and gentlemen. Pierre came down to it, wandered through the rooms and impressed all the guests by his look of concentrated preoccupation and gloom.

Pierre had been feeling one of his attacks of nervous depression coming upon him ever since the day of the ball and had been making desperate efforts to struggle against it. Since his wife’s intrigue with the royal prince, Pierre had been to his surprise appointed a kammerherr, and ever since he had felt a sense of weariness and shame in court society, and his old ideas of the vanity of all things human began to come back oftener and oftener. The feeling he had lately noticed between his protégée Natasha and Prince Andrey had aggravated his gloom by the contrast between his own position and his friend’s. He tried equally to avoid thinking of his wife and also of Natasha and Prince Andrey. Again everything seemed to him insignificant in comparison with eternity; again the question rose before him: “What for?” And for days and nights together he forced himself to work at masonic labours, hoping to keep off the evil spirit. Pierre had come out of the countess’s apartments at midnight, and was sitting in a shabby dressing-gown at the table in his own low-pitched, smoke-blackened room upstairs, copying out long transactions of the Scottish freemasons, when some one came into his room. It was Prince Andrey.

“Oh, it’s you,” said Pierre, with a preoccupied and dissatisfied air. “I’m at work, you see,” he added, pointing to the manuscript book with that look of escaping from the ills of life with which unhappy people look at their work.

Prince Andrey stood before Pierre with a radiant, ecstatic face, full of new life, and with the egoism of happiness smiled at him without noticing his gloomy face.

“Well, my dear boy,” he said, “I wanted to tell you yesterday, and I have come to do so to-day. I have never felt anything like it. I am in love.”

Pierre suddenly heaved a heavy sigh, and dumped down his heavy person on the sofa beside Prince Andrey.

“With Natasha Rostov, yes?” he said “Yes, yes, who else could it be? I would never have believed it, but the feeling is too strong for me. Yesterday I was in torment, in agony, but I would not exchange that agony even for anything in the world. I have never lived till now, but I cannot live without her. But can she love me? … I’m too old for her.…Why don’t you speak? …”

“I? I? What did I tell you?” said Pierre, suddenly getting up and walking about the room. “I always thought so.…That girl is a treasure.…She’s a very rare sort of girl.…My dear fellow, don’t, I entreat you, be too wise, don’t doubt, marry, marry, marry! … And I am sure no man was ever happier than you will be.”

“But she?”

“She loves you.”

“Don’t talk nonsense …” said Prince Andrey, smiling and looking into Pierre’s face.

“She loves you, I know it,” Pierre cried angrily.

“No; do listen,” said Prince Andrey, taking hold of him by the arm and stopping him. “Do you know the state I am in? I must talk about it to some one.”

“Well, well, talk away, I’m very glad,” said Pierre, and his face did really change, the line of care in his brow was smoothed away, and he listened gladly to Prince Andrey. His friend seemed, and was indeed, an utterly different, new man. What had become of his ennui, his contempt of life, his disillusionment? Pierre was the only person to whom he could have brought himself to speak quite openly; but to him he did reveal all that was in his heart. Readily and boldly he made plans reaching far into the future; said he could not sacrifice his own happiness to the caprices of his father; declared that he would force his

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