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War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

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blamed for what had happened, he was said to be insanely jealous and
subject like his father to fits of bloodthirsty rage. And when after
Pierre's departure Helene returned to Petersburg, she was received
by all her acquaintances not only cordially, but even with a shade
of deference due to her misfortune. When conversation turned on her
husband Helene assumed a dignified expression, which with
characteristic tact she had acquired though she did not understand its
significance. This expression suggested that she had resolved to
endure her troubles uncomplainingly and that her husband was a cross
laid upon her by God. Prince Vasili expressed his opinion more openly.
He shrugged his shoulders when Pierre was mentioned and, pointing to
his forehead, remarked:

"A bit touched- I always said so."

"I said from the first," declared Anna Pavlovna referring to Pierre,
"I said at the time and before anyone else" (she insisted on her
priority) "that that senseless young man was spoiled by the depraved
ideas of these days. I said so even at the time when everybody was
in raptures about him, when he had just returned from abroad, and
when, if you remember, he posed as a sort of Marat at one of my
soirees. And how has it ended? I was against this marriage even then
and foretold all that has happened."

Anna Pavlovna continued to give on free evenings the same kind of
soirees as before- such as she alone had the gift of arranging- at
which was to be found "the cream of really good society, the bloom
of the intellectual essence of Petersburg," as she herself put it.
Besides this refined selection of society Anna Pavlovna's receptions
were also distinguished by the fact that she always presented some new
and interesting person to the visitors and that nowhere else was the
state of the political thermometer of legitimate Petersburg court
society so dearly and distinctly indicated.

Toward the end of 1806, when all the sad details of Napoleon's
destruction of the Prussian army at Jena and Auerstadt and the
surrender of most of the Prussian fortresses had been received, when
our troops had already entered Prussia and our second war with
Napoleon was beginning, Anna Pavlovna gave one of her soirees. The
"cream of really good society" consisted of the fascinating Helene,
forsaken by her husband, Mortemart, the delightful Prince Hippolyte
who had just returned from Vienna, two diplomatists, the old aunt, a
young man referred to in that drawing room as "a man of great merit"
(un homme de beaucoup de merite), a newly appointed maid of honor
and her mother, and several other less noteworthy persons.

The novelty Anna Pavlovna was setting before her guests that evening
was Boris Drubetskoy, who had just arrived as a special messenger from
the Prussian army and was aide-de-camp to a very important personage.

The temperature shown by the political thermometer to the company
that evening was this:

"Whatever the European sovereigns and commanders may do to
countenance Bonaparte, and to cause me, and us in general, annoyance
and mortification, our opinion of Bonaparte cannot alter. We shall not
cease to express our sincere views on that subject, and can only say
to the King Prussia and others: 'So much the worse for you. Tu l'as
voulu, George Dandin,' that's all we have to say about it!"

When Boris, who was to be served up to the guests, entered the
drawing room, almost all the company had assembled, and the
conversation, guided by Anna Pavlovna, was about our diplomatic
relations with Austria and the hope of an alliance with her.

Boris, grown more manly and looking fresh, rosy and
self-possessed, entered the drawing room elegantly dressed in the
uniform of an aide-de-camp and was duly conducted to pay his
respects to the aunt and then brought back to the general circle.

Anna Pavlovna gave him her shriveled hand to kiss and introduced him
to several persons whom he did not know, giving him a whispered
description of each.
charge d'affaires from Copenhagen- a profound intellect," and
simply, "Mr. Shitov- a man of great merit"- this of the man usually so

Thanks to Anna Mikhaylovna's efforts, his own tastes, and the
peculiarities of his reserved nature, Boris had managed during his
service to place himself very advantageously. He was aide-de-camp to a
very important personage, had been sent on a very important mission to
Prussia, and had just returned from there as a special messenger. He
had become thoroughly conversant with that unwritten code with which
he had been so pleased at Olmutz and according to which an ensign
might rank incomparably higher than a general, and according to
which what was needed for success in the service was not effort or
work, or courage, or perseverance, but only the knowledge of how to
get on with those who can grant rewards, and he was himself often
surprised at the rapidity of his success and at the inability of
others to understand these things. In consequence of this discovery
his whole manner of life, all his relations with old friends, all
his plans for his future, were completely altered. He was not rich,
but would spend his last groat to be better dressed than others, and
would rather deprive himself of many pleasures than allow himself to
be seen in a shabby equipage or appear in the streets of Petersburg in
an old uniform. He made friends with and sought the acquaintance of
only those above him in position and who could therefore be of use
to him. He liked Petersburg and despised Moscow. The remembrance of
the Rostovs' house and of his childish love for Natasha was unpleasant
to him and he had not once been to see the Rostovs since the day of
his departure for the army. To be in Anna Pavlovna's drawing room he
considered an important step up in the service, and he at once
understood his role, letting his hostess make use of whatever interest
he had to offer. He himself carefully scanned each face, appraising
the possibilities of establishing intimacy with each of those present,
and the advantages that might accrue. He took the seat indicated to
him beside the fair Helene and listened to the general conversation.

"Vienna considers the bases of the proposed treaty so unattainable
that not even a continuity of most brilliant successes would secure
them, and she doubts the means we have of gaining them. That is the
actual phrase used by the Vienna cabinet," said the Danish charge

"The doubt is flattering," said "the man of profound intellect,"
with a subtle smile.

"We must distinguish between the Vienna cabinet and the Emperor of
Austria," said Mortemart. "The Emperor of Austria can never have
thought of such a thing, it is only the cabinet that says it."

"Ah, my dear vicomte," put in Anna Pavlovna, "L'Urope" (for some
reason she called it Urope as if that were a specially refined
French pronunciation which she could allow herself when conversing
with a Frenchman), "L'Urope ne sera jamais notre alliee sincere."*

*"Europe will never be our sincere ally."

After that Anna Pavlovna led up to the courage and firmness of the
King of Prussia, in order to draw Boris into the conversation.

Boris listened attentively to each of the speakers, awaiting his
turn, but managed meanwhile to look round repeatedly at his
neighbor, the beautiful Helene, whose eyes several times met those
of the handsome young aide-de-camp with a smile.

Speaking of the position of Prussia, Anna Pavlovna very naturally
asked Boris to tell them about his journey to Glogau and in what state
he found the Prussian army. Boris, speaking with deliberation, told
them in pure, correct French many interesting details about the armies
and the court, carefully abstaining from expressing an opinion of
his own about the facts he was recounting. For some time he
engrossed the general attention, and Anna Pavlovna felt that the
novelty she had served up was received with pleasure by all her
visitors. The greatest attention of all to Boris' narrative was
shown by Helene. She asked him several questions about his journey and
seemed greatly interested in the state of the Prussian army. As soon
as he had finished she turned to him with her usual smile.

"You absolutely must come and see me," she said in a tone that
implied that, for certain considerations he could not know of, this
was absolutely necessary.

"On Tuesday between eight and nine. It will give me great pleasure."

Boris promised to fulfill her wish and was about to begin a
conversation with her, when Anna Pavlovna called him away on the
pretext that her aunt wished to hear him.

"You know her husband, of course?" said Anna Pavlovna, closing her
eyes and indicating Helene with a sorrowful gesture. "Ah, she is
such an unfortunate and charming woman! Don't mention him before
her- please don't! It is too painful for her!"


When Boris and Anna Pavlovna returned to the others Prince Hippolyte
had the ear of the company.

Bending forward in his armchair he said: "Le Roi de Prusse!" and
having said this laughed. Everyone turned toward him.

"Le Roi de Prusse?" Hippolyte said interrogatively, again
laughing, and then calmly and seriously sat back in his chair. Anna
Pavlovna waited for him to go on, but as he seemed quite decided to
say no more she began to tell of how at Potsdam the impious
Bonaparte had stolen the sword of Frederick the Great.

"It is the sword of Frederick the Great which I..." she began, but
Hippolyte interrupted her with the words: "Le Roi de Prusse..." and
again, as soon as all turned toward him, excused himself and
said no more.

Anna Pavlovna frowned. Mortemart, Hippolyte's friend, addressed
him firmly.

"Come now, what about your Roi de Prusse?"

Hippolyte laughed as if ashamed of laughing.

"Oh, it's nothing. I only wished to say..." (he wanted to repeat a
joke he had heard in Vienna and which he had been trying all that
evening to get in) "I only wished to say that we are wrong to fight
pour le Roi de Prusse!"

Boris smiled circumspectly, so that it might be taken as ironical or
appreciative according to the way the joke was received. Everybody

"Your joke is too bad, it's witty but unjust," said Anna Pavlovna,
shaking her little shriveled finger at him.

"We are not fighting pour le Roi de Prusse, but for right
principles. Oh, that wicked Prince Hippolyte!" she said.

The conversation did not flag all evening and turned chiefly on
the political news. It became particularly animated toward the end
of the evening when the rewards bestowed by the Emperor were

"You know N- N- received a snuffbox with the portrait last year?"
said "the man of profound intellect." "Why shouldn't S- S- get the
same distinction?"

"Pardon me! A snuffbox with the Emperor's portrait is a reward but
not a distinction," said the diplomatist- "a gift, rather."

"There are precedents, I may mention Schwarzenberg."

"It's impossible," replied another.

"Will you bet? The ribbon of the order is a different matter...."

When everybody rose to go, Helene who had spoken very little all the
evening again turned to Boris, asking him in a tone of caressing
significant command to come to her on Tuesday.

"It is of great importance to me," she said, turning with a smile
toward Anna Pavlovna, and Anna Pavlovna, with the same sad smile
with which she spoke of her exalted patroness, supported Helene's

It seemed as if from some words Boris had spoken that evening
about the Prussian army, Helene had suddenly found it necessary to see
him. She seemed to promise to explain that necessity to him when he
came on Tuesday.

But on Tuesday evening, having come to Helene's splendid salon,
Boris received no clear explanation of why it had been necessary for
him to come. There were other guests and the countess talked little to
him, and only as he kissed her hand on taking leave said
unexpectedly and in a whisper, with a strangely unsmiling face:
"Come to dinner tomorrow... in the evening. You must come.... Come!"

