Part 9 out of 34
his own pity.
"Ah! He is alive," said Napoleon. "Lift this young man up and
carry him to the dressing station."
Having said this, Napoleon rode on to meet Marshal Lannes, who,
hat in hand, rode up smiling to the Emperor to congratulate him on the
Prince Andrew remembered nothing more: he lost consciousness from
the terrible pain of being lifted onto the stretcher, the jolting
while being moved, and the probing of his wound at the dressing
station. He did not regain consciousness till late in the day, when
with other wounded and captured Russian officers he was carried to the
hospital. During this transfer he felt a little stronger and was
able to look about him and even speak.
The first words he heard on coming to his senses were those of a
French convoy officer, who said rapidly: "We must halt here: the
Emperor will pass here immediately; it will please him to see these
"There are so many prisoners today, nearly the whole Russian army,
that he is probably tired of them," said another officer.
"All the same! They say this one is the commander of all the Emperor
Alexander's Guards," said the first one, indicating a Russian
officer in the white uniform of the Horse Guards.
Bolkonski recognized Prince Repnin whom he had met in Petersburg
society. Beside him stood a lad of nineteen, also a wounded officer of
the Horse Guards.
Bonaparte, having come up at a gallop, stopped his horse.
"Which is the senior?" he asked, on seeing the prisoners.
They named the colonel, Prince Repnin.
"You are the commander of the Emperor Alexander's regiment of
Horse Guards?" asked Napoleon.
"I commanded a squadron," replied Repnin.
"Your regiment fulfilled its duty honorably," said Napoleon.
"The praise of a great commander is a soldier's highest reward,"
"I bestow it with pleasure," said Napoleon. "And who is that young
man beside you?"
Prince Repnin named Lieutenant Sukhtelen.
After looking at him Napoleon smiled.
"He's very young to come to meddle with us."
"Youth is no hindrance to courage," muttered Sukhtelen in a
"A splendid reply!" said Napoleon. "Young man, you will go far!"
Prince Andrew, who had also been brought forward before the
Emperor's eyes to complete the show of prisoners, could not fail to
attract his attention. Napoleon apparently remembered seeing him on
the battlefield and, addressing him, again used the epithet "young
man" that was connected in his memory with Prince Andrew.
"Well, and you, young man," said he. "How do you feel, mon brave?"
Though five minutes before, Prince Andrew had been able to say a few
words to the soldiers who were carrying him, now with his eyes fixed
straight on Napoleon, he was silent.... So insignificant at that
moment seemed to him all the interests that engrossed Napoleon, so
mean did his hero himself with his paltry vanity and joy in victory
appear, compared to the lofty, equitable, and kindly sky which he
had seen and understood, that he could not answer him.
Everything seemed so futile and insignificant in comparison with the
stern and solemn train of thought that weakness from loss of blood,
suffering, and the nearness of death aroused in him. Looking into
Napoleon's eyes Prince Andrew thought of the insignificance of
greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and
the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one
alive could understand or explain.
The Emperor without waiting for an answer turned away and said to
one of the officers as he went: "Have these gentlemen attended to
and taken to my bivouac; let my doctor, Larrey, examine their
wounds. Au revoir, Prince Repnin!" and he spurred his horse and
His face shone with self-satisfaction and pleasure.
The soldiers who had carried Prince Andrew had noticed and taken the
little gold icon Princess Mary had hung round her brother's neck,
but seeing the favor the Emperor showed the prisoners, they now
hastened to return the holy image.
Prince Andrew did not see how and by whom it was replaced, but the
little icon with its thin gold chain suddenly appeared upon his
chest outside his uniform.
"It would be good," thought Prince Andrew, glancing at the icon
his sister had hung round his neck with such emotion and reverence,
"it would be good if everything were as clear and simple as it seems
to Mary. How good it would be to know where to seek for help in this
life, and what to expect after it beyond the grave! How happy and calm
I should be if I could now say: 'Lord, have mercy on me!'... But to
whom should I say that? Either to a Power indefinable,
incomprehensible, which I not only cannot address but which I cannot
even express in words- the Great All or Nothing-" said he to
himself, "or to that God who has been sewn into this amulet by Mary!
There is nothing certain, nothing at all except the unimportance of
everything I understand, and the greatness of something
incomprehensible but all-important.
The stretchers moved on. At every jolt he again felt unendurable
pain; his feverishness increased and he grew delirious. Visions of his
father, wife, sister, and future son, and the tenderness he had felt
the night before the battle, the figure of the insignificant little
Napoleon, and above all this the lofty sky, formed the chief
subjects of his delirious fancies.
The quiet home life and peaceful happiness of Bald Hills presented
itself to him. He was already enjoying that happiness when that little
Napoleon had suddenly appeared with his unsympathizing look of
shortsighted delight at the misery of others, and doubts and
torments had followed, and only the heavens promised peace. Toward
morning all these dreams melted and merged into the chaos and darkness
of unconciousness and oblivion which in the opinion of Napoleon's
doctor, Larrey, was much more likely to end in death than in
"He is a nervous, bilious subject," said Larrey, "and will not
And Prince Andrew, with others fatally wounded, was left to the care
of the inhabitants of the district.
BOOK FOUR: 1806
Early in the year 1806 Nicholas Rostov returned home on leave.
Denisov was going home to Voronezh and Rostov persuaded him to
travel with him as far as Moscow and to stay with him there. Meeting a
comrade at the last post station but one before Moscow, Denisov had
drunk three bottles of wine with him and, despite the jolting ruts
across the snow-covered road, did not once wake up on the way to
Moscow, but lay at the bottom of the sleigh beside Rostov, who grew
more and more impatient the nearer they got to Moscow.
"How much longer? How much longer? Oh, these insufferable streets,
shops, bakers' signboards, street lamps, and sleighs!" thought Rostov,
when their leave permits had been passed at the town gate and they had
"Denisov! We're here! He's asleep," he added, leaning forward with
his whole body as if in that position he hoped to hasten the speed
of the sleigh.
Denisov gave no answer.
"There's the corner at the crossroads, where the cabman, Zakhar, has
his stand, and there's Zakhar himself and still the same horse! And
here's the little shop where we used to buy gingerbread! Can't you
hurry up? Now then!"
"Which house is it?" asked the driver.
"Why, that one, right at the end, the big one. Don't you see? That's
our house," said Rostov. "Of course, it's our house! Denisov, Denisov!
We're almost there!"
Denisov raised his head, coughed, and made no answer.
"Dmitri," said Rostov to his valet on the box, "those lights are
in our house, aren't they?"
"Yes, sir, and there's a light in your father's study."
"Then they've not gone to bed yet? What do you think? Mind now,
don't forget to put out my new coat," added Rostov, fingering his
new mustache. "Now then, get on," he shouted to the driver. "Do wake
up, Vaska!" he went on, turning to Denisov, whose head was again
nodding. "Come, get on! You shall have three rubles for vodka- get
on!" Rostov shouted, when the sleigh was only three houses from his
door. It seemed to him the horses were not moving at all. At last
the sleigh bore to the right, drew up at an entrance, and Rostov saw
overhead the old familiar cornice with a bit of plaster broken off,
the porch, and the post by the side of the pavement. He sprang out
before the sleigh stopped, and ran into the hall. The house stood cold
and silent, as if quite regardless of who had come to it. There was no
one in the hall. "Oh God! Is everyone all right?" he thought, stopping
for a moment with a sinking heart, and then immediately starting to
run along the hall and up the warped steps of the familiar
staircase. The well-known old door handle, which always angered the
countess when it was not properly cleaned, turned as loosely as
ever. A solitary tallow candle burned in the anteroom.
Old Michael was asleep on the chest. Prokofy, the footman, who was
so strong that he could lift the back of the carriage from behind, sat
plaiting slippers out of cloth selvedges. He looked up at the
opening door and his expression of sleepy indifference suddenly
changed to one of delighted amazement.
"Gracious heavens! The young count!" he cried, recognizing his young
master. "Can it be? My treasure!" and Prokofy, trembling with
excitement, rushed toward the drawing-room door, probably in order
to announce him, but, changing his mind, came back and stooped to kiss
the young man's shoulder.
"All well?" asked Rostov, drawing away his arm.
"Yes, God be thanked! Yes! They've just finished supper. Let me have
a look at you, your excellency."
"Is everything quite all right?"
"The Lord be thanked, yes!"
Rostov, who had completely forgotten Denisov, not wishing anyone
to forestall him, threw off his fur coat and ran on tiptoe through the
large dark ballroom. All was the same: there were the same old card
tables and the same chandelier with a cover over it; but someone had
already seen the young master, and, before he had reached the
drawing room, something flew out from a side door like a tornado and
began hugging and kissing him. Another and yet another creature of the
same kind sprang from a second door and a third; more hugging, more
kissing, more outcries, and tears of joy. He could not distinguish
which was Papa, which Natasha, and which Petya. Everyone shouted,
talked, and kissed him at the same time. Only his mother was not
there, he noticed that.
"And I did not know... Nicholas... My darling!..."
"Here he is... our own... Kolya,* dear fellow... How he has
changed!... Where are the candles?... Tea!..."
"And me, kiss me!"
"Dearest... and me!"
Sonya, Natasha, Petya, Anna Mikhaylovna, Vera, and the old count
were all hugging him, and the serfs, men and maids, flocked into the
room, exclaiming and oh-ing and ah-ing.
Petya, clinging to his legs, kept shouting, "And me too!"
Natasha, after she had pulled him down toward her and covered his
face with kisses, holding him tight by the skirt of his coat, sprang
away and pranced up and down in one place like a goat and shrieked
All around were loving eyes glistening with tears of joy, and all
around were lips seeking a kiss.
Sonya too, all rosy red, clung to his arm and, radiant with bliss,
looked eagerly toward his eyes, waiting for the look for which she
longed. Sonya now was sixteen and she was very pretty, especially at
this moment of happy, rapturous excitement. She gazed at him, not
taking her eyes off him, and smiling and holding her breath. He gave
her a grateful look, but was still expectant and looking for
someone. The old countess had not yet come. But now steps were heard
at the door, steps so rapid that they could hardly be his mother's.
