Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
Peter, and he turned on the box toward his master.
"How pleasant it is, your excellency!" he said with a respectful
"Its pleasant, your excellency!"
"What is he talking about?" thought Prince Andrew. "Oh, the
spring, I suppose," he thought as he turned round. "Yes, really
everything is green already.... How early! The birches and cherry
and alders too are coming out.... But the oaks show no sign yet. Ah,
here is one oak!"
At the edge of the road stood an oak. Probably ten times the age of
the birches that formed the forest, it was ten times as thick and
twice as tall as they. It was an enormous tree, its girth twice as
great as a man could embrace, and evidently long ago some of its
branches had been broken off and its bark scarred. With its huge
ungainly limbs sprawling unsymmetrically, and its gnarled hands and
fingers, it stood an aged, stern, and scornful monster among the
smiling birch trees. Only the dead-looking evergreen firs dotted about
in the forest, and this oak, refused to yield to the charm of spring
or notice either the spring or the sunshine.
"Spring, love, happiness!" this oak seemed to say. "Are you not
weary of that stupid, meaningless, constantly repeated fraud? Always
the same and always a fraud? There is no spring, no sun, no happiness!
Look at those cramped dead firs, ever the same, and at me too,
sticking out my broken and barked fingers just where they have
grown, whether from my back or my sides: as they have grown so I
stand, and I do not believe in your hopes and your lies."
As he passed through the forest Prince Andrew turned several times
to look at that oak, as if expecting something from it. Under the oak,
too, were flowers and grass, but it stood among them scowling,
rigid, misshapen, and grim as ever.
"Yes, the oak is right, a thousand times right," thought Prince
Andrew. "Let others--the young--yield afresh to that fraud, but we
know life, our life is finished!"
A whole sequence of new thoughts, hopeless but mournfully
pleasant, rose in his soul in connection with that tree. During this
journey he, as it were, considered his life afresh and arrived at
his old conclusion, restful in its hopelessness: that it was not for
him to begin anything anew--but that he must live out his life,
content to do no harm, and not disturbing himself or desiring
Prince Andrew had to see the Marshal of the Nobility for the
district in connection with the affairs of the Ryazan estate of
which he was trustee. This Marshal was Count Ilya Rostov, and in the
middle of May Prince Andrew went to visit him.
It was now hot spring weather. The whole forest was already
clothed in green. It was dusty and so hot that on passing near water
one longed to bathe.
Prince Andrew, depressed and preoccupied with the business about
which he had to speak to the Marshal, was driving up the avenue in the
grounds of the Rostovs house at Otradnoe. He heard merry girlish
cries behind some trees on the right and saw a group of girls running to
cross the path of his caleche. Ahead of the rest and nearer to him ran
a dark-haired, remarkably slim, pretty girl in a yellow chintz
dress, with a white handkerchief on her head from under which loose
locks of hair escaped. The girl was shouting something but, seeing
that he was a stranger, ran back laughing without looking at him.
Suddenly, he did not know why, he felt a pang. The day was so
beautiful, the sun so bright, everything around so gay, but that slim
pretty girl did not know, or wish to know, of his existence and was
contented and cheerful in her own separate--probably foolish--but
bright and happy life. "What is she so glad about? What is she
thinking of? Not of the military regulations or of the arrangement of
the Ryazan serfs quitrents. Of what is she thinking? Why is she so
happy?" Prince Andrew asked himself with instinctive curiosity.
In 1809 Count Ilya Rostov was living at Otradnoe just as he had done
in former years, that is, entertaining almost the whole province
with hunts, theatricals, dinners, and music. He was glad to see Prince
Andrew, as he was to see any new visitor, and insisted on his
staying the night.
During the dull day, in the course of which he was entertained by
his elderly hosts and by the more important
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