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War And Peace 413


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beaten at... at... what river is it?" Dessalles dropped his eyes. "The prince says nothing about that," he remarked gently. "Doesnt he? But I didnt invent it myself." No one spoke for a long time. "Yes... yes... Well, Michael Ivanovich," he suddenly went on, raising his head and pointing to the plan of the building, "tell me how you mean to alter it...." Michael Ivanovich went up to the plan, and the prince after speaking to him about the building looked angrily at Princess Mary and Dessalles and went to his own room. Princess Mary saw Dessalles embarrassed and astonished look fixed on her father, noticed his silence, and was struck by the fact that her father had forgotten his sons letter on the drawing-room table; but she was not only afraid to speak of it and ask Dessalles the reason of his confusion and silence, but was afraid even to think about it. In the evening Michael Ivanovich, sent by the prince, came to Princess Mary for Prince Andrews letter which had been forgotten in the drawing room. She gave it to him and, unpleasant as it was to her to do so, ventured to ask him what her father was doing. "Always busy," replied Michael Ivanovich with a respectfully ironic smile which caused Princess Mary to turn pale. "Hes worrying very much about the new building. He has been reading a little, but now"--Michael Ivanovich went on, lowering his voice--"now hes at his desk, busy with his will, I expect." (One of the princes favorite occupations of late had been the preparation of some papers he meant to leave at his death and which he called his "will.") "And Alpatych is being sent to Smolensk?" asked Princess Mary. "Oh, yes, he has been waiting to start for some time." CHAPTER III When Michael Ivanovich returned to the study with the letter, the old prince, with spectacles on and a shade over his eyes, was sitting at his open bureau with screened candles, holding a paper in his outstretched hand, and in a somewhat dramatic attitude was reading his manuscript--his "Remarks" as he termed it--which was to be transmitted to the Emperor after his death. When Michael Ivanovich went in there were tears in the princes eyes evoked by the memory of the time when the paper he was now reading had been written. He took the letter from Michael Ivanovichs hand, put it in his pocket, folded up his papers, and called in Alpatych who had long been waiting. The prince had a list of things to be bought in Smolensk and, walking up and down the room past Alpatych who stood by the door, he gave his instructions. "First, notepaper--do you hear? Eight quires, like this sample, gilt-edged... it must be exactly like the sample. Varnish, sealing wax, as in Michael Ivanovichs list." He paced up and down for a while and glanced at his notes. "Then hand to the governor in person a letter about the deed." Next, bolts for the doors of the new building were wanted and had to be of a special shape the prince had himself designed, and a leather case had to be ordered to keep the "will" in. The instructions to Alpatych took over two hours and still the prince did not let him go. He sat down, sank into thought, closed his eyes, and dozed off. Alpatych made a slight movement. "Well, go, go! If anything more is wanted Ill send after you." Alpatych went out. The prince again went to his bureau, glanced into it, fingered his papers, closed the bureau again, and sat down at the table to write to the governor. It was already late when he rose after sealing the letter. He wished to sleep, but he knew he would not be able to and that most depressing thoughts came to him in bed. So he called Tikhon and went through the rooms with him to show him where to set up the bed for that night. He went about looking at every corner. Every place seemed unsatisfactory, but worst of all was his customary couch in the study. That couch was dreadful to him, probably because of the oppressive thoughts he had had when lying there. It was unsatisfactory everywhere, but the corner behind the piano in the sitting room was better than other places: he had never slept there yet. With the help of a footman Tikhon brought in the bedstead and began putting it up. "Thats not right! Thats not right!" cried the prince, and himself pushed it a few inches from the corner and then

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