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The Project Gutenberg EBook of War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost
no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use
it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
eBook or online at

Title: War and Peace

Author: Leo Tolstoy

Translators: Louise and Aylmer Maude

Posting Date: January 10, 2009 [EBook #2600]

Last Updated: December 17, 2016

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


An Anonymous Volunteer, and David Widger


By Leo Tolstoy/Tolstoi


    BOOK ONE: 1805





























    BOOK TWO: 1805






















    BOOK THREE: 1805




















    BOOK FOUR: 1806

















    BOOK FIVE: 1806 - 07























    BOOK SIX: 1808 - 10



























    BOOK SEVEN: 1810 - 11














    BOOK EIGHT: 1811 - 12























    BOOK NINE: 1812
























    BOOK TEN: 1812








































    BOOK ELEVEN: 1812



































    BOOK TWELVE: 1812

























































    BOOK FIFTEEN: 1812 - 13





















    FIRST EPILOGUE: 1813 - 20






























BOOK ONE: 1805


?Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the
Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don?t tell me that this means war,
if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that
Antichrist?I really believe he is Antichrist?I will have nothing
more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my
?faithful slave,? as you call yourself! But how do you do? I see I
have frightened you?sit down and tell me all the news.?

It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna Pávlovna
Schérer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Márya Fëdorovna.
With these words she greeted Prince Vasíli Kurágin, a man of high
rank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception. Anna
Pávlovna had had a cough for some days. She was, as she said, suffering
from la grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, used
only by the elite.

All her invitations without exception, written in French, and delivered
by a scarlet-liveried footman that morning, ran as follows:

?If you have nothing better to do, Count (or Prince), and if the
prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too terrible,
I shall be very charmed to see you tonight between 7 and 10?Annette

?Heavens! what a virulent attack!? replied the prince, not in the
least disconcerted by this reception. He had just entered, wearing an
embroidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars on
his breast and a serene expression on his flat face. He spoke in that
refined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke but thought, and
with the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importance
who had grown old in society and at court. He went up to Anna Pávlovna,
kissed her hand, presenting to her his bald, scented, and shining head,
and complacently seated himself on the sofa.

?First of all, dear friend, tell me how you are. Set your friend?s
mind at rest,? said he without altering his tone, beneath the
politeness and affected sympathy of which indifference and even irony
could be discerned.

?Can one be well while suffering morally? Can one be calm in times
like these if one has any feeling?? said Anna Pávlovna. ?You are
staying the whole evening, I hope??

?And the fete at the English ambassador?s? Today is Wednesday. I
must put in an appearance there,? said the prince. ?My daughter is
coming for me to take me there.?

?I thought today?s fete had been canceled. I confess all these
festivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome.?

?If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would have
been put off,? said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by force
of habit said things he did not even wish to be believed.

?Don?t tease! Well, and what has been decided about Novosíltsev?s
dispatch? You know everything.?

?What can one say about it?? replied the prince in a cold, listless
tone. ?What has been decided? They have decided that Buonaparte has
burnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours.?

Prince Vasíli always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating a stale
part. Anna Pávlovna Schérer on the contrary, despite her forty years,
overflowed with animation and impulsiveness. To be an enthusiast had
become her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did not
feel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint the
expectations of those who knew her. The subdued smile which, though it
did not suit her faded features, always played round her lips expressed,
as in a spoiled child, a continual consciousness of her charming defect,
which she neither wished, nor could, nor considered it necessary, to

In the midst of a conversation on political matters Anna Pávlovna burst

?Oh, don?t speak to me of Austria. Perhaps I don?t understand
things, but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war. She
is betraying us! Russia alone must save Europe. Our gracious sovereign
recognizes his high vocation and will be true to it. That is the one
thing I have faith in! Our good and wonderful sovereign has to perform
the noblest role on earth, and he is so virtuous and noble that God will
not forsake him. He will fulfill his vocation and crush the hydra of
revolution, which has become more terrible than ever in the person of
this murderer and villain! We alone must avenge the blood of the just
one.... Whom, I ask you, can we rely on?... England with her commercial
spirit will not and cannot understand the Emperor Alexander?s
loftiness of soul. She has refused to evacuate Malta. She wanted to
find, and still seeks, some secret motive in our actions. What answer
did Novosíltsev get? None. The English have not understood and cannot
understand the self-abnegation of our Emperor who wants nothing for
himself, but only desires the good of mankind. And what have they
promised? Nothing! And what little they have promised they will not
perform! Prussia has always declared that Buonaparte is invincible, and
that all Europe is powerless before him.... And I don?t believe a
word that Hardenburg says, or Haugwitz either. This famous Prussian
neutrality is just a trap. I have faith only in God and the lofty
destiny of our adored monarch. He will save Europe!?

She suddenly paused, smiling at her own impetuosity.

?I think,? said the prince with a smile, ?that if you had been
sent instead of our dear Wintzingerode you would have captured the King
of Prussia?s consent by assault. You are so eloquent. Will you give me
a cup of tea??

?In a moment. À propos,? she added, becoming calm again, ?I am
expecting two very interesting men tonight, le Vicomte de Mortemart, who
is connected with the Montmorencys through the Rohans, one of the best
French families. He is one of the genuine émigrés, the good ones. And
also the Abbé Morio. Do you know that profound thinker? He has been
received by the Emperor. Had you heard??

?I shall be delighted to meet them,? said the prince. ?But
tell me,? he added with studied carelessness as if it had only just
occurred to him, though the question he was about to ask was the chief
motive of his visit, ?is it true that the Dowager Empress wants
Baron Funke to be appointed first secretary at Vienna? The baron by all
accounts is a poor creature.?

Prince Vasíli wished to obtain this post for his son, but others were
trying through the Dowager Empress Márya Fëdorovna to secure it for
the baron.

Anna Pávlovna almost closed her eyes to indicate that neither she nor
anyone else had a right to criticize what the Empress desired or was
pleased with.

?Baron Funke has been recommended to the Dowager Empress by her
sister,? was all she said, in a dry and mournful tone.

As she named the Empress, Anna Pávlovna?s face suddenly assumed an
expression of profound and sincere devotion and respect mingled with
sadness, and this occurred every time she mentioned her illustrious
patroness. She added that Her Majesty had deigned to show Baron Funke
beaucoup d?estime, and again her face clouded over with sadness.

The prince was silent and looked indifferent. But, with the womanly and
courtierlike quickness and tact habitual to her, Anna Pávlovna
wished both to rebuke him (for daring to speak as he had done of a man
recommended to the Empress) and at the same time to console him, so she

?Now about your family. Do you know that since your daughter came
out everyone has been enraptured by her? They say she is amazingly

The prince bowed to signify his respect and gratitude.

?I often think,? she continued after a short pause, drawing nearer
to the prince and smiling amiably at him as if to show that political
and social topics were ended and the time had come for intimate
conversation??I often think how unfairly sometimes the joys of life
are distributed. Why has fate given you two such splendid children?
I don?t speak of Anatole, your youngest. I don?t like him,? she
added in a tone admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows.
?Two such charming children. And really you appreciate them less than
anyone, and so you don?t deserve to have them.?

And she smiled her ecstatic smile.

?I can?t help it,? said the prince. ?Lavater would have said I
lack the bump of paternity.?

?Don?t joke; I mean to have a serious talk with you. Do you know
I am dissatisfied with your younger son? Between ourselves? (and her
face assumed its melancholy expression), ?he was mentioned at Her
Majesty?s and you were pitied....?

The prince answered nothing, but she looked at him significantly,
awaiting a reply. He frowned.

?What would you have me do?? he said at last. ?You know I did all
a father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools.
Hippolyte is at least a quiet fool, but Anatole is an active one. That
is the only difference between them.? He said this smiling in a way
more natural and animated than usual, so that the wrinkles round
his mouth very clearly revealed something unexpectedly coarse and

?And why are children born to such men as you? If you were not a
father there would be nothing I could reproach you with,? said Anna
Pávlovna, looking up pensively.

?I am your faithful slave and to you alone I can confess that my
children are the bane of my life. It is the cross I have to bear. That
is how I explain it to myself. It can?t be helped!?

He said no more, but expressed his resignation to cruel fate by a
gesture. Anna Pávlovna meditated.

?Have you never thought of marrying your prodigal son Anatole?? she
asked. ?They say old maids have a mania for matchmaking, and though I
don?t feel that weakness in myself as yet, I know a little person who
is very unhappy with her father. She is a relation of yours, Princess
Mary Bolkónskaya.?

Prince Vasíli did not reply, though, with the quickness of memory and
perception befitting a man of the world, he indicated by a movement of
the head that he was considering this information.

?Do you know,? he said at last, evidently unable to check the sad
current of his thoughts, ?that Anatole is costing me forty thousand
rubles a year? And,? he went on after a pause, ?what will it be in
five years, if he goes on like this?? Presently he added: ?That?s
what we fathers have to put up with.... Is this princess of yours

?Her father is very rich and stingy. He lives in the country. He is
the well-known Prince Bolkónski who had to retire from the army under
the late Emperor, and was nicknamed ?the King of Prussia.? He is
very clever but eccentric, and a bore. The poor girl is very unhappy.
She has a brother; I think you know him, he married Lise Meinen lately.
He is an aide-de-camp of Kutúzov?s and will be here tonight.?

?Listen, dear Annette,? said the prince, suddenly taking Anna
Pávlovna?s hand and for some reason drawing it downwards. ?Arrange
that affair for me and I shall always be your most devoted slave-slafe
with an f, as a village elder of mine writes in his reports. She is rich
and of good family and that?s all I want.?

And with the familiarity and easy grace peculiar to him, he raised the
maid of honor?s hand to his lips, kissed it, and swung it to and fro
as he lay back in his armchair, looking in another direction.

?Attendez,? said Anna Pávlovna, reflecting, ?I?ll speak to
Lise, young Bolkónski?s wife, this very evening, and perhaps the
thing can be arranged. It shall be on your family?s behalf that I?ll
start my apprenticeship as old maid.?


Anna Pávlovna?s drawing room was gradually filling. The highest
Petersburg society was assembled there: people differing widely in age
and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged.
Prince Vasíli?s daughter, the beautiful Hélène, came to take her
father to the ambassador?s entertainment; she wore a ball dress and
her badge as maid of honor. The youthful little Princess Bolkónskaya,
known as la femme la plus séduisante de Pétersbourg, * was also there.
She had been married during the previous winter, and being pregnant did
not go to any large gatherings, but only to small receptions. Prince
Vasíli?s son, Hippolyte, had come with Mortemart, whom he introduced.
The Abbé Morio and many others had also come.

     * The most fascinating woman in Petersburg.

To each new arrival Anna Pávlovna said, ?You have not yet seen my
aunt,? or ?You do not know my aunt?? and very gravely conducted
him or her to a little old lady, wearing large bows of ribbon in her
cap, who had come sailing in from another room as soon as the guests
began to arrive; and slowly turning her eyes from the visitor to her
aunt, Anna Pávlovna mentioned each one?s name and then left them.

Each visitor performed the ceremony of greeting this old aunt whom not
one of them knew, not one of them wanted to know, and not one of them
cared about; Anna Pávlovna observed these greetings with mournful and
solemn interest and silent approval. The aunt spoke to each of them in
the same words, about their health and her own, and the health of Her
Majesty, ?who, thank God, was better today.? And each visitor,
though politeness prevented his showing impatience, left the old woman
with a sense of relief at having performed a vexatious duty and did not
return to her the whole evening.

The young Princess Bolkónskaya had brought some work in a
gold-embroidered velvet bag. Her pretty little upper lip, on which a
delicate dark down was just perceptible, was too short for her teeth,
but it lifted all the more sweetly, and was especially charming when she
occasionally drew it down to meet the lower lip. As is always the case
with a thoroughly attractive woman, her defect?the shortness of her
upper lip and her half-open mouth?seemed to be her own special and
peculiar form of beauty. Everyone brightened at the sight of this pretty
young woman, so soon to become a mother, so full of life and health, and
carrying her burden so lightly. Old men and dull dispirited young ones
who looked at her, after being in her company and talking to her a
little while, felt as if they too were becoming, like her, full of life
and health. All who talked to her, and at each word saw her bright smile
and the constant gleam of her white teeth, thought that they were in a
specially amiable mood that day.

The little princess went round the table with quick, short, swaying
steps, her workbag on her arm, and gaily spreading out her dress sat
down on a sofa near the silver samovar, as if all she was doing was a
pleasure to herself and to all around her. ?I have brought my work,?
said she in French, displaying her bag and addressing all present.
?Mind, Annette, I hope you have not played a wicked trick on me,?
she added, turning to her hostess. ?You wrote that it was to be quite
a small reception, and just see how badly I am dressed.? And she
spread out her arms to show her short-waisted, lace-trimmed, dainty gray
dress, girdled with a broad ribbon just below the breast.

?Soyez tranquille, Lise, you will always be prettier than anyone
else,? replied Anna Pávlovna.

?You know,? said the princess in the same tone of voice and still in
French, turning to a general, ?my husband is deserting me? He is going
to get himself killed. Tell me what this wretched war is for?? she
added, addressing Prince Vasíli, and without waiting for an answer she
turned to speak to his daughter, the beautiful Hélène.

?What a delightful woman this little princess is!? said Prince
Vasíli to Anna Pávlovna.

One of the next arrivals was a stout, heavily built young man with
close-cropped hair, spectacles, the light-colored breeches fashionable
at that time, a very high ruffle, and a brown dress coat. This stout
young man was an illegitimate son of Count Bezúkhov, a well-known
grandee of Catherine?s time who now lay dying in Moscow. The young man
had not yet entered either the military or civil service, as he had only
just returned from abroad where he had been educated, and this was his
first appearance in society. Anna Pávlovna greeted him with the nod she
accorded to the lowest hierarchy in her drawing room. But in spite of
this lowest-grade greeting, a look of anxiety and fear, as at the sight
of something too large and unsuited to the place, came over her face
when she saw Pierre enter. Though he was certainly rather bigger than
the other men in the room, her anxiety could only have reference to
the clever though shy, but observant and natural, expression which
distinguished him from everyone else in that drawing room.

?It is very good of you, Monsieur Pierre, to come and visit a poor
invalid,? said Anna Pávlovna, exchanging an alarmed glance with her
aunt as she conducted him to her.

Pierre murmured something unintelligible, and continued to look round as
if in search of something. On his way to the aunt he bowed to the little
princess with a pleased smile, as to an intimate acquaintance.

Anna Pávlovna?s alarm was justified, for Pierre turned away from the
aunt without waiting to hear her speech about Her Majesty?s health.
Anna Pávlovna in dismay detained him with the words: ?Do you know the
Abbé Morio? He is a most interesting man.?

?Yes, I have heard of his scheme for perpetual peace, and it is very
interesting but hardly feasible.?

?You think so?? rejoined Anna Pávlovna in order to say something
and get away to attend to her duties as hostess. But Pierre now
committed a reverse act of impoliteness. First he had left a lady before
she had finished speaking to him, and now he continued to speak to
another who wished to get away. With his head bent, and his big feet
spread apart, he began explaining his reasons for thinking the abbé?s
plan chimerical.

?We will talk of it later,? said Anna Pávlovna with a smile.

And having got rid of this young man who did not know how to behave, she
resumed her duties as hostess and continued to listen and watch, ready
to help at any point where the conversation might happen to flag. As
the foreman of a spinning mill, when he has set the hands to work, goes
round and notices here a spindle that has stopped or there one that
creaks or makes more noise than it should, and hastens to check the
machine or set it in proper motion, so Anna Pávlovna moved about her
drawing room, approaching now a silent, now a too-noisy group, and by a
word or slight rearrangement kept the conversational machine in steady,
proper, and regular motion. But amid these cares her anxiety about
Pierre was evident. She kept an anxious watch on him when he approached
the group round Mortemart to listen to what was being said there, and
again when he passed to another group whose center was the abbé.

Pierre had been educated abroad, and this reception at Anna
Pávlovna?s was the first he had attended in Russia. He knew that all
the intellectual lights of Petersburg were gathered there and, like a
child in a toyshop, did not know which way to look, afraid of missing
any clever conversation that was to be heard. Seeing the self-confident
and refined expression on the faces of those present he was always
expecting to hear something very profound. At last he came up to Morio.
Here the conversation seemed interesting and he stood waiting for an
opportunity to express his own views, as young people are fond of doing.


Anna Pávlovna?s reception was in full swing. The spindles hummed
steadily and ceaselessly on all sides. With the exception of the aunt,
beside whom sat only one elderly lady, who with her thin careworn face
was rather out of place in this brilliant society, the whole company had
settled into three groups. One, chiefly masculine, had formed round
the abbé. Another, of young people, was grouped round the beautiful
Princess Hélène, Prince Vasíli?s daughter, and the little Princess
Bolkónskaya, very pretty and rosy, though rather too plump for her age.
The third group was gathered round Mortemart and Anna Pávlovna.

The vicomte was a nice-looking young man with soft features and polished
manners, who evidently considered himself a celebrity but out of
politeness modestly placed himself at the disposal of the circle in
which he found himself. Anna Pávlovna was obviously serving him up as
a treat to her guests. As a clever maître d?hôtel serves up as a
specially choice delicacy a piece of meat that no one who had seen it in
the kitchen would have cared to eat, so Anna Pávlovna served up to
her guests, first the vicomte and then the abbé, as peculiarly choice
morsels. The group about Mortemart immediately began discussing the
murder of the Duc d?Enghien. The vicomte said that the Duc d?Enghien
had perished by his own magnanimity, and that there were particular
reasons for Buonaparte?s hatred of him.

?Ah, yes! Do tell us all about it, Vicomte,? said Anna Pávlovna,
with a pleasant feeling that there was something à la Louis XV in the
sound of that sentence: ?Contez nous çela, Vicomte.?

The vicomte bowed and smiled courteously in token of his willingness to
comply. Anna Pávlovna arranged a group round him, inviting everyone to
listen to his tale.

?The vicomte knew the duc personally,? whispered Anna Pávlovna to
one of the guests. ?The vicomte is a wonderful raconteur,? said she
to another. ?How evidently he belongs to the best society,? said she
to a third; and the vicomte was served up to the company in the choicest
and most advantageous style, like a well-garnished joint of roast beef
on a hot dish.

The vicomte wished to begin his story and gave a subtle smile.

?Come over here, Hélène, dear,? said Anna Pávlovna to the
beautiful young princess who was sitting some way off, the center of
another group.

The princess smiled. She rose with the same unchanging smile with which
she had first entered the room?the smile of a perfectly beautiful
woman. With a slight rustle of her white dress trimmed with moss
and ivy, with a gleam of white shoulders, glossy hair, and sparkling
diamonds, she passed between the men who made way for her, not looking
at any of them but smiling on all, as if graciously allowing each the
privilege of admiring her beautiful figure and shapely shoulders,
back, and bosom?which in the fashion of those days were very much
exposed?and she seemed to bring the glamour of a ballroom with her as
she moved toward Anna Pávlovna. Hélène was so lovely that not only
did she not show any trace of coquetry, but on the contrary she even
appeared shy of her unquestionable and all too victorious beauty. She
seemed to wish, but to be unable, to diminish its effect.

?How lovely!? said everyone who saw her; and the vicomte lifted his
shoulders and dropped his eyes as if startled by something extraordinary
when she took her seat opposite and beamed upon him also with her
unchanging smile.

?Madame, I doubt my ability before such an audience,? said he,
smilingly inclining his head.

The princess rested her bare round arm on a little table and considered
a reply unnecessary. She smilingly waited. All the time the story was
being told she sat upright, glancing now at her beautiful round arm,
altered in shape by its pressure on the table, now at her still more
beautiful bosom, on which she readjusted a diamond necklace. From time
to time she smoothed the folds of her dress, and whenever the story
produced an effect she glanced at Anna Pávlovna, at once adopted just
the expression she saw on the maid of honor?s face, and again relapsed
into her radiant smile.

The little princess had also left the tea table and followed Hélène.

?Wait a moment, I?ll get my work.... Now then, what are you
thinking of?? she went on, turning to Prince Hippolyte. ?Fetch me my

There was a general movement as the princess, smiling and talking
merrily to everyone at once, sat down and gaily arranged herself in her

?Now I am all right,? she said, and asking the vicomte to begin, she
took up her work.

Prince Hippolyte, having brought the workbag, joined the circle and
moving a chair close to hers seated himself beside her.

Le charmant Hippolyte was surprising by his extraordinary resemblance
to his beautiful sister, but yet more by the fact that in spite of
this resemblance he was exceedingly ugly. His features were like his
sister?s, but while in her case everything was lit up by a joyous,
self-satisfied, youthful, and constant smile of animation, and by the
wonderful classic beauty of her figure, his face on the contrary
was dulled by imbecility and a constant expression of sullen
self-confidence, while his body was thin and weak. His eyes, nose, and
mouth all seemed puckered into a vacant, wearied grimace, and his arms
and legs always fell into unnatural positions.

?It?s not going to be a ghost story?? said he, sitting down beside
the princess and hastily adjusting his lorgnette, as if without this
instrument he could not begin to speak.

?Why no, my dear fellow,? said the astonished narrator, shrugging
his shoulders.

?Because I hate ghost stories,? said Prince Hippolyte in a tone
which showed that he only understood the meaning of his words after he
had uttered them.

He spoke with such self-confidence that his hearers could not be sure
whether what he said was very witty or very stupid. He was dressed in
a dark-green dress coat, knee breeches of the color of cuisse de nymphe
effrayée, as he called it, shoes, and silk stockings.

The vicomte told his tale very neatly. It was an anecdote, then current,
to the effect that the Duc d?Enghien had gone secretly to Paris to
visit Mademoiselle George; that at her house he came upon Bonaparte,
who also enjoyed the famous actress? favors, and that in his presence
Napoleon happened to fall into one of the fainting fits to which he was
subject, and was thus at the duc?s mercy. The latter spared him, and
this magnanimity Bonaparte subsequently repaid by death.

The story was very pretty and interesting, especially at the point
where the rivals suddenly recognized one another; and the ladies looked

?Charming!? said Anna Pávlovna with an inquiring glance at the
little princess.

?Charming!? whispered the little princess, sticking the needle into
her work as if to testify that the interest and fascination of the story
prevented her from going on with it.

The vicomte appreciated this silent praise and smiling gratefully
prepared to continue, but just then Anna Pávlovna, who had kept a
watchful eye on the young man who so alarmed her, noticed that he was
talking too loudly and vehemently with the abbé, so she hurried to the
rescue. Pierre had managed to start a conversation with the abbé about
the balance of power, and the latter, evidently interested by the young
man?s simple-minded eagerness, was explaining his pet theory. Both
were talking and listening too eagerly and too naturally, which was why
Anna Pávlovna disapproved.

?The means are ... the balance of power in Europe and the rights of
the people,? the abbé was saying. ?It is only necessary for one
powerful nation like Russia?barbaric as she is said to be?to place
herself disinterestedly at the head of an alliance having for its object
the maintenance of the balance of power of Europe, and it would save the

?But how are you to get that balance?? Pierre was beginning.

At that moment Anna Pávlovna came up and, looking severely at Pierre,
asked the Italian how he stood Russian climate. The Italian?s
face instantly changed and assumed an offensively affected, sugary
expression, evidently habitual to him when conversing with women.

?I am so enchanted by the brilliancy of the wit and culture of the
society, more especially of the feminine society, in which I have had
the honor of being received, that I have not yet had time to think of
the climate,? said he.

Not letting the abbé and Pierre escape, Anna Pávlovna, the more
conveniently to keep them under observation, brought them into the
larger circle.


Just then another visitor entered the drawing room: Prince Andrew
Bolkónski, the little princess? husband. He was a very handsome young
man, of medium height, with firm, clearcut features. Everything about
him, from his weary, bored expression to his quiet, measured step,
offered a most striking contrast to his quiet, little wife. It was
evident that he not only knew everyone in the drawing room, but had
found them to be so tiresome that it wearied him to look at or listen to
them. And among all these faces that he found so tedious, none seemed
to bore him so much as that of his pretty wife. He turned away from
her with a grimace that distorted his handsome face, kissed Anna
Pávlovna?s hand, and screwing up his eyes scanned the whole company.

?You are off to the war, Prince?? said Anna Pávlovna.

?General Kutúzov,? said Bolkónski, speaking French and stressing
the last syllable of the general?s name like a Frenchman, ?has been
pleased to take me as an aide-de-camp....?

?And Lise, your wife??

?She will go to the country.?

?Are you not ashamed to deprive us of your charming wife??

?André,? said his wife, addressing her husband in the same
coquettish manner in which she spoke to other men, ?the vicomte has
been telling us such a tale about Mademoiselle George and Buonaparte!?

Prince Andrew screwed up his eyes and turned away. Pierre, who from
the moment Prince Andrew entered the room had watched him with glad,
affectionate eyes, now came up and took his arm. Before he looked round
Prince Andrew frowned again, expressing his annoyance with whoever was
touching his arm, but when he saw Pierre?s beaming face he gave him an
unexpectedly kind and pleasant smile.

?There now!... So you, too, are in the great world?? said he to

?I knew you would be here,? replied Pierre. ?I will come to supper
with you. May I?? he added in a low voice so as not to disturb the
vicomte who was continuing his story.

?No, impossible!? said Prince Andrew, laughing and pressing
Pierre?s hand to show that there was no need to ask the question. He
wished to say something more, but at that moment Prince Vasíli and his
daughter got up to go and the two young men rose to let them pass.

?You must excuse me, dear Vicomte,? said Prince Vasíli to the
Frenchman, holding him down by the sleeve in a friendly way to prevent
his rising. ?This unfortunate fete at the ambassador?s deprives me
of a pleasure, and obliges me to interrupt you. I am very sorry to leave
your enchanting party,? said he, turning to Anna Pávlovna.

His daughter, Princess Hélène, passed between the chairs, lightly
holding up the folds of her dress, and the smile shone still more
radiantly on her beautiful face. Pierre gazed at her with rapturous,
almost frightened, eyes as she passed him.

?Very lovely,? said Prince Andrew.

?Very,? said Pierre.

In passing Prince Vasíli seized Pierre?s hand and said to Anna
Pávlovna: ?Educate this bear for me! He has been staying with me
a whole month and this is the first time I have seen him in society.
Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the society of clever

Anna Pávlovna smiled and promised to take Pierre in hand. She knew his
father to be a connection of Prince Vasíli?s. The elderly lady who
had been sitting with the old aunt rose hurriedly and overtook Prince
Vasíli in the anteroom. All the affectation of interest she had assumed
had left her kindly and tear-worn face and it now expressed only anxiety
and fear.

?How about my son Borís, Prince?? said she, hurrying after him into
the anteroom. ?I can?t remain any longer in Petersburg. Tell me what
news I may take back to my poor boy.?

Although Prince Vasíli listened reluctantly and not very politely
to the elderly lady, even betraying some impatience, she gave him an
ingratiating and appealing smile, and took his hand that he might not go

?What would it cost you to say a word to the Emperor, and then he
would be transferred to the Guards at once?? said she.

?Believe me, Princess, I am ready to do all I can,? answered Prince
Vasíli, ?but it is difficult for me to ask the Emperor. I should
advise you to appeal to Rumyántsev through Prince Golítsyn. That would
be the best way.?

The elderly lady was a Princess Drubetskáya, belonging to one of the
best families in Russia, but she was poor, and having long been out of
society had lost her former influential connections. She had now come to
Petersburg to procure an appointment in the Guards for her only son.
It was, in fact, solely to meet Prince Vasíli that she had obtained an
invitation to Anna Pávlovna?s reception and had sat listening to
the vicomte?s story. Prince Vasíli?s words frightened her, an
embittered look clouded her once handsome face, but only for a moment;
then she smiled again and clutched Prince Vasíli?s arm more tightly.

?Listen to me, Prince,? said she. ?I have never yet asked you
for anything and I never will again, nor have I ever reminded you of my
father?s friendship for you; but now I entreat you for God?s sake to
do this for my son?and I shall always regard you as a benefactor,?
she added hurriedly. ?No, don?t be angry, but promise! I have asked
Golítsyn and he has refused. Be the kindhearted man you always were,?
she said, trying to smile though tears were in her eyes.

?Papa, we shall be late,? said Princess Hélène, turning her
beautiful head and looking over her classically molded shoulder as she
stood waiting by the door.

Influence in society, however, is a capital which has to be economized
if it is to last. Prince Vasíli knew this, and having once realized
that if he asked on behalf of all who begged of him, he would soon be
unable to ask for himself, he became chary of using his influence. But
in Princess Drubetskáya?s case he felt, after her second appeal,
something like qualms of conscience. She had reminded him of what was
quite true; he had been indebted to her father for the first steps in
his career. Moreover, he could see by her manners that she was one of
those women?mostly mothers?who, having once made up their minds,
will not rest until they have gained their end, and are prepared if
necessary to go on insisting day after day and hour after hour, and even
to make scenes. This last consideration moved him.

?My dear Anna Mikháylovna,? said he with his usual familiarity and
weariness of tone, ?it is almost impossible for me to do what you
ask; but to prove my devotion to you and how I respect your father?s
memory, I will do the impossible?your son shall be transferred to the
Guards. Here is my hand on it. Are you satisfied??

?My dear benefactor! This is what I expected from you?I knew your
kindness!? He turned to go.

?Wait?just a word! When he has been transferred to the Guards...?
she faltered. ?You are on good terms with Michael Ilariónovich
Kutúzov ... recommend Borís to him as adjutant! Then I shall be at
rest, and then...?

Prince Vasíli smiled.

?No, I won?t promise that. You don?t know how Kutúzov is pestered
since his appointment as Commander in Chief. He told me himself that
all the Moscow ladies have conspired to give him all their sons as

?No, but do promise! I won?t let you go! My dear benefactor...?

?Papa,? said his beautiful daughter in the same tone as before,
?we shall be late.?

?Well, au revoir! Good-by! You hear her??

?Then tomorrow you will speak to the Emperor??

?Certainly; but about Kutúzov, I don?t promise.?

?Do promise, do promise, Vasíli!? cried Anna Mikháylovna as he
went, with the smile of a coquettish girl, which at one time probably
came naturally to her, but was now very ill-suited to her careworn face.

Apparently she had forgotten her age and by force of habit employed
all the old feminine arts. But as soon as the prince had gone her face
resumed its former cold, artificial expression. She returned to the
group where the vicomte was still talking, and again pretended to
listen, while waiting till it would be time to leave. Her task was


?And what do you think of this latest comedy, the coronation at
Milan?? asked Anna Pávlovna, ?and of the comedy of the people of
Genoa and Lucca laying their petitions before Monsieur Buonaparte, and
Monsieur Buonaparte sitting on a throne and granting the petitions of
the nations? Adorable! It is enough to make one?s head whirl! It is as
if the whole world had gone crazy.?

Prince Andrew looked Anna Pávlovna straight in the face with a
sarcastic smile.

??Dieu me la donne, gare à qui la touche!?? * They say he was
very fine when he said that,? he remarked, repeating the words in
Italian: ??Dio mi l?ha dato. Guai a chi la tocchi!??

     * God has given it to me, let him who touches it beware!

?I hope this will prove the last drop that will make the glass run
over,? Anna Pávlovna continued. ?The sovereigns will not be able to
endure this man who is a menace to everything.?

?The sovereigns? I do not speak of Russia,? said the vicomte, polite
but hopeless: ?The sovereigns, madame... What have they done for Louis
XVII, for the Queen, or for Madame Elizabeth? Nothing!? and he became
more animated. ?And believe me, they are reaping the reward of their
betrayal of the Bourbon cause. The sovereigns! Why, they are sending
ambassadors to compliment the usurper.?

And sighing disdainfully, he again changed his position.

Prince Hippolyte, who had been gazing at the vicomte for some time
through his lorgnette, suddenly turned completely round toward the
little princess, and having asked for a needle began tracing the Condé
coat of arms on the table. He explained this to her with as much gravity
as if she had asked him to do it.

?Bâton de gueules, engrêlé de gueules d?azur?maison Condé,?
said he.

The princess listened, smiling.

?If Buonaparte remains on the throne of France a year longer,? the
vicomte continued, with the air of a man who, in a matter with which
he is better acquainted than anyone else, does not listen to others but
follows the current of his own thoughts, ?things will have gone too
far. By intrigues, violence, exile, and executions, French society?I
mean good French society?will have been forever destroyed, and

He shrugged his shoulders and spread out his hands. Pierre wished to
make a remark, for the conversation interested him, but Anna Pávlovna,
who had him under observation, interrupted:

?The Emperor Alexander,? said she, with the melancholy which
always accompanied any reference of hers to the Imperial family, ?has
declared that he will leave it to the French people themselves to choose
their own form of government; and I believe that once free from the
usurper, the whole nation will certainly throw itself into the arms
of its rightful king,? she concluded, trying to be amiable to the
royalist emigrant.

?That is doubtful,? said Prince Andrew. ?Monsieur le Vicomte quite
rightly supposes that matters have already gone too far. I think it will
be difficult to return to the old regime.?

?From what I have heard,? said Pierre, blushing and breaking into
the conversation, ?almost all the aristocracy has already gone over to
Bonaparte?s side.?

?It is the Buonapartists who say that,? replied the vicomte without
looking at Pierre. ?At the present time it is difficult to know the
real state of French public opinion.?

?Bonaparte has said so,? remarked Prince Andrew with a sarcastic

It was evident that he did not like the vicomte and was aiming his
remarks at him, though without looking at him.

??I showed them the path to glory, but they did not follow
it,?? Prince Andrew continued after a short silence, again quoting
Napoleon?s words. ??I opened my antechambers and they crowded
in.? I do not know how far he was justified in saying so.?

?Not in the least,? replied the vicomte. ?After the murder of the
duc even the most partial ceased to regard him as a hero. If to some
people,? he went on, turning to Anna Pávlovna, ?he ever was a hero,
after the murder of the duc there was one martyr more in heaven and one
hero less on earth.?

Before Anna Pávlovna and the others had time to smile their
appreciation of the vicomte?s epigram, Pierre again broke into the
conversation, and though Anna Pávlovna felt sure he would say something
inappropriate, she was unable to stop him.

?The execution of the Duc d?Enghien,? declared Monsieur Pierre,
?was a political necessity, and it seems to me that Napoleon
showed greatness of soul by not fearing to take on himself the whole
responsibility of that deed.?

?Dieu! Mon Dieu!? muttered Anna Pávlovna in a terrified whisper.

?What, Monsieur Pierre... Do you consider that assassination shows
greatness of soul?? said the little princess, smiling and drawing her
work nearer to her.

?Oh! Oh!? exclaimed several voices.

?Capital!? said Prince Hippolyte in English, and began slapping his
knee with the palm of his hand.

The vicomte merely shrugged his shoulders. Pierre looked solemnly at his
audience over his spectacles and continued.

?I say so,? he continued desperately, ?because the Bourbons fled
from the Revolution leaving the people to anarchy, and Napoleon alone
understood the Revolution and quelled it, and so for the general good,
he could not stop short for the sake of one man?s life.?

?Won?t you come over to the other table?? suggested Anna

But Pierre continued his speech without heeding her.

?No,? cried he, becoming more and more eager, ?Napoleon is great
because he rose superior to the Revolution, suppressed its abuses,
preserved all that was good in it?equality of citizenship and freedom
of speech and of the press?and only for that reason did he obtain

?Yes, if having obtained power, without availing himself of it to
commit murder he had restored it to the rightful king, I should have
called him a great man,? remarked the vicomte.

?He could not do that. The people only gave him power that he might
rid them of the Bourbons and because they saw that he was a great
man. The Revolution was a grand thing!? continued Monsieur Pierre,
betraying by this desperate and provocative proposition his extreme
youth and his wish to express all that was in his mind.

?What? Revolution and regicide a grand thing?... Well, after that...
But won?t you come to this other table?? repeated Anna Pávlovna.

?Rousseau?s Contrat Social,? said the vicomte with a tolerant

?I am not speaking of regicide, I am speaking about ideas.?

?Yes: ideas of robbery, murder, and regicide,? again interjected an
ironical voice.

?Those were extremes, no doubt, but they are not what is most
important. What is important are the rights of man, emancipation from
prejudices, and equality of citizenship, and all these ideas Napoleon
has retained in full force.?

?Liberty and equality,? said the vicomte contemptuously, as if at
last deciding seriously to prove to this youth how foolish his words
were, ?high-sounding words which have long been discredited. Who does
not love liberty and equality? Even our Saviour preached liberty and
equality. Have people since the Revolution become happier? On the
contrary. We wanted liberty, but Buonaparte has destroyed it.?

Prince Andrew kept looking with an amused smile from Pierre to the
vicomte and from the vicomte to their hostess. In the first moment of
Pierre?s outburst Anna Pávlovna, despite her social experience, was
horror-struck. But when she saw that Pierre?s sacrilegious words
had not exasperated the vicomte, and had convinced herself that it was
impossible to stop him, she rallied her forces and joined the vicomte in
a vigorous attack on the orator.

?But, my dear Monsieur Pierre,? said she, ?how do you explain the
fact of a great man executing a duc?or even an ordinary man who?is
innocent and untried??

?I should like,? said the vicomte, ?to ask how monsieur explains
the 18th Brumaire; was not that an imposture? It was a swindle, and not
at all like the conduct of a great man!?

?And the prisoners he killed in Africa? That was horrible!? said the
little princess, shrugging her shoulders.

?He?s a low fellow, say what you will,? remarked Prince Hippolyte.

Pierre, not knowing whom to answer, looked at them all and smiled. His
smile was unlike the half-smile of other people. When he smiled,
his grave, even rather gloomy, look was instantaneously replaced by
another?a childlike, kindly, even rather silly look, which seemed to
ask forgiveness.

The vicomte who was meeting him for the first time saw clearly that
this young Jacobin was not so terrible as his words suggested. All were

?How do you expect him to answer you all at once?? said Prince
Andrew. ?Besides, in the actions of a statesman one has to distinguish
between his acts as a private person, as a general, and as an emperor.
So it seems to me.?

?Yes, yes, of course!? Pierre chimed in, pleased at the arrival of
this reinforcement.

?One must admit,? continued Prince Andrew, ?that Napoleon as a man
was great on the bridge of Arcola, and in the hospital at Jaffa where he
gave his hand to the plague-stricken; but ... but there are other acts
which it is difficult to justify.?

Prince Andrew, who had evidently wished to tone down the awkwardness of
Pierre?s remarks, rose and made a sign to his wife that it was time to

Suddenly Prince Hippolyte started up making signs to everyone to attend,
and asking them all to be seated began:

?I was told a charming Moscow story today and must treat you to it.
Excuse me, Vicomte?I must tell it in Russian or the point will be
lost....? And Prince Hippolyte began to tell his story in such Russian
as a Frenchman would speak after spending about a year in Russia.
Everyone waited, so emphatically and eagerly did he demand their
attention to his story.

?There is in Moscow a lady, une dame, and she is very stingy. She must
have two footmen behind her carriage, and very big ones. That was her
taste. And she had a lady?s maid, also big. She said....?

Here Prince Hippolyte paused, evidently collecting his ideas with

?She said.... Oh yes! She said, ?Girl,? to the maid, ?put on a
livery, get up behind the carriage, and come with me while I make some

Here Prince Hippolyte spluttered and burst out laughing long before his
audience, which produced an effect unfavorable to the narrator. Several
persons, among them the elderly lady and Anna Pávlovna, did however

?She went. Suddenly there was a great wind. The girl lost her hat and
her long hair came down....? Here he could contain himself no
longer and went on, between gasps of laughter: ?And the whole world

And so the anecdote ended. Though it was unintelligible why he had told
it, or why it had to be told in Russian, still Anna Pávlovna and the
others appreciated Prince Hippolyte?s social tact in so agreeably
ending Pierre?s unpleasant and unamiable outburst. After the anecdote
the conversation broke up into insignificant small talk about the last
and next balls, about theatricals, and who would meet whom, and when and


Having thanked Anna Pávlovna for her charming soiree, the guests began
to take their leave.

Pierre was ungainly. Stout, about the average height, broad, with huge
red hands; he did not know, as the saying is, how to enter a drawing
room and still less how to leave one; that is, how to say something
particularly agreeable before going away. Besides this he was
absent-minded. When he rose to go, he took up instead of his own, the
general?s three-cornered hat, and held it, pulling at the plume,
till the general asked him to restore it. All his absent-mindedness and
inability to enter a room and converse in it was, however, redeemed by
his kindly, simple, and modest expression. Anna Pávlovna turned toward
him and, with a Christian mildness that expressed forgiveness of his
indiscretion, nodded and said: ?I hope to see you again, but I also
hope you will change your opinions, my dear Monsieur Pierre.?

When she said this, he did not reply and only bowed, but again everybody
saw his smile, which said nothing, unless perhaps, ?Opinions are
opinions, but you see what a capital, good-natured fellow I am.? And
everyone, including Anna Pávlovna, felt this.

Prince Andrew had gone out into the hall, and, turning his shoulders
to the footman who was helping him on with his cloak, listened
indifferently to his wife?s chatter with Prince Hippolyte who had also
come into the hall. Prince Hippolyte stood close to the pretty, pregnant
princess, and stared fixedly at her through his eyeglass.

?Go in, Annette, or you will catch cold,? said the little princess,
taking leave of Anna Pávlovna. ?It is settled,? she added in a low

Anna Pávlovna had already managed to speak to Lise about the match she
contemplated between Anatole and the little princess? sister-in-law.

?I rely on you, my dear,? said Anna Pávlovna, also in a low tone.
?Write to her and let me know how her father looks at the matter. Au
revoir! ??and she left the hall.

Prince Hippolyte approached the little princess and, bending his face
close to her, began to whisper something.

Two footmen, the princess? and his own, stood holding a shawl and
a cloak, waiting for the conversation to finish. They listened to
the French sentences which to them were meaningless, with an air of
understanding but not wishing to appear to do so. The princess as usual
spoke smilingly and listened with a laugh.

?I am very glad I did not go to the ambassador?s,? said Prince
Hippolyte ??so dull?. It has been a delightful evening, has it
not? Delightful!?

?They say the ball will be very good,? replied the princess, drawing
up her downy little lip. ?All the pretty women in society will be

?Not all, for you will not be there; not all,? said Prince Hippolyte
smiling joyfully; and snatching the shawl from the footman, whom he
even pushed aside, he began wrapping it round the princess. Either from
awkwardness or intentionally (no one could have said which) after the
shawl had been adjusted he kept his arm around her for a long time, as
though embracing her.

Still smiling, she gracefully moved away, turning and glancing at her
husband. Prince Andrew?s eyes were closed, so weary and sleepy did he

?Are you ready?? he asked his wife, looking past her.

Prince Hippolyte hurriedly put on his cloak, which in the latest fashion
reached to his very heels, and, stumbling in it, ran out into the porch
following the princess, whom a footman was helping into the carriage.

?Princesse, au revoir,? cried he, stumbling with his tongue as well
as with his feet.

The princess, picking up her dress, was taking her seat in the dark
carriage, her husband was adjusting his saber; Prince Hippolyte, under
pretense of helping, was in everyone?s way.

?Allow me, sir,? said Prince Andrew in Russian in a cold,
disagreeable tone to Prince Hippolyte who was blocking his path.

?I am expecting you, Pierre,? said the same voice, but gently and

The postilion started, the carriage wheels rattled. Prince Hippolyte
laughed spasmodically as he stood in the porch waiting for the vicomte
whom he had promised to take home.

?Well, mon cher,? said the vicomte, having seated himself beside
Hippolyte in the carriage, ?your little princess is very nice, very
nice indeed, quite French,? and he kissed the tips of his fingers.
Hippolyte burst out laughing.

?Do you know, you are a terrible chap for all your innocent airs,?
continued the vicomte. ?I pity the poor husband, that little officer
who gives himself the airs of a monarch.?

Hippolyte spluttered again, and amid his laughter said, ?And you were
saying that the Russian ladies are not equal to the French? One has to
know how to deal with them.?

Pierre reaching the house first went into Prince Andrew?s study like
one quite at home, and from habit immediately lay down on the sofa, took
from the shelf the first book that came to his hand (it was Caesar?s
Commentaries), and resting on his elbow, began reading it in the middle.

?What have you done to Mlle Schérer? She will be quite ill now,?
said Prince Andrew, as he entered the study, rubbing his small white

Pierre turned his whole body, making the sofa creak. He lifted his eager
face to Prince Andrew, smiled, and waved his hand.

?That abbé is very interesting but he does not see the thing in the
right light.... In my opinion perpetual peace is possible but?I do not
know how to express it ... not by a balance of political power....?

It was evident that Prince Andrew was not interested in such abstract

?One can?t everywhere say all one thinks, mon cher. Well, have
you at last decided on anything? Are you going to be a guardsman or a
diplomatist?? asked Prince Andrew after a momentary silence.

Pierre sat up on the sofa, with his legs tucked under him.

?Really, I don?t yet know. I don?t like either the one or the

?But you must decide on something! Your father expects it.?

Pierre at the age of ten had been sent abroad with an abbé as tutor,
and had remained away till he was twenty. When he returned to Moscow
his father dismissed the abbé and said to the young man, ?Now go
to Petersburg, look round, and choose your profession. I will agree to
anything. Here is a letter to Prince Vasíli, and here is money. Write
to me all about it, and I will help you in everything.? Pierre had
already been choosing a career for three months, and had not decided
on anything. It was about this choice that Prince Andrew was speaking.
Pierre rubbed his forehead.

?But he must be a Freemason,? said he, referring to the abbé whom
he had met that evening.

?That is all nonsense.? Prince Andrew again interrupted him, ?let
us talk business. Have you been to the Horse Guards??

?No, I have not; but this is what I have been thinking and wanted
to tell you. There is a war now against Napoleon. If it were a war for
freedom I could understand it and should be the first to enter the army;
but to help England and Austria against the greatest man in the world is
not right.?

Prince Andrew only shrugged his shoulders at Pierre?s childish words.
He put on the air of one who finds it impossible to reply to such
nonsense, but it would in fact have been difficult to give any other
answer than the one Prince Andrew gave to this naïve question.

?If no one fought except on his own conviction, there would be no
wars,? he said.

?And that would be splendid,? said Pierre.

Prince Andrew smiled ironically.

?Very likely it would be splendid, but it will never come about....?

?Well, why are you going to the war?? asked Pierre.

?What for? I don?t know. I must. Besides that I am going....? He
paused. ?I am going because the life I am leading here does not suit


The rustle of a woman?s dress was heard in the next room. Prince
Andrew shook himself as if waking up, and his face assumed the look it
had had in Anna Pávlovna?s drawing room. Pierre removed his feet from
the sofa. The princess came in. She had changed her gown for a house
dress as fresh and elegant as the other. Prince Andrew rose and politely
placed a chair for her.

?How is it,? she began, as usual in French, settling down briskly
and fussily in the easy chair, ?how is it Annette never got married?
How stupid you men all are not to have married her! Excuse me for saying
so, but you have no sense about women. What an argumentative fellow you
are, Monsieur Pierre!?

?And I am still arguing with your husband. I can?t understand why he
wants to go to the war,? replied Pierre, addressing the princess
with none of the embarrassment so commonly shown by young men in their
intercourse with young women.

The princess started. Evidently Pierre?s words touched her to the

?Ah, that is just what I tell him!? said she. ?I don?t
understand it; I don?t in the least understand why men can?t live
without wars. How is it that we women don?t want anything of the kind,
don?t need it? Now you shall judge between us. I always tell him: Here
he is Uncle?s aide-de-camp, a most brilliant position. He is so
well known, so much appreciated by everyone. The other day at the
Apráksins? I heard a lady asking, ?Is that the famous Prince
Andrew?? I did indeed.? She laughed. ?He is so well received
everywhere. He might easily become aide-de-camp to the Emperor. You know
the Emperor spoke to him most graciously. Annette and I were speaking of
how to arrange it. What do you think??

Pierre looked at his friend and, noticing that he did not like the
conversation, gave no reply.

?When are you starting?? he asked.

?Oh, don?t speak of his going, don?t! I won?t hear it spoken
of,? said the princess in the same petulantly playful tone in which
she had spoken to Hippolyte in the drawing room and which was so plainly
ill-suited to the family circle of which Pierre was almost a member.
?Today when I remembered that all these delightful associations
must be broken off ... and then you know, André...? (she looked
significantly at her husband) ?I?m afraid, I?m afraid!? she
whispered, and a shudder ran down her back.

Her husband looked at her as if surprised to notice that someone besides
Pierre and himself was in the room, and addressed her in a tone of
frigid politeness.

?What is it you are afraid of, Lise? I don?t understand,? said he.

?There, what egotists men all are: all, all egotists! Just for a whim
of his own, goodness only knows why, he leaves me and locks me up alone
in the country.?

?With my father and sister, remember,? said Prince Andrew gently.

?Alone all the same, without my friends.... And he expects me not to
be afraid.?

Her tone was now querulous and her lip drawn up, giving her not a
joyful, but an animal, squirrel-like expression. She paused as if she
felt it indecorous to speak of her pregnancy before Pierre, though the
gist of the matter lay in that.

?I still can?t understand what you are afraid of,? said Prince
Andrew slowly, not taking his eyes off his wife.

The princess blushed, and raised her arms with a gesture of despair.

?No, Andrew, I must say you have changed. Oh, how you have....?

?Your doctor tells you to go to bed earlier,? said Prince Andrew.
?You had better go.?

The princess said nothing, but suddenly her short downy lip quivered.
Prince Andrew rose, shrugged his shoulders, and walked about the room.

Pierre looked over his spectacles with naïve surprise, now at him and
now at her, moved as if about to rise too, but changed his mind.

?Why should I mind Monsieur Pierre being here?? exclaimed the little
princess suddenly, her pretty face all at once distorted by a tearful
grimace. ?I have long wanted to ask you, Andrew, why you have changed
so to me? What have I done to you? You are going to the war and have no
pity for me. Why is it??

?Lise!? was all Prince Andrew said. But that one word expressed
an entreaty, a threat, and above all conviction that she would herself
regret her words. But she went on hurriedly:

?You treat me like an invalid or a child. I see it all! Did you behave
like that six months ago??

?Lise, I beg you to desist,? said Prince Andrew still more

Pierre, who had been growing more and more agitated as he listened to
all this, rose and approached the princess. He seemed unable to bear the
sight of tears and was ready to cry himself.

?Calm yourself, Princess! It seems so to you because.... I assure you
I myself have experienced ... and so ... because ... No, excuse me!
An outsider is out of place here.... No, don?t distress yourself....

Prince Andrew caught him by the hand.

?No, wait, Pierre! The princess is too kind to wish to deprive me of
the pleasure of spending the evening with you.?

?No, he thinks only of himself,? muttered the princess without
restraining her angry tears.

?Lise!? said Prince Andrew dryly, raising his voice to the pitch
which indicates that patience is exhausted.

Suddenly the angry, squirrel-like expression of the princess? pretty
face changed into a winning and piteous look of fear. Her beautiful eyes
glanced askance at her husband?s face, and her own assumed the timid,
deprecating expression of a dog when it rapidly but feebly wags its
drooping tail.

?Mon Dieu, mon Dieu!? she muttered, and lifting her dress with one
hand she went up to her husband and kissed him on the forehead.

?Good night, Lise,? said he, rising and courteously kissing her hand
as he would have done to a stranger.


The friends were silent. Neither cared to begin talking. Pierre
continually glanced at Prince Andrew; Prince Andrew rubbed his forehead
with his small hand.

?Let us go and have supper,? he said with a sigh, going to the door.

They entered the elegant, newly decorated, and luxurious dining room.
Everything from the table napkins to the silver, china, and glass bore
that imprint of newness found in the households of the newly married.
Halfway through supper Prince Andrew leaned his elbows on the table and,
with a look of nervous agitation such as Pierre had never before seen on
his face, began to talk?as one who has long had something on his mind
and suddenly determines to speak out.

?Never, never marry, my dear fellow! That?s my advice: never marry
till you can say to yourself that you have done all you are capable of,
and until you have ceased to love the woman of your choice and have seen
her plainly as she is, or else you will make a cruel and irrevocable
mistake. Marry when you are old and good for nothing?or all that is
good and noble in you will be lost. It will all be wasted on trifles.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Don?t look at me with such surprise. If you marry
expecting anything from yourself in the future, you will feel at every
step that for you all is ended, all is closed except the drawing
room, where you will be ranged side by side with a court lackey and an
idiot!... But what?s the good?...? and he waved his arm.

Pierre took off his spectacles, which made his face seem different and
the good-natured expression still more apparent, and gazed at his friend
in amazement.

?My wife,? continued Prince Andrew, ?is an excellent woman, one
of those rare women with whom a man?s honor is safe; but, O God, what
would I not give now to be unmarried! You are the first and only one to
whom I mention this, because I like you.?

As he said this Prince Andrew was less than ever like that Bolkónski
who had lolled in Anna Pávlovna?s easy chairs and with half-closed
eyes had uttered French phrases between his teeth. Every muscle of his
thin face was now quivering with nervous excitement; his eyes, in which
the fire of life had seemed extinguished, now flashed with brilliant
light. It was evident that the more lifeless he seemed at ordinary
times, the more impassioned he became in these moments of almost morbid

?You don?t understand why I say this,? he continued, ?but it is
the whole story of life. You talk of Bonaparte and his career,? said
he (though Pierre had not mentioned Bonaparte), ?but Bonaparte when
he worked went step by step toward his goal. He was free, he had nothing
but his aim to consider, and he reached it. But tie yourself up with
a woman and, like a chained convict, you lose all freedom! And all you
have of hope and strength merely weighs you down and torments you with
regret. Drawing rooms, gossip, balls, vanity, and triviality?these are
the enchanted circle I cannot escape from. I am now going to the war,
the greatest war there ever was, and I know nothing and am fit for
nothing. I am very amiable and have a caustic wit,? continued Prince
Andrew, ?and at Anna Pávlovna?s they listen to me. And that stupid
set without whom my wife cannot exist, and those women.... If you only
knew what those society women are, and women in general! My father is
right. Selfish, vain, stupid, trivial in everything?that?s what
women are when you see them in their true colors! When you meet them
in society it seems as if there were something in them, but there?s
nothing, nothing, nothing! No, don?t marry, my dear fellow; don?t
marry!? concluded Prince Andrew.

?It seems funny to me,? said Pierre, ?that you, you should
consider yourself incapable and your life a spoiled life. You have
everything before you, everything. And you....?

He did not finish his sentence, but his tone showed how highly he
thought of his friend and how much he expected of him in the future.

?How can he talk like that?? thought Pierre. He considered his
friend a model of perfection because Prince Andrew possessed in the
highest degree just the very qualities Pierre lacked, and which might
be best described as strength of will. Pierre was always astonished at
Prince Andrew?s calm manner of treating everybody, his extraordinary
memory, his extensive reading (he had read everything, knew everything,
and had an opinion about everything), but above all at his capacity for
work and study. And if Pierre was often struck by Andrew?s lack
of capacity for philosophical meditation (to which he himself was
particularly addicted), he regarded even this not as a defect but as a
sign of strength.

Even in the best, most friendly and simplest relations of life, praise
and commendation are essential, just as grease is necessary to wheels
that they may run smoothly.

?My part is played out,? said Prince Andrew. ?What?s the use of
talking about me? Let us talk about you,? he added after a silence,
smiling at his reassuring thoughts.

That smile was immediately reflected on Pierre?s face.

?But what is there to say about me?? said Pierre, his face relaxing
into a careless, merry smile. ?What am I? An illegitimate son!?
He suddenly blushed crimson, and it was plain that he had made a great
effort to say this. ?Without a name and without means... And it
really...? But he did not say what ?it really? was. ?For the
present I am free and am all right. Only I haven?t the least idea what
I am to do; I wanted to consult you seriously.?

Prince Andrew looked kindly at him, yet his glance?friendly and
affectionate as it was?expressed a sense of his own superiority.

?I am fond of you, especially as you are the one live man among our
whole set. Yes, you?re all right! Choose what you will; it?s all the
same. You?ll be all right anywhere. But look here: give up visiting
those Kurágins and leading that sort of life. It suits you so
badly?all this debauchery, dissipation, and the rest of it!?

?What would you have, my dear fellow?? answered Pierre, shrugging
his shoulders. ?Women, my dear fellow; women!?

?I don?t understand it,? replied Prince Andrew. ?Women who are
comme il faut, that?s a different matter; but the Kurágins? set of
women, ?women and wine? I don?t understand!?

Pierre was staying at Prince Vasíli Kurágin?s and sharing the
dissipated life of his son Anatole, the son whom they were planning to
reform by marrying him to Prince Andrew?s sister.

?Do you know?? said Pierre, as if suddenly struck by a happy
thought, ?seriously, I have long been thinking of it.... Leading such
a life I can?t decide or think properly about anything. One?s head
aches, and one spends all one?s money. He asked me for tonight, but I
won?t go.?

?You give me your word of honor not to go??

?On my honor!?


It was past one o?clock when Pierre left his friend. It was a
cloudless, northern, summer night. Pierre took an open cab intending
to drive straight home. But the nearer he drew to the house the more he
felt the impossibility of going to sleep on such a night. It was light
enough to see a long way in the deserted street and it seemed more like
morning or evening than night. On the way Pierre remembered that Anatole
Kurágin was expecting the usual set for cards that evening, after which
there was generally a drinking bout, finishing with visits of a kind
Pierre was very fond of.

?I should like to go to Kurágin?s,? thought he.

But he immediately recalled his promise to Prince Andrew not to go
there. Then, as happens to people of weak character, he desired so
passionately once more to enjoy that dissipation he was so accustomed to
that he decided to go. The thought immediately occurred to him that his
promise to Prince Andrew was of no account, because before he gave it
he had already promised Prince Anatole to come to his gathering;
?besides,? thought he, ?all such ?words of honor? are
conventional things with no definite meaning, especially if
one considers that by tomorrow one may be dead, or something so
extraordinary may happen to one that honor and dishonor will be all the
same!? Pierre often indulged in reflections of this sort, nullifying
all his decisions and intentions. He went to Kurágin?s.

Reaching the large house near the Horse Guards? barracks, in which
Anatole lived, Pierre entered the lighted porch, ascended the stairs,
and went in at the open door. There was no one in the anteroom; empty
bottles, cloaks, and overshoes were lying about; there was a smell of
alcohol, and sounds of voices and shouting in the distance.

Cards and supper were over, but the visitors had not yet dispersed.
Pierre threw off his cloak and entered the first room, in which were the
remains of supper. A footman, thinking no one saw him, was drinking on
the sly what was left in the glasses. From the third room came sounds of
laughter, the shouting of familiar voices, the growling of a bear, and
general commotion. Some eight or nine young men were crowding anxiously
round an open window. Three others were romping with a young bear, one
pulling him by the chain and trying to set him at the others.

?I bet a hundred on Stevens!? shouted one.

?Mind, no holding on!? cried another.

?I bet on Dólokhov!? cried a third. ?Kurágin, you part our

?There, leave Bruin alone; here?s a bet on.?

?At one draught, or he loses!? shouted a fourth.

?Jacob, bring a bottle!? shouted the host, a tall, handsome fellow
who stood in the midst of the group, without a coat, and with his fine
linen shirt unfastened in front. ?Wait a bit, you fellows.... Here is
Pétya! Good man!? cried he, addressing Pierre.

Another voice, from a man of medium height with clear blue eyes,
particularly striking among all these drunken voices by its sober
ring, cried from the window: ?Come here; part the bets!? This was
Dólokhov, an officer of the Semënov regiment, a notorious gambler and
duelist, who was living with Anatole. Pierre smiled, looking about him

?I don?t understand. What?s it all about??

?Wait a bit, he is not drunk yet! A bottle here,? said Anatole, and
taking a glass from the table he went up to Pierre.

?First of all you must drink!?

Pierre drank one glass after another, looking from under his brows at
the tipsy guests who were again crowding round the window, and listening
to their chatter. Anatole kept on refilling Pierre?s glass while
explaining that Dólokhov was betting with Stevens, an English naval
officer, that he would drink a bottle of rum sitting on the outer ledge
of the third floor window with his legs hanging out.

?Go on, you must drink it all,? said Anatole, giving Pierre the last
glass, ?or I won?t let you go!?

?No, I won?t,? said Pierre, pushing Anatole aside, and he went up
to the window.

Dólokhov was holding the Englishman?s hand and clearly and distinctly
repeating the terms of the bet, addressing himself particularly to
Anatole and Pierre.

Dólokhov was of medium height, with curly hair and light-blue eyes. He
was about twenty-five. Like all infantry officers he wore no mustache,
so that his mouth, the most striking feature of his face, was clearly
seen. The lines of that mouth were remarkably finely curved. The middle
of the upper lip formed a sharp wedge and closed firmly on the firm
lower one, and something like two distinct smiles played continually
round the two corners of the mouth; this, together with the resolute,
insolent intelligence of his eyes, produced an effect which made it
impossible not to notice his face. Dólokhov was a man of small means
and no connections. Yet, though Anatole spent tens of thousands of
rubles, Dólokhov lived with him and had placed himself on such a
footing that all who knew them, including Anatole himself, respected him
more than they did Anatole. Dólokhov could play all games and nearly
always won. However much he drank, he never lost his clearheadedness.
Both Kurágin and Dólokhov were at that time notorious among the rakes
and scapegraces of Petersburg.

The bottle of rum was brought. The window frame which prevented anyone
from sitting on the outer sill was being forced out by two footmen, who
were evidently flurried and intimidated by the directions and shouts of
the gentlemen around.

Anatole with his swaggering air strode up to the window. He wanted to
smash something. Pushing away the footmen he tugged at the frame, but
could not move it. He smashed a pane.

?You have a try, Hercules,? said he, turning to Pierre.

Pierre seized the crossbeam, tugged, and wrenched the oak frame out with
a crash.

?Take it right out, or they?ll think I?m holding on,? said

?Is the Englishman bragging?... Eh? Is it all right?? said Anatole.

?First-rate,? said Pierre, looking at Dólokhov, who with a bottle
of rum in his hand was approaching the window, from which the light of
the sky, the dawn merging with the afterglow of sunset, was visible.

Dólokhov, the bottle of rum still in his hand, jumped onto the window
sill. ?Listen!? cried he, standing there and addressing those in the
room. All were silent.

?I bet fifty imperials??he spoke French that the Englishman might
understand him, but he did not speak it very well??I bet fifty
imperials ... or do you wish to make it a hundred?? added he,
addressing the Englishman.

?No, fifty,? replied the latter.

?All right. Fifty imperials ... that I will drink a whole bottle of
rum without taking it from my mouth, sitting outside the window on this
spot? (he stooped and pointed to the sloping ledge outside the window)
?and without holding on to anything. Is that right??

?Quite right,? said the Englishman.

Anatole turned to the Englishman and taking him by one of the buttons
of his coat and looking down at him?the Englishman was short?began
repeating the terms of the wager to him in English.

?Wait!? cried Dólokhov, hammering with the bottle on the window
sill to attract attention. ?Wait a bit, Kurágin. Listen! If
anyone else does the same, I will pay him a hundred imperials. Do you

The Englishman nodded, but gave no indication whether he intended to
accept this challenge or not. Anatole did not release him, and though
he kept nodding to show that he understood, Anatole went on translating
Dólokhov?s words into English. A thin young lad, an hussar of the
Life Guards, who had been losing that evening, climbed on the window
sill, leaned over, and looked down.

?Oh! Oh! Oh!? he muttered, looking down from the window at the
stones of the pavement.

?Shut up!? cried Dólokhov, pushing him away from the window. The
lad jumped awkwardly back into the room, tripping over his spurs.

Placing the bottle on the window sill where he could reach it easily,
Dólokhov climbed carefully and slowly through the window and lowered
his legs. Pressing against both sides of the window, he adjusted himself
on his seat, lowered his hands, moved a little to the right and then to
the left, and took up the bottle. Anatole brought two candles and
placed them on the window sill, though it was already quite light.
Dólokhov?s back in his white shirt, and his curly head, were lit
up from both sides. Everyone crowded to the window, the Englishman in
front. Pierre stood smiling but silent. One man, older than the others
present, suddenly pushed forward with a scared and angry look and wanted
to seize hold of Dólokhov?s shirt.

?I say, this is folly! He?ll be killed,? said this more sensible

Anatole stopped him.

?Don?t touch him! You?ll startle him and then he?ll be killed.
Eh?... What then?... Eh??

Dólokhov turned round and, again holding on with both hands, arranged
himself on his seat.

?If anyone comes meddling again,? said he, emitting the words
separately through his thin compressed lips, ?I will throw him down
there. Now then!?

Saying this he again turned round, dropped his hands, took the bottle
and lifted it to his lips, threw back his head, and raised his free hand
to balance himself. One of the footmen who had stooped to pick up some
broken glass remained in that position without taking his eyes from the
window and from Dólokhov?s back. Anatole stood erect with staring
eyes. The Englishman looked on sideways, pursing up his lips. The man
who had wished to stop the affair ran to a corner of the room and threw
himself on a sofa with his face to the wall. Pierre hid his face, from
which a faint smile forgot to fade though his features now expressed
horror and fear. All were still. Pierre took his hands from his eyes.
Dólokhov still sat in the same position, only his head was thrown
further back till his curly hair touched his shirt collar, and the hand
holding the bottle was lifted higher and higher and trembled with the
effort. The bottle was emptying perceptibly and rising still higher
and his head tilting yet further back. ?Why is it so long?? thought
Pierre. It seemed to him that more than half an hour had elapsed.
Suddenly Dólokhov made a backward movement with his spine, and his arm
trembled nervously; this was sufficient to cause his whole body to slip
as he sat on the sloping ledge. As he began slipping down, his head and
arm wavered still more with the strain. One hand moved as if to clutch
the window sill, but refrained from touching it. Pierre again covered
his eyes and thought he would never open them again. Suddenly he was
aware of a stir all around. He looked up: Dólokhov was standing on the
window sill, with a pale but radiant face.

?It?s empty.?

He threw the bottle to the Englishman, who caught it neatly. Dólokhov
jumped down. He smelt strongly of rum.

?Well done!... Fine fellow!... There?s a bet for you!... Devil take
you!? came from different sides.

The Englishman took out his purse and began counting out the money.
Dólokhov stood frowning and did not speak. Pierre jumped upon the
window sill.

?Gentlemen, who wishes to bet with me? I?ll do the same thing!?
he suddenly cried. ?Even without a bet, there! Tell them to bring me a
bottle. I?ll do it.... Bring a bottle!?

?Let him do it, let him do it,? said Dólokhov, smiling.

?What next? Have you gone mad?... No one would let you!... Why, you go
giddy even on a staircase,? exclaimed several voices.

?I?ll drink it! Let?s have a bottle of rum!? shouted Pierre,
banging the table with a determined and drunken gesture and preparing to
climb out of the window.

They seized him by his arms; but he was so strong that everyone who
touched him was sent flying.

?No, you?ll never manage him that way,? said Anatole. ?Wait a
bit and I?ll get round him.... Listen! I?ll take your bet tomorrow,
but now we are all going to ???s.?

?Come on then,? cried Pierre. ?Come on!... And we?ll take Bruin
with us.?

And he caught the bear, took it in his arms, lifted it from the ground,
and began dancing round the room with it.


Prince Vasíli kept the promise he had given to Princess Drubetskáya
who had spoken to him on behalf of her only son Borís on the evening of
Anna Pávlovna?s soiree. The matter was mentioned to the Emperor, an
exception made, and Borís transferred into the regiment of Semënov
Guards with the rank of cornet. He received, however, no appointment
to Kutúzov?s staff despite all Anna Mikháylovna?s endeavors and
entreaties. Soon after Anna Pávlovna?s reception Anna Mikháylovna
returned to Moscow and went straight to her rich relations, the
Rostóvs, with whom she stayed when in the town and where her darling
Bóry, who had only just entered a regiment of the line and was being
at once transferred to the Guards as a cornet, had been educated from
childhood and lived for years at a time. The Guards had already left
Petersburg on the tenth of August, and her son, who had remained in
Moscow for his equipment, was to join them on the march to Radzivílov.

It was St. Natalia?s day and the name day of two of the Rostóvs?the
mother and the youngest daughter?both named Nataly. Ever since
the morning, carriages with six horses had been coming and going
continually, bringing visitors to the Countess Rostóva?s big house on
the Povarskáya, so well known to all Moscow. The countess herself and
her handsome eldest daughter were in the drawing room with the visitors
who came to congratulate, and who constantly succeeded one another in

The countess was a woman of about forty-five, with a thin Oriental type
of face, evidently worn out with childbearing?she had had twelve.
A languor of motion and speech, resulting from weakness, gave her a
distinguished air which inspired respect. Princess Anna Mikháylovna
Drubetskáya, who as a member of the household was also seated in the
drawing room, helped to receive and entertain the visitors. The young
people were in one of the inner rooms, not considering it necessary to
take part in receiving the visitors. The count met the guests and saw
them off, inviting them all to dinner.

?I am very, very grateful to you, mon cher,? or ?ma chère??he
called everyone without exception and without the slightest variation
in his tone, ?my dear,? whether they were above or below him in
rank??I thank you for myself and for our two dear ones whose name
day we are keeping. But mind you come to dinner or I shall be offended,
ma chère! On behalf of the whole family I beg you to come, mon cher!?
These words he repeated to everyone without exception or variation, and
with the same expression on his full, cheerful, clean-shaven face, the
same firm pressure of the hand and the same quick, repeated bows. As
soon as he had seen a visitor off he returned to one of those who were
still in the drawing room, drew a chair toward him or her, and jauntily
spreading out his legs and putting his hands on his knees with the air
of a man who enjoys life and knows how to live, he swayed to and
fro with dignity, offered surmises about the weather, or touched on
questions of health, sometimes in Russian and sometimes in very bad but
self-confident French; then again, like a man weary but unflinching in
the fulfillment of duty, he rose to see some visitors off and, stroking
his scanty gray hairs over his bald patch, also asked them to dinner.
Sometimes on his way back from the anteroom he would pass through the
conservatory and pantry into the large marble dining hall, where tables
were being set out for eighty people; and looking at the footmen, who
were bringing in silver and china, moving tables, and unfolding damask
table linen, he would call Dmítri Vasílevich, a man of good family and
the manager of all his affairs, and while looking with pleasure at the
enormous table would say: ?Well, Dmítri, you?ll see that things are
all as they should be? That?s right! The great thing is the serving,
that?s it.? And with a complacent sigh he would return to the
drawing room.

?Márya Lvóvna Karágina and her daughter!? announced the
countess? gigantic footman in his bass voice, entering the drawing
room. The countess reflected a moment and took a pinch from a gold
snuffbox with her husband?s portrait on it.

?I?m quite worn out by these callers. However, I?ll see her and
no more. She is so affected. Ask her in,? she said to the footman in a
sad voice, as if saying: ?Very well, finish me off.?

A tall, stout, and proud-looking woman, with a round-faced smiling
daughter, entered the drawing room, their dresses rustling.

?Dear Countess, what an age... She has been laid up, poor child ...
at the Razumóvski?s ball ... and Countess Apráksina ... I was
so delighted...? came the sounds of animated feminine voices,
interrupting one another and mingling with the rustling of dresses and
the scraping of chairs. Then one of those conversations began which last
out until, at the first pause, the guests rise with a rustle of dresses
and say, ?I am so delighted... Mamma?s health... and Countess
Apráksina...? and then, again rustling, pass into the anteroom, put
on cloaks or mantles, and drive away. The conversation was on the chief
topic of the day: the illness of the wealthy and celebrated beau of
Catherine?s day, Count Bezúkhov, and about his illegitimate son
Pierre, the one who had behaved so improperly at Anna Pávlovna?s

?I am so sorry for the poor count,? said the visitor. ?He is in
such bad health, and now this vexation about his son is enough to kill

?What is that?? asked the countess as if she did not know what the
visitor alluded to, though she had already heard about the cause of
Count Bezúkhov?s distress some fifteen times.

?That?s what comes of a modern education,? exclaimed the visitor.
?It seems that while he was abroad this young man was allowed to do
as he liked, now in Petersburg I hear he has been doing such terrible
things that he has been expelled by the police.?

?You don?t say so!? replied the countess.

?He chose his friends badly,? interposed Anna Mikháylovna.
?Prince Vasíli?s son, he, and a certain Dólokhov have, it is said,
been up to heaven only knows what! And they have had to suffer for it.
Dólokhov has been degraded to the ranks and Bezúkhov?s son sent
back to Moscow. Anatole Kurágin?s father managed somehow to get his
son?s affair hushed up, but even he was ordered out of Petersburg.?

?But what have they been up to?? asked the countess.

?They are regular brigands, especially Dólokhov,? replied the
visitor. ?He is a son of Márya Ivánovna Dólokhova, such a worthy
woman, but there, just fancy! Those three got hold of a bear somewhere,
put it in a carriage, and set off with it to visit some actresses! The
police tried to interfere, and what did the young men do? They tied
a policeman and the bear back to back and put the bear into the Moyka
Canal. And there was the bear swimming about with the policeman on his

?What a nice figure the policeman must have cut, my dear!? shouted
the count, dying with laughter.

?Oh, how dreadful! How can you laugh at it, Count??

Yet the ladies themselves could not help laughing.

?It was all they could do to rescue the poor man,? continued the
visitor. ?And to think it is Cyril Vladímirovich Bezúkhov?s son
who amuses himself in this sensible manner! And he was said to be so
well educated and clever. This is all that his foreign education has
done for him! I hope that here in Moscow no one will receive him, in
spite of his money. They wanted to introduce him to me, but I quite
declined: I have my daughters to consider.?

?Why do you say this young man is so rich?? asked the countess,
turning away from the girls, who at once assumed an air of inattention.
?His children are all illegitimate. I think Pierre also is

The visitor made a gesture with her hand.

?I should think he has a score of them.?

Princess Anna Mikháylovna intervened in the conversation, evidently
wishing to show her connections and knowledge of what went on in

?The fact of the matter is,? said she significantly, and also in a
half whisper, ?everyone knows Count Cyril?s reputation.... He has
lost count of his children, but this Pierre was his favorite.?

?How handsome the old man still was only a year ago!? remarked the
countess. ?I have never seen a handsomer man.?

?He is very much altered now,? said Anna Mikháylovna. ?Well, as
I was saying, Prince Vasíli is the next heir through his wife, but the
count is very fond of Pierre, looked after his education, and wrote to
the Emperor about him; so that in the case of his death?and he is
so ill that he may die at any moment, and Dr. Lorrain has come from
Petersburg?no one knows who will inherit his immense fortune, Pierre
or Prince Vasíli. Forty thousand serfs and millions of rubles! I know
it all very well for Prince Vasíli told me himself. Besides, Cyril
Vladímirovich is my mother?s second cousin. He?s also my Bóry?s
godfather,? she added, as if she attached no importance at all to the

?Prince Vasíli arrived in Moscow yesterday. I hear he has come on
some inspection business,? remarked the visitor.

?Yes, but between ourselves,? said the princess, ?that is a
pretext. The fact is he has come to see Count Cyril Vladímirovich,
hearing how ill he is.?

?But do you know, my dear, that was a capital joke,? said the count;
and seeing that the elder visitor was not listening, he turned to the
young ladies. ?I can just imagine what a funny figure that policeman

And as he waved his arms to impersonate the policeman, his portly form
again shook with a deep ringing laugh, the laugh of one who always eats
well and, in particular, drinks well. ?So do come and dine with us!?
he said.


Silence ensued. The countess looked at her callers, smiling affably,
but not concealing the fact that she would not be distressed if they
now rose and took their leave. The visitor?s daughter was already
smoothing down her dress with an inquiring look at her mother, when
suddenly from the next room were heard the footsteps of boys and girls
running to the door and the noise of a chair falling over, and a girl
of thirteen, hiding something in the folds of her short muslin frock,
darted in and stopped short in the middle of the room. It was evident
that she had not intended her flight to bring her so far. Behind her in
the doorway appeared a student with a crimson coat collar, an officer
of the Guards, a girl of fifteen, and a plump rosy-faced boy in a short

The count jumped up and, swaying from side to side, spread his arms wide
and threw them round the little girl who had run in.

?Ah, here she is!? he exclaimed laughing. ?My pet, whose name day
it is. My dear pet!?

?Ma chère, there is a time for everything,? said the countess with
feigned severity. ?You spoil her, Ilyá,? she added, turning to her

?How do you do, my dear? I wish you many happy returns of your name
day,? said the visitor. ?What a charming child,? she added,
addressing the mother.

This black-eyed, wide-mouthed girl, not pretty but full of life?with
childish bare shoulders which after her run heaved and shook her
bodice, with black curls tossed backward, thin bare arms, little legs
in lace-frilled drawers, and feet in low slippers?was just at that
charming age when a girl is no longer a child, though the child is not
yet a young woman. Escaping from her father she ran to hide her flushed
face in the lace of her mother?s mantilla?not paying the least
attention to her severe remark?and began to laugh. She laughed, and in
fragmentary sentences tried to explain about a doll which she produced
from the folds of her frock.

?Do you see?... My doll... Mimi... You see...? was all Natásha
managed to utter (to her everything seemed funny). She leaned against
her mother and burst into such a loud, ringing fit of laughter that even
the prim visitor could not help joining in.

?Now then, go away and take your monstrosity with you,? said the
mother, pushing away her daughter with pretended sternness, and turning
to the visitor she added: ?She is my youngest girl.?

Natásha, raising her face for a moment from her mother?s mantilla,
glanced up at her through tears of laughter, and again hid her face.

The visitor, compelled to look on at this family scene, thought it
necessary to take some part in it.

?Tell me, my dear,? said she to Natásha, ?is Mimi a relation of
yours? A daughter, I suppose??

Natásha did not like the visitor?s tone of condescension to childish
things. She did not reply, but looked at her seriously.

Meanwhile the younger generation: Borís, the officer, Anna
Mikháylovna?s son; Nicholas, the undergraduate, the count?s eldest
son; Sónya, the count?s fifteen-year-old niece, and little Pétya,
his youngest boy, had all settled down in the drawing room and were
obviously trying to restrain within the bounds of decorum the excitement
and mirth that shone in all their faces. Evidently in the back rooms,
from which they had dashed out so impetuously, the conversation had
been more amusing than the drawing room talk of society scandals, the
weather, and Countess Apráksina. Now and then they glanced at one
another, hardly able to suppress their laughter.

The two young men, the student and the officer, friends from childhood,
were of the same age and both handsome fellows, though not alike. Borís
was tall and fair, and his calm and handsome face had regular, delicate
features. Nicholas was short with curly hair and an open expression.
Dark hairs were already showing on his upper lip, and his whole face
expressed impetuosity and enthusiasm. Nicholas blushed when he entered
the drawing room. He evidently tried to find something to say, but
failed. Borís on the contrary at once found his footing, and related
quietly and humorously how he had known that doll Mimi when she was
still quite a young lady, before her nose was broken; how she had aged
during the five years he had known her, and how her head had cracked
right across the skull. Having said this he glanced at Natásha.
She turned away from him and glanced at her younger brother, who was
screwing up his eyes and shaking with suppressed laughter, and unable
to control herself any longer, she jumped up and rushed from the room as
fast as her nimble little feet would carry her. Borís did not laugh.

?You were meaning to go out, weren?t you, Mamma? Do you want the
carriage?? he asked his mother with a smile.

?Yes, yes, go and tell them to get it ready,? she answered,
returning his smile.

Borís quietly left the room and went in search of Natásha. The plump
boy ran after them angrily, as if vexed that their program had been


The only young people remaining in the drawing room, not counting the
young lady visitor and the countess? eldest daughter (who was four
years older than her sister and behaved already like a grown-up person),
were Nicholas and Sónya, the niece. Sónya was a slender little
brunette with a tender look in her eyes which were veiled by long
lashes, thick black plaits coiling twice round her head, and a tawny
tint in her complexion and especially in the color of her slender but
graceful and muscular arms and neck. By the grace of her movements,
by the softness and flexibility of her small limbs, and by a certain
coyness and reserve of manner, she reminded one of a pretty, half-grown
kitten which promises to become a beautiful little cat. She evidently
considered it proper to show an interest in the general conversation by
smiling, but in spite of herself her eyes under their thick long lashes
watched her cousin who was going to join the army, with such passionate
girlish adoration that her smile could not for a single instant impose
upon anyone, and it was clear that the kitten had settled down only to
spring up with more energy and again play with her cousin as soon as
they too could, like Natásha and Borís, escape from the drawing room.

?Ah yes, my dear,? said the count, addressing the visitor and
pointing to Nicholas, ?his friend Borís has become an officer, and
so for friendship?s sake he is leaving the university and me, his
old father, and entering the military service, my dear. And there was a
place and everything waiting for him in the Archives Department! Isn?t
that friendship?? remarked the count in an inquiring tone.

?But they say that war has been declared,? replied the visitor.

?They?ve been saying so a long while,? said the count, ?and
they?ll say so again and again, and that will be the end of it. My
dear, there?s friendship for you,? he repeated. ?He?s joining
the hussars.?

The visitor, not knowing what to say, shook her head.

?It?s not at all from friendship,? declared Nicholas, flaring
up and turning away as if from a shameful aspersion. ?It is not from
friendship at all; I simply feel that the army is my vocation.?

He glanced at his cousin and the young lady visitor; and they were both
regarding him with a smile of approbation.

?Schubert, the colonel of the Pávlograd Hussars, is dining with us
today. He has been here on leave and is taking Nicholas back with him.
It can?t be helped!? said the count, shrugging his shoulders and
speaking playfully of a matter that evidently distressed him.

?I have already told you, Papa,? said his son, ?that if you
don?t wish to let me go, I?ll stay. But I know I am no use anywhere
except in the army; I am not a diplomat or a government clerk.?I
don?t know how to hide what I feel.? As he spoke he kept glancing
with the flirtatiousness of a handsome youth at Sónya and the young
lady visitor.

The little kitten, feasting her eyes on him, seemed ready at any moment
to start her gambols again and display her kittenish nature.

?All right, all right!? said the old count. ?He always flares up!
This Buonaparte has turned all their heads; they all think of how he
rose from an ensign and became Emperor. Well, well, God grant it,? he
added, not noticing his visitor?s sarcastic smile.

The elders began talking about Bonaparte. Julie Karágina turned to
young Rostóv.

?What a pity you weren?t at the Arkhárovs? on Thursday. It was so
dull without you,? said she, giving him a tender smile.

The young man, flattered, sat down nearer to her with a coquettish
smile, and engaged the smiling Julie in a confidential conversation
without at all noticing that his involuntary smile had stabbed the heart
of Sónya, who blushed and smiled unnaturally. In the midst of his talk
he glanced round at her. She gave him a passionately angry glance, and
hardly able to restrain her tears and maintain the artificial smile
on her lips, she got up and left the room. All Nicholas? animation
vanished. He waited for the first pause in the conversation, and then
with a distressed face left the room to find Sónya.

?How plainly all these young people wear their hearts on their
sleeves!? said Anna Mikháylovna, pointing to Nicholas as he went out.
?Cousinage?dangereux voisinage,? * she added.

     * Cousinhood is a dangerous neighborhood.

?Yes,? said the countess when the brightness these young people had
brought into the room had vanished; and as if answering a question no
one had put but which was always in her mind, ?and how much suffering,
how much anxiety one has had to go through that we might rejoice in
them now! And yet really the anxiety is greater now than the joy. One is
always, always anxious! Especially just at this age, so dangerous both
for girls and boys.?

?It all depends on the bringing up,? remarked the visitor.

?Yes, you?re quite right,? continued the countess. ?Till now I
have always, thank God, been my children?s friend and had their full
confidence,? said she, repeating the mistake of so many parents who
imagine that their children have no secrets from them. ?I know I shall
always be my daughters? first confidante, and that if Nicholas, with
his impulsive nature, does get into mischief (a boy can?t help it), he
will all the same never be like those Petersburg young men.?

?Yes, they are splendid, splendid youngsters,? chimed in the count,
who always solved questions that seemed to him perplexing by deciding
that everything was splendid. ?Just fancy: wants to be an hussar.
What?s one to do, my dear??

?What a charming creature your younger girl is,? said the visitor;
?a little volcano!?

?Yes, a regular volcano,? said the count. ?Takes after me! And
what a voice she has; though she?s my daughter, I tell the truth
when I say she?ll be a singer, a second Salomoni! We have engaged an
Italian to give her lessons.?

?Isn?t she too young? I have heard that it harms the voice to train
it at that age.?

?Oh no, not at all too young!? replied the count. ?Why, our
mothers used to be married at twelve or thirteen.?

?And she?s in love with Borís already. Just fancy!? said the
countess with a gentle smile, looking at Borís and went on, evidently
concerned with a thought that always occupied her: ?Now you see if I
were to be severe with her and to forbid it ... goodness knows what they
might be up to on the sly? (she meant that they would be kissing),
?but as it is, I know every word she utters. She will come running to
me of her own accord in the evening and tell me everything. Perhaps I
spoil her, but really that seems the best plan. With her elder sister I
was stricter.?

?Yes, I was brought up quite differently,? remarked the handsome
elder daughter, Countess Véra, with a smile.

But the smile did not enhance Véra?s beauty as smiles generally do;
on the contrary it gave her an unnatural, and therefore unpleasant,
expression. Véra was good-looking, not at all stupid, quick at
learning, was well brought up, and had a pleasant voice; what she said
was true and appropriate, yet, strange to say, everyone?the visitors
and countess alike?turned to look at her as if wondering why she had
said it, and they all felt awkward.

?People are always too clever with their eldest children and try to
make something exceptional of them,? said the visitor.

?What?s the good of denying it, my dear? Our dear countess was too
clever with Véra,? said the count. ?Well, what of that? She?s
turned out splendidly all the same,? he added, winking at Véra.

The guests got up and took their leave, promising to return to dinner.

?What manners! I thought they would never go,? said the countess,
when she had seen her guests out.


When Natásha ran out of the drawing room she only went as far as the
conservatory. There she paused and stood listening to the conversation
in the drawing room, waiting for Borís to come out. She was already
growing impatient, and stamped her foot, ready to cry at his not coming
at once, when she heard the young man?s discreet steps approaching
neither quickly nor slowly. At this Natásha dashed swiftly among the
flower tubs and hid there.

Borís paused in the middle of the room, looked round, brushed a little
dust from the sleeve of his uniform, and going up to a mirror examined
his handsome face. Natásha, very still, peered out from her ambush,
waiting to see what he would do. He stood a little while before the
glass, smiled, and walked toward the other door. Natásha was about to
call him but changed her mind. ?Let him look for me,? thought she.
Hardly had Borís gone than Sónya, flushed, in tears, and muttering
angrily, came in at the other door. Natásha checked her first impulse
to run out to her, and remained in her hiding place, watching?as
under an invisible cap?to see what went on in the world. She was
experiencing a new and peculiar pleasure. Sónya, muttering to herself,
kept looking round toward the drawing room door. It opened and Nicholas
came in.

?Sónya, what is the matter with you? How can you?? said he, running
up to her.

?It?s nothing, nothing; leave me alone!? sobbed Sónya.

?Ah, I know what it is.?

?Well, if you do, so much the better, and you can go back to her!?

?Só-o-onya! Look here! How can you torture me and yourself like that,
for a mere fancy?? said Nicholas taking her hand.

Sónya did not pull it away, and left off crying. Natásha, not stirring
and scarcely breathing, watched from her ambush with sparkling eyes.
?What will happen now?? thought she.

?Sónya! What is anyone in the world to me? You alone are
everything!? said Nicholas. ?And I will prove it to you.?

?I don?t like you to talk like that.?

?Well, then, I won?t; only forgive me, Sónya!? He drew her to him
and kissed her.

?Oh, how nice,? thought Natásha; and when Sónya and Nicholas had
gone out of the conservatory she followed and called Borís to her.

?Borís, come here,? said she with a sly and significant look. ?I
have something to tell you. Here, here!? and she led him into the
conservatory to the place among the tubs where she had been hiding.

Borís followed her, smiling.

?What is the something?? asked he.

She grew confused, glanced round, and, seeing the doll she had thrown
down on one of the tubs, picked it up.

?Kiss the doll,? said she.

Borís looked attentively and kindly at her eager face, but did not

?Don?t you want to? Well, then, come here,? said she, and
went further in among the plants and threw down the doll. ?Closer,
closer!? she whispered.

She caught the young officer by his cuffs, and a look of solemnity and
fear appeared on her flushed face.

?And me? Would you like to kiss me?? she whispered almost inaudibly,
glancing up at him from under her brows, smiling, and almost crying from

Borís blushed.

?How funny you are!? he said, bending down to her and blushing still
more, but he waited and did nothing.

Suddenly she jumped up onto a tub to be higher than he, embraced him so
that both her slender bare arms clasped him above his neck, and, tossing
back her hair, kissed him full on the lips.

Then she slipped down among the flowerpots on the other side of the tubs
and stood, hanging her head.

?Natásha,? he said, ?you know that I love you, but....?

?You are in love with me?? Natásha broke in.

?Yes, I am, but please don?t let us do like that.... In another four
years ... then I will ask for your hand.?

Natásha considered.

?Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen,? she counted on her slender
little fingers. ?All right! Then it?s settled??

A smile of joy and satisfaction lit up her eager face.

?Settled!? replied Borís.

?Forever?? said the little girl. ?Till death itself??

She took his arm and with a happy face went with him into the adjoining
sitting room.


After receiving her visitors, the countess was so tired that she gave
orders to admit no more, but the porter was told to be sure to invite to
dinner all who came ?to congratulate.? The countess wished to have
a tête-à-tête talk with the friend of her childhood, Princess Anna
Mikháylovna, whom she had not seen properly since she returned from
Petersburg. Anna Mikháylovna, with her tear-worn but pleasant face,
drew her chair nearer to that of the countess.

?With you I will be quite frank,? said Anna Mikháylovna. ?There
are not many left of us old friends! That?s why I so value your

Anna Mikháylovna looked at Véra and paused. The countess pressed her
friend?s hand.

?Véra,? she said to her eldest daughter who was evidently not a
favorite, ?how is it you have so little tact? Don?t you see you are
not wanted here? Go to the other girls, or...?

The handsome Véra smiled contemptuously but did not seem at all hurt.

?If you had told me sooner, Mamma, I would have gone,? she replied
as she rose to go to her own room.

But as she passed the sitting room she noticed two couples sitting,
one pair at each window. She stopped and smiled scornfully. Sónya was
sitting close to Nicholas who was copying out some verses for her, the
first he had ever written. Borís and Natásha were at the other window
and ceased talking when Véra entered. Sónya and Natásha looked at
Véra with guilty, happy faces.

It was pleasant and touching to see these little girls in love; but
apparently the sight of them roused no pleasant feeling in Véra.

?How often have I asked you not to take my things?? she said. ?You
have a room of your own,? and she took the inkstand from Nicholas.

?In a minute, in a minute,? he said, dipping his pen.

?You always manage to do things at the wrong time,? continued Véra.
?You came rushing into the drawing room so that everyone felt ashamed
of you.?

Though what she said was quite just, perhaps for that very reason no one
replied, and the four simply looked at one another. She lingered in the
room with the inkstand in her hand.

?And at your age what secrets can there be between Natásha and
Borís, or between you two? It?s all nonsense!?

?Now, Véra, what does it matter to you?? said Natásha in defense,
speaking very gently.

She seemed that day to be more than ever kind and affectionate to

?Very silly,? said Véra. ?I am ashamed of you. Secrets indeed!?

?All have secrets of their own,? answered Natásha, getting warmer.
?We don?t interfere with you and Berg.?

?I should think not,? said Véra, ?because there can never be
anything wrong in my behavior. But I?ll just tell Mamma how you are
behaving with Borís.?

?Natálya Ilyníchna behaves very well to me,? remarked Borís. ?I
have nothing to complain of.?

?Don?t, Borís! You are such a diplomat that it is really
tiresome,? said Natásha in a mortified voice that trembled slightly.
(She used the word ?diplomat,? which was just then much in vogue
among the children, in the special sense they attached to it.) ?Why
does she bother me?? And she added, turning to Véra, ?You?ll
never understand it, because you?ve never loved anyone. You have no
heart! You are a Madame de Genlis and nothing more? (this nickname,
bestowed on Véra by Nicholas, was considered very stinging), ?and
your greatest pleasure is to be unpleasant to people! Go and flirt with
Berg as much as you please,? she finished quickly.

?I shall at any rate not run after a young man before visitors...?

?Well, now you?ve done what you wanted,? put in Nicholas??said
unpleasant things to everyone and upset them. Let?s go to the

All four, like a flock of scared birds, got up and left the room.

?The unpleasant things were said to me,? remarked Véra, ?I said
none to anyone.?

?Madame de Genlis! Madame de Genlis!? shouted laughing voices
through the door.

The handsome Véra, who produced such an irritating and unpleasant
effect on everyone, smiled and, evidently unmoved by what had been
said to her, went to the looking glass and arranged her hair and scarf.
Looking at her own handsome face she seemed to become still colder and

In the drawing room the conversation was still going on.

?Ah, my dear,? said the countess, ?my life is not all roses
either. Don?t I know that at the rate we are living our means won?t
last long? It?s all the Club and his easygoing nature. Even in the
country do we get any rest? Theatricals, hunting, and heaven knows what
besides! But don?t let?s talk about me; tell me how you managed
everything. I often wonder at you, Annette?how at your age you
can rush off alone in a carriage to Moscow, to Petersburg, to those
ministers and great people, and know how to deal with them all! It?s
quite astonishing. How did you get things settled? I couldn?t possibly
do it.?

?Ah, my love,? answered Anna Mikháylovna, ?God grant you never
know what it is to be left a widow without means and with a son you love
to distraction! One learns many things then,? she added with a certain
pride. ?That lawsuit taught me much. When I want to see one of those
big people I write a note: ?Princess So-and-So desires an interview
with So and-So,? and then I take a cab and go myself two, three, or
four times?till I get what I want. I don?t mind what they think of

?Well, and to whom did you apply about Bóry?? asked the countess.
?You see yours is already an officer in the Guards, while my Nicholas
is going as a cadet. There?s no one to interest himself for him. To
whom did you apply??

?To Prince Vasíli. He was so kind. He at once agreed to everything,
and put the matter before the Emperor,? said Princess Anna
Mikháylovna enthusiastically, quite forgetting all the humiliation she
had endured to gain her end.

?Has Prince Vasíli aged much?? asked the countess. ?I have not
seen him since we acted together at the Rumyántsovs? theatricals. I
expect he has forgotten me. He paid me attentions in those days,? said
the countess, with a smile.

?He is just the same as ever,? replied Anna Mikháylovna,
?overflowing with amiability. His position has not turned his head
at all. He said to me, ?I am sorry I can do so little for you, dear
Princess. I am at your command.? Yes, he is a fine fellow and a very
kind relation. But, Nataly, you know my love for my son: I would do
anything for his happiness! And my affairs are in such a bad way that my
position is now a terrible one,? continued Anna Mikháylovna, sadly,
dropping her voice. ?My wretched lawsuit takes all I have and makes no
progress. Would you believe it, I have literally not a penny and don?t
know how to equip Borís.? She took out her handkerchief and began to
cry. ?I need five hundred rubles, and have only one twenty-five-ruble
note. I am in such a state.... My only hope now is in Count Cyril
Vladímirovich Bezúkhov. If he will not assist his godson?you know
he is Bóry?s godfather?and allow him something for his maintenance,
all my trouble will have been thrown away.... I shall not be able to
equip him.?

The countess? eyes filled with tears and she pondered in silence.

?I often think, though, perhaps it?s a sin,? said the princess,
?that here lives Count Cyril Vladímirovich Bezúkhov so rich, all
alone... that tremendous fortune... and what is his life worth? It?s a
burden to him, and Bóry?s life is only just beginning....?

?Surely he will leave something to Borís,? said the countess.

?Heaven only knows, my dear! These rich grandees are so selfish.
Still, I will take Borís and go to see him at once, and I shall speak
to him straight out. Let people think what they will of me, it?s
really all the same to me when my son?s fate is at stake.? The
princess rose. ?It?s now two o?clock and you dine at four. There
will just be time.?

And like a practical Petersburg lady who knows how to make the most of
time, Anna Mikháylovna sent someone to call her son, and went into the
anteroom with him.

?Good-by, my dear,? said she to the countess who saw her to the
door, and added in a whisper so that her son should not hear, ?Wish me
good luck.?

?Are you going to Count Cyril Vladímirovich, my dear?? said the
count coming out from the dining hall into the anteroom, and he added:
?If he is better, ask Pierre to dine with us. He has been to the
house, you know, and danced with the children. Be sure to invite him, my
dear. We will see how Tarás distinguishes himself today. He says Count
Orlóv never gave such a dinner as ours will be!?


?My dear Borís,? said Princess Anna Mikháylovna to her son as
Countess Rostóva?s carriage in which they were seated drove over the
straw covered street and turned into the wide courtyard of Count Cyril
Vladímirovich Bezúkhov?s house. ?My dear Borís,? said the
mother, drawing her hand from beneath her old mantle and laying
it timidly and tenderly on her son?s arm, ?be affectionate and
attentive to him. Count Cyril Vladímirovich is your godfather after
all, and your future depends on him. Remember that, my dear, and be nice
to him, as you so well know how to be.?

?If only I knew that anything besides humiliation would come of
it...? answered her son coldly. ?But I have promised and will do it
for your sake.?

Although the hall porter saw someone?s carriage standing at the
entrance, after scrutinizing the mother and son (who without asking to
be announced had passed straight through the glass porch between the
rows of statues in niches) and looking significantly at the lady?s old
cloak, he asked whether they wanted the count or the princesses, and,
hearing that they wished to see the count, said his excellency was worse
today, and that his excellency was not receiving anyone.

?We may as well go back,? said the son in French.

?My dear!? exclaimed his mother imploringly, again laying her hand
on his arm as if that touch might soothe or rouse him.

Borís said no more, but looked inquiringly at his mother without taking
off his cloak.

?My friend,? said Anna Mikháylovna in gentle tones, addressing
the hall porter, ?I know Count Cyril Vladímirovich is very ill...
that?s why I have come... I am a relation. I shall not disturb him,
my friend... I only need see Prince Vasíli Sergéevich: he is staying
here, is he not? Please announce me.?

The hall porter sullenly pulled a bell that rang upstairs, and turned

?Princess Drubetskáya to see Prince Vasíli Sergéevich,? he called
to a footman dressed in knee breeches, shoes, and a swallow-tail coat,
who ran downstairs and looked over from the halfway landing.

The mother smoothed the folds of her dyed silk dress before a large
Venetian mirror in the wall, and in her trodden-down shoes briskly
ascended the carpeted stairs.

?My dear,? she said to her son, once more stimulating him by a
touch, ?you promised me!?

The son, lowering his eyes, followed her quietly.

They entered the large hall, from which one of the doors led to the
apartments assigned to Prince Vasíli.

Just as the mother and son, having reached the middle of the hall, were
about to ask their way of an elderly footman who had sprung up as they
entered, the bronze handle of one of the doors turned and Prince Vasíli
came out?wearing a velvet coat with a single star on his breast,
as was his custom when at home?taking leave of a good-looking,
dark-haired man. This was the celebrated Petersburg doctor, Lorrain.

?Then it is certain?? said the prince.

