This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
Writer:
Language:
Published:
  • 1805
Collection:
Buy it on Amazon Listen via Audible FREE Audible 30 days

Check out more Amazon deals on our Resources page.

be?”

Natasha looked at Sonya with astonishment. Evidently this question presented itself to her mind for the first time and she did not know how to answer it.

“I don’t know what the reasons are. But there must be reasons!”

Sonya sighed and shook her head incredulously.

“If there were reasons…” she began.

But Natasha, guessing her doubts, interrupted her in alarm.

“Sonya, one can’t doubt him! One can’t, one can’t! Don’t you understand?” she cried.

“Does he love you?”

“Does he love me?” Natasha repeated with a smile of pity at her friend’s lack of comprehension. “Why, you have read his letter and you have seen him.”

“But if he is dishonorable?”

“He! dishonorable? If you only knew!” exclaimed Natasha.

“If he is an honorable man he should either declare his intentions or cease seeing you; and if you won’t do this, I will. I will write to him, and I will tell Papa!” said Sonya resolutely.

“But I can’t live without him!” cried Natasha.

“Natasha, I don’t understand you. And what are you saying! Think of your father and of Nicholas.”

“I don’t want anyone, I don’t love anyone but him. How dare you say he is dishonorable? Don’t you know that I love him?” screamed Natasha. “Go away, Sonya! I don’t want to quarrel with you, but go, for God’s sake go! You see how I am suffering!” Natasha cried angrily, in a voice of despair and repressed irritation. Sonya burst into sobs and ran from the room.

Natasha went to the table and without a moment’s reflection wrote that answer to Princess Mary which she had been unable to write all the morning. In this letter she said briefly that all their misunderstandings were at an end; that availing herself of the magnanimity of Prince Andrew who when he went abroad had given her her she begged Princess Mary to forget everything and forgive her if she had been to blame toward her, but that she could not be his wife. At that moment this all seemed quite easy, simple, and clear to Natasha.

On Friday the Rostovs were to return to the country, but on Wednesday the count went with the prospective purchaser to his estate near Moscow.

On the day the count left, Sonya and Natasha were invited to a big dinner party at the Karagins’, and Marya Dmitrievna took them there. At that party Natasha again met Anatole, and Sonya noticed that she spoke to him, trying not to be overheard, and that all through dinner she was more agitated than ever. When they got home Natasha was the first to begin the explanation Sonya expected.

“There, Sonya, you were talking all sorts of nonsense about him,” Natasha began in a mild voice such as children use when they wish to be praised. “We have had an explanation today.”

“Well, what happened? What did he say? Natasha, how glad I am you’re not angry with me! Tell me everything- the whole truth. What did he say?”

Natasha became thoughtful.

“Oh, Sonya, if you knew him as I do! He said… He asked me what I had promised Bolkonski. He was glad I was free to refuse him.”

Sonya sighed sorrowfully.

“But you haven’t refused Bolkonski?” said she.

“Perhaps I have. Perhaps all is over between me and Bolkonski. Why do you think so badly of me?”

“I don’t think anything, only I don’t understand this…”

“Wait a bit, Sonya, you’ll understand everything. You’ll see what a man he is! Now don’t think badly of me or of him. I don’t think badly of anyone: I love and pity everybody. But what am I to do?”

Sonya did not succumb to the tender tone Natasha used toward her. The more emotional and ingratiating the expression of Natasha’s face became, the more serious and stern grew Sonya’s.

“Natasha,” said she, “you asked me not to speak to you, and I haven’t spoken, but now you yourself have begun. I don’t trust him, Natasha. Why this secrecy?”

“Again, again!” interrupted Natasha.

“Natasha, I am afraid for you!”

“Afraid of what?”

“I am afraid you’re going to your ruin,” said Sonya resolutely, and was herself horrified at what she had said.

Anger again showed in Natasha’s face.

“And I’ll go to my ruin, I will, as soon as possible! It’s not your business! It won’t be you, but I, who’ll suffer. Leave me alone, leave me alone! I hate you!”

Natasha!” moaned Sonya, aghast.

“I hate you, I hate you! You’re my enemy forever!” And Natasha ran out of the room.

Natasha did not speak to Sonya again and avoided her. With the same expression of agitated surprise and guilt she went about the house, taking up now one occupation, now another, and at once abandoning them.

Hard as it was for Sonya, she watched her friend and did not let her out of her sight.

The day before the count was to return, Sonya noticed that Natasha sat by the drawingroom window all the morning as if expecting something and that she made a sign to an officer who drove past, whom Sonya took to be Anatole.

Sonya began watching her friend still more attentively and noticed that at dinner and all that evening Natasha was in a strange and unnatural state. She answered questions at random, began sentences she did not finish, and laughed at everything.

After tea Sonya noticed a housemaid at Natasha’s door timidly waiting to let her pass. She let the girl go in, and then listening at the door learned that another letter had been delivered.

Then suddenly it became clear to Sonya that Natasha had some dreadful plan for that evening. Sonya knocked at her door. Natasha did not let her in.

“She will run away with him!” thought Sonya. “She is capable of anything. There was something particularly pathetic and resolute in her face today. She cried as she said good-by to Uncle,” Sonya remembered. “Yes, that’s it, she means to elope with him, but what am I to do?” thought she, recalling all the signs that clearly indicated that Natasha had some terrible intention. “The count is away. What am I to do? Write to Kuragin demanding an explanation? But what is there to oblige him to reply? Write to Pierre, as Prince Andrew asked me to in case of some misfortune?… But perhaps she really has already refused Bolkonski- she sent a letter to Princess Mary yesterday. And Uncle is away….” To tell Marya Dmitrievna who had such faith in Natasha seemed to Sonya terrible. “Well, anyway,” thought Sonya as she stood in the dark passage, “now or never I must prove that I remember the family’s goodness to me and that I love Nicholas. Yes! If I don’t sleep for three nights I’ll not leave this passage and will hold her back by force and will and not let the family be disgraced,” thought she.

CHAPTER XVI

Anatole had lately moved to Dolokhov’s. The plan for Natalie Rostova’s abduction had been arranged and the preparations made by Dolokhov a few days before, and on the day that Sonya, after listening at Natasha’s door, resolved to safeguard her, it was to have been put into execution. Natasha had promised to come out to Kuragin at the back porch at ten that evening. Kuragin was to put her into a troyka he would have ready and to drive her forty miles to the village of Kamenka, where an unfrocked priest was in readiness to perform a marriage ceremony over them. At Kamenka a relay of horses was to wait which would take them to the Warsaw highroad, and from there they would hasten abroad with post horses.

Anatole had a passport, an order for post horses, ten thousand rubles he had taken from his sister and another ten thousand borrowed with Dolokhov’s help.

Two witnesses for the mock marriage- Khvostikov, a retired petty official whom Dolokhov made use of in his gambling transactions, and Makarin, a retired hussar, a kindly, weak fellow who had an unbounded affection for Kuragin- were sitting at tea in Dolokhov’s front room.

In his large study, the walls of which were hung to the ceiling with Persian rugs, bearskins, and weapons, sat Dolokhov in a traveling cloak and high boots, at an open desk on which lay abacus and some bundles of paper money. Anatole, with uniform unbuttoned, walked to and fro from the room where the witnesses were sitting, through the study to the room behind, where his French valet and others were packing the last of his things. Dolokhov was counting the money and noting something down.

“Well,” he said, “Khvostikov must have two thousand.”

“Give it to him, then,” said Anatole.

“Makarka” (their name for Makarin) “will go through fire and water for you for nothing. So here are our accounts all settled,” said Dolokhov, showing him the memorandum. “Is that right?”

“Yes, of course,” returned Anatole, evidently not listening to Dolokhov and looking straight before him with a smile that did not leave his face.

Dolokhov banged down the or of his and turned to Anatole with an ironic smile:

“Do you know? You’d really better drop it all. There’s still time!”

“Fool,” retorted Anatole. “Don’t talk nonsense! If you only knew… it’s the devil knows what!”

“No, really, give it up!” said Dolokhov. “I am speaking seriously. It’s no joke, this plot you’ve hatched.”

“What, teasing again? Go to the devil! Eh?” said Anatole, making a grimace. “Really it’s no time for your stupid jokes,” and he left the room.

Dolokhov smiled contemptuously and condescendingly when Anatole had gone out.

“You wait a bit,” he called after him. “I’m not joking, I’m talking sense. Come here, come here!”

Anatole returned and looked at Dolokhov, trying to give him his attention and evidently submitting to him involuntarily.

“Now listen to me. I’m telling you this for the last time. Why should I joke about it? Did I hinder you? Who arranged everything for you? Who found the priest and got the passport? Who raised the money? I did it all.”

“Well, thank you for it. Do you think I am not grateful?” And Anatole sighed and embraced Dolokhov.

“I helped you, but all the same I must tell you the truth; it is a dangerous business, and if you think about it- a stupid business. Well, you’ll carry her off- all right! Will they let it stop at that? It will come out that you’re already married. Why, they’ll have you in the criminal court….”

“Oh, nonsense, nonsense!” Anatole ejaculated and again made a grimace. “Didn’t I explain to you? What?” And Anatole, with the partiality dull-witted people have for any conclusion they have reached by their own reasoning, repeated the argument he had already put to Dolokhov a hundred times. “Didn’t I explain to you that I have come to this conclusion: if this marriage is invalid,” he went on, crooking one finger, “then I have nothing to answer for; but if it is valid, no matter! Abroad no one will know anything about it. Isn’t that so? And don’t talk to me, don’t, don’t.”

