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War And Peace 329


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Just as Boris leave of absence was expiring, Anatole Kuragin made his appearance in Moscow, and of course in the Karagins drawing room, and Julie, suddenly abandoning her melancholy, became cheerful and very attentive to Kuragin. "My dear," said Anna Mikhaylovna to her son, "I know from a reliable source that Prince Vasili has sent his son to Moscow to get him married to Julie. I am so fond of Julie that I should be sorry for her. What do you think of it, my dear?" The idea of being made a fool of and of having thrown away that whole month of arduous melancholy service to Julie, and of seeing all the revenue from the Penza estates which he had already mentally apportioned and put to proper use fall into the hands of another, and especially into the hands of that idiot Anatole, pained Boris. He drove to the Karagins with the firm intention of proposing. Julie met him in a gay, careless manner, spoke casually of how she had enjoyed yesterdays ball, and asked when he was leaving. Though Boris had come intentionally to speak of his love and therefore meant to be tender, he began speaking irritably of feminine inconstancy, of how easily women can turn from sadness to joy, and how their moods depend solely on who happens to be paying court to them. Julie was offended and replied that it was true that a woman needs variety, and the same thing over and over again would weary anyone. "Then I should advise you..." Boris began, wishing to sting her; but at that instant the galling thought occurred to him that he might have to leave Moscow without having accomplished his aim, and have vainly wasted his efforts--which was a thing he never allowed to happen. He checked himself in the middle of the sentence, lowered his eyes to avoid seeing her unpleasantly irritated and irresolute face, and said: "I did not come here at all to quarrel with you. On the contrary..." He glanced at her to make sure that he might go on. Her irritability had suddenly quite vanished, and her anxious, imploring eyes were fixed on him with greedy expectation. "I can always arrange so as not to see her often," thought Boris. "The affair has been begun and must be finished!" He blushed hotly, raised his eyes to hers, and said: "You know my feelings for you!" There was no need to say more: Julies face shone with triumph and self-satisfaction; but she forced Boris to say all that is said on such occasions--that he loved her and had never loved any other woman more than her. She knew that for the Penza estates and Nizhegorod forests she could demand this, and she received what she demanded. The affianced couple, no longer alluding to trees that shed gloom and melancholy upon them, planned the arrangements of a splendid house in Petersburg, paid calls, and prepared everything for a brilliant wedding. CHAPTER VI At the end of January old Count Rostov went to Moscow with Natasha and Sonya. The countess was still unwell and unable to travel but it was impossible to wait for her recovery. Prince Andrew was expected in Moscow any day, the trousseau had to be ordered and the estate near Moscow had to be sold, besides which the opportunity of presenting his future daughter-in-law to old Prince Bolkonski while he was in Moscow could not be missed. The Rostovs Moscow house had not been heated that winter and, as they had come only for a short time and the countess was not with them, the count decided to stay with Marya Dmitrievna Akhrosimova, who had long been pressing her hospitality on them. Late one evening the Rostovs four sleighs drove into Marya Dmitrievnas courtyard in the old Konyusheny street. Marya Dmitrievna lived alone. She had already married off her daughter, and her sons were all in the service. She held herself as erect, told everyone her opinion as candidly, loudly, and bluntly as ever, and her whole bearing seemed a reproach to others for any weakness, passion, or temptation--the possibility of which she did not admit. From early in the morning, wearing a dressing jacket, she attended to her household affairs, and then she drove out: on holy days to church and after the service to jails and prisons on affairs of which she never spoke to anyone. On ordinary days, after dressing, she received petitioners of various classes, of whom there were always some. Then she had dinner, a substantial and appetizing meal at which there were always three or four

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