Л. N. Tolstoy. War and peace. Volume four PART FOUR I

30 September 2019

It seemed to her that she was about to understand what she was looking at with a terrible, unbearable question.

At the end of December, in a black woolen dress, with a slanting, slanting and pale beam, Natasha sat with her legs in the corner of the sofa, crumpling and dissolving the ends of the belt, and looked at the corner of the door.

She looked where he had gone, at the other side of life. And the side of life that she had never thought of before, which had previously seemed so far away, so incredible to her, was now closer and more familiar to her, more understandable than that side of life, where everything was either emptiness and destruction, or suffering and insult.

She looked where she knew he was; but she couldn't see him other than the way he was here. She saw him again as he was in Mytishchi, at Trinity, in Yaroslavl.

She saw his face, heard his voice and repeated his words and his words to him, and sometimes came up with new words for herself and for him, which could then be said.

He was lying on a chair in his velvet fur coat, leaning his head on his thin, pale hand. His chest was terribly low and his shoulders were raised. His lips are tight, his eyes shine, and his pale forehead jumps and wrinkles disappear. One foot trembles a little bit quickly. Natasha knows that he is struggling with agonizing pain. "What is this pain? Why the pain? What does he feel? How he feels! - Natasha thinks. He noticed her attention, looked up and spoke without smiling.

One thing is terrible," he said, "is to tie himself to a suffering person forever. It is an eternal torment. And he looked at her with an experienced look - Natasha saw that look now - and looked at her. As always, Natasha answered then before she could think of what she was saying; she said: "It can't go on like this, it won't happen, you'll be healthy at all.

She now saw him at first and was experiencing everything she felt then. She remembered his long, sad, strict look at these words and understood the meaning of reproach and despair of this long look.

I agreed," Natasha said to herself now, "that it would be terrible if he remained always in pain. I only said that because it would have been terrible for him, and he understood it differently. He thought it would be terrible for me. He still wanted to live - he was afraid of death. And I was so rude, so stupid to tell him. I didn't think so. I thought differently. If I had said what I thought, I'd have said, "Let him die, let him die in front of my eyes all the time, I'd be happy compared to what I am now. Now... Nothing, no one was there. Did he know that? No. Didn't know and would never know. And now you can never, never fix it again. And again he said the same words to her, but now in her imagination Natasha answered him differently. She stopped him and spoke: "It's terrible for you, but not for me. You know that I have nothing in life without you, and to suffer with you is the best happiness for me. And he took her hand and felt sorry for her as he felt sorry for her that night, four days before he died. And in her imagination she spoke to him other gentle, loving speeches, which she could have made then, which she was speaking now. "I love you... you... Love, love..." - she would say, convulsively clutching her hands, clenching her teeth with fierce force.

And the sweet grief swept over her, and the tears already protruded into her eyes, but suddenly she asked herself, "To whom does she say this? Where is he and who is he now? And again, everything was covered with dry, cruel bewilderment, and again, tensely moving her eyebrows, she looked at where he was. And so, now, it seemed to her that she was penetrating the mystery... But the minute she was about to open it, it seemed as if the loud knocking of the door lock knob had struck her painfully. Quickly and carelessly, with a frightened, unoccupied expression of her face, the maid Dunyasha entered the room.

- Welcome to Dunyasha, rather," Dunyasha said with a special and lively expression. - The misfortune of Peter Ilyich... A letter," she sobbed and said.