Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
pleasure in it--then his mother
thought she loved him more, much more, than all her other children.
The nearer the time came for Petya to return, the more uneasy grew the
countess. She began to think she would never live to see such
happiness. The presence of Sonya, of her beloved Natasha, or even of
her husband irritated her. "What do I want with them? I want no one
but Petya," she thought.
At the end of August the Rostovs received another letter from
Nicholas. He wrote from the province of Voronezh where he had been
sent to procure remounts, but that letter did not set the countess
at ease. Knowing that one son was out of danger she became the more
anxious about Petya.
Though by the twentieth of August nearly all the Rostovs
acquaintances had left Moscow, and though everybody tried to
persuade the countess to get away as quickly as possible, she would
not hear of leaving before her treasure, her adored Petya, returned.
On the twenty-eighth of August he arrived. The passionate tenderness
with which his mother received him did not please the sixteen-year-old
officer. Though she concealed from him her intention of keeping him
under her wing, Petya guessed her designs, and instinctively fearing
that he might give way to emotion when with her--might "become
womanish" as he termed it to himself--he treated her coldly, avoided
her, and during his stay in Moscow attached himself exclusively to
Natasha for whom he had always had a particularly brotherly
tenderness, almost lover-like.
Owing to the counts customary carelessness nothing was ready for
their departure by the twenty-eighth of August and the carts that were
to come from their Ryazan and Moscow estates to remove their household
belongings did not arrive till the thirtieth.
From the twenty-eighth till the thirty-first all Moscow was in a
bustle and commotion. Every day thousands of men wounded at Borodino
were brought in by the Dorogomilov gate and taken to various parts
of Moscow, and thousands of carts conveyed the inhabitants and their
possessions out by the other gates. In spite of Rostopchins
broadsheets, or because of them or independently of them, the
strangest and most contradictory rumors were current in the town. Some
said that no one was to be allowed to leave the city, others on the
contrary said that all the icons had been taken out of the churches
and everybody was to be ordered to leave. Some said there had been
another battle after Borodino at which the French had been routed,
while others on the contrary reported that the Russian army had been
destroyed. Some talked about the Moscow militia which, preceded by the
clergy, would go to the Three Hills; others whispered that Augustin
had been forbidden to leave, that traitors had been seized, that the
peasants were rioting and robbing people on their way from Moscow, and
so on. But all this was only talk; in reality (though the Council of
Fili, at which it was decided to abandon Moscow, had not yet been
held) both those who went away and those who remained behind felt,
though they did not show it, that Moscow would certainly be abandoned,
and that they ought to get away as quickly as possible and save
their belongings. It was felt that everything would suddenly break
up and change, but up to the first of September nothing had done so.
As a criminal who is being led to execution knows that he must die
immediately, but yet looks about him and straightens the cap that is
awry on his head, so Moscow involuntarily continued its wonted life,
though it knew that the time of its destruction was near when the
conditions of life to which its people were accustomed to submit would
be completely upset.
During the three days preceding the occupation of Moscow the whole
Rostov family was absorbed in various activities. The head of the
family, Count Ilya Rostov, continually drove about the city collecting
the current rumors from all sides and gave superficial and hasty
orders at home about the preparations for their departure.
The countess watched the things being packed, was dissatisfied
with everything, was constantly in pursuit of Petya who was always
running away from her, and was jealous of Natasha with whom he spent
all his time. Sonya alone directed the practical side of matters by
getting things packed. But of late Sonya had been particularly sad and
silent. Nicholas letter in which he mentioned Princess Mary had
elicited, in her presence, joyous comments from the countess, who
saw an intervention of Providence in
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