During that stay in Petersburg, Boris became an intimate in the
countess' house.


The war was flaming up and nearing the Russian frontier.
Everywhere one heard curses on Bonaparte, "the enemy of mankind."
Militiamen and recruits were being enrolled in the villages, and
from the seat of war came contradictory news, false as usual and
therefore variously interpreted. The life of old Prince Bolkonski,
Prince Andrew, and Princess Mary had greatly changed since 1805.

In 1806 the old prince was made one of the eight commanders in chief
then appointed to supervise the enrollment decreed throughout
Russia. Despite the weakness of age, which had become particularly
noticeable since the time when he thought his son had been killed,
he did not think it right to refuse a duty to which he had been
appointed by the Emperor himself, and this fresh opportunity for
action gave him new energy and strength. He was continually
traveling through the three provinces entrusted to him, was pedantic
in the fulfillment of his duties, severe to cruelty with his
subordinates, and went into everything down to the minutest details
himself. Princess Mary had ceased taking lessons in mathematics from
her father, and when the old prince was at home went to his study with
the wet nurse and little Prince Nicholas (as his grandfather called
him). The baby Prince Nicholas lived with his wet nurse and nurse
Savishna in the late princess' rooms and Princess Mary spent most of
the day in the nursery, taking a mother's place to her little nephew
as best she could. Mademoiselle Bourienne, too, seemed passionately
fond of the boy, and Princess Mary often deprived herself to give
her friend the pleasure of dandling the little angel- as she called
her nephew- and playing with him.

Near the altar of the church at Bald Hills there was a chapel over
the tomb of the little princess, and in this chapel was a marble
monument brought from Italy, representing an angel with outspread
wings ready to fly upwards. The angel's upper lip was slightly
raised as though about to smile, and once on coming out of the
chapel Prince Andrew and Princess Mary admitted to one another that
the angel's face reminded them strangely of the little princess. But
what was still stranger, though of this Prince Andrew said nothing
to his sister, was that in the expression the sculptor had happened to
give the angel's face, Prince Andrew read the same mild reproach he
had read on the face of his dead wife: "Ah, why have you done this
to me?"

Soon after Prince Andrew's return the old prince made over to him
a large estate, Bogucharovo, about twenty-five miles from Bald
Hills. Partly because of the depressing memories associated with
Bald Hills, partly because Prince Andrew did not always feel equal
to bearing with his father's peculiarities, and partly because he
needed solitude, Prince Andrew made use of Bogucharovo, began building
and spent most of his time there.

After the Austerlitz campaign Prince Andrew had firmly resolved
not to continue his military service, and when the war recommenced and
everybody had to serve, he took a post under his father in the
recruitment so as to avoid active service. The old prince and his
son seemed to have changed roles since the campaign of 1805. The old
man, roused by activity, expected the best results from the new
campaign, while Prince Andrew on the contrary, taking no part in the
war and secretly regretting this, saw only the dark side.

On February 26, 1807, the old prince set off on one of his circuits.
Prince Andrew remained at Bald Hills as usual during his father's
absence. Little Nicholas had been unwell for four days. The coachman
who had driven the old prince to town returned bringing papers and
letters for Prince Andrew.

Not finding the young prince in his study the valet went with the
letters to Princess Mary's apartments, but did not find him there.
He was told that the prince had gone to the nursery.

"If you please, your excellency, Petrusha has brought some
papers," said one of the nursemaids to Prince Andrew who was sitting
on a child's little chair while, frowning and with trembling hands, he
poured drops from a medicine bottle into a wineglass half full of

"What is it?" he said crossly, and, his hand shaking
unintentionally, he poured too many drops into the glass. He threw the
mixture onto the floor and asked for some more water. The maid brought

There were in the room a child's cot, two boxes, two armchairs, a
table, a child's table, and the little chair on which Prince Andrew
was sitting. The curtains were drawn, and a single candle was
burning on the table, screened by a bound music book so that the light
did not fall on the cot.

"My dear," said Princess Mary, addressing her brother from beside
the cot where she was standing, "better wait a bit... later..."

"Oh, leave off, you always talk nonsense and keep putting things
off- and this is what comes of it!" said Prince Andrew in an
exasperated whisper, evidently meaning to wound his sister.

"My dear, really... it's better not to wake him... he's asleep,"
said the princess in a tone of entreaty.

Prince Andrew got up and went on tiptoe up to the little bed,
wineglass in hand.

"Perhaps we'd really better not wake him," he said hesitating.

"As you please... really... I think so... but as you please," said
Princess Mary, evidently intimidated and confused that her opinion had
prevailed. She drew her brother's attention to the maid who was
calling him in a whisper.

It was the second night that neither of them had slept, watching the
boy who was in a high fever. These last days, mistrusting their
household doctor and expecting another for whom they had sent to town,
they had been trying first one remedy and then another. Worn out by
sleeplessness and anxiety they threw their burden of sorrow on one
another and reproached and disputed with each other.

"Petrusha has come with papers from your father," whispered the

Prince Andrew went out.

"Devil take them!" he muttered, and after listening to the verbal
instructions his father had sent and taking the correspondence and his
father's letter, he returned to the nursery.

"Well?" he asked.

"Still the same. Wait, for heaven's sake. Karl Ivanich always says
that sleep is more important than anything," whispered Princess Mary
with a sigh.

Prince Andrew went up to the child and felt him. He was burning hot.

"Confound you and your Karl Ivanich!" He took the glass with the
drops and again went up to the cot.

"Andrew, don't!" said Princess Mary.

But he scowled at her angrily though also with suffering in his
eyes, and stooped glass in hand over the infant.

"But I wish it," he said. "I beg you- give it him!"

Princess Mary shrugged her shoulders but took the glass submissively
and calling the nurse began giving the medicine. The child screamed
hoarsely. Prince Andrew winced and, clutching his head, went out and
sat down on a sofa in the next room.

He still had all the letters in his hand. Opening them
mechanically he began reading. The old prince, now and then using
abbreviations, wrote in his large elongated hand on blue paper as

Have just this moment received by special messenger very joyful
news- if it's not false. Bennigsen seems to have obtained a complete
victory over Buonaparte at Eylau. In Petersburg everyone is rejoicing,
and the rewards sent to the army are innumerable. Though he is a
German- I congratulate him! I can't make out what the commander at
Korchevo- a certain Khandrikov- is up to; till now the additional
men and provisions have not arrived. Gallop off to him at once and say
I'll have his head off if everything is not here in a week. Have
received another letter about the Preussisch-Eylau battle from
Petenka- he took part in it- and it's all true. When mischief-makers
don't meddle even a German beats Buonaparte. He is said to be
fleeing in great disorder. Mind you gallop off to Korchevo without
delay and carry out instructions!

Prince Andrew sighed and broke the seal of another envelope. It
was a closely written letter of two sheets from Bilibin. He folded
it up without reading it and reread his father's letter, ending with
the words: "Gallop off to Korchevo and carry out instructions!"

"No, pardon me, I won't go now till the child is better," thought
he, going to the door and looking into the nursery.

Princess Mary was still standing by the cot, gently rocking the

"Ah yes, and what else did he say that's unpleasant?" thought Prince
Andrew, recalling his father's letter. "Yes, we have gained a
victory over Bonaparte, just when I'm not serving. Yes, yes, he's
always poking fun at me.... Ah, well! Let him!" And he began reading
Bilibin's letter which was written in French. He read without
understanding half of it, read only to forget, if but for a moment,
what he had too long been thinking of so painfully to the exclusion of
all else.


Bilibin was now at army headquarters in a diplomatic capacity, and
though he wrote in French and used French jests and French idioms,
he described the whole campaign with a fearless self-censure and
self-derision genuinely Russian. Bilibin wrote that the obligation
of diplomatic discretion tormented him, and he was happy to have in
Prince Andrew a reliable correspondent to whom he could pour out the
bile he had accumulated at the sight of all that was being done in the
army. The letter was old, having been written before the battle at

"Since the day of our brilliant success at Austerlitz," wrote
Bilibin, "as you know, my dear prince, I never leave headquarters. I
have certainly acquired a taste for war, and it is just as well for
me; what I have seen during these last three months is incredible.

"I begin ab ovo. 'The enemy of the human race,' as you know, attacks
the Prussians. The Prussians are our faithful allies who have only
betrayed us three times in three years. We take up their cause, but it
turns out that 'the enemy of the human race' pays no heed to our
fine speeches and in his rude and savage way throws himself on the
Prussians without giving them time to finish the parade they had
begun, and in two twists of the hand he breaks them to smithereens and
installs himself in the palace at Potsdam.

"'I most ardently desire,' writes the King of Prussia to
Bonaparte, 'that Your Majesty should be received and treated in my
palace in a manner agreeable to yourself, and in so far as
circumstances allowed, I have hastened to take all steps to that
end. May I have succeeded!' The Prussian generals pride themselves
on being polite to the French and lay down their arms at the first

"The head of the garrison at Glogau, with ten thousand men, asks the
King of Prussia what he is to do if he is summoned to surrender....
All this is absolutely true.

"In short, hoping to settle matters by taking up a warlike attitude,
it turns out that we have landed ourselves in war, and what is more,
in war on our own frontiers, with and for the King of Prussia. We have
everything in perfect order, only one little thing is lacking, namely,
a commander in chief. As it was considered that the Austerlitz success
might have been more decisive had the commander in chief not been so
young, all our octogenarians were reviewed, and of Prozorovski and
Kamenski the latter was preferred. The general comes to us,
Suvorov-like, in a kibitka, and is received with acclamations of joy
and triumph.

"On the 4th, the first courier arrives from Petersburg. The mails
are taken to the field marshal's room, for he likes to do everything
himself. I am called in to help sort the letters and take those
meant for us. The field marshal looks on and waits for letters
addressed to him. We search, but none are to be found. The field
marshal grows impatient and sets to work himself and finds letters
from the Emperor to Count T., Prince V., and others. Then he bursts
into one of his wild furies and rages at everyone and everything,
seizes the letters, opens them, and reads those from the Emperor
addressed to others. 'Ah! So that's the way they treat me! No
confidence in me! Ah, ordered to keep an eye on me! Very well then!
Get along with you!' So he writes the famous order of the day to
General Bennigsen:

'I am wounded and cannot ride and consequently cannot command the
army. You have brought your army corps to Pultusk, routed: here it
is exposed, and without fuel or forage, so something must be done,
and, as you yourself reported to Count Buxhowden yesterday, you must
think of retreating to our frontier- which do today.'

