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War And Peace 182

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War And Peace

me, if it really were true. Yes, if it were true, but I do not believe it. I have no right to, and cant, believe it." He remembered the expression Dolokhovs face assumed in his moments of cruelty, as when tying the policeman to the bear and dropping them into the water, or when he challenged a man to a duel without any reason, or shot a post-boys horse with a pistol. That expression was often on Dolokhovs face when looking at him. "Yes, he is a bully," thought Pierre, "to kill a man means nothing to him. It must seem to him that everyone is afraid of him, and that must please him. He must think that I, too, am afraid of him--and in fact I am afraid of him," he thought, and again he felt something terrible and monstrous rising in his soul. Dolokhov, Denisov, and Rostov were now sitting opposite Pierre and seemed very gay. Rostov was talking merrily to his two friends, one of whom was a dashing hussar and the other a notorious duelist and rake, and every now and then he glanced ironically at Pierre, whose preoccupied, absent-minded, and massive figure was a very noticeable one at the dinner. Rostov looked inimically at Pierre, first because Pierre appeared to his hussar eyes as a rich civilian, the husband of a beauty, and in a word--an old woman; and secondly because Pierre in his preoccupation and absent-mindedness had not recognized Rostov and had not responded to his greeting. When the Emperors health was drunk, Pierre, lost in thought, did not rise or lift his glass. "What are you about?" shouted Rostov, looking at him in an ecstasy of exasperation. "Dont you hear its His Majesty the Emperors health?" Pierre sighed, rose submissively, emptied his glass, and, waiting till all were seated again, turned with his kindly smile to Rostov. "Why, I didnt recognize you!" he said. But Rostov was otherwise engaged; he was shouting "Hurrah!" "Why dont you renew the acquaintance?" said Dolokhov to Rostov. "Confound him, hes a fool!" said Rostov. "One should make up to the husbands of pretty women," said Denisov. Pierre did not catch what they were saying, but knew they were talking about him. He reddened and turned away. "Well, now to the health of handsome women!" said Dolokhov, and with a serious expression, but with a smile lurking at the corners of his mouth, he turned with his glass to Pierre. "Heres to the health of lovely women, Peterkin--and their lovers!" he added. Pierre, with downcast eyes, drank out of his glass without looking at Dolokhov or answering him. The footman, who was distributing leaflets with Kutuzovs cantata, laid one before Pierre as one of the principal guests. He was just going to take it when Dolokhov, leaning across, snatched it from his hand and began reading it. Pierre looked at Dolokhov and his eyes dropped, the something terrible and monstrous that had tormented him all dinnertime rose and took possession of him. He leaned his whole massive body across the table. "How dare you take it?" he shouted. Hearing that cry and seeing to whom it was addressed, Nesvitski and the neighbor on his right quickly turned in alarm to Bezukhov. "Dont! Dont! What are you about?" whispered their frightened voices. Dolokhov looked at Pierre with clear, mirthful, cruel eyes, and that smile of his which seemed to say, "Ah! This is what I like!" "You shant have it!" he said distinctly. Pale, with quivering lips, Pierre snatched the copy. "You...! you... scoundrel! I challenge you!" he ejaculated, and, pushing back his chair, he rose from the table. At the very instant he did this and uttered those words, Pierre felt that the question of his wifes guilt which had been tormenting him the whole day was finally and indubitably answered in the affirmative. He hated her and was forever sundered from her. Despite Denisovs request that he would take no part in the matter, Rostov agreed to be Dolokhovs second, and after dinner he discussed the arrangements for the duel with Nesvitski, Bezukhovs second. Pierre went home, but Rostov with Dolokhov and Denisov stayed on at the Club till late, listening to the gypsies and other singers. "Well then, till tomorrow at Sokolniki," said Dolokhov, as he took leave of Rostov in the Club porch. "And do you feel quite calm?" Rostov asked. Dolokhov paused. "Well, you see, Ill tell you the whole secret of dueling in two words. If you are going to fight a duel, and you make a will and write affectionate letters to your parents, and if

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