Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
considerations as to the proposals made
him to take part in the Austrian campaign and the reasons why he had
declined them. Though the conversation was very incoherent and Vera
was angry at the intrusion of the masculine element, both husband
and wife felt with satisfaction that, even if only one guest was
present, their evening had begun very well and was as like as two peas
to every other evening party with its talk, tea, and lighted candles.
Before long Boris, Bergs old comrade, arrived. There was a shade of
condescension and patronage in his treatment of Berg and Vera. After
Boris came a lady with the colonel, then the general himself, then the
Rostovs, and the party became unquestionably exactly like all other
evening parties. Berg and Vera could not repress their smiles of
satisfaction at the sight of all this movement in their drawing
room, at the sound of the disconnected talk, the rustling of
dresses, and the bowing and scraping. Everything was just as everybody
always has it, especially so the general, who admired the apartment,
patted Berg on the shoulder, and with parental authority superintended
the setting out of the table for boston. The general sat down by Count
Ilya Rostov, who was next to himself the most important guest. The old
people sat with the old, the young with the young, and the hostess
at the tea table, on which stood exactly the same kind of cakes in a
silver cake basket as the Panins had at their party. Everything was
just as it was everywhere else.
Pierre, as one of the principal guests, had to sit down to boston
with Count Rostov, the general, and the colonel. At the card table
he happened to be directly facing Natasha, and was struck by a curious
change that had come over her since the ball. She was silent, and
not only less pretty than at the ball, but only redeemed from
plainness by her look of gentle indifference to everything around.
"Whats the matter with her?" thought Pierre, glancing at her. She
was sitting by her sister at the tea table, and reluctantly, without
looking at him, made some reply to Boris who sat down beside her.
After playing out a whole suit and to his partners delight taking
five tricks, Pierre, hearing greetings and the steps of someone who
had entered the room while he was picking up his tricks, glanced again
"What has happened to her?" he asked himself with still greater
Prince Andrew was standing before her, saying something to her
with a look of tender solicitude. She, having raised her head, was
looking up at him, flushed and evidently trying to master her rapid
breathing. And the bright glow of some inner fire that had been
suppressed was again alight in her. She was completely transformed and
from a plain girl had again become what she had been at the ball.
Prince Andrew went up to Pierre, and the latter noticed a new and
youthful expression in his friends face.
Pierre changed places several times during the game, sitting now
with his back to Natasha and now facing her, but during the whole of
the six rubbers he watched her and his friend.
"Something very important is happening between them," thought
Pierre, and a feeling that was both joyful and painful agitated him
and made him neglect the game.
After six rubbers the general got up, saying that it was no use
playing like that, and Pierre was released. Natasha on one side was
talking with Sonya and Boris, and Vera with a subtle smile was
saying something to Prince Andrew. Pierre went up to his friend and,
asking whether they were talking secrets, sat down beside them.
Vera, having noticed Prince Andrews attentions to Natasha, decided
that at a party, a real evening party, subtle allusions to the
tender passion were absolutely necessary and, seizing a moment when
Prince Andrew was alone, began a conversation with him about
feelings in general and about her sister. With so intellectual a guest
as she considered Prince Andrew to be, she felt that she had to employ
her diplomatic tact.
When Pierre went up to them he noticed that Vera was being carried
away by her self-satisfied talk, but that Prince Andrew seemed
embarrassed, a thing that rarely happened with him.
"What do you think?" Vera was saying with an arch smile. "You are so
discerning, Prince, and understand peoples characters so well at a
glance. What do you think of Natalie? Could she be constant in her
War And Peace page 277 War And Peace page 279