Full Online Books
Authors Authors Short Stories Short Stories Long Stories Long Stories Funny Stories Funny Stories Love Stories Love Stories Stories For Kids Stories For Kids Poems Poems Essays Essays Nonfictions Nonfictions Plays Plays Folktales Folktales Fairy Tales Fairy Tales Fables Fables Learning Kitchen Learning Kitchen
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Free Classified Website Without Registration Free Classified Website Daniel Company
Twitter Twitter Add book
Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 2
Famous Authors (View All Authors)
War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 2 Post by :dan7530 Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :474

Click below to download : War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 2 (Format : PDF)

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 2

On his return to Moscow from the army, Nicholas Rostov was
welcomed by his home circle as the best of sons, a hero, and their
darling Nikolenka; by his relations as a charming, attractive, and
polite young man; by his acquaintances as a handsome lieutenant of
hussars, a good dancer, and one of the best matches in the city.

The Rostovs knew everybody in Moscow. The old count had money enough
that year, as all his estates had been remortgaged, and so Nicholas,
acquiring a trotter of his own, very stylish riding breeches of the
latest cut, such as no one else yet had in Moscow, and boots of the
latest fashion, with extremely pointed toes and small silver spurs,
passed his time very gaily. After a short period of adapting himself
to the old conditions of life, Nicholas found it very pleasant to be
at home again. He felt that he had grown up and matured very much. His
despair at failing in a Scripture examination, his borrowing money
from Gavril to pay a sleigh driver, his kissing Sonya on the sly- he
now recalled all this as childishness he had left immeasurably behind.
Now he was a lieutenant of hussars, in a jacket laced with silver, and
wearing the Cross of St. George, awarded to soldiers for bravery in
action, and in the company of well-known, elderly, and respected
racing men was training a trotter of his own for a race. He knew a
lady on one of the boulevards whom he visited of an evening. He led
the mazurka at the Arkharovs' ball, talked about the war with Field
Marshal Kamenski, visited the English Club, and was on intimate
terms with a colonel of forty to whom Denisov had introduced

His passion for the Emperor had cooled somewhat in Moscow. But
still, as he did not see him and had no opportunity of seeing him,
he often spoke about him and about his love for him, letting it be
understood that he had not told all and that there was something in
his feelings for the Emperor not everyone could understand, and with
his whole soul he shared the adoration then common in Moscow for the
Emperor, who was spoken of as the "angel incarnate."

During Rostov's short stay in Moscow, before rejoining the army,
he did not draw closer to Sonya, but rather drifted away from her. She
was very pretty and sweet, and evidently deeply in love with him,
but he was at the period of youth when there seems so much to do
that there is no time for that sort of thing and a young man fears
to bind himself and prizes his freedom which he needs for so many
other things. When he thought of Sonya, during this stay in Moscow, he
said to himself, "Ah, there will be, and there are, many more such
girls somewhere whom I do not yet know. There will be time enough to
think about love when I want to, but now I have no time." Besides,
it seemed to him that the society of women was rather derogatory to
his manhood. He went to balls and into ladies' society with an
affectation of doing so against his will. The races, the English Club,
sprees with Denisov, and visits to a certain house- that was another
matter and quite the thing for a dashing young hussar!

At the beginning of March, old Count Ilya Rostov was very busy
arranging a dinner in honor of Prince Bagration at the English Club.

The count walked up and down the hall in his dressing gown, giving
orders to the club steward and to the famous Feoktist, the Club's head
cook, about asparagus, fresh cucumbers, strawberries, veal, and fish
for this dinner. The count had been a member and on the committee of
the Club from the day it was founded. To him the Club entrusted the
arrangement of the festival in honor of Bagration, for few men knew so
well how to arrange a feast on an open-handed, hospitable scale, and
still fewer men would be so well able and willing to make up out of
their own resources what might be needed for the success of the
fete. The club cook and the steward listened to the count's orders
with pleased faces, for they knew that under no other management could
they so easily extract a good profit for themselves from a dinner
costing several thousand rubles.

"Well then, mind and have cocks' comb in the turtle soup, you know!"

"Shall we have three cold dishes then?" asked the cook.

The count considered.

"We can't have less- yes, three... the mayonnaise, that's one," said
he, bending down a finger.

"Then am I to order those large sterlets?" asked the steward.