“Seriously, you’d better drop it! You’ll only get yourself into a mess!”

“Go to the devil!” cried Anatole and, clutching his hair, left the room, but returned at once and dropped into an armchair in front of Dolokhov with his feet turned under him. “It’s the very devil! What? Feel how it beats!” He took Dolokhov’s hand and put it on his heart. “What a foot, my dear fellow! What a glance! A goddess!” he added in French. “What?”

Dolokhov with a cold smile and a gleam in his handsome insolent eyes looked at him- evidently wishing to get some more amusement out of him.

“Well and when the money’s gone, what then?”

“What then? Eh?” repeated Anatole, sincerely perplexed by a thought of the future. “What then?… Then, I don’t know…. But why talk nonsense!” He glanced at his watch. “It’s time!”

Anatole went into the back room.

“Now then! Nearly ready? You’re dawdling!” he shouted to the servants.

Dolokhov put away the money, called a footman whom he ordered to bring something for them to eat and drink before the journey, and went into the room where Khvostikov and Makarin were sitting.

Anatole lay on the sofa in the study leaning on his elbow and smiling pensively, while his handsome lips muttered tenderly to himself.

“Come and eat something. Have a drink!” Dolokhov shouted to him from the other room.

“I don’t want to,” answered Anatole continuing to smile.

“Come! Balaga is here.”

Anatole rose and went into the dining room. Balaga was a famous troyka driver who had known Dolokhov and Anatole some six years and had given them good service with his troykas. More than once when Anatole’s regiment was stationed at Tver he had taken him from Tver in the evening, brought him to Moscow by daybreak, and driven him back again the next night. More than once he had enabled Dolokhov to escape when pursued. More than once he had driven them through the town with gypsies and “ladykins” as he called the cocottes. More than once in their service he had run over pedestrians and upset vehicles in the streets of Moscow and had always been protected from the consequences by “my gentlemen” as he called them. He had ruined more than one horse in their service. More than once they had beaten him, and more than once they had made him drunk on champagne and Madeira, which he loved; and he knew more than one thing about each of them which would long ago have sent an ordinary man to Siberia. They often called Balaga into their orgies and made him drink and dance at the gypsies’, and more than one thousand rubles of their money had passed through his hands. In their service he risked his skin and his life twenty times a year, and in their service had lost more horses than the money he had from them would buy. But he liked them; liked that mad driving at twelve miles an hour, liked upsetting a driver or running down a pedestrian, and flying at full gallop through the Moscow streets. He liked to hear those wild, tipsy shouts behind him: “Get on! Get on!” when it was impossible to go any faster. He liked giving a painful lash on the neck to some peasant who, more dead than alive, was already hurrying out of his way. “Real gentlemen!” he considered them.

Anatole and Dolokhov liked Balaga too for his masterly driving and because he liked the things they liked. With others Balaga bargained, charging twenty-five rubles for a two hours’ drive, and rarely drove himself, generally letting his young men do so. But with “his gentlemen” he always drove himself and never demanded anything for his work. Only a couple of times a year- when he knew from their valets that they had money in hand- he would turn up of a morning quite sober and with a deep bow would ask them to help him. The gentlemen always made him sit down.

“Do help me out, Theodore Ivanych, sir,” or “your excellency,” he would say. “I am quite out of horses. Let me have what you can to go to the fair.”

And Anatole and Dolokhov, when they had money, would give him a thousand or a couple of thousand rubles.

Balaga was a fair-haired, short, and snub-nosed peasant of about twenty-seven; red-faced, with a particularly red thick neck, glittering little eyes, and a small beard. He wore a fine, dark-blue, silk-lined cloth coat over a sheepskin.

On entering the room now he crossed himself, turning toward the front corner of the room, and went up to Dolokhov, holding out a small, black hand.

“Theodore Ivanych!” he said, bowing.

“How d’you do, friend? Well, here he is!”

“Good day, your excellency!” he said, again holding out his hand to Anatole who had just come in.

“I say, Balaga,” said Anatole, putting his hands on the man’s shoulders, “do you care for me or not? Eh? Now, do me a service…. What horses have you come with? Eh?”

“As your messenger ordered, your special beasts,” replied Balaga.

“Well, listen, Balaga! Drive all three to death but get me there in three hours. Eh?”

“When they are dead, what shall I drive?” said Balaga with a wink.

“Mind, I’ll smash your face in! Don’t make jokes!” cried Anatole, suddenly rolling his eyes.

“Why joke?” said the driver, laughing. “As if I’d grudge my gentlemen anything! As fast as ever the horses can gallop, so fast we’ll go!”

“Ah!” said Anatole. “Well, sit down.”

“Yes, sit down!” said Dolokhov.

“I’ll stand, Theodore Ivanych.”

“Sit down; nonsense! Have a drink!” said Anatole, and filled a large glass of Madeira for him.

The driver’s eyes sparkled at the sight of the wine. After refusing it for manners’ sake, he drank it and wiped his mouth with a red silk handkerchief he took out of his cap.

“And when are we to start, your excellency?”

“Well…” Anatole looked at his watch. “We’ll start at once. Mind, Balaga! You’ll get there in time? Eh?”

“That depends on our luck in starting, else why shouldn’t we be there in time?” replied Balaga. “Didn’t we get you to Tver in seven hours? I think you remember that, your excellency?”

“Do you know, one Christmas I drove from Tver,” said Anatole, smilingly at the recollection and turning to Makarin who gazed rapturously at him with wide-open eyes. “Will you believe it, Makarka, it took one’s breath away, the rate we flew. We came across a train of loaded sleighs and drove right over two of them. Eh?”

“Those were horses!” Balaga continued the tale. “That time I’d harnessed two young side horses with the bay in the shafts,” he went on, turning to Dolokhov. “Will you believe it, Theodore Ivanych, those animals flew forty miles? I couldn’t hold them in, my hands grew numb in the sharp frost so that I threw down the reins- ‘Catch hold yourself, your excellency!’ says I, and I just tumbled on the bottom of the sleigh and sprawled there. It wasn’t a case of urging them on, there was no holding them in till we reached the place. The devils took us there in three hours! Only the near one died of it.”

CHAPTER XVII

Anatole went out of the room and returned a few minutes later wearing a fur coat girt with a silver belt, and a sable cap jauntily set on one side and very becoming to his handsome face. Having looked in a mirror, and standing before Dolokhov in the same pose he had assumed before it, he lifted a glass of wine.

“Well, good-by, Theodore. Thank you for everything and farewell!” said Anatole. “Well, comrades and friends…” he considered for a moment “…of my youth, farewell!” he said, turning to Makarin and the others.

Though they were all going with him, Anatole evidently wished to make something touching and solemn out of this address to his comrades. He spoke slowly in a loud voice and throwing out his chest slightly swayed one leg.

“All take glasses; you too, Balaga. Well, comrades and friends of my youth, we’ve had our fling and lived and reveled. Eh? And now, when shall we meet again? I am going abroad. We have had a good time- now farewell, lads! To our health! Hurrah!…” he cried, and emptying his glass flung it on the floor.

“To your health!” said Balaga who also emptied his glass, and wiped his mouth with his handkerchief.

Makarin embraced Anatole with tears in his eyes.

“Ah, Prince, how sorry I am to part from you!

“Let’s go. Let’s go!” cried Anatole.

Balaga was about to leave the room.

“No, stop!” said Anatole. “Shut the door; we have first to sit down. That’s the way.”

They shut the door and all sat down.

“Now, quick march, lads!” said Anatole, rising.

Joseph, his valet, handed him his sabretache and saber, and they all went out into the vestibule.

“And where’s the fur cloak?” asked Dolokhov. “Hey, Ignatka! Go to Matrena Matrevna and ask her for the sable cloak. I have heard what elopements are like,” continued Dolokhov with a wink. “Why, she’ll rush out more dead than alive just in the things she is wearing; if you delay at all there’ll be tears and ‘Papa’ and ‘Mamma,’ and she’s frozen in a minute and must go back- but you wrap the fur cloak round her first thing and carry her to the sleigh.”

The valet brought a woman’s fox-lined cloak.

“Fool, I told you the sable one! Hey, Matrena, the sable!” he shouted so that his voice rang far through the rooms.

A handsome, slim, and pale-faced gypsy girl with glittering black eyes and curly blue-black hair, wearing a red shawl, ran out with a sable mantle on her arm.

“Here, I don’t grudge it- take it!” she said, evidently afraid of her master and yet regretful of her cloak.

Dolokhov, without answering, took the cloak, threw it over Matrena, and wrapped her up in it.

“That’s the way,” said Dolokhov, “and then so!” and he turned the collar up round her head, leaving only a little of the face uncovered. “And then so, do you see?” and he pushed Anatole’s head forward to meet the gap left by the collar, through which Matrena’s brilliant smile was seen.

“Well, good-by, Matrena,” said Anatole, kissing her. “Ah, my revels here are over. Remember me to Steshka. There, good-by! Good-by, Matrena, wish me luck!”

“Well, Prince, may God give you great luck!” said Matrena in her gypsy accent.

Two troykas were standing before the porch and two young drivers were holding the horses. Balaga took his seat in the front one and holding his elbows high arranged the reins deliberately. Anatole and Dolokhov got in with him. Makarin, Khvostikov, and a valet seated themselves in the other sleigh.

“Well, are you ready?” asked Balaga.

“Go!” he cried, twisting the reins round his hands, and the troyka tore down the Nikitski Boulevard.

“Tproo! Get out of the way! Hi!… Tproo!…” The shouting of Balaga and of the sturdy young fellow seated on the box was all that could be heard. On the Arbat Square the troyka caught against a carriage; something cracked, shouts were heard, and the troyka flew along the Arbat Street.

