War And Peace PDF By Leo Tolstoy

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War And Peace By Leo Tolstoy

WELL, PRINCE, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes.

But I warn you, war, if you if you I don’t tell me that this means still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that

Antichrist-I real ly believe he is Antichrist-I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my ‘faithful slave,’ as you call yourself! But how do you do?

I see I have frightened you-sit down and tell me all the news.”

It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna Pávlovna Schérer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Márya Fë dorovna.

With these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kurágin, a man of high rank and impor tance, who was the first to arrive at her recep tion.

Anna Pávlovna had had a cough for some days.

She was, as she said, suffering from la grippe; grippe being then a new word in St. Petersburg, used only by the elite.

All her invitations without exception, writ ten in French, and delivered by a scarlet-liver ied footman that morning, ran as follows:

“If you have nothing better to do, Count [or Prince], and if the prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too terrible, I shall be very charmed to see you tonight be tween 7 and 10-Annette Schérer.”

“Heavens! what a virulent attack!” replied the prince, not in the least disconcerted by this reception.

He had just entered, wearing an em broidered court uniform, knee breeches, and shoes, and had stars on his breast and a serene expression on his flat face.

He spoke in that refined French in which our grandfathers not only spoke but thought, and with the gentle, patronizing intonation natural to a man of importance who had grown old in society and at court.

He went up to Anna Pávlovna, kissed her hand, presenting to her his bald, scented, and shining head, and complacently seated himself on the sofa.

ANNA PAVLOVNA’S drawing room was gradually filling.

The highest Petersburg society was assembled there: people differing widely in age and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged.

Prince Vasili’s daughter, the beautiful H£l£ne, came to take her father to the ambassador’s entertainment; she wore a ball dress and her badge as maid of honor.

The youthful little Princess Bolkonskaya, known as la femme la plus sSduisante de Pfaersbourg? was also there.

She had been married during the previous winter, and being pregnant did not go to any large gatherings, but only to small receptions.

Prince Vasfli’s son, Hippolyte, had come with Mortemart, whom he introduced.

The Abb6 Morio and many others had also come.

To each new arrival Anna Pdvlovna safcl, “You have not yet seen my aunt,” or “You do not know my aunt?” and very gravely conducted him or her to a little old lady,

wearing large bows of ribbon in her cap, who had come sailing in from another room as soon as the guests began to arrive; and slowly turning her eyes from the visitor to her aunt,

Anna Pdvlovna mentioned each one’s name and then left them.

Each visitor performed the ceremony of greeting this old aunt whom not one of them knew, not one of them wanted to know, and not one of them cared about; Anna Pdvlovna observed these greetings with mournful and solemn interest and silent approval.

The aunt spoke to each of them in the same words, about their health and her own, and the health of Her Majesty, “who, thank God, was better today.”

And each visitor, though politeness prevented his showing impatience, left the old woman with a sense of relief at having performed a vexatious duty and did not return to The most fascinating woman in Petersburg.

AuthorLeo Tolstoy
PDF Size 49 MB
CategoryFiction & Novel


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