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Her face suddenly flushed with reckless and joyous resolution. She half rose, by a glance inviting Pierre, who sat opposite, to listen to what was coming, and turning audible the whole length of the table. to her mother: " Mamma ! " rang out the clear contralto notes of her childish voice, " What is it ? " asked the countess, startled; but seeing by her daughter's face that movement of her head. It was only mischief, she shook a finger at her sternly with a threatening and forbidding The conversation was hushed. still more firm and resolute. " Mamma! What sweets are we going to have ? " and Natasha's voice sounded finger. The countess tried to frown, but could not. Marya Dmitrievna shook her fat " Cossack ! " she said threateningly. Most of the guests, uncertain how to regard this sally, looked at the elders. " You had better take care ! " said the countess " Mamma! What sweets are we going to have? " Natasha again cried boldly, with saucy gaiety, confident that her prank would be taken in good part. Sonya and fat little Petya doubled up with laughter glancing at him again. " You see! I have asked, " whispered Natasha to her little brother and to Pierre, " Ice pudding, but you won't get any, " said Marya Dmitrievna Natasha saw there was nothing to be afraid of and so she braved even Marya Dmitrievna. " Marya Dmitrievna! What kind of ice pudding? I don't like ice cream. " " Carrot ices " " No ! What kind, Marya Dmitrievna ? What kind ? " she almost screamed, " I want to know! " Marya Dmitrievna and the countess burst out laughing, and all the guests joined in. Everyone laughed, not at Marya Dmitrievna's answer but at the incredible boldness and smartness of this little girl who had dared to treat Marya Dmitrievna in this fashion .all these matters of wills and inheritance; but I do know that since this young man, whom we all used to know as plain Monsieur Pierre, has become Count Bezukhov and the owner of one of the largest fortunes in Russia, I am much amused to watch the change in the tone and manners of the mammas burdened by marriageable daughters, and of the young ladies themselves, toward most on earth, it would be to be poorer than the poorest beggar. A thousand thanks, dear friend, for the volume you have sent me and which has had such success in Moscow. Yet since you tell me that among some good things it contains others which our weak human understanding cannot grasp, it seems to me rather useless to spend time in reading what is unintelligible and can therefore bear no fruit. I never could understand the fondness some people have for confusing their minds by dwelling on mystical books that merely awaken their doubts and excite their imagination, giving them a bent for exaggeration quite contrary to Christian simplicity. Let us rather read the Epistles and Gospels. Let us not seek to penetrate what mysteries they contain; for how can we, miserable sinners that we are, know the terrible and holy secrets of Providence while we remain in this flesh which forms an impenetrable veil between us and the Eternal? Let us rather confine ourselves to studying those sublime rules which our divine Saviour has left for our guidance here below. Let us try to conform to them and follow them, and let us be persuaded that the less we let our feeble human minds roam, the better we shall please God, who rejects all knowledge that does not come from Him; and the less we seek to fathom what He has been pleased to conceal from us, the sooner will He vouchsafe its revelation to us through His divine Spirit. My father has not spoken to me of a suitor but has only told me that he has received a letter and is expecting a visit from Prince Vasili. In regard to this project of marriage for me, I will tell you, dear sweet friend, that I look on marriage as a divine institution to which we must conform. However painful it may be to me, should the Almighty lay the duties of wife and mother upon me I shall try to perform them as faithfully as I can, without disquieting myself by examining my feelings toward him whom He may give me for husband. I have had a letter from my brother, who announces his speedy arrival at Bald Hills with his wife. This pleasure will be but a brief one, however, for he will leave, us again to take part in this unhappy war into which we have been drawn, God knows how or why Not only where you are at the heart of affairs and of the world is the talk all of the war, even here amid fieldwork and the calm of nature - which townsfolk consider characteristic of the country - rumors of war are heard and painfully felt. My father talks of nothing but marches and countermarches, things of which I understand nothing, and the day before yesterday during my daily walk through the village I witnessed a heartrending scene It was a convoy of conscripts enrolled from our people and starting to join the army. You should have seen the state of the mothers, wives, and children of the men who were going and should have heard the sobs. It seems as though mankind has forgotten the laws of its divine Saviour, Who preached love and forgiveness of injuries - and that men attribute the greatest merit to skill in killing one another Adieu, dear and kind friend; may our divine Saviour and His most Holy Mother keep you in their holy and all-powerful care! MARY " Ah, you are sending off a letter, Princess ? I have already dispatched mine . I have written to my poor mother, " said the smiling Mademoiselle Bourienne rapidly in her pleasant mellow tones and with guttural r's. She brought into Princess Mary's strenuous, mournful.

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