Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
of commerce and craftsmanship,
with luxury, and governmental and religious institutions. These forms
were lifeless but still existed. There were bazaars, shops,
warehouses, market stalls, granaries--for the most part still stocked
with goods--and there were factories and workshops, palaces and
wealthy houses filled with luxuries, hospitals, prisons, government
offices, churches, and cathedrals. The longer the French remained the
more these forms of town life perished, until finally all was merged
into one confused, lifeless scene of plunder.
The more the plundering by the French continued, the more both the
wealth of Moscow and the strength of its plunderers was destroyed. But
plundering by the Russians, with which the reoccupation of the city
began, had an opposite effect: the longer it continued and the greater
the number of people taking part in it the more rapidly was the wealth
of the city and its regular life restored.
Besides the plunderers, very various people, some drawn by
curiosity, some by official duties, some by self-interest--house
owners, clergy, officials of all kinds, tradesmen, artisans, and
peasants--streamed into Moscow as blood flows to the heart.
Within a week the peasants who came with empty carts to carry off
plunder were stopped by the authorities and made to cart the corpses
out of the town. Other peasants, having heard of their comrades
discomfiture, came to town bringing rye, oats, and hay, and beat
down one anothers prices to below what they had been in former
days. Gangs of carpenters hoping for high pay arrived in Moscow
every day, and on all sides logs were being hewn, new houses built,
and old, charred ones repaired. Tradesmen began trading in booths.
Cookshops and taverns were opened in partially burned houses. The
clergy resumed the services in many churches that had not been burned.
Donors contributed Church property that had been stolen. Government
clerks set up their baize-covered tables and their pigeonholes of
documents in small rooms. The higher authorities and the police
organized the distribution of goods left behind by the French. The
owners of houses in which much property had been left, brought there
from other houses, complained of the injustice of taking everything to
the Faceted Palace in the Kremlin; others insisted that as the
French had gathered things from different houses into this or that
house, it would be unfair to allow its owner to keep all that was
found there. They abused the police and bribed them, made out
estimates at ten times their value for government stores that had
perished in the fire, and demanded relief. And Count Rostopchin
At the end of January Pierre went to Moscow and stayed in an annex
of his house which had not been burned. He called on Count
Rostopchin and on some acquaintances who were back in Moscow, and he
intended to leave for Petersburg two days later. Everybody was
celebrating the victory, everything was bubbling with life in the
ruined but reviving city. Everyone was pleased to see Pierre, everyone
wished to meet him, and everyone questioned him about what he had
seen. Pierre felt particularly well disposed toward them all, but
was now instinctively on his guard for fear of binding himself in
any way. To all questions put to him--whether important or quite
trifling--such as: Where would he live? Was he going to rebuild?
When was he going to Petersburg and would he mind taking a parcel
for someone?--he replied: "Yes, perhaps," or, "I think so," and so on.
He had heard that the Rostovs were at Kostroma but the thought of
Natasha seldom occurred to him. If it did it was only as a pleasant
memory of the distant past. He felt himself not only free from
social obligations but also from that feeling which, it seemed to him,
he had aroused in himself.
On the third day after his arrival he heard from the Drubetskoys
that Princess Mary was in Moscow. The death, sufferings, and last days
of Prince Andrew had often occupied Pierres thoughts and now recurred
to him with fresh vividness. Having heard at dinner that Princess Mary
was in Moscow and living in her house--which had not been burned--in
Vozdvizhenka Street, he drove that same evening to see her.
On his way to the house Pierre kept thinking of Prince Andrew, of
their friendship, of his various meetings with him, and especially
of the last one at Borodino.
"Is it possible that he died in the bitter frame of mind he was then
in? Is it possible that the meaning of life was not disclosed to him
before he died?" thought Pierre. He recalled Karataev
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