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Chapter 18

  • At the beginning of July more and more disquieting reports about the war bega_o spread in Moscow; people spoke of an appeal by the Emperor to the people,
  • and of his coming himself from the army to Moscow. And as up to the elevent_f July no manifesto or appeal had been received, exaggerated reports becam_urrent about them and about the position of Russia. It was said that th_mperor was leaving the army because it was in danger, it was said tha_molensk had surrendered, that Napoleon had an army of a million and only _iracle could save Russia.
  • On the eleventh of July, which was Saturday, the manifesto was received bu_as not yet in print, and Pierre, who was at the Rostovs', promised to come t_inner next day, Sunday, and bring a copy of the manifesto and appeal, whic_e would obtain from Count Rostopchin.
  • That Sunday, the Rostovs went to Mass at the Razumovskis' private chapel a_sual. It was a hot July day. Even at ten o'clock, when the Rostovs got out o_heir carriage at the chapel, the sultry air, the shouts of hawkers, the ligh_nd gay summer clothes of the crowd, the dusty leaves of the trees on th_oulevard, the sounds of the band and the white trousers of a battalio_arching to parade, the rattling of wheels on the cobblestones, and th_rilliant, hot sunshine were all full of that summer languor, that content an_iscontent with the present, which is most strongly felt on a bright, hot da_n town. All the Moscow notabilities, all the Rostovs' acquaintances, were a_he Razumovskis' chapel, for, as if expecting something to happen, man_ealthy families who usually left town for their country estates had not gon_way that summer. As Natasha, at her mother's side, passed through the crow_ehind a liveried footman who cleared the way for them, she heard a young ma_peaking about her in too loud a whisper.
  • "That's Rostova, the one who… "
  • "She's much thinner, but all the same she's pretty!"
  • She heard, or thought she heard, the names of Kuragin and Bolkonski. But sh_as always imagining that. It always seemed to her that everyone who looked a_er was thinking only of what had happened to her. With a sinking heart,
  • wretched as she always was now when she found herself in a crowd, Natasha i_er lilac silk dress trimmed with black lace walked—as women can walk—with th_ore repose and stateliness the greater the pain and shame in her soul. Sh_new for certain that she was pretty, but this no longer gave her satisfactio_s it used to. On the contrary it tormented her more than anything else o_ate, and particularly so on this bright, hot summer day in town. "It's Sunda_gain—another week past," she thought, recalling that she had been here th_unday before, "and always the same life that is no life, and the sam_urroundings in which it used to be so easy to live. I'm pretty, I'm young,
  • and I know that now I am good. I used to be bad, but now I know I am good,"
  • she thought, "but yet my best years are slipping by and are no good t_nyone." She stood by her mother's side and exchanged nods with acquaintance_ear her. From habit she scrutinized the ladies' dresses, condemned th_earing of a lady standing close by who was not crossing herself properly bu_n a cramped manner, and again she thought with vexation that she was hersel_eing judged and was judging others, and suddenly, at the sound of th_ervice, she felt horrified at her own vileness, horrified that the forme_urity of her soul was again lost to her.
  • A comely, fresh-looking old man was conducting the service with that mil_olemnity which has so elevating and soothing an effect on the souls of th_orshipers. The gates of the sanctuary screen were closed, the curtain wa_lowly drawn, and from behind it a soft mysterious voice pronounced som_ords. Tears, the cause of which she herself did not understand, mad_atasha's breast heave, and a joyous but oppressive feeling agitated her.
  • "Teach me what I should do, how to live my life, how I may grow good forever,
  • forever!" she pleaded.
  • The deacon came out onto the raised space before the altar screen and, holdin_is thumb extended, drew his long hair from under his dalmatic and, making th_ign of the cross on his breast, began in a loud and solemn voice to recit_he words of the prayer…
  • "In peace let us pray unto the Lord."
  • "As one community, without distinction of class, without enmity, united b_rotherly love—let us pray!" thought Natasha.
  • "For the peace that is from above, and for the salvation of our souls."
  • "For the world of angels and all the spirits who dwell above us," praye_atasha.
  • When they prayed for the warriors, she thought of her brother and Denisov.
  • When they prayed for all traveling by land and sea, she remembered Princ_ndrew, prayed for him, and asked God to forgive her all the wrongs she ha_one him. When they prayed for those who love us, she prayed for the member_f her own family, her father and mother and Sonya, realizing for the firs_ime how wrongly she had acted toward them, and feeling all the strength o_er love for them. When they prayed for those who hate us, she tried to thin_f her enemies and people who hated her, in order to pray for them. Sh_ncluded among her enemies the creditors and all who had business dealing_ith her father, and always at the thought of enemies and those who hated he_he remembered Anatole who had done her so much harm—and though he did no_ate her she gladly prayed for him as for an enemy. Only at prayer did sh_eel able to think clearly and calmly of Prince Andrew and Anatole, as men fo_hom her feelings were as nothing compared with her awe and devotion to God.
  • When they prayed for the Imperial family and the Synod, she bowed very low an_ade the sign of the cross, saying to herself that even if she did no_nderstand, still she could not doubt, and at any rate loved the governin_ynod and prayed for it.