?Prince, humanum est errare, * but...? replied the doctor,
swallowing his r?s, and pronouncing the Latin words with a French

     * To err is human.

?Very well, very well...?

Seeing Anna Mikháylovna and her son, Prince Vasíli dismissed the
doctor with a bow and approached them silently and with a look of
inquiry. The son noticed that an expression of profound sorrow suddenly
clouded his mother?s face, and he smiled slightly.

?Ah, Prince! In what sad circumstances we meet again! And how is our
dear invalid?? said she, as though unaware of the cold offensive look
fixed on her.

Prince Vasíli stared at her and at Borís questioningly and perplexed.
Borís bowed politely. Prince Vasíli without acknowledging the bow
turned to Anna Mikháylovna, answering her query by a movement of the
head and lips indicating very little hope for the patient.

?Is it possible?? exclaimed Anna Mikháylovna. ?Oh, how awful!
It is terrible to think.... This is my son,? she added, indicating
Borís. ?He wanted to thank you himself.?

Borís bowed again politely.

?Believe me, Prince, a mother?s heart will never forget what you
have done for us.?

?I am glad I was able to do you a service, my dear Anna
Mikháylovna,? said Prince Vasíli, arranging his lace frill, and in
tone and manner, here in Moscow to Anna Mikháylovna whom he had placed
under an obligation, assuming an air of much greater importance than he
had done in Petersburg at Anna Schérer?s reception.

?Try to serve well and show yourself worthy,? added he, addressing
Borís with severity. ?I am glad.... Are you here on leave?? he went
on in his usual tone of indifference.

?I am awaiting orders to join my new regiment, your excellency,?
replied Borís, betraying neither annoyance at the prince?s brusque
manner nor a desire to enter into conversation, but speaking so quietly
and respectfully that the prince gave him a searching glance.

?Are you living with your mother??

?I am living at Countess Rostóva?s,? replied Borís, again
adding, ?your excellency.?

?That is, with Ilyá Rostóv who married Nataly Shinshiná,? said
Anna Mikháylovna.

?I know, I know,? answered Prince Vasíli in his monotonous voice.
?I never could understand how Nataly made up her mind to marry that
unlicked bear! A perfectly absurd and stupid fellow, and a gambler too,
I am told.?

?But a very kind man, Prince,? said Anna Mikháylovna with a
pathetic smile, as though she too knew that Count Rostóv deserved this
censure, but asked him not to be too hard on the poor old man. ?What
do the doctors say?? asked the princess after a pause, her worn face
again expressing deep sorrow.

?They give little hope,? replied the prince.

?And I should so like to thank Uncle once for all his kindness to me
and Borís. He is his godson,? she added, her tone suggesting that
this fact ought to give Prince Vasíli much satisfaction.

Prince Vasíli became thoughtful and frowned. Anna Mikháylovna saw that
he was afraid of finding in her a rival for Count Bezúkhov?s fortune,
and hastened to reassure him.

?If it were not for my sincere affection and devotion to Uncle,?
said she, uttering the word with peculiar assurance and unconcern, ?I
know his character: noble, upright ... but you see he has no one with
him except the young princesses.... They are still young....? She bent
her head and continued in a whisper: ?Has he performed his final duty,
Prince? How priceless are those last moments! It can make things no
worse, and it is absolutely necessary to prepare him if he is so ill.
We women, Prince,? and she smiled tenderly, ?always know how to say
these things. I absolutely must see him, however painful it may be for
me. I am used to suffering.?

Evidently the prince understood her, and also understood, as he had done
at Anna Pávlovna?s, that it would be difficult to get rid of Anna

?Would not such a meeting be too trying for him, dear Anna
Mikháylovna?? said he. ?Let us wait until evening. The doctors are
expecting a crisis.?

?But one cannot delay, Prince, at such a moment! Consider that the
welfare of his soul is at stake. Ah, it is awful: the duties of a

A door of one of the inner rooms opened and one of the princesses, the
count?s niece, entered with a cold, stern face. The length of her
body was strikingly out of proportion to her short legs. Prince Vasíli
turned to her.

?Well, how is he??

?Still the same; but what can you expect, this noise...? said the
princess, looking at Anna Mikháylovna as at a stranger.

?Ah, my dear, I hardly knew you,? said Anna Mikháylovna with a
happy smile, ambling lightly up to the count?s niece. ?I have come,
and am at your service to help you nurse my uncle. I imagine what you
have gone through,? and she sympathetically turned up her eyes.

The princess gave no reply and did not even smile, but left the room as
Anna Mikháylovna took off her gloves and, occupying the position she
had conquered, settled down in an armchair, inviting Prince Vasíli to
take a seat beside her.

?Borís,? she said to her son with a smile, ?I shall go in to see
the count, my uncle; but you, my dear, had better go to Pierre meanwhile
and don?t forget to give him the Rostóvs? invitation. They ask him
to dinner. I suppose he won?t go?? she continued, turning to the

?On the contrary,? replied the prince, who had plainly become
depressed, ?I shall be only too glad if you relieve me of that young
man.... Here he is, and the count has not once asked for him.?

He shrugged his shoulders. A footman conducted Borís down one flight of
stairs and up another, to Pierre?s rooms.


Pierre, after all, had not managed to choose a career for himself in
Petersburg, and had been expelled from there for riotous conduct and
sent to Moscow. The story told about him at Count Rostóv?s was true.
Pierre had taken part in tying a policeman to a bear. He had now been
for some days in Moscow and was staying as usual at his father?s
house. Though he expected that the story of his escapade would be
already known in Moscow and that the ladies about his father?who were
never favorably disposed toward him?would have used it to turn the
count against him, he nevertheless on the day of his arrival went to
his father?s part of the house. Entering the drawing room, where the
princesses spent most of their time, he greeted the ladies, two of whom
were sitting at embroidery frames while a third read aloud. It was the
eldest who was reading?the one who had met Anna Mikháylovna. The
two younger ones were embroidering: both were rosy and pretty and they
differed only in that one had a little mole on her lip which made her
much prettier. Pierre was received as if he were a corpse or a leper.
The eldest princess paused in her reading and silently stared at him
with frightened eyes; the second assumed precisely the same expression;
while the youngest, the one with the mole, who was of a cheerful and
lively disposition, bent over her frame to hide a smile probably evoked
by the amusing scene she foresaw. She drew her wool down through the
canvas and, scarcely able to refrain from laughing, stooped as if trying
to make out the pattern.

?How do you do, cousin?? said Pierre. ?You don?t recognize

?I recognize you only too well, too well.?

?How is the count? Can I see him?? asked Pierre, awkwardly as usual,
but unabashed.

?The count is suffering physically and mentally, and apparently you
have done your best to increase his mental sufferings.?

?Can I see the count?? Pierre again asked.

?Hm.... If you wish to kill him, to kill him outright, you can see
him... Olga, go and see whether Uncle?s beef tea is ready?it is
almost time,? she added, giving Pierre to understand that they were
busy, and busy making his father comfortable, while evidently he,
Pierre, was only busy causing him annoyance.

Olga went out. Pierre stood looking at the sisters; then he bowed and
said: ?Then I will go to my rooms. You will let me know when I can see

And he left the room, followed by the low but ringing laughter of the
sister with the mole.

Next day Prince Vasíli had arrived and settled in the count?s house.
He sent for Pierre and said to him: ?My dear fellow, if you are going
to behave here as you did in Petersburg, you will end very badly; that
is all I have to say to you. The count is very, very ill, and you must
not see him at all.?

Since then Pierre had not been disturbed and had spent the whole time in
his rooms upstairs.

When Borís appeared at his door Pierre was pacing up and down his room,
stopping occasionally at a corner to make menacing gestures at the wall,
as if running a sword through an invisible foe, and glaring savagely
over his spectacles, and then again resuming his walk, muttering
indistinct words, shrugging his shoulders and gesticulating.

?England is done for,? said he, scowling and pointing his finger
at someone unseen. ?Mr. Pitt, as a traitor to the nation and to the
rights of man, is sentenced to...? But before Pierre?who at that
moment imagined himself to be Napoleon in person and to have just
effected the dangerous crossing of the Straits of Dover and captured
London?could pronounce Pitt?s sentence, he saw a well-built and
handsome young officer entering his room. Pierre paused. He had left
Moscow when Borís was a boy of fourteen, and had quite forgotten him,
but in his usual impulsive and hearty way he took Borís by the hand
with a friendly smile.

?Do you remember me?? asked Borís quietly with a pleasant smile.
?I have come with my mother to see the count, but it seems he is not

?Yes, it seems he is ill. People are always disturbing him,?
answered Pierre, trying to remember who this young man was.

Borís felt that Pierre did not recognize him but did not consider
it necessary to introduce himself, and without experiencing the least
embarrassment looked Pierre straight in the face.

?Count Rostóv asks you to come to dinner today,? said he, after a
considerable pause which made Pierre feel uncomfortable.

?Ah, Count Rostóv!? exclaimed Pierre joyfully. ?Then you are his
son, Ilyá? Only fancy, I didn?t know you at first. Do you remember
how we went to the Sparrow Hills with Madame Jacquot?... It?s such an

?You are mistaken,? said Borís deliberately, with a bold and
slightly sarcastic smile. ?I am Borís, son of Princess Anna
Mikháylovna Drubetskáya. Rostóv, the father, is Ilyá, and his son is
Nicholas. I never knew any Madame Jacquot.?

Pierre shook his head and arms as if attacked by mosquitoes or bees.

?Oh dear, what am I thinking about? I?ve mixed everything up. One
has so many relatives in Moscow! So you are Borís? Of course. Well, now
we know where we are. And what do you think of the Boulogne expedition?
The English will come off badly, you know, if Napoleon gets across the
Channel. I think the expedition is quite feasible. If only Villeneuve
doesn?t make a mess of things!?

Borís knew nothing about the Boulogne expedition; he did not read the
papers and it was the first time he had heard Villeneuve?s name.

?We here in Moscow are more occupied with dinner parties and scandal
than with politics,? said he in his quiet ironical tone. ?I know
nothing about it and have not thought about it. Moscow is chiefly busy
with gossip,? he continued. ?Just now they are talking about you and
your father.?

Pierre smiled in his good-natured way as if afraid for his companion?s
sake that the latter might say something he would afterwards regret.
But Borís spoke distinctly, clearly, and dryly, looking straight into
Pierre?s eyes.

?Moscow has nothing else to do but gossip,? Borís went on.
?Everybody is wondering to whom the count will leave his fortune,
though he may perhaps outlive us all, as I sincerely hope he will...?

?Yes, it is all very horrid,? interrupted Pierre, ?very horrid.?

Pierre was still afraid that this officer might inadvertently say
something disconcerting to himself.

?And it must seem to you,? said Borís flushing slightly, but not
changing his tone or attitude, ?it must seem to you that everyone is
trying to get something out of the rich man??

?So it does,? thought Pierre.

?But I just wish to say, to avoid misunderstandings, that you are
quite mistaken if you reckon me or my mother among such people. We are
very poor, but for my own part at any rate, for the very reason that
your father is rich, I don?t regard myself as a relation of his, and
neither I nor my mother would ever ask or take anything from him.?

For a long time Pierre could not understand, but when he did, he jumped
up from the sofa, seized Borís under the elbow in his quick, clumsy
way, and, blushing far more than Borís, began to speak with a feeling
of mingled shame and vexation.

?Well, this is strange! Do you suppose I... who could think?... I know
very well...?

But Borís again interrupted him.

?I am glad I have spoken out fully. Perhaps you did not like it? You
must excuse me,? said he, putting Pierre at ease instead of being put
at ease by him, ?but I hope I have not offended you. I always make it
a rule to speak out... Well, what answer am I to take? Will you come to
dinner at the Rostóvs???

And Borís, having apparently relieved himself of an onerous duty and
extricated himself from an awkward situation and placed another in it,
became quite pleasant again.

?No, but I say,? said Pierre, calming down, ?you are a wonderful
fellow! What you have just said is good, very good. Of course you
don?t know me. We have not met for such a long time... not since we
were children. You might think that I... I understand, quite understand.
I could not have done it myself, I should not have had the courage, but
it?s splendid. I am very glad to have made your acquaintance. It?s
queer,? he added after a pause, ?that you should have suspected
me!? He began to laugh. ?Well, what of it! I hope we?ll get better
acquainted,? and he pressed Borís? hand. ?Do you know, I have not
once been in to see the count. He has not sent for me.... I am sorry for
him as a man, but what can one do??

?And so you think Napoleon will manage to get an army across?? asked
Borís with a smile.

Pierre saw that Borís wished to change the subject, and being of the
same mind he began explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the
Boulogne expedition.

A footman came in to summon Borís?the princess was going. Pierre, in
order to make Borís? better acquaintance, promised to come to dinner,
and warmly pressing his hand looked affectionately over his spectacles
into Borís? eyes. After he had gone Pierre continued pacing up and
down the room for a long time, no longer piercing an imaginary foe with
his imaginary sword, but smiling at the remembrance of that pleasant,
intelligent, and resolute young man.

As often happens in early youth, especially to one who leads a lonely
life, he felt an unaccountable tenderness for this young man and made up
his mind that they would be friends.

Prince Vasíli saw the princess off. She held a handkerchief to her eyes
and her face was tearful.

?It is dreadful, dreadful!? she was saying, ?but cost me what it
may I shall do my duty. I will come and spend the night. He must not be
left like this. Every moment is precious. I can?t think why his nieces
put it off. Perhaps God will help me to find a way to prepare him!...
Adieu, Prince! May God support you...?

?Adieu, ma bonne,? answered Prince Vasíli turning away from her.

?Oh, he is in a dreadful state,? said the mother to her son when
they were in the carriage. ?He hardly recognizes anybody.?

?I don?t understand, Mamma?what is his attitude to Pierre??
asked the son.

?The will will show that, my dear; our fate also depends on it.?

?But why do you expect that he will leave us anything??

?Ah, my dear! He is so rich, and we are so poor!?

?Well, that is hardly a sufficient reason, Mamma...?

?Oh, Heaven! How ill he is!? exclaimed the mother.


After Anna Mikháylovna had driven off with her son to visit Count Cyril
Vladímirovich Bezúkhov, Countess Rostóva sat for a long time all
alone applying her handkerchief to her eyes. At last she rang.

?What is the matter with you, my dear?? she said crossly to the maid
who kept her waiting some minutes. ?Don?t you wish to serve me? Then
I?ll find you another place.?

The countess was upset by her friend?s sorrow and humiliating poverty,
and was therefore out of sorts, a state of mind which with her always
found expression in calling her maid ?my dear? and speaking to her
with exaggerated politeness.

?I am very sorry, ma?am,? answered the maid.

?Ask the count to come to me.?

The count came waddling in to see his wife with a rather guilty look as

?Well, little countess? What a sauté of game au madère we are to
have, my dear! I tasted it. The thousand rubles I paid for Tarás were
not ill-spent. He is worth it!?

He sat down by his wife, his elbows on his knees and his hands ruffling
his gray hair.

?What are your commands, little countess??

?You see, my dear... What?s that mess?? she said, pointing to his
waistcoat. ?It?s the sauté, most likely,? she added with a smile.
?Well, you see, Count, I want some money.?

Her face became sad.

?Oh, little countess!? ... and the count began bustling to get out
his pocketbook.

?I want a great deal, Count! I want five hundred rubles,? and taking
out her cambric handkerchief she began wiping her husband?s waistcoat.

?Yes, immediately, immediately! Hey, who?s there?? he called out
in a tone only used by persons who are certain that those they call will
rush to obey the summons. ?Send Dmítri to me!?

Dmítri, a man of good family who had been brought up in the count?s
house and now managed all his affairs, stepped softly into the room.

?This is what I want, my dear fellow,? said the count to the
deferential young man who had entered. ?Bring me...? he reflected
a moment, ?yes, bring me seven hundred rubles, yes! But mind, don?t
bring me such tattered and dirty notes as last time, but nice clean ones
for the countess.?

?Yes, Dmítri, clean ones, please,? said the countess, sighing

?When would you like them, your excellency?? asked Dmítri. ?Allow
me to inform you... But, don?t be uneasy,? he added, noticing that
the count was beginning to breathe heavily and quickly which was always
a sign of approaching anger. ?I was forgetting... Do you wish it
brought at once??

?Yes, yes; just so! Bring it. Give it to the countess.?

?What a treasure that Dmítri is,? added the count with a smile when
the young man had departed. ?There is never any ?impossible? with
him. That?s a thing I hate! Everything is possible.?

?Ah, money, Count, money! How much sorrow it causes in the world,?
said the countess. ?But I am in great need of this sum.?

?You, my little countess, are a notorious spendthrift,? said the
count, and having kissed his wife?s hand he went back to his study.

When Anna Mikháylovna returned from Count Bezúkhov?s the money, all
in clean notes, was lying ready under a handkerchief on the countess?
little table, and Anna Mikháylovna noticed that something was agitating

?Well, my dear?? asked the countess.

?Oh, what a terrible state he is in! One would not know him, he is so
ill! I was only there a few moments and hardly said a word...?

?Annette, for heaven?s sake don?t refuse me,? the countess
began, with a blush that looked very strange on her thin, dignified,
elderly face, and she took the money from under the handkerchief.

Anna Mikháylovna instantly guessed her intention and stooped to be
ready to embrace the countess at the appropriate moment.

?This is for Borís from me, for his outfit.?

Anna Mikháylovna was already embracing her and weeping. The countess
wept too. They wept because they were friends, and because they were
kindhearted, and because they?friends from childhood?had to think
about such a base thing as money, and because their youth was over....
But those tears were pleasant to them both.


Countess Rostóva, with her daughters and a large number of guests, was
already seated in the drawing room. The count took the gentlemen into
his study and showed them his choice collection of Turkish pipes. From
time to time he went out to ask: ?Hasn?t she come yet?? They
were expecting Márya Dmítrievna Akhrosímova, known in society as le
terrible dragon, a lady distinguished not for wealth or rank, but for
common sense and frank plainness of speech. Márya Dmítrievna was known
to the Imperial family as well as to all Moscow and Petersburg, and both
cities wondered at her, laughed privately at her rudenesses, and told
good stories about her, while none the less all without exception
respected and feared her.

In the count?s room, which was full of tobacco smoke, they talked
of the war that had been announced in a manifesto, and about the
recruiting. None of them had yet seen the manifesto, but they all knew
it had appeared. The count sat on the sofa between two guests who were
smoking and talking. He neither smoked nor talked, but bending his head
first to one side and then to the other watched the smokers with evident
pleasure and listened to the conversation of his two neighbors, whom he
egged on against each other.

One of them was a sallow, clean-shaven civilian with a thin and wrinkled
face, already growing old, though he was dressed like a most fashionable
young man. He sat with his legs up on the sofa as if quite at home and,
having stuck an amber mouthpiece far into his mouth, was inhaling the
smoke spasmodically and screwing up his eyes. This was an old bachelor,
Shinshín, a cousin of the countess?, a man with ?a sharp tongue?
as they said in Moscow society. He seemed to be condescending to
his companion. The latter, a fresh, rosy officer of the Guards,
irreproachably washed, brushed, and buttoned, held his pipe in the
middle of his mouth and with red lips gently inhaled the smoke, letting
it escape from his handsome mouth in rings. This was Lieutenant Berg, an
officer in the Semënov regiment with whom Borís was to travel to join
the army, and about whom Natásha had teased her elder sister Véra,
speaking of Berg as her ?intended.? The count sat between them and
listened attentively. His favorite occupation when not playing boston, a
card game he was very fond of, was that of listener, especially when he
succeeded in setting two loquacious talkers at one another.

?Well, then, old chap, mon très honorable Alphonse Kárlovich,?
said Shinshín, laughing ironically and mixing the most ordinary Russian
expressions with the choicest French phrases?which was a peculiarity
of his speech. ?Vous comptez vous faire des rentes sur l?état; *
you want to make something out of your company??

     * You expect to make an income out of the government.

?No, Peter Nikoláevich; I only want to show that in the cavalry
the advantages are far less than in the infantry. Just consider my own
position now, Peter Nikoláevich...?

Berg always spoke quietly, politely, and with great precision. His
conversation always related entirely to himself; he would remain calm
and silent when the talk related to any topic that had no direct bearing
on himself. He could remain silent for hours without being at all put
out of countenance himself or making others uncomfortable, but as
soon as the conversation concerned himself he would begin to talk
circumstantially and with evident satisfaction.

?Consider my position, Peter Nikoláevich. Were I in the cavalry I
should get not more than two hundred rubles every four months, even
with the rank of lieutenant; but as it is I receive two hundred and
thirty,? said he, looking at Shinshín and the count with a joyful,
pleasant smile, as if it were obvious to him that his success must
always be the chief desire of everyone else.

?Besides that, Peter Nikoláevich, by exchanging into the Guards
I shall be in a more prominent position,? continued Berg, ?and
vacancies occur much more frequently in the Foot Guards. Then just think
what can be done with two hundred and thirty rubles! I even manage to
put a little aside and to send something to my father,? he went on,
emitting a smoke ring.

?La balance y est... * A German knows how to skin a flint, as the
proverb says,? remarked Shinshín, moving his pipe to the other side
of his mouth and winking at the count.

      * So that squares matters.

The count burst out laughing. The other guests seeing that Shinshín
was talking came up to listen. Berg, oblivious of irony or indifference,
continued to explain how by exchanging into the Guards he had already
gained a step on his old comrades of the Cadet Corps; how in wartime
the company commander might get killed and he, as senior in the company,
might easily succeed to the post; how popular he was with everyone in
the regiment, and how satisfied his father was with him. Berg evidently
enjoyed narrating all this, and did not seem to suspect that others,
too, might have their own interests. But all he said was so prettily
sedate, and the naïveté of his youthful egotism was so obvious, that
he disarmed his hearers.

?Well, my boy, you?ll get along wherever you go?foot or
horse?that I?ll warrant,? said Shinshín, patting him on the
shoulder and taking his feet off the sofa.

Berg smiled joyously. The count, followed by his guests, went into the
drawing room.

It was just the moment before a big dinner when the assembled guests,
expecting the summons to zakúska, * avoid engaging in any long
conversation but think it necessary to move about and talk, in order
to show that they are not at all impatient for their food. The host and
hostess look toward the door, and now and then glance at one another,
and the visitors try to guess from these glances who, or what, they are
waiting for?some important relation who has not yet arrived, or a dish
that is not yet ready.

     * Hors d?oeuvres.

Pierre had come just at dinnertime and was sitting awkwardly in the
middle of the drawing room on the first chair he had come across,
blocking the way for everyone. The countess tried to make him talk,
but he went on naïvely looking around through his spectacles as if in
search of somebody and answered all her questions in monosyllables. He
was in the way and was the only one who did not notice the fact. Most of
the guests, knowing of the affair with the bear, looked with curiosity
at this big, stout, quiet man, wondering how such a clumsy, modest
fellow could have played such a prank on a policeman.

?You have only lately arrived?? the countess asked him.

?Oui, madame,? replied he, looking around him.

?You have not yet seen my husband??

?Non, madame.? He smiled quite inappropriately.

?You have been in Paris recently, I believe? I suppose it?s very

?Very interesting.?

The countess exchanged glances with Anna Mikháylovna. The latter
understood that she was being asked to entertain this young man, and
sitting down beside him she began to speak about his father; but he
answered her, as he had the countess, only in monosyllables. The other
guests were all conversing with one another. ?The Razumóvskis... It
was charming... You are very kind... Countess Apráksina...? was heard
on all sides. The countess rose and went into the ballroom.

?Márya Dmítrievna?? came her voice from there.

?Herself,? came the answer in a rough voice, and Márya Dmítrievna
entered the room.

All the unmarried ladies and even the married ones except the very
oldest rose. Márya Dmítrievna paused at the door. Tall and stout,
holding high her fifty-year-old head with its gray curls, she stood
surveying the guests, and leisurely arranged her wide sleeves as if
rolling them up. Márya Dmítrievna always spoke in Russian.

?Health and happiness to her whose name day we are keeping and to her
children,? she said, in her loud, full-toned voice which drowned all
others. ?Well, you old sinner,? she went on, turning to the count
who was kissing her hand, ?you?re feeling dull in Moscow, I daresay?
Nowhere to hunt with your dogs? But what is to be done, old man? Just
see how these nestlings are growing up,? and she pointed to the girls.
?You must look for husbands for them whether you like it or not....?

?Well,? said she, ?how?s my Cossack?? (Márya Dmítrievna
always called Natásha a Cossack) and she stroked the child?s arm as
she came up fearless and gay to kiss her hand. ?I know she?s a scamp
of a girl, but I like her.?

She took a pair of pear-shaped ruby earrings from her huge reticule and,
having given them to the rosy Natásha, who beamed with the pleasure
of her saint?s-day fete, turned away at once and addressed herself to

?Eh, eh, friend! Come here a bit,? said she, assuming a soft high
tone of voice. ?Come here, my friend...? and she ominously tucked
up her sleeves still higher. Pierre approached, looking at her in a
childlike way through his spectacles.

?Come nearer, come nearer, friend! I used to be the only one to tell
your father the truth when he was in favor, and in your case it?s my
evident duty.? She paused. All were silent, expectant of what was to
follow, for this was clearly only a prelude.

?A fine lad! My word! A fine lad!... His father lies on his deathbed
and he amuses himself setting a policeman astride a bear! For shame,
sir, for shame! It would be better if you went to the war.?

She turned away and gave her hand to the count, who could hardly keep
from laughing.

?Well, I suppose it is time we were at table?? said Márya

The count went in first with Márya Dmítrievna, the countess followed
on the arm of a colonel of hussars, a man of importance to them because
Nicholas was to go with him to the regiment; then came Anna Mikháylovna
with Shinshín. Berg gave his arm to Véra. The smiling Julie Karágina
went in with Nicholas. After them other couples followed, filling the
whole dining hall, and last of all the children, tutors, and governesses
followed singly. The footmen began moving about, chairs scraped, the
band struck up in the gallery, and the guests settled down in their
places. Then the strains of the count?s household band were replaced
by the clatter of knives and forks, the voices of visitors, and the
soft steps of the footmen. At one end of the table sat the countess with
Márya Dmítrievna on her right and Anna Mikháylovna on her left, the
other lady visitors were farther down. At the other end sat the count,
with the hussar colonel on his left and Shinshín and the other male
visitors on his right. Midway down the long table on one side sat the
grown-up young people: Véra beside Berg, and Pierre beside Borís; and
on the other side, the children, tutors, and governesses. From behind
the crystal decanters and fruit vases, the count kept glancing at his
wife and her tall cap with its light-blue ribbons, and busily filled
his neighbors? glasses, not neglecting his own. The countess in turn,
without omitting her duties as hostess, threw significant glances from
behind the pineapples at her husband whose face and bald head seemed
by their redness to contrast more than usual with his gray hair. At the
ladies? end an even chatter of voices was heard all the time, at the
men?s end the voices sounded louder and louder, especially that of the
colonel of hussars who, growing more and more flushed, ate and drank so
much that the count held him up as a pattern to the other guests. Berg
with tender smiles was saying to Véra that love is not an earthly but
a heavenly feeling. Borís was telling his new friend Pierre who the
guests were and exchanging glances with Natásha, who was sitting
opposite. Pierre spoke little but examined the new faces, and ate a
great deal. Of the two soups he chose turtle with savory patties and
went on to the game without omitting a single dish or one of the wines.
These latter the butler thrust mysteriously forward, wrapped in a
napkin, from behind the next man?s shoulders and whispered: ?Dry
Madeira?... ?Hungarian?... or ?Rhine wine? as the case might
be. Of the four crystal glasses engraved with the count?s monogram
that stood before his plate, Pierre held out one at random and drank
with enjoyment, gazing with ever-increasing amiability at the other
guests. Natásha, who sat opposite, was looking at Borís as girls of
thirteen look at the boy they are in love with and have just kissed for
the first time. Sometimes that same look fell on Pierre, and that funny
lively little girl?s look made him inclined to laugh without knowing

Nicholas sat at some distance from Sónya, beside Julie Karágina, to
whom he was again talking with the same involuntary smile. Sónya wore
a company smile but was evidently tormented by jealousy; now she turned
pale, now blushed and strained every nerve to overhear what Nicholas
and Julie were saying to one another. The governess kept looking round
uneasily as if preparing to resent any slight that might be put upon the
children. The German tutor was trying to remember all the dishes, wines,
and kinds of dessert, in order to send a full description of the dinner
to his people in Germany; and he felt greatly offended when the butler
with a bottle wrapped in a napkin passed him by. He frowned, trying to
appear as if he did not want any of that wine, but was mortified because
no one would understand that it was not to quench his thirst or from
greediness that he wanted it, but simply from a conscientious desire for


At the men?s end of the table the talk grew more and more animated.
The colonel told them that the declaration of war had already appeared
in Petersburg and that a copy, which he had himself seen, had that day
been forwarded by courier to the commander in chief.

?And why the deuce are we going to fight Bonaparte?? remarked
Shinshín. ?He has stopped Austria?s cackle and I fear it will be
our turn next.?

The colonel was a stout, tall, plethoric German, evidently devoted to
the service and patriotically Russian. He resented Shinshín?s remark.

?It is for the reasson, my goot sir,? said he, speaking with a
German accent, ?for the reasson zat ze Emperor knows zat. He
declares in ze manifessto zat he cannot fiew wiz indifference ze danger
vreatening Russia and zat ze safety and dignity of ze Empire as vell
as ze sanctity of its alliances...? he spoke this last word with
particular emphasis as if in it lay the gist of the matter.

Then with the unerring official memory that characterized him he
repeated from the opening words of the manifesto:

... and the wish, which constitutes the Emperor?s sole and absolute
aim?to establish peace in Europe on firm foundations?has now decided
him to despatch part of the army abroad and to create a new condition
for the attainment of that purpose.

?Zat, my dear sir, is vy...? he concluded, drinking a tumbler of
wine with dignity and looking to the count for approval.

?Connaissez-vous le Proverbe:* ?Jerome, Jerome, do not roam, but
turn spindles at home!??? said Shinshín, puckering his brows and
smiling. ?Cela nous convient à merveille.*(2) Suvórov now?he knew
what he was about; yet they beat him à plate couture,*(3) and where
are we to find Suvórovs now? Je vous demande un peu,? *(4) said he,
continually changing from French to Russian.

     *Do you know the proverb?

     *(2) That suits us down to the ground.

     *(3) Hollow.

     *(4) I just ask you that.

?Ve must vight to the last tr-r-op of our plood!? said the colonel,
thumping the table; ?and ve must tie for our Emperor, and zen all vill
pe vell. And ve must discuss it as little as po-o-ossible?... he dwelt
particularly on the word possible... ?as po-o-ossible,? he ended,
again turning to the count. ?Zat is how ve old hussars look at it, and
zere?s an end of it! And how do you, a young man and a young hussar,
how do you judge of it?? he added, addressing Nicholas, who when he
heard that the war was being discussed had turned from his partner with
eyes and ears intent on the colonel.

?I am quite of your opinion,? replied Nicholas, flaming up, turning
his plate round and moving his wineglasses about with as much decision
and desperation as though he were at that moment facing some great
danger. ?I am convinced that we Russians must die or conquer,? he
concluded, conscious?as were others?after the words were uttered
that his remarks were too enthusiastic and emphatic for the occasion and
were therefore awkward.

?What you said just now was splendid!? said his partner Julie.

Sónya trembled all over and blushed to her ears and behind them and
down to her neck and shoulders while Nicholas was speaking.

Pierre listened to the colonel?s speech and nodded approvingly.

?That?s fine,? said he.

?The young man?s a real hussar!? shouted the colonel, again
thumping the table.

?What are you making such a noise about over there?? Márya
Dmítrievna?s deep voice suddenly inquired from the other end of the
table. ?What are you thumping the table for?? she demanded of the
hussar, ?and why are you exciting yourself? Do you think the French
are here??

?I am speaking ze truce,? replied the hussar with a smile.

?It?s all about the war,? the count shouted down the table. ?You
know my son?s going, Márya Dmítrievna? My son is going.?

?I have four sons in the army but still I don?t fret. It is all
in God?s hands. You may die in your bed or God may spare you in a
battle,? replied Márya Dmítrievna?s deep voice, which easily
carried the whole length of the table.

?That?s true!?

Once more the conversations concentrated, the ladies? at the one end
and the men?s at the other.

?You won?t ask,? Natásha?s little brother was saying; ?I know
you won?t ask!?

?I will,? replied Natásha.

Her face suddenly flushed with reckless and joyous resolution. She half
rose, by a glance inviting Pierre, who sat opposite, to listen to what
was coming, and turning to her mother:

?Mamma!? rang out the clear contralto notes of her childish voice,
audible the whole length of the table.

?What is it?? asked the countess, startled; but seeing by her
daughter?s face that it was only mischief, she shook a finger at her
sternly with a threatening and forbidding movement of her head.

The conversation was hushed.

?Mamma! What sweets are we going to have?? and Natásha?s voice
sounded still more firm and resolute.

The countess tried to frown, but could not. Márya Dmítrievna shook her
fat finger.

?Cossack!? she said threateningly.

Most of the guests, uncertain how to regard this sally, looked at the

?You had better take care!? said the countess.

?Mamma! What sweets are we going to have?? Natásha again cried
boldly, with saucy gaiety, confident that her prank would be taken in
good part.

Sónya and fat little Pétya doubled up with laughter.

?You see! I have asked,? whispered Natásha to her little brother
and to Pierre, glancing at him again.

?Ice pudding, but you won?t get any,? said Márya Dmítrievna.

Natásha saw there was nothing to be afraid of and so she braved even
Márya Dmítrievna.

?Márya Dmítrievna! What kind of ice pudding? I don?t like ice

?Carrot ices.?

?No! What kind, Márya Dmítrievna? What kind?? she almost screamed;
?I want to know!?

Márya Dmítrievna and the countess burst out laughing, and all the
guests joined in. Everyone laughed, not at Márya Dmítrievna?s answer
but at the incredible boldness and smartness of this little girl who had
dared to treat Márya Dmítrievna in this fashion.

Natásha only desisted when she had been told that there would be
pineapple ice. Before the ices, champagne was served round. The band
again struck up, the count and countess kissed, and the guests, leaving
their seats, went up to ?congratulate? the countess, and reached
across the table to clink glasses with the count, with the children, and
with one another. Again the footmen rushed about, chairs scraped, and
in the same order in which they had entered but with redder faces, the
guests returned to the drawing room and to the count?s study.


The card tables were drawn out, sets made up for boston, and the
count?s visitors settled themselves, some in the two drawing rooms,
some in the sitting room, some in the library.

The count, holding his cards fanwise, kept himself with difficulty from
dropping into his usual after-dinner nap, and laughed at everything.
The young people, at the countess? instigation, gathered round the
clavichord and harp. Julie by general request played first. After she
had played a little air with variations on the harp, she joined the
other young ladies in begging Natásha and Nicholas, who were noted for
their musical talent, to sing something. Natásha, who was treated as
though she were grown up, was evidently very proud of this but at the
same time felt shy.

?What shall we sing?? she said.

??The Brook,?? suggested Nicholas.

?Well, then, let?s be quick. Borís, come here,? said Natásha.
?But where is Sónya??

She looked round and seeing that her friend was not in the room ran to
look for her.

Running into Sónya?s room and not finding her there, Natásha ran to
the nursery, but Sónya was not there either. Natásha concluded that
she must be on the chest in the passage. The chest in the passage was
the place of mourning for the younger female generation in the Rostóv
household. And there in fact was Sónya lying face downward on Nurse?s
dirty feather bed on the top of the chest, crumpling her gauzy pink
dress under her, hiding her face with her slender fingers, and sobbing
so convulsively that her bare little shoulders shook. Natásha?s
face, which had been so radiantly happy all that saint?s day, suddenly
changed: her eyes became fixed, and then a shiver passed down her broad
neck and the corners of her mouth drooped.

?Sónya! What is it? What is the matter?... Oo... Oo... Oo...!? And
Natásha?s large mouth widened, making her look quite ugly, and she
began to wail like a baby without knowing why, except that Sónya was
crying. Sónya tried to lift her head to answer but could not, and
hid her face still deeper in the bed. Natásha wept, sitting on the
blue-striped feather bed and hugging her friend. With an effort Sónya
sat up and began wiping her eyes and explaining.

?Nicholas is going away in a week?s time, his... papers... have
come... he told me himself... but still I should not cry,? and she
showed a paper she held in her hand?with the verses Nicholas had
written, ?still, I should not cry, but you can?t... no one can
understand... what a soul he has!?

And she began to cry again because he had such a noble soul.

?It?s all very well for you... I am not envious... I love you and
Borís also,? she went on, gaining a little strength; ?he is nice...
there are no difficulties in your way.... But Nicholas is my cousin...
one would have to... the Metropolitan himself... and even then it
can?t be done. And besides, if she tells Mamma? (Sónya looked upon
the countess as her mother and called her so) ?that I am spoiling
Nicholas? career and am heartless and ungrateful, while truly... God
is my witness,? and she made the sign of the cross, ?I love her so
much, and all of you, only Véra... And what for? What have I done
to her? I am so grateful to you that I would willingly sacrifice
everything, only I have nothing....?

Sónya could not continue, and again hid her face in her hands and in
the feather bed. Natásha began consoling her, but her face showed that
she understood all the gravity of her friend?s trouble.

?Sónya,? she suddenly exclaimed, as if she had guessed the true
reason of her friend?s sorrow, ?I?m sure Véra has said something
to you since dinner? Hasn?t she??

?Yes, these verses Nicholas wrote himself and I copied some others,
and she found them on my table and said she?d show them to Mamma, and
that I was ungrateful, and that Mamma would never allow him to marry
me, but that he?ll marry Julie. You see how he?s been with her all
day... Natásha, what have I done to deserve it?...?

And again she began to sob, more bitterly than before. Natásha lifted
her up, hugged her, and, smiling through her tears, began comforting

?Sónya, don?t believe her, darling! Don?t believe her! Do you
remember how we and Nicholas, all three of us, talked in the sitting
room after supper? Why, we settled how everything was to be. I don?t
quite remember how, but don?t you remember that it could all be
arranged and how nice it all was? There?s Uncle Shinshín?s brother
has married his first cousin. And we are only second cousins, you know.
And Borís says it is quite possible. You know I have told him all about
it. And he is so clever and so good!? said Natásha. ?Don?t
you cry, Sónya, dear love, darling Sónya!? and she kissed her and
laughed. ?Véra?s spiteful; never mind her! And all will come right
and she won?t say anything to Mamma. Nicholas will tell her himself,
and he doesn?t care at all for Julie.?

Natásha kissed her on the hair.

Sónya sat up. The little kitten brightened, its eyes shone, and it
seemed ready to lift its tail, jump down on its soft paws, and begin
playing with the ball of worsted as a kitten should.

?Do you think so?... Really? Truly?? she said, quickly smoothing her
frock and hair.

?Really, truly!? answered Natásha, pushing in a crisp lock that had
strayed from under her friend?s plaits.

Both laughed.

?Well, let?s go and sing ?The Brook.??

?Come along!?

?Do you know, that fat Pierre who sat opposite me is so funny!? said
Natásha, stopping suddenly. ?I feel so happy!?

And she set off at a run along the passage.

Sónya, shaking off some down which clung to her and tucking away the
verses in the bosom of her dress close to her bony little chest, ran
after Natásha down the passage into the sitting room with flushed face
and light, joyous steps. At the visitors? request the young people
sang the quartette, ?The Brook,? with which everyone was delighted.
Then Nicholas sang a song he had just learned:

   At nighttime in the moon?s fair glow
     How sweet, as fancies wander free,
   To feel that in this world there?s one
     Who still is thinking but of thee!

   That while her fingers touch the harp
     Wafting sweet music o?er the lea,
   It is for thee thus swells her heart,
     Sighing its message out to thee...

   A day or two, then bliss unspoilt,
     But oh! till then I cannot live!...

He had not finished the last verse before the young people began to
get ready to dance in the large hall, and the sound of the feet and the
coughing of the musicians were heard from the gallery.

Pierre was sitting in the drawing room where Shinshín had engaged him,
as a man recently returned from abroad, in a political conversation in
which several others joined but which bored Pierre. When the music began
Natásha came in and walking straight up to Pierre said, laughing and

?Mamma told me to ask you to join the dancers.?

?I am afraid of mixing the figures,? Pierre replied; ?but if you
will be my teacher...? And lowering his big arm he offered it to the
slender little girl.

While the couples were arranging themselves and the musicians tuning up,
Pierre sat down with his little partner. Natásha was perfectly happy;
she was dancing with a grown-up man, who had been abroad. She was
sitting in a conspicuous place and talking to him like a grown-up lady.
She had a fan in her hand that one of the ladies had given her to hold.
Assuming quite the pose of a society woman (heaven knows when and where
she had learned it) she talked with her partner, fanning herself and
smiling over the fan.

?Dear, dear! Just look at her!? exclaimed the countess as she
crossed the ballroom, pointing to Natásha.

Natásha blushed and laughed.

?Well, really, Mamma! Why should you? What is there to be surprised

In the midst of the third écossaise there was a clatter of chairs being
pushed back in the sitting room where the count and Márya Dmítrievna
had been playing cards with the majority of the more distinguished and
older visitors. They now, stretching themselves after sitting so long,
and replacing their purses and pocketbooks, entered the ballroom. First
came Márya Dmítrievna and the count, both with merry countenances. The
count, with playful ceremony somewhat in ballet style, offered his
bent arm to Márya Dmítrievna. He drew himself up, a smile of debonair
gallantry lit up his face and as soon as the last figure of the
écossaise was ended, he clapped his hands to the musicians and shouted
up to their gallery, addressing the first violin:

?Semën! Do you know the Daniel Cooper??

This was the count?s favorite dance, which he had danced in his youth.
(Strictly speaking, Daniel Cooper was one figure of the anglaise.)

?Look at Papa!? shouted Natásha to the whole company, and quite
forgetting that she was dancing with a grown-up partner she bent her
curly head to her knees and made the whole room ring with her laughter.

And indeed everybody in the room looked with a smile of pleasure at the
jovial old gentleman, who standing beside his tall and stout partner,
Márya Dmítrievna, curved his arms, beat time, straightened his
shoulders, turned out his toes, tapped gently with his foot, and, by
a smile that broadened his round face more and more, prepared the
onlookers for what was to follow. As soon as the provocatively gay
strains of Daniel Cooper (somewhat resembling those of a merry peasant
dance) began to sound, all the doorways of the ballroom were suddenly
filled by the domestic serfs?the men on one side and the women on
the other?who with beaming faces had come to see their master making

?Just look at the master! A regular eagle he is!? loudly remarked
the nurse, as she stood in one of the doorways.

The count danced well and knew it. But his partner could not and did not
want to dance well. Her enormous figure stood erect, her powerful arms
hanging down (she had handed her reticule to the countess), and only her
stern but handsome face really joined in the dance. What was expressed
by the whole of the count?s plump figure, in Márya Dmítrievna found
expression only in her more and more beaming face and quivering nose.
But if the count, getting more and more into the swing of it, charmed
the spectators by the unexpectedness of his adroit maneuvers and
the agility with which he capered about on his light feet, Márya
Dmítrievna produced no less impression by slight exertions?the least
effort to move her shoulders or bend her arms when turning, or stamp
her foot?which everyone appreciated in view of her size and habitual
severity. The dance grew livelier and livelier. The other couples could
not attract a moment?s attention to their own evolutions and did not
even try to do so. All were watching the count and Márya Dmítrievna.
Natásha kept pulling everyone by sleeve or dress, urging them to
?look at Papa!? though as it was they never took their eyes off the
couple. In the intervals of the dance the count, breathing deeply, waved
and shouted to the musicians to play faster. Faster, faster, and faster;
lightly, more lightly, and yet more lightly whirled the count, flying
round Márya Dmítrievna, now on his toes, now on his heels; until,
turning his partner round to her seat, he executed the final pas,
raising his soft foot backwards, bowing his perspiring head, smiling
and making a wide sweep with his arm, amid a thunder of applause and
laughter led by Natásha. Both partners stood still, breathing heavily
and wiping their faces with their cambric handkerchiefs.

?That?s how we used to dance in our time, ma chère,? said the

?That was a Daniel Cooper!? exclaimed Márya Dmítrievna, tucking up
her sleeves and puffing heavily.


While in the Rostóvs? ballroom the sixth anglaise was being danced,
to a tune in which the weary musicians blundered, and while tired
footmen and cooks were getting the supper, Count Bezúkhov had a
sixth stroke. The doctors pronounced recovery impossible. After a mute
confession, communion was administered to the dying man, preparations
made for the sacrament of unction, and in his house there was the bustle
and thrill of suspense usual at such moments. Outside the house, beyond
the gates, a group of undertakers, who hid whenever a carriage drove up,
waited in expectation of an important order for an expensive funeral.
The Military Governor of Moscow, who had been assiduous in sending
aides-de-camp to inquire after the count?s health, came himself
that evening to bid a last farewell to the celebrated grandee of
Catherine?s court, Count Bezúkhov.

The magnificent reception room was crowded. Everyone stood up
respectfully when the Military Governor, having stayed about half an
hour alone with the dying man, passed out, slightly acknowledging their
bows and trying to escape as quickly as possible from the glances fixed
on him by the doctors, clergy, and relatives of the family. Prince
Vasíli, who had grown thinner and paler during the last few days,
escorted him to the door, repeating something to him several times in
low tones.

When the Military Governor had gone, Prince Vasíli sat down all alone
on a chair in the ballroom, crossing one leg high over the other,
leaning his elbow on his knee and covering his face with his hand. After
sitting so for a while he rose, and, looking about him with frightened
eyes, went with unusually hurried steps down the long corridor leading
to the back of the house, to the room of the eldest princess.

Those who were in the dimly lit reception room spoke in nervous
whispers, and, whenever anyone went into or came from the dying man?s
room, grew silent and gazed with eyes full of curiosity or expectancy at
his door, which creaked slightly when opened.

?The limits of human life ... are fixed and may not be
o?erpassed,? said an old priest to a lady who had taken a seat
beside him and was listening naïvely to his words.

?I wonder, is it not too late to administer unction?? asked the
lady, adding the priest?s clerical title, as if she had no opinion of
her own on the subject.

?Ah, madam, it is a great sacrament,? replied the priest, passing
his hand over the thin grizzled strands of hair combed back across his
bald head.

?Who was that? The Military Governor himself?? was being asked at
the other side of the room. ?How young-looking he is!?

?Yes, and he is over sixty. I hear the count no longer recognizes
anyone. They wished to administer the sacrament of unction.?

?I knew someone who received that sacrament seven times.?

The second princess had just come from the sickroom with her eyes red
from weeping and sat down beside Dr. Lorrain, who was sitting in a
graceful pose under a portrait of Catherine, leaning his elbow on a

?Beautiful,? said the doctor in answer to a remark about the
weather. ?The weather is beautiful, Princess; and besides, in Moscow
one feels as if one were in the country.?

?Yes, indeed,? replied the princess with a sigh. ?So he may have
something to drink??

Lorrain considered.

?Has he taken his medicine??


The doctor glanced at his watch.

?Take a glass of boiled water and put a pinch of cream of tartar,?
and he indicated with his delicate fingers what he meant by a pinch.

?Dere has neffer been a gase,? a German doctor was saying to an
aide-de-camp, ?dat one liffs after de sird stroke.?

?And what a well-preserved man he was!? remarked the aide-de-camp.
?And who will inherit his wealth?? he added in a whisper.

?It von?t go begging,? replied the German with a smile.

Everyone again looked toward the door, which creaked as the second
princess went in with the drink she had prepared according to
Lorrain?s instructions. The German doctor went up to Lorrain.

?Do you think he can last till morning?? asked the German,
addressing Lorrain in French which he pronounced badly.

Lorrain, pursing up his lips, waved a severely negative finger before
his nose.

?Tonight, not later,? said he in a low voice, and he moved away
with a decorous smile of self-satisfaction at being able clearly to
understand and state the patient?s condition.

Meanwhile Prince Vasíli had opened the door into the princess? room.

In this room it was almost dark; only two tiny lamps were burning before
the icons and there was a pleasant scent of flowers and burnt pastilles.
The room was crowded with small pieces of furniture, whatnots,
cupboards, and little tables. The quilt of a high, white feather bed was
just visible behind a screen. A small dog began to bark.

?Ah, is it you, cousin??

She rose and smoothed her hair, which was as usual so extremely smooth
that it seemed to be made of one piece with her head and covered with

?Has anything happened?? she asked. ?I am so terrified.?

?No, there is no change. I only came to have a talk about business,
Catiche,? * muttered the prince, seating himself wearily on the chair
she had just vacated. ?You have made the place warm, I must say,? he
remarked. ?Well, sit down: let?s have a talk.?


?I thought perhaps something had happened,? she said with her
unchanging stonily severe expression; and, sitting down opposite the
prince, she prepared to listen.

?I wished to get a nap, mon cousin, but I can?t.?

?Well, my dear?? said Prince Vasíli, taking her hand and bending it
downwards as was his habit.

It was plain that this ?well?? referred to much that they both
understood without naming.

The princess, who had a straight, rigid body, abnormally long for her
legs, looked directly at Prince Vasíli with no sign of emotion in her
prominent gray eyes. Then she shook her head and glanced up at the icons
with a sigh. This might have been taken as an expression of sorrow
and devotion, or of weariness and hope of resting before long. Prince
Vasíli understood it as an expression of weariness.

?And I?? he said; ?do you think it is easier for me? I am as worn
out as a post horse, but still I must have a talk with you, Catiche, a
very serious talk.?

Prince Vasíli said no more and his cheeks began to twitch nervously,
now on one side, now on the other, giving his face an unpleasant
expression which was never to be seen on it in a drawing room. His eyes
too seemed strange; at one moment they looked impudently sly and at the
next glanced round in alarm.

The princess, holding her little dog on her lap with her thin bony
hands, looked attentively into Prince Vasíli?s eyes evidently
resolved not to be the first to break silence, if she had to wait till

?Well, you see, my dear princess and cousin, Catherine Semënovna,?
continued Prince Vasíli, returning to his theme, apparently not
without an inner struggle; ?at such a moment as this one must think
of everything. One must think of the future, of all of you... I love you
all, like children of my own, as you know.?

The princess continued to look at him without moving, and with the same
dull expression.

?And then of course my family has also to be considered,? Prince
Vasíli went on, testily pushing away a little table without looking at
her. ?You know, Catiche, that we?you three sisters, Mámontov, and
my wife?are the count?s only direct heirs. I know, I know how hard
it is for you to talk or think of such matters. It is no easier for
me; but, my dear, I am getting on for sixty and must be prepared for
anything. Do you know I have sent for Pierre? The count,? pointing to
his portrait, ?definitely demanded that he should be called.?

Prince Vasíli looked questioningly at the princess, but could not make
out whether she was considering what he had just said or whether she was
simply looking at him.

?There is one thing I constantly pray God to grant, mon cousin,? she
replied, ?and it is that He would be merciful to him and would allow
his noble soul peacefully to leave this...?

?Yes, yes, of course,? interrupted Prince Vasíli impatiently,
rubbing his bald head and angrily pulling back toward him the little
table that he had pushed away. ?But... in short, the fact is... you
know yourself that last winter the count made a will by which he left
all his property, not to us his direct heirs, but to Pierre.?

?He has made wills enough!? quietly remarked the princess. ?But he
cannot leave the estate to Pierre. Pierre is illegitimate.?

?But, my dear,? said Prince Vasíli suddenly, clutching the little
table and becoming more animated and talking more rapidly: ?what if
a letter has been written to the Emperor in which the count asks for
Pierre?s legitimation? Do you understand that in consideration of the
count?s services, his request would be granted?...?

The princess smiled as people do who think they know more about the
subject under discussion than those they are talking with.

?I can tell you more,? continued Prince Vasíli, seizing her hand,
?that letter was written, though it was not sent, and the Emperor knew
of it. The only question is, has it been destroyed or not? If not, then
as soon as all is over,? and Prince Vasíli sighed to intimate what he
meant by the words all is over, ?and the count?s papers are opened,
the will and letter will be delivered to the Emperor, and the petition
will certainly be granted. Pierre will get everything as the legitimate

?And our share?? asked the princess smiling ironically, as if
anything might happen, only not that.

?But, my poor Catiche, it is as clear as daylight! He will then be the
legal heir to everything and you won?t get anything. You must know,
my dear, whether the will and letter were written, and whether they have
been destroyed or not. And if they have somehow been overlooked, you
ought to know where they are, and must find them, because...?

?What next?? the princess interrupted, smiling sardonically and not
changing the expression of her eyes. ?I am a woman, and you think we
are all stupid; but I know this: an illegitimate son cannot inherit...
un bâtard!?* she added, as if supposing that this translation of the
word would effectively prove to Prince Vasíli the invalidity of his

     * A bastard.

?Well, really, Catiche! Can?t you understand! You are so
intelligent, how is it you don?t see that if the count has written a
letter to the Emperor begging him to recognize Pierre as legitimate, it
follows that Pierre will not be Pierre but will become Count Bezúkhov,
and will then inherit everything under the will? And if the will and
letter are not destroyed, then you will have nothing but the consolation
of having been dutiful et tout ce qui s?ensuit!* That?s certain.?

     * And all that follows therefrom.

?I know the will was made, but I also know that it is invalid;
and you, mon cousin, seem to consider me a perfect fool,? said the
princess with the expression women assume when they suppose they are
saying something witty and stinging.

?My dear Princess Catherine Semënovna,? began Prince Vasíli
impatiently, ?I came here not to wrangle with you, but to talk about
your interests as with a kinswoman, a good, kind, true relation. And I
tell you for the tenth time that if the letter to the Emperor and the
will in Pierre?s favor are among the count?s papers, then, my dear
girl, you and your sisters are not heiresses! If you don?t believe me,
then believe an expert. I have just been talking to Dmítri Onúfrich?
(the family solicitor) ?and he says the same.?

At this a sudden change evidently took place in the princess? ideas;
her thin lips grew white, though her eyes did not change, and her voice
when she began to speak passed through such transitions as she herself
evidently did not expect.

?That would be a fine thing!? said she. ?I never wanted anything
and I don?t now.?

She pushed the little dog off her lap and smoothed her dress.

?And this is gratitude?this is recognition for those who have
sacrificed everything for his sake!? she cried. ?It?s splendid!
Fine! I don?t want anything, Prince.?

?Yes, but you are not the only one. There are your sisters...?
replied Prince Vasíli.

But the princess did not listen to him.

?Yes, I knew it long ago but had forgotten. I knew that I could expect
nothing but meanness, deceit, envy, intrigue, and ingratitude?the
blackest ingratitude?in this house...?

?Do you or do you not know where that will is?? insisted Prince
Vasíli, his cheeks twitching more than ever.

?Yes, I was a fool! I still believed in people, loved them, and
sacrificed myself. But only the base, the vile succeed! I know who has
been intriguing!?

The princess wished to rise, but the prince held her by the hand. She
had the air of one who has suddenly lost faith in the whole human race.
She gave her companion an angry glance.

?There is still time, my dear. You must remember, Catiche, that it was
all done casually in a moment of anger, of illness, and was afterwards
forgotten. Our duty, my dear, is to rectify his mistake, to ease his
last moments by not letting him commit this injustice, and not to let
him die feeling that he is rendering unhappy those who...?

?Who sacrificed everything for him,? chimed in the princess, who
would again have risen had not the prince still held her fast, ?though
he never could appreciate it. No, mon cousin,? she added with a sigh,
?I shall always remember that in this world one must expect no reward,
that in this world there is neither honor nor justice. In this world one
has to be cunning and cruel.?

?Now come, come! Be reasonable. I know your excellent heart.?

?No, I have a wicked heart.?

?I know your heart,? repeated the prince. ?I value your friendship
and wish you to have as good an opinion of me. Don?t upset yourself,
and let us talk sensibly while there is still time, be it a day or be it
but an hour.... Tell me all you know about the will, and above all where
it is. You must know. We will take it at once and show it to the
count. He has, no doubt, forgotten it and will wish to destroy it.
You understand that my sole desire is conscientiously to carry out his
wishes; that is my only reason for being here. I came simply to help him
and you.?

?Now I see it all! I know who has been intriguing?I know!? cried
the princess.

?That?s not the point, my dear.?

?It?s that protégé of yours, that sweet Princess Drubetskáya,
that Anna Mikháylovna whom I would not take for a housemaid... the
infamous, vile woman!?

?Do not let us lose any time...?

?Ah, don?t talk to me! Last winter she wheedled herself in here and
told the count such vile, disgraceful things about us, especially about
Sophie?I can?t repeat them?that it made the count quite ill and he
would not see us for a whole fortnight. I know it was then he wrote this
vile, infamous paper, but I thought the thing was invalid.?

?We?ve got to it at last?why did you not tell me about it

?It?s in the inlaid portfolio that he keeps under his pillow,?
said the princess, ignoring his question. ?Now I know! Yes; if I have
a sin, a great sin, it is hatred of that vile woman!? almost shrieked
the princess, now quite changed. ?And what does she come worming
herself in here for? But I will give her a piece of my mind. The time
will come!?


While these conversations were going on in the reception room and the
princess? room, a carriage containing Pierre (who had been sent for)
and Anna Mikháylovna (who found it necessary to accompany him) was
driving into the court of Count Bezúkhov?s house. As the wheels
rolled softly over the straw beneath the windows, Anna Mikháylovna,
having turned with words of comfort to her companion, realized that
he was asleep in his corner and woke him up. Rousing himself, Pierre
followed Anna Mikháylovna out of the carriage, and only then began
to think of the interview with his dying father which awaited him. He
noticed that they had not come to the front entrance but to the back
door. While he was getting down from the carriage steps two men, who
looked like tradespeople, ran hurriedly from the entrance and hid in the
shadow of the wall. Pausing for a moment, Pierre noticed several other
men of the same kind hiding in the shadow of the house on both sides.
But neither Anna Mikháylovna nor the footman nor the coachman, who
could not help seeing these people, took any notice of them. ?It seems
to be all right,? Pierre concluded, and followed Anna Mikháylovna.
She hurriedly ascended the narrow dimly lit stone staircase, calling to
Pierre, who was lagging behind, to follow. Though he did not see why it
was necessary for him to go to the count at all, still less why he had
to go by the back stairs, yet judging by Anna Mikháylovna?s air
of assurance and haste, Pierre concluded that it was all absolutely
necessary. Halfway up the stairs they were almost knocked over by
some men who, carrying pails, came running downstairs, their boots
clattering. These men pressed close to the wall to let Pierre and Anna
Mikháylovna pass and did not evince the least surprise at seeing them

?Is this the way to the princesses? apartments?? asked Anna
Mikháylovna of one of them.

?Yes,? replied a footman in a bold loud voice, as if anything were
now permissible; ?the door to the left, ma?am.?

?Perhaps the count did not ask for me,? said Pierre when he reached
the landing. ?I?d better go to my own room.?

Anna Mikháylovna paused and waited for him to come up.

?Ah, my friend!? she said, touching his arm as she had done her
son?s when speaking to him that afternoon, ?believe me I suffer no
less than you do, but be a man!?

?But really, hadn?t I better go away?? he asked, looking kindly at
her over his spectacles.

?Ah, my dear friend! Forget the wrongs that may have been done you.
Think that he is your father ... perhaps in the agony of death.? She
sighed. ?I have loved you like a son from the first. Trust yourself to
me, Pierre. I shall not forget your interests.?

Pierre did not understand a word, but the conviction that all this had
to be grew stronger, and he meekly followed Anna Mikháylovna who was
already opening a door.

This door led into a back anteroom. An old man, a servant of the
princesses, sat in a corner knitting a stocking. Pierre had never been
in this part of the house and did not even know of the existence of
these rooms. Anna Mikháylovna, addressing a maid who was hurrying past
with a decanter on a tray as ?my dear? and ?my sweet,? asked
about the princess? health and then led Pierre along a stone passage.
The first door on the left led into the princesses? apartments. The
maid with the decanter in her haste had not closed the door (everything
in the house was done in haste at that time), and Pierre and Anna
Mikháylovna in passing instinctively glanced into the room, where
Prince Vasíli and the eldest princess were sitting close together
talking. Seeing them pass, Prince Vasíli drew back with obvious
impatience, while the princess jumped up and with a gesture of
desperation slammed the door with all her might.

This action was so unlike her usual composure and the fear depicted on
Prince Vasíli?s face so out of keeping with his dignity that Pierre
stopped and glanced inquiringly over his spectacles at his guide. Anna
Mikháylovna evinced no surprise, she only smiled faintly and sighed, as
if to say that this was no more than she had expected.

?Be a man, my friend. I will look after your interests,? said she in
reply to his look, and went still faster along the passage.

Pierre could not make out what it was all about, and still less what
?watching over his interests? meant, but he decided that all these
things had to be. From the passage they went into a large, dimly
lit room adjoining the count?s reception room. It was one of those
sumptuous but cold apartments known to Pierre only from the front
approach, but even in this room there now stood an empty bath, and water
had been spilled on the carpet. They were met by a deacon with a censer
and by a servant who passed out on tiptoe without heeding them. They
went into the reception room familiar to Pierre, with two Italian
windows opening into the conservatory, with its large bust and full
length portrait of Catherine the Great. The same people were still
sitting here in almost the same positions as before, whispering to one
another. All became silent and turned to look at the pale tear-worn Anna
Mikháylovna as she entered, and at the big stout figure of Pierre who,
hanging his head, meekly followed her.

Anna Mikháylovna?s face expressed a consciousness that the decisive
moment had arrived. With the air of a practical Petersburg lady she now,
keeping Pierre close beside her, entered the room even more boldly than
that afternoon. She felt that as she brought with her the person the
dying man wished to see, her own admission was assured. Casting a rapid
glance at all those in the room and noticing the count?s confessor
there, she glided up to him with a sort of amble, not exactly bowing yet
seeming to grow suddenly smaller, and respectfully received the blessing
first of one and then of another priest.

?God be thanked that you are in time,? said she to one of the
priests; ?all we relatives have been in such anxiety. This young
man is the count?s son,? she added more softly. ?What a terrible

Having said this she went up to the doctor.

?Dear doctor,? said she, ?this young man is the count?s son. Is
there any hope??

The doctor cast a rapid glance upwards and silently shrugged his
shoulders. Anna Mikháylovna with just the same movement raised her
shoulders and eyes, almost closing the latter, sighed, and moved away
from the doctor to Pierre. To him, in a particularly respectful and
tenderly sad voice, she said:

?Trust in His mercy!? and pointing out a small sofa for him to sit
and wait for her, she went silently toward the door that everyone was
watching and it creaked very slightly as she disappeared behind it.

Pierre, having made up his mind to obey his monitress implicitly, moved
toward the sofa she had indicated. As soon as Anna Mikháylovna had
disappeared he noticed that the eyes of all in the room turned to him
with something more than curiosity and sympathy. He noticed that they
whispered to one another, casting significant looks at him with a kind
of awe and even servility. A deference such as he had never before
received was shown him. A strange lady, the one who had been talking to
the priests, rose and offered him her seat; an aide-de-camp picked up
and returned a glove Pierre had dropped; the doctors became respectfully
silent as he passed by, and moved to make way for him. At first Pierre
wished to take another seat so as not to trouble the lady, and also to
pick up the glove himself and to pass round the doctors who were not
even in his way; but all at once he felt that this would not do, and
that tonight he was a person obliged to perform some sort of awful
rite which everyone expected of him, and that he was therefore bound
to accept their services. He took the glove in silence from the
aide-de-camp, and sat down in the lady?s chair, placing his huge hands
symmetrically on his knees in the naïve attitude of an Egyptian statue,
and decided in his own mind that all was as it should be, and that in
order not to lose his head and do foolish things he must not act on his
own ideas tonight, but must yield himself up entirely to the will of
those who were guiding him.

Not two minutes had passed before Prince Vasíli with head erect
majestically entered the room. He was wearing his long coat with three
stars on his breast. He seemed to have grown thinner since the morning;
his eyes seemed larger than usual when he glanced round and noticed
Pierre. He went up to him, took his hand (a thing he never used to do),
and drew it downwards as if wishing to ascertain whether it was firmly
fixed on.

?Courage, courage, my friend! He has asked to see you. That is
well!? and he turned to go.

But Pierre thought it necessary to ask: ?How is...? and hesitated,
not knowing whether it would be proper to call the dying man ?the
count,? yet ashamed to call him ?father.?

?He had another stroke about half an hour ago. Courage, my

Pierre?s mind was in such a confused state that the word ?stroke?
suggested to him a blow from something. He looked at Prince Vasíli
in perplexity, and only later grasped that a stroke was an attack of
illness. Prince Vasíli said something to Lorrain in passing and went
through the door on tiptoe. He could not walk well on tiptoe and his
whole body jerked at each step. The eldest princess followed him, and
the priests and deacons and some servants also went in at the door.
Through that door was heard a noise of things being moved about, and
at last Anna Mikháylovna, still with the same expression, pale but
resolute in the discharge of duty, ran out and touching Pierre lightly
on the arm said:

?The divine mercy is inexhaustible! Unction is about to be
administered. Come.?

Pierre went in at the door, stepping on the soft carpet, and noticed
that the strange lady, the aide-de-camp, and some of the servants, all
followed him in, as if there were now no further need for permission to
enter that room.


Pierre well knew this large room divided by columns and an arch, its
walls hung round with Persian carpets. The part of the room behind the
columns, with a high silk-curtained mahogany bedstead on one side and
on the other an immense case containing icons, was brightly illuminated
with red light like a Russian church during evening service. Under
the gleaming icons stood a long invalid chair, and in that chair
on snowy-white smooth pillows, evidently freshly changed, Pierre
saw?covered to the waist by a bright green quilt?the familiar,
majestic figure of his father, Count Bezúkhov, with that gray mane of
hair above his broad forehead which reminded one of a lion, and the deep
characteristically noble wrinkles of his handsome, ruddy face. He lay
just under the icons; his large thick hands outside the quilt. Into the
right hand, which was lying palm downwards, a wax taper had been thrust
between forefinger and thumb, and an old servant, bending over from
behind the chair, held it in position. By the chair stood the priests,
their long hair falling over their magnificent glittering vestments,
with lighted tapers in their hands, slowly and solemnly conducting the
service. A little behind them stood the two younger princesses holding
handkerchiefs to their eyes, and just in front of them their eldest
sister, Catiche, with a vicious and determined look steadily fixed on
the icons, as though declaring to all that she could not answer for
herself should she glance round. Anna Mikháylovna, with a meek,
sorrowful, and all-forgiving expression on her face, stood by the door
near the strange lady. Prince Vasíli in front of the door, near the
invalid chair, a wax taper in his left hand, was leaning his left arm on
the carved back of a velvet chair he had turned round for the purpose,
and was crossing himself with his right hand, turning his eyes upward
each time he touched his forehead. His face wore a calm look of piety
and resignation to the will of God. ?If you do not understand these
sentiments,? he seemed to be saying, ?so much the worse for you!?

Behind him stood the aide-de-camp, the doctors, and the menservants;
the men and women had separated as in church. All were silently crossing
themselves, and the reading of the church service, the subdued chanting
of deep bass voices, and in the intervals sighs and the shuffling of
feet were the only sounds that could be heard. Anna Mikháylovna, with
an air of importance that showed that she felt she quite knew what she
was about, went across the room to where Pierre was standing and gave
him a taper. He lit it and, distracted by observing those around him,
began crossing himself with the hand that held the taper.

Sophie, the rosy, laughter-loving, youngest princess with the mole,
watched him. She smiled, hid her face in her handkerchief, and remained
with it hidden for awhile; then looking up and seeing Pierre she
again began to laugh. She evidently felt unable to look at him
without laughing, but could not resist looking at him: so to be out of
temptation she slipped quietly behind one of the columns. In the midst
of the service the voices of the priests suddenly ceased, they whispered
to one another, and the old servant who was holding the count?s hand
got up and said something to the ladies. Anna Mikháylovna stepped
forward and, stooping over the dying man, beckoned to Lorrain from
behind her back. The French doctor held no taper; he was leaning
against one of the columns in a respectful attitude implying that he,
a foreigner, in spite of all differences of faith, understood the full
importance of the rite now being performed and even approved of it. He
now approached the sick man with the noiseless step of one in full vigor
of life, with his delicate white fingers raised from the green quilt the
hand that was free, and turning sideways felt the pulse and reflected
a moment. The sick man was given something to drink, there was a
stir around him, then the people resumed their places and the service
continued. During this interval Pierre noticed that Prince Vasíli
left the chair on which he had been leaning, and?with an air
which intimated that he knew what he was about and if others did not
understand him it was so much the worse for them?did not go up to the
dying man, but passed by him, joined the eldest princess, and moved
with her to the side of the room where stood the high bedstead with its
silken hangings. On leaving the bed both Prince Vasíli and the princess
passed out by a back door, but returned to their places one after the
other before the service was concluded. Pierre paid no more attention
to this occurrence than to the rest of what went on, having made up his
mind once for all that what he saw happening around him that evening was
in some way essential.

The chanting of the service ceased, and the voice of the priest was
heard respectfully congratulating the dying man on having received the
sacrament. The dying man lay as lifeless and immovable as before. Around
him everyone began to stir: steps were audible and whispers, among which
Anna Mikháylovna?s was the most distinct.

Pierre heard her say:

?Certainly he must be moved onto the bed; here it will be

The sick man was so surrounded by doctors, princesses, and servants
that Pierre could no longer see the reddish-yellow face with its gray
mane?which, though he saw other faces as well, he had not lost sight
of for a single moment during the whole service. He judged by the
cautious movements of those who crowded round the invalid chair that
they had lifted the dying man and were moving him.

?Catch hold of my arm or you?ll drop him!? he heard one of the
servants say in a frightened whisper. ?Catch hold from underneath.
Here!? exclaimed different voices; and the heavy breathing of the
bearers and the shuffling of their feet grew more hurried, as if the
weight they were carrying were too much for them.

As the bearers, among whom was Anna Mikháylovna, passed the young man
he caught a momentary glimpse between their heads and backs of the dying
man?s high, stout, uncovered chest and powerful shoulders, raised by
those who were holding him under the armpits, and of his gray, curly,
leonine head. This head, with its remarkably broad brow and cheekbones,
its handsome, sensual mouth, and its cold, majestic expression, was
not disfigured by the approach of death. It was the same as Pierre
remembered it three months before, when the count had sent him to
Petersburg. But now this head was swaying helplessly with the uneven
movements of the bearers, and the cold listless gaze fixed itself upon

After a few minutes? bustle beside the high bedstead, those who had
carried the sick man dispersed. Anna Mikháylovna touched Pierre?s
hand and said, ?Come.? Pierre went with her to the bed on which the
sick man had been laid in a stately pose in keeping with the ceremony
just completed. He lay with his head propped high on the pillows. His
hands were symmetrically placed on the green silk quilt, the palms
downward. When Pierre came up the count was gazing straight at him, but
with a look the significance of which could not be understood by mortal
man. Either this look meant nothing but that as long as one has eyes
they must look somewhere, or it meant too much. Pierre hesitated,
not knowing what to do, and glanced inquiringly at his guide. Anna
Mikháylovna made a hurried sign with her eyes, glancing at the sick
man?s hand and moving her lips as if to send it a kiss. Pierre,
carefully stretching his neck so as not to touch the quilt, followed her
suggestion and pressed his lips to the large boned, fleshy hand. Neither
the hand nor a single muscle of the count?s face stirred. Once more
Pierre looked questioningly at Anna Mikháylovna to see what he was to
do next. Anna Mikháylovna with her eyes indicated a chair that stood
beside the bed. Pierre obediently sat down, his eyes asking if he were
doing right. Anna Mikháylovna nodded approvingly. Again Pierre fell
into the naïvely symmetrical pose of an Egyptian statue, evidently
distressed that his stout and clumsy body took up so much room and doing
his utmost to look as small as possible. He looked at the count, who
still gazed at the spot where Pierre?s face had been before he sat
down. Anna Mikháylovna indicated by her attitude her consciousness of
the pathetic importance of these last moments of meeting between the
father and son. This lasted about two minutes, which to Pierre seemed an
hour. Suddenly the broad muscles and lines of the count?s face began
to twitch. The twitching increased, the handsome mouth was drawn to one
side (only now did Pierre realize how near death his father was), and
from that distorted mouth issued an indistinct, hoarse sound. Anna
Mikháylovna looked attentively at the sick man?s eyes, trying to
guess what he wanted; she pointed first to Pierre, then to some drink,
then named Prince Vasíli in an inquiring whisper, then pointed to the
quilt. The eyes and face of the sick man showed impatience. He made an
effort to look at the servant who stood constantly at the head of the

?Wants to turn on the other side,? whispered the servant, and got up
to turn the count?s heavy body toward the wall.

Pierre rose to help him.

While the count was being turned over, one of his arms fell back
helplessly and he made a fruitless effort to pull it forward. Whether he
noticed the look of terror with which Pierre regarded that lifeless arm,
or whether some other thought flitted across his dying brain, at any
rate he glanced at the refractory arm, at Pierre?s terror-stricken
face, and again at the arm, and on his face a feeble, piteous smile
appeared, quite out of keeping with his features, that seemed to deride
his own helplessness. At sight of this smile Pierre felt an unexpected
quivering in his breast and a tickling in his nose, and tears dimmed his
eyes. The sick man was turned on to his side with his face to the wall.
He sighed.

?He is dozing,? said Anna Mikháylovna, observing that one of the
princesses was coming to take her turn at watching. ?Let us go.?

Pierre went out.


There was now no one in the reception room except Prince Vasíli and the
eldest princess, who were sitting under the portrait of Catherine the
Great and talking eagerly. As soon as they saw Pierre and his companion
they became silent, and Pierre thought he saw the princess hide
something as she whispered:

?I can?t bear the sight of that woman.?

?Catiche has had tea served in the small drawing room,? said Prince
Vasíli to Anna Mikháylovna. ?Go and take something, my poor Anna
Mikháylovna, or you will not hold out.?

To Pierre he said nothing, merely giving his arm a sympathetic squeeze
below the shoulder. Pierre went with Anna Mikháylovna into the small
drawing room.

?There is nothing so refreshing after a sleepless night as a cup
of this delicious Russian tea,? Lorrain was saying with an air of
restrained animation as he stood sipping tea from a delicate Chinese
handleless cup before a table on which tea and a cold supper were laid
in the small circular room. Around the table all who were at Count
Bezúkhov?s house that night had gathered to fortify themselves.
Pierre well remembered this small circular drawing room with its mirrors
and little tables. During balls given at the house Pierre, who did not
know how to dance, had liked sitting in this room to watch the ladies
who, as they passed through in their ball dresses with diamonds and
pearls on their bare shoulders, looked at themselves in the brilliantly
lighted mirrors which repeated their reflections several times. Now
this same room was dimly lighted by two candles. On one small table tea
things and supper dishes stood in disorder, and in the middle of the
night a motley throng of people sat there, not merrymaking, but somberly
whispering, and betraying by every word and movement that they none
of them forgot what was happening and what was about to happen in the
bedroom. Pierre did not eat anything though he would very much have
liked to. He looked inquiringly at his monitress and saw that she was
again going on tiptoe to the reception room where they had left Prince
Vasíli and the eldest princess. Pierre concluded that this also was
essential, and after a short interval followed her. Anna Mikháylovna
was standing beside the princess, and they were both speaking in excited

?Permit me, Princess, to know what is necessary and what is not
necessary,? said the younger of the two speakers, evidently in the
same state of excitement as when she had slammed the door of her room.

?But, my dear princess,? answered Anna Mikháylovna blandly but
impressively, blocking the way to the bedroom and preventing the other
from passing, ?won?t this be too much for poor Uncle at a moment
when he needs repose? Worldly conversation at a moment when his soul is
already prepared...?

Prince Vasíli was seated in an easy chair in his familiar attitude,
with one leg crossed high above the other. His cheeks, which were so
flabby that they looked heavier below, were twitching violently; but
he wore the air of a man little concerned in what the two ladies were

?Come, my dear Anna Mikháylovna, let Catiche do as she pleases. You
know how fond the count is of her.?

?I don?t even know what is in this paper,? said the younger of
the two ladies, addressing Prince Vasíli and pointing to an inlaid
portfolio she held in her hand. ?All I know is that his real will is
in his writing table, and this is a paper he has forgotten....?

She tried to pass Anna Mikháylovna, but the latter sprang so as to bar
her path.

?I know, my dear, kind princess,? said Anna Mikháylovna, seizing
the portfolio so firmly that it was plain she would not let go easily.
?Dear princess, I beg and implore you, have some pity on him! Je vous
en conjure...?

The princess did not reply. Their efforts in the struggle for the
portfolio were the only sounds audible, but it was evident that if
the princess did speak, her words would not be flattering to Anna
Mikháylovna. Though the latter held on tenaciously, her voice lost none
of its honeyed firmness and softness.

?Pierre, my dear, come here. I think he will not be out of place in a
family consultation; is it not so, Prince??

?Why don?t you speak, cousin?? suddenly shrieked the princess so
loud that those in the drawing room heard her and were startled. ?Why
do you remain silent when heaven knows who permits herself to
interfere, making a scene on the very threshold of a dying man?s room?
Intriguer!? she hissed viciously, and tugged with all her might at the

But Anna Mikháylovna went forward a step or two to keep her hold on the
portfolio, and changed her grip.

Prince Vasíli rose. ?Oh!? said he with reproach and surprise,
?this is absurd! Come, let go I tell you.?

The princess let go.

?And you too!?

But Anna Mikháylovna did not obey him.

?Let go, I tell you! I will take the responsibility. I myself will go
and ask him, I!... does that satisfy you??

?But, Prince,? said Anna Mikháylovna, ?after such a solemn
sacrament, allow him a moment?s peace! Here, Pierre, tell them your
opinion,? said she, turning to the young man who, having come quite
close, was gazing with astonishment at the angry face of the princess
which had lost all dignity, and at the twitching cheeks of Prince

?Remember that you will answer for the consequences,? said Prince
Vasíli severely. ?You don?t know what you are doing.?

?Vile woman!? shouted the princess, darting unexpectedly at Anna
Mikháylovna and snatching the portfolio from her.

Prince Vasíli bent his head and spread out his hands.

At this moment that terrible door, which Pierre had watched so long
and which had always opened so quietly, burst noisily open and banged
against the wall, and the second of the three sisters rushed out
wringing her hands.

?What are you doing!? she cried vehemently. ?He is dying and you
leave me alone with him!?

Her sister dropped the portfolio. Anna Mikháylovna, stooping, quickly
caught up the object of contention and ran into the bedroom. The eldest
princess and Prince Vasíli, recovering themselves, followed her. A few
minutes later the eldest sister came out with a pale hard face, again
biting her underlip. At sight of Pierre her expression showed an
irrepressible hatred.

?Yes, now you may be glad!? said she; ?this is what you have
been waiting for.? And bursting into tears she hid her face in her
handkerchief and rushed from the room.

Prince Vasíli came next. He staggered to the sofa on which Pierre was
sitting and dropped onto it, covering his face with his hand. Pierre
noticed that he was pale and that his jaw quivered and shook as if in an

?Ah, my friend!? said he, taking Pierre by the elbow; and there was
in his voice a sincerity and weakness Pierre had never observed in it
before. ?How often we sin, how much we deceive, and all for what? I am
near sixty, dear friend... I too... All will end in death, all! Death is
awful...? and he burst into tears.

Anna Mikháylovna came out last. She approached Pierre with slow, quiet

?Pierre!? she said.

Pierre gave her an inquiring look. She kissed the young man on his
forehead, wetting him with her tears. Then after a pause she said:

?He is no more....?

Pierre looked at her over his spectacles.

?Come, I will go with you. Try to weep, nothing gives such relief as

She led him into the dark drawing room and Pierre was glad no one could
see his face. Anna Mikháylovna left him, and when she returned he was
fast asleep with his head on his arm.

In the morning Anna Mikháylovna said to Pierre:

?Yes, my dear, this is a great loss for us all, not to speak of you.
But God will support you: you are young, and are now, I hope, in command
of an immense fortune. The will has not yet been opened. I know you
well enough to be sure that this will not turn your head, but it imposes
duties on you, and you must be a man.?

Pierre was silent.

?Perhaps later on I may tell you, my dear boy, that if I had not been
there, God only knows what would have happened! You know, Uncle promised
me only the day before yesterday not to forget Borís. But he had
no time. I hope, my dear friend, you will carry out your father?s

Pierre understood nothing of all this and coloring shyly looked in
silence at Princess Anna Mikháylovna. After her talk with Pierre, Anna
Mikháylovna returned to the Rostóvs? and went to bed. On waking in
the morning she told the Rostóvs and all her acquaintances the details
of Count Bezúkhov?s death. She said the count had died as she would
herself wish to die, that his end was not only touching but edifying. As
to the last meeting between father and son, it was so touching that she
could not think of it without tears, and did not know which had behaved
better during those awful moments?the father who so remembered
everything and everybody at last and had spoken such pathetic words to
the son, or Pierre, whom it had been pitiful to see, so stricken was he
with grief, though he tried hard to hide it in order not to sadden his
dying father. ?It is painful, but it does one good. It uplifts the
soul to see such men as the old count and his worthy son,? said she.
Of the behavior of the eldest princess and Prince Vasíli she spoke
disapprovingly, but in whispers and as a great secret.


At Bald Hills, Prince Nicholas Andréevich Bolkónski?s estate, the
arrival of young Prince Andrew and his wife was daily expected, but
this expectation did not upset the regular routine of life in the old
prince?s household. General in Chief Prince Nicholas Andréevich
(nicknamed in society, ?the King of Prussia?) ever since the Emperor
Paul had exiled him to his country estate had lived there continuously
with his daughter, Princess Mary, and her companion, Mademoiselle
Bourienne. Though in the new reign he was free to return to the
capitals, he still continued to live in the country, remarking that
anyone who wanted to see him could come the hundred miles from Moscow to
Bald Hills, while he himself needed no one and nothing. He used to
say that there are only two sources of human vice?idleness and
superstition, and only two virtues?activity and intelligence. He
himself undertook his daughter?s education, and to develop these two
cardinal virtues in her gave her lessons in algebra and geometry
till she was twenty, and arranged her life so that her whole time was
occupied. He was himself always occupied: writing his memoirs, solving
problems in higher mathematics, turning snuffboxes on a lathe, working
in the garden, or superintending the building that was always going on
at his estate. As regularity is a prime condition facilitating activity,
regularity in his household was carried to the highest point of
exactitude. He always came to table under precisely the same conditions,
and not only at the same hour but at the same minute. With those about
him, from his daughter to his serfs, the prince was sharp and invariably
exacting, so that without being a hardhearted man he inspired such fear
and respect as few hardhearted men would have aroused. Although he was
in retirement and had now no influence in political affairs, every high
official appointed to the province in which the prince?s estate lay
considered it his duty to visit him and waited in the lofty antechamber
just as the architect, gardener, or Princess Mary did, till the prince
appeared punctually to the appointed hour. Everyone sitting in this
antechamber experienced the same feeling of respect and even fear when
the enormously high study door opened and showed the figure of a rather
small old man, with powdered wig, small withered hands, and bushy gray
eyebrows which, when he frowned, sometimes hid the gleam of his shrewd,
youthfully glittering eyes.

On the morning of the day that the young couple were to arrive, Princess
Mary entered the antechamber as usual at the time appointed for the
morning greeting, crossing herself with trepidation and repeating a
silent prayer. Every morning she came in like that, and every morning
prayed that the daily interview might pass off well.

An old powdered manservant who was sitting in the antechamber rose
quietly and said in a whisper: ?Please walk in.?

Through the door came the regular hum of a lathe. The princess timidly
opened the door which moved noiselessly and easily. She paused at the
entrance. The prince was working at the lathe and after glancing round
continued his work.

The enormous study was full of things evidently in constant use.
The large table covered with books and plans, the tall glass-fronted
bookcases with keys in the locks, the high desk for writing while
standing up, on which lay an open exercise book, and the lathe with
tools laid ready to hand and shavings scattered around?all indicated
continuous, varied, and orderly activity. The motion of the small foot
shod in a Tartar boot embroidered with silver, and the firm pressure
of the lean sinewy hand, showed that the prince still possessed the
tenacious endurance and vigor of hardy old age. After a few more turns
of the lathe he removed his foot from the pedal, wiped his chisel,
dropped it into a leather pouch attached to the lathe, and, approaching
the table, summoned his daughter. He never gave his children a blessing,
so he simply held out his bristly cheek (as yet unshaven) and, regarding
her tenderly and attentively, said severely:

?Quite well? All right then, sit down.? He took the exercise book
containing lessons in geometry written by himself and drew up a chair
with his foot.

?For tomorrow!? said he, quickly finding the page and making a
scratch from one paragraph to another with his hard nail.

The princess bent over the exercise book on the table.

?Wait a bit, here?s a letter for you,? said the old man suddenly,
taking a letter addressed in a woman?s hand from a bag hanging above
the table, onto which he threw it.

At the sight of the letter red patches showed themselves on the
princess? face. She took it quickly and bent her head over it.

?From Héloïse?? asked the prince with a cold smile that showed his
still sound, yellowish teeth.

?Yes, it?s from Julie,? replied the princess with a timid glance
and a timid smile.

?I?ll let two more letters pass, but the third I?ll read,? said
the prince sternly; ?I?m afraid you write much nonsense. I?ll read
the third!?

?Read this if you like, Father,? said the princess, blushing still
more and holding out the letter.

?The third, I said the third!? cried the prince abruptly, pushing
the letter away, and leaning his elbows on the table he drew toward him
the exercise book containing geometrical figures.

?Well, madam,? he began, stooping over the book close to his
daughter and placing an arm on the back of the chair on which she sat,
so that she felt herself surrounded on all sides by the acrid scent of
old age and tobacco, which she had known so long. ?Now, madam, these
triangles are equal; please note that the angle ABC...?

The princess looked in a scared way at her father?s eyes glittering
close to her; the red patches on her face came and went, and it was
plain that she understood nothing and was so frightened that her
fear would prevent her understanding any of her father?s further
explanations, however clear they might be. Whether it was the
teacher?s fault or the pupil?s, this same thing happened every day:
the princess? eyes grew dim, she could not see and could not hear
anything, but was only conscious of her stern father?s withered face
close to her, of his breath and the smell of him, and could think only
of how to get away quickly to her own room to make out the problem in
peace. The old man was beside himself: moved the chair on which he was
sitting noisily backward and forward, made efforts to control himself
and not become vehement, but almost always did become vehement, scolded,
and sometimes flung the exercise book away.

The princess gave a wrong answer.

?Well now, isn?t she a fool!? shouted the prince, pushing the book
aside and turning sharply away; but rising immediately, he paced up and
down, lightly touched his daughter?s hair and sat down again.

He drew up his chair, and continued to explain.

?This won?t do, Princess; it won?t do,? said he, when Princess
Mary, having taken and closed the exercise book with the next day?s
lesson, was about to leave: ?Mathematics are most important, madam!
I don?t want to have you like our silly ladies. Get used to it and
you?ll like it,? and he patted her cheek. ?It will drive all the
nonsense out of your head.?

She turned to go, but he stopped her with a gesture and took an uncut
book from the high desk.

?Here is some sort of Key to the Mysteries that your Héloïse has
sent you. Religious! I don?t interfere with anyone?s belief... I
have looked at it. Take it. Well, now go. Go.?

He patted her on the shoulder and himself closed the door after her.

Princess Mary went back to her room with the sad, scared expression that
rarely left her and which made her plain, sickly face yet plainer. She
sat down at her writing table, on which stood miniature portraits and
which was littered with books and papers. The princess was as untidy as
her father was tidy. She put down the geometry book and eagerly broke
the seal of her letter. It was from her most intimate friend from
childhood; that same Julie Karágina who had been at the Rostóvs?
name-day party.

Julie wrote in French:

Dear and precious Friend, How terrible and frightful a thing is
separation! Though I tell myself that half my life and half my happiness
are wrapped up in you, and that in spite of the distance separating us
our hearts are united by indissoluble bonds, my heart rebels against
fate and in spite of the pleasures and distractions around me I cannot
overcome a certain secret sorrow that has been in my heart ever since
we parted. Why are we not together as we were last summer, in your big
study, on the blue sofa, the confidential sofa? Why cannot I now, as
three months ago, draw fresh moral strength from your look, so gentle,
calm, and penetrating, a look I loved so well and seem to see before me
as I write?

Having read thus far, Princess Mary sighed and glanced into the mirror
which stood on her right. It reflected a weak, ungraceful figure and
thin face. Her eyes, always sad, now looked with particular hopelessness
at her reflection in the glass. ?She flatters me,? thought the
princess, turning away and continuing to read. But Julie did not flatter
her friend, the princess? eyes?large, deep and luminous (it seemed
as if at times there radiated from them shafts of warm light)?were
so beautiful that very often in spite of the plainness of her face
they gave her an attraction more powerful than that of beauty. But the
princess never saw the beautiful expression of her own eyes?the look
they had when she was not thinking of herself. As with everyone, her
face assumed a forced unnatural expression as soon as she looked in a
glass. She went on reading:

All Moscow talks of nothing but war. One of my two brothers is already
abroad, the other is with the Guards, who are starting on their march
to the frontier. Our dear Emperor has left Petersburg and it is thought
intends to expose his precious person to the chances of war. God grant
that the Corsican monster who is destroying the peace of Europe may
be overthrown by the angel whom it has pleased the Almighty, in His
goodness, to give us as sovereign! To say nothing of my brothers, this
war has deprived me of one of the associations nearest my heart. I mean
young Nicholas Rostóv, who with his enthusiasm could not bear to remain
inactive and has left the university to join the army. I will confess to
you, dear Mary, that in spite of his extreme youth his departure for
the army was a great grief to me. This young man, of whom I spoke to you
last summer, is so noble-minded and full of that real youthfulness which
one seldom finds nowadays among our old men of twenty and, particularly,
he is so frank and has so much heart. He is so pure and poetic that
my relations with him, transient as they were, have been one of the
sweetest comforts to my poor heart, which has already suffered so much.
Someday I will tell you about our parting and all that was said then.
That is still too fresh. Ah, dear friend, you are happy not to know
these poignant joys and sorrows. You are fortunate, for the latter are
generally the stronger! I know very well that Count Nicholas is too
young ever to be more to me than a friend, but this sweet friendship,
this poetic and pure intimacy, were what my heart needed. But enough of
this! The chief news, about which all Moscow gossips, is the death of
old Count Bezúkhov, and his inheritance. Fancy! The three princesses
have received very little, Prince Vasíli nothing, and it is Monsieur
Pierre who has inherited all the property and has besides been
recognized as legitimate; so that he is now Count Bezúkhov and
possessor of the finest fortune in Russia. It is rumored that Prince
Vasíli played a very despicable part in this affair and that he
returned to Petersburg quite crestfallen.

I confess I understand very little about all these matters of wills and
inheritance; but I do know that since this young man, whom we all used
to know as plain Monsieur Pierre, has become Count Bezúkhov and the
owner of one of the largest fortunes in Russia, I am much amused to
watch the change in the tone and manners of the mammas burdened by
marriageable daughters, and of the young ladies themselves, toward
him, though, between you and me, he always seemed to me a poor sort
of fellow. As for the past two years people have amused themselves
by finding husbands for me (most of whom I don?t even know), the
matchmaking chronicles of Moscow now speak of me as the future Countess
Bezúkhova. But you will understand that I have no desire for the post.
À propos of marriages: do you know that a while ago that universal
auntie Anna Mikháylovna told me, under the seal of strict secrecy, of
a plan of marriage for you. It is neither more nor less than with Prince
Vasíli?s son Anatole, whom they wish to reform by marrying him to
someone rich and distinguée, and it is on you that his relations?
choice has fallen. I don?t know what you will think of it, but
I consider it my duty to let you know of it. He is said to be very
handsome and a terrible scapegrace. That is all I have been able to find
out about him.

But enough of gossip. I am at the end of my second sheet of paper, and
Mamma has sent for me to go and dine at the Apráksins?. Read the
mystical book I am sending you; it has an enormous success here. Though
there are things in it difficult for the feeble human mind to grasp, it
is an admirable book which calms and elevates the soul. Adieu! Give
my respects to monsieur your father and my compliments to Mademoiselle
Bourienne. I embrace you as I love you.


P.S. Let me have news of your brother and his charming little wife.

The princess pondered awhile with a thoughtful smile and her luminous
eyes lit up so that her face was entirely transformed. Then she suddenly
rose and with her heavy tread went up to the table. She took a sheet of
paper and her hand moved rapidly over it. This is the reply she wrote,
also in French:

Dear and precious Friend, Your letter of the 13th has given me great
delight. So you still love me, my romantic Julie? Separation, of which
you say so much that is bad, does not seem to have had its usual effect
on you. You complain of our separation. What then should I say, if I
dared complain, I who am deprived of all who are dear to me? Ah, if
we had not religion to console us life would be very sad. Why do you
suppose that I should look severely on your affection for that young
man? On such matters I am only severe with myself. I understand such
feelings in others, and if never having felt them I cannot approve of
them, neither do I condemn them. Only it seems to me that Christian
love, love of one?s neighbor, love of one?s enemy, is worthier,
sweeter, and better than the feelings which the beautiful eyes of a
young man can inspire in a romantic and loving young girl like yourself.

The news of Count Bezúkhov?s death reached us before your letter
and my father was much affected by it. He says the count was the last
representative but one of the great century, and that it is his own
turn now, but that he will do all he can to let his turn come as late as
possible. God preserve us from that terrible misfortune!

I cannot agree with you about Pierre, whom I knew as a child. He always
seemed to me to have an excellent heart, and that is the quality I value
most in people. As to his inheritance and the part played by Prince
Vasíli, it is very sad for both. Ah, my dear friend, our divine
Saviour?s words, that it is easier for a camel to go through the
eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God, are
terribly true. I pity Prince Vasíli but am still more sorry for Pierre.
So young, and burdened with such riches?to what temptations he will be
exposed! If I were asked what I desire most on earth, it would be to be
poorer than the poorest beggar. A thousand thanks, dear friend, for the
volume you have sent me and which has such success in Moscow. Yet since
you tell me that among some good things it contains others which our
weak human understanding cannot grasp, it seems to me rather useless to
spend time in reading what is unintelligible and can therefore bear
no fruit. I never could understand the fondness some people have for
confusing their minds by dwelling on mystical books that merely awaken
their doubts and excite their imagination, giving them a bent for
exaggeration quite contrary to Christian simplicity. Let us rather read
the Epistles and Gospels. Let us not seek to penetrate what mysteries
they contain; for how can we, miserable sinners that we are, know the
terrible and holy secrets of Providence while we remain in this flesh
which forms an impenetrable veil between us and the Eternal? Let us
rather confine ourselves to studying those sublime rules which our
divine Saviour has left for our guidance here below. Let us try to
conform to them and follow them, and let us be persuaded that the less
we let our feeble human minds roam, the better we shall please God, who
rejects all knowledge that does not come from Him; and the less we seek
to fathom what He has been pleased to conceal from us, the sooner will
He vouchsafe its revelation to us through His divine Spirit.

My father has not spoken to me of a suitor, but has only told me that he
has received a letter and is expecting a visit from Prince Vasíli. In
regard to this project of marriage for me, I will tell you, dear sweet
friend, that I look on marriage as a divine institution to which we must
conform. However painful it may be to me, should the Almighty lay
the duties of wife and mother upon me I shall try to perform them as
faithfully as I can, without disquieting myself by examining my feelings
toward him whom He may give me for husband.

I have had a letter from my brother, who announces his speedy arrival
at Bald Hills with his wife. This pleasure will be but a brief one,
however, for he will leave us again to take part in this unhappy war
into which we have been drawn, God knows how or why. Not only where you
are?at the heart of affairs and of the world?is the talk all of
war, even here amid fieldwork and the calm of nature?which townsfolk
consider characteristic of the country?rumors of war are heard
and painfully felt. My father talks of nothing but marches and
countermarches, things of which I understand nothing; and the day
before yesterday during my daily walk through the village I witnessed a
heartrending scene.... It was a convoy of conscripts enrolled from our
people and starting to join the army. You should have seen the state of
the mothers, wives, and children of the men who were going and should
have heard the sobs. It seems as though mankind has forgotten the
laws of its divine Saviour, Who preached love and forgiveness of
injuries?and that men attribute the greatest merit to skill in killing
one another.

Adieu, dear and kind friend; may our divine Saviour and His most Holy
Mother keep you in their holy and all-powerful care!


?Ah, you are sending off a letter, Princess? I have already dispatched
mine. I have written to my poor mother,? said the smiling Mademoiselle
Bourienne rapidly, in her pleasant mellow tones and with guttural r?s.
She brought into Princess Mary?s strenuous, mournful, and gloomy
world a quite different atmosphere, careless, lighthearted, and

?Princess, I must warn you,? she added, lowering her voice and
evidently listening to herself with pleasure, and speaking with
exaggerated grasseyement, ?the prince has been scolding Michael
Ivánovich. He is in a very bad humor, very morose. Be prepared.?

?Ah, dear friend,? replied Princess Mary, ?I have asked you never
to warn me of the humor my father is in. I do not allow myself to judge
him and would not have others do so.?

The princess glanced at her watch and, seeing that she was five minutes
late in starting her practice on the clavichord, went into the sitting
room with a look of alarm. Between twelve and two o?clock, as the
day was mapped out, the prince rested and the princess played the


The gray-haired valet was sitting drowsily listening to the snoring of
the prince, who was in his large study. From the far side of the house
through the closed doors came the sound of difficult passages?twenty
times repeated?of a sonata by Dussek.

Just then a closed carriage and another with a hood drove up to the
porch. Prince Andrew got out of the carriage, helped his little wife to
alight, and let her pass into the house before him. Old Tíkhon, wearing
a wig, put his head out of the door of the antechamber, reported in
a whisper that the prince was sleeping, and hastily closed the door.
Tíkhon knew that neither the son?s arrival nor any other unusual
event must be allowed to disturb the appointed order of the day. Prince
Andrew apparently knew this as well as Tíkhon; he looked at his watch
as if to ascertain whether his father?s habits had changed since he
was at home last, and, having assured himself that they had not, he
turned to his wife.

?He will get up in twenty minutes. Let us go across to Mary?s
room,? he said.

The little princess had grown stouter during this time, but her eyes
and her short, downy, smiling lip lifted when she began to speak just as
merrily and prettily as ever.

?Why, this is a palace!? she said to her husband, looking around
with the expression with which people compliment their host at a ball.
?Let?s come, quick, quick!? And with a glance round, she smiled at
Tíkhon, at her husband, and at the footman who accompanied them.

?Is that Mary practicing? Let?s go quietly and take her by

Prince Andrew followed her with a courteous but sad expression.

?You?ve grown older, Tíkhon,? he said in passing to the old man,
who kissed his hand.

Before they reached the room from which the sounds of the clavichord
came, the pretty, fair-haired Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle Bourienne,
rushed out apparently beside herself with delight.

?Ah! what joy for the princess!? exclaimed she: ?At last! I must
let her know.?

?No, no, please not... You are Mademoiselle Bourienne,? said
the little princess, kissing her. ?I know you already through my
sister-in-law?s friendship for you. She was not expecting us??

