Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
recognize it, and laughed at Dessalles when he mentioned it at dinner.
The princes tone was so calm and confident that Princess Mary
unhesitatingly believed him.
All that July the old prince was exceedingly active and even
animated. He planned another garden and began a new building for the
domestic serfs. The only thing that made Princess Mary anxious about
him was that he slept very little and, instead of sleeping in his
study as usual, changed his sleeping place every day. One day he would
order his camp bed to be set up in the glass gallery, another day he
remained on the couch or on the lounge chair in the drawing room and
dozed there without undressing, while--instead of Mademoiselle
Bourienne--a serf boy read to him. Then again he would spend a night
in the dining room.
On August 1, a second letter was received from Prince Andrew. In his
first letter which came soon after he had left home, Prince Andrew had
dutifully asked his fathers forgiveness for what he had allowed
himself to say and begged to be restored to his favor. To this
letter the old prince had replied affectionately, and from that time
had kept the Frenchwoman at a distance. Prince Andrews second letter,
written near Vitebsk after the French had occupied that town, gave a
brief account of the whole campaign, enclosed for them a plan he had
drawn and forecasts as to the further progress of the war. In this
letter Prince Andrew pointed out to his father the danger of staying
at Bald Hills, so near the theater of war and on the armys direct
line of march, and advised him to move to Moscow.
At dinner that day, on Dessalles mentioning that the French were
said to have already entered Vitebsk, the old prince remembered his
"There was a letter from Prince Andrew today," he said to Princess
Mary--"Havent you read it?"
"No, Father," she replied in a frightened voice.
She could not have read the letter as she did not even know it had
"He writes about this war," said the prince, with the ironic smile
that had become habitual to him in speaking of the present war.
"That must be very interesting," said Dessalles. "Prince Andrew is
in a position to know..."
"Oh, very interesting!" said Mademoiselle Bourienne.
"Go and get it for me," said the old prince to Mademoiselle
Bourienne. "You know--under the paperweight on the little table."
Mademoiselle Bourienne jumped up eagerly.
"No, dont!" he exclaimed with a frown. "You go, Michael Ivanovich."
Michael Ivanovich rose and went to the study. But as soon as he
had left the room the old prince, looking uneasily round, threw down
his napkin and went himself.
"They cant do anything... always make some muddle," he muttered.
While he was away Princess Mary, Dessalles, Mademoiselle
Bourienne, and even little Nicholas exchanged looks in silence. The
old prince returned with quick steps, accompanied by Michael
Ivanovich, bringing the letter and a plan. These he put down beside
him--not letting anyone read them at dinner.
On moving to the drawing room he handed the letter to Princess
Mary and, spreading out before him the plan of the new building and
fixing his eyes upon it, told her to read the letter aloud. When she
had done so Princess Mary looked inquiringly at her father. He was
examining the plan, evidently engrossed in his own ideas.
"What do you think of it, Prince?" Dessalles ventured to ask.
"I? I?..." said the prince as if unpleasantly awakened, and not
taking his eyes from the plan of the building.
"Very possibly the theater of war will move so near to us that..."
"Ha ha ha! The theater of war!" said the prince. "I have said and
still say that the theater of war is Poland and the enemy will never
get beyond the Niemen."
Dessalles looked in amazement at the prince, who was talking of
the Niemen when the enemy was already at the Dnieper, but Princess
Mary, forgetting the geographical position of the Niemen, thought that
what her father was saying was correct.
"When the snow melts theyll sink in the Polish swamps. Only they
could fail to see it," the prince continued, evidently thinking of the
campaign of 1807 which seemed to him so recent. "Bennigsen should have
advanced into Prussia sooner, then things would have taken a different
"But, Prince," Dessalles began timidly, "the letter mentions
"Ah, the letter? Yes..." replied the prince peevishly. "Yes...
yes..." His face suddenly took on a morose expression. He paused.
"Yes, he writes that the French were
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