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War And Peace 400


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world and free, he would ask on his knees for her hand; and the same feeling of pity, tenderness, and love took possession of him and the same words rose to his lips. But she did not give him time to say them. "Yes, you... you..." she said, uttering the word you rapturously--"thats a different thing. I know no one kinder, more generous, or better than you; nobody could be! Had you not been there then, and now too, I dont know what would have become of me, because..." Tears suddenly rose in her eyes, she turned away, lifted her music before her eyes, began singing again, and again began walking up and down the room. Just then Petya came running in from the drawing room. Petya was now a handsome rosy lad of fifteen with full red lips and resembled Natasha. He was preparing to enter the university, but he and his friend Obolenski had lately, in secret, agreed to join the hussars. Petya had come rushing out to talk to his namesake about this affair. He had asked Pierre to find out whether he would be accepted in the hussars. Pierre walked up and down the drawing room, not listening to what Petya was saying. Petya pulled him by the arm to attract his attention. "Well, what about my plan? Peter Kirilych, for heavens sake! You are my only hope," said Petya. "Oh yes, your plan. To join the hussars? Ill mention it, Ill bring it all up today." "Well, mon cher, have you got the manifesto?" asked the old count. "The countess has been to Mass at the Razumovskis and heard the new prayer. She says its very fine." "Yes, Ive got it," said Pierre. "The Emperor is to be here tomorrow... theres to be an Extraordinary Meeting of the nobility, and they are talking of a levy of ten men per thousand. Oh yes, let me congratulate you!" "Yes, yes, thank God! Well, and what news from the army?" "We are again retreating. They say were already near Smolensk," replied Pierre. "O Lord, O Lord!" exclaimed the count. "Where is the manifesto?" "The Emperors appeal? Oh yes!" Pierre began feeling in his pockets for the papers, but could not find them. Still slapping his pockets, he kissed the hand of the countess who entered the room and glanced uneasily around, evidently expecting Natasha, who had left off singing but had not yet come into the drawing room. "On my word, I dont know what Ive done with it," he said. "There he is, always losing everything!" remarked the countess. Natasha entered with a softened and agitated expression of face and sat down looking silently at Pierre. As soon as she entered, Pierres features, which had been gloomy, suddenly lighted up, and while still searching for the papers he glanced at her several times. "No, really! Ill drive home, I must have left them there. Ill certainly..." "But youll be late for dinner." "Oh! And my coachman has gone." But Sonya, who had gone to look for the papers in the anteroom, had found them in Pierres hat, where he had carefully tucked them under the lining. Pierre was about to begin reading. "No, after dinner," said the old count, evidently expecting much enjoyment from that reading. At dinner, at which champagne was drunk to the health of the new chevalier of St. George, Shinshin told them the town news, of the illness of the old Georgian princess, of Metiviers disappearance from Moscow, and of how some German fellow had been brought to Rostopchin and accused of being a French "spyer" (so Count Rostopchin had told the story), and how Rostopchin let him go and assured the people that he was "not a spire at all, but only an old German ruin." "People are being arrested..." said the count. "Ive told the countess she should not speak French so much. Its not the time for it now." "And have you heard?" Shinshin asked. "Prince Golitsyn has engaged a master to teach him Russian. It is becoming dangerous to speak French in the streets." "And how about you, Count Peter Kirilych? If they call up the militia, you too will have to mount a horse," remarked the old count, addressing Pierre. Pierre had been silent and preoccupied all through dinner, seeming not to grasp what was said. He looked at the count. "Oh yes, the war," he said. "No! What sort of warrior should I make? And yet everything is so strange, so strange! I cant make it out. I dont know, I am very far from having military tastes, but in these times no one can answer

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