and the conversation, guided by Anna Pavlovna, was of our diplomatic relations with Austria, and the hope of an alliance with her.

Boris, fresh, rosy, and manlier looking, walked easily into the drawing-room, wearing the elegant uniform of an adjutant. He was duly conducted to pay his respects to the aunt, and then joined the general circle.

Anna Pavlovna gave him her shrivelled hand to kiss, introduced him to several persons whom he did not know, and gave him a whispered description of each of them. “Prince Ippolit Kuragin, M. Krug, chargé d’affaires from Copenhagen, a profound intellect and simple, M. Shitov, a man of a great deal of merit …” this of the young man always so spoken of.

Thanks to the efforts of Anna Mihalovna, his own tastes and the peculiarities of his reserved character, Boris had succeeded by that time in getting into a very advantageous position in the service. He was an adjutant in the suite of a personage of very high rank, he had received a very important commission in Prussia, and had only just returned thence as a special messenger. He had completely assimilated that unwritten code which had so pleased him at Olmütz, that code in virtue of which a lieutenant may stand infinitely higher than a general, and all that is needed for success in the service is not effort, not work, not gallantry, not perseverance, but simply the art of getting on with those who have the bestowal of promotion, and he often himself marvelled at the rapidity of his own progress, and that others failed to grasp the secret of it. His whole manner of life, all his relations with his old friends, all his plans for the future were completely transformed in consequence of this discovery. He was not well off, but he spent his last copeck to be better dressed than others. He would have deprived himself of many pleasures rather than have allowed himself to drive in an inferior carriage, or to be seen in the streets of Petersburg in an old uniform. He sought the acquaintance and cultivated the friendship only of persons who were in a higher position, and could consequently be of use to him. He loved Petersburg and despised Moscow. His memories of the Rostov household and his childish passion for Natasha were distasteful to him, and he had not once been at the Rostovs’ since he had entered the army. In Anna Pavlovna’s drawing- room, his entry into which he looked upon as an important step upward in the service, he at once took his cue, and let Anna Pavlovna make the most of what interest he had to offer, while himself attentively watching every face and appraising the advantages and possibilities of intimacy with every one of the persons present. He sat on the seat indicated to him beside the fair Ellen and listened to the general conversation.

“Vienna considers the bases of the proposed treaty so unattainable that not even a continuance of the most brilliant successes would put them within reach, and doubts whether any means could gain them for us. These are the actual words of the ministry in Vienna,” said the Danish chargé d’affaires.

“It is polite of them to doubt,” said the man of profound intellect with a subtle smile.

“We must distinguish between the ministry in Vienna and the Emperor of Austria,” said Mortemart. “The Emperor of Austria can never have thought of such a thing; it is only the ministers who say it.”

“Ah, my dear vicomte,” put in Anna Pavlovna; “Europe will never be our sincere ally.”

Then Anna Pavlovna turned the conversation upon the courage and firmness of the Prussian king, with the object of bringing Boris into action.

Boris listened attentively to the person who was speaking, and waited for his turn, but meanwhile he had leisure to look round several times at the fair Ellen, who several times met the handsome young adjutant’s eyes with a smile.

Very naturally, speaking of the position of Prussia, Anna Pavlovna asked Boris to describe his journey to Glogau, and the position in which he had found the Prussian army. Boris in his pure, correct French, told them very deliberately a great many interesting details about the armies, and the court, studiously abstaining from any expression of his own opinion in regard to the facts he was narrating. For some

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