After taking a turn along the Podnovinski Boulevard, Balaga began to rein in, and turning back drew up at the crossing of the old Konyusheny Street.

The young fellow on the box jumped down to hold the horses and Anatole and Dolokhov went along the pavement. When they reached the gate Dolokhov whistled. The whistle was answered, and a maidservant ran out.

“Come into the courtyard or you’ll be seen; she’ll come out directly,” said she.

Dolokhov stayed by the gate. Anatole followed the maid into the courtyard, turned the corner, and ran up into the porch.

He was met by Gabriel, Marya Dmitrievna’s gigantic footman.

“Come to the mistress, please,” said the footman in his deep bass, intercepting any retreat.

“To what Mistress? Who are you?” asked Anatole in a breathless whisper.

“Kindly step in, my orders are to bring you in.”

“Kuragin! Come back!” shouted Dolokhov. “Betrayed! Back!”

Dolokhov, after Anatole entered, had remained at the wicket gate and was struggling with the yard porter who was trying to lock it. With a last desperate effort Dolokhov pushed the porter aside, and when Anatole ran back seized him by the arm, pulled him through the wicket, and ran back with him to the troyka.

CHAPTER XVIII

Marya Dmitrievna, having found Sonya weeping in the corridor, made her confess everything, and intercepting the note to Natasha she read it and went into Natasha’s room with it in her hand.

“You shameless good-for-nothing!” said she. “I won’t hear a word.”

Pushing back Natasha who looked at her with astonished but tearless eyes, she locked her in; and having given orders to the yard porter to admit the persons who would be coming that evening, but not to let them out again, and having told the footman to bring them up to her, she seated herself in the drawing room to await the abductors.

When Gabriel came to inform her that the men who had come had run away again, she rose frowning, and clasping her hands behind her paced through the rooms a long time considering what she should do. Toward midnight she went to Natasha’s room fingering the key in her pocket. Sonya was sitting sobbing in the corridor. “Marya Dmitrievna, for God’s sake let me in to her!” she pleaded, but Marya Dmitrievna unlocked the door and went in without giving her an answer…. “Disgusting, abominable… In my house… horrid girl, hussy! I’m only sorry for her father!” thought she, trying to restrain her wrath. “Hard as it may be, I’ll tell them all to hold their tongues and will hide it from the count.” She entered the room with resolute steps. Natasha lying on the sofa, her head hidden in her hands, and she did not stir. She was in just the same position in which Marya Dmitrievna had left her.

“A nice girl! Very nice!” said Marya Dmitrievna. “Arranging meetings with lovers in my house! It’s no use pretending: you listen when I speak to you!” And Marya Dmitrievna touched her arm. “Listen when when I speak! You’ve disgraced yourself like the lowest of hussies. I’d treat you differently, but I’m sorry for your father, so I will conceal it.”

Natasha did not change her position, but her whole body heaved with noiseless, convulsive sobs which choked her. Marya Dmitrievna glanced round at Sonya and seated herself on the sofa beside Natasha.

“It’s lucky for him that he escaped me; but I’ll find him!” she said in her rough voice. “Do you hear what I am saying or not?” she added.

She put her large hand under Natasha’s face and turned it toward her. Both Marya Dmitrievna and Sonya were amazed when they saw how Natasha looked. Her eyes were dry and glistening, her lips compressed, her cheeks sunken.

“Let me be!… What is it to me?… I shall die!” she muttered, wrenching herself from Marya Dmitrievna’s hands with a vicious effort and sinking down again into her former position.

“Natalie!” said Marya Dmitrievna. “I wish for your good. Lie still, stay like that then, I won’t touch you. But listen. I won’t tell you how guilty you are. You know that yourself. But when your father comes back tomorrow what am I to tell him? Eh?”

Again Natasha’s body shook with sobs.

“Suppose he finds out, and your brother, and your betrothed?”

“I have no betrothed: I have refused him!” cried Natasha.

“That’s all the same,” continued Dmitrievna. “If they hear of this, will they let it pass? He, your father, I know him… if he challenges him to a duel will that be all right? Eh?”

“Oh, let me be! Why have you interfered at all? Why? Why? Who asked you to?” shouted Natasha, raising herself on the sofa and looking malignantly at Marya Dmitrievna.

“But what did you want?” cried Marya Dmitrievna, growing angry again. “Were you kept under lock and key? Who hindered his coming to the house? Why carry you off as if you were some gypsy singing girl?… Well, if he had carried you off… do you think they wouldn’t have found him? Your father, or brother, or your betrothed? And he’s a scoundrel, a wretch- that’s a fact!”

“He is better than any of you!” exclaimed Natasha getting up. “If you hadn’t interfered… Oh, my God! What is it all? What is it? Sonya, why?… Go away!”

And she burst into sobs with the despairing vehemence with which people bewail disasters they feel they have themselves occasioned. Marya Dmitrievna was to speak again but Natasha cried out:

“Go away! Go away! You all hate and despise me!” and she threw herself back on the sofa.

Marya Dmitrievna went on admonishing her for some time, enjoining on her that it must all be kept from her father and assuring her that nobody would know anything about it if only Natasha herself would undertake to forget it all and not let anyone see that something had happened. Natasha did not reply, nor did she sob any longer, but she grew cold and had a shivering fit. Marya Dmitrievna put a pillow under her head, covered her with two quilts, and herself brought her some lime-flower water, but Natasha did not respond to her.

“Well, let her sleep,” said Marya Dmitrievna as she went of the room supposing Natasha to be asleep.

But Natasha was not asleep; with pale face and fixed wide-open eyes she looked straight before her. All that night she did not sleep or weep and did not speak to Sonya who got up and went to her several times.

Next day Count Rostov returned from his estate near Moscow in time for lunch as he had promised. He was in very good spirits; the affair with the purchaser was going on satisfactorily, and there was nothing to keep him any longer in Moscow, away from the countess whom he missed. Marya Dmitrievna met him and told him that Natasha had been very unwell the day before and that they had sent for the doctor, but that she was better now. Natasha had not left her room that morning. With compressed and parched lips and dry fixed eyes, she sat at the window, uneasily watching the people who drove past and hurriedly glancing round at anyone who entered the room. She was evidently expecting news of him and that he would come or would write to her.

When the count came to see her she turned anxiously round at the sound of a man’s footstep, and then her face resumed its cold and malevolent expression. She did not even get up to greet him. “What is the matter with you, my angel? Are you ill?” asked the count.

After a moment’s silence Natasha answered: “Yes, ill.”

In reply to the count’s anxious inquiries as to why she was so dejected and whether anything had happened to her betrothed, she assured him that nothing had happened and asked him not to worry. Marya Dmitrievna confirmed Natasha’s assurances that nothing had happened. From the pretense of illness, from his daughter’s distress, and by the embarrassed faces of Sonya and Marya Dmitrievna, the count saw clearly that something had gone wrong during his absence, but it was so terrible for him to think that anything disgraceful had happened to his beloved daughter, and he so prized his own cheerful tranquillity, that he avoided inquiries and tried to assure himself that nothing particularly had happened; and he was only dissatisfied that her indisposition delayed their return to the country.

CHAPTER XIX

From the day his wife arrived in Moscow Pierre had been intending to go away somewhere, so as not to be near her. Soon after the Rostovs came to Moscow the effect Natasha had on him made him hasten to carry out his intention. He went to Tver to see Joseph Alexeevich’s widow, who had long since promised to hand over to him some papers of her deceased husband’s.

When he returned to Moscow Pierre was handed a letter from Marya Dmitrievna asking him to come and see her on a matter of great importance relating to Andrew Bolkonski and his betrothed. Pierre had been avoiding Natasha because it seemed to him that his feeling for her was stronger than a married man’s should be for his friend’s fiancee. Yet some fate constantly threw them together.

“What can have happened? And what can they want with me?” thought he as he dressed to go to Marya Dmitrievna’s. “If only Prince Andrew would hurry up and come and marry her!” thought he on his way to the house.

On the Tverskoy Boulevard a familiar voice called to him.

“Pierre! Been back long?” someone shouted. Pierre raised his head. In a sleigh drawn by two gray trotting-horses that were bespattering the dashboard with snow, Anatole and his constant companion Makarin dashed past. Anatole was sitting upright in the classic pose of military dandies, the lower part of his face hidden by his beaver collar and his head slightly bent. His face was fresh and rosy, his white-plumed hat, tilted to one side, disclosed his curled and pomaded hair besprinkled with powdery snow.

“Yes, indeed, that’s a true sage,” thought Pierre. “He sees nothing beyond the pleasure of the moment, nothing troubles him and so he is always cheerful, satisfied, and serene. What wouldn’t I give to be like him!” he thought enviously.

In Marya Dmitrievna’s anteroom the footman who helped him off with his fur coat said that the mistress asked him to come to her bedroom.

When he opened the ballroom door Pierre saw Natasha sitting at the window, with a thin, pale, and spiteful face. She glanced round at him, frowned, and left the room with an expression of cold dignity.

“What has happened?” asked Pierre, entering Marya Dmitrievna’s room.

“Fine doings!” answered Dmitrievna. “For fifty-eight years have I lived in this world and never known anything so disgraceful!”

And having put him on his honor not to repeat anything she told him, Marya Dmitrievna informed him that Natasha had refused Prince Andrew without her parents’ knowledge and that the cause of this was Anatole Kuragin into whose society Pierre’s wife had thrown her and with whom Natasha had tried to elope during her father’s absence, in order to be married secretly.

