Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
Nicholas and for ingratitude. Sonya listened silently with
downcast eyes to the countess cruel words, without understanding what
was required of her. She was ready to sacrifice everything for her
benefactors. Self-sacrifice was her most cherished idea but in this
case she could not see what she ought to sacrifice, or for whom. She
could not help loving the countess and the whole Rostov family, but
neither could she help loving Nicholas and knowing that his
happiness depended on that love. She was silent and sad and did not
reply. Nicholas felt the situation to be intolerable and went to
have an explanation with his mother. He first implored her to
forgive him and Sonya and consent to their marriage, then he
threatened that if she molested Sonya he would at once marry her
The countess, with a coldness her son had never seen in her
before, replied that he was of age, that Prince Andrew was marrying
without his fathers consent, and he could do the same, but that she
would never receive that intriguer as her daughter.
Exploding at the word intriguer, Nicholas, raising his voice, told
his mother he had never expected her to try to force him to sell his
feelings, but if that were so, he would say for the last time....
But he had no time to utter the decisive word which the expression
of his face caused his mother to await with terror, and which would
perhaps have forever remained a cruel memory to them both. He had
not time to say it, for Natasha, with a pale and set face, entered the
room from the door at which she had been listening.
"Nicholas, you are talking nonsense! Be quiet, be quiet, be quiet, I
tell you!..." she almost screamed, so as to drown his voice.
"Mamma darling, its not at all so... my poor, sweet darling," she
said to her mother, who conscious that they had been on the brink of a
rupture gazed at her son with terror, but in the obstinacy and
excitement of the conflict could not and would not give way.
"Nicholas, Ill explain to you. Go away! Listen, Mamma darling,"
Her words were incoherent, but they attained the purpose at which
she was aiming.
The countess, sobbing heavily, hid her face on her daughters
breast, while Nicholas rose, clutching his head, and left the room.
Natasha set to work to effect a reconciliation, and so far succeeded
that Nicholas received a promise from his mother that Sonya should not
be troubled, while he on his side promised not to undertake anything
without his parents knowledge.
Firmly resolved, after putting his affairs in order in the regiment,
to retire from the army and return and marry Sonya, Nicholas, serious,
sorrowful, and at variance with his parents, but, as it seemed to him,
passionately in love, left at the beginning of January to rejoin his
After Nicholas had gone things in the Rostov household were more
depressing than ever, and the countess fell ill from mental agitation.
Sonya was unhappy at the separation from Nicholas and still more
so on account of the hostile tone the countess could not help adopting
toward her. The count was more perturbed than ever by the condition of
his affairs, which called for some decisive action. Their town house
and estate near Moscow had inevitably to be sold, and for this they
had to go to Moscow. But the countess health obliged them to delay
their departure from day to day.
Natasha, who had borne the first period of separation from her
betrothed lightly and even cheerfully, now grew more agitated and
impatient every day. The thought that her best days, which she would
have employed in loving him, were being vainly wasted, with no
advantage to anyone, tormented her incessantly. His letters for the
most part irritated her. It hurt her to think that while she lived
only in the thought of him, he was living a real life, seeing new
places and new people that interested him. The more interesting his
letters were the more vexed she felt. Her letters to him, far from
giving her any comfort, seemed to her a wearisome and artificial
obligation. She could not write, because she could not conceive the
possibility of expressing sincerely in a letter even a thousandth part
of what she expressed by voice, smile, and glance. She wrote to him
formal, monotonous, and dry letters, to which she attached no
importance herself, and in the rough copies of which the countess
corrected her mistakes in spelling.
War And Peace page 317 War And Peace page 319