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War And Peace 248


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of the visitors (the old counts house was crowded on account of an approaching name day), Prince Andrew repeatedly glanced at Natasha, gay and laughing among the younger members of the company, and asked himself each time, "What is she thinking about? Why is she so glad?" That night, alone in new surroundings, he was long unable to sleep. He read awhile and then put out his candle, but relit it. It was hot in the room, the inside shutters of which were closed. He was cross with the stupid old man (as he called Rostov), who had made him stay by assuring him that some necessary documents had not yet arrived from town, and he was vexed with himself for having stayed. He got up and went to the window to open it. As soon as he opened the shutters the moonlight, as if it had long been watching for this, burst into the room. He opened the casement. The night was fresh, bright, and very still. Just before the window was a row of pollard trees, looking black on one side and with a silvery light on the other. Beneath the trees grewsome kind of lush, wet, bushy vegetation with silver-lit leaves and stems here and there. Farther back beyond the dark trees a roof glittered with dew, to the right was a leafy tree with brilliantly white trunk and branches, and above it shone the moon, nearly at its full, in a pale, almost starless, spring sky. Prince Andrew leaned his elbows on the window ledge and his eyes rested on that sky. His room was on the first floor. Those in the rooms above were also awake. He heard female voices overhead. "Just once more," said a girlish voice above him which Prince Andrew recognized at once. "But when are you coming to bed?" replied another voice. "I wont, I cant sleep, whats the use? Come now for the last time." Two girlish voices sang a musical passage--the end of some song. "Oh, how lovely! Now go to sleep, and theres an end of it." "You go to sleep, but I cant," said the first voice, coming nearer to the window. She was evidently leaning right out, for the rustle of her dress and even her breathing could be heard. Everything was stone-still, like the moon and its light and the shadows. Prince Andrew, too, dared not stir, for fear of betraying his unintentional presence. "Sonya! Sonya!" he again heard the first speaker. "Oh, how can you sleep? Only look how glorious it is! Ah, how glorious! Do wake up, Sonya!" she said almost with tears in her voice. "There never, never was such a lovely night before!" Sonya made some reluctant reply. "Do just come and see what a moon!... Oh, how lovely! Come here.... Darling, sweetheart, come here! There, you see? I feel like sitting down on my heels, putting my arms round my knees like this, straining tight, as tight as possible, and flying away! Like this...." "Take care, youll fall out." He heard the sound of a scuffle and Sonyas disapproving voice: "Its past one oclock." "Oh, you only spoil things for me. All right, go, go!" Again all was silent, but Prince Andrew knew she was still sitting there. From time to time he heard a soft rustle and at times a sigh. "O God, O God! What does it mean?" she suddenly exclaimed. "To bed then, if it must be!" and she slammed the casement. "For her I might as well not exist!" thought Prince Andrew while he listened to her voice, for some reason expecting yet fearing that she might say something about him. "There she is again! As if it were on purpose," thought he. In his soul there suddenly arose such an unexpected turmoil of youthful thoughts and hopes, contrary to the whole tenor of his life, that unable to explain his condition to himself he lay down and fell asleep at once. CHAPTER III Next morning, having taken leave of no one but the count, and not waiting for the ladies to appear, Prince Andrew set off for home. It was already the beginning of June when on his return journey he drove into the birch forest where the gnarled old oak had made so strange and memorable an impression on him. In the forest the harness bells sounded yet more muffled than they had done six weeks before, for now all was thick, shady, and dense, and the young firs dotted about in the forest did not jar on the general beauty but, lending themselves to the

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