BOOK FIFTEEN: 1812 - 13
16. CHAPTER XVI
Princess Mary- reluctantly as is usual in such cases- began
telling of the condition in which she had found Prince Andrew. But
Pierre's face quivering with emotion, his questions and his eager
restless expression, gradually compelled her to go into details
which she feared to recall for her own sake.
"Yes, yes, and so...? " Pierre kept saying as he leaned toward her
with his whole body and eagerly listened to her story. "Yes, yes... so
he grew tranquil and softened? With all his soul he had always
sought one thing- to be perfectly good- so he could not be afraid of
death. The faults he had- if he had any- were not of his making. So he
did soften?... What a happy thing that he saw you again," he added,
suddenly turning to Natasha and looking at her with eyes full of
Natasha's face twitched. She frowned and lowered her eyes for a
moment. She hesitated for an instant whether to speak or not.
"Yes, that was happiness," she then said in her quiet voice with its
deep chest notes. "For me it certainly was happiness." She paused.
"And he... he... he said he was wishing for it at the very moment I
entered the room...."
Natasha's voice broke. She blushed, pressed her clasped hands on her
knees, and then controlling herself with an evident effort lifted
her head and began to speak rapidly.
"We knew nothing of it when we started from Moscow. I did not dare
to ask about him. Then suddenly Sonya told me he was traveling with
us. I had no idea and could not imagine what state he was in, all I
wanted was to see him and be with him," she said, trembling, and
And not letting them interrupt her she went on to tell what she
had never yet mentioned to anyone- all she had lived through during
those three weeks of their journey and life at Yaroslavl.
Pierre listened to her with lips parted and eyes fixed upon her full
of tears. As he listened he did not think of Prince Andrew, nor of
death, nor of what she was telling. He listened to her and felt only
pity for her, for what she was suffering now while she was speaking.