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saving his life, he went with him into the room.

The soldiers in the yard, hearing the shot, came into the passage asking what had happened, and expressed their readiness to punish the culprits, but the officer sternly checked them.

“You will be called in when you are wanted,” he said.

The soldiers went out again, and the orderly, who had meanwhile had time to visit the kitchen, came up to his officer.

“Captain, there is soup and a leg of mutton in the kitchen,” said he. “Shall I serve them up?”

“Yes, and some wine,” answered the captain.

CHAPTER XXIX

When the French officer went into the room with Pierre the latter again thought it his duty to assure him that he was not French and wished to go away, but the officer would not hear of it. He was so very polite, amiable, good-natured, and genuinely grateful to Pierre for saving his life that Pierre had not the heart to refuse, and sat down with him in the parlor- the first room they entered. To Pierre’s assurances that he was not a Frenchman, the captain, evidently not understanding how anyone could decline so flattering an appellation, shrugged his shoulders and said that if Pierre absolutely insisted on passing for a Russian let it be so, but for all that he would be forever bound to Pierre by gratitude for saving his life.

Had this man been endowed with the slightest capacity for perceiving the feelings of others, and had he at all understood what Pierre’s feelings were, the latter would probably have left him, but the man’s animated obtuseness to everything other than himself disarmed Pierre.

“A Frenchman or a Russian prince incognito,” said the officer, looking at Pierre’s fine though dirty linen and at the ring on his finger. “I owe my life to you and offer you my friendship. A Frenchman never forgets either an insult or a service. I offer you my friendship. That is all I can say.”

There was so much good nature and nobility (in the French sense of the word) in the officer’s voice, in the expression of his face and in his gestures, that Pierre, unconsciously smiling in response to the Frenchman’s smile, pressed the hand held out to him.

“Captain Ramballe, of the 13th Light Regiment, Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for the affair on the seventh of September,” he introduced himself, a self-satisfied irrepressible smile puckering his lips under his mustache. “Will you now be so good as to tell me with whom I have the honor of conversing so pleasantly, instead of being in the ambulance with that maniac’s bullet in my body?”

Pierre replied that he could not tell him his name and, blushing, began to try to invent a name and to say something about his reason for concealing it, but the Frenchman hastily interrupted him.

“Oh, please!” said he. “I understand your reasons. You are an officer… a superior officer perhaps. You have borne arms against us. That’s not my business. I owe you my life. That is enough for me. I am quite at your service. You belong to the gentry?” he concluded with a shade of inquiry in his tone. Pierre bent his head. “Your baptismal name, if you please. That is all I ask. Monsieur Pierre, you say…. That’s all I want to know.”

When the mutton and an omelet had been served and a samovar and vodka brought, with some wine which the French had taken from a Russian cellar and brought with them, Ramballe invited Pierre to share his dinner, and himself began to eat greedily and quickly like a healthy and hungry man, munching his food rapidly with his strong teeth, continually smacking his lips, and repeating- “Excellent! Delicious!” His face grew red and was covered with perspiration. Pierre was hungry and shared the dinner with pleasure. Morel, the orderly, brought some hot water in a saucepan and placed a bottle of claret in it. He also brought a bottle of kvass, taken from the kitchen for them to try. That beverage was already known to the French and had been given a special name. They called it limonade de cochon (pig’s lemonade), and Morel spoke well of the limonade de cochon he had found in the kitchen. But as the captain had the wine they had taken while passing through Moscow, he left the kvass to Morel and applied himself to the bottle of Bordeaux. He wrapped the bottle up to its neck in a table napkin and poured out wine for himself and for Pierre. The satisfaction of his hunger and the wine rendered the captain still more lively and he chatted incessantly all through dinner.

“Yes, my dear Monsieur Pierre, I owe you a fine votive candle for saving me from that maniac…. You see, I have bullets enough in my body already. Here is one I got at Wagram” (he touched his side) “and a second at Smolensk”- he showed a scar on his cheek- “and this leg which as you see does not want to march, I got that on the seventh at the great battle of la Moskowa. Sacre Dieu! It was splendid! That deluge of fire was worth seeing. It was a tough job you set us there, my word! You may be proud of it! And on my honor, in spite of the cough I caught there, I should be ready to begin again. I pity those who did not see it.”

“I was there,” said Pierre.

“Bah, really? So much the better! You are certainly brave foes. The great redoubt held out well, by my pipe!” continued the Frenchman. “And you made us pay dear for it. I was at it three times- sure as I sit here. Three times we reached the guns and three times we were thrown back like cardboard figures. Oh, it was beautiful, Monsieur Pierre! Your grenadiers were splendid, by heaven! I saw them close up their ranks six times in succession and march as if on parade. Fine fellows! Our King of Naples, who knows what’s what, cried ‘Bravo!’ Ha, ha! So you are one of us soldiers!” he added, smiling, after a momentary pause. “So much the better, so much the better, Monsieur Pierre! Terrible in battle… gallant… with the fair” (he winked and smiled), “that’s what the French are, Monsieur Pierre, aren’t they?”

The captain was so naively and good-humoredly gay, so real, and so pleased with himself that Pierre almost winked back as he looked merrily at him. Probably the word “gallant” turned the captain’s thoughts to the state of Moscow.

“Apropos, tell me please, is it true that the women have all left Moscow? What a queer idea! What had they to be afraid of?”

“Would not the French ladies leave Paris if the Russians entered it?” asked Pierre.

“Ha, ha, ha!” The Frenchman emitted a merry, sanguine chuckle, patting Pierre on the shoulder. “What a thing to say!” he exclaimed. “Paris?… But Paris, Paris…”

“Paris- the capital of the world,” Pierre finished his remark for him.

The captain looked at Pierre. He had a habit of stopping short in the middle of his talk and gazing intently with his laughing, kindly eyes.

“Well, if you hadn’t told me you were Russian, I should have wagered that you were Parisian! You have that… I don’t know what, that…” and having uttered this compliment, he again gazed at him in silence.

“I have been in Paris. I spent years there,” said Pierre.

“Oh yes, one sees that plainly. Paris!… A man who doesn’t know Paris is a savage. You can tell a Parisian two leagues off. Paris is Talma, la Duchenois, Potier, the Sorbonne, the boulevards,” and noticing that his conclusion was weaker than what had gone before, he added quickly: “There is only one Paris in the world. You have been to Paris and have remained Russian. Well, I don’t esteem you the less for it.”

Under the influence of the wine he had drunk, and after the days he had spent alone with his depressing thoughts, Pierre involuntarily enjoyed talking with this cheerful and good-natured man.

“To return to your ladies- I hear they are lovely. What a wretched idea to go and bury themselves in the steppes when the French army is in Moscow. What a chance those girls have missed! Your peasants, now- that’s another thing; but you civilized people, you ought to know us better than that. We took Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Naples, Rome, Warsaw, all the world’s capitals…. We are feared, but we are loved. We are nice to know. And then the Emperor…” he began, but Pierre interrupted him.

“The Emperor,” Pierre repeated, and his face suddenly became sad and embarrassed, “is the Emperor…?”

“The Emperor? He is generosity, mercy, justice, order, genius- that’s what the Emperor is! It is I, Ramballe, who tell you so…. I assure you I was his enemy eight years ago. My father was an emigrant count…. But that man has vanquished me. He has taken hold of me. I could not resist the sight of the grandeur and glory with which he has covered France. When I understood what he wanted- when I saw that he was preparing a bed of laurels for us, you know, I said to myself: ‘That is a monarch,’ and I devoted myself to him! So there! Oh yes, mon cher, he is the greatest man of the ages past or future.”

“Is he in Moscow?” Pierre stammered with a guilty look.

The Frenchman looked at his guilty face and smiled.

“No, he will make his entry tomorrow,” he replied, and continued his talk.

Their conversation was interrupted by the cries of several voices at the gate and by Morel, who came to say that some Wurttemberg hussars had come and wanted to put up their horses in the yard where the captain’s horses were. This difficulty had arisen chiefly because the hussars did not understand what was said to them in French.

The captain had their senior sergeant called in, and in a stern voice asked him to what regiment he belonged, who was his commanding officer, and by what right he allowed himself to claim quarters that were already occupied. The German who knew little French, answered the two first questions by giving the names of his regiment and of his commanding officer, but in reply to the third question which he did not understand said, introducing broken French into his own German, that he was the quartermaster of the regiment and his commander had ordered him to occupy all the houses one after another. Pierre, who knew German, translated what the German said to the captain and gave the captain’s reply to the Wurttemberg hussar in German. When he had understood what was said to him, the German submitted and took his men elsewhere. The captain went out into the porch and gave some orders in a loud voice.

When he returned to the room Pierre was sitting in the same place as before, with his head in his hands. His face expressed suffering. He really was suffering at that moment. When the captain went out and he was left alone, suddenly he came to himself and realized the position he was in. It was not that Moscow had been taken or that the happy conquerors were masters in it and were patronizing him. Painful as that was it was not that which tormented Pierre at the moment. He was tormented by the consciousness of his own weakness. The few glasses of wine he had drunk and the conversation with this good-natured man had destroyed the mood of concentrated gloom in which he had spent the last few days and which was essential for the execution of his design. The pistol, dagger, and peasant coat were ready. Napoleon was to enter the town next day. Pierre still considered that it would be a useful and worthy action to slay the evildoer, but now he felt that he would not do it. He did not know why, but he felt a foreboding that he would not carry out his intention. He struggled against the confession of his weakness but dimly felt that he could not overcome it and that his former gloomy frame of mind, concerning vengeance, killing, and self-sacrifice, had been dispersed like dust by contact with the first man he met.

The captain returned to the room, limping slightly and whistling a tune.

