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War And Peace 667

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War And Peace

notice Natasha because he did not at all expect to see her there, but he had failed to recognize her because the change in her since he last saw her was immense. She had grown thin and pale, but that was not what made her unrecognizable; she was unrecognizable at the moment he entered because on that face whose eyes had always shone with a suppressed smile of the joy of life, now when he first entered and glanced at her there was not the least shadow of a smile: only her eyes were kindly attentive and sadly interrogative. Pierres confusion was not reflected by any confusion on Natashas part, but only by the pleasure that just perceptibly lit up her whole face. CHAPTER XVI "She has come to stay with me," said Princess Mary. "The count and countess will be here in a few days. The countess is in a dreadful state; but it was necessary for Natasha herself to see a doctor. They insisted on her coming with me." "Yes, is there a family free from sorrow now?" said Pierre, addressing Natasha. "You know it happened the very day we were rescued. I saw him. What a delightful boy he was!" Natasha looked at him, and by way of answer to his words her eyes widened and lit up. "What can one say or think of as a consolation?" said Pierre. "Nothing! Why had such a splendid boy, so full of life, to die?" "Yes, in these days it would be hard to live without faith..." remarked Princess Mary. "Yes, yes, that is really true," Pierre hastily interrupted her. "Why is it true?" Natasha asked, looking attentively into Pierres eyes. "How can you ask why?" said Princess Mary. "The thought alone of what awaits..." Natasha without waiting for Princess Mary to finish again looked inquiringly at Pierre. "And because," Pierre continued, "only one who believes that there is a God ruling us can bear a loss such as hers and... yours." Natasha had already opened her mouth to speak but suddenly stopped. Pierre hurriedly turned away from her and again addressed Princess Mary, asking about his friends last days. Pierres confusion had now almost vanished, but at the same time he felt that his freedom had also completely gone. He felt that there was now a judge of his every word and action whose judgment mattered more to him than that of all the rest of the world. As he spoke now he was considering what impression his words would make on Natasha. He did not purposely say things to please her, but whatever he was saying he regarded from her standpoint. Princess Mary--reluctantly as is usual in such cases--began telling of the condition in which she had found Prince Andrew. But Pierres face quivering with emotion, his questions and his eager restless expression, gradually compelled her to go into details which she feared to recall for her own sake. "Yes, yes, and so...?" Pierre kept saying as he leaned toward her with his whole body and eagerly listened to her story. "Yes, yes... so he grew tranquil and softened? With all his soul he had always sought one thing--to be perfectly good--so he could not be afraid of death. The faults he had--if he had any--were not of his making. So he did soften?... What a happy thing that he saw you again," he added, suddenly turning to Natasha and looking at her with eyes full of tears. Natashas face twitched. She frowned and lowered her eyes for a moment. She hesitated for an instant whether to speak or not. "Yes, that was happiness," she then said in her quiet voice with its deep chest notes. "For me it certainly was happiness." She paused. "And he... he... he said he was wishing for it at the very moment I entered the room...." Natashas voice broke. She blushed, pressed her clasped hands on her knees, and then controlling herself with an evident effort lifted her head and began to speak rapidly. "We knew nothing of it when we started from Moscow. I did not dare to ask about him. Then suddenly Sonya told me he was traveling with us. I had no idea and could not imagine what state he was in, all I wanted was to see him and be with him," she said, trembling, and breathing quickly. And not letting them interrupt her she went on to tell what she had never yet mentioned to anyone--all she had lived through during those three weeks of their journey and life at Yaroslavl. Pierre listened to her with lips parted and eyes fixed

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