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War And Peace 231

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War And Peace

forgive you!" And she crossed herself. "Lord forgive him! My dear, what does it mean?..." she asked, turning to Princess Mary. She got up and, almost crying, began to arrange her wallet. She evidently felt frightened and ashamed to have accepted charity in a house where such things could be said, and was at the same time sorry to have now to forgo the charity of this house. "Now, why need you do it?" said Princess Mary. "Why did you come to me?..." "Come, Pelageya, I was joking," said Pierre. "Princesse, ma parole, je nai pas voulu loffenser.* I did not mean anything, I was only joking," he said, smiling shyly and trying to efface his offense. "It was all my fault, and Andrew was only joking." *"Princess, on my word, I did not wish to offend her." Pelageya stopped doubtfully, but in Pierres face there was such a look of sincere penitence, and Prince Andrew glanced so meekly now at her and now at Pierre, that she was gradually reassured. CHAPTER XIV The pilgrim woman was appeased and, being encouraged to talk, gave a long account of Father Amphilochus, who led so holy a life that his hands smelled of incense, and how on her last visit to Kiev some monks she knew let her have the keys of the catacombs, and how she, taking some dried bread with her, had spent two days in the catacombs with the saints. "Id pray awhile to one, ponder awhile, then go on to another. Id sleep a bit and then again go and kiss the relics, and there was such peace all around, such blessedness, that one dont want to come out, even into the light of heaven again." Pierre listened to her attentively and seriously. Prince Andrew went out of the room, and then, leaving "Gods folk" to finish their tea, Princess Mary took Pierre into the drawing room. "You are very kind," she said to him. "Oh, I really did not mean to hurt her feelings. I understand them so well and have the greatest respect for them." Princess Mary looked at him silently and smiled affectionately. "I have known you a long time, you see, and am as fond of you as of a brother," she said. "How do you find Andrew?" she added hurriedly, not giving him time to reply to her affectionate words. "I am very anxious about him. His health was better in the winter, but last spring his wound reopened and the doctor said he ought to go away for a cure. And I am also very much afraid for him spiritually. He has not a character like us women who, when we suffer, can weep away our sorrows. He keeps it all within him. Today he is cheerful and in good spirits, but that is the effect of your visit--he is not often like that. If you could persuade him to go abroad. He needs activity, and this quiet regular life is very bad for him. Others dont notice it, but I see it." Toward ten oclock the men servants rushed to the front door, hearing the bells of the old princes carriage approaching. Prince Andrew and Pierre also went out into the porch. "Whos that?" asked the old prince, noticing Pierre as he got out of the carriage. "Ah! Very glad! Kiss me," he said, having learned who the young stranger was. The old prince was in a good temper and very gracious to Pierre. Before supper, Prince Andrew, coming back to his fathers study, found him disputing hotly with his visitor. Pierre was maintaining that a time would come when there would be no more wars. The old prince disputed it chaffingly, but without getting angry. "Drain the blood from mens veins and put in water instead, then there will be no more war! Old womens nonsense--old womens nonsense!" he repeated, but still he patted Pierre affectionately on the shoulder, and then went up to the table where Prince Andrew, evidently not wishing to join in the conversation, was looking over the papers his father had brought from town. The old prince went up to him and began to talk business. "The marshal, a Count Rostov, hasnt sent half his contingent. He came to town and wanted to invite me to dinner--I gave him a pretty dinner!... And there, look at this.... Well, my boy," the old prince went on, addressing his son and patting Pierre on the shoulder. "A fine fellow--your friend--I like him! He stirs me up. Another says clever things and one doesnt care to listen, but

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