They went up to the door of the sitting room from which came the sound
of the oft-repeated passage of the sonata. Prince Andrew stopped and
made a grimace, as if expecting something unpleasant.

The little princess entered the room. The passage broke off in the
middle, a cry was heard, then Princess Mary?s heavy tread and the
sound of kissing. When Prince Andrew went in the two princesses, who
had only met once before for a short time at his wedding, were in
each other?s arms warmly pressing their lips to whatever place they
happened to touch. Mademoiselle Bourienne stood near them pressing her
hand to her heart, with a beatific smile and obviously equally ready to
cry or to laugh. Prince Andrew shrugged his shoulders and frowned, as
lovers of music do when they hear a false note. The two women let go
of one another, and then, as if afraid of being too late, seized each
other?s hands, kissing them and pulling them away, and again began
kissing each other on the face, and then to Prince Andrew?s surprise
both began to cry and kissed again. Mademoiselle Bourienne also began to
cry. Prince Andrew evidently felt ill at ease, but to the two women
it seemed quite natural that they should cry, and apparently it never
entered their heads that it could have been otherwise at this meeting.

?Ah! my dear!... Ah! Mary!...? they suddenly exclaimed, and then
laughed. ?I dreamed last night...???You were not expecting
us?...? ?Ah! Mary, you have got thinner?...? ?And you have grown

?I knew the princess at once,? put in Mademoiselle Bourienne.

?And I had no idea!...? exclaimed Princess Mary. ?Ah, Andrew, I
did not see you.?

Prince Andrew and his sister, hand in hand, kissed one another, and
he told her she was still the same crybaby as ever. Princess Mary had
turned toward her brother, and through her tears the loving, warm,
gentle look of her large luminous eyes, very beautiful at that moment,
rested on Prince Andrew?s face.

The little princess talked incessantly, her short, downy upper lip
continually and rapidly touching her rosy nether lip when necessary
and drawing up again next moment when her face broke into a smile of
glittering teeth and sparkling eyes. She told of an accident they had
had on the Spásski Hill which might have been serious for her in her
condition, and immediately after that informed them that she had left
all her clothes in Petersburg and that heaven knew what she would have
to dress in here; and that Andrew had quite changed, and that Kitty
Odýntsova had married an old man, and that there was a suitor for Mary,
a real one, but that they would talk of that later. Princess Mary was
still looking silently at her brother and her beautiful eyes were full
of love and sadness. It was plain that she was following a train of
thought independent of her sister-in-law?s words. In the midst of a
description of the last Petersburg fete she addressed her brother:

?So you are really going to the war, Andrew?? she said sighing.

Lise sighed too.

?Yes, and even tomorrow,? replied her brother.

?He is leaving me here, God knows why, when he might have had

Princess Mary did not listen to the end, but continuing her train of
thought turned to her sister-in-law with a tender glance at her figure.

?Is it certain?? she said.

The face of the little princess changed. She sighed and said: ?Yes,
quite certain. Ah! it is very dreadful...?

Her lip descended. She brought her face close to her sister-in-law?s
and unexpectedly again began to cry.

?She needs rest,? said Prince Andrew with a frown. ?Don?t you,
Lise? Take her to your room and I?ll go to Father. How is he? Just the

?Yes, just the same. Though I don?t know what your opinion will
be,? answered the princess joyfully.

?And are the hours the same? And the walks in the avenues? And the
lathe?? asked Prince Andrew with a scarcely perceptible smile which
showed that, in spite of all his love and respect for his father, he was
aware of his weaknesses.

?The hours are the same, and the lathe, and also the mathematics and
my geometry lessons,? said Princess Mary gleefully, as if her lessons
in geometry were among the greatest delights of her life.

When the twenty minutes had elapsed and the time had come for the old
prince to get up, Tíkhon came to call the young prince to his father.
The old man made a departure from his usual routine in honor of his
son?s arrival: he gave orders to admit him to his apartments while
he dressed for dinner. The old prince always dressed in old-fashioned
style, wearing an antique coat and powdered hair; and when Prince Andrew
entered his father?s dressing room (not with the contemptuous look and
manner he wore in drawing rooms, but with the animated face with which
he talked to Pierre), the old man was sitting on a large leather-covered
chair, wrapped in a powdering mantle, entrusting his head to Tíkhon.

?Ah! here?s the warrior! Wants to vanquish Buonaparte?? said the
old man, shaking his powdered head as much as the tail, which Tíkhon
was holding fast to plait, would allow.

?You at least must tackle him properly, or else if he goes on like
this he?ll soon have us, too, for his subjects! How are you?? And he
held out his cheek.

The old man was in a good temper after his nap before dinner. (He
used to say that a nap ?after dinner was silver?before dinner,
golden.?) He cast happy, sidelong glances at his son from under his
thick, bushy eyebrows. Prince Andrew went up and kissed his father on
the spot indicated to him. He made no reply on his father?s favorite
topic?making fun of the military men of the day, and more particularly
of Bonaparte.

?Yes, Father, I have come to you and brought my wife who is
pregnant,? said Prince Andrew, following every movement of his
father?s face with an eager and respectful look. ?How is your

?Only fools and rakes fall ill, my boy. You know me: I am busy from
morning till night and abstemious, so of course I am well.?

?Thank God,? said his son smiling.

?God has nothing to do with it! Well, go on,? he continued,
returning to his hobby; ?tell me how the Germans have taught you to
fight Bonaparte by this new science you call ?strategy.??

Prince Andrew smiled.

?Give me time to collect my wits, Father,? said he, with a smile
that showed that his father?s foibles did not prevent his son from
loving and honoring him. ?Why, I have not yet had time to settle

?Nonsense, nonsense!? cried the old man, shaking his pigtail to
see whether it was firmly plaited, and grasping his by the hand. ?The
house for your wife is ready. Princess Mary will take her there and
show her over, and they?ll talk nineteen to the dozen. That?s
their woman?s way! I am glad to have her. Sit down and talk. About
Mikhelson?s army I understand?Tolstóy ?s too... a simultaneous
expedition.... But what?s the southern army to do? Prussia is
neutral... I know that. What about Austria?? said he, rising from his
chair and pacing up and down the room followed by Tíkhon, who ran after
him, handing him different articles of clothing. ?What of Sweden? How
will they cross Pomerania??

Prince Andrew, seeing that his father insisted, began?at first
reluctantly, but gradually with more and more animation, and from habit
changing unconsciously from Russian to French as he went on?to explain
the plan of operation for the coming campaign. He explained how an army,
ninety thousand strong, was to threaten Prussia so as to bring her out
of her neutrality and draw her into the war; how part of that army was
to join some Swedish forces at Stralsund; how two hundred and twenty
thousand Austrians, with a hundred thousand Russians, were to operate in
Italy and on the Rhine; how fifty thousand Russians and as many English
were to land at Naples, and how a total force of five hundred thousand
men was to attack the French from different sides. The old prince did
not evince the least interest during this explanation, but as if he were
not listening to it continued to dress while walking about, and three
times unexpectedly interrupted. Once he stopped it by shouting: ?The
white one, the white one!?

This meant that Tíkhon was not handing him the waistcoat he wanted.
Another time he interrupted, saying:

?And will she soon be confined?? and shaking his head reproachfully
said: ?That?s bad! Go on, go on.?

The third interruption came when Prince Andrew was finishing his
description. The old man began to sing, in the cracked voice of old age:
?Malbrook s?en va-t-en guerre. Dieu sait quand reviendra.? *

     * ?Marlborough is going to the wars; God knows when he?ll

His son only smiled.

?I don?t say it?s a plan I approve of,? said the son; ?I am
only telling you what it is. Napoleon has also formed his plan by now,
not worse than this one.?

?Well, you?ve told me nothing new,? and the old man repeated,
meditatively and rapidly:

?Dieu sait quand reviendra. Go to the dining room.?


At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the
dining room where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, and Mademoiselle
Bourienne were already awaiting him together with his architect, who by
a strange caprice of his employer?s was admitted to table though the
position of that insignificant individual was such as could certainly
not have caused him to expect that honor. The prince, who generally kept
very strictly to social distinctions and rarely admitted even important
government officials to his table, had unexpectedly selected Michael
Ivánovich (who always went into a corner to blow his nose on his
checked handkerchief) to illustrate the theory that all men are equals,
and had more than once impressed on his daughter that Michael Ivánovich
was ?not a whit worse than you or I.? At dinner the prince usually
spoke to the taciturn Michael Ivánovich more often than to anyone else.

In the dining room, which like all the rooms in the house was
exceedingly lofty, the members of the household and the footmen?one
behind each chair?stood waiting for the prince to enter. The head
butler, napkin on arm, was scanning the setting of the table, making
signs to the footmen, and anxiously glancing from the clock to the door
by which the prince was to enter. Prince Andrew was looking at a large
gilt frame, new to him, containing the genealogical tree of the Princes
Bolkónski, opposite which hung another such frame with a badly painted
portrait (evidently by the hand of the artist belonging to the estate)
of a ruling prince, in a crown?an alleged descendant of Rúrik and
ancestor of the Bolkónskis. Prince Andrew, looking again at that
genealogical tree, shook his head, laughing as a man laughs who looks at
a portrait so characteristic of the original as to be amusing.

?How thoroughly like him that is!? he said to Princess Mary, who had
come up to him.

Princess Mary looked at her brother in surprise. She did not understand
what he was laughing at. Everything her father did inspired her with
reverence and was beyond question.

?Everyone has his Achilles? heel,? continued Prince Andrew.
?Fancy, with his powerful mind, indulging in such nonsense!?

Princess Mary could not understand the boldness of her brother?s
criticism and was about to reply, when the expected footsteps were heard
coming from the study. The prince walked in quickly and jauntily as was
his wont, as if intentionally contrasting the briskness of his manners
with the strict formality of his house. At that moment the great clock
struck two and another with a shrill tone joined in from the drawing
room. The prince stood still; his lively glittering eyes from under
their thick, bushy eyebrows sternly scanned all present and rested on
the little princess. She felt, as courtiers do when the Tsar enters, the
sensation of fear and respect which the old man inspired in all around
him. He stroked her hair and then patted her awkwardly on the back of
her neck.

?I?m glad, glad, to see you,? he said, looking attentively into
her eyes, and then quickly went to his place and sat down. ?Sit down,
sit down! Sit down, Michael Ivánovich!?

He indicated a place beside him to his daughter-in-law. A footman moved
the chair for her.

?Ho, ho!? said the old man, casting his eyes on her rounded figure.
?You?ve been in a hurry. That?s bad!?

He laughed in his usual dry, cold, unpleasant way, with his lips only
and not with his eyes.

?You must walk, walk as much as possible, as much as possible,? he

The little princess did not, or did not wish to, hear his words. She was
silent and seemed confused. The prince asked her about her father, and
she began to smile and talk. He asked about mutual acquaintances, and
she became still more animated and chattered away giving him greetings
from various people and retelling the town gossip.

?Countess Apráksina, poor thing, has lost her husband and she has
cried her eyes out,? she said, growing more and more lively.

As she became animated the prince looked at her more and more sternly,
and suddenly, as if he had studied her sufficiently and had formed a
definite idea of her, he turned away and addressed Michael Ivánovich.

?Well, Michael Ivánovich, our Bonaparte will be having a bad time
of it. Prince Andrew? (he always spoke thus of his son) ?has been
telling me what forces are being collected against him! While you and I
never thought much of him.?

Michael Ivánovich did not at all know when ?you and I? had said
such things about Bonaparte, but understanding that he was wanted as
a peg on which to hang the prince?s favorite topic, he looked
inquiringly at the young prince, wondering what would follow.

?He is a great tactician!? said the prince to his son, pointing to
the architect.

And the conversation again turned on the war, on Bonaparte, and the
generals and statesmen of the day. The old prince seemed convinced not
only that all the men of the day were mere babies who did not know the
A B C of war or of politics, and that Bonaparte was an insignificant
little Frenchy, successful only because there were no longer any
Potëmkins or Suvórovs left to oppose him; but he was also convinced
that there were no political difficulties in Europe and no real war,
but only a sort of puppet show at which the men of the day were playing,
pretending to do something real. Prince Andrew gaily bore with his
father?s ridicule of the new men, and drew him on and listened to him
with evident pleasure.

?The past always seems good,? said he, ?but did not Suvórov
himself fall into a trap Moreau set him, and from which he did not know
how to escape??

?Who told you that? Who?? cried the prince. ?Suvórov!? And he
jerked away his plate, which Tíkhon briskly caught. ?Suvórov!...
Consider, Prince Andrew. Two... Frederick and Suvórov; Moreau!...
Moreau would have been a prisoner if Suvórov had had a free hand; but
he had the Hofs-kriegs-wurst-schnapps-Rath on his hands. It would have
puzzled the devil himself! When you get there you?ll find out what
those Hofs-kriegs-wurst-Raths are! Suvórov couldn?t manage them so
what chance has Michael Kutúzov? No, my dear boy,? he continued,
?you and your generals won?t get on against Buonaparte; you?ll
have to call in the French, so that birds of a feather may fight
together. The German, Pahlen, has been sent to New York in America, to
fetch the Frenchman, Moreau,? he said, alluding to the invitation made
that year to Moreau to enter the Russian service.... ?Wonderful!...
Were the Potëmkins, Suvórovs, and Orlóvs Germans? No, lad, either you
fellows have all lost your wits, or I have outlived mine. May God help
you, but we?ll see what will happen. Buonaparte has become a great
commander among them! Hm!...?

?I don?t at all say that all the plans are good,? said Prince
Andrew, ?I am only surprised at your opinion of Bonaparte. You
may laugh as much as you like, but all the same Bonaparte is a great

?Michael Ivánovich!? cried the old prince to the architect who,
busy with his roast meat, hoped he had been forgotten: ?Didn?t
I tell you Buonaparte was a great tactician? Here, he says the same

?To be sure, your excellency,? replied the architect.

The prince again laughed his frigid laugh.

?Buonaparte was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He has got
splendid soldiers. Besides he began by attacking Germans. And only
idlers have failed to beat the Germans. Since the world began everybody
has beaten the Germans. They beat no one?except one another. He made
his reputation fighting them.?

And the prince began explaining all the blunders which, according to
him, Bonaparte had made in his campaigns and even in politics. His
son made no rejoinder, but it was evident that whatever arguments were
presented he was as little able as his father to change his opinion. He
listened, refraining from a reply, and involuntarily wondered how this
old man, living alone in the country for so many years, could know and
discuss so minutely and acutely all the recent European military and
political events.

?You think I?m an old man and don?t understand the present state
of affairs?? concluded his father. ?But it troubles me. I don?t
sleep at night. Come now, where has this great commander of yours shown
his skill?? he concluded.

?That would take too long to tell,? answered the son.

?Well, then go off to your Buonaparte! Mademoiselle Bourienne,
here?s another admirer of that powder-monkey emperor of yours,? he
exclaimed in excellent French.

?You know, Prince, I am not a Bonapartist!?

?Dieu sait quand reviendra.? hummed the prince out of tune and, with
a laugh still more so, he quitted the table.

The little princess during the whole discussion and the rest of
the dinner sat silent, glancing with a frightened look now at her
father-in-law and now at Princess Mary. When they left the table she
took her sister-in-law?s arm and drew her into another room.

?What a clever man your father is,? said she; ?perhaps that is why
I am afraid of him.?

?Oh, he is so kind!? answered Princess Mary.


Prince Andrew was to leave next evening. The old prince, not altering
his routine, retired as usual after dinner. The little princess was in
her sister-in-law?s room. Prince Andrew in a traveling coat without
epaulettes had been packing with his valet in the rooms assigned to him.
After inspecting the carriage himself and seeing the trunks put in, he
ordered the horses to be harnessed. Only those things he always kept
with him remained in his room; a small box, a large canteen fitted
with silver plate, two Turkish pistols and a saber?a present from
his father who had brought it from the siege of Ochákov. All these
traveling effects of Prince Andrew?s were in very good order: new,
clean, and in cloth covers carefully tied with tapes.

When starting on a journey or changing their mode of life, men capable
of reflection are generally in a serious frame of mind. At such moments
one reviews the past and plans for the future. Prince Andrew?s face
looked very thoughtful and tender. With his hands behind him he paced
briskly from corner to corner of the room, looking straight before him
and thoughtfully shaking his head. Did he fear going to the war, or was
he sad at leaving his wife??perhaps both, but evidently he did not
wish to be seen in that mood, for hearing footsteps in the passage he
hurriedly unclasped his hands, stopped at a table as if tying the
cover of the small box, and assumed his usual tranquil and impenetrable
expression. It was the heavy tread of Princess Mary that he heard.

?I hear you have given orders to harness,? she cried, panting (she
had apparently been running), ?and I did so wish to have another talk
with you alone! God knows how long we may again be parted. You are not
angry with me for coming? You have changed so, Andrúsha,? she added,
as if to explain such a question.

She smiled as she uttered his pet name, ?Andrúsha.? It was
obviously strange to her to think that this stern handsome man should be
Andrúsha?the slender mischievous boy who had been her playfellow in

?And where is Lise?? he asked, answering her question only by a

?She was so tired that she has fallen asleep on the sofa in my room.
Oh, Andrew! What a treasure of a wife you have,? said she, sitting
down on the sofa, facing her brother. ?She is quite a child: such a
dear, merry child. I have grown so fond of her.?

Prince Andrew was silent, but the princess noticed the ironical and
contemptuous look that showed itself on his face.

?One must be indulgent to little weaknesses; who is free from them,
Andrew? Don?t forget that she has grown up and been educated in
society, and so her position now is not a rosy one. We should enter into
everyone?s situation. Tout comprendre, c?est tout pardonner. * Think
what it must be for her, poor thing, after what she has been used to,
to be parted from her husband and be left alone in the country, in her
condition! It?s very hard.?

     * To understand all is to forgive all.

Prince Andrew smiled as he looked at his sister, as we smile at those we
think we thoroughly understand.

?You live in the country and don?t think the life terrible,? he

?I... that?s different. Why speak of me? I don?t want any other
life, and can?t, for I know no other. But think, Andrew: for a young
society woman to be buried in the country during the best years of her
life, all alone?for Papa is always busy, and I... well, you know what
poor resources I have for entertaining a woman used to the best society.
There is only Mademoiselle Bourienne....?

?I don?t like your Mademoiselle Bourienne at all,? said Prince

?No? She is very nice and kind and, above all, she?s much to be
pitied. She has no one, no one. To tell the truth, I don?t need her,
and she?s even in my way. You know I always was a savage, and now am
even more so. I like being alone.... Father likes her very much. She and
Michael Ivánovich are the two people to whom he is always gentle and
kind, because he has been a benefactor to them both. As Sterne says:
?We don?t love people so much for the good they have done us, as
for the good we have done them.? Father took her when she was homeless
after losing her own father. She is very good-natured, and my father
likes her way of reading. She reads to him in the evenings and reads

?To be quite frank, Mary, I expect Father?s character sometimes
makes things trying for you, doesn?t it?? Prince Andrew asked

Princess Mary was first surprised and then aghast at this question.

?For me? For me?... Trying for me!...? said she.

?He always was rather harsh; and now I should think he?s getting
very trying,? said Prince Andrew, apparently speaking lightly of their
father in order to puzzle or test his sister.

?You are good in every way, Andrew, but you have a kind of
intellectual pride,? said the princess, following the train of her own
thoughts rather than the trend of the conversation??and that?s a
great sin. How can one judge Father? But even if one might, what feeling
except veneration could such a man as my father evoke? And I am so
contented and happy with him. I only wish you were all as happy as I

Her brother shook his head incredulously.

?The only thing that is hard for me... I will tell you the truth,
Andrew... is Father?s way of treating religious subjects. I don?t
understand how a man of his immense intellect can fail to see what is
as clear as day, and can go so far astray. That is the only thing
that makes me unhappy. But even in this I can see lately a shade of
improvement. His satire has been less bitter of late, and there was a
monk he received and had a long talk with.?

?Ah! my dear, I am afraid you and your monk are wasting your
powder,? said Prince Andrew banteringly yet tenderly.

?Ah! mon ami, I only pray, and hope that God will hear me.
Andrew...? she said timidly after a moment?s silence, ?I have a
great favor to ask of you.?

?What is it, dear??

?No?promise that you will not refuse! It will give you no trouble
and is nothing unworthy of you, but it will comfort me. Promise,
Andrúsha!...? said she, putting her hand in her reticule but not yet
taking out what she was holding inside it, as if what she held were
the subject of her request and must not be shown before the request was

She looked timidly at her brother.

?Even if it were a great deal of trouble...? answered Prince Andrew,
as if guessing what it was about.

?Think what you please! I know you are just like Father. Think as
you please, but do this for my sake! Please do! Father?s father, our
grandfather, wore it in all his wars.? (She still did not take out
what she was holding in her reticule.) ?So you promise??

?Of course. What is it??

?Andrew, I bless you with this icon and you must promise me you will
never take it off. Do you promise??

?If it does not weigh a hundredweight and won?t break my neck...
To please you...? said Prince Andrew. But immediately, noticing
the pained expression his joke had brought to his sister?s face, he
repented and added: ?I am glad; really, dear, I am very glad.?

?Against your will He will save and have mercy on you and bring you
to Himself, for in Him alone is truth and peace,? said she in a voice
trembling with emotion, solemnly holding up in both hands before her
brother a small, oval, antique, dark-faced icon of the Saviour in a gold
setting, on a finely wrought silver chain.

She crossed herself, kissed the icon, and handed it to Andrew.

?Please, Andrew, for my sake!...?

Rays of gentle light shone from her large, timid eyes. Those eyes lit
up the whole of her thin, sickly face and made it beautiful. Her brother
would have taken the icon, but she stopped him. Andrew understood,
crossed himself and kissed the icon. There was a look of tenderness, for
he was touched, but also a gleam of irony on his face.

?Thank you, my dear.? She kissed him on the forehead and sat down
again on the sofa. They were silent for a while.

?As I was saying to you, Andrew, be kind and generous as you always
used to be. Don?t judge Lise harshly,? she began. ?She is so
sweet, so good-natured, and her position now is a very hard one.?

?I do not think I have complained of my wife to you, Másha, or blamed
her. Why do you say all this to me??

Red patches appeared on Princess Mary?s face and she was silent as if
she felt guilty.

?I have said nothing to you, but you have already been talked to. And
I am sorry for that,? he went on.

The patches grew deeper on her forehead, neck, and cheeks. She tried to
say something but could not. Her brother had guessed right: the little
princess had been crying after dinner and had spoken of her forebodings
about her confinement, and how she dreaded it, and had complained of her
fate, her father-in-law, and her husband. After crying she had fallen
asleep. Prince Andrew felt sorry for his sister.

?Know this, Másha: I can?t reproach, have not reproached, and never
shall reproach my wife with anything, and I cannot reproach myself
with anything in regard to her; and that always will be so in whatever
circumstances I may be placed. But if you want to know the truth... if
you want to know whether I am happy? No! Is she happy? No! But why this
is so I don?t know...?

As he said this he rose, went to his sister, and, stooping, kissed
her forehead. His fine eyes lit up with a thoughtful, kindly, and
unaccustomed brightness, but he was looking not at his sister but over
her head toward the darkness of the open doorway.

?Let us go to her, I must say good-by. Or?go and wake and I?ll
come in a moment. Petrúshka!? he called to his valet: ?Come here,
take these away. Put this on the seat and this to the right.?

Princess Mary rose and moved to the door, then stopped and said:
?Andrew, if you had faith you would have turned to God and asked Him
to give you the love you do not feel, and your prayer would have been

?Well, maybe!? said Prince Andrew. ?Go, Másha; I?ll come

On the way to his sister?s room, in the passage which connected one
wing with the other, Prince Andrew met Mademoiselle Bourienne smiling
sweetly. It was the third time that day that, with an ecstatic and
artless smile, she had met him in secluded passages.

?Oh! I thought you were in your room,? she said, for some reason
blushing and dropping her eyes.

Prince Andrew looked sternly at her and an expression of anger suddenly
came over his face. He said nothing to her but looked at her forehead
and hair, without looking at her eyes, with such contempt that the
Frenchwoman blushed and went away without a word. When he reached his
sister?s room his wife was already awake and her merry voice, hurrying
one word after another, came through the open door. She was speaking as
usual in French, and as if after long self-restraint she wished to make
up for lost time.

?No, but imagine the old Countess Zúbova, with false curls and her
mouth full of false teeth, as if she were trying to cheat old age....
Ha, ha, ha! Mary!?

This very sentence about Countess Zúbova and this same laugh Prince
Andrew had already heard from his wife in the presence of others some
five times. He entered the room softly. The little princess, plump and
rosy, was sitting in an easy chair with her work in her hands, talking
incessantly, repeating Petersburg reminiscences and even phrases. Prince
Andrew came up, stroked her hair, and asked if she felt rested after
their journey. She answered him and continued her chatter.

The coach with six horses was waiting at the porch. It was an autumn
night, so dark that the coachman could not see the carriage pole.
Servants with lanterns were bustling about in the porch. The immense
house was brilliant with lights shining through its lofty windows. The
domestic serfs were crowding in the hall, waiting to bid good-by to
the young prince. The members of the household were all gathered in the
reception hall: Michael Ivánovich, Mademoiselle Bourienne, Princess
Mary, and the little princess. Prince Andrew had been called to his
father?s study as the latter wished to say good-by to him alone. All
were waiting for them to come out.

When Prince Andrew entered the study the old man in his old-age
spectacles and white dressing gown, in which he received no one but his
son, sat at the table writing. He glanced round.

?Going?? And he went on writing.

?I?ve come to say good-by.?

?Kiss me here,? and he touched his cheek: ?Thanks, thanks!?

?What do you thank me for??

?For not dilly-dallying and not hanging to a woman?s apron strings.
The Service before everything. Thanks, thanks!? And he went on
writing, so that his quill spluttered and squeaked. ?If you have
anything to say, say it. These two things can be done together,? he

?About my wife... I am ashamed as it is to leave her on your

?Why talk nonsense? Say what you want.?

?When her confinement is due, send to Moscow for an accoucheur.... Let
him be here....?

The old prince stopped writing and, as if not understanding, fixed his
stern eyes on his son.

?I know that no one can help if nature does not do her work,? said
Prince Andrew, evidently confused. ?I know that out of a million
cases only one goes wrong, but it is her fancy and mine. They have been
telling her things. She has had a dream and is frightened.?

?Hm... Hm...? muttered the old prince to himself, finishing what he
was writing. ?I?ll do it.?

He signed with a flourish and suddenly turning to his son began to

?It?s a bad business, eh??

?What is bad, Father??

?The wife!? said the old prince, briefly and significantly.

?I don?t understand!? said Prince Andrew.

?No, it can?t be helped, lad,? said the prince. ?They?re
all like that; one can?t unmarry. Don?t be afraid; I won?t tell
anyone, but you know it yourself.?

He seized his son by the hand with small bony fingers, shook it, looked
straight into his son?s face with keen eyes which seemed to see
through him, and again laughed his frigid laugh.

The son sighed, thus admitting that his father had understood him. The
old man continued to fold and seal his letter, snatching up and throwing
down the wax, the seal, and the paper, with his accustomed rapidity.

?What?s to be done? She?s pretty! I will do everything. Make your
mind easy,? said he in abrupt sentences while sealing his letter.

Andrew did not speak; he was both pleased and displeased that his father
understood him. The old man got up and gave the letter to his son.

?Listen!? said he; ?don?t worry about your wife: what can be
done shall be. Now listen! Give this letter to Michael Ilariónovich. *
I have written that he should make use of you in proper places and not
keep you long as an adjutant: a bad position! Tell him I remember
and like him. Write and tell me how he receives you. If he is all
right?serve him. Nicholas Bolkónski?s son need not serve under
anyone if he is in disfavor. Now come here.?


He spoke so rapidly that he did not finish half his words, but his son
was accustomed to understand him. He led him to the desk, raised the
lid, drew out a drawer, and took out an exercise book filled with his
bold, tall, close handwriting.

?I shall probably die before you. So remember, these are my memoirs;
hand them to the Emperor after my death. Now here is a Lombard bond
and a letter; it is a premium for the man who writes a history of
Suvórov?s wars. Send it to the Academy. Here are some jottings for
you to read when I am gone. You will find them useful.?

Andrew did not tell his father that he would no doubt live a long time
yet. He felt that he must not say it.

?I will do it all, Father,? he said.

?Well, now, good-by!? He gave his son his hand to kiss, and embraced
him. ?Remember this, Prince Andrew, if they kill you it will hurt me,
your old father...? he paused unexpectedly, and then in a querulous
voice suddenly shrieked: ?but if I hear that you have not behaved like
a son of Nicholas Bolkónski, I shall be ashamed!?

?You need not have said that to me, Father,? said the son with a

The old man was silent.

?I also wanted to ask you,? continued Prince Andrew, ?if I?m
killed and if I have a son, do not let him be taken away from you?as I
said yesterday... let him grow up with you.... Please.?

?Not let the wife have him?? said the old man, and laughed.

They stood silent, facing one another. The old man?s sharp eyes were
fixed straight on his son?s. Something twitched in the lower part of
the old prince?s face.

?We?ve said good-by. Go!? he suddenly shouted in a loud, angry
voice, opening his door.

?What is it? What?? asked both princesses when they saw for a moment
at the door Prince Andrew and the figure of the old man in a white
dressing gown, spectacled and wigless, shouting in an angry voice.

Prince Andrew sighed and made no reply.

?Well!? he said, turning to his wife.

And this ?Well!? sounded coldly ironic, as if he were saying: ?Now
go through your performance.?

?Andrew, already!? said the little princess, turning pale and
looking with dismay at her husband.

He embraced her. She screamed and fell unconscious on his shoulder.

He cautiously released the shoulder she leaned on, looked into her face,
and carefully placed her in an easy chair.

?Adieu, Mary,? said he gently to his sister, taking her by the hand
and kissing her, and then he left the room with rapid steps.

The little princess lay in the armchair, Mademoiselle Bourienne chafing
her temples. Princess Mary, supporting her sister-in-law, still looked
with her beautiful eyes full of tears at the door through which Prince
Andrew had gone and made the sign of the cross in his direction. From
the study, like pistol shots, came the frequent sound of the old man
angrily blowing his nose. Hardly had Prince Andrew gone when the study
door opened quickly and the stern figure of the old man in the white
dressing gown looked out.

?Gone? That?s all right!? said he; and looking angrily at the
unconscious little princess, he shook his head reprovingly and slammed
the door.

BOOK TWO: 1805


In October, 1805, a Russian army was occupying the villages and towns of
the Archduchy of Austria, and yet other regiments freshly arriving from
Russia were settling near the fortress of Braunau and burdening the
inhabitants on whom they were quartered. Braunau was the headquarters of
the commander in chief, Kutúzov.

On October 11, 1805, one of the infantry regiments that had just reached
Braunau had halted half a mile from the town, waiting to be inspected
by the commander in chief. Despite the un-Russian appearance of the
locality and surroundings?fruit gardens, stone fences, tiled roofs,
and hills in the distance?and despite the fact that the inhabitants
(who gazed with curiosity at the soldiers) were not Russians, the
regiment had just the appearance of any Russian regiment preparing for
an inspection anywhere in the heart of Russia.

On the evening of the last day?s march an order had been received that
the commander in chief would inspect the regiment on the march. Though
the words of the order were not clear to the regimental commander, and
the question arose whether the troops were to be in marching order or
not, it was decided at a consultation between the battalion commanders
to present the regiment in parade order, on the principle that it is
always better to ?bow too low than not bow low enough.? So the
soldiers, after a twenty-mile march, were kept mending and cleaning all
night long without closing their eyes, while the adjutants and
company commanders calculated and reckoned, and by morning the
regiment?instead of the straggling, disorderly crowd it had been on
its last march the day before?presented a well-ordered array of two
thousand men each of whom knew his place and his duty, had every button
and every strap in place, and shone with cleanliness. And not only
externally was all in order, but had it pleased the commander in chief
to look under the uniforms he would have found on every man a clean
shirt, and in every knapsack the appointed number of articles, ?awl,
soap, and all,? as the soldiers say. There was only one circumstance
concerning which no one could be at ease. It was the state of the
soldiers? boots. More than half the men?s boots were in holes. But
this defect was not due to any fault of the regimental commander, for
in spite of repeated demands boots had not been issued by the Austrian
commissariat, and the regiment had marched some seven hundred miles.

The commander of the regiment was an elderly, choleric, stout, and
thick-set general with grizzled eyebrows and whiskers, and wider from
chest to back than across the shoulders. He had on a brand-new uniform
showing the creases where it had been folded and thick gold epaulettes
which seemed to stand rather than lie down on his massive shoulders. He
had the air of a man happily performing one of the most solemn duties of
his life. He walked about in front of the line and at every step pulled
himself up, slightly arching his back. It was plain that the commander
admired his regiment, rejoiced in it, and that his whole mind was
engrossed by it, yet his strut seemed to indicate that, besides military
matters, social interests and the fair sex occupied no small part of his

?Well, Michael Mítrich, sir?? he said, addressing one of the
battalion commanders who smilingly pressed forward (it was plain that
they both felt happy). ?We had our hands full last night. However, I
think the regiment is not a bad one, eh??

The battalion commander perceived the jovial irony and laughed.

?It would not be turned off the field even on the Tsarítsin

?What?? asked the commander.

At that moment, on the road from the town on which signalers had been
posted, two men appeared on horse back. They were an aide-de-camp
followed by a Cossack.

The aide-de-camp was sent to confirm the order which had not been
clearly worded the day before, namely, that the commander in chief
wished to see the regiment just in the state in which it had been on
the march: in their greatcoats, and packs, and without any preparation

A member of the Hofkriegsrath from Vienna had come to Kutúzov the day
before with proposals and demands for him to join up with the army of
the Archduke Ferdinand and Mack, and Kutúzov, not considering this
junction advisable, meant, among other arguments in support of his view,
to show the Austrian general the wretched state in which the troops
arrived from Russia. With this object he intended to meet the regiment;
so the worse the condition it was in, the better pleased the commander
in chief would be. Though the aide-de-camp did not know these
circumstances, he nevertheless delivered the definite order that the
men should be in their greatcoats and in marching order, and that the
commander in chief would otherwise be dissatisfied. On hearing this the
regimental commander hung his head, silently shrugged his shoulders, and
spread out his arms with a choleric gesture.

?A fine mess we?ve made of it!? he remarked.

?There now! Didn?t I tell you, Michael Mítrich, that if it was said
?on the march? it meant in greatcoats?? said he reproachfully to
the battalion commander. ?Oh, my God!? he added, stepping resolutely
forward. ?Company commanders!? he shouted in a voice accustomed to
command. ?Sergeants major!... How soon will he be here?? he asked
the aide-de-camp with a respectful politeness evidently relating to the
personage he was referring to.

?In an hour?s time, I should say.?

?Shall we have time to change clothes??

?I don?t know, General....?

The regimental commander, going up to the line himself, ordered the
soldiers to change into their greatcoats. The company commanders ran off
to their companies, the sergeants major began bustling (the greatcoats
were not in very good condition), and instantly the squares that had up
to then been in regular order and silent began to sway and stretch and
hum with voices. On all sides soldiers were running to and fro, throwing
up their knapsacks with a jerk of their shoulders and pulling the straps
over their heads, unstrapping their overcoats and drawing the sleeves on
with upraised arms.

In half an hour all was again in order, only the squares had become gray
instead of black. The regimental commander walked with his jerky steps
to the front of the regiment and examined it from a distance.

?Whatever is this? This!? he shouted and stood still. ?Commander
of the third company!?

?Commander of the third company wanted by the general!... commander to
the general... third company to the commander.? The words passed along
the lines and an adjutant ran to look for the missing officer.

When the eager but misrepeated words had reached their destination in
a cry of: ?The general to the third company,? the missing officer
appeared from behind his company and, though he was a middle-aged man
and not in the habit of running, trotted awkwardly stumbling on his
toes toward the general. The captain?s face showed the uneasiness of
a schoolboy who is told to repeat a lesson he has not learned. Spots
appeared on his nose, the redness of which was evidently due to
intemperance, and his mouth twitched nervously. The general looked the
captain up and down as he came up panting, slackening his pace as he

?You will soon be dressing your men in petticoats! What is this??
shouted the regimental commander, thrusting forward his jaw and pointing
at a soldier in the ranks of the third company in a greatcoat of bluish
cloth, which contrasted with the others. ?What have you been after?
The commander in chief is expected and you leave your place? Eh? I?ll
teach you to dress the men in fancy coats for a parade.... Eh...??

The commander of the company, with his eyes fixed on his superior,
pressed two fingers more and more rigidly to his cap, as if in this
pressure lay his only hope of salvation.

?Well, why don?t you speak? Whom have you got there dressed up as a
Hungarian?? said the commander with an austere gibe.

?Your excellency...?

?Well, your excellency, what? Your excellency! But what about your
excellency?... nobody knows.?

?Your excellency, it?s the officer Dólokhov, who has been reduced
to the ranks,? said the captain softly.

?Well? Has he been degraded into a field marshal, or into a soldier?
If a soldier, he should be dressed in regulation uniform like the

?Your excellency, you gave him leave yourself, on the march.?

?Gave him leave? Leave? That?s just like you young men,? said the
regimental commander cooling down a little. ?Leave indeed.... One says
a word to you and you... What?? he added with renewed irritation, ?I
beg you to dress your men decently.?

And the commander, turning to look at the adjutant, directed his jerky
steps down the line. He was evidently pleased at his own display of
anger and walking up to the regiment wished to find a further excuse for
wrath. Having snapped at an officer for an unpolished badge, at another
because his line was not straight, he reached the third company.

?H-o-o-w are you standing? Where?s your leg? Your leg?? shouted
the commander with a tone of suffering in his voice, while there were
still five men between him and Dólokhov with his bluish-gray uniform.

Dólokhov slowly straightened his bent knee, looking straight with his
clear, insolent eyes in the general?s face.

?Why a blue coat? Off with it... Sergeant major! Change his coat...
the ras...? he did not finish.

?General, I must obey orders, but I am not bound to endure...?
Dólokhov hurriedly interrupted.

?No talking in the ranks!... No talking, no talking!?

?Not bound to endure insults,? Dólokhov concluded in loud, ringing

The eyes of the general and the soldier met. The general became silent,
angrily pulling down his tight scarf.

?I request you to have the goodness to change your coat,? he said as
he turned away.


?He?s coming!? shouted the signaler at that moment.

The regimental commander, flushing, ran to his horse, seized the stirrup
with trembling hands, threw his body across the saddle, righted himself,
drew his saber, and with a happy and resolute countenance, opening
his mouth awry, prepared to shout. The regiment fluttered like a bird
preening its plumage and became motionless.

?Att-ention!? shouted the regimental commander in a soul-shaking
voice which expressed joy for himself, severity for the regiment, and
welcome for the approaching chief.

Along the broad country road, edged on both sides by trees, came a high,
light blue Viennese calèche, slightly creaking on its springs and drawn
by six horses at a smart trot. Behind the calèche galloped the suite
and a convoy of Croats. Beside Kutúzov sat an Austrian general, in
a white uniform that looked strange among the Russian black ones. The
calèche stopped in front of the regiment. Kutúzov and the Austrian
general were talking in low voices and Kutúzov smiled slightly as
treading heavily he stepped down from the carriage just as if those two
thousand men breathlessly gazing at him and the regimental commander did
not exist.

The word of command rang out, and again the regiment quivered, as with a
jingling sound it presented arms. Then amidst a dead silence the
feeble voice of the commander in chief was heard. The regiment roared,
?Health to your ex... len... len... lency!? and again all became
silent. At first Kutúzov stood still while the regiment moved; then he
and the general in white, accompanied by the suite, walked between the

From the way the regimental commander saluted the commander in chief and
devoured him with his eyes, drawing himself up obsequiously, and from
the way he walked through the ranks behind the generals, bending forward
and hardly able to restrain his jerky movements, and from the way he
darted forward at every word or gesture of the commander in chief,
it was evident that he performed his duty as a subordinate with even
greater zeal than his duty as a commander. Thanks to the strictness and
assiduity of its commander the regiment, in comparison with others that
had reached Braunau at the same time, was in splendid condition. There
were only 217 sick and stragglers. Everything was in good order except
the boots.

Kutúzov walked through the ranks, sometimes stopping to say a few
friendly words to officers he had known in the Turkish war, sometimes
also to the soldiers. Looking at their boots he several times shook his
head sadly, pointing them out to the Austrian general with an expression
which seemed to say that he was not blaming anyone, but could not help
noticing what a bad state of things it was. The regimental commander
ran forward on each such occasion, fearing to miss a single word of the
commander in chief?s regarding the regiment. Behind Kutúzov, at a
distance that allowed every softly spoken word to be heard, followed
some twenty men of his suite. These gentlemen talked among themselves
and sometimes laughed. Nearest of all to the commander in chief walked
a handsome adjutant. This was Prince Bolkónski. Beside him was his
comrade Nesvítski, a tall staff officer, extremely stout, with a
kindly, smiling, handsome face and moist eyes. Nesvítski could hardly
keep from laughter provoked by a swarthy hussar officer who walked
beside him. This hussar, with a grave face and without a smile or a
change in the expression of his fixed eyes, watched the regimental
commander?s back and mimicked his every movement. Each time the
commander started and bent forward, the hussar started and bent forward
in exactly the same manner. Nesvítski laughed and nudged the others to
make them look at the wag.

Kutúzov walked slowly and languidly past thousands of eyes which were
starting from their sockets to watch their chief. On reaching the
third company he suddenly stopped. His suite, not having expected this,
involuntarily came closer to him.

?Ah, Timókhin!? said he, recognizing the red-nosed captain who had
been reprimanded on account of the blue greatcoat.

One would have thought it impossible for a man to stretch himself
more than Timókhin had done when he was reprimanded by the regimental
commander, but now that the commander in chief addressed him he drew
himself up to such an extent that it seemed he could not have sustained
it had the commander in chief continued to look at him, and so Kutúzov,
who evidently understood his case and wished him nothing but good,
quickly turned away, a scarcely perceptible smile flitting over his
scarred and puffy face.

?Another Ismail comrade,? said he. ?A brave officer! Are you
satisfied with him?? he asked the regimental commander.

And the latter?unconscious that he was being reflected in the hussar
officer as in a looking glass?started, moved forward, and answered:
?Highly satisfied, your excellency!?

?We all have our weaknesses,? said Kutúzov smiling and walking away
from him. ?He used to have a predilection for Bacchus.?

The regimental commander was afraid he might be blamed for this and did
not answer. The hussar at that moment noticed the face of the red-nosed
captain and his drawn-in stomach, and mimicked his expression and pose
with such exactitude that Nesvítski could not help laughing. Kutúzov
turned round. The officer evidently had complete control of his face,
and while Kutúzov was turning managed to make a grimace and then assume
a most serious, deferential, and innocent expression.

The third company was the last, and Kutúzov pondered, apparently trying
to recollect something. Prince Andrew stepped forward from among the
suite and said in French:

?You told me to remind you of the officer Dólokhov, reduced to the
ranks in this regiment.?

?Where is Dólokhov?? asked Kutúzov.

Dólokhov, who had already changed into a soldier?s gray greatcoat,
did not wait to be called. The shapely figure of the fair-haired
soldier, with his clear blue eyes, stepped forward from the ranks, went
up to the commander in chief, and presented arms.

?Have you a complaint to make?? Kutúzov asked with a slight frown.

?This is Dólokhov,? said Prince Andrew.

?Ah!? said Kutúzov. ?I hope this will be a lesson to you. Do your
duty. The Emperor is gracious, and I shan?t forget you if you deserve

The clear blue eyes looked at the commander in chief just as boldly as
they had looked at the regimental commander, seeming by their expression
to tear open the veil of convention that separates a commander in chief
so widely from a private.

?One thing I ask of your excellency,? Dólokhov said in his firm,
ringing, deliberate voice. ?I ask an opportunity to atone for my fault
and prove my devotion to His Majesty the Emperor and to Russia!?

Kutúzov turned away. The same smile of the eyes with which he had
turned from Captain Timókhin again flitted over his face. He turned
away with a grimace as if to say that everything Dólokhov had said to
him and everything he could say had long been known to him, that he was
weary of it and it was not at all what he wanted. He turned away and
went to the carriage.

The regiment broke up into companies, which went to their appointed
quarters near Braunau, where they hoped to receive boots and clothes and
to rest after their hard marches.

?You won?t bear me a grudge, Prokhór Ignátych?? said the
regimental commander, overtaking the third company on its way to its
quarters and riding up to Captain Timókhin who was walking in front.
(The regimental commander?s face now that the inspection was happily
over beamed with irrepressible delight.) ?It?s in the Emperor?s
service... it can?t be helped... one is sometimes a bit hasty on
parade... I am the first to apologize, you know me!... He was very
pleased!? And he held out his hand to the captain.

?Don?t mention it, General, as if I?d be so bold!? replied the
captain, his nose growing redder as he gave a smile which showed where
two front teeth were missing that had been knocked out by the butt end
of a gun at Ismail.

?And tell Mr. Dólokhov that I won?t forget him?he may be quite
easy. And tell me, please?I?ve been meaning to ask?how is he
behaving himself, and in general...?

?As far as the service goes he is quite punctilious, your excellency;
but his character...? said Timókhin.

?And what about his character?? asked the regimental commander.

?It?s different on different days,? answered the captain. ?One
day he is sensible, well educated, and good-natured, and the next he?s
a wild beast.... In Poland, if you please, he nearly killed a Jew.?

?Oh, well, well!? remarked the regimental commander. ?Still, one
must have pity on a young man in misfortune. You know he has important
connections... Well, then, you just...?

?I will, your excellency,? said Timókhin, showing by his smile that
he understood his commander?s wish.

?Well, of course, of course!?

The regimental commander sought out Dólokhov in the ranks and, reining
in his horse, said to him:

?After the next affair... epaulettes.?

Dólokhov looked round but did not say anything, nor did the mocking
smile on his lips change.

?Well, that?s all right,? continued the regimental commander. ?A
cup of vodka for the men from me,? he added so that the soldiers
could hear. ?I thank you all! God be praised!? and he rode past that
company and overtook the next one.

?Well, he?s really a good fellow, one can serve under him,? said
Timókhin to the subaltern beside him.

?In a word, a hearty one...? said the subaltern, laughing (the
regimental commander was nicknamed King of Hearts).

The cheerful mood of their officers after the inspection infected the
soldiers. The company marched on gaily. The soldiers? voices could be
heard on every side.

?And they said Kutúzov was blind of one eye??

?And so he is! Quite blind!?

?No, friend, he is sharper-eyed than you are. Boots and leg bands...
he noticed everything...?

?When he looked at my feet, friend... well, thinks I...?

?And that other one with him, the Austrian, looked as if he were
smeared with chalk?as white as flour! I suppose they polish him up as
they do the guns.?

?I say, Fédeshon!... Did he say when the battles are to begin? You
were near him. Everybody said that Buonaparte himself was at Braunau.?

?Buonaparte himself!... Just listen to the fool, what he doesn?t
know! The Prussians are up in arms now. The Austrians, you see, are
putting them down. When they?ve been put down, the war with Buonaparte
will begin. And he says Buonaparte is in Braunau! Shows you?re a fool.
You?d better listen more carefully!?

?What devils these quartermasters are! See, the fifth company is
turning into the village already... they will have their buckwheat
cooked before we reach our quarters.?

?Give me a biscuit, you devil!?

?And did you give me tobacco yesterday? That?s just it, friend! Ah,
well, never mind, here you are.?

?They might call a halt here or we?ll have to do another four miles
without eating.?

?Wasn?t it fine when those Germans gave us lifts! You just sit still
and are drawn along.?

?And here, friend, the people are quite beggarly. There they all
seemed to be Poles?all under the Russian crown?but here they?re
all regular Germans.?

?Singers to the front? came the captain?s order.

And from the different ranks some twenty men ran to the front. A
drummer, their leader, turned round facing the singers, and flourishing
his arm, began a long-drawn-out soldiers? song, commencing with the
words: ?Morning dawned, the sun was rising,? and concluding: ?On
then, brothers, on to glory, led by Father Kámenski.? This song had
been composed in the Turkish campaign and now being sung in Austria, the
only change being that the words ?Father Kámenski? were replaced by
?Father Kutúzov.?

Having jerked out these last words as soldiers do and waved his arms
as if flinging something to the ground, the drummer?a lean, handsome
soldier of forty?looked sternly at the singers and screwed up his
eyes. Then having satisfied himself that all eyes were fixed on him,
he raised both arms as if carefully lifting some invisible but precious
object above his head and, holding it there for some seconds, suddenly
flung it down and began:

?Oh, my bower, oh, my bower...!?

?Oh, my bower new...!? chimed in twenty voices, and the castanet
player, in spite of the burden of his equipment, rushed out to the front
and, walking backwards before the company, jerked his shoulders and
flourished his castanets as if threatening someone. The soldiers,
swinging their arms and keeping time spontaneously, marched with long
steps. Behind the company the sound of wheels, the creaking of springs,
and the tramp of horses? hoofs were heard. Kutúzov and his suite were
returning to the town. The commander in chief made a sign that the
men should continue to march at ease, and he and all his suite showed
pleasure at the sound of the singing and the sight of the dancing
soldier and the gay and smartly marching men. In the second file
from the right flank, beside which the carriage passed the company,
a blue-eyed soldier involuntarily attracted notice. It was Dólokhov
marching with particular grace and boldness in time to the song and
looking at those driving past as if he pitied all who were not at that
moment marching with the company. The hussar cornet of Kutúzov?s
suite who had mimicked the regimental commander, fell back from the
carriage and rode up to Dólokhov.

Hussar cornet Zherkóv had at one time, in Petersburg, belonged to
the wild set led by Dólokhov. Zherkóv had met Dólokhov abroad as a
private and had not seen fit to recognize him. But now that Kutúzov had
spoken to the gentleman ranker, he addressed him with the cordiality of
an old friend.

?My dear fellow, how are you?? said he through the singing, making
his horse keep pace with the company.

?How am I?? Dólokhov answered coldly. ?I am as you see.?

The lively song gave a special flavor to the tone of free and easy
gaiety with which Zherkóv spoke, and to the intentional coldness of
Dólokhov?s reply.

?And how do you get on with the officers?? inquired Zherkóv.

?All right. They are good fellows. And how have you wriggled onto the

?I was attached; I?m on duty.?

Both were silent.

?She let the hawk fly upward from her wide right sleeve,? went the
song, arousing an involuntary sensation of courage and cheerfulness.
Their conversation would probably have been different but for the effect
of that song.

?Is it true that Austrians have been beaten?? asked Dólokhov.

?The devil only knows! They say so.?

?I?m glad,? answered Dólokhov briefly and clearly, as the song

?I say, come round some evening and we?ll have a game of faro!?
said Zherkóv.

?Why, have you too much money??

?Do come.?

?I can?t. I?ve sworn not to. I won?t drink and won?t play till
I get reinstated.?

?Well, that?s only till the first engagement.?

?We shall see.?

They were again silent.

?Come if you need anything. One can at least be of use on the

Dólokhov smiled. ?Don?t trouble. If I want anything, I won?t
beg?I?ll take it!?

?Well, never mind; I only...?

?And I only...?


?Good health...?

        ?It?s a long, long way.
        To my native land...?

Zherkóv touched his horse with the spurs; it pranced excitedly from
foot to foot uncertain with which to start, then settled down, galloped
past the company, and overtook the carriage, still keeping time to the


On returning from the review, Kutúzov took the Austrian general into
his private room and, calling his adjutant, asked for some papers
relating to the condition of the troops on their arrival, and the
letters that had come from the Archduke Ferdinand, who was in command of
the advanced army. Prince Andrew Bolkónski came into the room with the
required papers. Kutúzov and the Austrian member of the Hofkriegsrath
were sitting at the table on which a plan was spread out.

?Ah!...? said Kutúzov glancing at Bolkónski as if by this
exclamation he was asking the adjutant to wait, and he went on with the
conversation in French.

?All I can say, General,? said he with a pleasant elegance
of expression and intonation that obliged one to listen to each
deliberately spoken word. It was evident that Kutúzov himself listened
with pleasure to his own voice. ?All I can say, General, is that if
the matter depended on my personal wishes, the will of His Majesty the
Emperor Francis would have been fulfilled long ago. I should long
ago have joined the archduke. And believe me on my honour that to me
personally it would be a pleasure to hand over the supreme command
of the army into the hands of a better informed and more skillful
general?of whom Austria has so many?and to lay down all this heavy
responsibility. But circumstances are sometimes too strong for us,

And Kutúzov smiled in a way that seemed to say, ?You are quite at
liberty not to believe me and I don?t even care whether you do or
not, but you have no grounds for telling me so. And that is the whole

The Austrian general looked dissatisfied, but had no option but to reply
in the same tone.

?On the contrary,? he said, in a querulous and angry tone that
contrasted with his flattering words, ?on the contrary, your
excellency?s participation in the common action is highly valued by
His Majesty; but we think the present delay is depriving the splendid
Russian troops and their commander of the laurels they have been
accustomed to win in their battles,? he concluded his evidently
prearranged sentence.

Kutúzov bowed with the same smile.

?But that is my conviction, and judging by the last letter with which
His Highness the Archduke Ferdinand has honored me, I imagine that the
Austrian troops, under the direction of so skillful a leader as General
Mack, have by now already gained a decisive victory and no longer need
our aid,? said Kutúzov.

The general frowned. Though there was no definite news of an Austrian
defeat, there were many circumstances confirming the unfavorable rumors
that were afloat, and so Kutúzov?s suggestion of an Austrian victory
sounded much like irony. But Kutúzov went on blandly smiling with the
same expression, which seemed to say that he had a right to suppose
so. And, in fact, the last letter he had received from Mack?s army
informed him of a victory and stated strategically the position of the
army was very favorable.

?Give me that letter,? said Kutúzov turning to Prince Andrew.
?Please have a look at it??and Kutúzov with an ironical smile
about the corners of his mouth read to the Austrian general the
following passage, in German, from the Archduke Ferdinand?s letter:

We have fully concentrated forces of nearly seventy thousand men with
which to attack and defeat the enemy should he cross the Lech. Also,
as we are masters of Ulm, we cannot be deprived of the advantage of
commanding both sides of the Danube, so that should the enemy not
cross the Lech, we can cross the Danube, throw ourselves on his line
of communications, recross the river lower down, and frustrate his
intention should he try to direct his whole force against our faithful
ally. We shall therefore confidently await the moment when the Imperial
Russian army will be fully equipped, and shall then, in conjunction with
it, easily find a way to prepare for the enemy the fate he deserves.

Kutúzov sighed deeply on finishing this paragraph and looked at the
member of the Hofkriegsrath mildly and attentively.

?But you know the wise maxim your excellency, advising one to expect
the worst,? said the Austrian general, evidently wishing to have done
with jests and to come to business. He involuntarily looked round at the

?Excuse me, General,? interrupted Kutúzov, also turning to Prince
Andrew. ?Look here, my dear fellow, get from Kozlóvski all the
reports from our scouts. Here are two letters from Count Nostitz and
here is one from His Highness the Archduke Ferdinand and here are
these,? he said, handing him several papers, ?make a neat memorandum
in French out of all this, showing all the news we have had of the
movements of the Austrian army, and then give it to his excellency.?

Prince Andrew bowed his head in token of having understood from the
first not only what had been said but also what Kutúzov would have
liked to tell him. He gathered up the papers and with a bow to both,
stepped softly over the carpet and went out into the waiting room.

Though not much time had passed since Prince Andrew had left Russia, he
had changed greatly during that period. In the expression of his face,
in his movements, in his walk, scarcely a trace was left of his former
affected languor and indolence. He now looked like a man who has time
to think of the impression he makes on others, but is occupied with
agreeable and interesting work. His face expressed more satisfaction
with himself and those around him, his smile and glance were brighter
and more attractive.

Kutúzov, whom he had overtaken in Poland, had received him very kindly,
promised not to forget him, distinguished him above the other adjutants,
and had taken him to Vienna and given him the more serious commissions.
From Vienna Kutúzov wrote to his old comrade, Prince Andrew?s father.

Your son bids fair to become an officer distinguished by his industry,
firmness, and expedition. I consider myself fortunate to have such a
subordinate by me.

On Kutúzov?s staff, among his fellow officers and in the army
generally, Prince Andrew had, as he had had in Petersburg society, two
quite opposite reputations. Some, a minority, acknowledged him to be
different from themselves and from everyone else, expected great things
of him, listened to him, admired, and imitated him, and with them Prince
Andrew was natural and pleasant. Others, the majority, disliked him and
considered him conceited, cold, and disagreeable. But among these people
Prince Andrew knew how to take his stand so that they respected and even
feared him.

Coming out of Kutúzov?s room into the waiting room with the papers in
his hand Prince Andrew came up to his comrade, the aide-de-camp on duty,
Kozlóvski, who was sitting at the window with a book.

?Well, Prince?? asked Kozlóvski.

?I am ordered to write a memorandum explaining why we are not

?And why is it??

Prince Andrew shrugged his shoulders.

?Any news from Mack??


?If it were true that he has been beaten, news would have come.?

?Probably,? said Prince Andrew moving toward the outer door.

But at that instant a tall Austrian general in a greatcoat, with the
order of Maria Theresa on his neck and a black bandage round his head,
who had evidently just arrived, entered quickly, slamming the door.
Prince Andrew stopped short.

?Commander in Chief Kutúzov?? said the newly arrived general
speaking quickly with a harsh German accent, looking to both sides and
advancing straight toward the inner door.

?The commander in chief is engaged,? said Kozlóvski, going
hurriedly up to the unknown general and blocking his way to the door.
?Whom shall I announce??

The unknown general looked disdainfully down at Kozlóvski, who was
rather short, as if surprised that anyone should not know him.

?The commander in chief is engaged,? repeated Kozlóvski calmly.

The general?s face clouded, his lips quivered and trembled. He took
out a notebook, hurriedly scribbled something in pencil, tore out the
leaf, gave it to Kozlóvski, stepped quickly to the window, and threw
himself into a chair, gazing at those in the room as if asking, ?Why
do they look at me?? Then he lifted his head, stretched his neck as
if he intended to say something, but immediately, with affected
indifference, began to hum to himself, producing a queer sound which
immediately broke off. The door of the private room opened and Kutúzov
appeared in the doorway. The general with the bandaged head bent forward
as though running away from some danger, and, making long, quick strides
with his thin legs, went up to Kutúzov.

?Vous voyez le malheureux Mack,? he uttered in a broken voice.

Kutúzov?s face as he stood in the open doorway remained perfectly
immobile for a few moments. Then wrinkles ran over his face like a wave
and his forehead became smooth again, he bowed his head respectfully,
closed his eyes, silently let Mack enter his room before him, and closed
the door himself behind him.

The report which had been circulated that the Austrians had been beaten
and that the whole army had surrendered at Ulm proved to be correct.
Within half an hour adjutants had been sent in various directions with
orders which showed that the Russian troops, who had hitherto been
inactive, would also soon have to meet the enemy.

Prince Andrew was one of those rare staff officers whose chief interest
lay in the general progress of the war. When he saw Mack and heard the
details of his disaster he understood that half the campaign was lost,
understood all the difficulties of the Russian army?s position, and
vividly imagined what awaited it and the part he would have to
play. Involuntarily he felt a joyful agitation at the thought of the
humiliation of arrogant Austria and that in a week?s time he might,
perhaps, see and take part in the first Russian encounter with the
French since Suvórov met them. He feared that Bonaparte?s genius
might outweigh all the courage of the Russian troops, and at the same
time could not admit the idea of his hero being disgraced.

Excited and irritated by these thoughts Prince Andrew went toward his
room to write to his father, to whom he wrote every day. In the corridor
he met Nesvítski, with whom he shared a room, and the wag Zherkóv;
they were as usual laughing.

?Why are you so glum?? asked Nesvítski noticing Prince Andrew?s
pale face and glittering eyes.

?There?s nothing to be gay about,? answered Bolkónski.

Just as Prince Andrew met Nesvítski and Zherkóv, there came toward
them from the other end of the corridor, Strauch, an Austrian general
who on Kutúzov?s staff in charge of the provisioning of the Russian
army, and the member of the Hofkriegsrath who had arrived the previous
evening. There was room enough in the wide corridor for the generals to
pass the three officers quite easily, but Zherkóv, pushing Nesvítski
aside with his arm, said in a breathless voice,

?They?re coming!... they?re coming!... Stand aside, make way,
please make way!?

The generals were passing by, looking as if they wished to avoid
embarrassing attentions. On the face of the wag Zherkóv there suddenly
appeared a stupid smile of glee which he seemed unable to suppress.

?Your excellency,? said he in German, stepping forward and
addressing the Austrian general, ?I have the honor to congratulate

He bowed his head and scraped first with one foot and then with the
other, awkwardly, like a child at a dancing lesson.

The member of the Hofkriegsrath looked at him severely but, seeing the
seriousness of his stupid smile, could not but give him a moment?s
attention. He screwed up his eyes showing that he was listening.

?I have the honor to congratulate you. General Mack has arrived, quite
well, only a little bruised just here,? he added, pointing with a
beaming smile to his head.

The general frowned, turned away, and went on.

?Gott, wie naiv!? * said he angrily, after he had gone a few steps.

     * ?Good God, what simplicity!?

Nesvítski with a laugh threw his arms round Prince Andrew, but
Bolkónski, turning still paler, pushed him away with an angry look and
turned to Zherkóv. The nervous irritation aroused by the appearance
of Mack, the news of his defeat, and the thought of what lay before the
Russian army found vent in anger at Zherkóv?s untimely jest.

?If you, sir, choose to make a buffoon of yourself,? he said
sharply, with a slight trembling of the lower jaw, ?I can?t prevent
your doing so; but I warn you that if you dare to play the fool in my
presence, I will teach you to behave yourself.?

Nesvítski and Zherkóv were so surprised by this outburst that they
gazed at Bolkónski silently with wide-open eyes.

?What?s the matter? I only congratulated them,? said Zherkóv.

?I am not jesting with you; please be silent!? cried Bolkónski,
and taking Nesvítski?s arm he left Zherkóv, who did not know what to

?Come, what?s the matter, old fellow?? said Nesvítski trying to
soothe him.

?What?s the matter?? exclaimed Prince Andrew standing still in
his excitement. ?Don?t you understand that either we are officers
serving our Tsar and our country, rejoicing in the successes and
grieving at the misfortunes of our common cause, or we are merely
lackeys who care nothing for their master?s business. Quarante mille
hommes massacrés et l?armée de nos alliés détruite, et vous
trouvez là le mot pour rire,? * he said, as if strengthening his
views by this French sentence. ?C?est bien pour un garçon de rien
comme cet individu dont vous avez fait un ami, mais pas pour vous, pas
pour vous. *(2) Only a hobbledehoy could amuse himself in this
way,? he added in Russian?but pronouncing the word with a French
accent?having noticed that Zherkóv could still hear him.

     * ?Forty thousand men massacred and the army of our allies
     destroyed, and you find that a cause for jesting!?

     * (2) ?It is all very well for that good-for-nothing fellow
     of whom you have made a friend, but not for you, not for

He waited a moment to see whether the cornet would answer, but he turned
and went out of the corridor.


The Pávlograd Hussars were stationed two miles from Braunau. The
squadron in which Nicholas Rostóv served as a cadet was quartered in
the German village of Salzeneck. The best quarters in the village were
assigned to cavalry-captain Denísov, the squadron commander, known
throughout the whole cavalry division as Váska Denísov. Cadet Rostóv,
ever since he had overtaken the regiment in Poland, had lived with the
squadron commander.

On October 11, the day when all was astir at headquarters over the news
of Mack?s defeat, the camp life of the officers of this squadron was
proceeding as usual. Denísov, who had been losing at cards all night,
had not yet come home when Rostóv rode back early in the morning from
a foraging expedition. Rostóv in his cadet uniform, with a jerk to his
horse, rode up to the porch, swung his leg over the saddle with a supple
youthful movement, stood for a moment in the stirrup as if loathe to
part from his horse, and at last sprang down and called to his orderly.

?Ah, Bondarénko, dear friend!? said he to the hussar who rushed up
headlong to the horse. ?Walk him up and down, my dear fellow,? he
continued, with that gay brotherly cordiality which goodhearted young
people show to everyone when they are happy.

?Yes, your excellency,? answered the Ukrainian gaily, tossing his

?Mind, walk him up and down well!?

Another hussar also rushed toward the horse, but Bondarénko had already
thrown the reins of the snaffle bridle over the horse?s head. It was
evident that the cadet was liberal with his tips and that it paid to
serve him. Rostóv patted the horse?s neck and then his flank, and
lingered for a moment.

?Splendid! What a horse he will be!? he thought with a smile, and
holding up his saber, his spurs jingling, he ran up the steps of the
porch. His landlord, who in a waistcoat and a pointed cap, pitchfork in
hand, was clearing manure from the cowhouse, looked out, and his face
immediately brightened on seeing Rostóv. ?Schön gut Morgen! Schön
gut Morgen!? * he said winking with a merry smile, evidently pleased
to greet the young man.

    * ?A very good morning! A very good morning!?

?Schon fleissig?? * said Rostóv with the same gay brotherly smile
which did not leave his eager face. ?Hoch Oestreicher! Hoch Russen!
Kaiser Alexander hoch!? *(2) said he, quoting words often repeated by
the German landlord.

    * ?Busy already??

    * (2) ?Hurrah for the Austrians! Hurrah for the Russians!
     Hurrah for Emperor Alexander!?

The German laughed, came out of the cowshed, pulled off his cap, and
waving it above his head cried:

?Und die ganze Welt hoch!? *

    * ?And hurrah for the whole world!?

Rostóv waved his cap above his head like the German and cried laughing,
?Und vivat die ganze Welt!? Though neither the German cleaning his
cowshed nor Rostóv back with his platoon from foraging for hay had any
reason for rejoicing, they looked at each other with joyful delight and
brotherly love, wagged their heads in token of their mutual affection,
and parted smiling, the German returning to his cowshed and Rostóv
going to the cottage he occupied with Denísov.

?What about your master?? he asked Lavrúshka, Denísov?s orderly,
whom all the regiment knew for a rogue.

?Hasn?t been in since the evening. Must have been losing,?
answered Lavrúshka. ?I know by now, if he wins he comes back early to
brag about it, but if he stays out till morning it means he?s lost and
will come back in a rage. Will you have coffee??

?Yes, bring some.?

Ten minutes later Lavrúshka brought the coffee. ?He?s coming!?
said he. ?Now for trouble!? Rostóv looked out of the window and
saw Denísov coming home. Denísov was a small man with a red face,
sparkling black eyes, and black tousled mustache and hair. He wore an
unfastened cloak, wide breeches hanging down in creases, and a crumpled
shako on the back of his head. He came up to the porch gloomily, hanging
his head.

?Lavwúska!? he shouted loudly and angrily, ?take it off,

?Well, I am taking it off,? replied Lavrúshka?s voice.

?Ah, you?re up already,? said Denísov, entering the room.

?Long ago,? answered Rostóv, ?I have already been for the hay,
and have seen Fräulein Mathilde.?

?Weally! And I?ve been losing, bwother. I lost yesterday like a
damned fool!? cried Denísov, not pronouncing his r?s. ?Such ill
luck! Such ill luck. As soon as you left, it began and went on. Hullo
there! Tea!?

Puckering up his face though smiling, and showing his short strong
teeth, he began with stubby fingers of both hands to ruffle up his thick
tangled black hair.

?And what devil made me go to that wat?? (an officer nicknamed
?the rat?) he said, rubbing his forehead and whole face with both
hands. ?Just fancy, he didn?t let me win a single cahd, not one

He took the lighted pipe that was offered to him, gripped it in his
fist, and tapped it on the floor, making the sparks fly, while he
continued to shout.

?He lets one win the singles and collahs it as soon as one doubles it;
gives the singles and snatches the doubles!?

He scattered the burning tobacco, smashed the pipe, and threw it away.
Then he remained silent for a while, and all at once looked cheerfully
with his glittering, black eyes at Rostóv.

?If at least we had some women here; but there?s nothing foh one
to do but dwink. If we could only get to fighting soon. Hullo, who?s
there?? he said, turning to the door as he heard a tread of heavy
boots and the clinking of spurs that came to a stop, and a respectful

?The squadron quartermaster!? said Lavrúshka.

Denísov?s face puckered still more.

?Wetched!? he muttered, throwing down a purse with some gold in it.
?Wostóv, deah fellow, just see how much there is left and shove the
purse undah the pillow,? he said, and went out to the quartermaster.

Rostóv took the money and, mechanically arranging the old and new coins
in separate piles, began counting them.

?Ah! Telyánin! How d?ye do? They plucked me last night,? came
Denísov?s voice from the next room.

?Where? At Bykov?s, at the rat?s... I knew it,? replied a piping
voice, and Lieutenant Telyánin, a small officer of the same squadron,
entered the room.

Rostóv thrust the purse under the pillow and shook the damp little hand
which was offered him. Telyánin for some reason had been transferred
from the Guards just before this campaign. He behaved very well in the
regiment but was not liked; Rostóv especially detested him and was
unable to overcome or conceal his groundless antipathy to the man.

?Well, young cavalryman, how is my Rook behaving?? he asked. (Rook
was a young horse Telyánin had sold to Rostóv.)

The lieutenant never looked the man he was speaking to straight in the
face; his eyes continually wandered from one object to another.

?I saw you riding this morning...? he added.

?Oh, he?s all right, a good horse,? answered Rostóv, though the
horse for which he had paid seven hundred rubbles was not worth half
that sum. ?He?s begun to go a little lame on the left foreleg,? he

?The hoof?s cracked! That?s nothing. I?ll teach you what to do
and show you what kind of rivet to use.?

?Yes, please do,? said Rostóv.

?I?ll show you, I?ll show you! It?s not a secret. And it?s a
horse you?ll thank me for.?

?Then I?ll have it brought round,? said Rostóv wishing to avoid
Telyánin, and he went out to give the order.

In the passage Denísov, with a pipe, was squatting on the threshold
facing the quartermaster who was reporting to him. On seeing Rostóv,
Denísov screwed up his face and pointing over his shoulder with his
thumb to the room where Telyánin was sitting, he frowned and gave a
shudder of disgust.

?Ugh! I don?t like that fellow,? he said, regardless of the
quartermaster?s presence.

Rostóv shrugged his shoulders as much as to say: ?Nor do I, but
what?s one to do?? and, having given his order, he returned to

Telyánin was sitting in the same indolent pose in which Rostóv had
left him, rubbing his small white hands.

?Well there certainly are disgusting people,? thought Rostóv as he

?Have you told them to bring the horse?? asked Telyánin, getting up
and looking carelessly about him.

?I have.?

?Let us go ourselves. I only came round to ask Denísov about
yesterday?s order. Have you got it, Denísov??

?Not yet. But where are you off to??

?I want to teach this young man how to shoe a horse,? said

They went through the porch and into the stable. The lieutenant
explained how to rivet the hoof and went away to his own quarters.

When Rostóv went back there was a bottle of vodka and a sausage on the
table. Denísov was sitting there scratching with his pen on a sheet of
paper. He looked gloomily in Rostóv?s face and said: ?I am witing
to her.?

He leaned his elbows on the table with his pen in his hand and,
evidently glad of a chance to say quicker in words what he wanted to
write, told Rostóv the contents of his letter.

?You see, my fwiend,? he said, ?we sleep when we don?t love. We
are childwen of the dust... but one falls in love and one is a God, one
is pua? as on the fihst day of cweation... Who?s that now? Send him
to the devil, I?m busy!? he shouted to Lavrúshka, who went up to
him not in the least abashed.

?Who should it be? You yourself told him to come. It?s the
quartermaster for the money.?

Denísov frowned and was about to shout some reply but stopped.

?Wetched business,? he muttered to himself. ?How much is left in
the puhse?? he asked, turning to Rostóv.

?Seven new and three old imperials.?

?Oh, it?s wetched! Well, what are you standing there for, you
sca?cwow? Call the quahtehmasteh,? he shouted to Lavrúshka.

?Please, Denísov, let me lend you some: I have some, you know,?
said Rostóv, blushing.

?Don?t like bowwowing from my own fellows, I don?t,? growled

?But if you won?t accept money from me like a comrade, you will
offend me. Really I have some,? Rostóv repeated.

?No, I tell you.?

And Denísov went to the bed to get the purse from under the pillow.

?Where have you put it, Wostóv??

?Under the lower pillow.?

?It?s not there.?

Denísov threw both pillows on the floor. The purse was not there.

?That?s a miwacle.?

?Wait, haven?t you dropped it?? said Rostóv, picking up the
pillows one at a time and shaking them.

He pulled off the quilt and shook it. The purse was not there.

?Dear me, can I have forgotten? No, I remember thinking that you kept
it under your head like a treasure,? said Rostóv. ?I put it just
here. Where is it?? he asked, turning to Lavrúshka.

?I haven?t been in the room. It must be where you put it.?

?But it isn?t?...?

?You?re always like that; you thwow a thing down anywhere and forget
it. Feel in your pockets.?

?No, if I hadn?t thought of it being a treasure,? said Rostóv,
?but I remember putting it there.?

Lavrúshka turned all the bedding over, looked under the bed and under
the table, searched everywhere, and stood still in the middle of the
room. Denísov silently watched Lavrúshka?s movements, and when the
latter threw up his arms in surprise saying it was nowhere to be found
Denísov glanced at Rostóv.

?Wostóv, you?ve not been playing schoolboy twicks...?

Rostóv felt Denísov?s gaze fixed on him, raised his eyes, and
instantly dropped them again. All the blood which had seemed congested
somewhere below his throat rushed to his face and eyes. He could not
draw breath.

?And there hasn?t been anyone in the room except the lieutenant and
yourselves. It must be here somewhere,? said Lavrúshka.

?Now then, you devil?s puppet, look alive and hunt for it!?
shouted Denísov, suddenly, turning purple and rushing at the man with
a threatening gesture. ?If the purse isn?t found I?ll flog you,
I?ll flog you all.?

Rostóv, his eyes avoiding Denísov, began buttoning his coat, buckled
on his saber, and put on his cap.

?I must have that purse, I tell you,? shouted Denísov, shaking his
orderly by the shoulders and knocking him against the wall.

?Denísov, let him alone, I know who has taken it,? said Rostóv,
going toward the door without raising his eyes. Denísov paused, thought
a moment, and, evidently understanding what Rostóv hinted at, seized
his arm.

?Nonsense!? he cried, and the veins on his forehead and neck stood
out like cords. ?You are mad, I tell you. I won?t allow it.
The purse is here! I?ll flay this scoundwel alive, and it will be

?I know who has taken it,? repeated Rostóv in an unsteady voice,
and went to the door.

?And I tell you, don?t you dahe to do it!? shouted Denísov,
rushing at the cadet to restrain him.

But Rostóv pulled away his arm and, with as much anger as though
Denísov were his worst enemy, firmly fixed his eyes directly on his

?Do you understand what you?re saying?? he said in a trembling
voice. ?There was no one else in the room except myself. So that if it
is not so, then...?

He could not finish, and ran out of the room.

?Ah, may the devil take you and evewybody,? were the last words
Rostóv heard.

Rostóv went to Telyánin?s quarters.

?The master is not in, he?s gone to headquarters,? said
Telyánin?s orderly. ?Has something happened?? he added, surprised
at the cadet?s troubled face.

?No, nothing.?

?You?ve only just missed him,? said the orderly.

The headquarters were situated two miles away from Salzeneck, and
Rostóv, without returning home, took a horse and rode there. There was
an inn in the village which the officers frequented. Rostóv rode up to
it and saw Telyánin?s horse at the porch.

In the second room of the inn the lieutenant was sitting over a dish of
sausages and a bottle of wine.

?Ah, you?ve come here too, young man!? he said, smiling and
raising his eyebrows.

?Yes,? said Rostóv as if it cost him a great deal to utter the
word; and he sat down at the nearest table.

Both were silent. There were two Germans and a Russian officer in the
room. No one spoke and the only sounds heard were the clatter of knives
and the munching of the lieutenant.

When Telyánin had finished his lunch he took out of his pocket a double
purse and, drawing its rings aside with his small, white, turned-up
fingers, drew out a gold imperial, and lifting his eyebrows gave it to
the waiter.

?Please be quick,? he said.

The coin was a new one. Rostóv rose and went up to Telyánin.

?Allow me to look at your purse,? he said in a low, almost
inaudible, voice.

With shifting eyes but eyebrows still raised, Telyánin handed him the

?Yes, it?s a nice purse. Yes, yes,? he said, growing suddenly
pale, and added, ?Look at it, young man.?

Rostóv took the purse in his hand, examined it and the money in it, and
looked at Telyánin. The lieutenant was looking about in his usual way
and suddenly seemed to grow very merry.

?If we get to Vienna I?ll get rid of it there but in these wretched
little towns there?s nowhere to spend it,? said he. ?Well, let me
have it, young man, I?m going.?

Rostóv did not speak.

?And you? Are you going to have lunch too? They feed you quite
decently here,? continued Telyánin. ?Now then, let me have it.?

He stretched out his hand to take hold of the purse. Rostóv let go of
it. Telyánin took the purse and began carelessly slipping it into the
pocket of his riding breeches, with his eyebrows lifted and his mouth
slightly open, as if to say, ?Yes, yes, I am putting my purse in my
pocket and that?s quite simple and is no one else?s business.?

?Well, young man?? he said with a sigh, and from under his lifted
brows he glanced into Rostóv?s eyes.

Some flash as of an electric spark shot from Telyánin?s eyes to
Rostóv?s and back, and back again and again in an instant.

?Come here,? said Rostóv, catching hold of Telyánin?s arm and
almost dragging him to the window. ?That money is Denísov?s; you
took it...? he whispered just above Telyánin?s ear.

?What? What? How dare you? What?? said Telyánin.

But these words came like a piteous, despairing cry and an entreaty for
pardon. As soon as Rostóv heard them, an enormous load of doubt
fell from him. He was glad, and at the same instant began to pity the
miserable man who stood before him, but the task he had begun had to be

?Heaven only knows what the people here may imagine,? muttered
Telyánin, taking up his cap and moving toward a small empty room. ?We
must have an explanation...?

?I know it and shall prove it,? said Rostóv.


Every muscle of Telyánin?s pale, terrified face began to quiver, his
eyes still shifted from side to side but with a downward look not rising
to Rostóv?s face, and his sobs were audible.

?Count!... Don?t ruin a young fellow... here is this wretched money,
take it...? He threw it on the table. ?I have an old father and

Rostóv took the money, avoiding Telyánin?s eyes, and went out of the
room without a word. But at the door he stopped and then retraced his
steps. ?O God,? he said with tears in his eyes, ?how could you do

?Count...? said Telyánin drawing nearer to him.

?Don?t touch me,? said Rostóv, drawing back. ?If you need it,
take the money,? and he threw the purse to him and ran out of the inn.


That same evening there was an animated discussion among the
squadron?s officers in Denísov?s quarters.

?And I tell you, Rostóv, that you must apologize to the colonel!?
said a tall, grizzly-haired staff captain, with enormous mustaches and
many wrinkles on his large features, to Rostóv who was crimson with

The staff captain, Kírsten, had twice been reduced to the ranks for
affairs of honor and had twice regained his commission.

?I will allow no one to call me a liar!? cried Rostóv. ?He told
me I lied, and I told him he lied. And there it rests. He may keep me
on duty every day, or may place me under arrest, but no one can make
me apologize, because if he, as commander of this regiment, thinks it
beneath his dignity to give me satisfaction, then...?

?You just wait a moment, my dear fellow, and listen,? interrupted
the staff captain in his deep bass, calmly stroking his long mustache.
?You tell the colonel in the presence of other officers that an
officer has stolen...?

?I?m not to blame that the conversation began in the presence of
other officers. Perhaps I ought not to have spoken before them, but I am
not a diplomatist. That?s why I joined the hussars, thinking that here
one would not need finesse; and he tells me that I am lying?so let him
give me satisfaction...?

?That?s all right. No one thinks you a coward, but that?s not the
point. Ask Denísov whether it is not out of the question for a cadet to
demand satisfaction of his regimental commander??

Denísov sat gloomily biting his mustache and listening to the
conversation, evidently with no wish to take part in it. He answered the
staff captain?s question by a disapproving shake of his head.

?You speak to the colonel about this nasty business before other
officers,? continued the staff captain, ?and Bogdánich? (the
colonel was called Bogdánich) ?shuts you up.?

?He did not shut me up, he said I was telling an untruth.?

?Well, have it so, and you talked a lot of nonsense to him and must

?Not on any account!? exclaimed Rostóv.

?I did not expect this of you,? said the staff captain seriously and
severely. ?You don?t wish to apologize, but, man, it?s not only to
him but to the whole regiment?all of us?you?re to blame all round.
The case is this: you ought to have thought the matter over and
taken advice; but no, you go and blurt it all straight out before the
officers. Now what was the colonel to do? Have the officer tried and
disgrace the whole regiment? Disgrace the whole regiment because of one
scoundrel? Is that how you look at it? We don?t see it like that. And
Bogdánich was a brick: he told you you were saying what was not true.
It?s not pleasant, but what?s to be done, my dear fellow? You landed
yourself in it. And now, when one wants to smooth the thing over, some
conceit prevents your apologizing, and you wish to make the whole
affair public. You are offended at being put on duty a bit, but why not
apologize to an old and honorable officer? Whatever Bogdánich may
be, anyway he is an honorable and brave old colonel! You?re quick at
taking offense, but you don?t mind disgracing the whole regiment!?
The staff captain?s voice began to tremble. ?You have been in the
regiment next to no time, my lad, you?re here today and tomorrow
you?ll be appointed adjutant somewhere and can snap your fingers when
it is said ?There are thieves among the Pávlograd officers!? But
it?s not all the same to us! Am I not right, Denísov? It?s not the

Denísov remained silent and did not move, but occasionally looked with
his glittering black eyes at Rostóv.

?You value your own pride and don?t wish to apologize,? continued
the staff captain, ?but we old fellows, who have grown up in and, God
willing, are going to die in the regiment, we prize the honor of the
regiment, and Bogdánich knows it. Oh, we do prize it, old fellow! And
all this is not right, it?s not right! You may take offense or not but
I always stick to mother truth. It?s not right!?

And the staff captain rose and turned away from Rostóv.

?That?s twue, devil take it!? shouted Denísov, jumping up. ?Now
then, Wostóv, now then!?

Rostóv, growing red and pale alternately, looked first at one officer
and then at the other.

?No, gentlemen, no... you mustn?t think... I quite understand.
You?re wrong to think that of me... I... for me... for the honor of
the regiment I?d... Ah well, I?ll show that in action, and for me
the honor of the flag... Well, never mind, it?s true I?m to blame,
to blame all round. Well, what else do you want?...?

?Come, that?s right, Count!? cried the staff captain, turning
round and clapping Rostóv on the shoulder with his big hand.

?I tell you,? shouted Denísov, ?he?s a fine fellow.?

?That?s better, Count,? said the staff captain, beginning to
address Rostóv by his title, as if in recognition of his confession.
?Go and apologize, your excellency. Yes, go!?

?Gentlemen, I?ll do anything. No one shall hear a word from me,?
said Rostóv in an imploring voice, ?but I can?t apologize, by God I
can?t, do what you will! How can I go and apologize like a little boy
asking forgiveness??

Denísov began to laugh.

?It?ll be worse for you. Bogdánich is vindictive and you?ll pay
for your obstinacy,? said Kírsten.

?No, on my word it?s not obstinacy! I can?t describe the feeling.
I can?t...?

?Well, it?s as you like,? said the staff captain. ?And what has
become of that scoundrel?? he asked Denísov.

?He has weported himself sick, he?s to be stwuck off the list
tomowwow,? muttered Denísov.

?It is an illness, there?s no other way of explaining it,? said
the staff captain.

?Illness or not, he?d better not cwoss my path. I?d kill him!?
shouted Denísov in a bloodthirsty tone.

Just then Zherkóv entered the room.

?What brings you here?? cried the officers turning to the newcomer.

?We?re to go into action, gentlemen! Mack has surrendered with his
whole army.?

?It?s not true!?

?I?ve seen him myself!?

?What? Saw the real Mack? With hands and feet??

?Into action! Into action! Bring him a bottle for such news! But how
did you come here??

?I?ve been sent back to the regiment all on account of that devil,
Mack. An Austrian general complained of me. I congratulated him on
Mack?s arrival... What?s the matter, Rostóv? You look as if you?d
just come out of a hot bath.?

?Oh, my dear fellow, we?re in such a stew here these last two

The regimental adjutant came in and confirmed the news brought by
Zherkóv. They were under orders to advance next day.

?We?re going into action, gentlemen!?

?Well, thank God! We?ve been sitting here too long!?


Kutúzov fell back toward Vienna, destroying behind him the bridges over
the rivers Inn (at Braunau) and Traun (near Linz). On October 23 the
Russian troops were crossing the river Enns. At midday the Russian
baggage train, the artillery, and columns of troops were defiling
through the town of Enns on both sides of the bridge.

It was a warm, rainy, autumnal day. The wide expanse that opened out
before the heights on which the Russian batteries stood guarding the
bridge was at times veiled by a diaphanous curtain of slanting rain, and
then, suddenly spread out in the sunlight, far-distant objects could
be clearly seen glittering as though freshly varnished. Down below,
the little town could be seen with its white, red-roofed houses, its
cathedral, and its bridge, on both sides of which streamed jostling
masses of Russian troops. At the bend of the Danube, vessels, an island,
and a castle with a park surrounded by the waters of the confluence of
the Enns and the Danube became visible, and the rocky left bank of the
Danube covered with pine forests, with a mystic background of green
treetops and bluish gorges. The turrets of a convent stood out beyond a
wild virgin pine forest, and far away on the other side of the Enns the
enemy?s horse patrols could be discerned.

Among the field guns on the brow of the hill the general in command of
the rearguard stood with a staff officer, scanning the country through
his fieldglass. A little behind them Nesvítski, who had been sent to
the rearguard by the commander in chief, was sitting on the trail of a
gun carriage. A Cossack who accompanied him had handed him a knapsack
and a flask, and Nesvítski was treating some officers to pies and real
doppelkümmel. The officers gladly gathered round him, some on their
knees, some squatting Turkish fashion on the wet grass.

?Yes, the Austrian prince who built that castle was no fool. It?s
a fine place! Why are you not eating anything, gentlemen?? Nesvítski
was saying.

?Thank you very much, Prince,? answered one of the officers, pleased
to be talking to a staff officer of such importance. ?It?s a lovely
place! We passed close to the park and saw two deer... and what a
splendid house!?

?Look, Prince,? said another, who would have dearly liked to take
another pie but felt shy, and therefore pretended to be examining the
countryside??See, our infantrymen have already got there. Look there
in the meadow behind the village, three of them are dragging something.
They?ll ransack that castle,? he remarked with evident approval.

?So they will,? said Nesvítski. ?No, but what I should like,?
added he, munching a pie in his moist-lipped handsome mouth, ?would be
to slip in over there.?

He pointed with a smile to a turreted nunnery, and his eyes narrowed and

?That would be fine, gentlemen!?

The officers laughed.

?Just to flutter the nuns a bit. They say there are Italian girls
among them. On my word I?d give five years of my life for it!?

?They must be feeling dull, too,? said one of the bolder officers,

Meanwhile the staff officer standing in front pointed out something to
the general, who looked through his field glass.

?Yes, so it is, so it is,? said the general angrily, lowering the
field glass and shrugging his shoulders, ?so it is! They?ll be fired
on at the crossing. And why are they dawdling there??

On the opposite side the enemy could be seen by the naked eye, and from
their battery a milk-white cloud arose. Then came the distant report of
a shot, and our troops could be seen hurrying to the crossing.

Nesvítski rose, puffing, and went up to the general, smiling.

?Would not your excellency like a little refreshment?? he said.

?It?s a bad business,? said the general without answering him,
?our men have been wasting time.?

?Hadn?t I better ride over, your excellency?? asked Nesvítski.

?Yes, please do,? answered the general, and he repeated the order
that had already once been given in detail: ?and tell the hussars
that they are to cross last and to fire the bridge as I ordered; and the
inflammable material on the bridge must be reinspected.?

?Very good,? answered Nesvítski.

He called the Cossack with his horse, told him to put away the knapsack
and flask, and swung his heavy person easily into the saddle.

?I?ll really call in on the nuns,? he said to the officers who
watched him smilingly, and he rode off by the winding path down the

?Now then, let?s see how far it will carry, Captain. Just try!?
said the general, turning to an artillery officer. ?Have a little fun
to pass the time.?

?Crew, to your guns!? commanded the officer.

In a moment the men came running gaily from their campfires and began

?One!? came the command.

Number one jumped briskly aside. The gun rang out with a deafening
metallic roar, and a whistling grenade flew above the heads of our
troops below the hill and fell far short of the enemy, a little smoke
showing the spot where it burst.

The faces of officers and men brightened up at the sound. Everyone got
up and began watching the movements of our troops below, as plainly
visible as if but a stone?s throw away, and the movements of the
approaching enemy farther off. At the same instant the sun came fully
out from behind the clouds, and the clear sound of the solitary shot
and the brilliance of the bright sunshine merged in a single joyous and
spirited impression.


Two of the enemy?s shots had already flown across the bridge, where
there was a crush. Halfway across stood Prince Nesvítski, who had
alighted from his horse and whose big body was jammed against the
railings. He looked back laughing to the Cossack who stood a few
steps behind him holding two horses by their bridles. Each time Prince
Nesvítski tried to move on, soldiers and carts pushed him back again
and pressed him against the railings, and all he could do was to smile.

?What a fine fellow you are, friend!? said the Cossack to a convoy
soldier with a wagon, who was pressing onto the infantrymen who were
crowded together close to his wheels and his horses. ?What a fellow!
You can?t wait a moment! Don?t you see the general wants to pass??

But the convoyman took no notice of the word ?general? and shouted
at the soldiers who were blocking his way. ?Hi there, boys! Keep to
the left! Wait a bit.? But the soldiers, crowded together shoulder to
shoulder, their bayonets interlocking, moved over the bridge in a dense
mass. Looking down over the rails Prince Nesvítski saw the rapid, noisy
little waves of the Enns, which rippling and eddying round the piles of
the bridge chased each other along. Looking on the bridge he saw equally
uniform living waves of soldiers, shoulder straps, covered shakos,
knapsacks, bayonets, long muskets, and, under the shakos, faces with
broad cheekbones, sunken cheeks, and listless tired expressions, and
feet that moved through the sticky mud that covered the planks of the
bridge. Sometimes through the monotonous waves of men, like a fleck of
white foam on the waves of the Enns, an officer, in a cloak and with
a type of face different from that of the men, squeezed his way along;
sometimes like a chip of wood whirling in the river, an hussar on foot,
an orderly, or a townsman was carried through the waves of infantry;
and sometimes like a log floating down the river, an officers? or
company?s baggage wagon, piled high, leather covered, and hemmed in on
all sides, moved across the bridge.

?It?s as if a dam had burst,? said the Cossack hopelessly. ?Are
there many more of you to come??

?A million all but one!? replied a waggish soldier in a torn coat,
with a wink, and passed on followed by another, an old man.

?If he? (he meant the enemy) ?begins popping at the bridge now,?
said the old soldier dismally to a comrade, ?you?ll forget to
scratch yourself.?

That soldier passed on, and after him came another sitting on a cart.

?Where the devil have the leg bands been shoved to?? said an
orderly, running behind the cart and fumbling in the back of it.

And he also passed on with the wagon. Then came some merry soldiers who
had evidently been drinking.

?And then, old fellow, he gives him one in the teeth with the butt
end of his gun...? a soldier whose greatcoat was well tucked up said
gaily, with a wide swing of his arm.

?Yes, the ham was just delicious...? answered another with a loud
laugh. And they, too, passed on, so that Nesvítski did not learn who
had been struck on the teeth, or what the ham had to do with it.

?Bah! How they scurry. He just sends a ball and they think they?ll
all be killed,? a sergeant was saying angrily and reproachfully.

?As it flies past me, Daddy, the ball I mean,? said a young soldier
with an enormous mouth, hardly refraining from laughing, ?I felt like
dying of fright. I did, ?pon my word, I got that frightened!? said
he, as if bragging of having been frightened.

That one also passed. Then followed a cart unlike any that had gone
before. It was a German cart with a pair of horses led by a German, and
seemed loaded with a whole houseful of effects. A fine brindled cow with
a large udder was attached to the cart behind. A woman with an unweaned
baby, an old woman, and a healthy German girl with bright red cheeks
were sitting on some feather beds. Evidently these fugitives were
allowed to pass by special permission. The eyes of all the soldiers
turned toward the women, and while the vehicle was passing at foot pace
all the soldiers? remarks related to the two young ones. Every face
bore almost the same smile, expressing unseemly thoughts about the

?Just see, the German sausage is making tracks, too!?

?Sell me the missis,? said another soldier, addressing the German,
who, angry and frightened, strode energetically along with downcast

?See how smart she?s made herself! Oh, the devils!?

?There, Fedótov, you should be quartered on them!?

?I have seen as much before now, mate!?

?Where are you going?? asked an infantry officer who was eating an
apple, also half smiling as he looked at the handsome girl.

The German closed his eyes, signifying that he did not understand.

?Take it if you like,? said the officer, giving the girl an apple.

The girl smiled and took it. Nesvítski like the rest of the men on the
bridge did not take his eyes off the women till they had passed. When
they had gone by, the same stream of soldiers followed, with the same
kind of talk, and at last all stopped. As often happens, the horses of
a convoy wagon became restive at the end of the bridge, and the whole
crowd had to wait.

?And why are they stopping? There?s no proper order!? said the
soldiers. ?Where are you shoving to? Devil take you! Can?t you wait?
It?ll be worse if he fires the bridge. See, here?s an officer jammed
in too??different voices were saying in the crowd, as the men looked
at one another, and all pressed toward the exit from the bridge.

Looking down at the waters of the Enns under the bridge, Nesvítski
suddenly heard a sound new to him, of something swiftly approaching...
something big, that splashed into the water.

?Just see where it carries to!? a soldier near by said sternly,
looking round at the sound.

?Encouraging us to get along quicker,? said another uneasily.

The crowd moved on again. Nesvítski realized that it was a cannon ball.

?Hey, Cossack, my horse!? he said. ?Now, then, you there! get out
of the way! Make way!?

With great difficulty he managed to get to his horse, and shouting
continually he moved on. The soldiers squeezed themselves to make way
for him, but again pressed on him so that they jammed his leg, and those
nearest him were not to blame for they were themselves pressed still
harder from behind.

?Nesvítski, Nesvítski! you numskull!? came a hoarse voice from
behind him.

Nesvítski looked round and saw, some fifteen paces away but separated
by the living mass of moving infantry, Váska Denísov, red and shaggy,
with his cap on the back of his black head and a cloak hanging jauntily
over his shoulder.

?Tell these devils, these fiends, to let me pass!? shouted Denísov
evidently in a fit of rage, his coal-black eyes with their bloodshot
whites glittering and rolling as he waved his sheathed saber in a small
bare hand as red as his face.

?Ah, Váska!? joyfully replied Nesvítski. ?What?s up with

?The squadwon can?t pass,? shouted Váska Denísov, showing his
white teeth fiercely and spurring his black thoroughbred Arab, which
twitched its ears as the bayonets touched it, and snorted, spurting
white foam from his bit, tramping the planks of the bridge with his
hoofs, and apparently ready to jump over the railings had his rider let
him. ?What is this? They?re like sheep! Just like sheep! Out of the
way!... Let us pass!... Stop there, you devil with the cart! I?ll hack
you with my saber!? he shouted, actually drawing his saber from its
scabbard and flourishing it.

The soldiers crowded against one another with terrified faces, and
Denísov joined Nesvítski.

?How?s it you?re not drunk today?? said Nesvítski when the
other had ridden up to him.

?They don?t even give one time to dwink!? answered Váska
Denísov. ?They keep dwagging the wegiment to and fwo all day. If they
mean to fight, let?s fight. But the devil knows what this is.?

?What a dandy you are today!? said Nesvítski, looking at
Denísov?s new cloak and saddlecloth.

Denísov smiled, took out of his sabretache a handkerchief that diffused
a smell of perfume, and put it to Nesvítski?s nose.

?Of course. I?m going into action! I?ve shaved, bwushed my teeth,
and scented myself.?

The imposing figure of Nesvítski followed by his Cossack, and
the determination of Denísov who flourished his sword and shouted
frantically, had such an effect that they managed to squeeze through
to the farther side of the bridge and stopped the infantry. Beside the
bridge Nesvítski found the colonel to whom he had to deliver the order,
and having done this he rode back.

Having cleared the way Denísov stopped at the end of the bridge.
Carelessly holding in his stallion that was neighing and pawing the
ground, eager to rejoin its fellows, he watched his squadron draw
nearer. Then the clang of hoofs, as of several horses galloping,
resounded on the planks of the bridge, and the squadron, officers in
front and men four abreast, spread across the bridge and began to emerge
on his side of it.

The infantry who had been stopped crowded near the bridge in the
trampled mud and gazed with that particular feeling of ill-will,
estrangement, and ridicule with which troops of different arms usually
encounter one another at the clean, smart hussars who moved past them in
regular order.

?Smart lads! Only fit for a fair!? said one.

?What good are they? They?re led about just for show!? remarked

?Don?t kick up the dust, you infantry!? jested an hussar whose
prancing horse had splashed mud over some foot soldiers.

?I?d like to put you on a two days? march with a knapsack! Your
fine cords would soon get a bit rubbed,? said an infantryman, wiping
the mud off his face with his sleeve. ?Perched up there, you?re more
like a bird than a man.?

?There now, Zíkin, they ought to put you on a horse. You?d look
fine,? said a corporal, chaffing a thin little soldier who bent under
the weight of his knapsack.

?Take a stick between your legs, that?ll suit you for a horse!?
the hussar shouted back.


The last of the infantry hurriedly crossed the bridge, squeezing
together as they approached it as if passing through a funnel. At last
the baggage wagons had all crossed, the crush was less, and the last
battalion came onto the bridge. Only Denísov?s squadron of hussars
remained on the farther side of the bridge facing the enemy, who could
be seen from the hill on the opposite bank but was not yet visible from
the bridge, for the horizon as seen from the valley through which the
river flowed was formed by the rising ground only half a mile away.
At the foot of the hill lay wasteland over which a few groups of our
Cossack scouts were moving. Suddenly on the road at the top of the high
ground, artillery and troops in blue uniform were seen. These were the
French. A group of Cossack scouts retired down the hill at a trot. All
the officers and men of Denísov?s squadron, though they tried to talk
of other things and to look in other directions, thought only of what
was there on the hilltop, and kept constantly looking at the patches
appearing on the skyline, which they knew to be the enemy?s troops.
The weather had cleared again since noon and the sun was descending
brightly upon the Danube and the dark hills around it. It was calm, and
at intervals the bugle calls and the shouts of the enemy could be heard
from the hill. There was no one now between the squadron and the enemy
except a few scattered skirmishers. An empty space of some seven hundred
yards was all that separated them. The enemy ceased firing, and that
stern, threatening, inaccessible, and intangible line which separates
two hostile armies was all the more clearly felt.

