After his interview with Pierre in Moscow, Prince Andrew went to Petersburg,
on business as he told his family, but really to meet Anatole Kuragin whom h_elt it necessary to encounter. On reaching Petersburg he inquired for Kuragi_ut the latter had already left the city. Pierre had warned his brother-in-la_hat Prince Andrew was on his track. Anatole Kuragin promptly obtained a_ppointment from the Minister of War and went to join the army in Moldavia.
While in Petersburg Prince Andrew met Kutuzov, his former commander who wa_lways well disposed toward him, and Kutuzov suggested that he shoul_ccompany him to the army in Moldavia, to which the old general had bee_ppointed commander in chief. So Prince Andrew, having received an appointmen_n the headquarters staff, left for Turkey.
Prince Andrew did not think it proper to write and challenge Kuragin. H_hought that if he challenged him without some fresh cause it might compromis_he young Countess Rostova and so he wanted to meet Kuragin personally i_rder to find a fresh pretext for a duel. But he again failed to meet Kuragi_n Turkey, for soon after Prince Andrew arrived, the latter returned t_ussia. In a new country, amid new conditions, Prince Andrew found life easie_o bear. After his betrothed had broken faith with him—which he felt the mor_cutely the more he tried to conceal its effects—the surroundings in which h_ad been happy became trying to him, and the freedom and independence he ha_nce prized so highly were still more so. Not only could he no longer thin_he thoughts that had first come to him as he lay gazing at the sky on th_ield of Austerlitz and had later enlarged upon with Pierre, and which ha_illed his solitude at Bogucharovo and then in Switzerland and Rome, but h_ven dreaded to recall them and the bright and boundless horizons they ha_evealed. He was now concerned only with the nearest practical matter_nrelated to his past interests, and he seized on these the more eagerly th_ore those past interests were closed to him. It was as if that lofty,
infinite canopy of heaven that had once towered above him had suddenly turne_nto a low, solid vault that weighed him down, in which all was clear, bu_othing eternal or mysterious.
Of the activities that presented themselves to him, army service was th_implest and most familiar. As a general on duty on Kutuzov's staff, h_pplied himself to business with zeal and perseverance and surprised Kutuzo_y his willingness and accuracy in work. Not having found Kuragin in Turkey,
Prince Andrew did not think it necessary to rush back to Russia after him, bu_ll the same he knew that however long it might be before he met Kuragin,
despite his contempt for him and despite all the proofs he deduced to convinc_imself that it was not worth stooping to a conflict with him—he knew tha_hen he did meet him he would not be able to resist calling him out, any mor_han a ravenous man can help snatching at food. And the consciousness that th_nsult was not yet avenged, that his rancor was still unspent, weighed on hi_eart and poisoned the artificial tranquillity which he managed to obtain i_urkey by means of restless, plodding, and rather vainglorious and ambitiou_ctivity.
In the year 1812, when news of the war with Napoleon reached Bucharest—wher_utuzov had been living for two months, passing his days and nights with _allachian woman—Prince Andrew asked Kutuzov to transfer him to the Wester_rmy. Kutuzov, who was already weary of Bolkonski's activity which seemed t_eproach his own idleness, very readily let him go and gave him a mission t_arclay de Tolly.
Before joining the Western Army which was then, in May, encamped at Drissa,
Prince Andrew visited Bald Hills which was directly on his way, being only tw_iles off the Smolensk highroad. During the last three years there had been s_any changes in his life, he had thought, felt, and seen so much (havin_raveled both in the east and the west), that on reaching Bald Hills it struc_im as strange and unexpected to find the way of life there unchanged an_till the same in every detail. He entered through the gates with their ston_illars and drove up the avenue leading to the house as if he were entering a_nchanted, sleeping castle. The same old stateliness, the same cleanliness,
the same stillness reigned there, and inside there was the same furniture, th_ame walls, sounds, and smell, and the same timid faces, only somewhat older.
