Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
not understood the symptoms, but Frise had, and Mudrov had
diagnosed them even better? What would the countess have done had
she not been able sometimes to scold the invalid for not strictly
obeying the doctors orders?
"Youll never get well like that," she would say, forgetting her
grief in her vexation, "if you wont obey the doctor and take your
medicine at the right time! You mustnt trifle with it, you know, or
it may turn to pneumonia," she would go on, deriving much comfort from
the utterance of that foreign word, incomprehensible to others as well
as to herself.
What would Sonya have done without the glad consciousness that she
had not undressed during the first three nights, in order to be
ready to carry out all the doctors injunctions with precision, and
that she still kept awake at night so as not to miss the proper time
when the slightly harmful pills in the little gilt box had to be
administered? Even to Natasha herself it was pleasant to see that so
many sacrifices were being made for her sake, and to know that she had
to take medicine at certain hours, though she declared that no
medicine would cure her and that it was all nonsense. And it was
even pleasant to be able to show, by disregarding the orders, that she
did not believe in medical treatment and did not value her life.
The doctor came every day, felt her pulse, looked at her tongue, and
regardless of her grief-stricken face joked with her. But when he
had gone into another room, to which the countess hurriedly followed
him, he assumed a grave air and thoughtfully shaking his head said
that though there was danger, he had hopes of the effect of this
last medicine and one must wait and see, that the malady was chiefly
mental, but... And the countess, trying to conceal the action from
herself and from him, slipped a gold coin into his hand and always
returned to the patient with a more tranquil mind.
The symptoms of Natashas illness were that she ate little, slept
little, coughed, and was always low-spirited. The doctors said that
she could not get on without medical treatment, so they kept her in
the stifling atmosphere of the town, and the Rostovs did not move to
the country that summer of 1812.
In spite of the many pills she swallowed and the drops and powders
out of the little bottles and boxes of which Madame Schoss who was
fond of such things made a large collection, and in spite of being
deprived of the country life to which she was accustomed, youth
prevailed. Natashas grief began to be overlaid by the impressions
of daily life, it ceased to press so painfully on her heart, it
gradually faded into the past, and she began to recover physically.
Natasha was calmer but no happier. She not merely avoided all external
forms of pleasure--balls, promenades, concerts, and theaters--but she
never laughed without a sound of tears in her laughter. She could not
sing. As soon as she began to laugh, or tried to sing by herself,
tears choked her: tears of remorse, tears at the recollection of those
pure times which could never return, tears of vexation that she should
so uselessly have ruined her young life which might have been so
happy. Laughter and singing in particular seemed to her like a
blasphemy, in face of her sorrow. Without any need of self-restraint,
no wish to coquet ever entered her head. She said and felt at that
time that no man was more to her than Nastasya Ivanovna, the buffoon.
Something stood sentinel within her and forbade her every joy.
Besides, she had lost all the old interests of her carefree girlish
life that had been so full of hope. The previous autumn, the hunting,
"Uncle," and the Christmas holidays spent with Nicholas at Otradnoe
were what she recalled oftenest and most painfully. What would she not
have given to bring back even a single day of that time! But it was
gone forever. Her presentiment at the time had not deceived her--that
that state of freedom and readiness for any enjoyment would not return
again. Yet it was necessary to live on.
It comforted her to reflect that she was not better as she had
formerly imagined, but worse, much worse, than anybody else in the
world. But this was not enough. She knew that, and asked herself,
"What next?" But there was nothing to come. There was no joy
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