The Frenchman’s chatter which had previously amused Pierre now repelled him. The tune he was whistling, his gait, and the gesture with which he twirled his mustache, all now seemed offensive. “I will go away immediately. I won’t say another word to him,” thought Pierre. He thought this, but still sat in the same place. A strange feeling of weakness tied him to the spot; he wished to get up and go away, but could not do so.

The captain, on the other hand, seemed very cheerful. He paced up and down the room twice. His eyes shone and his mustache twitched as if he were smiling to himself at some amusing thought.

“The colonel of those Wurttembergers is delightful,” he suddenly said. “He’s a German, but a nice fellow all the same…. But he’s a German.” He sat down facing Pierre. “By the way, you know German, then?”

Pierre looked at him in silence.

“What is the German for ‘shelter’?”

“Shelter?” Pierre repeated. “The German for shelter is Unterkunft.”

“How do you say it?” the captain asked quickly and doubtfully.

“Unterkunft,” Pierre repeated.

“Onterkoff,” said the captain and looked at Pierre for some seconds with laughing eyes. “These Germans are first-rate fools, don’t you think so, Monsieur Pierre?” he concluded.

“Well, let’s have another bottle of this Moscow Bordeaux, shall we? Morel will warm us up another little bottle. Morel!” he called out gaily.

Morel brought candles and a bottle of wine. The captain looked at Pierre by the candlelight and was evidently struck by the troubled expression on his companion’s face. Ramballe, with genuine distress and sympathy in his face, went up to Pierre and bent over him.

“There now, we’re sad,” said he, touching Pierre’s hand. “Have I upset you? No, really, have you anything against me?” he asked Pierre. “Perhaps it’s the state of affairs?”

Pierre did not answer, but looked cordially into the Frenchman’s eyes whose expression of sympathy was pleasing to him.

“Honestly, without speaking of what I owe you, I feel friendship for you. Can I do anything for you? Dispose of me. It is for life and death. I say it with my hand on my heart!” said he, striking his chest.

“Thank you,” said Pierre.

The captain gazed intently at him as he had done when he learned that “shelter” was Unterkunft in German, and his face suddenly brightened.

“Well, in that case, I drink to our friendship!” he cried gaily, filling two glasses with wine.

Pierre took one of the glasses and emptied it. Ramballe emptied his too, again pressed Pierre’s hand, and leaned his elbows on the table in a pensive attitude.

“Yes, my dear friend,” he began, “such is fortune’s caprice. Who would have said that I should be a soldier and a captain of dragoons in the service of Bonaparte, as we used to call him? Yet here I am in Moscow with him. I must tell you, mon cher,” he continued in the sad and measured tones of a man who intends to tell a long story, “that our name is one of the most ancient in France.”

And with a Frenchman’s easy and naive frankness the captain told Pierre the story of his ancestors, his childhood, youth, and manhood, and all about his relations and his financial and family affairs, “ma pauvre mere” playing of course an important part in the story.

“But all that is only life’s setting, the real thing is love- love! Am I not right, Monsieur Pierre?” said he, growing animated. “Another glass?”

Pierre again emptied his glass and poured himself out a third.

“Oh, women, women!” and the captain, looking with glistening eyes at Pierre, began talking of love and of his love affairs.

There were very many of these, as one could easily believe, looking at the officer’s handsome, self-satisfied face, and noting the eager enthusiasm with which he spoke of women. Though all Ramballe’s love stories had the sensual character which Frenchmen regard as the special charm and poetry of love, yet he told his story with such sincere conviction that he alone had experienced and known all the charm of love and he described women so alluringly that Pierre listened to him with curiosity.

It was plain that l’amour which the Frenchman was so fond of was not that low and simple kind that Pierre had once felt for his wife, nor was it the romantic love stimulated by himself that he experienced for Natasha. (Ramballe despised both these kinds of love equally: the one he considered the “love of clodhoppers” and the other the “love of simpletons.”) L’amour which the Frenchman worshiped consisted principally in the unnaturalness of his relation to the woman and in a combination of incongruities giving the chief charm to the feeling.

Thus the captain touchingly recounted the story of his love for a fascinating marquise of thirty-five and at the same time for a charming, innocent child of seventeen, daughter of the bewitching marquise. The conflict of magnanimity between the mother and the daughter, ending in the mother’s sacrificing herself and offering her daughter in marriage to her lover, even now agitated the captain, though it was the memory of a distant past. Then he recounted an episode in which the husband played the part of the lover, and he- the lover- assumed the role of the husband, as well as several droll incidents from his recollections of Germany, where “shelter” is called Unterkunft and where the husbands eat sauerkraut and the young girls are “too blonde.”

Finally, the latest episode in Poland still fresh in the captain’s memory, and which he narrated with rapid gestures and glowing face, was of how he had saved the life of a Pole (in general, the saving of life continually occurred in the captain’s stories) and the Pole had entrusted to him his enchanting wife (parisienne de coeur) while himself entering the French service. The captain was happy, the enchanting Polish lady wished to elope with him, but, prompted by magnanimity, the captain restored the wife to the husband, saying as he did so: “I have saved your life, and I save your honor!” Having repeated these words the captain wiped his eyes and gave himself a shake, as if driving away the weakness which assailed him at this touching recollection.

Listening to the captain’s tales, Pierre- as often happens late in the evening and under the influence of wine- followed all that was told him, understood it all, and at the same time followed a train of personal memories which, he knew not why, suddenly arose in his mind. While listening to these love stories his own love for Natasha unexpectedly rose to his mind, and going over the pictures of that love in his imagination he mentally compared them with Ramballe’s tales. Listening to the story of the struggle between love and duty, Pierre saw before his eyes every minutest detail of his last meeting with the object of his love at the Sukharev water tower. At the time of that meeting it had not produced an effect upon him- he had not even once recalled it. But now it seemed to him that that meeting had had in it something very important and poetic.

“Peter Kirilovich, come here! We have recognized you,” he now seemed to hear the words she had uttered and to see before him her eyes, her smile, her traveling hood, and a stray lock of her hair… and there seemed to him something pathetic and touching in all this.

Having finished his tale about the enchanting Polish lady, the captain asked Pierre if he had ever experienced a similar impulse to sacrifice himself for love and a feeling of envy of the legitimate husband.

Challenged by this question Pierre raised his head and felt a need to express the thoughts that filled his mind. He began to explain that he understood love for a women somewhat differently. He said that in all his life he had loved and still loved only one woman, and that she could never be his.

“Tiens!” said the captain.

Pierre then explained that he had loved this woman from his earliest years, but that he had not dared to think of her because she was too young, and because he had been an illegitimate son without a name. Afterwards when he had received a name and wealth he dared not think of her because he loved her too well, placing her far above everything in the world, and especially therefore above himself.

When he had reached this point, Pierre asked the captain whether he understood that.

The captain made a gesture signifying that even if he did not understand it he begged Pierre to continue.

“Platonic love, clouds…” he muttered.

Whether it was the wine he had drunk, or an impulse of frankness, or the thought that this man did not, and never would, know any of those who played a part in his story, or whether it was all these things together, something loosened Pierre’s tongue. Speaking thickly and with a faraway look in his shining eyes, he told the whole story of his life: his marriage, Natasha’s love for his best friend, her betrayal of him, and all his own simple relations with her. Urged on by Ramballe’s questions he also told what he had at first concealed- his own position and even his name.

More than anything else in Pierre’s story the captain was impressed by the fact that Pierre was very rich, had two mansions in Moscow, and that he had abandoned everything and not left the city, but remained there concealing his name and station.

When it was late at night they went out together into the street. The night was warm and light. To the left of the house on the Pokrovka a fire glowed- the first of those that were beginning in Moscow. To the right and high up in the sky was the sickle of the waning moon and opposite to it hung that bright comet which was connected in Pierre’s heart with his love. At the gate stood Gerasim, the cook, and two Frenchmen. Their laughter and their mutually incomprehensible remarks in two languages could be heard. They were looking at the glow seen in the town.

There was nothing terrible in the one small, distant fire in the immense city.

Gazing at the high starry sky, at the moon, at the comet, and at the glow from the fire, Pierre experienced a joyful emotion. “There now, how good it is, what more does one need?” thought he. And suddenly remembering his intention he grew dizzy and felt so faint that he leaned against the fence to save himself from falling.

Without taking leave of his new friend, Pierre left the gate with unsteady steps and returning to his room lay down on the sofa and immediately fell asleep.

CHAPTER XXX

The glow of the first fire that began on the second of September was watched from the various roads by the fugitive Muscovites and by the retreating troops, with many different feelings.

The Rostov party spent the night at Mytishchi, fourteen miles from Moscow. They had started so late on the first of September, the road had been so blocked by vehicles and troops, so many things had been forgotten for which servants were sent back, that they had decided to spend that night at a place three miles out of Moscow. The next morning they woke late and were again delayed so often that they only got as far as Great Mytishchi. At ten o’clock that evening the Rostov family and the wounded traveling with them were all distributed in the yards and huts of that large village. The Rostovs’ servants and coachmen and the orderlies of the wounded officers, after attending to their masters, had supper, fed the horses, and came out into the porches.

In a neighboring hut lay Raevski’s adjutant with a fractured wrist. The awful pain he suffered made him moan incessantly and piteously, and his moaning sounded terrible in the darkness of the autumn night. He had spent the first night in the same yard as the Rostovs. The countess said she had been unable to close her eyes on account of his moaning, and at Mytishchi she moved into a worse hut simply to be farther away from the wounded man.

In the darkness of the night one of the servants noticed, above the high body of a coach standing before the porch, the small glow of another fire. One glow had long been visible and everybody knew that it was Little Mytishchi burning- set on fire by Mamonov’s Cossacks.

“But look here, brothers, there’s another fire!” remarked an orderly.

All turned their attention to the glow.

