Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
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
War And Peace page 304 War And Peace page 306