uneasiness and alarm, such as is shown at the sight of something too big and out of place. Though Pierre certainly was somewhat bigger than any of the other men in the room, this expression could only have reference to the clever, though shy, observant and natural look that distinguished him from every one else in the drawing-room.

“It is very kind of you, M. Pierre, to have come to see a poor invalid,” Anna Pavlovna said to him, exchanging anxious glances with her aunt, to whom she was conducting him.

Pierre murmured something unintelligible, and continued searching for something with his eyes. He smiled gleefully and delightedly, bowing to the little princess as though she were an intimate friend, and went up to the aunt. Anna Pavlovna’s alarm was not without grounds, for Pierre walked away from the aunt without waiting to the end of her remarks about her majesty’s health. Anna Pavlovna stopped him in dismay with the words: “You don’t know Abbé Morio? He’s a very interesting man,” she said.

“Yes, I have heard of his scheme for perpetual peace, and it’s very interesting, but hardly possible …”

“You think so?” said Anna Pavlovna in order to say something and to get away again to her duties as hostess, but Pierre committed the opposite incivility. Just now he had walked off without listening to the lady who was addressing him; now he detained by his talk a lady who wanted to get away from him. With head bent and legs planted wide apart, he began explaining to Anna Pavlovna why he considered the abbé’s scheme chimerical.

“We will talk of it later,” said Anna Pavlovna, smiling.

And getting rid of this unmannerly young man she returned to her duties, keeping her eyes and ears open, ready to fly to the assistance at any point where the conversation was flagging. Just as the foreman of a spinning-mill settles the work-people in their places, walks up and down the works, and noting any stoppage or unusual creaking or too loud a whir in the spindles, goes up hurriedly, slackens the machinery and sets it going properly, so Anna Pavlovna, walking about her drawing-room, went up to any circle that was pausing or too loud in conversation and by a single word or change of position set the conversational machine going again in its regular, decorous way. But in the midst of these cares a special anxiety on Pierre’s account could still be discerned in her. She kept an anxious watch on him as he went up to listen to what was being said near Mortemart, and walked away to another group where the abbé was talking. Pierre had been educated abroad, and this party at Anna Pavlovna’s was the first at which he had been present in Russia. He knew all the intellectual lights of Petersburg gathered together here, and his eyes strayed about like a child’s in a toy-shop. He was afraid at every moment of missing some intellectual conversation which he might have heard. Gazing at the self-confident and refined expressions of the personages assembled here, he was continually expecting something exceptionally clever. At last he moved up to Abbé Morio. The conversation seemed interesting, and he stood still waiting for an opportunity of expressing his own ideas, as young people are fond of doing.

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