Yet it was she, dressed in a new gown which he did not know, made
since he had left. All the others let him go, and he ran to her.
When they met, she fell on his breast, sobbing. She could not lift her
face, but only pressed it to the cold braiding of his hussar's jacket.
Denisov, who had come into the room unnoticed by anyone, stood there
and wiped his eyes at the sight.
"Vasili Denisov, your son's friend," he said, introducing himself to
the count, who was looking inquiringly at him.
"You are most welcome! I know, I know," said the count, kissing
and embracing Denisov. "Nicholas wrote us... Natasha, Vera, look! Here
The same happy, rapturous faces turned to the shaggy figure of
"Darling Denisov!" screamed Natasha, beside herself with rapture,
springing to him, putting her arms round him, and kissing him. This
escapade made everybody feel confused. Denisov blushed too, but smiled
and, taking Natasha's hand, kissed it.
Denisov was shown to the room prepared for him, and the Rostovs
all gathered round Nicholas in the sitting room.
The old countess, not letting go of his hand and kissing it every
moment, sat beside him: the rest, crowding round him, watched every
movement, word, or look of his, never taking their blissfully
adoring eyes off him. His brother and sisters struggled for the places
nearest to him and disputed with one another who should bring him
his tea, handkerchief, and pipe.
Rostov was very happy in the love they showed him; but the first
moment of meeting had been so beatific that his present joy seemed
insufficient, and he kept expecting something more, more and yet more.
Next morning, after the fatigues of their journey, the travelers
slept till ten o'clock.
In the room next their bedroom there was a confusion of sabers,
satchels, sabretaches, open portmanteaus, and dirty boots. Two freshly
cleaned pairs with spurs had just been placed by the wall. The
servants were bringing in jugs and basins, hot water for shaving,
and their well-brushed clothes. There was a masculine odor and a smell
"Hallo, Gwiska- my pipe!" came Vasili Denisov's husky voice.
"Wostov, get up!"
Rostov, rubbing his eyes that seemed glued together, raised his
disheveled head from the hot pillow.
"Why, is it late?"
"Late! It's nearly ten o'clock," answered Natasha's voice. A
rustle of starched petticoats and the whispering and laughter of
girls' voices came from the adjoining room. The door was opened a
crack and there was a glimpse of something blue, of ribbons, black
hair, and merry faces. It was Natasha, Sonya, and Petya, who had
come to see whether they were getting up.
"Nicholas! Get up!" Natasha's voice was again heard at the door.
Meanwhile, Petya, having found and seized the sabers in the outer
room, with the delight boys feel at the sight of a military elder
brother, and forgetting that it was unbecoming for the girls to see
men undressed, opened the bedroom door.
"Is this your saber?" he shouted.
The girls sprang aside. Denisov hid his hairy legs under the
blanket, looking with a scared face at his comrade for help. The door,
having let Petya in, closed again. A sound of laughter came from
"Nicholas! Come out in your dressing gown!" said Natasha's voice.
"Is this your saber?" asked Petya. "Or is it yours?" he said,
addressing the black-mustached Denisov with servile deference.
Rostov hurriedly put something on his feet, drew on his dressing
gown, and went out. Natasha had put on one spurred boot and was just
getting her foot into the other. Sonya, when he came in, was
twirling round and was about to expand her dresses into a balloon
and sit down. They were dressed alike, in new pale-blue frocks, and
were both fresh, rosy, and bright. Sonya ran away, but Natasha, taking
her brother's arm, led him into the sitting room, where they began
talking. They hardly gave one another time to ask questions and give
replies concerning a thousand little matters which could not
interest anyone but themselves. Natasha laughed at every word he
said or that she said herself, not because what they were saying was
amusing, but because she felt happy and was unable to control her
joy which expressed itself by laughter.
"Oh, how nice, how splendid!" she said to everything.
Rostov felt that, under the influence of the warm rays of love, that
childlike smile which had not once appeared on his face since he
left home now for the first time after eighteen months again
brightened his soul and his face.
"No, but listen," she said, "now you are quite a man, aren't you?
I'm awfully glad you're my brother." She touched his mustache. "I want
to know what you men are like. Are you the same as we? No?"
"Why did Sonya run away?" asked Rostov.
"Ah, yes! That's a whole long story! How are you going to speak to
her- thou or you?"
"As may happen," said Rostov.
"No, call her you, please! I'll tell you all about it some other
time. No, I'll tell you now. You know Sonya's my dearest friend.
Such a friend that I burned my arm for her sake. Look here!"
She pulled up her muslin sleeve and showed him a red scar on her
long, slender, delicate arm, high above the elbow on that part that is
covered even by a ball dress.
"I burned this to prove my love for her. I just heated a ruler in
the fire and pressed it there!"
Sitting on the sofa with the little cushions on its arms, in what
used to be his old schoolroom, and looking into Natasha's wildly
bright eyes, Rostov re-entered that world of home and childhood
which had no meaning for anyone else, but gave him some of the best
joys of his life; and the burning of an arm with a ruler as a proof of
love did not seem to him senseless, he understood and was not
surprised at it.
"Well, and is that all?" he asked.
"We are such friends, such friends! All that ruler business was just
nonsense, but we are friends forever. She, if she loves anyone, does
it for life, but I don't understand that, I forget quickly."
"Well, what then?"
"Well, she loves me and you like that."
Natasha suddenly flushed.
"Why, you remember before you went away?... Well, she says you are
to forget all that.... She says: 'I shall love him always, but let him
be free.' Isn't that lovely and noble! Yes, very noble? Isn't it?"
asked Natasha, so seriously and excitedly that it was evident that
what she was now saying she had talked of before, with tears.
Rostov became thoughtful.
"I never go back on my word," he said. "Besides, Sonya is so
charming that only a fool would renounce such happiness."
"No, no!" cried Natasha, "she and I have already talked it over.
We knew you'd say so. But it won't do, because you see, if you say
that- if you consider yourself bound by your promise- it will seem
as if she had not meant it seriously. It makes it as if you were
marrying her because you must, and that wouldn't do at all."
Rostov saw that it had been well considered by them. Sonya had
already struck him by her beauty on the preceding day. Today, when
he had caught a glimpse of her, she seemed still more lovely. She
was a charming girl of sixteen, evidently passionately in love with
him (he did not doubt that for an instant). Why should he not love her
now, and even marry her, Rostov thought, but just now there were so
many other pleasures and interests before him! "Yes, they have taken a
wise decision," he thought, "I must remain free."
"Well then, that's excellent," said he. "We'll talk it over later
on. Oh, how glad I am to have you!
"Well, and are you still true to Boris?" he continued.
"Oh, what nonsense!" cried Natasha, laughing. "I don't think about
him or anyone else, and I don't want anything of the kind."
"Dear me! Then what are you up now?"
"Now?" repeated Natasha, and a happy smile lit up her face. "Have
you seen Duport?"
"Not seen Duport- the famous dancer? Well then, you won't
understand. That's what I'm up to."
Curving her arms, Natasha held out her skirts as dancers do, ran
back a few steps, turned, cut a caper, brought her little feet sharply
together, and made some steps on the very tips of her toes.
"See, I'm standing! See!" she said, but could not maintain herself
on her toes any longer. "So that's what I'm up to! I'll never marry
anyone, but will be a dancer. Only don't tell anyone."
Rostov laughed so loud and merrily that Denisov, in his bedroom,
felt envious and Natasha could not help joining in.
"No, but don't you think it's nice?" she kept repeating.
"Nice! And so you no longer wish to marry Boris?"
Natasha flared up. "I don't want to marry anyone. And I'll tell
him so when I see him!"
"Dear me!" said Rostov.
"But that's all rubbish," Natasha chattered on. "And is Denisov
nice?" she asked.
"Oh, well then, good-by: go and dress. Is he very terrible,
"Why terrible?" asked Nicholas. "No, Vaska is a splendid fellow."
"You call him Vaska? That's funny! And is he very nice?"
"Well then, be quick. We'll all have breakfast together."
And Natasha rose and went out of the room on tiptoe, like a ballet
dancer, but smiling as only happy girls of fifteen can smile. When
Rostov met Sonya in the drawing room, he reddened. He did not know how
to behave with her. The evening before, in the first happy moment of
meeting, they had kissed each other, but today they felt it could
not be done; he felt that everybody, including his mother and sisters,
was looking inquiringly at him and watching to see how he would behave
with her. He kissed her hand and addressed her not as thou but as you-
Sonya. But their eyes met and said thou, and exchanged tender
kisses. Her looks asked him to forgive her for having dared, by
Natasha's intermediacy, to remind him of his promise, and then thanked
him for his love. His looks thanked her for offering him his freedom
and told her that one way or another he would never cease to love her,
for that would be impossible.
"How strange it is," said Vera, selecting a moment when all were
silent, "that Sonya and Nicholas now say you to one another and meet
Vera's remark was correct, as her remarks always were, but, like
most of her observations, it made everyone feel uncomfortable, not
only Sonya, Nicholas, and Natasha, but even the old countess, who-
dreading this love affair which might hinder Nicholas from making a
brilliant match- blushed like a girl.
Denisov, to Rostov's surprise, appeared in the drawing room with
pomaded hair, perfumed, and in a new uniform, looking just as smart as
he made himself when going into battle, and he was more amiable to the
ladies and gentlemen than Rostov had ever expected to see him.
On his return to Moscow from the army, Nicholas Rostov was
welcomed by his home circle as the best of sons, a hero, and their
darling Nikolenka; by his relations as a charming, attractive, and
polite young man; by his acquaintances as a handsome lieutenant of
hussars, a good dancer, and one of the best matches in the city.
