You are currently looking at Flamebate, our community forums. Players can discuss the game here, strategize, and role play as their characters.
You need to be logged in to post and to see the uncensored versions of these forums.
Viewing a Post
[http://www.example.com link title]
“First of all, dear friend, tell me how you are. Set your friend’s
mind at rest,” said he without altering his tone, beneath the
politeness and affected sympathy of which indifference and even
irony could be discerned.
Prince Vasili did not reply, though, with the quickness of memory
and perception befitting a man of the world, he indicated by a
movement of the head that he was considering this information.
“Do you know,” he said at last, evidently unable to check the sad
current of his thoughts, “that Anatole is costing me forty thousand
rubles a year? And,” he went on after a pause, “what will it be in
five years, if he goes on like this?” Presently he added: “That’s what
we fathers have to put up with…. Is this princess of yours rich?”
“Her father is very rich and stingy. He lives in the country. He
is the well-known Prince Bolkonski who had to retire from the army
under the late Emperor, and was nicknamed ‘the King of Prussia.’ He is
very clever but eccentric, and a bore. The poor girl is very
unhappy. She has a brother; I think you know him, he married Lise
Meinen lately. He is an aide-de-camp of Kutuzov’s and will be here
“Listen, dear Annette,” said the prince, suddenly taking Anna
Pavlovna’s hand and for some reason drawing it downwards. “Arrange
that affair for me and I shall always be your most devoted slave-
slafe with an f, as a village elder of mine writes in his reports.
She is rich and of good family and that’s all I want.”
And with the familiarity and easy grace peculiar to him, he raised
the maid of honor’s hand to his lips, kissed it, and swung it to and
fro as he lay back in his armchair, looking in another direction.
“Attendez,” said Anna Pavlovna, reflecting, “I’ll speak to Lise,
young Bolkonski’s wife, this very evening, and perhaps the thing can
be arranged. It shall be on your family’s behalf that I’ll start my
apprenticeship as old maid.”
Anna Pavlovna’s drawing room was gradually filling. The highest
Petersburg society was bumembled there: people differing widely in age
and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged.
Prince Vasili’s daughter, the beautiful Helene, came to take her
father to the ambbumador’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 seduisante de Petersbourg, 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 Vasili’s son, Hippolyte, had come with Mortemart,
whom he introduced. The Abbe Morio and many others had also come.
To each new arrival Anna Pavlovna said, “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
Pavlovna 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 Pavlovna 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 her the whole evening.
The young Princess Bolkonskaya had brought some work in a
gold-embroidered velvet bag. Her pretty little upper lip, on which a
delicate dark down was just perceptible, was too short for her
teeth, but it lifted all the more sweetly, and was especially charming
when she occasionally drew it down to meet the lower lip. As is always
the case with a thoroughly attractive woman, her defect—the shortness
of her upper lip and her half-open mouth—seemed to be her own special
and peculiar form of beauty. Everyone brightened at the sight of
this pretty young woman, so soon to become a mother, so full of life
and health, and carrying her burden so lightly. Old men and dull
dispirited young ones who looked at her, after being in her company
and talking to her a little while, felt as if they too were
becoming, like her, full of life and health. All who talked to her,
and at each word saw her bright smile and the constant gleam of her
white teeth, thought that they were in a specially amiable mood that
Meanwhile, Bob was walking down the streets of busytown, thinking about the smell of his soapy fingers after washing his bum in the shower.
The little princess went round the table with quick, short,
swaying steps, her workbag on her arm, and gaily spreading out her
dress sat down on a sofa near the silver samovar, as if all she was
doing was a pleasure to herself and to all around her. “I have brought
my work,” said she in French, displaying her bag and addressing all
present. “Mind, Annette, I hope you have not played a wicked trick
on me,” she added, turning to her hostess. “You wrote that it was to
be quite a small reception, and just see how badly I am dressed.”
And she spread out her arms to show her short-waisted, lace-trimmed,
dainty gray dress, girdled with a broad ribbon just below the breast.
“Soyez tranquille, Lise, you will always be prettier than anyone
else,” replied Anna Pavlovna.
“How lovely!” said everyone who saw her; and the vicomte lifted
his shoulders and dropped his eyes as if startled by something
extraordinary when she took her seat opposite and beamed upon him also
with her unchanging smile.