Princess Mary was still the same timid, plain maiden getting on in years,
uselessly and joylessly passing the best years of her life in fear an_onstant suffering. Mademoiselle Bourienne was the same coquettish, self-
satisfied girl, enjoying every moment of her existence and full of joyou_opes for the future. She had merely become more self-confident, Prince Andre_hought. Dessalles, the tutor he had brought from Switzerland, was wearing _oat of Russian cut and talking broken Russian to the servants, but was stil_he same narrowly intelligent, conscientious, and pedantic preceptor. The ol_rince had changed in appearance only by the loss of a tooth, which left _oticeable gap on one side of his mouth; in character he was the same as ever,
only showing still more irritability and skepticism as to what was happenin_n the world. Little Nicholas alone had changed. He had grown, become rosier,
had curly dark hair, and, when merry and laughing, quite unconsciously lifte_he upper lip of his pretty little mouth just as the little princess used t_o. He alone did not obey the law of immutability in the enchanted, sleepin_astle. But though externally all remained as of old, the inner relations o_ll these people had changed since Prince Andrew had seen them last. Th_ousehold was divided into two alien and hostile camps, who changed thei_abits for his sake and only met because he was there. To the one cam_elonged the old prince, Madmoiselle Bourienne, and the architect; to th_ther Princess Mary, Dessalles, little Nicholas, and all the old nurses an_aids.
During his stay at Bald Hills all the family dined together, but they were il_t ease and Prince Andrew felt that he was a visitor for whose sake a_xception was being made and that his presence made them all feel awkward.
Involuntarily feeling this at dinner on the first day, he was taciturn, an_he old prince noticing this also became morosely dumb and retired to hi_partments directly after dinner. In the evening, when Prince Andrew went t_im and, trying to rouse him, began to tell him of the young Count Kamensky'_ampaign, the old prince began unexpectedly to talk about Princess Mary,
blaming her for her superstitions and her dislike of Mademoiselle Bourienne,
who, he said, was the only person really attached to him.
The old prince said that if he was ill it was only because of Princess Mary:
that she purposely worried and irritated him, and that by indulgence and sill_alk she was spoiling little Prince Nicholas. The old prince knew very wel_hat he tormented his daughter and that her life was very hard, but he als_new that he could not help tormenting her and that she deserved it. "Why doe_rince Andrew, who sees this, say nothing to me about his sister? Does h_hink me a scoundrel, or an old fool who, without any reason, keeps his ow_aughter at a distance and attaches this Frenchwoman to himself? He doesn'_nderstand, so I must explain it, and he must hear me out," thought the ol_rince. And he began explaining why he could not put up with his daughter'_nreasonable character.
"If you ask me," said Prince Andrew, without looking up (he was censuring hi_ather for the first time in his life), "I did not wish to speak about it, bu_s you ask me I will give you my frank opinion. If there is an_isunderstanding and discord between you and Mary, I can't blame her for it a_ll. I know how she loves and respects you. Since you ask me," continue_rince Andrew, becoming irritable—as he was always liable to do of late—"I ca_nly say that if there are any misunderstandings they are caused by tha_orthless woman, who is not fit to be my sister's companion."
The old man at first stared fixedly at his son, and an unnatural smil_isclosed the fresh gap between his teeth to which Prince Andrew could not ge_ccustomed.
"What companion, my dear boy? Eh? You've already been talking it over! Eh?"
"Father, I did not want to judge," said Prince Andrew, in a hard and bitte_one, "but you challenged me, and I have said, and always shall say, that Mar_s not to blame, but those to blame—the one to blame—is that Frenchwoman."
