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me, and why?" And at the sight the old man turned angrily away. Another five days passed, and then the young Prince Nicholas Andreevich was baptized. The wet nurse supported the coverlet with her chin, while the priest with a goose feather anointed the boys little red and wrinkled soles and palms. His grandfather, who was his godfather, trembling and afraid of dropping him, carried the infant round the battered tin font and handed him over to the godmother, Princess Mary. Prince Andrew sat in another room, faint with fear lest the baby should be drowned in the font, and awaited the termination of the ceremony. He looked up joyfully at the baby when the nurse brought it to him and nodded approval when she told him that the wax with the babys hair had not sunk in the font but had floated. CHAPTER X Rostovs share in Dolokhovs duel with Bezukhov was hushed up by the efforts of the old count, and instead of being degraded to the ranks as he expected he was appointed an adjutant to the governor general of Moscow. As a result he could not go to the country with the rest of the family, but was kept all summer in Moscow by his new duties. Dolokhov recovered, and Rostov became very friendly with him during his convalescence. Dolokhov lay ill at his mothers who loved him passionately and tenderly, and old Mary Ivanovna, who had grown fond of Rostov for his friendship to her Fedya, often talked to him about her son. "Yes, Count," she would say, "he is too noble and pure-souled for our present, depraved world. No one now loves virtue; it seems like a reproach to everyone. Now tell me, Count, was it right, was it honorable, of Bezukhov? And Fedya, with his noble spirit, loved him and even now never says a word against him. Those pranks in Petersburg when they played some tricks on a policeman, didnt they do it together? And there! Bezukhov got off scotfree, while Fedya had to bear the whole burden on his shoulders. Fancy what he had to go through! Its true he has been reinstated, but how could they fail to do that? I think there were not many such gallant sons of the fatherland out there as he. And now--this duel! Have these people no feeling, or honor? Knowing him to be an only son, to challenge him and shoot so straight! Its well God had mercy on us. And what was it for? Who doesnt have intrigues nowadays? Why, if he was so jealous, as I see things he should have shown it sooner, but he lets it go on for months. And then to call him out, reckoning on Fedya not fighting because he owed him money! What baseness! What meanness! I know you understand Fedya, my dear count; that, believe me, is why I am so fond of you. Few people do understand him. He is such a lofty, heavenly soul!" Dolokhov himself during his convalescence spoke to Rostov in a way no one would have expected of him. "I know people consider me a bad man!" he said. "Let them! I dont care a straw about anyone but those I love; but those I love, I love so that I would give my life for them, and the others Id throttle if they stood in my way. I have an adored, a priceless mother, and two or three friends--you among them--and as for the rest I only care about them in so far as they are harmful or useful. And most of them are harmful, especially the women. Yes, dear boy," he continued, "I have met loving, noble, high-minded men, but I have not yet met any women--countesses or cooks--who were not venal. I have not yet met that divine purity and devotion I look for in women. If I found such a one Id give my life for her! But those!..." and he made a gesture of contempt. "And believe me, if I still value my life it is only because I still hope to meet such a divine creature, who will regenerate, purify, and elevate me. But you dont understand it." "Oh, yes, I quite understand," answered Rostov, who was under his new friends influence. In the autumn the Rostovs returned to Moscow. Early in the winter Denisov also came back and stayed with them. The first half of the winter of 1806, which Nicholas Rostov spent in Moscow, was one of the happiest, merriest times for him and the whole family.

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