The Rostovs knew everybody in Moscow. The old count had money enough
that year, as all his estates had been remortgaged, and so Nicholas,
acquiring a trotter of his own, very stylish riding breeches of the
latest cut, such as no one else yet had in Moscow, and boots of the
latest fashion, with extremely pointed toes and small silver spurs,
passed his time very gaily. After a short period of adapting himself
to the old conditions of life, Nicholas found it very pleasant to be
at home again. He felt that he had grown up and matured very much. His
despair at failing in a Scripture examination, his borrowing money
from Gavril to pay a sleigh driver, his kissing Sonya on the sly- he
now recalled all this as childishness he had left immeasurably behind.
Now he was a lieutenant of hussars, in a jacket laced with silver, and
wearing the Cross of St. George, awarded to soldiers for bravery in
action, and in the company of well-known, elderly, and respected
racing men was training a trotter of his own for a race. He knew a
lady on one of the boulevards whom he visited of an evening. He led
the mazurka at the Arkharovs' ball, talked about the war with Field
Marshal Kamenski, visited the English Club, and was on intimate
terms with a colonel of forty to whom Denisov had introduced
His passion for the Emperor had cooled somewhat in Moscow. But
still, as he did not see him and had no opportunity of seeing him,
he often spoke about him and about his love for him, letting it be
understood that he had not told all and that there was something in
his feelings for the Emperor not everyone could understand, and with
his whole soul he shared the adoration then common in Moscow for the
Emperor, who was spoken of as the "angel incarnate."
During Rostov's short stay in Moscow, before rejoining the army,
he did not draw closer to Sonya, but rather drifted away from her. She
was very pretty and sweet, and evidently deeply in love with him,
but he was at the period of youth when there seems so much to do
that there is no time for that sort of thing and a young man fears
to bind himself and prizes his freedom which he needs for so many
other things. When he thought of Sonya, during this stay in Moscow, he
said to himself, "Ah, there will be, and there are, many more such
girls somewhere whom I do not yet know. There will be time enough to
think about love when I want to, but now I have no time." Besides,
it seemed to him that the society of women was rather derogatory to
his manhood. He went to balls and into ladies' society with an
affectation of doing so against his will. The races, the English Club,
sprees with Denisov, and visits to a certain house- that was another
matter and quite the thing for a dashing young hussar!
At the beginning of March, old Count Ilya Rostov was very busy
arranging a dinner in honor of Prince Bagration at the English Club.
The count walked up and down the hall in his dressing gown, giving
orders to the club steward and to the famous Feoktist, the Club's head
cook, about asparagus, fresh cucumbers, strawberries, veal, and fish
for this dinner. The count had been a member and on the committee of
the Club from the day it was founded. To him the Club entrusted the
arrangement of the festival in honor of Bagration, for few men knew so
well how to arrange a feast on an open-handed, hospitable scale, and
still fewer men would be so well able and willing to make up out of
their own resources what might be needed for the success of the
fete. The club cook and the steward listened to the count's orders
with pleased faces, for they knew that under no other management could
they so easily extract a good profit for themselves from a dinner
costing several thousand rubles.
"Well then, mind and have cocks' comb in the turtle soup, you know!"
"Shall we have three cold dishes then?" asked the cook.
The count considered.
"We can't have less- yes, three... the mayonnaise, that's one," said
he, bending down a finger.
"Then am I to order those large sterlets?" asked the steward.
"Yes, it can't be helped if they won't take less. Ah, dear me! I was
forgetting. We must have another entree. Ah, goodness gracious!" he
clutched at his head. "Who is going to get me the flowers? Dmitri! Eh,
Dmitri! Gallop off to our Moscow estate," he said to the factotum
who appeared at his call. "Hurry off and tell Maksim, the gardener, to
set the serfs to work. Say that everything out of the hothouses must
be brought here well wrapped up in felt. I must have two hundred
pots here on Friday."
Having given several more orders, he was about to go to his
"little countess" to have a rest, but remembering something else of
importance, he returned again, called back the cook and the club
steward, and again began giving orders. A light footstep and the
clinking of spurs were heard at the door, and the young count,
handsome, rosy, with a dark little mustache, evidently rested and made
sleeker by his easy life in Moscow, entered the room.
"Ah, my boy, my head's in a whirl!" said the old man with a smile,
as if he felt a little confused before his son. "Now, if you would
only help a bit! I must have singers too. I shall have my own
orchestra, but shouldn't we get the gypsy singers as well? You
military men like that sort of thing."
"Really, Papa, I believe Prince Bagration worried himself less
before the battle of Schon Grabern than you do now," said his son with
The old count pretended to be angry.
"Yes, you talk, but try it yourself!"
And the count turned to the cook, who, with a shrewd and
respectful expression, looked observantly and sympathetically at the
father and son.
"What have the young people come to nowadays, eh, Feoktist?" said
he. "Laughing at us old fellows!"
"That's so, your excellency, all they have to do is to eat a good
dinner, but providing it and serving it all up, that's not their
"That's it, that's it!" exclaimed the count, and gaily seizing his
son by both hands, he cried, "Now I've got you, so take the sleigh and
pair at once, and go to Bezukhob's, and tell him 'Count Ilya has
sent you to ask for strawberries and fresh pineapples.' We can't get
them from anyone else. He's not there himself, so you'll have to go in
and ask the princesses; and from there go on to the Rasgulyay- the
coachman Ipatka knows- and look up the gypsy Ilyushka, the one who
danced at Count Orlov's, you remember, in a white Cossack coat, and
bring him along to me."
"And am I to bring the gypsy girls along with him?" asked
Nicholas, laughing. "Dear, dear!..."
At that moment, with noiseless footsteps and with the
businesslike, preoccupied, yet meekly Christian look which never
left her face, Anna Mikhaylovna entered the hall. Though she came upon
the count in his dressing gown every day, he invariably became
confused and begged her to excuse his costume.
"No matter at all, my dear count," she said, meekly closing her
eyes. "But I'll go to Bezukhov's myself. Pierre has arrived, and now
we shall get anything we want from his hothouses. I have to see him in
any case. He has forwarded me a letter from Boris. Thank God, Boris is
now on the staff."
The count was delighted at Anna Mikhaylovna's taking upon herself
one of his commissions and ordered the small closed carriage for her.
"Tell Bezukhov to come. I'll put his name down. Is his wife with
him?" he asked.
Anna Mikhaylovna turned up her eyes, and profound sadness was
depicted on her face.
"Ah, my dear friend, he is very unfortunate," she said. "If what
we hear is true, it is dreadful. How little we dreamed of such a thing
when we were rejoicing at his happiness! And such a lofty angelic soul
as young Bezukhov! Yes, I pity him from my heart, and shall try to
give him what consolation I can."
"Wh-what is the matter?" asked both the young and old Rostov.
Anna Mikhaylovna sighed deeply.
"Dolokhov, Mary Ivanovna's son," she said in a mysterious whisper,
"has compromised her completely, they say. Pierre took him up, invited
him to his house in Petersburg, and now... she has come here and
that daredevil after her!" said Anna Mikhaylovna, wishing to show
her sympathy for Pierre, but by involuntary intonations and a half
smile betraying her sympathy for the "daredevil," as she called
Dolokhov. "They say Pierre is quite broken by his misfortune."
"Dear, dear! But still tell him to come to the Club- it will all
blow over. It will be a tremendous banquet."
Next day, the third of March, soon after one o'clock, two hundred
and fifty members of the English Club and fifty guests were awaiting
the guest of honor and hero of the Austrian campaign, Prince
Bagration, to dinner.
On the first arrival of the news of the battle of Austerlitz, Moscow
had been bewildered. At that time, the Russians were so used to
victories that on receiving news of the defeat some would simply not
believe it, while others sought some extraordinary explanation of so
strange an event. In the English Club, where all who were
distinguished, important, and well informed forgathered when the
news began to arrive in December, nothing was said about the war and
the last battle, as though all were in a conspiracy of silence. The
men who set the tone in conversation- Count Rostopchin, Prince Yuri
Dolgorukov, Valuev, Count Markov, and Prince Vyazemski- did not show
themselves at the Club, but met in private houses in intimate circles,
and the Moscovites who took their opinions from others- Ilya Rostov
among them- remained for a while without any definite opinion on the
subject of the war and without leaders. The Moscovites felt that
something was wrong and that to discuss the bad news was difficult,
and so it was best to be silent. But after a while, just as a jury
comes out of its room, the bigwigs who guided the Club's opinion
reappeared, and everybody began speaking clearly and definitely.
Reasons were found for the incredible, unheard-of, and impossible
event of a Russian defeat, everything became clear, and in all corners
of Moscow the same things began to be said. These reasons were the
treachery of the Austrians, a defective commissariat, the treachery of
the Pole Przebyszewski and of the Frenchman Langeron, Kutuzov's
incapacity, and (it was whispered) the youth and inexperience of the
sovereign, who had trusted worthless and insignificant people. But the
army, the Russian army, everyone declared, was extraordinary and had
achieved miracles of valor.The soldiers, officers, and generals were
heroes. But the hero of heroes was Prince Bagration, distinguished
by his Schon Grabern affair and by the retreat from Austerlitz,
where he alone had withdrawn his column unbroken and had all day
beaten back an enemy force twice as numerous as his own. What also
conduced to Bagration's being selected as Moscow's hero was the fact
that he had no connections in the city and was a stranger there. In
his person, honor was shown to a simple fighting Russian soldier
without connections and intrigues, and to one who was associated by
memories of the Italian campaign with the name of Suvorov. Moreover,
paying such honor to Bagration was the best way of expressing
disapproval and dislike of Kutuzov.
"Had there been no Bagration, it would have been necessary to invent
him," said the wit Shinshin, parodying the words of Voltaire.
Kutuzov no one spoke of, except some who abused him in whispers,
calling him a court weathercock and an old satyr.