“But they told us Little Mytishchi had been set on fire by Mamonov’s Cossacks.”

“But that’s not Mytishchi, it’s farther away.”

“Look, it must be in Moscow!”

Two of the gazers went round to the other side of the coach and sat down on its steps.

“It’s more to the left, why, Little Mytishchi is over there, and this is right on the other side.”

Several men joined the first two.

“See how it’s flaring,” said one. “That’s a fire in Moscow: either in the Sushchevski or the Rogozhski quarter.”

No one replied to this remark and for some time they all gazed silently at the spreading flames of the second fire in the distance.

Old Daniel Terentich, the count’s valet (as he was called), came up to the group and shouted at Mishka.

“What are you staring at, you good-for-nothing?… The count will be calling and there’s nobody there; go and gather the clothes together.”

“I only ran out to get some water,” said Mishka.

“But what do you think, Daniel Terentich? Doesn’t it look as if that glow were in Moscow?” remarked one of the footmen.

Daniel Terentich made no reply, and again for a long time they were all silent. The glow spread, rising and failing, farther and farther still.

“God have mercy…. It’s windy and dry…” said another voice.

“Just look! See what it’s doing now. O Lord! You can even see the crows flying. Lord have mercy on us sinners!”

“They’ll put it out, no fear!”

“Who’s to put it out?” Daniel Terentich, who had hitherto been silent, was heard to say. His voice was calm and deliberate. “Moscow it is, brothers,” said he. “Mother Moscow, the white…” his voice faltered, and he gave way to an old man’s sob.

And it was as if they had all only waited for this to realize the significance for them of the glow they were watching. Sighs were heard, words of prayer, and the sobbing of the count’s old valet.

CHAPTER XXXI

The valet, returning to the cottage, informed the count that Moscow was burning. The count donned his dressing gown and went out to look. Sonya and Madame Schoss, who had not yet undressed, went out with him. Only Natasha and the countess remained in the room. Petya was no longer with the family, he had gone on with his regiment which was making for Troitsa.

The countess, on hearing that Moscow was on fire, began to cry. Natasha, pale, with a fixed look, was sitting on the bench under the icons just where she had sat down on arriving and paid no attention to her father’s words. She was listening to the ceaseless moaning of the adjutant, three houses off.

“Oh, how terrible,” said Sonya returning from the yard chilled and frightened. “I believe the whole of Moscow will burn, there’s an awful glow! Natasha, do look! You can see it from the window,” she said to her cousin, evidently wishing to distract her mind.

But Natasha looked at her as if not understanding what was said to her and again fixed her eyes on the corner of the stove. She had been in this condition of stupor since the morning, when Sonya, to the surprise and annoyance of the countess, had for some unaccountable reason found it necessary to tell Natasha of Prince Andrew’s wound and of his being with their party. The countess had seldom been so angry with anyone as she was with Sonya. Sonya had cried and begged to be forgiven and now, as if trying to atone for her fault, paid unceasing attention to her cousin.

“Look, Natasha, how dreadfully it is burning!” said she.

“What’s burning?” asked Natasha. “Oh, yes, Moscow.”

And as if in order not to offend Sonya and to get rid of her, she turned her face to the window, looked out in such a way that it was evident that she could not see anything, and again settled down in her former attitude.

“But you didn’t see it!”

“Yes, really I did,” Natasha replied in a voice that pleaded to be left in peace.

Both the countess and Sonya understood that, naturally, neither Moscow nor the burning of Moscow nor anything else could seem of importance to Natasha.

The count returned and lay down behind the partition. The countess went up to her daughter and touched her head with the back of her hand as she was wont to do when Natasha was ill, then touched her forehead with her lips as if to feel whether she was feverish, and finally kissed her.

“You are cold. You are trembling all over. You’d better lie down,” said the countess.

“Lie down? All right, I will. I’ll lie down at once,” said Natasha.

When Natasha had been told that morning that Prince Andrew was seriously wounded and was traveling with their party, she had at first asked many questions: Where was he going? How was he wounded? Was it serious? And could she see him? But after she had been told that she could not see him, that he was seriously wounded but that his life was not in danger, she ceased to ask questions or to speak at all, evidently disbelieving what they told her, and convinced that say what she might she would still be told the same. All the way she had sat motionless in a corner of the coach with wide open eyes, and the expression in them which the countess knew so well and feared so much, and now she sat in the same way on the bench where she had seated herself on arriving. She was planning something and either deciding or had already decided something in her mind. The countess knew this, but what it might be she did not know, and this alarmed and tormented her.

“Natasha, undress, darling; lie down on my bed.”

A bed had been made on a bedstead for the countess only. Madame Schoss and the two girls were to sleep on some hay on the floor.

“No, Mamma, I will lie down here on the floor,” Natasha replied irritably and she went to the window and opened it. Through the open window the moans of the adjutant could be heard more distinctly. She put her head out into the damp night air, and the countess saw her slim neck shaking with sobs and throbbing against the window frame. Natasha knew it was not Prince Andrew who was moaning. She knew Prince Andrew was in the same yard as themselves and in a part of the hut across the passage; but this dreadful incessant moaning made her sob. The countess exchanged a look with Sonya.

“Lie down, darling; lie down, my pet,” said the countess, softly touching Natasha’s shoulders. “Come, lie down.”

“Oh, yes… I’ll lie down at once,” said Natasha, and began hurriedly undressing, tugging at the tapes of her petticoat.

When she had thrown off her dress and put on a dressing jacket, she sat down with her foot under her on the bed that had been made up on the floor, jerked her thin and rather short plait of hair to the front, and began replaiting it. Her long, thin, practiced fingers rapidly unplaited, replaited, and tied up her plait. Her head moved from side to side from habit, but her eyes, feverishly wide, looked fixedly before her. When her toilet for the night was finished she sank gently onto the sheet spread over the hay on the side nearest the door.

“Natasha, you’d better lie in the middle,” said Sonya.

“I’ll stay here,” muttered Natasha. “Do lie down,” she added crossly, and buried her face in the pillow.

The countess, Madame Schoss, and Sonya undressed hastily and lay down. The small lamp in front of the icons was the only light left in the room. But in the yard there was a light from the fire at Little Mytishchi a mile and a half away, and through the night came the noise of people shouting at a tavern Mamonov’s Cossacks had set up across the street, and the adjutant’s unceasing moans could still be heard.

For a long time Natasha listened attentively to the sounds that reached her from inside and outside the room and did not move. First she heard her mother praying and sighing and the creaking of her bed under her, then Madame Schoss’ familiar whistling snore and Sonya’s gentle breathing. Then the countess called to Natasha. Natasha did not answer.

“I think she’s asleep, Mamma,” said Sonya softly.

After short silence the countess spoke again but this time no one replied.

Soon after that Natasha heard her mother’s even breathing. Natasha did not move, though her little bare foot, thrust out from under the quilt, was growing cold on the bare floor.

As if to celebrate a victory over everybody, a cricket chirped in a crack in the wall. A cock crowed far off and another replied near by. The shouting in the tavern had died down; only the moaning of the adjutant was heard. Natasha sat up.

“Sonya, are you asleep? Mamma?” she whispered.

No one replied. Natasha rose slowly and carefully, crossed herself, and stepped cautiously on the cold and dirty floor with her slim, supple, bare feet. The boards of the floor creaked. Stepping cautiously from one foot to the other she ran like a kitten the few steps to the door and grasped the cold door handle.

It seemed to her that something heavy was beating rhythmically against all the walls of the room: it was her own heart, sinking with alarm and terror and overflowing with love.

She opened the door and stepped across the threshold and onto the cold, damp earthen floor of the passage. The cold she felt refreshed her. With her bare feet she touched a sleeping man, stepped over him, and opened the door into the part of the hut where Prince Andrew lay. It was dark in there. In the farthest corner, on a bench beside a bed on which something was lying, stood a tallow candle with a long, thick, and smoldering wick.

From the moment she had been told that of Prince Andrew’s wound and his presence there, Natasha had resolved to see him. She did not know why she had to, she knew the meeting would be painful, but felt the more convinced that it was necessary.

All day she had lived only in hope of seeing him that night. But now that the moment had come she was filled with dread of what she might see. How was he maimed? What was left of him? Was he like that incessant moaning of the adjutant’s? Yes, he was altogether like that. In her imagination he was that terrible moaning personified. When she saw an indistinct shape in the corner, and mistook his knees raised under the quilt for his shoulders, she imagined a horrible body there, and stood still in terror. But an irresistible impulse drew her forward. She cautiously took one step and then another, and found herself in the middle of a small room containing baggage. Another man- Timokhin- was lying in a corner on the benches beneath the icons, and two others- the doctor and a valet- lay on the floor.

The valet sat up and whispered something. Timokhin, kept awake by the pain in his wounded leg, gazed with wide-open eyes at this strange apparition of a girl in a white chemise, dressing jacket, and nightcap. The valet’s sleepy, frightened exclamation, “What do you want? What’s the matter?” made Natasha approach more swiftly to what was lying in the corner. Horribly unlike a man as that body looked, she must see him. She passed the valet, the snuff fell from the candle wick, and she saw Prince Andrew clearly with his arms outside the quilt, and such as she had always seen him.

He was the same as ever, but the feverish color of his face, his glittering eyes rapturously turned toward her, and especially his neck, delicate as a child’s, revealed by the turn-down collar of his shirt, gave him a peculiarly innocent, childlike look, such as she had never seen on him before. She went up to him and with a swift, flexible, youthful movement dropped on her knees.

He smiled and held out his hand to her.

