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War And Peace 330


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guests; after dinner she played a game of boston, and at night she had the newspapers or a new book read to her while she knitted. She rarely made an exception and went out to pay visits, and then only to the most important persons in the town. She had not yet gone to bed when the Rostovs arrived and the pulley of the hall door squeaked from the cold as it let in the Rostovs and their servants. Marya Dmitrievna, with her spectacles hanging down on her nose and her head flung back, stood in the hall doorway looking with a stern, grim face at the new arrivals. One might have thought she was angry with the travelers and would immediately turn them out, had she not at the same time been giving careful instructions to the servants for the accommodation of the visitors and their belongings. "The counts things? Bring them here," she said, pointing to the portmanteaus and not greeting anyone. "The young ladies? There to the left. Now what are you dawdling for?" she cried to the maids. "Get the samovar ready!... Youve grown plumper and prettier," she remarked, drawing Natasha (whose cheeks were glowing from the cold) to her by the hood. "Foo! You are cold! Now take off your things, quick!" she shouted to the count who was going to kiss her hand. "Youre half frozen, Im sure! Bring some rum for tea!... Bonjour, Sonya dear!" she added, turning to Sonya and indicating by this French greeting her slightly contemptuous though affectionate attitude toward her. When they came in to tea, having taken off their outdoor things and tidied themselves up after their journey, Marya Dmitrievna kissed them all in due order. "Im heartily glad you have come and are staying with me. It was high time," she said, giving Natasha a significant look. "The old man is here and his sons expected any day. Youll have to make his acquaintance. But well speak of that later on," she added, glancing at Sonya with a look that showed she did not want to speak of it in her presence. "Now listen," she said to the count. "What do you want tomorrow? Whom will you send for? Shinshin?" she crooked one of her fingers. "The sniveling Anna Mikhaylovna? Thats two. Shes here with her son. The son is getting married! Then Bezukhov, eh? He is here too, with his wife. He ran away from her and she came galloping after him. He dined with me on Wednesday. As for them"--and she pointed to the girls--"tomorrow Ill take them first to the Iberian shrine of the Mother of God, and then well drive to the Super-Rogues. I suppose youll have everything new. Dont judge by me: sleeves nowadays are this size! The other day young Princess Irina Vasilevna came to see me; she was an awful sight--looked as if she had put two barrels on her arms. You know not a day passes now without some new fashion.... And what have you to do yourself?" she asked the count sternly. "One thing has come on top of another: her rags to buy, and now a purchaser has turned up for the Moscow estate and for the house. If you will be so kind, Ill fix a time and go down to the estate just for a day, and leave my lassies with you." "All right. All right. Theyll be safe with me, as safe as in Chancery! Ill take them where they must go, scold them a bit, and pet them a bit," said Marya Dmitrievna, touching her goddaughter and favorite, Natasha, on the cheek with her large hand. Next morning Marya Dmitrievna took the young ladies to the Iberian shrine of the Mother of God and to Madame Suppert-Roguet, who was so afraid of Marya Dmitrievna that she always let her have costumes at a loss merely to get rid of her. Marya Dmitrievna ordered almost the whole trousseau. When they got home she turned everybody out of the room except Natasha, and then called her pet to her armchair. "Well, now well talk. I congratulate you on your betrothed. Youve hooked a fine fellow! I am glad for your sake and Ive known him since he was so high." She held her hand a couple of feet from the ground. Natasha blushed happily. "I like him and all his family. Now listen! You know that old Prince Nicholas much dislikes his sons marrying. The old fellows crotchety! Of course Prince Andrew is not a child and can shift without him,

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