We are back at Anna Pavlovna's soiree.
Pierre has been villified as the bad guy, whereas Helene has everyone's sympahty in Petersburg. Of course, Vassily calls him a "crackbrain" and Anna Pavlovna said she was against the match from the beginning (ha!) and that Helene is suffering so. Helene meanwhile, while saying nothing, has everyone ascribing suffering to her.
Boris is at this particular soiree, and has become (at least from the way I read it) insufferable. He now finds his love for Natasha ridiculous, and is only interested in getting better jobs, or as T puts it, "one needed not efforts, not courage, not perserverance, but only skill in dealing with those who give rewards for service - and he was often surprised at his quick success and how others could fail to understand it."
He keeps glancing over at Helene, who is of course interested in the young, handsome adjutant. She asks him to come visit her on Tuesday, between 8 & 9. Anna pulls him aside and asks that she not mention her husband, as it upsets her so.
Not a very kind view of society has Tolstoy, methinks. There is certainly talk of politics, which is interesting, but it comes off as privileged people who really have no effect on any outcome. There are high-ups, but one gets the feeling they are powerless in the face of Napoleon. I suppose it's the same as any salon ever is.
Can't believe Helene, though. You just itch for people to know the truth about these harpies, but g-d knows if they ever will. Oy.
6 months ago