CHAPTER XXXII

Seven days had passed since Prince Andrew found himself in the ambulance station on the field of Borodino. His feverish state and the inflammation of his bowels, which were injured, were in the doctor’s opinion sure to carry him off. But on the seventh day he ate with pleasure a piece of bread with some tea, and the doctor noticed that his temperature was lower. He had regained consciousness that morning. The first night after they left Moscow had been fairly warm and he had remained in the caleche, but at Mytishchi the wounded man himself asked to be taken out and given some tea. The pain caused by his removal into the hut had made him groan aloud and again lose consciousness. When he had been placed on his camp bed he lay for a long time motionless with closed eyes. Then he opened them and whispered softly: “And the tea?” His remembering such a small detail of everyday life astonished the doctor. He felt Prince Andrew’s pulse, and to his surprise and dissatisfaction found it had improved. He was dissatisfied because he knew by experience that if his patient did not die now, he would do so a little later with greater suffering. Timokhin, the red-nosed major of Prince Andrew’s regiment, had joined him in Moscow and was being taken along with him, having been wounded in the leg at the battle of Borodino. They were accompanied by a doctor, Prince Andrew’s valet, his coach. man, and two orderlies.

They gave Prince Andrew some tea. He drank it eagerly, looking with feverish eyes at the door in front of him as if trying to understand and remember something.

“I don’t want any more. Is Timokhin here?” he asked.

Timokhin crept along the bench to him.

“I am here, your excellency.”

“How’s your wound?”

“Mine, sir? All right. But how about you?”

Prince Andrew again pondered as if trying to remember something.

“Couldn’t one get a book?” he asked.

“What book?”

“The Gospels. I haven’t one.”

The doctor promised to procure it for him and began to ask how he was feeling. Prince Andrew answered all his questions reluctantly but reasonably, and then said he wanted a bolster placed under him as he was uncomfortable and in great pain. The doctor and valet lifted the cloak with which he was covered and, making wry faces at the noisome smell of mortifying flesh that came from the wound, began examining that dreadful place. The doctor was very much displeased about something and made a change in the dressings, turning the wounded man over so that he groaned again and grew unconscious and delirious from the agony. He kept asking them to get him the book and put it under him.

“What trouble would it be to you?” he said. “I have not got one. Please get it for me and put it under for a moment,” he pleaded in a piteous voice.

The doctor went into the passage to wash his hands.

“You fellows have no conscience,” said he to the valet who was pouring water over his hands. “For just one moment I didn’t look after you… It’s such pain, you know, that I wonder how he can bear it.”

“By the Lord Jesus Christ, I thought we had put something under him!” said the valet.

The first time Prince Andrew understood where he was and what was the matter with him and remembered being wounded and how was when he asked to be carried into the hut after his caleche had stopped at Mytishchi. After growing confused from pain while being carried into the hut he again regained consciousness, and while drinking tea once more recalled all that had happened to him, and above all vividly remembered the moment at the ambulance station when, at the sight of the sufferings of a man he disliked, those new thoughts had come to him which promised him happiness. And those thoughts, though now vague and indefinite, again possessed his soul. He remembered that he had now a new source of happiness and that this happiness had something to do with the Gospels. That was why he asked for a copy of them. The uncomfortable position in which they had put him and turned him over again confused his thoughts, and when he came to himself a third time it was in the complete stillness of the night. Everybody near him was sleeping. A cricket chirped from across the passage; someone was shouting and singing in the street; cockroaches rustled on the table, on the icons, and on the walls, and a big fly flopped at the head of the bed and around the candle beside him, the wick of which was charred and had shaped itself like a mushroom.

His mind was not in a normal state. A healthy man usually thinks of, feels, and remembers innumerable things simultaneously, but has the power and will to select one sequence of thoughts or events on which to fix his whole attention. A healthy man can tear himself away from the deepest reflections to say a civil word to someone who comes in and can then return again to his own thoughts. But Prince Andrew’s mind was not in a normal state in that respect. All the powers of his mind were more active and clearer than ever, but they acted apart from his will. Most diverse thoughts and images occupied him simultaneously. At times his brain suddenly began to work with a vigor, clearness, and depth it had never reached when he was in health, but suddenly in the midst of its work it would turn to some unexpected idea and he had not the strength to turn it back again.

“Yes, a new happiness was revealed to me of which man cannot be deprived,” he thought as he lay in the semi-darkness of the quiet hut, gazing fixedly before him with feverish wide open eyes. “A happiness lying beyond material forces, outside the material influences that act on man- a happiness of the soul alone, the happiness of loving. Every man can understand it, but to conceive it and enjoin it was possible only for God. But how did God enjoin that law? And why was the Son…?”

And suddenly the sequence of these thoughts broke off, and Prince Andrew heard (without knowing whether it was a delusion or reality) a soft whispering voice incessantly and rhythmically repeating “piti-piti-piti,” and then “titi,” and then again “piti-piti-piti,” and “ti-ti” once more. At the same time he felt that above his face, above the very middle of it, some strange airy structure was being erected out of slender needles or splinters, to the sound of this whispered music. He felt that he had to balance carefully (though it was difficult) so that this airy structure should not collapse; but nevertheless it kept collapsing and again slowly rising to the sound of whispered rhythmic music- “it stretches, stretches, spreading out and stretching,” said Prince Andrew to himself. While listening to this whispering and feeling the sensation of this drawing out and the construction of this edifice of needles, he also saw by glimpses a red halo round the candle, and heard the rustle of the cockroaches and the buzzing of the fly that flopped against his pillow and his face. Each time the fly touched his face it gave him a burning sensation and yet to his surprise it did not destroy the structure, though it knocked against the very region of his face where it was rising. But besides this there was something else of importance. It was something white by the door- the statue of a sphinx, which also oppressed him.

“But perhaps that’s my shirt on the table,” he thought, “and that’s my legs, and that is the door, but why is it always stretching and drawing itself out, and ‘piti-piti-piti’ and ‘ti-ti’ and ‘piti-piti-piti’…? That’s enough, please leave off!” Prince Andrew painfully entreated someone. And suddenly thoughts and feelings again swam to the surface of his mind with peculiar clearness and force.

“Yes- love,” he thought again quite clearly. “But not love which loves for something, for some quality, for some purpose, or for some reason, but the love which I- while dying- first experienced when I saw my enemy and yet loved him. I experienced that feeling of love which is the very essence of the soul and does not require an object. Now again I feel that bliss. To love one’s neighbors, to love one’s enemies, to love everything, to love God in all His manifestations. It is possible to love someone dear to you with human love, but an enemy can only be loved by divine love. That is why I experienced such joy when I felt that I loved that man. What has become of him? Is he alive?…

“When loving with human love one may pass from love to hatred, but divine love cannot change. No, neither death nor anything else can destroy it. It is the very essence of the soul. Yet how many people have I hated in my life? And of them all, I loved and hated none as I did her.” And he vividly pictured to himself Natasha, not as he had done in the past with nothing but her charms which gave him delight, but for the first time picturing to himself her soul. And he understood her feelings, her sufferings, shame, and remorse. He now understood for the first time all the cruelty of his rejection of her, the cruelty of his rupture with her. “If only it were possible for me to see her once more! Just once, looking into those eyes to say…”

“Piti-piti-piti and ti-ti and piti-piti-piti boom!” flopped the fly… And his attention was suddenly carried into another world, a world of reality and delirium in which something particular was happening. In that world some structure was still being erected and did not fall, something was still stretching out, and the candle with its red halo was still burning, and the same shirtlike sphinx lay near the door; but besides all this something creaked, there was a whiff of fresh air, and a new white sphinx appeared, standing at the door. And that sphinx had the pale face and shining eyes of the very Natasha of whom he had just been thinking.

“Oh, how oppressive this continual delirium is,” thought Prince Andrew, trying to drive that face from his imagination. But the face remained before him with the force of reality and drew nearer. Prince Andrew wished to return that former world of pure thought, but he could not, and delirium drew him back into its domain. The soft whispering voice continued its rhythmic murmur, something oppressed him and stretched out, and the strange face was before him. Prince Andrew collected all his strength in an effort to recover his senses, he moved a little, and suddenly there was a ringing in his ears, a dimness in his eyes, and like a man plunged into water he lost consciousness. When he came to himself, Natasha, that same living Natasha whom of all people he most longed to love with this new pure divine love that had been revealed to him, was kneeling before him. He realized that it was the real living Natasha, and he was not surprised but quietly happy. Natasha, motionless on her knees (she was unable to stir), with frightened eyes riveted on him, was restraining her sobs. Her face was pale and rigid. Only in the lower part of it something quivered.

Prince Andrew sighed with relief, smiled, and held out his hand.

“You?” he said. “How fortunate!”

With a rapid but careful movement Natasha drew nearer to him on her knees and, taking his hand carefully, bent her face over it and began kissing it, just touching it lightly with her lips.

“Forgive me!” she whispered, raising her head and glancing at him. “Forgive me!”

“I love you,” said Prince Andrew.

“Forgive…!”

“Forgive what?” he asked.

“Forgive me for what I ha-ve do-ne!” faltered Natasha in a scarcely audible, broken whisper, and began kissing his hand more rapidly, just touching it with her lips.

“I love you more, better than before,” said Prince Andrew, lifting her face with his hand so as to look into her eyes.

Those eyes, filled with happy tears, gazed at him timidly, compassionately, and with joyous love. Natasha’s thin pale face, with its swollen lips, was more than plain- it was dreadful. But Prince Andrew did not see that, he saw her shining eyes which were beautiful. They heard the sound of voices behind them.

Peter the valet, who was now wide awake, had roused the doctor. Timokhin, who had not slept at all because of the pain in his leg, had long been watching all that was going on, carefully covering his bare body with the sheet as he huddled up on his bench.

“What’s this?” said the doctor, rising from his bed. “Please go away, madam!”

At that moment a maid sent by the countess, who had noticed her daughter’s absence, knocked at the door.

