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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 19
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War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 19 Post by :windermere Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :2467

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War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 19

Next day Prince Andrew called at a few houses he had not visited
before, and among them at the Rostovs' with whom he had renewed
acquaintance at the ball. Apart from considerations of politeness
which demanded the call, he wanted to see that original, eager girl
who had left such a pleasant impression on his mind, in her own home.

Natasha was one of the first to meet him. She was wearing a
dark-blue house dress in which Prince Andrew thought her even prettier
than in her ball dress. She and all the Rostov family welcomed him
as an old friend, simply and cordially. The whole family, whom he
had formerly judged severely, now seemed to him to consist of
excellent, simple, and kindly people. The old count's hospitality
and good nature, which struck one especially in Petersburg as a
pleasant surprise, were such that Prince Andrew could not refuse to
stay to dinner. "Yes," he thought, "they are capital people, who of
course have not the slightest idea what a treasure they possess in
Natasha; but they are kindly folk and form the best possible setting
for this strikingly poetic, charming girl, overflowing with life!"

In Natasha Prince Andrew was conscious of a strange world completely
alien to him and brimful of joys unknown to him, a different world,
that in the Otradnoe avenue and at the window that moonlight night had
already begun to disconcert him. Now this world disconcerted him no
longer and was no longer alien to him, but he himself having entered
it found in it a new enjoyment.

After dinner Natasha, at Prince Andrew's request, went to the
clavichord and began singing. Prince Andrew stood by a window
talking to the ladies and listened to her. In the midst of a phrase he
ceased speaking and suddenly felt tears choking him, a thing he had
thought impossible for him. He looked at Natasha as she sang, and
something new and joyful stirred in his soul. He felt happy and at the
same time sad. He had absolutely nothing to weep about yet he was
ready to weep. What about? His former love? The little princess? His
disillusionments?... His hopes for the future?... Yes and no. The
chief reason was a sudden, vivid sense of the terrible contrast
between something infinitely great and illimitable within him and that
limited and material something that he, and even she, was. This
contrast weighed on and yet cheered him while she sang.

As soon as Natasha had finished she went up to him and asked how
he liked her voice. She asked this and then became confused, feeling
that she ought not to have asked it. He smiled, looking at her, and
said he liked her singing as he liked everything she did.

Prince Andrew left the Rostovs' late in the evening. He went to
bed from habit, but soon realized that he could not sleep. Having
lit his candle he sat up in bed, then got up, then lay down again
not at all troubled by his sleeplessness: his soul was as fresh and
joyful as if he had stepped out of a stuffy room into God's own
fresh air. It did not enter his head that he was in love with Natasha;
he was not thinking about her, but only picturing her to himself,
and in consequence all life appeared in a new light. "Why do I strive,
why do I toil in this narrow, confined frame, when life, all life with
all its joys, is open to me?" said he to himself. And for the first
time for a very long while he began making happy plans for the future.
He decided that he must attend to his son's education by finding a
tutor and putting the boy in his charge, then he ought to retire
from the service and go abroad, and see England, Switzerland and
Italy. "I must use my freedom while I feel so much strength and
youth in me," he said to himself. "Pierre was right when he said one
must believe in the possibility of happiness in order to be happy, and
now I do believe in it. Let the dead bury their dead, but while one
has life one must live and be happy!" thought he.

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War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 20 War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 20

War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 20
One morning Colonel Berg, whom Pierre knew as he knew everybody inMoscow and Petersburg, came to see him. Berg arrived in animmaculate brand-new uniform, with his hair pomaded and brushedforward over his temples as the Emperor Alexander wore his hair."I have just been to see the countess, your wife. Unfortunatelyshe could not grant my request, but I hope, Count, I shall be morefortunate with you," he said with a smile."What is it you wish, Colonel? I am at your service.""I have now quite settled in my new rooms, Count" (Berg said thiswith perfect conviction that this information could not but beagreeable),

War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 18 War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 18

War And Peace - Book Six 1808-10 - Chapter 18
Next day Prince Andrew thought of the ball, but his mind did notdwell on it long. "Yes, it was a very brilliant ball," and then..."Yes, that little Rostova is very charming. There's something fresh,original, un-Petersburg-like about her that distinguishes her." Thatwas all he thought about yesterday's ball, and after his morning teahe set to work.But either from fatigue or want of sleep he was ill-disposed forwork and could get nothing done. He kept criticizing his own work,as he often did, and was glad when he heard someone coming.The visitor was Bitski, who served on various committees, frequentedall the societies in Petersburg,