Pierre raised his shoulders and listened open-mouthed to what was told him, scarcely able to believe his own ears. That Prince Andrew’s deeply loved affianced wife- the same Natasha Rostova who used to be so charming- should give up Bolkonski for that fool Anatole who was already secretly married (as Pierre knew), and should be so in love with him as to agree to run away with him, was something Pierre could not conceive and could not imagine.

He could not reconcile the charming impression he had of Natasha, whom he had known from a child, with this new conception of her baseness, folly, and cruelty. He thought of his wife. “They are all alike!” he said to himself, reflecting that he was not the only man unfortunate enough to be tied to a bad woman. But still he pitied Prince Andrew to the point of tears and sympathized with his wounded pride, and the more he pitied his friend the more did he think with contempt and even with disgust of that Natasha who had just passed him in the ballroom with such a look of cold dignity. He did not know that Natasha’s soul was overflowing with despair, shame, and humiliation, and that it was not her fault that her face happened to assume an expression of calm dignity and severity.

“But how get married?” said Pierre, in answer to Marya Dmitrievna. “He could not marry- he is married!”

“Things get worse from hour to hour!” ejaculated Marya Dmitrievna. “A nice youth! What a scoundrel! And she’s expecting him- expecting him since yesterday. She must be told! Then at least she won’t go on expecting him.”

After hearing the details of Anatole’s marriage from Pierre, and giving vent to her anger against Anatole in words of abuse, Marya Dmitrievna told Pierre why she had sent for him. She was afraid that the count or Bolkonski, who might arrive at any moment, if they knew of this affair (which she hoped to hide from them) might challenge Anatole to a duel, and she therefore asked Pierre to tell his brother-in-law in her name to leave Moscow and not dare to let her set eyes on him again. Pierre- only now realizing the danger to the old count, Nicholas, and Prince Andrew- promised to do as she wished. Having briefly and exactly explained her wishes to him, she let him go to the drawing room.

“Mind, the count knows nothing. Behave as if you know nothing either,” she said. “And I will go and tell her it is no use expecting him! And stay to dinner if you care to!” she called after Pierre.

Pierre met the old count, who seemed nervous and upset. That morning Natasha had told him that she had rejected Bolkonski.

“Troubles, troubles, my dear fellow!” he said to Pierre. “What troubles one has with these girls without their mother! I do so regret having come here…. I will be frank with you. Have you heard she has broken off her engagement without consulting anybody? It’s true this engagement never was much to my liking. Of course he is an excellent man, but still, with his father’s disapproval they wouldn’t have been happy, and Natasha won’t lack suitors. Still, it has been going on so long, and to take such a step without father’s or mother’s consent! And now she’s ill, and God knows what! It’s hard, Count, hard to manage daughters in their mother’s absence….”

Pierre saw that the count was much upset and tried to change the subject, but the count returned to his troubles.

Sonya entered the room with an agitated face.

“Natasha is not quite well; she’s in her room and would like to see you. Marya Dmitrievna is with her and she too asks you to come.”

“Yes, you are a great friend of Bolkonski’s, no doubt she wants to send him a message,” said the count. “Oh dear! Oh dear! How happy it all was!”

And clutching the spare gray locks on his temples the count left the room.

When Marya Dmitrievna told Natasha that Anatole was married, Natasha did not wish to believe it and insisted on having it confirmed by Pierre himself. Sonya told Pierre this as she led him along the corridor to Natasha’s room.

Natasha, pale and stern, was sitting beside Marya Dmitrievna, and her eyes, glittering feverishly, met Pierre with a questioning look the moment he entered. She did not smile or nod, but only gazed fixedly at him, and her look asked only one thing: was he a friend, or like the others an enemy in regard to Anatole? As for Pierre, he evidently did not exist for her.

“He knows all about it,” said Marya Dmitrievna pointing to Pierre and addressing Natasha. “Let him tell you whether I have told the truth.”

Natasha looked from one to the other as a hunted and wounded animal looks at the approaching dogs and sportsmen.

“Natalya Ilynichna,” Pierre began, dropping his eyes with a feeling of pity for her and loathing for the thing he had to do, “whether it is true or not should make no difference to you, because…”

“Then it is not true that he’s married!”

“Yes, it is true.”

“Has he been married long?” she asked. “On your honor?…”

Pierre gave his word of honor.

“Is he still here?” she asked, quickly.

“Yes, I have just seen him.”

She was evidently unable to speak and made a sign with her hands that they should leave her alone.

CHAPTER XX

Pierre did not stay for dinner, but left the room and went away at once. He drove through the town seeking Anatole Kuragin, at the thought of whom now the blood rushed to his heart and he felt a difficulty in breathing. He was not at the ice hills, nor at the gypsies’, nor at Komoneno’s. Pierre drove to the Club. In the Club all was going on as usual. The members who were assembling for dinner were sitting about in groups; they greeted Pierre and spoke of the town news. The footman having greeted him, knowing his habits and his acquaintances, told him there was a place left for him in the small dining room and that Prince Michael Zakharych was in the library, but Paul Timofeevich had not yet arrived. One of Pierre’s acquaintances, while they were talking about the weather, asked if he had heard of Kuragin’s abduction of Rostova which was talked of in the town, and was it true? Pierre laughed and said it was nonsense for he had just come from the Rostovs’. He asked everyone about Anatole. One man told him he had not come yet, and another that he was coming to dinner. Pierre felt it strange to see this calm, indifferent crowd of people unaware of what was going on in his soul. He paced through the ballroom, waited till everyone had come, and as Anatole had not turned up did not stay for dinner but drove home.

Anatole, for whom Pierre was looking, dined that day with Dolokhov, consulting him as to how to remedy this unfortunate affair. It seemed to him essential to see Natasha. In the evening he drove to his sister’s to discuss with her how to arrange a meeting. When Pierre returned home after vainly hunting all over Moscow, his valet informed him that Prince Anatole was with the countess. The countess’ drawing room was full of guests.

Pierre without greeting his wife whom he had not seen since his return- at that moment she was more repulsive to him than ever- entered the drawing room and seeing Anatole went up to him.

“Ah, Pierre,” said the countess going up to her husband. “You don’t know what a plight our Anatole…”

She stopped, seeing in the forward thrust of her husband’s head, in his glowing eyes and his resolute gait, the terrible indications of that rage and strength which she knew and had herself experienced after his duel with Dolokhov.

“Where you are, there is vice and evil!” said Pierre to his wife. “Anatole, come with me! I must speak to you,” he added in French.

Anatole glanced round at his sister and rose submissively, ready to follow Pierre. Pierre, taking him by the arm, pulled him toward himself and was leading him from the room.

“If you allow yourself in my drawing room…” whispered Helene, but Pierre did not reply and went out of the room.

Anatole followed him with his usual jaunty step but his face betrayed anxiety.

Having entered his study Pierre closed the door and addressed Anatole without looking at him.

“You promised Countess Rostova to marry her and were about to elope with her, is that so?”

“Mon cher,” answered Anatole (their whole conversation was in French), “I don’t consider myself bound to answer questions put to me in that tone.”

Pierre’s face, already pale, became distorted by fury. He seized Anatole by the collar of his uniform with his big hand and shook him from side to side till Anatole’s face showed a sufficient degree of terror.

“When I tell you that I must talk to you!…” repeated Pierre.

“Come now, this is stupid. What?” said Anatole, fingering a button of his collar that had been wrenched loose with a bit of the cloth.

“You’re a scoundrel and a blackguard, and I don’t know what deprives me from the pleasure of smashing your head with this!” said Pierre, expressing himself so artificially because he was talking French.

He took a heavy paperweight and lifted it threateningly, but at once put it back in its place.

“Did you promise to marry her?”

“I… I didn’t think of it. I never promised, because…”

Pierre interrupted him.

“Have you any letters of hers? Any letters?” he said, moving toward Anatole.

Anatole glanced at him and immediately thrust his hand into his pocket and drew out his pocketbook.

Pierre took the letter Anatole handed him and, pushing aside a table that stood in his way, threw himself on the sofa.

“I shan’t be violent, don’t be afraid!” said Pierre in answer to a frightened gesture of Anatole’s. “First, the letters,” said he, as if repeating a lesson to himself. “Secondly,” he continued after a short pause, again rising and again pacing the room, “tomorrow you must get out of Moscow.”

“But how can I?…”

“Thirdly,” Pierre continued without listening to him, “you must never breathe a word of what has passed between you and Countess Rostova. I know I can’t prevent your doing so, but if you have a spark of conscience…” Pierre paced the room several times in silence.

Anatole sat at a table frowning and biting his lips.

“After all, you must understand that besides your pleasure there is such a thing as other people’s happiness and peace, and that you are ruining a whole life for the sake of amusing yourself! Amuse yourself with women like my wife- with them you are within your rights, for they know what you want of them. They are armed against you by the same experience of debauchery; but to promise a maid to marry her… to deceive, to kidnap…. Don’t you understand that it is as mean as beating an old man or a child?…”

Pierre paused and looked at Anatole no longer with an angry but with a questioning look.

“I don’t know about that, eh?” said Anatole, growing more confident as Pierre mastered his wrath. “I don’t know that and don’t want to,” he said, not looking at Pierre and with a slight tremor of his lower jaw, “but you have used such words to me- ‘mean’ and so on- which as a man of honor I can’t allow anyone to use.”

Pierre glanced at him with amazement, unable to understand what he wanted.

“Though it was tete-a-tete,” Anatole continued, “still I can’t…”

“Is it satisfaction you want?” said Pierre ironically.

“You could at least take back your words. What? If you want me to do as you wish, eh?”

