The doctors were busily engaged with the wounded man, whose head had seemed somehow familiar to Prince Andrey: they were lifting him up and trying to soothe him.

“Show it to me… ooo! o! ooo!” he could hear his frightened, abjectly suffering moans, broken by sobs. Hearing his moans, Prince Andrey wanted to cry. Either because he was dying thus without glory, or because he was sorry to part with life, or from these memories of a childhood that could never return, or because he was in pain, or because others were suffering, and that man was moaning so piteously, he longed to weep childlike, good, almost happy, tears.

They showed the wounded man the leg that had been amputated, wearing a boot, and covered with dry gore. “O! oooo!” he sobbed like a woman. The doctor who had been standing near him, screening his face, moved away.

“My God! How’s this? Why is he here?” Prince Andrey wondered.

In the miserable, sobbing, abject creature, whose leg had just been cut off, he recognised Anatole Kuragin. It was Anatole they were holding up in their arms and offering a glass of water, the edge of which he could not catch with his trembling, swollen lips. Anatole drew a sobbing, convulsive breath. “Yes, it is he; yes, that man is somehow closely and painfully bound up with me,” thought Prince Andrey, with no clear understanding yet of what was before him. “What is the connection between that man and my childhood, my life?” he asked himself, unable to find the clue. And all at once a new, unexpected memory from that childlike world of purity and love rose up before Prince Andrey. He remembered Natasha, as he had seen her for the first time at the ball in 1810, with her slender neck and slender arms, and her frightened, happy face, ready for ecstatic enjoyment, and a love and tenderness awoke in his heart for her stronger and more loving than ever. He recalled now the bond that existed between him and this man, who was looking vaguely at him through the tears that filled his swollen eyes. Prince Andrey remembered everything, and a passionate pity and love for that suffering man filled his happy heart.

Prince Andrey could restrain himself no more and wept tears of love and tenderness over his fellow- men, over himself, and over their errors and his own. “Sympathy, love for our brothers, for those who love us, love for those who hate us, love for our enemies; yes, the love that God preached upon earth, that Marie sought to teach me, and I did not understand, that is why I am sorry to part with life, that is what was left me if I had lived. But now it is too late. I know that!”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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