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Chapter 37

  • One of the doctors came out of the tent in a bloodstained apron, holding _igar between the thumb and little finger of one of his small bloodstaine_ands, so as not to smear it. He raised his head and looked about him, bu_bove the level of the wounded men. He evidently wanted a little respite.
  • After turning his head from right to left for some time, he sighed and looke_own.
  • "All right, immediately," he replied to a dresser who pointed Prince Andre_ut to him, and he told them to carry him into the tent.
  • Murmurs arose among the wounded who were waiting.
  • "It seems that even in the next world only the gentry are to have a chance!"
  • remarked one.
  • Prince Andrew was carried in and laid on a table that had only just bee_leared and which a dresser was washing down. Prince Andrew could not make ou_istinctly what was in that tent. The pitiful groans from all sides and th_orturing pain in his thigh, stomach, and back distracted him. All he sa_bout him merged into a general impression of naked, bleeding human bodie_hat seemed to fill the whole of the low tent, as a few weeks previously, o_hat hot August day, such bodies had filled the dirty pond beside the Smolens_oad. Yes, it was the same flesh, the same chair a canon, the sight of whic_ad even then filled him with horror, as by a presentiment.
  • There were three operating tables in the tent. Two were occupied, and on th_hird they placed Prince Andrew. For a little while he was left alone an_nvoluntarily witnessed what was taking place on the other two tables. On th_earest one sat a Tartar, probably a Cossack, judging by the uniform throw_own beside him. Four soldiers were holding him, and a spectacled doctor wa_utting into his muscular brown back.
  • "Ooh, ooh, ooh!" grunted the Tartar, and suddenly lifting up his swarthy snub-
  • nosed face with its high cheekbones, and baring his white teeth, he began t_riggle and twitch his body and utter piercing, ringing, and prolonged yells.
  • On the other table, round which many people were crowding, a tall well-fed ma_ay on his back with his head thrown back. His curly hair, its color, and th_hape of his head seemed strangely familiar to Prince Andrew. Several dresser_ere pressing on his chest to hold him down. One large, white, plump le_witched rapidly all the time with a feverish tremor. The man was sobbing an_hoking convulsively. Two doctors—one of whom was pale and trembling—wer_ilently doing something to this man's other, gory leg. When he had finishe_ith the Tartar, whom they covered with an overcoat, the spectacled docto_ame up to Prince Andrew, wiping his hands.
  • He glanced at Prince Andrew's face and quickly turned away.
  • "Undress him! What are you waiting for?" he cried angrily to the dressers.
  • His very first, remotest recollections of childhood came back to Princ_ndrew's mind when the dresser with sleeves rolled up began hastily to und_he buttons of his clothes and undressed him. The doctor bent down over th_ound, felt it, and sighed deeply. Then he made a sign to someone, and th_orturing pain in his abdomen caused Prince Andrew to lose consciousness. Whe_e came to himself the splintered portions of his thighbone had bee_xtracted, the torn flesh cut away, and the wound bandaged. Water was bein_prinkled on his face. As soon as Prince Andrew opened his eyes, the docto_ent over, kissed him silently on the lips, and hurried away.
  • After the sufferings he had been enduring, Prince Andrew enjoyed a blissfu_eeling such as he had not experienced for a long time. All the best an_appiest moments of his life—especially his earliest childhood, when he use_o be undressed and put to bed, and when leaning over him his nurse sang hi_o sleep and he, burying his head in the pillow, felt happy in the mer_onsciousness of life- returned to his memory, not merely as something pas_ut as something present.
  • The doctors were busily engaged with the wounded man the shape of whose hea_eemed familiar to Prince Andrew: they were lifting him up and trying to quie_im.
  • "Show it to me… . Oh, ooh… Oh! Oh, ooh!" his frightened moans could be heard,
  • subdued by suffering and broken by sobs.
  • Hearing those moans Prince Andrew wanted to weep. Whether because he was dyin_ithout glory, or because he was sorry to part with life, or because of thos_emories of a childhood that could not return, or because he was suffering an_thers were suffering and that man near him was groaning so piteously—he fel_ike weeping childlike, kindly, and almost happy tears.
  • The wounded man was shown his amputated leg stained with clotted blood an_ith the boot still on.
  • "Oh! Oh, ooh!" he sobbed, like a woman.
  • The doctor who had been standing beside him, preventing Prince Andrew fro_eeing his face, moved away.
  • "My God! What is this? Why is he here?" said Prince Andrew to himself.
  • In the miserable, sobbing, enfeebled man whose leg had just been amputated, h_ecognized Anatole Kuragin. Men were supporting him in their arms and offerin_im a glass of water, but his trembling, swollen lips could not grasp its rim.
  • Anatole was sobbing painfully. "Yes, it is he! Yes, that man is someho_losely and painfully connected with me," thought Prince Andrew, not ye_learly grasping what he saw before him. "What is the connection of that ma_ith my childhood and life?" he asked himself without finding an answer. An_uddenly a new unexpected memory from that realm of pure and loving childhoo_resented itself to him. He remembered Natasha as he had seen her for th_irst time at the ball in 1810, with her slender neck and arms and with _rightened happy face ready for rapture, and love and tenderness for her,
  • stronger and more vivid than ever, awoke in his soul. He now remembered th_onnection that existed between himself and this man who was dimly gazing a_im through tears that filled his swollen eyes. He remembered everything, an_cstatic pity and love for that man overflowed his happy heart.
  • Prince Andrew could no longer restrain himself and wept tender loving tear_or his fellow men, for himself, and for his own and their errors.
  • "Compassion, love of our brothers, for those who love us and for those wh_ate us, love of our enemies; yes, that love which God preached on earth an_hich Princess Mary taught me and I did not understand—that is what made m_orry to part with life, that is what remained for me had I lived. But now i_s too late. I know it!"