Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
recognized her without looking and held out his
hand to her. She pressed it.
"He has perspired," said Prince Andrew.
"I was coming to tell you so."
The child moved slightly in his sleep, smiled, and rubbed his
forehead against the pillow.
Prince Andrew looked at his sister. In the dim shadow of the curtain
her luminous eyes shone more brightly than usual from the tears of joy
that were in them. She leaned over to her brother and kissed him,
slightly catching the curtain of the cot. Each made the other a
warning gesture and stood still in the dim light beneath the curtain
as if not wishing to leave that seclusion where they three were shut
off from all the world. Prince Andrew was the first to move away,
ruffling his hair against the muslin of the curtain.
"Yes, this is the one thing left me now," he said with a sigh.
Soon after his admission to the Masonic Brotherhood, Pierre went
to the Kiev province, where he had the greatest number of serfs,
taking with him full directions which he had written down for his
own guidance as to what he should do on his estates.
When he reached Kiev he sent for all his stewards to the head office
and explained to them his intentions and wishes. He told them that
steps would be taken immediately to free his serfs--and that till then
they were not to be overburdened with labor, women while nursing their
babies were not to be sent to work, assistance was to be given to
the serfs, punishments were to be admonitory and not corporal, and
hospitals, asylums, and schools were to be established on all the
estates. Some of the stewards (there were semiliterate foremen among
them) listened with alarm, supposing these words to mean that the
young count was displeased with their management and embezzlement of
money, some after their first fright were amused by Pierres lisp
and the new words they had not heard before, others simply enjoyed
hearing how the master talked, while the cleverest among them,
including the chief steward, understood from this speech how they
could best handle the master for their own ends.
The chief steward expressed great sympathy with Pierres intentions,
but remarked that besides these changes it would be necessary to go
into the general state of affairs which was far from satisfactory.
Despite Count Bezukhovs enormous wealth, since he had come into
an income which was said to amount to five hundred thousand rubles a
year, Pierre felt himself far poorer than when his father had made him
an allowance of ten thousand rubles. He had a dim perception of the
About 80,000 went in payments on all the estates to the Land Bank,
about 30,000 went for the upkeep of the estate near Moscow, the town
house, and the allowance to the three princesses; about 15,000 was
given in pensions and the same amount for asylums; 150,000 alimony was
sent to the countess; about 70,000 went for interest on debts. The
building of a new church, previously begun, had cost about 10,000 in
each of the last two years, and he did not know how the rest, about
100,000 rubles, was spent, and almost every year he was obliged to
borrow. Besides this the chief steward wrote every year telling him of
fires and bad harvests, or of the necessity of rebuilding factories
and workshops. So the first task Pierre had to face was one for
which he had very little aptitude or inclination--practical business.
He discussed estate affairs every day with his chief steward. But he
felt that this did not forward matters at all. He felt that these
consultations were detached from real affairs and did not link up with
them or make them move. On the one hand, the chief steward put the
state of things to him in the very worst light, pointing out the
necessity of paying off the debts and undertaking new activities
with serf labor, to which Pierre did not agree. On the other hand,
Pierre demanded that steps should be taken to liberate the serfs,
which the steward met by showing the necessity of first paying off the
loans from the Land Bank, and the consequent impossibility of a speedy
The steward did not say it was quite impossible, but suggested
selling the forests in the province of Kostroma, the land lower down
the river, and the Crimean estate, in order to make it possible: all
of which operations according to him were connected with such
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