All Moscow repeated Prince Dolgorukov's saying: "If you go on
modeling and modeling you must get smeared with clay," suggesting
consolation for our defeat by the memory of former victories; and
the words of Rostopchin, that French soldiers have to be incited to
battle by highfalutin words, and Germans by logical arguments to
show them that it is more dangerous to run away than to advance, but
that Russian soldiers only need to be restrained and held back! On all
sides, new and fresh anecdotes were heard of individual examples of
heroism shown by our officers and men at Austerlitz. One had saved a
standard, another had killed five Frenchmen, a third had loaded five
cannon singlehanded. Berg was mentioned, by those who did not know
him, as having, when wounded in the right hand, taken his sword in the
left, and gone forward. Of Bolkonski, nothing was said, and only those
who knew him intimately regretted that he had died so young, leaving a
pregnant wife with his eccentric father.
On that third of March, all the rooms in the English Club were
filled with a hum of conversation, like the hum of bees swarming in
springtime. The members and guests of the Club wandered hither and
thither, sat, stood, met, and separated, some in uniform and some in
evening dress, and a few here and there with powdered hair and in
Russian kaftans. Powdered footmen, in livery with buckled shoes and
smart stockings, stood at every door anxiously noting visitors'
every movement in order to offer their services. Most of those present
were elderly, respected men with broad, self-confident faces, fat
fingers, and resolute gestures and voices. This class of guests and
members sat in certain habitual places and met in certain habitual
groups. A minority of those present were casual guests- chiefly
young men, among whom were Denisov, Rostov, and Dolokhov- who was
now again an officer in the Semenov regiment. The faces of these young
people, especially those who were militarymen, bore that expression of
condescending respect for their elders which seems to say to the older
generation, "We are prepared to respect and honor you, but all the
same remember that the future belongs to us."
Nesvitski was there as an old member of the Club. Pierre, who at his
wife's command had let his hair grow and abandoned his spectacles,
went about the rooms fashionably dressed but looking sad and dull.
Here, as elsewhere, he was surrounded by an atmosphere of subservience
to his wealth, and being in the habit of lording it over these people,
he treated them with absent-minded contempt.
By his age he should have belonged to the younger men, but by his
wealth and connections he belonged to the groups old and honored
guests, and so he went from one group to another. Some of the most
important old men were the center of groups which even strangers
approached respectfully to hear the voices of well-known men. The
largest circles formed round Count Rostopchin, Valuev, and
Naryshkin. Rostopchin was describing how the Russians had been
overwhelmed by flying Austrians and had had to force their way through
them with bayonets.
Valuev was confidentially telling that Uvarov had been sent from
Petersburg to ascertain what Moscow was thinking about Austerlitz.
In the third circle, Naryshkin was speaking of the meeting of the
Austrian Council of War at which Suvorov crowed like a cock in reply
to the nonsense talked by the Austrian generals. Shinshin, standing
close by, tried to make a joke, saying that Kutuzov had evidently
failed to learn from Suvorov even so simple a thing as the art of
crowing like a cock, but the elder members glanced severely at the
wit, making him feel that in that place and on that day, it was
improper to speak so of Kutuzov.
Count Ilya Rostov, hurried and preoccupied, went about in his soft
boots between the dining and drawing rooms, hastily greeting the
important and unimportant, all of whom he knew, as if they were all
equals, while his eyes occasionally sought out his fine well-set-up
young son, resting on him and winking joyfully at him. Young Rostov
stood at a window with Dolokhov, whose acquaintance he had lately made
and highly valued. The old count came up to them and pressed
"Please come and visit us... you know my brave boy... been
together out there... both playing the hero... Ah, Vasili
Ignatovich... How d'ye do, old fellow?" he said, turning to an old man
who was passing, but before he had finished his greeting there was a
general stir, and a footman who had run in announced, with a
frightened face: "He's arrived!"
Bells rang, the stewards rushed forward, and- like rye shaken
together in a shovel- the guests who had been scattered about in
different rooms came together and crowded in the large drawing room by
the door of the ballroom.
Bagration appeared in the doorway of the anteroom without hat or
sword, which, in accord with the Club custom, he had given up to the
hall porter. He had no lambskin cap on his head, nor had he a loaded
whip over his shoulder, as when Rostov had seen him on the eve of
the battle of Austerlitz, but wore a tight new uniform with Russian
and foreign Orders, and the Star of St. George on his left breast.
Evidently just before coming to the dinner he had had his hair and
whiskers trimmed, which changed his appearance for the worse. There
was something naively festive in his air, which, in conjunction with
his firm and virile features, gave him a rather comical expression.
Bekleshev and Theodore Uvarov, who had arrived with him, paused at the
doorway to allow him, as the guest of honor, to enter first. Bagration
was embarrassed, not wishing to avail himself of their courtesy, and
this caused some delay at the doors, but after all he did at last
enter first. He walked shyly and awkwardly over the parquet floor of
the reception room, not knowing what to do with his hands; he was more
accustomed to walk over a plowed field under fire, as he had done at
the head of the Kursk regiment at Schon Grabern- and he would have
found that easier. The committeemen met him at the first door and,
expressing their delight at seeing such a highly honored guest, took
possession of him as it were, without waiting for his reply,
surrounded him, and led him to the drawing room. It was at first
impossible to enter the drawing-room door for the crowd of members and
guests jostling one another and trying to get a good look at Bagration
over each other's shoulders, as if he were some rare animal. Count
Ilya Rostov, laughing and repeating the words, "Make way, dear boy!
Make way, make way!" pushed through the crowd more energetically
than anyone, led the guests into the drawing room, and seated them
on the center sofa. The bigwigs, the most respected members of the
Club, beset the new arrivals. Count Ilya, again thrusting his way
through the crowd, went out of the drawing room and reappeared a
minute later with another committeeman, carrying a large silver salver
which he presented to Prince Bagration. On the salver lay some
verses composed and printed in the hero's honor. Bagration, on
seeing the salver, glanced around in dismay, as though seeking help.
But all eyes demanded that he should submit. Feeling himself in
their power, he resolutely took the salver with both hands and
looked sternly and reproachfully at the count who had presented it
to him. Someone obligingly took the dish from Bagration (or he
would, it seemed, have held it till evening and have gone in to dinner
with it) and drew his attention to the verses.
"Well, I will read them, then!" Bagration seemed to say, and, fixing
his weary eyes on the paper, began to read them with a fixed and
serious expression. But the author himself took the verses and began
reading them aloud. Bagration bowed his bead and listened:
Bring glory then to Alexander's reign
And on the throne our Titus shield.
A dreaded foe be thou, kindhearted as a man,
A Rhipheus at home, a Caesar in the field!
E'en fortunate Napoleon
Knows by experience, now, Bagration,
And dare not Herculean Russians trouble...
But before he had finished reading, a stentorian major-domo
announced that dinner was ready! The door opened, and from the
dining room came the resounding strains of the polonaise:
Conquest's joyful thunder waken,
Triumph, valiant Russians, now!...
and Count Rostov, glancing angrily at the author who went on reading
his verses, bowed to Bagration. Everyone rose, feeling that dinner was
more important than verses, and Bagration, again preceding all the
rest, went in to dinner. He was seated in the place of honor between
two Alexanders- Bekleshev and Naryshkin- which was a significant
allusion to the name of the sovereign. Three hundred persons took
their seats in the dining room, according to their rank and
importance: the more important nearer to the honored guest, as
naturally as water flows deepest where the land lies lowest.
Just before dinner, Count Ilya Rostov presented his son to
Bagration, who recognized him and said a few words to him,
disjointed and awkward, as were all the words he spoke that day, and
Count Ilya looked joyfully and proudly around while Bagration spoke to
Nicholas Rostov, with Denisov and his new acquaintance, Dolokhov,
sat almost at the middle of the table. Facing them sat Pierre,
beside Prince Nesvitski. Count Ilya Rostov with the other members of
the committee sat facing Bagration and, as the very personification of
Moscow hospitality, did the honors to the prince.
His efforts had not been in vain. The dinner, both the Lenten and
the other fare, was splendid, yet he could not feel quite at ease till
the end of the meal. He winked at the butler, whispered directions
to the footmen, and awaited each expected dish with some anxiety.
Everything was excellent. With the second course, a gigantic sterlet
(at sight of which Ilya Rostov blushed with self-conscious
pleasure), the footmen began popping corks and filling the champagne
glasses. After the fish, which made a certain sensation, the count
exchanged glances with the other committeemen. "There will be many
toasts, it's time to begin," he whispered, and taking up his glass, he
rose. All were silent, waiting for what he would say.
"To the health of our Sovereign, the Emperor!" he cried, and at
the same moment his kindly eyes grew moist with tears of joy and
enthusiasm. The band immediately struck up "Conquest's joyful
thunder waken..." All rose and cried "Hurrah!" Bagration also rose and
shouted "Hurrah!" in exactly the same voice in which he had shouted it
on the field at Schon Grabern. Young Rostov's ecstatic voice could
be heard above the three hundred others. He nearly wept. "To the
health of our Sovereign, the Emperor!" he roared, "Hurrah!" and
emptying his glass at one gulp he dashed it to the floor. Many
followed his example, and the loud shouting continued for a long time.
When the voices subsided, the footmen cleared away the broken glass
and everybody sat down again, smiling at the noise they had made and
exchanging remarks. The old count rose once more, glanced at a note
lying beside his plate, and proposed a toast, "To the health of the
hero of our last campaign, Prince Peter Ivanovich Bagration!" and
again his blue eyes grew moist. "Hurrah!" cried the three hundred
voices again, but instead of the band a choir began singing a
cantata composed by Paul Ivanovich Kutuzov:
Russians! O'er all barriers on!
Courage conquest guarantees;
Have we not Bagration?
He brings foe men to their knees,... etc.
As soon as the singing was over, another and another toast was
proposed and Count Ilya Rostov became more and more moved, more
glass was smashed, and the shouting grew louder. They drank to
Bekleshev, Naryshkin, Uvarov, Dolgorukov, Apraksin, Valuev, to the
committee, to all the Club members and to all the Club guests, and
finally to Count Ilya Rostov separately, as the organizer of the
banquet. At that toast, the count took out his handkerchief and,
covering his face, wept outright.
