Oooh, Boris falls under Natasha's spell again.
He visits the Rostovs for the first time in 1809, when Natasha is 16. She's secretly not forgotten their kiss, but says she doesn't care. Anna Mikhailovna doesn't visit the Rostov's as much, either. It seems their fortunes in Petersburg are decidedly bad.
Boris, though, has a great fortune at the moment in who he has befriended (calculatingly, as we've seen). He's dressed perfectly, smoothing with his right hand the cleanest of molded gloves on his left, spoke with especially refined pursing of the lips about the amusements of Petersburg high society, and with mild mockery recalled the old times in Moscow and Moscow acquaintances.
There's also that great 19th c thing where they mention invitations from N.N. and S.S.. Is it improper to say names, or is it a fictive convention? After all, there are actual historical personages in this novel. I wonder why the initials?
Either way, Boris sounds a little insufferable.
Boris comes and at first leaves after 10 minutes, only talking to the countess, but can feel Natasha beaming at him. He keeps coming to visit intending to tell her how impossible it would be for them to marry, but he can't bring himself to say it. He has a brilliant career, great connections, and a girl he could marry in Petersburg, and to marry her with no money would be failure for him.
But he can't bring himself to say it. And he spends more and more time, entire days at the Rostovs's. And pissing off Helene in the process.
That doesn't actually bother me. I want that entire family to fail for some reason, though I suppose she's set with Pierre unless she becomes careless. One can hope.
Meanwhile - Natasha - we're all captivated
4 months ago