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a widow without means and with a son you love to distraction! One learns many things then," she added with a certain pride. "That lawsuit taught me much. When I want to see one of those big people I write a note: Princess So-and-So desires an interview with So and-So, and then I take a cab and go myself two, three, or four times--till I get what I want. I dont mind what they think of me." "Well, and to whom did you apply about Bory?" asked the countess. "You see yours is already an officer in the Guards, while my Nicholas is going as a cadet. Theres no one to interest himself for him. To whom did you apply?" "To Prince Vasili. He was so kind. He at once agreed to everything, and put the matter before the Emperor," said Princess Anna Mikhaylovna enthusiastically, quite forgetting all the humiliation she had endured to gain her end. "Has Prince Vasili aged much?" asked the countess. "I have not seen him since we acted together at the Rumyantsovs theatricals. I expect he has forgotten me. He paid me attentions in those days," said the countess, with a smile. "He is just the same as ever," replied Anna Mikhaylovna, "overflowing with amiability. His position has not turned his head at all. He said to me, I am sorry I can do so little for you, dear Princess. I am at your command. Yes, he is a fine fellow and a very kind relation. But, Nataly, you know my love for my son: I would do anything for his happiness! And my affairs are in such a bad way that my position is now a terrible one," continued Anna Mikhaylovna, sadly, dropping her voice. "My wretched lawsuit takes all I have and makes no progress. Would you believe it, I have literally not a penny and dont know how to equip Boris." She took out her handkerchief and began to cry. "I need five hundred rubles, and have only one twenty-five-ruble note. I am in such a state.... My only hope now is in Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov. If he will not assist his godson--you know he is Borys godfather--and allow him something for his maintenance, all my trouble will have been thrown away.... I shall not be able to equip him." The countess eyes filled with tears and she pondered in silence. "I often think, though, perhaps its a sin," said the princess, "that here lives Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov so rich, all alone... that tremendous fortune... and what is his life worth? Its a burden to him, and Borys life is only just beginning...." "Surely he will leave something to Boris," said the countess. "Heaven only knows, my dear! These rich grandees are so selfish. Still, I will take Boris and go to see him at once, and I shall speak to him straight out. Let people think what they will of me, its really all the same to me when my sons fate is at stake." The princess rose. "Its now two oclock and you dine at four. There will just be time." And like a practical Petersburg lady who knows how to make the most of time, Anna Mikhaylovna sent someone to call her son, and went into the anteroom with him. "Good-by, my dear," said she to the countess who saw her to the door, and added in a whisper so that her son should not hear, "Wish me good luck." "Are you going to Count Cyril Vladimirovich, my dear?" said the count coming out from the dining hall into the anteroom, and he added: "If he is better, ask Pierre to dine with us. He has been to the house, you know, and danced with the children. Be sure to invite him, my dear. We will see how Taras distinguishes himself today. He says Count Orlov never gave such a dinner as ours will be!"
CHAPTER XV
"My dear Boris," said Princess Anna Mikhaylovna to her son as Countess Rostovas carriage in which they were seated drove over the straw covered street and turned into the wide courtyard of Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhovs house. "My dear Boris," said the mother, drawing her hand from beneath her old mantle and laying it timidly and tenderly on her sons arm, "be affectionate and attentive to him. Count Cyril Vladimirovich is your godfather after all, your future depends on him. Remember that, my dear, and be nice to him, as you so well know how to be." "If only I knew that anything besides humiliation would come

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