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War And Peace 327


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wish I could spare my brother the first moments. I wish they would come sooner. I hope to be friends with her. You have known them a long time," said Princess Mary. "Tell me honestly the whole truth: what sort of girl is she, and what do you think of her?--The real truth, because you know Andrew is risking so much doing this against his fathers will that I should like to know..." An undefined instinct told Pierre that these explanations, and repeated requests to be told the whole truth, expressed ill-will on the princess part toward her future sister-in-law and a wish that he should disapprove of Andrews choice; but in reply he said what he felt rather than what he thought. "I dont know how to answer your question," he said, blushing without knowing why. "I really dont know what sort of girl she is; I cant analyze her at all. She is enchanting, but what makes her so I dont know. That is all one can say about her." Princess Mary sighed, and the expression on her face said: "Yes, thats what I expected and feared." "Is she clever?" she asked. Pierre considered. "I think not," he said, "and yet--yes. She does not deign to be clever.... Oh no, she is simply enchanting, and that is all." Princess Mary again shook her head disapprovingly. "Ah, I so long to like her! Tell her so if you see her before I do." "I hear they are expected very soon," said Pierre. Princess Mary told Pierre of her plan to become intimate with her future sister-in-law as soon as the Rostovs arrived and to try to accustom the old prince to her. CHAPTER V Boris had not succeeded in making a wealthy match in Petersburg, so with the same object in view he came to Moscow. There he wavered between the two richest heiresses, Julie and Princess Mary. Though Princess Mary despite her plainness seemed to him more attractive than Julie, he, without knowing why, felt awkward about paying court to her. When they had last met on the old princes name day, she had answered at random all his attempts to talk sentimentally, evidently not listening to what he was saying. Julie on the contrary accepted his attentions readily, though in a manner peculiar to herself. She was twenty-seven. After the death of her brothers she had become very wealthy. She was by now decidedly plain, but thought herself not merely as good-looking as before but even far more attractive. She was confirmed in this delusion by the fact that she had become a very wealthy heiress and also by the fact that the older she grew the less dangerous she became to men, and the more freely they could associate with her and avail themselves of her suppers, soirees, and the animated company that assembled at her house, without incurring any obligation. A man who would have been afraid ten years before of going every day to the house when there was a girl of seventeen there, for fear of compromising her and committing himself, would now go boldly every day and treat her not as a marriageable girl but as a sexless acquaintance. That winter the Karagins house was the most agreeable and hospitable in Moscow. In addition to the formal evening and dinner parties, a large company, chiefly of men, gathered there every day, supping at midnight and staying till three in the morning. Julie never missed a ball, a promenade, or a play. Her dresses were always of the latest fashion. But in spite of that she seemed to be disillusioned about everything and told everyone that she did not believe either in friendship or in love, or any of the joys of life, and expected peace only "yonder." She adopted the tone of one who has suffered a great disappointment, like a girl who has either lost the man she loved or been cruelly deceived by him. Though nothing of the kind had happened to her she was regarded in that light, and had even herself come to believe that she had suffered much in life. This melancholy, which did not prevent her amusing herself, did not hinder the young people who came to her house from passing the time pleasantly. Every visitor who came to the house paid his tribute to the melancholy mood of the hostess, and then amused himself with society gossip, dancing, intellectual games, and bouts rimes, which were in vogue at the Karagins. Only a few of these young men, among them Boris, entered more deeply into Julies melancholy,

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