1812, Russia and France at war again, Andrea Paul Constance Bo Qinuo based on multi-battle seriously wounded, while the Russian retreat, seeing in Moscow about to slide into the hands of the enemy. Rostov family originally used to move the family property of the carriage, reassignment to transport the wounded, Nada Sha can only be found in the wounded soldier to die Andrei Paul Kang Siji. Her dedication to his apology, and nursing him, but all to no avail, and Andrea Paul Kang Siji still can not escape the death of God died. Piel disguised as a farmer, would like to wait for an opportunity to assassinate Napoleon, but was arrested by the French army became prisoners of war. His wife Ellen in the war, still continued its acts of debauchery, finally, because of mistaken consumption of abortifacients death. After several rounds of fighting, Russia has finally win Piel chance encounter in Moscow Nada Sha, the two will be married, while Andrea Paul Kang Siji's sister Maria also Na Dasha's brother Nicolas marriage, which consists of a happy family.
“Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of theBuonapartes. 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 thatAntichrist—I really believe he is Antichrist—I will have nothingmore 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 Ihave frightened you—sit down and tell me all the news.”
It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna PávlovnaSchérer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Márya Fëdorovna.With these words she greeted Prince Vasíli Kurágin, a man of highrank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception. AnnaPávlovna had had a cough for some days. She was, as she said, sufferingfrom la grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, usedonly by the elite.
All her invitations without exception, written in French, and deliveredby a scarlet-liveried footman that morning, ran as follows:
“If you have nothing better to do, Count
, and if theprospect 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—AnnetteSchérer.”
“Heavens! what a virulent attack!” replied the prince, not in theleast disconcerted by this reception. He had just entered, wearing anembroidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars onhis breast and a serene expression on his flat face. He spoke in thatrefined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke but thought, andwith the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importancewho 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’smind at rest,” said he without altering his tone, beneath thepoliteness and affected sympathy of which indifference and even ironycould be discerned.
“Can one be well while suffering morally? Can one be calm in timeslike these if one has any feeling?” said Anna Pávlovna. “You arestaying the whole evening, I hope?”
“And the fete at the English ambassador’s? Today is Wednesday. Imust put in an appearance there,” said the prince. “My daughter iscoming for me to take me there.”
“I thought today’s fete had been canceled. I confess all thesefestivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome.”
“If they had known that you wished it, the entertainment would havebeen put off,” said the prince, who, like a wound-up clock, by forceof habit said things he did not even wish to be believed.
“Don’t tease! Well, and what has been decided about Novosíltsev’sdispatch? You know everything.”
“What can one say about it?” replied the prince in a cold, listlesstone. “What has been decided? They have decided that Buonaparte hasburnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours.”
Prince Vasíli always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating a stalepart. Anna Pávlovna Schérer on the contrary, despite her forty years,overflowed with animation and impulsiveness. To be an enthusiast hadbecome her social vocation and, sometimes even when she did notfeel like it, she became enthusiastic in order not to disappoint theexpectations of those who knew her. The subdued smile which, though itdid 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, tocorrect.
In the midst of a conversation on political matters Anna Pávlovna burstout:
“Oh, don’t speak to me of Austria. Perhaps I don’t understandthings, but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war. Sheis betraying us! Russia alone must save Europe. Our gracious sovereignrecognizes his high vocation and will be true to it. That is the onething I have faith in! Our good and wonderful sovereign has to performthe noblest role on earth, and he is so virtuous and noble that God willnot forsake him. He will fulfill his vocation and crush the hydra ofrevolution, which has become more terrible than ever in the person ofthis murderer and villain! We alone must avenge the blood of the justone.... Whom, I ask you, can we rely on?... England with her commercialspirit will not and cannot understand the Emperor Alexander’sloftiness of soul. She has refused to evacuate Malta. She wanted tofind, and still seeks, some secret motive in our actions. What answerdid Novosíltsev get? None. The English have not understood and cannotunderstand the self-abnegation of our Emperor who wants nothing forhimself, but only desires the good of mankind. And what have theypromised? Nothing! And what little they have promised they will notperform! Prussia has always declared that Buonaparte is invincible, andthat all Europe is powerless before him.... And I don’t believe aword that Hardenburg says, or Haugwitz either. This famous Prussianneutrality is just a trap. I have faith only in God and the loftydestiny 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 beensent instead of our dear Wintzingerode you would have captured the Kingof Prussia’s consent by assault. You are so eloquent. Will you give mea cup of tea?”
