Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
do me the honor of coming to tea and to
Only Countess Helene, considering the society of such people as
the Bergs beneath her, could be cruel enough to refuse such an
invitation. Berg explained so clearly why he wanted to collect at
his house a small but select company, and why this would give him
pleasure, and why though he grudged spending money on cards or
anything harmful, he was prepared to run into some expense for the
sake of good society--that Pierre could not refuse, and promised to
"But dont be late, Count, if I may venture to ask; about ten
minutes to eight, please. We shall make up a rubber. Our general is
coming. He is very good to me. We shall have supper, Count. So you
will do me the favor."
Contrary to his habit of being late, Pierre on that day arrived at
the Bergs house, not at ten but at fifteen minutes to eight.
Having prepared everything necessary for the party, the Bergs were
ready for their guests arrival.
In their new, clean, and light study with its small busts and
pictures and new furniture sat Berg and his wife. Berg, closely
buttoned up in his new uniform, sat beside his wife explaining to
her that one always could and should be acquainted with people above
one, because only then does one get satisfaction from acquaintances.
"You can get to know something, you can ask for something. See how I
managed from my first promotion." (Berg measured his life not by years
but by promotions.) "My comrades are still nobodies, while I am only
waiting for a vacancy to command a regiment, and have the happiness to
be your husband." (He rose and kissed Veras hand, and on the way to
her straightened out a turned-up corner of the carpet.) "And how
have I obtained all this? Chiefly by knowing how to choose my
aquaintances. It goes without saying that one must be conscientious
Berg smiled with a sense of his superiority over a weak woman, and
paused, reflecting that this dear wife of his was after all but a weak
woman who could not understand all that constitutes a mans dignity,
what it was ein Mann zu sein.* Vera at the same time smiling with a
sense of superiority over her good, conscientious husband, who all the
same understood life wrongly, as according to Vera all men did.
Berg, judging by his wife, thought all women weak and foolish. Vera,
judging only by her husband and generalizing from that observation,
supposed that all men, though they understand nothing and are
conceited and selfish, ascribe common sense to themselves alone.
*To be a man.
Berg rose and embraced his wife carefully, so as not to crush her
lace fichu for which he had paid a good price, kissing her straight on
"The only thing is, we mustnt have children too soon," he
continued, following an unconscious sequence of ideas.
"Yes," answered Vera, "I dont at all want that. We must live for
"Princess Yusupova wore one exactly like this," said Berg,
pointing to the fichu with a happy and kindly smile.
Just then Count Bezukhov was announced. Husband and wife glanced
at one another, both smiling with self-satisfaction, and each mentally
claiming the honor of this visit.
"This is what comes of knowing how to make acquaintances," thought
Berg. "This is what comes of knowing how to conduct oneself."
"But please dont interrupt me when I am entertaining the guests,"
said Vera, "because I know what interests each of them and what to say
to different people."
Berg smiled again.
"It cant be helped: men must sometimes have masculine
conversation," said he.
They received Pierre in their small, new drawing-room, where it
was impossible to sit down anywhere without disturbing its symmetry,
neatness, and order; so it was quite comprehensible and not strange
that Berg, having generously offered to disturb the symmetry of an
armchair or of the sofa for his dear guest, but being apparently
painfully undecided on the matter himself, eventually left the visitor
to settle the question of selection. Pierre disturbed the symmetry
by moving a chair for himself, and Berg and Vera immediately began
their evening party, interrupting each other in their efforts to
entertain their guest.
Vera, having decided in her own mind that Pierre ought to be
entertained with conversation about the French embassy, at once
began accordingly. Berg, having decided that masculine conversation
was required, interrupted his wifes remarks and touched on the
question of the war with Austria, and unconsciously jumped from the
general subject to personal
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