?One step beyond that boundary line which resembles the line dividing
the living from the dead lies uncertainty, suffering, and death. And
what is there? Who is there??there beyond that field, that tree, that
roof lit up by the sun? No one knows, but one wants to know. You fear
and yet long to cross that line, and know that sooner or later it must
be crossed and you will have to find out what is there, just as you will
inevitably have to learn what lies the other side of death. But you are
strong, healthy, cheerful, and excited, and are surrounded by other such
excitedly animated and healthy men.? So thinks, or at any rate
feels, anyone who comes in sight of the enemy, and that feeling gives
a particular glamour and glad keenness of impression to everything that
takes place at such moments.

On the high ground where the enemy was, the smoke of a cannon rose,
and a ball flew whistling over the heads of the hussar squadron. The
officers who had been standing together rode off to their places. The
hussars began carefully aligning their horses. Silence fell on the whole
squadron. All were looking at the enemy in front and at the squadron
commander, awaiting the word of command. A second and a third cannon
ball flew past. Evidently they were firing at the hussars, but the balls
with rapid rhythmic whistle flew over the heads of the horsemen and fell
somewhere beyond them. The hussars did not look round, but at the sound
of each shot, as at the word of command, the whole squadron with its
rows of faces so alike yet so different, holding its breath while the
ball flew past, rose in the stirrups and sank back again. The soldiers
without turning their heads glanced at one another, curious to see their
comrades? impression. Every face, from Denísov?s to that of the
bugler, showed one common expression of conflict, irritation, and
excitement, around chin and mouth. The quartermaster frowned, looking
at the soldiers as if threatening to punish them. Cadet Mirónov ducked
every time a ball flew past. Rostóv on the left flank, mounted on his
Rook?a handsome horse despite its game leg?had the happy air of a
schoolboy called up before a large audience for an examination in which
he feels sure he will distinguish himself. He was glancing at everyone
with a clear, bright expression, as if asking them to notice how calmly
he sat under fire. But despite himself, on his face too that same
indication of something new and stern showed round the mouth.

?Who?s that curtseying there? Cadet Miwónov! That?s not wight!
Look at me,? cried Denísov who, unable to keep still on one spot,
kept turning his horse in front of the squadron.

The black, hairy, snub-nosed face of Váska Denísov, and his whole
short sturdy figure with the sinewy hairy hand and stumpy fingers in
which he held the hilt of his naked saber, looked just as it usually
did, especially toward evening when he had emptied his second bottle; he
was only redder than usual. With his shaggy head thrown back like birds
when they drink, pressing his spurs mercilessly into the sides of his
good horse, Bedouin, and sitting as though falling backwards in the
saddle, he galloped to the other flank of the squadron and shouted in
a hoarse voice to the men to look to their pistols. He rode up to
Kírsten. The staff captain on his broad-backed, steady mare came at a
walk to meet him. His face with its long mustache was serious as always,
only his eyes were brighter than usual.

?Well, what about it?? said he to Denísov. ?It won?t come to a
fight. You?ll see?we shall retire.?

?The devil only knows what they?re about!? muttered Denísov.
?Ah, Wostóv,? he cried noticing the cadet?s bright face,
?you?ve got it at last.?

And he smiled approvingly, evidently pleased with the cadet. Rostóv
felt perfectly happy. Just then the commander appeared on the bridge.
Denísov galloped up to him.

?Your excellency! Let us attack them! I?ll dwive them off.?

?Attack indeed!? said the colonel in a bored voice, puckering up his
face as if driving off a troublesome fly. ?And why are you stopping
here? Don?t you see the skirmishers are retreating? Lead the squadron

The squadron crossed the bridge and drew out of range of fire without
having lost a single man. The second squadron that had been in the front
line followed them across and the last Cossacks quitted the farther side
of the river.

The two Pávlograd squadrons, having crossed the bridge, retired up the
hill one after the other. Their colonel, Karl Bogdánich Schubert, came
up to Denísov?s squadron and rode at a footpace not far from Rostóv,
without taking any notice of him although they were now meeting for the
first time since their encounter concerning Telyánin. Rostóv, feeling
that he was at the front and in the power of a man toward whom he now
admitted that he had been to blame, did not lift his eyes from the
colonel?s athletic back, his nape covered with light hair, and his red
neck. It seemed to Rostóv that Bogdánich was only pretending not
to notice him, and that his whole aim now was to test the cadet?s
courage, so he drew himself up and looked around him merrily; then it
seemed to him that Bogdánich rode so near in order to show him his
courage. Next he thought that his enemy would send the squadron on a
desperate attack just to punish him?Rostóv. Then he imagined how,
after the attack, Bogdánich would come up to him as he lay wounded and
would magnanimously extend the hand of reconciliation.

The high-shouldered figure of Zherkóv, familiar to the Pávlograds as
he had but recently left their regiment, rode up to the colonel.
After his dismissal from headquarters Zherkóv had not remained in the
regiment, saying he was not such a fool as to slave at the front when he
could get more rewards by doing nothing on the staff, and had succeeded
in attaching himself as an orderly officer to Prince Bagratión. He now
came to his former chief with an order from the commander of the rear

?Colonel,? he said, addressing Rostóv?s enemy with an air of
gloomy gravity and glancing round at his comrades, ?there is an order
to stop and fire the bridge.?

?An order to who?? asked the colonel morosely.

?I don?t myself know ?to who,?? replied the cornet in a
serious tone, ?but the prince told me to ?go and tell the colonel
that the hussars must return quickly and fire the bridge.??

Zherkóv was followed by an officer of the suite who rode up to the
colonel of hussars with the same order. After him the stout Nesvítski
came galloping up on a Cossack horse that could scarcely carry his

?How?s this, Colonel?? he shouted as he approached. ?I told you
to fire the bridge, and now someone has gone and blundered; they are all
beside themselves over there and one can?t make anything out.?

The colonel deliberately stopped the regiment and turned to Nesvítski.

?You spoke to me of inflammable material,? said he, ?but you said
nothing about firing it.?

?But, my dear sir,? said Nesvítski as he drew up, taking off his
cap and smoothing his hair wet with perspiration with his plump hand,
?wasn?t I telling you to fire the bridge, when inflammable material
had been put in position??

?I am not your ?dear sir,? Mr. Staff Officer, and you did not tell
me to burn the bridge! I know the service, and it is my habit orders
strictly to obey. You said the bridge would be burned, but who would it
burn, I could not know by the holy spirit!?

?Ah, that?s always the way!? said Nesvítski with a wave of the
hand. ?How did you get here?? said he, turning to Zherkóv.

?On the same business. But you are damp! Let me wring you out!?

?You were saying, Mr. Staff Officer...? continued the colonel in an
offended tone.

?Colonel,? interrupted the officer of the suite, ?You must be
quick or the enemy will bring up his guns to use grapeshot.?

The colonel looked silently at the officer of the suite, at the stout
staff officer, and at Zherkóv, and he frowned.

?I will the bridge fire,? he said in a solemn tone as if to announce
that in spite of all the unpleasantness he had to endure he would still
do the right thing.

Striking his horse with his long muscular legs as if it were to blame
for everything, the colonel moved forward and ordered the second
squadron, that in which Rostóv was serving under Denísov, to return to
the bridge.

?There, it?s just as I thought,? said Rostóv to himself. ?He
wishes to test me!? His heart contracted and the blood rushed to his
face. ?Let him see whether I am a coward!? he thought.

Again on all the bright faces of the squadron the serious expression
appeared that they had worn when under fire. Rostóv watched his enemy,
the colonel, closely?to find in his face confirmation of his own
conjecture, but the colonel did not once glance at Rostóv, and looked
as he always did when at the front, solemn and stern. Then came the word
of command.

?Look sharp! Look sharp!? several voices repeated around him.

Their sabers catching in the bridles and their spurs jingling, the
hussars hastily dismounted, not knowing what they were to do. The men
were crossing themselves. Rostóv no longer looked at the colonel, he
had no time. He was afraid of falling behind the hussars, so much afraid
that his heart stood still. His hand trembled as he gave his horse into
an orderly?s charge, and he felt the blood rush to his heart with
a thud. Denísov rode past him, leaning back and shouting something.
Rostóv saw nothing but the hussars running all around him, their spurs
catching and their sabers clattering.

?Stretchers!? shouted someone behind him.

Rostóv did not think what this call for stretchers meant; he ran on,
trying only to be ahead of the others; but just at the bridge, not
looking at the ground, he came on some sticky, trodden mud, stumbled,
and fell on his hands. The others outstripped him.

?At boss zides, Captain,? he heard the voice of the colonel, who,
having ridden ahead, had pulled up his horse near the bridge, with a
triumphant, cheerful face.

Rostóv wiping his muddy hands on his breeches looked at his enemy and
was about to run on, thinking that the farther he went to the front
the better. But Bogdánich, without looking at or recognizing Rostóv,
shouted to him:

?Who?s that running on the middle of the bridge? To the right! Come
back, Cadet!? he cried angrily; and turning to Denísov, who, showing
off his courage, had ridden on to the planks of the bridge:

?Why run risks, Captain? You should dismount,? he said.

?Oh, every bullet has its billet,? answered Váska Denísov, turning
in his saddle.

Meanwhile Nesvítski, Zherkóv, and the officer of the suite were
standing together out of range of the shots, watching, now the small
group of men with yellow shakos, dark-green jackets braided with cord,
and blue riding breeches, who were swarming near the bridge, and then at
what was approaching in the distance from the opposite side?the blue
uniforms and groups with horses, easily recognizable as artillery.

?Will they burn the bridge or not? Who?ll get there first? Will they
get there and fire the bridge or will the French get within grapeshot
range and wipe them out?? These were the questions each man of the
troops on the high ground above the bridge involuntarily asked himself
with a sinking heart?watching the bridge and the hussars in the bright
evening light and the blue tunics advancing from the other side with
their bayonets and guns.

?Ugh. The hussars will get it hot!? said Nesvítski; ?they are
within grapeshot range now.?

?He shouldn?t have taken so many men,? said the officer of the

?True enough,? answered Nesvítski; ?two smart fellows could have
done the job just as well.?

?Ah, your excellency,? put in Zherkóv, his eyes fixed on the
hussars, but still with that naïve air that made it impossible to know
whether he was speaking in jest or in earnest. ?Ah, your excellency!
How you look at things! Send two men? And who then would give us the
Vladímir medal and ribbon? But now, even if they do get peppered, the
squadron may be recommended for honors and he may get a ribbon. Our
Bogdánich knows how things are done.?

?There now!? said the officer of the suite, ?that?s

He pointed to the French guns, the limbers of which were being detached
and hurriedly removed.

On the French side, amid the groups with cannon, a cloud of smoke
appeared, then a second and a third almost simultaneously, and at the
moment when the first report was heard a fourth was seen. Then two
reports one after another, and a third.

?Oh! Oh!? groaned Nesvítski as if in fierce pain, seizing the
officer of the suite by the arm. ?Look! A man has fallen! Fallen,

?Two, I think.?

?If I were Tsar I would never go to war,? said Nesvítski, turning

The French guns were hastily reloaded. The infantry in their blue
uniforms advanced toward the bridge at a run. Smoke appeared again
but at irregular intervals, and grapeshot cracked and rattled onto the
bridge. But this time Nesvítski could not see what was happening there,
as a dense cloud of smoke arose from it. The hussars had succeeded in
setting it on fire and the French batteries were now firing at them, no
longer to hinder them but because the guns were trained and there was
someone to fire at.

The French had time to fire three rounds of grapeshot before the hussars
got back to their horses. Two were misdirected and the shot went too
high, but the last round fell in the midst of a group of hussars and
knocked three of them over.

Rostóv, absorbed by his relations with Bogdánich, had paused on the
bridge not knowing what to do. There was no one to hew down (as he
had always imagined battles to himself), nor could he help to fire the
bridge because he had not brought any burning straw with him like the
other soldiers. He stood looking about him, when suddenly he heard a
rattle on the bridge as if nuts were being spilt, and the hussar nearest
to him fell against the rails with a groan. Rostóv ran up to him with
the others. Again someone shouted, ?Stretchers!? Four men seized the
hussar and began lifting him.

?Oooh! For Christ?s sake let me alone!? cried the wounded man, but
still he was lifted and laid on the stretcher.

Nicholas Rostóv turned away and, as if searching for something, gazed
into the distance, at the waters of the Danube, at the sky, and at the
sun. How beautiful the sky looked; how blue, how calm, and how deep!
How bright and glorious was the setting sun! With what soft glitter the
waters of the distant Danube shone. And fairer still were the faraway
blue mountains beyond the river, the nunnery, the mysterious gorges, and
the pine forests veiled in the mist of their summits... There was peace
and happiness... ?I should wish for nothing else, nothing, if only I
were there,? thought Rostóv. ?In myself alone and in that sunshine
there is so much happiness; but here... groans, suffering, fear, and
this uncertainty and hurry... There?they are shouting again, and
again are all running back somewhere, and I shall run with them, and it,
death, is here above me and around... Another instant and I shall never
again see the sun, this water, that gorge!...?

At that instant the sun began to hide behind the clouds, and other
stretchers came into view before Rostóv. And the fear of death and of
the stretchers, and love of the sun and of life, all merged into one
feeling of sickening agitation.

?O Lord God! Thou who art in that heaven, save, forgive, and protect
me!? Rostóv whispered.

The hussars ran back to the men who held their horses; their voices
sounded louder and calmer, the stretchers disappeared from sight.

?Well, fwiend? So you?ve smelt powdah!? shouted Váska Denísov
just above his ear.

?It?s all over; but I am a coward?yes, a coward!? thought
Rostóv, and sighing deeply he took Rook, his horse, which stood resting
one foot, from the orderly and began to mount.

?Was that grapeshot?? he asked Denísov.

?Yes and no mistake!? cried Denísov. ?You worked like wegular
bwicks and it?s nasty work! An attack?s pleasant work! Hacking
away at the dogs! But this sort of thing is the very devil, with them
shooting at you like a target.?

And Denísov rode up to a group that had stopped near Rostóv, composed
of the colonel, Nesvítski, Zherkóv, and the officer from the suite.

?Well, it seems that no one has noticed,? thought Rostóv. And this
was true. No one had taken any notice, for everyone knew the sensation
which the cadet under fire for the first time had experienced.

?Here?s something for you to report,? said Zherkóv. ?See if I
don?t get promoted to a sublieutenancy.?

?Inform the prince that I the bridge fired!? said the colonel
triumphantly and gaily.

?And if he asks about the losses??

?A trifle,? said the colonel in his bass voice: ?two hussars
wounded, and one knocked out,? he added, unable to restrain a happy
smile, and pronouncing the phrase ?knocked out? with ringing


Pursued by the French army of a hundred thousand men under the command
of Bonaparte, encountering a population that was unfriendly to it,
losing confidence in its allies, suffering from shortness of supplies,
and compelled to act under conditions of war unlike anything that had
been foreseen, the Russian army of thirty-five thousand men commanded
by Kutúzov was hurriedly retreating along the Danube, stopping where
overtaken by the enemy and fighting rearguard actions only as far as
necessary to enable it to retreat without losing its heavy equipment.
There had been actions at Lambach, Amstetten, and Melk; but despite the
courage and endurance?acknowledged even by the enemy?with which the
Russians fought, the only consequence of these actions was a yet more
rapid retreat. Austrian troops that had escaped capture at Ulm and had
joined Kutúzov at Braunau now separated from the Russian army, and
Kutúzov was left with only his own weak and exhausted forces. The
defense of Vienna was no longer to be thought of. Instead of an
offensive, the plan of which, carefully prepared in accord with the
modern science of strategics, had been handed to Kutúzov when he was in
Vienna by the Austrian Hofkriegsrath, the sole and almost unattainable
aim remaining for him was to effect a junction with the forces that were
advancing from Russia, without losing his army as Mack had done at Ulm.

On the twenty-eighth of October Kutúzov with his army crossed to the
left bank of the Danube and took up a position for the first time
with the river between himself and the main body of the French. On the
thirtieth he attacked Mortier?s division, which was on the left bank,
and broke it up. In this action for the first time trophies were taken:
banners, cannon, and two enemy generals. For the first time, after a
fortnight?s retreat, the Russian troops had halted and after a fight
had not only held the field but had repulsed the French. Though the
troops were ill-clad, exhausted, and had lost a third of their number
in killed, wounded, sick, and stragglers; though a number of sick and
wounded had been abandoned on the other side of the Danube with a letter
in which Kutúzov entrusted them to the humanity of the enemy; and
though the big hospitals and the houses in Krems converted into military
hospitals could no longer accommodate all the sick and wounded, yet the
stand made at Krems and the victory over Mortier raised the spirits of
the army considerably. Throughout the whole army and at headquarters
most joyful though erroneous rumors were rife of the imaginary approach
of columns from Russia, of some victory gained by the Austrians, and of
the retreat of the frightened Bonaparte.

Prince Andrew during the battle had been in attendance on the Austrian
General Schmidt, who was killed in the action. His horse had been
wounded under him and his own arm slightly grazed by a bullet. As a mark
of the commander in chief?s special favor he was sent with the news of
this victory to the Austrian court, now no longer at Vienna (which was
threatened by the French) but at Brünn. Despite his apparently delicate
build Prince Andrew could endure physical fatigue far better than many
very muscular men, and on the night of the battle, having arrived
at Krems excited but not weary, with dispatches from Dokhtúrov to
Kutúzov, he was sent immediately with a special dispatch to Brünn.
To be so sent meant not only a reward but an important step toward

The night was dark but starry, the road showed black in the snow that
had fallen the previous day?the day of the battle. Reviewing his
impressions of the recent battle, picturing pleasantly to himself the
impression his news of a victory would create, or recalling the send-off
given him by the commander in chief and his fellow officers, Prince
Andrew was galloping along in a post chaise enjoying the feelings of a
man who has at length begun to attain a long-desired happiness. As soon
as he closed his eyes his ears seemed filled with the rattle of the
wheels and the sensation of victory. Then he began to imagine that
the Russians were running away and that he himself was killed, but he
quickly roused himself with a feeling of joy, as if learning afresh that
this was not so but that on the contrary the French had run away. He
again recalled all the details of the victory and his own calm courage
during the battle, and feeling reassured he dozed off.... The dark
starry night was followed by a bright cheerful morning. The snow was
thawing in the sunshine, the horses galloped quickly, and on both sides
of the road were forests of different kinds, fields, and villages.

At one of the post stations he overtook a convoy of Russian wounded.
The Russian officer in charge of the transport lolled back in the front
cart, shouting and scolding a soldier with coarse abuse. In each of
the long German carts six or more pale, dirty, bandaged men were being
jolted over the stony road. Some of them were talking (he heard Russian
words), others were eating bread; the more severely wounded looked
silently, with the languid interest of sick children, at the envoy
hurrying past them.

Prince Andrew told his driver to stop, and asked a soldier in what
action they had been wounded. ?Day before yesterday, on the Danube,?
answered the soldier. Prince Andrew took out his purse and gave the
soldier three gold pieces.

?That?s for them all,? he said to the officer who came up.

?Get well soon, lads!? he continued, turning to the soldiers.
?There?s plenty to do still.?

?What news, sir?? asked the officer, evidently anxious to start a

?Good news!... Go on!? he shouted to the driver, and they galloped

It was already quite dark when Prince Andrew rattled over the paved
streets of Brünn and found himself surrounded by high buildings, the
lights of shops, houses, and street lamps, fine carriages, and all that
atmosphere of a large and active town which is always so attractive to a
soldier after camp life. Despite his rapid journey and sleepless night,
Prince Andrew when he drove up to the palace felt even more vigorous and
alert than he had done the day before. Only his eyes gleamed feverishly
and his thoughts followed one another with extraordinary clearness and
rapidity. He again vividly recalled the details of the battle, no longer
dim, but definite and in the concise form in which he imagined himself
stating them to the Emperor Francis. He vividly imagined the casual
questions that might be put to him and the answers he would give. He
expected to be at once presented to the Emperor. At the chief entrance
to the palace, however, an official came running out to meet him, and
learning that he was a special messenger led him to another entrance.

?To the right from the corridor, Euer Hochgeboren! There you will find
the adjutant on duty,? said the official. ?He will conduct you to
the Minister of War.?

The adjutant on duty, meeting Prince Andrew, asked him to wait, and went
in to the Minister of War. Five minutes later he returned and bowing
with particular courtesy ushered Prince Andrew before him along a
corridor to the cabinet where the Minister of War was at work. The
adjutant by his elaborate courtesy appeared to wish to ward off any
attempt at familiarity on the part of the Russian messenger.

Prince Andrew?s joyous feeling was considerably weakened as he
approached the door of the minister?s room. He felt offended, and
without his noticing it the feeling of offense immediately turned into
one of disdain which was quite uncalled for. His fertile mind instantly
suggested to him a point of view which gave him a right to despise
the adjutant and the minister. ?Away from the smell of powder, they
probably think it easy to gain victories!? he thought. His eyes
narrowed disdainfully, he entered the room of the Minister of War with
peculiarly deliberate steps. This feeling of disdain was heightened
when he saw the minister seated at a large table reading some papers
and making pencil notes on them, and for the first two or three minutes
taking no notice of his arrival. A wax candle stood at each side of the
minister?s bent bald head with its gray temples. He went on reading
to the end, without raising his eyes at the opening of the door and the
sound of footsteps.

?Take this and deliver it,? said he to his adjutant, handing him the
papers and still taking no notice of the special messenger.

Prince Andrew felt that either the actions of Kutúzov?s army
interested the Minister of War less than any of the other matters he was
concerned with, or he wanted to give the Russian special messenger that
impression. ?But that is a matter of perfect indifference to me,? he
thought. The minister drew the remaining papers together, arranged them
evenly, and then raised his head. He had an intellectual and distinctive
head, but the instant he turned to Prince Andrew the firm, intelligent
expression on his face changed in a way evidently deliberate and
habitual to him. His face took on the stupid artificial smile (which
does not even attempt to hide its artificiality) of a man who is
continually receiving many petitioners one after another.

?From General Field Marshal Kutúzov?? he asked. ?I hope it is
good news? There has been an encounter with Mortier? A victory? It was
high time!?

He took the dispatch which was addressed to him and began to read it
with a mournful expression.

?Oh, my God! My God! Schmidt!? he exclaimed in German. ?What a
calamity! What a calamity!?

Having glanced through the dispatch he laid it on the table and looked
at Prince Andrew, evidently considering something.

?Ah what a calamity! You say the affair was decisive? But Mortier is
not captured.? Again he pondered. ?I am very glad you have brought
good news, though Schmidt?s death is a heavy price to pay for the
victory. His Majesty will no doubt wish to see you, but not today. I
thank you! You must have a rest. Be at the levee tomorrow after the
parade. However, I will let you know.?

The stupid smile, which had left his face while he was speaking,

?Au revoir! Thank you very much. His Majesty will probably desire to
see you,? he added, bowing his head.

When Prince Andrew left the palace he felt that all the interest
and happiness the victory had afforded him had been now left in the
indifferent hands of the Minister of War and the polite adjutant. The
whole tenor of his thoughts instantaneously changed; the battle seemed
the memory of a remote event long past.


Prince Andrew stayed at Brünn with Bilíbin, a Russian acquaintance of
his in the diplomatic service.

?Ah, my dear prince! I could not have a more welcome visitor,?
said Bilíbin as he came out to meet Prince Andrew. ?Franz, put the
prince?s things in my bedroom,? said he to the servant who was
ushering Bolkónski in. ?So you?re a messenger of victory, eh?
Splendid! And I am sitting here ill, as you see.?

After washing and dressing, Prince Andrew came into the diplomat?s
luxurious study and sat down to the dinner prepared for him. Bilíbin
settled down comfortably beside the fire.

After his journey and the campaign during which he had been deprived of
all the comforts of cleanliness and all the refinements of life, Prince
Andrew felt a pleasant sense of repose among luxurious surroundings such
as he had been accustomed to from childhood. Besides it was pleasant,
after his reception by the Austrians, to speak if not in Russian
(for they were speaking French) at least with a Russian who would, he
supposed, share the general Russian antipathy to the Austrians which was
then particularly strong.

Bilíbin was a man of thirty-five, a bachelor, and of the same circle as
Prince Andrew. They had known each other previously in Petersburg, but
had become more intimate when Prince Andrew was in Vienna with Kutúzov.
Just as Prince Andrew was a young man who gave promise of rising high
in the military profession, so to an even greater extent Bilíbin gave
promise of rising in his diplomatic career. He still a young man but
no longer a young diplomat, as he had entered the service at the age
of sixteen, had been in Paris and Copenhagen, and now held a rather
important post in Vienna. Both the foreign minister and our ambassador
in Vienna knew him and valued him. He was not one of those many
diplomats who are esteemed because they have certain negative qualities,
avoid doing certain things, and speak French. He was one of those,
who, liking work, knew how to do it, and despite his indolence would
sometimes spend a whole night at his writing table. He worked well
whatever the import of his work. It was not the question ?What for??
but the question ?How?? that interested him. What the diplomatic
matter might be he did not care, but it gave him great pleasure to
prepare a circular, memorandum, or report, skillfully, pointedly, and
elegantly. Bilíbin?s services were valued not only for what he wrote,
but also for his skill in dealing and conversing with those in the
highest spheres.

Bilíbin liked conversation as he liked work, only when it could be
made elegantly witty. In society he always awaited an opportunity to say
something striking and took part in a conversation only when that was
possible. His conversation was always sprinkled with wittily original,
finished phrases of general interest. These sayings were prepared in the
inner laboratory of his mind in a portable form as if intentionally, so
that insignificant society people might carry them from drawing room to
drawing room. And, in fact, Bilíbin?s witticisms were hawked about
in the Viennese drawing rooms and often had an influence on matters
considered important.

His thin, worn, sallow face was covered with deep wrinkles, which always
looked as clean and well washed as the tips of one?s fingers after a
Russian bath. The movement of these wrinkles formed the principal play
of expression on his face. Now his forehead would pucker into deep folds
and his eyebrows were lifted, then his eyebrows would descend and
deep wrinkles would crease his cheeks. His small, deep-set eyes always
twinkled and looked out straight.

?Well, now tell me about your exploits,? said he.

Bolkónski, very modestly without once mentioning himself, described the
engagement and his reception by the Minister of War.

?They received me and my news as one receives a dog in a game of
skittles,? said he in conclusion.

Bilíbin smiled and the wrinkles on his face disappeared.

?Cependant, mon cher,? he remarked, examining his nails from a
distance and puckering the skin above his left eye, ?malgré la haute
estime que je professe pour the Orthodox Russian army, j?avoue que
votre victoire n?est pas des plus victorieuses.? *

     * ?But my dear fellow, with all my respect for the Orthodox
     Russian army, I must say that your victory was not
     particularly victorious.?

He went on talking in this way in French, uttering only those words in
Russian on which he wished to put a contemptuous emphasis.

?Come now! You with all your forces fall on the unfortunate Mortier
and his one division, and even then Mortier slips through your fingers!
Where?s the victory??

?But seriously,? said Prince Andrew, ?we can at any rate say
without boasting that it was a little better than at Ulm...?

?Why didn?t you capture one, just one, marshal for us??

?Because not everything happens as one expects or with the smoothness
of a parade. We had expected, as I told you, to get at their rear by
seven in the morning but had not reached it by five in the afternoon.?

?And why didn?t you do it at seven in the morning? You ought to have
been there at seven in the morning,? returned Bilíbin with a smile.
?You ought to have been there at seven in the morning.?

?Why did you not succeed in impressing on Bonaparte by diplomatic
methods that he had better leave Genoa alone?? retorted Prince Andrew
in the same tone.

?I know,? interrupted Bilíbin, ?you?re thinking it?s very
easy to take marshals, sitting on a sofa by the fire! That is true, but
still why didn?t you capture him? So don?t be surprised if not only
the Minister of War but also his Most August Majesty the Emperor and
King Francis is not much delighted by your victory. Even I, a poor
secretary of the Russian Embassy, do not feel any need in token of my
joy to give my Franz a thaler, or let him go with his Liebchen to the
Prater... True, we have no Prater here...?

He looked straight at Prince Andrew and suddenly unwrinkled his

?It is now my turn to ask you ?why?? mon cher,? said Bolkónski.
?I confess I do not understand: perhaps there are diplomatic
subtleties here beyond my feeble intelligence, but I can?t make it
out. Mack loses a whole army, the Archduke Ferdinand and the Archduke
Karl give no signs of life and make blunder after blunder. Kutúzov
alone at last gains a real victory, destroying the spell of the
invincibility of the French, and the Minister of War does not even care
to hear the details.?

?That?s just it, my dear fellow. You see it?s hurrah for the Tsar,
for Russia, for the Orthodox Greek faith! All that is beautiful, but
what do we, I mean the Austrian court, care for your victories? Bring
us nice news of a victory by the Archduke Karl or Ferdinand (one
archduke?s as good as another, as you know) and even if it is only
over a fire brigade of Bonaparte?s, that will be another story and
we?ll fire off some cannon! But this sort of thing seems done
on purpose to vex us. The Archduke Karl does nothing, the Archduke
Ferdinand disgraces himself. You abandon Vienna, give up its
defense?as much as to say: ?Heaven is with us, but heaven help you
and your capital!? The one general whom we all loved, Schmidt, you
expose to a bullet, and then you congratulate us on the victory! Admit
that more irritating news than yours could not have been conceived.
It?s as if it had been done on purpose, on purpose. Besides, suppose
you did gain a brilliant victory, if even the Archduke Karl gained a
victory, what effect would that have on the general course of events?
It?s too late now when Vienna is occupied by the French army!?

?What? Occupied? Vienna occupied??

?Not only occupied, but Bonaparte is at Schönbrunn, and the count,
our dear Count Vrbna, goes to him for orders.?

After the fatigues and impressions of the journey, his reception, and
especially after having dined, Bolkónski felt that he could not take in
the full significance of the words he heard.

?Count Lichtenfels was here this morning,? Bilíbin continued,
?and showed me a letter in which the parade of the French in Vienna
was fully described: Prince Murat et tout le tremblement... You see that
your victory is not a matter for great rejoicing and that you can?t be
received as a savior.?

?Really I don?t care about that, I don?t care at all,? said
Prince Andrew, beginning to understand that his news of the battle
before Krems was really of small importance in view of such events as
the fall of Austria?s capital. ?How is it Vienna was taken? What of
the bridge and its celebrated bridgehead and Prince Auersperg? We heard
reports that Prince Auersperg was defending Vienna?? he said.

?Prince Auersperg is on this, on our side of the river, and is
defending us?doing it very badly, I think, but still he is defending
us. But Vienna is on the other side. No, the bridge has not yet been
taken and I hope it will not be, for it is mined and orders have been
given to blow it up. Otherwise we should long ago have been in the
mountains of Bohemia, and you and your army would have spent a bad
quarter of an hour between two fires.?

?But still this does not mean that the campaign is over,? said
Prince Andrew.

?Well, I think it is. The bigwigs here think so too, but they
daren?t say so. It will be as I said at the beginning of the campaign,
it won?t be your skirmishing at Dürrenstein, or gunpowder at all,
that will decide the matter, but those who devised it,? said Bilíbin
quoting one of his own mots, releasing the wrinkles on his forehead, and
pausing. ?The only question is what will come of the meeting between
the Emperor Alexander and the King of Prussia in Berlin? If Prussia
joins the Allies, Austria?s hand will be forced and there will be war.
If not it is merely a question of settling where the preliminaries of
the new Campo Formio are to be drawn up.?

?What an extraordinary genius!? Prince Andrew suddenly exclaimed,
clenching his small hand and striking the table with it, ?and what
luck the man has!?

?Buonaparte?? said Bilíbin inquiringly, puckering up his forehead
to indicate that he was about to say something witty. ?Buonaparte??
he repeated, accentuating the u: ?I think, however, now that he lays
down laws for Austria at Schönbrunn, il faut lui faire grâce de
l?u! * I shall certainly adopt an innovation and call him simply

    * ?We must let him off the u!?

?But joking apart,? said Prince Andrew, ?do you really think the
campaign is over??

?This is what I think. Austria has been made a fool of, and she is
not used to it. She will retaliate. And she has been fooled in the
first place because her provinces have been pillaged?they say the Holy
Russian army loots terribly?her army is destroyed, her capital
taken, and all this for the beaux yeux * of His Sardinian Majesty. And
therefore?this is between ourselves?I instinctively feel that we
are being deceived, my instinct tells me of negotiations with France and
projects for peace, a secret peace concluded separately.?

    * Fine eyes.

?Impossible!? cried Prince Andrew. ?That would be too base.?

?If we live we shall see,? replied Bilíbin, his face again becoming
smooth as a sign that the conversation was at an end.

When Prince Andrew reached the room prepared for him and lay down in a
clean shirt on the feather bed with its warmed and fragrant pillows, he
felt that the battle of which he had brought tidings was far, far
away from him. The alliance with Prussia, Austria?s treachery,
Bonaparte?s new triumph, tomorrow?s levee and parade, and the
audience with the Emperor Francis occupied his thoughts.

He closed his eyes, and immediately a sound of cannonading, of musketry
and the rattling of carriage wheels seemed to fill his ears, and now
again drawn out in a thin line the musketeers were descending the hill,
the French were firing, and he felt his heart palpitating as he rode
forward beside Schmidt with the bullets merrily whistling all around,
and he experienced tenfold the joy of living, as he had not done since

He woke up...

?Yes, that all happened!? he said, and, smiling happily to himself
like a child, he fell into a deep, youthful slumber.


Next day he woke late. Recalling his recent impressions, the first
thought that came into his mind was that today he had to be presented
to the Emperor Francis; he remembered the Minister of War, the polite
Austrian adjutant, Bilíbin, and last night?s conversation. Having
dressed for his attendance at court in full parade uniform, which he
had not worn for a long time, he went into Bilíbin?s study fresh,
animated, and handsome, with his hand bandaged. In the study were four
gentlemen of the diplomatic corps. With Prince Hippolyte Kurágin,
who was a secretary to the embassy, Bolkónski was already acquainted.
Bilíbin introduced him to the others.

The gentlemen assembled at Bilíbin?s were young, wealthy, gay society
men, who here, as in Vienna, formed a special set which Bilíbin, their
leader, called les nôtres. * This set, consisting almost exclusively of
diplomats, evidently had its own interests which had nothing to do with
war or politics but related to high society, to certain women, and to
the official side of the service. These gentlemen received Prince
Andrew as one of themselves, an honor they did not extend to many. From
politeness and to start conversation, they asked him a few questions
about the army and the battle, and then the talk went off into merry
jests and gossip.

    * Ours.

?But the best of it was,? said one, telling of the misfortune of
a fellow diplomat, ?that the Chancellor told him flatly that his
appointment to London was a promotion and that he was so to regard it.
Can you fancy the figure he cut?...?

?But the worst of it, gentlemen?I am giving Kurágin away to
you?is that that man suffers, and this Don Juan, wicked fellow, is
taking advantage of it!?

Prince Hippolyte was lolling in a lounge chair with his legs over its
arm. He began to laugh.

?Tell me about that!? he said.

?Oh, you Don Juan! You serpent!? cried several voices.

?You, Bolkónski, don?t know,? said Bilíbin turning to Prince
Andrew, ?that all the atrocities of the French army (I nearly said of
the Russian army) are nothing compared to what this man has been doing
among the women!?

?La femme est la compagne de l?homme,? * announced Prince
Hippolyte, and began looking through a lorgnette at his elevated legs.

    * ?Woman is man?s companion.?

Bilíbin and the rest of ?ours? burst out laughing in Hippolyte?s
face, and Prince Andrew saw that Hippolyte, of whom?he had to
admit?he had almost been jealous on his wife?s account, was the butt
of this set.

?Oh, I must give you a treat,? Bilíbin whispered to Bolkónski.
?Kurágin is exquisite when he discusses politics?you should see his

He sat down beside Hippolyte and wrinkling his forehead began talking
to him about politics. Prince Andrew and the others gathered round these

?The Berlin cabinet cannot express a feeling of alliance,? began
Hippolyte gazing round with importance at the others, ?without
expressing... as in its last note... you understand... Besides, unless
His Majesty the Emperor derogates from the principle of our alliance...

?Wait, I have not finished...? he said to Prince Andrew, seizing
him by the arm, ?I believe that intervention will be stronger than
nonintervention. And...? he paused. ?Finally one cannot impute the
nonreceipt of our dispatch of November 18. That is how it will end.?
And he released Bolkónski?s arm to indicate that he had now quite

?Demosthenes, I know thee by the pebble thou secretest in thy golden
mouth!? said Bilíbin, and the mop of hair on his head moved with

Everybody laughed, and Hippolyte louder than anyone. He was evidently
distressed, and breathed painfully, but could not restrain the wild
laughter that convulsed his usually impassive features.

?Well now, gentlemen,? said Bilíbin, ?Bolkónski is my guest in
this house and in Brünn itself. I want to entertain him as far as I
can, with all the pleasures of life here. If we were in Vienna it would
be easy, but here, in this wretched Moravian hole, it is more difficult,
and I beg you all to help me. Brünn?s attractions must be shown him.
You can undertake the theater, I society, and you, Hippolyte, of course
the women.?

?We must let him see Amelie, she?s exquisite!? said one of
?ours,? kissing his finger tips.

?In general we must turn this bloodthirsty soldier to more humane
interests,? said Bilíbin.

?I shall scarcely be able to avail myself of your hospitality,
gentlemen, it is already time for me to go,? replied Prince Andrew
looking at his watch.

?Where to??

?To the Emperor.?

?Oh! Oh! Oh!?

?Well, au revoir, Bolkónski! Au revoir, Prince! Come back early to
dinner,? cried several voices. ?We?ll take you in hand.?

?When speaking to the Emperor, try as far as you can to praise the way
that provisions are supplied and the routes indicated,? said Bilíbin,
accompanying him to the hall.

?I should like to speak well of them, but as far as I know the facts,
I can?t,? replied Bolkónski, smiling.

?Well, talk as much as you can, anyway. He has a passion for giving
audiences, but he does not like talking himself and can?t do it, as
you will see.?


At the levee Prince Andrew stood among the Austrian officers as he had
been told to, and the Emperor Francis merely looked fixedly into his
face and just nodded to him with his long head. But after it was
over, the adjutant he had seen the previous day ceremoniously informed
Bolkónski that the Emperor desired to give him an audience. The Emperor
Francis received him standing in the middle of the room. Before the
conversation began Prince Andrew was struck by the fact that the Emperor
seemed confused and blushed as if not knowing what to say.

?Tell me, when did the battle begin?? he asked hurriedly.

Prince Andrew replied. Then followed other questions just as simple:
?Was Kutúzov well? When had he left Krems?? and so on. The Emperor
spoke as if his sole aim were to put a given number of questions?the
answers to these questions, as was only too evident, did not interest

?At what o?clock did the battle begin?? asked the Emperor.

?I cannot inform Your Majesty at what o?clock the battle began at
the front, but at Dürrenstein, where I was, our attack began after
five in the afternoon,? replied Bolkónski growing more animated and
expecting that he would have a chance to give a reliable account, which
he had ready in his mind, of all he knew and had seen. But the Emperor
smiled and interrupted him.

?How many miles??

?From where to where, Your Majesty??

?From Dürrenstein to Krems.?

?Three and a half miles, Your Majesty.?

?The French have abandoned the left bank??

?According to the scouts the last of them crossed on rafts during the

?Is there sufficient forage in Krems??

?Forage has not been supplied to the extent...?

The Emperor interrupted him.

?At what o?clock was General Schmidt killed??

?At seven o?clock, I believe.?

?At seven o?clock? It?s very sad, very sad!?

The Emperor thanked Prince Andrew and bowed. Prince Andrew withdrew and
was immediately surrounded by courtiers on all sides. Everywhere he
saw friendly looks and heard friendly words. Yesterday?s adjutant
reproached him for not having stayed at the palace, and offered him
his own house. The Minister of War came up and congratulated him on the
Maria Theresa Order of the third grade, which the Emperor was conferring
on him. The Empress? chamberlain invited him to see Her Majesty. The
archduchess also wished to see him. He did not know whom to answer, and
for a few seconds collected his thoughts. Then the Russian ambassador
took him by the shoulder, led him to the window, and began to talk to

Contrary to Bilíbin?s forecast the news he had brought was joyfully
received. A thanksgiving service was arranged, Kutúzov was awarded
the Grand Cross of Maria Theresa, and the whole army received rewards.
Bolkónski was invited everywhere, and had to spend the whole morning
calling on the principal Austrian dignitaries. Between four and five
in the afternoon, having made all his calls, he was returning to
Bilíbin?s house thinking out a letter to his father about the battle
and his visit to Brünn. At the door he found a vehicle half full of
luggage. Franz, Bilíbin?s man, was dragging a portmanteau with some
difficulty out of the front door.

Before returning to Bilíbin?s Prince Andrew had gone to a bookshop
to provide himself with some books for the campaign, and had spent some
time in the shop.

?What is it?? he asked.

?Oh, your excellency!? said Franz, with difficulty rolling the
portmanteau into the vehicle, ?we are to move on still farther. The
scoundrel is again at our heels!?

?Eh? What?? asked Prince Andrew.

Bilíbin came out to meet him. His usually calm face showed excitement.

?There now! Confess that this is delightful,? said he. ?This
affair of the Thabor Bridge, at Vienna.... They have crossed without
striking a blow!?

Prince Andrew could not understand.

?But where do you come from not to know what every coachman in the
town knows??

?I come from the archduchess?. I heard nothing there.?

?And you didn?t see that everybody is packing up??

?I did not... What is it all about?? inquired Prince Andrew

?What?s it all about? Why, the French have crossed the bridge that
Auersperg was defending, and the bridge was not blown up: so Murat
is now rushing along the road to Brünn and will be here in a day or

?What? Here? But why did they not blow up the bridge, if it was

?That is what I ask you. No one, not even Bonaparte, knows why.?

Bolkónski shrugged his shoulders.

?But if the bridge is crossed it means that the army too is lost? It
will be cut off,? said he.

?That?s just it,? answered Bilíbin. ?Listen! The French entered
Vienna as I told you. Very well. Next day, which was yesterday, those
gentlemen, messieurs les maréchaux, * Murat, Lannes, and Belliard,
mount and ride to the bridge. (Observe that all three are Gascons.)
?Gentlemen,? says one of them, ?you know the Thabor Bridge is
mined and doubly mined and that there are menacing fortifications at its
head and an army of fifteen thousand men has been ordered to blow up
the bridge and not let us cross? But it will please our sovereign the
Emperor Napoleon if we take this bridge, so let us three go and take
it!? ?Yes, let?s!? say the others. And off they go and take the
bridge, cross it, and now with their whole army are on this side of the
Danube, marching on us, you, and your lines of communication.?

    * The marshalls.

?Stop jesting,? said Prince Andrew sadly and seriously. This news
grieved him and yet he was pleased.

As soon as he learned that the Russian army was in such a hopeless
situation it occurred to him that it was he who was destined to lead it
out of this position; that here was the Toulon that would lift him from
the ranks of obscure officers and offer him the first step to fame!
Listening to Bilíbin he was already imagining how on reaching the army
he would give an opinion at the war council which would be the only one
that could save the army, and how he alone would be entrusted with the
executing of the plan.

?Stop this jesting,? he said.

?I am not jesting,? Bilíbin went on. ?Nothing is truer or sadder.
These gentlemen ride onto the bridge alone and wave white handkerchiefs;
they assure the officer on duty that they, the marshals, are on
their way to negotiate with Prince Auersperg. He lets them enter the
tête-de-pont. * They spin him a thousand gasconades, saying that
the war is over, that the Emperor Francis is arranging a meeting with
Bonaparte, that they desire to see Prince Auersperg, and so on. The
officer sends for Auersperg; these gentlemen embrace the officers, crack
jokes, sit on the cannon, and meanwhile a French battalion gets to
the bridge unobserved, flings the bags of incendiary material into
the water, and approaches the tête-de-pont. At length appears the
lieutenant general, our dear Prince Auersperg von Mautern himself.
?Dearest foe! Flower of the Austrian army, hero of the Turkish wars!
Hostilities are ended, we can shake one another?s hand.... The
Emperor Napoleon burns with impatience to make Prince Auersperg?s
acquaintance.? In a word, those gentlemen, Gascons indeed, so
bewildered him with fine words, and he is so flattered by his rapidly
established intimacy with the French marshals, and so dazzled by the
sight of Murat?s mantle and ostrich plumes, qu?il n?y voit que du
feu, et oublie celui qu?il devait faire faire sur l?ennemi!? *(2)
In spite of the animation of his speech, Bilíbin did not forget to
pause after this mot to give time for its due appreciation. ?The
French battalion rushes to the bridgehead, spikes the guns, and the
bridge is taken! But what is best of all,? he went on, his excitement
subsiding under the delightful interest of his own story, ?is that the
sergeant in charge of the cannon which was to give the signal to fire
the mines and blow up the bridge, this sergeant, seeing that the French
troops were running onto the bridge, was about to fire, but Lannes
stayed his hand. The sergeant, who was evidently wiser than his general,
goes up to Auersperg and says: ?Prince, you are being deceived, here
are the French!? Murat, seeing that all is lost if the sergeant is
allowed to speak, turns to Auersperg with feigned astonishment (he is a
true Gascon) and says: ?I don?t recognize the world-famous Austrian
discipline, if you allow a subordinate to address you like that!? It
was a stroke of genius. Prince Auersperg feels his dignity at stake and
orders the sergeant to be arrested. Come, you must own that this affair
of the Thabor Bridge is delightful! It is not exactly stupidity, nor

     * Bridgehead.

     * (2) That their fire gets into his eyes and he forgets that
     he ought to be firing at the enemy.

?It may be treachery,? said Prince Andrew, vividly imagining the
gray overcoats, wounds, the smoke of gunpowder, the sounds of firing,
and the glory that awaited him.

?Not that either. That puts the court in too bad a light,? replied
Bilíbin. ?It?s not treachery nor rascality nor stupidity: it is
just as at Ulm... it is...??he seemed to be trying to find the right
expression. ?C?est... c?est du Mack. Nous sommes mackés (It is...
it is a bit of Mack. We are Macked),? he concluded, feeling that he
had produced a good epigram, a fresh one that would be repeated. His
hitherto puckered brow became smooth as a sign of pleasure, and with a
slight smile he began to examine his nails.

?Where are you off to?? he said suddenly to Prince Andrew who had
risen and was going toward his room.

?I am going away.?

?Where to??

?To the army.?

?But you meant to stay another two days??

?But now I am off at once.?

And Prince Andrew after giving directions about his departure went to
his room.

?Do you know, mon cher,? said Bilíbin following him, ?I have been
thinking about you. Why are you going??

And in proof of the conclusiveness of his opinion all the wrinkles
vanished from his face.

Prince Andrew looked inquiringly at him and gave no reply.

?Why are you going? I know you think it your duty to gallop back to
the army now that it is in danger. I understand that. Mon cher, it is

?Not at all,? said Prince Andrew.

?But as you are a philosopher, be a consistent one, look at the other
side of the question and you will see that your duty, on the contrary,
is to take care of yourself. Leave it to those who are no longer fit for
anything else.... You have not been ordered to return and have not been
dismissed from here; therefore, you can stay and go with us wherever our
ill luck takes us. They say we are going to Olmütz, and Olmütz is a
very decent town. You and I will travel comfortably in my calèche.?

?Do stop joking, Bilíbin,? cried Bolkónski.

?I am speaking sincerely as a friend! Consider! Where and why are
you going, when you might remain here? You are faced by one of two
things,? and the skin over his left temple puckered, ?either you
will not reach your regiment before peace is concluded, or you will
share defeat and disgrace with Kutúzov?s whole army.?

And Bilíbin unwrinkled his temple, feeling that the dilemma was

?I cannot argue about it,? replied Prince Andrew coldly, but he
thought: ?I am going to save the army.?

?My dear fellow, you are a hero!? said Bilíbin.


That same night, having taken leave of the Minister of War, Bolkónski
set off to rejoin the army, not knowing where he would find it and
fearing to be captured by the French on the way to Krems.

In Brünn everybody attached to the court was packing up, and the heavy
baggage was already being dispatched to Olmütz. Near Hetzelsdorf Prince
Andrew struck the high road along which the Russian army was moving with
great haste and in the greatest disorder. The road was so obstructed
with carts that it was impossible to get by in a carriage. Prince Andrew
took a horse and a Cossack from a Cossack commander, and hungry and
weary, making his way past the baggage wagons, rode in search of the
commander in chief and of his own luggage. Very sinister reports of the
position of the army reached him as he went along, and the appearance of
the troops in their disorderly flight confirmed these rumors.

?Cette armée russe que l?or de l?Angleterre a transportée des
extrémités de l?univers, nous allons lui faire éprouver le même
sort?(le sort de l?armée d?Ulm).? * He remembered these words
in Bonaparte?s address to his army at the beginning of the campaign,
and they awoke in him astonishment at the genius of his hero, a feeling
of wounded pride, and a hope of glory. ?And should there be nothing
left but to die?? he thought. ?Well, if need be, I shall do it no
worse than others.?

     * ?That Russian army which has been brought from the ends of
     the earth by English gold, we shall cause to share the same
     fate?(the fate of the army at Ulm).?

He looked with disdain at the endless confused mass of detachments,
carts, guns, artillery, and again baggage wagons and vehicles of all
kinds overtaking one another and blocking the muddy road, three and
sometimes four abreast. From all sides, behind and before, as far as ear
could reach, there were the rattle of wheels, the creaking of carts
and gun carriages, the tramp of horses, the crack of whips, shouts, the
urging of horses, and the swearing of soldiers, orderlies, and officers.
All along the sides of the road fallen horses were to be seen, some
flayed, some not, and broken-down carts beside which solitary soldiers
sat waiting for something, and again soldiers straggling from their
companies, crowds of whom set off to the neighboring villages, or
returned from them dragging sheep, fowls, hay, and bulging sacks. At
each ascent or descent of the road the crowds were yet denser and the
din of shouting more incessant. Soldiers floundering knee-deep in mud
pushed the guns and wagons themselves. Whips cracked, hoofs slipped,
traces broke, and lungs were strained with shouting. The officers
directing the march rode backward and forward between the carts. Their
voices were but feebly heard amid the uproar and one saw by their faces
that they despaired of the possibility of checking this disorder.

?Here is our dear Orthodox Russian army,? thought Bolkónski,
recalling Bilíbin?s words.

Wishing to find out where the commander in chief was, he rode up to
a convoy. Directly opposite to him came a strange one-horse vehicle,
evidently rigged up by soldiers out of any available materials and
looking like something between a cart, a cabriolet, and a calèche.
A soldier was driving, and a woman enveloped in shawls sat behind the
apron under the leather hood of the vehicle. Prince Andrew rode up
and was just putting his question to a soldier when his attention
was diverted by the desperate shrieks of the woman in the vehicle. An
officer in charge of transport was beating the soldier who was driving
the woman?s vehicle for trying to get ahead of others, and the strokes
of his whip fell on the apron of the equipage. The woman screamed
piercingly. Seeing Prince Andrew she leaned out from behind the apron
and, waving her thin arms from under the woolen shawl, cried:

?Mr. Aide-de-camp! Mr. Aide-de-camp!... For heaven?s sake... Protect
me! What will become of us? I am the wife of the doctor of the Seventh
Chasseurs.... They won?t let us pass, we are left behind and have lost
our people...?

?I?ll flatten you into a pancake!? shouted the angry officer to
the soldier. ?Turn back with your slut!?

?Mr. Aide-de-camp! Help me!... What does it all mean?? screamed the
doctor?s wife.

?Kindly let this cart pass. Don?t you see it?s a woman?? said
Prince Andrew riding up to the officer.

The officer glanced at him, and without replying turned again to the
soldier. ?I?ll teach you to push on!... Back!?

?Let them pass, I tell you!? repeated Prince Andrew, compressing his

?And who are you?? cried the officer, turning on him with tipsy
rage, ?who are you? Are you in command here? Eh? I am commander here,
not you! Go back or I?ll flatten you into a pancake,? repeated he.
This expression evidently pleased him.

?That was a nice snub for the little aide-de-camp,? came a voice
from behind.

Prince Andrew saw that the officer was in that state of senseless,
tipsy rage when a man does not know what he is saying. He saw that his
championship of the doctor?s wife in her queer trap might expose him
to what he dreaded more than anything in the world?to ridicule; but
his instinct urged him on. Before the officer finished his sentence
Prince Andrew, his face distorted with fury, rode up to him and raised
his riding whip.

? let?them?pass!?

The officer flourished his arm and hastily rode away.

?It?s all the fault of these fellows on the staff that there?s
this disorder,? he muttered. ?Do as you like.?

Prince Andrew without lifting his eyes rode hastily away from the
doctor?s wife, who was calling him her deliverer, and recalling with
a sense of disgust the minutest details of this humiliating scene he
galloped on to the village where he was told that the commander in chief

On reaching the village he dismounted and went to the nearest house,
intending to rest if but for a moment, eat something, and try to sort
out the stinging and tormenting thoughts that confused his mind. ?This
is a mob of scoundrels and not an army,? he was thinking as he went
up to the window of the first house, when a familiar voice called him by

He turned round. Nesvítski?s handsome face looked out of the little
window. Nesvítski, moving his moist lips as he chewed something, and
flourishing his arm, called him to enter.

?Bolkónski! Bolkónski!... Don?t you hear? Eh? Come quick...? he

Entering the house, Prince Andrew saw Nesvítski and another adjutant
having something to eat. They hastily turned round to him asking if he
had any news. On their familiar faces he read agitation and alarm.
This was particularly noticeable on Nesvítski?s usually laughing

?Where is the commander in chief?? asked Bolkónski.

?Here, in that house,? answered the adjutant.

?Well, is it true that it?s peace and capitulation?? asked

?I was going to ask you. I know nothing except that it was all I could
do to get here.?

?And we, my dear boy! It?s terrible! I was wrong to laugh at Mack,
we?re getting it still worse,? said Nesvítski. ?But sit down and
have something to eat.?

?You won?t be able to find either your baggage or anything else now,
Prince. And God only knows where your man Peter is,? said the other

?Where are headquarters??

?We are to spend the night in Znaim.?

?Well, I have got all I need into packs for two horses,? said
Nesvítski. ?They?ve made up splendid packs for me?fit to cross
the Bohemian mountains with. It?s a bad lookout, old fellow! But
what?s the matter with you? You must be ill to shiver like that,? he
added, noticing that Prince Andrew winced as at an electric shock.

?It?s nothing,? replied Prince Andrew.

He had just remembered his recent encounter with the doctor?s wife and
the convoy officer.

?What is the commander in chief doing here?? he asked.

?I can?t make out at all,? said Nesvítski.

?Well, all I can make out is that everything is abominable,
abominable, quite abominable!? said Prince Andrew, and he went off to
the house where the commander in chief was.

Passing by Kutúzov?s carriage and the exhausted saddle horses of
his suite, with their Cossacks who were talking loudly together, Prince
Andrew entered the passage. Kutúzov himself, he was told, was in the
house with Prince Bagratión and Weyrother. Weyrother was the Austrian
general who had succeeded Schmidt. In the passage little Kozlóvski was
squatting on his heels in front of a clerk. The clerk, with cuffs turned
up, was hastily writing at a tub turned bottom upwards. Kozlóvski?s
face looked worn?he too had evidently not slept all night. He glanced
at Prince Andrew and did not even nod to him.

?Second line... have you written it?? he continued dictating to the
clerk. ?The Kiev Grenadiers, Podolian...?

?One can?t write so fast, your honor,? said the clerk, glancing
angrily and disrespectfully at Kozlóvski.

Through the door came the sounds of Kutúzov?s voice, excited and
dissatisfied, interrupted by another, an unfamiliar voice. From the
sound of these voices, the inattentive way Kozlóvski looked at him, the
disrespectful manner of the exhausted clerk, the fact that the clerk and
Kozlóvski were squatting on the floor by a tub so near to the commander
in chief, and from the noisy laughter of the Cossacks holding the
horses near the window, Prince Andrew felt that something important and
disastrous was about to happen.

He turned to Kozlóvski with urgent questions.

?Immediately, Prince,? said Kozlóvski. ?Dispositions for

?What about capitulation??

?Nothing of the sort. Orders are issued for a battle.?

Prince Andrew moved toward the door from whence voices were heard.
Just as he was going to open it the sounds ceased, the door opened, and
Kutúzov with his eagle nose and puffy face appeared in the doorway.
Prince Andrew stood right in front of Kutúzov but the expression of
the commander in chief?s one sound eye showed him to be so preoccupied
with thoughts and anxieties as to be oblivious of his presence. He
looked straight at his adjutant?s face without recognizing him.

?Well, have you finished?? said he to Kozlóvski.

?One moment, your excellency.?

Bagratión, a gaunt middle-aged man of medium height with a firm,
impassive face of Oriental type, came out after the commander in chief.

?I have the honor to present myself,? repeated Prince Andrew rather
loudly, handing Kutúzov an envelope.

?Ah, from Vienna? Very good. Later, later!?

Kutúzov went out into the porch with Bagratión.

?Well, good-by, Prince,? said he to Bagratión. ?My blessing, and
may Christ be with you in your great endeavor!?

His face suddenly softened and tears came into his eyes. With his left
hand he drew Bagratión toward him, and with his right, on which he wore
a ring, he made the sign of the cross over him with a gesture evidently
habitual, offering his puffy cheek, but Bagratión kissed him on the
neck instead.

?Christ be with you!? Kutúzov repeated and went toward his
carriage. ?Get in with me,? said he to Bolkónski.

?Your excellency, I should like to be of use here. Allow me to remain
with Prince Bagratión?s detachment.?

?Get in,? said Kutúzov, and noticing that Bolkónski still delayed,
he added: ?I need good officers myself, need them myself!?

They got into the carriage and drove for a few minutes in silence.

?There is still much, much before us,? he said, as if with an old
man?s penetration he understood all that was passing in Bolkónski?s
mind. ?If a tenth part of his detachment returns I shall thank God,?
he added as if speaking to himself.

Prince Andrew glanced at Kutúzov?s face only a foot distant from him
and involuntarily noticed the carefully washed seams of the scar near
his temple, where an Ismail bullet had pierced his skull, and the empty
eye socket. ?Yes, he has a right to speak so calmly of those men?s
death,? thought Bolkónski.

?That is why I beg to be sent to that detachment,? he said.

Kutúzov did not reply. He seemed to have forgotten what he had been
saying, and sat plunged in thought. Five minutes later, gently swaying
on the soft springs of the carriage, he turned to Prince Andrew.
There was not a trace of agitation on his face. With delicate irony he
questioned Prince Andrew about the details of his interview with the
Emperor, about the remarks he had heard at court concerning the Krems
affair, and about some ladies they both knew.


On November 1 Kutúzov had received, through a spy, news that the army
he commanded was in an almost hopeless position. The spy reported that
the French, after crossing the bridge at Vienna, were advancing in
immense force upon Kutúzov?s line of communication with the troops
that were arriving from Russia. If Kutúzov decided to remain at Krems,
Napoleon?s army of one hundred and fifty thousand men would cut him
off completely and surround his exhausted army of forty thousand, and he
would find himself in the position of Mack at Ulm. If Kutúzov decided
to abandon the road connecting him with the troops arriving from Russia,
he would have to march with no road into unknown parts of the Bohemian
mountains, defending himself against superior forces of the enemy and
abandoning all hope of a junction with Buxhöwden. If Kutúzov decided
to retreat along the road from Krems to Olmütz, to unite with the
troops arriving from Russia, he risked being forestalled on that road
by the French who had crossed the Vienna bridge, and encumbered by his
baggage and transport, having to accept battle on the march against an
enemy three times as strong, who would hem him in from two sides.

Kutúzov chose this latter course.

The French, the spy reported, having crossed the Vienna bridge, were
advancing by forced marches toward Znaim, which lay sixty-six miles
off on the line of Kutúzov?s retreat. If he reached Znaim before the
French, there would be great hope of saving the army; to let the
French forestall him at Znaim meant the exposure of his whole army to a
disgrace such as that of Ulm, or to utter destruction. But to forestall
the French with his whole army was impossible. The road for the French
from Vienna to Znaim was shorter and better than the road for the
Russians from Krems to Znaim.

The night he received the news, Kutúzov sent Bagratión?s vanguard,
four thousand strong, to the right across the hills from the Krems-Znaim
to the Vienna-Znaim road. Bagratión was to make this march without
resting, and to halt facing Vienna with Znaim to his rear, and if he
succeeded in forestalling the French he was to delay them as long as
possible. Kutúzov himself with all his transport took the road to

Marching thirty miles that stormy night across roadless hills, with his
hungry, ill-shod soldiers, and losing a third of his men as stragglers
by the way, Bagratión came out on the Vienna-Znaim road at Hollabrünn
a few hours ahead of the French who were approaching Hollabrünn from
Vienna. Kutúzov with his transport had still to march for some days
before he could reach Znaim. Hence Bagratión with his four thousand
hungry, exhausted men would have to detain for days the whole enemy army
that came upon him at Hollabrünn, which was clearly impossible. But
a freak of fate made the impossible possible. The success of the trick
that had placed the Vienna bridge in the hands of the French without
a fight led Murat to try to deceive Kutúzov in a similar way. Meeting
Bagratión?s weak detachment on the Znaim road he supposed it to be
Kutúzov?s whole army. To be able to crush it absolutely he awaited
the arrival of the rest of the troops who were on their way from Vienna,
and with this object offered a three days? truce on condition that
both armies should remain in position without moving. Murat declared
that negotiations for peace were already proceeding, and that he
therefore offered this truce to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. Count
Nostitz, the Austrian general occupying the advanced posts, believed
Murat?s emissary and retired, leaving Bagratión?s division
exposed. Another emissary rode to the Russian line to announce the peace
negotiations and to offer the Russian army the three days? truce.
Bagratión replied that he was not authorized either to accept or refuse
a truce and sent his adjutant to Kutúzov to report the offer he had

A truce was Kutúzov?s sole chance of gaining time, giving
Bagratión?s exhausted troops some rest, and letting the transport and
heavy convoys (whose movements were concealed from the French) advance
if but one stage nearer Znaim. The offer of a truce gave the only, and
a quite unexpected, chance of saving the army. On receiving the news
he immediately dispatched Adjutant General Wintzingerode, who was in
attendance on him, to the enemy camp. Wintzingerode was not merely
to agree to the truce but also to offer terms of capitulation, and
meanwhile Kutúzov sent his adjutants back to hasten to the utmost the
movements of the baggage trains of the entire army along the Krems-Znaim
road. Bagratión?s exhausted and hungry detachment, which alone
covered this movement of the transport and of the whole army, had to
remain stationary in face of an enemy eight times as strong as itself.

Kutúzov?s expectations that the proposals of capitulation (which were
in no way binding) might give time for part of the transport to pass,
and also that Murat?s mistake would very soon be discovered, proved
correct. As soon as Bonaparte (who was at Schönbrunn, sixteen miles
from Hollabrünn) received Murat?s dispatch with the proposal of a
truce and a capitulation, he detected a ruse and wrote the following
letter to Murat:

Schönbrunn, 25th Brumaire, 1805,

at eight o?clock in the morning


I cannot find words to express to you my displeasure. You command only
my advance guard, and have no right to arrange an armistice without my
order. You are causing me to lose the fruits of a campaign. Break
the armistice immediately and march on the enemy. Inform him that the
general who signed that capitulation had no right to do so, and that no
one but the Emperor of Russia has that right.

If, however, the Emperor of Russia ratifies that convention, I will
ratify it; but it is only a trick. March on, destroy the Russian
army.... You are in a position to seize its baggage and artillery.

The Russian Emperor?s aide-de-camp is an impostor. Officers are
nothing when they have no powers; this one had none.... The Austrians
let themselves be tricked at the crossing of the Vienna bridge, you are
letting yourself be tricked by an aide-de-camp of the Emperor.


Bonaparte?s adjutant rode full gallop with this menacing letter to
Murat. Bonaparte himself, not trusting to his generals, moved with all
the Guards to the field of battle, afraid of letting a ready victim
escape, and Bagratión?s four thousand men merrily lighted campfires,
dried and warmed themselves, cooked their porridge for the first time
for three days, and not one of them knew or imagined what was in store
for him.


Between three and four o?clock in the afternoon Prince Andrew, who
had persisted in his request to Kutúzov, arrived at Grunth and reported
himself to Bagratión. Bonaparte?s adjutant had not yet reached
Murat?s detachment and the battle had not yet begun. In Bagratión?s
detachment no one knew anything of the general position of affairs. They
talked of peace but did not believe in its possibility; others talked
of a battle but also disbelieved in the nearness of an engagement.
Bagratión, knowing Bolkónski to be a favorite and trusted adjutant,
received him with distinction and special marks of favor, explaining to
him that there would probably be an engagement that day or the next, and
giving him full liberty to remain with him during the battle or to join
the rearguard and have an eye on the order of retreat, ?which is also
very important.?

?However, there will hardly be an engagement today,? said Bagratión
as if to reassure Prince Andrew.

?If he is one of the ordinary little staff dandies sent to earn a
medal he can get his reward just as well in the rearguard, but if he
wishes to stay with me, let him... he?ll be of use here if he?s a
brave officer,? thought Bagratión. Prince Andrew, without replying,
asked the prince?s permission to ride round the position to see the
disposition of the forces, so as to know his bearings should he be sent
to execute an order. The officer on duty, a handsome, elegantly dressed
man with a diamond ring on his forefinger, who was fond of speaking
French though he spoke it badly, offered to conduct Prince Andrew.

On all sides they saw rain-soaked officers with dejected faces who
seemed to be seeking something, and soldiers dragging doors, benches,
and fencing from the village.

?There now, Prince! We can?t stop those fellows,? said the staff
officer pointing to the soldiers. ?The officers don?t keep them in
hand. And there,? he pointed to a sutler?s tent, ?they crowd in
and sit. This morning I turned them all out and now look, it?s full
again. I must go there, Prince, and scare them a bit. It won?t take a

?Yes, let?s go in and I will get myself a roll and some cheese,?
said Prince Andrew who had not yet had time to eat anything.

?Why didn?t you mention it, Prince? I would have offered you

They dismounted and entered the tent. Several officers, with flushed and
weary faces, were sitting at the table eating and drinking.

?Now what does this mean, gentlemen?? said the staff officer, in
the reproachful tone of a man who has repeated the same thing more
than once. ?You know it won?t do to leave your posts like this.
The prince gave orders that no one should leave his post. Now you,
Captain,? and he turned to a thin, dirty little artillery officer who
without his boots (he had given them to the canteen keeper to dry),
in only his stockings, rose when they entered, smiling not altogether

?Well, aren?t you ashamed of yourself, Captain Túshin?? he
continued. ?One would think that as an artillery officer you would set
a good example, yet here you are without your boots! The alarm will be
sounded and you?ll be in a pretty position without your boots!? (The
staff officer smiled.) ?Kindly return to your posts, gentlemen, all of
you, all!? he added in a tone of command.

Prince Andrew smiled involuntarily as he looked at the artillery officer
Túshin, who silent and smiling, shifting from one stockinged foot to
the other, glanced inquiringly with his large, intelligent, kindly eyes
from Prince Andrew to the staff officer.

?The soldiers say it feels easier without boots,? said Captain
Túshin smiling shyly in his uncomfortable position, evidently wishing
to adopt a jocular tone. But before he had finished he felt that his
jest was unacceptable and had not come off. He grew confused.

?Kindly return to your posts,? said the staff officer trying to
preserve his gravity.

Prince Andrew glanced again at the artillery officer?s small figure.
There was something peculiar about it, quite unsoldierly, rather comic,
but extremely attractive.

The staff officer and Prince Andrew mounted their horses and rode on.

Having ridden beyond the village, continually meeting and overtaking
soldiers and officers of various regiments, they saw on their left some
entrenchments being thrown up, the freshly dug clay of which showed up
red. Several battalions of soldiers, in their shirt sleeves despite
the cold wind, swarmed in these earthworks like a host of white ants;
spadefuls of red clay were continually being thrown up from behind the
bank by unseen hands. Prince Andrew and the officer rode up, looked at
the entrenchment, and went on again. Just behind it they came upon some
dozens of soldiers, continually replaced by others, who ran from the
entrenchment. They had to hold their noses and put their horses to a
trot to escape from the poisoned atmosphere of these latrines.

?Voilà l?agrément des camps, monsieur le prince,? * said the
staff officer.

    * ?This is a pleasure one gets in camp, Prince.?

They rode up the opposite hill. From there the French could already be
seen. Prince Andrew stopped and began examining the position.

?That?s our battery,? said the staff officer indicating the
highest point. ?It?s in charge of the queer fellow we saw without
his boots. You can see everything from there; let?s go there,

?Thank you very much, I will go on alone,? said Prince Andrew,
wishing to rid himself of this staff officer?s company, ?please
don?t trouble yourself further.?

The staff officer remained behind and Prince Andrew rode on alone.

The farther forward and nearer the enemy he went, the more orderly and
cheerful were the troops. The greatest disorder and depression had been
in the baggage train he had passed that morning on the Znaim road seven
miles away from the French. At Grunth also some apprehension and alarm
could be felt, but the nearer Prince Andrew came to the French lines the
more confident was the appearance of our troops. The soldiers in
their greatcoats were ranged in lines, the sergeants major and company
officers were counting the men, poking the last man in each section in
the ribs and telling him to hold his hand up. Soldiers scattered over
the whole place were dragging logs and brushwood and were building
shelters with merry chatter and laughter; around the fires sat others,
dressed and undressed, drying their shirts and leg bands or mending
boots or overcoats and crowding round the boilers and porridge cookers.
In one company dinner was ready, and the soldiers were gazing eagerly
at the steaming boiler, waiting till the sample, which a quartermaster
sergeant was carrying in a wooden bowl to an officer who sat on a log
before his shelter, had been tasted.

Another company, a lucky one for not all the companies had vodka,
crowded round a pockmarked, broad-shouldered sergeant major who, tilting
a keg, filled one after another the canteen lids held out to him. The
soldiers lifted the canteen lids to their lips with reverential faces,
emptied them, rolling the vodka in their mouths, and walked away from
the sergeant major with brightened expressions, licking their lips and
wiping them on the sleeves of their greatcoats. All their faces were
as serene as if all this were happening at home awaiting peaceful
encampment, and not within sight of the enemy before an action in
which at least half of them would be left on the field. After passing a
chasseur regiment and in the lines of the Kiev grenadiers?fine fellows
busy with similar peaceful affairs?near the shelter of the regimental
commander, higher than and different from the others, Prince Andrew came
out in front of a platoon of grenadiers before whom lay a naked man. Two
soldiers held him while two others were flourishing their switches and
striking him regularly on his bare back. The man shrieked unnaturally.
A stout major was pacing up and down the line, and regardless of the
screams kept repeating:

?It?s a shame for a soldier to steal; a soldier must be honest,
honorable, and brave, but if he robs his fellows there is no honor in
him, he?s a scoundrel. Go on! Go on!?

So the swishing sound of the strokes, and the desperate but unnatural
screams, continued.

?Go on, go on!? said the major.

A young officer with a bewildered and pained expression on his face
stepped away from the man and looked round inquiringly at the adjutant
as he rode by.

Prince Andrew, having reached the front line, rode along it. Our front
line and that of the enemy were far apart on the right and left flanks,
but in the center where the men with a flag of truce had passed that
morning, the lines were so near together that the men could see one
another?s faces and speak to one another. Besides the soldiers who
formed the picket line on either side, there were many curious onlookers
who, jesting and laughing, stared at their strange foreign enemies.

Since early morning?despite an injunction not to approach the picket
line?the officers had been unable to keep sight-seers away. The
soldiers forming the picket line, like showmen exhibiting a curiosity,
no longer looked at the French but paid attention to the sight-seers and
grew weary waiting to be relieved. Prince Andrew halted to have a look
at the French.

?Look! Look there!? one soldier was saying to another, pointing to a
Russian musketeer who had gone up to the picket line with an officer and
was rapidly and excitedly talking to a French grenadier. ?Hark to him
jabbering! Fine, isn?t it? It?s all the Frenchy can do to keep up
with him. There now, Sídorov!?

?Wait a bit and listen. It?s fine!? answered Sídorov, who was
considered an adept at French.

The soldier to whom the laughers referred was Dólokhov. Prince Andrew
recognized him and stopped to listen to what he was saying. Dólokhov
had come from the left flank where their regiment was stationed, with
his captain.

?Now then, go on, go on!? incited the officer, bending forward and
trying not to lose a word of the speech which was incomprehensible to
him. ?More, please: more! What?s he saying??

Dólokhov did not answer the captain; he had been drawn into a hot
dispute with the French grenadier. They were naturally talking about the
campaign. The Frenchman, confusing the Austrians with the Russians, was
trying to prove that the Russians had surrendered and had fled all
the way from Ulm, while Dólokhov maintained that the Russians had not
surrendered but had beaten the French.

?We have orders to drive you off here, and we shall drive you off,?
said Dólokhov.

?Only take care you and your Cossacks are not all captured!? said
the French grenadier.

The French onlookers and listeners laughed.

?We?ll make you dance as we did under Suvórov...,? * said

    * ?On vous fera danser.?

?Qu? est-ce qu?il chante?? * asked a Frenchman.

    * ?What?s he singing about??

?It?s ancient history,? said another, guessing that it referred to
a former war. ?The Emperor will teach your Suvara as he has taught the

?Bonaparte...? began Dólokhov, but the Frenchman interrupted him.

?Not Bonaparte. He is the Emperor! Sacré nom...!? cried he angrily.

?The devil skin your Emperor.?

And Dólokhov swore at him in coarse soldier?s Russian and shouldering
his musket walked away.

?Let us go, Iván Lukích,? he said to the captain.

?Ah, that?s the way to talk French,? said the picket soldiers.
?Now, Sídorov, you have a try!?

Sídorov, turning to the French, winked, and began to jabber meaningless
sounds very fast: ?Kari, mala, tafa, safi, muter, Kaská,? he said,
trying to give an expressive intonation to his voice.

?Ho! ho! ho! Ha! ha! ha! ha! Ouh! ouh!? came peals of such healthy
and good-humored laughter from the soldiers that it infected the French
involuntarily, so much so that the only thing left to do seemed to be
to unload the muskets, explode the ammunition, and all return home as
quickly as possible.

But the guns remained loaded, the loopholes in blockhouses and
entrenchments looked out just as menacingly, and the unlimbered cannon
confronted one another as before.


Having ridden round the whole line from right flank to left, Prince
Andrew made his way up to the battery from which the staff officer had
told him the whole field could be seen. Here he dismounted, and stopped
beside the farthest of the four unlimbered cannon. Before the guns an
artillery sentry was pacing up and down; he stood at attention when the
officer arrived, but at a sign resumed his measured, monotonous pacing.
Behind the guns were their limbers and still farther back picket ropes
and artillerymen?s bonfires. To the left, not far from the farthest
cannon, was a small, newly constructed wattle shed from which came the
sound of officers? voices in eager conversation.

It was true that a view over nearly the whole Russian position and the
greater part of the enemy?s opened out from this battery. Just facing
it, on the crest of the opposite hill, the village of Schön Grabern
could be seen, and in three places to left and right the French troops
amid the smoke of their campfires, the greater part of whom were
evidently in the village itself and behind the hill. To the left from
that village, amid the smoke, was something resembling a battery, but it
was impossible to see it clearly with the naked eye. Our right flank was
posted on a rather steep incline which dominated the French position.
Our infantry were stationed there, and at the farthest point the
dragoons. In the center, where Túshin?s battery stood and from which
Prince Andrew was surveying the position, was the easiest and most
direct descent and ascent to the brook separating us from Schön
Grabern. On the left our troops were close to a copse, in which smoked
the bonfires of our infantry who were felling wood. The French line was
wider than ours, and it was plain that they could easily outflank us
on both sides. Behind our position was a steep and deep dip, making it
difficult for artillery and cavalry to retire. Prince Andrew took
out his notebook and, leaning on the cannon, sketched a plan of the
position. He made some notes on two points, intending to mention them to
Bagratión. His idea was, first, to concentrate all the artillery in the
center, and secondly, to withdraw the cavalry to the other side of the
dip. Prince Andrew, being always near the commander in chief, closely
following the mass movements and general orders, and constantly studying
historical accounts of battles, involuntarily pictured to himself the
course of events in the forthcoming action in broad outline. He
imagined only important possibilities: ?If the enemy attacks the right
flank,? he said to himself, ?the Kiev grenadiers and the Podólsk
chasseurs must hold their position till reserves from the center
come up. In that case the dragoons could successfully make a flank
counterattack. If they attack our center we, having the center battery
on this high ground, shall withdraw the left flank under its cover, and
retreat to the dip by echelons.? So he reasoned.... All the time
he had been beside the gun, he had heard the voices of the officers
distinctly, but as often happens had not understood a word of what they
were saying. Suddenly, however, he was struck by a voice coming from the
shed, and its tone was so sincere that he could not but listen.

?No, friend,? said a pleasant and, as it seemed to Prince Andrew, a
familiar voice, ?what I say is that if it were possible to know
what is beyond death, none of us would be afraid of it. That?s so,

Another, a younger voice, interrupted him: ?Afraid or not, you can?t
escape it anyhow.?

?All the same, one is afraid! Oh, you clever people,? said a third
manly voice interrupting them both. ?Of course you artillery men are
very wise, because you can take everything along with you?vodka and

And the owner of the manly voice, evidently an infantry officer,

?Yes, one is afraid,? continued the first speaker, he of the
familiar voice. ?One is afraid of the unknown, that?s what it is.
Whatever we may say about the soul going to the sky... we know there is
no sky but only an atmosphere.?

The manly voice again interrupted the artillery officer.

?Well, stand us some of your herb vodka, Túshin,? it said.

?Why,? thought Prince Andrew, ?that?s the captain who stood up
in the sutler?s hut without his boots.? He recognized the agreeable,
philosophizing voice with pleasure.

?Some herb vodka? Certainly!? said Túshin. ?But still, to
conceive a future life...?

He did not finish. Just then there was a whistle in the air; nearer and
nearer, faster and louder, louder and faster, a cannon ball, as if it
had not finished saying what was necessary, thudded into the ground near
the shed with super human force, throwing up a mass of earth. The ground
seemed to groan at the terrible impact.

And immediately Túshin, with a short pipe in the corner of his mouth
and his kind, intelligent face rather pale, rushed out of the shed
followed by the owner of the manly voice, a dashing infantry officer who
hurried off to his company, buttoning up his coat as he ran.


Mounting his horse again Prince Andrew lingered with the battery,
looking at the puff from the gun that had sent the ball. His eyes
ran rapidly over the wide space, but he only saw that the hitherto
motionless masses of the French now swayed and that there really was
a battery to their left. The smoke above it had not yet dispersed. Two
mounted Frenchmen, probably adjutants, were galloping up the hill. A
small but distinctly visible enemy column was moving down the hill,
probably to strengthen the front line. The smoke of the first shot had
not yet dispersed before another puff appeared, followed by a report.
The battle had begun! Prince Andrew turned his horse and galloped back
to Grunth to find Prince Bagratión. He heard the cannonade behind him
growing louder and more frequent. Evidently our guns had begun to reply.
From the bottom of the slope, where the parleys had taken place, came
the report of musketry.

Lemarrois had just arrived at a gallop with Bonaparte?s stern letter,
and Murat, humiliated and anxious to expiate his fault, had at once
moved his forces to attack the center and outflank both the Russian
wings, hoping before evening and before the arrival of the Emperor to
crush the contemptible detachment that stood before him.

?It has begun. Here it is!? thought Prince Andrew, feeling the
blood rush to his heart. ?But where and how will my Toulon present

Passing between the companies that had been eating porridge and drinking
vodka a quarter of an hour before, he saw everywhere the same rapid
movement of soldiers forming ranks and getting their muskets ready,
and on all their faces he recognized the same eagerness that filled his
heart. ?It has begun! Here it is, dreadful but enjoyable!? was what
the face of each soldier and each officer seemed to say.

Before he had reached the embankments that were being thrown up, he saw,
in the light of the dull autumn evening, mounted men coming toward him.
The foremost, wearing a Cossack cloak and lambskin cap and riding a
white horse, was Prince Bagratión. Prince Andrew stopped, waiting for
him to come up; Prince Bagratión reined in his horse and recognizing
Prince Andrew nodded to him. He still looked ahead while Prince Andrew
told him what he had seen.

The feeling, ?It has begun! Here it is!? was seen even on Prince
Bagratión?s hard brown face with its half-closed, dull, sleepy eyes.
Prince Andrew gazed with anxious curiosity at that impassive face
and wished he could tell what, if anything, this man was thinking
and feeling at that moment. ?Is there anything at all behind that
impassive face?? Prince Andrew asked himself as he looked. Prince
Bagratión bent his head in sign of agreement with what Prince Andrew
told him, and said, ?Very good!? in a tone that seemed to imply that
everything that took place and was reported to him was exactly what he
had foreseen. Prince Andrew, out of breath with his rapid ride, spoke
quickly. Prince Bagratión, uttering his words with an Oriental accent,
spoke particularly slowly, as if to impress the fact that there was no
need to hurry. However, he put his horse to a trot in the direction
of Túshin?s battery. Prince Andrew followed with the suite. Behind
Prince Bagratión rode an officer of the suite, the prince?s personal
adjutant, Zherkóv, an orderly officer, the staff officer on duty,
riding a fine bobtailed horse, and a civilian?an accountant who had
asked permission to be present at the battle out of curiosity. The
accountant, a stout, full-faced man, looked around him with a naïve
smile of satisfaction and presented a strange appearance among the
hussars, Cossacks, and adjutants, in his camlet coat, as he jolted on
his horse with a convoy officer?s saddle.

?He wants to see a battle,? said Zherkóv to Bolkónski, pointing
to the accountant, ?but he feels a pain in the pit of his stomach

?Oh, leave off!? said the accountant with a beaming but rather
cunning smile, as if flattered at being made the subject of Zherkóv?s
joke, and purposely trying to appear stupider than he really was.

?It is very strange, mon Monsieur Prince,? said the staff officer.
(He remembered that in French there is some peculiar way of addressing a
prince, but could not get it quite right.)

By this time they were all approaching Túshin?s battery, and a ball
struck the ground in front of them.

?What?s that that has fallen?? asked the accountant with a naïve

?A French pancake,? answered Zherkóv.

?So that?s what they hit with?? asked the accountant. ?How

He seemed to swell with satisfaction. He had hardly finished speaking
when they again heard an unexpectedly violent whistling which suddenly
ended with a thud into something soft... f-f-flop! and a Cossack, riding
a little to their right and behind the accountant, crashed to earth with
his horse. Zherkóv and the staff officer bent over their saddles and
turned their horses away. The accountant stopped, facing the Cossack,
and examined him with attentive curiosity. The Cossack was dead, but the
horse still struggled.

Prince Bagratión screwed up his eyes, looked round, and, seeing the
cause of the confusion, turned away with indifference, as if to say,
?Is it worth while noticing trifles?? He reined in his horse with
the care of a skillful rider and, slightly bending over, disengaged his
saber which had caught in his cloak. It was an old-fashioned saber of
a kind no longer in general use. Prince Andrew remembered the story of
Suvórov giving his saber to Bagratión in Italy, and the recollection
was particularly pleasant at that moment. They had reached the battery
at which Prince Andrew had been when he examined the battlefield.

?Whose company?? asked Prince Bagratión of an artilleryman standing
by the ammunition wagon.

He asked, ?Whose company?? but he really meant, ?Are you
frightened here?? and the artilleryman understood him.

?Captain Túshin?s, your excellency!? shouted the red-haired,
freckled gunner in a merry voice, standing to attention.

?Yes, yes,? muttered Bagratión as if considering something, and he
rode past the limbers to the farthest cannon.

As he approached, a ringing shot issued from it deafening him and his
suite, and in the smoke that suddenly surrounded the gun they could see
the gunners who had seized it straining to roll it quickly back to its
former position. A huge, broad-shouldered gunner, Number One, holding
a mop, his legs far apart, sprang to the wheel; while Number Two with
a trembling hand placed a charge in the cannon?s mouth. The short,
round-shouldered Captain Túshin, stumbling over the tail of the gun
carriage, moved forward and, not noticing the general, looked out
shading his eyes with his small hand.

?Lift it two lines more and it will be just right,? cried he in a
feeble voice to which he tried to impart a dashing note, ill-suited to
his weak figure. ?Number Two!? he squeaked. ?Fire, Medvédev!?

Bagratión called to him, and Túshin, raising three fingers to his cap
with a bashful and awkward gesture not at all like a military salute
but like a priest?s benediction, approached the general. Though
Túshin?s guns had been intended to cannonade the valley, he was
firing incendiary balls at the village of Schön Grabern visible just
opposite, in front of which large masses of French were advancing.

No one had given Túshin orders where and at what to fire, but after
consulting his sergeant major, Zakharchénko, for whom he had great
respect, he had decided that it would be a good thing to set fire to the
village. ?Very good!? said Bagratión in reply to the officer?s
report, and began deliberately to examine the whole battlefield extended
before him. The French had advanced nearest on our right. Below the
height on which the Kiev regiment was stationed, in the hollow where the
rivulet flowed, the soul-stirring rolling and crackling of musketry was
heard, and much farther to the right beyond the dragoons, the officer of
the suite pointed out to Bagratión a French column that was outflanking
us. To the left the horizon bounded by the adjacent wood. Prince
Bagratión ordered two battalions from the center to be sent to
reinforce the right flank. The officer of the suite ventured to remark
to the prince that if these battalions went away, the guns would remain
without support. Prince Bagratión turned to the officer and with his
dull eyes looked at him in silence. It seemed to Prince Andrew that the
officer?s remark was just and that really no answer could be made to
it. But at that moment an adjutant galloped up with a message from the
commander of the regiment in the hollow and news that immense masses
of the French were coming down upon them and that his regiment was in
disorder and was retreating upon the Kiev grenadiers. Prince Bagratión
bowed his head in sign of assent and approval. He rode off at a walk to
the right and sent an adjutant to the dragoons with orders to attack the
French. But this adjutant returned half an hour later with the news that
the commander of the dragoons had already retreated beyond the dip in
the ground, as a heavy fire had been opened on him and he was losing
men uselessly, and so had hastened to throw some sharpshooters into the

?Very good!? said Bagratión.

As he was leaving the battery, firing was heard on the left also, and
as it was too far to the left flank for him to have time to go there
himself, Prince Bagratión sent Zherkóv to tell the general in command
(the one who had paraded his regiment before Kutúzov at Braunau) that
he must retreat as quickly as possible behind the hollow in the rear,
as the right flank would probably not be able to withstand the enemy?s
attack very long. About Túshin and the battalion that had been in
support of his battery all was forgotten. Prince Andrew listened
attentively to Bagratión?s colloquies with the commanding officers
and the orders he gave them and, to his surprise, found that no orders
were really given, but that Prince Bagratión tried to make it appear
that everything done by necessity, by accident, or by the will of
subordinate commanders was done, if not by his direct command, at least
in accord with his intentions. Prince Andrew noticed, however, that
though what happened was due to chance and was independent of the
commander?s will, owing to the tact Bagratión showed, his presence
was very valuable. Officers who approached him with disturbed
countenances became calm; soldiers and officers greeted him gaily, grew
more cheerful in his presence, and were evidently anxious to display
their courage before him.


Prince Bagratión, having reached the highest point of our right flank,
began riding downhill to where the roll of musketry was heard but where
on account of the smoke nothing could be seen. The nearer they got to
the hollow the less they could see but the more they felt the nearness
of the actual battlefield. They began to meet wounded men. One with a
bleeding head and no cap was being dragged along by two soldiers who
supported him under the arms. There was a gurgle in his throat and he
was spitting blood. A bullet had evidently hit him in the throat or
mouth. Another was walking sturdily by himself but without his musket,
groaning aloud and swinging his arm which had just been hurt, while
blood from it was streaming over his greatcoat as from a bottle. He had
that moment been wounded and his face showed fear rather than suffering.
Crossing a road they descended a steep incline and saw several men
lying on the ground; they also met a crowd of soldiers some of whom were
unwounded. The soldiers were ascending the hill breathing heavily, and
despite the general?s presence were talking loudly and gesticulating.
In front of them rows of gray cloaks were already visible through the
smoke, and an officer catching sight of Bagratión rushed shouting after
the crowd of retreating soldiers, ordering them back. Bagratión rode up
to the ranks along which shots crackled now here and now there, drowning
the sound of voices and the shouts of command. The whole air reeked with
smoke. The excited faces of the soldiers were blackened with it. Some
were using their ramrods, others putting powder on the touchpans or
taking charges from their pouches, while others were firing, though who
they were firing at could not be seen for the smoke which there was no
wind to carry away. A pleasant humming and whistling of bullets were
often heard. ?What is this?? thought Prince Andrew approaching the
crowd of soldiers. ?It can?t be an attack, for they are not moving;
it can?t be a square?for they are not drawn up for that.?

The commander of the regiment, a thin, feeble-looking old man with a
pleasant smile?his eyelids drooping more than half over his old eyes,
giving him a mild expression, rode up to Bagratión and welcomed him as
a host welcomes an honored guest. He reported that his regiment had
been attacked by French cavalry and that, though the attack had been
repulsed, he had lost more than half his men. He said the attack
had been repulsed, employing this military term to describe what had
occurred to his regiment, but in reality he did not himself know what
had happened during that half-hour to the troops entrusted to him, and
could not say with certainty whether the attack had been repulsed or his
regiment had been broken up. All he knew was that at the commencement
of the action balls and shells began flying all over his regiment and
hitting men and that afterwards someone had shouted ?Cavalry!? and
our men had begun firing. They were still firing, not at the cavalry
which had disappeared, but at French infantry who had come into the
hollow and were firing at our men. Prince Bagratión bowed his head as a
sign that this was exactly what he had desired and expected. Turning
to his adjutant he ordered him to bring down the two battalions of the
Sixth Chasseurs whom they had just passed. Prince Andrew was struck by
the changed expression on Prince Bagratión?s face at this moment. It
expressed the concentrated and happy resolution you see on the face of
a man who on a hot day takes a final run before plunging into the water.
The dull, sleepy expression was no longer there, nor the affectation
of profound thought. The round, steady, hawk?s eyes looked before him
eagerly and rather disdainfully, not resting on anything although his
movements were still slow and measured.

The commander of the regiment turned to Prince Bagratión, entreating
him to go back as it was too dangerous to remain where they were.
?Please, your excellency, for God?s sake!? he kept saying,
glancing for support at an officer of the suite who turned away
from him. ?There, you see!? and he drew attention to the bullets
whistling, singing, and hissing continually around them. He spoke in the
tone of entreaty and reproach that a carpenter uses to a gentleman who
has picked up an ax: ?We are used to it, but you, sir, will blister
your hands.? He spoke as if those bullets could not kill him, and his
half-closed eyes gave still more persuasiveness to his words. The staff
officer joined in the colonel?s appeals, but Bagratión did not reply;
he only gave an order to cease firing and re-form, so as to give room
for the two approaching battalions. While he was speaking, the curtain
of smoke that had concealed the hollow, driven by a rising wind, began
to move from right to left as if drawn by an invisible hand, and the
hill opposite, with the French moving about on it, opened out before
them. All eyes fastened involuntarily on this French column advancing
against them and winding down over the uneven ground. One could already
see the soldiers? shaggy caps, distinguish the officers from the men,
and see the standard flapping against its staff.

?They march splendidly,? remarked someone in Bagratión?s suite.

The head of the column had already descended into the hollow. The clash
would take place on this side of it...

The remains of our regiment which had been in action rapidly formed up
and moved to the right; from behind it, dispersing the laggards, came
two battalions of the Sixth Chasseurs in fine order. Before they had
reached Bagratión, the weighty tread of the mass of men marching in
step could be heard. On their left flank, nearest to Bagratión, marched
a company commander, a fine round-faced man, with a stupid and happy
expression?the same man who had rushed out of the wattle shed. At that
moment he was clearly thinking of nothing but how dashing a fellow he
would appear as he passed the commander.

With the self-satisfaction of a man on parade, he stepped lightly with
his muscular legs as if sailing along, stretching himself to his full
height without the smallest effort, his ease contrasting with the heavy
tread of the soldiers who were keeping step with him. He carried close
to his leg a narrow unsheathed sword (small, curved, and not like a real
weapon) and looked now at the superior officers and now back at the men
without losing step, his whole powerful body turning flexibly. It was as
if all the powers of his soul were concentrated on passing the commander
in the best possible manner, and feeling that he was doing it well he
was happy. ?Left... left... left...? he seemed to repeat to himself
at each alternate step; and in time to this, with stern but varied
faces, the wall of soldiers burdened with knapsacks and muskets marched
in step, and each one of these hundreds of soldiers seemed to be
repeating to himself at each alternate step, ?Left... left...
left...? A fat major skirted a bush, puffing and falling out of
step; a soldier who had fallen behind, his face showing alarm at his
defection, ran at a trot, panting to catch up with his company. A cannon
ball, cleaving the air, flew over the heads of Bagratión and his suite,
and fell into the column to the measure of ?Left... left!? ?Close
up!? came the company commander?s voice in jaunty tones. The
soldiers passed in a semicircle round something where the ball had
fallen, and an old trooper on the flank, a noncommissioned officer who
had stopped beside the dead men, ran to catch up his line and, falling
into step with a hop, looked back angrily, and through the ominous
silence and the regular tramp of feet beating the ground in unison, one
seemed to hear left... left... left.

?Well done, lads!? said Prince Bagratión.

?Glad to do our best, your ex?len-lency!? came a confused shout
from the ranks. A morose soldier marching on the left turned his eyes on
Bagratión as he shouted, with an expression that seemed to say: ?We
know that ourselves!? Another, without looking round, as though
fearing to relax, shouted with his mouth wide open and passed on.

The order was given to halt and down knapsacks.

Bagratión rode round the ranks that had marched past him and
dismounted. He gave the reins to a Cossack, took off and handed over his
felt coat, stretched his legs, and set his cap straight. The head of the
French column, with its officers leading, appeared from below the hill.

?Forward, with God!? said Bagratión, in a resolute, sonorous voice,
turning for a moment to the front line, and slightly swinging his arms,
he went forward uneasily over the rough field with the awkward gait of
a cavalryman. Prince Andrew felt that an invisible power was leading him
forward, and experienced great happiness.

The French were already near. Prince Andrew, walking beside Bagratión,
could clearly distinguish their bandoliers, red epaulets, and even their
faces. (He distinctly saw an old French officer who, with gaitered
legs and turned-out toes, climbed the hill with difficulty.) Prince
Bagratión gave no further orders and silently continued to walk on in
front of the ranks. Suddenly one shot after another rang out from the
French, smoke appeared all along their uneven ranks, and musket shots
sounded. Several of our men fell, among them the round-faced officer
who had marched so gaily and complacently. But at the moment the first
report was heard, Bagratión looked round and shouted, ?Hurrah!?

?Hurrah?ah!?ah!? rang a long-drawn shout from our ranks, and
passing Bagratión and racing one another they rushed in an irregular
but joyous and eager crowd down the hill at their disordered foe.


The attack of the Sixth Chasseurs secured the retreat of our right
flank. In the center Túshin?s forgotten battery, which had managed to
set fire to the Schön Grabern village, delayed the French advance. The
French were putting out the fire which the wind was spreading, and thus
gave us time to retreat. The retirement of the center to the other side
of the dip in the ground at the rear was hurried and noisy, but the
different companies did not get mixed. But our left?which consisted
of the Azóv and Podólsk infantry and the Pávlograd hussars?was
simultaneously attacked and outflanked by superior French forces under
Lannes and was thrown into confusion. Bagratión had sent Zherkóv
to the general commanding that left flank with orders to retreat

Zherkóv, not removing his hand from his cap, turned his horse about
and galloped off. But no sooner had he left Bagratión than his courage
failed him. He was seized by panic and could not go where it was

Having reached the left flank, instead of going to the front where the
firing was, he began to look for the general and his staff where they
could not possibly be, and so did not deliver the order.

The command of the left flank belonged by seniority to the commander of
the regiment Kutúzov had reviewed at Braunau and in which Dólokhov was
serving as a private. But the command of the extreme left flank had been
assigned to the commander of the Pávlograd regiment in which Rostóv
was serving, and a misunderstanding arose. The two commanders were much
exasperated with one another and, long after the action had begun on
the right flank and the French were already advancing, were engaged
in discussion with the sole object of offending one another. But the
regiments, both cavalry and infantry, were by no means ready for the
impending action. From privates to general they were not expecting a
battle and were engaged in peaceful occupations, the cavalry feeding the
horses and the infantry collecting wood.

?He higher iss dan I in rank,? said the German colonel of the
hussars, flushing and addressing an adjutant who had ridden up, ?so
let him do what he vill, but I cannot sacrifice my hussars... Bugler,
sount ze retreat!?

But haste was becoming imperative. Cannon and musketry, mingling
together, thundered on the right and in the center, while the capotes
of Lannes? sharpshooters were already seen crossing the milldam and
forming up within twice the range of a musket shot. The general in
command of the infantry went toward his horse with jerky steps, and
having mounted drew himself up very straight and tall and rode to the
Pávlograd commander. The commanders met with polite bows but with
secret malevolence in their hearts.

?Once again, Colonel,? said the general, ?I can?t leave half
my men in the wood. I beg of you, I beg of you,? he repeated, ?to
occupy the position and prepare for an attack.?

?I peg of you yourself not to mix in vot is not your business!?
suddenly replied the irate colonel. ?If you vere in the cavalry...?

?I am not in the cavalry, Colonel, but I am a Russian general and if
you are not aware of the fact...?

?Quite avare, your excellency,? suddenly shouted the colonel,
touching his horse and turning purple in the face. ?Vill you be so
goot to come to ze front and see dat zis position iss no goot? I don?t
vish to destroy my men for your pleasure!?

?You forget yourself, Colonel. I am not considering my own pleasure
and I won?t allow it to be said!?

Taking the colonel?s outburst as a challenge to his courage, the
general expanded his chest and rode, frowning, beside him to the
front line, as if their differences would be settled there amongst the
bullets. They reached the front, several bullets sped over them, and
they halted in silence. There was nothing fresh to be seen from the
line, for from where they had been before it had been evident that it
was impossible for cavalry to act among the bushes and broken ground,
as well as that the French were outflanking our left. The general
and colonel looked sternly and significantly at one another like two
fighting cocks preparing for battle, each vainly trying to detect signs
of cowardice in the other. Both passed the examination successfully. As
there was nothing to be said, and neither wished to give occasion for
it to be alleged that he had been the first to leave the range of fire,
they would have remained there for a long time testing each other?s
courage had it not been that just then they heard the rattle of musketry
and a muffled shout almost behind them in the wood. The French had
attacked the men collecting wood in the copse. It was no longer possible
for the hussars to retreat with the infantry. They were cut off from
the line of retreat on the left by the French. However inconvenient the
position, it was now necessary to attack in order to cut a way through
for themselves.