Like a somnambulist aroused from her sleep Natasha went out of the room and, returning to her hut, fell sobbing on her bed.

From that time, during all the rest of the Rostovs’ journey, at every halting place and wherever they spent a night, Natasha never left the wounded Bolkonski, and the doctor had to admit that he had not expected from a young girl either such firmness or such skill in nursing a wounded man.

Dreadful as the countess imagined it would be should Prince Andrew die in her daughter’s arms during the journey- as, judging by what the doctor said, it seemed might easily happen- she could not oppose Natasha. Though with the intimacy now established between the wounded man and Natasha the thought occurred that should he recover their former engagement would be renewed, no one- least of all Natasha and Prince Andrew- spoke of this: the unsettled question of life and death, which hung not only over Bolkonski but over all Russia, shut out all other considerations.

CHAPTER XXXIII

On the third of September Pierre awoke late. His head was aching, the clothes in which he had slept without undressing felt uncomfortable on his body, and his mind had a dim consciousness of something shameful he had done the day before. That something shameful was his yesterday’s conversation with Captain Ramballe.

It was eleven by the clock, but it seemed peculiarly dark out of doors. Pierre rose, rubbed his eyes, and seeing the pistol with an engraved stock which Gerasim had replaced on the writing table, he remembered where he was and what lay before him that very day.

“Am I not too late?” he thought. “No, probably he won’t make his entry into Moscow before noon.”

Pierre did not allow himself to reflect on what lay before him, but hastened to act.

After arranging his clothes, he took the pistol and was about to go out. But it then occurred to him for the first time that he certainly could not carry the weapon in his hand through the streets. It was difficult to hide such a big pistol even under his wide coat. He could not carry it unnoticed in his belt or under his arm. Besides, it had been discharged, and he had not had time to reload it. “No matter, dagger will do,” he said to himself, though when planning his design he had more than once come to the conclusion that the chief mistake made by the student in 1809 had been to try to kill Napoleon with a dagger. But as his chief aim consisted not in carrying out his design, but in proving to himself that he would not abandon his intention and was doing all he could to achieve it, Pierre hastily took the blunt jagged dagger in a green sheath which he had bought at the Sukharev market with the pistol, and hid it under his waistcoat.

Having tied a girdle over his coat and pulled his cap low on his head, Pierre went down the corridor, trying to avoid making a noise or meeting the captain, and passed out into the street.

The conflagration, at which he had looked with so much indifference the evening before, had greatly increased during the night. Moscow was on fire in several places. The buildings in Carriage Row, across the river, in the Bazaar and the Povarskoy, as well as the barges on the Moskva River and the timber yards by the Dorogomilov Bridge, were all ablaze.

Pierre’s way led through side streets to the Povarskoy and from there to the church of St. Nicholas on the Arbat, where he had long before decided that the deed should should be done. The gates of most of the houses were locked and the shutters up. The streets and lanes were deserted. The air was full of smoke and the smell of burning. Now and then he met Russians with anxious and timid faces, and Frenchmen with an air not of the city but of the camp, walking in the middle of the streets. Both the Russians and the French looked at Pierre with surprise. Besides his height and stoutness, and the strange morose look of suffering in his face and whole figure, the Russians stared at Pierre because they could not make out to what class he could belong. The French followed him with astonishment in their eyes chiefly because Pierre, unlike all the other Russians who gazed at the French with fear and curiosity, paid no attention to them. At the gate of one house three Frenchmen, who were explaining something to some Russians who did not understand them, stopped Pierre asking if he did not know French.

Pierre shook his head and went on. In another side street a sentinel standing beside a green caisson shouted at him, but only when the shout was threateningly repeated and he heard the click of the man’s musket as he raised it did Pierre understand that he had to pass on the other side of the street. He heard nothing and saw nothing of what went on around him. He carried his resolution within himself in terror and haste, like something dreadful and alien to him, for, after the previous night’s experience, he was afraid of losing it. But he was not destined to bring his mood safely to his destination. And even had he not been hindered by anything on the way, his intention could not now have been carried out, for Napoleon had passed the Arbat more than four hours previously on his way from the Dorogomilov suburb to the Kremlin, and was now sitting in a very gloomy frame of mind in a royal study in the Kremlin, giving detailed and exact orders as to measures to be taken immediately to extinguish the fire, to prevent looting, and to reassure the inhabitants. But Pierre did not know this; he was entirely absorbed in what lay before him, and was tortured- as those are who obstinately undertake a task that is impossible for them not because of its difficulty but because of its incompatibility with their natures- by the fear of weakening at the decisive moment and so losing his self-esteem.

Though he heard and saw nothing around him he found his way by instinct and did not go wrong in the side streets that led to the Povarskoy.

As Pierre approached that street the smoke became denser and denser- he even felt the heat of the fire. Occasionally curly tongues of flame rose from under the roofs of the houses. He met more people in the streets and they were more excited. But Pierre, though he felt that something unusual was happening around him, did not realize that he was approaching the fire. As he was going along a foot path across a wide-open space adjoining the Povarskoy on one side and the gardens of Prince Gruzinski’s house on the other, Pierre suddenly heard the desperate weeping of a woman close to him. He stopped as if awakening from a dream and lifted his head.

By the side of the path, on the dusty dry grass, all sorts of household goods lay in a heap: featherbeds, a samovar, icons, and trunks. On the ground, beside the trunks, sat a thin woman no longer young, with long, prominent upper teeth, and wearing a black cloak and cap. This woman, swaying to and fro and muttering something, was choking with sobs. Two girls of about ten and twelve, dressed in dirty short frocks and cloaks, were staring at their mother with a look of stupefaction on their pale frightened faces. The youngest child, a boy of about seven, who wore an overcoat and an immense cap evidently not his own, was crying in his old nurse’s arms. A dirty, barefooted maid was sitting on a trunk, and, having undone her pale-colored plait, was pulling it straight and sniffing at her singed hair. The woman’s husband, a short, round-shouldered man in the undress uniform of a civilian official, with sausage-shaped whiskers and showing under his square-set cap the hair smoothly brushed forward over his temples, with expressionless face was moving the trunks, which were placed one on another, and was dragging some garments from under them.

As soon as she saw Pierre, the woman almost threw herself at his feet.

“Dear people, good Christians, save me, help me, dear friends… help us, somebody,” she muttered between her sobs. “My girl… My daughter! My youngest daughter is left behind. She’s burned! Ooh! Was it for this I nursed you…. Ooh!”

“Don’t, Mary Nikolievna!” said her husband to her in a low voice, evidently only to justify himself before the stranger. “Sister must have taken her, or else where can she be?” he added.

“Monster! Villain!” shouted the woman angrily, suddenly ceasing to weep. “You have no heart, you don’t feel for your own child! Another man would have rescued her from the fire. But this is a monster and neither a man nor a father! You, honored sir, are a noble man,” she went on, addressing Pierre rapidly between her sobs. “The fire broke out alongside, and blew our way, the maid called out ‘Fire!’ and we rushed to collect our things. We ran out just as we were…. This is what we have brought away…. The icons, and my dowry bed, all the rest is lost. We seized the children. But not Katie! Ooh! O Lord!…” and again she began to sob. “My child, my dear one! Burned, burned!”

“But where was she left?” asked Pierre.

From the expression of his animated face the woman saw that this man might help her.

“Oh, dear sir!” she cried, seizing him by the legs. “My benefactor, set my heart at ease…. Aniska, go, you horrid girl, show him the way!” she cried to the maid, angrily opening her mouth and still farther exposing her long teeth.

“Show me the way, show me, I… I’ll do it,” gasped Pierre rapidly.

The dirty maidservant stepped from behind the trunk, put up her plait, sighed, and went on her short, bare feet along the path. Pierre felt as if he had come back to life after a heavy swoon. He held his head higher, his eyes shone with the light of life, and with swift steps he followed the maid, overtook her, and came out on the Povarskoy. The whole street was full of clouds of black smoke. Tongues of flame here and there broke through that cloud. A great number of people crowded in front of the conflagration. In the middle of the street stood a French general saying something to those around him. Pierre, accompanied by the maid, was advancing to the spot where the general stood, but the French soldiers stopped him.

“On ne passe pas!”* cried a voice.

*”You can’t pass!

“This way, uncle,” cried the girl. “We’ll pass through the side street, by the Nikulins’!”

Pierre turned back, giving a spring now and then to keep up with her. She ran across the street, turned down a side street to the left, and, passing three houses, turned into a yard on the right.

“It’s here, close by,” said she and, running across the yard, opened a gate in a wooden fence and, stopping, pointed out to him a small wooden wing of the house, which was burning brightly and fiercely. One of its sides had fallen in, another was on fire, and bright flames issued from the openings of the windows and from under the roof.

As Pierre passed through the fence gate, he was enveloped by hot air and involuntarily stopped.

“Which is it? Which is your house?” he asked.

“Ooh!” wailed the girl, pointing to the wing. “That’s it, that was our lodging. You’ve burned to death, our treasure, Katie, my precious little missy! Ooh!” lamented Aniska, who at the sight of the fire felt that she too must give expression to her feelings.

Pierre rushed to the wing, but the heat was so great that he involuntarily passed round in a curve and came upon the large house that was as yet burning only at one end, just below the roof, and around which swarmed a crowd of Frenchmen. At first Pierre did not realize what these men, who were dragging something out, were about; but seeing before him a Frenchman hitting a peasant with a blunt saber and trying to take from him a fox-fur coat, he vaguely understood that looting was going on there, but he had no time to dwell on that idea.

