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Chapter 2

  • On his return to Moscow from the army, Nicholas Rostov was welcomed by hi_ome circle as the best of sons, a hero, and their darling Nikolenka; by hi_elations as a charming, attractive, and polite young man; by hi_cquaintances as a handsome lieutenant of hussars, a good dancer, and one o_he best matches in the city.
  • The Rostovs knew everybody in Moscow. The old count had money enough tha_ear, as all his estates had been remortgaged, and so Nicholas, acquiring _rotter of his own, very stylish riding breeches of the latest cut, such as n_ne else yet had in Moscow, and boots of the latest fashion, with extremel_ointed toes and small silver spurs, passed his time very gaily. After a shor_eriod of adapting himself to the old conditions of life, Nicholas found i_ery pleasant to be at home again. He felt that he had grown up and mature_ery much. His despair at failing in a Scripture examination, his borrowin_oney from Gavril to pay a sleigh driver, his kissing Sonya on the sly—he no_ecalled all this as childishness he had left immeasurably behind. Now he wa_ lieutenant of hussars, in a jacket laced with silver, and wearing the Cros_f St. George, awarded to soldiers for bravery in action, and in the compan_f well-known, elderly, and respected racing men was training a trotter of hi_wn for a race. He knew a lady on one of the boulevards whom he visited of a_vening. He led the mazurka at the Arkharovs' ball, talked about the war wit_ield Marshal Kamenski, visited the English Club, and was on intimate term_ith a colonel of forty to whom Denisov had introduced nim.
  • His passion for the Emperor had cooled somewhat in Moscow. But still, as h_id not see him and had no opportunity of seeing him, he often spoke about hi_nd about his love for him, letting it be understood that he had not told al_nd that there was something in his feelings for the Emperor not everyon_ould understand, and with his whole soul he shared the adoration then commo_n Moscow for the Emperor, who was spoken of as the "angel incarnate."
  • During Rostov's short stay in Moscow, before rejoining the army, he did no_raw closer to Sonya, but rather drifted away from her. She was very prett_nd sweet, and evidently deeply in love with him, but he was at the period o_outh when there seems so much to do that there is no time for that sort o_hing and a young man fears to bind himself and prizes his freedom which h_eeds for so many other things. When he thought of Sonya, during this stay i_oscow, he said to himself, "Ah, there will be, and there are, many more suc_irls somewhere whom I do not yet know. There will be time enough to thin_bout love when I want to, but now I have no time." Besides, it seemed to hi_hat the society of women was rather derogatory to his manhood. He went t_alls and into ladies' society with an affectation of doing so against hi_ill. The races, the English Club, sprees with Denisov, and visits to _ertain house—that was another matter and quite the thing for a dashing youn_ussar!
  • At the beginning of March, old Count Ilya Rostov was very busy arranging _inner in honor of Prince Bagration at the English Club.
  • The count walked up and down the hall in his dressing gown, giving orders t_he club steward and to the famous Feoktist, the Club's head cook, abou_sparagus, fresh cucumbers, strawberries, veal, and fish for this dinner. Th_ount had been a member and on the committee of the Club from the day it wa_ounded. To him the Club entrusted the arrangement of the festival in honor o_agration, 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 t_ake up out of their own resources what might be needed for the success of th_ete. The club cook and the steward listened to the count's orders wit_leased faces, for they knew that under no other management could they s_asily extract a good profit for themselves from a dinner costing severa_housand rubles.
  • "Well then, mind and have cocks' comb in the turtle soup, you know!"
  • "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, bendin_own 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 wa_orgetting. We must have another entree. Ah, goodness gracious!" he clutche_t his head. "Who is going to get me the flowers? Dmitri! Eh, Dmitri! Gallo_ff to our Moscow estate," he said to the factotum who appeared at his call.
  • "Hurry off and tell Maksim, the gardener, to set the serfs to work. Say tha_verything 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 returne_gain, called back the cook and the club steward, and again began givin_rders. A light footstep and the clinking of spurs were heard at the door, an_he young count, handsome, rosy, with a dark little mustache, evidently reste_nd 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 h_elt a little confused before his son. "Now, if you would only help a bit! _ust have singers too. I shall have my own orchestra, but shouldn't we get th_ypsy singers as well? You military men like that sort of thing."
  • "Really, Papa, I believe Prince Bagration worried himself less before th_attle of Schon Grabern than you do now," said his son with a smile.
  • 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 respectfu_xpression, looked observantly and sympathetically at the father and son.
  • "What have the young people come to nowadays, eh, Feoktist?" said he.
  • "Laughing at us old fellows!"
  • "That's so, your excellency, all they have to do is to eat a good dinner, bu_roviding it and serving it all up, that's not their business!"
  • "That's it, that's it!" exclaimed the count, and gaily seizing his son by bot_ands, he cried, "Now I've got you, so take the sleigh and pair at once, an_o to Bezukhob's, and tell him 'Count Ilya has sent you to ask fo_trawberries and fresh pineapples.' We can't get them from anyone else. He'_ot there himself, so you'll have to go in and ask the princesses; and fro_here go on to the Rasgulyay—the coachman Ipatka knows—and look up the gyps_lyushka, the one who danced at Count Orlov's, you remember, in a whit_ossack 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, Ann_ikhaylovna entered the hall. Though she came upon the count in his dressin_own every day, he invariably became confused and begged her to excuse hi_ostume.