The squadron in which Rostóv was serving had scarcely time to mount
before it was halted facing the enemy. Again, as at the Enns bridge,
there was nothing between the squadron and the enemy, and again that
terrible dividing line of uncertainty and fear?resembling the line
separating the living from the dead?lay between them. All were
conscious of this unseen line, and the question whether they would cross
it or not, and how they would cross it, agitated them all.

The colonel rode to the front, angrily gave some reply to questions put
to him by the officers, and, like a man desperately insisting on having
his own way, gave an order. No one said anything definite, but the rumor
of an attack spread through the squadron. The command to form up rang
out and the sabers whizzed as they were drawn from their scabbards.
Still no one moved. The troops of the left flank, infantry and hussars
alike, felt that the commander did not himself know what to do, and this
irresolution communicated itself to the men.

?If only they would be quick!? thought Rostóv, feeling that at last
the time had come to experience the joy of an attack of which he had so
often heard from his fellow hussars.

?Fo?ward, with God, lads!? rang out Denísov?s voice. ?At a
twot fo?ward!?

The horses? croups began to sway in the front line. Rook pulled at the
reins and started of his own accord.

Before him, on the right, Rostóv saw the front lines of his hussars and
still farther ahead a dark line which he could not see distinctly but
took to be the enemy. Shots could be heard, but some way off.

?Faster!? came the word of command, and Rostóv felt Rook?s flanks
drooping as he broke into a gallop.

Rostóv anticipated his horse?s movements and became more and more
elated. He had noticed a solitary tree ahead of him. This tree had been
in the middle of the line that had seemed so terrible?and now he
had crossed that line and not only was there nothing terrible, but
everything was becoming more and more happy and animated. ?Oh, how I
will slash at him!? thought Rostóv, gripping the hilt of his saber.

?Hur-a-a-a-ah!? came a roar of voices. ?Let anyone come my way
now,? thought Rostóv driving his spurs into Rook and letting him go
at a full gallop so that he outstripped the others. Ahead, the enemy was
already visible. Suddenly something like a birch broom seemed to sweep
over the squadron. Rostóv raised his saber, ready to strike, but at
that instant the trooper Nikítenko, who was galloping ahead, shot away
from him, and Rostóv felt as in a dream that he continued to be carried
forward with unnatural speed but yet stayed on the same spot. From
behind him Bondarchúk, an hussar he knew, jolted against him and looked
angrily at him. Bondarchúk?s horse swerved and galloped past.

?How is it I am not moving? I have fallen, I am killed!? Rostóv
asked and answered at the same instant. He was alone in the middle of a
field. Instead of the moving horses and hussars? backs, he saw nothing
before him but the motionless earth and the stubble around him. There
was warm blood under his arm. ?No, I am wounded and the horse is
killed.? Rook tried to rise on his forelegs but fell back, pinning his
rider?s leg. Blood was flowing from his head; he struggled but could
not rise. Rostóv also tried to rise but fell back, his sabretache
having become entangled in the saddle. Where our men were, and where the
French, he did not know. There was no one near.

Having disentangled his leg, he rose. ?Where, on which side, was now
the line that had so sharply divided the two armies?? he asked himself
and could not answer. ?Can something bad have happened to me??
he wondered as he got up: and at that moment he felt that something
superfluous was hanging on his benumbed left arm. The wrist felt as if
it were not his. He examined his hand carefully, vainly trying to find
blood on it. ?Ah, here are people coming,? he thought joyfully,
seeing some men running toward him. ?They will help me!? In front
came a man wearing a strange shako and a blue cloak, swarthy, sunburned,
and with a hooked nose. Then came two more, and many more running
behind. One of them said something strange, not in Russian. In among the
hindmost of these men wearing similar shakos was a Russian hussar. He
was being held by the arms and his horse was being led behind him.

?It must be one of ours, a prisoner. Yes. Can it be that they will
take me too? Who are these men?? thought Rostóv, scarcely believing
his eyes. ?Can they be French?? He looked at the approaching
Frenchmen, and though but a moment before he had been galloping to get
at them and hack them to pieces, their proximity now seemed so awful
that he could not believe his eyes. ?Who are they? Why are they
running? Can they be coming at me? And why? To kill me? Me whom everyone
is so fond of?? He remembered his mother?s love for him, and his
family?s, and his friends?, and the enemy?s intention to kill him
seemed impossible. ?But perhaps they may do it!? For more than ten
seconds he stood not moving from the spot or realizing the situation.
The foremost Frenchman, the one with the hooked nose, was already so
close that the expression of his face could be seen. And the excited,
alien face of that man, his bayonet hanging down, holding his breath,
and running so lightly, frightened Rostóv. He seized his pistol and,
instead of firing it, flung it at the Frenchman and ran with all his
might toward the bushes. He did not now run with the feeling of doubt
and conflict with which he had trodden the Enns bridge, but with the
feeling of a hare fleeing from the hounds. One single sentiment, that
of fear for his young and happy life, possessed his whole being. Rapidly
leaping the furrows, he fled across the field with the impetuosity he
used to show at catchplay, now and then turning his good-natured, pale,
young face to look back. A shudder of terror went through him: ?No,
better not look,? he thought, but having reached the bushes he glanced
round once more. The French had fallen behind, and just as he looked
round the first man changed his run to a walk and, turning, shouted
something loudly to a comrade farther back. Rostóv paused. ?No,
there?s some mistake,? thought he. ?They can?t have wanted to
kill me.? But at the same time, his left arm felt as heavy as if
a seventy-pound weight were tied to it. He could run no more. The
Frenchman also stopped and took aim. Rostóv closed his eyes and stooped
down. One bullet and then another whistled past him. He mustered his
last remaining strength, took hold of his left hand with his right, and
reached the bushes. Behind these were some Russian sharpshooters.


The infantry regiments that had been caught unawares in the outskirts
of the wood ran out of it, the different companies getting mixed, and
retreated as a disorderly crowd. One soldier, in his fear, uttered the
senseless cry, ?Cut off!? that is so terrible in battle, and that
word infected the whole crowd with a feeling of panic.

?Surrounded! Cut off? We?re lost!? shouted the fugitives.

The moment he heard the firing and the cry from behind, the general
realized that something dreadful had happened to his regiment, and the
thought that he, an exemplary officer of many years? service who
had never been to blame, might be held responsible at headquarters
for negligence or inefficiency so staggered him that, forgetting the
recalcitrant cavalry colonel, his own dignity as a general, and above
all quite forgetting the danger and all regard for self-preservation, he
clutched the crupper of his saddle and, spurring his horse, galloped to
the regiment under a hail of bullets which fell around, but fortunately
missed him. His one desire was to know what was happening and at any
cost correct, or remedy, the mistake if he had made one, so that he,
an exemplary officer of twenty-two years? service, who had never been
censured, should not be held to blame.

Having galloped safely through the French, he reached a field behind
the copse across which our men, regardless of orders, were running and
descending the valley. That moment of moral hesitation which decides
the fate of battles had arrived. Would this disorderly crowd of soldiers
attend to the voice of their commander, or would they, disregarding him,
continue their flight? Despite his desperate shouts that used to seem
so terrible to the soldiers, despite his furious purple countenance
distorted out of all likeness to his former self, and the flourishing of
his saber, the soldiers all continued to run, talking, firing into the
air, and disobeying orders. The moral hesitation which decided the fate
of battles was evidently culminating in a panic.

The general had a fit of coughing as a result of shouting and of the
powder smoke and stopped in despair. Everything seemed lost. But at that
moment the French who were attacking, suddenly and without any apparent
reason, ran back and disappeared from the outskirts, and Russian
sharpshooters showed themselves in the copse. It was Timókhin?s
company, which alone had maintained its order in the wood and, having
lain in ambush in a ditch, now attacked the French unexpectedly.
Timókhin, armed only with a sword, had rushed at the enemy with such
a desperate cry and such mad, drunken determination that, taken by
surprise, the French had thrown down their muskets and run. Dólokhov,
running beside Timókhin, killed a Frenchman at close quarters and was
the first to seize the surrendering French officer by his collar. Our
fugitives returned, the battalions re-formed, and the French who had
nearly cut our left flank in half were for the moment repulsed. Our
reserve units were able to join up, and the fight was at an end. The
regimental commander and Major Ekonómov had stopped beside a bridge,
letting the retreating companies pass by them, when a soldier came up
and took hold of the commander?s stirrup, almost leaning against him.
The man was wearing a bluish coat of broadcloth, he had no knapsack
or cap, his head was bandaged, and over his shoulder a French munition
pouch was slung. He had an officer?s sword in his hand. The soldier
was pale, his blue eyes looked impudently into the commander?s face,
and his lips were smiling. Though the commander was occupied in giving
instructions to Major Ekonómov, he could not help taking notice of the

?Your excellency, here are two trophies,? said Dólokhov, pointing
to the French sword and pouch. ?I have taken an officer prisoner. I
stopped the company.? Dólokhov breathed heavily from weariness and
spoke in abrupt sentences. ?The whole company can bear witness. I beg
you will remember this, your excellency!?

?All right, all right,? replied the commander, and turned to Major

But Dólokhov did not go away; he untied the handkerchief around his
head, pulled it off, and showed the blood congealed on his hair.

?A bayonet wound. I remained at the front. Remember, your

Túshin?s battery had been forgotten and only at the very end of the
action did Prince Bagratión, still hearing the cannonade in the center,
send his orderly staff officer, and later Prince Andrew also, to order
the battery to retire as quickly as possible. When the supports attached
to Túshin?s battery had been moved away in the middle of the action
by someone?s order, the battery had continued firing and was only not
captured by the French because the enemy could not surmise that anyone
could have the effrontery to continue firing from four quite undefended
guns. On the contrary, the energetic action of that battery led the
French to suppose that here?in the center?the main Russian forces
were concentrated. Twice they had attempted to attack this point, but on
each occasion had been driven back by grapeshot from the four isolated
guns on the hillock.

Soon after Prince Bagratión had left him, Túshin had succeeded in
setting fire to Schön Grabern.

?Look at them scurrying! It?s burning! Just see the smoke! Fine!
Grand! Look at the smoke, the smoke!? exclaimed the artillerymen,
brightening up.

All the guns, without waiting for orders, were being fired in the
direction of the conflagration. As if urging each other on, the soldiers
cried at each shot: ?Fine! That?s good! Look at it... Grand!? The
fire, fanned by the breeze, was rapidly spreading. The French columns
that had advanced beyond the village went back; but as though in revenge
for this failure, the enemy placed ten guns to the right of the village
and began firing them at Túshin?s battery.

In their childlike glee, aroused by the fire and their luck in
successfully cannonading the French, our artillerymen only noticed this
battery when two balls, and then four more, fell among our guns, one
knocking over two horses and another tearing off a munition-wagon
driver?s leg. Their spirits once roused were, however, not diminished,
but only changed character. The horses were replaced by others from a
reserve gun carriage, the wounded were carried away, and the four guns
were turned against the ten-gun battery. Túshin?s companion officer
had been killed at the beginning of the engagement and within an hour
seventeen of the forty men of the guns? crews had been disabled, but
the artillerymen were still as merry and lively as ever. Twice they
noticed the French appearing below them, and then they fired grapeshot
at them.

Little Túshin, moving feebly and awkwardly, kept telling his orderly to
?refill my pipe for that one!? and then, scattering sparks from it,
ran forward shading his eyes with his small hand to look at the French.

?Smack at ?em, lads!? he kept saying, seizing the guns by the
wheels and working the screws himself.

Amid the smoke, deafened by the incessant reports which always made him
jump, Túshin not taking his pipe from his mouth ran from gun to gun,
now aiming, now counting the charges, now giving orders about replacing
dead or wounded horses and harnessing fresh ones, and shouting in his
feeble voice, so high pitched and irresolute. His face grew more and
more animated. Only when a man was killed or wounded did he frown and
turn away from the sight, shouting angrily at the men who, as is always
the case, hesitated about lifting the injured or dead. The soldiers,
for the most part handsome fellows and, as is always the case in an
artillery company, a head and shoulders taller and twice as broad
as their officer?all looked at their commander like children in an
embarrassing situation, and the expression on his face was invariably
reflected on theirs.

Owing to the terrible uproar and the necessity for concentration and
activity, Túshin did not experience the slightest unpleasant sense of
fear, and the thought that he might be killed or badly wounded never
occurred to him. On the contrary, he became more and more elated. It
seemed to him that it was a very long time ago, almost a day, since he
had first seen the enemy and fired the first shot, and that the corner
of the field he stood on was well-known and familiar ground. Though he
thought of everything, considered everything, and did everything the
best of officers could do in his position, he was in a state akin to
feverish delirium or drunkenness.

From the deafening sounds of his own guns around him, the whistle and
thud of the enemy?s cannon balls, from the flushed and perspiring
faces of the crew bustling round the guns, from the sight of the blood
of men and horses, from the little puffs of smoke on the enemy?s side
(always followed by a ball flying past and striking the earth, a man, a
gun, a horse), from the sight of all these things a fantastic world of
his own had taken possession of his brain and at that moment afforded
him pleasure. The enemy?s guns were in his fancy not guns but pipes
from which occasional puffs were blown by an invisible smoker.

?There... he?s puffing again,? muttered Túshin to himself, as a
small cloud rose from the hill and was borne in a streak to the left by
the wind.

?Now look out for the ball... we?ll throw it back.?

?What do you want, your honor?? asked an artilleryman, standing
close by, who heard him muttering.

?Nothing... only a shell...? he answered.

?Come along, our Matvévna!? he said to himself. ?Matvévna? *
was the name his fancy gave to the farthest gun of the battery, which
was large and of an old pattern. The French swarming round their guns
seemed to him like ants. In that world, the handsome drunkard Number One
of the second gun?s crew was ?uncle?; Túshin looked at him more
often than at anyone else and took delight in his every movement.
The sound of musketry at the foot of the hill, now diminishing, now
increasing, seemed like someone?s breathing. He listened intently to
the ebb and flow of these sounds.

    * Daughter of Matthew.

?Ah! Breathing again, breathing!? he muttered to himself.

He imagined himself as an enormously tall, powerful man who was throwing
cannon balls at the French with both hands.

?Now then, Matvévna, dear old lady, don?t let me down!? he was
saying as he moved from the gun, when a strange, unfamiliar voice called
above his head: ?Captain Túshin! Captain!?

Túshin turned round in dismay. It was the staff officer who had turned
him out of the booth at Grunth. He was shouting in a gasping voice:

?Are you mad? You have twice been ordered to retreat, and you...?

?Why are they down on me?? thought Túshin, looking in alarm at his

?I... don?t...? he muttered, holding up two fingers to his cap.

But the staff officer did not finish what he wanted to say. A cannon
ball, flying close to him, caused him to duck and bend over his horse.
He paused, and just as he was about to say something more, another ball
stopped him. He turned his horse and galloped off.

?Retire! All to retire!? he shouted from a distance.

The soldiers laughed. A moment later, an adjutant arrived with the same

It was Prince Andrew. The first thing he saw on riding up to the space
where Túshin?s guns were stationed was an unharnessed horse with a
broken leg, that lay screaming piteously beside the harnessed horses.
Blood was gushing from its leg as from a spring. Among the limbers lay
several dead men. One ball after another passed over as he approached
and he felt a nervous shudder run down his spine. But the mere thought
of being afraid roused him again. ?I cannot be afraid,? thought he,
and dismounted slowly among the guns. He delivered the order and did
not leave the battery. He decided to have the guns removed from their
positions and withdrawn in his presence. Together with Túshin, stepping
across the bodies and under a terrible fire from the French, he attended
to the removal of the guns.

?A staff officer was here a minute ago, but skipped off,? said an
artilleryman to Prince Andrew. ?Not like your honor!?

Prince Andrew said nothing to Túshin. They were both so busy as to seem
not to notice one another. When having limbered up the only two cannon
that remained uninjured out of the four, they began moving down the hill
(one shattered gun and one unicorn were left behind), Prince Andrew rode
up to Túshin.

?Well, till we meet again...? he said, holding out his hand to

?Good-by, my dear fellow,? said Túshin. ?Dear soul! Good-by, my
dear fellow!? and for some unknown reason tears suddenly filled his


The wind had fallen and black clouds, merging with the powder smoke,
hung low over the field of battle on the horizon. It was growing
dark and the glow of two conflagrations was the more conspicuous. The
cannonade was dying down, but the rattle of musketry behind and on the
right sounded oftener and nearer. As soon as Túshin with his guns,
continually driving round or coming upon wounded men, was out of range
of fire and had descended into the dip, he was met by some of the staff,
among them the staff officer and Zherkóv, who had been twice sent to
Túshin?s battery but had never reached it. Interrupting one
another, they all gave, and transmitted, orders as to how to proceed,
reprimanding and reproaching him. Túshin gave no orders, and,
silently?fearing to speak because at every word he felt ready to
weep without knowing why?rode behind on his artillery nag. Though
the orders were to abandon the wounded, many of them dragged themselves
after troops and begged for seats on the gun carriages. The jaunty
infantry officer who just before the battle had rushed out of
Túshin?s wattle shed was laid, with a bullet in his stomach, on
?Matvévna?s? carriage. At the foot of the hill, a pale hussar
cadet, supporting one hand with the other, came up to Túshin and asked
for a seat.

?Captain, for God?s sake! I?ve hurt my arm,? he said timidly.
?For God?s sake... I can?t walk. For God?s sake!?

It was plain that this cadet had already repeatedly asked for a lift and
been refused. He asked in a hesitating, piteous voice.

?Tell them to give me a seat, for God?s sake!?

?Give him a seat,? said Túshin. ?Lay a cloak for him to sit on,
lad,? he said, addressing his favorite soldier. ?And where is the
wounded officer??

?He has been set down. He died,? replied someone.

?Help him up. Sit down, dear fellow, sit down! Spread out the cloak,

The cadet was Rostóv. With one hand he supported the other; he was
pale and his jaw trembled, shivering feverishly. He was placed on
?Matvévna,? the gun from which they had removed the dead officer.
The cloak they spread under him was wet with blood which stained his
breeches and arm.

?What, are you wounded, my lad?? said Túshin, approaching the gun
on which Rostóv sat.

?No, it?s a sprain.?

?Then what is this blood on the gun carriage?? inquired Túshin.

?It was the officer, your honor, stained it,? answered the
artilleryman, wiping away the blood with his coat sleeve, as if
apologizing for the state of his gun.

It was all that they could do to get the guns up the rise aided by the
infantry, and having reached the village of Gruntersdorf they halted. It
had grown so dark that one could not distinguish the uniforms ten paces
off, and the firing had begun to subside. Suddenly, near by on the
right, shouting and firing were again heard. Flashes of shot gleamed in
the darkness. This was the last French attack and was met by soldiers
who had sheltered in the village houses. They all rushed out of
the village again, but Túshin?s guns could not move, and the
artillerymen, Túshin, and the cadet exchanged silent glances as they
awaited their fate. The firing died down and soldiers, talking eagerly,
streamed out of a side street.

?Not hurt, Petróv?? asked one.

?We?ve given it ?em hot, mate! They won?t make another push
now,? said another.

?You couldn?t see a thing. How they shot at their own fellows!
Nothing could be seen. Pitch-dark, brother! Isn?t there something to

The French had been repulsed for the last time. And again and again in
the complete darkness Túshin?s guns moved forward, surrounded by the
humming infantry as by a frame.

In the darkness, it seemed as though a gloomy unseen river was flowing
always in one direction, humming with whispers and talk and the sound of
hoofs and wheels. Amid the general rumble, the groans and voices of the
wounded were more distinctly heard than any other sound in the darkness
of the night. The gloom that enveloped the army was filled with their
groans, which seemed to melt into one with the darkness of the night.
After a while the moving mass became agitated, someone rode past on
a white horse followed by his suite, and said something in passing:
?What did he say? Where to, now? Halt, is it? Did he thank us?? came
eager questions from all sides. The whole moving mass began pressing
closer together and a report spread that they were ordered to halt:
evidently those in front had halted. All remained where they were in the
middle of the muddy road.

Fires were lighted and the talk became more audible. Captain Túshin,
having given orders to his company, sent a soldier to find a dressing
station or a doctor for the cadet, and sat down by a bonfire the
soldiers had kindled on the road. Rostóv, too, dragged himself to the
fire. From pain, cold, and damp, a feverish shivering shook his whole
body. Drowsiness was irresistibly mastering him, but he kept awake by
an excruciating pain in his arm, for which he could find no satisfactory
position. He kept closing his eyes and then again looking at the fire,
which seemed to him dazzlingly red, and at the feeble, round-shouldered
figure of Túshin who was sitting cross-legged like a Turk beside him.
Túshin?s large, kind, intelligent eyes were fixed with sympathy and
commiseration on Rostóv, who saw that Túshin with his whole heart
wished to help him but could not.

From all sides were heard the footsteps and talk of the infantry, who
were walking, driving past, and settling down all around. The sound
of voices, the tramping feet, the horses? hoofs moving in mud, the
crackling of wood fires near and afar, merged into one tremulous rumble.

It was no longer, as before, a dark, unseen river flowing through the
gloom, but a dark sea swelling and gradually subsiding after a storm.
Rostóv looked at and listened listlessly to what passed before and
around him. An infantryman came to the fire, squatted on his heels, held
his hands to the blaze, and turned away his face.

?You don?t mind your honor?? he asked Túshin. ?I?ve lost my
company, your honor. I don?t know where... such bad luck!?

With the soldier, an infantry officer with a bandaged cheek came up to
the bonfire, and addressing Túshin asked him to have the guns moved a
trifle to let a wagon go past. After he had gone, two soldiers rushed to
the campfire. They were quarreling and fighting desperately, each trying
to snatch from the other a boot they were both holding on to.

?You picked it up?... I dare say! You?re very smart!? one of them
shouted hoarsely.

Then a thin, pale soldier, his neck bandaged with a bloodstained leg
band, came up and in angry tones asked the artillerymen for water.

?Must one die like a dog?? said he.

Túshin told them to give the man some water. Then a cheerful soldier
ran up, begging a little fire for the infantry.

?A nice little hot torch for the infantry! Good luck to you, fellow
countrymen. Thanks for the fire?we?ll return it with interest,?
said he, carrying away into the darkness a glowing stick.

Next came four soldiers, carrying something heavy on a cloak, and passed
by the fire. One of them stumbled.

?Who the devil has put the logs on the road?? snarled he.

?He?s dead?why carry him?? said another.

?Shut up!?

And they disappeared into the darkness with their load.

?Still aching?? Túshin asked Rostóv in a whisper.


?Your honor, you?re wanted by the general. He is in the hut here,?
said a gunner, coming up to Túshin.

?Coming, friend.?

Túshin rose and, buttoning his greatcoat and pulling it straight,
walked away from the fire.

Not far from the artillery campfire, in a hut that had been prepared
for him, Prince Bagratión sat at dinner, talking with some commanding
officers who had gathered at his quarters. The little old man with
the half-closed eyes was there greedily gnawing a mutton bone, and the
general who had served blamelessly for twenty-two years, flushed by a
glass of vodka and the dinner; and the staff officer with the signet
ring, and Zherkóv, uneasily glancing at them all, and Prince Andrew,
pale, with compressed lips and feverishly glittering eyes.

In a corner of the hut stood a standard captured from the French, and
the accountant with the naïve face was feeling its texture, shaking his
head in perplexity?perhaps because the banner really interested him,
perhaps because it was hard for him, hungry as he was, to look on at
a dinner where there was no place for him. In the next hut there was a
French colonel who had been taken prisoner by our dragoons. Our officers
were flocking in to look at him. Prince Bagratión was thanking the
individual commanders and inquiring into details of the action and our
losses. The general whose regiment had been inspected at Braunau was
informing the prince that as soon as the action began he had withdrawn
from the wood, mustered the men who were woodcutting, and, allowing the
French to pass him, had made a bayonet charge with two battalions and
had broken up the French troops.

?When I saw, your excellency, that their first battalion was
disorganized, I stopped in the road and thought: ?I?ll let them
come on and will meet them with the fire of the whole battalion??and
that?s what I did.?

The general had so wished to do this and was so sorry he had not managed
to do it that it seemed to him as if it had really happened. Perhaps
it might really have been so? Could one possibly make out amid all that
confusion what did or did not happen?

?By the way, your excellency, I should inform you,? he
continued?remembering Dólokhov?s conversation with Kutúzov and his
last interview with the gentleman-ranker??that Private Dólokhov,
who was reduced to the ranks, took a French officer prisoner in my
presence and particularly distinguished himself.?

?I saw the Pávlograd hussars attack there, your excellency,? chimed
in Zherkóv, looking uneasily around. He had not seen the hussars all
that day, but had heard about them from an infantry officer. ?They
broke up two squares, your excellency.?

Several of those present smiled at Zherkóv?s words, expecting one of
his usual jokes, but noticing that what he was saying redounded to
the glory of our arms and of the day?s work, they assumed a serious
expression, though many of them knew that what he was saying was a lie
devoid of any foundation. Prince Bagratión turned to the old colonel:

?Gentlemen, I thank you all; all arms have behaved heroically:
infantry, cavalry, and artillery. How was it that two guns were
abandoned in the center?? he inquired, searching with his eyes for
someone. (Prince Bagratión did not ask about the guns on the left
flank; he knew that all the guns there had been abandoned at the very
beginning of the action.) ?I think I sent you?? he added, turning to
the staff officer on duty.

?One was damaged,? answered the staff officer, ?and the other I
can?t understand. I was there all the time giving orders and had only
just left.... It is true that it was hot there,? he added, modestly.

Someone mentioned that Captain Túshin was bivouacking close to the
village and had already been sent for.

?Oh, but you were there?? said Prince Bagratión, addressing Prince

?Of course, we only just missed one another,? said the staff
officer, with a smile to Bolkónski.

?I had not the pleasure of seeing you,? said Prince Andrew, coldly
and abruptly.

All were silent. Túshin appeared at the threshold and made his way
timidly from behind the backs of the generals. As he stepped past the
generals in the crowded hut, feeling embarrassed as he always was by the
sight of his superiors, he did not notice the staff of the banner and
stumbled over it. Several of those present laughed.

?How was it a gun was abandoned?? asked Bagratión, frowning, not so
much at the captain as at those who were laughing, among whom Zherkóv
laughed loudest.

Only now, when he was confronted by the stern authorities, did his guilt
and the disgrace of having lost two guns and yet remaining alive present
themselves to Túshin in all their horror. He had been so excited that
he had not thought about it until that moment. The officers? laughter
confused him still more. He stood before Bagratión with his lower
jaw trembling and was hardly able to mutter: ?I don?t know... your
excellency... I had no men... your excellency.?

?You might have taken some from the covering troops.?

Túshin did not say that there were no covering troops, though that
was perfectly true. He was afraid of getting some other officer into
trouble, and silently fixed his eyes on Bagratión as a schoolboy who
has blundered looks at an examiner.

The silence lasted some time. Prince Bagratión, apparently not wishing
to be severe, found nothing to say; the others did not venture to
intervene. Prince Andrew looked at Túshin from under his brows and his
fingers twitched nervously.

?Your excellency!? Prince Andrew broke the silence with his abrupt
voice, ?you were pleased to send me to Captain Túshin?s battery. I
went there and found two thirds of the men and horses knocked out, two
guns smashed, and no supports at all.?

Prince Bagratión and Túshin looked with equal intentness at
Bolkónski, who spoke with suppressed agitation.

?And, if your excellency will allow me to express my opinion,? he
continued, ?we owe today?s success chiefly to the action of that
battery and the heroic endurance of Captain Túshin and his company,?
and without awaiting a reply, Prince Andrew rose and left the table.

Prince Bagratión looked at Túshin, evidently reluctant to show
distrust in Bolkónski?s emphatic opinion yet not feeling able fully
to credit it, bent his head, and told Túshin that he could go. Prince
Andrew went out with him.

?Thank you; you saved me, my dear fellow!? said Túshin.

Prince Andrew gave him a look, but said nothing and went away. He felt
sad and depressed. It was all so strange, so unlike what he had hoped.

?Who are they? Why are they here? What do they want? And when will
all this end?? thought Rostóv, looking at the changing shadows before
him. The pain in his arm became more and more intense. Irresistible
drowsiness overpowered him, red rings danced before his eyes, and the
impression of those voices and faces and a sense of loneliness merged
with the physical pain. It was they, these soldiers?wounded and
unwounded?it was they who were crushing, weighing down, and twisting
the sinews and scorching the flesh of his sprained arm and shoulder. To
rid himself of them he closed his eyes.

For a moment he dozed, but in that short interval innumerable things
appeared to him in a dream: his mother and her large white hand,
Sónya?s thin little shoulders, Natásha?s eyes and laughter,
Denísov with his voice and mustache, and Telyánin and all that affair
with Telyánin and Bogdánich. That affair was the same thing as this
soldier with the harsh voice, and it was that affair and this soldier
that were so agonizingly, incessantly pulling and pressing his arm and
always dragging it in one direction. He tried to get away from them, but
they would not for an instant let his shoulder move a hair?s breadth.
It would not ache?it would be well?if only they did not pull it, but
it was impossible to get rid of them.

He opened his eyes and looked up. The black canopy of night hung less
than a yard above the glow of the charcoal. Flakes of falling snow were
fluttering in that light. Túshin had not returned, the doctor had not
come. He was alone now, except for a soldier who was sitting naked at
the other side of the fire, warming his thin yellow body.

?Nobody wants me!? thought Rostóv. ?There is no one to help me or
pity me. Yet I was once at home, strong, happy, and loved.? He sighed
and, doing so, groaned involuntarily.

?Eh, is anything hurting you?? asked the soldier, shaking his shirt
out over the fire, and not waiting for an answer he gave a grunt and
added: ?What a lot of men have been crippled today?frightful!?

Rostóv did not listen to the soldier. He looked at the snowflakes
fluttering above the fire and remembered a Russian winter at his warm,
bright home, his fluffy fur coat, his quickly gliding sleigh, his
healthy body, and all the affection and care of his family. ?And why
did I come here?? he wondered.

Next day the French army did not renew their attack, and the remnant of
Bagratión?s detachment was reunited to Kutúzov?s army.



Prince Vasíli was not a man who deliberately thought out his plans.
Still less did he think of injuring anyone for his own advantage. He
was merely a man of the world who had got on and to whom getting on had
become a habit. Schemes and devices for which he never rightly accounted
to himself, but which formed the whole interest of his life,
were constantly shaping themselves in his mind, arising from the
circumstances and persons he met. Of these plans he had not merely one
or two in his head but dozens, some only beginning to form themselves,
some approaching achievement, and some in course of disintegration. He
did not, for instance, say to himself: ?This man now has influence, I
must gain his confidence and friendship and through him obtain a special
grant.? Nor did he say to himself: ?Pierre is a rich man, I must
entice him to marry my daughter and lend me the forty thousand rubles
I need.? But when he came across a man of position his instinct
immediately told him that this man could be useful, and without any
premeditation Prince Vasíli took the first opportunity to gain his
confidence, flatter him, become intimate with him, and finally make his

He had Pierre at hand in Moscow and procured for him an appointment as
Gentleman of the Bedchamber, which at that time conferred the status of
Councilor of State, and insisted on the young man accompanying him to
Petersburg and staying at his house. With apparent absent-mindedness,
yet with unhesitating assurance that he was doing the right thing,
Prince Vasíli did everything to get Pierre to marry his daughter. Had
he thought out his plans beforehand he could not have been so natural
and shown such unaffected familiarity in intercourse with everybody both
above and below him in social standing. Something always drew him toward
those richer and more powerful than himself and he had rare skill in
seizing the most opportune moment for making use of people.

Pierre, on unexpectedly becoming Count Bezúkhov and a rich man, felt
himself after his recent loneliness and freedom from cares so beset and
preoccupied that only in bed was he able to be by himself. He had to
sign papers, to present himself at government offices, the purpose of
which was not clear to him, to question his chief steward, to visit his
estate near Moscow, and to receive many people who formerly did not
even wish to know of his existence but would now have been offended
and grieved had he chosen not to see them. These different
people?businessmen, relations, and acquaintances alike?were all
disposed to treat the young heir in the most friendly and flattering
manner: they were all evidently firmly convinced of Pierre?s noble
qualities. He was always hearing such words as: ?With your remarkable
kindness,? or, ?With your excellent heart,? ?You are yourself so
honorable, Count,? or, ?Were he as clever as you,? and so on,
till he began sincerely to believe in his own exceptional kindness and
extraordinary intelligence, the more so as in the depth of his heart it
had always seemed to him that he really was very kind and intelligent.
Even people who had formerly been spiteful toward him and evidently
unfriendly now became gentle and affectionate. The angry eldest
princess, with the long waist and hair plastered down like a doll?s,
had come into Pierre?s room after the funeral. With drooping eyes
and frequent blushes she told him she was very sorry about their past
misunderstandings and did not now feel she had a right to ask him for
anything, except only for permission, after the blow she had received,
to remain for a few weeks longer in the house she so loved and where
she had sacrificed so much. She could not refrain from weeping at these
words. Touched that this statuesque princess could so change, Pierre
took her hand and begged her forgiveness, without knowing what for.
From that day the eldest princess quite changed toward Pierre and began
knitting a striped scarf for him.

?Do this for my sake, mon cher; after all, she had to put up with a
great deal from the deceased,? said Prince Vasíli to him, handing him
a deed to sign for the princess? benefit.

Prince Vasíli had come to the conclusion that it was necessary to throw
this bone?a bill for thirty thousand rubles?to the poor princess
that it might not occur to her to speak of his share in the affair of
the inlaid portfolio. Pierre signed the deed and after that the princess
grew still kinder. The younger sisters also became affectionate to him,
especially the youngest, the pretty one with the mole, who often made
him feel confused by her smiles and her own confusion when meeting him.

It seemed so natural to Pierre that everyone should like him, and it
would have seemed so unnatural had anyone disliked him, that he could
not but believe in the sincerity of those around him. Besides, he had
no time to ask himself whether these people were sincere or not. He
was always busy and always felt in a state of mild and cheerful
intoxication. He felt as though he were the center of some important and
general movement; that something was constantly expected of him, that if
he did not do it he would grieve and disappoint many people, but if he
did this and that, all would be well; and he did what was demanded of
him, but still that happy result always remained in the future.

More than anyone else, Prince Vasíli took possession of Pierre?s
affairs and of Pierre himself in those early days. From the death of
Count Bezúkhov he did not let go his hold of the lad. He had the air of
a man oppressed by business, weary and suffering, who yet would not, for
pity?s sake, leave this helpless youth who, after all, was the son of
his old friend and the possessor of such enormous wealth, to the caprice
of fate and the designs of rogues. During the few days he spent in
Moscow after the death of Count Bezúkhov, he would call Pierre, or
go to him himself, and tell him what ought to be done in a tone of
weariness and assurance, as if he were adding every time: ?You know
I am overwhelmed with business and it is purely out of charity that
I trouble myself about you, and you also know quite well that what I
propose is the only thing possible.?

?Well, my dear fellow, tomorrow we are off at last,? said Prince
Vasíli one day, closing his eyes and fingering Pierre?s elbow,
speaking as if he were saying something which had long since been agreed
upon and could not now be altered. ?We start tomorrow and I?m giving
you a place in my carriage. I am very glad. All our important business
here is now settled, and I ought to have been off long ago. Here is
something I have received from the chancellor. I asked him for you, and
you have been entered in the diplomatic corps and made a Gentleman of
the Bedchamber. The diplomatic career now lies open before you.?

Notwithstanding the tone of wearied assurance with which these words
were pronounced, Pierre, who had so long been considering his career,
wished to make some suggestion. But Prince Vasíli interrupted him in
the special deep cooing tone, precluding the possibility of interrupting
his speech, which he used in extreme cases when special persuasion was

?Mais, mon cher, I did this for my own sake, to satisfy my conscience,
and there is nothing to thank me for. No one has ever complained yet of
being too much loved; and besides, you are free, you could throw it
up tomorrow. But you will see everything for yourself when you get to
Petersburg. It is high time for you to get away from these terrible
recollections.? Prince Vasíli sighed. ?Yes, yes, my boy. And my
valet can go in your carriage. Ah! I was nearly forgetting,? he added.
?You know, mon cher, your father and I had some accounts to settle, so
I have received what was due from the Ryazán estate and will keep it;
you won?t require it. We?ll go into the accounts later.?

By ?what was due from the Ryazán estate? Prince Vasíli meant
several thousand rubles quitrent received from Pierre?s peasants,
which the prince had retained for himself.

In Petersburg, as in Moscow, Pierre found the same atmosphere of
gentleness and affection. He could not refuse the post, or rather the
rank (for he did nothing), that Prince Vasíli had procured for him,
and acquaintances, invitations, and social occupations were so numerous
that, even more than in Moscow, he felt a sense of bewilderment, bustle,
and continual expectation of some good, always in front of him but never

Of his former bachelor acquaintances many were no longer in Petersburg.
The Guards had gone to the front; Dólokhov had been reduced to the
ranks; Anatole was in the army somewhere in the provinces; Prince Andrew
was abroad; so Pierre had not the opportunity to spend his nights as he
used to like to spend them, or to open his mind by intimate talks with
a friend older than himself and whom he respected. His whole time
was taken up with dinners and balls and was spent chiefly at Prince
Vasíli?s house in the company of the stout princess, his wife, and
his beautiful daughter Hélène.

Like the others, Anna Pávlovna Schérer showed Pierre the change of
attitude toward him that had taken place in society.

Formerly in Anna Pávlovna?s presence, Pierre had always felt that
what he was saying was out of place, tactless and unsuitable, that
remarks which seemed to him clever while they formed in his mind became
foolish as soon as he uttered them, while on the contrary Hippolyte?s
stupidest remarks came out clever and apt. Now everything Pierre said
was charmant. Even if Anna Pávlovna did not say so, he could see that
she wished to and only refrained out of regard for his modesty.

In the beginning of the winter of 1805-6 Pierre received one of Anna
Pávlovna?s usual pink notes with an invitation to which was added:
?You will find the beautiful Hélène here, whom it is always
delightful to see.?

When he read that sentence, Pierre felt for the first time that some
link which other people recognized had grown up between himself and
Hélène, and that thought both alarmed him, as if some obligation were
being imposed on him which he could not fulfill, and pleased him as an
entertaining supposition.

Anna Pávlovna?s ?At Home? was like the former one, only the
novelty she offered her guests this time was not Mortemart, but a
diplomatist fresh from Berlin with the very latest details of the
Emperor Alexander?s visit to Potsdam, and of how the two august
friends had pledged themselves in an indissoluble alliance to uphold
the cause of justice against the enemy of the human race. Anna Pávlovna
received Pierre with a shade of melancholy, evidently relating to the
young man?s recent loss by the death of Count Bezúkhov (everyone
constantly considered it a duty to assure Pierre that he was greatly
afflicted by the death of the father he had hardly known), and her
melancholy was just like the august melancholy she showed at the mention
of her most august Majesty the Empress Márya Fëdorovna. Pierre felt
flattered by this. Anna Pávlovna arranged the different groups in her
drawing room with her habitual skill. The large group, in which were
Prince Vasíli and the generals, had the benefit of the diplomat.
Another group was at the tea table. Pierre wished to join the former,
but Anna Pávlovna?who was in the excited condition of a commander on
a battlefield to whom thousands of new and brilliant ideas occur which
there is hardly time to put in action?seeing Pierre, touched his
sleeve with her finger, saying:

?Wait a bit, I have something in view for you this evening.?
(She glanced at Hélène and smiled at her.) ?My dear Hélène, be
charitable to my poor aunt who adores you. Go and keep her company for
ten minutes. And that it will not be too dull, here is the dear count
who will not refuse to accompany you.?

The beauty went to the aunt, but Anna Pávlovna detained Pierre, looking
as if she had to give some final necessary instructions.

?Isn?t she exquisite?? she said to Pierre, pointing to the stately
beauty as she glided away. ?And how she carries herself! For so young
a girl, such tact, such masterly perfection of manner! It comes from
her heart. Happy the man who wins her! With her the least worldly of men
would occupy a most brilliant position in society. Don?t you think so?
I only wanted to know your opinion,? and Anna Pávlovna let Pierre go.

Pierre, in reply, sincerely agreed with her as to Hélène?s
perfection of manner. If he ever thought of Hélène, it was just of
her beauty and her remarkable skill in appearing silently dignified in

The old aunt received the two young people in her corner, but seemed
desirous of hiding her adoration for Hélène and inclined rather
to show her fear of Anna Pávlovna. She looked at her niece, as if
inquiring what she was to do with these people. On leaving them, Anna
Pávlovna again touched Pierre?s sleeve, saying: ?I hope you won?t
say that it is dull in my house again,? and she glanced at Hélène.

Hélène smiled, with a look implying that she did not admit the
possibility of anyone seeing her without being enchanted. The aunt
coughed, swallowed, and said in French that she was very pleased to see
Hélène, then she turned to Pierre with the same words of welcome
and the same look. In the middle of a dull and halting conversation,
Hélène turned to Pierre with the beautiful bright smile that she gave
to everyone. Pierre was so used to that smile, and it had so little
meaning for him, that he paid no attention to it. The aunt was just
speaking of a collection of snuffboxes that had belonged to Pierre?s
father, Count Bezúkhov, and showed them her own box. Princess Hélène
asked to see the portrait of the aunt?s husband on the box lid.

?That is probably the work of Vinesse,? said Pierre, mentioning
a celebrated miniaturist, and he leaned over the table to take the
snuffbox while trying to hear what was being said at the other table.

He half rose, meaning to go round, but the aunt handed him the snuffbox,
passing it across Hélène?s back. Hélène stooped forward to make
room, and looked round with a smile. She was, as always at evening
parties, wearing a dress such as was then fashionable, cut very low at
front and back. Her bust, which had always seemed like marble to Pierre,
was so close to him that his shortsighted eyes could not but perceive
the living charm of her neck and shoulders, so near to his lips that
he need only have bent his head a little to have touched them. He was
conscious of the warmth of her body, the scent of perfume, and the
creaking of her corset as she moved. He did not see her marble beauty
forming a complete whole with her dress, but all the charm of her body
only covered by her garments. And having once seen this he could not
help being aware of it, just as we cannot renew an illusion we have once
seen through.

?So you have never noticed before how beautiful I am?? Hélène
seemed to say. ?You had not noticed that I am a woman? Yes, I am a
woman who may belong to anyone?to you too,? said her glance. And at
that moment Pierre felt that Hélène not only could, but must, be his
wife, and that it could not be otherwise.

He knew this at that moment as surely as if he had been standing at the
altar with her. How and when this would be he did not know, he did not
even know if it would be a good thing (he even felt, he knew not why,
that it would be a bad thing), but he knew it would happen.

Pierre dropped his eyes, lifted them again, and wished once more to see
her as a distant beauty far removed from him, as he had seen her every
day until then, but he could no longer do it. He could not, any more
than a man who has been looking at a tuft of steppe grass through the
mist and taking it for a tree can again take it for a tree after he has
once recognized it to be a tuft of grass. She was terribly close to him.
She already had power over him, and between them there was no longer any
barrier except the barrier of his own will.

?Well, I will leave you in your little corner,? came Anna
Pávlovna?s voice, ?I see you are all right there.?

And Pierre, anxiously trying to remember whether he had done anything
reprehensible, looked round with a blush. It seemed to him that everyone
knew what had happened to him as he knew it himself.

A little later when he went up to the large circle, Anna Pávlovna said
to him: ?I hear you are refitting your Petersburg house??

This was true. The architect had told him that it was necessary, and
Pierre, without knowing why, was having his enormous Petersburg house
done up.

?That?s a good thing, but don?t move from Prince Vasíli?s. It
is good to have a friend like the prince,? she said, smiling at Prince
Vasíli. ?I know something about that. Don?t I? And you are still so
young. You need advice. Don?t be angry with me for exercising an old
woman?s privilege.?

She paused, as women always do, expecting something after they have
mentioned their age. ?If you marry it will be a different thing,?
she continued, uniting them both in one glance. Pierre did not look at
Hélène nor she at him. But she was just as terribly close to him. He
muttered something and colored.

When he got home he could not sleep for a long time for thinking of what
had happened. What had happened? Nothing. He had merely understood that
the woman he had known as a child, of whom when her beauty was mentioned
he had said absent-mindedly: ?Yes, she?s good looking,? he had
understood that this woman might belong to him.

?But she?s stupid. I have myself said she is stupid,? he thought.
?There is something nasty, something wrong, in the feeling she excites
in me. I have been told that her brother Anatole was in love with her
and she with him, that there was quite a scandal and that that?s why
he was sent away. Hippolyte is her brother... Prince Vasíli is her
father... It?s bad....? he reflected, but while he was thinking this
(the reflection was still incomplete), he caught himself smiling and was
conscious that another line of thought had sprung up, and while thinking
of her worthlessness he was also dreaming of how she would be his
wife, how she would love him become quite different, and how all he had
thought and heard of her might be false. And he again saw her not as the
daughter of Prince Vasíli, but visualized her whole body only veiled
by its gray dress. ?But no! Why did this thought never occur to me
before?? and again he told himself that it was impossible, that there
would be something unnatural, and as it seemed to him dishonorable, in
this marriage. He recalled her former words and looks and the words
and looks of those who had seen them together. He recalled Anna
Pávlovna?s words and looks when she spoke to him about his house,
recalled thousands of such hints from Prince Vasíli and others, and was
seized by terror lest he had already, in some way, bound himself to do
something that was evidently wrong and that he ought not to do. But at
the very time he was expressing this conviction to himself, in another
part of his mind her image rose in all its womanly beauty.


In November, 1805, Prince Vasíli had to go on a tour of inspection
in four different provinces. He had arranged this for himself so as to
visit his neglected estates at the same time and pick up his son Anatole
where his regiment was stationed, and take him to visit Prince Nicholas
Bolkónski in order to arrange a match for him with the daughter of that
rich old man. But before leaving home and undertaking these new affairs,
Prince Vasíli had to settle matters with Pierre, who, it is true, had
latterly spent whole days at home, that is, in Prince Vasíli?s house
where he was staying, and had been absurd, excited, and foolish in
Hélène?s presence (as a lover should be), but had not yet proposed
to her.

?This is all very fine, but things must be settled,? said Prince
Vasíli to himself, with a sorrowful sigh, one morning, feeling that
Pierre who was under such obligations to him (?But never mind that?)
was not behaving very well in this matter. ?Youth, frivolity... well,
God be with him,? thought he, relishing his own goodness of heart,
?but it must be brought to a head. The day after tomorrow will be
Lëlya?s name day. I will invite two or three people, and if he does
not understand what he ought to do then it will be my affair?yes, my
affair. I am her father.?

Six weeks after Anna Pávlovna?s ?At Home? and after the sleepless
night when he had decided that to marry Hélène would be a calamity and
that he ought to avoid her and go away, Pierre, despite that decision,
had not left Prince Vasíli?s and felt with terror that in people?s
eyes he was every day more and more connected with her, that it was
impossible for him to return to his former conception of her, that he
could not break away from her, and that though it would be a terrible
thing he would have to unite his fate with hers. He might perhaps have
been able to free himself but that Prince Vasíli (who had rarely before
given receptions) now hardly let a day go by without having an evening
party at which Pierre had to be present unless he wished to spoil
the general pleasure and disappoint everyone?s expectation. Prince
Vasíli, in the rare moments when he was at home, would take Pierre?s
hand in passing and draw it downwards, or absent-mindedly hold out his
wrinkled, clean-shaven cheek for Pierre to kiss and would say: ?Till
tomorrow,? or, ?Be in to dinner or I shall not see you,? or, ?I
am staying in for your sake,? and so on. And though Prince Vasíli,
when he stayed in (as he said) for Pierre?s sake, hardly exchanged a
couple of words with him, Pierre felt unable to disappoint him.
Every day he said to himself one and the same thing: ?It is time I
understood her and made up my mind what she really is. Was I mistaken
before, or am I mistaken now? No, she is not stupid, she is an excellent
girl,? he sometimes said to himself ?she never makes a mistake,
never says anything stupid. She says little, but what she does say is
always clear and simple, so she is not stupid. She never was abashed and
is not abashed now, so she cannot be a bad woman!? He had often begun
to make reflections or think aloud in her company, and she had always
answered him either by a brief but appropriate remark?showing that it
did not interest her?or by a silent look and smile which more palpably
than anything else showed Pierre her superiority. She was right in
regarding all arguments as nonsense in comparison with that smile.

She always addressed him with a radiantly confiding smile meant for him
alone, in which there was something more significant than in the general
smile that usually brightened her face. Pierre knew that everyone was
waiting for him to say a word and cross a certain line, and he knew that
sooner or later he would step across it, but an incomprehensible terror
seized him at the thought of that dreadful step. A thousand times during
that month and a half while he felt himself drawn nearer and nearer to
that dreadful abyss, Pierre said to himself: ?What am I doing? I need
resolution. Can it be that I have none??

He wished to take a decision, but felt with dismay that in this matter
he lacked that strength of will which he had known in himself and really
possessed. Pierre was one of those who are only strong when they feel
themselves quite innocent, and since that day when he was overpowered
by a feeling of desire while stooping over the snuffbox at Anna
Pávlovna?s, an unacknowledged sense of the guilt of that desire
paralyzed his will.

On Hélène?s name day, a small party of just their own people?as
his wife said?met for supper at Prince Vasíli?s. All these friends
and relations had been given to understand that the fate of the young
girl would be decided that evening. The visitors were seated at supper.
Princess Kurágina, a portly imposing woman who had once been handsome,
was sitting at the head of the table. On either side of her sat the
more important guests?an old general and his wife, and Anna Pávlovna
Schérer. At the other end sat the younger and less important guests,
and there too sat the members of the family, and Pierre and Hélène,
side by side. Prince Vasíli was not having any supper: he went round
the table in a merry mood, sitting down now by one, now by another, of
the guests. To each of them he made some careless and agreeable remark
except to Pierre and Hélène, whose presence he seemed not to notice.
He enlivened the whole party. The wax candles burned brightly, the
silver and crystal gleamed, so did the ladies? toilets and the gold
and silver of the men?s epaulets; servants in scarlet liveries moved
round the table, the clatter of plates, knives, and glasses mingled with
the animated hum of several conversations. At one end of the table, the
old chamberlain was heard assuring an old baroness that he loved her
passionately, at which she laughed; at the other could be heard the
story of the misfortunes of some Mary Víktorovna or other. At the
center of the table, Prince Vasíli attracted everybody?s attention.
With a facetious smile on his face, he was telling the ladies about last
Wednesday?s meeting of the Imperial Council, at which Sergéy Kuzmích
Vyazmítinov, the new military governor general of Petersburg, had
received and read the then famous rescript of the Emperor Alexander
from the army to Sergéy Kuzmích, in which the Emperor said that he was
receiving from all sides declarations of the people?s loyalty, that
the declaration from Petersburg gave him particular pleasure, and that
he was proud to be at the head of such a nation and would endeavor to be
worthy of it. This rescript began with the words: ?Sergéy Kuzmích,
From all sides reports reach me,? etc.

?Well, and so he never got farther than: ?Sergéy Kuzmích???
asked one of the ladies.

?Exactly, not a hair?s breadth farther,? answered Prince Vasíli,
laughing, ??Sergéy Kuzmích... From all sides... From all sides...
Sergéy Kuzmích...? Poor Vyazmítinov could not get any farther!
He began the rescript again and again, but as soon as he uttered
?Sergéy? he sobbed, ?Kuz-mí-ch,? tears, and ?From all
sides? was smothered in sobs and he could get no farther. And again
his handkerchief, and again: ?Sergéy Kuzmích, From all sides,?...
and tears, till at last somebody else was asked to read it.?

?Kuzmích... From all sides... and then tears,? someone repeated

?Don?t be unkind,? cried Anna Pávlovna from her end of the table
holding up a threatening finger. ?He is such a worthy and excellent
man, our dear Vyazmítinov....?

Everybody laughed a great deal. At the head of the table, where the
honored guests sat, everyone seemed to be in high spirits and under the
influence of a variety of exciting sensations. Only Pierre and
Hélène sat silently side by side almost at the bottom of the table, a
suppressed smile brightening both their faces, a smile that had nothing
to do with Sergéy Kuzmích?a smile of bashfulness at their own
feelings. But much as all the rest laughed, talked, and joked, much
as they enjoyed their Rhine wine, sauté, and ices, and however they
avoided looking at the young couple, and heedless and unobservant as
they seemed of them, one could feel by the occasional glances they gave
that the story about Sergéy Kuzmích, the laughter, and the food
were all a pretense, and that the whole attention of that company was
directed to?Pierre and Hélène. Prince Vasíli mimicked the sobbing
of Sergéy Kuzmích and at the same time his eyes glanced toward his
daughter, and while he laughed the expression on his face clearly said:
?Yes... it?s getting on, it will all be settled today.? Anna
Pávlovna threatened him on behalf of ?our dear Vyazmítinov,? and
in her eyes, which, for an instant, glanced at Pierre, Prince Vasíli
read a congratulation on his future son-in-law and on his daughter?s
happiness. The old princess sighed sadly as she offered some wine to the
old lady next to her and glanced angrily at her daughter, and her sigh
seemed to say: ?Yes, there?s nothing left for you and me but to sip
sweet wine, my dear, now that the time has come for these young ones to
be thus boldly, provocatively happy.? ?And what nonsense all this is
that I am saying!? thought a diplomatist, glancing at the happy faces
of the lovers. ?That?s happiness!?

Into the insignificant, trifling, and artificial interests uniting that
society had entered the simple feeling of the attraction of a healthy
and handsome young man and woman for one another. And this human feeling
dominated everything else and soared above all their affected chatter.
Jests fell flat, news was not interesting, and the animation was
evidently forced. Not only the guests but even the footmen waiting at
table seemed to feel this, and they forgot their duties as they looked
at the beautiful Hélène with her radiant face and at the red, broad,
and happy though uneasy face of Pierre. It seemed as if the very light
of the candles was focused on those two happy faces alone.

Pierre felt that he was the center of it all, and this both pleased and
embarrassed him. He was like a man entirely absorbed in some occupation.
He did not see, hear, or understand anything clearly. Only now and
then detached ideas and impressions from the world of reality shot
unexpectedly through his mind.

?So it is all finished!? he thought. ?And how has it all happened?
How quickly! Now I know that not because of her alone, nor of myself
alone, but because of everyone, it must inevitably come about. They are
all expecting it, they are so sure that it will happen that I cannot, I
cannot, disappoint them. But how will it be? I do not know, but it
will certainly happen!? thought Pierre, glancing at those dazzling
shoulders close to his eyes.

Or he would suddenly feel ashamed of he knew not what. He felt it
awkward to attract everyone?s attention and to be considered a
lucky man and, with his plain face, to be looked on as a sort of Paris
possessed of a Helen. ?But no doubt it always is and must be so!?
he consoled himself. ?And besides, what have I done to bring it about?
How did it begin? I traveled from Moscow with Prince Vasíli. Then there
was nothing. So why should I not stay at his house? Then I played cards
with her and picked up her reticule and drove out with her. How did it
begin, when did it all come about?? And here he was sitting by her
side as her betrothed, seeing, hearing, feeling her nearness, her
breathing, her movements, her beauty. Then it would suddenly seem to him
that it was not she but he was so unusually beautiful, and that that was
why they all looked so at him, and flattered by this general admiration
he would expand his chest, raise his head, and rejoice at his good
fortune. Suddenly he heard a familiar voice repeating something to him a
second time. But Pierre was so absorbed that he did not understand what
was said.

?I am asking you when you last heard from Bolkónski,? repeated
Prince Vasíli a third time. ?How absent-minded you are, my dear

Prince Vasíli smiled, and Pierre noticed that everyone was smiling at
him and Hélène. ?Well, what of it, if you all know it?? thought
Pierre. ?What of it? It?s the truth!? and he himself smiled his
gentle childlike smile, and Hélène smiled too.

?When did you get the letter? Was it from Olmütz?? repeated
Prince Vasíli, who pretended to want to know this in order to settle a

?How can one talk or think of such trifles?? thought Pierre.

?Yes, from Olmütz,? he answered, with a sigh.

After supper Pierre with his partner followed the others into the
drawing room. The guests began to disperse, some without taking leave
of Hélène. Some, as if unwilling to distract her from an important
occupation, came up to her for a moment and made haste to go away,
refusing to let her see them off. The diplomatist preserved a mournful
silence as he left the drawing room. He pictured the vanity of his
diplomatic career in comparison with Pierre?s happiness. The old
general grumbled at his wife when she asked how his leg was. ?Oh, the
old fool,? he thought. ?That Princess Hélène will be beautiful
still when she?s fifty.?

?I think I may congratulate you,? whispered Anna Pávlovna to the
old princess, kissing her soundly. ?If I hadn?t this headache I?d
have stayed longer.?

The old princess did not reply, she was tormented by jealousy of her
daughter?s happiness.

While the guests were taking their leave Pierre remained for a long time
alone with Hélène in the little drawing room where they were sitting.
He had often before, during the last six weeks, remained alone with her,
but had never spoken to her of love. Now he felt that it was inevitable,
but he could not make up his mind to take the final step. He felt
ashamed; he felt that he was occupying someone else?s place here
beside Hélène. ?This happiness is not for you,? some inner voice
whispered to him. ?This happiness is for those who have not in them
what there is in you.?

But, as he had to say something, he began by asking her whether she was
satisfied with the party. She replied in her usual simple manner that
this name day of hers had been one of the pleasantest she had ever had.

Some of the nearest relatives had not yet left. They were sitting in
the large drawing room. Prince Vasíli came up to Pierre with languid
footsteps. Pierre rose and said it was getting late. Prince Vasíli gave
him a look of stern inquiry, as though what Pierre had just said was
so strange that one could not take it in. But then the expression of
severity changed, and he drew Pierre?s hand downwards, made him sit
down, and smiled affectionately.

?Well, Lëlya?? he asked, turning instantly to his daughter and
addressing her with the careless tone of habitual tenderness natural to
parents who have petted their children from babyhood, but which Prince
Vasíli had only acquired by imitating other parents.

And he again turned to Pierre.

?Sergéy Kuzmích?From all sides?? he said, unbuttoning the top
button of his waistcoat.

Pierre smiled, but his smile showed that he knew it was not the story
about Sergéy Kuzmích that interested Prince Vasíli just then, and
Prince Vasíli saw that Pierre knew this. He suddenly muttered
something and went away. It seemed to Pierre that even the prince was
disconcerted. The sight of the discomposure of that old man of the world
touched Pierre: he looked at Hélène and she too seemed disconcerted,
and her look seemed to say: ?Well, it is your own fault.?

?The step must be taken but I cannot, I cannot!? thought Pierre,
and he again began speaking about indifferent matters, about Sergéy
Kuzmích, asking what the point of the story was as he had not heard it
properly. Hélène answered with a smile that she too had missed it.

When Prince Vasíli returned to the drawing room, the princess, his
wife, was talking in low tones to the elderly lady about Pierre.

?Of course, it is a very brilliant match, but happiness, my dear...?

?Marriages are made in heaven,? replied the elderly lady.

Prince Vasíli passed by, seeming not to hear the ladies, and sat down
on a sofa in a far corner of the room. He closed his eyes and seemed to
be dozing. His head sank forward and then he roused himself.

?Aline,? he said to his wife, ?go and see what they are about.?

The princess went up to the door, passed by it with a dignified and
indifferent air, and glanced into the little drawing room. Pierre and
Hélène still sat talking just as before.

?Still the same,? she said to her husband.

Prince Vasíli frowned, twisting his mouth, his cheeks quivered and his
face assumed the coarse, unpleasant expression peculiar to him. Shaking
himself, he rose, threw back his head, and with resolute steps went
past the ladies into the little drawing room. With quick steps he went
joyfully up to Pierre. His face was so unusually triumphant that Pierre
rose in alarm on seeing it.

?Thank God!? said Prince Vasíli. ?My wife has told me
everything!? (He put one arm around Pierre and the other around his
daughter.)??My dear boy... Lëlya... I am very pleased.? (His
voice trembled.) ?I loved your father... and she will make you a good
wife... God bless you!...?

He embraced his daughter, and then again Pierre, and kissed him with his
malodorous mouth. Tears actually moistened his cheeks.

?Princess, come here!? he shouted.

The old princess came in and also wept. The elderly lady was using
her handkerchief too. Pierre was kissed, and he kissed the beautiful
Hélène?s hand several times. After a while they were left alone

?All this had to be and could not be otherwise,? thought Pierre,
?so it is useless to ask whether it is good or bad. It is good because
it?s definite and one is rid of the old tormenting doubt.? Pierre
held the hand of his betrothed in silence, looking at her beautiful
bosom as it rose and fell.

?Hélène!? he said aloud and paused.

?Something special is always said in such cases,? he thought, but
could not remember what it was that people say. He looked at her face.
She drew nearer to him. Her face flushed.

?Oh, take those off... those...? she said, pointing to his

Pierre took them off, and his eyes, besides the strange look eyes have
from which spectacles have just been removed, had also a frightened and
inquiring look. He was about to stoop over her hand and kiss it, but
with a rapid, almost brutal movement of her head, she intercepted his
lips and met them with her own. Her face struck Pierre, by its altered,
unpleasantly excited expression.

?It is too late now, it?s done; besides I love her,? thought

?Je vous aime!? * he said, remembering what has to be said at such
moments: but his words sounded so weak that he felt ashamed of himself.

    * ?I love you.?

Six weeks later he was married, and settled in Count Bezúkhov?s
large, newly furnished Petersburg house, the happy possessor, as people
said, of a wife who was a celebrated beauty and of millions of money.


Old Prince Nicholas Bolkónski received a letter from Prince Vasíli
in November, 1805, announcing that he and his son would be paying him
a visit. ?I am starting on a journey of inspection, and of course I
shall think nothing of an extra seventy miles to come and see you at
the same time, my honored benefactor,? wrote Prince Vasíli. ?My son
Anatole is accompanying me on his way to the army, so I hope you will
allow him personally to express the deep respect that, emulating his
father, he feels for you.?

?It seems that there will be no need to bring Mary out, suitors are
coming to us of their own accord,? incautiously remarked the little
princess on hearing the news.

Prince Nicholas frowned, but said nothing.

A fortnight after the letter Prince Vasíli?s servants came one
evening in advance of him, and he and his son arrived next day.

Old Bolkónski had always had a poor opinion of Prince Vasíli?s
character, but more so recently, since in the new reigns of Paul and
Alexander Prince Vasíli had risen to high position and honors. And now,
from the hints contained in his letter and given by the little princess,
he saw which way the wind was blowing, and his low opinion changed into
a feeling of contemptuous ill will. He snorted whenever he mentioned
him. On the day of Prince Vasíli?s arrival, Prince Bolkónski was
particularly discontented and out of temper. Whether he was in a bad
temper because Prince Vasíli was coming, or whether his being in a bad
temper made him specially annoyed at Prince Vasíli?s visit, he was
in a bad temper, and in the morning Tíkhon had already advised the
architect not to go to the prince with his report.

?Do you hear how he?s walking?? said Tíkhon, drawing the
architect?s attention to the sound of the prince?s footsteps.
?Stepping flat on his heels?we know what that means....?

However, at nine o?clock the prince, in his velvet coat with a sable
collar and cap, went out for his usual walk. It had snowed the day
before and the path to the hothouse, along which the prince was in the
habit of walking, had been swept: the marks of the broom were still
visible in the snow and a shovel had been left sticking in one of the
soft snowbanks that bordered both sides of the path. The prince went
through the conservatories, the serfs? quarters, and the outbuildings,
frowning and silent.

?Can a sleigh pass?? he asked his overseer, a venerable man,
resembling his master in manners and looks, who was accompanying him
back to the house.

?The snow is deep. I am having the avenue swept, your honor.?

The prince bowed his head and went up to the porch. ?God be
thanked,? thought the overseer, ?the storm has blown over!?

?It would have been hard to drive up, your honor,? he added. ?I
heard, your honor, that a minister is coming to visit your honor.?

The prince turned round to the overseer and fixed his eyes on him,

?What? A minister? What minister? Who gave orders?? he said in
his shrill, harsh voice. ?The road is not swept for the princess my
daughter, but for a minister! For me, there are no ministers!?

?Your honor, I thought...?

?You thought!? shouted the prince, his words coming more and more
rapidly and indistinctly. ?You thought!... Rascals! Blackguards!...
I?ll teach you to think!? and lifting his stick he swung it and
would have hit Alpátych, the overseer, had not the latter instinctively
avoided the blow. ?Thought... Blackguards...? shouted the prince

But although Alpátych, frightened at his own temerity in avoiding the
stroke, came up to the prince, bowing his bald head resignedly before
him, or perhaps for that very reason, the prince, though he continued
to shout: ?Blackguards!... Throw the snow back on the road!? did not
lift his stick again but hurried into the house.

Before dinner, Princess Mary and Mademoiselle Bourienne, who knew
that the prince was in a bad humor, stood awaiting him; Mademoiselle
Bourienne with a radiant face that said: ?I know nothing, I am the
same as usual,? and Princess Mary pale, frightened, and with downcast
eyes. What she found hardest to bear was to know that on such occasions
she ought to behave like Mademoiselle Bourienne, but could not.
She thought: ?If I seem not to notice he will think that I do not
sympathize with him; if I seem sad and out of spirits myself, he will
say (as he has done before) that I?m in the dumps.?

The prince looked at his daughter?s frightened face and snorted.

?Fool... or dummy!? he muttered.

?And the other one is not here. They?ve been telling tales,? he
thought?referring to the little princess who was not in the dining

?Where is the princess?? he asked. ?Hiding??

?She is not very well,? answered Mademoiselle Bourienne with
a bright smile, ?so she won?t come down. It is natural in her

?Hm! Hm!? muttered the prince, sitting down.

His plate seemed to him not quite clean, and pointing to a spot he
flung it away. Tíkhon caught it and handed it to a footman. The little
princess was not unwell, but had such an overpowering fear of the prince
that, hearing he was in a bad humor, she had decided not to appear.

?I am afraid for the baby,? she said to Mademoiselle Bourienne:
?Heaven knows what a fright might do.?

In general at Bald Hills the little princess lived in constant fear, and
with a sense of antipathy to the old prince which she did not
realize because the fear was so much the stronger feeling. The prince
reciprocated this antipathy, but it was overpowered by his contempt
for her. When the little princess had grown accustomed to life at Bald
Hills, she took a special fancy to Mademoiselle Bourienne, spent whole
days with her, asked her to sleep in her room, and often talked with her
about the old prince and criticized him.

?So we are to have visitors, mon prince?? remarked Mademoiselle
Bourienne, unfolding her white napkin with her rosy fingers. ?His
Excellency Prince Vasíli Kurágin and his son, I understand?? she
said inquiringly.

?Hm!?his excellency is a puppy.... I got him his appointment in the
service,? said the prince disdainfully. ?Why his son is coming I
don?t understand. Perhaps Princess Elizabeth and Princess Mary know.
I don?t want him.? (He looked at his blushing daughter.) ?Are you
unwell today? Eh? Afraid of the ?minister? as that idiot Alpátych
called him this morning??

?No, mon père.?

Though Mademoiselle Bourienne had been so unsuccessful in her choice
of a subject, she did not stop talking, but chattered about the
conservatories and the beauty of a flower that had just opened, and
after the soup the prince became more genial.

After dinner, he went to see his daughter-in-law. The little princess
was sitting at a small table, chattering with Másha, her maid. She grew
pale on seeing her father-in-law.

She was much altered. She was now plain rather than pretty. Her cheeks
had sunk, her lip was drawn up, and her eyes drawn down.

?Yes, I feel a kind of oppression,? she said in reply to the
prince?s question as to how she felt.

?Do you want anything??

?No, merci, mon père.?

?Well, all right, all right.?

He left the room and went to the waiting room where Alpátych stood with
bowed head.

?Has the snow been shoveled back??

?Yes, your excellency. Forgive me for heaven?s sake... It was only
my stupidity.?

?All right, all right,? interrupted the prince, and laughing his
unnatural way, he stretched out his hand for Alpátych to kiss, and then
proceeded to his study.

Prince Vasíli arrived that evening. He was met in the avenue by
coachmen and footmen, who, with loud shouts, dragged his sleighs up to
one of the lodges over the road purposely laden with snow.

Prince Vasíli and Anatole had separate rooms assigned to them.

Anatole, having taken off his overcoat, sat with arms akimbo before a
table on a corner of which he smilingly and absent-mindedly fixed his
large and handsome eyes. He regarded his whole life as a continual round
of amusement which someone for some reason had to provide for him.
And he looked on this visit to a churlish old man and a rich and ugly
heiress in the same way. All this might, he thought, turn out very well
and amusingly. ?And why not marry her if she really has so much money?
That never does any harm,? thought Anatole.

He shaved and scented himself with the care and elegance which had
become habitual to him and, his handsome head held high, entered his
father?s room with the good-humored and victorious air natural to
him. Prince Vasíli?s two valets were busy dressing him, and he looked
round with much animation and cheerfully nodded to his son as the latter
entered, as if to say: ?Yes, that?s how I want you to look.?

?I say, Father, joking apart, is she very hideous?? Anatole asked,
as if continuing a conversation the subject of which had often been
mentioned during the journey.

?Enough! What nonsense! Above all, try to be respectful and cautious
with the old prince.?

?If he starts a row I?ll go away,? said Prince Anatole. ?I
can?t bear those old men! Eh??

?Remember, for you everything depends on this.?

In the meantime, not only was it known in the maidservants? rooms that
the minister and his son had arrived, but the appearance of both had
been minutely described. Princess Mary was sitting alone in her room,
vainly trying to master her agitation.

?Why did they write, why did Lise tell me about it? It can never
happen!? she said, looking at herself in the glass. ?How shall I
enter the drawing room? Even if I like him I can?t now be myself with
him.? The mere thought of her father?s look filled her with terror.
The little princess and Mademoiselle Bourienne had already received
from Másha, the lady?s maid, the necessary report of how handsome the
minister?s son was, with his rosy cheeks and dark eyebrows, and with
what difficulty the father had dragged his legs upstairs while the son
had followed him like an eagle, three steps at a time. Having received
this information, the little princess and Mademoiselle Bourienne, whose
chattering voices had reached her from the corridor, went into Princess
Mary?s room.

?You know they?ve come, Marie?? said the little princess, waddling
in, and sinking heavily into an armchair.

She was no longer in the loose gown she generally wore in the morning,
but had on one of her best dresses. Her hair was carefully done and her
face was animated, which, however, did not conceal its sunken and faded
outlines. Dressed as she used to be in Petersburg society, it was still
more noticeable how much plainer she had become. Some unobtrusive touch
had been added to Mademoiselle Bourienne?s toilet which rendered her
fresh and pretty face yet more attractive.

?What! Are you going to remain as you are, dear princess?? she
began. ?They?ll be announcing that the gentlemen are in the drawing
room and we shall have to go down, and you have not smartened yourself
up at all!?

The little princess got up, rang for the maid, and hurriedly and merrily
began to devise and carry out a plan of how Princess Mary should be
dressed. Princess Mary?s self-esteem was wounded by the fact that
the arrival of a suitor agitated her, and still more so by both
her companions? not having the least conception that it could be
otherwise. To tell them that she felt ashamed for herself and for them
would be to betray her agitation, while to decline their offers to
dress her would prolong their banter and insistence. She flushed, her
beautiful eyes grew dim, red blotches came on her face, and it took
on the unattractive martyrlike expression it so often wore, as she
submitted herself to Mademoiselle Bourienne and Lise. Both these women
quite sincerely tried to make her look pretty. She was so plain that
neither of them could think of her as a rival, so they began dressing
her with perfect sincerity, and with the naïve and firm conviction
women have that dress can make a face pretty.

?No really, my dear, this dress is not pretty,? said Lise, looking
sideways at Princess Mary from a little distance. ?You have a maroon
dress, have it fetched. Really! You know the fate of your whole life may
be at stake. But this one is too light, it?s not becoming!?

It was not the dress, but the face and whole figure of Princess Mary
that was not pretty, but neither Mademoiselle Bourienne nor the little
princess felt this; they still thought that if a blue ribbon were placed
in the hair, the hair combed up, and the blue scarf arranged lower on
the best maroon dress, and so on, all would be well. They forgot that
the frightened face and the figure could not be altered, and that
however they might change the setting and adornment of that face, it
would still remain piteous and plain. After two or three changes to
which Princess Mary meekly submitted, just as her hair had been arranged
on the top of her head (a style that quite altered and spoiled her
looks) and she had put on a maroon dress with a pale-blue scarf, the
little princess walked twice round her, now adjusting a fold of the
dress with her little hand, now arranging the scarf and looking at her
with her head bent first on one side and then on the other.

?No, it will not do,? she said decidedly, clasping her hands. ?No,
Mary, really this dress does not suit you. I prefer you in your little
gray everyday dress. Now please, do it for my sake. Katie,? she said
to the maid, ?bring the princess her gray dress, and you?ll see,
Mademoiselle Bourienne, how I shall arrange it,? she added, smiling
with a foretaste of artistic pleasure.

But when Katie brought the required dress, Princess Mary remained
sitting motionless before the glass, looking at her face, and saw in the
mirror her eyes full of tears and her mouth quivering, ready to burst
into sobs.

?Come, dear princess,? said Mademoiselle Bourienne, ?just one more
little effort.?

The little princess, taking the dress from the maid, came up to Princess

?Well, now we?ll arrange something quite simple and becoming,? she

The three voices, hers, Mademoiselle Bourienne?s, and Katie?s, who
was laughing at something, mingled in a merry sound, like the chirping
of birds.

?No, leave me alone,? said Princess Mary.

Her voice sounded so serious and so sad that the chirping of the birds
was silenced at once. They looked at the beautiful, large, thoughtful
eyes full of tears and of thoughts, gazing shiningly and imploringly at
them, and understood that it was useless and even cruel to insist.

?At least, change your coiffure,? said the little princess.
?Didn?t I tell you,? she went on, turning reproachfully to
Mademoiselle Bourienne, ?Mary?s is a face which such a coiffure does
not suit in the least. Not in the least! Please change it.?

?Leave me alone, please leave me alone! It is all quite the same to
me,? answered a voice struggling with tears.

Mademoiselle Bourienne and the little princess had to own to themselves
that Princess Mary in this guise looked very plain, worse than usual,
but it was too late. She was looking at them with an expression they
both knew, an expression thoughtful and sad. This expression in Princess
Mary did not frighten them (she never inspired fear in anyone), but they
knew that when it appeared on her face, she became mute and was not to
be shaken in her determination.

?You will change it, won?t you?? said Lise. And as Princess Mary
gave no answer, she left the room.

Princess Mary was left alone. She did not comply with Lise?s request,
she not only left her hair as it was, but did not even look in her
glass. Letting her arms fall helplessly, she sat with downcast eyes and
pondered. A husband, a man, a strong dominant and strangely attractive
being rose in her imagination, and carried her into a totally different
happy world of his own. She fancied a child, her own?such as she had
seen the day before in the arms of her nurse?s daughter?at her
own breast, the husband standing by and gazing tenderly at her and the
child. ?But no, it is impossible, I am too ugly,? she thought.

?Please come to tea. The prince will be out in a moment,? came the
maid?s voice at the door.

She roused herself, and felt appalled at what she had been thinking, and
before going down she went into the room where the icons hung and, her
eyes fixed on the dark face of a large icon of the Saviour lit by a
lamp, she stood before it with folded hands for a few moments. A painful
doubt filled her soul. Could the joy of love, of earthly love for a
man, be for her? In her thoughts of marriage Princess Mary dreamed of
happiness and of children, but her strongest, most deeply hidden longing
was for earthly love. The more she tried to hide this feeling from
others and even from herself, the stronger it grew. ?O God,? she
said, ?how am I to stifle in my heart these temptations of the devil?
How am I to renounce forever these vile fancies, so as peacefully to
fulfill Thy will?? And scarcely had she put that question than God
gave her the answer in her own heart. ?Desire nothing for thyself,
seek nothing, be not anxious or envious. Man?s future and thy own fate
must remain hidden from thee, but live so that thou mayest be ready for
anything. If it be God?s will to prove thee in the duties of marriage,
be ready to fulfill His will.? With this consoling thought (but
yet with a hope for the fulfillment of her forbidden earthly longing)
Princess Mary sighed, and having crossed herself went down, thinking
neither of her gown and coiffure nor of how she would go in nor of what
she would say. What could all that matter in comparison with the will of
God, without Whose care not a hair of man?s head can fall?


When Princess Mary came down, Prince Vasíli and his son were already
in the drawing room, talking to the little princess and Mademoiselle
Bourienne. When she entered with her heavy step, treading on her heels,
the gentlemen and Mademoiselle Bourienne rose and the little princess,
indicating her to the gentlemen, said: ?Voilà Marie!? Princess Mary
saw them all and saw them in detail. She saw Prince Vasíli?s face,
serious for an instant at the sight of her, but immediately smiling
again, and the little princess curiously noting the impression
?Marie? produced on the visitors. And she saw Mademoiselle
Bourienne, with her ribbon and pretty face, and her unusually animated
look which was fixed on him, but him she could not see, she only saw
something large, brilliant, and handsome moving toward her as she
entered the room. Prince Vasíli approached first, and she kissed the
bold forehead that bent over her hand and answered his question by
saying that, on the contrary, she remembered him quite well. Then
Anatole came up to her. She still could not see him. She only felt a
soft hand taking hers firmly, and she touched with her lips a white
forehead, over which was beautiful light-brown hair smelling of pomade.
When she looked up at him she was struck by his beauty. Anatole stood
with his right thumb under a button of his uniform, his chest expanded
and his back drawn in, slightly swinging one foot, and, with his head a
little bent, looked with beaming face at the princess without
speaking and evidently not thinking about her at all. Anatole was not
quick-witted, nor ready or eloquent in conversation, but he had the
faculty, so invaluable in society, of composure and imperturbable
self-possession. If a man lacking in self-confidence remains dumb on
a first introduction and betrays a consciousness of the impropriety of
such silence and an anxiety to find something to say, the effect is
bad. But Anatole was dumb, swung his foot, and smilingly examined the
princess? hair. It was evident that he could be silent in this way for
a very long time. ?If anyone finds this silence inconvenient, let him
talk, but I don?t want to,? he seemed to say. Besides this, in his
behavior to women Anatole had a manner which particularly inspires in
them curiosity, awe, and even love?a supercilious consciousness of
his own superiority. It was as if he said to them: ?I know you, I know
you, but why should I bother about you? You?d be only too glad, of
course.? Perhaps he did not really think this when he met women?even
probably he did not, for in general he thought very little?but his
looks and manner gave that impression. The princess felt this, and as if
wishing to show him that she did not even dare expect to interest him,
she turned to his father. The conversation was general and animated,
thanks to Princess Lise?s voice and little downy lip that lifted over
her white teeth. She met Prince Vasíli with that playful manner often
employed by lively chatty people, and consisting in the assumption
that between the person they so address and themselves there are some
semi-private, long-established jokes and amusing reminiscences, though
no such reminiscences really exist?just as none existed in this case.
Prince Vasíli readily adopted her tone and the little princess also
drew Anatole, whom she hardly knew, into these amusing recollections of
things that had never occurred. Mademoiselle Bourienne also shared them
and even Princess Mary felt herself pleasantly made to share in these
merry reminiscences.

?Here at least we shall have the benefit of your company all to
ourselves, dear prince,? said the little princess (of course, in
French) to Prince Vasíli. ?It?s not as at Annette?s * receptions
where you always ran away; you remember cette chère Annette!?

    * Anna Pávlovna.

?Ah, but you won?t talk politics to me like Annette!?

?And our little tea table??

?Oh, yes!?

?Why is it you were never at Annette?s?? the little princess asked
Anatole. ?Ah, I know, I know,? she said with a sly glance, ?your
brother Hippolyte told me about your goings on. Oh!? and she shook her
finger at him, ?I have even heard of your doings in Paris!?

?And didn?t Hippolyte tell you?? asked Prince Vasíli, turning to
his son and seizing the little princess? arm as if she would have run
away and he had just managed to catch her, ?didn?t he tell you how
he himself was pining for the dear princess, and how she showed him the
door? Oh, she is a pearl among women, Princess,? he added, turning to
Princess Mary.

When Paris was mentioned, Mademoiselle Bourienne for her part seized the
opportunity of joining in the general current of recollections.

She took the liberty of inquiring whether it was long since Anatole
had left Paris and how he had liked that city. Anatole answered the
Frenchwoman very readily and, looking at her with a smile, talked to her
about her native land. When he saw the pretty little Bourienne, Anatole
came to the conclusion that he would not find Bald Hills dull either.
?Not at all bad!? he thought, examining her, ?not at all bad, that
little companion! I hope she will bring her along with her when we?re
married, la petite est gentille.? *

    * The little one is charming.

The old prince dressed leisurely in his study, frowning and considering
what he was to do. The coming of these visitors annoyed him. ?What are
Prince Vasíli and that son of his to me? Prince Vasíli is a shallow
braggart and his son, no doubt, is a fine specimen,? he grumbled to
himself. What angered him was that the coming of these visitors revived
in his mind an unsettled question he always tried to stifle, one about
which he always deceived himself. The question was whether he could ever
bring himself to part from his daughter and give her to a husband. The
prince never directly asked himself that question, knowing beforehand
that he would have to answer it justly, and justice clashed not only
with his feelings but with the very possibility of life. Life without
Princess Mary, little as he seemed to value her, was unthinkable to
him. ?And why should she marry?? he thought. ?To be unhappy for
certain. There?s Lise, married to Andrew?a better husband one would
think could hardly be found nowadays?but is she contented with her
lot? And who would marry Marie for love? Plain and awkward! They?ll
take her for her connections and wealth. Are there no women living
unmarried, and even the happier for it?? So thought Prince Bolkónski
while dressing, and yet the question he was always putting off demanded
an immediate answer. Prince Vasíli had brought his son with the evident
intention of proposing, and today or tomorrow he would probably ask
for an answer. His birth and position in society were not bad. ?Well,
I?ve nothing against it,? the prince said to himself, ?but he must
be worthy of her. And that is what we shall see.?

?That is what we shall see! That is what we shall see!? he added

He entered the drawing room with his usual alert step, glancing rapidly
round the company. He noticed the change in the little princess?
dress, Mademoiselle Bourienne?s ribbon, Princess Mary?s unbecoming
coiffure, Mademoiselle Bourienne?s and Anatole?s smiles, and the
loneliness of his daughter amid the general conversation. ?Got herself
up like a fool!? he thought, looking irritably at her. ?She is
shameless, and he ignores her!?

He went straight up to Prince Vasíli.

?Well! How d?ye do? How d?ye do? Glad to see you!?

?Friendship laughs at distance,? began Prince Vasíli in his usual
rapid, self-confident, familiar tone. ?Here is my second son; please
love and befriend him.?

Prince Bolkónski surveyed Anatole.

?Fine young fellow! Fine young fellow!? he said. ?Well, come and
kiss me,? and he offered his cheek.

Anatole kissed the old man, and looked at him with curiosity and perfect
composure, waiting for a display of the eccentricities his father had
told him to expect.

Prince Bolkónski sat down in his usual place in the corner of the sofa
and, drawing up an armchair for Prince Vasíli, pointed to it and began
questioning him about political affairs and news. He seemed to listen
attentively to what Prince Vasíli said, but kept glancing at Princess

?And so they are writing from Potsdam already?? he said, repeating
Prince Vasíli?s last words. Then rising, he suddenly went up to his

?Is it for visitors you?ve got yourself up like that, eh?? said
he. ?Fine, very fine! You have done up your hair in this new way for
the visitors, and before the visitors I tell you that in future you are
never to dare to change your way of dress without my consent.?

?It was my fault, mon père,? interceded the little princess, with a

?You must do as you please,? said Prince Bolkónski, bowing to his
daughter-in-law, ?but she need not make a fool of herself, she?s
plain enough as it is.?

And he sat down again, paying no more attention to his daughter, who was
reduced to tears.

?On the contrary, that coiffure suits the princess very well,? said
Prince Vasíli.

?Now you, young prince, what?s your name?? said Prince Bolkónski,
turning to Anatole, ?come here, let us talk and get acquainted.?

?Now the fun begins,? thought Anatole, sitting down with a smile
beside the old prince.

?Well, my dear boy, I hear you?ve been educated abroad, not taught
to read and write by the deacon, like your father and me. Now tell me,
my dear boy, are you serving in the Horse Guards?? asked the old man,
scrutinizing Anatole closely and intently.

?No, I have been transferred to the line,? said Anatole, hardly able
to restrain his laughter.

?Ah! That?s a good thing. So, my dear boy, you wish to serve the
Tsar and the country? It is wartime. Such a fine fellow must serve.
Well, are you off to the front??

?No, Prince, our regiment has gone to the front, but I am attached...
what is it I am attached to, Papa?? said Anatole, turning to his
father with a laugh.

?A splendid soldier, splendid! ?What am I attached to!? Ha, ha,
ha!? laughed Prince Bolkónski, and Anatole laughed still louder.
Suddenly Prince Bolkónski frowned.

?You may go,? he said to Anatole.

Anatole returned smiling to the ladies.

?And so you?ve had him educated abroad, Prince Vasíli, haven?t
you?? said the old prince to Prince Vasíli.

?I have done my best for him, and I can assure you the education there
is much better than ours.?

?Yes, everything is different nowadays, everything is changed. The
lad?s a fine fellow, a fine fellow! Well, come with me now.? He took
Prince Vasíli?s arm and led him to his study. As soon as they were
alone together, Prince Vasíli announced his hopes and wishes to the old

?Well, do you think I shall prevent her, that I can?t part from
her?? said the old prince angrily. ?What an idea! I?m ready for it
tomorrow! Only let me tell you, I want to know my son-in-law better. You
know my principles?everything aboveboard! I will ask her tomorrow in
your presence; if she is willing, then he can stay on. He can stay and
I?ll see.? The old prince snorted. ?Let her marry, it?s all the
same to me!? he screamed in the same piercing tone as when parting
from his son.

?I will tell you frankly,? said Prince Vasíli in the tone of
a crafty man convinced of the futility of being cunning with so
keen-sighted a companion. ?You know, you see right through people.
Anatole is no genius, but he is an honest, goodhearted lad; an excellent
son or kinsman.?

?All right, all right, we?ll see!?

As always happens when women lead lonely lives for any length of time
without male society, on Anatole?s appearance all the three women of
Prince Bolkónski?s household felt that their life had not been real
till then. Their powers of reasoning, feeling, and observing immediately
increased tenfold, and their life, which seemed to have been passed in
darkness, was suddenly lit up by a new brightness, full of significance.

Princess Mary grew quite unconscious of her face and coiffure. The
handsome open face of the man who might perhaps be her husband absorbed
all her attention. He seemed to her kind, brave, determined, manly, and
magnanimous. She felt convinced of that. Thousands of dreams of a future
family life continually rose in her imagination. She drove them away and
tried to conceal them.

?But am I not too cold with him?? thought the princess. ?I try
to be reserved because in the depth of my soul I feel too near to him
already, but then he cannot know what I think of him and may imagine
that I do not like him.?

And Princess Mary tried, but could not manage, to be cordial to her new
guest. ?Poor girl, she?s devilish ugly!? thought Anatole.

Mademoiselle Bourienne, also roused to great excitement by Anatole?s
arrival, thought in another way. Of course, she, a handsome young woman
without any definite position, without relations or even a country, did
not intend to devote her life to serving Prince Bolkónski, to reading
aloud to him and being friends with Princess Mary. Mademoiselle
Bourienne had long been waiting for a Russian prince who, able to
appreciate at a glance her superiority to the plain, badly dressed,
ungainly Russian princesses, would fall in love with her and carry her
off; and here at last was a Russian prince. Mademoiselle Bourienne knew
a story, heard from her aunt but finished in her own way, which she
liked to repeat to herself. It was the story of a girl who had been
seduced, and to whom her poor mother (sa pauvre mère) appeared, and
reproached her for yielding to a man without being married. Mademoiselle
Bourienne was often touched to tears as in imagination she told this
story to him, her seducer. And now he, a real Russian prince, had
appeared. He would carry her away and then sa pauvre mère would appear
and he would marry her. So her future shaped itself in Mademoiselle
Bourienne?s head at the very time she was talking to Anatole about
Paris. It was not calculation that guided her (she did not even for a
moment consider what she should do), but all this had long been familiar
to her, and now that Anatole had appeared it just grouped itself around
him and she wished and tried to please him as much as possible.

The little princess, like an old war horse that hears the trumpet,
unconsciously and quite forgetting her condition, prepared for the
familiar gallop of coquetry, without any ulterior motive or any
struggle, but with naïve and lighthearted gaiety.

Although in female society Anatole usually assumed the role of a man
tired of being run after by women, his vanity was flattered by the
spectacle of his power over these three women. Besides that, he was
beginning to feel for the pretty and provocative Mademoiselle Bourienne
that passionate animal feeling which was apt to master him with great
suddenness and prompt him to the coarsest and most reckless actions.

After tea, the company went into the sitting room and Princess Mary was
asked to play on the clavichord. Anatole, laughing and in high spirits,
came and leaned on his elbows, facing her and beside Mademoiselle
Bourienne. Princess Mary felt his look with a painfully joyous emotion.
Her favorite sonata bore her into a most intimately poetic world and
the look she felt upon her made that world still more poetic. But
Anatole?s expression, though his eyes were fixed on her, referred not
to her but to the movements of Mademoiselle Bourienne?s little
foot, which he was then touching with his own under the clavichord.
Mademoiselle Bourienne was also looking at Princess Mary, and in her
lovely eyes there was a look of fearful joy and hope that was also new
to the princess.

?How she loves me!? thought Princess Mary. ?How happy I am now,
and how happy I may be with such a friend and such a husband! Husband?
Can it be possible?? she thought, not daring to look at his face, but
still feeling his eyes gazing at her.

In the evening, after supper, when all were about to retire, Anatole
kissed Princess Mary?s hand. She did not know how she found the
courage, but she looked straight into his handsome face as it came near
to her shortsighted eyes. Turning from Princess Mary he went up and
kissed Mademoiselle Bourienne?s hand. (This was not etiquette, but
then he did everything so simply and with such assurance!) Mademoiselle
Bourienne flushed, and gave the princess a frightened look.

?What delicacy!? thought the princess. ?Is it possible that
Amélie? (Mademoiselle Bourienne) ?thinks I could be jealous of her,
and not value her pure affection and devotion to me?? She went up
to her and kissed her warmly. Anatole went up to kiss the little
princess? hand.

?No! No! No! When your father writes to tell me that you are behaving
well I will give you my hand to kiss. Not till then!? she said. And
smilingly raising a finger at him, she left the room.


They all separated, but, except Anatole who fell asleep as soon as he
got into bed, all kept awake a long time that night.

?Is he really to be my husband, this stranger who is so kind?yes,
kind, that is the chief thing,? thought Princess Mary; and fear, which
she had seldom experienced, came upon her. She feared to look round, it
seemed to her that someone was there standing behind the screen in the
dark corner. And this someone was he?the devil?and he was also this
man with the white forehead, black eyebrows, and red lips.

She rang for her maid and asked her to sleep in her room.

Mademoiselle Bourienne walked up and down the conservatory for a long
time that evening, vainly expecting someone, now smiling at someone, now
working herself up to tears with the imaginary words of her pauvre mère
rebuking her for her fall.

The little princess grumbled to her maid that her bed was badly made.
She could not lie either on her face or on her side. Every position was
awkward and uncomfortable, and her burden oppressed her now more than
ever because Anatole?s presence had vividly recalled to her the time
when she was not like that and when everything was light and gay. She
sat in an armchair in her dressing jacket and nightcap and Katie, sleepy
and disheveled, beat and turned the heavy feather bed for the third
time, muttering to herself.

?I told you it was all lumps and holes!? the little princess
repeated. ?I should be glad enough to fall asleep, so it?s not my
fault!? and her voice quivered like that of a child about to cry.

The old prince did not sleep either. Tíkhon, half asleep, heard him
pacing angrily about and snorting. The old prince felt as though he
had been insulted through his daughter. The insult was the more pointed
because it concerned not himself but another, his daughter, whom he
loved more than himself. He kept telling himself that he would consider
the whole matter and decide what was right and how he should act, but
instead of that he only excited himself more and more.

?The first man that turns up?she forgets her father and everything
else, runs upstairs and does up her hair and wags her tail and is unlike
herself! Glad to throw her father over! And she knew I should notice
it. Fr... fr... fr! And don?t I see that that idiot had eyes only for
Bourienne?I shall have to get rid of her. And how is it she has not
pride enough to see it? If she has no pride for herself she might at
least have some for my sake! She must be shown that the blockhead thinks
nothing of her and looks only at Bourienne. No, she has no pride... but
I?ll let her see....?

The old prince knew that if he told his daughter she was making a
mistake and that Anatole meant to flirt with Mademoiselle Bourienne,
Princess Mary?s self-esteem would be wounded and his point (not to
be parted from her) would be gained, so pacifying himself with this
thought, he called Tíkhon and began to undress.

?What devil brought them here?? thought he, while Tíkhon was
putting the nightshirt over his dried-up old body and gray-haired chest.
?I never invited them. They came to disturb my life?and there is not
much of it left.?

?Devil take ?em!? he muttered, while his head was still covered by
the shirt.

Tíkhon knew his master?s habit of sometimes thinking aloud, and
therefore met with unaltered looks the angrily inquisitive expression of
the face that emerged from the shirt.

?Gone to bed?? asked the prince.

Tíkhon, like all good valets, instinctively knew the direction of his
master?s thoughts. He guessed that the question referred to Prince
Vasíli and his son.

?They have gone to bed and put out their lights, your excellency.?

?No good... no good...? said the prince rapidly, and thrusting his
feet into his slippers and his arms into the sleeves of his dressing
gown, he went to the couch on which he slept.

Though no words had passed between Anatole and Mademoiselle Bourienne,
they quite understood one another as to the first part of their romance,
up to the appearance of the pauvre mère; they understood that they had
much to say to one another in private and so they had been seeking an
opportunity since morning to meet one another alone. When Princess Mary
went to her father?s room at the usual hour, Mademoiselle Bourienne
and Anatole met in the conservatory.

Princess Mary went to the door of the study with special trepidation.
It seemed to her that not only did everybody know that her fate would be
decided that day, but that they also knew what she thought about it. She
read this in Tíkhon?s face and in that of Prince Vasíli?s valet,
who made her a low bow when she met him in the corridor carrying hot

The old prince was very affectionate and careful in his treatment of
his daughter that morning. Princess Mary well knew this painstaking
expression of her father?s. His face wore that expression when his
dry hands clenched with vexation at her not understanding a sum in
arithmetic, when rising from his chair he would walk away from her,
repeating in a low voice the same words several times over.

He came to the point at once, treating her ceremoniously.

?I have had a proposition made me concerning you,? he said with an
unnatural smile. ?I expect you have guessed that Prince Vasíli has
not come and brought his pupil with him? (for some reason Prince
Bolkónski referred to Anatole as a ?pupil?) ?for the sake of my
beautiful eyes. Last night a proposition was made me on your account
and, as you know my principles, I refer it to you.?

?How am I to understand you, mon père?? said the princess, growing
pale and then blushing.

?How understand me!? cried her father angrily. ?Prince Vasíli
finds you to his taste as a daughter-in-law and makes a proposal to you
on his pupil?s behalf. That?s how it?s to be understood! ?How
understand it?!... And I ask you!?

?I do not know what you think, Father,? whispered the princess.

?I? I? What of me? Leave me out of the question. I?m not going to
get married. What about you? That?s what I want to know.?

The princess saw that her father regarded the matter with disapproval,
but at that moment the thought occurred to her that her fate would be
decided now or never. She lowered her eyes so as not to see the gaze
under which she felt that she could not think, but would only be able to
submit from habit, and she said: ?I wish only to do your will, but if
I had to express my own desire...? She had no time to finish. The old
prince interrupted her.

?That?s admirable!? he shouted. ?He will take you with your
dowry and take Mademoiselle Bourienne into the bargain. She?ll be the
wife, while you...?

The prince stopped. He saw the effect these words had produced on his
daughter. She lowered her head and was ready to burst into tears.

?Now then, now then, I?m only joking!? he said. ?Remember this,
Princess, I hold to the principle that a maiden has a full right to
choose. I give you freedom. Only remember that your life?s happiness
depends on your decision. Never mind me!?

?But I do not know, Father!?

?There?s no need to talk! He receives his orders and will marry you
or anybody; but you are free to choose.... Go to your room, think it
over, and come back in an hour and tell me in his presence: yes or no.
I know you will pray over it. Well, pray if you like, but you had better
think it over. Go! Yes or no, yes or no, yes or no!? he still shouted
when the princess, as if lost in a fog, had already staggered out of the

Her fate was decided and happily decided. But what her father had said
about Mademoiselle Bourienne was dreadful. It was untrue to be sure, but
still it was terrible, and she could not help thinking of it. She was
going straight on through the conservatory, neither seeing nor hearing
anything, when suddenly the well-known whispering of Mademoiselle
Bourienne aroused her. She raised her eyes, and two steps away saw
Anatole embracing the Frenchwoman and whispering something to her. With
a horrified expression on his handsome face, Anatole looked at Princess
Mary, but did not at once take his arm from the waist of Mademoiselle
Bourienne who had not yet seen her.

?Who?s that? Why? Wait a moment!? Anatole?s face seemed to say.
Princess Mary looked at them in silence. She could not understand it. At
last Mademoiselle Bourienne gave a scream and ran away. Anatole bowed to
Princess Mary with a gay smile, as if inviting her to join in a laugh at
this strange incident, and then shrugging his shoulders went to the door
that led to his own apartments.

An hour later, Tíkhon came to call Princess Mary to the old prince;
he added that Prince Vasíli was also there. When Tíkhon came to her
Princess Mary was sitting on the sofa in her room, holding the weeping
Mademoiselle Bourienne in her arms and gently stroking her hair. The
princess? beautiful eyes with all their former calm radiance were
looking with tender affection and pity at Mademoiselle Bourienne?s
pretty face.

?No, Princess, I have lost your affection forever!? said
Mademoiselle Bourienne.

?Why? I love you more than ever,? said Princess Mary, ?and I will
try to do all I can for your happiness.?

?But you despise me. You who are so pure can never understand being so
carried away by passion. Oh, only my poor mother...?

?I quite understand,? answered Princess Mary, with a sad smile.
?Calm yourself, my dear. I will go to my father,? she said, and went

Prince Vasíli, with one leg thrown high over the other and a snuffbox
in his hand, was sitting there with a smile of deep emotion on his face,
as if stirred to his heart?s core and himself regretting and laughing
at his own sensibility, when Princess Mary entered. He hurriedly took a
pinch of snuff.

?Ah, my dear, my dear!? he began, rising and taking her by both
hands. Then, sighing, he added: ?My son?s fate is in your hands.
Decide, my dear, good, gentle Marie, whom I have always loved as a

He drew back and a real tear appeared in his eye.

?Fr... fr...? snorted Prince Bolkónski. ?The prince is making a
proposition to you in his pupil?s?I mean, his son?s?name. Do you
wish or not to be Prince Anatole Kurágin?s wife? Reply: yes or no,?
he shouted, ?and then I shall reserve the right to state my opinion
also. Yes, my opinion, and only my opinion,? added Prince Bolkónski,
turning to Prince Vasíli and answering his imploring look. ?Yes, or

?My desire is never to leave you, Father, never to separate my
life from yours. I don?t wish to marry,? she answered positively,
glancing at Prince Vasíli and at her father with her beautiful eyes.