The sounds of crackling and the din of falling walls and ceilings, the whistle and hiss of the flames, the excited shouts of the people, and the sight of the swaying smoke, now gathering into thick black clouds and now soaring up with glittering sparks, with here and there dense sheaves of flame (now red and now like golden fish scales creeping along the walls), and the heat and smoke and rapidity of motion, produced on Pierre the usual animating effects of a conflagration. It had a peculiarly strong effect on him because at the sight of the fire he felt himself suddenly freed from the ideas that had weighed him down. He felt young, bright, adroit, and resolute. He ran round to the other side of the lodge and was about to dash into that part of it which was still standing, when just above his head he heard several voices shouting and then a cracking sound and the ring of something heavy falling close beside him.

Pierre looked up and saw at a window of the large house some Frenchmen who had just thrown out the drawer of a chest, filled with metal articles. Other French soldiers standing below went up to the drawer.

“What does this fellow want?” shouted one of them referring to Pierre.

“There’s a child in that house. Haven’t you seen a child?” cried Pierre.

“What’s he talking about? Get along!” said several voices, and one of the soldiers, evidently afraid that Pierre might want to take from them some of the plate and bronzes that were in the drawer, moved threateningly toward him.

“A child?” shouted a Frenchman from above. “I did hear something squealing in the garden. Perhaps it’s his brat that the fellow is looking for. After all, one must be human, you know….”

“Where is it? Where?” said Pierre.

“There! There!” shouted the Frenchman at the window, pointing to the garden at the back of the house. “Wait a bit- I’m coming down.”

And a minute or two later the Frenchman, a black-eyed fellow with a spot on his cheek, in shirt sleeves, really did jump out of a window on the ground floor, and clapping Pierre on the shoulder ran with him into the garden.

“Hurry up, you others!” he called out to his comrades. “It’s getting hot.”

When they reached a gravel path behind the house the Frenchman pulled Pierre by the arm and pointed to a round, graveled space where a three-year-old girl in a pink dress was lying under a seat.

“There is your child! Oh, a girl, so much the better!” said the Frenchman. “Good-by, Fatty. We must be human, we are all mortal you know!” and the Frenchman with the spot on his cheek ran back to his comrades.

Breathless with joy, Pierre ran to the little girl and was going to take her in his arms. But seeing a stranger the sickly, scrofulous-looking child, unattractively like her mother, began to yell and run away. Pierre, however, seized her and lifted her in his arms. She screamed desperately and angrily and tried with her little hands to pull Pierre’s hands away and to bite them with her slobbering mouth. Pierre was seized by a sense of horror and repulsion such as he had experienced when touching some nasty little animal. But he made an effort not to throw the child down and ran with her to the large house. It was now, however, impossible to get back the way he had come; the maid, Aniska, was no longer there, and Pierre with a feeling of pity and disgust pressed the wet, painfully sobbing child to himself as tenderly as he could and ran with her through the garden seeking another way out.

CHAPTER XXXIV

Having run through different yards and side streets, Pierre got back with his little burden to the Gruzinski garden at the corner of the Povarskoy. He did not at first recognize the place from which he had set out to look for the child, so crowded was it now with people and goods that had been dragged out of the houses. Besides Russian families who had taken refuge here from the fire with their belongings, there were several French soldiers in a variety of clothing. Pierre took no notice of them. He hurried to find the family of that civil servant in order to restore the daughter to her mother and go to save someone else. Pierre felt that he had still much to do and to do quickly. Glowing with the heat and from running, he felt at that moment more strongly than ever the sense of youth, animation, and determination that had come on him when he ran to save the child. She had now become quiet and, clinging with her little hands to Pierre’s coat, sat on his arm gazing about her like some little wild animal. He glanced at her occasionally with a slight smile. He fancied he saw something pathetically innocent in that frightened, sickly little face.

He did not find the civil servant or his wife where he had left them. He walked among the crowd with rapid steps, scanning the various faces he met. Involuntarily he noticed a Georgian or Armenian family consisting of a very handsome old man of Oriental type, wearing a new, cloth-covered, sheepskin coat and new boots, an old woman of similar type, and a young woman. That very young woman seemed to Pierre the perfection of Oriental beauty, with her sharply outlined, arched, black eyebrows and the extraordinarily soft, bright color of her long, beautiful, expressionless face. Amid the scattered property and the crowd on the open space, she, in her rich satin cloak with a bright lilac shawl on her head, suggested a delicate exotic plant thrown out onto the snow. She was sitting on some bundles a little behind the old woman, and looked from under her long lashes with motionless, large, almond-shaped eyes at the ground before her. Evidently she was aware of her beauty and fearful because of it. Her face struck Pierre and, hurrying along by the fence, he turned several times to look at her. When he had reached the fence, still without finding those he sought, he stopped and looked about him.

With the child in his arms his figure was now more conspicuous than before, and a group of Russians, both men and women, gathered about him.

“Have you lost anyone, my dear fellow? You’re of the gentry yourself, aren’t you? Whose child is it?” they asked him.

Pierre replied that the child belonged to a woman in a black coat who had been sitting there with her other children, and he asked whether anyone knew where she had gone.

“Why, that must be the Anferovs,” said an old deacon, addressing a pockmarked peasant woman. “Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy!” he added in his customary bass.

“The Anferovs? No,” said the woman. “They left in the morning. That must be either Mary Nikolievna’s or the Ivanovs’!”

“He says ‘a woman,’ and Mary Nikolievna is a lady,” remarked a house serf.

“Do you know her? She’s thin, with long teeth,” said Pierre.

“That’s Mary Nikolievna! They went inside the garden when these wolves swooped down,” said the woman, pointing to the French soldiers.

“O Lord, have mercy!” added the deacon.

“Go over that way, they’re there. It’s she! She kept on lamenting and crying,” continued the woman. “It’s she. Here, this way!”

But Pierre was not listening to the woman. He had for some seconds been intently watching what was going on a few steps away. He was looking at the Armenian family and at two French soldiers who had gone up to them. One of these, a nimble little man, was wearing a blue coat tied round the waist with a rope. He had a nightcap on his head and his feet were bare. The other, whose appearance particularly struck Pierre, was a long, lank, round-shouldered, fair-haired man, slow in his movements and with an idiotic expression of face. He wore a woman’s loose gown of frieze, blue trousers, and large torn Hessian boots. The little barefooted Frenchman in the blue coat went up to the Armenians and, saying something, immediately seized the old man by his legs and the old man at once began pulling off his boots. The other in the frieze gown stopped in front of the beautiful Armenian girl and with his hands in his pockets stood staring at her, motionless and silent.

“Here, take the child!” said Pierre peremptorily and hurriedly to the woman, handing the little girl to her. “Give her back to them, give her back!” he almost shouted, putting the child, who began screaming, on the ground, and again looking at the Frenchman and the Armenian family.

The old man was already sitting barefoot. The little Frenchman had secured his second boot and was slapping one boot against the other. The old man was saying something in a voice broken by sobs, but Pierre caught but a glimpse of this, his whole attention was directed to the Frenchman in the frieze gown who meanwhile, swaying slowly from side to side, had drawn nearer to the young woman and taking his hands from his pockets had seized her by the neck.

The beautiful Armenian still sat motionless and in the same attitude, with her long lashes drooping as if she did not see or feel what the soldier was doing to her.

While Pierre was running the few steps that separated him from the Frenchman, the tall marauder in the frieze gown was already tearing from her neck the necklace the young Armenian was wearing, and the young woman, clutching at her neck, screamed piercingly.

“Let that woman alone!” exclaimed Pierre hoarsely in a furious voice, seizing the soldier by his round shoulders and throwing him aside.

The soldier fell, got up, and ran away. But his comrade, throwing down the boots and drawing his sword, moved threateningly toward Pierre.

“Voyons, Pas de betises!”* he cried.

*”Look here, no nonsense!”

Pierre was in such a transport of rage that he remembered nothing and his strength increased tenfold. He rushed at the barefooted Frenchman and, before the latter had time to draw his sword, knocked him off his feet and hammered him with his fists. Shouts of approval were heard from the crowd around, and at the same moment a mounted patrol of French Uhlans appeared from round the corner. The Uhlans came up at a trot to Pierre and the Frenchman and surrounded them. Pierre remembered nothing of what happened after that. He only remembered beating someone and being beaten and finally feeling that his hands were bound and that a crowd of French soldiers stood around him and were searching him.

“Lieutenant, he has a dagger,” were the first words Pierre understood.

“Ah, a weapon?” said the officer and turned to the barefooted soldier who had been arrested with Pierre. “All right, you can tell all about it at the court-martial.” Then he turned to Pierre. “Do you speak French?”

Pierre looked around him with bloodshot eyes and did not reply. His face probably looked very terrible, for the officer said something in a whisper and four more Uhlans left the ranks and placed themselves on both sides of Pierre.

“Do you speak French?” the officer asked again, keeping at a distance from Pierre. “Call the interpreter.”

A little man in Russian civilian clothes rode out from the ranks, and by his clothes and manner of speaking Pierre at once knew him to be a French salesman from one of the Moscow shops.

“He does not look like a common man,” said the interpreter, after a searching look at Pierre.

“Ah, he looks very much like an incendiary,” remarked the officer. “And ask him who he is,” he added.

“Who are you?” asked the interpreter in poor Russian. “You must answer the chief.”

“I will not tell you who I am. I am your prisoner- take me!” Pierre suddenly replied in French.

“Ah, ah!” muttered the officer with a frown. “Well then, march!”

A crowd had collected round the Uhlans. Nearest to Pierre stood the pockmarked peasant woman with the little girl, and when the patrol started she moved forward.

“Where are they taking you to, you poor dear?” said she. “And the little girl, the little girl, what am I to do with her if she’s not theirs?” said the woman.

“What does that woman want?” asked the officer.

Pierre was as if intoxicated. His elation increased at the sight of the little girl he had saved.

