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War And Peace 49

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War And Peace

his forehead, wetting him with her tears. Then after a pause she said: "He is no more...." Pierre looked at her over his spectacles. "Come, I will go with you. Try to weep, nothing gives such relief as tears." She led him into the dark drawing room and Pierre was glad no one could see his face. Anna Mikhaylovna left him, and when she returned he was fast asleep with his head on his arm. In the morning Anna Mikhaylovna said to Pierre: "Yes, my dear, this is a great loss for us all, not to speak of you. But God will support you: you are young, and are now, I hope, in command of an immense fortune. The will has not yet been opened. I know you well enough to be sure that this will not turn your head, but it imposes duties on you, and you must be a man." Pierre was silent. "Perhaps later on I may tell you, my dear boy, that if I had not been there, God only knows what would have happened! You know, Uncle promised me only the day before yesterday not to forget Boris. But he had no time. I hope, my dear friend, you will carry out your fathers wish?" Pierre understood nothing of all this and coloring shyly looked in silence at Princess Anna Mikhaylovna. After her talk with Pierre, Anna Mikhaylovna returned to the Rostovs and went to bed. On waking in the morning she told the Rostovs and all her acquaintances the details of Count Bezukhovs death. She said the count had died as she would herself wish to die, that his end was not only touching but edifying. As to the last meeting between father and son, it was so touching that she could not think of it without tears, and did not know which had behaved better during those awful moments--the father who so remembered everything and everybody at last and had spoken such pathetic words to the son, or Pierre, whom it had been pitiful to see, so stricken was he with grief, though he tried hard to hide it in order not to sadden his dying father. "It is painful, but it does one good. It uplifts the soul to see such men as the old count and his worthy son," said she. Of the behavior of the eldest princess and Prince Vasili she spoke disapprovingly, but in whispers and as a great secret. CHAPTER XXV At Bald Hills, Prince Nicholas Andreevich Bolkonskis estate, the arrival of young Prince Andrew and his wife was daily expected, but this expectation did not upset the regular routine of life in the old princes household. General in Chief Prince Nicholas Andreevich (nicknamed in society, "the King of Prussia") ever since the Emperor Paul had exiled him to his country estate had lived there continuously with his daughter, Princess Mary, and her companion, Mademoiselle Bourienne. Though in the new reign he was free to return to the capitals, he still continued to live in the country, remarking that anyone who wanted to see him could come the hundred miles from Moscow to Bald Hills, while he himself needed no one and nothing. He used to say that there are only two sources of human vice--idleness and superstition, and only two virtues--activity and intelligence. He himself undertook his daughters education, and to develop these two cardinal virtues in her gave her lessons in algebra and geometry till she was twenty, and arranged her life so that her whole time was occupied. He was himself always occupied: writing his memoirs, solving problems in higher mathematics, turning snuffboxes on a lathe, working in the garden, or superintending the building that was always going on at his estate. As regularity is a prime condition facilitating activity, regularity in his household was carried to the highest point of exactitude. He always came to table under precisely the same conditions, and not only at the same hour but at the same minute. With those about him, from his daughter to his serfs, the prince was sharp and invariably exacting, so that without being a hardhearted man he inspired such fear and respect as few hardhearted men would have aroused. Although he was in retirement and had now no influence in political affairs, every high official appointed to the province in which the princes estate lay considered it his duty to visit him and waited in the lofty antechamber just as the architect, gardener, or Princess Mary did, till the prince appeared punctually to the appointed hour. Everyone sitting in this antechamber experienced the same

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