"'From all my riding,' he writes to the Emperor, 'I have got a
saddle sore which, coming after all my previous journeys, quite
prevents my riding and commanding so vast an army, so I have passed on
the command to the general next in seniority, Count Buxhowden,
having sent him my whole staff and all that belongs to it, advising
him if there is a lack of bread, to move farther into the interior
of Prussia, for only one day's ration of bread remains, and in some
regiments none at all, as reported by the division commanders,
Ostermann and Sedmoretzki, and all that the peasants had has been
eaten up. I myself will remain in hospital at Ostrolenka till I
recover. In regard to which I humbly submit my report, with the
information that if the army remains in its present bivouac another
fortnight there will not be a healthy man left in it by spring.

"'Grant leave to retire to his country seat to an old man who is
already in any case dishonored by being unable to fulfill the great
and glorious task for which he was chosen. I shall await your most
gracious permission here in hospital, that I may not have to play
the part of a secretary rather than commander in the army. My
removal from the army does not produce the slightest stir- a blind man
has left it. There are thousands such as I in Russia.'

"The field marshal is angry with the Emperor and he punishes us all,
isn't it logical?

"This is the first act. Those that follow are naturally increasingly
interesting and entertaining. After the field marshal's departure it
appears that we are within sight of the enemy and must give battle.
Buxhowden is commander in chief by seniority, but General Bennigsen
does not quite see it; more particularly as it is he and his corps who
are within sight of the enemy and he wishes to profit by the
opportunity to fight a battle 'on his own hand' as the Germans say. He
does so. This is the battle of Pultusk, which is considered a great
victory but in my opinion was nothing of the kind. We civilians, as
you know, have a very bad way of deciding whether a battle was won
or lost. Those who retreat after a battle have lost it is what we say;
and according to that it is we who lost the battle of Pultusk. In
short, we retreat after the battle but send a courier to Petersburg
with news of a victory, and General Bennigsen, hoping to receive
from Petersburg the post of commander in chief as a reward for his
victory, does not give up the command of the army to General
Buxhowden. During this interregnum we begin a very original and
interesting series of maneuvers. Our aim is no longer, as it should
be, to avoid or attack the enemy, but solely to avoid General
Buxhowden who by right of seniority should be our chief. So
energetically do we pursue this aim that after crossing an
unfordable river we burn the bridges to separate ourselves from our
enemy, who at the moment is not Bonaparte but Buxhowden. General
Buxhowden was all but attacked and captured by a superior enemy
force as a result of one of these maneuvers that enabled us to
escape him. Buxhowden pursues us- we scuttle. He hardly crosses the
river to our side before we recross to the other. At last our enemy.
Buxhowden, catches us and attacks. Both generals are angry, and the
result is a challenge on Buxhowden's part and an epileptic fit on
Bennigsen's. But at the critical moment the courier who carried the
news of our victory at Pultusk to Petersburg returns bringing our
appointment as commander in chief, and our first foe, Buxhowden, is
vanquished; we can now turn our thoughts to the second, Bonaparte. But
as it turns out, just at that moment a third enemy rises before us-
namely the Orthodox Russian soldiers, loudly demanding bread, meat,
biscuits, fodder, and whatnot! The stores are empty, the roads
impassable. The Orthodox begin looting, and in a way of which our last
campaign can give you no idea. Half the regiments form bands and scour
the countryside and put everything to fire and sword. The
inhabitants are totally ruined, the hospitals overflow with sick,
and famine is everywhere. Twice the marauders even attack our
headquarters, and the commander in chief has to ask for a battalion to
disperse them. During one of these attacks they carried off my empty
portmanteau and my dressing gown. The Emperor proposes to give all
commanders of divisions the right to shoot marauders, but I much
fear this will oblige one half the army to shoot the other."

At first Prince Andrew read with his eyes only, but after a while,
in spite of himself (although he knew how far it was safe to trust
Bilibin), what he had read began to interest him more and more. When
he had read thus far, he crumpled the letter up and threw it away.
It was not what he had read that vexed him, but the fact that the life
out there in which he had now no part could perturb him. He shut his
eyes, rubbed his forehead as if to rid himself of all interest in what
he had read, and listened to what was passing in the nursery. Suddenly
he thought he heard a strange noise through the door. He was seized
with alarm lest something should have happened to the child while he
was reading the letter. He went on tiptoe to the nursery door and
opened it.

Just as he went in he saw that the nurse was hiding something from
him with a scared look and that Princess Mary was no longer by the

"My dear," he heard what seemed to him her despairing whisper behind

As often happens after long sleeplessness and long anxiety, he was
seized by an unreasoning panic- it occurred to him that the child
was dead. All that he saw and heard seemed to confirm this terror.

"All is over," he thought, and a cold sweat broke out on his
forehead. He went to the cot in confusion, sure that he would find
it empty and that the nurse had been hiding the dead baby. He drew the
curtain aside and for some time his frightened, restless eyes could
not find the baby. At last he saw him: the rosy boy had tossed about
till he lay across the bed with his head lower than the pillow, and
was smacking his lips in his sleep and breathing evenly.

Prince Andrew was as glad to find the boy like that, as if he had
already lost him. He bent over him and, as his sister had taught
him, tried with his lips whether the child was still feverish. The
soft forehead was moist. Prince Andrew touched the head with his hand;
even the hair was wet, so profusely had the child perspired. He was
not dead, but evidently the crisis was over and he was convalescent.
Prince Andrew longed to snatch up, to squeeze, to hold to his heart,
this helpless little creature, but dared not do so. He stood over him,
gazing at his head and at the little arms and legs which showed
under the blanket. He heard a rustle behind him and a shadow
appeared under the curtain of the cot. He did not look round, but
still gazing at the infant's face listened to his regular breathing.
The dark shadow was Princess Mary, who had come up to the cot with
noiseless steps, lifted the curtain, and dropped it again behind
her. Prince Andrew recognized her without looking and held out his
hand to her. She pressed it.

"He has perspired," said Prince Andrew.

"I was coming to tell you so."

The child moved slightly in his sleep, smiled, and rubbed his
forehead against the pillow.

Prince Andrew looked at his sister. In the dim shadow of the curtain
her luminous eyes shone more brightly than usual from the tears of joy
that were in them. She leaned over to her brother and kissed him,
slightly catching the curtain of the cot. Each made the other a
warning gesture and stood still in the dim light beneath the curtain
as if not wishing to leave that seclusion where they three were shut
off from all the world. Prince Andrew was the first to move away,
ruffling his hair against the muslin of the curtain.

"Yes, this is the one thing left me now," he said with a sigh.


Soon after his admission to the Masonic Brotherhood, Pierre went
to the Kiev province, where he had the greatest number of serfs,
taking with him full directions which he had written down for his
own guidance as to what he should do on his estates.

When he reached Kiev he sent for all his stewards to the head office
and explained to them his intentions and wishes. He told them that
steps would be taken immediately to free his serfs- and that till then
they were not to be overburdened with labor, women while nursing their
babies were not to be sent to work, assistance was to be given to
the serfs, punishments were to be admonitory and not corporal, and
hospitals, asylums, and schools were to be established on all the
estates. Some of the stewards (there were semiliterate foremen among
them) listened with alarm, supposing these words to mean that the
young count was displeased with their management and embezzlement of
money, some after their first fright were amused by Pierre's lisp
and the new words they had not heard before, others simply enjoyed
hearing how the master talked, while the cleverest among them,
including the chief steward, understood from this speech how they
could best handle the master for their own ends.

The chief steward expressed great sympathy with Pierre's intentions,
but remarked that besides these changes it would be necessary to go
into the general state of affairs which was far from satisfactory.

Despite Count Bezukhov's enormous wealth, since he had come into
an income which was said to amount to five hundred thousand rubles a
year, Pierre felt himself far poorer than when his father had made him
an allowance of ten thousand rubles. He had a dim perception of the
following budget:

About 80,000 went in payments on all the estates to the Land Bank,
about 30,000 went for the upkeep of the estate near Moscow, the town
house, and the allowance to the three princesses; about 15,000 was
given in pensions and the same amount for asylums; 150,000 alimony was
sent to the countess; about 70,00 went for interest on debts. The
building of a new church, previously begun, had cost about 10,000 in
each of the last two years, and he did not know how the rest, about
100,000 rubles, was spent, and almost every year he was obliged to
borrow. Besides this the chief steward wrote every year telling him of
fires and bad harvests, or of the necessity of rebuilding factories
and workshops. So the first task Pierre had to face was one for
which he had very little aptitude or inclination- practical business.

He discussed estate affairs every day with his chief steward. But he
felt that this did not forward matters at all. He felt that these
consultations were detached from real affairs and did not link up with
them or make them move. On the one hand, the chief steward put the
state of things to him in the very worst light, pointing out the
necessity of paying off the debts and undertaking new activities
with serf labor, to which Pierre did not agree. On the other hand,
Pierre demanded that steps should be taken to liberate the serfs,
which the steward met by showing the necessity of first paying off the
loans from the Land Bank, and the consequent impossibility of a speedy

The steward did not say it was quite impossible, but suggested
selling the forests in the province of Kostroma, the land lower down
the river, and the Crimean estate, in order to make it possible: all
of which operations according to him were connected with such
complicated measures- the removal of injunctions, petitions,
permits, and so on- that Pierre became quite bewildered and only

"Yes, yes, do so."

Pierre had none of the practical persistence that would have enabled
him to attend to the business himself and so he disliked it and only
tried to pretend to the steward that he was attending to it. The
steward for his part tried to pretend to the count that he
considered these consultations very valuable for the proprietor and
troublesome to himself.

