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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 everyones 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? Its 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 Pierres 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 shes fifty." "I think I may congratulate you," whispered Anna Pavlovna to the old princess, kissing her soundly. "If I hadnt this headache Id have stayed longer." The old princess did not reply, she was tormented by jealousy of her daughters 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 elses 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

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