Pierre sat opposite Dolokhov and Nicholas Rostov. As usual, he ate
and drank much, and eagerly. But those who knew him intimately noticed
that some great change had come over him that day. He was silent all
through dinner and looked about, blinking and scowling, or, with fixed
eyes and a look of complete absent-mindedness, kept rubbing the bridge
of his nose. His face was depressed and gloomy. He seemed to see and
hear nothing of what was going on around him and to be absorbed by
some depressing and unsolved problem.
The unsolved problem that tormented him was caused by hints given by
the princess, his cousin, at Moscow, concerning Dolokhov's intimacy
with his wife, and by an anonymous letter he had received that
morning, which in the mean jocular way common to anonymous letters
said that he saw badly through his spectacles, but that his wife's
connection with Dolokhov was a secret to no one but himself. Pierre
absolutely disbelieved both the princess' hints and the letter, but he
feared now to look at Dolokhov, who was sitting opposite him. Every
time he chanced to meet Dolokhov's handsome insolent eyes, Pierre felt
something terrible and monstrous rising in his soul and turned quickly
away. Involuntarily recalling his wife's past and her relations with
Dolokhov, Pierre saw clearly that what was said in the letter might be
true, or might at least seem to be true had it not referred to his
wife. He involuntarily remembered how Dolokhov, who had fully
recovered his former position after the campaign, had returned to
Petersburg and come to him. Availing himself of his friendly relations
with Pierre as a boon companion, Dolokhov had come straight to his
house, and Pierre had put him up and lent him money. Pierre recalled
how Helene had smilingly expressed disapproval of Dolokhov's living at
their house, and how cynically Dolokhov had praised his wife's
beauty to him and from that time till they came to Moscow had not left
them for a day.
"Yes, he is very handsome," thought Pierre, "and I know him. It
would be particularly pleasant to him to dishonor my name and ridicule
me, just because I have exerted myself on his behalf, befriended
him, and helped him. I know and understand what a spice that would add
to the pleasure of deceiving me, if it really were true. Yes, if it
were true, but I do not believe it. I have no right to, and can't,
believe it." He remembered the expression Dolokhov's face assumed in
his moments of cruelty, as when tying the policeman to the bear and
dropping them into the water, or when he challenged a man to a duel
without any reason, or shot a post-boy's horse with a pistol. That
expression was often on Dolokhov's face when looking at him. "Yes,
he is a bully," thought Pierre, "to kill a man means nothing to him.
It must seem to him that everyone is afraid of him, and that must
please him. He must think that I, too, am afraid of him- and in fact I
am afraid of him," he thought, and again he felt something terrible
and monstrous rising in his soul. Dolokhov, Denisov, and Rostov were
now sitting opposite Pierre and seemed very gay. Rostov was talking
merrily to his two friends, one of whom was a dashing hussar and the
other a notorious duelist and rake, and every now and then he
glanced ironically at Pierre, whose preoccupied, absent-minded, and
massive figure was a very noticeable one at the dinner. Rostov
looked inimically at Pierre, first because Pierre appeared to his
hussar eyes as a rich civilian, the husband of a beauty, and in a
word- an old woman; and secondly because Pierre in his preoccupation
and absent-mindedness had not recognized Rostov and had not
responded to his greeting. When the Emperor's health was drunk,
Pierre, lost in thought, did not rise or lift his glass.
"What are you about?" shouted Rostov, looking at him in an ecstasy
of exasperation. "Don't you hear it's His Majesty the Emperor's
Pierre sighed, rose submissively, emptied his glass, and, waiting
till all were seated again, turned with his kindly smile to Rostov.
"Why, I didn't recognize you!" he said. But Rostov was otherwise
engaged; he was shouting "Hurrah!"
"Why don't you renew the acquaintance?" said Dolokhov to Rostov.
"Confound him, he's a fool!" said Rostov.
"One should make up to the husbands of pretty women," said Denisov.
Pierre did not catch what they were saying, but knew they were
talking about him. He reddened and turned away.
"Well, now to the health of handsome women!" said Dolokhov, and with
a serious expression, but with a smile lurking at the corners of his
mouth, he turned with his glass to Pierre.
"Here's to the health of lovely women, Peterkin- and their
lovers!" he added.
Pierre, with downcast eyes, drank out of his glass without looking
at Dolokhov or answering him. The footman, who was distributing
leaflets with Kutuzov's cantata, laid one before Pierre as one of
the principal guests. He was just going to take it when Dolokhov,
leaning across, snatched it from his hand and began reading it. Pierre
looked at Dolokhov and his eyes dropped, the something terrible and
monstrous that had tormented him all dinnertime rose and took
possession of him. He leaned his whole massive body across the table.
"How dare you take it?" he shouted.
Hearing that cry and seeing to whom it was addressed, Nesvitski
and the neighbor on his right quickly turned in alarm to Bezukhov.
"Don't! Don't! What are you about?" whispered their frightened
Dolokhov looked at Pierre with clear, mirthful, cruel eyes, and that
smile of his which seemed to say, "Ah! This is what I like!"
"You shan't have it!" he said distinctly.
Pale, with quivering lips, Pierre snatched the copy.
"You...! you... scoundrel! I challenge you!" he ejaculated, and,
pushing back his chair, he rose from the table.
At the very instant he did this and uttered those words, Pierre felt
that the question of his wife's guilt which had been tormenting him
the whole day was finally and indubitably answered in the affirmative.
He hated her and was forever sundered from her. Despite Denisov's
request that he would take no part in the matter, Rostov agreed to
be Dolokhov's second, and after dinner he discussed the arrangements
for the duel with Nesvitski, Bezukhov's second. Pierre went home,
but Rostov with Dolokhov and Denisov stayed on at the Club till
late, listening to the gypsies and other singers.
"Well then, till tomorrow at Sokolniki,"said Dolokhov, as he took
leave of Rostov in the Club porch.
"And do you feel quite calm?" Rostov asked.
"Well, you see, I'll tell you the whole secret of dueling in two
words. If you are going to fight a duel, and you make a will and write
affectionate letters to your parents, and if you think you may be
killed, you are a fool and are lost for certain. But go with the
firm intention of killing your man as quickly and surely as
possible, and then all will be right, as our bear huntsman at Kostroma
used to tell me. 'Everyone fears a bear,' he says, 'but when you see
one your fear's all gone, and your only thought is not to let him
get away!' And that's how it is with me. A demain, mon cher."*
*Till tomorrow, my dear fellow.
Next day, at eight in the morning, Pierre and Nesvitski drove to the
Sokolniki forest and found Dolokhov, Denisov, and Rostov already
there. Pierre had the air of a man preoccupied with considerations
which had no connection with the matter in hand. His haggard face
was yellow. He had evidently not slept that night. He looked about
distractedly and screwed up his eyes as if dazzled by the sun. He
was entirely absorbed by two considerations: his wife's guilt, of
which after his sleepless night he had not the slightest doubt, and
the guiltlessness of Dolokhov, who had no reason to preserve the honor
of a man who was nothing to him.... "I should perhaps have done the
same thing in his place," thought Pierre. "It's even certain that I
should have done the same, then why this duel, this murder? Either I
shall kill him, or he will hit me in the head, or elbow, or knee.
Can't I go away from here, run away, bury myself somewhere?" passed
through his mind. But just at moments when such thoughts occurred to
him, he would ask in a particularly calm and absent-minded way,
which inspired the respect of the onlookers, "Will it be long? Are
When all was ready, the sabers stuck in the snow to mark the
barriers, and the pistols loaded, Nesvitski went up to Pierre.
"I should not be doing my duty, Count," he said in timid tones, "and
should not justify your confidence and the honor you have done me in
choosing me for your second, if at this grave, this very grave, moment
I did not tell you the whole truth. I think there is no sufficient
ground for this affair, or for blood to be shed over it.... You were
not right, not quite in the right, you were impetuous..."
"Oh yes, it is horribly stupid," said Pierre.
"Then allow me to express your regrets, and I am sure your
opponent will accept them," said Nesvitski (who like the others
concerned in the affair, and like everyone in similar cases, did not
yet believe that the affair had come to an actual duel). "You know,
Count, it is much more honorable to admit one's mistake than to let
matters become irreparable. There was no insult on either side.
Allow me to convey...."
"No! What is there to talk about?" said Pierre. "It's all the
same.... Is everything ready?" he added. "Only tell me where to go and
where to shoot," he said with an unnaturally gentle smile.
He took the pistol in his hand and began asking about the working of
the trigger, as he had not before held a pistol in his hand- a fact
that he did not to confess.
"Oh yes, like that, I know, I only forgot," said he.
"No apologies, none whatever," said Dolokhov to Denisov (who on
his side had been attempting a reconciliation), and he also went up to
the appointed place.
The spot chosen for the duel was some eighty paces from the road,
where the sleighs had been left, in a small clearing in the pine
forest covered with melting snow, the frost having begun to break up
during the last few days. The antagonists stood forty paces apart at
the farther edge of the clearing. The seconds, measuring the paces,
left tracks in the deep wet snow between the place where they had been
standing and Nesvitski's and Dolokhov's sabers, which were stuck
intothe ground ten paces apart to mark the barrier. It was thawing and
misty; at forty paces' distance nothing could be seen. For three
minutes all had been ready, but they still delayed and all were
"Well begin!" said Dolokhov.
"All right," said Pierre, still smiling in the same way. A feeling
of dread was in the air. It was evident that the affair so lightly
begun could no longer be averted but was taking its course
independently of men's will.
Denisov first went to the barrier and announced: "As the adve'sawies
have wefused a weconciliation, please pwoceed. Take your pistols,
and at the word thwee begin to advance.
"O-ne! T-wo! Thwee!" he shouted angrily and stepped aside.