In Kiev Pierre found some people he knew, and strangers hastened
to make his acquaintance and joyfully welcomed the rich newcomer,
the largest landowner of the province. Temptations to Pierre's
greatest weakness- the one to which he had confessed when admitted
to the Lodge- were so strong that he could not resist them. Again
whole days, weeks, and months of his life passed in as great a rush
and were as much occupied with evening parties, dinners, lunches,
and balls, giving him no time for reflection, as in Petersburg.
Instead of the new life he had hoped to lead he still lived the old
life, only in new surroundings.

Of the three precepts of Freemasonry Pierre realized that he did not
fulfill the one which enjoined every Mason to set an example of
moral life, and that of the seven virtues he lacked two- morality
and the love of death. He consoled himself with the thought that he
fulfilled another of the precepts- that of reforming the human race-
and had other virtues- love of his neighbor, and especially

In the spring of 1807 he decided to return to Petersburg. On the way
he intended to visit all his estates and see for himself how far his
orders had been carried out and in what state were the serfs whom
God had entrusted to his care and whom he intended to benefit.

The chief steward, who considered the young count's attempts
almost insane- unprofitable to himself, to the count, and to the
serfs- made some concessions. Continuing to represent the liberation
of the serfs as impracticable, he arranged for the erection of large
buildings- schools, hospitals, and asylums- on all the estates
before the master arrived. Everywhere preparations were made not for
ceremonious welcomes (which he knew Pierre would not like), but for
just such gratefully religious ones, with offerings of icons and the
bread and salt of hospitality, as, according to his understanding of
his master, would touch and delude him.

The southern spring, the comfortable rapid traveling in a Vienna
carriage, and the solitude of the road, all had a gladdening effect on
Pierre. The estates he had not before visited were each more
picturesque than the other; the serfs everywhere seemed thriving and
touchingly grateful for the benefits conferred on them. Everywhere
were receptions, which though they embarrassed Pierre awakened a
joyful feeling in the depth of his heart. In one place the peasants
presented him with bread and salt and an icon of Saint Peter and Saint
Paul, asking permission, as a mark of their gratitude for the benefits
he had conferred on them, to build a new chantry to the church at
their own expense in honor of Peter and Paul, his patron saints. In
another place the women with infants in arms met him to thank him
for releasing them from hard work. On a third estate the priest,
bearing a cross, came to meet him surrounded by children whom, by
the count's generosity, he was instructing in reading, writing, and
religion. On all his estates Pierre saw with his own eyes brick
buildings erected or in course of erection, all on one plan, for
hospitals, schools, and almshouses, which were soon to be opened.
Everywhere he saw the stewards' accounts, according to which the
serfs' manorial labor had been diminished, and heard the touching
thanks of deputations of serfs in their full-skirted blue coats.

What Pierre did not know was that the place where they presented him
with bread and salt and wished to build a chantry in honor of Peter
and Paul was a market village where a fair was held on St. Peter's
day, and that the richest peasants (who formed the deputation) had
begun the chantry long before, but that nine tenths of the peasants in
that villages were in a state of the greatest poverty. He did not know
that since the nursing mothers were no longer sent to work on his
land, they did still harder work on their own land. He did not know
that the priest who met him with the cross oppressed the peasants by
his exactions, and that the pupils' parents wept at having to let
him take their children and secured their release by heavy payments.
He did not know that the brick buildings, built to plan, were being
built by serfs whose manorial labor was thus increased, though
lessened on paper. He did not know that where the steward had shown
him in the accounts that the serfs' payments had been diminished by
a third, their obligatory manorial work had been increased by a
half. And so Pierre was delighted with his visit to his estates and
quite recovered the philanthropic mood in which he had left
Petersburg, and wrote enthusiastic letters to his "brother-instructor"
as he called the Grand Master.

"How easy it is, how little effort it needs, to do so much good,"
thought Pierre, "and how little attention we pay to it!"

He was pleased at the gratitude he received, but felt abashed at
receiving it. This gratitude reminded him of how much more he might do
for these simple, kindly people.

The chief steward, a very stupid but cunning man who saw perfectly
through the naive and intelligent count and played with him as with
a toy, seeing the effect these prearranged receptions had on Pierre,
pressed him still harder with proofs of the impossibility and above
all the uselessness of freeing the serfs, who were quite happy as it

Pierre in his secret soul agreed with the steward that it would be
difficult to imagine happier people, and that God only knew what would
happen to them when they were free, but he insisted, though
reluctantly, on what he thought right. The steward promised to do
all in his power to carry out the count's wishes, seeing clearly
that not only would the count never be able to find out whether all
measures had been taken for the sale of the land and forests and to
release them from the Land Bank, but would probably never even inquire
and would never know that the newly erected buildings were standing
empty and that the serfs continued to give in money and work all
that other people's serfs gave- that is to say, all that could be
got out of them.


Returning from his journey through South Russia in the happiest
state of mind, Pierre carried out an intention he had long had of
visiting his friend Bolkonski, whom he had not seen for two years.

Bogucharovo lay in a flat uninteresting part of the country among
fields and forests of fir and birch, which were partly cut down. The
house lay behind a newly dug pond filled with water to the brink and
with banks still bare of grass. It was at the end of a village that
stretched along the highroad in the midst of a young copse in which
were a few fir trees.

The homestead consisted of a threshing floor, outhouses, stables,
a bathhouse, a lodge, and a large brick house with semicircular facade
still in course of construction. Round the house was a garden newly
laid out. The fences and gates were new and solid; two fire pumps
and a water cart, painted green, stood in a shed; the paths were
straight, the bridges were strong and had handrails. Everything bore
an impress of tidiness and good management. Some domestic serfs Pierre
met, in reply to inquiries as to where the prince lived, pointed out a
small newly built lodge close to the pond. Anton, a man who had looked
after Prince Andrew in his boyhood, helped Pierre out of his carriage,
said that the prince was at home, and showed him into a clean little

Pierre was struck by the modesty of the small though clean house
after the brilliant surroundings in which he had last met his friend
in Petersburg.

He quickly entered the small reception room with its
still-unplastered wooden walls redolent of pine, and would have gone
farther, but Anton ran ahead on tiptoe and knocked at a door.

"Well, what is it?" came a sharp, unpleasant voice.

"A visitor," answered Anton.

"Ask him to wait," and the sound was heard of a chair being pushed

Pierre went with rapid steps to the door and suddenly came face to
face with Prince Andrew, who came out frowning and looking old. Pierre
embraced him and lifting his spectacles kissed his friend on the cheek
and looked at him closely.

"Well, I did not expect you, I am very glad," said Prince Andrew.

Pierre said nothing; he looked fixedly at his friend with
surprise. He was struck by the change in him. His words were kindly
and there was a smile on his lips and face, but his eyes were dull and
lifeless and in spite of his evident wish to do so he could not give
them a joyous and glad sparkle. Prince Andrew had grown thinner,
paler, and more manly-looking, but what amazed and estranged Pierre
till he got used to it were his inertia and a wrinkle on his brow
indicating prolonged concentration on some one thought.

As is usually the case with people meeting after a prolonged
separation, it was long before their conversation could settle on
anything. They put questions and gave brief replies about things
they knew ought to be talked over at length. At last the
conversation gradually settled on some of the topics at first
lightly touched on: their past life, plans for the future, Pierre's
journeys and occupations, the war, and so on. The preoccupation and
despondency which Pierre had noticed in his friend's look was now
still more clearly expressed in the smile with which he listened to
Pierre, especially when he spoke with joyful animation of the past
or the future. It was as if Prince Andrew would have liked to
sympathize with what Pierre was saying, but could not. The latter
began to feel that it was in bad taste to speak of his enthusiasms,
dreams, and hopes of happiness or goodness, in Prince Andrew's
presence. He was ashamed to express his new Masonic views, which had
been particularly revived and strengthened by his late tour. He
checked himself, fearing to seem naive, yet he felt an irresistible
desire to show his friend as soon as possible that he was now a
quite different, and better, Pierre than he had been in Petersburg.

"I can't tell you how much I have lived through since then. I hardly
know myself again."

"Yes, we have altered much, very much, since then," said Prince

"Well, and you? What are your plans?"

"Plans!" repeated Prince Andrew ironically. "My plans?" he said,
as if astonished at the word. "Well, you see, I'm building. I mean
to settle here altogether next year...."

Pierre looked silently and searchingly into Prince Andrew's face,
which had grown much older.

"No, I meant to ask..." Pierre began, but Prince Andrew
interrupted him.

"But why talk of me?... Talk to me, yes, tell me about your
travels and all you have been doing on your estates."

Pierre began describing what he had done on his estates, trying as
far as possible to conceal his own part in the improvements that had
been made. Prince Andrew several times prompted Pierre's story of what
he had been doing, as though it were all an old-time story, and he
listened not only without interest but even as if ashamed of what
Pierre was telling him.

Pierre felt uncomfortable and even depressed in his friend's company
and at last became silent.

"I'll tell you what, my dear fellow," said Prince Andrew, who
evidently also felt depressed and constrained with his visitor, "I
am only bivouacking here and have just come to look round. I am
going back to my sister today. I will introduce you to her. But of
course you know her already," he said, evidently trying to entertain a
visitor with whom he now found nothing in common. "We will go after
dinner. And would you now like to look round my place?"

They went out and walked about till dinnertime, talking of the
political news and common acquaintances like people who do not know
each other intimately. Prince Andrew spoke with some animation and
interest only of the new homestead he was constructing and its
buildings, but even here, while on the scaffolding, in the midst of
a talk explaining the future arrangements of the house, he interrupted

"However, this is not at all interesting. Let us have dinner, and
then we'll set off."

At dinner, conversation turned on Pierre's marriage.

"I was very much surprised when I heard of it," said Prince Andrew.

Pierre blushed, as he always did when it was mentioned, and said
hurriedly: "I will tell you some time how it all happened. But you
know it is all over, and forever."

"Forever?" said Prince Andrew. "Nothing's forever."

"But you know how it all ended, don't you? You heard of the duel?"

"And so you had to go through that too!"

"One thing I thank God for is that I did not kill that man," said

"Why so?" asked Prince Andrew. "To kill a vicious dog is a very good
thing really."

