Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
her every day, and
yet he continued to spend whole days with the Rostovs.
One night when the old countess, in nightcap and dressing jacket,
without her false curls, and with her poor little knob of hair showing
under her white cotton cap, knelt sighing and groaning on a rug and
bowing to the ground in prayer, her door creaked and Natasha, also
in a dressing jacket with slippers on her bare feet and her hair in
curlpapers, ran in. The countess--her prayerful mood dispelled--looked
round and frowned. She was finishing her last prayer: "Can it be
that this couch will be my grave?" Natasha, flushed and eager,
seeing her mother in prayer, suddenly checked her rush, half sat down,
and unconsciously put out her tongue as if chiding herself. Seeing
that her mother was still praying she ran on tiptoe to the bed and,
rapidly slipping one little foot against the other, pushed off her
slippers and jumped onto the bed the countess had feared might
become her grave. This couch was high, with a feather bed and five
pillows each smaller than the one below. Natasha jumped on it, sank
into the feather bed, rolled over to the wall, and began snuggling
up the bedclothes as she settled down, raising her knees to her
chin, kicking out and laughing almost inaudibly, now covering
herself up head and all, and now peeping at her mother. The countess
finished her prayers and came to the bed with a stern face, but
seeing, that Natashas head was covered, she smiled in her kind,
"Now then, now then!" said she.
"Mamma, can we have a talk? Yes?" said Natasha. "Now, just one on
your throat and another... thatll do!" And seizing her mother round
the neck, she kissed her on the throat. In her behavior to her
mother Natasha seemed rough, but she was so sensitive and tactful that
however she clasped her mother she always managed to do it without
hurting her or making her feel uncomfortable or displeased.
"Well, what is it tonight?" said the mother, having arranged her
pillows and waited until Natasha, after turning over a couple of
times, had settled down beside her under the quilt, spread out her
arms, and assumed a serious expression.
These visits of Natashas at night before the count returned from
his club were one of the greatest pleasures of both mother, and
"What is it tonight?--But I have to tell you..."
Natasha put her hand on her mothers mouth.
"About Boris... I know," she said seriously; "thats what I have
come about. Dont say it--I know. No, do tell me!" and she removed her
hand. "Tell me, Mamma! Hes nice?"
"Natasha, you are sixteen. At your age I was married. You say
Boris is nice. He is very nice, and I love him like a son. But what
then?... What are you thinking about? You have quite turned his
head, I can see that...."
As she said this the countess looked round at her daughter.
Natasha was lying looking steadily straight before her at one of the
mahogany sphinxes carved on the corners of the bedstead, so that the
countess only saw her daughters face in profile. That face struck her
by its peculiarly serious and concentrated expression.
Natasha was listening and considering.
"Well, what then?" said she.
"You have quite turned his head, and why? What do you want of him?
You know you cant marry him."
"Why not?" said Natasha, without changing her position.
"Because he is young, because he is poor, because he is a
relation... and because you yourself dont love him."
"How do you know?"
"I know. It is not right, darling!"
"But if I want to..." said Natasha.
"Leave off talking nonsense," said the countess.
"But if I want to..."
"Natasha, I am in earnest..."
Natasha did not let her finish. She drew the countess large hand to
her, kissed it on the back and then on the palm, then again turned
it over and began kissing first one knuckle, then the space between
the knuckles, then the next knuckle, whispering, "January, February,
March, April, May. Speak, Mamma, why dont you say anything? Speak!"
said she, turning to her mother, who was tenderly gazing at her
daughter and in that contemplation seemed to have forgotten all she
had wished to say.
"It wont do, my love! Not everyone will understand this
friendship dating from your childish days, and to see him so
intimate with you may injure you in the eyes of other young men who
visit us, and above all it torments him for nothing.
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