War and Peace
Having thanked Anna Pavlovna 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, 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 Pavlovna 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 Pavlovna, 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 Pavlovna. "It is settled," she added in
a low voice.
Anna Pavlovna had already managed to speak to Lise about the match
she contemplated between Anatole and the little princess'
"I rely on you, my dear," said Anna Pavlovna, 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?
"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
"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
"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 Scherer? 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 abbe 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
It was evident that Prince Andrew was not interested in such
"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 abbe as tutor,
and had remained away till he was twenty. When he returned to Moscow
his father dismissed the abbe 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 Vasili, 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 abbe 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 naive 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
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