"No, to kill a man is bad- wrong."

"Why is it wrong?" urged Prince Andrew. "It is not given to man to
know what is right and what is wrong. Men always did and always will
err, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong."

"What does harm to another is wrong," said Pierre, feeling with
pleasure that for the first time since his arrival Prince Andrew was
roused, had begun to talk, and wanted to express what had brought
him to his present state.

"And who has told you what is bad for another man?" he asked.

"Bad! Bad!" exclaimed Pierre. "We all know what is bad for

"Yes, we know that, but the harm I am conscious of in myself is
something I cannot inflict on others," said Prince Andrew, growing
more and more animated and evidently wishing to express his new
outlook to Pierre. He spoke in French. "I only know two very real
evils in life: remorse and illness. The only good is the absence of
those evils. To live for myself avoiding those two evils is my whole
philosophy now."

"And love of one's neighbor, and self-sacrifice?" began Pierre. "No,
I can't agree with you! To live only so as not to do evil and not to
have to repent is not enough. I lived like that, I lived for myself
and ruined my life. And only now when I am living, or at least trying"
(Pierre's modesty made him correct himself) "to live for others,
only now have I understood all the happiness of life. No, I shall
not agree with you, and you do not really believe what you are
saying." Prince Andrew looked silently at Pierre with an ironic smile.

"When you see my sister, Princess Mary, you'll get on with her,"
he said. "Perhaps you are right for yourself," he added after a
short pause, "but everyone lives in his own way. You lived for
yourself and say you nearly ruined your life and only found
happiness when you began living for others. I experienced just the
reverse. I lived for glory.- And after all what is glory? The same
love of others, a desire to do something for them, a desire for
their approval.- So I lived for others, and not almost, but quite,
ruined my life. And I have become calmer since I began to live only
for myself."

"But what do you mean by living only for yourself?" asked Pierre,
growing excited. "What about your son, your sister, and your father?"

"But that's just the same as myself- they are not others," explained
Prince Andrew. "The others, one's neighbors, le prochain, as you and
Princess Mary call it, are the chief source of all error and evil.
Le prochain- your Kiev peasants to whom you want to do good."

And he looked at Pierre with a mocking, challenging expression. He
evidently wished to draw him on.

"You are joking," replied Pierre, growing more and more excited.
"What error or evil can there be in my wishing to do good, and even
doing a little- though I did very little and did it very badly? What
evil can there be in it if unfortunate people, our serfs, people
like ourselves, were growing up and dying with no idea of God and
truth beyond ceremonies and meaningless prayers and are now instructed
in a comforting belief in future life, retribution, recompense, and
consolation? What evil and error are there in it, if people were dying
of disease without help while material assistance could so easily be
rendered, and I supplied them with a doctor, a hospital, and an asylum
for the aged? And is it not a palpable, unquestionable good if a
peasant, or a woman with a baby, has no rest day or night and I give
them rest and leisure?" said Pierre, hurrying and lisping. "And I have
done that though badly and to a small extent; but I have done
something toward it and you cannot persuade me that it was not a
good action, and more than that, you can't make me believe that you do
not think so yourself. And the main thing is," he continued, "that I
know, and know for certain, that the enjoyment of doing this good is
the only sure happiness in life."

"Yes, if you put it like that it's quite a different matter," said
Prince Andrew. "I build a house and lay out a garden, and you build
hospitals. The one and the other may serve as a pastime. But what's
right and what's good must be judged by one who knows all, but not
by us. Well, you want an argument," he added, come on then."

They rose from the table and sat down in the entrance porch which
served as a veranda.

"Come, let's argue then," said Prince Andrew, "You talk of schools,"
he went on, crooking a finger, "education and so forth; that is, you
want to raise him" (pointing to a peasant who passed by them taking
off his cap) "from his animal condition and awaken in him spiritual
needs, while it seems to me that animal happiness is the only
happiness possible, and that is just what you want to deprive him
of. I envy him, but you want to make him what I am, without giving him
my means. Then you say, 'lighten his toil.' But as I see it,
physical labor is as essential to him, as much a condition of his
existence, as mental activity is to you or me. You can't help
thinking. I go to bed after two in the morning, thoughts come and I
can't sleep but toss about till dawn, because I think and can't help
thinking, just as he can't help plowing and mowing; if he didn't, he
would go to the drink shop or fall ill. Just as I could not stand
his terrible physical labor but should die of it in a week, so he
could not stand my physical idleness, but would grow fat and die.
The third thing- what else was it you talked about?" and Prince Andrew
crooked a third finger. "Ah, yes, hospitals, medicine. He has a fit,
he is dying, and you come and bleed him and patch him up. He will drag
about as a cripple, a burden to everybody, for another ten years. It
would be far easier and simpler for him to die. Others are being
born and there are plenty of them as it is. It would be different if
you grudged losing a laborer- that's how I regard him- but you want to
cure him from love of him. And he does not want that. And besides,
what a notion that medicine ever cured anyone! Killed them, yes!" said
he, frowning angrily and turning away from Pierre.

Prince Andrew expressed his ideas so clearly and distinctly that
it was evident he had reflected on this subject more than once, and he
spoke readily and rapidly like a man who has not talked for a long
time. His glance became more animated as his conclusions became more

"Oh, that is dreadful, dreadful!" said Pierre. "I don't understand
how one can live with such ideas. I had such moments myself not long
ago, in Moscow and when traveling, but at such times I collapsed so
that I don't live at all- everything seems hateful to me... myself
most of all. Then I don't eat, don't wash... and how is it with

"Why not wash? That is not cleanly," said Prince Andrew; "on the
contrary one must try to make one's life as pleasant as possible.
I'm alive, that is not my fault, so I must live out my life as best
I can without hurting others."

"But with such ideas what motive have you for living? One would
sit without moving, undertaking nothing...."

"Life as it is leaves one no peace. I should be thankful to do
nothing, but here on the one hand the local nobility have done me
the honor to choose me to be their marshal; it was all I could do to
get out of it. They could not understand that I have not the necessary
qualifications for it- the kind of good-natured, fussy shallowness
necessary for the position. Then there's this house, which must be
built in order to have a nook of one's own in which to be quiet. And
now there's this recruiting."

"Why aren't you serving in the army?"

"After Austerlitz!" said Prince Andrew gloomily. "No, thank you very
much! I have promised myself not to serve again in the active
Russian army. And I won't- not even if Bonaparte were here at Smolensk
threatening Bald Hills- even then I wouldn't serve in the Russian
army! Well, as I was saying," he continued, recovering his
composure, "now there's this recruiting. My father is chief in command
of the Third District, and my only way of avoiding active service is
to serve under him."

"Then you are serving?"

"I am."

He paused a little while.

"And why do you serve?"

"Why, for this reason! My father is one of the most remarkable men
of his time. But he is growing old, and though not exactly cruel he
has too energetic a character. He is so accustomed to unlimited
power that he is terrible, and now he has this authority of a
commander in chief of the recruiting, granted by the Emperor. If I had
been two hours late a fortnight ago he would have had a paymaster's
clerk at Yukhnovna hanged," said Prince Andrew with a smile. "So I
am serving because I alone have any influence with my father, and
now and then can save him from actions which would torment him

"Well, there you see!"

"Yes, but it is not as you imagine," Prince Andrew continued. "I did
not, and do not, in the least care about that scoundrel of a clerk who
had stolen some boots from the recruits; I should even have been
very glad to see him hanged, but I was sorry for my father- that again
is for myself."

Prince Andrew grew more and more animated. His eyes glittered
feverishly while he tried to prove to Pierre that in his actions there
was no desire to do good to his neighbor.

"There now, you wish to liberate your serfs," he continued; "that is
a very good thing, but not for you- I don't suppose you ever had
anyone flogged or sent to Siberia- and still less for your serfs. If
they are beaten, flogged, or sent to Siberia, I don't suppose they are
any the worse off. In Siberia they lead the same animal life, and
the stripes on their bodies heal, and they are happy as before. But it
is a good thing for proprietors who perish morally, bring remorse upon
themselves, stifle this remorse and grow callous, as a result of being
able to inflict punishments justly and unjustly. It is those people
I pity, and for their sake I should like to liberate the serfs. You
may not have seen, but I have seen, how good men brought up in those
traditions of unlimited power, in time when they grow more
irritable, become cruel and harsh, are conscious of it, but cannot
restrain themselves and grow more and more miserable."

Prince Andrew spoke so earnestly that Pierre could not help thinking
that these thoughts had been suggested to Prince Andrew by his
father's case.

He did not reply.

"So that's what I'm sorry for- human dignity, peace of mind, purity,
and not the serfs' backs and foreheads, which, beat and shave as you
may, always remain the same backs and foreheads."

"No, no! A thousand times no! I shall never agree with you," said


In the evening Andrew and Pierre got into the open carriage and
drove to Bald Hills. Prince Andrew, glancing at Pierre, broke the
silence now and then with remarks which showed that he was in a good

Pointing to the fields, he spoke of the improvements he was making
in his husbandry.

Pierre remained gloomily silent, answering in monosyllables and
apparently immersed in his own thoughts.

He was thinking that Prince Andrew was unhappy, had gone astray, did
not see the true light, and that he, Pierre, ought to aid,
enlighten, and raise him. But as soon as he thought of what he
should say, he felt that Prince Andrew with one word, one argument,
would upset all his teaching, and he shrank from beginning, afraid
of exposing to possible ridicule what to him was precious and sacred.

"No, but why do you think so?" Pierre suddenly began, lowering his
head and looking like a bull about to charge, "why do you think so?
You should not think so."

"Think? What about?" asked Prince Andrew with surprise.

"About life, about man's destiny. It can't be so. I myself thought
like that, and do you know what saved me? Freemasonry! No, don't
smile. Freemasonry is not a religious ceremonial sect, as I thought it
was: Freemasonry is the best expression of the best, the eternal,
aspects of humanity."

And he began to explain Freemasonry as he understood it to Prince
Andrew. He said that Freemasonry is the teaching of Christianity freed
from the bonds of State and Church, a teaching of equality,
brotherhood, and love.

