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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesWar And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 12
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War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 12 Post by :fulva Category :Long Stories Author :Leo Tolstoy Date :December 2010 Read :2088

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War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 12

The day after the opera the Rostovs went nowhere and nobody came
to see them. Marya Dmitrievna talked to the count about something
which they concealed from Natasha. Natasha guessed they were talking
about the old prince and planning something, and this disquieted and
offended her. She was expecting Prince Andrew any moment and twice
that day sent a manservant to the Vozdvizhenka to ascertain whether he
had come. He had not arrived. She suffered more now than during her
first days in Moscow. To her impatience and pining for him were now
added the unpleasant recollection of her interview with Princess
Mary and the old prince, and a fear and anxiety of which she did not
understand the cause. She continually fancied that either he would
never come or that something would happen to her before he came. She
could no longer think of him by herself calmly and continuously as she
had done before. As soon as she began to think of him, the
recollection of the old prince, of Princess Mary, of the theater,
and of Kuragin mingled with her thoughts. The question again presented
itself whether she was not guilty, whether she had not already
broken faith with Prince Andrew, and again she found herself recalling
to the minutest detail every word, every gesture, and every shade in
the play of expression on the face of the man who had been able to
arouse in her such an incomprehensible and terrifying feeling. To
the family Natasha seemed livelier than usual, but she was far less
tranquil and happy than before.

On Sunday morning Marya Dmitrievna invited her visitors to Mass at
her parish church- the Church of the Assumption built over the
graves of victims of the plague.

"I don't like those fashionable churches," she said, evidently
priding herself on her independence of thought. "God is the same every
where. We have an excellent priest, he conducts the service decently
and with dignity, and the deacon is the same. What holiness is there
in giving concerts in the choir? I don't like it, it's just

Marya Dmitrievna liked Sundays and knew how to keep them. Her
whole house was scrubbed and cleaned on Saturdays; neither she nor the
servants worked, and they all wore holiday dress and went to church.
At her table there were extra dishes at dinner, and the servants had
vodka and roast goose or suckling pig. But in nothing in the house was
the holiday so noticeable as in Marya Dmitrievna's broad, stern
face, which on that day wore an invariable look of solemn festivity.

After Mass, when they had finished their coffee in the dining room
where the loose covers had been removed from the furniture, a
servant announced that the carriage was ready, and Marya Dmitrievna
rose with a stern air. She wore her holiday shawl, in which she paid
calls, and announced that she was going to see Prince Nicholas
Bolkonski to have an explanation with him about Natasha.

After she had gone, a dressmaker from Madame Suppert-Roguet waited
on the Rostovs, and Natasha, very glad of this diversion, having
shut herself into a room adjoining the drawing room, occupied
herself trying on the new dresses. Just as she had put on a bodice
without sleeves and only tacked together, and was turning her head
to see in the glass how the back fitted, she heard in the drawing room
the animated sounds of her father's voice and another's- a woman's-
that made her flush. It was Helene. Natasha had not time to take off
the bodice before the door opened and Countess Bezukhova, dressed in a
purple velvet gown with a high collar, came into the room beaming with
good-humored amiable smiles.

"Oh, my enchantress!" she cried to the blushing Natasha.
"Charming! No, this is really beyond anything, my dear count," said
she to Count Rostov who had followed her in. "How can you live in
Moscow and go nowhere? No, I won't let you off! Mademoiselle George
will recite at my house tonight and there'll be some people, and if
you don't bring your lovely girls- who are prettier than
Mademoiselle George- I won't know you! My husband is away in Tver or I
would send him to fetch you. You must come. You positively must!
Between eight and nine."

She nodded to the dressmaker, whom she knew and who had curtsied
respectfully to her, and seated herself in an armchair beside the
looking glass, draping the folds of her velvet dress picturesquely.
She did not cease chattering good-naturedly and gaily, continually
praising Natasha's beauty. She looked at Natasha's dresses and praised
them, as well as a new dress of her own made of "metallic gauze,"
which she had received from Paris, and advised Natasha to have one
like it.

"But anything suits you, my charmer!" she remarked.

A smile of pleasure never left Natasha's face. She felt happy and as
if she were blossoming under the praise of this dear Countess
Bezukhova who had formerly seemed to her so unapproachable and
important and was now so kind to her. Natasha brightened up and felt
almost in love with this woman, who was so beautiful and so kind.
Helene for her part was sincerely delighted with Natasha and wished to
give her a good time. Anatole had asked her to bring him and Natasha
together, and she was calling on the Rostovs for that purpose. The
idea of throwing her brother and Natasha together amused her.

Though at one time, in Petersburg, she had been annoyed with Natasha
for drawing Boris away, she did not think of that now, and in her
own way heartily wished Natasha well. As she was leaving the Rostovs
she called her protegee aside.

"My brother dined with me yesterday- we nearly died of laughter-
he ate nothing and kept sighing for you, my charmer! He is madly,
quite madly, in love with you, my dear."

Natasha blushed scarlet when she heard this.

"How she blushes, how she blushes, my pretty!" said Helene. "You
must certainly come. If you love somebody, my charmer, that is not a
reason to shut yourself up. Even if you are engaged, I am sure your
fiance would wish you to go into society rather than be bored to

"So she knows I am engaged, and she and her husband Pierre- that
good Pierre- have talked and laughed about this. So it's all right."
And again, under Helene's influence, what had seemed terrible now
seemed simple and natural. "And she is such a grande dame, so kind,
and evidently likes me so much. And why not enjoy myself?" thought
Natasha, gazing at Helene with wide-open, wondering eyes.

Marya Dmitrievna came back to dinner taciturn and serious, having
evidently suffered a defeat at the old prince's. She was still too
agitated by the encounter to be able to talk of the affair calmly.
In answer to the count's inquiries she replied that things were all
right and that she would tell about it next day. On hearing of
Countess Bezukhova's visit and the invitation for that evening,
Marya Dmitrievna remarked:

"I don't care to have anything to do with Bezukhova and don't advise
you to; however, if you've promised- go. It will divert your
thoughts," she added, addressing Natasha.

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War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 13 War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 13

War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 13
Count Rostov took the girls to Countess Bezukhova's. There were agood many people there, but nearly all strangers to Natasha. CountRostov was displeased to see that the company consisted almostentirely of men and women known for the freedom of their conduct.Mademoiselle George was standing in a corner of the drawing roomsurrounded by young men. There were several Frenchmen present, amongthem Metivier who from the time Helene reached Moscow had been anintimate in her house. The count decided not to sit down to cards orlet his girls out of his sight and to get away as soon as MademoiselleGeorge's performance was over.Anatole

War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 11 War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 11

War And Peace - Book Eight: 1811-12 - Chapter 11
Anatole Kuragin was staying in Moscow because his father had senthim away from Petersburg he had been spending twenty thousandrubles a year in cash, besides running up debts for as much more,which his creditors demanded from his father.His father announced to him that he would now pay half his debts forthe last time, but only on condition that he went to Moscow asadjutant to the commander in chief- a post his father had procured forhim- and would at last try to make a good match there. He indicated tohim Princess Mary and Julie Karagina.Anatole consented and went to Moscow