Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
to wake Petya that he might eat something, but he only
muttered incoherent words without waking up. Natasha felt so
lighthearted and happy in these novel surroundings that she only
feared the trap would come for her too soon. After a casual pause,
such as often occurs when receiving friends for the first time in
ones own house, "Uncle," answering a thought that was in his
visitors mind, said:
"This, you see, is how I am finishing my days... Death will come.
Thats it, come on! Nothing will remain. Then why harm anyone?"
"Uncles" face was very significant and even handsome as he said
this. Involuntarily Rostov recalled all the good he had heard about
him from his father and the neighbors. Throughout the whole province
"Uncle" had the reputation of being the most honorable and
disinterested of cranks. They called him in to decide family disputes,
chose him as executor, confided secrets to him, elected him to be a
justice and to other posts; but he always persistently refused
public appointments, passing the autumn and spring in the fields on
his bay gelding, sitting at home in winter, and lying in his overgrown
garden in summer.
"Why dont you enter the service, Uncle?"
"I did once, but gave it up. I am not fit for it. Thats it, come
on! I cant make head or tail of it. Thats for you--I havent
brains enough. Now, hunting is another matter--thats it, come on!
Open the door, there!" he shouted. "Why have you shut it?"
The door at the end of the passage led to the huntsmens room, as
they called the room for the hunt servants.
There was a rapid patter of bare feet, and an unseen hand opened the
door into the huntsmens room, from which came the clear sounds of a
balalayka on which someone, who was evidently a master of the art, was
playing. Natasha had been listening to those strains for some time and
now went out into the passage to hear better.
"Thats Mitka, my coachman.... I have got him a good balalayka.
Im fond of it," said "Uncle."
It was the custom for Mitka to play the balalayka in the
huntsmens room when "Uncle" returned from the chase. "Uncle" was fond
of such music.
"How good! Really very good!" said Nicholas with some
unintentional superciliousness, as if ashamed to confess that the
sounds pleased him very much.
"Very good?" said Natasha reproachfully, noticing her brothers
tone. "Not very good its simply delicious!"
Just as "Uncles" pickled mushrooms, honey, and cherry brandy had
seemed to her the best in the world, so also that song, at that
moment, seemed to her the acme of musical delight.
"More, please, more!" cried Natasha at the door as soon as the
balalayka ceased. Mitka tuned up afresh, and recommenced thrumming the
balalayka to the air of My Lady, with trills and variations. "Uncle"
sat listening, slightly smiling, with his head on one side. The air
was repeated a hundred times. The balalayka was retuned several
times and the same notes were thrummed again, but the listeners did
not grow weary of it and wished to hear it again and again. Anisya
Fedorovna came in and leaned her portly person against the doorpost.
"You like listening?" she said to Natasha, with a smile extremely
like "Uncles." "Thats a good player of ours," she added.
"He doesnt play that part right!" said "Uncle" suddenly, with an
energetic gesture. "Here he ought to burst out--thats it, come
on!--ought to burst out."
"Do you play then?" asked Natasha.
"Uncle" did not answer, but smiled.
"Anisya, go and see if the strings of my guitar are all right. I
havent touched it for a long time. Thats it--come on! Ive given
Anisya Fedorovna, with her light step, willingly went to fulfill her
errand and brought back the guitar.
Without looking at anyone, "Uncle" blew the dust off it and, tapping
the case with his bony fingers, tuned the guitar and settled himself
in his armchair. He took the guitar a little above the fingerboard,
arching his left elbow with a somewhat theatrical gesture, and, with a
wink at Anisya Fedorovna, struck a single chord, pure and sonorous,
and then quietly, smoothly, and confidently began playing in very slow
time, not My Lady, but the well-known song: Came a maiden down the
street. The tune, played with precision and in exact time, began to
thrill in the hearts of Nicholas and Natasha, arousing in them the
same kind of sober mirth as radiated from Anisya Fedorovnas whole
being. Anisya Fedorovna flushed, and drawing her kerchief over
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