I have written to my poor mother, said the smiling Mademoiselle Bourienne rapidly, in her pleasant mellow tones and with guttural r's.
Before they reached the room from which the sounds of the clavichord came, the pretty, fair haired Frenchwoman, Mademoiselle Bourienne, rushed out apparently beside herself with delight.
You are Mademoiselle Bourienne, said the little princess, kissing her.
Mademoiselle Bourienne stood near them pressing her hand to her heart, with a beatific smile and obviously equally ready to cry or to laugh.
Mademoiselle Bourienne also began to cry.
At the appointed hour the prince, powdered and shaven, entered the dining room where his daughter-in-law, Princess Mary, and Mademoiselle Bourienne were already awaiting him together with his architect, who by a strange caprice of his employer's was admitted to table though the position of that insignificant individual was such as could certainly not have caused him to expect that honor.
Mademoiselle Bourienne, here's another admirer of that powder-monkey emperor of yours, he exclaimed in excellent French.
"I don't like your Mademoiselle Bourienne at all," said Prince Andrew.
On the way to his sister's room, in the passage which connected one wing with the other, Prince Andrew met Mademoiselle Bourienne smiling sweetly.
The members of the household were all gathered in the reception hall: Michael Ivanovich, Mademoiselle Bourienne, Princess Mary, and the little princess.
The little princess lay in the armchair, Mademoiselle Bourienne chafing her temples.
Before dinner, Princess Mary and Mademoiselle Bourienne, who knew that the prince was in a bad humor, stood awaiting him; Mademoiselle Bourienne with a radiant face that said: "I know nothing, I am the same as usual," and Princess Mary pale, frightened, and with downcast eyes.
What she found hardest to bear was to know that on such occasions she ought to behave like Mademoiselle Bourienne, but could not.
"She is not very well," answered Mademoiselle Bourienne with a bright smile, "so she won't come down.
"I am afraid for the baby," she said to Mademoiselle Bourienne: "Heaven knows what a fright might do."
When the little princess had grown accustomed to life at Bald Hills, she took a special fancy to Mademoiselle Bourienne, spent whole days with her, asked her to sleep in her room, and often talked with her about the old prince and criticized him.
"So we are to have visitors, mon prince?" remarked Mademoiselle Bourienne, unfolding her white napkin with her rosy fingers.
Though Mademoiselle Bourienne had been so unsuccessful in her choice of a subject, she did not stop talking, but chattered about the conservatories and the beauty of a flower that had just opened, and after the soup the prince became more genial.
The little princess and Mademoiselle Bourienne had already received from Masha, the lady's maid, the necessary report of how handsome the minister's son was, with his rosy cheeks and dark eyebrows, and with what difficulty the father had dragged his legs upstairs while the son had followed him like an eagle, three steps at a time.
Having received this information, the little princess and Mademoiselle Bourienne, whose chattering voices had reached her from the corridor, went into Princess Mary's room.
She flushed, her beautiful eyes grew dim, red blotches came on her face, and it took on the unattractive martyrlike expression it so often wore, as she submitted herself to Mademoiselle Bourienne and Lise.
It was not the dress, but the face and whole figure of Princess Mary that was not pretty, but neither Mademoiselle Bourienne nor the little princess felt this; they still thought that if a blue ribbon were placed in the hair, the hair combed up, and the blue scarf arranged lower on the best maroon dress, and so on, all would be well.
Katie," she said to the maid, "bring the princess her gray dress, and you'll see, Mademoiselle Bourienne, how I shall arrange it," she added, smiling with a foretaste of artistic pleasure.
"Come, dear princess," said Mademoiselle Bourienne, "just one more little effort."
Mademoiselle Bourienne and the little princess had to own to themselves that Princess Mary in this guise looked very plain, worse than usual, but it was too late.
When she entered with her heavy step, treading on her heels, the gentlemen and Mademoiselle Bourienne rose and the little princess, indicating her to the gentlemen, said: "Voila Marie!"
And she saw Mademoiselle Bourienne, with her ribbon and pretty face, and her unusually animated look which was fixed on him, but him she could not see, she only saw something large, brilliant, and handsome moving toward her as she entered the room.
Mademoiselle Bourienne also shared them and even Princess Mary felt herself pleasantly made to share in these merry reminiscences.
When Paris was mentioned, Mademoiselle Bourienne for her part seized the opportunity of joining in the general current of recollections.
When he saw the pretty little Bourienne, Anatole came to the conclusion that he would not find Bald Hills dull either.
Mademoiselle Bourienne, also roused to great excitement by Anatole's arrival, thought in another way.
Mademoiselle Bourienne had long been waiting for a Russian prince who, able to appreciate at a glance her superiority to the plain, badly dressed, ungainly Russian princesses, would fall in love with her and carry her off; and here at last was a Russian prince.
Mademoiselle Bourienne knew a story, heard from her aunt but finished in her own way, which she liked to repeat to herself.
Mademoiselle Bourienne was often touched to tears as in imagination she told this story to him, her seducer.
Mademoiselle Bourienne was also looking at Princess Mary, and in her lovely eyes there was a look of fearful joy and hope that was also new to the princess.
Mademoiselle Bourienne flushed, and gave the princess a frightened look.
"Is it possible that Amelie" (Mademoiselle Bourienne) "thinks I could be jealous of her, and not value her pure affection and devotion to me?"
Mademoiselle Bourienne walked up and down the conservatory for a long time that evening, vainly expecting someone, now smiling at someone, now working herself up to tears with the imaginary words of her pauvre mere rebuking her for her fall.
And don't I see that that idiot had eyes only for Bourienne--I shall have to get rid of her.
The old prince knew that if he told his daughter she was making a mistake and that Anatole meant to flirt with Mademoiselle Bourienne, Princess Mary's self-esteem would be wounded and his point (not to be parted from her) would be gained, so pacifying himself with this thought, he called Tikhon and began to undress.
Though no words had passed between Anatole and Mademoiselle Bourienne, they quite understood one another as to the first part of their romance, up to the appearance of the pauvre mere; they understood that they had much to say to one another in private and so they had been seeking an opportunity since morning to meet one another alone.
When Princess Mary went to her father's room at the usual hour, Mademoiselle Bourienne and Anatole met in the conservatory.
He will take you with your dowry and take Mademoiselle Bourienne into the bargain.
But what her father had said about Mademoiselle Bourienne was dreadful.
She was going straight on through the conservatory, neither seeing nor hearing anything, when suddenly the well-known whispering of Mademoiselle Bourienne aroused her.
With a horrified expression on his handsome face, Anatole looked at Princess Mary, but did not at once take his arm from the waist of Mademoiselle Bourienne who had not yet seen her.
At last Mademoiselle Bourienne gave a scream and ran away.
When Tikhon came to her Princess Mary was sitting on the sofa in her room, holding the weeping Mademoiselle Bourienne in her arms and gently stroking her hair.
Mademoiselle Bourienne, too, seemed passionately fond of the boy, and Princess Mary often deprived herself to give her friend the pleasure of dandling the little angel--as she called her nephew--and playing with him.
Not only Princess Mary, who had been won by his gentleness with the pilgrims, gave him her most radiant looks, but even the one-year-old "Prince Nicholas" (as his grandfather called him) smiled at Pierre and let himself be taken in his arms, and Michael Ivanovich and Mademoiselle Bourienne looked at him with pleasant smiles when he talked to the old prince.