?Humbug! Nonsense! Humbug, humbug, humbug!? cried Prince Bolkónski,
frowning and taking his daughter?s hand; he did not kiss her, but only
bending his forehead to hers just touched it, and pressed her hand so
that she winced and uttered a cry.

Prince Vasíli rose.

?My dear, I must tell you that this is a moment I shall never, never
forget. But, my dear, will you not give us a little hope of touching
this heart, so kind and generous? Say ?perhaps?... The future is so
long. Say ?perhaps.??

?Prince, what I have said is all there is in my heart. I thank you for
the honor, but I shall never be your son?s wife.?

?Well, so that?s finished, my dear fellow! I am very glad to have
seen you. Very glad! Go back to your rooms, Princess. Go!? said
the old prince. ?Very, very glad to have seen you,? repeated he,
embracing Prince Vasíli.

?My vocation is a different one,? thought Princess Mary. ?My
vocation is to be happy with another kind of happiness, the happiness
of love and self-sacrifice. And cost what it may, I will arrange
poor Amélie?s happiness, she loves him so passionately, and so
passionately repents. I will do all I can to arrange the match between
them. If he is not rich I will give her the means; I will ask my
father and Andrew. I shall be so happy when she is his wife. She is so
unfortunate, a stranger, alone, helpless! And, oh God, how passionately
she must love him if she could so far forget herself! Perhaps I might
have done the same!...? thought Princess Mary.


It was long since the Rostóvs had news of Nicholas. Not till midwinter
was the count at last handed a letter addressed in his son?s
handwriting. On receiving it, he ran on tiptoe to his study in alarm and
haste, trying to escape notice, closed the door, and began to read the

Anna Mikháylovna, who always knew everything that passed in the house,
on hearing of the arrival of the letter went softly into the room and
found the count with it in his hand, sobbing and laughing at the same

Anna Mikháylovna, though her circumstances had improved, was still
living with the Rostóvs.

?My dear friend?? said she, in a tone of pathetic inquiry, prepared
to sympathize in any way.

The count sobbed yet more.

?Nikólenka... a letter... wa... a... s... wounded... my darling
boy... the countess... promoted to be an officer... thank God... How
tell the little countess!?

Anna Mikháylovna sat down beside him, with her own handkerchief wiped
the tears from his eyes and from the letter, then having dried her
own eyes she comforted the count, and decided that at dinner and till
teatime she would prepare the countess, and after tea, with God?s
help, would inform her.

At dinner Anna Mikháylovna talked the whole time about the war news
and about Nikólenka, twice asked when the last letter had been received
from him, though she knew that already, and remarked that they might
very likely be getting a letter from him that day. Each time that these
hints began to make the countess anxious and she glanced uneasily at
the count and at Anna Mikháylovna, the latter very adroitly turned
the conversation to insignificant matters. Natásha, who, of the whole
family, was the most gifted with a capacity to feel any shades of
intonation, look, and expression, pricked up her ears from the beginning
of the meal and was certain that there was some secret between her
father and Anna Mikháylovna, that it had something to do with her
brother, and that Anna Mikháylovna was preparing them for it. Bold as
she was, Natásha, who knew how sensitive her mother was to anything
relating to Nikólenka, did not venture to ask any questions at dinner,
but she was too excited to eat anything and kept wriggling about on her
chair regardless of her governess? remarks. After dinner, she rushed
headlong after Anna Mikháylovna and, dashing at her, flung herself on
her neck as soon as she overtook her in the sitting room.

?Auntie, darling, do tell me what it is!?

?Nothing, my dear.?

?No, dearest, sweet one, honey, I won?t give up?I know you know

Anna Mikháylovna shook her head.

?You are a little slyboots,? she said.

?A letter from Nikólenka! I?m sure of it!? exclaimed Natásha,
reading confirmation in Anna Mikháylovna?s face.

?But for God?s sake, be careful, you know how it may affect your

?I will, I will, only tell me! You won?t? Then I will go and tell at

Anna Mikháylovna, in a few words, told her the contents of the letter,
on condition that she should tell no one.

?No, on my true word of honor,? said Natásha, crossing herself,
?I won?t tell anyone!? and she ran off at once to Sónya.

?Nikólenka... wounded... a letter,? she announced in gleeful

?Nicholas!? was all Sónya said, instantly turning white.

Natásha, seeing the impression the news of her brother?s wound
produced on Sónya, felt for the first time the sorrowful side of the

She rushed to Sónya, hugged her, and began to cry.

?A little wound, but he has been made an officer; he is well now, he
wrote himself,? said she through her tears.

?There now! It?s true that all you women are crybabies,? remarked
Pétya, pacing the room with large, resolute strides. ?Now I?m very
glad, very glad indeed, that my brother has distinguished himself so.
You are all blubberers and understand nothing.?

Natásha smiled through her tears.

?You haven?t read the letter?? asked Sónya.

?No, but she said that it was all over and that he?s now an

?Thank God!? said Sónya, crossing herself. ?But perhaps she
deceived you. Let us go to Mamma.?

Pétya paced the room in silence for a time.

?If I?d been in Nikólenka?s place I would have killed even more
of those Frenchmen,? he said. ?What nasty brutes they are! I?d
have killed so many that there?d have been a heap of them.?

?Hold your tongue, Pétya, what a goose you are!?

?I?m not a goose, but they are who cry about trifles,? said

?Do you remember him?? Natásha suddenly asked, after a moment?s

Sónya smiled.

?Do I remember Nicholas??

?No, Sónya, but do you remember so that you remember him perfectly,
remember everything?? said Natásha, with an expressive gesture,
evidently wishing to give her words a very definite meaning. ?I
remember Nikólenka too, I remember him well,? she said. ?But I
don?t remember Borís. I don?t remember him a bit.?

?What! You don?t remember Borís?? asked Sónya in surprise.

?It?s not that I don?t remember?I know what he is like, but not
as I remember Nikólenka. Him?I just shut my eyes and remember,
but Borís... No!? (She shut her eyes.) ?No! there?s nothing at

?Oh, Natásha!? said Sónya, looking ecstatically and earnestly at
her friend as if she did not consider her worthy to hear what she meant
to say and as if she were saying it to someone else, with whom joking
was out of the question, ?I am in love with your brother once for all
and, whatever may happen to him or to me, shall never cease to love him
as long as I live.?

Natásha looked at Sónya with wondering and inquisitive eyes, and said
nothing. She felt that Sónya was speaking the truth, that there was
such love as Sónya was speaking of. But Natásha had not yet felt
anything like it. She believed it could be, but did not understand it.

?Shall you write to him?? she asked.

Sónya became thoughtful. The question of how to write to Nicholas, and
whether she ought to write, tormented her. Now that he was already an
officer and a wounded hero, would it be right to remind him of herself
and, as it might seem, of the obligations to her he had taken on

?I don?t know. I think if he writes, I will write too,? she said,

?And you won?t feel ashamed to write to him??

Sónya smiled.


?And I should be ashamed to write to Borís. I?m not going to.?

?Why should you be ashamed??

?Well, I don?t know. It?s awkward and would make me ashamed.?

?And I know why she?d be ashamed,? said Pétya, offended by
Natásha?s previous remark. ?It?s because she was in love with
that fat one in spectacles? (that was how Pétya described his
namesake, the new Count Bezúkhov) ?and now she?s in love with that
singer? (he meant Natásha?s Italian singing master), ?that?s
why she?s ashamed!?

?Pétya, you?re a stupid!? said Natásha.

?Not more stupid than you, madam,? said the nine-year-old Pétya,
with the air of an old brigadier.

The countess had been prepared by Anna Mikháylovna?s hints at dinner.
On retiring to her own room, she sat in an armchair, her eyes fixed on a
miniature portrait of her son on the lid of a snuffbox, while the tears
kept coming into her eyes. Anna Mikháylovna, with the letter, came on
tiptoe to the countess? door and paused.

?Don?t come in,? she said to the old count who was following her.
?Come later.? And she went in, closing the door behind her.

The count put his ear to the keyhole and listened.

At first he heard the sound of indifferent voices, then Anna
Mikháylovna?s voice alone in a long speech, then a cry, then silence,
then both voices together with glad intonations, and then footsteps.
Anna Mikháylovna opened the door. Her face wore the proud expression
of a surgeon who has just performed a difficult operation and admits the
public to appreciate his skill.

?It is done!? she said to the count, pointing triumphantly to the
countess, who sat holding in one hand the snuffbox with its portrait and
in the other the letter, and pressing them alternately to her lips.

When she saw the count, she stretched out her arms to him, embraced his
bald head, over which she again looked at the letter and the portrait,
and in order to press them again to her lips, she slightly pushed away
the bald head. Véra, Natásha, Sónya, and Pétya now entered the room,
and the reading of the letter began. After a brief description of
the campaign and the two battles in which he had taken part, and his
promotion, Nicholas said that he kissed his father?s and mother?s
hands asking for their blessing, and that he kissed Véra, Natásha, and
Pétya. Besides that, he sent greetings to Monsieur Schelling, Madame
Schoss, and his old nurse, and asked them to kiss for him ?dear
Sónya, whom he loved and thought of just the same as ever.? When she
heard this Sónya blushed so that tears came into her eyes and, unable
to bear the looks turned upon her, ran away into the dancing hall,
whirled round it at full speed with her dress puffed out like a balloon,
and, flushed and smiling, plumped down on the floor. The countess was

?Why are you crying, Mamma?? asked Véra. ?From all he says one
should be glad and not cry.?

This was quite true, but the count, the countess, and Natásha looked
at her reproachfully. ?And who is it she takes after?? thought the

Nicholas? letter was read over hundreds of times, and those who were
considered worthy to hear it had to come to the countess, for she
did not let it out of her hands. The tutors came, and the nurses, and
Dmítri, and several acquaintances, and the countess reread the letter
each time with fresh pleasure and each time discovered in it fresh
proofs of Nikólenka?s virtues. How strange, how extraordinary, how
joyful it seemed, that her son, the scarcely perceptible motion of whose
tiny limbs she had felt twenty years ago within her, that son about whom
she used to have quarrels with the too indulgent count, that son who
had first learned to say ?pear? and then ?granny,? that this son
should now be away in a foreign land amid strange surroundings, a manly
warrior doing some kind of man?s work of his own, without help or
guidance. The universal experience of ages, showing that children do
grow imperceptibly from the cradle to manhood, did not exist for the
countess. Her son?s growth toward manhood, at each of its stages,
had seemed as extraordinary to her as if there had never existed the
millions of human beings who grew up in the same way. As twenty
years before, it seemed impossible that the little creature who lived
somewhere under her heart would ever cry, suck her breast, and begin to
speak, so now she could not believe that that little creature could be
this strong, brave man, this model son and officer that, judging by this
letter, he now was.

?What a style! How charmingly he describes!? said she, reading the
descriptive part of the letter. ?And what a soul! Not a word about
himself.... Not a word! About some Denísov or other, though he himself,
I dare say, is braver than any of them. He says nothing about his
sufferings. What a heart! How like him it is! And how he has remembered
everybody! Not forgetting anyone. I always said when he was only so
high?I always said....?

For more than a week preparations were being made, rough drafts of
letters to Nicholas from all the household were written and copied out,
while under the supervision of the countess and the solicitude of the
count, money and all things necessary for the uniform and equipment
of the newly commissioned officer were collected. Anna Mikháylovna,
practical woman that she was, had even managed by favor with army
authorities to secure advantageous means of communication for herself
and her son. She had opportunities of sending her letters to the Grand
Duke Constantine Pávlovich, who commanded the Guards. The Rostóvs
supposed that The Russian Guards, Abroad, was quite a definite address,
and that if a letter reached the Grand Duke in command of the Guards
there was no reason why it should not reach the Pávlograd regiment,
which was presumably somewhere in the same neighborhood. And so it was
decided to send the letters and money by the Grand Duke?s courier to
Borís and Borís was to forward them to Nicholas. The letters were from
the old count, the countess, Pétya, Véra, Natásha, and Sónya, and
finally there were six thousand rubles for his outfit and various other
things the old count sent to his son.


On the twelfth of November, Kutúzov?s active army, in camp before
Olmütz, was preparing to be reviewed next day by the two Emperors?the
Russian and the Austrian. The Guards, just arrived from Russia, spent
the night ten miles from Olmütz and next morning were to come straight
to the review, reaching the field at Olmütz by ten o?clock.

That day Nicholas Rostóv received a letter from Borís, telling him
that the Ismáylov regiment was quartered for the night ten miles from
Olmütz and that he wanted to see him as he had a letter and money for
him. Rostóv was particularly in need of money now that the troops,
after their active service, were stationed near Olmütz and the camp
swarmed with well-provisioned sutlers and Austrian Jews offering
all sorts of tempting wares. The Pávlograds held feast after feast,
celebrating awards they had received for the campaign, and made
expeditions to Olmütz to visit a certain Caroline the Hungarian,
who had recently opened a restaurant there with girls as waitresses.
Rostóv, who had just celebrated his promotion to a cornetcy and bought
Denísov?s horse, Bedouin, was in debt all round, to his comrades and
the sutlers. On receiving Borís? letter he rode with a fellow officer
to Olmütz, dined there, drank a bottle of wine, and then set off alone
to the Guards? camp to find his old playmate. Rostóv had not yet had
time to get his uniform. He had on a shabby cadet jacket, decorated with
a soldier?s cross, equally shabby cadet?s riding breeches lined with
worn leather, and an officer?s saber with a sword knot. The Don horse
he was riding was one he had bought from a Cossack during the campaign,
and he wore a crumpled hussar cap stuck jauntily back on one side of his
head. As he rode up to the camp he thought how he would impress Borís
and all his comrades of the Guards by his appearance?that of a
fighting hussar who had been under fire.

The Guards had made their whole march as if on a pleasure trip, parading
their cleanliness and discipline. They had come by easy stages, their
knapsacks conveyed on carts, and the Austrian authorities had provided
excellent dinners for the officers at every halting place. The regiments
had entered and left the town with their bands playing, and by the Grand
Duke?s orders the men had marched all the way in step (a practice on
which the Guards prided themselves), the officers on foot and at their
proper posts. Borís had been quartered, and had marched all the
way, with Berg who was already in command of a company. Berg, who had
obtained his captaincy during the campaign, had gained the confidence of
his superiors by his promptitude and accuracy and had arranged his money
matters very satisfactorily. Borís, during the campaign, had made the
acquaintance of many persons who might prove useful to him, and by
a letter of recommendation he had brought from Pierre had become
acquainted with Prince Andrew Bolkónski, through whom he hoped to
obtain a post on the commander in chief?s staff. Berg and Borís,
having rested after yesterday?s march, were sitting, clean and neatly
dressed, at a round table in the clean quarters allotted to them,
playing chess. Berg held a smoking pipe between his knees. Borís, in
the accurate way characteristic of him, was building a little pyramid of
chessmen with his delicate white fingers while awaiting Berg?s move,
and watched his opponent?s face, evidently thinking about the game as
he always thought only of whatever he was engaged on.

?Well, how are you going to get out of that?? he remarked.

?We?ll try to,? replied Berg, touching a pawn and then removing
his hand.

At that moment the door opened.

?Here he is at last!? shouted Rostóv. ?And Berg too! Oh, you
petisenfans, allay cushay dormir!? he exclaimed, imitating his Russian
nurse?s French, at which he and Borís used to laugh long ago.

?Dear me, how you have changed!?

Borís rose to meet Rostóv, but in doing so did not omit to steady and
replace some chessmen that were falling. He was about to embrace his
friend, but Nicholas avoided him. With that peculiar feeling of youth,
that dread of beaten tracks, and wish to express itself in a manner
different from that of its elders which is often insincere, Nicholas
wished to do something special on meeting his friend. He wanted to pinch
him, push him, do anything but kiss him?a thing everybody did. But
notwithstanding this, Borís embraced him in a quiet, friendly way and
kissed him three times.

They had not met for nearly half a year and, being at the age when young
men take their first steps on life?s road, each saw immense changes in
the other, quite a new reflection of the society in which they had taken
those first steps. Both had changed greatly since they last met and both
were in a hurry to show the changes that had taken place in them.

?Oh, you damned dandies! Clean and fresh as if you?d been to a fete,
not like us sinners of the line,? cried Rostóv, with martial swagger
and with baritone notes in his voice, new to Borís, pointing to his own
mud-bespattered breeches. The German landlady, hearing Rostóv?s loud
voice, popped her head in at the door.

?Eh, is she pretty?? he asked with a wink.

?Why do you shout so? You?ll frighten them!? said Borís. ?I did
not expect you today,? he added. ?I only sent you the note yesterday
by Bolkónski?an adjutant of Kutúzov?s, who?s a friend of mine.
I did not think he would get it to you so quickly.... Well, how are you?
Been under fire already?? asked Borís.

Without answering, Rostóv shook the soldier?s Cross of St. George
fastened to the cording of his uniform and, indicating a bandaged arm,
glanced at Berg with a smile.

?As you see,? he said.

?Indeed? Yes, yes!? said Borís, with a smile. ?And we too have
had a splendid march. You know, of course, that His Imperial Highness
rode with our regiment all the time, so that we had every comfort and
every advantage. What receptions we had in Poland! What dinners and
balls! I can?t tell you. And the Tsarévich was very gracious to all
our officers.?

And the two friends told each other of their doings, the one of his
hussar revels and life in the fighting line, the other of the pleasures
and advantages of service under members of the Imperial family.

?Oh, you Guards!? said Rostóv. ?I say, send for some wine.?

Borís made a grimace.

?If you really want it,? said he.

He went to his bed, drew a purse from under the clean pillow, and sent
for wine.

?Yes, and I have some money and a letter to give you,? he added.

Rostóv took the letter and, throwing the money on the sofa, put both
arms on the table and began to read. After reading a few lines, he
glanced angrily at Berg, then, meeting his eyes, hid his face behind the

?Well, they?ve sent you a tidy sum,? said Berg, eying the heavy
purse that sank into the sofa. ?As for us, Count, we get along on our
pay. I can tell you for myself...?

?I say, Berg, my dear fellow,? said Rostóv, ?when you get a
letter from home and meet one of your own people whom you want to talk
everything over with, and I happen to be there, I?ll go at once, to
be out of your way! Do go somewhere, anywhere... to the devil!? he
exclaimed, and immediately seizing him by the shoulder and looking
amiably into his face, evidently wishing to soften the rudeness of his
words, he added, ?Don?t be hurt, my dear fellow; you know I speak
from my heart as to an old acquaintance.?

?Oh, don?t mention it, Count! I quite understand,? said Berg,
getting up and speaking in a muffled and guttural voice.

?Go across to our hosts: they invited you,? added Borís.

Berg put on the cleanest of coats, without a spot or speck of dust,
stood before a looking glass and brushed the hair on his temples
upwards, in the way affected by the Emperor Alexander, and, having
assured himself from the way Rostóv looked at it that his coat had been
noticed, left the room with a pleasant smile.

?Oh dear, what a beast I am!? muttered Rostóv, as he read the


?Oh, what a pig I am, not to have written and to have given them
such a fright! Oh, what a pig I am!? he repeated, flushing suddenly.
?Well, have you sent Gabriel for some wine? All right let?s have

In the letter from his parents was enclosed a letter of recommendation
to Bagratión which the old countess at Anna Mikháylovna?s advice had
obtained through an acquaintance and sent to her son, asking him to take
it to its destination and make use of it.

?What nonsense! Much I need it!? said Rostóv, throwing the letter
under the table.

?Why have you thrown that away?? asked Borís.

?It is some letter of recommendation... what the devil do I want it

?Why ?What the devil??? said Borís, picking it up and reading
the address. ?This letter would be of great use to you.?

?I want nothing, and I won?t be anyone?s adjutant.?

?Why not?? inquired Borís.

?It?s a lackey?s job!?

?You are still the same dreamer, I see,? remarked Borís, shaking
his head.

?And you?re still the same diplomatist! But that?s not the
point... Come, how are you?? asked Rostóv.

?Well, as you see. So far everything?s all right, but I confess I
should much like to be an adjutant and not remain at the front.?


?Because when once a man starts on military service, he should try to
make as successful a career of it as possible.?

?Oh, that?s it!? said Rostóv, evidently thinking of something

He looked intently and inquiringly into his friend?s eyes, evidently
trying in vain to find the answer to some question.

Old Gabriel brought in the wine.

?Shouldn?t we now send for Berg?? asked Borís. ?He would drink
with you. I can?t.?

?Well, send for him... and how do you get on with that German??
asked Rostóv, with a contemptuous smile.

?He is a very, very nice, honest, and pleasant fellow,? answered

Again Rostóv looked intently into Borís? eyes and sighed. Berg
returned, and over the bottle of wine conversation between the three
officers became animated. The Guardsmen told Rostóv of their march and
how they had been made much of in Russia, Poland, and abroad. They spoke
of the sayings and doings of their commander, the Grand Duke, and told
stories of his kindness and irascibility. Berg, as usual, kept silent
when the subject did not relate to himself, but in connection with the
stories of the Grand Duke?s quick temper he related with gusto how in
Galicia he had managed to deal with the Grand Duke when the latter
made a tour of the regiments and was annoyed at the irregularity of
a movement. With a pleasant smile Berg related how the Grand Duke
had ridden up to him in a violent passion, shouting: ?Arnauts!?
(?Arnauts? was the Tsarévich?s favorite expression when he was in
a rage) and called for the company commander.

?Would you believe it, Count, I was not at all alarmed, because I knew
I was right. Without boasting, you know, I may say that I know the Army
Orders by heart and know the Regulations as well as I do the Lord?s
Prayer. So, Count, there never is any negligence in my company, and
so my conscience was at ease. I came forward....? (Berg stood up and
showed how he presented himself, with his hand to his cap, and really
it would have been difficult for a face to express greater respect and
self-complacency than his did.) ?Well, he stormed at me, as the saying
is, stormed and stormed and stormed! It was not a matter of life but
rather of death, as the saying is. ?Albanians!? and ?devils!?
and ?To Siberia!?? said Berg with a sagacious smile. ?I knew I
was in the right so I kept silent; was not that best, Count?... ?Hey,
are you dumb?? he shouted. Still I remained silent. And what do you
think, Count? The next day it was not even mentioned in the Orders of
the Day. That?s what keeping one?s head means. That?s the way,
Count,? said Berg, lighting his pipe and emitting rings of smoke.

?Yes, that was fine,? said Rostóv, smiling.

But Borís noticed that he was preparing to make fun of Berg, and
skillfully changed the subject. He asked him to tell them how and where
he got his wound. This pleased Rostóv and he began talking about it,
and as he went on became more and more animated. He told them of his
Schön Grabern affair, just as those who have taken part in a battle
generally do describe it, that is, as they would like it to have been,
as they have heard it described by others, and as sounds well, but not
at all as it really was. Rostóv was a truthful young man and would on
no account have told a deliberate lie. He began his story meaning to
tell everything just as it happened, but imperceptibly, involuntarily,
and inevitably he lapsed into falsehood. If he had told the truth to his
hearers?who like himself had often heard stories of attacks and had
formed a definite idea of what an attack was and were expecting to hear
just such a story?they would either not have believed him or, still
worse, would have thought that Rostóv was himself to blame since what
generally happens to the narrators of cavalry attacks had not happened
to him. He could not tell them simply that everyone went at a trot and
that he fell off his horse and sprained his arm and then ran as hard as
he could from a Frenchman into the wood. Besides, to tell everything as
it really happened, it would have been necessary to make an effort of
will to tell only what happened. It is very difficult to tell the truth,
and young people are rarely capable of it. His hearers expected a story
of how beside himself and all aflame with excitement, he had flown like
a storm at the square, cut his way in, slashed right and left, how his
saber had tasted flesh and he had fallen exhausted, and so on. And so he
told them all that.

In the middle of his story, just as he was saying: ?You cannot imagine
what a strange frenzy one experiences during an attack,? Prince
Andrew, whom Borís was expecting, entered the room. Prince Andrew, who
liked to help young men, was flattered by being asked for his assistance
and being well disposed toward Borís, who had managed to please him the
day before, he wished to do what the young man wanted. Having been sent
with papers from Kutúzov to the Tsarévich, he looked in on Borís,
hoping to find him alone. When he came in and saw an hussar of the line
recounting his military exploits (Prince Andrew could not endure
that sort of man), he gave Borís a pleasant smile, frowned as with
half-closed eyes he looked at Rostóv, bowed slightly and wearily, and
sat down languidly on the sofa: he felt it unpleasant to have dropped
in on bad company. Rostóv flushed up on noticing this, but he did not
care, this was a mere stranger. Glancing, however, at Borís, he saw
that he too seemed ashamed of the hussar of the line.

In spite of Prince Andrew?s disagreeable, ironical tone, in spite of
the contempt with which Rostóv, from his fighting army point of view,
regarded all these little adjutants on the staff of whom the newcomer
was evidently one, Rostóv felt confused, blushed, and became silent.
Borís inquired what news there might be on the staff, and what, without
indiscretion, one might ask about our plans.

?We shall probably advance,? replied Bolkónski, evidently reluctant
to say more in the presence of a stranger.

Berg took the opportunity to ask, with great politeness, whether, as was
rumored, the allowance of forage money to captains of companies would be
doubled. To this Prince Andrew answered with a smile that he could
give no opinion on such an important government order, and Berg laughed

?As to your business,? Prince Andrew continued, addressing Borís,
?we will talk of it later? (and he looked round at Rostóv). ?Come
to me after the review and we will do what is possible.?

And, having glanced round the room, Prince Andrew turned to Rostóv,
whose state of unconquerable childish embarrassment now changing to
anger he did not condescend to notice, and said: ?I think you were
talking of the Schön Grabern affair? Were you there??

?I was there,? said Rostóv angrily, as if intending to insult the

Bolkónski noticed the hussar?s state of mind, and it amused him. With
a slightly contemptuous smile, he said: ?Yes, there are many stories
now told about that affair!?

?Yes, stories!? repeated Rostóv loudly, looking with eyes suddenly
grown furious, now at Borís, now at Bolkónski. ?Yes, many stories!
But our stories are the stories of men who have been under the enemy?s
fire! Our stories have some weight, not like the stories of those
fellows on the staff who get rewards without doing anything!?

?Of whom you imagine me to be one?? said Prince Andrew, with a quiet
and particularly amiable smile.

A strange feeling of exasperation and yet of respect for this man?s
self-possession mingled at that moment in Rostóv?s soul.

?I am not talking about you,? he said, ?I don?t know you and,
frankly, I don?t want to. I am speaking of the staff in general.?

?And I will tell you this,? Prince Andrew interrupted in a tone of
quiet authority, ?you wish to insult me, and I am ready to agree with
you that it would be very easy to do so if you haven?t sufficient
self-respect, but admit that the time and place are very badly chosen.
In a day or two we shall all have to take part in a greater and more
serious duel, and besides, Drubetskóy, who says he is an old friend
of yours, is not at all to blame that my face has the misfortune to
displease you. However,? he added rising, ?you know my name and
where to find me, but don?t forget that I do not regard either myself
or you as having been at all insulted, and as a man older than you, my
advice is to let the matter drop. Well then, on Friday after the review
I shall expect you, Drubetskóy. Au revoir!? exclaimed Prince Andrew,
and with a bow to them both he went out.

Only when Prince Andrew was gone did Rostóv think of what he ought to
have said. And he was still more angry at having omitted to say it. He
ordered his horse at once and, coldly taking leave of Borís, rode
home. Should he go to headquarters next day and challenge that affected
adjutant, or really let the matter drop, was the question that worried
him all the way. He thought angrily of the pleasure he would have at
seeing the fright of that small and frail but proud man when covered by
his pistol, and then he felt with surprise that of all the men he knew
there was none he would so much like to have for a friend as that very
adjutant whom he so hated.


The day after Rostóv had been to see Borís, a review was held of the
Austrian and Russian troops, both those freshly arrived from Russia and
those who had been campaigning under Kutúzov. The two Emperors,
the Russian with his heir the Tsarévich, and the Austrian with the
Archduke, inspected the allied army of eighty thousand men.

From early morning the smart clean troops were on the move, forming up
on the field before the fortress. Now thousands of feet and bayonets
moved and halted at the officers? command, turned with banners flying,
formed up at intervals, and wheeled round other similar masses of
infantry in different uniforms; now was heard the rhythmic beat of
hoofs and the jingling of showy cavalry in blue, red, and green braided
uniforms, with smartly dressed bandsmen in front mounted on black, roan,
or gray horses; then again, spreading out with the brazen clatter of the
polished shining cannon that quivered on the gun carriages and with
the smell of linstocks, came the artillery which crawled between the
infantry and cavalry and took up its appointed position. Not only the
generals in full parade uniforms, with their thin or thick waists drawn
in to the utmost, their red necks squeezed into their stiff collars, and
wearing scarves and all their decorations, not only the elegant, pomaded
officers, but every soldier with his freshly washed and shaven face and
his weapons clean and polished to the utmost, and every horse groomed
till its coat shone like satin and every hair of its wetted mane lay
smooth?felt that no small matter was happening, but an important and
solemn affair. Every general and every soldier was conscious of his own
insignificance, aware of being but a drop in that ocean of men, and
yet at the same time was conscious of his strength as a part of that
enormous whole.

From early morning strenuous activities and efforts had begun and by ten
o?clock all had been brought into due order. The ranks were drawn
up on the vast field. The whole army was extended in three lines: the
cavalry in front, behind it the artillery, and behind that again the

A space like a street was left between each two lines of troops. The
three parts of that army were sharply distinguished: Kutúzov?s
fighting army (with the Pávlograds on the right flank of the front);
those recently arrived from Russia, both Guards and regiments of the
line; and the Austrian troops. But they all stood in the same lines,
under one command, and in a like order.

Like wind over leaves ran an excited whisper: ?They?re coming!
They?re coming!? Alarmed voices were heard, and a stir of final
preparation swept over all the troops.

From the direction of Olmütz in front of them, a group was seen
approaching. And at that moment, though the day was still, a light gust
of wind blowing over the army slightly stirred the streamers on the
lances and the unfolded standards fluttered against their staffs. It
looked as if by that slight motion the army itself was expressing its
joy at the approach of the Emperors. One voice was heard shouting:
?Eyes front!? Then, like the crowing of cocks at sunrise, this was
repeated by others from various sides and all became silent.

In the deathlike stillness only the tramp of horses was heard. This
was the Emperors? suites. The Emperors rode up to the flank, and the
trumpets of the first cavalry regiment played the general march. It
seemed as though not the trumpeters were playing, but as if the army
itself, rejoicing at the Emperors? approach, had naturally burst into
music. Amid these sounds, only the youthful kindly voice of the Emperor
Alexander was clearly heard. He gave the words of greeting, and the
first regiment roared ?Hurrah!? so deafeningly, continuously, and
joyfully that the men themselves were awed by their multitude and the
immensity of the power they constituted.

Rostóv, standing in the front lines of Kutúzov?s army which the Tsar
approached first, experienced the same feeling as every other man in
that army: a feeling of self-forgetfulness, a proud consciousness of
might, and a passionate attraction to him who was the cause of this

He felt that at a single word from that man all this vast mass (and he
himself an insignificant atom in it) would go through fire and water,
commit crime, die, or perform deeds of highest heroism, and so he could
not but tremble and his heart stand still at the imminence of that word.

?Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!? thundered from all sides, one regiment
after another greeting the Tsar with the strains of the march, and then
?Hurrah!?... Then the general march, and again ?Hurrah! Hurrah!?
growing ever stronger and fuller and merging into a deafening roar.

Till the Tsar reached it, each regiment in its silence and immobility
seemed like a lifeless body, but as soon as he came up it became alive,
its thunder joining the roar of the whole line along which he had
already passed. Through the terrible and deafening roar of those voices,
amid the square masses of troops standing motionless as if turned to
stone, hundreds of riders composing the suites moved carelessly but
symmetrically and above all freely, and in front of them two men?the
Emperors. Upon them the undivided, tensely passionate attention of that
whole mass of men was concentrated.

The handsome young Emperor Alexander, in the uniform of the Horse
Guards, wearing a cocked hat with its peaks front and back, with his
pleasant face and resonant though not loud voice, attracted everyone?s

Rostóv was not far from the trumpeters, and with his keen sight had
recognized the Tsar and watched his approach. When he was within twenty
paces, and Nicholas could clearly distinguish every detail of his
handsome, happy young face, he experienced a feeling of tenderness
and ecstasy such as he had never before known. Every trait and every
movement of the Tsar?s seemed to him enchanting.

Stopping in front of the Pávlograds, the Tsar said something in French
to the Austrian Emperor and smiled.

Seeing that smile, Rostóv involuntarily smiled himself and felt a still
stronger flow of love for his sovereign. He longed to show that love in
some way and knowing that this was impossible was ready to cry. The Tsar
called the colonel of the regiment and said a few words to him.

?Oh God, what would happen to me if the Emperor spoke to me??
thought Rostóv. ?I should die of happiness!?

The Tsar addressed the officers also: ?I thank you all, gentlemen, I
thank you with my whole heart.? To Rostóv every word sounded like a
voice from heaven. How gladly would he have died at once for his Tsar!

?You have earned the St. George?s standards and will be worthy of

?Oh, to die, to die for him,? thought Rostóv.

The Tsar said something more which Rostóv did not hear, and the
soldiers, straining their lungs, shouted ?Hurrah!?

Rostóv too, bending over his saddle, shouted ?Hurrah!? with all his
might, feeling that he would like to injure himself by that shout, if
only to express his rapture fully.

The Tsar stopped a few minutes in front of the hussars as if undecided.

?How can the Emperor be undecided?? thought Rostóv, but then even
this indecision appeared to him majestic and enchanting, like everything
else the Tsar did.

That hesitation lasted only an instant. The Tsar?s foot, in the narrow
pointed boot then fashionable, touched the groin of the bobtailed bay
mare he rode, his hand in a white glove gathered up the reins, and he
moved off accompanied by an irregularly swaying sea of aides-de-camp.
Farther and farther he rode away, stopping at other regiments, till at
last only his white plumes were visible to Rostóv from amid the suites
that surrounded the Emperors.

Among the gentlemen of the suite, Rostóv noticed Bolkónski, sitting
his horse indolently and carelessly. Rostóv recalled their quarrel of
yesterday and the question presented itself whether he ought or ought
not to challenge Bolkónski. ?Of course not!? he now thought. ?Is
it worth thinking or speaking of it at such a moment? At a time of such
love, such rapture, and such self-sacrifice, what do any of our quarrels
and affronts matter? I love and forgive everybody now.?

When the Emperor had passed nearly all the regiments, the troops began
a ceremonial march past him, and Rostóv on Bedouin, recently purchased
from Denísov, rode past too, at the rear of his squadron?that is,
alone and in full view of the Emperor.

Before he reached him, Rostóv, who was a splendid horseman, spurred
Bedouin twice and successfully put him to the showy trot in which the
animal went when excited. Bending his foaming muzzle to his chest, his
tail extended, Bedouin, as if also conscious of the Emperor?s eye
upon him, passed splendidly, lifting his feet with a high and graceful
action, as if flying through the air without touching the ground.

Rostóv himself, his legs well back and his stomach drawn in and feeling
himself one with his horse, rode past the Emperor with a frowning but
blissful face ?like a vewy devil,? as Denísov expressed it.

?Fine fellows, the Pávlograds!? remarked the Emperor.

?My God, how happy I should be if he ordered me to leap into the fire
this instant!? thought Rostóv.

When the review was over, the newly arrived officers, and also
Kutúzov?s, collected in groups and began to talk about the awards,
about the Austrians and their uniforms, about their lines, about
Bonaparte, and how badly the latter would fare now, especially if the
Essen corps arrived and Prussia took our side.

But the talk in every group was chiefly about the Emperor Alexander. His
every word and movement was described with ecstasy.

They all had but one wish: to advance as soon as possible against the
enemy under the Emperor?s command. Commanded by the Emperor himself
they could not fail to vanquish anyone, be it whom it might: so thought
Rostóv and most of the officers after the review.

All were then more confident of victory than the winning of two battles
would have made them.


The day after the review, Borís, in his best uniform and with his
comrade Berg?s best wishes for success, rode to Olmütz to see
Bolkónski, wishing to profit by his friendliness and obtain for himself
the best post he could?preferably that of adjutant to some important
personage, a position in the army which seemed to him most attractive.
?It is all very well for Rostóv, whose father sends him ten thousand
rubles at a time, to talk about not wishing to cringe to anybody and not
be anyone?s lackey, but I who have nothing but my brains have to
make a career and must not miss opportunities, but must avail myself of
them!? he reflected.

He did not find Prince Andrew in Olmütz that day, but the appearance of
the town where the headquarters and the diplomatic corps were stationed
and the two Emperors were living with their suites, households, and
courts only strengthened his desire to belong to that higher world.

He knew no one, and despite his smart Guardsman?s uniform, all these
exalted personages passing in the streets in their elegant carriages
with their plumes, ribbons, and medals, both courtiers and military
men, seemed so immeasurably above him, an insignificant officer of the
Guards, that they not only did not wish to, but simply could not, be
aware of his existence. At the quarters of the commander in chief,
Kutúzov, where he inquired for Bolkónski, all the adjutants and even
the orderlies looked at him as if they wished to impress on him that a
great many officers like him were always coming there and that everybody
was heartily sick of them. In spite of this, or rather because of
it, next day, November 15, after dinner he again went to Olmütz and,
entering the house occupied by Kutúzov, asked for Bolkónski. Prince
Andrew was in and Borís was shown into a large hall probably formerly
used for dancing, but in which five beds now stood, and furniture of
various kinds: a table, chairs, and a clavichord. One adjutant, nearest
the door, was sitting at the table in a Persian dressing gown, writing.
Another, the red, stout Nesvítski, lay on a bed with his arms under his
head, laughing with an officer who had sat down beside him. A third was
playing a Viennese waltz on the clavichord, while a fourth, lying on
the clavichord, sang the tune. Bolkónski was not there. None of these
gentlemen changed his position on seeing Borís. The one who was writing
and whom Borís addressed turned round crossly and told him Bolkónski
was on duty and that he should go through the door on the left into the
reception room if he wished to see him. Borís thanked him and went to
the reception room, where he found some ten officers and generals.

When he entered, Prince Andrew, his eyes drooping contemptuously (with
that peculiar expression of polite weariness which plainly says, ?If
it were not my duty I would not talk to you for a moment?), was
listening to an old Russian general with decorations, who stood very
erect, almost on tiptoe, with a soldier?s obsequious expression on his
purple face, reporting something.

?Very well, then, be so good as to wait,? said Prince Andrew to the
general, in Russian, speaking with the French intonation he affected
when he wished to speak contemptuously, and noticing Borís, Prince
Andrew, paying no more heed to the general who ran after him imploring
him to hear something more, nodded and turned to him with a cheerful

At that moment Borís clearly realized what he had before surmised, that
in the army, besides the subordination and discipline prescribed in the
military code, which he and the others knew in the regiment, there was
another, more important, subordination, which made this tight-laced,
purple-faced general wait respectfully while Captain Prince Andrew, for
his own pleasure, chose to chat with Lieutenant Drubetskóy. More than
ever was Borís resolved to serve in future not according to the written
code, but under this unwritten law. He felt now that merely by having
been recommended to Prince Andrew he had already risen above the general
who at the front had the power to annihilate him, a lieutenant of the
Guards. Prince Andrew came up to him and took his hand.

?I am very sorry you did not find me in yesterday. I was fussing about
with Germans all day. We went with Weyrother to survey the dispositions.
When Germans start being accurate, there?s no end to it!?

Borís smiled, as if he understood what Prince Andrew was alluding to
as something generally known. But it was the first time he had heard
Weyrother?s name, or even the term ?dispositions.?

?Well, my dear fellow, so you still want to be an adjutant? I have
been thinking about you.?

?Yes, I was thinking??for some reason Borís could not help
blushing??of asking the commander in chief. He has had a letter from
Prince Kurágin about me. I only wanted to ask because I fear the Guards
won?t be in action,? he added as if in apology.

?All right, all right. We?ll talk it over,? replied Prince Andrew.
?Only let me report this gentleman?s business, and I shall be at
your disposal.?

While Prince Andrew went to report about the purple-faced general, that
gentleman?evidently not sharing Borís? conception of the advantages
of the unwritten code of subordination?looked so fixedly at the
presumptuous lieutenant who had prevented his finishing what he had to
say to the adjutant that Borís felt uncomfortable. He turned away and
waited impatiently for Prince Andrew?s return from the commander in
chief?s room.

?You see, my dear fellow, I have been thinking about you,?
said Prince Andrew when they had gone into the large room where the
clavichord was. ?It?s no use your going to the commander in chief.
He would say a lot of pleasant things, ask you to dinner? (?That
would not be bad as regards the unwritten code,? thought Borís),
?but nothing more would come of it. There will soon be a battalion of
us aides-de-camp and adjutants! But this is what we?ll do: I have
a good friend, an adjutant general and an excellent fellow, Prince
Dolgorúkov; and though you may not know it, the fact is that now
Kutúzov with his staff and all of us count for nothing. Everything is
now centered round the Emperor. So we will go to Dolgorúkov; I have to
go there anyhow and I have already spoken to him about you. We shall
see whether he cannot attach you to himself or find a place for you
somewhere nearer the sun.?

Prince Andrew always became specially keen when he had to guide a young
man and help him to worldly success. Under cover of obtaining help
of this kind for another, which from pride he would never accept for
himself, he kept in touch with the circle which confers success and
which attracted him. He very readily took up Borís? cause and went
with him to Dolgorúkov.

It was late in the evening when they entered the palace at Olmütz
occupied by the Emperors and their retinues.

That same day a council of war had been held in which all the members of
the Hofkriegsrath and both Emperors took part. At that council, contrary
to the views of the old generals Kutúzov and Prince Schwartzenberg, it
had been decided to advance immediately and give battle to Bonaparte.
The council of war was just over when Prince Andrew accompanied
by Borís arrived at the palace to find Dolgorúkov. Everyone at
headquarters was still under the spell of the day?s council, at which
the party of the young had triumphed. The voices of those who counseled
delay and advised waiting for something else before advancing had been
so completely silenced and their arguments confuted by such conclusive
evidence of the advantages of attacking that what had been discussed
at the council?the coming battle and the victory that would certainly
result from it?no longer seemed to be in the future but in the past.
All the advantages were on our side. Our enormous forces, undoubtedly
superior to Napoleon?s, were concentrated in one place, the troops
inspired by the Emperors? presence were eager for action. The
strategic position where the operations would take place was familiar in
all its details to the Austrian General Weyrother: a lucky accident had
ordained that the Austrian army should maneuver the previous year on the
very fields where the French had now to be fought; the adjacent
locality was known and shown in every detail on the maps, and Bonaparte,
evidently weakened, was undertaking nothing.

Dolgorúkov, one of the warmest advocates of an attack, had just
returned from the council, tired and exhausted but eager and proud
of the victory that had been gained. Prince Andrew introduced his
protégé, but Prince Dolgorúkov politely and firmly pressing his hand
said nothing to Borís and, evidently unable to suppress the thoughts
which were uppermost in his mind at that moment, addressed Prince Andrew
in French.

?Ah, my dear fellow, what a battle we have gained! God grant that
the one that will result from it will be as victorious! However, dear
fellow,? he said abruptly and eagerly, ?I must confess to having
been unjust to the Austrians and especially to Weyrother. What
exactitude, what minuteness, what knowledge of the locality, what
foresight for every eventuality, every possibility even to the smallest
detail! No, my dear fellow, no conditions better than our present ones
could have been devised. This combination of Austrian precision with
Russian valor?what more could be wished for??

?So the attack is definitely resolved on?? asked Bolkónski.

?And do you know, my dear fellow, it seems to me that Bonaparte has
decidedly lost bearings, you know that a letter was received from him
today for the Emperor.? Dolgorúkov smiled significantly.

?Is that so? And what did he say?? inquired Bolkónski.

?What can he say? Tra-di-ri-di-ra and so on... merely to gain time.
I tell you he is in our hands, that?s certain! But what was most
amusing,? he continued, with a sudden, good-natured laugh, ?was that
we could not think how to address the reply! If not as ?Consul?
and of course not as ?Emperor,? it seemed to me it should be to
?General Bonaparte.??

?But between not recognizing him as Emperor and calling him General
Bonaparte, there is a difference,? remarked Bolkónski.

?That?s just it,? interrupted Dolgorúkov quickly, laughing.
?You know Bilíbin?he?s a very clever fellow. He suggested
addressing him as ?Usurper and Enemy of Mankind.??

Dolgorúkov laughed merrily.

?Only that?? said Bolkónski.

?All the same, it was Bilíbin who found a suitable form for the
address. He is a wise and clever fellow.?

?What was it??

?To the Head of the French Government... Au chef du gouvernement
français,? said Dolgorúkov, with grave satisfaction. ?Good,
wasn?t it??

?Yes, but he will dislike it extremely,? said Bolkónski.

?Oh yes, very much! My brother knows him, he?s dined with him?the
present Emperor?more than once in Paris, and tells me he never met a
more cunning or subtle diplomatist?you know, a combination of French
adroitness and Italian play-acting! Do you know the tale about him and
Count Markóv? Count Markóv was the only man who knew how to handle
him. You know the story of the handkerchief? It is delightful!?

And the talkative Dolgorúkov, turning now to Borís, now to Prince
Andrew, told how Bonaparte wishing to test Markóv, our ambassador,
purposely dropped a handkerchief in front of him and stood looking
at Markóv, probably expecting Markóv to pick it up for him, and how
Markóv immediately dropped his own beside it and picked it up without
touching Bonaparte?s.

?Delightful!? said Bolkónski. ?But I have come to you, Prince,
as a petitioner on behalf of this young man. You see...? but
before Prince Andrew could finish, an aide-de-camp came in to summon
Dolgorúkov to the Emperor.

?Oh, what a nuisance,? said Dolgorúkov, getting up hurriedly and
pressing the hands of Prince Andrew and Borís. ?You know I should
be very glad to do all in my power both for you and for this dear young
man.? Again he pressed the hand of the latter with an expression of
good-natured, sincere, and animated levity. ?But you see... another

Borís was excited by the thought of being so close to the higher powers
as he felt himself to be at that moment. He was conscious that here
he was in contact with the springs that set in motion the enormous
movements of the mass of which in his regiment he felt himself a tiny,
obedient, and insignificant atom. They followed Prince Dolgorúkov out
into the corridor and met?coming out of the door of the Emperor?s
room by which Dolgorúkov had entered?a short man in civilian clothes
with a clever face and sharply projecting jaw which, without spoiling
his face, gave him a peculiar vivacity and shiftiness of expression.
This short man nodded to Dolgorúkov as to an intimate friend and stared
at Prince Andrew with cool intensity, walking straight toward him and
evidently expecting him to bow or to step out of his way. Prince Andrew
did neither: a look of animosity appeared on his face and the other
turned away and went down the side of the corridor.

?Who was that?? asked Borís.

?He is one of the most remarkable, but to me most unpleasant of
men?the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Adam Czartorýski.... It
is such men as he who decide the fate of nations,? added Bolkónski
with a sigh he could not suppress, as they passed out of the palace.

Next day, the army began its campaign, and up to the very battle of
Austerlitz, Borís was unable to see either Prince Andrew or Dolgorúkov
again and remained for a while with the Ismáylov regiment.


At dawn on the sixteenth of November, Denísov?s squadron, in
which Nicholas Rostóv served and which was in Prince Bagratión?s
detachment, moved from the place where it had spent the night, advancing
into action as arranged, and after going behind other columns for
about two thirds of a mile was stopped on the highroad. Rostóv saw the
Cossacks and then the first and second squadrons of hussars and infantry
battalions and artillery pass by and go forward and then Generals
Bagratión and Dolgorúkov ride past with their adjutants. All the fear
before action which he had experienced as previously, all the inner
struggle to conquer that fear, all his dreams of distinguishing himself
as a true hussar in this battle, had been wasted. Their squadron
remained in reserve and Nicholas Rostóv spent that day in a dull and
wretched mood. At nine in the morning, he heard firing in front and
shouts of hurrah, and saw wounded being brought back (there were not
many of them), and at last he saw how a whole detachment of French
cavalry was brought in, convoyed by a sótnya of Cossacks. Evidently the
affair was over and, though not big, had been a successful engagement.
The men and officers returning spoke of a brilliant victory, of the
occupation of the town of Wischau and the capture of a whole French
squadron. The day was bright and sunny after a sharp night frost, and
the cheerful glitter of that autumn day was in keeping with the news of
victory which was conveyed, not only by the tales of those who had taken
part in it, but also by the joyful expression on the faces of soldiers,
officers, generals, and adjutants, as they passed Rostóv going or
coming. And Nicholas, who had vainly suffered all the dread that
precedes a battle and had spent that happy day in inactivity, was all
the more depressed.

?Come here, Wostóv. Let?s dwink to dwown our gwief!? shouted
Denísov, who had settled down by the roadside with a flask and some

The officers gathered round Denísov?s canteen, eating and talking.

?There! They are bringing another!? cried one of the officers,
indicating a captive French dragoon who was being brought in on foot by
two Cossacks.

One of them was leading by the bridle a fine large French horse he had
taken from the prisoner.

?Sell us that horse!? Denísov called out to the Cossacks.

?If you like, your honor!?

The officers got up and stood round the Cossacks and their prisoner.
The French dragoon was a young Alsatian who spoke French with a German
accent. He was breathless with agitation, his face was red, and when
he heard some French spoken he at once began speaking to the officers,
addressing first one, then another. He said he would not have been
taken, it was not his fault but the corporal?s who had sent him to
seize some horsecloths, though he had told him the Russians were there.
And at every word he added: ?But don?t hurt my little horse!? and
stroked the animal. It was plain that he did not quite grasp where he
was. Now he excused himself for having been taken prisoner and now,
imagining himself before his own officers, insisted on his soldierly
discipline and zeal in the service. He brought with him into our
rearguard all the freshness of atmosphere of the French army, which was
so alien to us.

The Cossacks sold the horse for two gold pieces, and Rostóv, being the
richest of the officers now that he had received his money, bought it.

?But don?t hurt my little horse!? said the Alsatian good-naturedly
to Rostóv when the animal was handed over to the hussar.

Rostóv smilingly reassured the dragoon and gave him money.

?Alley! Alley!? said the Cossack, touching the prisoner?s arm to
make him go on.

?The Emperor! The Emperor!? was suddenly heard among the hussars.

All began to run and bustle, and Rostóv saw coming up the road behind
him several riders with white plumes in their hats. In a moment everyone
was in his place, waiting.

Rostóv did not know or remember how he ran to his place and mounted.
Instantly his regret at not having been in action and his dejected mood
amid people of whom he was weary had gone, instantly every thought of
himself had vanished. He was filled with happiness at his nearness to
the Emperor. He felt that this nearness by itself made up to him for the
day he had lost. He was happy as a lover when the longed-for moment of
meeting arrives. Not daring to look round and without looking round, he
was ecstatically conscious of his approach. He felt it not only from the
sound of the hoofs of the approaching cavalcade, but because as he drew
near everything grew brighter, more joyful, more significant, and more
festive around him. Nearer and nearer to Rostóv came that sun shedding
beams of mild and majestic light around, and already he felt himself
enveloped in those beams, he heard his voice, that kindly, calm,
and majestic voice that was yet so simple! And as if in accord with
Rostóv?s feeling, there was a deathly stillness amid which was heard
the Emperor?s voice.

?The Pávlograd hussars?? he inquired.

?The reserves, sire!? replied a voice, a very human one compared to
that which had said: ?The Pávlograd hussars??

The Emperor drew level with Rostóv and halted. Alexander?s face was
even more beautiful than it had been three days before at the review. It
shone with such gaiety and youth, such innocent youth, that it suggested
the liveliness of a fourteen-year-old boy, and yet it was the face
of the majestic Emperor. Casually, while surveying the squadron, the
Emperor?s eyes met Rostóv?s and rested on them for not more than
two seconds. Whether or no the Emperor understood what was going on in
Rostóv?s soul (it seemed to Rostóv that he understood everything),
at any rate his light-blue eyes gazed for about two seconds into
Rostóv?s face. A gentle, mild light poured from them. Then all at
once he raised his eyebrows, abruptly touched his horse with his left
foot, and galloped on.

The younger Emperor could not restrain his wish to be present at the
battle and, in spite of the remonstrances of his courtiers, at twelve
o?clock left the third column with which he had been and galloped
toward the vanguard. Before he came up with the hussars, several
adjutants met him with news of the successful result of the action.

This battle, which consisted in the capture of a French squadron, was
represented as a brilliant victory over the French, and so the
Emperor and the whole army, especially while the smoke hung over
the battlefield, believed that the French had been defeated and were
retreating against their will. A few minutes after the Emperor had
passed, the Pávlograd division was ordered to advance. In Wischau
itself, a petty German town, Rostóv saw the Emperor again. In the
market place, where there had been some rather heavy firing before the
Emperor?s arrival, lay several killed and wounded soldiers whom there
had not been time to move. The Emperor, surrounded by his suite
of officers and courtiers, was riding a bobtailed chestnut mare, a
different one from that which he had ridden at the review, and bending
to one side he gracefully held a gold lorgnette to his eyes and looked
at a soldier who lay prone, with blood on his uncovered head. The
wounded soldier was so dirty, coarse, and revolting that his proximity
to the Emperor shocked Rostóv. Rostóv saw how the Emperor?s rather
round shoulders shuddered as if a cold shiver had run down them, how his
left foot began convulsively tapping the horse?s side with the spur,
and how the well-trained horse looked round unconcerned and did not
stir. An adjutant, dismounting, lifted the soldier under the arms to
place him on a stretcher that had been brought. The soldier groaned.

?Gently, gently! Can?t you do it more gently?? said the Emperor
apparently suffering more than the dying soldier, and he rode away.

Rostóv saw tears filling the Emperor?s eyes and heard him, as he was
riding away, say to Czartorýski: ?What a terrible thing war is: what
a terrible thing! Quelle terrible chose que la guerre!?

The troops of the vanguard were stationed before Wischau, within sight
of the enemy?s lines, which all day long had yielded ground to us
at the least firing. The Emperor?s gratitude was announced to the
vanguard, rewards were promised, and the men received a double ration of
vodka. The campfires crackled and the soldiers? songs resounded
even more merrily than on the previous night. Denísov celebrated his
promotion to the rank of major, and Rostóv, who had already drunk
enough, at the end of the feast proposed the Emperor?s health. ?Not
?our Sovereign, the Emperor,? as they say at official dinners,?
said he, ?but the health of our Sovereign, that good, enchanting, and
great man! Let us drink to his health and to the certain defeat of the

?If we fought before,? he said, ?not letting the French pass, as
at Schön Grabern, what shall we not do now when he is at the front? We
will all die for him gladly! Is it not so, gentlemen? Perhaps I am not
saying it right, I have drunk a good deal?but that is how I feel, and
so do you too! To the health of Alexander the First! Hurrah!?

?Hurrah!? rang the enthusiastic voices of the officers.

And the old cavalry captain, Kírsten, shouted enthusiastically and no
less sincerely than the twenty-year-old Rostóv.

When the officers had emptied and smashed their glasses, Kírsten filled
others and, in shirt sleeves and breeches, went glass in hand to the
soldiers? bonfires and with his long gray mustache, his white chest
showing under his open shirt, he stood in a majestic pose in the light
of the campfire, waving his uplifted arm.

?Lads! here?s to our Sovereign, the Emperor, and victory over
our enemies! Hurrah!? he exclaimed in his dashing, old, hussar?s

The hussars crowded round and responded heartily with loud shouts.

Late that night, when all had separated, Denísov with his short hand
patted his favorite, Rostóv, on the shoulder.

?As there?s no one to fall in love with on campaign, he?s fallen
in love with the Tsar,? he said.

?Denísov, don?t make fun of it!? cried Rostóv. ?It is such a
lofty, beautiful feeling, such a...?

?I believe it, I believe it, fwiend, and I share and appwove...?

?No, you don?t understand!?

And Rostóv got up and went wandering among the campfires, dreaming of
what happiness it would be to die?not in saving the Emperor?s life
(he did not even dare to dream of that), but simply to die before his
eyes. He really was in love with the Tsar and the glory of the Russian
arms and the hope of future triumph. And he was not the only man to
experience that feeling during those memorable days preceding the battle
of Austerlitz: nine tenths of the men in the Russian army were then in
love, though less ecstatically, with their Tsar and the glory of the
Russian arms.


The next day the Emperor stopped at Wischau, and Villier, his physician,
was repeatedly summoned to see him. At headquarters and among the troops
near by the news spread that the Emperor was unwell. He ate nothing and
had slept badly that night, those around him reported. The cause of this
indisposition was the strong impression made on his sensitive mind by
the sight of the killed and wounded.

At daybreak on the seventeenth, a French officer who had come with
a flag of truce, demanding an audience with the Russian Emperor, was
brought into Wischau from our outposts. This officer was Savary. The
Emperor had only just fallen asleep and so Savary had to wait. At midday
he was admitted to the Emperor, and an hour later he rode off with
Prince Dolgorúkov to the advanced post of the French army.

It was rumored that Savary had been sent to propose to Alexander
a meeting with Napoleon. To the joy and pride of the whole army, a
personal interview was refused, and instead of the Sovereign, Prince
Dolgorúkov, the victor at Wischau, was sent with Savary to negotiate
with Napoleon if, contrary to expectations, these negotiations were
actuated by a real desire for peace.

Toward evening Dolgorúkov came back, went straight to the Tsar, and
remained alone with him for a long time.

On the eighteenth and nineteenth of November, the army advanced two
days? march and the enemy?s outposts after a brief interchange
of shots retreated. In the highest army circles from midday on the
nineteenth, a great, excitedly bustling activity began which lasted till
the morning of the twentieth, when the memorable battle of Austerlitz
was fought.

Till midday on the nineteenth, the activity?the eager talk, running to
and fro, and dispatching of adjutants?was confined to the Emperor?s
headquarters. But on the afternoon of that day, this activity reached
Kutúzov?s headquarters and the staffs of the commanders of columns.
By evening, the adjutants had spread it to all ends and parts of the
army, and in the night from the nineteenth to the twentieth, the whole
eighty thousand allied troops rose from their bivouacs to the hum of
voices, and the army swayed and started in one enormous mass six miles

The concentrated activity which had begun at the Emperor?s
headquarters in the morning and had started the whole movement that
followed was like the first movement of the main wheel of a large tower
clock. One wheel slowly moved, another was set in motion, and a third,
and wheels began to revolve faster and faster, levers and cogwheels to
work, chimes to play, figures to pop out, and the hands to advance with
regular motion as a result of all that activity.

Just as in the mechanism of a clock, so in the mechanism of the military
machine, an impulse once given leads to the final result; and just as
indifferently quiescent till the moment when motion is transmitted
to them are the parts of the mechanism which the impulse has not yet
reached. Wheels creak on their axles as the cogs engage one another and
the revolving pulleys whirr with the rapidity of their movement, but a
neighboring wheel is as quiet and motionless as though it were prepared
to remain so for a hundred years; but the moment comes when the lever
catches it and obeying the impulse that wheel begins to creak and joins
in the common motion the result and aim of which are beyond its ken.

Just as in a clock, the result of the complicated motion of innumerable
wheels and pulleys is merely a slow and regular movement of the
hands which show the time, so the result of all the complicated human
activities of 160,000 Russians and French?all their passions, desires,
remorse, humiliations, sufferings, outbursts of pride, fear, and
enthusiasm?was only the loss of the battle of Austerlitz, the
so-called battle of the three Emperors?that is to say, a slow movement
of the hand on the dial of human history.

Prince Andrew was on duty that day and in constant attendance on the
commander in chief.

At six in the evening, Kutúzov went to the Emperor?s headquarters
and after staying but a short time with the Tsar went to see the grand
marshal of the court, Count Tolstóy.

Bolkónski took the opportunity to go in to get some details of the
coming action from Dolgorúkov. He felt that Kutúzov was upset
and dissatisfied about something and that at headquarters they were
dissatisfied with him, and also that at the Emperor?s headquarters
everyone adopted toward him the tone of men who know something others do
not know: he therefore wished to speak to Dolgorúkov.

?Well, how d?you do, my dear fellow?? said Dolgorúkov, who was
sitting at tea with Bilíbin. ?The fete is for tomorrow. How is your
old fellow? Out of sorts??

?I won?t say he is out of sorts, but I fancy he would like to be

?But they heard him at the council of war and will hear him when he
talks sense, but to temporize and wait for something now when Bonaparte
fears nothing so much as a general battle is impossible.?

?Yes, you have seen him?? said Prince Andrew. ?Well, what is
Bonaparte like? How did he impress you??

?Yes, I saw him, and am convinced that he fears nothing so much as
a general engagement,? repeated Dolgorúkov, evidently prizing this
general conclusion which he had arrived at from his interview with
Napoleon. ?If he weren?t afraid of a battle why did he ask for that
interview? Why negotiate, and above all why retreat, when to retreat is
so contrary to his method of conducting war? Believe me, he is afraid,
afraid of a general battle. His hour has come! Mark my words!?

?But tell me, what is he like, eh?? said Prince Andrew again.

?He is a man in a gray overcoat, very anxious that I should call
him ?Your Majesty,? but who, to his chagrin, got no title from
me! That?s the sort of man he is, and nothing more,? replied
Dolgorúkov, looking round at Bilíbin with a smile.

?Despite my great respect for old Kutúzov,? he continued, ?we
should be a nice set of fellows if we were to wait about and so give him
a chance to escape, or to trick us, now that we certainly have him in
our hands! No, we mustn?t forget Suvórov and his rule?not to put
yourself in a position to be attacked, but yourself to attack. Believe
me in war the energy of young men often shows the way better than all
the experience of old Cunctators.?

?But in what position are we going to attack him? I have been at the
outposts today and it is impossible to say where his chief forces are
situated,? said Prince Andrew.

He wished to explain to Dolgorúkov a plan of attack he had himself

?Oh, that is all the same,? Dolgorúkov said quickly, and getting up
he spread a map on the table. ?All eventualities have been foreseen.
If he is standing before Brünn...?

And Prince Dolgorúkov rapidly but indistinctly explained Weyrother?s
plan of a flanking movement.

Prince Andrew began to reply and to state his own plan, which might
have been as good as Weyrother?s, but for the disadvantage that
Weyrother?s had already been approved. As soon as Prince Andrew began
to demonstrate the defects of the latter and the merits of his own plan,
Prince Dolgorúkov ceased to listen to him and gazed absent-mindedly not
at the map, but at Prince Andrew?s face.

?There will be a council of war at Kutúzov?s tonight, though; you
can say all this there,? remarked Dolgorúkov.

?I will do so,? said Prince Andrew, moving away from the map.

?Whatever are you bothering about, gentlemen?? said Bilíbin, who,
till then, had listened with an amused smile to their conversation and
now was evidently ready with a joke. ?Whether tomorrow brings
victory or defeat, the glory of our Russian arms is secure. Except your
Kutúzov, there is not a single Russian in command of a column! The
commanders are: Herr General Wimpfen, le Comte de Langeron, le Prince de
Lichtenstein, le Prince, de Hohenlohe, and finally Prishprish, and so on
like all those Polish names.?

?Be quiet, backbiter!? said Dolgorúkov. ?It is not true; there
are now two Russians, Milorádovich, and Dokhtúrov, and there would be
a third, Count Arakchéev, if his nerves were not too weak.?

?However, I think General Kutúzov has come out,? said Prince
Andrew. ?I wish you good luck and success, gentlemen!? he added and
went out after shaking hands with Dolgorúkov and Bilíbin.

On the way home, Prince Andrew could not refrain from asking Kutúzov,
who was sitting silently beside him, what he thought of tomorrow?s

Kutúzov looked sternly at his adjutant and, after a pause, replied:
?I think the battle will be lost, and so I told Count Tolstóy and
asked him to tell the Emperor. What do you think he replied? ?But, my
dear general, I am engaged with rice and cutlets, look after military
matters yourself!? Yes... That was the answer I got!?


Shortly after nine o?clock that evening, Weyrother drove with his
plans to Kutúzov?s quarters where the council of war was to be
held. All the commanders of columns were summoned to the commander in
chief?s and with the exception of Prince Bagratión, who declined to
come, were all there at the appointed time.

Weyrother, who was in full control of the proposed battle, by his
eagerness and briskness presented a marked contrast to the dissatisfied
and drowsy Kutúzov, who reluctantly played the part of chairman and
president of the council of war. Weyrother evidently felt himself to be
at the head of a movement that had already become unrestrainable. He was
like a horse running downhill harnessed to a heavy cart. Whether he was
pulling it or being pushed by it he did not know, but rushed along at
headlong speed with no time to consider what this movement might lead
to. Weyrother had been twice that evening to the enemy?s picket
line to reconnoiter personally, and twice to the Emperors, Russian and
Austrian, to report and explain, and to his headquarters where he had
dictated the dispositions in German, and now, much exhausted, he arrived
at Kutúzov?s.

He was evidently so busy that he even forgot to be polite to the
commander in chief. He interrupted him, talked rapidly and indistinctly,
without looking at the man he was addressing, and did not reply to
questions put to him. He was bespattered with mud and had a pitiful,
weary, and distracted air, though at the same time he was haughty and

Kutúzov was occupying a nobleman?s castle of modest dimensions near
Ostralitz. In the large drawing room which had become the commander
in chief?s office were gathered Kutúzov himself, Weyrother, and the
members of the council of war. They were drinking tea, and only awaited
Prince Bagratión to begin the council. At last Bagratión?s orderly
came with the news that the prince could not attend. Prince Andrew came
in to inform the commander in chief of this and, availing himself
of permission previously given him by Kutúzov to be present at the
council, he remained in the room.

?Since Prince Bagratión is not coming, we may begin,? said
Weyrother, hurriedly rising from his seat and going up to the table on
which an enormous map of the environs of Brünn was spread out.

Kutúzov, with his uniform unbuttoned so that his fat neck bulged over
his collar as if escaping, was sitting almost asleep in a low chair,
with his podgy old hands resting symmetrically on its arms. At the sound
of Weyrother?s voice, he opened his one eye with an effort.

?Yes, yes, if you please! It is already late,? said he, and nodding
his head he let it droop and again closed his eye.

If at first the members of the council thought that Kutúzov was
pretending to sleep, the sounds his nose emitted during the reading that
followed proved that the commander in chief at that moment was absorbed
by a far more serious matter than a desire to show his contempt for
the dispositions or anything else?he was engaged in satisfying the
irresistible human need for sleep. He really was asleep. Weyrother, with
the gesture of a man too busy to lose a moment, glanced at Kutúzov and,
having convinced himself that he was asleep, took up a paper and in
a loud, monotonous voice began to read out the dispositions for the
impending battle, under a heading which he also read out:

?Dispositions for an attack on the enemy position behind Kobelnitz and
Sokolnitz, November 30, 1805.?

The dispositions were very complicated and difficult. They began as

?As the enemy?s left wing rests on wooded hills and his right
extends along Kobelnitz and Sokolnitz behind the ponds that are there,
while we, on the other hand, with our left wing by far outflank his
right, it is advantageous to attack the enemy?s latter wing especially
if we occupy the villages of Sokolnitz and Kobelnitz, whereby we
can both fall on his flank and pursue him over the plain between
Schlappanitz and the Thuerassa forest, avoiding the defiles of
Schlappanitz and Bellowitz which cover the enemy?s front. For this
object it is necessary that... The first column marches... The second
column marches... The third column marches...? and so on, read

The generals seemed to listen reluctantly to the difficult dispositions.
The tall, fair-haired General Buxhöwden stood, leaning his back against
the wall, his eyes fixed on a burning candle, and seemed not to listen
or even to wish to be thought to listen. Exactly opposite Weyrother,
with his glistening wide-open eyes fixed upon him and his mustache
twisted upwards, sat the ruddy Milorádovich in a military pose, his
elbows turned outwards, his hands on his knees, and his shoulders
raised. He remained stubbornly silent, gazing at Weyrother?s face,
and only turned away his eyes when the Austrian chief of staff finished
reading. Then Milorádovich looked round significantly at the other
generals. But one could not tell from that significant look whether he
agreed or disagreed and was satisfied or not with the arrangements. Next
to Weyrother sat Count Langeron who, with a subtle smile that never left
his typically southern French face during the whole time of the reading,
gazed at his delicate fingers which rapidly twirled by its corners
a gold snuffbox on which was a portrait. In the middle of one of the
longest sentences, he stopped the rotary motion of the snuffbox, raised
his head, and with inimical politeness lurking in the corners of his
thin lips interrupted Weyrother, wishing to say something. But the
Austrian general, continuing to read, frowned angrily and jerked his
elbows, as if to say: ?You can tell me your views later, but now be so
good as to look at the map and listen.? Langeron lifted his eyes with
an expression of perplexity, turned round to Milorádovich as if seeking
an explanation, but meeting the latter?s impressive but meaningless
gaze drooped his eyes sadly and again took to twirling his snuffbox.

?A geography lesson!? he muttered as if to himself, but loud enough
to be heard.

Przebyszéwski, with respectful but dignified politeness, held his
hand to his ear toward Weyrother, with the air of a man absorbed in
attention. Dohktúrov, a little man, sat opposite Weyrother, with
an assiduous and modest mien, and stooping over the outspread map
conscientiously studied the dispositions and the unfamiliar locality. He
asked Weyrother several times to repeat words he had not clearly heard
and the difficult names of villages. Weyrother complied and Dohktúrov
noted them down.

When the reading which lasted more than an hour was over, Langeron again
brought his snuffbox to rest and, without looking at Weyrother or at
anyone in particular, began to say how difficult it was to carry out
such a plan in which the enemy?s position was assumed to be known,
whereas it was perhaps not known, since the enemy was in movement.
Langeron?s objections were valid but it was obvious that their chief
aim was to show General Weyrother?who had read his dispositions with
as much self-confidence as if he were addressing school children?that
he had to do, not with fools, but with men who could teach him something
in military matters.

When the monotonous sound of Weyrother?s voice ceased, Kutúzov opened
his eye as a miller wakes up when the soporific drone of the mill wheel
is interrupted. He listened to what Langeron said, as if remarking,
?So you are still at that silly business!? quickly closed his eye
again, and let his head sink still lower.

Langeron, trying as virulently as possible to sting Weyrother?s vanity
as author of the military plan, argued that Bonaparte might easily
attack instead of being attacked, and so render the whole of this
plan perfectly worthless. Weyrother met all objections with a firm and
contemptuous smile, evidently prepared beforehand to meet all objections
be they what they might.

?If he could attack us, he would have done so today,? said he.

?So you think he is powerless?? said Langeron.

?He has forty thousand men at most,? replied Weyrother, with the
smile of a doctor to whom an old wife wishes to explain the treatment of
a case.

?In that case he is inviting his doom by awaiting our attack,? said
Langeron, with a subtly ironical smile, again glancing round for support
to Milorádovich who was near him.

But Milorádovich was at that moment evidently thinking of anything
rather than of what the generals were disputing about.

?Ma foi!? said he, ?tomorrow we shall see all that on the

Weyrother again gave that smile which seemed to say that to him it was
strange and ridiculous to meet objections from Russian generals and to
have to prove to them what he had not merely convinced himself of, but
had also convinced the sovereign Emperors of.

?The enemy has quenched his fires and a continual noise is heard from
his camp,? said he. ?What does that mean? Either he is retreating,
which is the only thing we need fear, or he is changing his position.?
(He smiled ironically.) ?But even if he also took up a position in
the Thuerassa, he merely saves us a great deal of trouble and all our
arrangements to the minutest detail remain the same.?

?How is that?...? began Prince Andrew, who had for long been waiting
an opportunity to express his doubts.

Kutúzov here woke up, coughed heavily, and looked round at the

?Gentlemen, the dispositions for tomorrow?or rather for today, for
it is past midnight?cannot now be altered,? said he. ?You have
heard them, and we shall all do our duty. But before a battle, there is
nothing more important...? he paused, ?than to have a good sleep.?

He moved as if to rise. The generals bowed and retired. It was past
midnight. Prince Andrew went out.

The council of war, at which Prince Andrew had not been able to
express his opinion as he had hoped to, left on him a vague and uneasy
impression. Whether Dolgorúkov and Weyrother, or Kutúzov, Langeron,
and the others who did not approve of the plan of attack, were
right?he did not know. ?But was it really not possible for Kutúzov
to state his views plainly to the Emperor? Is it possible that on
account of court and personal considerations tens of thousands of lives,
and my life, my life,? he thought, ?must be risked??

?Yes, it is very likely that I shall be killed tomorrow,? he
thought. And suddenly, at this thought of death, a whole series of most
distant, most intimate, memories rose in his imagination: he remembered
his last parting from his father and his wife; he remembered the days
when he first loved her. He thought of her pregnancy and felt sorry for
her and for himself, and in a nervously emotional and softened mood he
went out of the hut in which he was billeted with Nesvítski and began
to walk up and down before it.

The night was foggy and through the fog the moonlight gleamed
mysteriously. ?Yes, tomorrow, tomorrow!? he thought. ?Tomorrow
everything may be over for me! All these memories will be no more, none
of them will have any meaning for me. Tomorrow perhaps, even certainly,
I have a presentiment that for the first time I shall have to show all
I can do.? And his fancy pictured the battle, its loss, the
concentration of fighting at one point, and the hesitation of all the
commanders. And then that happy moment, that Toulon for which he had
so long waited, presents itself to him at last. He firmly and clearly
expresses his opinion to Kutúzov, to Weyrother, and to the Emperors.
All are struck by the justness of his views, but no one undertakes to
carry them out, so he takes a regiment, a division?stipulates that no
one is to interfere with his arrangements?leads his division to
the decisive point, and gains the victory alone. ?But death and
suffering?? suggested another voice. Prince Andrew, however, did not
answer that voice and went on dreaming of his triumphs. The dispositions
for the next battle are planned by him alone. Nominally he is only an
adjutant on Kutúzov?s staff, but he does everything alone. The next
battle is won by him alone. Kutúzov is removed and he is appointed...
?Well and then?? asked the other voice. ?If before that you are
not ten times wounded, killed, or betrayed, well... what then?...?
?Well then,? Prince Andrew answered himself, ?I don?t know
what will happen and don?t want to know, and can?t, but if I want
this?want glory, want to be known to men, want to be loved by them, it
is not my fault that I want it and want nothing but that and live only
for that. Yes, for that alone! I shall never tell anyone, but, oh God!
what am I to do if I love nothing but fame and men?s esteem? Death,
wounds, the loss of family?I fear nothing. And precious and dear
as many persons are to me?father, sister, wife?those dearest to
me?yet dreadful and unnatural as it seems, I would give them all at
once for a moment of glory, of triumph over men, of love from men I
don?t know and never shall know, for the love of these men here,? he
thought, as he listened to voices in Kutúzov?s courtyard. The voices
were those of the orderlies who were packing up; one voice, probably a
coachman?s, was teasing Kutúzov?s old cook whom Prince Andrew knew,
and who was called Tit. He was saying, ?Tit, I say, Tit!?

?Well?? returned the old man.

?Go, Tit, thresh a bit!? said the wag.

?Oh, go to the devil!? called out a voice, drowned by the laughter
of the orderlies and servants.

?All the same, I love and value nothing but triumph over them all, I
value this mystic power and glory that is floating here above me in this


That same night, Rostóv was with a platoon on skirmishing duty in front
of Bagratión?s detachment. His hussars were placed along the line
in couples and he himself rode along the line trying to master the
sleepiness that kept coming over him. An enormous space, with our
army?s campfires dimly glowing in the fog, could be seen behind him;
in front of him was misty darkness. Rostóv could see nothing, peer as
he would into that foggy distance: now something gleamed gray, now there
was something black, now little lights seemed to glimmer where the enemy
ought to be, now he fancied it was only something in his own eyes. His
eyes kept closing, and in his fancy appeared?now the Emperor, now
Denísov, and now Moscow memories?and he again hurriedly opened his
eyes and saw close before him the head and ears of the horse he was
riding, and sometimes, when he came within six paces of them, the
black figures of hussars, but in the distance was still the same misty
darkness. ?Why not?... It might easily happen,? thought Rostóv,
?that the Emperor will meet me and give me an order as he would to any
other officer; he?ll say: ?Go and find out what?s there.? There
are many stories of his getting to know an officer in just such a chance
way and attaching him to himself! What if he gave me a place near him?
Oh, how I would guard him, how I would tell him the truth, how I would
unmask his deceivers!? And in order to realize vividly his love
devotion to the sovereign, Rostóv pictured to himself an enemy or a
deceitful German, whom he would not only kill with pleasure but whom
he would slap in the face before the Emperor. Suddenly a distant shout
aroused him. He started and opened his eyes.

?Where am I? Oh yes, in the skirmishing line... pass and
watchword?shaft, Olmütz. What a nuisance that our squadron will be in
reserve tomorrow,? he thought. ?I?ll ask leave to go to the front,
this may be my only chance of seeing the Emperor. It won?t be long
now before I am off duty. I?ll take another turn and when I get back
I?ll go to the general and ask him.? He readjusted himself in the
saddle and touched up his horse to ride once more round his hussars. It
seemed to him that it was getting lighter. To the left he saw a sloping
descent lit up, and facing it a black knoll that seemed as steep as a
wall. On this knoll there was a white patch that Rostóv could not at
all make out: was it a glade in the wood lit up by the moon, or some
unmelted snow, or some white houses? He even thought something moved on
that white spot. ?I expect it?s snow... that spot... a spot?une
tache,? he thought. ?There now... it?s not a tache... Natásha...
sister, black eyes... Na... tasha... (Won?t she be surprised when
I tell her how I?ve seen the Emperor?) Natásha... take my
sabretache...???Keep to the right, your honor, there are bushes
here,? came the voice of an hussar, past whom Rostóv was riding in
the act of falling asleep. Rostóv lifted his head that had sunk almost
to his horse?s mane and pulled up beside the hussar. He was succumbing
to irresistible, youthful, childish drowsiness. ?But what was I
thinking? I mustn?t forget. How shall I speak to the Emperor? No,
that?s not it?that?s tomorrow. Oh yes! Natásha... sabretache...
saber them... Whom? The hussars... Ah, the hussars with mustaches. Along
the Tverskáya Street rode the hussar with mustaches... I thought about
him too, just opposite Gúryev?s house... Old Gúryev.... Oh, but
Denísov?s a fine fellow. But that?s all nonsense. The chief thing
is that the Emperor is here. How he looked at me and wished to say
something, but dared not.... No, it was I who dared not. But that?s
nonsense, the chief thing is not to forget the important thing I
was thinking of. Yes, Na-tásha, sabretache, oh, yes, yes! That?s
right!? And his head once more sank to his horse?s neck. All at once
it seemed to him that he was being fired at. ?What? What? What?... Cut
them down! What?...? said Rostóv, waking up. At the moment he opened
his eyes he heard in front of him, where the enemy was, the long-drawn
shouts of thousands of voices. His horse and the horse of the hussar
near him pricked their ears at these shouts. Over there, where the
shouting came from, a fire flared up and went out again, then another,
and all along the French line on the hill fires flared up and the
shouting grew louder and louder. Rostóv could hear the sound of French
words but could not distinguish them. The din of many voices was too
great; all he could hear was: ?ahahah!? and ?rrrr!?

?What?s that? What do you make of it?? said Rostóv to the hussar
beside him. ?That must be the enemy?s camp!?

The hussar did not reply.

?Why, don?t you hear it?? Rostóv asked again, after waiting for a

?Who can tell, your honor?? replied the hussar reluctantly.

?From the direction, it must be the enemy,? repeated Rostóv.

?It may be he or it may be nothing,? muttered the hussar. ?It?s
dark... Steady!? he cried to his fidgeting horse.

Rostóv?s horse was also getting restive: it pawed the frozen ground,
pricking its ears at the noise and looking at the lights. The shouting
grew still louder and merged into a general roar that only an army
of several thousand men could produce. The lights spread farther and
farther, probably along the line of the French camp. Rostóv no longer
wanted to sleep. The gay triumphant shouting of the enemy army had a
stimulating effect on him. ?Vive l?Empereur! l?Empereur!? he now
heard distinctly.

?They can?t be far off, probably just beyond the stream,? he said
to the hussar beside him.

The hussar only sighed without replying and coughed angrily. The sound
of horse?s hoofs approaching at a trot along the line of hussars was
heard, and out of the foggy darkness the figure of a sergeant of hussars
suddenly appeared, looming huge as an elephant.

?Your honor, the generals!? said the sergeant, riding up to Rostóv.

Rostóv, still looking round toward the fires and the shouts, rode with
the sergeant to meet some mounted men who were riding along the line.
One was on a white horse. Prince Bagratión and Prince Dolgorúkov with
their adjutants had come to witness the curious phenomenon of the
lights and shouts in the enemy?s camp. Rostóv rode up to Bagratión,
reported to him, and then joined the adjutants listening to what the
generals were saying.

?Believe me,? said Prince Dolgorúkov, addressing Bagratión, ?it
is nothing but a trick! He has retreated and ordered the rearguard to
kindle fires and make a noise to deceive us.?

?Hardly,? said Bagratión. ?I saw them this evening on that
knoll; if they had retreated they would have withdrawn from that too....
Officer!? said Bagratión to Rostóv, ?are the enemy?s skirmishers
still there??

?They were there this evening, but now I don?t know, your
excellency. Shall I go with some of my hussars to see?? replied

Bagratión stopped and, before replying, tried to see Rostóv?s face
in the mist.

?Well, go and see,? he said, after a pause.

?Yes, sir.?

Rostóv spurred his horse, called to Sergeant Fédchenko and two other
hussars, told them to follow him, and trotted downhill in the direction
from which the shouting came. He felt both frightened and pleased to be
riding alone with three hussars into that mysterious and dangerous misty
distance where no one had been before him. Bagratión called to him from
the hill not to go beyond the stream, but Rostóv pretended not to hear
him and did not stop but rode on and on, continually mistaking bushes
for trees and gullies for men and continually discovering his mistakes.
Having descended the hill at a trot, he no longer saw either our own or
the enemy?s fires, but heard the shouting of the French more loudly
and distinctly. In the valley he saw before him something like a river,
but when he reached it he found it was a road. Having come out onto
the road he reined in his horse, hesitating whether to ride along it or
cross it and ride over the black field up the hillside. To keep to the
road which gleamed white in the mist would have been safer because it
would be easier to see people coming along it. ?Follow me!? said he,
crossed the road, and began riding up the hill at a gallop toward the
point where the French pickets had been standing that evening.

?Your honor, there he is!? cried one of the hussars behind him. And
before Rostóv had time to make out what the black thing was that had
suddenly appeared in the fog, there was a flash, followed by a report,
and a bullet whizzing high up in the mist with a plaintive sound passed
out of hearing. Another musket missed fire but flashed in the pan.
Rostóv turned his horse and galloped back. Four more reports followed
at intervals, and the bullets passed somewhere in the fog singing in
different tones. Rostóv reined in his horse, whose spirits had risen,
like his own, at the firing, and went back at a footpace. ?Well, some
more! Some more!? a merry voice was saying in his soul. But no more
shots came.

Only when approaching Bagratión did Rostóv let his horse gallop again,
and with his hand at the salute rode up to the general.

Dolgorúkov was still insisting that the French had retreated and had
only lit fires to deceive us.

?What does that prove?? he was saying as Rostóv rode up. ?They
might retreat and leave the pickets.?

?It?s plain that they have not all gone yet, Prince,? said
Bagratión. ?Wait till tomorrow morning, we?ll find out everything

?The picket is still on the hill, your excellency, just where it was
in the evening,? reported Rostóv, stooping forward with his hand at
the salute and unable to repress the smile of delight induced by his
ride and especially by the sound of the bullets.

?Very good, very good,? said Bagratión. ?Thank you, officer.?

?Your excellency,? said Rostóv, ?may I ask a favor??

?What is it??

?Tomorrow our squadron is to be in reserve. May I ask to be attached
to the first squadron??

?What?s your name??

?Count Rostóv.?

?Oh, very well, you may stay in attendance on me.?

?Count Ilyá Rostóv?s son?? asked Dolgorúkov.

But Rostóv did not reply.

?Then I may reckon on it, your excellency??

?I will give the order.?

?Tomorrow very likely I may be sent with some message to the
Emperor,? thought Rostóv.

?Thank God!?

The fires and shouting in the enemy?s army were occasioned by the fact
that while Napoleon?s proclamation was being read to the troops the
Emperor himself rode round his bivouacs. The soldiers, on seeing him,
lit wisps of straw and ran after him, shouting, ?Vive l?Empereur!?
Napoleon?s proclamation was as follows:

Soldiers! The Russian army is advancing against you to avenge the
Austrian army of Ulm. They are the same battalions you broke at
Hollabrünn and have pursued ever since to this place. The position we
occupy is a strong one, and while they are marching to go round me on
the right they will expose a flank to me. Soldiers! I will myself direct
your battalions. I will keep out of fire if you with your habitual
valor carry disorder and confusion into the enemy?s ranks, but should
victory be in doubt, even for a moment, you will see your Emperor
exposing himself to the first blows of the enemy, for there must be no
doubt of victory, especially on this day when what is at stake is the
honor of the French infantry, so necessary to the honor of our nation.

Do not break your ranks on the plea of removing the wounded! Let every
man be fully imbued with the thought that we must defeat these hirelings
of England, inspired by such hatred of our nation! This victory will
conclude our campaign and we can return to winter quarters, where fresh
French troops who are being raised in France will join us, and the peace
I shall conclude will be worthy of my people, of you, and of myself.



At five in the morning it was still quite dark. The troops of the
center, the reserves, and Bagratión?s right flank had not yet moved,
but on the left flank the columns of infantry, cavalry, and artillery,
which were to be the first to descend the heights to attack the French
right flank and drive it into the Bohemian mountains according to plan,
were already up and astir. The smoke of the campfires, into which they
were throwing everything superfluous, made the eyes smart. It was cold
and dark. The officers were hurriedly drinking tea and breakfasting, the
soldiers, munching biscuit and beating a tattoo with their feet to
warm themselves, gathering round the fires throwing into the flames the
remains of sheds, chairs, tables, wheels, tubs, and everything that they
did not want or could not carry away with them. Austrian column guides
were moving in and out among the Russian troops and served as heralds
of the advance. As soon as an Austrian officer showed himself near
a commanding officer?s quarters, the regiment began to move: the
soldiers ran from the fires, thrust their pipes into their boots, their
bags into the carts, got their muskets ready, and formed rank. The
officers buttoned up their coats, buckled on their swords and pouches,
and moved along the ranks shouting. The train drivers and orderlies
harnessed and packed the wagons and tied on the loads. The adjutants and
battalion and regimental commanders mounted, crossed themselves, gave
final instructions, orders, and commissions to the baggage men
who remained behind, and the monotonous tramp of thousands of feet
resounded. The column moved forward without knowing where and unable,
from the masses around them, the smoke and the increasing fog, to see
either the place they were leaving or that to which they were going.

A soldier on the march is hemmed in and borne along by his regiment as
much as a sailor is by his ship. However far he has walked, whatever
strange, unknown, and dangerous places he reaches, just as a sailor is
always surrounded by the same decks, masts, and rigging of his ship, so
the soldier always has around him the same comrades, the same ranks, the
same sergeant major Iván Mítrich, the same company dog Jack, and the
same commanders. The sailor rarely cares to know the latitude in which
his ship is sailing, but on the day of battle?heaven knows how and
whence?a stern note of which all are conscious sounds in the moral
atmosphere of an army, announcing the approach of something decisive
and solemn, and awakening in the men an unusual curiosity. On the day of
battle the soldiers excitedly try to get beyond the interests of their
regiment, they listen intently, look about, and eagerly ask concerning
what is going on around them.

The fog had grown so dense that though it was growing light they could
not see ten paces ahead. Bushes looked like gigantic trees and level
ground like cliffs and slopes. Anywhere, on any side, one might
encounter an enemy invisible ten paces off. But the columns advanced
for a long time, always in the same fog, descending and ascending hills,
avoiding gardens and enclosures, going over new and unknown ground, and
nowhere encountering the enemy. On the contrary, the soldiers became
aware that in front, behind, and on all sides, other Russian columns
were moving in the same direction. Every soldier felt glad to know that
to the unknown place where he was going, many more of our men were going

?There now, the Kúrskies have also gone past,? was being said in
the ranks.

?It?s wonderful what a lot of our troops have gathered, lads! Last
night I looked at the campfires and there was no end of them. A regular

Though none of the column commanders rode up to the ranks or talked to
the men (the commanders, as we saw at the council of war, were out of
humor and dissatisfied with the affair, and so did not exert themselves
to cheer the men but merely carried out the orders), yet the troops
marched gaily, as they always do when going into action, especially to
an attack. But when they had marched for about an hour in the dense fog,
the greater part of the men had to halt and an unpleasant consciousness
of some dislocation and blunder spread through the ranks. How such
a consciousness is communicated is very difficult to define, but it
certainly is communicated very surely, and flows rapidly, imperceptibly,
and irrepressibly, as water does in a creek. Had the Russian army been
alone without any allies, it might perhaps have been a long time before
this consciousness of mismanagement became a general conviction, but as
it was, the disorder was readily and naturally attributed to the stupid
Germans, and everyone was convinced that a dangerous muddle had been
occasioned by the sausage eaters.

?Why have we stopped? Is the way blocked? Or have we already come up
against the French??

?No, one can?t hear them. They?d be firing if we had.?

?They were in a hurry enough to start us, and now here we stand in
the middle of a field without rhyme or reason. It?s all those damned
Germans? muddling! What stupid devils!?

?Yes, I?d send them on in front, but no fear, they?re crowding up
behind. And now here we stand hungry.?

?I say, shall we soon be clear? They say the cavalry are blocking the
way,? said an officer.

?Ah, those damned Germans! They don?t know their own country!?
said another.

?What division are you?? shouted an adjutant, riding up.

?The Eighteenth.?

?Then why are you here? You should have gone on long ago, now you
won?t get there till evening.?

?What stupid orders! They don?t themselves know what they are
doing!? said the officer and rode off.

Then a general rode past shouting something angrily, not in Russian.

?Tafa-lafa! But what he?s jabbering no one can make out,? said a
soldier, mimicking the general who had ridden away. ?I?d shoot them,
the scoundrels!?

?We were ordered to be at the place before nine, but we haven?t got
halfway. Fine orders!? was being repeated on different sides.

And the feeling of energy with which the troops had started began to
turn into vexation and anger at the stupid arrangements and at the

The cause of the confusion was that while the Austrian cavalry was
moving toward our left flank, the higher command found that our center
was too far separated from our right flank and the cavalry were all
ordered to turn back to the right. Several thousand cavalry crossed in
front of the infantry, who had to wait.

At the front an altercation occurred between an Austrian guide and a
Russian general. The general shouted a demand that the cavalry should be
halted, the Austrian argued that not he, but the higher command, was to
blame. The troops meanwhile stood growing listless and dispirited. After
an hour?s delay they at last moved on, descending the hill. The fog
that was dispersing on the hill lay still more densely below, where they
were descending. In front in the fog a shot was heard and then another,
at first irregularly at varying intervals?trata...tat?and then more
and more regularly and rapidly, and the action at the Goldbach Stream

Not expecting to come on the enemy down by the stream, and having
stumbled on him in the fog, hearing no encouraging word from their
commanders, and with a consciousness of being too late spreading through
the ranks, and above all being unable to see anything in front or around
them in the thick fog, the Russians exchanged shots with the enemy
lazily and advanced and again halted, receiving no timely orders from
the officers or adjutants who wandered about in the fog in those unknown
surroundings unable to find their own regiments. In this way the action
began for the first, second, and third columns, which had gone down into
the valley. The fourth column, with which Kutúzov was, stood on the
Pratzen Heights.

Below, where the fight was beginning, there was still thick fog; on the
higher ground it was clearing, but nothing could be seen of what was
going on in front. Whether all the enemy forces were, as we supposed,
six miles away, or whether they were near by in that sea of mist, no one
knew till after eight o?clock.

It was nine o?clock in the morning. The fog lay unbroken like a sea
down below, but higher up at the village of Schlappanitz where Napoleon
stood with his marshals around him, it was quite light. Above him was
a clear blue sky, and the sun?s vast orb quivered like a huge hollow,
crimson float on the surface of that milky sea of mist. The whole French
army, and even Napoleon himself with his staff, were not on the far side
of the streams and hollows of Sokolnitz and Schlappanitz beyond which we
intended to take up our position and begin the action, but were on this
side, so close to our own forces that Napoleon with the naked eye could
distinguish a mounted man from one on foot. Napoleon, in the blue cloak
which he had worn on his Italian campaign, sat on his small gray Arab
horse a little in front of his marshals. He gazed silently at the hills
which seemed to rise out of the sea of mist and on which the Russian
troops were moving in the distance, and he listened to the sounds of
firing in the valley. Not a single muscle of his face?which in those
days was still thin?moved. His gleaming eyes were fixed intently on
one spot. His predictions were being justified. Part of the Russian
force had already descended into the valley toward the ponds and lakes
and part were leaving these Pratzen Heights which he intended to attack
and regarded as the key to the position. He saw over the mist that in
a hollow between two hills near the village of Pratzen, the Russian
columns, their bayonets glittering, were moving continuously in one
direction toward the valley and disappearing one after another into
the mist. From information he had received the evening before, from the
sound of wheels and footsteps heard by the outposts during the night,
by the disorderly movement of the Russian columns, and from all
indications, he saw clearly that the allies believed him to be far away
in front of them, and that the columns moving near Pratzen constituted
the center of the Russian army, and that that center was already
sufficiently weakened to be successfully attacked. But still he did not
begin the engagement.

Today was a great day for him?the anniversary of his coronation.
Before dawn he had slept for a few hours, and refreshed, vigorous, and
in good spirits, he mounted his horse and rode out into the field
in that happy mood in which everything seems possible and everything
succeeds. He sat motionless, looking at the heights visible above
the mist, and his cold face wore that special look of confident,
self-complacent happiness that one sees on the face of a boy happily
in love. The marshals stood behind him not venturing to distract his
attention. He looked now at the Pratzen Heights, now at the sun floating
up out of the mist.

When the sun had entirely emerged from the fog, and fields and mist were
aglow with dazzling light?as if he had only awaited this to begin the
action?he drew the glove from his shapely white hand, made a sign
with it to the marshals, and ordered the action to begin. The marshals,
accompanied by adjutants, galloped off in different directions, and
a few minutes later the chief forces of the French army moved rapidly
toward those Pratzen Heights which were being more and more denuded by
Russian troops moving down the valley to their left.


At eight o?clock Kutúzov rode to Pratzen at the head of the fourth
column, Milorádovich?s, the one that was to take the place of
Przebyszéwski?s and Langeron?s columns which had already gone down
into the valley. He greeted the men of the foremost regiment and gave
them the order to march, thereby indicating that he intended to lead
that column himself. When he had reached the village of Pratzen he
halted. Prince Andrew was behind, among the immense number forming the
commander in chief?s suite. He was in a state of suppressed excitement
and irritation, though controlledly calm as a man is at the approach of
a long-awaited moment. He was firmly convinced that this was the day of
his Toulon, or his bridge of Arcola. How it would come about he did not
know, but he felt sure it would do so. The locality and the position of
our troops were known to him as far as they could be known to anyone
in our army. His own strategic plan, which obviously could not now
be carried out, was forgotten. Now, entering into Weyrother?s plan,
Prince Andrew considered possible contingencies and formed new projects
such as might call for his rapidity of perception and decision.

To the left down below in the mist, the musketry fire of unseen forces
could be heard. It was there Prince Andrew thought the fight would
concentrate. ?There we shall encounter difficulties, and there,?
thought he, ?I shall be sent with a brigade or division, and there,
standard in hand, I shall go forward and break whatever is in front of

He could not look calmly at the standards of the passing battalions.
Seeing them he kept thinking, ?That may be the very standard with
which I shall lead the army.?

In the morning all that was left of the night mist on the heights was
a hoar frost now turning to dew, but in the valleys it still lay like a
milk-white sea. Nothing was visible in the valley to the left into which
our troops had descended and from whence came the sounds of firing.
Above the heights was the dark clear sky, and to the right the vast orb
of the sun. In front, far off on the farther shore of that sea of mist,
some wooded hills were discernible, and it was there the enemy probably
was, for something could be descried. On the right the Guards were
entering the misty region with a sound of hoofs and wheels and now and
then a gleam of bayonets; to the left beyond the village similar masses
of cavalry came up and disappeared in the sea of mist. In front and
behind moved infantry. The commander in chief was standing at the end of
the village letting the troops pass by him. That morning Kutúzov seemed
worn and irritable. The infantry passing before him came to a halt
without any command being given, apparently obstructed by something in

?Do order them to form into battalion columns and go round the
village!? he said angrily to a general who had ridden up. ?Don?t
you understand, your excellency, my dear sir, that you must not
defile through narrow village streets when we are marching against the

?I intended to re-form them beyond the village, your excellency,?
answered the general.

Kutúzov laughed bitterly.

?You?ll make a fine thing of it, deploying in sight of the enemy!
Very fine!?

?The enemy is still far away, your excellency. According to the

?The dispositions!? exclaimed Kutúzov bitterly. ?Who told you
that?... Kindly do as you are ordered.?

?Yes, sir.?

?My dear fellow,? Nesvítski whispered to Prince Andrew, ?the old
man is as surly as a dog.?

An Austrian officer in a white uniform with green plumes in his hat
galloped up to Kutúzov and asked in the Emperor?s name had the fourth
column advanced into action.

Kutúzov turned round without answering and his eye happened to fall
upon Prince Andrew, who was beside him. Seeing him, Kutúzov?s
malevolent and caustic expression softened, as if admitting that what
was being done was not his adjutant?s fault, and still not answering
the Austrian adjutant, he addressed Bolkónski.

?Go, my dear fellow, and see whether the third division has passed the
village. Tell it to stop and await my orders.?

Hardly had Prince Andrew started than he stopped him.

?And ask whether sharpshooters have been posted,? he added. ?What
are they doing? What are they doing?? he murmured to himself, still
not replying to the Austrian.

Prince Andrew galloped off to execute the order.

Overtaking the battalions that continued to advance, he stopped
the third division and convinced himself that there really were no
sharpshooters in front of our columns. The colonel at the head of the
regiment was much surprised at the commander in chief?s order to throw
out skirmishers. He had felt perfectly sure that there were other troops
in front of him and that the enemy must be at least six miles away.
There was really nothing to be seen in front except a barren descent
hidden by dense mist. Having given orders in the commander in chief?s
name to rectify this omission, Prince Andrew galloped back. Kutúzov
still in the same place, his stout body resting heavily in the saddle
with the lassitude of age, sat yawning wearily with closed eyes. The
troops were no longer moving, but stood with the butts of their muskets
on the ground.

?All right, all right!? he said to Prince Andrew, and turned to a
general who, watch in hand, was saying it was time they started as all
the left-flank columns had already descended.