The combatants advanced along the trodden tracks, nearer and
nearer to one another, beginning to see one another through the
mist. They had the right to fire when they liked as they approached
the barrier. Dolokhov walked slowly without raising his pistol,
looking intently with his bright, sparkling blue eyes into his
antagonist's face. His mouth wore its usual semblance of a smile.
"So I can fire when I like!" said Pierre, and at the word "three,"
he went quickly forward, missing the trodden path and stepping into
the deep snow. He held the pistol in his right hand at arm's length,
apparently afraid of shooting himself with it. His left hand he held
carefully back, because he wished to support his right hand with it
and knew he must not do so. Having advanced six paces and strayed
off the track into the snow, Pierre looked down at his feet, then
quickly glanced at Dolokhov and, bending his finger as he had been
shown, fired. Not at all expecting so loud a report, Pierre
shuddered at the sound and then, smiling at his own sensations,
stood still. The smoke, rendered denser by the mist, prevented him
from seeing anything for an instant, but there was no second report as
he had expected. He only heard Dolokhov's hurried steps, and his
figure came in view through the smoke. He was pressing one hand to his
left side, while the other clutched his drooping pistol. His face
was pale. Rostov ran toward him and said something.
"No-o-o!" muttered Dolokhov through his teeth, "no, it's not
over." And after stumbling a few staggering steps right up to the
saber, he sank on the snow beside it. His left hand was bloody; he
wiped it on his coat and supported himself with it. His frowning
face was pallid and quivered.
"Plea..." began Dolokhov, but could not at first pronounce the word.
"Please," he uttered with an effort.
Pierre, hardly restraining his sobs, began running toward Dolokhov
and was about to cross the space between the barriers, when Dolokhov
"To your barrier!" and Pierre, grasping what was meant, stopped by
his saber. Only ten paces divided them. Dolokhov lowered his head to
the snow, greedily bit at it, again raised his head, adjusted himself,
drew in his legs and sat up, seeking a firm center of gravity. He
sucked and swallowed the cold snow, his lips quivered but
his eyes, still smiling, glittered with effort and exasperation as
he mustered his remaining strength. He raised his pistol and aimed.
"Sideways! Cover yourself with your pistol!" ejaculated Nesvitski.
"Cover yourself!" even Denisov cried to his adversary.
Pierre, with a gentle smile of pity and remorse, his arms and legs
helplessly spread out, stood with his broad chest directly facing
Dolokhov looked sorrowfully at him. Denisov, Rostov, and Nesvitski
closed their eyes. At the same instant they heard a report and
Dolokhov's angry cry.
"Missed!" shouted Dolokhov, and he lay helplessly, face downwards on
Pierre clutched his temples, and turning round went into the forest,
trampling through the deep snow, and muttering incoherent words:
"Folly... folly! Death... lies..." he repeated, puckering his face.
Nesvitski stopped him and took him home.
Rostov and Denisov drove away with the wounded Dolokhov.
The latter lay silent in the sleigh with closed eyes and did not
answer a word to the questions addressed to him. But on entering
Moscow he suddenly came to and, lifting his head with an effort,
took Rostov, who was sitting beside him, by the hand. Rostov was
struck by the totally altered and unexpectedly rapturous and tender
expression on Dolokhov's face.
"Well? How do you feel?" he asked.
"Bad! But it's not that, my friend-" said Dolokhov with a gasping
voice. "Where are we? In Moscow, I know. I don't matter, but I have
killed her, killed... She won't get over it! She won't survive...."
"Who?" asked Rostov.
"My mother! My mother, my angel, my adored angel mother," and
Dolokhov pressed Rostov's hand and burst into tears.
When he had become a little quieter, he explained to Rostov that
he was living with his mother, who, if she saw him dying, would not
survive it. He implored Rostov to go on and prepare her.
Rostov went on ahead to do what was asked, and to his great surprise
learned that Dolokhov the brawler, Dolokhov the bully, lived in Moscow
with an old mother and a hunchback sister, and was the most
affectionate of sons and brothers.
Pierre had of late rarely seen his wife alone. Both in Petersburg
and in Moscow their house was always full of visitors. The night after
the duel he did not go to his bedroom but, as he often did, remained
in his father's room, that huge room in which Count Bezukhov had died.
He lay down on the sofa meaning to fall asleep and forget all that
had happened to him, but could not do so. Such a storm of feelings,
thoughts, and memories suddenly arose within him that he could not
fall asleep, nor even remain in one place, but had to jump up and pace
the room with rapid steps. Now he seemed to see her in the early
days of their marriage, with bare shoulders and a languid,
passionate look on her face, and then immediately he saw beside her
Dolokhov's handsome, insolent, hard, and mocking face as he had seen
it at the banquet, and then that same face pale, quivering, and
suffering, as it had been when he reeled and sank on the snow.
"What has happened?" he asked himself. "I have killed her lover,
yes, killed my wife's lover. Yes, that was it! And why? How did I come
to do it?"- "Because you married her," answered an inner voice.
"But in what was I to blame?" he asked. "In marrying her without
loving her; in deceiving yourself and her." And he vividly recalled
that moment after supper at Prince Vasili's, when he spoke those words
he had found so difficult to utter: "I love you." "It all comes from
that! Even then I felt it," he thought. "I felt then that it was not
so, that I had no right to do it. And so it turns out."
He remembered his honeymoon and blushed at the recollection.
Particularly vivid, humiliating, and shameful was the recollection
of how one day soon after his marriage he came out of the bedroom into
his study a little before noon in his silk dressing gown and found his
head steward there, who, bowing respectfully, looked into his face and
at his dressing gown and smiled slightly, as if expressing
respectful understanding of his employer's happiness.
"But how often I have felt proud of her, proud of her majestic
beauty and social tact," thought he; "been proud of my house, in which
she received all Petersburg, proud of her unapproachability and
beauty. So this is what I was proud of! I then thought that I did
not understand her. How often when considering her character I have
told myself that I was to blame for not understanding her, for not
understanding that constant composure and complacency and lack of
all interests or desires, and the whole secret lies in the terrible
truth that she is a depraved woman. Now I have spoken that terrible
word to myself all has become clear.
"Anatole used to come to borrow money from her and used to kiss
her naked shoulders. She did not give him the money, but let herself
be kissed. Her father in jest tried to rouse her jealousy, and she
replied with a calm smile that she was not so stupid as to be jealous:
'Let him do what he pleases,' she used to say of me. One day I asked
her if she felt any symptoms of pregnancy. She laughed
contemptuously and said she was not a fool to want to have children,
and that she was not going to have any children by me."
Then he recalled the coarseness and bluntness of her thoughts and
the vulgarity of the expressions that were natural to her, though
she had been brought up in the most aristocratic circles.
"I'm not such a fool.... Just you try it on.... Allez-vous
promener,"* she used to say. Often seeing the success she had with
young and old men and women Pierre could not understand why he did not
*"You clear out of this."
"Yes, I never loved her," said he to himself; "I knew she was a
depraved woman," he repeated, "but dared not admit it to myself. And
now there's Dolokhov sitting in the snow with a forced smile and
perhaps dying, while meeting my remorse with some forced bravado!"
Pierre was one of those people who, in spite of an appearance of
what is called weak character, do not seek a confidant in their
troubles. He digested his sufferings alone.
"It is all, all her fault," he said to himself; "but what of that?
Why did I bind myself to her? Why did I say 'Je vous aime'* to her,
which was a lie, and worse than a lie? I am guilty and must
endure... what? A slur on my name? A misfortune for life? Oh, that's
nonsense," he thought. "The slur on my name and honor- that's all
apart from myself.
*I love you.
"Louis XVI was executed because they said he was dishonorable and
a criminal," came into Pierre's head, "and from their point of view
they were right, as were those too who canonized him and died a
martyr's death for his sake. Then Robespierre was beheaded for being a
despot. Who is right and who is wrong? No one! But if you are alive-
live: tomorrow you'll die as I might have died an hour ago. And is
it worth tormenting oneself, when one has only a moment of life in
comparison with eternity?"
But at the moment when he imagined himself calmed by such
reflections, she suddenly came into his mind as she was at the moments
when he had most strongly expressed his insincere love for her, and he
felt the blood rush to his heart and had again to get up and move
about and break and tear whatever came to his hand. "Why did I tell
her that 'Je vous aime'?" he kept repeating to himself. And when he
had said it for the tenth time, Molibre's words: "Mais que diable
alloit-il faire dans cette galere?" occurred to him, and he began to
laugh at himself.
In the night he called his valet and told him to pack up to go to
Petersburg. He could not imagine how he could speak to her now. He
resolved to go away next day and leave a letter informing her of his
intention to part from her forever.
Next morning when the valet came into the room with his coffee,
Pierre was lying asleep on the ottoman with an open book in his hand.
He woke up and looked round for a while with a startled
expression, unable to realize where he was.
"The countess told me to inquire whether your excellency was at
home," said the valet.
But before Pierre could decide what answer he would send, the
countess herself in a white satin dressing gown embroidered with
silver and with simply dressed hair (two immense plaits twice round
her lovely head like a coronet) entered the room, calm and majestic,
except that there was a wrathful wrinkle on her rather prominent
marble brow. With her imperturbable calm she did not begin to speak in
front of the valet. She knew of the duel and had come to speak about
it. She waited till the valet had set down the coffee things and
left the room. Pierre looked at her timidly over his spectacles, and
like a hare surrounded by hounds who lays back her ears and
continues to crouch motionless before her enemies, he tried to
continue reading. But feeling this to be senseless and impossible,
he again glanced timidly at her. She did not sit down but looked at
him with a contemptuous smile, waiting for the valet to go.
"Well, what's this now? What have you been up to now, I should
like to know?" she asked sternly.
"I? What have I...?" stammered Pierre.
"So it seems you're a hero, eh? Come now, what was this duel
about? What is it meant to prove? What? I ask you."
Pierre turned over heavily on the ottoman and opened his mouth,
but could not reply.
