it too, but its only now that I have felt such love. Its not what I have felt before. As soon as I saw him, I felt that he was my sovereign and I was his slave, and that I could not help loving him. Yes, his slave! Whatever he bids me, I shall do. You dont understand that. What am I to do? What am I to do, Sonya? said Natasha, with a blissful and frightened face.
But only think what you are doing, said Sonya. I cant leave it like this. These secret letters How could you let him go so far as that? she said, with a horror and aversion she could with difficulty conceal.
I have told you, answered Natasha, that I have no will. How is it you dont understand that? I love him!
Then I cant let it go on like this. I shall tell about it, cried Sonya with a burst of tears.
What for Gods sake If you tell, you are my enemy, said Natasha. You want to make me miserable, and you want us to be separated
On seeing Natashas alarm, Sonya wept tears of shame and pity for her friend.
But what has passed between you? she asked. What has he said to you? Why doesnt he come to the house?
Natasha made no answer to her question.
For Gods sake, Sonya, dont tell any one; dont torture me, Natasha implored her. Remember that it doesnt do to meddle in such matters. I have told you
But why this secrecy? Why doesnt he come to the house? Sonya persisted. Why doesnt he ask for your hand straight out? Prince Andrey, you know, gave you complete liberty, if it really is so; but I cant believe in it. Natasha, have you thought what the secret reasons can be?
Natasha looked with wondering eyes at Sonya. Evidently it was the first time that question had presented itself to her, and she did not know how to answer it.
What the reasons are, I dont know. But there must be reasons!
Sonya sighed and shook her head distrustfully.
If there were reasons she was beginning. But Natasha, divining her doubts, interrupted her in dismay.
Sonya, you mustnt doubt of him; you mustnt, you mustnt! Do you understand? she cried.
Does he love you?
Does he love me? repeated Natasha, with a smile of compassion for her friends dullness of comprehension. Why, you have read his letter, havent you? Youve seen him.
But if he is a dishonourable man?
He! a dishonourable man? If only you knew! said Natasha.
If he is an honourable man, he ought either to explain his intentions, or to give up seeing you; and if you wont do that, I will do it. Ill write to him. Ill tell papa, said Sonya resolutely.
But I cant live without him! cried Natasha.
Natasha, I dont understand you. And what are you saying? Think of your father, of Nikolenka.
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