Yes, said Natasha. Do you know, Nikolenkadont be angry but I know you wont marry her. I knowI dont know whybut I know for certain that you wont marry her.
Well, you cant know that, said Nikolay; but I want to talk to her. How charming Sonya is! he added, smiling.
Yes, she is so charming! Ill send her in to you. And Natasha kissed her brother and ran away.
A minute later Sonya came in, looking frightened, distraught, and guilty. Nikolay went up to her and kissed her hand. It was the first time since his return that they had talked alone and of their love.
Sophie, he said to her, at first timidly, but more and more boldly as he went on, if you were simply refusing a brilliant, an advantageous matchbut hes a splendid, noble fellow hes my friend
Sonya interrupted him.
I have refused him, she said hastily.
If you are refusing him for my sake, I am afraid that I
Sonya again cut him short. With frightened, imploring eyes she looked at him.
Nikolenka, dont say that to me, she said.
No, I must. Perhaps its suffisance on my part, but still its better to say it. If you are refusing him on my account, I ought to tell you the whole truth. I love you, I believe, more than any one
Thats enough for me, said Sonya, flushing crimson.
No; but I have been in love a thousand times, and I shall fall in love again, though such a feeling of affection, confidence and love I have for no one as for you. Then I am young. Mamma does not wish it. Wellin factI can make no promise. And I beg you to consider the offer of Dolohov, he said, with an effort articulating the name of his friend.
Dont speak to me of it. I want nothing. I love you as a brother, and shall always love you, and I want nothing more.
You are an angel; Im not worthy of you, but I am only afraid of deceiving you.
Nikolay kissed her hand once more.
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