  • When he had finished the Litany the deacon crossed the stole over his breas_nd said, "Let us commit ourselves and our whole lives to Christ the Lord!"
  • "Commit ourselves to God," Natasha inwardly repeated. "Lord God, I submi_yself to Thy will!" she thought. "I want nothing, wish for nothing; teach m_hat to do and how to use my will! Take me, take me!" prayed Natasha, wit_mpatient emotion in her heart, not crossing herself but letting her slende_rms hang down as if expecting some invisible power at any moment to take he_nd deliver her from herself, from her regrets, desires, remorse, hopes, an_ins.
  • The countess looked round several times at her daughter's softened face an_hining eyes and prayed God to help her.
  • Unexpectedly, in the middle of the service, and not in the usual order Natash_new so well, the deacon brought out a small stool, the one he knelt on whe_raying on Trinity Sunday, and placed it before the doors of the sanctuar_creen. The priest came out with his purple velvet biretta on his head,
  • adjusted his hair, and knelt down with an effort. Everybody followed hi_xample and they looked at one another in surprise. Then came the prayer jus_eceived from the Synod—a prayer for the deliverance of Russia from hostil_nvasion.
  • "Lord God of might, God of our salvation!" began the priest in that voice,
  • clear, not grandiloquent but mild, in which only the Slav clergy read an_hich acts so irresistibly on a Russian heart.
  • "Lord God of might, God of our salvation! Look this day in mercy and blessin_n Thy humble people, and graciously hear us, spare us, and have mercy upo_s! This foe confounding Thy land, desiring to lay waste the whole world,
  • rises against us; these lawless men are gathered together to overthrow Th_ingdom, to destroy Thy dear Jerusalem, Thy beloved Russia; to defile Th_emples, to overthrow Thine altars, and to desecrate our holy shrines. Ho_ong, O Lord, how long shall the wicked triumph? How long shall they wiel_nlawful power?
  • "Lord God! Hear us when we pray to Thee; strengthen with Thy might our mos_racious sovereign lord, the Emperor Alexander Pavlovich; be mindful of hi_prightness and meekness, reward him according to his righteousness, and le_t preserve us, Thy chosen Israel! Bless his counsels, his undertakings, an_is work; strengthen his kingdom by Thine almighty hand, and give him victor_ver his enemy, even as Thou gavest Moses the victory over Amalek, Gideon ove_idian, and David over Goliath. Preserve his army, put a bow of brass in th_ands of those who have armed themselves in Thy Name, and gird their loin_ith strength for the fight. Take up the spear and shield and arise to hel_s; confound and put to shame those who have devised evil against us, may the_e before the faces of Thy faithful warriors as dust before the wind, and ma_hy mighty Angel confound them and put them to flight; may they be ensnare_hen they know it not, and may the plots they have laid in secret be turne_gainst them; let them fall before Thy servants' feet and be laid low by ou_osts! Lord, Thou art able to save both great and small; Thou art God, and ma_annot prevail against Thee!
  • "God of our fathers! Remember Thy bounteous mercy and loving-kindness whic_re from of old; turn not Thy face from us, but be gracious to ou_nworthiness, and in Thy great goodness and Thy many mercies regard not ou_ransgressions and iniquities! Create in us a clean heart and renew a righ_pirit within us, strengthen us all in Thy faith, fortify our hope, inspire u_ith true love one for another, arm us with unity of spirit in the righteou_efense of the heritage Thou gavest to us and to our fathers, and let not th_cepter of the wicked be exalted against the destiny of those Thou has_anctified.
  • "O Lord our God, in whom we believe and in whom we put our trust, let us no_e confounded in our hope of Thy mercy, and give us a token of Thy blessing,
  • that those who hate us and our Orthodox faith may see it and be put to sham_nd perish, and may all the nations know that Thou art the Lord and we are Th_eople. Show Thy mercy upon us this day, O Lord, and grant us Thy salvation;
  • make the hearts of Thy servants to rejoice in Thy mercy; smite down ou_nemies and destroy them swiftly beneath the feet of Thy faithful servants!
  • For Thou art the defense, the succor, and the victory of them that put thei_rust in Thee, and to Thee be all glory, to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, no_nd forever, world without end. Amen."
  • In Natasha's receptive condition of soul this prayer affected her strongly.
  • She listened to every word about the victory of Moses over Amalek, of Gideo_ver Midian, and of David over Goliath, and about the destruction of "Th_erusalem," and she prayed to God with the tenderness and emotion with whic_er heart was overflowing, but without fully understanding what she was askin_f God in that prayer. She shared with all her heart in the prayer for th_pirit of righteousness, for the strengthening of the heart by faith and hope,
  • and its animation by love. But she could not pray that her enemies might b_rampled under foot when but a few minutes before she had been wishing she ha_ore of them that she might pray for them. But neither could she doubt th_ighteousness of the prayer that was being read on bended knees. She felt i_er heart a devout and tremulous awe at the thought of the punishment tha_vertakes men for their sins, and especially of her own sins, and she praye_o God to forgive them all, and her too, and to give them all, and her too,
  • peace and happiness. And it seemed to her that God heard her prayer.