?Plenty of time, your excellency,? muttered Kutúzov in the midst of
a yawn. ?Plenty of time,? he repeated.

Just then at a distance behind Kutúzov was heard the sound of regiments
saluting, and this sound rapidly came nearer along the whole extended
line of the advancing Russian columns. Evidently the person they were
greeting was riding quickly. When the soldiers of the regiment in front
of which Kutúzov was standing began to shout, he rode a little to one
side and looked round with a frown. Along the road from Pratzen galloped
what looked like a squadron of horsemen in various uniforms. Two of them
rode side by side in front, at full gallop. One in a black uniform with
white plumes in his hat rode a bobtailed chestnut horse, the other who
was in a white uniform rode a black one. These were the two Emperors
followed by their suites. Kutúzov, affecting the manners of an old
soldier at the front, gave the command ?Attention!? and rode up
to the Emperors with a salute. His whole appearance and manner were
suddenly transformed. He put on the air of a subordinate who obeys
without reasoning. With an affectation of respect which evidently struck
Alexander unpleasantly, he rode up and saluted.

This unpleasant impression merely flitted over the young and happy face
of the Emperor like a cloud of haze across a clear sky and vanished.
After his illness he looked rather thinner that day than on the field
of Olmütz where Bolkónski had seen him for the first time abroad, but
there was still the same bewitching combination of majesty and mildness
in his fine gray eyes, and on his delicate lips the same capacity for
varying expression and the same prevalent appearance of goodhearted
innocent youth.

At the Olmütz review he had seemed more majestic; here he seemed
brighter and more energetic. He was slightly flushed after galloping two
miles, and reining in his horse he sighed restfully and looked round
at the faces of his suite, young and animated as his own. Czartorýski,
Novosíltsev, Prince Volkónsky, Strógonov, and the others, all richly
dressed gay young men on splendid, well-groomed, fresh, only slightly
heated horses, exchanging remarks and smiling, had stopped behind the
Emperor. The Emperor Francis, a rosy, long faced young man, sat very
erect on his handsome black horse, looking about him in a leisurely and
preoccupied manner. He beckoned to one of his white adjutants and asked
some question??Most likely he is asking at what o?clock they
started,? thought Prince Andrew, watching his old acquaintance with
a smile he could not repress as he recalled his reception at Brünn.
In the Emperors? suite were the picked young orderly officers of the
Guard and line regiments, Russian and Austrian. Among them were grooms
leading the Tsar?s beautiful relay horses covered with embroidered

As when a window is opened a whiff of fresh air from the fields enters
a stuffy room, so a whiff of youthfulness, energy, and confidence of
success reached Kutúzov?s cheerless staff with the galloping advent
of all these brilliant young men.

?Why aren?t you beginning, Michael Ilariónovich?? said the
Emperor Alexander hurriedly to Kutúzov, glancing courteously at the
same time at the Emperor Francis.

?I am waiting, Your Majesty,? answered Kutúzov, bending forward

The Emperor, frowning slightly, bent his ear forward as if he had not
quite heard.

?Waiting, Your Majesty,? repeated Kutúzov. (Prince Andrew noted
that Kutúzov?s upper lip twitched unnaturally as he said the
word ?waiting.?) ?Not all the columns have formed up yet, Your

The Tsar heard but obviously did not like the reply; he shrugged his
rather round shoulders and glanced at Novosíltsev who was near him, as
if complaining of Kutúzov.

?You know, Michael Ilariónovich, we are not on the Empress? Field
where a parade does not begin till all the troops are assembled,? said
the Tsar with another glance at the Emperor Francis, as if inviting
him if not to join in at least to listen to what he was saying. But the
Emperor Francis continued to look about him and did not listen.

?That is just why I do not begin, sire,? said Kutúzov in a
resounding voice, apparently to preclude the possibility of not being
heard, and again something in his face twitched??That is just why
I do not begin, sire, because we are not on parade and not on the
Empress? Field,? said he clearly and distinctly.

In the Emperor?s suite all exchanged rapid looks that expressed
dissatisfaction and reproach. ?Old though he may be, he should not, he
certainly should not, speak like that,? their glances seemed to say.

The Tsar looked intently and observantly into Kutúzov?s eye
waiting to hear whether he would say anything more. But Kutúzov, with
respectfully bowed head, seemed also to be waiting. The silence lasted
for about a minute.

?However, if you command it, Your Majesty,? said Kutúzov, lifting
his head and again assuming his former tone of a dull, unreasoning, but
submissive general.

He touched his horse and having called Milorádovich, the commander of
the column, gave him the order to advance.

The troops again began to move, and two battalions of the Nóvgorod and
one of the Ápsheron regiment went forward past the Emperor.

As this Ápsheron battalion marched by, the red-faced Milorádovich,
without his greatcoat, with his Orders on his breast and an enormous
tuft of plumes in his cocked hat worn on one side with its corners front
and back, galloped strenuously forward, and with a dashing salute reined
in his horse before the Emperor.

?God be with you, general!? said the Emperor.

?Ma foi, sire, nous ferons ce qui sera dans notre possibilité,
sire,? * he answered gaily, raising nevertheless ironic smiles among
the gentlemen of the Tsar?s suite by his poor French.

     * ?Indeed, Sire, we shall do everything it is possible to
     do, Sire.?

Milorádovich wheeled his horse sharply and stationed himself a little
behind the Emperor. The Ápsheron men, excited by the Tsar?s presence,
passed in step before the Emperors and their suites at a bold, brisk

?Lads!? shouted Milorádovich in a loud, self-confident, and cheery
voice, obviously so elated by the sound of firing, by the prospect of
battle, and by the sight of the gallant Ápsherons, his comrades in
Suvórov?s time, now passing so gallantly before the Emperors, that he
forgot the sovereigns? presence. ?Lads, it?s not the first village
you?ve had to take,? cried he.

?Glad to do our best!? shouted the soldiers.

The Emperor?s horse started at the sudden cry. This horse that had
carried the sovereign at reviews in Russia bore him also here on the
field of Austerlitz, enduring the heedless blows of his left foot and
pricking its ears at the sound of shots just as it had done on the
Empress? Field, not understanding the significance of the firing, nor
of the nearness of the Emperor Francis? black cob, nor of all that was
being said, thought, and felt that day by its rider.

The Emperor turned with a smile to one of his followers and made a
remark to him, pointing to the gallant Ápsherons.


Kutúzov accompanied by his adjutants rode at a walking pace behind the

When he had gone less than half a mile in the rear of the column he
stopped at a solitary, deserted house that had probably once been an
inn, where two roads parted. Both of them led downhill and troops were
marching along both.

The fog had begun to clear and enemy troops were already dimly visible
about a mile and a half off on the opposite heights. Down below, on
the left, the firing became more distinct. Kutúzov had stopped and was
speaking to an Austrian general. Prince Andrew, who was a little behind
looking at them, turned to an adjutant to ask him for a field glass.

?Look, look!? said this adjutant, looking not at the troops in the
distance, but down the hill before him. ?It?s the French!?

The two generals and the adjutant took hold of the field glass, trying
to snatch it from one another. The expression on all their faces
suddenly changed to one of horror. The French were supposed to be a
mile and a half away, but had suddenly and unexpectedly appeared just in
front of us.

?It?s the enemy?... No!... Yes, see it is!... for certain.... But
how is that?? said different voices.

With the naked eye Prince Andrew saw below them to the right, not more
than five hundred paces from where Kutúzov was standing, a dense French
column coming up to meet the Ápsherons.

?Here it is! The decisive moment has arrived. My turn has come,?
thought Prince Andrew, and striking his horse he rode up to Kutúzov.

?The Ápsherons must be stopped, your excellency,? cried he. But at
that very instant a cloud of smoke spread all round, firing was heard
quite close at hand, and a voice of naïve terror barely two steps from
Prince Andrew shouted, ?Brothers! All?s lost!? And at this as if
at a command, everyone began to run.

Confused and ever-increasing crowds were running back to where five
minutes before the troops had passed the Emperors. Not only would it
have been difficult to stop that crowd, it was even impossible not to
be carried back with it oneself. Bolkónski only tried not to lose
touch with it, and looked around bewildered and unable to grasp what was
happening in front of him. Nesvítski with an angry face, red and unlike
himself, was shouting to Kutúzov that if he did not ride away at once
he would certainly be taken prisoner. Kutúzov remained in the same
place and without answering drew out a handkerchief. Blood was flowing
from his cheek. Prince Andrew forced his way to him.

?You are wounded?? he asked, hardly able to master the trembling of
his lower jaw.

?The wound is not here, it is there!? said Kutúzov, pressing the
handkerchief to his wounded cheek and pointing to the fleeing soldiers.
?Stop them!? he shouted, and at the same moment, probably realizing
that it was impossible to stop them, spurred his horse and rode to the

A fresh wave of the flying mob caught him and bore him back with it.

The troops were running in such a dense mass that once surrounded by
them it was difficult to get out again. One was shouting, ?Get on!
Why are you hindering us?? Another in the same place turned round and
fired in the air; a third was striking the horse Kutúzov himself rode.
Having by a great effort got away to the left from that flood of men,
Kutúzov, with his suite diminished by more than half, rode toward a
sound of artillery fire near by. Having forced his way out of the crowd
of fugitives, Prince Andrew, trying to keep near Kutúzov, saw on the
slope of the hill amid the smoke a Russian battery that was still firing
and Frenchmen running toward it. Higher up stood some Russian infantry,
neither moving forward to protect the battery nor backward with the
fleeing crowd. A mounted general separated himself from the infantry and
approached Kutúzov. Of Kutúzov?s suite only four remained. They were
all pale and exchanged looks in silence.

?Stop those wretches!? gasped Kutúzov to the regimental commander,
pointing to the flying soldiers; but at that instant, as if to punish
him for those words, bullets flew hissing across the regiment and across
Kutúzov?s suite like a flock of little birds.

The French had attacked the battery and, seeing Kutúzov, were firing
at him. After this volley the regimental commander clutched at his leg;
several soldiers fell, and a second lieutenant who was holding the
flag let it fall from his hands. It swayed and fell, but caught on the
muskets of the nearest soldiers. The soldiers started firing without

?Oh! Oh! Oh!? groaned Kutúzov despairingly and looked around....
?Bolkónski!? he whispered, his voice trembling from a consciousness
of the feebleness of age, ?Bolkónski!? he whispered, pointing to
the disordered battalion and at the enemy, ?what?s that??

But before he had finished speaking, Prince Andrew, feeling tears of
shame and anger choking him, had already leapt from his horse and run to
the standard.

?Forward, lads!? he shouted in a voice piercing as a child?s.

?Here it is!? thought he, seizing the staff of the standard and
hearing with pleasure the whistle of bullets evidently aimed at him.
Several soldiers fell.

?Hurrah!? shouted Prince Andrew, and, scarcely able to hold up
the heavy standard, he ran forward with full confidence that the whole
battalion would follow him.

And really he only ran a few steps alone. One soldier moved and then
another and soon the whole battalion ran forward shouting ?Hurrah!?
and overtook him. A sergeant of the battalion ran up and took the flag
that was swaying from its weight in Prince Andrew?s hands, but he
was immediately killed. Prince Andrew again seized the standard and,
dragging it by the staff, ran on with the battalion. In front he saw our
artillerymen, some of whom were fighting, while others, having abandoned
their guns, were running toward him. He also saw French infantry
soldiers who were seizing the artillery horses and turning the guns
round. Prince Andrew and the battalion were already within twenty paces
of the cannon. He heard the whistle of bullets above him unceasingly and
to right and left of him soldiers continually groaned and dropped. But
he did not look at them: he looked only at what was going on in front
of him?at the battery. He now saw clearly the figure of a red-haired
gunner with his shako knocked awry, pulling one end of a mop while
a French soldier tugged at the other. He could distinctly see the
distraught yet angry expression on the faces of these two men, who
evidently did not realize what they were doing.

?What are they about?? thought Prince Andrew as he gazed at them.
?Why doesn?t the red-haired gunner run away as he is unarmed?
Why doesn?t the Frenchman stab him? He will not get away before the
Frenchman remembers his bayonet and stabs him....?

And really another French soldier, trailing his musket, ran up to
the struggling men, and the fate of the red-haired gunner, who had
triumphantly secured the mop and still did not realize what awaited him,
was about to be decided. But Prince Andrew did not see how it ended. It
seemed to him as though one of the soldiers near him hit him on the head
with the full swing of a bludgeon. It hurt a little, but the worst of
it was that the pain distracted him and prevented his seeing what he had
been looking at.

?What?s this? Am I falling? My legs are giving way,? thought he,
and fell on his back. He opened his eyes, hoping to see how the struggle
of the Frenchmen with the gunners ended, whether the red-haired gunner
had been killed or not and whether the cannon had been captured or
saved. But he saw nothing. Above him there was now nothing but the
sky?the lofty sky, not clear yet still immeasurably lofty, with gray
clouds gliding slowly across it. ?How quiet, peaceful, and solemn; not
at all as I ran,? thought Prince Andrew??not as we ran, shouting
and fighting, not at all as the gunner and the Frenchman with frightened
and angry faces struggled for the mop: how differently do those clouds
glide across that lofty infinite sky! How was it I did not see that
lofty sky before? And how happy I am to have found it at last! Yes! All
is vanity, all falsehood, except that infinite sky. There is nothing,
nothing, but that. But even it does not exist, there is nothing but
quiet and peace. Thank God!...?


On our right flank commanded by Bagratión, at nine o?clock the battle
had not yet begun. Not wishing to agree to Dolgorúkov?s demand to
commence the action, and wishing to avert responsibility from himself,
Prince Bagratión proposed to Dolgorúkov to send to inquire of the
commander in chief. Bagratión knew that as the distance between the two
flanks was more than six miles, even if the messenger were not killed
(which he very likely would be), and found the commander in chief
(which would be very difficult), he would not be able to get back before

Bagratión cast his large, expressionless, sleepy eyes round his suite,
and the boyish face Rostóv, breathless with excitement and hope, was
the first to catch his eye. He sent him.

?And if I should meet His Majesty before I meet the commander in
chief, your excellency?? said Rostóv, with his hand to his cap.

?You can give the message to His Majesty,? said Dolgorúkov,
hurriedly interrupting Bagratión.

On being relieved from picket duty Rostóv had managed to get a few
hours? sleep before morning and felt cheerful, bold, and resolute,
with elasticity of movement, faith in his good fortune, and generally in
that state of mind which makes everything seem possible, pleasant, and

All his wishes were being fulfilled that morning: there was to be a
general engagement in which he was taking part, more than that, he was
orderly to the bravest general, and still more, he was going with a
message to Kutúzov, perhaps even to the sovereign himself. The morning
was bright, he had a good horse under him, and his heart was full of
joy and happiness. On receiving the order he gave his horse the rein
and galloped along the line. At first he rode along the line of
Bagratión?s troops, which had not yet advanced into action but were
standing motionless; then he came to the region occupied by Uvárov?s
cavalry and here he noticed a stir and signs of preparation for battle;
having passed Uvárov?s cavalry he clearly heard the sound of cannon
and musketry ahead of him. The firing grew louder and louder.

In the fresh morning air were now heard, not two or three musket shots
at irregular intervals as before, followed by one or two cannon shots,
but a roll of volleys of musketry from the slopes of the hill before
Pratzen, interrupted by such frequent reports of cannon that sometimes
several of them were not separated from one another but merged into a
general roar.

He could see puffs of musketry smoke that seemed to chase one another
down the hillsides, and clouds of cannon smoke rolling, spreading,
and mingling with one another. He could also, by the gleam of bayonets
visible through the smoke, make out moving masses of infantry and narrow
lines of artillery with green caissons.

Rostóv stopped his horse for a moment on a hillock to see what was
going on, but strain his attention as he would he could not understand
or make out anything of what was happening: there in the smoke men of
some sort were moving about, in front and behind moved lines of troops;
but why, whither, and who they were, it was impossible to make out.
These sights and sounds had no depressing or intimidating effect on him;
on the contrary, they stimulated his energy and determination.

?Go on! Go on! Give it them!? he mentally exclaimed at these sounds,
and again proceeded to gallop along the line, penetrating farther and
farther into the region where the army was already in action.

?How it will be there I don?t know, but all will be well!? thought

After passing some Austrian troops he noticed that the next part of the
line (the Guards) was already in action.

?So much the better! I shall see it close,? he thought.

He was riding almost along the front line. A handful of men came
galloping toward him. They were our Uhlans who with disordered
ranks were returning from the attack. Rostóv got out of their way,
involuntarily noticed that one of them was bleeding, and galloped on.

?That is no business of mine,? he thought. He had not ridden many
hundred yards after that before he saw to his left, across the whole
width of the field, an enormous mass of cavalry in brilliant white
uniforms, mounted on black horses, trotting straight toward him and
across his path. Rostóv put his horse to full gallop to get out of the
way of these men, and he would have got clear had they continued at the
same speed, but they kept increasing their pace, so that some of the
horses were already galloping. Rostóv heard the thud of their hoofs
and the jingle of their weapons and saw their horses, their figures, and
even their faces, more and more distinctly. They were our Horse Guards,
advancing to attack the French cavalry that was coming to meet them.

The Horse Guards were galloping, but still holding in their horses.
Rostóv could already see their faces and heard the command:
?Charge!? shouted by an officer who was urging his thoroughbred to
full speed. Rostóv, fearing to be crushed or swept into the attack on
the French, galloped along the front as hard as his horse could go, but
still was not in time to avoid them.

The last of the Horse Guards, a huge pockmarked fellow, frowned angrily
on seeing Rostóv before him, with whom he would inevitably collide.
This Guardsman would certainly have bowled Rostóv and his Bedouin over
(Rostóv felt himself quite tiny and weak compared to these gigantic men
and horses) had it not occurred to Rostóv to flourish his whip before
the eyes of the Guardsman?s horse. The heavy black horse, sixteen
hands high, shied, throwing back its ears; but the pockmarked Guardsman
drove his huge spurs in violently, and the horse, flourishing its tail
and extending its neck, galloped on yet faster. Hardly had the Horse
Guards passed Rostóv before he heard them shout, ?Hurrah!? and
looking back saw that their foremost ranks were mixed up with some
foreign cavalry with red epaulets, probably French. He could see nothing
more, for immediately afterwards cannon began firing from somewhere and
smoke enveloped everything.

At that moment, as the Horse Guards, having passed him, disappeared in
the smoke, Rostóv hesitated whether to gallop after them or to go where
he was sent. This was the brilliant charge of the Horse Guards that
amazed the French themselves. Rostóv was horrified to hear later that
of all that mass of huge and handsome men, of all those brilliant,
rich youths, officers and cadets, who had galloped past him on their
thousand-ruble horses, only eighteen were left after the charge.

?Why should I envy them? My chance is not lost, and maybe I shall see
the Emperor immediately!? thought Rostóv and galloped on.

When he came level with the Foot Guards he noticed that about them and
around them cannon balls were flying, of which he was aware not so
much because he heard their sound as because he saw uneasiness on
the soldiers? faces and unnatural warlike solemnity on those of the

Passing behind one of the lines of a regiment of Foot Guards he heard a
voice calling him by name.


?What?? he answered, not recognizing Borís.

?I say, we?ve been in the front line! Our regiment attacked!? said
Borís with the happy smile seen on the faces of young men who have been
under fire for the first time.

Rostóv stopped.

?Have you?? he said. ?Well, how did it go??

?We drove them back!? said Borís with animation, growing talkative.
?Can you imagine it?? and he began describing how the Guards, having
taken up their position and seeing troops before them, thought they were
Austrians, and all at once discovered from the cannon balls discharged
by those troops that they were themselves in the front line and had
unexpectedly to go into action. Rostóv without hearing Borís to the
end spurred his horse.

?Where are you off to?? asked Borís.

?With a message to His Majesty.?

?There he is!? said Borís, thinking Rostóv had said ?His
Highness,? and pointing to the Grand Duke who with his high shoulders
and frowning brows stood a hundred paces away from them in his helmet
and Horse Guards? jacket, shouting something to a pale, white
uniformed Austrian officer.

?But that?s the Grand Duke, and I want the commander in chief or the
Emperor,? said Rostóv, and was about to spur his horse.

?Count! Count!? shouted Berg who ran up from the other side as eager
as Borís. ?Count! I am wounded in my right hand? (and he showed his
bleeding hand with a handkerchief tied round it) ?and I remained at
the front. I held my sword in my left hand, Count. All our family?the
von Bergs?have been knights!?

He said something more, but Rostóv did not wait to hear it and rode

Having passed the Guards and traversed an empty space, Rostóv, to avoid
again getting in front of the first line as he had done when the Horse
Guards charged, followed the line of reserves, going far round the place
where the hottest musket fire and cannonade were heard. Suddenly he
heard musket fire quite close in front of him and behind our troops,
where he could never have expected the enemy to be.

?What can it be?? he thought. ?The enemy in the rear of our army?
Impossible!? And suddenly he was seized by a panic of fear for himself
and for the issue of the whole battle. ?But be that what it may,?
he reflected, ?there is no riding round it now. I must look for the
commander in chief here, and if all is lost it is for me to perish with
the rest.?

The foreboding of evil that had suddenly come over Rostóv was more and
more confirmed the farther he rode into the region behind the village of
Pratzen, which was full of troops of all kinds.

?What does it mean? What is it? Whom are they firing at? Who is
firing?? Rostóv kept asking as he came up to Russian and Austrian
soldiers running in confused crowds across his path.

?The devil knows! They?ve killed everybody! It?s all up now!?
he was told in Russian, German, and Czech by the crowd of fugitives who
understood what was happening as little as he did.

?Kill the Germans!? shouted one.

?May the devil take them?the traitors!?

?Zum Henker diese Russen!? * muttered a German.

    * ?Hang these Russians!?

Several wounded men passed along the road, and words of abuse, screams,
and groans mingled in a general hubbub, then the firing died down.
Rostóv learned later that Russian and Austrian soldiers had been firing
at one another.

?My God! What does it all mean?? thought he. ?And here, where at
any moment the Emperor may see them.... But no, these must be only a
handful of scoundrels. It will soon be over, it can?t be that, it
can?t be! Only to get past them quicker, quicker!?

The idea of defeat and flight could not enter Rostóv?s head. Though
he saw French cannon and French troops on the Pratzen Heights just where
he had been ordered to look for the commander in chief, he could not,
did not wish to, believe that.


Rostóv had been ordered to look for Kutúzov and the Emperor near the
village of Pratzen. But neither they nor a single commanding officer
were there, only disorganized crowds of troops of various kinds. He
urged on his already weary horse to get quickly past these crowds, but
the farther he went the more disorganized they were. The highroad on
which he had come out was thronged with calèches, carriages of all
sorts, and Russian and Austrian soldiers of all arms, some wounded and
some not. This whole mass droned and jostled in confusion under the
dismal influence of cannon balls flying from the French batteries
stationed on the Pratzen Heights.

?Where is the Emperor? Where is Kutúzov?? Rostóv kept asking
everyone he could stop, but got no answer from anyone.

At last seizing a soldier by his collar he forced him to answer.

?Eh, brother! They?ve all bolted long ago!? said the soldier,
laughing for some reason and shaking himself free.

Having left that soldier who was evidently drunk, Rostóv stopped the
horse of a batman or groom of some important personage and began to
question him. The man announced that the Tsar had been driven in a
carriage at full speed about an hour before along that very road and
that he was dangerously wounded.

?It can?t be!? said Rostóv. ?It must have been someone else.?

?I saw him myself,? replied the man with a self-confident smile of
derision. ?I ought to know the Emperor by now, after the times I?ve
seen him in Petersburg. I saw him just as I see you.... There he sat in
the carriage as pale as anything. How they made the four black horses
fly! Gracious me, they did rattle past! It?s time I knew the Imperial
horses and Ilyá Iványch. I don?t think Ilyá drives anyone except
the Tsar!?

Rostóv let go of the horse and was about to ride on, when a wounded
officer passing by addressed him:

?Who is it you want?? he asked. ?The commander in chief? He was
killed by a cannon ball?struck in the breast before our regiment.?

?Not killed?wounded!? another officer corrected him.

?Who? Kutúzov?? asked Rostóv.

?Not Kutúzov, but what?s his name?well, never mind... there are
not many left alive. Go that way, to that village, all the commanders
are there,? said the officer, pointing to the village of Hosjeradek,
and he walked on.

Rostóv rode on at a footpace not knowing why or to whom he was now
going. The Emperor was wounded, the battle lost. It was impossible to
doubt it now. Rostóv rode in the direction pointed out to him, in which
he saw turrets and a church. What need to hurry? What was he now to say
to the Tsar or to Kutúzov, even if they were alive and unwounded?

?Take this road, your honor, that way you will be killed at once!? a
soldier shouted to him. ?They?d kill you there!?

?Oh, what are you talking about?? said another. ?Where is he to
go? That way is nearer.?

Rostóv considered, and then went in the direction where they said he
would be killed.

?It?s all the same now. If the Emperor is wounded, am I to try to
save myself?? he thought. He rode on to the region where the greatest
number of men had perished in fleeing from Pratzen. The French had not
yet occupied that region, and the Russians?the uninjured and slightly
wounded?had left it long ago. All about the field, like heaps of
manure on well-kept plowland, lay from ten to fifteen dead and wounded
to each couple of acres. The wounded crept together in twos and threes
and one could hear their distressing screams and groans, sometimes
feigned?or so it seemed to Rostóv. He put his horse to a trot to
avoid seeing all these suffering men, and he felt afraid?afraid not
for his life, but for the courage he needed and which he knew would not
stand the sight of these unfortunates.

The French, who had ceased firing at this field strewn with dead and
wounded where there was no one left to fire at, on seeing an adjutant
riding over it trained a gun on him and fired several shots. The
sensation of those terrible whistling sounds and of the corpses around
him merged in Rostóv?s mind into a single feeling of terror and pity
for himself. He remembered his mother?s last letter. ?What would she
feel,? thought he, ?if she saw me here now on this field with the
cannon aimed at me??

In the village of Hosjeradek there were Russian troops retiring from
the field of battle, who though still in some confusion were less
disordered. The French cannon did not reach there and the musketry fire
sounded far away. Here everyone clearly saw and said that the battle
was lost. No one whom Rostóv asked could tell him where the Emperor
or Kutúzov was. Some said the report that the Emperor was wounded was
correct, others that it was not, and explained the false rumor that had
spread by the fact that the Emperor?s carriage had really galloped
from the field of battle with the pale and terrified Ober-Hofmarschal
Count Tolstóy, who had ridden out to the battlefield with others in
the Emperor?s suite. One officer told Rostóv that he had seen someone
from headquarters behind the village to the left, and thither Rostóv
rode, not hoping to find anyone but merely to ease his conscience. When
he had ridden about two miles and had passed the last of the Russian
troops, he saw, near a kitchen garden with a ditch round it, two men
on horseback facing the ditch. One with a white plume in his hat seemed
familiar to Rostóv; the other on a beautiful chestnut horse (which
Rostóv fancied he had seen before) rode up to the ditch, struck his
horse with his spurs, and giving it the rein leaped lightly over. Only
a little earth crumbled from the bank under the horse?s hind hoofs.
Turning the horse sharply, he again jumped the ditch, and deferentially
addressed the horseman with the white plumes, evidently suggesting
that he should do the same. The rider, whose figure seemed familiar
to Rostóv and involuntarily riveted his attention, made a gesture of
refusal with his head and hand and by that gesture Rostóv instantly
recognized his lamented and adored monarch.

?But it can?t be he, alone in the midst of this empty field!?
thought Rostóv. At that moment Alexander turned his head and Rostóv
saw the beloved features that were so deeply engraved on his memory. The
Emperor was pale, his cheeks sunken and his eyes hollow, but the charm,
the mildness of his features, was all the greater. Rostóv was happy
in the assurance that the rumors about the Emperor being wounded were
false. He was happy to be seeing him. He knew that he might and even
ought to go straight to him and give the message Dolgorúkov had ordered
him to deliver.

But as a youth in love trembles, is unnerved, and dares not utter the
thoughts he has dreamed of for nights, but looks around for help or a
chance of delay and flight when the longed-for moment comes and he is
alone with her, so Rostóv, now that he had attained what he had longed
for more than anything else in the world, did not know how to approach
the Emperor, and a thousand reasons occurred to him why it would be
inconvenient, unseemly, and impossible to do so.

?What! It is as if I were glad of a chance to take advantage of
his being alone and despondent! A strange face may seem unpleasant or
painful to him at this moment of sorrow; besides, what can I say to him
now, when my heart fails me and my mouth feels dry at the mere sight
of him?? Not one of the innumerable speeches addressed to the Emperor
that he had composed in his imagination could he now recall. Those
speeches were intended for quite other conditions, they were for the
most part to be spoken at a moment of victory and triumph, generally
when he was dying of wounds and the sovereign had thanked him for heroic
deeds, and while dying he expressed the love his actions had proved.

?Besides how can I ask the Emperor for his instructions for the right
flank now that it is nearly four o?clock and the battle is lost?
No, certainly I must not approach him, I must not intrude on his
reflections. Better die a thousand times than risk receiving an unkind
look or bad opinion from him,? Rostóv decided; and sorrowfully and
with a heart full despair he rode away, continually looking back at the
Tsar, who still remained in the same attitude of indecision.

While Rostóv was thus arguing with himself and riding sadly away,
Captain von Toll chanced to ride to the same spot, and seeing the
Emperor at once rode up to him, offered his services, and assisted him
to cross the ditch on foot. The Emperor, wishing to rest and feeling
unwell, sat down under an apple tree and von Toll remained beside him.
Rostóv from a distance saw with envy and remorse how von Toll spoke
long and warmly to the Emperor and how the Emperor, evidently weeping,
covered his eyes with his hand and pressed von Toll?s hand.

?And I might have been in his place!? thought Rostóv, and hardly
restraining his tears of pity for the Emperor, he rode on in utter
despair, not knowing where to or why he was now riding.

His despair was all the greater from feeling that his own weakness was
the cause of his grief.

He might... not only might but should, have gone up to the sovereign. It
was a unique chance to show his devotion to the Emperor and he had not
made use of it.... ?What have I done?? thought he. And he turned
round and galloped back to the place where he had seen the Emperor, but
there was no one beyond the ditch now. Only some carts and carriages
were passing by. From one of the drivers he learned that Kutúzov?s
staff were not far off, in the village the vehicles were going to.
Rostóv followed them. In front of him walked Kutúzov?s groom leading
horses in horsecloths. Then came a cart, and behind that walked an old,
bandy-legged domestic serf in a peaked cap and sheepskin coat.

?Tit! I say, Tit!? said the groom.

?What?? answered the old man absent-mindedly.

?Go, Tit! Thresh a bit!?

?Oh, you fool!? said the old man, spitting angrily. Some time passed
in silence, and then the same joke was repeated.

Before five in the evening the battle had been lost at all points. More
than a hundred cannon were already in the hands of the French.

Przebyszéwski and his corps had laid down their arms. Other columns
after losing half their men were retreating in disorderly confused

The remains of Langeron?s and Dokhtúrov?s mingled forces were
crowding around the dams and banks of the ponds near the village of

After five o?clock it was only at the Augesd Dam that a hot cannonade
(delivered by the French alone) was still to be heard from numerous
batteries ranged on the slopes of the Pratzen Heights, directed at our
retreating forces.

In the rearguard, Dokhtúrov and others rallying some battalions kept up
a musketry fire at the French cavalry that was pursuing our troops. It
was growing dusk. On the narrow Augesd Dam where for so many years the
old miller had been accustomed to sit in his tasseled cap peacefully
angling, while his grandson, with shirt sleeves rolled up, handled the
floundering silvery fish in the watering can, on that dam over which for
so many years Moravians in shaggy caps and blue jackets had peacefully
driven their two-horse carts loaded with wheat and had returned dusty
with flour whitening their carts?on that narrow dam amid the wagons
and the cannon, under the horses? hoofs and between the wagon wheels,
men disfigured by fear of death now crowded together, crushing one
another, dying, stepping over the dying and killing one another, only to
move on a few steps and be killed themselves in the same way.

Every ten seconds a cannon ball flew compressing the air around, or
a shell burst in the midst of that dense throng, killing some and
splashing with blood those near them.

Dólokhov?now an officer?wounded in the arm, and on foot, with
the regimental commander on horseback and some ten men of his company,
represented all that was left of that whole regiment. Impelled by the
crowd, they had got wedged in at the approach to the dam and, jammed in
on all sides, had stopped because a horse in front had fallen under a
cannon and the crowd were dragging it out. A cannon ball killed someone
behind them, another fell in front and splashed Dólokhov with blood.
The crowd, pushing forward desperately, squeezed together, moved a few
steps, and again stopped.

?Move on a hundred yards and we are certainly saved, remain here
another two minutes and it is certain death,? thought each one.

Dólokhov who was in the midst of the crowd forced his way to the edge
of the dam, throwing two soldiers off their feet, and ran onto the
slippery ice that covered the millpool.

?Turn this way!? he shouted, jumping over the ice which creaked
under him; ?turn this way!? he shouted to those with the gun. ?It

The ice bore him but it swayed and creaked, and it was plain that it
would give way not only under a cannon or a crowd, but very soon even
under his weight alone. The men looked at him and pressed to the
bank, hesitating to step onto the ice. The general on horseback at the
entrance to the dam raised his hand and opened his mouth to address
Dólokhov. Suddenly a cannon ball hissed so low above the crowd that
everyone ducked. It flopped into something moist, and the general fell
from his horse in a pool of blood. Nobody gave him a look or thought of
raising him.

?Get onto the ice, over the ice! Go on! Turn! Don?t you hear? Go
on!? innumerable voices suddenly shouted after the ball had struck
the general, the men themselves not knowing what, or why, they were

One of the hindmost guns that was going onto the dam turned off onto the
ice. Crowds of soldiers from the dam began running onto the frozen pond.
The ice gave way under one of the foremost soldiers, and one leg slipped
into the water. He tried to right himself but fell in up to his waist.
The nearest soldiers shrank back, the gun driver stopped his horse, but
from behind still came the shouts: ?Onto the ice, why do you stop? Go
on! Go on!? And cries of horror were heard in the crowd. The soldiers
near the gun waved their arms and beat the horses to make them turn and
move on. The horses moved off the bank. The ice, that had held under
those on foot, collapsed in a great mass, and some forty men who were on
it dashed, some forward and some back, drowning one another.

Still the cannon balls continued regularly to whistle and flop onto the
ice and into the water and oftenest of all among the crowd that covered
the dam, the pond, and the bank.


On the Pratzen Heights, where he had fallen with the flagstaff in his
hand, lay Prince Andrew Bolkónski bleeding profusely and unconsciously
uttering a gentle, piteous, and childlike moan.

Toward evening he ceased moaning and became quite still. He did not know
how long his unconsciousness lasted. Suddenly he again felt that he was
alive and suffering from a burning, lacerating pain in his head.

?Where is it, that lofty sky that I did not know till now, but saw
today?? was his first thought. ?And I did not know this suffering
either,? he thought. ?Yes, I did not know anything, anything at all
till now. But where am I??

He listened and heard the sound of approaching horses, and voices
speaking French. He opened his eyes. Above him again was the same lofty
sky with clouds that had risen and were floating still higher, and
between them gleamed blue infinity. He did not turn his head and did not
see those who, judging by the sound of hoofs and voices, had ridden up
and stopped near him.

It was Napoleon accompanied by two aides-de-camp. Bonaparte riding
over the battlefield had given final orders to strengthen the batteries
firing at the Augesd Dam and was looking at the killed and wounded left
on the field.

?Fine men!? remarked Napoleon, looking at a dead Russian grenadier,
who, with his face buried in the ground and a blackened nape, lay on his
stomach with an already stiffened arm flung wide.

?The ammunition for the guns in position is exhausted, Your
Majesty,? said an adjutant who had come from the batteries that were
firing at Augesd.

?Have some brought from the reserve,? said Napoleon, and having gone
on a few steps he stopped before Prince Andrew, who lay on his back with
the flagstaff that had been dropped beside him. (The flag had already
been taken by the French as a trophy.)

?That?s a fine death!? said Napoleon as he gazed at Bolkónski.

Prince Andrew understood that this was said of him and that it was
Napoleon who said it. He heard the speaker addressed as Sire. But he
heard the words as he might have heard the buzzing of a fly. Not only
did they not interest him, but he took no notice of them and at once
forgot them. His head was burning, he felt himself bleeding to death,
and he saw above him the remote, lofty, and everlasting sky. He knew it
was Napoleon?his hero?but at that moment Napoleon seemed to him
such a small, insignificant creature compared with what was passing now
between himself and that lofty infinite sky with the clouds flying over
it. At that moment it meant nothing to him who might be standing over
him, or what was said of him; he was only glad that people were standing
near him and only wished that they would help him and bring him back to
life, which seemed to him so beautiful now that he had today learned to
understand it so differently. He collected all his strength, to stir and
utter a sound. He feebly moved his leg and uttered a weak, sickly groan
which aroused his own pity.

?Ah! He is alive,? said Napoleon. ?Lift this young man up and
carry him to the dressing station.?

Having said this, Napoleon rode on to meet Marshal Lannes, who, hat in
hand, rode up smiling to the Emperor to congratulate him on the victory.

Prince Andrew remembered nothing more: he lost consciousness from the
terrible pain of being lifted onto the stretcher, the jolting while
being moved, and the probing of his wound at the dressing station.
He did not regain consciousness till late in the day, when with other
wounded and captured Russian officers he was carried to the hospital.
During this transfer he felt a little stronger and was able to look
about him and even speak.

The first words he heard on coming to his senses were those of a French
convoy officer, who said rapidly: ?We must halt here: the Emperor
will pass here immediately; it will please him to see these gentlemen

?There are so many prisoners today, nearly the whole Russian army,
that he is probably tired of them,? said another officer.

?All the same! They say this one is the commander of all the Emperor
Alexander?s Guards,? said the first one, indicating a Russian
officer in the white uniform of the Horse Guards.

Bolkónski recognized Prince Repnín whom he had met in Petersburg
society. Beside him stood a lad of nineteen, also a wounded officer of
the Horse Guards.

Bonaparte, having come up at a gallop, stopped his horse.

?Which is the senior?? he asked, on seeing the prisoners.

They named the colonel, Prince Repnín.

?You are the commander of the Emperor Alexander?s regiment of Horse
Guards?? asked Napoleon.

?I commanded a squadron,? replied Repnín.

?Your regiment fulfilled its duty honorably,? said Napoleon.

?The praise of a great commander is a soldier?s highest reward,?
said Repnín.

?I bestow it with pleasure,? said Napoleon. ?And who is that young
man beside you??

Prince Repnín named Lieutenant Sukhtélen.

After looking at him Napoleon smiled.

?He?s very young to come to meddle with us.?

?Youth is no hindrance to courage,? muttered Sukhtélen in a failing

?A splendid reply!? said Napoleon. ?Young man, you will go far!?

Prince Andrew, who had also been brought forward before the Emperor?s
eyes to complete the show of prisoners, could not fail to attract his
attention. Napoleon apparently remembered seeing him on the battlefield
and, addressing him, again used the epithet ?young man? that was
connected in his memory with Prince Andrew.

?Well, and you, young man,? said he. ?How do you feel, mon

Though five minutes before, Prince Andrew had been able to say a few
words to the soldiers who were carrying him, now with his eyes fixed
straight on Napoleon, he was silent.... So insignificant at that moment
seemed to him all the interests that engrossed Napoleon, so mean did his
hero himself with his paltry vanity and joy in victory appear,
compared to the lofty, equitable, and kindly sky which he had seen and
understood, that he could not answer him.

Everything seemed so futile and insignificant in comparison with the
stern and solemn train of thought that weakness from loss of blood,
suffering, and the nearness of death aroused in him. Looking into
Napoleon?s eyes Prince Andrew thought of the insignificance of
greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and
the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one
alive could understand or explain.

The Emperor without waiting for an answer turned away and said to one of
the officers as he went: ?Have these gentlemen attended to and taken
to my bivouac; let my doctor, Larrey, examine their wounds. Au revoir,
Prince Repnín!? and he spurred his horse and galloped away.

His face shone with self-satisfaction and pleasure.

The soldiers who had carried Prince Andrew had noticed and taken the
little gold icon Princess Mary had hung round her brother?s neck, but
seeing the favor the Emperor showed the prisoners, they now hastened to
return the holy image.

Prince Andrew did not see how and by whom it was replaced, but the
little icon with its thin gold chain suddenly appeared upon his chest
outside his uniform.

?It would be good,? thought Prince Andrew, glancing at the icon his
sister had hung round his neck with such emotion and reverence, ?it
would be good if everything were as clear and simple as it seems to
Mary. How good it would be to know where to seek for help in this life,
and what to expect after it beyond the grave! How happy and calm I
should be if I could now say: ?Lord, have mercy on me!?... But to
whom should I say that? Either to a Power indefinable, incomprehensible,
which I not only cannot address but which I cannot even express in
words?the Great All or Nothing-? said he to himself, ?or to
that God who has been sewn into this amulet by Mary! There is nothing
certain, nothing at all except the unimportance of everything I
understand, and the greatness of something incomprehensible but

The stretchers moved on. At every jolt he again felt unendurable pain;
his feverishness increased and he grew delirious. Visions of his father,
wife, sister, and future son, and the tenderness he had felt the night
before the battle, the figure of the insignificant little Napoleon, and
above all this the lofty sky, formed the chief subjects of his delirious

The quiet home life and peaceful happiness of Bald Hills presented
itself to him. He was already enjoying that happiness when that
little Napoleon had suddenly appeared with his unsympathizing look of
shortsighted delight at the misery of others, and doubts and torments
had followed, and only the heavens promised peace. Toward morning
all these dreams melted and merged into the chaos and darkness of
unconciousness and oblivion which in the opinion of Napoleon?s doctor,
Larrey, was much more likely to end in death than in convalescence.

?He is a nervous, bilious subject,? said Larrey, ?and will not

And Prince Andrew, with others fatally wounded, was left to the care of
the inhabitants of the district.



Early in the year 1806 Nicholas Rostóv returned home on leave. Denísov
was going home to Vorónezh and Rostóv persuaded him to travel with him
as far as Moscow and to stay with him there. Meeting a comrade at
the last post station but one before Moscow, Denísov had drunk three
bottles of wine with him and, despite the jolting ruts across the
snow-covered road, did not once wake up on the way to Moscow, but lay
at the bottom of the sleigh beside Rostóv, who grew more and more
impatient the nearer they got to Moscow.

?How much longer? How much longer? Oh, these insufferable streets,
shops, bakers? signboards, street lamps, and sleighs!? thought
Rostóv, when their leave permits had been passed at the town gate and
they had entered Moscow.

?Denísov! We?re here! He?s asleep,? he added, leaning forward
with his whole body as if in that position he hoped to hasten the speed
of the sleigh.

Denísov gave no answer.

?There?s the corner at the crossroads, where the cabman, Zakhár,
has his stand, and there?s Zakhár himself and still the same horse!
And here?s the little shop where we used to buy gingerbread! Can?t
you hurry up? Now then!?

?Which house is it?? asked the driver.

?Why, that one, right at the end, the big one. Don?t you see?
That?s our house,? said Rostóv. ?Of course, it?s our house!
Denísov, Denísov! We?re almost there!?

Denísov raised his head, coughed, and made no answer.

?Dmítri,? said Rostóv to his valet on the box, ?those lights are
in our house, aren?t they??

?Yes, sir, and there?s a light in your father?s study.?

?Then they?ve not gone to bed yet? What do you think? Mind now,
don?t forget to put out my new coat,? added Rostóv, fingering his
new mustache. ?Now then, get on,? he shouted to the driver. ?Do
wake up, Váska!? he went on, turning to Denísov, whose head
was again nodding. ?Come, get on! You shall have three rubles for
vodka?get on!? Rostóv shouted, when the sleigh was only three
houses from his door. It seemed to him the horses were not moving at
all. At last the sleigh bore to the right, drew up at an entrance, and
Rostóv saw overhead the old familiar cornice with a bit of plaster
broken off, the porch, and the post by the side of the pavement. He
sprang out before the sleigh stopped, and ran into the hall. The house
stood cold and silent, as if quite regardless of who had come to it.
There was no one in the hall. ?Oh God! Is everyone all right??
he thought, stopping for a moment with a sinking heart, and then
immediately starting to run along the hall and up the warped steps of
the familiar staircase. The well-known old door handle, which always
angered the countess when it was not properly cleaned, turned as loosely
as ever. A solitary tallow candle burned in the anteroom.

Old Michael was asleep on the chest. Prokófy, the footman, who was
so strong that he could lift the back of the carriage from behind, sat
plaiting slippers out of cloth selvedges. He looked up at the opening
door and his expression of sleepy indifference suddenly changed to one
of delighted amazement.

?Gracious heavens! The young count!? he cried, recognizing his
young master. ?Can it be? My treasure!? and Prokófy, trembling with
excitement, rushed toward the drawing room door, probably in order to
announce him, but, changing his mind, came back and stooped to kiss the
young man?s shoulder.

?All well?? asked Rostóv, drawing away his arm.

?Yes, God be thanked! Yes! They?ve just finished supper. Let me have
a look at you, your excellency.?

?Is everything quite all right??

?The Lord be thanked, yes!?

Rostóv, who had completely forgotten Denísov, not wishing anyone to
forestall him, threw off his fur coat and ran on tiptoe through the
large dark ballroom. All was the same: there were the same old card
tables and the same chandelier with a cover over it; but someone had
already seen the young master, and, before he had reached the drawing
room, something flew out from a side door like a tornado and began
hugging and kissing him. Another and yet another creature of the same
kind sprang from a second door and a third; more hugging, more kissing,
more outcries, and tears of joy. He could not distinguish which was
Papa, which Natásha, and which Pétya. Everyone shouted, talked, and
kissed him at the same time. Only his mother was not there, he noticed

?And I did not know... Nicholas... My darling!...?

?Here he is... our own... Kólya, * dear fellow... How he has
changed!... Where are the candles?... Tea!...?

    * Nicholas.

?And me, kiss me!?

?Dearest... and me!?

Sónya, Natásha, Pétya, Anna Mikháylovna, Véra, and the old count
were all hugging him, and the serfs, men and maids, flocked into the
room, exclaiming and oh-ing and ah-ing.

Pétya, clinging to his legs, kept shouting, ?And me too!?

Natásha, after she had pulled him down toward her and covered his face
with kisses, holding him tight by the skirt of his coat, sprang away and
pranced up and down in one place like a goat and shrieked piercingly.

All around were loving eyes glistening with tears of joy, and all around
were lips seeking a kiss.

Sónya too, all rosy red, clung to his arm and, radiant with bliss,
looked eagerly toward his eyes, waiting for the look for which she
longed. Sónya now was sixteen and she was very pretty, especially at
this moment of happy, rapturous excitement. She gazed at him, not taking
her eyes off him, and smiling and holding her breath. He gave her a
grateful look, but was still expectant and looking for someone. The old
countess had not yet come. But now steps were heard at the door, steps
so rapid that they could hardly be his mother?s.

Yet it was she, dressed in a new gown which he did not know, made since
he had left. All the others let him go, and he ran to her. When they
met, she fell on his breast, sobbing. She could not lift her face, but
only pressed it to the cold braiding of his hussar?s jacket. Denísov,
who had come into the room unnoticed by anyone, stood there and wiped
his eyes at the sight.

?Vasíli Denísov, your son?s friend,? he said, introducing
himself to the count, who was looking inquiringly at him.

?You are most welcome! I know, I know,? said the count, kissing and
embracing Denísov. ?Nicholas wrote us... Natásha, Véra, look! Here
is Denísov!?

The same happy, rapturous faces turned to the shaggy figure of Denísov.

?Darling Denísov!? screamed Natásha, beside herself with rapture,
springing to him, putting her arms round him, and kissing him. This
escapade made everybody feel confused. Denísov blushed too, but smiled
and, taking Natásha?s hand, kissed it.

Denísov was shown to the room prepared for him, and the Rostóvs all
gathered round Nicholas in the sitting room.

The old countess, not letting go of his hand and kissing it every
moment, sat beside him: the rest, crowding round him, watched every
movement, word, or look of his, never taking their blissfully adoring
eyes off him. His brother and sisters struggled for the places nearest
to him and disputed with one another who should bring him his tea,
handkerchief, and pipe.

Rostóv was very happy in the love they showed him; but the first
moment of meeting had been so beatific that his present joy seemed
insufficient, and he kept expecting something more, more and yet more.

Next morning, after the fatigues of their journey, the travelers slept
till ten o?clock.

In the room next their bedroom there was a confusion of sabers,
satchels, sabretaches, open portmanteaus, and dirty boots. Two freshly
cleaned pairs with spurs had just been placed by the wall. The servants
were bringing in jugs and basins, hot water for shaving, and their
well-brushed clothes. There was a masculine odor and a smell of tobacco.

?Hallo, Gwíska?my pipe!? came Vasíli Denísov?s husky voice.
?Wostóv, get up!?

Rostóv, rubbing his eyes that seemed glued together, raised his
disheveled head from the hot pillow.

?Why, is it late??

?Late! It?s nearly ten o?clock,? answered Natásha?s voice.
A rustle of starched petticoats and the whispering and laughter of
girls? voices came from the adjoining room. The door was opened a
crack and there was a glimpse of something blue, of ribbons, black hair,
and merry faces. It was Natásha, Sónya, and Pétya, who had come to
see whether they were getting up.

?Nicholas! Get up!? Natásha?s voice was again heard at the door.


Meanwhile, Pétya, having found and seized the sabers in the outer room,
with the delight boys feel at the sight of a military elder brother, and
forgetting that it was unbecoming for the girls to see men undressed,
opened the bedroom door.

?Is this your saber?? he shouted.

The girls sprang aside. Denísov hid his hairy legs under the blanket,
looking with a scared face at his comrade for help. The door, having let
Pétya in, closed again. A sound of laughter came from behind it.

?Nicholas! Come out in your dressing gown!? said Natásha?s voice.

?Is this your saber?? asked Pétya. ?Or is it yours?? he said,
addressing the black-mustached Denísov with servile deference.

Rostóv hurriedly put something on his feet, drew on his dressing gown,
and went out. Natásha had put on one spurred boot and was just getting
her foot into the other. Sónya, when he came in, was twirling round and
was about to expand her dresses into a balloon and sit down. They were
dressed alike, in new pale-blue frocks, and were both fresh, rosy, and
bright. Sónya ran away, but Natásha, taking her brother?s arm, led
him into the sitting room, where they began talking. They hardly gave
one another time to ask questions and give replies concerning a thousand
little matters which could not interest anyone but themselves. Natásha
laughed at every word he said or that she said herself, not because what
they were saying was amusing, but because she felt happy and was unable
to control her joy which expressed itself by laughter.

?Oh, how nice, how splendid!? she said to everything.

Rostóv felt that, under the influence of the warm rays of love, that
childlike smile which had not once appeared on his face since he left
home now for the first time after eighteen months again brightened his
soul and his face.

?No, but listen,? she said, ?now you are quite a man, aren?t
you? I?m awfully glad you?re my brother.? She touched his
mustache. ?I want to know what you men are like. Are you the same as
we? No??

?Why did Sónya run away?? asked Rostóv.

?Ah, yes! That?s a whole long story! How are you going to speak to
her?thou or you??

?As may happen,? said Rostóv.

?No, call her you, please! I?ll tell you all about it some other
time. No, I?ll tell you now. You know Sónya?s my dearest friend.
Such a friend that I burned my arm for her sake. Look here!?

She pulled up her muslin sleeve and showed him a red scar on her long,
slender, delicate arm, high above the elbow on that part that is covered
even by a ball dress.

?I burned this to prove my love for her. I just heated a ruler in the
fire and pressed it there!?

Sitting on the sofa with the little cushions on its arms, in what used
to be his old schoolroom, and looking into Natásha?s wildly bright
eyes, Rostóv re-entered that world of home and childhood which had no
meaning for anyone else, but gave him some of the best joys of his life;
and the burning of an arm with a ruler as a proof of love did not seem
to him senseless, he understood and was not surprised at it.

?Well, and is that all?? he asked.

?We are such friends, such friends! All that ruler business was just
nonsense, but we are friends forever. She, if she loves anyone, does it
for life, but I don?t understand that, I forget quickly.?

?Well, what then??

?Well, she loves me and you like that.?

Natásha suddenly flushed.

?Why, you remember before you went away?... Well, she says you are to
forget all that.... She says: ?I shall love him always, but let him be
free.? Isn?t that lovely and noble! Yes, very noble? Isn?t it??
asked Natásha, so seriously and excitedly that it was evident that what
she was now saying she had talked of before, with tears.

Rostóv became thoughtful.

?I never go back on my word,? he said. ?Besides, Sónya is so
charming that only a fool would renounce such happiness.?

?No, no!? cried Natásha, ?she and I have already talked it over.
We knew you?d say so. But it won?t do, because you see, if you say
that?if you consider yourself bound by your promise?it will seem as
if she had not meant it seriously. It makes it as if you were marrying
her because you must, and that wouldn?t do at all.?

Rostóv saw that it had been well considered by them. Sónya had already
struck him by her beauty on the preceding day. Today, when he had caught
a glimpse of her, she seemed still more lovely. She was a charming girl
of sixteen, evidently passionately in love with him (he did not doubt
that for an instant). Why should he not love her now, and even marry
her, Rostóv thought, but just now there were so many other pleasures
and interests before him! ?Yes, they have taken a wise decision,? he
thought, ?I must remain free.?

?Well then, that?s excellent,? said he. ?We?ll talk it over
later on. Oh, how glad I am to have you!?

?Well, and are you still true to Borís?? he continued.

?Oh, what nonsense!? cried Natásha, laughing. ?I don?t think
about him or anyone else, and I don?t want anything of the kind.?

?Dear me! Then what are you up to now??

?Now?? repeated Natásha, and a happy smile lit up her face. ?Have
you seen Duport??


?Not seen Duport?the famous dancer? Well then, you won?t
understand. That?s what I?m up to.?

Curving her arms, Natásha held out her skirts as dancers do, ran back
a few steps, turned, cut a caper, brought her little feet sharply
together, and made some steps on the very tips of her toes.

?See, I?m standing! See!? she said, but could not maintain herself
on her toes any longer. ?So that?s what I?m up to! I?ll never
marry anyone, but will be a dancer. Only don?t tell anyone.?

Rostóv laughed so loud and merrily that Denísov, in his bedroom, felt
envious and Natásha could not help joining in.

?No, but don?t you think it?s nice?? she kept repeating.

?Nice! And so you no longer wish to marry Borís??

Natásha flared up. ?I don?t want to marry anyone. And I?ll tell
him so when I see him!?

?Dear me!? said Rostóv.

?But that?s all rubbish,? Natásha chattered on. ?And is
Denísov nice?? she asked.

?Yes, indeed!?

?Oh, well then, good-by: go and dress. Is he very terrible,

?Why terrible?? asked Nicholas. ?No, Váska is a splendid

?You call him Váska? That?s funny! And is he very nice??


?Well then, be quick. We?ll all have breakfast together.?

And Natásha rose and went out of the room on tiptoe, like a ballet
dancer, but smiling as only happy girls of fifteen can smile. When
Rostóv met Sónya in the drawing room, he reddened. He did not know
how to behave with her. The evening before, in the first happy moment of
meeting, they had kissed each other, but today they felt it could not
be done; he felt that everybody, including his mother and sisters, was
looking inquiringly at him and watching to see how he would behave
with her. He kissed her hand and addressed her not as thou but as
you?Sónya. But their eyes met and said thou, and exchanged tender
kisses. Her looks asked him to forgive her for having dared, by
Natásha?s intermediacy, to remind him of his promise, and then
thanked him for his love. His looks thanked her for offering him his
freedom and told her that one way or another he would never cease to
love her, for that would be impossible.

?How strange it is,? said Véra, selecting a moment when all were
silent, ?that Sónya and Nicholas now say you to one another and meet
like strangers.?

Véra?s remark was correct, as her remarks always were, but, like
most of her observations, it made everyone feel uncomfortable, not
only Sónya, Nicholas, and Natásha, but even the old countess,
who?dreading this love affair which might hinder Nicholas from making
a brilliant match?blushed like a girl.

Denísov, to Rostóv?s surprise, appeared in the drawing room with
pomaded hair, perfumed, and in a new uniform, looking just as smart as
he made himself when going into battle, and he was more amiable to the
ladies and gentlemen than Rostóv had ever expected to see him.


On his return to Moscow from the army, Nicholas Rostóv was welcomed
by his home circle as the best of sons, a hero, and their darling
Nikólenka; by his relations as a charming, attractive, and polite young
man; by his acquaintances as a handsome lieutenant of hussars, a good
dancer, and one of the best matches in the city.

The Rostóvs knew everybody in Moscow. The old count had money enough
that year, as all his estates had been remortgaged, and so Nicholas,
acquiring a trotter of his own, very stylish riding breeches of the
latest cut, such as no one else yet had in Moscow, and boots of the
latest fashion, with extremely pointed toes and small silver spurs,
passed his time very gaily. After a short period of adapting himself
to the old conditions of life, Nicholas found it very pleasant to be
at home again. He felt that he had grown up and matured very much. His
despair at failing in a Scripture examination, his borrowing money from
Gavríl to pay a sleigh driver, his kissing Sónya on the sly?he now
recalled all this as childishness he had left immeasurably behind.
Now he was a lieutenant of hussars, in a jacket laced with silver, and
wearing the Cross of St. George, awarded to soldiers for bravery in
action, and in the company of well-known, elderly, and respected racing
men was training a trotter of his own for a race. He knew a lady on one
of the boulevards whom he visited of an evening. He led the mazurka
at the Arkhárovs? ball, talked about the war with Field Marshal
Kámenski, visited the English Club, and was on intimate terms with a
colonel of forty to whom Denísov had introduced him.

His passion for the Emperor had cooled somewhat in Moscow. But still, as
he did not see him and had no opportunity of seeing him, he often spoke
about him and about his love for him, letting it be understood that he
had not told all and that there was something in his feelings for the
Emperor not everyone could understand, and with his whole soul he shared
the adoration then common in Moscow for the Emperor, who was spoken of
as the ?angel incarnate.?

During Rostóv?s short stay in Moscow, before rejoining the army, he
did not draw closer to Sónya, but rather drifted away from her. She was
very pretty and sweet, and evidently deeply in love with him, but he was
at the period of youth when there seems so much to do that there is no
time for that sort of thing and a young man fears to bind himself and
prizes his freedom which he needs for so many other things. When he
thought of Sónya, during this stay in Moscow, he said to himself,
?Ah, there will be, and there are, many more such girls somewhere whom
I do not yet know. There will be time enough to think about love when I
want to, but now I have no time.? Besides, it seemed to him that the
society of women was rather derogatory to his manhood. He went to balls
and into ladies? society with an affectation of doing so against his
will. The races, the English Club, sprees with Denísov, and visits to
a certain house?that was another matter and quite the thing for a
dashing young hussar!

At the beginning of March, old Count Ilyá Rostóv was very busy
arranging a dinner in honor of Prince Bagratión at the English Club.

The count walked up and down the hall in his dressing gown, giving
orders to the club steward and to the famous Feoktíst, the club?s
head cook, about asparagus, fresh cucumbers, strawberries, veal, and
fish for this dinner. The count had been a member and on the committee
of the club from the day it was founded. To him the club entrusted the
arrangement of the festival in honor of Bagratión, for few men knew
so well how to arrange a feast on an open-handed, hospitable scale,
and still fewer men would be so well able and willing to make up out of
their own resources what might be needed for the success of the fete.
The club cook and the steward listened to the count?s orders with
pleased faces, for they knew that under no other management could they
so easily extract a good profit for themselves from a dinner costing
several thousand rubles.

?Well then, mind and have cocks? comb in the turtle soup, you

?Shall we have three cold dishes then?? asked the cook.

The count considered.

?We can?t have less?yes, three... the mayonnaise, that?s one,?
said he, bending down a finger.

?Then am I to order those large sterlets?? asked the steward.

?Yes, it can?t be helped if they won?t take less. Ah, dear me! I
was forgetting. We must have another entrée. Ah, goodness gracious!?
he clutched at his head. ?Who is going to get me the flowers? Dmítri!
Eh, Dmítri! Gallop off to our Moscow estate,? he said to the factotum
who appeared at his call. ?Hurry off and tell Maksím, the gardener,
to set the serfs to work. Say that everything out of the hothouses must
be brought here well wrapped up in felt. I must have two hundred pots
here on Friday.?

Having given several more orders, he was about to go to his ?little
countess? to have a rest, but remembering something else of
importance, he returned again, called back the cook and the club
steward, and again began giving orders. A light footstep and the
clinking of spurs were heard at the door, and the young count, handsome,
rosy, with a dark little mustache, evidently rested and made sleeker by
his easy life in Moscow, entered the room.

?Ah, my boy, my head?s in a whirl!? said the old man with a smile,
as if he felt a little confused before his son. ?Now, if you would
only help a bit! I must have singers too. I shall have my own orchestra,
but shouldn?t we get the gypsy singers as well? You military men like
that sort of thing.?

?Really, Papa, I believe Prince Bagratión worried himself less before
the battle of Schön Grabern than you do now,? said his son with a

The old count pretended to be angry.

?Yes, you talk, but try it yourself!?

And the count turned to the cook, who, with a shrewd and respectful
expression, looked observantly and sympathetically at the father and

?What have the young people come to nowadays, eh, Feoktíst?? said
he. ?Laughing at us old fellows!?

?That?s so, your excellency, all they have to do is to eat a good
dinner, but providing it and serving it all up, that?s not their

?That?s it, that?s it!? exclaimed the count, and gaily seizing
his son by both hands, he cried, ?Now I?ve got you, so take the
sleigh and pair at once, and go to Bezúkhov?s, and tell him ?Count
Ilyá has sent you to ask for strawberries and fresh pineapples.? We
can?t get them from anyone else. He?s not there himself, so you?ll
have to go in and ask the princesses; and from there go on to the
Rasgulyáy?the coachman Ipátka knows?and look up the gypsy
Ilyúshka, the one who danced at Count Orlóv?s, you remember, in a
white Cossack coat, and bring him along to me.?

?And am I to bring the gypsy girls along with him?? asked Nicholas,
laughing. ?Dear, dear!...?

At that moment, with noiseless footsteps and with the businesslike,
preoccupied, yet meekly Christian look which never left her face, Anna
Mikháylovna entered the hall. Though she came upon the count in his
dressing gown every day, he invariably became confused and begged her to
excuse his costume.

?No matter at all, my dear count,? she said, meekly closing her
eyes. ?But I?ll go to Bezúkhov?s myself. Pierre has arrived, and
now we shall get anything we want from his hothouses. I have to see him
in any case. He has forwarded me a letter from Borís. Thank God, Borís
is now on the staff.?

The count was delighted at Anna Mikháylovna?s taking upon herself one
of his commissions and ordered the small closed carriage for her.

?Tell Bezúkhov to come. I?ll put his name down. Is his wife with
him?? he asked.

Anna Mikháylovna turned up her eyes, and profound sadness was depicted
on her face.

?Ah, my dear friend, he is very unfortunate,? she said. ?If what
we hear is true, it is dreadful. How little we dreamed of such a thing
when we were rejoicing at his happiness! And such a lofty angelic soul
as young Bezúkhov! Yes, I pity him from my heart, and shall try to give
him what consolation I can.?

?Wh-what is the matter?? asked both the young and old Rostóv.

Anna Mikháylovna sighed deeply.

?Dólokhov, Mary Ivánovna?s son,? she said in a mysterious
whisper, ?has compromised her completely, they say. Pierre took him
up, invited him to his house in Petersburg, and now... she has come here
and that daredevil after her!? said Anna Mikháylovna, wishing to show
her sympathy for Pierre, but by involuntary intonations and a half smile
betraying her sympathy for the ?daredevil,? as she called Dólokhov.
?They say Pierre is quite broken by his misfortune.?

?Dear, dear! But still tell him to come to the club?it will all blow
over. It will be a tremendous banquet.?

Next day, the third of March, soon after one o?clock, two hundred and
fifty members of the English Club and fifty guests were awaiting the
guest of honor and hero of the Austrian campaign, Prince Bagratión, to

On the first arrival of the news of the battle of Austerlitz, Moscow had
been bewildered. At that time, the Russians were so used to victories
that on receiving news of the defeat some would simply not believe it,
while others sought some extraordinary explanation of so strange an
event. In the English Club, where all who were distinguished, important,
and well informed foregathered when the news began to arrive in
December, nothing was said about the war and the last battle, as
though all were in a conspiracy of silence. The men who set the tone
in conversation?Count Rostopchín, Prince Yúri Dolgorúkov, Valúev,
Count Markóv, and Prince Vyázemski?did not show themselves at the
club, but met in private houses in intimate circles, and the
Moscovites who took their opinions from others?Ilyá Rostóv among
them?remained for a while without any definite opinion on the subject
of the war and without leaders. The Moscovites felt that something was
wrong and that to discuss the bad news was difficult, and so it was best
to be silent. But after a while, just as a jury comes out of its room,
the bigwigs who guided the club?s opinion reappeared, and everybody
began speaking clearly and definitely. Reasons were found for the
incredible, unheard-of, and impossible event of a Russian defeat,
everything became clear, and in all corners of Moscow the same things
began to be said. These reasons were the treachery of the Austrians, a
defective commissariat, the treachery of the Pole Przebyszéwski and of
the Frenchman Langeron, Kutúzov?s incapacity, and (it was whispered)
the youth and inexperience of the sovereign, who had trusted worthless
and insignificant people. But the army, the Russian army, everyone
declared, was extraordinary and had achieved miracles of valor. The
soldiers, officers, and generals were heroes. But the hero of heroes was
Prince Bagratión, distinguished by his Schön Grabern affair and by
the retreat from Austerlitz, where he alone had withdrawn his column
unbroken and had all day beaten back an enemy force twice as numerous
as his own. What also conduced to Bagratión?s being selected as
Moscow?s hero was the fact that he had no connections in the city
and was a stranger there. In his person, honor was shown to a simple
fighting Russian soldier without connections and intrigues, and to one
who was associated by memories of the Italian campaign with the name of
Suvórov. Moreover, paying such honor to Bagratión was the best way of
expressing disapproval and dislike of Kutúzov.

?Had there been no Bagratión, it would have been necessary to
invent him,? said the wit Shinshín, parodying the words of Voltaire.
Kutúzov no one spoke of, except some who abused him in whispers,
calling him a court weathercock and an old satyr.

All Moscow repeated Prince Dolgorúkov?s saying: ?If you go on
modeling and modeling you must get smeared with clay,? suggesting
consolation for our defeat by the memory of former victories; and the
words of Rostopchín, that French soldiers have to be incited to battle
by highfalutin words, and Germans by logical arguments to show them
that it is more dangerous to run away than to advance, but that Russian
soldiers only need to be restrained and held back! On all sides, new and
fresh anecdotes were heard of individual examples of heroism shown by
our officers and men at Austerlitz. One had saved a standard, another
had killed five Frenchmen, a third had loaded five cannon singlehanded.
Berg was mentioned, by those who did not know him, as having, when
wounded in the right hand, taken his sword in the left, and gone
forward. Of Bolkónski, nothing was said, and only those who knew him
intimately regretted that he had died so young, leaving a pregnant wife
with his eccentric father.


On that third of March, all the rooms in the English Club were filled
with a hum of conversation, like the hum of bees swarming in springtime.
The members and guests of the club wandered hither and thither, sat,
stood, met, and separated, some in uniform and some in evening dress,
and a few here and there with powdered hair and in Russian kaftáns.
Powdered footmen, in livery with buckled shoes and smart stockings,
stood at every door anxiously noting visitors? every movement in order
to offer their services. Most of those present were elderly, respected
men with broad, self-confident faces, fat fingers, and resolute gestures
and voices. This class of guests and members sat in certain habitual
places and met in certain habitual groups. A minority of those present
were casual guests?chiefly young men, among whom were Denísov,
Rostóv, and Dólokhov?who was now again an officer in the Semënov
regiment. The faces of these young people, especially those who were
military men, bore that expression of condescending respect for their
elders which seems to say to the older generation, ?We are prepared to
respect and honor you, but all the same remember that the future belongs
to us.?

Nesvítski was there as an old member of the club. Pierre, who at his
wife?s command had let his hair grow and abandoned his spectacles,
went about the rooms fashionably dressed but looking sad and dull. Here,
as elsewhere, he was surrounded by an atmosphere of subservience to
his wealth, and being in the habit of lording it over these people, he
treated them with absent-minded contempt.

By his age he should have belonged to the younger men, but by his wealth
and connections he belonged to the groups of old and honored guests, and
so he went from one group to another. Some of the most important old men
were the center of groups which even strangers approached respectfully
to hear the voices of well-known men. The largest circles formed round
Count Rostopchín, Valúev, and Narýshkin. Rostopchín was describing
how the Russians had been overwhelmed by flying Austrians and had had to
force their way through them with bayonets.

Valúev was confidentially telling that Uvárov had been sent from
Petersburg to ascertain what Moscow was thinking about Austerlitz.

In the third circle, Narýshkin was speaking of the meeting of the
Austrian Council of War at which Suvórov crowed like a cock in reply to
the nonsense talked by the Austrian generals. Shinshín, standing close
by, tried to make a joke, saying that Kutúzov had evidently failed to
learn from Suvórov even so simple a thing as the art of crowing like a
cock, but the elder members glanced severely at the wit, making him
feel that in that place and on that day, it was improper to speak so of

Count Ilyá Rostóv, hurried and preoccupied, went about in his soft
boots between the dining and drawing rooms, hastily greeting the
important and unimportant, all of whom he knew, as if they were all
equals, while his eyes occasionally sought out his fine well-set-up
young son, resting on him and winking joyfully at him. Young Rostóv
stood at a window with Dólokhov, whose acquaintance he had lately
made and highly valued. The old count came up to them and pressed
Dólokhov?s hand.

?Please come and visit us... you know my brave boy... been together
out there... both playing the hero... Ah, Vasíli Ignátovich...
How d?ye do, old fellow?? he said, turning to an old man who was
passing, but before he had finished his greeting there was a general
stir, and a footman who had run in announced, with a frightened face:
?He?s arrived!?

Bells rang, the stewards rushed forward, and?like rye shaken together
in a shovel?the guests who had been scattered about in different rooms
came together and crowded in the large drawing room by the door of the

Bagratión appeared in the doorway of the anteroom without hat or sword,
which, in accord with the club custom, he had given up to the hall
porter. He had no lambskin cap on his head, nor had he a loaded whip
over his shoulder, as when Rostóv had seen him on the eve of the battle
of Austerlitz, but wore a tight new uniform with Russian and foreign
Orders, and the Star of St. George on his left breast. Evidently just
before coming to the dinner he had had his hair and whiskers trimmed,
which changed his appearance for the worse. There was something naïvely
festive in his air, which, in conjunction with his firm and virile
features, gave him a rather comical expression. Bekleshëv and Theodore
Uvárov, who had arrived with him, paused at the doorway to allow him,
as the guest of honor, to enter first. Bagratión was embarrassed, not
wishing to avail himself of their courtesy, and this caused some delay
at the doors, but after all he did at last enter first. He walked shyly
and awkwardly over the parquet floor of the reception room, not knowing
what to do with his hands; he was more accustomed to walk over a plowed
field under fire, as he had done at the head of the Kursk regiment at
Schön Grabern?and he would have found that easier. The committeemen
met him at the first door and, expressing their delight at seeing such a
highly honored guest, took possession of him as it were, without waiting
for his reply, surrounded him, and led him to the drawing room. It was
at first impossible to enter the drawing room door for the crowd of
members and guests jostling one another and trying to get a good look
at Bagratión over each other?s shoulders, as if he were some rare
animal. Count Ilyá Rostóv, laughing and repeating the words, ?Make
way, dear boy! Make way, make way!? pushed through the crowd more
energetically than anyone, led the guests into the drawing room, and
seated them on the center sofa. The bigwigs, the most respected members
of the club, beset the new arrivals. Count Ilyá, again thrusting his
way through the crowd, went out of the drawing room and reappeared a
minute later with another committeeman, carrying a large silver salver
which he presented to Prince Bagratión. On the salver lay some verses
composed and printed in the hero?s honor. Bagratión, on seeing the
salver, glanced around in dismay, as though seeking help. But all eyes
demanded that he should submit. Feeling himself in their power, he
resolutely took the salver with both hands and looked sternly and
reproachfully at the count who had presented it to him. Someone
obligingly took the dish from Bagratión (or he would, it seemed, have
held it till evening and have gone in to dinner with it) and drew his
attention to the verses.

?Well, I will read them, then!? Bagratión seemed to say, and,
fixing his weary eyes on the paper, began to read them with a fixed and
serious expression. But the author himself took the verses and began
reading them aloud. Bagratión bowed his head and listened:

   Bring glory then to Alexander?s reign
   And on the throne our Titus shield.
   A dreaded foe be thou, kindhearted as a man,
   A Rhipheus at home, a Caesar in the field!
   E?en fortunate Napoleon
   Knows by experience, now, Bagratión,
   And dare not Herculean Russians trouble...

But before he had finished reading, a stentorian major-domo announced
that dinner was ready! The door opened, and from the dining room came
the resounding strains of the polonaise:

   Conquest?s joyful thunder waken,
   Triumph, valiant Russians, now!...

and Count Rostóv, glancing angrily at the author who went on reading
his verses, bowed to Bagratión. Everyone rose, feeling that dinner
was more important than verses, and Bagratión, again preceding all the
rest, went in to dinner. He was seated in the place of honor between
two Alexanders?Bekleshëv and Narýshkin?which was a significant
allusion to the name of the sovereign. Three hundred persons took their
seats in the dining room, according to their rank and importance: the
more important nearer to the honored guest, as naturally as water flows
deepest where the land lies lowest.

Just before dinner, Count Ilyá Rostóv presented his son to Bagratión,
who recognized him and said a few words to him, disjointed and awkward,
as were all the words he spoke that day, and Count Ilyá looked joyfully
and proudly around while Bagratión spoke to his son.

Nicholas Rostóv, with Denísov and his new acquaintance, Dólokhov, sat
almost at the middle of the table. Facing them sat Pierre, beside Prince
Nesvítski. Count Ilyá Rostóv with the other members of the committee
sat facing Bagratión and, as the very personification of Moscow
hospitality, did the honors to the prince.

His efforts had not been in vain. The dinner, both the Lenten and the
other fare, was splendid, yet he could not feel quite at ease till the
end of the meal. He winked at the butler, whispered directions to the
footmen, and awaited each expected dish with some anxiety. Everything
was excellent. With the second course, a gigantic sterlet (at sight of
which Ilyá Rostóv blushed with self-conscious pleasure), the footmen
began popping corks and filling the champagne glasses. After the fish,
which made a certain sensation, the count exchanged glances with
the other committeemen. ?There will be many toasts, it?s time to
begin,? he whispered, and taking up his glass, he rose. All were
silent, waiting for what he would say.

?To the health of our Sovereign, the Emperor!? he cried, and at the
same moment his kindly eyes grew moist with tears of joy and enthusiasm.
The band immediately struck up ?Conquest?s joyful thunder
waken...? All rose and cried ?Hurrah!? Bagratión also rose and
shouted ?Hurrah!? in exactly the same voice in which he had shouted
it on the field at Schön Grabern. Young Rostóv?s ecstatic voice
could be heard above the three hundred others. He nearly wept. ?To the
health of our Sovereign, the Emperor!? he roared, ?Hurrah!? and
emptying his glass at one gulp he dashed it to the floor. Many followed
his example, and the loud shouting continued for a long time. When the
voices subsided, the footmen cleared away the broken glass and everybody
sat down again, smiling at the noise they had made and exchanging
remarks. The old count rose once more, glanced at a note lying beside
his plate, and proposed a toast, ?To the health of the hero of our
last campaign, Prince Peter Ivánovich Bagratión!? and again his blue
eyes grew moist. ?Hurrah!? cried the three hundred voices again,
but instead of the band a choir began singing a cantata composed by Paul
Ivánovich Kutúzov:

   Russians! O?er all barriers on!
   Courage conquest guarantees;
   Have we not Bagratión?
   He brings foemen to their knees,... etc.

As soon as the singing was over, another and another toast was proposed
and Count Ilyá Rostóv became more and more moved, more glass was
smashed, and the shouting grew louder. They drank to Bekleshëv,
Narýshkin, Uvárov, Dolgorúkov, Apráksin, Valúev, to the committee,
to all the club members and to all the club guests, and finally to
Count Ilyá Rostóv separately, as the organizer of the banquet. At that
toast, the count took out his handkerchief and, covering his face, wept


Pierre sat opposite Dólokhov and Nicholas Rostóv. As usual, he ate and
drank much, and eagerly. But those who knew him intimately noticed that
some great change had come over him that day. He was silent all through
dinner and looked about, blinking and scowling, or, with fixed eyes and
a look of complete absent-mindedness, kept rubbing the bridge of his
nose. His face was depressed and gloomy. He seemed to see and hear
nothing of what was going on around him and to be absorbed by some
depressing and unsolved problem.

The unsolved problem that tormented him was caused by hints given by the
princess, his cousin, at Moscow, concerning Dólokhov?s intimacy with
his wife, and by an anonymous letter he had received that morning, which
in the mean jocular way common to anonymous letters said that he saw
badly through his spectacles, but that his wife?s connection with
Dólokhov was a secret to no one but himself. Pierre absolutely
disbelieved both the princess? hints and the letter, but he feared
now to look at Dólokhov, who was sitting opposite him. Every time
he chanced to meet Dólokhov?s handsome insolent eyes, Pierre felt
something terrible and monstrous rising in his soul and turned quickly
away. Involuntarily recalling his wife?s past and her relations with
Dólokhov, Pierre saw clearly that what was said in the letter might be
true, or might at least seem to be true had it not referred to his wife.
He involuntarily remembered how Dólokhov, who had fully recovered his
former position after the campaign, had returned to Petersburg and come
to him. Availing himself of his friendly relations with Pierre as a boon
companion, Dólokhov had come straight to his house, and Pierre had put
him up and lent him money. Pierre recalled how Hélène had smilingly
expressed disapproval of Dólokhov?s living at their house, and how
cynically Dólokhov had praised his wife?s beauty to him and from that
time till they came to Moscow had not left them for a day.

?Yes, he is very handsome,? thought Pierre, ?and I know him. It
would be particularly pleasant to him to dishonor my name and ridicule
me, just because I have exerted myself on his behalf, befriended him,
and helped him. I know and understand what a spice that would add to the
pleasure of deceiving me, if it really were true. Yes, if it were true,
but I do not believe it. I have no right to, and can?t, believe it.?
He remembered the expression Dólokhov?s face assumed in his moments
of cruelty, as when tying the policeman to the bear and dropping them
into the water, or when he challenged a man to a duel without any
reason, or shot a post-boy?s horse with a pistol. That expression
was often on Dólokhov?s face when looking at him. ?Yes, he is a
bully,? thought Pierre, ?to kill a man means nothing to him. It must
seem to him that everyone is afraid of him, and that must please him.
He must think that I, too, am afraid of him?and in fact I am afraid of
him,? he thought, and again he felt something terrible and monstrous
rising in his soul. Dólokhov, Denísov, and Rostóv were now sitting
opposite Pierre and seemed very gay. Rostóv was talking merrily to his
two friends, one of whom was a dashing hussar and the other a notorious
duelist and rake, and every now and then he glanced ironically at
Pierre, whose preoccupied, absent-minded, and massive figure was a very
noticeable one at the dinner. Rostóv looked inimically at Pierre,
first because Pierre appeared to his hussar eyes as a rich civilian, the
husband of a beauty, and in a word?an old woman; and secondly because
Pierre in his preoccupation and absent-mindedness had not recognized
Rostóv and had not responded to his greeting. When the Emperor?s
health was drunk, Pierre, lost in thought, did not rise or lift his

?What are you about?? shouted Rostóv, looking at him in an ecstasy
of exasperation. ?Don?t you hear it?s His Majesty the Emperor?s

Pierre sighed, rose submissively, emptied his glass, and, waiting till
all were seated again, turned with his kindly smile to Rostóv.

?Why, I didn?t recognize you!? he said. But Rostóv was otherwise
engaged; he was shouting ?Hurrah!?

?Why don?t you renew the acquaintance?? said Dólokhov to Rostóv.

?Confound him, he?s a fool!? said Rostóv.

?One should make up to the husbands of pretty women,? said Denísov.

Pierre did not catch what they were saying, but knew they were talking
about him. He reddened and turned away.

?Well, now to the health of handsome women!? said Dólokhov, and
with a serious expression, but with a smile lurking at the corners of
his mouth, he turned with his glass to Pierre.

?Here?s to the health of lovely women, Peterkin?and their
lovers!? he added.

Pierre, with downcast eyes, drank out of his glass without looking at
Dólokhov or answering him. The footman, who was distributing leaflets
with Kutúzov?s cantata, laid one before Pierre as one of the
principal guests. He was just going to take it when Dólokhov, leaning
across, snatched it from his hand and began reading it. Pierre looked
at Dólokhov and his eyes dropped, the something terrible and monstrous
that had tormented him all dinnertime rose and took possession of him.
He leaned his whole massive body across the table.

?How dare you take it?? he shouted.

Hearing that cry and seeing to whom it was addressed, Nesvítski and the
neighbor on his right quickly turned in alarm to Bezúkhov.

?Don?t! Don?t! What are you about?? whispered their frightened

Dólokhov looked at Pierre with clear, mirthful, cruel eyes, and that
smile of his which seemed to say, ?Ah! This is what I like!?

?You shan?t have it!? he said distinctly.

Pale, with quivering lips, Pierre snatched the copy.

?You...! you... scoundrel! I challenge you!? he ejaculated, and,
pushing back his chair, he rose from the table.

At the very instant he did this and uttered those words, Pierre felt
that the question of his wife?s guilt which had been tormenting him
the whole day was finally and indubitably answered in the affirmative.
He hated her and was forever sundered from her. Despite Denísov?s
request that he would take no part in the matter, Rostóv agreed to be
Dólokhov?s second, and after dinner he discussed the arrangements for
the duel with Nesvítski, Bezúkhov?s second. Pierre went home, but
Rostóv with Dólokhov and Denísov stayed on at the club till late,
listening to the gypsies and other singers.

?Well then, till tomorrow at Sokólniki,? said Dólokhov, as he took
leave of Rostóv in the club porch.

?And do you feel quite calm?? Rostóv asked.

Dólokhov paused.

?Well, you see, I?ll tell you the whole secret of dueling in two
words. If you are going to fight a duel, and you make a will and write
affectionate letters to your parents, and if you think you may be
killed, you are a fool and are lost for certain. But go with the firm
intention of killing your man as quickly and surely as possible, and
then all will be right, as our bear huntsman at Kostromá used to tell
me. ?Everyone fears a bear,? he says, ?but when you see one your
fear?s all gone, and your only thought is not to let him get away!?
And that?s how it is with me. À demain, mon cher.? *

    * Till tomorrow, my dear fellow.

Next day, at eight in the morning, Pierre and Nesvítski drove to the
Sokólniki forest and found Dólokhov, Denísov, and Rostóv already
there. Pierre had the air of a man preoccupied with considerations which
had no connection with the matter in hand. His haggard face was yellow.
He had evidently not slept that night. He looked about distractedly and
screwed up his eyes as if dazzled by the sun. He was entirely absorbed
by two considerations: his wife?s guilt, of which after his sleepless
night he had not the slightest doubt, and the guiltlessness of
Dólokhov, who had no reason to preserve the honor of a man who was
nothing to him.... ?I should perhaps have done the same thing in his
place,? thought Pierre. ?It?s even certain that I should have done
the same, then why this duel, this murder? Either I shall kill him, or
he will hit me in the head, or elbow, or knee. Can?t I go away from
here, run away, bury myself somewhere?? passed through his mind. But
just at moments when such thoughts occurred to him, he would ask in a
particularly calm and absent-minded way, which inspired the respect of
the onlookers, ?Will it be long? Are things ready??

When all was ready, the sabers stuck in the snow to mark the barriers,
and the pistols loaded, Nesvítski went up to Pierre.

?I should not be doing my duty, Count,? he said in timid tones,
?and should not justify your confidence and the honor you have done
me in choosing me for your second, if at this grave, this very
grave, moment I did not tell you the whole truth. I think there is no
sufficient ground for this affair, or for blood to be shed over it....
You were not right, not quite in the right, you were impetuous...?

?Oh yes, it is horribly stupid,? said Pierre.

?Then allow me to express your regrets, and I am sure your opponent
will accept them,? said Nesvítski (who like the others concerned in
the affair, and like everyone in similar cases, did not yet believe that
the affair had come to an actual duel). ?You know, Count, it is much
more honorable to admit one?s mistake than to let matters become
irreparable. There was no insult on either side. Allow me to

?No! What is there to talk about?? said Pierre. ?It?s all the
same.... Is everything ready?? he added. ?Only tell me where to go
and where to shoot,? he said with an unnaturally gentle smile.

He took the pistol in his hand and began asking about the working of the
trigger, as he had not before held a pistol in his hand?a fact that he
did not wish to confess.

?Oh yes, like that, I know, I only forgot,? said he.

?No apologies, none whatever,? said Dólokhov to Denísov (who on
his side had been attempting a reconciliation), and he also went up to
the appointed place.

The spot chosen for the duel was some eighty paces from the road,
where the sleighs had been left, in a small clearing in the pine forest
covered with melting snow, the frost having begun to break up during the
last few days. The antagonists stood forty paces apart at the farther
edge of the clearing. The seconds, measuring the paces, left tracks in
the deep wet snow between the place where they had been standing and
Nesvítski?s and Dólokhov?s sabers, which were stuck into the
ground ten paces apart to mark the barrier. It was thawing and misty; at
forty paces? distance nothing could be seen. For three minutes all had
been ready, but they still delayed and all were silent.


?Well begin!? said Dólokhov.

?All right,? said Pierre, still smiling in the same way. A feeling
of dread was in the air. It was evident that the affair so lightly begun
could no longer be averted but was taking its course independently of
men?s will.

Denísov first went to the barrier and announced: ?As the
adve?sawies have wefused a weconciliation, please pwoceed. Take your
pistols, and at the word thwee begin to advance.

?O-ne! T-wo! Thwee!? he shouted angrily and stepped aside.

The combatants advanced along the trodden tracks, nearer and nearer to
one another, beginning to see one another through the mist. They had the
right to fire when they liked as they approached the barrier. Dólokhov
walked slowly without raising his pistol, looking intently with his
bright, sparkling blue eyes into his antagonist?s face. His mouth wore
its usual semblance of a smile.

?So I can fire when I like!? said Pierre, and at the word
?three,? he went quickly forward, missing the trodden path and
stepping into the deep snow. He held the pistol in his right hand at
arm?s length, apparently afraid of shooting himself with it. His left
hand he held carefully back, because he wished to support his right
hand with it and knew he must not do so. Having advanced six paces and
strayed off the track into the snow, Pierre looked down at his feet,
then quickly glanced at Dólokhov and, bending his finger as he had been
shown, fired. Not at all expecting so loud a report, Pierre shuddered
at the sound and then, smiling at his own sensations, stood still. The
smoke, rendered denser by the mist, prevented him from seeing anything
for an instant, but there was no second report as he had expected. He
only heard Dólokhov?s hurried steps, and his figure came in view
through the smoke. He was pressing one hand to his left side, while
the other clutched his drooping pistol. His face was pale. Rostóv ran
toward him and said something.

?No-o-o!? muttered Dólokhov through his teeth, ?no, it?s not
over.? And after stumbling a few staggering steps right up to the
saber, he sank on the snow beside it. His left hand was bloody; he wiped
it on his coat and supported himself with it. His frowning face was
pallid and quivered.

?Plea...? began Dólokhov, but could not at first pronounce the

?Please,? he uttered with an effort.

Pierre, hardly restraining his sobs, began running toward Dólokhov and
was about to cross the space between the barriers, when Dólokhov cried:

?To your barrier!? and Pierre, grasping what was meant, stopped by
his saber. Only ten paces divided them. Dólokhov lowered his head to
the snow, greedily bit at it, again raised his head, adjusted himself,
drew in his legs and sat up, seeking a firm center of gravity. He sucked
and swallowed the cold snow, his lips quivered but his eyes, still
smiling, glittered with effort and exasperation as he mustered his
remaining strength. He raised his pistol and aimed.

?Sideways! Cover yourself with your pistol!? ejaculated Nesvítski.

?Cover yourself!? even Denísov cried to his adversary.

Pierre, with a gentle smile of pity and remorse, his arms and legs
helplessly spread out, stood with his broad chest directly facing
Dólokhov and looked sorrowfully at him. Denísov, Rostóv, and
Nesvítski closed their eyes. At the same instant they heard a report
and Dólokhov?s angry cry.

?Missed!? shouted Dólokhov, and he lay helplessly, face downwards
on the snow.

Pierre clutched his temples, and turning round went into the forest,
trampling through the deep snow, and muttering incoherent words:

?Folly... folly! Death... lies...? he repeated, puckering his face.

Nesvítski stopped him and took him home.

Rostóv and Denísov drove away with the wounded Dólokhov.

The latter lay silent in the sleigh with closed eyes and did not answer
a word to the questions addressed to him. But on entering Moscow he
suddenly came to and, lifting his head with an effort, took Rostóv, who
was sitting beside him, by the hand. Rostóv was struck by the
totally altered and unexpectedly rapturous and tender expression on
Dólokhov?s face.

?Well? How do you feel?? he asked.

?Bad! But it?s not that, my friend?? said Dólokhov with a
gasping voice. ?Where are we? In Moscow, I know. I don?t matter,
but I have killed her, killed... She won?t get over it! She won?t

?Who?? asked Rostóv.

?My mother! My mother, my angel, my adored angel mother,? and
Dólokhov pressed Rostóv?s hand and burst into tears.

When he had become a little quieter, he explained to Rostóv that he was
living with his mother, who, if she saw him dying, would not survive it.
He implored Rostóv to go on and prepare her.

Rostóv went on ahead to do what was asked, and to his great surprise
learned that Dólokhov the brawler, Dólokhov the bully, lived in Moscow
with an old mother and a hunchback sister, and was the most affectionate
of sons and brothers.


Pierre had of late rarely seen his wife alone. Both in Petersburg and in
Moscow their house was always full of visitors. The night after the
duel he did not go to his bedroom but, as he often did, remained in his
father?s room, that huge room in which Count Bezúkhov had died.

He lay down on the sofa meaning to fall asleep and forget all that
had happened to him, but could not do so. Such a storm of feelings,
thoughts, and memories suddenly arose within him that he could not fall
asleep, nor even remain in one place, but had to jump up and pace the
room with rapid steps. Now he seemed to see her in the early days of
their marriage, with bare shoulders and a languid, passionate look on
her face, and then immediately he saw beside her Dólokhov?s handsome,
insolent, hard, and mocking face as he had seen it at the banquet, and
then that same face pale, quivering, and suffering, as it had been when
he reeled and sank on the snow.

?What has happened?? he asked himself. ?I have killed her lover,
yes, killed my wife?s lover. Yes, that was it! And why? How did I come
to do it????Because you married her,? answered an inner voice.

?But in what was I to blame?? he asked. ?In marrying her without
loving her; in deceiving yourself and her.? And he vividly recalled
that moment after supper at Prince Vasíli?s, when he spoke those
words he had found so difficult to utter: ?I love you.? ?It all
comes from that! Even then I felt it,? he thought. ?I felt then that
it was not so, that I had no right to do it. And so it turns out.?

He remembered his honeymoon and blushed at the recollection.
Particularly vivid, humiliating, and shameful was the recollection of
how one day soon after his marriage he came out of the bedroom into his
study a little before noon in his silk dressing gown and found his head
steward there, who, bowing respectfully, looked into his face and at
his dressing gown and smiled slightly, as if expressing respectful
understanding of his employer?s happiness.

?But how often I have felt proud of her, proud of her majestic beauty
and social tact,? thought he; ?been proud of my house, in which she
received all Petersburg, proud of her unapproachability and beauty. So
this is what I was proud of! I then thought that I did not understand
her. How often when considering her character I have told myself that
I was to blame for not understanding her, for not understanding that
constant composure and complacency and lack of all interests or desires,
and the whole secret lies in the terrible truth that she is a depraved
woman. Now I have spoken that terrible word to myself all has become

?Anatole used to come to borrow money from her and used to kiss her
naked shoulders. She did not give him the money, but let herself be
kissed. Her father in jest tried to rouse her jealousy, and she replied
with a calm smile that she was not so stupid as to be jealous: ?Let
him do what he pleases,? she used to say of me. One day I asked her if
she felt any symptoms of pregnancy. She laughed contemptuously and said
she was not a fool to want to have children, and that she was not going
to have any children by me.?

Then he recalled the coarseness and bluntness of her thoughts and the
vulgarity of the expressions that were natural to her, though she had
been brought up in the most aristocratic circles.

?I?m not such a fool.... Just you try it on.... Allez-vous
promener,? * she used to say. Often seeing the success she had with
young and old men and women Pierre could not understand why he did not
love her.

    * ?You clear out of this.?

?Yes, I never loved her,? said he to himself; ?I knew she was a
depraved woman,? he repeated, ?but dared not admit it to myself.
And now there?s Dólokhov sitting in the snow with a forced smile and
perhaps dying, while meeting my remorse with some forced bravado!?

Pierre was one of those people who, in spite of an appearance of what
is called weak character, do not seek a confidant in their troubles. He
digested his sufferings alone.

?It is all, all her fault,? he said to himself; ?but what of that?
Why did I bind myself to her? Why did I say ?Je vous aime? * to her,
which was a lie, and worse than a lie? I am guilty and must endure...
what? A slur on my name? A misfortune for life? Oh, that?s
nonsense,? he thought. ?The slur on my name and honor?that?s all
apart from myself.?

    * I love you.

?Louis XVI was executed because they said he was dishonorable and a
criminal,? came into Pierre?s head, ?and from their point of
view they were right, as were those too who canonized him and died a
martyr?s death for his sake. Then Robespierre was beheaded for being
a despot. Who is right and who is wrong? No one! But if you are
alive?live: tomorrow you?ll die as I might have died an hour ago.
And is it worth tormenting oneself, when one has only a moment of life
in comparison with eternity??

But at the moment when he imagined himself calmed by such reflections,
she suddenly came into his mind as she was at the moments when he had
most strongly expressed his insincere love for her, and he felt the
blood rush to his heart and had again to get up and move about and break
and tear whatever came to his hand. ?Why did I tell her that ?Je
vous aime??? he kept repeating to himself. And when he had said it
for the tenth time, Molière?s words: ?Mais que diable allait-il
faire dans cette galère?? * occurred to him, and he began to laugh at

      * ?But what the devil was he doing in that galley??

In the night he called his valet and told him to pack up to go to
Petersburg. He could not imagine how he could speak to her now. He
resolved to go away next day and leave a letter informing her of his
intention to part from her forever.

Next morning when the valet came into the room with his coffee, Pierre
was lying asleep on the ottoman with an open book in his hand.

He woke up and looked round for a while with a startled expression,
unable to realize where he was.

?The countess told me to inquire whether your excellency was at
home,? said the valet.

But before Pierre could decide what answer he would send, the countess
herself in a white satin dressing gown embroidered with silver and with
simply dressed hair (two immense plaits twice round her lovely head like
a coronet) entered the room, calm and majestic, except that there was
a wrathful wrinkle on her rather prominent marble brow. With her
imperturbable calm she did not begin to speak in front of the valet.
She knew of the duel and had come to speak about it. She waited till the
valet had set down the coffee things and left the room. Pierre looked
at her timidly over his spectacles, and like a hare surrounded by hounds
who lays back her ears and continues to crouch motionless before her
enemies, he tried to continue reading. But feeling this to be senseless
and impossible, he again glanced timidly at her. She did not sit down
but looked at him with a contemptuous smile, waiting for the valet to

?Well, what?s this now? What have you been up to now, I should like
to know?? she asked sternly.

?I? What have I...?? stammered Pierre.

?So it seems you?re a hero, eh? Come now, what was this duel about?
What is it meant to prove? What? I ask you.?

Pierre turned over heavily on the ottoman and opened his mouth, but
could not reply.

?If you won?t answer, I?ll tell you...? Hélène went on. ?You
believe everything you?re told. You were told...? Hélène laughed,
?that Dólokhov was my lover,? she said in French with her coarse
plainness of speech, uttering the word amant as casually as any other
word, ?and you believed it! Well, what have you proved? What does this
duel prove? That you?re a fool, que vous êtes un sot, but everybody
knew that. What will be the result? That I shall be the laughingstock of
all Moscow, that everyone will say that you, drunk and not knowing what
you were about, challenged a man you are jealous of without cause.?
Hélène raised her voice and became more and more excited, ?A man
who?s a better man than you in every way...?

?Hm... Hm...!? growled Pierre, frowning without looking at her, and
not moving a muscle.

?And how could you believe he was my lover? Why? Because I like
his company? If you were cleverer and more agreeable, I should prefer

?Don?t speak to me... I beg you,? muttered Pierre hoarsely.

?Why shouldn?t I speak? I can speak as I like, and I tell you
plainly that there are not many wives with husbands such as you who
would not have taken lovers (des amants), but I have not done so,?
said she.

Pierre wished to say something, looked at her with eyes whose strange
expression she did not understand, and lay down again. He was suffering
physically at that moment, there was a weight on his chest and he could
not breathe. He knew that he must do something to put an end to this
suffering, but what he wanted to do was too terrible.

?We had better separate,? he muttered in a broken voice.

?Separate? Very well, but only if you give me a fortune,? said
Hélène. ?Separate! That?s a thing to frighten me with!?

Pierre leaped up from the sofa and rushed staggering toward her.

?I?ll kill you!? he shouted, and seizing the marble top of a table
with a strength he had never before felt, he made a step toward her
brandishing the slab.

Hélène?s face became terrible, she shrieked and sprang aside. His
father?s nature showed itself in Pierre. He felt the fascination and
delight of frenzy. He flung down the slab, broke it, and swooping
down on her with outstretched hands shouted, ?Get out!? in such a
terrible voice that the whole house heard it with horror. God knows what
he would have done at that moment had Hélène not fled from the room.

A week later Pierre gave his wife full power to control all his estates
in Great Russia, which formed the larger part of his property, and left
for Petersburg alone.


Two months had elapsed since the news of the battle of Austerlitz and
the loss of Prince Andrew had reached Bald Hills, and in spite of the
letters sent through the embassy and all the searches made, his body had
not been found nor was he on the list of prisoners. What was worst of
all for his relations was the fact that there was still a possibility of
his having been picked up on the battlefield by the people of the
place and that he might now be lying, recovering or dying, alone among
strangers and unable to send news of himself. The gazettes from which
the old prince first heard of the defeat at Austerlitz stated, as usual
very briefly and vaguely, that after brilliant engagements the Russians
had had to retreat and had made their withdrawal in perfect order. The
old prince understood from this official report that our army had been
defeated. A week after the gazette report of the battle of Austerlitz
came a letter from Kutúzov informing the prince of the fate that had
befallen his son.