"Yes, it can't be helped if they won't take less. Ah, dear me! I was
forgetting. We must have another entree. Ah, goodness gracious!" he
clutched at his head. "Who is going to get me the flowers? Dmitri! Eh,
Dmitri! Gallop off to our Moscow estate," he said to the factotum
who appeared at his call. "Hurry off and tell Maksim, the gardener, to
set the serfs to work. Say that everything out of the hothouses must
be brought here well wrapped up in felt. I must have two hundred
pots here on Friday."

Having given several more orders, he was about to go to his
"little countess" to have a rest, but remembering something else of
importance, he returned again, called back the cook and the club
steward, and again began giving orders. A light footstep and the
clinking of spurs were heard at the door, and the young count,
handsome, rosy, with a dark little mustache, evidently rested and made
sleeker by his easy life in Moscow, entered the room.

"Ah, my boy, my head's in a whirl!" said the old man with a smile,
as if he felt a little confused before his son. "Now, if you would
only help a bit! I must have singers too. I shall have my own
orchestra, but shouldn't we get the gypsy singers as well? You
military men like that sort of thing."

"Really, Papa, I believe Prince Bagration worried himself less
before the battle of Schon Grabern than you do now," said his son with
a smile.

The old count pretended to be angry.

"Yes, you talk, but try it yourself!"

And the count turned to the cook, who, with a shrewd and
respectful expression, looked observantly and sympathetically at the
father and son.

"What have the young people come to nowadays, eh, Feoktist?" said
he. "Laughing at us old fellows!"

"That's so, your excellency, all they have to do is to eat a good
dinner, but providing it and serving it all up, that's not their

"That's it, that's it!" exclaimed the count, and gaily seizing his
son by both hands, he cried, "Now I've got you, so take the sleigh and
pair at once, and go to Bezukhob's, and tell him 'Count Ilya has
sent you to ask for strawberries and fresh pineapples.' We can't get
them from anyone else. He's not there himself, so you'll have to go in
and ask the princesses; and from there go on to the Rasgulyay- the
coachman Ipatka knows- and look up the gypsy Ilyushka, the one who
danced at Count Orlov's, you remember, in a white Cossack coat, and
bring him along to me."

"And am I to bring the gypsy girls along with him?" asked
Nicholas, laughing. "Dear, dear!..."

At that moment, with noiseless footsteps and with the
businesslike, preoccupied, yet meekly Christian look which never
left her face, Anna Mikhaylovna entered the hall. Though she came upon
the count in his dressing gown every day, he invariably became
confused and begged her to excuse his costume.

"No matter at all, my dear count," she said, meekly closing her
eyes. "But I'll go to Bezukhov's myself. Pierre has arrived, and now
we shall get anything we want from his hothouses. I have to see him in
any case. He has forwarded me a letter from Boris. Thank God, Boris is
now on the staff."

The count was delighted at Anna Mikhaylovna's taking upon herself
one of his commissions and ordered the small closed carriage for her.

"Tell Bezukhov to come. I'll put his name down. Is his wife with
him?" he asked.

Anna Mikhaylovna turned up her eyes, and profound sadness was
depicted on her face.

"Ah, my dear friend, he is very unfortunate," she said. "If what
we hear is true, it is dreadful. How little we dreamed of such a thing
when we were rejoicing at his happiness! And such a lofty angelic soul
as young Bezukhov! Yes, I pity him from my heart, and shall try to
give him what consolation I can."

"Wh-what is the matter?" asked both the young and old Rostov.

Anna Mikhaylovna sighed deeply.

"Dolokhov, Mary Ivanovna's son," she said in a mysterious whisper,
"has compromised her completely, they say. Pierre took him up, invited
him to his house in Petersburg, and now... she has come here and
that daredevil after her!" said Anna Mikhaylovna, wishing to show
her sympathy for Pierre, but by involuntary intonations and a half
smile betraying her sympathy for the "daredevil," as she called
Dolokhov. "They say Pierre is quite broken by his misfortune."

"Dear, dear! But still tell him to come to the Club- it will all
blow over. It will be a tremendous banquet."

Next day, the third of March, soon after one o'clock, two hundred
and fifty members of the English Club and fifty guests were awaiting
the guest of honor and hero of the Austrian campaign, Prince
Bagration, to dinner.

