
its vexing that Kostyas out. Hes sure to have gone to the
bee house again. Though its a pity hes there so often, still
Im glad. It distracts his mind. Hes become altogether happier
and better now than in the spring. He used to be so gloomy and
worried that I felt frightened for him. And how absurd he is!"
she whispered, smiling.
She knew what
Anna Karenina page 446 Anna Karenina page 448