Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
began to settle down in his old
home world. His father and mother were much the same, only a little
older. What was new in them was a certain uneasiness and occasional
discord, which there used not to be, and which, as Nicholas soon found
out, was due to the bad state of their affairs. Sonya was nearly
twenty; she had stopped growing prettier and promised nothing more
than she was already, but that was enough. She exhaled happiness and
love from the time Nicholas returned, and the faithful, unalterable
love of this girl had a gladdening effect on him. Petya and Natasha
surprised Nicholas most. Petya was a big handsome boy of thirteen,
merry, witty, and mischievous, with a voice that was already breaking.
As for Natasha, for a long while Nicholas wondered and laughed
whenever he looked at her.
"Youre not the same at all," he said.
"How? Am I uglier?"
"On the contrary, but what dignity? A princess!" he whispered to
"Yes, yes, yes!" cried Natasha, joyfully.
She told him about her romance with Prince Andrew and of his visit
to Otradnoe and showed him his last letter.
"Well, are you glad?" Natasha asked. "I am so tranquil and happy
"Very glad," answered Nicholas. "He is an excellent fellow.... And
are you very much in love?"
"How shall I put it?" replied Natasha. "I was in love with Boris,
with my teacher, and with Denisov, but this is quite different. I feel
at peace and settled. I know that no better man than he exists, and
I am calm and contented now. Not at all as before."
Nicholas expressed his disapproval of the postponement of the
marriage for a year; but Natasha attacked her brother with
exasperation, proving to him that it could not be otherwise, and
that it would be a bad thing to enter a family against the fathers
will, and that she herself wished it so.
"You dont at all understand," she said.
Nicholas was silent and agreed with her.
Her brother often wondered as he looked at her. She did not seem
at all like a girl in love and parted from her affianced husband.
She was even-tempered and calm and quite as cheerful as of old. This
amazed Nicholas and even made him regard Bolkonskis courtship
skeptically. He could not believe that her fate was sealed, especially
as he had not seen her with Prince Andrew. It always seemed to him
that there was something not quite right about this intended marriage.
"Why this delay? Why no betrothal?" he thought. Once, when he had
touched on this topic with his mother, he discovered, to his
surprise and somewhat to his satisfaction, that in the depth of her
soul she too had doubts about this marriage.
"You see he writes," said she, showing her son a letter of Prince
Andrews, with that latent grudge a mother always has in regard to a
daughters future married happiness, "he writes that he wont come
before December. What can be keeping him? Illness, probably! His
health is very delicate. Dont tell Natasha. And dont attach
importance to her being so bright: thats because shes living through
the last days of her girlhood, but I know what she is like every
time we receive a letter from him! However, God grant that
everything turns out well!" (She always ended with these words.) "He
is an excellent man!"
After reaching home Nicholas was at first serious and even dull.
He was worried by the impending necessity of interfering in the stupid
business matters for which his mother had called him home. To throw
off this burden as quickly as possible, on the third day after his
arrival he went, angry and scowling and without answering questions as
to where he was going, to Mitenkas lodge and demanded an account of
everything. But what an account of everything might be Nicholas knew
even less than the frightened and bewildered Mitenka. The conversation
and the examination of the accounts with Mitenka did not last long.
The village elder, a peasant delegate, and the village clerk, who were
waiting in the passage, heard with fear and delight first the young
counts voice roaring and snapping and rising louder and louder, and
then words of abuse, dreadful words, ejaculated one after the other.
"Robber!... Ungrateful wretch!... Ill hack the dog to pieces! Im
not my father!... Robbing us!..." and so on.
Then with no less fear and delight they saw how the young count, red
in the face and with bloodshot eyes, dragged Mitenka out by the scruff
of the neck and
War And Peace page 290 War And Peace page 292