?Your son,? wrote Kutúzov, ?fell before my eyes, a standard in
his hand and at the head of a regiment?he fell as a hero, worthy of
his father and his fatherland. To the great regret of myself and of the
whole army it is still uncertain whether he is alive or not. I comfort
myself and you with the hope that your son is alive, for otherwise
he would have been mentioned among the officers found on the field of
battle, a list of whom has been sent me under flag of truce.?

After receiving this news late in the evening, when he was alone in his
study, the old prince went for his walk as usual next morning, but he
was silent with his steward, the gardener, and the architect, and though
he looked very grim he said nothing to anyone.

When Princess Mary went to him at the usual hour he was working at his
lathe and, as usual, did not look round at her.

?Ah, Princess Mary!? he said suddenly in an unnatural voice,
throwing down his chisel. (The wheel continued to revolve by its own
impetus, and Princess Mary long remembered the dying creak of that
wheel, which merged in her memory with what followed.)

She approached him, saw his face, and something gave way within her. Her
eyes grew dim. By the expression of her father?s face, not sad, not
crushed, but angry and working unnaturally, she saw that hanging over
her and about to crush her was some terrible misfortune, the worst
in life, one she had not yet experienced, irreparable and
incomprehensible?the death of one she loved.

?Father! Andrew!??said the ungraceful, awkward princess with such
an indescribable charm of sorrow and self-forgetfulness that her father
could not bear her look but turned away with a sob.

?Bad news! He?s not among the prisoners nor among the killed!
Kutúzov writes...? and he screamed as piercingly as if he wished to
drive the princess away by that scream... ?Killed!?

The princess did not fall down or faint. She was already pale, but on
hearing these words her face changed and something brightened in her
beautiful, radiant eyes. It was as if joy?a supreme joy apart from the
joys and sorrows of this world?overflowed the great grief within her.
She forgot all fear of her father, went up to him, took his hand, and
drawing him down put her arm round his thin, scraggy neck.

?Father,? she said, ?do not turn away from me, let us weep

?Scoundrels! Blackguards!? shrieked the old man, turning his face
away from her. ?Destroying the army, destroying the men! And why? Go,
go and tell Lise.?

The princess sank helplessly into an armchair beside her father and
wept. She saw her brother now as he had been at the moment when he took
leave of her and of Lise, his look tender yet proud. She saw him tender
and amused as he was when he put on the little icon. ?Did he believe?
Had he repented of his unbelief? Was he now there? There in the realms
of eternal peace and blessedness?? she thought.

?Father, tell me how it happened,? she asked through her tears.

?Go! Go! Killed in battle, where the best of Russian men and
Russia?s glory were led to destruction. Go, Princess Mary. Go and tell
Lise. I will follow.?

When Princess Mary returned from her father, the little princess sat
working and looked up with that curious expression of inner, happy calm
peculiar to pregnant women. It was evident that her eyes did not see
Princess Mary but were looking within... into herself... at something
joyful and mysterious taking place within her.

?Mary,? she said, moving away from the embroidery frame and lying
back, ?give me your hand.? She took her sister-in-law?s hand and
held it below her waist.

Her eyes were smiling expectantly, her downy lip rose and remained
lifted in childlike happiness.

Princess Mary knelt down before her and hid her face in the folds of her
sister-in-law?s dress.

?There, there! Do you feel it? I feel so strange. And do you know,
Mary, I am going to love him very much,? said Lise, looking with
bright and happy eyes at her sister-in-law.

Princess Mary could not lift her head, she was weeping.

?What is the matter, Mary??

?Nothing... only I feel sad... sad about Andrew,? she said, wiping
away her tears on her sister-in-law?s knee.

Several times in the course of the morning Princess Mary began trying to
prepare her sister-in-law, and every time began to cry. Unobservant as
was the little princess, these tears, the cause of which she did not
understand, agitated her. She said nothing but looked about uneasily as
if in search of something. Before dinner the old prince, of whom she was
always afraid, came into her room with a peculiarly restless and malign
expression and went out again without saying a word. She looked at
Princess Mary, then sat thinking for a while with that expression of
attention to something within her that is only seen in pregnant women,
and suddenly began to cry.

?Has anything come from Andrew?? she asked.

?No, you know it?s too soon for news. But my father is anxious and I
feel afraid.?

?So there?s nothing??

?Nothing,? answered Princess Mary, looking firmly with her radiant
eyes at her sister-in-law.

She had determined not to tell her and persuaded her father to hide the
terrible news from her till after her confinement, which was expected
within a few days. Princess Mary and the old prince each bore and hid
their grief in their own way. The old prince would not cherish any hope:
he made up his mind that Prince Andrew had been killed, and though he
sent an official to Austria to seek for traces of his son, he ordered a
monument from Moscow which he intended to erect in his own garden to his
memory, and he told everybody that his son had been killed. He tried not
to change his former way of life, but his strength failed him. He walked
less, ate less, slept less, and became weaker every day. Princess Mary
hoped. She prayed for her brother as living and was always awaiting news
of his return.


?Dearest,? said the little princess after breakfast on the morning
of the nineteenth March, and her downy little lip rose from old habit,
but as sorrow was manifest in every smile, the sound of every word, and
even every footstep in that house since the terrible news had come, so
now the smile of the little princess?influenced by the general mood
though without knowing its cause?was such as to remind one still more
of the general sorrow.

?Dearest, I?m afraid this morning?s fruschtique *?as Fóka the
cook calls it?has disagreed with me.?

    * Frühstück: breakfast.

?What is the matter with you, my darling? You look pale. Oh, you
are very pale!? said Princess Mary in alarm, running with her soft,
ponderous steps up to her sister-in-law.

?Your excellency, should not Mary Bogdánovna be sent for?? said one
of the maids who was present. (Mary Bogdánovna was a midwife from the
neighboring town, who had been at Bald Hills for the last fortnight.)

?Oh yes,? assented Princess Mary, ?perhaps that?s it. I?ll go.
Courage, my angel.? She kissed Lise and was about to leave the room.

?Oh, no, no!? And besides the pallor and the physical suffering
on the little princess? face, an expression of childish fear of
inevitable pain showed itself.

?No, it?s only indigestion?... Say it?s only indigestion, say so,
Mary! Say...? And the little princess began to cry capriciously like
a suffering child and to wring her little hands even with some
affectation. Princess Mary ran out of the room to fetch Mary

?Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu! Oh!? she heard as she left the room.

The midwife was already on her way to meet her, rubbing her small, plump
white hands with an air of calm importance.

?Mary Bogdánovna, I think it?s beginning!? said Princess Mary
looking at the midwife with wide-open eyes of alarm.

?Well, the Lord be thanked, Princess,? said Mary Bogdánovna, not
hastening her steps. ?You young ladies should not know anything about

?But how is it the doctor from Moscow is not here yet?? said the
princess. (In accordance with Lise?s and Prince Andrew?s wishes they
had sent in good time to Moscow for a doctor and were expecting him at
any moment.)

?No matter, Princess, don?t be alarmed,? said Mary Bogdánovna.
?We?ll manage very well without a doctor.?

Five minutes later Princess Mary from her room heard something heavy
being carried by. She looked out. The men servants were carrying the
large leather sofa from Prince Andrew?s study into the bedroom. On
their faces was a quiet and solemn look.

Princess Mary sat alone in her room listening to the sounds in the
house, now and then opening her door when someone passed and watching
what was going on in the passage. Some women passing with quiet steps in
and out of the bedroom glanced at the princess and turned away. She did
not venture to ask any questions, and shut the door again, now sitting
down in her easy chair, now taking her prayer book, now kneeling before
the icon stand. To her surprise and distress she found that her prayers
did not calm her excitement. Suddenly her door opened softly and her old
nurse, Praskóvya Sávishna, who hardly ever came to that room as the
old prince had forbidden it, appeared on the threshold with a shawl
round her head.

?I?ve come to sit with you a bit, Másha,? said the nurse, ?and
here I?ve brought the prince?s wedding candles to light before his
saint, my angel,? she said with a sigh.

?Oh, nurse, I?m so glad!?

?God is merciful, birdie.?

The nurse lit the gilt candles before the icons and sat down by the door
with her knitting. Princess Mary took a book and began reading. Only
when footsteps or voices were heard did they look at one another, the
princess anxious and inquiring, the nurse encouraging. Everyone in the
house was dominated by the same feeling that Princess Mary experienced
as she sat in her room. But owing to the superstition that the fewer
the people who know of it the less a woman in travail suffers, everyone
tried to pretend not to know; no one spoke of it, but apart from the
ordinary staid and respectful good manners habitual in the prince?s
household, a common anxiety, a softening of the heart, and a
consciousness that something great and mysterious was being accomplished
at that moment made itself felt.

There was no laughter in the maids? large hall. In the men servants?
hall all sat waiting, silently and alert. In the outlying serfs?
quarters torches and candles were burning and no one slept. The old
prince, stepping on his heels, paced up and down his study and sent
Tíkhon to ask Mary Bogdánovna what news.??Say only that ?the
prince told me to ask,? and come and tell me her answer.?

?Inform the prince that labor has begun,? said Mary Bogdánovna,
giving the messenger a significant look.

Tíkhon went and told the prince.

?Very good!? said the prince closing the door behind him, and
Tíkhon did not hear the slightest sound from the study after that.

After a while he re-entered it as if to snuff the candles, and, seeing
the prince was lying on the sofa, looked at him, noticed his perturbed
face, shook his head, and going up to him silently kissed him on the
shoulder and left the room without snuffing the candles or saying why he
had entered. The most solemn mystery in the world continued its course.
Evening passed, night came, and the feeling of suspense and softening of
heart in the presence of the unfathomable did not lessen but increased.
No one slept.

It was one of those March nights when winter seems to wish to resume its
sway and scatters its last snows and storms with desperate fury. A relay
of horses had been sent up the highroad to meet the German doctor from
Moscow who was expected every moment, and men on horseback with lanterns
were sent to the crossroads to guide him over the country road with its
hollows and snow-covered pools of water.

Princess Mary had long since put aside her book: she sat silent, her
luminous eyes fixed on her nurse?s wrinkled face (every line of which
she knew so well), on the lock of gray hair that escaped from under the
kerchief, and the loose skin that hung under her chin.

Nurse Sávishna, knitting in hand, was telling in low tones, scarcely
hearing or understanding her own words, what she had told hundreds of
times before: how the late princess had given birth to Princess Mary
in Kishenëv with only a Moldavian peasant woman to help instead of a

?God is merciful, doctors are never needed,? she said.

Suddenly a gust of wind beat violently against the casement of the
window, from which the double frame had been removed (by order of the
prince, one window frame was removed in each room as soon as the larks
returned), and, forcing open a loosely closed latch, set the damask
curtain flapping and blew out the candle with its chill, snowy draft.
Princess Mary shuddered; her nurse, putting down the stocking she was
knitting, went to the window and leaning out tried to catch the open
casement. The cold wind flapped the ends of her kerchief and her loose
locks of gray hair.

?Princess, my dear, there?s someone driving up the avenue!? she
said, holding the casement and not closing it. ?With lanterns. Most
likely the doctor.?

?Oh, my God! thank God!? said Princess Mary. ?I must go and meet
him, he does not know Russian.?

Princess Mary threw a shawl over her head and ran to meet the newcomer.
As she was crossing the anteroom she saw through the window a carriage
with lanterns, standing at the entrance. She went out on the stairs. On
a banister post stood a tallow candle which guttered in the draft. On
the landing below, Philip, the footman, stood looking scared and holding
another candle. Still lower, beyond the turn of the staircase, one
could hear the footstep of someone in thick felt boots, and a voice that
seemed familiar to Princess Mary was saying something.

?Thank God!? said the voice. ?And Father??

?Gone to bed,? replied the voice of Demyán the house steward, who
was downstairs.

Then the voice said something more, Demyán replied, and the steps in
the felt boots approached the unseen bend of the staircase more rapidly.

?It?s Andrew!? thought Princess Mary. ?No it can?t be, that
would be too extraordinary,? and at the very moment she thought this,
the face and figure of Prince Andrew, in a fur cloak the deep collar of
which covered with snow, appeared on the landing where the footman
stood with the candle. Yes, it was he, pale, thin, with a changed and
strangely softened but agitated expression on his face. He came up the
stairs and embraced his sister.

?You did not get my letter?? he asked, and not waiting for a
reply?which he would not have received, for the princess was unable to
speak?he turned back, rapidly mounted the stairs again with the
doctor who had entered the hall after him (they had met at the last post
station), and again embraced his sister.

?What a strange fate, Másha darling!? And having taken off his
cloak and felt boots, he went to the little princess? apartment.


The little princess lay supported by pillows, with a white cap on her
head (the pains had just left her). Strands of her black hair lay round
her inflamed and perspiring cheeks, her charming rosy mouth with its
downy lip was open and she was smiling joyfully. Prince Andrew entered
and paused facing her at the foot of the sofa on which she was lying.
Her glittering eyes, filled with childlike fear and excitement, rested
on him without changing their expression. ?I love you all and have
done no harm to anyone; why must I suffer so? Help me!? her look
seemed to say. She saw her husband, but did not realize the significance
of his appearance before her now. Prince Andrew went round the sofa and
kissed her forehead.

?My darling!? he said?a word he had never used to her before.
?God is merciful....?

She looked at him inquiringly and with childlike reproach.

?I expected help from you and I get none, none from you either!?
said her eyes. She was not surprised at his having come; she did
not realize that he had come. His coming had nothing to do with
her sufferings or with their relief. The pangs began again and Mary
Bogdánovna advised Prince Andrew to leave the room.

The doctor entered. Prince Andrew went out and, meeting Princess Mary,
again joined her. They began talking in whispers, but their talk broke
off at every moment. They waited and listened.

?Go, dear,? said Princess Mary.

Prince Andrew went again to his wife and sat waiting in the room next
to hers. A woman came from the bedroom with a frightened face and became
confused when she saw Prince Andrew. He covered his face with his hands
and remained so for some minutes. Piteous, helpless, animal moans came
through the door. Prince Andrew got up, went to the door, and tried to
open it. Someone was holding it shut.

?You can?t come in! You can?t!? said a terrified voice from

He began pacing the room. The screaming ceased, and a few more seconds
went by. Then suddenly a terrible shriek?it could not be hers, she
could not scream like that?came from the bedroom. Prince Andrew ran to
the door; the scream ceased and he heard the wail of an infant.

?What have they taken a baby in there for?? thought Prince Andrew in
the first second. ?A baby? What baby...? Why is there a baby there? Or
is the baby born??

Then suddenly he realized the joyful significance of that wail; tears
choked him, and leaning his elbows on the window sill he began to cry,
sobbing like a child. The door opened. The doctor with his shirt sleeves
tucked up, without a coat, pale and with a trembling jaw, came out
of the room. Prince Andrew turned to him, but the doctor gave him a
bewildered look and passed by without a word. A woman rushed out and
seeing Prince Andrew stopped, hesitating on the threshold. He went into
his wife?s room. She was lying dead, in the same position he had seen
her in five minutes before and, despite the fixed eyes and the pallor of
the cheeks, the same expression was on her charming childlike face with
its upper lip covered with tiny black hair.

?I love you all, and have done no harm to anyone; and what have you
done to me???said her charming, pathetic, dead face.

In a corner of the room something red and tiny gave a grunt and squealed
in Mary Bogdánovna?s trembling white hands.

Two hours later Prince Andrew, stepping softly, went into his father?s
room. The old man already knew everything. He was standing close to
the door and as soon as it opened his rough old arms closed like a vise
round his son?s neck, and without a word he began to sob like a child.

Three days later the little princess was buried, and Prince Andrew went
up the steps to where the coffin stood, to give her the farewell kiss.
And there in the coffin was the same face, though with closed eyes.
?Ah, what have you done to me?? it still seemed to say, and Prince
Andrew felt that something gave way in his soul and that he was guilty
of a sin he could neither remedy nor forget. He could not weep. The
old man too came up and kissed the waxen little hands that lay quietly
crossed one on the other on her breast, and to him, too, her face seemed
to say: ?Ah, what have you done to me, and why?? And at the sight
the old man turned angrily away.

Another five days passed, and then the young Prince Nicholas Andréevich
was baptized. The wet nurse supported the coverlet with her chin, while
the priest with a goose feather anointed the boy?s little red and
wrinkled soles and palms.

His grandfather, who was his godfather, trembling and afraid of dropping
him, carried the infant round the battered tin font and handed him over
to the godmother, Princess Mary. Prince Andrew sat in another room,
faint with fear lest the baby should be drowned in the font, and awaited
the termination of the ceremony. He looked up joyfully at the baby when
the nurse brought it to him and nodded approval when she told him that
the wax with the baby?s hair had not sunk in the font but had floated.


Rostóv?s share in Dólokhov?s duel with Bezúkhov was hushed up by
the efforts of the old count, and instead of being degraded to the ranks
as he expected he was appointed an adjutant to the governor general of
Moscow. As a result he could not go to the country with the rest of the
family, but was kept all summer in Moscow by his new duties. Dólokhov
recovered, and Rostóv became very friendly with him during his
convalescence. Dólokhov lay ill at his mother?s who loved him
passionately and tenderly, and old Mary Ivánovna, who had grown fond of
Rostóv for his friendship to her Fédya, often talked to him about her

?Yes, Count,? she would say, ?he is too noble and pure-souled for
our present, depraved world. No one now loves virtue; it seems like
a reproach to everyone. Now tell me, Count, was it right, was it
honorable, of Bezúkhov? And Fédya, with his noble spirit, loved him
and even now never says a word against him. Those pranks in Petersburg
when they played some tricks on a policeman, didn?t they do it
together? And there! Bezúkhov got off scotfree, while Fédya had to
bear the whole burden on his shoulders. Fancy what he had to go through!
It?s true he has been reinstated, but how could they fail to do that?
I think there were not many such gallant sons of the fatherland out
there as he. And now?this duel! Have these people no feeling, or
honor? Knowing him to be an only son, to challenge him and shoot so
straight! It?s well God had mercy on us. And what was it for? Who
doesn?t have intrigues nowadays? Why, if he was so jealous, as I see
things he should have shown it sooner, but he lets it go on for months.
And then to call him out, reckoning on Fédya not fighting because he
owed him money! What baseness! What meanness! I know you understand
Fédya, my dear count; that, believe me, is why I am so fond of you. Few
people do understand him. He is such a lofty, heavenly soul!?

Dólokhov himself during his convalescence spoke to Rostóv in a way no
one would have expected of him.

?I know people consider me a bad man!? he said. ?Let them! I
don?t care a straw about anyone but those I love; but those I love,
I love so that I would give my life for them, and the others I?d
throttle if they stood in my way. I have an adored, a priceless mother,
and two or three friends?you among them?and as for the rest I only
care about them in so far as they are harmful or useful. And most of
them are harmful, especially the women. Yes, dear boy,? he continued,
?I have met loving, noble, high-minded men, but I have not yet met
any women?countesses or cooks?who were not venal. I have not yet met
that divine purity and devotion I look for in women. If I found such a
one I?d give my life for her! But those!...? and he made a gesture
of contempt. ?And believe me, if I still value my life it is
only because I still hope to meet such a divine creature, who will
regenerate, purify, and elevate me. But you don?t understand it.?

?Oh, yes, I quite understand,? answered Rostóv, who was under his
new friend?s influence.

In the autumn the Rostóvs returned to Moscow. Early in the winter
Denísov also came back and stayed with them. The first half of the
winter of 1806, which Nicholas Rostóv spent in Moscow, was one of the
happiest, merriest times for him and the whole family. Nicholas brought
many young men to his parents? house. Véra was a handsome girl
of twenty; Sónya a girl of sixteen with all the charm of an opening
flower; Natásha, half grown up and half child, was now childishly
amusing, now girlishly enchanting.

At that time in the Rostóvs? house there prevailed an amorous
atmosphere characteristic of homes where there are very young and very
charming girls. Every young man who came to the house?seeing those
impressionable, smiling young faces (smiling probably at their own
happiness), feeling the eager bustle around him, and hearing the fitful
bursts of song and music and the inconsequent but friendly prattle of
young girls ready for anything and full of hope?experienced the same
feeling; sharing with the young folk of the Rostóvs? household a
readiness to fall in love and an expectation of happiness.

Among the young men introduced by Rostóv one of the first was
Dólokhov, whom everyone in the house liked except Natásha. She almost
quarreled with her brother about him. She insisted that he was a bad
man, and that in the duel with Bezúkhov, Pierre was right and Dólokhov
wrong, and further that he was disagreeable and unnatural.

?There?s nothing for me to understand,? she cried out with
resolute self-will, ?he is wicked and heartless. There now, I like
your Denísov though he is a rake and all that, still I like him; so
you see I do understand. I don?t know how to put it... with this one
everything is calculated, and I don?t like that. But Denísov...?

?Oh, Denísov is quite different,? replied Nicholas, implying that
even Denísov was nothing compared to Dólokhov??you must understand
what a soul there is in Dólokhov, you should see him with his mother.
What a heart!?

?Well, I don?t know about that, but I am uncomfortable with him. And
do you know he has fallen in love with Sónya??

?What nonsense...?

?I?m certain of it; you?ll see.?

Natásha?s prediction proved true. Dólokhov, who did not usually care
for the society of ladies, began to come often to the house, and the
question for whose sake he came (though no one spoke of it) was soon
settled. He came because of Sónya. And Sónya, though she would never
have dared to say so, knew it and blushed scarlet every time Dólokhov

Dólokhov often dined at the Rostóvs?, never missed a performance at
which they were present, and went to Iogel?s balls for young people
which the Rostóvs always attended. He was pointedly attentive to Sónya
and looked at her in such a way that not only could she not bear his
glances without coloring, but even the old countess and Natásha blushed
when they saw his looks.

It was evident that this strange, strong man was under the irresistible
influence of the dark, graceful girl who loved another.

Rostóv noticed something new in Dólokhov?s relations with Sónya,
but he did not explain to himself what these new relations were.
?They?re always in love with someone,? he thought of Sónya and
Natásha. But he was not as much at ease with Sónya and Dólokhov as
before and was less frequently at home.

In the autumn of 1806 everybody had again begun talking of the war with
Napoleon with even greater warmth than the year before. Orders were
given to raise recruits, ten men in every thousand for the regular army,
and besides this, nine men in every thousand for the militia. Everywhere
Bonaparte was anathematized and in Moscow nothing but the coming war
was talked of. For the Rostóv family the whole interest of these
preparations for war lay in the fact that Nicholas would not hear of
remaining in Moscow, and only awaited the termination of Denísov?s
furlough after Christmas to return with him to their regiment. His
approaching departure did not prevent his amusing himself, but rather
gave zest to his pleasures. He spent the greater part of his time away
from home, at dinners, parties, and balls.


On the third day after Christmas Nicholas dined at home, a thing he had
rarely done of late. It was a grand farewell dinner, as he and Denísov
were leaving to join their regiment after Epiphany. About twenty people
were present, including Dólokhov and Denísov.

Never had love been so much in the air, and never had the amorous
atmosphere made itself so strongly felt in the Rostóvs? house as at
this holiday time. ?Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved!
That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one
thing we are interested in here,? said the spirit of the place.

Nicholas, having as usual exhausted two pairs of horses, without
visiting all the places he meant to go to and where he had been invited,
returned home just before dinner. As soon as he entered he noticed and
felt the tension of the amorous air in the house, and also noticed a
curious embarrassment among some of those present. Sónya, Dólokhov,
and the old countess were especially disturbed, and to a lesser degree
Natásha. Nicholas understood that something must have happened between
Sónya and Dólokhov before dinner, and with the kindly sensitiveness
natural to him was very gentle and wary with them both at dinner. On
that same evening there was to be one of the balls that Iogel (the
dancing master) gave for his pupils during the holidays.

?Nicholas, will you come to Iogel?s? Please do!? said Natásha.
?He asked you, and Vasíli Dmítrich * is also going.?

    * Denísov.

?Where would I not go at the countess? command!? said Denísov,
who at the Rostóvs? had jocularly assumed the role of Natásha?s
knight. ?I?m even weady to dance the pas de châle.?

?If I have time,? answered Nicholas. ?But I promised the
Arkhárovs; they have a party.?

?And you?? he asked Dólokhov, but as soon as he had asked the
question he noticed that it should not have been put.

?Perhaps,? coldly and angrily replied Dólokhov, glancing at Sónya,
and, scowling, he gave Nicholas just such a look as he had given Pierre
at the club dinner.

?There is something up,? thought Nicholas, and he was further
confirmed in this conclusion by the fact that Dólokhov left immediately
after dinner. He called Natásha and asked her what was the matter.

?And I was looking for you,? said Natásha running out to him. ?I
told you, but you would not believe it,? she said triumphantly. ?He
has proposed to Sónya!?

Little as Nicholas had occupied himself with Sónya of late, something
seemed to give way within him at this news. Dólokhov was a suitable and
in some respects a brilliant match for the dowerless, orphan girl. From
the point of view of the old countess and of society it was out of the
question for her to refuse him. And therefore Nicholas? first feeling
on hearing the news was one of anger with Sónya.... He tried to say,
?That?s capital; of course she?ll forget her childish promises
and accept the offer,? but before he had time to say it Natásha began

?And fancy! she refused him quite definitely!? adding, after a
pause, ?she told him she loved another.?

?Yes, my Sónya could not have done otherwise!? thought Nicholas.

?Much as Mamma pressed her, she refused, and I know she won?t change
once she has said...?

?And Mamma pressed her!? said Nicholas reproachfully.

?Yes,? said Natásha. ?Do you know, Nicholas?don?t be
angry?but I know you will not marry her. I know, heaven knows how, but
I know for certain that you won?t marry her.?

?Now you don?t know that at all!? said Nicholas. ?But I must
talk to her. What a darling Sónya is!? he added with a smile.

?Ah, she is indeed a darling! I?ll send her to you.?

And Natásha kissed her brother and ran away.

A minute later Sónya came in with a frightened, guilty, and scared
look. Nicholas went up to her and kissed her hand. This was the first
time since his return that they had talked alone and about their love.

?Sophie,? he began, timidly at first and then more and more
boldly, ?if you wish to refuse one who is not only a brilliant and
advantageous match but a splendid, noble fellow... he is my friend...?

Sónya interrupted him.

?I have already refused,? she said hurriedly.

?If you are refusing for my sake, I am afraid that I...?

Sónya again interrupted. She gave him an imploring, frightened look.

?Nicholas, don?t tell me that!? she said.

?No, but I must. It may be arrogant of me, but still it is best to say
it. If you refuse him on my account, I must tell you the whole truth. I
love you, and I think I love you more than anyone else....?

?That is enough for me,? said Sónya, blushing.

?No, but I have been in love a thousand times and shall fall in
love again, though for no one have I such a feeling of friendship,
confidence, and love as I have for you. Then I am young. Mamma does
not wish it. In a word, I make no promise. And I beg you to consider
Dólokhov?s offer,? he said, articulating his friend?s name with

?Don?t say that to me! I want nothing. I love you as a brother and
always shall, and I want nothing more.?

?You are an angel: I am not worthy of you, but I am afraid of
misleading you.?

And Nicholas again kissed her hand.


Iogel?s were the most enjoyable balls in Moscow. So said the mothers
as they watched their young people executing their newly learned steps,
and so said the youths and maidens themselves as they danced till they
were ready to drop, and so said the grown-up young men and women who
came to these balls with an air of condescension and found them most
enjoyable. That year two marriages had come of these balls. The two
pretty young Princesses Gorchakóv met suitors there and were married
and so further increased the fame of these dances. What distinguished
them from others was the absence of host or hostess and the presence of
the good-natured Iogel, flying about like a feather and bowing according
to the rules of his art, as he collected the tickets from all his
visitors. There was the fact that only those came who wished to dance
and amuse themselves as girls of thirteen and fourteen do who are
wearing long dresses for the first time. With scarcely any exceptions
they all were, or seemed to be, pretty?so rapturous were their smiles
and so sparkling their eyes. Sometimes the best of the pupils, of whom
Natásha, who was exceptionally graceful, was first, even danced the pas
de châle, but at this last ball only the écossaise, the anglaise, and
the mazurka, which was just coming into fashion, were danced. Iogel had
taken a ballroom in Bezúkhov?s house, and the ball, as everyone said,
was a great success. There were many pretty girls and the Rostóv girls
were among the prettiest. They were both particularly happy and gay.
That evening, proud of Dólokhov?s proposal, her refusal, and her
explanation with Nicholas, Sónya twirled about before she left home
so that the maid could hardly get her hair plaited, and she was
transparently radiant with impulsive joy.

Natásha no less proud of her first long dress and of being at a real
ball was even happier. They were both dressed in white muslin with pink

Natásha fell in love the very moment she entered the ballroom. She
was not in love with anyone in particular, but with everyone. Whatever
person she happened to look at she was in love with for that moment.

?Oh, how delightful it is!? she kept saying, running up to Sónya.

Nicholas and Denísov were walking up and down, looking with kindly
patronage at the dancers.

?How sweet she is?she will be a weal beauty!? said Denísov.


?Countess Natásha,? answered Denísov.

?And how she dances! What gwace!? he said again after a pause.

?Who are you talking about??

?About your sister,? ejaculated Denísov testily.

Rostóv smiled.

?My dear count, you were one of my best pupils?you must dance,?
said little Iogel coming up to Nicholas. ?Look how many charming young
ladies?? He turned with the same request to Denísov who was also a
former pupil of his.

?No, my dear fellow, I?ll be a wallflower,? said Denísov.
?Don?t you wecollect what bad use I made of your lessons??

?Oh no!? said Iogel, hastening to reassure him. ?You were only
inattentive, but you had talent?oh yes, you had talent!?

The band struck up the newly introduced mazurka. Nicholas could not
refuse Iogel and asked Sónya to dance. Denísov sat down by the old
ladies and, leaning on his saber and beating time with his foot, told
them something funny and kept them amused, while he watched the young
people dancing, Iogel with Natásha, his pride and his best pupil, were
the first couple. Noiselessly, skillfully stepping with his little
feet in low shoes, Iogel flew first across the hall with Natásha, who,
though shy, went on carefully executing her steps. Denísov did not
take his eyes off her and beat time with his saber in a way that clearly
indicated that if he was not dancing it was because he would not and not
because he could not. In the middle of a figure he beckoned to Rostóv
who was passing:

?This is not at all the thing,? he said. ?What sort of Polish
mazuwka is this? But she does dance splendidly.?

Knowing that Denísov had a reputation even in Poland for the masterly
way in which he danced the mazurka, Nicholas ran up to Natásha:

?Go and choose Denísov. He is a real dancer, a wonder!? he said.

When it came to Natásha?s turn to choose a partner, she rose and,
tripping rapidly across in her little shoes trimmed with bows, ran
timidly to the corner where Denísov sat. She saw that everybody was
looking at her and waiting. Nicholas saw that Denísov was refusing
though he smiled delightedly. He ran up to them.

?Please, Vasíli Dmítrich,? Natásha was saying, ?do come!?

?Oh no, let me off, Countess,? Denísov replied.

?Now then, Váska,? said Nicholas.

?They coax me as if I were Váska the cat!? said Denísov jokingly.

?I?ll sing for you a whole evening,? said Natásha.

?Oh, the faiwy! She can do anything with me!? said Denísov, and
he unhooked his saber. He came out from behind the chairs, clasped his
partner?s hand firmly, threw back his head, and advanced his foot,
waiting for the beat. Only on horse back and in the mazurka was
Denísov?s short stature not noticeable and he looked the fine fellow
he felt himself to be. At the right beat of the music he looked sideways
at his partner with a merry and triumphant air, suddenly stamped with
one foot, bounded from the floor like a ball, and flew round the room
taking his partner with him. He glided silently on one foot half across
the room, and seeming not to notice the chairs was dashing straight at
them, when suddenly, clinking his spurs and spreading out his legs,
he stopped short on his heels, stood so a second, stamped on the spot
clanking his spurs, whirled rapidly round, and, striking his left heel
against his right, flew round again in a circle. Natásha guessed what
he meant to do, and abandoning herself to him followed his lead hardly
knowing how. First he spun her round, holding her now with his left, now
with his right hand, then falling on one knee he twirled her round him,
and again jumping up, dashed so impetuously forward that it seemed as if
he would rush through the whole suite of rooms without drawing breath,
and then he suddenly stopped and performed some new and unexpected
steps. When at last, smartly whirling his partner round in front of her
chair, he drew up with a click of his spurs and bowed to her, Natásha
did not even make him a curtsy. She fixed her eyes on him in amazement,
smiling as if she did not recognize him.

?What does this mean?? she brought out.

Although Iogel did not acknowledge this to be the real mazurka, everyone
was delighted with Denísov?s skill, he was asked again and again as
a partner, and the old men began smilingly to talk about Poland and the
good old days. Denísov, flushed after the mazurka and mopping himself
with his handkerchief, sat down by Natásha and did not leave her for
the rest of the evening.


For two days after that Rostóv did not see Dólokhov at his own or at
Dólokhov?s home: on the third day he received a note from him:

As I do not intend to be at your house again for reasons you know
of, and am going to rejoin my regiment, I am giving a farewell supper
tonight to my friends?come to the English Hotel.

About ten o?clock Rostóv went to the English Hotel straight from the
theater, where he had been with his family and Denísov. He was at once
shown to the best room, which Dólokhov had taken for that evening. Some
twenty men were gathered round a table at which Dólokhov sat between
two candles. On the table was a pile of gold and paper money, and he
was keeping the bank. Rostóv had not seen him since his proposal and
Sónya?s refusal and felt uncomfortable at the thought of how they
would meet.

Dólokhov?s clear, cold glance met Rostóv as soon as he entered the
door, as though he had long expected him.

?It?s a long time since we met,? he said. ?Thanks for coming.
I?ll just finish dealing, and then Ilyúshka will come with his

?I called once or twice at your house,? said Rostóv, reddening.

Dólokhov made no reply.

?You may punt,? he said.

Rostóv recalled at that moment a strange conversation he had once had
with Dólokhov. ?None but fools trust to luck in play,? Dólokhov
had then said.

?Or are you afraid to play with me?? Dólokhov now asked as if
guessing Rostóv?s thought.

Beneath his smile Rostóv saw in him the mood he had shown at the club
dinner and at other times, when as if tired of everyday life he had felt
a need to escape from it by some strange, and usually cruel, action.

Rostóv felt ill at ease. He tried, but failed, to find some joke with
which to reply to Dólokhov?s words. But before he had thought of
anything, Dólokhov, looking straight in his face, said slowly and
deliberately so that everyone could hear:

?Do you remember we had a talk about cards... ?He?s a fool who
trusts to luck, one should make certain,? and I want to try.?

?To try his luck or the certainty?? Rostóv asked himself.

?Well, you?d better not play,? Dólokhov added, and springing a
new pack of cards said: ?Bank, gentlemen!?

Moving the money forward he prepared to deal. Rostóv sat down by his
side and at first did not play. Dólokhov kept glancing at him.

?Why don?t you play?? he asked.

And strange to say Nicholas felt that he could not help taking up a
card, putting a small stake on it, and beginning to play.

?I have no money with me,? he said.

?I?ll trust you.?

Rostóv staked five rubles on a card and lost, staked again, and again
lost. Dólokhov ?killed,? that is, beat, ten cards of Rostóv?s

?Gentlemen,? said Dólokhov after he had dealt for some time.
?Please place your money on the cards or I may get muddled in the

One of the players said he hoped he might be trusted.

?Yes, you might, but I am afraid of getting the accounts mixed. So I
ask you to put the money on your cards,? replied Dólokhov. ?Don?t
stint yourself, we?ll settle afterwards,? he added, turning to

The game continued; a waiter kept handing round champagne.

All Rostóv?s cards were beaten and he had eight hundred rubles scored
up against him. He wrote ?800 rubles? on a card, but while the
waiter filled his glass he changed his mind and altered it to his usual
stake of twenty rubles.

?Leave it,? said Dólokhov, though he did not seem to be even
looking at Rostóv, ?you?ll win it back all the sooner. I lose to
the others but win from you. Or are you afraid of me?? he asked again.

Rostóv submitted. He let the eight hundred remain and laid down a seven
of hearts with a torn corner, which he had picked up from the floor. He
well remembered that seven afterwards. He laid down the seven of hearts,
on which with a broken bit of chalk he had written ?800 rubles? in
clear upright figures; he emptied the glass of warm champagne that was
handed him, smiled at Dólokhov?s words, and with a sinking heart,
waiting for a seven to turn up, gazed at Dólokhov?s hands which held
the pack. Much depended on Rostóv?s winning or losing on that seven
of hearts. On the previous Sunday the old count had given his son
two thousand rubles, and though he always disliked speaking of money
difficulties had told Nicholas that this was all he could let him have
till May, and asked him to be more economical this time. Nicholas had
replied that it would be more than enough for him and that he gave his
word of honor not to take anything more till the spring. Now only twelve
hundred rubles was left of that money, so that this seven of hearts
meant for him not only the loss of sixteen hundred rubles, but the
necessity of going back on his word. With a sinking heart he watched
Dólokhov?s hands and thought, ?Now then, make haste and let me have
this card and I?ll take my cap and drive home to supper with Denísov,
Natásha, and Sónya, and will certainly never touch a card again.? At
that moment his home life, jokes with Pétya, talks with Sónya, duets
with Natásha, piquet with his father, and even his comfortable bed
in the house on the Povarskáya rose before him with such vividness,
clearness, and charm that it seemed as if it were all a lost and
unappreciated bliss, long past. He could not conceive that a stupid
chance, letting the seven be dealt to the right rather than to the left,
might deprive him of all this happiness, newly appreciated and newly
illumined, and plunge him into the depths of unknown and undefined
misery. That could not be, yet he awaited with a sinking heart the
movement of Dólokhov?s hands. Those broad, reddish hands, with hairy
wrists visible from under the shirt cuffs, laid down the pack and took
up a glass and a pipe that were handed him.

?So you are not afraid to play with me?? repeated Dólokhov, and as
if about to tell a good story he put down the cards, leaned back in his
chair, and began deliberately with a smile:

?Yes, gentlemen, I?ve been told there?s a rumor going about Moscow
that I?m a sharper, so I advise you to be careful.?

?Come now, deal!? exclaimed Rostóv.

?Oh, those Moscow gossips!? said Dólokhov, and he took up the cards
with a smile.

?Aah!? Rostóv almost screamed lifting both hands to his head. The
seven he needed was lying uppermost, the first card in the pack. He had
lost more than he could pay.

?Still, don?t ruin yourself!? said Dólokhov with a side glance at
Rostóv as he continued to deal.


An hour and a half later most of the players were but little interested
in their own play.

The whole interest was concentrated on Rostóv. Instead of sixteen
hundred rubles he had a long column of figures scored against him,
which he had reckoned up to ten thousand, but that now, as he vaguely
supposed, must have risen to fifteen thousand. In reality it already
exceeded twenty thousand rubles. Dólokhov was no longer listening to
stories or telling them, but followed every movement of Rostóv?s
hands and occasionally ran his eyes over the score against him. He had
decided to play until that score reached forty-three thousand. He
had fixed on that number because forty-three was the sum of his and
Sónya?s joint ages. Rostóv, leaning his head on both hands, sat at
the table which was scrawled over with figures, wet with spilled wine,
and littered with cards. One tormenting impression did not leave him:
that those broad-boned reddish hands with hairy wrists visible from
under the shirt sleeves, those hands which he loved and hated, held him
in their power.

?Six hundred rubles, ace, a corner, a nine... winning it back?s
impossible... Oh, how pleasant it was at home!... The knave, double or
quits... it can?t be!... And why is he doing this to me?? Rostóv
pondered. Sometimes he staked a large sum, but Dólokhov refused to
accept it and fixed the stake himself. Nicholas submitted to him, and at
one moment prayed to God as he had done on the battlefield at the bridge
over the Enns, and then guessed that the card that came first to hand
from the crumpled heap under the table would save him, now counted the
cords on his coat and took a card with that number and tried staking the
total of his losses on it, then he looked round for aid from the other
players, or peered at the now cold face of Dólokhov and tried to read
what was passing in his mind.

?He knows of course what this loss means to me. He can?t want my
ruin. Wasn?t he my friend? Wasn?t I fond of him? But it?s not his
fault. What?s he to do if he has such luck?... And it?s not my fault
either,? he thought to himself, ?I have done nothing wrong. Have I
killed anyone, or insulted or wished harm to anyone? Why such a terrible
misfortune? And when did it begin? Such a little while ago I came to
this table with the thought of winning a hundred rubles to buy that
casket for Mamma?s name day and then going home. I was so happy, so
free, so lighthearted! And I did not realize how happy I was! When did
that end and when did this new, terrible state of things begin? What
marked the change? I sat all the time in this same place at this table,
chose and placed cards, and watched those broad-boned agile hands in the
same way. When did it happen and what has happened? I am well and strong
and still the same and in the same place. No, it can?t be! Surely it
will all end in nothing!?

He was flushed and bathed in perspiration, though the room was not hot.
His face was terrible and piteous to see, especially from its helpless
efforts to seem calm.

The score against him reached the fateful sum of forty-three thousand.
Rostóv had just prepared a card, by bending the corner of which he
meant to double the three thousand just put down to his score, when
Dólokhov, slamming down the pack of cards, put it aside and began
rapidly adding up the total of Rostóv?s debt, breaking the chalk as
he marked the figures in his clear, bold hand.

?Supper, it?s time for supper! And here are the gypsies!?

Some swarthy men and women were really entering from the cold outside
and saying something in their gypsy accents. Nicholas understood that it
was all over; but he said in an indifferent tone:

?Well, won?t you go on? I had a splendid card all ready,? as if it
were the fun of the game which interested him most.

?It?s all up! I?m lost!? thought he. ?Now a bullet through my
brain?that?s all that?s left me!? And at the same time he said
in a cheerful voice:

?Come now, just this one more little card!?

?All right!? said Dólokhov, having finished the addition. ?All
right! Twenty-one rubles,? he said, pointing to the figure twenty-one
by which the total exceeded the round sum of forty-three thousand; and
taking up a pack he prepared to deal. Rostóv submissively unbent the
corner of his card and, instead of the six thousand he had intended,
carefully wrote twenty-one.

?It?s all the same to me,? he said. ?I only want to see whether
you will let me win this ten, or beat it.?

Dólokhov began to deal seriously. Oh, how Rostóv detested at that
moment those hands with their short reddish fingers and hairy wrists,
which held him in their power.... The ten fell to him.

?You owe forty-three thousand, Count,? said Dólokhov, and
stretching himself he rose from the table. ?One does get tired sitting
so long,? he added.

?Yes, I?m tired too,? said Rostóv.

Dólokhov cut him short, as if to remind him that it was not for him to

?When am I to receive the money, Count??

Rostóv, flushing, drew Dólokhov into the next room.

?I cannot pay it all immediately. Will you take an I.O.U.?? he said.

?I say, Rostóv,? said Dólokhov clearly, smiling and looking
Nicholas straight in the eyes, ?you know the saying, ?Lucky in love,
unlucky at cards.? Your cousin is in love with you, I know.?

?Oh, it?s terrible to feel oneself so in this man?s power,?
thought Rostóv. He knew what a shock he would inflict on his father and
mother by the news of this loss, he knew what a relief it would be to
escape it all, and felt that Dólokhov knew that he could save him from
all this shame and sorrow, but wanted now to play with him as a cat does
with a mouse.

?Your cousin...? Dólokhov started to say, but Nicholas interrupted

?My cousin has nothing to do with this and it?s not necessary to
mention her!? he exclaimed fiercely.

?Then when am I to have it??

?Tomorrow,? replied Rostóv and left the room.


To say ?tomorrow? and keep up a dignified tone was not difficult,
but to go home alone, see his sisters, brother, mother, and father,
confess and ask for money he had no right to after giving his word of
honor, was terrible.

At home, they had not yet gone to bed. The young people, after returning
from the theater, had had supper and were grouped round the clavichord.
As soon as Nicholas entered, he was enfolded in that poetic atmosphere
of love which pervaded the Rostóv household that winter and, now after
Dólokhov?s proposal and Iogel?s ball, seemed to have grown thicker
round Sónya and Natásha as the air does before a thunderstorm. Sónya
and Natásha, in the light-blue dresses they had worn at the theater,
looking pretty and conscious of it, were standing by the clavichord,
happy and smiling. Véra was playing chess with Shinshín in the drawing
room. The old countess, waiting for the return of her husband and son,
sat playing patience with the old gentlewoman who lived in their house.
Denísov, with sparkling eyes and ruffled hair, sat at the clavichord
striking chords with his short fingers, his legs thrown back and his
eyes rolling as he sang, with his small, husky, but true voice, some
verses called ?Enchantress,? which he had composed, and to which he
was trying to fit music:

   Enchantress, say, to my forsaken lyre
   What magic power is this recalls me still?
   What spark has set my inmost soul on fire,
   What is this bliss that makes my fingers thrill?

He was singing in passionate tones, gazing with his sparkling
black-agate eyes at the frightened and happy Natásha.

?Splendid! Excellent!? exclaimed Natásha. ?Another verse,? she
said, without noticing Nicholas.

?Everything?s still the same with them,? thought Nicholas,
glancing into the drawing room, where he saw Véra and his mother with
the old lady.

?Ah, and here?s Nicholas!? cried Natásha, running up to him.

?Is Papa at home?? he asked.

?I am so glad you?ve come!? said Natásha, without answering him.
?We are enjoying ourselves! Vasíli Dmítrich is staying a day longer
for my sake! Did you know??

?No, Papa is not back yet,? said Sónya.

?Nicholas, have you come? Come here, dear!? called the old countess
from the drawing room.

Nicholas went to her, kissed her hand, and sitting down silently at her
table began to watch her hands arranging the cards. From the dancing
room, they still heard the laughter and merry voices trying to persuade
Natásha to sing.

?All wight! All wight!? shouted Denísov. ?It?s no good making
excuses now! It?s your turn to sing the ba?cawolla?I entweat

The countess glanced at her silent son.

?What is the matter?? she asked.

?Oh, nothing,? said he, as if weary of being continually asked the
same question. ?Will Papa be back soon??

?I expect so.?

?Everything?s the same with them. They know nothing about it! Where
am I to go?? thought Nicholas, and went again into the dancing room
where the clavichord stood.

Sónya was sitting at the clavichord, playing the prelude to
Denísov?s favorite barcarolle. Natásha was preparing to sing.
Denísov was looking at her with enraptured eyes.

Nicholas began pacing up and down the room.

?Why do they want to make her sing? How can she sing? There?s
nothing to be happy about!? thought he.

Sónya struck the first chord of the prelude.

?My God, I?m a ruined and dishonored man! A bullet through my brain
is the only thing left me?not singing!? his thoughts ran on. ?Go
away? But where to? It?s one?let them sing!?

He continued to pace the room, looking gloomily at Denísov and the
girls and avoiding their eyes.

?Nikólenka, what is the matter?? Sónya?s eyes fixed on him
seemed to ask. She noticed at once that something had happened to him.

Nicholas turned away from her. Natásha too, with her quick instinct,
had instantly noticed her brother?s condition. But, though she noticed
it, she was herself in such high spirits at that moment, so far from
sorrow, sadness, or self-reproach, that she purposely deceived herself
as young people often do. ?No, I am too happy now to spoil my
enjoyment by sympathy with anyone?s sorrow,? she felt, and she said
to herself: ?No, I must be mistaken, he must be feeling happy, just as
I am.?

?Now, Sónya!? she said, going to the very middle of the room, where
she considered the resonance was best.

Having lifted her head and let her arms droop lifelessly, as ballet
dancers do, Natásha, rising energetically from her heels to her toes,
stepped to the middle of the room and stood still.

?Yes, that?s me!? she seemed to say, answering the rapt gaze with
which Denísov followed her.

?And what is she so pleased about?? thought Nicholas, looking at his
sister. ?Why isn?t she dull and ashamed??

Natásha took the first note, her throat swelled, her chest rose,
her eyes became serious. At that moment she was oblivious of her
surroundings, and from her smiling lips flowed sounds which anyone may
produce at the same intervals and hold for the same time, but which
leave you cold a thousand times and the thousand and first time thrill
you and make you weep.

Natásha, that winter, had for the first time begun to sing seriously,
mainly because Denísov so delighted in her singing. She no longer sang
as a child, there was no longer in her singing that comical, childish,
painstaking effect that had been in it before; but she did not yet sing
well, as all the connoisseurs who heard her said: ?It is not trained,
but it is a beautiful voice that must be trained.? Only they generally
said this some time after she had finished singing. While that untrained
voice, with its incorrect breathing and labored transitions, was
sounding, even the connoisseurs said nothing, but only delighted in
it and wished to hear it again. In her voice there was a virginal
freshness, an unconsciousness of her own powers, and an as yet untrained
velvety softness, which so mingled with her lack of art in singing that
it seemed as if nothing in that voice could be altered without spoiling

?What is this?? thought Nicholas, listening to her with widely
opened eyes. ?What has happened to her? How she is singing today!?
And suddenly the whole world centered for him on anticipation of the
next note, the next phrase, and everything in the world was divided into
three beats: ?Oh mio crudele affetto.?... One, two, three... one,
two, three... One... ?Oh mio crudele affetto.?... One, two, three...
One. ?Oh, this senseless life of ours!? thought Nicholas. ?All
this misery, and money, and Dólokhov, and anger, and honor?it?s all
nonsense... but this is real.... Now then, Natásha, now then, dearest!
Now then, darling! How will she take that si? She?s taken it! Thank
God!? And without noticing that he was singing, to strengthen the si
he sung a second, a third below the high note. ?Ah, God! How fine! Did
I really take it? How fortunate!? he thought.

Oh, how that chord vibrated, and how moved was something that was finest
in Rostóv?s soul! And this something was apart from everything else
in the world and above everything in the world. ?What were losses, and
Dólokhov, and words of honor?... All nonsense! One might kill and rob
and yet be happy....?


It was long since Rostóv had felt such enjoyment from music as he
did that day. But no sooner had Natásha finished her barcarolle than
reality again presented itself. He got up without saying a word and went
downstairs to his own room. A quarter of an hour later the old count
came in from his club, cheerful and contented. Nicholas, hearing him
drive up, went to meet him.

?Well?had a good time?? said the old count, smiling gaily and
proudly at his son.

Nicholas tried to say ?Yes,? but could not: and he nearly burst into
sobs. The count was lighting his pipe and did not notice his son?s

?Ah, it can?t be avoided!? thought Nicholas, for the first and
last time. And suddenly, in the most casual tone, which made him feel
ashamed of himself, he said, as if merely asking his father to let him
have the carriage to drive to town:

?Papa, I have come on a matter of business. I was nearly forgetting. I
need some money.?

?Dear me!? said his father, who was in a specially good humor. ?I
told you it would not be enough. How much??

?Very much,? said Nicholas flushing, and with a stupid careless
smile, for which he was long unable to forgive himself, ?I have lost a
little, I mean a good deal, a great deal?forty three thousand.?

?What! To whom?... Nonsense!? cried the count, suddenly reddening
with an apoplectic flush over neck and nape as old people do.

?I promised to pay tomorrow,? said Nicholas.

?Well!...? said the old count, spreading out his arms and sinking
helplessly on the sofa.

?It can?t be helped! It happens to everyone!? said the son, with
a bold, free, and easy tone, while in his soul he regarded himself as a
worthless scoundrel whose whole life could not atone for his crime. He
longed to kiss his father?s hands and kneel to beg his forgiveness,
but said, in a careless and even rude voice, that it happens to

The old count cast down his eyes on hearing his son?s words and began
bustlingly searching for something.

?Yes, yes,? he muttered, ?it will be difficult, I fear, difficult
to raise... happens to everybody! Yes, who has not done it??

And with a furtive glance at his son?s face, the count went out of the
room.... Nicholas had been prepared for resistance, but had not at all
expected this.

?Papa! Pa-pa!? he called after him, sobbing, ?forgive me!? And
seizing his father?s hand, he pressed it to his lips and burst into

While father and son were having their explanation, the mother and
daughter were having one not less important. Natásha came running to
her mother, quite excited.

?Mamma!... Mamma!... He has made me...?

?Made what??

?Made, made me an offer, Mamma! Mamma!? she exclaimed.

The countess did not believe her ears. Denísov had proposed. To whom?
To this chit of a girl, Natásha, who not so long ago was playing with
dolls and who was still having lessons.

?Don?t, Natásha! What nonsense!? she said, hoping it was a joke.

?Nonsense, indeed! I am telling you the fact,? said Natásha
indignantly. ?I come to ask you what to do, and you call it

The countess shrugged her shoulders.

?If it is true that Monsieur Denísov has made you a proposal, tell
him he is a fool, that?s all!?

?No, he?s not a fool!? replied Natásha indignantly and seriously.

?Well then, what do you want? You?re all in love nowadays. Well,
if you are in love, marry him!? said the countess, with a laugh of
annoyance. ?Good luck to you!?

?No, Mamma, I?m not in love with him, I suppose I?m not in love
with him.?

?Well then, tell him so.?

?Mamma, are you cross? Don?t be cross, dear! Is it my fault??

?No, but what is it, my dear? Do you want me to go and tell him??
said the countess smiling.

?No, I will do it myself, only tell me what to say. It?s all very
well for you,? said Natásha, with a responsive smile. ?You should
have seen how he said it! I know he did not mean to say it, but it came
out accidently.?

?Well, all the same, you must refuse him.?

?No, I mustn?t. I am so sorry for him! He?s so nice.?

?Well then, accept his offer. It?s high time for you to be
married,? answered the countess sharply and sarcastically.

?No, Mamma, but I?m so sorry for him. I don?t know how I?m to
say it.?

?And there?s nothing for you to say. I shall speak to him myself,?
said the countess, indignant that they should have dared to treat this
little Natásha as grown up.

?No, not on any account! I will tell him myself, and you?ll listen
at the door,? and Natásha ran across the drawing room to the dancing
hall, where Denísov was sitting on the same chair by the clavichord
with his face in his hands.

He jumped up at the sound of her light step.

?Nataly,? he said, moving with rapid steps toward her, ?decide my
fate. It is in your hands.?

?Vasíli Dmítrich, I?m so sorry for you!... No, but you are so
nice... but it won?t do...not that... but as a friend, I shall always
love you.?

Denísov bent over her hand and she heard strange sounds she did not
understand. She kissed his rough curly black head. At this instant, they
heard the quick rustle of the countess? dress. She came up to them.

?Vasíli Dmítrich, I thank you for the honor,? she said, with an
embarrassed voice, though it sounded severe to Denísov??but my
daughter is so young, and I thought that, as my son?s friend, you
would have addressed yourself first to me. In that case you would not
have obliged me to give this refusal.?

?Countess...? said Denísov, with downcast eyes and a guilty face.
He tried to say more, but faltered.

Natásha could not remain calm, seeing him in such a plight. She began
to sob aloud.

?Countess, I have done w?ong,? Denísov went on in an unsteady
voice, ?but believe me, I so adore your daughter and all your family
that I would give my life twice over...? He looked at the countess,
and seeing her severe face said: ?Well, good-by, Countess,? and
kissing her hand, he left the room with quick resolute strides, without
looking at Natásha.

Next day Rostóv saw Denísov off. He did not wish to stay another
day in Moscow. All Denísov?s Moscow friends gave him a farewell
entertainment at the gypsies?, with the result that he had no
recollection of how he was put in the sleigh or of the first three
stages of his journey.

After Denísov?s departure, Rostóv spent another fortnight in Moscow,
without going out of the house, waiting for the money his father could
not at once raise, and he spent most of his time in the girls? room.

Sónya was more tender and devoted to him than ever. It was as if she
wanted to show him that his losses were an achievement that made her
love him all the more, but Nicholas now considered himself unworthy of

He filled the girls? albums with verses and music, and having at last
sent Dólokhov the whole forty-three thousand rubles and received his
receipt, he left at the end of November, without taking leave of any of
his acquaintances, to overtake his regiment which was already in Poland.

BOOK FIVE: 1806 - 07


After his interview with his wife Pierre left for Petersburg. At the
Torzhók post station, either there were no horses or the postmaster
would not supply them. Pierre was obliged to wait. Without undressing,
he lay down on the leather sofa in front of a round table, put his big
feet in their overboots on the table, and began to reflect.

?Will you have the portmanteaus brought in? And a bed got ready, and
tea?? asked his valet.

Pierre gave no answer, for he neither heard nor saw anything. He had
begun to think of the last station and was still pondering on the same
question?one so important that he took no notice of what went
on around him. Not only was he indifferent as to whether he got to
Petersburg earlier or later, or whether he secured accommodation at this
station, but compared to the thoughts that now occupied him it was a
matter of indifference whether he remained there for a few hours or for
the rest of his life.

The postmaster, his wife, the valet, and a peasant woman selling
Torzhók embroidery came into the room offering their services.
Without changing his careless attitude, Pierre looked at them over his
spectacles unable to understand what they wanted or how they could go on
living without having solved the problems that so absorbed him. He had
been engrossed by the same thoughts ever since the day he returned from
Sokólniki after the duel and had spent that first agonizing, sleepless
night. But now, in the solitude of the journey, they seized him with
special force. No matter what he thought about, he always returned to
these same questions which he could not solve and yet could not cease to
ask himself. It was as if the thread of the chief screw which held his
life together were stripped, so that the screw could not get in or out,
but went on turning uselessly in the same place.

The postmaster came in and began obsequiously to beg his excellency to
wait only two hours, when, come what might, he would let his excellency
have the courier horses. It was plain that he was lying and only wanted
to get more money from the traveler.

?Is this good or bad?? Pierre asked himself. ?It is good for me,
bad for another traveler, and for himself it?s unavoidable, because
he needs money for food; the man said an officer had once given him a
thrashing for letting a private traveler have the courier horses.
But the officer thrashed him because he had to get on as quickly as
possible. And I,? continued Pierre, ?shot Dólokhov because I
considered myself injured, and Louis XVI was executed because they
considered him a criminal, and a year later they executed those who
executed him?also for some reason. What is bad? What is good? What
should one love and what hate? What does one live for? And what am I?
What is life, and what is death? What power governs all??

There was no answer to any of these questions, except one, and that
not a logical answer and not at all a reply to them. The answer was:
?You?ll die and all will end. You?ll die and know all, or cease
asking.? But dying was also dreadful.

The Torzhók peddler woman, in a whining voice, went on offering her
wares, especially a pair of goatskin slippers. ?I have hundreds of
rubles I don?t know what to do with, and she stands in her tattered
cloak looking timidly at me,? he thought. ?And what does she
want the money for? As if that money could add a hair?s breadth to
happiness or peace of mind. Can anything in the world make her or me
less a prey to evil and death??death which ends all and must come
today or tomorrow?at any rate, in an instant as compared with
eternity.? And again he twisted the screw with the stripped thread,
and again it turned uselessly in the same place.

His servant handed him a half-cut novel, in the form of letters, by
Madame de Souza. He began reading about the sufferings and virtuous
struggles of a certain Emilie de Mansfeld. ?And why did she resist
her seducer when she loved him?? he thought. ?God could not have put
into her heart an impulse that was against His will. My wife?as she
once was?did not struggle, and perhaps she was right. Nothing has been
found out, nothing discovered,? Pierre again said to himself. ?All
we can know is that we know nothing. And that?s the height of human

Everything within and around him seemed confused, senseless, and
repellent. Yet in this very repugnance to all his circumstances Pierre
found a kind of tantalizing satisfaction.

?I make bold to ask your excellency to move a little for this
gentleman,? said the postmaster, entering the room followed by another
traveler, also detained for lack of horses.

The newcomer was a short, large-boned, yellow-faced, wrinkled old
man, with gray bushy eyebrows overhanging bright eyes of an indefinite
grayish color.

Pierre took his feet off the table, stood up, and lay down on a bed that
had been got ready for him, glancing now and then at the newcomer, who,
with a gloomy and tired face, was wearily taking off his wraps with the
aid of his servant, and not looking at Pierre. With a pair of felt boots
on his thin bony legs, and keeping on a worn, nankeen-covered, sheepskin
coat, the traveler sat down on the sofa, leaned back his big head with
its broad temples and close-cropped hair, and looked at Bezúkhov. The
stern, shrewd, and penetrating expression of that look struck Pierre. He
felt a wish to speak to the stranger, but by the time he had made up his
mind to ask him a question about the roads, the traveler had closed his
eyes. His shriveled old hands were folded and on the finger of one of
them Pierre noticed a large cast iron ring with a seal representing a
death?s head. The stranger sat without stirring, either resting or, as
it seemed to Pierre, sunk in profound and calm meditation. His servant
was also a yellow, wrinkled old man, without beard or mustache,
evidently not because he was shaven but because they had never grown.
This active old servant was unpacking the traveler?s canteen and
preparing tea. He brought in a boiling samovar. When everything was
ready, the stranger opened his eyes, moved to the table, filled a
tumbler with tea for himself and one for the beardless old man to whom
he passed it. Pierre began to feel a sense of uneasiness, and the
need, even the inevitability, of entering into conversation with this

The servant brought back his tumbler turned upside down, * with an
unfinished bit of nibbled sugar, and asked if anything more would be

    * To indicate he did not want more tea.

?No. Give me the book,? said the stranger.

The servant handed him a book which Pierre took to be a devotional work,
and the traveler became absorbed in it. Pierre looked at him. All at
once the stranger closed the book, putting in a marker, and again,
leaning with his arms on the back of the sofa, sat in his former
position with his eyes shut. Pierre looked at him and had not time
to turn away when the old man, opening his eyes, fixed his steady and
severe gaze straight on Pierre?s face.

Pierre felt confused and wished to avoid that look, but the bright old
eyes attracted him irresistibly.


?I have the pleasure of addressing Count Bezúkhov, if I am not
mistaken,? said the stranger in a deliberate and loud voice.

Pierre looked silently and inquiringly at him over his spectacles.

?I have heard of you, my dear sir,? continued the stranger, ?and
of your misfortune.? He seemed to emphasize the last word, as if to
say??Yes, misfortune! Call it what you please, I know that what
happened to you in Moscow was a misfortune.???I regret it very
much, my dear sir.?

Pierre flushed and, hurriedly putting his legs down from the bed, bent
forward toward the old man with a forced and timid smile.

?I have not referred to this out of curiosity, my dear sir, but for
greater reasons.?

He paused, his gaze still on Pierre, and moved aside on the sofa by way
of inviting the other to take a seat beside him. Pierre felt reluctant
to enter into conversation with this old man, but, submitting to him
involuntarily, came up and sat down beside him.

?You are unhappy, my dear sir,? the stranger continued. ?You
are young and I am old. I should like to help you as far as lies in my

?Oh, yes!? said Pierre, with a forced smile. ?I am very grateful
to you. Where are you traveling from??

The stranger?s face was not genial, it was even cold and severe, but
in spite of this, both the face and words of his new acquaintance were
irresistibly attractive to Pierre.

?But if for any reason you don?t feel inclined to talk to me,?
said the old man, ?say so, my dear sir.? And he suddenly smiled, in
an unexpected and tenderly paternal way.

?Oh no, not at all! On the contrary, I am very glad to make your
acquaintance,? said Pierre. And again, glancing at the stranger?s
hands, he looked more closely at the ring, with its skull?a Masonic

?Allow me to ask,? he said, ?are you a Mason??

?Yes, I belong to the Brotherhood of the Freemasons,? said the
stranger, looking deeper and deeper into Pierre?s eyes. ?And in
their name and my own I hold out a brotherly hand to you.?

?I am afraid,? said Pierre, smiling, and wavering between the
confidence the personality of the Freemason inspired in him and his own
habit of ridiculing the Masonic beliefs??I am afraid I am very far
from understanding?how am I to put it??I am afraid my way of looking
at the world is so opposed to yours that we shall not understand one

?I know your outlook,? said the Mason, ?and the view of life you
mention, and which you think is the result of your own mental efforts,
is the one held by the majority of people, and is the invariable fruit
of pride, indolence, and ignorance. Forgive me, my dear sir, but if I
had not known it I should not have addressed you. Your view of life is a
regrettable delusion.?

?Just as I may suppose you to be deluded,? said Pierre, with a faint

?I should never dare to say that I know the truth,? said the Mason,
whose words struck Pierre more and more by their precision and firmness.
?No one can attain to truth by himself. Only by laying stone on stone
with the cooperation of all, by the millions of generations from our
forefather Adam to our own times, is that temple reared which is to be
a worthy dwelling place of the Great God,? he added, and closed his

?I ought to tell you that I do not believe... do not believe in
God,? said Pierre, regretfully and with an effort, feeling it
essential to speak the whole truth.

The Mason looked intently at Pierre and smiled as a rich man with
millions in hand might smile at a poor fellow who told him that he, poor
man, had not the five rubles that would make him happy.

?Yes, you do not know Him, my dear sir,? said the Mason. ?You
cannot know Him. You do not know Him and that is why you are unhappy.?

?Yes, yes, I am unhappy,? assented Pierre. ?But what am I to

?You know Him not, my dear sir, and so you are very unhappy. You do
not know Him, but He is here, He is in me, He is in my words, He is in
thee, and even in those blasphemous words thou hast just uttered!?
pronounced the Mason in a stern and tremulous voice.

He paused and sighed, evidently trying to calm himself.

?If He were not,? he said quietly, ?you and I would not be
speaking of Him, my dear sir. Of what, of whom, are we speaking? Whom
hast thou denied?? he suddenly asked with exulting austerity and
authority in his voice. ?Who invented Him, if He did not exist? Whence
came thy conception of the existence of such an incomprehensible Being?
didst thou, and why did the whole world, conceive the idea of the
existence of such an incomprehensible Being, a Being all-powerful,
eternal, and infinite in all His attributes?...?

He stopped and remained silent for a long time.

Pierre could not and did not wish to break this silence.

?He exists, but to understand Him is hard,? the Mason began again,
looking not at Pierre but straight before him, and turning the leaves
of his book with his old hands which from excitement he could not keep
still. ?If it were a man whose existence thou didst doubt I could
bring him to thee, could take him by the hand and show him to thee. But
how can I, an insignificant mortal, show His omnipotence, His infinity,
and all His mercy to one who is blind, or who shuts his eyes that he may
not see or understand Him and may not see or understand his own vileness
and sinfulness?? He paused again. ?Who art thou? Thou dreamest that
thou art wise because thou couldst utter those blasphemous words,? he
went on, with a somber and scornful smile. ?And thou art more foolish
and unreasonable than a little child, who, playing with the parts of a
skillfully made watch, dares to say that, as he does not understand
its use, he does not believe in the master who made it. To know Him is
hard.... For ages, from our forefather Adam to our own day, we labor to
attain that knowledge and are still infinitely far from our aim; but
in our lack of understanding we see only our weakness and His

Pierre listened with swelling heart, gazing into the Mason?s face with
shining eyes, not interrupting or questioning him, but believing with
his whole soul what the stranger said. Whether he accepted the wise
reasoning contained in the Mason?s words, or believed as a child
believes, in the speaker?s tone of conviction and earnestness, or
the tremor of the speaker?s voice?which sometimes almost broke?or
those brilliant aged eyes grown old in this conviction, or the calm
firmness and certainty of his vocation, which radiated from his whole
being (and which struck Pierre especially by contrast with his own
dejection and hopelessness)?at any rate, Pierre longed with his whole
soul to believe and he did believe, and felt a joyful sense of comfort,
regeneration, and return to life.

?He is not to be apprehended by reason, but by life,? said the

?I do not understand,? said Pierre, feeling with dismay doubts
reawakening. He was afraid of any want of clearness, any weakness, in
the Mason?s arguments; he dreaded not to be able to believe in him.
?I don?t understand,? he said, ?how it is that the mind of man
cannot attain the knowledge of which you speak.?

The Mason smiled with his gentle fatherly smile.

?The highest wisdom and truth are like the purest liquid we may wish
to imbibe,? he said. ?Can I receive that pure liquid into an impure
vessel and judge of its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself
can I retain in some degree of purity the liquid I receive.?

?Yes, yes, that is so,? said Pierre joyfully.

?The highest wisdom is not founded on reason alone, not on those
worldly sciences of physics, history, chemistry, and the like, into
which intellectual knowledge is divided. The highest wisdom is one.
The highest wisdom has but one science?the science of the whole?the
science explaining the whole creation and man?s place in it. To
receive that science it is necessary to purify and renew one?s inner
self, and so before one can know, it is necessary to believe and to
perfect one?s self. And to attain this end, we have the light called
conscience that God has implanted in our souls.?

?Yes, yes,? assented Pierre.

?Look then at thy inner self with the eyes of the spirit, and ask
thyself whether thou art content with thyself. What hast thou attained
relying on reason only? What art thou? You are young, you are rich, you
are clever, you are well educated. And what have you done with all these
good gifts? Are you content with yourself and with your life??

?No, I hate my life,? Pierre muttered, wincing.

?Thou hatest it. Then change it, purify thyself; and as thou art
purified, thou wilt gain wisdom. Look at your life, my dear sir.
How have you spent it? In riotous orgies and debauchery, receiving
everything from society and giving nothing in return. You have become
the possessor of wealth. How have you used it? What have you done
for your neighbor? Have you ever thought of your tens of thousands
of slaves? Have you helped them physically and morally? No! You have
profited by their toil to lead a profligate life. That is what you have
done. Have you chosen a post in which you might be of service to your
neighbor? No! You have spent your life in idleness. Then you married, my
dear sir?took on yourself responsibility for the guidance of a young
woman; and what have you done? You have not helped her to find the way
of truth, my dear sir, but have thrust her into an abyss of deceit and
misery. A man offended you and you shot him, and you say you do not
know God and hate your life. There is nothing strange in that, my dear

After these words, the Mason, as if tired by his long discourse, again
leaned his arms on the back of the sofa and closed his eyes. Pierre
looked at that aged, stern, motionless, almost lifeless face and moved
his lips without uttering a sound. He wished to say, ?Yes, a vile,
idle, vicious life!? but dared not break the silence.

The Mason cleared his throat huskily, as old men do, and called his

?How about the horses?? he asked, without looking at Pierre.

?The exchange horses have just come,? answered the servant. ?Will
you not rest here??

?No, tell them to harness.?

?Can he really be going away leaving me alone without having told me
all, and without promising to help me?? thought Pierre, rising with
downcast head; and he began to pace the room, glancing occasionally at
the Mason. ?Yes, I never thought of it, but I have led a contemptible
and profligate life, though I did not like it and did not want to,?
thought Pierre. ?But this man knows the truth and, if he wished to,
could disclose it to me.?

Pierre wished to say this to the Mason, but did not dare to. The
traveler, having packed his things with his practiced hands, began
fastening his coat. When he had finished, he turned to Bezúkhov, and
said in a tone of indifferent politeness:

?Where are you going to now, my dear sir??

?I?... I?m going to Petersburg,? answered Pierre, in a childlike,
hesitating voice. ?I thank you. I agree with all you have said. But
do not suppose me to be so bad. With my whole soul I wish to be what you
would have me be, but I have never had help from anyone.... But it is
I, above all, who am to blame for everything. Help me, teach me, and
perhaps I may...?

Pierre could not go on. He gulped and turned away.

The Mason remained silent for a long time, evidently considering.

?Help comes from God alone,? he said, ?but such measure of help as
our Order can bestow it will render you, my dear sir. You are going to
Petersburg. Hand this to Count Willarski? (he took out his notebook
and wrote a few words on a large sheet of paper folded in four).
?Allow me to give you a piece of advice. When you reach the capital,
first of all devote some time to solitude and self-examination and do
not resume your former way of life. And now I wish you a good journey,
my dear sir,? he added, seeing that his servant had entered... ?and

The traveler was Joseph Alexéevich Bazdéev, as Pierre saw from the
postmaster?s book. Bazdéev had been one of the best-known Freemasons
and Martinists, even in Novíkov?s time. For a long while after he had
gone, Pierre did not go to bed or order horses but paced up and down
the room, pondering over his vicious past, and with a rapturous sense
of beginning anew pictured to himself the blissful, irreproachable,
virtuous future that seemed to him so easy. It seemed to him that he had
been vicious only because he had somehow forgotten how good it is to
be virtuous. Not a trace of his former doubts remained in his soul. He
firmly believed in the possibility of the brotherhood of men united in
the aim of supporting one another in the path of virtue, and that is how
Freemasonry presented itself to him.


On reaching Petersburg Pierre did not let anyone know of his arrival,
he went nowhere and spent whole days in reading Thomas à Kempis, whose
book had been sent him by someone unknown. One thing he continually
realized as he read that book: the joy, hitherto unknown to him,
of believing in the possibility of attaining perfection, and in the
possibility of active brotherly love among men, which Joseph Alexéevich
had revealed to him. A week after his arrival, the young Polish count,
Willarski, whom Pierre had known slightly in Petersburg society, came
into his room one evening in the official and ceremonious manner in
which Dólokhov?s second had called on him, and, having closed the
door behind him and satisfied himself that there was nobody else in the
room, addressed Pierre.

?I have come to you with a message and an offer, Count,? he
said without sitting down. ?A person of very high standing in our
Brotherhood has made application for you to be received into our Order
before the usual term and has proposed to me to be your sponsor. I
consider it a sacred duty to fulfill that person?s wishes. Do you wish
to enter the Brotherhood of Freemasons under my sponsorship??

The cold, austere tone of this man, whom he had almost always before met
at balls, amiably smiling in the society of the most brilliant women,
surprised Pierre.

?Yes, I do wish it,? said he.

Willarski bowed his head.

?One more question, Count,? he said, ?which I beg you to answer
in all sincerity?not as a future Mason but as an honest man: have you
renounced your former convictions?do you believe in God??

Pierre considered.

?Yes... yes, I believe in God,? he said.

?In that case...? began Willarski, but Pierre interrupted him.

?Yes, I do believe in God,? he repeated.

?In that case we can go,? said Willarski. ?My carriage is at your

Willarski was silent throughout the drive. To Pierre?s inquiries as
to what he must do and how he should answer, Willarski only replied that
brothers more worthy than he would test him and that Pierre had only to
tell the truth.

Having entered the courtyard of a large house where the Lodge had its
headquarters, and having ascended a dark staircase, they entered a small
well-lit anteroom where they took off their cloaks without the aid of
a servant. From there they passed into another room. A man in strange
attire appeared at the door. Willarski, stepping toward him, said
something to him in French in an undertone and then went up to a small
wardrobe in which Pierre noticed garments such as he had never seen
before. Having taken a kerchief from the cupboard, Willarski bound
Pierre?s eyes with it and tied it in a knot behind, catching some
hairs painfully in the knot. Then he drew his face down, kissed him, and
taking him by the hand led him forward. The hairs tied in the knot hurt
Pierre and there were lines of pain on his face and a shamefaced smile.
His huge figure, with arms hanging down and with a puckered, though
smiling face, moved after Willarski with uncertain, timid steps.

Having led him about ten paces, Willarski stopped.

?Whatever happens to you,? he said, ?you must bear it all manfully
if you have firmly resolved to join our Brotherhood.? (Pierre nodded
affirmatively.) ?When you hear a knock at the door, you will uncover
your eyes,? added Willarski. ?I wish you courage and success,?
and, pressing Pierre?s hand, he went out.

Left alone, Pierre went on smiling in the same way. Once or twice
he shrugged his shoulders and raised his hand to the kerchief, as if
wishing to take it off, but let it drop again. The five minutes spent
with his eyes bandaged seemed to him an hour. His arms felt numb,
his legs almost gave way, it seemed to him that he was tired out. He
experienced a variety of most complex sensations. He felt afraid of what
would happen to him and still more afraid of showing his fear. He felt
curious to know what was going to happen and what would be revealed to
him; but most of all, he felt joyful that the moment had come when he
would at last start on that path of regeneration and on the actively
virtuous life of which he had been dreaming since he met Joseph
Alexéevich. Loud knocks were heard at the door. Pierre took the bandage
off his eyes and glanced around him. The room was in black darkness,
only a small lamp was burning inside something white. Pierre went nearer
and saw that the lamp stood on a black table on which lay an open book.
The book was the Gospel, and the white thing with the lamp inside was a
human skull with its cavities and teeth. After reading the first words
of the Gospel: ?In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with
God,? Pierre went round the table and saw a large open box filled
with something. It was a coffin with bones inside. He was not at all
surprised by what he saw. Hoping to enter on an entirely new life quite
unlike the old one, he expected everything to be unusual, even more
unusual than what he was seeing. A skull, a coffin, the Gospel?it
seemed to him that he had expected all this and even more. Trying
to stimulate his emotions he looked around. ?God, death, love, the
brotherhood of man,? he kept saying to himself, associating these
words with vague yet joyful ideas. The door opened and someone came in.

By the dim light, to which Pierre had already become accustomed, he
saw a rather short man. Having evidently come from the light into the
darkness, the man paused, then moved with cautious steps toward the
table and placed on it his small leather-gloved hands.

This short man had on a white leather apron which covered his chest and
part of his legs; he had on a kind of necklace above which rose a high
white ruffle, outlining his rather long face which was lit up from

?For what have you come hither?? asked the newcomer, turning in
Pierre?s direction at a slight rustle made by the latter. ?Why have
you, who do not believe in the truth of the light and who have not
seen the light, come here? What do you seek from us? Wisdom, virtue,

At the moment the door opened and the stranger came in, Pierre felt a
sense of awe and veneration such as he had experienced in his boyhood at
confession; he felt himself in the presence of one socially a complete
stranger, yet nearer to him through the brotherhood of man. With bated
breath and beating heart he moved toward the Rhetor (by which name the
brother who prepared a seeker for entrance into the Brotherhood was
known). Drawing nearer, he recognized in the Rhetor a man he knew,
Smolyanínov, and it mortified him to think that the newcomer was an
acquaintance?he wished him simply a brother and a virtuous instructor.
For a long time he could not utter a word, so that the Rhetor had to
repeat his question.

?Yes... I... I... desire regeneration,? Pierre uttered with

?Very well,? said Smolyanínov, and went on at once: ?Have you any
idea of the means by which our holy Order will help you to reach your
aim?? said he quietly and quickly.

?I... hope... for guidance... help... in regeneration,? said Pierre,
with a trembling voice and some difficulty in utterance due to his
excitement and to being unaccustomed to speak of abstract matters in

?What is your conception of Freemasonry??

?I imagine that Freemasonry is the fraternity and equality of men who
have virtuous aims,? said Pierre, feeling ashamed of the inadequacy
of his words for the solemnity of the moment, as he spoke. ?I

?Good!? said the Rhetor quickly, apparently satisfied with
this answer. ?Have you sought for means of attaining your aim in

?No, I considered it erroneous and did not follow it,? said Pierre,
so softly that the Rhetor did not hear him and asked him what he was
saying. ?I have been an atheist,? answered Pierre.

?You are seeking for truth in order to follow its laws in your life,
therefore you seek wisdom and virtue. Is that not so?? said the
Rhetor, after a moment?s pause.

?Yes, yes,? assented Pierre.

The Rhetor cleared his throat, crossed his gloved hands on his breast,
and began to speak.

?Now I must disclose to you the chief aim of our Order,? he said,
?and if this aim coincides with yours, you may enter our Brotherhood
with profit. The first and chief object of our Order, the foundation on
which it rests and which no human power can destroy, is the preservation
and handing on to posterity of a certain important mystery... which
has come down to us from the remotest ages, even from the first man?a
mystery on which perhaps the fate of mankind depends. But since this
mystery is of such a nature that nobody can know or use it unless he be
prepared by long and diligent self-purification, not everyone can hope
to attain it quickly. Hence we have a secondary aim, that of preparing
our members as much as possible to reform their hearts, to purify and
enlighten their minds, by means handed on to us by tradition from those
who have striven to attain this mystery, and thereby to render them
capable of receiving it.

?By purifying and regenerating our members we try, thirdly, to improve
the whole human race, offering it in our members an example of piety
and virtue, and thereby try with all our might to combat the evil which
sways the world. Think this over and I will come to you again.?

?To combat the evil which sways the world...? Pierre repeated, and a
mental image of his future activity in this direction rose in his mind.
He imagined men such as he had himself been a fortnight ago, and he
addressed an edifying exhortation to them. He imagined to himself
vicious and unfortunate people whom he would assist by word and deed,
imagined oppressors whose victims he would rescue. Of the three
objects mentioned by the Rhetor, this last, that of improving mankind,
especially appealed to Pierre. The important mystery mentioned by the
Rhetor, though it aroused his curiosity, did not seem to him essential,
and the second aim, that of purifying and regenerating himself, did not
much interest him because at that moment he felt with delight that he
was already perfectly cured of his former faults and was ready for all
that was good.

Half an hour later, the Rhetor returned to inform the seeker of the
seven virtues, corresponding to the seven steps of Solomon?s temple,
which every Freemason should cultivate in himself. These virtues were:
1. Discretion, the keeping of the secrets of the Order. 2. Obedience to
those of higher ranks in the Order. 3. Morality. 4. Love of mankind. 5.
Courage. 6. Generosity. 7. The love of death.

?In the seventh place, try, by the frequent thought of death,? the
Rhetor said, ?to bring yourself to regard it not as a dreaded foe, but
as a friend that frees the soul grown weary in the labors of virtue
from this distressful life, and leads it to its place of recompense and

?Yes, that must be so,? thought Pierre, when after these words the
Rhetor went away, leaving him to solitary meditation. ?It must be so,
but I am still so weak that I love my life, the meaning of which is only
now gradually opening before me.? But five of the other virtues which
Pierre recalled, counting them on his fingers, he felt already in his
soul: courage, generosity, morality, love of mankind, and especially
obedience?which did not even seem to him a virtue, but a joy. (He now
felt so glad to be free from his own lawlessness and to submit his will
to those who knew the indubitable truth.) He forgot what the seventh
virtue was and could not recall it.

The third time the Rhetor came back more quickly and asked Pierre
whether he was still firm in his intention and determined to submit to
all that would be required of him.

?I am ready for everything,? said Pierre.

?I must also inform you,? said the Rhetor, ?that our Order
delivers its teaching not in words only but also by other means, which
may perhaps have a stronger effect on the sincere seeker after wisdom
and virtue than mere words. This chamber with what you see therein
should already have suggested to your heart, if it is sincere, more than
words could do. You will perhaps also see in your further initiation a
like method of enlightenment. Our Order imitates the ancient societies
that explained their teaching by hieroglyphics. A hieroglyph,? said
the Rhetor, ?is an emblem of something not cognizable by the senses
but which possesses qualities resembling those of the symbol.?

Pierre knew very well what a hieroglyph was, but dared not speak. He
listened to the Rhetor in silence, feeling from all he said that his
ordeal was about to begin.

?If you are resolved, I must begin your initiation,? said the Rhetor
coming closer to Pierre. ?In token of generosity I ask you to give me
all your valuables.?

?But I have nothing here,? replied Pierre, supposing that he was
asked to give up all he possessed.

?What you have with you: watch, money, rings....?

Pierre quickly took out his purse and watch, but could not manage for
some time to get the wedding ring off his fat finger. When that had been
done, the Rhetor said:

?In token of obedience, I ask you to undress.?

Pierre took off his coat, waistcoat, and left boot according to the
Rhetor?s instructions. The Mason drew the shirt back from Pierre?s
left breast, and stooping down pulled up the left leg of his trousers
to above the knee. Pierre hurriedly began taking off his right boot also
and was going to tuck up the other trouser leg to save this stranger the
trouble, but the Mason told him that was not necessary and gave him
a slipper for his left foot. With a childlike smile of embarrassment,
doubt, and self-derision, which appeared on his face against his will,
Pierre stood with his arms hanging down and legs apart, before his
brother Rhetor, and awaited his further commands.

?And now, in token of candor, I ask you to reveal to me your chief
passion,? said the latter.

?My passion! I have had so many,? replied Pierre.

?That passion which more than all others caused you to waver on the
path of virtue,? said the Mason.

Pierre paused, seeking a reply.

?Wine? Gluttony? Idleness? Laziness? Irritability? Anger? Women??
He went over his vices in his mind, not knowing to which of them to give
the pre-eminence.

?Women,? he said in a low, scarcely audible voice.

The Mason did not move and for a long time said nothing after this
answer. At last he moved up to Pierre and, taking the kerchief that lay
on the table, again bound his eyes.

?For the last time I say to you?turn all your attention upon
yourself, put a bridle on your senses, and seek blessedness, not in
passion but in your own heart. The source of blessedness is not without
us but within....?

Pierre had already long been feeling in himself that refreshing source
of blessedness which now flooded his heart with glad emotion.


Soon after this there came into the dark chamber to fetch Pierre, not
the Rhetor but Pierre?s sponsor, Willarski, whom he recognized by his
voice. To fresh questions as to the firmness of his resolution Pierre
replied: ?Yes, yes, I agree,? and with a beaming, childlike smile,
his fat chest uncovered, stepping unevenly and timidly in one slippered
and one booted foot, he advanced, while Willarski held a sword to his
bare chest. He was conducted from that room along passages that turned
backwards and forwards and was at last brought to the doors of the
Lodge. Willarski coughed, he was answered by the Masonic knock with
mallets, the doors opened before them. A bass voice (Pierre was still
blindfolded) questioned him as to who he was, when and where he was
born, and so on. Then he was again led somewhere still blindfolded,
and as they went along he was told allegories of the toils of his
pilgrimage, of holy friendship, of the Eternal Architect of the
universe, and of the courage with which he should endure toils and
dangers. During these wanderings, Pierre noticed that he was spoken
of now as the ?Seeker,? now as the ?Sufferer,? and now as the
?Postulant,? to the accompaniment of various knockings with
mallets and swords. As he was being led up to some object he noticed a
hesitation and uncertainty among his conductors. He heard those around
him disputing in whispers and one of them insisting that he should be
led along a certain carpet. After that they took his right hand, placed
it on something, and told him to hold a pair of compasses to his left
breast with the other hand and to repeat after someone who read aloud
an oath of fidelity to the laws of the Order. The candles were then
extinguished and some spirit lighted, as Pierre knew by the smell, and
he was told that he would now see the lesser light. The bandage was
taken off his eyes and, by the faint light of the burning spirit,
Pierre, as in a dream, saw several men standing before him, wearing
aprons like the Rhetor?s and holding swords in their hands pointed at
his breast. Among them stood a man whose white shirt was stained with
blood. On seeing this, Pierre moved forward with his breast toward the
swords, meaning them to pierce it. But the swords were drawn back from
him and he was at once blindfolded again.

?Now thou hast seen the lesser light,? uttered a voice. Then the
candles were relit and he was told that he would see the full light; the
bandage was again removed and more than ten voices said together: ?Sic
transit gloria mundi.?

Pierre gradually began to recover himself and looked about at the room
and at the people in it. Round a long table covered with black sat some
twelve men in garments like those he had already seen. Some of them
Pierre had met in Petersburg society. In the President?s chair sat a
young man he did not know, with a peculiar cross hanging from his
neck. On his right sat the Italian abbé whom Pierre had met at
Anna Pávlovna?s two years before. There were also present a very
distinguished dignitary and a Swiss who had formerly been tutor at the
Kurágins?. All maintained a solemn silence, listening to the words
of the President, who held a mallet in his hand. Let into the wall was
a star-shaped light. At one side of the table was a small carpet with
various figures worked upon it, at the other was something resembling an
altar on which lay a Testament and a skull. Round it stood seven large
candlesticks like those used in churches. Two of the brothers led Pierre
up to the altar, placed his feet at right angles, and bade him lie down,
saying that he must prostrate himself at the Gates of the Temple.

?He must first receive the trowel,? whispered one of the brothers.

?Oh, hush, please!? said another.

Pierre, perplexed, looked round with his shortsighted eyes without
obeying, and suddenly doubts arose in his mind. ?Where am I? What am
I doing? Aren?t they laughing at me? Shan?t I be ashamed to remember
this?? But these doubts only lasted a moment. Pierre glanced at
the serious faces of those around, remembered all he had already gone
through, and realized that he could not stop halfway. He was aghast
at his hesitation and, trying to arouse his former devotional feeling,
prostrated himself before the Gates of the Temple. And really, the
feeling of devotion returned to him even more strongly than before. When
he had lain there some time, he was told to get up, and a white leather
apron, such as the others wore, was put on him: he was given a trowel
and three pairs of gloves, and then the Grand Master addressed him. He
told him that he should try to do nothing to stain the whiteness of that
apron, which symbolized strength and purity; then of the unexplained
trowel, he told him to toil with it to cleanse his own heart from vice,
and indulgently to smooth with it the heart of his neighbor. As to the
first pair of gloves, a man?s, he said that Pierre could not know
their meaning but must keep them. The second pair of man?s gloves
he was to wear at the meetings, and finally of the third, a pair of
women?s gloves, he said: ?Dear brother, these woman?s gloves are
intended for you too. Give them to the woman whom you shall honor most
of all. This gift will be a pledge of your purity of heart to her whom
you select to be your worthy helpmeet in Masonry.? And after a pause,
he added: ?But beware, dear brother, that these gloves do not deck
hands that are unclean.? While the Grand Master said these last words
it seemed to Pierre that he grew embarrassed. Pierre himself grew still
more confused, blushed like a child till tears came to his eyes, began
looking about him uneasily, and an awkward pause followed.

This silence was broken by one of the brethren, who led Pierre up to the
rug and began reading to him from a manuscript book an explanation of
all the figures on it: the sun, the moon, a hammer, a plumb line, a
trowel, a rough stone and a squared stone, a pillar, three windows, and
so on. Then a place was assigned to Pierre, he was shown the signs of
the Lodge, told the password, and at last was permitted to sit down.
The Grand Master began reading the statutes. They were very long, and
Pierre, from joy, agitation, and embarrassment, was not in a state to
understand what was being read. He managed to follow only the last words
of the statutes and these remained in his mind.

?In our temples we recognize no other distinctions,? read the Grand
Master, ?but those between virtue and vice. Beware of making any
distinctions which may infringe equality. Fly to a brother?s aid
whoever he may be, exhort him who goeth astray, raise him that falleth,
never bear malice or enmity toward thy brother. Be kindly and courteous.
Kindle in all hearts the flame of virtue. Share thy happiness with thy
neighbor, and may envy never dim the purity of that bliss. Forgive thy
enemy, do not avenge thyself except by doing him good. Thus fulfilling
the highest law thou shalt regain traces of the ancient dignity which
thou hast lost.?

He finished and, getting up, embraced and kissed Pierre, who, with tears
of joy in his eyes, looked round him, not knowing how to answer the
congratulations and greetings from acquaintances that met him on all
sides. He acknowledged no acquaintances but saw in all these men only
brothers, and burned with impatience to set to work with them.

The Grand Master rapped with his mallet. All the Masons sat down in
their places, and one of them read an exhortation on the necessity of

The Grand Master proposed that the last duty should be performed,
and the distinguished dignitary who bore the title of ?Collector
of Alms? went round to all the brothers. Pierre would have liked
to subscribe all he had, but fearing that it might look like pride
subscribed the same amount as the others.

The meeting was at an end, and on reaching home Pierre felt as if he had
returned from a long journey on which he had spent dozens of years, had
become completely changed, and had quite left behind his former habits
and way of life.


The day after he had been received into the Lodge, Pierre was sitting at
home reading a book and trying to fathom the significance of the Square,
one side of which symbolized God, another moral things, a third
physical things, and the fourth a combination of these. Now and then
his attention wandered from the book and the Square and he formed in
imagination a new plan of life. On the previous evening at the Lodge, he
had heard that a rumor of his duel had reached the Emperor and that it
would be wiser for him to leave Petersburg. Pierre proposed going to his
estates in the south and there attending to the welfare of his serfs.
He was joyfully planning this new life, when Prince Vasíli suddenly
entered the room.

?My dear fellow, what have you been up to in Moscow? Why have you
quarreled with Hélène, mon cher? You are under a delusion,? said
Prince Vasíli, as he entered. ?I know all about it, and I can tell
you positively that Hélène is as innocent before you as Christ was
before the Jews.?

Pierre was about to reply, but Prince Vasíli interrupted him.

?And why didn?t you simply come straight to me as to a friend? I
know all about it and understand it all,? he said. ?You behaved as
becomes a man who values his honor, perhaps too hastily, but we won?t
go into that. But consider the position in which you are placing her and
me in the eyes of society, and even of the court,? he added, lowering
his voice. ?She is living in Moscow and you are here. Remember,
dear boy,? and he drew Pierre?s arm downwards, ?it is simply a
misunderstanding. I expect you feel it so yourself. Let us write her
a letter at once, and she?ll come here and all will be explained, or
else, my dear boy, let me tell you it?s quite likely you?ll have to
suffer for it.?

Prince Vasíli gave Pierre a significant look.

?I know from reliable sources that the Dowager Empress is taking a
keen interest in the whole affair. You know she is very gracious to

Pierre tried several times to speak, but, on one hand, Prince Vasíli
did not let him and, on the other, Pierre himself feared to begin to
speak in the tone of decided refusal and disagreement in which he had
firmly resolved to answer his father-in-law. Moreover, the words of the
Masonic statutes, ?be kindly and courteous,? recurred to him. He
blinked, went red, got up and sat down again, struggling with himself
to do what was for him the most difficult thing in life?to say an
unpleasant thing to a man?s face, to say what the other, whoever
he might be, did not expect. He was so used to submitting to Prince
Vasíli?s tone of careless self-assurance that he felt he would be
unable to withstand it now, but he also felt that on what he said now
his future depended?whether he would follow the same old road, or that
new path so attractively shown him by the Masons, on which he firmly
believed he would be reborn to a new life.

?Now, dear boy,? said Prince Vasíli playfully, ?say ?yes,?
and I?ll write to her myself, and we will kill the fatted calf.?

But before Prince Vasíli had finished his playful speech, Pierre,
without looking at him, and with a kind of fury that made him like his
father, muttered in a whisper:

?Prince, I did not ask you here. Go, please go!? And he jumped up
and opened the door for him.

?Go!? he repeated, amazed at himself and glad to see the look of
confusion and fear that showed itself on Prince Vasíli?s face.

?What?s the matter with you? Are you ill??

?Go!? the quivering voice repeated. And Prince Vasíli had to go
without receiving any explanation.

A week later, Pierre, having taken leave of his new friends, the Masons,
and leaving large sums of money with them for alms, went away to his
estates. His new brethren gave him letters to the Kiev and Odessa Masons
and promised to write to him and guide him in his new activity.


The duel between Pierre and Dólokhov was hushed up and, in spite of
the Emperor?s severity regarding duels at that time, neither the
principals nor their seconds suffered for it. But the story of the duel,
confirmed by Pierre?s rupture with his wife, was the talk of society.
Pierre who had been regarded with patronizing condescension when he was
an illegitimate son, and petted and extolled when he was the best
match in Russia, had sunk greatly in the esteem of society after his
marriage?when the marriageable daughters and their mothers had nothing
to hope from him?especially as he did not know how, and did not
wish, to court society?s favor. Now he alone was blamed for what had
happened, he was said to be insanely jealous and subject like his
father to fits of bloodthirsty rage. And when after Pierre?s
departure Hélène returned to Petersburg, she was received by all her
acquaintances not only cordially, but even with a shade of deference
due to her misfortune. When conversation turned on her husband Hélène
assumed a dignified expression, which with characteristic tact she had
acquired though she did not understand its significance. This expression
suggested that she had resolved to endure her troubles uncomplainingly
and that her husband was a cross laid upon her by God. Prince Vasíli
expressed his opinion more openly. He shrugged his shoulders when Pierre
was mentioned and, pointing to his forehead, remarked:

?A bit touched?I always said so.?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anna Pávlovna gave him her shriveled hand to kiss and introduced him to
several persons whom he did not know, giving him a whispered description
of each.

?Prince Hippolyte Kurágin?charming young fellow; M.
Kronq,?chargé d?affaires from Copenhagen?a profound intellect,?
and simply, ?Mr. Shítov?a man of great merit??this of the man
usually so described.

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

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

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

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

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

    * ?Europe will never be our sincere ally.?

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

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

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

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

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

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

?You know her husband, of course?? said Anna Pávlovna, closing her
eyes and indicating Hélène with a sorrowful gesture. ?Ah, she is
such an unfortunate and charming woman! Don?t mention him before
her?please don?t! It is too painful for her!?


When Borís and Anna Pávlovna returned to the others Prince Hippolyte
had the ear of the company.

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

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

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

Anna Pávlovna frowned. Mortemart, Hippolyte?s friend, addressed him

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

Hippolyte laughed as if ashamed of laughing.

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

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

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

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

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

?You know N? N? received a snuffbox with the portrait last
year?? said ?the man of profound intellect.? ?Why shouldn?t
S? S? get the same distinction??

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

?There are precedents, I may mention Schwarzenberg.?

?It?s impossible,? replied another.

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

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

?It is of great importance to me,? she said, turning with a smile
toward Anna Pávlovna, and Anna Pávlovna, with the same sad smile with
which she spoke of her exalted patroness, supported Hélène?s wish.

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

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

During that stay in Petersburg, Borís became an intimate in the
countess? house.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?Pétrusha has come with papers from your father,? whispered the

Prince Andrew went out.

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

?Well?? he asked.

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

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

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

?Andrew, don?t!? said Princess Mary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

?No, pardon me, I won?t go now till the child is better,? thought
he, going to the door and looking into the nursery.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

?On the 4th, the first courier arrives from Petersburg. The mails
are taken to the field marshal?s room, for he likes to do everything
himself. I am called in to help sort the letters and take those meant
for us. The field marshal looks on and waits for letters addressed
to him. We search, but none are to be found. The field marshal grows
impatient and sets to work himself and finds letters from the Emperor
to Count T., Prince V., and others. Then he bursts into one of his wild
furies and rages at everyone and everything, seizes the letters, opens
them, and reads those from the Emperor addressed to others. ?Ah! So
that?s the way they treat me! No confidence in me! Ah, ordered to keep
an eye on me! Very well then! Get along with you!? So he writes the
famous order of the day to General Bennigsen:

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

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

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

?The field marshal is angry with the Emperor and he punishes us all,
isn?t it logical?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?He has perspired,? said Prince Andrew.

?I was coming to tell you so.?

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?Yes, yes, do so.?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

?A visitor,? answered Antón.

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

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

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

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

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

?I can?t tell you how much I have lived through since then. I hardly
know myself again.?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At dinner, conversation turned on Pierre?s marriage.

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

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

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

?But you know how it all ended, don?t you? You heard of the duel??

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

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

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

?No, to kill a man is bad?wrong.?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

?Why aren?t you serving in the army??

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

?Then you are serving??

?I am.?

He paused a little while.

?And why do you serve??

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

?Well, there you see!?

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

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

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

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

He did not reply.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pierre interrupted him.

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

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

?You say you can?t see a reign of goodness and truth on earth. Nor
could I, and it cannot be seen if one looks on our life here as the end
of everything. On earth, here on this earth? (Pierre pointed to
the fields), ?there is no truth, all is false and evil; but in the
universe, in the whole universe there is a kingdom of truth, and we who
are now the children of earth are?eternally?children of the
whole universe. Don?t I feel in my soul that I am part of this vast
harmonious whole? Don?t I feel that I form one link, one step, between
the lower and higher beings, in this vast harmonious multitude of
beings in whom the Deity?the Supreme Power if you prefer the term?is
manifest? If I see, clearly see, that ladder leading from plant to man,
why s