War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book IX: Chapters 16–23

"Which is he? Which?" asked Petya in a tearful voice, of those around him, but no one answered him, everybody was too excited; and Petya, fixing on one of those four men, whom he could not clearly see for the tears of joy that filled his eyes, concentrated all his enthusiasm on him — though it happened not to be the Emperor- frantically shouted"Hurrah!" and resolved that tomorrow, come what might, he would join the army.

The crowd ran after the Emperor, followed him to the palace, and began to disperse. It was already late, and Petya had not eaten anything and was drenched with perspiration, yet he did not go home but stood with that diminishing, but still considerable, crowd before the palace while the Emperor dined — looking in at the palace windows, expecting he knew not what, and envying alike the notables he saw arriving at the entrance to dine with the Emperor and the court footmen who served at table, glimpses of whom could be seen through the windows.

While the Emperor was dining, Valuev, looking out of the window, said:

"The people are still hoping to see Your Majesty again."

The dinner was nearly over, and the Emperor, munching a biscuit, rose and went out onto the balcony. The people, with Petya among them, rushed toward the balcony.

"Angel! Dear one! Hurrah! Father! . . ." cried the crowd, and Petya with it, and again the women and men of weaker mold, Petya among them, wept with joy.

A largish piece of the biscuit the Emperor was holding in his hand broke off, fell on the balcony parapet, and then to the ground. A coachman in a jerkin, who stood nearest, sprang forward and snatched it up. Several people in the crowd rushed at the coachman. Seeing this the Emperor had a plateful of biscuits brought him and began throwing them down from the balcony. Petya's eyes grew bloodshot, and still more excited by the danger of being crushed, he rushed at the biscuits. He did not know why, but he had to have a biscuit from the Tsar's hand and he felt that he must not give way. He sprang forward and upset an old woman who was catching at a biscuit; the old woman did not consider herself defeated though she was lying on the ground — she grabbed at some biscuits but her hand did not reach them. Petya pushed her hand away with his knee, seized a biscuit, and as if fearing to be too late, again shouted"Hurrah!" with a voice already hoarse.

The Emperor went in, and after that the greater part of the crowd began to disperse.

"There! I said if only we waited — and so it was!" was being joyfully said by various people.

Happy as Petya was, he felt sad at having to go home knowing that all the enjoyment of that day was over. He did not go straight home from the Kremlin, but called on his friend Obolenski, who was fifteen and was also entering the regiment. On returning home Petya announced resolutely and firmly that if he was not allowed to enter the service he would run away. And next day, Count Ilya Rostov — though he had not yet quite yielded — went to inquire how he could arrange for Petya to serve where there would be least danger.

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