“Go away, go,—killed in a defeat into which they led the best men of Russia and the glory of Russia to ruin. Go away, Princess Marya. Go and tell Liza. I will come.” When Princess Marya went back from her father, the little princess was sitting at her work, and she looked up with that special inward look of happy calm that is peculiar to women with child. It was clear that her eyes were not seeing Princess Marya, but looking deep within herself, at some happy mystery that was being accomplished within her.

“Marie,” she said, moving away from the embroidery frame and leaning back, “give me your hand.” She took her sister-in-law’s hand and laid it below her waist. Her eyes smiled, expectant, her little dewy lip was lifted and stayed so in childlike rapture. Princess Marya knelt down before her, and hid her face in the folds of her sister-in-law’s dress. “There—there—do you feel it? I feel so strange. And do you know, Marie, I am going to love him very much,” said Liza, looking at her sister-in-law with shining, happy eyes. Princess Marya could not lift her head; she was crying.

“What’s the matter with you, Marie?”

“Nothing … only I felt sad … sad about Andrey,” she said, brushing away the tears on the folds of her sister- in-law’s dress. Several times in the course of the morning Princess Marya began trying to prepare her sister-in-law’s mind, and every time she began to weep. These tears, which the little princess could not account for, agitated her, little as she was observant in general. She said nothing, but looked about her uneasily, as though seeking for something. Before dinner the old prince, of whom she was always afraid, came into her room, with a particularly restless and malignant expression, and went out without uttering a word. She looked at Princess Marya with that expression of attention concentrated within herself that is only seen in women with child, and suddenly she burst into tears.

“Have you heard news from Andrey?” she said.

“No; you know news could not come yet; but father is uneasy, and I feel frightened.”

“Then you have heard nothing?”

“Nothing,” said Princess Marya, looking resolutely at her with her luminous eyes. She had made up her mind not to tell her, and had persuaded her father to conceal the dreadful news from her till her confinement, which was expected before many days. Princess Marya and the old prince, in their different ways, bore and hid their grief. The old prince refused to hope; he made up his mind that Prince Andrey had been killed, and though he sent a clerk to Austria to seek for traces of his son, he ordered a monument for him in Moscow and intended to put it up in his garden, and he told every one that his son was dead. He tried to keep up his old manner of life unchanged, but his strength was failing him: he walked less, ate less, slept less, and every day he grew weaker. Princess Marya went on hoping. She prayed for her brother, as living, and every moment she expected news of his return.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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