Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
Elisaveta, all our hearts you ravish quite..." The Emperor passed on
to the drawing room, the crowd made a rush for the doors, and
several persons with excited faces hurried there and back again.
Then the crowd hastily retired from the drawing-room door, at which
the Emperor reappeared talking to the hostess. A young man, looking
distraught, pounced down on the ladies, asking them to move aside.
Some ladies, with faces betraying complete forgetfulness of all the
rules of decorum, pushed forward to the detriment of their toilets.
The men began to choose partners and take their places for the
Everyone moved back, and the Emperor came smiling out of the drawing
room leading his hostess by the hand but not keeping time to the
music. The host followed with Marya Antonovna Naryshkina; then came
ambassadors, ministers, and various generals, whom Peronskaya
diligently named. More than half the ladies already had partners and
were taking up, or preparing to take up, their positions for the
polonaise. Natasha felt that she would be left with her mother and
Sonya among a minority of women who crowded near the wall, not
having been invited to dance. She stood with her slender arms
hanging down, her scarcely defined bosom rising and falling regularly,
and with bated breath and glittering, frightened eyes gazed straight
before her, evidently prepared for the height of joy or misery. She
was not concerned about the Emperor or any of those great people
whom Peronskaya was pointing out--she had but one thought: "Is it
possible no one will ask me, that I shall not be among the first to
dance? Is it possible that not one of all these men will notice me?
They do not even seem to see me, or if they do they look as if they
were saying, Ah, shes not the one Im after, so its not worth
looking at her! No, its impossible," she thought. "They must know
how I long to dance, how splendidly I dance, and how they would
enjoy dancing with me."
The strains of the polonaise, which had continued for a considerable
time, had begun to sound like a sad reminiscence to Natashas ears.
She wanted to cry. Peronskaya had left them. The count was at the
other end of the room. She and the countess and Sonya were standing by
themselves as in the depths of a forest amid that crowd of
strangers, with no one interested in them and not wanted by anyone.
Prince Andrew with a lady passed by, evidently not recognizing them.
The handsome Anatole was smilingly talking to a partner on his arm and
looked at Natasha as one looks at a wall. Boris passed them twice
and each time turned away. Berg and his wife, who were not dancing,
came up to them.
This family gathering seemed humiliating to Natasha--as if there
were nowhere else for the family to talk but here at the ball. She did
not listen to or look at Vera, who was telling her something about her
own green dress.
At last the Emperor stopped beside his last partner (he had danced
with three) and the music ceased. A worried aide-de-camp ran up to the
Rostovs requesting them to stand farther back, though as it was they
were already close to the wall, and from the gallery resounded the
distinct, precise, enticingly rhythmical strains of a waltz. The
Emperor looked smilingly down the room. A minute passed but no one had
yet begun dancing. An aide-de-camp, the Master of Ceremonies, went
up to Countess Bezukhova and asked her to dance. She smilingly
raised her hand and laid it on his shoulder without looking at him.
The aide-de-camp, an adept in his art, grasping his partner firmly
round her waist, with confident deliberation started smoothly, gliding
first round the edge of the circle, then at the corner of the room
he caught Helenes left hand and turned her, the only sound audible,
apart from the ever-quickening music, being the rhythmic click of
the spurs on his rapid, agile feet, while at every third beat his
partners velvet dress spread out and seemed to flash as she whirled
round. Natasha gazed at them and was ready to cry because it was not
she who was dancing that first turn of the waltz.
Prince Andrew, in the white uniform of a cavalry colonel, wearing
stockings and dancing shoes, stood looking animated and bright in
the front row of the circle not far from the Rostovs. Baron Firhoff
was talking to him about the first sitting of the
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