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a rest. Be at the levee tomorrow after the parade. However, I will let you know." The stupid smile, which had left his face while he was speaking, reappeared. "Au revoir! Thank you very much. His Majesty will probably desire to see you," he added, bowing his head. When Prince Andrew left the palace he felt that all the interest and happiness the victory had afforded him had been now left in the indifferent hands of the Minister of War and the polite adjutant. The whole tenor of his thoughts instantaneously changed; the battle seemed the memory of a remote event long past. CHAPTER X Prince Andrew stayed at Brunn with Bilibin, a Russian acquaintance of his in the diplomatic service. "Ah, my dear prince! I could not have a more welcome visitor," said Bilibin as he came out to meet Prince Andrew. "Franz, put the princes things in my bedroom," said he to the servant who was ushering Bolkonski in. "So youre a messenger of victory, eh? Splendid! And I am sitting here ill, as you see." After washing and dressing, Prince Andrew came into the diplomats luxurious study and sat down to the dinner prepared for him. Bilibin settled down comfortably beside the fire. After his journey and the campaign during which he had been deprived of all the comforts of cleanliness and all the refinements of life, Prince Andrew felt a pleasant sense of repose among luxurious surroundings such as he had been accustomed to from childhood. Besides it was pleasant, after his reception by the Austrians, to speak if not in Russian (for they were speaking French) at least with a Russian who would, he supposed, share the general Russian antipathy to the Austrians which was then particularly strong. Bilibin was a man of thirty-five, a bachelor, and of the same circle as Prince Andrew. They had known each other previously in Petersburg, but had become more intimate when Prince Andrew was in Vienna with Kutuzov. Just as Prince Andrew was a young man who gave promise of rising high in the military profession, so to an even greater extent Bilibin gave promise of rising in his diplomatic career. He still a young man but no longer a young diplomat, as he had entered the service at the age of sixteen, had been in Paris and Copenhagen, and now held a rather important post in Vienna. Both the foreign minister and our ambassador in Vienna knew him and valued him. He was not one of those many diplomats who are esteemed because they have certain negative qualities, avoid doing certain things, and speak French. He was one of those, who, liking work, knew how to do it, and despite his indolence would sometimes spend a whole night at his writing table. He worked well whatever the import of his work. It was not the question "What for?" but the question "How?" that interested him. What the diplomatic matter might be he did not care, but it gave him great pleasure to prepare a circular, memorandum, or report, skillfully, pointedly, and elegantly. Bilibins services were valued not only for what he wrote, but also for his skill in dealing and conversing with those in the highest spheres. Bilibin liked conversation as he liked work, only when it could be made elegantly witty. In society he always awaited an opportunity to say something striking and took part in a conversation only when that was possible. His conversation was always sprinkled with wittily original, finished phrases of general interest. These sayings were prepared in the inner laboratory of his mind in a portable form as if intentionally, so that insignificant society people might carry them from drawing room to drawing room. And, in fact, Bilibins witticisms were hawked about in the Viennese drawing rooms and often had an influence on matters considered important. His thin, worn, sallow face was covered with deep wrinkles, which always looked as clean and well washed as the tips of ones fingers after a Russian bath. The movement of these wrinkles formed the principal play of expression on his face. Now his forehead would pucker into deep folds and his eyebrows were lifted, then his eyebrows would descend and deep wrinkles would crease his cheeks. His small, deep-set eyes always twinkled and looked out straight. "Well, now tell me about your exploits," said he. Bolkonski, very modestly without once mentioning himself, described the engagement and his reception by the Minister of War. "They received me and my news as one receives a dog in a game of skittles," said he in conclusion. Bilibin smiled and the wrinkles

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