"Only our holy brotherhood has the real meaning of life, all the
rest is a dream," said Pierre. "Understand, my dear fellow, that
outside this union all is filled with deceit and falsehood and I agree
with you that nothing is left for an intelligent and good man but to
live out his life, like you, merely trying not to harm others. But
make our fundamental convictions your own, join our brotherhood,
give yourself up to us, let yourself be guided, and you will at once
feel yourself, as I have felt myself, a part of that vast invisible
chain the beginning of which is hidden in heaven," said Pierre.

Prince Andrew, looking straight in front of him, listened in silence
to Pierre's words. More than once, when the noise of the wheels
prevented his catching what Pierre said, he asked him to repeat it,
and by the peculiar glow that came into Prince Andrew's eyes and by
his silence, Pierre saw that his words were not in vain and that
Prince Andrew would not interrupt him or laugh at what he said.

They reached a river that had overflowed its banks and which they
had to cross by ferry. While the carriage and horses were being placed
on it, they also stepped on the raft.

Prince Andrew, leaning his arms on the raft railing, gazed
silently at the flooding waters glittering in the setting sun.

"Well, what do you think about it?" Pierre asked. "Why are you

"What do I think about it? I am listening to you. It's all very
well.... You say: join our brotherhood and we will show you the aim of
life, the destiny of man, and the laws which govern the world. But who
are we? Men. How is it you know everything? Why do I alone not see
what you see? You see a reign of goodness and truth on earth, but I
don't see it."

Pierre interrupted him.

"Do you believe in a future life?" he asked.

"A future life?" Prince Andrew repeated, but Pierre, giving him no
time to reply, took the repetition for a denial, the more readily as
he knew Prince Andrew's former atheistic convictions.

"You say you can't see a reign of goodness and truth on earth. Nor
could I, and it cannot be seen if one looks on our life here as the
end of everything. On earth, here on this earth" (Pierre pointed to
the fields), "there is no truth, all is false and evil; but in the
universe, in the whole universe there is a kingdom of truth, and we
who are now the children of earth are- eternally- children of the
whole universe. Don't I feel in my soul that I am part of this vast
harmonious whole? Don't I feel that I form one link, one step, between
the lower and higher beings, in this vast harmonious multitude of
beings in whom the Deity- the Supreme Power if you prefer the term- is
manifest? If I see, clearly see, that ladder leading from plant to
man, why should I suppose it breaks off at me and does not go
farther and farther? I feel that I cannot vanish, since nothing
vanishes in this world, but that I shall always exist and always
have existed. I feel that beyond me and above me there are spirits,
and that in this world there is truth."

"Yes, that is Herder's theory," said Prince Andrew, "but it is not
that which can convince me, dear friend- life and death are what
convince. What convinces is when one sees a being dear to one, bound
up with one's own life, before whom one was to blame and had hoped
to make it right" (Prince Andrew's voice trembled and he turned away),
"and suddenly that being is seized with pain, suffers, and ceases to
exist.... Why? It cannot be that there is no answer. And I believe
there is.... That's what convinces, that is what has convinced me,"
said Prince Andrew.

"Yes, yes, of course," said Pierre, "isn't that what I'm saying?"

"No. All I say is that it is not argument that convinces me of the
necessity of a future life, but this: when you go hand in hand with
someone and all at once that person vanishes there, into nowhere,
and you yourself are left facing that abyss, and look in. And I have
looked in...."

"Well, that's it then! You know that there is a there and there is a
Someone? There is the future life. The Someone is- God."

Prince Andrew did not reply. The carriage and horses had long
since been taken off, onto the farther bank, and reharnessed. The
sun had sunk half below the horizon and an evening frost was
starring the puddles near the ferry, but Pierre and Andrew, to the
astonishment of the footmen, coachmen, and ferrymen, still stood on
the raft and talked.

"If there is a God and future life, there is truth and good, and
man's highest happiness consists in striving to attain them. We must
live, we must love, and we must believe that we live not only today on
this scrap of earth, but have lived and shall live forever, there,
in the Whole," said Pierre, and he pointed to the sky.

Prince Andrew stood leaning on the railing of the raft listening
to Pierre, and he gazed with his eyes fixed on the red reflection of
the sun gleaming on the blue waters. There was perfect stillness.
Pierre became silent. The raft had long since stopped and only the
waves of the current beat softly against it below. Prince Andrew
felt as if the sound of the waves kept up a refrain to Pierre's words,

"It is true, believe it."

He sighed, and glanced with a radiant, childlike, tender look at
Pierre's face, flushed and rapturous, but yet shy before his
superior friend.

"Yes, if it only were so!" said Prince Andrew. "However, it is
time to get on," he added, and, stepping off the raft, he looked up at
the sky to which Pierre had pointed, and for the first time since
Austerlitz saw that high, everlasting sky he had seen while lying on
that battlefield; and something that had long been slumbering,
something that was best within him, suddenly awoke, joyful and
youthful, in his soul. It vanished as soon as he returned to the
customary conditions of his life, but he knew that this feeling
which he did not know how to develop existed within him. His meeting
with Pierre formed an epoch in Prince Andrew's life. Though
outwardly he continued to live in the same old way, inwardly he
began a new life.


It was getting dusk when Prince Andrew and Pierre drove up to the
front entrance of the house at Bald Hills. As they approached the
house, Prince Andrew with asmile drew Pierre's attention to a
commotion going on at the back porch. A woman, bent with age, with a
wallet on her back, and a short, long-haired, young man in a black
garment had rushed back to the gate on seeing the carriage driving up.
Two women ran out after them, and all four, looking round at the
carriage, ran in dismay up the steps of the back porch.

"Those are Mary's 'God's folk,'" said Prince Andrew. "They have
mistaken us for my father. This is the one matter in which she
disobeys him. He orders these pilgrims to be driven away, but she
receives them."

"But what are 'God's folk'?" asked Pierre.

Prince Andrew had no time to answer. The servants came out to meet
them, and he asked where the old prince was and whether he was
expected back soon.

The old prince had gone to the town and was expected back any

Prince Andrew led Pierre to his own apartments, which were always
kept in perfect order and readiness for him in his father's house;
he himself went to the nursery.

"Let us go and see my sister," he said to Pierre when he returned.
"I have not found her yet, she is hiding now, sitting with her
'God's folk.' It will serve her right, she will be confused, but you
will see her 'God's folk.' It's really very curious."

"What are 'God's folk'?" asked Pierre.

"Come, and you'll see for yourself."

Princess Mary really was disconcerted and red patches came on her
face when they went in. In her snug room, with lamps burning before
the icon stand, a young lad with a long nose and long hair, wearing
a monk's cassock, sat on the sofa beside her, behind a samovar. Near
them, in an armchair, sat a thin, shriveled, old woman, with a meek
expression on her childlike face.

"Andrew, why didn't you warn me?" said the princess, with mild
reproach, as she stood before her pilgrims like a hen before her

"Charmee de vous voir. Je suis tres contente de vous voir,"* she
said to Pierre as he kissed her hand. She had known him as a child,
and now his friendship with Andrew, his misfortune with his wife,
and above all his kindly, simple face disposed her favorably toward
him. She looked at him with her beautiful radiant eyes and seemed to
say, "I like you very much, but please don't laugh at my people."
After exchanging the first greetings, they sat down.

*"Delighted to see you. I am very glad to see you."

"Ah, and Ivanushka is here too!" said Prince Andrew, glancing with a
smile at the young pilgrim.

"Andrew!" said Princess Mary, imploringly. "Il faut que vous sachiez
que c'est une femme,"* said Prince Andrew to Pierre.

"Andrew, au nom de Dieu!"*[2] Princess Mary repeated.

*"You must know that this is a woman."

*[2] "For heaven's sake."

It was evident that Prince Andrew's ironical tone toward the
pilgrims and Princess Mary's helpless attempts to protect them were
their customary long-established relations on the matter.

"Mais, ma bonne amie," said Prince Andrew, "vous devriez au
contraire m'etre reconnaissante de ce que j'explique a Pierre votre
intimite avec ce jeune homme."*

*"But, my dear, you ought on the contrary to be grateful to me for
explaining to Pierre your intimacy with this young man."

"Really?" said Pierre, gazing over his spectacles with curiosity and
seriousness (for which Princess Mary was specially grateful to him)
into Ivanushka's face, who, seeing that she was being spoken about,
looked round at them all with crafty eyes.

Princess Mary's embarrassment on her people's account was quite
unnecessary. They were not in the least abashed. The old woman,
lowering her eyes but casting side glances at the newcomers, had
turned her cup upside down and placed a nibbled bit of sugar beside
it, and sat quietly in her armchair, though hoping to be offered
another cup of tea. Ivanushka, sipping out of her saucer, looked
with sly womanish eyes from under her brows at the young men.

"Where have you been? To Kiev?" Prince Andrew asked the old woman.

"I have, good sir," she answered garrulously. "Just at Christmastime
I was deemed worthy to partake of the holy and heavenly sacrament at
the shrine of the saint. And now I'm from Kolyazin, master, where a
great and wonderful blessing has been revealed."

"And was Ivanushka with you?"

"I go by myself, benefactor," said Ivanushka, trying to speak in a
bass voice. "I only came across Pelageya in Yukhnovo..."

Pelageya interrupted her companion; she evidently wished to tell
what she had seen.

"In Kolyazin, master, a wonderful blessing has been revealed."

"What is it? Some new relics?" asked Prince Andrew.

"Andrew, do leave off," said Princess Mary. "Don't tell him,

"No... why not, my dear, why shouldn't I? I like him. He is kind, he
is one of God's chosen, he's a benefactor, he once gave me ten rubles,
I remember. When I was in Kiev, Crazy Cyril says to me (he's one of
God's own and goes barefoot summer and winter), he says, 'Why are
you not going to the right place? Go to Kolyazin where a
wonder-working icon of the Holy Mother of God has been revealed.' On
hearing those words I said good-by to the holy folk and went."

All were silent, only the pilgrim woman went on in measured tones,
drawing in her breath.

