her existence. Mademoiselle Bourienne was just the same self-satisfied, coquettish girl, enjoying every moment of her life, and filled with the most joyous hopes for the future. She seemed only to have gained boldness, so Prince Andrey thought. The tutor he had brought back from Switzerland, Dessalle, was wearing a coat of Russian cut, and talked broken Russian to the servants, but he was just the same narrow-minded, cultivated, conscientious, pedantic preceptor. The only physical change apparent in the old prince was the loss of a tooth, that left a gap at the side of his mouth. In character he was the same as ever, only showing even more irritability and scepticism as to everything that happened in the world. Nikolushka was the only one who had changed: he had grown taller, and rosy, and had curly dark hair. When he was merry and laughing, he unconsciously lifted the upper lip of his pretty little mouth, just as his dead mother, the little princess, used to do. He was the only one not in bondage to the law of sameness that reigned in that spellbound sleeping castle. But though externally all was exactly as of old, the inner relations of all the persons concerned had changed since Prince Andrey had seen them last. The household was split up into two hostile camps, which held aloof from one another, and only now came together in his presence, abandoning their ordinary habits on his account. To one camp belonged the old prince, Mademoiselle Bourienne, and the architect; to the other—Princess Marya, Dessalle, Nikolushka, and all the nurses.

During his stay at Bleak Hills all the family dined together, but every one was ill at ease, and Prince Andrey felt that he was being treated as a guest for whom an exception was being made, and that his presence made all of them feel awkward. The first day Prince Andrey could not help being aware of this at dinner, and sat in silence. The old prince noticed his unnatural dumbness, and he, too, preserved a sullen silence, and immediately after dinner withdrew to his own room. Later in the evening when Prince Andrey went in to him, and began telling him about the campaign of the young Prince Kamensky to try and rouse him, the old prince, to his surprise, began talking about Princess Marya, grumbling at her superstitiousness, and her dislike of Mademoiselle Bourienne, who was, he said, the only person really attached to him.

The old prince declared that it was all Princess Marya’s doing if he were ill; that she plagued and worried him on purpose, and that she was spoiling little Prince Nikolay by the way she petted him, and the silly tales she told him. The old prince knew very well that he tormented his daughter, and that her life was a very hard one. But he knew, too, that he could not help tormenting her, and considered that she deserved it. “Why is it Andrey, who sees it, says nothing about his sister?” the old prince wondered. “Why, does he suppose I’m a scoundrel or an old fool to be alienated from my daughter and friendly with this Frenchwoman for no good reason? He doesn’t understand, and so I must explain it to him; he must hear what I have to say about it,” thought the old prince, and so he began to explain the reason why he could not put up with his daughter’s unreasonable character.

“If you ask me,” said Prince Andrey, not looking at his father (it was the first time in his life that he had blamed his father), “I did not wish to speak of it—but, if you ask me, I’ll tell you my opinion frankly in regard to the whole matter. If there is any misunderstanding and estrangement between you and Masha, I can’t blame her for it—I know how she loves and respects you. If you ask me,” Prince Andrey continued, losing his temper, as he very readily did in these latter days, “I can only say one thing; if there are misunderstandings, the cause of them is that worthless woman, who is not fit to be my sister’s companion.”

The old man stared for a moment at his son, and a forced smile revealed the loss of a tooth, to which Prince Andrey could not get accustomed, in his face.

“What companion, my dear fellow? Eh! So you’ve talked it over already! Eh?”

“Father, I had no wish to judge you,” said Prince Andrey, in a hard and spiteful tone, “but you have provoked me, and I have said, and shall always say, that Marie is not to blame, but the people to blame—the person to blame—is that Frenchwoman …”

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