"Ah, he has passed judgment… passed judgement!" said the old man in a lo_oice and, as it seemed to Prince Andrew, with some embarrassment, but then h_uddenly jumped up and cried: "Be off, be off! Let not a trace of you remai_ere!… "
Prince Andrew wished to leave at once, but Princess Mary persuaded him to sta_nother day. That day he did not see his father, who did not leave his roo_nd admitted no one but Mademoiselle Bourienne and Tikhon, but asked severa_imes whether his son had gone. Next day, before leaving, Prince Andrew wen_o his son's rooms. The boy, curly-headed like his mother and glowing wit_ealth, sat on his knee, and Prince Andrew began telling him the story o_luebeard, but fell into a reverie without finishing the story. He thought no_f this pretty child, his son whom he held on his knee, but of himself. H_ought in himself either remorse for having angered his father or regret a_eaving home for the first time in his life on bad terms with him, and wa_orrified to find neither. What meant still more to him was that he sought an_id not find in himself the former tenderness for his son which he had hope_o reawaken by caressing the boy and taking him on his knee.
"Well, go on!" said his son.
Prince Andrew, without replying, put him down from his knee and went out o_he room.
As soon as Prince Andrew had given up his daily occupations, and especially o_eturning to the old conditions of life amid which he had been happy,
weariness of life overcame him with its former intensity, and he hastened t_scape from these memories and to find some work as soon as possible.
"So you've decided to go, Andrew?" asked his sister.
"Thank God that I can," replied Prince Andrew. "I am very sorry you can't."
"Why do you say that?" replied Princess Mary. "Why do you say that, when yo_re going to this terrible war, and he is so old? Mademoiselle Bourienne say_e has been asking about you… ."
As soon as she began to speak of that, her lips trembled and her tears bega_o fall. Prince Andrew turned away and began pacing the room.
"Ah, my God! my God! When one thinks who and what—what trash—can cause peopl_isery!" he said with a malignity that alarmed Princess Mary.
She understood that when speaking of "trash" he referred not only t_ademoiselle Bourienne, the cause of her misery, but also to the man who ha_uined his own happiness.
"Andrew! One thing I beg, I entreat of you!" she said, touching his elbow an_ooking at him with eyes that shone through her tears. "I understand you" (sh_ooked down). "Don't imagine that sorrow is the work of men. Men are Hi_ools." She looked a little above Prince Andrew's head with the confident,
accustomed look with which one looks at the place where a familiar portrai_angs. "Sorrow is sent by Him, not by men. Men are His instruments, they ar_ot to blame. If you think someone has wronged you, forget it and forgive! W_ave no right to punish. And then you will know the happiness of forgiving."
"If I were a woman I would do so, Mary. That is a woman's virtue. But a ma_hould not and cannot forgive and forget," he replied, and though till tha_oment he had not been thinking of Kuragin, all his unexpended anger suddenl_welled up in his heart.
"If Mary is already persuading me forgive, it means that I ought long ago t_ave punished him," he thought. And giving her no further reply, he bega_hinking of the glad vindictive moment when he would meet Kuragin who he kne_as now in the army.
Princess Mary begged him to stay one day more, saying that she knew ho_nhappy her father would be if Andrew left without being reconciled to him,
but Prince Andrew replied that he would probably soon be back again from th_rmy and would certainly write to his father, but that the longer he staye_ow the more embittered their differences would become.
"Good-by, Andrew! Remember that misfortunes come from God, and men are neve_o blame," were the last words he heard from his sister when he took leave o_er.
"Then it must be so!" thought Prince Andrew as he drove out of the avenue fro_he house at Bald Hills. "She, poor innocent creature, is left to b_ictimized by an old man who has outlived his wits. The old man feels he i_uilty, but cannot change himself. My boy is growing up and rejoices in life,
in which like everybody else he will deceive or be deceived. And I am off t_he army. Why? I myself don't know. I want to meet that man whom I despise, s_s to give him a chance to kill and laugh at me!"
These conditions of life had been the same before, but then they were al_onnected, while now they had all tumbled to pieces. Only senseless things,
lacking coherence, presented themselves one after another to Prince Andrew'_ind.