“I take them back, I take them back!” said Pierre, “and I ask you to forgive me.” Pierre involuntarily glanced at the loose button. “And if you require money for your journey…”

Anatole smiled. The expression of that base and cringing smile, which Pierre knew so well in his wife, revolted him.

“Oh, vile and heartless brood!” he exclaimed, and left the room.

Next day Anatole left for Petersburg.

CHAPTER XXI

Pierre drove to Marya Dmitrievna’s to tell her of the fulfillment of her wish that Kuragin should be banished from Moscow. The whole house was in a state of alarm and commotion. Natasha was very ill, having, as Marya Dmitrievna told him in secret, poisoned herself the night after she had been told that Anatole was married, with some arsenic she had stealthily procured. After swallowing a little she had been so frightened that she woke Sonya and told her what she had done. The necessary antidotes had been administered in time and she was now out of danger, though still so weak that it was out of the question to move her to the country, and so the countess had been sent for. Pierre saw the distracted count, and Sonya, who had a tear-stained face, but he could not see Natasha.

Pierre dined at the club that day and heard on all sides gossip about the attempted abduction of Rostova. He resolutely denied these rumors, assuring everyone that nothing had happened except that his brother-in-law had proposed to her and been refused. It seemed to Pierre that it was his duty to conceal the whole affair and re-establish Natasha’s reputation.

He was awaiting Prince Andrew’s return with dread and went every day to the old prince’s for news of him.

Old Prince Bolkonski heard all the rumors current in the town from Mademoiselle Bourienne and had read the note to Princess Mary in which Natasha had broken off her engagement. He seemed in better spirits than usual and awaited his son with great impatience.

Some days after Anatole’s departure Pierre received a note from Prince Andrew, informing him of his arrival and asking him to come to see him.

As soon as he reached Moscow, Prince Andrew had received from his father Natasha’s note to Princess Mary breaking off her engagement (Mademoiselle Bourienne had purloined it from Princess Mary and given it to the old prince), and he heard from him the story of Natasha’s elopement, with additions.

Prince Andrew had arrived in the evening and Pierre came to see him next morning. Pierre expected to find Prince Andrew in almost the same state as Natasha and was therefore surprised on entering the drawing room to hear him in the study talking in a loud animated voice about some intrigue going on in Petersburg. The old prince’s voice and another now and then interrupted him. Princess Mary came out to meet Pierre. She sighed, looking toward the door of the room where Prince Andrew was, evidently intending to express her sympathy with his sorrow, but Pierre saw by her face that she was glad both at what had happened and at the way her brother had taken the news of Natasha’s faithlessness.

“He says he expected it,” she remarked. “I know his pride will not let him express his feelings, but still he has taken it better, far better, than I expected. Evidently it had to be….”

“But is it possible that all is really ended?” asked Pierre.

Princess Mary looked at him with astonishment. She did not understand how he could ask such a question. Pierre went into the study. Prince Andrew, greatly changed and plainly in better health, but with a fresh horizontal wrinkle between his brows, stood in civilian dress facing his father and Prince Meshcherski, warmly disputing and vigorously gesticulating. The conversation was about Speranski- the news of whose sudden exile and alleged treachery had just reached Moscow.

“Now he is censured and accused by all who were enthusiastic about him a month ago,” Prince Andrew was saying, “and by those who were unable to understand his aims. To judge a man who is in disfavor and to throw on him all the blame of other men’s mistakes is very easy, but I maintain that if anything good has been accomplished in this reign it was done by him, by him alone.”

He paused at the sight of Pierre. His face quivered and immediately assumed a vindictive expression.

“Posterity will do him justice,” he concluded, and at once turned to Pierre.

“Well, how are you? Still getting stouter?” he said with animation, but the new wrinkle on his forehead deepened. “Yes, I am well,” he said in answer to Pierre’s question, and smiled.

To Pierre that smile said plainly: “I am well, but my health is now of no use to anyone.”

After a few words to Pierre about the awful roads from the Polish frontier, about people he had met in Switzerland who knew Pierre, and about M. Dessalles, whom he had brought from abroad to be his son’s tutor, Prince Andrew again joined warmly in the conversation about Speranski which was still going on between the two old men.

“If there were treason, or proofs of secret relations with Napoleon, they would have been made public,” he said with warmth and haste. “I do not, and never did, like Speranski personally, but I like justice!”

Pierre now recognized in his friend a need with which he was only too familiar, to get excited and to have arguments about extraneous matters in order to stifle thoughts that were too oppressive and too intimate. When Prince Meshcherski had left, Prince Andrew took Pierre’s arm and asked him into the room that had been assigned him. A bed had been made up there, and some open portmanteaus and trunks stood about. Prince Andrew went to one and took out a small casket, from which he drew a packet wrapped in paper. He did it all silently and very quickly. He stood up and coughed. His face was gloomy and his lips compressed.

“Forgive me for troubling you…”

Pierre saw that Prince Andrew was going to speak of Natasha, and his broad face expressed pity and sympathy. This expression irritated Prince Andrew, and in a determined, ringing, and unpleasant tone he continued:

“I have received a refusal from Countess Rostova and have heard reports of your brother-in-law having sought her hand, or something of that kind. Is that true?”

“Both true and untrue,” Pierre began; but Prince Andrew interrupted him.

“Here are her letters and her portrait,” said he.

He took the packet from the table and handed it to Pierre.

“Give this to the countess… if you see her.”

“She is very ill,” said Pierre.

“Then she is here still?” said Prince Andrew. “And Prince Kuragin?” he added quickly.

“He left long ago. She has been at death’s door.”

“I much regret her illness,” said Prince Andrew; and he smiled like his father, coldly, maliciously, and unpleasantly.

“So Monsieur Kuragin has not honored Countess Rostova with his hand?” said Prince Andrew, and he snorted several times.

“He could not marry, for he was married already,” said Pierre.

Prince Andrew laughed disagreeably, again reminding one of his father.

“And where is your brother-in-law now, if I may ask?” he said.

“He has gone to Peters… But I don’t know,” said Pierre.

“Well, it doesn’t matter,” said Prince Andrew. “Tell Countess Rostova that she was and is perfectly free and that I wish her all that is good.”

Pierre took the packet. Prince Andrew, as if trying to remember whether he had something more to say, or waiting to see if Pierre would say anything, looked fixedly at him.

“I say, do you remember our discussion in Petersburg?” asked Pierre, “about…”

“Yes,” returned Prince Andrew hastily. “I said that a fallen woman should be forgiven, but I didn’t say I could forgive her. I can’t.”

“But can this be compared…?” said Pierre.

Prince Andrew interrupted him and cried sharply: “Yes, ask her hand again, be magnanimous, and so on?… Yes, that would be very noble, but I am unable to follow in that gentleman’s footsteps. If you wish to be my friend never speak to me of that… of all that! Well, good-by. So you’ll give her the packet?”

Pierre left the room and went to the old prince and Princess Mary.

The old man seemed livelier than usual. Princess Mary was the same as always, but beneath her sympathy for her brother, Pierre noticed her satisfaction that the engagement had been broken off. Looking at them Pierre realized what contempt and animosity they all felt for the Rostovs, and that it was impossible in their presence even to mention the name of her who could give up Prince Andrew for anyone else.

At dinner the talk turned on the war, the approach of which was becoming evident. Prince Andrew talked incessantly, arguing now with his father, now with the Swiss tutor Dessalles, and showing an unnatural animation, the cause of which Pierre so well understood.

CHAPTER XXII

That same evening Pierre went to the Rostovs’ to fulfill the commission entrusted to him. Natasha was in bed, the count at the Club, and Pierre, after giving the letters to Sonya, went to Marya Dmitrievna who was interested to know how Prince Andrew had taken the news. Ten minutes later Sonya came to Marya Dmitrievna.

“Natasha insists on seeing Count Peter Kirilovich,” said she.

“But how? Are we to take him up to her? The room there has not been tidied up.”

“No, she has dressed and gone into the drawing room,” said Sonya.

Marya Dmitrievna only shrugged her shoulders.

“When will her mother come? She has worried me to death! Now mind, don’t tell her everything!” said she to Pierre. “One hasn’t the heart to scold her, she is so much to be pitied, so much to be pitied.”

Natasha was standing in the middle of the drawing room, emaciated, with a pale set face, but not at all shamefaced as Pierre expected to find her. When he appeared at the door she grew flurried, evidently undecided whether to go to meet him or to wait till he came up.

Pierre hastened to her. He thought she would give him her hand as usual; but she, stepping up to him, stopped, breathing heavily, her arms hanging lifelessly just in the pose she used to stand in when she went to the middle of the ballroom to sing, but with quite a different expression of face.

“Peter Kirilovich,” she began rapidly, “Prince Bolkonski was your friend- is your friend,” she corrected herself. (It seemed to her that everything that had once been must now be different.) “He told me once to apply to you…”

Pierre sniffed as he looked at her, but did not speak. Till then he had reproached her in his heart and tried to despise her, but he now felt so sorry for her that there was no room in his soul for reproach.

“He is here now: tell him… to for… forgive me!” She stopped and breathed still more quickly, but did not shed tears.

“Yes… I will tell him,” answered Pierre; “but…”

He did not know what to say.

Natasha was evidently dismayed at the thought of what he might think she had meant.

“No, I know all is over,” she said hurriedly. “No, that can never be. I’m only tormented by the wrong I have done him. Tell him only that I beg him to forgive, forgive, forgive me for everything….”

She trembled all over and sat down on a chair.

A sense of pity he had never before known overflowed Pierre’s heart.

