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War And Peace 57


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clock to the door by which the prince was to enter. Prince Andrew was looking at a large gilt frame, new to him, containing the genealogical tree of the Princes Bolkonski, opposite which hung another such frame with a badly painted portrait (evidently by the hand of the artist belonging to the estate) of a ruling prince, in a crown--an alleged descendant of Rurik and ancestor of the Bolkonskis. Prince Andrew, looking again at that genealogical tree, shook his head, laughing as a man laughs who looks at a portrait so characteristic of the original as to be amusing. "How thoroughly like him that is!" he said to Princess Mary, who had come up to him. Princess Mary looked at her brother in surprise. She did not understand what he was laughing at. Everything her father did inspired her with reverence and was beyond question. "Everyone has his Achilles heel," continued Prince Andrew. "Fancy, with his powerful mind, indulging in such nonsense!" Princess Mary could not understand the boldness of her brothers criticism and was about to reply, when the expected footsteps were heard coming from the study. The prince walked in quickly and jauntily as was his wont, as if intentionally contrasting the briskness of his manners with the strict formality of his house. At that moment the great clock struck two and another with a shrill tone joined in from the drawing room. The prince stood still; his lively glittering eyes from under their thick, bushy eyebrows sternly scanned all present and rested on the little princess. She felt, as courtiers do when the Tsar enters, the sensation of fear and respect which the old man inspired in all around him. He stroked her hair and then patted her awkwardly on the back of her neck. "Im glad, glad, to see you," he said, looking attentively into her eyes, and then quickly went to his place and sat down. "Sit down, sit down! Sit down, Michael Ianovich!" He indicated a place beside him to his daughter-in-law. A footman moved the chair for her. "Ho, ho!" said the old man, casting his eyes on her rounded figure. "Youve been in a hurry. Thats bad!" He laughed in his usual dry, cold, unpleasant way, with his lips only and not with his eyes. "You must walk, walk as much as possible, as much as possible," he said. The little princess did not, or did not wish to, hear his words. She was silent and seemed confused. The prince asked her about her father, and she began to smile and talk. He asked about mutual acquaintances, and she became still more animated and chattered away giving him greetings from various people and retailing the town gossip. "Countess Apraksina, poor thing, has lost her husband and she has cried her eyes out," she said, growing more and more lively. As she became animated the prince looked at her more and more sternly, and suddenly, as if he had studied her sufficiently and had formed a definite idea of her, he turned away and addressed Michael Ivanovich. "Well, Michael Ivanovich, our Bonaparte will be having a bad time of it. Prince Andrew" (he always spoke thus of his son) "has been telling me what forces are being collected against him! While you and I never thought much of him." Michael Ivanovich did not at all know when "you and I" had said such things about Bonaparte, but understanding that he was wanted as a peg on which to hang the princes favorite topic, he looked inquiringly at the young prince, wondering what would follow. "He is a great tactician!" said the prince to his son, pointing to the architect. And the conversation again turned on the war, on Bonaparte, and the generals and statesmen of the day. The old prince seemed convinced not only that all the men of the day were mere babies who did not know the A B C of war or of politics, and that Bonaparte was an insignificant little Frenchy, successful only because there were no longer any Potemkins or Suvorovs left to oppose him; but he was also convinced that there were no political difficulties in Europe and no real war, but only a sort of puppet show at which the men of the day were playing, pretending to do something real. Prince Andrew gaily bore with his fathers ridicule of the new men, and drew him on and listened to him with evident pleasure. "The past always seems good," said he, "but did not Suvorov himself fall into a trap Moreau set him, and from which he did not know

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