"So I come, master, and the people say to me: 'A great blessing
has been revealed, holy oil trickles from the cheeks of our blessed
Mother, the Holy Virgin Mother of God'...."

"All right, all right, you can tell us afterwards," said Princess
Mary, flushing.

"Let me ask her," said Pierre. "Did you see it yourselves?" he

"Oh, yes, master, I was found worthy. Such a brightness on the
face like the light of heaven, and from the blessed Mother's cheek
it drops and drops...."

"But, dear me, that must be a fraud!" said Pierre, naively, who
had listened attentively to the pilgrim.

"Oh, master, what are you saying?" exclaimed the horrified Pelageya,
turning to Princess Mary for support.

"They impose on the people," he repeated.

"Lord Jesus Christ!" exclaimed the pilgrim woman, crossing
herself. "Oh, don't speak so, master! There was a general who did
not believe, and said, 'The monks cheat,' and as soon as he'd said
it he went blind. And he dreamed that the Holy Virgin Mother of the
Kiev catacombs came to him and said, 'Believe in me and I will make
you whole.' So he begged: 'Take me to her, take me to her.' It's the
real truth I'm telling you, I saw it myself. So he was brought,
quite blind, straight to her, and he goes up to her and falls down and
says, 'Make me whole,' says he, 'and I'll give thee what the Tsar
bestowed on me.' I saw it myself, master, the star is fixed into the
icon. Well, and what do you think? He received his sight! It's a sin
to speak so. God will punish you," she said admonishingly, turning
to Pierre.

"How did the star get into the icon?" Pierre asked.

"And was the Holy Mother promoted to the rank of general?" said
Prince Andrew, with a smile.

Pelageya suddenly grew quite pale and clasped her hands.

"Oh, master, master, what a sin! And you who have a son!" she began,
her pallor suddenly turning to a vivid red. "Master, what have you
said? God forgive you!" And she crossed herself. "Lord forgive him! My
dear, what does it mean?..." she asked, turning to Princess Mary.
She got up and, almost crying, began to arrange her wallet. She
evidently felt frightened and ashamed to have accepted charity in a
house where such things could be said, and was at the same time
sorry to have now to forgo the charity of this house.

"Now, why need you do it?" said Princess Mary. "Why did you come
to me?..."

"Come, Pelageya, I was joking," said Pierre. "Princesse, ma
parole, je n'ai pas voulu l'offenser.* I did not mean anything, I
was only joking," he said, smiling shyly and trying to efface his
offense. "It was all my fault, and Andrew was only joking."

*"Princess, on my word, I did not wish to offend her."

Pelageya stopped doubtfully, but in Pierre's face there was such a
look of sincere penitence, and Prince Andrew glanced so meekly now
at her and now at Pierre, that she was gradually reassured.


The pilgrim woman was appeased and, being encouraged to talk, gave a
long account of Father Amphilochus, who led so holy a life that his
hands smelled of incense, and how on her last visit to Kiev some monks
she knew let her have the keys of the catacombs, and how she, taking
some dried bread with her, had spent two days in the catacombs with
the saints. "I'd pray awhile to one, ponder awhile, then go on to
another. I'd sleep a bit and then again go and kiss the relics, and
there was such peace all around, such blessedness, that one don't want
to come out, even into the light of heaven again."

Pierre listened to her attentively and seriously. Prince Andrew went
out of the room, and then, leaving "God's folk" to finish their tea,
Princess Mary took Pierre into the drawing room.

"You are very kind," she said to him.

"Oh, I really did not mean to hurt her feelings. I understand them
so well and have the greatest respect for them."

Princess Mary looked at him silently and smiled affectionately.

"I have known you a long time, you see, and am as fond of you as
of a brother," she said. "How do you find Andrew?" she added
hurriedly, not giving him time to reply to her affectionate words.
"I am very anxious about him. His health was better in the winter, but
last spring his wound reopened and the doctor said he ought to go away
for a cure. And I am also very much afraid for him spiritually. He has
not a character like us women who, when we suffer, can weep away our
sorrows. He keeps it all within him. Today he is cheerful and in
good spirits, but that is the effect of your visit- he is not often
like that. If you could persuade him to go abroad. He needs
activity, and this quiet regular life is very bad for him. Others
don't notice it, but I see it."

Toward ten o'clock the men servants rushed to the front door,
hearing the bells of the old prince's carriage approaching. Prince
Andrew and Pierre also went out into the porch.

"Who's that?" asked the old prince, noticing Pierre as he got out
of, the carriage.

"Ah! Very glad! Kiss me," he said, having learned who the young
stranger was.

The old prince was in a good temper and very gracious to Pierre.

Before supper, Prince Andrew, coming back to his father's study,
found him disputing hotly with his visitor. Pierre was maintaining
that a time would come when there would be no more wars. The old
prince disputed it chaffingly, but without getting angry.

"Drain the blood from men's veins and put in water instead, then
there will be no more war! Old women's nonsense- old women's
nonsense!" he repeated, but still he patted Pierre affectionately on
the shoulder, and then went up to the table where Prince Andrew,
evidently not wishing to join in the conversation, was looking over
the papers his father had brought from town. The old prince went up to
him and began to talk business.

"The marshal, a Count Rostov, hasn't sent half his contingent. He
came to town and wanted to invite me to dinner- I gave him a pretty
dinner!... And there, look at this.... Well, my boy," the old prince
went on, addressing his son and patting Pierre on the shoulder. "A
fine fellow- your friend- I like him! He stirs me up. Another says
clever things and one doesn't care to listen, but this one talks
rubbish yet stirs an old fellow up. Well, go! Get along! Perhaps
I'll come and sit with you at supper. We'll have another dispute. Make
friends with my little fool, Princess Mary," he shouted after
Pierre, through the door.

Only now, on his visit to Bald Hills, did Pierre fully realize the
strength and charm of his friendship with Prince Andrew. That charm
was not expressed so much in his relations with him as with all his
family and with the household. With the stern old prince and the
gentle, timid Princess Mary, though he had scarcely known them, Pierre
at once felt like an old friend. They were all fond of him already.
Not only Princess Mary, who had been won by his gentleness with the
pilgrims, gave him her most radiant looks, but even the one-year-old
"Prince Nicholas" (as his grandfather called him) smiled at Pierre and
let himself be taken in his arms, and Michael Ivanovich and
Mademoiselle Bourienne looked at him with pleasant smiles when he
talked to the old prince.

The old prince came in to supper; this was evidently on Pierre's
account. And during the two days of the young man's visit he was
extremely kind to him and told him to visit them again.

When Pierre had gone and the members of the household met
together, they began to express their opinions of him as people always
do after a new acquaintance has left, but as seldom happens, no one
said anything but what was good of him.


When returning from his leave, Rostov felt, for the first time,
how close was the bond that united him to Denisov and and the whole

On approaching it, Rostov felt as he had done when approaching his
home in Moscow. When he saw the first hussar with the unbuttoned
uniform of his regiment, when he recognized red-haired Dementyev and
saw the picket ropes of the roan horses, when Lavrushka gleefully
shouted to his master, "The count has come!" and Denisov, who had been
asleep on his bed, ran all disheveled out of the mud hut to embrace
him, and the officers collected round to greet the new arrival, Rostov
experienced the same feeling his mother, his father, and his sister
had embraced him, and tears of joy choked him so that he could not
speak. The regiment was also a home, and as unalterably dear and
precious as his parents' house.

When he had reported himself to the commander of the regiment and
had been reassigned to his former squadron, had been on duty and had
gone out foraging, when he had again entered into all the little
interests of the regiment and felt himself deprived of liberty and
bound in one narrow, unchanging frame, he experienced the same sense
of peace, of moral support, and the same sense being at home here in
his own place, as he had felt under the parental roof. But here was
none of all that turmoil of the world at large, where he did not
know his right place and took mistaken decisions; here was no Sonya
with whom he ought, or ought not, to have an explanation; here was
no possibility of going there or not going there; here there were
not twenty-four hours in the day which could be spent in such a
variety of ways; there was not that innumerable crowd of people of
whom not one was nearer to him or farther from him than another; there
were none of those uncertain and undefined money relations with his
father, and nothing to recall that terrible loss to Dolokhov. Here, in
the regiment, all was clear and simple. The whole world was divided
into two unequal parts: one, our Pavlograd regiment; the other, all
the rest. And the rest was no concern of his. In the regiment,
everything was definite: who was lieutenant, who captain, who was a
good fellow, who a bad one, and most of all, who was a comrade. The
canteenkeeper gave one credit, one's pay came every four months, there
was nothing to think out or decide, you had only to do nothing that
was considered bad in the Pavlograd regiment and, when given an order,
to do what was clearly, distinctly, and definitely ordered- and all
would be well.

Having once more entered into the definite conditions of this
regimental life, Rostov felt the joy and relief a tired man feels on
lying down to rest. Life in the regiment, during this campaign, was
all the pleasanter for him, because, after his loss to Dolokhov (for
which, in spite of all his family's efforts to console him, he could
not forgive himself), he had made up his mind to atone for his fault
by serving, not as he had done before, but really well, and by being a
perfectly first-rate comrade and officer- in a word, a splendid man
altogether, a thing which seemed so difficult out in the world, but so
possible in the regiment.

After his losses, he had determined to pay back his debt to his
parents in five years. He received ten thousand rubles a year, but now
resolved to take only two thousand and leave the rest to repay the
debt to his parents.

Our army, after repeated retreats and advances and battles at
Pultusk and Preussisch-Eylau, was concentrated near Bartenstein. It
was awaiting the Emperor's arrival and the beginning of a new

The Pavlograd regiment, belonging to that part of the army which had
served in the 1805 campaign, had been recruiting up to strength in
Russia, and arrived too late to take part in the first actions of
the campaign. It had been neither at Pultusk nor at Preussisch-Eylau
and, when it joined the army in the field in the second half of the
campaign, was attached to Platov's division.