"If you won't answer, I'll tell you..." Helene went on. "You believe
everything you're told. You were told..." Helene laughed, "that
Dolokhov was my lover," she said in French with her coarse plainness
of speech, uttering the word amant as casually as any other word, "and
you believed it! Well, what have you proved? What does this duel
prove? That you're a fool, que vous etes un sot, but everybody knew
that. What will be the result? That I shall be the laughingstock of
all Moscow, that everyone will say that you, drunk and not knowing
what you were about, challenged a man you are jealous of without
cause." Helene raised her voice and became more and more excited, "A
man who's a better man than you in every way..."
"Hm... Hm...!" growled Pierre, frowning without looking at her,
and not moving a muscle.
"And how could you believe he was my lover? Why? Because I like
his company? If you were cleverer and more agreeable, I should
"Don't speak to me... I beg you," muttered Pierre hoarsely.
"Why shouldn't I speak? I can speak as I like, and I tell you
plainly that there are not many wives with husbands such as you who
would not have taken lovers (des amants), but I have not done so,"
Pierre wished to say something, looked at her with eyes whose
strange expression she did not understand, and lay down again. He
was suffering physically at that moment, there was a weight on his
chest and he could not breathe. He knew that he must do something to
put an end to this suffering, but what he wanted to do was too
"We had better separate," he muttered in a broken voice.
"Separate? Very well, but only if you give me a fortune," said
Helene. "Separate! That's a thing to frighten me with!"
Pierre leaped up from the sofa and rushed staggering toward her.
"I'll kill you!" he shouted, and seizing the marble top of a table
with a strength he had never before felt, he made a step toward her
brandishing the slab.
Helene's face became terrible, she shrieked and sprang aside. His
father's nature showed itself in Pierre. He felt the fascination and
delight of frenzy. He flung down the slab, broke it, and swooping down
on her with outstretched hands shouted, "Get out!" in such a
terrible voice that the whole house heard it with horror. God knows
what he would have done at that moment had Helene not fled from the
A week later Pierre gave his wife full power to control all his
estates in Great Russia, which formed the larger part of his property,
and left for Petersburg alone.
Two months had elapsed since the news of the battle of Austerlitz
and the loss of Prince Andrew had reached Bald Hills, and in spite
of the letters sent through the embassy and all the searches made, his
body had not been found nor was he on the list of prisoners. What
was worst of all for his relations was the fact that there was still a
possibility of his having been picked up on the battlefield by the
people of the place and that he might now be lying, recovering or
dying, alone among strangers and unable to send news of himself. The
gazettes from which the old prince first heard of the defeat at
Austerlitz stated, as usual very briefly and vaguely, that after
brilliant engagements the Russians had had to retreat and had made
their withdrawal in perfect order. The old prince understood from this
official report that our army had been defeated. A week after the
gazette report of the battle of Austerlitz came a letter from
Kutuzov informing the prince of the fate that had befallen his son.
"Your son," wrote Kutuzov, "fell before my eyes, a standard in his
hand and at the head of a regiment- he fell as a hero, worthy of his
father and his fatherland. To the great regret of myself and of the
whole army it is still uncertain whether he is alive or not. I comfort
myself and you with the hope that your son is alive, for otherwise
he would have been mentioned among the officers found on the field
of battle, a list of whom has been sent me under flag of truce."
After receiving this news late in the evening, when he was alone
in his study, the old prince went for his walk as usual next
morning, but he was silent with his steward, the gardener, and the
architect, and though he looked very grim he said nothing to anyone.
When Princess Mary went to him at the usual hour he was working at
his lathe and, as usual, did not look round at her.
"Ah, Princess Mary!" he said suddenly in an unnatural voice,
throwing down his chisel. (The wheel continued to revolve by its own
impetus, and Princess Mary long remembered the dying creak of that
wheel, which merged in her memory with what followed.)
She approached him, saw his face, and something gave way within her.
Her eyes grew dim. By the expression of her father's face, not sad,
not crushed, but angry and working unnaturally, she saw that hanging
over her and about to crush her was some terrible misfortune, the
worst in life, one she had not yet experienced, irreparable and
incomprehensible- the death of one she loved.
"Father! Andrew!"- said the ungraceful, awkward princess with such
an indescribable charm of sorrow and self-forgetfulness that her
father could not bear her look but turned away with a sob.
"Bad news! He's not among the prisoners nor among the killed!
Kutuzov writes..." and he screamed as piercingly as if he wished to
drive the princess away by that scream... "Killed!"
The princess did not fall down or faint. She was already pale, but
on hearing these words her face changed and something brightened in
her beautiful, radiant eyes. It was as if joy- a supreme joy apart
from the joys and sorrows of this world- overflowed the great grief
within her. She forgot all fear of her father, went up to him, took
his hand, and drawing him down put her arm round his thin, scraggy
"Father" she said, "do not turn away from me, let us weep together."
"Scoundrels! Blackguards!" shrieked the old man, turning his face
away from her. "Destroying the army, destroying the men! And why?
Go, go and tell Lise."
The princess sank helplessly into an armchair beside her father
and wept. She saw her brother now as he had been at the moment when he
took leave of her and of Lise, his look tender yet proud. She saw
him tender and amused as he was when he put on the little icon. "Did
he believe? Had he repented of his unbelief? Was he now there? There
in the realms of eternal peace and blessedness?" she thought.
"Father, tell me how it happened," she asked through her tears.
"Go! Go! Killed in battle, where the best of Russian men and
Russia's glory were led to destruction. Go, Princess Mary. Go and tell
Lise. I will follow."
When Princess Mary returned from her father, the little princess sat
working and looked up with that curious expression of inner, happy
calm peculiar to pregnant women. It was evident that her eyes did
not see Princess Mary but were looking within... into herself... at
something joyful and mysterious taking place within her.
"Mary," she said, moving away from the embroidery frame and lying
back, "give me your hand." She took her sister-in-law's hand and
held it below her waist.
Her eyes were smiling expectantly, her downy lip rose and remained
lifted in childlike happiness.
Princess Mary knelt down before her and hid her face in the folds of
her sister-in-law's dress.
"There, there! Do you feel it? I feel so strange. And do you know,
Mary, I am going to love him very much," said Lise, looking with
bright and happy eyes at her sister-in-law.
Princess Mary could not lift her head, she was weeping.
"What is the matter, Mary?"
"Nothing... only I feel sad... sad about Andrew," she said, wiping
away her tears on her sister-in-law's knee.
Several times in the course of the morning Princess Mary began
trying to prepare her sister-in-law, and every time began to cry.
Unobservant as was the little princess, these tears, the cause of
which she did not understand, agitated her. She said nothing but
looked about uneasily as if in search of something. Before dinner
the old prince, of whom she was always afraid, came into her room with
a peculiarly restless and malign expression and went out again without
saying a word. She looked at Princess Mary, then sat thinking for a
while with that expression of attention to something within her that
is only seen in pregnant women, and suddenly began to cry.
"Has anything come from Andrew?" she asked.
"No, you know it's too soon for news. But my father is anxious and I
"So there's nothing?"
"Nothing," answered Princess Mary, looking firmly with her radiant
eyes at her sister-in-law.
She had determined not to tell her and persuaded her father to
hide the terrible news from her till after her confinement, which
was expected within a few days. Princess Mary and the old prince
each bore and hid their grief in their own way. The old prince would
not cherish any hope: he made up his mind that Prince Andrew had
been killed, and though he sent an official to Austria to seek for
traces of his son, he ordered a monument from Moscow which he intended
to erect in his own garden to his memory, and he told everybody that
his son had been killed. He tried not to change his former way of
life, but his strength failed him. He walked less, ate less, slept
less, and became weaker every day. Princess Mary hoped. She prayed for
her brother as living and was always awaiting news of his return.
"Dearest," said the little princess after breakfast on the morning
of the nineteenth March, and her downy little lip rose from old habit,
but as sorrow was manifest in every smile, the sound of every word,
and even every footstep in that house since the terrible news had
come, so now the smile of the little princess- influenced by the
general mood though without knowing its cause- was such as to remind
one still more of the general sorrow.
"Dearest, I'm afraid this morning's fruschtique*- as Foka the cook
calls it- has disagreed with me."
"What is the matter with you, my darling? You look pale. Oh, you are
very pale!" said Princess Mary in alarm, running with her soft,
ponderous steps up to her sister-in-law.
"Your excellency, should not Mary Bogdanovna be sent for?" said
one of the maids who was present. (Mary Bogdanovna was a midwife
from the neighboring town, who had been at Bald Hills for the last
"Oh yes," assented Princess Mary, "perhaps that's it. I'll go.
Courage, my angel." She kissed Lise and was about to leave the room.
"Oh, no, no!" And besides the pallor and the physical suffering on
the little princess' face, an expression of childish fear of
inevitable pain showed itself.
"No, it's only indigestion?... Say it's only indigestion, say so,
Mary! Say..." And the little princess began to cry capriciously like a
suffering child and to wring her little hands even with some
affectation. Princess Mary ran out of the room to fetch Mary
"Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu! Oh!" she heard as she left the room.
The midwife was already on her way to meet her, rubbing her small,
plump white hands with an air of calm importance.
"Mary Bogdanovna, I think it's beginning!" said Princess Mary
looking at the midwife with wide-open eyes of alarm.
"Well, the Lord be thanked, Princess," said Mary Bogdanovna, not
hastening her steps. "You young ladies should not know anything
"But how is it the doctor from Moscow is not here yet?" said the
princess. (In accordance with Lise's and Prince Andrew's wishes they
had sent in good time to Moscow for a doctor and were expecting him at
"No matter, Princess, don't be alarmed," said Mary Bogdanovna.
"We'll manage very well without a doctor."
Five minutes later Princess Mary from her room heard something heavy
being carried by. She looked out. The men servants were carrying the
large leather sofa from Prince Andrew's study into the bedroom. On
their faces was a quiet and solemn look.
