Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
rooms in the English Club were
filled with a hum of conversation, like the hum of bees swarming in
springtime. The members and guests of the Club wandered hither and
thither, sat, stood, met, and separated, some in uniform and some in
evening dress, and a few here and there with powdered hair and in
Russian kaftans. Powdered footmen, in livery with buckled shoes and
smart stockings, stood at every door anxiously noting visitors
every movement in order to offer their services. Most of those present
were elderly, respected men with broad, self-confident faces, fat
fingers, and resolute gestures and voices. This class of guests and
members sat in certain habitual places and met in certain habitual
groups. A minority of those present were casual guests--chiefly
young men, among whom were Denisov, Rostov, and Dolokhov--who was
now again an officer in the Semenov regiment. The faces of these young
people, especially those who were military men, bore that expression of
condescending respect for their elders which seems to say to the older
generation, "We are prepared to respect and honor you, but all the
same remember that the future belongs to us."
Nesvitski was there as an old member of the Club. Pierre, who at his
wifes command had let his hair grow and abandoned his spectacles,
went about the rooms fashionably dressed but looking sad and dull.
Here, as elsewhere, he was surrounded by an atmosphere of subservience
to his wealth, and being in the habit of lording it over these people,
he treated them with absent-minded contempt.
By his age he should have belonged to the younger men, but by his
wealth and connections he belonged to the groups old and honored
guests, and so he went from one group to another. Some of the most
important old men were the center of groups which even strangers
approached respectfully to hear the voices of well-known men. The
largest circles formed round Count Rostopchin, Valuev, and
Naryshkin. Rostopchin was describing how the Russians had been
overwhelmed by flying Austrians and had had to force their way through
them with bayonets.
Valuev was confidentially telling that Uvarov had been sent from
Petersburg to ascertain what Moscow was thinking about Austerlitz.
In the third circle, Naryshkin was speaking of the meeting of the
Austrian Council of War at which Suvorov crowed like a cock in reply
to the nonsense talked by the Austrian generals. Shinshin, standing
close by, tried to make a joke, saying that Kutuzov had evidently
failed to learn from Suvorov even so simple a thing as the art of
crowing like a cock, but the elder members glanced severely at the
wit, making him feel that in that place and on that day, it was
improper to speak so of Kutuzov.
Count Ilya Rostov, hurried and preoccupied, went about in his soft
boots between the dining and drawing rooms, hastily greeting the
important and unimportant, all of whom he knew, as if they were all
equals, while his eyes occasionally sought out his fine well-set-up
young son, resting on him and winking joyfully at him. Young Rostov
stood at a window with Dolokhov, whose acquaintance he had lately made
and highly valued. The old count came up to them and pressed
"Please come and visit us... you know my brave boy... been
together out there... both playing the hero... Ah, Vasili
Ignatovich... How dye do, old fellow?" he said, turning to an old man
who was passing, but before he had finished his greeting there was a
general stir, and a footman who had run in announced, with a
frightened face: "Hes arrived!"
Bells rang, the stewards rushed forward, and--like rye shaken
together in a shovel--the guests who had been scattered about in
different rooms came together and crowded in the large drawing room by
the door of the ballroom.
Bagration appeared in the doorway of the anteroom without hat or
sword, which, in accord with the Club custom, he had given up to the
hall porter. He had no lambskin cap on his head, nor had he a loaded
whip over his shoulder, as when Rostov had seen him on the eve of
the battle of Austerlitz, but wore a tight new uniform with Russian
and foreign Orders, and the Star of St. George on his left breast.
Evidently just before coming to the dinner he had had his hair and
whiskers trimmed, which changed his appearance for the worse. There
was something naively festive in his air, which, in conjunction with
his firm and virile features, gave him a rather comical expression.
Bekleshev and Theodore
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