Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
Mikhaylovna was already embracing her and weeping. The countess
wept too. They wept because they were friends, and because they were
kindhearted, and because they--friends from childhood--had to think
about such a base thing as money, and because their youth was over....
But those tears were pleasant to them both.
Countess Rostova, with her daughters and a large number of guests,
was already seated in the drawing room. The count took the gentlemen
into his study and showed them his choice collection of Turkish pipes.
From time to time he went out to ask: "Hasnt she come yet?" They were
expecting Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimova, known in society as le
terrible dragon, a lady distinguished not for wealth or rank, but
for common sense and frank plainness of speech. Marya Dmitrievna was
known to the Imperial family as well as to all Moscow and
Petersburg, and both cities wondered at her, laughed privately at
her rudenesses, and told good stories about her, while none the less
all without exception respected and feared her.
In the counts room, which was full of tobacco smoke, they talked of
war that had been announced in a manifesto, and about the
recruiting. None of them had yet seen the manifesto, but they all knew
it had appeared. The count sat on the sofa between two guests who were
smoking and talking. He neither smoked nor talked, but bending his
head first to one side and then to the other watched the smokers
with evident pleasure and listened to the conversation of his two
neighbors, whom he egged on against each other.
One of them was a sallow, clean-shaven civilian with a thin and
wrinkled face, already growing old, though he was dressed like a
most fashionable young man. He sat with his legs up on the sofa as
if quite at home and, having stuck an amber mouthpiece far into his
mouth, was inhaling the smoke spasmodically and screwing up his
eyes. This was an old bachelor, Shinshin, a cousin of the countess, a
man with "a sharp tongue" as they said in Moscow society. He seemed to
be condescending to his companion. The latter, a fresh, rosy officer
of the Guards, irreproachably washed, brushed, and buttoned, held
his pipe in the middle of his mouth and with red lips gently inhaled
the smoke, letting it escape from his handsome mouth in rings. This
was Lieutenant Berg, an officer in the Semenov regiment with whom
Boris was to travel to join the army, and about whom Natasha had,
teased her elder sister Vera, speaking of Berg as her "intended."
The count sat between them and listened attentively. His favorite
occupation when not playing boston, a card game he was very fond of,
was that of listener, especially when he succeeded in setting two
loquacious talkers at one another.
"Well, then, old chap, mon tres honorable Alphonse Karlovich,"
said Shinshin, laughing ironically and mixing the most ordinary
Russian expressions with the choicest French phrases--which was a
peculiarity of his speech. "Vous comptez vous faire des rentes sur
letat;* you want to make something out of your company?"
*You expect to make an income out of the government.
"No, Peter Nikolaevich; I only want to show that in the cavalry
the advantages are far less than in the infantry. Just consider my own
position now, Peter Nikolaevich..."
Berg always spoke quietly, politely, and with great precision. His
conversation always related entirely to himself; he would remain
calm and silent when the talk related to any topic that had no
direct bearing on himself. He could remain silent for hours without
being at all put out of countenance himself or making others
uncomfortable, but as soon as the conversation concerned himself he
would begin to talk circumstantially and with evident satisfaction.
"Consider my position, Peter Nikolaevich. Were I in the cavalry I
should get not more than two hundred rubles every four months, even
with the rank of lieutenant; but as it is I receive two hundred and
thirty," said he, looking at Shinshin and the count with a joyful,
pleasant smile, as if it were obvious to him that his success must
always be the chief desire of everyone else.
"Besides that, Peter Nikolaevich, by exchanging into the Guards I
shall be in a more prominent position," continued Berg, "and vacancies
occur much more frequently in the Foot Guards. Then just think what
can be done with two hundred and thirty rubles! I even manage to put a
little aside and to send something to my father," he went on, emitting
a smoke ring.
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