Princess Mary sat alone in her room listening to the sounds in the
house, now and then opening her door when someone passed and
watching what was going on in the passage. Some women passing with
quiet steps in and out of the bedroom glanced at the princess and
turned away. She did not venture to ask any questions, and shut the
door again, now sitting down in her easy chair, now taking her
prayer book, now kneeling before the icon stand. To her surprise and
distress she found that her prayers did not calm her excitement.
Suddenly her door opened softly and her old nurse, Praskovya Savishna,
who hardly ever came to that room as the old prince had forbidden
it, appeared on the threshold with a shawl round her head.
"I've come to sit with you a bit, Masha," said the nurse, "and
here I've brought the prince's wedding candles to light before his
saint, my angel," she said with a sigh.
"Oh, nurse, I'm so glad!"
"God is merciful, birdie."
The nurse lit the gilt candles before the icons and sat down by
the door with her knitting. Princess Mary took a book and began
reading. Only when footsteps or voices were heard did they look at one
another, the princess anxious and inquiring, the nurse encouraging.
Everyone in the house was dominated by the same feeling that
Princess Mary experienced as she sat in her room. But owing to the
superstition that the fewer the people who know of it the less a woman
in travail suffers, everyone tried to pretend not to know; no one
spoke of it, but apart from the ordinary staid and respectful good
manners habitual in the prince's household, a common anxiety, a
softening of the heart, and a consciousness that something great and
mysterious was being accomplished at that moment made itself felt.
There was no laughter in the maids' large hall. In the men servants'
hall all sat waiting, silently and alert. In the outlying serfs'
quarters torches and candles were burning and no one slept. The old
prince, stepping on his heels, paced up and down his study and sent
Tikhon to ask Mary Bogdanovna what news.- "Say only that 'the prince
told me to ask,' and come and tell me her answer."
"Inform the prince that labor has begun," said Mary Bogdanovna,
giving the messenger a significant look.
Tikhon went and told the prince.
"Very good!" said the prince closing the door behind him, and Tikhon
did not hear the slightest sound from the study after that.
After a while he re-entered it as if to snuff the candles, and,
seeing the prince was lying on the sofa, looked at him, noticed his
perturbed face, shook his head, and going up to him silently kissed
him on the shoulder and left the room without snuffing the candles
or saying why he had entered. The most solemn mystery in the world
continued its course. Evening passed, night came, and the feeling of
suspense and softening of heart in the presence of the unfathomable
did not lessen but increased. No one slept.
It was one of those March nights when winter seems to wish to resume
its sway and scatters its last snows and storms with desperate fury. A
relay of horses had been sent up the highroad to meet the German
doctor from Moscow who was expected every moment, and men on horseback
with lanterns were sent to the crossroads to guide him over the
country road with its hollows and snow-covered pools of water.
Princess Mary had long since put aside her book: she sat silent, her
luminous eyes fixed on her nurse's wrinkled face (every line of
which she knew so well), on the lock of gray hair that escaped from
under the kerchief, and the loose skin that hung under her chin.
Nurse Savishna, knitting in hand, was telling in low tones, scarcely
hearing or understanding her own words, what she had told hundreds
of times before: how the late princess had given birth to Princess
Mary in Kishenev with only a Moldavian peasant woman to help instead
of a midwife.
"God is merciful, doctors are never needed," she said.
Suddenly a gust of wind beat violently against the casement of the
window, from which the double frame had been removed (by order of
the prince, one window frame was removed in each room as soon as the
larks returned), and, forcing open a loosely closed latch, set the
damask curtain flapping and blew out the candle with its chill,
snowy draft. Princess Mary shuddered; her nurse, putting down the
stocking she was knitting, went to the window and leaning out tried to
catch the open casement. The cold wind flapped the ends of her
kerchief and her loose locks of gray hair.
"Princess, my dear, there's someone driving up the avenue! " she
said, holding the casement and not closing it. "With lanterns. Most
likely the doctor."
"Oh, my God! thank God!" said Princess Mary. "I must go and meet
him, he does not know Russian."
Princess Mary threw a shawl over her head and ran to meet the
newcomer. As she was crossing the anteroom she saw through the
window a carriage with lanterns, standing at the entrance. She went
out on the stairs. On a banister post stood a tallow candle which
guttered in the draft. On the landing below, Philip, the footman,
stood looking scared and holding another candle. Still lower, beyond
the turn of the staircase, one could hear the footstep of someone in
thick felt boots, and a voice that seemed familiar to Princess Mary
was saying something.
"Thank God!" said the voice. "And Father?"
"Gone to bed," replied the voice of Demyan the house steward, who
Then the voice said something more, Demyan replied, and the steps in
the felt boots approached the unseen bend of the staircase more
"It's Andrew!" thought Princess Mary. "No it can't be, that would be
too extraordinary," and at the very moment she thought this, the
face and figure of Prince Andrew, in a fur cloak the deep collar of
which covered with snow, appeared on the landing where the footman
stood with the candle. Yes, it was he, pale, thin, with a changed
and strangely softened but agitated expression on his face. He came up
the stairs and embraced his sister.
"You did not get my letter?" he asked, and not waiting for a
reply- which he would not have received, for the princess was unable
to speak- he turned back, rapidly mounted the stairs again with the
doctor who had entered the hall after him (they had met at the last
post station), and again embraced his sister.
"What a strange fate, Masha darling!" And having taken off his cloak
and felt boots, he went to the little princess' apartment.
The little princess lay supported by pillows, with a white cap on
her head (the pains had just left her). Strands of her black hair
lay round her inflamed and perspiring cheeks, her charming rosy
mouth with its downy lip was open and she was smiling joyfully. Prince
Andrew entered and paused facing her at the foot of the sofa on
which she was lying. Her glittering eyes, filled with childlike fear
and excitement, rested on him without changing their expression. "I
love you all and have done no harm to anyone; why must I suffer so?
Help me!" her look seemed to say. She saw her husband, but did not
realize the significance of his appearance before her now. Prince
Andrew went round the sofa and kissed her forehead.
"My darling!" he said- a word he had never used to her before.
"God is merciful...."
She looked at him inquiringly and with childlike reproach.
"I expected help from you and I get none, none from you either!"
said her eyes. She was not surprised at his having come; she did not
realize that he had come. His coming had nothing to do with her
sufferings or with their relief. The pangs began again and Mary
Bogdanovna advised Prince Andrew to leave the room.
The doctor entered. Prince Andrew went out and, meeting Princess
Mary, again joined her. They began talking in whispers, but their talk
broke off at every moment. They waited and listened.
"Go, dear," said Princess Mary.
Prince Andrew went again to his wife and sat waiting in the room
next to hers. A woman came from the bedroom with a frightened face and
became confused when she saw Prince Andrew. He covered his face with
his hands and remained so for some minutes. Piteous, helpless,
animal moans came through the door. Prince Andrew got up, went to
the door, and tried to open it. Someone was holding it shut.
"You can't come in! You can't!" said a terrified voice from within.
He began pacing the room. The screaming ceased, and a few more
seconds went by. Then suddenly a terrible shriek- it could not be
hers, she could not scream like that- came from the bedroom. Prince
Andrew ran to the door; the scream ceased and he heard the wail of
"What have they taken a baby in there for?" thought Prince Andrew in
the first second. "A baby? What baby...? Why is there a baby there? Or
is the baby born?"
Then suddenly he realized the joyful significance of that wail;
tears choked him, and leaning his elbows on the window sill be began
to cry, sobbing like a child. The door opened. The doctor with his
shirt sleeves tucked up, without a coat, pale and with a trembling
jaw, came out of the room. Prince Andrew turned to him, but the doctor
gave him a bewildered look and passed by without a word. A woman
rushed out and seeing Prince Andrew stopped, hesitating on the
threshold. He went into his wife's room. She was lying dead, in the
same position he had seen her in five minutes before and, despite
the fixed eyes and the pallor of the cheeks, the same expression was
on her charming childlike face with its upper lip covered with tiny
"I love you all, and have done no harm to anyone; and what have
you done to me?"- said her charming, pathetic, dead face.
In a corner of the room something red and tiny gave a grunt and
squealed in Mary Bogdanovna's trembling white hands.
Two hours later Prince Andrew, stepping softly, went into his
father's room. The old man already knew everything. He was standing
close to the door and as soon as it opened his rough old arms closed
like a vise round his son's neck, and without a word he began to sob
like a child.
Three days later the little princess was buried, and Prince Andrew
went up the steps to where the coffin stood, to give her the
farewell kiss. And there in the coffin was the same face, though
with closed eyes. "Ah, what have you done to me?" it still seemed to
say, and Prince Andrew felt that something gave way in his soul and
that he was guilty of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget. He
could not weep. The old man too came up and kissed the waxen little
hands that lay quietly crossed one on the other on her breast, and
to him, too, her face seemed to say: "Ah, what have you done to me,
and why?" And at the sight the old man turned angrily away.
Another five days passed, and then the young Prince Nicholas
Andreevich was baptized. The wet nurse supported the coverlet with her
while the priest with a goose feather anointed the boy's little red
and wrinkled soles and palms.
His grandfather, who was his godfather, trembling and afraid of
dropping him, carried the infant round the battered tin font and
handed him over to the godmother, Princess Mary. Prince Andrew sat
in another room, faint with fear lest the baby should be drowned in
the font, and awaited the termination of the ceremony. He looked up
joyfully at the baby when the nurse brought it to him and nodded
approval when she told him that the wax with the baby's hair had not
sunk in the font but had floated.
Rostov's share in Dolokhov's duel with Bezukhov was hushed up by the
efforts of the old count, and instead of being degraded to the ranks
as he expected he was appointed an adjutant to the governor general of
Moscow. As a result he could not go to the country with the rest of
the family, but was kept all summer in Moscow by his new duties.
Dolokhov recovered, and Rostov became very friendly with him during
his convalescence. Dolokhov lay ill at his mother's who loved him
passionately and tenderly, and old Mary Ivanovna, who had grown fond
of Rostov for his friendship to her Fedya, often talked to him about