Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
became suddenly transformed. It was as
if a light had been kindled in a carved and painted lantern and the
intricate, skillful, artistic work on its sides, that previously
seemed dark, coarse, and meaningless, was suddenly shown up in
unexpected and striking beauty. For the first time all that pure,
spiritual, inward travail through which she had lived appeared on
the surface. All her inward labor, her dissatisfaction with herself,
her sufferings, her strivings after goodness, her meekness, love,
and self-sacrifice--all this now shone in those radiant eyes, in her
delicate smile, and in every trait of her gentle face.
Rostov saw all this as clearly as if he had known her whole life. He
felt that the being before him was quite different from, and better
than, anyone he had met before, and above all better than himself.
Their conversation was very simple and unimportant. They spoke of
the war, and like everyone else unconsciously exaggerated their sorrow
about it; they spoke of their last meeting--Nicholas trying to
change the subject--they talked of the governors kind wife, of
Nicholas relations, and of Princess Marys.
She did not talk about her brother, diverting the conversation as
soon as her aunt mentioned Andrew. Evidently she could speak of
Russias misfortunes with a certain artificiality, but her brother was
too near her heart and she neither could nor would speak lightly of
him. Nicholas noticed this, as he noticed every shade of Princess
Marys character with an observation unusual to him, and everything
confirmed his conviction that she was a quite unusual and
extraordinary being. Nicholas blushed and was confused when people
spoke to him about the princess (as she did when he was mentioned) and
even when he thought of her, but in her presence he felt quite at
ease, and said not at all what he had prepared, but what, quite
appropriately, occurred to him at the moment.
When a pause occurred during his short visit, Nicholas, as is
usual when there are children, turned to Prince Andrews little son,
caressing him and asking whether he would like to be an hussar. He
took the boy on his knee, played with him, and looked round at
Princess Mary. With a softened, happy, timid look she watched the
boy she loved in the arms of the man she loved. Nicholas also
noticed that look and, as if understanding it, flushed with pleasure
and began to kiss the boy with good natured playfulness.
As she was in mourning Princess Mary did not go out into society,
and Nicholas did not think it the proper thing to visit her again; but
all the same the governors wife went on with her matchmaking, passing
on to Nicholas the flattering things Princess Mary said of him and
vice versa, and insisting on his declaring himself to Princess Mary.
For this purpose she arranged a meeting between the young people at
the bishops house before Mass.
Though Rostov told the governors wife that he would not make any
declaration to Princess Mary, he promised to go.
As at Tilsit Rostov had not allowed himself to doubt that what
everybody considered right was right, so now, after a short but
sincere struggle between his effort to arrange his life by his own
sense of justice, and in obedient submission to circumstances, he
chose the latter and yielded to the power he felt irresistibly
carrying him he knew not where. He knew that after his promise to
Sonya it would be what he deemed base to declare his feelings to
Princess Mary. And he knew that he would never act basely. But he also
knew (or rather felt at the bottom of his heart) that by resigning
himself now to the force of circumstances and to those who were
guiding him, he was not only doing nothing wrong, but was doing
something very important--more important than anything he had ever
done in his life.
After meeting Princess Mary, though the course of his life went on
externally as before, all his former amusements lost their charm for
him and he often thought about her. But he never thought about her
as he had thought of all the young ladies without exception whom he
had met in society, nor as he had for a long time, and at one time
rapturously, thought about Sonya. He had pictured each of those
young ladies as almost all honest-hearted young men do, that is, as
a possible wife, adapting her in his imagination to all the conditions
of married life: a white dressing gown, his wife at the tea table,
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