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Chapter 20

  • After Pierre's departure that first evening, when Natasha had said to Princes_ary with a gaily mocking smile: "He looks just, yes, just as if he had com_ut of a Russian bath—in a short coat and with his hair cropped," somethin_idden and unknown to herself, but irrepressible, awoke in Natasha's soul.
  • Everything: her face, walk, look, and voice, was suddenly altered. To her ow_urprise a power of life and hope of happiness rose to the surface an_emanded satisfaction. From that evening she seemed to have forgotten all tha_ad happened to her. She no longer complained of her position, did not say _ord about the past, and no longer feared to make happy plans for the future.
  • She spoke little of Pierre, but when Princess Mary mentioned him a long-
  • extinguished light once more kindled in her eyes and her lips curved with _trange smile.
  • The change that took place in Natasha at first surprised Princess Mary; bu_hen she understood its meaning it grieved her. "Can she have loved my brothe_o little as to be able to forget him so soon?" she thought when she reflecte_n the change. But when she was with Natasha she was not vexed with her an_id not reproach her. The reawakened power of life that had seized Natasha wa_o evidently irrepressible and unexpected by her that in her presence Princes_ary felt that she had no right to reproach her even in her heart.
  • Natasha gave herself up so fully and frankly to this new feeling
  • that she did not try to hide the fact that she was no longer sad, but brigh_nd cheerful.
  • When Princess Mary returned to her room after her nocturnal talk with Pierre,
  • Natasha met her on the threshold.
  • "He has spoken? Yes? He has spoken?" she repeated.
  • And a joyful yet pathetic expression which seemed to beg forgiveness for he_oy settled on Natasha's face.
  • "I wanted to listen at the door, but I knew you would tell me."
  • Understandable and touching as the look with which Natasha gazed at her seeme_o Princess Mary, and sorry as she was to see her agitation, these word_ained her for a moment. She remembered her brother and his love.
  • "But what's to be done? She can't help it," thought the princess.
  • And with a sad and rather stern look she told Natasha all that Pierre ha_aid. On hearing that he was going to Petersburg Natasha was astounded.
  • "To Petersburg!" she repeated as if unable to understand.
  • But noticing the grieved expression on Princess Mary's face she guessed th_eason of that sadness and suddenly began to cry.
  • "Mary," said she, "tell me what I should do! I am afraid of being bad.
  • Whatever you tell me, I will do. Tell me… ."
  • "You love him?"
  • "Yes," whispered Natasha.
  • "Then why are you crying? I am happy for your sake," said Princess Mary, wh_ecause of those tears quite forgave Natasha's joy.
  • "It won't be just yet—someday. Think what fun it will be when I am his wif_nd you marry Nicholas!"
  • "Natasha, I have asked you not to speak of that. Let us talk about you."
  • They were silent awhile.
  • "But why go to Petersburg?" Natasha suddenly asked, and hastily replied to he_wn question. "But no, no, he must… Yes, Mary, He must… ."