“Madame, I doubt my ability before such an audience,” said he,
smilingly inclining his head.
The princess rested her bare round arm on a little table and
considered a reply unnecessary. She smilingly waited. All the time the
story was being told she sat upright, glancing now at her beautiful
round arm, altered in shape by its pressure on the table, now at her
still more beautiful bosom, on which she readjusted a diamond
necklace. From time to time she smoothed the folds of her dress, and
whenever the story produced an effect she glanced at Anna Pavlovna, at
once adopted just the expression she saw on the maid of honor’s
face, and again relapsed into her radiant smile.
The little princess had also left the tea table and followed Helene.
“Wait a moment, I’ll get my work…. Now then, what are you thinking
of?” she went on, turning to Prince Hippolyte. “Fetch me my workbag.”
There was a general movement as the princess, smiling and talking
merrily to everyone at once, sat down and gaily arranged herself in
“Now I am all right,” she said, and asking the vicomte to begin, she
took up her work.
Prince Hippolyte, having brought the workbag, joined the circle
and moving a chair close to hers seated himself beside her.
Le charmant Hippolyte was surprising by his extraordinary
resemblance to his beautiful sister, but yet more by the fact that
in spite of this resemblance he was exceedingly ugly. His features
were like his sister’s, but while in her case everything was lit up by
a joyous, self-satisfied, youthful, and constant smile of animation,
and by the wonderful clbumic beauty of her figure, his face on the
contrary was dulled by imbecility and a constant expression of
sullen self-confidence, while his body was thin and weak. His eyes,
nose, and mouth all seemed puckered into a vacant, wearied grimace,
and his arms and legs always fell into unnatural positions.
“It’s not going to be a ghost story?” said he, sitting down beside
the princess and hastily adjusting his lorgnette, as if without this
instrument he could not begin to speak.
“Why no, my dear fellow,” said the astonished narrator, shrugging
“Because I hate ghost stories,” said Prince Hippolyte in a tone
which showed that he only understood the meaning of his words after he
had uttered them.
He spoke with such self-confidence that his hearers could not be
sure whether what he said was very witty or very stupid. He was
dressed in a dark-green dress coat, knee breeches of the color of
cuisse de nymphe effrayee, as he called it, shoes, and silk stockings.
The vicomte told his tale very neatly. It was an anecdote, then
current, to the effect that the Duc d’Enghien had gone secretly to
Paris to visit Mademoiselle George; that at her house he came upon
Bonaparte, who also enjoyed the famous actress’ favors, and that in
his presence Napoleon happened to fall into one of the fainting fits
to which he was subject, and was thus at the duc’s mercy. The latter
spared him, and this magnanimity Bonaparte subsequently repaid by
The story was very pretty and interesting, especially at the point
where the rivals suddenly recognized one another; and the ladies
“Charming!” said Anna Pavlovna with an inquiring glance at the
“Charming!” whispered the little princess, sticking the needle
into her work as if to testify that the interest and fascination of
the story prevented her from going on with it.
The vicomte appreciated this silent praise and smiling gratefully
prepared to continue, but just then Anna Pavlovna, who had kept a
watchful eye on the young man who so alarmed her, noticed that he
was talking too loudly and vehemently with the abbe, so she hurried to
the rescue. Pierre had managed to start a conversation with the abbe
about the balance of power, and the latter, evidently interested by
the young man’s simple-minded eagerness, was explaining his pet
theory. Both were talking and listening too eagerly and too naturally,
which was why Anna Pavlovna disapproved.
“The means are… the balance of power in Europe and the rights of
the people,” the abbe was saying. “It is only necessary for one
powerful nation like Russia—barbaric as she is said to be—to place
herself disinterestedly at the head of an alliance having for its
object the maintenance of the balance of power of Europe, and it would
save the world!”
“But how are you to get that balance?” Pierre was beginning.
At that moment Anna Pavlovna came up and, looking severely at
Pierre, asked the Italian how he stood Russian climate. The
Italian’s face instantly changed and bumumed an offensively
affected, sugary expression, evidently habitual to him when conversing
“I am so enchanted by the brilliancy of the wit and culture of the
society, more especially of the feminine society, in which I have
had the honor of being received, that I have not yet had time to think
of the climate,” said he.
|Posted On: 11/07/2008 5:14PM||View Johnny Mac's Profile | #|