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why his nieces put it off. Perhaps God will help me to find a way to prepare him!... Adieu, Prince! May God support you..." "Adieu, ma bonne," answered Prince Vasili turning away from her. "Oh, he is in a dreadful state," said the mother to her son when they were in the carriage. "He hardly recognizes anybody." "I dont understand, Mamma--what is his attitude to Pierre?" asked the son. "The will will show that, my dear; our fate also depends on it." "But why do you expect that he will leave us anything?" "Ah, my dear! He is so rich, and we are so poor!" "Well, that is hardly a sufficient reason, Mamma..." "Oh, Heaven! How ill he is!" exclaimed the mother.
CHAPTER XVII
After Anna Mikhaylovna had driven off with her son to visit Count Cyril Vladimirovich Bezukhov, Countess Rostova sat for a long time all alone applying her handkerchief to her eyes. At last she rang. "What is the matter with you, my dear?" she said crossly to the maid who kept her waiting some minutes. "Dont you wish to serve me? Then Ill find you another place." The countess was upset by her friends sorrow and humiliating poverty, and was therefore out of sorts, a state of mind which with her always found expression in calling her maid "my dear" and speaking to her with exaggerated politeness. "I am very sorry, maam," answered the maid. "Ask the count to come to me." The count came waddling in to see his wife with a rather guilty look as usual. "Well, little countess? What a saute of game au madere we are to have, my dear! I tasted it. The thousand rubles I paid for Taras were not ill-spent. He is worth it!" He sat down by his wife, his elbows on his knees and his hands ruffling his gray hair. "What are your commands, little countess?" "You see, my dear... Whats that mess?" she said, pointing to his waistcoat. "Its the saute, most likely," she added with a smile. "Well, you see, Count, I want some money." Her face became sad. "Oh, little countess!"... and the count began bustling to get out his pocketbook. "I want a great deal, Count! I want five hundred rubles," and taking out her cambric handkerchief she began wiping her husbands waistcoat. "Yes, immediately, immediately! Hey, whos there?" he called out in a tone only used by persons who are certain that those they call will rush to obey the summons. "Send Dmitri to me!" Dmitri, a man of good family who had been brought up in the counts house and now managed all his affairs, stepped softly into the room. "This is what I want, my dear fellow," said the count to the deferential young man who had entered. "Bring me..." he reflected a moment, "yes, bring me seven hundred rubles, yes! But mind, dont bring me such tattered and dirty notes as last time, but nice clean ones for the countess." "Yes, Dmitri, clean ones, please," said the countess, sighing deeply. "When would you like them, your excellency?" asked Dmitri. "Allow me to inform you... But, dont be uneasy," he added, noticing that the count was beginning to breathe heavily and quickly which was always a sign of approaching anger. "I was forgetting... Do you wish it brought at once?" "Yes, yes; just so! Bring it. Give it to the countess." "What a treasure that Dmitri is," added the count with a smile when the young man had departed. "There is never any impossible with him. Thats a thing I hate! Everything is possible." "Ah, money, Count, money! How much sorrow it causes in the world," said the countess. "But I am in great need of this sum." "You, my little countess, are a notorious spendthrift," said the count, and having kissed his wifes hand he went back to his study. When Anna Mikhaylovna returned from Count Bezukhovs the money, all in clean notes, was lying ready under a handkerchief on the countess little table, and Anna Mikhaylovna noticed that something was agitating her. "Well, my dear?" asked the countess. "Oh, what a terrible state he is in! One would not know him, he is so ill! I was only there a few moments and hardly said a word..." "Annette, for heavens sake dont refuse me," the countess began, with a blush that looked very strange on her thin, dignified, elderly face, and she took the money from under the handkerchief. Anna Mikhaylovna instantly guessed her intention and stooped to be ready to embrace the countess at the appropriate moment. "This is for Boris from me, for his outfit." Anna

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