Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
with a sad smile, "it doesnt
seem long ago since we first met at Bogucharovo, but how much water
has flowed since then! In what distress we all seemed to be then,
yet I would give much to bring back that time... but theres no
bringing it back."
Princess Mary gazed intently into his eyes with her own luminous
ones as he said this. She seemed to be trying to fathom the hidden
meaning of his words which would explain his feeling for her.
"Yes, yes," said she, "but you have no reason to regret the past,
Count. As I understand your present life, I think you will always
recall it with satisfaction, because the self-sacrifice that fills
"I cannot accept your praise," he interrupted her hurriedly. "On the
contrary I continually reproach myself.... But this is not at all an
interesting or cheerful subject."
His face again resumed its former stiff and cold expression. But the
princess had caught a glimpse of the man she had known and loved,
and it was to him that she now spoke.
"I thought you would allow me to tell you this," she said. "I had
come so near to you... and to all your family that I thought you would
not consider my sympathy misplaced, but I was mistaken," and
suddenly her voice trembled. "I dont know why," she continued,
recovering herself, "but you used to be different, and..."
"There are a thousand reasons why," laying special emphasis on the
why. "Thank you, Princess," he added softly. "Sometimes it is hard."
"So thats why! Thats why!" a voice whispered in Princess Marys
soul. "No, it was not only that gay, kind, and frank look, not only
that handsome exterior, that I loved in him. I divined his noble,
resolute, self-sacrificing spirit too," she said to herself. "Yes,
he is poor now and I am rich.... Yes, thats the only reason....
Yes, were it not for that..." And remembering his former tenderness,
and looking now at his kind, sorrowful face, she suddenly understood
the cause of his coldness.
"But why, Count, why?" she almost cried, unconsciously moving closer
to him. "Why? Tell me. You must tell me!"
He was silent.
"I dont understand your why, Count," she continued, "but its
hard for me... I confess it. For some reason you wish to deprive me of
our former friendship. And that hurts me." There were tears in her
eyes and in her voice. "I have had so little happiness in life that
every loss is hard for me to bear.... Excuse me, good-by!" and
suddenly she began to cry and was hurrying from the room.
"Princess, for Gods sake!" he exclaimed, trying to stop her.
She turned round. For a few seconds they gazed silently into one
anothers eyes--and what had seemed impossible and remote suddenly
became possible, inevitable, and very near.
In the winter of 1813 Nicholas married Princess Mary and moved to
Bald Hills with his wife, his mother, and Sonya.
Within four years he had paid off all his remaining debts without
selling any of his wifes property, and having received a small
inheritance on the death of a cousin he paid his debt to Pierre as
In another three years, by 1820, he had so managed his affairs
that he was able to buy a small estate adjoining Bald Hills and was
negotiating to buy back Otradnoe--that being his pet dream.
Having started farming from necessity, he soon grew so devoted to it
that it became his favorite and almost his sole occupation. Nicholas
was a plain farmer: he did not like innovations, especially the
English ones then coming into vogue. He laughed at theoretical
treatises on estate management, disliked factories, the raising of
expensive products, and the buying of expensive seed corn, and did not
make a hobby of any particular part of the work on his estate. He
always had before his minds eye the estate as a whole and not any
particular part of it. The chief thing in his eyes was not the
nitrogen in the soil, nor the oxygen in the air, nor manures, nor
special plows, but that most important agent by which nitrogen,
oxygen, manure, and plow were made effective--the peasant laborer.
When Nicholas first began farming and began to understand its
different branches, it was the serf who especially attracted his
attention. The peasant seemed to him not merely a tool, but also a
judge of farming and an end in himself. At first he watched the serfs,
trying to understand their aims and what they considered good and
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