  • "No matter at all, my dear count," she said, meekly closing her eyes. "Bu_'ll go to Bezukhov's myself. Pierre has arrived, and now we shall ge_nything we want from his hothouses. I have to see him in any case. He ha_orwarded me a letter from Boris. Thank God, Boris is now on the staff."
  • The count was delighted at Anna Mikhaylovna's taking upon herself one of hi_ommissions and ordered the small closed carriage for her.
  • "Tell Bezukhov to come. I'll put his name down. Is his wife with him?" h_sked.
  • Anna Mikhaylovna turned up her eyes, and profound sadness was depicted on he_ace.
  • "Ah, my dear friend, he is very unfortunate," she said. "If what we hear i_rue, it is dreadful. How little we dreamed of such a thing when we wer_ejoicing at his happiness! And such a lofty angelic soul as young Bezukhov!
  • Yes, I pity him from my heart, and shall try to give him what consolation _an."
  • "Wh-what is the matter?" asked both the young and old Rostov.
  • Anna Mikhaylovna sighed deeply.
  • "Dolokhov, Mary Ivanovna's son," she said in a mysterious whisper, "ha_ompromised her completely, they say. Pierre took him up, invited him to hi_ouse in Petersburg, and now… she has come here and that daredevil after her!"
  • said Anna Mikhaylovna, wishing to show her sympathy for Pierre, but b_nvoluntary intonations and a half smile betraying her sympathy for the
  • "daredevil," as she called Dolokhov. "They say Pierre is quite broken by hi_isfortune."
  • "Dear, dear! But still tell him to come to the Club—it will all blow over. I_ill be a tremendous banquet."
  • Next day, the third of March, soon after one o'clock, two hundred and fift_embers of the English Club and fifty guests were awaiting the guest of hono_nd hero of the Austrian campaign, Prince Bagration, to dinner.
  • On the first arrival of the news of the battle of Austerlitz, Moscow had bee_ewildered. At that time, the Russians were so used to victories that o_eceiving news of the defeat some would simply not believe it, while other_ought some extraordinary explanation of so strange an event. In the Englis_lub, where all who were distinguished, important, and well informe_orgathered when the news began to arrive in December, nothing was said abou_he war and the last battle, as though all were in a conspiracy of silence.
  • The men who set the tone in conversation—Count Rostopchin, Prince Yur_olgorukov, Valuev, Count Markov, and Prince Vyazemski—did not show themselve_t the Club, but met in private houses in intimate circles, and the Moscovite_ho took their opinions from others—Ilya Rostov among them—remained for _hile without any definite opinion on the subject of the war and withou_eaders. The Moscovites felt that something was wrong and that to discuss th_ad 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'_pinion reappeared, and everybody began speaking clearly and definitely.
  • Reasons were found for the incredible, unheard-of, and impossible event of _ussian defeat, everything became clear, and in all corners of Moscow the sam_hings began to be said. These reasons were the treachery of the Austrians, _efective commissariat, the treachery of the Pole Przebyszewski and of th_renchman Langeron, Kutuzov's incapacity, and (it was whispered) the youth an_nexperience of the sovereign, who had trusted worthless and insignifican_eople. But the army, the Russian army, everyone declared, was extraordinar_nd had achieved miracles of valor. The soldiers, officers, and generals wer_eroes. But the hero of heroes was Prince Bagration, distinguished by hi_chon Grabern affair and by the retreat from Austerlitz, where he alone ha_ithdrawn his column unbroken and had all day beaten back an enemy force twic_s numerous as his own. What also conduced to Bagration's being selected a_oscow's hero was the fact that he had no connections in the city and was _tranger there. In his person, honor was shown to a simple fighting Russia_oldier without connections and intrigues, and to one who was associated b_emories of the Italian campaign with the name of Suvorov. Moreover, payin_uch honor to Bagration was the best way of expressing disapproval and dislik_f Kutuzov.
  • "Had there been no Bagration, it would have been necessary to invent him,"
  • said the wit Shinshin, parodying the words of Voltaire. Kutuzov no one spok_f, except some who abused him in whispers, calling him a court weathercoc_nd an old satyr.
  • All Moscow repeated Prince Dolgorukov's saying: "If you go on modeling an_odeling you must get smeared with clay," suggesting consolation for ou_efeat by the memory of former victories; and the words of Rostopchin, tha_rench soldiers have to be incited to battle by highfalutin words, and German_y logical arguments to show them that it is more dangerous to run away tha_o advance, but that Russian soldiers only need to be restrained and hel_ack! On all sides, new and fresh anecdotes were heard of individual example_f heroism shown by our officers and men at Austerlitz. One had saved _tandard, another had killed five Frenchmen, a third had loaded five canno_inglehanded. 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 Bolkonski, nothing was said, and only those who knew him intimatel_egretted that he had died so young, leaving a pregnant wife with hi_ccentric father.