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her face went laughing out of the room. "Uncle" continued to play correctly, carefully, with energetic firmness, looking with a changed and inspired expression at the spot where Anisya Fedorovna had just stood. Something seemed to be laughing a little on one side of his face under his gray mustaches, especially as the song grew brisker and the time quicker and when, here and there, as he ran his fingers over the strings, something seemed to snap. "Lovely, lovely! Go on, Uncle, go on!" shouted Natasha as soon as he had finished. She jumped up and hugged and kissed him. "Nicholas, Nicholas!" she said, turning to her brother, as if asking him: "What is it moves me so?" Nicholas too was greatly pleased by "Uncles" playing, and "Uncle" played the piece over again. Anisya Fedorovnas smiling face reappeared in the doorway and behind hers other faces... Fetching water clear and sweet, Stop, dear maiden, I entreat-- played "Uncle" once more, running his fingers skillfully over the strings, and then he stopped short and jerked his shoulders. "Go on, Uncle dear," Natasha wailed in an imploring tone as if her life depended on it. "Uncle" rose, and it was as if there were two men in him: one of them smiled seriously at the merry fellow, while the merry fellow struck a naive and precise attitude preparatory to a folk dance. "Now then, niece!" he exclaimed, waving to Natasha the hand that had just struck a chord. Natasha threw off the shawl from her shoulders, ran forward to face "Uncle," and setting her arms akimbo also made a motion with her shoulders and struck an attitude. Where, how, and when had this young countess, educated by an emigree French governess, imbibed from the Russian air she breathed that spirit and obtained that manner which the pas de chale* would, one would have supposed, long ago have effaced? But the spirit and the movements were those inimitable and unteachable Russian ones that "Uncle" had expected of her. As soon as she had struck her pose, and smiled triumphantly, proudly, and with sly merriment, the fear that had at first seized Nicholas and the others that she might not do the right thing was at an end, and they were already admiring her. *The French shawl dance. She did the right thing with such precision, such complete precision, that Anisya Fedorovna, who had at once handed her the handkerchief she needed for the dance, had tears in her eyes, though she laughed as she watched this slim, graceful countess, reared in silks and velvets and so different from herself, who yet was able to understand all that was in Anisya and in Anisyas father and mother and aunt, and in every Russian man and woman. "Well, little countess; thats it--come on!" cried "Uncle," with a joyous laugh, having finished the dance. "Well done, niece! Now a fine young fellow must be found as husband for you. Thats it--come on!" "Hes chosen already," said Nicholas smiling. "Oh?" said "Uncle" in surprise, looking inquiringly at Natasha, who nodded her head with a happy smile. "And such a one!" she said. But as soon as she had said it a new train of thoughts and feelings arose in her. "What did Nicholas smile mean when he said chosen already? Is he glad of it or not? It is as if he thought my Bolkonski would not approve of or understand our gaiety. But he would understand it all. Where is he now?" she thought, and her face suddenly became serious. But this lasted only a second. "Dont dare to think about it," she said to herself, and sat down again smilingly beside "Uncle," begging him to play something more. "Uncle" played another song and a valse; then after a pause he cleared his throat and sang his favorite hunting song: As twas growing dark last night Fell the snow so soft and light... "Uncle" sang as peasants sing, with full and naive conviction that the whole meaning of a song lies in the words and that the tune comes of itself, and that apart from the words there is no tune, which exists only to give measure to the words. As a result of this the unconsidered tune, like the song of a bird, was extraordinarily good. Natasha was in ecstasies over "Uncles" singing. She resolved to give up learning the harp and to play only the guitar. She asked "Uncle" for his guitar and at once found the chords of

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