Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
would not be in time to lock the door though he painfully strained all
his powers. He was seized by an agonizing fear. And that fear was
the fear of death. It stood behind the door. But just when he was
clumsily creeping toward the door, that dreadful something on the
other side was already pressing against it and forcing its way in.
Something not human--death--was breaking in through that door, and had
to be kept out. He seized the door, making a final effort to hold it
back--to lock it was no longer possible--but his efforts were weak and
clumsy and the door, pushed from behind by that terror, opened and
Once again it pushed from outside. His last superhuman efforts
were vain and both halves of the door noiselessly opened. It
entered, and it was death, and Prince Andrew died.
But at the instant he died, Prince Andrew remembered that he was
asleep, and at the very instant he died, having made an effort, he
"Yes, it was death! I died--and woke up. Yes, death is an
awakening!" And all at once it grew light in his soul and the veil
that had till then concealed the unknown was lifted from his spiritual
vision. He felt as if powers till then confined within him had been
liberated, and that strange lightness did not again leave him.
When, waking in a cold perspiration, he moved on the divan,
Natasha went up and asked him what was the matter. He did not answer
and looked at her strangely, not understanding.
That was what had happened to him two days before Princess Marys
arrival. From that day, as the doctor expressed it, the wasting
fever assumed a malignant character, but what the doctor said did
not interest Natasha, she saw the terrible moral symptoms which to her
were more convincing.
From that day an awakening from life came to Prince Andrew
together with his awakening from sleep. And compared to the duration
of life it did not seem to him slower than an awakening from sleep
compared to the duration of a dream.
There was nothing terrible or violent in this comparatively slow
His last days and hours passed in an ordinary and simple way. Both
Princess Mary and Natasha, who did not leave him, felt this. They
did not weep or shudder and during these last days they themselves
felt that they were not attending on him (he was no longer there, he
had left them) but on what reminded them most closely of him--his
body. Both felt this so strongly that the outward and terrible side of
death did not affect them and they did not feel it necessary to foment
their grief. Neither in his presence nor out of it did they weep,
nor did they ever talk to one another about him. They felt that they
could not express in words what they understood.
They both saw that he was sinking slowly and quietly, deeper and
deeper, away from them, and they both knew that this had to be so
and that it was right.
He confessed, and received communion: everyone came to take leave of
him. When they brought his son to him, he pressed his lips to the
boys and turned away, not because he felt it hard and sad (Princess
Mary and Natasha understood that) but simply because he thought it was
all that was required of him, but when they told him to bless the boy,
he did what was demanded and looked round as if asking whether there
was anything else he should do.
When the last convulsions of the body, which the spirit was leaving,
occurred, Princess Mary and Natasha were present.
"Is it over?" said Princess Mary when his body had for a few minutes
lain motionless, growing cold before them. Natasha went up, looked
at the dead eyes, and hastened to close them. She closed them but
did not kiss them, but clung to that which reminded her most nearly of
"Where has he gone? Where is he now?..."
When the body, washed and dressed, lay in the coffin on a table,
everyone came to take leave of him and they all wept.
Little Nicholas cried because his heart was rent by painful
perplexity. The countess and Sonya cried from pity for Natasha and
because he was no more. The old count cried because he felt that
before long, he, too, must take the same terrible step.
Natasha and Princess Mary also wept now, but not because of their
own personal grief;
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