Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
y est...* A German knows how to skin a flint, as the
proverb says," remarked Shinshin, moving his pipe to the other side of
his mouth and winking at the count.
*So that squares matters.
The count burst out laughing. The other guests seeing that
Shinshin was talking came up to listen. Berg, oblivious of irony or
indifference, continued to explain how by exchanging into the Guards
he had already gained a step on his old comrades of the Cadet Corps;
how in wartime the company commander might get killed and he, as
senior in the company, might easily succeed to the post; how popular
he was with everyone in the regiment, and how satisfied his father was
with him. Berg evidently enjoyed narrating all this, and did not
seem to suspect that others, too, might have their own interests.
But all he said was so prettily sedate, and the naivete of his
youthful egotism was so obvious, that he disarmed his hearers.
"Well, my boy, youll get along wherever you go--foot or horse--that
Ill warrant," said Shinshin, patting him on the shoulder and taking
his feet off the sofa.
Berg smiled joyously. The count, by his guests, went into the
It was just the moment before a big dinner when the assembled
guests, expecting the summons to zakuska,* avoid engaging in any
long conversation but think it necessary to move about and talk, in
order to show that they are not at all impatient for their food. The
host and hostess look toward the door, and now and then glance at
one another, and the visitors try to guess from these glances who,
or what, they are waiting for--some important relation who has not yet
arrived, or a dish that is not yet ready.
Pierre had come just at dinnertime and was sitting awkwardly in
the middle of the drawing room on the first chair he had come
across, blocking the way for everyone. The countess tried to make
him talk, but he went on naively looking around through his spectacles
as if in search of somebody and answered all her questions in
monosyllables. He was in the way and was the only one who did not
notice the fact. Most of the guests, knowing of the affair with the
bear, looked with curiosity at this big, stout, quiet man, wondering
how such a clumsy, modest fellow could have played such a prank on a
"You have only lately arrived?" the countess asked him.
"Oui, madame," replied he, looking around him.
"You have not yet seen my husband?"
"Non, madame." He smiled quite inappropriately.
"You have been in Paris recently, I believe? I suppose its very
The countess exchanged glances with Anna Mikhaylovna. The latter
understood that she was being asked to entertain this young man, and
sitting down beside him she began to speak about his father; but he
answered her, as he had the countess, only in monosyllables. The other
guests were all conversing with one another. "The Razumovskis... It
was charming... You are very kind... Countess Apraksina..." was
heard on all sides. The countess rose and went into the ballroom.
"Marya Dmitrievna?" came her voice from there.
"Herself," came the answer in a rough voice, and Marya Dmitrievna
entered the room.
All the unmarried ladies and even the married ones except the very
oldest rose. Marya Dmitrievna paused at the door. Tall and stout,
holding high her fifty-year-old head with its gray curls, she stood
surveying the guests, and leisurely arranged her wide sleeves as if
rolling them up. Marya Dmitrievna always spoke in Russian.
"Health and happiness to her whose name day we are keeping and to
her children," she said, in her loud, full-toned voice which drowned
all others. "Well, you old sinner," she went on, turning to the
count who was kissing her hand, "youre feeling dull in Moscow, I
daresay? Nowhere to hunt with your dogs? But what is to be done, old
man? Just see how these nestlings are growing up," and she pointed
to the girls. "You must look for husbands for them whether you like it
"Well," said she, "hows my Cossack?" (Marya Dmitrievna always called
Natasha a Cossack) and she stroked the childs arm as she came up
fearless and gay to kiss her hand. "I know shes a scamp of a girl,
but I like her."
She took a pair of pear-shaped ruby earrings from her huge
reticule and, having given them to the rosy Natasha, who beamed with
the pleasure of her saints-day fete, turned away at once and
addressed herself to
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