Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
the papers and it was the first time he had heard Villeneuves name.
"We here in Moscow are more occupied with dinner parties and scandal
than with politics," said he in his quiet ironical tone. "I know
nothing about it and have not thought about it. Moscow is chiefly busy
with gossip," he continued. "Just now they are talking about you and
Pierre smiled in his good-natured way as if afraid for his
companions sake that the latter might say something he would
afterwards regret. But Boris spoke distinctly, clearly, and dryly,
looking straight into Pierres eyes.
"Moscow has nothing else to do but gossip," Boris went on.
"Everybody is wondering to whom the count will leave his fortune,
though he may perhaps outlive us all, as I sincerely hope he will..."
"Yes, it is all very horrid," interrupted Pierre, "very horrid."
Pierre was still afraid that this officer might inadvertently say
something disconcerting to himself.
"And it must seem to you," said Boris flushing slightly, but not
changing his tone or attitude, "it must seem to you that everyone is
trying to get something out of the rich man?"
"So it does," thought Pierre.
"But I just wish to say, to avoid misunderstandings, that you are
quite mistaken if you reckon me or my mother among such people. We are
very poor, but for my own part at any rate, for the very reason that
your father is rich, I dont regard myself as a relation of his, and
neither I nor my mother would ever ask or take anything from him."
For a long time Pierre could not understand, but when he did, he
jumped up from the sofa, seized Boris under the elbow in his quick,
clumsy way, and, blushing far more than Boris, began to speak with a
feeling of mingled shame and vexation.
"Well, this is strange! Do you suppose I... who could think?... I
know very well..."
But Boris again interrupted him.
"I am glad I have spoken out fully. Perhaps you did not like it? You
must excuse me," said he, putting Pierre at ease instead of being
put at ease by him, "but I hope I have not offended you. I always make
it a rule to speak out... Well, what answer am I to take? Will you
come to dinner at the Rostovs?"
And Boris, having apparently relieved himself of an onerous duty and
extricated himself from an awkward situation and placed another in it,
became quite pleasant again.
"No, but I say," said Pierre, calming down, "you are a wonderful
fellow! What you have just said is good, very good. Of course you
dont know me. We have not met for such a long time... not since we
were children. You might think that I... I understand, quite
understand. I could not have done it myself, I should not have had the
courage, but its splendid. I am very glad to have made your
acquaintance. Its queer," he added after a pause, "that you should
have suspected me!" He began to laugh. "Well, what of it! I hope well
get better acquainted," and he pressed Boris hand. "Do you know, I
have not once been in to see the count. He has not sent for me.... I
am sorry for him as a man, but what can one do?"
"And so you think Napoleon will manage to get an army across?" asked
Boris with a smile.
Pierre saw that Boris wished to change the subject, and being of the
same mind he began explaining the advantages and disadvantages of
the Boulogne expedition.
A footman came in to summon Boris--the princess was going. Pierre,
in order to make Boris better acquaintance, promised to come to
dinner, and warmly pressing his hand looked affectionately over his
spectacles into Boris eyes. After he had gone Pierre continued pacing
up and down the room for a long time, no longer piercing an
imaginary foe with his imaginary sword, but smiling at the remembrance
of that pleasant, intelligent, and resolute young man.
As often happens in early youth, especially to one who leads a
lonely life, he felt an unaccountable tenderness for this young man
and made up his mind that they would be friends.
Prince Vasili saw the princess off. She held a handkerchief to her
eyes and her face was tearful.
"It is dreadful, dreadful!" she was saying, "but cost me what it may
I shall do my duty. I will come and spend the night. He must not be
left like this. Every moment is precious. I cant think
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