Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
dispatched mine. I have written to my poor mother," said the smiling
Mademoiselle Bourienne rapidly, in her pleasant mellow tones and
with guttural rs. She brought into Princess Marys strenuous,
mournful, and gloomy world a quite different atmosphere, careless,
lighthearted, and self-satisfied.
"Princess, I must warn you," she added, lowering her voice and
evidently listening to herself with pleasure, and speaking with
exaggerated grasseyement, "the prince has been scolding Michael
Ivanovich. He is in a very bad humor, very morose. Be prepared."
"Ah, dear friend," replied Princess Mary, "I have asked you never to
warn me of the humor my father is in. I do not allow myself to judge
him and would not have others do so."
The princess glanced at her watch and, seeing that she was five
minutes late in starting her practice on the clavichord, went into the
sitting room with a look of alarm. Between twelve and two oclock,
as the day was mapped out, the prince rested and the princess played
The gray-haired valet was sitting drowsily listening to the
snoring of the prince, who was in his large study. From the far side
of the house through the closed doors came the sound of difficult
passages--twenty times repeated--of a sonata by Dussek.
Just then a closed carriage and another with a hood drove up to
the porch. Prince Andrew got out of the carriage, helped his little
wife to alight, and let her pass into the house before him. Old
Tikhon, wearing a wig, put his head out of the door of the
antechamber, reported in a whisper that the prince was sleeping, and
hastily closed the door. Tikhon knew that neither the sons arrival
nor any other unusual event must be allowed to disturb the appointed
order of the day. Prince Andrew apparently knew this as well as
Tikhon; he looked at his watch as if to ascertain whether his fathers
habits had changed since he was at home last, and, having assured
himself that they had not, he turned to his wife.
"He will get up in twenty minutes. Let us go across to Marys room,"
The little princess had grown stouter during this time, but her eyes
and her short, downy, smiling lip lifted when she began to speak
just as merrily and prettily as ever.
"Why, this is a palace!" she said to her husband, looking around
with the expression with which people compliment their host at a ball.
"Lets come, quick, quick!" And with a glance round, she smiled at
Tikhon, at her husband, and at the footman who accompanied them.
"Is that Mary practicing? Lets go quietly and take her by
Prince Andrew followed her with a courteous but sad expression.
"Youve grown older, Tikhon," he said in passing to the old man, who
kissed his hand.
Before they reached the room from which the sounds of the clavichord
came, the pretty, fair haired Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle Bourienne,
rushed out apparently beside herself with delight.
"Ah! what joy for the princess!" exclaimed she: "At last! I must let
"No, no, please not... You are Mademoiselle Bourienne," said the
little princess, kissing her. "I know you already through my
sister-in-laws friendship for you. She was not expecting us?"
They went up to the door of the sitting room from which came the
sound of the oft-repeated passage of the sonata. Prince Andrew stopped
and made a grimace, as if expecting something unpleasant.
The little princess entered the room. The passage broke off in the
middle, a cry was heard, then Princess Marys heavy tread and the
sound of kissing. When Prince Andrew went in the two princesses, who
had only met once before for a short time at his wedding, were in each
others arms warmly pressing their lips to whatever place they
happened to touch. Mademoiselle Bourienne stood near them pressing her
hand to her heart, with a beatific smile and obviously equally ready
to cry or to laugh. Prince Andrew shrugged his shoulders and
frowned, as lovers of music do when they hear a false note. The two
women let go of one another, and then, as if afraid of being too late,
seized each others hands, kissing them and pulling them away, and
again began kissing each other on the face, and then to Prince
Andrews surprise both began to cry and kissed again. Mademoiselle
Bourienne also began to cry. Prince Andrew evidently felt ill at ease,
but to the two women it seemed quite natural that they should cry, and
apparently it never entered their heads that it could
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