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War And Peace 13

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War And Peace

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 Pierres 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 dont know. I must. Besides that I am going..." He paused. "I am going because the life I am leading here does not suit me!"
The rustle of a womans 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 Pavlovnas 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 cant 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 Pierres words touched her to the quick. "Ah, that is just what I tell him!" said she. "I dont understand it; I dont in the least understand why men cant live without wars. How is it that we women dont want anything of the kind, dont need it? Now you shall judge between us. I always tell him: Here he is Uncles 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, dont speak of his going, dont! I wont 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) "Im afraid, Im 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 dont 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

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