“I will tell him, I will tell him everything once more,” said Pierre. “But… I should like to know one thing….”

“Know what?” Natasha’s eyes asked.

“I should like to know, did you love…” Pierre did not know how to refer to Anatole and flushed at the thought of him- “did you love that bad man?”

“Don’t call him bad!” said Natasha. “But I don’t know, don’t know at all….”

She began to cry and a still greater sense of pity, tenderness, and love welled up in Pierre. He felt the tears trickle under his spectacles and hoped they would not be noticed.

“We won’t speak of it any more, my dear,” said Pierre, and his gentle, cordial tone suddenly seemed very strange to Natasha.

“We won’t speak of it, my dear- I’ll tell him everything; but one thing I beg of you, consider me your friend and if you want help, advice, or simply to open your heart to someone- not now, but when your mind is clearer think of me!” He took her hand and kissed it. “I shall be happy if it’s in my power…”

Pierre grew confused.

“Don’t speak to me like that. I am not worth it!” exclaimed Natasha and turned to leave the room, but Pierre held her hand.

He knew he had something more to say to her. But when he said it he was amazed at his own words.

“Stop, stop! You have your whole life before you,” said he to her.

“Before me? No! All is over for me,” she replied with shame and self-abasement.

“All over?” he repeated. “If I were not myself, but the handsomest, cleverest, and best man in the world, and were free, I would this moment ask on my knees for your hand and your love!”

For the first time for many days Natasha wept tears of gratitude and tenderness, and glancing at Pierre she went out of the room.

Pierre too when she had gone almost ran into the anteroom, restraining tears of tenderness and joy that choked him, and without finding the sleeves of his fur cloak threw it on and got into his sleigh.

“Where to now, your excellency?” asked the coachman.

“Where to?” Pierre asked himself. “Where can I go now? Surely not to the Club or to pay calls?” All men seemed so pitiful, so poor, in comparison with this feeling of tenderness and love he experienced: in comparison with that softened, grateful, last look she had given him through her tears.

“Home!” said Pierre, and despite twenty-two degrees of frost Fahrenheit he threw open the bearskin cloak from his broad chest and inhaled the air with joy.

It was clear and frosty. Above the dirty, ill-lit streets, above the black roofs, stretched the dark starry sky. Only looking up at the sky did Pierre cease to feel how sordid and humiliating were all mundane things compared with the heights to which his soul had just been raised. At the entrance to the Arbat Square an immense expanse of dark starry sky presented itself to his eyes. Almost in the center of it, above the Prechistenka Boulevard, surrounded and sprinkled on all sides by stars but distinguished from them all by its nearness to the earth, its white light, and its long uplifted tail, shone the enormous and brilliant comet of 18l2- the comet which was said to portend all kinds of woes and the end of the world. In Pierre, however, that comet with its long luminous tail aroused no feeling of fear. On the contrary he gazed joyfully, his eyes moist with tears, at this bright comet which, having traveled in its orbit with inconceivable velocity through immeasurable space, seemed suddenly- like an arrow piercing the earth- to remain fixed in a chosen spot, vigorously holding its tail erect, shining and displaying its white light amid countless other scintillating stars. It seemed to Pierre that this comet fully responded to what was passing in his own softened and uplifted soul, now blossoming into a new life.

BOOK NINE: 1812

CHAPTER I

From the close of the year 1811 intensified arming and concentrating of the forces of Western Europe began, and in 1812 these forces- millions of men, reckoning those transporting and feeding the army- moved from the west eastwards to the Russian frontier, toward which since 1811 Russian forces had been similarly drawn. On the twelfth of June, 1812, the forces of Western Europe crossed the Russian frontier and war began, that is, an event took place opposed to human reason and to human nature. Millions of men perpetrated against one another such innumerable crimes, frauds, treacheries, thefts, forgeries, issues of false money, burglaries, incendiarisms, and murders as in whole centuries are not recorded in the annals of all the law courts of the world, but which those who committed them did not at the time regard as being crimes.

What produced this extraordinary occurrence? What were its causes? The historians tell us with naive assurance that its causes were the wrongs inflicted on the Duke of Oldenburg, the nonobservance of the Continental System, the ambition of Napoleon, the firmness of Alexander, the mistakes of the diplomatists, and so on.

Consequently, it would only have been necessary for Metternich, Rumyantsev, or Talleyrand, between a levee and an evening party, to have taken proper pains and written a more adroit note, or for Napoleon to have written to Alexander: “My respected Brother, I consent to restore the duchy to the Duke of Oldenburg”- and there would have been no war.

We can understand that the matter seemed like that to contemporaries. It naturally seemed to Napoleon that the war was caused by England’s intrigues (as in fact he said on the island of St. Helena). It naturally seemed to members of the English Parliament that the cause of the war was Napoleon’s ambition; to the Duke of Oldenburg, that the cause of the war was the violence done to him; to businessmen that the cause of the way was the Continental System which was ruining Europe; to the generals and old soldiers that the chief reason for the war was the necessity of giving them employment; to the legitimists of that day that it was the need of re-establishing les bons principes, and to the diplomatists of that time that it all resulted from the fact that the alliance between Russia and Austria in 1809 had not been sufficiently well concealed from Napoleon, and from the awkward wording of Memorandum No. 178. It is natural that these and a countless and infinite quantity of other reasons, the number depending on the endless diversity of points of view, presented themselves to the men of that day; but to us, to posterity who view the thing that happened in all its magnitude and perceive its plain and terrible meaning, these causes seem insufficient. To us it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killed and tortured each other either because Napoleon was ambitious or Alexander was firm, or because England’s policy was astute or the Duke of Oldenburg wronged. We cannot grasp what connection such circumstances have with the actual fact of slaughter and violence: why because the Duke was wronged, thousands of men from the other side of Europe killed and ruined the people of Smolensk and Moscow and were killed by them.

To us, their descendants, who are not historians and are not carried away by the process of research and can therefore regard the event with unclouded common sense, an incalculable number of causes present themselves. The deeper we delve in search of these causes the more of them we find; and each separate cause or whole series of causes appears to us equally valid in itself and equally false by its insignificance compared to the magnitude of the events, and by its impotence- apart from the cooperation of all the other coincident causes- to occasion the event. To us, the wish or objection of this or that French corporal to serve a second term appears as much a cause as Napoleon’s refusal to withdraw his troops beyond the Vistula and to restore the duchy of Oldenburg; for had he not wished to serve, and had a second, a third, and a thousandth corporal and private also refused, there would have been so many less men in Napoleon’s army and the war could not have occurred.

Had Napoleon not taken offense at the demand that he should withdraw beyond the Vistula, and not ordered his troops to advance, there would have been no war; but had all his sergeants objected to serving a second term then also there could have been no war. Nor could there have been a war had there been no English intrigues and no Duke of Oldenburg, and had Alexander not felt insulted, and had there not been an autocratic government in Russia, or a Revolution in France and a subsequent dictatorship and Empire, or all the things that produced the French Revolution, and so on. Without each of these causes nothing could have happened. So all these causes- myriads of causes- coincided to bring it about. And so there was no one cause for that occurrence, but it had to occur because it had to. Millions of men, renouncing their human feelings and reason, had to go from west to east to slay their fellows, just as some centuries previously hordes of men had come from the east to the west, slaying their fellows.

The actions of Napoleon and Alexander, on whose words the event seemed to hang, were as little voluntary as the actions of any soldier who was drawn into the campaign by lot or by conscription. This could not be otherwise, for in order that the will of Napoleon and Alexander (on whom the event seemed to depend) should be carried out, the concurrence of innumerable circumstances was needed without any one of which the event could not have taken place. It was necessary that millions of men in whose hands lay the real power- the soldiers who fired, or transported provisions and guns- should consent to carry out the will of these weak individuals, and should have been induced to do so by an infinite number of diverse and complex causes.

We are forced to fall back on fatalism as an explanation of irrational events (that is to say, events the reasonableness of which we do not understand). The more we try to explain such events in history reasonably, the more unreasonable and incomprehensible do they become to us.

Each man lives for himself, using his freedom to attain his personal aims, and feels with his whole being that he can now do or abstain from doing this or that action; but as soon as he has done it, that action performed at a certain moment in time becomes irrevocable and belongs to history, in which it has not a free but a predestined significance.

There are two sides to the life of every man, his individual life, which is the more free the more abstract its interests, and his elemental hive life in which he inevitably obeys laws laid down for him.

Man lives consciously for himself, but is an unconscious instrument in the attainment of the historic, universal, aims of humanity. A deed done is irrevocable, and its result coinciding in time with the actions of millions of other men assumes an historic significance. The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the more people he is connected with and the more power he has over others, the more evident is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.

“The king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord.”

A king is history’s slave.

History, that is, the unconscious, general, hive life of mankind, uses every moment of the life of kings as a tool for its own purposes.

Though Napoleon at that time, in 1812, was more convinced than ever that it depended on him, verser (ou ne pas verser) le sang de ses peuples*- as Alexander expressed it in the last letter he wrote him- he had never been so much in the grip of inevitable laws, which compelled him, while thinking that he was acting on his own volition, to perform for the hive life- that is to say, for history- whatever had to be performed.

*”To shed (or not to shed) the blood of his peoples.”

