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War And Peace 241

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War And Peace

criminal. Quite lately, happening to meet a wounded French colonel on the road, Rostov had maintained with heat that peace was impossible between a legitimate sovereign and the criminal Bonaparte. Rostov was therefore unpleasantly struck by the presence of French officers in Boris lodging, dressed in uniforms he had been accustomed to see from quite a different point of view from the outposts of the flank. As soon as he noticed a French officer, who thrust his head out of the door, that warlike feeling of hostility which he always experienced at the sight of the enemy suddenly seized him. He stopped at the threshold and asked in Russian whether Drubetskoy lived there. Boris, hearing a strange voice in the anteroom, came out to meet him. An expression of annoyance showed itself for a moment on his face on first recognizing Rostov. "Ah, its you? Very glad, very glad to see you," he said, however, coming toward him with a smile. But Rostov had noticed his first impulse. "Ive come at a bad time I think. I should not have come, but I have business," he said coldly. "No, I only wonder how you managed to get away from your regiment. Dans un moment je suis a vous,"* he said, answering someone who called him. *"In a minute I shall be at your disposal." "I see Im intruding," Rostov repeated. The look of annoyance had already disappeared from Boris face: having evidently reflected and decided how to act, he very quietly took both Rostovs hands and led him into the next room. His eyes, looking serenely and steadily at Rostov, seemed to be veiled by something, as if screened by blue spectacles of conventionality. So it seemed to Rostov. "Oh, come now! As if you could come at a wrong time!" said Boris, and he led him into the room where the supper table was laid and introduced him to his guests, explaining that he was not a civilian, but an hussar officer, and an old friend of his. "Count Zhilinski--le Comte N. N.--le Capitaine S. S.," said he, naming his guests. Rostov looked frowningly at the Frenchmen, bowed reluctantly, and remained silent. Zhilinski evidently did not receive this new Russian person very willingly into his circle and did not speak to Rostov. Boris did not appear to notice the constraint the newcomer produced and, with the same pleasant composure and the same veiled look in his eyes with which he had met Rostov, tried to enliven the conversation. One of the Frenchmen, with the politeness characteristic of his countrymen, addressed the obstinately taciturn Rostov, saying that the latter had probably come to Tilsit to see the Emperor. "No, I came on business," replied Rostov, briefly. Rostov had been out of humor from the moment he noticed the look of dissatisfaction on Boris face, and as always happens to those in a bad humor, it seemed to him that everyone regarded him with aversion and that he was in everybodys way. He really was in their way, for he alone took no part in the conversation which again became general. The looks the visitors cast on him seemed to say: "And what is he sitting here for?" He rose and went up to Boris. "Anyhow, Im in your way," he said in a low tone. "Come and talk over my business and Ill go away." "Oh, no, not at all," said Boris. "But if you are tired, come and lie down in my room and have a rest." "Yes, really..." They went into the little room where Boris slept. Rostov, without sitting down, began at once, irritably (as if Boris were to blame in some way) telling him about Denisovs affair, asking him whether, through his general, he could and would intercede with the Emperor on Denisovs behalf and get Denisovs petition handed in. When he and Boris were alone, Rostov felt for the first time that he could not look Boris in the face without a sense of awkwardness. Boris, with one leg crossed over the other and stroking his left hand with the slender fingers of his right, listened to Rostov as a general listens to the report of a subordinate, now looking aside and now gazing straight into Rostovs eyes with the same veiled look. Each time this happened Rostov felt uncomfortable and cast down his eyes. "I have heard of such cases and know that His Majesty is very severe in such affairs. I think it would be best not to bring it before the Emperor, but to apply to the commander of the corps.... But in general, I

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