of a harsh voice was heard through the door, and the officer, with a white face and trembling lips, came out, and clutching at his head, crossed the anteroom. After that, Prince Andrey was conducted to the door, and the adjutant in a whisper said: “To the right, at the window.”

Prince Andrey went into a plain, neat study, and saw at the table a man of forty with a long waist, with a long, closely-cropped head, deep wrinkles, scowling brows over brown-green, dull eyes, and a red, over- hanging nose. Araktcheev turned his head towards him, without looking at him.

“What is it you are petitioning for?” asked Araktcheev.

“There is nothing that I am…petitioning for, your excellency,” Prince Andrey pronounced softly. Araktcheev’s eyes turned to him.

“Sit down,” said Araktcheev. “Prince Bolkonsky?”

“I have no petition to make, but his majesty the Tsar has graciously sent to your excellency a note submitted by me—”

“Be so good as to see, my dear sir; I have read your note,” Araktcheev interrupted, uttering only the first words civilly, again looking away from him, and relapsing more and more into a tone of grumbling contempt. “Is it new army regulations you propose? There are regulations in plenty; no one will carry out the old ones. Nowadays every one’s drawing up regulations; it’s easier writing than doing.”

“I have come by the desire of his majesty the Tsar to learn from your excellency how you propose to deal with my project,” said Prince Andrey courteously.

“I have proposed a resolution in regard to your note, and have forwarded it to the committee. I do not approve,” said Araktcheev, getting up and taking a paper out of the writing-table. “Here.” He gave it to Prince Andrey. Right across the note had been scrawled, without punctuation or capital letters and with words misspelt: “Superficially compiled seeing that it’s drawn up in imitation of the French army regulations and needlessly departing from the standing orders.”

“To what committee has the note been referred?” asked Prince Andrey.

“To the Committee on Army Regulations, and I have proposed your honour being enrolled among its members. Only without salary.”

Prince Andrey smiled.

“I am not seeking a salary.”

“A member without salary,” repeated Araktcheev. “I wish you good day. Hey! call! who’s the next?” he shouted, as he bowed to Prince Andrey.

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