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and made concessions to the others. Every event, joyful or sad, that took place in that house was important to all these worlds, but each had its own special reasons to rejoice or grieve over that occurrence independently of the others. For instance, Pierres return was a joyful and important event and they all felt it to be so. The servants--the most reliable judges of their masters because they judge not by their conversation or expressions of feeling but by their acts and way of life--were glad of Pierres return because they knew that when he was there Count Nicholas would cease going every day to attend to the estate, and would be in better spirits and temper, and also because they would all receive handsome presents for the holidays. The children and their governesses were glad of Pierres return because no one else drew them into the social life of the household as he did. He alone could play on the clavichord that ecossaise (his only piece) to which, as he said, all possible dances could be danced, and they felt sure he had brought presents for them all. Young Nicholas, now a slim lad of fifteen, delicate and intelligent, with curly light-brown hair and beautiful eyes, was delighted because Uncle Pierre as he called him was the object of his rapturous and passionate affection. No one had instilled into him this love for Pierre whom he saw only occasionally. Countess Mary who had brought him up had done her utmost to make him love her husband as she loved him, and little Nicholas did love his uncle, but loved him with just a shade of contempt. Pierre, however, he adored. He did not want to be an hussar or a Knight of St. George like his uncle Nicholas; he wanted to be learned, wise, and kind like Pierre. In Pierres presence his face always shone with pleasure and he flushed and was breathless when Pierre spoke to him. He did not miss a single word he uttered, and would afterwards, with Dessalles or by himself, recall and reconsider the meaning of everything Pierre had said. Pierres past life and his unhappiness prior to 1812 (of which young Nicholas had formed a vague poetic picture from some words he had overheard), his adventures in Moscow, his captivity, Platon Karataev (of whom he had heard from Pierre), his love for Natasha (of whom the lad was also particularly fond), and especially Pierres friendship with the father whom Nicholas could not remember--all this made Pierre in his eyes a hero and a saint. From broken remarks about Natasha and his father, from the emotion with which Pierre spoke of that dead father, and from the careful, reverent tenderness with which Natasha spoke of him, the boy, who was only just beginning to guess what love is, derived the notion that his father had loved Natasha and when dying had left her to his friend. But the father whom the boy did not remember appeared to him a divinity who could not be pictured, and of whom he never thought without a swelling heart and tears of sadness and rapture. So the boy also was happy that Pierre had arrived. The guests welcomed Pierre because he always helped to enliven and unite any company he was in. The grown-up members of the family, not to mention his wife, were pleased to have back a friend whose presence made life run more smoothly and peacefully. The old ladies were pleased with the presents he brought them, and especially that Natasha would now be herself again. Pierre felt the different outlooks of these various worlds and made haste to satisfy all their expectations. Though the most absent-minded and forgetful of men, Pierre, with the aid of a list his wife drew up, had now bought everything, not forgetting his mother--and brother-in-laws commissions, nor the dress material for a present to Belova, nor toys for his wifes nephews. In the early days of his marriage it had seemed strange to him that his wife should expect him not to forget to procure all the things he undertook to buy, and he had been taken aback by her serious annoyance when on his first trip he forgot everything. But in time he grew used to this demand. Knowing that Natasha asked nothing for herself, and gave him commissions for others only when he himself had offered to undertake them, he now found an unexpected and childlike pleasure in this purchase of presents for everyone in the house, and never forgot anything. If he now incurred Natashas

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