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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 9
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War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 9 Post by :34181 Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :1453

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War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 9

The little princess lay supported by pillows, with a white cap on
her head (the pains had just left her). Strands of her black hair
lay round her inflamed and perspiring cheeks, her charming rosy
mouth with its downy lip was open and she was smiling joyfully. Prince
Andrew entered and paused facing her at the foot of the sofa on
which she was lying. Her glittering eyes, filled with childlike fear
and excitement, rested on him without changing their expression. "I
love you all and have done no harm to anyone; why must I suffer so?
Help me!" her look seemed to say. She saw her husband, but did not
realize the significance of his appearance before her now. Prince
Andrew went round the sofa and kissed her forehead.

"My darling!" he said- a word he had never used to her before.
"God is merciful...."

She looked at him inquiringly and with childlike reproach.

"I expected help from you and I get none, none from you either!"
said her eyes. She was not surprised at his having come; she did not
realize that he had come. His coming had nothing to do with her
sufferings or with their relief. The pangs began again and Mary
Bogdanovna advised Prince Andrew to leave the room.

The doctor entered. Prince Andrew went out and, meeting Princess
Mary, again joined her. They began talking in whispers, but their talk
broke off at every moment. They waited and listened.

"Go, dear," said Princess Mary.

Prince Andrew went again to his wife and sat waiting in the room
next to hers. A woman came from the bedroom with a frightened face and
became confused when she saw Prince Andrew. He covered his face with
his hands and remained so for some minutes. Piteous, helpless,
animal moans came through the door. Prince Andrew got up, went to
the door, and tried to open it. Someone was holding it shut.

"You can't come in! You can't!" said a terrified voice from within.

He began pacing the room. The screaming ceased, and a few more
seconds went by. Then suddenly a terrible shriek- it could not be
hers, she could not scream like that- came from the bedroom. Prince
Andrew ran to the door; the scream ceased and he heard the wail of
an infant.

"What have they taken a baby in there for?" thought Prince Andrew in
the first second. "A baby? What baby...? Why is there a baby there? Or
is the baby born?"

Then suddenly he realized the joyful significance of that wail;
tears choked him, and leaning his elbows on the window sill be began
to cry, sobbing like a child. The door opened. The doctor with his
shirt sleeves tucked up, without a coat, pale and with a trembling
jaw, came out of the room. Prince Andrew turned to him, but the doctor
gave him a bewildered look and passed by without a word. A woman
rushed out and seeing Prince Andrew stopped, hesitating on the
threshold. He went into his wife's room. She was lying dead, in the
same position he had seen her in five minutes before and, despite
the fixed eyes and the pallor of the cheeks, the same expression was
on her charming childlike face with its upper lip covered with tiny
black hair.

"I love you all, and have done no harm to anyone; and what have
you done to me?"- said her charming, pathetic, dead face.

In a corner of the room something red and tiny gave a grunt and
squealed in Mary Bogdanovna's trembling white hands.

Two hours later Prince Andrew, stepping softly, went into his
father's room. The old man already knew everything. He was standing
close to the door and as soon as it opened his rough old arms closed
like a vise round his son's neck, and without a word he began to sob
like a child.

Three days later the little princess was buried, and Prince Andrew
went up the steps to where the coffin stood, to give her the
farewell kiss. And there in the coffin was the same face, though
with closed eyes. "Ah, what have you done to me?" it still seemed to
say, and Prince Andrew felt that something gave way in his soul and
that he was guilty of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget. He
could not weep. The old man too came up and kissed the waxen little
hands that lay quietly crossed one on the other on her breast, and
to him, too, her face seemed to say: "Ah, what have you done to me,
and why?" And at the sight the old man turned angrily away.

Another five days passed, and then the young Prince Nicholas
Andreevich was baptized. The wet nurse supported the coverlet with her
while the priest with a goose feather anointed the boy's little red
and wrinkled soles and palms.

His grandfather, who was his godfather, trembling and afraid of
dropping him, carried the infant round the battered tin font and
handed him over to the godmother, Princess Mary. Prince Andrew sat
in another room, faint with fear lest the baby should be drowned in
the font, and awaited the termination of the ceremony. He looked up
joyfully at the baby when the nurse brought it to him and nodded
approval when she told him that the wax with the baby's hair had not
sunk in the font but had floated.

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War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 10 War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 10

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 10
Rostov's share in Dolokhov's duel with Bezukhov was hushed up by theefforts of the old count, and instead of being degraded to the ranksas he expected he was appointed an adjutant to the governor general ofMoscow. As a result he could not go to the country with the rest ofthe family, but was kept all summer in Moscow by his new duties.Dolokhov recovered, and Rostov became very friendly with him duringhis convalescence. Dolokhov lay ill at his mother's who loved himpassionately and tenderly, and old Mary Ivanovna, who had grown fondof Rostov for his friendship to her Fedya, often talked to

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 8 War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 8

War And Peace - Book Four : 1806 - Chapter 8
"Dearest," said the little princess after breakfast on the morningof the nineteenth March, and her downy little lip rose from old habit,but as sorrow was manifest in every smile, the sound of every word,and even every footstep in that house since the terrible news hadcome, so now the smile of the little princess- influenced by thegeneral mood though without knowing its cause- was such as to remindone still more of the general sorrow."Dearest, I'm afraid this morning's fruschtique*- as Foka the cookcalls it- has disagreed with me."*Fruhstuck: breakfast."What is the matter with you, my darling? You look pale. Oh, you arevery