On the first arrival of the news of the battle of Austerlitz, Moscow
had been bewildered. At that time, the Russians were so used to
victories that on receiving news of the defeat some would simply not
believe it, while others sought some extraordinary explanation of so
strange an event. In the English Club, where all who were
distinguished, important, and well informed forgathered when the
news began to arrive in December, nothing was said about the war and
the last battle, as though all were in a conspiracy of silence. The
men who set the tone in conversation- Count Rostopchin, Prince Yuri
Dolgorukov, Valuev, Count Markov, and Prince Vyazemski- did not show
themselves at the Club, but met in private houses in intimate circles,
and the Moscovites who took their opinions from others- Ilya Rostov
among them- remained for a while without any definite opinion on the
subject of the war and without leaders. The Moscovites felt that
something was wrong and that to discuss the bad news was difficult,
and so it was best to be silent. But after a while, just as a jury
comes out of its room, the bigwigs who guided the Club's opinion
reappeared, and everybody began speaking clearly and definitely.
Reasons were found for the incredible, unheard-of, and impossible
event of a Russian defeat, everything became clear, and in all corners
of Moscow the same things began to be said. These reasons were the
treachery of the Austrians, a defective commissariat, the treachery of
the Pole Przebyszewski and of the Frenchman Langeron, Kutuzov's
incapacity, and (it was whispered) the youth and inexperience of the
sovereign, who had trusted worthless and insignificant people. But the
army, the Russian army, everyone declared, was extraordinary and had
achieved miracles of valor.The soldiers, officers, and generals were
heroes. But the hero of heroes was Prince Bagration, distinguished
by his Schon Grabern affair and by the retreat from Austerlitz,
where he alone had withdrawn his column unbroken and had all day
beaten back an enemy force twice as numerous as his own. What also
conduced to Bagration's being selected as Moscow's hero was the fact
that he had no connections in the city and was a stranger there. In
his person, honor was shown to a simple fighting Russian soldier
without connections and intrigues, and to one who was associated by
memories of the Italian campaign with the name of Suvorov. Moreover,
paying such honor to Bagration was the best way of expressing
disapproval and dislike of Kutuzov.

"Had there been no Bagration, it would have been necessary to invent
him," said the wit Shinshin, parodying the words of Voltaire.
Kutuzov no one spoke of, except some who abused him in whispers,
calling him a court weathercock and an old satyr.

All Moscow repeated Prince Dolgorukov's saying: "If you go on
modeling and modeling you must get smeared with clay," suggesting
consolation for our defeat by the memory of former victories; and
the words of Rostopchin, that French soldiers have to be incited to
battle by highfalutin words, and Germans by logical arguments to
show them that it is more dangerous to run away than to advance, but
that Russian soldiers only need to be restrained and held back! On all
sides, new and fresh anecdotes were heard of individual examples of
heroism shown by our officers and men at Austerlitz. One had saved a
standard, another had killed five Frenchmen, a third had loaded five
cannon singlehanded. Berg was mentioned, by those who did not know
him, as having, when wounded in the right hand, taken his sword in the
left, and gone forward. Of Bolkonski, nothing was said, and only those
who knew him intimately regretted that he had died so young, leaving a
pregnant wife with his eccentric father.

If you like this book please share to your friends :

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 3 War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 3

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 3
On that third of March, all the rooms in the English Club werefilled with a hum of conversation, like the hum of bees swarming inspringtime. The members and guests of the Club wandered hither andthither, sat, stood, met, and separated, some in uniform and some inevening dress, and a few here and there with powdered hair and inRussian kaftans. Powdered footmen, in livery with buckled shoes andsmart stockings, stood at every door anxiously noting visitors'every movement in order to offer their services. Most of those presentwere elderly, respected men with broad, self-confident faces, fatfingers, and resolute gestures and voices. This class

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 1 War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 1

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 1
Early in the year 1806 Nicholas Rostov returned home on leave.Denisov was going home to Voronezh and Rostov persuaded him totravel with him as far as Moscow and to stay with him there. Meeting acomrade at the last post station but one before Moscow, Denisov haddrunk three bottles of wine with him and, despite the jolting rutsacross the snow-covered road, did not once wake up on the way toMoscow, but lay at the bottom of the sleigh beside Rostov, who grewmore and more impatient the nearer they got to Moscow."How much longer? How much longer? Oh, these insufferable streets,shops, bakers' signboards,