Platov's division was acting independently of the main army. Several
times parts of the Pavlograd regiment had exchanged shots with the
enemy, had taken prisoners, and once had even captured Marshal
Oudinot's carriages. In April the Pavlograds were stationed
immovably for some weeks near a totally ruined and deserted German

A thaw had set in, it was muddy and cold, the ice on the river
broke, and the roads became impassable. For days neither provisions
for the men nor fodder for the horses had been issued. As no
transports could arrive, the men dispersed about the abandoned and
deserted villages, searching for potatoes, but found few even of

Everything had been eaten up and the inhabitants had all fled- if
any remained, they were worse than beggars and nothing more could be
taken from them; even the soldiers, usually pitiless enough, instead
of taking anything from them, often gave them the last of their

The Pavlograd regiment had had only two men wounded in action, but
had lost nearly half its men from hunger and sickness. In the
hospitals, death was so certain that soldiers suffering from fever, or
the swelling that came from bad food, preferred to remain on duty, and
hardly able to drag their legs went to the front rather than to the
hospitals. When spring came on, the soldiers found a plant just
showing out of the ground that looked like asparagus, which, for
some reason, they called "Mashka's sweet root." It was very bitter,
but they wandered about the fields seeking it and dug it out with
their sabers and ate it, though they were ordered not to do so, as
it was a noxious plant. That spring a new disease broke
out among the soldiers, a swelling of the arms, legs, and face,
which the doctors attributed to eating this root. But in spite of
all this, the soldiers of Denisov's squadron fed chiefly on
"Mashka's sweet root," because it was the second week that the last of
the biscuits were being doled out at the rate of half a pound a man
and the last potatoes received had sprouted and frozen.

The horses also had been fed for a fortnight on straw from the
thatched roofs and had become terribly thin, though still covered with
tufts of felty winter hair.

Despite this destitution, the soldiers and officers went on living
just as usual. Despite their pale swollen faces and tattered uniforms,
the hussars formed line for roll call, kept things in order, groomed
their horses, polished their arms, brought in straw from the
thatched roofs in place of fodder, and sat down to dine round the
caldrons from which they rose up hungry, joking about their nasty food
and their hunger. As usual, in their spare time, they lit bonfires,
steamed themselves before them naked; smoked, picked out and baked
sprouting rotten potatoes, told and listened to stories of
Potemkin's and Suvorov's campaigns, or to legends of Alesha the Sly,
or the priest's laborer Mikolka.

The officers, as usual, lived in twos and threes in the roofless,
half-ruined houses. The seniors tried to collect straw and potatoes
and, in general, food for the men. The younger ones occupied
themselves as before, some playing cards (there was plenty of money,
though there was no food), some with more innocent games, such as
quoits and skittles. The general trend of the campaign was rarely
spoken of, partly because nothing certain was known about it, partly
because there was a vague feeling that in the main it was going badly.

Rostov lived, as before, with Denisov, and since their furlough they
had become more friendly than ever. Denisov never spoke of Rostov's
family, but by the tender friendship his commander showed him,
Rostov felt that the elder hussar's luckless love for Natasha played a
part in strengthening their friendship. Denisov evidently tried to
expose Rostov to danger as seldom as possible, and after an action
greeted his safe return with evident joy. On one of his foraging
expeditions, in a deserted and ruined village to which he had come
in search of provisions, Rostov found a family consisting of an old
Pole and his daughter with an infant in arms. They were half clad,
hungry, too weak to get away on foot and had no means of obtaining a
conveyance. Rostov brought them to his quarters, placed them in his
own lodging, and kept them for some weeks while the old man was
recovering. One of his comrades, talking of women, began chaffing
Rostov, saying that he was more wily than any of them and that it
would not be a bad thing if he introduced to them the pretty Polish
girl he had saved. Rostov took the joke as an insult, flared up, and
said such unpleasant things to the officer that it was all Denisov
could do to prevent a duel. When the officer had gone away, Denisov,
who did not himself know what Rostov's relations with the Polish
girl might be, began to upbraid him for his quickness of temper, and
Rostov replied:

"Say what you like.... She is like a sister to me, and I can't
tell you how it offended me... because... well, for that reason...."

Denisov patted him on the shoulder and began rapidly pacing the room
without looking at Rostov, as was his way at moments of deep feeling.

"Ah, what a mad bweed you Wostovs are!" he muttered, and Rostov
noticed tears in his eyes.


In April the troops were enlivened by news of the Emperor's arrival,
but Rostov had no chance of being present at the review he held at
Bartenstein, as the Pavlograds were at the outposts far beyond that

They were bivouacking. Denisov and Rostov were living in an earth
hut, dug out for them by the soldiers and roofed with branches and
turf. The hut was made in the following manner, which had then come
into vogue. A trench was dug three and a half feet wide, four feet
eight inches deep, and eight feet long. At one end of the trench,
steps were cut out and these formed the entrance and vestibule. The
trench itself was the room, in which the lucky ones, such as the
squadron commander, had a board, lying on piles at the end opposite
the entrance, to serve as a table. On each side of the trench, the
earth was cut out to a breadth of about two and a half feet, and
this did duty for bedsteads and couches. The roof was so constructed
that one could stand up in the middle of the trench and could even sit
up on the beds if one drew close to the table. Denisov, who was living
luxuriously because the soldiers of his squadron liked him, had also a
board in the roof at the farther end, with a piece of (broken but
mended) glass in it for a window. When it was very cold, embers from
the soldiers' campfire were placed on a bent sheet of iron on the
steps in the "reception room"- as Denisov called that part of the hut-
and it was then so warm that the officers, of whom there were always
some with Denisov and Rostov, sat in their shirt sleeves.

In April, Rostov was on orderly duty. One morning, between seven and
eight, returning after a sleepless night, he sent for embers,
changed his rain-soaked underclothes, said his prayers, drank tea, got
warm, then tidied up the things on the table and in his own corner,
and, his face glowing from exposure to the wind and with nothing on
but his shirt, lay down on his back, putting his arms under his
head. He was pleasantly considering the probability of being
promoted in a few days for his last reconnoitering expedition, and was
awaiting Denisov, who had gone out somewhere and with whom he wanted a

Suddenly he heard Denisov shouting in a vibrating voice behind the
hut, evidently much excited. Rostov moved to the window to see whom he
was speaking to, and saw the quartermaster, Topcheenko.

"I ordered you not to let them that Mashka woot stuff!" Denisov
was shouting. "And I saw with my own eyes how Lazarchuk bwought some
fwom the fields."

"I have given the order again and again, your honor, but they
don't obey," answered the quartermaster.

Rostov lay down again on his bed and thought complacently: "Let
him fuss and bustle now, my job's done and I'm lying down- capitally!"
He could hear that Lavrushka- that sly, bold orderly of Denisov's- was
talking, as well as the quartermaster. Lavrushka was saying
something about loaded wagons, biscuits, and oxen he had seen when
he had gone out for provisions.

Then Denisov's voice was heard shouting farther and farther away.
"Saddle! Second platoon!"

"Where are they off to now?" thought Rostov.

Five minutes later, Denisov came into the hut, climbed with muddy
boots on the bed, lit his pipe, furiously scattered his things
about, took his leaded whip, buckled on his saber, and went out again.
In answer to Rostov's inquiry where he was going, he answered
vaguely and crossly that he had some business.

"Let God and our gweat monarch judge me afterwards!" said Denisov
going out, and Rostov heard the hoofs of several horses splashing
through the mud. He did not even trouble to find out where Denisov had
gone. Having got warm in his corner, he fell asleep and did not
leave the hut till toward evening. Denisov had not yet returned. The
weather had cleared up, and near the next hut two officers and a cadet
were playing svayka, laughing as they threw their missiles which
buried themselves in the soft mud. Rostov joined them. In the middle
of the game, the officers saw some wagons approaching with fifteen
hussars on their skinny horses behind them. The wagons escorted by the
hussars drew up to the picket ropes and a crowd of hussars
surrounded them.

"There now, Denisov has been worrying," said Rostov, "and here are
the provisions."

"So they are!" said the officers. "Won't the soldiers be glad!"

A little behind the hussars came Denisov, accompanied by two
infantry officers with whom he was talking.

Rostov went to meet them.

"I warn you, Captain," one of the officers, a short thin man,
evidently very angry, was saying.

"Haven't I told you I won't give them up?" replied Denisov.

"You will answer for it, Captain. It is mutiny- seizing the
transport of one's own army. Our men have had nothing to eat for two

"And mine have had nothing for two weeks," said Denisov.

"It is robbery! You'll answer for it, sir!" said the infantry
officer, raising his voice.

"Now, what are you pestewing me for?" cried Denisov, suddenly losing
his temper. "I shall answer for it and not you, and you'd better not
buzz about here till you get hurt. Be off! Go!" he shouted at the

"Very well, then!" shouted the little officer, undaunted and not
riding away. "If you are determined to rob, I'll..."

"Go to the devil! quick ma'ch, while you're safe and sound!" and
Denisov turned his horse on the officer.

"Very well, very well!" muttered the officer, threateningly, and
turning his horse he trotted away, jolting in his saddle.

"A dog astwide a fence! A weal dog astwide a fence!" shouted Denisov
after him (the most insulting expression a cavalryman can address to a
mounted infantryman) and riding up to Rostov, he burst out laughing.

"I've taken twansports from the infantwy by force!" he said.
"After all, can't let our men starve."

The wagons that had reached the hussars had been consigned to an
infantry regiment, but learning from Lavrushka that the transport
was unescorted, Denisov with his hussars had seized it by force. The
soldiers had biscuits dealt out to them freely, and they even shared
them with the other squadrons.

The next day the regimental commander sent for Denisov, and
holding his fingers spread out before his eyes said:

"This is how I look at this affair: I know nothing about it and
won't begin proceedings, but I advise you to ride over to the staff
and settle the business there in the commissariat department and if
possible sign a receipt for such and such stores received. If not,
as the demand was booked against an infantry regiment, there will be a
row and the affair may end badly."

From the regimental commander's, Denisov rode straight to the
staff with a sincere desire to act on this advice. In the evening he
came back to his dugout in a state such as Rostov had never yet seen
him in. Denisov could not speak and gasped for breath. When Rostov
asked what was the matter, he only uttered some incoherent oaths and
threats in a hoarse, feeble voice.

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