“What does she want?” he murmured. “She is bringing me my daughter whom I have just saved from the flames,” said he. “Good-by!” And without knowing how this aimless lie had escaped him, he went along with resolute and triumphant steps between the French soldiers.

The French patrol was one of those sent out through the various streets of Moscow by Durosnel’s order to put a stop to the pillage, and especially to catch the incendiaries who, according to the general opinion which had that day originated among the higher French officers, were the cause of the conflagrations. After marching through a number of streets the patrol arrested five more Russian suspects: a small shopkeeper, two seminary students, a peasant, and a house serf, besides several looters. But of all these various suspected characters, Pierre was considered to be the most suspicious of all. When they had all been brought for the night to a large house on the Zubov Rampart that was being used as a guardhouse, Pierre was placed apart under strict guard.

BOOK TWELVE: 1812

CHAPTER I

In Petersburg at that time a complicated struggle was being carried on with greater heat than ever in the highest circles, between the parties of Rumyantsev, the French, Marya Fedorovna, the Tsarevich, and others, drowned as usual by the buzzing of the court drones. But the calm, luxurious life of Petersburg, concerned only about phantoms and reflections of real life, went on in its old way and made it hard, except by a great effort, to realize the danger and the difficult position of the Russian people. There were the same receptions and balls, the same French theater, the same court interests and service interests and intrigues as usual. Only in the very highest circles were attempts made to keep in mind the difficulties of the actual position. Stories were whispered of how differently the two Empresses behaved in these difficult circumstances. The Empress Marya, concerned for the welfare of the charitable and educational institutions under her patronage, had given directions that they should all be removed to Kazan, and the things belonging to these institutions had already been packed up. The Empress Elisabeth, however, when asked what instructions she would be pleased to give- with her characteristic Russian patriotism had replied that she could give no directions about state institutions for that was the affair of the sovereign, but as far as she personally was concerned she would be the last to quit Petersburg.

At Anna Pavlovna’s on the twenty-sixth of August, the very day of the battle of Borodino, there was a soiree, the chief feature of which was to be the reading of a letter from His Lordship the Bishop when sending the Emperor an icon of the Venerable Sergius. It was regarded as a model of ecclesiastical, patriotic eloquence. Prince Vasili himself, famed for his elocution, was to read it. (He used to read at the Empress’.) The art of his reading was supposed to lie in rolling out the words, quite independently of their meaning, in a loud and singsong voice alternating between a despairing wail and a tender murmur, so that the wail fell quite at random on one word and the murmur on another. This reading, as was always the case at Anna Pavlovna’s soirees, had a political significance. That evening she expected several important personages who had to be made ashamed of their visits to the French theater and aroused to a patriotic temper. A good many people had already arrived, but Anna Pavlovna, not yet seeing all those whom she wanted in her drawing room, did not let the reading begin but wound up the springs of a general conversation.

The news of the day in Petersburg was the illness of Countess Bezukhova. She had fallen ill unexpectedly a few days previously, had missed several gatherings of which she was usually ornament, and was said to be receiving no one, and instead of the celebrated Petersburg doctors who usually attended her had entrusted herself to some Italian doctor who was treating her in some new and unusual way.

They all knew very well that the enchanting countess’ illness arose from an inconvenience resulting from marrying two husbands at the same time, and that the Italian’s cure consisted in removing such inconvenience; but in Anna Pavlovna’s presence no one dared to think of this or even appear to know it.

“They say the poor countess is very ill. The doctor says it is angina pectoris.”

“Angina? Oh, that’s a terrible illness!”

“They say that the rivals are reconciled, thanks to the angina…” and the word angina was repeated with great satisfaction.

“The count is pathetic, they say. He cried like a child when the doctor told him the case was dangerous.”

“Oh, it would be a terrible loss, she is an enchanting woman.”

“You are speaking of the poor countess?” said Anna Pavlovna, coming up just then. “I sent to ask for news, and hear that she is a little better. Oh, she is certainly the most charming woman in the world,” she went on, with a smile at her own enthusiasm. “We belong to different camps, but that does not prevent my esteeming her as she deserves. She is very unfortunate!” added Anna Pavlovna.

Supposing that by these words Anna Pavlovna was somewhat lifting the veil from the secret of the countess’ malady, an unwary young man ventured to express surprise that well known doctors had not been called in and that the countess was being attended by a charlatan who might employ dangerous remedies.

“Your information maybe better than mine,” Anna Pavlovna suddenly and venomously retorted on the inexperienced young man, “but I know on good authority that this doctor is a very learned and able man. He is private physician to the Queen of Spain.”

And having thus demolished the young man, Anna Pavlovna turned to another group where Bilibin was talking about the Austrians: having wrinkled up his face he was evidently preparing to smooth it out again and utter one of his mots.

“I think it is delightful,” he said, referring to a diplomatic note that had been sent to Vienna with some Austrian banners captured from the French by Wittgenstein, “the hero of Petropol” as he was then called in Petersburg.

“What? What’s that?” asked Anna Pavlovna, securing silence for the mot, which she had heard before.

And Bilibin repeated the actual words of the diplomatic dispatch, which he had himself composed.

“The Emperor returns these Austrian banners,” said Bilibin, “friendly banners gone astray and found on a wrong path,” and his brow became smooth again.

“Charming, charming!” observed Prince Vasili.

“The path to Warsaw, perhaps,” Prince Hippolyte remarked loudly and unexpectedly. Everybody looked at him, understanding what he meant. Prince Hippolyte himself glanced around with amused surprise. He knew no more than the others what his words meant. During his diplomatic career he had more than once noticed that such utterances were received as very witty, and at every opportunity he uttered in that way the first words that entered his head. “It may turn out very well,” he thought, “but if not, they’ll know how to arrange matters.” And really, during the awkward silence that ensued, that insufficiently patriotic person entered whom Anna Pavlovna had been waiting for and wished to convert, and she, smiling and shaking a finger at Hippolyte, invited Prince Vasili to the table and bringing him two candles and the manuscript begged him to begin. Everyone became silent.

“Most Gracious Sovereign and Emperor! ” Prince Vasili sternly declaimed, looking round at his audience as if to inquire whether anyone had anything to say to the contrary. But no one said anything. “Moscow, our ancient capital, the New Jerusalem, receives her Christ”- he placed a sudden emphasis on the word her- “as a mother receives her zealous sons into her arms, and through the gathering mists, foreseeing the brilliant glory of thy rule, sings in exultation, ‘Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh!'”

Prince Vasili pronounced these last words in a tearful voice.

Bilibin attentively examined his nails, and many of those present appeared intimidated, as if asking in what they were to blame. Anna Pavlovna whispered the next words in advance, like an old woman muttering the prayer at Communion: “Let the bold and insolent Goliath…” she whispered.

Prince Vasili continued.

“Let the bold and insolent Goliath from the borders of France encompass the realms of Russia with death-bearing terrors; humble Faith, the sling of the Russian David, shall suddenly smite his head in his blood-thirsty pride. This icon of the Venerable Sergius, the servant of God and zealous champion of old of our country’s weal, is offered to Your Imperial Majesty. I grieve that my waning strength prevents rejoicing in the sight of your most gracious presence. I raise fervent prayers to Heaven that the Almighty may exalt the race of the just, and mercifully fulfill the desires of Your Majesty.”

“What force! What a style!” was uttered in approval both of reader and of author.

Animated by that address Anna Pavlovna’s guests talked for a long time of the state of the fatherland and offered various conjectures as to the result of the battle to be fought in a few days.

“You will see,” said Anna Pavlovna, “that tomorrow, on the Emperor’s birthday, we shall receive news. I have a favorable presentiment!”

CHAPTER II

Anna Pavlovna’s presentiment was in fact fulfilled. Next day during the service at the palace church in honor of the Emperor’s birthday, Prince Volkonski was called out of the church and received a dispatch from Prince Kutuzov. It was Kutuzov’s report, written from Tatarinova on the day of the battle. Kutuzov wrote that the Russians had not retreated a step, that the French losses were much heavier than ours, and that he was writing in haste from the field of battle before collecting full information. It followed that there must have been a victory. And at once, without leaving the church, thanks were rendered to the Creator for His help and for the victory.

Anna Pavlovna’s presentiment was justified, and all that morning a joyously festive mood reigned in the city. Everyone believed the victory to have been complete, and some even spoke of Napoleon’s having been captured, of his deposition, and of the choice of a new ruler for France.

It is very difficult for events to be reflected in their real strength and completeness amid the conditions of court life and far from the scene of action. General events involuntarily group themselves around some particular incident. So now the courtiers’ pleasure was based as much on the fact that the news had arrived on the Emperor’s birthday as on the fact of the victory itself. It was like a successfully arranged surprise. Mention was made in Kutuzov’s report of the Russian losses, among which figured the names of Tuchkov, Bagration, and Kutaysov. In the Petersburg world this sad side of the affair again involuntarily centered round a single incident: Kutaysov’s death. Everybody knew him, the Emperor liked him, and he was young and interesting. That day everyone met with the words:

“What a wonderful coincidence! Just during the service. But what a loss Kutaysov is! How sorry I am!”

“What did I tell about Kutuzov?” Prince Vasili now said with a prophet’s pride. “I always said he was the only man capable of defeating Napoleon.”

But next day no news arrived from the army and the public mood grew anxious. The courtiers suffered because of the suffering the suspense occasioned the Emperor.

