BOOK SIX: 1808 - 10
22. CHAPTER XXII
Next day, having been invited by the count, Prince Andrew dined with
the Rostovs and spent the rest of the day there.
Everyone in the house realized for whose sake Prince Andrew came,
and without concealing it he tried to be with Natasha all day. Not
only in the soul of the frightened yet happy and enraptured Natasha,
but in the whole house, there was a feeling of awe at something
important that was bound to happen. The countess looked with sad and
sternly serious eyes at Prince Andrew when he talked to Natasha and
timidly started some artificial conversation about trifles as soon
as he looked her way. Sonya was afraid to leave Natasha and afraid
of being in the way when she was with them. Natasha grew pale, in a
panic of expectation, when she remained alone with him for a moment.
Prince Andrew surprised her by his timidity. She felt that he wanted
to say something to her but could not bring himself to do so.
In the evening, when Prince Andrew had left, the countess went up to
Natasha and whispered: "Well, what?"
"Mamma! For heaven's sake don't ask me anything now! One can't
talk about that," said Natasha.
But all the same that night Natasha, now agitated and now
frightened, lay long time in her mother's bed gazing straight before
her. She told her how he had complimented her, how he told her he
was going abroad, asked her where they were going to spend the summer,
and then how he had asked her about Boris.
"But such a... such a... never happened to me before!" she said.
"Only I feel afraid in his presence. I am always afraid when I'm
with him. What does that mean? Does it mean that it's the real
thing? Yes? Mamma, are you asleep?"
"No, my love; I am frightened myself," answered her mother. "Now
"All the same I shan't sleep. What silliness, to sleep! Mummy!
Mummy! such a thing never happened to me before," she said,
surprised and alarmed at the feeling she was aware of in herself. "And
could we ever have thought!..."