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War And Peace 230


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woman." *[2] "For heavens sake." It was evident that Prince Andrews ironical tone toward the pilgrims and Princess Marys helpless attempts to protect them were their customary long-established relations on the matter. "Mais, ma bonne amie," said Prince Andrew, "vous devriez au contraire metre reconnaissante de ce que jexplique a Pierre votre intimite avec ce jeune homme."* *"But, my dear, you ought on the contrary to be grateful to me for explaining to Pierre your intimacy with this young man." "Really?" said Pierre, gazing over his spectacles with curiosity and seriousness (for which Princess Mary was specially grateful to him) into Ivanushkas face, who, seeing that she was being spoken about, looked round at them all with crafty eyes. Princess Marys embarrassment on her peoples account was quite unnecessary. They were not in the least abashed. The old woman, lowering her eyes but casting side glances at the newcomers, had turned her cup upside down and placed a nibbled bit of sugar beside it, and sat quietly in her armchair, though hoping to be offered another cup of tea. Ivanushka, sipping out of her saucer, looked with sly womanish eyes from under her brows at the young men. "Where have you been? To Kiev?" Prince Andrew asked the old woman. "I have, good sir," she answered garrulously. "Just at Christmastime I was deemed worthy to partake of the holy and heavenly sacrament at the shrine of the saint. And now Im from Kolyazin, master, where a great and wonderful blessing has been revealed." "And was Ivanushka with you?" "I go by myself, benefactor," said Ivanushka, trying to speak in a bass voice. "I only came across Pelageya in Yukhnovo..." Pelageya interrupted her companion; she evidently wished to tell what she had seen. "In Kolyazin, master, a wonderful blessing has been revealed." "What is it? Some new relics?" asked Prince Andrew. "Andrew, do leave off," said Princess Mary. "Dont tell him, Pelageya." "No... why not, my dear, why shouldnt I? I like him. He is kind, he is one of Gods chosen, hes a benefactor, he once gave me ten rubles, I remember. When I was in Kiev, Crazy Cyril says to me (hes one of Gods own and goes barefoot summer and winter), he says, Why are you not going to the right place? Go to Kolyazin where a wonder-working icon of the Holy Mother of God has been revealed. On hearing those words I said good-by to the holy folk and went." All were silent, only the pilgrim woman went on in measured tones, drawing in her breath. "So I come, master, and the people say to me: A great blessing has been revealed, holy oil trickles from the cheeks of our blessed Mother, the Holy Virgin Mother of God...." "All right, all right, you can tell us afterwards," said Princess Mary, flushing. "Let me ask her," said Pierre. "Did you see it yourselves?" he inquired. "Oh, yes, master, I was found worthy. Such a brightness on the face like the light of heaven, and from the blessed Mothers cheek it drops and drops...." "But, dear me, that must be a fraud!" said Pierre, naively, who had listened attentively to the pilgrim. "Oh, master, what are you saying?" exclaimed the horrified Pelageya, turning to Princess Mary for support. "They impose on the people," he repeated. "Lord Jesus Christ!" exclaimed the pilgrim woman, crossing herself. "Oh, dont speak so, master! There was a general who did not believe, and said, The monks cheat, and as soon as hed said it he went blind. And he dreamed that the Holy Virgin Mother of the Kiev catacombs came to him and said, Believe in me and I will make you whole. So he begged: Take me to her, take me to her. Its the real truth Im telling you, I saw it myself. So he was brought, quite blind, straight to her, and he goes up to her and falls down and says, Make me whole, says he, and Ill give thee what the Tsar bestowed on me. I saw it myself, master, the star is fixed into the icon. Well, and what do you think? He received his sight! Its a sin to speak so. God will punish you," she said admonishingly, turning to Pierre. "How did the star get into the icon?" Pierre asked. "And was the Holy Mother promoted to the rank of general?" said Prince Andrew, with a smile. Pelageya suddenly grew quite pale and clasped her hands. "Oh, master, master, what a sin! And you who have a son!" she began, her pallor suddenly turning to a vivid red. "Master, what have you said? God

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