“Fancy the Emperor’s position!” said they, and instead of extolling Kutuzov as they had done the day before, they condemned him as the cause of the Emperor’s anxiety. That day Prince Vasili no longer boasted of his protege Kutuzov, but remained silent when the commander in chief was mentioned. Moreover, toward evening, as if everything conspired to make Petersburg society anxious and uneasy, a terrible piece of news was added. Countess Helene Bezukhova had suddenly died of that terrible malady it had been so agreeable to mention. Officially, at large gatherings, everyone said that Countess Bezukhova had died of a terrible attack of angina pectoris, but in intimate circles details were mentioned of how the private physician of the Queen of Spain had prescribed small doses of a certain drug to produce a certain effect; but Helene, tortured by the fact that the old count suspected her and that her husband to whom she had written (that wretched, profligate Pierre) had not replied, had suddenly taken a very large dose of the drug, and had died in agony before assistance could be rendered her. It was said that Prince Vasili and the old count had turned upon the Italian, but the latter had produced such letters from the unfortunate deceased that they had immediately let the matter drop.

Talk in general centered round three melancholy facts: the Emperor’s lack of news, the loss of Kutuzov, and the death of Helene.

On the third day after Kutuzov’s report a country gentleman arrived from Moscow, and news of the surrender of Moscow to the French spread through the whole town. This was terrible! What a position for the Emperor to be in! Kutuzov was a traitor, and Prince Vasili during the visits of condolence paid to him on the occasion of his daughter’s death said of Kutuzov, whom he had formerly praised (it was excusable for him in his grief to forget what he had said), that it was impossible to expect anything else from a blind and depraved old man.

“I only wonder that the fate of Russia could have been entrusted to such a man.”

As long as this news remained unofficial it was possible to doubt it, but the next day the following communication was received from Count Rostopchin:

Prince Kutuzov’s adjutant has brought me a letter in which he demands police officers to guide the army to the Ryazan road. He writes that he is regretfully abandoning Moscow. Sire! Kutuzov’s action decides the fate of the capital and of your empire! Russia will shudder to learn of the abandonment of the city in which her greatness is centered and in which lie the ashes of your ancestors! I shall follow the army. I have had everything removed, and it only remains for me to weep over the fate of my fatherland.

On receiving this dispatch the Emperor sent Prince Volkonski to Kutuzov with the following rescript:

Prince Michael Ilarionovich! Since the twenty-ninth of August I have received no communication from you, yet on the first of September I received from the commander in chief of Moscow, via Yaroslavl, the sad news that you, with the army, have decided to abandon Moscow. You can yourself imagine the effect this news has had on me, and your silence increases my astonishment. I am sending this by Adjutant-General Prince Volkonski, to hear from you the situation of the army and the reasons that have induced you to take this melancholy decision.

CHAPTER III

Nine days after the abandonment of Moscow, a messenger from Kutuzov reached Petersburg with the official announcement of that event. This messenger was Michaud, a Frenchman who did not know Russian, but who was quoique etranger, russe de coeur et d’ame,* as he said of himself.

*Though a foreigner, Russian in heart and soul.

The Emperor at once received this messenger in his study at the palace on Stone Island. Michaud, who had never seen Moscow before the campaign and who did not know Russian, yet felt deeply moved (as he wrote) when he appeared before notre tres gracieux souverain* with the news of the burning of Moscow, dont les flammes eclairaient sa route.*[2]

*Our most gracious sovereign.

*[2] Whose flames illumined his route.

Though the source of M. Michaud’s chagrin must have been different from that which caused Russians to grieve, he had such a sad face when shown into the Emperor’s study that the latter at once asked:

“Have you brought me sad news, Colonel?”

“Very sad, sire,” replied Michaud, lowering his eyes with a sigh. “The abandonment of Moscow.”

“Have they surrendered my ancient capital without a battle?” asked the Emperor quickly, his face suddenly flushing.

Michaud respectfully delivered the message Kutuzov had entrusted to him, which was that it had been impossible to fight before Moscow, and that as the only remaining choice was between losing the army as well as Moscow, or losing Moscow alone, the field marshal had to choose the latter.

The Emperor listened in silence, not looking at Michaud.

“Has the enemy entered the city?” he asked.

“Yes, sire, and Moscow is now in ashes. I left it all in flames,” replied Michaud in a decided tone, but glancing at the Emperor he was frightened by what he had done.

The Emperor began to breathe heavily and rapidly, his lower lip trembled, and tears instantly appeared in his fine blue eyes.

But this lasted only a moment. He suddenly frowned, as if blaming himself for his weakness, and raising his head addressed Michaud in a firm voice:

“I see, Colonel, from all that is happening, that Providence requires great sacrifices of us… I am ready to submit myself in all things to His will; but tell me, Michaud, how did you leave the army when it saw my ancient capital abandoned without a battle? Did you not notice discouragement?…”

Seeing that his most gracious ruler was calm once more, Michaud also grew calm, but was not immediately ready to reply to the Emperor’s direct and relevant question which required a direct answer.

“Sire, will you allow me to speak frankly as befits a loyal soldier?” he asked to gain time.

“Colonel, I always require it,” replied the Emperor. “Conceal nothing from me, I wish to know absolutely how things are.”

“Sire!” said Michaud with a subtle, scarcely perceptible smile on his lips, having now prepared a well-phrased reply, “sire, I left the whole army, from its chiefs to the lowest soldier, without exception in desperate and agonized terror…”

“How is that?” the Emperor interrupted him, frowning sternly. “Would misfortune make my Russians lose heart?… Never!”

Michaud had only waited for this to bring out the phrase he had prepared.

“Sire,” he said, with respectful playfulness, “they are only afraid lest Your Majesty, in the goodness of your heart, should allow yourself to be persuaded to make peace. They are burning for the combat,” declared this representative of the Russian nation, “and to prove to Your Majesty by the sacrifice of their lives how devoted they are….”

“Ah!” said the Emperor reassured, and with a kindly gleam in his eyes, he patted Michaud on the shoulder. “You set me at ease, Colonel.”

He bent his head and was silent for some time.

“Well, then, go back to the army,” he said, drawing himself up to his full height and addressing Michaud with a gracious and majestic gesture, “and tell our brave men and all my good subjects wherever you go that when I have not a soldier left I shall put myself at the head of my beloved nobility and my good peasants and so use the last resources of my empire. It still offers me more than my enemies suppose,” said the Emperor growing more and more animated; “but should it ever be ordained by Divine Providence,” he continued, raising to heaven his fine eyes shining with emotion, “that my dynasty should cease to reign on the throne of my ancestors, then after exhausting all the means at my command, I shall let my beard grow to here” (he pointed halfway down his chest) “and go and eat potatoes with the meanest of my peasants, rather than sign the disgrace of my country and of my beloved people whose sacrifices I know how to appreciate.”

Having uttered these words in an agitated voice the Emperor suddenly turned away as if to hide from Michaud the tears that rose to his eyes, and went to the further end of his study. Having stood there a few moments, he strode back to Michaud and pressed his arm below the elbow with a vigorous movement. The Emperor’s mild and handsome face was flushed and his eyes gleamed with resolution and anger.

“Colonel Michaud, do not forget what I say to you here, perhaps we may recall it with pleasure someday… Napoleon or I,” said the Emperor, touching his breast. “We can no longer both reign together. I have learned to know him, and he will not deceive me any more….”

And the Emperor paused, with a frown.

When he heard these words and saw the expression of firm resolution in the Emperor’s eyes, Michaud- quoique etranger, russe de coeur et d’ame- at that solemn moment felt himself enraptured by all that he had heard (as he used afterwards to say), and gave expression to his own feelings and those of the Russian people whose representative he considered himself to be, in the following words:

“Sire!” said he, “Your Majesty is at this moment signing the glory of the nation and the salvation of Europe!”

With an inclination of the head the Emperor dismissed him.

CHAPTER IV

It is natural for us who were not living in those days to imagine that when half Russia had been conquered and the inhabitants were ficeing to distant provinces, and one levy after another was being raised for the defense of the fatherland, all Russians from the greatest to the least were solely engaged in sacrificing themselves, saving their fatherland, or weeping over its downfall. The tales and descriptions of that time without exception speak only of the self-sacrifice, patriotic devotion, despair, grief, and the heroism of the Russians. But it was not really so. It appears so to us because we see only the general historic interest of that time and do not see all the personal human interests that people had. Yet in reality those personal interests of the moment so much transcend the general interests that they always prevent the public interest from being felt or even noticed. Most of the people at that time paid no attention to the general progress of events but were guided only by their private interests, and they were the very people whose activities at that period were most useful.

Those who tried to understand the general course of events and to take part in it by self-sacrifice and heroism were the most useless members of society, they saw everything upside down, and all they did for the common good turned out to be useless and foolish- like Pierre’s and Mamonov’s regiments which looted Russian villages, and the lint the young ladies prepared and that never reached the wounded, and so on. Even those, fond of intellectual talk and of expressing their feelings, who discussed Russia’s position at the time involuntarily introduced into their conversation either a shade of pretense and falsehood or useless condemnation and anger directed against people accused of actions no one could possibly be guilty of. In historic events the rule forbidding us to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is specially applicable. Only unconscious action bears fruit, and he who plays a part in an historic event never understands its significance. If he tries to realize it his efforts are fruitless.

The more closely a man was engaged in the events then taking place in Russia the less did he realize their significance. In Petersburg and in the provinces at a distance from Moscow, ladies, and gentlemen in militia uniforms, wept for Russia and its ancient capital and talked of self-sacrifice and so on; but in the army which retired beyond Moscow there was little talk or thought of Moscow, and when they caught sight of its burned ruins no one swore to be avenged on the French, but they thought about their next pay, their next quarters, of Matreshka the vivandiere, and like matters.

As the war had caught him in the service, Nicholas Rostov took a close and prolonged part in the defense of his country, but did so casually, without any aim at self-sacrifice, and he therefore looked at what was going on in Russia without despair and without dismally racking his brains over it. Had he been asked what he thought of the state of Russia, he would have said that it was not his business to think about it, that Kutuzov and others were there for that purpose, but that he had heard that the regiments were to be made up to their full strength, that fighting would probably go on for a long time yet,

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