Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
wifes carriage, little ones, Mamma and Papa, their relations to
her, and so on--and these pictures of the future had given him
pleasure. But with Princess Mary, to whom they were trying to get
him engaged, he could never picture anything of future married life.
If he tried, his pictures seemed incongruous and false. It made him
The dreadful news of the battle of Borodino, of our losses in killed
and wounded, and the still more terrible news of the loss of Moscow
reached Voronezh in the middle of September. Princess Mary, having
learned of her brothers wound only from the Gazette and having no
definite news of him, prepared (so Nicholas heard, he had not seen her
again himself) to set off in search of Prince Andrew.
When he received the news of the battle of Borodino and the
abandonment of Moscow, Rostov was not seized with despair, anger,
the desire for vengeance, or any feeling of that kind, but
everything in Voronezh suddenly seemed to him dull and tiresome, and
he experienced an indefinite feeling of shame and awkwardness. The
conversations he heard seemed to him insincere; he did not know how to
judge all these affairs and felt that only in the regiment would
everything again become clear to him. He made haste to finish buying
the horses, and often became unreasonably angry with his servant and
A few days before his departure a special thanksgiving, at which
Nicholas was present, was held in the cathedral for the Russian
victory. He stood a little behind the governor and held himself with
military decorum through the service, meditating on a great variety of
subjects. When the service was over the governors wife beckoned him
"Have you seen the princess?" she asked, indicating with a
movement of her head a lady standing on the opposite side, beyond
Nicholas immediately recognized Princess Mary not so much by the
profile he saw under her bonnet as by the feeling of solicitude,
timidity, and pity that immediately overcame him. Princess Mary,
evidently engrossed by her thoughts, was crossing herself for the last
time before leaving the church.
Nicholas looked at her face with surprise. It was the same face he
had seen before, there was the same general expression of refined,
inner, spiritual labor, but now it was quite differently lit up. There
was a pathetic expression of sorrow, prayer, and hope in it. As had
occurred before when she was present, Nicholas went up to her
without waiting to be prompted by the governors wife and not asking
himself whether or not it was right and proper to address her here
in church, and told her he had heard of her trouble and sympathized
with his whole soul. As soon as she heard his voice a vivid glow
kindled in her face, lighting up both her sorrow and her joy.
"There is one thing I wanted to tell you, Princess," said Rostov.
"It is that if your brother, Prince Andrew Nikolievich, were not
living, it would have been at once announced in the Gazette, as he
is a colonel."
The princess looked at him, not grasping what he was saying, but
cheered by the expression of regretful sympathy on his face.
"And I have known so many cases of a splinter wound" (the Gazette
said it was a shell) "either proving fatal at once or being very
slight," continued Nicholas. "We must hope for the best, and I am
Princess Mary interrupted him.
"Oh, that would be so dread..." she began and, prevented by
agitation from finishing, she bent her head with a movement as
graceful as everything she did in his presence and, looking up at
him gratefully, went out, following her aunt.
That evening Nicholas did not go out, but stayed at home to settle
some accounts with the horse dealers. When he had finished that
business it was already too late to go anywhere but still too early to
go to bed, and for a long time he paced up and down the room,
reflecting on his life, a thing he rarely did.
Princess Mary had made an agreeable impression on him when he had
met her in Smolensk province. His having encountered her in such
exceptional circumstances, and his mother having at one time mentioned
her to him as a good match, had drawn his particular attention to her.
When he met her again in Voronezh the impression she made on him was
not merely pleasing but powerful. Nicholas had been struck by the
peculiar moral beauty he observed in
War And Peace page 569 War And Peace page 571