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18 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z
12 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z

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War and Peace

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Excerpt

WELL, PRINCE, Genoa and Lucca are now no more than private estates of the Bonaparte family. No, I warn you, that if you do not tell me we are at war, if you again allow yourself to palliate all the infamies and atrocities of this Antichrist (upon my word, I believe he is), I dont know you in future, you are no longer my friend, no longer my faithful slave, as you say. There, how do you do, how do you do? I see Im scaring you, sit down and talk to me.”

These words were uttered in July 1805 by Anna Pavlovna Scherer, a distinguished lady of the court, and confidential maid-of-honour to the Empress Marya Fyodorovna. It was her greeting to Prince Vassily, a man high in rank and office, who was the first to arrive at her soirée. Anna Pavlovna had been coughing for the last few days; she had an attack of la grippe, as she said—grippe was then a new word only used by a few people. In the notes she had sent round in the morning by a footman in red livery, she had written to all indiscriminately:

“If you have nothing better to do, count (or prince), and if the prospect of spending an evening with a poor invalid is not too alarming to you, I shall be charmed to see you at my house between 7 and 10. Annette Scherer.”

“Heavens! what a violent outburst!” the prince responded, not in the least disconcerted at such a reception. He was wearing an embroidered court uniform, stockings and slippers, and had stars on his breast, and a bright smile on his flat face.

He spoke in that elaborately choice French, in which our forefathers not only spoke but thought, and with those slow, patronising intonations peculiar to a man of importance who has grown old in court society. He went up to Anna Pavlovna, kissed her hand, presenting her with a view of his perfumed, shining bald head, and complacently settled himself on the sofa.

“First of all, tell me how you are, dear friend. Relieve a friends anxiety,” he said, with no change of his voice and tone, in which indifference, and even irony, was perceptible through the veil of courtesy and sympathy.

“How can one be well when one is in moral suffering? How can one help being worried in these times, if one has any feeling?” said Anna Pavlovna. “Youll spend the whole evening with me, I hope?”

“And the fête at the English ambassadors? To-day is Wednesday. I must put in an appearance there,” said the prince. “My daughter is coming to fetch me and take me there.”

“I thought to-days fête had been put off. I confess that all these festivities and fireworks are beginning to pall.”

“If they had known that it was your wish, the fête would have been put off,” said the prince, from habit, like a wound-up clock, saying things he did not even wish to be believed.

“Dont tease me. Well, what has been decided in regard to the Novosiltsov dispatch? You know everything.”

“What is there to tell?” said the prince in a tired, listless tone. “What has been decided? It has been decided that Bonaparte has burnt his ships, and I think that we are about to burn ours.”

Prince Vassily always spoke languidly, like an actor repeating his part in an old play. Anna Pavlovna Scherer, in spite of her forty years, was on the contrary brimming over with excitement and impulsiveness. To be enthusiastic had become her pose in society, and at times even when she had, indeed, no inclination to be so, she was enthusiastic so as not to disappoint the expectations of those who knew her. The affected smile which played continually about Anna Pavlovnas face, out of keeping as it was with her faded looks, expressed a spoilt childs continual consciousness of a charming failing of which she had neither the wish nor the power to correct herself, which, indeed, she saw no need to correct.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345472403
Translator:
Garnett, Constance
Introduction:
Wilson, A. N.
Translator:
Garnett, Constance
Introduction by:
Wilson, A. N.
Introduction:
Wilson, A. N.
Author:
Garnett, Constance
Author:
Tolstoy, Leo
Author:
Tolstoy, Leo Nikolayevich
Author:
Wilson, A. N.
Publisher:
Modern Library
Subject:
General
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Modern Library Classics
Publication Date:
20040831
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
1424
Dimensions:
6.84x4.16x1.97 in. 1.33 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Military

War and Peace New Mass Market
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Product details 1424 pages Modern Library - English 9780345472403 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoys genius is seen clearly in the multitude of fully realized and equally memorable characters that populate this massive chronicle. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individuals place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: “To read him . . . is to find ones way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane.”
"Synopsis" by , The monumental novel considered one of the greatest ever written is an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. This updated edition includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide.
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