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his wishes quite correctly, and having once arrived at them clung to them tenaciously. When Pierre himself wanted to change his mind she would fight him with his own weapons. Thus in a time of trouble ever memorable to him after the birth of their first child who was delicate, when they had to change the wet nurse three times and Natasha fell ill from despair, Pierre one day told her of Rousseaus view, with which he quite agreed, that to have a wet nurse is unnatural and harmful. When her next baby was born, despite the opposition of her mother, the doctors, and even of her husband himself--who were all vigorously opposed to her nursing her baby herself, a thing then unheard of and considered injurious--she insisted on having her own way, and after that nursed all her babies herself. It very often happened that in a moment of irritation husband and wife would have a dispute, but long afterwards Pierre to his surprise and delight would find in his wifes ideas and actions the very thought against which she had argued, but divested of everything superfluous that in the excitement of the dispute he had added when expressing his opinion. After seven years of marriage Pierre had the joyous and firm consciousness that he was not a bad man, and he felt this because he saw himself reflected in his wife. He felt the good and bad within himself inextricably mingled and overlapping. But only what was really good in him was reflected in his wife, all that was not quite good was rejected. And this was not the result of logical reasoning but was a direct and mysterious reflection. CHAPTER XI Two months previously when Pierre was already staying with the Rostovs he had received a letter from Prince Theodore, asking him to come to Petersburg to confer on some important questions that were being discussed there by a society of which Pierre was one of the principal founders. On reading that letter (she always read her husbands letters) Natasha herself suggested that he should go to Petersburg, though she would feel his absence very acutely. She attributed immense importance to all her husbands intellectual and abstract interests though she did not understand them, and she always dreaded being a hindrance to him in such matters. To Pierres timid look of inquiry after reading the letter she replied by asking him to go, but to fix a definite date for his return. He was given four weeks leave of absence. Ever since that leave of absence had expired, more than a fortnight before, Natasha had been in a constant state of alarm, depression, and irritability. Denisov, now a general on the retired list and much dissatisfied with the present state of affairs, had arrived during that fortnight. He looked at Natasha with sorrow and surprise as at a bad likeness of a person once dear. A dull, dejected look, random replies, and talk about the nursery was all he saw and heard from his former enchantress. Natasha was sad and irritable all that time, especially when her mother, her brother, Sonya, or Countess Mary in their efforts to console her tried to excuse Pierre and suggested reasons for his delay in returning. "Its all nonsense, all rubbish--those discussions which lead to nothing and all those idiotic societies!" Natasha declared of the very affairs in the immense importance of which she firmly believed. And she would go to the nursery to nurse Petya, her only boy. No one else could tell her anything so comforting or so reasonable as this little three-month-old creature when he lay at her breast and she was conscious of the movement of his lips and the snuffling of his little nose. That creature said: "You are angry, you are jealous, you would like to pay him out, you are afraid--but here am I! And I am he..." and that was unanswerable. It was more than true. During that fortnight of anxiety Natasha resorted to the baby for comfort so often, and fussed over him so much, that she overfed him and he fell ill. She was terrified by his illness, and yet that was just what she needed. While attending to him she bore the anxiety about her husband more easily. She was nursing her boy when the sound of Pierres sleigh was heard at the front door, and the old nurse--knowing how to please her mistress--entered the room inaudibly but hurriedly and with a beaming face. "Has he come?" Natasha asked quickly in a whisper, afraid to move lest she should rouse the dozing baby. "Hes come, maam,"

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