BOOK FIFTEEN: 1812 - 13
16. CHAPTER XVI
"She has come to stay with me," said Princess Mary. "The count and
countess will be here in a few days. The countess is in a dreadful
state; but it was necessary for Natasha herself to see a doctor.
They insisted on her coming with me."
"Yes, is there a family free from sorrow now?" said Pierre,
addressing Natasha. "You know it happened the very day we were
rescued. I saw him. What a delightful boy he was!"
Natasha looked at him, and by way of answer to his words her eyes
widened and lit up.
"What can one say or think of as a consolation?" said Pierre.
"Nothing! Why had such a splendid boy, so full of life, to die?"
"Yes, in these days it would be hard to live without faith..."
remarked Princess Mary.
"Yes, yes, that is really true," Pierre hastily interrupted her.
"Why is it true?" Natasha asked, looking attentively into Pierre's
"How can you ask why?" said Princess Mary. "The thought alone of
Natasha without waiting for Princess Mary to finish again looked
inquiringly at Pierre.
"And because," Pierre continued, "only one who believes that there
is a God ruling us can bear a loss such as hers and... yours."
Natasha had already opened her mouth to speak but suddenly
stopped. Pierre hurriedly turned away from her and again addressed
Princess Mary, asking about his friend's last days.
Pierre's confusion had now almost vanished, but at the same time
he felt that his freedom had also completely gone. He felt that
there was now a judge of his every word and action whose judgment
mattered more to him than that of all the rest of the world. As he
spoke now he was considering what impression his words would make on
Natasha. He did not purposely say things to please her, but whatever
he was saying he regarded from her standpoint.