Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
was heard from the other side of the door, and the
officer--with pale face and trembling lips--came out and passed
through the waiting room, clutching his head.
After this Prince Andrew was conducted to the door and the officer
on duty said in a whisper, "To the right, at the window."
Prince Andrew entered a plain tidy room and saw at the table a man
of forty with a long waist, a long closely cropped head, deep
wrinkles, scowling brows above dull greenish-hazel eyes and an
overhanging red nose. Arakcheev turned his head toward him without
looking at him.
"What is your petition?" asked Arakcheev.
"I am not petitioning, your excellency," returned Prince Andrew
Arakcheevs eyes turned toward him.
"Sit down," said he. "Prince Bolkonski?"
"I am not petitioning about anything. His Majesty the Emperor has
deigned to send your excellency a project submitted by me..."
"You see, my dear sir, I have read your project," interrupted
Arakcheev, uttering only the first words amiably and then--again
without looking at Prince Andrew--relapsing gradually into a tone of
grumbling contempt. "You are proposing new military laws? There are
many laws but no one to carry out the old ones. Nowadays everybody
designs laws, it is easier writing than doing."
"I came at His Majesty the Emperors wish to learn from your
excellency how you propose to deal with the memorandum I have
presented," said Prince Andrew politely.
"I have endorsed a resolution on your memorandum and sent it to
the committee. I do not approve of it," said Arakcheev, rising and
taking a paper from his writing table. "Here!" and he handed it to
Across the paper was scrawled in pencil, without capital letters,
misspelled, and without punctuation: "Unsoundly constructed because
resembles an imitation of the French military code and from the
Articles of War needlessly deviating."
"To what committee has the memorandum been referred?" inquired
"To the Committee on Army Regulations, and I have recommended that
your honor should be appointed a member, but without a salary."
Prince Andrew smiled.
"I dont want one."
"A member without salary," repeated Arakcheev. "I have the
honor... Eh! Call the next one! Who else is there?" he shouted, bowing
to Prince Andrew.
While waiting for the announcement of his appointment to the
committee Prince Andrew looked up his former acquaintances,
particularly those he knew to be in power and whose aid he might need.
In Petersburg he now experienced the same feeling he had had on the
eve of a battle, when troubled by anxious curiosity and irresistibly
attracted to the ruling circles where the future, on which the fate of
millions depended, was being shaped. From the irritation of the
older men, the curiosity of the uninitiated, the reserve of the
initiated, the hurry and preoccupation of everyone, and the
innumerable committees and commissions of whose existence he learned
every day, he felt that now, in 1809, here in Petersburg a vast
civil conflict was in preparation, the commander in chief of which was
a mysterious person he did not know, but who was supposed to be a
man of genius--Speranski. And this movement of reconstruction of which
Prince Andrew had a vague idea, and Speranski its chief promoter,
began to interest him so keenly that the question of the army
regulations quickly receded to a secondary place in his consciousness.
Prince Andrew was most favorably placed to secure good reception
in the highest and most diverse Petersburg circles of the day. The
reforming party cordially welcomed and courted him, in the first place
because he was reputed to be clever and very well read, and secondly
because by liberating his serfs he had obtained the reputation of
being a liberal. The party of the old and dissatisfied, who censured
the innovations, turned to him expecting his sympathy in their
disapproval of the reforms, simply because he was the son of his
father. The feminine society world welcomed him gladly, because he was
rich, distinguished, a good match, and almost a newcomer, with a
halo of romance on account of his supposed death and the tragic loss
of his wife. Besides this the general opinion of all who had known him
previously was that he had greatly improved during these last five
years, having softened and grown more manly, lost his former
affectation, pride, and contemptuous irony, and acquired the
serenity that comes with years. People talked about him, were
interested in him, and wanted to meet him.
The day after his interview with Count Arakcheev, Prince Andrew
spent the evening at Count Kochubeys. He told the count of his
interview with Sila Andreevich (Kochubey spoke
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