Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
would die before then, and he decided to
conform to his fathers wish--to propose, and postpone the wedding for
Three weeks after the last evening he had spent with the Rostovs,
Prince Andrew returned to Petersburg.
Next day after her talk with her mother Natasha expected Bolkonski
all day, but he did not come. On the second and third day it was the
same. Pierre did not come either and Natasha, not knowing that
Prince Andrew had gone to see his father, could not explain his
absence to herself.
Three weeks passed in this way. Natasha had no desire to go out
anywhere and wandered from room to room like a shadow, idle and
listless; she wept secretly at night and did not go to her mother in
the evenings. She blushed continually and was irritable. It seemed
to her that everybody knew about her disappointment and was laughing
at her and pitying her. Strong as was her inward grief, this wound
to her vanity intensified her misery.
Once she came to her mother, tried to say something, and suddenly
began to cry. Her tears were those of an offended child who does not
know why it is being punished.
The countess began to soothe Natasha, who after first listening to
her mothers words, suddenly interrupted her:
"Leave off, Mamma! I dont think, and dont want to think about
it! He just came and then left off, left off..."
Her voice trembled, and she again nearly cried, but recovered and
went on quietly:
"And I dont at all want to get married. And I am afraid of him; I
have now become quite calm, quite calm."
The day after this conversation Natasha put on the old dress which
she knew had the peculiar property of conducing to cheerfulness in the
mornings, and that day she returned to the old way of life which she
had abandoned since the ball. Having finished her morning tea she went
to the ballroom, which she particularly liked for its loud
resonance, and began singing her solfeggio. When she had finished
her first exercise she stood still in the middle of the room and
sang a musical phrase that particularly pleased her. She listened
joyfully (as though she had not expected it) to the charm of the notes
reverberating, filling the whole empty ballroom, and slowly dying
away; and all at once she felt cheerful. "Whats the good of making so
much of it? Things are nice as it is," she said to herself, and she
began walking up and down the room, not stepping simply on the
resounding parquet but treading with each step from the heel to the
toe (she had on a new and favorite pair of shoes) and listening to the
regular tap of the heel and creak of the toe as gladly as she had to
the sounds of her own voice. Passing a mirror she glanced into it.
"There, thats me!" the expression of her face seemed to say as she
caught sight of herself. "Well, and very nice too! I need nobody."
A footman wanted to come in to clear away something in the room
but she would not let him, and having closed the door behind him
continued her walk. That morning she had returned to her favorite
mood--love of, and delight in, herself. "How charming that Natasha
is!" she said again, speaking as some third, collective, male
person. "Pretty, a good voice, young, and in nobodys way if only they
leave her in peace." But however much they left her in peace she could
not now be at peace, and immediately felt this.
In the hall the porch door opened, and someone asked, "At home?" and
then footsteps were heard. Natasha was looking at the mirror, but
did not see herself. She listened to the sounds in the hall. When
she saw herself, her face was pale. It was he. She knew this for
certain, though she hardly heard his voice through the closed doors.
Pale and agitated, Natasha ran into the drawing room.
"Mamma! Bolkonski has come!" she said. "Mamma, it is awful, it is
unbearable! I dont want... to be tormented? What am I to do?..."
Before the countess could answer, Prince Andrew entered the room
with an agitated and serious face. As soon as he saw Natasha his
face brightened. He kissed the countess hand and Natashas, and sat
down beside the sofa.
"It is long since we had the pleasure..." began the countess, but
Prince Andrew interrupted her by answering her intended question,
obviously in haste to say what
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