War and Peace By Leo Tolstoy Book X: Chapters 15–25

"Forfeit, forfeit!" cried the militia officer.

"All right, one can't talk — how tiresome!"

"What is 'the talk of all Moscow'?" Pierre asked angrily, rising to his feet.

"Come now, Count, you know!"

"I don't know anything about it," said Pierre.

"I know you were friendly with Natalie, and so . . . but I was always more friendly with Vera — that dear Vera."

"No, madame!" Pierre continued in a tone of displeasure,"I have not taken on myself the role of Natalie Rostova's knight at all, and have not been their house for nearly a month. But I cannot understand the cruelty . . ."

"Qui s'excuse s'accuse,"* said Julie, smiling and waving the lint triumphantly, and to have the last word she promptly changed the subject."Do you know what I heard today? Poor Mary Bolkonskaya arrived in Moscow yesterday. Do you know that she has lost her father?"

*"Who excuses himself, accuses himself."

"Really? Where is she? I should like very much to see her," said Pierre.

"I spent the evening with her yesterday. She is going to their estate near Moscow either today or tomorrow morning, with her nephew."

"Well, and how is she?" asked Pierre.

"She is well, but sad. But do you know who rescued her? It is quite a romance. Nicholas Rostov! She was surrounded, and they wanted to kill her and had wounded some of her people. He rushed in and saved her . . . ."

"Another romance," said the militia officer."Really, this general flight has been arranged to get all the old maids married off. Catiche is one and Princess Bolkonskaya another."

"Do you know, I really believe she is un petit peu amoureuse du jeune homme."

* *"A little bit in love with the young man."

"Forfeit, forfeit, forfeit!"

"But how could one say that in Russian?"

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

After leaving his wife, what does Pierre do that gives him new hope?