Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
to frown at
No one in the house sent people about or gave them as much trouble
as Natasha did. She could not see people unconcernedly, but had to
send them on some errand. She seemed to be trying whether any of
them would get angry or sulky with her; but the serfs fulfilled no
ones orders so readily as they did hers. "What can I do, where can
I go?" thought she, as she went slowly along the passage.
"Nastasya Ivanovna, what sort of children shall I have?" she asked
the buffoon, who was coming toward her in a womans jacket.
"Why, fleas, crickets, grasshoppers," answered the buffoon.
"O Lord, O Lord, its always the same! Oh, where am I to go? What am
I to do with myself?" And tapping with her heels, she ran quickly
upstairs to see Vogel and his wife who lived on the upper story.
Two governesses were sitting with the Vogels at a table, on which
were plates of raisins, walnuts, and almonds. The governesses were
discussing whether it was cheaper to live in Moscow or Odessa. Natasha
sat down, listened to their talk with a serious and thoughtful air,
and then got up again.
"The island of Madagascar," she said, "Ma-da-gas-car," she repeated,
articulating each syllable distinctly, and, not replying to Madame
Schoss who asked her what she was saying, she went out of the room.
Her brother Petya was upstairs too; with the man in attendance on
him he was preparing fireworks to let off that night.
"Petya! Petya!" she called to him. "Carry me downstairs."
Petya ran up and offered her his back. She jumped on it, putting her
arms round his neck, and he pranced along with her.
"No, dont... the island of Madagascar!" she said, and jumping off
his back she went downstairs.
Having as it were reviewed her kingdom, tested her power, and made
sure that everyone was submissive, but that all the same it was
dull, Natasha betook herself to the ballroom, picked up her guitar,
sat down in a dark corner behind a bookcase, and began to run her
fingers over the strings in the bass, picking out a passage she
recalled from an opera she had heard in Petersburg with Prince Andrew.
What she drew from the guitar would have had no meaning for other
listeners, but in her imagination a whole series of reminiscences
arose from those sounds. She sat behind the bookcase with her eyes
fixed on a streak of light escaping from the pantry door and
listened to herself and pondered. She was in a mood for brooding on
Sonya passed to the pantry with a glass in her hand. Natasha glanced
at her and at the crack in the pantry door, and it seemed to her
that she remembered the light falling through that crack once before
and Sonya passing with a glass in her hand. "Yes it was exactly the
same," thought Natasha.
"Sonya, what is this?" she cried, twanging a thick string.
"Oh, you are there!" said Sonya with a start, and came near and
listened. "I dont know. A storm?" she ventured timidly, afraid of
"There! Thats just how she started and just how she came up smiling
timidly when all this happened before," thought Natasha, "and in
just the same way I thought there was something lacking in her."
"No, its the chorus from The Water-Carrier, listen!" and Natasha
sang the air of the chorus so that Sonya should catch it. "Where
were you going?" she asked.
"To change the water in this glass. I am just finishing the design."
"You always find something to do, but I cant," said Natasha. "And
"Asleep, I think."
"Sonya, go and wake him," said Natasha. "Tell him I want him to come
She sat awhile, wondering what the meaning of it all having happened
before could be, and without solving this problem, or at all
regretting not having done so, she again passed in fancy to the time
when she was with him and he was looking at her with a lovers eyes.
"Oh, if only he would come quicker! I am so afraid it will never be!
And, worst of all, I am growing old--thats the thing! There wont
then be in me what there is now. But perhaps hell come today, will
come immediately. Perhaps he has come and is sitting in the drawing
room. Perhaps he came yesterday and I have forgotten it." She rose,
put down the guitar, and went to the drawing room.
All the domestic circle,
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