Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
The young man, flattered, sat down nearer to her with a coquettish
smile, and engaged the smiling Julie in a confidential conversation
without at all noticing that his involuntary smile had stabbed the
heart of Sonya, who blushed and smiled unnaturally. In the midst of
his talk he glanced round at her. She gave him a passionately angry
glance, and hardly able to restrain her tears and maintain the
artificial smile on her lips, she got up and left the room. All
Nicholas animation vanished. He waited for the first pause in the
conversation, and then with a distressed face left the room to find
"How plainly all these young people wear their hearts on their
sleeves!" said Anna Mikhaylovna, pointing to Nicholas as he went
out. "Cousinage--dangereux voisinage;"* she added.
*Cousinhood is a dangerous neighborhood.
"Yes," said the countess when the brightness these young people
had brought into the room had vanished; and as if answering a question
no one had put but which was always in her mind, "and how much
suffering, how much anxiety one has had to go through that we might
rejoice in them now! And yet really the anxiety is greater now than
the joy. One is always, always anxious! Especially just at this age,
so dangerous both for girls and boys."
"It all depends on the bringing up," remarked the visitor.
"Yes, youre quite right," continued the countess. "Till now I
have always, thank God, been my childrens friend and had their full
confidence," said she, repeating the mistake of so many parents who
imagine that their children have no secrets from them. "I know I shall
always be my daughters first confidante, and that if Nicholas, with
his impulsive nature, does get into mischief (a boy cant help it), he
will all the same never be like those Petersburg young men."
"Yes, they are splendid, splendid youngsters," chimed in the
count, who always solved questions that seemed to him perplexing by
deciding that everything was splendid. "Just fancy: wants to be an
hussar. Whats one to do, my dear?"
"What a charming creature your younger girl is," said the visitor;
"a little volcano!"
"Yes, a regular volcano," said the count. "Takes after me! And
what a voice she has; though shes my daughter, I tell the truth
when I say shell be a singer, a second Salomoni! We have engaged an
Italian to give her lessons."
"Isnt she too young? I have heard that it harms the voice to
train it at that age."
"Oh no, not at all too young!" replied the count. "Why, our
mothers used to be married at twelve or thirteen."
"And shes in love with Boris already. Just fancy!" said the
countess with a gentle smile, looking at Boris and went on, evidently
concerned with a thought that always occupied her: "Now you see if I
were to be severe with her and to forbid it... goodness knows what
they might be up to on the sly" (she meant that they would be
kissing), "but as it is, I know every word she utters. She will come
running to me of her own accord in the evening and tell me everything.
Perhaps I spoil her, but really that seems the best plan. With her
elder sister I was stricter."
"Yes, I was brought up quite differently," remarked the handsome
elder daughter, Countess Vera, with a smile.
But the smile did not enhance Veras beauty as smiles generally do; on
the contrary it gave her an unnatural, and therefore unpleasant,
expression. Vera was good-looking, not at all stupid, quick at
learning, was well brought up, and had a pleasant voice; what she said
was true and appropriate, yet, strange to say, everyone--the visitors
and countess alike--turned to look at her as if wondering why she had
said it, and they all felt awkward.
"People are always too clever with their eldest children and try
to make something exceptional of them," said the visitor.
"Whats the good of denying it, my dear? Our dear countess was too
clever with Vera," said the count. "Well, what of that? Shes turned
out splendidly all the same," he added, winking at Vera.
The guests got up and took their leave, promising to return to
"What manners! I thought they would never go," said the countess,
when she had seen her guests out.
When Natasha ran out of the drawing room she only went as far as the
conservatory. There she paused and stood listening to the conversation
in the drawing room, waiting for Boris to come out. She was
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