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War And Peace 323


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when she was there) the old prince kissed Mademoiselle Bouriennes hand and, drawing her to him, embraced her affectionately. Princess Mary flushed and ran out of the room. A few minutes later Mademoiselle Bourienne came into Princess Marys room smiling and making cheerful remarks in her agreeable voice. Princess Mary hastily wiped away her tears, went resolutely up to Mademoiselle Bourienne, and evidently unconscious of what she was doing began shouting in angry haste at the Frenchwoman, her voice breaking: "Its horrible, vile, inhuman, to take advantage of the weakness..." She did not finish. "Leave my room," she exclaimed, and burst into sobs. Next day the prince did not say a word to his daughter, but she noticed that at dinner he gave orders that Mademoiselle Bourienne should be served first. After dinner, when the footman handed coffee and from habit began with the princess, the prince suddenly grew furious, threw his stick at Philip, and instantly gave instructions to have him conscripted for the army. "He doesnt obey... I said it twice... and he doesnt obey! She is the first person in this house; shes my best friend," cried the prince. "And if you allow yourself," he screamed in a fury, addressing Princess Mary for the first time, "to forget yourself again before her as you dared to do yesterday, I will show you who is master in this house. Go! Dont let me set eyes on you; beg her pardon!" Princess Mary asked Mademoiselle Bouriennes pardon, and also her fathers pardon for herself and for Philip the footman, who had begged for her intervention. At such moments something like a pride of sacrifice gathered in her soul. And suddenly that father whom she had judged would look for his spectacles in her presence, fumbling near them and not seeing them, or would forget something that had just occurred, or take a false step with his failing legs and turn to see if anyone had noticed his feebleness, or, worst of all, at dinner when there were no visitors to excite him would suddenly fall asleep, letting his napkin drop and his shaking head sink over his plate. "He is old and feeble, and I dare to condemn him!" she thought at such moments, with a feeling of revulsion against herself. CHAPTER III In 1811 there was living in Moscow a French doctor--Metivier--who had rapidly become the fashion. He was enormously tall, handsome, amiable as Frenchmen are, and was, as all Moscow said, an extraordinarily clever doctor. He was received in the best houses not merely as a doctor, but as an equal. Prince Nicholas had always ridiculed medicine, but latterly on Mademoiselle Bouriennes advice had allowed this doctor to visit him and had grown accustomed to him. Metivier came to see the prince about twice a week. On December 6--St. Nicholas Day and the princes name day--all Moscow came to the princes front door but he gave orders to admit no one and to invite to dinner only a small number, a list of whom he gave to Princess Mary. Metivier, who came in the morning with his felicitations, considered it proper in his quality of doctor de forcer la consigne,* as he told Princess Mary, and went in to see the prince. It happened that on that morning of his name day the prince was in one of his worst moods. He had been going about the house all the morning finding fault with everyone and pretending not to understand what was said to him and not to be understood himself. Princess Mary well knew this mood of quiet absorbed querulousness, which generally culminated in a burst of rage, and she went about all that morning as though facing a cocked and loaded gun and awaited the inevitable explosion. Until the doctors arrival the morning had passed off safely. After admitting the doctor, Princess Mary sat down with a book in the drawing room near the door through which she could hear all that passed in the study. *To force the guard. At first she heard only Metiviers voice, then her fathers, then both voices began speaking at the same time, the door was flung open, and on the threshold appeared the handsome figure of the terrified Metivier with his shock of black hair, and the prince in his dressing gown and fez, his face distorted with fury and the pupils of his eyes rolled downwards. "You dont understand?" shouted the prince, "but I do! French spy, slave of Buonaparte, spy, get out of my house! Be off, I tell you..." Metivier, shrugging his shoulders, went up to Mademoiselle

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