“In a moment. À propos,” she added, becoming calm again, “I amexpecting two very interesting men tonight, le Vicomte de Mortemart, whois connected with the Montmorencys through the Rohans, one of the bestFrench families. He is one of the genuine émigrés, the good ones. Andalso the Abbé Morio. Do you know that profound thinker? He has beenreceived by the Emperor. Had you heard?”
“I shall be delighted to meet them,” said the prince. “Buttell me,” he added with studied carelessness as if it had only justoccurred to him, though the question he was about to ask was the chiefmotive of his visit, “is it true that the Dowager Empress wantsBaron Funke to be appointed first secretary at Vienna? The baron by allaccounts is a poor creature.”
Prince Vasíli wished to obtain this post for his son, but others weretrying through the Dowager Empress Márya Fëdorovna to secure it forthe baron.
Anna Pávlovna almost closed her eyes to indicate that neither she noranyone else had a right to criticize what the Empress desired or waspleased with.
“Baron Funke has been recommended to the Dowager Empress by hersister,” was all she said, in a dry and mournful tone.
As she named the Empress, Anna Pávlovna’s face suddenly assumed anexpression of profound and sincere devotion and respect mingled withsadness, and this occurred every time she mentioned her illustriouspatroness. She added that Her Majesty had deigned to show Baron Funkebeaucoup d’estime, and again her face clouded over with sadness.
The prince was silent and looked indifferent. But, with the womanly andcourtierlike quickness and tact habitual to her, Anna Pávlovnawished both to rebuke him
for daring to speak as he had done of a manrecommended to the Empress
and at the same time to console him, so shesaid:
“Now about your family. Do you know that since your daughter cameout everyone has been enraptured by her? They say she is amazinglybeautiful.”
The prince bowed to signify his respect and gratitude.
“I often think,” she continued after a short pause, drawing nearerto the prince and smiling amiably at him as if to show that politicaland social topics were ended and the time had come for intimateconversation—“I often think how unfairly sometimes the joys of lifeare distributed. Why has fate given you two such splendid children?I don’t speak of Anatole, your youngest. I don’t like him,” sheadded in a tone admitting of no rejoinder and raising her eyebrows.“Two such charming children. And really you appreciate them less thananyone, 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 Ilack the bump of paternity.”
“Don’t joke; I mean to have a serious talk with you. Do you knowI am dissatisfied with your younger son? Between ourselves”
and herface assumed its melancholy expression
, “he was mentioned at HerMajesty’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 alla 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. Thatis the only difference between them.” He said this smiling in a waymore natural and animated than usual, so that the wrinkles roundhis mouth very clearly revealed something unexpectedly coarse andunpleasant.
“And why are children born to such men as you? If you were not afather there would be nothing I could reproach you with,” said AnnaPávlovna, looking up pensively.
“I am your faithful slave and to you alone I can confess that mychildren are the bane of my life. It is the cross I have to bear. Thatis how I explain it to myself. It can’t be helped!”
He said no more, but expressed his resignation to cruel fate by agesture. Anna Pávlovna meditated.
“Have you never thought of marrying your prodigal son Anatole?” sheasked. “They say old maids have a mania for matchmaking, and though Idon’t feel that weakness in myself as yet, I know a little person whois very unhappy with her father. She is a relation of yours, PrincessMary Bolkónskaya.”
Prince Vasíli did not reply, though, with the quickness of memory andperception befitting a man of the world, he indicated by a movement ofthe head that he was considering this information.
“Do you know,” he said at last, evidently unable to check the sadcurrent of his thoughts, “that Anatole is costing me forty thousandrubles a year? And,” he went on after a pause, “what will it be infive years, if he goes on like this?” Presently he added: “That’swhat we fathers have to put up with.... Is this princess of yoursrich?”
“Her father is very rich and stingy. He lives in the country. He isthe well-known Prince Bolkónski who had to retire from the army underthe late Emperor, and was nicknamed ‘the King of Prussia.’ He isvery 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 AnnaPávlovna’s hand and for some reason drawing it downwards. “Arrangethat affair for me and I shall always be your most devoted slave-slafewith an f, as a village elder of mine writes in his reports. She is richand of good family and that’s all I want.”
And with the familiarity and easy grace peculiar to him, he raised themaid of honor’s hand to his lips, kissed it, and swung it to and froas he lay back in his armchair, looking in another direction.
“Attendez,” said Anna Pávlovna, reflecting, “I’ll speak toLise, young Bolkónski’s wife, this very evening, and perhaps thething can be arranged. It shall be on your family’s behalf that I’llstart my apprenticeship as old maid.”