War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (Giới thiệu + book 1: 28/28 chapters )

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    khoảng 1 10 năm trước
  • War & Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

    Book 1

    Chapter 25



    At Bald Hills, Prince Nicholas Andreevich Bolkonski'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 Andreevich (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 ante chamber 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 Heloise?" 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 Heloise 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 Karagina who had been at the Rostovs' 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 Rostov, 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 Bezukhov, and his inheritance. Fancy! The three princesses
    have received very little, Prince Vasili 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 Bezukhov and
    possessor of the finest fortune in Russia. It is rumored that Prince
    Vasili 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
    Bezukhov 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 Bezukhova. But you will understand that I have
    no desire for the post. A propos of marriages: do you know that a
    while ago that universal auntie Anna Mikhaylovna told me, under the
    seal of strict secrecy, of a plan of marriage for you. It is neither
    more nor less than with Prince Vasili's son Anatole, whom they wish to
    reform by marrying him to someone rich and distinguee, 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 Apraksins'. 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 Bezukhov'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 Vasili, 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 Vasili 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 Vasili. 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 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 self-satisfied.

    "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 Ivanovich. 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 clavichord.



    War & Peace

    Leo Tolstoy

    Book 1

    Chapter 26



    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 Tikhon, 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. Tikhon 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 Tikhon; 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 Tikhon, at her husband, and at the footman who accompanied them.

    "Is that Mary practicing? Let's go quietly and take her by surprise."

    Prince Andrew followed her with a courteous but sad expression.

    "You've grown older, Tikhon," 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 stouter!..."

    "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 Spasski 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 Odyntsova 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 promotion..."

    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 same?"

    "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, Tikhon 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 Tikhon.

    "Ah! here's the warrior! Wants to vanquish Buonaparte?" said the old man, shaking his powdered head as much as the tail, which Tikhon 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 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 health?"

    "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 down!"

    "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- Tolstoy'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 Tikhon, 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 Tikhon 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 return."

    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."



    (end of chapter 25, 26 - book 1)


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