Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
large crowd to the
barn and sent word that they would not let her leave the village: that
there was an order not to move, and that they would unharness the
horses. Alpatych had gone out to admonish them, but was told (it was
chiefly Karp who did the talking, Dron not showing himself in the
crowd) that they could not let the princess go, that there was an
order to the contrary, but that if she stayed they would serve her
as before and obey her in everything.
At the moment when Rostov and Ilyin were galloping along the road,
Princess Mary, despite the dissuasions of Alpatych, her nurse, and the
maids, had given orders to harness and intended to start, but when the
cavalrymen were espied they were taken for Frenchmen, the coachman ran
away, and the women in the house began to wail.
"Father! Benefactor! God has sent you!" exclaimed deeply moved
voices as Rostov passed through the anteroom.
Princess Mary was sitting helpless and bewildered in the large
sitting room, when Rostov was shown in. She could not grasp who he was
and why he had come, or what was happening to her. When she saw his
Russian face, and by his walk and the first words he uttered
recognized him as a man of her own class, she glanced at him with
her deep radiant look and began speaking in a voice that faltered
and trembled with emotion. This meeting immediately struck Rostov as a
romantic event. "A helpless girl overwhelmed with grief, left to the
mercy of coarse, rioting peasants! And what a strange fate sent me
here! What gentleness and nobility there are in her features and
expression!" thought he as he looked at her and listened to her
When she began to tell him that all this had happened the day
after her fathers funeral, her voiced trembled. She turned away,
and then, as if fearing he might take her words as meant to move him
to pity, looked at him with an apprehensive glance of inquiry. There
were tears in Rostovs eyes. Princess Mary noticed this and glanced
gratefully at him with that radiant look which caused the plainness of
her face to be forgotten.
"I cannot express, Princess, how glad I am that I happened to ride
here and am able to show my readiness to serve you," said Rostov,
rising. "Go when you please, and I give you my word of honor that no
one shall dare to cause you annoyance if only you will allow me to act
as your escort." And bowing respectfully, as if to a lady of royal
blood, he moved toward the door.
Rostovs deferential tone seemed to indicate that though he would
consider himself happy to be acquainted with her, he did not wish to
take advantage of her misfortunes to intrude upon her.
Princess Mary understood this and appreciated his delicacy.
"I am very, very grateful to you," she said in French, "but I hope
it was all a misunderstanding and that no one is to blame for it." She
suddenly began to cry.
"Excuse me!" she said.
Rostov, knitting his brows, left the room with another low bow.
"Well, is she pretty? Ah, friend--my pink one is delicious; her
name is Dunyasha...."
But on glancing at Rostovs face Ilyin stopped short. He saw that
his hero and commander was following quite a different train of
Rostov glanced angrily at Ilyin and without replying strode off with
rapid steps to the village.
"Ill show them; Ill give it to them, the brigands!" said he to
Alpatych at a gliding trot, only just managing not to run, kept up
with him with difficulty.
"What decision have you been pleased to come to?" said he.
Rostov stopped and, clenching his fists, suddenly and sternly turned
"Decision? What decision? Old dotard!..." cried he. "What have you
been about? Eh? The peasants are rioting, and you cant manage them?
Youre a traitor yourself! I know you. Ill flay you all alive!..."
And as if afraid of wasting his store of anger, he left Alpatych and
went rapidly forward. Alpatych, mastering his offended feelings,
kept pace with Rostov at a gliding gait and continued to impart his
views. He said the peasants were obdurate and that at the present
moment it would be imprudent to "overresist" them without an armed
force, and would it not be better first to send for the military?
"Ill give them armed force... Ill overresist them!" uttered
Rostov meaninglessly, breathless with irrational animal fury and the
need to vent
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