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War And Peace 450


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un petit peu amoureuse du jeune homme."* *"A little bit in love with the young man." "Forfeit, forfeit, forfeit!" "But how could one say that in Russian?" CHAPTER XVIII When Pierre returned home he was handed two of Rostopchins broadsheets that had been brought that day. The first declared that the report that Count Rostopchin had forbidden people to leave Moscow was false; on the contrary he was glad that ladies and tradesmens wives were leaving the city. "There will be less panic and less gossip," ran the broadsheet "but I will stake my life on it that scoundrel will not enter Moscow." These words showed Pierre clearly for the first time that the French would enter Moscow. The second broadsheet stated that our headquarters were at Vyazma, that Count Wittgenstein had defeated the French, but that as many of the inhabitants of Moscow wished to be armed, weapons were ready for them at the arsenal: sabers, pistols, and muskets which could be had at a low price. The tone of the proclamation was not as jocose as in the former Chigirin talks. Pierre pondered over these broadsheets. Evidently the terrible stormcloud he had desired with the whole strength of his soul but which yet aroused involuntary horror in him was drawing near. "Shall I join the army and enter the service, or wait?" he asked himself for the hundredth time. He took a pack of cards that lay on the table and began to lay them out for a game of patience. "If this patience comes out," he said to himself after shuffling the cards, holding them in his hand, and lifting his head, "if it comes out, it means... what does it mean?" He had not decided what it should mean when he heard the voice of the eldest princess at the door asking whether she might come in. "Then it will mean that I must go to the army," said Pierre to himself. "Come in, come in!" he added to the princess. Only the eldest princess, the one with the stony face and long waist, was still living in Pierres house. The two younger ones had both married. "Excuse my coming to you, cousin," she said in a reproachful and agitated voice. "You know some decision must be come to. What is going to happen? Everyone has left Moscow and the people are rioting. How is it that we are staying on?" "On the contrary, things seem satisfactory, ma cousine," said Pierre in the bantering tone he habitually adopted toward her, always feeling uncomfortable in the role of her benefactor. "Satisfactory, indeed! Very satisfactory! Barbara Ivanovna told me today how our troops are distinguishing themselves. It certainly does them credit! And the people too are quite mutinous--they no longer obey, even my maid has taken to being rude. At this rate they will soon begin beating us. One cant walk in the streets. But, above all, the French will be here any day now, so what are we waiting for? I ask just one thing of you, cousin," she went on, "arrange for me to be taken to Petersburg. Whatever I may be, I cant live under Bonapartes rule." "Oh, come, ma cousine! Where do you get your information from? On the contrary..." "I wont submit to your Napoleon! Others may if they please.... If you dont want to do this..." "But I will, Ill give the order at once." The princess was apparently vexed at not having anyone to be angry with. Muttering to herself, she sat down on a chair. "But you have been misinformed," said Pierre. "Everything is quiet in the city and there is not the slightest danger. See! Ive just been reading..." He showed her the broadsheet. "Count Rostopchin writes that he will stake his life on it that the enemy will not enter Moscow." "Oh, that count of yours!" said the princess malevolently. "He is a hypocrite, a rascal who has himself roused the people to riot. Didnt he write in those idiotic broadsheets that anyone, whoever it might be, should be dragged to the lockup by his hair? (How silly!) And honor and glory to whoever captures him, he says. This is what his cajolery has brought us to! Barbara Ivanovna told me the mob near killed her because she said something in French." "Oh, but its so... You take everything so to heart," said Pierre, and began laying out his cards for patience. Although that patience did come out, Pierre did not join the army, but remained in deserted Moscow ever in the same state of agitation, irresolution, and alarm, yet at the same

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