The people of the west moved eastwards to slay their fellow men, and by the law of coincidence thousands of minute causes fitted in and co-ordinated to produce that movement and war: reproaches for the nonobservance of the Continental System, the Duke of Oldenburg’s wrongs, the movement of troops into Prussia- undertaken (as it seemed to Napoleon) only for the purpose of securing an armed peace, the French Emperor’s love and habit of war coinciding with his people’s inclinations, allurement by the grandeur of the preparations, and the expenditure on those preparations and the need of obtaining advantages to compensate for that expenditure, the intoxicating honors he received in Dresden, the diplomatic negotiations which, in the opinion of contemporaries, were carried on with a sincere desire to attain peace, but which only wounded the self-love of both sides, and millions of other causes that adapted themselves to the event that was happening or coincided with it.

When an apple has ripened and falls, why does it fall? Because of its attraction to the earth, because its stalk withers, because it is dried by the sun, because it grows heavier, because the wind shakes it, or because the boy standing below wants to eat it?

Nothing is the cause. All this is only the coincidence of conditions in which all vital organic and elemental events occur. And the botanist who finds that the apple falls because the cellular tissue decays and so forth is equally right with the child who stands under the tree and says the apple fell because he wanted to eat it and prayed for it. Equally right or wrong is he who says that Napoleon went to Moscow because he wanted to, and perished because Alexander desired his destruction, and he who says that an undermined hill weighing a million tons fell because the last navvy struck it for the last time with his mattock. In historic events the so-called great men are labels giving names to events, and like labels they have but the smallest connection with the event itself.

Every act of theirs, which appears to them an act of their own will, is in an historical sense involuntary and is related to the whole course of history and predestined from eternity.

CHAPTER II

On the twenty-ninth of May Napoleon left Dresden, where he had spent three weeks surrounded by a court that included princes, dukes, kings, and even an emperor. Before leaving, Napoleon showed favor to the emperor, kings, and princes who had deserved it, reprimanded the kings and princes with whom he was dissatisfied, presented pearls and diamonds of his own- that is, which he had taken from other kings- to the Empress of Austria, and having, as his historian tells us, tenderly embraced the Empress Marie Louise- who regarded him as her husband, though he had left another wife in Paris- left her grieved by the parting which she seemed hardly able to bear. Though the diplomatists still firmly believed in the possibility of peace and worked zealously to that end, and though the Emperor Napoleon himself wrote a letter to Alexander, calling him Monsieur mon frere, and sincerely assured him that he did not want war and would always love and honor him- yet he set off to join his army, and at every station gave fresh orders to accelerate the movement of his troops from west to east. He went in a traveling coach with six horses, surrounded by pages, aides-de-camp, and an escort, along the road to Posen, Thorn, Danzig, and Konigsberg. At each of these towns thousands of people met him with excitement and enthusiasm.

The army was moving from west to east, and relays of six horses carried him in the same direction. On the tenth of June,* coming up with the army, he spent the night in apartments prepared for him on the estate of a Polish count in the Vilkavisski forest.

*Old style.

Next day, overtaking the army, he went in a carriage to the Niemen, and, changing into a Polish uniform, he drove to the riverbank in order to select a place for the crossing.

Seeing, on the other side, some Cossacks (les Cosaques) and the wide-spreading steppes in the midst of which lay the holy city of Moscow (Moscou, la ville sainte), the capital of a realm such as the Scythia into which Alexander the Great had marched- Napoleon unexpectedly, and contrary alike to strategic and diplomatic considerations, ordered an advance, and the next day his army began to cross the Niemen.

Early in the morning of the twelfth of June he came out of his tent, which was pitched that day on the steep left bank of the Niemen, and looked through a spyglass at the streams of his troops pouring out of the Vilkavisski forest and flowing over the three bridges thrown across the river. The troops, knowing of the Emperor’s presence, were on the lookout for him, and when they caught sight of a figure in an overcoat and a cocked hat standing apart from his suite in front of his tent on the hill, they threw up their caps and shouted: “Vive l’Empereur!” and one after another poured in a ceaseless stream out of the vast forest that had concealed them and, separating, flowed on and on by the three bridges to the other side.

“Now we’ll go into action. Oh, when he takes it in hand himself, things get hot… by heaven!… There he is!… Vive l’Empereur! So these are the steppes of Asia! It’s a nasty country all the same. Au revoir, Beauche; I’ll keep the best palace in Moscow for you! Au revoir. Good luck!… Did you see the Emperor? Vive l’Empereur!… preur!- If they make me Governor of India, Gerard, I’ll make you Minister of Kashmir- that’s settled. Vive l’Empereur! Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah! The Cossacks- those rascals- see how they run! Vive l’Empereur! There he is, do you see him? I’ve seen him twice, as I see you now. The little corporal… I saw him give the cross to one of the veterans…. Vive l’Empereur!” came the voices of men, old and young, of most diverse characters and social positions. On the faces of all was one common expression of joy at the commencement of the long-expected campaign and of rapture and devotion to the man in the gray coat who was standing on the hill.

On the thirteenth of June a rather small, thoroughbred Arab horse was brought to Napoleon. He mounted it and rode at a gallop to one of the bridges over the Niemen, deafened continually by incessant and rapturous acclamations which he evidently endured only because it was impossible to forbid the soldiers to express their love of him by such shouting, but the shouting which accompanied him everywhere disturbed him and distracted him from the military cares that had occupied him from the time he joined the army. He rode across one of the swaying pontoon bridges to the farther side, turned sharply to the left, and galloped in the direction of Kovno, preceded by enraptured, mounted chasseurs of the Guard who, breathless with delight, galloped ahead to clear a path for him through the troops. On reaching the broad river Viliya, he stopped near a regiment of Polish Uhlans stationed by the river.

“Vivat!” shouted the Poles, ecstatically, breaking their ranks and pressing against one another to see him.

Napoleon looked up and down the river, dismounted, and sat down on a log that lay on the bank. At a mute sign from him, a telescope was handed him which he rested on the back of a happy page who had run up to him, and he gazed at the opposite bank. Then he became absorbed in a map laid out on the logs. Without lifting his head he said something, and two of his aides-de-camp galloped off to the Polish Uhlans.

“What? What did he say?” was heard in the ranks of the Polish Uhlans when one of the aides-de-camp rode up to them.

The order was to find a ford and to cross the river. The colonel of the Polish Uhlans, a handsome old man, flushed and, fumbling in his speech from excitement, asked the aide-de-camp whether he would be permitted to swim the river with his Uhlans instead of seeking a ford. In evident fear of refusal, like a boy asking for permission to get on a horse, he begged to be allowed to swim across the river before the Emperor’s eyes. The aide-de-camp replied that probably the Emperor would not be displeased at this excess of zeal.

As soon as the aide-de-camp had said this, the old mustached officer, with happy face and sparkling eyes, raised his saber, shouted “Vivat!” and, commanding the Uhlans to follow him, spurred his horse and galloped into the river. He gave an angry thrust to his horse, which had grown restive under him, and plunged into the water, heading for the deepest part where the current was swift. Hundreds of Uhlans galloped in after him. It was cold and uncanny in the rapid current in the middle of the stream, and the Uhlans caught hold of one another as they fell off their horses. Some of the horses were drowned and some of the men; the others tried to swim on, some in the saddle and some clinging to their horses’ manes. They tried to make their way forward to the opposite bank and, though there was a ford one third of a mile away, were proud that they were swimming and drowning in this river under the eyes of the man who sat on the log and was not even looking at what they were doing. When the aide-de-camp, having returned and choosing an opportune moment, ventured to draw the Emperor’s attention to the devotion of the Poles to his person, the little man in the gray overcoat got up and, having summoned Berthier, began pacing up and down the bank with him, giving him instructions and occasionally glancing disapprovingly at the drowning Uhlans who distracted his attention.

For him it was no new conviction that his presence in any part of the world, from Africa to the steppes of Muscovy alike, was enough to dumfound people and impel them to insane self-oblivion. He called for his horse and rode to his quarters.

Some forty Uhlans were drowned in the river, though boats were sent to their assistance. The majority struggled back to the bank from which they had started. The colonel and some of his men got across and with difficulty clambered out on the further bank. And as soon as they had got out, in their soaked and streaming clothes, they shouted “Vivat!” and looked ecstatically at the spot where Napoleon had been but where he no longer was and at that moment considered themselves happy.

That evening, between issuing one order that the forged Russian paper money prepared for use in Russia should be delivered as quickly as possible and another that a Saxon should be shot, on whom a letter containing information about the orders to the French army had been found, Napoleon also gave instructions that the Polish colonel who had needlessly plunged into the river should be enrolled in the Legion d’honneur of which Napoleon was himself the head.

Quos vult perdere dementat.*

*Those whom (God) wishes to destroy he drives mad.

CHAPTER III

The Emperor of Russia had, meanwhile, been in Vilna for more than a month. reviewing troops and holding maneuvers. Nothing was ready for the war that everyone expected and to prepare for which the Emperor had come from Petersburg. There was no general plan of action. The vacillation between the various plans that were proposed had even increased after the Emperor had been at headquarters for a month. Each of the three armies had its own commander in chief, but there was no supreme commander of all the forces, and the Emperor did not assume that responsibility himself.

The longer the Emperor remained in Vilna the less did everybody- tired of waiting- prepare for the war. All the efforts of those who surrounded the sovereign seemed directed merely to making him spend his time pleasantly and forget that war was impending.

In June, after many balls and fetes given by the Polish magnates, by the courtiers, and by the Emperor himself, it occurred to one of the Polish aides-de-camp in attendance that a dinner and ball should be given for the Emperor by his aides-de-camp. This idea was eagerly received. The Emperor gave his consent. The aides-de-camp collected money by subscription. The lady who was thought to be most pleasing to the Emperor was invited to act as hostess. Count Bennigsen, being a landowner in the Vilna province, offered his country house for the fete, and the thirteenth of June was fixed for a ball, dinner, regatta, and fireworks at Zakret, Count Bennigsen’s country seat.

The very day that Napoleon issued the order to cross the Niemen, and his vanguard, driving off the Cossacks, crossed the Russian frontier, Alexander spent the evening at the entertainment given by his aides-de-camp at Bennigsen’s country house.

It was a gay and brilliant fete. Connoisseurs of such matters declared that rarely had so many beautiful women been assembled in one place. Countess Bezukhova was present among other Russian ladies who had followed the sovereign from Petersburg to Vilna and eclipsed the refined Polish ladies by her massive, so called Russian type of beauty. The Emperor noticed her and honored her with a dance.

Boris Drubetskoy, having left his wife in Moscow and being for the present en garcon (as he phrased it), was also there and, though not an aide-de-camp, had subscribed a large sum toward the expenses. Boris was now a rich man who had risen to high honors and no longer sought patronage but stood on an equal footing with the highest of those of his own age. He was meeting Helene in Vilna after not having seen her for a long time and did not recall the past, but as Helene was enjoying the favors of a very important personage and Boris had only recently married, they met as good friends of long standing.

At midnight dancing was still going on. Helene, not having a suitable partner, herself offered to dance the mazurka with Boris. They were the third couple. Boris, coolly looking at Helene’s dazzling bare shoulders which emerged from a dark, gold-embroidered, gauze gown, talked to her of old acquaintances and at the same time, unaware of it himself and unnoticed by others, never for an instant ceased to observe the Emperor who was in the same room. The Emperor was not dancing, he stood in the doorway, stopping now one pair and now another with gracious words which he alone knew how to utter.

As the mazurka began, Boris saw that Adjutant General Balashev, one of those in closest attendance on the Emperor, went up to him and contrary to court etiquette stood near him while he was talking to a Polish lady. Having finished speaking to her, the Emperor looked inquiringly at Balashev and, evidently understanding that he only acted thus because there were important reasons for so doing, nodded slightly to the lady and turned to him. Hardly had Balashev begun to speak before a look of amazement appeared on the Emperor’s face. He took Balashev by the arm and crossed the room with him, unconsciously clearing a path seven yards wide as the people on both sides made way for him. Boris noticed Arakcheev’s excited face when the sovereign went out with Balashev. Arakcheev looked at the Emperor from under his brow and, sniffing with his red nose, stepped forward from the crowd as if expecting the Emperor to address him. (Boris understood that Arakcheev envied Balashev and was displeased that evidently important news had reached the Emperor otherwise than through himself.)

But the Emperor and Balashev passed out into the illuminated garden without noticing Arakcheev who, holding his sword and glancing wrathfully around, followed some twenty paces behind them.

All the time Boris was going through the figures of the mazurka, he was worried by the question of what news Balashev had brought and how he could find it out before others. In the figure in which he had to choose two ladies, he whispered to Helene that he meant to choose Countess Potocka who, he thought, had gone out onto the veranda, and glided over the parquet to the door opening into the garden, where, seeing Balashev and the Emperor returning to the veranda, he stood still. They were moving toward the door. Boris, fluttering as if he had not had time to withdraw, respectfully pressed close to the doorpost with bowed head.

The Emperor, with the agitation of one who has been personally affronted, was finishing with these words:

“To enter Russia without declaring war! I will not make peace as long as a single armed enemy remains in my country!” It seemed to Boris that it gave the Emperor pleasure to utter these words. He was satisfied with the form in which he had expressed his thoughts, but displeased that Boris had overheard it.

“Let no one know of it! ” the Emperor added with a frown.

Boris understood that this was meant for him and, closing his eyes, slightly bowed his head. The Emperor re-entered the ballroom and remained there about another half-hour.

Boris was thus the first to learn the news that the French army had crossed the Niemen and, thanks to this, was able to show certain important personages that much that was concealed from others was usually known to him, and by this means he rose higher in their estimation.

The unexpected news of the French having crossed the Niemen was particularly startling after a month of unfulfilled expectations, and at a ball. On first receiving the news, under the influence of indignation and resentment the Emperor had found a phrase that pleased him, fully expressed his feelings, and has since become famous. On returning home at two o’clock that night he sent for his secretary, Shishkov, and told him to write an order to the troops and a rescript to Field Marshal Prince Saltykov, in which he insisted on the words being inserted that he would not make peace so long as a single armed Frenchman remained on Russian soil.

Next day the following letter was sent to Napoleon:

Monsieur mon frere,

Yesterday I learned that, despite the loyalty which I have kept my engagements with Your Majesty, your troops have crossed the Russian frontier, and I have this moment received from Petersburg a note, in which Count Lauriston informs me, as a reason for this aggression, that Your Majesty has considered yourself to be in a state of war with me from the time Prince Kuragin asked for his passports. The reasons on which the Duc de Bassano based his refusal to deliver them to him would never have led me to suppose that that could serve as a pretext for aggression. In fact, the ambassador, as he himself has declared, was never authorized to make that demand, and as soon as I was informed of it I let him know how much I disapproved of it and ordered him to remain at his post. If Your Majesty does not intend to shed the blood of our peoples for such a misunderstanding, and consents to withdraw your troops from Russian territory, I will regard what has passed as not having occurred and an understanding between us will be possible. In the contrary case, Your Majesty, I shall see myself forced to repel an attack that nothing on my part has provoked. It still depends on Your Majesty to preserve humanity from the calamity of another war. I am, etc.,
(signed) Alexander

CHAPTER IV

At two in the morning of the fourteenth of June, the Emperor, having sent for Balashev and read him his letter to Napoleon, ordered him to take it and hand it personally to the French Emperor. When dispatching Balashev, the Emperor repeated to him the words that he would not make peace so long as a single armed enemy remained on Russian soil and told him to transmit those words to Napoleon. Alexander did not insert them in his letter to Napoleon, because with his characteristic tact he felt it would be injudicious to use them at a moment when a last attempt at reconciliation was being made, but he definitely instructed Balashev to repeat them personally to Napoleon.

Having set off in the small hours of the fourteenth, accompanied by a bugler and two Cossacks, Balashev reached the French outposts at the village of Rykonty, on the Russian side of the Niemen, by dawn. There he was stopped by French cavalry sentinels.

A French noncommissioned officer of hussars, in crimson uniform and a shaggy cap, shouted to the approaching Balashev to halt. Balashev did not do so at once, but continued to advance along the road at a walking pace.

The noncommissioned officer frowned and, muttering words of abuse, advanced his horse’s chest against Balashev, put his hand to his saber, and shouted rudely at the Russian general, asking: was he deaf that he did not do as he was told? Balashev mentioned who he was. The noncommissioned officer began talking with his comrades about regimental matters without looking at the Russian general.

After living at the seat of the highest authority and power, after conversing with the Emperor less than three hours before, and in general being accustomed to the respect due to his rank in the service, Balashev found it very strange here on Russian soil to encounter this hostile, and still more this disrespectful, application of brute force to himself.

The sun was only just appearing from behind the clouds, the air was fresh and dewy. A herd of cattle was being driven along the road from the village, and over the fields the larks rose trilling, one after another, like bubbles rising in water.

Balashev looked around him, awaiting the arrival of an officer from the village. The Russian Cossacks and bugler and the French hussars looked silently at one another from time to time.

A French colonel of hussars, who had evidently just left his bed, came riding from the village on a handsome sleek gray horse, accompanied by two hussars. The officer, the soldiers, and their horses all looked smart and well kept.

It was that first period of a campaign when troops are still in full trim, almost like that of peacetime maneuvers, but with a shade of martial swagger in their clothes, and a touch of the gaiety and spirit of enterprise which always accompany the opening of a campaign.

The French colonel with difficulty repressed a yawn, but was polite and evidently understood Balashev’s importance. He led him past his soldiers and behind the outposts and told him that his wish to be presented to the Emperor would most likely be satisfied immediately, as the Emperor’s quarters were, he believed, not far off.

They rode through the village of Rykonty, past tethered French hussar horses, past sentinels and men who saluted their colonel and stared with curiosity at a Russian uniform, and came out at the other end of the village. The colonel said that the commander of the division was a mile and a quarter away and would receive Balashev and conduct him to his destination.

The sun had by now risen and shone gaily on the bright verdure.

They had hardly ridden up a hill, past a tavern, before they saw a group of horsemen coming toward them. In front of the group, on a black horse with trappings that glittered in the sun, rode a tall man with plumes in his hat and black hair curling down to his shoulders. He wore a red mantle, and stretched his long legs forward in French fashion. This man rode toward Balashev at a gallop, his plumes flowing and his gems and gold lace glittering in the bright June sunshine.

Balashev was only two horses’ length from the equestrian with the bracelets, plunies, necklaces, and gold embroidery, who was galloping toward him with a theatrically solemn countenance, when Julner, the French colonel, whispered respectfully: “The King of Naples!” It was, in fact, Murat, now called “King of Naples.” Though it was quite incomprehensible why he should be King of Naples, he was called so, and was himself convinced that he was so, and therefore assumed a more solemn and important air than formerly. He was so sure that he really was the King of Naples that when, on the eve of his departure from that city, while walking through the streets with his wife, some Italians called out to him: “Viva il re!”* he turned to his wife with a pensive smile and said: “Poor fellows, they don’t know that I am leaving them tomorrow!”

*”Long live the king.”

But though he firmly believed himself to be King of Naples and pitied the grief felt by the subjects he was abandoning, latterly, after he had been ordered to return to military service- and especially since his last interview with Napoleon in Danzig, when his august brother-in-law had told him: “I made you King that you

You may also like:
deck-river
deck-river